Kingdom of Chaos

Chapter 1: Endless Ocean

Author: Sketchy Sunshine of OSTOCOM

Email and website: See our profile

Rating: PG-13, just to be on the safe side.

Summary: "No one but you could gain admittance though this door, since this door was intended for you. I am now going to shut it." -Franz Kafka, The Trial

Castle Oblivion was just the beginning…a Kingdom of Chaos awaits.

Disclaimer: All characters from Kingdom Hearts belong to Disney and Square, respectively. No money was being made. There's no high school drama, and no wacky original characters lurking around here…so breathe easy!

Author's Notes: Not my first fic, but it is the first time I've tackled the Kingdom Hearts fandom. This takes place immediately after Chain of Memories, and in many ways is my attempt to connect everything that's been seen in KH, CoM and Deep Dive to KH2. At least until KH2 hits stores, that is.

These chapters are going to be much shorter than my usual, and will probably come as they come to me. If this gets positive reviews, that'll mean more incentive to write more. So tell me what you think! XD Praise will be cherished, critiques will be listened to, and flames will be ignored.

Also, please check out our big and exciting collaboration fic, "Silent Mobius: Red Destiny"! It's in our author profile, and is the continuing result of years of hard work and fun!

Alright…you can get to reading now. XD

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The first change they heard was the ocean.

Then the grass gave way to fine sand, and finally chipped obsidian. The path became less distinct, and disappeared completely once it reached the shoreline.

King Mickey stared out at the craggy beach regretfully. "Well, I guess this is as far as we go."

"Guess so." Riku pulled back the hood on his black robe, allowing the salt-scented winds to whip through his silver hair. He gave a long sigh, and sat down on one of the obsidian rocks.

Mickey remained standing next to him. "I bet this reminds you of your home, huh?"

Riku studied the sea before them. It was dark and frothy, with gray storm-clouds resting on the horizon. Everything about this ocean seemed cold. "Actually…it really doesn't," Riku responded, somewhat puzzled.

"From what you've told me, it sounds much nicer than this," Mickey said.

"No, it's more than that," Riku squinted his eyes at the horizon. "The islands I grew up on…they were isolated, but even then, I always felt there was something else out there. Something beyond the ocean. But here…there's nothing. It's like the ocean keeps going and never ends." He shuddered at the thought.

"Now that you mention it, I was thinking that too," Mickey mused.

An uncomfortable silence hung in the air. Riku picked up a smooth obsidian stone, pulled back his arm and sent the stone flying. It skipped across the surface of the water before disappearing into the mist.

Mickey whistled in admiration. "Nice throw!"

"Heh, that was another game Sora and I used to play when we were young," Riku said with a smile. "Seeing who could skip stones the farthest. Sora always lost, but that didn't stop him from trying over and over." Riku's smile diminished slightly. "I wonder if he's woken up yet."

"I'm sure Namine will take care of them," Mickey said with confidence. Riku nodded, and realized that Mickey's optimism was rubbing off on him more than he thought.

He stood and stretched, deciding he wasn't going to let the enigmatic ocean bother him. "Let's make camp for tonight, and decide which way we'll go tomorrow," Riku said.

"You got it!"

"…And it's your turn to get the firewood," he added with a smirk.

Mickey started to protest, only to realize that Riku was right. He responded with a final "Aw, shucks!" and set off along the shore in search of dry wood.

Riku decided he had had enough of the heavy black robe and stripped it off, leaving his normal clothes underneath. As tiring as 'the road to dawn' had been, he was glad simply for the time to walk and think. Of course, there were also conversations with the king, who never responded with anything but encouragements and good will. While Riku knew the king couldn't possibly approve of everything he had done, he knew what Mickey was trying to do. In a world where everyone wanted him for their own purpose, Mickey was being a listener…a friend.

And most of all, Mickey was traveling with him, down this road that had abruptly ended at this ocean. What is it I'm searching for? he thought, watching the foam crest and fall. Is this just another form of me running away? Of not wanting to face Sora and everyone else?

"Riku!"

Mickey's voice interrupted his thoughts, and he looked up at the beach. Mickey was standing a fair distance away, hopping up and down and waving to get his attention. Confused, Riku began crossing the sand and rocks toward him.

A sudden scent pricked at his nose, and he spun around, expecting to see someone behind him. There was no one. What was that? It smelled familiar…

The scent diminished as he came up to the king. Mickey had no firewood, but instead held a glass bottle with a scrap of paper inside. Both looked as if they had been lying in the sand for awhile.

"What is it?" Riku asked.

"I'm not sure. I can't get this note out…" Mickey said worriedly. Riku picked up the bottle and held it upside-down…only to have the note instantly fall into his hand.

"Gosh, that was easy!" Mickey remarked. Riku ignored him and slowly pried apart the damp paper. His eyes widened as he read the faded script inside:

'You who have emerged from chaos—gather on the Borderlands when the Door opens. Your instructions will be given there. All Kingdoms shall be ours.

The Thirteenth.'

Riku studied the paper, but there was nothing else on it. He handed it to Mickey for him to read. "Is this…talking about Kingdom Hearts?" he asked in a low voice.

Mickey scratched his head in puzzlement. "Maybe…but darned if I know what the rest of it means. Borderlands? The Thirteenth?"

"I just want to know who it—" Riku suddenly stopped as he felt the hair on the back of his neck prick. The scent was back, stronger than ever. In one swift movement, he unsheathed the Soul Eater and spun around to face the presence.

It was Axel.

"Who are you?" Riku demanded, ready to attack. He didn't recognize this person, but one look told him he belonged to the gang of black-robed men that had tormented him and Sora in Castle Oblivion. And the last thing he wanted was to deal with these people again.

Axel looked more amused than anything else. "You can put that away, hot stuff," he said with a smirk. "I'm not stupid enough to take you on. You can call me Axel."

Riku kept out the Soul Eater. "How long have you been following us?"

"I didn't need to follow you. Your scent is recognizable from miles away…and even three days' walking isn't going to get you far from Castle Oblivion. Not around here, anyway."

"We're not just trying to 'get away'," Mickey protested.

"So when are your friends showing up?" Riku demanded.

Axel laughed, which only unnerved Riku more. The red-haired man slowly began to circle around them, never breaking eye contact. "Maybe if I had any friends they'd show up. But you and the Keyblade master did a number on our little club. It'll be awhile before anyone shows up again."

Riku realized that Axel's eyes had drifted to the note in his hand, and he clenched his fist tighter. He hesitated, then finally lowered the Soul Eater. "What do you want?"

"I want out of this place," Axel gestured at the surrounding landscape. "And you're going to help me."

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End Chapter 1!

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