A Tale of Renewal and Rebirth
Dark Lady Devinity
A/n: And this is the end of our journey.
Bright sun warmed his face and it was pleasurable. Lea grinned. Being able to feel things was never going to get old. Beside him, Yuffie was chatting away happily as she painted a window shutter bright green. Lea enjoyed being paired with the ninja as she was often cheery and so very youthful and energetic.
All of the original Organization members- excluding, of course, Xemnas and Braig- had joined the Restoration Committee. They had wanted to give back to the world that they had taken so much from. Lea worked with Yuffie while Aeleus and Dilan were often found working with Leon and Cloud. Isa's time running Organization XIII as the second in command came in handy as he often organized the Committee's tasks for the day. After assigning missions, he aided Cid or Merlin. Ienzo and Even had started up the labs again but this time they were creating useful medical supplies, such as potions. When not working in the labs, Even helped Aerith develop Radiant Garden's medical center. Ienzo spent his spare time simply being cranky. He had missed out on the emotional difficulties of puberty as he grew up without a heart but now his development was catching up. Lea and Dilan teased him constantly for it but Ienzo did not approve of growing up twice. He simply didn't have time for angst.
They had all refused to move on without Braig.
It was a long shot but they were trying to rehabilitate Braig. He had chosen to follow Xehanort, yes, but there was no way a brash young man like Braig had known what he was getting into. Everyone remembered him as a loud mouthed, surprisingly intelligent guy who genuinely liked kids and had no impulse control. Braig had agreed to go through with the rehabilitation because the idea of 'darkness rehab' amused him. It seemed to be working too as Braig's eyes were changing colour. Lea hadn't known that yellow eyes were a sign of getting too deep into the darkness. Lea wasn't sure what anyone would have done if Braig decided not to cooperate. The sniper had the perfect magic for escaping. Unfortunately, until they could trust him, Braig had to be kept in a temporary prison.
"Ea! Hey Lea!"
Lea blinked and turned to Yuffie. The girl was pouting.
"Were you listening to anything I just said?" Yuffie whined.
"Ah… sorry. Guess I got lost in my own head space." Lea replied. "There're too many thoughts up there lately."
Yuffie rolled her eyes. "It's 5:30. Weren't you supposed to join Even, Aeleus, Dilan and Ienzo for supper?"
"You're right. Isa's going to kill me if I'm late." Lea groaned. Yuffie laughed as Lea quickly said good-bye and took off running towards the castle.
For someone whose catch phrase was 'got it memorized' Lea could never keep these dinners straight. He simply was too busy with the Restoration. Even, Aeleus, Dilan and Ienzo made certain to have supper together every day. Lea and Isa joined them whenever the mood struck them. But this supper was important because they were hosting guests.
And of course Isa was waiting for him at the entrance to the castle.
"You're late." Isa said irritably.
Lea just smirked and quickly stole a kiss from his solemn boyfriend.
"Shouldn't you be entertaining the guests?" Lea asked.
"Yes, I should. Myde got here before you did. But Rould is running late. He had an opportunity to get a rare plant Ienzo needed and the plant was too valuable to pass up." Isa explained.
"Are you trying to make me jealous? You forgive lateness in Rould but not me. And you two write each other constantly." Lea complained.
"He writes to Braig just as often if not more so. We were the last nobodies to fade. That creates a bond." Isa explained calmly. "If it makes you feel better, Rould approves of our relationship."
"Only because he likes a challenge. I bet he's planning to steal you away." Lea said.
When Isa sighed Lea laughed. The red head adored teasing Isa because the other man tried so hard not to react and often failed. Once they both had realised that they shared a mutual attraction and started dating, Lea only teased him more. Lea actually liked the fact that Isa had made friends.
Lea then grabbed Isa's hand and led the way to the dining hall. Everyone else had already gathered there. Sora was excitably telling Ienzo about his current project while Riku filled in the important details that Sora skipped. Kairi was talking to Relena about the different clothing styles in the worlds. Myde was providing some background music. Dilan and Aeleus were setting the table. Even wasn't present as he was taking Braig's supper to him. Lumaria was simply taking in the chaotic scene. It was impressive. Meal times as nobodies could be as a loud as this one but they were never so alive. Lea grinned and sat down in the first empty seat he saw. Isa sat beside him.
Dinner was served and everyone was about to eat when Even finally returned with Rould. The gambler told Ienzo that his plant was down in the labs.
