Another Heart

DISCLAIMER: Okay, I don't own any of the animes/mangas mentioned in here, got it? Nor do I own any Square Enix characters that appear. First off, this is a REMAKE of Kingdom Hearts with different characters. Sora, Riku, and Kairi do not exist in here, and there are totally different characters, capice?

CHAPTER 1: Likeness of a Soul

Raphael was falling, no doubt about it. Falling from an endless sky, preparing to plunge into endless darkness. All the world passed by in a fleeting instant, rushing to meet him. He braced himself for the impact, knowing full well it would be his demise. But it never came. He willed himself to open his eyes, only to reveal that he was standing on a large platform. On it was a large picture of some pink-haired girl he did not recognize, but even more intriguing were the three pedestals that rose up out of it.

To unlock thy heart, thou must choose thy path… Raphael gasped at the voice.

"Who's there!" He called. Thou must choose thy path…What art thou? Art thou true of body? A golden sword appeared on the first pedestal. Art thou true of sight? A pair of pistols appeared on the second. Or art thou true of mind? A staff appeared on the last. Only thou canst choose… "Ooookay," Raphael muttered. "May as well…"

He strode up to a pedestal, and picked up the guns, firing them experimentally. The power of the gunner… The ability to destroy thy foes at a distance… Is this thy path? Raphael set the pistols down. "No, I don't think so," he said quietly. He examined the staff. The moment it touched his hands, he felt an electric energy course through his veins. The power of the mage…The ability to conjure your enemies' demise, and your allies' salvation… Is this thy path? Once again, Raphael set the weapon down; he was naturally wary of all things magic. So he took the sword, and gave it a practice swing. The power of the warrior…The ability to defend your friends and vanquish darkness… Be this thy path? Raphael pondered that for a moment. "Sure, why not?" he replied.

The voice continued. Now that thou hast chosen thy path, thou must give something in return…Choose something to relinquish… "Figures there'd be a catch," he grumbled. He picked up the staff again. The power of the mage… You relinquish this power? "Yes," Raphael said. This dream was seriously starting to freak him out. Your path has been chosen…You must not stray from it, lest you be consumed. A pool of darkness formed around Raphael's feet, and before he could react, fell through again. He landed on another platform, this time sporting an auburn-haired girl dressed in pink, with a catlike creature held in her arms. A door magically appeared on the far end of the platform, and Raphael walked up to it. The voice spoke up again. This door… thou wouldst do well to remember it… Raphael instinctively reached for the handle, but his hand passed right through it. A large wooden box appeared behind him. To open the door, you must be strong. Show me your strength! The sword from before appeared in Raphael's hand. He quickly hacked away at the box, reducing it to splinters in no time. Very good. However, your strength will not be enough. You must use what you find to keep yourself alive. A smaller box appeared. Inside was a bottle filled with a blue liquid. Raphael popped out the stopper and drained it in one gulp. He instantly felt energized. He realized that the door now seemed to have gained substance, and he walked up to it, gently knocking on it. Sure it was now solid, he tried pulling on the knob. It wouldn't budge. Do not worry; the day when thee open the door is both very near and far away… This guy was really starting to piss him off. He was about to make some sort of cynical retort, but the door opened in a flash of light.

When he opened his eyes again, he was outside, in his backyard, of all places. Oddly enough, three of his friends were there. He walked up to a boy sitting on his fence, looking out across the sea. His blue hair was tied in a red bandana, and he wore a loose red t-shirt with baggy pants. "Hey, Serge!" Raphael called.

"What makes us strong?" Serge asked disinterestedly. "Where do we get our strength from?"

"Huh?" Raphael was a little put-off by the sudden question. "Have you lost it, man?"

Serge ignored the comment. "Well, are you gonna answer or not?"

Raphael groaned; this dream was getting old fast. "Um… I guess strength comes from within…"

Serge looked away. "Can we really survive on our own?" Raphael backed away, and turned instead to another boy with long black hair and a blood-red cloak, who was sitting underneath a tree.

"Maybe Vincent is at least normal…" Raphael strode over to the older boy. "Hey Vince! What's up!"

Vincent looked at Raphael absently. "What is it you fear most?"

Again with the crazy questions. "Well, if I had to pick one thing, I'd have to say… dying."

Vincent gave him a skeptical look. "Is death… really all that bad?"

Raphael shook his head in disgust. Couldn't he have a normal dream, just once? He finally turned to a red-haired girl in a purple skirt. Her hair was tied up in pigtails, and she was leaning up against the wall of his house, looking very bored. Raphael called out to her. "Hey, Mint!"

Mint turned to look at him. "What's most important to you?" she asked quietly. "What do you find most precious?"

"That's easy! My friends are most important to me!" Raphael snapped, with just a little more venom than intended.

