I had a theory before the KH3 trailer, still using it because AU powers. But then I adopted more ideas. Because "gamer's knowledge" for a time traveling anime snowball wasn't enough. Yay, cryptic bits!

Riku is the only the time traveler, however- *transmission file lost*


Coming back to the First District was empty of people and filled with smells. Shadow Heartless popped up at every turn. Great for money farming, terrible for their worn down bodies. Even though he didn't think Kairi would be around, it was disappointing and concerning that it was true.

"Will. You. Go. Away!" Very annoyed slashes tore apart the barricade of Shadows. Apparently Sora had more patience for people than creatures of pure evil.

Not that he was one to talk, after what felt like a long day, he wanted to find the nearest bed and sleep. But slamming their way into the Accessory Shop was close enough.

That is, not enough to startle Cid, "You okay, you two?"

"Peachy." They huffed.

"Here, just pick a spot and rest, you look like you need it.

With a breathy thanks, the boys crashed on the chairs.

"So... how did things go?"

"Not well..." Sora grumbled. "We couldn't find her anywhere."

"Hey, keep your chin up. Maybe a look around town will help, when you're up for it."

Maybe," Riku muttered before drifting off.


"Seen 'em yet?"

"... those boys. Only one has it, but the weapon of the other is... off."

"Really... then, do you want to separate them?"

"Hm. If there're going to help the worlds, they will need to be independent when the need arises. Even so, we'll see how they fight together."


Time has fractured. Now history must rewrite itself.


Out of the door came a bipedal creature (a cat?). Heavy footsteps knocked the floor as he stomped forward. "Maleficent! Maleficent!"

"You mustn't shout."

Kairi froze at seeing the large figure. He had yet to notice her but if she moved he would.

"What do you have to report, Pete?"

He stepped further in the room, but in plain sight still. "That girl's up an' gone. Ain't no sign of her."

"Tis to be expected. Most Princesses of Heart wouldn't think to fight back. Coddled as they were, they would have nothing of defense."

The ears twitched, finally stepping out of sight. "But-uh... what makes this one different?"

"Defiance." A bang echoed. "Show yourself girl! A heart of light cannot hide in my castle of shadows."

Thump thump thump.

She knows, but not where I am.

Thump thump.

"Bring her to me, my Heartless. It seems our guest insists upon being uncooperative."

No other shot than this.

Kairi took off another bracelet. Despite not fighting all the time, she had a good throwing arm. And this trick often threw off the others in a game of hide n' seek.

Careful to keep the books to her, a pale hand threw the metal as high up to the ceiling as it could go.

The small arch stayed behind the pilar until it started to fall.

It came down past the nearby pillar.

Where in pinging and rolled away from the third pillar away from her.

Pete laughed and stomped toward the pillar.

Kairi stepped to the side, careful of the witch's sight.

She saw block horns pointed toward the pillar Pete was at.

The Heartless(?), the creatures stood still by the cloak's side.

"Huh? It's just one of the Heartless." There was a gripping sound. "What do you think you're doing with that bracelet?"

A sigh of exasperation came from lipstick lips. "Crafty, that one." She turned back toward the steps as Kairi shifted back. "Come Pete, we will worry about her later. She hasn't the means to truly leave."

"But she's gotta be here!"

"No point of pursuing her on this pathetic chase of birds. Clearly she found a way to pawn off her accessory to this creature. " Tap taps up the stairs. "Perhaps she was not a close as I assumed."

"Hm?"

"Princesses of Heart have light that flood the darkness wherever they go. What that entails is that should it be used, that would grant them magic of their own. So she could easily be floors away and I'm picking on what's left of her presence."

"That's no fair."

"It is what it is."

Slam!

Sounds echoed, signaling disappearances of the creatures. Leaving Kairi alone once more. One last look, she finally left.


Riku hissed as the Fire nearly burnt his arm. After having rested, they were ambushed by a man holding a strange blade with basic fire magic. The man wanted the Key-blade so Riku wondered who the guy was.

But now was not the time to run down First Sora's long list of interplanetary friends (or enemies). Almost could have made a friendship army of them...

Sora grunted loudly in pain so they took the battle away from the Shop. Soul Eater getting smacked down for a hit at Riku too.

It was infuriating how the man was clearly putting less than best effort while one swing felt like an axe. Leather jacket knew what he was doing, so why?

