Kingdom Hearts II
Notes: The characters are not mine and this ficlit is. Kudos if anyone gets what inspired this piece. And this does not take place in my main timeline, even though the events of said timeline have happened here. It was a plunnie that came very strongly and would not leave. It's more of an exploration of Cloud's feelings in this scenario than anything else.
It was still hammering through his mind.
His heart was pounding in his ears. Blood was rushing through his veins.
When he had first been told, he had not been able to process it. He had heard the words, but it had been through a dense fog. And he had stood there for a long moment, struck deaf and dumb. There had to be some mistake. Maybe it was just "gone" as in "and coming back." But he knew the truth. There was no coming back.
He lashed out with his sword, cutting down one of the figures in the shadows. It shrieked in pain as it collapsed, but he barely heard.
He's gone. He's not coming back.
His own voice was echoing around him from the near past. When he had finally found it, it had been strained, filled with disbelief and denial.
"He can't be gone! He said he wouldn't die! He said he wouldn't . . ."
The brunet looking back at him could scarcely stand it. The lavender eyes were filled with more pain than any one person should have to bear.
"He couldn't make a promise like that. . . ."
Zack's voice had cracked. And Cloud had felt something breaking inside himself.
The blade slashed, delivering another fatal strike. The monsters had to be stopped. They had to be killed, every one of them. . . .
One clawed at him, barely missing his chest. He dodged, slicing through fur and flesh with the deadly weapon. The past was crashing through his mind. He was immersed in two separate times.
He was entering a tournament, walking to his hotel. He was all alone, by his choice. But someone had been watching him.
"Are you happy, Cloud?"
He was preparing to battle in the Olympic Coliseum. He had to get stronger, no matter what it took. And he had found someone for whom he had been searching. He had wanted to defeat the other no matter what he had to do to accomplish it. As far as he was concerned, he was fighting himself, his darkness.
"If that's true, I'll drag you into the darkness."
He was drowning in his hatred.
"You turn your back on the present and live in the past. The light of the present is too much."
Another fell, and another. The blue eyes were flashing with fire. He whirled to face the next opponent. They kept coming, and he would keep defeating them. That was how it would be until they were all dead.
He was kneeling next to a badly torn body, feeling so numb. The dragon had done it. The other was not part of him.
"Don't look at me like that. I don't need your pity."
He was tending to the man who, having been his hated enemy, was now so helpless. And he had still been angry.
"Oh? You have the right to judge me, Cloud?"
He was discovering that the other was not at all like what he had believed.
"Maybe . . . I'm too human."
"I know I'm a burden on you."
"I don't know how to repay you, Cloud."
The bodies were strewn around him in the street, the creatures all dead or dying. He was standing in the center, breathing heavily, the sword clutched in his hands. Something still did not feel right. A final shadow was illuminated in the light from the lamppost. He turned just in time as the beast flew at him from above.
He raised the blade, stabbing into the monster's stomach. It screeched. With a sharp turn, he flung the limp form off of the sword and let it crash to the ground. Crimson dripped from the tip, beginning to pool near his feet. Finding a small crevice in the road, the red substance filled it, traveling to where he was standing.
He was hearing his former enemy plead for his life.
"He's young. He has a good deal of his life ahead of him. He deserves another chance."
And coming to check on him when he was injured.
"I came because I wanted to make sure you're alright."
And getting hurt for his sake.
"That's what happens when people care about each other, Cloud."
That's what happens . . .
It happens . . .
The sword stabbed into the ground, sending the already splitting asphalt into further chaos. "Shut up!" The blond's voice was strangled, echoing through the lonely night. His face twisted in pain. "Shut up!"
He fell to his knees, shaking, still gripping the hilt as if everything depended on it.
Only the dying creatures heard his scream.
He leaned forward, resting his forehead against his clenched hands. His shoulders were trembling. He had not known it was possible to feel such anguish. Especially over him . . .
A hated enemy . . .
A mentor . . .
Something clear splashed onto the asphalt.
It was not raining.