J enova

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XXXII

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Memories Skyscraper

Edge

Present Day

x

The morning was cold, colder then a summers day should have been. As the doors of the grand hotel opened and Kairi walked out, her bag over her shoulder, she sighed as she looked up and felt the cold breeze against her skin. It was as if the weather of Edge was mirroring her attitude. Kairi was cold, her grand plan to rescue Sora was gone and now she was returning back to the Destiny Islands never to see the young man again. Her mind was yelling at her, telling her to go back to ShinraCorp and do whatever it took to get the Sora back. But her body was defeated, wanting nothing more to do then hide in the covers of her bed and never see the world again.

Kairi sighed as she looked over her shoulder, seeing Riku and Xion walking out of the hotel, both looking just as miserable as the young woman. Only having to wait a few moments before the cars were driven up to them, a Black and Silver colored sports car. Riku didn't say a word as he moved over to both of the young hotel staff members and gave them a generous tip, not even bothering to see how much he had paid them as they bowed their heads in thanks before making their way back inside.

Kairi watched the two enter the building as Roxas and Namine were the next to exit. Namine walked right up to Kairi had did the same thing she had done every time she saw the depressed look in the Auburn haired young woman; hug her. Kairi didn't allow tears to flow but returned the hug, grateful that she had her friend there to lean on. Riku returned back as Axel made his way out of the building, the silver haired young man chucking a set of keys towards the fire haired man, who didn't make any comment about the cars they were driving but merely nodded his head and made his way towards the silver car.

Kairi moved away from Namine to place her luggage into the boot of the black car, hearing Riku mutter to Xion that he was going to drive with Kairi for company, trying to glance away as the woman kissed Riku and nodded her head before making her way towards Axel's car. Both Roxas and Namine walked behind Kairi as they followed suit and placed their luggage into the back of the car. Roxas opened his mouth to say something, but before he could Kairi had made her way to the front seat of the car in solemn silence.

Riku coughed out a sigh as he was the last to place his bag into the back seat of the car, before looking at Axel, "We'll see you back at the hotel," and the young man nodded his head in response before getting into the car.

Riku was soon in the drivers seat as he gave one more glance at Kairi before putting the keys in the ignition. Before she knew it, they were making their way through the busy traffic on route to the airport.

The drive seemed longer to the young woman then it had been when they first arrived in Edge. More then likely because when they were first making their way towards Memories Skyscraper Kairi was almost certain that she would be bringing Sora back with them. The events that had unfolded were certainly not the way she had imagined it. Thoughts of finding Sora in a cell, giving a heart-to-heart speech about whatever he was going through they would tackle it together, before kissing Sora and the two battle an onslaught of guards before breaking through the door and driving in a high speed chase towards the airport...Ok, maybe not like that Kairi thought to herself, but she was sure that they would be there, together. Sora with a smirk on his face as he would thank her for rescuing him, or even having him back not saying anything at all, he would still be there within reach. And now all she had of Sora were memories. Although they were good memories, they would never be the same as making new memories with the young man she had grown to love.

Kairi was jolted out of her thoughts by the sound of sirens. She looked to Riku, who was looking at his speedometer. Glancing over, she saw that he was going well under the limit. Kairi looked up and saw that there were two patrol cars, one in front and another behind Axel and Xion who were right behind them. Shrugging Riku pulled over, Kairi looking behind her towards Namine, who had gripped Roxas's hand in her own. Roxas was trying to comfort her, but at the same time there was no denying the look of curiosity mixed with worry.

Kairi looked in front of her as she saw two patrol officers getting out of the car and make their way towards them. Riku had already grabbed his license from his wallet and the rental agreement from the glove compartment before the two men had reached the car. Holding it up, Riku asked, "Is there some sort of problem officer?"

Ignoring the information in front of him, the man looked towards Roxas as he said, "Is your name Roxas Gainsborough?"

Roxas nodded his head slowly as Kairi looked between the two. He hadn't looked at the identification of the car, which was the first thing he should have done to ensure that they had the right vehicle, no matter who they wanted.

"You are under arrest for the assault of several men employed by the Shinra Corporation, please step out of the car," The man said as Namine gasped in shock. Roxas sighed as he made his way out of the car, as if he had known this moment was coming. Riku began talking with the officer, trying to tell their side of the story and why Roxas was innocent. But Kairi remained quiet.

These two officers had failed to address Riku who was the owner of the car as to why he had Roxas in there in the first place. They had also failed to read Roxas his rights, all of which were rookie mistakes. As Kairi looked behind her, she saw that the other guards were not interested in Axel and Xion at all, and yet they had pulled all of them over. Something was wrong, the blood of a Cop was telling her as much.

"Can I see the warrant?" Kairi called out, stopping everyone in their tracks as she got out of the car, the men looking towards her as they said, "Please stay in the car ma'am,"

"You've failed to read this man his rights, you've failed to produce a warrant and you have illegally pulled over two people not involved in this situation," Kairi pointed towards the other car as Axel and Xion got out of the car.

One of the officers scoffed as he said, "What are you, the daughter of a lawyer?" and Kairi rose her eyebrows as she muttered, "No, I'm the daughter of a cop, and you lot are making mistakes left, right and center," placing her hands on her hips, the officers being stopped in their tracks as they looked to each other.

"Get him out of here," one of the men finally ordered, and slamming Roxas on the hood of the car the officer went to pull out his pair of handcuffs.

This was enough for Kairi.

In one swift move Kairi kicked one of the guards in the chest, knocking him straight in the chest. The guard trying to cuff Roxas went for his gun, but no sooner had the weapon pointed at Kairi the young woman had performed a perfect Roundhouse Kick and knocked the weapon out of his hand, before driving her fist into the temple of the guard, ensuring the fully grown man hit the ground.

That's when she spotted it, the PHOTON handgun lying next to him, a weapon only used by ShinraCorp Security guards. Which meant these men were not police officers, but fakes. Grabbing the gun, she pointed it towards the other two guards who in the chaos and shock had only just placed their hands on their guns. But they were too late as Kairi fired two rounds into their legs, shocking both of them as they hit the floor.

"What the hell is-" Roxas asked in confusion and anger, but was silenced when Kairi's phone began to vibrate. Reaching for it, she answered the unknown call, not having time to say hello as the calm voice of Aqua rang through her ears, "Kairi, Shinra has reneged on his deal with Sora, they're coming for you,"
"Came and gone, we just caught four of them pretending to be officers," Kairi muttered, as Aqua swore on the other end.

"I thought I still had time, they must have seen you leaving and taken the opportunity, you have to get out of Edge now," Kairi thought for a moment. If Shinra was harming them, did that mean that Sora would give up being experimented on and return back with them to the Destiny Islands?

But before the young woman could ask, Aqua seemed to have already guessed what she was going to ask, "I can't get Sora out now, not with the amount of security that's on him thanks to you and your break in, but I promise the first chance I get, I'll have him safe and sound," and with no other words to change her mind, Aqua hung up. Kairi growled in frustration as she looked towards Riku, before saying, "Come on, I'll drive,"

"You don't have your-" But Riku was cut off by the look on the young woman, before nodding his head and allowing her to sit into the drivers seat. Kairi heard Axel call something out, but couldn't hear clearly. Riku leaned down as he said, "Axe want's to know where we are heading?"

