All the King's Horses
By: Chained-to-a-kiwi

The sky was free of all clouds as Sora lay down on the empty beach, the warmth of the sands immediately calming him.

He had sought escape from the excitement that had erupted when he, Riku, and Kairi had received a letter from King Mickey; asking for their help... but with what, the King of Disney Castle hadn't written. Soon, another letter had arrived, stating that Donald and Goofy were coming to pick them up in a Gummy ship later that very week.

'It must be urgent if he didn't even wait for our reply... Not that we could even send one to him. He is all the way across the galaxy...' Sora thought, contemplating the letter.

Kairi had left shortly after they had read the second letter, exclaiming something about packing, before taking off at a run towards her tiny boat.

Riku had excused himself a short while after the two friends discussed Kairi's reaction, his reason being that he needed to "take care of some things". This had left Sora in a state on confusion and tension.

'Barely back from the last "adventure" and we have to set out again...?'

"Man... what a day." he sighed, closing his azure eyes and yawning sleepily. He had thought of packing things for his trip, but that was only a passing notion. He didn't think he needed anything for another journey, as long as he had Riku and Kairi beside him this time. Smiling at that thought, he let himself be lulled to sleep by the soothing sounds of the ocean as calm waves lapped at his feet.

'I just hope it turns out better this time.'

The Keyblade Master awoke in state of confusion, his body almost numb from the cold surrounding him. He glanced around.

"I've... I've seen this place before," he murmured as he surveyed his surroundings.

Dark buildings towered around him, ascending into the equally dark sky. As he stepped away from the building he had apparently been leaning against, what had first been a soft shower of rain began to pour harder from the skies.

'It seems... the rain never stops falling here...' he thought as he felt his brown hair become wet under the soft shower, the normally perky spikes drooped down sadly.

Sora walked directly towards the immense skyscraper which loomed over the entire square of black-blue buildings. Florescent lights lined the structure's edges, giving it an eerie glow compared to the lights which adorned the other edifices. Ignoring the bluish glow by lackluster lights, his gaze drifted past the halo-like half circle of gold which was at the top of the building's huge front window, and to a large, glowing star. Since the first time he could ever recall, that star had always caught his attention; it was the only thing in this place that seemed to have any life to it. Everything else... It all seemed so utterly dead.

As he put his foot on the first dark step of the cold stone stairs leading up to the shining building, a realization hit him, something which he only ever realized when he began to walk up these steps.

"I'm in the... World That Never Was..." the brunette whispered to himself as he looked up at the blue neon star above him.

'Or what looks like The World That Never Was...' he corrected himself silently, knowing better that such a thing was impossible. 'But then again, hasn't the "impossible" been proven possible throughout my adventures?'

"But... why is this the place I keep 'coming' to? This is just plain weird!" he shouted, partially to see if anyone answered him, but mostly so that he could hear something, anything other than just the sound of the rain falling. It was deafening.

"Why am I here?!" he shouted, frustrated at no one in particular. He coughed as he inhaled the thick cold air, the scent of damp stone was stifling as the rain continued to pour relentlessly.

"Hey, come to think of it, why aren't there Heartless here?" Sora asked nobody again. "And if this place still existed, then wouldn't that mean the Nobodies still existed?"

'...Okay, so that wasn't the best thing to say...' he thought as the sky seemed to react to his words, the rain poured down even harder on the dead city... and Sora.

Seeking comfort, he flexed his hand, expecting the Keyblade to appear in his hand, as it had always before.

Except, this time, it didn't.

"What the-?!" he tried again, but it wouldn't appear.
He had just started to panic when a cool voice pierced the sound of rainfall.

"The Keyblade has a will of its own sometimes, you know."

Sora's head snapped in the direction of the voice. A black cloaked figure was standing at the bottom of the stairs, his head turned up towards the brunette.

"You!" Sora exclaimed happily as he recognized the person standing before him. He stumbled capriciously down the slippery stairs, grinning at the boy who had broke the silence of the abandoned city.

To his candid surprise, the cloaked figure turned tail and ran in the opposite direction, his footsteps hitting the dark pavement soundly. Before he realized it, Sora instinctively pounded after the retreating figure.

"Wait!" Sora yelled at the person he was pursuing, his shoes squeaking against the wet concrete. After what seemed like hours, he finally couldn't chase the figure anymore; he couldn't breathe, and his legs were cramping up. Although his vision was blurry from the rain in his eyes, he could still see the cloaked individual about to turn a corner. Though he was still gasping for breath, on the verge of unconsciousness, Sora refused to let the dark figure escape.

