For old readers: So, after a while, I finally get hit in the head with rewriting this story. The first three chapters are going to be divided up into many parts, so it may be a little while before we actually get new material, but there are several textual changes, so it'll be worth rereading. Old versions will be up on my tumblr (see link in my profile if you're interested). I'll detail differences in the post itself.

For new readers: This story blends both the English and Japanese versions of Adventure 02. The story follows the Japanese timeline (sans epilogue), uses the official English digimon names, and both Japanese and English names for the humans. English names for the kids are nicknames here and are used in dialogue only (with a few exceptions).

Basic info: This story is heavily inspired by Gemini Star01's Kingdom of the Elemental Hearts, which I highly suggest if you enjoy Digimon Frontier and Kingdom Hearts. Be warned, though, it is incomplete and hasn't been updated since 2009.

Binding Darkness takes place two to three years after the end of Adventure 02 and a little less than a month after the end of Kingdom Hearts.So, Riku, Takeru, and Hikari are all around fifteen years old (though Riku is closer to sixteen). This pseudo AU will loosely follow the storyline of Chain of Memories/Reverse Rebirth and after, this one corresponding with said game.

Update info: Every chapter in the story will be an arc set in a different world (or to some equivalent), and will be divided into two to eight parts (with about 2k words each). Updates hopefully will be once a week or bi-monthly, though this is an estimation since I'm currently working, will be going to university in the fall, and am working on two more stories.

Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts or Digimon Adventure 02. Only things I own are a handful of characters at best.

Angel Cross: Binding Darkness

Chapter 1.1: Start of the Weekend

World: Unknown

All he could feel was numbness, as if he wasn't alive. Yet breath journeyed in and out of the sleeping body. But how did the mind raced. Memories. Truths. Lies. They all came. They all went. Over and over again they played in a hazy fog.

"Sleep,"cooed an airy soprano voice.

The sleeper didn't obey. Icy blue eyes flashed open, and the cycle of memories halted. The sudden jolt left him thinking he had just awakened from a long dream, momentarily leaving him with a hazy idea of who he was. Names spun in his mind. Some unfamiliar, others intimate. Two of them stood out and clashed in his mind, fighting with shadowy memories and enduring claims to the boy's heart. Finally, the weaker but more persistent name of Riku won out. And with the name came all the memories associated with it.

Proud and broad shoulders slumped in time with his head. That's right.

Riku shook his thick mop of silver hair and studied the empty gray twilight. He attempted to call out, but only silence escaped his lips. He clamped a black-gloved hand over his mouth with wide eyes. What is this place? And where is anyone?

The silver-haired boy took a step forward and a light burst from where his foot landed. A small orb floated up close to his face, making Riku squint. He waved it away, and the orb hovered back a few inches.

"Sleep. Return to sleep."

Riku mouthed something, but cut himself short when he remembered his lack of voice in this place.

"This is the place between Light and Darkness, Sleeping and Awakening, Life and Death."

He jerked his head about in hopes of finding the location of the voice, but not even a streak of shadow caught his eye. Just the twilight. So, he turned his attention to the circling orb. Riku felt a pair of eyes examining him from the small light. Or he was going mad. Well, it wouldn't be the first time, he thought.Between sleeping, awakening, life, death-? What the hell does that even mean?

"It means you have a choice-" Riku flinched. "-to remain Asleep and fade away, never to feel pain again; or to Awaken and return to the chaos and pain. You only have one choice, and you can never make this decision again." The orb stopped, floating expectantly before him.

Riku thought for a long moment, head turned away slightly with the light still within his peripheral vision. How did... He turned back to the orb. You're speaking to my heart, aren't you? How do I know I can trust you?

"Because I am the only one here."

Riku gave a soundless snort. What do you want, then?

"For you to sleep. That's all I want." The voice paused. "You were close to winning, but your Heart is too weak to finish it. Don't you remember?"

It's not like I'm-!

"Just return to sleep."

And if I don't? Riku narrowed his eyes at the light.

