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Fanfiction ► Rewritten Memories



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Every Heart

Here We Go Again
Joined
Dec 5, 2004
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Inside an empty room, my inspiration flows, now wa
Rewritten Memories

Prologue

"Riku, wake up, ahyuk!"

"Yeah, wake up you lazy..."

Riku opened his eyes, blinking his aqua green orbs sleepily. He appeared to be laying on the floor of...a gummi ship? He quickly sat up, taking in his surroundings. To be more accurate...this was Sora's gummi ship. He put a hand to his head. What had happened anyway? The last thing he remembered was...

He paused as he stood, walking over to the side of the gummi ship to look out at the space around them. He could see his reflection in the glass. Riku still looked like an average teenager with blue baggy pants and a yellow shirt with various buckles and short silver hair that nearly fell into his eyes. So at least nothing had changed physically...

Riku turned around and spotted those two companions of Sora's, the duck and the...well, whatever he was. Donald and Goofy were both watching him carefully, looking slightly concerned. But why were they here? And more importantly, why was he here?

"Are you ok Riku?” Donald asked.

"Yeah...” he said dismissively. There was something wrong here...something missing.

"We were worried about you when you suddenly passed out on us. It's good to see that our buddy is ok.” Goofy smiled with a "ahyuck" on the end of it.

Riku stopped his pacing. He had...passed out on them? That couldn't be right...Riku had not been here...he had been back in...

He suddenly realized what was missing. Where was his annoying, brunette best friend? If his two friends are here, then...

"Hey, where's Sora?” Riku asked.

Donald and Goofy both gave him a strange look. "What are you talking about?"

"You know, Sora? Goofy, brunette, wielder of the keyblade...” Riku described, but he was still met with strange looks.

"No...I don't think we know a 'Sora'. And whoever he is, he's not the wielder of the keyblade.” Donald added. "Is he one of those friends that you’re looking for?"

"Did that knock to the head make you forget that you’re the chosen key wielder?” Goofy asked.

Riku took a step back from them. Sora wasn't here? And what was this about him wielding the keyblade? That was Sora territory, not his.

"I think you guys are mistaken...I'm not the wielder of the keyblade...", he said as he held a hand out, as if to prove a point that he would only summon his Soul Eater weapon. But instead of the usual dark aura that would surround his hand, gold light appeared in his hand as the keyblade appeared in all its glory. To be even more precise, it was Sora's kingdom key keyblade.

"He must still not be out of it.", Donald whispered to Goofy as Riku flung the keyblade across the room of the ship only to have it come back to him.

"What should we do?"

"Well, maybe battling some heartless will help. We were just about to land in Wonderland, remember?"

Riku stopped his futile attempts to get rid of the keyblade when he heard the last part of what they said. Wasn't Wonderland where he had kidnapped that girl Alice and handed her over to Maleficent? He couldn't help but fume silently. Maleficent...that name was poison to him now. The one who introduced him to darkness.

Wait...darkness...

Riku held a hand out, hoping that he would be able to still use the dark void, or any other dark powers for that matter. If he still could do it, then maybe...

But nothing happened. "God damnit!” he sword under his breath. How was he going to get out of here and find out what was going on?

Calm down Riku...we just need to sit down and remember what happened before this weird craziness started...

-Flashback-

Riku stepped forward, in awe at the strange flower like pod that sat in the middle of the white room. Namine, the strange girl who had introduced him to this room, stood behind him, watching him quietly.

"We have to wait for a while since I have to restore Sora's memories.” Namine whispered. "It may take up to a year for him to be completely restored."

Riku frowned at this. A whole year? He and the king didn't have that kind of time to be waiting for an entire year for Sora to wake up. He sighed before turning back to Namine. He remembered how he had thought of her as a blond Kairi, or at least she carried that air about her.

"Are you sure that there's no other way Namine?” Riku asked.

"Sorry...” she shrugged dejectedly before walking away. Riku turned back to the pod that contained Sora in it. He had just fought through several flights of stairs in a giant castle while fending off people in cloaks, just to find out...this. Riku started to walk away from Sora's pod, what has been done has been done, and besides...

Ansem was waiting for him.

Yes...that was something that couldn't be waited on. Riku turned his back on his friend.

"I'm sorry, Sora."

He took a few steps, but soon curiosity got the better of him. He turned back around and walked straight up to it until he was mere inches away from it. He placed a hand against it; it felt cool to the touch. Riku looked up into the face of his sleeping friend. I wonder if he can even hear me in this thing.

There was a slow dull rumble and Riku was forced to step back away from the pod. At the top, it opened like a budding flower, the pod coming apart like petals. And there he was, still floating in the center, undisturbed by what had just happened. Riku quickly looked around, looking for any sign of Namine. When he couldn't sense the blond come, he turned back to the pod, cautiously stepping forward. Ok...no problem...I can just close this thing myself...

The question was how. He started pushing on one of the petal like appendages, hoping that it would snap back into place. When it didn't, he jumped up on top of it and started trying to pull it close. After a few minutes or so of this, he gave up. Forget it, I'll go get Namine and have her fix this.

Before he could get down though, the dull rumble from before sounded again and Riku was thrown off his feet from the petals that were starting to close up again. But since he had been standing on the inside of the pod's petals, now it was starting to close with him trapped in it too along with Sora. He smacked his head against the back of it, merely missing getting kicked in the face by Sora's feet (who miraculously, still appeared to be asleep) Riku quickly stood and started pushing against the inside of the now closed pod.

Damnit...I have to get out of here...

He started banging his fists against it, hoping that Namine would come and investigate, as well as calling for her. Where was she anyway? He slumped down against it, figuring that Namine would show up sooner or later. As he looked up at Sora, he couldn't help but laugh.

"And here you are sleeping through this entire thing. If you were awake, I would be having a field day about this."

That suddenly gave him an idea. He stood back up. Maybe I should try waking up Sora.

He went over and started shaking his shoulders. "Sora, wake up."

No reaction whatsoever. He might as well as kicked him and he still probably wouldn't have woken up (and he had half a mind to do it too). He suddenly felt exhaustion cling to him and hold him in a vice. What's...going on?

He sunk back down to the floor of the pod. It seemed that the sleep effect that it had put on Sora was slowly taking effect on Riku as well. His mind barely hanging onto consciousness, he thought one last thought before letting sleep overtake him.

Sora...
 
Last edited:

Haku

<3
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Messages
8,181
Awesome start, I really like the direction I could see this one going good job.
 

