It's been a while since I wrote something for Vanitas, and I pulled this one off. I'm not sure why I chose this or is it's any good. Judge it for yourself. Personally, it could have been better.
A Face to Call My Own
That was the first thought that passed through the sentient darkness- No, it had been given a name. Vanitas. It was called Vanitas. That was what it's Master had named it.
Vanitas set its feet down on the ground, the thick soles of its boots blocking out the feeling of anything under it. The world was a desert, a wasteland. Through its powers, it could feel Heartless wandering the darkness, but none dared approach, aware of the darkness Vanitas radiated. They knew it was stronger than they were.
Ventus lay on the ground beside it, curled up on his side. His eyes were hollow, lifeless, but he was breathing. He would live, but for how long he would was uncertain. His heart was broken, torn apart in its creation. Vanitas saw all this and felt nothing. There was nothing to feel and nothing to feel it with. It was Ventus' sentient darkness, with only a name to call its own. No face, no feelings, no voice.
It's Master, Xehanort, eyed Ventus thoughtfully. Somehow, Vanitas could tell from his expression what the old man was thinking. The boy would still be of use. If he didn't die, Ventus could still be used for whatever the Master had planned. Ventus was light and Vanitas was darkness; for whatever reason he needed both, both were still present.
A thoughtful smile spread across Xehanort's face. He told Vanitas to say put, taking Ventus with him. Vanitas replied with a nod, the only way its formless shape could reply. The old man disappeared, leaving it alone.
Vanitas stood alone in the wasteland. It thought nothing, did nothing, felt nothing. Time passed without meaning. Absently, it looked at its hands. What strange things, it mused, I have hands. Like Ventus. I have hands like Ventus because I am Ventus. I have being because Ventus has being. But why does Ventus have a face and I don't? Why does he have eyes and a mouth and a face when I have only formlessness? And if he dies, what happens to me? These questions disappeared as quickly as they were formed. Vanitas lacked the will to care.
The red and black suit it wore covered all of its body from sight, from its toes to the top of its neck. There was no way to tell what was under there, if it even had a physical form to speak of. It knew it didn't have a face because it couldn't speak, breathe, or smell. If I can't breathe, how am I alive? I don't have eyes, so how is it that I'm able to see? More questions without answers disappeared.
Though the questions vanished, the reasons behind them did not. Vanitas still lacked a face, a true existence. Slowly, it reached up and placed a hand on either side of its head. Its head was soft, smooth, shapeless. It was a clump of blackness seated atop its formless body. Something without purpose.
With its deliberate slowness, it ran its hands along its featureless head, curious as to whether anything could come of the nothing it was. As it moved its hands, however, its gloves snagged on something and stuck there for a moment. The curiousness returned and it moved its hands back to the source of the annoyance. Something hard and metallic had attached itself to its head, trailing around where its jawbone should have been. The metal trailed around both sides of its head down to its absent chin, sliding under there until it met with the collar of the suit.
Something strange slid down the suit, diving deep into Vanitas' core. It felt cold and stifling, but it felt it come back up, warm and inviting. The second something came directly after the first and another after that until it built up a rhythm. It took some time before Vanitas realized it was breathing. Breathing? I have a need to breathe? But I'm nothing. Nothing but incarnate darkness.
Its hands returned to its face and were met - not with the soft, formless darkness - with a solid, cold surface. It felt around the surface and found that it connected to the metal band, welded together permanently. Without being certain of what it was doing, Vanitas grabbed the edges of the metal and yanked up. Metal, coldness and all were removed, and cool air flooded against it. It closed its eyes against the dusty winds. Eyes? It blinked again and found that it did have eyes. I can see with these eyes. Now I understand how I see.
The metal and coldness was a helmet, a dome of reflective black glass encircled by the sturdy silver material. The black glass cast back a reflection, an image that Vanitas didn't recognize. The image stared back it and analyzed it in turn. The reflection was male, a pale childish face that looked soft and unmarred. A pair of golden eyes stared back from the face's center, lined with dark lashes and even darker eyebrows. The entire face was framed by hair so black that it almost melted into the mirror surface, spiking out wildly in all directions.
Vanitas reached out from the reflection and the reflection reached back, but both hands were met with flat glass. Taking a deep breath, Vanitas reached from its formerly shapeless head and ran his fingers through his hair, feeling beaded sweat roll down his face. The reflection did the same in reverse.
