Hey, long time no see. Um, so it's been about a year and a half--two years now...
Please don't hate me. T.T
I'd list off excuses and ask for forgiveness, but... you've had to wait so long. Just enjoy the chapter. I'll shut up.
"Ouch! Damn buggers go for the knees—they're like midgets!" Demyx cried, swiping at one of the three demons occupying his attention.
Zexion grunted in acknowledgment. They'd been fighting with the cursed demons those girls had brought with them for the last ten minutes, and they hadn't gotten too far. The blades almost seemed to slide right through the creatures when they actually managed to hit their target. It was like taking a carving knife to butter—only to find the butter molding itself back together after trying to slice it.
Basically, their weapons seemed useless.
In fact, Zexion was just plotting an escape plan when his thoughts were interrupted by a loud noise that, surprisingly, didn't come from Demyx's vocal chords.
"Hey! Zexion! Demyx!"
Turning to see who was trying to get their attention (though he had a feeling he should know who it was without looking), Zexion caught eye of Axel and another figure hurrying behind him. Demyx, looking up as well, also noticed the approaching duo.
"Hey, Axel! Who's that with you?" Demyx called.
Glancing at the blond guard, Zexion barked, "Demyx! On your left!"
"Huh? Ack!" Sucking in his gut and bending his spine, Demyx barely dodged the demon's all-too-eager claws.
"Will they be alright?" Axel's companion asked, eyeing the demons as they ducked and weaved from the vampires' blows and duked their own in return.
"I think so—I'll help 'em out in a minute. Zexion! Where's Sora?!" the redhead yelled.
"Check his room!" Zexion answered though he honestly wasn't sure if he was there anymore or not. They'd been too busy with the demons to ever catch those girls leaving Sora's room even though he was sure they'd entered it.
Nodding, Axel steered Roxas over into his best friend's room, but he wasn't sure what to expect since the door was left ajar.
Sora's room was a mess, Axel decided when they stepped in the room. The bed's covers were scattered off and on the mattress. Papers and such had flown from the desk to the floor, and the trash can had toppled over.
Yet the room was obviously lacking its main occupant.
A flash of silver caught Roxas's eye. Walking over to investigate, his blue eyes widened as he rushed towards the familiar figure.
"Riku! Riku, are you alright?" Roxas asked hopefully. He couldn't see any bite marks on his neck, but it wasn't as if his hair couldn't hide any easily . . . Shaking the other teen's shoulders lightly (well, as lightly as possible in a worried state like that), Roxas continued talking, trying to wake him up without accidentally jarring something out of place in case he'd broken a bone or something that he couldn't see.
Riku groaned, slowly coming to.
The blond let out a small sigh of relief.
Axel, meanwhile, watched from a distance at the foot of the bed.
"Hey, Riku, you alright, man?" Roxas questioned again.
"Y-eah, I'll be fine. A few bruises, maybe, but that's no big deal," Riku replied hoarsely. He coughed for a minute and shook his head before looking up and seeing—as in really seeing—Roxas for what felt like the first time.
"What are you doing here?!"
Roxas rolled his eyes. "As if I haven't heard that several times already. Long story short—your mom called me 'cause you were missing, I made Cloud come with me to look for you for a while, we run into a vampire, she takes us here, another vampire leads me to Axel and takes off with Cloud to find Leon, and we find this place under siege and you in Sora's room."
Riku's face was still dumbstruck, but Roxas couldn't tell which fact it was that'd pasted that idiot face on him.
"Stop gawking like a moron—that face doesn't suit you," the blond ordered.
Coming to his senses, Riku obeyed and stood up cautiously. His body was sore, and he didn't know where Sora . . .
Riku's eyes widened.
"Shit, they took Sora," he breathed.
Roxas gave him a funny look, "What?"
But Riku had dashed over to Axel and gripped his arms, bringing the redhead's attention to him. With wide eyes, he asked, "Do you know where they took Sora?"
"Who took Sora?"
"There were three of them—girls! They said they were slayers, a-and they needed Sora's heart! And—and I tried to stop them but they knocked me out and oh shit oh shit oh shit . . ." Riku trailed off, his eyebrows beginning to furrow along his brow.
"Calm down! Wherever they took Sora, I'm sure he'll be fine! I mean, he is a vampire," Roxas said, attempting to reassure him.
"But they were slayers!" Riku reminded him.