Every Heart

Here We Go Again
Joined
Dec 5, 2004
Messages
6,445
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Inside an empty room, my inspiration flows, now wa
*Now on Fanfiction.Net*

Chapter One: Kangaroo Court

How did this happen? How did I end up here with those friends of Sora's, and they don't even know who he is! I should be back in that pod of Sora's at Castle Oblivion...wait...that's it! The pod we were locked in was supposed to be used for restoring Sora's memories! So maybe since I was also locked in this pod, I'm going through his memories in his place.

Riku casted a glance over at Donald and Goofy, who were still watching him carefully. Would it do any good telling them that this is nothing but a memory? That they are just pieces of a memory? No...They’ll think I've lost my mind more than I already have. But if they really were Sora...no, MY friends, then they would understand...

"We're here! It's Wonderland!" Donald suddenly called out. Riku walked over to the window, the memory of the strange pink world from his own memories washing over him nostalgically. It may have technically been bad memories, but none the less, he remembered it. And if memory served him correctly, then at this very moment, then the girl named Alice would be on trial, being blamed for something by the Queen of Hearts.

"Riku?"

"Hmm?"

"Are you sure that you're ok?” Goofy asked.

No, of course I'm not alright...but I can't just say that. "Yeah, I'm fine...” he said, trailing off as he suddenly realized that he didn't really know their names very well. It never really came up during all those times that he and Sora had fought one another. He couldn't help but feel a stab of guilt at that thought. The last time that they had truly talked between one another, was with weapons pointing in the others face. Sure, they may have closed the door to darkness, but now that he thought about it, he never apologized properly for causing so much trouble. Nothing but a quick farewell, making him promising to take care of Kairi...

Oh crud...Kairi...is she still...

He decided not to continue that particular train of thought, knowing full well that if these were Sora's memories, then Kairi was most likely in the hands of Maleficent. Instead, he turned to the door of the gummi ship, where Goofy and Donald were waiting on him. The only thing to do now was to let Sora's memories guide him towards the end. And who knows, maybe Namine would wake him up soon enough.

"Now, you can't jump out too hastily...", Donald was saying as he peered outside of the gummi ship, taking a careful step outside, "You have to look left, then right..."

"What about down?” Riku asked, suddenly remembering a particularly nasty detail about the entrance to Wonderland.

"Down? Why would we look...?” Donald started to ask, but his question was answered as he and Goofy went plummeting downward. Riku sighed as he jumped out of the ship after them. Ignoring the various tables and chairs that were floating around him, he landed gracefully next to the heap best identifiable as Goofy and Donald. They both quickly jumped off, stretching slightly and wincing at the bruises acquired from the harsh landing.

"How come we're always landing on our-"

"Be quiet, Goofy! There's someone coming!” Donald quickly cut him off just as something landed on his head. Riku couldn't help but stare at the strange creature that had suddenly fallen on top of Donald's head. It appeared to be a white rabbit, one that was holding a pocket watch that was almost as big as its own head in one hand while holding an umbrella in the other hand.

"Oh, my fur and whiskers! I'm late, I'm late, so very very late!” it yelled as it tore off ahead of them, completely ignoring them.

"What the f-", Riku started to say, but was then cut off by Donald's cries of "Let's follow him!", which gave Riku no choice but to follow after the strange white rabbit that was for some reason obsessed with being on time, while also wondering if the duck always had that habit of cutting people off.
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Long ago, the world was filled with warm light. People loved the light, and eventually began fighting over it. Then, darkness found its way into people's hearts. Darkness consumed the hearts and light of the people, and in a flash it spread...The world disappeared into the darkness. But a glimmer of light remained in the hearts of children...Children gathered their glimmers of light and recreated the world. The recreated world, however, was no longer united...It was divided into several smaller worlds.

Because the true light was still hidden deep within the darkness...

Or at least, that's how it the legend used to go...until he changed it.
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"Oh, dear, I'm here! I should be there! She'll have my head for sure! I'm late, I'm late, I'm late!"

"Wait!"

The trio paused, taking a moment to catch their breath. Riku had to admit, that rabbit sure was fast. And what was this whole deal about being late? He then couldn't help but mentally smack himself. The rabbit was probably going to be at Alice's trial. His thoughts were then interrupted by that loudmouthed duck's cry of, "Hey, where did he go?"

Good question...where did the rabbit disappear off to? He heard a tiny squeak under his left foot, so he lifted it up just as the white rabbit, which had suddenly shrunk from its normal size, ran past them and through a door on the other side. While Donald and Goofy were still searching the bizarre room, Riku headed over to the door, which was also smaller than your average door. "How did that rabbit get so small?” he mused aloud, unable to help but poke the doorknob on the small door that the rabbit had disappeared through. This door is tiny...

"No, you're simply too big."

Riku thankfully suppressed the urge to jump out of the skin at the sudden voice, which seemed to have come from the doorknob itself. Upon further inspection, the knob was actually its nose, and where someone would insert a key was its mouth. It shook slightly, as if it had just been forced out of sleep. It jerked its nose, as if pointing out something. "Take that medicine and go on through. I really wish that people would stop waking me up.", it said quite rudely, although its rudeness was quite excusable. Riku turned, now fully examining the room itself. There was a fireplace off to one side; while on the other were a bed, a grandfather clock, and a few chairs. A vase stood in the corner while there were several pictures decorating the walls. The strange thing was that some of the paintings were upside down, and upon looking straight up at the ceiling, there appeared to be tiny tables and chairs as well as paintings. Looking back down, towards the big white table in the middle of the room, he spotted two bottles sitting on it.

He picked up the first one, a red bottle labeled "Drink Me". Ignoring the looks from Goofy and the duck, (Still had not learned that ones name, but he had heard the duck call the other Goofy) he shrugged and took a swig from the strange bottle. Upon doing so, he felt a strange tingling sensation around his midriff. But...something wasn't quite right about it. His doubts were confirmed when, instead of shrinking, he suddenly felt himself shoot upright, his head thumping against the ceiling as his arms and legs shot outward and nearly smashed their way through both the door that he and the others had just come through and the talking one, but luckily that one was unscathed. For a moment, no one spoke, until...

"Hmmph...Gah ha-ha ha-ha!” Donald and Goofy suddenly started laughing. Riku could feel a pulse mark throb painfully in his forehead as he turned the red bottle in his hands over, squinting to read the label once more. In very small print under "Drink Me" was the word "Grow". Scowling at the still laughing duo, which had now resorted to rolling on the floor, he couldn't help but mentally scream at himself.

This is the kind of idiotic thing that Sora would do...

He instantly regretted thinking that, but of course, there was the issue of returning to normal size. And to get those damn idiots to stop laughing, hell, the door was laughing at him now as well!

