Dedicated to nobody in particular. :D
The rebuilding of Hollow Bastion was coming along smoothly. Thanks to the Restoration Committee, the world was finally nice enough to live in again. It was far from its former glory, but it was slowly inching back to its old beauty.
Ever since people had gotten word of Hollow Bastion's new and improved state, the world was quickly coming back to life. People streamed in from many different worlds. Some came to see if it was as beautiful as they had heard, while other's wanted to move back to their childhood home.
Leon was one of those people. He came here when it was just a desolate wasteland. Heartless swarmed all over the ruined town like horrible bugs. Together he and the other members of the Restoration Committee exterminated the beasts until there weren't enough to even be considered a threat.
When they began rebuilding -and actually started calling themselves the Restoration Committee-, somehow Leon was not surprised when he was named leader. Yuffie was...well, Yuffie, Merlin was too busy to devote enough time to such a responsibility, Cloud (Leon never did like him that much, despite Yuffie's attempts at making them become friends) was too busy trying to find and defeat his inner darkness to be of much help, Tifa tried to help, but her main goal was to find Cloud, and Aerith said she was a horrible leader. Being Aerith, everyone believed her.
While Leon was usually glad that he was a member of the committee dedicated to restoring his favorite place in the universe, there was always one part of the job he hated:
The Immigration Department.
Before they never needed one, but with the sudden influx of people, they decided that it would be best if they created an Immigration department. The rule was that one person from the Committee should always be on duty. Thankfully it was only open from 9-5.
Squall didn't like dealing with people that much. Leon, however, hated dealing with strangers. Especially young children. Their constant screeching, their whining, their incessant crying...
Leon fully acknowledged that he would not make a good father.
He leaned back in his chair and set his feet on the desk, fully enjoying the fact that so far, nobody had appeared to force him to actually do his job. This was the first day that that they had been open for more than 5 minutes without a single person wanting to live here and make him help them through all of the legal trouble of doing so.
However, he realized bitterly that it was about to end with the voices outside quickly coming closer. The door opened to reveal 12 very emotional people: some confused, others angry.
Leon watched them as they slowly came inside, muttering to themselves. "May I help you?" he asked warily.
12 heads turned towards him.
"Hey! It's my daddy's lover!" One of the people, a thin girl wearing a t-shirt with an odd, pointed, upside-down heart, shouted. She ran out of the group and up to Leon, happily pulling him into a hug.
Leon looked down, trying to locate the face underneath a mass of rust-colored spikes that reminded him of Cloud a little too much than he liked. "Do I know you?" He asked, monotone as usual.
She let go of him with an offended scoff. "Hel-lo? Agailia, your lovers daughter?"
Now that he was actually able to see her face, he grimaced. She resembled Cloud so strongly if he didn't remember that Cloud was an only child in his mid-20's (thank goodness for that), he would have thought that they were related.
The girl's words sunk into Leon, giving him an even bigger grimace at what she meant. "Little girl, I don't like being in the same room as him, let alone the same bed."
As she opened her mouth to issue a retort, a sweet, honey-like voice from the group stopped her. "Agailia? Don't make him mad." With another scoff, she retreated into the group as another figure took her place before Leon.
It was a woman, about the same age as Leon. She regarded him with multicolored eyes and a confusing smile that shone brighter than Aerith's. She seemed to literally sparkle with life, even under the jarring florescent lights of the building. "Hello, Leon." Normally he would have been paranoid that a strange woman he'd never met before knew his name but something about her calmed him down and even made him respond with a smile. "We're in Radiant Garden, right?"
Radiant Garden. The name seemed familiar to Leon, but he didn't know how. Memories flashed in his mind. Beautiful flowers, lush fields of grass, sparkling water serenely trickling from fountains, children happily skipping through town with their mothers, and a little brunet boy walking together with two little girls, sharing a bag of candy...
It suddenly came to him. Radiant Garden was the name of Hollow Bastion, back when it was a shining utopia and not a place in half-ruins. However, the town as it was didn't deserve to be called Radiant Garden...not yet. One day it would, but that day wasn't today.
"Yes, but for simplicity's sake, please call it Hollow Bastion." He responded, feeling the smile stick on it's face. It felt unnatural yet he didn't want it to go away. Not in front of this...this goddess.
She gave him a perplexed glance before breaking into another dazzling smile. "Oh yeah, Sora's not awake yet. Alright, we'll call it Hollow Bastion."
Sora. The name seemed familiar, but he couldn't attach a face to the name. Not even a voice came to him.
"Well, since we can't get back, we'd like to live here. Is that okay?" She asked, earning his full attention again.
"Yeah...I'd be glad to help you through the process." For once, he actually meant it.
The other members disappeared at once. Wile the others went off to various areas of the castle, Roxas and Axel reappeared next to Xion, who had sunk to her knees, staring blankly at the spot where Melle had been. They both crouched next to her. "Xion...you okay?"
"I-she-they-promise..." She managed to say. Roxas reached out to touch her, but Axel's hand on his shoulder and a whispered, "we can't help right now" sent them both off, leaving her all alone.
She couldn't do anything but stay there and stare. Xion had made a promise to make sure that Melle wouldn't get hurt. While Melle had kept her promise, Xion had broken hers. Xemnas had obliterated her. She was literally nothing now, and there was nothing she could do about it. There was no hope.
Those thoughts repeated themselves in her head dozens of times. Eventually something compelled her to get out of her trance, though she kept staring at the empty spot. She must have been there for hours, since her knees ached and her body felt stiff. She rolled her shoulders and shook her legs out in an attempt to make them feel better.
"Xion? Why are you still here?" She turned around to see her -currently- least favorite person: Xemnas. "Why do you care?" She snapped, sending him a (maybe) threatening glare.
He gave her a confused look, but that jerkass smirk was firmly planted on his face. "Xion, I didn't kill her. I merely turned her into nothing."
She snorted. "And that's better?"
"She's an imposter. Nothing. And you can't turn nothing into nothing."
"What do you mean b-" He had went through a corridor of darkness before she was even able to finish her sentence. Angry and confused, she yelled in rage, summoned her Keyblade, and threw it at the space where he was standing. It reappeared in her hand seconds later.
She looked own at it, realizing that staying angry wasn't going to do anything. So instead she mentally ran over his words.
You can't turn nothing into nothing... A smile broke onto her face. Granted, it would mean calling Melle absolutely worthless, but if she was nothing, then she wasn't dead. It was a horrible thought, but a hopeful one.
Now her next task was finding out what happened to her friend. Having no leads, she decided to go talk to the smartest person she knew.
Which was not Axel. Axel's not a smart person.
Alright, you may be wondering why Leon's so entranced by Etsuko. Well, she the leader of the Sues. My current theory is that the Sue's charm only works on people with hearts, save for the Princesses of Heart. They can sense that the Sues aren't really what they seem to be. Oh, and one other person, but I don't know why (s)he isn't affected by them yet.
And also because the Organization was KIDNAPPED by them and Xion had to deal with the idiots LIVING IN HER CASTLE.
Axel should have been a little more comforting, but no. :l And of course Roxas would think that would be the right thing to do because Axel said it. Then again, I can't really blame him. If I was in their situation, I would have said, "lol ok -takes out PSP and starts playing again- too.