A/N: This is a short chappie guys, but yeah. Enjoy~
You have to be strong. Strength of heart will carry you through the hardest of trials."
Xion was in love with Roxas. He was literally her everything. The first memory she'd retained as a Re-birth was of her and Roxas, and how he'd held her as she died. She distinctly remembered the feeling of his hands on her back, cradling her against his empty chest with the ghost of emotions shimmering like jewels in his azure eyes.
It was a funny thing, a Nobody. They seemed to be able to pretend quite well, playing into the emotions and feelings that they wished they had, blending into the fabric of normal life quite seamlessly. Strange how the first emotion she felt as she woke up inside that memory pod-like structure was love. And strange, also, how she knew exactly who that love was for. Every single night, she wept for him in her cell, yearning and wishing she could feel his hands caressing her again.
But now, kneeling before Yexor with rivulets of blood streamed down the backs of her bare, shaking legs, the only man she wanted was Seorax.
Yexor had brought her down to the deepest of the dungeons, to a room that Xion had only heard whispered about a few times. Sometimes, Seorax let her roam the castle while he went to speak with someone or another and, though these times were rare, she usually found herself down in the kitchens trying to find a snack with the rather kind cooks. She'd heard it whispered around those kitchens, though, about girls who everyone in the Organization had lost interest in-girls who'd tried to take it upon themselves to do as they pleased-and it was in this room that many were punished severely. Some even lost their lives.
Yexor stood in front of her in the cold, dark black room., staring her down with an amused smirk on his face.
"We've been in here for hours now, child," he said smoothly.
"I told you," Xion grated out, closing her eyes. "I don't know what Xemnas was doing. I don't know what his plan was."
Yexor sighed and leaned back against the wall. Xion's eyes stayed trained upon the black leather nine-tailed whip that was in his right hand. The steel-tipped ends had ripped into the skin on her back so many times that they were almost familiar. Her shaking hands, covered in blood though they were, stayed cupped over her bare breasts, hiding them from Yexor's view. She felt somewhat hopeless, seeing as no matter how hard Yexor whipped her, she couldn't seem to remember anything about the Organization besides the fact that she'd been in it in the first place. It was strange to see how these torture methods worked to help her remember things, just not the memories that Yexor and Infinite were looking for. Oh sure, she remembered thousands of other things like the way she liked to sleep on the cold side of her pillow with one foot poking out of the side of the comforter. Or the way she liked to eat her toast butter-side down, and how Axel would always tease her in the kitchens for it. Or even something small, like the secret yearning she'd always had to sneak over to Neverland just to watch the faeries fly.
But sadly, nothing about Xemnas. Nothing about what he had her doing in the Organization, nor what his ultimate goal was. She had no idea what "Kingdom Hearts" was, though Yexor kept mentioning it, and she didn't know what a Keyblade was either. Yexor asked her countless times to just "summon it," as if that should have made all the sense in the world to her. Of course, it hadn't, so he'd just whipped her again.
"Xion, by the time we're done here, your back isn't even going to have a trace of bare skin left unmarred," he tsked sadly, shaking his head. "Why don't you just tell the truth here?"
"What truth?" she hissed, her vision swimming with spots. The pain was excruciating, but Xion had always had a knack for blocking pain out; ignoring it when she really needed to so she could focus on the missions that . . .
Xion's eyes widened as the golden memory suddenly flooded her mind, as if being released from behind an iron gate, and she lowered her head. 'So that's one of the memories they wanted me to remember. If I tell them, then this can all be over!' she thought excitedly.
Yexor raised one eyebrow. "Have you remembered?" he asked.
Xion opened her mouth to speak, then froze. A troubled expression crossed her face.
Why should she tell them? Something about the fact that they wanted to know so badly was intriguing to her. It gave her a certain measure of leverage over her captors and with it, maybe she could get herself the one thing she wanted most.
"Nothing," she said softly.
