WARNING: Violence, Blood, Swears, LOTS OF SPOILERS.
8,830 freaking words.
In six days. *Dies*
Sora. Sora. Sora. Sora.
The name lingered bitterly on Xion's tongue.
Sora. Sora. Sora. Sora.
Answer me, the black haired girl commanded to nothing. Can't you hear me? Sora! Sora! Sora! Sora!
Her eyes were blue. Did she even have eyes anymore? But they had been blue at one point? Yes, yes. She was sure of it. Now, what color had her hair been… brown? No! No, that was Sora! She had… she had…
What color had it been? When she tried to imagine herself, one image came to mind. The spiky brown haired boy's face was sealed forever in place of hers. She was trapped completely in his heart. How is that? Why is she in Sora's heart? Was this even Sora's heart? It seemed too dark to be Sora's heart...
She had never met him. She was his replica. The imperfect Sora number two. The one that had taken a female form. Kairi's form.
Sora's lip twitched at the thought of Kairi. Sure, Xion grimaced, you heard that. Was there a near by wall she could smash her face into? Maybe if she could find a mirror, she could laugh at Sora's bloody face.
You're going insane! Stop it! That's not healthy!
Xion rocked on the balls of her feet. She wasn't alive. What did she care about being healthy?
What was her name?
Was she even still a she?
She dragged her arms -which seemed to have gained seventy extra pounds- upwards, folding them across her chest. She dropped them. She was still a girl, at least. Did that mean she still looked like herself? Mirror! She needed a mirror!
Xion looked around her. No. Nothing. Big gaping nothingness. Xemnas would have a ball with all he could do with this nothing. Xemnas! Who was he again?
He's not important. Forget about him.
Xion mouthed the name to herself. She heard no sound. She did not feel her lips moving. She felt the name itch in the back of her throat. It was gurgling in her throat. Choking her.
Did he hear her?
The girl looked at her feet. She was wearing sneakers. Why was that?
She stood up and examined her hands. They looked feminine. Tiny.
She looked down at her clothing. She had never seen it before. It was blue. Baggy pants, up to her knees. She blinked. There was a few slits in the pants. Xion moved her legs forward. Then back. It was so light! She gaped at how swift she was. Why didn't the Organization let them wear these pants? They were so airy!
Organization? Who are they?
"Bad people!" Xion chided to herself, spinning on her tip toes.
Oh? That's too bad.
Oh, sush, will you?
"Bad people, bad people!" Xion shouted, waving her hands around to grasp something. Nothing came, of course.
The girl stopped. No, no. She had something important to do. Collect hearts! Oh, stupid, Xion! Xemnas will turn you into a Dusk for sure!
Xion? Was that her name?
"Xi…on?" Her lips sounded the letters out, letting them slip of her tongue. The naturalness of the name flushed her with warmth. "Xion…"
She remembered now. Xion stopped her spinning. Her happiness faded. She sat down again, pulling her blue clad knees to her chest. Oh dear. What was she going to do?
The Organization. Organization 13. They used her. They created her as a puppet. They used her, and threw her away. No. She chose her fate. Her lip twitched at the memory. Axel hadn't been there, had he? No. Too bad. She really would've liked to see him cry. Did Roxas cry? Probably. He was much more emotional than Axel. In a very literal sense too.
Roxas! Oh, for the love of Kingdom Hearts! How had she forgotten him? Xion stood, her eyes locked on the darkness in front of her.
"Let me out, Sora, God damn it!" Xion was not one to curse. She had heard Axel use all kind of nasty words, but Xion had never quite gotten into the habit. But it was the most she could do to express her anger. If only there were heartless around.
Xion let out an agitated cry, and clawed at the nothing that were the walls of her cage. "Let me out! I don't want to be here anymore! Come on! Just…" The words were too heavy. They weighed themselves and distributed themselves onto her shoulders. They delivered the final blow. Xion collapsed, completely out of will power. Her dark cage was drawing energy from her. Sucking her dry of any life that remained.
Xion leaned against what seemed to be nothing. What a joke. Who designed this anyway? Who decided that this was the place she needed to be locked in. Who controlled her fate? Who'd get her out it?
"Xion. Roxas. Axel. Xemnas. Sora. Sora. Sora. Sora." Her whole body was shaking. She was curled in a ball, small and shrunken. She hadn't even the energy to be hysterical. No, she was much past hysterical. She was forever just a small speck of weakness on Sora's humanity. She was nothing. She never was anything. She never was anybody. She never had a heart to have- so she fought for nothing all that time. She was a worthless piece of dust, and the world that is Sora. She was nothing. And soon, there would be nothing left to prove she had ever even existed.
Roxas was weary. He could see Naminé clearly from Sora's eyes. But he knew he was just looking at Kairi. He hadn't a clue what was happening. Something about going away. Wait, was Sora leaving? Great. He couldn't even have the company of Naminé anymore. Just Sora. Roxas rolled his eyes, and watched as Naminé smiled sadly, and gave Kairi's charm to Sora. Roxas rubbed his eyes, and scowled. I'll lock you in here, and see how you like it, Sora.
I heard that.
"Good." Roxas snorted, flipped a white chair over so he could sit down.
Someone needs a time out.
"Oh, just shut up, Sora. Can I talk to Naminé?" Roxas's throat itched to actually talk to someone. Really, truly talk. Not this mind-talking. He wanted to go outside. He wanted fresh air, flowers. Anything but Sora's mind. What did he even keep in here? Roxas threw a dart that the Invincible Door, watching it vaporize as it hit the door's frame. Another dart materialized next to him. Roxas plucked it up, and tossed it carelessly at Invincible Door. He sighed, remembering the last time it had ever been used.
