A/N: Yayness! My first Kingdom Hearts fic! I really intended to make a Roxaminé, but ideas just kept on coming... Don't worry though, the companion to this fic's from Roxas and Naminé's point of view. This happens after KHII, so there are major spoilers ahead. Okay, okay, just go read!
A/N2: Just added some things to help the story's flow... okay also changed some... oh what the heck... just please please pretty please read it again... thanks so much... sorry for the late update...
Summary: It's the little things that hurt the most. Between love and duty is a decision he will regret for the rest of his existence.
Disclaimer: So sorry to disappoint you but sadly, I don't own Kingdom Hearts or the Energizer Bunny.
I: Promise Me
"Walking this road,
To remake forgotten promises and meet you at road's end."
A dream - a dream of you,
In a world without you."
"A scattered dream that's like a far-off memory.
A far-off memory that's like a scattered dream.
I want to line the pieces up --
yours and mine."
A girl on a beach, a star in hand. Three friends, talking about new worlds. Two fade away into the wind, and leave one to jump into his nightmare. A princess, an outstretched hand, a clash. A freed heart.
The door to Kingdom Hearts.
The stars return. A figure disappears in light. Two girls from the opposite ends of memory whisper the same words in unison. A spiral staircase. Loyal members of the royal court. Running up, down, backwards. Two keyblade masters charge at different points in time in the same white room.
A door opens. The chain of memories breaks. A Keyblade Master sleeps, dreaming of his friends. A Wielder falls through the ruins of his other's memory. He holds half of his other within him.
The story of a Keyblade.
"Wha..?" Sora's eyelids shot open. Sunshine filtered through the windowpanes, making his vividly blue eyes burn with light. Morning already, but it felt like he'd fallen asleep only minutes ago. Dreams as vivid as that was a common occurence, the fact that he had someone else talking in his own head and filling his own dreams with his memories didn't help very much.
-That wasn't mine- Roxas, which Sora had dubbed His Other Side (The Voice Within, he decided, was far too motivational-ish, His Inner Voice more so, and calling him his Nobody would probably tick him off), protested, sounding slightly hurt. -It's not my fault that your head's all messed up and that you don't remember anything after reaching The Crossroads.-
"Okay already Roxas, don't annoy me this early in the morning," Sora sat up and yawned. His Other Side fled, muttering, to some unknown deep, dark recess in his head. True, having Roxas in his head was fun at first, but pretty soon His Other Side (He always thought of it in capital letters, Roxas was a bit touchy about that) got restless and started to haunt his dreams. He much preferred his own pleasant (albeit Kairi-filled) dreams to His Other Side's angst- riddled ones. Sometimes having Roxas in his head just drove him crazy.
A loud bump and the muffled scream of a dying Heartless on the other side of his door told him that Riku was already awake. Sure enough he heard the boy pound on his door.
"Sora! Are you up already?" Riku yelled. "Get up or we'll never get to Kairi!"
"Coming," Sora sighed as he pawed around his things looking for his black jacket (who cares if he wore the same clothes every day, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather made sure they were always fresh, pressed and smelled of citrus-scented fabric conditioner every time he took them off). With Roxas muttering in his head he opened his door only to find a Neoshadow staring up at him with big yellow (Heartless never did achieve that puppy-eyes trick) eyes. Two swipes of his Keyblade and those eyes were no longer. He swiped his Keyblade a little more to get rid of the Icy Cubes scattered on the stairs and to grab hold of the banisters as he slipped on the little puddles they left behind.
"Couldn't you put that ward thing on the whole house?" Riku asked, peering at him through his silver hair."I mean, our rooms are protected, that all good and everything, but just getting downstairs is seriously a matter of life and death."
"Can't," he replied, helping himself to a badly toasted slice of bread. "Takes too much energy. I'm pretty sure you can bear it, but I can't. Sorry." Riku waved a hand in response.
