For everyone that reads this:
This is the first chapter of my epic Kingdom Hearts fanfiction. The Twilit Hearts! It takes place after Kingdom Hearts II.
It will be updated regularly, so check often. And I'd love to hear what you think, so please review!
Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts, and, unfortunately never will. I also do not own Square Enix, Disney, or anything affiliated with Kingdom Hearts. If I did, I'd have no reason to be writing this. It would already be a game.
“Soon will I rest, yes, forever sleep. Earned it I have. Twilight is upon me, soon night must fall.”-Yoda
- - - -
The Twilit Hearts
The Break of Dawn
The sound of a pen scratching against paper filled the small room. Kairi’s hand flew unnaturally fast across the pages of her journal, filling the blank space with her thoughts, her worries, her hopes. Writing in her journal was her way of relieving stress. She could tell her journal things that she could never tell anyone else. Things she wished so desperately she could.
Her hand paused, the pen in her hand lifting up from the paper. Her eyes quickly scanned what she had just written, checking to make sure everything was there. She was a perfectionist, and had been since she was a little child.
Maybe that’s why..., she thought sullenly. She shoved the thought out of her head and continued reading.
“I’m worried about what’s going to happen to us,”the journal read. “It’s been two and a half months since we got back to the Islands, and still no word from King Mickey. Maybe something happened to him. That letter he gave us sure makes it sound like it. I know he can fend for himself, but I’m worried about him. Something just doesn’t feel right.”
She skipped ahead, reading a passage further down the page.
“Does he like me? He’s saved my life a countless number of times. That’s got to count for something. And we’ve been best friends ever since I showed up on this island. We do everything together. I just wish I knew whether he liked me or not. It sure would solve a lot of problems for me. If I wasn’t such a wimp, I’d walk up to him and tell him right now, ‘Sora, I love you.’
Kairi sighed. Like that’d ever happen, she thought with a grimace. She closed the journal, resting her pen on its cover.
A quick glance around her room brought back a flood of memories to Kairi. Framed pictures, documenting her entire life since she had arrived at Destiny Islands, decorated the walls. She passed the picture of her, Sora, and Riku all sitting on the paopu tree, discussing their hopes, dreams, and futures. A slight smile grew on her lips as she skimmed by the picture of Riku and Sora fighting over who got the last sea-salt ice cream bar.
“Idiots,” she murmured, softly giggling to herself.
Her eyes eventually worked around the room, guided by some unknown force deep inside her. They came to a stop on the frame closest to her bed. She had put it there for a reason: it would be the last thing she saw before she fell asleep and surrendered her mind to the realm of dreams.
The frame held a single piece of paper on which there was one of the most detailed and beautifully done drawings that Kairi had ever seen. It showed Sora, his face twisted in an expression of concern and love. Cradled gently in his arms was Kairi, her face calm. Across the bottom in an elegant script was the phrase Sora had once told Kairi, “I’ll come back for you. I promise.” The art, drawn especially for her by Namine, came straight from Sora’s memories. The phrase, of course, didn’t. That was just another one of Namine’s special touches.
Namine..., Kairi thought with a twinge of pain, her expression one of sadness. Her hand unconsciously rested on her journal. Many a page of it was filled with entries about Namine.
“Why the sad face?”
With a startled scream, Kairi quickly snatched her journal, throwing it into the closest drawer she could find. The pen, which had still been resting on the journal’s cover when she had grabbed the book, was now flying through the air. It landed with a small clatter on the carpet in front of Sora’s feet.
“Someone’s a little jumpy today, it looks like,” Sora continued with a smile. He bent down and picked up the pen. “I think you dropped something,” he said sarcastically, handing the pen back to Kairi.
“Thanks,” she mumbled, her head ducked in embarrassment. She could feel her face getting warmer by the second. By now, she was sure it was a vibrant red color. A color no one could possibly miss.
And of course, Sora just happened to be standing inches away from her.
Why, when I am so close to the one guy that I truly like, do I make such an idiot of myself?
