Give a Reason
By Tsukisamu Sayako
Cold. That's all Roxas could feel when he saw the black speckles floating from Axel's body. That's all Roxas could feel even when flickering flames burnt at the ends of the dying Nobody. The dust swirled around the fading Nobody's body before disappearing into the air. He couldn't remember when Sora rushed over to the Nobody's side and knelt down to mourn for the brave man, even though he was not a Somebody.
"You're disappearing," Roxas could hear Sora say, but he didn't register it.
"Heh," replied Axel with a mirthless chuckle. "That's what happens when you put your whole self into the attack. You know what I mean?" He added softly, "Not that Nobodies actually have beings... right?"
"Anyway, I digress. Go, find Kairi. Ah, almost forgot… sorry for what I did to her." He smiled weakly.
"When we find her, you can tell her that yourself," said Sora semi-hopefully. Roxas could only scowl at the optimism that his Other possessed.
"Thanks, but no thanks," Axel smirked. "My heart just wouldn't be in it, you know? Haven't got one." He laughed weakly.
"You," said Sora sadly, "What were you trying to do?"
"I wanted to see Roxas again." The shock that Roxas felt began to melt. A strange sensation filled the blond-haired Nobody as he continued. "He was the only one that I liked. He made me feel like I had a heart."
Unbidden tears trailed down Roxas's pale face, but the Nobody felt nothing. Anger burned within his body and filled his soul. He had nothing left that tied him to the life that he once had. Axel was fading away right before his eyes. Immense sadness was replaced by anger and rage as Roxas watched every speckle of Axel disappear. Blood pounded in his ears, making him deaf to everything that that the red-haired Nobody had said.
"Why…" Roxas asked softly to no one in particular.
"WHY!?" he screamed into the darkness of Sora's heart.
"Why am I fated to suffer while Sora," he spat his Other's name, "is allowed freedom and have his friends all safe and sound?"
"I hate him. I hate him. I hate him!"
His determination to prove himself to the world that it should be him in Sora's place right then allowed him to appear in front of Sora at the Memory's Skyscraper. Using his powers as a member of Organization XIII, he summoned two Samurai Nobodies to stall Sora's friends before pulling his Other into the Station of Awakening where he got his first taste of Sora's future as a Keyblade Master.
"Who, who are you?" asked Sora as he struggled to block Roxas's two Keyblades.
"Someone from the dark," the Nobody replied simply, keeping the anger from his voice easily. He grunted and jumped back from his Other to prepare for his next attack, scowling to see Sora lowering his Keyblade with an eager question.
"You can't be… Riku!?" he cried. Roxas gritted his teeth with annoyance.
How dare he think about Riku!? The Nobody couldn't understand. Why can't he think about me? Or Axel? Or Naminé!? Roxas could only let the anger fester within his body.
"Riku? I defeated a Riku once," he replied haughtily, watching Sora's reaction with anticipation. He smiled slightly upon seeing the disbelief and anger on the brown-haired teen's face.
"What!?" Sora screamed, bringing his Keyblade up for battle.
"Tell me something," said Roxas quietly, bringing his Keyblades down in his trademark pose. A million whys flashed through his mind in that moment.
Why was Sora the Somebody?
Why did he exist?
Why can't he and Sora both exist at the same time?
Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?
Then, as if time had stopped, he remembered something from his first encounter with his Somebody. The man named DiZ had told him that he was merely a tool of the worlds and that Sora was a servant of the worlds. He also remembered that Sora was chosen to defeat Organization XIII.
"Why? Why did he choose you?" Without giving Sora ample time to mull over the question, which had been vague, Roxas dashed forward and dragged his Keyblades across the stained glass floor, drawing sparks. He brought them up and slashed downwards, only to have his Other dodge to the side. He threw a horizontal attack, but Sora simply parried it.
Their blades clashed again, and this time, Sora was able to force Roxas's Oblivion Keyblade down, locking it against the stained glass floor. Desperate to prove himself, Roxas freed his Keyblade and distanced himself from the Keyblade master. He rushed forth again and clashed his Keyblades with Sora. With one powerful stroke, Roxas managed to push his Other up into the air.
Looking up at the Somebody, Roxas wondered how his Other felt now that he wasn't standing on two feet. How did he feel now, floating there in the darkness like he had been for the months since he returned to Sora. Would he had let Axel die, knowing how helpless he felt, now? The questions filled his mind and further fueled his determination and he jumped up to continue his battle.
