Mikenno says:

Submitted to an emo band. T-T Panic! At the Disco. Got sick of hearing their name and not their music. I don't even hear the lyrics, though. Just the background music. So I guess it's okay.

But to counter attack that! David Bowie - Bring Me the Disco King. Helped write a certain scene in this chapter. Maybe you'll know it when it comes.. It's near the beginning. (Only if you have heard the song, however.)

I think this is out of order, too. Monstro was supposed to come first... but I wanted to do a funnier chapter to make up for the last. I need to work on the side stories again! T----T! Watch this chapter be tedious.

P.S. Did I mention I'm planning a CoM AND KHII version of this. :D Yup! Excitement!


Atlantica

"... Cid, what is this?" We floated just out of the planet's atmosphere, slowly slinking back and forth at its border. Cid studied another screen in his place, blinking and bleeping and twitching all over the place.

"It's a world mostly consisting of H2O," He answered. "The source of life. The biggest ecosys - "

"That's nice and all," I chimed in, digging my nails into the arm rest of the captain's chair. "But how are we supposed to function there?" Cid slowly directed his attention on me, as if I had suddenly decided to appear and coexist in his life. He scratched at his stubble, grimly snored, and pointed his index finger at my face.

"I don't know!"

I screamed at his uselessness and stood up to stampede at the window in suicidal preparation. "Hey! Be careful, damn it!" I leaned on the glass, my cheek freezing up in its frosty bed. "Maybe it'll be like the other worlds." He was referring to the outfit changes in each place. Great. I would turn into a fish to be eaten by a shark. I sighed, not looking forward to it but if Sora was there, I had to go. It had been a couple days since my Agrabah adventure from Satan's asscrack and my distress had lessened but never subsided. I needed to try and figure out what Sora was doing before I went getting mad, after all. But he did nearly kill me and that had to be taken into consideration.

We snapped into the planet's realm and floated over the ocean that appeared to consume three-fourths of the planet. I wasn't sure how we were going to go about this. I began to fly the ship around to try and find some land but it seemed like a distant dream to ask for something so convenient. Cid cleared his throat and my eyes were lead astray from the path.

"You know the ship can just float on its own, right? Doesn't function on gas but high-power - " I walked up to the screen and began to smash my first on it. Not hard enough to break it but enough to get my message through loud and clear. Cid, though not affected, was terribly offended. He taught me how to set up the auto-pilot and put it into park without landing before I walked toward the door and kicked it open with fierce sinew. Cid hollered after me something about 'damaging equipment' as I began shedding clothes off toward the floor. I stalled with my shirt, rubbing Sora's soft scarf around my neck in silent comfort, then tore it off and flung it with the rest of the pile. Boxers. I was left in boxers and a glittering silver chunk of jewelry. Cid eyed me from the monitor and I snapped my gaze at him.

"What? Quit being a pervert." That set him off.

"Pervert! I have no interest in scrawny little punk bitc - !" I leaped, arms out over my head, and dived into the sea.

I literally drowned out all the noises around me, spinning my body upside down and releasing all my air inside me. My weight sunk me further and deeper till the water grew chillier and icier. I was consumed by the power of glaciation, shivering and tingling till my body lost its feeling. I began to wonder if I was going to change into anything as my oxygen depleted and I had already lost the ability to swim. Then I thought about it: This wasn't so bad.

So what if I drowned right here and right now? I kept thinking that. It was much easier than chasing Sora all over the place, never finding him, and when I finally do, he's not the Sora I knew anyway. It hurt. The ice was so cold it began to severely hurt. If I weren't in the ocean, I'd have been shown for what I was - tears and weakness. I gasped in my silent death, the tiniest bubbles rising toward the surface. I had no air to release.

It wasn't so bad, feeling his thin arms encircle my naked waist. He didn't kick his legs or struggle to swim. His head rested against my chest, his warm cheek undisturbed by the water's temperature melting my skin. He listened silently to my dying heart, fingers digging into my skin. What I could see in the blur of the water flooding my pupils was his sad face looking down at me. Sora... Leaned into me, hands resting on my face. Gentle and light, strong against the ocean's crushing pressure. I sealed my eyes to go into that good night.

