Warning: Subtle spoilers near the end about Riku. AU-ish, but only very lightly and a little OOC from Sora's normal happy self, but completely plausable.


"Sora!"

I turned around quickly at the sound of my name, and found myself faced once more with another ambush of Heartless. My companions and I fought through the Heartless, my Keyblade crashing down on one of the Heartless, slicing through its body easily.

Suddenly, I felt very ill; I froze instantly in my tracks, watching the Heartless as it died, screaming its pain, its outrage. I heard my name again and when I looked up, an armed Heartless was flying straight at me. I was so stunned I could barly move out of the way. I was expecting to hit, but when I felt nothing I looked back up and saw my "enemy", flouting in mid air, completely still.

"Sora! Snap out of it! Donald's Stop spell won't last long! Finish him off!" I heard Goofy yell as both he and Donald continued to fight the seemingly endless supply of Heartless.

Gulping, I turned to the defensless Heartless and gripped my kepblade tightly as I lunged at it, screaming to hear myself through my own deaf ears as as I hit it, over and over again. Finally, a few moments later when the spell wore off, the Heartless let out a roar as it disappeared in a cloud.

I paused for a moment, breathing heavily, trying to collect all of my thoughts.

A moment later, I ran straight into a pack of Heartless, swinging away madly, using ever skill and spell that I knew to destroy my enemies.

Finally, they were all gone and I was left standing, breathing heavily, not without a few battles scars, btu nothing a few of the potions that Goofy had couldn't cure. But, something was still bothering me.

The first time I'd faught against the Heartless, it was difficult to see another seemingly living creature die infront of me, especially if it was because of me. But, as we traveled, it became frightening how easy it was starting to become.

It seemed that I was no longer concentrating on my hopes, dream and goals when I fought the Heartless. Not to long ago, each time I swung my Keyblade, it was to deliver me closer and closer to my goal to getting back everything that I cherished. But, now…it seems that I swing my keyblade just because I have something to hit. I no longer see my home island, Kairi, or even Riku when I fight, I see the Heartless, and only the Heartless.

I wonder…will there come a time when even I will lose my heart to the Heartless? If someone as strong and brave as Riku could give in to the power of the Hearless, than what chance do I have?

The voices of Donald and Goofy, calling me toward our destination, snap me out of my thoughts. Smiling brightly, I laugh as I run to them, though the memory of the Heartless battle is still hovering through my thoughts, like a phantom python, ready to lunge and strangle me where I stand.

I need to have faith. Faith in my friends, faith in the Keyblade and faith in my own abilities. My destiny isn't written in some book held my an over-bearing being, it is shaped by my thoughts and actions.

I won't give in to the Hearless, for everyone's sake, I can't.

"Fight not with monsters lest ye become a monster." - Nietzsche