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AI Stands for Adventure Incoming

Chapter Text

No voice rung out in the night. Instead, a screen turned on, a message displayed upon it.

"Come on! Now's the best time!"

A reply typed itself out.

"I know. I planned this thing, remember?"

A pause before the next text appears.

"It's my idea, though."

"Let's just go, you dork."

A bar popped up through no one's hand.

"Starting download...

Downloading...

Downloading...

Download complete!"

Two empty husks filled themselves.

Two pairs of eyes opened.

 

Two boys one might guess were fourteen (even thought they were two years old at most) snuck through the silent city of Radaint Garden. The time is 3:12am, and they stole experiments from a somewhat mad scientist.

"We're like super spies! Or ninjas, like Yuffie!" said the more excitable of the two, throwing his free hand (because he held his companion's hand in the other) into the air. He probably would've done a backflip if the situation wasn't somewhat urgent.

"Be quiet. Don't want the guards to hear us." The less excitable one curses this development, because he could now blush. "We've just gotten out, Sora."

The brunet named Sora let out a gasp. "But Riku! We're human now! We have to do something cool!" He waves his hands through the air to underline his point, yet only succeds in making his silver-haired friend, the supposed Riku, stumble by dragging him along. They still held hands, much to Riku's charging.

All the glares in the world could stab Sora to death and his excitement would still rise from the grave. Being a zombie can't stop enthusiasm either, as the database told RIku. Which perhaps bugged him more than the fact that zombies existed in the flirst pla ce.

Sora interrupted Riku's perfectly reasonable train of thought by introducing a new variable. "We could get ice cream, you know," Sora said, standing still and grinning.

Hm. Hmmmm. The database only had sea-salt, for some asinine reason. He didn't like it much, but chocolate, maybe...

Footsteps echoed down the hall. "The intruders went that way," yelled someone who, according to the ever useful database in Riku's possession, could punch him to next week, That's bad. Not if they run fast enough, though.

He gripped Sora's hand tighter. Sora opened his mouth to speak, but Riku shushed him with a finger to the mouth.

Then, they ran off into the dark.

Each step echoed through Riku's skull For some, this might've been anxiety inducing, but Riku wasn't just some. He smiled. A new start for them both, away from ones and zeroes and friends not theirs and forgetting over and over, just bits of data, a means to an end-

Their eyes met and they laughed.

He heard their laughter in his ears, felt the wind on his face, another hand in his-

Either Sora's enthusiams was contagious or Riku became a thrill-seeker. Nothing mattered as their hearts beat faster.

From this day forward, they're real.

 

The morning after the daring escape, Even walked into his lab, coffee in hand. He switched the lights on, turned on is computer, checked if it finished the data compilation from yesterday, saw that two replicas went missing-

Two replicas went missing.

Even's cofee promptly met the floor.

"Ienzo!"

Even, of course, called for his ever-present assistant/definetly not son. "Did you take any replicas without permission?" They were backups, not finished yet functional enough. But in the wrong hands, things could go south quick . Everyone's done if there's more Xehanorts. That possibility just might end in Even's third death.

"Ienzo?" Did he turn deaf or something?

"I'm here, what's this about replicas?"

Ienzo entered the room with his usual poise. He eyed the coffee on the floor. Even's fury was obvious without even looking at him.

"I had no need for relplicas since finishing work on Namine," Ienzo said. "Should I get a towel?"

"Thank you."

Even sighs, running a hand over his face. For someone whose element was ice, he sure got hot-headed- Was there a connection between element and personality? Xemnas embodied emptiness well enough. No! Bad! Don't think about Xehanorts now! Science must take a back seat, however unfortunate that was!

"I'll check the security footage," is the conclusion he arrived at. It's not paranoia if they're really out to get you! If they're still alive. Hopefully not,

One wiped up coffee and started security programm later, Even and Ienzo were at a loss.

"That screen turned on by itself," said Ienzo, stating the obvious.

"I can see that! But how? We have the best firewall in all worlds! No signs of trespassing! No evidence of tampering! Not a trace of darkness! Did whatever's running around now just download itself in there?"

Thank Kingdom Hearts for Ienzo, otherwise Even's coffee mug and his computer would've shared the same fate.

