This is sort of alternate continuation to KHII. I admit, I'm new to this franchise and there will be a lot of factual mistake in this story, especially regarding the spinoffs such as BBS and 356/2 since I haven't played them at all, this might also means that most of 3D will be ignored as well, again, because my lack of knowledge. Even then, I tried to pick eveyr single spoiler I can get my hands on, so BEWARE SPOILER!
As the tag says it, this is shipping fic. Fixed pairing: Sora/Kairi, Roxas/Namine/Xion, as well as 'canon' Disney and FF couples, non-canon pairing will be decided later depend on how the story progress, that including the most unlikely pairing like Riku/Larxene or Lea/Aqua.
The serious tidbits are there for plot, some of the plot point is taken from 3D but otherwise, different. Once again, because my lack of play-through and scarcity of spoilers.
I'm not a big name author and I realize that I have a lot of limitation; I just want to write and want people read it and appreciate it. Final warning, there is NOTHING original about this fic, trust me. My only contribution that I arranged and typed this.
Kingdom Hearts III
-Essentially Embedded Existence-
And everyone else!
"Now, now, don't be too hasty" the white haired vile smirked as he effortlessly lift the young boy with a grab on his face, he struggled to no avail, the strength difference is way too far, and he's alone.
"Without your so called 'friends', you're nothing but little nuisance"
"I am NOT alone!" Sora screamed, and heartfully kicked the man's face, releasing himself. Alas, the man already behind him and once again, disarmed the giant keys he held.
The man's feet engulfed in shadow, and he kick hard enough that the boy is thrown and tumbled around for several second.
It doesn't end there. He grabbed the boy once again, and smacked Sora right on his chest to pull his heart out, before injecting all sort of nasty surprises. Sora howled due to the pain he received, but moreso than his body, his heart feel it the most. The Memories, memories of people connected to him, memories of those that is embedded within his heart, they all reacting negatively.
The suffering, the sadness, the pain and agony. He felt all of them, he experienced years worth of despair in the span of a minute.
Within him, something reacted. Anger, it was anger.
It was anger... directed at Xehanort. He wanted Revenge. Lot's of people wanted revenge.
And so, he once again summoned Kingdom Key and stab his own heart with it. As the blinding, flashy white light subsided, Sora had split himself into two entities.
"I AM NOT ALONE!"
Heart is such a complex thing that nothing less than godlike knowledge required in deciphering them, and thus it's beyond mortal's reach, and even those who effectively immortals. Heart is its own universe.
Hearts became the central of connection between those that live and those that are dead, Hearts become the bridge between the body and the mind, heart is the point of balance between light and darkness.
Within each body, there's a heart, within each heart, there are mind and soul.
Mind are such a fragile thing, and yet, it's the entire driving force, it's cold and logical, and its ultimate will, is to exist and survive. Soul is even more abstract, undefined, and yet it exists. Both coexist in the same place, the heart.
Within a strong heart, there's a strong mind and soul. This is why, the stronger the original heart is the resulting heartless and nobodies are stronger and smarter. And with strong enough mind and soul, even nobodies may grow their own heart once again.
And when they grew too strong, or something else strongly influenced the process, the resulting heart might be actually different than the original. They become mutually exclusive, but at the same time incomplete without each other.
Black, claw-like nails slashed the thin air, its edge dripping with corrosive darkness. Uncanny laugh accompanying the rampage fest of the corrupted heart of the young hero as he unleashed his fury to the lesser being around him, the heartless, themselves drawn to his magnificent strength.
"SORA! WHAT THE HELL!"
Roxas didn't understand what happened, a minute ago; he's still inside him, inside Sora. Then what could be described as resurrected Xehanort beat him (or them) senseless and tried to pull Sora's heart.
Now, he's on his own, with a physical body that he had fully control of, and Sora become something else. A heartless.
"Don't worry… I have control..."
The dark blot covering him began to subside, and the inhuman remnant that is Sora's heartless began to form a decent imitation… no, it was not much different than a human, his irises turned yellow, doesn't seems that uncanny as most heartless though. His hair is almost completely black, and his clothes now less colorful, looked like he's entering drive form, only purple and less glossy.
He seems to possess the dark claw, but overall his hands are completely human. What's more, his left shoulder is covered with bright gold pauldron.
