Author's Note: There really isn't much to say other then that I don't own KH or any game/anime saga/series I put in this story. This is... well, you could say that it's a remake of some crap I did a few years ago, but then again, no it's not. Oh well. For those who've read the story thing that I'm talking about, you'll know what I mean by being, yet not being, it's remake. ... Well, whatever. Read and have fun, guys. I'm sure you'll like it since SW is currently absent and in SLOW progress at the moment. Enjoy... And please review...

Tides of Fire ~*~*~*~ [Part One] Chapter One

The breeze was nice and ran through his tousled hair. Like the other rare occasions, he was barefoot on the sand, the grains padding his feet as he walked across it lightly and as silently as his chain let him. The metal object would sometimes hit his thigh, emitting a soft clinking noise every time.

He sighed, shaking his head slightly as he entered a small wooden shed, following the stairs ahead of him that led to the upper level-to his destination. It was there that he would get his rare times to think and have peace and quiet with the help of nature's periodical calls of day and night.

He pushed open the door at the top of the stairs, meeting with the calm night air again. Another soft sigh escaped his delicate lips as wind played with his hair gently. Oh how he loved the night... It was amazing in how he had come to love the night's usual peace and quiet melody of nothing. He enjoyed the time he had alone, the quiet time he had alone.

It was not often that he would or could get some time to himself, as in the daytime, there was always noise and movement. Nothing really changed since his last few adventures through Kingdom Hearts and back again. The Island seemed to keep going as if nothing ever happened at all, but he didn't doubt the world's soul felt otherwise.

Yes, a world and its heart and soul, just like humans and any other living creature on any planet and in every world. The world's heart and soul knows and sees and reacts. The Island knew and still carries the scars.

Just like him...

He took a deep breath, letting it out slowly before continuing down the bridge before him, nearing his destination on the other side.

Just like him...

Yes, that sounded about right. He too carried the scars of the occurrences that happened not too long ago. Silently, he unzipped part of his shirt, slipping his hand under the fabric to feel the scar that he had known too well. Ah, yes... the scar he had given himself with a weapon not his own.

That's right... that weapon was of another's. That another was...

He smiled lightly, stopping to stare down at the special tree that held so many memories and carried one special, yet ill-fated boy. The boy now was definitely not a 'boy' as he was once before, as himself wasn't, but a young man, grown and matured. He himself grew from a carefree and heart- felt brunette to a young man in his late teens, carrying the hopes of many, the hearts of many, and the responsibility that no one could counter. His pure blue eyes, like that of the sky and clear ocean before him, had seen too many things, and his body had felt too many things.

His life was similar to that of the ill-fated boy he thought about. Yes, that ill-fated boy who had once seemed so strong and collected, when he was really confused and so weak-hearted. But he learned... Of course he learned... He grew from that silver-haired boy who was distant and always looking out to the sea, opening himself and his dreams to the wrong things, to the same silver-haired friend he knew, but with turquoise eyes that had depth to them and reflected more than could ever be said or heard from the young man's mouth.

The wind ran its invisible fingers through his hair again, this time adding a touch all over his body, causing him to retreat his hand from underneath his shirt and zip it up again.

Ah, the night... He loved the night... He couldn't repeat it enough. It reminded him of many things, some good, and others not as such. But still, the sky played its ever-present and ever-playing song, not matter what mood of its watcher.

Oh... the sky...

The reflection of his name...

Sora...

Yes, the name that was a mirror of nature's most wondrous thing. Sora... Sky... Two things that were alike and different at the same time. The joy of the sun and energy of daytime and the calmness and elegance of the night sounded much like himself as he was so full of laughter with others around, awake and in motion, while he was like night itself, lingering and calmly waiting, almost thinking in its time by itself.

Oh how the sky was much like himself and not just his name, Sora thought. He smiled as he tilted his head back, staring up at the beautiful sky that displayed the myriad of stars, the mere symbols of the existence of the other worlds and their well being. He felt happy, knowing what he did for other people. He would be glad to help them again, but... for the time being, he would like some time to himself and his own friends, the ones he grew up with.

His friends... The ones he grew up with...

Sora looked down at his lap, remembering how his silver-haired friend used to sit that exact spot all day and stare out into the ocean, thinking of more things he could count - or maybe, less than he knew. Who knows? No one but Riku...

