Back in his room, Lea sat down on his bed. "Do I keep this a secret Sora?" He asked the small heartless that had curled into his lap, looking rather tired. Sora turned his bright yellow eyes towards Lea, his antennae drooping slightly. He gave a slight nod. Lea let out a sigh and said, "Come on, we better see if Kairi's back." With that, he put Sora on his shoulder and walked out to Yen Sid's study.
Kairi was sitting in the corner with Xion and Roxas playing with Pickles, Riku was lying next to them, his hands behind his head and eyes closed. Ven and Aqua had left the room and Yen Sid was sitting at his desk reading from a book. Sora jumped off of Lea's shoulder and ran to Kairi. "Sora!" Kairi exclaimed, her blue eyes lighting up as she saw the little heartless.
"You're back!" Xion said. Riku opened his eyes and sat up, he looked a little weary.
"Where were you?" Roxas asked, moving Pickles from his lap, to the floor.
"Where indeed?" Master Yen Sid said standing from his chair, "Did it occur to you that you could have put Sora into danger by taking him with you? We don't know how long he can stand to be like that. And what if you had gotten attacked, couldn't defend him and he was taken?"
Lea resisted the urge to tell the truth and said, "Relax, we didn't go anywhere dangerous, we just went to Radiant Garden. Right Sora?" He looked at the little heartless who was now in Riku's lap. Without hesitation, Sora nodded enthusiastically. Thank you, Lea thought with relief.
"Very well, Kairi, let's hope you can change him back again without any problems."
Kairi nodded and took Sora from Riku's lap, she hugged him and he was engulfed in a warm light, when it subsided, Sora stood in the heartless' place. Yen Sid nodded and walked out of the room. Hardly anyone noticed, they were too excited asking Sora questions.
"How did you bring Roxas, Ven and Xion back?" Kairi asked.
"How did you know it would work? We could have lost you forever." Riku said crossing his arms.
Sora shrugged and sat next to them, "I don't know, I just had a feeling everything would be ok, and it was." He smiled wide as Pickles sat in his lap contently.
"Well, we owe you Sora, that's for sure." Roxas said smiling.
Lea walked over to them, "Anyone else starving?" he asked.
"You're always starving." Riku said turning his aquamarine eyes toward the red-head.
Lea shrugged and then smirked at Riku. "You're just jealous you don't have my rockin' bod."
Riku snorted, "Yeah right, is that what your ego told you?" Kairi and Xion giggled while Lea began to walk to the kitchen.
"Fine, suit yourself, but when you slow pokes come into the kitchen and all of the food is gone, don't blame me." Lea's eyes glinted mischievously.
"I'll lock you in the fridge." Riku said smirking at Lea. Lea laughed loudly and disappeared through the kitchen door.
"Uh, I'm not taking any chances, I want food. You guys should hurry too." Sora said as he ran to the kitchen. The others laughed.
"We already ate!" Roxas shouted after him.
"More for me then!" Sora shouted back walking through the kitchen door. Lea already had numerous cooking ingredients scattered along the counter.
"Hey, you want some pancakes?" Lea asked whisking some ingredients together.
"Sure!" Sora said cheerfully. His smile was replaced by a deep frown. "Are we bad people?"
Lea set the bowl on the counter and took a skillet out of the cabinet. "What for?" he asked turning the oven on. "For eating pancakes at dinner time?"
That brought Sora's smile back. "No, for not telling about…"
Lea tuned his emerald eyes to look at Sora, "No, we are just doing what he asked us to. We can't interfere."
Sora nodded, "But what about Isa?"
Lea flipped a pancake onto a plate before saying anything. "Do you want chocolate chips in your pancakes?" He asked taking some chips from the cupboard.
"Sure." Sora said, leaving the subject about Isa alone.
Twelve pancakes, an entire bag of chocolate chips, and a huge mess later, Sora and Lea went back to the study to find only Ven and Aqua playing a game of checkers.
"Hey." Sora chirped happily.
Ven waved at them, but kept his concentration on the board. Aqua smiled and looked over at them. "How are you two?" she asked
"Great!" Sora said looking over Ven's shoulder at the game. "You can double jump her." He added pointing to the pieces.
