For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
~Jeremiah 29:11

The 5th Day

It begins…

People shouting, laughing, having fun. Stalls crammed rim to rim of the bustling streets. Balloons popped, confetti flew. Even Seifer and his crew, who were as crowd-shy as Sable, could be seen enjoying the festivity.

Sable partook in none of it.

Just one more figure in the sea of many, she navigated the maze of streets. Only once did she pay attention to those around her, when she passed Elmina, and paused just long enough for a friendly nod before moving on.

She was too stiff to freestyle over the hidden paths above.

After what felt like an eternity of mind-numbing noise, she reached the peaceful forest beyond the wall. The silence within was a welcome relief to sore ears and high-strung nerves.

Cast iron gates loomed above her.

Problem… She eyed the giant padlock. "How do I get in?"

No Keyblade on hand, no other entrances in sight, and scaling it was out of the question. So that only left—

She sighed, crossing an arm over her chest. Darkness condensed, she swung out, Dark Whip streaming from her fingertips. An upward arc, then a hard slash down. The whip struck, sparks flew as the metal dropped heavily to green grass.

The gates creaked open. The whip dissolved. Sable strode in, leaving the severed pieces where they fell.

Long strides into the mansion's shadow. A pause. Then a hand pushed the heavy wood doors open. Sable surveyed the interior: poorly lit, covered in cobwebs, with broken furniture scattered all over the place. Fingers flexed, and Soul Eater took shape, then she warily entered.

Three…two…one… She reached the middle of the foyer. Her neck prickled. She leaned back. Banded scythe-like hand streaked down past her face. A Reversal-aided twist.

"You know," A bone-dry drawl, "I'm beginning to think you don't like me much." Soul Eater cut through the nearest Dusk. Another recovered its wit.

Duck under blow, Reversal again, enjoy the confusion that follows. It's easier… The Reaction Command doesn't have any recoil now. She noted, sliding forward and swinging up …It just forewarns, then leaves a route to follow.

As odd as that may have seemed, that was the only description she could think of that even remotely fit the odd sensation that was the Reaction Command.

Boxing her in, the Dusks lunged. Reversal up, catch one with Soul Eater's blade, block another with the hilt. Right arm extends, Darkness condenses, the Dark Whip lashes out, ripping through the survivors.

Good wide-range attack. The whip retracted with a snap. But…has a slight delay, I need to focus on where I want it to go…good for a finishing move, though.

Enemies dispersed, Sable ascended the nearest staircase to the level above—

"I'm so FLATTERED!"

Sable reeled back, crashing into the railing. The voice, filled with anger, hammered through her head.

"Let's meet again, in the next life…"

"Yeah…I'll be waiting."

A pang of nostalgia, and sad regret.

"I know you will. I'll be waiting too."

A groan, Sable shook her head, pale fingers wrinkling fabric over her Heart. Axel and…Roxas? Why am I feeling so sad? Like a lead weight being dropped into her stomach.

"Glad you could make it."

"The true wielder of the Keyblade will awaken soon."

That's…Ansem the Wise! A pained grimace, fingers clenched, digging into skin, a pressure seemed to build behind her sternum.

"…You will disappear."

Sadness fumbled, then fell under a wave of fury.

"NO! My heart belongs to me!"

"Because, you hold the other half of his power."

"Because you are a Nobody."

The fury faded, sorrow welled up again, laced with pained resignation.

I wasn't supposed to feel anything. Yet, I felt jealous of them.

Was that…self-deprecation?

"You're lucky…"

A strange shift of sorrow to a sort of sardonic joy, like winning the war, only to turn and find there's nothing left for you to return to.

"…looks like my summer vacation is…over."

And then the voices, the emotions were gone.

Sable gasped, sliding down the railing to her knees. Eyes wide, brow damp.

What. The. Heck?

She had heard them, and yet, she had not heard them. Sweaty fingers ran through her hair as she exhaled sharply.

This is…this is too much. Mentally shaking herself off, Sable climbed to her feet and stumbled the rest of the way to the upper level. Right's the library. She stepped forward, then paused, a strange nagging at the back of her mind. Hesitating, she glanced back towards the other wing.

