It was raining, outside of the ominous Castle Oblivion.

"Aqua," a pale-haired young man said softly, placing his hand on the door to a place he hoped he'd never see again. "You sure Ventus is sleeping here?"

The blue-haired woman known as Aqua placed her hand next to the boy's

"Do you really believe I'll misplace one of my closest friends?" she said with a soft chuckle. She then pushed the door open, and looked confused at the blank white halls.

"I am Master Aqua, and I have come to take my friend, Ventus, home." she said sternly. She closed the door, then opened it again. And groaned at finding the same blank halls. "Why won't it work? It'll be impossible to find Ven unless it opens to the chamber the first time." she closed the door again and yelled "I am Master Aqua, take me to the Chamber of Waking!"

White halls, nothing more. Thunder rumbled above. Aqua was crying "Please, let us in! We are here to take Ventus back home!"

Riku looked up at the spires, wincing slightly when raindrops fell into his eyes. They reminded him of the cruelty of Organization XIII, the twisted corruption of his closest friend. He grabbed the handle of the door and said firmly

"I am Master Riku, with Master Aqua, searching for the boy you hold in your depths..." he trailed off, then resumed "We are here for Ventus's body, and Sora if he is here. We have both been in your halls before, now let us inside the Chamber of Waking." when he opened the door, it was a circular chamber with only a simple throne in the center. Upon that throne was a boy who couldn't have been much younger than Riku, peacefully asleep.

"Ven!" Aqua cried joyfully as she ran to the boy's side. Riku followed calmly behind her, sensing something off about the place. There was some form of tragedy in the air. Aqua brushed Ventus's cheek, smiling hopefully. "Oh Ven, I missed you so much."

"What's this?" Riku picked up a small letter in Ven's lap. There was a crown-shaped seal, and the back said For Riku or Kairi, whoever finds this first. Riku felt his stomach drop a full foot.

It was Sora's handwriting.

He lowered his hand with the letter, staring ahead, remembering only a month or two ago.

"Come back once you're ready!" Riku called after his friend, who was about to traverse into the Realm of Sleep again to train for his next exam. Sora smiled back, a wide grin that lit up the twilit land surrounding the Mysterious Tower.

"I will! But this time I'LL be the master!" and he vanished in the bright light that swept him away into the Realm of Sleep once more. King Mickey looked up at Riku

"Are you okay?" he asked in his squeaky voice. Riku nodded, tears starting to fill his eyes.

"I... I just have this really bad feeling."

"Sora will be fine. Now, your first mission as Master, Riku, will be to find another Master who vanished long ago: Master Aqua." Riku looked down to the mouse who had served as his mentor the past year or so. "Do you have any idea where she is?"

"The Realm of Darkness. After you find her, go to Castle Oblivion-"

"No." Riku said it with firm disgust, "I am NOT going back to that twisted place." Mickey looked at him sadly "It wasn't always like that, Riku. The Organization just made it that way." Riku nodded, understanding that his instant loathing of the place was only because of Organization XIII's efforts to trap him and Sora there. Mickey then resumed "Aqua will explain why you have to go to Castle Oblivion next,and if she doesn't, tell her 'He needs to come home, for good.' and she'll understand. Then, both of you come back here. You got it, Riku?"

Riku nodded, and, with his recently reacquired dark powers, summoned a portal to the last place he wanted to go.

Present-day Riku shakily unfolded the letter, ignoring Aqua's futile attempts to wake Ventus. He knew this wasn't going to be good.

Dear Riku, or Kairi, or whoever is reading this last letter of mine. It read, Riku traced a finger over Sora's moderately curvy script, If it isn't Riku or Kairi, please give it to them. They're the closest friends I've had. Anyways... the paper became a bit blurry with tears here, Also, Donald and Goofy, I'll miss you guys...

Riku, I am so proud of you becoming a Master instead of me. I know that I'm a little too inexperienced to really be a Master anyways, and I'm so glad that you got a moment where YOU are the hero. Riku could hear Sora laugh weakly, That's what you've been to me all these years, and now everyone else sees the same. I know that you've had it a lot rougher than me, and I'm glad that you've found a reward for your hard work. Please don't be too mad with me, and you are always going to be right next to my heart.

The letter shifted tone, subtly, Kairi, I've never really had the guts to tell you this in person, and now that I'm about to be gone from this realm I've found the courage to at least tell you in this letter:I love you, I always had ever since you first came to the islands. I've been scared of what you would think, but since I'm gonna be... gone, I don't think it will really matter. Kairi, I want you to remain happy,hold onto the light in your heart and cherish it. Don't give into the darkness and it's false promises, because you're one of the few who can't afford to.

Riku noted that Aqua was reading over his shoulder now, but continued reading, I want you to be the beautiful, smart, amazing, wonderful Princess who captured may heart all those years ago, and please... don't cry too much at my passing. Tears are a part of emotional healing, yes, but they never looked good on you Kairi. It was going to happen eventually, with me and Ven being so intertwined.

Riku lifted his head and stared at the sleeping boy, puzzle pieces lining up in his mind, then resumed reading. Riku and Kairi, you two have been my friends regardless of what either of you did, you both will always be in my heart, and you will always be in my memory. I don't care if either of you hate me for leaving you guys, but I did what I had to do, and I'm so sorry that our adventures had to be brought to a close.

Now, about Ventus: his heart is restored to his body. He'll need a friend of his to bring him out of his slumber, but say my name and he'll probably wake up. He'll need his friends, Terra and Aqua, so find them as fast as you can. They've been separated for far too long, they deserve happiness. Take Ventus to Master Yen Sid, he'll know what to do. Also, in Twilight Town, there'll be Roxas, and a girl whose name I can't remember. Take them to Yen Sid too. They have hearts, so please don't say they don't have one. Treat them as friends.

If you're wondering where I am, my heart is also with Ven's. We've switched places, I guess you can say. My body should be behind the throne with Ventus, keep it safe until you guys can figure out how to fully separate me and Ven. If I end up in Xehanort's clutches again, I don't think being a Xehanort clone would be appealing. We need the 'Seven Lights', whoever they may be, and losing me would most likely being losing one of them.

Riku felt tears pouring down his face, but his eyes kept reading the steadily blurring paper.

Riku, Kairi,Donald, Goofy, I can't say enough how much I love you guys. Kairi especially. Whomever found this letter, please show it to my friends, King Mickey, Yen Sid, and anyone else who is in this battle for the Realm of Light.

My friends,Kairi, I love you guys more than there are worlds in this universe.


Riku, sobs staring to rack his body, looked behind the throne. Sora sat there, eyes closed, peacefully breathing in a slumber from which there was no waking. Riku sank to his knees,and placed his hand on Sora's shoulder. He bowed his head in grief. Aqua mimicked the gesture on Riku, saying softly "We have to wake Ven."

Riku looked up at her, tears flowing from his teal eyes. He then looked back down, murmuring "Alright..."

Tears still flowing, he shook Ventus "Sora says you gotta wake up now."

And for the first time in years, Ventus opened his eyes.

They were just like Sora's.

sorry for those who were confused! I accidentally re-uploaded chapter 2 onto chapter 1 DX