The story begins soon after the ending of Kingdom Hearts II, with Sora, Kairi and Riku returning to the Destiny Islands, with the events of Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance] occurring between the first two chapters. The author began with a few specific ideas: a fic where Sora's mother meets Roxas, Xion, and Ventus, a world-hopping road trip fic about Kairi and Lea learning to wield their Keyblades, and a fic about Kairi, Naminé, Xion, and Aqua sitting on a couch, eating ice cream, and watching movies, and the entire rest of the series was reportedly written to eventually justify that last one: Aqua had to be rescued from the Realm of Darkness, Naminé and Xion (and Roxas and Ventus) would need bodies back, and Xehanort would have to be stopped. As such, the series anticipates numerous events of Kingdom Hearts III, most of which happen quite differently.
In May 2021, the author posted a prequel fic set in the months between Kingdom Hearts II and More Affection Than You Know, reportedly with more to come. In addition, the series The Girl With No Name, focusing on Strelitzia, is also in the same continuity.
In March 2022, the author began a sequel series, Kingdom Hearts Ψ: The Mistress of Evil.
This series provides examples of:
- Happily Adopted: Once Sora's mother finds out the truth about Roxas and Xion, she's quick to start treating them as if they were her own children. Though Xion doesn't like to see it this way, since it means she'd be dating her own brother.
- I'm Crying, but I Don't Know Why: Between KH 1 and II, Sora's mother's seemed to forget about Sora while he was asleep, but would occasionally start tearing up when she saw Kairi alone.
- Recap Episode: A large part of the first chapter consists of a letter from King Mickey to Sora's mother, to get her up to speed on what's happened to her son since he disappeared two years before.
- Sharing a Body: Sora and Kairi, as in canon, but with the addition that Roxas, Xion and Naminé are able to take control and talk through their bodies (Ventus only appears when Sora is asleep). When this happens, Sora's mother can see flickers of Roxas and Xion, and later Naminé when she talks to Kairi. Sora can't directly communicate with Roxas or vice versa except by leaving notes for him.
- Talking in Your Sleep: Sora has been doing this for as long as he's been sheltering Ventus's heart, having nightmares about the events of Birth By Sleep and muttering about Aqua, Terra, Mickey, Xehanort, etc.
- You Are Not Alone: Sora's mother tells this to Naminé, and Kairi leaves a note for her to the same effect.
- Ambiguous Syntax: When Riku finds one of the notes Roxas and Xion have been leaving for each other and questions Sora about it.Sora: I didn't write that!
Riku: Looks like your handwriting to me.
Sora: It's Roxas's! He and Xion keep writing these and I can't tell if they're flirting or just messing with me!
Riku: Flirting with you, or messing with you?
Sora: (blushing) No, flirting with each other! But they keep leaving these notes where I can find them and it's So. Awkward.
- Polyamory: Sora, Kairi and Riku are confirmed as such for the first time (aside from the tags in the first story).
- Actually, I Am Him: Yoda tries to pull this on Kairi and Lea the way he did with Luke. They see through it immediately.
- Crossover Ship: In-Universe, Naminé develops a crush on Oerba Dia Vanille.
- Fee Fi Faux Pas: Kairi asks to see Lightning's l'Cie brand, embarrassing them both when Fang cuts in, "Yeah, Light. Show us your cleavage!" .
- Fire-Forged Friends: Kairi and Lea, in a rather literal sense given Lea's tendency toward fire magic.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Naminé does this to Kairi, with Kairi's own hand, when she starts to fall for the vision of Sora and Riku rejecting her.
- Hero of Another Story: While Kairi and Lea are hanging out with Phineas and Ferb, Merlin goes on a mission with Perry to stop Doofenshmirtz from opening Danville's keyhole For Science!
- I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder:Doppler: Glad to have you with us. I don't know what I'd have done about this on my own. I'm an astrologer, not a doctor. Well, I have a doctorate, but
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When Lea asks what the name of the world is, the worlds "Old Jungle" appear in the sky, as they would in the games. Lea is confused but Kairi says they've "seen odder".
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover: borrowing the structure of most of the Kingdom Hearts games, Kairi and Lea travel through various worlds that had not appeared in the canon series and weren't expected to appear in Kingdom Hearts III: The Jungle Book (1967), The Emperor's New Groove, Final Fantasy XIII, Star Wars, The Great Mouse Detective, Phineas and Ferb, Robin Hood (1973) and Treasure Planet. Naminé also goes to Arendelle in Naminé's Bogus Journey, while Lea ends up revisiting Castle Oblivion, Twilight Town and Destiny Islands before being reunited with her.
- Road Trip Plot: Kairi and Lea's training takes the form of a trip through various Disney worlds, and one Square Enix world.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Naminé's existential angst comes to a head when Kairi is knocked unconscious and Naminé summons her own keyblade, and she runs away from Lea through a Dark Corridor.
- Transparent Closet: Kairi's attraction to Captain Amelia Smollet is obvious to everyone except her, setting up a Running Gag involving her being in denial about her bisexuality.
- You Are Not Alone: Naminé again gets this from Anna and Elsa, who after listening to her story assure her that she doesn't have to shut herself away from Kairi the way she has been and doesn't deserve to keep punishing herself.
- You Watch Too Much X: When Merlin tries to warn Doofenshmirtz about the keyhole:Doofenshmirtz: I'm telling you, you got that out of a video game. That's not hyperbole. That's a plot element from Square Enix's award winning video game franchise, Principality Souls. My daughter Vanessa used to love those games. I hear the third one is coming out soon.
Doonfenshmirtz: What do you mean, 'it's actually the ninth'?
- Breather Episode: After multiple chapters of Naminé reliving her abuse and in between two very emotional chapters for Aqua, the Sixth Floor takes them back to Montressor Spaceport and Treasure Planet, which gives Naminé the chance to flirt with Amelia, much to Kairi's annoyance.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: After Naminé comes clean about how she tampered with Sora's memory in hopes that he would save her, Kairi spells this trope out to her. "You thought that for Sora to want to save you, you had to be someone important to him. But you didn't know him well enough to realize all you need to do for Sora to want to rescue you is to be in trouble somewhere where he can see. Playing the hero is one of his fundamental qualities as a person, after all."
