Fanfiction ► Kingdom Hearts | what stays, what fades | ch. 1



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Oracle Spockanort

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Some of you may remember this from a few years back if you guys were around for the various contests run by KitKat. I finally decided to post this fic series I had been planning forever now. Spoiler alert: It sucks.

Updates every other Tuesday unless stated otherwise~

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[HR][/HR]
what stays, what fades

Defeat Organization XIII, destroy Kingdom Hearts, find Sora. Three simple goals lead Roxas and Riku down a harrowing path of self-discovery, forgiveness, and hope.

An alternate reality take on Kingdom Hearts 2 if Riku had failed to capture Roxas.

soriku | hinted rikuroxas

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i. failure

Weak.

Pain shot through Riku’s left wrist as he stepped from out of a dark portal and into the basement hallway of the abandoned mansion in Twilight Town. The dimly lit hall was lined with sheets of metal paneling and rows of pipes, hiding the wiring and circuity that powered all of the intricate systems that DiZ had retrofitted into their hidden mansion base. He couldn’t help but think about how unwelcoming and industrial it looked. It reminded him too much of the dark city he had just left.

Weak.

Riku’s soft footsteps sounded like thunder in his ears, and guilt rolled through the pit of his stomach as he passed two flower bud-shaped pods on his left. Within the pods were Donald and Goofy who remained oblivious to the outside world as they slumbered. He couldn’t bring himself to look over at them knowing that his loss may have doomed them as well.

I’m weak.

Everything felt like too much at once. The black-robed teen took a moment to inhale and exhale, doing his best to hide the grimace that contorted his face. Ignoring the pain from his injured wrist was easy. The guilt? It proved to be harder to control as it crashed against him with every step bringing him closer to his destination.

Even with the blindfold covering his eyes, crossing the threshold of the hallway into the bright white room nearly blinded him. This days, facing the light was becoming harder and harder for Riku to do.

Naminé tilted her head up from where she stood on the far end of the room, waiting patiently with a hopeful look on her face as Riku walked over to her. With a solemn shake of Riku’s head, her face clouded with an array of emotions that belied the idea that Nobodies had no feelings or emotions.

“Without having Roxas return to Sora, there is no way for me to finish repairing his memories,” It was almost unbearable to look at Naminé’s face as her fingers gripped her drawing tablet closer to her chest, sorrow dimming the girl’s normally bright periwinkle eyes. “I don’t know what else can be done. I—”

Riku rested a gloved hand on her shoulder and shook his head. He didn't blame her, not when she spent a year trying her hardest to undo the damage the Organization forced her to do to Sora’s heart. He didn’t blame Xion—a face like Kairi’s and the determination he thought only somebody like Sora could possess, and even that knowledge was quickly leaving him as it became harder to remember the girl’s face with every passing moment—who had unwillingly become the container for Sora’s unchained memories.

He definitely didn’t blame Roxas, the blond Nobody of his best friend who almost landed a killing blow on him a mere hour ago. He was just as much of a victim of circumstance as they all were.

Instead, Riku blamed himself.

I failed.

He had been too weak to stand up against Roxas, too blinded by the bright blue eyes that stared at him fiercely across their impromptu battlefield in the dark city. A familiar tone—that something that was so inherently Sora—burst forth from Roxas’ mouth, rising to Riku’s mocking challenge and lulled him into a brief sense of security. A mistake that simple had nearly cost him his life in more ways than one.

If Axel hadn’t arrived when he did and pulled Roxas away into a corridor of darkness to another world, Riku would have either been dead or he’d have finally giv—

Thinking about the what-ifs was an exercise in futility. He survived. That meant he had more chances to make things right.

Turning away from Naminé with a final pat to her shoulder, he moved across the bright white room to place his right hand on the face of the lone egg-shaped machine situated in the middle of the room. The Keyblade wielder slept on as if the worlds were not in a worse place for having forgotten their savior—as if he hadn’t saved them all from Ansem almost shrouding the universe in Darkness almost a year ago.

As Sora continued sleeping, though, time marched on without fail. Sora had even grown while he slept despite not being “complete”.

