Hello everyone! Here she is!
My name is TorNathan! And I'm The Unknowing Herald!

And we are here to present to you our Collaboration Project: Harbinger of Light: The Shattering

This is only chapter one, of part one, of what will become a massive trilogy! We will be updating once every one to two weeks, so keep your eyes peeled. This, as you already know, is a Kingdom Hearts fic!

Only KH1, Kh:CoM, and KH2 will be the basis for this fic. All other KH games will not be taken into account. Other Fictions may and will make appearances!

Disclaimer: Neither of us own Kingdom Hearts, Square Enix, Disney, etc. . . (Though we wish we could)

Rated T: Violence, Language, Adult Themes, Use of Alcohol (Most of these appear later)

Enjoy! Review! Have a great time!


Chapter I

Unity

July 12, 2010
Destiny Islands

Water. Cold, refreshing, salty water. Sora let the water caress and flow around him, gently pulling him along the soft sand underneath. Water logged his shoes and weighed his bloody clothing down, straining his tired muscles. His muscles felt sore and stiff and his neck felt like it had a massive knot in it. He stretched, easing out some of the tension as he looked around, a large smile splitting his face. He was finally home and with his friends, safe and sound. A moment that could never end.

If it was one thing about Destiny Islands that he loved, it would have to be the amazing sunsets. The sun had already broken the horizon and the conflagration of deep and warm colors bursting from the horizon were awe-inspiring. As he stood up, he glanced over to Donald Duck and Goofy doing the same, smiles the same, feelings the same. On his other side was Riku giving King Mickey a hug. This lightened Sora to see his best friend finally showing feelings and happiness. They all looked at each other and out at the sunset, relishing the presence of each others' company. He punched Riku playfully in the arm, earning a small smile from him. Sora chuckled slightly when he just realized-

"Sora! Riku!"

Sora turned around to the sight of Kairi, the girl he loved. He knew this, he had for a long time now. He stared at her with a warm heart, but a cold fear deep down. Ever since they were little, he had always feared she would never love him back, and even now, that fear still held its place in his mind and heart. He may not like that, but he was always grateful to have her as a friend, and that would never change.

Although, things have changed a lot, haven't they? Roxas told him, his voice resonating in Sora's mind.

I guess.

He walked to her, leaving his other friends alone as his hand reached into his pocket and retrieved her lucky charm. In his hand was a small creation of a paopu she had crafted years ago. He remembered that moment, so long ago, where he made his promise to bring it back to her. He had spent so many nights worrying for her, and the lucky charm would always warm and assure his heart. He looked at it and approached her with an outstretched hand. She took his hand, and electricity surged through him, her tender fingers making contact with his. She took the paopu and looked him with shining, purple eyes accenting her wine red hair.

"You remembered," she said in a shy voice.

"Of course," he told her. And as if not in his control, his arms took her and embraced her in a hug. He felt shocked as he showed his emotions, yet it seemed not to bother her as she wrapped her arms firmly around his waist. They stood like that for a moment, basking in the warm glow of the sunset, unaware of their friends staring at them. Once they realized this, they broke apart, each blushing slightly.

Sora rubbed one of his arms, feeling kind of shaky at being in Kairi's presence.

Why? Roxas asked.

Why, what?

Why are you so afraid to be in front of her?

I don't know.

Oh, come on, man! You, of all people, shouldn't be afraid of a girl,he retorted sarcastically.

It's not her, it's her feelings I'm afraid to know.

Whatever, dude.

Sora stood thoughtfully, and took a deep breath, releasing the tension and nerves of his feelings of being unsure. He shrugged them off as his friends joined him and Kairi.

"I can't believe we're finally home," Kairi said in bliss. That voice was so beautiful and soothing to Sora. It always had and always will.

"I know," Riku said, moving his now long silver hair out of the way of his cyan eyes. Sora moved his own dark brown hair out of his cerulean orbs. He looked at all his friends, here on the shore with the roaring ocean. It did feel unbelievable. The sun was still declining as they stood on the small play islet that nearly two years ago began this whole journey. It was far-off memory like a scattered dream.

"Oh, I can't wait to see mom and dad again," Kairi said with longing. Sora's eyes grew wide with anticipation. His mom! He had completely forgotten that he would be able to finally see his mom again. He had often worried if she would be able to make it on her own, without him or his dad. His dad had died at sea with many others in a freak storm. His body had never been found.

"Welp," King Mickey squeaked, grabbing their attention, "let's get you all back home." Everyone nodded their consent as they started slowly walking for the docks. Sora had already spotted that there were no boats. They all arrived at the dock and stopped, looking around expectantly.

"Well," he said, scratching his head, "there aren't any boats for us to go back on." Kairi shifted and looked at him, hands on her hips.