Riku...

I felt warmth against my lips, growing through my nerves, spreading beneath my eyes and around the back of my skull. Like hot chocolate pouring down my throat; the burn of it in my chest; a blanket embracing me on a winter morning; extra socks on my feet. I could feel my creaking muscles stretch against the weather, my back nearly snapping in two in its arc. A breath of air flooded my lungs, my gasp loud and my eyes opening louder. My vision was perfect, the world around me vibrant with colors and life. I twisted around till I was upright and looked around, breathing heavily in my realization that I had very nearly died.

I lost my balance. In the water. I tried to kick my legs but couldn't. I looked down to see what they were doing and screamed as loud as I could. I flipped upside down to investigate the new body I had but not intentionally. My tip kept curling in and out uncontrollably until I realized I was the one doing it, the skin hard and bumpy. It was a strange, teal color, my new flesh, and it took me a moment to recognize the shape.

"Seahorse!" I screamed again and grabbed my own tail to pull on it. I yelped in pain and tried to readjust myself back into a balanced nature. I managed (barely) to right myself and let the new factors sink in. This was the body that was going to allow me to survive in that world and I needed to learn to use it and appreciate it. My brain was wise, but I kept somersaulting trying to see every part of the body. Truly a moment of retardation on my part. I think my tail was in the air when I saw a small creature in front of my face. A very beautiful and brightly detailed seahorse was hovering in front of me. I could see the lashes on her eyes, which was terrifying in itself, and I twisted until I was able to see her in her proper picture. She got closer, batting her lashes.

"...What?" I asked her. She scooted closer with a cute coo. Her tail whacked into a sensitive part of my new body and I frowned at the curious sensation. It was then, Thank God, that I suddenly had a flashback into biology. The female seahorses, in order to reproduce, puts her eggs into the male's pouch and the male then secretes sperm into the eggs and bears the children, later giving birth to their new baby seahorses. ... Well, shit.

"No!" I exclaimed immediately. I saw a little bulge escape her body and, instinct be a blessed thing, I began to swim for my very manhood. As I escaped the one, I ran into another and began to swim up and around. They seemed to be everywhere rather suddenly. Was I the only male seahorse around? "Ladies! I wouldn't be a good choice! I'm not really a - !" As I swam past a giant stone shadowing the sands of the soaked Earth beneath me, an arm snatched me out of the path of hormonally crazed women and into the arms of another. I watched and waited, her arms around my head and keeping me close. I only knew it was a woman because I couldn't see through one eye, considering it was smashed into her breasts.

When the mob had disappeared, she let me go and sighed in relief. "Thank goodness..." I looked up to see a young girl with very outlandish bright red hair floating before me. I looked down and found what I had already expected: a fin. The mermaid looked around the rock in the dangers of the light and took me by my wrist again. "C'mon! Follow me to a safer place." Before I knew it, we were swimming away from where I had sunk to the bottom of the ocean and heading for a more populated area. I watched other mermaids dash by me on their way to work, to shop or something, some giving me strange looks as this girl swam me all the way through a small town. Might've been the partial potential baby sack that was attached to my hips.

She spun through "alleys" and tore through the "streets" until we arrived in a very refined area of the city. I don't know how I missed the giant palace we had been swimming toward, the swirls of miraculous gold streams spinning around even shinier aurulent towers. It was like an enormous coral reef of solidified honey and it appeared to be our destination. Just as we got to its gates, I found myself finally clutching back to her wrist, a fear washing over me. I didn't even know who she was and I was letting her take me to some beautiful, spacious castle? How ridiculous of me!

I chuckled at my own senseless fears and just let myself be mauled away. She did, however, land me in a safe room just within the palace and closed the seaweed curtains to conceal the both of us. When she was done, she spun to actually look at me. I did the same to her and she smiled. The girl swept up to the bed she threw me on and began to play with my tail. I twitched, laughed slightly, and began to try and swipe her away with the very object she desired. She sat up straight and rested a hand on her chest.

