……………

Hanging By a Broken Chain

By

Rem-chan

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Part Five

Choosing Where the Darkness Dwells

::It's down to this::

::I've got to make this life make sense::

::Can anyone do what I've done::

I can see her. I can see her.

But I don't know who she is.

She's waiting beyond the stars. Beyond the sad, sad rain. Forgotten light streaks through a dark sky. A deep abyss echoes beyond them. She's waiting there. Waiting past the abyss. Past the place where memories fall. Where I fell from. Where I can't reach.

It's too far.

It's too dark.

I can't do it.

And I don't know who she is.

Was she the one that led me here? Why would she be looking if she didn't know? If she didn't know that I was broken? Why would she know? Did she…do this? Is she the reason for this pain? This loneliness and despair? Was she the one who took apart the chain of memories in my heart?

Should I really go back if she was? What can she do for me?

I hesitate.

::I missed life::

::I missed the colors of the world::

::Can anyone go where I am::

He turns to look at me. The wind pushes his hair into his eyes. But he's not hiding anymore. If I wanted, I could find his eyes. Just as I could find my way home. But I…

…I don't want to.

Why are you waiting? She's looking for you.

…I can't go back.

Why?

He's not angry. I'm surprised. He knows my presence here is wrong. He knows that I've taken the place of the one he remembers. Both sides of my heart exist in one place now. Both sides, even if one is broken. That's wrong. He knows it's wrong. But he's not angry. I know he can't be. Not after what he found.

She hurt me.

You know this?

Yes.

Then do you want to stay?

I pause. He asks it like it means nothing. Like he doesn't care. But maybe his eyes do care. I glance at him.

The wind changes.

::'Cause now again I've found myself::

::So far down, away from the sun::

::That shines into the darkest place::

I remember the sea. His eyes are the color of the sea. Darker. But still the same. Just as my eyes are the color of the sky. The sky, but darker. Darker because of the shadows of this place. Because things forgotten can't exist in light. The other sides of hearts can't exist in light.

…yes. I don't want to remember.

If you don't, he will remember for you. There can't be both.

What will happen?

He pauses. His expression shifts. For the first time, there is gravity. Seriousness. As if it does matter. As if he cares. Cares what happens to me. To the world. To the person who was supposed to be here with him. What could he want? What would he desire?

Everything will change. You will remember. But you won't be you.

Will I be him?

His eyes narrow.

No. You always stay who you are. But you will be reborn. Here, at the other side of the abyss.

I shiver. I watch the darkness.

But will I stay here?

::I'm so far down, away from the sun again::

::Away from the sun again::

Maybe. Maybe not. But you will still be remade at the other side of your heart.

To never be the same. To never be completely who I was. I would still be me. But not as I was made to be before I was broken. A mirror restored is never entirely the same. I would be something of this place. A memory of me that never was. An identity forgotten from the start. I would be no one, because none would have known me. They would think they did. But it would be a lie.

Do I want that?

Do I want to reconstruct myself in this dark place?

Do I want her to help me?

Do I want to remember why my heart was broken?

Will it be worth reaching across the abyss for what used to be in the mirror?

I can't know. I can't remember. I can't be sure. Not when I don't know what I'm fighting for. Do I stay? Do I go? Will I change?

You will change no matter what you choose.

I turn to look at him.

Why?

No one can be forgotten and stay the same.

::I'm over this::

::I'm tired of living in the dark::

::Can anyone see me down here::

What do you mean?

But I don't hear his answer. Someone is reaching for me. Someone new. Someone old. Someone who was looking for me. She reaches out, seeing me at last. I turn back to the abyss. I look past the falling stars. Past the forgotten memories. Into darkness.

Sora!

What?

Sora!

Who are you?

Sora!

Why are you looking for me?

She's falling towards us. Falling like a star. But her light is brighter. More real. Unforgotten. I can see her eyes. Blue. Like the sky. But darker. Golden hair. Like the sun. But faint.

