Just Have Faith
Challenge fic for Rawkin Paradox.
Word prompt: Faith
Warnings: Slight spoilers for KH2.
She never really liked the rain. Rainy days make her gloomy, and she's always preferred it much better when it cleared up.
She met him on a rainy day, when she had gone to the bailey to mope, angry at herself, angry at Leon (she doesn't get why he doesn't like the name Squall; she thinks it's a rather pretty name) and angry at the whole world. She sat at the very edge of the stone war, and gazed up at the dark clouds that blanketed the sky, feeling the heavy rain pelting down on her.
She had barely been there for a minute before she noticed someone out of the corner of her eye, sitting hunched over on the same wall and dangling a huge, bulky object (it looked pretty heavy to her, and she found it strange how it hadn't slipped out of his grip already) over the edge. His dirty blonde hair seemed to be drooping over his sullen face, and his sea-green eyes were dull and unfocused.
Yuffie didn't bother to wonder about this stranger who wasn't there a minute ago, didn't bother to even notice that the rain was practically shattering rocks on the ground now; she was just curious about why he seemed so down.
Putting aside her own troubles for a while, she made her way to him stealthily, pausing behind him for a second to observe this curious figure wearing a long black cloak. He took no notice of her, even as she leant forward a little more to have a look at that strange blue object in his hands. It looked kind of…awkward, and she would have said it looked like a guitar, if it wasn't so strangely shaped…
She leant back, hands on hips, uncomfortable by the way he just seemed so lifeless. If that guitar thing wasn't constantly swaying from the slight motion of his hands, she would have said that he was dead.
Reaching over, Yuffie poked him lightly on the back.
That bright blue instrument, which had been so gentle before, swung around quickly, so fast that, if she hadn't lifted up her shuriken in time out of pure instinct, she would have received a major concussion.
Somehow, she didn't know exactly how, he had managed to quickly stand up, swing his instrument (god, that thing had to be freaking heavy! How did he do it?!) sharply at her head and still have the strength left to push heavily against her shuriken, all in the space of a few seconds. Her eyes widened in shock, staring into cold, green eyes that were suddenly sharp and alert, as if he hadn't been completely motionless just a short while ago.
The stranger gritted his teeth, pushing harder against her weapon. His green eyes flashed angrily, and she found herself gulping in fear, finally feeling her drenched hair sticking uncomfortably in front of her eyes and the wetness of the rain.
"H-hey, I don't know who you are, but why the hell did you just try to kill me?!"
He looked uncertain for a while there, gaze flickering from his hands and to her eyes. She glared at him, shifting her shuriken slightly so that the point of it dug into the heavy blue thing that was just a few seconds away from snapping her head in two -- she couldn't hold up against something that big with a weapon like hers!
Suddenly, she found herself falling forwards from the unexpected lack of pressure against her blade. Yuffie stretched for the stone wall that ran along the edge of the bailey, but before her hands reached it a black arm reached in front of her belly, successfully catching her, albeit…not as gently as one would have hoped.
"Oof!" Yuffie keeled over, the breath knocked out of her by that unexpected arm around her stomach. She looked up at the man angrily, viciously kicking him in the shins.
He winced, but didn't let go of her. Instead, he pulled her around so that she was directly in front of him, and scooping her into a completely unexpected hug. She gasped, surprised, especially when he buried his face into her shoulder.
"I'm sorry…" Came the muffled voice (and immediately, somehow, she could tell that it was the voice of a musician's) from her shoulder. "It's just…I'm, well…"
"I'm really sorry."
She didn't notice how the rain seemed to fall around them as he embraced her tightly.
"My name's Demyx," he told her later on, gently strumming on his sitar (she had found that out immediately after she called it a guitar instead) and smiling softly. His sea-green eyes (beautiful, she thought) seemed calmer, warmer, reflecting his mood perfectly.
She grinned, as if no killing attempts had been made between them, and stuck her hand out. "M'name's the Great Ninja Yuffie, otherwise just known as Yuffie! A pleasure to meet you!"
