Hope you all enjoyed the ride. Be sure to check for the full .PDF rendition at "http :/www. keepandshare. com/doc/3281290/kingdom-hearts-a-new-tale-5-2-meg?da=y" (ATTENTION! Make sure there are no spaces before the "http," "www" and "com"). The link is also available in my profile. Spin-off sequel is in progress!
Riku looked at the two cards in his hand.
Wonder if these will be any use one day? he thought. He tucked them into his pockets along with his personal collection of keychains. Well, off I go.
Riku pushed the massive metal door open and entered. Various security guards stood motionless at their posts. Each gave Riku a quick glance, but maintained their positions. After walking through the wide halls, Riku stopped and looked up at the sign. He raised a hand and prepared to knock on the door before him.
"Come in," a voice said from within.
The Keyblade master slowly made his way in, his chest raised high and his shoulders eased back. Several official-looking men waited in the room.
"Mr. Mayor," Riku greeted humbly.
The mayor gestured to all but one man to leave the room. The mayor then offered a warm smile, silently beckoning Riku to relax.
"Now, Riku, what have I said before about formalities here?" he said, leaning back in his office chair. "Please, make yourself at home! How are you and Sora doing these days?"
"Just fine, sir, I mean—" Riku paused. "Yeah, we're doing just fine. And what about you and Kairi?"
The mayor chuckled and slowly rose from his seat. He went to the far side of the office and poured some hot tea into two separate handcrafted mugs. He offered one to Riku, who politely accepted, before seating himself back down.
"Superb," he finally said after taking a long sip of tea. "I try my best nowadays to keep work-related things to a minimum around Kairi. Hopefully, somehow, I can make up all those neglectful years I've put upon her."
"I'm sure she's much happier now," Riku said reassuringly.
"I appreciate those words, Riku," said the mayor. He paused, taking another sip from his mug. "Ah, I remembered. Are you and Sora planning on returning to school after all these years?"
"Sora is, not me," Riku answered right away. "As a matter of fact, your daughter is already helping him cram years of schoolwork into one summer, just so the two of them could be in the same grade when the school year resumes."
"Sounds like something she would do!" the mayor exclaimed. "That leaves you, then. What are you planning on doing, Riku?"
Riku stretched out both arms and gestured to the office and the entire vicinity. He looked in the direction of the other man, who had been motionless and mute the entire time.
"The job, eh?" the mayor asked.
"That's why I'm here," Riku confirmed.
"Chief Amodar," the mayor called.
The other man in the office, Amodar, was a tall, dark-skinned man who appeared to be in his early-50s. He was a hulky man, distinguished by his thick mustache and short gelled black hair. Amodar made his way next to Riku and faced the mayor. From here, Riku realized the police chief was only a couple of centimeters taller than he was. Still, the noticeable size difference was enough to at least mentally intimidate Riku—just a little.
"Sir," said Amodar.
"Take this one under your wing," said the mayor. "He's one of the few who helped clean up the mess we were all in. The Dark Crisis is over, but it won't hurt to train some new recruits."
"Understood," said Alomar. He turned his head to face Riku. "Well, well. The training regimen should pose to be of no problem for someone of your caliber."
Riku smirked, his expression brimming with sheer confidence.
Mickey, hooded and concealed in a black cloak, made his way in between lines of tourists and researchers alike. It was the reopening of the Temple Key Museum, and would-be scholars from all corners of the universe found ways to show up. None seemed to truly notice Mickey following along. The chatter in the air was filled with inconceivable scientific anecdotes, terminology Mickey never could have imagine existed, and in some cases, angry mutters and curses spewing between two disagreeing intellectuals.
As the lines moved along, Mickey eventually found himself at the entrance to the museum. The man in the ticket booth instantly recognized the mouse king.
"Y-you're King Mickey!" he gasped. Mickey quickly placed an index finger on his own mouth, signaling for silence.
"Not so loud!" Mickey whispered. "I'm only a tourist today."
But the announcement was loud enough for nearby attendees to hear. In mere seconds, the domino effect was under way. Murmurs of "King Mickey is here," "The mouse king is here," and "Someone said they saw King Mickey" began circulating through the crowds. Without hesitating, Mickey waved a quick goodbye to the man in charge of the ticket booth and hurried into the museum.
Inside, Mickey sprinted through the corridors, past the stationary researchers examining the artifacts, past the hardworking university students drafting their thesis papers, and past the small groups of debating scholars. In time, he found the place he was searching for all along.
A bulky, broad-shouldered man was busy reorganizing a stack of books, each seeming to weigh at least ten pounds. Beside him was an attractive female, somewhat above average height for a woman. Her long hair rested over her shoulders like a scarf, the thin glasses resting on her nose periodically slipped down from her slender face. She was flipping through a large tome; her expression showed that she was digging for information.
