Disclaimer: Kingdom Hearts isn't mine

"Well, it's a reverse world of where we live in, where like said is experiencing a war at the moment, with the people of Destiny against one another. It's total chaos. There's a group that's upset with the ruler and their ideas, and there's those that feel that the ruler's doing just fine. But the war's going on with the ruler and the people who are upset with them. Those people are called the Organization XIII. They're a group of rebels. In order to possibly blackmail or defeat the king in some way, they've kidnapped the both daughters. However, where one is still there, something occurred and the other escaped. That made the king even more determined, and both sides became involved in total chaotic war."

"What happened to the other one?"

He shrugged, "They don't know, so they're all trying to find her. The king because she's his daughter, and the Organization so that the king doesn't get her and feel that there's even the slightest hope of regaining her without a fight or an abdication of the throne."

"Wow. You could actually write a story about this." I laughed, smiling at him. He looked at me with solemn eyes. I immediately shut my mouth and bit my tongue, scolding myself for my careless words. He looked away and shut his eyes momentarily, then smiled, though it didn't reach his eyes. "Yeah. With all this, maybe I could."

…3:23 PM

After an array of classes, I stood before the school, waiting for my friends. I wondered about Pence's condition. He'd probably be fine by tomorrow, I hoped. But then again, he wasn't with a fast recovery. Riku arrived first, like usual. Kairi, Hayner, and Olette came after. I looked around for Roxas, but he didn't appear to be there. Following the showdown on the roof this afternoon, his chances of being attacked after that were low. I'd informed my friends about it, and they were surprised at his ability to fend for himself, irritated that he hadn't before, but pleased to know that he could. There was still the question nevertheless: why hadn't he protected himself before this?

I sat at my desk again—tired. I fiddled with my pencil, spinning it around my index finger as I stared at the crisp sheet that lay before me. I quickly scanned with my eyes through the rest of the sheet. They were all similar and easy questions. I sighed.

A lock of blond hair fell before my eyes. I swiped it away. My white room was cast into a bluish hue as I sat at my desk twiddling my pencil away. Trees danced slowly as the wind ran through and between their branches, stirring up the fresh green leaves. The branches before my window swayed slowly in time to the music I'd turned on. Kokia pumped out of my laptop.

"I'm here, I'm here…," I sang softly to the music.

There was a tap on the window.

How's she doing?

I looked up to see Riku grinning at me through the glass pane. Laughing with amusement, I opened the window, almost striking him in the frame. He gave me a mocking glare before bursting into laugher. "What is it, Riku?"

"I want to talk to you for a sec."

"Okay. Come in."

"Let's take a walk."

"Oh okay. Give me a second." I shut the window curtains and pulled my drawers. When he said walk, I knew he'd meant running over the roofs. Flipping neatly through the stacks, I finally pulled out a close fitting white shirt. It wasn't friendly when we jumped over the roofs with loose shirts that flipped up when we landed. Luckily, it wasn't too thin and wouldn't become transparent if it rained. The grey sky though, didn't look dark enough to get close to raining. Throwing it over my head, I pulled on a pair of shorts just in case. My feet slipped into my grey Converse snuggly. Normally I'd wear sandals around the area, but when it comes to taking a walk with Riku, foot-clasping shoes were better.

Opening my window, I climbed up carefully and flipped myself onto the roof, only to land and inch away from Riku's face. "You take forever, let's go."

My eyes widened and I flicked a bandage on his cheek (he winced). "I do not! That took only thirty seconds!"

"Thirty seconds is a long time. Forty bombs could be dropped in that time. Millions of people could die within thirty seconds."

"You sure give morbid examples."

"I do."

He gave me a grin. I followed him over the stone cement roofs, red and grey brick roofs. It was so easy to jump from roof to roof when the buildings of the city we lived in was so packed closely. He flew through them just as easily as I did. He'd been utilizing parkour ever since he was 9, so it was no wonder.

She's fine.

Kairi and I came to the city when we were 8, and didn't know about 'running' until a few months later, when we saw Riku and his gang suddenly jump over the house across the street from us. It was so hilarious and amazing to see a line of kids jump over one by one that we decided to learn it too.

The breeze was gentle against my face and cool to my body, which hadn't perspired yet from the running. However I was feeling the pressure imposed on my muscles and the coldness of the air running in and out of my lungs.

Roxas's words from two hours ago were running through my head. It all really seemed like something out of a fairytale, or maybe a movie. Nothing like that could actually exist. I caught myself before I started laughing at the thought of it all coming real. To imagine a world like that, it'd actually be a bit scary. I shook my head. Everything was happening so fast. First I had to face that Sora, a quiet, introverted, and brunette kid, was actually Roxas, a sporty, active, and a bit brash blonde; and now that something like that could actually be real. I think I needed to take a break from it all or something.

A humanoid figure emerged so suddenly before me and I gasped in surprise. It wasn't human, but grey with a strange symbol on its body while in its hand, two katanas.

