A/N: An idea I got from the quote 'don't depend too much on anyone in this world. Because even your shadow leaves you when you're in darkness.' VanVen oneshot.
Enjoy, and if you do please review (yay for rhyming)
Warnings: Slight spoilers for most of the games
Rating: T to be safe
Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts, or the quote
Even Your Shadow
The first time Sora summoned the keyblade, wielding it with a clumsy precision, Ven hadn't been surprised. Sora's heart was, after all, connected to his own, it seemed only fitting that the boy wield a keyblade. When Sora blindingly rushed from world to world in search of his friends, Ven hadn't been surprised, after all he too had chased his friends through the worlds. And when Sora risked everything for those same friends, almost tearing his heart apart in the process, Ven hadn't been surprised, after all he'd done the same thing.
In short there wasn't much about Sora that did surprise Ven.
He'd watched Sora since he was a young boy, ever since Ven had fallen into his deep sleep, his heart retreating to a place of safety. Sora's heart.
It was a heart filled with light, and though there were shadows they never rose up within Sora as they had in Riku and in Terra. Ven sat on a platform of light, surrounded by light, watching through Sora's heart and eyes his journeys and trials.
A flicker of something brushed against Ven and he flinched. Distracted from Sora's world he waited, breath caught in his throat, for the flicker to come again. When it didn't he breathed out in a shaky laugh, trying to dismiss the incident as he turned back to Sora, who seemed to be geared up in dark clothes with a pumpkin mask on his head.
But no matter how hard he tried the memory of that touch remained. It was the touch of darkness. At first it had been so small as to hardly be there, buried deep within Ven's own heart, a small spark without anything to light it. Yet despite that it had grown. At first it was only murmurs, jumbled words and sounds that made no sense though it chilled Ven. Then came the soft touches, more like the feel of the wind or the brush of a feather, but enough to make Ven realise that the problem wasn't just going to go away.
But what could he do? He'd beaten the darkness once before and still it had come back. He was tired, his heart only surviving through his connection to Sora. He couldn't fight, not like this.
So instead he ignored the growing darkness, choosing instead to watch the light and leave Sora's own heart to stand as a barrier between himself and the darkness.
Ven didn't sleep, not really, but there were times when he'd fall into his own waking dreams, memories of his friends before their journey had torn them apart. It was like sleeping, and when he woke Sora would be in a different world fighting a different enemy, or sometimes aboard his gummi ship drifting through the void between worlds.
And always the darkness would be stronger.
Sora was stumbling around as a lion cub- something Ven had to admit was funnier than it should've been considering the danger- when the touch came again.
He stiffened as what felt like fingers ran through his hair, but otherwise he didn't react. It would go away, it always went away. The fingers patted his hair some more then left, and Ven was just about to sigh when something fell to the floor with a thump and leaned against him, their back pressed against his own.
Ven felt himself tense up to the point that his body almost shook. If he just ignored it-
"How long you gonna pretend I'm not here Ventus?" The person spoke, voice smug with an easy arrogance that Ven recognised instantly.
"Just leave me alone Vanitas." He said back, trying to keep his tone as neutral as possible. Something brushed against his head as Vanitas leaned back and out of the corner of his eye Ven could see black spikes.
The temptation to run was almost overwhelming but Ven forced himself still. There was nothing Vanitas could do, Sora's heart stood between them and neither of them could change that, much to Ven's relief.
"What's so interesting about that kid? Apart from the fact he looks like me." Vanitas asked and Ven felt himself prickle with sudden annoyance at Vanitas's lax pride, and an irrational worry for Sora now that his psychotic darker half had noticed him.
"You look like Sora, not the other way around."
He felt Vanitas shrug. "Perhaps, but you're the one who acts like him. You're the one who sees yourself when you look at him, and your friends when you look at his friends. It's pathetic really, you couldn't save Terra or Aqua so you pretend that Sora's friends are them." He laughed and Ven felt his fists clench.
"Shut up! I did save them! I saved them from you!"
"But not from the darkness."
Ven found he had no reply to that, and so instead he stared angrily at his hands and imagined himself strangling Vanitas with them.
