In all my studies and experiments I have yet to understand a heart. Attempt after failed attempt have shown me that it is unpredictable and unbreakable. At the request of a fellow apprentice I along with five other companions conducted an experiment that would change us forever, an experiment that split ourselves. On one side was a being known as a Heartless, a being consumed with the darkness locked in their heart. On the other side is a Nobody, a shell of a person with the absence of a heart. Unknowingly we ripped our feelings from our bodies and became nothing. We were not people yet we still retained our consciousness. That was until the Keyblade Bearer arrived. Just being in the presence of the weapon gave me a sense of who I had once been. It had been discussed that when we die as Nobodies we will cease to be. I, however, had another hypothesis. When we six apprentices of Ansem the Wise were changed we were left with a Heartless that was lost immediately into the worlds, a Nobody that retained much of our consciousness and memories, and a Container. This Container was the in-between stage of our bodies. I had deduced that if both the Heartless side and the Nobody side of ourselves could come together again they would then be connected with in that Container and we may be whole again. I never did find out how such a thing could occur.
Part 1: The Other Half
The dark room was receiving a faint light from the door. He slowly opened his eyes. The white walls of the room accentuated the light coming in. Sitting up he felt as if his head was going to explode. Where was he? Where was he? Turning he placed his bare feet on the floor. Carefully he stood up, but his legs gave out and he fell back on the bed. "Dammit!" He hissed, and glared at his feet. "Work!" He growled and tried again. This time he made himself stand. With a bit of satisfaction he went to the door. It was rather heavy and he had to put all his weight on it before it opened inward. The hallway was no different than the room; it was blindly white. "How dull." He mumbled and entered the hall. Wait, he DID know this place! Looking around more the white walls, the tiles floor it was all becoming so familiar. The lab, Ansem, and then there was something else, something having to do with…hearts. THE EXPERIMENT! It all came back to him. The endless experiments the birth of the first heartless and then their fatal error. Feeling self-conscious he looked down and touched his chest. No, there was a heart there. He was himself again. His name…yes they had called him Vexen, but he had a name before that. Thinking back he could almost feel the word come to him. Yes, Even! That was his name before, wait, why was he back to his original self? Curiosity and fear washed over him and he had to quench its call. He ran to the other rooms in the hall; the rooms near the one he'd emerged from that held the Containers of the other five apprentices. Lexaeus, Zexion, Xaldin, and Xigbar were all still there. The last door was all that was left. Would even Xemnas still be in there? When he opened the door his fears were answered. No container, no Xemnas, nothing. "How?" Something must have happened to wake him up. He was whole, complete and yet there was no explanation for it. In his original studies of their conditions he had hypothesized that the container could join the Heartless and Nobody remnants into one complete person again, but he'd never figured out how such a thing could occur. Running down to the lab he was pleased to see that much of his research was still there. "Let's see, we should have some kind of surveillance of both here, Castle Oblivion and the other one in The World That Never Existed." He tapped away at the keys. With this he was able to see events that had taken place both here and the other castle. The Keyblade Wielder, Sora, defeated both Larxene and Marluxia. In the other castle he witnessed Xigbar, Saix, and Luxord's defeat as well. Xemnas was harder to track seeing as Vexen himself could only assume that their superior had activated the many defenses of the castle and had taken Sora to another realm within the castle. "I don't understand." He grumbled. In actuality he would not be able to make much of a conclusion without knowing the exact fate of his heartless. He set out without any hesitation. He had questions and he would find the answers.
In theory he should be able to access the memories that his Heartless had experienced even if they were slightly skewed due to the animalistic nature of them. Had his Heartless simply resigned itself to return? Had it been defeated? And if so by who? All good questions, but still things he could only speculate. Gathering a few things he decided that the best way to get answers was to research. He grabbed a coat with a hood that would conceal his identity less someone recognize him. Right now he did not need any extra publicity. Walking out into the courtyard of Castle Oblivion he turned back to in momentarily. Would the others wake up after he left or would he return to find them still sleeping? Lifting the hood he covered he face and set off for the half memory of the last place his heartless had been. Twilight Town had not changed; still the same kids running around and the same headaches. The real problem was finding someone who'd know anything. It was then he heard the familiar voice of a boy. It was a deeper voice than the one he'd encountered in the image of this town but he knew it was him. The squawking of his feathered companion made him even more positive of the boy's identity. Turning he caught sight of the brunette youth. Sora. With a wide grin he tugged the hood close to him and approached the boy.
