Two Love and Dream
I was 14 the last time I wrote this story. Oh the memories. Just like I said, I'd never give up on this story. But a lot has happened to me, a lot has changed me, and so I hope you will continue to enjoy this story. As much as I wince at my old writing style and characters and all that jazz, I won't change it. It's there, you've read it. Let's see if I can redeem myself.
Remember: ending is based on who you want it to be. Vincent or Squall? And right now, Vincent is winning.
NOTE: Since when I started this Chain of Memories had just come out, I've obviously had to redo a lot of the storyline to fit with KH2. So this is supposed to be after KH2, but they didn't go back to Hallow Bastion. Cid just had that nifty computer with TRON in some sort of cool tech lab. Tifa never met up with the KH gang after all.
Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy 7.
Chapter 8: Key of the Lost One
It took an entire day to clear out the separate districts. And the entire day, Yuffie could hardly concentrate. While the others took care of the Heartless, she would clear out a small portion then search it for any of her friends. Of course, also taking in to consideration that they could be somewhere else entirely.
Where was Vincent? Tifa, Red, Barret, Cait Sith, any of them? Hell, she'd be happy to see ol' Reno and Rude if it meant she could find the others. It was all she could think about after helping her grumpy partner.
Leon was back to normal after receiving an hour long lecture from Aerith.
Yuffie also owed him a new pair of leather pants for cutting his other pair up.
Aerith, Ivy, and Katelyn were currently cleaning up the Hotel and trying to salvage whatever wasn't broken during the attack. Both girls had fought off the Heartless the best they could, but they weren't exactly the best trained in the area. Katelyn was a healer and Ivy could only do so much by herself. So they had gotten the citizens in doors and away from the black monsters. Cid had secured the Gummi Shop while Cloud and Leon double checked all the districts for stray Heartless. Still, no one noticed how edgy Yuffie was.
With a sigh, she plopped down on one of the crates in the Alley and rested her Conformer beside her. Of all the things, why did this have to happen to her? Did she anger some god?
"I promise I won't steal Munny from lost stragglers again!" She wailed out loud, waving an angry fist at the stars in the sky. Or was it Materia…?
"My brain hurts…"
"Why are you talking to yourself?"
With a startled yelp, Yuffie tumbled backwards onto the cobblestones, a gloved hand bolting out suddenly onto her arm to keep her from going into the water.
Looking up, she glared behind bangs at the leather clad man starting at her with an amused smirk. He hoisted her up and continued to watch as she dusted off imaginary lint and dirt.
"So why were you talking to yourself again?"
He raised an eyebrow and crossed his arms, muscles bulging against the straps on his arms. Shifting from one foot to the other, Yuffie traced the lines of the cobblestones and avoided his gaze.
"Uh," she started, "I…uh…was talking to the fish."
"Yep, I saw a fish in the water and felt that he needed commentary to make his poor little life more interesting."
"Yes, Squallikins, a fish."
He glared at her before shaking his head and making his way for the District doors, "Come on. Cloud's calling a meeting. And it's Leon."
Sighing with relief, the ninja followed.
Everyone was already seated at the café when Yuffie arrived. Cloud stood, back against the wall, the wolf emblem on his shoulder seeming more ominous than usual. Aerith sat next to him, twiddling her thumbs and running her hand over her braid every once in a while as a nervous gesture. Cid had his legs propped up on the table, cigarette clenched tightly in his teeth. It was probably the only ones he could find.
Leon trudged over and stood next to Cloud, almost mirroring his pose and grimace when he crossed his arms.
Things weren't looking good.
"So I guess we've got problems?" Yuffie muttered, hopping up on a table and sitting cross legged.
Cid let out a grunt and flicked an ash tip to the ground.
Uncrossing his arms, Cloud pushed away from the wall and faced all of them, looking like the leader of Avalanche again, leather and all. She even noticed with non-too-obvious displeasure that the hard look had returned to his eyes.
Yep, Cloud Strife was back.
"The Heartless managed to nab a couple of people before we could get here, but we managed to save the rest. No one knows how the Heartless managed to get back, but since there haven't been any Nobodies, Traverse Town isn't in too much trouble. They seem to keep away from here.
"A lot of the citizens have reported seeing some people in black cloaks…this may be Organization XIII again."
"But Sora took care of them all!" Aerith interrupted, her brow furrowed in confusion. The Organization had been pesky to get rid of.
Cloud sighed and pressed his temple, "Yeah, but until we can get a good look at these guys, we don't know who-"
"It's the Organization."
