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Libertas

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Luxu’s awareness shifted almost the moment he had awoken. Almost at once, he was opening his eyes, but then falling into a deeper sleep. His new vessel… he could sense something was off… there was… no heart? Luxu was confused. What was this…? Where was this vessel’s heart? Light caught his attention, and Luxu moved towards it, hoping it was the heart of his vessel. Who was his vessel? He needed to know.

The light led him not to the heart he was looking for but the heart of another. A fractured heart, broken enough that it was at risk of fading. There was a boy here, his eyes listless and empty. This boy was one Luxu recognised. This boy…

“A missing Dandelion?” He asked. “The wind carried you this far did it… Ventus?”

His questions gained no visible reaction from the boy. Luxu took the time to inspect Ventus; he hadn’t changed much since the last time the Lost Apprentice had seen him. The boy who had been used for a long time.

“... who are you?” Ah, so the boy could speak! Luxu had been starting to worry Ventus would fade.

“Me? I’m probably what they call an ancient heart now,” the Lost Apprentice replied. “New body, old heart.”

"How did you get here?"

Now that was a difficult question to answer. Luxu wasn’t going to admit that he was chasing the heart of his new vessel…

“The light led me to you,” he answered. “And looking at you, I can see why.”

“Yeah…” Ventus agreed softly, looking down at what should have been a stained glass window. “My heart is fractured, and what’s left of it is slipping away.”

Luxu stopped and tried to spread his consciousness further, to try and find the missing half of this boy’s heart. It wasn’t too hard to find… Ventus’ heart halves were connected. The darkness that wafted off the other half was… familiar, Luxu almost flinched away, but he refrained… this… Luxu turned his attention back to Ventus.

“I can see that,” he hummed. He took a moment before he came to a decision. “Look kid… my own heart is battered already… but I think I can still help you and your other half.”

Even as Ventus made a sound of confusion, Luxu focused on his own heart and thought of making Ventus whole. It was the least he could do for Ava after all. If he could save the Dandelion, then he would. With little thought, he also sought out the other half of Ventus’ heart with the intent on making him whole too. Maybe that would remove a thorn in the Master’s plan…

“... there ya go,” he said, watching as Ventus looked around in awe. No longer fractured, the boy could heal. “Nothing else should slip now, and your missing half should be fine too. You should find him, kid. Time to wake up now…”

Luxu let himself retreat from Ventus’ heart. He had a different problem… his vessel’s heart. Where was it?

“...-ra.”

What? Who was that? This voice? Who was speaking?

“You will be a strong light, Sora,” the voice, a woman’s voice, cooed. “One day, I can see you going far…”

Sora… so that was his vessel’s name… and a newborn child? But… how? Where was Sora’s heart? Wouldn’t the child have died if he didn’t have his heart? Or… did Luxu become his heart? It was then, as Luxu returned to waking in his new vessel, that he understood.

“Without me…” he thought as he opened his eyes. “This boy… he dies? Before he gets a chance to live?”

Seeing the woman smiling warmly down at him, seeing the man off to the side also smiling, Luxu decided to accept that fact. He would give this boy, Sora, a chance to live in his parents’ lives. Luxu… would become Sora.

Sora raised his arm and giggled.

◇◆◇◆◇

There was something unique about having a vessel who never had a heart in the first place, and that was the fact that there was no personality there for Luxu to copy. Luxu became Sora and Sora’s actions became the actions of a young Luxu. Luxu, as Sora, could finally be himself again, after so many lifetimes, after ages upon ages of pretending to be other people, he could finally just be himself. Luxu found himself embracing this. He was Sora. The adults who cared for him were his parents, and they loved him. Sora was Luxu’s freedom, and that feeling was one that Luxu wasn’t letting go of.

The best thing about his new found freedom was friends that were friends because of who he was. Not friends because the vessel had been friends with them. Sora met Riku when he was three. Riku was four and a pretty smart kid, he was calm and he inspired people to follow him, while Sora was reckless and came up with crazy ideas. Riku was responsible, most of the time, while Sora was mischievous and always pulling pranks. The two boys became best friends.

Where Sora had ideas, the two boys would work together to flesh it out, Riku had the disposition to use these ideas. When Riku liked Sora’s ideas he'd latch onto them and roll with them until either it failed or it succeeded. Sora was quite happy to let Riku take the lead, because that left attention off of himself.

It was also around this age that Sora started to experiment with magic. He tried to do it in secret, but Riku found out. The silver haired boy wanted to try magic too, but when Sora lost control of one of his fire spells he changed his mind.