- Dehumanization: Aqua slips into this when she says that Vanitas "was not a person". Naminé reacts with Tranquil Fury, reminding her that she just saw what Ansem put her through for being a Nobody.
- The Dog Bites Back: Castle Oblivion gives Naminé several chances to do things differently while reliving her memories, and she takes the opportunity to stand up to her abusers such as Marluxia, Larxene and Ansem. The climax has her face the actual Larxene, trapped on the 13th floor since the events of Chain of Memories.
- Enmity with an Object: Naminé hates Castle Oblivion due to everything she went through there. Castle Oblivion takes her hatred in stride.
- Giving Up on Logic: After Kairi fills Aqua in on the details of Xehanort's plan with the Organization.Aqua: I miss when things made sense.
Kairi: (laughing) I'm one of seven people in existence with a negligible amount of darkness in my heart, I fight shadow monsters with a magic key-shaped sword or possibly a sword-sized key, and I'm sharing a body with my own two-year-old identical twin. Things stopped making sense a loooong time ago; you learn to roll with it.
- It's All My Fault: Aqua is revealed to be harbouring a lot of guilt about her actions in Birth By Sleep especially as it becomes apparent that she helped set in motion the events of the original game.
Aqua: I made judgements that I shouldn't have, without all the information
- Her decision to spare Maleficent after their battle in Enchanted Dominion, which allowed her to manipulate Riku years later. When she mentions this, Kairi and Naminé are quick to tell her that showing mercy is never a bad thing, and that she doesn't get to take responsibility for Riku's mistakes.
- When she shows them the argument she had with Terra and Ventus in Radiant Garden, she's shocked when they're both far more critical of how the boys talked to her.
Kairi: Oh fuck that, you knew he removed Aurora's heart, unwillingly or otherwise. You weren't even criticizing him as a Keyblade Master, you were speaking as a concerned friend. And he lashed out at you for no reason!
Naminé: Maybe he felt guilty. He knew what he was doing wasn't completely right, but he was turning a blind eye to it. So when you pulled it out into the open, he directed his frustration with himself at you. Either way, you didn't deserve it.
Aqua: No, no, if I had been better, if I had listened instead of accused, this wouldn't have happened. This is all my
Kairi: This is NOT your fault.
Naminé: None of this is your fault.
Naminé: Terra had Xehanort whispering lies in his ear, and you know it.
Kairi: Ventus idolized Terra and was always going to side with him without thinking critically, and you know it. And honestly? Kid seems like a bit of an idiot.
Naminé: Kairi, don't be rude.
Kairi: The point is, none of what happened here was your fault. Could things have been different if you had stopped the conversation to explain things fully? Maybe! But would Terra and Ventus have actually listened to you? Maybe not! There's no way to know, and it's pointless to beat yourself up over the "could have happeneds". It's not helpful.
Aqua: I won the fight. The darkness started to swallow Terra. I dived in after him, caught up with him, but only had the strength to save one of us. I sent my armour out with him, and became trapped in the Realm of Darkness. And because of that because of me
- Soon afterwards, Aqua reveals that she fought with Xehanort in Radiant Garden after he stole Terra's body and that she chose to save him from the Realm of Darkness while getting trapped herself. Naminé's reaction goes into Don't Say Such Stupid Things! territory:
Naminé: (slaps her. Aqua looks at her in confusion and mild pain) You are not responsible for Xehanort's actions.
Aqua: But I
Naminé: You are not responsible for Xemnas's actions. You are not responsible for either Ansem's actions. You are not responsible for what happened after you were lost to darkness.
Aqua: If I hadn't saved him from falling into darkness, we wouldn't be here right now!
Naminé: Well, too bad! You did! You tried to save your friend! Wow, look at how horrible you are! Tell me this, Aqua. Is Terra gone forever?
Naminé: Is Terra gone forever? Was Xehanort right, in that memory? Was his heart extinguished by darkness?
Aqua: (whispering) No
Naminé: I can't hear you!
Aqua: No! He's alive! He's fighting! He's still in there and he's been fighting for twelve years!
Naminé (Beat) So it wasn't pointless. You did save Terra, at least partially.
Aqua: Are you still going to tell me I couldn't have been better?
- It comes up again one last time in the Keyblade Graveyard when she said the worst thing possible to Terra when she might have been able to keep him from being possessed.
Naminé: I never said you couldn't have been better. I said you being better wouldn't have fixed things. You're only human, Aqua. You can't be perfect, and that's not something blameworthy, that's just how things are.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After hearing about how Maleficent kidnapped her Aqua notes that Kairi has had an eventful two year to which Kairi responds that it felt more like a decade and a half, which was the amount of time between the release of the first Kingdom Hearts and the writing of this fic.
- Mathematician's Answer: When Kairi tells Aqua about how she, Sora and Riku started their relationship:Kairi: The hard part was getting Riku to admit he liked both of us. We actually had to pin him down so he wouldn't leave.
Aqua: Literally or figuratively?
- Out of Order: In-Universe, Aqua chooses to revisit Neverland before Radiant Garden to put off seeing her argument with Terra and Ventus. In addition, the Radiant Garden chapter includes her fight against Terra-Xehanort, which took place after her last meeting with Terra in the Keyblade Graveyard.
- Precision F-Strike: When Aqua beats Vanitas-Ventus in the Keyblade Graveyard, much to Kairi's shock and delight:Aqua: I'm done. I'm not letting my failures define me anymore. Because I have something you don't. I have another chance. And you can go fuck yourself!
- Separated by a Common Language: When they reach the thirteenth floor, Aqua belatedly realises that Kairi and Naminé had counted the ground floor as the first floor, the first as the second, and so on. (Though the chapter titles suggest that the author is more on Kairi's side.)Kairi: That's not how numbers work!
