Shadows of Reality
Epilogue – For Good
I've heard it said
The sun danced in the sky, warming the world that lay close to it. The bright aqua waters rushed up to the store, lapping gently against the sand before retreating into the deep ocean once again, only to repeat this action again and again.
A small breeze, enough to cool the air so it wasn't overly hot, hit the shore, moving the short, soft hair of a young child.
The child, only a year old, giggled happily as the waves washed over their toes as they played in the sand. A movement caught the child's attention, and it slowly started to waddle after a small hermit crab moving through the shallow waters.
A deep chuckle distracted the child enough for it to forget all about the small crustacean and instead smile widely at the man sitting only a few feet away.
He smiled back at the child, the wind blowing his forever spiky, light brown hair into his cerulean eyes, but not enough for him to loose sight of the small child. No, that was the last thing he was going to do. His gaze was protective, and the child was never too far away from him, should something happen.
The child turned back to the ocean and moved a little closer to the water. As they did, the wind picked up enough to send a slightly bigger wave to the shore. It was still a small wave to most, but to a year-old baby it was still pretty big. It hit the child in the stomach, causing it to stumble and start to fall back.
Before the man could even attempt get up to grab the child (even with his sharp reflexes), another small child rushed over and grabbed the baby, who's stunned look turned into a happy giggle.
"Ar—oo!" the baby said happily as she hugged the six-year-old boy around his stomach, or tried to at least.
"Maya," the boy whined. "Let go. Daddy, get her off!"
"She's just thanking you for saving her Haru."
Haru looked up at his father through his spiky, dark red hair, with his deep indigo eyes portraying a skeptical look.
"Dada!" the little girl said as she took a few steps away from her older brother and into the man's arms.
"You're a little rascal, aren't you Amaya?"
The girl grinned up at her father with a pair of cerulean eyes that mirrored his own. Her light brown hair was held in two small pigtails (not that he put them in) that gave her an adorable, innocent look.
"Sora," his wife's voice reached his ears. Sora turned and saw Kairi, dressed in a simple blue sundress coming towards them with a small smile on her face.
That people come into our lives for a reason
"Mama!" Amaya cried out happily while holding out her arms.
Kairi swooped in and took the little girl into her arms while giving her son a kiss on the cheek at the same time.
"Ewww! Mommy!" the boy cried out as he wiped his cheek dramatically before hiding behind his father. "Daddy, make her stop."
"In a few years you're going to like having girls kiss you," Kairi said in a singsong voice to her boy.
"Ew," Haru repeated. Then an odd look appeared on his face as he asked, "So will Maya like boys kissing her?"
A dark look appeared in Sora's eyes as he muttered, "She's never dating."
"Of course not," Kairi said while rolling her eyes. "But we have to get back home Sora." She couldn't help but smile widely as both father and son groaned unhappily.
"Why mommy?" Haru said with a pout.
"Yeah, why mom?" Sora agreed, but with a teasing tone to his voice.
"Someone," Kairi said as she poked Sora's forehead. "Forgets at times that he is the King and can't just run around wherever he pleases. You know that we're being watched by probably a dozen bodyguards right now?"
Sora stood up, hoisting Haru onto his shoulders as he said, "I know, which is stu—silly because we have Keyblades."
"The council just worries," Kairi replied as she shifted Amaya in her arms as they started heading away from the beach and towards the castle. "Even though it's everyone's day off…"
"You know," Sora said. "I miss when Destiny Islands was just an island in the middle of nowhere."
"I know you do," Kairi said while patting his back. Neither of their young children were paying attention to them and their boring 'adult talk'. They were more interested in the people that they passed who were bowing to them, or waving from those who knew their parents before all this royalty stuff set in. "We had to grow up so fast, but I don't regret it."
Sora smiled as his eyes fell on Amaya and then up to where Haru sat on his shoulders.
"Still, we need to get these two cleaned up."
"Aside from the fact that they are the Prince and Princess of Twilight's Destiny," Kairi quipped sarcastically. "Roxas, Naminé, Riku and Midori are coming, remember?"
