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Summer

Chapter Text

The heat was sinking into Sora’s skin as he lay on his front porch. It didn’t help that summer just started or that it was high noon. But the only thing that could keep him from melting was the sea salt ice cream being shoved into his hand.

“ Get up you lazy bum! Here,“ said Kairi as she slumped down next to Sora. Kairi was a outgoing girl, with hair so red, it almost looked unnatural. She sighed as she licked her ice cream.

“ Gosh, why does summer have to be so boring...” she continued.

“ Hey, weren’t you just complaining about how you wanted to get out of school? We’re only 1 week into summer vacation and you’re already like this!” Sora giggled.

“ Yeah, well that doesn’t mean we can’t do something fun! How about we go to the beach! ”

“The beach?” Roxas interrupted as he walked out the door with his own sea salt ice cream in hand. “ Sounds better being stuck all day here.”

“ Okay then it’s settled,I’ll bring Naminé too, so let’s go tomorrow!” announced Kairi. She stood up triumphantly, popsicle almost falling out of her hand. “Hmm... I guess that doesn’t sound too bad, sure let’s ask dad and pa, Rox!” Said Sora, suddenly more chipper. Roxas went back inside to ask their dads if they could go. Coming back, “They said yeah. So then let’s meet up at Kairi and Naminé‘s house tomorrow?”

“Cool, see you too then!” Kairi hopped down the stairs and waved back.

“See ya!”

————

It was about 9 a.m. when Sora and Roxas set off to Kairi’s house. Sora noticed there were more clouds in the sky then yesterday.

“Hmm... maybe we should have checked the weather before we planed this trip...” Sora said to Roxas.

“It’s probably not that bad, and knowing how bad Kairi wanted to go, we probably still will..” Roxas joked as they passed by a few houses. One house in particular had a large moving van parked up in front with some people lifting furniture into the house. Among them was a women with strikingly silver hair accompanied by a man, probably her husband, and what looked like a very tall boy and relatively smaller girl with short, jet black hair.

Sora’s eyes immediately caught sight of the boy, who’s hair was just a tad lighter than his mom’s. He was wearing a black hoodie along with ripped blue jeans and extremely worn out converse, how is he not hot??, Sora thought.

“ Oh, did they just move here?”

“ Yeah, I think I heard Pa talking about them. apparently they just moved from Ohio.”

“ Ohio? Well that explains the fall clothes.” Sora laughed a little.

“ Sora, you do realize Ohio is practically as warm as California during the summer?”

“ Oh. “ Sora burst out laughing and Roxas joined along. Eventually they reached Kairi’s house and were welcomed inside by Naminé, Kairi’s younger sister by a year. Sora began to sit down on the couch but stopped when he saw the huge red lump.

“ Kairi! What are you—?” Sora jumped a little.

“ Check the weather report...” Kairi mumbled weakly.

“ Apparently it’s supposed to rain all day— and it never rains in California!” Namine poked her head out if the kitchen. In her hands was a giant bowl of homemade cookies.

“ But don’t fret, I made these to cheer you all up!” Kairi quickly got to their feet and grabbed several cookies.

“ Naminé, I don’t deserve you.” Kairi managed while stuffing the cookies into her mouth. The rest of them took a cookie and sat down. Kairi sat back further into the couch with a mixture of contentment but also utter disappointment.

“Okay so why don’t we just hang out here? We can always go another day right?” Sora tried to cheer Kairi up, but the cookies were probably working better then he could manage. Kairi tiredly sighed in agreement while Naminé followed with an assuring nod. Soon the rain started to sprinkle outside and within a few minutes the droplets turned into heavy rain and begun to bang on the roof.

Sora’s eyes wondered to a small indent on the wall. He remembered himself and Roxas playing volleyball with Kairi and Naminé inside the house when he accidentally decided to hit the ball a little too hard. They were always hanging around at Kairi’s house ever since they were kids, sometimes breaking things, yet always coming back to play again. Naminé got up to turn on the tv which was playing some random show about intergalactic robot lions.

“ So did you hear about the new kid who just moved in down the street?” Namine brought up.