That room… Her feet moved as if on autopilot to a closed door. Another pause, then Sable turned the knob and stepped in—

Froze, blinded by the sheer whiteness of the room within. …Ow…my eyes…

Blinking back stars, she flattened against the wall beside the doorway. This is…

Pictures coated the walls, lines upon lines of them, all in the same pastel colors. Each one looked meticulously done. Intrigued, Sable took a closer look.

These are amazing! Her eyes traced the intricate details of the drawings before her. The game did her no credit. And to think…she did them all in crayon.

And that each one was a link meant to repair Sora's memory. They told the story of his adventures, but not just his, but Roxas's as well. Some detailed a part of Sora's quest with the Keyblade, others sketched out Roxas's time with the Organization, most of those showing him in the company of Axel.

But one picture stood out, placed obtrusively on the edge of the long table, as if placed there deliberately with a plan in mind. Curious, Sable moved in to see it better. Violet eyes widened marginally and shaky fingers gently picked it up. She studied the picture with startled intensity, before folding it neatly, and slipping it into one of her larger pockets.

Somewhat shaken, to say the least, she quickly exited the room.

/\/\/\

So many books…I wonder if there are any interesting ones. Maybe I should come back sometime in the future and look through some of them…

The volume of the library greatly dwarfed what the game had suggested. Books piled from floor to ceiling in some places. There was not an inch of room to be seen anywhere among the great book cases. It was almost intimidating.

But for now, the books were unimportant. Sable descended into the next room, the basement.

Woah…that's a big computer. Filling nearly all of the corner where it was located, monitors stretching all the way up to the ceiling. And to think, Ansem the Wise put that together…I suppose the title isn't just for show then…

Another step forward. A glimmer of dirty white. Sable jerked, then did a double-take as she found herself looking through the bars of a prison cell.

"Naminé!" Sable breathed.

The blonde's head jerked up at the gasp, blue eyes widening in equal surprise.

"It's you…" she gasped.

She's here, she's really here! Sable stood transfixed, astonished. Then she shook herself back to the present and eyed the lock on the door intently. "I'll get you out."

Darkness condensed, the Dark Whip arced down, the offending padlock dropped just as the previous one had, letting the door creak open. A couple long strides, and Sable was helping the much smaller girl to her feet.

"Thank you." Naminé said gratefully, brushing off some dust that was stubbornly clinging to her white gown.

He just left you there! Righteous indignation swelled, but she kept her face even. "Are you alright?"Sable asked, concerned.

"I'm alright, Sable."

A frown. "I don't think we've ever met before."

"No." Naminé shook her head, "But I've seen you… Did you find my drawing?"

A confirmative nod. "Yes, you're very talented." A pause, "Though…that one of me was rather…unnerving. What made you draw it?"

"I don't know," Naminé admitted, "I just…had the urge to draw it one day. I don't know why."

A somewhat awkward silence fell, then Sable remembered her self-initiated mission. "You should, probably get out of here…" She murmured, concern flaring again, "Do you want me to escort you out?"

Blonde hair ruffled as she gave a negative shake of her head, but she gave Sable a small smile. "No thank you, I'll be fine."

"If you're sure…" Sable consented reluctantly, still worried. "Be careful then."

Another small smile, and Naminé left the cell, heading towards the library. A pause, then she glanced back. "I hope you succeed in your mission, good luck."

Sable, exiting the cell, paused and gave a gracious nod, then approached the next doorway as Naminé disappeared from sight. Fingers flexed, and Soul Eater returned as she warily entered the doorway, scanning the room beyond suspiciously. Muscles tense for an attack, she took a few slow, cautious steps forward.

I should be attacked in here… Sable remembered, Like Axel did with Roxas… I'm not eager to face Saïx again…

But nothing, not so much as a Dusk appeared, only increasing her confusion. She reached the other door, and glanced back. Still nothing, not so much as a whisper.