"Back to ShinraCorp," She muttered as she turned the engine on and allowed it to roar to life, waiting only a few moments as Riku told Axel where they were going before getting into the car himself, the young woman revving the engine as she muttered, "This time, nothing is stopping me from getting Sora out of there," and with that both drivers hit the gas and made a u-turn as they drove through traffic, on route to ShinraCorp.

x

ShinraCorp HQ

Edge

Minutes Earlier...

x

Sora was awoken from his sleep by the sound of his steel door opening quickly. Sitting up from his bed, he saw two guards making their way into his room. Sora watched them for a moment, wondering if he was about to be executed by Shinra for some unknown reason. But his fears were subsided only slightly as one of the guards said, "You are to follow us Mr. Strife, we have orders to escort you to the car,"

"Where are we going?" Sora asked the men suspiciously as he reached for his coat and slipped it on, the two guards looked at each other before turning their attention back to Sora, "You are being transported to Hallow Bastion for the remainder of your time with ShinraCorp,"

Clearly these two guards knew nothing as to what Sora was doing there...or they were hiding their knowledge extremely well. Sora wasn't to sure about any of it, but nonetheless he nodded his head before standing up and waiting for the guards to move before making his way towards the elevator.

As he went to press the button, Sora could that the guard had already pressed it and was standing right next to him. Sora looked from one to the other as he looked at the guns they were holding. Both seemed to be overpowered for a simple escort, yet neither were looking at the young man. Again, Sora could not help but feel that these two men were hiding their knowledge rather well, even if they had any knowledge of what was going on.

"Interesting isn't it?" Sora felt Vanitas standing right next to him, smirking at the young man as he looked towards the two guards, pointing at their weapons with a smirk on his face. Sora remained quiet, not going to talk to his psychological hallucination in front of the two guards.

"Two large guards with EARTHSHAKER's taking you away from this place, despite the fact that this place has all the necessary technology, that doesn't seem quite right does it?" Vanitas smirked as he tapped on the weapons on the guards before crossing his arms.

Sora stared at Vanitas before concentrating on the guards once again. He may have hated his Psychological Hallucination, but he could not deny that he had a point. There was something wrong going on, something had clearly happened to make them move the young man from the safety of Shinra Tower back to Hallow Bastion where the experiments began. If there was a reason to not only put guards on Sora, but also to move him to Hallow Bastion then it would be that Shinra believed Sora would now want to be there willingly, if there was only one reason why Sora would not want to be there it would be because Shinra had reneged on their deal.

As the doors of the elevator opened up into the lobby, Sora looked around for a place to escape. But as the three continued to walk, the young man realized that there was no where he could run. More guards were looking over the young man, their hands softly tapping their weapons as if they were ready to use them against Sora for any reason they saw fit.

Sora remained quiet, waiting until he was outside to make his escape. Knowing there would be some sort of crowd out there, the young man knew that if he could at least incapacitate his guards he could escape into the crowd of people, then it was just a matter of hailing down a cab and getting to the Destiny Islands, where the others were now at a risk, especially Roxas...he had to get back there, for the sake of his friends.

But as the doors opened and Sora looked from left to right for the more crowded side, his eyes widened as he saw the four cars, one of which was a large armored vehicle which looked like a prison vehicle. Around them, people were being escorted away from the area by the threatening look of the guards as the others watched Sora. Bowing his head in obedience, he began stepping towards the car as he zipped up his jacket and slipped the hood over head, not wanting to be looked at the public as the two guards escorted him to the car. One of the guards opened the door as he nodded his head towards the entrance, silently forcing Sora to get in.

As the young man placed his hands onto the cold outline of the truck, he hoisted himself up, closing his eyes as he felt one of his guards get into the truck behind him, Sora looking inside the truck, which was rather large for a truck. Deep inside the man felt angry, but there was nothing he could do to change it. With the guns pointed at Sora, there was no where he could go.

It was the loud beeping that broke Sora's concentration as he looked out of the doors of the truck. He wasn't sure whether it had been the cars within the traffic. But it wasn't, instead it was a black and silver sports car, poised at the other end of the street, standing completely still. The guards had stopped what they were doing to see what was going on, all of them looking from Sora to the two cars.

And then one of the doors opened out and a woman stepped out. A beautiful woman with auburn hair, her deep mixture of blue and indigo eyes staring back with worry at Sora, the young man just being able to catch his name being called out by the young woman as he felt something inside of him. Something he had thought that he had lost when he was being escorted to the truck.

It was his strength.

"Kairi," Sora softly muttered as the guards looked to each other, realizing that they were compromised with the moving of Sora. Nodding his head, one of the guards withdrew something from his pocket, but before he could get anywhere. Sora looked from guard to guard before he scrunched his fingers into a fist and drove it into the gut of the man before trying to make his way down from the truck.

But too late, Sora felt the prick of the needle as he looked down. The clear substance entered his body as Sora looked at the cursive writing on the empty needle, Sleep. Turning back to the two cars, Sora yelled out, "RUN!" But it was too late for him, he felt the effects overtaking his body as his strength disappeared, the last thing he felt was the two guards lifting him up, the last thing that pieced his ears was his name being screamed, now an echo in his own mind.

x

"Sora!" Kairi almost screamed for the third time as she watched in horror as Sora's arms and legs were grabbed and thrown into the truck as two sets of guards made their way to other cards. Riku quickly bent over as he yelled at Kairi, "We have to go...now!"

"But Sora..." Kairi trailed off in fear as he watched the truck began to move away, while the other two cars started up.

"We cannot do anything for Sora if we're caught, now come on!" Riku roared, to which Kairi looked back one more time before sighing and slipping into the car, the roar of the engine sounding from both cars as Riku and Axel began reversing at high speed, turning the car around as they sped off in the opposite direction, everyone annoyed that they could not follow Sora's truck, yet also realizing that there was nothing they could do.

Both the two cars could feel the Shinra Guards making their way towards them, yet no one was willing to admit that they were done. Riku shifted gears as he sped ahead of Axel, both cars in one line as he prayed that Axel could understand the sudden change as 'follow me' before he turned a corner at top speed.

Weaving in and out, Riku was not concentrating on the Shinra Guards behind him, neither was he caring about the police that could come out in any moment. In fact, if he was pulled over it would mean the guards behind them would also be pulled over. Getting caught might be the only chance to save them.

But there was no one around. No police, only the public who seemed to want nothing to do with the chase, least of all seeing why they were being chased. Riku grumbled as he hit the breaks on the car and drifted around the corner, followed by Axel as the two looked in their rear-view mirrors; The guards were seconds behind them, not willing to give them up, especially if they had been told that Roxas was in the car with them. Namine gripped Roxas' hand as they two looked behind them, find the cars coming up behind them awfully close. Feeling the young blonde woman tremble, Roxas placed a hand over her as he continued looking behind him.

"We need to find somewhere to hide," Roxas muttered as they hit the corner harder then Roxas had anticipated, slamming his arm into the door.

"Oh, you think?" Riku scoffed as he swapped his concentration from what was in front of him to the people that were around him, trying to make sure that he didn't accidentally hit someone while he was trying to dodge Shinra's guards.

