Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts or the inserted song, but this fanfiction story.
A/N: This is just a bonus chapter to the one-shot since I couldn't fit this in the original. It is a standalone chapter.
Thank you for reading and enjoy!
He knocked once on the door before letting himself in, "Master Ansem…?"
Xehanort trailed off when he realized the castle's most prestige resident was nowhere in his study. The snowy haired man almost sighed in exasperation and he wondered if Ienzo, the youngest of Ansem's apprentices, dragged the wiser man from his work for a stroll around the courtyard. It wasn't that Xehanort minded Ienzo; he was a child prodigy after all, but he despised children in general. To him, they were nothing but little monsters and did nothing productive with their spare time.
Walking into the room, closing the door behind, Xehanort walked up to the desk holding his thesis. Xehanort wanted to discuss his proposal about testing subjects with Ansem, but apparently he would have to wait. The apprentice closed his eyes to meditate patience before he heard a faint sound. Opening his eyes again, Xehanort searched the room for the sound and followed it towards an antique radio. It was playing a song obviously, but that wasn't what caught Xehanort's interest. He neither knew the song or the singer, but the words…
"My heart is bursting with excitement as I await the dawn of this secluded world"
"Ah, Xehanort," Ansem the Wise's voice rang out from behind him.
Xehanort had been too focused with the song to even realize Ansem had returned. He was quick to recompose himself before the wiser man noticed his disposition, bowing slightly as a sign of respect, "My apologies for entering your study without permission, sir."
"I have nothing to worry about if it's you, Xehanort," Ansem chuckled a little with a small smile. He walked up to his desk, dropping the book he was holding and taking one last bite of the ice cream he held in his hand.
So Ienzo did whisk him away, thought Xehanort. Shaking his head, he cleared his throat, "Master Ansem, I wanted to discuss my thesis with you; the one I suggested earlier today?"
"Yes, I remember. Let's see it," Ansem instructed while being seated at his desk. Xehanort walked up to the desk, handing over the pile of papers. However, before Ansem could even read the first page, he had noticed beforehand that Xehanort stood before the radio inquisitively. Ansem listened for what was playing before he smiled. Skimming through Xehanort's paper, he asked, "It's a beautiful song isn't it?"
Xehanort blinked, not expecting his mentor to ask about anything outside of his thesis. Calmly but lamely, he answered, "I suppose."
"I knew the person who used to sing this song," Ansem began to reminisce, locking his hands together and looking up at Xehanort.
The younger man had to hide his impatience under a stoic face. He hadn't come to Ansem's study to talk nonsense. If his mentor wanted to get off-topic, at least let it be on science! But, for reasons Xehanort could not explain, a part of him was immensely curious about the song as well.
There was something about it Xehanort couldn't put his finger on.
Smiling, Ansem continued, looking at the radio as if the person singing the song was standing in the room, "She was the wife of an old friend of mine. Long flowing hair of blue, eyes the color of amethyst shining in the sun… She was an elegant woman whose voice could calm even the most savage of beasts."
The snowy haired man simply stood erect, listening and humming to whatever it was Ansem explained if it would get the older man to properly look at his thesis.
"Defrosting our frozen memories, now together with the love we have found
And without looking back, let's sense each other from the sky's two opposite shores"
Why is it that he started to ponder on what Ansem said about the singer?
The snowy haired man had the urge to disagree with the older man. He did not imagine a married woman who sang this song; he did not think of a woman with flowing hair or eyes of violet. No. Instead, an automatic image of a playful young woman was brought up in mind. Her hair was indeed blue, but instead of long smooth tresses, Xehanort saw short hair stylized in a somewhat boyish fashion. Instead of violet eyes… Xehanort could not recall the young woman's face, but something in his heart told him that the eyes he imagined should be bright blue; as blue as the ocean…
"A truly remarkable person, but unfortunately, she and her husband died at such a young age," Ansem sighed sadly, once again flipping through Xehanort's thesis.