"Oh!" Ven said, "I didn't see that!" He moved his piece. Aqua smiled and double jumped him, leaving him with only 3 pieces, one of which was kinged, while Aqua still had 5, two of which were kinged.
"Oops." Sora said.
"Yeah Oops!" Ven said hitting the back of Sora's head. Lea and Aqua laughed at the two of them.
"I'm going to bed." Lea said as he let out a yawn. "Goodnight you three."
"Night!" Ven and Sora shouted together as Lea left.
"What if you move your kinged one there?" Sora asked pointing to an empty space.
Ven stuck out his tongue in concentration, "That might work." He said considering the idea. Finally, he shrugged and moved his piece, allowing Aqua to double jump him again.
He was alone, in a dark room. He couldn't see anything. He tried to stand but slipped, the floor was covered in something wet, he brought his hand to his nose and gagged as overpowering smell of blood hit him. He summoned a flame in his hand and immediately wished he hadn't. Blood was covering the floor, next to him was Kairi, her body frigid and mangled, and her eyes wide and empty, she looked like she had died terrified. He gagged and grabbed his stomach willing himself not to throw up. He reached forward and closed her eyes. He looked to his left expecting something equally as gruesome. He wasn't wrong, Namine lay next to Xion, both just as mangled as Kairi. He couldn't stop himself from throwing up this time, he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and tried standing one more time. He walked forward and nearly tripped over Ven, or was it Roxas? He couldn't tell, the body was too distorted. He kept walking straight, trying not to look at the bodies that littered the room, he saw them in the corners of his vision though, he saw Aqua, Sora, Isa, and even Terra, the only one he didn't see was Riku. As he walked he came to a door, it was locked. No problem, he summoned his Key and opened it.
He stepped into a hallway, lit with torches and closed doors lining each side. Curiosity got the better of him and he put his ear up to the door on his left. He heard Xehanort's voice, but it wasn't quite him, but it wasn't Terra either. "You cannot ease your pain, embrace it, embrace the darkness that has come to care for you, the darkness has always been there for you, I have always been there for you."
"What did you make me do, I killed them all, they're all dead, WHAT DID YOU MAKE ME DO!" He stumbled away from the door as he heard Riku shout. Ever curious though, he listened to the door at his right.
"Riku stop! What are you doing?!" He heard his own voice say. He shivered not liking how terrified he sounded, whatever was behind that door, he didn't want to find out. He walked forward, he knew he would regret it, but he listened to the second door at his right.
"You killed him! You killed Riku!" He heard Sora shout.
Then Xehanort's voice, but still not quite Xehanort said, "Of course I did, he refused me. Pity, he could have been so powerful." He stepped away as he heard Sora scream. "What is going on?" He thought. Not wanting to hear anymore, he continued forward, the hallway seemed endless, and the farther he got, the louder the voices behind the doors became. They demanded that he listen to each of them. He covered his ears and ran, still not reaching an end. The voices becoming unbearable, some shouting for Sora, others shouting for Riku or Kairi, a few for Ven or Aqua, and even some shouting for him, he ran until his legs gave out, but there was still no end. He tried to open a portal with his Keyblade, even with darkness, but he couldn't escape.
Panting he lay on the floor curled in a ball, trying to block out the doors. Finally, when he thought he couldn't bear it anymore, it stopped. He opened his eyes, he was no longer in the dimly lit hallway, but now Castle Oblivion, the bright white walls blinded him for a few moments, but as his eyes adjusted, he saw that he wasn't alone. Riku was sitting in a throne like chair, with a black shadow like figure behind him. His blood ran cold, he recognized it, he swallowed and looked around trying to find a way to escape.
"No way out." Riku said, but it wasn't Riku, well it was but he was older, and looked much more menacing. He truly feared this Riku. "Figured it out yet?" The imposter asked, a twisted smile creeping onto his face, "Come on, you're a smart boy, don't make me spell it out for you."
He stood up trying to prepare himself for a fight, but his clothes were still stained with blood, his ears ringing from the previous room, and his heart nearly leaping out of his chest in fear. "All of those doors…" His voice trailed off.
