Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts. It belongs to Square Enix and Disney. I do, however, own Melody, Cadence, Harmony, Lyre, and Concord.
Kioku no Kusari
Chapter 10: World's Apart
"Hi, Woxas," a cheerful young blonde girl greeted, sitting down beside him in the sand. She looked no older than four and had bright green eyes with a unique black spiral pattern.
"Hi, Rikku," Roxas said, smiling sweetly at her. She was one of the few who wasn't friends with him just because of his brother. She insisted all on her own one day that Roxas was her very best friend and hadn't left him alone since. He was surprised to say that he didn't mind it one bit.
"Yunie and Ti'us won' let me play with them," she complained. "They meanies. So I sit here with you, 'kay?"
"You don't wann' go play with Sora and the other Riku?" Roxas asked. "You not gonn' have much fun sitting here with me."
"That okay," Rikku said. "I like sittin' with you. It fun. You listen to me. No one else does. 'sides, Wiku and Sowa gone. I don' know where they at."
Roxas looked alarmed. "Gone? What do you mean they're gone? They have to be somewhere!"
Rikku shook her head. "Nuh-uh. Yunie and Ti'us wen' to look for them. They got Wakka and Lulu and Selphie to help."
Roxas stood up and took Rikku's hand to help her up to her feet. "We're gonn' go look for them too," he announced. "Sora's my brother! It's my job to go find him!"
Rikku looked sad. "You- you let me come too, right?"
Roxas nodded and squeezed her hand. "Of course. C'mon, lets go show them that we can find Sora better than them."
"'kay!" Rikku happily chirped.
"Who are we?" Axel repeated in shock. "C'mon, Rox! You know who we are. You know who I am."
Roxas shook his head. "N-no," he said, scooting further back. He pulled his knees up to his chest and continued to look around at everyone as if trying to find a familiar face. Then he stopped on Sora and Riku. "Sora? Who are they? Why's girly-boy leaning on you?"
"Girly-boy?" Riku growled, sitting up suddenly. "Look who's talking!"
Sora rolled his eyes and pulled Riku back. "Cut it out. Sheesh, just because Wakka and Tidus used to call you that just to tease you doesn't mean you can snap at anyone who calls you that," he said before frowning. "Roxas, why did you call him that?"
Roxas raised an eyebrow and released his legs. "I was the first one to call him that, remember? Because he used to look like a little girl."
"I did not!" Riku protested. "And how would you know?"
"Has something fucked with your brain?" Roxas asked crossly. "How the hell do you think I know? We grew up together, dumb ass!"
"Roxas?" Axel questioned, reaching out for his friend. "C'mon, you remember me, right? I'm Axel. We're best friends."
Roxas looked at him hard for a moment, trying to recall if he had ever seen the redhead before. For a moment, there was nothing. Then a slight flicker of recognition sparked in Roxas's eyes. "Axel…" he whispered. "I-I remember. I woke up on Twilight Beach and you found me. You took me back to your house and I met your family."
Axel smiled. "That's right."
"And you promised that you would help me find my way home one day," Roxas remembered, looking around. "You kept your promise."
Axel's smile faltered. "Y-yeah. I guess so," he said. Somewhere in his heart he knew that Roxas wouldn't be returning to Twilight Town with him. "I had forgotten," he whispered. "The reason the name Destiny Island sounded familiar is because this is where you're from, Roxas. This is your home."
Naminé abruptly stood and began pacing around.
"What's wrong?" Demyx asked her.
Naminé was silent for a moment longer and then stopped pacing and looked out over the water. "I just don't understand it. Why is it that everyone's memories are so fuzzy? Particularly Roxas's and Sora's? How could they have forgotten…" she sighed. "How could I have forgotten? There's so much that's still unanswered. I'm so used to having all of the answers, but now… now I just don't know. I don't know what's going to happen next."
"Then you're the same as the rest of us," Zexion told her. "Come sit down and try to explain what little you do know in a way the rest of us can understand."
Naminé sighed heavily and reclaimed her spot in the sand beside Zexion. "Like I said, I don't really know what's going on. Most of what I have now are just assumptions."
"Lets hear it anyway," Kairi said. "Maybe someone will remember as you're talking."
Naminé nodded. "It's worth a try. Lets start with Roxas and Sora. Kairi, do you remember the first time you saw a photo of Roxas? You said that he and Sora could be twins because they look so much alike. Do you think the same now?"
Kairi looked unsure. "Well, there are some big similarities between them. I mean, they're the same height. And they have the same eyes and face. The hair color throws it off a little, but there's only a bit of a difference in that too. So, I guess so. Maybe not identical twins, but they easily could be."