Roxas kissed the head of Namine as he looked to the others, saying as he did, "It's me they want, pull over and let me out, I'll go with them,"

Namine looked up in fear, but it was Kairi who had grabbed the young man's arm, "They've already got one of my friends, they'll have to take all of us before they take you," and although Roxas looked like he wanted to argue, he remained silent as Kairi looked behind them.

Kairi knew that the security cars were not about to give up, and it wouldn't be long before they were trapped in rush hour traffic and they took them all down. They had to get rid of them and fast, but it looked like neither was going to back down.

That's when she felt it, the cold glass of Riku's phone bounce out of the young man's pocket and lean against Kairi's arm, already unlocked. The woman looked down as her mind went into overdrive, a smile spreading across her lips as she picked up the phone and showed it to Riku. At first the man was confused, but as he along with everyone else in the car watched as Kairi went into the Keychain App, the others laughed along with her as after a few taps, the Shinra cars behind them began to slow down, until they were coming to a complete stop. After a few seconds, they were out of sight.

"Kai, make sure the traffic lights don't get in our way, we'll find somewhere to hide," Kairi nodded as she furiously began typing onto the phone. Lights that were red suddenly turned green as traffic would follow the quickly changing lights, the two cars able to speed through easily as they looked left and right, before Namine pointed ahead of her, "There! A car-park!"

Riku looked to where the young woman was pointing before he nodded his head, and slowly turning the steering wheel towards the multi-level car park, happy as they drove through that there was only a few cars around, easily able to park the cars a few levels up before getting out of the car.

Xion was the first to run up to the group as she hugged Riku, the young man feeling the heartbeat of the young woman as he ran a hand through her black hair, muttering comforting words as Xion's breath began to return back to normal. Kairi looked to Namine who was being held by Roxas, glad that all of them had managed to get out of the situation unharmed.

"What do we do now? Sora's being held against his will now and being transported to Yevon knows where," Kairi muttered, but the others looked at her as if what she was thinking was crazy.

"Maybe we weren't in the same car Kai, but me and Xion just got chased by a bunch of Shinra guards who were about to Experiment on us all, I'm not keen on going back," Axel folded his arms, not allowing the death glare of the young woman to shake his ground, but the sudden cough of Riku caused everyone to turn to his direction.

"Maybe we don't need to do this on our own," Riku muttered, remembering a conversation he had had a few days ago as he held out his hand to Kairi, who stared at it for a few moments before realizing what it meant. Digging into her pocket, she returned the young man's phone back as he typed in something before holding it to his ear,

"Who are you calling?" Roxas asked as Riku shone the man a grin of hope, "Perhaps the one person who can help us at the moment,"

x

SEED Headquarters

Edge

Present Day.

x

Director Squall Leonhart stretched in his office seat as he looked over his computer once again. He had been in his office for no longer then a day, and yet already he was missing his home. Having kissed his wife at the airport, Squall wanted nothing more then to have a couple more days that he could relax back at his home with his wife and son.

Yet deep down the man knew that SEED needed him. As Director of the government organization it was his job to ensure that SEED was protecting the Gaian population from the risks of other countries. There was nothing he could do, and until he retired from SEED he would have to live with seeing his wife and son less then other fathers would see their families.

A sudden ring from the man's mobile phone caused him to jump a tiny bit. He was used to having his calls go through someone, then being told that he had a call. If someone was calling him directly, then it meant there was something serious was going on.

Picking up the phone, he noticed the picture instantly as a smile spread on his face before answering the call, "Riku, how's your holiday going?" But the heavy breathing on the other side of the phone was an instant giveaway that there was something seriously wrong.

"Dad, It's Sora...ShinraCorp has kidnapped him and are transporting him somewhere," The voice instantly made the man get up, typing something in as he said, "How do you-"

"We broke into ShinraCorp, we saw him. He was being experimented on. When we went back this morning they were putting him inside a truck and when he tried to break free he was injected with something," The rushed voice of his son caused the man to stand up, saying as he did, "I can call the WRO, they handle this sort of thing, we'll get him back, they won't harm-"

"Dad...they tried to get Roxas and us as well," Riku said slowly and suddenly the man went quiet.

"...Does Cloud know where his son is?" Riku suddenly went quiet at the surprise question, spluttering for a few seconds before he responded.

"No, I don't think so," and that was it for the Director.

Grabbing his coat, he said into the phone, "Riku, stay where you are, I'm gonna make sure Shinra is taken down," and with no time for his son to respond, Squall hung up the phone as made his way out of the room, bellowing loudly for Irvine Kinneas who ran up to the man, barely having a chance to ask what was wrong before Squall began.

"I want you to get all of our operatives that are currently in Edge to start tracking down all ShinraCorp vehicles. Then cross-reference them with armored vehicles in Edge, Hack into the CCTV network if you have to. Once you have a location, get it to everyone to intercept. Whatever happens, once you locate this vehicle, do not under any circumstances let it get out of Edge, or get to Edge Domestic Airport, do I make myself clear?"

"But sir, we don't have any autho-" Irvine began, but instantly stopped as the man's boss turned around and snarled, "My son and his friends are in trouble, there's your Authority," and without another word the man headed to the elevator, typing something into his phone before he pressed the 'up' button on the elevator and waited but for a few moments.

"Hello Cloud...I know where your son is...how quickly can you get to the Dark Margin Airport?"

x

Edge

Present Day...

x

"...and once they've figured out what's inside this kid, then they can get the serum,"

the voice echoed for a second in Sora's ears. Everything around him still felt hazy, and the complete darkness he had seen a few moments ago was replaced by bright lights. He was sure that he hadn't opened his eyes completely, and yet the light was pushing against his head harder then anything, as if forcing him to awaken.

At first he thought that he was back in his room, the series of events that had happened a mere dream. But the room that he was in violently shook, the sound of tires against concrete caused the young man to blink a few times. He was in a truck, the very spacious truck he had seen before being knocked out. As Sora slowly looked around, he noticed that there were two guards sitting in front of him, both with guns lightly sitting on their laps. To his right was a metal wall with a small hatch to communicate with Sora could only assume was the driver, and to his left was a door with a metal handle and a simple lock.

"Hey, he's awake," The sudden gun c;ock of both the weapons caused Sora to look straight at the two guards both with their EARTHSHAKER's pointed towards him. Trying to stretch his arms towards them, the metallic clank caused the young man to feel the shackles on his wrists for the first time since awakening. Both the shackles were attacked to a chain, where Sora could easily get to their throats if they were in reaching distance, and yet ensuring that the young man could not get anywhere if he tried.

"I thought you put enough Sleep in him to knock him out until he was in Hallow Bastion?" Sora heard one of the guards mutter, his friend looking confused as he placed his weapon down, the other trained at Sora's head.

Sora watched at the guard reached into his little pouch, knowing full well that he was about to be injected with Sleep once again. He had to think fast, if he didn't do something quickly, his one opportunity to get out would be gone and who knew when he would wake up again.

Sora knew he had only a second to subdue the guards, and that any longer would cause him to either die or be injected. So Sora waited, jealous for a moment that he didn't have Roxas' quick reflexes. Looking directly into the eyes of the guard who had withdrawn the needle, the guard looked down to his arm as he made to grab his wrist.

But Sora was too quick, his hand had wrapped around the guard's own wrist and twisted, the cracking sound causing the man to scream in pain and drop the sleep as Sora pulled the guard towards the metal wall he was chained too, knocking him out. Before the second guard had time to pull the trigger, Sora used all his might to throw the first guard towards the second, both bodies hitting the opposite wall as they crumbled to the ground.

