XIII Drabble Challenge
Introduction: My sister and I, FootloosePheonix, have created our own challenge where we write thirteen drabbles, one centered upon each member of Organization XIII. It promises to be an interesting challenge, one that'll certainly get us writing about characters we don't usually play with! I chose to do Xemnas first since he is, of course, Number I. Surprisingly enough, writing his wasn't difficult at all, although I am in a little bit of shock that I wrote Xemnas angst. Anyone else who wants to take up the XIII Drabble challenge is welcome to go for it. I'm sure we aren't the first to write a challenge like this. Anyhow, please enjoy.
I: The Knight
He had not always been this, a leader of rogues and nothing-people. It was hard for him to recall now, for a person's heart is the anchor of their memories, and he had none, and so over time he'd felt them simply… slipping away. Now it was becoming increasingly difficult for him to remember, difficult for him to imagine a time when he'd been anything else but this. He told himself he didn't care; that it was impossible for him to care—but sometimes, when he was alone in one of the great towers of the Castle That Never Was, standing in front of one of the windows bathing in the glow of Kingdom Hearts, he could feel his memories floating somewhere out there in the abyss. He would close his eyes, and if he called to them, they would come, flooding back into his consciousness like long-forgotten dreams, filling in the empty spaces, and if only for a fleeting moment, he could feel whole again. He could remember… remember the Other, remember the man he used to be, remember his face, and his name…
He had worn a long, clean white coat, crisp and starched. With his white hair, he used to fancy he looked like something of a white knight, and he carried himself with a great sense of dignity, of purpose. His pursuit had been noble, his intentions good—if not entirely pure. In many ways, he had been a knight—a knight of civilization, with the most righteous cause of all, that of knowledge and of truth. A scientist. He and his colleagues had been constantly fighting against the forces of ignorance and superstition that seized the minds of the simple townsfolk that inhabited the Garden, battling the paranoid whisperings of what, exactly, the experiments they conducted in the castle entailed. They'd had to face angry, ridiculous and outrageous accusations. Not a day went by when one of them was not verbally assaulted by some delusional peasant, their eyes bulging madly, frothing at the mouth as they screamed that their work was going against God's will.
"My dear friends," Ansem had merely chuckled. "We are not going against God's will; we are discovering it!"
A placating answer, to be sure, especially when spoken by one with the Professor's charisma, but as much as he had adored Ansem the Wise, Xehanort had never believed in God.
But he had believed in their work; although it was painstaking, every tiny bit of research, every hour he had spent poring over pages and pages of endless calculations, every experiment—whether failed or successful—brought him closer to unraveling the secrets of the heart. Soon, he had known, all knowledge would lie in their hands. They would have the answers they sought. They would have their theory of everything.
And then Ansem betrayed them. Just as they were on the cusp of several major breakthroughs, ones that would change the world(s) as they knew them, the Professor succumbed to doubt and cowardice. He burned their research, and all of their notes and experiments, everything they had worked so hard for, all of that invaluable knowledge went up in flames.
Shortly thereafter, Ansem went into hiding.
Standing in the ashes of what had promised to be his legacy, Xemnas's Other was left a broken man, his life's work and all he had fought so hard for destroyed by the one person he had come to so admire and respect. He hated Ansem for that, detested him for his weakness, his foolishness. But not all was lost, Xehanort knew. Although his notes and equipment were gone, Ansem could never have robbed him of what he had learned, the discoveries he had made.
And so he stepped into the darkness and allowed it to envelope him, succumbed to the same darkness of which he knew all hearts sprung in order to gain control over it. By sacrificing his heart to transcend its weakness, he made some truly astonishing discoveries about the nature of people's hearts, and the power that they held… and now, here he was, working tirelessly so that he might partake of that power.
Ansem would have been proud.
"Superior?" A voice behind Xemnas inquired. He had not noticed the presence of another in the room with him; his gaze was fixated upon Kingdom Hearts, and all of his attention had been focused upon it. Xemnas did not look to identify the source of the voice as he replied.
"Yes, Number VII?"
"Are you… crying?"
Xemnas blinked. He reached up and touched his face hesitantly with two gloved fingers and found, with something akin to surprise, that it was wet. As Xemnas gazed at his hand, the black leather material glistened slightly, shining in the golden-red glow of glorious light emanating from Kingdom Hearts.
Ending notes: I invite one and all to review and be as heartless, cold, cruel and merciless about my writing as you see fit. If that isn't your style, a note telling me if you enjoyed it would be lovely. :)