"That's because we are," Roxas said without any sign of hesitation or doubt. "Didn't I tell you when I was a kid, Axel? That back home I had a twin brother?"
Axel thought it over for a moment. "That… was a long time ago. I can't remember. You might have, but after a while you just stopped talking about Destiny Islands. I figured you felt too uncomfortable whenever it was brought up, so I stopped talking about it too. After a while I forgot all about it."
"How come me and Riku don't remember?" Sora asked. "Would I remember having a twin brother? What about my parents? Wouldn't they remember? Why aren't there any pictures of him back home? Mom has pictures everywhere!"
"But very few of us when we were little kids," Riku said with a frown. "And remember how our yearbooks from Kindergarten and first grade went missing? Roxas's picture would have been in there."
Naminé cleared her throat to get their attention. "So, Sora and Roxas are twins. I have a hypothesis as to why Sora forgot. It may have been the stress of Roxas being gone and his mind decided to block out anything involving him so that Sora could recover. And when Sora stopped talking about him, Riku stopped bringing it up and eventually forgot all about him. Something similar may have happened with Roxas."
"That makes sense," Zexion said. "It's a mild case of amnesia resulting from the shock of being separated. But now that the two of you have met, you will most likely begin to remember more about your childhood together. The question now is, what happens next? Roxas, will you remain here or return with Axel to Twilight Town?"
Roxas looked away. "I… don't know yet," he said before getting up. "Let me think about it for a bit. I just need to think for a while."
The others watched as he walked away by himself.
"What happens now?" Kairi found herself asking.
"Now, everyone returns home and things return to normal," Naminé said. "I'm going to open up a portal to Hollow Bastion and from there you, Axel, and Demyx can return to your homes. I'm sure Cid would be happy to build a new gummi ship."
"I'm not going home," Kairi said. "I'm going to stay in Hol- Radiant Garden. That's it's real name. Aerith told me they learned it after Sora, Axel, and Demyx helped out Tron in the computer system."
"Are you sure?" Demyx asked. "You could come to Twilight Town with me and Axel for a while, if you'd like."
Kairi shook her head. "No. I've made up my mind. Besides, Radiant Garden is where I was originally from, right? I was the seventh Princess of Heart. That one report we read said that one of the princesses was sent from Radiant Garden in hopes that she would be sent to the Keyblade Master. That was me."
Naminé nodded. "That's true."
"And I can find someone to train me just in case anything like this ever happens again," Kairi continued. "I want to be able to help better next time. I can't handle the keyblade like you, Sora, or even like Riku or Roxas. And my magic is no where near where it needs to be. I want to find a better style that I can be comfortable with using."
"I'll go going to Radiant Garden as well," Zexion spoke up. "I believe I can be an asset to the people there. Perhaps I can access the remaining data in the computer and add it to what I already know to create a sort of guide on the various types of heartless and the best method to defeat them. If not, I can help re-catalogue the library. I'm sure most of that data was lost years ago."
They talked for a while longer about what they're plans were going to be once they got back to their homes. Sora laughingly joked that his mom would probably strangle him to death in her glee to see him again and how Riku had better not steal his favorite play sword.
"I will come back and haunt your ass," the brunet cheerfully told his friend.
"All the more reason to take it," Riku replied. "I get a fake sword and a cute ghost haunting me."
"And apparently checking out your ass," Demyx said, making everyone laugh. Everyone except Axel, who was looking up at the blond who had just returned from wherever he was thinking at.
"Can I talk to you?" he asked.
Axel nodded and stumbled to his feet before slowly making his way over to Roxas. He was completely aware of the fact that everyone was watching them, but he didn't let it bother him too badly. He would be curious too.
Roxas waited until they were out of hearing range before he began to speak. "I've decided what I'm going to do," he said.
"O-oh?" Axel nervously asked.
Roxas nodded. "You know, this place has changed a lot since I was last here. It seems like there's more stuff. Makes me wonder how much else has changed," he sighed. "Probably not much. It's a small community. I don't know how people would handle me suddenly reappearing. It'll be bad enough for Sora and Roxas."
Axel's heart skipped a beat. 'Does this mean…?'
"I'm going home with you," Roxas said. "I don't remember much. But if Naminé says that my memories will return in time, then I believe her. But I was wondering…"
"Anything," Axel said, making Roxas look up at him in surprise.
"Anything?" Roxas asked in wonderment. "Are you always like this?"
"For you I am."
"Hmm…" Roxas paused for a moment. "Tell me what Twilight Town is like. Do I have a family there too? A brother?"
Axel nodded and began telling Roxas everything he could think of about his life in Twilight Town. He told him about his adoptive parents, Cid and Edea Almasy, and his slightly older brother, Seifer. He even told him about his three friends, Hayner, Pence, and Olette and how everyone around town knew who he was. Then he went into detail on his own family, reminding Roxas of all of the weird moments he's witnessed with the Sinclair family.
