Title: In Memoriam
Author: Candyland
Fandom: Kingdom Hearts II: The third part in the KH series. Sora gets back to himself (Roxas… T.T), and goes with Donald and Goofy on yet another quest to find Riku and Kairi. And there are a whole bunch of people in long flowing outfits with their faces covered. Go fig. I DON'T OWN IT!
Wordcount: 1032
Taunt: My fandom has a nice big…key.


For as long as they had been waiting, and for as hard as they had fought to make it back to this island—their island, really—life seemed so much duller now. They had spent so long running and fighting great battles and securing the fate and safety of innumerable worlds, both ones they had been to and ones whose existence they knew nothing of. And now…

Things were back to normal. The everyday. The commonplace. The mundane.

For a while, it was wonderful. They could sleep easily in their beds, secure in the knowledge that they probably wouldn't be devoured by Heartless or Nobodies while they dreamt. They ran around on the beach, sprawled out to watch the sunset, and then raced each other home. There was no worry of attack, no concern that there would be a fight, and no fears of what might befall them or where their next meal was coming from or if the others were safe.

The three children who had once dreamt of adventure and built a raft to search other worlds had grown up, and they now seemed fairly pleased to keep their feet securely on their own home ground.

But as the weeks passed, Sora couldn't quite help but wish for another adventure of some sort. Deep down, he missed the traveling with Donald and Goofy. He missed the adventure. But he did not miss the search for his friends. It had taken far too long to find them.

He saw the change in Riku too, more than anyone else. The sarcasm and competitive streak had toned down somewhat, and he was more quiet, more thoughtful. The playful swordfights and races to secure papaou fruit for Kairi were things of the past. Riku had seen the darkness, and been swallowed by it, and emerged, something precious few others had managed. It had changed him, and he carried the weight and the wisdom of it all without complaint.

Kairi was the grounding force. She retained so much of her humor and good nature, though it was now tempered by a wisdom in her eyes that seemed far too old for someone her age. She teased and cajoled, and tended to keep her own counsel about her experiences, and quietly consoled her boys during private moments when it was needed. She had seen the fewest horrors of the three of them, but she had still seen her best friend become a Heartless.

And there was another side to things for both Sora and Kairi, something that they both had only come to understand at the very end of their journey to find each other. For a time, they had both been separated into two people: Sora and Roxas, Kairi and Namine. Their Nobodies.

As they had made their way from the dark realm and the remnants of Kingdom Hearts, Roxas and Namine had promised to be together whenever Sora and Kairi were together. But there was a strange side-effect to rejoining Nobody and Other and making a whole person once again. It was practically unheard of, really—a heart taken made a Heartless. The remaining shell became a Nobody. The mind and free will were lost. Ergo, they didn't know if anyone else had lived through such an experience, and had no one else to compare with.

But there were fleeting memories of things that did not seem right. Recollections of things that they knew they had not personally lived through. Kairi once spoke of a dream that she was in a white room surrounded by pictures of people that were far too familiar, and as Sora walked down a flight of stairs, he had the sudden feeling that he should be counting the steps to see if the number changed.

There was something else, too…a memory that was truly his mingled with a series of memories that were not entirely his own. Something that Sora couldn't quite bring himself to tell Kairi.

Something Roxas remembered.

And something he himself remembered.

In the end, he decided to honor those two memories on his own.

There was a little spot on the island that he picked for this, a place right by the sea. It was a little jutting of rock that had long since been worn smooth by the elements. Few people went there, making it the perfect spot for his purpose. He went alone there one afternoon, while both Riku and Kairi were busy elsewhere. There was enough shade to protect him from the sun, making it a pleasant enough setting for his task, though the job itself took a bit of exertion.

One by one, he moved several rocks into place, piling them one on top of the other and arranging them into a neat cairn nestled into the V-shaped place where the two bordering rock-faces met. As he did this, he thought about things, both his own memories and his Other Self's. Each stone he moved brought to mind another recollection…

"No one would miss me."

"That's not true…I would…"

Another stone.

"We were best friends!"

A third stone set into place.

"That's what happens when you put all of yourself into an attack."

Another rock shifted on top of the pile.

"I wanted to see Roxas again…"

A fifth one, the last one, set on top to crown the small heap.

"…he made me feel like I had a heart."

Now out of breath, Sora straightened and dusted his hands off. It was small, and chances were that no one would really understand why he would make any sort of monument to honor one who had technically been his enemy. But…he had to do it.

He stood there for a moment, feeling the wind in his hair and the tiny droplets that sprayed from the ocean onto his skin. And he thought and remembered for two people…

But it was getting late. He needed to be going.

As he turned to go, he found himself pausing one more time and glanced back at his handiwork.

"That's not true…I would…"

Sora smiled and heard himself speak. "I miss you too, Axel."

Somehow, he knew that they were not entirely his own words.


PS. Because goshdarnit, I am a sucker for friendship fics. THAT'S WHY. And I'm sure the wording on a couple of the quotes was a little off. My internet has become a bit limited, so going to check those things is a bit of a challenge for me at the moment. Anyway, just a random plunnie. With sharp teeth. Thanks for reading, all! Much love!