Sora's heart instantly told him that what he wanted to do was a really, really bad idea and for a second, he hesitated. But in that short second, the darkness that was brooding in his heart ever since the incident at Port Royal shouted to him. It convinced him that what he was about to do was okay, even though the pure, untouched part of his heart pleading her to reconsider and to remember that you had someone else that you cared about- Roxas.
The strange, yet familiar darkness used this to provoke jealously and resentment; the only two feelings that seemed to consume him at the mention of your childhood friend's name. Giving into the darkness, Sora took the 'food' and used to get closer to you.
As yours and his lips touched, it was as if an electric shock surged through both of your searing not only your bodies, but also through your hearts. You oddly caught a scent of seal-salt ice cream before you flinched back.
Shock, embarrassment, and even hurt filled your green eyes as they contacted blue ones. Sora's eyes reflected your emotions as he thought, *Right…that has got the most stupid thing I've ever done!*
Right now, the pure part of his heart was keeping Darkness contained, but it was only a matter of time till it conquered his heart—again.
You, on the other hand, couldn't hold his gaze and neither the shocked looks of Donald and Goofy, who watched the whole scene with wide eyes. There was silence between you four and they only thing you heard was blood pounding all over your body furiously, cancelling out all thought. Embarrassment and shock hung in the air like a thick web and Sora decided to be the first one to break it.
"Hey, look, I'm—" he took a couple of steps toward you and you mirrored him by taking a couple back. He hung his head down and said, "I'm really sorry…"
At that moment, Nala stomped into the scene, heading towards the exit. She looked seriously pissed about something, and you were happy that direction of attention changed from you and Sora to her.
"What happened?" Goofy asked loudly.
"He's definitely not the Simba I remember….something about hakuna matata or something…." She grumbled as she passed you all.
Timon and Pumbaa heard this and sighed. "I think we should go talk to him…" the meerkat said while Pumbaa nodded. They both left their meal and went off to talk to Simba. Just a few seconds after she left, Simba rushed in. He looked confused about something as he watched Nala stalk off and a wave of thought engulfed him.
Timon and Pumbaa, who stopped their "meal" as soon as Nala mentioned Simba, sighed heavily.
"We should go talk to him, shouldn't we?" Timon said, getting up. Pumbaa nodded and followed his little friends towards where Simba disappeared.
"We should go with them." You said immediately, not looking at anyone. You heard them behind you as you followed Timon and Pumbaa's tracks, forcing yourself not to look back.
"Shh, Pumbaa! He's still talking!"
"I am quiet!"
Both Pumbaa and Timon were both peeking at something from behind a giant leaf, which wasn't enough to cover both of them. Before anyone could ask, Simba's voice called, "You can all come out, now."
"You really are a king, aren't you?" Timon whispered in awe and amazement.
"Yes." Simba nodded. "And I'm going back home to face my past. I could really use your help."
"Of course! We'll be by your side through it all!" Pumbaa said earnestly and everyone else nodded in complete agreement.
"Let's go home…" Simba whispered, leading you all to the Pride Lands.
Simba was blown away as soon as he saw the Pride Lands. Everything, from the once lush grassland around Pride Rock, right up to Pride Rock itself was desolate and deserted. He was resolute when he stalked off aggressively towards Pride Rock, quicker than everyone else. When he was out of earshot, Timon muttered, "We're gonna fight his big, bad ol' uncle for this?"
"Yes, Timon…it's my home." Simba said, making the little meerkat jump in surprise. Simba strode quickly over to Pride Rock, causing many shouts of surprise and joy to fill the dead air. The noise attracted Scar's attention and he lazily took a glance over, only for him to jump in shock as he watched with wide eyes as the young cub he thought he left to die in the desert approached him violently.
"S-Simba! You're…alive!" Scar shouted, attracting more attention—namely Nala's. Her blue eyes sparkled with pride as she proclaimed, "This kingdom doesn't belong to you, Scar! Simba's the rightful king!"
