I seriously didn't want to put this up 'cos that means its over. :( Oh well. I guess all good things must come to an end eventually. It's pretty quick and simple, but I hope you guys enjoy this last one.


Epilogue- Home

Why is it always so difficult to jump back into the routine that you have gone through for as long as you can remember, after only a few weeks of something different? An action that was once habitual suddenly seems out of place, and you find yourself wondering what happened to the stairwell that led to your bedroom, which was really two floors down. You wake up in your bed and have a momentary panic attack because your head is facing the wrong direction and you think someone moved you while you were asleep. You wait outside the bathroom door for almost an hour, only to stare in surprise when a sleepy Luxord pushes past you and tells you to stop stalking him.

That's when you know you are home and that things are back to normal and you wish that you could go back. You miss the excitement, the thrill of waking up and thinking, what's going to happen today?

You know that you are home and you are Number VIII in Organization XIII when you sit in your chair Where Nothing Gathers and you find that you are perched just a bit higher than you were before you left for Castle Oblivion. The only difference is that there are five less voices and no one seems to notice except you because you had a hand in killing them all. Not that you are guilty. Things are just quieter and the others pay you more attention because there are fewer people to talk to. You wonder if it will be the same if you ever end up like the traitors and you decide that yes, it probably will be. You understand though because you are all Nobodies and you can't expect much more than that.

You know that you are home because you get that little twinge of excitement when you think about going to see her today, but reality crashes down on you when you remember that she is worlds away by now with an old man in red and a boy that uses the darkness for good. You wonder how she is doing, if she's thinking about you, and you smirk. Of course she is. Why wouldn't she? You can remember the look in her eyes as she turns to you once last time, silently pleading for you to take her with you. You both know you can't, though, and that's what makes you touch her cheek and steal a kiss that isn't yours to take and you whisper words that, for once, are true. I promised, didn't I? You remind her, brushing your lips past the shell of her ear and delighting in the shivers that course down her body. All birds find their wings. And you dare say nothing more, simply giving her a little nudge, and when she hurries away you realize that little nudge would be the last time you touched her for a very, very long time. You want to call her back, to feel her skin just one more time, but you know if you do then you'll never be able to let her go.

You know that you are home when you're sitting in your room, alone, and hoping that someone would have the nerve to twist you the wrong way just so you have a reason to feel the unforgiving metal of your chakrams beneath your fingertips. You never have the chance to use them anymore, except in the extra training that you promised yourself you would do after nearly being wasted by both flower boy and key boy. But even then you can't use your full power because you don't feel like cleaning up the mess that would surely be left behind. The flames lick at your fingers, begging to be released, and you have no option but to ignore them.

But now the only thing beneath your fingertips is the rough wood of a chess pawn. The only thing you can get excited about is the irate expression of the Melodious Nocturne as he tries to decide his next move that will do nothing to save his King. The only thing that makes a sound is the muffled hum of Xaldin and Xigbar bantering over something in the next room.

And you know that you are home when all of this is just fine with you.

Demyx dooms his King by shifting away its pathetic guard of a Bishop that doesn't have enough time to protect its ruler. As his fingers leave the piece, you can't help but snicker and move your final pawn into place.

The musician sputters a cry of outrage as you lean onto the back legs of your chair and proudly declare the word every chess player dreads.



The End. D8

Almost a year later, Checkmate is complete! Yay! Sorta. Hum. Well, I hope you guys enjoyed the ride as much as I did. Fortunately, we've got a sequel (that I've been neglecting) coming up, so it's not totally over. But it'll be a while before it pops up. Once the semester is over, I'll have more time to work on it. Until then, here are a few bites from what I've done so far of the sequel, titled 'A Parody of Dreams', as I promised last chapter. I hope you enjoy it!


xX-A Parody of Dreams-Xx

A hiss of a whisper brushed past his ear and Axel slid his attention to the side. Peridot eyes, once filled with fiery enthusiasm and now only a ghost of what they once were, caught the irregular movement of a Dusk peering around the corner of the clock tower. The pyro made no verbal or physical command, but the lesser Nobody drifted over to circle its master, watching him with its eyeless face and waiting for the next order.

"What do you want?" Axel muttered, swatting his hand at the Dusk as though it were a fly. It easily evaded the halfhearted attack and continued its circle.


More vigorously, the redhead swiped at the Nobody, "Go away."

Roxas comes…

The whispered message brought Axel to attention for but a moment before he sighed and rested his cheek in his palm. The Dusks had already proved by bringing him photos of Roxas instead of the actual person that they couldn't follow directions, so no doubt this one had spotted something ridiculous, like a checkered flag. The lesser Nobody circled closer until it brushed against the back of his coat and tossed his hood.

Master… Roxas comes…

"Would you get away from me?" Axel spat. As it passed by, the redhead grabbed hold of a long leg, but it swiftly slithered from his grasp with ease. It hissed in displeasure, and then suddenly darted off towards the ground. The pyro watched its descent and his eyes widened when he found what the Dusk had been so insistent upon. As if hearing its master's understanding, the lesser Nobody returned to his side.


The corner of Axel's mouth lifted in a sarcastic smirk, "You confuse pictures with the real thing, but you can pick out his Somebody with no problem. I fail to see the logic in that."

The Dusk murmured a contented sound.


A long breath hissed between the pyro's teeth and with it went his patience. The girl took a step back as he came closer and she felt her heels slip from the dock.


"Long time, no see, Riku. Or is it Ansem now?"

The last remark went unheeded, "A year goes by fast."

"Especially when you're busy destroying lives, huh?" Axel grinned bitterly, "Remind me to thank you for that when I'm in a better mood."


"You should consider yourself lucky, especially after you stole from me the last thing that I cared about," He informed her, once again dragging her towards the portal; she hardly put up a struggle. Axel gazed into the black depths before him, then looked back down to her with a devilish smile, "So don't worry. What I'm about to do to you is far less painful than what I did to the Dusks for failing me."


Axel's peridot eyes slid down to the boy and his friends and a predatory smile flitted upon his lips.

"Kill him."


Yea. Just a few things for you to ponder over.

Well, no sense prolonging the inevitable. Reviews are welcome and encouraged; flames will be used for Axel's enjoyment. Thanks a million times over for reading, guys! And also one last thank you to my loffly beta, Schmelly Inc.! See ya!

Until Next Time,