• Chapter Five
    Demyx, The Goblin King

    Jareth laughed “You wished to come to the next world. I graciously granted your wish.” He shrugged.

    I didn’t want your help! Now send us back to Disney Castle!” she growled, menacingly.

    Jareth smirked, “Unfortunately it’s not that easy, Aya. If you want to leave this world with your friends, you must find them in the Labyrinth, and then meet me at the Castle in 13 hours or less. If you don’t, then the 3 of you will become permanent residents of the Underground.”
    Aya laughed this time, “That’s a piece of cake!” she said, before gasping and covering her mouth as thought she’d sworn.

    “Now you have 9 hours.” Jareth said.

    “Damn it! I forgot the POC rule!” she hissed, “Fine! I’m not saying it again for the whole 9 hours!” she told him, but Jareth had already disappeared, “Better get going…” Aya broke into a run down the hill, coming to the wall she looked around, “Door… I need a door.” She mumbled, staring at the length of wall that she could see. Glancing around, she spotted a familiar figure, “Hoggle!” she called, the goblin didn’t turn around, though, so she ran over to him, tapping his shoulder.

    ‘Hoggle’ turned around and gasped, “Aya! You found me! Oh, thank god, I have no clue where we are.” He said.

    “H-huh?!” she asked.

    “It’s me! Axel!” he said.

    “Seriously?” she asked, looking down at him.

    “Of course it’s me! Got it memorized, Aya?!” he said, angrily.

    “Alright. That made me believe you.” She said, laughing. What Ansem had told her about Alex seemed miles away from her right now, as if it had happened to someone else, “We have a little under 9 hours to find Roxas and get to the center of the Labyrinth.” Aya told him.
    Axel nodded, “Let’s go, then.” He told her.

    “One problem. I can’t find a door.” She said, looking around again.

    “You didn’t even think of using your Keyblade, did you?” Axel asked.

    Aya whacked her head, “Duh.” She hissed, taking it out and pointing it at the wall. A door appeared, and opened for them. “Let’s go.” She said, taking her first step into the Labyrinth, and turning left, already starting to feel along the wall.

    “What are you doing?” Axel asked, looking at Aya like she was crazy.

    “Finding us a path.” She explained.

    “Okay?” he said, warily following her.

    One of Aya’s hands slipped, and she stumbled into the next path, “Found one!” she cheered.

    “Oh!” Axel said, “One step closer to Roxas!” he cheered.

    Aya nodded, “Left goes straight to the castle, but we might not find Roxas… or right and we might not get out of the Labyrinth in time.” She mumbled.

    “Then we go right.” Axel nodded back, “It doesn’t matter if we find a way out of this place without finding Roxas.”

    “Alright.” Aya said, turning to the right and breaking into a run with Axel.

    After an hour of deciding which ways to take, falling down corridors of hands, getting through Oubliettes, and climbing out of a random pot, Aya heard a familiar shouting.

    “Try this on for size, you little thief!” a smaller voice shouted before someone bellowed.

    “Stop that! Damn it, if you bite me one more time, I’ll grab that overgrown backscratcher from you!”

    Aya ran into the clearing, making short work of the goblins surrounding the boy before saying, “Joey! You made it off Earth!” very cheerfully.

    Joey just glared, “Yes. Now would you mind getting me down before we talk?” he asked, staring at her upside down.

    “Oh… sorry.” Aya slipped the knot undone, and Joey fell, catching himself and rolling to his feet, “So… Keybearer.” He laughed, “Interesting. I would have thought it’d be Alex.” He admitted.

    “Yeah…” Aya mumbled, looking away at the thought of Alex.

    “Er… who’s that behind you?” Joey asked.

    “The name’s Axel. Commit it to memory.” Axel said, looking up at Joey.

    “Holy hell. You’re running around with Axel?! With the Flurry of the Dancing Flames?! You are probably the luckiest girl ever, Aya. You do know that, right?” Joey asked, “Dude, you were such an inspiration when I was looking for a new haircut.” He said, grinning.

    Axel laughed, “Nice imitation of the cut.” He said, looking at Joey’s hair.

