(A/N: You've probably seen this before, if you haven't then 'hello!' I'm in the process of re-writing this story right now because I think I've definitely grown as a writer since I started it. Sahara is mine, the beginning is slightly based on a scene from Kingdom Hearts, the song is "Simple and Clean" by Utada Hikaru and is not mine, Hades is property of Disney. That should be it)
The Heart of Worlds
Chapter 1: Nothing's Like Before
The Daily Things That Keep Us All Busy
Are Confusing Me That's When You Came To Me and Said
There will always be a door to the light
Together we can do it
Remember what you said before?
Wish I Could Prove I Love You
But Does That Mean I Have To Walk On Water
When We Are Older You'll Understand
It's Enough When I Say So
And Maybe Some Things Are that Simple
The closer you get to the light, the greater your shadow becomes
I'll always be with you too
When You Walk Away You Don't Hear Me Say
Please, Oh Baby Don't Go
Simple and Clean Is The Way That You're Making Me Feel Tonight
It's Hard to Let it Go
Let's close this door for good
Take Care of Her
I'll come back to you, I promise
Hold Me, Whatever Lies Beyond This Morning
Is A Little Later On Regardless of Warnings
The Future Doesn't Scare Me At All
Nothing's Like Before
I know you will
Rain. As far as the eye could see the crystalline drops fell darkening what was already a dark and mysterious night. The downpour blurred the far off neon lights of the abandoned streets. No one was insane enough to brave the storm, an overwhelming sense of foreboding hanging in the darkened sky. A lone figure slowly made his way through the desolate town paying no mind to the driving rain drenching him from head to toe. He was clad in a long black trench coat, his face obscured by the hood pulled low over his head. Only the silver of his thick zipper shown in the neon light. No sounds could be heard aside from the buzz of neon and the splatter of rain on the cold hard asphalt.
The stranger took a deep breath, steadying his mind. He needed to be here; he needed to know. He looked up from his thoughts on impulse. Before him, the sparkling puddles of freshly fallen rain bubbled into a black ooze. The substance began to grow and take on the shape of what could only be called a living shadow. The creatures were human sized, with long antenna and shining, soulless, vacant eyes that stared at hooded figure in curiosity. There was a bright flash and the clang of metal as the man drew two large weapons from under his coat. They both resembled large keys, one made of obsidian cruel and full of vengeance, the other made of light directly from the heart.
Above the city, on the rooftops far beyond the battle about to ensue, another nameless creature watched the hooded one through blindfolded eyes. His enhanced senses warned him of the conflict that had arisen. He knew he would be involved soon enough, but a smirk spread across his pale features. Beside him stood a woman, dressed in the same manner as the man below. She lowered her hood allowing crimson hair to spill over her shoulders. Her green eyes darted from her companion to the hooded figure. The blindfolded figure threw up his hands as if commanding the clouds above him. They obeyed, opening up the heavens and revealing a sky full of falling stars.
The hooded figure looked around him at the heartless creatures quickly surrounding him. His weapons stood at the ready, waiting for the first opponent to test him. He asked his attackers and the man above him one simple question.
"Where's Sora?" As he spoke a heart of pure light appeared on the ground surrounding him, pushing back the attacking creatures.
The figure on the roof top laughed to himself as he removed his blindfold and prepared to clean up the aftermath.
The shadows stared back at their foe not comprehending his words. They looked between one another in silent conversation. The hooded figures patience grew thin and without warning he pounced on the nearest creature, entering himself into a melee for which he was far outnumbered.
Pulling her own key shaped weapon from beneath her coat, the woman descended from her viewing area as the mysterious man continued to laugh.
Millions of worlds away, Sahara Dalbek sat bolt upright in her bed. She breathed heavily as she shakily ran a hand through her crimson hair. "Not again," she sighed, flopping back down onto her pillow. Sahara was use to vivid dreams, but this one was by far the most realistic. The two unknowns had been frequenting her dreams for over a month now. She couldn't shake the images brought about by the strange nightmare. Instead she rolled over and glared at her alarm clock.
"5:30 am," the bright red letters taunted her.
"Ungodly hour" she muttered to herself sitting up and yawning. Strange images still fresh in her memory, the idea of returning to the sleeping realm didn't sound all to interesting. Sahara stood and headed for the bathroom, the warm embrace of an early morning shower calling out to her.
Several minutes later, Sahara wrung out her damp hair and pulled on a thin black sweatshirt jacket and a pair of blue jeans. She threw several notebooks into her book bag and zipped it shut. Her minds eye continued replaying her dream as if it had actually happened in the early hours of the morning.
Sahara sighed, closing her eyes. "I really wish I could be doing anything but this," she lamented to no one in particular. She slung her bag over her shoulder, grabbed her keys from the kitchen counter and headed outside to her waiting car.