It's unmistakably Sora…
Interesting, Xehanort thought. He had experience such thing once, giving himself to the darkness fully and become a heartless, but no ordinary heartless. he hadn't expected this outcome, but mostly, it's not against his plan actually.
"Talk less do more!" Sora's heartless charged again, stopped screaming as he summoned Oathkeeper in-between his teeth, trying to remember how he fought as a lion cub.
Wild, unpredictable, but not uncontrollable. He relied less on his claws this time, using them for parrying purpose only. He utilizes the Keyblade for the purpose of attack and finisher, releasing the heart locked within each of the poor, damned creatures of his kind.
Roxas waste no time further, summoning Kingdom Key… And Oblivion at the same time. He is greatly surprised by it, since Sora can only do it when Sora channeled his friend's power in the previous incidents. But maybe it's because his fusion and Sora is mostly incomplete, plus, what Xehanort did also affect him to lesser degree: now he knew HOW he can use two keyblade.
Still, even though Roxas is even less calm and using two blades, the speed and brutality of Sora's attack is impressive.
Sweat began to flood every inch of Roxas' new body as more and more heartless fell victim of the sacred blades, as the tidal wave of darkness subsidizes, Sora's heartless and Roxas found themselves back to back in defensive position.
"Xehanort" the human-shaped heartless growled as he removed the handle of his blade out of his jaw's grip, stabbing it on the ground. His voice had changed considerably, heavier and echoing inhumanly "YOU WILL PAY"
"I beg to differ" the man in question simply deliver a humiliating smirk as an answer "You gave yourself into darkness willingly, that much is not me to blame"
Roxas is surprised that as heartless, Sora is even less serious "Yea, but there are other things you did that I think worse than me turned into this, what you did to Ven, Vanitas, Aqua, Terra, Roxas, Namine and…"
The glint of Sora's eyes hinted how much anger he suppressed and covered with the happy facade, how much he wanted to tore Xehanort's limb by limb, parts by parts and sacrifice his blood for the greater good… but Roxas knew, Sora did not want to give in to temptation of Revenge, even if he can't resist.
No matter how much different they are now, they're essentially same person.
Roxas understood Sora more than anyone else. The only people that's even close to that? Maybe Namine, and…
"And…?" Roxas and the heartless raised their eyebrow at once, seemingly questioning each other, even though in this condition, they can't properly communicate using their connected consciousness.
"You know, the Twilight Town hangout, with Axel" the heartless pointed lightheartedly "… only two of you? Nah, that's creepy image"
Roxas of course offended, though he could understand, darkness tend to bring out a person's more chaotic traits and exaggerate them sometimes "No time for pointless sexual orientation jokes, dude! Save that for later! Xehanort first and foremost!"
They both dashed toward Xehanort, who casually blocked their attacks with his ethereal blades, countering their brutal assault with extreme grace, almost like he's toying with them.
"A disembodied heart and flawed substitute… what can you do to the complete me?"
"I dunno, three keyblade strikes?" Sora's heartless zapped himself out and bruised Xehanort's backside as he reappears, before disappearing again. Roxas waste no time with unseen X-shaped slash.
Xehanort decided that he's going to play with extra deck, and began to utilize his teleporting ability and spamming it as much as he can, alas, heartless Sora seems to be able to keep up with his speed somehow, and what little part of his darkness attack that hit Sora indirectly is dampened further by some kind of light shield projected by the forsaken pauldron. Roxas by any means not weak either, with the loss of Sora, he had full access to his original power, attack and defend using his two keyblades with ease.
Xehanort spat, sure thing, being outnumbered always been the reasons of his befall, twice even. Of course, it's only because he's a bit reckless for underestimating these two's combat prowess. The disembodied heart? Its flawlessly channeling the power of darkness like Xehanort's own, and the flawed substitute had full access to his own ability, unhindered by the original.
Worse, a door made of light is formed, and more of those imbeciles coming.
King Mickey is the first one to jump in, the two foot something mouse raised his signature weapon: the Kingdom Key D "Found you, Xehanort. So this is the reason why Master Yen Sid and Merlin so restless"
Xehanort frowned, but decided not to say anything.
