Welcome to Two Sides of a Coin!
I love writing new fics. I don't know why, I just get a kick out of starting something new. Hopefully this will be good. Um, the full summary to this is in my profile, if you wanna check it out. is a bastard and won't let me fit it all on .
By the time you're reading this, I'll have several other chapters done so I can update almost weekly. It really depends on how many reviews I get. If I don't get reviews, how do I know you like it or not? Then I'll become unsure and update less and less. Look at Catching Fire! Burned and crashed down into the ground. This story is replacing it, I hope you find it good.
Warnings: A darker interpretation of Disney. Also, the worlds... um, yeah, they're a bit different. But you'll see. There will be no, erm, world traveling, I guess you could say. The world isn't confined to only a few main parts like the game was. Remember, this is AU. And no main pairings. No yaoi, no yuri, no nothing. Unless you count DonaldxDaisy and MickeyxMinney as important pairings.
So, after these stupidly long author notes, let the story begin!
Heads or Tails?
"HEY, YOU, GET BACK HERE!"
He welcomed the rush of adrenaline that suddenly spread through his body, leaving tingles in its wake as it spread from his heart to the tips of his toes. A wide grin spread across his face at the familiar sensation. It almost made him feel like wings had suddenly sprouted from his back and, with a flourish, he was gone. But his legs were the substitute, and they did just fine.
Said legs were moving so fast you could hardly see them, let alone keep track of where they were heading. And right now, they were heading down the main street as quick as lightning. His spiky brown here was matted to his forehead as he sweat in the sun's heat and from the burn in his aching muscles. But these were the times he felt more powerful then ever, exhilarated at the fright of the chase.
Things whipped out of sight too fast for him to see as he made a beeline for his favorite hiding spot. The bag in his hand bounced against his legs with a dull thump, jumbling its contents. But that was okay, there was nothing too valuable in there. But the way those guards were chasing him it was like he had stolen an antique vase from the halls of Disney Castle.
There were five of them. All wore white shirts with bright blue vests lined in silver fabric. A red and black insignia was on the left breast pocket of the jacket, bearing a black mouse head, a bright red background surrounding it. They had baggy white pants with heavy brown belts looping around their waists, the sheaths of their swords bumping along their legs as they ran and somewhat slowing them down.
Now this wasn't anything abnormal. City-dwellers didn't spare the chase a second glance, going about their business. Ten years ago they might have been alarmed at the sight of muscular men chasing after a small boy, but now it was just part of their daily lives.
But this wasn't a little boy. He may look like it on the outside with his boyish features and somewhat short height, but he was really fourteen years old. He had shining, bright blue eyes that sometimes gave away his cover come dusk. He had tanned skin from so much time out in the sun and brown hair that stuck up at all angles. His best friend sometimes jested that he had magical powers; how else, he inquired, could his hair defy gravity like that?
He was wearing cream-colored, dirty pants that had holes in the knees, exposing scraped up skin. His pants hung low, past his feet and trailing behind his heels. He was wearing skimpy brown flip-flops, the thong rubbing annoyingly at the sensitive skin between his toes, turning the flesh raw. He had on a white shirt that had torn sleeves, the shirt ending just before his elbows. Over it was a dark blue vest, tattered and worn with pockets on the outside that seemed useless, since they had holes in the bottoms. But on the inside was a treasure cove of hiding spots, large pockets perfect for stowing away objects he preferred to keep out of sight.
Also, Sora got the right to say "I'm all muscle." It was true. There wasn't' an ounce of fat on his body and, if you lifted his shirt up, you could see stubs of rib starting to poke through his skin. He was fourteen, he looked twelve, he acted eight and he weighed as much as a seven-year-old. The only thing on him were muscles and bones.
But the biggest mistake anyone had ever made, what everyone thought of him, wasn't his age. It was his will. When you thought of a crook, you thought of a sleezy-nosed rat that only thought of themselves and would sooner burn down an orphanage then give up any money and wouldn't shed a tear about it. But Sora wasn't like that; in fact, he was the complete opposite. He had a strong sense of justice, in fact. You wouldn't think that of a crook. But he didn't want to do what he did. He just had to.
Sometimes what you needed could only be obtained by taking it. And that was what he was forced to live by. Not that anyone would hear it; they were too busy trying to throw him in jail.
The shouts were still there, but dimmer now. He was starting to lose them, just like always. Smiling even wider, Sora didn't slow down. He had learned his lesson about that; you never know when someone might jump out at you from an alley. No, it was best to keep on going until he felt completely safe. Then again, he never really felt completely safe unless the other was there. He felt weak depending on somebody, but that was the way things just had to be.
And always would be.
