Ugh, I really don't like how this chapter came out...

Disclaimers: KH is not mine, none of the characters are mine in the least. Please enjoy.

Chapter Fifteen: An Old Friend

The ghost chick was grabbing my butt.

In any other circumstance, I think that would have earned me a few chuckles from someone else but I'm deadly serious.

She keeps walking, her arm firmly around my waist in order to hold me up. She's a tiny little thing, barely to my shoulders and she can't weigh half of what I do. I'm a heavy sucker. But she keeps going, somehow managing to keep me going at the same time. I don't exactly have a choice in this, but since she was willing to help me, I guess I'm willing to follow her.

"Th..." The words come out haltingly, unwilling to escape my mouth even as the girl keeps me going. "Thank... you..." I say quietly into her ear, taking a moment to relax as she carefully opens the door to the stairs.

"You're welcome, Sora," The girl says with a faint smile before pushing the door open and ushering my sorry ass into the opening. I stumble in and she walks in after me, closing the door behind her as she readjusts her position – and doesn't that sound strange – holding my arm and waist.

I stare at the little girl, and none too stealthily either. Ninja I may be, but this whole situation was freakin' weird. First off, why was she helping me? Second off, who was Roxas? Third off, why did he say that I wasn't 'one of them'? As the ghost chick turns to the stairs, obviously meaning to start helping me down them, I couldn't help but think that maybe they were all pod people.

It made sense!

"Sora," The girl says in a soft voice, giving me a big smile like she knew what I was thinking. Can pod people read minds? "Do you think you can hold the banister? I don't think I can carry you all the way down to the courtyard." As if proving her point, her entire body suddenly shakes hard, threatening to drop me and send me to a head-cracking death at the bottom of the stairs.

I nod and hook my hand on the plastic pipe leading all the way down obediently before realizing that I was in fact, being obedient. I scowl secretively, giving her a glare out of the corner of my eye because I don't exactly know her and for all I know, her little buddies could be down in the courtyard ready to jump me. The girl shakes her head and reaches out with her free hand, brushing her fingers against my lips.

The hell?!

"You really are distrusting," The girl informs me with a very sad smile, like she knew me well enough to know that. I flinch away from her hand and grip the banister a little harder, startled by the gesture. I could feel my face heating up... "It's sad. We used to be such good friends."


She did not just say what I think she said. I stare at her, my mouth gaping open in shock. We're... friends? I know this girl? I quickly search through my memories, trying to find another girl that looked like this one. Blond, small, wears all white... mysterious and kinda cute... but a lot of frustrating... No matter how much I look, I can't remember a single thing happening with me and her, not even a small memory.

It was... bizarre...

Naminé smiles at me and her finger reaches up toward my head, this time pressing hard against my forehead. "Don't worry... these memories of yours," She informs me quietly, looking grim again. A wave of sadness passes through me, a strange emotion brought on from the look on the little girl's face. I start to reach for her even as the world started to go dark. "You'll remember them, Sora. You just need a little help."

We were fighting.

I reached out to the kid's side, imagining an invisible holster at his waist, like there was really something hanging there. When my fingers curl around the "hilt," I could feel something solid there, something tangible. I looked up at the girl again, waiting for her approval. The kid started to move away from me and he said something to me but I couldn't hear him; his voice was too far away and it didn't matter anyway. But it was like someone had suddenly switched all the noise to the off button.

The girl in pink smiled at me, nodding gently as my hand pulled backwards on the rapier.

"Good job, Sora! Now let's see how well you can fight with it!"

Suddenly tumbling backwards, I landed firmly on my ass with the sword clutched in my hand, a sword I had somehow managed to pull out of thin air. My friend kept smiling at me even as I looked at the black sword I had in my hand and twirled it lazily, dropping back down to into a fighting position.

The kid I was sparring against caught my eye and he winked cockily, a sly smirk already crossing his lips. Like he already won, the jerk. "What, giving up already?" Riku demanded as we charged at each other, our swords already crossing in mid-sentence. "I thought you were stronger than that, Sora!"

I blink back to reality and stare hard at Naminé, a thousand questions already clambering for space on my tongue in order to ask what the hell that was. It was a memory... and somehow... I knew that it's mine, that it's my memory... but I didn't remember that event before this!

She smiles again, shaking her head. "That was one of your memories..." The girl tells me in a sad voice. I stare at her, wondering how the hell she knew what I was thinking. She presses her fingertips together before continuing. "It's one of the many memories that were taken away from you."

"Taken away?" I blurt out in surprise but she doesn't seem to notice me talking. By who? By what? What could take memories?

Naminé shakes her head again. "They were taken away from you for your own good... to keep you safe." She reaches out and puts her hand onto my chest, right over my heart. I blush hard and my heart rate starts skyrocketing. As if this was what she was going for, the ghostly girl gives me another sad smile.

"I'll explain it to you soon, Sora. But for now, you need to get back to your brother," Naminé tells me before turning back to the staircase and holding a hand out to it. Even as I turn to watch, the door at the bottom suddenly swings open, slamming against the wall in its hurry to open up for her.

