Sometimes, it takes a trip into the darkness to be able to truly understand the light. As I lay, dying, waiting for my unnatural life to end, I thought I heard those words. Whether it was my imagination, or a revelation from the depths of my stolen heart, or whether some being had taken pity on me, I don't know even now. Bu whatever it was that told me those words, it knew what it was talking about.
I have traveled into the darkness… and perhaps, I understand the light a little better now.
I have wandered these worlds of sleep endlessly, as if in a dream from which I cannot wake. A fitting end, for a reflection; a copy, a fake.
I found myself in places that my false memories told me I'd seen before, but I discarded them all and kept up my travels. I don't remember who created me, I don't remember my life before my heart was remade in the Real Thing's image – perhaps, here, I could learn the truth.
And what was the truth, anyway? Here in this world of dreams, the real and the false seemed to blend and blur together. And maybe, it began to come to me that I might not need to remember, that despite our similarities, perhaps I didn't need to compete with the Real Thing. That maybe, indeed, he and I were different enough for us each to be ourselves.
That maybe, I was unique enough myself.
I didn't know how to react to that thought; all of my short life – how old was I? Memory said sixteen and a half, but I was pegging it more at two years – I'd been chasing after him, trying to be real. First to be Namine's real hero, then to be the Real Thing. I didn't know what to say to the thought that maybe I didn't need to be 'real' to be myself.
At first, I shoved it aside; after all, how could that be right? I was created then abandoned, discarded like a used-up toy, and it was all the Real Thing's fault. I focused on looking for a way out of these dreams, but I still couldn't find one. Then I started to think about it, truly think about it… I thought about what Sora would say, and while I knew the memories weren't mine, there were a few that were – he had asked me to join him. Asked me to become real. Fake memory told me that perhaps, Sora had a lot more going on in that head of his than it seemed he did.
No, Memory corrected me. No, he didn't have all that much in his head… but he had a lot, a lot, in his heart. Real Thing had been jealous of that – had believed that Sora saw a lot of truth that most people couldn't, becaue he thought about those truths with his heart, instead of his head.
Perhaps he was right about me, too?
Then I found myself faced, unexpectedly, with a choice. And the rest of it clicked into place.
It was a simple choice; it wasn't even an important choice.
"Hey, you! Kid! Want to buy some ice cream?"
I'd been walking with my hood down; for some reason, when I'd been reborn, I'd found myself wearing the black coat of the Organization. I turned to where the voice had called out; he was obviously talking to me.
"No thanks," I said. I didn't have much time for ice cream, I told myself. That role was not the role for me. But he asked me again, and I realized that I was hungry – can you be hungry in dreams? I was – and so I finally accepted his offer.
The choice he offered was what kind to buy.
I know, it sounds pretty stupid, but that's what it was. Real Thing's favorite flavor was there, but so were about half a dozen others.
"I don't know which to choose," I said, mostly to myself, but the man just grinned.
"Pick whichever one you want."
Whichever one I wanted. That was the essence of the dilemma, but I realized suddenly, it didn't have to be. I looked at them all, and then felt myself smiling.
"I'll take that one," I said, pointing to a bar on the opposite side from what Memory told me I should take.
It was easy. And I realized, at that moment, that Real Thing and I were different after all. We were two different people, who had the same memories, the same face, the same body, but we were two separate beings. We made different choices, and that was what made us who we were.
For the first time in my life, I felt… Real.
I'd been following him, or he'd been following me; I'm not really sure whch, anymore. It was a world from Memory; the belly of a whale, and I could tell, he remembered it too. One sight of the black cloak and I knew he'd want confrontation… when we finally caught up with each other, I was ready fro his question.
"Who are you?" he demanded.
I dropped the hood, looked at him. I wondered if he remembered me.
"M-me?" His shock was obvious.
I grinned. "Hello there… Real Thing."
A/N: Sometimes, an idea just takes you. Upon watching the newly-released trailer for Dream Drop Distance, I was reeling with ideas - after all, several of my favorite chracters were announced, new mysteries were put forth for us to unravel, and while the previous few installments have done little for the actual KH story, this one appears to be different.
One of the most mysterious scenes is where Riku confronts a hooded Org. Member... who drops the hood to reveal, DUN DUN DUN, Riku. Of course, theories abound as to who this is - from a past Riku to Data Riku to Xion to polymorphic specters - but the thought that immediately passed through my mind was Repliku. In my head, the result would be the line you see at the end of the fic. I decided to write a little about how that would have come about... and maybe, just maybe, give a bit of closure to the Repliku, Disney style.