"While you and Riku were off fighting, leaving me alone," she said snappishly, but with a smile, "I did some things while you were gone." She stopped talking and walked over to a small hollow in the rock facing. She moved a cascade of vines and revealed the sanded driftwood rowboats.

"I knew no one would be using these," she said patting the side of a boat, "so I had to get them out of the elements." She started to heave one of the heavy boats through the thick sand and was struggling. Sora immediately rushed to her side and began helping her, despite his screaming and burning muscles. Riku strolled up beside them and started dragging the other with no problem. Sora rolled his eyes as he and Kairi dragged the boat to the water, ending alongside Riku.

"Okay, gang. Donald, Goofy, you two are with me. Sora, Kairi, Riku in the other," King Mickey ordered them with a clap of his hands. Sora helped Kairi into the boat and then climbed in after her. He scooted very close to her, making him rather nervous, as he waited for Riku to join them. He watched as Riku looked at himself and Kairi. Riku smiled before turning away and climbing into King Mickey's boat. Riku winked at Sora before laughing as Goofy started rowing them towards the main island. Sora glared back at him. He stayed like that for a moment before realizing how close he was to Kairi and hurriedly scooting away from her, his heart racing. She giggled at him as he took up the oars and started following King Mickey.

"Sora?" Kairi asked quietly.

"Yeah?" Sora replied very quickly, feeling embarrassed at his eagerness and nervousness.

"I just wanted to-" she cut off, looking away and blushing.

"What is it, Kai?" Sora asked calmly, surprising even himself.

"I- I just wanted to say, thank you," she told him meekly. She looked at him longingly, yet shyly. He looked back, and for once thought what it must be like for her, to have a savior such as himself. And wasn't that what he was; a savior of the light, a hero for all? He had went from a normal, happy-go-lucky boy to a savior of the worlds. And here was the girl of his love, thanking him for it.

"It- it was nothing Kairi," he said dumbly, his cheeks blushing. They continued to stare awkwardly at each other and sit in silence, the ocean's waves slapping off the wood, spraying them with salt. Multiple times he tried to start a conversation with her, but he ducked out them each time.

Wow, you're hopeless.

Just leave me alone about it, Roxas. . .

Only speaking the truth.

Sora both growled mentally and out loud at Roxas. Kairi raised an eyebrow at him and smiled at his growl. He sighed and a ignored Roxas.

"It's only Roxas bugging me," he told her as the main island's shore inched closer. She nodded her head.

"Naminé is doing the same to me right now," she explained to him, rolling her eyes, obvious that Naminé was bugging her like Roxas was him. They continued to row quietly, the only sounds being the crashing waves and the calling gulls overhead. The water, without the sun, was a blackish blue, a deep and ominous depth, full of secrets and surprises. Riku and his boat obviously reach land first, and they tied the boat up, waiting patiently for Sora and Kairi; Riku's face in a larger grin than before.

Sora hopped out into the water, now freezing cold, and pulled the boat up some more, then helping Kairi out onto dry land. He may become nervous and timid in front of her, but he was always a gentleman, a virtue his mother had taught to always honor. Kairi giggled as she allowed Sora to help her, causing him to blush and lose his nerve slightly. She removed her hand from his right before his palms began sweating. He hastily wiped them on a dry spot of his clothing and tied the boat to the peir next to the other. After that, he walked to his friends, all of whom were waiting for him.

"Okay," King Mickey said as Sora joined the group, "I will stay with Riku tonight. Donald, you stay with Sora and Goofy, you're with Kairi. Help them explain where their children have been for nearly two years now. Got it?"

Both the anthropomorphic and humans alike nodded to his orders. "In the morning," he continued, "we'll leave. I'll have Chip and Dale send a gummi ship for these coordinates." They all nodded again as the group, following Sora, went to Riku's house first, seeing as it was the closest. The islands had grown quite cold by the time the sun had finally set to now. They walked down the road in the dark, a close knit group as they made their way to Riku's house, not talking. Sounds of insects filled the air as they rounded a curve and onto Riku's street; the night was alive, fresh and crisp.

His two-story, brick home was rather large and set away from the street, surrounded by lush palms on all sides. It was no secret that his family was wealthy, and they did not care whether they flaunted this or not. Riku never did, but that did not stop his guardians, his aunt and uncle. The cobblestone path to his front door was sided with stretches of flowers and other greenery. A fountain was off to the side, bordered by benches and under a glass canopy, marble pillars supporting it. They continued up to the teak front doors and banged on them using the ornate, iron doorknockers. The rings were held in the mouth of a shark, a fitting creature for the islands. At first there was no response. Then, there were slight footsteps, the sound of a lock being unlatched, and then the slow creak as the door opened, pouring light onto them all.

At first, Riku's aunt, Lysa, just stared at them all. Then her eyes grew wide with astonishment.

