MANDATORY AUTHOR'S NOTE: Heyyyyyy guys! So this chapter . . . Is a doozy. Hoooolyyyy poop. Prepare your minds for awesomeness. Muahahahaa! Again, thanks to all ym reviewers and readers. You guys really lift my spirits and make me feel worthy :') –cries uncontrollably- YOU ALL GET COOKIES! Anyway, without further ado!

DISCLAIMER: This disclaimer applies to the entire story. Kingdom Hearts and any and all things having to do with it do not belong to me. However, the plot and plot events are entirely MINE, along with the band Destiny's Embrace, the use of the word Hikari as a name, and the characters' personalities. In this chapter, the lyrics in italics at the begging and the end of the chapter are from the song Fame Over Demise by Woe, is Me. Go look up that beautiful, wonderful song!

NOTES: This story is rated M. This chapter has a loooooooot of violence! Beware! And please forgive me any typos. I was writing like a maniac!

ENJOY!

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Chapter Thirty-One

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The devil and god are knocking at my door
I thought I had your word
That a father dies before his son
Now the reaper and his men are marching your way
Straight to hell

Pain. Pounding, splitting pain. Kairi awoke to a haze of it, careening back and forth across her brain, and she groaned. Every part of her ached, including places on her body she hadn't even thought existed. When she winced, several tears in her flesh pulled and made her whimper. Tears leaked slowly out of the corners of her eyes, the face of Roxas—those big, crystal blue eyes gazing beseechingly at her as she was dragged away—filled her with a sense of loss and grief so deep that she though it would tear her in two.

"Ah, there she is . . . She's waking up. Come, Larxene, bring her to me."

It was a man's voice. Kairi's eyes stilled felt screwed shut as the seams, but she didn't have to visualize to know that the man talking had to have been someone important to the Organization. She tried to move, to get away, but her muscles were on fire. She felt someone's hands grabbing her hair roughly, starting to drag her across the—was it carpeted?—floor.

"No, no, Larxene!" the man chastised. "Gently! There's no need to be brutish."

For the first time since meeting her, Kairi heard nothing out of Larxene's mouth. She felt the blonde's hands leaving her hair, and then she was pulled none-too-gently to her feet.

"Come on," Larxene growled, patting the side of Kairi's face a couple of times. "Wake the fuck up."

"Larxene," the man chided. "Language."

Larxene scowled and said nothing, continuously slapping Kairi's cheek lightly. Eventually, Kairi's eyelids fluttered open of their own accord. The first thing she saw was Larxene's frosty gaze, making her feel unwelcome. Her legs shook uncontrollably as they struggled to keep her upright, and when Larxene let her go, she nearly collapsed.

"Jesus, Larxene." Xaldin rushed to her side and grabbed Kairi around the waist. "You worked this one over too badly."

"Tch," Larxene snorted. "Whatever."

Kairi's head lolled back against Xaldin's shoulder as he led her across the room (which she now recognized to be the living room of the beach house) to the armchair in the corner. Looking down through her lashes, she saw who he was: the leader of the Organization; Number One.

He had silver hair, long silver hair that was as close to a modernized mullet as it could get. His eyes were a ridiculous shade of orange that put the fruit to shame, and his smile was charming beyond comparison. His appearance said friendly, but his countenance screamed beware. He was wearing a suit—an extremely nice, expensive-looking suit—and his hands were steepled in front of his face.

"Well, you're certainly more attractive in the flesh," he said, flashing a smile that bent wills.

Kairi's brow furrowed as another particularly harsh pain rocked her head. She groaned and Xaldin let her slip to the ground on her knees. She looked up at the silver-haired man as he leaned forward and grinned.

"I can see what all the boys seem to adore in you," he said quietly, leaning back and crossing his legs. "Now tell me, Kairi . . . Why is it that you're so popular? You've got many, many people on your tail, young lady."

Kairi hugged her aching ribs and bent forward as she struggled not to be sick from the agony she was enduring. Gasping a little bit, she managed to squeeze out an, "Wh-Where's Roxas?"