His destination was in sight, a place had so jokingly called "Headquarters". The place was so simple to find, and they used that to their advantage; who expect sneaky thieves such as themselves to use a place so obvious?
No one was around now. The cheerful sun seemed darker from here, but it was still directly over head. It was noon, the hottest and busiest time of the day. But not here. Here it was the time of slumber.
Cautiously peeking over his shoulder to make sure no one was there, he hopped over a brown table and under a tattered cloth roof. It was an abandoned market shop, something that probably sold antiques. There was old, dusty vases laying around, most shattered and chipped. He and his friend had done a thorough search of the place before deciding it was abandoned; they had to make sure the owner didn't come back to discover his shop was being used as a hideout for thieves..
The area was suspected to be the home of many robbers, but so far they only saw an occasional person wander around, checking under stools and in rooms to look for extra money that may be lying around. But Sora and his partner in crime had swept the area, checking in every nook and cranny to take anything of value. Not that it would be missed; this place was completely deserted.
A raggedy blue and red carpet hung over an arch. Pushing it aside, Sora stepped into a dim storage area, the only light coming from a window on the far side of the room. It was dingy and dark, other pots and vases littering the corners of the room. Three was a throw rub heaped in the middle of the floor, holed dotted everywhere, showing where moths had decided to have a feast.
To the average eye, this place was just an empty warehouse, just as useless as the shop it had once supplied. But to the keen, there was something else. Something hidden in the back, something the store keeper obviously wanted to keep to himself.
In the back of the room, a small nook jutted inwards. A few old, ratty newspapers lay in uneven piles. But if you leaned in and stared hard at the wall, you could see a crack as thin as a hair winding up from the wall, turning downwards at around five feet, and back to the floor.
The teen stepped up to it. Firmly pressing his hand to the cold, hard surface of the wall, he pushed. He heard the scraping of rock-on-rock as the makeshift door swerved on its hinges, slowly creaking open.
Smiling, Sora stepped inside, careful to push the door back into place before looking around, dropping his burden to the floor.
He was in an even larger room, but this one had no light except for the flickering flame of a burning-out torch on the left wall. As he rushed over to tend to it, he passed by several stacks of items. One was trash: empty boxes and food packages strewn in the corner. He had to remember to get rid of that somewhere. They usually dumped it in the ditch by the side of the river; there was so much trash in there no one would ever notice someone regularly used it as a dumpster.
There were pots here and there. They were some of the few pots that weren't reduced to ruble and they used them to store any money they had gotten. As he stepped over one, he peered miserably into it and sighed heavily. It was empty.
Sora picked up the flint and steel that lay on the ground and began striking it. It was so worn out he was lucky to get a spark. But today, he saw a flicker of light erupt. Grinning, he used it to set another stick aflame and he stuck it into the large basin. Watching as the fire burned along the short log, he piled more wood in until the flight danced merrily through the room.
"Must be my lucky day," Sora murmured, and blinked as it came out in a hoarse whisper. It was then that he realized how thirsty he was, and just how bone dry his mouth was.
Scowling, he slipped his water flash from it's holder on his waist. Shaking it, he smiled at the loud sloshing noise he heard. Flicking the cap off with a thumb, he brought it to his lips and tilted it back, taking a deep swig of it. And then another, and another. The water was warm but it washed the stickiness out of his mouth and the tension in his muscles lessened slightly.
He drank the flash dry and pouted when he drained the last drop. Maybe his friend would have some water left... then again, the brunette probably didn't need it as much as his friend did.
Sora walked across the room, empty water flash laying on the ground. It was stuffy in here and he longed to open the door, just a crack. But he knew that if he did, the guards would spot it in an instant. He could still hear then. Feel them in his bones. Their heavy, ragged breathing. The heaving thunk of their boots as they hit the dirt ground. The swinging and banging of doors as they searched every room, every inch of space in the area. But they could never catch him. The place was well hidden and damn well impossible to see. The only reason he and his partner had ever found it was when the brunette tripped over the throw rug and slammed into the door, opening it a crack. But it was enough.
So he strayed around the stifling room, eyes skimming on the contents that had been placed carelessly on the ground. Two large mats of pillows and skimpy blankets were in the corner, showing where they slept at night. Stealing food was one thing. Stealing giant beds was another. But other then that, the place was pretty much empty except for the occasional piece of trash. It wasn't much... it wasn't anything, really... but it was home.
And then he heard the door creak open.
It was hard to keep ice cream from melting in the hot summer sun.
It was hard to clear snow from a sidewalk when your neighbor was shoveling their own and sending the snow flying right over to you.
It was even harder to dodge a guard that seemed insistent on speaking to you when you really didn't give a damn.