"Stop laughing and just hand me the correct one.” he hissed at them. When they finally stopped laughing and Donald had handed him the blue bottle labeled "Shrink", Riku took a swig from it. After feeling another tingling sensation, he soon felt himself shrink back to normal size, but Donald and Goofy were still trying to suppress their laughter. He gave them a hard glare, which seemed to immediately shut them up. Now with the correct bottle in hand, he took a carefully measured sip from it. Once more, the tingling sensation returned, but instead of growing like last time, he suddenly watched as everything, including the table he had taken the bottles from, suddenly seemed to become larger, but in reality, he was just getting smaller. He found himself standing on that very table, about as tall as both bottles that were now sitting on the table. He patiently waited as Donald and Goofy also took a drink from the shrinking bottle and were now as small as him.

"Now we can just go through that door.” he said, desperate to leave this godforsaken place and find Sora. But when approaching the door, he had to stop himself from swearing. The doorknob had fallen asleep again!

"Riku, we can go through this way.” Goofy called as he pointed over to a hole in the wall. Riku sighed. Well, at least it was a way through.

As he followed the two of them through the darkness of the tunnel, they soon found the exit and were overwhelmed in a bright light. The familiar green hedges in the shapes of hearts and the white roses that were painted with red paint stood out the most. (The Queen of Hearts had some kind of strange obsession with red roses and hated white roses, so she had all of her guards paint the roses red) Speaking of guards, standing around them were strange card shaped guards holding spears. They were mostly either spade cards or, of course, heart cards.

The sounds of a trumpet blowing soon attracted their attention. Riku spotted the white rabbit standing on a stand, and it was also the one blowing the trumpet. Behind it was a box filled with a few cards, what Riku surmised was the "jury" box, while an empty box on the other side would probably be for witnesses for the defense. Speaking of the defense, standing at the podium was a young girl with long blond hair, wearing a blue dress with a white apron in front. She, of course, was Alice. And where Riku surmised was the prosecution box, AKA the seat where the Queen of Hearts sat. She was dressed in black and red, her clothes decorated in, can you guess, hearts. Her heart shaped scepter was in her right hand while she was wearing her heart shaped crown. Riku didn't dare say it aloud, but she also looked to be a bit on the chubby side. He felt another stab of guilt, recognizing the cage apparatus that was next to her.

"Court is now in session!"

The queen, who had a fan with hearts all over it, lazily waved it about. "This girl is obviously the culprit. There's not doubt about it! And you know why? Because I say so!” she said, her voice laced with false sweetness. Alice stomped her foot down.

"That's completely unfair! I've done nothing wrong!” she shouted in protest. She waved a finger at the Queen. "You may be the Queen, but that doesn't give you the right to be so...so mean!"

This announcement was met with one of the longest silences that Riku had ever heard which was only punctured by gasps from the crowd and the quiet clapping of the tiny King of Hearts that was sitting next to the Queen. (Riku resisted the urge to clap with him)

The queen's face turned an ugly red. "Silence you! You dare to defy me? Just for that, you're guilty as charged!” she yelled at the now recoiling girl.

"For the crime of attempted theft of my heart..."

Riku droned out the rest of her words for a moment. Theft of her heart? He turned to Donald and Goofy. "Should we step in?"

"If we do that, we'll be interfering with this world...” Goofy said, who had put a hand to his chin.

"So what?” Riku asked, the words rushing out of his mouth before he could stop himself. They both gaped at him.

"What do you mean 'so what'? You know that it's against the world order to interfere with the business of other worlds!” Donald whispered, having to struggle to not be shouting at him.

Huh, I never knew that when I was helping out Maleficent. Then again, she wasn't exactly one to obey rules. I guess this is something that Sora was told.

"Right, sorry...” he quickly apologized before they could question him further.

But was it the right thing to do to sit back and let this girl take the heat for something that she didn't even do?

"The punishment? Off with her head!"

Riku paled.

Oh sh-
 

Thelonepickle

I don't like bugs!
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Messages
3,592
Hey.

This is pretty good, actually. o.o;

Now, here. There are a couple mistakes in grammar, but it's actually alright. The story flows alright, though a couple things seem kind of... oddly-placed.

The legend of the darkness in people's hearts, for instance... And how you ended in a flashback on that first bit you posted. But I think it works out, kinda.

Now, I'm not gonna lie, I kind of got bored during some parts. I mean, it's a pretty cool idea. Grabbed my attention, but then it kind of lost it when... You went to Wonderland... And nothing inCREDibly different happened... That was kind of a let-down. I mean, I understand that they're SORA'S memories and all, but don't you think that, if you were in the same situation, you'd have a little fun with it? I know I would...

But overall, it's a pretty good fic. The chapters kind of feel short, but it's workable. They're a pretty decent length, though.
 

Haku

<3
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Messages
8,181
Great chapter, most of the things that you did wrong were already said earlier but still good job though.
 

Every Heart

Here We Go Again
Joined
Dec 5, 2004
Messages
6,445
Location
Inside an empty room, my inspiration flows, now wa
Don't worry pickle, this chapter is nothing compared to what Sora actually did when he was in Wonderland. You know, like the caterpillar, tweedle dee and tweedle dum is mentioned, the flowers from the flowerbed, and mad hatter and march hare will be more involved in the next chapter.

This was a pain to write. This is why I haven't updated quickly. I stuck a lot of work in this one, as its probably the longest thing I ever had to write in one go.

Also, to clear up any confusion, some parts are flashbacks of the past, like before Sora ever went to Wonderland (or frankly, before he ever met Donald and Goofy) or of Riku's own true memories. Riku's will be in italics.

This is more similar to the Disney movie version and the original book than it is the Kingdom Hearts version.

Chapter Two: Find The Evidence!

Cursing under his breath, Riku ran past the guards and up to the defense stand.

"Hold it!"

Everyone turned in his direction as Donald and Goofy caught up with in. As the guards began whispering amongst themselves in confusion, the Queen of Hearts started banging her gavel down, calling for order. A gigantic pulse mark throbbing in her forehead, she pointed her gavel at Riku.

"Who are you!? How dare you interfere with my court...you fools!” she yelled at them, face turning red. The guards seemed to get their sense back as they removed their spaded spears from Alice and instead pointed them at the new arrivals. Riku sweat dropped; he hadn't really thought ahead when he ran forth to stop them from beheading Alice.

"Wait a minute...we know who the real culprit is!” he said quickly. The guards cautiously lowered their spears, as well as the queen with her gavel.

"Really now?” she asked, some of her false sweetness slipping back into her voice. Alice merely stood, unsure of whether she should make a run for it or not.

"Yeah, it's the heartle-", Goofy started to say, but was then cut off from Donald stomping down on Goofy's foot. Before Goofy could cry out in pain, Donald whispered to him in an undertone.

