Disclaimer: not mine
Slowly getting the hang of using the iPad and keyboard case but still miss my laptop
Naruto grinned at Riku who nodded, a small smile on his face. He liked the older teen, he was different but it wasn't a bad different. And he didn't know about the stupid fox either so he treated Naruto the same as he did everyone else. It was nice. He was glad Kakashi-sensei had found him, Konoha was a great place to live and pretty safe too. Though he felt bad for Riku being too old for the Academy, he'd never get to be a ninja.
He'd seen him fight Kakashi-sensei though and that had been neat! He'd done better than any of them had in the bell test and it hadn't even been a real sword.
"If you can't be a ninja, what will you do for a job?" He asked, and Riku blinked.
"Uh, I haven't really thought about it. I was in high school before I ended up travelling, was meant to go back when I got home. I was thinking about university but haven't really decided yet."
What was high school and university? Riku's home was kind of weird, but obviously a nice weird if they didn't need shinobi or anything.
Riku lay on the grass behind the main building of the compound, staring up at the clouds. He could feel his watchers but never acknowledged them since it seemed they were meant to be secret. Kakashi…his Dad had a meeting or something, leaving him 'alone' for a while. The perfect chance to just relax and think. And he had a lot to think about. The three younger teens had given a lot of information on their World, his Dad filling in the blanks when he asked, and Rich honestly didn't know what to think.
Everything he'd been learning of ninja…it made him feel sick. To raise kids to be killers for hire went against everything he'd ever known and believed. There'd been no choice with Sora, the Keyblade had chosen him when Riku had begun his descent into Darkness. And he was only one year older than Sora even if it had stayed with him. But they were still older than the kids in the ninja Academy or on genin teams like the three his Dad was training. How had the Heartless or Organisation not destroyed this World already? Nearly every person in the Village had more Darkness within their Heart than was normal for any other World Riku had been to. And this was only one ninja Village, apparently there were other countries with their own Ninja and then other civilian towns and even cities. Sounded like a larger population than back home but the Islands had been targeted by Ansem, because of Riku's presence? Had he sensed the Keyblade? Or had it been the presence of two children tied to other Worlds?
While meeting his Dad, finding answers to questions he'd had all his life, was nice it wasn't enough to stop the ache in his Heart. Not so much for the Islands but for his friends. Sora, Kari, the King… they had to be so worried for him, he hoped no one had attempted to return to the Realm of Darkness to look for him since he wasn't there. If the Light had brought him to Kenosha because he wanted to know who his Dad was, could it return him to the Islands too? But how? He hadn't summoned it, none of his magic was pure Light like that, it was either a mix of the two or just straight Darkness…the permanent mark left on him by Ansem and his own foolishness.
"Axel?" The shocked voice had him turning and sure enough, there was Sora, staring at him with wide eyes.
"Sora? What…" he glanced over at the others, seeing the kid tense when he saw them, but he seemed puzzled by all but Dilan…of course, he didn't remember them because he didn't remember Castle Oblivion.
A man pushed forward, almost protectively in front of Sora. Axel vaguely recognised him from previous trips back to Radiant Garden, he'd been fighting alongside Sora. He looked them over, expression wary, and Axel couldn't blame him for that.
"Apprentices," the stranger stated warily, and Axel grimaced.
"Sora…didn't I, uh."
"Die?" The brunettes asked, and Axel nodded. "It looked like it, you just faded away like all the others have. That's Xaldin, we beat him at the Beast's castle. Don't know the others."
"I believe I am the only one you have never met, Sora," Zexion spoke up shakily, even while keeping his distance from Axel, which was totally understandable.
"What?" Sora frowned in confusion.
"He doesn't remember Castle Oblivion, Naminé had to erase the memories to give him the real ones back," Axel explained, keeping his distance from Zex…no, if they were human again then he was Ienzo, not Zexion. He looked back to Sora, searching for any hint of Roxas in him. "I, uh, I think we're human, somehow?"
"Really?" And for a second, as Sora's eyes went wide, Axel could swear he could feel Roxas shock and happiness.
Kakashi left the Hokage's office through the door for once, walking silently down to the ground level and then out onto the street. He hated it, Riku had opened up some over the weeks since his arrival, he hadn't done anything at all that could be seen as threatening or even as an attempt at intelligence gathering since all his questions were on the basics that everyone knew, ninja or civilian. But the Sandaime was beginning to push for more…and Kakashi couldn't say no if the man ordered Riku interrogated.
The thought of his son in the hands of T&I made him feel almost ill. But he also couldn't warn him that they were heading towards that happening. He was stuck and he knew it, he'd never had anything test his loyalty in the same way before. And he did wonder if the pushing was all the Hokage's idea or if he was getting pressure from other sure to be interested parties. If Riku couldn't give the answers they wanted… he grimaced, the expression hidden by his mask. He turned on the street and headed for a certain flower shop.