Sora waited for the sound of screeching tires, almost certain that the driver had heard the noise and would come to investigate. Sora spent seconds deciding what he would do, but as the time drew on, he continued to feel the thumping on the truck, and deduced that the only way the driver had not heard the commotion going on behind him was that the entire room was sound proof. Judging by the chains, Sora guessed that this vehicle was not made for transportation, rather for torturing targets on route to a location.

Thanking Yevon for his good luck, Sora looked around for some sort of keys to unlock himself, but the young man was almost sure they were in the pockets of his guards, the same guards he had thrown across from him and were unreachable by inches to the brunette. Groaning in anger, he looked around for some other way to get out, but there was nothing. Who knew how long the boy had? They could be arriving at their location in a few minutes. Or worse, the guards could awaken any second from their attack and want revenge. There was nothing he could do.

"You pathetic wimp,"

Sora heard the voice in his head, the sneer of Vanitas as he closed his eyes, but it didn't stop the young man hearing the loud voice echo in his own head, "You've knocked out bullies, struggle competitors and even Shinra security. Now you're giving up against a simple chain?"

Sora looked at the chain for a moment. Was it possible for him to break it? It was made of metal, and sure Sora was strong. But strong enough to take out the chains locked to the wall of the truck?

"You want to get out of here? You want to save those pathetic friends of yours Sora? Then pull," Sora looked up as he gasped. Kairi was standing right in front of him, inches away from the young man's reach. Trying his best, he just could not get to her. Pulling against the chain, Sora could feel the sweat forming on his brow. Kairi looked like she was growing further away from the young man, and yet this did not stop Sora as he pulled again.

"Come on, Sora, Pull," Sora heard the woman call out in a scared voice, and Sora pulled once again. The sound of metal clanging against the wall was heard, and yet it did not stop Sora as he began to groan in determination, pulling again and again as Kairi said it once again, "Pull Sora, Pull!" This time the scared was gone, replaced with a sound of determination and...mocking?

Sora groaned loudly as he looked up, the face replaced with that of Vanitas as he said in angry determination, "Pull Sora!" and with one last pull, the chains broke against the force of Sora as he stumbled a bit, the shackles still tied to his hands, but the young man was free.

Looking towards the wall with the hatch, the lack of movement or noise meant that there was no knowledge that the Sora was free from the driver and whoever else was sitting next to him. Kneeling down, he searched the guards pocket until he found a silver key which fit the man's locks perfectly. The shackles were easy enough to get off before he looked towards the door. The key was no where near big enough to fit the door.

Looking at it, Sora found balance impossible in the car, so there was no kicking. He raised his fist to punch the door, but Vanitas muttered in his head, "You're good Sora, but that's 15 inches of reinforced steel, a bull couldn't get through that door," Sora grumbled at the sudden lack of motivation from the Hallucination, but the sudden large bump caused the man to fall off his feet and land on his arse.

Sora grumbled in pain for a few seconds, before he felt it. The leather wallet in his back pocket, not the wallet that carried money or cards, but a wallet that carried something more valuable to him in this and many other situations. Reaching for his back pocket, he pulled out something that had made him laugh.

His lock picks, the same lock picks that nobody had searched him for. Or more then likely someone had neglected to search from him for. Someone that thought maybe the young man did deserve a chance to leave whenever he felt like it. He looked from the wallet to the lock in front of him and saw his chance.

Getting up, he stepped towards the door as he pulled out his tension wrench. Studying the lock closely for a few moments, he pulled out the pick he needed before slotting it in. He could feel the sweat developing on his hands as he worked hard on the lock. Every second he could feel the car getting closer to its destination, every stop light he was sure that the car was stopping, and every turn Sora was sure they had reached their destination. But these mis-leadings only forced Sora to work harder at what he was doing.

Thats when he felt it, the turning of his tension wrench as the unlocking sound echoed. Sora gasped in happiness as he turned the handle and pushed the door open, the sunlight hitting him as he smiled in happiness. The smile however lasted only seconds as he looked down to see the traffic behind him, and realized two things; that the car was speeding along too quickly for the young man to survive jumping out of the car, and that the car was being tailed by two ShinraCorp guards, both whom had seen the young man open the door and had both their weapons trained at the young man, as if daring him to jump and see what would happen. Sora's eyes were wide open as he watched one of the men reach for a PHOTON handgun and closed his eyes, waiting to feel the electricity course through his body.

But there was nothing, nothing but the wind on his face as Sora slowly opened his eyes. He laughed as he heard the guards confusion before he saw the cars begin to slow down and eventually come to a complete stop. Sora was just as confused as the guards were and yet happy it was happening, the grin on his face only growing as he saw a deep blue convertible bypassing the cars and speeding towards him. Sora watched as the roof of the convertible began to slowly open up, the roof disappearing around the back of the car as a woman stared back at the young man, a grin on her face as they locked eyes.
"Aqua!" Sora cheered as the young woman navigated from driving to typing something on her phone, yelling as she did, "I'll stop the truck, just give me a-" but the woman's yelling died as her eyes were left wide open at the phone in her hand.

"What?" Sora called out as Aqua dropped her phone onto the seat next to her, saying as she did, "Ahh...my phones..."

"You're phone's what?" Sora yelled back as he looked around, wondering what had happened before the man sweat-dropped, realizing exactly what had happened.

"The battery is dead," Aqua stated as Sora slammed his head on the door hinge. He looked around, trying to find someway to get to the driver's area, incapacitate them and pull the truck over. Sora could not believe his escape was being hindered by a simple dead battery. But it was what happened next that Sora really could not believe.

Aqua screamed out, "You're going to have to jump!" as she spun the wheel of her car around and shifted into reverse, slamming on the accelerator as the car began driving just behind the vehicle. Sora's eyes widened at the mad woman whose head was twisted around to face him.

"Do it now!" Aqua screamed, and Sora felt his heart sitting just under her throat as he took a deep breath, thinking it would be easier for the young man to close his eyes and yet not daring to take a blinded jump towards the car. So with one short breath of determination, Sora bent his knees and leapt into the cars.

For a second he felt the wind leaping up from under him, and it was blissful to be in that moment of flight. But then, it was gone. Replaced with fear and death in the form of the concrete and tires flashing past the man's eyes. But his shoes soon hit the leather of the car, slipping down the middle of the car as he looked up, his eyes met with a young woman's as she hit the breaks of her car, spinning the wheel of her car and shifting to forward before pressing down on the accelerator as the car began to speed the opposite direction from the truck. Sora maneuvered himself into the front seat, picking up the woman's phone as he said, "Cannot believe you didn't charge this phone,"

"You want to argue about phones or would you like to have your arse saved?" Aqua muttered as she turned the corner, Sora turning around at the last moment to see that the truck had stopped, "Looks like they've finally caught on to the fact i'm up and moving,"

"Let's keep it that way," Aqua muttered as she hit the break and skidded into an alleyway just thin enough to fit the car. Speeding along, Sora looked to Aqua and could not help but chuckle at the determination from the woman who had previously been working for the company keeping him in holding.