"ROXAS!" Sora shouted desperately.

The figure stopped at that name.

Sora fell to knees, gasping for air. His vision was spinning.

"Ugh..." The hooded boy sighed, walking over the now kneeling Keyblade Master and extending a hand. Sora accepted it, angrily stumbling sloppily to his feet.

"Hey, why were you... running away from me?" he panted, one hand clutching his side, where a cramp had painfully presented itself.

"The ever inquisitive one, aren't you?" came Roxas's cool reply as he pulled off his hood, a smirk decorating his young face as he ran a hand through his messy blonde hair.

"I swear... I could have died from lack of air back there!" Sora exclaimed, a small part of his seemingly-always comical side showing through. "What if I slipped in the rain and hit my head on something? I could have died!"

Roxas' smirk vanished, and it was replaced with a look of utter remorse.

"At least you know you can." he gritted, his blue eyes narrowing, teeth audibly grounding together.

The brunette blinked several times. "I can what?" he asked, confused.

Roxas sighed again, tilting his head back, letting the rain cover his previously dry face.


Sora would have jumped if his legs hadn't hurt so much. "W-what?! Whaddaya mean, Roxas?" It was a few moments before the blonde responded, and when he did, his voice sounded oddly... different.

"What I mean is, Sora... You need to wake up."

"Eh?!" The Keyblade Master was ever more confused now.

"I said, you need to wake up, you lazy bum!" The voice was female now.
Glancing around, Sora tried to locate where the voice had come from. It took a moment for him to realize that the voice had come from Roxas.

"W-what the... Roxas-!" The brunette gave a yelp of surprise when he felt the ground suddenly give out below him, sending him slowly spiraling downward. He tried to grab onto something, but found that everything he touched just melted into black. "R-Roxas!" he screamed, trying to reach up towards the teenager, who was now standing on thin air above him, just above him.

Sora abruptly sat up, gasping as he almost swallowed a mouthful of sand.

"'Roxas', what?" came a familiar voice from right above him. Sora jumped so suddenly at the voice that he collided with it's its speaker.

"Gah-! Sora! What the hell was that for?!" Riku groaned as he fell onto the hot sand next to Sora, rubbing his forehead where a large red splotch was starting to appear where he and Sora clonked heads.

Said teenager also rubbed his own aching forehead, whimpering. "Ouch. Sorry, Riku. I was having a weird dream."

Kairi sighed, placing her small hands on her hips. "It must have been a really bad 'dream'. You screamed 'real loud, Sora."

"Uh... Yeah..." he trailed off, glancing at Riku, who was leaning precariously close, his eyes narrow as he stared at Sora's face, his brow furrowed, blue-green eyes staring into what seemed like Sora's very soul.

"You sure it was just a dream, Sora?" the silver haired teenager asked, an eyebrow raised as he stared at the sand which covered his friend's clothes. He looked like he had tossing and turning in his sleep.

"Uh-yeah, Riku, Kairi. It was just a dream, really." The brunette hurriedly jumped to his feet, brushing the sand off of his clothes and out of his slightly lopsided hair.

Neither of them looked satisfied with his hasty response, but on the other hand, they both dropped the subject as Sora presented them with a question of his own.

"So, um... Why'd you wake me up?"

Riku elbowed him in the ribs warningly as Kairi's face grew suddenly fierce.

"Donald and Goofy are here, dummy!" She advanced on Sora, one of her hands drawn into a menacing fist. "And we've been looking for you for ages!"

To Sora, it seemed like Kairi had grown a few dozen feet, towering over him, her arm drawn back imposingly.

"Go, Sora, while you still can!" a voice whispered urgently into the brunette's ear, and Sora looked to his side to see Riku looking at him, his face contorted in mock horror.

Not even turning to glance at Kairi --who he was sure would be eating him alive any second now-- he turned and ran down the beachfront, away from his two childhood friend's.

He could hear Riku's feet pounding into the sand behind him, and Kairi's stomps not far behind. Suddenly, hearing a 'thump', Sora turned to see Riku flailing in the sand, moaning in mock pain.

"Riku!" He ran to his friend's side, attempting to drag him away from the ever-advancing 'Kairi-Monster'. The silver haired teenager put a hand on his chest, batting his long eyelashes melodramatically.

