AN: Okay, I admit it: I'm weak. I thought of this story a few days ago, and I meant to save it for when school started. But I just couldn't. It was too tempting an idea. I should say that this is going to be a nice, long story. Every chapter is going to be a different world. Except for Atlantica. There is going to be NO Atlantica, because that is a pussy world in KHII.
I hope you guys like this story as much as I like the idea. I worked really hard on this, even though it's just the prologue. The actual first chapter might not be for a while because I still have stuff to do and I never really intended to post this now. I hope you understand. Rest assured, once school starts I will work on it steadily.
Disclaimer: I don't own it
"Let's meet again, in the next life." Roxas nodded. Unable to think of anything profound to say, he simply said the first thing he could think of:
"Yeah; I'll be waiting." The chuckle that escaped Axel's throat as the tendrils of dark closed around him was sad, and it didn't go without affecting him even though in all sense it shouldn't.
"Silly," the redhead said lowly, so quiet it was almost drowned out by the rushing of darkness the Nobody was using to escape. "Just because you have a next life…" He trailed off and disappeared into the darkness he had summoned, leaving Roxas alone in the small, dark room.
The blonde looked around nervously, spotting the door on the other side of the room. He hurried to it and found himself in a mercifully light room. He breathed a sigh of relief and leaned against the wall to catch his breath. He had never been a fan of darkness, of being alone, even in his Nobody days. Admittedly, he couldn't remember much about that time, but he remembered enough to know that it was always dark and cold. Even Axel, his best friend, had never done much to soothe the natural soul-sucking blackness of that world.
Roxas took a deep breath and opened his eyes, not remembering ever closing them. The room he was in was bright, just like he'd noticed before. But it was no less foreboding than any of the other rooms in that creepy mansion.
Several tanks of unknown use lined the wall, one of them even blocking the way into a room so brightly lit he couldn't see what was inside. They were shaped vaguely like eggs. Roxas wondered what could have been inside them as he slowly made his way along the wall. He stopped at two that harbored figures he recognized.
"Donald…Goofy…" He stared in awe at the two he had seen before, in his supposed memories, but had never really met. Both were frozen in a position of sleep, a look of utter peace upon their faces. It was surreal, staring at them like this, and he couldn't help but envy them a little bit. They probably had no worries at all in this world, being completely oblivious to the world around them. Roxas would give anything for that; he could literally feel himself shaking with the thought of what was about to happen.
He spotted a door at the end of a short hallway, but it might as well have been a mile long for how much he wanted to go through it. He had a feeling that was where his "goal" lay; or rather, the goal everyone else had set for him. He wasn't keen on the idea of disappearing forever, and no matter what Namine told him he knew that was what was about to happen. Whoever this Sora was, he had no desire to become him. And he absolutely refused to believe that at one point he was a part of him. No matter what anyone told him, he couldn't imagine ever being anyone but himself.
Roxas cast a sort of longing glance back in the direction he came. He wondered if anyone would stop him, if he tried to run now. Namine said that it was his destiny to join with Sora, so there was a good chance someone would try to make him so what he dreaded. Those guys that had captured Namine seemed to want him to join with Sora, and he had no doubt one of them would chase him if he ran. And he didn't want to live out the rest of his life in hiding.
He took a deep breath as he stared at the painfully normal-looking door. Somehow, he expected the door to something so life-altering to be a little more…memorable. But it was so horribly plain that it was maddening. The irrational idea of destroying it entered his mind, but he banished it. This whole situation was messing with his head, and he couldn't say with any certainty that he wasn't going nuts. If there was any chance of that, he wanted to postpone the madness as much as possible.
Roxas gulped in air like water as he made his slow way down the endless hallway. The door slid upward as he approached, making him jump. He peered through cautiously to the other end, but all he could see was pure blackness with a small spot of light at the very end. He shuddered and backed up a step. He couldn't go in there; he just couldn't.
He hugged himself tightly as he tried to keep from looking into the dark room again. He didn't want to do this, and he hated the dark. If these people wanted him to join with Sora so badly, they should have made it somewhere well-lit. He wasn't going to do it now; he could just wait here until someone decided to come looking for him. If anyone came looking for him…
It was depressing to think that there was probably nobody who would come looking for him. Nobody in Twilight Town seemed to be able to see him anymore, and Namine had been captured by the guy wrapped in red and the one in the black cloak. They might come after him, but he was pretty sure he didn't want to have to face the kind of motivation they would have in store for him.
