She'd been stupid. God. What had she gotten herself into? Moisture rolled down her face, only to be soaked up by the cloth gag…made by a torn piece of male underwear. She felt so degraded, so humiliated, and there was nothing she could do about it. Except weep. So she wept even more, even harder. Days, hours, seconds later, the door to her dark cell opened. The silhouette of a man stood in the doorway, daylight streaming behind him. She struggled against her bonds, crying muffled sobs through her gag, writhing and twisting on the bed she was tied to.
"Excellent. Looks like you're ready for me again."
He only said what she didn't want to hear. He only did things she didn't want to see. He only hurt when she needed to be healed. He was the only one she ever wanted to be with.
Chapter One: Tears and Keyblades
A girl had been missing from her hometown for eighteen months. Her posters had been taken down finally, and her mother still sat at the table in the kitchen, in the hours of twilight with her head cradled in her hands, weeping and staining the table's polish with the droplets.
Her friends didn't fare any better than her family. They had given up. Ever since that picture had come in the mail two weeks ago.
It showed a younger girl leaning against a wall, blood coating the white paint and trickling down her face. She'd been shot in the head. Today had been the funeral, and they'd buried her closest affects and letters of regret in a coffin. The entirety of Destiny Island was in mourning.
A redhead grunted as she was thrown into the cold basement. She groaned as she stood, and sobs of other girls were heard all around her. A blonde scurried to her, brushing the other girl's bright hair off her sweat-drenched forehead.
"Oh my God, it was worse than usual, wasn't it?" the blonde murmured. The other girls in the room fell silent. A nod was the reply.
"Yeah…they all had their fun…at least twice." Gasps resounded the room.
"But there's at least five of them!"
"I swear there were only four."
"I'd feel better if there were only four, you know."
"I don't want to be here anymore!"
"Did you ever?!" The red haired girl opened her eyes, quickly adjusting to the dark. She saw the four other girls begin to shift towards her and her blonde friend.
"Kairi…are you okay? You're bleeding…" a brunette said gently, dabbing at the redhead's forehead with the remains of her shirt sleeve.
"I'm alright." Kairi sighed heavily and leaned against the wall. This place was hell. It was killing their health, their hope, they everything. All the girls here (there were six, including her) were covered in bruises, scabs, scars, their hair greasy from lack of a shower, their clothes soiled, and their eyes hollow, haunted, rimmed with red. Kairi often wondered why any of the men upstairs, the torturers, wanted them anymore. Didn't they prefer clean, jazzed up women? Apparently not.
"I…I miss home," came a pitiful voice in the dark. Kairi's eyes squinted, attempting to speed the adjustment to the dark. It was Selphie, the youngest among them. She'd been here before Kairi, though, taken two months before from the same place. She was two years younger that Kairi, only thirteen. The other brunette was Olette, from a place called Twilight Town, and she crawled to the opposite corner of the basement to comfort the younger girl. Olette was the same age as Kairi, as was two other girls, Namine and Fuu. Yuffie was the oldest, seventeen years old, and had been in the basement for two years, a year-and-a-half less than Namine, who had been taken first. As Selphie's sobs died down, Kairi buried her face in her hands. Her legs hurt, the place between them numbing, and her arms were cut and bruised.
"We're so screwed," she murmured. Namine wrapped her skinny arms around her friend's narrow shoulders, allowing her to lean her head against her own shoulder.
It was pouring rain as the specialist stepped out of his car. Water dripped down his pale face, dripped from his nose and chin, dripped onto the black asphalt beneath his thick combat boots. The com connected to his jacket crackled as the water soaked it through, and he grunted in annoyance, flaring his bright eyes. Immediately he was dry, and as the water fell, it turned to steam before it even had the chance to touch him.
"Better," he mumbled.
"Yo, Flurry," a voice came through the com.
"The girls are in the basement. I saw all the guys leave to go out for Chinese."
"Yeah. I have Nymph tailing them."
"You sure they're all out?"
"Every God damned one of the sick psychos."
"What, you like that?"
"Shut up. I'm going in." He shut off the com; Nocturne's voice was annoying, and it would distract him while he was doing his work. He crossed the street, stomping up the wooden steps to the porch. The paint was peeling, and brown showed through the white coating. The glass of the windows was clean, but the blinds over them were yellow and gray: yellow from who-the-hell-knows-what, and gray from layers upon layers of dust. He strode to the door, also painted white (and it was peeling, too), and he knocked on it. When no answer came, he shoved his hands into his pockets and kicked open the door. The lock shattered, and the knob tore through the wall, sticking to it. Two men sat at the kitchen table, playing poker, and they looked up at him, eyes wide, cigarettes clenched between their nicotine-stained teeth.