"What made you come save me?" Sora asked, to which Aqua spared the young man a quick glance before she responded, "They cut my pay, I wanted revenge,"

"Ahuh," Sora smirked at the young woman's response, having already figured out why Aqua was doing what she did, and lied back as he asked her, "So, where are we going?"

"I'm taking you to Edge Domestic, getting you a flight back home. I helped your friends escape from Shinra's clutches once, I just hope they were smart enough to go back home like I told them to," Aqua growled as Sora sat there in silence.

Despite leaving his friends with no note and no goodbye...despite leaving Kairi on the beach of the Destiny Islands, they had still made their way into ShirnaCorp to try to save him. He had thought when he had been drugged that they had just ran into him by chance, and yet they were risking their lives just to make sure he was alright. Sora sunk in his chair, guilty for what he had made his friends do as they drove out of the alleyway onto the main road, what was there to greet them making their jaw's drop.

They were being looked at by at least a dozen different cars, all which Sora instantly knew were ShinraCorp vehicles. Sora and Aqua were both stunned for a few minutes, before Aqua shifted gears and began reversing. Aqua continued this for a few moments, waiting for the cars to start advancing on them before spinning the car around and hearing the sound of the dozen cars speeding towards them. Swinging around, Aqua began weaving in and out of the traffic, amazed that they were able to find streets that weren't too bust, Sora held on as Aqua drove with absolute precision through the traffic.

"Where the hell are we going?" Sora asked, knowing for a fact that they were making their way away from the airport as Aqua looked behind her.

"It's too risky to go to the airport, Shinra will probably have more then enough of their security hidden within the building, I'm gonna have to take you to the harbor, hopefully we can get you on a boat before Shinra has time to get anyone there," Aqua shifted gear as she turned a corner into another alleyway. Sora was praying silently that the woman could get away from them as he looked behind him. He worried for his friends, and hoped that they had managed to escape. Wherever they were, he hoped they were away from Edge.

Turning out onto a main road, Sora looked behind, a smile spread over his lips as he let out a sigh of relief, saying as he did, "Think you lost them," and Aqua nodded her head in relief as she sped her way down the street.

Sora stretched back into his seat as he watched the buildings become shorter and shorter, until the car slowly came to a stop. Sora looked out as he gasped, before looking form the buildings behind him to what was in front of him..

In front of them was a beach, just as good as the beach on the Destiny Islands. In fact, the entire area looked like it had been replicated from the Destiny Islands. Sora's eyes gazed over the near perfect sand, noticing the fact that there was nobody there. Turning the engine of the car off, Aqua and Sora both got out of the car as the woman took off her lab coat and chucked it into the back seat of the car, her hands sitting in the pockets of her skinny jeans. Rolling up the sleeves of her black shirt, she took a hold of the necklace sitting around her neck, a bright blue star as she held onto it tight. Aqua glanced at Sora, who was busy staring at the young woman with curiosity on his face, "It's a Wayfinder, ever heard of one?"

Sora smirked as he reached into his pocket, revealing a similar item whose chain was attached to his belt instead of around his neck. Unlatching it and holding it up, he remembered not only the night he had been given it, but who had given it to the young man. Aqua smirked as she looked down at hers, saying as she did, "My father gave this to me before he returned back to service with the Guardian Corps, every time I see boats i can't help but take ahold of it,"

Sora nodded to the scientist before he placed the Wayfinder back into his pocket as he reached for his own neck, revealing the crown necklace that had been a gift from his father on christmas days. He hadn't even realized that he had put it on that morning, or most mornings for that matter. It was as if it had become apart of him, a daily ritual that he didn't even remember doing, and yet it served as a form of comfort for the young man.

The sudden revving of a car caused the two to turn around, Sora's eyes widening as two sports cars made their way towards the two slowly. The car's hadn't even come to a complete stop as the passenger side door of the black car opened up and a woman stepped out. A woman with a giant grin on her face as she jumped out and ran towards Sora, throwing her arms around him as he heard the tears and laughter, before feeling the small tears falling from his own eyes as he said, "Kairi,"

"You...stupid...selfish...chocobo," Kairi muffled into his shirt as she hugged him tighter, Sora could not help but give a laugh as he muttered, "I'm here, I'm ok," and neither said anything as the others got out of their car, running towards the young man. The talking swapped from being glad that Sora was ok to anger that he had gone without so much as a goodbye or trying to talk to his friends. Nonetheless, everyone was glad that Sora was standing in front of them alive.

As the others made their way towards Sora to make sure he was alright, Kairi pushed her way out as she went to face Aqua. The woman, who had been looking over the group with a look of happiness, looked at Kairi as they locked eyes, neither one breaking the silence between the two until Kairi held her hand out. Aqua looked at it for a moment, before moving forward and shaking the young woman's hand as Kairi said clearly, "Thank you for getting him out,"

Aqua was about to return the thanks before her eyes moved away from the young woman and towards the two sports cars close to them. Her eye's widened as she saw the logo on the front of the two cars, as she muttered under her breath, "ShinraVehicle S-XIII's," before she heard the roar of several cars coming towards them.

"Run!" The woman yelled as the group heard the noise, and making their way from the road down the small incline of the beach, there was nowhere the group was able to go as the sudden clocking of guns caused everyone to remain still. Their hands flew up in the air as Sora and Kairi found themselves standing next to each other. One of their hands were up, but the hands closest to the other had found themselves intwined, neither willing to let go of the other.

But as the numerous guards pointed their weapons towards the two, nothing was going to comprehend the shock that came from the limo gliding up to the scene, the driver getting out quickly to open the door, and the CEO of ShinraCorp dressed in his white suit getting out, looking directly at the group of people standing in front of him.

There was silence only for a few moments, before Shinra called out towards them, "My, we do have a group of trouble here don't we?" Nobody said a word towards the man, as he waited for someone to respond. When he didn't hear anyone saying anything, he made his way down the incline followed by three guards all still training their weapons at the eight. Shinra walked straight towards them, looking at Aqua first with a look of disappointment on his face.

"I always hoped you weren't the one who betrayed us Aqua," The man said solemnly, but Aqua stood her guard as she looked directly into the man's eyes, saying as she did, "You betrayed my loyalty, this seemed like the best way to return the favor," to which Shinra scoffed as he looked from Aqua to Roxas, who had his arm around Namine as he looked towards the man.

"It is an honor to finally meet you Roxas, the wiser of the two Jenova Subjects...of course, with the Cell's powering your mind, you see why surrendering yourself to me would be the smarter choice,"

Roxas said nothing, not giving the man the satisfaction of an answer. Shinra gave a tiny chuckle as he looked over the group, raising his voice so that everyone could clearly hear him.

"You band of rebels, all here to rescue a lost soul. I know Roxas here is too smart for this, so which one of you orchestrated the mission," Shirna waited for a moment, the others not giving away their leader. And yet their attempt was useless as Kairi moved forward, her hand releasing from Sora's as she did her best to stare Shinra down.

"You certainly are a brave girl...stupid, but brave," The blonde haired man smirked as he looked from Kairi to Sora as he sighed.

"We had a deal Sora; your friends wouldn't be harmed and you help improve the future of the human race...even when your friends broke in and out of ShinraCorp, I didn't have them captured, all because of our promise,"

"You broke that promise when you tried to kidnap Roxas," Sora muttered as Shinra shook his head, saying as he did, "It was necessary, we needed him to complete the Jenova Process, he was already apart of the Project. But now, all of them will have to go,"

"Shinra, No!" Aqua yelled as Shinra took two steps and smacked the woman with the back of his hand, the woman buckling to her knees as the others gasped, Sora being held back from attacking the man by a scared Kairi, who was staring at each of the guards locking their guns onto the group.

