This story contains the following pairings: OCxCanon character and RoxasxXion. If you don't wish to read a story with those pairings, click the magical back button.

I do hope that this version is better than the original.

Please also note that this fic will not follow the KH plotline at all.

Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts or any of its characters. I only own Kora, Mark, Laurie, and the world of Forlit.

As always, characters' thoughts appear in "Italics with quotes around".

The world of Forlit is known for its immense forests and lush greenery. People here have harnessed all forms of modern conveniences. Yet, while using these devices to make life easier, the residents take great precautions to preserve the world's natural beauty.

However, all is not well in Forlit as it once was. Dark creatures have been sighted attacking people. Some manage to get away, but others aren't so fortunate. No one knows what happens to these poor souls except that they are never seen again. Those left behind try to move on with their lives.

Many have lost family to them whether from attacks or their families decided to relocate to another country, hoping the creatures are not there as well. Those who relocate seldom return and their whereabouts are often unknown by even their kin. Many believe that these residents who flee are victims of the creatures as they are also never heard from again.

Kora Bloom is one of those left behind. She lived with her parents until they went shopping one night and never returned. She would've searched for them if she had any idea where to look and wasn't afraid of being attacked by the creatures. She hadn't heard from her brother since he moved out two years ago and had no idea where he was to tell him the news. She had no choice but to move on in her parents' old apartment which she was now paying the rent on.

She earns her living by working as a dishwasher in a local diner. She passes time mostly by watching TV and drawing pictures to amuse herself. She had shown some drawings to her coworker and friend, Mark, only to have him laugh at them. She just laughed along with him because she knew he wasn't trying to be mean. They both just realized that her drawings weren't very good.

Kora stays inside when she's not traveling to or from work because she doesn't want to be caught on her own by one of those dark creatures that roam around. When she travels, she tries to get home as fast as she can. She assumed she was taking all the necessary precautions until that day came when her whole world changed.

"Yo, you done with those yet," asked Mark. "It's almost that time of day again." Kora groaned.

"Wonderful, the lunch rush. It's times like this that I'm really glad I'm not a waitress." Mark chuckled.

"I hear ya. Don't envy them one bit. At least being the assistant chef means I don't have to run around like a rocket came out of my ass." Laurie entered, wiping sweat off her forehead.

"Funny, I thought the boss said we weren't supposed to swear." Mark looked around before turning back to her.

"I don't see him anywhere, do you? Besides, it's not like we're around any customers." Laurie sighed.

"Forget it. I'm not in the mood to argue. The first of the lunch customers just arrived and tables one, five, and eight all want the special, so that's six shrimp platters that you have to make. I'll let you get to that while I go and serve them drinks." She headed to the back of the kitchen.

"Hey, Mark, I'm done now," said Kora.

"You won't be bored long," said Mark. "The dishes'll pile up in roughly another hour like they always do." Kora leaned against the counter.

"What really sucks is that I gotta go home and do my dishes after my shift."

"Heh, sucks to be you," said Mark. "Well, I gotta get to cooking."

"I think I'll take my lunch now since I have nothing better to do," said Kora.

"Sure thing," said Mark.

"I should probably find a better job so I can get a better place to stay," Kora thought as she was on her way home. "Oh, that's right, I still need to buy a new washer. Great, washer shopping. Well, either that, or I could just wear stinky clothes or buy new ones when the ones I have get dirty. I don't like either idea. Better get home so I can get to those dishes. Oh, and eat. I didn't really think that through. Makes more sense to eat first." She turned at the sound of rustling. "Hello? Mark, if that's you, this got old after the first time you did it." When she saw the black creature, she took off in the opposite direction and ran into something. Mark got up and dusted himself off.

"Man, Kora, where's the fire? You're white as a sheet." Kora got up immediately with a look of fear on her face.

"We have to run! I saw one of those black creatures and, usually, there's more than one!" Mark grabbed her shoulders.

"Whoa, calm down. Are you sure it wasn't just a trick of the light or something?" Kora forced him off.

"I'm not crazy! Look if you don't believe me!" Mark's eyes widened.

"Holy crap, there's a whole swarm now. C'mon, we have to get outta here!" Kora groaned.

"There's nowhere to go! We're surrounded now because we stopped too long!" Mark raised his fists.

"Well, even if this doesn't work, I'm going down fighting." Kora shrugged. "Couldn't hurt if we're gonna die anyway." The horde of creatures soon engulfed them and everything went black.

I'm a nit-picky grammar and punctuation queen, so let me know if there are any punctuation or grammar errors throughout the story (excluding the characters' dialogue). If there's even a quotation where it shouldn't be, I want to know about it.