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Ixcalia

Kingdom Hearts 3: The Awakenings

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Bleh, sorry for the totally original title...never really posted here before, but I started writing this story and I thought it was turning out pretty good so far. Figured I'd try my hand and share it here to see what everyone thought! Now, I understand some of my ideas are very unlikely and I do my best with the characters, but that doesn't mean I'll get their personalities spot on, so please try to over look that. ^^; Anyway, enjoy!

 

Chapter 1:

 

The brunette let out a battle cry as he jumped high into the air, before bringing his Keyblade down onto the final Heartless that stood in the arena, the creature disappearing into thick tendrils of shadows. The teen panted softly, reaching a hand up to wipe the sweat from his brow, a small frown marring his features. His blue eyes scanned the arena carefully for anymore contenders. It didn’t seem like anyone else wanted to challenge him for the moment.

 

“Looks like that’s all for today! Why don’t you call it a day, Mr. Junior Hero?” A voice called from the stands. The brunette nodded slightly to the Satyr and offered a tired grin, before hopping off of the platform and heading back towards the lobby. His blue eyes drifted to stare at the ground though, the grin falling away fairly quickly.

 

There was a time when he would snap at Phil for calling him a ‘Junior Hero’, but after everything that happened during the Master Qualification Exam, he felt as if that was the only title appropriate for him. He had failed the exam, after all. He had let the darkness get too close to his heart. He had almost become Xehanort’s thirteenth vessel. The teen couldn’t help but wince at the very idea of that happening.

 

“Sora.”

 

Sora blinked, looking up quickly. In front of him stood someone fairly familiar and he smiled weakly at the translucent Nobody. He should’ve been used to this by now, he thought. After the exam, Roxas had begun talking to him through some kind of telepathic link and even occasionally manifesting to speak to him directly. Over the last few weeks, they had gotten to know each other well, Sora thought. And it was nice to have someone to talk to since he ran off alone, leaving Riku and the others back at Master Yen Sid’s tower.

 

“You’re brooding about the exam again.” Roxas said matter-of-factly. Sora groaned, slouching dramatically. Apparently Roxas had no trouble reading his thoughts and feelings. “Well, I am your Nobody. It’s not too hard to do.” The Nobody teased, crossing his arms over his chest.

 

“You could at least try to be more discreet about it or something.” Sora complained, rubbing the back of his head. “I guess I am thinking about it again. Sorry.” He sighed, sliding down the wall so that he was sitting with his knees up to his chest. “I’m glad Riku became a Master. I just…thought for sure I could do the same. Maybe I was too eager or too sure of myself. Because I’ve saved the worlds…did I let it go to my head?”

 

Roxas watched the boy, frowning a bit. Sora had been so unsure of himself lately. He didn’t like this Sora at all. “I don’t think you let it go to your head. But Xehanort set a trap that you couldn’t really avoid didn’t he?” Roxas scratched his cheek thoughtfully. “There’s a lot of hurt inside of you Sora. A lot of it isn’t even yours. But when Xehanort caught onto it, he was able to use it all against you. That hurt dragged you down into the darkness, because you didn’t know how to handle it. You didn’t even know where it came from.”

 

“Right. All those people I saw…” Sora murmured. He closed his eyes, recalling the many faces he had run into. Some were familiar, while others were completely new to him. “I saw you too. But you say you weren’t there.” Sora looked up at Roxas and frowned. They had discussed this once already and Roxas had insisted that he had never appeared before Sora during the exam. He had no doubt it was just another phantom that Xehanort had conjured up. But… “The hurt that I felt from that Roxas…it was too real. The memories too…those were real. You’ve suffered a lot. Too much.”

 

“I…do hurt.” Roxas admitted, closing his eyes and slipping his hands into his pockets. “I could never try and say otherwise. You’ve felt it for yourself. I’ve lost my friends; I’ve lost my own existence. And I can’t remember who it was I forgot, but…I know someone’s missing in my memories. That hurts too, because I know that person was another special friend to me.”

