Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts, nor am I making any money off this fanfiction.
Well, guys, it's been a long ride. Sorry to make all of you wait for so long. I'm glad you stayed with me, though, kept me wanting to work on it. I can't remember the last time I finished a story… it's been a few years. So I'm not really sure what to say, hahaha.
I love all of you.
A Careful Remedy
Where's the pain? My bones breaking? My head smashing into the ground? The cold of the snow seeping into me? Where is all of that? It's not coming, and I'm confused. It should have happened by now. It's not that long of a fall. Not really. At least, it wasn't last time…
That's when I hear it—Riku screaming my name at the top of his lungs.
It's then that other words start to penetrate the darkness, and I realize my eyes are still clenched shut. I open them to a wintry world. I'm dangling in the midst of it. Slowly, I look up. Riku is staring down at me, his bright, green eyes full of terror.
"Sora, you idiot!" he's ranting. "What were you thinking! What are you doing! Hang on, okay! I'm not letting you go!"
He's not… letting me… go…?
Another gust of wind shrieks past, cutting straight through my clothes. I shudder violently, my teeth chattering. My eyes are tearing up from the force of it, and I look at my arm. There, on my wrist, is Riku's hand. He's got a hold of me. He stopped me from falling, I realize.
"Sora!" Riku screams again. He sounds hoarse now. "Sora, grab onto me! Come on!"
"No, Riku, let go of me!" I yell, surprising myself with the vehemence of it. "You have to let me go!" You have to let me die! If you don't—
Axel leans over the balcony, then, his eyes glowing. "It's okay, kid. Let him pull you up."
I stare at him, utterly confused. But—no… why? I have to die… He said so… This isn't making any sense… does Death have a cruel sense of humor, crueler than even I imagined…? He has to be joking… he has to be…
"You did your job. You leapt, and at the time you were supposed to. It's okay. You can't help it if someone interfered this time. You had no idea he was going to do that." Axel lifts a hand, waving it about as he speaks. Finally, he shakes his head and closes his eyes. "My job here is done. Spend your life wisely this time, okay?"
His words ring hollow in my ears. They're still not making any sense. I guess after the shadow of my death looming over me for the last four days, it's hard to believe that suddenly I've been given a free ticket. Part of me doesn't want to believe it.
Through it all, Riku is still screaming at me. Mom and Dad have appeared now, bleary-eyed and confused, and when they see what's happening, they yell and reach over to help Riku. Two extra pairs of hands grip onto my arm. The three of them start to pull. The snow swirls around us, clinging to our clothes and hair and lashes.
"Unless you want to die?" Axel arches his brows at me.
"No," I whisper.
I don't want to die. I don't. Not this time. Not now that I know things can be better.
"What'd I tell you, kid?" Death grins at me, his teeth still a startlingly pearly white. He takes a step away from the balcony, pulls his hood over his head, snaps his fingers. The pink scythe materializes in his hand a second later, and he places its butt on the ground. Sakura petals erupt in a flurry, spreading through the snow. "Good deeds are rewarded eventually."
The flowers pick up, obscuring my vision for a moment. When they clear again, Death is gone, almost as if he was never there. It's different this time. It holds a finality I'm thankful for.
Tearing up now from more than the wind, I fling my hand up. I miss a few times. Finally, though, I grasp onto the hands helping me, and in seconds, I'm back over the edge and collapsing atop Riku. Everyone is still yelling, calling my name, touching me. I simply stay there for several moments, in stark disbelief that I'm still alive.
The first real thought I have is: great, now I'm going to be put on suicide watch.
The second is: where's my brother?
I look over Riku's shoulder as he hugs me fiercely, unwilling to let me go. I find Roxas sprawled on the floor in front of the window, his eyes wide, his face pale. When he sees I'm looking at him, tears rise to fill his eyes, and he picks himself up off the floor and stumbles over to me.
Then everyone's hugging me and sobbing in relief, and I can't see.
Okay, so there's still some things to work out. My relationship with Riku is going to take some work, not to mention my relationship with my brother. No one's probably going to let me out of their sight ever again for fear that I'll do something stupid like throw myself off a balcony. There's also probably some counseling in my future.
All in all, a fair trade for my life.
Riku puts his hands on my shoulders and pushes me back enough to look at me. His eyes are red, and his cheeks are glistening. "Sora, what were you thinking?" he croaks.
I manage a shaky grin that no doubt appalls him. It's all I've got. My story is a crazy one.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you."