"Gosh, Sora, maybe we should stop by and say hello to Hayner and the gang." The dog-like creature said.
"Yeah. It's been a while." Sora rested his arms behind his head.
"If you are not too busy that you can visit old friends perhaps I could take a moment of your time."
Sora and the other two turned to the sound of the voice. "Who's that?"
Vexen, still unknown to the boy raised his hands. "I mean no harm, but I do have questions." He brought his hands to the hood and lowered it.
Sora must have felt threatened because he summoned his keyblade and prepared to fight. "You!"
Vexen smiled. "I said I meant no harm yet you still feel threatened?" He snickered. "You are much less trusting then when we met in Castle Oblivion."
"What?" Sora lowered his weapon. "But aren't you that Heartless we found at the old mansion here yesterday?"
Curious, Vexen leaned down. "Ah, so it was you that defeated my heartless?"
"Your Heartless?" The duck jumped.
"If he's not the heartless then," The dog brought his finger to his mouth, "He must be the Nobody!"
Shaking his head Vexen laughed. "Wrong again." Taking a step closer he brought a hand to his chest. "I am the original." Glancing down at the Keyblade he continued, "That Keyblade must be the link." Vexen muttered this last bit under his breath.
Sora looked down at the blade, sensing Vexen's stare. "So you are the original?"
"Yes, you see I woke up just yesterday, complete as if nothing had ever happened." His green eyes narrowed. "You see, we did meet at Castle Oblivion, but you most likely have no memory of such a meeting. At that time I was not defeated by you but by Axel."
"Axel?!" The boy jumped. "So were you a member of the Organization?"
Nodding the blonde continued. "I was of its founding members." With a questioning stare he crossed his arms, bringing one hand to his mouth. "You see I had hypothesized that the Heartless and Nobody could be rejoined, but failed to find out how. I think I may have found the answer." He pointed to the Keyblade. "perhaps it has something to do with that keyblade of yours."
The boy looked at his blade.
"However, it is still too soon for me to assume that. I believe I need to research more." He raised his hood again. "Well, then,"
"Wait!" Sora called, his blade still lowered.
"So are you no longer seeking Kingdom Hearts?"
The blonde gave a smile of disgust. "I would never wish to have anything to do with that accursed thing. I am merely seeking answers to my existence." Without another word he turned to leave. "Until we meet again, young Sora." He did not wave and he disappeared down the street.
Sora looked at his companions. "I wonder where he's going?"
"Do you trust him, Sora?" The one known as Goofy asked.
The boy only shrugged. "I don't know, but I didn't get the feeling he wanted to do anything bad."
A week later found Vexen himself in the lands surrounding Beast's castle. After talking with many of the villagers and gathering any information he could he set off for the base of the mountains. The morning fog seemed to blanket the woods below the mountains and a light misting rain fell from the sky. The chill in the air was a crisp and Vexen hugged his coat around him as he climbed the hill. Many of the villagers claimed to have seen something resembling a heartless at the base of the mountain. Five accounts had been made in fact and all speaking of the same area. Vexen wasn't adverse to go tromping around the mountains looking for such a thing, but the odd part about the information he received was that the heartless was always in the same spot. Another funny thing he had learned was that this heartless did not attack anyone, as far as any witness could remember. Some believed that the heartless had not noticed them, but Vexen knew that was a lie. A heartless could sense a heart a mile away and would desire it till it was there's.
Seeing the mist thin he could see the base of the rocky mountain. "Let's see…" He mumbled to himself. "There was a glade around here…" He saw an opening in the dense forest and made for it. As was described to him the woods opened up to a glade that was covered in flowers. The opening buds were glistening with dew and he could feel the cold damp feel of them on his pants as he walked through them. Scanning the area he finally saw, what appeared to be a large shadow in the mist. Taking care not to get distracted by it he walked up the hill to the shadow.
