4. The Puppet State
With the disease, there is the Puppet State, and when I am in the Puppet State, my irises change color and my voice can change to coordinate with who has control of my body. My voice will mature only a little and my eyes will turn a cerulean blue when Sora possess me, but my eyes will turn gold and I won't speak when Anti-Sora possesses me.
"That... that's perfect!" Namine chirped, eager as anyone to break the awkward silence that had fallen over the room. She clapped her hands together and looked at me happily, either oblivious to or blatantly ignoring the horrified look in my eyes.
"No, it's not." I said back at her, my eyes almost glaring into hers. I never glared at my sister.
"Yeah it is! Roxas, this is amazing!" She was nearly yelling with excitement now. She rushed to my side and threw her arms around me. "I'm so glad Roxas!" She said, sitting in my lap and hugging me around my shoulders. "Now, we won't be separated anymore. I can come and see you all the time. We can still be a family."
I could feel myself start to shake with anger, but I bit my tongue and shielded my eyes with my bangs. Hesitantly, I put my arms around Namine and rested my chin on her shoulder. "Namine, I can't do that. I'm sorry." I said quietly, and buried my face in her neck.
She struggled away from me and stared at me flabbergasted. "What? Why?"
My eyes narrowed on her. "We both know why, sis."
"Roxas," She nearly whined. "you haven't given either of them a chance. If you just explain to Axel about-"
I pressed my hand against her mouth. "You honestly think he'll accept that, no questions asked?"
She smiled at me and removed my hand from her mouth. "You'd be surprised, Rox."
"Don't call me that."
"Guys, we need to have a talk." Namine said to Kairi and Axel, who had already been half-listening to the conversation. Namine moved out of my lap and sat next to Kairi at the end of the bed. Axel laid down on the bed like a line dividing me from my sister and his. I tried to not look at the stripe of skin that was exposed when his shirt moved up from his waist. The man had really nice hips. "Alright, Roxas. Do you want to explain or shall I?" Namine smiled at me encouragingly and tilted her head a bit to the side.
"I want to." I said stubbornly and I looked right at Axel. "Fine, Axel. If you think it's a good idea for me to live with you, I will, without the kicking and screaming, if you can honestly say you would house me as I am, no questions asked. I have a disease. I've had it since I was born." My eyes flickered up to Kairi's. "It's not contagious, don't worry." My eyes moved back down to Axel, and I could almost feel them darken. "I might not like you, Axel, but I wouldn't wish this on you or even my greatest enemy. It's a nightmare." I laughed, but it was so dry and humorless, it actually hurt.
"Roxas might have a difficult time explaining it; he doesn't like to talk about it much." Namine supplied for them.
"And with good reason." I added. "Anyways, the disease is very complex and unnatural and hard to explain, but in short – I see and hear things that aren't real."
"Actually," Namine interrupted. "although this is very similar to schizophrenia, it's really things that we can't see. A lot of it is very real." She said matter-of-factually, like she had ever experienced any of it.
I snorted. "What? Can't accept you're baby brother is a lunatic?"
She gave me a defeated huff. "Roxas-"
"I know they're not real. But, that doesn't affect how I react to them. At the time, the things I see and hear are very, very real to me. It's not until later I register that no, these things are not actually tangible. The difference is that I can feel these things. I can physically feel the things that appear to me, even if they're not real. I don't know. Namine might be right. I just don't know how something can be real if I'm the only person experiencing them." I lifted my head and met eyes with Sora who was sitting next to Namine. He smiled encouragingly at me, brightly, in his trademark fashion. It was enough to get the corners of my lips to pull up. "And Axel, that's why I answered your question the way I did." I met his eyes again, the bright green fire. "Sora is one of the recurring entities I see. He's actually one of two I see recurring." If you don't count the Shadows, I added silently. "He's the good one. That's the only one you'll ever catch me talking to. If I start screaming, however..." My eyes slid down his face and ran back to my hands in my lap that were invisibly shaking. "That's not Sora. That's Anti-Sora. He's the bad one."
"Boo." Sora hissed in my ear and grabbed my shoulders, causing me to startle. He smirked at me as he laughed and floated around to face me. "Whoops."
I glared at him, fighting back the urge to laugh with him. His laugh had always been contagious and honey-sweet. "You asshole, I should kick your ass." I said, moving out to smack him but he dodged just in time. "Yeah, that's Sora, asshole of the year." He stuck his tongue out at me and chuckled. "Ha." I said flatly, sitting back on my butt. "I think that's all you really need to know about the disease. I feel like I'm missing something though." I looked to Namine for help.