"R- Riku?" she said, tears forming and her voice rising. Sora watched as Riku stepped forward, stopping just before her, a good head and a half taller than her.

"Yes, aunt. It's me," he said grabbing her and bringing her into a fierce hug. Lysa tried to overcome the shock as her frail and slim arms shakily wrapped around him. Everyone could hear her sobs, loud and spluttering. After the brief exchange of love, she wiped her eyes and looked at everyone else. Her eyes strayed onto Kairi. She walked over and gave her a hug much like Riku's. Then she looked at Sora, and she had a look of shock equal to that of when she spotted Riku.

"Oh, Sora," she exclaimed, throwing her arms around Sora. This was much easier seeing how Sora was shorter than Riku. He returned the hug with love as well. Growing up she had acted like an aunt herself to him, and he had always been welcome at Riku's home. After Lysa's emotional moment, she looked at him with watery green eyes.

"You look just like Max did when he was your age," she said, referring to his father, Maximilian. He smiled down at her as she turned to look at the anthropomorphic friends.

"Come now, Lysa," King Mickey said, holding out his hand for her to take, "let me explain inside." And with that, Riku, King Mickey and Lysa entered the house, leaving everyone else outside, standing in the moonlight. Sora looked over at Kairi, and found her looking back at him. His nerves shot and he looked away, feeling dry in the mouth and shaky. They descended the stairs, walked down the cobblestone, and out onto the road, heading for Kairi's home.

They took a left turn and headed down a road, bordered by trees, shading the moonlight. They continued this way and then took a right. The came to a dead end where two houses sat side by side. On the left was Kairi's house, and on the right was Sora's. Maybe that had been part of the reason they had been such good friends growing up. They had always lived next to each other and did everything together, even talking to each other out of their bedroom windows. He walked her to her front door and knocked. They heard footsteps approach and open the door. It was Kairi's father, David, the mayor of the islands. He was a big man, rippled in knotted muscle. He had black hair and a black goatee laced with gray that shined in the moonlight.

"Daddy?" Kairi said, tears sliding down her cheeks.

"Kairi?" Before anything else was said, she rushed forward and enveloped her father in a massive hug. He returned it with love, nearly picking his daughter up in the process. He took off her arms, grasped her head, and kissed her forehead. He then realized that there were more people aside his daughter.

"Who are you?" he asked Donald and Goofy.

"Goofy will explain inside, sir," Sora said, stepping a bit closer to David. Being in front of Kairi always made him nervous, let alone her father, that was also the mayor. He felt that ever present shakiness as David looked him over and finally realized who he was. David's eyes grew big and his mouth dropped.

"Sora? Is that you?" He asked, walking towards him. Sora looked up nervously up at him.

"Yes, sir," he replied, swallowing a lump in his throat.

"Now, Sora, how many times have I told you to call me by my name?" David said, taking Sora into a hug. Sora returned the hug and then looked back at him.

"Too many times, sir," he said, completely disregarding the use of his name.

"But, where have you been, my son?" he asked exasperatedly.

"Like I said, sir, Goofy," he said indicating the dog-man, "will explain inside."

"Ahyuck, nice to meet ya, sir," Goofy said. "My name's Goofy," he said, shaking the mayors hand. They walked inside, much to David's confusion, closing the door behind them.

Sora sighed in both relief and desire. He still wished to be with Kairi, even if she did make him feel uneasy. Donald had already started towards Sora's house next door, leaving him on Kairi's porch. Just as he turned to go, Kairi opened the door. He stopped and turned to see her shut it, leaving them there alone. Sora looked into her beautiful purple eyes, and became lost. He found himself nowhere near as nervous than he normally would be. She stepped closer to him and hugged him, and he returned it. Calmly. He could feel her warm flesh pressed against his, and he enjoyed it. She whispered into his ear.

"Sora, thank you, so much." He broke away from her and looked her boldly in the eyes.

"You're welcome, Kairi," and he hugged her again, but briefly. She looked back at him expectantly but he never picked up on it. She just dipped her head a bit and turned to the door, opened it, and entered, closing it behind her.

Idiot, Roxas muttered.

What? Sora asked in response.

Nothing. I won't tell you. It's for you to figure out. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to talk to Naminé.

Wait? You can talk to Naminé?

What did I just say? Yes, we can talk to each other just like we can-

And in a flash of blue light, Roxas appeared next to him, garbed in his usual clothing from Twilight Town. He was the same Roxas, just a spectral image. Transparent and ghostly.

"Appear as our own selves, just translucent," he explained as they started walking to Sora's home. Donald was waiting patiently on the porch, which was shocking; Donald was never patient. He looked at Roxas with a bewildered look and then one of understanding.

"Ah, now I see what the King was talking about," he said in his raspy voice.

"What?" both Roxas and Sora asked at the same time, each smirking at the coincidence.