Axel, frowning, set his hands on both their shoulders and said firmly, "Let's worry about ourselves and helping Zexion and Demyx out there before we worry 'bout Sora, 'k? And don't give me that look, Riku—he was my best friend, remember?"
Sighing, Riku nodded.
"Uh . . . Axel? In case you forgot, neither me or Riku can really fight," Roxas reminded him.
"Wrong—I did learn some stuff from that fighting class you made me take a few months ago," Riku objected.
"But not enough to be a big help in a real brawl!" countered the blond.
Riku growled, "Well, no, it's not as if I could've possibly become Jackie Chan that fast!"
"What the hell?!"
Slapping his forehead, Axel exhaled loudly. Humans always had to get so emotional over things . . .
"Look, guys," the redhead started.
"What?!" they snapped simultaneously.
Raising his hands defensivly, Axel said, "I'm just gonna go help them out, alright? And it might be best if you two just . . . ah . . . chill and relax for a few minutes, ok?" He didn't give them time to respond before he was out the door.
"Thank you for helping us," Zexion said gratefully as he sheathed his sword.
Leon nodded. "No problem. Is Sora still inside?"
"No," Axel answered, stepping out to see that both Leon and Cloud had already helped Zexion and Demyx clean up the mess with the demons.
"He's gone?!" Leon questioned, alarmed.
"Yeah, hang on a second." Turning back into the room, Axel brought out Roxas and Riku a moment later. "Riku saw three slayers take Sora although we don't know where."
Before anyone else could get a word in edgewise, Zexion simply stated, "Let's go to the throne room. We're obviously under attack, and anyone who will know anything will be busy there."
After a moment's hesitation, the others agreed. Demyx, though his energy had been diminished from the fight, still cheerfully led the group. The human-vampire couples kept close, mainly so that the humans wouldn't trip and face-plant. While they played catch-up with each others' stories, Zexion held the rear, keeping an eye out for any other demons that might appear.
The throne room was shockingly empty. They were about to rush towards the infirmary when an echoing gasp caught their attention.
"Who's there?" Leon called out.
"It's... Saix... the Queen... the Princesses... She's taken them... Sora, too..." he murmured.
Leon hurried over to him, leaving Cloud with Roxas and the others. Zexion decided to keep watch at the door while Demyx and Axel just guarded the brothers.
"What happened, Saix? Who took them? And why?" he inquired fiercely, kneeling by him.
Holding his side painfully, Saix replied, "Heartless... their queen... Maleficent... She's taken our Queen... the Princesses... Sora... all of them..."
"And what is she planning on doing with them? Tell me!"
Saix chuckled bitterly. "You know what, Leon... this whole rivalry... between us and Heartless... You know what it's all been about... Maleficent... is going to open Kingdom Hearts..."
"You already know... what will happen to him." Saix winced. "But hurry...! I'm sure... there's still time...! They didn't leave... that long ago... and you know Sora... he won't give them what they want that easily..."
Leon nearly laughed. "Of all people, why would you have any kind of faith in Sora like that?"
Smiling wryly, the wounded responded, "The Queen and I... have been after him... for years... If he's managed to evade... our schemes this long... Maleficent won't have the easiest time either..."
"Where are they, Saix?" Zexion called from the door.
"Where else...? Hollow Bastion..." the Queen's loyal servant answered.
Standing up, Leon declared, "Then that's where we'll go."
"But Leon, what about Castle Oblivion? Heartless' demons are still--"
Demyx was cut short as Saix interrupted, "The demons are gone... with Heartless... It's just up to us... to clean the mess... You go... our Queen... she needs you..."
Riku's fists tightened; almost angrily, he spat out, "I don't care about your Queen! Just Sora! That's why we're going--not her!"
"Riku!" Zexion snapped. "We-- us vampires -- are going for both. Whether you go or not and why doesn't matter."
"Easy, Zexy!" Demyx burst in. "I think a better question would be who wants to go to begin with? Roxas and Cloud don't have any obligations to Sora or the Queen, you know."
"We're going," Cloud and Roxas chimed in.
Rubbing his temples, Leon returned to the Cloud's side; frustrated and worried, he shouted, "Fine! I don't care who goes, but I'm opening a portal now to go there. Take it or leave it."
The others just stared as an empty blackness twisted into sight, chilly vibes emitting from it. Axel and Roxas, in agreement, went first, crying, "Geronimo!"