I realize something. I watch her. I meet her gaze. I know mine is the same.

I ask.

Were you ever forgotten?

Her expression changes. I ask.

Do you have another side to your heart?

::The feeling's gone::

::There's nothing left to lift me up::

::Back into the world I've known::

She smiles. It's so sad. I feel it in my heart. The same sorrow. The same despair. The same helplessness. The same hope. The hope that maybe…someone is looking for me. My anger is fading.

I'm always forgotten.

I know she did this to me. I know. I don't need to remember to know. She took apart the chain of memories in my heart. She let the pieces fall. She lost me to the other side of the mirror. But she looked for me. She looked for me. And, to do so, she had to be forgotten.

No one should have to make that sacrifice for me.

It isn't fair.

It isn't right.

And I will never be who I was. I will be changed. No matter what she does.

I take a step back. I lower my head. My hood hides my face. Tainted gold hides my eyes. Hides the darker sky.

It's not worth it. Don't come for me. It's not worth it.

A hand rests on my shoulder. I hear the voice that no longer laughs.

You have to make a choice.

::'Cause now again I've found myself::

::So far down, away from the sun::

::That shines into the darkest place::

I watch the girl. But I listen to him. I know his darker eyes watch, too. The wind is growing stronger. The city is fading into darkness. The stars are drifting far away. My reality is bending again. I can feel the pieces of my heart.

Sharp. Cold. Scattered. Lonely.

Waiting.

Waiting for me. Waiting for my choice. I only have so much time.

I'm hanging by a broken chain.

Stay.

Go.

Be changed.

My eyes squeeze shut. I feel the black tears again. I tremble. I hesitate in the dark. My voice is whispering.

But…I need a reason.

So much silence.

I need a reason to decide.

How can I tell them? How can they understand? He is how he is supposed to be. She accepts being forgotten. But I am no one and nothing. I am neither and both. I have no reason to fight. I can't remember why. I need a reason. I need it to find my way.

I can't choose.

::I'm so far down, away from the sun::

::That shines the life away from me::

Fingers brush my cheek. I'm surprised. I look up. I meet dark eyes. She is filled with light. It is faint. Misty. Hardly real. But there. It might not be bright enough. But it's there. She smiles. It's familiar. Just like his face. Like the color of the sea. The color of the sky. The sound of a laughing voice.

Familiar.

You have a reason.

His hand leaves my shoulder. He goes to stand beside her. Together they watch me. More familiar still. Like I have seen them before. I can't remember. But I know two have stood like that before. Told me that everything was okay. That there was a way.

You always did.

He points to the tiny fragments in my hands. The ones I used to battle the shadows. In my left is a dark light. Black. Harsh. Stained. But caring. In my right is a bright star. White. Soft. Fragile. But strong. I don't remember where I found them. But I know they've always been with me.

Are these…my reasons?

Yes.

Yes.

But who are they?

::To find my way back into the arms::

::That care about the ones like me::

::I'm so far down, away from the sun again::

They are the other sides of our hearts.

I knew. Even though I didn't realize. I still knew. Just as there was another side of my heart, my reasons have one, too. Whoever they are. Wherever they are. We're still connected. We still have places where our lost memories go.

We're different. Different from those who are nothing. It is why I'm here. Why I became no one. Why I didn't fade into nothing. Why they remained with me.

The memories stayed. I can't remember them. But they stayed.

…I didn't lie.

She didn't lie.

I just…got lost.

And now there is a way back. Reasons. Light and dark. Colors of the sea and sky. The sound of laughter. The sun.

Home.

But there are reasons to stay. They're standing right in front of me.

I still have to decide.

::It's down to this::

::I've got to make this life make sense::

::And now I can't do what I've done::

But what about…you?

They don't answer. He only smirks. He seems amused. But now I know better. She looks away. She tries to hide it. But I know she's sad. They are both part of what is forgotten. I am supposed to be part of what is remembered. But they still helped me. Despite my distance from them. They still cared.

I can't let them do this.

