A Note from the Author: I felt I had to restart A Walk In Andante because I looked back on what I had written so far and realized that it was not going the way I had intended for it to go. Henceforth I am rewriting every chapter and continuing it.
If you don't understand what this story's about, it is basically a canon story that takes a radical turn due to some unnoticed meddling. What meddling, you say? Well, you must read on to see for yourself.
Copyrights: The characters belong to Square-Enix and Disney. The storyline is indefinitely mine. That is definitely copyrighted.
Disclaimer: Being dragged into Twilight Town is one thing. Being reunited with Sora is another. But when Kairi becomes acquainted with a mysterious teenager who refuses to explain his past, she begins a chain of events that unravels and reworks Destiny in ways nobody can understand. Nobody.
A Walk In Andante
1 – The Struggle
Her heart pounded. It beat rapidly in her chest, pounded painfully against her breast, echoed in her ear as she tried desperately to ignore the screaming protest of her muscles and lower herself slightly. She winced again as she tensed the aching muscles, tried to hide the show of pain as she readied herself for another attack. Her sweaty hands clutched the blue bat tightly and she prayed desperately that the bat wouldn't slide out of her grip if she ever had the need to swing it. She bit her lip hard, felt iron flood her mouth, as she watched it circle her slowly. It wasn't the only thing frightening her. There were others – she had seen a whole horde of them descend on the gathering – all around her, readying themselves for an ambush she knew she could never survive.
Why did this have to happen? One moment she was standing on the sidelines with Olette and Pence, cheering Hayner on as he battled with Setzer for the prize in the tournament he had entered, and the next thing she knew people were screaming and scattering as Heartless – Heartless – appeared from the shadows around them and launched themselves in the crowd. Within minutes the area had been cleared of all people except the ones most deeply involved in this danger, this evil: Hayner, Olette, Pence, and the Princess of Heart herself – Kairi.
But Sora made sure no Heartless would get in! There wouldn't be any more Heartless in this town! Kairi thought desperately as she took an unsteady step back. The NeoShadow cocked its head to the side, its yellow eyes watching her steadily. Emotionless. Cold. Dangerous. Evil. No more Heartless, no more Nobodies, no more Organization…but how did the Heartless come back? Me? Is it because of me? Why now? Why now!
She let her eyes swivel to her right, to Hayner who was barely holding onto his own. He was swinging the blue bat wearily in his hands; the teenager was a mess, marked by scars and blood from the battle. Olette and Pence stood at the sidelines, apparently scared out of their wits. She knew they never had any experience physically hurting things; like her, they had never fought before. But no longer. Kairi had learned her lesson. But that was Lesson One. Lesson Two was…
This time…I'll fight.
How she regretted that promise now. Nobody told her it would be this dangerous, this frightening, this…risky. But then again, nobody told her she would be pursued by so many people, by so many strangers, allies and enemies, all because she had a pure heart.
A pure heart…
Sweat trickled down her face, leaving her feeling uncomfortably sticky. She quickly wiped her forehead with her arm, then grasped the blue bat again, hoping the NeoShadow hadn't made a move. Her limbs shook, aching with pain, while her lungs screamed for air. And her mind, it couldn't take it anymore; she was pushing it to its limits, demanding that it tell her when something was going to attack her, how she should move, where she should move, and make a billion other decisions as it should.
Her mind has never dealt with danger like this before. It couldn't handle it. Would never handle it. It was upsetting her mind.
"Pence, do something!" Olette was screaming. Kairi felt no resentment towards the dark-haired girl for not trying to fight. She couldn't; Kairi was like her, long ago. Only difference was that Kairi could never forgive herself for being the way she was back then. Weak. Pathetic. So amiable. So dismissive. So submissive. She had hated herself then, and still hated herself now.
This time…I'll fight.
"I know," she muttered. She wiped her bottom lip with her tongue, tasted dilute iron and salt. "I thought it was easy, and I'm paying the price now."
Whoever calls her weak again will never survive the meeting.
"I don't know what to do! What the hell do I do?" Pence yelled back. He was just as scared shitless as Olette. Kairi couldn't blame him either. To be honest, she doubt the portly teenager could fight. He also didn't have the attitude for it, not like Hayner.
"Hit the thing with the camera!"
Pence always had a camera, always taking pictures. He said he took pictures to keep memories.
"What, are you crazy?"
"Right now I am! Don't be stupid, Pence! Do something-Kairi!"
Stop daydreaming, Kai! Look out!
