This was actually my first fanfic on the site…but it was crap, so I took it down, reworked it, changed parts to make it a little more faithful to the Traverse Town geography, and just made the writing better and more believable. Don't forget to R&R! (big cheesy Sora-esque grin)

.x. The World At Large .x.

Sora walked slowly and silently, the weight of the world upon his shoulders. Old-fashioned street lamps dimly illuminated the dark streets of Traverse Town; it was early morning, and the sun had yet to rise. He could hear the faint echo of his shoes hitting the cold, tawny-hued cobblestones that paved the street. The small wad of cash in his back pocket had become so diminished that it was hardly noticeable. He sighed.

He slouched as he sauntered along. It was the kind of demeanor one could only develop after many long years of disappointment. If there was anyone in all of Kingdom Hearts whom that slouch suited, it was Sora, wielder of the Keyblade. Sora, savior of Kingdom Hearts. Sora the overthrow. His ambitions of late had been fed and fueled by failure—the inability to keep the only promise he had ever truly wanted to keep.

The ground shuddered and, in a sudden movement, Kairi grabbed onto his hand. He almost stopped breathing when her small hand found his bigger one, and when he looked into her beautiful violet eyes, he could see that she was as afraid to lose him as he was to lose her. He wanted so badly to take her in his arms right then, and every day he mentally kicked himself for not doing what he had so strongly desired. "Kairi, remember what you said before? I'm always with you too. I'll come back to you, I promise."

"I know you will."

And suddenly, they were separated. Despite their iron-grip, they were pulled apart and, as the pieces of land they were standing on got further and further from each other, she faded from view. When he could just barely see her, he called out her name, but she couldn't hear him. As shooting stars found their places in the sky, Sora realized that Kairi was gone.

Even now he could hear her voice—laughing, teasing, speaking. It was this chorus of words that broke him down, day by day, causing him to resent everything that she had come to encompass. As he walked with his hands in his pockets, he felt his fingertips brush against the cool silver of the chain she had given him so many years ago, back when they believed that they could reach other worlds on the raft they had built together. He pulled it out—it was dull in the dark, but would have glinted in full sun as he kept it meticulously polished. It was the only possession he bothered to carry with him anymore… It was as though nothing but Kairi mattered, and it was that rationalization that drove him to maddening lengths to search for her. He had traveled from world to world, but still she eluded him. Traverse Town had been his one hope, the last and most probable world he would visit, yet she was not there… She wasn't anywhere, and it was this that tormented him. He had failed her. He alone had broken his promise to her.

Slowly but surely, he came to detest Kairi. He despised the failure she made him and the torture she caused him. All he wanted was to stop chasing her, to settle, but she drove him to push on. He had saved the world! What more could anyone want from him? He supposed the real question, however, was what more did he want from himself?

To forget her.

He gazed down at the necklace one last time, making up his mind. He doubled back, past the Accessory Shop, through the Second District, to the door with the flame insignia. Throwing a fire spell at it, it opened for him and he went through, revealing the lake surrounding the magician's house.

"I don't want to be in love with you anymore," he said quietly before hurling the chain into the depths of the lake with a strangled cry. As the 'plunk' reverberated around the silent cavern, Sora's blue eyes grew wide with horror. He had just thrown away his only link to Kairi… "Kai?"

Without hesitation, he jumped into the water, gasping as the cold water burned at his skin like stabbing knives. He could see it sinking slowly through the murky water and dove down, but, slowly as it was traveling, it had already reached further than he could. Going back up for breath, Sora quickly doubled down again, this time exerting twice the energy, hoping to go faster. He could feel the pounding of his lungs in his chest, screaming for oxygen, but continued to press. He needed the necklace, just like he needed her.

His body was struggling to function now—his limbs vaguely moved and a strong sense of nausea was overpowering him, but it was so close now…closer than it had been before… With one last push, he reached out his hand… His fingers brushed against it, and he managed to barely grasp it. The feeling in the pit of his stomach, however, was not one of jubilation—it was one of panic and fear, for he began to realize that he would not make it back to the surface. He paddled desperately, but his movements became slower with every instant he held his breath. His brain forced his mouth to open, and he began to gulp in lake water involuntarily. He struggled feebly for a few moments, but it was futile… As he slowly grew still beneath the water's surface, the magician Merlin began to stir, not to leave his home for many months…

Thinking of you, wherever you are

We pray for our sorrows to end, and hope that our hearts will blend

Now I step forward to realize this wish

And who knows: starting a new journey may not be so hard,

Or maybe it has already begun…