It had been almost a month since they fell from the skies of Destiny Islands, fresh from their battle with Xemnas. The King, in recognition of what they have done, promised them knighthood, free access to His Majesty's gummi ship network, and two separate Royal Treasury Accounts, which contained enough for several generations to live comfortably on (the RTAs interested them the most, although Riku wouldn't admit it).
Fitting back in proved quite to be a challenge, however. He discovered that when Heartless had broken the Islands apart, quite a lot of people had turned into one of them. His parents, for one. Both were Heartless now, and Sora had no way of knowing whether he had already killed them or not with his Keyblade. The shock, pain and disbelief still hadn't worn off, sometimes he still cursed himself for being a Keyblade Master but not being able to protect them.
He had no choice but to look for another home. Kairi's had been a carefully considered option (she did say she and her grandmother was fine with him living with them) but he chose to move in with Riku, lest he be branded as a pervert. (Roxas just snickered in his head.) Riku was just fine with the idea, since he did live alone from time immemorial, with his mother long dead, his father long deserted, and his sister long missing.
The house was rapidly becoming a veritable spawning ground for Emblems, with both its occupants bearing the hearts of a Wielder. The ward against the creatures of darkness was powered by the Keyblades, which were, (as Riku theorized while they were both trapped inside a closet with a horde of Soldiers and Dusks pressing hard against the door) in turn, powered by the source of all darkness, Kingdom Hearts itself. Unfortunately, where Heartless gather, Nobodies usually go and find out exactly why. That made Riku's residence look like a training center, with the danger of getting your heart ripped out around every corner. That was the reason why scheduled sleepovers were immediately cancelled and rethought.
Explaining, however, was by far, the hardest part. You couldn't just walk up to your professor and say "Sorry, I'm two and a half years late, because I had to go and save the world". It took a very detailed explanation and a lot of repeating (no doubts whether the headmaster understood or even believed it or not) but the headmaster seemed to take this in stride (apparently the sight of their RTA's numbers on the tuition records made a huge impact) and placed them in levels suitable to their ages. Not surprisingly, both of them got advanced units in Sword Handling and Maneuvering. Sora was given a few credits to Battle Strategy. It seems that those times where he was stuck between giving a Hi-Potion to Donald and giving the finishing blow a very annoying Crimson Jazz did have their merits. Riku had advanced units in Philosophy and Logic, how that happened, Sora didn't want to know.
And then there was the fitting in part. Some of the population didn't even believe what they had gone through. Some thought Riku was the only one fitting in the story. Some thought the Keyblade to be only a legend, and other worlds an even crazier story (those were the ones who turned up their noses at both Emblems and the Gummi Ship Network staring up at their faces). The excitement had already died down, yet Riku still had a band of girls following him everywhere and apparently leaving tiny little giftboxes full of chocolate and love notes on their doorstep. Sora had his own band of groupies, they thought him just adorable, with his "spiky creamy brown locks of lustrous hair and lips always set in an adorable pout", (Riku had one hell of a time reading that in front of Kairi) worthy of its very own fan club. Both groups, however, always broke into tiny little whispers everytime Kairi walked by in the company of two of the officially proclaimed hottest guys in the Academy. Although sometimes people gave him odd looks, and sometimes they just plain stared because Sora always accidentally conversed aloud with His Other Side. Might as well have a "Psychotic Keyblade Master" sign posted over his head.
Today was the Sixth Day, free from the Academy's torture, also known as schoolwork. They were going to meet Kairi, his princess of heart (he liked to think of it that way) on the island off the Main where they always used to play on. They always went there whenever they had free time, exploring (the island had a very extensive forest), training, or just staring at the sky with Kairi's head on his shoulder and the sounds of Riku teaching Tidus and the others how to really duel properly.
"Sora? You talking again to Roxas?" Riku asked, eyebrow raised. (it was hard to see that with all that hair reaching down to his eyes) "I've got another training session, you have to explain to a certain sugar-high person (which meant either Tidus or Selphie) how to cast Magnega. And Kairi's waiting."