Aqua: That's how we always counted the floors in the Land of Departure. This will be the thirteenth floor.
Kairi: It's the fourteenth!
Aqua: My castle, my rules.
- Shout-Out: Larxene's backstory, from what little we see of it in Castle Oblivion, is based on Elena from Final Fantasy VII, or more specifically the version from Final Fantasy VII: Machinabridged
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Kairi, which is called out by Aqua frequently. She justifies it by pointing out that she lives in a port town.
- Cuddle Bug: Sora insists on hugging Lea after hearing the story of how he became a Nobody, and tells him that it's coming from Roxas and Xion as well.
- Drives Like Crazy: Lea has been banned from flying the Gummi ship because of his unfortunate habit of waving his hands around when he talks. Sora has a different problem, which is that Roxas keeps taking control when he wants to add to the conversation and has no idea how to fly the ship.
- Makes Us Even: When Lea meets Even again to ask for his help, he repeatedly makes jabs about Axel murdering Vexen in Chain of Memories until Lea grabs Even by the lapel of his labcoat and reminds him that he was complicit in him and Isa becoming Nobodies in the first place.
- Noodle Incident: Lea tells Sora and Riku about how Kairi accidentally asked to see Lightning's cleavage. Riku sighs and replies, "You may or may not be surprised to hear that it wouldn't be the first time.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Roxas catches Lea in a lie about not having been back to Radiant Garden since the fall (it was where he recompleted) and gives a pretty astute summary as to why.Roxas: Let me make some guesses. You didn't think much of it growing up, but after you became a Nobody, thinking of Radiant Garden brought back your happiest memories. But, the longer things went on, and the further away from you Saïx got, the more painful those memories became. Plus, the very last memories you had of it involved becoming a Nobody, and that can't have been pleasant. And even now, after the Fall, it's very much not the place you remember. You don't even really think of it as "home" anymore, not after everything that happened. You're not really thrilled that you have to go back, are you?
- Going Commando: Downplayed, but its revealed that the Organization uniform doesn't come with a shirt, meaning Xion and Larxene didn't have anything covering the upper halves of their bodies under their cloaks.
- Happily Adopted: Like Sora's mother, Kairi's father is quick to accept Naminé as if she were his (to be expected, given how he adopted Kairi).
- Revealing Injury: When Kairi introduces Xion and Naminé as her sisters, Selphie quickly figures out something is up because they both have a scar on their left arm that Kairi got from a fall when she was nine.
- Skewed Priorities: Selphie's reaction when Kairi fills her in on everything she can.Selphie: So all this time, my best friend has been an alien princess?
Naminé: Is that what you got out of that? Not me being Kairi's animated, heartless body, not Xion being a literal clone of not Kairi but Sora, not the impending war that could kill us all, but that Kairi's a princess from another world?
Selphie (shrugs) I like to look for the positives.
- I Will Wait for You: Defied. When Naminé suggests that she and Vanille take advantage of the time differences between their worlds in order to see each other again when she finally escapes from her crystal, Vanille shoots the idea down saying that it wouldn't be fair for either of them.
- Lost Lenore: Naminé discovers that in the time she was away, Vanille has been reimprisoned in crystal which previously took centuries for her to escape from, effectively killing any relationship they could've had.
- The Big Damn Kiss: Downplayed in the narration after Roxas and Xion have their first kiss:Since the invention of the kiss, there have been five kisses that were rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one wouldn't have turned any heads. It was slightly awkward, neither having done this before, and it was small.
But that didn't matter to either of them. Because the first time it happened, she was with him, and he was with her, and that wasn't just enough, it was everything.
- Covert Pervert: Kairi vents to Roxas about the lack of progress in her relationship with Sora, saying that she's starting to wonder if he may be asexual ("Not That There's Anything Wrong with That"). Roxas, who had spent the last year in Sora's head, tells her this isn't likely, asking her if she's ever noticed him staring at her ass.Roxas: I have seen your ass. I have seen Riku's ass. I have seen Selphie's ass. I have seen Tidus's ass. I have seen Wakka's ass. I have seen Tidus's dad's ass, not sure what that was all about. Sora has stared at the ass of just about everyone human he's come across since I got put in his heart. Thankfully, not Axel's, though I'm pretty sure that was out of consideration for me. You do not understand what I have witnessed. I can say for sure, your boyfriend likes asses. Whether it's just aesthetic appreciation or sexual, I have no idea, but it is what it is.
- Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Shortly following the exchange under Covert Pervert:Kairi: But if he is interested, then is he just shy? He never seems to instigate anything, except by accident.
Roxas: I have a theory about that, Kairi, but you're not going to like it.
Kairi: (frowning) Go on.
Roxas: Sora doesn't like to disappoint people, right?
Roxas: So he tends to do what he thinks people are expecting of him, right?
Roxas: Mmm. And you and Riku go to extenuating lengths to ensure that he never hears swearwords. Even though he's sixteen and lives in a port town, and you, at least, swear like a sailor.
Kairi: The fuck are you talking about?
Roxas: Exactly. So, why don't you let him hear swearwords again?
Kairi: Because he's an adorable, innocent little angel, and Riku and I agreed a long time ago that we'd do our best to preserve that innocence for as long as possible oh. Fuck me, we've been making him feel like he can't express that sort of interest in front of us, haven't we.
Roxas: I don't know for sure, but that'd be my guess. Have you guys even talked about what your interests are yet? Things you want to try, that sort of thing?
Kairi: No, because
Kairi: Because we didn't want to make Sora uncomfortable.
Roxas: Did he say that sort of thing made him uncomfortable, or did you guys just assume it would without asking him?
Roxas: Thought so.
Kairi: Well, I guess if I'm frustrated, I've got no one to blame but myself.
- Incompatible Orientation: After Xion found out that the Data versions of Roxas and Naminé are in love, she starts feeling a bit insecure about her relationship. Naminé tries to assure her otherwise by explaining she's only attracted to girls, a concept that Xion is completely baffled by since everyone else around her in relationships are either bisexual (Riku, Kairi, probably herself and Roxas) or pansexual (Sora). Unsure how to explain this, Naminé passes the buck onto Lea.