He watched as Sora flipped and parried his downward slashes, landing on the floor effortlessly.
Roxas looked down upon his Other and saw the portraits of Donald, Goofy, Riku, and Kairi next to him. And even though he knew that only a few seconds had passed, to him, it felt like an eternity. In that few seconds of staring at the Station of Awakening, he realized just exactly why Sora had been chosen. Why he, a Nobody, can never traverse the world of light like his Other. The light was too bright, too blinding to a resident of the darkness like himself.
The anger that he had been feeling so strong just a moment ago faded away, leaving behind the bitter taste of regret. Regret for serving Organization XIII. Regret for leaving the Organization. Regret for fighting Riku. Regret for the million things that he never did and never will do.
"I see now…" he said softly. "Sora."
Regret gave way to jealousy, and once again, Roxas felt the need to prove himself to the world that he could have a life like his Other. He landed on the Station of Awakening softly before dashing forth at Sora. A few dodges and parries from Sora later, Roxas found himself on the winning side as Sora brought his Keyblade up to block the powerful strokes that the Nobody inflicted down on him.
Roxas could feel an unnatural glee bubbling in the pit of his stomach. With one final powerful strike, the Nobody pushed Sora down on his knees and disarmed him with ease. Before Sora could reach his Keyblade again, however, he pinned the blade against the ground with his Oathkeeper while pointing his Oblivion at the Somebody.
A smiled tugged at the edges of his mouth underneath the hood and he stood victorious over the frustrated teen. And he knew that Sora felt the frustration that he had feel when he was helpless, bound to a fate that he never asked for.
A flash of white from the side distracted him and he looked down upon the ground to find Sora's Keyblade has disappeared from its previous resting place.
"What!?" he exclaimed. He silently scolded himself before turning his attention back to Sora, just in time to see Sora's downward slash across his being. A sharp pain pierced his body and shredded the jealousy that he had felt.
In that single moment, Roxas was reminded of his unhappy creation. The day that Xemnas found him, gave him a new name. The day that Sora gave up his heart to save Kairi. The day that Kairi saved Sora using her powers as a Princess of the Heart.
He was reminded of his happy days. The day he met Axel, the first friend he considered in the Organization. The day he met Naminé even though she informed him that he was never supposed to exist. The day he won the Struggle tournament. Hayner. Pence. Olette. The taste of sea salt ice cream.
It was then that he realized that without Sora, he would've never lived. Without Sora, he would've never known Axel, Naminé, Hayner, Pence, Olette. Heck, he would've never even known Riku and Kairi. Without Sora, he wouldn't have felt what he felt now. He probably would've never mourned for Axel's death.
He also realized that Sora would've been incomplete without him. He held the darkness to Sora's heart and Sora held the light to his darkened soul. The two complemented each other. And for all the sadness that Sora had lived through, Roxas thought that maybe he deserved his rewards to live, much like he deserved his fate to support Sora through the sadness and grief, to share with Sora the happiness and laughter.
In that single moment, Roxas heard what he had missed just before Axel had disappeared.
"It's funny…" the red-haired man's voice filtered through his brain. "You make me feel… the same way…"
"Axel…" To Roxas, Sora no longer sounded happy or carefree. He sounded like he had lived through hundreds of years; the strain of his weighty responsibility had an effect on his tone of voice. He sounded more mature now, much more older than he should be.
Roxas let go of his Keyblades and took a step forward. He stumbled when the pain returned and he allowed the hood that had hid his face to fall, showing his face to the Keyblade master. He was relieved to see the surprise and concern in Sora's eyes and drew up with a deep breath. Letting his powers fade, he turned to look at his Somebody.
"You make a good Other."
Author's Notes: This fic came to me randomly while I was walking from one class to another… in the cold, freezing rain. I've always wondered what Roxas thought when he fought Sora after Axel had died and thought this could be a scenario. I know there are other fics that explore the same, but sometimes, it just didn't sit right, so I had to write this. I know that the dialogue doesn't completely follow the game, but it seemed to fit better like this. I'm still working on the multi-chapter fanfics, but it might take me a while before I post them. I have a tendency to only post things that I've completed. Thanks for reading.