Dreams of a Sleeping Heart

Author: Xiaou-Xijiang

Rating: PG

Summary: AU set in the time before Sora and co. heads off to Hollow Bastion, after Neverland. The group is in Traverse Town waiting for Cid to install the Navi-G's into the Gummi Ship, and decides to stay the night before taking off. Want more…read.

Disclaimer: Square and Disney own Kingdom Hearts; not me…okay?

Blinking stars filled the darkest sky, slowly dimming under the onslaught of demons. On the sanctuary of Traverse Town, the armies of heartless were slowly multiplying. But a warrior, a hero, was fighting.

The keyblade swung, tearing the darkness away with a viscous fervor. The keyblade wielder's arm trembled a bit from the impact, but his eyes were alight with excitement. Turning he quickly blocked the Air Soldier's attack before swiftly countering; smiting the heartless with a cocky laugh. The heartless dissipated in a cloud of broken void.

A rush of adrenaline filled his body. It was always like this…the weight of the keyblade in his hands, the rush of fire that ignited in his blood, the way his body automatically moved forward with its deadly swing…he loved all of it.

His spiky hair stood on end, falling into his eyes as he moved. His balance was light and he rested his weight on the balls of his feet. He was wired, high on this adrenaline, so much so that he felt the Large Body charging at him before he saw him and expertly he rolled out of its charge.

The huge heartless shifted his fat; quizzically scratching his head as he searched for the boy who had eluded his grip. With a grunt the boy thrust, exploiting the weakness in the Large Body's back. His keyblade plunged into the void, revealing the light and freeing the heart trapped inside. The boy's cocky smirk widened as he collected the reward that had spewed from his fallen enemy.

Sora, the lost boy from Destiny Island was here. Wielding the sacred keyblade, he will be the one to save us all from the shadows.

Sora quickly moved as he pocketed his munny, the strange gold and blue orbs fitting smoothly in his vest pocket. The weight of his spoils was becoming quite noticeable, but still he moved with grace and balance.

"Ha!" he yelled; his voice pointed at the wizard cornering a Shadow heartless. "Beat that Donald! Seven and counting!" He swung the keyblade so that it rested on shoulder, his other hand came down to rest on his hip.


Sora's blue eyes widened to see a ball of flame streaking through the air; scorching the night as it flew towards its target: Sora's head. Sora dove out of the way, rolling, as the spell shot past him to hit the Air Soldier behind him. The heartless shrieked and exploded in a rain of munny and sparks.

The air around Sora was scorching hot; and the wind bleeding with heat.

"Oh, man," Sora groaned, tenderly touching his charred left sleeve. It was darkened and faintly glowing, and Sora could just make out the pink flesh through a gaping hole.

With eyes as dark as the ocean on the blackest night, he glared at Donald. A growl rose in his throat as he caught the duck's grin.

"Cutting it a little close wouldn't you say, Donald?" Sora ground out through clenched teeth. The night was dark, darker than usual as the fading stars blackened the normally starry night. But the florescent lights of 3rd district illuminated the battlefield, making Donald's smug, unrepentant face all the more clear.

The King's wizard shrugged with that same God-awful grin plastered on his beak. The duck stood only about three feet tall not even that, but his anger could match that of a person double his size.

Not to mention the annoying habit he has of ticking me off, Sora thought sullenly, but there was no real anger beyond his thoughts. Though the duck was really, really annoying some times, he was his friend and had helped him out of some pretty bad situationseven if the duck annoyed the crap out Sora while doing so.

The wizard turned quickly, striking Sora out of his musings. Donald raised his wand and cast Gravira on the Large Body that had just appeared behind him. The dark pull of gravity brought the huge heartless to the ground, giving enough time for Goofy, the King's head knight, to ram the Large Body in the back.

Goofy was loyal, tremendously so, and was always there when you needed him. The knight was Sora's friend and referee of Sora's battles with Donald. But as always, the warm-hearted warrior found a way to placate both of the two hot heads' ire, without antagonizing either one.

I wonder how he always does that? Sora thought as he stood and became aware, again, of his sleeve's predicament. All good thoughts about Donald flew out of his head and Sora's thoughts turned positively mutinous against the powerful wizard.