Simba met Nala's eyes briefly, and they both smiled, making any argument between them vanish. Simba turned to scar with cold anger as he threatened, "The choice is yours, Scar. Either step down or fight."
"Must this all end in violence? I'd hate to be responsible for the death of a family member, Simba…"Scar said slyly.
"I put the past behind me." Simba said cautiously, knowing where Scar might take this conversation.
"But what about your faithful subjects?" Scar smirked, looking around. "Have they?"
"Simba….what is he talking about?" Nala asked with concern.
"Oh, go on Simba. Tell them who's responsible for Mufasa's death." Scar's eyes glittered maliciously as Simba looked defeated and scared.
"I am." Simba muttered.
"Say it louder, I'm sure they can't hear you." Scar taunted.
Simba looked up. "I am!"
Everybody on Pride Rock was completely stunned and Scar used this moment of Simba's weakness to turn the tide against his nephew.
"He admits it! Murderer! If it weren't for you, Mufasa would still be alive. Do you deny it?" Mufasa said every sentence by taking a step towards Simba as Simba mirrored him by taking each step back.
Simba shook his head violently and looked like a lost child. "No! But… but it was an accident!"
Mufasa kept pushing back until everyone could barely hear them. Everyone gasped as Simba slipped over the edge of the cliff, holding on to the edge with his claws with all his might. At that point, Mufasa leaned down and whispered something, setting a raging fire in Simba's eyes. With a sudden strength, Simba climbed over the cliff and pounced on Scar, digging his claws into his uncle's neck.
"Louder! Tell them who killed my father!" Simba yelled.
"Alright!" Scar choked. "I killed him….I killed Mufasa!"
From nowhere, a whole army of hyenas appeared, laughing manically. "At em, guys! We're having a feast!" Shenzai shouted, and an instant lioness-hyena war started. Instant chaos ensued and you summoned the Heartseeker, glaring at all the hyenas.
You turned your focus to a group of three hyenas who approached you hungrily. Lunging forward, you struck the middle hyena, throwing it off balance while leaving the other two a little stunned that such a small creature could have so much strength.
"Scuse me! Pardon me! Comin' through!" Before you could strike the other two, Timon came riding on Pumbaa out of nowhere, sending the hyenas in front of them flying away.
"You guys should check on Simba!" Pumbaa shouted to your group. "I'm sure he can handle Scar alone, but you'll never know what he might have up his sleeves."
Sora nodded and approached Nala, who just scared off a hyena. "Where's Simba?"
"He went up there!" Nala jabbed her paw to the peak of Pride Rock.
Sora beckoned you all to follow him up to the peak. Once you got there, you saw Scar and Simba circling each other as rain started pouring heavily on the scene.
Sora made a movement to go join the fight, but Donald stopped him saying, "This is his fight, Sora."
The fight became more intense as both lions used more aggressive attacks. Simba and Scar were fighting dangerously close to the edge of the cliff and every violent movement seemed like it was going to throw the opponent off the edge. Simba fell close to the edge on his back and Scar was about to pounce on him when Simba did a powerful kick that made Scar slide over the edge.
Scar was barely holding on to the edge of the cliff with all the strength he had. The rain made it hard to hear anything, so when Simba leaned down to tell Scar something; you just noticed the pure revenge and anger that was in his eyes. You were a little shocked when Simba dug his nails into Scar's paws, forcing the lion to let go and fall onto the rocky ground below.
There was a huge shout of celebration as everyone circled Simba. Simba looked around at everyone with pride in his eyes then looked up at the sky. The rain subsided and the clouds in the sky looked oddly like a lion, looking down at you all with the same pride that shone in Simba's.
"Thank you, father." He whispered, looking up.
"Interesting….really interesting." A deep voice echoed into a dim room, lighted only by the glare of huge computers radiating off endless streams of diagrams and data. Out of the jumbled mess of information, DiZ and Namine were fixated mostly on a diagram of a girl with a heart next to her.