Why not—

-Surprise in the other's golden gaze and, violet eyes blinked. Is that…fear in his eyes?-

Sable blinked slowly at the unexpected recollection. Then a thoughtful expression crossed her face, her arms folded under her chest.

Whatever I did to spook Saïx must have discouraged Xemnas from sending the Diviner or another member…not that I'm complaining.

Present puzzle apparently solved, Sable continued on.

/\/\/\

Stinging eyes snapped shut at the abrupt change in lighting. Just like Naminé's drawing room. Sable groused, wincing slightly at the retinal burn. The extreme change from dark brown and black to white was not kind on the eyes.

Blinking rapidly, the hallway came into focus. Her eyes landed on large, bud-like pods. Drawn, her feet carried her to stand before them.

Now there's a pair of faces almost anyone would recognize. A smile tugged at her lips as she saw the sarcastic and somewhat selfish Donald Duck, and the clumsy but good-natured Goofy. Sable remembered watching the antics of these two with—

She shook her head abruptly, hand traveling up to massage her collar bone through her shirt. That's enough of that…This is not the time to reminisce, it won't help here.

Violet took in the white pods with a more critical look. Am I supposed to open these…? Or is there some kind of timing mechanism—

Glass cracked open, white vapors hissing upon exit. Sable stepped back as the buds bloomed, Soul Eater vanishing from her grasp. Then she watched.

Donald stirred first, eyes half-open, still glazed with sleep, he took a clumsy step forward—

An arm shot out, knees bent low, Sable caught him as he tripped on the edge of the pod. The duck blinked owlishly, eyes slowly coming into focus, then he looked up to meet violet. He paused, and blinked slowly as his mind tried to register the fact, before suddenly snapping back to full awareness.

He leapt up out of her arms and spun to face her. "Who are you? What's happening? Where are we?"

Sable blinked, mentally translating the questions. His rasp is worse in person…but still understandable… A glint of amusement.

"I'm Sable. I wouldn't know, I just found you. At present you are in the basement of the Old Mansion of Twilight Town." She informed chronologically.

Feathered arms crossed over his chest as Donald glared at her suspiciously. "So you just found us?" He repeated skeptically. "And just what were you doing here in the first place?"

A careless shrug. "Exploring." Well…that's half true. Still the duck glared. Violet eyes rolling, she folded her arms and leaned back, eyeing the far war with boredom.

A yawn caught their attention. Turning, they saw Goofy stretching his gangly body. Lips smacking, his eyes opened and looked at the pair before him, settling on his friend.

"G'morning, Donald." Another large yawn.

"Get up Goofy," Donald barked, "We need to find Sora." He scanned the corridor. "He's probably sleeping around here."

A blink, then Goofy glanced around as well. He scratched his head, confused. "We were sleepin'?" He stepped out of the pod, then his eyes landed on Sable. Another blink, then a smile, "Oh, hello," A polite greeting, "Who are you?"

"Sable."

"She claims to have found us." Another suspicious glare.

"And caught you when you tripped." Sable couldn't resist retorting. The duck quickly looked away.

Goofy nodded calmly and smiled again. "Nice to meet you, Sable." He placed a hand to his chest, "I'm Goofy," a motion towards the court magician, "and that's Donald Duck."

A polite bend at the waist. "It's a pleasure to meet you."

Silence, and then, "Well…Sable…" Donald hesitated, paranoia getting the better of him.

"You wouldn't happen to know where our friend, Sora, is, do you?" Goofy finished in a friendly tone.

A hum, Sable shook her head. "No one above, anyway." She pointed at the far end of the corridor. "But what about over there?"

/\/\/\

Eyes closed, head turned, Sable blocked out the glow. Is it actually physically possible for a room to be any whiter?

Beside her, Donald and Goofy were not as fortunate, having looked at the room straight on. Blinking owlishly they waited for their eyes to adjust.

The room was barren of furniture, except for a lone pod protruding from the very center. Eyes widening, Donald and Goofy darted in and quickly approached small control panel at the base of the pod. Sable remained where she stood, leaning against the doorway.

Opened like a flower in bloom, the pod no longer hid Sora from view. The boy in question, though, remained asleep. Suspended vertically by unseen support.