"The King told both me and Goofy that something like this could happen, I just didn't understand what he was going on about," he explained. Both the teens shrugged it away as they knocked on the door. And just like the others, his mother, Abigail, opened the door just after Roxas had vanished back into Sora's heart.

She looked at Sora for a minute, puzzled. He was letting her figure it out, trying to see if-

"Sora!" She ran forward, crushing her son in a hug, tears flowing through her loud sobs. He wrapped his arms around her, too. And for the first time since he could remember, he cried, and let it all go. He released all his emotion as he stood embraced by his mother, letting all the tears flow unstopped, bathed in the moonlight. He could not explain the feelings he was going through, but the closest thing must have been assurance. Or unity. He was so happy that they were home, finally, safe from the universe and all the problems and fear that came with it. He was finally home.

After the spout of emotions, they both stopped crying and flicked away the tears.

"Come on, baby, come inside with your friend," she said, eying Donald, who had apparently wiped away some of his own tears. Sora smirked at him, earning a funny sounding growl from the bird. Sora chuckled at him which made Donald quack loudly a few times before they shut the door.

The house was just as he remembered it. All the same furniture was there, in both the kitchen and dining room combo and the living room. Pictures hung on the walls, showing familiar faces. There were plenty of him with his mom. Plenty of him with Riku, Kairi, and all his friends from school. But there was only one of him with his dad. It was a picture of his father on his boat, and standing next to him was a six year old Sora. Sora lingered over this picture for a while before sitting down on his favorite chair in the living room. He looked around the room, remembering a simpler life and time. Donald consented himself to sitting on the end of the large couch while Abigail sat in the matching chair to Sora's right.

"So, Sora, where have you been?" Abigail asked him, after coming back from the kitchen with some tea. Sora and Donald each accepted a cup and drank eagerly, not having drank anything for a while. Donald was amusing to watch as he had to almost drink it vertically. Sora had always loved his mom's tea, and now, nearly two years later, it tasted just the same. Nostalgia was rampant. He sighed in content as he looked over at his mother. She had long black hair and green eyes. She had an angular facial structure with high cheekbones. He definitely got all of his looks from his father.

"Well, where do I begin?" Sora said. "It all began about two years ago on the night of that storm," he began.

"Kairi, Riku, and myself were building a raft. We didn't know why at first, but then we decided to leave this place, this world. So on the night of the big storm, I ran from home to secure the raft and make sure it wouldn't break. When I got to the play islet, Riku was standing by the paopu tree, looking up into a mass of darkness and chaos. I approached him." Sora tensed a little, but forced his nerves and muscles to relax as he continued the story. Donald watched quietly.

"He was different," he told his mother. She was watching and nodding along. She showed an initial sign of shock, but it had passed. "He looked at me and told me to open myself to the darkness. I refused, and he told me this was our chance. He told me he wasn't afraid of the darkness, but I was.

"Then, dark things were surrounding me. My wooden sword would do nothing to stop them, but then, when all seemed hopeless, I acquired the Keyblade."

"What's a Keyblade, Sora?" his mom asked confusedly. He held out his right hand and summoned the Oblivion Keyblade, a dark and fearsome blade. His mother looked at it with awe as he let it vanished into thousands of wisps of light.

"I later learned that these creatures are called the Heartless, and that they are created by the darkness in peoples' hearts. Only the Keyblade can truly vanquish them. And there is darkness in every heart, except the Princesses of Heart and Light. Kairi happens to be one." This was a lot for Abigail to take in, Sora noticed, but she was doing well, and urged him to continue.

"Well, the darkness swallowed me, and destroyed this world," he said morosely.

His mother looked at him a bit of shock when he said that the world they now lived on, was destroyed. He told her that he would explain later.

"Well, I wound up in a place called Traverse Town, and that is where I met Donald and Goofy," he told her.

"Who is Goofy?" she asked. Sora looked around, but forgot he was at Kairi's house.

"He's with Kairi, helping explain all this to her parents," Sora responded.

"Kairi's back?" she exclaimed.

"Yes, and Riku, too," Sora told her, taking another drink of his tea. His mother looked shocked even more before keeping her composure under control once more, allowing Sora to continue. He enjoyed telling her about his journeys. He enjoyed telling her all about the friends and enemies he made along the way. About all the different worlds and the dogfights taking place while getting there. She looked at him in awe of his prowess and skill, beaming at him with pride, proud of her son and what he had done. He told her all about being "junior heroes" and winning all the coliseum cups and how he had beaten even a god. He even mentioned his funny costume at Halloween Town and his transformation at Atlantica. He explained all his dealings with combat and magic and all the adventures he had with Donald and Goofy, all the way up to Hollow Bastion.

