A/N: This is one of those things that happened after reading way to much angsty fic, though it isn't nearly as angst-ridden as it could have been. It's much longer than I thought it would be, but I'm very pleased with it. It went through a lot of rewrites, or at least the ending did. Parts of it came about as a way of explaining sort of why I don't see 13x14 as selfcest, but that's a very very VERY small part of what's going on. For the most part that idea influenced the decision to make this about Roxas and Xion rather than Roxas and Namine, because really I could have done either.

Sci-fi AU. Not like crazy Star Trek sci-fi, though. Like advanced science scifi. I don't want to say it right off because I wrote it intending for you to understand gradually. oneshot. Roxion, minor implied sokai. T for minor language and implied adult themes.

Identity

"You can't listen to what they say," he whispers against her neck, and she wills herself to believe him even though days like this make it hard. He pulls her closer and presses kisses into her hair, but she doesn't stop staring at the dark grey wall of their bedroom. "They don't understand, and they don't want to, and in the end it doesn't matter. You're you, and I'm me,"

It's an oft-used phrase, and she finishes it for him, "and we're nobody else but us."

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People who know the whole story don't approve.

Not that they get a lot of approval from people in general. There are always the sidelong glances and the whispers at the black and white checkered bands on their wrists. Strangers never quite know how to treat their kind, but they are accustomed to that; they've dealt with it all their lives. No, what hurts is when they go out to eat, or to the movies, and the guards scan the barcodes on those infernal armbands and raise an eyebrow at the one-digit difference in the number that comes up. It didn't use to be as much of a problem; they didn't know what that one-digit difference meant. But the technology has gone from experimental to common usage, and now they glance between her and Roxas, silently trying to decide which one of them it is.

And through it all if she didn't have his hand to hold she doesn't know what he'd do.

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Some mornings before they go out she just stares at those bracelets and the information printed in precise black letters on the rims:

Roxas Torri 02060913

Xion Jouet 02060914

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Their neighbors are the worst.

They know the whole story, and aren't shy about voicing their opinions. She and Roxas come outside one day to find the old woman next door deep in conversation with the middle-aged housewife from down the street.

"…and living together outside of marriage, on top of everything else."

She sees Roxas's jaw clench and tries to catch his eye before he does something rash. Before she can open her mouth to calm him he's said, "Well, we'd gladly get married if we were allowed to." The two women turn to frown at them, but he continues before they can comment, "I'd think you'd understand all about that, Mrs. Anlys. Isn't that what your people were fighting for all those years ago?"

The woman's wrinkled lips purse. "We were fighting for our belief that marriage is a fundamental human right."

"And aren't we human?"

Her nose turns up and she sneers, "Well that's the big question, isn't it?"

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She's ten years old when he drops into her life and changes it forever. Ten years old and sheltered completely from everything. And then one day his family moves in next door and they meet in her backyard one afternoon when his dog gets loose. He had blonde hair that stuck up so funny and big blue eyes so much like hers that got wide when he saw the band on her wrist that matched the one on his.

"So you're one too?"

"One what?" she'd asked so innocently as she scratched his cocker spaniel's long ears.

"Well, you know, an Other." When Xion's confused silence persisted he'd frowned and run his fingers through his hair. "Gosh, you must know about Others and stuff. Don't they talk about it at your school?"

She'd shrugged. "I'm homeschooled."

"But they talk about it on the news and stuff."

"I don't get to watch a lot of tv."

Roxas had stared at her for a few minutes after that, before finally asking, "Haven't your parents ever explained it to you? What it means when people wear the bracelets? I mean they'd have to tell you someday."

Xion picked at her long black braid as she thought. She hated having long hair. Two more years and her mom would let her cut it however she wanted. "Is this about being adopted? Because I know all about that."

"Umm," Roxas picked up a stick and began poking at a beetle. "Not exactly. Others are…well you know, we're Others. We're people from other people."

Xion frowned. "All people come from other people."

Roxas shook his head. "No, not like that." He put down his stick and faced her with a rather serious expression for a ten-year-old. "We're like bad copies of other people."

This didn't make sense to Xion, but Roxas's father was calling him back inside, so she went home and asked her own parents.

