Author's Note: Sigh, I'M FREAKIN' FINISHED! I've been distracted ever since Winter Break began... Blame it on my obsessions... On a side note, I have a DS which means... NINTENDOGS! I'm so addicted to taking my Siberian Husky on walks. I named him Riku. I'm obsessed. Anyway, here's the final chapter of Tainted Summer Light! Thank you for all your support and reviews.

Disclaimer: I do not own any Kingdom Hearts characters, places, and/or plot lines. Yay! Merry Belated Christmas and a Happy New Year to all! Mmmm, Odin Sphere... Yes, that's right. Instead of writing, I sat on my butt and play video games. And my obsession with Odin Sphere shows with the word Tis. Remember, don't waste your life playing these games: Odin Sphere, Soul Nomad, Nintendogs, Animal Crossing, and Pokemon. Don't.

Tainted Summer Light

Chapter 12

My Feelings

Orange. The most beautiful color ever invented. Like I always say, orange isn't in the rainbow, it is the rainbow. That was mostly all my thoughts as I walked on the warm sand, waves licking at my toes, my eyes zipping towards my friend not so far away. I mentally sighed, smiling. Nothing beats being home. Prying my eyes away from my friend, I turned to the bright orange sea. The surface was glistening with a yellow orange, the sky an orange fading into reds and yellows, the clouds cream orange. Oh, who know there could be so much orange at one given time…?

The water lapped at my feet, my orange flip-flops soaked with the salt water. I crouched down, reaching my hand out into the white foam of the surf, the salty musk that smelt so good wafting into my nose. It felt like an orange wonderland on the beach. It's just completely wonderful…

"Having one of those "Orange Minority Complex Overloads" again?" his voice reached out. Looking to the side, my sight was filled with his stature. Blue shirt, black pants, a complete inverse of me and this sunset sea. I stood, a playful smile horribly disguising itself as scorn.

"It's "Orange Minority Complex Overload Syndrome!" I corrected. "And that's only when I don't see a lot of orange…"

"Then what's the one when you see a lot of orange?" He questioned, almost as a challenge.

"Instantaneous Orange Seizure Complex Overload Syndrome." I stated calmly, meeting the silent challenge with ease. A look of confusion spread across his face.

"Wait, what?" he asked in his bafflement. I laughed, approaching my inverted friend.

"How do you come up and remember these names?" he questioned.

"I don't know." I answered lamely. I might be lame, but it was the truth. Deep in the folds of my mind is a Meowing Tasmanian Bullfrog that makes random combinations of words that appeal to my senses. Wait, what is a Meowing Tasmanian Bullfrog? Is it a real animal?

"I just don't know what to do with you…" he sighed, a smile creeping onto my face.

"But that's why you can tolerate me." I sweetly cooed, clinging to his arm. He turned away, probably in disgust, saddening my smile.

"What's wrong?" I asked, shy and fragile.

"Nothing." He answered, turning back to me with a flushed tint in his cheeks. My curiosity grew.

"You don't look fine." I pestered, pressing my frame against his pale arm. He turned away hastily. "Are you sick?"

"No." was his immediate response. I pouted, releasing his arm from my grasp.

"You probably have the "Instant Demonic Aura Purification Deficiency" and don't even know it…" I commented loudly, his gaze snapping down to my face many feet below.

"What?" he questioned. I flushed a flustered hue and clung to his shirt.

"Oh, don't you see? I'm worried about you!"

"What's there to worry?"

"I can think of a lot of things! Just not right now… Oh, never mind!"

"Never mind what?" he pressed forward.

'Nothing…" I meekly replied, burying my flushed face into his blue shirt.

"It doesn't look like nothing." He said, taking my shoulders, prying my tinted face from the blue texture. I took interest in the ground and watched the orange foamed water lick at our toes. I could feel the warm orange light of the dying sun fade; fade so far away…

"Are you ok?"

"Of course…"

"Lies."

"Look, stop worrying! That's my job…"

"With a statement like that, I can't help but to worry…"

I withdrew myself from the conversation and looked into the distance. The sun was at its final moments of life, the reds turning into blues and purples. My face fell along with the life of the light, his gaze from so far above hardened with worry.