"How'd you get in here?"
Roxas didn't know how long he had been in Sora's head. He didn't keep track. Naminé smiled, and examined a dart laying on his table.
"I guess I'm more adjusted to the trapped in a white room concept." Naminé murmured. No matter how long she's in Kairi's head, she just can't seem to adopt the girl's personality. Roxas was not complaining.
Naminé was silent. She was staring at him with sad eyes- a feature he noticed she wore often. Her fingers twisted at the hem of her dress.
"Roxas- do you forgive me?"
Roxas looked up. He frowned, and shook his head. "For what?"
"For everything." Her voice rose an octave, signaling that she was distressed.
Naminé smiled slightly, and she stared at the single dart on the table's surface. "For playing with your memories. For making the same mistakes I did with Sora at Castle Oblivion. For not sticking up for you- Roxas. I am so sorry." Naminé's eyes were wide, the blue was translucent. Behind it, was regret. Thousands beyond thousands of regrets, piling up, pooling in her eyes.
"You mean in Twilight Town? It's fine. I'm over it." Roxas lied, smiling at the poor girl. He had never seen Naminé cry before. He was positive that if he checked in with Sora, there would be a fuss over why Kairi was crying.
"No. You're not. Roxas- I never… I'm sorry. My mistakes have gotten you nowhere. You deserve to be free, Roxas. The three of you- you didn't deserve it." She closed her eyes. Roxas watched her. He was confused, shocked, and a little annoyed. What had happened to make Naminé like this?
"Nami-" Roxas stopped. The girl was gone. His shoulders slumped forward in defeat. It was Twilight Town all over again, her disappearing without a trace.
Roxas threw another dart at the door. He hadn't talked to Naminé since then. He hadn't a clue why. Maybe it was because he didn't know how to talk to her like she talked to him.
"Sora, you mind is boring as hell." Roxas swore with distaste.
There wasn't an answer.
"Sora?" Roxas glanced upward at the white ceiling. Roxas stood, staring upwards.
Roxas felt uneasy about the sudden silence. He closed his eyes, trying to hack into Sora's sight. He easily did so, and grimaced. He was fighting. Roxas pulled back, not wanting to see Sora destroy whatever Heartless he was fighting.
Roxas froze. The room was melting. The room was literally peeling itself into inexistence. Roxas stepped back. It was like watching a rabid animal try and consume itself. It was horrific. Like the room was made of wax, and someone had just lit a fire on top of it. It was burning, melting, being destroyed by something Roxas couldn't see. An ominous invisible. A transparent phantom. What was happening?
Roxas didn't bother moving when the floor beneath him began to melt. What was the point? It'd just pull him under anyway.
"Axel would know what to do."
Because Axel knew everything.
Or, at least he used to.
Xion was suffocating. Something had reached into her chest, and pulled out her lungs. She was gasping for air, grappling at the thick darkness around her. She was dead. How could she die again? The tears were salty against her lips, but they fell all the same. One after the other. A storm of tears. An array of thick water gracelessly streaming down her cheeks, stifling her sobs. Her gasps. Her pleads.
She was nothing. She lived as nothing. She died as nothing. She lingers as nothing. She will disappear as nothing.
She was the result-
Of a mistake.
She was the shining marble statue of failure. The creation of abomination. She was the downfall, the weak link, the puppet, the mistake. The mistake. Failure. Epitome of imperfection.
Xion was the result.
"R-Roxas-s…." She choked on her words, and they bled down her throat. Roxas did not come.
"A-Axel…" She coughed. The darkness was like gas being sprayed innocently into a crowd of unsuspecting people through a faucet, or a valve. It was slow, and painful. She couldn't even manage a scream. Because it had been taken from her. Her words lingered in the air. Echoing against the darkness.
She wanted to live.
But it wasn't so simple as to just think it.
If the last lingering part of Xion died in this prison-like place-
The world would burn like nothing ever burnt before.
Roxas was falling. The unusual sensation of the air rushing past him tingled his skin. He was used to falling. Roxas, was to say the least, very clumsy. But this kind of falling… was unbearable. His heart was in his throat, and his stomach beside him. His eyes were glued open, and the impact of wind was making them tear. He was completely thrown from time and space, hurtling to nothing. He was unbearably frightened, and confused, and hopeless.
Roxas needed to get a grip.
What had happened, anyway? Roxas tried to lift his arms, but no avail. Did he not have control over his limbs anymore? Roxas wanted to flail wildly. He couldn't even manage an exasperated noise. The fall was intensely long- darkness, and wind, and darkness.
It was harshly bringing up air, and it attacked him like knives, sharp and stinging. And Roxas knew he wouldn't be able to take much more of it.
Until his face came in contact with something hard. It was cool, and smooth- like a frozen lake. Silky smooth substances against his cheek. Death cold- glass covered with frost.
He heard footsteps, long, drawn out foot steps. Loud, and ending next to his ear. Roxas heard a scornful laugh, and he was pulled up by the collar of his shirt.
"This is his Nobody? Honestly, Ventus, are you that self absorbed?" There was another laugh. This one longer, dripping with harsh humor.