After twenty minutes of hushed conversation in the next room, they sat her down and told her about cloning.

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"Hypocritical old dyke," Roxas mutters under his breath as soon as they are out of their judgmental neighbors' earshot.

"Roxas!" she reprimands, shooting him a glare. The tension at the corners of his mouth lessens just a bit, but the scowl doesn't leave his face completely.

"Sorry," he says, not really sounding it, "It's just that she frustrates me so much. She and her wife did all the marches and parades and rallies and protests and stuff back in the day, and yet she doesn't think we should get those same rights that she fought so hard for?" The hand not holding hers was balled into a fist. "We didn't choose to be this way any more than she chose to be like that."

Xion squeezed his hand and gently pointed out, "Which makes her an awful person, yes, but that doesn't mean you get to start throwing out slurs."

He sighs. "Right, right, sorry," and this time he really does mean it. They continue their walk in silence, with Xion closely monitoring him as his anger ebbs away. He does not have a particularly short temper, but nothing gets a rise out of him faster than the discrimination against their kind. She almost envies him that, though. It makes him angry; it makes him want to fight back. For her, the way they are treated only ever makes her feel depressed.

A while later they reach a stretch of sidewalk hidden under a thick blanket of fallen leaves and regress about ten years as they kick their way through them. They are both grinning like idiots when the pavement finally reappears under their feet, and Roxas lets go of her hand to wrap his arm around her waist. He pulls her close and nuzzles a kiss to her ear. She giggles, glancing around, shy, but there is no one to see them.

"You know I'd marry you if I could, right?" Her face warms and she burrows into his shoulder to hide the blush. He is not bothered by her lack of an answer. He knows she means it as yes anyway.

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She's fourteen when she takes a leap of faith and goes pixie.

Her mother is furious, of course, having never understood why she would want to chop off her silky black locks, but she didn't like having all that hair in the way, and even shoulder length felt too long. Xion was pleasantly pleased to find the short hair suited her better than anything else she'd ever done with it, and it didn't make her look like a boy, as her mother had vehemently warned that it would. The only person left to tell was Roxas, who had been supportive if unsure when she'd mentioned she was planning on cutting her hair.

"And…now you can look." Roxas opens his eyes to look at her sitting on her bed across from him, and immediately they go wide.

"Oh…wow."

Xion bites her lip. "Is that a good wow or a bad wow?"

Roxas splutters for a moment, "A-a-w-ah…a different wow? It's just—well, I mean, it's different. Very different."

Xion rocks back and forth. "Good different or bad different?" she prompted.

Her companion opens his mouth to answer but doesn't get any further, seemingly unable to find the right words.

"I knew it!" Xion proclaims as she flops backwards onto her bed dramatically. "You hate it!"

For some reason probably related to shock Roxas misses the joke and panics. "No, no! I don't hate it, I really don't!"

Xion looks up at him, giggling, and notices there's a streak of red across his cheeks and nose. "So you like it?" She bounces back to a sitting position and watches as his blush deepens, though she can't imagine why.

"I—you-yeah. You—it—I—you look cute," he finally chokes out, not looking at her. Xion's a bit baffled, but pleased nonetheless. He's never complimented her like that before, with that sort of…tone? She's not sure what it is, but something besides her hair is different.

The mystery is solved two weeks later when he asks her out.

They have fun, and there are three more dates and a school dance before he gets up the nerve the kiss her. She wasn't sure if she quite felt the same up until that point, but the moment his lips met hers she was sold.

Even though he was really bad at it.

No matter. He would improve.

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He looks so excited and happy that she's tempted to ask if he's spent the last hour rolling on the floor under an army of Corgi puppies. Before she can ask, however, he spills the beans so fast the words come out more like overcooked mush than actual coherent language.

"What?" she asks, as Roxas positively vibrates with excitement.

"I'm going to meet him," he says slower, though it seems to take all his focus, "My Somebody, my Other, I'm going to meet him."

Xion blinks at him. "You're…what?"