Stupid duck, did that on purpose…

Sora crouched low, his keyblade ready to taste the lucid void of the heartless. He felt Donald and Goofy move into position: their backs to his back; protecting each other.

The shadows were coming. He could feel them. That awful feeling he felt whenever they were near. The cold chill in his bones.

They appeared in a flurry of shadows and obsidian waves. The night cooled and twisted around darkness; glowing eyes leered from the shadows.

They charged.

Sora gripped his keyblade tighter and grinned a dangerous, reckless grin.

The shadows came and Sora swung.

The bad thing about Cura is, it does nothing for exhaustion. Sora thought as he dragged himself through 1st District.

He could feel Donald and Goof's pants as they slumped after him. He knew they were tired, he knew they were weakening, he felt the same way…but Kairi…

Kairi was somewhere on that world. He could feel it. Riku, Kairi both of them were there. He knew. If he could just see them…then he'd get things figured out. When he found them…

First he would make sure Kairi was okay.

She did look sick the last time I saw her. Dead, almost, if it wasn't for the slow rise and fall of her chest…

Sora's gaze turned sad and unbeknownst to him, Donald and Goofy shared troubled looks behind his back. Mentally shaking his head, he pulled himself away from those thoughts. Kairi was fine. She has to be.

After he found her, he'd question Riku. Maybe I'll beat him a couple good ones for being a jerk…

Sora tightened his grip on his keyblade for emphasis. Then he grinned. Maybe Kairi could help. She does have a mean right hook, he mused grimacing as a phantom pain passed across his jaw.

Yeah. I'll find both of them, and then everything will be fine.

On this note his mood lifted a bit and he picked up the pace, adrenaline making his exhaustion almost nonexistent. The moogle walked by, nodding his head at the boy and his crew as he passed. Sora gave an absent nod back and made a mental reminder to head towards the Synthesis Shop later.

Sighing, he jogged up the stairs moving towards the meeting place where Cid stood waiting.

"What happened to you?" Cid asked, his gruff voice made huskier by either concern or amusement Sora couldn't tell. But knowing Cid, it was probably the later. Sora huffed in annoyance than puffed out his chest in pride.

"Just beat up a bunch of heartless, not a big deal. Barely got a scratch," he boasted, his gloved hand moving towards his hips.

Cid's hand came up to move the tooth pick between his lips to the other side of his mouth. He raised his eyebrows at the slouching group.

"I see…" he said, his voice telling that he had seen right through Sora's bravado. Shrinking down to normal size Sora leaned on his Keyblade for support, trying to be inconspicuous. No need for Cid to know that he was practically dead on his feet.

"Is it finished?" Sora asked, his voice loosing its usual vibrancy.

Cid gave him a look before wiping his mouth with the back of his wrist. Why does he always do that? Sora asked, the action for some reason beginning to irk him.

"Yeah. She's hot and ready to go," he said, his large hands crossing over his chest. Sora's eyes lit. Finally! Now we can---

"But I think you should wait till tomorrow to leave."

Sora stopped and slumped further as he stared at the older man.

"What? Why?" he demanded, his voice taking a whine-like quality.

Cid gave him a look like he thought he was an idiot. "Because you look like you're about to fall over, kid. And Hollow Bastion is not a place to prance around in. It's dangerous. And you need your strength."

Sora's irritation grew. "Stop calling me 'kid', you old geezer! And I don't prance! I'm perfectly fine---"

"You maybe, but your friends aren't. Look at them, kid. If you had any sense at all you would stay the night. If you're gonna run head long into danger, ya might as well do it when you have a chance. Going now is gonna get ya killed," Cid said, his wrist once again passing over his lips.

That stopped Sora's biting response. Guiltily, he turned to look at his friends. They were silent behind him, their breaths coming out in short pants. Sora winced and guilt struck him deep. All this time they were like this, and he didn't even notice, and they as always, didn't say a word.

"Guys, um…I'm sorry…" he started his hand coming behind his head to ruefully rub the back of his head.

"Ah, that's okay, Sora." came Goofy's immediate response. Donald's response to his plea was to show his back and tap his foot impatiently.

