Disclaimer: not mine

Chapter 35

Thanks to Demyx, they had enough coats for everyone who needed one, Sora giving his up again to Kairi. Maleficent had assured them that Riku didn't need one either with his transformation under away. Technically, Axel and Demyx could skip the coats too, but it was safer they didn't. Since Demyx wasn't with them he'd given his to Donald while Goofy was using Axel's. Still, they moved quickly through the Corridor, emerging in the woods outside of the old Mansion in Twilight Town.

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Mickey leapt back, summoning his Keyblade, as a portal opened only feet from him…watching in surprise as the group emerged, three in coats and three without them. What was Sora thinking risking himself like that? In the form of the Ansem Heartless, Riku was likely safe enough…and Sora would have insisted on protecting Kairi. Sora grinned at him and Mickey shook his head, dispelling his Keyblade.

"You got my message," the teen said.

"Are ya sure you're all ready for this?" Mickey asked in concern.

"We're running on a time limit," Sora answered, and Mickey noticed Riku shift slightly.

That meant it was likely due to him, had they found a way to restore his body? "Alright, what's the plan?"

"Infiltrate their castle via the backdoor portal Axis left in the Digital Twilight Town," Sora motioned to the redhead that Mickey had seen briefly in Hollow Bastion. "Try to take them out one by one as quietly as we can."

Simple and yet if they could pull it off…a lot could go wrong, but they had a good sized group. They had a chance and that was all they needed.

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Riku watched as Sora turned the computer on, like he'd done it before and then they all shifted into range of the device, the room vanishing in a flash…and then reappearing? No…something was different…he stared at the computer setup, which moments ago had worked and yet now looked smashed to pieces. He pressed a hand to his forehead as he stared at it, vision wavering for a second, seeing a small hand holding the Kingdom Key, smashing the computer.

"Riku?" Kairi touched his arm, and he shook his head.

"I'm fine," he told her.

"You remember smashing it, don't you?" Sora asked softly.

"It wasn't my hand or weapon," he denied.

"No, it was Xion. The imperfect Replica made by the Organisation using both of our memories. She's the whole reason this place was made, to hide her from them while your memory was restored," Sora explained.

Xion…the name felt familiar, like he should know it, but there was nothing. He didn't see Axel's frown at the name or the way he rubbed his forehead.

"This way," Axel spoke up, leading them to the next room, where one corner was just wrong. "Be ready, they have to suspect you'll come after them eventually. The Corridors are likely full of lower level Nobodies," he warned.

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Axel collapsed, taking out those Nobodies…he'd liked it better when they were on his side!

"Axel!" he heard Sora yell his name, and then the kid was kneeling beside him, magic flowing from him to Axel.

"You're...fading away..." Kairi whispered, watching him with wide eyes, and for a second he saw her, but not her. Kairi with short black hair…Xion?

"Well, that's what happens when you put your whole being into an attack. You know what I mean? Not that Nobodies actually HAVE beings...right?" he tried to laugh only to cough.

"Mickey?" Sora called to the King, but Axel knew there was no point, he was a goner.

"You have to hold on, you're one of us now," Riku told him, eyes serious. It was strange with how much he looked like Xemnas.

He worked up the energy to smile at them. "Hey…might not be the end…Ienzo came back…the others…."

"Only if your Heartless has been destroyed," Sora shook his head. "There's no way to know or find it if it hasn't been yet."

"Guess we…."

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Kairi watched as Axel 'died', his body disintegrating into shadow and flame. They hadn't even made it there yet and they had already lost someone. Poor Axel, at least he was holding on to the hope of being recompleted like the others, even if the odds were against it considering just how many Heartless were out there. She prayed he was right and they'd see him again soon. None of them had even asked him what his human name was.

Riku's hand gripped her shoulder even as Sora stood and stepped back to stand beside her, reaching for her hand. She'd never really seen someone die before, not that she remembered. Then again, Axel wasn't truly dead, was he?

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"The house is looking pretty empty, huh? I thought I'd get a little enjoyment watching Axel throw one last tantrum, but he went a lot quieter than I thought," Xigbar shook his head.