Brows quirked up, violet eyes politely averted as she bit back a rising chuckle. Seems he grew a bit while he slept, amusement grew, pity his clothes didn't grow with him, he looks ridiculous. A pause, then a frown, How did he grow if he didn't eat? I wonder just how that pod technology works…

"Sora." Donald called.

"Sora… Wake up!"

A twitch, a groan, sky-blue cracked open sleepily, then drooped closed again. Agitated, Donald jumped up into the pod, mouth right at the boy's ear. "WAKE UP!"

Sora woke with a start, toppling over.

"It's no time to be falling back asleep!" Donald scolded sharply, backing out of the pod as Goofy chuckled.

Blinking sleepily, Sora yawned and stretched stiffly, getting to his feet. Behind raised hands, both magician and knight sniggered quietly. Sky-blue came into focus, and then brightened upon seeing his friends.

"Donald, Goofy!" He embraced them both in a bear hug, crying out joyfully.

They clasped hands, and jumped around in celebration. Sable gagged slightly at the reunion, her skin prickling almost painfully, before quickly regaining her composure. Her eyes snapped to the tiny figure that leapt out of Sora's hood.

She blinked. He's…tiny.

Jiminy Cricket yawned deeply, and stretched.

I can see why he stays in the hood…he'd probably get crushed anywhere else.

"That was some nap."

Sora blinked, eyes clouding with confusion. "You mean…we were asleep?"

Paper rustled, Jiminy suddenly cried out in horrified alarm. "The records of my journal have been erased!" eyes watered almost dramatically, "the crown of my labor…" A pause, he stopped at a page. "Wait…there's one sentence."

Donald and Goofy leaned over to try and see.

"'Thank Naminé', gee…I wonder who that is…"

"What did we do last?" Sora wondered, folding his arms with a frown. "Let's see… We defeated Ansem…"

A suppressed snicker made shoulders quiver, Oh is he in for a surprise.

"…restored peace to the worlds…" Donald and Goofy bobbed their heads. "Found Kairi…oh yeah!" a fist slapped an open palm. "And then we went looking for Riku," A pause, "I think that's right so far…" he trailed off, suddenly coming up with a blank.

"Then what?" Donald pressed.

"I…don't…it's all a blank."

"If only I could read my records." Jiminy lamented.

A snort. "Some journal that is." Donald jeered.

The cricket flinched at the slight.

Seems I'm not needed… Pivoting, Sable silently strode back down the corridor, leaving the heroes to puzzle over their memories. I wonder where Naminé went?

/\/\/\

Hands brace, tuck legs, swing out, continue.

Why did I leave? Sable asked herself, free-styling across the roofs, stiff limbs or not. I could have stayed, I had no reason to turn away…so why?

Her skin prickled in remembrance, an almost burning sensation crawling under stiff hairs. It burned… She realized. Sora burned…but how—the Light, his Light burned. A pause. Well, not quite, it was…uncomfortable, and I recoiled…

Stretch out, grip a drainage pipe, slide down.

A soft grunt, knees bending to absorb the force of impact. Violet momentarily scanned the presently unoccupied Sandlot. It was the only place not being used for the festival, due to some concern about the barrier that had appeared during Sable's confrontation with the Dusks and Saïx.

Thus making it the best place to touch ground without being seen. Her leg was acting up again, and her arm wasn't much better, so traveling on the ground was the safest choice.

A glimpse of movement. Sable's head jerked towards a shadowed alley. She froze. Despite the shadows, the silhouette of an Organization's cloak was unmistakable. As if feeling her gaze, the figure turned and looked at her. Large round ears stood erect under the hood.

A long, tense moment, then Sable turned, and continued on her way. A trace of giddiness lined her stomach, a smile tugging at her lips. That was Mickey Mouse. That was the Mickey Mouse!

A cough. Okay, calm down. But still

Dark hair swung as she shook her head. Maybe I should go to the station tower for a while… The memory of the voices back at the mansion crossed her mind. She shuddered slightly. That was…disconcerting.