None of the adults ever learned how the fire at the docks started.

◇◆◇◆◇

“Sora!!!”

Riku’s voice was calling for him, but Sora didn’t make a peep as he hid in the tree near his house. Really it was an impromptu game of hide and seek which Sora had initiated and hadn’t told Riku they were playing, and had absolutely nothing to do with the coconut shell full of water that the three-year-old was certainly not holding ready to dump water over his friend’s head. Not at all.

“Riku, is that you?” Sora's mother asked, opening the door. “Sora is in that tree over there if you were looking for him.”

Sora froze, not expecting to have been noticed and called out by his mum. He had thought his hiding spot was perfect!! You’re slipping up, Luxu, Sora scolded himself as he raised his arm and shook it.

“Muuuuuum!!!” The three-year-old boy wailed indignantly. “My hiding spot was perfect!!”

… raising his arm was a bad idea. The water that was in the coconut splashed onto him. Riku burst out laughing at his friend, while Sora’s mother smiled.

“Sweetheart, Riku will be staying for dinner,” his mother smiled. “It would have been rude to have him sit at the table while drenched. Now go change so that you aren’t sitting at the table soaked. And try to dry your hair!”

Sora sighed and scrambled down the tree, pushing aside the thought that he could just drop from the branch and roll so he wouldn't hurt himself, but he was meant to be three. He shouldn’t know how to do that, so Sora crawled back down the tree. You need to step up your game, was the self-scolding thought. As he walked past his mother, she reached out and gently ruffled his hair.

“Don’t worry Sora,” she murmured in his ear. “Normally you would have slipped away, but I was keeping an eye on you this afternoon. Your hiding spot was perfect.”

Sora looked up at his mum with wide eyes and she winked at him before ushering him into the house. Dinner that night, as with most nights, was a joyous affair and Sora never noticed how his parents were giving him bittersweet smiles.

◇◆◇◆◇

Every month there was a boat race for the children, one that goes from the main island, to the smaller island where the kids played, back to the main island. All the kids teamed in pairs or threes to build a raft with the help of an adult, and then they would then drag their rafts into the water and hope that they would float. To participate a child had to be able to swim, and Luxu, throughout all his lives, never had. Sora had only just learned how to swim well enough to participate this month and he was teamed up with Riku.

Chaos ensured. Sora had no idea what made a raft, and Luxu’s old competitive streak was coming into conflict with his newfound confusion. Thankfully Sora’s mum, Sakura, was there as their supervising adult and she walked the pair through the steps of making a raft. It was one of the rare times that she was seen at the beach, since she was usually found at the markets. Sora was enjoying this. He liked the teamwork most of all.

When he and Riku finally had a raft and were sailing it, Sora found he was grinning widely, letting his hand brush the water as he laughed along with his best friend. The pair didn’t win that race, but the sense of freedom that the two boys felt was enough of a victory for them. In that moment Sora felt lucky to have a home in this World. When Sora ran back to his parents on the beach, he was bouncing on his heels, chattering about how amazing the ocean was.

“You know, Sora,” his father said that night as the boy was being tucked into bed. “The ocean around Destiny Islands can take you to other worlds. Some people take portals, others glide on ships through the In-Between. But we have access to the Great Ocean. Very few know how to sail it anymore… but I’m sure you’ll work it out.”

Sora blinked as his father, Lucien, ruffled his hair slightly before leaving the room. What had he meant by that? Did his dad know that….? No, there was no way. Pressing his head to his pillow, Sora let himself drift to sleep. That night his dreams were of sailing on an ocean between worlds.

◇◆◇◆◇

When Sora was four, he, Riku and the other kids on Destiny Islands were over on the small island climbing trees and rocks, when Sora fell from the rock he was on with a shout of panic, disappearing out of sight of his friends. He could hear Riku and Tidus trying to climb the same rock but they couldn’t find the footholds Sora had used to get up.

“Yo Sora!” Wakka yelled. “You alright?!”

“I’m fine!!” The four year old replied. “Just a few scratches. I can see a way back up, don’t worry about me!”

Sora didn't dare tell the group that he’d twisted his ankle, not as he quickly cast cure and proceeded to climb the rock again. Riku gave him this look as he got to the top again which told the brunette that his silver haired friend definitely didn’t believe him, but with only scratches to show, Riku couldn’t challenge Sora for lying. Sora smiled at Riku innocently before he carefully jumped down and ran after Tidus and Selphie.