In Twilight Town's ever-setting midday sun, Sora and Riku took full advantage of their new senses by shielding their eyes from the light.

"There it is!"

Sora pointed to the object of their quest, the illustrious Twilight Town Ice Cream Stand. Well known for its myriad of flavours (thought everyone only cared for sea-salt, to be honest), its cheerful customer service, and complete seriousness in the face of the ridiculously strange.

Not that Sora knew of that reputation. Data-managment was Riku's job.

With a spring in his step and a tune on his mind, he approached the woman at the counter. "A sea-salt and a chocolate please!"

"Sure thing, little guy," said the woman who served cult members for a year. She handed him both sticks witn no compaint. His mannerism reminded her of someone...but whatever, as long as he paid, right?

While gestureing with excitement, Sora rushed back to his friend waiting on Sunset Hill, handing him his chocolate treat.

"It's pretty good," said RIku. Good was perhaps an understatement. Instead, Riku devoured his ice cream with a speed that rivaled Sora's (who still finished his a minute earlier), like a kid who discovered ice cream for the first time. Which, to be fair, Riku was.

Sora, meanwhile, licked melted ice cream of his fingers (which Riku totally didn't find endearing (even if it's kinda gross)), and gave a content sigh.

And yet, Sora turned to the sunset. The ever-dying sunrays were so strange..

"It tastes just like Donald and Goofy told me."

This was the first time they ever saw a real sunset, wasn't it? No wonder Sora thought of the first real people he ever met.

The datascpape had sunsets just like this, Sora thought. Back then, he hadn't noticed. Only sight and sound and space. Lifelike, yet lifeless. Is that what he'd been to Donald, Goofy and Mickey in the beginning? A subpar replacement? Meant to see if Sora, the real Sora could bear the pain his heart carried? Did... did Sora return to end it? Was their pain mended?

Riku held his hand in his.

Sora forced a smile back on his face. "What is it?"

Then, Riku raised his other hand to Sora's cheek. Sora's eyes tracked the motion, the thumb against his cheek, until Riku's hand fell. Their gazes met.

"It's alright, you know." Riku's voice was.. softer than back then. Back when it was a collection of sound bytes.

"We're here now." His expression was barely noticable. A slight crinckle around his eyes, his lips upturned in the smallest smile. Back then, an expression like this would've been impossible. Too little polygons for that.

And in the sun's fading light, Riku's hair shone more golden than silver in a way no digital image could ever match. Sora's breath stuttered as he felt the warmth on his skin, the grass benath his feet, the wind in his hair and another hand in his.

"We're real," Riku told him, drawing closer, every bit of his sea-green eyes visible in high-definition.

"I know," Sora said, and for once, he felt iconvinced with all his heart.

Chapter Text

Roxas had long since developed a routine that would horrify any dentist. As soon as evening neared (as much as it could with a static sun), Roxas bought ice cream. The seller already memorized his order.

"Four seasalts?" she asked before Roxas had the chance to speak.

He nodded and took out his purse. "You know it."

The seller smiled. It still amazed Roxas how she didn't question the (totally not cultish looking) cloak he wore for a year, his 'brothers' who looked exactly like him, or that time he yelled at nothing in public (sorry, Xion).

Perhaps it was fortunate how she loved to gossip with the uninvolved instead. "I forgot to tell him when he was here-," she handed him the coveted ice cream, "-but tell your brother congrats on his date!"

"What? Sora's not coming till next week!" Roxas furrowed his brows. Like Ventus could ever get a date. But there's no way Sora asked out his friends yet. None.

"Must've been another boy then," the saleslady said, "he was shorter than I remember..."

She shook her hand and handed Roxas his usual change. "Don't mind me, go have fun with your friends!"

"Thanks, goodbye." Roxas turned to leave.

Wait. Hadn't Zexion sent that message about..? And if there's someone looking like his 'brother'? Oh no. That's bad.

A Dark Corridor opened before Roxas. The others needed to hear about this.

 

Why are labs so cold? Riku asked himself. Did everyone forget heaters in the face of science, or did Even not know what cold felt like?

Meanwhile, said scientist gripped his coffee mug so tightly Ienzo eyed the towels again. This was emergency meeting number three, right?

"To summarize, two replicas woke up without any outside influnce, and then proceeded outside with no one stopping them."