"If you say the name, we'll be deeply interfering with this world! We have to keep the heartless a secret!” he whispered loud enough for only Goofy and Riku to hear him. Riku turned back to the queen, who was now growing impatient with their silence. She waved the gavel about in disbelief.

"You don't really know who the culprit is, do you?"

"Yeah, we-"

"Nonsense," she cut off, "Do you have any proof that it wasn't this girl?” she asked, pointing the gavel at Alice, who everyone suddenly remembered was still in the room. Riku scratched the back of his head.

"Uh...well..."

The queen watched him carefully for a moment, as if scrutinizing him. After a moment, she sat back in her throne.

"Very well. I'll give you a chance to bring me the proof of her innocence...or it's off with ALL of your heads!” she threatened as she banged her gavel, "'Till then, court is adjourned and the defendant will be under supervision."

The guards roughly grabbed Alice and dragged her over to the cage that Riku had seen earlier. Forcing her inside, they locked the cage door as Riku and the others stepped forward.

"Don't worry, we'll find the real culprit.” Riku said assuredly.

"Where do you think we could find evidence?” Donald asked.

"The Cheshire Cat I met in the woods may know something...or maybe the-", Alice started telling them, but then the curtain closed over her cage and a guard shooed them away from the cage, telling them that they could no longer talk to the defendant.
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A warm, salty ocean breeze wafted through the air of Destiny Islands, shaking the palm trees. A few fishes splashed upward in the cool waves of the ocean that crashed on the shore. Children's laughter could be heard somewhere in the distance. It was quiet...peaceful...

To a very observant person watching the scenery, they may have noticed a sudden crackle of static in the air, which quickly died as suddenly as it had come. But none of this really mattered to the young girl laying face down on the sandy beach, her ankles being lapped up in the waves of the ocean that tugged at her pink dress. Her shoulder-length red hair had fallen over her face, hiding it from view. Her small pale hands twitched slightly, raking through the sand.

She uttered a low groan, still not opening her eyes. Her head was throbbing painfully. What had happened? Where was she? At the moment, her mind was drawing a blank. She couldn't remember where she was...in fact; she couldn't really remember anything, let alone her own name. Before she could let it slip past her tongue, she suddenly felt like someone was standing over her.

"Excuse me, but who are you?"

She opened her eyes halfway, revealing bright blue eyes. As she looked up at the stranger above her, she at first thought that it was someone with spiky brunette hair. A second crackle of static that went unnoticed by the two individuals twitched in the air, and the girl soon instead was looking up at a young boy with long silver hair. The young girl stared up at him, wondering if her eyes had been tricking her into thinking that she had seen brown, not silver.

The boy leaned in towards her face, his blue-ish green eyes sparkling.

"Where did you come from?"
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"Let's tell the queen that the heartless did it. We're already deeply interfering with this world anyway, and we wouldn't be wasting our time looking for this evidence that she wants us to find...” Riku grumbled as they trekked through the forest of Wonderland.

"No! Every person should keep living only in their own world, it'll just cause confusion. That is why we have to keep it a secret.” Donald explained, for what felt like hundredth time.

"I still say that it would be much easier than this..."

"Really? Well, that may or may not be true.” rang an ominous voice from the trees above them. Riku's hand instinctively twitched to where he used to keep his Soul Eater, only to remember that it was no longer there. And besides, he had heard this voice before, from last time...

A plump purple and pink cat appeared in front of them on top of a tree branch. It was lying on its stomach, its large furry tail swishing through the air. A huge grin was stretched across its face as it stared at them with its beady eyes.

"The Cheshire Cat knows everything. All you have to do is avoid getting confused.” it said in a singsong voice.

"The Cheshire Cat!” Goofy announced, pointing at the cat. Riku rolled his eyes, figuring that Goofy always stated the obvious like this. Something suddenly dropped down from the tree branch where the cat had been sitting. Riku quickly caught it in his hands, examining it. It was a small pink box, but it didn't seem to have anything else that made it seem special.

"The evidence you seek is in that box...or is it? There are three other boxes that you'll need.” the cat said, cocking its large head to one side, "To trust, or not to trust? I trust you'll decide."

It then laughed before fading away, its huge plaster grin being the only thing still there. Before Riku could even turn away, the mouth suddenly spoke.

"Oh, and Riku...remember what I said to you last time.” it whispered before fading away once more.

"He's gone!"

"What a creepy guy.", Donald muttered under his breath. Riku tucked the box into his pocket as Goofy suddenly turned to him.

"Hey Riku, how did that cat know you?” Goofy asked.

Riku looked back towards the tree branch. "I'm not sure. Let's just go find these other boxes.” he said quickly, "In fact; it would probably be better if we split up. It would probably go much faster."

"I don't know...” Donald said hesitantly. Riku thought of what Sora would do.

"Come on, there's nothing to worry about! I'll be fine! After all, I'm the keyblade master!” Riku said in a falsely confident voice. This seemed to win the two over.

"Fine. We'll all meet up back here after looking around.” Donald said reluctantly, but the words were barely out of his mouth as Riku took off through some dense overgrowth.
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A disgruntled Riku kicked aside another rock as he moved through the forest. Of all the places for these girls to be in, why a place like this? Making a mental note to ask Maleficent herself later, he soon found the entrance to the court room from a secret side area of the bizarre room, but he didn't know if this was where the girl would be.

"Hmm...What do we have here?"

Riku jumped at the voice that had suddenly spoken. He quickly summoned his Soul Eater, looking wildly around.

"The sky is where you'll find the answer."

Riku looked up at the strange cat that was standing on a tree branch. Or more correctly, it was standing on its own head while leaning against the tree with one paw.

"The Cheshire Cat is the name. I know all the answers.” it spoke, grinning at him as it put its head back on in the correct spot.

Riku decided to give it a shot. "Ok then..."

"If you really like to know, she went that way.” the cat suddenly pointed in a different direction.

"Who did?"

"The girl, Alice."

"She did?” Riku asked, glad that he was finally getting somewhere.

"She did what?” the cat asked, looking confused. Riku frowned.

"Went that way.” Riku pointed in the direction that the cat had pointed.

"Who did?"

"The girl!"

"What girl?"

Riku groaned loudly. "Look, you are getting me nowhere."

"Then again, she might have gone that way.” the cat said, now also pointing in the opposite direction.

Riku sighed. "Look, would you tell me which way I should go?” he asked.

"That depends on where you want to get to.” said the cat.

"I don't really care what-"

"Then it doesn't matter which way you go.” the cat interrupted.

"-as long as I get somewhere."

