To reviewers of chapter 24 and others:
Lionwings: On the contrary, I thought the chapter to be shorter than I wanted it to be since it did take me almost six months before I updated, haha. And I'm glad I was able to evoke some emotions at least out of one of my readers. Just means that I'm not the only sap around here (wink).
DarkBombayAngel: Yeah, I like Naminé. I will have to admit that ironically, she and the other Nobodies carried on the façade of Nobodies whereas Roxas abandoned his training almost entirely. Granted, he did have to take Sora's place just like Demyx did with his twin. But I'm rambling, haha.
This epilogue is for everyone who reviewed. Thank you very much for your support.
Epilogue – Dearly Beloved
Time didn't seem to have any meaning for the former king, especially not for an old man like himself. Ever since he stepped aside in his reign of Destiny Islands, he had lost track of all time. All he did was live the rest of his life, waiting for the day when his existence would come to an end and he would finally be allowed to join the rest of his friends and families in the Promised Land.
His once brilliant yellow hair that caused his subjects to dub him the "Sunshine King" had faded to white long ago. Wrinkles delineated his features and betrayed his true age. Yet, the ice blue eyes remained forever sharp, missing nothing even in this advanced stage of life. He was much more susceptive to people's emotions, an irony that wasn't lost to him—after all, he had once cast away his own emotions when he was growing up.
Given his freedom to go wherever he wanted now that he was no longer the ruler, Roxas found his way through the gardens to reach the holy grounds where the bodies of past rulers were buried. The most recent one was that of Queen Mother Shizune, who had died almost twenty years ago.
The man that had taken the throne in place of Sora stood in front of the brunet's grave wistfully. The tombstone seemed so resolute, yet at the same time, Roxas couldn't help but feel as though his life since the end of the Heartless threat had been just a dream, especially during the brief moment of consciousness when Sora, Naminé, and Stella appeared in front of him. He thought that as the vessel for the power of Light, he should have perished with the complete utter destruction of Xehanort and the Nameless Key.
But no. He had woken in Destiny Islands, in Sora's bed, surrounded by friends and family. The Chasers had all passed into the next realm; and along with them, the Keyblades of the world were gone, their services no longer needed against the Heartless horde. The only Keyblades left were the ones he, his siblings, and his distant relatives wielded. Even those had gone with the passing of their masters.
He wondered what was happening on Iifa, now that the Heartless had gone from its world. Were there Iifans inhabiting that place now? Or was Iifa still recovering from the lengthy shadow?
"Gran'da!" a young girl's voice reached his ears, which had twitched in the direction of the eight year old child. He turned with a smile and raised his arms just as the black-haired girl leaped up to hug the old man.
"Shouldn't you be with your tutors, Xion?" laughed Roxas. He laughed sardonically within his mind at his granddaughter's name—Ventus the Youngest's granddaughter had been named Xion as well.
"Silly Gran'da," giggled the black-haired girl who was a spitting image of Kairi when she was her age. Her bright blue eyes sparkled happily at him under the sun. "It's Saturday! I don't have lessons on weekends!"
"Is it the weekend already?" Roxas asked, genuinely surprised how time passed, but Xion mistook his surprise as yet another attempt to tease the little girl. She giggled again and grabbed a hold of one of his knobby hands.
"Come on, Gran'da. Take me to the Kids' Island."
"I'm a bit old for the Island, Xion," smiled the elderly man. "Besides, I don't think I have the strength to row the both of us there. You're getting big!"
"Am not!" huffed Xion childishly. "Besides, I got Hayner to take us there!"
Roxas chuckled softly to himself. The said boy was his granddaughter's best friend and had been following the princess's every whim since he turned ten. Whether the relationship between the two will develop into something greater remains to be seen, but Roxas wasn't going to test their devotion to one another. They were only children after all.
"What about Pence and Olette?" he asked the child, following with mock reluctance as Xion pulled him along.
"I don't know," she shrugged nonchalantly. "Busy as far as I know." Roxas shook his head with amusement. Sometimes he truly wondered the motive behind his granddaughter's actions, but went along with her.
"Gran'da, tell me the story about the Sunshine King!"
Roxas raised an eyebrow at her request. "Haven't you heard that story a million times before?"
"Not a million times!" Xion laughed as the pair entered into the town. Two royal guards immediately followed just a ways behind the two. "Besides, it's my favorite story!"
"Well, how about I leave it until we get to the Kids' Island? It is a long story."
Xion pouted childishly, but nodded.