"You don't get to talk, you traitorous little bitch! After all this you'll be lucky if you come out alive," Shinra glared at the young woman, who despite being attacked was not going to give Shinra the pleasure of making her feel vulnerable, looked up. Her cheek cut and yet fury radiating from her eyes.

Shinra coughed as he muttered to the guards, who had doubled since the slap, "Take them all...we have some new subjects for Jenova," and made his way towards the car, Sora ready to defend the others even if it meant they died. As the first guard went to grab Kairi, Sora took the weapon out of his hand and knocked him out, the clocking of guns sounding as Sora placed himself in front of Kairi, ready for the rain of bullets to pierce his body.

And that's when he heard it, the sound of screeching tires as several black cars halted to a stop from the right, agents dressed in black stepping out of the car and training their weapons to the guards, all of them ready to fire as Squall Leonhart stepped out of the car, his own sidearm trained at Shinra as he muttered, "Back your men off Shinra, or I give the order!"

Shinra looked from the cars to Squall before he coughed in a mocking tone, saying as he did, "Squall Leonhart, Director of SEED...well, as you yourself can clearly see, this is not an international incident, so you'd be breaking the law right now by interfering with this domestic situation,"
"That's not going to stop me from shooting you right between the eyes if you don't call your guards off now!" Squall growled at the man as Shinra could not help but laugh, saying as he did, "Really? You don't have any cause to shoot, and under the law you'd go straight to prison...my men here are just doing their jobs, defending me...so whose authority do you have to shoot again?" Shinra smirked in victory as Squall lowered his gun, but it was gone as Squall let out a laugh.

"You're right...I don't have the authority...but he does,"

Shinra looked in confusion, and then shock as the passenger side door of Squall's car opened, and an older man exited the car. Dressed in a sharper suit, with short blonde hair and a cigar hanging from his mouth, he pulled out his own pistol as he trained it at Shinra, saying in a gruff victorious voice, "Hello Shinra,"

"Cid Highwind," Shinra growled as the sound of sirens were heard from the right, with dozens of black vans and police cars were heard.

Cid lowered his weapon as WRO forces got out of the car and trained their weapons onto each and every ShinraCorp security guard, who all dropped their weapons in defeat. Cid and Squall began making their way towards the group, the man saying as he did, "Instructing your guards to impersonate Edge Police Officers, assault, just some of the many charges we're laying on you right now. Rufus Shinra, you're under arrest, someone read him is Yevon-damned rights," and at once two WRO agents grabbed Shinra as they began to drag him away, another agent making her way towards the group as she cheered, "Yuffie!" and the others looked in surprise at the agent, a woman with short black hair with a grin on her face. Both hugged each other as the group looked at them, before Aqua turned around, "Guys, Agent Yuffie Kisaragi, one of the best WRO agents there has ever been,"

"Oh jeez Aqua, you're gonna make me blush," The woman grinned as she looked to the others, before looking towards Sora and making her way towards her.

"You must be Strife's kid, right?" and Sora looked at her for a few moments, not sure his father had ever mentioned her. Nevertheless, the young man nodded his head as Yuffie held out her hand, "Special Agent Yuffie Kisaragi, you're dad's probably mentioned me a few times,"

"Actually...nope, never," Sora muttered, and Yuffie sweat-dropped as she yelled, "What?! That self righteous chocobo! When I get a hold of him I'm gonna-" But the young woman was stopped as Cid pointed and muttered, "Think you might be seeing him sooner then you thought kid," as a yellow Taxi pulled up near the area and Cloud Strife got out of the car, the man looking like he hadn't slept in days as he looked from the group to Rufus Shinra being lead away.

Abandoning all forms content, he walked up to Shinra with a balled a fist and punched the man directly in his cheek. Shinra spat out a few drops of blood as he smirked to Cloud. The spiky blonde pointed to the man as he muttered darkly, "That's for taking my son you son of a bitch,"

"You'll never be his real father," Shinra responded in an equally dark manner as the WRO agents lead the CEO away as Cloud ran towards the group. Everyone parted and Kairi let go of Sora as Cloud wrapped his hands around his son as he muttered, "You Idiot, why did you leave for?"

"How?" Sora began, but looking at the Director of SEED the boy instantly put two and two together and realized that Cloud had been given a helicopter trip from the law enforcement group. Looking away for a second, Sora eventually cleared his croaky voice as he responded, "They were going to find me eventually...I just wanted to make sure the people I loved were ok,"

"Well I wasn't...knowing you were Yevon-knew where made me worry, so I was not alright," Cloud hugged his son once again as Sora allowed a tear to stain his cheek, before muttering an apology to his father as the two stood in their embrace, not caring of the other that were looking towards each other. Sora was glad that his friends were safe, but he was also glad that for the first time in months he was safe. No one was hunting him, Not Aqua nor Shinra, even in his own mind he felt safer then he had ever felt in his entire life, thanks to the people around him that gave him strength.

x

Memories Skyscraper

Edge

Present Day.

x

Sora laughed when he entered the penthouse area which was full of different people and yet all wearing the same black colored suits. When they had returned back to Memories Skyscraper to spend a few days in the glorious city relaxing, Cid had stated that the arresting of Rufus Shinra, which the WRO had been trying to do for years meant a celebration. Squall had agreed, and a few calls later there had been the distinct sound of partying above them. Although Sora had wanted to do nothing but relax for the rest of his time in Edge, he was convinced by Riku and Kairi to come with them to the party.

Dressed in a fine suit that replicated what he had worn to his school graduation, Sora slipped his hands into his pocket as he walked out into the open area, finding Kairi in a fine looking dress as she gave the man a light kiss before wrapping her arm around his arm. Walking through, there were 'hi's and 'hello's all throughout the room, until the two had reached the drinking booth as the music echoed throughout their ears.

Climbing out the backdoor, didn't leave a mark

No one knows it's you Miss Jackson.

Found another victim, but no one's gonna find

Miss Jackson, Jackson, Jackson...

Sora smirked as he took a bottle of potion, taking a sip as he looked around, before signaling Riku and Xion who were arm in arm as they walked over and hugged each other, enjoying the room they were in. Sora smirked at his friends who were all enjoying their time together as Sora noticed Roxas and Namine looking around. Waving them over, Roxas and Sora shook hands as Namine hugged Kairi, the whole group looking at each other with grins staining their faces. Sora looked from them all to find someone was outside. Knowing who it was, he was about to call the person over, when Sora realized that it looked like he didn't want to be with a large group of people.

Excusing himself, and making sure he wouldn't be followed, Sora slipped outside onto the balcony as he walked up to the man, his red hair blowing in the wind as Sora muttered, "You alright Axel?"

The young man didn't seem startled at all. He just breathed in the city air as he replied, "Just enjoying the view,"

"It is spectacular," Sora nodded his head as he looked to where Axel was looking, directly at the ShinraCorp tower.