This is certainly within his plan's parameter of deviation though, as long as he can survive. He made the sleeping demon within the young keyblade's wielder awake, that's his main objective, and he had fulfilled it.
He laughed satisfyingly, and left with a cloud of darkness opening a portal for him.
King Mickey screamed, not quite hysterically, but enough to prove that he's really, really shocked. King Mickey pointed his keyblade to Sora this time, "You're again, Vanitas!
"Wait, it's me! Sora!"
King Mickey didn't budge for a while, until he was convinced that yes, it is Sora "Sora? What happened with you? "
"Well, where do we start?" Sora raised his hands.
"You use Keyblade to unlock your heart out of this body?" Roxas pointed his chest "Okay, let's start with what Xenahort did… fuck"
"I'm sure I saw Xehanort... Sora? is that a new drive form or what?"
Riku examined him throughout, he's REEKS of darkness, though not as bad as most people they fought in the past. Yellow irises, and the fact Sora's 'king crown' necklace has been replaced with heartless emblem... there's only one possibility, aside form him using cosplay magic ala Donald.
"WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?!"
It's seems that for Riku to scream is very uncharacteristic, but again, Heartless Sora, HEARTLESS SORA. Anti-Form is bad enough on its own, now Sora wanted to channel Xehanort and repeat Riku's his stupidity?
Riku clenched his teeth and suppress the outburst in the span time of seconds, temper tantrum never suit him anyway, so he accustomed to do that.
"You, THAT STATE, explain"
He looked at the eternally floating moon of the Dark Margin. Last time they're here, Riku is half dead and Sora is almost as helpless. It was Kairi's light and Mickey's guidance that helped them.
"Sora, you idiot"
Realized the owner of the voice, it's seems that Sora's heart sank deeper into shame rather than darkness, though, if anything, that made him even more like a human being. He ruffled his darkness laden hair furiously to calm himself, and sat on the cold sand beneath them "Let me explain, Kairi"
Her blue eyes, though almost as bright as his yellow, is a lot gentler and caring. This time however, hint of disappointment and great amount of worry plagued those beautiful set of orbs™, looking at him questioningly.
"It was like, what? Ten minutes ago? Remember when I trained you"
"That dirty old vile pulled you into portal of darkness" Kairi interjected, growing impatient "Then what?"
"We fought of course, that means I and Roxas. I admit, though I CAN use two keyblades out of Drive state, but I'm still not good enough at it. So in a short notice, now-perfected Xehanort beat and captured us… then… he did something to me" Sora's claw turned into perfectly that of human's hand, which made a squeezing gesture, made the King wince a little. As Sora's voice changed, it reminded Riku of the first Xehanort.
"He reached for my heart, but instead of trying to pull my heart, he did something else… he seems to try to infect me with darkness and let it grew… instead…"
Sora gulped a little, this part is a little hard to him, well, very hard, but especially for Roxas. Strangely enough, Roxas is the one reassured first with a nudge.
"Well, the process seems to leak Roxas' more personal memory… and Ven's and Vanitas and…" Sora's mouth left agape.
Everyone is met with silence, "And who, Sora?" King Mickey took initiative to spoke.
"I don't know, there seems to be this particular person who I cherished…" Roxas held his chin as he jumped onto a top of a rock, and sat there "I, Axel… can't be only two of us I'm sure"
"Well, there's that…" This time, it's Riku who spoke "I am uncertain, but there is this particularly odd person even by Organization's standard"
"Namine… Namine said she COULD do something, but she had to save some energy first" Kairi stated with a mellowed tone.
Everyone wondered who is this person, seems to be important, and yet, they can't seem to remember who. This is especially visible with Roxas himself, as he's the most attached of them all. Only King Mickey who seems to be completely oblivious.
"Say thanks to Namine when she's awake" Roxas nodded.
"Anyway, back to Xehanort, the process made my anger to surface, so much that it's seems that he did it on purpose. Darkness began to engulf my heart… to prevent Roxas from being affected, I use my key to rip open my own heart out and let it take shape, first as anti-Sora, then the current me, Sora's heartless, who look like Vanitas"
"I thought… I can understand"
Everyone turned their attention to the mousy King; this is the closest thing to expression of despair to him, as Riku can attest.
"Riku, you do remember Terra don't you?" Mickey said "And Kairi, do you remember a blue haired woman named Aqua?"