 

“I’m sorry.” Sora mumbled, looking away from the Nobody. He knew that Roxas losing his existence was his fault. But Roxas never seemed to really hold it against him. “I saw others too. There was Namine and this other girl that wore one of the Organization’s robes. And…there were these two older people that called me Ven.” Sora explained, looking at Roxas as if he held the answers. “What do they want me to do? What if they were trying to tell me something for real? What if it wasn’t just something Xehanort made up?”

 

“Like I told you before, I think it’s hurt that exists inside of you, but doesn’t belong to you. He just found a way to drag it to the surface and use it against you.” Roxas repeated. “But the question is what are you going to do about all that hurt? You know there are people suffering, so are you going to help them? Or are you going to keep traveling around the worlds, moping about the exam?” The blonde asked.

 

Sora frowned at that. “I don’t even know most of these people. It’s not that I don’t want to help them, but how do I even go about it?” He asked, his hands clenching at the material of his pants. The fact that there were people hurting and he couldn’t help them…now that bothered him. He felt downright guilty. “What do I do?”

 

“Well, you won’t find the answers here. Maybe it’s time you head back to see your friends. You don’t have to do this alone, right? And you’ve been gone for what, two or three months?” Sora sighed and nodded slightly. That was true. But he had felt ashamed of his attitude towards failing the exam and so he thought it was best to stay away. “Staying away from your friends won’t solve anything. You’re better off heading back and coming clean to them. Your friends are your greatest power. Didn’t you say that yourself?”

 

“You’re right.” Sora mumbled softly, staring down at his hands. “But you…stop reading my thoughts and using them against me!” Sora whined suddenly, making the blonde laugh. He couldn’t help but smile at the sound though. He didn’t hear Roxas laugh near enough, in his opinion. Slowly, Sora pushed himself up off the ground and dusted himself off, offering his Nobody a grin. “Thanks for everything Roxas. I think it’s time we head back.”

 

“There’s not much else for me to do but kick your sorry butt into gear.” Roxas teased, but he gave his other half a slight smile. By now, he had made it his mission to be there for Sora when no one else could be and he was glad that he seemed to be doing something right. Sora gave him a sheepish grin, before running out through the doors of the Coliseum and towards the World Exit, leaving Roxas to fade away.

 

“I’m going to help everyone Roxas. Somehow.” Sora whispered softly, knowing that Roxas would still be able to hear him from within his heart. “That includes you. You deserve to be your own person and you will be.” The brunette could feel a comforting warmth from within himself that he knew had to be Roxas and he nodded in determination.

 

***

 

"Whatever you said, it seemed to help. His heart feels lighter. He said he was going back to his friends, didn't he?"

 

"Yeah." Roxas confirmed, looking over at the boy that sat on the edge of one of the stained glass pillars. This was the space that seemed to represent Sora's heart, or so that's what the other had said at one time. Sighing, Roxas walked over and took a seat next to the other boy, his legs dangling from the edge of the pillar. "He said he wants to help us."

 

"If anyone can, it'll be him. Don't you think?" The boy turned to look at Roxas and the Nobody had to remind himself once again that he wasn't looking into a mirror. He just couldn't get used to how much they looked alike. The other boy seemed to notice his surprise and laughed.

 

"Shut up Ven!" Roxas snapped, shoving the other boy lightly, but it was done so in a playful manner. He laughed softly himself and looked down to the black abyss below. "Honestly, I don't know what to think. I want to believe that it's possible, but is it really? Your heart is just trapped here, so you can be freed I think. But my heart's not really mine. Is it?" That was what he had been led to believe. He was required for Sora to wake up before, so what would happen if he separated from Sora once again? Wouldn't his other half just fall back into slumber?

