Sweet Child Of Mine

Sora walks up to Xion as she finishes stacking up her blocks in a shape that vaguely resembled a castle. She is stiff with concentration as she stands up onto her very tippy toes to try to get one last block up onto the top. The castle is easily bigger than she is and contains almost all of her toys, even the smallest of then. Its walls are made of the plain wooden cubes that Sora had carved her, all stacked up neatly on the floor and making a sturdy foundation. The next layer are the ornate stone, cubes, spheres and cones that Riku given her for her birthday. They are covered in beautiful depictions of flowers and lines to represent bricks and little windows. Her auntie Naminé had painted them for her, and Xion had been delighted with her new "castle" blocks.

Sora smiles when Xion growls to herself, obviously too small to finish her castle and to put the last cone where she wanted it. Instead, she drops it onto the floor and pulls a little black box out of a pile of discarded containers. She busies herself with pulling out colored marbles and placing them into the 'windows', creating the illusion of flickering flames in some, and the symbolic image of a stained glass window in another. Her marbles, all handmade and handblown by Roxas, glitter handsomely in the light of the kitchen as she worked. The little girl smiles proudly to herself, and her daddy smiles back as he leans against the counter, content to watch as she scurries around her castle and places dolls, soldiers, and teddy bears in strategic locations.

Xion is a master of design, and the castle towers far above her. The lady of its walls crouches by a little tower, only to her knee, and places her final block on its top. She raises her head up and mutters to herself, clapping her hands together in a ritualistic spell.

She puts a little angel at the highest point she could reach. She takes a careful step back, trying not to knock the toys over. It is a few moments before Sora hears his daughter's little prayer, and the tears begin to flow as he hears it. "Please let Auntie Naminé and Uncle Roxas be sad no more, Kingdom Hearts." Xion's soft voice begs as she bows her head respectfully at the castle.

And now Sora recognizes the castle. "Once there was a land full of light, where everyone was happy." Xion had built her own.

The toddler puts her hand on the angel and touches its blond hair in a clumsy little pat. She pulls it down again and hugs it close. "Please don't be sad no more, auntie. I love you." Xion puts it back into its spot and then picks up a soldier. Its little key-shaped weapon dangles from her hand as she sticks the soldier onto the highest wall with the angel. "No more crying, Uncle Roxas. Protect Auntie-" She tells it before suddenly turning around, staring up at her daddy in confusion.

Sora stares at her, having no idea what the heck alerted her to his presence since he was being absolutely quiet. He hadn't so much as chuckled, and had only let out a few tears when he saw the way that his little girl was treating the gifts from her family. Sure enough, when he peers over her shoulder, he sees enough dolls to represent all of them.

The doll with silver hair is at the bottom of one of the towers, its sword raised up above its head in a mock battle stance. Riku. Besides it sit two more, the boy with dark brown hair and the girl with bright red. Him and Kairi. He looks up at the angel and the soldier she had placed on one of the bigger walls. Naminé and Roxas. Axel, who was some reason a giant red teddy bear, is holding a tiny black haired girl in its plush arms.

Her whole family is there, and Xion is unafraid of any of them.

Xion looks at her daddy, a faint blush present on her cheeks. The child looks older for a moment, giving Sora a hint of what she might look like when she was a teenager and yes, she looks just like Kairi. Just like Naminé. Sora walks forward and bundles her into his arms, holding her close and kissing the top of her head. The soft downy black hair tickles his lips and smells of the sweet strawberry shampoo Kairi used.

His little girl. Oh, his sweet little girl.

Xion wraps her arms around her daddy's neck and he stands up again, not sure when he had crouched down. Tears flow down his cheeks but he remains smiling. The little girl runs her hand over Sora's cheeks and wipes them dry as best she can with her sleeve. "Why are you crying?" She asks in confusion, obviously confused since her daddy is smiling.

Sora chuckles and snuggles in close, holding her to his heart. For a moment, father's and child's hearts beat in unison, the combined thump a sweet and strong melody. "I love you, Xion. That's why I'm crying." He says honestly as he closes his eyes and imagines the life his baby would have thanks to all the efforts of the people she had represented in her castle. Kingdom Hearts, the land of light and happiness, would one day come true for her. Xion would never want for anything, despite how limited Sora's resources were.

She had love.

That was all that mattered.

Xion snuggles into her daddy's chest and smiles, still looking confused. She runs her hands into Sora's tangled brown spikes and starts smoothing them apart, a familiar ritual for both of them. "Why? Did I make you sad?" She asks innocently as she untangles a knot in his hair carefully. Sora shakes his head. "No. I'm happy, Xion. That's why I'm crying."

She frowns. "You can cry when you're happy?" Xion asks, scrunching her face into an unreadable pout of confusion. Her father nods and leans his head on her shoulder. Xion pauses for a moment before smiling and kissing her daddy on the forehead. The brush of the toddler's lips, though sticky from the strawberry jelly sandwich she had eaten for lunch a few minutes before, are warm and soothing. "I love you, too, Daddy." She says as she hugs him, feeling the ba-dump, ba-dump of his heart against her body.

Sora hugs her close, and murmurs the three words back to her, cuddling with his little girl with all of the love he normally kept hidden out of the illogical fear that someone would make fun of him for showing how much he cared. Sora runs his fingers through Xion's cropped black hair, parting it gently in between his fingers as he kisses her forehead again. That is when he makes his final promise to her, and he whispers it to her. The child looks confused but she smiles, acknowledging the love that her daddy was showing it, even if it makes no sense in her mind.

He would never let her get hurt again.