I can't leave them.

I can't forget.

Not when they've always been forgotten.

I set my eyes. I don't feel the despair. I start to hide the light and dark. I have them. But I still can't remember them. All I see are the memories I just made. Memories from the other side of my heart. Memories of forgetting. I don't want to lose them. I don't.

I'm going to stay.

The city is starting to return.

I don't want to forget you.

The stars are falling again.

I'll stay.

I'm changing.

::And now again I've found myself::

::So far down, away from the sun::

She smiles. I see tears. They are like the stars. He shakes his head. I see a laugh in sea-colored eyes. He knows better.

It's your choice. But remember first before you decide.

I'm surprised. Confused. The city wavers. It's on the brink.

…I can't.

That what she's here for. She can help you remember. Then you can choose.

She offers a hand to me. There is a moment of time. Everything is still. The world is dark. My heart trembles. I open my eyes.

I take her hand.

And I start to see again.

::That shines the life away from me::

::'Cause now again I've found myself::

The sun. The sea. The laughter. The smiles.

Home.

The dark. The offer. The betrayal. The loss.

Separation.

The city. The friend. The unity. The kindness.

Understanding.

The hatred. The dark. The silence. The change.

Sacrifice.

I can see it. I can see everything. The pieces are drifting back together again. The city is gone. I'm in the abyss. I'm in the darkest place. I'm in the place that makes memories forgotten. I'm where I fell through. Where I was sleeping. Where I must sleep again if I go back. If I stay, I have to fall again. I have to choose.

I have them all before me.

And I have to choose.

::So far down, away from the sun::

::That shines into the darkest place::

Home is who I am. Home is loss. Here is who I've become. Here is pain. There are hidden eyes that laugh with me. There is a gentle smile that takes care of me. There is a lost friend that I forgave. There is a gaze the color of the sky that is not dark.

There is something I must do.

There is a promise I must keep.

There is a world that needs me.

There are those that I can't be without.

She smiles. She holds me close. He holds us both aloft. He points us in the right direction. He points me toward home.

Don't worry, Sora. You can never completely forget us. And we will always remember you.

I believe her. I believe. I couldn't remember those closest to me. But I hadn't lost them. They had stayed with me. Amongst the broken pieces of my heart. They had stayed. And he would. She would. Even if I forget. They would stay, too.

I can decide.

I can go home.

And I can forget.

But I will never be without them.

::I'm so far down, away from the sun::

::That shines the life away from me::

I know what happened.

"…fading memories…"

I know where I went.

"…reconstructed memories…"

I know what I lost. But I know what I gained. I know what I will never lose again.

"…and a dream—"

I went to a place where I wasn't supposed to be. I met those who are always forgotten. I can't remember their faces. But they know mine. They know me even though they never should have. I can't remember what they did for me. I can't remember why I know they are my friends. I can't find my way back to them as I sleep in this endless abyss.

"—a dream of you in a world without you."

But they're with me.

::To find my way back into the arms::

::That care about the ones like me::

::I'm so far down, away from the sun again::

………Fin………

Lyrics: "Away from the Sun" – 3 Doors Down

Note: Last of five parts. What was this? A sequel? A prequel? Who knows? I'm not even sure myself. This was a more 'what if…' kind of thing; mainly inspired by KHII information, pictures, trailers, Deep Dive, and the words at the end of KH: CoM. Also brought about by the trouble I've been having completing Court of Souls. Perhaps after doing something this different I'll be able to finish.

In any case, this is also definitely AU, since it is quite obvious that the things I have presented in this fiction do not adhere to information revealed in KH: CoM. However, I'm very pleased with how this came out, especially since I haven't done an introspective first person in…jeez, something like three or four years. I'm glad I was able to pick it up again. This scenario, while impossible in the game world now, was something I had hanging in the back of my mind, so it was nice to get it written.

Anyway, thank you to everyone who read this, and remember: forgotten, but never lost.

Farewell!

Rem-chan, 10th of January, 2005