Author's Note: Hello, it's me, Rem-chan.  I've been writing for at least a year now, but have only recently been able to post my work.  It's mainly been Trigun and Gundam Wing, but now I'm finally starting my biggest fic to date: a sequel to Kingdom Hearts, the best game (in my opinion) to ever grace any system (Majora's Mask and the FF series run close seconds).

            This is going to be very long and will probably take several months for me to finish, but I will, no matter how long it takes.  Sora will be traveling through different Anime worlds (eventually) with new allies and a new enemy.  I will do my utmost to make this the best fic I've ever written and I'm welcoming any and all reviews, to help me make this better.

            Also, I couldn't find a way to incorporate the Save Point in my fic without using ideas from other authors.  So the Save Point will be called a Rest Point, but just be aware that I didn't come up with this.

            Thank you for your attention (hopefully) and please enjoy the first part of my epic adventure.

Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts or any Anime that appears in this fic.  I do own the game and many Anime videos, much to my heart's content.

Court of Souls

By

Rem-chan

Book I: One more Thing

"The toughest thing about being a success is that you have to keep on being a success."

~Irving Berlin

Prologue

            Cold and quiet and dark…

            Cold and quiet and dark…

            Cold and quiet and dark, as well as never-ending, stretching everywhere and nowhere at once.  There was so much, there was so little, there was absolutely nothing at all.  There had always been nothing, but there was always the possibility of more.

            This was the Place.

            It dwelled in this place, in the cold and the quiet and the dark.  And it festered here, absorbing all the nothing that there was to absorb.  It grew and it changed and it began to see this Place, its home, with only the quiet, the cold, and the dark for company.

            It saw this and wanted more.

            So it aimed its growth towards escape, a way to use the nothingness to its advantage.  It knew there were other Places, with warmth and life and light; it knew this because such things had once been its own.

            Not that that mattered now; all that it was, all that it had become was the cold, the quiet, and the dark.

            It felt its readiness, the completion of the growth need to be free of the Place, but not for reclaiming what had been lost to it.  There were tools to be made, Places to be chosen, and many focuses to be found and changed, right here amid everything and nothing.

            Very soon, it would no longer be alone.

            It stood on the platform it had just created and stretched its arms, flexing fully developed fingers, a small smile on its pale face while its solid midnight eyes stared into eternity.

            "Sora…" is whispered and around it the cold deepened, the quiet became utter silence, and the darkness swallowed all.

            "I'm coming, Sora."

Chapter I: Dreams of Warning

            It was a typical day on Destiny Islands; it was bright and sunny with just a little breeze and, astoundingly, zero humidity.  The gently sound of the waves was accompanied by the distant cry of seagulls and the soothing cascade of the waterfall.  Yup, it was perfect, just like it had been the day before, and the day before that, and the day before that.  As a matter of fact, it was exactly like it'd been for most of the last two years.

            Kairi was beginning to think the weather was purposely mocking her.

            It was two years to the day since she had last seen Sora, since she had last heard his voice, but he had been in her thoughts almost constantly.  And at night she would dream of their last moments together; him reaching for her, she doing her best to hold on as long as possible.

            "Remember what you said before?"

            It was a bittersweet memory; the clearest, but most painful of all. 

She thought about Riku sometimes, too.  She'd felt him right before she'd been separated from Sora, but she hadn't been able to see him.  She wondered where he was, what he was doing.  He had always been a close friend, always would be, and she would never stop caring.

            So it was only with a little guilt that she turned her thoughts to Sora again

            "Ooohhhh, I know what you're thinking!"

            Kairi spun around, overbalanced, and fell on her butt.  Selphie laughed, then gave her a hand up.

            Blushing furiously, Kairi responded, "Oh yeah?  Well then, what am I thinking about?"

            Selphie waggled her eyebrows, "The exact words would be 'when will Sora come back?'."

            "I'm always with you too."

            Kairi sighed and sat back down, the surf brushing gently around her ankles.

            "Is it that obvious?"