The man in front of her's face seemed to soften for a moment before the smile settled back into place. "After all this time, all this chasing, all this death." He wrinkled is nose almost playfully, and it was terrifying. "And we have yet to be properly acquainted. How silly."

"Boss, should we really be wasting time like this?" Larxene complained from the area where the TV was. "She and her little friends killed half of our members. Let's just blast her, and get the Hell out of here."

Kairi's heart skipped a beat and she looked up at the leader fearfully. Xaldin was standing directly behind her. What would it take for him to grab the back of her head and do to her what had possibly been done to Roxas?

God, she hoped Roxas was okay.

"Now, now, kids," the man chuckled, his laughter only adding to the bizarre factor that rated this entire situation. "Settle down. There's no need to rush things."

Kairi lowered her gaze. So they intended to kill her. She supposed it was just as well. The Organization was notorious—there was just no possible way she'd be able to hide from them forever. Better that she die now, before there were anymore needless deaths. If Roxas was . . . Kairi felt the painful sting of tears prickling at her eyes.

"Let's skip all this nonsense and introduce ourselves, shall we?" His smile grew in size. "My name is Xemnas, founder of the Organization. And you are . . . ?"

Kairi eyed him as if he were insane. ". . . Kairi." Her voice was flat, her gaze listless.

"Pretty name for a pretty girl." His fingers brushed her cheekbone, and she almost threw up.

Kairi turned her face away, but Xemnas brushed her hair behind her ear so he could see it. She cringed away from him, but he was quick as a flash to stop her from doing so. He grabbed her chin in a grip so ferocious that she cried out, pulling her close.

"Your naïveté is positively delightful," he murmured, his gaze like liquid gold.

Kairi couldn't help it. It came spilling out of her mouth before she could even think to stop it and oh, oh dear, did she regret it afterward.

"Get out of my face, you piece of shit." And she spat a disgusting, large wad of saliva in his direction. It smacked him in the nose, causing him to flinch and rear back, wiping his face with his sleeve.

Xemnas, Larxene, Xaldin, and Saïx collectively exchanged incredulous glances.

"I don't know whether to be outraged or amused," Xemnas said softly, his voice a whisper. He cleaned his face with a rag that Saïx seemed to produce out of nowhere.

"Where is my brother?" Kairi cried, refusing to respond to any of Xemnas's words. All she cared about at the moment, even more so than her own welfare, was whether or not Roxas was alive and breathing. She could not—would not—leave this Earth if he wasn't safe. She was damn tired of letting other people take the fall for her, and especially not someone who had been orchestrating her survival since she was a small child. Roxas had done everything in his power to protect her, and now . . . Now it was her turn.

She just hoped it wasn't too late.

Kairi held in a scream when a white-hot pain exploded in her right arm. She could feel Xaldin twisting her arm up her back, driving it up to the base of her neck. She couldn't even struggle, and she had even less room to breathe. She was in the perfect position now for them to exact their toll. Cerulean eyes blazing and crimson hair falling into her eyes, Kairi glowered up at Xemnas in silent challenge.

Xemnas slowly folded his hands in his lap as his mouth once again settled into that calm, collected smile of his.

"Would you like to know how the Organization came to be, Kairi?"

It took a long, drawn out moment of tense, charged silence for Kairi to realize that at this point, Xemnas was no longer okay with her staying quiet. He wanted her to speak back to him, like she was some sort of servant or child. Unfortunately, the pain in her twisted arm was so blinding and Xaldin's ragged, ominous breathing was so spine-tingling that Kairi had no choice but to respond.

"H-How?" she choked.

His smile widened. "The Organization is not your typical 'hitman for hire' club, you see." He held up his index and middle fingers as if to signify quotation marks. "When I was a boy—not much older than you, actually—I was thirsty. Thirsty for vengeance. The delicious, rich taste of vengeance in its purest, most hatred-filled form. My father was an alcoholic. He beat my mother within an inch of her life, and he beat me and my older brother Xehanort even worse. It wasn't long before we began to feel it . . . That hunger that I'm referencing. One night, he took my mother into the living room and forced us to watch while he did what he wanted with her. Xehanort didn't like that, hear? He didn't like that one bit.

