Yay for having extra fics in your spiral notebooks! XD I don't even remember when I wrote this, but I was cleaning out my dorm room and saw it, so I thought I'd type it up and share it. I'm actually pretty proud of this little piece, which is rather rare for me.

Some VaniAqua if you squint really, REALLY hard.


Disclaimer- I do not own Kingdom Hearts.

Sometimes, Vanitas really wishes Xehanort didn't use him the way he does.

Of course, Vanitas doesn't even regard their objective itself with such enmity. The thought of all the carnage that will likely savage the worlds as a result of recreating the Keyblade War always coaxes a delighted little smirk to his face. Hey – they don't call him a being of pure darkness for nothing, after all.

However, at the moment, the situation only gives him a scant sliver of a moment to spend reflecting on his eager anticipation of the fruits of his efforts before something crashes into him. Snarling in pain, he dances back, Keyblade at the ready.

Oh yeah. This is why he wishes Xehanort didn't use him for this idiocy.

Because now here he stands – actually, here he runs and whirls and hides in a pool of darkness from the girl in wimpy little Ventus' group. From her, of all people.


One would think after she effectively kicked him down in Radiant Garden, he would have spent more time figuring out how exactly to defeat her. How to create moves to counteract hers, the best way to dodge every form of magic she sent careening his way, to break through every time she dared shield herself against him.

And he has, definitely. After that first humiliating defeat at the hands of a girl – and this girl, in particular – he could only cloak himself in amusement at her to hide his fury. To conceal his thoughts of you idiot you stupid idiot you were supposed to win.

Yet now all his efforts come to naught. He supposes he might have anticipated her growing stronger between then and now, and suppresses a hiss of frustration at his next realization. Because even if she went straight from Radiant Garden to here – unlikely, after the week or so since he's seen her – having to fight the Unversed he planted all over this stupid kiddy world must have given her at least some sort of strength. And if not strength, in the purest sense of the world, then drive. Stubbornness. Resolve.

The kinds of things Vanitas understands all too well.

I've outgrown my need for you, he had said, just before this battle had started. Of course, the stupid girl had misinterpreted his words; he had watched her eyes widen first in shock, then in horror, and she had sputtered out an obligatory insult before drawing her Keyblade. Oh, Aqua, he wants to say now, to taunt, in the silkiest voice he can muster. Of course I don't want you that way, you idiot. I need you to die, to bleed, to squirm on the ground as I destroy you.

My need is much more primal than you could ever think.

Aqua lashes out then, her blade driving toward him, and he barely rolls away from the sudden, agile change of tack. An instant later, he restrains a gasp of agony as the Firaga spell immediately following every flicker of that iridescent blade explodes into him, singeing his suit and making his entire body flare. It knocks the breath out of him in one easy stroke, and he barely straightens in time, avoiding the rather embarrassing fall by mere inches.

Steady, he tells himself, at least you've hurt her this much, because as badly as she's beating him, wounds litter her body as well, allowing a bloody trail to mark her every charge and footstep. Even as he hefts his Keyblade in his hands and narrows his golden eyes at her, a crimson drop slowly but surely rolls down her cheek, which is currently bulging with how her jaw is clenched.

You just have to get in the finishing blow. Easy.

As fate would have it, they both recover then, and Aqua leaps forward with an exhaustion-leaden cry. He parries her blow and musters every ounce of agony-ridden, incredulity-filled concentration (how is she winning how did she do this much to me no she's not winning I just have to get in this last blow and she'll be finished) to flicker away, leaving an illusion of himself in his wake, and crash down on her. The trick always succeeds, always elicits the surprised look, then the satisfying feel of flesh yielding to his blade and a resulting cry of pain. Ventus or Aqua, the trick always works. Maybe Vanitas can just finish her with it now and that'll be that –

But his anticipation (not hope, not desperate hope that makes it hard to breathe) of victory turns to ashes in his mouth when, at the last possible second, Aqua whips her head up in a current of fine blue hair and sees him coming.

He can't halt in his path now – gravity chains even beings of pure darkness, after all – and so he sees all too well the way those azure eyes light up, the triumph that curls her lips.

Not his, which only part slightly in dread.

And then, in the infinitesimal sliver of an instant between when his Keyblade would slice into her skull and now, she manages to lift her arm and launch a Blizzaga upward.

He has just a moment to widen his eyes in almost-maybe-fear – the emotion normally only seen or detected in the gaze of his Unversed's prey – before the ice shatters into his belly, the part of him that her fire just seared moments before. The bitter cold blazes in the aftermath of her Firaga's impact. Clever bitch.

The pain crumples him, and he crashes down to the ground next to her, seemingly-flawless trajectory destroyed.

The ground feels agonizingly hot and his helmet digs into his cheek like never before, but he still manages to lift his head and watch her turn to him. Dying sunlight outlines Aqua's stumbling – yet still graceful, how the hell does she manage that after all this – form, moving toward him, the light glancing off her Keyblade with every stride. After a moment of this he succumbs to even this small amount of weakness and squints against the blinding light.

(Or maybe just against her, against seeing that she's won. Again.)

Even with the way exhaustion is slowly overtaking his senses, though, he can tell she's swaying on her feet, little droplets glittering as they shower the ground around her. Weak smugness surges through him at the sight. He'll take a draw, damn it. He has to.

Still, though, the notion of her victory refuses to leave him alone. Rather, the notion of his loss refuses to leave him alone. How, he thinks, disbelief marking his fading mind, I had her, she's supposed to be the weakest –

Aqua halts in her tracks then, staring down at his prone form on the ground. He thinks, angrily, finish it, you idiot, finish me off, but she doesn't make any move to do so. Just stands there, chin lifted, outlined in more than one form of bloody crimson, Keyblade trembling nigh imperceptibly in her grip, for all the world like a goddess gazing down on an impudent subject.

His rapidly-closing golden eyes lock on her cerulean, and with his last thought before consciousness escapes him, Vanitas can't help but think he had things wrong this entire time.

Why are all the fics I write about Vanitas really short? (for me at least, lol.)

Review, please!