"Sora and Roxas act a lot alike. Only... Sora can let his emotions take control of him a lot easier. Which is why sometimes Roxas will act out of character. Both Sora and Anti-Sora have strong influences on Roxas's mood. Think of them as his good moods and his bad moods. Sora is good, Anti-Sora is bad. It's a battle of wills. Oh, and there's one more thing. It's why I think Sora and Anti are real, and why Roxas doesn't like talking about the disease." Namine said, trailing off as she wished to continue but was looking for my permission.
"Oh." I said. That's what I was forgetting. "The Puppet State."
"The what?" Kairi chirped up. I just realized that Axel had been quiet this entire time. Listening, staring at me and watching my body and face, making no move to speak.
"We call it the 'Puppet State'." Namine said.
I looked down at Axel. "Don't you have anything to say?" I asked him.
He shook his head, smirking gently. "No questions asked, Roxy."
I grimaced. "Don't call me that."
He just shrugged. "Continue."
"Fine. The Puppet State is... terrifying. Think of it as mind control. Because I'm basically just a vessel to Sora and Anti-Sora, they both have the power to take control of my body. The sensation is... I describe it as having your nerves tied together. Like you have a million strings connected to each other. Puppet and puppeteer, and I'm the puppet. For a short amount of time, I can be forced to relinquish all control of my body to either Sora or Anti-Sora and they act for me. I have only their thoughts, their emotions, and only move on their accord." I paused before I started laughing and smirked at Axel. "You've seen me in it twice. Once, when I hit Luxord over the head with the basket, and when I punched you in the face for the sexual harassment. Both of those were Sora's moves. He typically isn't a violent being – that's more of Anti-Sora's thing – but he is the protective-older-brother type."
"You know it." Sora said as he socked me in the shoulder.
"Ow! Hey!" I swung at him, but he dodged swiftly yet again. "Bug off." I spat at him.
Kairi scrambled over her brother to sit in front of me, nearly in my lap. "Wait, someone is with you right now?" She asked, her eyes wide with wonder.
"Uh, yeah. Sora's normally always with me. They both leave me a few weeks at a time, but they've always come back."
"That's amazing. What's the longest you've ever been in this 'Puppet State' before?" She asked, her hands capturing one of mine.
"Fifteen minutes." I told her.
She smiled widely. "That's... incredible. You wouldn't mind if I... studied you, would you? I'm in medical school, specializing in neurological diseases and I'd love to do my thesis on you. Obviously, this is a neurological disease but... there's more to it. It's almost magical, it's so fantastic! You're a mystery to me, Roxas Paterson." Her eyes were bright with fascination and I didn't have the heart to crush that.
"I... sure, Kairi. I don't mind." I laughed nervously, pulling my hand out of hers.
"Perfect!" She cried, jumping off the bed and landing perfectly next to Sora. I smiled at the picture; they looked really cute together. Almost like a brother and a sister – like me and Namine. The brunette looked at her curiously, and smiled giddily.
"She's pretty." Sora said.
I rolled my eyes, smirking at him. "What a flirt."
"I have a question!" Kairi stated like she was in a classroom – with her hand raised and her smile attentive and everything.
Namine giggled. "Yes, Kairi?"
"How do you know Roxas is in the Puppet State? And, how can you tell who's controlling him?"
Namine froze and looked at me for an answer. "Do you want to answer that one?"
"Uh, my eyes. With Sora, my eyes will turn a midge darker blue, they'll look a lot brighter and happier, plus I'll usually talk and it'll be his voice, not mine. But, the voice changes only if Sora has enough energy for it. As far as I know, it's very exhausting for them to induce that state. Apparently, I'm extremely stubborn." I winked at Namine, and then at Sora.
"Ain't that the truth?" Sora remarked.
"Watch it." I said back to him.
"As odd as it is to watch you talk to thin air, if it keeps you off the streets to stay here, I don't mind it." Axel finally said something, sitting up and stretching with a yawn. "It's actually kind of cool if you think about it. Roxas can be possessed by demons and shit, this is gonna be a party!" He smiled at his excitable sister and then looked at me. "So, no questions asked, you're moving in buddy!"
"What about when I get night terrors, or if Anti-Sora induces the Puppet State? What then?" I asked, frowning at him. It couldn't possibly be this easy.
He turned to Namine. "If Anti-Sora possesses him-"
"-induces the Puppet State." I corrected him.
"-do I have permission to punch his lights out?"
She nodded. "Yeah, just don't kill him."
"Fat chance." He chuckled. "And if he gets night terrors?"
She laughed. "It's not that difficult. It's like a nightmare. Just wake him up and calm him down. I think he's more worried about waking you up because he's screaming or something. Right, Roxas?" She leaned over to look at me past Axel. Her eyes were so big and doe look, how could anyone ever resist her? Better question: how could Axel, even if he was gay?
