Faint rays on sunlight peeked into a room through a gap in a pair of curtains printed prettily with the pattern of teddy bears on them. A quick glance at the room's contents would have definitely revealed the fact that it was a bedroom, and that there was somebody resting in there currently. Said person was a boy, whose age was right at the threshold of his teenage years. His limbs were already starting to show the lanky proportions of the teenage years, and a tiny bit of his mass of spiky brown hair was visibly sticking out from under the edge of his blanket.
Blunt crayons, pencils, and other drawing paraphernalia littered the floor around the bed, and several sheets of paper could be seen on the bedside table, rough sketches in various mediums making each and every one of them unique. Most of them seemed to be of people, but had been sketched in such superficial detail that deciphering each drawing's subject might have been quite a challenge, really.
From an outsider's perspective, he might have seemed like a normal child, but some people found this particular idea to be totally thrown out of the window when they tried to get closer to him, or to have a proper conversation with him.
After all, the boy was, by most conventional definitions, not entirely normal.
A woman walked slowly up to a door, holding a small tray in her hands. Placed neatly on the tray were a plastic cup of water and a small bottle of prescription pills. She stopped outside the door, and drew in a deep breath. At that moment, her face seemed to show nothing but fatigue, with its innumerable creases and wrinkles worn into it prematurely by the stresses in her life. She was not an old woman - she was barely past thirty-four years of age - but streaks of gray were in her hair, and her expression was usually one of weariness. Her husband had left her after learning of their son's 'abnormal' condition, and had left her to care for him on her own. Fortunately, her occupation as a nurse gave her plenty of opportunities to get her boy the help he needed.
Putting on a small smile, she knocked three times on the wooden door, and listened for a moment. When shuffling noises could be heard coming from inside the room, she opened the door, and stepped into the room.
"Good morning," she said, as she walked up to the bed.
"Good morning," said the boy who had been sleeping in the bed, who was now halfway through waking up.
"Sleep well last night?"
"Oh," his face brightened, "It was the best! We defeated Xemnas, and I returned-"
"I've brought you your medicine," the woman said, as she set down the tray on his bedside table, "So please take just one tablet, and then you'll have to get dressed for school."
"Don't need to go to school," was the flat reply she received, and it was not an unexpected one.
"My name," the boy interrupted her softly, "Is Sora. Roxas is a Nobody, but I still have my heart. So my name is Sora."
The woman cursed herself mentally, for momentarily forgetting the boy's eccentricities, "Oh, I'm sorry... You do know I'm not exactly a morning person - sometimes I mix names up..."
The boy nodded, hopping deftly out of the bed, "Aww, it's alright. So tell me again - why is it that I must go to school?"
"You need to get an education, Sora," she said gently, humoring him by using the name he had christened himself with, "Or else, you will be stuck in your life, and can get nowhere."
"But I've already been to other WORLDS!" the boy exclaimed, stretching his hands out to make a sweeping gesture at things that were both far away and at the same time, very near, "So I don't need any education!"
"Listen to me, Sora," a hint of firmness was in the woman's voice, "Please, just go to school. It is what's best for you, really."
The boy sighed theatrically, before moving over to the wardrobe in the corner of the room, "Alright then. I'd best be getting dressed."
"Your medicine, Sora," the woman shook the bottle of pills, rattling the little white capsules inside.
"Oh, I forgot."
He came over, and she gave him one of them, letting him wash it down with the water in the cup. He then went over to the wardrobe and dressed himself for school, giving the woman the opportunity to discretely leave the room. While he was occupied with picking out a t-shirt (blue? red? his favorite black one?), he never noticed the woman agilely moving around the edge of the bed, squatting down close to the floor.
Roxas was in school, and the woman was seated in an office, opposite a man with white hair and bushy eyebrows. Right now, the woman was speaking animatedly, while the man was scrutinizing several sheets of paper the woman handed to him.
"-having those delusions," she said, her voice conveying her disappointment, "I think that maybe you could prescribe something for him?"
"What is it that you think he needs to be prescribed with?" the man raised an eyebrow, the action making his pseudo-unibrow look like two birds jumping into a fight, "Haven't I already given him something for his delusions?"
"You have," the woman nodded, "But I was thinking more along the lines of something like a dream suppressant. I know that some drugs like that exist, and that they ARE available via prescription."
"Actually..." the man said, his voice trailing-off, "He might not need that particular prescription. Let me see..."
