Thursday, March 31, 2011

The World is a Carousel of Color...

Time Started: 10:10

No, things aren't back to normal--yet. We won't have a major update until the eleventh.

But I can't let it drag me down. As long as they're okay, then I have to be, too.

So instead I'm going to do a little Disney-based commentary.

I changed my blog's design again.
But that's what I get when I listen to D-COT and the Disneyland Playlist on my computer. Right now it's on World of Color, which is what the title came from.

But that's not what I really wanna talk about.
What I REALLY wanna talk about is Oswald and Mickey.
To quote Walt Disney;

"It all started with a mouse."

But this, in fact, is a lie. Before Mickey Mouse, there was Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who was unfortunately bought up by Charles Mintz and sold to Universal, sat in storage for a good 50+ years, and was finally returned in '06.

To quote Disney again;
Is it just me, or do the two quotes seem oddly contradictal?
On the one hand, he says that family should stay together. On the other, he's totally ignoring his oldest 'child' and giving all the credit to the younger brother. Said younger brother whom, without his rabbit sibling, would never have been created.
Mickey gets everything--he stars in every theme park, a nice upgrade in design, has had some form of cameo in most--if not all--disney films, not to mention multiple of his own TV shows, merchandise, and music.
What does poor Ozzie get?
A game where he doesn't talk and is more or less portrayed as the bad guy, a plushie, and a handful of limited-edition merch.
Going back farther, to his time in Universal's care, this also includes a rather questionable cartoon that I never have nor will ever see, during which Oswald plays a trick on his boss by dressing in drag, only to be nearly raped. (Again, I never plan on watching it, so this could be false. But even then, the idea of it isn't a pretty one)

And while we're on the topic of questionable decisions, let's examine Ozzie's love life, shall we?
His first girlfriend went by the name "Fanny Cottontail", supposedly. She was a decent character at first, but morphed into a slut who dumped Oswald for his rival-with-no-name.
Then he meets Sadie the Cat, who was eventually transfered into Minnie Mouse's character. Basically the same character, with minor differences in appearance.
And then comes Ortensia, the mother to Oswald's 400-some-odd children.

Image (c) LuckyOswald on Deviantart
Ortensia, I think, is a much stronger character. She isn't at all Damsel-in-Distress material, actually an extrovert, but still just as kind and gentle as Minne.

Of course, in the fandom world, there are plenty of people who believe Ortensia shouldn't be with Ozzie, but it should be Fanny because she's a rabbit too, but I think that's bull. That's like saying 'You can't marry her because she isn't white.'
Talk about racist! I know, they're just cartoon characters, whatever. I probably wouldn't have such a problem with the issue to begin with, if it weren't for their reasoning.
I understand it's Minnie and Mickey Mouse, but there's Mortimer Mouse, too. Should he join in too because he's part of the circle? I think not.
If a FannyXOz shipper can give me a sound reasoning for why they prefer that to OrtensiaXOz, then I'll respect that and leave them alone.
Just find better arguments than the overly-racist
Yeah, I went there, mr.-unidentified-OXF-shipper.

See, I love Ortensia because of the fact that she's different. She isn't your typical cut-and-paste damsel, she cares about Oswald and their children, and she doesn't back down. And Disney chose her for the 'canon pairing' because of their differences. Because different is wonderful, and because diversity is beautiful.

And though I doubt anyone of Disney would ever read this before I enter the Disney College Program (or the world ends, whichever comes first), there are three things that I wish Disney would do, now that Oswald is finally back.
1) Give him a voice actor. Mickey has one, and it's only fair. THe poor Rabbit can't be a mime forever, damnit!
2) Incorporate him into the theme parks. Thankfully, with all of the rennovations of California Adventures, there actually is hope for that... (check out their blog for all kinds of Ozzie updates)
3) Give him some limelight, damnit! We've whored abused the Mickey logo long enough. Can't we at least add Oswald? Maybe make him in charge of Disney Channel to start or something...
Image (c) Rica-Fox-Prower on Deviantart
At least for tommorow! It IS April Fool's Day, after all!
(Speaking of which, I can't wait to see what Deviantart does to our icons. Two years ago it was "So I heard u liek Mudkips?" and last year it was Team Gaga >X3)

This has been a certefied drabble courtesy of the very tired Sincerely Doubtful Productions

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The World Has Turned Itself Upside Down....

