And now, the long awaited sequel to Forever Lost! This fic is considerably darker than Forever Lost, especially at the beginning, so it's rated high T, borderline M. There are mentions of rape, but no actual rape is shown, and no graphic descriptions, so don't worry. There is a little lime as well and some language. You have been warned. Title is subject to change.
You really don't HAVE to read Forever Lost first, but it will probably make a lot more sense if you do, so I recommend reading that one first (link below.)
This story takes place around the time when Kingdom Hearts II would have started.
Constructive criticism is welcome and appreciated!
~*Despair in the Darkness*~
"No! Let go of me!"
Realizing that she had no hope of recovering her weapon now, she clawed furiously and tried to tear herself out of her captor's grasp, but Vanitas's hold remained strong. He only squeezed her tighter as the Corridor of Darkness swallowed him and his captive, pulling them out of Radiant Garden. The last thing Naomi saw of her home was Lea's terrified face as he realized he had been too late to save her.
"Get your hands off me, you freak!" Even after the darkness engulfed the pair, Naomi continued to swat and kick blindly. She wasn't about to go down without a fight.
Or so she thought. Out of nowhere, Naomi found herself thrown violently towards the cement ground, only to land on something soft and slightly bouncy.
Naomi's thoughts were cut short when she found herself starting into Vanitas's amber eyes. A hungry, lustful gleam danced in their golden depths as the evil blonde lightly traced the middle of the girl's body with one finger. He climbed onto the bed, hovering over her struggling form to prevent escape.
"One of the ringleaders of Radiant Garden's revolt," the boy chuckled, leaning in closer as he stroked Naomi's cheek with his black gloved hand. "I didn't expect such an annoying thorn in my side to be such a beautiful girl." Amusement shot through him when she glared defiantly as he grabbed her arms and lifted them towards the back of the bed. "Surely you must have known that you would be caught eventually."
Naomi turned away in a huff, not willing to give him the satisfaction of seeing her defeated. Even though she had been captured, the others had not; Radiant Garden still had a hope of overthrowing Xehanort.
"Go to hell," she growled furiously. Vanitas ignored her, smiling darkly as he snaked his hand under Naomi's shirt lecherously. Reflexively, Naomi kicked the boy as hard as she could to get him off, which earned her a good, hard smack on the cheek. Fear found its way into Naomi's heart at the deadly glower that Vanitas now wore, though it quickly changed back to his wicked grin.
"You know, my dear," Vanitas crooned, moving his hands to the zipper of his cloak, "treason is the highest of offenses in my master's book..."
Naomi stared at the boy as he slowly, agonizingly unzipped his long cloak. Fearing the worst for herself, Naomi shot up from the bed to make a break for it. She knew it was useless to try and actually escape, but if she could put Vanitas in his place, maybe she could at least get him to leave her alone with her thoughts.
But her arms wouldn't budge. Looking up, Naomi's vibrant blue eyes widened in horror as she saw her wrists tied to the bed's headboard.
"Oh, you want to leave? But Naomi..." Vanitas whined in a sickly-sweet voice. Responding to her name, the girl gaped in horror as she saw Vanitas's cloak pooled behind him on the ground underneath a black T-shirt. Only a set of black shorts remained. The blonde male grinned hungrily, stalking towards the immobilized girl like a lion with its prey. "The fun hasn't even started yet."
She was jolted awake by her own scream of terror. Scanning her surroundings, Naomi slowly managed to compose herself as she realized that she was alone in her prison, sitting against the hard stone wall. Sighing quietly, the fifteen-year-old breathed slowly to further calm herself after the horrible flashback. Every night for the last eight and a half months had been the same thing: an unwelcome visit from Vanitas to check on her, struggling to fall asleep, and crying herself awake after reliving her capture, followed by another visit from the evil blonde, or one of his two masters.
After all this time, Naomi felt like a completely different person. Her once sunshine-golden hair was now dirty dishwater blonde, that hung lifelessly around her face. A long and loose, but tattered gray top and a pair of torn black sweatpants were all she'd been given as clothes. She was decently fed, however, though Naomi doubted it was out of kindness. Her eyes, once bright and lively like the summer sky, were now dull and cloudy. She had long since forgotten what it was like to feel joy, relaxed. Safe.
Suddenly, a tiny kick brought the teen back to reality. Automatically, Naomi's dead eyes trailed down to her large, round belly, barely concealed under her shirt. Not only had she been kidnapped and brutally raped by that monster, she was now heavily pregnant with his child. Naomi touched her belly delicately in response to the kick, hoping to calm the baby down. Her efforts were in vain, as her unborn child kicked her hand even harder, causing its mother to wince in pain. As the baby flailed about inside her, Naomi choked back tears of anguish and massaged her baby bump as another waking nightmare was triggered.
Naomi stirred fitfully, unable to fall asleep. She couldn't understand why, but she knew that something was amiss inside her. Wincing again, she clutched her stomach as the strange sensation pierced through her again. She wasn't sick or in pain, but she definitely wasn't comfortable. Was the darkness getting to her already? She had heard that it could do things to those who had aligned themselves with the light, and it had been almost two months since Vanitas had dragged her through that corridor. A few weeks following the incident, Naomi had known something was very wrong.
"Ugh!" Naomi winced again, holding her midsection tighter in a vain attempt to suppress the sudden sharp pain that shot through her abdomen. Breathing in short, heavy pants, Naomi closed her eyes tightly, hoping to block out the world.
"Aw, what's wrong, Naomi?"