"Who the fuck are you?" one ground out, rising from his chair, revealing a gun strapped to his side. The other man leaned back, putting his muddy boots on the table, shoving the mag into a gun of his own.
"I'm just looking for some girls, man. Chill."
"Got money? We don't give away for free."
"Oh, woops. My bad. Don't got money on me, dude. Sorry." He found a gun pressed to his forehead, the cold metal tapping against his warm skin. He smiled, unflinching. "Something I said?"
"Get your ass outside, fucker. No money, no girls." A gunshot was fired, and the man threatening him was on the floor, dead.
"Shit…" the other growled, aiming his gun. He never fired. His head lolled back as he leaned against the back of his chair, blood trickling from between his eyes. The com was turned back on, and immediately an angry voice belted out.
"What the fuck did you just fucking do?!"
"Calm down, Nocturne. I was just getting rid of some garbage."
"By shooting it?"
"Was it alive?"
"God fuck your scrawny ass, I should fucking—"
"Don't tell me to shut up, Flurry, I'm not done screwing you over."
"No, I heard something. Shut up." He flicked off the com again, and, still holding the smoking gun loosely in one hand, he entered the next room. Yellow stains coated the walls, and the room reeked of sex. Chains and ropes were scattered across the bed, strewn on the floor, and a rack of costumes was leaning against one wall. The costumes, as he looked through them, consisted of leather straps and feathers. Nothing else.
"Sick fuckers…" He stumped to the next room and halted. He backtracked and stomped on the floor.
"Right, then…" He stood a step over, and stomped again.
No noise, due to the thick carpet. Grinning, he knelt down and skimmed his hands over the carpet, finding a square area measuring three feet on each side. His fingers felt a handle, and he lifted. The square opened on its hinges, and he saw the previously concealed steps leading downwards. Without hesitation, he slipped down into the cavity, holding onto handholds as the stairs descended at an almost vertical angle. His boots hit cement, and he felt about for a switch. He took a step forward, and a thin chain slapped against his face. He pulled on it, and a weak light illuminated the room. His eyes widened at what his eyes met.
"Holy fuck," he breathed, reaching to his com and switching it on. "Hey, Nocturne."
"What the fuck now? What did you find?"
"I found them."
"Shit. We have to get them out. They're probably half dead already."
"I'm waiting for you. I've got the van here."
"Yeah, yeah…" He looked to the furthest wall from him and sighed heavily at the cowering girls there.
"Who…who are you?" one asked, the fear evident in her voice.
"I'm the one who's going to get you out of here, okay?" She nodded, and he walked to them. He froze again when he saw the platinum blonde hair and familiar blue eyes.
"Namine?" he whispered. The blonde raised her eyes to his face, and the eyes filled with moisture.
"Agent Flurry?" she said, just as quiet. She rose to her feet, using the wall for support, and stumbled to him. He caught her in his embrace as she fell, and he held her close.
"Shit, this is where you've been?"
"Yeah." She leaned up to look into his eyes. "Roxas…how is Roxas? Is he all right? Has he been eating?"
"Don't worry about Roxas. We need to get you out of here."
"No, they'll come back and kill us all. Get out!"
"Flurry, where the fuck are you? Nymph just reported that the guys are coming back. Fuck…Flurry, get the fuck out of there! You fucking hear me? They've just parked, and…" He didn't need to hear the rest. He could hear their voices upstairs.
"Go!" Namine whispered urgently.
"I'm taking you all with me!" he hissed. He pushed the girls up and out of the basement, shoving them under the bed and into a nearby closet. He closed the door to the basement and hid behind to the side of the doorway to the room. As expected, a man entered, armed with a shotgun, and as he came in, he hit him over the head with the butt of his gun, disarming him and shoving him back at the guys behind him. Rounding the doorway, he held the shotgun in one hand and his own gun in the other, shooting at the men waiting for him. Blood flashed on the walls, and they fell, one dragging his hand down the blinds, and dragging the blinds down with him. He saw Nocturne on the other side, pulling the van closer to the house. Nocturne saw him, and frantically waved his arm to hurry him. He nodded.
"Come on, we're blowing this place sky high," he said to the girls, and they left their hiding places, following him and stepping over the bodies. He halted when he heard Namine gasp. Spinning, he saw one man had a death grip on Namine's ankle, and was using her as support as he struggled to become upright. He roughly throttled the blonde, jamming his gun into her temple.
"Brought this on yourself, bitch," he gurgled into her ear through the blood beginning to clot his mouth. He dragged her back into the room, shutting and locking the door.
"Flurry, get out here!" He paused, forming a plan in his head, and flew out the door. Nocturne was holding an explosive in one hand as he met up with him.
