Two Hearts: Bonus extras and out-takes chapter
Well, this is it guys! The final, bonus chapter of Two Hearts! This chapter contains alternate versions of drabbles that either didn't make the cut for some reason... or had to be cut a lot due to word count restrictions even though I liked the longer versions. In at least one of those cases, a couple readers were confused, so it might pay off to check back and read the actual drabbles and compare the alternate versions to them. (Some, however, were changed quite a lot...)
Also, I have included a couple extra short one-shots that relate to the story I plan on writing sometime in the future that deals with Hikari, Amatus, and Haruki. Hope you enjoy the small peek into what's to come!
Alright, enough talking. Here are the alternate drabbles, along with reasons why I decided not to use these variations:
This version of 33% was okay, especially because it focused on the feeling a lot, but I really wanted to work in the lines from Chain of Memories a bit better so I re-wrote it.
Sometimes, when he's walking down the beach, a strange feeling washes over him with the sound of the tide. Images will swim before his vision, hazy and dream-like. Again and again, shadows will play at the edge of his memory, laughter will echo in his ears with the sound of the sea. In dreams within dreams, he will remember, only to forget again before he wakes up.
The sense of vertigo is sickening, like being stuck on a broken record that keeps playing the same track.
He can't stop thinking about fading memories, reconstructed memories, dreams...
Memory restoration at 33%.
There are two alternate versions of Rivalry. The first was just a bit too cliché and didn't really make the cut for me... Even though I liked exploring the differences between Riku and Roxas. The second one was okay, but it just didn't flow right. I was trying to cram too much into it... but I did re-use a lot of what I tried to capture in that one drabble in several others I wrote later on.
The sense of rivalry is strong between Roxas and Riku.
It could be because Riku and Sora were rivals of a sort back on the island, before any of this came to be. It could be because they have such opposing viewpoints on the way the worlds work. It could be because Riku claims he can't stand Nobodies, or because Roxas can't stand hypocrites—something even Riku would probably admit to being.
Or perhaps it all goes back to the one they can't remember, the one they both cared for even when they didn't think caring for her was possible.
His first words to her were confused, conflicted, shocked.
"Your face... Who are you really?"
Instead of trying to sort his feelings out, he turned that confusion into bitterness, hatred.
"I don't know who you're supposed to be... but you can't fight fire with sparks. Your Keyblade, it's a sham—worthless."
Even then, he knew it was a lie.
"How can you say that? You're the sham!"
Those words cut deep, hurting worse than he cared to admit.
"Fair enough," he says, pained.
Where once he'd felt rivalry towards her, he's already beginning to feel something else.
The original version of Eternity dealt with opposing forces a lot and how Love is truly the greatest eternal power of all... But I felt like it was too heavy in the philosophical stuff, so I re-wrote it to be a bit more subtle about it...
Very few things in the worlds are strong enough to last.
Light and Darkness are among them; they have existed since the beginning, and no matter how they try they cannot destroy each other without destroying themselves.
But they are not the only powers that have always existed. There is another power—perhaps the greatest power of all, truly, for it lies at the heart of every conflict in some form. Love—it is eternal, too.
Like so many others, until Riku felt it for himself he didn't understand just how strong it was.
He'd spend eternity with her if he could.
I really over complicated things with Complicated... Even the version that went in wasn't my favorite drabble. The original draft had a reference to "Simple and Clean," by Utada Hikaru... But I liked the other one a bit better.
"What're you thinking about?"
Riku's been more quiet than usual of late, and Xion knows that means he has something on his mind. She thinks she knows what, too, but until he tells her...
"It's complicated," he says, which is the answer she expected.
Xion smiles, shaking her head as she nudges him in the ribs. "That's not an answer, Riku."
He flashes her one of those little smiles that sets her heart racing as he puts an arm around her shoulders. It's not exactly an answer, but it serves as one.
Sometimes, things are that simple.
This version of Everyday Magic was my attempt at writing a "normal" interaction between the characters, where they're just hanging out around the islands like normal teens would. I struggled with this prompt a lot, actually...
"Hey, Xion... Are you and Riku going to see the movie, too?"
Xion glances at Riku from where she's sitting by the ocean, and he shrugs.
"I thought you were going with Kairi."
"Yeah, I am. I figured you guys could go out, too..."
"We're not dating," Riku mutters, but the blush that colors his cheeks says something else.
Xion stands up and crosses her arms. "Come on, Riku."
Later, Riku will wonder how he let them talk him into going...
...And will decide it's just Xion working her everyday magic on him once again.
