Re:Connect – Kiera Dreamseeker {Part 3} – Chapter XXIII

New Friends

Kiera walked for a long time. Radiant Garden had grown quiet, with the only sound being the rushing water from the aqueduct. But it was not eerie. It was peaceful. Soon Kiera spotted Ventus in an alternate courtyard, sitting up against the curb, holding out a wooden keyblade and casually swung it around. Kiera recognized that keyblade. Terra made that keyblade when he was younger. Later when Ventus arrived, Terra gave it to him as encouragement to train harder. It was one of Ventus’ prized possessions. Kiera sighed deeply as she strolled up to him. Ventus turned his eyes towards her, but kept fiddling with the keyblade. Kiera casually next to him and sighed again.

“You holding up alright?” she asked.

“Yeah…I guess…” Ventus responded.

Kiera wasn’t convinced. She leaned her head gently against the wall and closed her eyes for a moment. In the quiet, Kiera could hear footsteps approach them, low voices quietly conversing to themselves. 

.

Just then, Ventus lost grip on the keyblade and it tumbled forward. Coincidently, the footsteps that Kiera heard now developed to two young men standing a few feet from them. One had fiery red hair and green eyes, the other had blue hair with green eyes. The wooden keyblade had hit the red haired boy’s ankle, and he took a slight step back with surprise. Then, he picked it up and examined it.

“This yours?” the boy asked Ventus.

Ventus nodded.

“Lea, we don’t have time for this” said the blue-haired boy.

“Lighten up, Isa. It’ll only take a sec.”

Lea stepped forward and turned the keyblade over so he was holding the blade and handing the grip to Ven.

“You still play with toy swords? That’s cute” Lea observed.

Kiera’s nose crinkled as Ventus took back the keyblade. Suddenly, Lea reached into his pockets and pulled out what could only be described as flaming spicy chip bags.

“Now this right here–! Tada! Whatcha think?”

“Not much” Ventus replied bluntly.

Kiera couldn’t help but laugh.

“What are those supposed to be?” Kiera giggled.

“These, m’lady, are fire-star frisbees. Forget swords, these are the coolest weapons in the world!” Lea explained.

“I’m sorry, those look like snacks” Kiera chortled.

“Well, well, that’s not a very nice thing for a young lady to say!” Lea rebuttled, sarcastically groaning, “You’re just jealous. The name’s Lea. Got it memorized? What’s yours?”

“I’m Kiera. This is Ventus” Kiera replied, a bit cold, then added with sarcasm, “Got it memorized?”

“Oof! You’re tough!” said Lea.

He turned back to Ven. 

“You look a little down, Ventus. Wanna fight?”

Ventus scoffed. “Why?”

“You scared of losin?”

“Doubtful.” 

“Come on! Hope you’re ready!”

Kiera was about to belt Lea for harassment. However, Ventus stood up and approached him with Terra’s keyblade. Kiera was a bit surprised at Ventus’ actions, but she decided to quietly observe their spar.

*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

It didn’t take long for Lea to fall flat on his face. He turned out to be all bark and no bite, and was no match for Ventus. Lea lied on the ground for a moment, wiped out. 

“You…had enough?” he panted, “‘Cause I’m willing to call it a day…if you are.”

Ventus chuckled. “Right.”

Kiera laughed. “Nice job, Ven!”

Ventus grinned. Isa walked forward.

“Heh, the only thing I saw was you drew a big ‘L’ on your forehead for ‘loser, lame, laughable..”

“What? Isn’t this the part where ya…cheer me up or something?” Lea pouted, “Like, ‘You’re just having a bad day!’ or, ‘That’s what you get for pullin’ your punches!’ Some friend you are!”

“Oh, you mean I was supposed to lie?” replied Isa.

Lea groaned. “You see what I got to put up with? You better hope you don’t have friends like him!” he said.

“Oh don’t worry, I’ve got the best friend in the world right here-” 

Kiera grabbed Ventus’ shoulders and shook him. 

“H-hey!” Ventus chuckled, shyly, his cheeks going slightly red.

“Sometimes, you just need some constructive criticism” Kiera finished.

Ventus started to laugh. Then the rest joined him.

.

“Lea, we have to go” Isa announced, becoming stern again.

“Okay” said Lea, standing up.

“Already?” asked Ven.

“I’ll see ya when I see ya. After all, we’re friends now!” said Lea. Then he winked. “Get it memorized!”

Kiera and Ventus laughed again.

“Okay, Lea” said Ventus.

Then, Lea walked away, following Isa.

Kiera overheard Isa say, “How come you’re always picking up stray puppies?” 

“Because I want everyone I meet to remember me” replied Lea, “Inside people’s memories, I can live forever!” 

“I know I won’t forget you. Believe me, I try all the time” said Isa. 

“See? I’m immortal!” 

Keria scoffed, then smiled thoughtfully.

“He’s kind of a dork, but at least he helped cheer up Ventus”

Ventus and Kiera began to walk towards the exit as Ven commented: 

“Must be nice…knowing who your friends are.”

Kiera elbowed him. Ventus and Kiera giggled, then continued on, wondering what adventures awaited next.

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