Roxas felt like a rag doll- a puppet on strings. He was tossed careless back onto the frost-bitten floor. He could not be that light, could he? But then again, when was the last time he had eaten? The sudden rush of memories came to his mind. Sea Salt Ice Cream with the Twilight Town gang. Had the ice cream even been real? Or had it just been data fed to him through a vengeful man's computer? Roxas could only feel resentment toward the man. He had taken his anger out on Nobodies. He had not cared a bit of what would become of Roxas. He had just thrown him into a virtual world, given him fake friendships to slowly suck on- sweet candies that distracted a child while the doctor tried to give him a shot. But when the candy ran out, the child was instantly aware. It had been too late. Roxas had taken the bait- and he had faced the consequences. Roxas's friendship with Axel- his time in the Organization. Everything he had ever been was gone. Roxas was simply not Roxas anymore.
Naminé had been the one to erase his memories of Organization 13, and give him fake memories of Twilight Town. Fifteen years of fake life. How had she done it? But then, Roxas had never really thought about his early life while in Twilight Town. He had just gone with the thought that he had to go back to school. School. He still hadn't a clue what that was.
He was not Roxas anymore. Anything he had ever been had been stripped away from him in Virtual Twilight Town. He was an empty shell. He was now, more than ever, the perfect example of a Nobody.
"It's not like I had a say in how he looks, Vanitas." A quiet voice said from little ways away.
"Oh? No, I guess you didn't, did you?"
The cool floor was numbing his cheek. His hand twitched- his eyes opened.
"Oh, look. It's awake."
Roxas's eyes widened. He turned himself over painfully, his limbs objecting to the sudden movements. His fingers dug into the painfully familiar stain glass floor, and he realized where he was. Station of Serenity. He moved his head upward, looking past the mess of blonde hair in his eyes. There were two people, as he suspected. One was clad in red and black, and a mask covered his face, concealing his entire head. An uneasy chill ran up his spine, seeing a long blade in the masked boy's hand. It was something of a cross between a Keyblade and broadsword. The blade was long, and gold, while two small versions of the Kingdom Key crossed themselves over into an 'X'. It was the strangest blade he's ever seen.
The other person was obscured by the masked boy's towering form. Roxas was sure if he could see his face, there would be a mighty smirk plastered onto it. Roxas's mouth went dry at the sight of him. The boy was beginning to taunt him. Laughing wildly. Roxas let him. Why, is quite obvious. He had taken a glance past the masked boy.
A boy whom mirrored him completely. As if someone had made a clone of him, and plastered it into the unfolding scene. The mirror boy was leaning over someone, taking short glances over to where Roxas was being taunted. The boy had caught sight of him. He seemed to stiffen a bit, and even made a gesture that he was about to move toward him. But something stopped him. And he turned around again, leaning over whomever was sitting beside him.
In short, Roxas was getting pissed off.
A tiny voice inside Xion's head was nagging her- prodding her. Even as she struggled to breathe, regret was bubbling in her chest. What could she have done better in her life? Why hadn't she helped Roxas more? Why had she not realized what was to happen to her sooner? Why? Why? Why?
The memory of her beating heart was pulsing uncontrollably. Too fast to be healthy. The darkness was reaching inside her and literally taking her breath away. This was it. The last of whatever Xion had been would perish. Gone forever- not a strand of what was. Nothing. She would be not even a memory. Who would remember her? Her chest burned pitifully. Axel was dead. Roxas didn't remember. The only one who could possibly hold any memory of her was that girl. Naminé. The one who had taken the memories of Xion from everyone.
And what did the girl care? She had barely known Xion.
Xion could not see. She could not breathe.
In all honesty, Xion would like nothing more, at that moment, to greet death with open arms.
But death did not come.
Either way, Xion hurt like hell.
Xion could barely feel herself being carried away from her prison. She couldn't tell the difference between the darkness and air.
Roxas shifted his weight onto the side that had not been hurt by the fall. He pulled himself up, eyes wide with fury. The masked boy was still taunting. Provoking. Roxas could feel Oathkeeper and Oblivion materializing in his hands. The boy had stopped laughing now, and realized what was happening.
With full force, Roxas drove the tip of Oblivion into the boy's neck, twisting it into his skin. The boy yelped in surprise, stepping back. Roxas went in again, this time with Oathkeeper, aiming for the lower part of his torso. It was blocked by the boy's blade. The boy pushed Roxas away, throwing a few well aimed shots of what seemed to be darkness at him. Roxas dodged them, if only just, and balanced the hilt of Oblivion against his right hand. He brought both Keyblade's down onto the boy's chest, then whacked the blunter side of Oblivion against the boy's leg, making him lose balance. Roxas struck him once more with the tip of Oathkeeper, just above his abdomen. The boy toppled over from the force.
Roxas glared at the boy, lowering Oathkeeper and Oblivion. "Who are you?" He asked, resisting the urge to drive both Keyblades into the boy's helmet.
The boy looked upward. Roxas could almost see the grin beneath his helmet. The boy swung his blade forward, throwing it down onto Roxas's chest. Roxas stumbled back, surprised by the blow. The boy struck him again, this time throwing him into the air. Roxas skidded away, sliding across the floor like bullet. His eyes widened as he realized he would soon fall over the edge. He grasped Oathkeeper and Oblivion, shoving them into the precious stain glass to stop the fall. The noise of grinding glass filled his ears, making his ear drums throb. He felt extremely relieved when the Keyblades stopped, leaving him dangling on the edge of the platform. He got a better grip on both Keyblades, and effortlessly flipped back onto the now blemished stain glass.
The masked boy made a scoffing noise. He stepped over the two deep gauges marking what had once been Sora's ankles. He brandished his blade loosely, almost tauntingly. As if to say 'come and get me'. Roxas scowled, bringing both Keyblades up to him. He was going to knock that helmet right off him, and make a large dent in his face. Such a large dent, Xigbar would cower in shame at the sight.
