Heeeyyy everyone. You may have noticed me not posting for a bit, and what can i say? Senior year in high school is nuts. And our one week vacation has been extended by at least three weeks thanks to Covid 19. So, uh... here's a chapter to make it better. Enjoy!

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Sora, Goofy and Donald file onto the Gummi Ship, tired and absolutely covered in desert sand. Donald swears he can feel the grains between his feather follicles. Goofy has the audacity to laugh at him.

"C'mon now, Donald," He chuckles as he closes the door behind Sora. "It ain't that bad! I've got more sand on me than you do anyway." He showcases this by lifting his hat, from which a small pile pours on his head and down his shoulders.

Donald huffs and crosses his arms. "That isn't fair! You have fur and I have feathers, and fur is a hundred times easier to clean!" He complains. Sora, the brat, snickers.

"Quiet, you!" Donald snaps, causing Sora to slap his hand over his mouth. It doesn't help. "Yeah, yeah, laugh it up…" Stupid Sora with his stupid hair that doesn't cover his entire body. All he has to do is shake out that ridiculous mess he calls hair, and he's fine. Donald is going to have to sit for hours to pick the sand out from between his feathers.

Goofy will probably… probably-

"I know what you're thinking!" He screeches at his seconds-away-from-being-murdered-friend. "Don't you dare-!" Goofy shakes himself like a wet dog and sand goes flying everywhere, including his closest victim. Donald turns red and lets loose his signature Warble of Rage.

To Sora, it sounds like he's trying to scream loose his tonsils. He finds it hilarious.

It's not so funny when he finds the entire Gummi Ship is now covered in a layer of dust. His 'oh-oh' alert Donald, who is trying his very best to strangle Goofy, and Goofy, who is holding him at bay via lifting him up by the back of his shirt. Goofy cringes.

"Shucks, sorry fellas." He apologises, putting Donald down and rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly. Donald growls and shoves an accusing finger into Goofy's stomach. "Now look what you've done, you big palooka!" He scolds. Goofy winches.

"It's not that bad," Sora chirps from the side, wiggling out of his belts and jacket. He starts whipping it around. "We'll have to sweep anyway, so we might as well." The sand he unleashes just so happens to be aimed at Donald. Donald, like the hair-trigger temper he embodies, is set off again.

"Ah-hyuck! I guess you're right, Sora." Goofy laughs, subtly moving a supply box into Donald's way with his foot. Donald trips over it, which gives Sora the split second he needs to realize what he just did, and another second to yelp and escape to his bunk where he can burrow underneath.

Goofy shakes his head at their antics and starts working on his own clothes.

Eventually, Donald calms down and Sora comes out of hiding, and the three idly chat while cleaning up. Sora then sets the course to their next destination while Donald keeps a careful eye on him and Goofy sweeps. It's a nice calm after the chaos that was Agrabah.

Sora quickly gets bored.

"You said you have a King, right? What are your jobs?" He asks. They immediately perk up. Donal speaks first.

"I'm the Royal Magician!" He boasts, chin up and chest out.

"So your job is to do cool magic?" Because 'Royal Magician doesn't really tell him much.

Donald snorts. "No! It's my duty to oversee the magical defences around the world, and research different methods and ingredients that can be used to make more effective potions and enchantments." He brags. There's a moment of silence, and then he peeks to the side. "I get to do cool magic too." Sora cheers.

"I'm the Captain of the Royal Guard!" Goofy says cheerfully, standing at attention with a hand to his chest and his shield wielder proudly. "It's my job to lead the knights and soldiers and to help train the recruits. We protect the citizens and the castle, ah-hyuck!"

"Cool!" Sora comments, bouncing on his seat. "So is it like magic does defence and knights do attack? Cause that's kinda what it sounds like." He sticks his head in hand and looks at them curiously. Goofy scratches his head and sits down. "I guess so." He answers.

"No!" Donald scowls at them. "We do way more than that! The magicians help with building things too, like homes if there's an earthquake, and the knights sometimes do community service to build morale. There's way more to it than just offence and defence."

Goofy nods, "That's true."

"That makes sense I guess," Sora says. "But why does Goofy fight with a shield? Shouldn't a knight have a sword instead?" He doesn't want to offend, but… C'mon, it's in all the stories. A heroic knight will ride in on a white horse with a polished sword to slay the dragon. A knight with a shield?

"Yup!" Goofy only nods decisively. "Most of my men prefer them, but it doesn't work for everyone. I leave mine back home 'cause I prefer my trusty shield." He pats it affectionately. "I can throw it, I can swing it, and it's heavy enough to do damage but blunt enough not to hurt me."

"Why not a sword, though?" Sora asks, fully absorbed in the explanation.

Donald answers for him, "Back when we were recruits, he was way too lanky." He snickers. "He kept tripping over everything, so having a sword was a hazard."

"At least I didn't electrocute my entire squad," Goofy retorts. "Four times."

"Why you!"