Lea: If you were a guy or I was straight or I was a girl and we were sober right now I'd probably agree to sleep with you. You're cool.
- Comes up in the middle of a drunken conversation between Lea and Aqua:
Aqua: Aw, Lea! That's one of the nicest things anyone's ever said to me!
Lea: (jaw drop) Whuh really? Aqua, that's, like, really sad. Like, really sad. 'I'd fuck you if we had compatible orientations'? Really? That's one of the ?
Aqua: Shshshsshhshhshhhh. Hyperbowl Hypar Hype Bolly Making big deal for comic effect. Lots of people have been really nice to me. A lot. Buuuuuuut No one's said they'd sleep with me before. Not that I've asked, though, right?
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: Brought up in reference to Saix's treatment of Xion and the main reason for Roxas's grudge against him.
- Jerkass Realization:
Aqua: Back when we were trying to find you, in Castle Oblivion, I felt like I had to push aside how I was feeling, and put Kairi and Naminé's wellbeing in front of my own. Until we went through my memories of Radiant Garden.
- Ven points out to Aqua than she has continued to treat him like a kid since they were reunited despite him wanting to contribute to the search for Terra.
Ven: I'm sorry for what I said.
Aqua: I know you are. You weren't entirely wrong, though. But that's not what this is about. After that set of memories, Naminé took me aside, and said She said I'm not their mother, her and Kairi. Or, yours and Terra's.
Ven: What did she mean by that?
Aqua: Both that I can't shoulder sole blame for things and that I don't have to be the adult, I guess, for want of a better term.
Ven: So, meaning that you also shouldn't take sole responsibility for things?
Aqua: (nods) I'm sorry, Ven. I guess I didn't listen as well as I should have.
Ven: (pulling her into a hug) It's okay, Aqua. Like I said, habits are hard to
Aqua: No, it's not okay, Ven. It's only going to be okay when I stop doing it. Habit or not, I don't have an excuse.
Lea: Huh. Well. Now I feel like a bit of a jerk.
- Kairi realising that she and Riku have been making Sora feel like he can't express his attraction to them and assuming that he's more uncomfortable than he actually is.
- Lea learning just how often he's interrupted Roxas and Xion's attempts to kiss.
Kairi: (nodding sagely) That's okay, Lea, you are a bit of a jerk.
Lea: (sticks his tongue out) No need to be rude, Princess.
Kairi: (does the same) Just calling it like I see it, kidnapper.
- Meaningful Name: Discussed at length in one chapter, along with the Theme Naming of Land, Sea, Sky that both the Destiny trio and the Wayfinder trio share.
- Moment Killer: Lea has an unfortunate habit of doing this to Roxas and Xion, sometimes on purpose. In fact, he manages to interrupt when Roxas and Xion are in the middle of complaining about it to the others.
- The Nose Knows: Riku is able to figure out that Ventus is possessed by Vanitas because of this, described as "a darkness thing". It's also briefly mentioned that he doesn't smell the same as Roxas, which becomes a Running Gag later because this is the only way Riku can tell the two apart.
- Pass the Popcorn: When Sora, Riku, Hayner and Kairi watch Roxas and Xion's first kiss, Kairi brings along a tub of popcorn.
- Serenade Your Lover: After getting singing lessons from Kairi, Roxas does this with Xion using "It Is You (I Have Loved)", a song from one of Sora's favourite movies.
- The Talk: Comes up a couple of times with Roxas and Xion.
- Lea mentions in the first chapter that he doesn't want to have to give them The Talk, when Xion and Naminé are going through menstrual cramps for the first time. Roxas later tells Kairi that he and Xion were given the Talk by "the only qualified adult in the tower." In a later chapter, when Lea decides he'll have to after all, Roxas repeats that description. Cue a Sneeze Cut to Goofy, which is justified by the fact that he has raised a teenager before.
- Xion later gets a different Talk when her confusion about the concept of sexual orientation comes up while talking with Naminé, and she passes the buck on to Lea to deal with it.
- Sleeping Single: Yen Sid tries to suggest this when he lets Kairi share a room with Sora and Riku, but they just push the three beds together. The same happens with Roxas and Xion. He doesn't push the issue afterwards.
- Waxing Lyrical: Kairi, while giving relationship advice to Roxas about Xion, quotes the chorus of Jesse Mc Cartney's "Beautiful Soul", to him, much to his confusion.Roxas: I just I didn't realize that you could just say song lyrics. I thought it had to be timed right and underwater and with the right button presses.
- Wham Episode: Chapter 14 reveals that several problems in the tower in previous chapters have been caused by a sleepwalking Ventus, or rather Vanitas possessing him.
- Both Sides Have a Point: When the team debate at length what to do about Vanitas, between Sora wanting to give him a body and try to get him on their side against Xehanort, while Aqua feels they have no reason to trust that he won't go back to him, pointing out that Xehanort is still looking for a thirteenth vessel. The majority agree with Sora, with Goofy raising the point that Vanitas could have left the Tower at any time while possessing Ventus, but Yen Sid at least acknowledges that he doesn't have a lot of hope that Vanitas will join them.
- Curse Cut Short:Vanitas: How exactly are you planning on getting dear Ventus's opinion? He's asleep, moron. As long as I'm here talking to you, he can't
Riku: Actually, that's the easy part.
Aqua: What do you mean?
Riku: (places his hand on Vanitas's head) Sleep.
Vanitas: Oh, you motherfuuuuuuu (falls asleep)
- Dehumanization: Comes up again with Aqua when she calls Vanitas a monster. Kairi and Naminé are again unimpressed, but drop the issue when Aqua points out that he's actively tried to kill her and Ven in the past. The conversation then turns to how many of them had been on the wrong side at some point, and Aqua later tries to justify her feelings to Kairi:Aqua: What makes him different Riku fought his way back to yours and Sora's sides tooth and nail. Naminé was forced to rewrite memories against her will. Roxas and Xion were duped, Lea had no moral compass And all of them are still bothered by what they did. It's too early to predict this, like you said, but Vanitas hasn't done anything to show he even wants to be different. Much less that he regrets what he did. If he doesn't show that
- Makes Us Even: Similar to his earlier conversation with Even, Lea makes peace with Ienzo over his involvement (such as it was) with what happened to Lea and Isa and Axel ordering the murder of Zexion.
