Recap: Namine confirms that Reina's memories won't leak anymore and Axel becomes more confident in his plans. Reina and Sora get into an argument about his health as they enter Port Royal. They meet Jack, Will, and Elizabeth and pursue the Black Pearl. When Reina goes to meet a sleeping Sora, she senses Darkness from him and views the moment he unlocked his own heart for Kairi. She wakes up to find out Barbossa's crew took over the ship, and then calls a parley on them.
"Take me to your captain."
The pirate stared crossed eyed at the Heartseeker pointed directly at his nose. He chuckled at Reina's menacing glare as he pulled out a gun confidently.
An entertained voice interrupted the pirate from the upper deck. "State your business."
"B-but captain!" The pirate looked from her to the upper deck, "It's just a—"
"It's part of the code," The voice hissed, "Now move before I blow yer brains out…not that you had any to begin with."
It was the pirate's turn to glower as he stepped aside with a small, mocking bow. She held her gasp seeing the pirate's true gruesome forms under the moonlight, their eager leers expecting nothing but amusement out of her. Donald and the others were tied around the mast; all but Jack were bewildered by the change of events. Blood seemed to riot in Reina's veins as she tried to mask her anger with an expression of calm, even seeping false confidence.
Snickers rang through the ship as Reina spun to see Barbossa leaning against the railing of the upper deck, beside a cowering Pete. His yellowed eyes weren't that much different from Heartless'. Her clenched jaw relaxed.
"Let them go."
"Oh dear me! I had no idea! How ever could I have upset her highness?" Barbossa cackled, "Forgive me!"
The pirates joined him, and her resolve wavered, but she kept her glare steady. "How long have you had the curse?"
Barbossa's laugh fell slightly.
"Years and years, right?" Reina continued, "Maybe even decades?"
Hearing the pirate's laughter dim made her confidence soar. "Decades, and you still haven't found a cure. Some captain you are."
Barbossa's lips pulled back into a snarl and the pirate crew moved toward her with swords raised. She heard Donald and Goofy warn her but she didn't budge, knowing that they could do no harm. Instead, she smirked and crossed her arms.
"Huh. Must be a touchy subject for you all."
"State your business lass or else I won't think twice about cutting off your head on that very spot." Barbossa spat.
She narrowed her emerald eyes. "I want to negotiate. Let them go and I'll give you a cure."
"You? How on earth can you—"
Reina summoned the Heartseeeker. "With this."
Barbossa's jaw dropped and he squinted at the blade. When he confirmed that it was indeed the Heartseeker, a genuine smile lifted his face.
"So it is true. We've got another Guardian." Barbossa smirked, "It explains why you had such a big mouth. You had something to back it up."
Reina was taken aback. How did they know what it was? She heard Jack groan behind her.
"So that's your deal then? We leave the ship and you give us the Heartseeker?" Barbossa asked.
"I can't give it to you; I can only help you with it."
"Same difference." Jack called from behind her.
"You can't do that!" Pete interjected. "This is Maleficent's business! You were only supposed to find the medallion!"
Barbossa rolled his eyes.
Before Pete could even register what was happening, a pirate bludgeoned him with a heavy club. He fell to the ground, unconscious.
"You were saying?"
"Y-you leave this ship in peace and without hurting anybody. Then I'll go with you." Reina told them. She didn't turn to look at Donald and Goofy when they cried in protest.
Barbossa slapped the rail in obvious happiness. "Done."
With a wave of his hand, the pirates started to board the Black Pearl amidst sounds of disappointment and curiosity.
Reina dismissed the Heartseeker and looked at her open hands. She was clenching her fists so hard they left red imprints on her palms.
*What just happened?*
She turned to look at the others and saw the lines on Goofy's more prominent than she'd ever seen while Donald looked as he was about to explode from anger. She moved to go talk to them but was blocked by one of the pirates.
"Not here. There." He grunted, pointing to the Black Pearl.
"R-right." She mumbled. Reina chewed her lip in growing apprehension and panic with each creaking step toward the Black Pearl.
"Goodbye!" Jack called, and she spun to catch a glimpse of them.
"Keep moving!" a pirate barked.
She took a deep breath to try to calm her nerves, but to no avail. It took every bit of self control for her not to look at Elizabeth's hiding place in fear of giving it away.
"Don't try ta make any smart moves, see?" One pirate grumbled. She heard a rough click behind her and felt cold weight against her wrists. She was handcuffed.