Kairi sighed, tilting her head up to look at Sora. He stood quietly, observing Kairi with thoughtful eyes. His head tilted quizzically to the side, his expression obviously wondering. Completely out of the blue, he flashed her one of his crooked smiles, laughing softly to himself. He threw himself onto her bed, his hands behind his head.
Sora turned to look at Kairi. “You were thinking about Namine.” It wasn’t a question.
Sora’s changed over the past two years, hasn’t he? Well, I guess after all he’s been through...I shouldn’t be surprised.
“Yeah, I was. I’m just...worried about her. I shouldn’t have let her go.”
“I think that same thing every day,” Sora replied, a hint of regret in his voice. “I should have told Roxas ‘no’. Not like that would have stopped anything.” That last comment made him smirk.
“Everyday I hope that Roxas will walk through my door. If that little punk knew what he was doing to me…” He broke off, turning his head to smile at Kairi. “They’ll be okay. Trust me. Roxas would never let anything happen to Namine.”
“I know. It’s just…well…I just wish I knew they were okay. After all, this is all my fault. If anything happens to them…” Kairi replied, shamefacedly.
Sora suddenly sprung up from the bed, a fire in his eyes. “Kairi. This is not your fault. And don’t you ever think that it is.”
Kairi looked up in surprise at the force behind his words. He almost looked angry. Seconds passed, and the determination slowly melted from Sora’s face, to be replaced with a soft, comforting expression.
“Kairi, I didn’t mean to hurt you. But they’re doing this because they love you. They’re not doing this out of political loyalty. You’re not a princess to them anymore than you are to me. They’ll be fine.” He began walking towards to door, and then turned back to her. “Now come on. You and I are supposed to meet Riku at the Island. He wants to talk to us. Probably another one of his daredevil plans to save the world.” Shaking his head, he walked out the door, Kairi shortly behind him. She turned, stealing one last glance at the sketch.
“Namine...please stay safe. And keep Roxas safe. And if either of you two dies because of me…”
With a sigh, she ran out the door.
Sunlight refracted off the water, making the ocean appear to be an endless sapphire. The broad, emerald green leaves of their paopu tree scattered shade over the beach. The crashing roar of the waves produced an almost hypnotic effect on the three teenagers lying on the sand. A cool breeze drifted lazily around the island, carrying with it the salty smell of the ocean and the slight stench of fish.
“It’s a perfect day, isn’t it?” Sora proclaimed with a comfortable sigh, his hands once again resting behind his head.
“You’ve at least got one thing right in that head of yours, Sora,” Riku teased.
Kairi smiled, completely content. On the Island, resting in the warm sands, with the sun shining down on her, the problems that constantly plagued her seemed to just melt into the background. Here, relaxing lazily with her best friends on the beach, she could be happy.
Sora’s voice broke Kairi out of her heavenly reverie, asking the one question that had been on her mind the entire boat ride to their favorite meeting place.
“So, Riku, why are we here, anyway? I mean, besides me wanting to beat you in a fight. Again.”
Riku glared at Sora, his mouth sliding into a frown. “First things first, you didn’t beat me. It was a draw. And secondly, the reason that I had us meet out here was so that we could talk in private.”
“It’s about King Mickey’s letter, isn’t it?” Kairi piped in. There was only one thing that they needed to talk in private about. Their parents didn’t like their children talking about things that would end up with them leaving the Islands again.
Riku nodded his head, reaching into his vest and pulling out the small glass bottle that held the letter. The trio had discovered it washed up on the shore of Destiny Islands more than two months ago. The few vague phrases on the parchment inside had been the only things on their mind since.
“I think I might have discovered another clue,” Riku continued, uncorking the bottle and shaking the letter out. He unraveled the paper, and then read the one phrase that he had been contemplating.
“Darkness has not left the worlds, and you must not rest until it is destroyed completely from existence.”
“Riku, we’ve already talked about this one. It was one of the easiest ones in the entire letter,” Sora said condescendingly. “It’s obviously saying that as long as evil is out there, we need to be, too.”