"Her heart is already reaching fifty-six percent recovery and yet she's just now remembering her old friends."
"I know." Namine muttered through gritted teeth, trying to hold back the wave of made-up frustration behind her mask of calm.
*I didn't put all this work and effort to fail! Everything was going smoothly, then why…?* Her eyes widened slightly as she came to the only possible conclusion. *There must've been a really strong interaction between her and Sora…ohhh, Roxas isn't gonna like this. I need to get him in contact with her as soon as I can….*
"The sooner you clear her memories, Namine, the better." DiZ told her, not taking his eyes off of the screen.
Afraid of showing her frustration, Namine just nodded and left the room through a door of darkness.
*Yeah, better for her and worse for me…but I'm not going to let that happen.*
Simba's victorious roar was the cherry on top for everyone on Pride Rock after you all brought down Scar's evil reign and locked the keyhole for this world. You should've been feelings as happy as everyone around you, but you couldn't even come close to a feeling of happiness. Thoughts of Sora kissing you plagued your mind like a fatal disease. It wasn't actually about what Sora did (you knew Sora wasn't the type to do something so bold) but it was because how it made you feel.
The kiss filled you with a sweet, complete feeling that was familiar yet so foreign. It felt much more than a kiss to you, and that's what you were scared of.
*I have a boyfriend* you kept telling yourself as you all headed back to the Gummi Ship. *I love him and he loves me…end of story.* You took a quick glance at Sora and thought, *Besides, I know he doesn't … like me like that.*
"Gawrsh, I'm so tired!" Goofy said, stretching. Everyone was inside the Gummi Ship safe and sound, and their original forms.
"Yeah, me too." You agreed, not meeting anyone's eyes. "I'm gonna sleep, guys. 'Night."
"Wait, aren't you hungry? Goofy asked, not realizing that what he asked caused the awkward air to settle over again. "I know I am. Those— ow!" From the corner of your eye, you saw Donald and Sora glare at him, and the brunette was as red as tomatoes.
There was an awkward pause for a few seconds before you muttered, "I'm not hungry, thanks. Just tired…." You stalked off, cleaning up before you hit the couch.
For once, you ignored everyone and just mumbled a general "Goodnight" before you lay on your couch, thinking.
*I wonder what's Sora's feeling about this….if he's feeling anything at all…* You thought of his wonderful contagious laugh, his gentle, protective touch that let you know he was there for you when you needed him, his sweet, sapphire gaze that made you feel warm inside….
You shook your head, clearing your thoughts. *Snap out of it! Why would he feel anything? Heck, why would I feel anything? I first started this journey because of Roxas….I love him…*
As you rolled over and shut your eyes, you ignored a tiny, doubtful voice in your heart that told you that the answers to those questions weren't what you thought…
"Hey! Heeey! Give that back!"
"I will…if you can get it!"
Axel and Namine bickered over firewood as we laughed at the scene. "We" being me, Demyx and a few of my other friends I couldn't grasp the names of. Sadly, there was no sign of Roxas yet.
It was evening and the sun was saying its last goodbyes, leaving behind a trail of pink and orange to tinge the sky, setting a perfect contrast to the darker waves that rolled beneath it. My friend's voices suddenly turned harder to hear; they were more distorted. It was as if they were coming out of a broken radio and before I could focus on them anymore, I heard my name being called.
"Reina! Over here!" Roxas was waving at me from the shore.
I waved back saying, "What're you doin over there? Hurry up, we're about to light the fire!"
"Well…just come over here for a sec!" he shouted back.
"Fine, fine." I said, getting up. Axel noticed this and became temporarily distracted from annoying Namine.
"Ohhh, Reina and Roxas sitting in a tree, kay-eye—!"
"Ha! I've got it!"Namine cried triumphantly, holding up the piece of wood she snatched from Axel. She turned to me and said, "Hurry up, kay? You don't wanna miss your thirteenth birthday party!"