"Nothing?" Yexor queried just as softly, straightening his back slowly, so that he wasn't leaning against the wall any longer. "Nothing," he repeated, his eyes staring at her trembling nude body thoughtfully. "So that . . . That little epiphany that I saw cross your face was just . . . Nothing?"
Xion bit on her bottom lip and nodded. "Yes," she insisted. She didn't have any plans to be telling them that she remembered Xemnas's intense desire to collect heart and use them to power Kingdom Hearts in the hopes of gaining the members of the Organization their own hearts. She also didn't plan on telling them anything about Vexen and Saix's sick experiments on Heartless in the laboratory that was now run by a team of Organization Zero Nobodies, and how they were extracting Heartless brains, trying to discover something about their powers.
Yexor grinned widely, and Xion screeched as she felt the vicious tear of steel into her already destroyed flesh. She arched her back and started to collapse, but Yexor's hand wrapped around her throat from behind, putting her in a chokehold she couldn't possibly hope to escape.
"You may be strong-willed, and you may be fiery," he hissed into her ear, "but you're not as strong as you think."
The raven-haired girl yelped as he shoved her forward onto her hands and knees and cracked the nine tailed whip yet again. She felt the agonizing sting in different places on her body, all at once: her shoulders, arms, the back of her legs, her bottom . . . It seemed like nowhere was spared, and she began to sob out of pure exhaustion and anguish. But still the blows rained down, until she thought she would black out purely from being overwhelmed.
Then, as if she could hardly take any more, she felt Yexor's bare hands tangling in her soft black tresses, yanking her head backward. He was on his knees behind her, and she felt the front of his pants pressing against her bottom. Fear chilled her, and she wondered what he was planning to do to her next.
"Never forget," he whispered in her ear, his lips practically caressing her skin. "It will be easy to break you." He placed his hand directly on the center of her back, causing her to scream from the sensation of his skin on her criss-crossing, open wounds. He shoved her down, so that her breasts felt the cold stone on the ground, and her hands shot out to her sides in surprise. She inhaled sharply in terror as she felt his fingers prodding at her entrance, but she tried not to scream for fear of angering him and causing him to shove them inside of her.
"Like snapping a twig," he snarled.
All-of-the-sudden, he jumped back away from her, grabbed her arm, and dragged her to her feet.
"Dinnertime," he said brightly, his violet eyes twinkling merrily.
As if on cue, there came a loud pounding to the dungeon door. Seorax shoved Xion and, in her weakened state, she stumbled across the cell. The door swung outward and she fell-much to her surprise-against Seorax's chest. His hands gingerly held her by the elbows, and his eyes swept over her naked body with no emotion inside of their saffron irises.
"Good evening, Seorax," Yexor greeted, coming to stand beside them. "Are you coming to dinner tonight?"
"Not anymore," Seorax said coldly before he opened up a Dark Corridor and pulled Xion back into with him.
Once in Seorax's room, Seorax sent for a maid to bring medical supplies and a new dress for Xion to wear. He bustled about, pulling back his covers and helping Xion to lay on her stomach on the mattress, blankets rolled down to her hips and arms folded so that her face could rest upon her forearms. She sniffled slightly, tears rolling unchecked down her cheeks, and tried not to remember the feeling of Seorax's fingers at her most sacred place. She listened to the sounds of Seorax moving around his room, slamming things, and wondered what he was thinking.
The maid soon re-entered the room, a bundle of faintly-shimmering gold fabric, a cool wet cloth, and gauze in her arms. She placed them gently on the table in the corner of Seorax's rather extravagantly-decorated room, and then quietly left.
There was silence as Seorax sat down on the edge of the bed next to Xion's stretched out, trembling body. She winced with every touch of the cloth to her back, the pain seeming to have intensified in the passing moments. He was being extremely gentle-so gentle, in fact, that her heart ached for him, and she didn't know why.
"Seorax?" she whispered after he walked over to his table to get the gauze.
"Hm?" was his soft reply. He seemed distracted-like he wasn't exactly listening to what she was saying.
"I don't wanna go back there," her voice broke as she struggled not to let out her sobs.