Roxas nods, still grinning. "I'm going to meet my Other. The Center called my parents a couple weeks ago, and said that some of the donors were going to be in town to give their Others the opportunity to meet them, and my Somebody was going to be one of them. So, my parents asked if I wanted to go, and of course I did, so…yeah! I'm gonna meet him!"

"Roxas, that's, that's great! I think?" She doesn't know what to say. She had wondered, fleetingly, in the past what her somebody was like, but she'd never had as much of a curiosity as Roxas had. She didn't like thinking about the fact that there was someone else out there just like her. Because there wasn't anybody else out there just like her, was there? She was her own person…right? Roxas on the other hand seems too excited to notice her uncertainty.

"Of course it's great! I want to know what he's like, if he's anything like me! Or, I guess, if I'm anything like him, since he came first and all. You should come too!"

"What?"

Roxas reaches out and grabs her hands. "You should have your parents call and see if your Somebody is going to be there too! You could meet her, find out what she's like! Come on, we'll go together."

Xion looks down, frowning. She'd never dreamed the opportunity to meet her somebody would actually be a reality, and now that she was faced with the possibility, she really wasn't sure. So focused on her thoughts, she doesn't notice Roxas's expression soften. He squeezes her hands gently. "Hey," he says, his voice lower and his eagerness replaced with affection, "Xion, look at me." She raises her eyes to see that small smile he reserves just for her. "Look, I know it's scary, I'm scared too. But I still want to meet him. Because no matter how much alike we are, I know I'm not him. Just because we came from them doesn't mean we are them." He leans in until their foreheads are touching. "You're still you, and I'm still me, and we're nobody else but us." He gives her a brief kiss. "No matter how scary it is, I'll be right with you the whole time."

She sighs and grips his hands, ignoring the uneasy feeling still boiling in the pit of her stomach. "Okay," she says, as sure as she's going to get, "Okay."

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She's never been more nervous in her life, and the never-ending wait isn't helping. First there was the agonizing wait in the lobby earlier, where she, Roxas, and their parents sat with all the other copies and their parents while the staff worked out the schedule and logistics for each child and their respective donor.

And then there had been the wait in the smaller room with just her, Roxas, and the other kids from their generation batch. There were only about fifteen of them, and the room was small, and yet none of them felt comfortable enough to talk. Perhaps it was because of nerves, or perhaps it was because being grown in petri dishes in the same room was not enough of a connection to inspire a feeling of kinship. One by one the kids were called out into individual office-like rooms to meet their others. They went in order of identification number, so after a while it was just Roxas and Xion with two other kids. Finally Roxas's name was called, but the coordinator paused before leading him away to call Xion as well.

"Must be running out of rooms," Roxas commented as they were led down the hallway.

Now the waiting continued, even more tortuous than before, as they sit in the small room with its soft green walls and cozy armchairs and plastic plants. There's a window to the hallway behind them, and after a few minutes Xion occupies herself staring out of it, waiting for their others to arrive. Finally she sees a couple stop outside and turn to each other for a brief conversation.

Xion can't believe her eyes. The man, probably in his early thirties, is obviously Roxas's original. His hair is brown and sticks up differently than Roxas's, but they have the same face, the same bright blue eyes, and when he smiles at the woman with him (his wife, judging by the band on her finger when she raises her hands to straighten his tie), it is the same smile she'd seen on Roxas's face a thousand times. She is about to alert Roxas when the woman sweeps back her long red hair and Xion gets a good look at her face for the first time.

She sucks in a breath and goes still. The woman looks just like her. Older, of course, but the resemblance is undeniable. And the woman is beautiful. Xion had always been comfortably secure in her self-image, always believing herself to be at least moderately attractive, but looking at the woman in the hallway she realizes that one day, at least, she is going to be as absolutely stunning as the woman from whom she obviously came. And that woman was married to Roxas's Somebody. No wonder they had been put in the same room. And how amazing, that she and Roxas should find each other and fall in love just like the people on whom they'd been based!

