Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts.
"Hey, Riku," came a soft voice. "Wake up. We're almost there." For the moment, Riku ignored the voice. He was cozy and warm, and he did not want to wake up. "Come on, Riku. Don't make me go get a glass of water." Kairi began to shake Riku, and he had no choice but to open his eyes.
"Okay, okay," Riku groaned. "I'm up." He sat up and rubbed his eyes. "Is everything all right?"
"Yeah, for the most part," Kairi replied. "I've been awake watching Sora, and he's been asleep the whole time."
"How's he doing?"
"His fever's a little high, but other than that he's okay."
Riku nodded, and then asked, "How long has it been?"
"About an hour and a half."
"Wait, really? We can't possibly be there yet."
"Yeah, we've got a little while to go," Kairi told him. "I just wanted to make sure that you were good and ready once it was time to disembark." She gave a soft sigh. "We're going to have a lot of explaining to do."
"I'm sure we will," Riku agreed. He stood from the bed and gave his back a long stretch. "But as long as we get there I'll be happy." He stepped into his shoes and Kairi motioned for him to follow her.
"Come on," she said. "You can come look after Sora with me." She led him to the room where Sora was, and when Riku caught sight of Sora a small wave of guilt passed over him. It seemed that Sora hadn't budged since Riku last saw him. He lay on his back, his face flushed with fever, and he didn't appear very comfortable this way.
"Twine really hurt him out there," Kairi said, sitting at the edge of the bed. It was as if she had read Riku's mind.
"He'll be okay after he rests for a while," Riku replied, trying to sound reassuring. "It's just that one of the spells Twine cast was really meant to torture him, and then there was the…"
"Wait. Twine tortured him?" Kairi asked, tearing her gaze from Sora to stare up at Riku.
"Well…yeah." Riku had never really thought of what Twine had done to Sora as being "torture" until he'd heard the word coming from his own mouth.
"Twine," Kairi growled, balling her hand into a fist. "Thinking about him just makes me so angry."
"Well, I can't say I don't feel the same way," Riku replied, taking a seat next to her at the edge of the bed. "But try not to be so mad. It doesn't really help anything, and it only makes you feel terrible."
"I guess so," she sighed. "I just really hope he's all right when he wakes up."
"I'm sure he will be. After a good sleep he'll be all healed up."
"I don't just mean his injuries," Kairi said, looking up at Riku. "I mean, well, his mind. Being kidnapped by Twine and hurt the way he was…it must have been a terrible experience for him."
"Oh," Riku replied. He thought for a moment. "He probably will be a little jumpy for a while, but he's been through things like this before."
"He's never been kidnapped before," Kairi pointed out.
"True." There was a moment of silence. "I guess we'll just have to wait and see."
The two talked a bit more about Sora until a small chime sounded around the Gummi Ship.
"That means we're almost there," Riku said, standing. Kairi, opting to stay with Sora, did not follow Riku as he went up to the cockpit to see to the ship' s landing. Looking out at the starry sky, Riku could just barely make out the world they were heading for. He looked to the controls and made sure that the ship would land itself once they got close enough to the castle, and then he headed back downstairs.
"Kairi, we'll be there in fifteen…" Riku started, but Kairi interrupted him.
"Riku, Sora just opened his eyes," Kairi shouted happily.
"Really?" He rushed over to the bed and kneeled down to find Sora softly rubbing his eyes.
"Kairi, Riku," Sora whispered, his voice soft and hoarse. "What's…" He broke into a fit of coughs here, and once it had passed he asked for a glass of water.
"I'll get it," Riku offered, jumping up and heading for the kitchen. This left Kairi and Sora alone.
"How do you feel?" Kairi asked, keeping her voice soft.
"Terrible," Sora replied flatly.
"Does anything hurt?"
"Just my head. And my chest, a little." There was a moment of silence. "We're on a Gummi Ship, aren't we?" Sora suddenly asked.
"Yeah," Kairi replied, nodding.
"Well, what's the last thing you remember?"
"I…I think I was on the island," Sora murmured, furrowing his brow. "The play one."
"Do you remember what happened there?"
Uh…I think I was waiting for Riku, and…and then I think we went to the Secret Place." He sounded very confused. "I'm not so sure what happened after that…it's like a dream."
Here Riku came back into the room holding a bright blue plastic cup of water, and Kairi looked up to him and said, "Hey Riku, Sora doesn't remember much from today."