Well, I apologized didn't I? Sora asked the beginnings of irritation rising in his chest. He squashed it down impatiently. Now wasn't the time.

"Well, make up your mind, we don't got all day!" the wizard said. Though his words were biting his voice held no malice, and a phantom grin passed across Sora's lips. That was as close to forgiveness that you'll ever get with Donald.

"Hollow Bastion will still be waiting for ya in the morning," Cid piqued in, his voice persuading and commanding all at once.

Sora sighed. Guess I could use a little sleep…

"Fine," He said, his voice merely a whisper. Sora turned his back to all of them and looked to the sky.

Kairi, wait for me…

Sora kicked off his shoes; the heavy yellow foot wears slapping the floor with a hard thump. His body felt like lead, and all he wanted to do was fall back on that bed and sleep for the rest night, no the whole week…yeah, that'd be nice.

The group had trudged to the Hotel in 2nd district. After clearing the place of all heartless, (had to make sure there would be no surprise attacks while they were sleeping) the unlikely heroes had slumped into the Red Room, eager to reach the sanctuary of the cool sheets.

"Gwarsh, I'm tired…" Goofy sighed as he removed his boots from his seat on the bed. The knight's voice was strained and exhausted; almost loosing it's cheerful quality. Donald gave a long-suffering sigh as he set his wand against the wall by the bed.

Sora nodded in agreement. The boy shrugged off his white and black jacket and messily threw the piece of clothing in the general direction of the table. Cleanliness was really not his thing. The air in the room was humid, still hot from Donald's infamous Fira spell. The heat of it still hung in the room. Sora couldn't decide whether the temperature left from the spell was mildly soothing or simply irritating.

Kinda like Donald in a way, Sora thought and he grinned as he zipped down his red shirt and let it hang around his hips. That out of the way, Sora welcomed the heat as it brushed against his bare chest and enjoyed the way his crown pendent felt cold against his flesh.

Goofy and Donald were already in bed, the coverlet pushed carelessly at their feet. Their limbs were already tangled in the ruby sheets and their snores reached his ears. Sora's eyes were already half closed as he moved carefully over Donald to the space that was left for him between his two friends. The boy carefully avoided the duck…waking him up now would only cause a scene that would lead to a nightlong argument ending with him almost being fried by the wizard's thundra spell. No…he was too tired to deal with that, better to just tread carefully.

Sora sighed as he fell to the sheets. They felt heavenly. The boy wiggled under the fabric and welcomed the sensation.

This is nice…he purred in his mind, a smile of contentment gracing his angelic face. He could feel Goofy to his right and Donald to his left, and he felt safe between them. Lost in the softness of sheets and pillows, he succumbed to sleep.

Sora felt something brush his nose. His eyes still closed; he wriggled it trying to loose the irritating sensation.

A very feminine giggle brought him out of his slumber, and owlishly he blinked away the last vestiges of sleep. His first conscious thought was how slender and pale Goofy looked. When did he get curves? He thought, as his mind cleared away the fog of sleep and began to focus.

Goofy and Donald were gone…and Sora realized that he was staring face to face with a very small, very barely covered Kairi lying in their place. Sora started and leapt up, the sheet falling from his shoulders as he tried to stop his galloping heart.

Kairi giggled at him and buried her head deeper into the pillow, dark blue eyes staring at him, shining with mirth. Sora frowned at her, before an easy grin spread across his face.

"Jeez, Kairi, what are you trying to do, scare me to death?" he asked in mock upset as he raise one dusted eyebrow at her. He was vaguely reminded of that one time she did the same thing. It had been the time when a rare storm hit the Island, and frightened she had ran all the way to his house and burrowed in his bed. You could imagine the shock he had felt. But that was a long time ago, back on Destiny Island…

Sora was jolted back to reality. This wasn't Destiny Island, this was Traverse Town, and Kairi couldn't be here…could she?

Sora's easy grin faded to a confused scowl.

Kairi smiled. "Oh, boy. I know that look. You're thinking. And that can never be good."

"Hey!" Sora exclaimed indignantly.

The girl giggled and buried her head even deeper into the softness of the pillow. Sora looked at her and wondered.

"Are you okay? Where are you?"

Kairi sighed and her face lost its earlier mirth. The girl sat up and the sheet dropped away.