All eyes fell on the glare Leon was sending to the floor, muscles taunt as he clenched his fists and eyes burning with anger.
"How do ya' know?!" Cid practically shout, a vein pulsing in his neck.
"When we were leaving Hallow Bastion. That's how I got cut. I ran into one. He had red hair, but it wasn't Axel. This guy seemed more of the Air elemental."
Yuffie blew out a sigh and chewed on the tip of her hair, "Great. Sora's not gonna be happy about this."
"I don't think they're after Sora…something tells me that he would have been the first person they'd contact, but we'd have heard from me by now. For some reason," Cloud paused and met her eyes, "they contacted us first."
Her heart stop. Did Cloud know? No, he couldn't have….right?
"Why did you pass out, Yuffie?" Cloud asked, eyes never leaving her own.
"Wait, Strife, what does she have to do with any of this?" Leon interrupted, standing from the wall and facing him. Cloud didn't seem fazed though and continued to meet her gaze around the man.
Meanwhile, Yuffie was stumbling. She couldn't tell the others, but could she tell in this place? It hardly seemed fair, but Traverse Town was stable so she didn't have to risk it falling apart and vanishing. Not like Wutai and Hallow Bastion.
Or at least she hoped so.
Besides, they would get it…hopefully.
"I don't know. I just…sort of…dreamed…a lot…?" she mumbled, twirling a shoe string around her fingers.
"Don't lie, Yuffie."
"I'm not!" With a leap, she jumped from the table, "What makes you think I'm lying?!"
Leon was still standing slightly between her and Cloud, but he was tense now, almost like he was frozen in time.
"She's telling the truth."
All eyes turned to the Gunblade wielder.
He sighed and pinched the bridge above his nose, jaw tense. He knew she wasn't lying, but he couldn't say it was just dreaming. And something made him believe, from the looks on the others faces that they would know what he was talking about.
"When we were coming back here, I fell asleep. I thought I was dreaming, but it…felt too…real. Like I was somewhere I knew, but couldn't remember. Everything felt real, as if I were awake, but there were people- a person I thought was dead. She was alive, but she said I'd been in a coma for a while. The exact time since I'd last dreamt of her."
Yuffie stared at him with wide eyes. He was remembering. Oh Leviathan, they were all remembering!
Leon faced her and met her shocked gaze, knowing he was right, "That's what it was, wasn't it? That's what Angel meant by having to finish things. I knew you were having trouble sleeping, but…I didn't know it went that far…"
Something burst in her. Finally, someone who understood what the hell was going on with her!
"Is…it true, Yuffie?" Cloud whispered, and by the look in his eyes, he knew the answer too.
The young Shinobi nodded and scuffed the toe of her shoe against the cobblestone with a sigh, "I had to help the others. I dream of Wutai a lot, but I didn't know I was actually going there. So no one really knew anything was wrong with me…but things were disappearing. They couldn't find you and Cid, and Godo was worried about the town. So, when I met Vincent, I didn't know why…I thought I was still dreaming. But then the others came: Tifa, Barret, Red and Cait Sith. And I knew it was real. Angel told me so…"
Cid was spitting out curses as he ingested everything while Cloud had paused. It was true. They had forgotten, but they were remembering now. Maybe it was Yuffie's own desire to go back to that place, that time, where there were no Heartless and the planet was alive. Maybe that was why she knew more, but she wasn't sure. Angel had said she was special, but that didn't mean anything to her. Everyone was special, everyone played their part.
She just had a slighter more knowledgeable role.
With a small sigh, she said a little quieter, "Tifa's been going crazy looking for you…"
Aerith was huddled a little smaller in her chair, one hand raised to cover her mouth while the other absently rubbed a spot in her stomach.
The same spot where Sephiroth had stabbed her.
"There are two dimensions. One where the Heartless never existed and life continued on like normal. The other dimension is where they destroyed everything and we went to Hallow Bastion. This was that dimension, but now both are merging. Both of our lives are coming together. I don't know why, but I know it's not supposed to happen. Last time I went to Wutai, everything disappeared. The Heartless attacked, but I couldn't keep the merging from happening. I don't know where the others went, but I know they're alive and somewhere. We have to find them!" Yuffie yelled. She was the only one that wasn't completely out of it. She was raised to be the leader of Wutai, the White Rose.
Maybe now was better than never to call upon her leadership skills.
A small part of her patted her on the back for channeling her inner Cloud Strife.
