First Impressions


Always Awkward

(Chapter 1 - Moderate Revision)

Like with one of my other fics I am going back and revising chapters.



Opinion: this is just as a side note so that nobody gets confused by my story. But here's how I view this: Xemnas is the Nobody of Terra who just went by Xehanort because he forgot his name. Ansem/heartless is master Xehanort. I may be wrong, but I just thought I'd put it out there.

Trivia: hey, take the X out of Xehanort and you get – No heart, and Another


Name: Alirah

Height: 5'3

Weapon: Serpent Cry Keyblade – Looks like Sleeping Lion, only it's black, and the hilt is two snakes as the hand guard and a white snake going up the blade.

Age: 14 then becomes 15 – same age as Riku

Description age 14: Long blue hair, white long sleeve V-neck shirt and Blue shorts, black boots.

I can still hear them from time to time. After all these years, you'd think I would forget what their voices sounded like. But I haven't. I could never forget. At times I can even smell them. It's a sign of…how much I miss them. Without them…my world just seems dark…lonely. I don't like to be alone.

Aqua, Ven, and Terra – I can hear them laughing…making jokes as I bungled with my Keyblade Training. I always stumbled. But Terra…he would help me back on my feet. Aqua would teach me the proper motions and foot work. Ven would show me how to take stress out of the lessons.

We were all so happy back then. No one would ever believe it, but our joy was interrupted by an old man with an ambition for power. We were torn apart by mistrust and doubts. Now…they're gone. Vanished into thin air. NO! I won't accept that! Aqua and Ven may have vanished but I can sense Terra! For the last nine years of my life I have sensed him! Far and near! …I know he's out there. And no one will keep me from finding him. No one!

Nine Years ago, a young girl with bright blue hair and beaming red eyes came to live in Radiant Garden. Despite losing those she had grown to love like family, Alirah always seemed happy and upbeat. Always wandering around, intoxicating others with her contagious smile, befriending everyone and anyone she met. It was her picture perfect life. All that was missing were the three she regarded as siblings.

Alirah had lived with Merlin during her stay, learning how to control her magic, as well as being taught manners, and getting an education. Also, as part of her agenda, training in the proper form of wielding a keyblade took a great deal of her time and focus. But on her free time Alirah was spending time with friends, bringing laughter and joy to everyone.

Unfortunately, fate sought to steal the glow from that smile. A tragic incident involving her brother, Terra, decimated Alirah. The beaming smile seemed to be ripped from her face in one fell swoop. She fought bravely, trying one last time to save him. But her strength was not enough. Her brother was no more. Alirah's world went black. For her own safety and well-being Alirah was whisked away, given refuge in Disney Castle by Queen Minnie and King Mickey. Yensid, Alirah's grandfather, worried the trauma of that night would petrify Alirah. Given the level of power she possessed, Alirah losing control due to grief would be catastrophic. Mostly to her. So he asked Merlin to cast an amnesia spell over his granddaughter. Make her forget all about that night, implant false memories to pacify her…and allow her to believe Terra had passed away.

"Terra is too far gone in his mind and heart." Yensid decreed. "For Alirah's sake he may as well be dead." Yensid was all too aware of the bond Alirah and Terra shared. If one did not know better, you would mistaken them for brother and sister. He certainly looked after her like one. And she kept him in line. Two sides of the same coin Alirah and Terra were. How unfortunate one side fell to darkness while the other struggles to fend it off.

As the years passed, Radiant Garden become overrun by Heartless controlled by the self-proclaimed Mistress of all Evil, Maleficent. Her hoard of Heartless chased everyone away, scattering them across the cosmos. Darkness reigned over the World of Light. Descration to the hollowed lands, decimation of the buildings of homes scarred the the world from one end to the other. Merlin and a few others sought sanctuary in the central world known as Traverse Town. A world for all who are lost to stay and recuperate. Alirah kept in touch with Merlin and the others who were living in Traverse town. She would send them letters and tell them all sorts of stories about her time at the castle and about her brother. Saying, "I wish Terra was here to see this. He'd have a field day in the Castle. Aqua and Ven too." Or, "You would have liked Terra. He's the greatest." All of her stories, however, would tragically end with Terra dying. She never knew how. Seeing as no one really gave her an explanation. But…despite this…Alirah wasn't sad when speaking of Terra. As if…she knew…his death wasn't a reality. ]

Alirah's heart was strong. Bonds forged even stronger. Could the bond she formed with Terra be reaching out to her.

