Kingdom Hearts II
I Don't Feel Enough For You to Cry
Notes: The characters are not mine,
and this story is. It's going to be more than one chapter, but
probably not very long overall. It's more a character study than
anything. And the whole thing was inspired by the song Room of
Angel from the Silent Hill 4 soundtrack, particularly the
chorus. Also, this follows my Kingdom Hearts ideas, but only The Darkness Will Rise From the Deep really needs to have been read to understand this.
I've been looking for you again.
You always seem to disappear when I'm trying to find you the most. I don't know why. Maybe just the irony of life, but more likely, it's one more way you're trying to torture me. You get a kick out of doing whatever you can to make that happen.
Today I decided to look around the outskirts of Hollow Bastion and the surrounding area. I've looked before, but for some reason, this time I thought I might actually have some luck. I haven't seen you since our last battle. And I still want some answers about what happened then, even though I know you'll probably never tell me.
The scent of blood was strong once I got to the infamous blue canyons, where we've fought in the past. The red patches were splattered over the ground, and here and there I found dark blue feathers mixed with it. I knew you were there, somewhere, and my thoughts tumbled over each other as I continued to move forward.
Is this blood yours? If you're part of me, and you're hurt, shouldn't I feel it, too? I don't feel it at all, only a numb apathy. Are you alive? Are you dead? Does it really matter to me? It shouldn't.
I ran around a corner, only to have my path blocked by something I'd never seen before today. It looked like a dragon of some kind, vicious and hideous. It was laying on its side, several deep slices in the brownish-gray flesh. Its leathery wings were limp, hanging to the ground, and they also were torn. It looked like the work of a sword. Yours? I wondered.
There were several large, royal blue feathers between its claws, and both the feathers and its talons were bloodstained. This thing had obviously put up a strong fight against whatever, or whoever, it had been battling. I had the feeling that the other party would be in just as bad, or worse, condition.
The creature's face looked like something copied from the gargoyles at the old cathedrals. There were large flaps of skin on its cheekbones and around its half-open mouth. Its sharp teeth were visible too, mostly clenched. Blood was dripping from between them, down its jaw, and to the ground. The red eyes were lifeless and blank. I don't know why, but it seemed haunting in some way. I stayed there for a moment, just looking at it.
It was a weak, pained groan that snapped me back to the present. I looked around for the source, unable to pinpoint it at first. It sounded more human than beast, and I started to walk around the dragon's large form. More feathers were scattered about near its shoulders, in a puddle of blood. I looked up slightly. There was a trail of red across the blue stones. In some places, it was badly smeared and streaked, as if the victim had been dragged and thrown. I gripped tighter at the hilt of my buster sword, glaring at the morbid crimson paint. I've seen a lot of unpleasant things, but mauled bodies are some of the worst.
I walked alongside the trail for several feet. There was a form laying in my path, and I was no longer surprised to realize that it was yours. Amid all the blood, I somehow still recognized what was left of your wings, and your long hair. I stuck the sword into the ground, kneeling down beside you. That's where I still am now.
All three of your wings are out now, but while the largest on your right, and also the lower left one, are both spread flat, the lower right is ragged and curled over itself. I can see it's badly torn and damaged, probably even crushed. Your lower left one seems fine, but the one sprouting from your shoulder is also torn, though not as seriously.
Your chest has also been clawed. Three long, deep slashes are across it, the blood spilling generously over your torso and arms, and to the ground around you. Your right arm is half over your chest, as you grip a wound in your left side.
Your breathing is ragged and pained, and slowing even as I'm watching you. You seem to sense I'm here. You look up at me, your green eyes clouded over and blank. Do you know me at all? Not that I care. But it doesn't seem real, to see you like this. In spite of how I hate you, it doesn't seem right, either. You've been reduced to such a helpless, pathetic thing.
This isn't an illusion this time, meant to test me for whatever reason. You're mortally injured, and there's nothing that can be done about it. It wasn't done by my hand, but it doesn't matter. I'm not sad at the thought of your imminent passing; I'm not happy, either. I feel as blank as your eyes look right now. I wasn't expecting to find you like this, not until I saw the first of the loose feathers a while ago.
I don't know that I even thought something like this could happen to you. Obviously you came out the victor in the battle with that thing, but previously, you always seemed to be unscathed and untouchable. Only in our fights did you ever end up hurt at all. Until now. And even our fights were never like this.
You blink, and something changes in your eyes. They widen ever so slightly, and I get the sense you know now who's with you.
"Sephiroth . . . what happened?"
I'm surprised at myself for speaking. I hadn't intended to. I'd planned to sit in silence, watching the life slipping from your mauled and battered body. But for some reason, my voice found its way out of my mouth, instead.
You grunt, and your lips part slightly. "Isn't it obvious?" you choke out. Blood drips from your mouth as you speak, trailing down your face and onto your neck. "I've never seen anything . . . like that. . . ."
I haven't, either. It's worrisome---though I have to admit, not foremost on my mind right now. "Is it a new threat to Hollow Bastion?" I ask. Not that you'll know the answer, or should be talking anyway. But can you really die? That doesn't seem possible, and yet on the other hand, how could you or anyone ever recover from something like this?
