A Simple Touch

Innocent Times

"It all started out as a simple wish…to see other worlds…

Though, let's face it, no one could've predicted this…

Finding yourself to be a part of something much greater than you ever realized….

Everything… everything eventually led up…to this point…."

Sora's Point-of-View

I just…couldn't stop thinking about them. In my head, I know I'm doing the right thing; to keep myself distant from my friends, so they won't get hurt from the darkness that dwells within me. And yet, in my heart, I honestly feel disgusted with myself for leaving them behind; like…like if I shouldn't have done this in the first place.

I still remember the way Kairi looked at me, before I boarded this ship. She was full of sadness; not wanting for me to leave her, yet, for my sake, she tried the best she could to hide the emotion. I couldn't really blame her for that, since in a way, after all that we have been through, the three of us haven't really been spending time with each other. I guess I miss the simpler times, before all this happened.

And…Riku just made it even more difficult. He didn't want to say good-bye, instead, he wanted to come with me, but…I had to go on this journey without him; it was hard to say good-bye, but…I really needed to do this, and thankfully, he understood what I meant. Though I remember, before departing, I promised him I'll be careful, but, since I won't be seeing him for a while, I just hope that he does the same.

With all this going on in my mind, I just sat quietly on my chair; staring down at my hands. A good amount of time had probably passed, since we were already flying in space. Though of course, Donald was the one driving, I driven the ship a few times before, but…after dealing with a few mistakes I made, Donald is basically the main pilot now.

And…since I wasn't really paying much attention, I think he was talking to Goofy about what world we should be heading to first. Goofy was nonetheless indecisive, leaving Donald to try and come up with an answer himself. Because of this little navigating problem, it got me thinking about my home world again.

My island…I wonder…has it been restored? Well, it probably wouldn't hurt to take a look, I'm pretty sure the guys wouldn't mind if we headed there first. So, with my mind set on this idea I had, I eventually got up from my chair.

"Hey, do you mind if we stop at someplace first, I kind of want to see something," I said; walking up to Donald and Goofy.

After I said this to them, they both turned and looked at me.

"No we don't mind but…what place is that?" they both asked simultaneously.

"I kind of wanted to see my island…" I said.

"But Sora, as far as we know, it was destroyed," Goofy exclaimed.

"I know..." I said waving my hands.

I then moved my eyes down to the floor, "I know," I said again; though in a slightly low voice.

But then I quickly looked up, along with giving a sigh, "But…I…just…have this feeling…that it came back some-how," having my hand over my chest.

"Please…I just want see if I'm right," I continued.

"Okay, we get it Sora, after all, it is your home," Goofy said smiling.

"Yeah," Donald agreed, "We'll stop by there first then."

"Thanks guys," I said giving a small smile.

After having our destination now, I went back to my seat…waiting….thinking. You know, come to think of it, I wonder how Vanitas is doing. I remember the last time I saw him, he said he was talking to Ven. Honestly, just thinking about the two, made me chuckle a little. I wonder if they'd been patching things up or…at least trying to get along. The last thing I would probably want is for them two to be more distant and angry with one another. Hopefully though, when all this nonsense ends, everything will be set right again; with everyone living in peace, healing the wounds that were brought from Xehanort himself.

Just thinking about all this my head; I eventually took note that I had my hand formed into a tight fist. It just goes to show, that I'm determined, I want to get back at Xehanort for all the trouble he had caused. Everything…Everything that he had done…has eventually let up to this point.

After a while of flying in space, I guess you could say, that I was getting very bored, finding myself slouching down on my chair. And…due to this, it got me thinking, what if Goofy was right? What if my home wasn't restored at all, making us fly aimlessly in space? My heart was starting to sink at the thought of it. I…I didn't want to believe it…but…

"Sora!" I heard Donald yell; interrupting my thoughts.

"Wha-" I said out loud; picking my head up sharply.

"Look, come see!" Goofy said happily.

So without another word, I got off my chair and walk to see what was up.

"What is it?" I asked the two.

I then saw that Goofy kept pointing out, so I followed his finger and looked out in space…to see…a small star shining ahead of us. Could…could it be?

"I think it's your world Sora," Donald said; having his hands still on the controls.