"You will suffer by your own hands, not mine. This is your choice. All I offer is a chance to stay away from Awakening."

Then you really don't care which I choose? I'd say you're pretty zealous to keep me asleep. Unless this is one of his mind games.

The voice remained silent; the orb flickered.

Riku smirked.

In a shimmer of light, the orb morphed into a blue card. Riku's face contorted in confusion as the card floated into arm's reach.

"It's a door to Truth. Take it, and all this will end. If you don't—"

I stay asleep. Riku snatched the card from the air. This is a pretty boring place to take a nap, anyways.

The card then started to shine, casting shadows in the twilight. Not even shut eyes could block out the glare. The light died, soon replaced the sensation being pulled up through a deep ocean at a million miles an hour.

Then, his senses cut out to darkness.

World: Japan (Odaiba)

The school bell shrilled. In deafening excitement, students rushed from their classes to the locker bay to gather coats so they could arrive home earlier for the weekend. The blond moved in time with the others to ensure the worst he got from others was a few bumps from some of his quicker schoolmates. When he came to his locker, he broke from the crowd and gathered his things. Just as the blond closed his locker, a peppy call of "Hey, TK!" sounded over the excited chatter.

Takeru turned to meet a lithe maroon-haired boy and a lanky lavender-haired girl pushing their way through the now slow stream of student. Behind them, a pale brunette meandered between breaks in the crowd. The blond grinned at them.

"You ready for the best fright night of your life?" the maroon-haired boy exclaimed. "I've got a new challenge for ya."

Takeru cocked an eyebrow. "Really? Another one? Daisuke, I thought I won the last one."

"B-bull! For your information, I didn't lose! That was Jun's scream. And, TJ, don't use that name." The maroon-haired boy pouted and crossed his arms. "I don't scream that high." The two boys then exchanged grins.

"Oh brother." The lavender-haired girl rolled her eyes. "Davis, Takeru, we're going to be in high school soon, yet you two act like you're still ten. It'll honestly be a wonder how either of you will survive your finals."

Davis shot her a frown. "Way to be a party pooper, Miyako."

"Yolei, you know that will happen just around the time when Taichi will learn how to use a computer without making it freeze." The brunette chuckled, before looking at the boys. "And speaking of parties, you might want to cool it down for the party tonight like Yolei suggested."

Davis and Takeru looked at their friends. "Sure, once TK admits it was him who lost the challenge!" Davis said, folding his arms stubbornly.

Takeru peaked behind the maroon-haired boy, feigning curiosity. "Isn't that Sadako behind you?"

Davis automatically gave out a small gasp and fell into the lockers. Seeing the absence of the black-haired ghost, the maroon-haired boy glared over at the laughing Takeru. "That wasn't funny, TA," he said, punching him in the arm. The blond choked out an "ow" with his dying laughter as he rubbed his arm.

Miyako adjusted her glasses with a sigh, and Hikari frowned. "TK, that was uncalled for."

Takeru only smiled at his the maroon-haired boy, who was still glaring and muttering. The blond apologized before offering Davis a hand. For several long seconds, the other boy stared at the offered hand. Then he took it and promised to get the blond back later. With a waned smile, Takeru said he would be looking forward to it.

Miyako sighed again. "They're hopeless."

Takeru pulled on his coat just the maroon-haired boy suggested the brunette come with them. Blue eyes snapped back to the girl as she shook her head. "I have photography club. Sorry, Davis." His smile waned.

"TK, you okay?" asked Miyako, pulling the boy's arm.

He glanced over at her. He blinked, the smile gone. "Of course, Yolei. What would make you think I'm not?"

"Well, you and Ken have the strangest looks sometimes," she answered with a thoughtful frown.

Takeru smiled, zipping up his coat. "So, what makes you think Ken has these odd looks? Did he catch you staring?"

Miyako suddenly blushed and stammered. Her cheeks puffed up. Without saying a word, she marched off with clenched fists. The blond balked for a moment. "Hey, Yolei! I was only kidding!" He waved a hand after her, but she already was out the door. He chuckled to himself with raised eyebrows. "Well, what do you know."