Both of them nodded in agreement. "It's a bit vague though" Kairi added "I am four years old and only saw her briefly"
"Well, the story began ten years ago, Xehanort… he torn apart Ven, Aqua, and Terra. The story didn't end with happy ending, that… Xehanort manipulates everyone, an destroy everything as long as he could reach his goal. So ah suppose dat Sora experienced all of those via the memory leakage drove him berserk"
Mickey tries as hard as he can not to spill his emotion, but his heart betrayed him, or maybe he betrayed his heart instead. They began to share the complete story that happened ten years ago, how the friendship of three wielders torn apart and their suffering. The Unversed, birth of Vanitas, the creation of χ-blade, how exactly Sora can use Keyblades, how Kairi ended up in Destiny Island, and so on.
As they got a perfect picture of everything, it only cemented that yes, Xehanort is a heartless amongst heartless, monsters amongst monsters.
"I've failed my duty, either way. Ven's heart is locked inside Sora's, probably alongside Vanitas, Aqua exiled herself in the realm of darkness, and Terra… well, Sora, Donald, and Goofy fought him in the Keyblade Graveyard, in his armor form. Xehanort stole his body and heart, what remains in that armor, is his mind and soul"
"Ven saved me" Sora placed his hand on the majestic pauldron he obtained shortly before "Just like organization's black cloak and Kingdom key D, this will protect you from outside darkness. But there's more, Ven's will had been engraved in this armor, Ven had protected me by suppressing the darkness that grew exponentially WITHIN me, which is probably why I look like Vanitas"
"So that's why you seems to remain mostly intact, your situation reminded me of Xenahort the first time we fought him" Riku knock the pauldron several times, it didn't do anything "Except you're not evil"
"Well, yeah, that's the case"
"Then, let's fuse once again!" Roxas insisted "I'll never let you to stay in that form"
Sora crossed his arms and shook his head quickly "No deal. I'm not going to enter my body while my heart is engulfed in darkness like this; I need to cool down… even if that takes time"
"But you can't always depend on that armor!" Roxas furiously refuted.
Sora raised his voice as well "I decide to trust Ven, I owe him, and I'm not letting Roxas anywhere near my heart soon"
"Damn it, I'm not even supposed to EXIST!" Roxas' hand slammed into the sand angrily, tears began to stream from the corner of his eyes "It's not fair! Look at me, I'm a nobody, I don't even have emotion! Why I'm crying?!"
"Because you have a heart on your own, you are me, you're part of me, I'm incomplete with you, and I'm not letting you to get hurt" Sora closed his eyes and smiled, once again, summoning Oathkeeper.
He stood up and approached Kairi, reached her hand and putting it on top of him and the keyblade "And Kairi, this saved me as well. I'm not leaving you, not in pathetic state like berserking Anti-Sora. The Light of Oathkeeper is the reason I can be calm"
Kairi simply smiled, even though she's crying. She gently put his head on her left shoulder, her hand pat the heartless' back. "It's okay… I'm… glad"
"Listen, Roxas, I think… I can understand why Sora decided to do that" Riku put his hand on the poor boy's shoulder "I once afraid of the darkness within my own, but what's more, I don't want my beloved to be hurt by that…"
"But in the end, I decided to stay, and I think Sora will try to do the same thing"
Roxas stood up, wiping his tears away; he nodded "We'll find a way"
"But Sora, there's one problem…" King Mickey twiddled his finger "in that state, how ya could withstand power of light?"
"Hey, my heart is yet to be corrupted… well, at least the core part is. Ven is guarding it. Although, Oathkeeper not only keep my darkness suppressed, but it also suppressed my strength as being of the darkness… so as of now, I'm weaker than I am normally in certain aspect"
"Now I just remember… by any chance, Riku, did you just say Sora is similar to Xehanort two years ago?"
The white haired teen answered "Sort of"
"Well, I studied Ansem's Reports and then some other stuff in the mean time since our last adventure" Kairi said, she gave Riku a notebook. "This contain a copy of Ansem's documents, which is sealed and stored in Disney castle. It's locking system is purely magical, created by Master Yen Sid himself. So only a keybade or a very, very good magician can open it"
Roxas knock the notebook softly with his keyblade, and it opened. Riku skimming through ten pages or so until he found what he wanted.