Living in California for the past 20 years of her life, Sahara was use to traffic. Even in her small town of Lisendisty, there seemed to be and abundance of cars cluttering the roadways at all hours of the day. This particular day, however, traffic was unusually light and Sahara reached the Lisendisty Community College campus in less than twenty minutes. As always the parking lot was near full capacity when her blue Mazda pulled in. Sahara finally found a spot and began her trek to class.
But either due to lack of sleep or frustration with having to walk what felt like a mile to the main campus, Sahara didn't notice the lack of any physical human bodies in the parking lot. Lost in her own thoughts, she didn't notice the dark, ownerless shadows that slowly crept along behind her.
Sahara mindlessly continued in her set walking pattern through the deserted campus. Suddenly she realized she was alone. There were no students, no teachers, not even a janitor present. Sahara shivered involuntarily unsure of whether to find somewhere to hide, to run back to her car or to continue to class. Her mind whirled away searching for explanations. She knew it wasn't the weekend, she knew the abundance of cars meant no classes were canceled, she knew she wasn't insane. At least she hoped she wasn't insane. Sahara looked around realizing she was still moving, her feet having seemingly acquired a mind of their own. She soon found herself inside the main hallway of the math building, still completely alone. The squeak of her sneakers on the linoleum was amplified in the corridor devoid of human life. Her feet stopped at room 66.
Sahara subconsciously readjusted her bag on her shoulder before reaching a shaking hand toward the metallic door handle. She pushed on it lightly causing it to move downward with her force. She pulled her hand back unsure of what to do with the unlocked door. Drawing a deep breath, Sahara reached for the handle again and slowly eased the door open.
The classroom was dark and deserted like every other place Sahara had traversed so far. The smell of sulfur hit her nose, but didn't seem quite as odd as it should have. Sahara groped at the wall before her hands finally found a light switch. She flicked the switch and took a few more steps into the room. "Hello?" she asked, trying to keep the fear from her voice.
Suddenly the lights shut off and the door behind her slammed shut. Sahara jumped and let out a small yelp. In the dark, she tried to turn back toward her exit but ran into a nearby desk, slamming her knee into the plastic chair attached to it. Hissing in pain she grabbed her knee and hobbled toward the door. She reached out for the handle and grasped nothing but air. Panic began to overtake her thoughts. She was alone, it was dark, she was locked in a room with god only knew what and she was starting to lose feeling in her quickly bruising knee. Sahara turned her back to the door and leaned heavily against it. She removed the needless weight of her backpack, laying it on the ground next to her. "It's okay, Hara." She tried to mentally reassure herself. "You're probably just having another weird dream or the stress of school is getting to you. Take a deep breath and calm down. It'll be all right." Sahara did what her conscience told her, for once, and closed her eyes trying to process all possible causes of the situation at hand.
"You know you can't block all this out by pretending it's not happening, babe." A voice cut through the darkness and rang in Sahara's ears. Her eyes shot open as realization dawned; she had heard that voice before. Suddenly a blue flame erupted in the middle of the room. Sahara gaped, green eyes wide, in astonishment at the dull propane-like light source. The fire flashed again causing her to cover her eyes. Sahara dropped her arm from her face slowly and froze watching the sight before her unfold.
There standing in the middle of the room, illuminated in the strange blue light was what could loosely be described as a man. The being before Sahara was about six feet tall with dull, gray, lifeless skin. He wore long flowing robes of a darker gray, with subtle blue embroidery on the sleeves and neckline. His face was long and narrow with a sharp pointed noise and two sickeningly yellow eyes. The blue flames Sahara had initially seen formed the creature's hair. A sly smile played across his gray lips as he looked the frightened girl before him up and down.
Sahara opened her mouth to speak, but found no words would form. The man floated toward her, a mist where normal feet should be. "Hi there," he said, pointed teeth forming an even more sinister smile. "Name's Hades, Lord of the Dead. How's it going?"
Sahara looked between the face of the God before her and down at the hand he had offered to her and suddenly broke out in hysterical laughter. She covered her mouth with her hand as she slowly sunk to the ground, drowning in her own giggles. The Lord of the Dead raised an eyebrow at the strange girl having a laugh attack in his presence.
"Oh my god. I finally lost my mind." Sahara announced, wiping tears of laughter from her eyes.
"Hey babe, that was gone long before I got here," Hades quipped.
Sahara gave him a pointed look, "First off, don't call me 'babe'. Second, if I'm not going crazy…er, then why are you here? Am I dying?"
"Nah, that's the Fate's job," He explained. "I'm here strictly on business. Your business."
"What are you talking about? How do I know you're not just some bizarre fatigue induced delusion? That I didn't get in some horrible car accident on the way to class and now my brain is personifying my comma fantasies as fictional deities?"
Hades rolled his eyes, "You want proof? What, the flaming blue hair isn't enough for you? Who do you think made all those collegiate students out there disappear?"