At least he was being a slow stalker- HELL NO! THOSE JUMPS, THOSE JUMPS! BACK UP BOY!

The boys went down rolling to not get bludgeoned by Leather Gun.

Damnit, he knew how to fight, but getting the clock rolled back had taken a toll on his skills and reflexes. Riku hadn't the time to use magic (mystical blades without explanation were enough as is), since he hadn't gotten around to trying to confess his time travel issues. And that yes, magic is real.

Though he might not be too concerned about it here.

Sora tried for another hit but was knocked aside. Soul Eater dove for the opening Leather jacket left, getting two hits before being forced back. The blade rounded on him, barely blocked, then dropped.

Dropped, what?

Sora had hit the man in the side, hitting him several times until Leather jacket went down to his knees.

Ladies and gentlemen, the world traveling extraordinaire, his best friend just passed out. He had a moment to half heart a demand before hitting the bricks, but sleep had its own plans.

Not that Riku was better off, stars dancing in and out of his vision. The Dark Orb at home had took its toll+++

Zzz


Gonna wake up anytime soon?

...what are you getting at?

Thinking of going for a permanent stroll. Stuff's happening but I'm getting bored.

No, no you're not!

Can you stop me? Have you forgotten where I am, Ventus?


It's cold, beyond that of a tropical night.

Not cold of winter, in spite of water and freezing rock, but a stagnant cold of Fall. When the wind stops blowing in the night, the dying air hitting you the wrong way. Kairi had been so used to the warm islands, but recalled phantom definitions and sensations of the months of chill.

She wasn't dressed for it.

A problem that had to be solved later.

A luck, was finding that the strange bubbles led to a safer place. A secure location that was just warmer than outside. The air didn't crawl over her skin as a rash, more discomfort than she thought she ever knew.

It was familiar and foreign and it made her cold.

But now was the time to learn, to fight whoever got between her and friends. Be it the odd firefly or the fallen light, she will stand with them.

It's my turn now.

Opening 101 Ways to Use your Fists, Kairi began training.


"So are we just going to let her go? Just like that?"

"It will be matter of time until she is found again, if nothing else, we could use leverage."

"How so?"

"Princesses such as she should have at least one friend, it will be a matter of finding them. The Heartless have been reporting an interesting blade in the hands of a young boy..."


Leave the witch to her own devices, they said. Hardly a concern, they insisted. (He always defied some rule if he thought it to be justified).

It was home back then, he couldn't leave it forever. Even if he could no longer care any less than the day before. (And that the winds blows far more harshly than a snowstorm, the memories couldn't ghost him now).

Something has disturbed the Superior, so he left to find clues (Luxord mentioned a sudden change of Fates).

But a smell that he hadn't been sensitive to as a child, hit him freshly when he arrived. Of flowers stained with a different undertone (aged a bit, been places), but familiar all the same. From comfortable stories to the sad distance... (that much he's disappointed in).

Sister?

Leaving this alone would be a disservice to the time spent apart. (Been too long, but grief nor shock would ever come).


Riku had flashbacks of passing out in the dream world as he came to. Of dropping into sleep in the middle of boss fights and mid-battles. Only to snap awake, the boss now at full health, and him about to hit the floor.

So by the time Riku knew what had happened, he was being shaken to his senses by Sora, that there were two other people in the room, and, "...kay. It's okay Riku."

Aquarium blues lost their glossy film and he lowered Soul Eater. Riku gave a passing glare at "Leather jacket" and girl in the odd get-up, silently asking his friend to explain.

The girl did instead. "Active friend you've got there, Sora." She giggled. "My name's Yuffie and this is Squall."

Leather Jacket called Squall, corrected her, "It's Leon."

"They talked about the shadow things, they're called Heartless." Sora supplied.

Leon and Yuffie, he recalled First Sora explaining how helpful they were and how they were around for the first adventure. After Leather- Leon tried knocking him senseless. Key word being tried.

But before other words could be given (like a redundant explanation for the time traveler) or demands of "Did you have to attack us," could happen, a Heartless spawned in the room.

"Yuffie, go!"

A loud quack, broken window, and a dive onto the Alleyway bricks, the trio headed off.

And Riku was going to need to relearn Flow Motion.

Then try to teach Sora about it.

Whatever comes first.