For one brief, shining moment her nerves vanish, and then the woman gives the man a kiss on the cheek and walks away, back down the way they'd come. The man glances into the room and catches Xion's eye. She looks away hurriedly, confused. She can't make out what they are saying, but she can hear the man having a terse conversation with the worker assigned to lead him to the room. After a moment the door opens and the worker looks at her. "Xion Jouet? We need to have a brief word with you." Her nerves return full force as she exchanges a quick glance with Roxas and stands to leave the room. She meets the man's eyes again as she passes him in the doorway, and the way he looks at her…it's unsettling, and it's all she can think about as the worker leads her through several hallways. It was obvious he saw the resemblance to his wife, but it seemed to shock him, surprise him, and Xion can't figure out why. He had to know his wife was her Somebody, so why should he look so alarmed?

She must have changed her mind about wanting to meet her, Xion reasons as she is led into an office and told to sit in the chair before a large wooden desk. It must be rather odd for donors to meet someone who looks just like them. Finally a middle-aged man with a dark beard and a white lab coat comes into the room and explains everything.

Except it is not the explanation Xion was expecting, nor was it one she could ever have fathomed.

She is not like the other clones.

She is unique, one of the first of a new experimental procedure. They had already perfected the science of cloning DNA, but they wanted to try something new. Her DNA was not copied from anyone else's; it was a "blank template" DNA, the scientist explained, and they had used information from a donor's memory to inform the DNA on what kind of person to create. There had been experiments of cloning using a person's memory to create their clone, but she was a special subset using a person's memory of another person to create a clone.

Xion may have been based on the red-haired woman, but that woman was not her donor. The man was. Roxas's donor. That's why they'd been placed in the same room. The man had been one of the youngest donors, only 18 at the time, as his father had been one of the scientists involved. His DNA had been used to create Roxas, while his memories of his childhood sweetheart and now-wife were combined with the so-called "blank DNA" to create her. The hope was that the process could be used to create children for couples plagued by infertility that still resembled one or both of them.

Xion sits there, unable to move or speak or process. She is no ordinary clone. Her donor is a man. She and Roxas have the same donor. She has the same donor as her boyfriend.

She feels sick. She doesn't know how long she sits there before rising to her feet and fleeing the room. She doesn't know how she remembers which hallways to follow to get back to the lobby where her parents wait but her feet seem to carry her of their own accord because she is hardly looking where she is going. She passes the room where she sees a smiling Roxas chatting happily with their donor. Their donor. She can hardly stand to think about the implications.

She turns a corner and collides with someone. She hastily apologizes, and at the woman's reassurances she looks up and blanches. It is the red-haired woman. The woman on whom she is based. Their eyes meet, and she can see the realization growing large in the woman's eyes. "Oh my god, you're-" but she does not hang around to hear the rest of the sentence. She continues down hallways, tears beginning to blur her vision, until she finally emerges into the lobby to see her parents look up with surprise at her loud entrance.

"Let's go," is all she says to them before continuing out the door and through the parking lot to their car. She says nothing on the ride home, and her parents quickly give up on coaxing information out of her. She discovers that they were somewhat aware of the situation, though they had no idea that she and Roxas shared a donor. If they have any thoughts of her and Roxas dating, they keep them to themselves.

When they arrive home Xion heads to the backyard, to the old swing set and stays there, flying through the air, back and forth, back and forth, trying to forget but failing miserably.

She doesn't know how many hours pass before Roxas arrives. She has stopped swinging and merely sits there staring at her shoes. "Hey," he says, and she can hear the shake in his voice. "They, um, they told me. About…about you and, and me." She doesn't respond, and he walks around the swing set so that he stands in front of her. She can see the worried look on his face but it doesn't change the empty one of hers. "Are you okay?"

"What do you think?" she mumbles. "We come from the same person, Roxas."

He walks forward and kneels in front of her, and looks up at her so that their eyes meet. "That doesn't mean that we are the same person." He takes her hands in his. "I'm from his DNA, you're from his memories, that doesn't make us the same person. That doesn't even make us the same as him."

"I know I'm not the same as him," she says, her voice as limp as her hands in his, "I'm the same as his wife."

"Oh Xion," Roxas presses his forehead to hers, as if he could impress the message into her through touch. "You are not the same as her either. You have fifteen years of experiences and memories all your own, just like I have fifteen years of experiences and memories all my own, and those fifteen years of life are completely different from the first fifteen years of their lives."

