Chapter 10

by dragonflysky

Well well. Here is the next chapter. I didn't have time to proof read one more time, so I'll have to go back and fix any mistakes later. I just really wanted this to get up. Sorry it took so long. Well, I'll just leave you to it.

DISCLAIMER: I don't own anything but Skye, the story, and some other things that I can't say yet.

'' "" "" "" "" "" "KHGX"" "" "" "" "" ""

"Land of Dragons?" Jesse asked Sora skeptically. Sora was faintly annoyed, but nodded anyway. Jesse blinked a couple of times, but kept walking. He hadn't really seen any dragons yet. Actually, they hadn't seen really anything. They had landed by a large rock where, Sora vaguely remembered, he had first landed here. It had been the first time he had met Mulan.

"The village," murmered Sora as he stumbled to a stop. Trails of smoke floated and vanished in the sky. Skye gasped softly. Nothing else moved.

"What happened?" Jesse looked at the destroyed buildings. There was a loud roar in the distance.

"Should we call for help?" asked Skye quietly. Jesse's hand danced around the hilt of his blade. Sora shook his head. It wouldn't do any good.

"" "" ""FLASHBACK"" "" ""

"We're splitting up?" Kairi sounded alarmed. Max sighed. Couldn't say he didn't expect a reaction like that.

"Yes," he repeated, once again. Riku shook his head and frowned, but said nothing else. Apparently, he wasn't pleased either.

"Three worlds that need help," Sora spoke quietly to himself.

"I'll go with Sora," Kairi spoke up loudly. Max shook his head.

"No, you're not. We need a keyblade master at each world," Max stressed the last three words, making sure they were perfectly clear. He looked back at his complex map.

"Why can't we just knock them out one at a time?" asked Riku. In a slight frustration, Max shook his head. Did they understand this at all?

"Too much time," Max didn't bother to look up at them as he continued studying. Each star could blend into the next if you weren't concentrating.

"Too much time?" Kairi cut in right after. In her ears, it was oddly worded.

"It would take too much time," he clarified. Unfortuantely for Max, this did nothing to sway Kairi.

"But what if Sora...?" Kairi trailed off and looked at said boy. Sora looked down at the ground to hide his small smile. Seeing her so worried lightened his heart a bit.

"I'm not leaving Kairi," he eventually said calmly, even though he was not entirely sure if it was true yet. Kairi, true to form, still looked concerned but turned her attention back to the matter at hand. Max cleared his throat unecessarily. The little map in front of him was beeping and beginning to get on his nerves. The others weren't responding well either. The tension in the room seemed a little thicker as no one, especially himself, felt comfortable saying anything. He had started it.

"Sora, you get to pick first," Max said after a pregnant pause. Sora's brows furrowed in confusion for a moment before nodding. He looked between two, almost similar, blinking dots. One, as Max had pointed out, had much more activity than the other.

"Jesse, Skye. We're going to the Land of Dragons," he ordered, not even bothering to look their direction. Skye smiled slightly and Jesse looked faintly confused. Syrus deflated slightly. Sora moved over to the consol and pushed a few buttons. Skye, with Jesse in tow, followed him over, and they all vanished.

Jesse felt his feet touch solid ground and he lost his balance. Or rather, something fell into him and made him lose his balance.

"I'm sorry," Skye apologized from their...interesting position. Jesse lay flat on his back as Skye was draped over the top of him, their noses almost touching. Instictively, he had wrapped his arms around her waist to keep her from falling farther and onto the ground.

"Clumsy?" he offered, slightly flushed. She nodded shyly and kept her eyes off his face, leaving her to look at his well toned chest. Sora raised an eyebrow and watched them with, what resembled, amusement.

"You can let go now," Sora threw out, effectively ending the moment. Both glanced at each other, then at Sora. They went to move so quickly, that both fell in undignified heaps opposite each other. Both were determined not to look at the others face. Sora let out a low chuckle at how red they were. Jesse attempted to glare a hole right through Sora as he went to stand up. Sora, in turn, shrugged.

"It's what they say in all those movies," he said by way of explaination before walking away.

"" "" "" ""END FLASHBACK"" "" "" ""

They had wandered around for a little. Much to the others dismay, Sora rarely said anything of interest. Mainly, he mumbled to himself as they passed things. That left plenty of time for Jesse to think. After the little situation when they landed, Skye had seemed really quiet. He fought back the blush that wanted to come at that recent memory.