Groaning, Roxas held out his hands and summoned the two Keyblades he had used to fight Axel. They emitted a faint glow that did little to lessen the darkness as he inched forward slowly, but their presence was comforting. Even though he knew there was no real danger, he felt better when he was on his guard.
The room he emerged into was filled with light like the one Roxas had just left, for which Roxas was grateful. There was one large pod in the center of the room, instead of several along the wall. Roxas knew Sora was just inside, though he couldn't see into it like the others. It was sealed tightly shut. The Keyblades disappeared as he stared at the containment chamber, waiting for something to happen.
"At last, the Keyblade's chosen one." Roxas whirled around and found the man in red that had taken Namine, standing only a few feet away from him. He scowled at the remark, sure the man was trying to make fun of him.
"Who are you talking to?" he growled. "Me? Or Sora?"
"To half of Sora, of course," the man answered shortly. "You reside in darkness. What I need is someone who can move about the realm of light and destroy Organization XIII." Roxas shivered at the thought that he would reside in darkness, and a cold anger washed over him. This man, whoever he was, didn't know a thing about him. All he wanted was Sora, and he didn't care if Roxas was sacrificed for it.
"Why? Who are you?" He demanded. If he was going to go down, he was going with all the information he could get. He couldn't help but think that this man owed him for the life he was about to take. A name was a small price to pay.
"I am a servant of the world." The man laughed. Roxas wanted to hit him, for laughing at such a time. "And if I'm a servant, you should consider yourself a tool, at best." Roxas stared at the man, anger replaced by shock for a second before it returned full force. He was making fun of him!
"Was that…what that supposed to be a joke?" Every fibre of his being shook with anger, and his Keyblades formed unbidden in his hand, responding to their master's emotions. "'Cause I'm not laughing!" He rushed forward towards the man, who seemed disinclined to move despite the anger of the boy in front of him. He sliced at him, so angry and desperate to teach him a lesson. But instead of the satisfying thump of a body, the high-pitched sound of reforming data rang in his ears. Roxas straightened, the shock apparent on his face as he saw the unharmed man.
"My apologies," the man said, turning towards him. He didn't sound remorseful at all. "This is only a data-based projection." The anger swelled in Roxas again, this time at the unfairness of it all. This man wanted to steal his life away from him, and he couldn't be allowed one hit? It bubbled up from his throat like bile until he had to let it out as a scream, and then began hacking away at the man-or, rather, the projection. He knew it was futile, and he knew he was only hurting himself, but he couldn't help it. He had so much anger, so much hate built up that he felt if he didn't let it out somehow he would explode. With every blow to that damned projection, that high-pitched scrambling data sounded harshly on his ears. That just made him angrier, and he continued his mad slashing until the projection finally disappeared.
Roxas slumped, breathing hard. He was glad to be rid of that guy, even if it was only a projection. No; especially since it was only a projection. If he couldn't hurt the guy, it was better not to have him around. He could figure this stuff out on his own, without the help of whoever that bastard was.
He heard the sound of scrambling data once more and straightened, whirling around. The projection had reformed itself, closer to the pod than before. It raised its hand and beckoned to him.
"Come over here," it ordered, still all business despite the burning glare it was receiving. Roxas ground his teeth together angrily at just the sight of it.
"I hate you so much…" he growled. He wasn't exaggerating a bit. This man-even just the projection of this man-deserved every fibre of hate he had in his body. He was playing with people's lives; namely, his. Maybe he thought he could get away with it, but Roxas would not go without a fight.
"You should share some of that hatred with Sora. He's far too nice for his own good." The man's tone was light and humorous. He was making fun of him again, over something that was decidedly unfunny.
"No!" Roxas cried loudly, scaring even himself by the ferocity put into just that one word. "My heart belongs to me!" He sliced at the projection again, and this time it disappeared on the first time. The capsule in the center of the room began to glow and lines split down the sides where it would open. Roxas back up a few feet to avoid being hit as the pieces fell with the gentleness of flower blossoms and the figure inside was revealed.