The girl's eyes darted up to see him approaching. A low growl escaped Naomi's throat as he approached smugly. Vanitas's amber stare was as malicious as ever. The boy hadn't aged a day in twelve years. His spiky, windswept blonde hair was unmistakable. The hem of his cloak billowed behind him; the entire top half of the cloak was a deep ebony, and three chains of beads hung from the shoulders and neckline. But from the waist down, it gradually shaded to a blood-red. A long zipper trailed down the entire coat, completely open at the boy's knees.
"Can't sleep," the possessed blonde asked her sweetly, coiling an arm firmly around the girl's shoulders and slowly dragging his tongue down her neck. He squeezed tighter when Naomi cringed in disgust and tried to squirm out of his hold. "Here," he murmured, turning Naomi's face towards his glowing golden eyes, "I can help with that, my dear..."
But Naomi wasn't going to fall for that. As soon as he forced her into eye contact, she broke it off desperately, tightly closing her own cyan eyes and turning her head as far away from his as her body would allow.
"You don't...want my help," Vanitas whined, giving her a mock-pout before as the hypnotic glow faded from his eyes. Another grin graced his features as he wrapped the other arm around Naomi's upper body, pulling her into his muscular chest. "That's too bad. I only want to make you more comfortable, you know."
Naomi scoffed at his words. She had learned quickly not to succumb to Vanitas's lies, no matter how sincere he appeared. Pain shot through her body like a needle, nearly causing the girl to cry out again. Despite Vanitas's unyielding hold, Naomi doubled over, biting her lip to keep herself silent. Behind her, a look of genuine confusion crossed Vanitas's features as a few pained moans escaped Naomi's lips. Slowly pulling her back towards him, Vanitas straightened the girl out before carefully placing his gloved hand on her abdomen, the apparent source of her discomfort, and slowly running his hand across it.
Struggling to catch her breath, Naomi leaned into her captor and allowed his gentle touch to comfort her for once as he lightly massaged her stomach. She didn't budge when he planted a soft kiss on her temple. But his next words took all her ease away.
"My, my. This is certainly a surprise."
Whirling her head around, Naomi was met with one of the most vicious grins she'd ever seen Vanitas wear. His hand remained firmly on her stomach as she turned around, silently demanding an answer. A low chuckle escaped Vanitas's stolen lips, quickly morphing into a full-blown cackle.
"You're never going back to Radiant Garden now, my sweet," he laughed cruelly.
"Wanna bet? Even if I can't find a way out of here, Lea and the others will come rescue me!"
"Oh, will they, now? Do you honestly think they'll still want you when they learn that you're going to have my baby?!"
She felt herself go completely numb as he spoke. What? ...I'm...no...that's not...I can't...! That's not...not with his...! Naomi was frozen stiff with shock and denial. She couldn't be pregnant, not with his child. It wasn't possible.
"Yes, Naomi," Vanitas purred seductively, drawing closer to the stunned girl, "you are. But don't worry." The male teen wrapped Naomi in his arms once more and pressed his lips to her cheek. "You'll be much happier here with me. I'll make sure of it."
Sobs racked the expectant mother's body as the haunting memory faded out of her mind. Vanitas had never raised a hand to her since then, nor had he ever tried to force himself on her again, but Naomi was so far from happy, it wasn't even funny. For eight and a half months, she'd been chained up in this cold, dark room with no company other than her baby's evil father or one of Xehanort's new forms, Ansem and Xemnas, the results of Xehanort's experiments with the darkness in peoples' hearts. Naomi had the worst case of homesickness. She missed Radiant Garden so much, it felt like a hole had been burned into her heart. She missed the rushing waters of the twin fountains, the bright, cheerful colors of the city, enjoying the sweet and salty taste of sea salt ice cream with her friends. Tifa and Aerith, who used to babysit Naomi when she was young. Cloud and Leon, who had taught her how to protect herself from the Unversed, Heartless, and the Nobodies. Then there were Lea and Isa, whom she'd come to view as the big brothers she never had.
Had her friends ever tried to rescue her? Were they on their way now? Had they given up? Even if they did come, would they still want her, now that she was carrying Vanitas's offspring? Or would they abandon her?
Looking down, tears fell onto Naomi's charcoal shirt as she rubbed her protruding stomach. She could feel the baby moving inside her again; a tiny wince graced the teen's face as an elbow jabbed her from the inside. The pregnancy itself had been a nightmare all its own; just days after Vanitas had discovered she was pregnant, the morning sickness hit; Naomi had woken up every morning for months feeling so nauseous that she could barely lift her eyelids, and would be violently sick several minutes later. Vanitas had to practically shove food down the girl's throat, but most of it would end up back on the floor, anyway. Food poisoning had nothing on it. The horrid feeling would lessen considerably as the day wore on, but Naomi never felt well. To add to the torture, Naomi could only watch as her belly slowly ballooned into a baby bump. Her breasts had swelled enormously as well, and were extremely tender to the touch. She was just all-around miserable.
The terror of it all was just as awful – if not worse – than the physical torture she'd suffered. Ever since Vanitas had first revealed to her that she was expecting, Naomi's mind had been frantically searching for answers. What was going to happen when her baby was born? Would Vanitas kill it? Would he kill her? Had his devotion to her and her unborn child only been a charade to mask murderous intentions? Naomi nearly laughed out loud at the thought of Vanitas changing his ways when the baby arrived.
What about Xemnas (Ansem was rarely around; he did most of the traveling between worlds)? Would he kill it himself, regardless of whether Vanitas wanted that or not? Would he force Naomi to give it to him to become one of his dark slaves? Would he allow her to keep it? Did she even want it?
Naomi's dull blue eyes widened at this question. Could she care for her baby in this place? Could she care for it at all? What if the child was just as evil as Vanitas? What if it had his dark powers?
