Summary: Sora falls into the one world without a heart. [KHII: RikuSora

WHITE SHADOWS: CHAPTER ONE

Sora landed neatly on the cobbled streets of the Bastion, straightening his posture from the curved poise of his somersalt. Behind him, dark wisps of darkness disappated into the lukewarm afternoon air. He turned, briefly, to the sun and thought again upon Riku and Kairi. I'll see you again. Donald's distressed quack broke into his thoughts with no apology. Without bothering to aim, he twisted and threw his keyblade, striking a Book Master in the face. The heartless shrieked, but Sora had heard enough of their shadow-tongue through the keyblade to suppress his shudder.

And of course, Donald and Goofy, even as joined in his trinity as they were, heard nothing. The curse of the Chosen.

He made a small sound as the keyblade returned to the curve of his hand, strong and familiar. "On to Merlin's," Goofy yelped happily. Sora smiled close-eyed at his companions.

"Yeah." The wind was a gentle thread that brushed his cheek. He was content just to be with his friends.

"Wait, you guys," Donald quacked out. Sora and Goofy turned as one to see the magician leaning over a heavy-looking tome.

"Whoa," Sora said. He blinked and then rushed forward to join Donald. Goofy wasn't far behind. "What is it," he asked.

"Gwarsh, I dunno. Maybe that heartless dropped it." Sora was enchanted. The book lay on its side, closed, with an embossed heartless symbol nestled in a smooth, velvet cover. The outer layers were red, while the pages were the yellow-gold of age and use. Strange how he never wondered what the book's contents were. Now, his mind ran rampant with the possiblities. "But I don't think you should touch it, Sora," Goofy warned.

"Aw," Sora pouted as he drew back. "Why not?"

"We should take it to Merlin," Donald interjected.

"I'll carry it!" Goofy volunteered.

"You're not supposed to TOUCH it, stupid," Donald responded, feathers trembling in his fury.

"How about you guys go ahead and get Merlin. He'll know what to do." The duck and the dog turned to Sora with admiration shining in their eyes. Sora wasn't surprised. He was supposed to be… Well, he didn't quite know what he was supposed to be, but he was being it right now. "And I'll stand watch so no one touches it."

"That's a great plan, Sora. Ah-hyuck."

"What a good idea!"

"Yeah, I know," Sora replied, folding his hands behind his head with a pleased expression.

Donald quacked his goodbyes and departed, dragging Goofy in his excitement. The oversized dog waved awkwardly at Sora with a resigned expression. The Keyblade Master couldn't help but laugh.

He turned to the book when they disappeared from his sight. It was a beautiful book. …But Donald did say not to touch it. Then again, the Book Master Heartless was relatively new. Sora lowered to his haunches in contemplation. A small chirrup signaled Jiminy's emergence from his pocket. "What do you think I should do?" Sora asked without moving his gaze from the book.

The cricket gripped his top hat in his hands with agitation. "I don't really know, Sora. I've read many books, but never a heartless one."

Sora snorted lightly. "Donald said not to touch it."

"Maybe you should listen to him and wait for Merlin. Merlin will definitely know what to do." If Jiminy had seen Sora's face at that moment, he would have run full force for Merlin's house.

"Will he?"

Because Sora's eyes were a dull, lifeless blue with a ring of burnished gold clinging to the irises. "…Sora?" He leaned forward with his hand outstretched for the book. "Sora! Don't!!" Jiminy jumped on Sora's back and tugged at a wayward lock of hair. Hard.

"…ow." The brunette blinked once, twice. "Jiminy?"

"Yeah?"

Sora stood up and Jiminy slid to the ground. "What the hell was that?" he asked as he turned around to glare at the cricket.

"Well, Donald said to wait…"

"So you pull my HAIR?"

"I did call your name."

"My HAIR, Jiminy. That really hurt."

"You'll thank me later," Jiminy insisted before disappearing into Sora's pocket.

"Yeah, sure," Sora muttered, unconvinced.

Chapter One End.

This fic fits (hopefully) neatly between Roxas' return to Sora, and Axel's death. Oh, come on. Like you didn't know.