Kairi sat braiding the long, red hair of the little girl in her lap, watching Sora and Riku taking turns shouting threats and entreaties up the trunk of a nearby palm. Sora was still doing fairly well, but Riku was starting to run out of patience.
"Come on Danny! We can't play if you're up there and we're down here!" Sora laughed.
A little voice called back, "I don't have to play! I'm king of the world!"
"No you're not, you're just king of that palm tree!" Riku shot back, arms firmly crossed over his chest. "Now get down here or I'm going to climb up and get you!"
"Ha! You're a big fat klutz! You couldn't make it!" the voice retorted, followed by a coconut that was probably supposed to be aimed at Riku, but came closer to hitting Sora.
Kairi sighed. Enough was enough and even at a distance, she could tell Riku had just had enough. Setting the little girl on the sand, she stood and walked over to join the boys. "Let me handle it, you two."
Sora gave her a quizzical look. Riku just shot her a quick glare which then darted right back up to the top of the tree and stepped back.
Cupping her hands around her mouth, Kairi called up sweetly, "Danny, please come down now."
"You can't make me! You're not my mom!"
Next to Kairi, his sister continued Riku's more forceful approach. "I'll tell mom! I'll tell mom and dad that you're not behaving for the babysitters!"
"It's okay, Catherine, really." Kairi smiled down at the little girl, patting her on the head. "It's okay, he can stay up there as long as he wants. He doesn't have to go get ice cream with us."
"Ice cream?" The little girl's head snapped up, black pit eyes widening, toothy mouth breaking into a smile.
"Ice cream?" The voice from the tree echoed. "I want ice cream too! Don't go without me!" Suddenly there was a clatter of femur on tree branch on tibia on rib on Riku's skull as Danny jumped from the tree, rolled noisily off of Riku, onto the beach, and came scampering over to Kairi. "Please, can we get ice cream?"
"Well, if you promise to behave..." Kairi gave him a knowing look.
Both little skeletons jumped up and down excitedly, sand flying from their patchwork pinstripe clothes. "We do! We do! We'll behave!"
"YAY!" The two Skellington children went pounding off down the beach to cries of "Race 'ya!"
Kairi just watched them, laughing, as the boys walked up behind her, Riku still rubbing his head.
"How do you do that?" the pale haired boy asked, more than a little envy in his voice.
"Simple. It's part maternal instinct..." she shot the two of them a sly smile, "and part putting up with you two for years."
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