I'm SO sorry for the wait. Not that many care, but here you go nonetheless ::dies::

Chapter Eight

"Any sign of 'em?"


"Gwarsh, I hope they're alright..."

"We have to find them," King Mickey said, punching different buttons in the ship's cockpit, trying to obtain some sort of signal from the other ship. After several minutes, however, they received nothing. The miniature King sighed, the sad frown on the mouse very foreign to his usual features. Donald, both out of anxiety and frustration, suddenly pounded the control panel, causing Mickey and Goofy to jump.

"Why'd they have to attack them only? They didn't even notice us..."

"What d'ya think those were?" Goofy thought out loud, placing a finger on his chin in thought. The three sat there, pondering those strange creatures. They reminded Goofy of Nobodies, yet they seemed surreal, almost as if they weren't actually there. How odd...

"What're we still sitting around here for?" Donald suddenly piped up, leaping out of his seat. Mickey and Goofy turned to stare at him, and Donald glared right back at them.

"I know those three are alright, so they're fine where ever they are! We just have to find them now!"

"Gwarsh, you're right. Ya know how much Sora scares us, he gets hurt all the time but he's always fine!" Goofy said, sitting up in his seat, and joining Donald in gearing up devices to aid in their search.

King Mickey watched his two friends, smiling. He was glad to have the company of such positive friends: little did they know, he was prone to bouts of sadness as well. Smiling, though not forcibly this time, he joined Donald and Goofy.

Sora blinked, both very curious as to why he was expected, and very scared as to wondering who was talking about him in this world he had never been to. Shen continued to look at him, simply sitting on the floor besides the bed.

"I, uh...who-?"

"You really are strong, Sora. I saw your fall, and I watched you fight."

"Uh, thanks, I guess, but, who-OW!"

In an attempt to get out of bed, Sora had placed weight on his injured arm, which he recoiled in pain. Shen lightly pushed Sora back onto the bed.

"You should stay there, until Javon comes back. His magic is stronger, he'll heal you." At that, Shen stood up and walked out of the small room, leaving Sora lying there, utterly confused.

Something about her seems familiar.

'Really? To be honest she's kinda creeping me out.'

Same here. But...I don't know...

Footsteps approached outside the door, and Sora immediately sat up, ignoring the shooting pain in his arm. He heard muffled voices from behind the door, and tensed, ready to summon his Keyblade even if it hurt his arm immensely.

"How do we know you're not tricking us?"

"I thought you'd said you'd trust me for now."

"You lead us through an unholy amount of stair steps, how do we know you don't want to take us to the top of a building and throw us over--"

"Just shut up! He said he knows where Sora is, so just let him!"

Sora's eyes widened. Somebody else was looking for him too? He slowly stood up and walked to the middle of the room, prepared to defend himself if anybody tried to barge into the room and attempt to take him by force.

The door opened, and to Sora's surprise and relief, he saw Kairi and Riku slowly walk in, a brown-haired stranger following behind. He straightened up, and the three friends stared at one another for a full three seconds before Kairi ran forward, attaching herself to Sora in a tight hug.

"Sora! You're here, you're really here! Are you okay? How hurt are you?"

"Ah, Kairi, wait--OW!"

Kairi jumped backwards and watched as Sora clutched his arm while grinning sheepishly.

"I hurt it, and Shen can't heal it properly."

"Shen--?" Riku began, but he was cut off as Javon stepped forward.

"Of course she couldn't..." the brown-haired stranger muttered. He tightly grasped Sora right arm, causing him to gasp in pain. Riku began to step forward, but not before Javon uttered a Curaga spell and released Sora's arm. Sora flexed his arm and fingers: all the pain was gone. He looked up at Javon and gave him a wide grin.

"Thanks! Uh... are you Javon?"

"Yes. Shen found you, but said you were separated from your companions, so I found them."

Sora looked over at Riku and Kairi, who appeared disheveled and worn. He glanced at Kairi, still wearing Riku's overgrown, and now tattered coat, and laughed, stepping towards them.

"Are you guys okay?"

"Yeah. Riku crashed the ship though--"

"Of course we did, we had to, it was damaged beyond repair--!"

"And Javon helped us find you."

Riku turned away in annoyance, instead taking in the room. Sora led Kairi back to the bed, both sitting on the low edge, while Javon, took his place against the wall, crossing his arms, and gazing over the three.

"Where are we?" Riku asked, gazing out the window with his arms crossed.

"Mid Town. It's our home, for now."

The silver-haired teen raised an eyebrow.

"'For now'?"