For a week he had traveled the worlds looking for any news of a heartless that appeared more human that most. His initial plan was to find the heartless of one of the other organization nobodies and test his theory. When he'd come to this world he was both surprised and excited to hear the news of just such a heartless. He'd made no assumption as to which it was, and didn't care as long as he could contain them long enough to run a few experiments. Now as he started to make out the figure he felt as if he should have guess. Sitting in the middle of the glade was a man slightly hunched over. Flowers surrounded him as if feeding off him. The tall grass was flattened in a circle where he sat. Pink hair covered his face, but to Vexen he did not need more information to guess whom it was. Feeling even more threatened he slowed his gate and took care to not make any more noise then was necessary. At about ten feet from the Heartless of his former adversary he watched for any acknowledgement. Surly he had made enough noise to warrant some response, but still the heartless did not move.
The blonde scientists thought this all very curious, seeing as how the nobody of this person had been so hostile, it was a shock to see the heartless so docile. Perhaps, something was broken. Nothing ventured, nothing gain, he approached the heartless. "Hello." He said.
The heartless only flinched and then slowly looked up. Sure enough the blue eyes that he recalled stared up at him, but more innocently then he recalled. Instead of flinching as the backlight of the rising sun behind Vexen they widened with wonder.
"Well, Marluxia, it's been some time." Vexen smirked. "I did not expect to find you like this."
The heartless of Marluxia only stared, but the blue eyes took on a sad expression, as if it had been rejected.
"No response?" Vexen asked. "Well, this is rather odd. You are nothing like a proper heartless." He almost laughed. "I suppose a neophyte like you was a failure in every aspect." Reveling in his sweet poetic justice he stared down at the heartless.
Marluxia only seemed more saddened and stared back down at the ground.
The blonde wanted to say more but something about that one action made his chest hurt slightly. Ah, Guilt, now he remembered it. Well, he supposed that seeing such a pathetic expression would give him this feeling. With a heavy sigh he asked, "Are you waiting for someone?"
Marluxia only nodded slowly.
He did not get an answer for this.
"Well, it doesn't look like who you are waiting for is going to come so," He held out his hand, "Why not come with me. I can help you be complete again."
Marluxia looked up and blinked. The blue eyes fell on the hand and slowly he reached for it.
Once Vexen got a hold of him he pulled up the pink haired man. "There."
Marluxia did not let for of the blonde's hand. After a moment he reached toward Vexen with his other hand, right toward his heart.
"Oh no!" Vexen quickly released his hold on the man and covered his chest. "You cannot take my heart."
The other man paused and looked up confused.
"But I can show you how you can get yours back." Vexen smiled knowingly. "Now follow me and we'll see what we can do for you." He turned and began walking down the hill. Looking over his shoulder he saw Marluxia still standing there, staring at him. "If you do not hurry I'm going to leave you." He said and started walking again.
Marluxia, feeling somewhat distressed, ran down the hill. When he neared Vexen he reached out his hand and took Vexen's.
The scientist paused and stared down. Looking back at Marluxia he felt as if he were taking a child from the nest. "I guess it can't be helped." He muttered and continued on.
Back at Castle Oblivion, Vexen began running any tests he could on Marluxia. As far as all the results said he was a normal Heartless. Sitting down he sighed and rubbed his temple. "I can't understand why you're so docile." He grumbled and looked at Marluxia. The heartless was leaning on the opposite desk in the lab looking at him. The blonde couldn't stand the gaze of the other man and turned away. Upon meeting Sora he'd deduced that the keyblade might have some connection with his Heartless and Nobody rejoining. The unfortunate thing about the entire matter was that he had no way to know for sure unless he had Sora test it on a Nobody ad Heartless pair. His eyes drifted to the pink haired man on the desk across the room, who had gone to staring out the window. Marluxia had already been defeated by Sora in his Nobody form so if Sora were to defeat his heartless then perhaps… His thoughts began drifting off when he heard a very distinct and very loud grumble. Looking down he realized it was is stomach making all the noise. "I suppose being normal again has its drawbacks." He sighed and got up.
Seeing the scientist make for the door, Marluxia slid off the desk and followed.