"No, Sora! Leave me behind. Save yourself!" he coughed a few times before slumping onto his back, his tongue lolling out of his mouth as his eyes closed.

Falling to his knees, Sora raised his hands to the sky. "Nooo!"

The two teenager's theatrical death scene was interrupted as Kairi tripped on a rock under the sand, sending her toppling onto the two boys.

"Ow!- My spleen!" Sora shouted in pain.

"Gah!- My long, beautiful, shiny, manly hair!" Riku whined, this time over dramatically.

"Really, Riku, I don't know how you can stand to keep your hair that long in this heat." Kairi was currently helping Riku detangle his long hair as the trio of friends approached the island's dock.

Sora followed, laughing occasionally at something said by one of his companions, but he had otherwise stayed silent for the short walk, mulling over his odd dream.

'Why was Roxas acting so weird...?' This was the thought which had repeatedly forced itself to the front of his mind. His 'dream' had been one of the few times Roxas had directly spoken to Sora since they had been reunited after that fateful fight in The World That Never Was.
'Why'd he seem so...depressed? He was pretty happy sounding last time... But, then again, that was ages ago.'

"-Sora!" Suddenly two oddly shaped bodies slammed into the brunette's own, causing him to slip off of the docking he had only just stepped onto, tumbling backwards into the hot sand.

"Well, gawrsh, Sora, we're sorry!" Came a voice which, until only recently, Sora had become accustomed to hearing everyday.

"We didn't mean to..." said the other voice Sora was used to.

His eyes snapped open as he realized exactly who it was that had knocked him off the dock.

"Donald! Goofy!" The brunette almost shouted as he stumbled to his feet, climbing up onto the dock to be warmly embraced by his two otherworldly friends.

"Are you ready, Sora?" Donald asked as he smoothed the feathers on his face which had been ruffled during their sudden embrace, slightly annoyed when Goofy chuckled next to him.

"Yep!" Sora turned shooting his friends a mock salute. "Riku, Kairi-" He called louder than really necessary. "-It's time to line up for the test!"

Both of his friends looked puzzled as they lined up next to Sora; the redheaded girl dropping a large bag nearby, and his other, silver haired, friend just looked confused.

Donald's face was dead serious as he walked down the line of the trio of friends. He stopped at Sora first, raising a feathered brow in inquiry. In response to this, the brunette offered a large, even grin. "Ready for action, Sir!"

The next person Donald approached was Kairi, who supplied him with a slightly nervous grin. The only person who seemed to be completely clueless was Riku, who just stared blankly down at the talking duck who stood impatiently in front of him.

After about a minute of Donald and Riku staring at each other, Kairi elbowed Riku in the ribs, throwing him a questioning look.

"What?" The blue-green eyed teenager was still staring down at Donald, who was now glaring venomously up at him.

"This ship runs on happy faces." Donald crossed his small arms, tapping his webbed foot impatiently.

"O-oh." Stuttered Riku, blushing, before giving what had to be one of the weirdest smiles Sora had ever seen.

"Alrighty everyone, let's skedaddle!" Goofy chuckled again, opening the airlock and grabbing Kairi's bag before he stepped inside. He was soon followed by Donald, who was still huffing in annoyance.

Riku was about to follow the two individuals when he felt a tug on the back of his shirt. Turning, he saw Kairi, pointing towards the edge of the dock. Sora stood alone on it's edge, his gaze drifting over the sparkling sea.
As the boards of the wooden deck creaked behind him, he smiled to himself, his eyes still on the sea.

"You know, Riku, Kairi... I think I'm pretty happy that this place will never change."

The redhead was about to say something, but Riku shook his head. "Why's that, Sora?" the blue-green eyed adolescent asked, his hand resting on Sora's shoulder.

Sora turned a wide grin on his face. "'Cause! That means... we can go anywhere, or change in any way... and this place-" He pointed behind him, to the sea. "-will never change. It'll just stay here, like this."

Riku and Kairi exchanged exasperated glances before seizing Sora by the arms and dragging him towards the Gummy ship. "That may be true Sora, but you're over thinking it a bit..." Riku chuckled, winking at him.

"Come on, Sora, you've got a whole universe to save!" Kairi giggled when she saw Sora grimace at Riku's words.

"...Again," he sighed, letting his head droop as his friend's dragged his limp body into the Gummy ship.