I nodded and ran over to Roxas, who looked a little embarrassed.
"So, what's up?" he asked randomly, scratching his neck. He was a little red in the cheeks and he couldn't seem to meet my eyes.
"Your gravity-defying hair." I replied, pointing to his head.
He made an awkward smile and asked, "Wanna walk?"
I smiled. "Sure."
We started walking away from our group of friends, to a group of trees clustered around the shore. I noticed that he was clutching something in his hand, but I didn't ask since I was too concerned on the expression on his face.
He didn't look like the same, cheerful guy I've known him to be. Something was obviously bothering him, and all he said when I asked him was, "No, I'm fine…"
We walked in silence until he stopped out of nowhere, looking at the fading horizon.
I tilted my head. "Huh?"
He looked at me sheepishly. "It's your birthday and all, so…I thought I'd make you something." He held out a little coarsely wrapped package to me and I beamed at him. I hugged him tightly and muttered at least about a million 'thank you's a minute. I ripped open the package and nearly jumped in delight.
Inside was a delicate, silver chain that sparkled even in the low lighting. On it was a coarsely made wooden locket, in the shape of a paopu fruit.
"I'm glad you like it…" He said, embarrassed. "I made it myself, y'know."
"It's beautiful." I said honestly, smiling. He opened his mouth to say something, but I cut him off as an idea hit me.
"Hey! I've got an idea!" I chimed.
"Why don't we share a real paopu fruit?"
When he made no immediate comment or reaction, I felt myself turn red and mutter, "I was just…kidding, y'know, I—"
I looked up. "Really?"
"Let's get one right now!"
He grabbed my hand led me over to a tree filled with paopu fruits. It was low enough so we didn't need a ladder and he plucked out one for us to share.
He gently ripped the fruit into equal halves and handed one half of the sweet fruit to me. I frowned as he had a dead, hollow expression as he shared the fruit. He was really quiet—a sign that something was really off, and it wasn't because he was shy.
"What's wrong? And don't say nothing!" I added hastily when he opened his mouth.
He smiled wryly and muttered, "I don't know…it's just that I feel like…I'm going to lose you."
I raised an eyebrow. "Where'd you get that from?"
He chuckled dryly and said, "I dunno."
Without so much as a thought, I leaned up and kissed him. He was surprised for a second but he accepted this embrace and held me gently by the waist, as if I was going to disappear any minute. I felt as if something in me was finally complete, and my heart was filled with a new energy that was sudden, yet I gratefully accepted it.
"Nothing can separate me from you." I whispered. "Besides,"
I held up my half of the fruit as sugary juice trickled down my arm. " 'Two hearts connected, sharing an unbreakable bond,' "
" 'No matter how far apart they are, they'll always be reunited as one.' Yeah, yeah, I know that stupid legend."
He grinned, making it seem like all the worry that was in him vanish in an instant. He took a bite of his half of the fruit and I joined him.
One hand was holding the paopu fruit and the other was holding his hand as we finished the fruit in tranquil silence, watching the sin's last rays light the sky as waved rolled calmly around us. I gasped and finally remember the others back at the fire site! Ohh, they're gonna be real mad….
I turned to Roxas to tell him, but it wasn't Roxas I saw.
It was Sora.
You awoke with a start.
*I'm…thinking about him way too much…* you thought instantly. You thought about the dream…was it another one of those memories Roxas was talking about? Or was it just another dream, nothing special about it at all?
*What if it was a little bit of both?* you wondered. *It felt wayyy to vivid to be a dream and…maybe I just dreamt up the part at the end?*
It sure sounds like a possible reason; how else did Sora end up in your dream? Besides, Roxas already gave you a necklace identical to the one in your dream and you were pretty sure that the last part of the dream was just another version of that moment.
Still thinking, you headed straight to the bathroom to get ready for the day ahead of you. After you cleared your thoughts with water, you decided to go to the Front, to see what the others were doing. As you turned to the door that led to the cockpit however, you jumped back in fear.