"Well, you're never seeing her again." Jack said offhandedly as Elizabeth began working on the ropes that bound them.
"What are you talking about?" Will asked, "Elizabeth is right here."
"Not her." Jack said, waving his arms toward the Black Pearl, "Her."
"Whatcha mean, Jack?" Goofy asked slowly.
Jack sighed exasperatedly. "We're not stupid, we do know about the worlds around us. I'm surprised I didn't recognize it…"
Goofy and Donald shared glances of confusion.
"What are you talking about?" Donald crossed his arms.
"They know what the Heartseeker is, what it can do." Jack told them, "And they know how to take it."
"But Reina has it," Goofy said as he scratched his head, "How can they get it?"
"Oh. Oh." Jack started pacing around the deck. "You just don't know. Or, of course, you just weren't told. They can be that type; they usually are, the saintly fools."
"Just get to the point, Jack." Will told him irritably.
"They'll kill her." Jack told them, "It's what they're after and that's the only way to get it, besides inheriting it. That is why he was so ready to make the deal."
His words pierced the salty air and silenced the waves. Goofy's heart sank into his stomach and Donald's mind went completely blank. They were rendered speechless.
"How do you know this?" Elizabeth asked as Jack climbed the stairs toward the ship's wheel, "And how can you be so sure Barbossa knows this too?"
"I knew another one of them." Jack replied with a fond look in his eyes, "He's met Barbossa too."
"What are we going to do now?" Will asked.
Jack looked at him as if he were stupid. "Follow them, of course. They're getting away with my ship!"
"Come on, almost there…"
Empty pep talk resulted in even more bruised hands for Reina. Being captive with heavy handcuffs in the dungeon of the Black Pearl had made her even more fearful about her fate. She rolled her eyes in irritation at Pete, who was now snoring soundly in the cell across from her.
*Sora's Keyblade can open locks, so maybe…*
She gripped the Heartseeker and jammed it into different spots on the handcuffs before dropping it in frustration.
"You stupid piece of freaking trash!" She kicked the blade across the floor and started pacing around her cell restlessly. She didn't see any possibility of escaping a ruthless pirate crew, nor any idea what they were going to do with her.
The door creaked open and Reina froze, wide eyed. Barbossa stepped in and strode towards the Heartseeker. A dry chuckle rang from the captain before he turned to face the now expressionless teenager.
"You act a lot like the other Guardian." Barbossa commented, standing in front of the cell.
Reina blinked at him. *Could he mean the man in the dream?*
"Get straight to the point." She spat, straightening her back.
"Is arrogance a requirement for you all?" Barbossa's grin grew, "I'm curious."
Reina's lips pursed. "What difference does it make to you?"
Barbossa's eyes glittered maliciously. "I have to know what traditions to carry on, lass, as Guardian."
"Wh-what do you mean?"
"You know very well what I mean. Tell me, how did you someone as young as you earn the Heartseeker? Or," He laughed, "Are you actually a bloodthirsty murderer on the sly?"
*He knows how to get the Heartseeker…*
Her throat ran dry. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Yuuta wasn't an easy one to catch. He was cunning, always a step ahead. Trying to kill him was almost impossible because of that, ask me. You probably couldn't catch your own shadow. So, then, why would he hand it over to you? Unless…" Barbossa's eyes widened as he scanned Reina, "You knew him."
"You're crazy," Reina muttered, "I've never even heard of that name before."
Barbossa's eyes bore into her and he stayed silent as she continued to glare back at him.
"Where it came from doesn't matter now," Barbossa concluded with a satisfied smile, "It will finally be mine before sunrise."
When he left, it was as if Reina was released from a trance; her hardened countenance thawed into an ocean of tears. The ship's damp wall served as her only comfort as she leaned onto it and tried to ease the pit in her stomach.
*"If you lose the Heartseeker to anyone from the darkness, it will be near impossible to stop them bringing chaos to all of the worlds. Darkness would swallow those worlds…"*
Minnie's warning echoed in her mind, creating images of Darkness ridden worlds and the consequences they bore. There would be no Twilight Town for her to back to, no one to go back for. Everything and everyone she loved in those worlds—especially Olette, her parents, Hayner, and Pence—would be overrun with hoards of Heartless. Whole worlds would disappear.
*It'll all be my fault... I'm not going to let that happen. All these people are counting on me, I can't let them down! I have to figure something out!*
"Ah, Tortuga! Almost feels like home!"