Javon made to speak, but turned to see Shen walk in from the other room. She stopped and stared, wide-eyed, at the newcomers. Kairi offered a small smile in greeting, but Riku continued to look at her with a hard face.

The silence continued, with Sora shifting awkwardly. After another moment, Sora had had enough.

"Well, thank you very much for helping us. I think we should get going, we have to find our other companions--"

"It's not a good idea for you to go out there," Javon said.


"Thieves. Muggers. And Heartless."

"Why are there so many Heartless here?" Kairi asked. Sora looked at her.

"Were you attacked?"

"Yeah. Swarms of them. Riku and I would've been goners if Javon hadn't showed up."

"Do you know where your friends are?" Shen quietly asked. Riku and Kairi turned to face her, rather surprised since neither had actually heard her speak before. Sora shrugged.

"I don't know. We were attacked and we lost contact with them. Maybe if we go back to our ship, we could get the intercom to work..."

"It's broken. We tried already," Kairi said.

"Ah." Sora sighed, and turned to look at Riku, who had turned away from Shen and back towards the window. "What should we do?"

"We'll go and try to find them tomorrow."

"Why are you here?" inquired Shen suddenly.

"It's none of your business."

"Don't be so mean, Riku!" Kairi said. "They helped us!"

"Don't worry about it," Javon said, giving Shen a look that only Sora caught.

"Look, let's just...get some rest. We'll go find the king tomorrow..."

"The king--?" began Shen, but Javon cut in.

"Enough," he said quietly. He turned back to face their visitors. "We don't have much room, but it's a wise idea for you to rest here. There is another room past the kitchen, the three of you can sleep there."

Sora and Kairi nodded, and both stood up. Riku, however, remained planted exactly where he was and continued to glare at the strangers.

"You've asked us enough questions--"

"No they haven't!"

"You've been asking most of them!" Kairi piped in. Riku ignored her and Sora.

"--now answer me one. Where did did you steal it from?"

There was a cold silence in the room, with the exception of a sharp exclamation of "Riku!" coming from Kairi. Shen glanced fearfully at Javon; Javon calmly kept his gaze on Riku.

"I didn't steal it. Just like you and Sora and Kairi here--"

"You're not like us."

"Why do you say that?"

"We would've met before--"

"What are you talking about, Riku?" Sora piped up.

"He has a Keyblade," Riku responded, not breaking his gaze from Javon. Sora whipped around to look at Javon, who also refused to break aways his gaze from the silver-haired teen.

"Where did you get it?" Riku asked once more, this time with a dangerous tone in his voice that made Sora and Kairi take a step towards him.

"I didn't steal it. If you care to believe me, I don't remember where I got it from."

At that, Riku scoffed, and finally broke the gaze to look out the window once again. Sora cleared his throat, and stepped awkwardly towards Javon.

"Do you... really have one too? A Keyblade?"

Javon gave him a friendly smile before extending his arm out and summoning the mentioned weapon. Sora felt a strange excitement and curiosity surge through him...another Keyblade wielder...

"No wonder the Heartless are here... they're attracted to the Keyblade...but there's so many...you'd think there were two Keyblade wielders, but maybe you're just that strong! But this is so interesting... the only other Keybalde wielders I knew were my friends here, and now to think there was another one in a far world...I've gotta tell the king...!" Sora paced back and forth, evoking a strange gaze from Shen and an amused look from Javon and Kairi. Riku, however, only responded when he heard Sora mention "gotta tell the king", and stepped away from the window and in front of Sora.

"'Tell the King'? Are you saying that he should come with us?"

"Of course! We can't just leave them here! And not just him, I'm sure he wouldn't leave her, Shen, here either!" Behind him, Shen tensed, though not with fear. "Look at this world, they don't belong here!"


"Riku!" the two friends glared at one another. "They helped us!"

"And we've said thanks."

"No we haven't..." Kairi meagerly implied.

"Look, just get some rest. We can find your friends tomorrow," Javon said, gesturing to the last room in their strange little flat. Sora nodded and hurried towards it, with Kairi following. Riku looked after them, and then turned to look at the stranger, to whom he now had a fair amount of dislike towards.

"If Sora remains sore with me, it will be entirely your fault," he told them, before stalking off into the room after his friends, shutting the door behind him.

Shen stood against the wall, gazing sadly at the door.

"I hope they're not upset at one another..."

"They won't be. Sora really does seem too nice for his own good."

"Will we go with them, if they allow us?"

"Of course. It's what we wanted, wasn't it?" he said, looking at her before walking to the bed in the corner and sitting on it. Shen stayed rooted to her spot, before going to the farthest corner from Javon and pulling out her thick blankets.

