A/N: My first KH fanfic :D I've been wanting to do one for a while, based around Squall/Leon and Rinoa. It'll be Squinoa, with a sprinkling of other pairings around, playing around a bit with the Sorceress' Knight Theme and a Dark Sorceress Rinoa. I finally got bitten by the plot bunny after drawing a picture of Sorceress Rinoa, under the same title as the fic (Yeah, I really couldn't think of a title).
Set mainly in Radiant Garden, so lots of Final Fantasy Characters, and we'll see Sora, Riku and Kairi quite a bit as well :D
Thanks Zarrah for the first line.
Chapter One-I Close my Eyes, the Lantern Dies
"The smell of cheese is overwhelming."
Sora looked up at his best friend. "Maybe it is cheese," he suggested, though he knew it was a long shot.
"Doesn't look like cheese," Riku pointed out, walking faster to get away from the offensive smell.
Sora had to admit, it didn't look like cheese at all. Kairi, he decided, was talented at many things; cooking was not one of them.
"Maybe it tastes better then it smells," 'and looks,' he added mentally.
Riku looked over his shoulder, "Be my guest and try it."
Sora looked back down at the offensive…thing… in his hands. He quickly decided that, no matter how much he loved Kairi, he didn't love her that much. "Well, what are we going to do with it; she'll be here any minute, and then we'll have to eat it."
"Give it to Tidus," Riku suggested. "He'll eat it."
Sora thought about this; it really didn't seem fair, Tidus wasn't that annoying. He looked back down at the item in his hand, remembered his last conversation with the blond boy and then quickly decided that perhaps he was that annoying. He wrapped up Kairi's home-made cooking again, stuck it in his pocket and jogged to catch up to his older friend before he disappeared round the bend.
They came round the corner and saw a girl sitting on the edge of the cliff – Sora stopped for a minute as he realised that he'd never seen this girl before. A light breeze played with the black hair that reached to below her shoulders. The tail of her long blue coat spread out behind her. She seemed to be looking quite intently at the horizon. She couldn't have been older then Sora himself, yet he'd never seen her at school. After all, Destiny Islands wasn't the largest place in the universe, so children his age weren't too common. Any newcomers quickly became known in the community, and news travelled fast, yet he'd never heard any news of anyone new coming to the small group of islands.
Sora dashed up to the girl, eager to meet the stranger.
"Hey!" he greeted as he came to a stop next to her.
"Hey," she replied and swung her legs away from where they dangled over the edge of the cliff onto solid ground. In a fluid movement she stood in front of them, Riku stepping beside Sora.
"I haven't seen you around before," Sora continued.
"No, I don't suppose you would have," she merely said.
"So you're new?"
"Oh no!" she exclaimed, shaking her pretty head, "I'm pretty sure that I was born years ago."
Sora laughed. "That's a good one."
The girl smiled awkwardly, one hand clutching her other arm. "It is?" she asked.
His laugh died, not entirely sure if she was joking or not.
"You're not from this world are you?" Riku added, getting straight to the point.
Sora glanced between the two teenagers. Looking at her now, that did make a lot a sense. She didn't exactly look like your everyday Destiny Islander.
"Oh no, my world only has a sea of flowers. There are lots of flowers."
"Sounds nice," said Sora. "So are you staying on Destiny Islands?"
She lifted a finger and rested it on her cheek. "No, I don't think I will. I'm looking for something."
"Well, if you tell us what it is, then we'll help you."
"Really? That would be so helpful."
"Sure, it's no problem. So what are looking for?"
Sora blinked. Her knight? He looked at her and she looked back. She sounded, and acted, as if she'd just said that she was looking for her keys rather then her knight.
"Your knight?" he asked.
She nodded, and completely deadpan said yes.
Riku seemed to be struggling with this idea as well. "As in 'in shinning armour'?"
"Well, he doesn't wear armour."
Sora tried hard not to gape. She was being completely serious. While this wasn't the strangest thing he'd seen or heard, it still made his mind stop and do the mental equivalent of a double take. "So what's his name?"
"I don't know." He was starting to get the impression that there really wasn't something right about this girl… besides coming from another world and looking for her knight of course.
"Well then, what does he look like?"
She sighed. "I'm really not too sure, but he's handsome. Yes, I'm sure he's very handsome."
Sora scratched his head. She was looking for her knight, but she didn't know what he looked like, or what his name was. How did that work?
Riku seemed to have the answer though. "Have you met him yet?"
She rolled his eyes. "Of course I have; he is my knight after all." So much for that idea, though he felt slightly stung by her comment. He was tempted to point out that, given her answers, this really wasn't a stupid question. Riku seemed to have no problem though.
"But you don't know his name or what he looks like."
She pouted a little at his retort. "I used to know, I think still do, just not this part. I'll definitely know him when I see him though."
She was giving him a headache – one bigger then Kairi's little present in his pocket had been giving him, and that was saying something. "Well, do you remember anything about him?"
Her lips started to tremble. "He was supposed to come to me." She let her face slip into her hands. "Why? Why hasn't he come? I call, I ask him to come to me. Why won't he rescue me? Why won't he come and- A lion!" Her head snapped up at as she cried the last part victoriously, all traces of sadness gone.