Jack lead the crew off of the dock and into a harbor flooding with drunkards and prostitutes. Shattered bottles sparkled under the fire from torches that lined the harbor and its adjoining taverns. The pirate inhaled the characteristic smell of cheap rum deeply.
"Why did they come here?" Elizabeth growled, surveying Tortuga with intense displeasure.
"They're here to celebrate." Will answered, to which the pirate pointed to in agreement.
"And celebrate they shall. Which means," Jack said, "The Black Pearl will be empty, you can rescue your Guardian friend, I can get my ship back, and we will all be one happy family. Savvy?"
"Let's just hurry!" Donald stomped, his expression pale.
"Right then, let's see here…" Jack pulled out his compass and pointed. "That way!"
"You've already lost once, what makes you think you'll win this time?"
I couldn't tell the attacker anything because I agreed with him. We were fighting for seemed like an eternity on a platform of cracked glass, flickering with colored lights that seemed to be reminding me of a distant memory. It was getting darker and darker.
"Give up already, it'll save us both time." He cackled, throwing his blond head back.
"You wish!" Was my feeble answer. My hands were trembling and I could barely see anything. I knew that I wouldn't be able to keep up any longer. Still, I refused to surrender. I had hope.
"You asked for it."
Before I knew it, he dashed toward me and slashed my chest. I lost balance and fell over the edge of the platform. Funnily enough, I was…relieved. I tilted my head back and closed my eyes, letting go of all my worries as I descended deeper into the darkness.
I became numb.
"Where is she?!"
Goofy, Donald, and the others rushed onto the Black Pearl, looking for any sign of the teen.
"You can't just storm onto a ship like that!" Jack shouted, "There might be someone!"
Right at that moment, the door to the dungeon swung open and Pete emerged, clutching his head. "Maleficent's gonna let me have it now…"
"You!" Donald yelled.
Pete's eyes grew to the size of dinner plates. "It's all your fault!"
With a wave of his massive paw like hands, several Heartless appeared, surrounding them. "I'm gonna make you all pay!"
"What did I tell you…" Jack groaned, unsheathing his sword.
The sound of clinking bottles and raucous laughter only increased as Barbossa staggered up with a goblet raised. Reina stayed still in her seat beside him, her eyes darting all over her surroundings. She wriggled her tied hands, stretching them.
"'Tension, 'tension," Barbossa announced, "I'm pleaaased to announce. We've got ourselves a cure!"
The crew cheered and banged on wooden tables in excitement. Reina took a deep breath. Timing was everything.
"And time has come finally...finally! For us to be free, of course. But not only to be free! To be the most powerful crew any world has ever seen! Worlds will be at my mercy!"
The crew roared and drinks flew across the room. Barbossa grabbed Reina by the collar. She heard the clank of his sword unsheathing and her pulse became an internal clock, taking note of every second that passed. It was now or never.
"To a new era!" He chanted, raising his sword.
"To a new—"
A burst of flames engulfed Barbossa, amplified by the goblet of alcohol in his hands. As he shrieked, a few of the pirates started throwing their drinks on him, which only fueled the fire.
"Where is she?!"
Reina snaked past groups of pirates while sending Firaga spells behind her back. She was stopped by two well built crewmates glaring torturous murder. Many others ran past them out of the burning building while the remaining loyal encircled her. She coiled her knees, waiting for them to make their first strike.
A feral screech that raised the hair on Reina's arms reverberated in the air. There were sounds of slashing before bodies in front of her flew to the ground and revealed the source of the unearthly sound. Reina eyes grew in horror.
He was a Heartless. His lifeless expression framed hollow eyes that belonged to a wooden doll, not him. Wisps of Darkness pulsated from his enveloped body and clothing like they were rejoicing in conquering his heart. His body was heaving, full of rage.
*It really is him…*
Before she could even blink, he pushed past her and leaped onto an approaching pirate's shoulders. Sora grabbed his head and spun him, breaking his neck. The pirate's body fell to the ground with a thud. He slashed any that were nearby with dagger-like claws, letting fresh blood splatter the floor. The crew looked at each other, aghast; his touch disregarded the immunity the curse gave them.
Knowing what was best for them, they fled. Sora didn't try to follow them and instead gazed at Reina, who emerged from under a table and grimaced at the chaos' impact. The blaze she started was quickly devouring the battered tavern, taxing her breathing and eyesight. She almost flinched to see Sora in his Heartless state.
He shook violently, as if he were about to explode. Reina carefully took a step toward him but was met by instant reaction.