"Well... At least you can rely on us to bail you out of a tough situation." Riku pulled Sora to his feet, grinning as he did so. "And... we'll all be on the same side this time, too."

Sora buckled his chest harness almost unconsciously, chuckling when he saw his two human companions struggling to buckle the straps.
When they both looked to him for help, Sora couldn't help but laugh quietly as he made a "like this" motion.

Letting his hand trail over the shiny white material the chair was made out of, the Keyblade Master couldn't help but notice the large, shiny red button which was now on the side of one of the arms.

While he was checking all of the displays, and jotting down a few things in the pilot's log, Donald glanced over at Sora, who was staring dumbly at the crimson button.

"That's the eject button, Sora. Don't push it unless it's an emergency."

'Well that's a new feature...' The brunette thought as he remembered a few particularly painful incidents that had resulted from his faulty flying skills.

"...Got it..." He snatched his hand away from the button, instead resting it on the chair's arm, where it belonged, apparently.

"So... um... Where ar-" Kairi was fidgeting nervously, her eyes scanning over the entire of the inside of the ship, or at least, what she could see from her high-backed white chair.

"-Are we going into space?" An excited voice suddenly burst from beside Kairi.
Everyone gawked incredulously at Riku, who was laughing nervously, his head down. "Um... Never mind."

Seeing his silver haired friend's embarrassed blush, Sora elected to change the subject... sort of. "So, where are we going?"

"We're going to see King Mickey!" Goofy proclaimed happily.

All three of the childhood friends looked to each other, wondering the same thing at that moment. 'What does King Mickey need our help with?'

"We're entering warp mode now," came Donald's voice from the front of the cockpit, giving Sora just enough time to prepare himself for the feeling of being sucked into his chair.

Kairi and Riku, however, where not prepared for this, and both gave and yelp as they were pressed back into their chairs forcibly.

After a few minutes of this, the Gummy ship unexpectedly gave a lurch, the pressure inside of it returning to normal.

"...Are we there yet?" asked Riku weakly. He was holding his stomach and seemed to have grown several shades paler.

"I'm... not sure I like this 'warp mode'..." Kairi seemed to have taken the pressure slightly better than Riku had, but she looked nauseous none the less.

Sora was alarmed however, as the Gummy ship had never before in all of his travels stopped that suddenly.

"Donald? I don't remember the Gummy ship doing this be-"

Without notice, the whole cabin was suddenly bathed in red light. It was almost pouring out from bulbs which had come out of the walls from small fitted holes. Sora and his friends were forced to cover their ears as sirens began to scream from the main control panel.

"W-What's going on?!" Kairi her voice high pitched, obviously scared.

"I'm working on it!" Donald shouted, his feathered fingers moving with great accuracy over the blinking panels and buttons. It was only a few seconds before Donald told them the dreadful news, but to Sora and his childhood friends, the wait seemed like hours.

"We're heading...straight into a meteor shower!" Donald said in shock.

Sora found that his mouth was dry, and his voice cracked as he tried to talk. He was incapable, robbed of all speech.

'What can I do?' Was the question which echoed in his mind in what seemed like an endless loop.

It was Riku who spoke first, his voice cracking as he shouted over the warning sirens.
"What can we do?!"

Donald pushed a button which turned the entire front wall of the ship into a monitor, which was currently displaying a large group of meteors heading directly towards them.

"Gawrsh..." was all that Goofy could say as they watched one of the meteors hit another, cracking into many pieces. They had warped right into the middle of it all. And they were surrounded, just flying through it would be mad. And as the moment went by the meteors got closer.

Something occurred to Sora as he watched this. "D-Donald! We can eject!?" Sora shouted, glancing around for approval as he saw his friend's eyes light up with desperate hope.

"It's... It's the only way!" Donald pushed several shining buttons on the display, and it changed from a view of space to the outside of Destiny Islands.

A robotic, female voice unexpectedly boomed from all of their chairs, emotionless and uncaring of their dire situation.

"Please make sure you are entirely in the pod's zone. Pod 03, adjust." A ring of light circled around each of the chairs, with enough distance for someone injured to sit comfortably. Riku hastily adjusted his posture, tucking his long legs inside the circle, until the red circle around his chair turned the same colour as the rest.

"Press the red button located on the right arm of the chair. Good luck." Donald, Goofy, Kairi, Riku, and Sora glanced at each other, nodding nervously as they all pushed the buttons at once. Immediately, domes of blue-white light enveloped them, solidifying into an egg shape which lit up with lights and terminals, then launched just in time to hear the ship get slammed.