"Ow, my bum!" Demyx squealed, landing rear-first on the cement floor.
"Shhh!" Zexion hushed, placing his hand over Demyx's mouth. Silently, Sora's former guard helped his comrade up on his feet.
Meanwhile, Zxel adn Leon looked over Roxas, Cloud, and Riku to make sure they were all right. Going through Kingdom Hearts, running around a vampire hideout, and then traveling through Kingdom Hearts again only to reenter in another vampire lair that probably had demons as well as vampires in it had to be tough on the human body. After a few minutes of quiet reassurances from the humans that yes, they were all right, the group set out with Leon in the lead. Demyx and Zexion, again, held up the rear.
They had walked down teh dim hallway for a good ten minutes when Demyx piped up curiously, "Where is everyone?"
Leon was about to tell him off for making noise since they were trying to be stealthy, but Axel said first, "Good question. It's way too quiet in here for a battle to have just ended."
The others nodded in agreement. Heartless had just invaded and fought Organization XIII and won. Something at least as tacky as party streamers had been expected.
"Maybe they're celebrating by hunting?" Cloud suggested thoughtfully.
His boyfriend nodded in agreement. That made sense. Still, they had expected to run into somebody. The unlit, empty corridor with pipes of all sizes strung up and down the walls was nerve-wracking.
Eventually, however, they came across an impressive set of double doors at the end of the hall. Strangely though, the doors almost seemed to glow. Roxas, Cloud, and Riku still were unable to see much of anything, but the doors' glow provided an outline for what lay ahead of them.
"A luminating set of big doors at the end of an ominous hallway. I think the only way this could be more obvious is if it was flashing neon reading 'here,'" Axel commented.
"If this was a video game, this would be the entrance to the final boss," Roxas added.
"It's certainly got a video game's subtlety," Riku mentioned.
Breaking the line of conversation, Leon asked, "Ready to go? Last chance."
No one said otherwise, so with a dramatic gesture, Leon--with Axel's help--began to open the door.
Doubling over, Sora groaned on the floor after a harsh jab under his ribs from the end of Maleficent's staff. The chamber was enormous and round. Unlike everywhere else, this room was fairly well-lit. The walls were metal in shades of tans and browns and golds. It was peculiar that there were even more pipes in this room than the halls; they went all over, almost as if their only purpose was to decorate.
At the far end of the circular room, up a short set of stairs, was a giant portal. It gave off the same cold feeling as the portals all the vampires used, only more powerful. The most noticeable differences were that, instead of the black nothingness normal portals resembled, this one had ever-shifting colors of metallic hues making it seem more like a strange liquid surface than an empty hole. Also, on its queer surface was, among all the changing colors, the definite shape of a keyhole although its surroundings made it appear warped.
Resting at the foot of the stairs by the portal were six young women, all asleep or under some sort of spell. A pink light radiated from each of their chests as they lay belly-up on the floor in a row.
Sora, Kairi, and Maleficent, however, were all at the front end of the room.
"Tell me where it is!" Maleficent demanded, threatening to hit him once more.
"No!" Sora choked out, only to lose his breath again to another stab at his gut.
"I'm losing patience with you, boy!" the Heartless queen snarled. With her right hand, she reached down and jerked him up by the front of his silk shirt seeing as his coat had been discarded. When she had him suspended in the air by her hand only, she repeated nastily, "Tell me where it is!"
As Sora's fingers weakly rose to clutch at her wrist, Kairi cried out, half-sobbing from her fallen state on the floor, "Just tell her, Sora! I want to know, too! Where's your heart—my heart? I want it back!"
Ignoring her wailing, Sora said, struggling, "I don't... have it..."
"Then who does?" Maleficent growled, her eyes blazing with an emerald fire.
Cracking a small, grim smile, Sora replied, "Riku... Riku has it..."
A loud creak brought their attention to the doors as they shut. None of the three had noticed it open in the heat of the moment, nor had they seen the seven enter the room. But as Maleficent turned and saw Riku fingering a necklace confusingly, she understood.
Likewise, Sora also realized his fatal mistake as the woman let him crash to the ground. He struggled to get something--anything--out of his mouth to Riku, but the wind had been knocked out of him from the fall. He could only lay there and painfully watch as Maleficent strolled over to his love.
