Chapter Two

The paper is thrust into his hands, pressed there by the scowling brunet that looks like he had just woken up. But Leon always looked like that. Sora raises a hand in salute to his former teacher, but the older man simply waves it off and plops himself down into one of his chairs. He motions for the trio to do the same.

Needing no further encouragement, Donald clambers up one of the high barstools and settles in. Sora and Goofy glance over at each other before the man folds his arms over his chest, the both of them remaining standing. "So what's all this about, Leon?" Sora asks curiously.

Leon's mouth twitches in a slight smile. "Two years ago, you wouldn't have talked to me like that," the teacher scolds in a teasing way. Sora snorts in laughter; two years ago, Leon had still been captain. "I never liked being thrown overboard," he replies honestly.

The gunblade wielder smiles a little more and nods. He points a gloved hand toward the piece of paper that he had thrust into Sora's hands. "Well, I'll get to the point. We need supplies. Twilight Town is nearby, so I figured the captain of the fleet should start getting volunteers before said fleet lands," Leon takes a moment to think before continuing. "Cid also said something about making some ships for the new recruits. Since you're the only one they're willing to talk to right now, Sora, you should take them with you."

Sora nods, thinking about the groups of ghouls and monsters they had hauled out of an infested town only a few weeks before. The denizens of Halloween Town were hardy, able to survive even the most frightening of circumstances… but they themselves look remarkably close to what the zombies looked like. "With all due respect, Leon, I don't think that's a good idea. I think I should just take Sally."

Leon raises an eyebrow. "Why's that?" He asks.

"She looks the closest to normal and she'll be able to take orders well, even if Jack's not there. … Jack would be better, but he looks too much like a zombie for the Twilight Town group," the younger man explains. He leans back on his right leg, lifts his hand up to rub his messy brown locks, and grins sheepishly. "I really don't want to explain a walking, talking skeleton, even if we've been friends for years."

Donald lets out a quiet quack of laughter and Goofy chuckles.

Leon nods, a proud expression appearing in his eyes. "Alright, I'll ready a ship for all of you. Anyone else you want to take?" He asks, pulling out a small red notebook. The swordsman flips it open to a page and writes the four approved crewmembers down. "I'd suggest a few offensive crewmembers. Last I heard, there are more of the Resurrected being washed up on Twilight Town shores."

Sora scowls. Of all of the news he was supposed to get, information about more waves of zombies is the most important. Of course it had gotten to Leon first; the older crew had never accepted him as leader, not even when Leon gave him the position over the entire fleet when the group of ships numbered over a dozen. Never mind that Sora was the one to bring easily twice the old crew to their ranks; never mind that Sora, Donald, the King, and Goofy were the ones to first jump onto the front lines and the last to leave the battlefields against the Resurrected.

No matter what Sora did, it seems like the entire Traverse Town crew still saw him as the weird infected kid that had been adopted by their captain.

"Beast, Aladdin, and Genie would all be good," Sora says with clenched teeth. Leon notices the anger but says nothing, choosing instead to simply write down the names. "If Cid's coming, I also want Yuffie and Aerith as back up."

"Cloud and Zack won't let you take Aerith," Goofy chimes in. The captain turns to look at him but the friendly dog just shrugs. "Since she hasn't taken the vaccine, those two won't let her out their sight." He clarifies sheepishly.

"Then Cloud and Zack are coming too. I want at least two more magic users as well. I want to cover both offensive and defensive aspects in case there's a fight." Sora commands, feeling the authority emerge from his voice for the first time in a long while. He never liked being bossy, but now he was pissed. Leon openly smiles at that, the equivalent of a huge earsplitting grin from the normally taciturn man.

"Then I say Ariel, Melody, and Belle would do just fine," Leon says as he scribbles the last of the names down. He pauses for a moment. "Should we wake up Ven, too?"

Sora nods, unfolding his arms from his chest at the mention of his friend. Ven was a more recent addition to the crew, having been picked up from an old castle in the middle of the ocean. Like Sora, he is a wielder of the Keyblade and claimed to have been trained personally by one of the last of the Masters. He was also the second of Sora's teachers.

"Ven's fine," The captain admits.

Leon nods one more time before adding the name to the list and standing up, sending his barstool scraping loudly behind him. "I'll send Yuffie to wake them all up," he promises as he hands a copy of the list over to the captain. At the angry scowl on Sora's face, he chuckles. "And I'll make sure to make room in one of the freezers for all the sea salt ice cream you'll bring home." Leon teases.