 

"I don't believe any of that. You and Sora have your similarities, sure, but you're not completely alike. If you had the same heart, it'd stand to reason that you'd be like a reflection of one another, right?" Ven spoke wisely, humming thoughtfully. "Your hearts reflect your experiences. Sora is so carefree, kind, and strong in matters of the heart. But he also keeps the darkness at an arm’s length, especially after what happened during his exam. You on the other hand are more serious and a bit more level headed. Not to mention I don't think the darkness intimidates you. Oh, and you're mean." The last part was said teasingly and earned the Keyblade Wielder a playful punch on the shoulder.

 

"Very funny." Roxas laughed out, looking up where some unknown source of light shined down on them. "Maybe you're right though. Who knows?" The Nobody folded his arms behind his head and laid back. "What about you Ven? How do you feel about the darkness?" Roxas asked suddenly. The question seemed to make Ven nervous though and the normally optimistic teen lowered his head suddenly.

 

"Me? I'm...terrified of it." The teen whispered softly, almost as if he were ashamed. As a Keyblade Wielder, it was his job to fight the darkness and stand strong against it. At one time he could have, in fact, he did. But after everything that had happened back then, his resolve had crumbled away. "It scares me to death. I've tried to face up to it; I really have, but..."

 

"Really? You dove in so quick to save Sora from that nightmare. Could've fooled me." It was the Nobody's best attempt to comfort the other, but without knowing the whole story, it was pretty hard to do. Ven smiled weakly and nodded slightly.

 

"If it's to help a friend, I'll do anything." Ven admitted, wringing his hands together nervously. "The darkness is why I'm here. It's why my heart was shattered." Ven spoke softly, glancing over at Roxas. Maybe it was because they were more or less in the same kind of situation, but Ven really felt comfortable talking to his look-alike. "Actually, it was because of my darkness."

 

"What's that mean?" Roxas pressed, sitting up again and shifting so that he was now sitting cross-legged, fully turned towards Ven. Ven never really talked about himself, more content to listen to all of Roxas' woes and reassure the Nobody. Maybe it was Roxas' turn to finally return the favor.

 

"W-Well, a long time ago, I was Xehanort's apprentice." Ven said meekly, waiting for Roxas to snap or pass some sort of judgement, but to his surprise, Roxas remained silent and only nodded for him to continue. "He wanted me to use the darkness within myself, but I couldn't do it. He set me up against some powerful Heartless and I lost. After that, Xehanort used his Keyblade to separate all the darkness inside of me and it created and entirely different person. Vanitas." At the name, Ven seemed to become grim, even fearful. "My heart is completely free of darkness because of what Xehanort did. His goal was to have Vanitas and I clash."

 

"All that just to have you fight? But why?" Roxas asked curiously, taking in all the information he could. All this time he had wondered what Ven's story was and now he was finally getting some answers. Ven frowned and lowered his head again.

 

"To create the X-Blade. I'm still not completely sure what its purpose is or why he wants it. But in order to create it, a heart of pure light must clash with a heart of darkness. And we did. The X-Blade was created, but just enough of my heart resisted to keep it incomplete. Our hearts fought and mine won in the end, but at a price; when the X-Blade's destroyed, the hearts the created it are shattered as well." Ven explained it all carefully, sighing heavily. "That's how I came to find Sora. He joined my heart with his to keep me from disappearing."

 

"I didn't know. Sorry Ven." Roxas rubbed his neck awkwardly, unsure of what else to say. Ven only shook his head and stared down into the dark abyss below, kicking his feet a bit. Suddenly, a thought popped into Roxas' head. "Hey, I have an idea! Let's make a promise."

 

Ven lifted his head and looked at Roxas curiously. "A promise?" He wondered, turning to mimic Roxas' own sitting position. He rested his hands on his crossed legs and tilted his head a bit. "What promise?"

 

"The next time I go to see Sora, I want you to come with me." The Nobody insisted, leaning forward a bit. "You've been here for so long, it's about time you two meet." Ven raised his hands as if in surrender and shook his head.