Kairi Dalmasca was running, running hard and running fast. The moment she spotted the three circles of the King's seal on the letter she ran for it, not even waiting for the messenger to say "For the Key--" Who knows what would happen next.
"Sora! Riku!" She yelled as she approached the paopu tree where they always met. Both turned to look at her, Sora eyes wide, Riku with a smile of amusement (amusement! she was going to give him a piece of her mind later, savior of the world or not!). Skidding to a halt in front of the tree, she held out the bottle, panting. Sora's eyes went even wider, if possible, when he saw the seal, and he immediately popped the cork and slid the letter out. Kairi jumped over the tree to his side. It was just about their knighting
-To the Keyblade Masters Sora Hikari and Riku Alcaia,
Greetings, my friends. As promised, you two will be knighted on the second Seventh Day of the Seventh Moon, which is about six months from now. Be prompt and prepare well. You may bring whoever you wish to witness this momentous event---
The farther she read, the more the letter kind of rambled on. She supposed kings wrote that way, boring and predictable.
"I can see you're disappointed, Kai," Riku said after his eyes had traveled down the parchment. "Expecting another adventure?"
"Well, you could say yes," she sighed. "You boys had all the fun, you know, while I was stuck here, waiting. That is so unfair," she pouted.
"Oh yeah, missing getting almost killed at least a dozen times and being swallowed by darkness, not to mention getting chased by thirteen psychopaths, is unfair." He smirked at her, his eyes crinkling under his silver bangs.
She hated pouting, but she was doing exactly that now. She turned to Sora for backup. His eyes were still trained on the letter, oblivious to both of them. "Huh? Sora?" He gave a start and grinned sheepishly. "I--I just can't believe we're gonna be knighted..." He pushed the letter back into the bottle. "All of this is unbelievable---honestly, I really did only want to see other worlds, not to go and save them or something."
"Well, what's happened has already happened," Riku crossed his arms and leaned against the tree, a very familiar gesture. "We can't change the past. And it did bring us three closer, after all. Now we know that Sora here missed me so much that he actually dropped to his kness and cried, like a scene from a soap opera.Now that is what I call unbelievable." (That earned him a punch on the shoulder, more like a slap from a rapidly turning red in the face Sora.)
Kairi giggled. "At least now, wherever one of us goes, the others follow, " She put out her hand. "That's a promise." Riku's pale (that's what you get from being in the dark so long) hand settled gently on top of hers, followed by Sora's. The two boys echoed her words, Riku's voice clear and strong, Sora's voice hard with determination.
She could've sworn Sora's voice shook a tiny bit.
Back and forth.
Back and forth.
Back and forth.
Sora stared at the bottle (it could've held a very good vintage champagne had it not been used as, well, as a messenger bottle; what was it with people and plain white envelopes?) and wondered how a simple letter like that could reduce him to a shaking bundle of nerves. He started pacing again. -If you don't stop pacing you'll wear the floor down- Roxas whispered in his head.
He couldn't stop pacing. He paced when he had to think about something. Hard. It was a simple letter, true. But that was what Riku and Kairi saw. His eyelid twitched.
I'm sorry to bother you on such short notice, but this concerns the Keyblade. You see, there are still worlds out there that still have their hearts unlocked. I've just recently discovered this, and if the hearts remain unsealed, Emblems will continue to try and take over the heart, and I cannot allow that. I cannot ask Riku to do this, because no matter what happens, darkness has already planted a seed in his heart that cannot be uprooted. Constant contact with such power from the heart of a world will turn him. Please, go and seal those worlds, or Kingdom Hearts will fall, and all existence with it. Your duty calls, Wielder. Go alone. Do not endanger a princess of heart. I really am sorry.