"Could be," I said.

I didn't really want to get my hopes up just yet, though I couldn't help, but to believe that that star out there…could really be my home. As Donald kept driving the ship, we were getting closer and closer to the star. Within every second, the star was growing bigger and bigger, slowly shaping the world that we found. And…as we finally came close, my eyes widen in amazement, I guess what I was feeling in my heart, ended up being true. My home came back. All the damage that Vanitas had done, were fixed, like if it never happened.

"Well, I guess you were right Sora," Goofy said happily.

"Prepare for landing," Donald said.

So with that said, after the ship landed and with us getting off, we were now in my home world. As I took a few steps deeper into the world, I slowly took in the fresh air and felt the cool breeze going through my hair. Funny, it still hadn't changed one bit. Because of this thought, a small smile sprouted across my face. Maybe…maybe this is just what I needed; a bit of relaxation to calm my nerves. After all, Master Yen Sid said I needed it anyways.

"Hey, I'm going to go and do something, I won't be long, so you two can stay by the ship, is that okay with you guys?" I turned to Donald and Goofy.

"Of course it's okay," Goofy said.

"Yeah, but just don't take too long, you know we have things to do you know," Donald said.

"I know," I said; wanting to chuckle.

"I won't be long," I repeated; but this time, I ended up walking away from them.

As I was walking farther away, I think Donald was saying something else, but…I couldn't really make out the words since I was already so far. But, whatever, it's probably not that important anyways, besides, it's not like I'm going to stay here, since I'm fully aware of the things we have to do. It's just…I want to look at this place again, before I leave, I mean, maybe... this could be the last time I may come here. Who knows what the future will bring?

With this thought in mind, I found myself now standing near the shore; looking…gazing over at the horizon. You may think that I'm on the islands, but, no…instead, I was in the mainland; technically my real home, since the island was more of a playground for me, Riku, and Kairi.

Without much thought, I eventually slipped out my shoes, and slowly walked into the cool water. It felt really soothing and relaxing as the small waves were coming and going, merely touching my feet. Funny, I remember that…I use to do this a lot when I was younger.

I guess it was because of the basic routine I would have; gathering fish to eat. I remember that I would love how the water would feel when it touched my feet, while I would hunt for the fish; plainly catching them with a random stick I would find. I think…even at times…I would even have a fish bone in my mouth while hunting for more. Good times…good times.

As I then felt another breeze go through my hair, I slowly closed my eyes; taking it all in. The atmosphere, it was truly peaceful and nice. After a second, I then opened my eyes again, and slowly walked back to the shore; though, I wasn't quite done just yet. I ended up sitting near the shore, still having my feet touching the water. With all this, I couldn't help, but bring up another memory.

I think...I was only four then...

The sun was slowly going down and I was more bored than ever. I didn't know what to do, I was supposed to go the island today, but instead, I'm stuck here in the mainland. Within time, I then let out a bored sigh, staring out, while sitting near the shore. I wonder…ever since that night with the stars, Riku has been acting pretty strangely these past few days. It's like…he disappeared after that night. We haven't talked or hung out; what is he doing?

It may be a wild guess, but…I think that guy Riku met a few days before on the island, has something to do with him acting so weird. Hmmm…I wonder… who was that guy? Riku said he didn't really know him, but, he told Riku something that he didn't want to tell me; keeping it a secret.

I then let out another sigh, and ended up playing with the sand; moving it around with my finger. Within time, I drew a star, to me, it wasn't really good, but hey I tried.

"There you are Sora!" I suddenly heard a voice say.

So I turned, and saw that it was Riku; giving a friendly smile.

"Hmm…a star huh? Not bad," he said walking to me, looking down at the drawing I did.

"Yeah, well, I was bored…" I said getting up; looking down.

"Riku, where have you been these past few days, things have been pretty boring here without you. Are you up to something that I don't know about?" I asked him.

I saw that he just chuckled, "Why, I've been busy these past few days….preparing…"

I then raised my eyebrow, "Preparing for what?"

"No wait, let me guess," I said waving my hand, "It's about that same secret when you met that weird guy on the island right?"

"Y-yeah, I guess you could say that," he said.