"I'm Ariel," She introduced herself. "You're not from here, right?" I cocked a brow at her but I supposed that answer was pret-ty obvious. She giggled. "What's your name?"

"Do you always just... take weird strangers home, Ariel?" I had to ask and she laughed. She nodded and that became worrisome. "Riku." I answered her so it didn't come up again.

"Ri...ku?" I nodded. "Oh, your name?" I frowned that she wasn't even paying attention. "Interesting..." She nodded and floated up to move away. "Riku, stay here for a little bit. I have to make sure this room stays undisturbed." With that unnerving comment, she dolphin kicked her way out of the room gracefully. My tail was wagging in the water unconsciously, and I curled it up when I noticed. I flopped onto my side to lay on the bed available and wondered how they kept any of this from floating away. The material was different but comfortable and I assumed whatever it was made of was probably magical anyway. I had no doubts in any world. Or at least I shouldn't have.

I floated upward and snapped at the shelves to get a closer look, concluding that I had not yet prepared myself to function in this world when I smashed into everything rather than stopped as I had planned. Covered in queerly shaped pots and many jewels and pearls, I groaned and slunk deeper beneath them as Ariel returned to make sure I wasn't dead. She giggled brightly, swimming over to help the pathetic seahorse. "I don't know how to swim like this."

"I can try to help," she offered, still holding my hand as I pathetically hovered. "Not too sure about..." She slapped me with her fin on my ass, which called for a yelp of sheer surprise. "Seahorse bodies, though." I chuckled to the best of my ability, the feignest noise imaginable. "I'm sorry. It's just funny."

"Oh, hilarious - I assure you," I pointed at her face and she nodded. Was she really a redhead? However when she began to teach me, I began to learn. She did well in showing me how to swim straight, stop, and do other useful movements without harming myself. It was pleasant and I was grateful. After what must've been an hour of practice, I sat on the bed to relax and decided it was time to try and talk to Ariel. "Tell me," I initiated. "How did you know I wasn't from here?"

She rested her fingers on her lips. "We've had a lot of visitors lately. Not many were very nice, though," She gave me a cute smile. "But I knew somehow that you were a good person. I've been wrong before but you were different. Cute little boy running from seahorses, of all things." I blushed furiously to have been addressed that way. Flattered! But embarrassed. "So I couldn't begin to imagine you'd do any harm!" I gave a coy smile. "But..." She frowned in return and sat beside me. "Daddy's been so upset lately. All these visitors are bothering him. He won't tell me why, either."

"Ariel," I rested a hand on her back. "Ariel, what are these visitors like?" Something inside of me knew this had something to do with Sora. I wasn't sure how or why but, deep down, I could feel that anything negative was going to lead back to me. This had been the case thus far. She had a lovely voice for singing. I could tell by the way she sing-songed before her replies.

"Similar to you... Except most of them seem violent. Or empty. And they have strange bodies." The last two words echoed inside my skull. "Like I thought one was a merboy at first, but his lower body was actually a..."

"A what?" I urged.

"Dolphin's. He has an extra pointed fin that I failed to notice at first but I saw it when he came for audience with Daddy." My vision sank like a rock into the sea. The sandy floor of the ocean reminded me of home, when we'd play in the wet sand on the beach all day, no cares in the world. Me, Sora, and Kairi. Building sand castles that rose to the sky and digging our own graves to shove each other in. Funny how scary an idea that was to me at that moment. I began to miss Kairi's company very deeply in my heart, her easy-going nature and calming smile making me homesick. I wanted to see her again but she hated me now. I was sure of it.

"Riku?" My vision gravitated appropriately toward Ariel's and she tapped my cheek gently with the tip of her fingers. "Are you tired from swimming practice?" I shook my head but then gradually began to bob it up and down. She let the water carry her away from the bed and I found myself floating after her, even as she talks about leaving me to sleep.

"Take me to him," She looked surprised but it was only then did I realize I had a firm grip on her arm. I let her go with a small 'sorry' and she hugged herself. "Please. Take me to see Sor - the dolphin boy." I pleaded sharply. She seemed concerned briefly but then took my hand into her once again.

