Alice of Human Sacrifice Epilogue
His throat is raw, burning. His fingers bleed from the time spent clawing at the door, the hours upon hours as he begged for his life—for him and Roxas and Naminé to be released, even though he'd seen the red woman remove their heads. Even though Roxas' blood is across his face.
It's a dream, after all, right?
Even now, as he rests with his back to the black door, set in stone and partly covered in green, green vines, he tells himself repeatedly that it's only a dream. But he knows, as he takes in the vines of the Green Queen and the roses belonging to the Blue Musician in the distance, that it's not. This is real—very real—and he's not getting out of here.
"Can't stay in one place, it makes me easy prey…" he mutters to himself, pushing himself up—blood red stains on the stone step of the locked door. He's quiet, walking along the pathway before him, as he muses over how much time he has before this dream turns nightmare.
He wagers he has lots of time to go out with a bang—before that thing comes for him. There has to be some way to get out of here… Somewhere he has time to do this without the pretty man getting to him too soon.
He looks up, and a grin crosses his lips. There, just off the path ahead of him, is an old cottage. The perfect place, not too far from his door, so he'll have probably days.
He takes off, feet pounding into the dirt and kicking it up. The cottage is closer, the front door almost in his reach. And then the door is opening, and he's falling inside and he's laughing. So far, so good. And everything's dry and he's safe. No pretty man to be seen. None of the zombies.
He sets to work instantly. Anything wooden and flammable is broken, stacked up in the rooms haphazardly. Anything that can burn is added—dried blankets, towels, old clothing. Everything is stacked up, and then he goes outside to fetch the good supply of firewood stocked up. He can't help but feel sorry for the family who lives here, whoever they may be, because they're going to lose their house.
All in all, it takes hours for him to become satisfied. He shifts some of it around, making sure that the doors and windows are blocked so that he can't get out even if he wants to. Then, he takes the oil from the lamps he'd collected from around the house and tosses it all over the room—the wood and the cloths and the floor and everything.
A hand slinks into a pocket, fishing out the matches he always has on him. What's a pyro without something to help him burn stuff? He rests with his back against the only clear wall, then. The match is lit, and he grins like a mad man at the dancing flame.
It's thrown, and immediately, flames leap up and surround him, trapping him in the small space. He gives a soft, slightly crazed chuckle as he slips down the wall to sit, running a hand back through his spiked hair.
Brilliant eyes shift across the flames, and he sees nothing to say that the pretty pink-haired man is here. So, even with his lungs already screaming from the lack of clean air in the room, he begins to laugh.
An arm rests across his forehead as the laughter grows, the look on his face telling just how much he's lost it from all he'd seen. He still hadn't washed Roxas' blood off his face, he realizes now, but he just laughs harder, the crazed edge growing and growing.
His leg stretched out in front of him is hurting him, but even as his lungs ache and his eyes sting and his skin begins to bubble and blister already from the intense heat, he can only laugh like a madman. He'd won, after all. The damn nightmare can't touch him if he kills himself.
Whistling suddenly rises above the roaring of the flames. A familiar tune, and even through his madness, he recognizes it as dread sinks through his bubbling skin and boiling blood. His laughter begins to die down as he stars in front of him.
Walking through the flames, not a single singed fiber or burnt scrap of skin on him, is a pretty man in nice clothes with a can. He pauses right inside the open space, grinning widely. The whistling ceases and he looks down his nose at the red-headed pyro.
"…He sought to escapes and so burned himself."
The implication is obvious: Axel had done the thing's job for him. The laughter has died into whimpers—ones that grow into frightened screams as he turns with what strength he has, clawing at the wooden wall to escape the sharp-toothed grin of the pretty man who had lured him to his death.
But there is no escape. He burns, feeling himself cook and burn and, eventually, life is merciful. His fingers, worn to the bone, fall to his side with his hands, and he rests with a blistered forehead to the wall. The lack of oxygen has caught up to him, and he's losing consciousness.
