Hah, I bet you thought I wasn't going to update this anymore, huh? Well, here it is. I forgot to finish it before January and kept forgetting to upload it two days ago. Anyways, it's here.
So, here's the last chapter for this fic. I hope it doesn't disappoint. And feel free to PM me if I have left plot holes or anything. To those who have played Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, please read the date of publication of this fic before you criticize the story. This story has already been started way before Days went out so please don't flame or anything, okay? Now on to the story and I hope you enjoy.
The dust begins to settle and Sora braces himself for the inevitable onslaught of attacks he is going to take from the four Nobodies. Larxene is now giggling incessantly; the thought of finally vanquishing the one who killed her apparently tickles her to no end. And as for Marluxia, he smirks at Sora's current situation.
The only thing standing between him and their return to reality is a lone keyblader. His companion has already fallen prey to their combined efforts of attacking. And how delightful it is to finally exact revenge on the one who had ended their unfulfilled existence as Nobodies.
"I am going to enjoy every bit of this." Marluxia eyes the brunette, eager to see that youthful face in pain. "Just as much as you enjoyed my fall in Castle Oblivion."
Larxene cuts in, "Vengeance must be as delicious as this. I can almost feel the joy of tearing you apart with my own two hands!"
"And I'll finally get a chance to get out of this awfully boring place." Demyx grins. "And you said I was a lousy fighter. Look who's losing now, Sora!"
Sora glances at Riku's motionless body. Not even the boy's chest is rising. The brunette looks back at the Nobodies as he walks over to Riku. Kneeling beside the boy's body, he cradles it in his arms, whispering something in the silver-haired boy's ears. And as teardrops fall from Sora's eyes onto his friend's shirt, Larxene approaches him, disgusted of Sora's reactions.
Mockingly quoting Riku's words, she nastily tells him, "Ugh! 'Put yourself together, Sora!' Geez, a little kid like you can't bear the death of a useless person? You are just a baby. And even you made it up all the way here, you are no different from the little brat you used to be when we first met. What was that one year vacation you took from saving the world in Destiny Islands? A trip back to Babyland?"
"No matter how many Heartless you have fallen, no matter how many of our plans that you thwart, no matter how many years have passed, the truth is... that your heart is weak. Overridden by emotions and easily engulfed by despair, you're nothing. Nothing more than a puppet. A slave to someone's wills which are stronger than you." Zexion pauses for a bit, clears his throat before resuming. "You are, were and always will be a puppet. And your puppet duties began with your stay in Castle Oblivion. No? Of course not, they began with that very incident that gave you control of the keyblade. That was when you finally relinquished your actual freedom."
Sora's eyes widen at this. "You mean, that... that I was just..."
"Yes, Sora. All this time, you have been acting according to plan. The defeat of Xehanort's Heartless at the End of the World, Riku's going over to the dark side due to his jealousy of you, your victory in Castle Oblivion, your subsequent awakening after that, everything you do was already written," Marluxia tells him, smiling. "And the only thing you ever did was follow it."
"You're lying!" Sora shouts, still holding the unmoving Riku in his arms. "It's not like that!"
"Oh? Really Sora? Is it? Tell me, did you really know how to defeat an entire group of experienced Nobodies by yourself? Or perhaps, you just had the most insane luck that you actually slew us? Answer me, Sora!" Larxene's eyes are filled with anger as she glares at Sora; the hostile stare, seeming like daggers, ready to pierce and stab the brunette repeatedly.
A dumbfounded Sora continues to gawk at the Nobodies. He couldn't find an answer.
"Well? No answer?" the female scowls at the brunette. "Well, it's obvious, isn't it? You've actually got no skill whatsoever with the keyblade. You didn't even have to get tutorials, am I right? And you just randomly learn magic and fancy combos with the keyblade... without even being taught. See? You're just another soulless puppet!"
Marluxia then adds, "And now despite the defeat of Organization XIII in the real world, here we are again. The same old story with another special someone to you being kidnapped and you have to get past obstacles to reclaim him. However this time, you did claim him but only to lose him again. This time... permanently."
"In case your little nutshell of a brain still doesn't get it, we set you up. The revived members of the Organization? They were there to test your strength and resolve to reach Riku. And once you got here, we already had planned what would happen next: either you would be defeated by Riku's hands or otherwise," Demyx says to Sora, smiling and making little gestures with his hands.