"Don't blow it! Don't blow it!" he exclaimed.
"Why the hell not?" Nocturne challenged.
"We're short one Namine." Nocturne's eyes widened.
"Namine's in there?!"
"Yeah! I'm going to turn the place into a fucking bon fire and then going back to get her!" Without listening to another word, he turned to the house and threw his arms out, tilting his head up to the rain, closing his eyes, and inhaling deeply. With a sudden scream, a blast of heat burst from his body and engulfed the house. He wasted no time going back in. Already, neighbors were running out of their homes. A gunshot was fired, and he sprinted back through the house. The door to the hidden basement was open, and the light was on. He all but slid down the stairs, coming face to face with a very near insane and dying man, holding a very dead Namine in his hand by her throat. His gun was still pressed against her head, and smoke floated from it. Roar ripped from his throat, and another surge of heat flew out from him. The man spontaneously combusted. He picked up Namine, cradling her in his arms. Her eyes were still open, and her blue eyes had faded to a dull gray.
"Fuck…fuck, fuck, fuck, FUCK!!" he screamed.
"Flurry, get out of there!" It was Nymph's voice this time, and he nodded, even though no one saw it. He was outside in a matter of seconds, holding Namine so that her bleeding temple was pressed to his chest, over his heart. The rain turned to steam over his body, and as he walked past Nymph, he murmured to the blonde woman, "Blow it." She nodded and threw in the explosive.
"EVERYONE GET BACK!!" she shouted. Civilians and team members alike all ran from the burning house just as it exploded. Nocturne ran to him, and Namine's head slid down a little, showing a bloodstain over his chest.
"Shit, you were hit, weren't you?" Nocturne gasped. He shook his head slowly. Nocturne leaned towards him.
"You're eyes are steaming…you're not crying, are you?" He closed his eyes, holding Namine closer. Nocturne's eyes widened.
"What am I going to tell Roxas?" he whispered, "He'll hate me forever."
"No…she's not…" A red haired girl ran up to them.
"Namine!" she cried, "Is she all right? Is she going to be okay?" Nocturne turned his eyes to his feet, and then walked to the van, not answering her question. The other girls joined the first, surrounding him. He carried the girl in his arms to the van, laying her down on the stretcher, her open temple no longer hidden. One girl screamed, and another burst into tears. He leaned down to kiss her cold temple, and closed her eyes with one hand.
"She's not dead…she's not dead…she's not dead…" a girl chanted. Nymph came up behind them.
"Get in, girls," she said quietly, "We're leaving."
"I'm sorry about your friend." She shut the doors of the van with a slam, and the vehicle began to move moments later, leaving the destroyed house behind.
Axel stood on the porch of the blue house, his fist raised and ready to pound on the door. It fell to his side after five minutes. Who was he kidding? He didn't have the courage to just walk in there and tell them…
That their baby was dead.
"Get her back, Axel…please," they'd asked him. He'd almost given up. He'd been looking for her for almost four years. And now…and now…
"Axel!" He spun, eyes wide, and saw a blonde boy walking up to him swiftly. His hair stuck out at every angle, and his eyes were blue, like hers. "Where've you been?"
"Out looking for Namine?"
"Um…yeah. About that…"
"You got a lead?" the boy asked eagerly. Axel furrowed his brow. He couldn't do this.
"Um…Roxas, there's something I have to tell you. It's about Namine." Roxas's eyes lit up immediately.
"You found her?" he nearly shouted, gripping Axel's shirtfront.
"Yeah, we did." Roxas's face fell. A car parked on the other side of the road.
"She's hurt, isn't she? She's where you can't get her, isn't she? Is it bad? Is she in another country?" Axel turned his head to the side and loosened the hands from his shirt.
"She's where no one can reach her now. Not anyone." The two looked behind to the sidewalk. A red head stood there, her eyes shining with tears, her hand gripping a pink purse to her.
"What?" Roxas said softly, letting go of Axel. He looked between the two red haired people, both looking depressed and unable to make eye contact with him. "What's going on?"
"Let's go inside."
The two sat beside each other on the couch as Roxas made some lemonade. The summer was warm, and his parents had gone to the beach. Roxas had been at work, doing various jobs like throwing away garbage, putting up posters, and delivering the mail. It earned him enough money to do and get what he wanted. He returned to the living room, where they sat, and set down two glasses full of the pale yellow substance in front of each of them before sitting down himself with his own glass.
"So you found Namine," he said. Axel nodded. Roxas turned his attention to the girl. "Who are you?"
"My name is Kairi," she said softly, "I knew your sister well."
"Where is she?" Kairi cast her eyes downwards.
"She's safe…where no one can ever harm her again." She paused, the silence so thick in the air, one could cut it with a butter knife. "She was sick, too. Now she's not."
