A/N: This takes place about three years after KHII with no regard to the bonus video and its mini-spoilers.

There might be a sequel…depends on how much I enjoy writing this and how often you people read it! ;) Get the hint?

I don't own Kingdom Hearts (Disney and Square Enix do, but I wish I did!) nor "Returning the Smile You Have Had from the Start" (Emery does).

I. A Fallen Legend

Now as your body lets you die

And I sit here, still alive

In my memory I wrote you down in ink

I never wanted to erase your story

Even with the tragedy it brings

I'm not ready for you to die

Emery-"Returning the Smile You Have Had from the Start"

No one could believe it, but that didn't make it any less real.

Into the earth a casket was lowered. Engraved into the lid was an ornate design of two crossing swords shaped like keys, the design only given to the bearers of the Keyblade.

Its latest wielder, Sora of the Destiny Islands, was dead.

Riku looked out on this scene, robed in funereal black. As the casket was lowered, he forced himself to keep looking. He had barely come to grips with the fact that he wouldn't see Sora again. Both of them had gone to incredible lengths to help the other, and now one of them was gone. A tear slid down Riku's cheek, and he wiped it away quickly. He had to be strong because there was someone whom he didn't want to witness any weakness. That someone was Kairi.

She had taken Sora's death worse than anyone which was understandable, considering that she and Sora shared a heart. She had been wracked with grief ever since she saw him dead. She was one of two people to actually witness Sora dying, and the memory haunted her day and night.

Kairi was awakened from her slumber by a loud shout…it sounded like Sora's voice. Sprinting to his room, she found his door locked. "That's…odd…" she thought. Pulling out her Keyblade, she unlocked the door…and cried out in agony.

She saw Sora lying in a pool of blood with a gash across his chest. Standing above him was a man in a thick black hooded cloak…much like what Organization XIII members wore…but they were gone, weren't they?

The figure pulled down the hood to show that he was no member of the Organization that Kairi recognized. He had black hair that reached almost down to his shoulders, piercing gray eyes and a smile that showed that something was awry—and he had caused it.

"One Keyblade wielder down, two to go!" the mysterious man said with a humorless laugh. He looked at Kairi. "Say goodbye to your friend, girl. He might not say much back to you, I'm afraid. Being dead makes speech a bit difficult."

Kairi stood in shock, not fully understanding. Then the impact of his words hit her, and rage consumed her. "You killed Sora?! I'll tear you apart!" She charged the figure with the Keyblade at the ready.

The mysterious figure suddenly began to levitate out of an open window. He laughed at Kairi. "Foolish girl, now you meet your doom!" He threw the Keyblade that was formerly Sora's directly to Kairi…and it disintegrated into sparks of light that flew up into the black night sky.

The cloaked man frowned. "Of course the Keyblade chooses its own master…no matter. Treasure your days, girl. Not many remain. Tell your friends that this was just the beginning; all the Keyblade wielders shall fall at the hands of me, Ruxik!" With a maniacal laugh the cloaked villain disappeared into a black flame.

With a cry of anguish Kairi fell to her knees just as Riku burst into the room far too late…

Riku snapped back to reality. Donald and Goofy were up on the podium, saying all of the nice things about Sora and his bravery and loyalty and worthiness to wield the Keyblade. It did nothing to help Riku's emotions.

Kairi was next to the podium, and she could barely contain herself. She still managed to say touching words of how she felt for Sora, even going so far as to say that she loved him. That word killed Riku—Sora had felt the same way for Kairi. He had told Riku the day before his death that he was going to propose to Kairi the next day. Riku's feelings for Kairi had long dissipated; they were still great friends, but Riku knew that Sora deserved to have Kairi and easily accepted the relationship between the two that had lasted more than a year.

This reminiscence ended when Riku realized it was his turn to speak. Walking to the podium, he forced himself to get a grip and then spoke.

"Many of you here may not know me very well," he began (citizens of many worlds had attended this funeral). "My name is Riku, and I was a friend of Sora's for years. And I can say without a doubt in my mind that Sora is the most loyal friend one could ever have. I had done things I never should have done; I allowed the darkness to use me like a pawn so I could meet my selfish desires. Sora never stopped trying to save me even when under the control of a Heartless I tried to kill him. I tried to kill him again after an enchanted castle made my memory lie to me, but he kept questing to save me, finally meeting me as we fought Organization XIII. Now I can only regret the dark things I had done to him. He was an incredible friend who knew when to buckle down and get serious as well as to lighten up and have fun. Words cannot describe this Keyblade bearer properly. I can only hope that my memories of him will be fitting of this powerful Keyblade wielder, world-renowned hero and most loyal of friends."

Another tear slid down his face with his last sentence. He slowly walked away from the podium and tried to return home when the funeral ended.

A large cloaked figure got in his way.

Riku drew Way to the Dawn, assuming it might be Ruxik who had killed Sora. He looked up…and saw the wise old face of Yen Sid who was wearing a huge black cloak.

"Oh, my apologies, Master Yen Sid," Riku said with a reverent bow. Yen Sid nodded.

"Riku, tomorrow there shall be a meeting. Matters surrounding Sora's death must be discussed. I request that you shall be there."

"I will be there, Master," Riku said. With a nod Yen Sid walked off and allowed Riku to continue on his way. Riku's mind was now wondering what the focus of the meeting would be. The name Ruxik rattled in his mind.

Ruxik…why does that sound so familiar? I know I've never heard it before…

Whoever he is, I'll make sure he pays for what he's done—to Sora, to Kairi…to everyone. He's going to pay.