“I do believe I had said that I found a new clue, Sora. But I’m impressed that you were able to remember back that far. Thanks for the review.” He dodged a blow from Sora, and then continued. “It says, ‘you must not rest until it is destroyed completely.’ Well, we’ve learned from experience that there is no way in this world that darkness can ever be destroyed completely. If anyone knows that, it’s me. If I’m looking at this the right way, then King Mickey’s saying that we’ll be fighting for the rest of our lives.” He closed his eyes, shaking his head in defeat. “And no matter how much I love beating Sora in killing Heartless, I don’t want to be doing it when I’m eighty.”
Sora mirrored Riku, slowly shaking his head in disbelief. “Riku’s right. There’s no way we can completely destroy darkness. We may be good, but we’re not that good. I mean, I could beat Riku right now, and probably when we’re eighty, too, but that doesn’t mean that I want to.”
“There’s got to be another meaning to that sentence,” Kairi agreed. “I want to be having kids, not fighting evil. Riku, put it away.”
Riku glanced over at her, the keyblade resting in his hands never moving from its threatening position inches away from Sora’s neck. He had a sly smile on his face, his expression mischievous.
“I don’t think I will, Kairi. Sora keeps saying he can beat me; I want him to prove it. Don’t worry, Kairi. I won’t hurt your boyfriend.” His smile widened at the look of anger, as well as embarrassment, which flashed across Sora’s face. Riku turned and walked a ways down the beach. “Hurry up, Sora! I don’t have all day!” he called.
Gosh dang it. Riku can read me like a book. He sees way too much, Kairi thought, a blush spreading across her cheeks. She looked up to see Sora watching her, a questioning look on his face.
“Go kill him for me, Sora,” Kairi ordered, smiling bashfully.
He nodded his assent, still confused, and ran towards Riku.
Sunlight shone off of the keyblades held expertly in the boys’ hands. Sora held the Oathkeeper, its pure white surface shining in the bright light. It was a long keyblade, ending with five blades arranged in a starburst pattern. The hilt consisted of two wings, wrapping around the bottom of the blade to form a hand guard. A small keychain of a paopu fruit dangled off of the pommel.
A stark contrast to the Oathkeeper, the Way to Dawn was clutched tightly in Riku’s grasp. Its blade was a long, bat-like wing. Near the top a single, small angel’s wing protruded. The hilt also exuded the same opposite effect, with one half of the hand guard a wing of a devil, the other a wing of an angel. A small keychain in the shape of a heart fell from the pommel, swaying slightly in the breeze.
The tension grew stronger as time continued to tick away. Neither opponent let their gaze break away from the other’s eyes, observing their every twitch, their every hint of movement. With a small grunt, Sora’s legs began to move, Riku’s closely mimicking, carrying them both across the sand and towards each other.
The ring of striking metal resounded in the air of the Island as the two keyblades collided. Kairi had never seen such an awe inspiring sight. Their bodies began to move fluidly, reacting perfectly to any move the other made. With all of the dodging and twirling, she could have almost mistaken the fight for a dance. Almost. She knew that they weren’t trying the least bit to be graceful. They were trying their best to beat the other.
Sora’s hands began to move faster, the Oathkeeper striking at a different part of Riku’s body every second. Riku responded quickly, a small clang ringing out every time the Oathkeeper struck Way to Dawn. Sweat poured down both of their faces as the minutes flew by, neither one relenting their barrage of attacks.
A smile began to slowly spread across Sora’s face. Riku narrowed his eyes at the sight. Something wasn’t right. Sora began to push harder than he had, attacking faster than before. He swung at Riku’s arm, then his head, then his leg. His keyblade flew to any and every part of Riku’s body. Riku’s expression was puzzled, his mind obviously trying to work out what Sora was planning. He blocked one more swipe at his leg.
Kairi hadn’t even seen Sora move. The next thing she knew, Riku was airborne. With a large splash, he landed in the ocean that Sora had mischievously been pushing him up against. Sora turned to Kairi, panting.
“He never even saw it coming!” he yelled, his face alight with pleasure.
Sora turned back to the waters, lending a hand to help Riku up. To Sora’s surprise, Riku was grinning, a devilish look on his face.
“I only let you win because she was here,” Riku stated, matter-of-factly. Kairi was far enough a way that she couldn’t hear a single thing that they were saying. “Next time, when I’m actually trying, there’s no way you’ll beat me. If I wasn’t such a nice person…” He gave one last smile to Sora’s shocked expression.