Roxas lunged at the boy, bashing his blade's against the boy's spine repeatedly. He easily retaliated, striking Roxas with the sharper side of his blade. It left a nasty cut on his left temple. Roxas's eyes narrowed dangerously, and he drove Oathkeeper into the boy's side, then doing so again with Oblivion.
Roxas didn't have time to find out who had spoken, as the boy drove his blade into Roxas's shoulder. Roxas's eyes widened, feeling the impact of the cold metal digging harshly into his shoulder blade. Roxas blinked back a few tears, and aimed a blow at the boy's abdomen. He blocked easily, and kicked Roxas painfully in the chest. He went skidding across the floor again.
"Okay- ow." He winced, steadying himself.
Sudden battle cries made him collapse again in surprise. Roxas whipped his head around, and stared as the scene unfolded. Sora had seemingly appeared out of nowhere- and now he was attacking the boy. Throwing various hits around his body, and getting hit in return. It was really the spectacle. The boy had a semi-cloud of darkness surrounding him, and was throwing darkness as well. Roxas hadn't noticed much when he had been fighting him.
He stood up, cringing as he felt the gash in his shoulder tear a bit. "Cura." He mumbled, feeling the wound heal a bit. It then healed a bit more. At a steady pace, the wound began to close up. He felt more than relieved when the gash was gone.
Roxas steadied his Keyblades, ready to go into battle again. A light hand on his shoulder stopped him. Roxas lowered his weapons, and looked over at the mirror boy. He smiled, and nodded to his right. "Will you watch her? I have a bone to pick with Vanitas." Roxas looked past him, and saw who he had been leaning over. It was a small girl, slumped over. She was completely still except for the movement of her mouth sucking in air, and her chest rising and falling.
"Aww, come on? She's pretty." Mirror boy flashed him a grin, before taking off toward the battle.
Roxas stared after him, mouth slightly agape. "Okay…"
He bent down, examining the girl. She had short dark hair, and was wearing some kind of blue hybrid version of whatever Sora used to wear. If Roxas remembered correctly from his memory leafing, a red jump suit. He frowned, and shook her shoulder lightly. "Hey," He said quietly, "Hey, are you okay?"
Of course she's not okay, you idiot.
What was he supposed to do? Roxas glanced over at the battle, frowning as he watched mirror boy hit a steady blow onto the masked boy. He hadn't a clue what mirror boy wanted him to do. Watch her? Was it really that simple? It's not as if the girl was going to move. She was clearly unconscious. Roxas waved his hand over her face, and sighed. This was very useless.
Axel would know what to do.
Of course he would, Roxas smiled, because Axel knew everything.
"Wake up…" He muttered, nudging the girl's shoulder. "Come on…"
The girl toppled over.
"Okay… I guess not."
Roxas tried to pull her up, but no avail. She toppled over once more. Roxas sighed, glancing over at the battle again. Sora and mirror boy were actually doing well against the masked boy- Vanitas, had mirror boy called him?
"What's your name?"
His reply were her shallow breaths.
"Okay. Who are you?"
His reply was much the same.
"What happened to you?"
The girl was still.
"Okay… you hang in there, alright? Curaga." Roxas said, smiling at the girl. To his utter shock, a large amount of darkness spewed from the girl's mouth. It evaporated when it made contact with the air.
Roxas looked up at the sound of his name. Sora grinned at him, healing his mild cuts. "You're back up there. Kick his butt, got it?"
"Of course I will… but… take care of her, okay? I don't know what's wrong with her."
"Who is she?" Sora asked, bending down to take a closer look at the girl. "She looks like Kairi. I mean, when she was younger."
"I don't know…" Roxas murmured.
"Huh… well go!" Sora waved him off with a laugh.
Roxas stared at him. He slowly nodded, and quickly summoned Oathkeeper and Oblivion once more.
He jumped towards Vanitas, driving Oblivion into his shoulder. He didn't even seem to feel it, throwing a few quick balls of darkness Roxas's way. His main concern seemed to be mirror boy. He smacked his blade against mirror boy's arm, a long gash appearing where the blade had touched. Mirror boy drove his own Keyblade into Vanitas's side, maybe wounding him somewhat.
Roxas threw both his Keyblades against Vanitas's back, digging them into his skin. Deep gashes appeared as Roxas cut downward. Vanitas spun around, his sharp blade licking his cheek. Roxas ignored the slight sting, and swung both Keyblades at his chest. He blocked them, slamming his blade against the duel Keyblades. The vibration ran through his fingers and up his arms, numbing them. Mirror boy quickly swung his Keyblade, driving it into Vanitas's back. Roxas was not forgotten, and Vanitas's blade sliced through a good part of his chest. Roxas stumbled back, wide eyed. Mirror boy slammed his Keyblade into the boy's neck, cutting through the boy's strange clothing.
Roxas shifted uneasily, his chest searing with pain. "Cure." The wound healed a bit. "Cure." He murmured again. The wound closed itself. He rubbed his chest painfully, the sting of Vanitas's blade still there. Mirror boy and Vanitas were still fighting, one swing after another, cutting through cloth and skin. Roxas dove in, slamming Oblivion into Vanitas's helmet full force. Roxas held back a grin as it cracked a bit.
Mirror boy struck Vanitas in the shoulder, then again on the stomach, swiftly dodging most attacks. It was obvious the two had fought before. Vanitas smacked Roxas in the mouth, and the boy winced as a tooth wiggled free. He spat out both the tooth, and the fountain of blood it had created, and scowled the Vanitas. He struck him in the stomach, continuously driving both Keyblade onto him, hoping for some kind of reaction. Maybe he'd fall- but Roxas seriously doubted it.