He halted in his movements, and she sniffled again. She started to sit up, hissing in pain as she did so, and Seorax helped her the rest of the way. He started to wrap the gauze around like a shirt from the neck down to her belly button, covering all of the wounds on her back.
"Seorax, please!" she pleaded, unable to keep herself from breaking down, Her heart was racing, and she was starting to hyperventilate. "Seorax, no. I . . . I can't . . . I don't want to . . ."
Suddenly, Xion felt the familiar sting of a slap to her face and she immediately lowered her gaze. Tears filled her eyes yet again, blurring her vision, and she desperately wished she hadn't opened her mouth. She chanced a glance up into Seorax's eyes and was surprised to see the emotion shimmering within them. She gasped as he cupped the back of her head and pulled her as close as he could without touching her back.
"Hush," he said over the sounds of her soft sobs. "Or I'll hit you again."
"I'm sorry, sir," Xion whispered, placing her knuckle in her mouth to stifle her weeping. "I'm s-sorry."
Seorax placed his lips on her forehead, and she felt a jolt shoot downward through her entire body.
"Did you not remember the right memory?" Seorax asked, pushing back and looking at her curiously.
"No, I . . ." She looked back at him. She couldn't lie to his face. She cared for him too much. "I remembered what they want."
Seorax's eyes widened. "You didn't tell him, did you?"
"No," she whimpered.
Seorax scowled and stood up, beginning to pace. He put one hand on his hip and turned to glare at her, It was now that Xion noticed he was only wearing a black tank top and lowslung black skinny jeans buckled with a wide brown belt. His muscles seemed larger than usual, and Xion tilted her head.
When had Seorax gotten so handsome?
"Xion, what were you thinking?" he roared. "What, did you think Yexor just wasn't gonna notice?"
"I . . ." She trailed off, unable to find words.
Seorax sighed heavily, wiping his face with his hand. "Xion, don't you know what Yexor's powers are?"
She shook her head.
He gave her a sad, pleading look. "He has abilities that have to do with the mind, Xion. He has the power to unlock memories through certain methods, and as soon as he unlocks them, he automatically knows."
"But he said-"
"Oh, you can be sure he's not done with you yet," Seorax growled. "Sure, he has what he wants now, but the fact that you didn't tell him yourself is enough to make him want to keep you for a little while longer."
"No," she whispered brokenly, hands clenched in the sheets.
"Yes," Seorax replied firmly. "More than likely, he'll keep the information he's learned from your head until the end of the week that Infinite allotted him, just so he can do what he wants with you."
"What do I do? I . . . I can't go back there!" she cried, hysterical.
"You don't really have a choice, Xion," Seorax sighed in reply.
"He touched me, Seorax!" she shrieked, unable to handle the pressure and dissolving into panic-stricken sobs. She barely registered Seorax sitting next to her on the bed and quickly drawing her into a tight, warm embrace.
"He did what?" Seorax growled into her hair.
"He touched me," she repeated in a whisper. "And he told me . . . That he was going to . . . To . . ."
"To what?" His fingers were soothing, combing through her ink-black hair, but it wasn't enough to stop her frenzied weeping.
"Break me," she breathed, gripping the front of his tank top to keep herself close to his broad, muscular torso. The way he was holding her . . . She felt cradled; surrounded by a loving warmth that she had never felt before. She felt guilty, because of her love for Roxas, but as of right then, she needed this. She needed Seorax.
Seorax stiffened at her words. "I wish Infinite would have put some boundaries on this memory thing," he grumbled, resting his chin on top of Xion's head. "But I guess this is really important."
"Well, yeah," Xion agreed, sitting back and looking up into his eyes. "Re-birthing is like . . . Your guys' whole thing. I mean, sure Kurix has the rest of you out collecting hearts or whatever it is you're doing, but has even told you why?" Xion wiped her eyes free of all tears. "Xemnas always told us it was so he could use Kingdom Hearts to unlock our hearts."
Seorax raised his eyebrows slowly. "So that's the secret they want, hm? I wonder why . . . There's really no connection between re-birthing and Kingdom Hearts. With re-birthing, you don't need the power of Kingdom Hearts."
