Summary: AU: During a camping trip gone horribly wrong, Roxas and Sora are drawn into the world of demons, giant keys that are apparently supposed to be used as swords, and plain insanity. Now, they're forced to defeat Heartless and Nobodies to save a friend and — of course! — the world.
Pairings: Axel x Roxas, Riku x Sora
Dedication: To Karai and especially to her nonexistent attention span. If that attention span had actually been there, I wouldn't have been able to steal her ideas and write them myself XD Thanks Rairai!
So yeah, I haven't been around for quite some time, but now I'm back! As the dedication suggests, this idea was originally conceived by my friend Karai but because she's rather bad at working out lengthy fanfics she's letting me use it. For any new readers, I update multi-chaptered fanfics every weekend so expect weekly updates. I've got the fanfics written up to about chapter 12 but because the plot kept deciding it wanted to be different, I've got some major rewrites to do in certain chapters. I might be a day or so off schedule because of this, so forgive me for those times. Now, R&R folks!
--: 01 :--
Something About A Camping Trip
"A recently conducted investigation shows that in the past 75 years, the number of children that have been abducted and never found again has been rising. Especially in the past 20 years the numbers have seen a dramatic increase. Parents are—"
Roxas grimaced as he walked into the living room and heard the programme his mother was listening to. His mother had always been on the paranoid side, and programmes like this only made things worse. Sadly, his mother had a knack for finding them by accident and once she'd started listening, she wouldn't let anyone change the channel until it was over.
In Roxas' opinion it was a miracle he knew where babies came from. Then again, his mother hadn't exactly been the one who had told him.
Making sure that his mother was too fascinated with the programme to notice him, Roxas quickly ducked into the kitchen and tried to be as quiet as possible as he made two lunch boxes for himself and his brother, Sora. They would be going on a school trip for several days in only a few hours, but Roxas doubted they would be getting anything to eat until they'd settled in that evening. Having something to eat during the trip there would probably be a good idea. If he could stay quiet enough while making the lunch boxes and avoid his mother until she'd calmed down a little from watching this stupid programme, everything would just blow over.
Roxas sighed, 'Right, and Sora doesn't manage to get himself into trouble every day.' He shook his head, trying in vain to ignore the growing sense of dread in his gut.
Just as he'd put everything away and was trying to open the door to the living room as quietly as possibly so he could slip past his mother again, the door opened and he found himself face-to-face with the exact person he'd been trying to avoid. He cringed inwardly at the expression on his mother's face; one of determination and a desire to lock her children up in cages so nothing would ever happen to them.
"You're not going."
"Yes we are."
"You'll get abducted."
"No we won't."
His mother crossed her arms and looked at him stubbornly, "Children are being abducted more and more these days. It isn't safe to let you go on this trip."
"If children are being abducted more and more it really won't matter where we are when it happens." Roxas pointed out. He saw his mother's mouth opening to dispute him and quickly cut her off before she could say anything. "Besides, the trip has already been paid for and you know dad doesn't like it when we waste money."
His mother's mouth closed but she didn't move a muscle. Roxas waited for her to either step aside or open her mouth once more to forbid him from going on the trip. The fact that she'd gone silent at the mention of his father was definitely a good sign though.
It wasn't that his father was a bad man or abusive in any way — far from it. His father usually went along with anything his mother said. Then, if the demands she'd made had been ridiculous enough, once his mother's back was turned his father would simply give him and Sora whatever they'd wanted. This system kept his mother sane — or as sane as she was on a daily basis — and both him and Sora happy.
This was how almost everything was handled except for anything money-related. They weren't poor but not exactly rich either. His father hated it when money was wasted and when it was, his father was the one to try and lock someone in a cage — though for completely different reasons. Paying for a school trip that was by no means cheap and then not going definitely qualified as 'wasteful'.
Roxas watched as his mother's face slowly turned from stubborn to apprehensive, but resigned. The odds of him and Sora getting kidnapped were probably not high enough to start a fight with his father over.