The first sheet of paper he held in his hands was a drawing the boy had made, as were all of the others behind it. It showed a heart-shaped object that the man guessed to be a moon, shining prominently against a backdrop of pitch-black nighttime sky, the entire view drawn as seen through a window that had a frame that was more like a tangled morass of twisted metal than anything.
Flip. The second drawing showed a towering door, at the peak of a smoothly-curving pathway that lay suspended in mid-air. Three figures, diminutive when drawn in comparison to the door, stood next to each other, each holding what looked like a key almost as big as their entire body.
Flip. The next drawing showed a large dragon-like creature, rendered in light tones of blue and silver. It was poised to strike, the object holding its attention being two of the three figures from the earlier drawing, who were apparently riding on a flat craft shaped rather like a stingray.
Flip. It was the two figures again, and this time, they were facing a gray-haired figure in strange-looking robes. The entire scene was drawn in black-and-white, the only colors in the drawing being part of the three figures which it depicted.
Flip. The last sheet of paper showed one of the figures - it had spiky brown hair - holding the hand of a red-haired figure, seemingly on the water's edge at a beach. A pointy, star-shaped object was just visible between their connected hands, and the sketch, despite its crudely-done nature, managed to convey an air of significance, as though the scene it depicted was actually something that mattered, regardless of who the drawing was been seen by.
The man set the stack of drawings down on the desk in front of him, and looked up to face the woman seated opposite from him.
"So he says that these 'Nobodies' have been defeated, does he?"
"Yes," she confirmed, pursing her lips.
"Then maybe he might not need a new prescription, after all," he said, holding up a hand to gesture for silence while he went on, "In fact, I might venture so far as to say that all these delusions might have just been a phase, and that he's slowly coming out of it."
"What do you mean?"
"Perhaps at a sub-conscious level, his mind has finally accepted the reality of his condition," the man said, tapping the stack of drawings with a bony finger, "And it has expressed itself in these delusions he has. An 'Other', as a whole, normal being, is changed into a 'Nobody' - an empty shell - by the 'Heartless', that is to say, beings without hearts. The 'Heartless' might be a manifestation of how he views his condition, and hence could also be an explanation for why he insists on being called... 'Sora', was it?"
"There you have it. So maybe, just maybe, he has actually started to come to terms with his condition," the man declared somewhat triumphantly, "And therefore, I don't think it would be that harmful for him to continue having these delusions - they might be more rooted in reality than we know of."
"But you can prsecribe-"
"If he doesn't show any improvments after a few months or so," the man said with a note of finality in his voice, "I'll put him on Hypnocil."
"A relatively-new dream-suppressing drug like you wanted for him. It relaxes certain portions of the brain, hence causing up to eight hours of dreamless sleep."
"Would it be harmful?"
"Oh, no. Seventy-eight percent of the test subjects recorded positive feedback for Hypnocil, while on the other twenty-two percent, they either didn't feel a thing, or had nothing more than minor headaches for a few days."
"Oh, okay then. Okay then..." the woman got to her feet, and nodded to the man, "Thank you, Doctor."
"You are very welcome," he replied, mimicking her actions by standing up, "And thank you for letting me handle Roxas' case. He truly is... extraordinary in his own way..."
Already halfway through the doorway, the woman paused in her exit. Turning around to face her son's consulting psychiatrist, she smiled slightly.
"That he is, Doctor. That, he is."
She walked out into the corridor, shutting the door gently behind her. The door's tumbler clicked into place softly, but nonetheless managed to convey a note of finality as it slid home, holding the door shut securely.
Silence filled the room, and the man stood behind his desk for several moments, seemingly lost in thought. Several moments passed. With a sigh, he shook his head, snapping out of his spaced-out state. Scooping up all the drawings and notes on his desk, he punched holes onto them with a paper-puncher, and walked over to his metal filing cabinet.
Unlocking the large cabinet, he took out a file that was about four-inches wide at its spine, which held between its solid covers about a year's worth of reports about and sketches done by Roxas. With three rapid movements, he opened the file, filed-up the notes and drawings accordingly, and closed the heavy thing with a snap. As he put it back, he read the label on its spine, almost having difficulty in deciphering his own spidery scrawl. His labels always had a name, condition, and a few details on them, and this one was no different.
The large file's label simply read as, 'Roxas Hikari - Autism - Imaginary Friends/World - Heartless, Nobodies, Kingdom Hearts (?)'