Vexen had long since realized in the last few days that Marluxia did not like being alone. He would follow Vexen every time he left a room and refused to sleep anywhere but in Vexen's room. The first night when Vexen had taken him to an empty room he'd explained to the Heartless that he would sleep there. In the morning he woke up to find Marluxia curled up on his floor. The next night he explained to the child-like heartless again that he would sleep in this room and not Vexen's. The following morning found the heartless on his floor once again. The third night he locked his door, however, when he went to leave his room in the morning he found the heartless asleep in front of it. It wasn't that Vexen was concerned but seeing Marluxia acting such only made him feel guilty. Now a week later he allowed the man to sleep on his floor, with blankets and a pillow this time.
Looking back over his shoulder he watched the man follow him. What an odd creature. He entered the kitchen and started rummaging through the cupboards. Marluxia sat on a stool near the counter and waited quietly. Well, he always was quiet. Ever since he found Marluxia the heartless had not spoken one word. Normally heartless did not speak except for the ones that became conscious Nobodies. It was almost as if the strong side of the original person was transferred to only his Nobody. Vexen made himself a sandwich and sat down across fro Marluxia to eat. After a few bites he looked up at the heartless who watched him intently. "Must you always stare?" He growled.
Marluxia looked down at the counter apologetically.
This only aggravated Vexen more and he handed half of the sandwich to the man. "here."
Confused Marluxia took the sandwich half and stared down at it as if it were the most interesting thing he'd ever seen.
"I doubt a Heartless would care much for real food, but," He stopped as Marluxia began to chew on the sandwich. "Well, that's interesting." He smiled to himself and finished his meal. Placing the dish in the sink he stretched and headed back for the lab. As usual, Marluxia followed, always a few steps behind the blonde man.
The following day Vexen stood outside the castle preparing to leave. "I need to go into town to get a few more supplies so we can run more tests." He explained. "You will wait here. If the villagers saw you they'd get scared and I don't need that kind of headache." Fastening his coat he looked at the man. "Understood?"
Marluxia only stared.
Taking that as a yes he started to leave the castle. A faint sound of footsteps behind him made him pause. Looking over his shoulder he found Marluxia at his heels. "I said to stay here."
The heartless only looked at him.
With an exasperated sighed he pointed to the castle. "Stay here!"
Marluxia looked back at the castle. Slowly he turned back to Vexen and pointed to the ground and then himself.
Vexen nodded. "Yes, stay here." At last it seemed the man finally understood. Taking his leave yet again he was stopped by a tug on his coat. "WHA!" Now even more annoyed he glared back at the heartless, but the expression that awaited him whipped all anger from his mind.
Marluxia seemed frightened and held onto Vexen's coat tightly.
"Why are you," He began and then paused. "I'll be right back." He spoke softly. "You realize that, right?"
The heartless' grip loosened.
Vexen took this opportunity to take the hand off his coat and finally free himself from the grasp. "I'll be right back, so wait here, okay?" He turned to leave again and this time nothing stopped him. He resisted the urge to look back, but the pain in his chest finally won him over and he looked. Marluxia stood on the path just watching as Vexen walked away. He face forward again, and began to wonder if he should really leave the man alone. Even if he returned to find that the Heartless had wandered off he could always find him again, right? Right? Quickening his pace he decided he did not like that thought and opted to make this trip as swift as possible.
The whole way back to the Castle Vexen could not get the sight of the Heartless that looked so abandoned when he left. And on another note why did he even care? Back when they were both Nobodies, Vexen had despised Marluxia, not just for being a neophyte but also an arrogant, conniving bastard. Now, he was worrying about him in such a way it plagued his thoughts. The castle was finally in view and he wondered if the Heartless would still be there. His question was answered when he saw Marluxia sitting on the path right where he'd left him.
At the sound of Vexen's steps Marluxia looked up surprised. When his eyes met the blonde man's they lit up with relief.
"I'm back." Vexen said without thinking.
Quickly the Heartless stood up and prepared to follow the scientist back inside the castle.
"You could have waited inside." Vexen mumbled as they entered the castle. Although, he doubted that Marluxia even understood that he could have waited inside. Pushing the emotions he had welling up in himself aside he went directly to the lab. "All right, lets see if we can figure any of this out tonight." He didn't expect the other man to answer. In reality he wasn't talking about the predicament of Heartless and Nobodies, but about the feelings he had whenever he looked into those blue eyes.