On the other hand, what if the child grew up to be a kind, good-hearted person with no trace of its father's darkness? What if her baby was the one destined to overthrow the three tyrants and bring peace to all the worlds? All the uncertainty made Naomi's stomach swirl.
Months earlier, when she was first rounding out, the anguish and terror had been too much for Naomi and she reached a breaking point; she tried to end her unborn baby's life before it even began. The initial shock of her pregnancy hadn't worn off yet, triggering panic when her bump first started to form. Using a sharp piece of wood that she had found in the corner, Naomi prepared to commit the act, only to be stopped by an unexpected visit from Vanitas. The instant he saw what she was doing, the dark male lunged at Naomi, pinning her firmly to the ground and immediately sedating her with his hypnotic amber glare. The spell hadn't worn off for days, and Naomi sometimes wondered if she was still under it. She hadn't tried to harm her baby since. Looking back, Naomi hated herself for the action, but that didn't take away from her fear of the unknown. She clutched her bulging abdomen harder and allowed more tears to stream down her face as the baby kicked her again.
"There's my radiant little angel."
Naomi didn't move an inch as the familiar whisper of Vanitas broke through the air. She stared blankly into space as Vanitas knelt down next her her, examining his pregnant hostage. The leader of the Unversed smiled; she had gotten bigger in the last few days alone.
"Oh, now this can't be comfortable," Vanitas mused as he saw her sitting on the stone floor. Before she could react, the wicked boy effortlessly snapped the chains from Naomi's wrists and scooped the girl into his arms, carrying her to the nearby bed. He knelt down on the bed and carefully laid her heavy body on the soft blankets, cradling her. "There, see...this is much better for someone in your condition," Vanitas whispered as he peeled back Naomi's top just enough to reveal her huge tummy, sickly pale and streaked with long, dark stretch marks. As he pressed his lips to her forehead, Naomi watched unresponsively as he gently touched her baby bump and relaxed; she loved it when he would rub her belly. His caress was very gentle and his warm touch was calming against her cold skin. The baby responded to the soothing movement as well; its kicks and punches were much more feeble and caused Naomi almost no pain when Vanitas massaged her stomach.
Vanitas smiled darkly as he slowly rubbed her belly. He had big plans for this child and could already sense its dark powers growing stronger. Vanitas's grin grew wider as he felt the baby stirring inside Naomi's womb. Of course, dark powers did not mean that it would become evil, and he knew that Naomi would never allow her child to become like him. Which was why he would dispose of her as soon as she gave birth. He could see her now, pleading with him and Xemnas to hold her newborn baby only to watch Xemnas take the child away, leaving Vanitas to carry out the act. And he would make it hurt. Vanitas planned to make the girl's death as slow and torturous as possible.
With this pathetic light supporter out of the way, the leader of the Unversed would be free to raise his progeny however he pleased. Delighted by his thoughts, Vanitas leaned down and tenderly kissed Naomi's belly.
Keeping his hand on Naomi's distended abdomen, Vanitas turned to his baby's mother, smiling at her distant, joyless expression. He had broken her. In a matter of months, he had snapped her spirit like a twig. Naomi had stopped fighting back long ago; she was nothing but a gravid rag doll now, his toy to do whatever he pleased with.
"It won't be long now, my dear," Vanitas murmured, squeezing Naomi's shoulders as she looked up at him. He cupped her tummy with his free hand. "Soon our child will be born and you will have served your purpose."
My purpose? What does he...?
"Remember, sweet Naomi," Vanitas crooned as he held her closer, golden eyes glowing eerily in the dimly lit room, "you belong to me. You are mine." The aura in his eyes glowed brighter as Naomi stared into them, quickly falling under his powerful spell.
"Yes," she echoed blankly, her cloudy blue eyes becoming a deep amber, signaling that she was now fully hypnotized. "I belong to you. I am yours."
Deeply in a trance, Naomi's eyelids suddenly grew very heavy, and she found herself leaning into Vanitas's muscular chest. The dark boy gladly obliged, coiling her in his strong, warm embrace, taking care not to disturb her aching breasts. As she closed her eyes in sleep, Naomi felt Vanitas place a tender kiss on her forehead as he pulled her even closer and caressed her belly soothingly.
"Pleasant dreams, my love."
Vanitas kept his eyes on his sleeping prisoner for several minutes before the distinctive whoosh of a dark corridor reached his ears. The dark boy looked up to see Xemnas calmly approaching the bed, a small smile on his face. His black cloak was nearly invisible in the dark room. Silver hair cascaded down his broad shoulders and his bright amber eyes almost seemed to glow.
"And how is our little carrier doing today," he asked with insincere kindness, eying Naomi's bulging abdomen. Hints of a smirk graced Vanitas's features as he removed his hand from her baby bump and covered it with her shirt.
"Same as always," he answered smugly. "She still has no clue what it will be capable of." He brushed some stray locks out of the sleeping girl's face as Xemnas came closer and crouched down, placing his gloved hand on Naomi's swollen belly. He stared at her thoughtfully for many moments before a dark smile crossed his face.
"Its dark power has grown much stronger," he observed, feeling a kick under his hand, "if it is raised carefully, it will serve us quite well in time." Xemnas turned his gaze to Naomi's face, speaking directly to her as if she could hear him. "You did everything you could to resist us, Naomi. But your efforts were in vain. Soon, you will give us a powerful soldier and all the worlds will be consumed by the darkness we command."
The unconscious girl only breathed deeply in response.
Vanitas only smiled sadistically and gazed upon Naomi's sleeping form in his arms. She looked so innocent...so oblivious. He had already broken her spirit, he couldn't wait to snap her body, too.
