Welcome to Kingdom Hearts: World Destiny! We are an AU Kingdom Hearts RP with no word count. World Destiny's story takes place post Dream Drop Distance, at which point we make considerable steps in our own story direction. Feel free to check out the Plot link to find out more!
All guests are welcome to drop in and say hi!
Nightfall: Chapter 2
Two years after the events of Dream Drop Distance, the Darkness became so great that it swallowed the worlds, locking them away within its merciless abyss.
Twilight Town, now covered in eternal night, stands as one of last Sanctuaries of Light. It is where players begin their journey.
Ever resourceful, the Moogles have created a safe place for refugees. They have charged the Denizens of Light with finding Castle Oblivion: it holds a key to the puzzle of the lost worlds.
But within the dark shadows of the sanctuary world a powerful dark force still looms, waiting to strike. Each survivor must choose whether to go to Castle Oblivion or stay behind to protect the world from the dragon that lurks in the shadows.
She had dragged him to the small Café, vacant except for its two newcomers. It sat just behind the stained-glass exit doors of the little item shop the First District offered, half-covered by an overhanging, simply crafted balcony. Simple, yet elegant; that seemed to be the theme of this beautiful little town.
The dull glow of light pertruding from an occasional lantern --a brilliant offset to the constant blanket of night-- was just enough to liven up the town's walkways, giving off a gentle, peaceful feeling.... Despite the bewildering happenings earlier this evening.
One beige hand seized the fragile backing to one of the chairs near the back of the Café and she swung it around, tossing one leg to either side and using the back of the chair as a rest for her arms and chin.
She tried to dismiss it... to cover it up, but she just couldn't hide the curiousity that was itching at her. That natural sense of inquiry, this time fueled by the feeling she got when latching onto Rook's wrist; a cold shock... Like a frozen electrical pulse. Just a little nip. A spark, perhaps?
It was the sort of feeling she encountered when making physical contact with a Heartless. Weaker, but the same. She knew this boy was not a Heartless. Peculiar, even dangerous perhaps, but no soldier of Shadow.
Thus the unidentified feeling must've been a physical means to 'touch the Darkness', or so she'd presumed. The Darkness in his Heart, maybe?
Well, she hadn't come here to ponder such things. It was time to get back to the conversation --the circumstance-- at hand. Her eyes livened with a spark of childlike curiousity as she shot an inquisitive glance at the redhead. With a voice that was free of any sort of accusation or burden, filled instead with the pure kindling of remotely eager innocence, she finally spoke:
Rook pretty much went with the flow. There was no option most of the time, and he lived his life as it came to him. Any form of planning he did was momentary, short-lived and often only covering a short span of time. So when this orange-haired girl began tugging him from the Second, instinct told him he was better following her unaided. But Rook pretty much went with the flow. Odd thing was, he felt this weird tug in his chest as she took him by the hand.
The First District café. Passed it once or twice on his way in and out of Traverse his two trips, but never bothered to stop there. Usually didn't have the munny to buy anything. But as his "host" took a seat, he followed suit, pulling out his chair across from her, and sitting down, trying to look somewhat proper, back straight, hands on the table.
"So then... what happened back there?"
His brow furrowed a bit. How much of a mystery was there? "One of the Heartless, it came out of the ground behind you. Looked more curious than violent, but I didn't want to risk anything, so I rushed up behind it, and threw it as far and as hard as I could."
He shrugged, one side of his lip curling into a grimace as he did, "You... must have thought something else was up, by your reaction. Never saw someone afraid to be saved from the Heartless before..."
The girl's brow furrowed slightly as she mumbled. "Heartless..."
Then, as quickly as the changing of the winds, her expression took on a lighter tone. A smile broadened across her face, innocence again taking hold of her features. "Well, that makes a lot more sense than an unexpected madman launching himself at me." There was no insulting sound in her tone, even if the words themselves could've been taken as such. She was only telling it as she saw it. It seemed this girl was still acting with all the innocence of a child, far too young for her age. What ever had happened in her past had kept fresh the spark of contentment and ease that usually grew sour with age.
Her bright blue eyes opened again, this time settling on Rook's own. Her gaze held a simple serinity. "So then..." She didn't bother conjuring up some twisted idea of how he might possibly be lying, she just expected that what he told her was the truth -- end of story. And besides, it made sense.
That same simple smile pulled gently at the edges of her mouth."I suppose thanks is in order, mister .....?" One hand stretched half way across the table that stood between them. Strange. She happened to be thanking someone whose name was still a mystery to her. This was definitely a first. As far as she remembered that was.
