Of what could have been.
Floating helplessly as he watched Ansem take control of his body.
As he watched Sora try to save him, only to fall to his own hands.
As he watched his Replica, deluded by the memories Namine had manipulated, fight for a cause that wasn't his own.
As he watched himself betray the promise he'd made to Terra.
Riku soon found himself back in that empty chasm of Darkness, with Ansem once again trying to convince him to join. The words never reached Riku's ears, but he'd memorised every single line. But as of late, one had stood out more frequently in his dreams.
"Set the darkness in you free, and you can rescue your friend."
The words haunted him, even though he'd rejected them outright, even after Sora had been saved through other means. Would it really have saved Sora back then if he'd given in to the Darkness? He never knew.
But he wouldn't try. And he couldn't hesitate against the Darkness anymore. Not when the worst had come to past.
N̖̖o̥̖ͅt̹̜̹ͅ ̟̥̩̦̬͙͟w̷̰h͏̞͖͎̤̣̼ḙ͞n͡ ̧͓̪͈͇ͅR̶̦̹̠͙̥͍i̮̩͈k͉͓̬͎ų h͚̗̩̩a̛̠̪d̳̙̰̳̬ ̯̯͈͘l̦̟͕̟͍e̫̩t͇͟ ͇͉̼̯̙͡S̸̟͕̤o̤͔̹̻̬̲̻͞r̸̺̥a̷ ͍͖͢w̘a̺͔l͓k̴ ̦̰̗̲̻̠̬t̞̬̥͔̳̠̫o̘͍̳ h̡͙̱i̢͎͚͚̝s͕͎̭̪͘ ̯͖̣ḍ̛̱e̠͟a̱͎t̶h̬̻͓̩͠ ͎̙̼̲͇̦̞a̷n̢̮̦ḍ̣͙͓̥̖ ̲w̸̼̼a͕tc̴̯̼̖͓͚̟ͅh̺̫͎̹̜ẹ͔̥͕̳̤̦͟d͔͕̮ͅ ̡͉̻h̻̜͙̫i̷͚̲͉m̮͇ ̩͉̜͈̪f̻͙̖a̪d̞̪̘͖̘͟e̙ ͚f̙͕̘͔͕ͅr̘͚͖̥͕̙͞o͍̙̞m̗̫̞̦̺̟͟ t̸͕͕͖̠͈h̯̘͎e̦͍̰̯̜̱ ̜̟̫̬̻̥W̞͙̺͈o̝̩̞̯r̤͖͚̯̕l̙̬̻͉͝d̴̥̖͓̼s͍͉̠
"Due to personal reasons, promises that I've made, and the people whom I've met, I know I am Light," Riku muttered to himself as he walked away from the Darkness.
A statement to reassure himself, a declaration of his intentions.
No longer would he be held down by the chains of fear and regret.
The phantom of Ansem faded from his dreams.
And Riku woke up to a new day on the Islands, resolved once more to search the Worlds for a Light that had been lost.
Sora was still out there waiting for him.