"I'll tell you another story while we're heading there," he pacified.
"The story about two brothers who switched places for love." He knew he had Xion's attention when she looked at him expectantly as they continued to walk towards the harbor. "A long, long time ago, in the kingdom of Twilight Town…"
"I'm getting too old, Hope," Roxas said, groaning as the current king of Destiny Islands helped his father sit down. "Ah, I shouldn't have gone with Xion. These bones are far too creaky for a boat ride."
The light-haired man chuckled, taking a seat near his father. "You know how much she adores you and your stories."
"Her and those friends of hers," laughed the old man. "How's court doing for you, son?"
"The usual," replied the king. "Some of these days, I don't see how I can handle it."
"That bad?" smiled Roxas.
"Especially on the days when the Midgar ambassador decides to show his face in court," groaned Hope.
"I wasn't aware Midgar's still trying to monopolize on our exports," Roxas commented.
"How long have they been at this?" the younger man asked.
"Long before my reign as far as I know," his father chuckled.
"Around when granddad was king?" Roxas frowned slightly at his son's reference to King Noctis.
"Hope," he began solemnly, "King Noctis isn't your real-"
"Grandfather, I know," ended Hope. "He's the father of Sora, the original king before you took over."
"Because he had died in the war," nodded the former blonde. "But you should know that I'm not your real father either."
"Mom told me a long time ago already," smiled the light-haired king. "You forgot the day after my coronation?"
"That was the reason why you were avoiding me? Because you found out?" Roxas queried incredulously.
"What, you honestly thought I was that busy?" laughed the king.
"Good god, Serah, I thought we had agreed that we weren't going to tell him," the former ruler said aloud, looking upward as though he were actually talking to his dead wife.
"Don't blame her, dad," grinned the light-haired man. "I've always suspected that I wasn't exactly your flesh and blood."
"Oh?" Roxas raised an eyebrow in question, looking back at his "son".
"People always say how I have my mother's eyes and ears but never commented on my resemblance to you. Besides, you've never bothered passing down the Keyblade to me like Noctis did with Sora."
"You're right," smiled the elderly man, raising one hand to summon the Ultima Weapon. "I've never attempted to pass down the Keyblades, neither have any of the descendants of the Original Three."
"Why not?" Hope asked curiously, much like the inquisitive child that he once was.
"The Keyblades have been the chosen weapons of the Three since the beginning. No one besides descendants of the Original Three has ever wielded the Keyblades."
"But what about the Chasers? They've been able to wield the Keyblades."
"Yes they were able to," smiled Roxas, "only because they forged the weapon. They're no longer with us though."
"Can't there be other Chasers? I thought anyone could be a Chaser?"
The white-haired elder laughed. "The art of forging a Keyblade has been lost with the ancient Chasers, Hope. It's time for the Era of the Three to pass."
"But-" Roxas raised a hand and shook his head.
"The Keyblade is just a conduit for those of Light to battle against evil. It's only a weapon wielded by those of the Three. Light isn't going to disappear just because the Keyblades are no longer in the world. Everything has to come to an end. You'll find a way to wield the power of Light. You don't need the Keyblade to do so."
"I understand," Hope replied with a smile, accepting what his adopted father said.
"Dad, did you know of my real father?" Hope asked after a brief moment of silence.
"Only from what Serah told me. He loved her very much."
"More than you?" The younger man looked at his father expectantly. Roxas was silent, recalling his time with Sora, however short it might've seemed in his long life.
"Yes, more than me," confessed the old man softly, lost in his own memories.
"Who did you love more?" Hope asked hesitantly, almost regretting the words the moment they came out.
Roxas looked over at his son and smiled reassuringly. "It doesn't matter. The one I've loved all my life has been gone for a long time. Soon, I'll be joining him."
"Why did you marry my mother then?" frowned Hope, knowing that he had to confront his father over this issue before the man passed away.
"Her spirit reminded me of my first love," chuckled Roxas. "She was so vibrant and stubborn. Sometimes I could've sworn she was…" he stopped short of speaking Sora's name.
"She was…?" urged the younger man for his father to continue.
"Sora," confessed the old man. "That was the man whom I loved."
Hope was silent for a few moments, mulling over the bombshell of information that his father had just dropped on him.
"Makes sense," he said, breaking the awkward silence as he raised his eyebrows at his father's reddened face. "That's why you and mother never had another kid besides me… not that I'm actually your kid."
"You're still my son, Hope," smiled Roxas. "Just because Snow was your biological father, that doesn't mean you're not my son."