"I'll take you there but I can't stay," We took of like birds to the sky. "He scares me." I flinched at her statement but, Hell, he scared me, too. Through coral and schools of my new cousins, riding currents and diving off cliffs, swearing to myself I couldn't get any deeper into the planet, I held my breath. For the most part, I accepted the heavy weight of my skull to be the fault of my necklace but even that had no real effect on me. I had bad vibes stabbing me like acupuncture needles from every which way, not to mention a glamorous migraine greeting me every chance it had. The area we swam into was dark and deserted, the ambience of loneliness engulfing my cold-blooded body. I was growing even sleepier.

By the time my surroundings made me more aware that I was indeed not dreaming of what I was indulging in, I took attention to Ariel's position to what felt like the other side of the sea. She waved slowly and flapped her tail's end at me to swim away. I was left alone in this place - this empty, soulless chasm. I wiggled my tail to struggle upward and then moved on with ease. I came upon a forest of seaweed, not allowing it to halt my mission in any way, shape, or form. After all, it was easy to move through; just tiring to not know when the other end would arise.

It came in due time, as most things do, and I was happy to have had the patience I did or I would've began to rip them all from the ground. I might have even brought the keyblade into it if I was pissed enough. No sign of Sora yet, however. I poked my head between the green cobwebs when I met their end and I was welcomed by a large, empty space. A circle of sand that could bear about ten people if placed right; some colorful stones fading into vivid dust; A young boy laying on a long stone; oceanic flowers blooming brightly without the sun; My ability to pay attention floating away toward the surface in a thousand particles; a cute little crab clacking it's way across the scene; the bubbles of my gasp popping in front of my face.

I couldn't resist being the stalker boy that drove up to his obsession's house everyday to stare up at the window and watch him sit there and watch the sky. To aim for the stars without making a move, only watching them drive like the phoenix - birth, life, death, and rebirth. An endless, continuing cycle of awe. Sora rested his hands on his stomach, brunette locks coiling at the surface, reaching for the stars they longed to see again. His cerulean eyes did not feel the same way. He was just lying on that rock all by himself, not moving even as I crawled from my hole to go to him. He continued to watch nothing, like a corpse with his eyes wide open, and I sat as best as I could with my seahorse figure on the rock beside him.

Neither of us made any move of anger or violence. I was convinced Sora would spring up to try and kill me as he had in Agrabah but he remained still. I looked over my shoulder very slowly; argentate hair o' mine fleeing in terror against my cheek.

"Sora," I whispered. Could he hear me? He didn't respond. I curved at my waist to lean closer to him. Was he dead? "Sora..." His eyes found mine. "Do you recognize me?" The look I had received... was agony. He gave me acknowledgement just to express in his new way that he had no idea who was speaking to him. I wasn't sure what to do. Ever so gingerly did a tentative hand rest on his chest, my fingers brushing against a familiar piece of jewelry: The half crown. Sora still had it on. Just knowing he still bore it was a bit of relief to me. He hadn't discarded one of the most important items we ever shared together and that was much better than not having anything at all to believe in.

I stumbled upon Sora's face when I had awoken from my terse bliss. It was directly facing my own and it was the most terrible image I ever had in my life. It was officially burned into the back of my skull for all of eternity; I took a deep breath and allowed it. He was responding to me, after all - I had no right to be picky about how ugly he had become. I smiled as best as I could without just sobbing pathetically and slid my hand from his soft skin and took his pendant into my fist. He looked down, baffled, and I found myself laughing. I showed mine to him and then began to tug gently on his chain. I was careful not to hurt or startle this virgin Sora from Hell, snapping the two pieces of the crown together. We both lifted our face at once and my eyes widened to practically have the tips of our noses brushing into one another's. I quickly closed my eyes and pulled away.

"Ri - "

The bridge of silver I had made between us collapsed and there was silence. Everything suddenly... grew to be vexatious. As his eyes changed their expression from blank to insubstantially amazed, I could feel myself crying. I had nothing to show for it but my gritted teeth and furrowed brows. Sora did nothing to comfort me.