“Man, Sora. You stink. How about a bath?”
Seconds later, Sora flew through the air, his arms flailing, straight into the ocean.
The sun scattered brilliant shafts of red light across the Island, their long arms wrapping around everything in reach. The ambient lighting created a cozy feeling as the sun began its glorious descent below the horizon. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day; a day filled with laughter and relaxation. The exact type of day that the three teens had missed all too much throughout the past two years.
Kairi, Sora, and Riku all lounged on the paopu tree overlooking the ocean, their bodies forming naturally into its curves. They had watched many a sunset here, discussing some of life’s most important things. This night, they had met for that very same reason. That was at least one thing that hadn’t changed in their lives.
No one wanted to break the silence. They all knew what they needed to talk about. The thing that none of them wanted to discuss. Countless thoughts filled their minds, carrying them from topic to topic. And yet, it always lead back to the same thing. Sora finally mustered up the courage to break the stillness.
He didn’t need to say more than that. Riku and Kairi understood him completely. Kairi sighed, unwillingly tearing her gaze away from the brilliant sunset to focus on the two boys.
“Well, we really don’t have much of a choice, do we?” she said dejectedly.
Riku laughed humorlessly, his face hard. “It’s kind of ironic, isn’t it? Just two years ago, we sat in this exact same place, so excited to get off these islands. And now, when we have to leave, we’re sitting in the paopu tree, trying to find a way to get out of it.”
“We don’t have to leave quite yet, though, do we?” Sora asked. “In King Mickey’s letter, he said he would send a sign. We can wait, at least until then.”
“Can we really, Sora?” Riku responded, his voice resigned. “How could the King possibly expect us to just sit here and wait when countless worlds could be out there losing their hearts? I don’t want to leave my life here any more than you do. But I won’t sit here and watch something that I helped to strengthen destroy people’s lives.”
Kairi turned to Riku, resting her hand lightly on his shoulder. He looked up, his eyes filled with shame. A quiet moment passed as Kairi stared into his eyes, conveying some personal message to him. Finally, she slid her hand off of his shoulder, turning back to the sunset.
“Riku,” she whispered, “you know perfectly well that we don’t blame you for anything.”
His eyes still hadn’t left Kairi’s. He sighed, breaking his gaze and turning back to the ocean, and the brilliant colors being painted across its surface.
“Just because you don’t blame me for anything doesn’t mean I’m not being blamed. I hurt so many people….” He broke off, his voice catching in his throat.
Sora suddenly leapt off of the tree, landing with a soft thud in the sand. He glared violently at Riku, his eyes ablaze.
“Shut it, Riku. Seriously. You have done so much more good in this world than bad. So what if you were once on the dark side? You’ve made up for it.” He stopped, his tirade over, his breath coming more quickly than before. “Now come on, Kairi. It’s your turn.” A bright flash of light appeared near the palm of his hand, and his keyblade materialized out of thin air. He turned and ran down the beach, his feet kicking up small clouds of sand.
Riku twisted to see Kairi, his face alight with a wry smile.
“He doesn’t have that long of an attention span, does he?”
Kairi grinned, jumping lithely off of the trunk of the paopu. Riku mimicked her, agilely landing in the sand next to her.
“Let’s hope it’s at least long enough for him to realize he likes you,” Riku muttered, just barely loud enough for Kairi to hear. A shocked expression flew across Kairi’s face, her lips moving quickly, trying to get the words out to defy that comment. The sound of Riku’s loud laugh echoed throughout the small bay. He began running to catch up with Sora, leaving Kairi by the tree.
She hoped the same thing.
The weight of the keyblade in her hand still felt unfamiliar to her, even after two months of training. It wasn’t that the blade was heavy. In fact, the blade was almost weightless, as if she were holding a weapon constructed entirely of air. That was what made her uncomfortable. Fighting with a weapon that made it feel like you weren’t fighting with a weapon was very disconcerting.
