A wonderful product of late nights, too much boredom and not enough Batman
"Alright Sora, this is the place." Riku spun in his chair to stare at his oldest friend. "Xehanort was last seen going here. Apparently, something interested him, something big enough to distract him from Kingdom Hearts." He shifted, wincing slightly at the pain in his leg. A minor injury from a Neo Shadow, but enough to keep him off his feet and out of the field for another week. "Just find out what it is, throw a wrench into the works and get out. And be careful." Turning the chair back to the controls, he carefully piloted the gummi ship over a building. "It's called Gotham and it looks dangerous."
The first thing Sora noticed as he teleported into this new world was the smell of it. Smoke, damp wood, and gasoline all mixed together into something that wasn't very pleasant. The look of the place accompanied the smell strangely well. Gazing around, Sora saw he was standing in a grimy alleyway, trash and mud splattered haphazardly around. It was nighttime, and Sora couldn't help but feel slightly uneasy. He had never come into a world that seemed so uninviting before. Better do some looking around then, he thought. There was a strange lack of people around, and Sora was longing to talk to someone. He couldn't help being curious about this place, even if it was, to put it simply, scary. He had just taken a tentative step forward when he heard something shift behind him.
"Your wallet or your life, Kid." The man tossed a knife – at least ten inches long and sharp looking – from one hand to the other. Sora smiled.
"Hi! My name's Sora!" Beaming, waving and generally unaware of the danger he was in, Sora strode towards the man with the knife. "Hey, have you seen a guy, tall, bald, yellow eyes…?"
The man, just a mugger looking for an easy mark, stared in shock at the kid. "Are you deaf? I said give me your wallet!"
"Um..." Sora said slowing to a halt a few feet from the practically snarling man. "I don't have one of those...uh wallets." He looked at the man sympathetically. "Sorry."
The man took a step forward, brandishing the knife menacingly. "Don't give me that crap kid. I know you got cash, so SPILL IT!"
Sora stared at the man for a few seconds then his grin broke into a smile. "OH, you just need some money!" he exclaimed happily, "Why didn't you just say so?"
The man was now giving Sora a very strange look, but at the understanding in Sora's voice, held out his free hand expectantly. Pulling out a few strangely shaped yellow coins, Sora dropped about a dozen of them into the man's hands and yet again smiled a friendly smile. The thug stared down at the coins, his expression turning from confusion to rage.
"What the hell kind of crap is this?!" The man tossed the coins to the ground, then pulled a gun with his free hand. "Are you playing with me kid?!" Pointing the gun straight at Sora's head, his trigger finger tightened and –
– abruptly dropped to the floor as someone landed on him. "Benny! Long time no see!" Another man, this one wearing a leather jacket and with a red helmet covering his entire head, stood up and stepped off the thug. He grabbed the thug around the throat, shoving him against the wall. "And what have I told you about going after children?"
The man on the wall thrashed, fear showing in his eyes. "I'm sorry Red Hood! Please, just let me go! It won't happen again, I swear!"
Red Hood cocked his head at the man. A long moment passed. Finally, he loosened his grip and Benny dropped to the ground. "You're lucky I had a good day. Now get gone." A quick glance over at the kid to make sure he was okay and…
The kid was holding a giant key as if it was a sword, a serious expression on his face. "Kid, not even going into how impractical that thing would be as a weapon, or where you were keeping it because it is way too big for your pockets, why would you be attacking the person who just saved your life?"
Sora tightened his grip on his Keyblade, giving the strange new man (Red Hood as the other guy called him) a fierce glare. "Save me!" He exclaimed! "You were getting violent! It looked like you were ready to hurt that guy! Why would you do that?!"
The Red Hood just stood there looking at the kid thoughtfully. He was used to kids screaming, running away, breaking down in tears, but not this boy. He wasn't scared; to the contrary he was angry. Maybe it was just some really weird circumstances, but Jason was starting to think there was something wrong with him.
"Let me get this straight," he began, nonchalantly putting his hands behind his head and contemplating Sora with an air of amusement. "You think I am the bad guy here, because I just saved you from getting shot?"
"Shot?" Sora asked tensely, refusing to relax his stance. "What are you talking about?"
Yup. Jason thought exasperatedly. Either this kid is screwing with me, or there is something very wrong with him.
He stepped towards the kid with his hands raised peacefully.
Slinging an arm around the kid's shoulders, he pulled out one of his guns. "A gun, kid." He fired it into the wall, mostly to make a point, partly to shock the kid. "Remember now? Everyone knows what these are."
Recognition filled Sora's eyes. "Oooh! Right! Captain used one of those. This one looks a lot different though."
"Captain?" Jason asked, "Captain what? Marvel? Boomerang? Atom? Wait, I bet it's Cold with his weird cold guns."
Sora shook his head. "Nope. Captain Jack Sparrow. We sailed together for a while looking for Aztec gold." He regarded the red-helmeted man in front of him. He didn't seem to want to hurt Sora, so he relaxed and put the Keyblade away.
Red Hood noticed and jumped back. "What the hell?"