"Oh come on Riku, why won't you tell me what he said, if you tell me, I promise I'll keep it a secret too, please," I begged.

"Well….tell you what, I'll tell you what I have been doing these past few days, as long as you stop asking about that guy…deal?" he said.

As of now, there was no way out of this, I wasn't going to get what I wanted out of him, but…I guess, I was more curious on what he has been doing so….

"Fine, it's a deal," I finally said.

"Okay, well I have been doing this," he said.

I then saw that he pulled out a wooden toy sword from a bag he had.

"I made it, it isn't perfect, but I tried my best. I was practicing with it; you know, learning how to fight," he continued.

"Really," I said, looking at the toy sword, "All this time you were practicing?"

"Yup," he said swinging it.

"But then I still don't get it? Why did you say you were preparing?" I asked.

"Well, since I'm learning how to fight, it's like the same way as preparing for the dangers that could come. I'll be able to fight them off, protecting myself and…hey, somebody's got to look out for you," he said smiling; messing up my hair.

"Hey, what's that suppose to mean, I could take care of myself just fine, I don't always need you you know," I said.

"Yeah okay, whatever you say Sora," Riku kept on.

"Well, if you don't believe me…then teach me, I want to learn how to fight too, just as good as you," I said with a smile.

"Funny, I was hoping you would say that," he said, "So, I ended up making another one for you."

I then saw that he pulled out another wooden sword, and handed it to me.

"That's why I came here Sora, this can be another fun thing we could do together. I mean come on, practicing alone is no fun compared to doing it with a friend, and… after all we're best friends," he continued.

"Yeah…best friends."

With that in mind, I started to play, I picked up the wooden sword and tried to hit Riku. Though, he was too quick, having my sword clashing with his. For all I know, this was going to be so much fun.

The sun continued to go down, while Riku and I kept playing "Swords," we even had a few laughs here and there; basically showing that we were having a great time.

Yeah, good times, though, I remember when that happened; Riku and I started to become even more competitive with each other.

After a while of admiring the scenery, I then let out a sigh and slowly got up. I guess it was finally time to head back; I didn't really want Donald and Goofy having to worry about me. So with that thought in mind, I simply got my shoes and put them on. As I was starting to head back, something unusual came to me. The wind strangely started to pick up, moving my hair. The wind…it felt…it felt like if it was whispering to me, saying not to go just yet. Weird, am I missing something, or, maybe perhaps, leaving something important behind?

As I was thinking about this in my head, the wind kept on blowing. Hmm…maybe I should check the island just in case, so I could have this unusual feeling off of my chest. I'm pretty sure Donald and Goofy will be alright.

So, as I walked back to the shore, out of luck, I spotted a small boat. Without a moment to spare, I got on the boat, and headed to the island. I have to say, once when I got there, just like the mainland, this place didn't change much either; not that it was really a bad thing.

The wind continued to blow, as I kept walking. Nothing was really out of the ordinary, until when I walked underneath the bridge, finding that something was washed up on the shore. Due to my curiosity, I went to see the mysterious thing more closely. As I did, I couldn't believe what I had found, it was a key-blade. Wait, a Key-blade?

Without another word, I bent down and grabbed the blade; lifting it from the sandy ground. I had a rather puzzled look on my face as I examined the weapon more closely. I mean, I know it isn't mine, it's obviously not Riku's, and Kairi is out the question, so…who's key-blade is this?

But then most importantly, how, how did it even get here? Could…could this Key-blade have come from another world? I then lowered the blade and gazed out into the horizon; thinking that the answer might magically appear, but of course.. it didn't.

As I kept staring out aimlessly, holding the Key-blade firmly in one hand, the wind picked up again. In the very back of my mind, oddly enough, a hazy vision slowly started to come to me.

In the image, I was seeing a castle, it looked rather unusual, but, as I kept seeing it, a feeling within me started to emerge. Have…have I been there before? It felt like I did, but…I simply can't remember. After that, the image of the castle disappeared, now showing a room. The room was pure white, with no windows, and one door; the door was probably the only way to either get in or go out, but, as the image struggled to become clearer, I started to see a chair as well.