Xion sniffles and tries withdrawing her hands from his, but he holds them tight. "But we still come from them. You and I, a couple, and we're based on a real couple. What if we only care about each other because they're in love?"

Roxas shakes his head. "Impossible," he states, a hard, determined look in his eyes. "Who you fall in love with isn't written into your DNA. It's in who you are and who the person you love is." He squeezes her hands. "You are who you are because of the past fifteen years of experiences unlike anybody else on the planet, and I am who I am because of the last fifteen years of experiences unlike anybody else. And I love you because of who those unique fifteen years of life have made you. You are not her, and I am not him." He kisses her, and she's feeling a little bit better so she lets him. She's never doubted that he loved her, but she's never believed it more than she does right now.

When he pulls away he repeats a phrase he's said before, but with more fervor than she's ever heard it: "You're you, and I'm me," and she doesn't doubt it when he finishes, "and we're nobody else but us."

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There are others who are less understanding. When people learn that they come from the same donor they frown, as if they really are the same person, and so how can they possibly be in a relationship? Isn't that wrong? Messed up? Their parents are unsure at first but eventually understand, or at least come to terms with it. Some of their friends frown and disapprove and stop being their friends, some understand, and some quietly disapprove but politely say nothing.

The years go by. They graduate high school and start college at the same school. She lives in a dorm with another girl for two weeks before discovering the anxiety of living with a stranger becomes too much and she nearly has a nervous breakdown. Her parents, who never quite got over their habit of sheltering her, get her her own apartment. Roxas, meanwhile, rents a townhouse with a group of friends. They are nice; they know the whole story and they don't judge.

Their high school was small enough that they were alright, but college is Xion's first real experience of how society treats her kind. Without protection of her parents' "human" status, she is left to fend for herself. Suddenly she is ashamed of her wristband, and curses it every time she is turned away from a restaurant or theater because of its presence. There are professors who treat her differently, and more than once she finds herself in the administration offices lodging a complaint against a teacher who has wrongfully given her a bad grade.

If Roxas weren't in there just as often she doesn't know what she'd do. They continue to date, and together they join the campus's support group for Others. It's the first time she's really gotten to know other clones besides Roxas, and it's both liberating and frightening. Almost all of them have horror stories of the indignities perpetrated against their kind.

But it's all going to change, one boy reassures them. They are all part of the second official generation, and the first generation is old enough to have suffered the injustices long enough to begin campaigning for change, and now their generation is old enough to have begun to join them. They are fighting, and fighting hard, and with the third generation now entering their teens and starting to complain as well, it couldn't be long before the government took notice. Change was coming, and not just within their lifetimes, within the near future.

Xion just hoped he was right.

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It's one of those mornings when she stares at the numbers on their wristbands.

02060913

02060914

02 Second Generation. 06 Sixth Batch. 09 Ninth Donor. 14 Fourteenth embryo of the batch.

Even another clone from their batch would have a different Donor number, but they had the same. With the explosion of the Clone Rights Movement had come an explosion of knowledge about them, including what the numbers on their wristbands meant. Now anyone who looked at their numbers would know and immediately they'd start to judge.

She looks up the legal ramifications for not wearing the wristbands. She curses the government and pulls the damn thing on.

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They're nineteen. They've know this was going to happen eventually, and their relationship has been building towards this for a while. They're still both nervous, and it's so bad the first time they have to laugh because otherwise it'd just be pitiful. No matter. Eventually they'll get better.

Well, she'll get better. Roxas is a slow learner. But just like with kissing, once he gets good, he gets great.

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She watches him sleep one night and wonders what about their life is so different from everyone else's.

She finally comes to the conclusion that there is no difference, and even if there is it doesn't matter.

She doesn't care what she has to endure through the course of her day as long as she still gets to come home and crawl into bed with him.

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It's nearly five years later that they find themselves sitting on the couch in their living room, the tv on in front of them, showing the news channel as they grip each other's hands and pray to whatever deities might be listening.