Despite the couch that furnished the other wall of the room, she preferred the floor next to the window. Sleep was rare to come by for her, and she enjoyed passing the time away by gazing out at the city's night lights. Tonight, however, she couldn't sleep for a different reason: excitement. She was finally going to leave. Maybe she might make friends...Sora and Kairi appeared to be very friendly. Riku, however... Shen had a feeling that Riku was not a good choice to have as an enemy, even though she definitely did not want anybody as an enemy. It seemed that he, however, already saw her and Javon as an enemy.

She shuddered, and pulled the blankets around her, staring out the window.

"Gwarsh, this world doesn't look too fun, huh?" Goofy said, uncomfortably glancing around at the tall buildings, dilapidating in the musky morning. Donald uttered something that Goofy didn't quite catch, but from his tone, the duck too would like nothing better than to find the spikey-headed brat and his friends and get out.

The king led their small group, each one of the warily eyeing the small amount of people traipsing their way through the streets. They stopped at a corner, unsure of which way to go.

"Maybe we should ask if they've seen kids that look like them..?" Donald asked.

"That might work," inquired Goofy.

"We could try finding the place where they crashed, they might have stayed around the ship--" Mickey said, although his words were drowned out by a piercing scream. The trio turned in the direction of the scream, which was comming from a long, narrow street. They ran towards it as a group of people hurried away.

"It's those things again!"

"One nearly got me!"

"Where's...where's my brother...! My brother!"

A young girl turned back, and followed Mickey, Donald and Goofy, who had stopped dead in their tracks.

"So the Heartless are here too, huh?" Donald said, pulling out his wand from beneath his little dark cloak. "THUNDAGA!"

Goofy whipped out his shield and hurled it towards the Heartless like a Frisbee. Only the king had noticed the young girl who had hurried back, her eyes glued onto her young brother, who had climbed onto a stack of boxes in an effort to avoid the little creatures gathered around.

"No! I've got to help him!" the girl began to ran forward, the the king held his arm back."What're you doing?! That's my BROTHER!"

"We'll get him," he said, unclenching his hand, and summoning the gold Keyblade. The girl locked her eyes on the weapon as the king hurried forward, swiping away the creatures. Within moments, Donald, Goofy an Mickey had finished off the small numbers of Heartless that had attacked the street, and Goofy hurried over to the young boy, offering his hand and smiling kindly at him.

"Are ya alright? You must've had quite a scare there!"

The boy took his hand and hopped down, but kept his eyes glued onto the weapon in the mouse-king's hand, as he had been looking at it throughout the small battle. His older sister hurried over to him and pulled him away from Goofy, warily eyeing the Keyblade.


The three stared, confused, at the boy and girl.

"It's the Keyblade!" Goofy piped up. "You two haven't seen three kids around here, have ya? Two of them are boys, one of them is a girl...they all have a Keyblade too, we were attacked and we lost track of them..." his voice faltered as he saw a look of utmost terror on the girl's face.

"Three more have that weapon" she gasped, backing farther away from them.

"There's more here with Keyblades?!" Donald asked.

"Go away."

Mickey frowned at her. Why was she so terrified?

"Go away!" cried the girl again, backing farther away and pulling her brother with her, who had gazed curiously at the funny-looking strangers. "First it was those two...they carried that damned key! They brought those creatures! It's been worse and worse since! Now more of you...go away! Go away and live this town alone!"

With that, the girl ran away, clinging her brother to her. The young boy turned and waved before they turned the corner.

"'Those two'..." Mickey turned to face his friends. "I think the ones Cloud was talking about are here." He turned to his friends, who were confused. "Back at Radiant Garden, Cloud managed to mumble something to Sora... 'I saw one similar to there there...' Cloud was in this world before, that's why I wanted to come. I think he saw another Keyblade."

"Well, if there are other Keyblade wielders here, that explains the Heartless. They're drawn to the Keyblade, aren't they?" Donald said, crossing his arms in thought.


"D'ya think those two found Sora, Riku and Kairi?" Goofy asked.

"It's possible..."

"Welp," Mickey began, indicating behind Donald and Goofy. "Perhaps we might be close. The Heartless are drawn to the Keyblade, and if there's this many, we might be close." Donald and Goofy turned to find a fresh hoard of Heartless approaching.

"Geez, give us a break, will ya!" Donald shouted, before shouting out another powerful thunder curse.

He landed painfully on the dusty ground, the hard metal that made up his armor bashing against his body. He wearily gazed at his comrade, who had knelt next to him in concern.

He could hear laughter not far. Cold, cruel laughter...