It must've been an hour of just sitting with my puppet friend, sharing each other's reticent company like two deaf mutes in a park. I wanted to grab him and run but taking this Sora with me would probably do nothing to change who he had evolved into. Or had he devolved? Why had he grown up into such a wicked yet mindless soul? At what point did he let himself go, I wondered, believing to be as vile as he was acting. Was this all on purpose as revenge against me?

Had I actually done something?

My eyes hadn't left him and his hadn't bothered to meet my gaze. He wasn't going to respond to my words or my actions thus far. I began to wonder if I should take advantage of him, like the kiss that brought Sleeping Beauty to life. I found my frozen blood violently invading my cheeks and the idea was scrapped almost immediately. I wouldn't want to do something like that only to have it fail. It would go the Prince's kiss of life to Juliet's potential kiss of death. She inevitably stabbed herself, however, because Romeo failed to help her die. I chuckled at the morbid concept.

Sora sat up again and twisted his neck from side to side, looking around as if he had lost something.

"Sora? What is it, Sor - ?"

"Sora!" Barked a much louder voice from the reefs hidden in the weeds. Natural instincts made me rush off from the militant vocal and I hid from whence I came. I gasped to see Sora hadn't followed me and I started to go back out for him.

Then I receded. A man with a similar body structure to Sora came onto the field, though his lower half was of greater intimidation - A shark. His copper-toned arms reached toward my target and pulled him into his naked chest. "There you are, my boy," he said with a collective tone, much unlike when he had cried for him moments before. Sora had little reaction to him and gave no hint of attempting to do so as they drew apart. "You stayed here; I'm very proud of you." His long finger rested under Sora's chin, tilting his head back.

I snarled. Who the Hell was he to do that, I wondered while wishing for a whirlpool to tear him away or maybe a killer whale to fly by and eat him. When his glowing eyes found their way to me, I very nearly choked through my gills. It was brief, his bitter attention, and he waved a hand through the bubbles of the ocean to open a doorway to the place where Sora had last retreated in Agrabah. It always seemed like the world was marked to be much quicker than I, for the door snapped shut with them inside before my mind had a chance to let my body react. They were gone. Sora... and him.

"Riku!" My seahorse body would've squirted ink... had I been a squid instead. I didn't realize I had made my way back to the city outskirts where Ariel was patiently waiting for me, tangling her red hair nervously; patient but nervous. She was growing on me, even more so when she jet-streamed her body into mine, arms wrapped around my frame. "You're okay!"

I suppose she expected me to die. That's fine. Sora was a bit insane anyway. I hugged her back before scooting away. "Ariel, do you know who the man with that boy was?" She looked at me with the perfect blank expression. I found myself scouting for blonde hairs again and she swung her head side to side. Grumbling was the only reply I had to offer to her lack of assistance. She apologized and I ignored it.

We swam back to the living quarters, Ariel taking her precautions to have me remain unnoticed. When she got me into the room, she rambled something about needing to be somewhere and sped off like a bullet train. I had no further reason to remain in this place. I got up to leave.

And I was held back by the largest arm I had ever seen in my life. It was gentle at first, as if just to carefully redirect me back into the room - and then its gravity impacted my ribs hard enough to crush them under his power and my back met the wall with an excruciating crack. My blood floated past my eyes, surprising to me that I even had any in this new body. I looked to see my assailant and the portrait I saw was of a man with power and wisdom definitely under that golden crown of coral he bore proudly on his head, his beard that could out-maneuver Santa Claus swaying in the gently currents of the room. This merman did not look pleased to see me.

My hair blinded my one eye, refusing to get away from it, and I watched him blankly with the other. Somehow being half blind terrified me more, as if the final blow would come from where I could not see. But he didn't do anything aside from relieve me of the pressure he had set forth and took a course backwards and away to give me room. Now that I could breathe, I floated until I was resting on the bed, grabbing at the bruising chest I had been gifted with.

"Who are you?" He boomed.

"Riku," I coughed.

"Are you with the Heartless?" I didn't mean to, but I glared at him, and it was enough to make him feel threatened. His hand was big enough to wrap around my entire face, by the way. How did I know? Why, he tested it - on my head. "Answer me!" He roared.

