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Theme 12: Chill

Title: Chilled
Author: [info]sky_wanderer (Alantie)
Characters: Sora, Kairi, Selphie, Namine, mentions of Riku
Rating: PG
Summary: It's never easy being apart from your loved ones. Especially around the holidays.

"It doesn’t feel like Christmas without Riku, huh?"

Selphie’s soft voice brought Kairi out of her silent mussing and she glanced over at the other girl with a sad smile. "No, it doesn’t. We always spent Christmas together. All three of us."

"Three?" Selphie’s green eyes were flooded with gentle confusion, her head tipped slightly to the side. "What are you talking about?"

"Nothing," the other girl responded quietly, burying her hands deeper into her lavender coat pockets as the chilly wind around them picked up. "Just a mistake."

The shorter brunette placed her gloved hand lightly on Kairi’s arm. "You really do miss him, don’t you? You two were always so close."

"Mm." Her blue-violet eyes were downcast, staring at the frosted ground as they walked along.

Selphie’s concern deepened, but as they had reached her house, she bid Kairi goodbye, watching until the slender redhead vanished out of sight.

------

She hadn’t meant to behave so distantly with Selphie, but for some reason she didn’t feel comfortable discussing what was truly troubling her. Particularly since the hyper brunette did not seem to remember the other boy.

The icy wind knifed through her hair, raising a chill on the back of her neck, causing her to pull her knit cap down farther and to pull her collar up. Usually it didn’t become so bitter cold on their islands, but this year’s winter had been unusually harsh. There was even talk that they might get a decent snowfall this year. Kairi wondered if it had anything to do with both of her male friends’ disappearance.

The crunch of gravel soon gave way to sand and she raised her head, staring out across the gray water to the small island in the distance. Her breath was coming out in puffs of fog before her eyes, and she realized with a start that her heart was racing oddly.

Blinking, she sank to a crouch, her eyes fixed on the play island beginning to speak in a low voice. "We were all there, the three of us were together. I remember we would make shell ornaments for the trees. You two would get so competitive over who could find the most shells- well, actually you two would compete over everything."

Laughing shakily, she scooped up a handful of sand, letting it trickle between her fingers. "But we always had so much fun together at Christmas singing carols, making paper chains and popcorn strings, setting up the decorations, making cookies- you and Riku were so bad about stealing dough! I remember how excited we would get on Christmas Eve, you most of all. The fights you and Riku used to get into over whether or not Santa Clause was real! Do you remember too? I had to break up the fights all the time. You were always more sensitive, and when you were little you would cry when Riku said those things, but I thought it was the sweetest thing ever. And then the three of us would spend the night together, and on Christmas morning. . ."

Kairi didn’t realize she was crying until the wind froze the warm moisture on her face. "But I can’t remember your name or your face and I don’t know why." Squeezing her eyes shut, she rested her forehead against her palm, letting the tears trickle freely. "I feel so horrible for it, especially now at Christmas time!"

She wept, huddled there on the beach until the chill sank deep into her body and dusk began to fall. Rising stiffly, she stared at the island, her heart aching. "I won’t go back," she said quietly. "I won’t go back there until I remember your name. I promise, I’ll do everything in my power to find you again." She closed her eyes momentarily, her tear stained face turning upward as she pulled off her hat. "Merry Christmas, wherever you are."

Turning she began to walk home in the gathering twilight, tiny pearls of moisture glittering on her eyelashes, crimson hair fluttering free.

----

In a frosty, dark basement, a boy sleeping in a pod stirred fitfully, his face creasing as if plagued by nightmares. His lips formed mumbled words, hands clenching slightly.

A slim pale fingered hand touched the opaque surface that separated them, violet-blue eyes peering in at his slumbering face. "Shh," she soothed, voice frail and quiet in the darkness. Beneath her fingers, the crystalline pod was chilled, colder than ice. She took her hand away, stepping back slightly.

"It’s alright, Sora. Kairi wishes you a Merry Christmas."

The boy’s hands relaxed, and his face smoothed slightly as his sleep returned to normal oblivion. Sighing softly, Namine rubbed her pale arms for warmth, turning to walk up the stairs to escape the chill. She was determined to see that next Christmas that Kairi and Sora would be back together.

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