Disclaimer: I don't own Dissidia or its—what's the legal opposite of derivative?—works. Originative? Eh, sounds good.

'Dissonant' contains no spoilers. I do hint at certain points in the plot, but nothing world-ending (though I guess I shouldn't really talk about worlds ending, what with Chaos and everything). Just to keep things lively, I took some liberties with some people. But that's why fanfiction's so much fun, right?

Please enjoy, and tell me what you think!!


Chapter Zero: Cacophany

He doesn't have a name, the one we found last. Not a real one, at least.

We found him washed up like he'd been pulled in by the tide, wearing silks and gleaming gilded blue armor and embroidered linen. He was from one of the old worlds. Not that clothes are a perfect guess—Zidane disproved my theory when we found him, and Terra along with him—but they're good for a general rule.

But like before, it just took one look into his eyes and we knew exactly who he was. The Warrior of Light.

By then, we already had someone running around with a weird not-name—Onion Knight, or just 'Kid' sometimes, because he was even shorter than the aforementioned Zidane—so we decided on Hikaru. For short, because Warrior of Light is a mouthful on the best of days. And it made him sound he wasn't a person at all.

Unlike everyone else, I didn't actually want to be here. I just wanted to go home.

Some hero, right?

Who was I kidding. I was here because I wanted to be. Because a part of me—the Zack part of me—got a special kind of high from doing the right thing.

Hot water feels the same to tired muscles, whether they're victorious or failures. Whether it comes from a gold tap or a rust-spewing iron one. The cantankerous showerhead steaming my muscles to exhaustion was one of those. This whole building was definitely from my world. Dark. Soulless. Midgar.

Not Edge. Edge had been a happy place, even though I had never quite figured out how to be happy there.

Because it was happy, Edge didn't merit any representation here in the synthesized dregs of the Zero World. That's where I was now.

Greyed-out wood and threadbare carpeting, empty walls filled my life just as it had so long ago. Every building was like the next, even the one we had (maybe illegally) taken for our own.

There were only nineteen other real people in the Zero World and ten of them were out to kill me. One of them was him. The other nine were incomprehensible.

That nameless bright-haired swordsman, straight from bedtime story clichés. A rebel of some sort, with more enthusiasm than I ever had in AVALANCHE. An orphan kid too young to really know what battle meant. A darkened knight, perhaps a kindred soul if he looked less like… him. Some sort of Wind-attuned wanderer—don't ask what that even means, and a poor girl named Terra who's stuck with us.

There's also a leather-clad punk who's even more irritable than I am, along with a twelve-year old ladies' man from a world that obviously doesn't know what a pedophile is, and a stupid jock.

If I thought all that about them, who knew what they said to each other about me. I was certainly messed-up enough.