"However, we did not expect one our own more 'trusted' member to betray us. And so, we had to resort to eliminating him in order to prevent further damage to our plans. Also, we had to resort to taking out the little brat." Zexion does not seem any less distraught than his companions. "And most unfortunately, we had to resort into dirtying our hands as well."
With a puzzled look on his face, Sora asks, "Who... who is this 'trusted' member anyway? Well, I guess it looks like your 'new' organization isn't so organized at all."
Larxene snorts. "Who said we were intending for the others to get out of this place with us? We had everything planned, remember? We knew that you would be able to somehow defeat an array of both memory monsters and Nobodies regardless of your conditions just because your pathetic resolve to reach Riku. And now that he's gone, you're finally done!" She dashes over to Sora and kicks him in the stomach, knocking him backwards.
"But who's this 'traitor'?" the keyblade-wielder asks again.
"If you must know, it's your Nobody, Roxas. That stupid little-" Before Larxene could finish her sentence, a flaming chakram flies towards her. She sidesteps easily and sees that the door to the room is now wide open. And another hooded member stands between the doors. The flaming chakram hits the ground and dissipates.
"Huh?" Sora blurts out in surprise as he picks himself back up from the floor and tries to carry Riku, placing the silver-haired lad's arm on his back.
The other four Nobodies do not seem to be particularly affected by the intruder's presence. The intruder then runs over to Sora's side with the eyes of the four Nobodies eyeing him carefully, wary of his intentions.
"Nice of you to drop by for the last encore! We've been waiting for you!" Demyx says to the still-cloaked man. "Ready for the performance?"
"What have you done with Roxas?" the figure replies. "What have you done to Roxas?"
"Roxas?" Sora tries to remember. The name sounds familiar but he cannot visualize who this Roxas is. He is sure that he has heard the name before and maybe even met the real one before. But now, there's nothing in his memory that could tell him of any Roxas he ever knew of.
Marluxia is the one who answers the question this time. "Isn't it obvious what we do to traitors, Axel? Roxas, Vexen, Xemnas? They're all eliminated now. Their existence was nothing more than a dream. A dream that never was and never will be. So... would you like to join your best friend?" The pink-haired man flourishes his scythe in the air, creating a wind that knocks Axel's hood backwards revealing his face.
"You-you killed Roxas?" Axel repeats in disbelief. "How could you guys do that? How could you strike down fellow members of the-"
Zexion interrupts Axel, saying, "Didn't you do the same? Besides, isn't it that to accomplish our goals certain unspeakable deeds must be done?"
Upon hearing this, Axel immediately knows where this is headed to. He glances at Sora and sees that it's already too late for Riku since the latter has already been defeated. But then, the redhead remembers Roxas's parting gift to him.
"The card..." he whispers inaudibly. He reaches into his pocket and feels for it. "But... would it work? I suppose it should. We're still in the Realm of Dreams after all and Sora still hasn't been taken down yet."
"What's the matter, Axel? I thought you were up for a fight? Don't tell me you're going to chicken out now?" Larxene says tauntingly to Axel.
The crimson-haired man grits his teeth. "I have to make my move now before they do," he says to himself. He turns to Sora and, with a swift movement of his right hand, he throws the brunette a card.
"What? A card? We didn't devise that, did we?" Demyx alerts his allies upon seeing an unfamiliar card in Sora's hands. "It looks a lot different from the-"
"NO! So that's why we couldn't locate him at all or tamper with his powers! And I bet it's that blonde brat's fault he got hold of that!" Larxene snarls angrily. "A counter card! I knew that Roxas couldn't be trusted."
Surprised, Sora merely looks at the card. "What is this?"
"Don't ask. Get yourself and Riku away from here. Now! There's not much time," Axel tells the brunette. "These four are going to finish you within seconds! Trust me on this."
"Well, how do I know you're not with them?"
"Listen, Sora. We don't have much time..." A blast of lightning then strikes the area between Axel and Sora with such force that it blows both males off their feet.
Larxene grins maliciously as she dashes towards Sora and grabs him by the hair. "Not so fast! You're not going anywhere, little twerp!"
"Hmm... now what should we do with you?" Marluxia says casually, turning to face Axel who has just picked himself up from the floor. "Perhaps, you want... your own best friend to persuade you to our side? Or would you rather continue your traitorous ways until you meet your bitter end?" As he speaks this, a portal appears right between him and the redhead. But unlike the pitch-black color of the Corridors of Darkness the Nobodies use to transport themselves, this one has an odd gray color as well as rose petals emanating from it.
