"By water, you are named, and by water, you shall come."

She came with daybreak, where a thick iridescence lied upon the horizon line. Beyond her world, nearing a shore that seemed to rest upon eternity, where the light shined oh so bright, she lied in a bed of water.

From the stillness to a tranquil flow, the water caressed her cheeks, soft and rosy like the clouds that peacefully floated above. Her red hair swayed like a shimmering halo, weightless upon the surface, swaying with the water. Below, the new born light's fingertips traced along the ocean floor, the little girl's fragile body above to an eclipse. The heartbeat of a dearly beloved played a slow, sad song, hushing her memory burdened by such a past.

"You heart withstands a scar that will be forgotten so that you may begin anew. For, darkness reigns in the hearts of many, seeping like ink into the outside realm, becoming tangible forms none can control."

Those calm waves weakly stumbled over themselves in a white wash as a melody to her sad song, pushing her to shore. Eyes peacefully closed, cheeks wet from tears fallen from a far off memory, she remained in peaceful slumber now upon the soft grains of sand—the warm waters blanketed around her waist

"But do not fear, child. By destiny's choice, you are matched to a protector."

"Wha?"From a frantic run, a little boy dropped to his bare knees and slid across the sand, voice innocent, mouth unhinged, vivid blue eyes wide. Fearful, he bowed above her, his tan trousers pressed against the wet sand. "Miss? Miss!"

Her fragile body dipped off the shore, stiffness clutched around her neck and shoulder. Slowly, her expression fluttered to an awakening. Her heavy eyelids trembled, blinking to an open, they boy, dawning from above, to emerge from the black wash. Huffing with relief, he beamed and began to giggle.

"Hiya! Wait a minute! Don't move!" The little boy switched back, pivoting upon a knee to face the other direction. "RIKU!" He yelled. "RIKU! EMERGENCY! CODE SIXTY-SEVEN! CODE SIXTY-SEVEN!"

Giggling, he descended back down to meet the little girl who heaved herself off her back and onto her knees, facing the little smiled kindly. S'okay. He always responds to that quickly. Oh you're all wet."

Slowly, she looked down at her soaked dress and ran her hands through it, wringing small drips of water from the fabric. Fascinated, her wide eyes fixed upon him. His umber hair was unruly, spiked in a goofy fashion. His soft cheeks perked up in a constant smile, she to beam back. At a sharp pain, she clutched her head, rubbing tenderly.

"Are ya hurt, miss?"

No response, she to beckon back shyly, cheeks rosy.

Warmly, the little boy outstretched his hand. "What's the matter? Don't you talk? S'okay." He assured. "I won't bite."

Chop. Chop. Chop. Suddenly, a boy erupted from the ferns beneath the shade of the vivid green palms, leaped down upon the beach, tumbled into a roll, popped to a defensive stance, huffing frantically, swinging a wooden sword violently "WHERE ARE THEY? ARE THEY BULLYING YOU AGAIN, SORA? Sora?"

"Over here!" He excitedly waved, then tended back to the girl. "You will like Riku. He always knows what to do. Oh, that's a bad scrape!" He pointed to her elbows, bowing to it intently.

"S—Sora?" She peeped.

"Oh! That's my name!" He kindly smiled, poking his chest. "So-ra! Like the cousin of that movie star twice removed—I think."

"Who are you and what is your business?" Stern browed, sword in hand pointed towards the stranger, Riku protectively shifted his weight in front of his friend. "Sora! I told you not to call wolf!"

Beaming at the girl through Riku's stance, Sora placed two fingers to his lips, then playfully pushed his friend into the sand, the little girl to giggle. "Not a wolf," Sora roared like a little lion, pinning Riku down, "A girl! And she's hurt with a scrape! See it for yourself! And, and it's part of hero training to help her!"

"Get off of me, ya sap!"

"Wah!" Tossed by Riku's kick, Sora went tumbling into the sand, meeting the little girl once more upon his back. Her hands cupped her mouth innocently.