"Look, you're going to get sick…" he muttered, pressing my fragile frame against his warmth. "Let's just say I'm your knight in shining armor and you're the princess. We'll worry together." I smiled, taking his arm.

"What do you mean? I'm no worrywart!" I protested, turning within his enclosed arms. He suddenly seemed not so tall after all.

"Why do you do this to me…?" a question left his lips, the familiar tint in his face. The light was gone, darkness consuming my wonderland of orange. I felt afraid and he frowned.

"I'll protect you…"


The orange glow reached my opened eyes, a sigh of relief leaving my lips. I'm back… Did Viz take me back? I sat up, gazing into the darkness, hands sweeping under knees brought close, the fingers brushing against fabric, coarse and fine. Looking to my immediate side, a straw basket coved with an orange sheet caught my eye. Curiosity compelling my fingers, I took hold of the sheet and peeked inside. To my surprise, it was filled with fruit, bananas, apples, oranges, pears, and mouthwateringly delicious peaches.

I smiled, the pains in my stomach starting once more whilst I plucked a peach from the basket. I could hardly care where the basket came from, as long as it was food. I took a bite, the sweet pulp filling my mouth. Relief swept across my stomach.

"I see you found the basket." A light, cheerful voice commented, my gaze wandering to the figure in the distance. I raised a brow, nibbling on the skin of the peach, one thought reaching my mind. Mouse ears…? The figure stepped forward, his black tipped nose bobbing with his approach.

"A mouse?" I thought aloud, realizing my fault, covering my mouth from embarrassment.

"King Mickey's the name." the mouse introduced with a friendly gesture of the outstretch of the palm. I stayed silent, playing with my fingers and the wounded fruit in my hands, my gaze avoiding the newcomer's, taking an immediate interest in the ground.

"I'm not going to hurt you." The king comfort, a flush of embarrassment coloring my cheeks.

"I-I'm Natsuno…" I hesitantly introduced, a hand leaving the peach to clasp my heart, my gaze aligned towards the floor. "but y-you can c-call me Suno… if you want…"

Nice to meet you Natsuno!" the cheerful voice replied, my gaze wandering to my new acquaintance. I spotted his still outstretched hand, my free hand hesitantly gripping it gently. My gaze followed the raise and fall of the handshake, a light giggle slicing my breath, a smile curling onto my face.

"See, that wasn't so bad!" Mickey commented, while I released his hand from my grip. A blush of bashfulness appeared on my face before I answered.

"I guess not…" I replied, taking another bite from the wounded peach, comfortable in the light of a new friend. "So King Mickey, what brings you here?"

"I need to speak with you and your friend." The king answered. I tilted my head to the side in my confusion.

"My friend? Are talking about Viz?" I questioned with curiosity, ripping off a great chunk of my peach.

"Oh, so you named him? Viz was it?" the king questioned excitedly. I nodded my head numbly, chewing the stripped peach pit, pondering. Why did the king want to see Viz and me? Do Viz and he have a connection? Is this king an actual king? Hmm… King Mickey…

"Um, excuse me, King Mickey?" I asked, snapping out of my numbed state. "Do you know of a boy who bears the Keyblade and has two servant of a king by his side?"

"The Keybearer? Yes, I know of him, why?" King Mickey responded.

"Are the two servants yours?" I asked bashfully, turning to the straw basket, discarding the peach pit.

"Yup, I told them to find the Keybearer and stick with him." The king replied. I nodded silently, picking out an apple from the basket. Biting into the brightly colored fruit, I puckered my cheeks in annoyance. It's so crunchy… and tastes like tin…

"Why do you need to see Viz and me?" I asked after swallowing the tin tasting fruit.

"We have a problem." The familiar deep, yet well developed voice stated. I looked to the side, the wide grin and orange eyes of the figure in the near distance illuminating the dark.

"What kind of problem?" I asked, chewing on the sweeter tasting skin.

"The door to light." Mickey replied. "The darkness is tainting the light and someone wants to open it."

"The door to light…" I pondered. How does this affect us? Is it because of my brother?

"What does this mean to us?" I questioned, tilting my head.

"That darkness of yours," Viz began as I bit into the red fruit once more, "can influence much more than darkness itself." I blinked and turned to Mickey in my bafflement.

"Your darkness can destroy the world where it's going." The king explained. I scratched the side of my head bashfully.