It had been a surprise to everyone when Kairi had received her keyblade. A surprise to everyone except Riku, at least. He still hadn’t told her where it had come from, or why she was destined to have it. The shock of him giving it to her had stunned her so much that she had barely been able to fight off the Heartless that had been attacking her. Riku had only been back with them for a few months. He held on to his secrets, letting them envelop him in their cloak of mysteriousness. They were now a part of who he was.
Kairi had still not named her keyblade. It was an elegant blade, a golden ribbon wrapping continuously up the likewise colored shaft. A bouquet of flowers erupted from the end of the shaft, creating the actual weapon of the blade. One half of the hand guard faded from the regal gold of the rest of the keyblade into a lively blue. With the flowing curves, it almost appeared as if it was a wave, filled with power and grace. A small yellow fruit hung from the pommel, attached to a brilliant red chain. A paopu fruit.
The legend of the paopu fruit was one that Kairi had heard often. It was one of her favorite stories, and she would frequently ask her mother to tell her the tale before she went to bed. Her mother would always complain about how often she had to tell it, yet Kairi could tell that her mother loved it, too. She could recall the scene almost flawlessly. It was nearly the same scene every time.
As soon as she would ask her mother to tell her the story, her mom would roll her eyes, and sit down on the edge of her bed. “Don’t you ever get sick of this story?” she would ask, a twinkle in her eye. Kairi would always shake her head no, and her mom would sigh. “Okay then. If I have to.” Her signature smile would spread across her face at that exact moment, and she would lean in closer to her little auburn haired daughter. “On the isles of Destiny Islands, there grows a tree,” she would start, her melodic voice creating the perfect tone for the story.
“Generation after generation, there is one small part of the Destiny Islands that is ever unchanging. The paopu tree has always been a symbol of love, destiny, and hope. I sat on that tree, and my grandmother sat on that tree, and even my grandmother’s grandmother sat on that tree. It’s where I shared my first kiss with your father, you know,” she would say with a smile. “But in the end, the tree is there for one reason and one reason only: to bear the paopu fruit. According to legend, the fruit is shaped like a star because it has the power to make an amazing wish come true, just like a shooting star. It has the power to bind you forever to the one you love. When shared with another, the two become forever attached, their destinies entwined with a power far greater than we understand.”
With that, she would smile, her beauty breathtaking. “So make sure you share it with the right person, Kai. You wouldn’t want to be stuck with someone you couldn’t stand, would you?” Her hands would stroke gently through her daughter’s hair while she gently hummed her her favorite lullaby. And just before Kairi’s eyes closed, her mother would gently kiss her forehead and whisper goodnight.
“Hey Kairi! You awake over there?” Sora called out, waiting impatiently on the other side of the beach.
Kairi blushed, something she noticed she did a lot when Sora was around her. She shook her head to clear the memories of days long past, and then called back.
“Yeah! Just thinking about some things! Now, let’s get this over with!” She settled into a fighting stance, her keyblade held protectively in front of her. Sora began sprinting across the beach towards Kairi, his keyblade raised threateningly.
When Kairi had first begun her training two months ago, they had all learned something about her that no one had known before. She was fast. Really fast. Oftentimes, it was even hard for Sora to get a strike at her. She might not have been the most accomplished fighter, but when no one could hit her, that fact really didn’t matter.
Sora had almost reached her. She bravely held her position, her muscles tensing as she prepared. Sora raised his keyblade, now just feet away from her, and mightily swung downwards. An explosion of dust erupted in the air as the Oathkeeper buried itself in the ground where Kairi had been mere seconds ago.
She swung her keyblade at Sora’s now unprotected back, putting her full force into the blow. He managed to dislodge his blade from the dirt just in time, knocking her keyblade away from him. They parried back and forth, each fighter adeptly blocking the other’s attacks. Two months of training had a noticeable effect on Kairi. She might not have been the best fighter, but she at least knew how to defend herself.
Sora, however, obviously had the upper hand. He, unlike Kairi, had been fighting for more than two years, and had become amazingly efficient during that time. Without even breaking a sweat, he easily blocked her strikes, and continued to push her back with his own. Kairi decided it was time to use her advantage to its full strength.