"Is that my shirt?" Sora asked, his deep blue eyes surveying the familiar cut and design.

The sleeves were too big, and they slid off her shoulders. The front was zipped up covering her---Sora blushed---feminine parts from his view. The jacket that didn't quite reach his hips fell down to the middle of her thighs. Sora thought absently, Sheesh! Looks better on her, than it did on me…

Kairi fidgeted and brought her legs underneath her as she absently picked at the hem.

"Do you mind?" she asked her voice so sweet that Sora knew that if he didn't answer correctly he would be in for a lot of hurt.

"No…just uh, just wondering." His hands came up to the back of his head to scratch it, an easy grin flowing to his face.

"Humph," she said as she regarded him, with intense blue eyes.

"Something bad is going to happen I just know it…" she whispered, her voice going soft as her shoulders slumped even more.

Sora's eyes widened as he watched her. Crap, she's getting that look. I hate that look.

"Riku is moving away from us, I can feel him losing himself in the shadows…" Sora could barely make out her words they were so soft. Sora pasted on a forced smile.

"Aww, he's not going anywhere, cocky jerk's too stubborn. Besides I won't let him…stupid green eyed freak isn't going anywhere until I get my licks, and beat him at crab fishing," Sora began listing on his fingers.

"And beat him at racing, fighting, swimming, climbing, and eating those weird cheese cakes…remember those?" Kairi nodded and gave a small smile. Her eyes were beginning to sparkle underneath burgundy bangs.

Kairi gave a smallgiggle. "You two were so impossible. You both ate those cakes so fast I thought you breathed them in…"

Sora grinned at her smile. "Yeah, I almost beat him too, if it wasn't for Waka and that stupid ball…" he trailed off sullenly, secretly happy at her change of mood.

"Wakka had the worst timing! I thought you were going to choke and die," she remembered with a giggle.

"Humph, Riku: cocky jerk didn't let me live it down for weeks." He complained, before giving in to her laugh of delight with a small chuckle.

They sat together in a companionable silence. In this silence Kairi had moved beside him and they both leaned against the headboard staring at the designs on the fabric of the canopy.

"Sora?" her voice floated through the silence.

"Hmmm?" he asked his eyes half closed with his contentment.

"Do you think things can ever be the way they were?" her question stabbed him, and the content he had felt disappeared like ghost on the wind.

Sora had asked himself that very same question every time he gazed out of the window of the Gummi ship as it sailed through the sky. And his heart filled with sadness at the answer he came to.

"I...Kairi, we've seen to many things for anything to be the same anymore." Sora winced. It hurt to even say it.

"Even if we got back to Destiny Island tomorrow, nothing could be the same. We've seen to many things for any of us to forget, and..." Donald. Goofy.

I can't just forget and ditch them. They're my friends. I can't forget them. I won't. Sora sighed and winced as he felt Kairi's sadness cut through him like a sharpened dagger.

Sighing he wrapped an arm around the girl's shoulder and he gently curled her to his side, smiling as her face nuzzled against his chest. They had sat like this only once before, when Riku had come down with a nasty virus. The days he was sick the sun's rays didn't shine as brightly, and the sea didn't welcome them as it normally would.

The night when Riku's fever had escalated Kairi had run to his side and together they had curled around each other on the dock and stared out to the sea. The sun had been setting and the glow cast a golden glint to the water.

Kairi had cried into his shirt and (though he'd never admit it) crystal tears had fallen from his eyes too, falling from the orbs to land on Kairi's short hair.

"Tell me about your friends," Kairi whispered, her warm breath tickling his chest. He did. He told of how they met. They had fallen from the sky, literally, and squashed him in the process. And he told of Donald's uncanny ability to annoy the crap out of him, Goofy's unquestioning loyalty and naiveté. He told of his journeys to Wonderland, Deep Jungle, The Olympus Coliseum, Agrabah, the adventures in Monstro's belly (Kairi had interjected with a disgusted snort at the thought of being inside a whale, buther eyes had gone haunted at the mention of Riku's involvement, and Sora wondered if this fact had proven her fears true.)He told of his adventures underwater in Atlantica, as a monster in Halloween Town, and his recent adventure in Neverland and his new found joy of flying.