"What was she sick with?" Roxas pressed, "Axel, did you know about this?" Axel shook his head 'no'.
"She had AIDS."
"What?!" Kairi nodded, holding her glass but not drinking from it.
"She was dying, and there was nothing we could do about it. She got it right away, before I met her."
"What happened? Where was she? Where is she now?"
"Yes, dammit, tell me what happened!"
"We were kidnapped from our homes, all of us. But you already know that. Where we were was the seventh level of hell, the worst place in the world. We were raped, forced to pleasure the freaks, middle aged, balding, fat, drunk freaks. They got paid for 'borrowing' us to different guys. We were a business, a pleasure toy for men who weren't getting any. They'd dress us up in barely anything, take pictures of us, force us to touch each other, video taping it all, and at the end of the day we were thrown into the basement and kept there. It was one meal a day, one shower every two weeks, and a bathroom break once ever twelve hours. When Agent Flurry showed up and got us out…" Here, Kairi's voice broke, and tears rushed down her face. "…It was the first time in eighteen months that I saw daylight, and breathed fresh air, and felt the rain on my skin. But…Namine…" Axel had buried his face into his hands at this point. "I don't know what happened, but Agent Flurry had gone in, and when he came out…Namine…she…oh, God…" Seeing Kairi unable to speak any longer, Axel took over.
"I set the house on fire and went in to get her. One of the guys had taken her hostage. They were in the basement, and I heard a gun being fired. I tried to get there in time, but…" Axel frowned violently at his gloved hands, balling them into fists on his knees. "…I…I was so…so fucking angry…" he looked up to Roxas, his eyes flaring, "I've never killed anyone by burning them to death."
"What…what did he do to Namine?" the blonde said, almost terrified to know.
"He shot her." At this point, Kairi spoke up.
"She never got to feel it," she whispered, "She always said that she wanted to feel the wind and rain again…she never got to feel it."
"You mean she's…" Kairi smiled through her tears, and Axel hid his face in his hands again.
"She's not hurting anymore." Roxas looked down at his own glass of lemonade, eyes swimming in tears.
"So she's…dead…" Kairi nodded miserably.
"I hate…I hate…that stupid…time…when she…said that…when she said what she wanted…and dreamed of doing…and she wanted it…so badly…" Kairi managed to say brokenly. She reached over the coffee table and rested her hand on Roxas's knee, feeling him shudder. "She talked about you all the time."
"All the time?"
"Yeah. At first we thought that you were her boyfriend."
"Oh…heh…" She reached into her purse and withdrew a small box from it, as well as a folded white cloth.
"She said that she had been taken on your birthday, and that you had your ear pierced. She bought this, and told us to hang on to it whenever she was taken upstairs from the basement so that they wouldn't find it and take it. She always had hope that she would get out again." She paused, turning the box around in her hands. "Here." She handed the box to Roxas, and with trembling fingers, he opened it. A glittering earring shimmered at him. It was a silver stud with a delicate chain hanging from it, and attached at the end of the chain was a small, glass bulb filled with a red liquid. Inside, floating around in the liquid, were two rice grains, with two names engraved on them.
"Roxas and Namine," the boy muttered.
"She said that even though you were only eleven when she was taken, you always acted like you were years older. That cost her all the money she'd saved up until she was twelve, on your birthday. There's…there's also this." Kairi gave him the white cloth, and he unfolded it on his lap. Inside was folded crepe paper, also white, and he unfolded that as well. Next were two layers of blue and black crepe paper, and then a thick envelope. He opened it, and out fell a wad of bubble-wrap.
"Jeez, Nami…" Roxas whispered haltingly, "Wrap it up enough?"
"She said that what was in the cloth was extremely important to her," Kairi said gently, "She never told us what was inside, and never let anyone else touch it by myself." Axel merely looked on as Roxas slipped his finger beneath the tape, unsticking it from the bubble-wrap and unfurling it, releasing the contents. A golden locket fell to the coffee table, and it opened as it hit the glass. A picture of Roxas as a child and Roxas and Namine was stuffed inside, as well as a tiny, sliver-thin key.
"What the hell?" Axel finally said. Roxas looked at the key in wonder.
"Is this…that key?" He picked up the little piece of metal, and as he did, it suddenly glowed brightly. Axel and Kairi shielded their eyes, and when the light died, she looked over at Roxas. He was holding a key-shaped sword, completely black, with a small key-chain connected to it.
"Whoa…" Axel breathed, "That what you thought it would be?" Roxas shook his head.
A/N: YAY!! This is my 2nd KH2 fanfic, and hopefully it'll get better reviews than my other one, Advent Hearts. Ten reviews to get the next chapter.