You carefully slid the photo across the wooden surface before you, your fingers initially hesitating to remove yourself from the connection. You could hear excited chatter spilling in ever so slightly from the the kitchen’s cracked window, Cato’s voice mixing in with Sora’s and his friends’.
The elderly woman sitting before you let out a hum of contemplation, her green eyes glinting behind her reading glasses as she observed the memory.
“You must follow your heart, (y/n)...”
You felt guilt rush over you like a tidal wave at your wants. How could you leave behind the family you held so dear? The boy you watched grow, the woman who kept you grounded…
“Do not fret about us, dear. You know that we are perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves.”
You scoffed, a sad smile upon your lips. Your hand came up to hastily wipe away another tear that had fallen. Of course she knew. She always did.
“I just… You’ve done so much for me. Nine years… nine years of this .” Your hand waved nonchalantly over your form, a small laugh escaping both you and the woman. Gran slid the photo back towards you, both of her hands reaching out to cradle yours.
“And watching you grow into the woman you’ve become has been the utmost honor.”
You sniffled, hating how you were retracting into the melodramatic form she had first found you in. Your heart was supposed to be strong, to be able to bear the weight of seemingly trivial things- to be able to revive from death and simply ache at the thought of any emotional perseverance was nothing but frustrating.
Guilt and potential rejection was forefront on your mind.
“...What...What if I’m not... wanted ? I remember nothing but my demise. What kind of person is that?”
She 'tsked', reaching up to remove her glasses and taking a quick glance outside to see the cause of Pup’s sudden barking. Her eyes glinted with mischief as she watched the labrador tackle Sora, effectively taking him to the ground while Cato laughed.
You couldn’t help the smile that tugged at the corner of your lips, but it quickly diminished upon realizing the unfinished discussion that was still at hand.
“(Y/N), how do you expect to regain the pieces you’ve lost without going to the one who holds them?”
The elder woman spoke in an earnest tone, her focus unwavering as she watched you grab the photo from off the table.
“Your friends, whoever they may be, kept you tethered to this plane because of their love for you. You must not take that for granted.”
You looked at her and nodded slowly in agreement, your expression still forlorn as she stood.
“Let me help you pack.”
And so she did. You moved about wildly, insisting on taking as many photos and journals as possible. You needed your stationary for letters, but left knick-knacks behind, insisting that you were going to visit often. This house was a home, and it would always remain that way.
“Hm, if you’re going to visit, you better bring that boy in the picture. I bet you he’s grown into quite the man.”
Gran sent a smile and sly wink in your direction, causing your heart to flutter in your chest at the recollection of how seemingly...cozy you were with him, both in that photo and the muddled flashback it caused. It was an odd feeling, to be so uneasy over someone’s name you weren’t even sure of.
That is the name that Sora had given, but it seemed... off .
“I can’t believe you’ve been to different worlds. I mean, come on! How did you not start off with that?”
“ Because he’s not supposed to tell anyone .”
You and Gran chuckled at the duck’s scolding tone at Cato’s inquiry, their voices carrying down the hall and into your room. Quickly tossing your bag over your shoulder, you exited the space shortly after Gran, hesitating a bit as you glanced it over and slowly closed the door. The rag-tag group was waiting for you at the front door, their conversation coming to a halt at your appearance.
“I see you’ve made your decision.”
Sora nodded at your bag, a knowing smile on his face.
“I… suppose I have.”
Gran immediately pulled you in for a hug, her eyes brimming with unshed tears. Cato was next, his sudden embrace nearly sending you to the ground. You swore you caught him mumbling something about him missing you, which for him, was quite the confession.
Before he could pull away you grabbed his face with your hands, his expression an amusing mix of embarrassment and confusion.
“W-What are y-you doing?”
The raven-haired boy’s voice was muffled slightly as you pushed his cheeks together, a very serious look on your face. His green eyes widened as he tried to wiggle out of your hold.
“If you do anything stupid- anything, I will land so quickly back onto this world you won’t even know what hit you.”
“Alright, alright !”
You immediately released him, a smug look on your face at his exasperated state. The trio behind him chuckled at your actions.
Sora moved to rest his hands behind his head, his voice gentle as he spoke.
You took a deep breathe and readjusted the strap of your bag.
The journey was quick, but otherworldly in what it held. Sora told you of his adventures, doing his best to describe to you the turmoil that was going on. They were so very close to the end, the Mansion holding some sort of Door to Darkness, and you had deterred them.
You apologized profusely, the Keyblade Wielder waving his hand nonchalantly with a smile on his face.
“Don’t worry about it. I made a promise to a friend- I wasn’t about to break it.”
You nodded, his smile contagious as you focused your attention back to the stars speckled outside the Gummi Ship’s window. Your stomach seemed to do a flip as you heard Goofy enthusiastically yell out from his seat-
“We’re almost there!”
You fiddled nervously with the lion sigil that hung from your neck.