Sora entered the Sandlot with a mighty cry as he eliminated another Nobody. He noted Kairi holding off the others with a massive spamming of Reflect, and rushed over and started dueling with the monsters.

"Sora! where are Ven and Riku-"

"HYAHHHH!" Ventus and Riku took out another Nobody simultaneously, and said "Right here!"

Sora then quickly rounded up the people behind Kairi and directed them out, and then resumed his fight. Everyone held equal ground in the fight, dodging and striking, sharing whatever they learned(Kairi had found the felons were weaker against Thunder and Blizzard), and the challenge was certainly worthy.

Soon they were gone, and Sora panted "Everyone okay?"

"Impressive, Keybearer."

Sora directed himself to the corner of the Sandlot, finding another Organization XIII member. They stood, and walked over "Not many can boast they have defeated my Berserkers..."

"Put a can in it so we can kill you already."

The man merely removed his hood, glaring at them with yellow eyes. Ther was an x-shaped scar on his face, and his hair was a grayish blue that ended at his shoulders. Ventus, just like with Zexion, seemed to be familliar with this member

"Isa...?"

"So you bothered to remember." His words were bitter.

Ventus moved forward, abandoning his Keyblade and saying "I DID remember! I thought about you and Lea and all of my friends-"

"You only thought. Never visted once. Not even in ten years did you bother to check on your washed out friends-"

"No, I-I couldn't-"

"You couldn't bother because you didn't care."

Ventus was on the verge of tears "I DID ISA-"

Isa sharply said "You have lost the right to address me as such. My name is now Saïx."

Sora then said annoyedly "Can we just cut to the part where we kick your butt?"

Ventus got in front of Saïx, saying "No! He's my friend!"

"He doesn't seem to want to be your friends anymore-"

Ventus then said to Saïx "Please! I'm so sorry I couldn't visit you and Lea, I really am!"

Saïx then seemed to soften, and said "Well, perhaps I could forgive."

Ventus smiled, then said "Come on guys, put them away."

Sora didn't want to. He didn't trust Ventus or Saïx. Kairi then said "Sora, put it up. They're friends, respect that." Sora the grudgingly dismissed the blade. Ventus smiled even wider "Thank you guys." He turned to Saïx backing away to Kairi, Riku and Sora and saying "These guys are some new friends, maybe you can bring Lea over and we can all catch up on the lost time-"

Everyone suddenly noticed Saïx charging with a massive claymore-

Ventus shoved Sora away, receiving the massive blow to his stomach and hurtling into the air. Moments later Saïx batted him away like a baseball, and Ventus collasped on the ground in a limp heap.

Sora, Kairi, and Riku summoned their Keyblades again, defensively backing away. Saïx, meanwhile, wiped a bit of blood off of his blade while saying "Oh dear, I was so hoping to get you, Sora." He sounded like he didn't mind hitting either target "It would have been so lovely having your Nobody alongside us."

Ventus gasped lightly as he clutched his wounds "I-Isa-"

"I'm sorry, what was that? I can't hear you over the years of separation we have gained."

He noted Kairi, Riku, and Sora starting to advance, then ran.

"HEY!" Kairi screamed, running after him. Riku followed the persuit, mostly to keep Kairi out of danger.

Sora was about to chase after the egnimatic member of Organization XIII when a rattling breath froze him in place.

Ventus. Ventus had saved him. The thought suddenly registered. But what did he care? He began following Kairi and Riku, but was held back by a pitiful gasp of agony

"Please... Don't leave me here alone...!"

Instead of following Kairi and Riku, he quickly turned back and rushed to the limp and bloodied figure of... A friend? An enemy?

For the first time, Sora wasn't sure now.

"Ven! Ventus are you..." Sora's trailed off when he saw the full extent of his injuries.

The clothes and skin around Ventus's stomach had been torn completely open by the claymore, leaving a bloody, disembowled mess for him to clutch while suppressing moans of agony. A second blow on his back wasn't as deep, but still bled quite a bit. Already blood was being coughed up, dribbling down his chin or tainting his free hand.

The sight made Sora nauseous, and he quickly turned away and retched onto the pavement. He tried to quickly settle himself, but failed. Ventus, a boy he had loathed most of his life, had just leapt in front of Saix to save him. Any reasonable person in his situation would have just let Sora die, yet he paid his life to keep him safe.