"Is there something I should remember?" Sora grunted, as he attempted to sit up. He failed and ended up flopping back down into the sheets.
"Yeah, but that's okay," Riku replied. He and Kairi each grabbed one of Sora's shoulders and helped him to sit up, and then Riku handed him the cup. "You're probably just tired."
"You did have a pretty rough day," Kairi agreed. She kept a hand on the cup as Sora drank to keep it steady in his trembling fingers, and once he had finished Riku and Kairi both told him to lie down and rest.
"Where are we going?" he asked, softly laying his head on the pillow.
"Disney Castle," Riku replied.
"Oh. Okay." Sora closed his eyes, and fell asleep almost instantly.
He did not receive much more time to rest though. In a few minutes another chime sounded around the ship, signaling that they had arrived at Disney Castle.
"Do you think you can stand?" Sora heard one of his friends ask him.
"I…I don't know," Sora replied softly.
"Come on, we'll help you."
Riku and Kairi both helped Sora to sit up in bed, and then helped him to stand. Immediately upon standing, however, a dizzy spell caught Sora by surprise, and he would have fallen to his knees if Riku hadn't caught him in time.
"I don't think I can," Sora whispered. "My head…"
"Don't worry Sora," Kairi told him, taking one of his arms and pulling it over her shoulder. "We'll go slowly."
Since the ship had landed directly in the castle's Gummi Hangar, they only needed to open the conveyor ramp instead of setting up a Teleportation Site. The Gummi Hangar was empty as they stepped onto the central platform. All the lights and machines had been turned off for the night, giving it an ominous feel. No one was there manning it.
"Which way do we go?" Kairi asked, looking up at the gears and switches that surrounded them.
"I…really don't know," Riku admitted. "I've never been…"
Suddenly, with a loud groan, Sora's knees buckled, and his friends had to catch tighter hold of him.
"Sora?" they both called, concern in their voices, but he gave no response.
They softly laid him on his back against the floor, and Kairi placed a soft hand on his forehead.
"His fever's spiked," she said, shaking her head. "It's too much for him."
"Great," Riku sighed. "We really need to…" He suddenly stopped. At the far end of the platform he saw two tiny balls of fur sliding down what looked like a stair banister.
When they got to the end, Kairi suddenly let out a loud, "Oh," and rushed over to the banister. "You two are Chip and Dale, aren't you?" she asked, getting down so that she was level with them.
"Yes," the red nosed one replied. "And you must be Kairi."
"We had a feeling someone was going to show up soon," the black nosed one said, "ever since one of our Gummi Ships launched without either of us doing anything."
"So, what brings you he…" Dale started, but then he noticed Riku behind Kairi, and then he noticed Sora. "W…What? Sora?"
"What happened?" Dale asked, his voice a lot more worried and serious.
Before either Riku or Kairi could answer, Chip and Dale scurried from the banister and onto to either of Sora's shoulders.
"Sora," they called, softly patting his face with their paws. "Wake up." They only managed to make him turn his head and mutter. They looked up at Riku and Kairi.
"You two wait here," Chip said, scampering back over to the stairway. "We'll go get the King and Queen."
"And we'll ask them to bring some of there attendants for Sora," Dale added, following Chip. In a few minutes they had left and come back with the King, the Queen, and two servants walking with a hand gurney between them.
The attendants immediately went over to Sora to pull him onto the gurney, and King Mickey, in a surprised, curious voice, asked, "Riku, Kairi, what happened?"
Riku and Kairi both opened their mouths to explain, but then the King shook his head and waved his hand.
"Why don't we make sure you're all right first before you explain," he said.
Riku and Kairi shared a glance and then looked back at Sora.
"Sora's the only one you really need to worry about," Riku said. "He's really sick."
"Right," the king said, nodding. He turned to the attendants. "Horace, Clarabel, let Sora have the Delta room, and then take Riku and Kairi to the Feta and Gamma rooms."
"Right away, your majesty," the two replied.
"Just follow Horace and Clarabel here and I'll make sure a Doctor gets called for Sora," the king said to Riku and Kairi. "After everything settles down, I want you to meet me in the throne room so you can explain everything."
They nodded and thanked the king, and then proceeded to follow Horace and Clarabel. They followed them all the way until they came to a large purple door, when the two attendants asked them to stay outside while they went in with Sora. They patiently waited outside the door until Horace and Clarabel finally came out.