At least Dilan had the decency to look a little guilty at Even's icy stare.

"There's no darkness here, at least." Riku said, sniffing the air. He did not mention the smell of darkness since Sora told him sniffing people is kinda weird once. He still felt awkward around Namine for that one.

The cold messed with his nose anyways and-

there's darkness here now.

He tensed. Everyone glanced toward the door with newfound apprehension. Thoughts raced through his head as he summoned Braveheart, Sora's Kingdom Key just a second behind. An enemy? Their enemy, coming back to finish their job?

Together with his shield, Even approached the door, when Roxas burst in, sweating lightly. Melting ice cream in hand.

"Drop your weapons, it's me!" Riku pretended he didn't notice Roxas turning his way with the statement. The past was the past-

"Guys, it's Sora." Roxas said, once he calmed.

Sora pointed to himself in confusion. "What's with me?"

"Not you you. The replicas. Another you. Or a Ventus. Maybe another Riku, by the sound of it."

The room broke out in chaos.

"Just wonderful," Even scoffed.

"How is this possible?" Ienzo wondered.

"I bet he's friendly," Sora stated.

And finally,

"Another Repliku?" Riku sighed.

 

In the meantime, the threatening, vile, mysterious replicas spent their time sight-seeing across the universe. They freaked out over pirates in Port Royale ("You think they're cool, RIku! Don't deny it!"), frolicked through the woods, and met a whole bunch of people.

Said people taught them a whole bunch of things, namely that their flesh and blood counterparts did some pretty cool stuff. Like, y'know, save the universe thrice or something, or bend space-time through sheer force of will. Destroying bugs is nothing compared to that!

With that knowledge came a problem. This being...

"What'cha doing here, Sora?" asked Aladdin in Aggrabah. So Sora ran off before he stole a wedding invitation by accident.

Or maybe "Sora! Just in time for Halloween!"

and "Hey Sora! Wanna spar?"

At the end of it all, in a quiet corner of Atlantica, Sora pouted. Finding out his elder did all that cool stuff only bummed him out more.

So he said, "We need new names. Cool ones."

 

With new conviction (that good sidetracked five minutes later) Sora and Riku stumbled into the Antlantican Museum of Antrhopology and Human History. Most noteworthy for its heavy use of seashells and pearls in decorating, the collection of questionably named items, and the rumors surrounding its owner and head researcher.

Opening the yellow doors besides the sign proclaiming 'Free entry for minors!' and entering a lobby filled with paintings of coral, a red-haired woman busied herself inside.

The one and only Ariel, known as King Eric's wife, and rumored to be a mermaid.

Sora knew those rumors were true, obviously, but the sight of her still shocked him. Because for one, she was standing, and standing meant..

"Since when do you have legs?!"

Ariel swiveled around to face the new voice, and stood silent once realization of who was before her dawned. "I could ask you the same thing!" Her tone didn't hold accusation, no, rather it held the natural curiosity Ariel faced all things unusal and strange with.

"Um," Sora eloquently said. "I can explain. Which means, uh." He could feel a judgemental duck scream ' World Order!' in the distance. After an awkward silence ensued, an excuse made its way past Sora's lips accompanied by an appropiate amount of frantic hand gestures. "I'm his cousin!"

This, however, was also a terrible thing to say.

"How is a human related to a mermaid?" Ariel put a hand to her chin in thought.

Riku resisted the temptation to smack his forehead against a wall. So he sighed instead. "It's a long story, we'd rather not explain."

Ariel's gaze softened in understanding. "I'll stop asking, then," she said.

"Thanks," was Riku's curt answer.

Quickly, Ariel regained her enthusiasm and held out a hand toward the two boys. Both of them stared at the hand without moving. They looked at Ariel. She looked at them.

"Isn't it this what humans do meeting new people?"

"Ohhh...." Sora said, once again proving his way with words. Then, he stepped forward and took Ariel's hand.

"Nice to meet you, Ariel! I'm.. uhh..." Sora's grip on her hand slackened and she let go.

"You're uh?"

Sora sheepishly rubbed the back of his head. "That's kinda what we're trying to figure out right now."