- Enemy Mine: After a week of attempts, Vanitas finally agrees to join the heroes when he learns that not only have they succeeded in killing parts of Xehanort before, but there's now a prospect of killing him thirteen times.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Goofy being a genuinely nice and understanding person towards Vanitas entirely off his rhythm.
- "Not So Different" Remark: When Naminé volunteers to try to get through to Vanitas.Naminé: Let me put it this way. Vanitas was brought into being against his will and immediately turned into a weapon to be used by an evil person, regardless of what he actually wanted, all the while being abused by that same person to the extent that now he wants nothing more than to run away from even the notice of said person. [...] Well, we have some things in common.
- Token Evil Teammate: Vanitas, once he agrees to help fight Xehanort. The only reason he sticks around is to kill Xehanort, preferably more than once. He couldn't care less about the actual stakes that everyone else faces.
- Actually Pretty Funny: In the middle of a string of insults directed at the heroes, Vanitas calls Lea, "the flamer in every sense of the word". Lea grins, saying "Hey, I resemble that last remark."
- Simultaneous Arcs: Roxas and Vanitas's conversation coincides with Ven and Aqua's in "Awful".
- Snub by Omission: Inverted when Aqua is the only one Vanitas doesn't insult in the mediation scene, saying "Your ability in a fight I actually respect." He also doesn't immediately insult Xion, but when Sora points this out he calls her "the puppet", pressing Roxas's Berserk Button.
- "Not So Different" Remark:
Xion: No one passes through something like what he did without scars. We get changed by our experiences. We get used to certain things being 'normal'. So it's hard to change how we behave after a drastic change in circumstances. It's hard for someone who was created to be a weapon to adjust to just being a person, who people want around just because, regardless of whether they're useful or not.
- Xion and Vanitas:
Aqua: We don't all want Vanitas around, though. Or, I don't.
Xion: I wasn't talking about Vanitas. I meant me.
Ventus: Aqua, the way you talk to, and about, Vanitas it scares me. It scares me because it's exactly how Master Eraqus was acting back when I found out about the χblade. It scares me because because getting Terra back doesn't mean he'll stop having darkness in him. And if this is any indication, that isn't something you can accept. I (starts to tear up again) I'm scared that you're going to become just like the Master was.
- Aqua and Eraqus:
- What the Hell, Hero?: When Ven tries to get through to Aqua about giving Vanitas even the chance to change, claiming that he never had a choice when he was working for Xehanort, Aqua smugly tells Ven about one thing he did do out of malice, baiting her into a fight in Neverland by destroying Terra's wooden keyblade, which Ven had left with the Lost Boys. Ven does not take this the way she expected.Ven: And instead of telling me this, you waited. You waited, to use it as ammunition, in an argument?
- Actually Pretty Funny: Quite a few of the pranks get this reaction. Mickey laughs upon finding out that Kairi short-sheeted the beds in his room and is quite enthusiastic about finding a way to get her back for it. Naminé laughs about Roxas rearranging her coloured pencils even while kicking him of her room and calling him a jerk. She also makes a point of saying that she doesn't dislike Aqua changing her hair colour. Similarly, Xion acts angry about Lea replacing her shampoo and making her hair curl despite admittedly preferring her hair that way.
- A Birthday, Not a Break: When the team get together to throw a surprise party for Roxas and Naminé, Roxas's first reaction is to question the wisdom of this given that they're celebrating the day Sora almost died and his friendship with Riku was at an all-time low. However, he's quickly won over by the fact that Sora and Kairi care more about gaining a brother and sister respectively.
- Blunt Metaphors Trauma:Donald: If there's one thing we know for sure, it's that Vanitas is very stubborn!
Riku: (snorts) I think he'd prefer the term 'determined'.
Donald: Six of one, baker's dozen of the other.
Riku: That's that's not the same amount
- Brick Joke: In Adjustments, Naminé got stuck in an awkward conversation with Xion about sexual orientation and told her to go talk to Lea about it. Here, Lea ends up in a similar conversation with Vanitas after he compliments his new outfit, saying, "I'm sure you're the envy of butch lesbians everywhere," and then tells him to ask Naminé about it.
- Can't Catch Up: Xion is frequently shown struggling to feel useful because she still can't summon her keyblade yet.
- Disapproving Look: When Vanitas ends the prank war by outing everyone's embarassing secrets, Yen Sid gives several of these, as do a few others involved. But when Vanitas finishes by revealing that Yen Sid had been finishing off the coffee without making more, he gets Disapproving Looks from everyone else.
- Faux Horrific: When Kairi initiates a prank war after getting annoyed with whoever keeps finsihing off the coffee pot without making more for the next person, Sora and Riku start desperately begging her not to, before imploring whoever did it to fess up before its too late. The thing is, not only are all the pranks completely harmless, Kairi and her allies immmediately agree they have no have no interest in injuring or emotionally hurting anyone (though they do have no qualms about pranking people they've already eliminated from suspicion such as Sora and Roxas, due to Rule of Fun).
- He Cleans Up Nicely: Stated by Donald about Vanitas after he gets a new outfit in Twilight Town.
- Hypocritical Humour:
- As much as Kairi hates it when people finish off the coffee without making more for the next person, Vanitas points out that she's no better when it comes to the cookie dough ice cream in the freezer. She's also openly angry about Sora picking up bad language from someone, despite being well aware it could have been herself.
- In the same scene, Vanitas reveals that Ven has been stealing Aqua's sweaters and wrapping himself in them when he wakes up from a nightmare. When Roxas stifles a laugh at this, Vanitas calls him out on doing the exact same thing with Xion's sweaters and with Lea's scarves.