No more pain from his reddened, even blackened, skin. No more worries or cares as he slips off into unconsciousness, and another Alice is lost in the Wonderland…
In a white, white room, far away, there rests five beds. Each has an occupant that sleeps soundly, each one save for two different in their expressions.
In the first bed is a blonde woman whose expression shifts from one of sadistic glee to her own terror. Taped to the wall, by her bed, are drawings of bloody and broken towns and people—her own handiwork.
The second holds a young blondette man, tormented by his own feelings of loneliness and the loss of his own music. He twists lightly in his sleep, calloused fingers tracing phantom melodies across invisible piano keys and guitar strings that rest across his bed.
The third is a younger girl, blue hair resting across her face. She's curled up, a mad smile twisting her delicate features. A small, toy crown rests at the head of her bed, and clutched in her arms is a blond prince plush doll.
The fourth bed contains two individuals, twins with yellow hair that sleep turned toward each other. Their hands touch, forming a small heart on accident. Their faces are a mixture of confusion and fear.
The last is a red-haired man whose hand twitches as if it wants to reach out for something. He is, in his sleep, tossing and turning as if trying to escape a hidden fire that threatens to devour him alive.
And watching over them is a young man with pretty pink hair and a beautifully dangerous smile.
He hums a soft, seductive and frightening melody under his breath, gazing over the precious things under his care—a young woman with extreme psychopathy, a young man who is reclusive to the extreme, a girl who chronically manipulates those around her, fraternal twins who run away for no reason other than their own delusions, and a final young man who's been known to commit arson because of his pyromania.
"Doctor Marluxia?" comes a sudden, small voice. Shaken from his thoughts, the man turns around, offering a smile to the black-haired girl standing in the doorway. She's small and fragile, and she's a patient who's suffered severe memory loss.
"Well, well, Xion. Fancy seeing you here. You're dressed rather nicely. Where are your medical robes?" he asks of her, offering a kind and charitable smile. And sure enough, the girl is dressed in a little female sailor uniform—designed to be cute more than anything else.
"I came to say good-bye. Mama and Papa are on the way. I go home today!" little Xion says in an excited manner. The pink-haired doctor beams, walking over to ruffle the girl's hair in a proud way.
"That's good! And you even remember them! I'll have to tell the doctors Crescent that you've been such a good girl and you deserve ice cream." His voice is a pleased and gentle purr. She seems infinitely more excited by this, but then she looks past him and frowns.
"…It's sad. I wanted to say good-bye to Norty, but he fell asleep. And Axel, Roxas and Naminé are all still asleep, too…" the little girl laments, hands clasped behind her back as she scuffs her shoe across the tile.
The doctor offers a soft, sad smile before bending down to rest on a knee before her. There, he removes a card from his pocket, and hands it to her. A simple seven of hearts playing card with a phone number scribbled on it.
"Ask your mother and father if you can call me on my cell every now and then, so I can tell you when they all wake up. And then, I can have them all call from the clinic phone to give you a big good morning and congratulations on overcoming your memory loss." Marluxia tells the girl. She takes the card, beaming, then skips off down the hall at the call of her name.
The doctor stands and moves out enough to see her race into the arms of a brunette woman who's nearly crying from joy. Her husband, a blond man, stands slightly behind her with a look of relief written across his face.
As they turn to say good-byes to other staff members, Marluxia's smile darkens into a twisted smirk. Before speaking to the Crescents, he'll have to see to another patient here. A grief-stricken white Alice who had lost his wife in a car accident, and who needs a little wake-up call to fix him.
Just like the other little Alices.
Really, it's a win-win all around. They get their problems fixed, though not in the most ethical of ways, and he gets to continue living.
He can only chuckle to himself as he begins to hum once more, walking down the hall to see to Mister Xehanort Withers…
…Passing an old black-and-white photograph dated 1937 that contains his mirror image in the center of the staff pictured.