"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the cat, "if you only walk long enough. In life, Riku, you have to keep walking to get where you want. No matter what madness gets thrown in your path and no matter how far you sink into darkness, as long as you keep walking towards the light, you'll be just as sane as I am."

Riku wasn't all too assured by that, but before he could ask the Cheshire Cat how it knew its name, it disappeared into thin air, the cat first, then its grin. It was one thing to see a cat without a grin. It was another to see a grin without a cat.

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Riku soon emerged somewhere close to a flower bed. All around him stood flowers that were taller than he was. He had barely taken two steps forward when he suddenly heard a shout.

Looking down, he saw that he had somehow stepped on the stem of a drooping flower. Now that he was so close to it, he saw that it had a face, an older face that reminded him of an old lady. The flower sat upright, stretching with its leafy arms. The flower itself was a purple pansy.

The pansy yawned before opening its eyes, looking down at him. "Oh my stars and guarders! We seem to have a new flower here!"

The flower bent down in his face, looking him over. "Hmm...You look somewhat wilted dear...” she said as she observed him. The other flowers around her, which consisted of other pansies, roses, lilies, daffodils, cosmos, and other types were now waking up and looking over him.

"But he does look kind of hot.” one pink lily giggled.

"I still say he looks too wilted..."

"Ugh, he looks like a wallflower though.” a red rose said with a disapproving sniff.

A pulse mark throbbed in Riku's forehead for what felt like the hundredth time that day. A wallflower!?

"We never get any hot flowers growing in the flowerbed very often, no less a pretty white one.” said a yellow cosmos that was giggling along with the pink lily. A slightly wilted dandelion snapped at his ankles like a dog.

Riku's face started turning red as several of the flowers pressed closer to him. "Wait, I'm just here to look for something.” he said, making sure that he had at least an arms length of free space.

"Hmm? What are you looking for child?” said the older purple pansy.

"A pink box. It has something in it I need.” he explained.

"I remember seeing one of those. But it was too ugly, so we stuck it over there.” the rose said as it pointed a leaf towards a pink box lying next to a bush.

Riku walked over to it, examining it as he picked it up off the ground. It looked exactly like the box that the Cheshire Cat had given him. As he slid it into his pocket with the other box, he suddenly felt a thorny stem snake around his waist. Looking around, he spotted the yellow cosmos, the pink lily, and the red rose now surrounding him.

"But where are you going handsome?” cooed the lily.

"It's not often that we get a cute flower like you to waltz into our flowerbed.” said the cosmos. The rose didn't say anything, but it seemed to have taken an interest in Riku as well as the other flowers.

"Stay and have some fun with us.” laughed the lily. Riku, not wanting to find out what exactly the flower meant by fun, quickly protested.

"But I'm not a flower!” he quickly pointed out. The thorny grip around him lessened slightly.

"Wait...your not?” the cosmos asked.

"Then what are you?” asked the rose.

The lily suddenly gasped. "Wait...your not...a weed!?"

The rose let go of Riku immediately. "Your right, he must be a weed! No wonder he looks so wilted and scraggily!"

"Eeek, I can't believe we were about to associate ourselves with a weed!"

"We don't want weeds like you in our flowerbed!” shouted the lily. She and all the other flowers pushed him out of the flowerbed that he had walked into.

"And don't come back here!"

"Fine, I wouldn't want to come back here!” Riku shouted at them before walking off, muttering something about rapist flowers...
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After his strange encounter with the flowers, he soon found himself walking in a clearing. Instead of flowers, there were mushrooms stacked all around him.

"Now to hope that the mushrooms don't talk.” Riku said to himself as he walked among them.

"Of course they don't talk, you idiot ruffian."

Riku looked around and saw the largest mushrooms out of them all sitting in front of him. But nothing was stranger than the large blue caterpillar that sat on top of the mushroom, scrutinizing him. Clutched in one of its many hands was a pipe, a hookah to be more exact. The caterpillar took a long drag from it before turning back to Riku.

"Whooo...are...you?” the caterpillar asked, pausing on each word as smoke poured out of his mouth. The smoke formed the letters "H", "R" and "U" and lazily floated around Riku's head, causing him to cough.

"Well, that's not really important right now, I need to find-"

"I didn't ask for you to mutter nonsense at me.", the caterpillar said quite rudely. He took another drag before blowing it out. Riku, deciding that this really wasn't worth his time, started to take a few steps away.

"Have you ever heard of the poem of the crocodile?” the caterpillar asked suddenly.

"No..."

The caterpillar took another drag from his pipe before saying it,

"How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!

How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spread his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in,
With gently smiling jaws!"

As the caterpillar had recited this poem, the smoke that poured from his mouth had formed into a crocodile that had indeed eaten the smoke like fish.

"Why are you telling me this?” Riku asked. The caterpillar didn't seem to hear him as it took another drag from its pipe.

"I ask you one more time...Whoo...are...you?” the caterpillar said, the H, R, and U shaped smoke hitting Riku in the face. He coughed loudly, smoke coming from his own mouth now. Before he had time to react, something hit him in the chest. Upon further inspection, it was another pink box like the first two.

"If you don't even know who you are, then how will you know who he is?", asked the caterpillar, and as he said this, the smoke that came from his mouth and pipe suddenly formed into a familiar shape...Sora's face...before it faded away like the rest of the smoke.

"If you don't know who you are, then how will you know who he is? So Whoo...are...you?” the caterpillar asked with more force, spraying more acrid smoke into Riku's face. Riku didn't answer and was left with that cryptic question as the caterpillar turned its back on him, as if not wanting to speak to him anymore.
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"Is it just me, or is Riku acting really odd? Like, more strange than before?” Goofy asked Donald as they walked through the forest.

"Goofy, we just met the guy. It's not our fault that the keyblade chose him! Otherwise, we would have been following someone else. It's all about what the king told us to do!” Donald answered.

"I know that, but now he's...distant. When we met that day in Traverse Town, he was a lot more...well, you know..."

"So what? The kid's taking on a responsibility to help us find the king! He'll be fine.” Donald said.

The two were suddenly smacked down to the side by two rolling balls. Upon closer inspection, they were two chubby guys dressed in red and yellow. They both had orange hair and bright blue eyes.

"Hi there.” greeted one, "My name is Tweedle Dee..."

"...and I'm Tweedle Dum!” finished the other.

"That's great and all, but what do you want?” Donald asked rather rudely.

"To tell you a story!"

"Yes, a wonderful story!"

"Not now. We need to find the evidence for Alice's trial.” Goofy said.

"You mean-"

"-like this?” one finished as he held a pink box in one of his hands.

"Hey, give that to us!” Donald shouted.

"You listen to our story..."

"...and then we'll give you the box!"