"It just...doesn't feel different," Axel shivered as he looked back at the party, and when he saw Sora give him a confused look he continued, "This man took two babies who already had a pre-determined life, and he changed it, he was planning to change a lot of lives for his own personal gain, he was going to play Yevon...and yet the whole world doesn't realize,"

"We're you expecting a parade Axe?" Sora smirked as he looked down, but the young man shook his head.

"When my Dad was arrested by the WRO, It changed my life...I got told by a lot of people that everything would be alright, had heard the whispers of my family about what my father had been apart of...and for a long time I wanted nothing to do with my dad...that's why i've always wanted people to call me Axel, cause it's the name I chose, not my father. But once I found out what he had been arrested for, and what he had been trying to do, i again felt like the entire world around me changed, but this time is was because i was ashamed of the things that I had said, and the things that I had done against my father...so it became a feeling of not wanting anything to do with my dad because if i remembered him, I would remember everything that I had said about him,"

Sora remained silent as Axel coughed, looking into the distance as he shook his head, saying as he did, "My dad...he worked for Shinra, was the head of their Replica Program, human cloning...when they closed it down, he continued the research because...he wanted to see my mum again..." Axel coughed, no tears falling from the young man as Sora patted him on the back, but he wasn't finished.

"Well, look what we've done here today, we changed the world and yet everyone walks and talks as if nothing has happened...everything's normal,"

"Yeah Axel, nothing has changed," Sora smirked, and Axel nodded his head as he muttered, "Well, if something as big as taking down Shinra can keep the world normal...then maybe seeing my dad can't change everything too drastically," and Sora nodded his head in understanding as he saw Axel walking away.

"Where you going?" Sora asked, and the young man stopped as he smirked at Sora, walking forward as he said, "I'm gonna go visit my dad, and them...just travel. See everything I can, learn everything I can, embrace this planet...Don't tell the others i'm going, i'll call them all later," Sora smirked as Axel held out his hand, and Sora shook the man as he muttered, "I wish you luck Axel,"

"...call me Lea," and with one final wink and a nod, the man turned and waved as he slipped back into the party. As Sora waited for a moment, he smirked before returning back into the penthouse, where he saw the elevator doors close, nodding his head as he felt Kairi slip up next to him as she asked, "What's up?"

Sora waited a few moments before he turned to the woman and answered, "Nothing, just needed to get some air," and Kairi smiled at the young man as she hugged him from behind, Sora touching the warm arms of the young woman before he turned around and lightly kissed the woman.

His name called out caused the man to look around, before he found Aqua walking towards him. Smirking, he felt the young woman scruff up his hair as she muttered, "Good to see you with a genuine smile," as Sora looked at the young woman, the cut on her cheek disappeared with make-up, the woman looked happier than Sora had seen her while she had been working for ShinraCorp.
"Good to see you could make it," Sora hugged Aqua before he moved away and allowed Kairi to hug Aqua as she welcomed her to the party. Sora smirked as he felt a slap on his shoulder, flinching as Sora looked up at his best friend standing next to him, saying as he did, "So, you survived then, Shinra's being locked up, all in all not a bad week,"

Sora chuckled at the man next to him as he shrugged, saying as he did, "Well, I'd say the Midgar Resort was better,"

"Do you mean the relaxing or the breaking in?" Riku asked to which Sora laughed in response, nodding his head, "Both of course," to which the two laughed.

Their laughter was silenced as Cid called out for silence. The others quietened down before Cid turned on the Large Plasma TV as DemyxNews was shown, with Vanille Oerba on the screen with a smile on her face. The few wolf-whistles where quietened down as Vanille on screen began to speak.

"Good Evening, this is DemyxNews, I'm your host as always, Vanille Oerba. Our top story continues to be the arrest of ShinraCorp CEO, Rufus Shinra this afternoon on Edge Harbor,"

Cheers where quietened down by Cid as Vanille continued, "Rufus Shinra the Second, whose Company almost thirteen years ago was under investigation by the WRO for illegal human experimentation was today arrested after new evidence was brought to light that he had continued illegal experimentation for the past few months,"

"Shinra has denied knowledge that his company was doing human experimentation despite the fact our sources have confirmed that a large amount of his security were seen chasing down several young men and women revealed to have a connection to the illegal experiments, though the WRO has not released the identities of these men and women,"

Sora smirked as he felt Kairi holding his hand, the two smiling at each other as Sora looked towards Roxas, who was also smiling as he held Namine in his arms before the two returned back to the TV.

"With Shinra's bail set at over fifty-million munny, his trial has been set for five months from now...Over to the current situation of ShinraCorp, an anonymous source with an insight to ShinraCorp's Board of Directors has told this reporter that the Board met within the last hour to discuss the current role of CEO of the company following the Investigation into the company...Per instructions from Rufus Shinra himself, I can confirm that Doctor. Aqua Villiers, a former consultant to ShinraCorp has been named acting CEO of ShinraCorp,"

There was silence throughout the area as Sora looked towards Aqua, who was gobsmacked at what she had just heard. Cid muted the TV as Aqua went to say something, before she felt a vibration in her pocket. Reaching in, she withdrew her phone as she excused herself before making her way out onto the balcony.

Everyone looked to Cid as he fumbled with the controller, before un-muting the tv and Vanille's voice breaking the silence, "Stocks have been shaken by the sudden change of CEO, but with a statement being released by the Board's head and the new CEO tomorrow, ShinraCorp is confident not only that their company will bounce back from this public mishap, but also stand out and shine," Cid turned the TV off as the others muttered around each other.

"Smart," Riku muttered, and Roxas looked at the others as he asked, "Why would they make Aqua the CEO? She's a Doctor, and the one who had betrayed ShinraCorp to the WRO,"

"Shinra knew...he must have known that Aqua was betraying them, so instead of getting angry and have her killed which would have sealed his fate along with his companies, he played smart. Giving the control of ShinraCorp to a woman with connections to the WRO as well as having some business knowledge, Shinra can ensure that his company will survive what he has done,"

"But it'll be under Aqua's leadership, she will obviously change a lot of things that he doesn't like," Roxas muttered, but Sora smirked as the clearness of the businessman, saying as he did, "It doesn't matter, the company will still survive," and the others remained silent as Aqua entered the party once again, heading straight towards them as she muttered, "Well, the Board has just given me the official word i'll be CEO...if ShinraCorp survives this there will be some changes made, I have to get back to the office to write up a statement, but..." Aqua trailed off as she looked around at the others all staring at her, lowering her voice as she looked towards Sora and Roxas, "Would you mind if we stepped outside?" and both the boys nodded as they released their partners as the followed the woman outside into the windy air.
Aqua began to say something, but stopped as she looked towards the two men, a small smile spreading over her lips as she muttered, "I remember when I could hold you two in my hands...taking care of you...swearing to protect you...looks like you didn't need protecting,"

"You helped get Shinra arrested...that's plenty of protection," Roxas smirked at the woman as Aqua touched both of their cheeks, looking from one to the other before she coughed, regaining her professionalism as she looked out towards ShinraCorp.

