Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts, Disney or Square Enix please support their official releases. The character Kyra is owned by the author MysteryGirl7Freak and the Reconnected Storyline and its characters such as West and Lydia belong to Prismrain13, please read both their works.
I am co-authoring this story with my friend MysteryGirl7Freak. She is really an amazing author and I feel honoured to be working with her on this. Her ideas and help gave this fic life. This story will be written by the both of us. I write one chapter, she writes another chapter. Updating won't be timed, it will happen when it happens, but I have faith that things will go well.
I also want to make a shout out to Prismrain13 for giving her permission to write this. If your reading then you're the best and thank you I hope you're doing okay.
This is a sequel to my one shot 'The Dragon and The Fox/The Warthog and The Turtle'
(Read previous one shots for Dragon's and Kyra's description)
"I don't paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality."
― Frida Kahlo
Chapter 1 – The Sleeping Archer
Dragon let out a lazy yawn. It had been one hour since he and Kyra had departed from Twilight Town after that disastrous play. He shivered, thinking how what else could have gone wrong.
Yet, he couldn't find it in himself to give the play any contempt. For the most part, he had a fun time dressing up as Sora Llyr; getting together with his friends and, surprisingly, rivals for a fun time.
He looked toward his shoulder. Kyra slept soundly next to him, the steady rise and fall of her breathing rhythmic. Another positive was that he got to see the young archer as a princess, which was, well, cute.
He laughed internally. Cute and Kyra. They seemed to be words that would have given him a punch to the arm. Kyra was an attractive young lady only a fool with a death wish would call ugly. Same could be said with calling her cute.
However, seeing her in that dress...just the memory of it would trigger goose bumps along his skin. Heat burning the tops of his ears.
He doubted he would ever see her in that sort of garb again. She was a hardened warrior, not a fancy princess.
Inside, he was glad about it. He liked the Kyra who was sleeping on his shoulder, the one that could judo flip anyone that got on her nerves. The Princess Kyra was nice while it lasted, but he preferred the real one next to him. Kyra was no Martha.
A beep went off on the gummi pod's monitor. Dragon smiled as the Falcon came up on the pod's navigation system. Only fifteen minutes left and they would be reunited with their friends. It had been a strange couple of hours. Long hours. One moment he was reunited with his lost teacher and the next he was in a play back at his home town. Crazy how it wasn't the whole night. He guess traveling through worlds was like traveling to different time zones.
Was it normal for adventures to be like this? Or was someone in their living room typing on his mum's computer, then having another person proofreading it in another country, dictating his life?
Dragon just shook his head. After seeing the strangeness of Disney Town and Stitch's world, he would have thought he gotten use to these series of events. Kyra, Roxas, and so many others had done so.
He cracked his knuckles, then did the same to some of his other body joints. He was looking forward to a good night sleep on the Falcon. Not even Myde's constant snoring could keep him awake.
Now would be a good time as any to wake Kyra up. She may be a bit sleepy, but he rather face the wrath of a tired Kyra than that of a Kyra who knew he carried her to her bed. She may like him more than Myde, but he rather not take any chances.
The samurai placed a hand on the archer's shoulder. "Kyra? Come on, it's time to get up," He ordered gently with a little shaking.
The archer's response was remaining asleep.
"Come on, Kyra. You don't need to worry about the others. They will be sleeping like logs," He said cheerfully, once again slowly shaking the archer's shoulder.
Once again the archer remain in sleep mode.
Dragon sighed. He knew he would be getting a punch to the arm but this girl had to wake up.
He spun in his seat to face the young archer as he put both hands on her shoulders and began to shake harder. "Come on, Kyra. Here I thought Myde was a heavy sleeper…"
Kyra's head tilted sideways, resting against her own shoulder.
"Kyra?" He asked gently, looking at her sleeping form in slight concern.
"Kyra," he said, more sternly.
She may as well have been a breathing statue.
"Kyra? Kyra, please, wake up." Dragon didn't know what was happening. Maybe he was just overestimating the problem or maybe…
His mind went back to the play, stage up in flames and a scream that came from the other exit opposite of the one he took.
"Kyra!" Dragon screamed at the young girl. She was one of the most punctual people he knew. A light sleeper. No matter what the consequences, she would have woken up by now, ready for action.
Something wasn't right. Something wasn't right at all. "Ky.." Dragon shook her again but the force caused Kyra's body to lean forward, out of her chair.
Dragon was quick to catch her, breaking her fall. He kneeled on the floor as he held her upper body in his arms, her lower body strewn across the pod's floor.
"KYRA!" Dragon screamed, worried. He swallowed, a lump in his throat. "Kyra, what's happened to you?"
He examined her hands, face, ears. He tried to find any clue as to why she wasn't waking up, something that was clear that it shouldn't be there.
He looked directly at her face. Dragon's brain went from panic mode into overdrive. Why was she being so unresponsive? It didn't make any sense. She was normal an hour ago. Why the sudden change?
It was then he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. Something on the floor. It looked like a purplish-dark light.
