A/N: This fanfiction will be going along the lines of the original KHII, so disregard the Final Mix version. Okay? Okay. ^-^
Anyway, my name is Sandfire Kat, and thank you for flying Fanfiction Express with me ;)
Beginnings and summaries are a B to write, so thank you for reading this XDDD
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It was chaos down below, the gully alive with the clangs of weapons clashing, battle cries and yelps of pain rising up into a steady roar of noise. Heartless were a black wave, shifting and rippling as the herd of black beings moved on, making slow but steady progress. The things were not of the Organization's side, but their being there was the perfect distraction. Mere bubbles in a sea of plans, the heartless could be used in their favor in a short time being. If the plan went as accordingly.
It was a delicate process, of course. One little mistake could mean the downfall. They had to do it quickly, without much commotion, and they had to cover their tracks afterwards. There would have to be no extra passengers on this ride. The thought made a small smile worm its way onto the man's face, the smile containing nothing except sick humor, and even excitement. Yes, the plan was perfect, and he intended to keep it that way.
Footsteps coming up behind him made the smile vanish, the man's blank, empathetic face returning in less than a millisecond. He did not turn to look who it was, he could tell without a passing glance behind him. He did not reply either, remaining silent until the person decided to speak. "Demyx failed." Xaldin reported, voice dark. The man scowled instantly, silently cursing the boy responsible repeatedly in his mind. His hands fisted at his sides, and only then did he turn around.
Eyes narrowed, he spoke in an angered voice. "Then we'll go down and do it ourselves. We will make sure that there will be no more failures." Growling slightly under his breath, the man glanced down at the gully, eyes already roving back and forth as they tried to search for a glimpse of the boy. "We've had enough of those. With all of us together, there will be no other possible way for the boy to weasel out of our grasp."
"But, Xemnas, are you sure that it's such a good idea?" Xaldin asked wildly, looking at the man as if he had sprouted wings from his back. "What if he actually-"
"The boy is a mere child, Xaldin. He's been able to scrape along by facing just one of us at a time, but all of us together should prove to be enough for him." Xemnas interrupted coldly, eyes still angered. "There is no chance that he will actually succeed in defeating all of us at the same time. Round up the others, and this time be quicker with it." When Xaldin still didn't move, Xemnas turned around, looking the Organization member up and down expectantly. "What are you waiting for?" He demanded, louder this time. "We've been waiting for this moment for too long. I said GO GET THE OTHERS!"
At the sudden increase in volume, the man jerked, a small noise coming from him as he did so. Ducking his head slightly, the man mumbled something that sounded like a quick apology before he turned and created a quick portal, stepping through and disappearing from sight in less than a minute. Xemnas sighed heavily, pinching the bridge of his nose as he willed for patience. Patience would be key in this plan, without it, they might as well throw it all away.
After a moment, Xemnas turned back around stiffly, looking back down into the gully in which surrounded the rather broken castle. "Now, where are you?" He muttered darkly to himself, eyes drilling through the mess of fighting bodies as he strained for a glimpse. But of course, he couldn't catch sight of the boy that was his target. "No matter." He sighed airily, letting his hands fall to his sides lightly. "You cannot hide forever." And if the plan went accordingly, he wouldn't be running away anytime soon either. "Enjoy your time now, young keyblade bearer." Xemnas said thinly. "We'll get you soon enough."
Although it seemed like an impossible task beforehand, after careful planning, Xemnas realized it could actually be possible. He made a face. Possible, but he trusted it would be a very difficult task afterwards. Probable, it seemed. Figuring that Xaldin would soon be back with the others, Xemnas turned and made his way backwards, retracing his steps so that he could see the battlefield more clearly. Hopefully it will be easy to get the keyblade bearer isolated, otherwise it will prove a much harder task than he had anticipated.
Over thinking things was making it seemed a lot more complicated than it was supposed to be, it seemed. Shaking his head to clear it, Xemnas clenched his hands together tightly, his weapons appearing in his hands as a flash of red laser light. Rounding the corner, Xemnas looked up in the sky, telling the time by the sun overhead. But it was as he expected: he still had time to be able to pull it off. He had much more time than he needed, actually.
And then he would have all the time in the world to deal with the keyblade bearer as seen fit.