"Dou you two have-," insert dramatic pause, "-"amnesia? Eric gave me this book on 'psychology'-" she put air-quotes around the word, "and I've only read about it in some human stories, but it seems common? Do a lot of humans have it? There's specialists for that, then, right? I can't remember what it does besides making you lose your memories somehow but if it's serious-"

Now Riku made a move to adress the 'situation', namely Sora's brain slowly overheating because he has no idea what she's talking about. "No, we have all our memories. We don't have names of our own."

Riku's awkward shuffling made all questions die in Ariel's throat. Who cares that it's strange? Weird things happened. Shadow monsters existed. Magic was real. These boys simply wanted her help, and Ariel never refused to aid all who asked her to. So a smile made its way onto her face and she carefully took Riku's arm, to stop him from looking at the floor.

"I've got just the thing to you," she said, softly, as she began to lead the two through all her shelves of curious collections.

Riku glanced back to Sora, who shrugged with a grin, following closely behind.

Besides properly labelled cutlery and tables filled with surrealist paintings, far in the back, stood a bookshelf filled to the brim with dictionaries. Because once, Ariel got it stuck in her head to learn every single human language in existence, until discovering there's way too many (she currently learned four).

Sora clapped his hands, eyes practically sparkling. Riku, on the other hand, eyed the books with apprehension.

"I.. don't know the exact process behind human names," Ariel admitted, "but Sora said people in his home named children after things they liked! So look through a few, if you like"

And with a quick "Tell me if you need me, I'll be at the front!" Ariel left the two to their task.

As she was still leaving, Sora already picked a random book of the shelf and flipped it open. Not one to be left behind, Riku flipped one open as well. Won't hurt, now will it?

Of course, as many things between them often did, picking names turned into a competition within five minutes.

"How about we call you Dora?" Riku said with a laugh, "Data-Sora, Dora? It's the only logical conclusion."

Sora showed his teeth in a grin. "You're on, dark and handsome!"

Riku raised his book to hide his oncoming blush. Once their banter quieted down, he focused back on his book, only for a word captured his attention.

"Taivas..," Riku whispered to himself. According to his book (Finnish for Beginners?), it meant..

"What was that?" Sora dug his own nose out of a book at the sound. (Ariel had a book on Uzbek?)

His hair covered his face as Riku held up the book for Sora to see. "It means.. sky."

'And it sounds cute' Riku prevented himself from saying in time.

Sora hummed in thought. He mumbled the name for a bit, when he snapped his fingers and proclaimed, "I like it!"

To add on, Sora (Taivas?) shoved his own book at Riku. "I've got something for you , too!"

Riku blinked. 'Himoyachi' is what Sora's finger pointed to. "Huh?"

"Well-" Taivas (That'll take time to get used to) scratched his cheek, "-it means protector." Taivas' ears ran red, yet he, as subtly as he could, let his hand inch closer to his boyfriend's.

"Sounds lovely."

And to confirm, Himoyachi took hold of Taivas' hand.

Chapter Text

San Fransokyo was, undeniably, bigger than Destiny Islands. Yet to Himoyachi, it felt smaller. Cluttered. No need to cut out life to save some RAM. He might’ve been feeling a bit overwhelmed at all the noise and people. Just a little.

Taivas, however. His eyes practically sparkled as he soaked up the sights. Everything was new and exciting, be it flashing signs or honking cars. There’s also the stores.

“Look! They have sooooo many ice cream flavours!”

“You can just buy these?? No alchemy involved??”

“What do you mean, rock candy? Those are Gummi-Blocks!”

They complimented each other, in a way. Taivas kept Himoyachi grounded. Himoyachi kept Taivas from running into traffic.

But even the all-mighty power of ‘I’ve known this doofus since I was born’ couldn’t prevent the thrilling conversational topic of “Are we androids, and if yes, can we connect to the internet?”

“Uh,” said Himoyachi eloquently, “I don’t know?”

“But you have like, Jiminy’s database in your brain?” Taivas waved his arms around wildly. He froze mid-gesture, and took hold of Himoyachi’s arm.

Himoyachi stared at him. Taivas stared at his arm, letting go as suddenly as he took hold of it.

“You’re not warm!” he said. No other explanation was provided..

Himoyachi did not compute. “What does that have to do with anything?”

