Pain and Panic exchange glances. "No. They're not allowed in the games."

Sora's lower lip sticks out in a pout and his hand clutches the Keyblade a little bit tighter. "But why? Goofy and Donald are my friends!" Auron stands silent, away from the group, and he knows that he might be out of the circle. Out of the circle, but not out of Sora's heart.

They're a tight-knit group. Donald could tell you everything about Sora's sleeping habits, and Sora knows what Goofy's favorite flavour of ice cream is, and Goofy likes to purposely irritate Donald by mispronouncing words. But still, with each adventure, they welcome more and more people into their group.

"They're sidekicks! These games are for heros, not zeros!" Pain and Panic cackle and Sora gives a groan of pure frustration, pinching the bridge of his nose, a trick he's learned from Leon.

"They're not sidekicks." Auron idly lets his eyes wander over to where Donald and Goofy stand, the former irritated and the latter humming something he'd heard earlier tha day, and he wonders how they can seem so… casual. "They're just as important as I am. I can't leave them behind!"

"No sidekicks in the games."

But still, Sora, Donald and Goofy talk for a few moments, Sora appearing a little bit regretful as Donald squawks and pushes him towards the longboat. Auron stays stoic, even as the boat goes sailing, a skeleton pushing the boat along with creaking bones. Sora gives a melancholy wave, eyes drooping miserably.

And Auron tenses as he feels Goofy move beside him. "Y'know, Sora's not tellin' the truth."

"How so?" Auron raises an eyebrow, scarred face looking into that of a dog's.

"We really are just sidekicks." Donald's voice is barely legible beside him, and Auron has to look downward and to his right to properly view the duck. He feels out of place standing between them, but at the same time, he's right where he wants to be.

Auron stares at the water, and for once, Hades' hands aren't covering his eyes.

"Around him, I don't feel like one, though."