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"Go!" Yuffie yelled over at Sora, the teen glancing back over at her as the heartless in front of him disappeared in a puff of black smoke. "I'll catch up with Aerith, and try to see if she needs any help! Are you going to be good, here?" Sora gave her a smile in response, straightening and saluting the ninja dramatically. Giving a small laugh, Yuffie spun around, gripping her daggers tightly as she jumped down from the ledge, jumping from one outcrop to the other until she hit the ground with a thump.
Glancing from side to side, the girl tried to swallow her frustration as she realized that the heartless did not seemed to be on the loosing side. Looking back where she had left Sora, Yuffie gave a small nod. "Good luck." She whispered under her breath, steeling herself before she darted away, picking up speed until she broke into a sprint. Puffing for air as she raced ahead, Yuffie dodged and slashed at every heartless that tried to get in her way, her eyes narrowed with concentration and anger.
These heartless shouldn't be here, that much was certain. Yuffie cursed the day that Maleficent started this whole charade of herself and the darkness. It had ruined everything, including her own world. She would never forget the day that her world had disappeared. As if the thought gave her fuel, her swipes became more angered, more powerful as she knocked a wave of heartless behind her with ease.
Finally, she caught sight of her friend. Aerith was fighting by herself, the girl kicking out and striking as many heartless as she could reach. Yuffie gasped and quickened her pace, seeing that the heartless were surrounding her friend. Aerith wasn't ever much of a fighter, she was more of a healer, the girl would need Yuffie's help more severely than anybody else. "I'm here!" She called loudly, her friend turning around at once. She gave a relieved sigh as Yuffie vaulted over the ring of heartless, landing squarely beside her with a huff. "Hey." She panted, turning and smiling over at the brunette.
"You doing okay?" Aerith asked in concern, looking Yuffie up and down worriedly.
"Oh yeah, this is nothing." Yuffie said lowly, tightening her hold on her dagger. "Good exercise, right?" Aerith opened her mouth to say something, but Yuffie didn't hear her, the girl letting out a loud squeak as a heartless leapt at her throat, the girl only managing to block the attack rather sloppily, leaping over to the side at the same time in order to knock back another heartless making its way for Aerith. "Maybe a little too much exercise." She muttered under her breath, too quiet for Aerith to hear. She almost didn't hear it either, the sounds of battle around her were so loud, she could barley hear herself think.
"You can go, Yuffie…" Aerith said, watching Yuffie as the ninja stood in front of her protectively. "I'll be fine on my own…" Yuffie rolled her eyes irritably. She would do that as soon as she would leave Hollow Bastian altogether.
"You don't-" Yuffie stopped mid-sentence as all of the heartless that surrounded them suddenly vanished in a bright flash of orange. Blinking, Yuffie straightened, realizing as she looked around that it had been fire to shoo the heartless away, the heat of it hanging in the air as she stood alongside Aerith. "What…" The ninja squinted, seeing with alarm that although the heartless were gone in front of them, there were already reinforcements making their way across the gully towards them. "Let's get out of here!" She yelled, looking around for whatever had caused the heartless' sudden disappearance. Grabbing Aerith's hand, the girl letting out a squeak as she was tugged forward.
"Leaving already, hmm?" A voice stopped her cold, the ninja glancing over at Aerith with alarm shining clearly in her eyes. Looking over her shoulder slowly, Yuffie swallowed a thick lump in her throat as she saw a tall, dark figure standing across them, arms folded and hood drawn up to cover their face as it stood stiffly. The figure reached up, pulling down the hood and revealing their face as they gave the two girls a sly smile. Brushing a hand through his shockingly red hair, the man looked at them almost leeringly.
"…Who are you?" Yuffie asked, getting over her shock as she turned around, eyes narrowed.
"No need to be so hasty now." The man laughed, folding his arms over his chest loosely. Everything about the man seemed to show relaxation, something Yuffie raised her eyebrow at questioningly. He wasn't on their side, that was for sure. Otherwise he would be more worried about the millions of heartless racing about. "I thought it was the girls who always wanted to take it slow, am I right?" He looked as though he wanted a reaction. Yuffie refused to give him one. Face falling somewhat, the man finally answered her question. "Axel."