There was a face to the name now, a separate existence that belonged only to him. He was Ventus' darkness, but now also Vanitas, a being of his own.
A tingling sensation formed in his chest and radiated down his limbs. Confused, he dropped the mask that had once been his face and waited, wondering what it meant. The feeling continued down his arm until it spread through his fingers. He felt power, something dark and menacing calling out to him and he answered. I'm right here. I'm here. Come on… Come on… The power heard him and responded, the tingling exploding from his fingers and solidifying in the air.
It was a Keyblade. A Keyblade of black and red was in his hand, it gear-like contours fitting neatly into his palm. It was light, but it held enough of a weight that it would be deadly in his grip. He shifted it back and forth from one hold to another, but none of them felt right. Oh well. It's something I have time to worry about.
Vanitas gazed around the emptiness around him, feeling a sense of priority forming in his mind. First and foremost, he wanted to test the power he felt flowing through his entire being. He had been standing still for a very long time, making all the muscles that had formed under his suit itch, begging for action. Experimentally, he lifted one foot off the ground and placed it back down again. Even that slight action released some of the tension in his body, but it did little to satisfy him. He wanted more.
With growing curiosity, he lifted his foot and placed it ahead of him, mimicking the movement he'd seen Xehanort make, only rewarded with slipping sideways and hitting his head painfully on the ground. The entire world in his vision tilted and jerked violently, leaving him to lie stunned where he was. Pain throbbed through his head, but it wasn't all uncomfortable. I feel pain. Pain is also a part of existence. That thought in mind, he stood back up and tried again, failing a few times more before he got the hang of it. He strode confidently across the rocky ground, picking up speed until he could feel his heart pounding in his chest, his lungs crying out for more air. He took deep, gulping breaths as he ran. Wind whipped through his hair, pushing strands of hair into his eyes.
On a whim, he jumped at a giant pillar of rock as he passed it. His jump was powerful enough to carry him high and the force was significant enough to let him momentarily land at an angle on its surface before he pushed off, flipping through the air and landing back on the ground. His landing was perfect, only a slight twinge running up his legs upon contact.
Standing back up, he stood still, catching his breath, his chest throbbing and his heartbeat pounding through his head. His helmet lay neglected in the distance, the minimal light reflecting off it to remind him it was there. He took a deep breath in and turned back to the rocky pillar, eyeing it in thought.
A Keyblade is a weapon of power. A Keyblade created me from Ventus. If I have a Keyblade, then I have some amount of power as well. If have power… Naturally, I want to use it. He held out the Keyblade, pointing it towards the rock. Another tingling sensation radiated through his body, rippling outwards from his core to his arms. The Keyblade glowed for a split second before the energy exploded from the end, releasing a giant fireball that collided with the pillar and shattered it, sending shards flying through the air.
Watching the sight sent excitement flowing through him until it bubbled up and his chest heaved. It started him for a second before a wide grin spread across his face. It's a laugh... I'm laughing. The smile was joined by more miniature chuckles until they burst out and he let out a full-blown laugh, the foreign sound echoing in the vast emptiness. He spread his arms wide and took a long, contented breath before he realized he wasn't alone anymore. The Master had returned. Took him long enough.
"Vanitas." Xehanort gazed at Vanitas with his orange eyes, and Vanitas' yellow eyes stared back.
Vanitas bowed theatrically. "Master Xehanort," he answered mockingly. "I'm well aware of what you expect of me, and if you guess that I won't cooperate fully, then you're right."
Xehanort's only response was to raise an eyebrow. "And?"
Vanitas smiled. What I want is complete existence. Ventus is a part of who I am, and I don't believe I like that. He's a weakling, not able to handle what I am to him: his darkness. If he's too weak, then only the strong should survive. "I'll only assist you because your goal is the same as mine. You want me to join with Ventus, which is my goal. If my goal is achieved, I'll give you what you want: the X-blade."
"There may be some slight… alterations…" Xehanort said with a smile understood only by himself, "but yes, the basic plan remains the same. Ventus will give you what he owes, the X-blade will be forged, and all will be as I desire."
And whatever you do after that isn't my business. As long as Ventus is mine, as long as I exist fully and completely, I don't care what you plan after that. Now that I have a face to call my own, I'll do whatever I please…