"We're just now getting the results on the Senate's stance on the Clone's Rights Bill. It passed in the House of Representatives with a narrow majority, and since the President has promised not to veto, with Senate approval it will become a law. It comes on the heels of the Identification Protection Act which was passed back in March, which you may remember stated that clones no longer had to wear identification wristbands, and could not be identified as a clone on their driver's license, ID cards, passports, social security cards, or other identification documents, the only exceptions being birth certificates and medical documents, for reasons relating to medical purposes. It also prohibits businesses from requiring clones to register at the door and refusing clones business based on their DNA status."

Xion and Roxas certainly did remember. They'd burned their wristbands and gone to every restaurant, movie theater, and store that had ever turned them away.

"The Clone's Rights Bill, if enacted, would give clones full human rights. Among other things, it would give them the right to marry, and the right to reproduce without first obtaining legal permission from their Original. To that effect, DNA Donors would be required to acknowledge the possibility of their clone reproducing before being allowed to donate. The bill would also prohibit school and workplace discrimination."

Roxas pulls her closer. He's trying to stay strong for her sake but there is no hiding how nervous he is. "Just remember," he says, and it's clear he's trying to convince himself as much as her, "That even if it doesn't pass now that doesn't mean it never will. The IPA was rejected twice before they finally passed it." Xion nods, trying both to think positively and not think about it at all. There was no telling whether or not the bill would pass. On the one hand, the IPA had passed, and with the European Union being the latest in a series of governments passing similar Clone's Rights legislature, pressure was on the US to do the same. On the other hand, politicians had been fighting for months and months over this bill. It had struggled through every part of the process. If it had taken three tries to get the IPA, a relatively simple bill compared to this one, passed in Congress, how many would it take to pass the Clone's Rights Bill?

The newsreader pauses to raise a hand to her ear, frowning. "Okay, we're getting the results right now, my producer will be telling me through my earpiece in just a second." She looks tense as well. It is nice, in a strange way, that the newscaster for this story is someone with a clone in her family. She sits there looking as nervous as them, unlike the man who had announced that the IPA had passed. He had sat there so calm and detached while they worried on their couch.

A moment later the newswoman straightens and faces the camera, but her expression does not betray the results. "And we have the results." She looks like she was pursing her lips. "Against: 45." Xion and Roxas both lean forward, hands clasped so tightly it hurt. The newsreader is not trying to hide her smile now. "For: 65. Meaning the Clone's Rights Bill has passed in the Senate with a 65% majority."

She goes on to say how the President still had to sign it, and the other technical things it had to go through before going into effect, but Xion and Roxas have stopped listening. They sit in stunned silence for a moment, before Roxas jumps up, sweeps Xion into his arms, and twirls her around the room, laughing all the while.

"I can't believe it, I can't believe it!" He puts her down and kisses her, and when he draws back he frowns at her still shocked expression. "Xion?"

"I can't believe it," she says softly. "I just…this is happening."

Roxas pulls her into his arms and holds her gently. He brings his mouth to her ear. "If the government can't deny it anymore, then neither can you: we are not them, we are not each other, we are us, and nobody else." He takes a step back and holds her hands. "We are not defined by our DNA. We are not defined by our donors any more than other people are defined by the personalities of their biological parents. We are defined by our lives, our experiences, and you and I have had lives completely different than anybody else on the planet. We may have come from the same person, but we are not the same person. Our DNA is not the same." She looked up at him. She'd heard these words so many times before, and still it was hard to accept, mostly because it seemed no one else could. He continued, "Physically, we are not the same person. Mentally, we are two completely different people with completely different lives who just happened to find each other in this big crazy messed up world. Xion, I met my somebody, and he told me all about the woman you were based on, and you are nothing like her. And I am nothing like him. You are you, and I am me, and-"

"And we're nobody else but us, I know, I know," she finishes for him, the words having been said so often they are losing their meaning.