"Okay," Horace said, pointing down the hallway. "Your rooms are the last two doors on the left. Just go on down when you're ready."
"You can stay here with Sora for a while if you want," Clarabel said. "You'll probably have to leave once the Doctor gets here though. Oh," she added. "And one more thing."
She laid a hand on Kairi's shoulder and Horace laid a hand on Riku's. There came a strong burst of wind, and when Riku and Kairi opened their eyes again they were each dressed in a soft pair of blue pajamas.
"How…" Riku began.
"Magic," Horace said, handing Riku a bundle and grinning. Riku looked down at the bundle and saw that it was the clothing that he had just been wearing.
"Most people here know at least a little magic," Clarabel said. She handed Kairi her bundle, and once they had all said their goodbyes Riku and Kairi entered Sora's room.
It was a vast room with a tall ceiling and wide walls. A soft light came from the lamp that sat on the small table at the head of the room, dimly lighting the space. On the back wall there was a window that cast a beam of moonlight over the bed in which Sora lay. As Riku and Kairi approached the bed they saw Sora's clothes hanging on the bedpost, and realized that either Horace or Clarabel had used the clothes-changing magic on him as well.
"It's been a long day," Riku sighed, plopping down onto the sofa next to Sora's bed and laying his head back.
"Yeah," Kairi agreed, joining him. "It has." A few moments passed. "Riku, do you think Sora's going to be…" she began, but then she realized that he had fallen asleep. She started to try and wake him, but then decided against it. "Sleep easy, Riku," she whispered. "You earned it."
When the doctor finally arrived, King Mickey himself led her to the room where Sora was. They opened the door to find Riku asleep on the couch and Kairi sitting next to him reading a book she had found on the bedside table. She looked up when she heard the door open.
"Oh, you're here," she said, her voice surprised once she saw the doctor. "Do we have to leave?"
"Yeah," the doctor replied, walking over to the bed and sitting down at the edge. She snapped open her medical bag. "But don't worry. I won't take too long."
Kairi turned to Riku and gave him a small shake to wake him.
"Wha…?" Riku groaned, blinking his eyes open.
"Riku, the doctor's here," Kairi said, pulling him up to his feet. "We have to leave until she's finished."
Riku rubbed his eyes and looked to where the doctor was sitting, and then he came to himself.
"Oh, okay," he replied. He, Kairi, and the king exited the room together and shut the door behind them.
"Sora's in pretty bad shape right now," King Mickey said, looking from Riku to Kairi. "Do you want to tell me what happened now or do you want to wait until we get to the throne room?"
"You'll probably be doing most of the explaining Riku," Kairi said, looking up at him. "It's your choice."
"We should probably wait then," Riku said. "It'll take a long time to explain everything."
"Okay. If that's what you want," the king replied.
"As they waited for the doctor to come out and tell them about Sora, Donald and Goofy came bounding down the hallway. Word of Sora's condition had gone around the castle pretty quickly, and they were very worried about him. Soon the queen had come as well, and then Chip and Dale, and even Daisy.
When the Doctor came out of the room, she almost had a crowd of anxious faces looking up at her.
"He'll be fine," she said, and everyone let out a sigh of relief. "He is still running a very high fever, but since I gave him some medicine for that it'll probably break in a few hours."
"So there's nothing else wrong with him?" Kairi asked hopefully.
"Nothing serious," the doctor replied. "He's extremely exhausted. He'll need to stay in bed for at least a few days, a week at the max."
Everyone thanked the doctor several times, and before leaving she asked Riku if he wanted her to have a look at his injuries.
"Oh, yes. I had almost forgotten to ask you."
"Don't worry," Kairi said, grinning and poking Riku's side with her elbow. "I would have reminded you."
They sat at a nearby bench and the doctor removed all of Riku's band-aids, garnering a few soft winces. She tended his wounds with bandages and a healing salve, and it was a lot more pleasant and soothing than Kairi's "band-aid-alcohol" method.
Once the doctor had finished with Riku, she packed up all her things.
"Thank you very much for coming," the king said. "You were a big help."
"My pleasure," the doctor replied, smiling. She said good-bye to everyone and left. King Mickey turned to Riku and Kairi.
"Okay you two," he said. "It's time you explained exactly what happened." He began leading them to the throne room.
"Gwarsh, you majesty. Do you mind if the rest of us come too?" Goofy asked.