Mirror boy was struck carefully in the torso, and he stumbled back. He retaliated with a swift blow to Vanitas's collar bone.
Mirror boy stopped suddenly. Roxas glanced at him, annoyance prickling his skin. He quickly slashed through a bit of darkness directed his way, and looked back over at mirror boy. He was watching Sora and the unconscious girl.
"She's awake…" He muttered, kicking Vanitas away.
Roxas paused. "Oh." He murmured, striking the boy's knee cap.
Roxas was getting tired- something that happened in few situations. What was this boy? Roxas glanced at mirror boy. He was stealing glances at the girl- juggling the fight. Roxas frowned, dodging a large pillar of darkness.
"You can go see her, if you want." Roxas called to him, blocking a blow to his chest. Mirror boy glanced at him, and laughed.
"And miss out on this fun?" He scoffed softly, "Never!"
Roxas raised an eyebrow, leaping forward to take another strike at Vanitas's head. The boy leapt back, laughing hysterically. Roxas's finger's twitched at the sound. All he wanted was to bash the boy's head into the shining stain glass. He dropped down at the last minute, wincing as a bit of darkness came in contact with his ear. Roxas leaned back, and kicked his legs up, swinging them into the back of Vanitas's knees. He stumbled forward, but managed to slash through Roxas's lower calf. The young boy bit his tongue to stop the scream that had been burning in the back of his throat.
Pulling himself up, Roxas flipped over Oathkeeper, and used its spiky hilt as a club, smacking it into the boy's helmet once more. The crack in his helmet was now huge. One more blow, and the whole thing would be gone.
"Go on," Roxas said to the mirror boy. "You can just send Sora over here. Knowing him, he's probably too anxious about the battle to actually watch her, anyway."
The boy raised an eyebrow, carefully sidestepping Vanitas's blade. "You sure?"
"Go on, Ventus." Vanitas crooned. "Let me and the Nobody have our fun."
Ventus? Roxas glanced at the boy. So that was his name? Roxas turned Oathkeeper around, holding its hilt once again. The colorful Keyblade had gained a new hue to its wheel. Red drenched the tips, and Roxas grimaced at how morbid the once bright and shining Keyblade had become in a short while.
Ventus glanced at Roxas worriedly, before stepping back. "Sora will be right here, okay?" He smiled slightly, before cautiously fleeing.
Roxas scoffed slightly. Slicing through Vanitas's upper thigh. He shouldn't be worrying about me, He thought, blocking a hit from Vanitas's blade. I can handle myself.
Roxas's grip on Oblivion and Oathkeeper tightened, and he dove forward, the sharp edges of his Keyblades smashing into the boy's helmet, and it shattered on contact. A sense of revelation ran through his body sharply. Because now he could see the face of Vanitas. Now, he was completely shocked. And Vanitas had known he would be.
It was as if Vanitas had planned it from the beginning. Roxas could hear a voice- sweetly familiar, yet bitterly unknown, echoing in the thick air. Vanitas kicked the poor boy down, Keyblades flying from his hands. Roxas's shock was barely given another thought- because the boy was completely filled with fiery pain, creeping into his stomach, vibrating up his back. His scream was drowned by the gurgle of blood rushing into his throat. The blade protruding from his stomach was slick, as if it were covered in oil, slipping from the boy's fingers as he tried to grasp at it- in hopes he could possibly release it from his suffering abdomen.
He found himself pinned to the glass floor by the blade, and his eyes watered shamelessly. His arms slumped, falling uselessly to his side. Roxas was stronger than this. He was stronger than this boy- whatever he was. He could beat him. But Vanitas seemed to have an unknown strength. The stranger knew what he was going to do even before his Keyblades began to materialize in his hands. Roxas cried out slightly, feeling a painful splitting sensation in his left hand. The nauseating crunch was all it took for the tortured boy to realize his hand had just been broken.
Vanitas's eyes scorched him, burning his skin- his blade still sticking him to the icy floor. The fiery substance started at his feet, escalating upward. Roxas's eyes widened, feeling a sudden helplessness that had never been there before. Darkness consumed his body, spiraling up it's small frame, infecting his mind- his soul. He gagged in spite of himself, feeling the darkness itch down his throat, the pain in his stomach was intensified, twisting the thing around and around. Roxas couldn't move from the pain. His eyes were still wide, mouth still agape.
And Vanitas was hovering just over him, watching the boy flail and gurgle. The frantic shouts of his friend, the agonized cries of his Other, and the blank eyes of Ventus all bound themselves into Vanitas's mind. Dispersing into darkness, Vanitas could only grin at the trouble he had caused as of yet. And now, he said to himself, I have a body of my own again.
What Roxas feared most were those last few thoughts- thoughts that were not his own.
The clock tower was even more beautiful than Xion had remembered. The radiant sunset glowed in its shining memory. Her smile was genuine, her eyes wide with delight. Laughter tickled her chest, the corners of her eyes crinkled from her happiness. Axel sat beside her, laughing as well. Roxas's empty spot was not forgotten, and was left alone, while they waited for him to join them.
"Axel," Xion sighed, closing her eyes. Her smile was still in place. "It feels like I haven't laughed in forever…" She grinned, and looked at her elder companion. He had become hushed. He looked back to the sunset.
"Weird." He shrugged.
Xion nodded, her smile was graced with a shade of enthusiasm. Her eyes were sparkling with ecstasy. "I feel so light, Axel." She laughed, leaning back.
