Standard Disclaimer: Not mine; don't sue. Characters and track titles belong to Disney/Square-Enix.
Notes: So here I am distracted from my other stories because of this one that has been formulating in my head for a while and just wouldn't stay quiet any more. Since this is less of an experiment than any of my other stories in progress, it seems to be willing to flow far more easily and so this is what I've been working on instead of the other things…Stab me if you have to. Chapters are much shorter so far, but I don't really have set lengths, so that may or may not change. I've wanted to do something that plays with the natures of these characters in a magical context for a while, so…well, here's what happened. I'm having tons of fun with this, so I hope you enjoy it too!
Dive into the Heart
Part 1: -Destati-
I dreamed of him again last night; the boy with eyes born of the sky whose laugher was made of light and whose smiles could put the sun to shame.
Not for the first time, and I'm sure not for the last, I woke wondering about this boy named Sora. Who is he? Why am I always dreaming about him? Is he even real, or is he, as my sister likes to put it, 'just a figment of my overactive imagination'? I still can't figure it out, but every day that passes and every dream I have makes me feel like…like there's something I should know about him. Like there's something there that I just forgot, and the harder I try to get the memory back, the further away from me it flutters. I used to be able to ignore it. Lately, it's been bugging me more and more.
I just can't let it go anymore.
The dreams began maybe…4 years ago I guess. I still remember the first one I had. I didn't think anything of it at first. I had dreamed of the beach before, so there really wasn't anything strange about the waves and the sand and the sea gulls overhead. The plants and stuff were way more tropical than anything we have around Twilight Town, but it all passed under the laws of dream-logic. Even when my two 'friends' showed up calling me 'Sora,' mocking me for being lazy and challenging me to fights and races, there was nothing strange.
Ah, the magic of dream-logic.
It was really the best dream I'd ever had . I don't know…there was just something so real about it. Even though in the dream I was seeing through the eyes of this Sora person, it was like he was me. I was there running around playing on the small play island with all of Sora's friends, seeing my own face reflected in still pools of water only with brown instead of blond hair, and there was nothing weird about it at all. Of course I'd told Naminé about it the next day, and she just laughed at me, but dad overheard and suggested we all take a trip to the beach and I forgot all about Sora and his island.
The second time I dreamed of him, I got a little suspicious. I mean, I'd heard of recurring dreams, but they were supposed to be the same dream repeating over and over again. That wasn't the case with Sora. This time I was at his house, playing indoors with his other friends while a storm raged outside. There was a kindly looking old lady knitting in a corner who's eyes seemed to sparkle every time she looked at me/Sora, and I remember feeling so at peace in the warm house, surrounded by friends. I was ten-years-old, and I didn't really understand what was going on, but it made me happy somehow. The warm feeling stayed with me for the rest of that day.
I dreamed of Sora at least once a month in the beginning, learning about his life, going to his school, hanging out with his friends, but as time passed, the dreams became more frequent. I dream of him every week now, sometimes two or three times, and the more I 'see' him, the more I learn about him, the more I'm convinced that he really is out there somewhere…and the more I want to find him.
"You're thinking about him again aren't you?" My head shot up at Hayner's voice. I hadn't even realized I'd been spacing out.
"Wha-what do you mean?" I asked, hoping to play it cool.
"Well, considering how you've been letting your ice cream melt on your shoe for the past 5 minutes, I'd say you're pretty distracted by something."
"Aw man!" I leapt to my feet looking down at the blue mess trailing down my hand and onto my canvas shoes. "You guys could have said something a little sooner!"
"We were trying to see how long it would take you to notice," Olette giggled from behind her own half eaten popsicle.
"After the first minute," Pence added, "Hayner figured you were in your 'Sora Zone' and wouldn't notice if Seifer came in and started beating you over the head with his Struggle bat."
"Oh….well…" what was I supposed to say to that? "I guess I have had Sora on the brain a lot lately, huh?"
"Yeah, Roxas, you have," Hayner said tossing a rag at my face. I grabbed it before it could fall and used it to wipe melted ice-cream off my hands while trying to salvage what was left of my popsicle. "If I didn't know any better, I'd think you preferred your imaginary friend over your real ones."
"Oh c'mon, Hayner, don't be like that," I said through a mouthful of Sea-salt slush. "How would you feel if you became some other guy almost every time you went to sleep. I'm just trying to figure out what's going on with me."
"It is kinda weird how you keep dreaming about his life," Pence said tilting his head to the side in thought. "Have you ever heard of anything like this happening before to anyone else?"
"I never really had a reason to care before," I said, slurping the last bit of slush from my stick.
"Hey!" Olette suddenly exclaimed. We all looked at her with raised eyebrows. "Our Independent Studies homework!" She said with an almost scary gleam in her eye. "We've been slacking off all summer, but we have to get that done before the end of the week. We could do research on dreams!" Once I got past the gleam of obsessive-model-student in her eyes, I found that I kinda liked Olette's idea. Maybe I could finally figure out some stuff about my wacky dreams. When I really thought about it, I couldn't figure out why I had never thought to do research on dreams myself. It seemed like such an obvious thing to do now that Olette had said it.
"That's a great idea!" Pence said winning an approving smile from Olette who then turned her eyes to me.