The strange part about Alirah's life is that she doesn't remember how Terra died. In fact the part of her life where she and he parted ways was obscured in, pretty much, a blur. But she knew she had seen him once more before leaving for the Castle. She saw his face. Only...his hair was white? Strange. He had brown hair. And she heard a name. A name that made her stomach tie in knots. Xe-ha-nort. She heard the name Xehanort! Xehanort…A name which sent chills down her spine.

One day Alirah asked Mickey if he knew a man who went by the name Xehanort. Perhaps he could explain why the name was familiar. And maybe this Xehanort held answers for her. However, Mickey would sort of panic or break into a sweat at the name and told her he would answer her questions some other time. Yet when she would wake up the next morning all memories of the man called Xehanort were gone. But shadows, lingering sentiments, remained of the name. Why would she forget? The memories would return eventually and then slip from her mind the very next day. All she was left with was the fact that Terra was gone. But even that seemed like a lie, or an explanation not being given. She would ask Mickey and Minnie if they knew anything about Terra. She even interrogated Yensid and Merlin when they would visit. Their stories may have ended the same – Terra passing away - but the story lines in the middle could not be any more different. Nevertheless she was always assured she was being told the truth. The truth...The truth doesn't change. What were they hiding, she often wondered.

When the three gathered in one place, Alirah asked Merlin, Mickey, and Yensid how Terra died. Grilling them day in and day out until she got a straight answer. Seeing as that was the only hole in her memory, she had a right to know what was going on. How did her brother die? Who took him from her? And why weren't Ven or Aqua around? What happened to them? But something strange happened when she asked. She first went to Mickey. He told her that Maleficent killed him during her conquest to rule over Radiant Garden. Then she went to Merlin, eager to hear his side. He told her that Terra was caught in a lab accident brought on by Even. Did Terra even meet Even? Finally she went to Yensid. He said that a young Girl named Aqua killed him in battle. Alirah's heart broke. Not in sorrow. But insult.

How could they say Aqua killed Terra? It was a lie. It had to be. I know there was tension at Cindy's ball but...not that much! But there was no true proof. Her only clue as to people were lying to her were the unmatched stories. Plus the massive headache she seemed to have every morning. Well no more. No more memory loss, no more unanswered questions, no more lies! Alirah wasn't going to sit there with questions unanswered. She was going to find out what people were hiding. Even she had secrets of her own, and she was going to put it to use.

Yensid, Merlin, and Mickey, shuffling quietly throughout the castle, gathered in the Hall of the Cornerstone. Yensid snapped his fingers, dimming the light in large hall, containing it around the Cornerstone of Light. They cast paranoid glances about, feeling the eyes of the walls peering down on them as they hide in the night darkened room. The Cornerstone was their only source of light. But even that warm light could not pierce the dark guilt residing in their hearts.

"This is bad!" Mickey fretted. "Or at least they're getting bad!" He corrected himself, practically glaring to Yensid. The Fantasia sorcer grunted, turing away. Mickey shook his head, none too surprised of the reaction, then glared at Merlin. "Alirah's memories of Terra are coming back faster than you can erase them! Like she's becoming immune!"

Merlin hissed through his teeth, knowing this would happen. It was inevitable. "I foresaw this long ago." He informed his friends grimly. "A person can grow immune to a spell if it is used against them for too long a period of time." He furrowed his brow to Yensid, "And eight years – regardless of her novice skill in magic – is long enough for this side effect to take place!" He snapped at Yensid.

Yensid lowered his head, cursing himself for not expecting this. What Alirah might lack in discipline her stubbornness and curiosity made up for it greatly. And a strong will is one of the key factors in powerful magic, and in a keyblade wielder.

