This deserves some explaining beforehand. This idea came to me for two reasons. First reason was inspiration from Divine Wolfe, in particular her written boss battles for BBS: Famous Last Words, For A Friend Worth Dying For, Fulfilling Destiny, Fight The Shadows, and Forever In Memory. If you've never read them, I would recommend it. They're spectacular. Second reason was the dialouge in this scene. I wrote all of this off the top of my head, having only seen the scene three times, but the dialouge, especially Terra's, is very memorable. The parts at the end are things I added on, but I hope you enjoy all of it.


To Each, In Passing


Terra landed on the beach, feeling the scratching sand under his armored boots. He was on a tropical island, watching the waves off the endless ocean lap against the shore. The heat clung oppressively to his skin and clothes, but the peaceful atmosphere countered it. Overall, it was a quiet and uneventful place, something the restless warrior needed.

Looking around, he spotted something being pulled by the waves. His curiosity got the better of him and he quickly rushed over to retrieve it. It was a large plant of some sort, twice the size of his hand. It was star-shaped, kind of squishy, and a bright shade of yellow. Something about it seemed familiar.

'Somewhere out there, there's this tree with star-shaped fruit,' Aqua's words echoed in his head, 'And the fruit represents a powerful bond. An unbreakable connection.'

Taking out his Wayfinder, he looked at the two and compared them. Thinking over her words, he looked up and found what he was searching for: a tree on a small rock connected to the mainland by a bridge. The tree was bent in a strange manner, but the palm leaves didn't obscure the star fruit. Suddenly, the fruit in his hand felt heavier and he placed it carefully back into the surf. Something was drawing him towards the tree, something that affected him deeply.

A small shack contained a set of stairs and, still holding his Wayfinder, he used them, focusing ahead of him in a state of tunnel vision.

"Aqua, Ven. Will we ever be together again? I'm not sure what will happen from here. Will I find something here to help me?"

Finally, he emerged onto the ledge and started his way across the bridge, trudging restlessly through the orange light of the setting sun. He wasn't even half way across when two young boys bolted past him, shouting and laughing.

"Hey, wait, Riku! Slow down!"

"Come on, Sora. Don't give up just yet."

"I can't! I'm at my limit!"

The two boys ran to the rock and jumped up on the tree, using the bend as a seat. Terra looked them over. The two weren't related, but they looked close. The smaller one, probably the younger of the two, had a messy head of brown hair, wearing a white shirt, red shorts, and a pair of sandals. The bigger one had silver hair, wearing a yellow shirt, blue shorts, matching wristbands, and a pair of sneakers. They stared out at the ocean as he had, and that small comparison brought a slight smile to his face.

Having lost his chance to look at the tree, Terra turned to leave. Something nagged at him, the brilliant feeling of light that had bright him there, grabbing onto him and pulling him stronger than before. Turning back, he followed the sensation to its source: the silver-haired child.

'This light…' "Was I brought here in order to meet this boy?" he mused. With that thought on his mind, he walked back through the shack to the beach. What did the light in the boy mean? What was he meant to do here? Why, of all people, had it been him that was drawn to that light? He continually pondered these questions until he felt someone staring at him.

Turning around, the silver-haired boy, Riku, was walking past him, but he slowed to a stop and turned to face Terra, His green eyes were piercing, both intelligent and innocent at once. "Are you from the outside world?"

Knowing he had to preserve world boundaries, he avoided the question. "Why would you say that?"

"No one lives out here, and I've never seen you on the main island before."

"What about you? Why are you here?"

He looked over at the dock and Terra saw his friend there, shuffling around restlessly. "My friend's dad took us out here in the boat. We like to play here, but we can't come by ourselves 'til we're older."

"You seem like you're anxious to leave."

"Yeah," Riku shuffled his feet and then walked closer to the surf. "I want to see the outside world. They say there's this kid who left."

Looking at him, something in Terra's vision changed. The young boy was replaced by a young man in black, long messy silver-white hair trailing down his back. He began to turn towards the Keybearer and, as he did, the vision changed. In his place was an older Riku, a tall, muscular teen with a strong will, a clear smile, and an unwavering gaze from under his long silvery bangs. Surprised, Terra blinked and the vision was gone, but the feeling remained.

"Why do you want to see the outside world?"

Riku stared at the ocean. "I want to be strong one day. Like that kid who left. I bet he's really strong by now…"

Something in the boy reminded Terra of himself. He remembered his master's words, his talk about obsession with power, and he felt his heart sink. He had become obsessed with power; not obtaining new power, but controlling the power he had. Obsession had become frustration and confusion, and he had let himself drift away from the person he had been before, the person he wanted to be. He wouldn't have wished that path on anyone, especially someone so young.