Sora looked around, as if trying to see what had startled the man so much. But he didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Hearing footsteps he looked back at the Red Hood who had taken a few steps away from him. His gun wasn't pointed in his direction, but Sora could see the entirety of the man's muscles stiffen. What was really strange though, was that those glowing eyes were staring straight at Sora. Or to be more specific, at Sora's hand where his Keyblade used to be.
"What's the matter?" Sora asked tentatively. "Don't worry, I don't want to fight you anymore. You just kinda startled me is all."
Hood seemed to be paying very little attention to what he was saying however. "Where did that thing you were carrying go?"
"My Keyblade?" Sora asked. "It's right here."
With a flash of sparkling light his weapon reappeared in his hand. Red Hood flinched unintentionally at the reappearance of the weapon, but didn't step back this time.
"How... how did you do that?" he asked. "That must be some pretty damn impressive technology. I've never even seen Batman use anything like it."
"Huh," Sora said. "I don't know how it happens, it...just kinda goes away when I don't need it and comes back again when I do. But you can look at if you'd like."
He held out the Key to the man who after a few seconds of carefully considering the offer, stepped forward for a closer look. But right then a sound all too familiar to Sora resonated around the alley, and he jerked the blade away turning backwards and preparing for a fight.
Sora moved quickly, but the man was faster. Before he had even settled into a fighting stance, the Red Hood had dived forward, guns blazing. Racing down the alley, he ran straight up a wall and flipped onto a fire escape, shooting all the while. Sora stood, stunned, for a moment, then darted into the fray, Keyblade swinging. Red Hood, both guns out of ammo, leapt down, landing on a Darkball and vapourizing it under his boots. Pulling his knife, he slashed two Neo Shadows in one motion.
Sora watched as he fought. Well, as much as he could. Red Hood was defeating so many Heartless so quickly, the entire area around him was filled with black fog. Not that Sora was doing too badly either. His Keyblade moved so quickly, it was little more than a silver blur.
Soon – much sooner than Sora would have thought possible – the alley was clear of Heartless. Sora was breathing hard, the adrenaline from the fight leaving him. Annoyingly though, Red Hood didn't seem any worse for wear.
Jason sheathed his knife. The kid had done incredibly well. He fought almost as well as Jason himself did when he was still Robin. "Well, that was fun. So what was up with those things? You seemed to know what they were."
"Heartless." Sora said, and Red Hood was surprised at his tone. He sounded, not so much dark, but sad and resigned. "They are creatures made from people's hearts. Well, actually, they are made from the darkness in people's hearts."
Sora sighed and Hood raised an eye brow at him, though he couldn't see it under his mask.
"They are creatures made from people's hearts?" he asked, his tone skeptical. "What do you mean, like experimented on or something? That kind of reminds me of the man-bats."
Breathing starting to return to normal, Sora looked once again at the red hooded figure. "No, not like that. These are people who have been overcome by darkness in their lives. People who have given up, lost their way."
Jason couldn't help it. He snorted at that, despite the kid's unhappy expression. "Sounds like I should have turned into one of those a long time ago if that were true."
Sora looked up at him, a surprised expression on his face, but before he could say anything, a third voice echoed around the alley.
"Aw, don't say that Jaybird. You're a good guy! You just tend to ignore it sometimes... or a lot of times."
Both of them tensed and raised their heads. Right above them, hanging upside-down from a rope, was another man. This one was wearing a black body-suit with a blue symbol splashed across his chest, similar in design to the one on Red Hood's.
Hood crossed his arms, relaxing his posture once again. "No names on the field Dickface."
"Hey!" Sora whirled, "That's not nice!" His anger quickly turned to confusion as the other two burst into laughter. The new guy flipped himself upright and dropped, landing gracefully next to Sora.
"Don't worry about it kid, he wasn't insulting me." Sticking out his hand, the new guy smiled. "You can call me Nightwing. This incredibly rude person is Red Hood." Red Hood moved to protest, but Nightwing cut him off, "Oh hush, I know you haven't introduced yourself yet."
Sora smiled. Finally, something he was used to. "I'm Sora! Nice to meet you!" He grabbed Nightwing's proffered hand.
"So, where are you from Sora? You're clearly not from around here." Nightwing hopped onto a nearby dumpster so they could talk while Red Hood leaned against the wall.
Sora started. Did protecting the world border still apply? What should he say? And how did they know? "What do you mean?"
Hood snorted. "Oh please. You don't go to Gotham without knowing what a gun is. And that's clearly not from around here." He gestured to the munny still littering the ground.
"Well…" Sora scratched his head. How to explain? "I'm looking for someone." He began. "Someone called Xehanort."
"A friend of yours?" asked Nightwing.
"What!" Sora started. "No way, not even close!"
"So you and this person don't get along then?" Jason spoke up from his shadowy spot on the wall. "I hope you aren't part of a gang or something, looking for a fight."
"Of course not!" Sora said indignantly. "Those Heartless we just beat up a few minutes ago, you could say Xehanort is responsible for those being here!"