The apprentices had gone all out with the meal. Usually they went with plain fair. Not that Lea blamed them for being so fancy: he missed the neophytes too. But the neophytes didn't want to relocate to Radiant Garden. Sora and Kairi didn't have Roxas and Namine's memories so they had no ties to the Organization. Besides that, Sora and Kairi had their own lives, responsibilities and families. They also wouldn't go anywhere without Riku. Relena and Myde didn't have deep roots in their home worlds. But Lumaria did. He wanted to know the younger brothers he had left behind. And wherever Lumaria went, Relena went. Myde simply preferred the endless beaches and clear ocean of his home world. As for Rould, he didn't like to stay in one place for too long. But they had been nobodies together and had been so for a long time. They belonged to each other.
Finally, Even and Ienzo cleared away the last of the supper dishes while Isa and Lea helped Dilan and Aeleus pass out tea and desert. Over lemon cake, the group shared their current adventures.
"Riku, Donald, Goofy and I were helping Yen Sid and King Mickey find Xehanort's host so we could recover him from the darkness." Sora said. "We finally found him yesterday. His name is Terra."
"We also retrieved another keyblade user named Aqua. We haven't found their friend Ventus yet." Riku commented. The men from Radiant Garden all were surprised by the familiar names.
Kairi frowned. "You haven't mentioned the most important part."
"Oh yeah! Kairi's started keyblade training and we're all going to take the Mark of Mastery." Sora said. "Lea, you should join us."
"Maybe later." Lea replied.
"That wasn't what she was referring to Sora." Riku said. "I'm not sure how anyone is going to feel about this but we've saved Ansem the Wise from the darkness too. He wants to come back to the castle and he'll be able to do so in the next couple of days."
Riku, Sora, Kairi and Lea were now all staring at the four apprentices. The neophytes noticed and also joined in the staring contest although they didn't know what was going on.
Even sighed. "Then we'll have to prepare as much of the castle as we can while still working on our responsibilities to the Restoration."
"Don't you dare let this interrupt your plans." Ienzo told Lea and Isa.
"Aeleus and I will still take on your share of the work." Dilan told the two friends.
"Oh? What are you two planning?" Rould asked.
"Don't act like you don't know. I'm sure Isa's already told you." Lea said, poking Isa in a teasing manner. Isa glared.
"We're planning on looking for our parents and Lea's siblings." Isa said.
"Family's important." Relena said slyly.
Lumaria groaned. "Lea, do not be surprised if your siblings immediately start to drive you insane."
"How is your life going Mari?" Ienzo asked.
"Well, I've started to supply my flowers to this scary florist called Tor. He's quite the sweetheart though. Relena has been managing the household as well as her physical therapy." Lumaria replied. "We've been visiting my brothers as well. They'll be out of prison in a few years."
"His brothers adore me." Relena said. "They constantly tell me 'Relena, you have to marry Mari' or 'please turn Mari into a man.'"
"They like her because she can be as mean and nasty as them. They're surprised that such a small woman, especially an injured one, can manage it." Lumaria said, smiling at Relena. The two were obviously happy.
"How about you Myde?" Dilan asked.
"Same old thing. The weather's great and the tourists love a cute busker who can sing. I'm living the high life." Myde replied. "You guys are going to love visiting me."
"I'll be there sooner than you think. I've made a deal with Dr. Jumba over some parts he's selling. I believe Cid needs them to upgrade Radiant Garden's defence system." Rould told Myde. Rould still gambled and his main home was still his original world but he had learned a lot about trade between the worlds from his time as Luxord. He now made a living finding supplies for Radiant Garden.
"That will be awesome. My world has an England too if you want to check it out." Myde said. "That England is also famous for its love of tea."
Rould nodded and then Relena was asking Myde questions about his world. The neophytes had less damage to repair in their own lives so they were all able to visit each other more. They also made far more trips to Radiant Garden than the original members did to their worlds. The effort was appreciated and Lea couldn't wait to return the favour.
Then the next thing he knew, Rould was excusing himself so he could visit Braig before he left and Donald and Goofy had come to retrieve the children. Lumaria and Relena needed to go back as well because Lumaria needed to deliver some roses. They were also Myde's ride.
Once they had all left, Lea groaned and covered his face. "I can't believe that, after everything we've been through and done to each other, I miss them already."
Dilan laughed at that.
"Somewhere along the way we became a family." Aeleus admitted.
"A demented one." Ienzo pointed out.
"But one nonetheless." Even said.
"We'll see them again." Isa replied with certainty. "Perhaps we'll let Braig join us when it happens."
And that thought brought a feeling of comfort that had once been lost.
A/n: The cast took up their real names as a symbol that their hearts were back in case anyone was wondering why I switched.
There seems to be some strong Marluxia/Larxene in this. I don't even pair those two. They're BFFs in my headcannon. (I like Marly with Venxen so I really don't know what happened here).
I can't believe it's finally over. It's been quite the adventure.