And this message can only be seen by you. Others see something about you and Riku's knighting.---
The note (it didn't even qualify as a letter) was hurriedly scribbled and was stained on one corner with something that looked horribly like blood. It looked like the King penned this down in the middle of a battle. A very violent battle, at that.
He wanted to yell. He'd already done what he was meant to do--he had already sealed Kingdom Hearts (hell, he was the key to Kingdom Hearts), he had already finished Organization XIII ( a bit silently, if you please, Roxas might go berserk), he had already saved the world twice over. He was already home. Why ruin that? He silently cursed the King and the Keyblade. Why, of all the people roaming around in about a million different worlds out there, just minding their own business, why did the Keyblade have to choose him
-A strong heart bears many burdens- Roxas muttered in his head. -face it. You're going to seal Keyholes for the rest of your natural life. It kinda sucks to be you, Sora.-
He didn't want to go. Who, in his place would want to? Duty called him to leave those he cared for the most. (His head hurt from thinking.) He was finished with saving the world. He just wanted to lead a normal life. He, Riku, and Kairi had already found each other. Why ruin that? Why ruin a promise?
-Wherever one of us goes, the others follow.-
He glanced out his window. A supposed star vanished into the night right before his very eyes. Somewhere out there a reality was extinguished, its heart taken over by darkness.
It does suck to be Sora.
The sunset was majestically beautiful. She could tell, since she had almost her entire non-existent life in a town perpetually caught between night and day (it gets kinda boring when you suddenly realize it's supposed to be high noon and it's still twilight outside), inside a room in perpetual white, with only her colored pencils and nubby pastels to clash with blinding white. She sometimes stood by the window, amidst the perpetually white curtains (washed, starched and pressed, mind you), watching the perpetual orange spread itself across the twilight sky.
Now she was perpetually bound. Kairi was sitting on the docks again, her legs dangling over the crystal clear water, whiling away the time. She should be happy, they didn't fade back into darkness, her and the Nobody she was so much alike with. But living someone else's life? She sometimes found herself wishing for the darkness that never came. She was still Naminé, whatever happened. Peace never came to someone born like her.
"Kai!" Riku came up on the dock, his shoes making the wood creak pleasantly. (See, Naminé could still see, could still hear, could still sense, but she couldn't do anything about it Naminé (Kairi, Kairi!) smiled at the platinum-haired Wielder. "Whoa, Riku, what's up with you?" she asked him.
Riku dropped down next to Kairi. "I just wanted to watch the sunset." Naminé could almost hear the unspoken words. With you.
She'd messed up his head, more than once. She'd created a false chain of memories and stuck them deep inside his replica's head, ( with a satisfied Vexen gleefully clapping his hands, remarking that his experiment had finally come out perfectly) who promised to protect her, no matter what. She saved him from drowning in light by taking on the form of the one person he would listen to. And here she was, perpetually bound to the very same person. Who did he see? Kairi? or her non-existent form?
Sunsets here in Destiny Islands were way too common, Kairi thought as she stared at the orange-tinged sky. (She could hear Naminé protest vehemently in her head.) You really could get bored of paradise if you lived there long enough.
Kairi looked over her shoulder as a familiar platinum-haired boy ran up the dock. She smiled. "Whoa, Riku, what's with you?"
He smiled back as he eased himself beside her, their legs dangling over the crystal that was ocean water. "I just wanted to watch the sunset," he answered, gazing at the golden ball that was the setting sun.
Kairi stole a glance at the person who sat next to her. Riku Alcaia. She knew he liked her. She could see it in the tiny things he did that no one else would notice---like that way he held himself around her ( and she had to admit---he was hot, no wonder the girl half of the school started hogging him), or the way he carefully averted his gaze when she met his. But he, being Riku, just let her and Sora be. She was grateful for that. They sat in silence. Not the kind of awkward silence between a crusher and a crushee (Kairi's brows drew together---was crushee even a word?), but the comfortable silence between old friends.
"So... this is like the twentieth sunset in a row that you have watched."