Later, Riku dragged Sora to the side and asked him about it.

“I didn’t want them to worry about me,” Sora confessed to his friend. It was easy to tell his best friend these things. Because Riku already knew about his magic, he didn’t have to lie. “All I needed was a simple cure.”

“That’s…" Riku cut himself off, but Sora could hear what wasn’t said. That wasn't the point. But it was, that was exactly the point. And Riku knew it. The silverette sighed and punched Sora’s shoulder.

“Look, I know you’ve got some wicked cool tricks up your sleeve but try to be careful,” he said with a smirk, and in his cyan eyes, Sora could see he was forgiven. “I can’t cover for you all the time!”

The spiky haired boy laughed, and then both friends jumped up and ran back to Sora's house, joking with each other as they ran. It was a good day to be four.

◇◆◇◆◇

It was on the day Sora turned five that he realised that Riku would be the one to work out how to get off Destiny Islands. Because on the day Sora turned five, a brown haired young man by the name of Terra showed up… and performed the Keyblade Inheritance on Riku. Sora grinned wildly from where he was hiding, eavesdropping. His best friend would be able to travel the Worlds with him! They could train together, and Riku could save worlds while Sora hung back and offered support. Maybe… maybe Riku could help him too!

Sora was about to run out to invite Terra to the birthday party that was happening further into the town, when Riku spoke up again, in words more profound than something you would expect a newly six-year-old to say.

“There’s a poison that’s trying to eat you, take you from your family. You gotta talk to them so that they can understand. Being sad is okay, but only when your family knows too. If you can’t trust your family to be there for you, who can you trust?”

Sora had to fight to wipe a shocked look off his face as Riku hugged the stunned Terra. It seemed the young man didn’t know how to respond. Despite his shock, and ignoring how his heart ached, the brunette kid knew then that his best friend would eventually be a great Keyblade Master. Constructing a smile to cover his shock, Sora ran up to Riku and Terra.

“Hey mister!” he called cheerfully, throwing his hands behind his head. “Wanna come to the party? It’s my birthday today!”

“Is that so?” Terra asked, reaching and ruffling Sora’s hair. “And how old are you today?”

Blue eyes sparkling with the truth, Sora grinned widely and held up a hand with his fingers stretched.

“I’m five!”

The boy watched as Terra’s own blue eyes widened as though he had seen something he hadn't expected. But the expression didn’t remain long as Terra silently asked Sora if he could pick him up, and then actually placed Sora on his shoulders when the boy agreed. The boy laughed and Riku started laughing too. Terra gestured forward and Riku started to lead the way to where the adults were setting up the party.

“Five?” Terra asked in clarification as he walked, his smile colouring his voice with mischief. “And what do five-year-olds get for birthdays? Pretty dresses?”

Clearly Terra had looked at what the two boys were wearing to make his joke, definitely not dresses, they were islanders afterall, and internally Sora was grinning at it, but externally he made a face, a memory from another time coming to mind before he shoved it aside.

“As if!” he proclaimed indignantly, earning hearty laughter from the man who had him on his shoulders. “I want a pirate ship!! And one day I’ll travel the Great Ocean with it!! Riku will be part of my crew, right, Riku?”

The conversation became a friendly argument which Terra listened along to. All the while they were headed along the beach to where Sora’s parents were keeping the guests of the party entertained. Sora’s father, Lucien, looked up as Sora, Riku and Terra approached. His eyes widened when he saw Terra and he walked over. The five-year-old boy smiled widely and introduced Terra to his dad. He hopped off of the brown haired man’s shoulders and ran off with Riku, waving to Terra. Somehow Sora knew that the Keyblade wielder had sensed his heart. His suspicion of that fact was confirmed about an hour later when a blue haired young woman also came to the island.

Aqua’s eyes widened much like Terra’s had, but a question started to slip from her mouth.

“Your heart… how can it..?” Her voice trailed off, because Sora was staring at her with a smile. He could feel the threads of fate coiling around this woman and himself, he could see the strings of connection forming. Today was a day of fate it seemed. Aqua was promptly dragged over to Sora’s party too. She and Terra shared bemused and also concerned looks. Sora was grinning from ear to ear for ages, until he felt a shift in the air. This shift caused the two visiting Keyblade wielders to leave in a panic. No one at the party except Sora and Riku saw through the calm and apologetic façade. Something had happened.

The night after, in his dreams, Sora met Ventus again… and the lost Dandelion’s heart went to sleep within Sora’s.