"Probably. . . ." You fall into a coughing fit, the agony obvious on your face. Your left hand flies to your chest, clutching the deep wounds as you choke on the blood in your throat. It doesn't give me any satisfaction, to see you like this. I want to say that I don't feel anything. But my stomach twists in spite of it. It must be because I've never seen such a gruesome sight before now.
"I thought you said you couldn't die, if I don't," I say, looking down at you with what I think is an emotionless expression.
Something flickers in your eyes, as if you feel you've been caught. Then you smirk weakly, in a self-depreciating way. "Maybe I lied," you say.
Now your eyes narrow. "Don't look at me like that. I don't need your pity."
Pity? I don't pity you! I don't feel anything for you. I'm feeling sick, but it has nothing to do with you.
I reach out, carefully pulling back your unbuttoned coat from your chest as your bloodied hand falls again to the hard ground. These tears in your flesh are deeper than I'd even thought at first. There's nothing I can do about them. They're too serious. Maybe a professional healer could still help you, but there's no one around---only me. I could never carry you as far as we would need to go, or even at all. You're bigger than I am, not even including your wings. It would probably hurt you worse if I tried.
You're just watching me now, too weary to speak. You seem to know what I'm thinking, but I can't tell if you're surprised by it. The look in your eyes tells me it's too late, that you're going to die. And I've already known that's true. I can't help you. Not that I really want to. But if I knew a way that I could, I don't know that I'd refuse, even though it's you. I'm not so dishonorable as that.
You look like you want to speak again, but you can't. I can only watch as the recognition in your eyes dims again and then vanishes completely. Your eyelids fall shut wearily, and with finality, and your breathing stops. I'm left with your dead body.
I just sit here for a moment. I'm not sure I even fully understand what's just happened. You're not supposed to be able to die. Then again, that's only what you've said. How can I believe anything when it comes from you? You've always been a liar, even though you tell me you aren't.
I lean down, trying to hear if there's still any hint of breath. I can't make anything out. I place my hand over where your heart should be. I can't feel anything, but then again, what am I doing? Do you even have a heart? If you're part of me, wouldn't that be impossible? Wouldn't you share my own heart?
I don't understand. I don't feel like there's a part of me that's missing, as it seems I would if you were really the physical manifestation of the darkness in my heart. Sometimes you acted like I was the only one who believed that to be true, even though at other times, you said yourself that it was so. I wonder if you were lying again. I'll never know now.
Who were you?
"Well, my stars! What happened here?"
I look up with a start. I wasn't expecting anyone to show up out here, but it's that magician Merlin. He's walking around that dragon, looking both fascinated and bewildered. I guess not even he's seen it around before now. That doesn't boost my confidence any.
He doesn't seem to have noticed me yet. He's too caught up in trying to figure out what the monster is and where it could have come from. I look down at your corpse again, then back up at the old man. "Hey!" I call. I'm not even sure why I am. "Merlin!" Maybe I just don't want to get stuck out here. Merlin could get me back to town quickly.
Now he starts. Blinking, he whirls around and stares at me, then you, as if trying to decide what to make of it. "Cloud!" he exclaims as he runs over, still gaping. "What on earth happened?"
I tell him what I know, which isn't much. All the while, he examines you, seeing the extent of your wounds and checking you for life. I can't tell what he's thinking, but I rarely can. It's weird, though, how he kinda seems like he knows something about you that I don't. I know he's proved that he's smarter than he sometimes acts, but how would he know anything about you? And what is there to know right now? You're dead.
He looks up at me again, and now he looks more serious than he usually does. "This man is still alive," he announces.
What? That's impossible. I saw you die. I checked to see if you were still breathing, and you weren't. You aren't. What's Merlin talking about?
"No one could survive that!" I exclaim, pointing at the worst of your injuries. "All the blood loss, not to mention the shock to his system. . . . I don't even know how long he'd been laying there before I found him!"
Merlin holds up a hand for silence. "There are some people strong enough to even survive furious assaults like this. He may be one of them." He frowns, gazing down at you again. Maybe he's having second thoughts and sees how foolish his words are. But he looks back to me. "Only with a lot of care will he ever have a chance. I could provide him with the doorway to that chance, but the rest would be up to him . . . and you, perhaps. He would need somewhere to stay while trying to recover."
What is he suggesting? I can't keep you at my place. I don't want you there. You cause me enough grief as it is. Why should I even care whether you live or die right now? Part of me wants to just leave you, or to tell Merlin to find someone else. But there really isn't anyone else, is there. No one would take you in. I shouldn't, either. I hate you! I hate everything you've done to me!
. . . I wonder, would you tell me that it's I myself who's brought my grief on myself? You probably would, and then tell me you were telling me the truth if I accused you of lying. And after what happened following our last battle, I honestly don't know what to think about you anymore. I don't know why you were testing me, or why you said that stuff about me having to conquer my darkness myself. You'd probably never tell me, even if you're still alive and you do still pull through.
There's a saying I've heard sometimes. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." I guess that's what's influencing my decision right now. Even so, I'm sure I'm going to regret this later.
I look at Merlin. "Alright." I give a slow nod. He looks pleased.
My fate is sealed. What about yours?
I guess I'm going to find out.