“ Yeah, Sora and I saw him when walking here,” Kairi perked up a bit with a sudden interest in conversation. “Him? Oooh what does he look like?” Kairi said, still fully enveloped in the sofa.

“ Well... he had silver hair and was wearing a hoodie and jeans! But, his eyes are also a really pretty shade of blue-green...” Sora said.

“ Hehe, looks like someone was paying close attention,” Kairi teased while watching Sora’s cheeks flush a little. Sora was about to protest but was cut off by a loud crash of thunder. Really? Thunderstorms in California?

“Hmm... maybe we should invite him to the beach with us?” Roxas said half jokingly. Although, Kairi urged with a mischievous look on her face. “ Okay then it’s settled, too the beach part two!”

Chapter Text

Sora’s POV

Okay wait, this can’t be happening. I really thought Kairi and Roxas were joking when they said to invite the new kid, yet here I am, in front of that unmistakably blue house about to ring the doorbell. I don’t even know where I’m going with this. I mean I guess I could just try to act friendly and pass it up as a welcoming invitation... but ugh. I can’t.

Taking a full 180, I walked back to Kairi hiding behind a tree with Roxas tucked up behind her. “ Hey, I said no chickening out! What the heck!” Kairi exclaimed.

“Well what do you expect me to say? Oh, I think your cute do you wanna go to the beach?” I tried not to seem so flustered, but really, how could I not.

“Um, yeah exactly,” Kairi giggled, “Okay fine, I guess are plan is a little too much...”

“Ugh, can we just go home now, I think I’m gonna get a heat stroke!” Roxas announced abruptly.

“Yeah fine fine, sorry I wanted to ‘sauce things up,’” Kairi added as we finally backed off of the stranger’s lawn. The breeze started to kick as we walked. Roxas was laughing at some joke Kairi made as we talked nonsense. It’s weird to think that just a few summers ago we didn’t know each other. Ever since Kairi barged into our life I guess things got a lot more hectic. We’d always pull random pranks while dragging Roxas and Namine in, then seamlessly getting caught right away. I hope it can stay like this when we get into high school this fall. A little more stressful but still fun. At least, I hope. We decided to get ice cream sometime along the way while I zoned out.

There’s this little ice cream place that we always go to down the street. It’s sorta become a habit to just drop by, so much that the people working there know us by heart. “ Hey! How’s it goin’ guys?” Wakka, an employee a few years older than us, said. Wakka’s the type of guy who just naturally makes a conversation with you, so with time we all easily became friends.

“ Nothin’ much, just here for some ice cream, as usual.” Roxas said.

“ Ay, and not here to see me?”

“ Hehe, that’s not true, you know how much we can’t resist the ice cream here!” Kairi said playfully.

“ So it is just about the ice cream!” We were all caught up in a fit of giggles by then. Wakka went to wipe a fake tear as he handed us the usual, sea salt ice cream. We split the bill and walked over to the open seating. Just then the door opened with two unfamiliar voices barging in.

“ Did I really have to come here with you? It’s not even a mile from our house. You could have came here yourself!”

“ Hey, mom and dad said I ‘shouldn’t go places all by myself in a new neighborhood’ and that I ‘could get lost’ so just be happy your at least getting ice cream out of this!” One was a short girl with fairly back hair while the other was— wait a second, it’s the new kids from down the road! I can’t believe the day I’m having... Of course Kairi sent me a smirk while motioning to the kids.

“ Now’s your chance! Go strike up a conversation!” She whispered.

“ Come on! I should have to be the only one trying!”

“ Nope. Rules are rules, now go!”

“ What rules?” I tried not to sound too annoyed, but was instantly caught off guard in a weird glance between the boy and I as I looked over. I stood up and started walking. Oh gosh, here I go.

“ Uhm... hi! Your guys are new here right? I’m Sora!”

“ Uh Hey...” said the boy rather awkwardly. The girl next to him just rolled her eyes and sighed. “ Don’t mind him, he’s not very social—“ the boy jabbed her slightly in the side, “ uhG, Hey! Sorry, haha, my name’s Xion!”