"Right," Sora said. "I forget things sometimes. Too much paperwork. I agree with King Mickey, I would love to introduce paperwork to my Keyblade."
"Daddy?" Haru piped up, having heard the last work of his sentence. "Will I get a Keyblade too?"
"I don't know, maybe," Sora said that last word grimly.
"Want key," Amaya said happily.
"Want bath is more like it," Kairi joked. "You're daddy let you go around stinky all day."
"Do we have to?" Haru whined.
"Haru Sora Hikari…"
"Okay mommy," he said sheepishly. He, like his father, knew that when Kairi used his full name, there was no room for argument.
They approached the castle, and when they entered it, for only a moment, Sora saw a flash of the ruined rooms he had seen the very first time he entered Twilight's Destiny. That image quickly vanished, and the beautiful, busy castle return to how it was supposed to be.
Sora smiled as he set Haru down, and Kairi guided him to the bathroom. If there was one thing she insisted on doing, it was actually taking care of their children, not letting the maids do it. She had gotten many protests until Haru, as only a tiny baby, proved that he didn't like his mommy being too far away. He screeched and screamed at all of the maids and Sora could only calm him half the time. He was definitely a mama's boy while Kairi would laugh and say that Ayame was turning into a clear daddy's little princess.
Sora sighed and looked up at the sky out the window. He could see Twilight Town, busy as ever as people shopped and circled the struggle ring. Destiny Islands, which were only the island portion of Twilight's Destiny, was more of a place for people to go and relax. However, one island remained off bounds to anyone but the royal family and those that were given permission.
Sora smiled at the island. He hadn't taken his children there yet. He planned on waiting until Amaya was a little older so that she could enjoy it as much as her brother, and so she could understand the story behind a certain drawing that lay in a cave on that island.
"Sora," Kairi called out. "Get ready! They'll be here soon."
"It's just my twin and Riku," Sora replied. "They've seen me at my worst."
She poked her head out from the bathroom and glared at him.
"—But I'm a king so I shouldn't look my worst!"
Sora sighed and moved to get some of his more…appropriate (itchystuffystiffugly) clothes.
Bringing something we must learn
Roxas smiled warmly as he stepped into the walls of Twlight's Destiny. He closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. As adjusted to Radiant Garden as he was after six years, this place was still more welcoming to him.
Naminé was humming behind him. Cradling a year-old child in her arms. His pale blond hair was already starting to spike some, and he was slowly rubbing his small, cerulean eyes with his small hand.
A loud bang of a door distracted him from the bowing servants, and a huge grin appeared on Roxas' face as a young voice called out, "Uncy Roxas! Auntie Nami!"
"Haru," Roxas said happily as he knelt down. His young nephew hugged him tightly and Roxas said, "Gosh, you're getting big."
"Yeah, and soon I'll be big like you and daddy!" Haru said excitedly.
"Don't rush it buddy," Roxas said while a laugh.
"You'll be big and strong soon enough," Naminé added while a smile.
Haru moved away from Roxas and stared at the boy in Naminé's arms before saying, "Kaito's bigger than before too!"
"He's a growing boy like you," Naminé said with a giggle as she bent down gracefully and gave him a one-armed hug.
The sound of footsteps reached their ears and they looked up to see a flustered and glaring Kairi followed by a very amused looking Sora, who had Amaya in his arms.
"Haru, What did I tell you about running around the castle?" Kairi said to her son while folding her arms across her chest.
"Not to do it?"
"Well, Uncy Roxas and Auntie Nami are here so I thought it was okay," Haru replied while shooting her a grin that was identical to his father's.
Sora laughed and said, "Long time no see Rox. Wow, that's little Kaito?"
The young boy looked up at Sora bashfully before his eyes fell on the girl in Sora's arms curiously.
"Amaya, this is your cousin Kaito," Sora said to the girl.
"Bebe cuzzy?" she asked, her big cerulean eyes never once leaving the boy's identical ones.
If a one-year-old could look offended, then Kaito did as he uttered, "You bebe."
All of the parents laughed.
"Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy," Haru chanted as he ran around his father and uncle's legs. "Daddy, daddy, DADDY!"
"What?" Sora held a small glare of annoyance.