Someone…someone was sitting on the chair. Was it…was it Ven? At this rate, it was hard to say since the vision was growing hazier. All this was basically coming to me in pieces. I wonder now, could this key-blade be the key to where Ven could be? I then looked at the blade again; examining it once more. As I was lost in thought thinking about this, an unusual voice suddenly broke the silence.

"So…we finally meet…Sora," the voice said sinisterly.

I quickly picked up my head and turned to face the person, but only to find that he had his hood up. Due to him having an Organization XIII coat, I wasn't so fond of this mysterious person being here. No doubt in my mind that this man is up to something. What is he doing here, and what does he want with me?

"Who are you?!" I said, glaring at him.

"Hmm….I see that you obtained that key there…" he said, clearly not answering my question.

If this man wants this key-blade, well, he can just forget it! I'm not giving it up, especially to him.

"What do you want?" I asked.

The man then let out a chuckle, "Why, what I want Sora, is to really help you."

"Yeah right, I seriously doubt that, you're probably working for Xehanort," I said; standing my ground.

He let out another chuckle, "Clever boy, not so quick to fall for the enemies traps I see, but….seriously Sora, I am here to help," he said; sounding persuasive.

"Hmph, you can say whatever you want to me, but I'm not going to listen, I'm leaving," I said; already walking away.

"Not even if I told you where Ven is?" he continued.

Once when I heard that, I suddenly stopped in my tracks. Does…does this guy know where he is? Or, is it a trap?

"Ven?" I whispered faintly.

"You…you know where he is?" I said out loud; turning to the man.

"That depends if you are willing to listen," he responded back.

What do I do? Something tells me that this guy is bad, and yet, what if he's telling the truth in Ven's whereabouts. I definitely have to be cautious. I don't trust him, but, I'll listen.

"I'm all ears."

"Well, for starters, that Key-blade you found, it's the key to releasing Ven out of his prison. You see Sora, Ven is in a castle, locked up in a room, the chamber of waking to be more precise, and since you're the key, you're the only one who could probably get to him with that weapon."

"Uh-huh, and what castle is that?"

"Why, it's Castle Oblivion of course."

"Castle…Oblivion?"

"Yes."

"Hmm…"

I wasn't really going to buy in whatever this guy said, but, after the information he gave me, it seemed pretty convincing; like if he really was telling the truth. Then all of sudden, the pieces of memories I saw previously, came back to me. Everything the man said was displayed in the hazy images. This was all going perfect…maybe a little too perfect if you ask me. Even though this guy says he wants to help, I have a hunch that there is a reason for it. He isn't doing it out of the kindness of his heart.

"And…where would I find this castle?" I asked.

It was quiet, but then the hooded man slowly walked up to me.

"That answer lies deep within your heart," he said pointing to my chest, "In your memories…after all, you've been there before."

My eyes widened in shock, "What!"

But before I could say something else, another voice from a distance called out to me.

"Sora!?"

It sounded a lot like Donald; I guess I was gone for so long, that they ended up looking for me. I then turned to the source where I heard the voice, but then I quickly turned back to the man I was talking to, and…just like that...he was gone.

"Who…who was that guy?" I muttered.

"Sora, there you are, what was taking ya?" Donald said; having Goofy walking beside him.

"Oh, well…I ended up finding this…" I said facing them; showing the new Key-blade that was in my grasp.

"Huh, that's strange, how did it get here?" Goofy asked looking at it.

"That's the thing, I have no idea, but…I believe, without a doubt, that this Key-blade was here for a reason," I said looking down at it.

To find it and use it to free Ven.

"Yeah, maybe so, but come on, we really need to get going," Donald said.

"Yeah, okay," I said to them.

With that said, we headed back to the ship.

End of Sora's POV

In the very distance, the same hooded man was hiding, eyeing at the trio. To him, all the pieces were slowly coming together as Xehanort intended.

"Hmph, clever boy? Yeah right. He's so naïve, that he'll blindly fall for any kind of trap. That is... if it involves the people connected to him," the man said giving a smirk.

"The plan with surely work, after all, he'll no doubtfully take the path I set him out on. I'll be able to get the vessel and put all this waiting to an end…"

Without another word, the man then made a portal; leaving the world behind.

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