 

"I can't do that! How do you appear in front of someone and explain that you've been living in their heart for 10 or more years?" The Keyblade Wielder shook his head frantically. "That's got to be invasion of privacy or something. Right?"

 

"Come on, I know Sora won't care. It would answer one of his questions and give him a little more determination I think. He wants to help us all so bad and knowing who it is he's helping is always a good start. Besides, you haven't heard the rest of the promise." Roxas gave Ven a reassuring smile and the other teen slouched in defeat. "If you do that for me and for Sora, I promise that if we are able to separate from Sora I’ll do everything in my power to protect you from the darkness."

 

Ven's entire body snapped to attention and he looked at Roxas with wide eyes. Protection from the darkness? "Why? I mean, I can't let you..." Ven stammered over his words, trying to calm the raging storm of emotions and thoughts that were going wild. "Roxas..."

 

"It's like you said, I'm not afraid of the darkness. So if there's ever someone out there that you're scared of or someone you know you can't fight on your own, I'll be right there to fight for you. Besides, it has to be scary to face the darkness when your heart is full of nothing but light, right?" Roxas leaned over and rested a hand on Ven's shoulder, smiling a bit. "You've been here for me all through this. All this time I've been here in Sora's heart, you've reassured me and protected me from my own demons. And you did the same for Sora during his exam. So on the outside, it'll be my turn to protect you."

 

Ven smiled a true smile, practically tackling the Nobody down into a hug. "It’s a promise!" He said quickly, closing his eyes and fighting back a few tears. It had been so long since he had felt any kind of real hope and so long since he felt cared for, loved even. Roxas had no idea how much it meant to him. "Thank you!"

 

Roxas looked surprised when he was knocked onto his back and even more surprised by the embrace, but he didn't hesitate to return the gesture. He smiled slightly, choosing not to comment on the tears soaking through his shirt. "Hey, we're friends, right? Friends look out for one another." He whispered soothingly, rubbing Ven's back lightly as the other teen's shoulders shook. "All of this...we'll get through it together. You, me, Sora, and all of his friends. You'll see."

 

***

 

Sora stared up at the tower that loomed over him; Yen Sid's tower. He fidgeted nervously, trying to gather up the courage to enter. It seemed like forever since he had seen his friends, though three months hardly seemed like a life changing amount of time. But that didn't mean his friends wouldn't be angry with him. He had warned them that he was leaving though, so would that really be fair of them?

 

Groaning in frustration and anxiety the brunette took a deep breath and pressed forward. He pushed the wooden door open and looked up the long, winding staircase with a sense of dread, though most of the dread was directed at having to climb the stairs to begin with. Sure, he was in great shape, but the stairs were still exhausting.

 

Grumbling to himself, he began the long trek up the stairs, mumbling all the while. "They should put a lift in here. Seriously, a magical lift can't be that difficult. Or just make the stairs move, like an escalator. Yeah, that'd be good." He ranted, not at all worrying that it seemed he was talking to himself. The amusement that practically oozed from the Nobody within himself proved otherwise. "Sure, you find it funny now. Just wait until I find a way to separate us and you have to walk up these things. You'll complain too."

 

"Sora?"

 

The brunette froze suddenly, looking towards the top of the stair case where a familiar silver-haired teen stood. "Riku!" Sora grinned, suddenly feeling a sense of joy at seeing his best friend after those three months. All of his anxiety washed away and he ran the rest of the way up the stairs to see his friend. Once he reached the top though, he was surprised to find himself pulled into a hug. "Huh? Riku?"

 

"We were worried about you Sora. Going off on your own and then not even trying to contact us...we thought something happened." Riku frowned, pulling back and looking at his long-time friend seriously. Sora was like a little brother to him, so it had hurt not to hear from him, not knowing if he was okay. "Where did you go Sora?"

 

"I'm sorry." Sora apologized immediately, looking at his friend guiltily. "I just traveled all around, training and thinking. I had a lot on my mind." He tried to explain, rubbing his arm nervously. "Everything that happened during the exam just really bothered me and I had to get my head straightened out before I could help you guys."