Donald was not happy to be reminded of his old days as a squash and stretch entertainer. Fun for keeping yourself from being hurt too badly, problematic to get yourself back into 3D. Thank Walt that Goofy had enough experience to get things fixed or he'd be a noodle for an extended period of inconvenience.

Aerith and some other girl ran off, probably due to Heartless sighting since they had to bash heads in on their way outside the Hotel. It caused the veteran mage to grumble a bit but it was otherwise fine. Neither of the Disney residents had seen the young females with any weapons to speak of, so maybe it was for the best.

They moved the ladder to get onto the roof, Donald insisting on looking elsewhere for the Key.

Which is how they got cornered on the balcony.

The Heartless made a point of sending them flying.

Thus onto the object of their search and straight into a major battle followed up by a Boss.

First day of nonsense and everything was going so well!

Actually... Donald lost his temper again, so work as usual.


One Boss Battle later...

For a while, Riku had forgotten the reason why old 15 year old him didn't get along with the avian mage. But a memory replay (helps to be in same location as last time) gave him a clear enough reminder.

The duck only wanted Sora for the Key.

Okay, so he knew that Goofy didn't have a whole lot of vocal input over it. Might have been thinking over the situation before doing anything. And that the three were good friends later on... they, they followed the Key.

"You'd betray your King?"

"Not on your life, but I'm not gonna betray Sora either-" Riku shook the memory away.

That bond was later, these two are strangers.

"I wonder if we can find Kairi..." Sora murmured.

"Of course!"

Riku narrowed his eyes when he overheard the duck's comment to Goofy. Considering that it wasn't so stealthily muttered right in front of their faces, it also seemed that Donald wasn't acknowledging him at all.

"Sora, Riku, go with them. Especially if you want to find your friend." Leon spoke up behind them.

"Hang on," The duck said. "Our orders were only stick with the one who had the Key."

Before Riku could get snappy (old jab to him, thanks), Sora beat him to it.

His friend frowned at them. "Hold up, I'm not leaving Riku behind. He's my best friend and I know that he can help find Kairi."

"Orders are orders." Came the protest.

Goofy must have sensed that things were going to get out of hand because he stepped in. "Now Donald, shouldn't we let them make their choice?"

Whatever was said next was lost in quack filled mistranslations. Sora and Riku gave each other a look then left with Leon and Yuffie.

Fine, if Donald was going to be like that, he'd find another way to get transport. Even if meant spending the next month saving up for darkness protection- Wait. Didn't Cid run a shop for space ships at one point?


Riku: Good aim? No, that can't happen with physics. I thought you knew math. :\

Luna: -_-"

Riku: Why are you looking at me like that? *sudden realization* Wait what.

Luna: You really don't associate Kairi with it do you?

Riku: Except for that one time, no.

Luna: Anyway, thanks for the support, reviews, all good stuff. It's great to see that you people like my writing. I hope this one was worth the wait, & that the next one will keep your interest sparking.

Some time ago...

+KH3 trailer+

Luna: AHHHH! It's beautiful! E.E.E.E.E.E.E!

Riku: Looks like your theory was blown out of the water.

+Replays video+

Luna: *gaping in awe*

Riku: '_' "" I'm starting to wonder if this sort of thing is the only way to please you...

+Replays video again+

Riku: *sighs* How do you even live?

Luna: *somewhere, probably squealing or dead*

Riku: ... who cursed me to be stuck with this lady?

Roxas: At least you don't have to be in doubt about your existence in the Fanfic.

Naminè: Will I & Xion come back? *looks over trailer*

Riku & Roxas *shrug*

Roxas: Xion has been considered a Mary Sue by some people, so I don't how Square Enix will respond.

Riku: Luna has neutral on Xion anyway, so who knows.

Luna: I WANT TO SEE THE CONSEQUENCES OF VENTUS WAKING UP. ROXAS WOULD NOT BE HAPPY ABOUT HAVING A TWIN & BEING MISTAKEN FOR A COMATOSE 24 YEAR OLD. SORA WOULD ALSO BE AT RISK OF HAVING HIS LIGHTS PUNCHED IN BY VEN, IF YOU KNOW WHAT VANITAS LOOKS LIKE!

Naminè, Roxas, Riku: *scream in surprise*

Naminè: WE THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD!

Luna: I am, three times over. *passes out*