"Did you know… Snow?"
"Only by name," chuckled Roxas. "I wasn't exactly sociable in my days at The World That Never Was."
"When you were training to be Sora's Nobody," commented Hope.
"Yes," Roxas winced at the memories. "If only I had arrived earlier, your father might've lived." He gave the much younger man a sardonic smile. "Your father was executed for loving Serah. Somehow they knew that Serah was pregnant with you. If I had arrived any later, you might not have survived either."
"It's a good thing you got there when you did then," the king smiled. "Thanks, dad."
"For what?" The elderly man blinked at his son in confusion
Hope laughed. "For a lot of things. For saving mother and me, for being a great dad. For being frank with me about your feelings."
"Well, it was about time I told you everything," he mused aloud.
"I suppose it's time for me to get back to Dia and Xion. Wouldn't do a pregnant woman any good to leave her with a hyperactive child, right?" Roxas laughed in agreement.
"Hope," he called out as his son approached the open door. The king stopped and turned to look at his father.
"Come to the Kids' Island tomorrow." The two men looked into each other's eyes and the unspoken words were well understood. Hope's eyes softened with sadness.
"I understand, father," he said reverently. "Should I make arrangements?"
"Do it tomorrow," Roxas said peacefully. "And don't tell Xion. She's too young to understand."
"Of course, father."
"I love you, son."
"I love you too, dad."
The white full moon shined down from her perch in a cloudless sky. While the majority of the islands slept on, a lone rowboat moved across the calm sea slowly, bearing a single traveler.
The winds were calm as the boat traveled across the ocean surface. A faint melody could be heard from the traveler; his humming interrupted at intervals by the oars paddling across the water.
It took the man well over an hour to reach his destination, needing to take many breaks to catch his breath. He chuckled upon reaching the Kids' Island, amused at his advanced age and how weak he had become since the heydays of his prime. At his feet, upon the dampened wood, was a silver ring—a token of his presence as the passenger of the small yet sturdy rowboat.
Still, he was able to disembark at the wooden dock, even with the boat rocking underneath his feet. He didn't bother mooring the boat; only watched it drift away from the island.
"Farewell, little boat," he said, waving at the wooden vessel; if there were other people there, they surely would've thought him mad. "May you find your way back to the main island."
With another amused laugh, the elderly man pulled his coat tighter around him. He shivered as the cold wind suddenly swept inward, causing waves to spray onto the dock and crash violently upon the darkened white sands.
With a groan, he stepped off the wooden dock and onto the beach, smiling as the sound of sand giving way to his feet met his ears. He walked towards the bend Paopu tree that has remained a constant in his long life, undying in his eyes.
It was under a similar night that he first brought Serah to the Kids' Island after they had arrived at Destiny Islands. She had wanted a place to be away from people and he knew that the Kids' Island was the best place. He remembered the awe in her voice when she saw the simple beauty of the island.
The more he thought back on it, it seemed so surreal, so absurd that the two of them sat upon the bent Paopu tree for hours on end, spilling out their hearts to one another. They shared stories of their past, the memories of their departed beloveds, and the mutual pains of their lives training to become Nobodies.
He could hear her carefree laugh at seeing him like a normal person rather than the Nobody she's known him. He could hear her laugh again when he pointed out that she never seemed to have been a Nobody.
"That's because I was never a Nobody," she had answered with a smile. It was the same answer that Naminé gave him.
They stayed sitting on the Paopu tree way after the white full moon had set and a new day was just about to dawn. It was then that he had brought up the issue of marriage. He didn't know what prompted him to make such a suggestion—he knew it wasn't pity for her and her unborn child; it simply felt right at the spur of the moment.
His proposal had taken Serah completely by surprise; after all, they didn't really know each other until that evening, until their lengthy conversation that literally opened the doors to their own souls.
Roxas had taken her initial silence as a hint that he had stepped too far with his proposal and thus began babbling in a way that Serah didn't think was possible with the man who had been considered to be the perfect Nobody. In fact, she was so unused to Roxas stumbling over his words that she was absolutely speechless until she realized he had taken her silence as a "no".
Though she realized that he needed someone who understood him, she knew that he needed an heir for the future of his kingdom that he never asked for, but she was still uncertain. She needed him to be candid with her.
"Why me?" she asked.
Roxas knew that he couldn't have possibly asked Naminé, especially since the other Nobody had died for Kairi and Riku at the End of the World. Even if she had lived, he knew he didn't have the heart to ask such a monumental sacrifice from her, not when her heart belonged to her mistress and the silver-haired prince of Twilight Town. He couldn't be so cruel as to keep her away from the ones who she deeply loved.