I tripped over the side of a cement roof in my surprise and felt myself falling down. My stomach felt queasy as I neared the ground. Looking back up towards the sky, the strange creature had disappeared. Mission accomplished, I thought bitterly. Reaching out for a pipe or something to catch myself with, I realized there was none. Bracing myself for the impact, I shut my eyes as my mind raced wildly.

Let me know if something happens.

Arms suddenly came swiftly under my body and I felt myself jolt a little, before opening my eyes to the face of Riku—again. We were hovering sixty meters above the ground, his feet firmly planted on both sides of the walls of the narrow way between two buildings. I shut them again. "Why do I keep finding myself in your face?"

"Then ask yourself why you're so distracted with something."

My lavender eyes opened. I searched his face for answers, analyzing his silver strands of hair that outlined his pretty face, the eyes that were a leaf green shade. He looked a lot like the triplets: Kadaj, Loz, and Yazoo. But most like a cross between Kadaj and Yazoo. But his pale lips, fine straight nose, large gentle eyes, and porcelain face told me nothing. "The answer's not on my face if I'm the one asking you, and by the way, eat more. You're lighter than you look."

I sighed, "Yeah, I know."

I know.

He jumped up. I felt my shirt flatten against my body as the pressure was coming down on us. In the air, my arms wrapped around his neck instinctively as he twisted his body so that the center pull of it would move to land on the roof. And for the rest of the five minute trip, he wouldn't let me run. Rather, I was to keep my hold on his neck as he'd run over the rooftops instead, not wishing for me to fall because of my 'diversion'.

"I think we can both conclude that Sora's not the real person we're seeing. See that time at PE? With the look in his face, it's completely not 'Sora', but rather 'Roxas'. He's beginning to show more of his real personality."

"Do you think it's possible that…he has a dual personality?" I asked. Riku raised his eyebrows, "I wouldn't be so sure of that. Take it like a play. The actor's up on stage, but the personality he performs with may not be like the true him. Say he plays a weak character. Off stage, he's definitely not so. A director wouldn't hire a weak man to play even the most minor part of the story."

"So you're saying he's doing this because of something?"

"Everything happens because of something."

"I meant someone."

He smiled. "I think when you see more, you'll understand."

"What do you mean?" He didn't answer me. We'd arrived on the school rooftop and it was due to this that to my great shame, my friends saw me in my embarrassing state.

"Riku, what happened? What's up with Naminé?"

"Woah! Getting married already?"

"She fell." I'd given Riku a look begging him not to tell them, but evidently he didn't seem to notice. Or he was just ignoring me. I gave a huff of annoyance and humiliation as my friends gave me confused looks.

"What? You're so good on the rooftops though!"

"Naminé, is something bothering you?"

"No, nothing. It's just a fluke. Sorry to make you guys worried." I wormed a little in his arms and he let me down. Glaring at him a little through the side of my eyes, I could still feel the fresh pink warmth on my cheeks—the flush of embarrassment. There was an awkward silence before I assured them that it was alright and that there was nothing wrong. It was a while before we all began chatting casually again.

What was that strange grey thing?

Are you sure about this?

After we purchased Sea Salt Ice Cream that Hayner had always been itching for, we gathered on top of the clock tower and watched the sunset, while licking our popsicles. The sweet and yet salty popsicles melted a little quickly even though it wasn't even summer.

Olette giggled and flirted with Hayner for the rest of the half hour while the rest of us finished our popsicles in peace. With a sigh, I watched as the sun melted below the city, dyeing the sky a bright orange color—like fire—that melted into a soft mixture of blue and purple as it ran further away from the sun's flush. The city glowed as warm streetlights were turned on and the streets were illuminated with a hazy yellow color. The whole town was like a glowing chunk of amber. I sighed with a contented breath just to watch this real life masterpiece of art.

"Man, I'm still hungry". Hayner's voice suddenly emerged out of nowhere. Olette frowned at him.

"What are you kidding? It's only been half an hour!"

"Yes, but—"

"Your appetite for dinner's going to be screwed."

"Yes well—"

"No buts."

"I didn't say a 'but'—"

"I'm sure you meant it," she smiled at him and tapped his nose lightly with her finger. He pulled back a little, looking as if he knew he couldn't argue back against someone like Olette. Then suddenly, he arched his right eyebrow and put his hands together, mimicking the laughter of some notorious villain. "Then you're going to have to cook dinner for me okay?"


Olette giggled.

"Lovebirds, take it somewhere else," Riku, whose voice we hadn't heard for a while, came from behind me. Turning around, I could see he was rather irritated at the flirtations and needed some sort of peace from the 'world of love'. Hayner glared at him with a sigh of mock scorn. "Come on, Olette. Let's go somewhere else where people don't insult the Almighty Power of Love."

She raised an eyebrow as he took her hand and they went into the tower and left. I looked at Riku. "Wasn't that just an outright direct confession?"