"So you teach people how to fight?" Sora interrupts. He has no idea what time it is –would a clock even work when they go to so many worlds? - but it's way too late for another argument.

"I sure do, ah-hyuck!"

"A Keyblade is kinda like a sword. Could you teach me something?" Sora asks excitedly. "If you're the Captain, then you've got to be good at it!"

Goofy ducks his head and blushes. "Aww, I ain't all that."

Donald shakes his head and like a loyal, helpful friend, throws him into the fire. "You taught Max and P.J. how to fight, and they were only a little better than him!" He elbows Sora before Sora can elbow him.

Goofy smiles, "I did, didn't I? My Maxie's grown so much! Why it feels like only yesterday that he was running around the grounds poking P.J. with his training sword. Now he's a menace with that double-ended spear." Sora's eyes go wide with admiration. "Whoa, really?"

"Yup! P.J likes his mace more, and Donald taught Bobby to be a great magician. Those three make a real good team."

"Bobby is still insane," Donald complains, slumping with his head in his hands. "I don't know how he turns every spell into cheese. I just don't get it."

"Huh? What do you mean?"

"Fire? It smells like burned cheese. Aero? There's cheese flying around. Cure? The flowers are cheese! And can you guess what Waterga is?" Donald is starting to look a little manic. "Come on, guess."

Sora shuffles a bit to the left, partiality off his chair. Y'know, just in case.

"Cheese?" He tries slowly.

"Cheese!" Donald screeches in a warble, throwing his hands in the air. "He hits you with a torpedo of string! Cheese!" He spends the next minute screaming and stomping the floor. Sora and Goofy leave him to it.

"So can you teach me something? Please?" Sora needs to get an edge over the Heartless, cause the further they get into their journey, the stronger they seem to become. And after what happened in…

His thoughts stammer for a second and turn to a darker road. Riku.

What happened to him? Why did he kidnap Pinocchio? What the dust is he doing?

Sora feels his gem get heavier when he thinks about what Riku said. He knows it's just him being a jerk again, but the way he stared at Sora when he said it-

You only seem interested in running around and showing off that Keyblade these days.

Do you even want to save Kairi?

What kind of question was that? Why did Riku look so doubtful when he asked it? Of course, Sora does! But Riku said it like Sora was just pretending, like when they had races on the beach that Sora didn't want to win because he felt too disconnected that day. Seriously, what the dust?

So now Sora wants to be better, because clearly, he hasn't been doing enough, looking hard enough. Riku is trying way harder, and he might have already found her. But now he's looking for a… Heart.

Did Kairi lose her Heart?

"Sora? Sora? You okay in there?" Goofy's hand waves in front of his face and startles him out of his spiral. He and Donald are looking at him with concern.

"Huh? Oh, yeah, I'm totally fine. You were saying?" He smiles brightly. No need to worry anyone with some silly thoughts. He's probably just being overdramatic. Sora just needs to work harder and learn faster, then he can get to Riku and Kairi and they can go home.

Goofy doesn't look so sure, but he nods. "Well, the first thing I'd recommend is strength training. Summon your Keyblade for a sec please?" He requests. Sora does, then stands when Goofy motions for him too.

"Alright, you see how it's almost as high as your armpits? That means it's too big for you." He demonstrates, taking the Keyblade and holding it vertical against Sora. "And from the way you fight I'd say too heavy too. Usually, you'd want it at about your belly button." He tells Sora, handing it back.

Sora frowns and tilts his head. "I guess, but I can't really change my Keyblade can I? Besides with Keychains," He adds on. The three think for a bit, then Sora lights up.

"Whatever," He says, unsummoning the Keyblade and returning to his seat. "I'm fourteen, I can't be that far away from a growth spurt. Then it won't be too big." He decides. The other two nod.

Goofy then says, "Unless someone puts a brick on your head. I hear that can keep kids short." He laughs.

Sora turns to Donald, deciding, meh, it's not that late. "Is that what happened to you, Donald?"

"Why you- I ought' ta-!" Sora and Goofy chortle at him.

Maybe he should try that on Riku. Then he won't get to tease him on the two - only two! - inches he has on him. But then again, that doesn't stop Kairi and she's shorter than both of them.

A thought for another day. Right now he can feel himself drifting off, and Donald and Goofy's voices are becoming muffled the deeper he falls.

The last thing he registers is a blanket being tucked around him.

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So apparently Agrabah comes before Monstro, but whoops. Too late to change now.

Also I've noticed everyone having Donald teach Sora, but people seem to forget Goofy's also got a pretty high up position, namely as a knight. And all that bending over can't be good for Sora's posture. I looked at a pic of kh1 Sora next to his Keyblade, it's kinda cute how short he is compared to it.

The Max and co. bit is inspired by The Things You Don't Come Back From by greeneggs101 for timetoboldlygo over at Archive of Our Own. May I suggest you go read it? No? I will anyway.

Go read it.

Thank you for reading! Please leave a comment on your way out, and maybe wash your hands for about 20 seconds afterwards! Stay safe during these trying times! See you next time!