The NeoShadow leaped. Kairi lashed out at its outstretched claws, thought she saw blood dripping from the pointy ends. Her muscles screamed, her heart strained, her lungs clenched, and her mind nearly crumbled from fear as she clobbered at the Heartless and it was thrown back onto the Struggle Tournament stage. Kairi felt her arms drop until the bat hit the floor, stared at the NeoShadow as she took deep painful gasps. She turned her head slightly, wearily, to watch Hayner smash at another Heartless and turn it into black smoke and a red heart. A second NeoShadow done with. But there were so many more. Kairi had done nothing more than wear down Heartless; Hayner had only killed two. And there really were so many. And nobody else was there to help her. To help them.
Sora? Sora, where are you? Help me. We need help!
Begging wasn't going to help. She and Hayner and Olette and Pence were alone in this. They were the only ones facing the Heartless.
Wasn't there anybody else out there?
Something resounded deep within her but she ignored the answer to her desperate call. She wasn't going to get any help. She was going to have to fight with only Hayner to help her, until Olette and Pence found the courage within themselves to join and fight.
A warning! Kairi tried to turn but it was too late; something stabbed into her back. She cried out at the shock, struggled with the icy feeling. She turned back and forth, tried to shake off the fiend clutching at her back.
"Hayner!" she screamed. "Hayner, get it off! Get it off, please! Hayner! Hay-no!"
Her voice caught in her throat as the blond teenager crashed to the floor. The Heartless that knocked him over skidded to a stop, then turned around to glare at him. Kairi clenched her teeth. She'll get this perpetrator off her back and run over and smash that Heartless into itty bitty bits-
Kairi gagged, choked as she felt her airway constrict. A shocking cold started spreading from her back down her body and through her arms. She tried to move the bat, only to find herself staring dumbly as the blue bat slid out of her numb fingers and clatter to the floor. She tried to move, tried to get her arms moving but they felt like logs, like someone had tied lead weights to them. And her legs, she couldn't feel them. Were they even there? Where they-something was moving deep inside her. It was searching, seeking, seeking…her heart.
Olette leaped onto the stage and snatched the blue bat. She was shaking – it was so visible, but she set her mouth in a thin line and took a step towards the Heartless. Pence was scrambling up behind her, his face paper-white.
Kairi opened her mouth, tried to warn against meeting Heartless head on, but nothing came out. Only air and even then, not a lot. She felt nothing, only found the ground rising up to meet her. Her numbing mind could only guess that her legs had given way.
Another source of cold. The Heartless had pushed its other arm into her back. Now it was groping inside her, searching for her heart. She closed her eyes tightly, squeezed out one hot tear that slid down her cold face as she felt her body turn number. It got to the point that the cold no longer burned; she could no longer feel it nor the world around her. She couldn't even feel herself breathing.
Screams. Shouts. They were all long, all extended, dragged out, as though sound had slowed down. Everything slowed down. She blinked slowly, saw trails of images before her. There were more bats than before, and she had been using only one.
A sharp flicker of pain. The Heartless was nearing her heart. She could tell. For some reason it was taking time for the Heartless to find it, but then she could sense it, barely. Walls. There were things barricading her heart from the NeoShadow. But what?
Is Sora protecting me in more ways than one?
Another hot tear. Another flicker of pain. The NeoShadow was getting closer. Olette and Pence stood over Hayner's unconscious body. The NeoShadows stood around them in a loose ring, staring at them.
I'm so sorry, Sora. I tried my best, I tried to fight them off…but it's too hard. I can't fight. I can never fight. I'm sorry Sora. Forgive me. Goodbye.
She closed her eyes. It would be over soon. She could tell. A buzzing was filling her ears, settling in her mind. A cold fog. Everywhere was cold. She wished it would come soon, the end, so she could escape the cold, escape the pain, the dread, the doom and despair, and head for the light. For haven. For sanctuary.
Please let it be over with. Cold. It's so cold…
A high silver song of metal in the wind. A wind that came out of nowhere. Sudden light. Whatever had plunged into her was suddenly pulled out and in the sluggish chill she could feel a pulse. Her heart. With each beat, each pulse, blood coursed through her cold arteries. With each thump, warming blood spread through her limbs. It was starting to get warm. Her senses were beginning to come back. She could feel the ground with her bare knees. Kairi blinked. Her sluggish, obscured vision was clearing. All her senses were coming back to reality. She closed her eyes tightly, then opened them again. She found herself staring gray shoes. Dark gray. Light gray. And red straps. Bright red straps.
Her mind was slow in picking itself up. She was still in a stupor. Still dazed, she lifted a trembling hand and reached out to touch the red color. Suddenly the shoes were gone. Olette was screaming.
