Okay, after coming up with a cool idea, planning stuff out, and finally working up the guts to start typing, I have decided to begin my first fanfic: Wings of Arcadia. Yay!

Alrighty, since this is my first one, constructive criticism is very much appreciated. I consider myself more of an artist than a writer, but I've been told that I am at least semi-literate, so I'll try this thing out! Please be courteous and don't flame me unless I deserve it. Let's begin, shall we?

Please note that I will seem very hyper during the author's notes in the first few chapters. I am currently in the process of editing my story, so some chapters might look better than others. I'll keep the skits, though, because some people seem to like them… Enjoy, everyone!

(Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts. If I did, you would know it. That and Axel wouldn't have died, and if he did anyway, I would have at least give you a hint that he will return)


Chapter 1: A New Beginning

It was sunset on Destiny Islands.

In Sora's opinion, it was definitely the most beautiful time of day. From here, the horizon was dominated by an ocean of the deepest, cleanest blue, and the golden sun lit up the clouds with varying shades of fiery pink, orange and purple. Anyone standing on the beach right now would completely mesmerized by the breathtaking sight, which for Sora, was probably the stupidest thing to do right at this particular moment…

Suddenly, his eyes blinked in surprise and he shook his brunette-spiked head, quickly snapping out of his trance. Sora's reflexes took over as he brought up his arms to obstruct the path of an oncoming keyblade with one of his own. Had he not done this, his opponent's weapon would have collided with his skull, and he would have had to deal with one or two painful bumps for at least a week. Looking up, he saw…

"Pay attention, Sora", said a girl's voice teasingly.

…it was Kairi.

Sora and Kairi pushed away from each other momentarily, putting some dueling distance between themselves. The beach was now littered with footprints made from the two teen's sparring match. Now standing resolutely in front of Sora was a smirking, blue-eyed, red-headed Kairi, who was wielding a potentially dangerous keyblade sporting a floral design. Well, red wasn't exactly the most accurate way of describing Kairi's hair, it was really more of a maroon, scarlet-ish color, like wine. The current light setting made half of it blaze gold. It really did look nice today…

No, pay attention, Sora reminded himself. If he kept zoning out like this, he would be unable to sit down without wincing in pain for a long time.

Sora rushed forward, swinging his Kingdom Key at his friend, who back stepped the first attack and brought up her own keyblade to deflect his second strike. Predictable, thought Kairi. Swiping Sora's keyblade from her path, Kairi kept the speed of the fight going by continuing to rapidy strike at him.

Sora dodged left, right, and then hooked the teeth of his keyblade in the edges of Kairi's and forced it down in front of him.

Taking advantage of this, Sora flicked his keyblade up and above Kairi's head, succeeding in forcing her keyblade from her grasp. Kairi's surprised eyes darted to her airborne weapon and, without thinking, bent her knees and began doing a backwards handspring in the same direction. She did one, two, three, handsprings and then launched into a back flip and met her keyblade in the air, catching it and landing neatly.

Whoa, I didn't teach her that!

A new voice accompanied by clapping broke Sora's stunned expression."Hey, not bad!" cheered a silver-headed Riku.

Riku was Sora's best friend. They had grown up together on Destiny Islands along with Kairi and became friendly rivals. They were always racing and sword fighting to see who was better; Riku had won more often than Sora, but Sora was too laid back to care too much. Riku had always envied how Sora followed his heart and never had a care in the world about anything else. His ocean-green eyes now shone with extreme amusement. "Where did you learn to do that, Kairi?"

"Gymnastics", she replied casually.

Oh, right. They had been gone for a little over a year. Who knew what Kairi had been doing by herself this whole time?

This was Kairi's "official" combat exam. About two weeks ago, they had received a letter from King Mickey.

Panting, Kairi had run halfway across their small, neighboring island carrying a bottle containing a rolled piece of paper stamped with the King's seal- three circles intersecting to look like his head and ears. Kairi didn't think she had been this excited in her life, or at least for about a month. She had found Riku and Sora talking by the Poupu tree, whose star-shaped fruit was legendary. Kairi had called Sora's name to get his attention and held out the bottle.

"The King's seal!" he exclaimed as he spotted the emblem. Sora now officially held Riku's attention. Sora had eagerly snatched up the bottle from Kairi as she fought to catch her breath, popping out the cork and unfurling the message. The three of them had stood there, reading the letter held in Sora's hands:

Dear Sora, Riku, and Kairi,

Sorry to disturb you guys so soon, but it looks like we've got more trouble. I can't write too much in this letter, but there's been a Heartless attack in Radiant Garden, and it reveals a possibly disastrous problem. Cid and Leon are coming to pick the three of you up and bring you to Disney Castle in two weeks. We'll discuss the details there.