"Have you learned anything else about the resistance in Radiant Garden," Xemnas asked, removing his hand from Naomi's belly.
"Are you kidding? I gave up on that months ago," Vanitas casually answered. When Xemnas half-glared at the boy in surprise and confusion, he continued. "She was a lot more stubborn that I expected her to be, even after my little 'warning'." A wolfish grin appeared on the blonde's face at the memory. "After I found out she was pregnant, I had to be very careful about how I went about getting information out of her. She still wouldn't say anything, and now..." he paused a moment, looking down at Naomi. There was no need to continue, Xemnas had seen how broken she was before.
"I see," the tyrant nodded. "I suppose it doesn't matter much anyway. One of her closest friends joined our cause months ago, and soon he will become a full-fledged seeker of the darkness."
"Is that right," the younger male replied, greatly amused. "You know, he was one of the people that Ventus made friends with on his adventure. I'm looking forward to meeting him again."
"Hmph," Xemnas chuckled wickedly, his golden gaze returning to Naomi for a moment. "He will be here later. We will learn all we need to know then." A corridor sprang to life inches in front of Xemnas as he turned to leave, pausing for a moment and smiling darkly. "But in the meantime...Ansem and I have some important business to attend to on the Destiny Islands."
A cold, unforgiving gust blew across Radiant Garden's fountain plaza, sending small tremors down Lea's spine and creating tiny goosebumps on whatever skin he had left exposed. His wild red hair flailed in all directions as he sat against the stone wall. Glancing up at the sky, the young man was filled with sorrow and rage. The once bright blue skies of Radiant Garden had long since lost their color; dark gray clouds now loomed over the town ominously, like they could come crashing to the ground at any second.
It had been this way ever since Xehanort took over. For as long as Lea could remember, Radiant Garden had been a colorful paradise, far beyond the clutches of the darkness. Until one day twelve years ago, it had all just...ended. The peace Radiant Garden had known forever was shattered with the arrival of the Unversed, soon followed by the Heartless and Nobodies. It was nothing that a skilled fighter like him couldn't handle, but the numbers had been increasing at an alarming rate lately. He'd taken a big risk coming out by himself.
Lea shivered fiercely as another strong breeze blew and cursed himself for not dressing better for the weather. He wore a long, light gray jacket with short sleeves that trailed down to his knees over a red, gold, and white T-shirt with a flame-like pattern. Sturdy dark blue jeans and black tennis shoes dressed his lower half. A checkered black and white sweatband was coiled around the young man's left wrist, and a small pair of goggles rested on top of his fiery head.
All alone at the present, Lea scanned the fountain plaza for any signs of life, friendly or malevolent. Finding none, his thoughts returned to something he that had been tearing him apart for months. To this day, Lea could clearly recall Naomi struggling helplessly to escape Vanitas's grasp in the plaza, calling out for his help. But he just hadn't been fast enough to save his adopted little sister. He prayed that she was all right. If Vanitas ever showed his rotten face in Radiant Garden again, Lea would make him suffer not only for taking her, but for everything he'd done to Ventus and the worlds, and Isa would be more than happy to help.
That was, of course, if he ever found Isa.
Even before the day Naomi had been taken, Isa had seemed really distant; not just from Lea, but from the rest of their little organization as well. Leon and the others had noticed the sudden change as well. Since the beginning, Isa had fought tirelessly alongside Lea and the others against Xehanort's rule. But since that day several months ago, Isa had slowly begun to isolate himself; it had gotten to the point that he rarely spoke to his friends and stayed out on missions a lot longer than he should have. A simple trip to the local Moogle shop would take the man at least two hours. Radiant Garden wasn't that crowded anymore, so Lea knew it couldn't have been long lines.
Finally, the problem escalated too far. Three days ago, Isa had been sent to try and infiltrate the enormous castle of Radiant Garden's former (late?) ruler, Ansem the Wise, but had never returned.
The castle now served a dual-purpose of Xehanort's embassy on the rare occasion that he visited Radiant Garden (at least, Lea assumed it was a rare occasion, he'd only seen the tyrant three or four times in his life, max), and headquarters for his henchman. Organization XIII, if he recalled correctly, though there were far fewer than thirteen members. The Organization was Xehanort's eyes and ears on the worlds, not just Radiant Garden, but all of them. They were also a twisted version of the police; if one so much as looked at them the wrong way, they would mercilessly assault and haul the unfortunate person into the castle without so much as a questioning. Those that were taken into the castle were never seen again.
Lea sighed sadly as he thought of Isa's mission. Several of his old friends, also fighting against Xehanort, had disappeared over the last year. Lumaria, Nelera, Dulor, and Myde had all up and vanished on different days. All of them had been sent on routine missions in town and had no one had heard from them since. Lea's emerald eyes bored into the giant palace; he couldn't let the same thing happen to Isa.
Okay, Isa, Lea thought as he finally stood up, it's safe to say you've overstayed your welcome with the Organization. Better pray I find you before they do! Before he could lift his foot, Lea felt a weak vibration in his pocket, followed seconds later by a distinct ringing. "This better be important," he growled to himself as he pulled his cell phone out of his pocket. "What's up, Cloud?"
"Lea, have you found Isa yet?"
"I'm right outside Ansem's castle."
"Okay. I have news from Halloween Town, so when you find him, hurry back."
"Will do, man."
"And Lea? Be careful."
"Come on, Cloud! You worry too much," Lea crowed teasingly as he clicked his cell phone shut and began the trek towards the castle. Almost immediately, Lea was seized with a horrible feeling; he wasn't alone anymore. Seeing no one around him, Lea remained in place as he tried to calm himself down.