That night Vexen felt as if he never really slept. He tossed and turned constantly trying to get comfortable, but there was always that tight feeling in his chest. Perhaps he was sick. That happens when you're a real person. Rolling on his sighed and breathed deeply. He needed to just try and relax. He was over thinking everything. The strange actions of his Heartless companion had just made him react funny is all. He was beginning the feel sleep drawing near when a feeling of something warm touched his face. Again he felt a blast of warm air. Slowly opening his eyes, he found himself staring into concerned blue eyes. "WHA!" He slid back in the bed, feeling all sense of sleep leave him. "Marluxia, what are you doing?"
"Are you going to leave?" He asked.
"What are you, wait," He sat up. "You just talked."
A hand reached for Vexen. "Are you going to leave me all alone?"
He could not ward off the advance as Marluxia reached for him. "Why would I, Hey, wait a second!" The pin haired man had wrapped his arms around Vexen and the sudden shift in weight made Vexen fall back against the pillow.
"Please don't leave me behind. I don't want to be left behind again." The Heartless' voice was barely a whisper.
"Again?" Vexen tried to adjust himself so that he could sit back up, but he was pinned to the bed completely. Trying to assess the situation he finally gave up on moving and looked down at the man in his arms. "Were you left alone?" He asked.
A nod came in reply, although he could not see the man's face.
"Is that what you were doing in that glade?" He pressed. "Were you waiting for someone, someone who had left you behind?"
Another nod answered.
"Who?" This time Vexen felt the delicate prick of fingernails in his arms and Marluxia clutched him. So that was it. Something must have happened during the process of him becoming heartless. That would explain why he was so docile. As to who had left him he could only make guesses in the dark. Snapping his mind back to the situation at hand he tried to move again. "Marluxia, can you let me up?" He received to response. "Marluxia! Look I said I won't leave you behind so," He paused.
The breathing coming from the Heartless was steady and it didn't take a rocket scientist, though he was close to one, to figure out that the man had fallen asleep.
"Son of a," He muttered and fell back on the pillow. With his one free arm he grabbed the blanket and covered both himself and the sleeping heartless. "That's just perfect. " He glared down at the one in his arms and then sighed. "What am I going to do with you?" He asked himself. "If you don't stop doing things like this I'm only going to get more confused." Closing his eyes he tried to focus on anything but the pounding in his ears. It took him till he almost feel asleep to figure out it was his heartbeat, but by then he was too far gone to realize the reason behind it.
The following morning Vexen woke to the feeling of something very warm and heavy in his arms. Looking down he was woken completely by the sight. Marluxia was fast asleep in his arms and from the looks of it he was very comfortable. The blonde suddenly felt a very tight feeling in his chest and for some reason his face felt like it was on fire. Carefully he tried to adjust himself so he could slip from the sleeping man's grasp, but his movements only succeeded in waking him.
Marluxia's blue eyes fluttered open as he began to stretch. Slowly looking up he gave an expression of happiness before suddenly looking very alarmed. Sitting up he began to stutter out an apology. "I, I'm sorry! I must have fallen asleep." The bright red cheeks he wore only stood out more against his pink hair.
Vexen slid out away from Marluxia and huddled near the wall. "No trouble. You seemed rather scared last night." Why the hell were his cheeks so warm!?
The other man, sensing the discomfort in the air, slid off the bed and stood up. He didn't say anymore.
Finally feeling his chest loosen, Vexen slid off the bed. He ran his fingers through his hair and sighed. "Let's just forget it. In any event it seems you are talking now." He raised a brow. How long had he been able to speak?
Marluxia nodded. "I don't know very much, but I think I can handle the basics." He answered quietly.
With him talking like this is was almost as if the Marluxia Vexen had originally known was back, but seeing him act like this was odd. "Well, no matter." He grumbled. "We have some more tests to run. It seems that you're gaining a better understanding of human routine. This may help with finding the answers we need." He received a nod from his companion. "Well, let us go to the lab and get started." He went to the dresser in the room and pulled off his shirt. Finding a clean one he slid it over his arms and started to lift it over his head when he caught sight of Marluxia staring at him. The man's face was twice as red as before. "What?"