"So, I knew Riku had went bad and followed him and Kairi's unconscious form to a place called Hollow Bastion. This is where Maleficent was hiding," he said, finishing his tea. His mother rose from her seat and went to refill his and Donald's cups in conjunction with her own. Sora was reaching a critical part in his journeys and was starting to become nervous. He didn't want to tell her about what had happened at Hollow Bastion, but-

He had a sudden idea.

Roxas?

Yeah, bud?

What all can you and Naminé do?

Well, he began, we can talk to both of you, obviously. We can talk to each other. We can talk to you in your minds even when outside your bodies, and even when we are whole.

Whole? Sora asked wondrously.

Only if touching a Keyblade, he explained. Also, he continued, we can communicate to each other, no matter how far we are from each other, as long as were are on the same world. Other than Naminè's memory abilities, that's essentially it. Why do you ask?

Can Naminé appear over here? Sora asked.

Maybe. As close as these houses are, it still is a stretch for her to "just appear". She may be able to walk over though.

Ask her to come over here, please. And you appear, too.

Okay?

Abigail had just handed out the glasses and sat back down when Roxas appeared with a flash. If anything tonight, this is what sent Abigail over. She screamed loudly, nearly knocking over her glass as she stood up and backed away.

"Mom, calm down!" Sora exclaimed, going to her side as Roxas just rolled his eyes and plopped on the couch, leaving no indentation.

"Wh- who- what is that?" she asked, her voice faltering and her eyes frantic.

"This is Roxas, and he is my Nobody," Sora told her as he led her back to her chair. She looked at him and then back to Sora.

"What's a Nobody?" she asked.

"A Nobody," Roxas said casually, "is a being that has no heart. I am the other half of Sora's heart, and in my oh so lucky case, I get to share a heart, giving me feelings for once." Roxas was very bitter about all this, but Sora presumed he would get used to it.

"I was created when Sora lost his heart to the darkness and became a Heartless himself," he concluded.

"What?" she exclaimed, looking at Sora with immense concern. He waved it off as Naminé appeared in a flash of golden light, her blonde hair flowing and dress standing still because no wind could blow it. Roxas reappeared and walked over, giving her a brief but fierce hug. She returned it before looking at Sora and his mother.

"Ah," she said, walking over brightly to Sora and Abigail, "you must be Sora's mother?"

"Yes, and are you another Nobody?" Abigail asked.

"Oh? She already has met Roxas here?" she said, giving Roxas a quirky smile. "Yes, I am Kairi's Nobody. My name is Naminé."

"Okay, mom, when we arrived at- you two can sit if you want," Sora said, cutting himself off. They did and Roxas put an arm around Naminé. She scooted in closer to him. Sora looked at them confusedly.

"You two can interact?" he asked.

"Yep, now continue, please," Naminé said nicely. Sora nodded at her before facing his mother again.

"Anyway, when we arrived at Hollow Bastion, we came across the Beast, one of our friends. He had been badly hurt by Riku. I found Riku and we talked. He told me that he was the true Keyblade's Chosen One and that I was only the delivery boy. He left be with my wooden sword and Goofy and Donald abandoned me, too." Sora looked over at Donald, who had shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

"Sorry, Sora," he quacked, looking sad and guilty.

"It's okay, Donald," Sora said before continuing.

"I fought Riku for the Keyblade and it was mine once again," he told her with a light heart, yet dreading what was to come. "Then we came across Maleficent."

"And she was the bad one right?" Abigail asked, trying to remember.

"Yes. We fought her two times, one being when she was a mighty black dragon. By now, we knew Riku was not himself and we followed after him," he told her.

"Has Roxas told you yet, Naminé?" Sora asked.

"Yes," she said as she stood and spread her arms. One by one, everyone in the room, even Roxas, passed into a state of unconsciousness. Sora did not want to tell his mom what had happened this day. He wanted to show her.

HoL:TS

A room. On both sides were three women each, and on the floor, the dreaded symbol of the Heartless. Sora was there, with his mom, Roxas, Naminé, and Donald. They followed the younger Sora, Donald and Goofy through the room, examining the six princesses of heart. They followed up the stairs and watched as Goofy hit an invisible barrier and fell backwards, tumbling right through them and down the stairs.

"Goofy!" the real Donald shouted, but the memory beings could not hear him nor anyone else. They stopped to the side as the memory Sora rushed to Kairi's unconscious body, lifting her torso and watching her head loll freely.

"Kairi! Kairi! Open your eyes!" the memory shouted.

"It's no use." A voice said. Everyone looked up to the dark and possessed Riku sitting atop the Keyhole. Electricity brimmed and shot at places. Pipes spewed hot steam and the conflagration of colors swirling in the Keyhole gave the place a horrific vibe.

"That girl has lost her heart. She cannot wake up," he said nonchalantly. The memory Sora placed her back upon the cold metal floor and looked up at the memory of the possessed Riku.