"My old man didn't know what was comin' when Xehanort cold-clocked him over the back of the head with the lamp. He was dead before he hit the ground. Doubly unfortunate that my mother was dead right after. After that, it was me and Xehanort, and that was all I knew. We ran the streets in our town for a while, hiding out from the police until we knew it was time to leave the mainland. We came here, to Destiny Islands, and began our work.

"Now, you may be wondering what I mean by 'work'. Well, I'll tell you. I mean we started to recruit. An eye for an eye was our creed—we help you get your revenge, and you help us by joining up and helping us do our thing. Like for instance, the man whose holding you captive right now? And I am sorry about your arm, at that. I hope it's not too painful . . . Moving on, the man that's holding you—Xaldin is his name—he was thirteen when someone hit the movie theater in Ewa Beach with a drive-by. Popped his little girlfriend right in front of him. He came looking for us, so we agreed to help him. His payment? Well, he's standing here, isn't he?

"Remember the member you killed, Kairi? The one you shot? That was Luxord. His dad owed some bad people a lot of money. He couldn't pay, so they came and killed him and his wife in front of little Luxy. Slit his dad's throat; scalped his mommy. He went through the foster care and found his way to our doorstep, soon as he turned eighteen. We helped him get his revenge, all right? And if it weren't for you ending his life too soon, he'd be in this room today . . . His payment should not have been his death.

"So you see, Kairi? You see how it has to be? An eye for an eye. Revenge. Payment. It's all connected, and it all falls to your shoulders. You were our target. You were just business. This honestly could have gone smoother if you would have just stuck to the natural flow of things. But you had to go and screw it up, and now there are people on both sides of the spectrum that are dead. Someone's gotta pay for that. Someone has to be the payment—the vengeance calls to be heeded, and that is how the Organization came to be. That is how the Organization works. How it functions, how it breathes. So please . . . Let's just get back to the natural. Way. Of. Things."

Kairi stared up at the silver-haired madman unblinkingly, his story and words taking their sweet time sinking in. She was trying to make sense of what he was saying, figure out a way out of her current situation, and worrying about Roxas, all while Xaldin continued to hold her captive. Her arm felt like it was going to tear at the seams, and she just wanted to cry because it hurt so badly. But frankly, it didn't take a genius to get the gist of what Xemnas was implying.

It had started out simple, and now it was complicated. But even complicated situations had the same end result.

They were going to kill her, because that was what they had set out to do. It didn't matter who they'd killed before her or on their way to get to her, it didn't matter which of their members had been murdered by Sora's hand or her hand or Vanitas's or anyone's. All that mattered was that she was their target. She was their prey, and predators don't give up on their prey until they're dead.

Xemnas sighed heavily, like an old man, and slowly rose to his feet. He pulled a pair of black gloves out of his pockets and shook them out. They were made of fine leather and as he slipped them on, Kairi's heart began to sink. She would have no chance or time to get away. She was going to die here, on this floor, and there was absolutely nothing she could do to stop it.

"I just wish Sora would have gotten here sooner, so he could say goodbye," he said sadly, producing a small syringe from a black zippered case that Saïx handed him. "We are not cruel men, Kairi. We're the huntsmen to the Queen. We take the orders, and then we deliver them. We only do what we can to assist other's vendettas. And unfortunately for you, there is someone who has a vicious, vicious one against you."

Kairi could only watch as Xemnas crouched down in front of her. He stroked down her arm with the back end of the syringe.

"Such a pity, that so many lives had to be wasted for yours. It would have been a much cleaner cut if you would have just accepted your wrongdoings."

At that, Kairi couldn't hold herself back.

"Riku raped me," she spluttered. Her eyes were filled with angry tears that glittered and burned. "If anybody deserves vengeance, it's me."

Xemnas gave her the most genuine pitying look Kairi had possibly ever seen. He was shaking his head, as if he couldn't belief the misfortunes that had befallen her. He sighed again.