    “Joey, we really don’t have time to stand around. We’ve got to find Roxas and get to the castle in…” she checked her watch, “7 and a half hours. I can explain everything if you come with.” She offered.

    Joey nodded, “Let’s do that, then.” He said, following Aya and Axel further into the Labyrinth.

    After Aya had filled Joey in, she finally asked, “Why did that goblin call you a thief?”

    “I took some food from the castle a few days ago. They refuse to give me anything.” He said, waving the comment off.

    “Well… let’s see… If’ I’m the ‘Sarah’ role, and Axel is Hoggle… you’d be Ludo… ah! Roxas must be Sir Didymus!” she said, as they entered the Firey Forest.

    “Hey, girlie!” one jumped out, “What you doing in our forest?”

    “Just passing through.” Aya said, calmly.

    “ ‘Just passing through’? No way, lassie!” a second one jumped in behind her, “If you here, you gotta play a game!”

    “I have a game for you.” Joey said, glaring, “It’s called, ‘Let us go, or I take your heads and throw them in the Bog of Eternal Stench.’”

    This made the two Fireys jump back, “Okay! Okay! You don’t have to bring the Bog into this! Go on and get out of here.” The first Firey said, looking practically sullen at not getting to ‘play’ with the group.

    Aya checked her watch as they left the forest, and growled in irritation, “He’s been screwing with the time again.”

    “How much is left?” Axel asked her.

    “3 hours to get through the Bog, the Random Forest, Junkyard, and Goblin City.” She said, “… and to find water. I’m going to die of thirst soon.” She said.

    Axel suddenly gagged, “From your descriptions, I think we’re near the Bog.” He said.

    “Yeah.” Aya nodded, grabbing part of her shirt and using it as a mask, the other following suit.

    “Where’s the Bridge?” Joey asked, looking around.

    “It won’t be there. It was knocked down in the movie.” Aya said.

    “Who speaketh of my lady, Sarah?” a voice in a tree asked, before Sir Didymus jumped down.

    “I do.” Aya said, staring down at him, “Do you know a way out of the Bog that takes us towards the Castle?” she asked.

    “Ah, yes! I do! Follow me if yea be pure of heart!” he cheered, “Ambrosious! Here, boy!”
    So, Sir Didymus led them through the Bog of Eternal Stench, to a door. Aya ran up to it and tugged, “It’s locked!” she complained. At this point, Axel and Joey both started laughing, “What the hell is so funny?!” she demanded.

    “The keyblade unlocks things, genius.” Joey said.

    Aya blushed, “Oh yeah…” she mumbled, taking out her Keyblade and pointing it at the door. It clicking open, and she stepped through, “Thanks for your help, Sir Didymus.” She told him.
    “Time check.” Joey said, looking at her watch, “2 hours, 45 minutes.”

    “Aya. Roxas wasn’t in there. Are you sure that there’s no other places?” Axel asked her.

    “No. Not…” she stopped mid word, “He’s at the castle!” she realized, her eyes going wide.

    “Let’s go!” Joey said.

    “I’m still thirsty…” Aya murmured.

    “There’s a stream over there.” Joey said, pointing off the path.

    “Thanks.” She said, stepping through the brush and talking a few gulps of water. No sooner did she stand up, though did she pass out.

    Joey and Axel stood on top of a hill overlooking the Goblin City, “Aya! Hurry up!” Joey called out, “Aya?”

    Aya, however, was dreaming.

    She stood in front of a container filled with what looked like purple and black water. There was a girl floating in it. Her eyes were closed, but you could easily see her teal blue hair. “We’re going to be bestest friends…” Aya heard herself whisper, before she woke up.

    She woke up, on top of a familiar bed. Gasping, Aya looked around. This was her room. A movie poster for Labyrinth hung on one wall. On the opposite wall, a poster of Axel and Roxas was tacked up. Aya laughed, looking out the window to see the morning sky, “… I dreamt I was a Keybearer.” She mumbled. “Alex won’t believe this!” she said, running to her door and opening it to be greeted by miles of trash.