"She's even asking about Xehanort now." Mickey informed his master. Yensid stiffened in horror. "Why don't we just tell her?"

"We cannot!" Yensid boomed. His voice echoed throughout the hall. "Like her brother…and her mother," He swallowed woefully, "Alirah has dark and dangerous powers. Powers which could destroy her if not kept in check." Mickey and Merlin diverted their gazes to the floor. They knew how unpredictable and unmanageable darkness can be. They couldn't bear to lose Alirah to it. "If her memories of Terra resurface, so will those powers. At least…the control she demonstrated." Mickey dropped his head with guilt. "Eraqus may have cared for Terra and Alirah, but he knew how dangerous the two were. If either sibling were to become any trouble, he and I agreed that we would have no choice…but to dispose of them." His voice cracked.

Merlin gasped. "Does that mean…Terra…" He panicked.

Yensid shook his head. "I have not eliminated him." He interrupted. "Merely because I cannot get close to him." Yensid knew where Terra was. But to go after him would be suicide. "But Alirah is becoming a problem." He declared. "I witnessed her in the court yard, and she is tapping into the powers her brother and mother had."

"But she hasn't done anything." Mickey assured him, pleading for him to understand. "She hasn't hurt anyone or herself!"

"Yet, my apprentice." Mickey gritted his teeth, unable to believe Yensid was saying this. Alirah was kind, caring. Her heart was wounded. But she wasn't…dangerous. Yensid knelt down to Mickey, placing a hand to his shoulder. "I know you have grown fond of Alirah," He glanced to Merlin "Just as you have." A tear rolled down Merlin's cheek. "But think of the consequences her powers would bring. I admit we have been able to suppress them by keeping her here," He turned to Merlin "And by you erasing her memories. But her powers have grown immensely since last I visited. As has her resilience. She must be dealt with."

"We can't, Yenside." Merlin pleaded for the elder sorcerer to understand. "She's young. She's family. There has to be another way! We don't know her powers will-"

"THEY WILL!" Mickey jumped back into Merlin's robe. Yensid kept his head down, refusing to allow the others to see his weakened expression. "I watched her mother - MY DAUGHTER - perish slowly and agonizingly because of her powers. I held her hand as she faded. I refuse to do it again!"

Mickey and Merlin exchanged woeful glances. It is rare for Yensid to crumble the way he is. And, truth be told, Mickey and Merlin didn't want to risk watching Alirah fade into nothingness. "What about Terra?" Mickey pressed, his voice wavering from sadness. "She deserves to know what happened to Terra before…we…" Mickey couldn't bring himself to say it.

"I agree." Merlin intervened stoically. "She at least deserves the truth. After all, we have lied to her for eight years."

"Very well." Yensid agreed grudgingly. "We shall tell Alirah the truth. After that…we must destroy her." Yensid literally felt his heart tear in half. 'My precious girl.'

"HERE YOU GUYS ARE!" Came a high excited voice. Dread flushed over the three as they whirled around to the stairs. It was Alirah! She was running to them, a childish smile on her face. "I've been looking for you everywhere. I wanted to know if I could…" She took notice of the serious expressions. Alirah tilted her head, touching a finger to her chin. "What's wrong? You guys look like you've just seen a ghost."

"S-sort of." Mickey choked. His stomach twisted and curled into many knots. He glanced back at the two wizards, who gestured him to continue. "Alirah, I – that is we – have something to tell you." Alirah folded her arms behind her back, blinking confusedly. A small, unnoticeable smirk tugged at her cheeks. "Terra…Terra never…died." Alirah eyes widened. Then her brow furrowed as if she weren't too surprised. "Truth is, he's still alive somewhere. But he's become a being of darkness." Alirah lowered her head, hiding her blank eyes under her bangs. "We never told you because we were afraid of what might happen to you. We were afraid you might be consumed with finding him."

"Your Majesty," She giggled, her smile obviously fake, "You make it sound like I'll become a being of darkness too."

"Because you have." He said simply. "You have powers that you aren't aware of and could grow out of control." Alirah bit her lip, insulted by the insinuation. "You're becoming dangerous Alirah!" Mickey had tears running down his face. "Too dangerous."