The king looked up at Riku, giving him the choice.
"Of course," Riku replied. "Anyone who wants to hear what happened can come."
They all went to the throne room together.
"Riku, Kairi, you have the floor," King Mickey said, once everyone had gotten in a semi-circle around the two.
"This all started when I met a man named Twine."
Sora woke with a gentle gasp. He bolted upright, wildly starring around him with wide, fearful eyes. He had no idea where he was, and the darkness of the room terrified him. He started to move his hand to the side of the bed to pull himself out, but someone grabbed his wrist.
"L…let go," he shouted, fear gripping his chest.
"Hey, Sora it's okay. It's just me."
"Riku?" Sora breathed, confusion lining his voice. "What's…"
"Just lie back down," Riku told him. "I'll go turn on the light."
Sora did what Riku told him, and in a few moments the lights clicked on. "Are you all right?" Riku asked.
"Y…Yeah, I think so," Sora replied, his voice shaky. "Where are we?"
"Disney Castle? But…" Sora suddenly became a lot more morose, giving a soft, "Oh…"
"Hey, what's wrong?" Riku asked, concerned.
"It's…it's just that I think I just remembered why we're in Disney Castle." There was a long moment of silence before Sora turned to Riku and said, "This morning back on the islands, that…that guy…"
"Twine," Riku told him.
Hearing the name sent a shiver through Sora.
"Who was he?" Sora asked softly, a strange shyness coming over him. He did not enjoy talking about this, but he needed to know.
"I met him a long time ago," Riku sighed. "Back during the time you were sleeping."
"But…but why did he take me?" Sora asked. "I mean, he really went through a lot of trouble."
"He wanted Way To Dawn," Riku replied.
"Your Key Blade?"
A few moments passed before Sora suddenly burst out with, "Why? Why did he do all this?" He seemed a little angry and frustrated here, and Riku didn't blame him.
"Here, let me explain everything." Riku told Sora the whole story. He told him how he had met Twine, he told him why Twine had kidnapped him, and he told him what had happened once he and Kairi got to The World That Never Was, although he left out the part about the last spell that Twine cast on Sora. Riku knew that it would probably frighten Sora if he found out how close he came to death.
After hearing Riku's entire explanation, Sora stayed quiet for a very long time. He didn't know what to think or what to say.
"Sora, are you okay?" Riku finally asked, noticing how pale Sora suddenly became.
"I'm…I'm fine," Sora replied, tough Riku could tell that the story had probably overwhelmed him a bit.
"Oh, I almost forgot," Riku said, remembering something that he knew would make Sora feel a lot better. He stuck his hand out and summoned the Key Blade.
"You got it back?" Sora asked, a huge smile coming to his face.
"Of course," Riku laughed. "You thought I would just leave you without a Key Blade?"
Sora sat up and took the Key Blade from Riku, and looked at it for a few moments before dismissing it.
"It feels so much better having it back," Sora sighed. "Thank you."
"Hey, no pro…" Riku started, but Sora's stomach suddenly gave a loud gurgle, and they both stopped to stare at it.
"Um…I guess I'm hungry," Sora said, smiling sheepishly. It had been a while since he had had anything to eat.
"Here, why don't you eat this?"
Riku reached for something on the bedside table and pulled up a small bowl with a lid on it. Sora took it from him and pulled the lid off to reveal a piping bowl of soup.
"Oh, it smells good," Sora said, setting it on his lap.
"The king's chef made it just for you," Riku said, handing Sora a spoon. "He said it would help you get your strength back faster."
Sora took a mouthful of spoon, and his eyes went wide.
"Riku this is…"
"…the best soup ever?"
"I know. The chef let me and Kairi taste a little when he made it."
"Well it's really good," Sora laughed. He took a few more sips.
"So…do you feel all right now?" Riku asked.
"I just need to rest for a while," Sora replied. "It's getting kind of hard to keep my eyes open."
"You know," Riku said slyly. "The doctor said you would have to stay in bed for at least three days."
Sora practically choked on his soup.
"W…what? Three days?" he nearly shouted.
"A week at the max."
"A week? Riku, I can't stay in bed for a…" He suddenly paused. "Wow. A week? Just how sick was I?"
"Pretty sick," Riku replied. "Do you remember the doctor coming in to give you medicine?"
"No, I don't," Sora said, sounding surprised.
"Yeah, I didn't think you would. Your fever was pretty high."