Axel snorted, looking at her. "You don't look lighter."
"It doesn't matter how I look. As long as I feel good, I don't care." She closed her eyes, tilting her head back.
"You sure are happy today, Xion." The red head observed.
She shook her head. "I guess I'm just enjoying myself more." She laughed.
Axel tilted his head at her. "Good," He nodded, "You deserve it."
"Yeah. Got it memorized?"
There was a long pause. The sound of ice cream being bitten replaced the conversation.
"Are you okay?"
Axel sighed, and rubbed the back of his neck. "Uh… well, Xion, I guess I've just been thinking a lot."
"As opposed to the usual non-thinking Axel?" The small girl teased.
Axel glared at her. "Ha ha." He said, rolling his eyes at Xion's shaking form. Her laughter echoed through the whole of Twilight Town, which was unusually empty. He held his ice cream in front of her face, watching with a smirk as her nose collided with it. He pulled it back and continued with his eating. Xion blinked, feeling the sticky substance trickle down her cheek.
"Eee- yuck!" She cried, wiping the blue dripping off with the sleeve of her coat. She winced as the fabric stuck to her face. "Ugh, gross, Axel! You licked that!"
"So?" Axel smirked, his eyes twinkling with mischief.
Xion rolled her eyes. "Axel…" She sighed, and shook her head.
Axel raised an eyebrow. "Kay, whatever…"
"Where's Roxas?" Xion sighed. "A mission shouldn't take this long."
Axel became silent again. He lifted his leg up, perching it onto the ledge of the clock tower. "Maybe he's got something better to do."
Xion felt her insides turn to ice. "But… Roxas always comes here! He wouldn't skip it!"
Axel shrugged, turning away from the girl. His face had hardened considerably, eyes narrowed at the sunset. Xion stared at him. "Axel…" She reached out, touching his shoulder lightly. He brushed it off.
"Axel-" Xion began, shifting a bit. Xion froze as the tower began to shake. The force pushed her forward, her legs slipping from the tower. Soon her whole body followed. The girl screamed, her stomach jumping up as she began to fall. Her stomach painfully returned as two hands enclosed themselves around her wrists. She looked up at Axel with wide eyes. He seemed equally surprised that he had caught her. Xion saw him wince a bit as she grabbed onto his wrists as well, digging her nails into his skin.
He was staring at her. A blank stare, very un-Axel-like. She could feel his grip loosening.
She gasped slightly, adjusting her hands farther up his arms. Her eyes were watering a bit from panic. She looked up at him, bleary eyed. "Axel," She said, her voice rising an octave in despair. "Axel, please." His grip loosened even more. She let out a small cry, digging her fingers into his coat. "No, no… please, Axel!" Her fingers were sliding down the fabric of the coat. She whimpered slightly, her hand sliding over his wrist, into his hand. The leather was slipping against leather.
Xion sobbed slightly. "Please, don't drop me…" She whispered, eyes wide.
He was looking at her, face contorted with a cross between pity and sadness. "Sorry, Xion." He lifted his hands away.
The sensation of falling was so terrifying, Xion forgot about Axel completely. Her eyes widened in fright, her body hurtling into darkness. Darkness. Xion gagged slightly, her lungs suddenly feeling heavy.
"Please, don't drop me…"
Axel. Xion was no longer so frightened of the fall. Axel had dropped her. Why would he do it? Did he want her to die?
But, Xion remembered, I'm already dead.
Did he know that?
The falling was taking a lifetime. Her limbs flailed, and she screamed loudly out of reflex. But she felt little. The real hurt was the betrayal. She could've laughed. Axel dropped her. He had let go. Why?
And then, the impact. Xion had never thought she would miss falling so much. The impact was the strongest thing she had ever felt. Her skull collided painfully with something hard as steel, she tried to scream, but she found nothing came to her mouth. Her throat was burning like hell had been evicted, and was forced to reside in the tiny space. Throughout her entire body, pain enveloped her, crushing her bones, setting them aflame, waiting for them to turn into a fine dust. There was nothing but white-hot burning when she attempted to open her eyes- as if she had just been blinded with acid, then her eyes had been salted, and then had a fine coating of lemon juice poured onto them, just so they'd be just perfect when they were cut out and served on a platter.
And it had all stopped. Just a small click, and it stopped. As if someone had pressed pause on a remote- though her body was still throbbing in pain.
But she felt relief- calming her. Some kind of warmth washing over her. And the last of the pain was gone. She was elated, happily bouncing in pure warmth.
Until she realized she couldn't breathe.
And she sat up- sat up?- eyes opening to a wide, panicked expression. She was greeted with a disgustingly familiar face, grinning dopily at her. But she had no time to examine the idiotic expression. Her lungs were collapsing in her chest. She opened her mouth, trying to gasp as much air as she could into her crumbling lungs, begging she'd get some oxygen.
She collapsed onto her hands, gulping in as much air as her throat would allow. Then she began to cough, massive, Croup-like coughs. She needed air. Oh, for the love of all things holy- air. Please.
A strange event occurred, then. Flooding from her half ajar mouth, was a fountain of darkness, disintegrating as it entered the air. Xion couldn't help but collapse at the sudden relief that took over her aching body.
"Ow," She coughed, eyes wide- they might've just been stuck this way.
"Is she okay?"
"I hope so."
"Eh- she looks better to me. I mean, she talked!"
"Go help Roxas before he falls off the edge."
"He won't fall."
"I wasn't being serious."