Yup. Riku: the very person who he grew terribly close to. Riku was... magnificent in his own way, his knowledge of things not too little, and not too much. And then, when he opened himself to the wrong side, to darkness just to be able to escape the Islands. But why the usually strong friend would succumb so easily, Sora didn't know.

It was wrong of Riku to let the darkness eat his heart, turn him against him, be blinded of the truth, and have jealousy and other negative feelings course through him. Sora wanted to save his friend from the darkness, pull him back into the light and see his wrongness, but it had taken quite a lot from him to accomplish such a task. Sora was confused of his best friend's behaviors, but now, after yet another adventure around Kingdom Hearts, he understood what was going through his friend's mind - what really went through his mind.

And oh how he was wrong to think of such a thing. Never would he or Kairi abandon him. No one, on Destiny Islands, or on any other world, would think of deserting him as he feared.

Sora never knew the boy was so lonely and wanted others to care for him. It's now, as he continuously listens to the night time and time again, that he was able to read Riku's past actions. He was able to understand how the boy seemed to like being the leader of things - and he was very good at his job, no doubt - how he liked attention and being the strong one of the group.

The brunette never really realized his friend's needs and wants. No, not really. He basically took them as rolls of leadership, something to compete with his friend with.

Friend.

Competition.

Another thing that helped the silver-haired leader believe he would be abandoned and left alone. Friends. When Sora was off to find him and Kairi in his first adventure, Riku was being told and shown lies, hearing words that manipulated his brain and pulled him closed and tighter into the clutch of evil and darkness.

Sora sighed, looking up from his lap finally to stare out to the sea. The dark waters were calm and washed all that they could ashore. In, out... In... out...

The rhythmic pattern memorized in Sora's head was like the beat to the music, the melody played about in the wind and what it touched. He smiled, eyes closing momentarily as took a deep breath. A song played in his head, words at the tip of his tongue, yet not spoken.

It was only when an added, extra beat to nature's music entered, did Sora stop his silent singing, listening to the footsteps that approached him. The shuffling of the clothing was enough to identify who was behind him, let alone their light steps and how they carried themselves.

"I'm surprised you're here," Sora said, his voice quiet, and yet loud enough to hear through the light wind.

The person behind Sora smiled. "I know. But I'm also surprised of yourself being here."

The recognizable male voice that was deeper then his own made the brunette smile a bit. "I rarely see you. Do you sleep here now?" he asked, not turning around to meet his companion.

"It's the only place I feel that I can be. I can't go home - I can barely sleep as it is - and being here doesn't really make me feel welcomed. Not after..."

"Not after what you were tricked into doing?" Sora said, finishing and rephrasing the other's last sentence.

The other sighed, shaking their head as they came to stand behind the brunette, just a little bit away from him. "Yes, I suppose I was tricked. But my own feelings helped."

"You were used, Riku. You don't have to feel sorry or anything about it."

Riku half smiled grateful with the younger boy's attempts to ease his tension. He knew the brunette would be able to get to him, one way or another... "You're always the one to get to me, Sora."

The blue-eyed brunette glanced over his shoulder at the living shadow behind him. "How so?"

"You know how to bring out the good side of me and show me how to feel. I mean, really feel."

Sora smiled, glad of the older boy's compliments. "Thank you, Riku."

"No problem... But tell me, why are you out here, in the middle of the night, staring out into the sea like I used to do?"

The brunette shook his head, the smile upon his face yet to leave. "Like you? Well, I suppose I am... I'm just doing a normal routine."

"Routine?" The older boy sounded surprised. "You do this often? I never knew."

"No one did. Until now."

"I didn't know you were actually one to think deeply like this, Sora. No offense, of course."

Sora chuckled lightly. "Non taken. But yes, I do think quite a lot. Recently I've been doing more then I ever had."

"Why?"

The boy shrugged. "Who knows? But I think I understand why you chose this spot as your thinking space."

"Really? How so?"

"Its location. You can see and hear everything from here. The wind plays with your hair and gives you a sense of calm. The water that washes on the shore and against the rocks let you reach a point where nothing matters and time stops, making thinking all the more easier. ...Nature has its ways of making music and you can hear it best at this spot."