"Huh?" Sora asks, startled by the insinuation but the former fleet captain just slams a hand into his shoulder, nearly knocking him to the floor. Leon gives him a small grin as he strolls out of his office, the ledger of names resting on his shoulder.

Goofy helps Sora regained his balance and Donald let out a few chuckles as he clambers back down his stool. "What now?" The duck asks curiously, folding his wings across his chest as he waits for orders. Sora shrugs and shakes off Goofy's helpful paws, instead choosing to open up the folder of needed supplies.

"I guess we go see the Kings," he says finally.

"Ah, Sora! What a lovely day, isn't it!" A voice cries out, bony hands clapping cheerfully onto the man's shoulder as he is hauled back up onto the Oathkeeper. The skeleton grins at him as he looks up at the cloudy sky above. "Perfectly rotten and spooky, friends, what a lovely day to go ashore!"

Obviously Jack, the Pumpkin King, is sick of being cooped up on the same dinky boat.

Sora runs his hand through his mane as he stares at the suited skeleton, not sure what to tell him about the outing. He probably heard about it from one of the trick-or-treaters, the youngest of the Halloweentown group. Then again, considering that most of the monsters are immortal and didn't age, the captain could never be sure if they could be considered the youngest.

"Sorry, Jack, only Sally's coming," he says finally, giving the skeleton an apologetic smile.

Jack doesn't seem to notice it. "Ah, a lovely day… yes, so if Sally is coming along with us, Sora, then I will escort her personally!" He suddenly lowers his voice, speaking in a half-whisper to the captain. "My, what a brilliant idea you had, my friend. I need Sally's help most of all." He confides softly.

Sora grins. "Why, Jack, is that a blush I see on your skull?" He teases, giving the chipper skeleton a joking wink. As if electrocuted, Jack jumps back several feet and onto the mast, holding his arms up in a large X. "Nonsense! If anything, my skull is whitening with the sun, my boy! I look almost alive at this point!" He declares haughtily, though his smile doesn't grow any smaller.

Instead of fighting with how he couldn't go to shore without frightening half of the townsfolk, Sora reluctantly adds Jack's name to his copy of names.

"Only you and Sally then," He says as he turns to the small group of people staring at him through an open door. The denizens of Halloween Town give him their own forms of greetings. A few wave, others bring up cloaks to their arms and hiss menacingly, and still others howl viciously.

Sora simply returns a deep and formal bow, taught to him by Skeleton Jack himself.

"My, Sora," a soft voice says in approval as he straightens up. "When shall we be going?" Sally, a tattered rag doll-like creature asks him. Out of the people, or rather creatures, of Halloween Town, she is the sweetest and kindest. As if confirming his thoughts, Sally walks up to him and hands him a small bottle, a handmade potion to boost his strength.

Jack flutters back down from the mast, landing nimbly by the doll's side and taking her sewn arm gently. "Hello, Sally," He says in an almost shy voice, if the skeleton could ever be shy with his active personality. Sora grins; it seems that Jack was finally confronting his emotions about the sweet rag doll, something he and Goofy had been trying to help him with for years.

Sally smiles at him and nods in greeting. "Hello, Jack, I have your new tie with me," she says as she reaches into a pouch on her hip, removing a black length of cloth from it. She offers the bat shaped cloth shyly.

"Wonderful! Why, I love it! Thank you, Sally!" He immediately declares without even looking at it, snatching it from her hands and wrapping it immediately around his neck. The skeleton starts tying it quickly, singing Sally's praises as he dances in excitement.

Sora chokes back a laugh and sighs wistfully, amused by the proceedings. If only he could have been able to do something like that too… Instead of giving into sad thoughts, Sora just pops open the cork of his potion and gulps down the red liquid. "Alright, crew, let's get going!" The captain commands authoritatively.

The skeleton and the rag doll place their hands to their foreheads in salute, making the rest of the Halloween Town groups let out their fearsome shrieks in approval.

"To Twilight Town!" They all yell out as Jack and Sally follow Sora down below.

To all those people who wanted the group to get to Destiny Islands already... sorry, but not yet. Soon though. I just thought it'd be nice to show Sora taking charge. I hope you liked it!