"That's very apparent…" I muttered to myself. I mean, the entity is completely stubborn and opinionated that it resorts to violence and possession.

"How do we stop it?" I asked, ripping off a chunk of the apple.

"You mean I." Viz corrected. I looked at Viz with the usual confused look that evolved into one of disbelief.

"Wait, I can't possibly beat it…" I protested meekly, my thoughts on the hunger pains weakening at the pit of my stomach stormed away by my bewilderment. "I can barely control it in the first place…"

"That's why you fight back." Mickey countered. I pouted in protest but succumbed anyways, finishing my apple to the core quickly.

"How…" I weakly asked, pulling a fruit from the basket blindly. I shifted my gaze to the fruit I held in my hand, the beautiful orange skin shining in the glow of light.

"Light." Was Viz's answer. Light… The concept of light had left my mind ever since the darkness first engulfed my life.

"What is light…?" I pondered to myself aloud, my fingers clawing and piercing the peel of the orange.

"Well, what do you think if light?" the king reasoned, the peel ripped off the new bare fruit.

"Happiness…" I numbly listed, fingers splitting the citrus into wedges. "Kindness… Friendship… Love…"

"Then that is light!" the king exclaimed, a wedge of the citrus popped into my mouth listlessly.

"I guess so…" I reasoned after swallowing. However, for some reason, the light seems so far away… Suddenly, the ground shook violently, bringing me to the pitch-black velvet.

'That's our cue to leave." Viz commented, my gaze shooting up from my fallen form to the one towering to the left.

"Leave? Where?" I questioned in my fruitless effort to stand.

"Your brother needs all the help he can get!" Mickey's cheerful voice chimed in, my hardened face softening.

"I see… then please, help as much as you can." I sighed, grateful that my brother won't become victim to the darkness. Yes, King Mickey and Viz will protect my brother like they protect- Wait…!

"How do you know that…?" I started to interrogate, sitting up violently before stopping. The king and marionette were gone. "…Sora is my brother…" I was left in the silence one more, my fingers mindlessly stuffing the remaining orange wedges into my mouth, my mind too busy and too full to notice. What made that violent shake? What's happening with Sora? And how did King Mickey know that Sora was my brother? Who is this King Mickey? I groaned in frustration, the orange peel flanged from my fingers in my anguish. I guess it's just me and the abyss… I looked to the basket, which was now turned over; a green fruit strayed away from the others. I picked myself up onto my feet and took the hourglass shaped fruit into my hands.

"I wonder what I should do…" I muttered in thought, bringing the fruit to my face. Ripping off a piece, I cringed at the lack of flavor and the faint sharp taste. It may taste weird, but it's food and I'm really hungry. Looking up that the dark, black sky, I sighed, resolve so very far away. I'd better start doing something… I thrust my foot out on the velvet black, beaten path, imaginary to even myself, although it seemed like I walked this path many times before.

The pear in my fingers decreased with each nibble, each couple of steps, my gaze focused on the barren abyss. What if I get lost…? I've never worried about my location since everything seemed too significant, but not anymore. Sighing, I shook thoughts of misfortune out of my mind. I can't get distressed, not now. I need to find something… The core dangled between my fingers, slipping down to the velvet whilst my sullen face lifted to the abyss above. Am I looking for the light or the darkness?

"Suno…" that voice called. The voice that shoot across my thoughts, that warms my heart, and shrouds my dreams. I turned in violent surprise, locks of teddy bear brown circling shoulders sulked with lax, grass green eyes flashing with euphoric fear. Silver locks shining flawlessly, sea aqua liquid eyes, the cocky, fearless smirk; I knew them too well. I gasped in silent shakes, hands retreating to clasp my still, clashing heart, feet hesitantly compelled to come to the call. Thoughts of darkness and light confused me no more for I had discard them in the sea of dismay and faltered into the abyss of innocence in sync with my footsteps, my figure carried by the light taps to the rays of the shadow that lurked in my heart. Hues showering onto my face, I stared, spellbound.

"Riku…" A small fearful smile leapt onto my face before it faded into the shadows of my bangs. The rumble of a chuckle sliced his voice, his footsteps nearing as I saw his shoes.

"You were always the shy one." He commented, his hand ruffling my hair. I grabbed his hand in protest, looking up at him with a look of annoyance, the hues of discomfort fading with my puffed cheeks.