"No! I'm not with the Heartless!" I cried out, hoping I wasn't getting any skull fractures from his destructive grip. I heard crackling in my ears, but that very well could've been from the traumatic headache coming on. He let me go with that. Talk about an interrogation.

"You're not from this world," He declared. I suppose anyone would know that was obvious by the look of me. "What is your business in Atlantica?"

I decided not to delay my answers anymore. That had become a dangerous choice. "I'm searching for my friend. He was here but he's gone now. I'll be leaving, too. I'm not here to start anything." I couldn't go wrong by just spewing everything at once. At least I hoped I couldn't. This 'king' didn't seem displeased with my answer...

And then he was pulling at the chain on my neck. "That boy... That boy had this on. The key bearer." He knew. My green eyes bulged to hear those words. He shook his head and stopped strangling me. "Oh... the fate of the worlds can only lead to destruction..."

"What's your name?" I asked. I figured if we knew each other's name, it'd be more like we were friends. That was a concept many negotiators would use. It's easy to kill a stranger - harder to kill a friend. I doubt he would kill me but I wasn't going to risk any further injuries from the floating Helga's House of Pain.

"I am King Triton. The ruler of Atlantica. Ariel, the girl you've been with, is my daughter." Ouch, I thought. He knew she was hiding me. Had she told him? Either that or he found out and that's why he was there to beat the crap out of me. I was right about him being a king, which made me feel a little pleased with my usually shitty observation skills. "Riku," He sighed, turning to address me. "We have a very troubling situation on our hands."

I figured his conceit of being royalty wouldn't allow him to do something common on natural; however he sat beside me like anyone else would. "It's apparent that you are Sora's friend." He even knows his name. "The key bearer... is very important to the fate of this and every other world." I didn't see why he was telling me this. To be honest, I didn't care. I just wanted Sora. "The master of the keyblade is as I thought: the bringer of destruction. Such is his fate." Woah, my brain snapped. Hold the phone. Sora was... destined to be this way? Is that what this geezer was trying to tell me?

"I..." I laughed. "I don't understand. You're trying to tell me Sora is - " He did not look to be joking and I couldn't feel my stomach settling with that. "No - No! Sora isn't like that, King Triton!" He stood up, or at least he would've had he the legs. The look in his eyes made me doubt my very words. Sora had been pretty damn evil so far.

"It seems you don't know much about how the keyblade master functions," He started. Well, apparently not, since I had never felt so pissed off in my life by sheer confusion. "Riku, listen carefully. The master of the keyblade is destined to wield the power of destruction." He leaned closer. "However, if he chooses the path of light, his heart will be what saves everyone's lives." Triton leaned away, closing his eyes with a solemn face. "But the key had chosen a boy with darkness in his heart. So now we are only on our way to destruction. I hope you are prepared to be killed by your friend." It was all he had to say to me. He turned to go, muttering an order to leave his world before he destroyed me as well. How courteous of his majesty.

"Wait," I pushed off the bed and swam for him. "King Triton?" He stopped and looked over his shoulder. I held my hand out and called forth the keyblade. He shimmered its way to life and the king spun toward me like a game of spin the bottle. "Why...?" I asked, since he looked ready to have a heart attack. "Why can I do this?"

"What... What is this?" He moved not even a foot in front of me, studying the keyblade in my fist. "A keyblade?" I nodded. At least I was pretty sure it was by the way everyone had been freaking out over it. "This can't be possible!"

"Well, old man," I snorted, tired of being nice. His intimidation had faded due to his shock and for that I was grateful. I was just taking advantage of the situation and it felt pretty damn good. "It's happened. I don't know how but it looks like I'm a keyblade master, too."

"Young man," He started, disapproving as ever. I didn't like the tone of his voice, but I'm guessing he didn't enjoy mine, either. So much for bravery. "If this is the case, one of you must be the bringer of justice. Since your friend is obviously associated with the darkness, this must mean you." I felt a flutter in my heart to be told this. I finally had this feeling I was doing the right thing by chasing Sora, even if it was just for my own selfish needs.