It was like watching a silent, black and white film in slow motion. Maleficent heading towards them. Riku still examining the necklace with a confused expression on his face. The rest of the group starting to shout at her, not knowing what was going on.
And Maleficent snatching the necklace from Riku's unsuspecting hands. Her harsh, mocking voice sped time back up as she swiftly moved away; Riku, dumbstruck, could only watch.
Laughing, she cried, "Is this it, Sora? Is this where you've kept your little heart? And where you've been protecting Kairi's? Ha ha! No wonder those foolish Gullwings couldn't find it!"
"Maleficent! Don't!" Kairi protested, shouting.
"Hush, girl! It's high time you fulfill your destiny and help me fulfill mine!" the villain declared.
With an almost theatrical movement, she hurled the necklace towards the back of the room. Pointing the head of her staff at it, she sent an emerald stream of magic at it, catching it in mid-air and shattering it, releasing a large, delicately pink orb.
Collapsing, a moan escaped Sora and Kairi simultaneously as the orb split apart into two separate pieces. One half floated and faded away. The other flew to join the princesses. Upon reaching their limp bodies, the pink, radiating lights left the girls' bodies as six other orbs. Spiraling up, they circled each other faster and faster and closer and closer until they united as one. A ray of scarlet made a beeline from the combined hearts to the center of the portal's keyhole which exploded into a burst of white. Replacing the freakish portal were two tall, majestic white doors.
The doors stood wide open, and darkness was all anyone could see inside.
Spreading her arms ecstatically, Maleficent shrieked joyfully, "Kingdom Hearts! Fill me with the power of darkness!"
"Oh no, you don't!" Leon raged. He sprang forward, his sword out. With a ringing clang, his blade crashed against Maleficent's staff. A duel of sorts began between the two, Maleficent unhappily on the defensive.
"What... just happened?" Riku asked, still in shock.
"Riku, can't you see?" Cloud snapped. "I remember what Leon told me now. Kairi's heart was still trapped in Sora's when they became vampires, and her heart was one of the necessary seven to open Kingdom Hearts, which Maleficent has just done! If we don't close those doors quick, the world will be overrun with demons, and she'll become one of the worst of them!"
Axel rumbled, "Some of the demons are already starting to look around."
Following his gaze to the pure white gates, the group saw Axel was right. Little black antenna and yellow eyes were peering out from the darkness, and a few were getting brave and beginning to crawl out with claws outstretched cautiously.
Growling, Axel, nabbing Demyx's blade, took off for the doors where he began slicing at the demons, attempting to keep them at bay.
Leon, on the other hand, was faltering in the battle. The tide was turning in Maleficent's favor. While defending herself from Leon's blade with her staff, she'd used the jewel on its end to send magical attacks at him, forcing him to fall to his knees.
"You're a fool, Leon! You can't defeat me now, and after I conquer Kingdom Hearts, you and your friends won't have a chance!" she bragged, her eyes wide with glee.
"It's not over yet," he rasped, struggling to hold his sword up while suffering her magical barrage.
A mad cackle erupted from her throat. Starting at the highest decibel of her vocal range and falling down like a waterfall from there, hitting the harshest notes on the way down. She could feel it. Victory was hers. Leon wouldn't last much longer against her magical onslaught. These realizations pushed her insane laughter longer and higher until...
Until she began gasping for breath, her strength pouring out of her. Looking down to her chest where it hurt most, she and everyone else saw a bloody, dark gray, clawed hand sticking out the front of where her heart should have been. It yanked itself out of her from behind, and Maleficent keeled over. Standing hunched behind her was a smoky figure. It held semblance to Sora, yet it looked so different. Golden, not blue, eyes bore out of a halfway familiar visage. His clothes and skin—all of him—appeared to have been burnt to its black carbon base with tendrils of dark smoke creeping off him like a dangerous aura. And his posture wasn't the same; the Sora they knew stood up straight. This thing was stooped over, crouching, almost in an animalistic manner.
"Leon! Get away from there!" Cloud screamed, jump-starting time again.
Following his boyfriend's advice, Leon scrambled up, but too late. Sora--different as it was, it could be no one else--squatted to all-fours. Surprisingly fast, he was able to crawl in a zigzag trail until he was behind Leon.