"Yes!" That was Pence! Yes what? What happened?
Kairi tried to jerk her head up and see for herself but at the slightest movement blood flooded her head and she became dizzy. Kairi closed her eyes tightly, tried to steady her breathing, then tried to lift her head up again.
The world swam. She pressed her hand against her left temple, waited for the vertigo to pass. Then she looked up again.
Heartless. They were all exploding, one by one, into black clouds and red hearts. Probably like the one that was on her back, the one destroyed by someone with shoes that had red straps on them. The clouds were dissolving in the wind and the red hearts were drifting up into the twilit sky. Through her shifting gaze and the tipsy-turvy perspective, she saw someone burst through the black clouds. A person. A person dancing among the NeoShadows, whose numbers were rapidly decreasing. One by one they were being obliterated. Who was killing them? Sora could wipe them out. King Mickey could kill them. Donald and Goofy had the necessary weapons. Hayner, for all his inexperience, could use the bat when his life depended on it. Who else was there who could destroy the Heartless…like Sora could?
Because that was how Sora fought.
There were only a handful of NeoShadows now, and they were all trying to get away. Their plans had been overturned by this rogue, by this complete stranger, by this nameless somebody, and now they were scrambling all over each other, trying to get back to the shadows and to the hell from where they came from. But they wouldn't make it. They would never make it.
The stranger stopped only momentarily, pausing where Olette and Pence were trying to get Hayner to sit up. Words seemed to pass between them, then the stranger was off again with a vengeance. Kairi blinked slowly; did they know each other?
There were sudden, brilliant flashes of white and black. Then the Heartless were gone. Every last one of them. And her heart was still with her.
She leaned over, rested her palms against the ground. She felt her arms tremble and bit her lip at the watery feeling in her limbs. She ordered her body to cooperate and slowly pushed herself off the ground. She nearly fell over; the world rocked under her feet like a ship in rough waters. She looked down at herself briefly, saw red scrapes on her knees, but couldn't even feel the pain. She was numb all over. She took a slight step forward and whimpered as her legs gave way and she fell back onto the ground. Everything seemed to sway; she closed her eyes tightly, clenched her teeth, and waited for the dizziness to pass. Then she tried again.
Kairi felt pinpricks of pain in her muscles, wondered if this was the sensation one had when trying to regain feeling in a foot that fell asleep. The deathly chill remained, though. She could feel just enough to know how numb she felt. She had water for joints. Kairi closed her eyes in anticipation of another bout of vertigo and forced herself to rise; she sensed wisps of cold fingers reaching deep inside her, to her heart. It was a horrid taint, one that she wished would just go away. She felt dirty.
Kairi had never been so directly attacked before. This time the Heartless were too close, much too close for comfort.
They would have taken my heart away, she thought numbly, and Sora wouldn't be here to save me. If that-that person hadn't come, we'd…we'd be…I'd be…gone forever-
In the cold recesses of her mind there was an echo. A series of echoes. Suddenly she was aware she wasn't standing steady. Swaying back and forth, locking her knees together, trying to stand. Kairi opened her eyes slowly, just a crack, then opened them wider. There was a shadow in front of her, overlapping onto her. Someone was standing in front of her, someone with gray shoes and red straps. Kairi gasped, looked up into the face of the savior. Her savior.
At that moment, the world shook violently, then swam out of focus as her legs gave way and the numbness overwhelmed her in a rush. The world darkened. She barely sensed herself fall, couldn't tell which way she was falling. For all she knew she could be falling up, or sideways, or even diagonal. She didn't know.
As her eyes eased shut against her attempts to stay awake and face her savior, she felt arms go around her waist to catch her. Then the numbness seemed to dissolve. She felt warmth, felt herself pressed up against something warm and soft and safe, as voices mumbled all around her, stating meaningless words and utter gibberish. Then the fog of sleep sank into her as the cold continued to melt against the warmth. Everything faded away.
Everything except clear sky blue eyes, piercing her mind, all at once solemn, serious, and full of sorrow. She had seen those eyes before, had seen them since forever, but the swirling shifting blending mesh of emotions were not what she expected in those eyes. Not the pain. Not the sorrow. Not the utter cold emptiness.
She knew those eyes. But this was not Sora.
Who are you?
An Endnote: I know I've been updating a lot recently but I felt the need to unload as much as possible as my weekend is packed with nothing abut school. Currently only three stories are not on hiatus; every other story is shelved until further notice. Review, please? Give my Himitsu Project a second chance, will ya?