The sun was setting in a brilliant display of reds, orange, and a fading yellow that cast an alluring blanket over the tropical islands. Waves were softly lapping at the sand, while the winds whispered serenely through palm trees. Underneath the shade of a papou tree, Sora was wondering what kind of changes were about to take place in his recently normal life.
It had only been five days since he, Riku, and Kairi had been reunited after the defeat of Xemnas inside Kingdom Hearts. For a time they had thought that it was all over and that they could go back to being regular people, going to school, hanging out with friends, and being together with their families again. Sora chuckled when he thought back to when he and Riku had gone through the door to the light, falling into the waters in front of Destiny Islands. Had everyone (albeit Kairi) been shocked to see them again!
Of course Kairi wasn't too surprised to see them just come crashing down from the sky, but that's not to say that she wasn't plenty of other things. Mainly happy and relieved that they had made it back safely. Her eyes met with Soras for what felt like a long time, then a couple of familiar faces came running from behind her. Sora only had a moment to react when Donald and Goofy piled on top of him, Riku wasn't left alone either as King Mickey jumped up and gave him an aerial hug.
Sora was busy trying to get Donald and Goofy off of him while Riku was spinning the King around in his arms, clearly overjoyed to see his good friend. As Sora finally managed to sit up he gave Kairi his trademark goofy grin, "W-we're back," he said sheepishly.
Sora suddenly remembered that he still had Kairi's good luck charm, he pulled it out of his pocket and held it out to her. Her eyes flickered with recognition at the sight of it. Something else was present in those eyes as well, for a brief instant Kairi was a blonde haired girl in a white dress and Sora was a boy with shorter hair that was still just as spiky. Once the flash of their nobodies reunion was over Kairi leaned forwards.
Kairi gave Sora a welcoming smile as she held out her hand to him, "You're home,"
Sora took her hand and got to his feet, before anyone could say anything Kairi had pulled him into a tight hug, "I'm so glad that you're finally home again, try and stay a little longer this time okay?"
Sora wasn't sure what to say, so he did the only thing that came to mind, he hugged her back and said, "Kairi, I won't leave you again,"
As they embraced the others were watching with interest, Goofy was the first to speak again, "Gawrsh Sora, I never knew you were the romantic type!"
Sora could feel his face heat up; he pulled away from Kairi and turned to face Goofy "I'm not being romantic! I'm just happy to see her is all!"
There was a moment of silence then, everyone just started to laugh. They let out everything that they had been holding inside of them, they laughed until they were all on the ground in tears. Everything was alright, it was all over and now they were all back together again. The blue sky hung above them as they all reveled in their victory, light filled the shores and not a heart was held prisoner in the darkness.
After the reunion on the beach, Sora and Riku realized that they had some explaining to do when they got home. Sora had no clue what he would say when he saw his mother again, it had been well over two years since he had been back on the islands. He hadn't even had a chance to say goodbye before his home had been engulfed by the darkness. Riku on the other hand wasn't worried in the slightest, he had been living by himself when the islands had been consumed by darkness, his parents having work that entailed their living far away. They probably hadn't even noticed his absence.
The group headed towards the docks, they needed to get to the mainland first and they were still on the play island where everything had begun. On the way there Donald and Goofy started to whisper to one another about something that made Goofy laugh heartily. "What're you guys laughing at?" Sora was curious since Goofy had looked at him before chuckling.
"It's nothing Sora, Donald and I were just wondering when you were gonna tell Kairi about what happened with Saix is all" Goofy said with his trademark Goofy grin.
Now Kairi was interested in the conversation too, hearing her name she slowed her pace and fell in line with the trio. "Tell me what Sora?" She had a glint in her eyes that told him he wasn't going to get out of this easily.
Sora definitely didn't want Kairi to know about how he had begged Saix to take him to Kairi, how he had gone so far as to knell before the former Organization XIII member. "It's nothing Kairi, just something that happened when we were looking for you" Sora tried to play it off casually.
Now Kairi was really interested, "If it's nothing then you won't mind telling me then will you Sora?" Sora could feel her azure eyes boring into him, she always got like this when there was something that she didn't know about. He wasn't really sure what to do, he didn't want to lie to her, but at the same time he really had no desire for her to know the truth. As it turns out someone else made everything real simple for Sora, Donald just blurted out the secret.
"When we were looking for you Sora begged a member of Organization XIII to bring him to you, he was so desperate that he even got down on his hands and knees!" Donald said it all in a rush, but after receiving a stern look from Goofy he withered a little. "Oh…… I wasn't supposed to mention that was I?"
Sora mentally groaned, Donald and his big mouth! For a moment the group fell silent and the only thing that could be heard was the sound of their foot falls. Sora broke the silence, "I would have done it for any of you guys, it's no big deal!" Underneath his carefree grin he was freaking out, please don't let Kairi figure it out, please don't let Kairi figure out my feelings for her!
Kairi turned towards him as though she had heard his thoughts, but all she did was smile at him. "I know Sora, you're the kind of guy who'd do anything for his friends so don't worry about it!" Sensing his relief she stuck her tongue out at him and gave him a playful shove. "Race you to the boats guys!"
Riku gave Sora a look that screamed 'just try and beat me' and with that they both took off, racing across the beach, leaving three anthrophomorphic animals more than a little bit behind. Sora didn't care that he had to explain why he had been gone for so long to his mom and he most certainly didn't care that he might be called out to fight again, he was home with the people he loved and that was all that mattered.
Meanwhile, two figures were gazing out at endless ocean highlighted silver by a full moon, a scene that Sora and Riku had been looking at not that long ago. One was a tall man cloaked in an Organization XIII robe and the other was a blue-haired girl that looked to be about seventeen. The man regarded her without moving, "Who are you?"
The girl sat down and said just four words, "My name is Aqua"