"When's Riku coming?"
A deep laugh came from the door and said, "Still as energetic as your father I see." Everyone turned and saw a silver haired man standing there.
"Riku!" Haru cried out and hugged his legs.
"Wikky!" Amaya said happily while clapping her hands.
"It's Riku, Maya," Riku said with a grin.
"Wikky," she replied happily.
"Wikky?" Kaito asked.
"Wikky," she nodded.
"Wikky!" both cried out together, causing everyone around them to laugh.
"I give up," Riku said with a sigh. "So how are my favorite kings who act nothing like kings should? I say that because Mickey will always be my favorite king, but he actually acts like one."
"I take offence to that," Sora and Roxas echoed together.
"Still in stereo I see," a female voice said. A woman with shoulder length black hair appeared behind Riku and said, "Couldn't expect less from my boys."
"Midi," Haru said. "Where's—oh! Isamu." A small three-year-old boy stood just behind Midori. His black hair fell into his emerald green eyes as he took a few steps forward and smile at the older boy.
"Haru," Sora said. "We're going to take you all to the play room so we can talk. Can you make sure that everyone behaves?" They found that if the young boy seemed to think that he was being treated more like an adult then he was less likely to make the maids want to rip their hair out. No, instead their hair would become grey early on from stress.
"Kay daddy," he said as he reached up for Amaya. Sora handed his little daughter to her big brother, knowing that he could trust Haru to make sure she wouldn't be hurt. He was a protective big brother, after all.
Amaya frowned and said, "All boys."
Naminé laughed and said, "Don't worry Maya, it won't always be like this."
"What?" Roxas asked as the kids were escorted into the playroom.
Naminé seemed to glare at him as she said, "I want a daughter too, and I don't care how many kids I have to have to get one." Yes, she loved her son to death and he was her world, but she didn't think she could handle Roxas and his son alone when the boy got older. "And I'm naming her Yume or Chigiri, no ifs, ands, or buts."
"I missed this," Midori said with a laugh.
Riku and Midori decided to go and travel a bit more since they could do it without having to fight off hordes of enemies. In their travels, they ended up finding a place that was once like Forbidden World, but they found a cure for the mutations that happened. Riku and Midori took this cure back to Forbidden World and slowly it was being healed. Riku was the only one that was actually overseeing this now, because Midori stayed home with Isamu. They lived in a nice house just off the beach of one of the islands in Twilight's Destiny, so Sora and Kairi saw Midori and Isamu often, but not Riku as much.
Roxas and Naminé, as they said they would, became the King and Queen of Radiant Garden. The place was beautiful now, and the Door to Darkness was sealed off and locked away behind miles of concrete, preventing anyone but the most determined of foes to reach it again. They didn't actually see their friends in the flesh that often, but they talk to them every night. Roxas, however, wasn't that happy in Radiant Garden. Yes, he was happy to be making a difference, and he was happy to be with his wife and son, but he still hated the place with a passion and would have preferred living in a small house in the town in Twilight's Destiny.
Sora, much like his brother, didn't really like being charged with so much responsibility. He often told Kairi that he was a soldier, not a king, but she said that he had to be. Both of them would have preferred living at the beaches of Destiny Islands.
Still, most happy endings only happened in fairytales. And even though this happy ending wasn't perfect for all of them, it was good enough for everyone to know not to complain…
And we are led
Ventus looked up at the sky, a grin on his face. He was given a second chance at life, and even though he was now two years younger then the brothers who had once been 13 years younger then him. And even though he was identical to one of them, he wasn't about to complain. Part of him was thanking Xehanort, whose darkness blinded him to the reality that he couldn't control a heart like he had thought he could.
"What are you thinking about?" Aqua asked as she sat beside him. The waves rushed over their legs as they watched the sunset off of the beach on one of the islands.
"Thanking Destiny," Ventus replied with a grin as he wrapped his arm around her. He would have to go and visit his brothers later, but for now, he enjoyed not having any responsibilities or duties to tend to. Until the next council meeting, which he, Aqua and Terra had been suckered into joining.
Aqua curled up to him more and said, "Destiny deserves it."