"I think it's something else," Xion said, clenching her fists in her lap. "There's gotta be some . . . Some hidden ambition that Infinite is keeping from everyone. Well, everyone except Yexor."
"Kurix, too, probably," Seorax added, absentmindedly rubbing Xion's arms. She shivered and leaned into him again, relishing in the warmth emanating off of his body. "I wish I knew what they had planned . . . Infinite's mentioned how my heart is 'diseased' one too many times, I just don't know what he means."
"My guess is as good as yours," Xion said sleepily, burrowing into Seorax's arms. She felt his heart beating in his chest and found that there was no sweeter sound.
'Funny the things humans take for granted . . .' she thought as she drifted off into the gracious land of slumber.
When Xion awoke, she wasn't surprised to find Seorax gone from the empty, rather extravagantly-decorated room. She sat up, pleased at the fact that he'd let her sleep in his bed yet again. Running her hands through her waist-length raven hair, she smiled at the sight of the pile of gold fabric on the center of his desk. A pair of soft gold flats made of satin rested atop them, along with a gold ribbon most likely to tie back her hair.
Padding softly over to the clothing, she held up the gold fabric that had been brought, discovering that it was actually a dress. With a chiffon underlayer, the baby doll dress was almost perfect for her pale olive-toned skin and jet-black hair. She hurriedly slipped it on over her naked body, the scoopneck neckline of the dress causing the wrist-length sleeves to hang gracefully off her shoulders. The hem of the dress fell to just above her knees in an almost pleated cut, and it cinched at the waistline with gold silk shirring. With dexterous, nimble fingers, she pulled all of her hair to one side of her head and braided it loosely, strands of it falling loose on the sides and her bangs sweeping low across her brow. She tied the end of the braid with the gold ribbon, slipped into the shoes, and ran to one of the golden mirrors that hung on the walls to inspect herself. Though she was definitely bruised and still very sore from the day before, she looked pretty and presentable enough to be seen by any number of Organization Zero members.
Just then, a knock came at the door and a maid poked her mousy head in.
"Excuse me, miss? But I was told to come bring you down to the Library," she informed a very perplexed and surprised Xion.
"The Library? But I'm not allowed in those parts of the castle . . ." she said, brow furrowed as she crossed the room to the door.
"You're to have a lesson there," the maid said, closing the door quietly behind her as both she and Xion headed out into the quiet, empty hallway. Though their footsteps were soft, what with their velvet flats, they echoed about the walls quite audibly. They kept their heads down in the off chance that they encountered an Organization member-that way they could quickly bow and move along through the halls.
"A lesson?" Xion said thoughtfully, thinking back to her meeting in the throne room with Infinite. He had said that Yexor would be "training" her. So far, he hadn't done anything of the sort. Sure, he'd managed to get her to remember a little bit about her old life, but she wasn't going to be revealing that information aloud anytime soon. As soon as she got the chance to discuss possible plans for escape, bribery, or trades with Infinite, she was going to run with it and try to figure out how to get her what she wanted most.
To separate Roxas from Sora's body, give him a heart of his own through the powers of rebirth, and to be with him once and for all.
"I'm sorry, miss, but it's all I know," the maid answered curtly, effectively ending any further conversation.
Once they arrived at the Library, the maid opened the doors, announced her loudly to the room, and then promptly left. Xion watched over her shoulder as she left, wondering when the maids had gotten to be so abrupt with her, and then turned back around at the familiar sound of boots on marble. Her blood turned cold when she saw who it was, and she immediately sank to her hands on knees. Her limbs throbbed in protest, very much feeling the aftereffects of yesterday's forty minute-long stay on the floor of Yexor's bedroom.
"Up with you, love," Yexor said dismissively, clapping his hands in impatience. "We have much to do today. Follow me."
Shocked, the raven-haired beauty rushed to follow Yexor through the maze of bookshelves and ramps that filled the gargantuan room, all the way to the back of the Library. A small, round table had been set up with a single chair. There was a pile of books and next to it, a smaller pile of pictures.
