AN: Written this story for a friend over at LJ. The concept of the pairing is quite sad, but I like it.
Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts. This is purely a fan-work.
Fingers danced against paper, graphite forming smooth lines. They wouldn't form anything, at least, not yet. It was a ruse, to throw off the watchful eye of the Graceful Assassin as she waited for time to move. Waited until all of them was out of sight. As the last coat disappeared into darkness, and after the eight member's last goodbye and hair ruffle, Namine bit her lip, staring at the still mostly empty page.
The sketchbook was flipped over, and this time, the pencil moved in shorter strokes, forming words.
Beyond a far distance, beyond space itself, even beyond time. A blond boy opened a sketchbook just as words formed at the top of the first page. Ocean blue eyes alighted on them.
"How are you, friend?"
Unseen by his two, sleeping, older companions, he smiled.
Ventus remembered receiving the quaint little sketchbook from a sea witch by the name of Tia Dalma. She had appeared to him abruptly as he was standing at the shores of Destiny Islands, looking as if she came from the ocean herself. Offering her protection from Unversed, he was politely denied and instead invited for conversation. Being a friendly person, he consented. As they talked though, Ven found himself not making head nor tail of the conversation. The woman would mysteriously smile, sometimes looking off to the far distance with sad forlornness. It was a look of longing, something he's seen plenty of times now during these dark times. She stared out into the horizon, asking him if he had ever seen a green sunset. The question was odd, but he shook his head. For several moments, she was quiet. And then she turned to him.
"Boy, for you. Do you think the heart is capable of reaching out beyond everything? Life and death? Betrayal? Time?"
Like all her other questions, he couldn't understand her. But it seems she didn't need an answer. Instead, she smiled one of those mysterious smiles, and pushed the sketchbook towards him. The youngest chaser accepted it, inspecting it before looking back up to her for some sort of explanation.
But she had disappeared as easily as footprints washed away from the sand.
The sketchbook was forgotten for a while, as the whirl of missions, training, and friends occupied his mind. Ven only remembered it during a particularly slow afternoon when Terra and Aqua decided to take a stroll around Disney Castle. Setting himself on top of a balcony, he opened the first page, intent to turn it into a journal.
He promptly dropped it when words appeared on the page, writing jagged and almost frantic. He took a double take though when the words were smudged with droplets. As if someone had cried on them.
"Somebody, help me."
Namine had written the words out of desperation. She felt so trapped, so cornered and caged. There was no one to turn to. Everywhere there was hostility. She couldn't even turn to the Replica for genuine comfort, her conscience prickling with guilt whenever she talked with him.
She didn't expect someone to answer.
Words appeared right below hers, writing almost like chicken scratch but legible.
"Where are you? We'll try to help. Just hang in there."
Her hands froze at clutching her pencil as she stared, the tears that were threatening to fall drying up. ... could it be? Maybe... maybe the way out was with her all this time. With shaking hands, she wrote again, just below it.
"Castle Oblivion..." Ven repeated aloud, watching as the words surfaced on paper. He scribbled a reassurance below it, heart racing. Someone out there was in trouble. But who was this? What if this was a prank?
"We'll try to see where you are. Just hang in there, alright? What's your name?"
One more word.
Namine. Like ocean waves, he remembered. He paused, hesitant. Before writing again.
"My name is Ven."
Neither Terra and Aqua knew about Castle Oblivion, causing frustration from Ven. By then, he and the girl had pages full of conversation, and he knew that the girl was trapped somewhere out there in a world, forced to do something against her will and imprisoned. It was an Organization, and even as he wandered around asking other apprentices for information, none of them knew where it existed nor even heard of it.
All he could do was assure her that he'd come for her some day, save her. But until then, he saved her from grief by talking to her. Or rather, writing to her. It felt strange. It was like having a correspondence that answered back immediately. Every time he would open the sketchbook, it seems that was the moment that Namine would be opening it too. He told her about life as an apprentice, described other worlds to her. His two friends wondered why he was so engrossed in that small sketchbook and had almost screamed bloody murder when an Unversed tried to destroy it.
From Deep Space to the Castle of Dreams, he would tell her about them, sharing with her the world that she couldn't see because of her imprisonment. In return, she would give him sketches, renditions of her dreams, of her sufferings. He would console her and offer words of comfort, sometimes wishing that he could feel the girl next to him and offer her real comfort.
One day, he gave her an odd wish.
"I want to see your face."
He always wanted to know what she looked like beyond what she described him. It fascinated him, wondered what the girl with the soft words looks like. One day, he got his wish granted.
Eyes so like his own stared back from the paper, blonde hair that bordered her delicate features cascading down to her shoulder. He was at a complete loss for words as he stared at it, one hand reaching up to run along the colored pencil covered surface. The expression on the picture made him want to save her faster, to get to her.
"What do you think?"
Ven had become her refuge. Marluxia's words seem more tolerable and Larxene's shoves less painful, the knowledge that out there, in a world somewhere, she had a friend. At the end of the day, Namine would come to him, and she would pick herself up from the floor and let the wounds heal. The tears would turn into smiles, the cries turning into laughter during those nights when she would be alone in that white room.