"I told you to watch out."

'Watch out...?'

"You were stupid to deny it from the beginning..."


Thumping noises... was that his heart, beating frantically in fear of being lost?

"You're his pawn."

'Pawn? Who's...'

The thumping grew louder... it was filling his ears with noise...

"Of course."

A flash of light, and his comrade was thrown several feet away from him. A helmeted gaze met him, though he could just picture the cruel smirk underneath the helmet. The blonde, though weak with injuries, glared at him with all his might.


'Who is that...?'

"You have always been his pawn."


Sora leapt up as if buckets of ice-cold water were thrown at him, and he woke up to find Kairi shaking him awake.

"Oh, morning Kairi! Wow, that was some--what's wrong?" he asked, noticing she has a look of complete terror on her face. From the other room, he could hear thumping noises. "What's going...?"

"Sora, get over here!" He heard Riku's voice. Sora leapt up from his sleeping spot on the floor and ran into the next room. He found Riku, Javon and Shen grasping their weapons, ready to attack if they needed and the door was rattling madly. Taking a look outside the window, Sora saw that mornings, too, lacked light, as it was gloomy and cloudy. He gave a puzzled look to Javon, who caught his gaze.

"Heartless," he said, indicating to the door.

"Heartl--why?" he asked, summoning his Keyblade and joining the others. Kairi made up the rear of the group as she summoned Princess Guard. Shen looked around at her companions and felt incredibly inferior. She looked away...if only...

"It's not a good idea to place so many Keyblades and their bearers in one spot. Heartless sense it soon enough."

"Is there no other way out of here?" Riku demanded, looking around the room.

"Unless you want to fall several hundred feet out the window, no," Javon replied coolly, much to Riku's agitation. He had no time to respond, and the door was suddenly thrown open, and Heartless spilled in.

Javon threw himself at them, slashing and slashing. They began to sink into the floor and crawl towards Sora. He grabbed Kairi and moved to the door, Kairi swiping at it. Shen, who's weapon didn't seem to posses much strength, hurried after Sora, taking her swipes at the Heartless. Her staff was nowhere near as strong as the Keyblades her companions wielded, though it did it's share of usefulness as it swiped the Heartless a good distance away from the group. Riku brought up the end of the group, making sure the Heartless didn't attempt to sneak up behind them.

Out into the dark hallway they ran, and the hallway, too, was crowded with the Shadows.

"Why the hell are there so many!" Riku shouted.

"There are four strong hearts here, four Keyblades. It's nothing but a feast to Heartless," Shen replied, jabbing her staff out and ferociously swiping it in a wide circle.

"Then you consider yourself safe because Heartless don't want weak hearts, huh?" Riku smirked. He didn't catch the glimpse of hurtfulness that flashed across her face.

"The view is nice from the room you were staying and all, but why did you choose to live so far up?" Sora muttered mostly to himself, although Javon definitely heard him, and smirked. Sora received no reply

They reached the end of the hallway, and the group clattered down the stairs. To their frustration, though...

"Will they never quit?" Sora shouted, not taking notice of a Heartless that leapt out from his left. Kairi turned and swiped Princess Guard at the Heartless. "Thanks Kairi!"

"Just keep running!" she shouted." Let's just get out of here, don't worry if we finish them off or not!"

"That's a good idea," Javon said. "Don't worry, just run and attack only if they come too near."

With that, the group paused for a second, before they burst into a sprint down the stairs. Heartless continued to leap out and claw at them and scratch at them, but they merely moved them out of their way.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of endless staircases (which felt strangely and eerily familiar to Sora), they reached the bottom floor. Sora threw himself at the door and tried to pry it open, but the door wouldn't budge.

"It's locked!" he shouted, slamming his entire weight on the door.

"And what's in your hand, you idiot, a broom?!" Riku angrily shouted, as three or four Shadow Heartless attempted to attack him at once. "Unlock it with the Keyblade!"

Sora blinked, and feeling more idiotic than ever, he pointed his Keyblade at the door. It clicked unlocked. Hoping his face wasn't too red with embarrassment, he pushed open the door and tumbled out onto the street. He looked up and found even more Heartless out on the street. He stood up, however, just in time to be struck by a bolt of lighting, which hit the Heartless as well, dispersing them into black smoke.



He turned and saw Donald, gaping at him.

"Sora! We found you! Goofy, Your Majesty, he's here! So are the others-!" Donald had begun to run towards Sora, but stopped when he caught sight of Javon and Shen. "Who're they?" he asked, rather bluntly.