Roxas listened, asking a question or two whenever he got confused. Once or twice he smiled and recounted something that Axel had forgotten all about. Many of them were embarrassing situations Axel had gotten himself into.
They later rejoin the others and spend the remainder of the night talking on the beach. In the morning they split up and begin the journey back to their worlds.
Demyx cautiously opened the door to his house and peered inside the dark hallway. "Hello?" he called. "Melody? Lyre? Cadence? Harmony? Concord?"
A small blond boy appeared at the end of the hall. He squealed loudly and ran away shouting, "He's back! Demyx is back! Hurry, hurry!"
Demyx slipped off his shoes and slipped quietly and quickly down the hall, clutching his bag to his chest. If all of his little cousins were going to jump out and attack him in greeting like always, he wasn't going to let them get a hold of his bag before he was ready to give them their gifts. He was surprised when he go to the end of the hall with no resistance and so looked into the living room to see what was going on.
"Happy birthday!" his sister and four cousins sang in chorus, making him jump back in surprise.
"M-my birthday?" he asked. "Is is really? I completely forgot."
"Open my pwesent first!" the youngest cousin, Concord, said as he picked up a box in blue almost too big for him to carry.
Demyx hurried forward and accepted the package.
"Its from me too!" piped up Concord's twin sister, Harmony.
"Thanks you two," Demyx said, sitting down with the box. "I still can't believe I forgot my own birthday! Oh, I'm so excited!"
His cousins giggled as he enthusiastically ripped into the wrapping paper, theatrically throwing the pieces into the air. Melody rolled her eyes, vowing to make him clean up the mess later.
"Oh wow!" Demyx exclaimed as he opened up the box. "It's a mini-harp! I can't believe it! Hey, you think I can make water dance with this too? It would be so much easier to use than that heavy sitar."
"Go try, go try!" Cadence, who looked like a miniature Demyx, chanted. "Please, Demy?"
Demyx smiled brightly. "Of course! C'mon, lets go out to the backyard real quick and then I'll come back in and open the rest. I also have presents for you guys."
"Yay! Presents!" Lyre said with a toothy smile. "I love it when you get us presents!"
Amidst cheers, Demyx led the way to the backyard and proceeded to figure out how to control water with his brand new harp. It worked, but it was no where near as polished as his skills with his sitar.
"You'll just have to practice, practice, practice," Cadence said, mimicking something Demyx once said to him. "Right?"
Demyx smiled and ruffled his hair. "That's right. Hey, lets go back inside. I've still got more presents to open!"
Roxas stood nervously on the front porch of his house with Axel right by his side. "I don't know about this…" he said.
"It'll be okay," Axel said as he took Roxas's hand. "I'll be right here to help you. If it's too much I'll see if I can stay the night or take you back to my place. Reno's an asshole, but he'll back off if I tell him too."
Roxas raised an eyebrow. "That's bull and you know it."
Axel grinned. "See, you're remembering already! You have nothing to worry about," he said before reaching forward and knocking on the door. "Mr. and Mrs. Almasy! I have a present for yooouuu!"
The door was jerked open by none other than Seifer, who glared at Axel and started to yell at him about knocking repetitively on the door. Then he noticed Roxas.
"R-Roxas," he whispered in surprise. "You're back? You're really back?" He stepped forward and hugged Roxas tightly, not noticing the way Roxas stiffened in surprise. Then he abruptly pulled away and dragged Roxas into the house shouting, "Mom! Dad! Roxas is back! Axel found him!"
Axel quickly followed after them to take Roxas's hand again. He could already tell it was going to be a long night.
"A Master Witch?" Merlin questioned. "Well, I do believe there is one over in Haven City. Morgan, I believe they call her. Yes, Morgan the White Witch."
Naminé looked thoughtful. "Haven City," she repeated. "It's kind of like Traverse Town, right?"
"In a way," Merlin replied. "It's quite a bit bigger. You'll have to be careful to not get lost while searching for her. Come over here and lets see if we can find its location."
While Naminé and Merlin searched through the huge book of magic, Kairi walked in the front door in search of Aerith. She paused briefly to say "hello" to the two magic users and then continued to the kitchen, where she found the brunette making cookies.
"Hello, Kairi," Aerith greeted. "Would you give me a hand with these?"
"Of course," Kairi said, walking over to help her. "What should I do?"
"Just stir in these raisins. Leon's not a fan of sweet things, so I always make sure to make him oatmeal raisin or walnut cookies," Aerith said.