"But isn't your own well-being important to you?" She asked. Then, the image of his backyard disappeared, leaving Raphael in darkness again.

The voice returned. Thou cherish thy friends most of all. Thou fear death. Thou believeth power flows from within. Thy path is set; thou art almost ready

Yet another platform materialized beneath him. This one had a picture of a black-haired woman in what looked like a sailor fuku, and a quiver was slung over her back, along with a bow. There was nothing to speak of on this particular platform. Thou hath done well, but how shalt thou fare against thy enemy? A black, imp-like creature came out of the floor. It stood about three feet in height, and sported two small and tattered wings. It leapt at him, and he frantically dodged out of the way, slashing at it. It dissipated into a pool of darkness, and disappeared. Beware those that have no souls; they will drag thee into darkness…At that moment, a huge number of the shadow things materialized all around him. Let thy light shine strong, lest you fail, and be devoured by darkness. He hacked and slashed at the little demons, which dropped like so many flies beneath a flyswatter. He discovered that they left behind little orbs of light, which his body absorbed on contact. The instant he touched one, he felt a wave of energy flood his body, and was healed somewhat. Once he'd felled a good ten or so, the rest retreated and disappeared. A staircase appeared nearby, leading to another platform. Raphael jogged up the stairs, noticing that each step he climbed, the one behind him disappeared. When he reached the next platform, he noted it had another strange girl depicted on it. Her flaming orange hair was spiked all over the place, and she wore goggles. A baggy white t-shirt and skintight black shorts completed her image, and she was clutching a brown and white dog in her arms.

However, the voice continued, beware, for the closer thou art to light, the greater thy shadow is… Raphael looked nervously behind him. His shadow had grown to nearly three times its usual size, and there was something not right about it; it was moving on its own. It rose up, and slowly transformed into a giant version of the monsters he'd met before, with much bigger wings and indeed, much bigger fists. Twin red eyes pierced through its otherwise featureless face. "Wonderful," Raphael said sarcastically. "I have to beat that thing!"

The monster threw a punch at the floor, which was dodged. As Raphael slashed at the hand again and again, some of the little shadow creatures appeared. While he fought those off, the fist withdrew, and the giant thing leaned back, releasing balls of energy from a hole n its chest. Raphael dodged these, and the remaining imps were obliterated. It punched the floor again, conjuring the little imp-things. Suddenly, an idea struck Raphael. He ran up the thing's arm, and repeatedly slashed the creature's head. Finally, it let loose a bloodcurdling scream of agony, and disappeared. The platform faded out, and the voice said faintly, Now, thou art ready for this journey… Do not stray from thy path, or suffer the fate that so many other worlds have…

He was falling again, this time through a clear blue sky. Looking below, he saw the white-sand beach of his island home, and fast asleep on it was… Raphael gasped; the sleeping figure was himself. Once again, he braced himself for an impact, and crashed into himself.

Raphael woke with a start, gasping for air. He was still on the sand. Something hard hit the side of his head. He whirled around, searching for the culprit. A boy his own age, dressed in a black tanktop and jeans, was doubled over in laughter, holding an orange. His black-and-purple-streaked hair, along with the spiked choker, marked him as a Goth. "Did you finally decide to join the living?" he called.

Raphael rubbed his head. "That hurt, you know, Domovoi!"

Domovoi walked over and helped his friend up. "Well, you'd better be thankful it was me who woke you up, rather than Kiana; she wanted to toss you off the dock! Though I admit, it would've been hilarious!" he ruffled up Raphael's red hair, who smoothed it down in exasperation; that was the one thing he couldn't stand.

A giggle behind them alerted the two boys to another presence. A girl around the same age as the other two was silently laughing. Her long, sun-bleached blonde hair, tanned skin, and brightly-colored clothes told that she loved island life, and was a dedicated beach bum. "It certainly would have…"

"Quiet, you; you're just as lazy as he is!" Domovoi looked at her sternly, but all three of them instantly burst out laughing.

"So Raphael, did you have that dream again?" Kiana asked.

Raphael sighed. "Nope, different this time."

"Oh, I get it, you were wearing a blue dress this time around!" Domovoi teased, eliciting another fit of laughter.

"C'mon you two, we really should get to work on the raft!" Kiana said.

"Right!" Raphael turned to Domovoi. "Race you there!"

The other boy grinned. "You're on!"

Ish it good? REVIEW! Also, if, in your review, you tell me who the four girls were, and what anime they came from, I'll give you a cookie! (No idea how I'd send it to you, but…)

NEXT CHAPTER:

This Cruel Destiny

Raphael's existence on the island is virtually carefree, but in another world, somebody important turns up missing…

I need help! Who should I crown 'King of Anime?'