For a minute, no one said anything. Then Cloud nodded and righted himself again. They could do this. All of them.
"Right. We'll get a hold of Sora and find the others. Cid, you see if the portals are still open and tell me what worlds are still okay. Aerith and I will go get Sora, Riku, and Kairi and bring them here. Yuffie, you and Leon make a plan to start searching for the others. Alright, let's-"
Yuffie cut him off before he could continue, already noticing the amused look on Cid and Aerith's faces, "Cloud, if you say 'let's mosey' I'm gonna chop off you hair and turn it pink."
The blonde faltered and swallowed his words, before clearing his throat, "Uh, right…let's go."
Cid chuckled then stood from his chair.
"Hot damn, here we go again."
Yuffie shook her head. You could say that again.
Sora was anxious at seeing the bottle in Kairi's hand, somehow already knowing who it was from. He could see some of the King's symbol on the piece of parchment inside.
"Well, are you going to see what he wrote?" Riku asked, arms crossed as he stared down the bottle.
He was just as nervous as Sora. They were Keyblade Masters, destined to defend the worlds from darkness and help the King in any way. But it didn't stop them from wanting to just relax for once and not worry about saving people from the Heartless.
Gathering his courage with a sigh, Sora took the bottled, popped off the cork and unraveled the small scroll. He scratched his head in confusion and pursed his lips.
Confusion set in deeper.
Moving to read it over his shoulder, Kairi and Riku looked at the scroll in the boy's hand. The same expression took hold and both were left scratching their heads.
Just a few words were written with no signature or clue what they meant. But one of the words stood out the most.
Beware of the greed in people's hearts.
Keep your light in sight.
"So…what does Jenova mean?" Kairi asked, jumping up to sit on the bent over Papou Tree.
Sora scratched his head, looking over the words again and again, "I…don't know. It looks like a name. Why would King Mickey send me a name?"
Riku snorted and ran a hand through his silver locks, "The more important matter is: what are we going to do? Something smells fishy. I say we prepare to leave just in case. We might be traveling again."
Sora nodded, the excitement of going on another journey taking hold, "Right! Maybe we can go by King Mickey's Castle to see what he has to say. It'll probably tell us a lot more than this piece of paper."
Clapping filled the air, slow and ominous, a break in their excitement. A sliver of a chill slid down Sora's spine as the three turned, the sun suddenly not so bright.
"Good job, Roxas! Brilliant! Prepare yourself and scurry around, get ready for what's to come!" A chuckle followed as the figure in a black cloak walked onto the small island, blonde hair glistening in the dimming sun.
He couldn't remember ever fighting this member of the Organization, but something told him he had. That deep part of Sora's mind that held Roxas was nervous and he knew that was where the name had come from.
"You're…Larxene?" Sora asked, hands jumpy beside him. Kairi scooted a little behind him, taking everything in quietly while Riku let out a small growl.
"Ah, so you remember my name! Or did little Roxas tell you? Oh well, doesn't matter. On to more important things, like THIS!"
With a quick thrust of her hand, a small emerald glowing sphere about the size of a gumball appeared and was shoved into Sora's body before he flew back into his two companions. Larxene grinned, watching as the green light splintered all over his body much like the inky darkness had, but nothing alike.
"Now, I know it feels a tad uncomfortable, but you'll thank me later. And with this last bit, see ya, kiddies!" The black portal behind her opened up and throwing a final object at their feet, she jumped into it with a gleeful smile.
Sora struggled to breathe pass the pain, but soon his lungs began to work and the green light faded. Riku shoved his body off of him and he tumbled forward, head swarming, "Ow…"
Something shone in the sun and he looked up at the object Larxene had thrown at them.
King Mickey's Keyblade.
Now looking back on the original plot, I wince. Deeply. It was corny, sappy, and waaaay to stupid. You'll thank me for the new plot. Unless you want Ansem's daughter trying to be the main villain (Yeah, it was that bad)
So now we have the Organization back, Vincent and the others missing, and Jenova into the picture, not to mention dear ol' Mickey seems to be a big question mark. And yes, there will be some characters that are my own in this, but I asure you, my character designs have grown tremendously. Writing my own stories has done that. Angel is no more (Thank god, I changed her name) but Ivy and Katelyn are still here and so much better. Won't play huge parts, but they'll provide some info for the crew. Please, don't run away yet.
Don't forget: VOTE FOR EITHER VINCENT OR SQUALL!
Maybe I'll actually update sooner than four years...maybe.