A/N: Sometimes when we watch a movie we want a different ending for it, because the original one just outright SUCKS. This is how I tried to give these babies a different (better) ending. At least it isn't as bad as the original one… By the way, this was written before anyone had ever heard of Xion. So I'm pretty much ignoring her existence. As I do in all my stories. Oh, well… Maybe I'm just jealous…. XD
Summary: The last moments for Roxas and Axel. Roxas POV
Disclaimer: They don't belong to me, yadda yadda yadda… And life is not fair!
There were a few moments when I swear I could feel it for real. The way he looked at me... The way he used to talk to me (when he wasn't trying to show off), full of some kind of... Well, it was different from anything anyone had ever done or said to me back then and there. I was so intent on finding out the truth that I ignored most of these signs. They were there all the time, I guess, but I was just too busy to notice them. Or maybe I didn't want to see. I can't decide even now. But they were there. Things happened, time passed by, and before I took notice, they were already a part of my days. He and those signs.
After I left, it felt like there was a piece of me still there with him. A part of me that had the chance to grow up thanks to those signs of affection. And it was hell, I say, to be all by myself after getting used to have him by my side every single second of the day. I used to wake up sweating and panting, strange dreams chasing me. Dreams where I tried to reach him, but an invisible wall separated us. We were both trying to grab each other's hands, but it was impossible. These dreams haunted me day and night. And I kept asking myself the same question over and over: do nobodies have the right to dream?
…Roxas… You do have a heart, don't you? While Naminé and I… We don't really have hearts, do we?...
Were Axel and Naminé right? Do I really have a heart and they don't? During those waking moments, it felt like I did have a heart. It ached and screamed. And I had tears too. Too many of them, every time I would wake up. The small place where that supposed heart belonged was now even more cold and darker, an empty space inside my chest. All I had to fill it up were tears. I knew tears. They first found me when I had just entered the Organization. I missed something and I didn't know what it was. He said to me he would help me to find it. Little did he know that what I needed, what I missed, was with him all the time.
Yeah… He did help me.
He helped me to find my heart. Showing me the way to his.
But what does it mean to have a heart? Is it something physical, which you can grab and squeeze to see if it makes some kind of sound? Or is it purely essence? Was I right to think that, if you can't see, you can't feel it either? I was still in doubt, but I tried to tell him the way I could that if he felt any of the things I did, he might have a heart too. But I don't think he ever understood that. That we both had feelings. That we both could have hearts.
When we were together, there were a multitude of different feelings and sensations between me and him, as impossible as it could be. Or as all the others tried to make it seem. And there were too many others around us, all the time. Around me. But I was never comfortable with any of them. Just with him. And it seemed to be just the same for him. Too many faces, but none of them really significant. Only mine to him and his to me.
It took him quite some time to get me to trust him. Actually, I know now I never really trusted anyone but him. And he never gave up on me. He could have done it so easily at the beginning. And especially at the end, when I was so pissed off with everything that I would drive him crazy with my terrible temper or my acidic comments. The eternal hide and seek I forced him to play just to be with me for a few precious seconds only to have me run away again when he wasn't looking. Boy, I surely made things difficult for him.
There were times when I caught myself thinking how it would be if I just let it go. If I gave in to his advances. I wasn't so innocent or focused on myself to be blind enough and not see what he truly wanted or needed from me. It just felt... Awkward... Like having a table full of food in front of you, but you don't have a stomach? You just don't know what to do with it. You're awfully curious about how it would taste. But at the end, it doesn't really matter whether you can eat it or not. It's not going to feed you anyway.
The purest form of anger took me up when he told me not to leave the organization. He KNEW it was important to me. I still don't know if he was worried about me or just being plainly selfish. I told him no one would miss me just to hurt him. I didn't expect to get hurt as well when I heard him say he would. Even though he never knew I'd heard that. And that was the first time I felt tears again after truly having him (and accepting him, above all) as a friend. My best friend.
I thought over and over about one of the talks we had after I left. He seemed so… Worried. Disappointed. Maybe even hurt. That wasn't the Axel I knew. Or maybe he just tried to hide that part of him from me. Or from anyone else. I'd never seen him like that. And to be true, I kinda missed that always cheerful attitude he used to have towards me. It would have been helpful. Am I that selfish? And if I am, that means that he and Naminé WERE right. Supposedly, without hearts, you can't be selfish, or angry, or surprised, or anxious, or… Sad… And for a long time now, I'd been feeling all these things. Somehow, I believe I saw reflected in his eyes all those emotions too. But were they just reflections of mine, or were they really inside him?
…I'm sure Sora will find the answer. Because he's me…
…Yes, that's true…
I so wanted him to say that it wasn't true. That me and Sora, we were different persons. I wanted the illusion that I was someone else. Someone that deserved a life, a home, friendship… Love. Any kind of love.
…Everyone… Hayner, Pence, Olette… I hope they're okay...