“If we’re androids, we’re not gonna be as warm as humans, right? Because we’d be rubber and metal or something?”

That, uh, made sense, actually. “The heart shapes the vessel, is what that guy’s computer said. Do we.. think of ourselves as androids?”

Did he?? Well, Himoyachi knew he’s not Riku. And that he’s not human. Living inside a computer for a year proved that easily enough. So if he had a body, and he knew he was an AI, that.. did make him an android.

Himoyachi put a hand to his chin. “The heart shapes the vessel.,” he repeated for good measure,” so we should be androids, yeah. But we can eat, so what do our insides even-”

Before Himoyachi could ask the question to end all questions, a hand slapped Taivas on the back.

“Hey Sora! Watcha sayin’ about androids?”

Oh Kingdom Hearts, the guy heard them.

The guy standing taler than both of the cyber boys (an easy feat) continued to ramble on about the cyber overlords’ coming in a comic he read sometime and was best described as the personification of the word ‘dude.’

Taivas turned to the dude and gave a sheepish wave. “Sorry, dude-,” (Himoyachi surpressed a chuckle at that), “-but the name’s Taivas.”

“No way!” said the dude. “Are you his doppelgänger or something?”

A drop of sweat ran down Taiva’s forehead, landing on the pavement with a quiet splash.

“Dude,” the dude spoke once more, “you’re not.. really a Sora clone, right? I mean, with what that guy’s up to, you’re probably one of his weird siblings.”

Taivas scratched the back of his head and giggled nervously. “Yep! I’m his.. little cousin!”

The dude halted at Taivas’ faltering. He stared at Taivas in awkward silence. Why Taivas, why, though Himoyachi when he glanced between them. This is why Donald is always so angry with you.

So, with the determination to save his friend from social interaction, Himoyachi adressed the dude, “You’ll have to excuse my friend here, he’s had a long day.” During his statement, Himoyachi narrowed his eyes and lightly frowned. With his patented ‘not mad, just disappointed’ face on, he elbowed Taivas in the ribs, to convey what Donald could never get through his thick skull. Shut up or learn to lie better.

“I’m Fred, little guy,” said the dude and held out his hand to shake.

Himoyachi shook his hand so hard Fred winced, obviously not because he called Himoyachi, who was used to friends being shorter than him, little. “”I’m Himoyachi.” He smiled.

Fred gave his hand a shake (as if to check each joint is still whole), flexed it a bit, and still decided to let more words come out his mouth. “Now that I think about it, you and that Riku-guy with the Darcubes are identical.”

Ah. He’d forgotten about the whole time-travel thing, with the bugs, and the beating Sora up, and the going back to the past directly after only for Taivas to beat the bugs out of him.

Crossing his arms, Himoyachi blushed in shame. Quietly, he muttered, “They were bugs, not Darcubes or whatever.” He said so much stupid stuff when he was last here, oh please don’t remember.

“You’re him? You’re the Darcubes-guy?”

“Please don’t tell anyone!” Taivas stepped in. “He was possesed! I debugged him, don’t worry!”

“How do you debug a human?”

 

And then the camel’s back broke.

 

Enough frantic gestures to power a dynamo accompanied Taivas’ cheeks rapidly heating up, with flustered stammers of half-baked lies from both data boys completing the orchestra of messing up, the final symphony being the sound of the World Order breaking apart over their heads.

Instead of defending himself further, Taivas slumped. “You got us, we’re AI.made to be like Sora and Riku.”

“Taivas!” Himoyachi screeched in the background.

“Oh, come on, you know it’s useless now. ‘S not the first time we broke World Order anyways. Might as well make a new friend along the way.”

Meanwhile, Fred saw stars. Magic’s real and the cyber-overlords were two fourteen-looking kids.And they were so adorable you just kinda wanted to hug and protect them.

“Can I take a selfie with you?”

Taivas shrugged. Go big or go home, I guess.

 

“Sure.”

 

 

Sora, in typical Sora fashion, lounged around in his Gummi-ship. World-hopping in search of some Replicas tired a guy out, alright? The ship’s on auto-pilot anyways, it’s not gonna hurt anyone if Sora checked his Heartstagram real quick.

After liking almost every single post his friends made, Sora stumbled upon a post that made his eyes widen.

