Roxas finds himself wishing he had faded away. Even oblivion would be better than this half-life, this non-feeling.

Sure, it doesn't seem too hard in itself. He has a body, a face, a heart – but no control. The emotions are separate from his, the sensations, the actions… There is the longing to move, to breathe, all of his own accord, but he is nobody, and everything is governed by Sora simply because he has a heart.

Roxas probably could've taken that nightmare for the rest of Sora's lifetime. But the gods are ever unforgiving, laughing sadistically at the trivial troubles of mortals.

In front of Roxas, they dangle Namine on a string, so close but so out of reach.

There is pain, pain, pain in every second Sora spends by Kairi's side. Because in Roxas's (borrowed) vision, her hair flickers red-blonde-red-blonde, and her features sharp-soft-sharp-soft. Kairi's full grin momentarily shifts to Namine's soft, serene smile, and Roxas hates having to live with that. He wants Namine all the time. There is no distinction between where Kairi ends and Namine begins, and he hates it. Hates it even more than the half-life he lives, than the feelings he cannot feel.

Namine, at least, he thinks, should run free, feel the wind on her face, the crunch of the sand underneath the soles of her feet, the occasional lick of the waves as she walks along… Namine is vibrant and beautiful and perfect; she does not deserve to be a mere half, a nothing. Not when she's everything.

Sora reaches out for Kairi, cradles her in his arms, forcing Roxas to follow along. Anger washes over him cruelly and brutally. He does not love this girl with her grins and giggles and gaiety, her silly little fairytale life, her 'damsel in distress' persona. He doesn't want to touch her! He refuses to be faithless to Namine, with her soft smiles, quiet laughter, inner brilliance, independence, and silence. Never.

Finally, Kairi's hair flickers platinum, and for a split second, all is well in Roxas's half-world. Then he realizes the arms holding Namine are not his. They're Sora's. Jealousy replaces anger, stronger and more powerful than anger could have ever hoped to be.

Namine is his. His.

Sora should not be touching her, taunting him.

Namine is MINEMINEMINEMINE, let go of her, damnit!

How could he be heartless if his (Sora's) chest threatens to explode?

Are his feelings a sad mockery of the way Sora feels for Kairi?!

No! His love is not, never was, a shadow of Sora's for Kairi's. Sora's love is gentle, content – the steady flow of the river, nurturing and chaste. Sora's love is alien to the passion Roxas feels.

What Roxas feels for Namine is wildfire, conflagration at its finest! Together they burn, they explode, putting to shame the sun and the stars! With Namine, Roxas is alive; dancing, burning, so close to complete.

It is even worse knowing that he had the chance once. That once, they were themselves and close and within reach. They could have been. He could have run away with her, run away from everything… Screw the worlds. He could have had her in his (not Sora's) arms. Carpe diem. Seize the day. Why the hell didn't he?

Kairi-Namine looks up at Sora, and carpe diem, he gently ducks down to place his lips to hers. The feeling is new, foreign, wonderful. Jealousy and anger tango in Roxas's (non)heart, painful and aching and never going away.

Why?! Why forsake me the only thing I've ever had? Roxas wishes he could cry his own tears, be his own man, have his own heart. Soon, Sora and Kairi will be wed. Have children, happy lives…

The implications of bearing children slaps Roxas in the face.

You think this is bad? sneer the gods. One day, they'll make love.They'll burn together, explode, conflagrate. And oh, children and contentment do follow… Sora can make your Namine happier in ways you never could hope to. And maybe she'll love him instead of you, because these are his actions, his will, aren't they? You will never have her.

Sora, immeasurably happy and content, is surprised to find tears rolling down his cheeks.

(How can I be heartless when I love, feel like this?

Because Namine IS your heart, to be forever dangled in front of you, untouchable and magnificent.

Ah, yes.)

Author's Notes: Because I've fallen for Roxas x Namine, and they deserve so much more than living within Sora and Kairi.