No, he hasn't paid yet. Sora quickly reminded himself, and he turned back around and knelt next to Ventus. "D-don't worry, everything will be just fine."

Ventus gave Sora a dull, barely comprehending look, then weakly smiled "Of course..."

Sora gently positioned Ventus into a sitting position, the wounded boy gasping lightly. "D-don't worry, I'm gonna get you fixed up..." Sora hesitantly placed his hand over the one Ventus had clutching his stomach, letting a cure spell wind it's way through the healing process. Ventus then let go of his injuries to gently grasp Sora's free hand. Sora felt worse and worse as Ven's grip almost cut off the circulation in his fingers.

Ventus coughed up more blood without warning, Sora trying hard not to show his discomfort. Instead of throwing up again, he said tartly "You didn't need to do that."

Ventus only smiled through a haze of pain "You're lying..."

"You didn't need to-"

"Sora you didn't-" more coughs, ones that caused his fragile body to heave "-Even have your Keyblade summoned...!"

Sora pressed against the gouge on his back, trying to heal both injuries at once "Well that was your fault. Riku could've-"

"I doubt you'd want Riku or Kairi doing what I did or even getting near Saix..." Ventus shuddered as his back healed completely. His stomach wound wasn't making much process, though. Sora confusedly tried harder. Muscle and innards still healed, but it was sluggish now. This pace satisfied him, but even then he looked away "I'm sorry-"

"Don't be. I chose this." Sora blinked in surprise and looked back at Ventus. He was softly smiling, his eyes were drooped. "As long as you're okay... As long as I repay for what I did." Ven's smile vanished, and he looked hollow, sad, remorseful. He took a shuddering breath, but before he could say anything he coughed up more blood. Sora watched, horrified and entranced, as he was once more covered in the sanguine liquid of the dying.

Ventus weakly cupped Sora's face with a bloodied hand, asking plaintively in a hoarse whisper

"Am I forgiven...?"

The question caused Sora's mind to blue screen. Was he? He thought and searched his heart for the answer.

NO! HE WILL NEVER BE FORGIVEN!

But hasn't he suffered and given up enough?

The two sides clashed, but ended at a tie, leaving Sora silent and numb with shock.

Ventus frowned even deeper "I... I suppose not..." He surmised. Sora was still trying to comprehend his own feelings when Ventus pulled something out of his pocket. A small chain that held a green gem with two silver feathers spiraling around it on the end. "This... Is my keychain..." He whispered, shakily holding it up to demonstrate. "But it's... Yours now." He placed the trinket in Sora's hand, and squeezed gently.

Ven's breaths slowed

"Tell them... Tell them I'm sorry..."

His eyes fully closed

"...I'm sorry..."

He breathed once more, before growing completely still.

Sora finally registered what had happened, and shook Ventus "Ven! Ventus!" Tears spilled over, and Sora said in a jarringly harsher tone "Ventus you better not leave! Y-you better stay here!"

Ventus remained still as death, face stuck in a soft, sad smile. It was clear that he was gone for good now.

Sora cradled the corpse closer, sobbing as if Ventus was still alive and finally surmising what he should have ages ago "No, I'M sorry! I held onto hatred and let it corrupt me! I held onto everything and let it fester and decay my light! I'm sorry... I'm sorry and I forgive you...!"

Sora felt like he had snapped clean in two. This was crushing him, not only had Ventus died for a pointless reason, but he had died in the arms of someone who could have helped. He had died believing he was loathed and unforgiven by the very same person.

"You didn't deserve this!" Sora whispered as he buried his chin in Ventus's golden hair, knowing his tears didn't seem to stop. He knew that Ventus had taken away everything from him at the earliest age, but he finally admitted that Ventus had repaid that debt. Repaid it tenfold.

Admitting that just made his grief worse.

"Sora?! Sora wh- oh...!" Sora heard Kairi gasp behind him. He sniffled lightly, composing himself, but he remained where he was, cradling the lifeless body in his arms and praying for a miracle. Kairi grasped his shoulder "Sora-"

Sora glared at her, a gaze that clearly said "Please don't tell me what I already know."

Kairi then knelt next to him, and hugged him close. Tears started to form as she whispered "I'm sorry..."