(the word burned inside his head, his heart, his stomach. Sora wasn’t some puzzle to be put back together)

His brown locks had grown out into an impossibly wild look and seemed to have lightened up as though his hair had been bleached by the sun. Is it because of Roxas? Sora’s jawline had sharpened a bit, the baby fat that always clung to his cheeks seeming to have melted away during his slumber. His arms, legs, and torso had also lengthened, accentuating defined, toned muscles that were never visible on Sora’s slender form before. Briefly, Riku wondered if they would have to change him out of his trademark red jumpsuit soon now that was much too small for the growing teen.

The idea of it set his teeth on edge as soon as the thought crossed his mind. His reluctance to make any kind of changes to Sora felt illogical when looking at how small his clothes were, but Riku still thought of him as that lazy fourteen-year-old boy who shirked off responsibility to nap or…do something.

What did he do?…Right. He played Blitzball with the other kids…I think.

This confusion was the crux of Riku’s reluctance. Although the memories of his dearest friend were beginning to blur and fade as the days passed and Sora’s condition stagnated, there were still enough of them remaining for him to hold on to. He worried that by changing Sora in any way would also cause him to forget Sora faster. He clung to what memories remained. They were his last lifeline in the sea of darkness that threatened to consume him.

He trusted them to help him see things through.

He’d save Sora. He didn’t dare think that it’d be enough to fix all of the wrongs he’s committed, but at least Sora would be back.

[HR][/HR]
The golden light that suddenly filled Roxas’ eyes stung like never before, contrasting painfully with the dark world he had just been forcibly transported away from by his red haired best friend. The stale, wet smell of rain was replaced with the scent of pine trees, grass, and the warmth of the sun-baked earth.

Twilight Town. Of course.

Roxas turned his body towards his unwanted savior, trying to pull away from Axel as a feeling of uncontrolled rage rolled under his skin and ached down to his bones despite the fear that had gripped him before. “I would have beat him,” The words came out petulant and arrogant, hiding the fear that gripped the hollow of his chest. He wasn’t about to admit to Axel that the dark aura radiating off of the silver haired teen’s body earlier made his stomach lurch. A strange, cold feeling crept up his arms and legs as the adrenaline from his fight started to wear off. “And who said you should have followed me anyways? I can handle things on my own.”

Axel’s grip tightened around Roxas’ upper arm, holding him in place despite Roxas’ efforts to pull away from the older Nobody. “You were reckless, Roxas!” Refusing to look up at the red haired man’s face, Roxas’ other arm pushed against the man’s chest as he tried to create some distance between them. “What if I hadn’t followed you and pulled you through that portal?”

“I would have bea—”

“He’s dangerous! You don’t know what he’s capable of.”

“And you do? I’m not some weakling you need to protect.” And he wasn’t. Roxas could take on any enemy that stood in his way and he had a mission to complete. This wasn’t something Axel needed to be involved with. Defeat the Organization, destroy Kingdom Hearts, find Sora. If it means hurting Axel to keep him away from this…“I don’t need or want your help so just go away!”

The two stood there at the base of the forest, a tense silence filling the air as Roxas continued to avoid looking at Axel. The less Axel knew, the better. Minutes rolled on endlessly until finally the grip on Roxas’ arm went slack. He heard the familiar echo of a corridor being opened and the soft crunch of Axel's feet as he started walking away.

“Fine. Do what you want.”

As Roxas was left alone in the glowing golden world where he and Axel had first become friends, the part of him that remained afraid and uncertain wished Axel had fought harder to stay by his side.
 
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Veevee

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How can you say it sucks? It's great! I love that it's written out of Riku's perspective. I always found the time gap between Riku choosing his way at the end of COM and his hardships until Sora wakes up (dealing with Roxas, Xion, his own guilt, memory loss, the organisation) pretty interesting and could've gotten more spotlight in the series. I think you nailed every character pretty well; Naminés desperation, Riku's blaming himself, Roxas being torn between being angry at Axel and feeling lost in the world. I also love the way you created the atmosphere with your descriptions and the way you layouted the text - it's pleasant to read. Give me more!
 