Xion had looked up at the mention of Roxas. All thoughts of her previous dilemma were washed away. In its place were thoughts of the smiling boy on the clock tower- finally returning from his mission.
Sora- of course when she wasn't actually looking for him he showed up.
Roxas- no. That wasn't Roxas.
Some things you just knew.
This was one thing Xion knew for sure.
"Time to go kick so butt! Take care, Kairi-look-alike-person! Ventus-"
"Yeah, Ven, make sure she's okay, okay? Don't want her to pass out again-"
Xion gaped, watching as Sora grinned, slinging the Kingdom Key over his shoulder. "Good. Cause I want Kairi to meet her. I think she'd like her. She'd like the islands too. You like islands, right?"
It took a moment for Xion to realize the question was directed at her. She nodded numbly, images of Destiny Islands flashing through her head. These were her own memories, though, not Sora's. A nice change.
"Great! You can come too, Ven!"
"I can't." And for the first time, Xion looked at the boy clearly. He looked more like Roxas now. She realized it- they were completely identical. Everything about them- the hair, the eyes, the face- everything was copied. Xion didn't know what to say.
She pulled herself painfully to her feet, watched Sora and the other boy, Ventus, interact.
"I'm not going to answer that, Sora-"
"Cause it's a stupid question." Ventus laughed. The laughter was cut short.
A brutal crash sounded through the circular platform. Xion's eyes trailed over to Roxas's position. Had he just…
Xion's train of thought crashed into a wall. What? What the…
Sora was right next to her. It couldn't be…
It had to be.
Roxas had shattered his opponents helmet. The face of the boy was enough to make all four Keyblade wielders have an aneurysm.
Sora's face was grinning in an all knowing sense- an half insane smile that made Xion uneasy immediately. The boy had black hair- like hers. And his eyes were on alight. A pair of smoldering coals, blistered and raging. A fire that was just about out of control. It needed to be doused- and quickly.
But Roxas was not quick enough it seemed- or maybe he had just been too shocked to do anything. He had been knocked down, kicked painfully in the chest.
He could take a few beatings, yes. Roxas was strong.
But a blade through his abdomen?
He was a goner.
Xion, apparently, realized this fact, gazing with an askew mouth at her best friend. And the blade protruding from his stomach.
A much delayed reaction.
But it came. Very hard. Very sudden. Very hysteric.
"Roxas!" She was pulled back almost immediately. She could hear twin screams- one coming from Roxas, the other from Sora.
"Let go! Roxas! Roxas!"
"Whoa…" The boy holding her back was equally shocked at the whole scenario, though not as hysteric as the poor girl he was restraining.
"Stop! No, no! No!"
"Sorry, really- but-"
"Just let go!"
Xion let out a cry of desperation, frustration, and hysterics. She began to thrash wildly, eyes wide (aforementioned, they seemed to be stuck like this). He couldn't die- he couldn't-
Xion stopped thrashing. He had let go of her. She began to run forward eyes locked on her dear friend.
But, of course, Xion was not stupid.
She realized the 'uh-oh', quickly.
The boy who looked like Sora grinned toothily at her, finally noticing her presence. His hand was on Roxas's chest.
"Hey, you're the girl I killed earlier!" His grin didn't falter. "Or at least I tried- you wouldn't go down, would you? You could've saved yourself a lot of suffering…"
And then he was gone.
Roxas's eyes were open. So was his mouth. And darkness began to enter them, swirling around him even as he was consuming it.
Xion had a silly question in the back of her head, that stuck itself into her panicked thoughts.
Was the Darkness consuming him, or was he consuming the Darkness?
It didn't matter, really… Roxas's screams died down. So did Sora's. Xion was massively in a rut. Stuck. Roxas sat up. The boy who looked like Sora was nowhere. The actual Sora was breathing heavily. Xion watched Roxas with a sense of uneasiness.
She said nothing when he spoke.
She stared at him, unsure of what to do. He had just been impaled. You'd think he'd have more than an 'ow'.
He was still looking down.
Xion bent down, ignoring the warnings from Sora and Ventus.
The boy stared at his feet. He wiggled one. Then the other.
"Hey-" She fell back, feeling cold metal slice through the skin of her neck. Xion gasped in surprise, and pain.
There was a long, narrow cut along her collar bone.
She stared, gaping at the boy. His eyes were smoldering.
This wasn't Roxas.
Sora flew past her, his Keyblade colliding with Roxas's strange blade. It's not Roxas, She told herself over and over.
Ventus was right behind Sora, holding his own Keyblade. Xion opened her mouth to make a comment on how he was holding it, but stopped herself. It wasn't her business.
Her shoulder hurt.
"What's going on?" Xion called over the loud clangs.
"Try not to get hit, okay?" Sora called, and Xion resisted the urge to roll her eyes, "We don't want you to-"
Xion's Kingdom Key sprung to her fingers, making them tingle with familiarity. She caught Roxas- or whoever was inside him- by surprise, hitting him in the stomach.
He actually stumbled back, eyes ablaze. "And you wonder why I tried to kill the little bitch." He spat.
Xion's head went blank, trying to remember what that specific curse meant. She was promptly struck in the chest.
She flew back, falling onto the now blood streaked glass.
"Cure, cure, cure." She murmured to herself, letting herself be healed.
Sora was looking at her Keyblade strangely.
"Fight." Xion said when she walked past him. "Girls can, too, you know."
"Oh, yeah, I know! It's just…"
Xion closed her eyes, memories of missions rushing into her vision. She shook her head, jumping back as Roxas- the boy who looked like Sora- whoever, swung at her. It was obvious she wouldn't land another blow on him. She had lost to Roxas before- but this was just insane. She had to be stupid to try and get that close again.