"Well... yeah." I said slowly, still frowning.
Axel snickered and reached out to my face. He hooked his index fingers into my mouth and forcefully pulled at the corners of my lips, forcing me to somewhat smile. "C'mon, Roxy. It ain't going to be so bad with me. I can sure be a hell of a lot of fun, and now you don't have to worry 'bout Xigbar finding you or something, yeah?" He slapped a hand down on my shoulder, but I shrugged him off when Sora looked pissed.
"Uh, yeah, I guess that's a good thing. I just... I hate being a burden to people. That's why I'm not staying with my sister." I said, looking up at him sheepishly.
His smirk eased into a smile. "You're not a burden, Roxy. Don't worry about it. I think you and I are gonna be great pals." He slid his arm around my shoulders and forced me next to him. "And I'll apologize now for anything I do that you consider sexual harassment that I don't. I'm just a really touchy guy." He winked and he and Namine laughed when I blushed. I looked over at Sora who was goofing off around an unsuspecting Kairi.
"Sora!" I shouted-slash-laughed, biting back a smile that slipped out anyways. "Be fair! She can't see you." I swatted at him, but he'd always been very good at dodging.
"Yeah, yeah." He said dismissively.
Kairi looked with excited confusion between where I was generally looking and myself, as if looking between Sora and I. "Roxas, is there anyway Sora could purposefully induce the Puppet State for us? So we could each speak to him for a moment and see the change in your personality?"
I looked over at Sora, and then at Kairi. "Kairi, you're gonna be a doctor. Even if it's not an optometrist, do you know for a fact that the color of an iris cannot change on someone's free will?" I asked her.
"Yeah, that's a fact. I mean, some people say the iris changes with the mood, but that's very rare and usually only with eyes that have a history of changing colors. And yours do not, correct?"
"Alright, well let me just have a good look at your color so I can be sure." Suddenly, her face was mere centimeters from mine, our noses only touching. I felt like I couldn't even breathe, my eyes widely reflected in hers. "Wow, pretty." She said in a very girly voice, for some reason a bit higher pitched, and she pulled back. "Alright, anyone else want to be sure?" She asked, looking at her brother.
"Sure, why not? You mind, Roxy?" Axel chuckled, and I felt him shift beside me on the bed.
"How many times do I have to tell you to not call me-" The petty nickname got stuck in my throat when I aggressively whipped my head to the side and found him even closer to my face than Kairi had been. I silently choked on the word and stared at my own surprised expression reflecting in the green fire he called eyes. His eyes switched between my left and my right eye and I watched his pupils make the most unnoticeable adjustments but it was still so fascinating to watch.
Was he moving closer?
Or was it me?
Or was that possibly just wishful thinking?
Why would I be wishing for that? I was straight, damn it!
"Alright," Axel said finally, making me jump and lean away like he'd just sent a spark into my face. "let's see Sora."
I turned to where Kairi stood and looked a little past her at an excited-looking Sora. "You ready, Sora?" I asked him.
I didn't even have to ask. He was already rushing up to my side and then disappeared from my line of sight to be directly behind me. It was easiest to connect that way; it was always easier to connect the closer we were to each other. Sometimes, I wondered if I was just imagining his body heat rubbing against my skin. Most of the time, I ignored it. It just seemed so prominent now, it was all I focused on as I closed my eyes and waited for that sensation. The sensation of a million strings pulling me backwards while Sora merged our bodies. It was a surprisingly painless process. Probably because he was, technically, half of me.
My eyelids lifted and I flexed my hands to test. Perfect, it was working. I lifted my head and smiled easily at the two strangers and Namine. Axel, the jerk that was harassing Roxas. Namine, his sister. And Kairi, the pretty girl who smiled a lot like me. I pushed down on the bed and brought my legs underneath me so I sat on my calves.
"Ta-da!" I said with a big smile and jazz hands – very out of character for Roxas, even if this was his voice.
"Aw, you don't the voice." Kairi pouted cutely.
I smiled awkwardly. "Heh, that takes too my effort, Kairi. Especially if you wanna get some answers outta me. And you do, don't you?" I asked her curiously.
"Ooh, you said my name! Let me see your eyes!" No sooner than she said that was she practically in my lap, peering into my eyes. "Oh my god, they actually turned cerulean blue! That's amazing! They were so much lighter before!" Kairi gasped, cupping Roxas's face in her hands and squishing the cheeks together. Roxas did still have some baby fat there.