"Axel?" Aerith repeated, eyes wide. She glanced over at Yuffie. "Hasn't Sora mentioned…"
"You're from the Organization." Yuffie growled, the realization dawning on her as she got into a battle position. "So that means you were a part of who to make this happen." She didn't need to gesture around at the heartless to her point across. "I'll make you regret it." She vowed, raising her ninja star in the air and swinging it forward with all the strength she could manage, the weapon shooting straight forward at the Organization member.
Axel muttered curse under his breath, stepping to the side just in time. The weapon flashed by, just grazing his ear as it continued to spin through the air. Hissing, Axel watched as the weapon spun in the air, flipping around and shooting right back at the girl, who reached up and caught it expertly. Refusing to back down, Axel clapped his hands together slowly. "So close." He said almost mockingly. "But you get an A for effort. Don't let that get in the way of things, right?"
Yuffie scrunched her face up in a scowl, raising her arm and aiming for Axel's head once more. But this time, the man was ready. Instead of trying to block the attack, he reached forward, catching the pesky star right out of the air, smiling at Yuffie's shocked expression as he spun it in his hand smugly. "Whoops." He mused. "Finger slipped, huh?"
Gritting her teeth together, Yuffie took a threatening step forward. "You'd better give that back-" She broke off as Axel raised it in the air, making the girl jump backwards, throwing her arms up in front of her face as if to shield herself. At Axel's laugh, Yuffie turned bright red, trembling with frusteration as she looked back at Aerith with a spin. "Do you have a weapon on you?" She demanded, looking the girl up and down. Her heart pounded, the blood roaring in her ears loudly. The heartless were getting closer, without a weapon, what was she supposed to do? She could attack them physically like Aerith was attempting to do, but her weapon would have protected them much better than that. Her hopes faded as Aerith shook her head fast, looking a little overwhelmed where she stood. "Drat." Yuffie grumbled, turning back around.
She'd have to get it back one way or another. Bracing herself, Yuffie dashed forward, air slicking her hair back to her forehead as she ran. Axel blinked, watching as the girl ran forward rather calmly, face blank. Getting close enough to the man, Yuffie bunched up her legs, shooting off of the ground and flying through the air as she posed for an attack, sticking her leg out straight as she aimed for the man's face.
Axel ducked swiftly, throwing his arm in the air and sticking the ninja star straight up, catching Yuffie's foot as the girl went through the air. Instantly, Yuffie gasped as pain made her eyes close tightly, the girl loosing her balance and tumbling back to the ground with a thud. Wind whooshing out of the girl, Yuffie closed her eyes tightly, holding her stomach as she groaned painfully. Axel looked back at her, eyes narrowed by now. "Look what you made me do." He said darkly. Turning around, he started towards Yuffie, Aerith letting out a small gasp as she fumbled forward, looking as though she was going to protect her friend. Yuffie's eyes widened as Axel came closer.
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"Need some help there?" Sora jerked at the voice, blinking as he paused in his swipes, smiling as Leon sprinted forward, sword already drawn as he skidded to a stop beside the smaller teen. Glancing down at him, Leon smirked. "In a tough situation?" He asked, looking around at the horde of heartless clambering over one another to get a swipe at the keyblade bearer.
Sora just laughed. "Not anymore." He grunted, turning around and giving a sharp jab at a shadow as it leapt at him. Digging his heels into the ground, Sora paused for a moment to breathe, one eye closed as he surveyed the enemies that were now closing in on him. Gritting his teeth, he waited, keeping his feet planted firmly one the ground. Right before any of them struck, Sora extended his keyblade, pushing off the ground and spinning as fast as he could go. Making sure his arms were rigid, Sora smirked triumphantly as he felt the blade strike his intended targets. Flinging the heartless back a good few feet, Sora let himself relax slightly, his muscles burning.
Looking over at Leon, Sora made sure that his friend was doing fine, giving a small nod of affirmation to himself before he concentrated on his own task. Rolling away from an attacking heartless, Sora tensed as he got closer to the cliff, thrusting his feet out and stopping himself right before he could fall over the edge. Putting his hands down on the ground, he was preparing to jump up, but stopped rigid at the sight he saw below him.
He couldn't help but let out a gasp, loud enough for even Leon to hear it. The man struck the enemy he was facing away with a powerful swipe, knocking the heartless into the cliff wall as it vanished in a puff of darkness. Rushing over, Leon looked down into the gully below, letting out a loud growl as he saw Yuffie and Aerith. "The Organization!" He yelled angrily. "We have to get down there and help them!" Leon shouted angrily, standing up.