Alirah backed away, false fear on her face. "What–what are you saying?" Mickey drew his keyblade. Alirah's fear on her face was now real. But it was more along the lines of hurt than fear. "Mickey?"

"Don't worry," Mickey reassured her with a forced smile. "We'll find Terra…" He licked his dry lips, his voice going hoarse, "And he'll be with you soon." The look of terror Alirah had was painful to the mouse. "I'm sorry, Ali."

Alirah sank her head into her shoulders, stiffly curling her fingers into tight fists. Her shoulders trembled. "I'm sorry too." Her voice rasped. Mickey aimed his keyblade at her heart. A tear drop fell from her chin onto the tip, ripping at Mickey's heart. He brought his arm back shakily, praying in his mind that Alirah could forgive him. Closing his eyes he lunged the keyblade forward.

Alirah's eyes flared open glazed gold. She whisked her hand. Mickey's blade grinded loudly, diverting off its course. Yensid and Merlin gasped in horror. Mickey shakily opened his eyes, then gaped. "No…" His voice rumbled fretfully. His keyblade…was diverted by another keyblade! A black keybale. A white snake engraved along one side. The tip and teeth sharp like fangs. The hilt circular. A pair of snake swallowing the others tail. A deep, eerie laugh reverberated from Alirah's throat, sending chills down Mickey's spine. Mickey didn't dare look Alirah in the eye for fear he would see something…monstrous.

"Tell me Mickey," Alirah hummed maliciously, the venom in her voice made Mickey shiver, "Was this the power you feared so much?" He shakily looked up at her. Mickey's eyes reflected the terrifying glower. Alirah's once vibrant red eyes were now a scornful gold. "Or..." A black flam engulfed her free hand, "Is it this one?" She extended the hand. A flash of flame sent the mouse kind skipping across the marble floor. Yensid and Merlin stood rooted to their places. That's darkness. "Ooh-hoo. That was more fun than I thought." Alirah raised her blade to Mickey daringly. "How 'bout another round, Mouse King?" Mickey, hissing past gritted teeth, picked up his keyblade and charged.


Mickey leapt into the air, bringing his keyblade down. Alirah held her blade up, catching his key against hers. Mickey planted his feet and sprang back to the ground. He dug his feet and charged again. Alirah fortified her stance and swung hard. The two keyblades met. Sparks flaring in all directions. Alirah chuckled darkly. The gold glaze enraged Mickey. He hated gold eyes. "Amazing how things don't turn out quite how you anticipated. isn't it?" Using her keyblade, she pushed away Mickey's and kicked him in the stomach. White hot pain robbed the Mouse King of the air in his lungs. The kick sent him across the room to the wizards. Merlin caught him, sliding back a few inches. His own torso burned briefly in pain. "Nice catch, old man." Alirah commended contemptuously. She ran a hungry tongue over her lips. "And here I thought your old age withered those noodles you call arms!" Merlin glared with gritted teeth. He knelt to the ground, tending to the mouse in hopes there was nothing broken. Yensid kept his eyes on Alirah, focused on the power emitting from her like smoke. Her body had a dangerous black aura surrounding it. "Tell me, Grandpa," The way she said grandpa was as if she ate a sour apple, "Who's killing whom again?" Yensid furrowed his brow. She did overhear their conversation. "Because so far it seems I have the upper hand." She took a fighting stance. She ran a hand over the keyblade and whispered, "Hiano." Merlin and Yensid gaped in fear. The white snake on her keyblade slithered off the blade and up her arm. From her neck down to her hand, a white and gold armor molded over her arm.

Merlin, sensing the situation escalating, set Mickey against the cornerstone and joined Yensid. "How is this possible?" Merlin asked in disbelief. "Yensid said you were strong…but when did you learn to summon HIM?"

"You'd be surprised what I do in the shadows." She curled her fingers tightly, itching to strike. "And in case you're curious, I shook off that lame Amnesia spell of yours ages ago." Merlin hissed. He was right. "So who wants to fall to their ass next?" Merlin drew his wand, and Yensid prepped his magic. Never did Yensid imagine it would come to this.

