A Game of Hearts -- Chapter One
Title: A Game of Hearts
Authors: keywielder and lotrspnfangirl
Pairing: Kairi/Sora, Sora/Namine (kind of)
A/N: Alternative Universe/Alternate Reality, alternating POV, takes place after the end of KH1
Summary: Taking place after the events of KH1, Kairi finds she is the only one on her island that remembers Sora and Riku. Namine has altered the memories of Sora and all of those close to his heart. She soon discovers, however, that altering memories of the heart has unexpected consequences. As she struggles to gain her freedom, she is thrown into different Organization XIII members' plots and schemes. When you play the game of hearts, someone always comes out scorned.
Disclaimer: We do not know or own Kingdom Hearts or any of the affiliated Disney franchises. We are simply taking, and playing. Please leave feedback as it fuels the fire!
Sora closed his eyes, the feeling of the door pressed underneath his palms disappearing. Finally, he had been reunited with Riku. He let his hands fall to his side and opened his eyes to see Donald and Goofy watching him. He smiled at them, nodding that he was okay. He would see Riku again, he was sure of it. No matter what it took, he was going to make sure that Riku was able to come back home.
“Do you think we did it?” Donald asked.
Sora squinted as he looked around them. Although everything surrounding them was still darkened, he could see masses starting to form and to lighten. He smiled before turning back to Donald.
“Yeah, I think it did.” He said. He shoved his hand into his pocket, his hand enclosing the keychain Kairi had given him months ago. “Kairi…” He whispered, spinning around to look through the darkness. Then, ahead of them, he saw her. His heart skipped a beat, and before he knew it, he was bounding towards her.
Around him, stars were falling from the sky, landing to start to take shape of the worlds they used to be. He knew that he didn’t have much time.
“Kairi!” He called, his breath coming in gasps as he stopped before her.
“Sora!” Kairi exclaimed, a smile springing to her lips. Around her, he could see the sandy beach of their island forming. A large shift almost knocked Kairi off balance and he reached forward to grab her hand.
“Kairi, remember what you said to me before? I’m always with you too.” Destiny Island shifted again, “I’ll come back to you, I promise!” As soon as the space between the two worlds became too vast, Kairi’s hand slipped from his and he instantly felt the emptiness.
“I know you will!” Sora smiled, waving slowly as he watched Kairi sink away from him. At least she was at home.
Goofy walked up behind him, placing a hand on his shoulder. Sora smiled at him reassuringly and turned towards him and Donald. Around them, grassy fields had appeared. Sora lifted his head up, soaking in the sunlight.
“Well, now what do we do?” Donald asked, as they started walking down the dirt path before them.
“We’ve got to find Riku and King Mickey!” Sora replied, placing his hands behind his head. Kairi was safe now, and once they had Riku? They would finally be together again.
“But, uh, where do we start looking for that there door to the light?” Goofy asked causing the trio to pause. In unison, all three sighed in defeat. It had taken months to find the door of light the first time, it could be on any of the worlds they had visited, or some they hadn’t. Sora wasn’t even sure they still had access to the Gummi ship…
“Huh?” Sora exclaimed as a large yellow dog ran into the road ahead of them. “Hey!” He knew this dog!
“Hey Pluto! Where have you been?” Goofy asked. Sora took a step forward, noticing Pluto held a letter in his mouth. Something was written on it… “Gawsh, that’s the Kings Seal!”
Excitement flooded Sora as he recognized the King’s crest on the outside of the letter. “Hey! Have you seen King Mickey?” He asked Pluto, bending down to his level. Pluto’s tail wagged in recognition before he bounded off down the road. Sora smiled standing up. If Mickey was able to send that letter after he and Riku were trapped on the other side of the door of light? They had their lead! “Guys, let’s go!”
Goofy and Donald nodded in agreement and the three of them raced after Pluto. That letter had to contain something about Riku and the King’s whereabouts… There was just no other option.
The breath caught in Kairi’s chest as she stood on the beach, watching as the last faint image of Sora blinked from existence. All around her glowing orbs of light fell to the earth, and where they fell the world began to change. She could feel the island continuing to grow and reform behind her; what had a few moments ago been just sand and moonlit waters was now trees and seaside shacks; rocky cliffs and waterfalls. The island was springing back into existence fully formed, as if it had never been gone.
The orbs of light began to fall less frequently as the world became more and more complete. Yet even after the island had returned completely Kairi couldn’t fully tear her eyes away from the horizon. For a while she just stood there, soaking in the familiar feelings of the island, letting the surf spill up over her feet as the tide rolled in. The smell of the sea and the sun-soaked palm trees that surrounded her were like memories from a different life. Home. She was home. Finally home.
It was a bittersweet homecoming, though.
For so many months she had lived an existence that she hadn’t even known was possible. Her heart had lain dormant within Sora’s, but she had still been aware, knowing all his thoughts and feelings. She had been with him for every step of his journey to find her and Riku even if he didn’t know it. And once her heart was free and she was whole again she had always believed that once that journey was done they would have all returned, together. But in the end, she was the only one who made it back.
In the end, she was alone.
A soft breeze appeared as the night began to fade around her. The dark, starry sky started to brighten along the horizon, and the place where only moments ago Sora had disappeared the oranges and reds of sunrise were beginning to splash against the underside of the clouds. It was then that she became aware of a slight weight within her hand.
The breath that seemed to have never fully released from her chest finally let go in a soft sigh as she looked down at the charm clutched tightly in her hand. The small face she had delicately painted in brown ink onto the thallassa-shell figure looked up at her smiling, the braided rope attached to it stirring softly in the breeze.