Grono

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I love it! As some constructive criticism, I would have expanded Roxas' part of the story, as the story feels less like a puzzle slowly being put together and more like a small vignette of Riku that happened to involve Roxas. Maybe a callback to Axel and Xion's fight would have been appropriate, or even Roxas dealing with the guilt of never waking Sora. I know that the latter option is somewhat out of character, but having him realize the gravity of Sora's situation for the first time and his desperation for identity would have been an interesting twist.

Also, maybe a scene where DiZ scolds Riku or even unfairly yells at Namine in front of Riku would have been a really great scene that was completely in his character, building to that moment where DiZ asks Riku to dispose of Axel and Namine later (if that would have still occurred).

But it's a really good story! I honestly like it a little better than my own stories, and it reminded me that we could all include a bit more in our stories since people want to see more from them. I'd like to see this story expanded on or even another character study on Roxas or Riku during a later or earlier time in their lives!
 

Oracle Spockanort

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How can you say it sucks? It's great! I love that it's written out of Riku's perspective. I always found the time gap between Riku choosing his way at the end of COM and his hardships until Sora wakes up (dealing with Roxas, Xion, his own guilt, memory loss, the organisation) pretty interesting and could've gotten more spotlight in the series. I think you nailed every character pretty well; Naminés desperation, Riku's blaming himself, Roxas being torn between being angry at Axel and feeling lost in the world. I also love the way you created the atmosphere with your descriptions and the way you layouted the text - it's pleasant to read. Give me more!
Oh my god thank you! (haha, I'll try not to be too hard on my writing lol)

Yes, the time gap has always been interesting to me as well. I wish we had gotten what they hinted at in BBSv2 with Riku's side of Days, but it's fine. That is honestly why I started writing this.

;A; Thank you! I really try to keep them in character. One of my biggest pet peeves with fanfic is when characters are OOC, so I always strive to try and keep some believability to their voice.

I'll try and get more out soon. KH3 kinda killed my motivation for awhile 8D Also I am down a pair of glasses and relying on my broken backups so I'm not really comfortable typing for long periods of time, but when my doctor calls me in to get my old pair back, I'll be right on the writing grind.

Chapters 3 and 4 are done, though, so the wait for more after I get my glasses done won't be too long. It's chapter 2 that is unfinished lol

I love it! As some constructive criticism, I would have expanded Roxas' part of the story, as the story feels less like a puzzle slowly being put together and more like a small vignette of Riku that happened to involve Roxas. Maybe a callback to Axel and Xion's fight would have been appropriate, or even Roxas dealing with the guilt of never waking Sora. I know that the latter option is somewhat out of character, but having him realize the gravity of Sora's situation for the first time and his desperation for identity would have been an interesting twist.
For Roxas, I have plans for him, many of them involving him coming to terms with his identity as an individual and also as a piece of Sora. I don't want to speak too much about it, but his journey with Riku is going to be filled with a lot of hard truths.

I didn't want to have to revisit too much of Days...but...your ideas hold merit xD

Edit: Yeaaaah, the Roxas part was mostly a holdover from the original piece I wrote. His POV carries on into the next chapter, but I didn't want to end the chapter at Riku's part. I wanted to introduce both of them in the first chapter to show where they both stand at the moment, and then to use that to frame their interactions in the next chapter.

Also, maybe a scene where DiZ scolds Riku or even unfairly yells at Namine in front of Riku would have been a really great scene that was completely in his character, building to that moment where DiZ asks Riku to dispose of Axel and Namine later (if that would have still occurred).
c;

But it's a really good story! I honestly like it a little better than my own stories, and it reminded me that we could all include a bit more in our stories since people want to see more from them. I'd like to see this story expanded on or even another character study on Roxas or Riku during a later or earlier time in their lives!
Well, I've got about 16 chapters planned so I hope you are ready for it lol
 
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Griewer

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It was fun to re-read it again (I've already read it once, but I somehow always stumble back to the fanfiction page). I really like "if" stories because they make an interesting attempt to expand the world towards the unknown, and this particular if sounds really awesome because I love both Riku and Roxas, and because the latter has the power and ability to throw a big wrench into the plans of basically anybody. :'D

I do agree with Grono that Roxas' part could be a bit expanded, but I'm sure the length will change from chapter to chapter, so I'll just look forward to the next chapters! ^^
 
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