Riku blinked, surprised at Sora. He smiled. "You surprise me, Sora. ... But then again, how can you not? You amaze in the more assorted of ways."

Sora smiled. "Thank you. But now it's my turn. Why did you come here? To think as well?"

Riku nodded. "In a way, yes. Sometimes I stroll around the island, but every once in a while, I come here."

"Funny, you always seem to miss me when you come here, then. I never see you out here when I come, and you don't see me." The brunette laughed a bit at the irony.

Riku smiled in return. "I guess so."

"Yeah. But why would we meet only now?"

The silver-haired teen shook his head. "Who knows? I am but here to think about tomorrow's events."

"Tomorrow...?"

He nodded. "Tomorrow is the play."

Sora nodded as well, suddenly remembering. "Oh, right. I remember. Kairi and Selphie thought it would be fun to host a play for ourselves and comrades."

"And that's why the girl had you open the door to our world so that they may come, right?"

Sora nodded. "Right."

Riku slowly nodded, a small stretch of silence coming between them. "Um. I heard they distributed a new script today. What's that about?"

Sora shrugged. "They changed a few parts and asked for everyone to study these new parts especially for tomorrow. Supposedly, we're to go over the new script briefly tomorrow just before the presentation."

"Yeah. Did you get a copy from Kairi?"

The brunette shook his head. "No. I haven't really talked to her or anyone today. I'm sure she'll give it to me first thing tomorrow."

Riku nodded. "I got one, but haven't read it yet. Oh well, our loss."

Sora laughed, turning around to face his friend. "You seem light-hearted about all this. Aren't you worried that you might not like what they've given us? Or maybe that you'd mess up?"

The silver-haired teen shook his head, the locks flying around his head. "No, not really. I think I can wing it if I mess up."

Sora laughed once more, smiling up at him. "So brave of you."

Riku laughed in turn. "What about you? What do you think you can or will do?"

A grin spread across the brunette's features. "I'll 'wing it' myself."

Riku chuckled. "So brave you are yourself."

The two boys laughed at their playful criticism toward each other. Oh how they enjoyed the other's company in such times. It was good to laugh and talk freely again, even if they both knew that they still don't feel as comfortable toward each other as they did when there were no troubles for them.

After their laughter subsided, Sora sighed, smiling up at his friend. "I wish this could happen more often. You know, where we can laugh and cry and talk about simple things without worrying about something else."

"So do I," another voice said, entering the conversation.

The boys turned to see a slender redhead make her way to them. Sora was the first to react.

"Hello, Kairi."

Kairi - the redhead - smiled, hugging the brunette as she reached him. "Hi, Sora." She turned to the older teen and hugged him as well. "Hey, Riku."

A corner of Riku's lips curved upwards. "Hello, Kairi. What brings you here?"

Kairi smiled at the two boys. "I came to give you two your scripts - that is if you don't have them yet."

Both boys lifted brows.

"Really? Then where are the scripts?"

Kairi paused, laughing. "Okay, so I don't have them with me right now. I guess you two caught me."

"You came to think as well, didn't you?"

The girl nodded at the older of the two boys. "Yeah. I guess you two did as well."

Sora nodded. "Yeah. All of us can't sleep tonight, can we?"

Kairi shook her head. "Nope. Not with tomorrow being tomorrow."

"You came because of the play as well, then?"

"Yeah. But I didn't know you would think about such a small thing, Riku."

Riku shook his head, half a smile on his lips once again. "It's nothing."

"Well... thank you. I didn't know my plans actually got people excited or wondering about it besides me."

Sora shook his head. "Don't say that, Kairi. Your plans for tomorrow will be great. Everyone will have a good time, I'm sure."

The girl smiled, grateful of the boy's attempt to cheer her up. "Thanks Sora, I appreciate it."

"No prob."

The two smiled at each other a bit before Sora turned away to stare out into the dark waters again. It was then that the three were silent and carried out their own thoughts while enjoying the music about them.

After some time, Kairi yawned and stretched, disrupting the other two from their thoughts to turn to her. "Oh, I'm sorry, guys. I guess I'm tired already."

Sora nodded, getting up from where he sat on the tree. "We all probably are. We should go back to sleep already."