Relax, man, he chastised himself. You're just being paranoid. No one is here, now keep moving! But no matter how hard he tried to persuade himself that he was alone in the fountain plaza, Lea just couldn't shake the terrible feeling. He knew someone was watching him, he just couldn't see them. After many minutes of the tense silence, Lea sighed quietly and decided to continue his trek. His shoes almost echoed against the rainy-blue cobblestone in the empty air of the plaza.
Lea froze and whirled around when the tiny sound reached his ears. Before he knew what was happening, a blinding pink laser blasted through the air far too quickly for Lea to dodge.
"Aaah!" Lea shrieked in pain as the brightly colored bullet pierced into his shoulder and lodged itself deeply. Blood poured from the wound onto Lea's arm. The redhead was nearly shoved to the ground by the sheer force. Lea gripped the bullet firmly, prepared to pull it out when laughter rang out in the plaza.
Wait...I know that voice. In an instant, Lea's expression morphed from one of surprised fear to a murderous glare. As if on cue, the man he had despised for years materialized a few feet away, a cocky smirk on his face and two arrowguns in his hands.
"Braig," Lea spat hatefully. Even before he had become one of Xehanort's lapdogs, Lea and Braig had been on rather bad terms.
"'Braig'?" The man cocked his head for a moment before smirking again. "Yeah, that was my name, wasn't it?"
Now it was Lea's turn to be confused. "What are you talking about?" The man ignored him and continued as though Lea hadn't spoken.
"Looking for something, fire-head?" Braig's grin widened. "Or maybe...someone?" He silently chuckled when the younger man gasped.
"Where is he? What have you done with Isa?!" Lea forgot all about the bullet in his shoulder as he stood up in a menacing stance, prepared to beat the information out of Braig, if necessary. His anger was fueled when Braig only shrugged uncaring.
"I don't feel like tellin' you anything, kid. Besides," Braig tapped his right shoulder with the blade of his arrowgun and smirked, "you're gonna find out firsthand." He aimed the two weapons directly at Lea, but the redhead acrobatically rolled out of the way before he could shoot.
Wait...what...Lea's emerald eyes scanned the plaza for his adversary, but he was nowhere to be found. Braig was gone. Lea was about to turn and run for it when a sharp pain erupted from the back of his head. Lea slid several feet on the pavement before he began to black out. He fought back a wave of nausea as his vision blurred rapidly. The last thing he saw was Braig's triumphant smirk kneeling over him.
"You're serious...this one...keyblade?"
"Why do...want him...too close to the light!"
Lea groaned miserably as he flickered in and out of consciousness. Voices of several men (and one woman?) reached his ears, worsening his throbbing headache. Finally mustering the strength to crack his eyes open, Lea discovered that he was in a very dark room. There was a small amount of light filtering from the hallway, just enough for Lea to see bars in front of him.
I'm...in a cell? Wait...Braig!
Lea tried to push himself off the concrete floor, but his arms wouldn't budge. He tugged lightly as a test and realized that his hands had been tightly bound behind his back.
Well, that's just great. He grunted quietly to himself, furious that he'd allowed himself to be captured so easily. Now they were most likely going to torture him into giving away the secrets of Radiant Garden's rebellion until he either cracked and told them, or they killed him, whichever came first.
"Hey, hey! Sleeping Beauty has woken up!"
Lea almost jumped at the sudden outburst and whirled around to face the voice's owner. His eyes narrowed into slits upon meeting Braig's single golden pupil. Returning Lea's glower with a cocky smirk, the man folded his arms across his chest.
"Are ya comfy in there, kiddo?"
Lea spat on the ground in reply.
"Good. 'Cause you're in for a nice long chat with your old pal...Isa was it?"
Lea's eyes shot wide open at the mention of Isa's name. What had they done to him? How much had they tortured him? Had Isa broken and given their organization away? Before he could spit out anymore silent questions, a hooded figure in a black coat matching Braig's stalked towards him. The cell doors creaked almost eerily as he slowly opened the barred door. When it clanged shut, the figure slowly approached the prisoner, stopping inches from Lea's bound form.
"Why don't I give you two a moment," Braig suggested, turning to leave the room. Somehow, his departure made Lea even more nervous.
The man took an agonizingly long time lowering his hood. Lea gasped in horror at the face underneath the hood. The long blue hair, the small mohawk. The X-shaped scar he'd received protecting a child from Xehanort years before...
"Hello, Lea." Isa's voice was as calm as ever, but the evil grin he wore sent ice-cold chills down Lea's spine. "I was wondering when you would arrive." He looked different as well; his ears looked like they were pointed, and instead of the usual deep forest green, his eyes now burned with golden malice.
"Isa...what's going on? What are you doing here?"
"Hmph. You never caught on to things quickly, did you, Lea?" Isa folded his arms. "I've been working for Xehanort for almost an entire year now."
Lea stared in complete shock as the information sank in. "What...you...but...you've fought with us ever since he took over! You helped us fight off the Organization! The Heartless! The Unversed!"
"Yes, I did," Isa admitted casually, as though it were all trivial information. "But over time, I began to see clearly that it was a lost cause. Lords Ansem and Xemnas could see my potential, and for many months now, I've been secretly aiding them in their battle against the Revolution...the rebellions in all the worlds. But now..." Isa's wicked smirk exposed his canines, so sharp that they gleamed even in the dim light, "there is no more need to keep up appearances." He reached down and hauled his former friend to his feet, staring him directly in the eyes.
"No," Lea breathed, terrified of what Isa was telling him, "you don't mean..."