    “Nothing out there, dear!” an old junk lady pushed her back towards the room, “Everything you need, right here. What about your plushie, dear? Can’t forget that.” She said, shoving the Axel plushie into Aya’s arms.

    “Axel. I’m scared.” She mumbled.

    “And what about your DS? You need your DS, dearie.” She said, setting the silver handheld on her lap.

    “Keep away from me…” she mumbled.

    “And your manga. You wouldn’t want to leave that behind, right?”

    Aya looked down at the Manga. It was the first volume of Kingdom Hearts. Opening it to the first tabbed page, the single picture of Riku sent the dialogue from the game through her mind, “The door… has opened.” She mumbled.

    “Huh?” the junk lady turned around.

    “The door has opened, Sora. Now we can go to the outside world. We may never see our parents again. But there’s no turning back. I’m not afraid of the darkness…” Aya gasped as everything flooded back to her, “Roxas!” she shouted, jumping up and pushing the junk lady down. The room was caving in around them, so Aya smashed the window with her Keyblade, and climbed out of the trash, grabbing Axel’s out reached hand.

    “Aya, we have to hurry. There can’t be much time left!” Joey told her.

    Aya took a quick look at her watch as they ran, “30 minutes. Let’s go.” She nodded, running towards the city. Soon they were at the gates. Aya instinctively took her Keyblade out now, unlocking it and running through. No one said anything as they made their way through, until they were near the middle of the city.

    “That was a piece of cake!” Axel said, when the door was in sight. Aya and Joey groaned as the goblin army surrounded them.

    Joey slapped Axel, “Now you did it!” he shouted.

    Aya ran at the goblins, Keyblade in hand. Bashing through one, she was pushed back by the rest of them, “Damn it, let me through!” she shouted, trying again.

    “I’ll distract they!” Joey said, “Hey! Pea-brains! Remember me?” he asked, grinning.

    “That’s the thief!” one goblin shouted in realization, “Get him!”

    Joey laughed, running away. The path was clear for Aya and Axel now. Aya sighed, smiling. She knew Joey would be fine. “Come on, Axel.” She said, glancing at her watch. “15 minutes left.” She told him. They ran towards the Castle, bursting through the doors she shouted, “Give me back Roxas, Jareth!” before looking around the completely empty room. “Oh…” she mumbled, feeling like a complete fool. Aya knew where they had to go, and she led Axel towards the next room, which was full of what Alex had always called ‘Wonky Stairs’. As they entered, Aya automatically saw Roxas. It was pretty hard to miss him, as he hadn’t changed.

    “Damn it, get back here and fight!” Roxas shouted, his Keyblades out, and yet everything he got near Jareth, the Goblin King would disappear and pop back out some other place. As soon as they entered, though, Roxas ran towards them, and Jareth appeared in front of the three. “Congratulations, Aya. You made it through with minutes to spared.” He said, smirking.

    “What do you want, Jareth?” Aya demanded.

    “I want… your help.” He said, sighing.

    This caught Aya off guard, “With what?” she asked, warily.

    “Well actually… Demyx wants your help.” He told her, holding out his hand.

    “Demyx?” the three of them said in unison.

    Aya nodded, “Cover me if he tries anything.” Aya whispered, stepping forward cautiously and taking Jareth’s outstretched hand. She was fairly sure what would happen this time, so she was less shocked when Jareth’s shadow split in two, as Sora’s had done, and another person began to appear beside him. He was completely recognizable, and as soon as Demyx was fully there, Aya couldn’t resist glomping him, “Demyx!” she shouted.

    Demyx blinked, “Do I know you?” he asked.

    Aya giggled “No.” she admitted, letting go of him.

    “Demyx-chan!” Roxas shouted.

    Demyx blinked, “Axel! Roxas!” he said, hopping up and running towards them.

    “If this is all you wanted us to do, you didn’t have to make us go through the whole Labyrinth.” Aya said, facing Jareth.

    Jareth nodded, “But I knew it was the only way I’d be able to get you here.” He told Aya, “Your gummi ship is outside. You’re always welcome here, Aya. But I believe Demyx has a request.” He said.