“ Cool names! Uh so do you want to sit with us?” I really need to up my conversation skills... “ Yeah sure, we’d love to!” Xion beamed a smile while subtly passing a death glare to the boy despite his scowl and the 5 inches on her. They seem to get along well.

I walked back to our seats with a loom of awkwardness around me. Kairi pulled over a couple seats to accommodate for the two as they sat down, ice cream in hand. I tried to take another bite out of my popsicle, only to realize I wasn’t really hungry anymore. Thankfully, Roxas broke the silence with a classic icebreaker, “ So when did you guys first move in?”
“ About a week ago. We moved here from Ohio,” Xion replied, taking a bite out of her ice cream. “ That explains the sweatshirts in summer,” I said laughing subconsciously. The boy looked at me a little offended, but quickly covered it up with a smirk. Well, okay. “ Can’t help it that someone ‘accidentally’ dropped my only short sleeve shirt in the wash.” He finally spoke out.

“ Hey, I was just trying to help you clean!” Xion tried to stupidly pass it off but it was clear that she was just messing with him. The boy rolled his eyes and snatched a spoon of ice cream from Xion. She sighed rather aggressively as she pushed aside the whole ice cream to him. Kairi immediately burst into a fit of laughter, reacting to the confusing scene that had just transpired out before them. Roxas and I joined in causing Xion crack a shy grin. She went to interrupt after everyone calmed down, looking a little guilty. “ Sorry... I guess we’re kinda the definition of sibling rivalry.”

“ Don’t worry, my sister and I fight all the time! And I can definitely bet I’ve seen Sora and Roxas rough each other up more times than once”. That earned a soft shove from Roxas to Kairi’s arm.

“ Oh wait, I see... you guys are twins?” Xion affirmed, pointing to Roxas and I, “ I didn’t notice at first, but now I can definitely see the resemblance”. I chucked a little while grinning to myself. “ Yeah, usually people don’t notice right away. Especially since Roxas decided to dye his hair”. Xion nodded like she understood while pushing a stray piece of hair behind her ear. After the conversation died down, we ate in silence for a bit. “ So have you guys decided on which school your gonna go to?” The boy had a look of disgust plastered on his face as soon as I mentioned this. The feeling was mutual. I mean school really isn’t the most pleasant topic, but I wondered if they were going to the same place as us.

“ Uh... well I think I heard my dad talking about some place called Hart High School,” Xion offered. We were all in the same year too, coincidentally. “ We’re gonna go there this fall too. Then I guess we’ll see each other, huh”. Roxas added.

“ Yep, I guess.” Xion replies with a grin. Roxas and Xion began to talk about something random, giggling every so often, leaving Kairi and I to try to get a conversation out of the boy. Before anyone realized it, time had passed to 4:00, so we all decided to head home. As we walked out the doors and began to say our goodbyes, a thought occurred. I never actually found out the silver headed kid’s name! I walked up to him hesitantly “ Hey, wait! You never told me your name!”

“ Its Riku,” he said nonchalantly. I glanced back to Kairi and the beach plan immediately sprung into my mind. Kairi had a look in her eyes. The one that told me that if I didn’t ask them now, I would regret it for a long time. And that’s one look from Kairi I really try to listen too. “ Oh and, before I forget, I was wondering if you wanted to go to the beach with us next week?” I scratched my head a little as Kairi finally decided to help me out.

“ Yeah, we were gonna go last week, but the weather caught up. You guys should join us!” Kairi said, giving two thumbs up.

“ Well I’m definitely not busy. I don’t know about him, but sounds like fun! See ya next week then!” Xion concluded, waving back at us as we walked in opposite directions. I hope this goes well.

______________________

Sometimes Kairi tries really hard to get me to talk to people. I keep telling her that you need time to get to know someone and that sometimes, things don’t always click. But of course she pushes that thought away with some cliche saying, which gets us both laughing. She knows I can be a little socially awkward here and then, but the more I squander, the more she takes things into her own hands. Like the first day of 8th grade. I was really quiet the whole time, only talking to the teachers when necessary. Kairi didn’t do much at first, but I slowly noticed her pulling me into conversations, getting me face to face with new people. By the time I got home, I was both mentally and physically exhausted. It made her feel worse that I just closed up more for a few days, but I need a little time to recover. Although, as the year went on I got used to things and actually made a few friends. So I guess her urging did help, just a little. But every so often, I can’t really help it. Roxas called this my, “ hermit phase,” whenever I hide in my room for a long time curled up in nothing but blankets a hoodies while listening to a wide variety of music. Yeah, I don’t really get it either, but it’s relaxing.

