The footprints stopped under a large palm tree, where a girl was sitting and sketching her dozing companion. [CoM]
The sun was setting, casting long shadows onto the sand. The waves rolled up further, sweeping away the marks of gulls' feet in foam and water, and filled up the small indents left by running feet.
The footprints stopped under a large palm tree, where a girl was sitting and sketching her dozing companion. She paused every so often to look down at him, an expression of deep concentration appearing on her face. It seemed as if she was trying to make an imprint on her memory of the boy, peacefully resting next to her.
The girl thought about what they had done that day. She had sketched this part of the island, colouring it carefully, and if a few gulls had wings at an awkward angle, she let it go. She had quickly sketched the setting sun before starting to draw the boy. The boy was surely exhausted by now, after running around all day. He was tenacious, never letting a challenge go unanswered. She rubbed a finger over a stray pencil mark on the paper, and added a few smudges of shadows to the sketch before folding her sketchbook shut.
Sora stretched, yawned, and sat up. He looked out at the ocean, and watched the clouds move, as the last few birds flew away in perfect 'v' shapes.
He turned and grinned at her. "It's beautiful, NaminÃ©," he said.
She blushed. "I thought you'd like it."
Sora leaned back against the palm tree, folding his hands in his lap. "Thank you for showing this to me," he said honestly. "I don't think I'd have found this part of the island on my own."
NaminÃ© giggled. "This is one of my secret spots. I come here when I want to be alone."
No, he wouldn't have even thought of it. Not even in his heart's memories. But with just a little bit of tweaking...
Sora frowned, and absent-mindedly grabbed a handful of sand, letting it run through his fingers.
"It feels like you," he said, a suddenly serious look appearing on his face. "Like your pictures."
He laughed, and scratched his neck. "But that sounds stupid, doesn't it."
NaminÃ© looked down at her sketchbook. She did not look to the sky, because she already knew what she would see. Instead, she thought about another beach, not far from here, where a pier reached out into the sea, and Sora sat talking with a girl.
"No, it doesn't sound stupid at all," she said finally, pushing a stray strand of hair behind her ear. "Do you want to see what I was working on, just now?" she offered.
Sora grinned widely. "Sure!"
After all, NaminÃ© rarely let anyone look at her sketchbook. Sora himself had only seen it a few times, and only in hidden glimpses while NaminÃ© looked the other way. He leaned over her shoulder, watching as she flipped the pages of her sketchbook, the drawings flashing by like a monochromatic film. A castle, the beach, a girl sitting on a pier, a deserted town, a sunset, and finally NaminÃ© handed him the book.
Sora looked down at himself, sleeping peacefully. "Wow," he commented, his eyes wide. "Is my hair really that bad?"
NaminÃ© burst into laughter, and compared her picture to Sora's seemingly innocent face.
"Yes," she teased, and reached over to smudge another stray line on the picture.
The palm tree's shadow grew longer, and a gentle wind rustled the leaves and the waves crashed with more purpose.
Sora closed the sketchbook, and handed it back.
"Thanks," he said. "You're amazing, NaminÃ©, you know that?"
NaminÃ© blushed, smiled, and brushed a speck of sand from her sketchbook. She did not reply.
Sora bit his lip. "But this isn't real," he stated, almost questioning.
"No," NaminÃ© agreed. "This isn't."
Sora looked at her closely, a pained expression developing on his face. "What was I--"
"Sleeping," NaminÃ© replied, smiling bitterly. "You were sleeping. That's when I drew you. This is just a dream."
"I'm sorry," Sora said, gesturing at the beach. "That this isn't real. It really is beautiful, you know. Will I forget you again?"
"Yes," NaminÃ© said. She stood up, smoothed her skirt, and left her sketchbook in the sand. One, five, six steps took her to the ocean's surf, the waves rolling in and leaving foam around her bare toes. She ignored Sora's last sigh, knowing that by the time she turned around, he would be gone.
"I wonder," she whispered, "are you my own dream, or am I really just yours?"
A distant gull squawked in reply and the waves roared all the louder.
author's notes: The story takes place in a very fluid timeline: during CoM, after CoM, whichever you'd like it to be.
Title taken from the translation to 'Passion', by Hikaru Utada -- If I recall, far far away, the future was shining on
/everywhere//; Beneath the beautiful blue sky, we were just a little afraid/.