"Perhaps you should have come to me yourself. Before your elder brother came to me first." He held up the needle and shot Larxene a look.

The blonde woman darted forward and grabbed Kairi's free arm. She squeezed her hands around Kairi's flesh in order to help Xemnas find her vein, and then she giggled.

"Since she's about to go to the other side, should we tell her the truth?"

Kairi didn't even bother to struggle when the tip of the needle touched her skin. But inside, her mind was screaming. She didn't want to die. Not like this, and not with these people having all of the power. Not when her life hadn't had the chance to get better. Not when Riku was going unpunished.

Not when she didn't have the chance to say goodbye to Sora.

Luckily, Larxene's words seemed to pique Xemnas's curiosity. He paused, holding the needle just millimeters away from her vein with practiced skill. He smiled like the Cheshire cat up at Larxene.

"Yes, yes . . . I suppose doing it this way is too easy," he mused, as if thinking aloud to himself. "I've always wondered why you all have so much fun carrying out missions . . . Yes. Let's have some fun with this!"

Larxene dug her nails into Kairi's arms, but the pain was minimal compared to the agony her other, twisted arm was bathing in.

"Now we're talkin', Boss!" she exclaimed. "How 'bout we make the call?"

Xemnas pushed the air that he had been about to use to kill Kairi out of the empty syringe and slipped it back to Saïx. "Yes, I suppose that would be appropriate. After all . . ." He leaned down and caressed Kairi's chin. "You've caused us quite the trouble. Troublemakers shouldn't go unpunished."

The silver-haired man straightened his posture and eased back into that emotionless, eerie smile. "Xaldin, you may release her. Go upstairs and bring down the boy. Larxene, you can do the honors once he has been retrieved. Saïx, how about you make the call? I'm weary of playing the waiting game. Let's get this show on the road, shall we? Chop, chop!"

Kairi sat in a heap on the floor, massaging her throbbing arm as gently as she could without hurting herself more. She was shaking with anxiety, wondering if the boy they brought down was going to be breathing or not. Would they really drag Roxas's dead body down to her if he wasn't alive? What would that prove? She knew that if she were to try and escape, now would be the best time, but it was impossible. Xemnas was sitting in his chair again, and he had placed a gun on his knees, right where she could view it.

"Why don't you just kill me?" Kairi whispered, squeezing her eyes shut as she started to hear the thump, thump, thump of something being dragged down the stairs. She was trembling even more violently now, scared out of her wits. Tears were spilling down her cheeks. She didn't want to see Roxas dead, didn't want to see where Saïx had slashed his throat; where the blood had leaked out of her brother's precious body and soaked the carpeted floor. If that was what they were going to force her to see, she would rather die.

Xemnas folded his hands in his lap once again. "Why indeed?"

"What is this going to prove?!" Kairi shrieked as the thump, thump, thump came even closer. She held her hands over her eyes and began to shake her head as her anxiety took over and she began to have a full-blown panic attack. "Nothing! This isn't going to prove anything! Just kill me! Just kill me!"

Xemnas began to laugh. He laughed so loudly and heartily that it made Kairi feel physically ill. The thump, thump, thump had ceased and in its place was only the maniacal laughter of a crazed man who believed that revenge was sweeter than morals, and that the wages of betrayal was death. She wept silently, keeping her eyes covered because she knew what she was going to see when she opened them.

"Larxene, make the call," Xemnas said, still chortling.

"On it," she answered, and then, "Ooh, answered on the first ring, did we? How ya doin'?"

Kairi felt her curiosity peeking through her despair, and she wondered who Larxene was calling. Was it possible that . . . No . . . They wouldn't.

Would they?

"No need to get testy with me, hot stuff. Why don't ya just hear me out before you get goin' with all that cussin' and threatenin, eh?" Larxene shouted angrily. "Unless the next thing ya wanna hear is a gunshot . . . That's what I thought."

Kairi squeezed her eyes shut even tighter.