I messily got up and did my morning routine, brushing my teeth while somehow running a comb through my bed head. I walked down the stairs to find Roxas groggily eating some cereal. He was reading a book, putting a finger on the page to mark his spot so he could pick up another spoon of cereal. I rushed up to pa and lashed onto his neck. “ Good Morning!!”

“Morning,” Squall nearly knocked over the eggs, but quickly caught it with his pro dad reflexes.

“ Oops sorry!” I looked a little guilty but Squall just laughed and dismissed it. Roxas looked over with a small smile, still wrapped up in his book. I went to sit next to him with my breakfast. I glanced over at Roxas’s book to try to figure out what he was reading. “ seriously Rox? Another romcom?” Roxas scowled at me while pushing his book aside.

“ At least I don’t spend hours on end reading manga”.

“ Hey that was like one time! Besides it was just starting to pick up and I needed to know how it ended!”

“ Hey hurry up and eat, your food’s gonna get cold.” Dad nagged from the kitchen. By then Roxas was already submerged back into his book. My mind started to wander as always. I wonder if Riku and Xion are gonna come. It’s only a few more days before our alleged meet up date, but I’m already nervous. I decided to put this thought away and continue on my breakfast before I lost my appetite. I really hope things work out.

Chapter Text

Riku’s POV

The walk home from the ice cream shop was as annoying as ever. I’m usually able to brush Xion off, but today was not one of those days. Especially because of a few new people.

“ Listen Riku, it’ll be fun! I mean when was the last time we went to the beach? Never!” Xion threw up her arms in exasperation.

“ We literally just met these people, I don’t know about you but I’ll pass.”

“ But they seemed so nice! Plus we’re new, I think we should get to know some people!” I walked faster, trying to imply that our conversation was over. Xion matched my pace, determined to change my mind( which was not going to work).

“Could you at least try?”

“ No.”

“ Fine, go ahead an be a loner for the rest of your life.” Xion rushed inside as soon as we made it back home. She’d probably be angry for a while. I walked inside to our cold house, casually greeting mom and dad on the way in. Dad looked up from his work on mounting the tv. “ Did something happen?”

“ Nothing,” because it really wasn’t. Xion was just overreacting. Dad looked as if he wanted to say more, but stopped. He looked over to mom, who gave her an equally worried look. I walked past them, fully aware of the possible interrogation that would occur later.

The walls were bare and the rooms were filled to the brim with our packings boxes. Now, the home was nice and all, but It still didn’t feel right. Nothing about this move felt right. My best friend, home, everything was gone. I knew my parents had no choice, with my mom’s new job and the conveniency, but they still could have warned me at first. I sighed as I walked into my new room. We had already set up my bed, desk, and dresser so all that was left were boxes. I sat on my bed, picking up a nearby box. Things were labeled sloppily, but I managed to read “Riku’s”. Inside was a couple of books and a stuffed Micky Mouse from Disneyworld we had gotten when I was 6. It was just my parents and I back then. They had decided to bring me to Disney for my birthday, which had 6 year old me in a craze. I had begged them to take me for so long that I was actually surprised when they said yes. Although the trip was a distant memory, I still remember the moment when dad had me picked me up onto his shoulders so I could see the parade. I chuckled a little. It was probably only of the few great memories I had as a kid.

By the end of the day, everything was pretty much set. I made my bed and called it a day as I jumped onto my newly made sheets, barely caring to keep them in line. I could probably just doze away like this...

The sun woke me up through the bare windows. Looking at my watch, I was surprised to see it was only 7:00. I was even more surprised that nobody had woken me up for dinner. Usually either mom or Xion would have barged into my room to shake me out of my deep sleep. I brushed my teeth and walked out of my room. Everyone else was out and tending to their won business, so I decided to take a morning walk to clear my head. Ah summer, basically the only time when I can do whatever I want. The morning air was crisp with each step. I shoved my hands in my pockets at surprise of the sudden chill. With each block my mind mind started to wander.