"No worries! It's a rough-housing boy thing! Like this!" Sora popped to his feet, grabbed his wooden sword from the shore, and faced Riku, his brows stern, his rosy cheeks puffed as if he was holding his breath.

"You? Challenging me?" Riku laughed, rising to his feet, arms crossed.

"You bet!"

"Remember what happened last time?"

"I try not to." Sora pivoted back to the giggling girl, perched upon the sand, hands upon her cheeks, fascinated. "Let's just say, he won."

"He fell off that bridge over there and cried for a good five minutes."

"I did not cry!" He playfully bet his sword against Riku's, pushing his small weight into another swing.

"Yeah you did." He swung his sword.

He paused, thrusting the wood against Riku's at stalemate, "Not in front of the miss!"

"Awh, got a crush, Sora?"

"Heh." Sora paused, awkwardly patting his back, blushing vividly. "Wha!" He was thrown down, felling the ground's whack upon his head as he tumbled. He recoiled back, his voice furious. "Hey! Foul! That's a foul!"

"Quiet!" Riku pushed his hands to his mouth, eyeing intently at the two young'uns perched upon the sand, drawing closer together as Riku's eyes slipped to the side. "I hear voices."

"Oh no! Not the seven-year-olds!"

"Shhh!" Riku drew up his sword, duck down protectively, pounded his stance into the ground, and faced the other direction with a stern frown. A crescendo of cackling voices, swinging bats against the palm's leaves, and heckling arose from the distance, and rounded the turn.

"HEY! THERE THEY ARE! GET 'EM!"

A fleet of seven boys poured into the little cove, chanting! Sora popped up, swinging his weight in front of the girl, her eyes wide, her hands cupped around her mouth..

"…code sixty-seven, riku…"

"Sora!" Eyes wide, Riku lashed back to the two, "Run!"

In three quick steps, the boys yanked the little girl to her feet, swinging her into the air, pulling her into a mighty run. Sora's hand clutched the her little wrist.

"Riku." Huff. "We have'ta" Huff. "Protect the girl! They're not nice to girls!" Sora swung her in between the he and Riku and drew out his sword from his belt loop. "We'll protect you!"

Assured, she gave a determined nod.

"Here!" Riku whirled around, mid run, "Follow us!"

The three ran in the small strides their little legs allowed across the shores happily giggling. Tingling clutched their bellies, tickling them to erupt in full laughter while the little boys chased from behind.

"Na Nana Nana Na! You can't catch us!" Sora teased, the Riku and the girl to giggle happily.

The rosy morning light rose into the pink sky, shinning brilliance onto the vivid palms, waving in light breeze. Festooned upon the blessed green cliffs were thick trees of thousand green swinging leaves, and tree-houses, wooden and sturdy. Racing around a dazzling waterfall that poured out from the heart of the island, she gasped, her vivid blue irises to shake in such beauty.

"Wow!"

Riku laughed, "You must be new here!"

"Where ya from?" Beyond the bay?"

"I—um—I don't know! Beyond the ocean?"

"Wha? Beyond the ocean?" Sora yanked to a dramatic stop at the cliff, tripped over his legs, falling face first into the sand. She gasped, turned back, dove to the ground, and happily pulled him by his underarms, giggling.

"Come on, Sora!" She pulled his arm over her shoulders, "They're coming!"

Riku dove down, wrapped his long arms around his two friends and pulled them both from the ground and pushed them to their feet.

"Sora's always tripping around!"

He shyly smiled, tossing his hands into the air. "Sorry about that!"

"LET'S TAKE THE SHORT CUT!" They called from behind.

"Well, welcome to our Island." Riku added.

"You have'ta tell your name!" Sora cheered.

"Kairi!"

"Kairi?"

"Mmhmm!"

"Kairi. Kairi! We have lots to do, Kairi! Like run and play! Do you have a home? We have'ta show you to the mayor! He's a real nice for an adult! Let's give a tour, Riku!" They sped up, "There is the tree house! There is the main island, and there is the tunnel that leads to the other beach!"