Hikari leaned past Davis. "Hey, where did Yolei go?"

"Apparently Ken caught her staring at him," the blond answered slowly, folding his arms.

Davis frowned. "And what does that mean?" Takeru couldn't help but burst into laughter. A small smile crept onto the brunette's face. "What?" the maroon-haired boy asked again.

"Well, before anything more decides to happen, I'm going to photography club," Hikari adjusted her bag before eying the two. "You two play nice."

"We're not kids, ya know, Hikari." Davis grinned at her. Takeru gave her a thumbs up. Satisfied, the brunette waved goodbye and left the boys in the locker bay. After Davis's coat, the two walked into the schoolyard. The digimon—a winged-gerbil and a bipedal blue lizard—waited for them at the gate, just under the cover of a few leafless trees.

"Hey, Davis, are we going to continue the challenge?" the lizard digimon inquired.

"Of course, Veemon. And TK is going down!" Davis over-dramatically pointed to the ground as he stretched out the last word. Veemon pumped his fists into the air.

Takeru snorted, amused. "I thought Kari and Miyako told us to wait, Davis."

The said boy frowned. "Fine, but you're only prolonging your loss!"

The gerbil digimon flew onto his partner's head and peered down at him. "Why do you always have to try and use horror movies? Can't you use other ways?"

"Yeah, like good old fist-t-ruffs." Veemon punched the air before looking up at the humans. Neither of them answered, causing both digimon to sigh.

The boys and the digimon left the schoolyard and began walking to the apartment building where Takeru, Miyako, and Iori lived. On the way, they exchanged stories about their day and talked about plans for the weekend. Eventually, they caught up to Miyako and Hawkmon. She pouted at them, but joined them anyways. The blond turned his head up to the sky as Davis and Miyako chatted. Judging from Miyako's response of stuttering and whacking him in the shoulder with the back of her hand, Takeru guessed the maroon-haired boy asked the lavender-haired girl about Ken. He studied the cloudy sky, wondering if it was going to snow. It would be perfect if it didn't, he thought.

When that thought crossed his mind, Takeru paused and studied the ground. It was almost too perfect. Maybe I've watched too many horror movies with Davis, he thought, shaking his head.

"TK, what's the hold-up?"

Takeru looked up with a frown to see his friends staring at him curiously. He folded his arms and turned his eyes back to the pavement. "Dunno," he admitted.

"Does it have something to do with that dream?" asked Patamon.

Shrugging, Takeru unfolded his arms.

"Dream?" asked Miyako as the two approached him. "What was the dream about? Drowning in Davis's dirty room?" Davis lightly punched her shoulder before turning back to their friend. A strong wind scratched at them, causing the six to continue on the way to the apartment building. Along the way, Takeru explained his dream of running around stained glass stairs and fighting shadowy monsters with an over-sized wand. Davis and Miyako gave him a raised eyebrows.

"Maybe it isn't so weird," offered Hawkmon. "I've seen many of your shows, and it appears you humans treat dreams as things of prophecy...or something akin to it."

Miyako snorted. "That's only if you're superstitious."

"As cool as it would be, I gotta agree." Davis folded his arms. "We're not in an anime or something. Things have been insanely quiet in the Digital World, so maybe something's up—or will be soon. As long as Godzilla doesn't start marching down the street—"

Judging from the screams that erupted from down the street, they shouldn't have been too surprised if it had been a hoard of Godzillas.





Yay, I'm finally continuing this series (or rather, restarting). I was hit in the gut with wanting to play Kingdom Hearts, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to continue this story and participating in a couple of the Digimon Fanfiction Challenge Forum's events/challenges. So, this story covers prompt #23 (wandering) of the Crossover Boot Camp and one of two entries for the Summer/Autumn Event.

Total word count (not including author's notes): ~1940

Critics are welcomed. Well, hope to see you next time!