As his mother stepped away hesitantly, Roxas smiled and gave her a quick hug, "Don't worry, I'll make sure Sora will be safe."
"And who will keep you safe?" his mother sighed, hugging him back.
Roxas shrugged. He could take care of himself just fine. Sora was the one that was a magnet for trouble. He doubted his mother would accept that answer though. "The teacher?"
His mother was far from convinced but let him run back upstairs regardless, her worried eyes following his every move as he went.
Sora looked up from the suitcase he was packing as Roxas entered, only barely managing to catch the lunch box that Roxas threw at him. "That took you long."
"Mom was watching something again."
Sora cringed as well, "Are we staying home?" the crestfallen look on the brunet's face would have been enough to break anyone's heart.
"I somehow convinced her to let us go." Sora stared at him in awe and Roxas grinned, "I'm awesome, you know that."
Sora grinned as well, "Amazingly awesome."
They laughed for a moment before continuing to pack their suitcases. There were only a few more hours before they wouldn't have to worry about their mother's paranoia for a few days. Only a few more hours until they could try and drive their teachers insane. Only a few more hours until they could sit around a campfire, joking about how their father would now have to handle their mother all by himself.
Only a few more hours.
The Destiny Islands were a group of abandoned islands a two hours' boat trip off the coast of Twilight Town. People had once lived there but for reasons Roxas had never bothered to find out about, they'd all left. Recently the islands had been bought up by someone who had decided to turn the place into a survival camp of sorts. The village that had been left behind by the previous inhabitants had been torn down and several large complexes had replaced it, ready to house large groups of people that wanted to spend their time on the islands.
Roxas stared up at the large complexes as everyone came to a stop in front of them, something inside of him finding it a shame that the village — although he'd never seen it — had been replaced with the large buildings. They seemed so impersonal, something made all the worse by the tidiness of the place as they were the first visitors since the camp had been opened.
"Dude, stop staring at the damned buildings as if they did something wrong." Roxas glanced to his left to see Hayner, one of his closest friends, rolling his eyes at him. Roxas frowned at the other's words.
Hayner gave him a strange look, "You were glaring at the things as if they'd just killed your puppy. You okay, Roxas?"
Roxas shrugged. He hadn't even noticed that he'd been glaring at the buildings. For some reason they just felt off to him, "I'm fine. I was just thinking they looked more like a prison than a place I'd actually want to spend my time."
Hayner shrugged as well, "It's better than being at school. Besides, there's a forest just past them so just look at that instead or something."
Roxas glanced past the complexes and towards the large forest not far behind them. Before he could comment on it, a timid voice spoke up from behind them, "There's something wrong with that forest."
He turned to see an auburn-haired girl staring at the forest apprehensively. Kairi's hands were playing absently with the straps of her backpack, her eyes focussed on the forest as if she was expecting something to jump out of it and attack them at any moment now.
Sora, standing beside her, cocked his head curiously, "What do you mean, 'something wrong'?"
Kairi frowned, her eyes looking away from the forest for only a split-second to look at Sora before they went back to staring at the trees up ahead, "I don't know. It just feels… wrong." One of her hands clenched around the strap it had been playing with as she finally managed to tear her gaze away from the trees, though with obvious difficulty. She opened her mouth to speak again when Miss Taylor, one of the teachers that had been left in charge of them, called for them to be quiet. Kairi closed her mouth again, turning to face the teacher and listen to her. Her eyes continued to flicker to the forest every so often though, her hand never unclenching.
Roxas stared at the odd behaviour, wondering what was wrong with her. Kairi was one of the girls that didn't care much about her looks beyond looking decently presentable and found having fun far more important than dressing up to try and impress a boy. She still had more than enough female friends in their class and was dragged away by them quite often, giggling along with them about a boy one of her friends liked. Still, she was far from the stereotypical girl that liked to spend her entire day in a clothes store.
She wasn't the type of girl that was easily frightened either. In fact, she'd scared all of them on several occasions and they still needed to get back at her for quite a few of those times. Seeing her like this was strange.