Suddenly, the boys poured from that tunnel, leaping over rocks and into the cove like a mighty herd. Like a hive of bees, they swarmed before them, the trio to turn the other way. Sora clasped a palm around Kairi's wrist, swinging her back into between them.

"They're not going to get you, Kairi!"

"Fall back!" Riku cried! "Fall back! Onto the crate! Onto the crate!"

Running. Running. Anxious, Sora shot left, then right, heaved himself upon a wooden crate before the small cliff that arched above. He pulled her up onto it, Riku holding her up from behind. A cliff arched above, he to scan it triumphantly. "Here! Let us give ya a leg up."

Together, he and Riku spurted her onto the cliff above, she to tumble forward, giggling. Happily, she turned around, lunged down a hand, and pulled Sora up, supported by Riku at the bottom. They rolled backwards by the release's recoil, giggling, then rushed back, both yanking Riku up! The overflow of boy rushed beneath them, shouting, the trio to tease them from above. Laughing, they brushed themselves off, popped back up, catching their breath.

"Code Sixty-Seven?" Sora eyed Riku.

"Code Sixty-Seven complete."

"Code sixty-seven?" Kairi questioned, the boys helping her onto her feet. Together, they walked towards the pool

"It's our secret code for bully attack, Kairi. We will have to teach you all the code so you can be safe too."

"Come on." Riku started down the rim of the pool. "We will show you the safe base. Stay behind me, you two. There could be monsters."

"Monsters?" Kairi gasped.

"I thought you said you kicked all of their butts?"

"I did." Riku retorted, "But that doesn't mean they won't return."

Up, the rounded the platforms ascending into the trees, their cute steps to be pitter-patter on the wood. Pushing through the tropical leaves they went, hastily coming to stop at a hole in the cliff. The little girl marveled at the size.

Lazily, she swung her torso to look deeper into the cave and cringed at the darkness between the rocks.

"S'okay!" Sora cheered. "Riku handled all the monsters." Happily, she placed her two hands upon Sora's back as Riku nudged his way within the rocks. Sora pulled out his wooden sword from his pocket, clutched it closely to his chest, fixed his eyes upon the hole before them, and crawled in, Kairi to follow. It narrowed, then opened into a cave, lit with lanterns. Across the purple and gray peppered walls were white doodles of white chalk.

"Sora was here."

"No Monsters Allowed!"

"SECRET PLACE! NO VISITORS!"

"Riku and Sora only!"

She scanned the cave, pacing her fragile hands upon the rough texture of the rock. Sora gently pushed her into the corner and together they sat, giggling, hands upon their eyes as if no one could see them.

"Do you think they will find us?"

"Not at all." Riku said. "They maybe older, but not as smart as me."

"Riku's the smartest person on the island!" Sora cheered, turning to Kairi. "Oh!" He remembered, grabbing a hold of the sprout, curling between the cracks in the rock. Slowly, he wrapped it around the scrape etched into her below, staring intently at the knot. "So it doesn't get infected! I've heard stories about infected scrapes! Not pretty, Kairi!"

Riku sat beside them, concentrating on the girl intently, his brows pushed down, mouth downturned. He rubbed a finger against his chin.

"So, you aren't from here—at all?"

"I am afraid I cannot remember." She gestured, raising her shoulders.

"Nothing at all?" Sora asked.

"…nothing…"

"No parents?" Riku asked, "No home?"

"…nothing…"

"Hmm." Sora rose to his feet, eyeing the walls intently. "Then this here can be your home." He bowed to the white chalk at the foot of the cave's enterance, than ran it into the wall.

"Riku and Sora, and Kairi only!"

He bent back his head, smiling over his shoulder at his two friends perched upon the ground. Riku nodded back and turned to Kairi, his face to descend upon a serious expression. Sora followed, sitting on the other side of her.

"Kairi." Riku started. "Code One: Rain alert."

"Code Two: Thunder alert." Sora added.

"Code Three: Adult alert."

"Code Four: Monkey attack. We are still itching to use that one."

"Code Five: Boys."

"Do not fear child. Your journey is great. However, your friends are greater."