"Don't do that…" I countered, lowering his hand. "I hate it when you do that… but…" I trailed off, my annoyed expression softening. "I haven't been this annoyed by you since we left the island…" Riku was silent, his gloved hand slipping out of my grasp.

"We would argue, get angry, but make up in the end and drown ourselves in as much laughter and happiness as we could…" I recalled, looking away, towards the abyss. "You were always the one I looked for when it came to my problems… Whether it was my problematic brother or something irrelevant to my life, you were there…" No words left his lips, his even breaths soothing and serene.

"You fought my battles, even when I was fully prepared to take the blow." I continued, turning back to my friend, my blush faded from my face. "I never knew why you spoiled me so… I didn't like it but I grew accustomed to it…" I stared deep into his eyes, darker than the usual lively glint. "Whatever happened to those days…?"

"I don't know…" he replied, setting his hand on my shoulder as a method of comfort. "but know this. I do that because you're my friend and I feel like I have to protect them." I silently nodded, all doubt swept at his touch. "Besides, I don't trust that brother of yours with you." I lightly giggled, memories of conversations resurfacing from the bottom of my mind. That's Riku all right… always trying to include my brother into the fun, negatively or positively.

"So, how did you get here?" I asked when my laughter settled down.

"It not the matter of how, it's of why." Riku corrected, my head tilting out of impulse and confusion. Not of how, but why?

"But, how did you get here…?" I muttered to myself, a shadow cast upon eyes cast down low in disappointment and fear. This place… is really a prison, but it's been a lovely home. No one can get in, no one can get out; or what it seemed. It doesn't matter about one's reason to set foot here; I wasn't leaving. Not after what happened before…

"Natsuno, listen." His voice echoed in my mind, his other hand resting on my lone shoulder, the clouds shattering from my thoughts. "I'm here to get you out of here."

"What about Kairi?" I asked, grass green eyes meeting aqua. I must stall or something, even in the face of him…

"What about her?" he countered, bafflement coating his tone.

"Is she safe?"

"…Yes, very. All we need to do is get you out of here."

"And Sora?"

"Protecting Kairi." I found myself silent. Sora and Kairi… I envy those two…

"Then why did you go alone…?" I asked, clasping my heart. Even though I've known Riku as a lone person, he wouldn't abandon friends in danger, but ever since the darkness…

"Because…" Riku began, hesitating before continuing. "You're special." My face fumed with a mix of surprise and embarrassment. Is that an indirect way of a proclamation of love? I felt dizzy by the impact of his words; one would say the thoughts that interpret his words grinding against my admiration for him.

"We must leave…" he breathed, his grip releasing my shoulders for my arm. "There's something coming." I was taken aback by his behavior, his urgency to leave, but I looked to his eyes for comfort. I gazed deep within the shallow pools of aqua, finding no light, not a shine of playfulness or innocence sparkling within the sea green. Casting my eyes away, I took the hand that gripped my arm ever so gently within mine.

"Oh Riku…" I sighed in sorrow. The darkness has extinguished the flame of light, has it? If only I can cry out my worries and pains without my doubts bursting with laughter. I could hear his confused hum as I hurriedly embraced him in my pain, clutching his shirt.

"The darkness did this, didn't it?" I questioned.

"Did what?" he countered, surprised by my sudden actions.

"Smother the light…" I answered, snuggling closer. Hesitantly, warm arms caged my frame tenderly, a warmth surfacing at the roots of my heart. Is this what light feels like?

"Darkness is the only thing I need…" he commented darkly, my face raised by puzzlement. What does he mean by that? I remained silent, listening him with transfixed ears, a force dropping my heart from the euphoria above.

"Light won't give me happiness…" he continued, his gaze wandering towards to the abyss. "Darkness will only help me get what I want." I forbad myself to ask what he wanted but asked anyway.

"What exactly do you want?" I shyly asked loosening my grip on his shirt.

"The only thing that matters to me." Was his vague answer, a sigh passing my lips.

"Riku…" I started. "Don't use the darkness…"

"Why not?" Riku asked, surprise coating his voice.