-Mickey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

That was only a month after their last adventure. Sora was so happy to finally go back home with his friends.

After constantly having to search for Riku and Kairi, defeating Ansem, taking down Organization XIII, and having one final, devastating battle with Xemnas, thereby saving the worlds from imminent doom, Sora and the others were looking forward to a well-deserved break.

But it just came too soon…

He couldn't blame this all on King Mickey for sending them the message, but seriously, couldn't they just get a break?

And now that Kairi was coming along this time, Sora wanted to make sure she was ready. There wasn't much use hiding it now. He had feelings for her. He knew it. She knew it. Everyone knew it.

If something happened to her… the thought terrified him.

Grudgingly, Sora had allowed Kairi to be trained to better use her keyblade. Kairi quickly learned to defend herself, and surprised them both with her grace. He felt better about it now than before, but he still couldn't shake that feeling. And so, Sora vowed that if this got dangerous, he wasn't letting Kairi out of his sight…

He was ripped violently from his thoughts when Kairi dashed at him from seemingly out of nowhere.

Caught off guard, Sora barely had time to raise his keyblade before him to block her strike. In one fluid motion, Kairi exploited her advantage and spun low while extending her leg, aiming in for his ankles.

Sora had one split-second to think, what the-? before promptly falling down and landing hard on the sand, face up. When he opened his eyes, Kairi was standing above him, smirking, her keyblade positioned inches from his face.

Sora, too stunned to say anything, was staring at it.

Riku couldn't help but grin and shake his head as he stood up. Wow, Sora. Owned by your own girlfriend... Although the term "girlfriend" was thus far unofficial. "Well," he chimed in, breaking the stunned silence," I think Kairi passed her little exam, don't you, Sora?"

Sora sputtered, at a loss for words. It seemed his mouth had stopped working. When he was finally able to string together a sentence, he got up. "C'mon, no fair! I wasn't paying attention!"

"And whose fault was that, Sora?" answered Kairi, who had expected him to say something along those lines.

Riku approached them so that he, Sora and Kairi formed a triangle on the beautiful expanse of sand. Oh, this is just too funny… he thought.

Sora looked down and scratched the back of his head, embarrassed. "Yeah, well…"

Kairi and Riku stared at him expectantly.

"Okay," Sora finally sighed, "you passed."

"Yes! Yes! Yes!" Kairi chanted as she jumped up and down excitedly.

A laughing voice filled Sora's head. An image of a boy with a mess of blonde, spiky hair and piercing blue eyes appeared before his thoughts.

Roxas.

Ugh, come on, Roxas… Sora said telepathically.

It took at moment for the voice to stop laughing. Sorry man, but, you just got your butt handed to you, it said in a joking tone.

Just cut it out, Sora pleaded as he put his head into his hand.

The Great Keyblade Wielder, who twice saved the worlds from destruction, taken down by his own girlfriend!

Kairi's not my girlfriend, and shut up…, sighed Sora, pushing Roxas's voice away.

Since Sora and Roxas were basically a part of each other, Roxas being Sora's Nobody, he had to learn to get along with him, seeing as how he couldn't just lock the boy in his room. Roxas usually stayed in his Station of Awakening, a large, shimmering stained glass platform showing his sleeping form holding a keyblade. There were two smaller circles near the head of his sleeping image. One of them contained a portrait of a man with emerald green eyes and inverted teardrop tattoos below them. For what could be seen of his shoulders, this man was wearing a black sort of coat, which included a hood. The most prominent detail about this person, however, was his mane of fiery red hair, spiked out away from his face.

It was Axel.

An aching sort of pain gripped Roxas around the heart whenever he thought about his best friend. Axel had given himself up to save Sora in his last adventure. Surrounded by literally thousands of Dusks, Axel had unleashed a mighty torrent of fire, his element, and completely obliterated the enemy Nobodies.

But it used up all of his very being to do it.

Behind the lenses of Sora's eyes, Roxas had watched his best friend for the last time as he opened up a portal for Sora to continue and then faded away, the last of his strength gone…

He had told Sora about Axel and what he had been trying to do, and about how he and Roxas were friends. This explained why Sora had felt so terrible when Axel faded, and he did his best to comfort Roxas. Axel's portrait looked peaceful now…

The second circle, though, confused Roxas. Where there might have been a face, it was fogged and gray as if something was clouding whatever used to be there. I didn't make any sense; Axel was Roxas's only friend in the Organization, as far as he could remember… So what was this circle for?