Xehanort couldn't help but ask, something strangely out of character for him, "How did they pass away?"
Ansem must've been just as surprised because he looked a little shocked. Not once has Xehanort ask something that was not for scientific gain. However, the wiser man only smiled and informed, "It was a car accident that took their life. They were driving in the rain rather quickly because they were late to attend a dance recital."
"A performance by the missus…?"
"No," the older man sadly corrected, "It was for their daughter's dance recital."
He stayed silent then. So it was a child's performance they were so desperate to see. Pitiful. If they only let the child suffer one moment of disappointment, they would've been alive today. This was why he hated children; neophytes that complained and threw tantrums for the silliest reasons. The only useful thing about children was that they were easily manipulated.
"I wonder what ever happened to that little girl," Ansem suddenly cut through Xehanort's usually negative thoughts.
Keeping the conversation going, Xehanort replied, "Perhaps she was put in the care of relatives."
"Perhaps," Ansem agreed, stroking his chin. Suddenly he shook his head, "No, that isn't right. Neither of her parents had other family; that little girl became orphaned after that incident."
"Then she is…?"
The wise man looked thoughtful, "I received word a long time ago that she was left in the care of a knowledgeable stranger. It's been too long since I had the chance to meet him, but I know by instinct that he was trustworthy. Wherever that little girl is now, I'm sure she's happy."
Xehanort once again remained quiet. By an unconscious action, he drew his eyes towards the radio, the song presumably finishing the last of its lyrical input.
"Even if we would never be able to meet again
We will surely be connected somewhere in this light-brimming galaxy"
Ansem spoke again, drumming his fingers on the desk, "This song is a revered classic; meaningful. It was rightfully titled—"
"Monochrome," Xehanort finished for his mentor, his eyes still on the radio as the song concluded in an orchestral solo.
"Yes… That is correct," Ansem was once again surprised by Xehanort's knowledge. Slowly, Ansem chuckled at his most trusted apprentice, "And here I assumed you did not listen to music."
Xehanort looked back, his face still passive. With an exasperated sigh, he answered, "I don't. That word was merely an educated guess on my part, sir."
"If you so decree," Ansem chuckled again, leaning back in his leather chair.
Feeling rather awkward on the inside, Xehanort quickly bowed again before speaking, "Pardon me, Master Ansem, but I have other things that need my attention."
Ansem nodded, finally getting back to the topic that was supposed to be the focus of conversation, "I understand. I will give you my verdict on this matter later."
"Then I take my leave," Xehanort bid a farewell, walking to the door and opening it.
Before he could step outside, however, Ansem called out, "Xehanort."
The snowy haired man looked over his shoulder, not bothering to give his mentor his full attention. Ansem remained quiet for a moment before mustering a small smile, "Perhaps you would like a copy of that song?"
Xehanort finally let the look of confusion settle on his face, "Whatever for?"
"When I entered this room, you looked more peaceful than I have ever seen you. Perhaps it will help alleviate the stress of being a man of science," Ansem joked in a sagely tone, but all the while being considerate.
Looking down at the floor, Xehanort had almost considered the offered. However…
"I have no need for such things, Master Ansem. Excuse me."
Once Xehanort left the room, closing the door behind him, his mind began wandering.
That was his first time hearing that song; he was sure of that. But why did he feel a strong stir of emotions from it? The singer was no siren to him, and yet he could imagine a different voice overlapping with the one on the radio. It was much softer than powerful; more whimsical than ethereal. Who was it that Xehanort was imagining when he was listening to that melody?
A woman clouded his mind in different shades of blue: her hair, her eyes, even her clothes. She would open her mouth, standing close to the edge of a cliff, singing at the first sign of snowfall in the winter.
"As I quietly fall into a slumber
The afterimages of my dream…"
Xehanort continued down the empty hallway, reciting the last line of the song he didn't know was memorized by heart, "…Will still be shrouded in a shade…of monochrome."