"Perhaps he was ready for it. Perhaps he put his existence on the line and won what he'd been longing for," Luxord suggest, absently playing with his cards as usual.

"Wait a minute. How would that even be possible? We don't exist, remember? What you're saying goes against the laws of nature," Xigbar argued.

"Then perhaps he bet his NON-existence. Either way, he came out a winner. Oh, Axel. A grifter to the end," Luxord sighed and shook his head.

Saïx stared at the floor, seemingly unaffected by Axel's demise. "That's absurd. He won nothing and is nothing. He couldn't stand the emptiness of being without a heart, and that led to his demise. He was foolish and weak."

"But..." Xemnas spoke up, gaining all of their attention. "Weakness has the power to awaken that which is dormant. It is clear that through his actions, however foolish they may have been, Axel has touched Riku and Sora's hearts. Perhaps SHE will soon awaken." He stared at the empty seat.

Xigbar looked at it too before leaving. As if, that thing had been faulty from the start, even if both kids remembered it or something, there was no way she was coming back. And why would they want her back, she'd been a nuisance, at least according to everything he'd recorded in his journal. Not remembering someone was a pain.

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"Sora... You've done well," a voice called and they looked up to see Saïx on a very elaborate high ledge. "Organization XIII has no further use for you... Just look there," he pointed to the moon. "Our Kingdom Hearts... Thanks to you, we've collected countless hearts...Can you hear their euphoria? Now, all they need is one more helping from the Keyblade bearer!" Saïx snapped his fingers and hundreds of Shadow Heartless emerged from the walls.

"We gotta fight!" Donald yelled.

They all called their weapons and got to work, all worried about the King, why had he rushed ahead?

Saïx watched the fight from above until something caught his eye. He stared as Maleficent and Pete entered on the opposite ledge. "Well, well. Will the intrusions never end?"

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"Why, Pete...this castle is perfect. Perhaps we should...acquire it," Maleficent smirked as she looked around. It was in far better repair true, but she was hardly 'house hunting'. No, she could sense both Riku and Sora and in such a place they were dreadfully outnumbered, so she and Pete would thin the hoard. If they acquired the castle at the same time, so be it.

"Well, the setup is...kinda nice, I guess, but...what about all the Heartless? This in-between world-it's way too close to the darkness! They ain't gonna listen to us here!"

"Once again, you underestimate me."

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The moon shone brightly in the sky as Mickey ran through the castle, knocking out Heartless and Nobodies. He felt really bad for leaving the others, especially since they'd already lost Axel, but he knew what he'd sensed and needed to talk to him alone. Sure enough, he found DiZ on the floor, surrounded by Nobodies, and rushed in to take them out. Mickey helped DiZ to stand, noticing an odd-looking device next to him.

DiZ reached to his face and a long red sash fell to the floor, revealing a familiar face. "It's been too long, my friend."

"Ansem the Wise. Why didn't you come to me before things got so bad?" he asked, he would have helped.

"Xemnas, the Organization's Superior, is the Nobody of Xehanort, my foremost apprentice. The burden was mine to bear."

"Is that all?" he pressed.

Ansem turned to look at the moon. "I won't deny there was more. I was...obsessed with thoughts of revenge. My apprentices stole everything precious to me - my research, and my pride."

"I can't help you with revenge," Mickey warned.

"I know. Sora's told me a thousand times," he chuckled slightly. "Has he been reunited with Riku? He was most upset to be called away when he was due to wake. He was a great help to me, even though I do not believe he is overly fond of me. Still, perhaps he is right, if not for me, Riku would not have been in Castle Oblivion. I found him wandering the darkness, after you and he lost track of each other and I sent him to the Castle because of Sora, I knew the Organisation was targeting him and that he would need help. I did not expect events to unfold as they did."