Sora scrambled to his feet, eyes locked on the Organization member below. He was pretty sure he had seen that man before…but…where? He couldn't remember. His thoughts were interrupted as something sharp slammed into the back of his head, the teen hissing sharply at the pain as he fell forward slightly. Leon reacted instantly, reaching over and pulling Sora backwards, away from the cliff's edge. One hand gripping the back of his head, Sora spun around, swiping his key right through the shadow that had attacked him angrily. "Thanks." He growled through his teeth.
"We can't both go." Leon replied, watching as Sora darted forward to deal with the other heatless, the teen's blue eyes shining with irritation and frustration. "Can you hold things up here?" The question was asked hesitantly, it was clear that the man wasn't all on board in leaving the boy alone. Sora turned back, eyes going down to the gully where Yuffie and Aerith were being attacked.
"Yeah, sure!" He called back, parrying a blow to his head with difficulty. "Don't worry about me!"
Nodding quickly, Leon made quick progress in leaping down into the gully, vanishing from Sora's sight as quickly as he had appeared before. Adrenaline pumping through Sora's veins, the boy grounded his teeth together angrily. "You guys are so annoying!" He yelled loudly at the heartless surrounding him. As if in response, three Air Soldiers entered the fight, flying out and diving for Sora in a sort of barrel roll. Groaning, Sora sucked in a gulp of air, bracing himself as he raised his keyblade once more.
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"Look, I don't want to be violent or anything. I don't want to be the bad guy, here." Axel said, a little too lightly for the situation. Yuffie's face turned from panic to puzzlement, the girl slacking from her tense posture moments before. Axel sighed. "But, unfortunately I'm under strict orders TO do that…" Axel looked down at the ground thoughtfully for a moment before shrugging. "Ah, well." He said finally, turning back to Yuffie.
All of a sudden, something slammed into him from behind, knocking him off balance as he staggered forward. Yuffie made a noise of alarm, pushing herself backwards as Axel stepped right in the place where she had been moments before. Looking behind him angrily, Axel narrowed his eyes as he spotted the brunette from before. Her green eyes were filled with anger, and she slammed her elbow into his back a second time. "Let Yuffie go!" She yelled loudly.
"Get off!" Axel yelled, spinning around and pushing her backwards. Not expecting his own strength, Axel blinked as the girl flew backwards a few feet, landing on the ground and skidding backwards. Immediately, Yuffie leapt up, wrapping her arms around his neck and hanging onto his back for dear life, the Organization member bending forward under the additional weight. "What the-" Axel broke off, yanking his hand away as he saw the girl reaching for her weapon. "Not a chance!" He shouted, leaning backwards and falling to the ground, squishing the girl underneath him as Yuffie let out a surprised squeak. The girl started to struggle, yelling out insults as she tried to knock him to the side angrily.
Suddenly, a foot slammed into his side, kicking Axel off the girl and causing him to skid to the side a ways. It was almost as far as he had pushed the other girl. Looking up angrily, Axel looked up at a man with spiky brown hair, a large sword poised and ready for battle at his side. "What did you think you were doing?" The man demanded, glaring at Axel as he helped Yuffie up, who looked frazzled. "Did you think they were the only ones here to help?"
"Nah, I knew there were more." Axel said, smiling crookedly as he dusted himself off calmly. "What do you take me for, an idiot? I think I deserve more credit than that, don't you think?"
"Maybe." Leon grunted ungraciously. "We'll find out." Raising his sword, he pointed it over at Axel. "You're going to give my friend back her weapon. And then we'll see who deserves more credit." Axel glanced down at the ninja star he still held in his hand. Laughing, he looked back up, swinging the star over and watching as it fell at the girl's feet. She instantly reached down and scooped it up.
"Fine. We don't have much time, though." Axel snorted, the heartless rushing forward behind him. "I'll have to make this quick."
And with that, the fight began.
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Slicing through the last heartless, Sora was out of breath, gasping for air that didn't seem to fill his lungs. But he had to keep going to meet up with the others. Donald and the king would be waiting for him. Turning around and forcing his legs into a run, Sora made for the ridge that led up to where he had to go, already making a plan in his head for what to do if he ran into any more heartless. But right when he was about to enter the passage itself, he slammed into a wall, getting shot backwards immediately.
