Chapter 13 – In A Rush
Roxas marched out of the Lotus Forest and headed straight for the gummi ship. He may or may not have heard someone calling after him, the voice was rather faint, but he never gave it time to turn into someone calling his name. No, he just went straight to the gummi ship.
Giving himself up to the heartless would not really do the terrible awful things to him that it would to do say, Riku or Goofy, but it would change him. He would not be the person he was now and so the sentiment was the same. Without Sora, there was no point to his existence and so Roxas would end it. And if the heartless left him with memories of Sora and the heartache to go with it, well, he'd just have to convince Riku to take him down. He'd trick the silverette if he had to.
He did not understand how the Organization members, himself included, had been able to keep on going. It could have been the strive to regain their hearts, but Roxas had a sickening feeling that if whatever Sephiroth and Maleficant were planning now succeeded, Sora would be able to do so. Overcome hearts could overthrow the blankets of darkness if they were strong enough, as Sora had proved, but it was a different matter all together if the heart was destroyed. More than just glass and bones could shatter if under enough stress. More than wells and bank accounts could dry up. And when that happened there was no cure.
Roxas slammed the door to his room behind him. No shouts of protest drifted down the hall, there was no one to utter them anyway. Griping his violet hair, the nobody collapsed, his back slowly moving down the door until he landed in a crumpled ball.
He found that internal connection to Sora and became memorized by it. The light was weak, hard to find, and softly sputtered like a candle about to go out. And yet, strangely, despite its weak glow it was enormous. So large in fact Roxas had trouble comprehending the difficulty he had gone through to locate it moments before. But it still felt wrong, sick, and he just knew time was running short.
If he stayed with the group, he would never make it in time.
King Mickey and the other Disney Kingdom residents were already waiting by the entrance to the forest by the time Kairi and Riku finished and made their way to the meeting spot after scouring their sections.
"Where's Roxas?" Riku asked, looking around for the other keyblader.
Mickey did not meet his eyes and led the group back towards the Pilaki, crossing into the Queen of Heart's garden. "He went on ahead. Roxas had a bit of a run in with another one of Sora's nobodies and was shaken by it. Apparently they don't know who Sora is, and their memories keep coming and going."
"Maleficent's doing." Donald sputtered.
"Yes, and the nobody did not look very healthy." The sovereign paused and then turned around to look at Kairi. "Roxas seemed to believe that the condition of the nobody was related to Sora's, that he doesn't have a lot of time." He contemplated saying what Roxas had threatened to do, but before he could decide his thoughts were interrupted.
"Why hello there!"
The group looked up and to their left to see a purple cat slowly materialize.
"Hello!" Goofy returned, waving his shield in greeting.
Donald was not so pleasant; he crossed his feathered arms and took to tapping a webbed foot. "What do you want?" he sputtered.
"Donald!" Mickey admonished.
"I gotta agree with Donald on this one Mickey," Riku threw in, "the Cheshire Cat's never been extremely helpful."
"I'm hurt," said cat rolled onto his back, paws under his chin, "I am trying to be nice. I figured that I'd let you know what you're looking for isn't here."
Riku gave a questioning look and Mickey sighed in defeat.
"I had a feeling Alice wasn't here," the mouse sighed, "but I didn't want to stop looking until I was sure. Do you know who took her?"
"Hmm, he's a part of your party."
"Uhag, I'd think we'd know if we had a bad guy traveling with us," Goofy said.
"I think he means one of Sora's other nobodies. They're pretty hard to tell from Roxas," Riku responded.
"Maybe. Also, you might want to find your missing members before they're gone," the feline said as it faded from view.
"Missing?" Mickey asked. "No, Roxas went to the gummi ship and we're all here."
"Actually," Riku said, noting the empty space besides him, "Kairi's gone too."
The Pilaki was filled with a pressing quite when Kairi stepped on to it. She didn't like it; it reminded her of the emptiness in her heart. The floor startled her as it thrummed to live beneath her; she hurried to the cockpit.
There was Roxas, fumbling with buttons and pre-flight checks as he buzzed from panel to panel. Kairi had heard stories of Sora flying a gummi ship and high suspected the Roxas's skill were on par with that. Not that her own skills where much better, but she did have a ghost of an idea of what to do. She had been so fascinated by flying she had kept asking Donald questions.
The nobody spun around in surprise. He looked at her for a moment with narrowed eyes, as if making sure it was her. "Kairi? What are you doing here?"
"I…um…that is," she didn't want to sound silly and so turned her gaze to the floor. "I used to be able to feel Sora, here." Kairi placed a hand over her chest and lifted her head to look at Roxas. "But I can't now. Something's happened, has it? We're running out of time."
The purple haired teen ducked his head and went back to the controls. "Yeah, we're running out of time. We have to leave now and not wait to check other worlds first."
There was a period of silence as neither one said anything thing and then Kairi made her way over to a near by panel. "Well then, you'll need my help. Goofy and Donald do things to get this in the air."
"Kairi, I don't want you getting hurt."
The Princess of Light looked up at him and out right glared. "Roxas, you need me." It was her speaking, at least, it was her voice. But the confidence and assurance that filled her was something that wasn't hers, she was nervous and slightly afraid. The emotion belonged to someone else, and yet her at the same time. It was…weird.
And Roxas was looking at her as if he noticed, but then gave a grin that looked so much like Sora's it made her heart ache. "I know," he simply said, and then went back to work.
There was that double emotion again, confusion and a smugful/prideful satisfaction.
That was all Kairi needed; help, from within and without. She wondered if Sora ever felt like this, fretting over what he had to face but all the negative emotions and thoughts wrapped up tightly and surrounded by the feeling that he had what mattered most and thus was going to come out of it all right. It was a nice feeling, but as she looked for that tiny connection she had to Sora and found nothing, Kairi found it slowly slipping away and having to force herself to not think about being too late. She didn't want to think about what that would mean.
As quickly as Roxas wanted to leave Wonderland, he was glad Kairi at least was with him. Naminé would be needed for sure, and seeing she had some type of awareness in Kairi was hopeful. He just hoped when things came down to it, it would all work out.
"Ready?" he asked the other teen as his hand hovered over the thrusters that would propel them away from Wonderland.
"Almost," Kairi double checked everything, since neither of them were even semi-experts in flying gummi ships she had insisted on taking the extra time to relook at everything. Roxas was impatient at the delay, but he knew something going wrong would cost them more time.
"Strange," the red head muttered and Roxas turn his head to look at her as she continued. "Another gummi ship just pulled into orbit."
"Well, I'll just have to try not to hit them then."
"I'd appreciate that seeing as how I just built this beauty." Roxas's head jerked up as Cid appeared on the main screen. The blonde man was sitting in the cockpit of the ship who just arrived. Cid rose an eyebrow at Roxas's dye job, but it quickly lowered and the beginnings of a frown on his face formed as he took in the sight of only Roxas and Kairi on the screen.
"Where's everyone else?"
Roxas felt Kairi looking at him, but he kept his eyes on Cid. "On the surface," he replied coolly and then closed the communication channel.
"We can't afford to lose any time," Roxas answered Kairi's unspoken question and then turned on the main thrusters. The Pilaki wobbled, but shot off and just managed to not hit Cid's ship. Nothing was going to stop him from getting to Sora.
A/N: Um, yeah. This has been a looong time coming. I do apologize for it. To be honest, this fic really hasn't captured my interest for some time. But I hate the idea of just leaning in hanging so I'm going to do my best to finish this. Especially since I think there's only 2 or 3 chapters left. We'll see. Now that I don't have school I'm hoping to work on this regularly.