"Sora!" Donald's voice reverberated off, or rather, out of, the walls of the 'egg', and the voices of Riku, Kairi, and Goofy could also be heard from different speakers located near Sora's head.

"I'm here!" He cried loudly, his fears that something might have happened to his friend's the moment he lost sight of them dissipating.

"Sora, we're heading back to Destiny'll take a few days, but we can talk to each other through this connection, okay? We'll contact the King once we get ba-"

Donald's voice was droned out by a loud 'CRACK', which just happened to come from the side of Sora's escape pod. Followed by a small hissing sound coming from the side of impact, his light turned red.

"Sora?!" Echoed the now-garbled and crackling voices of his comrades.

A deep, mechanical voice, this time male, issued abruptly from the walls off all the pods, causing Sora to jerk in his cramped seat.

"Pod 06 has been critically damaged. Aborting to planet closest to current location. Pod's 01 through 05 will continue predetermined course."

"What?!" Shouted Sora, unbelieving.

He could hear Goofy and Donald's voices urging him to prepare himself for turmoil, but the desperate, scared screams of Riku and Kairi overrode them.


"Sora, Don't!"


Riku and Kairi's voices were cut off as all of the lights went off in Sora's pod. The only thing keeping Sora from facing absolute darkness was the small monitor in front of him, which displayed a view of outside the pod.

Sora could only watch as his friends' pods sped off in the opposite direction of his. He was immediately hit with a wave of depression, mostly concerning the fact that he had been separated from Riku and Kairi yet again.

He felt angry. He wanted to punch the monitors in front of him, but knew that would just make his situation even worse.

"Dammit!" The brunette swore, scrunching his eyes up in frustration.
He didn't know why, but he was angry with himself. He knew he shouldn't be, but that didn't change the fact that he felt like a helpless idiot right then, and wanted nothing but to be reunited with his friends.

'But, I'm not helpless,' a little voice told him from inside his head.
'Really?, 'cause I feel pretty useless right now,' he thought back to himself.
'I can breathe. I can move. I am alive,' it reminded him cheerily.
'But, that doesn't change the fact that I can't do anything!' he shouted mentally to the voice in his head.

It then replied: 'I can live to find Riku and Kairi again.'

Sora raised his previously downcast head, considering what the voice had said. A look of sheer determination appeared on his face. Sora swore he must have been glowing with it.

"I will not give up," he told himself, his eyes focused on the display in front of him. "Not while I can still fight, not while I'm still alive."

There was a small blinking tag on the screen, pointing to what seemed to be a planet, which was growing ever closer.

"Earth, huh?" The Keyblade Master breathed as his eyes scanned the name, he gasped in awe at the sheer mass of ocean on the planet before him.

"Man, I hope I don't land in the ocean," groaned the brunette as he rested his head on his hand, watching the planet as his egg-shaped pod sped towards it, traveling faster every second.

Sora was caught off guard when the walls around him began to shudder, becoming warm to the touch. "W-what?!" He had begun to sweat when a synthesized male voice broke the uncomfortable silence.

"Breaching atmosphere. No suitable body of water within range. Prepare for collision in T-minus two minutes."

"W-what?!" he shouted again, his eyes wide when he saw what lie below him. Minuscule blocks were below him. No, now they weren't minuscule, they were squares, with dots on them. A square bigger than the rest was a lively green, and there were no 'dots' on it. In a second, the blocks had turned into smaller blocks of tops of buildings. Soon Sora could now see houses, large and small.
--And then, in a millisecond, he could see the field he was approaching. It was away from all of the buildings, which Sora could only assume was a town or small city.

Not that he had much time to wonder, as he was zooming straight towards the grassy ground. He vaguely remembered screaming before being knocked unconscious by the force of the sudden impact.

Sora awoke in a state of panic.

"I'm alive, right?" He inhaled, sucking in as much as air as he could. "I'm alive. Okay." he assured himself as he took in his surroundings. The pod seemed to have slowed down just enough to have ejected him upon impact, sending him about twenty feet away from the crash site.

Rubbing the back of his neck, where he was sure there would be a bruise, he stood up shakily. "Sweet, sweet ground," his voice cracked as he spoke to himself, unnerved.

"Okay, I'm alive. Now, to find a way back to my island... Back to Riku and Kairi," he whispered to himself as he began to walk in the direction of the city he had seen as the pod fell to place called Earth.

