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a different you, but it's you all the same

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Despite his nonchalance over being confused as Yozora when he'd originally arrived in Toy Box, Sora had been bothered the moment he saw the actual character. Rather than his own appearance, it was that of a Riku with heterochromic eyes, down to the new hairstyle he had, his new outfit, and although the blade the teen held was different, not even a Keyblade, Sora could see Riku wielding it.

He'd revisited the place once again, asking Rex if he could see the commercial for the game. Once more, Sora was bothered, that the trailer showed Yozora reaching out desperately to what seemed to be a Kairi look alike. Once again, all Sora could see was Riku, desperate and hurting.

And then the final battle happened. Sora desperately reaching out to Kairi as she was swept away, only for him to fail to reach her.

A fleeting thought occurred as he was swept away by the Darkness. Had Yozora taken Sora's place in that final battle? Only to fail, just like him?

(Had Riku taken his place? If so, where was Sora in that Riku's life?)

He hadn't expected him to appear in front of him. Yozora. Exactly how he looked within the game trailer of Verum Rex. Only... Sora knew he couldn't trust what his mind was telling him, that this was a game character coming to life, just like the toys had.

Instead, all Sora could feel in his Heart, was a Riku, hurting and crying. Braveheart, or at least some form of it, within Yozora's hands only confirmed his guess.

"Riku," Sora stated, watching Yozora visibly flinch at the name. "It is you, isn't it."

Sora watched as the silver haired teen turned to look at him, red and blue eyes looking exhausted as he responded, "I really should have realised that you would notice. How did you guess it was me?"

"How can I not know its you? Your appearance is still the same. Well, mostly," Sora chuckled. "That and your Keyblade kinda confirmed my suspicions."

"I'll accept the answer about my Keyblade giving me away, but not what you said about my appearance," Yozora scoffed, his voice bitter and tired. "You say it is the same, yet every time one of the others looked at me, they told me that all they could see was you. Your face, your appearance."

Sora gave him a sad smile, "I said your appearance was still the same, at least it was in my eyes. That your Keyblade confirmed who you were to me. However..."

"It was your Heart that told me who you are."

Yozora's eyes widened a little, disbelief and some shock visible.

"What happened to you, Riku?" Sora murmured gently as he approached him. "Did... something happen back home?"

Yozora laughed, pained and hurting, and Sora flinched at the answer, "You slept, Sora... Your Heart slept and never woke up. I couldn't stop Xehanort from taking your body, and with no where left to go, your Heart decided to reside in me."

"And?" Sora asked gently, continuing to draw closer to Yozora.

"I tried to save them. Aqua, Terra, Ven," Yozora continued, "But in the end I couldn't. Aqua was too powerful, too caught up in her despair. Terra was still trapped in his own body, taken over by Xehanort. And I couldn't find Ventus, not one hint of him."

Sora had reached Yozora, clasping the other's hand in his own as Yozora shakily held a version of Braveheart in his grasp.

"And then, I lost Kairi. We were in the Keyblade Graveyard... and... and..."

"Shhhh," Sora quieted him, finally close enough to reach up to Yozora's tear stained face to look down at him. "I know, Riku, I know what happened at the Graveyard..."

"Then why are you trying to comfort me!" Yozora yelled, Darkness surging from his form as anger overtook the hurt. "I failed to protect Kairi for you! You should have been angrier at me!"

"And I'm not because I failed as well, Riku."

Yozora faltered, "What... what do you mean?"

Sora sighed, "I failed to protect Kairi twice. First, was when the Demon Tide snatched her away."

As if recalling the event, Yozora tried to shy away, only Sora prevented him from leaving as he continued, "Second was when Xehanort himself killed her to force us into fighting him."

Sora laughed, "Here I am, supposed to protect Kairi, and I fail to do that on multiple occasions. That's why I can't be angry at you, Riku."

"But in turn I failed the worlds..." Yozora muttered.

Sora looked him dead in the eye and said, "You survived. That's all that matters, Riku. Even if everyone else is dead I'm sure my other self would have wanted you to live no matter what."

"How can you know that."

Sora smiled, "Our Hearts are the same, aren't they?"

(Yozora may not have been his Riku, but it was still Riku all the same. He wasn't going to let any version of his friend wallow in despair like this. Not when he could do something to help.)