King Mickey sighed, finally resigned to his fate. In front of him was the second in command of the Castle's Royal Guards, or the CRG. He was a very large man, towering a good five feet over his King and sending a shadow three times as long stretching over the marble floor. He wore the same uniform as those that had been chasing the cinnamon-haired boy earlier, only instead of silver lining, it was gold, showing he was a commander.
His round face was cherry red from running outside, chasing the thief that had stolen from a nearby bakery. Said thief was never caught, although he was rarely the one who did the actual stealing. Usually the silver-haired one was who did the actual stealing, but the two had been seen together so often it was made apparent they worked together.
The mouse king had so far managed to ditch the guards attempts to talk to him three times this week. But the lucky streak was broken as the commander had finally managed to corner him in the hallway.
Brain coming up blank with excuses to get out of this one, Mickey sighed. "Yes?"
The commander straightened himself up to his full height (his shadow grew a few feet), he said, "I'd like to discuss with you the status of two miscreants in the village.
King Mickey rolled his eyes; not this one again. "What do you want me to tell ya?" he asked. "There isn't anything we can do if you guys can't catch him!"
"I would like to request additional support," he said seriously, and in a very business-like tone. "One squad just isn't enough."
"There are only two of them, as you've told me before," Mickey pointed out. "One squad can certainly catch two people."
The commanders face flushed an even deeper red.
When the commander said nothing, Mickey went on, "I can't afford to give you any more men just to catch two crooks. You guys should be able to handle it, it's what you're trained to do, right?"
The commander nodded grudgingly. "Yes, your majesty."
King Mickey frowned. "Are these the same ones you've been chasing for nine years?"
The commander didn't bother to respond. Instead, he just nodded glumly.
"I don't get it," Mickey sighed. "Can't you have figured out a pattern by now? Places they like to steal from, a circle of stores, sightings?"
The guard shook his head. "Nothing, sire. They steal mainly food, but they get it from large food marts to picking it out of peoples bags. And they've been seen pretty much everywhere, but no one can keep an eye on them for more then half a minute!"
"Then what do ya suggest we do?" the king asked. "Besides more people," he added, seeing the commander open his mouth and predicting what he would say. "These people don't sound like the kind that can be caught by sheer force."
There was a brief pause before the man said, "Perhaps posters?"
King Mickey raised an eyebrow. "Posters?"
The guard jumped and blushed, realizing the stupidity of the statement. "Wanted posters, your majesty. Perhaps if everyone was on the look out for them, we'd have a better chance."
"But how are you supposed to get a picture of them when no one can keep them in their sights for even a minute?"
"A description," he quipped. "And a reward will keep people on their toes, as well. A reward means both money and it would raise awareness of the danger of these thieves."
King Mickey mulled it over in his head for a few moments before admitting defeat. "All right, then," he said. "Do whatever you want. But remember, this is a big gamble."
To his guards puzzled expression, he continued "The longer the wanted poster is up, the more people realize how hard they are to catch, and the more dangerous them may seem. If people get too scared, they'll start to panic."
The guard nodded. "Understood, your majesty," he said with a bow. "Thank you for your time."
As he turned around to leave, King Mickey asked something to the retreating man. "By the way, commander. How old are these fellas?"
There was a pregnant pause. After several long moments...
"Fourteen and fifteen years old."
His heart skipped several beats and a layer of perspiration developed in a thin layer over his brow. His breath came out in short, quick gasps as he watched the door slowly creak open.
And then he saw a flash of silver.
But no. The silver was actually hair, and it hung almost to the shoulder of a teen who stepped inside, smirking at Sora's change from frightened to undeniable relief.
"Riku!" Sora exclaimed. "Riku, you scared the shit out of me!"
Smirking, the teen shrugged lightly. "It's not my fault you're such a scaredy-cat, Sora"
Said scaredy-cat pouted. "I am not!" he said, huffing out his chest.
Riku laughed and walked over, poking his friend in the ribs and bringing the chest down to its original size. "Uh huh, sure you're not."
Dropping his sack down next to Sora (the brunette noted it looked slightly more bulky then his own) and walked over to the door. With what looked like ease, he slid the heavy door back into the frame, cutting off what little fresh air had been flowing through it moments ago.
"Admit it," Riku snorted, turning back around with a smug look on his face as he brushed silver hair out of his eyes. "You thought I was one of the damn guards."
Sora frowned. "Can you blame me?" he questioned, staring hard at his best friend's back as he emptied the contents of his and Sora's bag onto the floor. "They're getting smarter, Riku. You remember last week?"
Riku sighed heavily, sitting down. "Yes, I remember last week."
"Well I remember last week!" Sora said, as if Riku had said otherwise. "They were so close to the door I could hear them breathing!"