From his answer, she knew that both of them needed each other. Their individual losses of their own loves were something they shared in common. Neither one went into this pact without understanding that Serah loved the father of her unborn child much more than the man with whom she would share the rest of her life with. Conversely, Serah understood that Roxas only had love for the brown-haired prince who had brought him back to life, the one who had doggedly believed that there was a heart behind the emotionless front even when all the Nobodies had believed the trainers succeeded in achieving the impossible with Roxas.
They went through the same ceremonies of engagement and marriage as hundreds of kings and queens had gone through before them. They did their mandatory rounds around Destiny Islands as a married couple; no one knew of their pact to one another.
Roxas summoned the Ultima Weapon, the last Keyblade still in existence, and threw it tip down into the sand. He gently set himself down at the roots of the bent Paopu tree and leaned back against the trunk with a sigh.
"I'm getting too old for this," he said to himself, wincing as he cracked his back in this cold weather.
"Was it okay, Sora?" he said to no one. "Was it okay to see Serah as you?" No matter how many times he asked, Sora never answered back; he wondered if Sora even knew he's asked him that.
"Are you ready, my old friend?" he looked at the weapon that stood in the sand. "Are you ready to leave this world behind and reunite with your master?"
The elderly man stared into the distance, at the nearly invisible horizon where the dark night sky met the dark sea. "Yes, I think it's time."
He pulled the edges of the coat closer together and yawned, letting his eyes close for one last time under the full moon.
For several minutes, the man and his weapon remained immobile in their respective positions, the only movement that occurred came from the sea breezes that tenderly swept across the beach, ruffling the old man's hair and making the sand shift ever so slightly. Roxas seemed to be so peaceful in his sleep that no one can even pinpoint when exactly he died that night.
The Ultima Weapon swayed with the wind that shifted the white sands. Before it toppled over from another soft breeze, it disappeared one last time in a flash of white light that left sparks hanging in the air before they disappeared as well.
Roxas's head lulled to one side and his hands fell open next to his body on the sands. The tinkling sound of dainty metal filled the air before the keychain for the Ultima Weapon disintegrated into sparks of light, flying upward to join the hundreds of stars in the sky.
Thus ended the era of the Three, the era of the Keyblades.
The following morning, the port workers on the main island would be treated to the strangest sight they've ever seen.
The small rowboat that had bore their previous ruler to the Kids' Island had made its way back to the main island, floating next to the royal dock amongst the large galleon ships. Yet, it was not moored to the dock, not even following the current that usually sent ships out of port. It was as though the little rowboat had a mind of its own, and it was waiting, waiting for its next rider.
And the only one it was waiting for had his hands full at the castle.
As Hope's father had predicted, Xion panicked when she couldn't find her beloved gran'da in his room that morning despite waking up earlier than usual just to bug the old man. Both Hope and Dia knew that Roxas had gone to the Kids' Island, but the king wasn't sure if he should bring the child to see her departed gran'da; after all, Roxas had instructed him to not tell her. He tried to calm the child down, but the princess somehow knew something was wrong and refused to be assuaged by her parents' words.
"Take her with you," Dia said resignedly at long last. "She has to know."
Hope was silent for a brief moment, unsure that it was the best course of actions, but he came to the same realization that Xion will know regardless, it was better to let her know sooner than later.
"Come on, Xion," he said, making a move to pick up the eight year old child. "We're going to go find Gran'da."
"I'm a big girl now, dad!" she said childishly with her fists on her hips and a pout on her face, her concern for her gran'da temporarily forgotten. Hope smiled and held out one hand to let her hold it.
"Where is Gran'da?" she asked eagerly as she followed her father out of the castle and into town.
"Kids' Island," answer the king simply.
"Why is he there? He's too old to go there by himself," the child said intuitively.
"It was the place where he first proposed to your Nana, Xion," Hope answered. "He went there to remember Nana."
"But he can do that at home." A frowned appeared upon the girl's face but her father had chosen to ignore it.
"Yes," Hope answered almost absentmindedly. "But he can't be with Nana at home," he ended softly.
"Your Majesty!" a young man ran up to them, stopping just short before the royal guards behind the king and the princess stepped forward to stop him. He quickly bowed with a half-kneel and stood up straight. From the outfit, Hope deduced that the man was a dockworker with his flowing white shirt, baggy pants, and a tri-cone hat—a traditional part of any seafarer's effects.