"Huh?" was all Sora could say, the change in her mood like a slap to the face. There was no question, this girl was definitely strange.
"A lion," she repeated, "You asked me if I remembered anything about my knight."
Sora was hit by inspiration and the feeling the need to move on away from the disturbingly quick mood swing he blurted out, "Simba! Was it Simba, he's a lion."
She giggled. "He's not actually a lion silly. I just…." She paused, looking lost in though as her hand reached up to clutch a pair of rings that hung from a chain round her neck. "I just… remember something about a lion."
"Well do you remember anything else? How about something to do with his name?"
"Something about… storms."
Sora thought, this time more carefully. "How about Cloud, Cloud Strife?"
She looked up brightly for a moment before the look faded again. "No, that wasn't it."
She continued to look forlorn and Sora really felt for her. She may be very strange and have moods swings quicker then Selphie jumped rope, but she really did seem very upset that she couldn't find her knight.
"Don't worry, I'm sure we'll find him."
"Sora! Riku!" The two boys turned to see Kairi dashing up to them waving. As she stopped by them, she smiled at their new friend.
"Who's your new friend?"
It then occurred to Sora that he had never actually asked the girl for her name or given her his. Spinning round he grinned. "Oops, I forgot to ask."
Rolling her eyes Kairi turned to the stranger. "Sorry about the boys, I'm Kairi, this is Sora and that's Riku. And you are?"
"I'm looking for my knight."
Kairi looked confused, so Sora stepped in. "She means your name."
The girl brightened up. "Oh! I know this one! It's Sorceress."
Her statement was followed by dead silence. Beside him he could see Kairi's utterly lost expression and Riku giving her a 'she's like that' expression. Sora almost let the reply slide, she looked so happy that she'd answered a question that he felt guilty telling her that actually, her name probably wasn't 'sorceress'. However, they did need something solid if they were going to help her. It didn't stop the fact that Sora, when he spoke, felt like he was telling a small child that its hamster had just died.
"Erm, I don't think Sorceress is a name."
Her face fell. "It's not?"
"No, it's more like a title."
"Oh, and I was so sure I had something then."
"She is actually looking for her knight," Riku explained to Kairi.
"It'd be more romantic if he came to rescue me."
Sora wanted to point out that it would have been more romantic if she could remember what his name was. Instead he turned to Kairi. "We said we'd help her look for him, but she doesn't remember what he looks like or what his name is."
Kairi looked thoughtful, apparently coming to terms with the other girl's strangeness quicker then either of them. "Well, where was the last place you saw him?"
The girl tapped her finger on the side of her cheek and Sora was suddenly reminded of a mother helping her daughter find something.
"Let me guess," Riku began. "You don't know?"
The girl seemed to ignore his comment this time. "It was… in the …castle. Yes, I'm sure it was in the castle."
"And have you looked there?" Sora was definitely reminded of his mother now.
"Yes, I'm always looking there. I'm always looking for my knight there."
"How do you know he's not somewhere else in your world?" This time it was Riku who spoke.
"Well, I've looked under the flowers and in the long grass, and he's definitely not in the trees, so I don't see where else he could be."
The friends stared at the girl, who seemed to get stranger every minute. Sora felt very much like he was back in Wonderland. That feeling that this all made sense, or it would have if he wasn't missing some key piece of information. If he had that, then it would all make some kind of weird sense.
Kairi giggled, breaking the atmosphere. "Did you try behind the sofa?"
"I don't have a sofa," the other girl replied matter-of-factly.
Kairi stopped giggling, but was still smiling.
"Why are you looking here then?" Riku asked.
"Well I had to start somewhere."
Sora was taken aback by the logical response. Just when he thought he was getting used to her, she gives the answer that he least expected: the logical one – and if this girl was one thing, it wasn't logical.
"Why start here though?"
"Well, I felt something. I thought it might have been him, but no, I think it was you three instead." She looked thoughtfully at the three of them. "Yes, it was definitely you three." She seemed more together now then she had at any other point in the conversation, and as odd as it was, it made Sora more edgy about her than her previously rather ditzy attitude.
"Especially you." She leaned forward towards Sora, tilting her head up slightly to look him in the eyes. "Yes, especially you. There's something special in you. It's inside, it's…" She stopped there and then, for a split second, her eyes turned black. Not just the irises, but the whites of her eyes as well. Something about her seemed to change. Shocked, he took a step back, but before he'd even completed the step, it had gone and she had straightened again.
Back to 'normal', she shook her head. "I'm sorry; I really don't think I'm completely myself." She looked off, towards the sea horizon. After a moment's silence she spoke again. "I think I should go. I'm looking for my knight, you know." With that, she spun round and strode off the cliff.
With a surprise cry, the trio watched the girl drop. Sora dived forward, reaching out to grab the girl, only to meet thin air. Blinking he saw there was no trace of her, not a shadow, cry or ripple in the ocean.
Sitting up the three teenagers stared at one another. Sora broke the silence.
"Well that was…"
"Weird," Riku finished.
End of Chapter One
What did you think? Always happy to find out. Thank you Zarrah and Tamzin for reading over this for me.