"There are the little things in life that we shouldn't take for granted," he replied, still staring at the setting sun. "You know, it's pretty depressing to get stuck in a world where day is always night. I missed watching the sunset. Hey, I missed everything normal. The light still sometimes blinds me when it shouldn't be..." he sighed.
"Oh, Riku, don't worry about turning to darkness or anything of that stuff," she said in what she hoped was a comforting voice, and peered up at his aquamarine eyes (and ignoring that blush that was slowly spreading up his face; he was kinda cute that way). "You have that," she poked his chest where his heart should roughly be ", and that is something that'll never be overcome." (now he's blushing really hard, if one of his fangirls saw him now she'd friggin' faint). "And you have friends by your side. This time, you won't fight anything alone, buddy. No leaving me out anymore," she said a little bit loudly.
"I know. It's just so hard to forget. And yeah, if we ever get chased by crazed guys with plans for universal domination, we'll let you know. Then we'll see whose gonna be eating their words," he laughed. Kairi gave him a small punch in the arm (which would hardly leave a mark--the arm was well built) and laughed with him.
"Oh yeah! Just because you guys got your own Keyblade doesn't prove---"
"And just because you're a princess of heart doesn't mean you can get away with that pout."
"I am not pouting! I'm way too old for that!"
Riku suddenly cocked his head, his eyes scanning the beach. "I smell sugar."
Kairi raised an eyebrow. Sure, Riku could pick up scents (that certain talent came as a bit of a shock, they now had a bloodhound for a friend, and that was just plain weird) of people, but sugar? Then she heard a very familiar voice floating on the sea breeze. She giggled. Tidus (only one person can top off his hyperactiveness, and that was none other that Selphie) was yelling for Riku to teach him Magnega right now. (Sometimes she thought those two were just Energizer bunnies pretending they were people.)
"I smell people high on sugar," he grinned and stood up. "And now, princess, I go to escape a horrifying fate."
"Don't call me prin---"
"Oh c'mon Kai, I know you like being a princess," he laughed softly, running a hand through his hair. "And just in time. Here comes your prince." Riku cocked his head in the direction of an approaching Sora. "See you later when I get away from sugar-boy there." He gave the other Wielder a smile (a smirk, more like, knowing Riku) as he ran away from the Energizer Bunny.
Kairi stared as Sora came up and sat next to her wordlessly. Sora, as far as she knew, wasn't the type to just sit there. He usually (well, always) made as much noise as possible to make his presence heard. Her heart suddenly beat, no, galloped much faster.
She liked Sora. Oh, as in liked him. Why would she throw herself in the middle of a corridor of darkness just to find him if she didn't?
"Huh?" She stole a glance at him. She could see scarlet tinge his cheeks. What the---
"I want...I have to tell you something. Before something happens and, well, you know---" he waved a dismissive hand around.
"You know you can tell me anything," she said quietly, the pounding in her chest, combined with Naminé's almost frantic giggling, was maddening. "What's up?" She could hear Sora sigh softly. And since when did he ever do anything softly? She smiled at the thought.
This was getting irritating. "Wha--"
She only had a split second to react before Sora leaned in and kissed her, skin pressed against soft skin. Her eyes, widening in surprise, seeing herself reflected in his cerulean blues, closed and the kiss deepened.
He broke the kiss but still held her tight. "Did..did I say it right..?" he asked, grinning.(That grin often drove her crazy, the way it popped up in the most unusual of situations.)
"Mmm," She murmured. "Yeah...bit lacking though."
Now his eyes widened as Kairi reached up and returned the gesture.
Hey, talk is cheap.
So sorry, the story got kinda mixed up in my head. So anyways please review my attempt at fanfiction... -sighs- I changed my mind, flames are accepted. There's always that one guy out there who'll hate me for writing this way. (or two. or three. or five thousand. Who cares?) Who knows? Maybe you're that one guy.
Go on then, click that button and review. :D