"Because I... I-I" I stumbled over words, to find the right ones to ease the pain racing at the base of my heart. What is this feeling? "I don't want to lose you…" Averting my gaze, I continued. "You're too precious to lose…"

"Suno, don't worry about me." Riku scorned.

"How can I not?" I countered. "It pains me to not worry… If you lose your heart to the darkness you'll…" I bit my lip, trying to hold in my emotions.

"If it hurts too much, then don't worry." He reasoned, ruffling my hair.

"But I can't! Because…" I hesitated, my thoughts on fire. The pain flared at the bottom of my heart, pining for something longingly. Panic shredded through my mind, thought restricted to dark and light. "I-I… I…" The pain that cloaks my heart grew and grew, the intensity of panic, distress, confusion, and fear pouring out. Riku… With each passing moment of gazing upon his puzzled face, the pain's growth raced and raced. Through all the laughter, the sorrow, the worries, and the pain, I found that there's something magical about you. It's not your smile, not your image; maybe it's the person hiding behind that persona. The one that protects me and makes see seem perfect when I'm not. I'm not extraordinary and yet you still befriended me. I… I… "love you." Something shattered within me, the pain easing to warmth and the light shrugged free of the darkness. I pried away from his awe stricken form, hands clasped tightly before my heart, cheeks flushed with a crimson hue.

"I really do love you…" I softly repeated, gazing at the black velvet. "Not because of what I see, like most girls who shoot their affection to you… It's the person inside I see…" Closing my eyes, I felt free and relieved, but the pining felt stronger than ever. I needed to know, needed to know his answer.

"Tis very apparent…" that lifeless voice commented. I looked up, Riku's flawless form replaced with that stale figure.

"What are you doing here?" I asked in surprise, backing away in my defense.

"You're light is too strong…" she continued. "Indeed… Tis too strong…" I tilted my head in confusion, her rambles creating questioning thoughts.

"I must hide within the light…" she whispered into the wind, her image fading to the abyss. "Tis nothing but a wait before I eradicate the glow."

"Wait!" I tried calling, thrusting a hand out into the abyss, empty and silent. My face fell and my hands fell to my side. Why was she here just now…? I looked up, a bright glint in my eyes.

"Riku…" I whispered, looking around, trying to find a sound sign of his presence. Suddenly, I flushed crimson, a hand covering my agape mouth. D-did I just confess my feelings to him? I shook my head in denial, clutching my heart. However, then again… I'm able to come to terms with my feelings…

"It would seem that the darkness has been defeated, for now." I looked to the side; orange eyes and the wide grin making me blink twice.

"What do you mean by that Viz?" I asked on his approach.

"You are free until the darkness returns." Viz explained, a shadow casting on my face.

"Freedom…" I muttered, the concept vague from my caged mind. "I don't want to leave…" Viz was silent for a moment before answering.

"With the lock of the door to light, your home has been revived." He continued. The islands are back…?

"What about my brother and friends?" I asked.

"One is back at your home, another lost beyond the door, and the last is journeying to make it all right." Viz summarized. I averted my gaze and closed my eyes to sooth my fatigue.

"I want to protect my brother… and my best friend… and my love…" I said, fingers linked behind my back. "Viz, is that ok?"

"I see nothing wrong with that." The marionette responded. "As long as I continued serving you." I looked at Viz with a puzzled look what soon turned to happiness.

"I'm glad to have you as my friend…" I commented softly, turning away as the sounds of whisking darkness filled my ears. Looking to the abyss, I sighed, the pains of my pining prickling my heart. Closing my eyes, I wished and wished for him to hold me in his arms or something close to that, even though I knew that would never happen. Just a sign that I can gaze into his eyes once more, but for real… Another sigh left my lips and I opened my eyes, a spread of astonishment jumped onto my face. A grand, large full moon, the pale white sphere awing me with its beauty, illuminated the darkness.

"Oh, Riku… Oh, Riku… I love you more than peaches… and I really love peaches…"

Are Fighting A War, But Please Ease My Suffering

End of Chapter 12

Sigh, my first complete story... -jumps with glee then collects herself- Don't worry, I'll be back, someday.

Just beyond the crossroads lies a castle where someone dear fades away and someone cherished inches closer. Will the bystander at the heart chose to fall within his arms or grab the hand of the boy who calls her name?

Just so you know, that's a little something to look forward to. Thank you again for your support!