Coming towards you was a small mummy, accompanied by two taller zombie-like creatures! They were approaching you making grotesque noises, making you feel like you somehow ended up in some horror movie.
*Heartless!* came to your mind instantly. *How did they get in the Gummi Ship?*
Without another thought, you summoned the Heartseeker at once and flung it at them like a boomerang. You didn't expect the Heartless that you hit to fly back so far, nor the other two to jump back in surprise.
"Hey! What's the big idea?" the mummy shouted.
"Donald…?" you said, recognizing the voice. You took a closer look at them and finally noticed their distinctive features; Donald's yellow beak and webbed feet, Goofy's floppy ears. Then, the one you hit should be…
"Sora!" you exclaimed. He sat up as soon as he heard his name and his grin was visible under his new getup. You lent your hand out to help him up, and he smiled and reached out for your hand. But as soon you touched, yesterday's events flashed in your mind. A furious blush tinged your cheeks and you straightened, turning your back to him. He looked confused for a second, but looked down as he figured out the reason you backed away.
You faced Donald and Goofy. "What were you guys trying to do?"
"Sora said it'd be funny to scare you while we're still in our Halloween Town costumes." Goofy said. You glanced at him and caught a bit of his goofy, hopeful smile but otherwise continued as if Goofy hadn't mentioned Sora.
"Then, I don't see what you were trying to do, Donald." You grinned. "You've got to be at least till here to scare me."
You gestured to a little bit above your head and Goofy chuckled. Donald just rolled his eyes and said coolly, "We'll see about that when you get to Halloween Town. Now, stand still."
You did as told and Donald waved his wand. There was a puff of black smoke that made you tear up a little, and you felt suffocated.
When the cloud of smoke cleared, you looked down to see that your sneakers were replaced by black lace-up boots that went a little bit above your ankle. You had fishnet leggings that led up to a black and red low-cut dress. The outfit seemed like a variation of something Elizabeth Swann back from Port Royal would wear, complete with a suffocating corset. There were small, black angel wings protruding from the back of the dress, and your gloved were replaced a more lacey, feminine type that went up to your elbow. You touched your throat and felt a satin choker with delicate metal chains connected to a small paopu fruit in the middle of the ornament. Your hair was down for the first time in a while; light curls ended the cascade of black hair.
"Well," you said, twirling around. "How do I look?"
Donald walked past you to the exit saying, "Would it hurt to say that we don't care?"
"I think you look nice, Reina." Goofy said kindly.
"Thanks." You smiled at Goofy and followed him to the exit. On the other hand, you glared at Donald as you muttered "At least I don't look like I've been wrapped in toilet paper."
You and Donald continued bickering as Goofy was stuck in the middle, trying to pacify the argument.
Sora followed you all, with a light frown on his lips as he thought about the way you rejected his hand before.
*She's still embarrassed* He thought, thinking about how you blushed. *….There's gotta be a way to get her to get her over that stupid kiss!*
He sighed, stepping out into the dark night of Halloween Town. He saw that you were all crowded around something.
"It's…so…cool!" you exclaimed.
"What?" Sora asked.
"This little guy." You said, not taking your eyes off of a small ghost with a bright red nose. The ghost looked back at your with equal interest and did a little flip when he saw Sora. Zero, or what the others called the ghost, gestured you all to follow him over to a bridge that led to a town that was lit by tiny orange lights everywhere.
The town's square certainly matched its name; there were creepy jack-o-lanterns lit everywhere, and you felt they were staring right at you. Several of them hung on top of a scarecrow's bodies, which were everywhere: from the looming, ominous fence to the fountain that spewed out some glowing green liquid. The only thing that seemed a little out of place was a huge wooden ramp.
"What's that for?" you asked, pointing. As a reply, a huge rumble shook the ground and the chime of bells was heard. Searching for the noise, you looked up and saw a team of huge, white ghosts charging at you!