"That's, right, Lea. Organization XIII is on their way to headquarters right now. Soon, nothing will be left of Radiant Garden's rebellion."
Lea felt his heart plummet into his stomach. All his friends were going to die.
"But don't worry," Isa grabbed the redhead by his hair and pulled him closer, "Lords Ansem and Xemnas see much potential in you, as well."
"I'll never work for them," Lea snarled, trying (and failing) to break free from Isa's hold. "I'd rather die than become another one of their lapdogs!" The bluenette only grunted in amusement and turned Lea around to face a howling dark corridor.
"I'm sorry, old friend, but you have no choice."
"Bfff..." Sora's spiky chestnut hair flailed as the boy shivered in the sudden gust of icy wind. He pulled his sweatshirt closer to himself in a vain attempt to trap his body heat. The fifteen-year-old sophomore donned a red track jacket with a silver and black wave-patterned trim and blue jeans. Under the unzipped jacket was a simple black T-shirt and a silver chain with a crown hung around the boy's neck. On his feet were a pair of bright yellow tennis shoes.
Sora looked up at the skies of Destiny Islands with sadness, remembering vividly the days when the island had been a sunny paradise. He and Riku (and Kairi, after she'd arrived from Radiant Garden) had gone on so many adventures exploring every nook and cranny of the play island as children. But now, with the Heartless, Nobodies, and the Unversed, it wasn't even safe to go near the play island anymore. Ever since Xehanort took over...
Sora clenched his fists with fury at the mere thought of that man. He'd done so many horrible things: kidnapped and killed people for his evil research – it was rumored he'd split into two people, plunged all the worlds into darkness, and now he ruled all worlds with an iron fist. Someone was always hurt – if not killed – when the tyrant(s?) paid a visit.
Someday, Sora vowed, he would make Xehanort pay for his treachery and free all the worlds.
Sora looked up to see Riku jogging towards him. The older boy's silver hair was pulled back with the breeze, settling just above his shoulders when he caught up to his friend. His brown tennis shoes sunk into the sand with every step he took. Riku wore a simple sleeveless shirt, a bright aqua-blue with a black trim that matched his eyes perfectly. His jeans were not too different from Sora's, aside from being ripped at the knees and a shade or two darker.
"Riku," Sora greeted cheerfully, "finally get off school?"
"Yeah," Riku sighed, sitting down on the sand, inches from the water. "History is probably the most depressing subject in existence."
"Tell me about it," Sora sighed, joining Riku near the water. "Still, it's nice to hear about how good everything was before Xehanort conquered the worlds. I remember when we would talk about getting off this island to go visit them."
"Right," Riku laughed nostalgically. "But what would be the point now? The Organization monitors travel between worlds so closely that it's almost impossible. Besides, no matter where we go, it'd be the same thing. Xehanort does rule all the worlds, so how would it be any different from our lives here?"
"Aw, he couldn't have gotten all of them," Sora insisted, laying down on his back and resting his head on his hands. "I mean, all the stars in the skies are other worlds, it'd be pretty hard to take over all of them, don't you think?"
"I suppose," Riku relented, "but it'd be pretty hard to come across a free one."
The brunette only shrugged in reply. "Hey, Riku," the boy stood up with a determined expression on his face, "why don't we go visit the old play island? For old time's sake?"
"Visit the play island? Are you crazy? Sora, that place became overrun with Heartless and Unversed years ago! There's probably a lot of Nobodies, too!"
"Aw, c'mon, Riku," Sora whined, "nobody's visited the island for years, so they probably all left! And it's only for a little while."
The silver-haired male sighed inaudibly, resting his head in his hand. Sora did have a point; with no hearts or negative emotions to feed on, the monsters had likely moved on by this point. Still, he had a bad feeling about this.
"Please, Riku?" Now Sora was practically on his knees. He wasn't going to stop pestering his friend until he gave in, and Riku was well aware of this.
"Fine," Riku finally grunted, both in irritation and amusement. Sora could be so stubborn sometimes, he wanted to smack the kid. On the other hand, a small part of Riku always laughed at his childish behavior. The silverette stood up, dusting the sand off his legs. "Say, why don't we wait for Kairi?"
"Kairi? Her last class doesn't end for another hour."
"I know," Riku smirked as the pair walked towards the boat dock, "but you know that the play island is where the paopu fruit grows."
"What?" Sora's face was covered in confusion, but Riku didn't miss the blush that had risen to his cheeks.
"Don't play dumb with me – you want to share one with her, and you know it!"
"Sh-shut up!" Despite the glare that had formed on the brunette's face, his face had turned bright red. Riku's laughter did no help one bit.
As the teens untied their respective boats, they remained oblivious to two figures in the shadows of the large palm trees. Exchanging small smiles beneath the darkness of their hoods, the figures allowed themselves to be swallowed by corridors, vanishing in the blink of an eye.
Sora looked around the play island, both disappointed and nervous. This wasn't nearly as heartwarming and nostalgic as he'd expected it to be. Instead of being flooded with playful memories of childhood adventures, he was overcome with paranoia – he just couldn't shake the feeling that he was being watched. Riku was on edge as well; they weren't alone on the island, he could feel it.
"Come on," Sora instructed with a slight quiver in his voice, "let's get out of here." The boys turned back towards the half-destroyed docks. But just as they were about to step foot on the wood, several tiny portals of darkness popped into existence, barricading them from their boats.
"Heartless," Sora cried in surprise and fear, backing away from the advancing Shadows and Neoshadows. Darkballs loomed ominously in the air.
"Grab a weapon and fight," Riku shouted, picking up a nearby plank of wood. It wasn't much, but it would have to do. A Shadow jumped at the silver-haired teen, earning it a hard smack with the wood. To Riku's surprise, the Shadow fizzled out of existence, leaving no trace.