To Riku's surprise, it contains authentic copy of Ansem's research, word by word. Suppose within the quarter year of peace, there's SOMETHING within Kairi which improved aside form her basic fencing and magic skill, but to be entrusted with such dangerous knowledge, she's really deserve her title as princess of heart.
Ansem's Report No. 12
I have transcended to an existence of only the heart. I should have come back as a Heartless, but there is no sign of such a transformation.
My body has surely perished. However, I am different from the other Heartless, keeping the memories of before, and I have not taken on the form of a Heartless.
It is evident that there are still many things to be studied.
In order to cross over to the dark realm, which is not this world, you must go beyond the door of Kingdom Hearts, the heart of all worlds.
The core connected to the world's heart, the place that will take me to the world of darkness. (I will record the details in another report...)
There are still so many unknown worlds.The Realm of the present...The Realm of Darkness. The Realm of Light. And, The Realm of In-Between. In which one does true paradise lie, I wonder?
"Xehanort seems to separate his heart and body willingly according to this, perhaps the same thing happened with Sora, hence Sora become this... a special heartless almost indistinguishable from the original" Riku nodded, he closed the note with his own keyblade and returned it to Kairi.
"Only Sora still fought the darkness as much as he could, hah, I see!" King Mickey clapped his hand.
"And thus the darkness will slowly withering, I'll turn into disembodied heart, and after that, I could be sealed back into my body. Easy, isn't it?"
Riku wanted to smack Sora for his stupid statement, if Sora is exposed to overpowered light, he will instantly disappear. But between Xehanort's heartless, nobody, and now, the complete one, he doubt anyone turned into heartless can stay dead.
"But Sora, since the source of darkness is your anger to HIM" Riku postulated, Sora and Roxas crossed their arm and dancing, shortly after, Roxas summoned Oblivion, and they crossed their sword majestically, they shouted synchronously "Yeah, dude, we're going to beat that asshole Xehanort once again so we can return to our original state"
"Damn straight" Riku deadpanned "And I just began to love normal life"
"I'll return to da castle and see what I can gather. Xehanort only revived recently and I doubt that petty fella has enough manpower to take us together, see?" King Mickey said "Of course, with dat traitor, we can't be too reckless. All have everyone on alert, but no need to be too tense either"
"Now what do we do?" Roxas asked.
"What in the Kingdom Heart's name happened?"
"It's Xehanort and his usual jackassery" Sora lazily replied "Why do you... ask"
Sora's keyblade dropped, in place of tears, darkness seeped through the corner of his eyes, it wasn't darkness that grew too much, but darkness within his heart being banished by the surge of happiness and joy that fill Sora's heart.
"AQUA!" he shouted "You're alive?"
She unleashed hey own Keyblade as Sora approached, Sora had it coming and raise both of his hands as high as he could
From her lip only came one question "Are you Vanitas?"
"I can guarantee he is not..." Roxas put her blade down with his own, made her agape in surprise "And no, before you ask, I am not Ven either. Sora here is a living anomaly, he couldn't even create a nobody properly"
"But I'm thankful for that, it gave me, and other people, chance to exist"
"So you are Sora" Aqua watched the heartless boy intently, and while she could sense the darkness, she felt a strange familiarity and very strong light within him. They had met long time ago, and he had grew this much. "I'm sorry I don't recognize you"
"Well, technically... I AM Vanitas, in a sense that this my body is the darkness within my heart, reshaped by my memories that had Ven and Vanitas' mixed in" Sora grinned cheerfully, right hand on his armored shoulder "Don't worry, I'm not going to rely on darkness, for Ven always protect me"
"Continuing from what I said, I'm Sora's nobody, Roxas, probably appear like this because of Ven's influence" Roxas introduced himself.
Even while sleeping, Ven still tried to help everyone. Aqua smiled softly and hug those two briefly, made the mid-teen boys blush in response. As she straightened up, she also bowed to Mickey, as a fellow keybladers and something more. "Your Majesty"
"Long time no see" Mickey nodded "Uh, even though I only remember you just now"
Aqua tilted her head, confused, it was Kairi who straightened him "His Highness has problem remembering people he not met often"
"Ah, Kairi and Riku, long time no see"
"I'm sorry with what happened with Terra and Ven" Riku said quite honestly, without sounding rude at all.
