AN: Prompt was "can't break my resolution." My first step outside my one fandom and I'm a total turtle. ._. I think I went too poetic in this, but it was so much fun~ xP

Summary: Don't kid yourself— you're not dead yet. You're retracing the steps I've drawn for you.

Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts.


Sign of Life

my heart still beats for you; 'how are you doing?'


It was cold when he woke up and he wondered vaguely if time had frozen still. He flexed his numb fingers, bending his elbows and knees, and blinked slowly. The sky was dark and the back of his head scraped against a grainy texture that somehow registered to him as a wall. It took a few seconds for his vision to sharpen, and when it did, he looked around, ignoring how uncomfortable it was to move his head.

It was nighttime, and distant stars littered the sky. There were potato peelings to his right and empty tin cans to his left: he was surrounded by trash with his back against a stone-cold wall and somehow blending in. It was an uncomfortable feeling, but he didn't feel up to moving.

There was a puppet, looking so well-cared for that it couldn't possibly have been left in the trash. His chest felt a pang of envy somewhere inside his emptiness.

"Hello," it said. Its face was painted on, almost comically so that it seemed as though it was permanently smiling, with a faint blush high on his cheeks and glazed baby-blue eyes. The wind picked up then, and he half-expected its hat to fly off its head: it didn't. "My name's Pinocchio," it pipped. Its head tilted naively and placed a finger to its chin thoughtfully. "Have we meet before?"

Unwanted memories flashed through his eyes: a whale, a boy, a puppet. They were faint and blurry and covered in darkness, and most of all, they weren't his. He squeezed his eyes tightly and tried to breathe easy. What little warmth he had escaped him.

"No, I can't say we have," he said, regaining his composure: he had never left the castle walls before now. He felt numb and stiff and empty like something was missing. But something was missing.

His gloved fingertips brushed against the left side of his chest, pressing slightly against the cloth that separated them from his skin: there was no heartbeat, no pulse. There was a lump in his pocket, and realization and sadness hit him both at once. He swallowed thickly and took out broken pieces and held them gently together in the palms of his hands. They were delicate and clear, like glass, clinking together in a soft, musical twinkle.

"What's that?" the puppet asked curiously, pointing a finger at his cupped palms. He was unsure of whether or not to answer, when he was so uncertain himself, but when he opened his mouth, his lips wouldn't close, and he told the puppet what he believed was true:

"She broke my heart," he said, face softening with something not defeat. He was dreaming of a white castle and a pale girl with blond hair and blue eyes. The island was cast far-off to a corner in his mind, not forgotten, but not a priority either. He wondered if she's all right because, honestly, he doesn't remember if he saved her or not.

The puppet reached a hand toward the broken pieces, and he, caught by surprise and fear, recoiled away. Its painted eyes looked at him directly, asking for permission this time, in a way that was more human than puppet (their eyes were just a few shades apart; where they always this similar?), and when it tried again, he did not back away.

A gasp escaped his lips when his heart was touched, and much to their surprise, the once clear-colored heart of his changed to the faintest pink. The puppet, Pinocchio, predictably broke the silence first:

"What are you going to do now?" Its blue eyes looked into his, and suddenly, he realized that they weren't so different after all. His body felt so heavy now that no one was pulling the strings, and he couldn't help but think it might not be a good thing. He was a little lost and a whole lot confused, homeless, and alone, but it wouldn't stop him. He may be broken, but he was breathing, moving, speaking, and most of all, alive.

"I don't know," he murmured, running his thumb across its smooth, pale surface to its ragged edges. His heartbeat was faint and irregular, but somehow, miraculously, still there. A tiny pulse fluttered against his touch as he pocketed it. The sound it made threatened him with breaking, but he's sure (he's positive) that it wouldn't.