He laughed gently, eyes crinkling up in amusement as he did. His black-gloved hand reached over and clasped her petite one, shaking it lightly. "Definitely a pleasure that I'm absolutely honoured to receive."
"…You don't believe me, do you?"
"Of course I do!"
Yuffie pouted then. "You're making fun of me!"
And then he laughed even harder, because the expression on her face was too cute and she glared and stomped her foot and demanded to know why he was laughing in such away.
She didn't notice how the rain seemed to fall even harder at that moment.
The next time she met him was a few days later, when her job as part of the Hollow Bastion Restoration Committee was put on hold due to rainy conditions. Leon had ordered her out to the Marketplace to retrieve some desperately needed supplies, and she reluctantly left, holding a bright yellow umbrella above her head.
When she arrived, all the stores were closed and there was a hole in her umbrella. She threw it onto the ground angrily, kicking it in frustration. She wanted to scream, because the day was going so badly already and it was only 10am in the morning.
And after her anger had abated, she stared up at the sky and wondered why the gods were so cruel to her. She didn't notice him behind her until he spoke.
"Hey. Why so glum?"
Yuffie whipped around, hair sticky from the rain plastering itself haphazardly against her cheek. A bright smile lit up on her face, leaping onto him in a giant hug.
He laughed and returned the hug awkwardly. She was so happy that something had happened to improve her day that she didn't even notice the rapidly disappearing wisps of darkness behind him.
By the time she had randomly met him 9 times around Hollow Bastion, she had grown accustomed to having his thick leather clothes stick to her skin every time she hugged him in the rain. Yuffie never bothered to wonder about their coincidental meetings; she was never one to question Fate, after all. She never wondered about where Demyx came from either, or why it was always raining when they met, or what on earth it was with him and black leather clothes.
She just liked to go with the flow.
He rolled his head to the side slightly, so that he could see her face. Pulling the sea-salt ice cream out of his mouth, he smiled lazily. "Hm?"
"I was just wondering…but…" Yuffie rolled onto her stomach, still sucking her own ice cream. "Where do you come from? Did you move to Hollow Bastion? Did you use to live here before Ansem went all funny and kooky and got obsessed with the darkness?"
Demyx blinked at her question. He opened his mouth to reply, mulling it over. "I'm…on…vacation here. Yeah. Heard that it was a nice place, and decided to take a trip here." He smiled a bit uneasily. "Don't regret it of course; if I hadn't come here, I wouldn't have ever met someone as lovely as you." The easy-going grin was back, and Yuffie blushed and pouted, whacking him on the head.
"Don't tease me!"
"But I'm not!"
"…TICKLE ATTACK!" Demyx's eyes widened, but it was too late and Yuffie was already jumping onto him energetically, slender fingers tickling at his armpits. He laughed helplessly, squirming and twisting, trying to throw her off.
"A-a-a-alright!!!" He managed to choke out between fits of laughter. "T-that's enough Y-Yuffie!" She only grinned and kept going.
Yuffie wasn't sure what happened next, but there was a burst of dark, inky shadows from beneath Demyx, reaching out to engulf him. She shrieked, and leapt away, but not before trying to grab at his arm before he was consumed by the darkness completely. The black leather slipped out of her grasp, and he disappeared into the darkness completely. Her breaths came out in short pants, looking around wildly, shuriken already in her hand.
The same well of darkness appeared a few steps away from her, and deposited him onto the dusty blue ground of the Maw, panting heavily and no longer grinning. She watched him with fearful eyes, as if expecting his (beautiful) green eyes to turn a sickly yellow, and for his skin to grow an inky black and his hands (claws) to reach out and grab for her heart.
Demyx looked up at her with an abnormally pale face and a touch of sadness in his eyes and -- was that fear? Fear that she might scream and hit him and slash at him for being such a terrifyingly different creature from herself? He stepped forward hesitantly, dirty blond mullet swaying slightly.
Yuffie couldn't help herself; she yelped fearfully and jumped back, shuriken held in front of her shakily. She immediately regretted her actions as a flash of hurt danced across his face and he looked down in shame.
The rain drizzled lightly as the two figures stood, neither sure of what to do. Finally, Demyx lifted his head slightly, eyes as dull as the day they first met, and met with her chocolate brown eyes.