She entered the Station Plaza-

"Hey! Is your name Sable?"

Surprised, Sable paused and glanced back, nodding.

Sora ran up, Donald and Goofy lagging behind.

"I was told you might know, so…" Blue eyes looked up hopefully, "Have you seen my friend, Riku? Or the King?"

"I don't know anyone named Riku," Black hair shook apologetically. "But I did see something strange—

Her neck prickled.

Saïx!

Pirouetting, she leapt back, eyes wide. A breath of relief. No…just a Dusk.

Messy brown spikes cocked curiously, eyeing the swaying figures.

A flash of light, Sable's skin stung, she twitched. Metal gleamed in golden rays.

"Don't worry, Sable," Goofy, and the trio, moved as if to guard her, "we'll stop them."

Violet blinked, both touched and amused. Fingers flexed, shadows spread and condensed. Silver-gray flashed. Sable swung up, bisecting the Dusk. She slid around in a Reversal as she heard gasps from the trio.

"Don't stop moving!" she barked, sliding and swinging again as more enemies materialized, "Or they'll blindside you!"

"Blizzard!"

Soul Eater's edge frosted over, cold coated her outstretched limb. The Dusk attempting to blindside her caught the full brunt.

Support? A foreign concept to a solo fighter, despite her first conflict with a Dusk.

Free arm swung, Darkness coalesced, the whip spun out, catching a trio of Dusks. Twist, and slash, a wounded survivor is cut down.

Impact, Sable crashed to the ground. Threat! Feet swing out, twist onto back, roll to feet. Violet glared at the guilty appendages of the spiny Assassin Nobody. Reverse grip, Guard—Counter! Another swing flung back, culprit spinning up out of the ground. Step and pierce, impaled. A sharp swing, it crashed into a swerving Dusk, bursting.

Motion, duck and back step, thorny limb streaks by. Sable growled and Guarded against a follow-up blow. The Assassin ricocheted up and was felled under the Keyblade.

Another broadside, Sable lunged and rolled to evade. I really don't like Assassins… Duck a scythed swing. And those Dusks are really annoying. A sharp tip flashed, Sable Guarded against the faux-sword point and Counter-guard—

Malleable body flattened into a shield. Red and black blade bounced harmlessly off. Sable felt her brow twitch. Creepers are a nuisance…and a threat.

The shape-shifter Nobodies could contort their supple frames into a variety of weapons, and switch between them in a heartbeat, making them hard to cut down. Fortunately, they usually remained in their namesake form, a pair of flat shoe-like shapes that creep along the ground. When like that, they were easy targets.

A gentle tug at her awareness, she smirked. Time to slide.

Reversal, swing, Reversal, arm extends and the Dark Whip flashes, piercing multiple attackers. That's new…

Dusks spun around wildly in confusion, leaving only the Assassins and newly arrived Creeper Nobodies to worry about.

These Reaction Commands are handy…It confuses the Dusks and eases the strain on my leg! A downward sweep, another Creeper burst into oblivion. Motion, bridge back, the Assassin's limb slammed down in front of her. A flash of white, a concussion force, Sable skidded across the ground, blinking up at the sky. Self destruct…great, they're going kamikaze on us now…

An image of Axel lying supine on the ground, body falling apart, flashed through her mind's eye. Axel…you don't deserve that fate…

"Sable, move!"

Huh? Oh! Roll back, legs tucked close, spring out! Scythed-hands clipped the tips of black hair, drop-kick connects with another Dusk, pinning it as Soul Eater is driven forward. It burst, Sable landed heavily. Her leg buckled, then collapsed. Hissing, Sable fell, pain shooting from leg to chest to arm, in that order.

Air!

A thorn shot out, Sable tasted pavement. Focus hazed out-

"Cure!"

Warmth through her limbs, the pain dulled. Violet sharpened as Sable rolled and swung to her feet. Dark Whip cracked, shooting out and flinging unwary Nobodies off their feet. Another snap, it darted out and pierced several. The whip retracted, another enemy lunge. Reverse grip, Guard-Counterguard!