Leaping back instinctively from a Neoshadow's swipe, Riku ran around the large tree, luring some of the Heartless away from Sora. He barely had time to avoid colliding with several Nobodies. A Dusk reached for the boy with its long arms, but he dodged in the nick of time.
There's too many of them, Riku realized as he swiped with his plank and continued running. I have to hide! Maybe they'll leave if they can't find me. Without thinking, Riku shoved open the door to the seaside shack and slammed it shut again, firmly locking out his pursuers. The teen pressed his ear against the door for many minutes, making sure that all the growls, screeches, and footsteps had faded into silence. Afer what seemed like an eternity, they finally did. Sighing with relief, Riku moved towards the steps in the shack, freezing after he took one step.
Had the room just grown darker?
Riku spun around several times, making sure he wasn't losing his mind. Yes, the room was growing darker and darker with each passing second.
"Who...who's there," the silverette asked in a panicked voice, not entirely sure he wanted a response. It was almost impossible to see anything in the shack now. Riku's breathing was slightly labored as he tried to calm himself down, slowly succeeding. When his racing heartbeat returned to normal (well, close to normal), Riku turned to the door of the shack to leave and find Sora. But his path was blocked.
Riku barely had time to shout in surprise before he found himself slammed violently against the shack wall with a gloved hand clamped firmly over his mouth, silencing his screams. The teen struggled violently against his attacker, but the mysterious person had such a tight hold on Riku's wrist that it was beginning to lose circulation. Riku's free hand tried to pry the hand off his mouth, but the hand wouldn't budge.
Riku froze hearing his attacker's deep, smooth voice, chilled tremors shooting down his spine. Looking up, Riku strained to make out the man's face, or at least some distinguishing characteristics on his body, but it was just too dark for him to see very much. However, Riku could see that the man had long silver hair that stretched halfway down his back and he appeared to be wearing a cape. On the man's chest, Riku noticed a strange heart-shaped emblem.
Looking at the man's face, Riku found himself staring into two fiery amber eyes filled with evil that seemed to glow brightly in the deep darkness.
The teen stared at his captor in terror and confusion. Who was this man and how did he know his name? What did he want with him? He tried to pull away when the mysterious man leaned in closer, but the wooden walls prevented him from doing so.
"My, my," the attacker mused more to himself than to Riku, "has it been twelve years already? I can see why he chose you as his successor."
This got Riku's attention. He ceased his struggles (he was only tiring himself out anyway) and stared at his assailant in shock. Twelve years ago...he remembered it like it was yesterday. He remembered the day the Keyblade apprentice Terra had paid a visit to this very play island and allowed Riku to touch his Keyblade. But...how did this person know about that? He needed answers. Now.
"Ahh!" Riku's captor cried out in pain as the teen bit down hard on the hand covering his mouth. He sent the boy a look of pure death, but Riku wasn't done yet. He launched his foot into the man's shin as hard as he could, hurrying toward the stairs before he could grab him. Ignoring the glares that scared him stiff, Riku growled and tried to seem unafraid.
"Who are you," he demanded, "and how do you know what happened that day?!"
"Hmph." His attacker chuckled and rose to his feet, but made no move to approach. "My name is Ansem, the Seeker of Darkness. I am, shall we say, one half of Xehanort."
So the rumors were true.
"How do you know about Terra?!"
Ansem chuckled again, both angering and worrying Riku. "I know because Terra became my new vessel twelve years ago, allowing me to go on to conquer the worlds and cover them with my darkness!"
Riku silently gasped. Terra had only visited the islands a week before Xehanort's rise to power.
"When I took over his body, I acquired all of Terra's memories as well. Memories of you."
Riku's stomach twisted and his heart dropped; he could see where this was going.
"Terra saw great potential in you, boy." Ansem stalked towards the stairs, surrounded by an aura of darkness; it was difficult to see, but it was definitely there. "Unfortunately for you, it was because he saw many of his own traits in you...including his darkness!"
Panicking, Riku turned on his heels to run up the stairs and get away from this madman, but he nearly tripped upon raising his foot. Looking down, Riku saw tendrils of darkness coiling around his ankles and wrists, holding him in place as Ansem continued his approach. The silverette fought violently against the bonds, but his efforts were in vain as more snaked up his body and wound around his upper arms tightly. Finally, the tendrils disappeared into nothingness, but the shadowy ropes they had formed remained strong. Every instinct in Riku's body screamed at him to run as fast as he could, but his immobilized ankles mixed with sheer terror kept him cemented to the ground. He could barely hold back a shout of fright when Ansem pushed and held the teen down, replacing his gloved hand on Riku's mouth.
"I see potential in you as well, boy," Ansem purred, leaning close to Riku's face. "Your darkness and your status as Terra's heir will serve us quite well. You will make a fine soldier in the war against the light."
Riku's aqua eyes widened in horror at Ansem's words and he resumed fighting against his bonds, despite knowing it was useless. His parents...Sora's parents, Kairi's foster parents and countless other islanders were all associated with Destiny Islands' rebellion against Xehanort's rule. To be forced to fight against them, or worse...
The silverette was jolted out of his thoughts by a sharp pain in his forehead. His yelp of surprised pain muffled by Ansem's hand, it was suddenly very hard to keep his eyelids open. He felt his mind becoming foggy and his hearing was slowly fading out. The last thing Riku was aware of was Ansem's triumphant laughter and a slow sinking sensation, as if he'd been dropped into quicksand. Moments later, his entire world was black.