Dragon furrowed his eyebrows, befuddled. The only thing underneath the floor was wires and they were covered by floor plating. And the light was reflecting off of the floor plating. One possibility could be the floor had cracked or maybe…
Dragon's eyes widened. Quickly, he turned Kyra in his arms and brushed her hair aside. As he did so, he could only stare in shock at her neck and what was there on it.
"What the..." The samurai stammered. Kyra had some sort of heart symbol on the back of her neck. His first conclusion was that it must have been the Heartless, but as he looked closer, he saw this heart symbol lack the Heartless deep black or red out lining. It was a see through image with purple lining along it with a few added curves in its design.
"What is this?" He muttered, pulse quickening.
It didn't take a genius to tell that Kyra was in trouble - big trouble.
Dragon shift his gaze to the Falcon. His first thought was to warn Roxas and the others, but what if that made things worse? For all he knew, Kyra's deep sleep could be some infectious thing and any premature exposure could be costly for the team. A heinous, magical trap being delivered to them.
He didn't know if it was a good idea to keep Kyra's body inside this pod, but he knew he couldn't risk his other friends without properly knowing what's wrong with her. Dragon needed someone who knew about this type of ailments. Someone who could get on the ship directly and off it without relying on a mechanical transportation. Someone with...magic.
As if a light bulb had switched in his head, Dragon knew who to call. He may not have met the man personally, but he remembered Kyra and Lydia telling him about his vast knowledge on pretty much everything. Dragon reached out inside Kyra's coat pocket and took out her phone.
He was on the fifth ring when a puff of white smoke flashed inside the Gummi pod.
"What! What is it? I was enjoying a nice cup of tea before I got this dratted SOS."
Once the smoke cleared, a figure made his appearance known on the pod. He was an old man between his 70's or 80's (Though for all Dragon knew this guy could be way older than he looked). A long, white beard reached past his knees, small spectacles cover his eyes, and he wore a blue robe along with a blue, pointy hat.
Dragon blinked as he looked at the old wizard.
The old wizard was more frustrated than pleased. "Who the devil are you, boy?"
Dragon faltered, trying to get his thoughts into place.
"Well, out with it! I'm a busy…Kyra?" Merlin asked, finally catching sight of the young girl on the floor. His flustered face morphed into a questioning, worried one.
Merlin bent down quickly to examine the young archer. He directed his attention to the back of her neck, her hair parted like a curtain, showcasing the main problem on stage. He looked more closely to the dark heart symbol.
Merlin frowned, rubbing his bearded chin. "Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear," He muttered.
Dragon didn't like that response. "What's the matter with her, Merlin? Has it got something to do with the Heartless?"
"Darkness yes, Heartless no," Merlin replied to the young samurai. "She is trapped in the dream world, my boy." Merlin stated soberly as he stood up.
"W-what?" Dragon stammered, lost.
"That's a mark of the Dream Eaters."
"What the heck are those?" Dragon asked, "What even is the dream world?"
Merlin sighed. It was never easy to explain these sort of things to a newbie. "The dream world is a special universe that exists outside our normal universe."
With a sway of his hands, the ancient wizard caused the whole room to light up by a sky-blue aura. Dropping down from the ceiling were moonlit orbs, falling slowly to the floor as if they were snowflakes.
Dragon peered around at the strange orbs. "What are these things?" Still waiting for a full explanation on the dream eaters and their world.
"You see, young man, the dream world is what one might say is a limbo for worlds that have been lost to the darkness or cannot be accessed by normal means." Merlin examined the orbs carefully, waving his hands around as if shuffling around a bookshelf. Orbs came and flew back as he searched. "In each sleeping worlds lies a keyhole. Once the keyhole is found, that world will be awakened and return to our universe."
"Sounds something for a Keyblade Master," Dragon mused.
"You're not wrong there, boy. The dream universe has been known for the Mark of Mastery tests. It is to get a better idea of the student's mind set. Who they are as a person," Merlin went on.
"Before the war, there used to be special squad of Keybladers who would venture into the dream universe to salvage the lost worlds." Merlin sighed, briefly closing his eyes. "But once the war was over with, those who could wield the keyblade were next to extinct. No one wanted to lose them to the dream universe, so the dream universe could only ever be used for tests."
Dragon frowned, sadness stinging his chest. Just like the lunar rock, another vital asset to the universe was lost due to that war. It had been over for who knew how long and yet his generation and many others were still suffering from its scars.
"Is there no hope for the sleeping worlds?" Dragon asked with some small hope in his voice.
The ancient wizard nodded. "Of course. Every year, Yen Sid makes a few Dream Eater scouts to find a keyhole for him to unlock."
Dragon felt befuddled as he shook his head in confusion. "But I thought you said the Dream Eaters are the reason we're in this mess?"
"Yes and no," Merlin replied. "You see, there are two sets of Dream Eaters. Spirits and Nightmares." Merlin casted a spell to show two Dream Eater symbols. Dragon could see a new peach coloured one with smoother curves than its nightmare counterpart.