"What is it?" the king inquired.
"You must come and see this," the man replied promptly. "There is a small boat at the royal pier, unmoored."
Hope raised an eyebrow at the information he was given.
"It hasn't been swept out to the sea."
Now, that grabbed all of the pale-haired man's attention. "Show me," he said simply, following the gracious worker towards the royal pier. True enough, a small rowboat sat in the water just a foot away from the wooden dock, the single rope that should've anchored the boat to the dock dangled from one side of the boat into the water. The two oars sat in the rowboat patiently, as though simply waiting for their designated passenger.
"Where was this boat before?" Hope asked the master of the docks while his daughter found a silver glint shining back at her.
"No one knows, sire," the man answered. "It was here long before the first man had arrived on the docks."
"Surely some sailor must've seen it," frowned Hope.
"I'm sorry, your Majesty, but we haven't been able to find such a witness." Hope bit down a sigh of annoyance just as Xion tugged on his hand.
"Daddy, look!" she exclaimed, pointing at the shining silver in the boat. The pale-haired king narrowed his eyes before stepping across onto the boat, surprised that the vessel didn't topple over or move away from the dock. His eyes widened with realization, telltale signs that the king knew who had been on the boat.
"Dad?" the girl questioned, watching him closely as the man picked the signet ring up.
"It's Gran'da's," he answered, showing the girl the signet ring that Roxas had been wearing since his wedding day. Xion quickly leaped onto the boat, snatching the ring from her father in worry.
"Gran'da used this boat to get to Kids' Island!" she exclaimed. Hope nodded, sitting down and manning the oars.
"Inform Queen Dia of what has happened," he ordered one of his guards, who saluted him with a "Yes, Sire" before marching back towards the castle. Without sparing another word to the master of the docks, Hope began rowing towards Kids' Island, noticing that the boat was moving faster than his oars were taking them.
"Xion, sit down before you fall over," Hope warned grimly when the girl leaned against the front of the boat with the ring clutched within her hands as though she believed that it would make the boat go faster.
The girl fidgeted nervously before obeying her father's command, her eyes falling upon the silver signet ring in her hands. The crest of Destiny Islands was engraved on both sides of the ring, faded with time. The single sapphire that sat upon the silver ring remained surprisingly clear, showing no signs of having been worn for decades.
"Is Gran'da alright?" Xion asked fearfully, her fingers closing around the ring tightly in prayer. Hope could find no answers for her.
It was a torturous fifteen minutes upon the calm sea even with the mysterious force that propelled them along. But at last, they reached the Kids' Island. Hope didn't even get a chance to moor the boat before Xion jumped out into the water, running onto the beach whilst shouting for her beloved Gran'da. Her eyes searched wildly to places that she used to go to when she was on the Island but there was no familiar sight that greeted her.
"Xion," Hope said, catching her attention. She found her father pointing towards the distant right where the bent Paopu tree was upon a platform of sand enclosed by wood. The glimpse of white with the soft ocean breeze was proof that someone was there—and that someone was Roxas.
"Gran'da!" she screamed, tears blurring her vision.
"Wait, Xion!" Hope reached for the child but she had already reached the wooden bridge, running across it to reach the still body of her beloved grandfather.
She stared down at the old man, a peaceful countenance forever etched upon his elderly face marred with wrinkles and a deathly pallor. He didn't seem dead at all, only appearing to be slumbering peacefully against the main feature of the Kids' Island. But Xion knew that he was not sleeping at all.
Hope quickly caught up to the child, a look of acceptance upon his face. He laid a hand on his daughter's shoulder, attempting to comfort her while she stood frozen. She let out a soft sob and reached for her grandfather, hugging his cold body tightly. With confirmation of his death, the black-haired child cried in despondence.
It was the first death that she's ever known after all.
The sound of a girl crying met his ears.
"Don't cry. He's with Nana now."
"Hope?" His son's voice and the crying slowly faded away.
"It's all your fault, you know."
"Huh?" Roxas asked, feeling only warmth that surrounded him. It was so comfortable that he wanted to just keep on sleeping.
"Making Xion cry like that."
"What? I made Xion cry?" The familiar voice was something that he hadn't heard in a very, very long time.
He heard a woman giggle. "Honestly, Roxas. How could you let Hope try and keep the fact that you've died from Xion?"
"Serah?" He asked, raising an eyebrow. He still wasn't quite ready to open his eyes to see what sight might meet his vision.