Sora gave a sigh.
"This is just great," he grumbled. "How am I going to convince my parents that I need to stay in bed for three days? Or more?"
"Well, it's not like you'd be faking," Riku said. One look at Sora would let his parents know that he needed to be in bed. "They'd probably just think you were sick."
"I guess so," Sora replied. He sighed. "I just wish that none of this had ever happened." Riku could see that this was something that Sora really wanted.
"Hey, don't worry. Twine won't ever bother us again," Riku assured him. "And if he does I'll…I'll…" Riku gave a very large yawn here, and then gave a soft sigh. It made Sora realize how tired Riku looked.
"Riku, what time is it?" he asked, looking curious.
Riku looked at the clock on the wall to his left.
"About two o'clock," he replied.
"Two o'clock? In the morning?"
"How long have you been in here then?"
"Trust me. It's been a while," Riku replied. When Sora gave him a look, he said, "Hey, I had to make sure you weren't confused when you woke up."
"Aw Riku, you didn't need to do that," Sora said. "I would have been fine." Riku laughed out loud at this. "What?"
"Sora, you freaked out so much when you woke up just now, it's a good thing I was in here."
"I did not freak out," Sora insisted. "It was just really dark and I didn't know where I was and…and…okay, so I kind of did freak out. But you should still go to bed."
"Okay, okay," Riku said, standing. "If you insist." He went to the head of the room. "The switch is over here when you want to turn lights off."
"Okay," Sora replied.
"Good night then."
Riku left the room, and Sora finished eating his soup. The soup made him sleepy though (as Riku had known it would when he gave it to him) and in a few minutes Sora couldn't help but fall asleep.
The next morning things went quickly. Having no time to stay for a full sit down breakfast, Sora, Riku, and Kairi had to board the Gummi Ship early in the morning if they had any hopes of making it back home at a decent time.
King Mickey and everyone else who knew Sora came to the Gummi Hangar to see them off, and the king told them to come back any time they needed to. They thanked everyone, and after all their goodbyes, they set off.
For the first hour or so Sora stayed in the cockpit with Riku and Kairi. After a while, though, he started feeling tired, and so he went to the back to rest. In reality the trip took several hours, but for Sora, with him being asleep almost the whole time, it felt like no time at all.
Soon he felt a hand shaking him at his shoulder, and a voice saying, "Sora, wake up. We're here."
Already?" Sora groaned, opening his eyes and looking up at his friends.
"Yeah, and this part is really important, so you have to get up right now," Riku replied.
Sora sat up, asking, "What do you mean?"
"Well, before me and Kairi left I realized that your parents would notice that you were…"
"Oh…oh no. I never thought of that. How will I ever explain…"
"It's okay," Riku interrupted. "Before we left I spoke with a replication that Twine had made. He agreed to take your place until we got back.
"You…you made a deal with that replication he made?" Sora asked, his voice wary.
"Sora, I had no choice," Riku replied. "It was either that or have your parents wondering where you were."
Sora looked down at his hands and didn't respond.
"Come on Sora," Kairi said, laying a hand on his shoulder. "I'm sure the replication did exactly what he said he was going to do."
He stayed silent for a few more seconds, and then asked, "Well, how are we going to switch places?"
"That's why this is so important," Riku replied. "We have to find the replication without anyone noticing that he's notyou." He paused. "You know what, why don't you two just stay here, and I'll go look for him myself. This'll be a lot easier if Sora isn't on the island at the same time as him."
They all agreed to this, and so Riku went to the cockpit to set up a Teleportation Site in a place on the island where he knew no one ever went. Once he got down to the island he went to the northern part and found Wakka, Tidus, and Selphie playing around by the docks.
"Hey, look, it's Riku," Selphie shouted, pointing to him when she saw him. They all rushed over to him and started bombarding him with questions.
"Where have you been, man?" Wakka asked, clapping him on the back.
"We tried calling you all day yesterday, but you never answered," Selphie said. "Sora didn't even know where you were, and Kairi was gone too."
"Sorry. I was really sick yesterday," Riku replied, laying a hand on the back of his head. "I was probably asleep when you called." He looked around. "Where is Sora, anyway?"
"Right up there," Tidus said, pointing to the large rock-island where the paupu tree sat. "He's been up there laying on the paupu tree all day long. Did he visit you yesterday or something? He seems sick."
"Uh…no, but I'll go see what's wrong."