Kairi, as he said she would, didn't believe that he actually flew. Sora asked exasperatedly, "Why can't you believe me?"

Kairi raised a skeptical eyebrow.

"I believe you," she said in that voice that said she really didn't.

Sora snorted. Yeah, right. "Well, I'm gonna prove it to you. Next time I'll bring you with me, and we can fly together. If you beg me enough." A roguish grin lit his face as she gave him a less than amused look.

"Still the same as ever, aren't you Sora?" she asked. Her voice led him back to the evening before the heartless attacked. Sora, don't ever change.

He held her tighter. I never did, Kairi…

"What's going to happen now?" Kairi's voice was sad again.

"Well, we're going to find Riku, and hopefully beat some sense into him."

Kairi's eyes had widened and she looked up at him, horrified.

"You're going to fight him?" her voice was worried, boarding on desperation, her eyes were wide and pleading.

He hurried to reassure her.

"No, no...at least…" at least I hope not. Riku was pretty strong, even when he was pounding at Sora with the sword made of wood. I think I still have the bruises to prove it, he thought with a wince.

"Please, don't fight him, Sora. He's powerful, and he's…he's…" she trailed off and her eyes grew unfocused. "I can barely see him anymore. Something's there. Something dark and brimming with power."

Her fingers absently played with his chain. "He doesn't even feel like Riku anymore. Please be careful."

The bluest eyes he's ever seen implored at him to promise her this one thing. And Sora couldn't refuse.

"I promise, I'll be careful." A slow grin flickered briefly against his face. "I'm always careful."

"One other thing…"

He raised an eyebrow.

"Sometimes the thing we seek the most, is in the one place we always fail to look…but…" Kairi buried her face in his chest.

"You'll find me won't you? Sora? You'll find me…"

"Kairi…" I'll always find you…

Sora reached over to embrace her and buried his face in her hair. "Kairi," he whispered. "I'll find you…"

"Sora?" a deep voice asked, tinged and guttural.

Kairi's voice is not that deep… a puff of air spewed in his face, and Sora grimaced.

Kairi's breath is not that stinky…

Sora peeked one eye open and came face to face with Goofy's snout.

"Gwarsh…" the knight said, eyes wide, trapped in Sora's tight embrace.

"GYAHH!" the boy yelled in mortification throwing himself away from the confused knight, rolling over Donald and startling the duck awake in the process.

"WAHHH!" the wizard squawked as the boy and duck fell from the bed in a chaotic heap of tangled sheets, limbs, and feathers.

"What's the big idea!" the duck yelled obviously not happy about the way he was awakened.

"It's not like I did it on purpose!" the boy exclaimed trying unsuccessfully to get up.

"Ugh," he groaned and shoved at Donald who was currently tangled in the sheet. "Get off me, you stupid chicken!"

Donald growled. "I am not a chicken!" he squawked tearing himself away from the sheets and raising his index finger.

Sora groaned. "Oh, man…" a low voltage bolt of lightening crashed down from the ceiling striking the boy and jolting him violently.

"Is there anything ya need to do before ya head off?" Cid asked, his pick moving in his lips. Sora rubbed the back of his neck and sent a glare to the Royal wizard.

Donald, for his part glared right back obviously still sore about the events of this morning.

Stupid duck didn't have to hit me that hard.

He thought sullenly. After getting shocked by that nasty spell, Donald had proceeded to unashamedly beat him over the head with his wand.

And my head still hurts…Sora sent another glare towards Donald for good measure before turning back to older man.

"Yeah, we already stopped by the Items Shop, Merlin's and knocked around some heartless." He twirled his keyblade on his fingers before resting the weapon on his shoulder.

"I think we're ready." He said, confidently, his cocky grin back in place.

Cid chewed on his pick thoughtfully. Is it just me or does that thing keep getting bigger and bigger? Sora wondered.

"Alright kid, but be careful." Cid warned, his eyes looking right at Sora.

Please, be careful…her voice was fresh in his mind.

"I promise," Sora answered.


Reviews are most welcomed. Do you like it; hate it, tell me! This is my first fic so I am very interested in what you think about it…

Ja ne!