Leon lifted his sword, but Sora knocked it away with a swipe of his arm. Swinging his leg rapidly in an almost deformed way, he tripped Leon. Just as Leon had winced from his back slamming the floor, Sora jumped onto Leon's arm with a loud snap before launching himself from it towards the gates of Kingdom Hearts.
"Leon!" Cloud hollered, rushing over to him instantly.
"Axel!" Zexion roared. "Sora's been infused with the power from Kingdom Hearts instead of Maleficent! He's almost a full demon now! Watch it!"
The redhead spun around from his job at this news. But as soon as his back had turned, the demons he'd been holding off assaulted his legs from behind. Scratching sharply t the tendons on his legs, he gave a yelp of pain as he tumbled over.
"Axel!" Roxas cried. Without a thought's hesitation, he flung himself into a sprint across the room.
"No, Roxas!" Riku yelled.
Sora, who had made it over to Axel and was about to leap over him and plunge into the depths of Kingdom Hearts, turned and cocked his head to the side. Roxas was practically flying towards Axel now, and Riku was right on his heels. Sora crouched, preparing to catapult himself in the air at Roxas when Riku caught his attention. In that moment of distraction from Roxas, the blonde madeit to Axel and immediately began beating the demons with Axel's dropped weapon.
"Sora!" Riku was shouting repeatedly.
The word seemed familiar, but Sora didn't recognize it as his name, only as a word he used to know. In his conscious, it only registered that this human was trying to bring back memories of a past life. But that life was over, all he needed now was to go to Kingdom Hearts. He'd become whole there. But this human was interfering... This human was a threat to his new existence. The other one was just a human, but this one wasn't safe.
The threat must be eliminated.
Demyx--likely from over excitement--fainted.
"Oh, God, of all times, Demyx!" Zexion griped, leaning down and trying to wake him.
"Sora! Sora!" Riku continued, getting increasingly closer.
"Riku, stop! That's not Sora anymore--it's practically a demon! He'll kill you!" Zexion called desperately from the sidelines.
Riku slowed to a halt. Sora... He loved Sora. He knew without a doubt. But Sora... Sora had lost his heart. That had just made him a vampire before, but now Kingdom Hearts was filling up that empty space, making him a demon. Sora was no longer stuck between humankind and demonkind at a stable point--he was becoming a full-fledged demon at a increasingly rapid pace.
Something else had to fill Sora's heart space.
Sora launched, propelling himself towards the threatening human.
Riku smiled sadly. At his feet were the shards of the necklace Sora had kept his heart inside. Lifting the largest one, Riku brought the metal--so used to capturing, holding, and releasing hearts--up to his chest.
Sora's descent would bring him in range soon. He outstretched his claws in anticipation.
When Sora was barely more than a foot's reach away, the tip of the metal pierced Riku's skin.
As Riku achingly slid it back out, a pink orb followed it, popping into the air.
Sora paused in surprise; he was easily in range now.
Reaching up, before it could escape, Riku pushed the heart into Sora's chest. Then he fell back, hitting the floor with an echoing smack.
From the push of the heart entering him, Sora flew back the other way. The pink light from Riku's heart spread out through him, erasing any hint of smoky blackness. In a trance, it seemed, he floated, bobbed, in the air briefly.
In that second, a massive key blinked into his hand which he rose horizontally straight ahead towards Kingdom Hearts. Sparkling magic darted from the tip of the key to the giant white doors.
As the second passed, the doors shut, the key blinked out of sight as quickly as it had appeared, and Sora dropped in a daze to join Riku on the floor.
Ah, I've been wanting to write Anti-Sora forever! n.n Even if he's bad, I still think he's cool... in his own way. :3 Which is why reviewers get Anti-Sora plushies.
'Course, if you're upset at me for taking this long to get this chapter to you guys and don't want to review me, I understand and won't hold anything against you.
But dang, this site has changed since I saw it last... I haven't been able to keep up with all the stories I'd been reading on here either. I've got a hundred-some emails of updates in a folder for when I can get around to them. T.T;
Just the epilogue left now though. :) I'll try to get it up soon, but since my school's musical ("Grease"--I play Patty Simcox) opens next week, I can't guarantee that. My overall goal is to get it up before May (before graduation!).Thank you everyone for the support thus far and the occasional PMs I've gotten from you. (I was too ashamed to answer them since I hadn't done anything on this site in so long. T-T)
Agh, it's been too long... I don't remember how to end these Author Note(s).... so... the end. :)