It takes about five seconds before a yellow-haired figure materializes in front of Axel. Upon laying his eyes on it, he gasps in shock. "Ro… ro…"
"That's right. It's Roxas!" Marluxia places his hand on the blonde's head and a crown of thorns appears to encircle the boy's head. He then looks at Roxas's face. "Now, would you mind taking care of a little problem we have?" He points at Axel.
"No, no, wait. Roxas!" Axel screams, his voice trembling, as he slowly retreats backwards. "Roxas! Listen to me! It's Axel! Roxas! Don't do this!"
"Hmm… apparently we recreate and alter Sora's memories if ever they are destroyed." Zexion then readies his lexicon as Sora begins to make a run for it while carrying Riku in his arms. But before Zexion could cause meteors to rain on them again, Larxene tells him, "Shouldn't we at least have a little chess game while at it?" She has an evil sadistic grin on her face which, at the moment, even made her more terrifying to look at.
"Chess? But I thought you hated those little boring board games?" Demyx immediately blurts out after hearing Larxene's suggestion.
The blonde female ignores Demyx's comment and this time she is able to access the same gray-colored corridors that Marluxia used just moments ago to summon Roxas. And this time, three figures emerge. A blue-haired man with a scar on his face, a platinum-blonde male and a muscular man with short brown wavy hair; all holding their respective weapons.
"Now then, Sora… choose the correct answer: you're going to be torn apart into shreds or you're going to be mauled mercilessly and then ripped to shreds?" Larxene laughs wryly while the three Nobodies she just summoned approached Sora.
"I did say that I'd be back, Sora." Saix grins ominously at the brunette before lunging at the latter with his claymore. "Back off. The meddlesome child is mine," he says to his recently-ressurected companions to which Luxord nods to and Lexaeus merely grunts in agreement.
The teenager instinctively puts left arm before him although quite certain that Saix could definitely just rip it off in order to get to him. He closes his eyes, waiting for that very second where he'd meet his end like Riku did when the silver-haired boy threw himself between Sora and a fatal combination of attacks. He could hear Saix's footsteps coming right at him.
But then, after about a couple of seconds, he is quite surprised that he's still alive and standing. He opens his eyes and blinks a bit before realizing that Axel has just blocked Saix's claymore with his chakrams.
"Sora! Just go! Hold on to the card. It'll do everything for you," Axel tells Sora as his chakrams holds Saix's claymore in such a way that the blue-haired Nobody could not pull away his weapon to strike Sora.
"What about you, Axel?" the brunette asks in concern for the redhead. But Axel merely grins and flashes him a reassuring smile before saying, "Now go if you want to live! Go!"
"Hey, what's the big idea? He's getting away!" Demyx points at Sora who is running as fast as he can with Riku in tow towards the door.
At once, Marluxia, Zexion and Larxene affix their eyes on the escaping keyblade-wielder. But before they could take further action, Axel appears again in front of them, blocking their way from Sora and Riku.
Larxene snaps her fingers and turns around to look for someone to command but it seems that Saix, Lexaeus and Luxord have vanished. "Within seconds? No, it's not possible. It's either that or…"
"What? You mean to say fun time is over?" Demyx puts on a pouty face. "But I want to make…"
Marluxia cuts Demyx off in mid-sentence and directs their attention to Sora. "We have to get him. It seems that we have been wasting our time long enough toying with him. Why don't we just get rid of him and this traitor once in for all?" He slams his scythe on the ground and the whole scenery around the four Nobodies, Axel, Sora and an unconscious Riku shatter like broken glass.
"What? What's happening?" Sora asks, bewildered as the supposed doorway before him breaks into several splinters. And everything around him is black except the four Nobodies and the floor which has inexplicably disappeared as well. All of them are on an invisible ground without any source of light yet they can see each other.
"No use running now, Sora," Zexion says with a sinister tone in his voice before four Twilight Thorn-sized ghostly figures appear. Each of them has an uncanny resemblance to both Zexion and his cohorts. The phantoms, their faces pale and their bodies in dull grey translucent shades, hover above the area, holding a larger version of their respective Nobody's weapons. "It's time to end this."
"But... but… I don't remember you guys having these forms at all." Sora takes a few more steps backwards as he watches the specters float maliciously towards him and his unconscious partner.
But then, Axel pushes the boy away and puts himself between the attackers and the two keybladers. After which, his chakrams envelop themselves with fire and start spinning around the red-headed Nobody. He smiles at Sora for one last time before his body starts to emit a red glow.
