Set in Olympus Coliseum and the Realm of Darkness.
Forgive me for making Sequels for my Supposedly-One-Shots. I honestly never planned to do this. Anyway, with that out of the way, this is a continuation for one of my other works, All It Takes
This might not make much sense if you have not read the aforementioned story.
This is to satisfy the requests of Fantasy0Girl and blackberii
DISCLAIMER [I do not own Kingdom Hearts] DISCLAIMER
~All It Takes / Continued~
I know I promised.
"Is it?" she asked softly, her hands on her lap.
She already knew – even before he said it – but she could not believe it. With her impatience long gone, time seemed to fly faster.
They were back at the coliseum, escaping the furor of the festival. They were seated side by side at the foot of a golden statue that stood guarding the entrance to the battlegrounds.
He didn't answer for a while, and all they did was breathe. Neither wanted the evening to end, despite its uncertain beginning, but neither could say it out loud.
"Aqua… Do you really have to leave?"
"I have promises to keep."
He turned to face her. "Do you always keep them?"
"Then would you make me a promise?"
She studied his face, that cheerful, innocent face that dreamt of being placed among the stars. She smiled knowing without a doubt that she could not deny him anything, not after tonight. "What would you like, Zack?"
"When you've fulfilled all of your other promises, I want you to come back."
She considered his request for a moment, with her head tilted slightly to one side. "And when I return, you will have become a true hero?"
"Yes, but do you promise?"
He nodded once and smiled. "I will wait for you."
She knew what would come next. He would have to say goodbye, and she would as well. So she looked at him with a warm smile. "Thank you for a wonderful evening."
He grinned awkwardly at her.
"Will you do me one more favor, Zack?"
She placed a hand against his cheek, her eyes on his. "Sleep…"
Magic coursed through her fingers, its telltale hum in the air. Her voice sounded like a distant murmur to him, one that lulled him to a deep slumber. He slumped against the statue, his eyes closed, his lips slightly parted as he breathed. She nestled against him, her cheek on his shoulder, her hand on his chest, feeling his gently beating heart.
And now that he was sleeping, she found the strength to speak.
"In one night, you not only earned a place in my heart, but have taken it completely."
His only answer was the sound of his breathing, the thrum of his heartbeat. She lay with him for a moment more, wishing wholeheartedly that she could stay. She wanted to commit as much of him as she could to her memory; his scent, his warmth.
I have promises to keep…
Knowing she had to leave, she ran her hand through her hair. A single strand was caught in her fingers. She placed it in his hand, snaking it around his fingers to keep it in place. "So when you wake, you'll remember, and know that this was not a dream. I will come back, I promise."
In the morning, Zack woke alone.
But her remembrance brought a smile to his lips. He held the fragile strand between his fingers for a moment, before releasing it as a breath of wind passed. He watched it fade into the heavens, with which it shared colors, and he softly whispered, "Aqua…"
In faraway worlds, Aqua kept him locked away in the depths of her heart, in the corners of her mind. She had duties to fulfill, missions to accomplish. She was a Keyblade Wielder, first and foremost. All other desires would have to wait.
And so she fought her battles, fought for her life, fought for her friends. She somehow found the strength to survive the pain of losing her Master, the pain of failing her friends. She fought until there was nothing left to fight for; until her only choice was to enter the Realm of Darkness, to sacrifice herself in the hopes that her friend might return to the light.
The Dark Margin…
Only here could she see familiar sights, and hear familiar sounds. If it were not for the lack of color, it could have been any other ocean; its waves catching the light, creating a sparkling expanse of blue. If it were not for the many shadows, it could have been any other sky, clear and endless, shining golden rays of light upon her.
She sat on the sand, cold and alone, hugging her knees to her chest. It has been so long. If she trusted her mind and its reason, then many years have passed. If she trusted her heart and its hopes, then only days have gone by. There were times when she wondered if she were on the verge of insanity, of hopelessness and resignation. She was exhausted, overwhelmed by the darkness, by the monotony of this forsaken Realm. She was tired of the heartache, of guilt, of the unbearable agony of knowing she left promises unfulfilled.
Her friends, they were waiting for her.
I will wait for you.
That voice sounding in the depths of her heart and in the corners of her mind was so familiar. It brought new light to her eyes. It felt like a memory she had hidden, to keep it safe, to protect it from being tainted by the hurtful emotions that she had known were to come.
When you've fulfilled all of your other promises, I want you to come back. Do you promise?
She reached into her pocket, unsure what she was searching for, but knowing it was there. And with a sigh of relief, she withdrew a mirror, framed by thin, white glass.
His name on her lips felt like a cool breeze on a sweet, summer day. She could remember his smile now, and the feel of his hand holding hers. She could remember his scent, his warmth; the way his chest rose and fell as he slept, the beat of his heart with her hand upon it.
She gazed into the mirror, barely making out her reflection in the faint, white light of the surreal moon. She looked exactly as she remembered, as if she had not aged a day.
"Zack, I know I promised…" she murmured, clutching the mirror to her chest. She gazed up at the sky that was an even, constant shade of gray. If there were stars here, she wondered, would she see Zack among them, finally a true hero.
At the gateway to Athens, two heroes stood, watching over the city. One was dressed in bronze armor, the other in black and deep blue. The first carried no weapon, the second a sword that hung across his back. Between the two of them, the strange, shadow creatures that plagued the world were kept at bay.
"How long has it been, Zack?"
"Seven years to the day."
"What if that night was just a dream?"
Zack shook his head. "No, Herc. She was more real than anything else I have ever known."
"How long will you keep waiting?"
"Forever, if I have to."
The black-haired hero grinned at his companion, his blue eyes ever hopeful and optimistic. "She always keeps her promises."
(Continued in Shattered Hearts)