"However..."

Son of a bitch!

"Sora's keyblade and yours are extremely different." Observant, Mr. Triton. What else did you notice? "While he's submitted into the shadows, you don't seem to be any different." His bitter expression left me breathless. What exactly was he trying to say? "Call it the sixth sense of an old man who has seen enough," He started to leave yet again. "Riku... if you are able to bear the keyblade, there must be a very good reason why." I let the blade fade away into nothing. "One bearer in the darkness is one too many." He finally exited.

Darkness. Darkness seemed to be playing a huge role in everyone's words when I reflected on it. Ariel glided into the room, approaching me to see if I had any serious injuries. "I'm sorry," She whispered. "I didn't think we'd get caught." Slowly she just stopped attending to me, the look on her face miserable. "Riku..?" I addressed her with my eyes. "Can I come with you?"

"Ariel..."

"I don't want to stay in this place anymore!" She threw her arms around me, clinging for dear life just to make sure she could join me when I moved on. "I want to see other worlds, Riku. Take me!"

"I can't," I mumbled. She gasped, demanding to know why, and I pushed her away. "I can't! Ariel," She must've been crying - the look on her face was torture. "I'm going to be chasing that boy on my journey, y'know? You could get seriously hurt if you came with me." I stood up. "And how would your father feel if his daughter just disappeared?" With that, I swam past her. "I have to go, Ariel. Thank you for everything." Through the seaweed and out the castle I swam, heading for where I recalled the gummi ship to have been left behind.

I felt guilty to just not be able to repay her by bringing her with, but then I thought about how I'd even get her out of the water and walking around. Would she change like I did for every world we encounter together? Either way, it was too risky to give back.

The shadow of the gummi ship wobbled on the surface of the water like an X on a map, calling to me as the final destination. I was almost to the top when I heard a deeply accented voice blaring after me.

"Wait, mahn! Wait a minute!" I spun around, expecting to see a merman coming toward me, but what I found was just a small red speck with claws and huge white eyes skittering as fast as his short arms could pull him. I leaned closer to address what was a crab and he sighed to catch his breath before carrying on. "R-Riku, right, mahn?" I nodded. "Is Ariel wit' joo?"

"Ariel?" I echoed. "Why would Ariel be with me?"

"She... isn't?" He seemed shocked to have been wrong. I couldn't help but feel a bubble of worry trying to regurgitate itself. Just then the wailing and disturbing screeches of a yellow and blue-striped fish came flapping toward us as if his fin were set to flames.

"Sebastian! Sebastian!" He screams at him. "Ariel! Ariel went with Ursula!"

"That sea witch!" The crab hissed. "Oh, mahn! Dis is baaaad news... We must tell his majesty!" He swung his arm around to snap off in a quick burst but two of my fingers put a stop to that.

"Wait!" The seafood looked at me as if I had lost my damned mind for demanding they desist for even a second. "I'll go after her first." My sense of nobility felt strange. I felt a sudden obligation to go and help Ariel, even though I had the underlying voice of apathy telling me it wasn't my concern. My heart wasn't sure how to breathe on this one but it was pounding awkwardly. As long as it was beating, I would follow it. "Show me the way!"


I just wanted to say... pretend from now on that Riku's keyblade is the "Way to Dawn". Okay? XD It's so much cooler and they're very similar anyway! Thanks, KH2!

Question for readers: Do you think I do too many thoughts on Riku's part? I think it's like a Miyazaki complex I had going, where I like to take a moment to just stop and let silence happen or just calm thinking rather than ACTIONACTIONACTION. It just seems weird to have it all be... Action. I don't know. -.-

I want to be a famous fanfiction author someday, too. ;-;

And wow. Atlantica PART ONE was LOOOOONG. XD Watch Part two be like.. two paragraphs.

Also, please join the forums at khforums-dot-com. They belong to kh2-dot-co-dot-uk (Stupid and it's website extractor thingy.)and, personally, it's one of the better communities I've found myself in. I have some KHU exclusive fanfiction posted in the Creativity section. Go check them out if you like! And join the party!