 

"You should've said something. You know I would've helped you." Riku scolded softly, letting out a sigh and crossing his arms. He had known Sora wasn't really okay with failing the exam, despite how much the brunette had insisted otherwise. Riku liked to think he knew his friend better than that. "Do you want to talk about it?"

 

"Yeah, I'll tell you everything Riku, I promise. But I have something I want to ask Yen Sid first. It's about Roxas." The brunette explained, rubbing the back of his neck. "Actually, Roxas is the one who convinced me to come back here. We've been talking a lot since I left."

 

"Talking to Roxas? That's possible?" Riku asked, suddenly looking thoughtful. When he had been working with Diz, he was told that Roxas would return to Sora and essentially become Sora himself. That is, Roxas would return to being whole, therefore he could be no one but Sora. But Sora spoke as if Roxas was still a separate entity. Was it possible? Did...Roxas have his own heart, completely different from Sora's after all? When they had battled all that time ago, he had believed so, but Diz insisted it was just a memory of how he once was and that Nobodies couldn't feel anything. Riku was a fool to believe that.

 

"Yeah. I didn't know until after the exam. I was feeling pretty bummed out and he just suddenly appeared to talk to me. I mean, it's more like he's a ghost, I guess, but he was there for me the entire time I was away. He really picked me up and now I want to help him. There has to be a way. That's what I want to ask Yen Sid." Sora looked so determined, his eyes narrowed and his lips in a firm line. His resolve didn’t waver in the least. That made Riku smirk a bit. Now that was the Sora he knew.

 

"You mean you want to see about letting him be his own person, right?" Riku asked. Sora nodded, looking at his friend. "Well, lucky for you while you were slacking off, we've been looking into that." The Keyblade Master teased, ruffling his friend's hair and turning towards the door that would lead them into Yen Sid's chamber. "We might have just the answer you're looking for Sora."

 

Sora huffed, fixing his hair quickly, before he looked at Riku with wide, surprised eyes. "Really? You guys figured something out?" Sora asked excitedly. He could feel excitement and joy well up inside of him, feelings that he knew didn't belong to him. Smiling slightly, he placed a hand over his heart comfortingly. "Hear that Roxas? There is a chance." He reassured softly.

 

"Keep in mind, we don't know if it'll work and from the sounds of it, it's pretty complicated. But it's the only thing we have to work with right now." The Keyblade Master was glad to see Sora hopeful, but he also didn't want him to get his hopes up too high only to be crushed in the end. "There's a lot of work that goes into it and--"

 

"Riku, it's okay!" Sora interrupted, crossing his arms behind his head in his usual carefree manner, a grin on his face. "It's a start and a step in the right direction. That's all we're looking for right now." Sora snickered when Riku looked at him incredulously.

 

"'We're looking for'?" Riku repeated, though he had a feeling he knew who Sora was referring to. "Can you do me a favor? Thank Roxas for getting your lazy butt motivated." He laughed quietly when Sora's face changed to one of annoyance, before he went into full blown pouting. Apparently Roxas heard that loud and clear.

 

"Shut up Roxas!" Sora whined out loud, groaning when he heard his Nobody laughing in the back of his mind. "He can hear you Riku. Man, why'd you have to get him started?" The brunette complained, though it was done so in good humor. Really, Sora wished Roxas would laugh more often. It was a nice sound and so sincere, he thought. "Ah, whatever. Let's go talk to Yen Sid."

 

Riku nodded in agreement and pushed the door open. Not much had changed. Yen Sid was sitting at the desk, currently speaking to Mickey about something or another that seemed rather serious. Meanwhile, Lea sat to the side in a wooden chair, leaning back precariously on its back legs. And he was talking to someone rather familiar to Sora.