"She's with us. That's classified. Yer little cousin's beach house . . . Oh, are ya now? And just what ya gonna do after that? Feed my entrails to what? Hm . . . That does sound terrifying. Well, how about we see how it all pans out when ya get here? See you soon."

Larxene hung up her cell phone and exclaimed, "He'll be here in the next few minutes, I bet. Who's excited?"

Xemnas chuckled. "Well, we don't want to disappoint him when he gets here, do we? Larxene, make the goods look the way they're supposed to."

Before Kairi could figure out what the heck the man meant, she felt someone's boot crunching into her tender nose and sending her backward against the front of the chair Xemnas was sitting in. Her eyes flew open and just before another blow came smashing into her face, she caught sight of the most beautiful most glorious thing.

Roxas was alive. Beaten black and blue and covered in blood, albeit, but alive nonetheless.

Suddenly, Larxene's beating didn't feel quite so painful anymore.

Kairi felt her heart soar and she couldn't stop the smile from spreading across her face. She laughed out of relief and cried out her brother's name. This was the greatest thing. The absolute greatest thing!

"Wipe the smile from her face, Larxene," Xemnas drawled, almost as though he were bored. He surprised Kairi by tangling his fingers in her hair and yanking her head backward with enough force to nearly snap her upper spine. She wailed in agony as stars shot across her vision, and she looked up into his unsettling eyes.

He grinned.

"After all, we wouldn't want Sora to think we've given her the royal treatment, would we?"

Kairi gulped.

Thus, Larxene began to rain blow after blow down upon Kairi's head. At first, she used her feet and her fists, her knuckles and bones bruising Kairi's flesh. After a while, though, the wicked blonde seemed to grow bored. She hauled forward and grabbed Kairi's hurt arm, tossing her across the living room. In her weakened state, she landed right at the feet of Roxas, who was barely standing upright as it was.

"Kai . . ." Roxas's whispered, his voice a croak amongst his purple-and-black bruising. He fell to his knees, but Xaldin held him back easily.

Kairi felt a hard object hitting the back of her head once, twice, thrice, and she realized with horrifying clarity that Larxene was whipping her with Xemnas's pistol handle. She quickly threw her arms up over her head to protect it, though the blows upon her wrists and arm bones were numbing, and waited until Larxene exhausted herself.

"That's enough, Larxene," Xemnas said, yawning loudly. "You may step back. Let her have a moment with her brother."

Roxas moved faster than anyone though he could, quickly gathering Kairi up against him and holding her tight. He held her like a brother would his sister—his long lost sister who he had given everything to protect—and stroked is fingers through her hair while she cried.

"I'm sorry," he kept murmuring over and over. "I'm sorry."

"I thought you were dead," Kairi sobbed, not even caring if the bad men in the room heard her. "I thought they killed you."

Roxas continued to comfort her in silence. But there were no more words that could solve or fix anything. They were going to die here. Sora was coming, and they were probably still going to die. Kairi wished he wasn't coming. She wished nobody was there but her. Xemnas was right . . . She'd fucked everything up. She should have just let them kill her from the beginning, before Namine had gotten hurt.

"Can't you just let her go?" Roxas begged suddenly, holding Kairi tight enough to crush the air out of her. "Can't you just let my sister go?"

"Can't you just let her go?" Larxene snidely mocked in a high-pitched tone. "Whiny bitch." She kicked Kairi in the back, even as the redhead was curled up in Roxas's lap, and Kairi cried out. Roxas embraced her even closer.

"Larxene." Saïx's voice was a warning tone. "Cease."

Fuck you!" Larxene snarled. "You don't give me orders! God, I fuckin' hate you!"

"Calm down, Larxene," Xemnas said. He was smiling gently at Roxas and Kairi. "Their moment is touching. Let them be. Sora will arrive soon, and then we can wrap this up."

Just then, as if on cue, the front door blasted open and Sora was there. He was alone, but he had his gun out and pointed directly at Xaldin's head. Before anyone knew what had happened, he'd unloaded three bullets into the raven-haired man, and the body crumpled to the ground behind Roxas. Sora's cobalt blue eyes were cold and full of a deep-rooted rage that was unwavering, even as he locked eyes with Kairi. His hands were shaking visibly as he turned and aimed at Larxene.

