Hello all. This is my very first fanfiction writing. It's an idea I have had for a little while, so I have a plan for the story. Also, I want to give huge credit to my co-author, Riku Kingdom Hearts, for helping this story come to life and being a great editor. Now enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy.


Zack had been wandering through the Realm of Darkness for what seemed like forever. But since there was no day or night, it was impossible to keep track of time. It was sometimes hard for him to even remember the last time he saw much light. Over the course of this time, Zack had been fighting almost nonstop against the Heartless that plague the darkened realm. So many Heartless inhabit this realm, and Zack sometimes wondered if it's okay to get rid of them. However, he quickly realized the Heartless do not share the same mentality; so, he had to make a choice to either survive or become one of them. Much had changed in the time he has been here: his demeanor, his outlook, even his appearance, now looking like a war-torn man.

His spiky, black hair was as unkempt as ever now. A few stray strands of hair flowed just a few inches below his eyes as he once again slicked it back as to not impair his functionality. His face was more serious, his eyes more narrowed, and dark shadows had formed under his eyes from the long hardships he had endured.

His face had some minor scarring, with a X-shaped scar across the left cheek. He ran his fingers across the scar as he thought back to the Invisible that caught him by surprise, the Invisible that caused damage to his once boyish face. His whole body was covered in various small and faint scars, most notably on his arms. The wear and tear from his time there had really begun to show, his outfit was tattered from the countless Heartless battles he had fought.

His sword was a reflection of himself now. What once was a glistening, new blade that reflected the light ever so brightly was now worn and rigid, the blades looking more like teeth marks with the shattered metal being easily noticeable. He stopped for a second, or what seemed like a second, looking up at the dark sky, the only illumination from a faint, pale moonlight. His royal-blue eyes contrasted against the darkness as he pondered his situation.

'Just how much longer do I have to go on? I've been here for what seems like years...though it always feels like hardly any time has gone by at all. I always wanted to be a hero, but this is getting to be a bit rough, even for me.' Zack then chuckled to himself, with a faint smile coming across his face, 'Ah what are you saying Zack, don't think like that! It's not what Cloud would want to see in his friend.'

His outlook on life had changed drastically, as he was less of an idealistic boy and more of a realistic man. Zack knew how things were, but he still tried to keep the darkness from clouding his heart. He thought back to his protege, and friend; Cloud. He thought about Cloud to give himself strength, knowing that he was safe. That he had protected him. But the self doubt crept in slowly, knowing that Sephiroth still roamed in that world.

'I still don't understand...why would he betray us like that? It's like, something took hold of him, turned him into some kind of monster. Maybe once I get out of here I can figure it out. If I ever get out. I don't know anymore. There has to be an end to this somewhere.'

As Zack was lost in thought, several Shadow Heartless and Invisible Heartless appeared and surround him. He looked around to count five of each foe. With a sly grin coming across his sullen face, he readied his weary blade as he took his stance. "We're doing this again I see. Come on and lets get this over with then."

Zack rushed forward into the crowd of Shadow Heartless, sliding onto one knee as he came to the center of the group. He grasped the sword with both hands, and swung the blade in a clockwise motion around all of the Heartless, quickly disposing of them. He stood back up and turned toward the Invisibles, ready to take care of them. He dashed forward quickly, while the first Invisible raised it's sword to strike downard. Zack slid on to a knee, avoiding the sword underneath and stabbing the heartless from the back. He jumped to his feet quickly as two other Invisibles closed in.

As they both swung their swords, he raised his. With one hand on the blade and the other on the hilt, he blocked the attack. He mustered the strength to push them away, once again grabbing the sword with both hands on the hilt and slicing them both sideways in half. He looked at the final two enemies in front of him and gave them a wink before sprinting towards them. He ran towards the one to the left of him, quickly avoiding its strike, and slashed diagonally upward across its back. He watched it fall to the ground out of the corner of his eye. He adjusted his stance as he jumped backward to avoid the final enemy that hand swung its sword towards the spot where he was formerly. Zack readied his sword and lunged forward, running the heartless through and slicing upward to eliminate the last one.
Zack surveyed the area quickly to assure there were no other enemies. Once he saw that there were no more Heartless in sight, he bent over in exhaustion. He took in some deep breaths, trying to gather his thoughts once more after another battle. He clenched his fists, knowing that he had to find a way out soon. He was tired of the fighting and tired of feeling trapped. His resolve to find his friends and be the hero that he wanted to be had kept him on the right path so far.

However, there was a strong darkness that surrounded him in this place. It felt heavy, and as time had passed, it grew larger, weighing him down as he tried to continue. The weight of the darkness had began to take hold and slowly break him down. His heart felt heavy and his determination faded away. He didn't know what to do anymore. He was tired of wandering aimlessly. As much as he didn't want to give up, he just couldn't help it. With a heavy sigh he dropped down to his knees and buried his head in his hands in despair.

As he found himself at this lowest point, he heard a familiar voice, accompanied by a black feather floating down in front of his eyes. Zack looked up to see none other than Sephiroth standing several feet in front of him. Zack suddenly jumped to his feet at the sight of his mentor-turned-foe. He then began to question him.

"Sephiroth?!" Zack gasped. "How are you here? Have you come to help? Or...are you still not yourself? If so...let me help you!"

Glaring down at Zack, with a cynical smile, Sephiroth responded, "Oh Zack, I see you're still holding onto some of that optimism you love so much. Just give into the darkness that is here and become like me."

"No! I could never become like you. You betrayed Cloud and me. Why? I wanted to become a hero like you were. Not...whatever it is you are now."

"I have become one with the darkness itself, and it has given me immense power. If you join me and bask in the dark power, then you can become strong and be the hero you always wanted to be," exclaimed Sephiroth as he raised his Masamune sword, as if preparing to do battle. The tip of the blade was only a mere few inches away from Zack's chest. Zack stepped back a bit, though he didn't take his eyes off of Sephiroth.

As Zack looked closer, he could tell that something had indeed changed in Sephiroth. Something just felt off about him. Zack couldn't quiet place his finger on it, but he knew something wasn't right. Sephiroth's eyes were darkened, though they seemed to have a strange glow to them at the same time. There was also a strange, faint purple aura around him, that made the hairs on the back of Zack's neck stand up.

Zack shook his head in disbelief as he took another step back. "You can't be real. This can't be real. I've been here so long, I'm not sure what is real anymore."

Sephiroth rushed towards Zack swiftly. Zack barely had any time to bring his sword up to parry the blow. Sephiroth had that ever-so-confident grin on his face. "Zack, I can assure you that I am as real as you remember me. Now, come at me with everything you have. I'll show you just how weak you really are."

Without a response from Zack, they both jumped back away from each other and stared at each other intensely as they readied there stances.

That wraps up chapter 1! I hope you all enjoyed it so far. We have been working on this for a little while, so chapter 2 should be up next week. Let me know what you thought of the story so far. Feedback is appreciated. :)