"Look out!" you screamed, ducking while keeping your hands protectively around your neck and head, just like the drills at your school in Twilight Town.
Instead of the impact you expected, the rumbling continued even stronger until everything went silent for a second.
A great, deep voice said, "Sora! Donald! Goofy! Welcome back! And…who are you?"
Cautiously, you peeked open and caught a super tall skeleton clothed in a long, black suit grinning at you curiously. You jumped back in surprise and yelped, causing your friends to laugh.
You felt your cheeks warm up as you staggered back up. "I'm Reina."
The skeleton continued smiling as he said merrily, "Merry Christmas!"
You blinked at him. "Merry Christmas?"
"Don't you mean Happy Halloween?" Sora asked. You wondered the same thing. This place certainly wasn't the first image that popped into your mind when you thought about Christmas.
"Of course! Halloween greetings from Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King!" the skeleton said, making a scary face. "Forgive me, I'm in a Christmas mood. You see, I'm running the show again this year but I need Sandy Claw's blessing so I'm off to Christmas Town."
"Sandy Claws…?" You repeated blankly.
"I think he means Santa Claus." Sora whispered to you. You turned to him and realized how close you two were standing; your hands were almost touching. With a hint of color tingeing your cheeks, you moved slightly away, trying to keep your focus on the Jack.
"Aren't these Christmas decorations wonderful?" the Pumpkin King went on. "This year Halloween Town's going to handle Christmas too! But first, we have to visit Sally. She's working on something no self-respecting Sandy Claws can do without. Come along - I'll show you!"
He went off as Goofy mumbled. "A Halloween Town Christmas…?"
"Let's go check it out." Sora insisted, already starting to follow Jack.
Donald sighed and muttered, "Why do I have a bad feeling about this?"
Looking around at the scary ornaments adorning the Town, you couldn't agree more. You had a feeling that you were being watched, and you hurried to catch up with your friends, scared that something might pop up out of nowhere.
What you didn't know was that the people watching you weren't going to reveal themselves just yet.
"Namine was right…I can feel the memories fading away from me." Axel said, looking down at Reina and her friends walking inside some laboratory. He and Roxas were camouflaged safely on the rooftop of a darkened building, on Namine's asking.
Roxas just stared down at them until they disappeared into the laboratory. He had a stony expression, one that was contorted purely of hate and one that Axel knew only too well.
Lately, Roxas had been driven by a will to defeat Sora in every way possible; so much so that one can call it an obsession. Axel wondered if these emotions were so strong because they've recently been in contact with Reina's memories and he was able to keep and use those memories and emotions like they were his own or was it because he knew that they weren't. Maybe it was a mixture of both.
"Let's just get as many hearts as we can and get her out of this world as fast as possible." Roxas said, his voice low and gravelly.
"Right." Axel nodded. There was a loud scream and the Nobodies looked down to see a short man running away from a bunch of Heartless. Roxas looked at his friend and Axel nodded once again, and they both jumped down from the rooftops with their hoods up.
*One objective down, one more to go…* Roxas thought, slashing at the Heartless.*I want to get her away from here as soon as possible…away from him….*
FINALLY! T.T Sorry it took so long guys, really xp I had a lot of…stuff going on (likebasicallybeinglazy xp)
Buuuut! I'm back! And I'm already starting on the next chapters, (which I'm excited about ^.^)I know I kind of rushed the Pride Rock scenes a little bit, but if I didn't, the chapter would've been super long and I wouldn't have been able to put in the dream, which I reallllly wanted to get into this chapter. This chapter was kind of a giveaway spoiler type of thing for events in the future, and I'm sure you guys have a gist of what's going on now…I hope xp
Anyways, on to the questions….
Any parts you liked or disliked? Any thoughts about Reina's memories or the Nobodies connection with them? Any ideas about Reina's connection to Sora? Tell me all about it, I really wanna know! ^.^