- Innocent Innuendo: When Sora watches Aqua fighting Ventus and Roxas:Sora: Wow, that's impressive that she can take the both of them like that! I've only fought Roxas before, I wonder what both of them at once would be like?
Lea bit his tongue. He absolutely would not, could not say what had just popped into his head, for two very good reasons.
First, Xion would kill him.
Second, Kairi and Riku would resurrect him just to kill him again.
Naminé: Wow, Sora, that's something I'd expect to hear from Xion, not from you.
Lea turned in horror to see Naminé standing behind them, an angelically innocent smile on her face that he knew meant she knew exactly what she'd just implied. Xion had also understood the subtext, and was rapidly turning bright red.
Sora, in what Lea assumed must have been an intervention from Kingdom Hearts itself, had missed the implication entirely.
- Making Use of the Twin: In-Universe, Roxas and Ventus try to come up with a strategy involving their resemblance. Sora starts to suggest the same with Vanitas, who replies, "Our hair isn't the same colour. How the fuck would that even work? Also, no."
- Must Have Caffeine: Kairi initiates a prank war alongside Lea and Naminé against the rest of the tower because someone keeps finishing off the coffee without making more for the next person.
- Never Learned to Read: Vanitas, as Xehanort kept him from learning this and other skills (such as Cure spells) to keep him dependent on him. When she finds out, Aqua volunteers to teach him, deciding that her desire to spite Xehanort outweighs her hatred of Vanitas.
- Tempting Fate: After Aqua starts to escalate the prank war:Roxas: Did it just get worse?
Sora: Like I said, it has to before it gets better. But I'm sure nothing bad will happen.
Vanitas: Do you idiots have any idea what 'jinxing it' even means
- Dramatic Irony: When Sora tells Vanitas about fighting off a thousand heartless in one battle, Vanitas is sure he must be exaggerating.
- In the Style of: Chapter 2, in which Sora takes Vanitas into the Hundred Acre Wood, is written like an A. A. Milne story.
- Narrative Profanity Filter: Vanitas finds out he can't swear in the Hundred Acre Wood, due to what's described as the Majorly Interfering Location Negating Expletives.Vanitas: This must be what it's like for everyone else around Sora.
- Oblivious Mockery: When Sora is telling Vanitas about fighting different kinds of Heartless:Sora: Okay, so, we call those Large Bodies, and they're a pain. They move around really fast, so even if you get behind them, it's hard to stay there. Some of them even breathe fire, which is real annoying.
Vanitas: (confused and slightly disgusted) You call them 'Large Bodies'?
Sora: Yeah, what? It's what they are.
Vanitas; What fucking idiot came up with that simple a (trails off)
Sora: Look, I was fourteen, okay? I'd like to see you do better. What were your Unversed called?
Vanitas thought about Red Hot Chilies, Hareraisers, Jellyshades, and Spiderchests.
Vanitas: All their names were awesome. Look, just tell me more about the Heartless, okay?
- Fake Defector: When the first plan to capture Saix fails, Sora and Vanitas quickly improvise a plan where Vanitas goes to him claiming to have captured Sora for him.
- Ironic Echo: When Vanitas hands Sora over to Saix, he tells him "You get to carry him," pointing out that he has seniority. A minute later, Sora tells Vanitas he gets to carry the now unconscious Saix.
- Tap on the Head: When Vanitas knocks Saix out with his keyblade.Vanitas: (waving his hand over the body) 'Sleepza'.
Sora: Vanitas! That wasn't nice!
Vanitas: If you want actual sleep magic, go to Naminé or Aqua. It worked, didn't it?
- Batman Gambit: Xehanort knew that the heroes would try to get Terra back, which is what he was counting on. He realized that Terra was one of seven lights needed for his plan, bur couldn't just leave Terra's body and let him go to the heroes as that would be suspicious, so he deliberately let himself get captured and pretended to fight them in order to make it believable. It did almost blow up in his face though.
- Didn't See That Coming: Xehanort didn't expect the guardians to capture Saix or for Eraqus' heart to have persisted inside Terra for so long. The latter almost derailed his plans completely, as Eraqus tried to pull his heart into the afterlife.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Sora manages to stop the rain of keyblades from Terra-Xehanort, by telling the discarded keyblades that they don't need to fight any more and that it's okay for them to rest, which causes every keyblade in the graveyard to disappear into light. Terra-Xehanort is left dumbfounded by this.Terra-Xehanort: "Untold millennia in this lifeless regolith, and mere words are all it takes to destroy them? Preposterous!"
- Clown-Car Base: Sora's hood apparently functions like this when Jiminy is in it, with Ven discovering he has a pool table.
- Good News, Bad News: Jasmine's recap of the story of Aladdin and the King of Thieves:Sora: What do you mean we missed your wedding!?
Jasmine: Oh, don't be upset, Sora. We had no way of getting a message to you, but we would have if we could.
Kairi: Still, congratulations! Was it a nice ceremony?
Jasmine: It was once it finally got underway.
Kairi: Did something happen?
Jasmine: Aladdin's father turned up.
Sora: Well, that's nice!
Jasmine: He turned out to be the leader of a ring of thieves that used the ceremony as a distraction to try to steal an ancient treasure.
Jasmine: But, Aladdin was able to reconnect with him for the first time in his life.
Sora: Ah, that's nice!
Jasmine: But the thieves tossed him out when he realized he actually cared more about Aladdin than about the treasure they were trying to find.
Kairi: Wait, I thought they stole the treasure from you?
Jasmine: No, what they stole from us was an oracle that could tell them where a city on the back of a giant turtle was, and the treasure they wanted was in that city. Anyway, his father gave up the treasure to save Aladdin's life.
Sora: That's nice!
Jasmine: But he and Iago decided to leave to travel the world, since he's still technically a wanted criminal.
Sora: Oh Well at least he wasn't evil?
Jasmine: There is that, yes.
