An Almost True Story
He pressed his face against the cold solace of the marble as the rest of his weight leaned in with a loud thunk. His legs failed him as he groped for the handle to the door. Success! His hand clenched the knob and turned it. His wight against it forced the door open and he hit the floor hard. He could barely feel such a mild pain by now though. The floor was a cool, gracious welcome to his abode. His hands clenched at the floor, dragging himself along the tile, white and pure as virtue. With the last of his strength he found the foot of his bed and pulled himself to his feet, only to collapse again on the soft velvety sheets.
Xemnas pressed a finger to his lips, then pulled it away to observe it. Blood. The blood had already stained his coat, and glancing back, he could see flecks along the ground and the door where he had been. He knew the time he had left now was short. Too short? Perhapses. He cried out in agony as his insides shuddered. More blood gushed from the nobody's lips, leaking out of his mouth in little tributaries that tasted sourly of metal.
Time, it seemed so fleeting, so ephemeral. Where had his years gone? He did not want to burden his subordinates with this news, that his eternity had been cut drastically short. The pain was far more mental than physical though. His thoughts constantly traversed into the future where he would no longer be. What of his comrades? The ones he'd swapped blood with on the battlefields? What of their triumphs? Their goals?
He did not doubt they would carry on without him. In fact, it was what terrified him the most. The thought that things would continue as they always had, uninterrupted by his own passing.
He could not feel sorrow over these thoughts though. It seemed silly to pretend he did. And while they rattled him to his core, he found he could not cry or lament the shortness of his lifespan. The sickly metallic taste of blood tiled his mouth as his entrails screamed at him with pain and misery. Life, he had learned, was pain and misery. He dwelt on these thoughts of death more and more as the end was drawing too rapidly closer for him. It seemed less like a sentence and more like an escape at each passing moment. Surely, soon, he would be free.
He did not remember falling asleep, aside from the fact he had dreamed. It had been a rather dark and bloody nightmare. The thought pervaded his mind that one of his dearest subordinates, Marluxia, had tried to kill him. In retaliation he'd brutally slashed the other's throat, cut his corpse to ribbons, and fed the carrion to the shadows.
He knew this to be a falsehood though, as he stirred he cupped his forehead and rubbed his temples to assure himself the ridiculous accusation was nothing more that a wretched phantasm of the mind. When his eyes opened however, the sight that met his eyes was not the serenity of his empty room, but swirling darkness amassed over a cadaver. It was only upon further inspection that Xemnas could determine that the body was the mutilated remains of none other than his Marluxia.
He could not believe what he was witnessing. No, it was only a dream, it had to be! But lo and behold, in his hand he grasp a knife, covered with a silken sheen of blood. A chill ran down the elder man's spine as he released his hold over the weapon and backpedaled away from the corpse. How? Why? What had happened? He racked his brain to try and find an answer. Non came however, and panic flooded his system. He was drenched all over in blood, presumably Marluxia's. It did not occur for a second that it might have been his.
"Sir," an incredulous young voice beckoned to him. Xemnas looked up in terror from the corpse, turning to where the voice was coming from. Where was it coming from? Only then did he realize he was standing amid pure darkness, not even the faintest glimmer of light shown in the dismal abyss.
"Sir?" it called again. He spun around wildly, looking for the source. That voice. It sounded so familiar. He staggered towards the direction it sounded as though it was coming from. A faint outline of light became apparent to him, growing wider as if a door had just been opened. Standing between himself and the light was the young apprentice turned nobody.
"Sir," Zexion said, his voice frailer than Xemnas ever remembered it being. "Sir, what's going on? Is everythi—" he broke off mid-sentence as his eyes fell upon the body of the felled assassin. "Marluxia," Zexion cried, scurrying over to the body. He knelt down, shooing away the shadows as best he could.
Without the shuffling darkness obscuring him, the horrifying slaughter was lay bare to be seen in the light of day. The wounds were great and many along the assassin's body. His hands had been severed at the wrist, his torso slit open and all his entrails pulled out, deep gashes ran along his limbs, bones jutted forth from the meat and skin, and torn muscle fibers and ligaments hung limply from their origin points. His face was still wholly intact in its amazing beauty however. It was as flawless and handsome as the day he'd become a nobody.
"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?" The accusing scream woke Xemnas from the trance that seeing the body had put him into."WHY? WHY HIM?" Zexion stood, pointing a finger accusingly at the Superior. "HE NEVER DID A GODDAMNED THING TO YOU!"
The younger nobody suddenly burst into a torrent of cries which shook his whole body. Xemnas couldn't speak, couldn't look at the younger nobody, at the corpse of what was once his star subordinate. He felt his insides convulse again, blood spilling over his lips and splattering on the floor. Boiling hot tears dripped down the side of his face as pain filled his pores. He felt as though he could die right there.
But he suddenly felt the unbearable urge to live. Watching the other nobody sobbing in remorse gave him a single sliver of desire to press on, if only for a moment, if only to say last words. His footfalls felt unbearably heavy and his body tried to weight him down. But step after centuries long step, he progressed towards the boy with lilac colored hair.
"Zexion," Xemnas purred softly. The gentleness in the ordinarily coarse monotone surprised the both of them. "I... I did not mean to," he said slowly.
The boy's teary eyes held no sympathy for the elder man, only contempt. "How could you," he said in a harsh whisper. Their eyes locked for a moment in an intense zenith of emotional outrage. In a mere second the schemer pulled back and aimed a hard punch squarely at the superior.
To their equal surprise, Xemnas caught the boy's wrist before it could connect, then pulled him in closer. "Zexion," he exhaled, his breathing laborious as he once again felt an atrocious shock of pain throughout his entire system. Blood gushed out from between his lips, dripping onto the other nobody's coat. "I do not want to die alone," he muttered, gasping the other with all the strength he had.
"LET GO OF ME," Zexion screamed, flailing and struggling wildly in the other's grasp. Perchance his superior's doom did not occur to him, or maybe he simply did not care. He clawed at the elder man's face and screeched as if it were a burning hot demon clinging to him instead.
Rather than conceding to the boy's wishes, Xemnas clung tighter to the boy. "I should rather drag you to hell with me," he muttered. His will alone kept him standing as the black and white thorns slowly came forth from the ground, encircling the two of them. "I am sorry Zexion," he said slowly, as his grip released and the whole world around him went black. The last thing he could hear were his subsidiary's echoing screams...
Xemnas jerked awake in a cold sweat. His eyes widened to the world around him, taking in the familiar white walls of the castle. He closed his eyes, opened them, then closed them again. He reached up and touched his face, ran his fingers though his hair, then pulled off the leather glove with his teeth an repeated. He was still there. He was alive.
His eyes opened again, and with much effort, he managed to sit up. He nearly collapsed again, but managed to force himself into a sitting position and stay there. His whole body was trembling, which at first he attributed to the shock of such a n awful nightmare. But too his horror it was revealed to be something much more palpable. The sheets of his bed were drenched through with violent cerise tones. He touched a bare finger to his lips, feeling the moistness of fresh blood. He knew his last hours were fast approaching at the rate he was going.
"Sir?" a familiar voice called through the door. "Are you alright?"
Xemnas closed his eyes, feeling a numbing coldness setting in. "Just fine Zexion...just fine...."
The was no need to burden them with the news of his dying. He would simply fade away, and the world would go on. Even if it was a world that never actually existed at all.