Without thinking I stumbled to the far part of the neighborhood. Kids were playing in their yards despite how early it was while their parents talked amongst themselves. One particular kid was swinging on a tire swing attached to a tree, although he seemed more older than the rest and strangely familiar. He had an ice cream in his hand and was lazily arranged on the swing. I tried to pass by as unnoticeable as possible, but to my discontent, he poked his head up.

“Hey!” The boy called, “ ...Riku right?” It was too late to ignore him now so I plopped my foot on the ground and tuned my head.

“Uh, yeah.”

“ Out on a walk?” Oh right, what was his name again? I looked back at the kid. His face was waiting for my response, slightly tinted red from the heat.

“ Yeah it’s nice sometimes, helps me wake up.” He started to fix himself into a better position on the swing and then looked back with that unforgettable smile. Right, his name is Sora. I stood there awkwardly in response, trying to find out how fast I could possibly make it out of this small talk.

“ Really you just woke up? It’s like already 12:00.” Wait what. At that moment I realize the clock I looked at this morning was the broken one I forgot throw away yesterday. “ That’s some major jet lag, or maybe you wake up this late everyday?” Sora teased, giggling a little while finishing up his ice cream. He looked a bit drowsy and yawned.

“ Judging by that attitude, you just woke up too, so you can’t say anything.”

“ He he, I guess you caught me—.” Sora went to stretch out his arms but instead fell backwards onto the ground, followed by a thud. I rushed over before I knew it and helped him up, half trying to contain my laughter.

“ Wow, your really clumsy.” Both laughing, Sora took my hand as I pulled him up a little too quickly, causing him to fall into me. He had a goofy smile on his face but soon came to a halt. His face began to flush as I noticed how close we were. I backed off and stood again, this time more awkwardly.

“ S-so, um have you considered coming with us to the beach?” Sora tried to break the silence as he half hazardously pulled a hand through his thick hair. Although I really did not want to go, for some reason I couldn’t find it in myself to say no to him.

“ Uh maybe, I guess.” Seriously. I couldn’t have just said no? What the heck am I doing. Sora’s face lit up ever so slightly. Well I just dug my self into a whole. Man was Xion going to be thrilled.

“ Cool! I’ll see you on Friday then?”

“ Yeah” I didn’t realize a small smile had formed on my face as I walked away. Just what had gotten into me?

/ /

When I got back from my walk, Xion had been sitting on the porch with some garden materials next to her. The look on her face was hard to read as I watched her pick up a pot full of white Lily’s. Something didn’t seem right, but then again, I didn’t really care enough to press her about it.

“ Hey,” To my surprise, her tone was as annoyed usual. “ Mom’s been looking for you.”

“ Ok... and also, I’ve decided to come to the beach” she looked up dumbfounded then smirked. I dashed past past her, desperately trying to avoid any follow up. Mom was quick notice my arrival, wiping her hands off at her side and walked over.

“ You look like your in a happy mood?” Mom had a tender smile on her face.

“ What are you talking about?”

“ I mean, this is the first I’ve seen you somewhat lively at all since this move...” She went up to touch my cheek. “ ...I was just getting a little concerned, but now that your ready to help...” She then lugged a heavy box into my hands and pushed my forward. “ clean up a bit? Okay?” And again, our family fell into a steady routine of cleaning and organizing till the day ended.

I let out a groan as I slumped into my bed. I needed to brush my teeth and everything, but a wave of tiredness hit me like a brick. I picked up my phone to check the time. 10:45 pm, Thursday. Wait... what? Hadn’t Sora said he would see me on Friday? Oh gosh I wasn’t mentally prepared for this. Give me a week and I would have actually been able to figure out an escape plan, but it’s a little too late for that. Just then a notification rang on my phone, snapping me out of my social crisis.

Mickey-
Hey! How’s the Cali life going? ;)

Mickey was my best friend back in Ohio, we’ll still is too. We’ve know each other since we were infants and grew pretty close. He’d always been there to help me out, but sometimes I wonder if I took that kindness for granted.