"HUH?!" The man jumped and quickly looked down. "I'll wait outside so you can change." Making a B line for the door he hastily left the room.
Vexen stared at the door for a moment. "What in the…?" Looking down at the shirt he realized that he was standing there half naked, and had been like that a few minutes prior with the man he'd spent the night with. All the blood drained from his face as he went pale, then it came back with a vengeance as his cheeks once again burned. "GHA!" He pulled the shirt over his head and slid the drawer to the dresser shut. "What is wrong with me?" He went to his door and opened it only to find Marluxia on the floor with his knees to his chest waiting patiently. Unable to the look the man in the eye who stared up innocently he fled down the hall. What the hell was his problem? There must be something wrong with him? Irregular heartbeat, sudden heat bursts, and chest pain. What was all that about?
The rest of the day seemed like it would kill him. Marluxia was much more helpful then before, but being too close to him sent Vexen into a fit of pain and heat flashes. He had concluded that by being near Vexen the Heartless was beginning to develop more of a personality, where before he had merely been sitting and waiting as if it was all he knew how to do. Looking over his shoulder he watched as Marluxia gathered all the pages that were printing and arranging them so that Vexen could look them over. There it was again, the pain in his chest. It happened whenever he looked at Marluxia. He vaguely remembered feeling like that ever since he'd found Marluxia and it was getting worse as the day progressed. The Heartless must have done something to him. Maybe he wasn't safe. Going back to his calculations he was almost sure that he knew how to change a Heartless and Nobody back into a Somebody, but he didn't want to rush things. There was still a slight chance he could be wrong. Again he glanced over his shoulder. Even if he was wrong he could always find another Heartless to test it on. Would it be so bad if it went wrong? He turned away again and stared down at the paper in front of him. Marluxia and himself had never gotten along, and…
Marluxia placed the papers next to him. "Is there anything else you want me to do?" He asked. "I can try and make you a sandwich like the one you did yesterday. I remember how."
Vexen look up. "Huh, oh," There was the pain in his chest, right on cue, "that's would be fine."
With an unsure nod the man went to leave the lab.
The blonde watched him leave. Would it be so bad if he were wrong? The questions swirled in his mind, plague him. It seemed like forever when he realized he was still staring at the door, and even though Marluxia was nowhere in sight the pain in his chest had not left him.
That night Vexen lay awake staring at the ceiling. Why was he getting all of these odd feelings? What was the cause? He sighed and sat up. He rested his forehead on his hand and tried to gain a sense of stability in his thoughts. All of this started when he found Marluxia. Was it because the man depended on him? Or was it something else entirely? He heard a gentle moan next to him and stared down at the floor. The man in question had rolled over and knocked the blanket off of himself. Vexen watched him for some time until he realized that Marluxia looked a little cold. Without thinking he got up and picked the blanket off the floor. In one motion he knelt down and covered the sleeping man. Pausing for a moment to look at him he didn't even notice the pain in his chest this time, but he realized just how quiet the room was. In this dark confined space he was merely inches from this other person and some part of him wanted to close even that distance.
Marluxia suddenly rolled his head to the other side, which started Vexen.
The blonde stood up surprised. What was going on with him? Maybe he needed to get away from Marluxia. He should just take the chance and test his theory. One way or another he needed to do something before he got any worse.
Within a couple of days Vexen had decided he needed to try and test out his theory. Marluxia's Heartless stuck to him like clue and every time he was close to him Vexen felt the familiar pain start to rise up. This had to stop. If the experiment worked then he could get ride of this creature and go on about his normal life. He had taken great care in writing the note. Placing it in the envelope he looked over his shoulder at his companion. Marluxia waited patiently. "Now, when he arrives I need you to attack him with all you've got. If you don't he won't get serious either and then we won't be able to turn you back to normal, understand?" He fastened the note onto a bird.
"Good." He went to the window with his messenger bird in hand. Sending the tiny creature off he let a sigh of relief leave him. Soon he would be able to find out if his theory was correct and then, He looked back at Marluxia, he could send this man far away from him.
"When I'm normal again," Marluxia said.
"Hm?" Vexen turned.