- Master-Apprentice Chain: Just as Riku taught Vanitas to channel his personal darkness without being consumed by the Darkness, Vanitas steps up to teach Terra when Riku is unavailable.
- Troll: Terra, having learned about Aqua teaching Vanitas to read and write, praises his spelling on the sign he put on the door, before adding, "Although, I think you wrote the 'W' backwards." It takes Vanitas a moment to figure that one out, and he responds with a Death Glare.
- True Love's Kiss: Lea wakes up Isa with this, though it takes some convincing from Aqua before he tries it.
- Wham Episode: The climax of Beauty and the Beast occurs in Chapter 6, with Xemnas interfering in an attempt to recruit the Beast, but instead ends up recruiting Gaston.
- Year Outside, Hour Inside: When Alice mentions that she's been trying to get home from Wonderland for at least the past day, Kairi almost points out that it had been three years from their perspective.
- If You Ever Do Anything To Hurt Him: Exchanged between Roxas and Isa. Xion follows this with a somewhat gentler version, asking Isa not to push Lea away.
- Mythology Gag: Kairi mentions that she sometimes has nightmares of something happening to her and Sora going too far to save her, which leads to her returning but Sora not coming back which is exactly what happened at the end of Kingdom Hearts III.
- Pass the Popcorn: Isa brings popcorn along to watch Lea learning flowmotion, knowing that he's probably going to fall flat on his face at some point.
- Precocious Crush: Riku admits that he used to have a crush on Terra as a result of their brief meeting when he Bequeathed the keyblade to him.
- Shout-Out: When Terra is teaching everyone how to do form-changes, Xion's keyblade ends up transforming into the Dragonslayer.
- Some Call Me "Tim":Yen Sid: This being is, in a sense, the anthropomorphization of the concept of time itself.
The being: Not strictly true, but close enough. Call me Tim.
Tim: (shrugs) Technically my name is 'Time's Champion'. Or. Well. That's not actually my name, but that's the title. Got cut off while saying it once and people started calling me 'Tim'.
Vanitas: But that doesn't match the
Tim: My real name, of course, is a secret.
Sora: It's unpronounceable, right?
Tim: Huh? No, no, it's just a secret.
- Team Mom and Team Dad: Discussed between Aqua and Lea, neither of whom like being thought of this way.
- Actor Allusion:
- Annoying Laugh: Kefka's laugh quickly starts to get on Aqua's nerves.
- Bait-and-Switch: Chapter 7: "Unlucky Number Thirteen", sets up the reader to assume something is going to happen to Roxas (Number XIII when he was in the Organization). Instead, it refers to the Thirteenth Seeker of Darkness, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
- Cain and Abel: Mickey is forced to fight his brother Oswald, though Kairi's intervention manages to help them end things peacefully.
- The Cavalry: Yen Sid, Minnie, Daisy, and Hecatoncheir show up in the middle of the battle with Sephiroth.
- Chekhov's Gun: Lea uses the Spark of Rebellion Keychain that he received in his visit to Dagobah when he fights Count Dooku. When she turns up, Kairi pulls out Awakened Force.
- Cliffhanger: The last chapter ends on Sora's mother answering the door to find Xigbar wanting to talk about Sora.
- Dungeon Bypass: Lea burns a hole through the maze to catch up with Roxas and Xion. Xemnas tells him it's poor sportsmanship to break the rules, but Lea call himself an innovator.
- Evil Is Not a Toy: Xehanort made Sephiroth one of his vessels. He comes to regret that decision when he summons meteors over the battlefield and tries to kill all the heroes before the χblade can be forged.
- Full-Name Ultimatum: Daisy Duck shows up to interrupt Donald casting Zettaflare against Sephiroth. "Donald Fauntleroy Duck! Just what exactly do you think you were about to do?!"
- Fusion Dance: In the climax, Sora creates the Ultima Drive Form with nineteen of his friends, adding up to thirteen Lights and Seven Darknesses.
- Heroic BSoD: Naminé's reaction to seeing the Riku Replica again, described as a "bluescreen" in the narration.
- I Fell for Hours: Donald claims he and Goofy were falling for thirty minutes. Goofy doesn't think it was that long.
- In Spite of a Nail: Despite all the divergences up to this point, the final clash does resemble that from Kingdom Hearts III and the Re:Mind DLC to an extent, either intentionally or coincidentally.
- It Only Works Once: Outright stated by Aqua after Kefka resurrects himself with Reraise following their first fight.
- Jobber: Gaston is described this way when he's the first of the Darknesses to fall.
- Mirror Match: Vanitas's battle with a remnant of himself is described as such in the chapter title. Terra later has to fight Terra-Xehanort, both with the same keyblade.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Goofy, whose real name is stated to be George Goof.
- Screw Destiny: Sora encourages Young Xehanort to do this and not make the choices that his older self made, though he acknowledges that this probably won't change the future they're currently in or they wouldn't still be having the conversation. Young Xehanort eventually agrees, making a HeelFace Turn and derailing the plan to create the χblade.
- Sequel Hook: Similar to the game, there's an Interlude chapter involving Maleficent and Pete looking for a black box in Scala ad Caelum, setting things up for a later story arc.
- Shout-Out: During Sora's Near-Death Experience he sees glimpses of the events of other fanfics:Affecting Eternity, A Small Problem, Remember the Tides, Cast A Shadow, Those Lacking Spines, Heart Is Where The Home Is, How to Train Your Heartless, and (i don't need you to) Worry for Me.
- So Proud of You: Terra and Ven both say this to Vanitas, who's openly shocked by it. Aqua just follows up with, "I... tolerate you."
- The Starscream: Count Dooku admits to Lea that he has every intention of betrayaing Xehanort once the χblade is completed.
- Stock Scream: Goofy lets out his usual scream when Xigbar opens up a hole in the ground to separate him and Donald from Ven.
- These Hands Have Killed: Kairi doesn't take it well when she's forced to kill Count Dooku. Aqua and Donald are both quick to tell her that it doesn't make her a bad person, and that her reaction proves she isn't.