"Why do you want to be stronger?" he asked. If he chose his words carefully, he could dissuade the boy from such a painful fate.

"To protect what's important," he replied, turning to give Terra a smile, "You know, like my friends and stuff."

Riku's answer caught him off guard. It had never occurred to him that the answer could be so simple. Strength was used not to hurt, but to defend. It was used to fight for those who meant everything to you. Terra had always wanted strength for that purpose, but somewhere along the line, he had forgotten that. His search for power had blinded him. He hadn't lost himself; he had only looked away. And now, Riku's words had him looking back.

Under the power of the boy's gaze, Terra knew what he had to do. Here, the child and his light had given him what he had truly needed, and he would do the same in return.

"Outside this tiny world is a much larger one," he said, crouching down to Riku's level, "but if your heart is strong, your desire will come true."

Set and determined, he summoned his Keyblade, Earthshaker. It appeared in a mass of light around his hand, solidifying into white blocks as his weapon fully formed. Recently, the familiar, comforting weight of his massive blade had before foreboding, mimicking the feelings weighing down his heart, but now he gripped its handle with confidence. Adjusting his grip, he positioned the handle to face Riku.

"In your hand, take this Key," he said, remembering the same ceremony he had performed for Ventus long ago, "And, if you have the makings, then through this simple act of taking, its wielder you shall one day be." His words had ended there, but it wasn't enough. He felt bound to the young boy, tied to him by their similar desires. There was something, an instinctual feeling, that told him they would meet again. He was entrusting everything to this boy: his dreams, his life, and his future. "And you will find me, friend – no ocean will contain you then," he continued, speaking straight from his heart, not considering his words at all, "No borders around, or below, or above…so long as you champion the ones you love."

Reaching out, Riku took a hold of the Keyblade's grip. Though there was no outward reaction, Terra could feel in his mind the powerful light that was his Keyblade agree. He had performed the succession perfectly. Riku was now a Keyblade wielder.

"Riku, come on! What's taking so long?"

Both Terra and Riku jumped at Sora's voice, and Riku let go of the Keyblade. As Terra dismissed it, the boy turned to wave at his friend.

Terra placed a hand on his shoulder. "You have to keep this a secret or the magic will wear off." It was only a precaution, just in case. It wouldn't escape the notice of another Keyblade wielder, but it would save the boy from having his power abused and keep Terra's visit to this world silent.

The boy nodded and, feeling incredibly relieved and comforted, Terra ruffled his hair. Riku laughed and gave him one last smile before he ran off to join his friend.

Sora met him half way. "What was that about?"

Riku looked away, feet crossed with his arms behind his head. "Ah, you know."

"Know what?" Sora continued to pester him as they headed up the dock. Terra stood to watch them. "Come on, Riku! Do you know him?"

"I can't say. It's a secret."

"You can tell me! I'm like the best secret keeper ever!"

Riku seemed to roll his eyes. "Sure, Sora," he said, noticeable sarcasm in his voice.

Smiling and laughing to himself, Terra cast another glace out to the sea. It remained peaceful, unaware of the turbulence his thoughts and heart had ridden to reach the same state. "To protect that's important, huh?" he mumbled, thinking it over. Finally, he turned and walked to another section of the beach, where he could leave the world without notice.

Before he could call his armor, Earthshaker appeared in his hand. It confused him, but before he could think on it any further, the mental light of his Keyblade flared and a matching light engulfed the Key in his hand. When the light died down, Earthshaker was gone, replaced by a similar, longer, heavier weapon. Reaching out in his mind, he latched onto the light and called for its name.

Ends of the Earth.

Terra almost laughed. His Keyblade was a part of him, and it knew him better than he knew himself. It knew his resolve. He would fight for his friends, no matter what it cost him. He would protect Aqua and Ven, even if he had to travel to the ends of the earth to do so.

But Terra knew his Keyblade as well. He could feel it. It had reached its ultimate power, and so had he. Together, Keyblade and wielder, they could get no stronger. It was the limit, the end of the earthly power they could contain.

He smiled sadly. Only in the eyes of Eraqus would he never truly be a Master. His friends could acknowledge it; fine. Master Xehanort could call him one; didn't matter. Though he would never be an 'official' Master, he was a Master already. Riku had given him that and, to his Keyblade, that was enough.