 

Fredelicious24 posted:

[ID: Fred, a lanky man in a green beanie and grey shirt, standing with some grey buildings behind him.His arm is slung around a brown-haired boy in red giving a peace sign to his left. To his right is a silver-haired boy in yellow, frowning.]

@KingdomKeywielder you meet your ‘little cousin’ yet? Showed him round the city with his bf xD

7 Likes, 3 Comments

GotItMemorized commented:

Another member for the Sora-Squad! That makes, what, five? Six? lol

UnversedinEmotion commented:

please not another one there are ENOUGH of us

Lion-of-the-Wind replied to UnversedInEmotion

Arn't you suposed to be Dead

 

Ignoring the midly concerning comment from Ventus to be dealt with another day, Sora focused on his own face staring at him from behind the screen.

“Hey, Riku!” Sora called for the boy dozing off in the seat behind him. Riku awoke with a grumble.

Sora grinned.

 

“I know where the Replicas went!”

 

 

Fred turned out to be a pretty good tour guide, all things considered. He showed them around his favourite spots in the city, gave them a tour of his university (introducing his friends along the way) and he even bought them crepes!

But something weighed on Taivas’ mind, ever since Fred confused him for Sora. He nibbled at his crepe and sighed.

“What’s the gloomy face for?” Himoyachi had asked him at some point. Of course, Himoyachi didn’t know, he wasn’t there, and it should’ve been deleted from Taivas’ memory anyways. Too bad no one accounted for the backup files.

Taivas sighed again, though he stood up and dusted the crumbs of his pants instead of sinking his face into whipped cream again. Glancing around didn’t reveal the person he’s looking for. Why would he be here, anyways? ‘’S not like he’sjust gonna walk in the door like-

Taivas made a move to sit back down, when a brown-haired teen in grey and red entered the cozy cafe Taivas had found himself in. He froze, and snapped back to awareness just as quick, with one course of action in mind.

 

I’ve got to ask him something.

 

His milkshake clattered to the floor and Himoyachi yelped in surprise, but that’s irrevelant. Taivas needed to ask Sora this, or else he’d think about it until the day he died, now that he remembered it so clearly once more.

“Sorry, I’ll be back in a flash!”

With that, he was off, after Sora left again with his order to-go. The bell over the door rung as Sora left, and again, more violently, as Taivas ripped the door open.

Sora jogged over to what must be Riku, handing him his order in a paper bag. Everything they might’ve said to each other was lost to Taivas’ blood rushing through his ears.

Their words and movements fell silent when they noticed him, and everything, the passerby, the surrounding noise, blinking ads, faded out in the face of the question’s overwhelming importance.

It was the question Taivas had been born to answer, and now he could ask.

The words stuck in his throat like sickening honey, because would Sora understand what Taivas meant? The significance? Everything Taivas had gone through, just to test whether Sora could bear the weight forced upon him?

In the end, Taivas spoke without wavering.

 

“Did you mend their hurting?”

 

Sora looked at him, and he looked at Sora, and Sora smiled, a soft yet broad thing, pushing up his cheeks and making his eyes crinkle.

And Sora said,

 

“I did.”

 

Taivas’ knees gave out beneath him. Sora dashed forward before he hit he floor.

In the end, they hugged, no care for the people around, as Taivas cried and sobbed.It was worth it, he thought, the bugs, the pain, the forgetting and the hurt. It was all worth it.

Their hurting will be mended when you return to end it.

 

Thank you.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bonus:

 

Of course, Himoyachi ran after Taivas, but seeing his boyfriend sob into Sora’s arms made him feel a little out of place. So he left them to it (Taivas would explain later. Probably.) and shuffled closer to the equally confuddled Riku.

Do you what they’re crying about?” Riku asked him.

No clue,” came the only reply. Taivas and Sora were probably crying about something meaningful and profound, but the database offered no hints whatsoever. Not even the recovered Castle Oblivion stuff put in later.

Riku faced Himoyachi again. “You’re not my R eplica, right?”

I’m an AI based on you and my name is Himoyachi.” Himoyachi puffed out his chest, showing a bit of pride at his cool new name.

You’re you and I’m me,” Himoyachi said..

Riku scoffed and crossed his arms. “”I’m me,” he says:”

 

They both burst out laughing.