“Don’t worry, Ventus,” Sora whispered to the sleeping teen. “I’ll keep you safe.”

Chapter Text

Ventus’ heart had been sleeping for a year when the consequences of the shift in the air lead to a burst of darkness and a girl falling into this world. Her name was Kairi, and her heart was pure light. But that light was also a slightly muted light, as if… part of it was missing. Interesting… Sora decided it was a familiar light as well, much like Ventus’ light. Maybe he would be able to place the light eventually, but for now, Riku and Sora would look after Kairi. Kairi very quickly became friends with Riku and Sora.

What was most fascinating… was Kairi’s language skills. Like everyone in this time, Kairi knew the common tongue, but what was most fascinating was her knowledge of Daybreak Common. Sora still spoke Daybreak Common, it was something of the past to cling to. His mind thought in Daybreak Common too, which made it harder to communicate since he first had to translate in his head what he wanted to say before he said it, so that it didn’t come out as a mess. The modern common was not an easy language either. That Kairi somehow knew Daybreak Common was interesting.

Riku wanted to learn.

Actually, Sora’s two friends wanted to learn many things, they wanted to join Sora’s experiments. So it became a game. Masters Ira and Invi became teachers of swords and magic, Masters Aced and Gula taught aspects of strength and speed, and other useful tactics, and Master Ava shared stories of histories that were long forgotten into legends. Kairi and Riku thought they were just stories that Sora created. It was their game.

Riku enjoyed swordplay and was determined to be the best. Kairi was determined to surpass Sora with her magic, to the point where she even managed to create her own spells. It was amazing how his friends were improving with their respective choices of combat, Sora was proud of his friends. He did wish, however, that they would realise that they couldn’t just use what they were practicing with now. At some point, Sora knew too well, Kairi would discover the need for a melee weapon, and Riku would discover that magic was intrinsic to wielding a Keyblade. They would learn.

Today, four years after Kairi had arrived, Sora was waiting for his friends on the beach, wooden sword in hand. A smile was on his face while he looked out over the ocean. He wondered… about the Great Ocean that his father had spoken about. Ever since Lucien had first mentioned it, Sora had tried to glean more information from him, but his father was even more tight lipped about it than anything about his past. All that Lucien had added since then was to tell Sora that he had used the Great Ocean to get to the Destiny Islands.

That told Sora a lot about his father. But still nothing about the Great Ocean.

“Sora!” A voice called, and the running steps on the sand behind him told him that Kairi was approaching. “Are we going to train with Master Gula or Master Ira today?? Or maybe with Master Ava!”

“You just want to hear Sora come up with another story,” the voice of Riku called out with a laugh. Sora and Kairi looked up and started laughing with their friend. The brown haired boy reached out his hand and did what he only dared to do around his best friends - he cast a spell, summoning a ball of light. He then grinned and pointed to the side where he almost summoned an illusion.

“Well, Master Aced wanted to test us today,” Sora grinned. “Maybe Master Ava will tell us a story after we are done.”

The game was relatively simple, just destroy the ball of light. Riku would attack it with his sword, pulling out every move he had worked out and created with Sora and Kairi, while Kairi would cast Malefic over and over, practicing the spell again and again. She had a large reserve of magic which would compliment Riku’s growing strength in a few years time. Sora meanwhile was experimenting with a few things, mainly enhancing his weapon with elemental magics. He wasn’t succeeding as well as his friends… that that was alright with him. It wasn’t too long until the ball of light was destroyed.

The three kids shared a high-five, Kairi immediately launching into praise over how cool they were. Sora smirked and listened. As they fell into a conversation together, Sora, Riku and Kairi started to walk towards the water’s edge. High above in the sky, clouds were starting to form. Well that was convenient, it gave Sora the opportunity to try something new.

“Hey, Kairi, Riku,” he called, stopping their conversation. “I have an idea, let’s head to the tidepools!”

“What for, Sora?” Riku asked, looking curious. “There seems to be a storm coming.”

“Yeah, but… Master Ava has a good story for us by the tidepools, if we’re brave enough!”

Sora’s response radiated mischief, a mischief which was quickly matched by Kairi. Both of them looked at their silver haired friend, tauntingly.

“Come on, Riku,” Kairi snickered, in Daybreak common, Sora realised, as did Riku. “Are you chicken?”

Riku wasn’t fluent in Daybreak common yet, but he still understood the gist of what the girl had said. He made a face and then turned heel and ran towards the tidepools.

