AUTHORESS'S NOTES (PLEASE READ!): Okay. This story is based on Krissey-da-Cougar's theory in the KH universe after spoilering herself for the game, "Birth by Sleep." As such, it contains HEAVY SPOILERS, so read at your own risk!

And for the sake of it becoming confusing later on, italicised sentences is Ventus speaking.

Bold sentences is Roxas.

(Parenthesis sentences) is Sora.

"Quotationed sentences" is Kairi.



There. Now to the story...

People thought Sora was one of those kids while he was growing up; the kind that had imaginary friends, and seemed to be in his or her own little world almost ninety-nine percent of the time. It was so annoying, they thought, the way he'd talk to the air on his right or left, as if someone was really there, when obviously, no one was! Was he stupid or something?

But it was a good thing Riku had the patience, as well as the imagination, to pretend there was someone there, even though he hardly talked to the being at all in the first place. He was, indeed, polite and courteous to Sora's imaginary friend, but other than giving him a greeting and a "How-do-you-do" (mainly for Sora's sake, since he'd scold Riku for ignoring "VenVen" if he didn't do so), the boy otherwise disregarded the figment when it came time for games and fun.

At least, he had thought it would be as simple as that.

But what with the way Sora babbled onto this "VenVen," including him in the conversations when they built sandboxes on the beach and splitting his sandwich in half and putting it to the side for the invisible man…it made Riku at least consider believing the possibility that there really was someone there.

But of course, there wasn't. After all, there wasn't really a way someone could exist invisibly; someone that only Sora could see.

…but then again, it was believed that traveling to other worlds was impossible, as well. And so, stuck in between, Riku, with his belief in the impossible, let Sora believe in his own impossible as well without complaint.

Sora took that act of kindness a bit for granted, but that was, of course, only part of his childish nature. After all, hadn't he promised to keep it a secret when he saw Riku holding that strange man's giant key? And he was doing a good job of that, right? Of course, the fact that he kept forgetting the event from time to time might aid keeping that secret shut tight, but still.

VenVen meant too much to him, anyway. And he was painfully reminded of that fact when his father died, leaving him and his mother alone when he was at the tender age of seven. Two years after VenVen had first appeared to him.

And while shut in his room, curled up on the bed and sobbing, VenVen did not fail to be there for him. Talking to him, soothing him. He could almost feel his friend really there—like a big brother. A sibling he never had. Telling him everything was going to be all right. Cooing the young boy to sleep.

VenVen was always there.

Sora had thought it was strange that day he took a nap on the island (when he really should have been helping build Riku, Kairi and his' world-traveling raft), and VenVen talked to him in his dream, asking him strange questions and putting him in curious scenarios. Forcing him to fight a giant, black monster with nothing but some sort of key weapon to defend himself.

VenVen had told him weird things in that dream.

And things got only weirder that night, when the heartless first appeared on the island in a relentless storm. And when VenVen gave him that key weapon from his dream—a key called a "Keyblade," he had instructed—and told him to fight the small, black creatures as well as the larger one which was a replica from his dream; Sora, in the meanwhile, could only beg why. Why he was separated from his friends—why his world was destroyed, as he found out later—and most importantly, why the Keyblade chose him, an ordinary 14-year-old boy.

So much to say, so little time, was VenVen's only answer. Eerily just like the dream.

But VenVen never discouraged Sora. He was his teacher, now, instructing him and encouraging him just as calmly as he had when Sora was but a boy, wielding an innocent wooden play sword and dueling his friends.

And when Sora longed for home and for those picturesque olden days, after having saved the worlds, and forced to wander for Riku and the King as well as a way back to Destiny Islands, VenVen was always there as someone he could lean on, someone who would tell him not to give up. Someone who would remind him that light always wins.

VenVen believed in him, and Sora believed in VenVen.

But when Sora was inside Castle Oblivion, VenVen was strangely quiet. Nothing the boy said or did could make him say anything more than an, I'm sorry, Sora. You'll have to make your own decisions, now. It was the first time the boy had to fight alone. Without his teacher, without the other side of him.

He had made some brash mistakes, then.

But Naminé fixed him. She was nice to Sora, and reminded him of someone he couldn't remember. However, before he fell asleep for a year, it was VenVen who calmly reminded him the girl's name.


And while asleep, he met someone else on a few occasions during his slumber—a new voice, he found; one he didn't recognize but sounded strangely similar to his own.

(Where…am I?)

Who are you?

(Who are you?)

And there was one other time he met this new voice again—the one time he heard Kairi, as well; the girl he had forgotten. It made his heart pang for home and to see her face again; a year it would be, right? How different would she be? Would she finally be taller? Taller than him? He hoped not!

"…Who? Please, a name!"

I'm Roxas.

"Okay, Roxas. But can you tell me his name…?"

Sora couldn't help himself but laugh.

(You don't remember my name? Thanks a lot, Kairi! Okay, I guess I can give you a hint…starts with an "s"…)

And the last thing he heard from her before he woke up a few days later was a, "He will. Starts with an 's'…Right, So-ra?"

It made him smile.

And after waking up, VenVen helped Sora remember what their mission was before they fell asleep. Then, with Donald and Goofy, they set off. But Sora was not oblivious to the new way that VenVen treated him, now, throughout their second adventure. It was like he was treating Sora with a new respect, and slowly, VenVen found himself no longer a teacher, but simply a proud spectator.

Sora was maturing.

And because of it, VenVen remained silent most of the time, offering wisdom and advice when needed, and retaining his position as the boy's mentor, but not as his leader. Sora was growing into a handsome young man; seventeen, he almost was, and his heart was becoming stronger, if that was even possible for one with such a strong heart already as his.

But when Sora met Roxas for the first time, VenVen couldn't help but laugh at Sora's naïve first remark.

(By Kingdom Hearts! He looks like you, Ven! Not me!)

Your poor, poor Nobody.

But the appearance of Roxas, who now was another voice who took homage in Sora's mind as he reunited with him, made the boy remember some things that he hadn't remembered before. About VenVen's existence, as to why Roxas resembled him far more than he resembled Sora, even though their appearance was still eerily similar anyway.

And when Sora, after having defeated Xehanort with Riku's help, and been home finally for a pure, calm, lovely year of rest, received King Mickey's letter, he then remembered.

And VenVen—no, Ventus—told him everything.

And now, as Sora stood on the beach shore of his childhood, looking out to the sunset, he knew that there was one final adventure he needed to embark on. One where this time, he was going to save the person who had very well saved his own life; who had kept him alive all these years by teaching him and by being there for him. And this time, he was going to save everyone who worked for him and helped him when he wasn't looking. Who made saving the worlds possible.

A simple "thank you" would suffice, you know.

But Roxas was wrong, Sora knew. And Roxas knew that, too. It had to be done; Sora had only one more keyhole to unlock, one more chain to reconnect. One last adventure.

I'll be waiting for you.

(Dude, you've been waiting for me.)

And now, the time had finally come.