"I'd guess so." And after that, we were left in silence.

I decided to watch Kairi, who was apparently listening to the music on her music player, singing along. As I watched, I began to feel just the little bit of envy. I doubted I'd ever be as good as her. Me, with my blonde hair and lavender eyes and her, with her maroon hair and lavender eyes, we'd still look extremely alike. So it wasn't with looks. But when it came to socializing in public, she was so much more popular and talented with the skill than the more introverted me who could only do it with my group of friends. It's not that she had a tongue of gossip or anything, but that's just the way we were. She was able to attract more people while I, would run away from them all. "In the blinking light you were the only one who didn't disappear…"

"How's the progress?"

I turned my head again to look at Riku, who apparently wasn't speaking to me, but to another person I couldn't locate. I looked around, but all I could see was the clock ticking distantly above me. However, there were black specks on the tip of the clock. Squinting, I could make out a pair of black boots. What were black boots doing on the top of the clock tower? Roxas?—the black kicked off of the wall and he came down right before me, clothed in a black robe that I'd imagined him in and had drawn in my sketchbook. Riku gazed expectantly at the blonde. Roxas smiled warmly. "It's time."

Okay. Get ready. Three, two…

I was confused. "Time for…?" However once again, no one answered me.

My vision blurred as I suddenly felt myself falling through everything. I was alarmed as I felt all my clothes deteriorate like petals, swirling past me. Mortified, I tried to look around, but I couldn't see anything but blue. Taking notice, I was in the sky. Realizing I had nothing to grab onto, I began to look desperately at whatever surface was below me. I tried to strain my neck to see whatever was below, but I was immediately was sunken in a mass of white clouds. My eyes were hurting from the pressure and I shut them again, resorting to counting.

Eight seconds passed and abruptly, my head hit water. Startled from the impact and falling under, the salty water rushed into my mouth and I choked, the salt stinging my eyes. I shut my eyes again.

I wanted to move and swim upwards, but my body refused to move. To cry or scream, I didn't want to die like this—if I was going to. But who'd ever heard of someone being able to breathe in water? It's not like I was a fish. There were no gills on my neck and the right organs to do so. But just as soon as that thought passed through my mind, I realized that I was breathing.

And where was I? If I opened my eyes, I'd risk the salt stinging and temporarily blinding them again. But against the factor still, I opened them for the sake of filling my curiosity.

As I raised my eyelids slowly, I saw blue. Everything was blue for five seconds, until my surroundings became clearer. It was dark, but around me was blue light. Peering into the darkness, there was another source of blue light approximately ten meters away. Computers and machines filled the entire room with their flashing screens that glowed dimly in the black, messages and whatnot too far for me to see. But other than our sources of light, the rest of the room was too dark to see, though tinted with blue. My body was held with huge tubes and wires that snaked all around, holding me in a standing position. There was a thick layer of glass that kept me, the water, and the wires in, but a disk suspended above my head emitted the light. It was the other captive (what I'll put for now) who was sealed in a glass container that seemed to be shaped like a flower in the process of blooming, but frozen forever by ice.

There was a thin opening-like mark straight across the glass. Narrowing my eyes, I tried to see if I could move, but as soon as I twitched my arm, there was an extreme searing pain that shot up my upper arm and numbing my lower and hands. Though my eyesight still wasn't very clear yet, there was a scarlet cloud that was moving slowly from the direction of my arm. I knew what it was, and immediately, I began to panic. This was like suicide—or should I say—was suicide.

I shut my eyes with a gasp and a thin tube that was sealed around my mouth and nose quivered.

A groan escaped from the devices around me and the water level began to reduce. The water was gradually drained from around me into holes under my feet. As soon as the water was drained, layers of glass steadily parted, opening from the middle 'split' I'd tried to get at.

"Damn, where did you put that towel? She's bleeding!"
"It's over there. Bleeding because she tried to move."
"Let's just get to it and get her out of here."

Sharp sensations pierced throughout my body as I felt things like needles being extracted from my body. The tubes and wires withdrew, slithering around my neck and arms down past my legs and disappeared below my feet. My balance diminished and I slipped, just as I felt a towel wrap around my body in a secure grip and I was lifted off my feet. My senses failed me, and I was sunken into darkness.

"Let's go."

A/N: The song Naminé was singing is called Daijina Mono wa Mabuta no Ura by Kokia. 「大事なものは目蓋の裏」, meaning "the important things are behind your eyelids". I chose that song since the lyrics have a lot to do with the story. It's also the song Kairi was singing. Why is it in English? Because I translated it…

Just curious. Before I began writing Riku and Roxas's conversations in italics, did anyone realized that the italicized sentences from Chapter One to now were a conversation? If you go back and read only the italicized phrases, you'll see :P That's why the first chapter's called "Nearing the Dream's End." Those were Riku and Roxas's voices.