            "Yup," Selphie plopped down next to her. "And you were thinking the same thing yesterday."

            Kairi glanced sideways at her.

            "You know, only Tidus was here with me yesterday."

            Selphie gulped and looked at her guiltily.  Kairi smiled sweetly.

            "So you've got Tidus spying on me too, huh?  Wakka not getting the job done?"

            "We're just worried about you!" Selphie exclaimed in a pained voice. "You're not the same anymore."

            "I'll come back to you, I promise!"

            No, I'm not, Kairi thought to herself, but only said, "You don't need to worry. I'm alright.  I just…miss him."

            Selphie fidgeted for a while, then finally looked Kairi full in the face, her expression sad.

            "What if he never comes back?"

            Kairi looked down at the indifferent waves, the gentle waters caressing her legs.  The soft breeze caused her much longer hair to tumble about her shoulders and her deep red skirt to flutter slightly.  She smiled, an empty motion meant to hide the loss.

            "I know you will!"

            "I guess then you can worry."

******

            He watched with growing horror and fascination as it grew, becoming more and more unnatural and perfect.  He couldn't take his eyes off it, even though her should've been rendered blind by the total lack of light.  He had experienced such a darkness only once before and that was a time best left unremembered.  Yet he could not bring himself to turn away.

            There was something here, something he just had to see.

            It was finished, whatever it was, and, from the void, it created a gleaming black platform, on which it slowly stood.  Its near white skin seemed to glow eerily in the darkness, though its other features remained hidden in the gloom.  It raised its arms, pulling the platform to extend all around it.  Inky, silent liquid flowed from its feet, a pool of pure darkness.

            He found himself walking towards it, his footsteps making no sound, not even when he stepped on the advancing liquid.  He got closer and closer, until he was almost close enough to touch it.  He could feel the cold radiating off it, ready and waiting to consume him.

            Or to be consumed.

            The liquid and the platform suddenly stopped their progress and it dropped it arms.  The cold seemed to intensify, the shadow surrounding them beginning to convulse.  A fierce wind started up, catching the liquid and creating a haze of black that began to swirl inches away from him.  The pale, pale thing turned with agonizing slowness to face him.

            Their eyes met and Sora's heart stopped.

            The winds erupted into a raging typhoon, made up of only the cold and the dark, accompanied by an utter silence.  Sora was torn upwards, knife-like blasts of cold stinging his skin and eyes, his cries lost in the dark.  He flipped end over end, his limbs flailing for purchase, but there was nothing…nothing anywhere and no one to help him.

            Amid the chaos, amid the confusion and the hurt, Sora, on some instinct and irresistible compulsion, reached for the pale thing, all his being centered on it and it alone.  He was drawn towards it and the tips of his fingers brushed its cool, cool skin

            "Sora!  Sora, wake up!"

            Sora jerked up out of the bed, hitting his head on the bunk above him and tangling his legs in the thin blankets.

            "Ow!"

            Goofy's head popped up from below the edge of the bed, while Donald's came down from above.  Sora wondered briefly if taking the middle bunk had been such a good idea.  He rubbed the growing knot on his skull and waved his hand dismissively.

            "I'm fine, I'm fine." Sora winced as the room heaved, but it had nothing to do with the bump on his head.

            This ship, the S.S. Nathan, had been stuck in the same system of storms for the last week and a half.  The still had enough food and water, but the boredom, confinement, and Donald's constant seasickness were driving Sora up the wall.  Not only that, but he'd been having some crazy dreams that left him trembling and covered in a cold sweat.

            Although, this last one had been the most real by far.  Every part was crystal clear…except that last bit.  For some reason, Sora just couldn't remember what had scared him so.

            Sora ran a hand through damp hair, smiling blandly.

            "I think I need to cut back on those clams; they're giving me bad dreams," Sora's laugh was self-depreciating, "But thanks guys, for waking me up."

            Goofy looked at him worriedly, "Uh, but Sora, we didn't do anything."

            Sora's eyes widened.