Inside, a boy that was about his own age floated on seemingly nothing, waves of data flowing behind him. His hair was spiky and brown, which made Roxas wonder if Nobody's were supposed to look nothing like the people they once were. He certainly didn't, if he could remember himself correctly. He had been expecting a sort of mirror-image of himself, despite the dreams, but this boy could have been a stranger for how much they looked alike. He had to correct himself on that; technically, Sora was a stranger to him.
The Keyblades disappeared again as he stared at Sora's sleeping, serene face. He bit his lip as sadness surfaced inside of him. This was really it; he would join with Sora and cease to exist as Roxas. And there would be nobody to remember him in this world. The most he would be was Sora's Nobody, and then he would be barely a whisper exchanged in passing. He would be nothing anymore; even those he called friends completely forsaking him.
Roxas sucked in air through his clenched teeth. He couldn't think about that now. Now was the time to focus on what to do; how he was supposed to fuse with Sora. No matter what he did, he would be forgotten. And even if he ran now, that man was certain to come after him very quickly. It probably wouldn't be a projection the next time, and, since the adrenaline had faded, he wasn't so sure he could take him anymore. Especially now; now, he just felt tired.
There was a piece of the pod that had fallen directly in front of him, like a ramp leading up to the figure inside. Roxas made his way slowly up, keeping a wary eye out for anything that might aide him. When he was standing in front of Sora, he stopped. He was nervous about the whole thing as it was, but what if it didn't work? What if Sora never woke up and Roxas couldn't join with him? The man said it himself, he couldn't use Roxas to defeat Organization XIII. So what would they do if they couldn't have the one they needed?
Roxas reached out a hand tentatively, hovering it just above Sora's bobbing shoulder. He noticed he was shaking a little, but whether it was from the residual effects of his adrenaline rush or from his nervousness now, he couldn't honestly say.
"Sora?" He said uncertainly, touching only the very tips of his fingers to the clothed shoulder. The waved of data behind the brunette ceased to function, much to his surprise, and Sora's feet touched the ground for a second before he slumped. Instinctually, Roxas reached out to grab him and hoist him upwards so that his head rested on the blonde's shoulder and he had a good grip around Sora's waist.
Roxas soon found that the boy was slow to waking, as it took several minutes of sleepy moans and sighs that were almost yawns before the eyes were fluttering open and taking in their surroundings. Roxas was shocked to find that Sora's eyes were the same deep blue that his were. He had always loved the shade of his eyes, because it was such a pure, true blue. He hadn't thought anyone would ever have the same eyes. Though, it was probably silly to be so surprised about something like that when referring to someone whom he supposedly used to be.
Sora's eyes traveled to his neck, at eye level, and then met with his own, widening inquisitively. He pushed himself out of Roxas' embrace, to stand beside him, but kept one hand on his shoulder for balance. Still the questioning glance remained on him.
"Hello…" Sora said uncertainly. Roxas only nodded, feeling awkward. He never thought he would have to deal with this; he was under the impression he would have fused with the boy by now. But apparently, it didn't seem to be working out very well.
"Where am I?" Sora asked lightly, looking around. Roxas didn't think he could explain it very well, so he simply shrugged. Saying he was "In the old mansion" might not harbor any results at all. If anything would, leaving this mansion would be the best course of action. Sora removed his hand and fixed Roxas with a strange look.
"Can you speak?" He said, frowning. Roxas barked out a small laugh unintentionally, startling both Sora and himself.
"Y-yeah," he said uncertainly. He didn't know what he'd been expecting, but when Sora asked if he could speak it made him really wonder if he could. He would hate that to be a side effect of Sora awakening; that he couldn't speak anymore. It felt like a horrible handicap to have. "Um…I'm Roxas. And you're Sora, aren't you?" Sora nodded, silently staring at Roxas until he shifted his feet uncomfortably.
"What?" He asked, slightly annoyed. Sora shook his head slowly.
"Nothing, just…you look a little familiar. Have we met before?" With only a second's pause, Roxas shook his head.
"No, we haven't. But…" He held out his hand to Sora awkwardly. "I think we could be good friends if you give me a chance." Sora stared at his hand for a few seconds before a grin broke out on his face. He shook Roxas' proffered hand eagerly.
"Definitely," he said brightly. Roxas smiled.