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Keys to the Kingdom
A Kingdom Hearts fanfiction. The fate of the universe lies in the hands of six new teenaged keyblade masters... scared yet?
Chapter 22: Fleeting Quietude
A/N: Well, here we are again! Yay! Lots to talk about before this chapter, so let's begin... Note: this first paragraph is mostly me whining, so I recommend you read the story before actually reading my self-critiquing. dramallama dramallama

<whine-a-thon> If the first part of this chapter feels REALLY rushed, it's because it was. I was SO EXCITED to get this part out and introduce this new character and get to the next part and the great fights coming up that... I ran away with myself. gonk Characterizing Sakura proved rather more difficult than I had expected, so she turned out somewhat bland. Then again, she's generally a bland character. I hope I don't have to use her for much longer.</whine-a-thon> The last part turned out much better, though.

Also, I noticed, looking over my chapters, that I haven't had a single Heartless in my story since the beginning of London. That has now been rectified as of this chapter. I just don't find Heartless very stimulating plot devices. I think they work as enemies in a game, but appearing regularly in a story, they're just baggage... emo

Yes, I did sorta steal the title from 358/2 days. I have beaten the game on standard mode now. I am currently playing through on Proud mode... and counting the number of times they say the word 'zombie' in the entire game. (They say it a lot...) I'll inform you of the results.

Also, (I may be wrong here, correct me if I am) but Neko, aka TsugumiAngelus, aka xX_cAnDyCaNeMaDnEsS_Xx, aka NekoKingdomHeart, better simply known as 'my co-author' seems to have had her computer taken away for reasons I know nothing of, and will likely not be updating her deviantart or her youtube for a week or so. However, you can look forward to some KttK writings in the future from my good friend kyuubyyimaster, relating to the newest addition to Mia, Neko, and Halo's team. I shall provide linkage to him when he actually has something up. We have been working together closely together in order to get all the details on this character right, the main goal being to shed some light on a character who I wish I could explore more fully but lack the time!

Clearly I am a member of BOO. I am currently maxed out on followers. However, if you would kindly post a link, I will gladly follow you.

Lastly, have a health drink on me for sitting through my chatter. Love you all. Enjoy.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Chapter 22: Fleeting Quietude

“He showed up here a week ago,” the girl--who had introduced herself as Sakura--said as she led Mia, Neko, and Halo towards the weird-shaped building in the center of town they had seen from the cliffs. “There was a big meteor shower, and something hit the ground close by. When a bunch of us went to check it out, we didn’t find a rock from space like we expected--we found him.”

Mia was unsure whether ‘a bunch of us’ meant this girl and her friends or the members of the faction Sakura may or may not have been a part of. Mia decided to leave that question for later. “What do you mean by ‘you found him’?” she asked instead.

“He was just sitting there in the middle of a crater, like he was the one that fell from the sky!” Sakura said as if hardly believing what she was saying. “He was really badly hurt, too--practically slashed to bits.”

Neko blinked. “Slashed? Not, like, with broken bones?”

“Well, he had a few of those, but his flesh wounds were really bad…” Sakura replied ponderingly, ignoring a pushy salesman who charged up out of nowhere and tried to hawk some makeup.

Halo sprinted forward to keep up--the poor girl was somewhat on the short side, making it difficult to her to keep pace with the comparatively long strides of the other girls. “But he’s alive, right?”

Sakura nodded. “Lucky for him he was found by us. Lady Tsunade is the best medic in the world; she patched him up no problem.”

Neko screwed up her face in an effort to process. “Uh, we’re from pretty far out of town, Sakura. We don’t even know who this Sue Noddy is, weird as that may seem to you.”

“Oh, that’s not so strange at all,” Sakura laughed. They were seemingly right at the foot of the weird building when she turned and made for the only building not of Asian design in the town--one Mia could sense from even this distance was a hospital. “Konoha sees all types. I’ve even met people who’ve never seen a ninja before.”

She said this as if ninjas were the sort of thing everyone saw every day. “You have ninjas here?” Mia gasped. She felt a strange sense of delight leaping up in her chest. First vampires and zombies, now ninjas! Maybe this journey wouldn’t be so bad after all. All it would take to make this any better would be a few pirates.

Sakura looked over her shoulder and raised her eyebrows. “They don’t where you live?”