- The Unchosen One: Everyone is shocked when Sora is not one of the designated Seven Guardians of Light, except Sora himself, who reminds them that he wasn't supposed to receive his keyblade in the first place.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Xehanort kills Sephiroth once his role in forging the χblade is fulfilled.Xehanort: He had proved himself a danger to everyone around him. We had no more use for him, and leaving him alive ran the risk of further destruction. The only logical thing to do was to eliminate him.
- You Wanna Get Sued?: When Count Dooku states that Xemnas's weapon of choice may be similar to a lightsaber but "is distinct", Lea remarks, "Bet that helps with the copyright."
- Broken Masquerade: The World Order is broken on the Destiny Islands after Sora and others are seen summoning their Keyblade in public, as well as several characters arriving through Light Corridors.
- Hostage For Macguffin: Xigbar holds Sora's mother hostage to force him to get Vanitas to hand over the Gazing Eye Keyblade, but he's foiled by Roxas, Xion, and Naminé.
- But Now I Must Go: Vanitas decides to leave because he's not sure he has what it takes to be an actual hero, as his main reason for fighting alongside the heroes was simply to kill Xehanort. He has also needs to to properly figure his feelings for Aqua.
- Dramatic Drop: After Aqua mentions Zack's name to the Radiant Garden Restoration Committee, Aerith drops a teapot in the next room.
- Everyone Knew Already: When Vanitas admits that he has a crush on Aqua:Roxas: No shit.
Riku: And in other news, water is wet.
Isa: This is news to you?
Xion: Did you not know?
Terra: Wait, was that not clear? I thought that was something we all knew but didn't talk about, like Aqua's ice cream habit, or Riku not being able to tell Ven and Roxas apart, or Kairi being bisexual.
Kairi: Wait, like me being what?
- I Never Said It Was Poison: When Aqua consults Hades about Zack, in case he had died and ended up in the underworld, Hades checks through his rolodex and says "Sorry, sweetheart, but Mr. Fair ain't here." Since Aqua didn't know his last name before, this gives her another lead, namely Radiant Garden.
- The One That Got Away: Aqua takes a trip to Olympus in hopes of finding Zack, well aware that after thirteen years she probably can't expect much. She's still pretty crushed when she finds out that he died years ago.
- Running Gagged: Kairi finally accepts the fact that she's attracted to girls after Terra brings it up.Kairi: Well I guess if nothing else, I finally understand why I think boobs are so awesome.
- Wham Line: Leon tells Aqua and Vanitas about the first of Ansem's apprentices who experimented with the Heartless, before Xehanort showed up.Leon: The guy dumped the kid before Ansem the Wise caught on to what he was doing, but there was enough evidence from that and previous experiments that well There's a reason Hojo's not around anymore. And good fucking riddance.
Aqua: That's where Sephiroth came from? He was the resulting Nobody?
Leon: No. He was the resulting Heartless. The Nobody was Cloud.
- "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: When Naminé explains Castle Oblivion's warp system, Terra points out that if they had brought Sora or Riku along in Land of Oblivion, they could have skipped over nearly every floor. Though it was probably for the best they didn't, given everything Aqua and Naminé got out of the experience.
- Oblivious to Love: Lea can't figure out that Isa returns his feelings, partly because he thinks he was in love with Girl X, the test subject he wanted to save.
- There Are No Therapists: Subverted when Naminé starts seeing one, namely Zidane Tribal.
- Trauma Button: Naminé has a panic attack on seeing the room Kairi's father is preparing for her, still solid white — like her rooms in Castle Oblvion and the Twilight Town mansion — because he was planning to leave the colour up to her.
- Brick Joke: Back in Adjustments, Roxas serenaded Xion with a song from one of Sora's favourite movies. Two years later (in real time at least), Xion finds out what that movie was.Xion: ARE YOU SHITTING ME?! THIS IS WHAT THAT SONG IS FROM?!
- It Will Never Catch On:Kairi: Didn't Ienzo say those new computer things could store and play music?
Naminé Yeah, but that's a little inconvenient. It's not going to replace portable CD players.
- When asking for advice about Sora and Riku, Kairi tells her father that she doesn't like girls like that and misses his incredulous reaction.
- Kairi also comments on Selphie's relationship issues, having figured out before she did (which was described in Whatever Lies Beyond This Morning) that she's not interested in romance at all.
- Sora's list of things he loves about Riku and Kairi ends with, "And, he sometimes thought to himself in the part of his mind that wanted to be rebellious, they both had nice butts. This was just an objective truth."
- Honorary Uncle: Riku's uncle was described in previous stories as a close friend of his late parents who shut down after they died and did a poor job raising Riku, though it's revealed here he was in a polyamorous relationship with them, and Riku comes to call him "Dad" after their relationship improves.
- I Have This Friend: Kairi, Sora and Riku all try to ask their respective guardians for advice. Kairi tries to frame it as a hypothetical, but her father sees through it immediately, asking her if she's hypothetically talking about two boys whose names rhyme with Yozora and Miku, and she gives up at that point. Sora goes to much greater effort, claiming that Tidus had asked him for romantic advice (which he did, albeit only after Sora asked Tidus to ask him so that he wouldn't be lying to his mother) and then spins a completely illogical story about Tidus having met a girl called Yuna ("Several worlds away, a fairy sneezed.") on another island Sora had also visited. Meanwhile, Riku is much more direct with his uncle, though he also doesn't immediately admit that he's talking about Sora and Kairi.
- Not Hyperbole: The story reveals that Kairi wasn't kidding about literally pinning Riku down to make sure he didn't leave.
- Relationship Upgrade: Tells the story of how Sora, Kairi and Riku finally got together.
- Narrative Profanity Filter: In the main series, a Running Gag involving Sora was the partially self-imposed DISNEY (Definitely Innocent, So No Expletives, Y'all) field that kept people (even Kairi) from swearing around him. While Vanitas was never shown to be affected by it (see Chiaroscuro above), it turns out he was affected by a presumably related filter in Disney Town itself, and it took a lot of effort to immunize himself to it.