"How about me?" Merlin volunteered. He tapped his wand on his hand, gathering glittering dust. He swirled the wand, ascending it from the ground, "Higitus, figitus, zumba kazzand!" He chanted. "Come to me Magical brooms as I command!" The walking brooms rose from the floor, buckets in hand. "All of you now are in my control! Attack the girl whose eyes are gold!" The brooms, shifting their buckets like jousting javelins, charged at her.

Alirah stood rooted in her place, unfazed by the stampeding house items. "Oh please!" She snapped her fingers. Black and red sparks hissed from the fingers. The stampede burst into flames, falling to the ground in ashes. Merlin gawked. Alirah stepped forward, preparing to make a run for it.

Merlin shifted his stance, preparing for another spell. "HUH?!" Alirah was gone. But where?

"Psst..." Alirah was behind Merlin. He flinched to turn. "Too slow!" She whirled around, whipping her blade across and up.

"UGH!" He coughed. A large gash was torn into his back. Merlin dropped to his knees and hands. The wand rolled out of his reach.

Alirah drove a kick into his side, forcing him to the floor. Yensid quickly stepped in, swiping his hands. Alirah dodged back, a flash of dust narrowly missing her, and put the blade to his neck. "You're next, Master Yensid!" She cackled. Yensid stared in utter horror. Looking into her eyes, Yensid could see Alirah was no longer there. Only a monster in her place. What have I done? "Are you ready to die?" She pressed it on his neck. A thin trail of blood trickled along his neck. Yensid slowly moved his hands. Jagged white energy steadily gathered so not to alarm her. Alirah was getting shorter. 'Wait? What?' Yensid saw it too. Alirah was shrinking. HOW? The two looked down at the floor. A large black puddle was sucking her in. "What the hell is this?" She shrieked. She glowered at Yensid, "YOU–YOU'RE DOING THIS!"

"It's not me!" He swore. Alirah wrenched at her feet, fighting to get free. Yensid grabbed her hand, trying to pull her out. "Alirah!" He called. "ALIRAH PLEASE HOLD ON!" Alirah's expression went blank. 'Now he wants to help.' She pointed her keyblade at him. "What are you-"

"GET-YOUR-DAMN-HANDS-OFF-OF-ME!" A dark beam hit Yensid dead in the chest. He flew back, crashing into Merlin. Alirah clawed her fingers into the floor. A futile effort to stop the puddle from engulfing her, but it gave her a few more seconds. "You couldn't kill Terra! You failed to kill me! I will be back, Yensid! And when I return," A tentacle wrapped around one eye, pulling her further in, "I'll kill you! You'll see," Alirah was dragged down into the puddle, her keyblade lingering for a short second, "I'LL KILL YOU ALL!" Soon the puddle disappeared, and Alirah along with it.

Mickey awoke, gasping for air. His head throbbed painfully. He gasped at the battered wizards. "What happened to you?" He panicked. "W-Where's Alirah?"

Yensid held himself up by the cornerstone, clenching his chest. "The puddle…" He choked.

"What puddle?"

"Alirah has been abducted. It was conjured…by Maleficent. I'm sure of it."

"MALEFICENT?!" Mickey screamed. "BUT…WHY?"

"I suspect…their paths crossed at one point." Yensid assumed. "But it matters not. Maleficent…has her now." He rasped.

Merlin healed the wound on his back, and got to work on Yensid. "Mickey," The white bearded wizard sobbed, "I fear we may have generated a darkness which we could have avoided."

Mickey fell to his knees, punching the ground. Not about being beaten. But because he betrayed Alirah in such a way. "What can we do?" He asked. "Please tell me there's something we can do!"

"All we can do now wait." Yensid informed his apprentice woefully. "Sooner or later, Alirah will return." He stretched his body, working off the blast. "And when she does…be prepared. Because she will unleash all the horrors of hell upon us."

One year later at Hollow Bastion

Description age 15: shoulder length light blue hair, red eyes, light purple high collar halter top with white angel wings on a black heart across her chest, light grey bell sleeves with white fingerless gloves, black skirt, and black boots.