“Last one there is a crayfish!” he called with a laugh. Kairi and Sora exchanged a glance before they gave chase. Laughter trailed after the three, none of them were afraid of the storm.

◇◆◇◆◇

The trio of friends made it to the rocks of the tidepools just as it started raining, and Riku was just starting to suggest that they walk back when suddenly a glowing mist started to form around the water and rocks. From the mist stepped a young woman whom Riku and Kairi had never seen before, purple and white robes with a pink cowl over her head. Silver eyes framed by red-tipped black hair peeking from underneath the cloth. In this woman’s hands was a silver and blue fox mask.

It was the fox mask which allowed the pair to recognise the woman. Kairi’s violet eyes widened as she ran a few steps closer.

“Master Ava!” she gasped, once again in Daybreak common. “You’re here?”

The kids sat down on the rocks, and looked up at Ava. Sora then waved his hand and the image of Ava began to move, she walked forwards, hands raised, to tell a story. The story she told was spoken in a voice that wasn't hers, but for all that Sora could remember what she looked like, he could no longer remember her voice.

“In the age of fairytales, each of the Foretellers led a union. Master Ira was the leader of Unicornis, patient and slow to anger, but a storm of fury once there. He sought to guide his students fairly and to teach them that strength isn’t always in one’s sword arm. Master Aced led the union of Ursus, protective and fierce. He would teach his students that there was no greater duty to a warrior than to protect those weaker. Master Invi took the wise and cunning under her wing in Anguis. She taught her students to refrain, to look for the best opening, then strike. Master Gula took Leopardus, slower to give trust, but always true friend once you have it. And finally, Vulpes, my union, creative, tricky, I would like to even say… fun. I would teach my students to be creative in their solutions.”

Riku and Kairi were leaning forward, listening to the story with rapt attention, a wide grin on Kairi’s face, while a thoughtful smirk was on Riku’s. Ava stepped forward through the mists and clasped her hands together, smiling kindly as she continued her story.

“Upon turning thirteen, every child in Daybreak Town would choose a union, learn from their leader, and grow with the other children in their unions. With the help of Chirithy, it was an age of light, hope and happiness. The children guarded that light in their hearts for a long time. But now, their light has passed from them unto you, Kairi, Riku, … Sora. I hope you guard it well.”

The pause before Ava spoke Sora’s name was barely existent, only noticeable by Sora himself. After her story finished, the illusion dissolved into the mist and Ava faded from view. For a few moments all was silent. Suddenly Riku spoke up with a thumb jabbing in Kairi’s direction.

“Kairi would be in Vulpes,” he said with a smirk. “She’s tricky enough.”

The girl in question was nodding along before she paused, an affronted look crossing her face.

“Hey!! I’m not tricky!!” came her indignant exclamation, causing both Riku and Sora to start laughing. “If I’m Vulpes, then you’re Unicornis! Cause you're dull and boring and practical!”

“I believe that is called making sure you and Sora don’t throw yourself into the ocean during a storm,” Riku said primely. Sora and Kairi both squawked indignantly and playfully shoved their silver haired friend. The trio’s laughter cut cleanly through the stormy air. They were standing in pouring rain now, they hadn’t noticed the rain falling harder while they had been listening to Ava. Now they could see the ocean starting to toss up larger waves. The three exchanged glances and started the run back across the beach. Sora was glad they hadn’t tried to place him in a union!

When they were reaching the path back into the village, there was a cry of panic, from somewhere back across the beach. Riku looked up the fastest before he shoved Sora and Kairi towards the path. He spun on his heel and ran in the direction of the sound.

“Get back to the village you two!” he called over his shoulder as he ran. “See if you can get an adult down here. I’ve got this, but I might need help.”

Sora and Kairi exchanged a glance and shrugged. Riku knew what he was doing, they trusted him explicitly, and knew that their friend would go get more help too if his own wasn’t enough. Riku was the smart one of the trio. So Sora and Kairi started running to the village, intent on following Riku’s request. As it turned out though, Riku didn’t need that help. When Kairi and Sora were running back to the beach with Riku’s dad, Sora’s dad and the woman who ran the general store on their heels, the group encountered Riku holding one of the younger kids at his hip and leading another by the hand. The silverette boy was soaking wet, as were the younger kids, but they were safe; Riku had found them hanging onto a tree, about to be washed away by the waves crashing around them, and he had saved them.

Riku was ten years old when he earned his tattoo for his bravery.