Riku nodded. "You two should head back now."

Kairi nodded and started back across the bridge. "Sure thing. But hey," she added, "I should give you your script. After all, I did say I was here to give you two your copies of the new script, right?"

Sora chuckled, following her back to the main land. "I thought you said you didn't have them with you?"

"I didn't have them with me. At the time anyway..." Kairi paused to giggle. "I have them at my boat. There's one left."

Riku smiled, taking the rear of the three. "But there's two of us."

"Well, I figured that you two could share, but hey, Riku, didn't I give you one already?"

Riku nodded. "Uh-huh. You did earlier today."

"Ah, okay. Well, the one in my boat's for you, Sora."

"Fine by me," the brunette answered, adding one of his grins to emphasize what he said.

"Okay then!" the redhead said cheerfully as she went down the stairs and out of the shed, coming out into the air and on the beach again.

Sora, right behind her, had his hands clasped behind his back, something he rarely did. After setting foot on the beach again with the sand underneath his toes, he looked out into the waters. He was disappointed he couldn't stay to possibly see a sunrise at such a peaceful place, but that was okay. He could watch from his window if he so wished, or could try another time, another day.

The brunette climbed onto the dock, as Kairi was the first to untie her boat and settle inside it. She gave him his script before taking her farewell and paddled home first.

With the clipped paper rolled up in his hand, Sora wished her off before turning to his other friend who had been silent for a small while now. He smiled up at the older, taller boy before sighing, shaking his head a bit. He then tossed his script into his boat and dug out his shoes, pulling them on along with his socks while his friend watched, silent still.

After the brunette was done tying his shoes, he stood up suddenly, surprising the silver-haired teen. And what surprised him even more was when the smaller boy hugged him, his reasons unsaid.

When Sora let go, he stood back to take in whatever reaction his friend gave him. There on the boy's face was an expression of simple shock and puzzlement. Sora could only smile and shake his head before turning to jump into his boat.

"Why?" came Riku's sudden and soft voice in the night's air, his feelings unmasked.

Sora turned around just before he climbed into his boat, his smile still on his lips. "Why what?"

"Why did you hug me?"

Sora shook his head, his brown tousled hair swaying slightly from side to side. "There really didn't need to be a reason, Riku. Just because. You're my friend - my best friend. Don't you deserve a hug?"

Riku looked away, turning his vision to his feet. "I suppose. But... do I- ?"

"Stop right there," the brunette interrupted, his brows furrowed. "Don't you go another step, Riku. Don't say it... You have to stop feeling sorry for yourself."

When the other boy didn't answer, the brunette sighed, his tone softening a bit.

"I'm sorry, but really, you can't keep going on like that, sulking and all. I don't think it's healthy or right. Besides, you're stronger then that, I know it. You'll get better and move on. I hope you will."

Riku nodded as he watched his friend get in his boat, finally lifting his head from staring at the ground. He smiled as he waved his friend off as he paddled across the waters to meet up with Kairi on the other side.

Once the brunette had disappeared into the night, Riku finally moved and headed toward the tree house that was his current home and room. Leaves were his bed and piled up in the corner of the room. Now climbing for it, he realized that ever since he came back to Destiny Islands and the doors to the other worlds stayed open upon Sora's mighty will, he never really got sleep. Either he stayed up at night, doing his strolls and periodical thinking, or closed his eyes, feigning sleep while his mind kept in motion.

The silver haired teen entered his room now, immediately heading for the leaf bed and falling back onto it, unsettling them by causing them to fly up from the impact. Sighing, he stared up at the ceiling. At that moment, he didn't know what to think of. The hug? Or what was planned for tomorrow and whatever was changed in the script?

Or maybe neither...

Riku shook his head, sighing slowly, his breath silent in the still air. Almost, he could hear a sweet melody playing, teasing his ears with their soft tune. Ah, nature was a wonder as always, and in his mind the sounds actually formed music, something he never heard before.

"I wonder... Was this what Sora heard out there tonight, and all those other nights he crept out here?" Riku paused to chuckle. "Probably... Who knows?"

The silver haired boy chuckled some more before closing his eyes, finally resting more then he ever did at night. That is... ever since he came back home again...