Useless/Useful Stuff to Know:
Don't own Kingdom Hearts. Never will. Wish I did.
The Suffering Chimera
by Alba Aulbath
Three weeks after Roxas had entered the Organization. That was when number XIII found what could only be called it.
Honestly, it was difficult to tell what it was at first. It was covered in rags and not much more than that, pasty, gray-looking skin covering it otherwise. Very plain, very boring brown hair was covering his face. Roxas hadn't been sure of much more than his basic of orders.
Boy, if you find another one like us, bring him to Vexen immediately.
Carefully, maybe a bit nervously -- it was strange, was it really like him at all? -- Roxas took an arm, putting it around his neck and helping it stand.
It gasped, tilting its head to stare at Roxas with wide, black eyes; there was no white, just a pair of ebony orbs staring. The rest of his face was barely seen, strands of tangled, undeciding hair sliding away. A round face, not quite pretty, not quite plain. It was still difficult to tell if it was male or female.
"It's okay," Roxas said at last, though he was sure it wasn't in the least. "I'll take you somewhere. They say, they can help us."
He didn't receive a response at all, and it wasn't shocking. Roxas turned, lifting his hand and forming a portal at last, taking the Nobody with him.
Just as Roxas helped it with him, he heard it speak,
"I want to die."
It was a male.
If it was possible for excitement to be lit up in their eyes, well, Vexen couldn't have been more enthusiastic at seeing something relatively new for a change. He might have even been somewhat grateful to Roxas to bringing the Nobody to him.
"It has no class; it's like it can't decide between being less or more. It's fascinating."
It was definitely an interesting creature; he stared up at Vexen, black eyes wide and unshakable, still murmuring, "I want to die I want to die oh god oh god they won't stop I want to die."
Most of him was build like a common male; the most interesting aspects was the skin -- as pale and common as a Dusk -- the eyes, and the left arm.
At first, there didn't seem to be anything of interest about the limb, until the Nobody had begun to scream and choke in pain; it shifted, no different than a Creeper, and did so to become a weapon. A thin, long blade. It was too heavy for him, however, to carry, but it was just another thing to study.
"He is everything a Nobody is."
It would beg for death and nothing would come, just as it was for a Nobody's fate.
"His name is Xandi."
Eyes looked to one another a bit suspiciously before turning back to the Superior.
"Sir," Marluxia began, his smile hardly sincere. "How did you manage to even get a name from him?"
"What's important, XI, is that we have one for him now." Xemnas shook his head. "Though, we know nothing more than that."
Larxene shrugged a little lazily. "All he does is complain about how much he wants to die. We might as well do him a favor."
"One should not presume to think it would be the best choice available to him." Xemnas narrowed his eyes. "All of you. See if you can communicate with Xandi, as part of your regular duties."
Surprisingly, it'd been Luxord as one of the first to decide to voluntarily approach him. Furthmore, it seemed Xandi was somewhat entranced to watch the flitting cards, shuffling and playing games.
Xandi's hair had been cut earlier into a typical bowl cut; Vexen had no sense of imagination, but at least the boy looked cleaner, staring quietly from the table in lab. The left arm had shifted earlier, before Luxord arrived; it was a mess of thorns and not much more than that.
"Know any yourself?" Luxord laid down cards, one at a time, in a chaotic form of Spider Solitaire.
Xandi licked his lips, as if deciding.
He shrugged and carried on with his game, letting Xandi watch. His hands were swift, moving, knowing precisely what to do, where to go, what they wanted to do and how to do it. Each game was over in minutes, boredly keeping himself occupied.
"Have you," Xandi said at last, "ever heard of Triple Triad?"
Luxord was game.
It was possible to look paler, Xandi had managed it so. His eyes were locked on the ceiling, wincing as his arm shifted into tendrils of whispy rope. One was looped into a noose.
"So, what'd ya say to Xemnas?"
Xigbar was patient enough; he was settled to leaning back in his chair, firing rubberbands off across the laboratory and waiting on Xandi to be willing to talk to him -- or nothing at all. It was like an unwanted chore, and the Freeshooter was dawdling, doing a half-assed job. But doing it regardless.
"That the one I remember being was no one remembered," Xandi said at last.
The gunner cursed quietly as the rubberband snapped against his finger instead of flying in the room.
"But then, who will remember us now?"
Xigbar raised a brow at him. "Are you done being depressed?"
Xandi almost smiled wryly. "Not really."
Shrugging, the sniper stood up to leave.
"When yours perished, did anyone notice?" Xandi asked. "When your Other was devoured--"
"Probably not." Xigbar grinned nastily at him. "But won't it be fun to remind them?"
Saix never stepped into the room. He looked in from the observation window just once, then stepped back slowly.
"I don't like," he growled, "the way he's staring at me."
