"You're going away, aren't you?"
Will didn't seem surprised to hear her speak up all of a sudden, though she'd thought she'd been quiet as she crept up behind him. He turned to look at her, impatiently running his hand through his hair to stop the wind blowing it into his eyes. Even though he was twenty, now, there was still something boyish about his face, about its shape, but his eyes were different, his eyes made her think... "Why would you say that?"
She shook away the thought, moving to stand beside him, looking down at the beach. "I don't know. I've felt strange all weekend."
"I suppose it's because we were here when we were kids," he said, shrugging. "It's weird to think how long it's been."
Long enough, she thinks, for the memories to be blurred around the edges, like they're somehow out of focus. She remembers some things with perfect clarity -- the way he always seemed half a grown up, the way he always seemed so ordinary, somehow reassuring... The memories slip through her fingers again. "It really does seem like it was a long time ago, now."
"Ancient history," he said, with a grin. She found herself grinning back.
"That's your speciality, though, isn't it? I suppose you remember it better than I do."
"Ah," he said, glancing quickly at her and then away. "I do have a good memory for... details. Mostly names and dates. We met on April the fifteenth. But that's cheating."
He shrugged. "It's a very memorable date. Like ten sixty-six."
"I'm not sure if that's a compliment, considering what happened in ten sixty-six," she said, smiling again. "But I'll pretend it is."
"I wouldn't dare insult you," Will said, with another grin. "Your big brother is rather protective of you these days, isn't he?"
"Simon? He's all bark and no bite," she said, rolling her eyes. She moved a little closer to Will, shivering a little in the cool breeze. He glanced sidelong at her and then awkwardly put his arm around her, pulling her closer to help her keep warm. They were silent, for a moment, and then she sighed. "You are going away, aren't you?"
"Maybe," he said, not looking at her, and she knew it meant yes, and she opened her mouth to say something -- to tell him that she'd miss him, maybe, or to tell him not to be a stranger. He turned quickly, though, turned to look at her, and his eyes were earnest as he took her hands in his. "I'll come back, though. Whenever I go, I'll come back."
"Promise," he said, solemnly. Then, quickly, clumsily, he kissed her, pulling back again just as quickly, almost stumbling. "Wait for me?"
"Yes," she said, softly, feeling his hands tighten on hers. She stepped forward, this time, and kissed him properly.