"I'm in," I said smiling for her, and she actually let out a little squeak before turning to Hayner. He crossed his arms, looking a little disgruntled at the prospect of homework during summer break, but we all knew he would give in. He didn't really have a choice once Olette was in one of her studious moods.
"Whatever," he sighed, throwing his hands in the air. "But we start, tomorrow," I stifled a snicker at the way Olette's face fell. "Today, I've decided we're going to the beach! And why are we going to the beach, you ask?" Hayner pressed on before Olette could protest. "Because we haven't been once all summer, and I refused to let summer vacation go by without a trip to the beach!" Olette's brows furrowed a little and she gave a little pout over her thwarted plans for being productive. I wasn't exactly thrilled about doing homework either, but there was one small detail Hayner seemed to be missing.
"The beach sounds great," I told him, "but you're forgetting, we're broke."
"And you're forgetting I'm smart," he said with confidence. "Don't worry, I've got it covered."
-:- -:- -:-
In a room, near in town, a girl sits, as she often does, focusing her will to connect to her other half who resides far, far away…
"They're getting closer to the, truth. It's only a matter of time before they meet."
"Are you still comfortable with the decision to let them?"
a small hesitation. "Riku and I talked about it again last night. We're both firm in our decision."
"Ansem and I are the same."
"Do you think they'll ever forgive us for what we've done to them?"
silence. "Even if they don't, this is still the right thing to do."
"And what about us, Naminé. Do you think we'll ever be whole again, even see each other again?
a pause. "I don't know. But I think that if the two of them finally meet…anything is possible.
-:- -:- -:-
Poster duty. That was Hayner's brilliant plan for getting us to the beach despite our lack of funds. Poster duty, and a bunch of other simple but not altogether pleasant odd jobs around town. After pooling what little cash we each had on us, we figured out that we'd need to each make 800 munny if we wanted to have enough for tickets and snacks. Hayner was really excited about getting pretzels for some reason. I thought watermelon was more in the spirit of summer, but they're pretty expensive, and we didn't have a lot of time.
So we went our separate ways to earn our separate munny and I spent two hours of my life papering the town with Struggle posters for the upcoming tournament, hauling cargo up an extremely steep hill, delivering mail, breaking up garbage, scaring of bees, and – my all time favorite – whacking a ball around the square to entertain the locals. I was sore and exhausted by the time we were supposed to meet, and if it weren't for the weighty jingle in my pocket and the sweet promise of warm sand and watermelon it represented, I would probably have been well on my way to strangling Hayner for the whole thing.
"Roxas!" I stopped and looked behind me where I heard Olette calling. She and Pence were walking my way. "How'd you do?" She asked, a little breathlessly.
"Ta dah!" I said, pulling out my haul with a flourish. "3000 munny!" The shock on their face was priceless. "I really wanted the watermelon," I shrugged. "Now we can all share!"
"Wow!" Pence said with a grin. "It took me this long just to get the 800 we needed. How'd you manage over three times as much in just two hours?"
"Just lucky I guess," I said shrugging off the question a little uncomfortable. I didn't really want to tell them how each of the jobs had only taken me a few seconds to a couple of minutes at most so I was able to do several jobs a lot of times. I figured that might freak them out a little.
"Who cares how he did it, anyway?!" Olette interjected. "Let's go find Hayner at the station!" I smiled at her enthusiasm and nodded, agreeing with her.
I was turning to follow Pence and Olette to Station Heights when I caught a flash of bright red out the corner of my eye. A red that bright was very uncommon among the people of Twilight Town and I was curious about where it had come from. A strange sensation was filling my chest as I walked to the corner where the red had disappeared, and I looked down the alley just in time to see what looked like the leg of a familiar red jump suit and the back of familiar yellow sneakers vanishing around the next corner.
A chill washed through my body and for a flash of a moment, I could hear sea gulls crying, feel a breeze on my face and smell the ocean all around me. It couldn't be…
When I tried to follow the colors that couldn't be who I thought they were, I found myself halted by a hand on my arm.
"Roxas, are you ok? You look like you just saw a ghost." I looked down at Olette fighting to suppress the mild irritation I was feeling at not being able to pursue that flash of red and yellow. Whoever it was was long gone by now anyway, and I had places to be.
"Yeah, I'm fine," I told her smiling off her concern. "C'mon, let's hurry or we'll miss the train." I set off at a run before she could ask any more questions.
Olette and I met Pence and Hayner at the train station. We managed to buy our tickets just before the train left. We made it to the beach for the first and last time that summer. The day was beautiful. I treated us all to watermelon, Hayner got his pretzels, Olette tanned, Pence dived, and we all generally had a blast. Yet somehow, through it all, I kept looking for a small island with a severely bent tree, a lone figure sitting upon it, and every now and again I would swear that the hair that occasionally blew across my eyes — the hair that for all my life had been a light, honey blonde — had somehow become a sun-kissed cinnamon brown.
-:- -:- -:-
I'm not gonna lie…a big motivation for the end of this chapter was the fact that when I was playing KH2, I really wanted the Twilight Town gang to make it to the friggin' beach! So now they did…and I am happy.
Anyhoo, first chapter, short but done. Please let me know what you think so far, and let me know what questions are bouncing in your heads. I completely know everything that's going on, so I'm worried that as I write with the intention of revealing things as I go I'm going to leave things out without realizing it. It only takes a second to press that button and review!