"No, you don't know." She looks back at Roxas. His jaw is set and his brows are lowered. He does not look angry; he looks determined. He holds her hands tightly and lowers himself onto one knee. When next he speaks his voice is soft but fervent. "You are not me, but I want you to be mine. And I am not you, but I want to always be yours. For the last fourteen years you have been a huge part of my life and I have seen you almost daily. I know you. I know you better than anyone else in the world, and no one has ever known me as completely as you do." Xion felt like her legs had turned to jello; she had always known that when it became legal he would want to, but she couldn't believe this was happening now. Or if that was even what was happening. He was down on one knee but what did that really mean? And what did she really want to say, anyway? "And that's why I love you. Not because my DNA says I have to. Not because we come from the same person. But because when I was ten years old this strange, naïve, shy little girl dropped into my life and made it so much better, and ever since then she has been the most important part of my life. So much of who I am is because of you. My donor hasn't made me who I am, you have made me who I am. You've made me a better person, and I know you always will. I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you."

Xion's legs give way and she falls to her knees as well. Opening her mouth she says shakily, "I know it's not the only reason, I really do, but what if our donor and our situation did have something to do with why we fell in love?"

Roxas shakes his head and laughs. "Oh, Xion…so what if it did?" She raises her eyebrows at his reaction and his question. "If our being clones doesn't make us any less of real people, then why should that make our love be any less real?" He leans in closer to her. "So what if I love you because you're based on the girl that he loves? Xion, that doesn't change the simple, undeniable fact that you are the girl I love. Who knows? Maybe that's what brought us together to begin with, but that's not what sustains our love." Xion can feel tears stinging the corners of her eyes. She's given this all so much thought, but she's never really thought about it the way he is saying it now. He has a point. Their DNA did not determine how they dealt with whose turn it was to do the dishes. The lives they lived every day were not determined by who they had been based on, they were determined by the lives they had lived for the past twenty-four years, and the little things they did every day to keep their relationship successful.

Fighting back tears she leans in and rests her forehead against his. "I don't care how much or how little our donor had to do with our relationship," Roxas murmurs. "I know that I love you, I know that I have chosen to love you every day since we met, and I know I will never stop loving you. I love you, Xion Jouet, because of who you are, because you are you."

She doesn't let him finish their mantra. She doesn't need him too. She just throws her arms around his neck and tackles him to the ground.

xrxrxrxrxrxrxrxrxrxrxrxrxrxrx

It's months later, and they stand in the lobby, Roxas watching her nervously.

"Are you sure about this?" he asks, and she nods.

"Yes. This is just something I have to do."

Roxas smiles and nods, but still looks concerned. "And you're sure you don't want me to come with you?"

She returns his smile. "This is something I have to do alone."

He nods again, then pulls her in for one last hug. "I'll be waiting out here if you need me."

She kisses his cheek and walks down the hallway. She enters the small office and sits down, and a few minutes later they join her.

They have changed so much in ten years, but they are still just as recognizable and just as attractive. They seem to be the sort who get better with age, and this pleases Xion more than she cares to admit. It's odd, but not as odd as she'd expected. She's so much more confident that she was the last time she sat in this room. The years of discrimination have not weakened her, but instead have made her stronger, bolder. She smiles at them and thanks them for seeing her.

They tell her about their lives, about how they met, how they fell in love, how they got married straight out of high school (to their parents' horror). They tell her about their children, their jobs, their hobbies, and then they ask her about her life. She tells them about herself and about Roxas. They talk for over an hour, and Xion finds herself feeling happier and happier as the session goes on.

Because they are not the same.

There are similarities, of course. Physical ones, primarily; like in the way the woman pushes her hair behind her ear with her pinkie finger in the air, or how the man rests with his hands behind his head. But in terms of personality, these two people are so different from her and Roxas. Finally the couple must leave to pick up their kids from school, and Xion tells them goodbye, and once again thanks them for meeting her.

"So I guess it went well? You were in there a while," Roxas says when she returns to the lobby.

She just nods and continues towards the door. The ride home is silent. Roxas is unsure of why she doesn't want to talk, but he is respectful of it nonetheless.

They arrive home, and Roxas plops down on the sofa and turns on the tv. Xion smiles at him for a moment, and then walks over and turns it off. He watches her, perplexed, as she kneels on the floor beside him. "You were right," she says. "You've always been right, and I just couldn't see it. And you loved me anyway and I thank you for that."

