Disclaimer: Kingdom Hearts and characters belong to Square Enix. This fan is not making anything outta this.


Dancing bears
Painted wings
Things I almost remember,
And a song someone sings
once upon a december

"There's a world where the castle can talk." Roxas holds up a halved candlebra, each of the three candlesticks on it still whole and unlit. If he knew magic, maybe he would have lit them, letting the wax drip over Riku's face. See if it would melt away any of his guise.

"Interesting," Riku deadpanned. He can't walk. Both his legs had been severely sprained when Roxas had pushed him from the top floor. Roxas was sitting on them anyway. Riku had learned to ignore pain.

"Pieces of it, anyway. Clock, candles, feather dusters dressed up like french maids- they can all talk and move like they were still people. They haven't been people for a long time." Roxas threw the candelebra away. It clattered and skidded on the dust-coated floor, coming to a rolling stop against the collapsed piano.

"They're ghosts. Waiting while a sparkly flower withers away bit by bit and their master can't do a thing but wait, too. Wait for a girl." Roxas hefted a cracked christmas ball in his hand, throwing it to the same side as the candelebra before it. It shattered, tinkling glass.

"It's so stupid."

Riku winced, although the shards couldn't reach either of them. He was barely paying attention to what Roxas was saying, trying to gather enough strength to portal away before Roxas started any of his games. The blonde's habit, whenever Riku lost or tied.

"They'll wait and little by little they'll die hollow and cursed. We're doing something. We're trying. And we don't even have a phrophecy to guide us. But they're the ones with hearts. Wooden toys and wax. What does that make us?"

The room had probably been a ballroom, once. A grand one, when the foggy-glassed chandeliers overhead were lit, and the floor was mirror-bright. So even though the blonde's voice was so quiet, the room boomed back in a chorus of empty echoes. Like the paintings, some half to shreds, were agreeing.

It wouldn't surprise him. It looked like a room for phantoms, dancing and gliding across the marble floor.

Shrugging, Riku looked a little to the side. Roxas had taken his blindfold away. "Nobodies."

There was a thump as Roxas pounded a fist on Riku's shoulder. For a moment, he stayed like that. Turning, the Key of Destiny picked something else up from the floor. "You're just like it," he told Riku.

In his hand was a plaster angel. Once white, it was now streaked with soot from some forgotten fire, cracks running along it's flowing skirt and one of it's wings broken jaggedly off. The angel's golden hair was dirty and slightly matted. But you could still see the gold threads. Once upon a time splendor.

"You're nothing more." Roxas drops his hands on either side of Riku's head, leaning in to kiss him, hard and deep. Opening his mouth, Riku let him.

He wished he could say it was because he was tired. Because it was easier. Because he couldn't move. But it's been a while since the first time, and kissing Roxas was like a bad habit. He tasted like Darkness and Nothing and chilly December light.

A clink told them both that the angel had fallen. It rolled a little to its unwinged side, teeering and then still, looking all the more tragic and beautiful.

Looking up at Roxas, the dust in the moonlight glowing behind him, Riku couldn't help but think that nobody else looked more the part.

(A/N: I really like Once Upon A December (song), I think the haunting music box tone of it is perfect for this fic, so listen to it while reading if you can. and the imagery, once again.)