Before she could even gasp, Reina felt his sharpened claws rip through the skin along her jaw. Blood streamed down her chest and splattered onto wooden floor. She cried out as she slammed into the railing of the burning stairs and took in a cloud of smoke and ashes.
He was fixed on his spot, like a predator waiting to pounce on prey. She tried to dive under another table when she felt the skin on her chest tear into three gaping, freshly crimson gashes. Falling face first onto the floor, she turned to see his vicious leer bore into her terrified, defeated pleas for help. His arm was raised to strike again and Reina shut her eyes, steeling herself.
"Sora!" her agonized wail echoed throughout the tavern.
There was near silence. She was too terrified to recognize that the next voice was one she was familiar with.
Her eyes flew open and saw Sora's characteristic sapphire eyes widen into pools of intense confusion and apprehension.
"What are you doing?!" He yelled, helping her up, "C'mon!"
Sora and Reina ran into a silent road far from the tavern. For moments, the sounds of coughing and panting were the only sounds to fill the cool night air. Reina pressed her back against with a wall with a Potion and faced away from Sora.
She heard a muted click and felt the weight on her hands release. The chains binding her fell to the ground with a satisfying thunk.
"T-thanks." Reina muttered, too preoccupied with massaging her wrists to meet Sora's anxious, searching eyes.
"You're bleeding!" He cried, pulling a curtain of hair away from the cut across her jaw. He pulled back when she winced at his touch.
"I'm fine now."
"I'm not lying. Let's just go home."
Sora crossed his arms, adamant. "Aren't you going to tell me anything?"
"You can't be kidding me." He scowled, "I found you in a alone, in burning building, bleeding, and I have no idea how either of us—"
Reina heard a sharp intake of breath and looked up to see something shatter in Sora's eyes. He stepped away from her, a glint of disgust in his eyes.
Reina's speechlessness was answer enough for him. She didn't want him to know, at least until she had a chance to wrap her head around the matter herself.
His eyes tore away from her in shame. "Darkness won…"
Reina remembered the Darkness she felt from Sora's body on the other ship. She tried to rest a hand on his shoulder, but he jerked away from her.
"I was too weak. I let it consume me and…I hurt you. I let it happen!"
"Look, you can't blame yourself, don't—"
"You could've died!" He yelled, his frustration flushing his cheeks. "It would've been my fault! Just because I…"
He broke off, anger getting the best of his tongue. His eyes glared at the ground with such intensity that he could have been asking it to split apart. It seemed to him that all of the training he had, every obstacle passed, every trial conquered had amounted to nothing because he had failed to protect his own heart. He felt useless.
Reina took a deep breath. "But you're here now. You chose Light, you always have. That's what matters."
She stepped toward him and took his hands. In her eyes was nothing but warmth, something he could feel pulsating from her palms into his, chiseling away his anger like soft rain.
"Sora, I…I saw you. You said you were sick, but now I know you've been fighting it for days. Anyone would be exhausted. Especially when they're fighting by themselves."
"You probably forgot that you're not alone. You never were. I would've stayed by your side even if you stayed a Heartless, okay? Don't forget that. Ever."
Sora stared at her with mixed disbelief and oceans of gratitude. The tiny, wandering voice inside his heart had been magnified to vanish any doubts and fears he had about himself. The Light in his heart was rekindled with a fire burning more brightly than he'd ever known. He believed he could conquer anything.
"Thank you." He whispered. Reina's lips curved mischievously.
"You're not off of the hook! Before I let you go, I need to see you smile."
"Seriously?" Sora tried rolling his eyes, but failed to hide the obvious joy in them.
"Yeah, or else you're stuck with me until you do!"
Sora made the most menacing smile he could muster and leaned in close to her face.
"Okay, I get it! I get it!" Reina laughed as she leaned away. Sora couldn't help but join her, feeling more free than he had in days. He suddenly realized something and looked around.
"Hey, where's Donald and Goofy?"
Reina grimaced. "It's a long story …We should go find them, huh?"
They started walking. "Give me the short version then."
"For one, Donald's gonna kill me…"
Here it is! This chapter was waaaay harder than I expected, but I'm happy that it's finally done.
Just to be clear, the part where Sora is fighting Roxas (the blond) is inside Sora's heart.
So, here are some questions...any idea on Reina's connection to Yuuta? How about Roxas? I would love to know! Don't hesitate to send me any suggestions, ideas, or comments!