…You should go and see them again, looking for your answer…
He told me to go find my friends and see if they were okay. I liked them... But Axel... He was especial. I wanted him to tell me then that he still wanted me to stay by his side. That he was the only friend I had ever really needed. To tell me why all those things were inside me, confusing me. To tell me he just felt the same. Maybe then... And just then... I could give up about my endless pursue for the truth and resist a little more. Try for that chance to be happy by the side of the only one that ever comprehended me. The only one that would cry for me…
…See you, Axel…
…See you, partner…
That was our last goodbye face to face. Our time together was over. Things started to change too fast. I was with Sora again. Fighting my way with him to save the world and his friends. But not even for a single moment I forgot him, his face, his hair, his eyes, his voice saying he would miss me with such sadness. During the whole fight with the dusks I was there, with both of them. I saw him risking his life for Sora/me. I saw him losing his strength flame by flame. And I could do nothing but to watch behind Sora's eyes. I had to see him fade away. My screams died without ever reaching his ears. I desperately tried to claw my way out of Sora's body. I never knew one could feel such excruciating pain. I saw my real heart break into pieces so tiny they could be mistaken for stardust. I wanted to rip my throat open if that was going to make my voice leave Sora's body and give him what comfort I could in those last moments. 'Cause I KNEW those were our last moments together. The last time I would see those grass-green eyes and the flame-red hair. My soul, or whatever I had close to one, wished it could fade away with him, mixed into those black wisps of his essence, his energy, his power, that left each one of his fingers and disappeared into thin air.
But all of a sudden, something happened. For a brief moment it was there. He had recognized me inside Sora's eyes. And I saw it. He loved me.
And I loved him too.
Always had. Axel's voice still rang in my ears…
…I wanted to see Roxas. He… Was the only one I liked…He made me feel… Like I had a heart…
I wondered what else he wanted to say to me and didn't have the strength to do so. As weak as he must've been, he opened the portal with the last remnants of his power and sent Sora/me away, and then… He was gone. Just gone, like he had never existed. Gone, like that. The only thing I wanted was to hold his hand one more time. Tell him that I didn't only make him feel he had a heart. He had one. Mine.
All I could wish during those last moments was that he would keep the promise he made me last time we fought.
...Let's meet again in the next life...
…I will be waiting…
…Silly. Just because you have a next life…
Yes, I WILL be waiting. But he was wrong about one thing. I didn't have a life. I can't call it living if I don't have him with me. He was my true heart. And I would have gladly gone with it if only I could. Gone with him. It would have been blissful oblivion. If only I had him. But that was impossible now, wasn't it?
The pain wouldn't leave. The anger wouldn't leave. The tears were back and they wouldn't leave too. I existed solely because of Sora. It was all because of Sora. If it weren't for him, for his stubbornness and his stupid friends, NOTHING of this would have happened. Axel would still be here. I might not have known him, but he would still be here. He would still be showing off that mane of red hair of his. He would still be that flirty sarcastic damned asshole he'd always been. He would still… But he wasn't anymore…
My world became a circle of fury and speed, and I still don't know exactly how it happened, but I was there, fighting Sora. I wanted to understand why. Why did he have to have it all and the only thing I ever truly needed was taken away from me, because of him! The only true friend I'd ever had died BECAUSE OF HIM!
He was good, but I was still better. I took his keyblade away from him with such ease, pinning it under mine. And he still tried. How could he not give up when facing obvious defeat? He managed to get it back, much to my surprise, using only the power of his heart, getting ready to battle again. From where did all that power come from? From his friends?
Did his friends mean so much to him? Maybe as much as…
Axel meant to me.
Sora was smarter. He fought for his friends. Even if they weren't fighting for him.
And all I did was leave mine when he asked me to stay.
Yes… He deserved to be the real one.
I wasn't confused anymore. I could finally rest, because I seen what Axel seen.
…Funny… You make me feel the same…
…You make a good other…
I was walking cheerfully, whistling some old song, and thinking over all the things that had happened to me during the last two years. It was my first day at school after all had ended. Everything was back to normal. Kairi, Riku and me, finally back home. I missed Donald, Goofy and the King, and all the friends I'd made, but I knew how things would be. My greatest challenge now was to catch up with classes, but that was ok, I had my friends to help me. I was almost getting to school when Kairi waved to me, her school uniform matching mine. Riku met us at the school gates and we entered the building, happy to be together again.
We were in the middle of a math exercise during first period when the principal came in with a paper fold under his arm, motioning for someone obviously hiding behind the classroom door to enter. A boy around his 17 years old with spiked red hair, the most perfect acqua-green eyes I had ever seen, tear-drop tattoos under his eyes and a flashing smile entered the room, but stayed silent. My heart leapt inside my chest… He couldn't be… Could he?
"Students, this is your new classmate. Even though he is older than you, he is going to stay in this class because he's spent the last two years very, very sick and away from school. I hope you'll help him through this and be good friends. Say welcome to him."
A muffled laughter came from one of the chairs at the back of the room, followed by a teasing whisper.
"Yeah… Welcome, coma boy…"
The "coma boy" quickly scanned the classroom to find the origin of the comment. When he found it, he smiled from ear to ear and pointed his finger up to the kid.
"I'm not 'coma boy', alright? My name's Lea. L-E-A! Got it memorized?"
While I was blinking in half astonishment, half confusion, he asked the teacher to take a seat and started walking, all cat-like grace and right to my direction. He stopped close to me, we crossed looks and he winked at me, pointing over his shoulder to the desk by my right side.
"Is this seat taken?"
A/N: In Birth By Sleep, Lea doesn't have the tattoos, but in the official artwork from the game they are there, and I chose to keep them. Also, I considered Sora to be 15 at the ending scene of the fic, so Lea probably should be about 2 years older than him. If I'm wrong, well, hell, I'm sorry... It's called poetic license... ^_^