He waved off the "mister", and held out his hand to take hers, "Rook. Just Rook. And yourself?" He smiled a genuine smile at her, but couldn't ignore the light twitch in his skin at making contact with her. This was new. He had met a cadre of colorful characters since leaving the Bastion. None of them seemed this... perplexing.
"And it was no problem. Just trying to lend a hand. Sorry if it came on a little 'unexpected'." He chuckled. "Madman" That was a new one to him. Well, at least he left an impression. That was a decent start.
"So... you wanted to drag me all the way back to the First for what that couldn't have been done before?" He leaned back a bit, squeezing his hand shut, silently trying to analyze the sensation, "You sure were anxious to get me out of there."
"Rook then..."Her gaze briefly flicked down to their connection, a bit taken aback by the tingling sensation herself. "Good to officially meet my madman attacker." The joke was meant to be taken lightly. This was affirmed by a slight chuckle on her part. "I'm Era." She thought about apologizing for the odd name, but then again, his was just as unique:
Rook. Sounded Valiant. Knightly even.
Releasing her ginger grasp, her sallow hand reached for the laminated paper that decorated every other table. "And I brought you here to discuss this over Tea, silly!" She set the menu in front of him. Apparently she'd already decided what beverage she would order.
She returned her hand to the task of acting as a cushion for her gently-angled chin, already fading into some sort of contiguous thought. Was her reason for vacating really so unusual? Apparently he thought it was.
So what would she tell him? Era had considered fabricating some delicate story, but eventually realized it was probably better just to stick with the truth... Even if the truth was a little less exciting. "And I left because I thought.. for a moment.. I could feel someone.." her voice got quieter as her downcast eyes focussed on nothing inparticular. . . . and it scared me. the words were quieter, but that did little to lessen their authenticity.
He took the menu, sifting through its contents while she spoke, looking up at her every few moments and gauging her actions and reactions. He was no fan of tea, but he was thirsty. A glass of water would be fine enough.
A puzzled look covered Rook's features, as he squeezed tight the hand he had taken hers with, "You felt someone? Like who? When?" Roughly a half dozen questions crossed through his head in that moment, but there was only time and place enough for a select few.
Scared her? Now he was anxious for an answer. If there was someone else around, someone or something that scared her, he could deal with it. He was sure of it.
A normal person probably would've expected these questions to come, and would've begun forming answers before they were even asked -- but not Era. No, this girl sat, looking right back at him with matched curiousity... However, hers stemmed from a different source: Rook's sudden excitement on the whole matter. He was interested before, but now he just seemed downright eager. "After you defended me, I felt the presence.. her.. Erax."
Her eyes were guarded as they gave a quick glance to the open town. "She's my Heartless..." Era's posture straightened. There was much more to tell him, but it was wiser to guage his reaction as she fed him bits and pieces of information, instead of giving the blunt of it all at one time. After all, what if Rook, after knowing everything, suddenly went crazy and decided to go after the aforementioned Heartless?
She could only hope his mind would not entertain such daft thoughts.
He shook his head, "Wait a sec', she's your Heartless? But how is that even possible? You're sitting right here in front of me, you haven't lost-..." One eye thinned as he trained his eyes onto hers, "Hold up, are you one of those Nobodies?"
It wasn't accusatory. It was curious. Rook had dealt with few Nobodies in his short time away from Hollow Bastion, but ever since Jason, he had always viewed them in the "shad of gray" their existence symbolized. Not all were evil. Just tragic. Their individual actions were what made them evil.
Back to the point, he shrugged, "And if that Erax Heartless is giving you trouble, just point me in a direction. I'll sniff it out and handle it for you." Perhaps too exagerating. Rook had handled a lot of Heartless and he was a good fighter. But it still proved far too easy for him to get in over his head. Somewhere in the back of his head he felt a voice telling him this might be one of such occassions.
A lowly figure finally emerged from the doors behind the Cafe. Not a frightening face, but rather one that was wired both with curiousity and contentment. Probably curious about why they were here so late, but content that they were here at all. She was thin and tall -- at least, tall compared to Era. Not like that said much, however.
"Ah. Customers! What can I do you for?" the middle-aged woman scurried over to the only occupied table and offered to take the menu from where it had migrated.
It seemed Era would have to put their discussion on pause until they were alone again. This was not the sort of information she would share with more than she needed to, of that much she was certain. Why she felt she could share it even with the stranger sitting next to her she really wasn't sure. Maybe the future promised friendship between them?