"We came as a group," Mickey told him. He didn't think anyone could have seen the Organisation wiping Riku's memory coming, it wasn't Ansem's fault. And about Riku and his separating back then… "Gosh, we didn't lose each other exactly. Riku left...well, 'cause Xehanort's Heartless was still inside his heart, troubling him. And he sure must've been suffering. He seemed fine when he woke up with his memories in Twilight Town. But what I don't understand is why he looks like that now, when he's still Riku at heart...he defeated the Heartless when the Organisation kidnapped him, Sora and Kairi helped him, but when they found him, he looked like it again."

Ansem sighed. "And Sora, is he the same, or have you noticed what I did, something strange about the boy? Naminé taught him to open Dark Corridors and yet he appears untouched by the Darkness."

Mickey hadn't known that, he had thought Sora used the ones others opened. How could he do that? It made sense if Riku could, but Sora?

"My friend, the time has come. I must make amends to these young people," he picked up the device and Mickey followed him inside.

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Millions of hearts floated and merged with the heart-shaped moon as Xemnas watched. "Yes...Kingdom Hearts... Rejoice, and feast on these hearts we offer! Shine your pale light on this empty realm... Share your power with all Nobodies!" He raised his arms to the moon and Saïx appeared.

"Xemnas. Is Kingdom Hearts ready?"

"Very soon." Yes, very soon their goal would be complete, Kingdom Hearts would be his.

"Then, I can end this charade?"

"Indeed.

"How I've waited to hear that," Saïx smiled and vanished.

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With Mickey and Axel gone, there was no need to hide as Sora downed a blood pack. Xigbar had been dealt with, who would they face next? He sat between Kairi and Riku, Kairi's head on his shoulder and Riku's arm around his waist, his fingers resting against Kairi. He knew he felt cold to them and yet they never hesitated to touch him, to cuddle. Donald and Goofy were keeping an eye on either end of the corridor, ensuring they got to rest briefly.

"I'm scared," Kairi admitted softly.

Riku lifted his arm to reach for her hand. "We won't let anything happen to you," he swore, and Sora nodded.

Sora turned his head and pressed a kiss to her hair. If only one of them made it, it would be her.

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Ansem and Mickey made it to the closest ledge to Kingdom Hearts, and he looked around before nodding. "This spot should do," he told his old friend, setting the device down.

"What's this gadget for?"

"It's a device to reclaim Kingdom Hearts and encode it as data," he explained, it was the best chance to stop his old student.

"Not sure I get it," Mickey admitted.

"I do not claim to know the outcome of this venture, either. After all...Hearts are unpredictable." He started up the device, which shot a steady beam at the moon. All they could do now was weight and hope it worked.

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Ienzo stared at the naked body on the table. They'd done it! well, there were a lot of tests to run, but so far everything seemed to be working correctly. A full-fledged Replica lay before him, waiting for a Heart to animate it.

"Well done," a familiar voice called, and Ienzo turned to see Even in the doorway. He looked shaky still but he was awake and speaking.

"Still some testing to do," he told him, and Even nodded.

"Then we should begin."

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Riku felt sick as he rushed to Sora's side, the vampire struggling against the massive blade that had impaled him, pinning him to the wall. Saïx was gone now, unable to hurt anyone else. He heard Kairi choking back a sob even as he gripped the handle of the blade. "Sora?" he called gently and Sora snarled, his illusion gone.

Sora was losing too much blood, he had to get the blade out and the wound healed before he went for them to restore himself. He was snarling and snapping, not seeming to recognise any of them. Kairi reached out to his face and had to snatch her hand back when he tried to bite.

"Have potions ready Kairi," he told her even as Donald and Goofy moved to catch Sora once he was released. Since they weren't human he shouldn't try to feed from them. Donald also removed the emergency blood packs, ready as well.

"I'm going to give him one now, distract him," Donald warned, opening one and putting it to Sora's mouth.

Thankfully, Sora latched onto it, drinking greedily.

"Ready?" Riku asked, and once they nodded, he braced himself and pulled with all of his strength. He felt the blade grate against bone and organs, fighting down the urge to be sick.

As soon as the blade was gone, Sora crumpled, Goofy catching him as Donald shoved another pack in his mouth. Kairi began casting healing spells, backed by the power of a Princess of Heart.