Xion was no idiot. She knew when she was no help. But an extra Keyblade couldn't hurt.
And she was enjoying the freedom.
The freedom tasted so sweet, so irresistibly amazing. Xion cringed when her blade collided with his, her wrist twisting painfully. He quickly pulled back to attack a different opponent striking him.
Was not working.
"You're going at it all the wrong way."
Xion's stomach twisted at the familiar voice. Hey, she wanted to say, didn't you just drop me off a clock tower? Why should I talk to you?
He was dead, she told herself, not looking anywhere except for her target. She missed. And got kicked in the shoulder.
"Don't ignore me."
"Shut up," Xion whispered to the air, cursing the words as they came in contact with oxygen. She was struck again.
"Ha. Feisty today, aren't we, Xion?"
"Shut up," She repeated, swinging at Roxas's head. Missed again.
"I know." She muttered, squinting her eyes a bit. Shut up, Axel. Just go away.
"Then try harder!"
"I can't…" Xion jumped out of the way in time for the blade to collide with glass.
"Oh, you can't? Okay, I get it. You just don't want to. Lazy today, aren't we?"
"Stop teasing me!" Xion hissed, trying to block a blow aimed to her head.
"I'm not teasing you." Roxas's burning eyes were filled with absolute amusement.
"Heh- I kinda like this guy. I mean- except for the part about possessing Roxas. That I could kill him for, ya know?"
Xion's eyes narrowed. She pushed off the blade, swinging it toward his stomach. He jumped back last minute.
"Not bad." He laughed. "Maybe you'll actually hit me by the end of this?"
"I'd like to see that." Axel admitted from behind her.
"Shut up!" She swung again- Sora sliced through Roxas's back from behind.
"Who, me or him?"
"Both of you!"
"Daydreaming, are we?" Roxas's blade nicked her cheek.
Ventus's Keyblade was also doing a fine job. Soon, the boy- Roxas- whoever, was too preoccupied with the two skilled fighters to worry about the poor girl.
"This is taking forever."
Xion didn't answer. Maybe, she thought artfully, if I just ignore him-
"It's not gonna work."
He'll just go away.
He didn't just go away.
He appeared right in front of her.
"Have I got your attention?" What a ridiculous question. Roxas's blade went through him as it lunged at her. She jumped back.
"I'll take that as a yes."
"Go away." She muttered, walking around him.
"And to think- I thought you missed me." Axel snorted.
Xion didn't answer.
Roxas had collapsed. His smoldering eyes were wide. He was choking- gasping for air.
And he collapsed completely- from his eyes and mouth came the same Darkness that had been consumed before.
The boy who looked like Sora stumbled with wide eyes. Ventus grinned.
"Looks like this is our exit. Bye, Sora. You too, Xion." Ventus laughed.
"How did you-" She began- but both he and the boy who looked like Sora disappeared.
"Know my name…" She finished her sentence, if only barely. Axel was leaning over Roxas. Xion could hear his shallow breathing from where she stood.
She didn't want to see him.
Not like this.
"He can't die…" Sora was in disbelief. "He's my Nobody- he's stronger than this…" He stopped. "Why am I not in pain?"
"Maybe because Roxas has his own heart?" Axel put in with a thumbs up, his face in half a grin.
Xion rolled her eyes this time. She wanted to tell him to shut up. But not now.
Xion stepped a little closer, staring at the face of her best friend.
They were all together again.
Not really, because Axel was just her insanity, but it still felt like it.
If only Roxas could see him too.
Xion looked up, wide eyed.
Oh, God. He could…
Xion glanced at the fiery haired man. No way…
"Hey. You ready to go? Well, to bad. We're going. Got it memorized?" Axel grinned.
"No…" Xion whispered, shaking her head.
"I don't-" Roxas gurgled a bit.
"Ah, hell… I don't want you to die. Got it memorized? I just got sent to- I don't even know who by. But he'll be pissed if I don't come back with you, so, hop to it, midget."
"No…" Xion moaned.
Roxas stared at Axel. His eyes were wide- filled with a long, sad story.
He had that curious look about him that he always did.
And, his face went blank. The girl thought for sure she had lost him.
"What?" Axel stopped. For the first time ever, Xion saw him looking shocked.
Roxas disappeared- a white light consuming the entire glass floor.
"Naminé?" Sora asked slowly. "Kairi's nobody?"
"She's a lot more than that." Axel muttered. "And she's a real pain in the ass. Got it memorized? Tell her I said hi if you see her." He nodded to the oblivious Sora.
"Let's head out, Xion."
Xion gaped at him.
"He's fine. He'll be fine. Got it memorized? Look, unless you want to stay locked up forever…"
"No! No! I'll come!"
Axel grinned at her. "I knew you'd say that."
"Where are we going?" Xion asked, her relief of Roxas being alright overpowering everything. She felt exhausted.
"For a treat. It won't be the same without Roxas… but we'll manage. Then we can go for a trip. Memorize that- don't give me that look, because I know you'll forget it."
"I will not!"
"Heh… got any munny?"
Xion stared at him incredulously. "No."
"Me neither. We'll steal some from the local kiddies."
"What?" Xion asked, staring at him.
"What? One last act of evil, for old times sake?" Axel winked, grabbing her wrist.
"No way-" Xion and Axel disappeared.
"Okay… My head hurts."
You can tell that I've been reading The Book Thief. You can just TELL.
This is the WEIRDEST story I've ever written.
Flame me, will you?
I kinda deserve it...