But it was time now to harness her attention, take it back from the future and focus it on the present. The server was still waiting for a response. "We'll have a Jasmine Tea and...." Era glanced back to Rook curiously. He never did tell her what he was going to order.
He shook his head at the woman, "Just water for me, thanks," he requested. He wasn't much for public displays of food and drink. For years he survived on little more than a can of food a day and whatever he could scavenger to drink. If he had the chance, he could eat quite the bit, but he was in the presence of someone he wasn't familiar with. Water would do for now.
He looked back to Era, eyes meeting hers and raising a curious brow, "You didn't answer my question, though..."
The server was very prompt. Not two minutes had passed, and she had the drinks out to her customers. Five more seconds and the monetary exchange had taken place. And, almost as though she knew the conversation was confidential, she thanked them and disappeared back behind the cafe doors a final time.
Era's hands wrapped securely around the small, warm mug, a downcast gaze getting lost somewhere in her Tea. "Maybe that's because I don't even know how it's possible. But yes," a simple nod accompanied her soft-spoken sentence, and her gaze was back on Rook. "-She's my Heartless." Perhaps that was the reason she could identify that chilly presence. To an extent, they were connected, no matter how different they were. Tied together by the invisible, humorous strings of Fate.
A meager, insecure giggle broke into the quiet environment. "Then again, I can't recall a thing before two months ago." Her lips managed to twist upward, but the grin didn't reach her eyes. Although she was moving on --looking to the brightness of future-- she still wasn't sure what to make of her shady, indistinct past.
"Well... the best way to figure it out is to search for it, right?" Rook had almost a hunger for Heartless. After watching them tear his world asunder, he took pride, satisfaction, in every one of them that he defeated. One small step for him, one giant haymaker to the cranium for his family. Rook was many things, angry and violent among them. But there was blame to go around for why he was left to live alone, and he enjoyed showing the Heartless his fury.
"If you felt... eh, Erax, your Heartless, then she has to be here in Traverse Town, yeah? I can help you, if you want it...Destroyed, questioned, beaten to submission. I can help."
It was near insistant. Surely he could be turned down, he would even understand. But being seperated like that? A human and her Heartless? If he could lend a hand, he would. Danger or no.
The simple circular motion of her wrist sloshed what contents were still inside her mug. It took only a few seconds for her to down the warm beverage and place the porcelain cup back onto the small table. Era's gentle blue eyes watched Rook for but a second, and a chipper expression was quick to take its place on her features. "I'm not sure I want to remember. I'm happy now... And what if... when I find out who I was, I find out something I don't like?"
It seemed she'd wanted to say more, but cut herself short, quickly moving to another track. Her mind could switch tracks faster than a squirrel on koolaid. Small fingers idly traced images around the surface of her mug as she contemplated, gaze shifting down to the dull finish of the table.
The silence that had followed her last sentence lingered in the air awhile, then the meaning in her eyes easily deepened, refocussing on her new ally. "And about Erax. . . You really mean that? You'd help me fight her?" Era was not usually the one to ask for help when it came to personal battles --especially when it came to Heartless-- but the last duel with her Heartless ended in a gargantuan failure on her part. If she had help, maybe she could win this time.
Rook gave her a confident nod. "I hate Heartless. I hate what they do, and how they do it. And if one of them is after someone, especially a friend of mine, I'm not about to just sit around and watch it happen. Point me in a direction, I'll find this Heartless of yours."
He held up a fist and cracked his knuckles. Rook loved a good fight, especially against those without hearts. It was almost a mercy killing. Or, it would be if he wasn't so enthusiastic about it. He took a long, slow gulp of his water, and set the glass down on the table, standing, not hesitant. He was ready to go at a moment's notice. Or whenever she told him how to find her Heartless. Or whenever Era was finished.
Undoubtedly, a lot of it had to do with the saturating charisma that radiated off of Rook's positive attitude, but the longer Era thought on it, the more workeable the idea seemed. Sure, she'd lost before -- and the defeat had even been frightening. But now she had someone to help her battle this monster. The odds were on her side.
The small female sprang up, a smirk across her features as she let the idea of a victory settle in the forefront of her mind. A single nod acknowledged Rook's hopes. "Let's do this!" Sure, it was crazy. Dangerous, even. Perhaps it was a glitch in Era's brain, but that sort of adventure enticed her.
And with that, she set off for the Third District. A Heartless that ugly was bound to be hiding out in that neck of the town. It might've taken awhile, but Era would find her... Or Erax would find Era, rather. Usually, it was only a matter of time.
But Era was confident that this time, she'd win. She had Rook. There was protection.