“No matter where you go, I’m always with you.” She said softly, holding the charm to her chest. She had told Sora that, and she had meant it. He was as much a part of her now as she was of him. If he said that he would find his way back to her, then he would. She knew he would. He had to. And if she knew Riku at all, the last thing that he would do would be to give up, even now when the odds were stacked against him. Until then, all she could really do was wait it out.
As the first rays of sunlight fell upon the island Kairi began to make her way towards the boat that she had sailed there on so many months before. It almost felt like a lifetime had passed since then. She didn’t know what she would find when she made it back to the main islands. What if the world had returned but everyone else was still lost? She sincerely hoped that that wasn’t the case; the thought of being so alone was too terrible to dwell on for long. All she knew was that she couldn’t stay on this island forever.
Lifting the boat’s oar she turned to the horizon and began to row towards the dawn.
Slowly, Naminé slid down the back of the door to her chambers, tears streaming from her eyes as she collapsed on the floor. It was done… everything that they had wanted, everything they had asked for, was complete. Pain flooded her chest and she gasped, clutching her hands over her stomach. What had she done?
Breathe… She told herself, forcing herself to take a few deep breaths and attempt to calm herself. She didn’t need any of them coming in here and seeing the power they had over her. There was no way she was going to let them see her cry. Angry now, she wiped at her cheeks and pushed herself off of the ground. The chambers they had given her were all white. Everything in this damn castle was white. As if that made them innocent. Everything, including her room, should have been black.
Walking over to the table in the center of the room, she slid into one of the plush chairs. Now, all she had to do was wait. The table was littered with different pictures she had drawn of the memories she had captured. Sora with Riku, Donald and Goofy and the King. Even memories from Roxas… Looking at them made guilt fill the pit of her stomach. What made her needs any better than any of them? She swept her arm across the table, turning away as the pictures flew off and scattered across the floor.
“Naminé.” A knock came from behind her. She straightened her shoulders and inhaled sharply, waiting. The owner of the voice pushed open the door and Naminé heard their feet crunch across the drawings until they stood before her. “I assume it is done?”
“Yes, Marluxia.” Naminé looked up into his pretty face, her eyes betraying none of the thoughts she felt. She hated him. She hated more than anyone else in the castle. When she was finally freed… he would be the first one she would make sure to destroy.
“Perfect.” Marluxia laughed and sat down in the chair across from her. The scythe he held, he spun in his hands, still smirking. “Although, I am sure you can understand that I will be waiting for proof before securing your release. Not that I don’t trust your word…” He trailed off and eyed her.
“Oh, I completely understand.” Naminé smiled innocently and leaned back into the chair. “I would not have imagined it any differently.”
“Good.” He smiled and turned back to his scythe. “There may be another job for you… ”
Dread filled Naminé’s stomach and she forced herself not to react. He would be here soon, she knew it. He would always come for her. She watched Marluxia silently, swallowing hard as she waited. Behind them they heard a laugh.
“Axel.” Marluxia spat, looking up towards the doorway. “Don’t you have a mission to do?”
“I’m doing it.” Axel smiled at him, gliding into the room. “I’m here on Xemnas’ orders. Got it memorized?”
“Well, you can come back when I am finished with my mission.” Marluxia sneered, turning his attention back to Naminé.
“Oh, I am sure the boss would love to hear about how you’re interfering. Should I summon him here?” Marluxia looked up again, glaring at Axel.
“This conversation isn’t over, my dear.” Marluxia reached forward, brushing Naminé’s cheek. As he pushed past Axel for the door, Naminé heard him whisper, “One day, you will be eliminated.”
Once the door was shut again, Axel moved towards Marluxia’s empty seat, staring hard at Naminé.
“What did you do?” He whispered
“I… what?” Naminé asked confused. Xemnas had never once gotten her involved in a mission… Although she was aware of the missions that most of the organization members went on, he was very careful to steer clear of her presence, preferring it if she stayed up in her chambers. Part of her wondered if he was actually afraid of her and the connections she had… But, the possibility of being drafted was never far from her mind.
“What did you do to Roxas?” Axel’s eyes glistened in the light. It took Naminé back…
“I… I did what I was asked to do.” She replied, straightening up in the chair.
“What who asked you to do? He is changing. He is forgetting who he is… He keeps blacking out, going for days and waking up with no recollection.”
“I’m sorry.” Naminé whispered looking away. “I can’t help you, Axel.”
“You better figure it out.” Axel leaned forward, and Naminé could feel the heat radiating from his body. She inhaled sharply, forcing herself not to move back. “You don’t have any other option, got it memorized?”
Without waiting for a response, Axel tore from the table and stomped out of the room. Naminé closed her eyes, finally exhaling when the door slammed behind him.
He had to come soon… Every member of this organization had their own agenda. And each and every one of them was bound and determined to get her caught up in theirs. She had to get out of this castle. Whatever Marluxia wanted her for next… She didn’t want to be a part of it, she knew that much.
“Sora.” She whispered, tears springing back to her eyes. “I need you. I need your help.” Somewhere, deep inside of her, she could feel his heart responding to her plea. His fear for her, his determination, and his love.
I will always be with you. His voice thrummed through her mind, calming her. She knew, without a doubt, he would be fighting his way to her. She wished she could help him, that she could meet him halfway. But that would raise suspicion for Marluxia and Larxene… It would make their mission all the more dangerous for him.
She stood and walked over to the large white wardrobe in the corner of her room. Slipping from her dress, she pulled a white nightgown over her head and padded over to the bed. Although it was early, she was exhausted. She would sleep until he came for her… Maybe if she was asleep, they would leave her alone.
One can only dream. She laughed bitterly to herself before she drew the comforter up over her head and allowed herself to drift off to sleep