"When I am normal again can I still stay with you?" His blue eyes seemed to look through Vexen, and the blond couldn't look him in the eye when he answered. "Perhaps." Trying to shake away that piercing gaze he strolled over to his desk, fiddling with anything to relieve the tension in his body. "Who knows, once you are whole you may not want to stay here. You may want to leave, go back to your home and such."
"Perhaps." He agreed. "But I don't think I will."
Vexen didn't turn nor did he reply. It was best to try to act as if he did not understand the meaning to that sentence. Soon, very soon, he'd be rid of these feelings.
The desired day came about two days later when they found the Keyblade bearer at their front door. Vexen informed Marluxia to allow Sora into the castle and once the boy was in the desired room the man was to strike. Vexen himself waited in the shadows. Sora, Goofy and Donald walked through the halls cautiously. "Where's Vexen? He said he had something important having to do with the Heartless, but," The boy turned to a slightly open door. "Maybe in here."
"Sora, we ought to be careful. Although he's whole now he may not be on our side." Goofy said as he followed the boy.
"Yeah, he may be trying to trick us." Donald agreed.
"Come on guys, we have to try and believe in him. Maybe he's really trying to help." Pushing open the door they found themselves in a large white room. Standing in the center was Marluxia's Heartless, scythe at the ready.
"You must be Sora." The man said.
"A Heartless?" Sora summoned his keyblade.
"Correct. I am the Heartless of one of members of Organization XIII." Although Marluxia looked ready to attack at any moment his expression held no malice.
"Why are you here?" Sora demanded.
"That is not important." Marluxia crouched down, "I am only here to fight you."
"Fight?" Sora readied himself.
"Prepare yourself, Sora!" The link haired man lunged forward.
Sora blocked the attack and quickly struck back. Both opponents held nothing back as they both tried to overtake the other.
Vexen watched the fight from the side. Once Sora defeated Marluxia he'd know if, wait… He'd realized he'd failed to do one thing before initiating this. He'd been so caught up in trying to get Marluxia away from him that he had not found the container in which Marluxia would connect into. Even if this did work he would know unless he found Marluxia complete somewhere in the many worlds. What if it didn't work? Feeling confused and worried he began to ponder over possible failure. If Sora destroyed Marluxia for good, if he'd been wrong the… thoughts of the past few weeks flashed through his mind, Marluxia starting the talk, the fear at being left behind, the subtle comments that he wished to stay with him. All of these things would never be again. They would vanish along with Marluxia. If he was wrong then the pain in his chest would be gone, but so would those small feelings of happiness that he knew he had felt. Even though Marluxia plagued his thoughts, even though he was in pain, it had not been bad. It was simply because he was afraid.
Marluxia stumbled back, scythe falling to the ground. Looking up at Sora he watched as the boy raised his weapon. Looking toward Vexen in his hiding place he smiled.
The blonde could no longer bear it. "WAIT!" Fleeing his place of hiding he called to Sora. "Don't strike!"
Sora paused and glanced at Vexen. "You!"
"Do not use the keyblade on him. He won't attack you anymore." Vexen stepped between Sora and Marluxia who only stared at him surprised.
"What's going on, Vexen?" Sora asked still wielding his blade.
"I apologize. I only wanted to test my theory." Vexen held up his hands.
"Theory?" Donald squawked.
"Yes, you see I believed the keyblade to be the link that would connect both Nobody and Heartless into a whole person again. It seemed the only explanation to why I am here." Placing a hand on his chest he sighed. "That is why I had Marluxia's Heartless attack you. I needed you to seriously use the keyblade on him in order to prove the theory, but" He looked at Marluxia, "I cannot let you do it."
Marluxia stood up, eyes wide. "But this is the only way to see if I can be whole again." The man pleaded.
"I cannot risk it. If I am wrong then you will," He turned away embarrassed.
Sora heard and saw the concern in Vexen. "You don't want to be wrong because if you are he'll disappear into nothing?"
Vexen nodded. "Yes, I, I'll keep researching. I'll be sure before we try it."
"But how can you test it?" Goofy asked scratching his head.
"It does seem like it would be hard to test. In the end you may just have to," Sora began.
"I'll figure something out!" Vexen glared at the boy. His green eyes flared with rage, but suddenly cooled as a hand covered his shoulder.