"This is Shen," Sora indicated to the blue-haired girl, who tilted her head shyly in greeting. He then pointed to the brown-haired boy, who had something of a smile playing on his lips. "And this is Javon. They found us, and they helped us get away from the Heartless."

"We were so worried about you guys!" Goofy cried out, running forward and crushing Sora in a hug.

"Ah...yeah, we were too," Sora said, rubbing his ribs. "Did you make it safely through those...whatever they were..?"

"We did. They barely attacked us. They were mostly attacking you," Mickey explained. Out of the corner of his eye, Riku thought he saw Shen's arm twitch, but she merely continued to look at the group before her.

"Your Majesty," Sora continued, and then he pointed at Javon. "He wields a Keyblade, too-"

"You're the other Keyblade wielder?!" Donald cut in. He stared at Javon, and Javon held out the weapon for them to see.

"We heard about you two," Mickey said, stepping forward to look at the red-and-black spoked Keyblade. "From what we heard, you two aren't very welcome here, are ya?"

"We're not, but you heard them say there are two Keyblade wielders?" Javon asked, looking at Shen. She stared at him for a moment before turning away. "There's only one," he said.

"Hm, how odd..." Mickey trailed off in thought.

"You're majesty, they can't stay here! Not in a place like this, not if people are blaming them for the Heartless-!" Sora started, but Riku cut in.

"They can't come with us! This is meddling with other world's affairs-!"

"Even if we tried to help this world with the Heartless, it seems none of us are very welcome here anyways!"

The two glared at one another before turning to the king, both sounding extremely childish. "Your Majesty, make him understand!" they shouted in unison. Goofy ducked behind his shield to chuckle: even when fighting, those two were incredibly similar.

The king looked mildly amused, and was about to reply when he heard of group of voices at the end of the alley. The king, his magician and captain, the girl and the four Keyblade wielders turned to look at the group, and a person at the front pointed at them.

"There they are! They're even more!"

"We've had enough of the trouble you've brewed for us!"

"It's time they're removed from this place!"

"All of you, to the ship, now!" the king said, and they ran the to the opposite end of the alley.

"Where is it?" Kairi huffed, grasping Sora's hand to keep up with the group. Sora glanced at her, and noticed a scratch on her arm: not a horrible wound but nevertheless it looked rather painful. He had no time to ask her about it, though.

"Not far, just follow me!" Donald quacked. The group (more like a mob, Roxas though, and Sora agreed) sounded as if they were nearing the fleeing children and strangers. They reached the end of the alley, and turned to the left, running down the street, receiving strange stares from the people walking along. When the people heard the mob's screams, they knew who the running group were: some actually jumped into the chase after them.

"What did you guys do to get them to hate you like this!?" Riku panted. Javon merely smiled and continued to run, but Shen looked even more trouble.

"Nothing," she said very quietly. She was sure no one hear her.

"There it is!" Sora cried, grasping Kairi's hand tighter. 'Almost there...'

Sora expected something else to stop them from ever reaching the ship, but the to his intense relief, he found himself clamoring into the familiar colors and gadgets that made the Gummi Ship. Wasting no time, he released Kairi's hand, who moved to help the other in, and Sora climbed up the ladder and into the ship's cockpit. He was soon joined by Riku and King Mickey, and the three worked as quickly as possible to get the ship's engines started.

The door's to the ship closed just as the angry mob reached them. Sora thought they were rather pathetic: they wanted them to leave, so why were they trying to stop them?

A moment later, the ship rose into the air, and soon enough, the ship was out of Mid Town's atmosphere. Once he noticed that those strange things that had attacked him were no where to be seen, Sora let out a huge sigh and slumped in his seat, more exhausted than he could remember. It didn't take long for him to fall asleep. Riku, still rather sore at him, scoffed and got up from his seat to join the other's below. The king stared at Sora.

Deciding not to wake Sora up, the king remained in his seat. Although they had done what they had planned to accomplish, he was quite sure Sora didn't know they had been successful. Knowing Sora, he had probably forgotten Cloud's words when he had found him in the basements of Hollow Bastion.

No to see who these strangers really were, the king thought. He wasn't sure himself, but something told him, that in the near future, they were in for a nasty surprise.

To be continued...

My GOD I hated this chapter. I don't hate what it has, I just hated writing it. It just did not want to come out. Sheesh. I'm sorry for those who are keeping tabs on this story. With school and finding a new addiction in Tsubasa Chronicle, it's been a bit tough.

I will not abandon this story, though. Rest assured. Just know it has a long way to go, heheh.

Next chapter will hopefully be up sooner than how long it took to post his one. Sorry again!

Thanks for read, reviews much appreciated!