Danger! Threat! Head jerked back, a Dusk diving down and striking ou

Slammed with a flying disk. Reflexively giving the finishing blow, Sable's wide eyes found Goofy as the other caught his shield.

Backup? A heartbeat span. Such a strange feeling…

Motion, a Dusk blindsiding Sora!

Hand flashed out, whip cracked, impaled the Dusk burst. A brief flash of grateful blue before Sora singled out another foe.

White flashed. A putty-like sword gleamed metallically. Sable twisted and blocked it, both hands bracing Soul Eater. The shape-shifting Creeper pressed harder, the blade flat connected with her chest, inflaming the wound and cutting off fresh oxygen. Push back, swing, stumble, dry gasps for breath—

"Cure!"

Again the pain faded, breathing came, and Sable burst to action again.

The Assassins are gone… Stab down. So are the Creepers…that just leaves—

An oncoming lunge from behind, Reversal, fierce downward sweep.

The Dusks.

Arm swung out, Dark Whip cracked, Dusks burst. Arc out

A tremor lanced through the limb as it fell limp. The whip spasmed, then vanished. Blast it! Not now!

Diving white. A twist and brace. Sharp claws met hard blade, endure—

Fire seared through her chest, her body seized up. Fall, catch, leap back away from the attacker. A brush of cloth, Sora's at her back. Donald and Goofy are burned out too…

Pain through her leg, it seized up and collapsed, locking in place. Two thuds, Donald and Goofy tip over.

Violet glared up at the closing Dusks. A spasm lanced through lithe forms. They coiled, then lunged. Grunting, Sable brandished Soul Eater-

A streak of black leather, a flash of gold. Dusks slammed back then burst where they were flung.

Oh, great, he makes it look easy. A rattled sigh of relief.

"You four gotta board the train and leave town!" King Mickey ordered. "The train knows the way!"

Sora fell forward as Donald and Goofy toppled over him, "Your Majesty…?" they cried through their fatigue.

The dark-clad figure flinched and put a finger to his lips, "Shush! I can't go back yet! Here." A small orange pouch was held out, Sora accepted it and studied it questioningly.

A patter of booted feet, and the king vanished down an alley way before they could stop him.

Soul Eater dispersed and Sable twisted back to look at the pouch. That looks just like Olette's…Oh! Roxas.

"Your Majesty!" The two loyal servants cried out helplessly.

"The King…" Sora murmured, standing up. "Was that really him?"

"It coulda been…" Eyes lit up, "Yep, I know it was!" Goofy grinned.

"Now we know he's okay!" Donald breathed in relief.

Fatigue clouded mind finally caught up with the King's command. "The four of us?" she rasped. A hum, she tried to stand. "Guess I'm…going with you…" Her leg locked up again, and she fell down again. My arm is useless, my leg won't respond, and my chest hurts almost too much to breath.

A strong hand caught her under arm, and Sora pulled her up. A grunt, Sable tried to move her leg, but it threatened to collapse again. Fortunately, Sora let her lean against him.

"Hey, Sable?" The Keybearer spoke as he helped her limp towards the station.

Sable hummed questioningly.

"Where did you get that sword?"

A pause. "I don't know," Sable admitted. "It just came to me. Glad it did, or the Nobodies would have killed me."

"Nobodies?" Goofy echoed.

"Those white—" A tired sigh, "Nevermind…I'll tell you later. Let's just get on the train."

/\/\/\

"Think you can stand now?"

"Yeah," Gingerly testing her leg, Sable nodded. "I'll be fine, thanks."

A sunny grin. Sora turned and approached the ticket booth to pay.

"Hey, Sable!"

Violet blinked, Sable glanced over her shoulder.

Hayner started, looking at her torn clothing. "Yikes! You look like you got into a fight with a meat grinder—ow!"

"Smooth..." Sable drawled as Olette elbowed her friend.

A sheepish grin, then Hayner approached Sora. Blue eyes looked at them, puzzled and questioning.

"We came to see you guys off." Pence explained. "It just…seemed like something we should do."