"Vexen," Said a quiet voice. "It's alright." Marluxia stared at the ground. "I want to try it."
Panicked the blonde man spun around. "You fool if my theory is wrong then,"
"I trust you." Marluxia looked at him.
"You give you're trust too easily!" Vexen growled.
"But I want to be able to be with you." Marluxia said. "If I can be normal than I will no longer be a burden to you.
"I don't even have your Container here so see if it will even work!" Vexen's eyes narrowed with worry.
Marluxia only smiled. "I will find my way back to you, where I wake up at." Reaching out he again covered Vexen's shoulder with his hand. "So please, let me try."
Unable to argue anymore, and too full of emotion to think straight Vexen said no more and only looked away.
Taking that as an agreeing reply Marluxia looked at Sora. "Sora, will you do it?"
The boy nodded.
Marluxia stood before him. Vexen had stepped back still confused and worried.
Raising the keyblade, the boy smiled. "See you later."
The other man only nodded with a smile.
The legendary blade began to glow. The light got brighter as it prepared to unlock to dark heart before it.
Vexen's watched Marluxia, his heart racing.
The light burst from the keyblade and struck Marluxia in the chest. The Heartless stumbled back and then fell to his knees.
Unable to hold himself back anymore Vexen ran to him. "Marluxia!"
Looking up the man smiled. "I'll see you soon," His blue eyes were already becoming transparent, "Vexen."
He reached for the man, but the blonde's hand went straight through him as he faded to nothing. For the first time he prayed that he was not wrong. Standing he simply stared at the spot Marluxia had once been.
"He'll come back." Sora said.
Vexen nodded. "Thank you for your help, but I would like to be alone now."
Sora nodded and with a nod from his companions he turned to leave. "Vexen?"
The blonde turned to him.
"When he comes back can you let me know?"
The man nodded. "I will." He turned away again.
The three friends left the blonde to wait.
"Do you think he'll be alright?" Goofy asked.
Sora smiled. "I think he will be when Marluxia comes back." Leaving the castle the boy topped to look back. "See, now that he has a heart it would be hard for him to be the way he was before."
"Yeah, I guess he can't be bad now." Donald agreed. How right they were. The blonde scientist, once full of nothing by anger and malice toward others, was now consumed by feelings so deep that would wait the next few days in worry till the one he longed for returned to him.
Days later Vexen was in his lab obsessing over his calculations. Everything lined up but he was still worried. Marluxia had not sent word or come to the castle yet. Perhaps he would sleep a while like Vexen had. Growling angrily at the papers in front of him he stood up and stalked over to the window. "This is hopeless." He mumbled. Staring into the grassy planes that surround Castle Oblivion he waited. It was so quiet now, before there had always been a presence with him. It was funny how the one creature he had hated so much was now the only person he wanted around. Before he had needed no one, cared about no one even before when he was an apprentice. Not wanted to remember the days before he sighed. Wind swept over the grass and for an instant he though he spotted something amongst it, on the path. Standing upright he stared hard. Yes, there it was again. As it neared the castle he could begin to make up more. Seeing that familiar pink color he felt his heart race and fled the lab. Bursting out he doors he ran down the path a ways until he could finally see him.
Marluxia walked up the path. As if sensing Vexen he looked up and with a grin, similar to the one Vexen remembered as a Nobody yet still soft as the Heartless he'd known, he called out. "Miss me?"
Vexen knew all at once that this was the complete Marluxia. The same confident and defiant expression mixed with the softness of having a heart. Quickly guarding his expression he narrowed his gaze. "What took you so long? I was starting to think you were gone."
Marluxia stopped in front of him and laughed. "Did you miss me?"
The blonde sneered at him and with a quick turn he walked back to the castle. "Not really. I only wanted to see if my experiment worked." He said that but he strained his ears to see if footsteps followed him. They did and he smiled to himself as he began to ponder how he would inform Sora of their success.
"Vexen, can I still sleep in your room?" Marluxia asked playfully.
"You're a big boy now, you can sleep in your own room." The blonde called back annoyed.
"Awww," Marluxia whined, "but I missed you so much!"
"Stop joking around and come inside!" Vexen snapped back and closed the door once the other man entered.