"What? You. . . You're not Riku," he said with confusion and trepidation. The evil Riku smiled and continued.

"The Keyhole cannot be completed so long as the last Princess of Heart still sleeps," he said as he vaulted off of the Keyhole and floated down with outstretched arms, blade in hand. Sora looked at him inquiringly.

"The Princess. . .? Kairi's a princess?" he asked. Sora thought the words nostalgia and déjà vu could not even begin to describe this moment as he just watched, his emotions in overload. The memory Sora stood back up and faced Riku who had just landed.

"Yes, and without her power, the Keyhole will remain incomplete. It is time she awakened," Riku said as he looked down at Sora. The memory Sora stood forward a step and made a gesture with his arm.

"Whoever you are, let Riku go! Give him back his heart!" A fire burned in his eyes as the real Sora looked back at himself. He felt small pride in himself at his courage and bravery.

"But first, you must give the princess back her heart!" Riku shouted as he pointed the Keyblade of Heart at Sora's own heart. Light emanated around where his heart would be and pain etched across his face as he fell to his knees, clutching his chest.

"Sora!" the memory Donald shouted.

"Don't you see yet?" the memory Riku shouted angrily, walking forward. "The princess's heart it responding. It has been there all along. Kairi's heart rests within you!"

"Kairi. . . Kairi's inside me?" he asked dazedly through the pain, still clutching and still on his knees. He glanced over at her limp body and the real Sora could remember all this pain like it were only yesterday. The memory Sora glanced back at Riku.

"I know all that there is to know," Riku said, the possessed voice ringing more loudly than before, a dark and deep voice. The voice of Ansem.

"Tell me! Who are you?" Sora pleaded.

"It is I, Ansem, the seeker of darkness," he proclaimed proudly as strode forward towards the two. The memory Donald ran at him but was thrown through the barrier as Riku's sword made contact with his head. Riku pointed his sword directly at Sora.

"So, I shall release you now, princess. Complete the Keyhole with your power. Open the door, lead me into everlasting darkness!" he shouted. Sora's head was bowed as Riku brought up his Keyblade, intent on murdering Sora. But then, at the last second, Kairi's voice rang through the room, shouting Sora's name.

"Sora!" The Oathkeeper flashed to existence and stopped Riku's blade.

"Forget it!" He pushed back defiantly and Riku staggered backward. Sora stood oppressively and glared at Riku, readying into a battle stance. "There's no way you're taking Kairi's heart!"

And then the scene changed, swirling with darkness as Naminè skipped the battle with the possessed Riku. Now, Sora stood with Donald and Goofy, the Keyblade of Hearts laying on the ground. Kairi also lay on the ground, unconscious and helpless.

"Maybe, we gotta go wake Kairi up," Goofy told Sora. Sora turned to face her.

"I think you're right," he said, looking at her body. "If we can free her heart. . . But. . . but how?" he said looking around the room. Then Sora's eyes glanced to the Keyblade of Heart.

"A Keyblade that unlocks people's hearts. . . I wonder." And with that, he nodded his head in confirmation to his own choice and started walking towards the blade.

"Sora?" Goofy asked as Sora picked up the Keyblade. "Sora, hold on!"

"No, wait!" Donald screamed.

Sora stopped, looked over at Donald and Goofy, and flashed them his goofy grin. He rearranged the Keyblade in his hands. He took and plunged the blade deep into his chest, towards his heart. Blood ran down his torso from the pierce and he screamed in pain, but instantly stopped as his body died, and his heart became no more. The hearts of the Seven Princesses returned to them and Kairi finally woke up, as Sora became one with the darkness.

The memory came to an end and faded as Kairi woke up.

HoL:TS

"Oh my baby boy," Abigail said as she flung her arms around Sora, tears flowing down her eyes. "I'm so proud of you." After Abigail released her son, Sora looked over at an emotional Naminé. She returned his gaze.

"Please, Naminé, do not tell or show Kairi what I did that day," he pleaded with her. She only looked at him with reverent and watery eyes. "I want to tell her myself someday."

"Okay," was the only thing she said as she glowed and became an orb, flying towards Kairi's house once again. Everyone was looking at him with a new admiration, even Roxas.

Wow, man. I mean, I knew what you did, but to see it. . .

He left the thought hanging, letting Sora ponder as to just how much he cared about Kairi to go and sacrifice himself like that. After a small break, they continued the story. Naminé had restored all of Sora's memories for him about Castle Oblivion, and so they made it to the introduction of Organization XIII.

"The Organization was a group of thirteen Nobodies set out to capture the power of Kingdom Hearts for one reason: to become whole and their own persons," Roxas told Abigail. She looked at him inquiringly.

"How do you know?" she asked.