Me-
Pretty much just as I expected.

Mickey-
So does that mean not good? Or the Riku “not good”

Me-
?

Mickey-
The whole “ ugh I’m so emo that I can’t appreciate anything” not good

Me-
Hey we’ve been over this, just because I listened to Panic At The Disco once does not mean I’m emo!

Mickey-
Lol I’ve seen your playlist, your can’t fool me
(´-ω-`)

Anyway we’ll talk later, I gtg, then you can tell me all about your teenage angst ~

Me-
lol bye

Mickey always managed to lift up my mood. Honestly, I’m still surprised we’ve managed to stay friends for so long. I wasn’t really much for the whole friendship thing, but Mickey always put up with me. The others, well that’s another story...

I fell asleep, completely forgetting about tomorrow’s trip.

_____________________________

Chapter Text

Xion’s POV

“Okay today’s the big day. I’m gonna make friends and it’s gonna be great!” or at least that’s what Xion told herself as she woke up. Her morning routine usually began with a daily flop onto the ground to urge herself to wake up. Then, she would proceed to lay for a solid 15 minuets while dreading her existence. Slowly after, she inched to the bathroom, body still fully on the floor, and hoist herself onto the counter. Typically then, she would run cold water on her head to wash out whatever thoughts she have left from those 15 minuets. And then finally... Xion became productive.

After the monstrosity of a morning routine, Xion walk over to pick out an outfit. But today was not like any other day. She needed to try! Carefully, she picked out a solid black t-shirt and some shorts. No no no... that wasn’t quite right. Xion’s hand hovered over to a deep blue shirt. It had probably been the second most girly things she owned. But wouldn’t that ruin her ‘edgy boi lite’ aesthetic? Was she trying to hard? Ugh... Xion gave up. She picked out the first thing in front of her and sloppily put it on. She put on her shorts and walked out her bedroom door. To her surprise, Riku was standing right outside.

“What... on earth are you wearing...” Riku exclaimed.

“wHat on Earth are YOU wearing???” Xion could not help but laugh. Riku had put on jeans and his classic hoodie. Nothing you could possibly wear to the beach. Riku still joined in with a smile on his face. They may have not gotten along that well, but they still loved laughing at each other. “ Seriously Riku! You NEED to change! Your gonna be so hot, plus it’s like 90 degrees!”

“ Your one to talk! I mean have you looked in the mirror? It’s not very.... you.” Xion glanced down at her clothes. She had been wearing an old Spongebob shirt with a pair of tie-dye shorts. Honestly at that point, she was really questioning herself too.

“ Oh shut up.” Xion went back into her room to change.

___________________________

The car ride to the Roxas’ house was quite. He had texted Xion for them to meet before so his parents could take everyone together. Roxas had been really friendly to her since now. They had even exchanged phone numbers already! For that she was glad, but in the back of her mind she wondered if his kindness would last. Riku sat idly in the back next her. He still had his hoodie on but had changed into beach shorts. A pair of headphones were stuck in his ears. Riku looked over and caught Xion staring. He gave a quick look and resumed back into his window watching position. He seemed anxious too.

Slowly, the distance between their car and Roxas’ house grew less and less, but the budding anxiety in Xion’s stomach only grew bigger. What if they didn’t like her? What if she just gets left behind again? What if—

“Xion! We’re here!” Xion blinked and reality came crashing in like tide. Things were going to happen and there was nothing she could do about it. She could only hope those things would be good.

“ Kids, don’t forget to put on sunscreen! And if anything happens, call us immediately. Now go have some fun! “ Xion’s mom urged as she closed the door. Xion forced a smile and waved them away. Roxas was quick to notice her arrival and rushed out the door to greet her.

“ Xion you made it!” He looked over to Riku less enthusiastically, “ and Riku too.” Roxas lead them inside to his house. The front was lavishly decorated with plants and flowers accompanied by freshly cut grass. Although, the inside was more cozier than Xion had thought. Walls were painted colors most likely recommend by an interior design magazine and each room had its own thing going on. Besides that, many items were still sprawled out everywhere in a messy yet somewhat organized fashion. Xion had decided that she liked it here.