"Ugh!" Alirah hissed, pushing the entrance hall doors open. "Yeah, yeah!" She moaned, wafting her head and shortened hair sardonically. "Send the youngest to investigate the phenomena!" She let the doors slam shut. "I see how it is!" Alirah stomped along the walkway, glaring at the never-ending sky before her. The castle was so high off the ground at times she thought she was above the clouds. "Villains have gotten so lazy."

Over in the vast distance Alirah made out a vague view of a worn down town. The sight brought sorrow to her heart. "Nine years did that." She rasped. "Aerith…" I wonder they all ended up. Alirah shook her head, casting those sentimental thoughts away. "Never mind them! Besides, they probably still blame me for Zack anyway!"

Boarding one of the lifts, Alirah journeyed to the Rising Falls area. The main point of entry to Hollow Bastion. Meandering under the arch, Alirah put her hands to her hips, fuming in annoyance. "Okay, the old witch said she sensed someone entering Hollow Bastion." She looked around the area. Unbeknownst to her, behind her materialized a dark hole. "Her age must be catching up to her." Wouldn't surprise me. The old bat's older than the dirt I walk on. Alirah turned.



A body collided with hers. "OW!" The two cried.

The two lied on the ground, groaning as stars circled their heads. Alirah was on her back, arms above her head. A young boy, about her age, was lying on top of her. His silver hair in her face, and blue eyes spinning groggily. "Found it." Alirah rasped dizzily. The boy groaned dazedly, leaning up on his knees and hands. "Ugh…" He heard Alirah moan.

"Whoa!" He jumped.

Alirah put a hand to her forehead and gazed at the boy on top of her. All she could say was, "Whoa." The boy chuckled nervously and moved slightly. "Hnn…" He cheeks froze at the noise. He moved again, "Ugh…Stop moving please!" She begged.

He flinched, "Sorry about that."

"It's alright…" She laughed dryly. "It's not you." She groaned. "Well, actually, it is." The boy cocked an eyebrow. "Put it this way," She pointed down her body, "Your hand and knee are in very sensitive locations." The boy remained confused, and then blushed when he saw what she meant. His knee was between her legs, and his hand on her chest.

"OH GEEZE!" He scrambled to his feet! His face as red as a rose. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" He bowed.

Alirah sat up, "It's okay." She replied, blushing as well. "In all honesty…I should watch where I'm standing." The boy extended his hand and helped her to her feet. "Weirder things than you have popped out of thin air."

"Good to know." The boy laughed bashfully. "I'm Riku."

"I'm Alirah. Nice to meet you."

"So…" Riku looked around, eyeing the terrain critically, "You live here?" He asked trying to get rid of the awkwardness he created.

"You could say that." Alirah shrugged. "How did you get here?"

"Not sure." He scratched his head. "One minute I'm on my island. The next thing I know," He glanced to his hands, "I'm squeezing your-" he stopped mid-sentence, flexing his hand as if the breast was still there. Alirah's cheeks flushed pink. She self-consciously covered her chest. "Well…" Riku quickly put the hand behind his back, "You know. Sorry again."

Alirah giggled, "Don't worry about it." She approached him, closing the gap. Riku stepped back. "Hmm…" Alirah circled and analyzed him.

"What's wrong?"

"I guess I was sent down here to pick you up." She answered uncertain.

"Sent? By who?"

"The most evil bog witch to ever roam the land of the living." Riku backed away, trying to find some means of escape. "Trust me," She raised hand, prompting him to stop, "I tried running. Maleficent will just bring you right back." Riku blinked a couple times. Alirah laughed at him. "She's the ruler here. And if you were brought here it means you're useful."

"Is that good or bad?"

"Both. If she needs you, she'll keep you around and you'll have to do her dirty work for her. But if you're not, she lets you leave but the Heartless will chase after you." Riku continued to be confused. Alirah scoffed with humor, "Come on. I'll give you a tour and explain everything."

Riku nodded and went with her. He looked at his hand and then back at her. He flushed bit thinking; I think…I just might like it here.

Till next time.