"The Nightmares are the Dream Eaters created by Darkness. Their job is to keep the sleeping worlds in limbo. The Spirits do the opposite. Their job is to wake up their sleeping worlds. Spirits are your most vital ally in the dream universe; they will fight alongside you as your team would to get rid of the nightmares and to find the keyhole," Merlin explained with a passion and hardness to his voice.
"Especially since they're medicine to a bad cold," Merlin finished simply. "Now enough chit chat, these orbs will help me find the dream world Kyra is in."
Merlin kept searching through each orb. One showed him worlds were four children were walking toward a lamppost in the snow. Another showed him another world where a man wearing a blue and red costume somehow shot webs like a spider. Merlin saw another world were a boy with a monkey tail hugged tightly to a princess with raven hair.
Finally, he found the right orb. "At last, now we can…wait….this can't be possible." Merlin choked with a cold shock.
Dragon came from the other side to see the orb. Unlike the others, it had a colour of orange hue swirling around and the nightmare symbol on it.
Dragon wasn't an idiot. Judging from Merlin's expression, he could quickly understand this was not good news.
"Merlin, what has happened to Kyra?" Dragon ask carefully.
"This world, the one she is trapped in...it is no sleeping world," Merlin spoke gravely.
"Shouldn't it be?" inquired Dragon "It is in the dream universe."
"Aye, it is, lad. However, unlike the other sleeping worlds, it wasn't put there by the darkness. It could only be there because someone put it directly into the dream universe." Merlin turned to see Kyra's sleeping form. "This world was born from Kyra's mind. Someone has sabotage it. As result, Kyra's consciousness is trapped in that world as well."
Dragon gasped violently. How could this have happened? She had been so well on their last two trips but now her mind was trapped? How could he fix something that untouchable?
"This peculiar world, its main design is destroying the victim's consciousness. If left alone, Kyra would lose everything that makes her Kyra. She will be nothing more than a puppet," Merlin warned.
Dragon hyperventilated, eyes wide in panic. This wasn't happening. Kyra wasn't meant to go out like this. She was meant to find her family, to find her home. She wasn't meant to live like a puppet. That wasn't fair, not after everything she had been through. He won't let this happen.
"Send me in!" Dragon demanded.
"What?!" Merlin exclaimed at the young samurai. Did this boy understand the consequences?
"I said send me in! I won't let her go out like this." Dragon knelt down beside her, looking at her supine form on the floor.
"I rather we had a Keyblade wielder for this," Merlin berated.
"We don't have time!" Dragon screamed at the old man. "You said her mind is being eaten by this nightmare. We can't wait for the Falcon. I need to go in now!"
"And if you fail, this pod will be destroyed with you and her in it," Merlin warned.
"What?" Dragon gasped, feeling his angered ease with a terrible calmness.
Merlin sighed heavily as he closed his eyes and took a seat in the captain's chair. He rubbed his forehead. "This nightmare is an infection. The more people who go in, the chances it could expand its infection to new victims. Yen Sid, along with the rest of the committee, agreed if a nightmare such as this occurred then only one person would go in to fix it. If they failed, both victims would have to be killed to protect the others."
He looked directly at Dragon, a tired glint in his eyes.
"That's why I wanted a Keyblade wielder; their chances would have been stronger than yours," Merlin finished as he stood up.
"So I only have one chance," Dragon concluded bitterly.
Merlin nodded solemnly.
If Dragon failed, both his life and her life would be done and dusted, but if they waited to get to the Falcon for Roxas or Xion it could already be too late.
What to do, what to do. What would Kyra want him to do? In truth, he had no answer as he wasn't her. He was Dragon, a samurai from Twilight Town. This had to be his choice. It scared him, but he couldn't take any risks. Not when this nightmare was in its beginning stages.
"Well, what is your answer?" Merlin inquired.
Dragon took Kyra's hand in his. He felt how dry they were, briefly traced his thumb along the callouses in her skin. He gazed into her face, how peaceful it looked. Devoid of that fierceness and determination it held when they first started this mission. He knew what he had to do.
"I die when I want to die," Dragon answered Merlin.
Merlin took that as a yes. He knelt down and put his hands on top of Kyra's head, whispering some magic words. A golden sphere with black diamonds edged into it appeared with a keyhole in the center.
"Now I must warn you. You are going to meet people you may know or don't know or who you're going to know. The Dream universe has no balance of time, the past and future doesn't exist within it. Just a present," Merlin warned.
Dragon nodded in understanding. Merlin continued. "In order to wake Kyra, you must find the Nightmare and destroy it. Be warned, this Dream world will make sure you can't find her. It will go so far to redesign itself to keep you away. Even if you find her, she might not even recognize you."
"Is that all?" Dragon asked, a little apprehensive. "How will you know if I failed?"
"Your body will jump out in the exact same condition. If that is to happen, you know what I will have to do," Merlin said, grim.
Dragon swallowed. He took a deep breath.
"I do." Dragon, without needing any more info, jumped straight into the orb as a flash of white light engulfed him.
TO BE CONTINUED