"Because I was one of them," he replied. His clothes shimmered and in their place were the original black cloaks worn by the Organization. "The Key of Destiny." Abigail looked at him with trepidation, almost on the brink of not trusting him. Sora reassured her and she calmed down. His clothes shimmered back to how they normally are.

Sora then continued to retell his second journey among the worlds in search for the King and Riku, kn owing that Kairi was safe on the islands. He told her how she was kidnapped and that the gang in Twilight Town had found her, where she was kidnapped again. He told her all about the major battles and the fight for Radiant Garden. She was very impressed with his prowess in defeating over a thousand Heartless single-handed. She enjoyed hearing about his concerts and shows in Atlantica and his transformation in the Pride Lands. Then they came to before The World That Never Was.

"We found a corridor of darkness and entered, where we found that we were greatly outnumbered by Nobodies. We fought for a while, and were about to perish when Axel showed up," Sora said.

"Axel?" Roxas asked enthusiastically. Sora looked over at him with a heavy heart.

"Yes, he saved us from all the Nobodies, but it cost him his life," Sora told him.

"What. . .?" Roxas whispered. Sora could feel his sorrow through the connection they shared. He felt immense pity for the Nobody. For Roxas.

"He told me all he wanted was to see you one last time," Sora said directly to Roxas. "He said you were the only one that ever made him feel. You were the only one who made him feel as if he had a heart."

In a flash of blue, Roxas was gone.

Roxas?

Silence.

Sora regained his own composure before continuing the story.

"The streets were filled with thousands of Heartless and Nobodies," Sora told Abigail. He still remembered how he could barely progress through the streets to find his friends.

"Then we found Kairi." And with that he told her about Riku and his choices and how they were influenced by Ansem the Wise. He mentioned how Maleficent was fixated on controlling the Castle after Sora had killed Xemnas. And then he came to Riku and himself fighting Xemnas and his mother swelled with pride at this. She was emotionally touched at his acceptance to reality in the Realm of Darkness with Riku. He left out Kairi's poem.

"And now we're here," he said with finality. There was a tense silence in the room as he let his mother soak in all of what he had just said. She left the room and refilled their cups. When she sat back down, she fixed her son with a beaming stare.

"Sora, you will never know how proud I am of you and I know your father would be just as proud," she said as she wiped her eyes. Sora nodded humbly and sipped at his tea.

"Now," she said, "why don't you go up to bed and you can see all your friends tomorrow, okay?" Sora nodded and went to the kitchen, leaving his cup in the sink. Donald would be sleeping in the living room as he ascended the stairs to his bedroom for the first time in almost two years. He opened the door and it swung open on oiled hinges. His room was still the same way it had been before he left, except it was clean. Apparently, his mother had cleaned it regularly in his absence. He looked in his closet and noticed all his clothes were to small, and thought about how he would have to go shopping for more.

For now though, he just changed into his boxers, climbed into his old bed and almost immediately fell asleep.

HoL:TS

July 12, 2010
I'ltorien

The stones shifted loosely under her feet as she ran up the slope, the sounds of screaming and explosions resounding behind her. Her chest heaved for oxygen as she continued to run. She would stumble here and there and scrape her knees on the rough stone; her bare feet were already torn asunder. Another explosion rocked the outer wall and sent debris in all directions. A small piece nicked her calf and she felt the slow trickle of warm blood run down. The screaming grew louder and she did not want to think of how many were dying. She ran as the stones shifted. Oh so loosely, like the fragments of her mind.

She collapsed on the ground, her hair splaying all around her head as she lay on the mountain side trail, trying to regain her breath and stop the stitch in her side. She felt like someone was driving a knife into her ribs and like she had swallowed fire. She rolled on her side and watched the fires engulf barracks of the city. Black and oily smoke billowed in the sky.

The initial explosion had rocked the prison and blown a chunk out of it. A piece of debris had broken her cell door and she took the opportunity to escape. She had lived all her life between those cold, lifeless walls that encompassed every room of the facility. Not a day had passed without her wanting to escape from it all. The rigorous, tortuous training, if you could even call it anything else than torture, the ceaseless experiments they conducted on every soldier kept her awake at nights, not just because she knew what they were going through, having gone through much worse herself, but because she knew that every scream that stopped could have been in tandem with the person's heart. They were his weapon, and she was tip of the spear, always being sharpened, always being tempered. She had tried to escape once, and it had cost her a friend. They wouldn't dare kill her. Defile her? Yes. Break her and her will? Absolutely, it was their goal for every soldier. But kill her? Never. She was far too valuable to them. Locked her in a cage they had. Prevented her from reaching any of the people she once talked to. That had been one year ago. She felt guilty at being so relieved as hundreds lost their lives, but… she was free!