Aqua read Riku's eyes, he had been through a lot, well, not as much as Terra or Ven probably, but it shown on him. It's the kind of eyes that had seen the true nature of darkness, and experience the suffering being involved with it.
"Miss Aqua" Kairi bowed "Thank you for saving me years ago"
"I'm surprised you remember" Aqua nodded.
"It's the last thing I remember before I met Sora and Riku" Kairi took her hands gently and nudge her, as the other one pointed at the door of light "There, in Destiny Island"
Aqua felt the warmth irradiated form the door, that's where she's belong. True, she could blame everything on her unable to prevent the tragedy and stay here in exile, but it solved nothing. The problem will persist unless she fix it.
She WILL save Ven and Terra, no matter what. Seeing the new generation Keyblade wielders made her heart at ease.
"See if my body can withstand Destiny Island's sun" Sora walked first into the door of light, and felt some seizure as sunlight bathed his entire body, and screamed "OW! OW! A little too bright"
Kairi had him kneeling and put her hands, protecting his eyes. He opened his eyes, it's seems that as long as it's not the sun at its peak, he was fine with some light.
It took him several minutes to adapt, but he's fine even with bright sunlight. Aqua seems to have some problem too, but not as much as Sora did, probably because her problem is outright mundane: she spent too long in a dark place.
Riku sighed "But no matter what, your battle prowess will be reduced. With Oathkeeper and Ven's armor sealing most of your dark power and your state means you can't use light either… well, WHAT are you going to do?"
Sora already let his hand lie on Riku's shoulder, pulled him below so he could grin right on his face. Riku decided he HAD to rectify that, Sora is almost as fast as when he use his Dark Aura, to clarify, that's a short range teleport move with brief casting delay.
"… Right… you have double speed in that form…"
"And my resistance to darkness is only surpassed by Kairi" Sora pointed his chest, who have a tiny but still visible heartless emblem "Keyblade armor and being a heartless, think the potential"
"That's not how it work and you knew it" Kairi frowned and flicked him on the nose, there's a slight fizzle at that and made Sora yelped "OW! What was that for?"
"Not only you're vulnerable to light, but you HAD to avoid being exposed to darkness as much as you can, else you can never return unless blasted with extremely powerful light magic to smithereens, and if your heart didn't immediately return, we might have to find your heart somewhere in this universe because power of light and darkness transcend space and time" Kairi said "You know that's the simplest solution to avoid the corruption but we don't want that! Too risky and complicated in the long run!"
"By Pooh's sweet honey, of course I knew, Kairi! Why else do you think I didn't ask for assisted suicide from the beginning? Xehanort is revived and we need every single keybearers we can get!"
Everyone sweatdropped, they're seems to be confused that Sora could refute a murder threat so casually, even though as princess of heart, there's no way Kairi will do it without great regret and despair following.
"You just have to keep being optimistic, do you?" Roxas elbowed him softly.
"If I stop, I'll lose myself to darkness. No matter what, there's that light in the end of tunnel... and I'll reach it… and like King Mickey said: you shouldn't fear the darkness, for it forming the half of our universe, even if you can't accept it outright"
Aqua never feel so astonished, Sora's body is entirely made of darkness, and yet... his heart shone brightly, brighter than most people Aqua knew, not counting Mickey, Ven, and the Princesses. Sora is the kind of boy who dared to fight his fate. There must be a reason Ven trust this boy to this extent.
Mickey, who had been silent for a while, deliver a bright, wide smile and nodded.
In spite of his chaotic and frightening nature, Sora's very presence brought everyone a sense of peace. His eyes gleamed under the residual light from the bright sun, steam of darkness covering his body blown away from him little by little, until they almost completely disappear.
No matter the obstacle, Sora will always pass it.
Well, at least, when those are grave "But before Xehanort, there are your parents…" Kairi chuckled.
Sora and Roxas is look at each other in horror, and thus, a hysterical scream echoing in every corner of the beach
As for why Roxas STILL posses the Synch Blade ability so he can summon two Keyblades? Ven's heart is with him, NOT sora, Ven use his Armor as Magitek WiFi. Will be elaborated upon later.
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