“Like my sister said, we’re from pretty far out in the boonies,” Halo laughed nervously. “Be more likely to find a snowball fight in hell than a ninja where we live.”

The pink haired girl smiled and approached the sliding door of the hospital. “Well, then, congratulations, you’ve just met your first.”

“Huh? What do you mean?” Neko asked, looking just as pleasantly astounded as Mia felt.

Sakura looked over her shoulder and smiled. “I’m a ninja!”

All three froze, gaping.

“Come on, this way!” She flounced off into the hospital, making them sprint to catch up.

Mia composed herself and tried to continue the talk about this new Keyblade master from before as Sakura guided them into an elevator. “So how do you know about the Keyblade?” she asked.

“Is that what it’s called? Interesting.” She frowned. “I’ve never heard of a weapon like that… Well, we were attacked by Heartless a day after he showed up--”

“You know about Heartless?” Neko asked, eyes wide. Halo shushed her and motioned for Sakura to continue.

The ninja nodded and proceeded as if there had been no interruption. “We were attacked by a lot of Heartless. We--the ninjas, I mean--were holding our own, but a lot of us saw him destroying dozens of these things with a giant key. He’s a strange guy--I think he may have some sort of amnesia or something.”

“Why’s that?” Mia inquired.

“Well, since he woke up, he hasn’t said a single word. He’s wrote a whole lot though--That’s how we know they’re called Heartless. Nothing about himself, though. We don’t even know his name? Just a lot about the Heartless.”

They stepped out of the elevator and down another hallway. “You’ll see. This is his room.” She approached a nondescript door and knocked. “Hey, you awake in there?” She called out into the room. “It’s me, Sakura!”

There was a pause and the door opened.

The boy was tallish, with silvery-grey hair that fell in uneven locks above his shoulders. His bangs hung down far enough to touch the tip of his nose, but somehow were unable to hide the piercing ice-blue of his eyes. He was lightly built and a tad gangling, as if he had grown very fast in a very short time. He was dressed in a simple brown and tan bomber jacket over a plain white tee shirt and an equally unremarkable pair of jeans. He stared at the girls, mouth slightly ajar.

Mia didn’t know how she knew but she did. He was another Keyblade master.

He stood aside and gestured for them to come in wordlessly, managing to close his mouth. The girls entered the hospital room.

Sakura had made an understatement about how much this boy had written. Every wall near the hospital bed was completely plastered with pieces of paper ripped from notebooks, pinned up with thumbtacks--the covers that were the remnants of said notebooks had filled up the trash and were spilling over onto the floor. A few notebooks that were still whole lay about the room, haphazardly flipped open to random pages to reveal they were also filled with the boy’s nearly-illegible handwriting. Among the writings on the wall there were also sketches of heartless--Mia spotted a detailed drawing of a Shadow, as well as a sketch of a black-cloaked Organization member.

The boy sat down cross-legged on his bed and stared at the three other keyblade masters silently for a moment.

Sakura looked around awkwardly. “These girls… they were looking for you. Do you know them?”

The boy shook his head.

“The Keyblade masters,” Neko made a stab at explaining, “We’re sorta like a super-secret, ultra-special order of… epicness. We came to find him, but we don’t know each other, you know?”

“Oh?” Sakura replied, prompting more information

“I know it probably all sounds strange to you,” Halo said awkwardly. “But we’re not really from--”

“Kyuubi,” said a quiet voice quite suddenly from the bed.

They looked over at him and stared again.

The boy pressed his hand to his chest. “Kyuubi,” he repeated.

Mia blinked and hit her open palm with the side of her fist. “His name,” she explained briefly to them before looking back to the boy. “How do you know about the Keyblades and the Heartless, Kyuubi?”

He paused, seeming to consider. “Travel,” he answered after a moment.

Mia felt a smile blooming on her face. She suddenly had the image of a certain equally soft-spoken lavender-haired girl who had once given her a good luck necklace. “You travel a lot then?”

He nodded.

Mia could feel the gapes of everybody else on her. She was somehow able to converse with this kid who only used a single word in a sentence, if he spoke at all.

“Would you mind doing a little more?”

He shook his head. He seemed to think for a moment about what he was trying to say. He shook his head again as if to say ‘forget it’, and looked away.