When she had pushed the cell door, it had nearly fallen off. No one was really paying attention though as she stole out of the prison. Fire. That was the first thing she had seen. Black smoke engulfing the streets and people running all about, adding to the chaos. She had tripped over a body. When she looked back at it, half the face had been burned away and large shards of glass adorned it like a pincushion. Blood ran through the streets as she ran wildly, looking for a hole in the outer wall, her feet becoming ribbons.

She got her reprieve when another big explosion blew near the barracks. Half the barracks were demolished along with a good chunk of the outer wall, and she did not hesitate. She ran through the alleys and streets, making her way to the hole. She avoided falling beams of wood and tried her best not to run on broken glass or splintered wood. She saw one of the soldiers that had tortured her. No. Worse. One of the ones that had been broken to his will. His eyes were big and frantic. Scared. She ran by, triggering something in his mind. He tried to grab her. He wanted to take her back in. What a hefty reward he'd have, if she hadn't simply twisted his arm, shifting his weight sidewards, sending him rolling through the destroyed floor and into a wall. Unconscious, he could do nothing as a beam crushed his head. She gasped, the knowledge that she had just caused another being… somewhat like her to vanish forever. There was no time for it though. Regret would come later. Survival came first. She only wished her only friend had been safe from the brunt of the attack.

She scrambled through the hole and broke into a run.

Her vision blurred from the blood loss as she ran. She just became sleepier and sleepier. Before she knew it, she hit a rock and ate dirt. Hope that they would find her was the only thing burning inside her right now… unless it was to bring her back. She'd rather die right there and then than ever going back. Minutes passed as slow as hours, only the screams of hundreds and the fire crackling on the horizon filling her ears. Was she going to die here?

"Hey! I can see someone!" she heard, followed by swift footsteps. "Is it… her? By the gods… it IS her!"

HoL:TS

July 14, 2010
Destiny Islands

Sora sat on the paopu tree with Kairi and Riku on Wednesday morning. The previous day, King Mickey and the others had left for Disney Castle after the three families had met and talked about what their children had told them. All in all, they were grateful, proud and relieved that they were finally home. Sora was enjoying being back, and today was his day with Kairi and Riku. Yesterday had been a family day. The day was already starting to warm up and right now, this moment, his life was perfect.

"Not much has changed, has it?" Riku asked Sora as Kairi ran off towards the shoreline.

"Nope," Sora said. And that was good thing. Riku flicked his hair as they continued to talk about their lives, both past and future.

"Sora! Riku!" They both turned around to see Kairi running at them, holding a topped bottle. She finally reached them and handed it to Sora. He glanced in and saw a scroll, King Mickey's seal adorning it.

"The King?" he asked in shock as he pulled off the top and pulled it out, unfurling it.

"Well what is it?" Kairi asked, trying to look over his and Riku's shoulders. Sora cleared his throat, getting ready to read it all to them.

Dear Sora,

I know you have only just arrived home, but I need you again. This time, it will not be so serious and not nearly as long. Or at least I hope it won't. I need you, Riku, and Kairi to come to Disney Castle whenever the gummi ship arrives, which will be sometime on Friday. Take the next couple days to have fun and see your friends and family. If all goes well, you should be back home within a month or two. Thank you all.

With love,
King Mickey

Sora sighed as he put the letter in the bottle and let it fall to the ground. Already, the universe needed him again, but this time, he was going with Riku and Kairi. This time he could focus on the job at hand. But was Kairi ready? He didn't know if she was ready to deal with the denizens of darkness yet, or how well she would fight them.

"Well, this sucks," Riku said in exasperation as he leaned back against the tree, his feelings evident. Sora closed his eyes, gathered his thoughts, and looked at him.

"From the letter," he began, "it's apparent that King Mickey isn't all that worried about whatever it is, and he just needs us. It won't be that bad, especially when we're going to be together."

Riku looked back at him and smiled. "It still sucks." He shoved off the tree and started walking towards the piers.

"Where are you going?" Kairi shouted after him. He turned around and continued walking backwards. "To go tell my aunt and uncle!" he shouted back. Sora and Kairi waved him off as he got in his boat and went to the main island.

"We better do the same," Sora said to her. She nodded and he started walking over the bridge. He noticed that she wasn't following. He walked back to her.

"What is it, Kai?" Sora said to her. She looked back at him solemnly. He could detect the slightest trace of fear in her eyes.

"I don't want us to leave again," she said.

"I know Kai," he told her. He placed a placating hand on her shoulder. "We have to for the King. He needs us."

"Well, why can't he ask someone else?" she exclaimed, on the verge of tears. Sora swallowed the lump in his throat and looked her in the eyes. Truth was always the best option.

"Because there is no one else."


Well, we really hoped that you enjoyed our first chapter! It has been a while since we agreed to work together and now it is finally in motion!

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May the Love of Anuwëy guide you when all Hope is lost

The Unknowing Herald
TorNathan