"You killed them didn't you?" Sahara replied sarcastically as she stood and made her way toward the center of the classroom. She leaned again the closest desk, trying to alleviate the throbbing in her knee.
"They're fine. Actually if you want to see for yourself you can." Hades snapped his long slender fingers and the lights in the classroom turned back on. Sahara watched in astonishment and translucent ghostly images of the students from her math class began filing into the room. They took no notice of the girl and the large gray god and continued chattering and getting ready for class to begin. Hades snapped his fingers again and they disappeared as quickly as they had materialized. "Satisfied?"
Sahara's green eyes were still wide in disbelief "They could see us…"
"That's right. Could you imagine them all walking in here and seeing me? Can you say hysteria? But they're not what I'm worried about. I'm here strictly to chat with you."
"Long and short of it, I wanna take you up on your idea."
Sahara stared at him blankly. "My idea? What are you talking about?"
"How soon we forget. Maybe a refresher is in order." With a finger snap a black tape recorder materialized in Hades hand.
Sahara's own voice played back to her from the black contraption, "I really wish I could be doing anything but this."
"Now do you understand?" Hades asked as the tape recorder vanished in a puff of black smoke. Sahara nodded slightly, curious as to what, exactly, the deity was getting at. "Here's the gist of it. As you may well know, I don't really interfere in the lives of mortals, especially ones living here in your world. However, I'm willing to make an exception for you, Hara, because you a 'special' case." Sahara didn't like the way he said special. He flashed her a cheesy grin that made him look like a used car salesman trying to close a deal.
Sahara sighed, "Look, Hades, buddy, I think you've got this all wrong. See, I say a lot of things that basically have no meaning during my little 'early morning angsty' tirades. So thanks loads for the concern and all, but I really should be getting back to reality." She turned around, making a b-line for the door, having forgotten she was currently unable to leave. As Sahara reached for the invisible door handle, Hades appeared at her side, blue flames burning red for a moment as his short temper flared.
"I don't think you understand what I'm offering you here, babe. This is a once in a lifetime deal. I want to give you everything you've ever wanted in less than five minutes and you're refusing? You are nuts!" He declared.
Sahara gave the god a pointed look, a small smirk adorning her face. "And what do you know about what I want?"
"I know you're not happy. I know you're sick of responsibility and boredom and the life your living. I know you'd much rather be where I'm from." His eyes looked strangely sincere as her told Sahara everything he knew she wanted to hear.
Sahara stared at him, biting her lower lip in thought. "So, let's say I do take you up on all this. What do you want in return? I mean, I can't be expected to make a deal with the devil and not have to give something in return, can I?
"Devil's such a harsh term," he mused. "Basically, you come with me. I drop you off in a few of the hot spots in the, pardon the pun, 'Disney World'. You can dance, kiss, smooze, pretty much do whatever you want to, but you'll have to collect something for me. Specifics aren't a big deal just yet."
Sahara pondered his words as she sat down in the closest desk. "Will I have to hurt anyone?"
"Well… I mean, you know, you are working for me and, hey, I do deal in death." This statement earned Hades another eye roll.
"All right," Sahara proclaimed a new determination in her eyes, "How about this? I'll agree to your little deal and all your rules and such, but I want an escape clause." Hades opened his mouth to retort, but Sahara continued, "If I, or you, end up hurting anyone I become friends with, the deal is off."
The Lord of the Dead rubbed his chin thoughtfully, "You definitely drive a hard bargain, kid, but I think this'll work. You hang out, do my dirty work; any of your little friends get hurt, you're free as a bird.
With another snap of his fingers, a long scroll labeled "Contract" appeared in the air in front of Sahara. Next to it floated a quill made from an ebony feather. "Sign on the dotted line, babe, and badda bing, badda boom, you get your wish."
Sahara stood from the desk, attempting to read the nearly microscopic print before her. She swallowed thickly, grabbing the pen. "Just stop calling me babe."
In one fluid motion the name "Sahara Dalbek" appeared at the bottom of the scroll in black cursive letters. The contract rolled up on its own accord and it and the pen disappeared in a puff of smoke.
"That's it!" Hades exclaimed, "Welcome to the Minion Club!" He stuck out his hand to Sahara.
"Never mind, I think 'babe' sounded better," she ignored the deity's hand, sitting back down with a frown.
"Hey, don't worry about it. It's time to see your new residence." The blue God took Sahara's arm and pulled her back to her feet with little effort. Sahara attempted to squirm from his grip but suddenly felt woozy. Her legs collapsed out from under her as she fell into the darkness of blue and gray smoke.
(A/N: So I'm slowly making my way through re-writing this story like I said. Differences aren't too bad, I'm just hoping I'm turning it into better writing. Then... if I get through all that, hopefully I'll finally have something new to add to this. Sorry folks! I'm a full time student with a part time job, working on one novel and starting another stupid fanfiction. That's how it goes )