Giving a grunt, Sora blinked, pushing himself upright once more and looking with confusion at the still-clear passage. Getting up once more, he walked forward, bringing up his arm and pushing it forward. Almost at once, it got rejected, stopping in mid-air from nothing. The barrier? Sora turned back around, blinking as he scanned the area. He had gotten every heartless! Why wasn't he going through?
"A little confused, I see." Sora stiffened at once, a chilling voice echoing from nowhere. Spinning in a slow circle, Sora tried to see where it was coming from, but it was in vain. He was in the only one in the clearing. And yet, the voice continued to speak. "That's natural of course. You're used to everything falling into place for you, and all you have to do is swing that pretty little key all around. It's like magic." The last word ended on a mocking tone, Sora's face immediately scrunching in anger. "But trust me, dear boy, that all will change soon enough."
Sora started, black portals appearing in a semi-circle around him almost in unison. Taking a hesitant step backwards, Sora watched uneasily as Organization members all stepped out calmly from the portals, footsteps seeming to echo as they did so. One was unfamiliar to Sora, but others he knew from looking at Jiminy's journal. Xigbar, Xaldin, Luxord, Saix, and one other man that Sora had never seen before. All he knew was that them being all here at the same time meant trouble.
Clenching his hand, Sora's keyblade shimmered into view, glinting in the light of the sun as he crouched down in a ready position. He grimaced determinately, gripping his weapon so tight that his knuckles turned white. The back of his mind screamed at him that he didn't have a lot of potions left, he had used most of them up when battling Demyx. But there was no going back. Xigbar and Xaldin were blocking his retreat exit.
"Look at that." Luxord scoffed where he stood. "He thinks that he can win this game."
"Five against one just doesn't seem fair, does it?" Xaldin presumed, face blank.
Luxord smiled slightly. "That's how you win a game, though." He stated. "You cheat."
"Everything is a game to you, Luxord." Xaldin sighed. "Can't it be anything else?"
"Stop bickering, you two." Sora looked over at the man he had not recognized, eerie yellow eyes meeting his own blue ones. "We have a job to finish, and we have to make it quick. Axel can only hold up for so long, and us standing here doing nothing will not help him."
Sora looked the group up and down. "Do you always say random stuff, or is it just always around me?" He asked sarcastically. It seemed that whenever an Organization person started to talk, their words were always lost on him. It was either that they had no sense whatsoever, or he was just missing something. But he didn't have time to say anything else before the five organization members drew their weapons and charged forward.
Gasping in shock, Sora dodged as Xaldin shot a lance at him, rolling on the ground and watching with panic as the lance stuck in the rock wall where his head had been once before. He had no time to recover before a sharp pain inserted itself in his arm, the boy gasping immediately as he shot up to his feet, eyes wide as he looked at his burned arm. Another laser shot out, striking the same place, Sora grunting as he dodged to the side from whatever had hit him.
He hadn't face these people before, he had no idea what to expect from them. But he would be caught dead before he let them win without a fight. Gritting his teeth together, Sora raised his keyblade, doing the same as he did with the heartless before as he spun in a tight circle, striking at least some blows on the men that were around him. It was a little victory, but at least he got somewhere.
Jumping in the air, Sora dodged a blow from Saix, a large claymore being the man's weapon. He willed himself to remember who's weapon was who's. Landing on the ground with a thump, Sora spun around just in time as he parried a blow from the man he did not recognize, large, laser-swords glowing in the teen's face. Grunting, Sora's feet shook as he pushed back on the man's swords, trying to keep them from striking against him with all of the effort he could manage. It slipped his mind of the others as he did all he could to keep the hot sword to touch him.
Another laser struck at him, burning a hole through his shirt easily and making his skin a blistery red. Immediately, he screamed, grip slackening only for a heartbeat. But that was all the man needed. Raising his sword, the man struck out at the boy, hitting him so hard that he flew backwards, landing with a painful skid on the ground. Immediately, a large card appeared right by Sora, the teen having no time to react before the card slammed down, knocking the boy to the side once more. Knocking against the wall, Sora squeezed his eyes shut, pushing himself shakily to his feet.
Blowing out a breath of air, Sora dashed forward, picking Luxord -who was closest- and swiping his keyblade at him with all the strength he could manage right now. The man grunted in pain as Sora fought blow for blow, but it wasn't long at all. The unfamiliar man rushed forward, knocking Sora away from his target and raining down blows on the teen. Gasping and yelling in pain, Sora lifted his key to try and defend himself, but immediately, Sora fumbled.