Sora pressed his hand against the stone wall of the path to the secret place. He held his breath, listening for any sign of lingering Heartless and Nobodies. Nothing. Sighing heavily in relief, the spiky-haired brunette walked into the small cave and dropped to his knees, half surprised he could still stand comfortably in the small space. Crossing his legs, Sora decided to get comfortable. Knowing Riku, he'd been able to fight off his own pursuers without much difficulty, and hopefully he'd think to come here. Sora wouldn't even think of abandoning Riku on this monster-infested play island, even if it was only for a short time to go for help.
He looked around the stone room, oblivious to the vicious golden eyes watching his every move.
Soon, Sora's wandering sapphire eyes landed on the drawings he, Riku, and Kairi had made on the cave walls as children. One in particular grabbed the boy's attention: the drawings he and Kairi had made of each other. The twelve-year-old memory was still freshly engrave in Sora's mind. Even then he'd taken a strong liking to the strange girl from the meteor shower, and every day since he'd loved her more and more.
Without thinking, Sora crawled over to the drawings and picked up a nearby rock, not noticing the darkness gathering around him. For many minutes he sat there and scribbled on the walls until his addition to Kairi's picture was complete; it now portrayed Sora on the wall giving a star-shaped paopu fruit to the portrait of Kairi. Sora smiled warmly, wishing very badly that Kairi was here (though out of danger.)
"My, such a sweet gesture."
Sora's nearly jumped out of his skin at the sudden voice. Whirling around to face the vocalist, he found himself pinned firmly to the ground staring into a pair of deep amber eyes. It was difficult to make out his attacker's face in the dim light, but Sora could see long silver hair and a vicious smile on the man's face. Sora opened his mouth to scream, but a gloved hand closed itself over his lips, blocking his voice.
"Sora...the carrier of Ventus's heart...we meet at last."
Sora went as stiff as a board. This man knew about Ventus?
Seeing that his captive was too stunned to speak, Sora's assailant removed his hand from the boy's mouth. "Yes, Sora, I know all about Ventus and how you shelter his damaged heart."
"Who are you," the boy hissed fiercely, trying to break free of the man's unrelenting hold.
"I am Xemnas. The empty shell of Xehanort."
Empty shell? Sora stared at Xemnas, completely baffled, but shook it off. There were far more pressing questions to be answered. Like, for instance, "what the hell do you want with me?"
Xemnas smiled darkly at the question, making Sora wish he hadn't asked.
"We've had our eyes on you, Sora, and Riku, for a long time, now," Xemnas answered in his deep, monotone voice. His smirk widened seeing Sora's frightened expression at Riku's name. "Your heart...it carries an unusual power. It is perfectly balanced between light and darkness and holds vast amounts of untapped power. Power that I must have for my own."
Now Sora was angry. "I don't know what you're talking about," he grunted, fighting Xemnas's hold once again. "Yes, I helped Ventus when he needed it, but that was years ago! He's not here anymore, so you're outta luck!"
Xemnas only smiled knowingly. "Regardless," he began as long, shadowy tentacles wrapped themselves around Sora's body, "you will come with me, Sora, and accept your fate. You will help us plunge all worlds into darkness." Xemnas reached for the struggling boy, only to be met with a strong shove. Somehow, Sora had managed to keep one arm out of the shadows' reach and tried to attack Xemnas. Before the older man could recover, Sora sent a swift kick into his gut, sending the older man back several feet.
The silverette clutched his stomach and heaved to catch his breath. As he filled his depleted lungs with oxygen, Xemnas gave Sora a glower that froze the brunette in terror. As the silver-haired man stalked towards his immobilized catch, Sora fought as hard as he could to free his arms once more, to no avail. Seeing no other option, Sora opened his mouth and began to scream for help at the top of his lungs, hoping that Riku would hear him. He was quickly silenced when Xemnas firmly clamped his gloved hand over his mouth once again. The older man snapped his fingers, and Sora felt his head beginning to swim. He could barely keep his eyes open and his vision was becoming distorted. The last thing he saw before the darkness took over was Xemnas's golden gaze, grinning evilly at him.
"Good night, Sora."
"Ugh...where am I?"
Still disoriented from whatever spell Xemnas had put him under, Sora slowly climbed to his feet. He was soon wide awake as he examined his surroundings.
"Wait...am I dead?! No...I can't be..." Everything around him was entirely black, but Sora could still see everything around him just fine. Looking down, he found himself standing on a giant stained glass pillar. "Whoa..."
This was no ordinary stained glass. Depicted on the oversized window was himself, Riku and Kairi standing on the play island as he remembered it years before. Up in one corner were three circles, depicting three familiar figures, all of whom were asleep: a young man just a few years older than himself and Riku who had dark brown hair, a blue-haired woman, and a young blonde boy who appeared to be Sora's own age.
Terra, Aqua, and Ventus!
In the corner opposite the sleeping Keybladers was a large key. Or perhaps a sword. A sword that looked like a key. Sora was about to shrug the image off when he felt something materialize in his hand. His fingers closed around the hilt automatically. There was the weapon from the stained glass. It was definitely a sword and a key. As a test, Sora swung the odd-looking weapon a few times; his arm moved naturally with the blade as though he'd been doing it all his life.
"But what is it," Sora wondered out loud. As if answering his question, a single word popped into the boy's head.
I apologize for any OOC-ness, some of the characters in these situations were very tough to imagine and write. So, what do you guys think? I might decide to write more, or I might not, depending on how many reviews I get saying yes or no.
I spent a LONG time working on this (and it's 18 pages long!) so please review before you go! It really means a lot to me to hear what my readers think!
Might continue writing for this, might not! Leave a review and let me know! Thank you!