"Xion, what-" she holds up a finger to stop him.

"You are you, and I am me. But you're a part of me, and I'm a part of you. We're not the same person, but I feel like we're two parts of one person. Like I'm not quite whole without you. And not in that overly dramatic 'never leave me or I'll fall apart and feel so incomplete' way, but it's just that…" she trails off, searching for the right words, "days I'm not with you are just…less. Less than the days we're together. And me without you, I just feel like I'm less. Like I'm just not as happy, not as complete as when I'm with you. And you always say we're separate people, but in a way we aren't. I've always been such a huge part of your life, and you've always been part of mine. I don't feel like there's your life and my life; I just feel like there's our life. And there's not you and me, there's just…us." She looks down, a smile on her face. "And that's how I always want it to be." He doesn't respond and she has nothing else to say so she picks up the remote and turns the tv back on, then rests her head and arms on his knees. "I'm thinking a winter wedding." She says after a moment. "I think they're underrated; they can be so beautiful. Like a black and white theme. Maybe some accents in a crimson or burnt red. That'd be so classy and elegant, especially if it snowed." Roxas doesn't answer; he simply remains in shocked silence for a while, then chuckles softly and runs his fingers through her hair.

xrxrxrxrxrxrxrxrxrxrxrxrxrxrx

They decide against inviting the man and woman, and as the years go by they put the couple out of their minds entirely. They have not forgotten what they are, nor do they actively try to hide it, but neither do they have any reason to think about it day to day. It is a simple fact, but not one that matters any more than the color of their hair.

Time goes by, and they blend in on the streets as just another couple. No one stares, no one whispers behind hands. No more sidelong glances, no more snide remarks. People no longer stare at matching checkered bracelets printed with serial numbers with one digit differences.

Now they see matching gold rings. They see the little girl with gold pigtails reading on the tire swing, and the twin dinosaurs disguised as black-haired little boys destroying cities made of sand. They see the father help his daughter sound out a word while the mother stops the would-be dinosaurs from throwing their sand cities at each others' faces. They see two people who have built a life together.

Never again does she need to be cradled at night while the boy she loves soothes away her fears of the world. Now she falls asleep and wakes in the morning with three extra bodies sprawled across their bed. Never again does what they are hurt them. And never again do they say their tired old phrase of reassurance.

Never again do they need to.

fin


A/N: So I said part of the idea was explaining kind of why I don't see RoXion as selfcest, is that Roxas is made from Sora's body and soul, whereas Xion is a blank puppet physically influenced by Sora's memories of Kairi. As far as her actual thoughts and feelings, she is her own person, even more so than Roxas. Roxas is wholly from Sora (and what is left of Ventus). Xion's appearance and ability to wield the keyblade is influenced by her containing Sora's memories, but she exists outside of them. She existed before being filled with Sora's memories, and could have become anyone. She became who she was by way of his memories of Kairi, which I think made her a person enough to begin to develop her own personality and life. While she may be based on Kairi, she is still very different from her. She has her own experiences that shape who she is. She contains Sora's memories, but I think they sustain her more than shape her. Like they give her life, but they are not all that she is. It's like Sora's memories are a CD with data already written on it, and Xion is data written over it. She can't exist on her own once that CD is taken away, so after she is destroyed, all that remains of her remains written on Sora's memories. Idk if that makes any sense, but it does to me. Alternately I DO see SoRoxas as selfcest, because while Roxas has his own memories and personalities, he is half of Sora. Everything he is, body and soul, is part of Sora. Basically, the way I see it, you can say that Roxas IS Sora, but you can't say that Xion is Sora.

Now regarding the actual story OTLI know the science isn't perfect, but it's scifi so it doesn't have to be perfectly realistic. A few things of note: Roxas and Xion's ID numbers are 02060913/14 because KH1 came out in 2002, KH2 came out in 06, Days came out in 09, and of course 13 and 14 are their numbers in the Organization. Their surnames: Jouet is French for toy, since Xion in canon is a puppet, and Torri is Welsh for broken, which sums up Roxas pretty much always, poor kid. This was really long, and I hope it turned out well. Lemme know your thoughts.