Author's Note: Okay. First of all I'd like to state that I feel there is no reason for me to explain why Leon's blood did not soothe Riku. This was explained earlier in the fic. If you don't remember I will refresh your memory now, but I refuse to do so in the actual story content: in case you missed it – the blood of your loved one only soothes you from the anguish caused by sunlight. And does Riku love Leon? No. He loves Sora. Therefore it only makes sense that when he drank Leon's blood out of desperation it did not soothe him.

Second, I'd like to thank everyone who has read this fic, especially those who have reviewed it and/or added it to their favourite's list. Thank you, very, very much. I hope many of you will stick around to read more of my writing. I have several fics lined up for the future and would love to see you all reading and reviewing them.

Third, I'd like to mention that I will be at Otakon this weekend! I would absolutely LOVE to meet some of my readers that will also be there. If you want to find me, I'll be cos-playing as Selphie on Friday and Saturday, and can most likely be found at the Gaia Online panel, and on Sunday I won't be cos-playing but you can definitely find me at the Piano Squall concert. I'll be the one raping him. :cough:

And finally, this is it. Hour of Destiny is over. :sniffle: I'm sad. But proud. This is the first fanfic I've actually finished without getting sick of it and editing the latest chapter so that it was an "ending" and I didn't have to update it. Sorry about the length (or lack thereof) of this installment, but I really didn't know what to do with the ending. Also, sorry for the incredibly long delay, but I was going to re-do this. I decided not to though. Couldn't bring myself to replace the first Kingdom Hearts fic I've ever written. No matter how crap-tastic I may find it to be now. Yeah, that's right. I think Hour of Destiny is crap-tastic now. But because of sentimental reasons, it's going to remain crap-tastic forever and ever. Which brings me to the actual chapter:

Chapter Nine: Forever

When he woke, it was to a dull ache, which throbbed throughout his entire frame. He sat up slowly, blinking and rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. Glancing around the room, he struggled to gather his thoughts and strained his eyes, attempting to focus. But his efforts were in vain, for with every passing second the dull pain grow in intensity.

His head swam and he clutched at his stomach. Groaning, he stumbled out of bed and across the room to the door. Surely if he just got some water he wouldn't feel so very nauseous. But as his fingers curled weakly around the doorknob and he pulled the door open, he found this to be a grave mistake.

As sunlight poured into the room, a burning pain tore through his body and he crumpled into a writhing heap on the floor, yelping in pain. It was a horrendous pain, as if every shred of his flesh were being ripped apart, every bone gnawed on by vicious, hungry flames, and the boy thrashed on the floor, desperate to escape.

After a few moments he discovered that movement merely enhanced the pain, and so he lay still, curled into a ball, whimpering pathetically and twitching involuntarily every so often. His vision was blurred and his thoughts indiscernible. He did not recognize where he was, nor did he remember why he was there. All he knew was that hideous pain.

He started, crying out as a hand brushed across his cheek. After the initial shock had subsided, however, he found that he welcomed the contact. The hand was soft and cool, and he nuzzled his cheek into the palm weakly, whimpering in a desperate plea for more of this heaven. Cool, comforting arms responded, pulling him into a gentle embrace. Soft, careful kisses were placed on his forehead and cheeks, and loving fingers wiped tears he hadn't even known he'd shed.

As he pressed himself close to the angel that had come to save him, he heard soft murmurs, which seemed sweeter and more precious than any words he'd heard before.

"Shh," they said, cool and smooth, loving and concerned, "It's okay, Sora."

Sora. That word was familiar. That word he'd heard countless times before, and here it was again, whispered, chanted by this angel as though its repetition were something not to be ended, something sacred.

Sora. It was his word, wasn't it? A word used only when speaking of him. Yes. "Sora" was his word.

This conclusion offered yet another small comfort to Sora, who pressed closer still to his angel, squirming in a fresh attempt to escape the immense pain coursing through his frame. This angel, did he have a word? He must. Sora was suddenly very sure of this. But was the angel's word?

Sora's mind filtered frantically through the primitive, hissing cries for comfort to find some word that could possibly belong to this angel. He found only one word beyond his desperate pleas, and decided that it must be the angel's.

"Riku?" he whimpered, clutching at the body pressed close to his own. The sound was small, barely even existent, but it was heard and the angel responded, clutching Sora's trembling body as though afraid to let go.

"Yes, Sora. I'm here. It's okay, everything's fine."

Sora sighed, vaguely aware that he was crying again, and buried his face in Riku's neck.

And then it was gone. The overwhelming pain had been replaced by another, more intense sensation. Beneath the pale skin of Riku's neck pulsed something that was calling out to Sora, sending him into a frenzy of hunger. He didn't know what it was, but he knew that he wanted it, needed it, and that it would be life-giving and exquisitely delicious. All thoughts had disappeared, save one.

Bite. Drink. Drink.

It screamed inside of him, repeating over and over, growing in intensity, in desperation, every time it was thought. And so, Sora obeyed.

His teeth sunk into cool, pale flesh, satisfied only when a burst of hot liquid rushed into his mouth. It was bitter, metallic, but Sora loved it. He lapped at it furiously until both the unrelenting hunger and the burning pain had faded away.

Sora was still clinging to Riku, and as his senses returned to him, they carried with them his memories. And as Sora sighed contentedly, wrapping his arms about Riku's waist, he knew that the silver-haired boy's gentle, comforting murmurs were true.

It was okay. Everything would be fine – blissfully perfect – forever. Because he and Riku were together. Forever.