Larxene was quick to pull the trigger of the gun Xemnas had handed to her, right when Sora pulled the trigger on his weapon, and the two were forced to dive aside simultaneously to avoid being hit. Sora was quick to roll back to an upright position, but not quick enough. Larxene and him stood at a standstill, both aiming at one another.

"I'll fuckin' kill you," Sora growled hoarsely.

"Go ahead," Larxene grinned, wrinkling her nose. "If ya do, then so will I, and then we'll both be dead. Then what happens to your girl? To your cousin? Go a-fuckin'-head. I wish you would."

Sora narrowed his eyes, his chin-length bangs falling forward as he gave in. Slowly, he lowered his weapon and so did Larxene.

"Well, isn't this quite the welcome?" Xemnas said, appearing to be delighted and entertained. "You always know how to make an entrance, Yoshimura. Come, sit by your friends. Don't be shy."

Sora didn't need to be told twice. He was at her side in an instant, one hand on Roxas's shoulder and the other cupping the side of her face as his eyes roved over both of their wounds. Seeing that they were alive gave him a sense of obvious relief, yet at the same time made the fires of fury in his azure eyes increase in intensity. Kairi honestly had never seen him look so angry, and that was only the simplest way she could explain it.

At this very moment, she was more frightened of Sora than of Xemnas.

"Hm," Xemnas said, tapping his chin thoughtfully. "I suppose we could deal with Xaldin's body later. I'm afraid we don't have time to put this off any longer. At this point, it's gone beyond Kairi, and I fear that if we let the other two live, it won't be quite right, you know?"

Sora's hand slipped down to squeeze Kairi's hand, as if to reassure her that everything was going to be okay. She paid it no more heed than the fact that she was happy he was here. She knew they were going to die here. Nothing Sora did could save them now. She didn't know why she was so easily giving up on life, but so far, she couldn't think of any reason why she should keep living and suffering. After all of this, would she ever be able to find happiness? Perhaps it was just the pessimist inside of her that was speaking, though.

Saïx nodded. "Yes, sir. I believe that it goes against our creed."

"Yes, the creed, the creed," Xemnas said, waving a dismissive hand. "But it goes much deeper than vengeance this time, Saïx. Now, we've got outside factors involved in the problem. Yes, it's the only way. They'll all have to die."

"Then stop talking about it!" Roxas hissed menacingly. "Just fucking do it already!"

Xemnas looked flabbergasted, as if Roxas had just turned into a dragon. Affronted, the silver-haired man held his hands up.

"Well, I never. I let you have a moment with your sister, and this is how you repay me?"

At the mention of "sister," Sora's eyes snapped down to Kairi. She merely nodded, to let him know silently that she knew the truth now, and that she was okay. At this point, the fact that Sora had only been her friend as a child at Roxas's insistence paled in comparison to what was currently going on.

Sora's hand in Kairi's was shaking with fear that did not register on his face when he glared up at Xemnas.

"If you touch her, I will personally rip out your God damn, mother fucking eyes and shove it down your fucking throat." Smooth as a razor's edge was Sora's voice, and Kairi stared at him in a mixture of horror and awe. Somehow, she didn't doubt that he would make good on his word.

It was so strange, thinking back. Not five years ago, they were still playing in the sand on the beach, making sand castles like children. Hell, they had been children up until a certain point. Now . . . They were so different that it was sad. Hearing Sora talk like that was so out of character, but at the same time it wasn't. He had said a lot of awful things to her this past year—things she had never thought he would utter. But now, she knew all of the bad things he'd done for her sake, and she knew in her mind that if Xemnas touched her, Sora was going to gouge out those creepy sunset-colored eyes and feed them to him.

But just how far was too far to go for the person you loved?

Xemnas raised his eyebrows, but there was no trace of a smile to be found anywhere. He opened his mouth to speak and was interrupted by an outraged Larxene.