They stared at each other for a while, the distance between the two of them seeming painfully far.
"I'm sorry." He whispered, the words coming from his mouth the exact same as on that rainy day that seemed so long ago. Yuffie bit her lip, and took a step forward. He flinched.
This time, Yuffie was the one to offer comfort. She ran to him, throwing her tiny arms around his thin body. Nuzzling her face into his jacket, she inhaled his now-familiar scent. She smiled as she felt his warm arms wrap around her body.
"Demyx you idiot…"
She didn't care when she saw, out of the corner of her eye, faint wisps of the same darkness disappearing from the edges of his coat.
"…thank you Yuffie."
"Do you…" Yuffie paused, swinging her legs slightly atop the bailey wall where they first met. "Do you believe in reincarnation? In a second chance at life?"
Demyx blinked, looking at her. She stares out at the sky, and the horrid castle that holds so many bad memories for them all, and avoids his gaze. Finally he joins her in gazing at the twisted castle.
"I…" He bit his lip. "I try."
She frowned. "Try? What do you mean?"
He looked down at his hands, fiddling with the strings of the sitar. He didn't answer for a while, just gently plucking the strings while Yuffie fidgeted next to him. They sit in silence together, not saying anything for so long that Yuffie gets the impression that Demyx wasn't going to answer her at all.
Then she notices him shaking ever so slightly. Wide-eyed, she puts a comforting hand on his shoulder and rubbed gently, unsure of what to do. "Demyx…?"
"It's…it's hard." His hands are over his eyes, hiding from her view, as if he was crying, but she can't see any tears drip down. "I like to…I want to believe that we can be given a second chance but…but…" He doesn't finish the sentence, and Yuffie doesn't dare ask who 'we' is.
Yuffie didn't know why he thought that reincarnation was so far from his grasp. After all, she couldn't imagine someone like Demyx ever doing anything to harm anyone else. He was too kind-hearted of a person to do that…
"I want to believe…" he hiccupped out, voice sounding choked and clogged up -- but he's removed his hand from his face and she sees that although his eyes are filled with a heart-wrenching expression of sadness, there is no evidence of any tears.
Memories flashed through Demyx's mind, of the screaming people, begging for mercy that they weren't going to get, of sinister smiles and alluring shadows, and the ever present darkness, but most of all; the terrifying emptiness that is your only friend in that hellhole of a home.
She hugged him, like she had done so many times before, offering her own source of comfort.
"Shh…you've gotta believe, Demyx. Have faith."
Demyx smiled, even though Yuffie couldn't see it, and it was a sad smile, the type that says 'Thanks but it just ain't gonna work but I appreciate you for trying even though I know it's gonna be all for nothing in the end.' "Faith…I like that word."
"Mm-hm…you should try to use it more."
"…" He lowered his eyes sadly, looking down at his hands wrapped around Yuffie's small body. "But…I know it's already too late…" he whispered softly, so that Yuffie could not hear it, not even with her 'great ninja' skills that she was so proud of it.
He closed his eyes then, and squeezed her even tighter. She snuggled into his body warmth, and together, the two of them enjoyed the fact that it was just them, on the bailey wall and enjoying the light drizzle of the rain.
"…don't ever forget me, 'kay?"
Yuffie pulled away in confusion, and Demyx found himself missing the fuzzy feeling of warmth in his chest.
"Please…just promise me that I'll be remembered. Please." He grasped her hands in his, a hint of desperation in his eyes. "It would mean so much to me to know that there'll be someone who knew me as the person I was; someone who would remember the times we shared together and be happy about it."
Yuffie's eyes widened in shock; why was he using the past tense like that?! And what did he mean? "D-Demyx…are…are you leaving Hollow Bastion?"
His eyes didn't meet hers. "…Yeah, I'm leaving soon…I don't know when, but I know it will be soon…so promise me, please, promise that you'll remember me as the Demyx you met in Hollow Bastion; no matter what you see, no matter what you hear, promise me that you won't ever believe otherwise."
Yuffie was scared by the desperation and pleading in his eyes, as if he would shatter if she refused his last wish -- wait, last wish?