I chuckled. "Easy, Kairi. This isn't my body." I took her dainty wrists and peeled them off Roxas's cheeks. But the feel of her skin, much softer than Roxas's, was an amazing bliss so I squeezed them kinda tight. "Sorry, it's just... I don't normally get to just touch other people. You're skin is so soft." I smiled up at her and she grinned back.
"Stop flirting with my sister." Axel huffed jocularly.
Kairi got off my lap and I glared at Axel. He was a bit taken aback, but not for the reason I thought. "What did you-"
"Wow, your eyes did change. That's really cool." Axel smirked.
I got up onto my knees and glared menacingly at Axel. "If you ever hurt Roxas again... if you so much as touch him without permission ever again, I swear to my creator that I will-"
"Okay, no details, Sora. You know you aren't the violent type." Namine shushed me, and pushed down on my shoulders to make him sit.
"I could bring out the violent one, Namine." I said mock threateningly but she gave me a wary look. I only laughed and shook my head. "You know better than me that I'd never let that happen to Roxas... again." I added quickly. Actually, what we both knew was that I had very little control over what Anti-Sora could do – I just did my best to protect Roxas, even if that never did much.
"Thanks." She said with a hint of regret in her voice.
I leaned over, balancing with my hands on her shoulder and kissed her cheek. "I'll always protect him, sis. No matter what that weirdo throws at us." I nuzzled her cheek to make her giggle and then leaned back.
I knew I only had a few minutes left in Roxas's body so I decided to get one thing out of the way while I had full connection to this world. See, outside of Roxas's body, everything around me – except for Roxas – looks blurry and sounds far away and I can't feel anything. That's why it's such an addictive relief to be in Roxas's body and why I may or may not take advantage of it from time to time.
What an asshole, but what a mystery. He doesn't leave Roxas's head and, in turn, doesn't leave mine either.
I turned towards him and leaned in as close as I could without feeling Roxas's face heat up and stared into his eyes. Roxas referred to Axel's eyes as "green fire" all the time, and now I understood why. They were so green, so deep and full of texture but, at the same time, so wildly bright and holding back so much. "Huh." I said, my lips tipping up. "That's interesting."
"What?" Axel asked, sounding annoyed that he wasn't in on it.
I smirked. "Because I don't mind embarrassing Roxas at the moment, you should know Roxas and I share thoughts. All the normal and good ones. So, whatever homicidal ideas he has towards you don't rest with me but I do know all the good things he thinks about you, all of you." I gestured to everyone in the room. "And, I wanted to see why he kept using the term "green fire" in his head when he was looking at your eyes. I only see blurry pictures outside of Roxas's body, like I'm perpetually in a speeding car, so it's nice to see clearly. Oh! And this," I placed both my hands on his exposed forearms and immediately retracted. "You are really warm, that's so weird!" I know I sounded like a little kid on Christmas morning, but touch was something I never experienced outside of Roxas's body. Touching Roxas was like touching soft glass that bended. It never had a texture or a temperature, it was just a variation of force and pressure.
"He thinks I'm hot?" Axel laughed.
I shook my head. "This has nothing to do with appearance. Roxas isn't like that. Roxas is generally cold-skinned. And with you having such a high body temperature... it's an awesome sensation. I'm surprised he doesn't touch you more often. It's like I'm absorbing your warmth." I chuckled, but inside I could feel Roxas growing anxious. He hated when I embarrassed him or shared any of his thoughts he was unwilling to share.
"I'll keep that in mind." Axel said with a leer.
I rolled my eyes. "Hey, sis," I said, looking over at Namine as I leaned off of Axel. "I don't know if Roxas is gonna be conscious when I let him out so if he isn't make sure this pervert doesn't do anything gross, okay? I won't be able to come back for a couple of days after this long of a connection." I looked over at Axel, but winked at him and smiled, letting him know I was playing.
"What happened to you hating me?" Axel laughed incredulously.
I shrugged. "I get over stuff quick. Just don't hurt my brother."
Namine giggled. "Will do, Sora. See you soon." She waved at me, like we were actually saying good-bye.
I waved back at her, and then the other two individually. "Bye, you two."
"Oh! Sora, can I study you as well?" Kairi said as I let go of all the strings tying Roxas back, as I dropped my barrier and let him extract me from his head.
"Sure." I said dazedly before my eyes fell shut and I once again became Sora, the Good One. Not Sora, the Real One.
Tell me what you think guys! I know this fanfiction is kind of jumbled, but it's the first I pursued into an actual story so please tell me if you like it or not! Tell me if I can fix anything and if you could politely point out any mistakes, that'd be awesome! Love you guys 3
Roxas: I didn't like this chapter.
Axel: Cuz Sora was flirting with me?~
Roxas: No! .
Axel: Mm-hmm, right. See ya next week ppl!