Sakura smiled. “Well, we’ll have to check with Lady Tsunade to make sure he’s healthy enough to leave, but I don’t think there would be a problem if--”

“SAKURA!!”

The door burst open startling everybody in the room. A girl with long platinum blond hair entered. “I was sent to tell you--” she shouted, “The Heartless--they’re attacking again!! And there are even more than before!! Lady Tsunade’s dispatching everybody to get rid of them.”

“Right!” She looked back at the four. “Stay here! We can handle this!”

She sprinted out, her friend following.

The four looked at one another.

Kyuubi stood, gestured for them to follow, and exited, ignoring Sakura’s command.

“I’m with him,” Neko said. “I’m not sitting around like a good girl! We’re supposed to kill these Heartless, right.”

“Right!” the other girls agreed in unison.

They raced out to immediately be met by what looked like a wall of Shadows.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

On the cliff above Konoha, the one with the faces that, not long before, Mia, Neko, and Halo had viewed from a distance, a dark portal opened and two figures stepped out. One--a tall white-haired man with a beard and many ear piercings--seemed to be having trouble with the bright of the sun, while the other--much shorter--had his hood up.

“My thanks, Roxas,” said the older man, Luxord. “Portals are hard to make without a small child with a bad aim and a blunt axe attempting to split one’s head open.”

Roxas did not smile. He hadn’t been doing a lot of smiling these days, Luxord had noticed. He simply stood there, quiet for a moment, before finally commenting, “Helluva hangover.”

“Oh yes. God is telling me in no uncertain terms that I, as they say, ‘kicked a** last night’.” He said the last four words as if he was merely quoting something he had read elsewhere.

The young boy stared at his co-worker--for lack of a better word. He didn’t know Luxord very well, so ‘friend’ would not apply, nor would ‘partner’ or ‘comrade’. Even so, he could tell the other Nobody was knocked off-balance by the lingering effects of the alcohol he had quaffed the night before. Roxas also did feel a mild vestige of concern for the older man, and so advised softly, “Get yourself some coffee, man.”

“Nonsense,” Luxord scoffed, digging inside his coat. “The proper cure for a hangover--and remember this well, Roxas, for you will need it when you get older--is none other than…” Here he produced a small black flask emblazoned with the upside-down heart and thorns that was the symbol of Nobodies and the Organization. “…even more copious amounts of much stronger alcohol.” He unscrewed the lid and took a swig.

Whatever. Luxord was surprisingly competent while drunk, anyhow. And it wasn’t as if there was any skin off Roxas’ nose if Luxord went and shot himself in the foot with that flask. “What are you planning?” Roxas asked, not really caring.

“Oh, you know me--I shall ‘wing it’!” The other Nobody stowed his flask, crossed his arms, and stroked the bristles of his beard with a slight smirk. “I play my games quite simply, you know--I roll my dice, I move my mice, and pray to God no one gets hurt. Well, at least no one I give mind to, anyhow.”

Roxas continued his blank stare. Simple games, his eye. Luxord took joy in making things more complicated than they had to be. “This isn’t ‘Mousetrap’,” he opted to say simply.

“Perhaps not,” Luxord said, glancing back at the boy. “But one must still remember not to be caught lingering on the cheese, hmm?”

There was a dead silence for a moment. Roxas eyed Luxord warily. There was advice in that sentence, but Roxas had no idea to what purpose it was directed.

“But what’s this?” Luxord suddenly wondered aloud as if discovering a small shiny object at his feet. “There appears to be a game already playing out!”

Roxas looked and, sure enough, dark figures were sweeping through the town. “Heartless,” he murmured. “Are they drawn to the keyblades?”

“No, no, I expect there is a third player we know nothing of,” Luxord said. “Why are you still here? Don’t you have your own little game to play?”

Roxas stared for another second and, without another word, summoned a portal, and left.






User Comments: [2] [add]
The Crimson Soldier
Community Member
avatar
commentCommented on: Sat Oct 31, 2009 @ 04:15am
*Dramatic pose* NOTHING CAN KEEP ME DOWN FOR LONG!... I hope sweatdrop


commentCommented on: Sat Oct 31, 2009 @ 04:31pm
Mia i respect you as a writer, but i'm surprised you didn't make Sakuran more like the annoying b***h she is. Pardon my language

otherwise, lovely as always



Katana-crazy
Community Member
User Comments: [2] [add]
 
 
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