'Moving on' he thought, ending that train of thought. He hadn't seen any dragons yet, which left him pondering why they even called this place that. His thoughts wondered again as he imagined his friends on the ship. Where had they ended up? Or better yet... who had they ended up going with?

"Land of Dragons?" Jesse asked Sora skeptically. Sora was faintly annoyed, but nodded anyway. Jesse blinked a couple of times, but kept walking. He hadn't really seen any dragons yet. Actually, they hadn't seen really anything. They had landed by a large rock where, Sora vaguely remembered, he had first landed here. It had been the first time he had met Mulan.

"The village," murmered Sora as he stumbled to a stop. Trails of smoke floated and vanished in the sky. Skye gasped softly. Nothing else moved.

"What happened?" Jesse looked at the destroyed buildings. There was a loud roar in the distance.

"Should we call for help?" asked Skye quietly. Jesse's hand danced around the hilt of his blade. Sora shook his head. It wouldn't do any good.

Skye gasped loudly, pulling him from his thoughts. As he looked around, he noticed she was no longer next to him. She had wandered off in a different direction than the other two. Funny, he hadn't been paying attention.

Skye jumped over the remains of a toppled building and sprinted to a small section of wall that was still standing. Sora came up behind Jesse. They looked at each other briefly before bolting after her. Rocks flew as they made their way through the rubble. She had gotten herself through pretty far, her small frame making navigating easy.

"Are you ok? Sir please, wake up," she was talking with a slight panic as she tried to fumble through her bag and watch the man at the same time. He was leaning up against the rubble, breathing heavily. Sweat covered his middle-aged face, yet he shivered in the snow. His greying black hair stuck to his head. He can't have been there long. Seeing her distress, Jesse rushed ahead. He offered his hand to her and she handed him the bag.

"Potion, please," she said. Jesse nodded and started looking for the small green bottle. Sora stood back slightly with hard, examining eyes.

"Water," he easily heard the man moan weakly. Skye was doing a basic check of his pulse. Aerith would have known how to preform a diagnostic spell. She was deeply regreting not having the time to learn.

"Jaden," Yubel's voice warned in his head.

"Sora, I don't know about this guy," Roxas trailed off slightly as he joined her. Sora nodded his head in a barely visible motion. Skye talked quietly to the man, comforting him, and Jesse seemed to be having an impossible amount of trouble locating the potion. Sora barely noticed as the keyblade materialized and he grasped the handle. He watched as she dabbed some melted snow on his lips.

"What happened?" asked Jesse as he finally pulled a potion out and handed it to Skye. She poured a controlled amount over the broken gentleman. Some small wounds healed as he came, what seemed like, fully around.

"What...?" he began to say. His voice was rough and sounded a little wheezy.

"What happened?" Sora inturrupted the man, only semi-rudely. Skye spared him a split second glare.

"They came...nowhere...surprised...soldiers...creatures" he panted out, as if he couldn't quite get his breath back.

"Where did they go?" Sora continued. The man didn't say anything, but continued panting.

"I need to know!" demanded Sora louder, any kindness quickly dissapating from his tone.

"Jaden!" Jesse was appalled. Hadn't he noticed this man was hurt? The man took another couple seconds pause.

"Mountain," the man finally managed, but Sora barely stayed around for the end of the word. With a quick speed, he darted up the path. Jesse and Skye looked reluctant before going after him. Sora paused for them at a higher spot up on the path. They both skidded to a stop behind him. Skye looked down at her hands, which were folded in front of her.

"What is it with you Jay?" Jesse fought to keep his voice at a reasonable volume. "That guy was hurt." Sora shook his head and turned to face them. He couldn't blame them, not really.

"He was a survivor," he spoke softly. Skye frowned,but still looked slightly agitated. The cold wind whipped around the party, but none of them payed much attention.

"Isn't that a good thing?" she asked eventually.

"There are prisoners and the dead. In the end, there are no survivors," Sora turned his back on them and walked up the mountain. Skye sent a worried glance at Jesse before they both followed Sora's example.

"What does that mean?" Jesse finally asked after they had been walking a while. Sora shook his head. It was an answer he was sure he didn't want to explain.

