"Look at me, ---. Who do you see?"

My mother's lullaby played over in my head, the chorus repeating every five seconds. The saddened violin rang in my ears, as clear as a bell. Opening my azure eyes, I stared out at the ocean.

"Do I…do I really exist?"

I picked up my school bag, brushing the sand off the bottom as I turned back towards the city. It was time for another day of long, grueling school work, overbearing family (and sometimes even friends). I curiously looked around for that black-headed girl again, the one who had showed up on the small island with a silver-haired boy the other day. They looked familiar for some reason, but I hadn't seen either of them since. I sighed; my curiosity had taken the best of me.

"Midori!" I spun around, and watched my best friend, Kyoko, run toward me with an exasperated look on her face. "Midori! Where have you been? Something's happening to the town! You have to come, quick!" She had said this all in one breath, and before I knew it, Kyoko had grabbed my wrist, pulling me towards the town square. I could hear screams of agony out in the distance, and I cringed as they became louder. "Kyoko, what's going on?" She stopped abruptly and my eyes widened as they took in the scene that lay before me. Black, inky creatures rose from the ground, trapping people, old and young, defenseless, and tore out their hearts. It was a gruesome process and I all I could do was stand there and watch. Another girl, one I knew as Kairi watched from the other side of the square, an equal expression of horror on her face. "Kyoko, we can't stay here! We have to—"

But my best friend was no longer a human. Her heart floated up towards the sky, and the remnants of who I used to know stared up at me through glowing yellow eyes.

"So, do you hate me for taking your friend away from you?"

A desolate, terrified scream escaped my lips as I ran back towards the shore, willing my legs to carry me as fast as they could away from this place. My chest felt like it was about to explode by the time my feet reached the sand. Only five minutes ago, I had been standing here, peaceful, unaware of what was happening. But as I looked up toward the ocean again, I noticed I wasn't alone. A boy my age, with dirty blond hair, was standing alone, holding an oddly shaped seashell in his hand. He seemed unaware, as I had once been, of the turmoil going on in this place. He seemed at peace for the moment, but something else was off. I couldn't place it. He didn't notice me, or the creatures that suddenly appeared behind me. I tried to scream, but before I was able to, a black-gloved hand covered my mouth, stifling my cries.

"We wouldn't want to do anything stupid, now would we? Besides, he wouldn't help you. He's got enough problems of his own already."

Growling in frustration, I elbowed my assailant in the stomach, causing just enough time for me to unravel myself from their grasp. I ran towards the blond haired boy, hoping that whatever my attacker meant was wrong.

"Help me!" He spun to face me, his blue eyes dazed, lost in some sort of memory. His focus returned when he glanced behind me, and his eyebrows narrowed in a determined expression. I half-smiled, the anxiousness within me decreasing as I saw that I possessed an ally.

Suddenly, something cold wrapped around my ankle and pulled me towards the ground. I threw my hands out in front of me, trying to brace my fall, but that only made it hurt even worse. I kicked, thrashed, and clawed at whatever was holding me, but it was no use. I looked up and gasped as I saw the familiar yellow eyes of my once best friend. Raising a claw, the monster hissed and slashed at my stomach, and then at my heart.

I struggled to break free, but the monster only attacked more viciously. Losing all hope, my efforts to retaliate soon diminished until I wasn't fighting at all. Trying to keep my eyes open, I could faintly hear the sound of voices somewhere above my head.

"Saïx, what are you doing to her? She's innocent and has nothing to do with us!"

"Hmph. Try telling that to the Superior, you insolent boy. You still don't understand, do you? There have been a number of failures because of Sora--first at Castle Oblivion, and then with Xion. Do you want a third?"

"Shut up! Don't ever talk about her!"

"I always knew you were attached to that robot of a replica."

I was soon cradled in a stranger's arms, and was being carried to an unknown destination. I could hear the sound of swirling darkness, a sound that was similar to the one of the monsters that had attacked me. I had no strength to fight back. No will or reason.

"Let her go!" Frantic, hurried footsteps rushed towards me, and an unfamiliar name escaped my lips.

"Roxas. Don't."

I soon slipped out of consciousness.

"You have poured so many memories into me. Given me so much, that I feel like I'm about to overflow. Look at me, Roxas. Who do you see?"

[a u t h o r ' s notes]

:) yay. i got the first chapter uploaded.

quotes in italics are from the US trailer. spoken by xion.

if you couldn't tell already, this is a 358/2 days fic. now, we're going to pretend that roxas had a little more time left in the organization after the...-ahem- demise of xion. :'( sorry if i ruined anything, folks, but you kinda have to know what happens to her if you want to read this. :)

midori is my OC. belongs to me. :)

kingdom hearts, however, does not. :(((

read & review

l i g h t