To those who help us most to grow
Hayner smiled as he watched some young teenagers try and beat each other in the struggle ring. He was in charge of organizing this fights now, as he did own the struggle ring.
A laugh caught his attention, and he turned to see his girlfriend, Olette, coming towards them. Their long time friend, Pence, was with her and both were laughing. Olette must have dragged Pence away from his photography business and/or his fiancé for the day…
"Hey guys!" Hayner called out.
"Up for some sea-salt ice cream?" Pence asked. "And to sit and watch the sunset from the clock tower?"
"You know it," Hayner said as he watched the teenagers. "They're just practicing, and they don't need me here."
With that the three friends went to go buy some ice cream and catch up on old times.
If we let them
Mulan looked up at grinned at Mushu. She and Shang were uniting their guardians after their marriage. Something that never happened before.
She insisted on it though, because she didn't want to leave Mushu behind. He made her who she was, and she would never forget that.
Mushu came down and hugged her tightly, congratulating her on her marriage even though he had tried to put it off many times. Even if she didn't unite her and Shang's temples, she would forever be his girl.
Mulan's keychain, Sleeping Dragon, hung at her side, just in case she should ever need it again.
And we help them in return
Simba smiled slightly as Nala nudged him. He was in the cave of Pride Rock with Nala, Timon and Pumbaa at his side. All of them were watching the lion and lioness at the edge of the rock.
"She grew up too fast," Simba muttered, watching Kiara with Kovu.
"We felt like that with you," Timon said.
"I thought you always just felt sick from trying to beat Simba in eating contests," Pumbaa said.
"Hakuna Matata," Simba said. "It's all in the past now." He glanced down at the chain that lay under the red fur of his mane with a keychain on it before looking back up and smiling. "Hakuna Matata."
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
Music banged loudly as a large group of creatures ate, drank, played or did, in general, what they wanted to do. There were 627 of them in total. All had similarities, the eyes in most cases, and all were cousins. Even two rather rogue ones, 625 and Leroy, were present at the party.
A small blue creature (which was also cute and fluffy) sat at a round table with his cousins. He eyed his cards before setting one down. Carefully he looked up and saw a grin appear on a green monster's face as the creature set down the last of their cards.
"Naga!" Stitch yelled as he hauled out his Keyblade and smashed the table.
It was a good thing Nani, David, Lilo, Jumba and Pleakley weren't home when all the aliens started shooting off their plasma guns.
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...
A huge grin appeared on Captain Jack Sparrow's face. He watched as Barbossa was left on an island, with nothing but a single shot and a warning: never come after the Black Pearl again. It had been a struggle years in the making, but he had finally won for good.
Jack turned around, happily walking up to where the wheel of the ship was. He looked around and waved his hat towards the captain of the second ship.
Will Turner, captain of the Flying Dutchman waved back with a small grin. At least he could help his friend find, and hopefully keep, his beloved ship this time.
Jack Sparrow frowned a bit as he watched the Dutchman go under the water after one final farewell from Will. He still felt guilty about Will getting cursed, but on the bonus side, there was only about two and a half years left before he could return to Elizabeth and their son, William Turner the Third, for good.
Jack smiled again. He made a course towards the island Elizabeth lived on, planning on giving her word of her beloved William.
It was the least he could do.
It well may be
That we will never meet again
Sally laughed as she watched Jack dart around Halloween Town Square. He had the best idea ever for Halloween this year and was working really hard.
Jack Skellington had his Keyblade out and was making, without any exaggeration, a massacre of the town square.
The mayor didn't say anything though, because he was only a politician.
Zero barked happily as it soared around Jack, who banished his Keyblade as he finished and grabbed Sally, dancing around the debris happily.
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
Peter Pan flipped in the air, moving quickly along with Tinker Bell at his side, like always.
The two did loop-de-loops and flips in the air, laughing the entire time.
As Peter got closer to the ground of Neverland he saw the Lost Boys and waved at them. All of them happily waved back.
Peter went and sat on the highest peak of the island, looking up at the sky as his grin faded. Tinker Bell sat on his shoulder, but for once she didn't feel any jealousy as Peter looked up at the starry sky with an almost longing glance.