At the bottom of the mountain, the man smiled before vanishing in a portal of darkness.

"" "" "" "" ""PREVIOUSLY ON THE SHIP"" "" "" "" "" ""

Sora moved over to the consol and pushed a few buttons. Skye, with Jesse in tow, followed him over, and they all vanished.

"Ok, now what?" asked Syrus, dropping his staff on the ground nervously. Riku stared at him with a raised eyebrow and Syrus backed down under his stare. Kairi glanced between the two.

"Where am I going?" she asked, glancing at Max. Max typed a few more things in and stared at the map.

"With the least experience, we're sending you-"

"Who's going with me?" she cut in, before he could finish. She really didn't like being given easy assignments because she had the 'least experience'. With Sora out of commision those years, she technically had more training than him. She looked over at Max as he sighed and glanced between Kairi and his map.

"You decide, I guess," he shrugged. Kairi looked around at the three remaining duelists.

"Syrus?" she asked, startling the short blunette. She glanced at both Alexis and Hassleberry. On one note, they both were better fighters. Just from looking at them, she could tell they were more seasoned for physical work.

"Where am I going?" she faced Max again.

"Wonderland." She considered this. She had visited the world only once before. It had been on one of her smaller matinence rounds with Riku. She looked between her two options. Hassleberry looked like he wanted more action. Alexis... Syrus was looking up at her, asking her silently what she was going to do.

"Come on Syrus," she said, moving forward and leading him to the control panel. With a few quick keys, they vanished. Syrus couldn't see anything for a moment before he could make out a blur of colors. As he felt something underneath him, the world still spun. He tried to keep his balance, but fell into a wall. He landed with a thud.

"Ow," he managed to say as he rubbed his head. Kairi had landed standing and was smiling. She picked up the little staff he had ended up dropping.

"It's all in your head. Once you get used to it, you realize you're not actually spinning," she tried to hide her laugh. Syrus looked up at her with a wince.

"Was it really that bad?" he asked. She shook her head as she gave him back his staff.

"Don't worry about it," she tried to assure him. He didn't look happy, but he did drop it. He stared in wonderment at the room he was in. There was a large purplish colored tunnel that ran up the ceiling and out of sight, with windows all the way up. The bricks zigzaged across the wall in a random pattern where some oddly shaped pictured hung. When he looked down, he could see the strangest cut tiles with, what looked like, a squashed picture of furniture. The room was lit by a couple candle lit lanterns up on the wall.

"What is this place?" he asked, looking around. Kairi shook her head and didn't answer.

"Come on," she walked out past two curtains that were tied to the wall. Syrus looked back to the entry point and saw a wide smile floating in the air.

"Wait up!" he cried as he ran after her. She walked up to, what looked like, a picture frame.

"Are we at a dead en-" Syrus didn't have time to finish as the picture swung open. The next one followed, and the next one, and the next one, and so on. A door finally opened to show another room. This one was a bit different. There was a small bed against the wall with red sheets. Kairi walked over and easily pulled it away. Syrus was a little puzzled. All that was behind it was a small hole which reminded him a little of a cat door.

"Um, Kairi? What are you doing?" he asked.

"Well Syrus, each world is a little different. As we travel, we can change a little bit so we fit in better," she explained walking to the table. She picked up one of two cans and handed it to Syrus.

"Are you drinking the other one?" he asked. She looked amused.

"I don't think that would go over very well," she said with a smile. He shrugged a little and took a sip. Before he could drink any more, she snatched it out of his hands.

"That'll be plenty," she told him, taking a small sip herself, before setting the can back on the table.

"What's it supposed to-" Kairi held up her finger to cut him off. He waited till she smiled.

"See, it's working," she said. Syrus was confused. He turned to look at the bottle again. Maybe there were some instructions on the can. He frowned as he couldn't quite reach over the table to get the can. Syrus screamed a little as he finally realized what was happening.

"We're getting smaller!" he exclaimed as they kept shrinking. Quickly enough, they stopped. Syrus looked up at the giant table. Judging by their size compared to the table, they were each about four inches tall.

"I can't believe it. Why am I always given the short end of the stick?" Kairi looked at him a little confused, not quite sure how to respond.

"That's the way this world works," Syrus didn't look pleased with those words. In fact, that's not what he wanted to hear either. He shuffled his feet as he followed her through the, now seemingly larger, doorway. The way was dark a minute before opening to the light.


"" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" ""Previously with...whoever was left"" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" ""

Riku watched as Kairi traveled down to her destination. The other two just looked at him, knowing who they were going with. Of course he didn't get to pick. Sora always left him with the short end of the stick.

"Ready?" asked Max as he turned toward them. Riku took a look at the map. It was different than the ship's map and had a load more worlds listed on it.

'At least it's accurate,' he thought, even though he didn't understand a bit of it. Max cleared his throat after another moment, still waiting for an answer. Riku shrugged and walked over to the panel.

"Whatever," he waved his hand indifferently. Alexis frowned at this callous gesture and marched over with Hassleberry in tow. Riku didn't bother to ask where they were going before they vanished.

Alexis concentrated on staying steady as the ground rushed up on her feet. She wobbled a little and stumbled over something. She fell on her butt next to a sprawled out Hassleberry. Riku was standing, looking down at them.

"You coming?" he asked, bored. She fought back a crude remark as she stood up and brushed herself off. They were in some sort of desert. Off in the distance, she could make out the shape of a pack of buildings.

"Mind explaining?" asked Hassleberry as he stood up. The empty desert idea didn't set very well with him. Riku looked between the two.

"We're in Agrabah. Let's go," Riku's 'explaination' was brief and to the point. That was fine with Alexis. She didn't want to talk to him anyway.

"Ok," said Hassleberry as he followed with a shrug. By the tone of his voice, it seemed he had no issue with the silver-haired man ahead of them. They walked in silence for quite a while.

"Why are we even here?" asked Hassleberry eventually. Alexis jumped a little at the sound of a voice. Riku turned his head slightly to acknowledge him.

"With no keyblade master around, most of the worlds have unlocked. Something to do with the connection making them stronger," he paused a second. Looking up at the trees, he could only hear a few birds chirping.

"But isn't that a good thing?" asked Hassleberry, bringing his hand to his face, thoughtfully. Riku shook his head.

"Leaving the worlds to do it naturally opens them up for attack. That's where the key bearers come in," he responded levelly.

"But don't they seal the keyholes?" asked Alexis, not quite following. Riku took an extra moment before he answered.

"Yes and no. With the way things are, the keyblades will open a path. This path will help close off the darkness and keep the world from an invasion," that wasn't exactly how he wanted to explain that.

"Then what about the worlds with an invasion?" Hassleberry threw in right away.

"Depends. If they are lost, only the keyblade master can revive them," Riku's voice was solemn. They'd gone over this before, but not in great detail.

"Jaden," Alexis looked down at her shoes. Riku nodded.

"That's why we need him," Riku continued. Alexis' eyes started to narrow.

"So he gives his life saving all these worlds? How is that fair to him? What about what he wants?" she questioned accusingly. Riku sighed and shook his head. She was upset.

"Don't talk to me like I don't know him," Riku worked to keep his voice reasonable. In keeping it reasonable, it came out somewhat sad.

"You don't know him," she yelled out, temper getting the better of her.

"Alexis," Hassleberry voiced, trying to calm her down.

"Kairi and I have been his best friends since we were 5," Riku reasoned with her. Surprisingly, he hadn't lost his head yet.

"Then why didn't he go home?" she asked. Riku froze, staring at her angry face. He turned to face the opposite direction.

"Alexis," Hassleberry scolded. She never used to lose her temper. She was supposed to be the level headed one. Riku still hadn't said anything.

"Well?" she demanded. Hassleberry didn't bother this time. She was beyond reason right now.

"Sora knows what he's into. He accepted that long before he ever crashed," Riku's voice was low and clipped. Alexis's face calmed down slightly, the anger suddenly evaporating.

"Why Jaden?" she asked sadly, but to no one in particular. Riku looked out at the distance.

"Because I wasn't strong enough," he whispered.

"" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "KHGX" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" "" ""

Well, there you have it. Chapter 10! I never realized how hard it was to write about everyone. Well, not that hard. Sorry it took so long. 2008 has been a rough year and it doesn't seem like my 2009 will be any easier. Sorry if this chapter isn't up to par as far as what you were hoping for. Do me a favor, give me some worlds you would like to see them go to. Well, leave some reviews please. Anything would be of help.

~Dragonflysky ^_^