            "Seriously?"

            Goofy nodded and Donald grumbled something about how he knew Sora would crack someday.  Sora, luckily enough, didn't have to respond as one of the crew, a tough-as-nails sailor by the name of Deadon came into the room.  For some reason the man had taken it upon himself to watch over their group, Sora in particular.  They weren't sure why, but he'd been a big help.

            "You'd better get up," he said, a smile on his broad face, "That lurch was the ship docking."

            "Really?" Sora asked excitedly and attempted to jump out of bed, but succeeded only in falling flat on his face.  Deadon laughed and helped him up.

            "The ship'll be in port a few days, but you might want to disembark now," he said, heading out the door, "I hear there's a great temple in this town you just gotta vist."

            Surreptitiously, Sora rolled his eyes.  In the two years they'd been stuck on this world they'd probably visited a least a hundred temples.  It'd been a vain hope, really, but the natives had said there was ancient magic locked within the temples.  Unfortunately for them, they had yet to see any sign of magic.  They were getting desperate, as the temples had been their only lead in getting off this world.

            "We'll be sure to," Sora said, not looking directly at Deadon. "Just give us a sec."

            Sora quickly changed out of his nightshirt and pants, rummaging through the bed sheets in search of his clothes.  He found his pants and belts first and he tottered precariously around as he tried to put them on while the ship continued to tilt.  His pants were full-length, deep blue with numerous, wide-open zippers running horizontally down his legs, giving occasional glimpses of muscled legs.  He wore two leather belts now, as these pants tended to sag; mainly because he couldn't bear to part with the chain he still wore at his waistline.

            His shirt and vest he found crumpled underneath his pillow and grumbled a bit as he tried to smooth the wrinkles out.  Sora's shirt was mostly the same, sleeveless and red with a zipper running all the way down.  His vest, though, was longer, mostly white instead of black, but with a dark trim at the edges and under his arms.  Metal clasps went from the thick, hooded collar to about his stomach, but Sora preferred to keep the vest open.

            Sora's gloves and shoes were stuffed into a corner, along with various odds and ends.  When his old shoes had become worn beyond repair he'd been forced to buy a new and much smaller pair, which irked him a bit, since he was pretty partial to oversized shoes.  He hopped on one foot as he pulled on a shoe, hastily buckling the straps that crisscrossed across the top and around his ankle.  This pair was yellow—thankfully—with black on the top and thick black soles, heavily ridged for traction.

            Sora'd had to get new gloves, too, and had ended up with a set that went several inches past his wrist, loose and dark blue with white circles on the backs of his palms.  Because of the looseness, he used a couple of yellow straps to keep the gloves from slipping off.  Lastly, because the weather tended to be humid, Sora tied a few tightly woven bands just below his bicep to keep the sweat from pouring down his arms.

            "Come on Sora!" Donald shouted impatiently, already out in the hall. "Let's get this over with!"

            "I'm coming, I'm coming," Sora replied calmly, long used to Donald's churlishness in the morning, though he was tempted to point out that he hadn't been the one growing like a weed for the past year.

            Sora grabbed his pack and was about to follow them when he stopped, suddenly remembering.  He went quickly back to the bed, groping frantically until his hand emerged from the sheets holding his battered, slightly tarnished crown medallion with its equally battered chain.   Sora smiled and slipped it around his neck.

            "Okay, now let's go."

            "…Sora…"

            Sora paused, listening, as a whisper seemed to come out of nowhere; barely audible, yet so close. 

            "Sora!!"

            Sora shook his head as if to clear it and ran after his friends, trying not to notice the chill that had crept into the air.

******

Ah, the first chapter down with the second soon to come (I've got this process going: a chapter is being typed at all times and a chapter is being written at all times; it works pretty well, as long as I stay interested).

I hope you've liked it so far and, if the action is a little slow, that's only to introduce my writing style and the mood of the fic.  It'll get  better soon, I promise.

If you have anything at all to say, review!  I'd really appreciate it.

See you again soon!