"That's just because you're paranoid, Sora."
"No I'm not!" Sora exclaimed. "And it's better then you who's acting like nothing's wrong!"
Riku's eyes flashed dangerously, causing Sora to shut up. "I know something's wrong," he said quietly. "I just don't flip out about it. Panicking will get us nowhere, and it certainly hasn't kept us safe these past nine years."
Sora was silent for a moment, just staring down at his friend who looked just as bad as Sora. His pants were a dark blood red, almost brown with age. He had on a light brown t-shirt that had a large tear in the side, the hole for the neck torn and frayed, as were the sleeves. He had a black vest on with a hood that was barely hanging on. They weren't coated with pockets as Sora's were, but provided better cover in the dark. He had dark rings under his eyes from keeping watch at night. Sora had offered to take the post every now and then, but Riku stubbornly refused, insisting Sora sleep. He, Riku, usually took a six or seven hour nap in the afternoon. That must be why he looked so tired at the moment; he was ready for some sleep.
He was also as rail-thin as his friend was from the days without food, days with scant rations. He usually forced Sora to take the bigger share when they barely had anything. He said something about it being no big deal, but Sora knew Riku was looking out for him. But he didn't know why; late at night, when Riku kept watch, he could hear grumbles from the older teens stomach. Sora knew Riku was in pain, he just didn't get why he went on like that. It made Sora feel guilty and... he felt like Riku was hiding something. But after all the things his best friend did for him, the brunette didn't push the subject.
"...I'm sorry..." Sora whispered, hanging his head low. "I shouldn't be afraid, I should be braver, but..."
His head snapped up when he felt a hand grip his shoulder gently. He hadn't even heard Riku stand up and walk over to him.
"It's fine," Riku said, gripping his shoulder in a reassuring matter.
Sora sighed. "I guess," he muttered. "But what are we going to do? What if they catch us?"
Riku shrugged. "Don't worry about it," he said. "They can't possibly catch us. Hell, they can't even find us!"
"They'll find us eventually," Sora muttered, casting sad eyes around their tiny home.
"We'll cross that bridge when we get to it," Riku said sternly. "Now come on, let's eat. I'm tired and I want to go to sleep."
Sora managed a small smile at the mention of food and followed Riku to the pile he had made on the floor and sat down next to his friend.
He started at the items they had managed to scrape up from the streets, mainly from the marts that lined the roads. There was one whole loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, a small package of cheese (Sora secretly admired Riku's skill at managing to sneak into an ice box) and two small melons.
"Good haul, today," Sora said, grinning.
Riku nodded, smiling. And then he began to organize the food into piles, like he always did. "We can eat half the loaf of bread today. Eat it with the cheese; that won't last until tomorrow."
As Sora began to break up the loaf of bread, Riku continued. Sora, normally annoyed by organization, let Riku do it. It gave them both a sense of security, knowing they'd live for that amount of days. Knowing they had enough food to last them. Actually, Sora was pretty sure Riku did this sorting thing for the brunette, not himself.
"We can have a melon for breakfast and eat the other loaf of bread tomorrow with some of the peanut butter. We can save the other melon for the day after tomorrows breakfast."
Smiling at the way it worked out, Riku said, "Then we'll go shopping again."
Sora smiled grimly at Riku's choice of words. 'Shopping' meant 'stealing' in their language. What Sora wouldn't give to have REAL money to shop with. But unfortunately, there was always those few choice details that kept him from that dream.
Seeing Sora's expression, Riku chuckled. "To think you would've gotten used to this by now."
"I can't believe YOU are!" Sora said, frowning. "Stealing is wrong, Riku!"
"And yet it keeps us alive," Riku pointed out, raising an eyebrow. "Besides, what else can they do with that food? You see the way they waste it, shoving it in their faces and throwing the rest out. At least we put it to good use."
"That doesn't mean I have to get used to it."
"No, it doesn't," Riku admitted. With a smirk, he said, "Then I guess you don't want any of this 'stolen' food?"
He laughed loudly at Sora's startled expression and as he began to shake his head furiously.
"Bastard," Sora muttered as Riku continued to laugh. And then, taking more then his fair share of bread and cheese, Sora began to eat.
That's all for this week. I have to go write chapter two now! I hope you all liked it, please give me any ideas on how to make it better! And don't kill me for them being 'OOC' because they aren't. This is, how I think, they would survive if they were in that kind of situation. Riku does what it takes to survive. And Sora hates stealing, but he does it to keep alive as well. You'll hear more of the reasoning when you learn more about their backgrounds.
... but Mickey's horribly OOC. DAMN YOU, MICKEY! DAMN YOOOUUU!