Kairi nodded and set to work pouring in some raisins and stirring them into the cookie batter. "Aerith, can I ask you something?"
"Of course," Aerith said as she bent over to check on a tray of cookies in the oven.
"What do you think of me finding someone who can help me learn to fight better?" Kairi asked.
Aerith straightened up and smiled at her. "I think it's a wonderful idea. Do you have anyone in mind?"
"That's part of my problem. I'm not sure who I should ask. I figured you might know someone," Kairi said.
"How about you go ask Tifa? She's an old friend of Cloud's," Aerith said. "I think she's over at the Great Maw looking for clue's to where Cloud went. You see, it seems he vanished while fighting with Sephiroth," she sighed sadly. "I hope he's alright…"
"I'm sure he'll be okay," Kairi said as she stirred in the last of the raisins. "Is there anything else I can do?"
"Nope. You can go ahead and go talk to her," Aerith said. "I will warn you, she may recruit you to help her search for Cloud as a condition of her training you."
Kairi set the spoon against the bowl and wiped her hands off on a towel. "That's okay. I like Cloud," she said. "Thanks a bunch, Aerith!"
"Hold on a moment," Aerith said. "Have you seen Leon and Yuffie?"
"Uh-huh, they were down at the computer with Zexion the last time I saw them," Kairi replied as she left.
"Thanks!" Aerith called after her. Then she returned to baking cookies.
Sora sighed in contentment and snuggled closer to Riku. The two of them had spent another day and night on the play island, having no way to get back to the main island so they could go home. They had considered for a moment building a raft to take them to the main island, but Riku pointed out there would be no way to steer it and that they would have to rely on the wind. So instead they decided to wait for one of their friends to journey out to the island in their rowboat.
"Mmm… Riku…" Sora murmured when he felt the white-haired teen's arms tighten around him. He heard something that sounded almost like a snicker, but passed it off as Riku snoring.
"Ahhh! My eyes are burning!"
Sora and Riku quickly awoke and sat up to stare at the sight before them. There was Tidus, laughing his butt off because Selphie had shoved Wakka off of the paopu island and into the water. Selphie herself was giggling like mad and was holding a video camera that most likely belonged to her boyfriend, Irvine. Yuna and Rikku were near her, trying to hide the fact that they were giggling at the sight the two made.
"So tell us, is this what the two of you have been doing this whole time?" Selphie asked teasingly. "And would you mind saying it loud enough to pick up on the camera?"
Riku scowled. "Turn it off, Selphie."
"Where'd you get that thing, anyway?" Sora asked curiously.
Selphie giggled. "Irvy of course!"
"Odd, considering Irvine swore he'd never let you use one again," Riku remarked as he got to his feet. He held out a hand and helped Sora up too before wincing as pain raced up his spine.
Sora frowned and stepped closer just in case Riku would need his support. Naminé and Kairi had fixed his spine the best they could, but as Naminé said, it wasn't fully healed.
"That's because Irvine finally got up the nerve to ask her out," Tidus said. "I warned him not too, but nooo he didn't listen. Now he'll never get rid of her."
Selphie playfully shoved him off the paopu island and then pointed the camera to watch his fall. "Whoopsie," she cheerfully said. "Say 'hi' to Wakka for me!"
The moment she finished that sentence, the camera was plucked from her hands and she felt someone push her off. She squealed loudly and held down the edge of her jumper to keep it from flying up.
"Nice one, Rikku!" Tidus yelled up to the cute blonde girl.
She giggled cutely and waved to him and she focused the camera on Selphie, who was soaking wet and glaring up at her.
Sora and Riku couldn't help but laugh at their antics. It felt good to finally be home.
So, that's it. That's the end. And I realize now that I didn't answer where Mickey and Pluto vanished to, so I'll address that here. Namine opened up one gate for the two of them to return to Disney castle and then the one that would take them to Destiny Island.
Personally, I love the ending with Sora and Riku the best. It was the scene that flowed the best when I was typing it up. Plus I love the idea of Selphie having a video camera to tape everyone's antics. I almost didn't have it up on the paopu island, but I'm glad I did. Pushing people off of stuff is fun! So, yeah. I put Irvine on Destiny Island if for no other reason that I think it would be hilarious to see him in his cowboy get-up while in an island setting.
My other favorite part about this chapter was making up the names of Demyx's cousins. I almost named one of them "Ben" figuring it would be ironic to have one of the names not music related. But then I found out that if you take the 'x' out of Demyx's name, (Demy) it becomes a music related name. So then I changed "Ben" to "Concord". Fun, fun.
Now I'm looking forward to a nice little break of typing out chapter ideas and working on one-shots. I have a holiday-themed one I'm hoping to get done before the end of December. We'll see how that turns out.