Not to mention that it made him want to go into the forest to find out what was so wrong with it.
"There are a few things we need to settle first." Roxas' attention was torn away from his thoughts as Miss Taylor started speaking. "Firstly, I'll be assigning you all to a room. Each room will have ten beds and boys and girls will naturally be separated."
"After you're all done settling in we'll have dinner together. After that you'll be free to do as you please except the forest—," she motioned to the forest behind the complexes, "—is off limits. The owner of the islands has warned us that because the islands have been abandoned for so long, the forest has no more visible paths and anyone could get lost in it very easily. Is everything clear?"
There was some mumbling that sounded like everyone agreed, their attention far from focused on the teacher. As Miss Taylor started dividing them into groups, Roxas and Hayner turned to each other with a grin, "That forest sounds like more fun by the second."
Roxas nodded in agreement, "Yeah, and now that you can't get to Olette anyway," Hayner glared at him but Roxas ignored it, "we need something else to do."
Sora frowned, "But Miss Taylor just told us we couldn't go in there." Next to him, Kairi had gone pale at their words and was staring in mild horror at them.
Hayner rolled his eyes, "That's what makes it more fun. Honestly, sometimes I wonder how you and Roxas are related."
"You're not the only one. I think I was adopted or something." Roxas chuckled as Sora sulked at his reply, giving the other a quick noogie. He grinned down at Sora, receiving a smile in return though the brunet tried his very best to glare at him, "Roxas! Let go!"
"You're really going to go in there?" Kairi asked, her eyes now flicking to the forest and back to Roxas. Roxas just shrugged at her, "I don't know, sounds like more fun than hanging out here all day."
Kairi was about to protest, her hands clutching the straps of her backpack even tighter, but then thought better of it and shook her head as if deciding that she was just imagining things. Before she could change her mind again her name was called and she walked towards the teacher. Roxas, Sora and Hayner shared a look before simply shrugging the odd behaviour off.
Girls were weird.
After they'd all put their things away and they'd had dinner — if one could call what they'd been given food — they decided to play some struggle. After a few matches Miss Taylor came running up to stop them because she thought it was far too dangerous a game to play, but no one really listened until Roxas had gotten his hands on a second bat and had started grinning like a madman. Everyone knew Roxas was practically unbeatable once he'd gotten his hands on two bats and Roxas had never really seemed to care that it was against the rules. He wasn't about to start caring now.
Around nine, once it had become dark, their first survival activity was announced and they were led to a small shed away from the complexes. They were going 'spelunking' and after getting lost several times, everyone managed to find their way out of the tunnels that had supposedly been used for smuggling..
Yeah, they definitely weren't a few random tunnels that had been dug for this. Tunnels for smuggling on an island made perfect sense.
After they'd all returned to the camp, a campfire was lit in the centre square — if one could really call it that — and they all sat around it with the marshmallows that someone had thought to bring. Miss Taylor was not pleased with the sugary treats being passed around, but the other teachers were immensely grateful that someone had brought them — since Miss Taylor had been in charge and had forbidden any and all candy originally — and made sure she couldn't say anything about it. In the end she gave up and instead continued the planning for that evening, taking a deep breath as she started speaking. Her usually nervous posture changed as she leaned towards the fire and her voice turned to a more secretive tone.
"So who can tell me why these islands was abandoned and why no one has set foot here for so long?"
Everyone stopped their conversation to stare at her in surprise. For a moment they could've sworn that their teacher was acting in a fun way.
As no one replied Miss Taylor smiled at them all, making sure she had everyone's attention before she continued, "According to the owner, the islands were once inhabited by a group of mercenaries. Many in the underworld feared them as these mercenaries had proclaimed themselves protectors of the innocent and were very skilled at what they did. Although no records remain of their deeds, rumours have it that they never failed an assignment they took on."
Yes, their teacher was most definitely acting fun. That fact alone was scary.
