Everyone was gathered around where Sora laid in bed. He seemed to have difficulty breathing and his face was very pale. Beads of sweat trickled down his forehead. His onlookers cast him a worried glance. They were currently in Hollow Bastion, trying to figure out what was wrong with the keyblade wielder.
"All of a sudden, he collapsed after our training session. He hasn't gained consciousness since…" Donald said glumly.
"We thought Merlin could help us out." Goofy finished.
"I'm not a doctor, but I'll see what I can do." Merlin admitted. Then he turned to Aerith. "Could you hand me the stethoscope and thermometer over there, dear?"
Aerith nodded and gave him the tools. He checked Sora's basic functions. Although, he had a fever and his breathing was labored, he could find no major changes. His symptoms were similar to those of the flu. However, it seemed it was much more than that.
"How long has it been since he last rested? The boy looks exhausted." Merlin asked.
"Uh… well, we have been fighting the Heartless and Nobodies for quite a while now." Goofy pointed out.
"Exhausted? He's like a train with limitless fuel! He goes on and on and—" Donald began but was interrupted.
"Everyone has their limitations, Donald." Merlin said sternly. "I believe it is best he gets some rest. After a few days if his condition does not improve, bring him back here. Even if he gains consciousness, he should not leave his bed for at least three days. Do you understand?"
Donald and Goofy nodded.
"Now then, who will be his caretaker for the time being? I'm afraid I am too busy to do so. What about you Donald, Goofy?" Merlin inquired.
"We can't either, sir. We have some business to attend to at Disney castle." Donald said regrettably and Goofy nodded.
"We too have business with the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee." Leon spoke while Cid and Aerith agreed reluctantly.
"This is going to be a problem. We cannot leave Sora unattended to." Merlin stated.
Suddenly, a light bulb went on in Goofy's head. "Hey! What about Roxas and Yuffie? They're the only ones not here who we haven't asked."
"Good idea, Goofy. Would any of you happen to know where they would be?" Merlin questioned.
"Roxas most likely is in Twilight Town. He wanted to do some catching up with his friends." Donald said.
"Yuffie was hanging around the shops earlier. You should be able to find her there." Aerith added.
"Okay, we'll go look for them. It's the least we can do." Goofy said and Donald agreed. "Let's split up. Donald, you check the shops and I'll go to Twilight Town. It'll make things go quicker."
"Please return soon." Merlin said, giving the unconscious Sora a look of concern.
"Hmm…what to buy, what to buy? Those shurikens look really nice. Let's see if I can afford them." Yuffie said aloud, taking out her munny pouch. She had obtained a lot of munny from the frequent Heartless and Nobody ambushes. Even with the new defense grid, the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee had plenty of them to exterminate.
Yuffie's triumphant smile faded once she realized she was one hundred munny short. "What! But last week I could've sworn those shurikens were only 900 munny!"
"The price has risen." Donald's nephew said, overhearing Yuffie's outburst. "Weaponry is high in demand now that the Nobodies have appeared."
"But—but that's not fair! I'm a member of the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee. I need new and improved weapons to fight the enemy. Shouldn't I at least get a discount or something?" Yuffie demanded.
"What's your proof? Do ya have a membership card?" Donald's nephew asked.
"Of course I do, brat! I'll show you." Yuffie began to search for her card, but was unable to find it. Oh no! Where is it? she thought.
"Lost something?" Donald's nephew snickered mockingly.
Yuffie patted all her pockets in a hurry. Oh crud! Where did I put it? Leon's gonna kill me if I lose it! she panicked.
"Hey, Yuffie!" Donald called out, causing her to jump.
"What do you—oh, it's you, Donald." Yuffie said. "I'm kind of in a jam right now. So, now is not the best time to talk."
"Uncle Donald!" Donald's nephew shouted enthusiastically.
"What do you want now, squirt?" Donald questioned in mock annoyance.
"I'm just glad to see you, Uncle Donald. We rarely get to see you." He said, referring to his brothers.
"Well, you know how it is, fighting the Heartless and all…" Donald said somewhat boastfully. "Anyway, how is business?"
"Great…except one of our customers seems to be having a problem." He said, pointing to Yuffie.
"What's wrong, Yuffie?" Donald asked. "You seem like you have having trouble."
"Um…well, I seem to have lost my membership card. Heh, heh." Yuffie laughed nervously in embarrassment.
"That's not good at all. Why do you need it right now?"
"See those shurikens up there?" Yuffie pointed at the top shelf of his nephew's stall. "I want to buy them really bad. I've been saving munny for a long time. It turns out I'm one hundred munny short."
An idea popped in Donald's head. "How about I lend you some munny? In turn you have to—"
"Really? Thanks a lot!" Yuffie said, almost squeezing the duck.
"Hey, hey, hey! Let go of me." Yuffie let go of Donald, grinning like the Cheshire cat. "But there's one condition."
"Anything. You name it." Yuffie replied. I knew there was a catch, she thought inwardly, but as long as I get my shurikens I'll be happy.
"You have to take care of Sora for a while. He's very ill." Donald told her seriously.
"What! What happened to him?" Yuffie inquired with shock, suddenly forgetting her self-interests. "Is he okay?"
"Sora fainted after fighting some Dusks." Yuffie gasped. Donald decided to tone down the drama as to not freak out Yuffie. "He has probably just been overworked. Still, we need someone to look after him for the time being. So, are you up to it?"
"Of course I am." Yuffie said willingly. "With the help of the Great Ninja Yuffie, he'll be back on his feet in no time."
"Since Sora's sick, I was wondering if Roxas would be able to help him out." Goofy said, after explaining the situation to them.
"Why Roxas? Don't you guys have doctors in your world?" Hayner asked skeptically.
"Of course we do. We just need someone to look after Sora for awhile." Goofy said. "But the law states that we can't just take anybody with us. Since Roxas is part of Sora, he's the only one from another world we can take."
"Doesn't Sora have friends in your world that can take care of him?" Olette asked. Roxas has been away from Twilight Town for a long time…In fact, we just remembered who he is. I would hate to see him leave so—Stop it this instant, Olette, she suddenly berated herself. I must not be so selfish. This is Roxas' decision. Not mine.
"We're all very busy repairing the damage Organization XIII has caused. Donald has also been asking around." Goofy replied.
"You're going to have to ask Roxas' permission. It's not our decision to make." Pence said, voicing Olette's thoughts.
"Pence is right. Roxas should be on Sunset Hill. He's been there a lot as of late." Olette informed.
Olette and Pence both looked at Hayner for feedback. He ran a hand through his hair and sighed. "If you think he can help, go ahead and ask him. I have no complaint."
"If he agrees, make sure he comes back soon and safe, okay." Olette requested.
Goofy nodded. "Thanks a bunch for the information. See ya." Goofy waved, setting off for Sunset Hill.
What strange friends Sora has… they all thought simultaneously.