Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts.


The salty waves lapped at her ankles as she stood in the cool shallow water, looking out over the horizon. The sun was setting low, and the sky, in turn, radiated an array of reds, oranges, pinks, and gold. She closed her eyes and deeply inhaled the salty sea air, comforting her in a way she could not describe. A slight smile crept across her lips as her mind wandered. So many sunsets she had seen on this island. So many times she had been entranced with the horizon as it swallowed the blazing sphere, painting the beach in a soft warm glow. Her smile faded as she realized what made this sunset different. She opened her eyes and sadly acknowledged her solitude…she watched the natural phenomenon alone. Her two best friends were not there to bask in the natural beauty along with her, and she frowned as the memories flooded her thoughts.

It had been six months since their return from defeating the Organization and saving the world of worlds from terrible destruction. It had been a long journey for them all…battling unthinkable horrors and enduring an incredible living nightmare at such young ages. She realized that the darkness that had enveloped their tiny world that night also took with it their childhood…their innocence. It was something that she had long accepted as she suffered countless sleepless nights, awaiting their return. However, the two young heroes had not come to terms with the realization as readily, and they each fought the inevitable change that had occurred during the two years they were away from home. The older of the two had left the island in an attempt to 'find himself,' leaving behind a promise to return once he was 'redeemed'. She wondered silently what exactly it was he expected to find. Of the three, he had definitely seen the most destruction…most of it caused by his own hands. Her protests and attempts at 'forgiveness' were useless, and he had left the islands, yet again, shortly after their return.

And then, there was him. The true wielder of a weapon born of a pure heart: the keyblade. He had sacrificed his heart to return hers, and in the act, connected them in an unbreakable bound. Twice they were separated, and twice he had returned to her. But now, although he was physically present, his heart was wrenched with guilt and despair at the thousands slain on the blade on his infamous weapon. Such an awesome burden to bear at such a young age… It was only after returning to their simple island way of life that he had realized the ramifications of his two years of fighting the darkness. He had been stained by it, and no matter how hard he fought it, it was now a part of him. He continually denied its existence in an attempt to keep her from worrying about him. But, she knew that it scarred him, to say the least, and he kept himself bottled away, an emotionless figure of stern countenance and forced isolation.

Her hand drifted to her heart as a single tear escaped her brilliant blue eyes. She could literally feel his grief and it physically caused her pain. She swallowed hard against the lump in her throat. "Sora, I will save you from this…I promise. I know you will come back to me."