With a sudden burst of speed, Kairi moved to Sora’s side, leaving him to swipe at the air where she had been standing. She struck at him, using his momentary distraction to break his defences. Almost unnaturally, his keyblade moved in a flash to block hers. She quickly circled around him, her legs carrying her to his other side. She struck, and once again, Sora blocked. Kairi continued this pattern, using her speed to continually attack. She would strike every few seconds from a new position, giving Sora no time to initiate his own attack.
She attacked one last time from Sora’s back. He flipped around, parrying her blow. He had just enough time to process the smile spread brilliantly across Kairi’s face before her foot flicked out, knocking Sora’s legs out from under him. A great gush of air burst from his lungs as he landed heavily on the ground. Sora looked up to see Kairi standing above him, a wicked grin on her face. Her keyblade menacingly hung in the air above him, pointing down towards his neck.
“Finally, I’ve beat you, Sora,” she said, unable to hide the glee in her voice.
Sora’s hand flew quickly, the Oathkeeper striking against Kairi’s keyblade. The unexpected attack caused Kairi to lose her grip, and the keyblade flew through the air, landing in a puff of sand a few feet away. He threw his leg to the side, catching Kairi’s and throwing her to the ground. She landed with a soft thump next to Sora.
Sora smiled devilishly over at her. “Not yet, Kairi. Not yet.”
“Jerk,” she muttered, reaching over to punch Sora in the arm.
Riku’s loud laugh neared them, and he sat down in the sand next to them. “Good fight, Kairi! But, never let your guard down. Unless, of course, you wanted to end up lying next to Sora on a beach watching a beautiful sunset. If that’s the case, then good job!”
Sora glared over at Riku, obviously considering whether to tackle him or not. Kairi slipped back to her usual blush, her face matching that of the brilliant colors of the sunset. The sun had now slipped down below the horizon, and the time of twilight had come. The time when light and dark was one. The time when good and evil did not exist.
The time when dreams came true.
Roxas drew another tortured breath as the last Heartless disappeared in a cloud of smoke, his keyblade still hanging in the air where it had been moments before. He glanced behind him, checking to make sure that Namine was still okay. Their eyes met for one brief second before Namine nodded and Roxas turned back towards the spacious room.
A magnificent ballroom floor stretched out in front of them. Its floor was tiled, the numerous colors and shapes forming a breathtaking mosaic. Staggered symmetrically throughout the ballroom were regal pillars. At the very front of the room, raised high, was a balcony. A detailed iron frame surrounded it, the metal curving in ways that Roxas would have thought impossible. But all of the beauty and awe was lost in the man standing in the balcony.
He wore a sweeping white cloak that reached all the way to the floor, a hood obscuring his face. The cloak was all too familiar to Roxas. He had worn one almost exactly like it for most of his life. The only difference was that his had been black during his time in Organization XIII.
The man began to bring his hands together, the clapping echoing perfectly throughout the acoustic room. “Bravo, Roxas. What a wonderful performance. Quite enjoyable, really.” His voice was deep and all too familiar to Roxas.
Roxas sneered, his scowl directed at the pompous man. He had been forced to fight for his life against an army of Heartless for the past four hours, worried the entire time about the girl behind him. It was the farthest thing from enjoyable, in his perspective.
“Oh, you don’t think so?” the man questioned, his voice full of malice. “Hmmm….I guess we’ll just have to keep trying.” He clapped his hands one more time, the loud noise carrying a dreadful sense of finality. Large, wooden doors opened from all sides of the ballroom, the clamor produced from the rusted hinges amplifying into an ear-shattering roar.
Roxas settled into a fighting stance, ready to protect his true love, as hundreds of Heartless poured into the grand ballroom of Disney Castle.
Thanks for reading! Nice little surprising twist at the end, huh?
I'd love to hear what you think about this. Please review!
- Title: The Twilit Hearts
- Artist: Aeriim
- Description: A Kingdom Hearts fanfiction. Darkness has invaded the worlds once again. Fate has decided to throw Sora and his friends into an adventure more real and more terrifying than ever before. Sora must prove that he is worthy of the title of Keyblade Master. SxK, RxN, RikuxRika
- Date: 07/25/2008
- Tags: kingdom hearts sora kairi riku