'Yuffie, snap out of it! Stop acting like he's going to die soon!'
But she couldn't deny the fact that he seemed to be implying that.
"Don't worry Dem." She flashed her trademark smile, trying to reassure him as much as possible. "You'll always have a special place in my heart." She placed a hand against her chest, over her heart.
He smiled (a bit emptily, she thought) and visibly relaxed. He took her hand in his, and placed it over his own (hollow) chest. "And you, mine."
"…we sound so corny, Dem."
Yuffie collapsed on the ground, exhausted. Her shuriken lay in her hand, and she panted heavily. She looked up in front of her with despairing eyes; she had never seen so many Heartless all in one place before!
A green light shone above her head, and immediately, she felt better. She looked up to see the fading remnants of a Cure spell, and Aerith running up to her side. She smiled at her soft-spoken friend and got up again, ready to fight.
Suddenly, there is a loud rumbling in the sky, and the previously clear sky began to cloud, and rain pelted down from above. She smiled, briefly lost in thought about Demyx, whom the rain reminded her so much of.
"Yuffie, look out!"
She shrieked, and swung around instantly, slaying the Heartless that had crept up behind her. Leon rested his gunblade on his shoulder, scowling at her.
When he turned his back, Yuffie stuck her tongue out at him, before running off into battle once again, energetically slashing at the Heartless. She briefly wondered if Demyx was here among this fray as well, smashing up the monsters with his hulky blue sitar (she giggled as she thought of the tremendous noise it would make when it made contact with the metal armour of the Heartless).
Suddenly, there was a heart-wrenching scream that over-powered the sound of clanging metal-against-metal, and pierced through Yuffie's heart. Her eyes widened, and her first thought was - Demyx! She saw everyone turn their heads to look for the source of the noise, but she ignored them and ran away, away from the Heartless and towards the scream.
Yuffie cleared the high rocky surface as quick as possible, her desperation making her hurry. She landed on a dusty blue crag overlooking the ruins of the castle gate, and glanced down anxiously below. Her heart caught in her throat, and tears sprang to her eyes.
He's kneeling on the ground, tiny black wisps disappearing rapidly from his body. Except, this time, it's taking away parts of him as well. As she watched with fearful eyes, too shocked to move, a bright light appears beneath him and a spiral of water bursts forth, engulfing his body before disappearing completely, taking Demyx with it.
She fell to her knees and cried, for the first time since Hollow Bastion was first invaded by the Heartless. She cried for her family and friends that she lost, for the sufferings that her friends had to go through, for Sora and his quest to find his friends, for the death of a friend who had never deserved to die.
But…what had happened? Why was he dying? What was the reason behind his mysterious method of dying?
"Oh god…" she whispered, looking shell-shocked. She realised that, in all of her time…she had never bothered to find out who Demyx actually was. Yuffie stared out into the distance, where Heartless were gathered and fighting, and thought.
"Demyx…what are you?"
The rain was clearing up already and the sun was beginning to shine down on the battlefield of the Great Maw, and for the first time, she wished that the rain would just never stop.
"So promise me.
…please, promise that you'll remember me as the Demyx you met in Hollow Bastion.
She smiled sadly, eyes glittering with emotion. "Dem…you need to have more faith in me. The Great Ninja Yuffie is always faithful to her friends."
No matter what you see…no matter what you hear…
Promise me that you won't ever believe otherwise."
Word prompt: Faith. Felt like I was focusing more on rain. Hope it's alright, Rawkin Paradox!
If it's a bit confusing…well, I changed a teensy bit of the storyline (the last scene, obviously) but I hope that I didn't alter it too much. Though I'm pretty sure that scene wouldn't fit in with a bit later on, when you fight alongside Yuffie…
Sorry for OOC-ness, but I had fun writing this. I wanted to get away from the whole 'Yuffie meeting Demyx while he plays his sitar' thing, cause I know it's been done before and I wanted to try something different. Same thing about their personalities; Demyx in the beginning of the story is dramatically different from the rest of it XP
But I'm pretty happy it. Comments and criticism please XD