The alternate version of Wind is very similar to the one that actually went in, just worded a little differently. I liked the interaction in the other one a little better, because this one makes Riku a bit more talkative... but this one's sweet in it's own way. ^^
Xion stands on the raft, gazing off into the distance. The wind picks up, and the flag above the raft makes a loud slapping noise as it is caught in the swift movement of the air.
"I used to want to escape this island," Riku sighs from where he sits below her, up to his knees in the ocean as he whittles absentmindedly. "Go off with the wind and never come back."
His hands stop moving and he looks up at her.
"I never knew what I was really waiting for until I met you."
I told Amatus that the alternate version of Frost was a really strange coincidence because her drabble on that day dealt with Vanitas... Who is just the person I was thinking of as the "opponent" mentioned here. This version of Frost actually ties in with "Vengeance" and "Seeing Red," and serves as a sequel to both of them. I just decided to take a different direction with this prompt in the end.
"Xion..." Riku reaches out toward his opponent, her name the one constant in his mind at this point. He feels so cold—he stopped feeling anything else hours ago, when he realized he might never see her again.
He wishes simultaneously that he could be as cold as frost and that someone—anyone—would reach out to him and thaw his heart. He doesn't want to be cold...
That's when she appeared out of nowhere, Keyblade in hand.
Seeing her is enough to make him smile—and, later, when she rushes to his side her hands are warm enough to bring him back.
The final version of Boundaries was actually a combined drabble. I had two versions I couldn't choose between, so I tried to splice them together. The first takes places sometime early on during their time together in Days, while the second is yet another portion of the night before the final battle... Lol. These are both of the complete drabbles...
She's always pushing the boundaries he's put up around himself—one night when he's dozing off, Xion walks over to him, reaching out toward his blindfold, thinking he's asleep.
At the last moment, she stops and pulls her hand back. She sits down instead, staring into the fire as he watches her from behind the blindfold until he finally does sleep.
He finds her curled up next to him in the morning, and despite himself he actually enjoys her warmth.
If only... He reaches toward her hair, but stops himself.
No, better to let her sleep in peace while she can.
She's always pushing his boundaries, creeping slowly into his heart even when he didn't want to get too close for fear of loving—of losing—her.
When he came here this night, he had only meant to comfort her—he'd seen the look in her eyes after the King had told everyone they might not all survive...
He had not intended for the "comforting" to go this far—had not thought she'd actually want him to stay with her so badly...
Caught in the passion of the moment, he couldn't care less.
And when she falls asleep beside him, he has no regrets.
I had to cut Pretense down a lot, and this is the one that confused a couple people. I'm sorry about that. I really liked the full version and I really think a lot got lost when I cut it down to 100 words. Here's the full version, which I hope makes more sense...
As they leave the festival where they spent the day, Xion smiles brightly while Riku tries his hardest to keep his eyes on the road and not the girl beside him.
He finds himself conflicted—he knows he shouldn't have panicked like he did earlier when he lost her. He knows she'll only be lost again soon—forgotten, forever.
Xion notices his quietude and frowns, reaching out toward him before she catches herself and pulls her hand back.
"Riku?" her voice is worried.
Despite himself, Riku looks at her and smiles—if it will ease her pain, why not?
"Nah, everything's fine."
"Okay then," Xion smiles brightly. His heart falls.
Whether she sees through to his heart or not, it doesn't matter.
Their fragile pretense of... whatever it is they have will shatter soon enough.
Shadows was another drabble that got cut and edited a lot... Here's the longer version that I kept because I liked it too.
Wherever Riku goes, he feels like the shadows are following him. At first, the feeling is unpleasant—the cloaked figure that keeps haunting his vision scares him. Riku never believed in ghosts, but after seeing the specter enough times he starts to think they might exist...
It has to be more than his imagination, right?
Then, when he's washing his face one morning he glances up to look at his reflection and she's there, behind him, a benevolent smile on her face. He blinks almost as soon as he sees her, and when he opens his eyes again she's gone.
He can't remember what her face looked like, except it was familiar, but her smile stays with him.
After that, the shadows aren't so scary anymore—they're shadowing him to protect him.
...Just like he used to shadow her.
I had a lot of fun writing Advantage... And while the cut down version is still good, I also liked the longer version I wrote originally. It had a bit more description to it.
Riku coughs and sputters as he pulls himself out of the water and looks up from beneath his soaked hair toward the paupu tree where Xion stands, victorious and grinning—her Keyblade slung over her shoulder in a way that reminds him of his best friend.
"Looks like I finally win—" she laughs when he manages to climb back up and sit down next to her on the trunk.
He smirks and tries to shake more of the water out of his hair. "No—knocking me off was cheating, Xi. Doesn't count."