"Axel! Don't do it! You'll kill yourself again!" Sora struggles to get up while still holding onto Riku's body. "Axel! Stop it!"
The crimson-haired man chooses not to hear the brunette's screams and his chakrams begin to spin around him faster and faster. On the other hand, Demyx, Marluxia, Larxene and Zexion, although not moving, command their wraiths to attack Axel with each of the pallid mirror images firing a beam of dark energy. However, Axel has already built enough momentum and unleashed every last bit of his energy to cause several pillars of fire to erupt from the ground, targeting the ground under his attackers' feet in flames first.
"Wait, what? No! This can't be!" Larxene lets out an anguished cry as she is the first to disappear in the flames. "No! This is not happening! It's not supposed to!"
"It's not over yet…" Zexion manages to say before being enveloped in Axel's attack.
"Cursed traitor. We'll get our revenge someday." And the mastermind of the group vanishes.
Next is to follow is Demyx who was about to strum his sitar to create a dome of water for protection but the attack consumes him first. "I guess the show's finally over."
Still, Axel is not spared as his attack also seemingly incinerates him. Meanwhile, flames continue to come out of the ground, heading towards Sora and Riku who is still knocked out-cold.
"Oh…" is all Sora could utter before the flames leap at him and Riku. And then, all he could see is white. "Am I… am I dead?" he asks as the bright white light engulfs him and Riku.
He could feel a warm sensation on his face. At once, the boy opens his eyes only to find out that he is in a familiar bedroom lying on a bed. He looks to his left where the sun's rays are entering the dim room through the windows.
"That's weird. I had a dream… I thought… I thought I was a goner," the boy mutters to himself as he slowly gets up. He looks at his right and looks at his side to find a silver-haired guy. "Riku? Riku! Riku!" He then starts shaking Riku violently as if the latter is in a coma.
Not long enough, Riku does indeed hold Sora's hands first to keep him from continue to shake the former. "Sora, get a hold of it, will you? What were you thinking? I was just sleeping."
"You… you don't remember?"
Riku raises his eyebrows. "Remember what? I don't remember anything. If you mean last night, we were sleeping."
"Oh, it's nothing. I'm just glad you're okay." Sora catches Riku in a hug to which only further confuses the older boy. "He doesn't remember… but it's okay," the brunette says to himself.
"Uhh, Sora? Where'd you get this cut on your cheek?" Riku asks as he sees the wound when Sora presses his face against the silver-haired lad's chest.
"It's nothing. But if you really want to know, it's long story. And you'll probably say that I'm making the whole thing up." Sora turns away from Riku and blushes a bit.
"Try me." Riku grins as he wraps his arms around Sora. "You know that I'll side with your stories no matter how ridiculous they are, right?"
In another room on Destiny Islands, there sits a girl who has been drawing incessantly on a notebook for nearly two days in a row, furiously erasing and penciling something. Her table is cluttered with several papers, pencils and other art materials. Some of which are just mere doodles of human figures. Others are drawings of the places she imagined in her mind; one of which look a cross between the Castle Oblivion and The Castle That Never Was.
Soon enough, she grabs a nearby box of crayons and starts coloring in a frenzied fashion. Peculiarly, she isn't sweating at all but the grin on her face looks quite disturbing. Within seconds, she is able to put color into her drawing.
The frenzied grin on her face fades and she comes into her senses. "Okay… how long have I been here? I don't even remember going into the drawing room. Weird… anyway…" she picks up her newly-finished drawing and smiles at it in admiration. "This one came out well. I didn't know I had a natural talent in drawing. Well…" She then yawns and stretches her arms. "I think I'm going to have to go get some rest. I feel ridiculously tired right now and I don't even remember doing anything that exhausting."
After putting the said drawing back on the table, he then leaves the room.
On that drawing are four figures, all wearing black cloaks and standing on a flight of stairs. Each one has an evil feel to their grins. The one on the topmost step has pink-hair and is apparently brandishing his scythe. The one that follows him is a blonde female with her hands at her waist. The last two are on the same step and both positioned with their backs to each other.
And if one looks closely at all of them for a minute, he would notice that all four would seem to smile back at him.
Well, that's the last bit of my fic. The ending is for you to interpret. If you want to believe that they're still alive and in the girl's mind, then go. If you want to believe that she just happens to randomly draw them, it's okay too. Either way, it's up to you. Do review please. It makes me happy. Thank you for the support! I owe you lots. I'm sorry I can't really reply to the reviews since I'm busy too.