"Ven?" The name comes out of my mouth before I could stop it. Naminé looks at me and chuckles, looking pleased for some reason. "Yes, Sora, Ven. You have to get back to him. I'm only here to help you find your way... You're the one who has to find the others..." With that, she started to help me down the stairs.

Okay, that last one suddenly sounded like a hint.

One stair, two stair, three stair, four. Even as we walked, my body starts getting better and soon I don't need her help to climb down. Naminé eventually lets go of me and lets me limp down on my own.

I keep looking at her, wondering what exactly she was doing helping me. She had gotten in trouble because of me, with that Roxas guy. And it looks like they knew each other pretty well. I wonder how they know each other? I didn't remember her... nothing really comes to mind when I look at her... But Naminé sure does looks familiar. Is it cause I know her?

How much trouble was she getting into because of her help? My eyes close as I think about how upset that Roxas kid was; he had looked like someone had just punched him in the stomach. And that someone had been me, if I was going to be honest with myself.

… I just don't know anymore... and just how long is this damn staircase?

"Sora..." Naminé calls out quietly. I turn to the side to look at her, only to find out that she wasn't there. The hell?! I turn around and see her standing a few steps above mine with a sad look on her face. "This is where you and I say our goodbyes, for now anyway."

Wait, what?

"Good bye, Sora. I'll be in touch." She tells me quietly, turning to go back up the stairs.

"Naminé! Wait!" I yell out but one minute the girl's right there on the staircase and it's only after I blink, she's gone. She's... gone. Absolutely, completely totally gone. I stand there for another couple minutes, wondering if I had finally lost it and gone off the deep end. If I was crazy, it would make a lot of sense. Well, that or pod people.

I wipe a trickle of blood from my mouth and hobble to the door; I can't help but feel that something even worse than the beating I had just gotten is waiting for me on the other side.

But seriously, what the hell's up with this school?!

Roxas wipes his mouth hard, glaring angrily at the barrier that had been placed on the stairwell. What was she up to, running around with a mundane student like this? He runs his fingers through his hair in confusion before he shakes his head hard. It made no sense; Naminé was terrified of other people, unless they were her friends.

It had taken months for her to trust him in the slightest.

"Just who is this kid?" Roxas whispers to himself quietly before getting up and dusting off his pants.

"You know..." A voice behind him comments in amusement, forcing him to turn around. "Talking to yourself is supposed to be one of the first signs of madness, right?" Axel jokes and upon seeing his friend's enraged face, immediately steps back with his hands up in the air. "Just kidding, Roxas, what's up?"

Roxas shakes his head hard. "New kid. Ran off with Naminé." Axel stares at him for a moment before laughing. "I don't see what's so funny!" The boy snaps angrily, taking a step toward him.

Axel grins. "I'm laughing because it all makes sense now. I swiped this offa Saix's desk when he wasn't looking; it has your name on it." With that, he removed an envelope from his uniform pocket and shows it to the boy. Roxas snatches it out of his hand and rips it open. Why Axel wore a school uniform when he was one of the teachers, he would never know... Roxas scans the letter and stops dead in his tracks. What?

He reads it again, sure that he had gotten it wrong. Roxas stares at it, sure that there had to be some mistake. But no, the letters were there in the exact order that he had read them.

'XIII, you have been assigned a new mission. Observe the boy known as Sora Minami. He is one of several possible threats to the Organization at this time. Gain his trust and decide whether or not the boy is capable of falling to our side... and whether or not he should be eliminated. The brother, Ventus, is not to be attacked; he is a threat far beyond that of Sora. Capture them both, if possible.


"... Why would Xemnas want this kid? He's not all that special." Roxas demands quietly, staring at his orders in confusion. He shakes the envelope, checking to see if there was another piece of paper inside.

Axel smiles slightly. "Oh, that one's easy," He chuckles as he rubs his red hair nervously. Roxas pauses, glancing over at him in surprise. Axel was nervous? "The kid's like you, Roxas." Axel gives the stunned boy a sad grimace.

"You... mean... he's...?" Roxas stammers out nervously. Axel only nods once before clapping his hand onto Roxas' shoulder, steadying him before he fell over in shock. Roxas feels his knees shake, like he was about to collapse. How could it be possible? Another one, just like him and his sister? All his life, he had thought that they were the only ones. No one else had their abilities, and they only had them because of what had happened to them. How could that happy go lucky kid be the same as them? Roxas remembers the fierce way that he had been attacking Rai and the others, the obvious experience Sora had shown with fighting... Could he really be the same as them?

Could it really be possible that he had found one more person with the ability?

"Let's go find your target... before Riku and the rest of the student council gets their mitts on him." Axel says bluntly but he allows Roxas to lean on him for support. Roxas just nods once, still staring off into space. If it was true... if it was true... then ... Sora was more valuable alive than he was ever dead. He could potentially be one of the most powerful fighters in the entire world. If so... Why hadn't Sora attacked him just once? He had run from him instead... A thought comes to Roxas that made him stop in shock. It was the only explanation.

Could it be... that Sora didn't know?