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He swallowed, tasting delicious blood, feeling warmth around him. He sucked on something…a blood pack…the slight spice telling him it was an emergency one. He felt…tired….that wasn't good. He tried to move but he could barely feel his legs, trying to open his eyes.

"Sora?" Riku, that was Riku. A strong arm around his chest tightened briefly. "Don't try to move, you…you were badly hurt."

He was? He didn't remember.

A warm hand touched his face, and then soft lips pressed to his forehead. "You'll be okay Sora," Kairi whispered. "Drink as much as you need."

Finally, his eyes opened and he stared up at Kairi. She…she'd been crying, why had she been crying? She smiled at him, wiping at her eyes. He sucked the last of the blood from the pack and let it fall, licking his lips clean. "Ka...iri?"

She choked on a sob, leaning in to kiss him softly. "Don't you ever scare us like that again!"

"Wh't happen'd?" he asked. He tipped his head back further, looking up at Riku who looked just as scared as she did.

"You pushed Kairi out of the way, took Saïx's sword right through your stomach. It...it pinned you to the wall."

"It severed your spine," Donald spoke up from somewhere. He could smell him and Goofy, just couldn't see them.

His spine? Was that why he couldn't move his legs? It'd heal…it would. He just needed to let the blood work. He didn't remember taking the hit, he must have gone into bloodlust. Good thing he'd been pinned by the sword then. He could have…he…he hadn't hurt them, had he?

"We're fine," Kairi told him, smiling softly. "Just rest, we're safe enough here for now."

Sora lifted a heavy arm, reaching for her, and she took his hand, squeezing gently. Riku pulled him more up into his lap, cradling him close. Kairi shifted closer, up against him, and it felt nice, the warmth of their bodies. He closed his eyes and let himself drift.

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The beam from Ansem's device was starting to weaken, and it shook in his hands.

"Ansem?" Mickey asked in concern, and his old friend laughed.

"I'm a fool. I've spent years studying the workings of the heart. Yet it seems I still haven't learned a thing!"

"What d'ya mean?"

"The process of encoding hearts is incalculable. The inhabitants of my Twilight Town were data created from real hearts. I was convinced that they would think and behave the way I had envisioned - but I couldn't have been more wrong. A heart is so much more than any system. I saw it. I knew. But I was too stubborn to accept it. It's always the same. I try to wrap my mind around things my heart already knows, only to fail. While I was trying to bring Riku back, I had so many plans in store. But once Riku was an acting force and Sora was back with them, they fell apart. All my research amounted to nothing, compared with Sora's heart." The device started to short.

"Ansem! The machine!" he cried in alarm.

"All the more proof that hearts cannot be contained by data. Run, my friend! It's going to self-destruct, and anything could happen!" Ansem warned him.

"But..."

"Mickey!" Sora called, and he turned to see them rushing up the stairs, Sora leaning on Kairi and Goofy, limping badly.

"Sora, the rest is up to you... And Xion…I doubt you can hear me - but...I am sorry," Ansem spoke to the two boys.

"Ansem!" Mickey was worried by the way he apologised.

"My heart is telling me what I must do. Please allow me to do what it says!"

"No!" he denied.

Riku grabbed his arm, the only one free to do so except Donald but he was at the back, making sure no one came up on them from below.

"Riku!" he tried to pull away.

"His heart's decided. We can't change that," Sora spoke up again, taking an unsteady step on his own. What had happened that magic hadn't fully healed him already?

Xemnas appeared and they all summoned weapons. "I was wondering who would dare interfere with my Kingdom Hearts. And look…here you all are. How convenient for me. Ansem the Wise... You look pathetic."

"Have your laugh. I deserve as much for failing to see you for the fool you are."

"Students do take after their teachers. Only a fool would be your apprentice. After all, none of this would have happened without you. YOU are the source of all Heartless. It was your research that inspired me to go further than you ever dared."

"I admit...my disregard brought chaos to more worlds than one. But what were YOU seeking? You erased me from the world, only to take my name and continue research better left forgotten... Is this the answer you've been looking for?" Ansem demanded.