Xandi's arm shifted again, some grosteque thing that was part blade and part gun.
Demyx tried music. It was a universal language, and it was worth a shot.
Fingers strummed and glided over strings, playing in memorization of songs he'd heard before; it was gentle and smooth, washing over the room like a stream.
It was the first time in awhile that Xandi's arm had become an almost normal-looking limb, though far too big and pulsing to be anything but normal.
The way Xandi stared at him, Demyx almost understood what Saix meant.
"But you're not," Xandi mumbled. "You're not at all."
"Not what?" The music stopped suddenly, and Demyx looked at him, confused.
"You're an abomination," Xandi muttered bitterly. "I don't like you."
Demyx bit his lip.
He decided he shouldn't stop to see Xandi ever.
Roxas saw Axel leave the lab, grumbling and shaking his head, not looking quite right as he left down the hallway.
The way Roxas heard Xandi laugh was anything but happy, struggling to lift his arm, folding and becoming an anchor.
He hurried to take Axel's example and just leave.
The door opened and Xandi didn't look to see who it was. He simply said, "I want to go outside."
Xaldin didn't step inside, looking at Xandi peculiarly.
"Do you think you can even survive out there on your own?" Xaldin shook his head. "You're barely alive in here."
"You think this is living?" Xandi managed to at last lift his arm, as if shifted into a different sort of limb, sharp not-quite-feathers prickling out of the strange pale flesh. "You can't help yourselves, you can't help me."
"It's been but a week for you here. We've been working for years on this. Give it time, and one day, you will be grateful."
Xandi narrowed his eyes. "And even when I do get my heart, what will it be worth? The deaths of thousands, just for a choice few?"
"We consider you worthy of this gift. Don't throw it away."
Xaldin turned to leave.
The Nobody on the table spoke again, voice far more pleading, "Let me go outside."
The dragoon hesitated.
He still left.
And feathers seemed to wilt.
Lexaeus supposed it would be worth it to let Namine give her hand at trying to speak to Xandi. He led the girl by the hand; she was nervous, hardly ever let out of her room. It was an opportunity, but still strange, especially to see such a Nobody like that.
By the door, V stood, watching Namine hesitantly step towards Xandi.
"Hello?" she greeted softly, unsure.
Xandi turned his head, staring at her, as if not knowing what to make of her.
"Um." Namine fidgetted, deciding to sit down. "My name... my name is Namine. You're Xandi?"
He didn't say anything.
"I just... maybe. I wanted to see if... um. How are you?"
Xandi spoke very quietly, "It hurts."
Namine lowered her head. "Oh. I'm... sorry."
The arm twisted, long and uneven claws, unsure how to be.
"You look very sad," Xandi observed simply.
"Maybe. I don't know," Namine admitted.
Xandi smiled faintly. "From what I can remember... not all witches are evil."
Timidly, Namine smiled back.
Quietly, Xandi muttered, "Do your best, even if you don't stand out."
Lexaeus looked away and stayed silent.
"He's not looking well," Zexion had announced, never having stepped into the room.
It was true. The arm was falling apart and the Nobody was screaming and thrashing, the bonds managing to hold him down enough. He looked grayer somehow, more gaunt, more dead-looking than before, and nothing could hold him together.
Hours afterwards, there were straps keeping the arm in one piece, barely managing to do its job. Xandi was breathing, raggedly, staring at the ceiling.
"There really isn't much we can do about him at this point," Vexen reported. "He could return to Darkness today or tomorrow or in the next few weeks. Either way, he won't last much longer."
From inside the lab, the Nobody cried out,
"Let me outside. Let me go see, don't keep me in here."
Marluxia had, eventually, complied. If only to antagonize the elder members of the Organization, who had commanded to keep the Nobody in the laboratory as long as they could manage.
Xandi was leaning against him; XI wasn't particularly impressed, not really liking the close contact, but aided the creature anyhow in walking.
They were out in the garden and Xandi sat down, letting out a pained breath, lowering his head.
"They survive out here, even with the lack of sunlight. Maybe it's because of Kingdom Hearts -- who is to stay? But they live."
Xandi didn't seem to be listening. Marluxia rolled his eyes a little.
"You're not here for your heart," Xandi mumbled. "Are you?"
"I suppose not. Oh, they can desire Kingdom Hearts for all they want, but honestly. There's so much more one can do with that kind of power." Marluxia smiled faintly, leaning against the wall. "Don't you think so?"
"Heh..." Xandi looked up at him. "Don't bury your nose in such a dream. Anything... anything at all... we ever plan, never comes to..."
He fell to his side.
Marluxia watched him fall apart, pieces dissolving away.
They never made a grave for him. Most of them preferred to stay hushed about Xandi.
Namine still drew pictures, as if to make up for it.