Riku entered the Seaside Shack and climbed the stairs to the outside, and then ran over to the paupu tree.
"Hey, Sora," he called, laying a hand on his shoulder. "Wake up."
Sora stirred for a moment before softly opening his eyes.
"Oh," he whispered quietly, rubbing his eyes. "You're back." He sat up and gave a stretch.
"Tidus was right. You do look sick," Riku said, noticing Sora's groggy manner.
"What? Oh, yeah. It's just that Twine's been trying to call me back for a while, and that takes its toll on me after a while. But that's not important." He looked at Riku with serious eyes. "Did you manage to get Sora back okay?"
"Yeah, he's fine," Riku replied. "It was…a really close call, but he came out all right in the end."
"What do you mean?"
Riku explained everything that had happened on The World That Never Was.
"Y…you mean he didn't take your Key Blade?" Sora asked, astonished.
"No," Riku replied, shaking his head. "He said that my heart was too strong for him to take it." He paused. "He also said that he wouldn't come back again unless he found some way to take my Key Blade. Do you know if he might have been lying?"
"That's the thing about Twine," Sora said, jumping down from the paupu tree. "He'll deceive you and he'll trick you, but he'll never lie to you. He meant what he said."
"Are you sure?"
"Positive. And about him finding another way to take your Key Blade, you shouldn't worry. There are a few other key bearers out there whose Key Blades he couldn't take, and he's never been able to figure out how to take theirs."
"Okay," Riku sighed. "If you say so."
"It'll be fine Riku," Sora said. "And if he ever actually does decide he wants to come back here, I'll convince him not to. I'm good at that." He started walking towards the bridge. "Now come with me to The Cove so I can open a corridor. It'll look weird if I go alone."
Riku walked with Sora to the cove, and after making sure that no one was there Sora opened a large dark portal.
"This is where we part ways," Sora said, giving a soft smile.
"Thanks for a filling in for Sora. You really don't know how much you helped us out."
"Oh, I do," Sora replied knowingly. "By the way, I was so gloomy yesterday that Sora's parents think he's sick. If he needs some time to rest, they won't think anything of it."
"Well, see ya." The replication gave a small wave before stepping through the portal, and then the portal disappeared.
Riku gave a long hard sigh. The day had just begun and he was already beginning to feel tired.
He went over to the bushes where he had hidden the Teleportation Site, and when he got into the ship he told Sora and Kairi that it was okay to come out.
"But what will we do about the ship?" Sora asked. "It can't just stay here, can it?"
"I'll set it to Auto Pilot and make it go back to the castle once we get off," Riku said. "So make sure you don't leave anything."
Riku and Kairi gathered all of the things they had brought, and Sora helped them since he hadn't brought anything with him. Once they exited the Gummi Ship, they all stood on the beach and watched it fly away into the distance. After they couldn't see it anymore, Sora flopped down into the sand onto his back. His friends sat down next to him.
"I've only been gone for a day," he said, his voice soft. "But it almost feels like it's been a week."
Riku frowned a bit here.
"I'm really sorry all this had to happen to you," he said. "That goes for you too, Kairi."
"It's okay, Riku," Sora replied, propping himself up with his elbows. "Everything's fine. We're all okay now, right?"
"But all of this could have been avoided," Riku insisted. "I should've…"
"Riku, we forgive you," Kairi suddenly said. "It wasn't even your fault. Don't feel so bad about it."
Riku opened his mouth to respond, but then a curious look came to his face.
"You really forgive me?" he asked. Sora and Kairi shook their heads yes. "And you're not angry?"
"No," they each replied.
Riku stared at them for a long while, and then he smiled.
They all turned to look out at the horizon, and watched how the rippling water reflected the light of the sun. After a while Sora fell asleep, and soon after that Kairi did as well. When Riku turned to look at his friends, he saw that they had dozed off. As he watched them both sleep, he promised himself that he would never let anyone like Twine hurt either of them ever again. He vowed to be stronger. He turned to gaze out at the sea a little longer.
"I'm glad," he said aloud, stretching his arms in the air. He lay back and felt the warm sand underneath him. Soon he too had fallen asleep.
Well, there wasn't much action in this chapter, but I still hope you all liked it. I'm so glad this story is finally over! I may have taken a long time to get it up, but now the story's completed! So thank you to all of you who read from the very beginning, endured some long periods of waiting, and read till the very end! Good bye for now!