Slowly, the walls around her were filled with sketches of things that weren't in Sora's memories. Of giant space ships, pumpkin carriages, grand castles. Ven filled her world with color, and she was eternally grateful to him. Sometimes, she would find herself wondering what he looks like, and she asked him. She got weirdly deformed doodles from an embarrassed Ven, but she giggled it off. And piecing together his description, she finally got him spot on one night.
She kept that drawing close to her all the time.
It was her talisman, and it made her stronger against everything that she faced. The letters continued, and for a while, her world didn't seem so dreary. Until...
"...hey, do you believe in next lives?"
"Next lives? No, not really. Why?"
"It kind of got me thinking. This war's getting worse."
"...Ven, please don't say things like that."
"I know... I guess, I'm just worried."
"... you'll be alright, won't you?"
"Yeah, definitely! Though since we're on the subject of next lives, I want to tell you something."
"If I ever die-- hypothetically-- I want to become the wind in my next life."
"The wind? Is it because of your name?"
"Yeah! And the wind is everywhere. Free, always moving... flying.. wouldn't that be amazing?"
"It would, wouldn't it."
"Mhm. What about you?"
"... can't really think of anything."
"You can be the waves, like your name too. After all, waves needs gusts to make them move, right?"
"I suppose so."
"When that time comes, I'll be the one guiding you! We'll play everyday and we'll spend our days out there on the ocean!"
"That sounds amazing."
"Mm! It's a promise then."
A promise. She... never really had a real promise made to her. He was the first one.
Ven's hand paused at the paper. He was wearing his armor, ready to go out the battle. The final confrontation with Master Xehanort was near, and he wanted to talk to her before it happens.
"You'll come back safely, right?"
"Yeah! After we finish this, and we beat him, I'll be a real Keyblade Master. And then I'll be free to look for you myself. I'll be able to save you, alright? I'll be the one who'll do that. So wait for me."
"Mm. I'll wait."
More hesitation. It felt silly. It felt dumb. It was silly. It was dumb. But. He knew what he was feeling. He didn't thought it was possible for things to turn out like this, but here they are. His heart told him what he felt. He decided to risk it. Just before closing he sketchbook, just before Aqua called him out, he scribbled three words.
Somewhere in the future, Namine stared.
And the pages were dotted with tears as she smiled, running her fingers gently over the words.
"I love you."
He never wrote again.
Namine desperately leafed through the pages repeatedly, scribbling out his name, hoping to call him out. But he never responded. Ven always responded. And with yesterday's confession, she was sure...
.. or was it all a lie?
But she knew him. He wouldn't lie. He would never. If he couldn't respond, something happened. As she leafed through it, she saw something out of the ordinary in one of the pages. Something she nor Ven didn't draw.
The page was water soaked, cold and bloodied.
Namine fell on her knees and cried.
Months passed, almost a year. She wasn't trapped in Castle Oblivion anymore. Sora was the one who ended up saving her. But Namine was still in that white room, now in a mansion. Although drawings of Sora's memories were still there, in a secret drawer on her desk, there was a stack of secret pictures. A boy with blond spiky hair and blue eyes, moving fast, swift, like the wind. At night she would take them out, look them over. She would trace the first sketch of him with her fingertips, pretending it was his face.
And suddenly, one of the windows burst open, blowing a strong gust of wind into the room. It scattered her drawings on the floor, and Namine cried out when the drawing of his face flew out of her grip and down the hall, right under the door crack. She chased after it, the breeze pushing against her back even as she went out to the mansion hall. Her hair fanned out, almost as if the wind was playing with it, cold wisps fluttering against her bare arms.
The paper kept flying out of her reach, down to another door and underneath the crack. Without hesitation, she opened it, just in time to here DiZ remark.
"Tis a fate of Nobody."
And she saw it. Right there on the uploader for the simulation was a boy with similar spiky blond hair, wearing a black coat, eyes closed. Though she knew if he opened them, there would be blue eyes underneath them. And before she could call out, the upload started, and he dissolved into strands of data.
The page flew down to her feet, finally stopping.
"You're here, aren't you?" she whispered to the wind, standing on the rooftop on a building in Twilight Town. Or rather, the simulation of it. Earlier, she had hacked her way in without DiZ's consent, and even then, she didn't fear the man. Her hand reached out in empty space, and the wind rushed around her, her own hair tickling her face, playing with the ends of her dress and wiping away the solitary tear that traveled down her cheek. Namine felt as if it was wrapping her and she didn't mind, closing her eyes and leaning back. The wind didn't let her fall. And she strained her ears to listen, almost hearing a whisper.
It dried any tears that threatened to fall, and for a moment, she was lost in memories of their conversations.
"Have you ever seen a sunset?"
"If you finally see one, it'll be when I'm standing right next to you. We'll both watch it."
Distantly, she could see Twilight Town's eternal sunset. Namine smiled. He was still with her. Watching over her. He didn't leave. He kept his promise. That's all she needed.
She reopened her eyes and stood upright, watching as Roxas ran around town looking for his friends. With a little prod of the simulation, she was down there on Market street, standing there and waiting for him. The wind diminished, but it never left, still in the air and silently guarding over her in a way she only knew. And when she finally saw the boy come up, a smile worked its way on her lips once more.
"I wanted to meet you at least once."