"Oh, come on, Roxas. Wake up already."
The blonde slowly opened his eyes, seeing a clear blue sky and a bright yellow sun shining down on him. He blinked a few times, noticing the feeling of cool grass tickling the back of his neck.
He sat up and looked down at himself, finding himself dressed in a black shirt, white baggy pants, and a short-sleeved white jacket. His hands were not knobby and wrinkly like he remembered for so long. When he touched his own face, he was mildly surprised at the fact that he had returned to his younger days.
"Finally," laughed a familiar voice from his right. "And here I thought you were never going to show up!"
Roxas turned towards the source of the voice and found himself staring at a heart-shaped face framed by spiky brown hair. It was a face that he had not seen for decades in person.
"Sora!" he exclaimed, embracing his long-lost love. Tears of joy streamed down his handsome face and he tightened his hug, savoring the presence of the brunet who was very much tangible to him.
"It's been a long time hasn't it?" Sora asked tenderly.
Roxas sniffed and wiped his eyes as he pulled away. "Yeah."
"You've changed," the brunet smiled.
"You should've seen him in the beginning," another voice joined them behind Roxas. The blonde turned to find a pink-haired woman sitting on her knees with her true love next to her.
"Serah!" the blonde exclaimed again, hugging her warmly. His wife on paper laughed as she returned the embrace, patting Roxas on the back.
"Careful, Roxas," she teased with a smile, "You're going to make Sora jealous."
The blonde pulled away with a scoff. "When I can do this?"
The brown-haired teen was absolutely surprised by his love's boldness, gasping when the yellow-haired man captured his lips in a passionate kiss. He drank in the love that Roxas had poured into the act and moaned softly. At its conclusion, Sora almost didn't want it to end with his face flushed red. He touched his lips in disbelief, but there was no doubt in his mind that the once emotionless teen did indeed kiss him with such passion that made him weak at the knees.
"God, Roxas. Did you want an audience?" he asked. Roxas only snickered, choosing not to comment on the innuendo behind the words.
"Not that you don't have an audience already!" a familiar voice giggled behind Roxas; the voice that he recognized as that of Kairi.
The blonde stood up from where he lied on the grass and turned around to find a group of people who had been waiting for his arrival. Familiar faces met his ice blue eyes, all smiling.
Terra, Aqua, his own parents, Stella.
Riku, Kairi, even Naminé had a smile upon her face, her hands holding Kairi's own lovingly.
Axel, Larxene, Demyx, Zexion, the Nobodies—no, he corrected himself, they're personal servants of their aristocratic counterparts—those who he knew during and after his training.
Mickey, Coral, and the rest of the Chasers, who he met in life and on Kingdom Hearts.
The rulers of Nibelheim and Macalania: Tifa, Cloud, Aerith, and Zack.
Yen Sid, Lord Rasler, Lady Ashe. Roxas was glad to find the denizens of Kingdom Hearts all safe and had passed into the next realm upon the complete separation of their own world from that of Iifa.
And finally, the three people to whom he and his own siblings look eerily similar to. Terranu, Aquaria, and Ventus all were present.
The original Three smiled at him, even Ventus the Youngest, for they were finally at peace with the ending of their time, the ending of their lines upon the world that they worked so hard to keep safe.
"Welcome to the Promised Land, Roxas," Ventus greeted the newly arrived. Roxas returned the smile gladly.
He turned to look at Sora, taking the brunet's hand in his own lovingly.
"I'm finally home."
Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts and associated characters, places, items, etc. I wish I owned Sora, Roxas, Riku, Kairi, Naminé, etc. etc. of course. But I don't, so don't sue me.
A/N: Yeah! Finally completed! Hooray! Again, thank you all for your wonderful support and for waiting patiently as I got the last couple of chapters out. A happy ending for all!
Final references to be made of course. Hope, Serah, and Snow are all characters from Final Fantasy XIII. Dia is a reference to Oerba Dia Vanille, also from Final Fantasy XIII. I chose to take her clan name instead of her first name (Vanille) namely because she's technically supposed to be called Vanilla, at least in the Japanese version she's called that. But Vanilla is such a silly first name that I just ended up using Dia instead, haha.
Hope you all enjoyed this lengthy story, one that I never thought would take me over three years to complete, but I'm glad it's done now. I'm not sure I will be working on The Intrigues of Sora Kazano next; frankly, my interest in Suzumiya Haruhi has waned. But we shall see.
Until my next story, this is Tsukisamu Sayako signing out.