As Sora walked, he repeatedly glanced over his shoulder nervously, feeling as if something was following him. He would think he heard a noise, a rustle in the long grass, but when he would turn and be greeted by, well... nothing.
The brunette flexed his hand, searching inside of his heart for the Keyblade. He was immensely relieved when he felt its warmth in his hand, even though he didn't summon it.

Sighing happily, though he was still slightly on edge by that feeling of being watched, he was content just knowing that he could summon the Keyblade.

The fact that he had just stepped off of grass and onto pavement helped too. He could see the city a walk-able distance in front of him, and he hurried on.


Sora stopped when he spotted a sign on the side of the deserted road he had been walking down, and was immensely relieved that it was printed in a language that he could barely understand. There would be almost nothing worse than being stuck on a world where everyone spoke gibberish.

"Kara..." The Keyblade Master frowned, leaning closer as he tried to make out the faded letters.

"Karakura Town. Hmm, nice name," he said to himself as he began walking again, looking forward to seeing another human being.

When Sora finally entered the city, the sky had already begun to darken, turning quickly from the cheery blue Sora had awoken to, to a warm shade of orange.
'One sky, one destiny.' The words from Kairi's letter rang through his head, causing him to grimace as he was reminded of his friends. And how far away they were now.

'Now's not the time...' he chided himself as he navigated a through particularly thick crowd. Sora had been a little overwhelmed when he had seen how busy and... moving the crowd was on what he assumed to be the city's main street. He had eventually had to force himself to steer a course through the small sea of people.

In the throng of people, a flash of bright red hair caught his eye. Turning, Sora could see a thick mane of red hair bobbing through the crowd towards a small side street.

Memories of the Organization XIII member and Axel's last moments flooded Sora's mind, he couldn't help but follow the red blur into the shaded street.

'Why do I even think of Axel anymore? He's been dead since he used his being to defeat those Nobodi-' Sora thought's were interrupted by those of someone inside of his mind.

'Don't say that.'

'Eh? Roxas?' Sora thought back, confused at Roxas's sudden interjection, as he swiftly turned down an ally. He wasn't given an answer, but it wasn't as if he had the time to ask Roxas again, as he had just ran into the man he had been following.

"Why are you following me, kid?" a deep voice asked, and Sora looked up into the face of the red haired man.
Jagged black tattoo's replaced the man's eyebrows, zigzagging their way up into his hairline. A dark, shaded visor hid his eyes from Sora, but the brunette could tell from the way the man was leering, the way his brows were furrowed... Well, the brunette might be in trouble.

"I... um, I thought you were someone I knew. S-sorry." Sora rubbed the back of his head, grinning nervously as he backed slowly away from the man, until he felt his back against what Sora deducted to be an extremely smelly dumpster.

The red haired man frowned, looking very unconvinced. He was about to say something when a strong male's voice rang out through the street.

"OI, RENJI! STOP SMELLIN' THE GARBAGE AND GET YOUR ASS OVER HERE!" The voice came from out of Sora's view, but he could tell whoever it was wasn't that far down the street.

"I'M ON MY WAY, KEEP YOUR GODDAMN GIGAI ON!" the man identified as 'Renji' yelled back, glancing back at Sora for a moment.

"You should get out of here, it's not safe," was all he said before sprinting off in the direction of the first yell.

Watching the mans hastily retreating back disappear Sora went into deep thought.

"Not... safe?" Sora whispered to himself, wondering if it was possible for Heartless to exist on this world.

"Man, I hope they aren-" His words were stuck in his throat as he felt the air grow heavy around him. The one light in the back ally he had run into flickered, leaving Sora victim to intervals of almost complete darkness in the dwindling twilight.

Summoning the Keyblade, the brunette spun around, scanning the alley for any Heartless that might be creeping up on him.
'Why...does the air...feel so heavy?' the Keyblade Master thought as his eyes strained to catch any movement. Something moved directly in front of blue eyed teenager, but it was hard to see.

'A blur?' Sora's eyes scanned the 'blurred' air, jumping back when he saw what had been masked, even if it was only for a second. It had been immense. Was it a heartless?

"Wh-what are you?!" he called into the darkness, occasionally seeing a blur in the air around him.

"Ah, it seems you can see me!" the blur roared, its deep voice showing it was clearly delighted. "...That means your soul will be quite delectable!!!"

