Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts! : )

Warnings: Trigger warning, mild sadness.

Summary: When their circumstances seem colorless and bleak, Xemnas and Namine decide to create something new.

A World in Crayon:

Glittering stars give prominence to a lonely moon, and Xemnas wonders, if it's a matter of time; when he'll have the freedom to feel anything other than the distant echo of regret.

It doesn't matter whose life is sacrificed in each frozen frame of meaningless struggle. Life is nothing without the heart; the emotional core; the soul's nursery. He's nothing, and they're nothing, and everyone realizes this to be the truth, whether they have enough courage to openly accept it or not.

There's a faded memory coiled in the otherwise desolate cavity of his chest. It's one of determination and fortitude. It whispers of a single conviction. He needs to regain the lost chrysalis of his spirit. Its contents are all that matter now.

He obscures many simple truths from the organization members. They don't need to know more than what will motivate them to fight - to search for their own lost hearts. Since they have little choice but to follow him, there's not much risk of them finding a reason to abandon such a vague and hopeless goal.

On occasion, he permits them various freedoms. It's another method of control. Release the leash; tighten the leash. In this way, Xemnas spins the illusion of freedom. Few members are genuinely fooled, but they're content within the game. There is nothing else for them.

When Xemnas can no longer tolerate the glaring reality - mockery - of the moon, he retreats to Castle Oblivion. Unless he's organizing an operation, there's no one present. The fortress is draped in peaceful, sterile, crystalline silence.

Often, if the convoluted corridors and minimalistic chambers are quiet, and she is convinced of her solitude, Namine will wander through the neglected fortress, shuffling shyly amidst blank portraits and vanilla furniture. She often dreams of coloring the entire castle with her modest box of crayons. It would begin with a few scribbles of blue or red, and eventually those vibrant, wondrous shades of life would suffuse every inch of the building.

This night, as she wanders, Namine cannot ignore her own spectral attire. It seems to her, that she's been forgotten by some essential live-force. It's as though the cosmic energies of the universe, in their haste to paint each vast galaxy with hope, only spared her a cursory examination - wasting as few of their blessings as possible on a not-girl.

A not-girl.

That's all she is.

Not real. Not living. Not a person.

It's why she spends all her time drawing; conjuring landscapes of immeasurable beauty inside her despondent prison - inside her mind.

It's why Xemnas spends his time staring into the depthless sky; filling his eyes with the light of each maddening star.

Tonight, however, he's in Castle Oblivion. So is Namine.

She doesn't immediately notice his approach, as she's thinking about the vast number of pictures she could fill each massive, uninspired wall with. This room could be another private world; a sanctuary immersed in free beauty. In that corner she could illustrate - in pulsing blue - the mer-metropolis of Atlantica. What color would her own fishtail be?

"What are you dreaming of?" His voice startles her. If she possessed a heart; it would be throbbing.

"I suppose I should return to my room?"

Xemnas considers the question with simple, detached curiosity.

"This castle is empty. It makes no difference whether you remain in one spot, or choose to explore."

Namine is relieved by the response. It's comfortably indifferent. His voice is void of spite - and there's no false sympathy.

"Alright. I believe...I'll stay here just a bit bit longer then."

She kneels in front of one specific wall, imagining its radiant potential. Xemnas seats himself in a spacious chair across from her. It's not a soft seat; the cushions might as well be fashioned from marble. Still, he does not move. The girl is tracing patterns on the wall with deft fingertips. Xemnas doesn't wonder why she fears using the discarded box of crayons beside her. Every so often, her hand strays toward a color.

Blue. Green. Yellow.

Pink.

A twitch of anxiety borne from a stifled soul she no longer cradles.

In a second, he's beside her; crouched unreasonably low.

Slowly, carefully, he takes her hand. Namine is puzzled, and a little afraid - but, she reminds herself - there is little more that can be done to her at this point.

Xemnas encourages her hovering hand to lift the crayon formerly forbidden to it. He should halt this absurdly sentimental gesture. Hadn't he once promoted similar expression in a child? Exploration, discovery, and desire. All empty.

But in this ephemeral moment, Xemnas doesn't feel empty. He is more surprised by the first stroke of blue - simultaneously brought to life by a large hand and a small one - than Namine. What she feels is sublime serenity. In a way, it's like creating a home for herself - one in which she's not alone.

Like each vivid color they weave in tandem, Xemnas and Namine exist.