He wondered what Wendy was doing, and he wondered exactly how much she had grown up…
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
A loud laugh escaped Zeus's mouth as he happily took a chubby child from Meg's arms. He glanced down at the girl in his arms. He grinned broadly, as he ran a finger along her curly orange hair and bright purple eyes that resembled Meg's.
Hercules came up behind Meg and wrapped his arm around her as Pegasus flew passed, trying to catch up with a quick moving smaller version of himself (although it was more blue tinted than white).
Hercules couldn't help but smile broadly at his new family. He couldn't have been more proud.
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
Aladdin gulped nervously as the Sultan stepped back, grinned up at the young man happily.
Jasmine smiled and patted his shoulder before bending down and hugging her father tightly.
The young couple turned and faced the pair of thrones that had been set up. They linked arms and walked towards them.
Both turned and sat down on them.
Genie suddenly turned into a giant version of himself as he yelled, "Presenting Aladdin and Jasmine! Rulers of Agrabah!" He then shot up towards the sky, glowing up into a billion brightly colored fireworks before appearing on the ground in a puff of blue smoke.
Tears streaked down his cheeks as he hugged Carpet tightly and said, "I'm so proud."
"I said I wasn't going to cry," Iago muttered before hugging Abu and bawling loudly.
The monkey sighed and patted the parrot awkwardly.
Aladdin looked around the room before his eyes fell on Jasmine, who smiled back. This was certainly a whole new world to explore…
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend...
Ariel spun around, laughing happily as she held her five-year-old daughter tightly. Little Melody giggled loudly in her mother's arms.
"You're going to get sick," Eric warned playfully as he walked passed them.
"No we won't," Melody said as her mother stopped humming and spinning. "Mommy?"
"Yeah?" Ariel asked.
"What's this?" Melody asked, poking at the keychain Ariel always had on her.
Ariel's smile faded a bit and said, "It's not important."
"Can we go to see the sea?" Melody asked, looking at the walls that blocked their home from the ocean that she dreamt about.
"No," Ariel said sternly.
Melody pouted as her mother set her down and went to look for her father.
Ariel turned to the window and frowned at the wall. She didn't want to block off the sea, she loved it. The sea, no matter what she said, was her true home and it always would be.
But some things were worth the sacrifice.
Because I knew you
I have been changed for good
King Mickey sat with Donald and Goofy at a small, round table. The three of them had cards out, playing Crazy Eights to pass some time and to blow off some steam.
Donald spent his days teaching Huey, Dewey and Louie magic. They wanted to be both mages like their uncle and business tycoons like their great-uncle Scrooge. Step one: become great Mages. Donald wasn't sure why that was step one, but he didn't want to ask. Needless to say, his days were filled with stress and disasters thanks to his nephews.
Goofy often pointed out that it could have been worse, that there could be Heartless, Nobodies and Endless everywhere still.
Donald would reply that it was worse.
Mickey smiled at his friends as he patted Pluto's head. He turned as the door opened and both Daisy and Minnie entered. A sheepish, teenaged, Max and PJ followed them.
"What did they do?" Goofy asked. No one was sure what had happened to Pete after he vanished when the Endless attacked Disney Castle. It was as if he had just disappeared into thin air, but then again, many people had done exactly that. After concluding that they all would never find Pete again, Goofy had taken it upon himself to take care of PJ.
"Skateboarded into the painting that Mortimer gave us of himself," Daisy said sternly.
Mickey, Donald and Goofy exchanged a look before laughing hysterically.
Neither Daisy nor Minnie could stop themselves from smiling.
Both Max and PJ sighed in relief.
Then again, no one in the castle liked Mortimer Mouse much.
And just to clear the air
I ask forgiveness
For the things I've done you blame me for
"Ow! Ow! OW!" Axel yelled. "How is this any type of gentle?"
Larxene rolled her eyes and said, "Stop whining! Maybe next time you shouldn't set off a firework and forget to throw it." She was wrapping his hand in bandages and gauze.
"Ow! Xene!" Axel cried out as she gave a particularly hard tug on the fabric.