Sora dodged its first attack out of pure luck, jumping out of the way of an enormous claw at the last moment possible. The thing's form had become visible again, if only slightly fuzzy at its edges. It had to be at least a dozen feet high, its beaked mouth hanging open menacingly as it roared in laughter.

An immense hole was where the missing heart normally was on a Heartless, and it glared down at him through a bone mask.

'W-what is this monster?!' He thought, panicking as he tried to dodge another one of the giant thing's attacks. It wasn't enough, and he could feel his flesh tear as the monster's giant claws glanced his shoulder. Sora cried out in pain, the brunette's shoulder spraying blood onto the dumpster behind him.

'I should have been able to dodge that... Why do I feel so heavy?'

Sora spun out of the way of another one of the monster's attacks, and this time he had a counterattack ready.
He swung the Keyblade down on the thing's outstretched arm, only to gasp in surprise as the Keyblade passed right through the monstrous arm.

"What?!" seemed to be Sora's word-of-the-day as he couldn't hold back his astonishment at the Keyblade actually not doing any damage to his enemy. Nothing at all.

'Why didn't the Keyblade hurt it?!'

Said monster boomed with laughter again, the large bone mask which covered its face trembling. The thing caught Sora off guard as it swung its leg out of nowhere, hitting him in the stomach. The brunette felt all of his breath knocked out of him as he was sent flying, into the open dumpster. As he hit the inside of the large metal container, the top slammed down above him, effectively trapping him in his weak state.

Sora could faintly hear yells outside of the dumpster before he lost consciousness, his own blood seeping into the garbage around his beaten body.

He awoke the morning after with a pained groan.

'Man... my head hurts... no, everything hurts...' Remembering what had happened before he passed out, he opened his eyes, sitting up abruptly. His body screamed in protest, waves of pain assaulting him.

'That monster, where is it? Where am I?!' He tried to squint through eyes which were scrunched up in pain, and he gasped as he felt something warm covering his arm.

"Idiot! You reopened your wound!" came a harsh male voice from Sora's side.

Snapping his head to the side, the blue eyed adolescent saw a rather miffed looking orange haired teenager walking to the side of the bed he was laying in.

'I'm in a bed? And my wounds are bandaged...?' Sora was extremely confused as the bright haired man kneeled next to the bed, pulling several pieces of gauze and bandages from a conveniently placed box. 'But... Where's that big heartless?!' he thought frantically, his eyes scanning the normal-looking room.

"I was attacked by a huge heartless! Do you know were it went? I need to kill it before it takes any innocent's hearts...!" Sora's voice cracked as he tried to speak loudly. He coughed, feeling pain near his stomach.

The orange haired teenager looked confused for a moment, before raising an eyebrow incredulously. "Heartless? Taking peoples hearts? What the hell's a Heartless? Do you mean a Hollow?" His voice dropped low as he leaned towards the injured boy. "Do you know what Hollows are?"

"It was kinda blurry... but it had a huge hole in it's stomach..." Sora trailed off as he saw the orange haired adolescent's eyes widen.

"So, you can see hollows then?" the orange haired boy said surprised.

"Ya," Sora said simply. "But barely."

"Interesting. Well you're lucky I came and killed it when I did or that thing would have eaten you... or worse... I can't believe a kid like you even survived."

Ignoring the small insult, Sora thought to himself. 'How does he know so much about that monster... He couldn't be in league with it, could he? But... he said he killed it, wait, how did he kill it?' Sora's mind was racing questions, and he was still slightly dizzy from blood loss, and was hit by a wave of nausea. Never mind that. He'd ask when he could think more clearly.
'But just who is this guy?' Sora paused to take a look at him. 'Well, only one way to find out...'

"Who are you?" Sora asked, fidgeting as the orange haired man tore his eyes away from the brunette's openly bleeding wounds to meet his sea blue eyes. The other smiled smugly.

"Ichigo. Ichigo Kurosaki."

To Be Continued.

This fic was brought to you by: 'Chained to a Kiwi' aka Fai, Kuriko, and Yashi
Fic plot, art, and beta-read by Lizeth
Co-proofed by: 'Custom Rewind Corn' aka Zubon

As you can see, a lot of people put a lot of love into this fic, so we really hope you enjoyed it! Chapter 2 is on the way. For more update information, check out Chained-to-a-kiwi's deviantart homepage!

The category for this fic might change, so just remember the author name and title. XD