"Like I said, there are a lot of things i'm going to change within ShinraCorp...the number one being the treatment of you both," Aqua looked towards the two, both who seemed surprised at the response. Neither said anything as they waited for Aqua to continue with what she was saying.
"If there is a way to reverse the Jenova Cells inside of you, I will find it...It might be a while, a couple of years even...but I will devote as much as I can to finding a cure for what is inside of you,"

"It's not your fault Aqua," Sora muttered as he placed a hand on the woman's shoulder, Roxas nodding his head as he placed his on her other arm. Aqua didn't say anything as a small tear welled up in her eye, but she wiped it away as the three embraced in a hug, something that Aqua had not been able to do since she had last seen the two as babies. Nodding her head, she muttered something about keeping in contact before she made her way towards the door, turning her head once more time to see Sora and Roxas standing next to each other, before nodding her head and leaving the balcony.

Breathing in a sigh, the two men turned around as they looked at the view before them. Sora turned to Roxas as he smirked, shoving him to the side a little as he said, "Heard what you tried to do for me,"

Roxas smirked as he nudged the man back, saying as he did, "Well, after the way I treated you when we first met, It seemed like the right thing to do," and laughter echoed out as the two men loosened their ties, so lost in the moment that they couldn't hear the door opened or the two women making their way to either side of their man.

Kairi placed her arms around the waist of Sora as Namine slipped her hand into Roxas', both getting closer to their partners as they looked out into the distance. Neither couple said anything as they enjoyed the company of the other. All four heard the noise of the door opening up as Riku and Xion made their way towards the four others, enjoying the view along with their friends, no one saying anything as the cold wind drew the couples together. Riku and Xion standing strong against the cold, Roxas and Namine huddled together to try and get warmth any way they could, and Sora and Kairi, who were both leaning their heads against the other in beautiful majesty, before a cough from Riku caused the others to look up.
"Well...we're off," Riku chuckled as he looked to the others, who all looked surprised as Namine asked, "Where are you headed?"

"We're going back home, packing our things, and then...off to Gran Pulse," Riku smirked at the others, and the others cheered in congratulations as they hugged and shook hands with each other. The group said their goodbyes, with Riku hugging Sora as he muttered, "We'll be back soon, till them...don't go getting yourself in trouble," and with a nod and a promise not too, Riku and Xion bade goodbye to their friends as they slipped out the door and into the party.

"Oh, that reminds us, we better get ready as well," Namine turned to Roxas, who nodded his head as he smiled to the two who were confused, "Our plane to Spira leaves tomorrow morning, Namine wants to get there early to ensure we get our seats,"

"I'm just a little nervous," Namine grinned as she felt Roxas hugging and kissing her forehead.

"So you've said goodbye to your folks then?" Sora asked, and Namine nodded her head, saying as she did, "Mum wished me luck, and Roxas' said something about spending more time with Mr. Strife,"

"Ok, that is enough," Sora held his hand out while the other chuckled. Sora smirked as he shook Roxas' hand, saying as he did, "You look after herself, alright," to which Roxas nodded his head as he waited for Kairi and Namine to finish hugging, before Roxas muttered, "How are you, after all this? I know Ventus keeps...well, looking over exits after this, what's Vanitas doing through all of this?" but Sora smirked as he shook his head.

"Vanitas helped me escape, whether he wants to cause me pain or not...he helped me," and Roxas looked solemn as he looked to Sora, not sure whether it was good that this negative voice Sora had had for most of his life was a good thing to have in his head.

Sora took a deep breath as he continued, "I guess this is what Project Jenova wanted...through fear, anxiety...adrenaline, strength and smarts. Doing whatever it took to cause people to think smarter and do things stronger,"

"Give me the normal life over all of this," Sora smirked, and Roxas nodded his head as Namine and Kairi finished talking. As Namine nodded her head ready to go, Roxas took one look at Sora and said, "Hey...look sharp," and with a nod and a wink, both Roxas and Namine smiled at the two before making their way through the door.

Sora took a deep breath as he looked out once again, enjoying the feel of Kairi right next to her, enjoying the peace and quiet. There was nothing on his mind, not Shinra, not the party behind him, not even the rest of his friends. It was just Sora and Kairi, alone on the balcony, enjoying the time they had together. The days of holidays they would be together, the time they would spend in each others arms. Watching movies, spending days on the beach, grabbing coffee, and just being together.

"This cannot last you know,"

Sora felt Vanitas standing next to him, staring at the young man with his golden eyes transfixed upon his happy state. When Sora said nothing, Vanitas leaned in closer to whisper into his ear, "You can pretend that Shinra is stopped and that you are happy, but you still have me buried deep inside your body, ready to attack at any time...how can you live a normal life with me Sora Strife?"

But a smile broke the young man's face as he thought to the disappearing hallucination, "By remembering that I am not alone Vanitas," as Sora opened his eyes once again, and saw that it was just the two standing there, with the entire holidays...their entire future in front of them

But first there was something he had to do, something he had promised himself to do when he had graduated, and again when he had been rescued by Aqua, so looking from the distance to the young woman in front of him, he smiled as he felt clear for the first time in a while from the voice in his head as he cleared his throat to gain the young woman's attention.

"Hey Kai...do you want to grab a burger?"

x

T H E E N D . . .

x

Songs: Miss Jackson - Panic! at the Disco.

...Wow, almost a year ago I started this story and now I can't believe that it is over. How has this emotional ride been for you? I know it's torn me apart at times writing it, imagining what you lot must be thinking at this time, while I know everything that's going to happen. And now you do to!

I have to say, writing this story out for you lot has been such a wonderful experience, seeing those happy reviews and subscriptions has only been a small part of the joy. The true joy is getting something out here once again, and hopefully living up to an expectation that you lot deserve.

I wish i could personally thank each and every person who has decided to click the link to Jenova over the past year, from the curious SoKai fans to those who waited day and night for an update email. I honestly am honored that people clicked subscribe and favorite for this story, it warms my heard.

And of course, let's not forget those that reviewed, from the one time reviewer all the way to those who would review each and every chapter. All of you have a special place in my heart, and I will not forget you. A thanks to those who reviewed for the last chapter, Getsuga TENSHOU 15, DestinyKeyblader28, rageaxe195, Flying By Wire, aeon-stasis, lion5589, EthanFlux, Fluoricia, The V-Blade, Xerzo LotCN, Random Reader 17 and . I know there were pleanty more people who didn't get a specific shout out, but just know that your presence as well as these people here helped me get through many a tough chapter, for which I will never be able to thank properly.

So, what's next you might be asking? Sequels? Prequels? A movie deal with some young actor playing the part of Sora? ...ok, probably not that last one, but I would be lying if I said i hadn't thought about one or three sequels to this story, involving everyone from the Organization to Rufus Shinra's return. BUT for a story that I have poured so much effort into, I would love to see being published.

Hence why, in the coming months I will be re-writing and editing this story, along with a few friends to read over until I have made it an original story concept. What does this mean for this story right here? It means that before I have an original copy ready to send out, I will be taking this story down for Legal purposes.

However, there is still a long way to go, and if you loved this story as much as I loved writing it, then you will love the original hopefully just as much. I will more then definitely give notice when i'm planning to take down the chapter, and if you would like to find out the progress of the re-writing, please follow me on any of my social network sites. I have a majority of them that will keep you not only informed, but also entertained. All of the links can be found on the homepage which I will be updating shortly for current information.

And so, this brings me to the end of a big part of my life. I hope you as a reader have found the story entertaining, and will continue to remember this story long after it has disapeared from the online pages of FanFiction and reappeared on paper in an original form.

As always, much love from a tried yet proud writer, and look out for the occasional one shot or two.

Jared Someone.