A blink, then a shrug as Sora turned back to the counter. "Four tickets please." He held out the pouch.

Olette gasped.

Donald glanced at her, "What is it?"

An identical munny pouch was held up.

"They're the same." Goofy observed.

Amusement crossed Sable's features as she watched Sora examine the two pouches curiously before paying for the tickets. It went unnoticed.

/\/\/\

A blink. Isn't that the Ghost Train? Funny, she hadn't realized it before, but it was the same train Roxas had investigated in the Virtual Twilight Town.

"Somehow, I get the feeling that we won't see this town again." Sora's tone was one of melancholy.

Violet eyes softened in understanding. Maybe not for a while, but we'll come back. "Don't worry, we will."

A smile, blue brightened up again and Sora nodded. "Yeah, you're right."

The train door slid open.

"Okay," Sora declared, "let's go."

Donald and Goofy preceded them, but Sora hesitated, looking back at Hayner and his friends.

"Bye." He said, albeit sadly.

Hayner opened his mouth, but a sharp yell cut him off.

Seifer? Surprised, Sable limped over to the approaching quartet.

"Heard you were leaving." The Disciplinary Committee head intoned gruffly.

Sable nodded. "There are some things I need to help deal with." Their gazes grew curious. "Involving the man from the Struggle tournament."

Understanding flashed, and they nodded.

Seifer glanced down. "Go ahead, give it to her." He nudged the little black mage forward.

Curious, Sable looked down at the short boy. Vivi shifted nervously, then timidly held a hand out. Silver gleamed.

Oh! Violet eyes widened as Sable knelt in front of the boy, gently taking the pendant from his open palm.

"I-I found it the other day." He said quietly, not looking her in the eye. "It's supposed to be good luck."

The crafted Nobody sigil shone in the light. Sable smiled softly, slipping the black cord over her head and letting it hang over her chest. "Thank you, Vivi." Gently, she pulled him in for a hug. "I'll keep it close." Letting him go, she grasped his narrow shoulders. "Remember what I told you, okay?"

Emboldened, the little black mage nodded, yellow eyes bright with determination.

Stiffly, Sable stood up.

"Come back in one piece." Seifer barked. "You owe me a rematch." A pause. "And beat those lamers into the ground for me."

Nodding, Sable smirked. "Watch yourselves, be wary of any more Dusks if they show up." Turning, she followed Sora into the train. Staring out the window, she watched them wave as the train pulled away from the station.

Be safe…

/\

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the Earth
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to those who are tired and worn out;
he offers strength to the weak.
Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will
give up.
But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength.
They will fly high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
~Isaiah 40:28-31

/\/\/\

A/N: And that's it for this segment. So before anyone starts to send angry flames I'd like to point out that this story's title is Foreshadowing Rancor. It simply sets the stage for the main story, which I will post. At the moment, with school to worry about and a busy schedule, I may not get the chance to work on the sequel, titled Dark Savant for a while yet.

In the meantime, please review, give me some positive feedback. Detailed feedback, not just a simple "Love your story, hope you update soon", but comment on what you liked or critique what you thought might have been off. I'd really appreciate it.

/\/\/\/\

Teaser

Questioning sky blue staring at the lounging teenager.

"Hey, Sable? Why'd you come with us?"

Aged eyes shown with both wisdom and sympathy.

"Thanks to your good work…the Heartless were stopped from spilling over out of the Darkness into the World. However…the world is facing another serious problem."

Violet eyes sharpened as a hand strayed to wounded leg.

"…Organization Thirteen…"

The rustle of black leather. Dark clad figures standing haughtily, jeeringly, from the ledge overhead. Vision blurred, and wisps of faint color swirled weakly.

"The Keyblade…a truly magnificent weapon. Were it only in more…capable hands…"

A disappointed click of a tongue, a scolding finger pointing carelessly in their direction.

"You need to practice your moves, boy. Or else he disappeared for nothing."

Walls shone white, looming high above yet never touching ground. Like a fragmented puzzle, reaching towards the vast expanse of sky and the source of Light suspended above-

"Kingdom Hearts."