Xaldin threw his lances at Sora without a pause in his strikes, four lances digging themselves in Sora's skin with a painful burning sensation. Screaming, Sora staggered, the man knocking him forward like a golf ball with his sword. Falling to the ground, Sora grimaced into the dirt, digging his fingers into the ground with frustration. Trying to push himself up, Sora was flattened at once as a laser shot into his side.
Dropping down to the ground with a thump, Sora felt all of the energy he one had vanish in an instant. Trembling with pain and the effort of trying to get up, Sora could feel his fast heartbeat roaring in his ears. His vision shook, his mind was fuzzy. He couldn't get up and fight if he remotely wanted to in the back of his mind. Looking up, Sora flinched as something burned into his side once more, he didn't know what it was. Hands shaking, Sora's breath came in a panicked gasps as he shoved his hand in his pocket as fast as he could. His hand shot every way he could, trying to grasp the potion bottle he knew was in there somewhere. He might have touched it, but his effort was for nothing as Xigbar shot at him with his laser guns once more, Sora's hand shooting out of his pocket as he tried to shield himself somehow.
Teeth still glued together tightly, Sora felt the lasers recede until they stopped altogether. Closing his eyes, Sora let out a pained whimper, letting his hands fall on the ground with a small thud. Closing his eyes tightly, Sora tried to distract himself from the pain that was engulfing him, burning and stinging every inch of him. But the only other thought that would come to him was the thought of Donald and Mickey. They would be waiting for him, what happened now?
"Grab him, we have to leave before anybody sees." Somebody said lowly.
Feeling the collar of his shirt being tugged up, Sora tried to will himself to do something in response, to try and move. To break free. But his body wouldn't listen to him. Feeling himself being pulled backwards, he felt a flash of panic, hot as the laser that had burned him. Where were they taking him? Slowly, he forced himself into motion. Starting to move, he struggling away, yanking himself forward as he dug his heels into the ground. His keyblade was gone, he was too weak to try and get it to appear, but he didn't need it.
The grip on his collar tightened, voices muttering in the back fuzziness of his head. His movements got more rapid, more stronger. He HAD to break free. Thrashing and twisting, Sora found little strength in his fear. Pushing and pulling, Sora gasped as he felt hands grab his wrists, yanking him backwards, making him cease movement. His ankles were held too, the boy hanging suspended in the air, back facing the ground. His struggles would do nothing now.
Sucking in as much air as he could, Sora raised his voice as high as it could go, shouting for all it was worth, and hoping it would be enough. "LEON!" He screamed. Immediately, something heavy collided with his head, and everything went black.
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"LEON!" The man halted in his swipes, paused everything altogether as he froze, eyes widening. Yuffie stopped as well, turning and looking at Leon like her heart had just froze over. Even Axel stopped to listen as the scream echoed and bounced from the walls of the gully. Whirling around, Leon strained to see the cliff face in which he had left Sora. He couldn't make out anything, he was too far.
Turning back around, Leon saw that Axel's weapons had disappeared already. The man gave him a sly smirk, turning and looking back at the heartless that were no inches away. "Look like I'll take my leave here." He sighed. "Don't want to mess with any heartless. Far too annoying, you see?" And with that, the man vanished in a black portal, leaving the heartless to charge forward.
Completely ignoring everything around him, Leon whirled around, sprinting forward and charging back as fast as his legs would carry him. Yuffie and Aerith followed suit, the trio not bothering with the heatless. They were not even on their mind anymore.
As Leon came face to face with the wall of the cliff, he didn't hesitate as he started to climb. Panting, Yuffie helped Aerith up before her, pausing to jab a few heartless away with a deathly look. Scaling the wall, Leon hoisted himself up as quick as he could, feet making a loud thump on the ground. Brown eyes roving around in a panic, Leon didn't see anything.
"Sora?" He yelled, pushing off the ground and rounding the corner to see if the boy had made it up the ridge. But it was empty too. The boy was nowhere to be seen, it was empty. Absolutely empty. "SORA!" Leon yelled louder, listening for a yell back. But nothing came back to him. The place was just…empty.
There was nothing that even signaled the boy's ever being there.