Of Hearts and Nobodies
Roxas took a defensive stance a safe distance away from Axel. He honestly had no idea exactly who he was up against. What was all this talk about the Organization and him once being a member? He didn't recall being a member or wanting to join a kooky organization like this. He had never even been to another world.
The Usual Spot gang didn't leave town that often, except to go to the beach and other local areas. He had heard about the existence of other worlds and gummi ships, but it was very time consuming and expensive to travel in space. Few people in his town ever did.
"If I were you, I would give up now and come back to the Organization," Axel advised. "No offense, Roxas, but you stand no chance against us…especially in the state you are in now."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Roxas retorted. He wished he had some sort of weapon to attack with. His main objective was to find Olette and get out of there somehow, but these guys in black cloaks with strange powers were making it difficult.
Before Axel could respond, a portal of darkness opened up and Demyx appeared. That's the guy that took Olette away earlier! Roxas thought. His fists tightened. What did these guys want from her? Someone was going to pay for messing with them.
"Where did you take Olette?" he demanded. "I'm not going to play your games!"
"Chill out, Roxas. You were always so serious. I'll take you to her." Demyx opened a portal and stepped aside. "After you."
Roxas didn't like how they were addressing him so familiarly. He was sure he had never met Axel or this guy before, but there was something nagging him in the back of his head…
In any case, he had to find Olette first and make sure she was alright. He was suspicious of the black portal. It could've led anywhere. Maybe they were leading him into a trap, but there was only one way to find out. He quickly made his way over to the portal and cautiously looked inside. Then two gloved hands pushed him into the darkness. By the echoing laughter he heard afterwards, he determined that the offender was Axel.
Olette looked up when she heard a portal open up in front of her. She jumped off the bed and stared at it expectantly, clasping her hands. Please let it be Roxas. Please!
A second later, Roxas stumbled out of the portal, disoriented, but he managed to keep himself from falling.
"Roxas!" He looked up just in time to see the person he desperately searched for running towards him as if he were the very thing that kept her living.
She wrapped her arms around him tightly and began to sob into his shoulder. "Oh Roxas, I'm so glad you're okay." You weren't a dream!
He returned her embrace welcomingly and the familiar, flowery scent of her hair wafted toward him. "That's what I should be saying, Olette."
Axel and Demyx watched them silently with a mixture of expressions. Axel, unsurprisingly, looked partly apathetic, partly disgusted at this display of affection. Demyx, on the other hand, recalled a memory of when his other half saw a boy holding hands with the girl he liked. His other half had felt jealous and miserable that time because he had tried so hard to win her affection, but she only had eyes for that boy. Like Olette, the girl had a simple but pleasant appearance and kind manner.
Remembering that Olette's captors were not too far, Roxas pulled away and stood protectively in front of her. "Olette and I can't serve this Organization in any way. So why don't you guys just let us go and leave us alone?" He knew that it was highly unlikely that they would release them, but hand to hand combat wouldn't be enough to keep them at bay. Even if they could escape somehow, what would keep the Organization from going after them?
"Sorry, Roxas. No can do," Axel mock apologized. "The Organization needs you. You best play nice now before things get ugly."
"The Superior will do worse than kidnap your friends if you don't cooperate," Demyx added. "For Olette's sake, stop resisting."
Roxas growled and looked back at Olette momentarily. His frustrated sapphire eyes meet her concerned emerald ones. Her safety was priority at the moment. Maybe if he agreed to play along with them now, they would let Olette go free.
"If I agree to join you guys, will you take Olette home safely—no strings attached?" he asked.
"Yep, no strings attached!" Demyx confirmed.
Axel wasn't so sure if that was what Xemnas had in mind. If they took the girl home, Roxas would be sure to follow whenever possible. He would only cooperate so long as Olette was here. The longer she was here and the more she learned, the less likely the Organization would set her free. Knowledge was dangerous. There was no telling if she would ever pass it on to someone that might get in the Organization's way. Now that Namine was no longer in their possession, they couldn't request her to erase memories. When she was no longer of use, it was more than likely that Olette would be disposed of…
"Hey, we should let Xemnas know that Roxas is here," Axel whispered to Demyx. "We'll give him some time to think about whether he'll come peacefully—or by force."
With that, Axel disappeared into a black vortex. Roxas and Olette looked at Demyx questioningly.
"We're going to tell the Superior you're here, Roxas. It'll buy you some time to make your decision." Or plan an escape in vain, Demyx thought. "Please don't make us keep Olette here. She doesn't deserve to be caught up in all this."
"It's your fault she's involved—" Before Roxas could continue, Demyx was swallowed into a portal of darkness, leaving him and Olette alone.
"What should we do now, Roxas?" Olette asked.
In all honesty, he didn't know what to do at this point. He carried out his first objective, to find Olette. But he wasn't sure how to go about accomplishing the second, to escape from The World that Never Was. He got here with the help of Axel's teleportation, however, he was pretty sure he wouldn't assist them in their trip back.