"Come on Donald, it might not be that bad.” Goofy said, and with a sigh of defeat, Donald and Goofy sat down on a log to listen to their tale.
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Riku had returned to the spot where they said that they were going to meet back up at, clicking his tongue impatiently. Where the hell could those two be?

Riku mulled his thoughts over what the caterpillar had said to him. What did he mean by that? Was he trying to give me a clue to Sora? Then again, he was on the pipe, so it doesn't really seem like a reliable source of information...

"I swear, that story about the walrus and the carpenter-"

"I never want to hear that story ever again.” Donald cut Goofy off.

"So, did you find any?” Riku asked.

"Well, we ran into these two weirdoes who made us listen to some story, and I ended up having to steal the box from them just to get away.", Donald explained as he held out a pink box that had a few scratches on it.

"Yeah, and the heartless didn't help either...” Goofy said as he pulled out a potion from his pocket.

"You guys ran into heartless?” Riku asked.

"Well yeah, they're practically crawling all over this place. Why, didn't you run into any?"

Riku shook his head. That was a strange coincidence...why didn't any heartless come after him?

"Well, it doesn't matter, as I found the other two boxes, so let's just head back to the trial.” Riku said.

As they neared the entrance to the court room, all three of them holding the boxes, Donald started opening one of them.

"So what is in these boxes anyway?” he asked, removing the lid.

A burst of darkness came out of the box, scaring Donald into bumping into Goofy, who tripped over Riku, and basically caused all the boxes to fall to the ground, missing their lids. Darkness swirled out of the boxes and mixed together as a strange shape took form. It had yellow eyes and was wearing a blue outfit with spirals and a knight’s helmet, a lesser Soldier heartless.

"After it!” Riku pointed as the three chased the heartless into the court room, bursting through the heart shaped hedges and scaring the guards half to death.

"What! Who is that?” the queen asked, pointing at the heartless.

"Your majesty, he is the evidence! Look out!” Riku warned. The heartless was almost close enough to the queen to stab its sharp claws into her chest, but with a well-placed fire attack from Donald, the heartless burst into flame and withered away. While everyone was too busy watching the dying heartless, Goofy and Donald went over to the cage apparatus that Alice was in.

"Now do you see that Alice is innocent?” Riku asked, pointing at the spot where the heartless had been. She didn't answer, instead grinding her teeth.

Goofy and Donald started turning the wheel for the cage to move, despite the protests from the guards.

"Hey, you can't lower the-"

Riku didn't listen to him, too intent on getting Alice out of there and to somewhere safe so that they could concentrate on finding Sora...

But as the curtain opened so that everyone could see the interior of the cage, Riku felt a horrid apprehension that he had remembered from before.

The cage was empty. Alice was gone.
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I am so sorry that you had to sit and read this long ass chapter, but to me, it was worth it.

In case you haven't been able to tell, Alice in Wonderland was one of my favorite Disney movies when I was a kid.

What the cat and caterpillar told Riku will be a slight plot significance later on in the story, as there was a reason why I started the story from the beginning of Wonderland.
 

ansemjafar

A.K.A. Jemxas
Joined
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I thought that the chapter was awesome. I enjoyed the parts with the caterpillar and the flowers. Too bad though. I was hoping to hear the story of the walrus and the carpenter. ^_^
 

ansemjafar

A.K.A. Jemxas
Joined
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Messages
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Location
Maple Shade: A small town in NJ
oh to bad. I don't remember too much except that a walrus tricked oysters to come out of the ocean. The carpenter built a restarant and while the carpenter was making some sort of dish. when he exited the room the walrus had eaten all the oysters. the carpenter with his hammer chased the walrus across the beach. The End. LOL I am looking forward to Jafar and Oogie Boogie
 

Every Heart

Here We Go Again
Joined
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Inside an empty room, my inspiration flows, now wa
Hey. As some of you know, I'm on a temporary leave from KHI until the end of the first semester. However, I will stop by occasionally to update this fic.

I wrote this while I was sick this week and had a lot of spare time. Hopefully this chapter will turn more people onto this fic.

Chapter Three: Keyhole

How could this be? She should of still been here...I wasn't here to kidnap her this time!

Riku stepped back from the cage apparatus in disbelief. He wasn't the only one that was shocked at this.

"Where's Alice?” Donald said at his left.

"I...I don't know."

The queen turned to her cards, snapping her fingers impatiently. "Guards, go find Alice right now! I don't care who finds her, just do it!"

The cards saluted her as they marched off into the forest, still leaving a fair few number of them behind. The queen then turned to the trio.

"The rest of you, apprehend them!"

The cards started to advance on Riku, Donald, and Goofy. Donald pulled out his staff while Goofy pulled out his shield.

"This doesn't look too good...” Goofy muttered as he got into a defensive stance. Riku reached behind him, his fingers brushing against where he used to keep his Soul Eater weapon. His face slightly fell. He was so used to being able to use his weapon. Instead of pulling out the Soul Eater, gold light encircled his hand and the keyblade appeared in all its glory. He got down into what he assumed was an offensives stance, slightly blanching.

How the hell do you fight with this thing?

The cards started to stab at them with their spears, so Riku resorted to dodging backwards away from them. He awkwardly held the keyblade out in a blocking stance as a spear slammed against it. Behind him, Goofy was plowing through them with his shield, while Donald was casting the cards on fire. Donald looked up from what he was doing at Riku.

"Don't just stand there! Use Fire on them!” Donald shouted, seeing as it seemed setting the cards on fire was the best option to defeating them.

Riku turned back to the group of cards he was fighting. How did he go about using Fire? Did Sora shoot the fire out of his keyblade or from his hands? He supposed that it must have come from the keyblade, since Riku's original Dark Firaga attack had come from his Soul Eater, or sometimes from his hands. He pointed the keyblade at the oncoming group of cards.

"Fire!"

At first, nothing happened. Then he felt the familiar warmth that he usually got when he used Dark Firaga wrap around his fingertips before traveling down the blade of the keyblade until it concentrated at its point. The dark fireball grew, it reflection in his eyes. He couldn't tell, but it kind of gave him an odd manic glow. The dark energy shot from the keyblade and slammed into the cards, bowling them over. If he had put a fraction of more energy into it, the cards would have been cinders.

So I can still use a little bit of my darkness...but...why?

He looked down at the keyblade, which of course didn't give him an answer to his question. If this keyblade was a weapon of the light, why did it allow darkness to wield it? Last time he checked, the keyblade rejected anyone who so much as breathed darkness. Sora had the purest heart, which was why the keyblade chose him as its master. And yet, why was it letting Riku use it and still wield the darkness?

He looked around to see if anyone had noticed his attack, and conviently it seemed that Donald and Goofy had been too distracted with fending off cards to notice.