"Well, look who it is," said the woman, peering up from the tome.
"The majesty himself," said the man, temporarily putting his duties to a halt. "In person. What brings us this honor?"
"Xym—oh, haha," Mickey paused and cleared his throat. "Gylmer. Silra. Good to see the two of you hard at work."
The two librarians smiled in response.
"Work as usual," said Gylmer. "You'd think we're due for a vacation now and then."
"I practically live here," said Silra. "Come to think of it, I can't even remember when was the last time I got to travel…"
Mickey stayed quiet for a moment. It seemed that Gylmer and Silra retained only their human memories. For them, their existences as Heartless and Nobodies were the equivalent of a living nightmare. Mickey promptly decided it was best to not bring up the subject.
"Hire some more folks during the late seasons and maybe you two can take a well-deserved vacation," Mickey said happily. "Oh, and…"
With a strong flick of his wrists, Mickey whipped out a reinforced case from his cloak. He nudged the package over to Gylmer, who hesitated before opening the lid.
"How did you get your hands on these documents?" asked Silra. "I could've sworn we had them stashed in our research room."
"Guess not…" added Gylmer. "Strange."
"Happened to come across 'em during my travels," Mickey explained. "Keep 'em safe, guys."
Gylmer closed the lid and passed the case to Silra. After a brief examination, Silra nodded to Mickey and made her way out of the library. When she was out of earshot, Gylmer took the rest of the books and crammed them into various bookshelves.
"And that's that," Gylmer declared proudly. "How long are you planning on staying, your Majesty?"
"Well," Mickey started. "Not too long, I still have business to sort out back at the kingdom. A certain fellow named Pete is off on his mischievous schemes again."
"That's a shame, would've offered you some coffee at least before you leave."
"Hmm… I think I have some time left," Mickey hummed. "Coffee sounds like a great idea."
Throughout Destiny Islands, the reconstruction was nearly completed by the latter months of summer. Villages were rebuilt, new families moved in, and everything appeared as if the Heartless assault months prior never occurred. Restaurants and parks sprouted throughout the region. Cities began to bustle with activity once again.
Sora and Kairi were sitting in a booth in a newly established café chain.
"Café Nautilus," said Sora. "Looks like it's a hit."
Customers of all ages, though mostly teens around Sora and Kairi's age group, packed the café. Lines were constantly in motion, seats were filled, yet there was always enough space for more people to maneuver around.
"The best hangout spot next to our secret place," said Kairi.
Their hands rested in each others', a common sight after initiating the most gossiped relationship amongst their peers. At first it was new, but somewhat aggravating when the two of them became the center of too many conversations. But after a couple of months, the couple was accepted—and old news.
"No need to be shy anymore, right?" Kairi cooed.
"Eh, I never liked the attention," said Sora.
"That's a lie, Sora, you love being the center of attention," Kairi joked. "You were just too shy to be seen holding my hand."
"Aw, c'mon, Kairi, don't tell me you didn't feel a little bit weird with everyone talking about us," said Sora.
"Everyone, meaning Selphie and her big mouth?" Kairi laughed. "Okay, maybe just a little."
"At least people are finally leaving us alone," Sora added. He sipped on his milkshake and suddenly grabbed his head. "Ugh, brain freeze."
"Better finish that up soon," said Kairi. "We're gonna be late for our study session this afternoon."
Sora groaned and placed his forehead on the table.
"At the rate we're goin', you can just teach me everything and I won't even have to go back to school."
"I can teach you everything up to where I am," Kairi said as she placed one hand on Sora's cheek. "Can't help you after that. That's too bad. You'll just have to join me for classes."
Kairi leaned over the table and gave Sora a peck on the cheek. The boy looked up and smiled his usual awkward smile. In a short while, the two of them left their empty glassware and payment on the table. Out into the warm ocean breeze-filled air, beneath the high afternoon summer sun, they waltzed on hand-in-hand, leaving all their past adventures and their struggles behind.
The sights and scenery were sorely missed. Even though months have passed since they returned, the tranquility that enveloped Destiny Islands taught them to never take the happiness for granted. Both Sora and Kairi made their way across the sandy shores, amidst the occasional cheerful greetings from local villagers. They were celebrities, the idolized warriors who have restored peace across worlds. Returning the greetings, they continued along, blending into the small groups of teens enjoying their summer break from school. On they went without troubles, concerns or worries. With their chins held high, their minds open and clear, they settled into the roles they seemed to have long forgotten: simple, just slightly above average teenagers.