A crowd started gathering: outcrys of calling the hospital, asking what had happened only to get just as confused answers. Hayner, Pence, and Olette all gaped in shock at the very front of the crowd.

But soon it was being shoved aside, a woman yelling "Excuse us! coming through! Please, we need to get to them!" Kairi let go of Sora, blinking at the familiarity of the voice.

The woman who finally pushed through the crowd was one who was probably in her twenties. Summer sky blue hair in a messy cut with eyes to match. Her clothes were mostly black, and slightly patched up with bits of blue draping cloth around her waist and bits of armor on her shoulders.

She took one look at Ventus and flew over with a terrified scream "VENTUS!" She gently held his face, before softly, but firmly asking "Please, can I hold him one more time?"

Sora's vice-like grip relinquished his precious friend, and the woman wept softly while running some sort of magic.

"E-excuse me, miss-"

"Master Aqua," she said firmly, but there was a hollow broken sound to it "and this WILL work...!"

Ventus's body started twitching a little, the wound in his stomach finished sealing itself. Sora got on his hands and knees, awestruck by what was happening. Kairi's eyes widened "But how...?"

Ven's eyes weakly opened, and he gasped "...Aqua?"

Aqua smiled, and gently kissed his forehead "Hello Ven."

Sora smiled "Miracles do happen...!" He sobbed happily while the gathering crowd creed lightly in delight.

"'Scuse me!" Another person arrived, or rather...

Mouse.

Kairi's face lit up with joy, and she yelled "DAD!" And scooped King Mickey up in her arms. King Mickey laughed and held her back "I missed you too, Kairi."

Meanwhile, Ventus started crying again, smiling weak and wide. He coughed up a little blood, then pulled his and her Wayfinders out of his pocket, and held them up to her whispering "Friends... To the end... Right?"

Aqua gently touched the charms, laughing and smiling gently "You kept yours... And found mine..." Her face fell as she realized exactly what Ventus had said, then demanded "Wait?! What do you mean by the end?!"

Ventus didn't reply, already starting to sink into lifelessness. His eyes were half closed, his hand becoming lower and lower. "Actually... Friends... Forever..." He sighed, correcting himself.

The Wayfinders slipped out of his hand, clinking to the ground and cracking slightly.

Aqua stared at him, horrified, then shook his body and hysterically screaming "NO! VEN! VENTUS WAKE UP! WAKE UP!" The boy didn't stir again, staring blankly at the sky with a smile still lingering."NO! VENTUS DON'T LEAVE ME!"

Kairi set down Mickey, their faces falling. Sora, his hope and elation shattered, whispered "This... This CAN'T be happening... It CAN'T be... It... It CAN'T." Riku finally arrived from chasing Saïx, then, without uttering a thing, sank to his knees.

Aqua let out a few more broken sobs "No, Ventus PLEASE don't leave me now... Not when I haven't seen you in forever...! Not when I think you're finally safe...!" She clutched the boy close, sobbing like a mother in mourning.

She then lashed out at Sora, screeching "YOU KILLED HIM!"

Sora scrambled back, looking pitifully guilty as tears streaked down his cheeks. Aqua set aside Ven's corpse delicately, then summoned her Keyblade -boxy, gray and maroon, very simple- and aimed it at Sora continuing to yell "YOU KILLED VENTUS! HOW DARE YOU-"

She stopped yelling, but continued to sob when Kairi gently reached over and held Aqua's hand "No, he... He didn't do it, Aqua." Kairi was crying hard as well, and Riku waled ove to unsteadily wrap his arms around her. Aqua broke completely, grabbing Kairi and Riku and howling in grief. Mickey looked at Ventus, the the bloodstained Sora. He was crying profusely, whispering to himself "What have I done?"

Mickey then asked softly "Sora, did you really-"

"N-no... I hope not..."

Mickey was stunned by it all, even he was not immune to the tears the fell, but pushed through it to walk over, and gently close Ventus's eyes.

"I'm gonna miss you, Ven."


To dah I killed Ven. people, I have been hinting at this for a good long while... And now I finally can have it posted, YES(ish). Had it written since the middle of Lost Boys, to be honest. Yes, I have been planning his death for that long.

...

quit staring at me with tear-filled eyes like that.