"Timelines." The imposter said, that smiled still painted on his lips. His features were like hard, cut porcelain, each expression carefully crafted and set. "Each door led to another timeline, it seems you've got quite the gift for transcending the limitations your body sets for you. This isn't the first time this has happened to you. Don't lie, I know. Last time, you met my pet here." As if on cue, the shadow curled its tendrils almost possessively around Riku. "But that wasn't the first time either, think back, think back to all of those horrible nightmares you've had, think back to the ones that came true, your parents being swallowed by the darkness, you saw that, you even saw yourself taken by it. You've seen other things as well, you've seen things that will never happen in your timeline, but they have happened. Your timeline is one of many, but your gift, if it can even be called that has allowed you to see many things you weren't meant to see." He tried to block out Riku's words, but he couldn't deny that they were true, ever since he was a boy he had nightmares, but he never thought them as anything else but nightmares, even after some came true, he disregarded them because it frightened him. "You've even seen your own death, but was it this timeline or another?" The imposter chuckled darkly. He shook his head.
"Stop." He said.
"It is rather odd, why you? What significance do you possess? What makes you special enough to see these things? It is quite confusing, you aren't at all important, yet because of your… sight, you've become quite dangerous to our cause. Xehanort is wondering if you can out smart us, but you can only do that if you can make sense of what you see, that's why I'm here, to make sure the future stays muddled for you. To make sure you only see the pain. To make sure you won't get in our way." With that, the shadow leapt out at Lea, and then everything went black.
Lea bolted upright in his bed, his face and chest covered in sweat, his hands shook as looked down to make sure it was still only just a dream. Panting, he tried to calm down. He couldn't ignore it this time, this nightmare, if he could even call it that anymore. He looked at his clock, it was 3 in the morning, too early for anyone to be awake. He got up anyways and headed to the kitchen.
Apparently he wasn't the only one that couldn't sleep, Riku was sitting at the table reading a book and eating some green jello. Lea gulped reflexively and got a glass down from the cabinet. "Can't sleep?" Riku asked.
"No." Lea said, as he filled his glass with water, his voice hoarse.
"Nightmares or something?"
Lea gulped some water down and thought, you have no idea. "Or something." He said sitting at the table.
"Wanna talk about it?" Riku asked, becoming a little concerned when he noticed how shaken Lea really looked. His red hair was tangled and disheveled like he had been tossing and turning, his eyes were red and he was shaking slightly.
What and tell you that I can see the future and some other weird shit? Or how about that in some timeline, or maybe sometime in the future you become an evil ass mother fucker? Yeah, that'll go over well. Lea thought. He shook his head, "What about you? How come you can't sleep? Have a nightmare that you ran out of styling product?" Lea teased.
Riku rolled his eyes, well at least he's well enough to tease me. "No, I meat someone in Wonderland today, that's all, he just… frightened me. That's all."
Lea raised an eyebrow. "He… frightened you? Who was he?" Lea asked leaning forward.
"See, that's the thing… he was… me. At first I thought he was my replica, but then… then he said he was from another timeline…a timeline where I gave in to Ansem instead of fighting him."
Lea tried his best not to look queasy, it wasn't working. Riku noticed how much paler he had gotten, and he had started to shake again.
"Have you seen him?" Riku asked debating whether or not he should wake up the medical broom.
Lea nodded once, "Yeah, he uh… he was in my dream." Lea was gripping the glass so hard Riku thought it was going to break.
"So now you're dreaming about me huh?" Riku smirked, but Lea only glared at him.
"This is serious, he is one creepy ass piece of shit." Lea said, still gripping the glass, Riku took it from him before he broke it. Lea's hands were still trembling, and his breathing had become labored.
"I think you're in shock or something, what did he tell you?" Riku asked.
"Nothing that you need to worry about." And with that, Lea got up and left the kitchen. Riku debated going after him. He looks sick. That decided it, Riku walked out of the kitchen, to Lea's room. He didn't bother knocking, he walked in to find Lea shivering in his bed. He put his hand to the red-head's forehead, a fever, I should get help.
"Lea? What's wrong?" Riku whispered, not wanting to startle the red-head.
"Just a nightmare, go away." Lea said.
"Lea, you look sick, whatever it was, it scared you."
"Get. Out." Lea said a little more forcefully.
"GO!" Lea shouted. Riku nodded and left the room, but he went to find Buford, Lea hadn't looked good at all. Something was wrong, really really wrong.