This short little story is my response to a challenge posed on the Ikarishipping thread on SPPf. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: Don't own it.


In all the time she had spent here, she had never seen him play.

He sat on one of the swings, looking off into the distance with an expression that Hikari's five-year-old mind labeled as angry. She could not remember a single instance in which he had ever spoken to one of the other kids, or even spared them a glance. He was a mystery, silent and enigmatic.

It was not for several months that she finally learned his name.

She, forming a rough castle-shaped mound in the sandbox, had been watching him curiously. An older boy, about eight or so, strode across the playground and announced loudly, "C'mon, Shinji! Dad says it's time to go!" The mystery child – now known to Hikari as Shinji - had slid down from the swing and followed his brother – at least, Hikari supposed they were brothers – away.

The next time she saw him, she marched right up to the swing set and plunked herself down in the seat next to him.

"Hey!" she greeted loudly. "You're Shinji, right? I'm Hikari!"

She got a bit annoyed when he stayed silent, ignoring her.

"You looked lonely, so I came over here!"

Shinji replied in a low mumble without looking at her.

"I'm not lonely."

"Then why are you sitting over here by yourself? Why don't you play? You could help me make a sandcastle."

He didn't reply, but Hikari grabbed his arm and dragged him over to the sandcastle anyway. He watched impassively as she piled up more sand to make a wall around the tower, meticulously evening out the top so it was the same height all around.

"Well? Aren't you gonna make something?" she questioned matter-of-factly.

"No." He relented, though, when she made a pouting face at him. "Fine. I'll build a fortress over there. Then my kingdom will send an army to attack your kingdom."

"Queendom, since I'm a girl," she corrected. "And that won't matter, 'cause my queendom is guarded by knights on Rapidash."

"Mine has lots of Lucario."

"Lucario are scary! I have lots of Gallade on my side."

"They can't beat my Houndoom attack squad."

"Yeah they can! I have Cresselia on my side. She's so pretty!"

Shinji gave Hikari an incredulous look. "Cresselia isn't real, stupid. She's just a fairy tale."

She folded her arms. "She is real. Mommy said so."

A sinister grin spread across Shinji's face. "If you can have Cresselia, then I can have Darkrai. And he can wipe out your entire army."

"No he can't!"

Suddenly, a new voice intruded on their argument. "Eh? Shinji, is this your new girlfriend?"

Shinji looked up into his brother's grinning face and wrinkled his nose. "No way, Reiji. That's disgusting."

"Oh, and you're making sandcastles! Lemme guess, you two are the king and queen-"

"No we're not!" Shinji stood up quickly and dusted his sandy hands off. "This is boring. I wanna go home."

Reiji shrugged, still smirking. "All right."

As the two walked away, Hikari heard a quick, muttered "bye" from Shinji. She glimpsed her mother gesturing that it was time to leave, and walked over with a thoughtful look on her face (at least, as thoughtful as a five-year-old can look.)

"Momma," she declared as they strolled down the sidewalk, "boys are weird."

Ayako simply chuckled.

You know what to do. (points at the button)