"There's too many of them. We're just going to have to run for it!” Donald said as the trio headed into the forest, even though Riku thought it was a very cowardly thing to do. But his mind was on more important matters.

Like, if he wasn't the one who kidnapped Alice...then who did?

Alice slumped down inside of the apparatus, wondering when that boy and his friends would come back. She didn't even notice the pool of darkness that had opened behind her. She suddenly felt someone's hand curl around her wrist, another hand placing over her mouth, and without so much as a word to her, they pulled her backwards through the pool. She caught a quick glimpse of spiky brown hair before everything went dark and all was eerily quiet once again.


The group headed down a forest path until they had come upon a quaint cottage. Pushing open the gate, faint music could be heard.


"Happy unbirthday, happy unbirthday to you!"

"Unbirthday?” Goofy asked aloud. The music abruptly stopped as the two figures at the end of the table leapt up from their seats. One was a rabbit with brown fur and a red coat while the other was a man wearing a large green hat.

"Guests? Come! Join us for tea!"

"We really can't..." Riku sputtered, but the group found themselves forcibly pulled to the table by the man.

"Nonsense! There's always time for tea!” he chortled as he pushed them all into various chairs. The rabbit suddenly stopped Riku from sitting down.

"Not that chair! Are you stupid or something!” the rabbit yelled at the man.

"Sorry, forgot about that.” the man apologized as he pushed Riku into a different chair.

"I'm sorry, but who are you people?” Riku asked.

"I'm the March Hare.", the man introduced.

"No your not, I am!” the rabbit said as it slammed a hammer down on top of the man's head.

"Oh silly me, I'm the Mad Hatter. Sorry about that.” the man laughed. The rabbit turned to Riku and the gang.

"So how about that tea?"

"Uh, I'll have some sugar then!” Goofy said, as if not caring about the two weirdoes. The hare took the bowl of sugar, and instead of putting a spoonful in it, it dumped the entire contents of the sugar bowl into Goofy's tea cup. "There you go!"

"Uh...but...” Goofy said, staring at the cup filled with sugar. The Mad Hatter turned to Donald.

"And you?"

"Uh...just half a cup then."

The Mad Hatter pulled a cup of tea towards him and brought a huge knife down on it, splitting it in half, but managing to keep the tea inside as he handed the broken cup to Donald, who was now sputtering indignantly. The March Hare turned to Riku, who put his hands up.

"Sorry, I don't care for tea."

The two stared at him as if he had said a disgusting swear. "NOT CARE FOR TEA! YOU’RE NOT HUMAN!” the March Hare yelled at him.

"Why I never! We try to have civil conversation, you don't have to be rude you know!” the Mad Hatter said with a huff. The March Hare held his hammer up threateningly.

"Don't make me use this on you!” he threatened.

"All right, all right, I'll have a little tea.", Riku said as he pulled towards him a teapot and took the lid off, pouring some tea into a cup, but what he didn't expect was for a mouse to fall out into the cup. The mouse itself looked slightly drunk and was singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" under its breath. The Mad Hatter tutted at Riku.

"You can't drink a doormouse, silly!” he chided as if Riku had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. The Mad Hatter took the cup from him and dumped the mouse back into the teapot, slamming the lid shut. Donald and Goofy were looking at their teacups now, wondering if it was sanitary to drink from them. A pulse mark was throbbing in Riku's temple, especially when all the chairs suddenly tipped forward, causing tea to splash all over the occupants at the table.

"Change places!” the Mad Hatter shouted. As the two scrambled into new seats, Riku whispered to the other two.

"Let's get the heck out of here.” he said as they quickly snuck away just as the two madmen burst into song.

"Those people are crazy! That queen is crazy! Everyone here is crazy!” Donald shouted once they were far away from the Mad Hatter's place.

"But what about Alice?” Goofy asked, now turning to Riku.

"The heartless probably took Alice...” Riku suggested.

"I thought the heartless only attacked people on the spot.” Donald pointed out.

"I'm not so sure about that, but something is manipulating the heartless...something really evil.” Riku found himself saying. Donald and Goofy stared at him, as if seeing him in a whole new light.

"Riku, are you ok?” Goofy asked.

Riku blinked, realizing how weird that must have sounded to them. "Oh, yeah, of course I-AHH!” Riku cut off as a purple and pink face greeted his.

The Cheshire Cat laughed from where it had been hanging upside down by its tail from a tree branch that the group had been about to walk under.

"For cripes sake, don't scare us like that you da-"

"Might you be looking for Alice?” the cat inquired, effectively cutting Riku off.

"Yeah, did you see her?” Goofy asked.

"No."

"Then what do you want!?” Riku asked, highly miffed at the annoying cat. The cat seemed to grin even more at Riku's visible annoyance.

"Well, I know where the shadow is."

"Shadow?” Donald asked aloud.

"You mean heartless?” Riku asked. The cat nodded before disappearing from the tree branch. In front of them, paw prints were forming in the dirt, as if leading them in the direction that the cat wanted them to go. Despite his notions of it being a trap, Riku followed after the paw prints until they lead back to the bizarre room. The cat's taunts echoed from the ceiling.

"This way? That way? Oh where could she be?"

"Damn it, just tell us already!” Riku snapped.

"Does it really matter?” the cat asked, and with a slight realization, Riku noticed that there were no lights on in the bizarre room. It was dark...not a good sign.

"Did you know that..."

A lamp suddenly flickered to life as a long elegonated shadow loomed over the three of them.

"...When you turn on the light, a shadow is made?"

Donald, who hadn't been listening to the cat and had been about to reprimand Riku for his language, held his tongue as a long gangly shadow moved over them. Towering above them was a tall heartless with long paper thin arms and legs and a vibrant purple, black, and red body. It appeared to have several small heads stacked one on top of the other, and clutched in its paper hands were what appeared to be juggling sticks that it was twirling above its main head. The Cheshire Cat was lying nonchalantly on the table above them, hands behind its head.

"Are you prepared for the worst? If you're not...that's too bad!” the cat smirked.

"You...you tricked us!” Donald yelled up at the cat, forgetting completely about Riku's language earlier.

The cat looked genuinely hurt, but Riku could tell that it was a ruse. The cat disappeared from the table and chose a spot out of harms way.

"Tricked you? Nothing of the sort! The Cheshire Cat is always here to help the weak!"

The Trickmaster roared as it struck out at the group with its juggling sticks. Riku quickly rolled out of the way, pushing Goofy and Donald to the side. The keyblade appeared in his hand while Goofy and Donald pulled out their own weapons.