She punches him on the shoulder and he looks at her—and, gazing into her eyes, suddenly feels a by-now-familiar hunger stirring within him.
He grabs her by the shoulders and kisses her deeply—and gasps as she pins him to the tree with her hands and straddles his waist.
"...Looks like I still have the advantage," she mutters, smirking against his neck.
...And that's all the extra drabbles!
Here's the first one shot, which I have to thank Amatus for! ^^ Part of the scene here was her idea that she kindly told me I could make canon for my story... It was just adorable. I expanded the scene a lot and hope to include it in a future story...
Hikari was five when her father first brought her along with him to the Land of Departure. She would never forget how excited she was on that day—she'd heard a lot about the Masters, but had never officially met them. Her parents had decided she was old enough to see the school where she'd be training to become a Master someday herself... Especially since Terra and Aqua apparently had a kid around her age who was training, too.
"What's this kid like, Daddy?" Hikari asked.
Riku smiled and squeezed her hand a little as they walked up the path to the school. "Oh, you'll like him. Amatus is a nice kid—but he's got one heck of a swing..." Riku rubbed at his side and winced a little to give her the idea. Hikari grinned at her dad.
"Good," she said. "Sounds like fun..."
Riku knew Hikari was a tough little kid herself—she always liked playing rough with the other kids. She didn't mind really giving them a beating... He hoped having a friendly rival that could actually match her would help.
Master Terra was working with Amatus when they walked in—Riku in the lead with Hikari in tow—and the moment Amatus glanced into the doorway his eyes locked onto Hikari and lit up. He missed his step in the movement he'd been doing and fell flat on his face.
Hikari couldn't help it—she burst into a fit of giggles, covering her face with her hands to try to muffle the noise. Amatus stood up, blushing furiously, and dusted off his pants while trying not to look her way again.
Riku and Terra shared a glance, then Terra patted Amatus on the shoulder. "That'd be them, son. Why don't you go introduce yourself to the young lady?"
If it were possible, Amatus went even redder. "S-sure..." He walked up to her and bowed his head. "Um... Hi. I'm Amatus. N-nice to meet you."
Hikari giggled. "I thought my dad said you were tough!"
Amatus rubbed the back of his neck and glanced to the side. "Um. Yeah—usually I don't mess up... I just kind of... missed a step."
Hikari smirked and punched him in the shoulder. "Well, Amatus... You're gonna have to be better than that to get better than me!"
She grinned at him one more time before running off to say hello to Master Terra, never noticing the way Amatus never took his eyes off of her. Her heart was set on learning to be a Keyblade Master like her parents—she hardly thought of anything else.
And as the years went by, that gradually became more and more of a problem. The crush he'd had on her since the moment he'd first caught sight of her grew until he couldn't ignore it anymore—by the time he turned eighteen, he knew he truly loved her.
However, getting her to notice his little hints was not easy... She was too focused on her goals to realize how deeply he cared for her—or how much she relied on him.
Maybe, in time, that would change...
Now, since it might be a while before this officially gets published, here's the first part of the first chapter of my story that'll follow the next generation of Keyblade wielders...
It all began on a normal day in the Land of Departure, with the light of the rising sun falling over the clouded hills around the training grounds as Haruki followed his sister Hikari and their good friend Amatus to the dojo. Haruki watched as they had a conversation ahead of him—it seemed like he was always the one that was trailing behind them—and wished for the thousandth time that he was old enough to do the same things they got to.
Haruki was five years younger than his sister, who was seventeen—and Amatus was almost a year older than her. They got to do all the fun stuff like going off and saving worlds from the powers of darkness, wielding Keyblades, and all the other awesome things Haruki had only heard about on occasion when the adults would actually talk about their crazy adventures.
His uncle Sora was the best at telling stories—Sora was the most open about them, for sure. Haruki's dad, Riku, didn't like talking about some of his adventures all that much. Neither did master Terra or uncle Roxas, though the stories Roxas did tell were pretty cool because a lot of them were about Haruki's mom. They'd had a lot of adventures together, which was understandable—Roxas was his mother's best friend, after all.
Haruki had grown up hearing all about the other worlds, but the only ones he got to visit with any frequency besides the islands where he lived were Radiant Garden (uncle Lea lived there, and Haruki's mother was good friends with him too), Twilight Town (where uncle Roxas lived with aunt Namine), and Land of Departure, where he came with his sister for training under masters Terra and Aqua along with their son, Amatus.
All in all, he was pretty lucky—some of his islander friends didn't even believe in other worlds, and Haruki had promised not to talk about them with his friends. And his parents and all their friends promised Haruki that, someday, he'd be old enough to go off and help save the worlds too.