◇◆◇◆◇

There were many traditions on Destiny Islands, some were familiar to Sora, but others he had never seen before. But one of the traditions that all the children on the world looked forward to and spoke excitedly about in conversations was earning their tattoos. It was a recognition of a child coming of age and maturing, usually earned upon the child’s sixteenth birthday. There were some instances, like Riku, though, where a child could earn their tattoo early, as a recognition of a particular strength or achievement. Kairi was bouncing on her heels on the play island a week after the storm, waiting eagerly for Riku to appear with his new tattoo. Sora sat on the sand behind her, watching the girl bounce.

It reminded him of someone… who’s name he couldn’t quite remember. He could almost imagine the silhouette of someone else, someone older, bouncing on heels, in Kairi’s place. Before he could remember however, Riku walked up grinning.

“Couldn’t wait, Kai?” he asked, placing his hands on his hips. Immediately obvious was Riku’s missing shirt, which made both of his friends grin.

“You got it on your back?” Sora snickered. Riku rolled his eyes, but spun around anyway, showing off the new design decorating his skin. Kairi let out a gasp of awe. And she was right to do so too. There were no words to describe just how amazing the tattoo was, and Sora knew a lot of words. It was simple black ink, creating storm waves which crashed outwards towards Riku’s shoulder blades, curling inwards as if to break back down his back. It left a blank space between his shoulders, but somehow it looked right… there was something else that was supposed to go in that spot, it just wasn’t time yet. Despite that however, Sora and Kairi were immediately on their feet and inspecting the tattoo closely, amazed compliments falling from their mouths.

“I want mine…” Kairi gasped, her eyes wide. “I can’t wait till all three of us have ours!”

The older boy reached out and ruffled Kairi’s red hair with a smile, gaining an indignant squawk from her.

“Well then, if you want yours faster, you better impress everyone before you turn sixteen,” he laughed. Sora snickered and threw his arms around his friends’ shoulders catching them. The three of them started laughing together before they ran off to play on the island. Today they would revel in Riku’s achievement, tomorrow they would do as they always did - enjoy their life as children before they had to grow up.

Besides… Sora knew Kairi was talented enough to follow after Riku and gain her own tattoo early.

She did too. A month after she turned eleven, the children were participating in a weekly surfing lesson which they had begged for about two years prior. Sora had just fallen off his board again and was trying to get back on, his mother, Sakura, trying to help him, when Riku suddenly called out a warning. A massive wave was swelling further out. Kairi was further out as well because she was better at surfing than her two friends. Riku was better than Sora, but the two boys had nothing on their best friend. So much so in fact that as Kairi watched the growing wave, neither boy was worried about her.

A faith proven when Kairi started her paddling to catch the wave, before jumping on her board at the right moment. It was amazing to watch the girl guide her board across the massive wave. Sora grinned, he could hear his mum’s gasp of shock and something about how big the wave was, but his eyes, and Riku’s, were watching their friend.

When they all came back to shore, Riku and Sora were telling Kairi just how awesome she had been, while the girl rubbed the back of her neck, trying to play it off. That day Kairi earned her tattoo for her unwavering determination in the face of one of the biggest waves in recent history. She may not be from Destiny Islands, but no one could deny that Kairi had a soul of the ocean. A true daughter of the sea. As such, her tattoo was a wave which started on her hip and curled over her back, a few flowers scattered in the waves.

◇◆◇◆◇

Sora was just shy of eleven himself when he had his first nightmare. Not just any nightmare either. Over the years it would come to be known as The Nightmare, named by his friends. But that first time he had it, Sora was scared out of his wits. He saw… Daybreak Town. His siblings… and they were… taunting him…? No… they were… asking him why he just watched as they died in—

“No-! I didn’t want-!”

Sitting up with a start as he cried out to his the dream apparitions of his lost family. But they were gone. Sora’s hand was outstretched, grasping for something that wasn't there. His hand dropped into his lap, before he raised it to his face.

… tears?

A sob ripped from his throat.

“Ira… Aced… Invi… Gula… Ava…” he whispered in Daybreak common, mind not currently in the right place to remember how to speak in the modern tongue. “I’m sorry… please…”

Lucien and Sakura came into his room and saw him crying. His parents came over and pulled him into a hug. Neither knew what had upset him so much, but they comforted him nonetheless, murmuring reassurance to him. In the morning, Sora chose to tell Kairi and Riku about his nightmare, leaving out anything that tied it to him as a memory.