She sighed and said, "Here I was thinking that you were tough. If you want to go talk to Roxas tomorrow you have to let me fix this."
A knife stabbed the table a millimeter away from his hand, sparking with electricity dangerously.
"That's what I thought. And go check on him later, got it?"
"Loud and clear."
Needless to say when they had seen Roxas and Naminé later on in the castle, Larxene had been very smug while Axel finally found out what 'the terrible twos' really meant.
But then, I guess we know
There's blame to share
And none of it seems to matter anymore
Demyx finished strumming the last of a song before going up to the mike again and saying, "Alright, we're going to take five, but then we'll be back!" A cheer rose from the audience.
Quickly Demyx fled back behind the stage with the rest of his band. Sure, he had been offered to stay in the castle, and he often did when he had some time off, but he was living the life he always wanted to.
He loved performing, it was the thing he was really good at. Plus he liked the attention he got from the girls.
Yes, things couldn't be better.
Who can say if I've been
Changed for the better?
Tidus smiled and said, "You can sing better than Demyx."
Yuna looked up at him and said, "Thanks. He's good though."
"Don't worry about it," Selphie called out from the crowd. "You've got a better figure than Demyx any day."
Rikku and Paine both laughed at that as they too listened to the performance. Wakka was supposed to come with them, but he had to stay home with his wife Lulu to watch their son.
Yuna grinned as she hugged Tidus and watched the performance.
I do believe I have been
Changed for the better
The light from the moon shone off of Terra's Keyblade as he climbed up the cliffs in outlands of Destiny's Twilight. He climbed up to the top, remembering the battle when these cliffs had been created and the fight that had occurred there years later.
He walked over to the edge and stared out over the land. The graveyard of Keyblades lay below him, the actual town of Twilight farther beyond that.
A small smile appeared on Terra's face as he looked up at Kingdom Hearts, his large Keyblade resting over his shoulders.
And because I knew you...
Kairi let out a yawn as she stretched out her tired limbs. A smile passed over her features as she walked barefoot across the cool sand towards an old, wooden shack. Something else caught her eye as she stopped walking. Beyond the mists of the waterfall was a cave hidden by some overlaying, tropical leaves.
Slowly, she walked over to the cave and studied the entrance for a moment. She then nodded to herself and crouched onto the ground as she entered the cave. After forcing her way through the entrance, she stood up and looked around. It hadn't changed much over the years, but some of the drawings were faded now. She placed her hand on the cold stone of the cave and walked around, staring at all of the memories that were imprinted in the walls.
She stared at the old, wooden door, noting that it actually didn't fade through time, and she knelt down beside it. Her indigo eyes studied the carving in the wall, the one that was literally locked in time thanks to Sora. A smile appeared on her face as she stared at it, and she didn't flinch or even jump when a pair of well toned arms wrapped around her.
Because I knew you...
"How are Haru and Amaya?" Kairi asked as she felt a few soft kisses on the back of her neck.
"Sound asleep," Sora answered as he rested his chin on the top of her head comfortably. "Although I did have to read them a story. They didn't want anyone else to."
"Of course not," Kairi said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. "There's something about your voice that's just soothing."
Sora smiled warmly and stared at the drawing. He chuckled a bit and said, "That felt like it was both centuries ago, yet only yesterday."
"Time's a funny thing," Kairi muttered as she leaned into her husband a little more. "You know, I'm surprised you can fit in here at all anymore."
"It was a bit of a squeeze, but don't worry about it. Someday this will be our children's play place."
Kairi nodded and closed her eyes, breathing out a happy sigh.
"Come on, Riku's waiting for us on the paopu tree."
"I'm surprised it doesn't break under our weight."
"Hey, Riku and I aren't fat old men yet."
Kairi laughed happily as she and Sora made their way out of the cave and towards where their friend was waiting for them, just like old times.
Life may go on, and things may change, but if only one small thing remains the same, then that's okay. Their drawing in the secret place would never change, nor would their friendships. That was a reality that would last beyond time.
Because I knew you...
I have been changed for good...
"I've been having these weird thoughts lately. Like is this for real, or not?"
Krystal Lily Potter