Seriously, he felt like he and Olette were forced to play characters in a badly written science fiction novel. What kind of… people were they dealing with? Normal people didn't have supernatural powers like teleportation and the ability to control nature. Why did they keep insisting that he was like them? As if he just forgot who he really was. It seemed unlikely that they would let him go without a fight. As much as he hated to admit it, he wasn't sure if he had much of a chance.
If he couldn't go home safety, at the very least, Olette had to.
Seeing his frustration, Olette put her hand on his shoulder reassuringly. "We'll figure out a way to get out of here. Think about Hayner, Pence, and the rest of Twilight Town. They're waiting for our safe return."
Roxas admired her courage and persistence. Even though his future was hazy, he would do whatever it took to return her to Twilight Town. "Look, even if I can't—"
"—I'm not going home without you, Roxas," Olette interrupted. The tone in her voice made it clear there was no room for argument. "Don't promise to sacrifice yourself for me."
"Olette…" That was just like her. Not letting others compromise for her sake.
"Maybe I should start by telling you what I've learned over the time I've been here," Olette said. She explained everything that had happened to her from the time she had been captured to the time they had been reunited—except the parts about Roxas.
"So, you're saying that the members of Organization XIII are… nobodies. They have minds to think and plan, but they don't have hearts. They used to be human."
"Their goal is to attain hearts?"
"They want hearts so they can feel."
"Yes. Well, it seems rather simple to just want hearts so they can experience emotions. Organization XIII must have some ulterior motive…"
"I wonder how all this involves me. I'm human, right?" Roxas questioned. He felt ridiculous for doubting that for a second but he had good reason. "How would it benefit me to join this Organization?"
"I don't know. Maybe they're trying to deceive us so we can't discover their true intentions," Olette suggested. Even as she said this, she had a feeling they were being completely honest about Roxas's past membership.
"By the way, the one with the mullet, Demyx, did he give you a hard time?" he asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Did he try to torture information out of you or something?"
"Oh no… he didn't do me any harm," she answered, smiling slightly. "Demyx is the one who told me a little bit about the Organization—at his own risk. He gave me food and clothes and took care of me while I was here. Although they're both my captors, he was nicer to me than Axel."
When Roxas raised an eyebrow at her, she defended her statements. "I know it could have been an act to get my guard down or something. But I feel like he's not as bad as the others once you get to know him."
"Well… I'm glad he didn't hurt you. But it seems uncanny how Axel addresses me so familiarly, like I used to be his friend or something." Roxas looked more than bewildered. "Honestly, I knew his name before you told me. It just sort of popped in my head while I was thinking."
Olette ruminated silently for a while before speaking. "Actually, Roxas, there's something I should show you…"
From her pocket, she pulled out a small, black notebook with 'XII' written in white. Yesterday, Demyx had almost walked in on her reading it a second time, and she had hastily stuck it in her pocket instead of stuffing it back into the night table. Since she was asleep earlier that day, she obviously didn't foresee Demyx taking her to his room. But she was glad that she had the journal now that she wasn't in Roxas's room. She felt hesitant to show it to him but he had a right to know. After all, he wrote in the book himself some time ago.
But… she didn't want him to feel like he was living a lie. He was supposed to have lived in Twilight Town his whole life, but according to the book, he had lived on this world for awhile. It didn't make any sense to her. The book didn't go into detail about his arrival to this world, his departure, and his arrival to Twilight Town. She figured he didn't keep his journal very up to date or didn't want any of the other members accidentally taking a peek into his private thoughts. He was never really the type to write about his thoughts and feelings. Roxas and Hayner would probably find it too feminine.
"What it is?" he asked, a little distracted. He had starting poking around the room, pressing his hands against the walls and doors, looking for an exit. There had to be a secret passage or something. Was teleportation the only way to get around the place they were in? What was the point of having doors painted on the wall? To tease the prisoners and show them there was no way out?
Roxas imagined the worry-stricken faces of the inhabitants of Twilight Town. Their parents and Hayner and Pence were probably freaking out by now. Not only was Olette gone, but he too. They were probably searching the forest for him, since that was the last place he was before he got abducted. Nobody would search alone anymore.
Aggravated, he yelled and kicked the door in desperation. Right afterwards, a black portal of darkness opened up out of nowhere. Roxas jumped back in surprise, almost bumping into Olette. They stared at it for a few seconds, half expecting someone to come out and tackle them. But nothing happened. The darkness around the edges of the vortex just started to swirl and crackle faintly.
"How did that happen?" Olette asked, her voice trembling slightly with trepidation.
"I don't know… but it might be our only way out." Roxas took a hold of Olette's hand. "Don't let go, okay?"
She gave him a small nod and together, they entered into the unknown.
(A/N) Wow, it's been almost two years since I updated. I just decided to pick this up again after playing KH2 for the second time over winter break. Constructive criticism and comments are appreciated. How can I make this story better? What are the good aspects and things I should improve on? Feedback helps me become a better writer.