"All that and more. I'm carrying on what you yourself began, and I'm creating a brand new world, one heart at a time. I thought you'd praise me, but all you ever do is hold me back. I understand, though. Unlike me, you have a heart. And you're powerless to control it. Consumed, by the jealousy you feel toward the student who surpassed you."

"Xehanort. Foolish apprentice of a foolish man. You have surpassed nothing, only proved how little we both know. We may profess to know the heart, but its essence is beyond our reach. We're both ignorant, as oblivious as when we began. I'm afraid that any world you try to create... Any world of yours...would be an empire of ignorance. That is why you and your creation are destined to fall!"

Electricity surged through and around the device and Mickey eyed it warily.

"We've said enough! Riku, you know what to do! King Mickey, my friend, forgive me! Farewell!"

The machine sparked and exploded. Riku tried to lunge for Ansem, but was stopped by Sora as Kairi held on to Mickey. Donald tripped as he tried to run in front of Goofy. Light flashed and pushed them backwards in a giant swirling tunnel.

Millions of hearts fell around the Castle That Never Was. Nobodies danced in the streets. The hearts disappeared and Heartless arrived. A heart for every Heartless. A gigantic horde raced up the ramp toward the castle.

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Sora blinked the after images from his eyes, seeing the others beginning to stir. He'd been blinded but not knocked out, had managed to get a weak barrier up to protect them. Sora sat up, the arm he was holding felt different. He looked to Riku and his eyes went wide as he took in long silver hair. "Riku?"

Riku slowly sat up, blinking dazedly.

"Riku!" Sora laughed in relief.

"Wow!" Donald and Goofy gasped.

"Riku!" Kairi yelled and Sora heard her scrambling to her feet, even as he stood, pulling Riku up too.

"Ansem did say 'anything could happen'..." Mickey whispered.

"What?" Riku asked, and then gasped, hand going to his throat. "I…" he looked down at himself, dressed in the clothes he'd been wearing when the Organisation had taken him, the magical clothing the three fairies had given him back a Yen Sid's. He seemed to be in shock, looking around at everything, at them.

Sora grinned at him, he was so happy for Riku. He couldn't forget how he really looked, not with a vampires memory, but seeing him in the flesh was different. He wondered for a second, how Riku would change as he went further into the change, but he shook it off. First they had to survive Xemnas.

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"Sora! Riku!" Kairi pointed up at the oddly shaped windows where Heartless were literally pouring inside. They crawled up the hexagonal pathways between the platforms.

"There's gonna be no end to this," Riku grimaced, he felt fine, amazing really. The pain he'd been in since Agrabah was gone now that he was himself again.

"Together we can stop 'em!" Sora adjusted his grip on his Keyblade, ready to fight.

Maleficent and Pete appeared in front of them, and yet Riku wasn't shocked. He'd thought he'd sensed her…

"Be gone from here! Leave these creatures to us!" She told them.

"But there's no way we can take 'em all!" Pete shook his head, looking scared. Why did she keep him around?

"I will be sending them after Xemnas. Or, perhaps, you would rather fight them yourself?" She asked and Pete actually seemed to think about it.

"Frankly my dear, I'd rather...RUN!"

"Off with you then!" She sneered.

Pete backed away until he noticed Mickey. "Well, if it ain't the boat-boy King."

"Time to weigh anchor, Captain Pete!" Mickey told him.

Riku glanced between them, what?

"What, like "abandon ship"? I don't think so!" Pete glared at the King.

"Sora! "Your Majesty"! Do not forget-when I've destroyed them all, this castle shall be mine!" Maleficent declared.

"Now lookie here. Opportunities like this don't come along every day, ya know," Pete said as he re-joined her. "Bring 'em on!"

For a second, Maleficent met his eyes, and Riku knew why she was there. She'd come because of him, maybe Sora too. She nodded slightly and then she moved into battle with Pete.

"We gotta hurry," the King urged.

"But..." Riku glanced at her, feeling guilty at the idea of leaving them.