Sometimes it felt like "someday" would never come soon enough.
Haruki sighed deeply, letting his wooden sword whack against the beams of the bridge. Amatus stopped talking to Hikari and turned around to look at Haruki with a concerned look on his face.
"Is something wrong?" He asked.
Haruki shook his head, his black bangs falling over his eyes in the process. "Nah, I'm fine."
Hikari smiled at him, then grinned at Amatus. "Don't worry about him. He's probably just jealous of us, like usual."
Amatus nodded, glancing back at Haruki with a half-smile. "Sorry, 'Ruki. You're gonna have to wait at least a couple more years. You might think it's fun to be a hero, but it's also really dangerous."
Haruki huffed, rolling his eyes. "I know that. But the Masters keep saying I'm really good at all the training exercises—"
"Yeah," Hikari frowned. "For your age, Haruki. You've still got a lot of growing up to do—"
Haruki glared at her. "They also say I'm very mature and responsible..."
Hikari stopped walking and crossed her arms at him. "Haruki, no matter how mature you are, you're still just a kid. It's too dangerous for a kid to go out there. That's final—you know how Mom and Dad feel about letting me go out and fight even when I have Amatus with me!"
Amatus sighed and shook his head at the hurt expression on Haruki's face. "You'll only get stronger with time, Haruki. Try to have a little patience..."
As the duo started walking, Haruki clenched his hand around the hilt of his sword until his knuckles were as white as his sister's hair. "Why do they always say that...?" he mumbled under his breath as he followed them, like always...
And, finally... the chronological order of the drabbles:
358/2 Days: 1, 25, 13, 29, 15, 63, (85), 71, 48, 19, 56, 54, 98, (60), 87, 30, 77, 84, 43, 22, 5, 73, 4, 50, 93, 46
KH2/Post KH2/"Phantom-limb": 16, 12, 82, 31, 60, 37, 7, 83, 38, 88, 53
World of Dreams: 44, 36, 26, 45, 49, 40, 55, 79, (92), 57, 10, 62, 2, 96
Speculated KH3: 81, 41, 47, 20, 3, 18, 76, 58, 68, 66
Before the Final Battle: 11, 27, 42, 85, 80, 92, 24, 97, 23
Final Battle fallout: 35, 34, 61, 65, 17, 90
Post KH3: 72, 100, 70, 74, 9, 91, 89, 94, 6, 8, 59, 86, 39, 78
Marriage/Parenthood: 21, 75, 28, 51, 64, 14, 32, 33, 69, 67, 99, 95, 52
(Just a note, some of these could happen at a number of times, this is just my mental ordering of them.The ones in parenthesis involved flashbacks, which I decided to locate on the timeline as well.)
So, one last time... Thanks to everyone who reviewed the last chapter!
Toaneo07 Ver2.0: I'm happy you liked it, and thanks - I hope I'll do a good job next time too!
vanitas1776: It is pretty bittersweet (though I'm laughing at "had" and "sappy," lol!) I'm also happy/sad to be finished... And that sounds like quite the achievement, I'll definitely read some of your chapters! :) I am starting college in less than a month, but I'm sure I'll have some time to review chapters for you. ^^ I also agree with that idea, I've honestly been trying to do that. I'll send it your way when I get it to work out. ;)
MidnightxRose: Thanks for both reviews! ^^ 1. I agree, it's one of those little things that becomes kind of poignant by the end... And lol, it is an awesome series! :D Even my dad really liked watching it once my sister and I convinced him to try it out... ^^ 2. I'm happy you think it's a good ending, I really thought hard about it! I hope you do enjoy my other work... I've got a couple RikuShi one-shots I'm quite proud of, especially "Falling" and "You Never Know," though I'm working on a series too... :D You showed real dedication by reviewing every chapter! ^^ I don't even think I could go on a review spree like that... XD Thanks so much!
Amatus: Thanks a lot for reviewing! I can't believe it's actually over... I'm happy you love it so much. ^-^ Also, thanks for the story favorite and favorite author! It means a lot to me, especially since you're the one that inspired me so much in the first place. :D Hope you enjoy the last chapter of this just as much! (Which I did not absolutely steal from you, oh no... ;) Well... just the format. I liked the way you ordered them chronologically in the end and all that, and since I was ordering them in my head anyway I figured I might as well put it out there.)
It's been really awesome writing this, and I'm amazed at the feedback I got for this. It was a real challenge for me, and I had fun with it... I'm gonna miss it! Thanks for sticking with me to the end, everyone! You're all great. ^^
...I hope to see you again!