Sora stood still, letting the beam wash over him, everything going black before blinking and grinning Tron who grinned back at him.
"It's good to see you Sora," Tron offered.
"Thanks, I missed you," he missed all of his friends when he had to leave their Worlds. "So what's going on?"
Sora sighed but began to explain even as he followed Tron. Heartless showing up again in the grid was very concerning. That was why he'd come to the Castle with Leon, to help Tron deal with them so they could use the system to help look for Riku. They definitely hadn't expected to find Axel, or Lea apparently, and the other now ex-Nobodies. He wasn't sure how he felt about that, but there was something…happiness that Lea was alive but it didn't…oh! Roxas, of course he'd be happy Axel was alive. Not that Sora wasn't, not when he'd killed himself to help them. He wasn't so sure about the others, he didn't remember them except Xaldin…Dilan, but apparently he'd run into in Castle Oblivion, they'd been part of the plot to wipe his memory and had apparently made a fake version of Riku. He wished he could remember what had happened there.
"You'll find him Sora, and of course I'll help however I can," Tron promised.
Inoichi absently worked on a flower arrangement that had been ordered, thoughts swirling. He honestly hadn't expected to be approached by Kakashi. He'd heard the rumours of the sudden appearance of a wounded teenager, had seen the sudden occupation and Anbu guard around the Hattie compound, but he hadn't actually believed the rumours that the kid was Kakashi's son.
He could understand where both sides were coming from, if anyone ever suggested giving his daughter to Ibiki or Anko…as much as they were his co-workers and comrades he would never enjoy their work. Thanks to his clan techniques, he didn't have to torture people, not physically anyway. Sometimes he came across those with more mental strength and resistance, but everything that happened was in their mind. But he also understood where the Hokage's and likely the Council were coming from, a suddenly appearing son who knew nothing of Konoha or ninja at all? It simply didn't add up.
He owed Kakashi and his methods would be far less traumatic for the boy but to offer his services without going to the Hokage for permission or being ordered to question the boy…Riku was pushing his authority, he was head of analysis, not T&I, though they did work together. Still, if the boy was what he appeared to be, then it would be for the best not to alienate him and through him, risk damaging Kakashi's loyalty to the Village.
His Dad was good, but Riku could sense the shift, something had happened in that meeting that had him on edge, worried. He hoped it as nothing serious but he'd caught a few concerned looks aimed his way, and that had Riku worried. Had something happened? He knew his Dad still had a lot of questions, was frustrated by his answers because it was obvious Riku was leaving a lot out. But they obviously had no idea about other Worlds, had no exposure to Heartless or Nobodies, which meant he couldn't say anything. It was just as frustrating for Riku as it was for his Dad. Then again, would he want the man to know about what he'd done, influenced and then possessed or not?
Part of Riku wanted to bolt, to vanish, but he couldn't. He could no longer access the Corridors and he had no ship. He knew there had to be other methods, Mickey hadn't had a ship and he didn't think the man from when he was little or the blue haired lady, had a ship either. He could duck into a shadow for a quick escape but he couldn't really move too far using that method. If it came down to it, could he use magic against his Dad's comrades? He could stick to defensive spells like stop and sleep rather than elemental attacks, but how would magic and chakra interact? They weren't the same thing after all.
But maybe he was making assumptions, maybe Kakashi was just being sent out of the Village for some kind of mission and was worried about leaving him? He could hope it was something like that, but he knew better than to not plan for the worst. But there wasn't much he could plan, outside of his Dad he had no allies and he wasn't sure how far he could trust his own father, not when they were only getting to know each other. The Village was definitely controlled by the military, a military Kakashi had been part of since he was at least six years old. His team…Riku would never endanger kids and while he thought at least Naruto would yell and maybe even fight a bit in his defence, they didn't really know him either. He hadn't had the chance to try and make friends with anyone his age, he had nothing in common with the civilian teens and the ninja ones were often out on missions. He'd met some of his Dad's comrades but he doubted they'd be any help.
He really, really hoped he was just being paranoid because of the elevated Darkness of the World.
He slipped between Worlds, searching for a boy he'd never met. But Sora…he owed Sora and so he would search for his friend. He should be relatively easy to recognise at least, a picture had been given to the Restoration Committee, shocking many of them. But those similarities should make him stand out on most Worlds.
Sasuke watched his sensei and the mans' son, seeing something there that confused him. There was a growing tension, no matter how Kakashi tried to hide it, but why? They had seemed to be getting along well considering neither had known of the other until recently. So what…Anbu, there were more Anbu than usually watched Riku. Had he done something? No, they would have taken him in, so why increase the watch on him? He'd never let anyone know he could pick out the Anbu and strangely, he had the feeling Naruto was aware of them too. Then again…hadn't he used to run from them after some of his bigger pranks? Though, even Sakura was beginning to pick up that something was off.