Though when he got bored, Roxas could come out of Sora for a little while, but he looked like a shimmering see-through ghost, so he didn't come out unless they were alone. Not that he could physically interact with anything anyway… Still, he enjoyed popping out at random intervals and scaring the "crap out of Sora", as he often put it.

Sora, Riku, and Kairi spent the remaining part of their last day on the islands sitting on the ridiculously curved Poupu tree, watching in silence as the blazing orb of gold sank into the horizon, slowly taking its light with it.

Suddenly, the trio heard a soft humming sound. They looked around them, trying to place where such a foreign could be coming from…

But then Sora remembered where he had heard it before. The humming grew louder, and Sora looked up, locating the familiar object and pointing his finger high above his head.

"It's the Gummiship!" he exclaimed. Right on cue, and slightly to the right, appeared a glimmering red aircraft, which was bearing down on them with incredible speed. The gummiship's blocky sort of body didn't look very aerodynamic, but it had some amazing way of defying those natural laws and still performing with impossible agility. As the Gummiship drew near, it zoomed over their heads, engines roaring, and descended in a clearing on the other side of some trees. The three teens looked at each other and nodded. This was it. Two short weeks of last-minute preparations, and they were leaving their home, again.

As they set a course for the spacecraft, Sora suddenly stopped. Noticing that they could no longer hear his footsteps, Riku and Kairi halted and turned to look at their friend. He turned to look once again at the dying sunset, and Kairi gave Riku a quick glance. Riku nodded in understanding and, after giving Kairi an encouraging look, turned and headed toward the awaiting gummiship.

Kairi stood next to Sora and took his hand in hers.

"It'll be okay," she comforted. "We'll come back soon, don't worry."

Sora finally managed to tear his gaze from the darkening sky and met Kairi's eyes. "Right", he said, trying to assure her that he was fine.

The two lingered for a moment more before turning and walking together toward the gummiship.


Meanwhile, a cloaked man observes from inside a dimly lit room. Even in the darkness, the man's head is clearly covered with flowing, silver locks, his hood hanging down.

Chained to one corner hangs a figure, secluded in an even darker part of the chamber.

It might be just a trick of the light, or lack of light thereof, but one might swear that this figure has a pair of angellic wings sprouting from his back. He hung there with his strange appendages drooping low, tightly bound by his hands and feet with magical chains.

The tall, dark man turns away from a glowing silver orb showing Sora and Kairi climbing the extendable ramp into the Gummiship, and smirks at his prisoner.

His deep, smooth voice awakes the sleeping man.

"The heroes are on their way at last. All is going according to plan…"

In the darkness, the man tugs at his bonds weakly, before lifting up his head and opening up his pale, sightless eyes to meet his captor's golden-amber ones, and a shiver of dread runs through him.


Oooh, what's going on here?

You're just gonna have to wait until next chapter to find out!

Well, maybe not next chapter, but yeah… Dang, I got shivers writing that last part, and I'm the author! I know I changed the verb tense to present at the end, I just wanted to do that for some reason.

Oh, and by the way, *cough* not a romantic author*cough* I am not big on the mush-gushy stuff; I just added that bit in there to get Sora to stop being so freaking emo! Don't worry, he should loosen up!

So, leave some comments and tell me what you thought! I'll be putting up the next chapter as soon as I can.

Man, it took me forever to write this… Five inconsecutive hours! I am such a slow typer…. And why do I dislike this chapter so much? Did I do something wrong?

(Axel portals in)

Axel: Alexa, what're ya gonna do?

Me: O_o ...OMG IT'S AXEL! (Faints)

Axel: You know, it still really bugs me... Something about this chapter just stinks!

Me: (Gets back up) Pffft, yeah, tell me about it... My first attempt at a fanfic and I'm freaking out all day long. Do all authors get like this? I'm starting to question my sanity.

Axel: WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM?

Me: AHH! Jeez, no need to yell!

Axel: But I'm not in it!

Me: Well at least I mentioned you. -_-'

Axel: Yeah, you talked about how sad Roxas felt about me, not about how awesome I am! :P (pretend this is an angry face, it wont save it)

Me: Ugh, would you just chill, you big Flaming Tomato-Head? (yes, I just dissed my favorite character)

(Axel's hair catches on fire) Grrrrrrrrrr... :( (Again, angry face)

Me: Heheheh...heheh... RUN, RUN AWAY!