 

"K-Kairi?!" The brunette sputtered, clearly surprised to see the girl. Everyone immediately stopped what they were doing and turned their attention to Sora. Kairi seemed more than pleased to see the Keyblade Wielder, immediately walking over and smiling softly.

 

"I knew you'd come back." She said softly, wrapping her arms around his neck in a gentle hug. Sora immediately returned the embrace, smiling slightly. "We were getting worried. But I'm glad you're here now." Kairi stepped back, but not before kissing the brunette's cheek. Sora fought back a blush and smiled sheepishly, rubbing his neck with a weak laugh.

 

"I'm surprised to see you Kairi." He admitted, looking around the room. Everyone seemed happy and relieved to see him, which only made him feel guilty. "I'm really sorry I worried everyone. I had some things I needed to sort out, but I'm back. I'm ready to help however I can." Sora clenched his fists and nodded determinedly.

 

"Well, gosh Sora. Did you think that because you didn't pass the exam we wouldn't need your help? You still have an important part to play; we all do. We have to keep our hearts strong and stick together." Mickey said, looking up at the teen with a smile. Just like everyone else, he was glad to see Sora had returned safe.

 

"Next time you decide to run off though, at least send us a postcard or something. You know, we like to know you're still breathing at least." Lea smirked when Sora made a face at him. "Seriously though, at least let us know where exactly you're going. Would've been nice to be able to check up on you now and then."

 

"I am glad you've finally returned Sora." Yen Sid said suddenly, silencing everyone else. Sora immediately stood at attention, looking at Yen Sid seriously. The Wizard stroked his beard in thought, closing his eyes thoughfully. "I certainly hope you've managed to sort everything out. From here on out you will need to remain strong for yourself and for others if we are to defeat Xehanort. But enough about that for now. You have questions, do you not?"

 

"Yes sir." Sora nodded, thinking over what he wanted to ask carefully. He had more than one question he needed an answer to. "Well, for one, I want to know about some things I saw during the exam." He started, looking down at the floor. "When I was trapped in the Nightmare, I saw all kinds of people and I knew they were hurting. I saw Roxas and Namine, those two I know. But then I saw some other people. First, there was this girl wearing one of the Organization robes with black hair. Then there was this big guy with brown hair and a girl with blue hair...they called me Ven. I felt so sad when I heard that name. And I could hear the pain in their voices when they said it. Do you know who they are?"

 

"I do not know the girl in the Organization robe that you speak of. However, I believe that Mickey and I both know of the others you speak of; Terra, the man who succumbed to darkness and became Master Xehanort's vessel. Aqua, the young Keyblade Master that disappeared years ago after her friends had fallen. And young Ventus, the boy that lost his heart during the conflict with Master Xehanort so long ago." Yen Sid explained slowly, staring at Sora with a critical eye. "None of these individuals have been heard from in over ten years and Terra is the only one that we truly know the location of. Though, we have our suspicions about Ventus."

 

“Ven was a special friend of mine. We didn’t get to know one another for very long, but we had a lot in common at the time. And from the first time I met him, I knew there was something special about his heart.” Mickey piped up, looking sad suddenly. “What happened to him and what happened to his friends wasn’t fair. They all had bright futures ahead of them. But Xehanort took that away from them.”

 

“What happened to them?” Sora asked softly. He wanted the whole story if he could get it. If there was any clue as to how he could help them later on or give them a clue to where they may be, he wanted to know.

 

“They were tricked by Xehanort. However, for the sake of your heart and those that sleep inside of you, I believe that is all we should say for now.” Yen Sid stated, shaking his head when it looked as if Sora may protest. “You must understand Sora the hurt that these individuals have faced is truly painful. We worry that it could potentially damage your heart if it is triggered in the wrong way.”

 

The brunette still didn’t seem to understand, but judging by the seriousness in the Wizard’s voice it was a topic best left silent. “O-Okay…” He agreed, rubbing the back of his head nervously. “Well the last question I have for now is:  do you think there’s a way that Roxas and I can separate from one another? You know, so he can be his own person.”