"How dare you talk to the boss like that?!" She lunged forward and shoved Sora away. He rolled to the side with a shocked grunt, and Larxene took the opportunity to grab Kairi by the front of her clothes and drag her to her feet. She slapped her repeatedly across the face with all the force of a punch, the stinging making Kairi cry out. When she was done, she tossed Kairi at Xemnas's feet, where the weakened, agonized redhead collapsed in a heap.

"Let's finish this," Saïx said, placing a hand on Xemnas's arm. "No more of this playing around."

"Yes," Xemnas said softly, peering down at Kairi with an almost bewildered expression in his eyes. "Let us finish it. Her first, in front of them is best . . . Wait . . . I have a better idea. Give me your blade."

Frowning in bemusement, the scarred man did as he was told, and Xemnas did the unthinkable.

The bloodcurdling scream that was ripped from Kairi's throat pierced the room as Xemnas plunged the knife into the meaty flesh of her calf. Blood gushed forth, pooling in a puddle beneath her. Her body in a horrid state of shock, she put her hands in her hair and began to sob wildly. The pain was excruciating, her entire body an ocean of pain waves fighting against each other to be the most painful. Roxas and Sora were beside themselves, both of them growling and snarling like angry cats and making a break toward Xemnas.

"Ah, ah!" Xemnas chided, putting his hand on the handle of the knife and twisting it. The agony was unlike anything Kairi had ever experienced, and she threw her head back in a bodily expression of anguish. She gouged the carpet with her fingernails, but nothing deterred the pain.

"Make one more move, and I will make it worse for her," Xemnas warned. "Now, you're going to do as I say, or you're going to wish I just killed her, you hear?"

The boys did nothing.

"Do you hear me?!" Xemnas barked, the loud sound coming out of his mouth seeming out of place according to his personality. He was the type of guy who terrified you when he got angry, because he was the type of guy who appeared to never get outwardly incensed. In any case, Kairi was in too much agony to care how angry he was. All she wanted was to pass out or die:; anything to escape this nightmare.

"Sora, please," Kairi sobbed, her eyes rolling back into her head. "Pl-please just . . . D-Do as he says."

"Kai, no." Sora's voice cracked and he furiously wiping his eyes. He was crying. "I can't watch him . . . I can't watch him hurt you!"

"Sora, please!" Kairi screamed when Xemnas started to twist the blade again. "It hurts! You have to do what he says!"

"OKAY!" Sora roared. "I will! Just . . . Stop! Don't hurt her anymore!"

Xemnas smirked, and it was terrifying. "Very good. Now pick up your gun."

Sora closed his eyes as if it physically pained him to do what Xemnas told him to do, and he grabbed his gun. His fingers were still trembling.

"Shoot Larxene," Xemnas said, his eyes glinting. He was lightly stroking the handle of the knife, watching the fear coloring Kairi's face pale.

"Wh-What?!" Larxene shrieked. "Boss! What?! No! N—"

Sora shot her without a second thought, directly in the center of the forehead. He lowered the gun and beseeched Xemnas with his eyes trained upon the knife.

"Okay, now let her go," he pleaded.

Xemnas was gazing down at the knife with a frighteningly gleeful expression in his eyes that was much worse to Kairi than the fact that she had been kidnapped, severely beaten, and stabbed today. He seemed to be lost in thought, planning his next move, and then Kairi saw it hit him. The next part to his evil plan for exacting revenge. And perhaps she knew it was going to happen, perhaps she didn't. Either way, it broke her heart to have to think about it. She closed her eyes and waited for him to say the words.

Xemnas's orange eyes flashed twilight with a malevolent foreboding.

"I want you to shoot Kairi, the girl you love most, and I want you to do it now."

Now we lay you down to sleep
I pray his hands, your soul to reap
And if I die before you wake
Then I've lost a bet, and for his sake,
When all your cards are on the table
Pray the floor is still and stable and dance your life away

~x~

A/N: ANOTHER CLIFFHANGER! Muahahahahahaha! Next chapter is going to have some surprises, and a revelation that NONE of you saw coming! Stay tuned!