"Don't fret," Yexor said, smoothing out the front of his black Organization coat. He pulled out the chair and gestured her toward it. "Take a seat, child."
Xion hurriedly plopped herself down in the chair and, keeping her eyes trained on the tabletop out of respect, waited patiently to receive directions. She wondered what was going on and why he'd summoned her here.
Yexor sifted through the picture pile, selected three pictures, and then laid them flat on the table in front of her.
"Tell me," he said, "Do these pictures bring forth any memories?"
Xion's cobalt blue eyes swept over the three pictures before her. On plain white pieces of paper, they were quite crudely drawn in what looked like crayon. The most arresting thing about the pictures, however, was that whoever had drawn them clearly had the talent. It was just that they clearly had been so upset that they must really not have known what they were drawing.
"It's like they're . . . Bad on accident . . ." she whispered thoughtfully, her hands ghosting forward to touch the picture that drew her eyes the most.
'Sora . . .' her thoughts whispered, her mind forming a clear, pristine picture of what the person in the drawing looked like. She saw him running toward a swarm of Heartless, a very large key-shaped blade in his grip, and bravery seeming to emanate from his very being. She hurriedly brushed the memory away, however, and pushed the picture away, the movement hiding the other two pictures, which were of a silver-haired figure of whom she just couldn't quite put her finger on the identity, and none other than the backs of Roxas's and a crimson-haired man's heads.
"I don't know who these people are," she lied smoothly, chancing a glance up into Yexor's saffron eyes. They bored holes into her with such intensity in that one moment that her heart skipped a beat. Of course her lies were pointless-he knew when her memories resurfaced.
'All the same, I won't tell him what I've remembered,' she thought with determination.
"Very well," he conceded, much to her surprise, and began to sort through the five or so books that were stacked before her. He peered at the spines of each one, apparently searching for a certain one, and, when he found it, opened it and began scanning the pages.
"Ah, here we are," he said, beginning to pace. "Tell me if this sparks any sort of memory: 'We must return to free them from their torment.'" He glanced up at Xion, searching her eyes. She shook her head, so he scowled and dropped the book on the table. He grabbed another, opening and scanning again.
"What about this?" he said. "'I believe darkness sleeps in every heart, no matter how pure. Given the chance, the smallest drop can spread and swallow the heart.' Ring any bells?"
Of course it did. As soon as he said it, she knew that it was an excerpt from Ansem's first report. Due to the fact that she had once been a part of Sora, she knew all about his first journey and how hard he had searched for those very reports.
Yexor scowled and dropped the book onto the table heavily. Xion got barely enough time to see that there was a gold crown on the front of each book, and then she was flat on her back on the floor. Yexor's hands tightened around her throat and his hips leaned heavily against hers as he leaned over her. His eyes blazed.
"My patience is already wearing thin," he growled, tossing his head to move his bangs out of his eyes. "Now, I'm going to give you one chance to do as I say, or I will make sure that the rest of this day is very painful and very horrible for you. Got it?"
Xion spluttered, "Y-Yes, sir." She gasped and choked, trying to get a breath in. Her thin, frail fingers pried at his vicelike grip around her throat, though it was no use.
Yexor suddenly, in one sweeping movement, got off of her and pulled her back onto the chair. She massaged her throat, coughing as she took in deep gulps of air. Yexor stormed around to the other side of the table and pushed two of the books toward her. They were identical, both with gold crown emblems on the front covers, and when Xion drew them close to her chest, the brown velvet felt so familiar to her that it almost hurt her stomach to try and remember why.
"You will take these back to Seorax's quarters and you will read each and every one of Ansem's 13 Reports and Ansem's 13 Secret Reports," he ordered, opening up a Dark Corridor for her as he spoke. "I will send for you this evening, right after dinner, and if you do not cooperate as you are expected to do, I will punish you."
Xion began to tremble with terror, knowing that she had to figure out what she was going to do or else.