"Fire!” Donald casted at the Trickmaster. Riku thought it would work, seeing as the heartless looked like it was made of paper. But then the Trickmaster crossed its juggling sticks in front of it in a blocking stance, taking the full front of the flames. The flames clung to the sticks, setting them on fire. The Trickmaster pulled them apart, now leering over them with flaming juggling sticks.

"Great job Donald, now we're going to die faster!” Riku couldn't help but snap at the duck.

"Well excuse me for not knowing that setting it on fire would be a bad thing!"

This was bad, as the group was now forced on the defensive. Riku had tried jumping up on the table so that he could strike the Trickmaster, but the table would suddenly collapse quite abruptly every time. All the while, the Cheshire Cat watched on, amused by the spectacle before him.

"This won't do. You'll never make it like that.” the cat chided him. Riku looked around at it as he parried one of the blows from the juggling sticks.

"If you have any helpful hints, I'd love to hear them-on second thought, I think that your help would only make us die more painfully.", Riku muttered. Normally, this heartless should have been no problem for him, but if he was in Sora's memories, then he most likely was acting with the strength he had from back then, not like how he did now.
The cat vanished from its spot and nothing more than its grin was now floating in front of his face.

"You may not be the true wielder of the keyblade, but you should be able to use a little magic, right?” the cat asked. Before Riku could say a word, the keyblade suddenly glowed with a blue light and Riku felt a peculiar sensation enter his body. It felt similar to the sensation he felt when he used Dark Firaga, but much colder.

"Accumulate power at the tip of the keyblader. Concentrate in your mind. Imagine your enemy becoming one big icicle!” the cat hinted before its grin disappeared. Riku pointed his keyblade at the Trickmaster.

"Here goes something! Freeze!"

The cold numbness spread through his fingertips and traveled down the blade of the keyblade, similar to his Dark Firaga. But instead of fire, ice was forming at the tip. Unlike natural ice though, it was surrounded with a dark aura. The ice shot out from the keyblade, but unlike the fire, it wasn't compacted into a ball. It was a flurry that was imbued with darkness. The ice hit the Trickmaster full on in the face, effectively extinguishing its juggling sticks. Riku smirked as he jumped up onto the table, leaping off of it before it could disappear on him. A growl tore from his throat as he slammed the keyblade across the Trickmaster's face.

The Trickmaster crumbled before them, its many heads breaking apart. It fell face forward and crashed, its body dissolving into nothing more than darkness. A large crystal heart floated upward from its body and disappeared into the air. The group was too stunned to say anything, hell, even the Cheshire Cat was at a lost for words; Riku could distinctly hear it muttering something that sounded like, "Oh my..."

"We did it Riku!” Goofy cheered as he wrapped his arms around Riku's neck, practically strangling him.

"For gods sake, get off me!"

A large yawn greeted them and Riku found himself drawn to the talking doorknob from earlier. The doorknob yawned once more before opening its rather larger sleepy eyes.

"Such a racket. How is a doorknob to get any sleep?"

Donald shook a finger at it. "Now wait just a minute! How can you sleep when we're trying..."

Riku ignored Donald as the doorknob yawned once more. However, upon it doing so, Riku noticed a strange glowing light emitting from its mouth.

Eh? Something's glowing?

On closer inspection, there was a tiny keyhole in the doorknobs mouth that was the source of the light.

The keyhole...to the world's heart?

Without warning, the keyblade that was still in his hand started shaking violently. A light began to grow from the tip of the keyblade and it shot forth from it at the keyhole. Donald and Goofy gave shocked exclamations, but Riku noticed something odd about it. There looked like a dark stream that was circling the shaft of light, as if the two elements were combined as it entered the keyhole. A loud click sound resonated in the room and the keyhole disappeared. Riku continued to stare at where the keyhole had been even though the door had gone back to sleep.

A small object suddenly fell out of the keyhole. Goofy noticed it first, leaning down to pick it up and examine it.

"Hey, it's a gummi block! But this one isn't like the others, no sir!"

"Give it here.” Donald ordered, which Goofy obeyed. Donald held it between two feathered fingers.

"You're right. I've never seen this kind of gummi block before. Where do you think it came from?” Donald asked, but before Riku could reply, the sound of applause could be heard behind them. Riku turned, spotting the cat on the table, which was standing on its hind legs and clapping.

"Splendid! You're quite the hero. Really quite excellent! Your power has blossomed! I can't wait to see what you will do next!” the cat said cheerfully, grinning at them as if they had won an award.

" Cheshire Cat...who are you?” Riku asked. The cat turned to look at Riku, smirking even more than before.

"You know who I am, Riku.” it spoke, but it was in a way without its usual charm. And suddenly, Riku remembered something from long ago...

"We should have gotten rid of that cat when he declined to help us."

"You...” Riku whispered. The cat didn't respond for a moment, as if knowing exactly what Riku was thinking. Donald and Goofy looked between the two, wondering what was going on.

"If you're looking for Alice, she's not here.” the cat suddenly spoke up. "My friends, I'm afraid she's gone!"

The cat seemed to have gotten back its slick charm as it said this.

"Gone with the shadows...into the darkness!"

And as it said these words, Riku felt the pit in his stomach grow ever larger.

Sora...where are you?

Somewhere far away, a group of people sat in complete and utter darkness. All were watching a flickering hologram on the table they were seated at, which showed Riku and his new companions standing together, processing the cat's words, which the group had heard every word of.


"That darn cat...it needs to keep its big mouth shut!” jeered one of them, who from the darkness gave an appearance like a ghost.

"We should of finished him off when he turned down our offer to join us.” said one, who appeared to have a hook for a hand.

"Too late for that. Even if we let him live, he can't do us much harm. We could just turn him into a heartless! That would solve the problem real quick!” laughed a female voice. One of the group leaned forward, the staff in his hand reflecting the hologram. The staff was shaped like a cobra.

"But the boy is a problem. Not only has he found one of the keyholes, he's the one-the ah...special circumstance.” the owned of the staff spoke, "We need to take care of this right away-"

"Enough."

The group turned to the new voice. Suddenly, one of the group looked around, as if it had been expecting someone else.

"Wait, where is M-"

"She's attending to other matters. Involving our newest guest.” the new figure dismissed. The figure approached the table, changing the hologram to a different setting, watching it with vague amusement. It was so odd to see this figure command such respect, and yet it appeared to be even shorter than everyone at the table.

"There's no need to rush. It will take him ages to find the others. And he has no idea what is really going on here.” the figure spoke, its voice laced with malicious glee. "Besides..."

The figure leaned towards the hologram, which depicted a scared Alice looking around with fear. As the light of the hologram glowed, the figure’s cold blue eyes were visible.

"The pieces are all falling in our favor..."
 
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