This seemed to pique both vigilantes' interests. Nightwing cocked his head, concentrating on Sora while Red Hood stood up a bit straighter.
"Why did he send them?" Red Hood asked. "What do they do? How dangerous are... Heartless? And are there more of them?
"Uh-" Sora paused, overwhelmed by this sudden bombardment of questions, and not sure how to answer. "Well, yeah they are very dangerous. They attack people with weak hearts, making more and more Heartless as they go. For all I know, they came to this world because they sensed that there was a lot of people here with weak hearts who have a good chance of becoming Heartless. If Heartless are in this world, it means the people here are in danger. I have to stop Xehanort, and hopefully that will stop the Heartless here as well."
Jason was silent, but Nightwing's face had concern written all over it. "Hold on just a second. You're wanting to go and find this... Xeha-whatever person and try to defeat him all by yourself? You're just a kid!"
"And a short, skinny string-bean at that." Jason added. "Also, hypocritical much 'Wing?"
"That's different and you know it Hood."
He snorted, "How? A kid, some training, hanging out in back alleys beating up monsters. Yup. Totally different."
Nightwing smacked Hood's arm lightly, but didn't object to the reasoning. Instead, he turned back to Sora. "So, this Xehanort guy. Got a picture or description?" Sora opened his journal, pulling out the most recent picture he had of the villain. "Wow. Face like that, no wonder he's evil. Check it out Hood. He's got classic villain face." Nightwing flashed the picture and Red Hood snorted again. "We'll run a scan on the traffic cams for you Sora. If he passes one, we'll find him."
"Really? That easy?" If Sora's smile were any brighter, 'Wing could have stuck it in the sky and called it the sun. He smiled back, unable to avoid the kid's infectious good mood.
"Ugh." Jason groaned. "Just what I needed. More happy go lucky crime fighters. Careful kid, this guy can be pretty damn annoying when he wants to be."
Nightwing looked indignantly over at Red Hood who had crossed his arms and was once again leaning on the wall. "You're one to talk Hood!" he said, "You cause pandemonium wherever you set foot."
It was obvious from his voice Red Hood was smiling as he replied "Yeah, I do, don't I?"
Shaking his head, Nightwing turned back to Sora. "Anyway Sora, how are we gonna stay in touch? Do you have a phone number we can contact you at or something?"
Sora shook his head looking once again bewildered. "I'm pretty sure I have no clue what that is." He said, glancing over at Red Hood who was throwing his hands into the air in exasperation.
"Seriously kid, did you come here from a different planet or something!?"
Neither Nightwing nor Red Hood noticed Sora stiffen slightly at this. "I'm just... not from around here," he invented.
"Well, in any case, I think one of us should stay with you for now." said Nightwing.
Hood gave him another exasperated look.
"So we can stay in contact until the search results are up," 'Wing said shrugging. Though Jason saw he was still concerned about the kid.
"Fine." he replied, shrugging as well, "So the kid is coming with me."
It was more of a statement, not a question, which caused Nightwing to frown at him. "Why do you say that?" Jason wasn't really the type of person to just volunteer to hang out with someone he barely knew, so it had to be something besides Sora's sunny personality.
Hood flicked Nightwing on the forehead. "Think Wingnut. You're heading to the Cave with that photo. And Bats is still mad from last time I was here. We may be on better terms right now, but I'd still like to avoid the stop-trying-to-kill-the-Joker lecture. Besides, you can hack the traffic cams faster than I can. I'm out of practice."
"You'd be faster if you didn't make Arsenal do all of the work." Nightwing shot, a cocky grin splashed across his features. This caused the ground under his feet to explode a few times. He jumped, landing on the fire escape and smiling down at Jason, whose gun was still pointed at the spot where Nightwing's feet used to be.
Lazily, Red Hood moved the gun so it was pointing straight at Nightwing. "Just get going before I shoot you and then call Robin for retrieval. Not kidding here, I'm tempted."
Sora shifted at the words, moving back down into his fighting stance, but Nightwing could hear the grin in his brother's tone, even if he couldn't see it under the helmet. "Whatever you say Little Wing. I'll call you as soon as I have something on the case!" And with those parting words, he flipped up the fire escape and onto the roof, grappling away.
AN: Hello! I am Loxare, and welcome to Gotham Hearts! This is, as you can see, a Kingdom Hearts/Batman crossover written by myself and ArrowComix. I'm guaranteeing once a week updates, of 2-4000 words long, as well as completion. Well, I might miss a week once in a while. Life. It does that.
This is a action-y story. No romance in here at all. Just friendship and brotherhood and parental protectiveness. Get your minds out of the gutters for this one folks. Sorry.
Please, for the love of goodness, if you find a spelling error or some other thing that can be improved or fixed, tell me. I really do not like leaving those there.
Disclaimer! Can I do one of these for the entire story? Cause there's going to be a lot of chapters and that'll get tedious. I do not own Batman. I do not own Kingdom Hearts. I do not own any of the characters herein. Lather, rinse, repeat for the remaining chapters.
Credit for the cover goes to Arrow.