His father had led the police, his…brother had been Anbu, Sasuke was not ignorant to how paranoid those in charge could be. Riku left a lot unexplained when he talked, had someone grown impatient? Surely they wouldn't move against the Copy-nin's son? One of the last of a clan even in the Hatake weren't a founding clan. Yes, he lacked some of the strangest basic knowledge, but surely no spy would ever try that?
Kakashi opened the door, peering in to see Riku's sleeping form bathed in moonlight, reflecting off silver hair. He hoped Inoichi got back to him soon, his team had picked up on the tension and he was sure Riku had too. If something didn't change soon, Riku would meet Ibiki. He couldn't ask the man to go easy and even trying to would just raise suspicions towards Riku more than they already were. And yet…Kakashi found he trusted the boy. He couldn't say why, but he felt it deep within, Riku was not a threat to Konoha.
Sora slumped in the seat, closing his eyes, hand pressed over his chest. He thought about Riku, focusing on his memories of him, how he'd looked on the dark beach, fighting beside him, everything. No one had any leads so it was time to follow his Heart like Roxas had told him to.
Hiruzen leant back in his chair, absently lighting his pipe. He knew Kakashi was not happy but there were just too many questions about the boy. He was too convenient, too unknowing of such basic facts that there had to be something behind it. And better in Ibiki's hands then given over to Danzō, his old friend was not one to go lightly just because the potential enemy was young. Ibiki would be thorough but would not go any further than he had to for answers. Root had been disbanded years ago, but the way those shinobi had been treated as children proved his old friend did not know how to handle young people at all. He would tell Ibiki to move softly, to not harm the boy unless given no other option.
He watched Team 7 train, an older silver-haired teenager seated beneath a nearby tree with a book in his lap. Whenever one of the younger kids went over for a break he would stop his reading to speak with them but he showed no interest in their training which was interesting. He could also easily pick out the Anbu surrounding the teen, more than for a normal watch. He shifted and Kakashi looked his way, obviously he'd known he was there the whole time. He nodded to Kakashi and then left, a training field was not the place for him to meet the youngest Hatake.
Riku looked up as his Dad walked in with a stranger.
"Riku, this is Yamanaka Inoichi."
"Nice to meet you," Riku offered. "Are you joining us for dinner?"
"No, thank you," the blond man smiled politely at him but Riku could feel his own tension rising, he was there for a reason.
"We need to talk, Riku," from the shift in the cloth of his mask, Riku thought his Dad was frowning.
He followed them and took a seat, keeping an eye on both of them while also keeping an 'eye' on the watchers. He fought the urge to tense or fidget, waiting to hear what was going on. "Is something wrong?"
"There's…growing concern Riku. Your gaps in knowledge. And what you've told us of your home, none of it makes sense and it is making people worry you could be a spy."
A spy? In a military society that would not be good. The extra guard and now a stranger, he fought down the sudden surge of Darkness, no, no way. He would not give in to that, never again!
"Has Kakashi told you of the clans within the Village?" The man, Inoichi, asked.
"Konoha was founded by clans and some have abilities, like Sasuke's eyes going red." And hadn't that been a surprise to see.
"The Yamanaka specialise in mind-techniques and that is why I am here. There has been talk of having you handed over to T&I for thorough questioning."
And he really didn't think he wanted to know what T&I stood for. But…mind-techniques? With what was in his head and Heart?
"With your cooperation, I would not need to see everything. I would be looking for a few specific things such as your childhood and how you came to be here, to corroborate what you have told the Hokage and Kakashi. I would be able to tell if you were lying."
He glanced at his Dad and then back at Inoichi. So his options were to let a stranger into his head…or possible torture. And they couldn't see how messed up their World was? How had it not fallen into Darkness?
He saw the teen, a match to the picture though slightly older and with longer hair. The resemblance was unsettling but his eyes were very different thankfully. He could also sense the Darkness in him, but Light as well, just like Sora had said.
And he was surrounded, well, the building he was in was surrounded. Only two men were confronting him but so far it seemed to just be talking. Two men would be easy enough to deal with if they made a wrong move. For now, he settled in to wait, if Riku could remove himself from the situation then he'd let him and then grab him. If not…his hand shifted back to touch his sword. Sora was so bright, he wouldn't let him lose his friend.
Though one of the men also had silvery hair, much shorter, his face covered by a mask. That was interesting. Did they think the boy was a relation? Then again, theoretically it was possible, many people found their way between Worlds.
He missed the phone he used to have, as crazy as people calling him had made him. It would be so much easier if he could call Sora and tell him he'd found Riku.
Any guesses for who found Riku for Sora?