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Two of Hearts

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Disclaimer: Kingdom Hearts, Disney, and the other properties mentioned in this story do not belong to me. Neither do the songs within this story, though I do rather enjoy them. Sarah and Kuromaru, however, do belong to me. For those of you who’ve read “Go ask Alice”, this is that same Sarah Williams; the original model, you might say.

Two of Hearts

 

Settling down in her gaming chair, a pack of beef jerky, two Slim Jims, and a three-pack of juice boxes filled with fruit punch at hand on the TV tray she kept by her chair for times like this, Sarah Willams was prepared to go for broke. She’d already completed the game quite a few times before, so there was really no pressing need for her to go at it all over again, but now she was aiming for the difficult task of "%100 completion". So now here she was, about to begin a marathon session of Kingdom Hearts for the umpteenth time.

Popping open one of the juice boxes, she took a healthy swallow and palmed the TV remote.

Pressing the ‘power’ button, she glanced briefly at the blue screen of a non-cable TV, before leaning forward and hitting the ‘power’ button on her PS2. She was expecting a lot of things, the Sony logo, the indicator light turning from red to green; anything but for a bright flare of light – blinding in its magnesium-like intensity – to come blasting seemingly out of the console itself, and engulf her before she could do more than yelp in startled surprise. There was a sharp snapping sensation, as if some cosmic rubber band had been pulled to its limits and then released.

Reminding herself to blink, Sarah tried to clear the stars from her eyes. They didn’t seem like the normal I’ve-just-been-freakin-blinded-by-a-flashbulb-on-steroids stars; in fact, they almost seemed to be… moving. It kind of looked like that warp effect they used on Star Trek, really.

She didn’t have much time to think about that, before she was roughly slammed into something that felt a hell of a lot harder than the recliner she’d been sitting in.

"Ow," she groaned, reaching back to massage a sore spot on the back of her head. "Seriously, ow."

Noticing that her surroundings were astonishingly dark for a room that was equipped with three halogen lamps and an overhead light, Sarah opened her eyes. And stared up at a sky that filled with more stars than she had seen since the last time her aunt Milly had invited the rest of the family to stay up at her cabin in the Sierra Nevadas.

"Well, I guess I can safely rule out a power-failure," she said glibly, trying to find some humor in the situation so she wouldn’t start freaking out; something else was starting to bug her now, though. "The hell is wrong with my voice?" she demanded, standing up and glaring at the star-filled sky. "I sound like," she paused suddenly, looking down her shirt; having finally noticed the complete absence of two particular things. "-like a pre-pubescent boy," she finished numbly, sitting down more quickly than she’d stood up.

Idly running her hand back and forth over the surface she’d found herself sitting on, the surface that didn’t much feel like the carpet in her gaming room, now that she thought about it, she tried to make at least some sense of her new situation.

"Sand?" she picked up a fistful, blinking as it ran out between her fingers.

"Sora?" a woman’s voice, one she almost thought she should have recognized from somewhere, started calling out then. "Sora, where are you? Honey, it’s time to go to bed!"

Turning to look back over her – she was trying to avoid the issue of what kind of body she was actually in, and she didn’t want to start confusing herself with pronouns on top of all that – Sarah watched as an older woman came out onto what she was slowly starting to realize was some sort of a beach. Wait, a beach? And, since I really doubt I could somehow black out walking all this way – not being drunk and all – and since the closest beach is- Blinking like a stunned horse, she said nothing as the woman who’d voice she vaguely recognized took her by the wrist and started leading her away.

The only conclusion she could come to, given all the evidence that was being presented to her, was far-fetched to the point of complete insanity. So, this is what going mad feels like, she mused. She was trying not to take in the familiar – now that she knew what to look for, at least – sights all around her. Some things were just too much for one mind to take in all at it once.

The lack of light at this late – or possibly early – hour helped a lot in that respect, and she was grateful for it.

It really wouldn’t do to have her mind completely shut down from weirdness overload, even though it was pretty well on its way to doing just that. Finding herself standing in front of a cozy-looking little one-story house, Sarah let the woman pull her inside. She didn’t know just what the expression on her face looked like, but whatever it was, it was enough to get the woman to lead her to a room at the far end of the house without making any attempts at conversation. Sarah was grateful for small favors at first, but when the woman started to tuck her in, she had to quickly repress a shudder.

Part of it was the fact that she hadn’t been tucked into bed since she was ten – seven years ago – but it was mostly the fact that a complete and total stranger was the one doing it that made her twitchy.

She still clung to the vague hope that all of this could be some kind of elaborate, multi-sensory hallucination, but somehow she was starting to get the feeling that said hope was in vain. Still laying in bed with her eyes closed, Sarah realized that there was one thing that she absolutely had to take care of before she fell asleep. As a chronic shifter, she always made it a point not to sleep in anything loose, or anything that could end up tangled around her if she moved too much.

The clothes she was in now would probably end up half-strangling her before the night was over; through no fault of their own, of course.

Flipping back the covers, Sarah levered herself out of bed and began taking off the clothes that that woman had given her to wear. When she reached for the waistband of the underwear, though, Sarah paused. There were just some things she was not ready to see before her morning shower. Leaving the underwear in place, Sarah climbed back into the bed and snuggled herself deep into the covers.

I really hope this is all a dream; it’d be too freaky to deal with otherwise, was her last coherent thought before she drifted off, facing the door of a room that wasn’t her own…