A/N: Hi there, loyal fan and new readers. Just so you know, I don't own KH. As for where I got the idea, this story happened when I was listening to music and thinking about Kingdom Hearts (Something I do often). While listening to Garth Brooks's Cowboy Bill (which I also don't own), I wondered what would happen when Sora was an old man and what if nobody believed him? SO was born the Old Man's Story.

The Old Man's Story

The house on the hill is old, the paint peeling. It is a large house, compared to most in this tiny island town. An old man lives there, and though his own children have long since grown up, many of the village youths can be seen heading up the hill.Most of the younger adults in the village will tell you that he is slightly crazy, that he is telling lies, but some of the village elders will tell you otherwise. The children believe in him, too, for they can see his eyes as he tells his tales.

Follow the children into the house, watch as they approach him, his eyes weathered with age but still shining bright. "Mr. Hikaru," they say, "tell us a story!"

The old man smiles, the lines around his eyes crinkled in silent laughter. "All right," he says, and sits in the large armchair near the fire. The children sit around him, listening intently. He starts to speak, and the children are captivated, even though most of them know his stories by heart. Sometimes he tells old legends, others he talks about the town, but today, like most days, he speaks of a young boy named Sora.

"It happened in a time you're too young to remember," he says, and one of the children whispers, "He's talking about himself you know."

The old man smiles and starts again as though unaware of the interruption. "I was a young boy, and for those who don't know," he smiles at you, "I was called Sora." You are drawn into his tale, lost in his accounts of other places and times, far-off worlds filled with pirates and mermaids, genies and kind-hearted beasts, all menaced by shadows. You listen, enraptured as he tells of betrayal, joy, and a young girl he crossed the worlds to save. His eyes have a far-off look as he tells of her, and he pulls out an old photo, dog-eared, and shows it to you. It shows a young brown-haired boy standing on a beach with a beautiful red-haired girl. You look around the room at all the memories. He must have loved her very much.

As the story comes to an end, a sad parting hangs in the air. The old man gets up and goes to a shadowy corner in the back of the room. Taking something off the wall, he walks back to the chair. Any doubt you had about the truth of his story is gone.

The weapon he is holding is badly tarnished, the coloring on the gurad faded with age, but there is no mistaking it. It is the blade from his story, the mystic Key that helped him save the worlds.

Walking away from the house on the hill, odd feelings fill your heart. You take your boat out to the island where the village children play. There is a small cave, hidden at the base of a tree, and you walk up to it, crawling through the opening. Faded drawings, the scribbles of children, line the walls. They are as famous as the grave that lays there, marked only by a single wooden cross. In a corner of the cave, hidden by a growth of mushrooms, you notice a plaque you've never seen before, hung above a drawing of a boy and girl sharing the legendary Paopu, the fruit of love. It is dusty with age, but when you clear the inscription, it reads:

Sora, Riku, Kairi:

When the Shadows came, you saved us all.

Thank you, from all of us,

Your deeds will never be forgotten.