A/N: Well, this is the first fic I've posted in a long time, and if you've been following my blog you'll understand why I've finally decided to start posting it. While this fic isn't finished, I'm hoping I'll have the majority of it completed by the time the chapter posting catches up with where I am currently. The scheduling will be as follows regarding updates for this fic: one new chapter every Friday. Some weeks I may take off due to constraints or other reasons, but I will try to get a chapter out for you every week.

Disclaimer: Excluding any original characters/settings/etc, all content of the Kingdom Hearts universe is copyright of Square-Enix and Disney. I claim no ownership over any of their creations in any way, shape of form.


Kingdom Hearts III: The Revival
Exordium

Riku propped a leg up onto the paopu tree he was occupying, resting an arm on his knee as he continued staring out over the horizon—the sun had gotten lower as daylight continued to dim. It was after this realization that Riku heard the scampering of another pair of feet from behind him, to which he smiled. Only one person could emulate such a high-spirited jog. This prediction of Riku's had confirmed itself as the energetic brunette hopped over the trunk of the paopu tree before leaning against it, placing his hands behind his head in the patented fashion the protagonist was known to have done millions of times before. Although the Key Bearer had evidently made his presence known—despite being uninvited—Riku made no effort to voice a hello. Neither had made eye contact, no verbal gesture of greeting, or even a pat on the back to show their acknowledgment of the other's arrival; they were both well beyond that. Both simply stared off into the distance until one of them felt the need to voice a thought.

"Nothing's changed, huh," Riku was the first to speak.

"Nope. Nothing will," Sora agreed.

Both teenagers remained uniform in both their gaze and position as they sat in silence for another moment, simply taking their time with their discussion. As far is both of them knew, they had the rest of eternity to reflect on all of the journeys they had undergone since that night about a year ago.

"What a small world," Riku's lips avoided a smile.

Sora's eyes darted to the side, catching Riku in his peripheral vision. "But part of one that's much bigger."

"Yeah," Riku replied.

Sora's mind began to cloud for a moment. There had been many new truths along the way that made themselves known as each of their journeys came to an end, but there had still been one mystery Sora couldn't quite understand: the voice that spoke to him when he had first come into contact with the Keyblade—although be it a dream. Its words had given him hope and the courage to rise up against the Darkside heartless that had assaulted him. He didn't entirely understand the meaning behind the words the voice spoke at the time they were first told to him, but even now there was still one last riddle that remained unsolved.

Sora tilted his head upward, finally breaking the physical deadlock that seemed to brew between the two of them. "Hey Riku… what do you think it was—the door to the light?"

Riku chuckled, half in surprise, half in disappointment. Taking Sora's newly animated responses as his cue, he hopped off the tree and turned to face Sora directly. He raised his right hand and gently prodded Sora's chest, pointing at his heart. "This."

Sora stared aimlessly in confusion for a moment, trying to comprehend the ambiguity behind Riku's answer. For a question that he had purposely tried to make simple, Riku sure found a way to effectively complicate it. Sora surrendered his pride and inquired further about his friend's conclusion. He placed his own hand toward his chest. "This?"

Riku smiled. "Yeah. It's always closer than you think."

Sora's expression deepened in confusion; Riku definitely wasn't making any more sense to him. But knowing Riku, that was probably the intention behind his choice of words. He was always like that, boasting whatever intellectual superiority he had over Sora. Perhaps someday, Sora thought, he'd understand just what Riku meant by his explanation. But for the moment, Sora could only do what came naturally to him. He simply smiled.

"Sora! Riku!" a female voice called from the distance.

Both males turned their heads as they watched Kairi make her way toward their location. She held something within her grasp, a bottle it seemed. Both Riku and Sora waited in anticipation to see what their young heroine had discovered.

"Hey… what's up?" Sora looked down at the vessel she was holding.

Kairi fumbled with the container for a moment, trying to figure out the contents before lifting it, offering it to Sora. "Look."

There seemed to be a scroll inside, the seal of King Mickey imprinted on the front.

"From the King?" Sora asked before taking it into his hands.

Sora quickly removed the cork that fastened the top of the bottle shut before sliding the sealed scroll out of the neck and into his hand. The paper was light and frail, but the writings within seemed recent. It smelled of ancient pine and fresh sea salts. The scent of the ink seemed to have faded from the abundant salts that managed to seep through the cork's anterior.

Sora held the scroll out in front of him as Riku and Kairi observed from over each of his shoulders. The three of them read the contents of the letter in earnest as they absorbed the writing before them. Smiles crept on both Kairi's and Riku's lips, while Sora struggled to hold back laughter. It was a momentous occasion! It was the excuse all three of them needed—no, wanted—to fulfill their unvoiced desires.

For Sora—who knew Donald the best out of the three of them—the news had come as a complete surprise. It was almost unreal (and to a certain point, hilarious) that such an event could have happened. No, it was closer to the point of impossibility. Yet, words did not lie, and neither did the King's seal. It was definitely true. Donald was getting married! It was perfect. While Sora, Riku and Kairi were all happy for the little quacker, they were also happy that they were going to again be given the chance to visit the friends they had forged so many bonds with. The invitation had also specified that the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee—although it was later named the Radiant Garden Restoration Committee—was also invited to attend, as well as several of the people who had helped Donald when he was adventuring with Sora and Goofy during their days of trials and tribulations. This of course included the eccentric Jack Skellington, the adventurous Aladdin and even the quick-witted Captain Jack Sparrow. Sora held back another chuckle when he read his name on the invitee's list.

"When's the wedding?" Kairi asked excitedly.

"Two years from now," Riku replied.

Kairi frowned slightly.

Sora leaned against her lightly in consolation. "Xemnas left us all quite a mess. The King needs some time to get everything back in order."

Kairi nodded slowly in agreement.

Riku watched as Sora placed the invitation back into the bottle before turning around, looking back at the sunset—which was now almost completely gone over the horizon. He was soon joined by Sora and Kairi as the three of them stood side by side, watching the waves of the sea. Their eyes were now filled with flare and anticipation now that their hearts were content with the future that had been freshly paved for them, which they would soon eventually walk. It was true that their perilous journey had indeed come to an end, and that the threat of Xemnas had been defeated. However, the adventures of the three young heroes were far from over. They would see their friends again; this had now become fact. One couldn't just open the door to newfound knowledge and expect him to forget. It didn't matter if they had not known about such possibilities before. It didn't matter that they were worlds apart, and that it wasn't originally meant to be. None of that mattered anymore. What did matter was the lingering hope of seeing those friends again, with the possibility of saying 'hello' just one more time. What did matter was the bonds that did form, and the memories that were made. But most of all, what did matter, was how each and every one of their hearts was connected, across time and space.


Chapter One will be up as soon as I can get it proofread and uploaded and posted here on since as of late I've been having problems doing anything at all on it. Feel free to visit the fic blog at http/kingdomhearts3. regarding any updates about the story, as notices on newly posted chapters, future chapter completions, and any inquiries at all regarding the fic can be serviced there. Thanks again, everyone!