    Demyx nodded, breaking away from Roxas and Axel, “Can you guys take me to Atlantica?” he asked.

    Aya nodded, “Of course!” she said, “I’m Aya.” She added.

    “And I’m Demyx!” he said, smiling at her.

    Axel smirked. As soon as Aya touched Jareth he’d returned to normal. “Well, if we gotta get to Atlantica, we’d better get going.” He said.

    Aya nodded, “Thanks for the Level Buff, Jareth!” she said, walking out.

    “Wait! I want to give you something.” Jareth said, throwing one of his crystal balls to her, which formed itself into a Keychain, “You’re allowed to say it now.” He said with a smirk.

    “It’s…” Aya gulped, “A piece of cake?” she said, flinching. Nothing happened and she sighed in relief, “Thanks. See you, Jareth!” she said, catching up with Axel, Roxas, and Demyx at the Gummi Ship.

    “Next stop, Atlantica!” Demyx cheered as they took off.

    For the next two days, they took the long flight to Atlantica. Aya stretched out in the back with Demyx and Roxas, talking with the two while Axel was having fun controlling the ship and fighting Heartless. When Axel got too tired, they landed on a large asteroid and locked onto it for a while, until Axel was ready to go again. When they were in sight of Atlantica, Demyx jumped up, “We’re here!” he cheered.

    “And how exactly were you planning to breathe again?” Axel asked.

    “Magic.” Demyx told him, grinning, as they landed on the beach, and Demyx, Aya, and Roxas jumped out of the cockpit.

    “I’m NOT getting in the water.” Axel said, sitting on the beach.

    “Aw… I guess I’ll stay here with you, then.” Roxas said, running over to him.

    “I… I can’t really swim well…” Aya admitted.

    Demyx picked her up, “Well I’ll help you, then.” He told her, bringing her into the water before muttering the spell that turned them both into Mermaids.

    As soon as she was in the water, Aya started practicing using her newfound tail. They encountered no Heartless, and when they got to the site of the Musical, Demyx turned to her, “Thanks, Aya.” He said, “You helped me out so much. I want you to have this.” He said, swimming over to her and slipping a keychain into her hand as he gave her a short kiss on the forehead. “I’m sticking around here for a while before I go back to the Castle That Never Was.”

    “Er… if… that is to say I think one of my friends might be there now… er… with the Organization, that is… so if you get any new members that are… anagrams of ‘Alex’ or… or ‘Misa’… then can you tell them I’m looking for them?” she asked awkwardly.

    Demyx nodded, “Of course.” He said, grinning, “And if you ever need me…” he said, holding out an Aquamarine Gem, “Just hold onto it and think of me, and I’ll come.” He told her.

    Aya looked at the gem, and smiled up at him, “Thanks, Demyx. But… what if I always need you?” she asked, setting the Gem in one of the outside pockets, and attaching the keychain to her Keyblade. Before Demyx could say anything else she gasped. Her Keyblade had turned into an exact copy of Demyx’s Sitar; “It’s… It’s beautiful.” She said, holding the instrument gently.

    “What do you mean… ‘Always need you’?” Demyx asked, blinking.

    Aya’s face turned bright red, “It’s… it’s nothing.” She mumbled, “Just a fangirl complex…” she said.

    “Come on, you can tell me! I won’t laugh or get mad at you or anything!” he said, swimming up behind her.

    “I… I… I love you, Demyx!” she blurted out, face cherry red.

    Demyx blinked, before he sighed, “We just met, though. Besides, I can’t love you back.” He said, with a hollow laugh, “You need a heart to do that.”

    “Oh, you do too have a heart. Don’t be mad.” Aya said, echoing his own words to him.

    “I did say that, now didn’t I?” he said, swimming to be in front of her, “Then I guess I’ll have to get to know you better. Just friends for right now, though. Okay?” he asked.

    “… okay.” Aya nodded.

    “I believe that you have some worlds to save, Aya. Don’t let them get destroyed on my account.” Demyx told her.

    “I’m… I’m not sure that I have this swimming thing down yet, though…” she said.

    “Okay, I’ll lead you back up then.” Demyx said, holding out his hand.