 

“Actually, we just might!” Mickey said, almost excitedly. The little King reached into his pocket and pulled out a small shard, holding it up to the light for them all to see. It was a deep jade, glittering prettily in the light. “This right here.”

 

“It’s called a Memory Shard.” Riku explained, noticing the brunette’s dumbfounded look. “We’ve been doing a lot of investigating since you left. Master Yen Sid has a lot of old books around and we found some legends about these shards and their connections with Keyblade Wielders.”

 

“It turns out that if you five or more of these things together and then they come into contact with the person whose memories they represent, they can actually open a sort of doorway to that person’s heart.” Lea took his turn in the explanation, looking at Sora seriously. Of course he had taken a deep interest in this investigation when he heard what it could possibly do in the end. After all, he had a promise to fulfill; he’d bring Roxas back somehow.

 

“And when they come into contact with a Keyblade Wielder, they have the power to create an object that is close to their heart: their Keyblade.” Yen Sid finished. Of course they all knew Sora wouldn’t catch on so easily, but the teen was obviously doing his best to understand what they were getting at. So they could get Roxas’ Keyblade? How did that help?

 

Kairi smiled a bit at the lost look on Sora’s face and rested her hand on his shoulder. “A person’s Keyblade has a direct connection with its master’s heart. Now that Riku has the power to awaken sleeping hearts, he can use the Keyblade that’s created to release Roxas’ heart from inside of you without damaging your heart.”

 

“Even though your hearts may be separated, it doesn’t mean your connection with Roxas will fade away. The two of you will still be connected and in a sense you’ll rely on each other. But gosh, if you’re already becoming such good friends, it shouldn’t be a problem.” Mickey walked closer and grabbed Sora’s hand, pushing the shard into his hand.

 

The second the shard touched his hand, it began to glow with a blinding light and a sharp pain split through the brunette’s head. His hands immediately went to his head and he tried to get some kind of words out, but he couldn’t seem to form any coherent thoughts.

 

“No way! I wanna go with you guys!”

 

“You’re awful Aqua…”

 

“Were you also ordered to take me home?”

 

“I’m gonna go find Terra.”

 

“Terra…Aqua…don’t do this. Please don’t leave me behind.”

 

Sora let out a yell as he finally managed to uncurl his fingers from around the shard, letting it fall to the floor. He stumbled back, panting hard as the pain in his head slowly died away. Riku was behind him, holding him steady while everyone watched him with a mix of worry and wonder. “W-What was that…?” He asked shakily, blinking wildly in an attempt to clear the spots that danced along his vision.

 

“The Memory Shards are created when a strong heart experiences some form of strong emotion. Happiness, anger, hatred, even grief can create these small shards. They react when they come into contact with their creator and are able to remind people of what they were feeling at that time.” Yen Sid watched Sora with a critical eye, glancing between him and the shard.

 

“I found that shard in Radiant Garden not too long ago when we found some of the books on the Memory Shards. Excavating these things isn’t easy, but it’s usually pretty easy to tell when they’re near. The Heartless are drawn to them, so they gather in large groups when one is nearby.” Mickey explained, picking the shard up once more. “Maybe I should hang on to it for right now though. Don’t want you going through anymore of those spells. So what did you see Sora?”

 

“I didn’t see anything.” Sora steadied himself, smiling reassuringly to Riku who finally let his hand drop away. “I heard a voice. He sounded…upset and scared, like he was afraid that his friends were going to leave him behind. He was talking about Terra and Aqua.”

 

Mickey let out a small, hopeful laugh, his ears perking up as he looked back at Yen Sid. “Talking about Terra and Aqua! Then that has to be…?”

 

“Hm…it would seem so.” Yen Sid nodded his head, looking at Sora seriously. “It seems we have finally found Ventus’ heart.”

 

***

 

Well, that's the end of that chapter! I really hope you all enjoy it and thanks for reading! :)

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