“ So were still waiting on Kairi and Namine, but it’ll be quick. You remember Kairi right?” Roxas started as he continued to lead them into the living area. He sat down on the couch and prompted them to follow.

“ Yeah, with the red hair?”

“ Yup, and Naminé is her sister. She’s really sweet so I’m sure you’ll like her too.”

“ Aw Roxas, you think I’m sweet?” A voice came from behind them. A girl in a white summer dress had been standing there. Her eyes were the most beautiful shade of blue and her hair was as light as snow. To Xion, she looked like an angel, but she didn’t want to be caught staring so she quickly looked away.

“ No I’m just kidding. You know I absolutely hate you, Naminé.” Roxas joked.

“ Ah! How could you! And I thought we were friends!” Namine looked to the side with anguish.

“ Oh could you please stop your crummy rom-com rip off and help me hold our stuff!” Kairi appeared behind Naminé with two bags full of who knows what.

“ Ah! Right, sorry!” Naminé came to Kairi’s rescue in a heartbeat. They then dropped off the items in another room and casually walked over to join the conversation.

“ By the way, where’s Sora?” Kairi asked as she sat down next to Roxas.

“ I’m right here!” A voice echoed from the stairs. Sora had practically jumped down from the 7th step right to the floor with a big bottle of sunscreen in his hand. “ Squall had me in a deadlock telling me to wear sunscreen! But I told him I can’t change the inevitable!” Sora sighed at the sunscreen bottle. Xion looked to Roxas confused.

“ He always gets crazy tan every summer, even with 5 layers of sunscreen on.” Roxas explainer with a smile.

“ Hey, but at least I’m a total beach babe.” Sora have a sassy model look.

“ Oh my gosh Sora,” Kairi laughed at Sora’s hilarious expression. Sora joined in too, smiling at his own silly joke. Soon, everyone was giggling and smiling, even Riku. Maybe this day was going to turn out better than Xion thought.

_________________________

To Xion’s surprise, and honestly everyone else’s, all 6 kids and 2 adults + the extensive beach equipment fit into the car. Xion, Roxas, and Naminé were snugly fit into the back while Sora, Kairi, and Riku took up all the space in the middle. Roxas sat in the middle of Xion and Naminé, easily stringing a conversation between them both. Xion simply nodded here and then, felling less gusty to talk since the ice cream shop.

Their neighborhood was not that far from the beach. It was only 5 minuets and a half hour by foot. Sora and Roxas’ parents parked near to the showers, a wise adult decision. Sora quickly set out to find a good spot and hauled everyone else to follow before it would be stolen. But the beach was calm. Few were there that day leaving much sand untouched. Xion stood before the sand parting, were the concrete met the beach. Unfamiliar and new, yet strangely calming were words she could use to describe two things at the moment. One stood in front of her. The other was vastly farther away. Xion slowly realized who was in front of her. It was Naminé.

She reached out to touch Xion’s arm, but the world was still going too slow in Xion’s mind. Again like a plundering wave, Naminé’s cool words hit her with a crash.

“ Come on,” gentle like sea foam, “ Everyone’s already down near the water.” Xion looked into her eyes.

“ Yeah...” was all she could manage. Xion felt her cheeks warm. The the faint touch of Naminé’s hand still lingered on her arm.

Xion stepped into the sand and started to follow Naminé. Soon she realized the unnecessary need for shoes as sand seemed to get everywhere. Everything was new. Her thoughts had jumbled together like a thick fog. The only thing recognizable was the sound the waves. It sounded so familiar, but she could have sworn she had never set foot on a beach before.

“Xion, are you okay?” Roxas asked, appearing before her with two popsicles in hand. Xion finally took grasp of herself. She took in the sound of the waves one last time and approached Roxas.

“ Yeah, I just... never been to the beach before.” This made Roxas’ eyes go wide.

“ Never been to the beach? You should have said so before! Now we have to show you all the fun things to do!” Roxas beamed. He reminded her of a dog, the ones that were soft and quiet yet always ready to befriend someone. Xion chuckled at the thought, but the waves kept crashing in the background.