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"Where did you go?"

"Everywhere." Kya's answer is vague and cryptic, just like Kya. Lin doesn't push.

She leans her head back, tips her chin up to the sun as they sit side by side on the dock. The ocean tugs lazily at her legs, dangling in the water. Back and forth. The current is stronger than it usually is at Yue Bay.

"Nowhere," Kya adds with a sigh, and Lin watches as Kya leans back on her hands, her legs making waves that lap at the edge of Lin's trousers. It's warm enough that Lin doesn't mind.

"Helpful," Lin says dryly, but a smile tugs at the corner of her mouth as Kya tips her head back in laughter. The water splashes merrily, the undertow tugging playfully at Lin's ankles.

"I know. I'm sorry," Kya shrugs and reaches up, pushing a strand of dark hair back from her face, and she glances at Lin with a grin. "Is it weird that I don't want to talk about it? Mom's been asking, but- I'm back now, isn't that enough?"

Enough for what, Lin doesn't know, but she nods anyway. She can understand not wanting to talk, and with Kya she doesn't mind not knowing. The waves have eased as they lapse into silence, and Lin can imagine the water beneath her feet drifting down to the bottom of the bay, disappearing into the deepest icy blue.

"She asked once," Kya amends, softly - almost bashfully if Lin hadn't known her better. "Then I ran away and came to get you."

Lin snorts and leans back on her elbows. "So what? I'm your excuse for you to avoid your family?"

"It's not avoiding," Kya purses her lips, huffs, and lays back on the sun warmed dock beside Lin. "I wanted to see you."

Lin never noticed how the water had gotten colder until it heats up again, a pleasant warmth spreading up her feet and along her shins. She bites back the smile and tangles her hands behind her head as she glances up at the clouds drifting above them.

She thinks how water drifts on its own currents, how it slips from Yue Bay, disappears into lands that go beyond Lin's imagination. She doesn't understand how it flows, how it is constantly in motion while she stays here, steady and fixed, rooted deep into the ground.

"Lin?" Kya leans into her vision, blocking Lin's view of white puffy clouds and infinite blue skies.


Kya frowns, but she doesn't say anything more as she hovers, her hand propped beside Lin's shoulder. Her black hair cascades down, tickles at Lin's cheek, and reminds her of fresh snow.

Lin inhales deeply and she swears Yue Bay is completely still then. Still as the eyes that stare down at her, clearer than the ocean, but Lin knows she'll never know half of what's hidden there. She doesn't mind.

"I'm glad you're back."

The words are whispered, barely spoken, but something eases in Lin's chest as Kya smiles. It's brilliant and blinding like the sun hitting the water after a Summer storm. Perhaps it doesn't matter that she is rooted as long as the water meanders back to her. It's enough.