"They're doing what their hearts command. We can't interfere," Mickey told him.

Sora took his hand, understanding in his eyes, and Riku nodded. They ran further into the Castle.

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The building shook beneath their feet.

"Hurry!" Mickey urged.

"I'll open a path!" Riku told them, he knew Sora wouldn't want to advertise to the King that he could do it. He held out a hand but nothing happened, shocking him.

"You don't belong in the dark realm anymore, Riku," the King told him.

That didn't make sense, he was becoming a Dark Faerie, he should still be able to open them. Unless the transformation wasn't far enough?

"How do we get out of here, Your Majesty?" Donald panicked.

Sora shifted closer to him, and Riku realised he was using him to shield what he was doing. Sora opened a Dark Corridor with no one else noticing.

"Well, I'm not sure who did that but we'd better hurry and get through," Mickey ran into it, Donald on his heels.

"Wait for me!" Goofy cried, chasing them through.

"Hey, let's go home!" Kairi grinned at them.

"Riku... C'mon," Sora took his hand.

"Yeah," Riku nodded.

Kairi walked inside the portal and it started to close. Sora and Riku ran to it, as Kairi turned back. "Sora! Riku!" She reached for them but the portal closed.

"What?" Sora stared in confusion, he'd made it, it should have remained open until he closed it.

"There!" Riku pointed at the massive….ship? Dragon? Whatever it was it was closing in on them, knocking into the castle tower and roaring.

The tower broke and started to collapse. Sora and Riku slid toward the edge.

Riku saw something and ran down the incline, jumping off.

"Riku!" Sora yelled.

Riku landed on the hovercraft, flying it up to where Sora was….had been.

Sora was hovering, wings beating the air, eyes wide with worry. He flew over and landed on the side platform, slapping Riku's shoulder. "Don't scare me like that again! I can fly remember?"

"Sorry."

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Xemnas knocked Sora back.

"Sora!" Riku yelled.

Sora leapt back up, seeing Xemnas holding a beam sword to Riku's head. Xemnas swung his arm back to hit Riku, but Sora was there in a flash, blocking with his Keyblade. Xemnas swung around. Sora pushed Riku out of the way and cried out as the beam slammed into his side. He fell.

Riku caught himself and leapt forward, grabbing Sora's Keyblade and slammed it into Xemnas' chest. Riku smashed Xemnas with his and Sora's blades, spinning him back. Riku crossed the Keyblades and knocked Xemnas high into the air. They both spun around and Riku landed next to Sora. "Sora!"

Sora nodded and took Riku's Keyblade and hand even as he pushed up to his feet. Their magic combined, sending a beam from the Keyblade through Xemnas.

"Cursed...Keyblade..." Xemnas angrily reached out to them as he faded away in wisps and smoke.

"We did it!" Sora cheered tiredly.

"I wouldn't be too sure of that," Riku warned as they were surrounded by Nobodies. He glanced at Sora who was obviously hurting and in need of more blood. He was in no condition to fight so many…neither was he really. No, he would protect Sora! He closed his eyes, reaching deep. He felt something…someone?...stir deep in his Heart, a rush of Light exploding out.

Riku fell to his knees, spent. "Sora... I can't..." he gasped.

"Don't say another word! It's not over…it's just not," Sora wrapped an arm around his waist, tugging him up, grunting in pain as he did.

"How can you say that? Even if we could go on...look where we are."

"Aw, c'mon, Riku. You gotta try and think positive! Besides, Kairi'll kill us if we don't make it back." He took a step and Riku forced himself to move too. If Sora could walk with a massive wound in his side, he could walk with exhaustion and the smaller wounds he had.

"Sora?"

"Hm?"

"You lead," if anyone could get them out, it was Sora.

"Got it."

"You know... I always figured I was better at stuff than you," he muttered tiredly.

"Really?"

"Are you mad?" he asked.

"No. I kinda always thought you were better at everything, too," Sora admitted, almost stumbling. "Riku…look. What's that light?"

They walked into the light and ended up on a dark beach.

"End of the road?" Riku asked.

"Yep."