"The way you look at Sora." Vanitas was saying, ignorant to Ven's anger. "It's as if you think he's your reflection or something, like he's your shadow."
"My shadow?" Ven caught at that and thought. "Yeah, you're connected to your shadow, and nothing can ever break that bond. Just like me and Sora." He finished triumphantly with more than a little viciousness in his voice.
There was a slight pause in which Ven could almost see Vanitas smirking.
"Ah, but Ventus, when it's dark enough even your shadow will leave you."
The words were chilling and against his better judgement Ven spun. But all he saw was light, all hints of Vanitas and the darkness gone as if they'd never been there. Unsettled Ven settled back down, though as he watched Sora Vanitas's words played again in his mind like a promise.
A desert stretching on forever, stinging winds swirling through the thousands of blades stuck into the ground like graves. A man with cruel eyes casting his hand out as he summoned a swirling vortex of sand and keyblades. A sudden pain as his helmet began to crack, and then a rush of ice that froze the blood in his veins, and the feeling of plummeting to certain death as he was dropped.
The battle at the Keyblade Graveyard, a fight that played all too often in Ven's mind no matter how much he struggled to return his memories to happier times.
Aqua catching him. Aqua running to fight the strange man with the scar and the eye patch. Aqua falling as a blade sliced across her chest.
With a gasp Ven struggled awake, away from his tormented 'dreams' and back to the light, back to Sora. Except the light was gone.
The platform below him still shone, but beyond the surroundings had turned black, the darkness leaking forward, eating away at what little light remained.
With a startled cry Ven staggered to his feet, backing away from the darkness as he searched for Sora. Where-
There! A tiny speck of light within the sea of darkness, Sora's heart, sinking even as Ven watched.
"No!" He shouted and reached for it, searching within himself for some sort of power to save Sora. But no matter what he tried the darkness just crept closer and Sora just sank further.
"Sora!" Beneath him the last of the platform of light succumbed to the darkness and Ven found himself floating in a void of darkness with the distant twinkle of Sora's heart being the only distinguishing feature.
His own heart thumping Ven tried to kick himself closer to that light. Perhaps he could save it, save Sora, and himself. But even as he drifted closer the light drifted further away, and at a faster rate than Ven could follow though he tried.
"Sora!" He called again, desperate. "Sora! Sora!" His voice almost broke as the faint flickering speck finally winked out and he found himself all alone in the darkness. Alone in the silence and cold. His heart, somehow ruthlessly broken away from Sora's, ached, and grasping his chest he continued to drift in the direction that Sora's heart had been.
"Sora!" His only reply was a silence that even his voice could not fill. "Terra! Aqua!" He choked, wishing for his friends now more than ever. Then, as no answer came he whispered almost in defeat, "anyone?"
"Anyone?" A voice purred and strong arms wrapped around him from behind, pinning him. Ven immediately began struggling.
"Anyone except you!" He bit out and Vanitas chuckled, nuzzling against Ven's neck, which only made the boy struggle harder.
"Surely even I'm better than no one?" He whispered against Ven's ear. Ven threw his head back but met only air. "Your precious Sora's fallen to darkness, I'm all you've got."
"You're wrong, Sora will beat the darkness, he always does!"
"Not this time." Vanitas's lips pressed against Ven's throat, warm after floating in the cold darkness though their touch made Ven shiver in disgust.
"What are you doing? Get off me!"
But Vanitas wasn't listening, trailing light kisses down to Ven's collarbone as he spoke.
"I did tell you, when it's dark enough even your shadow will leave you." Suddenly letting go he grabbed Ven's arms and spun him, and Ven found himself facing the monster that haunted his waking dreams.
Ven snarled and pushed against him, but once again Vanitas took no notice, pulling him forward until he was close enough that all Ven could see was the golden glint of his eyes, close enough that his own blonde spikes melded with Vanitas's midnight ones, that when he spoke Ven could feel the brush of his lips against his own.
"I told you, even your shadow will leave you." Vanitas said, and Ven could feel it as his lips twitched into a smirk. "But I won't."