"One day, when someone arrived here to ask for help, he found the village the mercenaries lived in almost deserted. The only two people remaining on the islands were a boy and a young man. They'd been a part of the group of mercenaries but had been away for several days on a mission. They'd only just returned to find everyone they'd ever known and loved missing without a trace."
Miss Taylor smiled as she motioned towards the forest that the owner of the islands had said was off limits, "The only clue they ever found was a single body of who they think was one of the mercenaries. No one knows for sure though because the body had been mangled beyond recognition. These islands have never housed any animals that would be capable of such an act though, and many believed that someone in the underworld had cursed the islands and its inhabitants so they would never again have to fear the mercenaries."
A group of girls giggled nervously as they looked at the forest. Kairi, who had opted to sit with them for the evening instead of with Sora, Roxas and Hayner, seemed far more unnerved by the story than she should be. Her eyes were once again glued to the forest and her hands were clenched at her sides.
Miss Taylor sat up normally again, her demeanour changing back to that of the nervous woman she'd always been, "Now, it's getting late so I think we should all head off to bed."
Sora, now glancing nervously at the forest behind them while holding onto Roxas' arm as if his life depended on it, only tightened his grip as Roxas tried to stand up, "Do you think there's really a curse on the island?"
Roxas rolled his eyes but before he could say anything, Hayner piped up with a large grin on his face, "Definitely! Didn't you hear Taylor? And I bet that forest has something to do with the curse and that that's the real reason why we're not allowed to go in there!"
Sora's eyes widened and his grip tightened even more. Roxas winced as his arm was slowly killed, "Thanks Hayner, he's never going to get to sleep now."
Hayner snorted, "Like you weren't thinking of saying the same thing. Besides, maybe Taylor is right and there really is something up with this place. My mom once told me that no one wanted to come here because bad things happen to you if you do. There's got to be some truth to the story if people have been saying that for years now."
Roxas shrugged, starting to drag Sora along to the room they'd been assigned to. "If mercenaries really lived here, and I already doubt that, they were probably just killed or something. More likely is that someone pulled a prank and started some stupid rumour about this place."
"Then how did everyone disappear?" Sora's eyes were still trained on the forest, "They had to have gone somewhere."
"Maybe there was only a small group of them left and they were sick and tired of living so far away from the mainland."
"So you're not even the slightest bit scared?" Hayner was desperately trying to keep his lips from twitching up into a smirk. He was planning something and Roxas knew it. Roxas narrowed his eyes, "What are you up to?"
The smirk finally broke through on Hayner's face and a mischievous glint entered his eyes, "if you're really not scared, why don't you spend the night in the forest?'
Roxas raised an eyebrow, "Because the teachers would kill us if they found out?"
"When has that ever stopped us from doing something?"
Roxas stopped walking and looked at the forest for a moment before smirking back at Hayner, "Fine, I'll stay in there for a night. I doubt it gets very cold here anyway so that shouldn't be a problem. What do I get if I don't come back before morning?"
"If you manage it you won't be called a coward for the rest of your life." Hayner's smirk widened to a grin as Roxas sulked at the reply. Obviously Roxas wasn't going to refuse anymore at this point, but he'd hoped he'd actually get something out of it. So much for that plan.
"Fine, but I bet the doors are locked at night so you're going to help me get my stuff through a window or something. I do intend to get some sleep out there so I'm bringing my sleeping bag."
"You're actually going to do this?" Sora stared at him, "Mom would kill you if she found out!"
"Which is why no one is going to tell her." Roxas gave a warning look and then continued dragging them both to their room. Sora would let go as soon as he realized he'd have to come along into the forest if he didn't let go.
A note to anyone who knows it's extremely rare for someone to learn how to wield two weapons at the same time. I do actually know it takes years and years of training to learn how to fight like that but fuck it; at least I'm trying harder than Kingdom Hearts itself to explain how Roxas can use two keyblades at the same time. Just accept it and move on guys.
Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed despite the fact that this chapter really didn't have much going for it. As I said before, updates will be every Saturday/Sunday (depending on your time zone) so I'll hopefully see you all next week. Review!