"Put me down. I can walk," he didn't want Sora hurting himself more.

Sora helped him stand and then staggered to the water. He held his hand out and a Portal wavered for a second before collapsing, right as Riku felt his body decide enough was enough. "Guess we're stuck for now." He turned around and saw Riku lying on the ground. "Riku!" he stumbled up the beach to him.

"This world is perfect for me. If this is what the world really is...just this, then maybe I should fade back into Darkness."

"Riku..."

"If the world is made of light and darkness... We'll be the Darkness," he whispered.

"Okay, and Kairi can be our Light," Sora whispered, rummaging in his pocket. "Here, drink this," he urged and Riku automatically did as asked, feeling a rush of energy.

His magic was still depleted but he was no longer about to pass out, several of his wounds healing. "Sora, you needed it more."

"I'll heal eventually," he argued, slumping down on the sand. "Sorry, I don't have the magic to get us out of here yet."

"it's fine, you rest," Riku told him, shifting so he was sitting, tugging Sora around so he was lying with his head in his lap. He ran his fingers through dark spikes, it felt so different now he was back in his own body.

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Sora forced himself to ignore the burning pain in his side, to focus on the feeling of gentle fingers running through his hair, the warmth of Riku's body. Two severe wounds so close together…he…he was hungry again. He swallowed against a dry throat, trying to reach into his magical pocket for a blood pack but he didn't even have enough to do that. He didn't want to alarm Riku but…

"Riku?"

"Yeah?" Riku murmured.

"Can you get into your pockets for the emergency packs?" he asked shakily, and he felt Riku freeze, swearing softly. "Language."

"I feel better but no, my magic's still drained. Sora…how hungry are you?" he asked.

Sora forced himself to move, sitting up, moving to crawl away from him.

"Sora?"

"Riku…without the packs you're the only source. I…I don't want to hurt you. You need to get away."

"No, no way am I leaving you," Riku snapped at him, shifting closer. "The longer you wait the worse it'll get, right?" he asked, and Sora nodded.

He'd adjusted to what he'd become and it wasn't often he hated what had happened anymore. But at that moment he did. Riku was still tired and a bit hurt…and now he was the nearest and biggest threat to him.

"So drink mine," Riku told him, and Sora froze.

"What?" he had to be hearing things, right?

"Sora, I'm the only person here, no matter how far apart we get, if you lose it then you'll just track me down. You're in control right now, you won't hurt me."

Sora shook his head, no, no way. He was not feeding from Riku!

"Sora it's okay, I trust you, I want to do this," Riku held his hand out to him.

"I can't hurt you," he pleaded.

"I can take the pain of a bite Sora, you need this."

Sora could feel himself wavering. He was getting thirstier and thirstier, if he didn't willingly feed soon…he'd lose it and do it anyway. Riku was right. He crawled back towards him, swallowing convulsively as Riku's scent washed over him. He barely registered moving, finding himself kneeling with Riku in his arms.

Riku kissed him softly. "I love you Sora," he whispered.

"Love you," he forced out, licking his lips hungrily.

"It's okay, take what you need."

He lowered his face, sniffing at Riku's throat, before lapping at the skin. He opened his mouth wider, feeling his fangs settle against warm skin. He closed his eyes and sank them into Riku's skink, feeling no resistance. He began to drink, clutching Riku tighter, losing all awareness of anything but the hot liquid filling his mouth.

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Riku fought not to tense as Sora licked at his throat before sharp fangs sank into him. He bit back a gasp of pain, hands moving to cling to Sora as he began to drink. Slowly, the pain faded, leaving a funny pulling sensation. He felt strange, it wasn't blood loss…he just felt…relaxed, no urge to struggle. He moaned softly, trying to pull Sora closer.

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Neither of them noticed they were being watched.

TBC…

Yes, I killed Axel, but anyone who's played the games knows it's not the end for him.

And yes, Riku's reaction to Sora's bite is different to Jane's. He bit them in different places and has a very different relationship with them.

I had Sora take the hit Riku did in the game since their roles are kind of reversed power and strength level wise.