Time Started: 4:00

It seems like life's hourglass has begun to work in reverse.
The last time my Grandma was injured this bad I stopped believing in reality.
Now, with both of them litterally bedridden for two weeks untill their appointment April 11th...
I don't know who's worse off.

I didn't sleep much last night. Then when I got up to get ready for school, I heard they'd just gotten home.
Gramma with a broken collar bone, Grampa with a broken leg.
And I had to go to school, knowing that.

I'd like to take the time to thank all my friends, even though only one of them will be reading this.
Your support really means the world to me, thank you so much.

I wish I could do...anything...

And then I found out that, thank god, it might not be broken bones after all. It might just be fractures.
But still, they have to wait a whole whopping two weeks until they can find out for sure.
Two weeks of showing up, pretending life is cakes and rainbows, and going home to cry.

Two weeks of feeling guilty because I'm trying to be my normal self while they're stuck with nothing to do.

Two weeks of feeling helpless because I'm either in the way or of no help at all.

Two weeks of staying forever

Sincerely Doubtful

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I hate people

No, really, I do. You know that last post, how at the end I thought something was wrong?
Turns out my grandparents were just in a car accident.

For crying out loud, my gramma's recovering from heart surgery--I swear she was in the hospital for the better part of a year--and this complete and total JACKASS has the NERVE to go 40 through a red light?

Does anyone else see a problem with this?
Damnit, I hate feeling so helpless. I need to do something, anything, to help. But I can't.
The best I can do is wait.
Wait, and hope for the best.

Fucking hell, I hate people. Why is society so fucking self-centered? Why are there incompetent jackasses in the world that think they can just blow through a fucking red light, total a fucking damn good car that was just repaired for over two thousand, and think they can get away with claiming a yellow?
I'm sorry, maybe I glitched the Driver's Test when I got this question right, but doesn't yellow mean CLEAR THE INTERSECTION?

I can understand if you just knick the corner of their car, sure, fine. But causing a woman on heart medication to fly into her husband and totalling a Mercedes in mint condition by goining 40 through a red light? And then having the nerve to claim a yellow?
That is complete and utter bull shit.

Did you know that that was my gramma's first car accident? Living fourty years in Tucson, plus thirty-some-odd more in New York--and not once had she been in an accident.
Until some jackass decided they weren't going to give a shit about the concequences and sped through the red light to wherever the fuck they were going.
The worst part is? That jackass didn't even say anything to my grandparents. She scoffed a good twenty times since my sister, dad, and I got there, but not a single word. Not even an "are you okay" after hitting them.

How fucked up is society if we can't even give a crap about others, especially if we're the ones who caused them pain?

I don't appologize for my crude language. And let me part ways with this statement towards the jackass in question:
Karma's a bitch, and that goes tripple when you're a bitch first.

Have fun with your concequences, I hope they give you hell.

--Sincerely Doubtful

Complainte de la Butte

Time Started: 5:39

No, I don't know what the title means. I know it's in French, because it's also a Song Title by Rufus Wrainwright (I think that's how you spell his name...)
I will eventually insert the song via youtube, if I can manage to find the verion that I have on my computer.

On a side note, we started reading Huck Finn in English yesterday. I was a little worried I wouldn't like it, because it really doesn't seem like my kind of book. That and the fact that nearly every single book that's been a required read I've found utterly dull to the point of temptation to cheat using wikipedia to do the assignments that go along with it.
I say 'nearly' because there was one from fifth grade that I fell in love with, called The True Confessions Of Charlotte Doyle. It's about a girl of the 1800s that turns Pirate half way through her trip to England, helps the crew perform a mutiny against the captain, and eventually gives up her life to return to the sea.

**I know this wasn't ten minutes, but I think I have to go now. I just heard a snippet over the phone of my dad talking and it sounds like something's wrong.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Then again, maybe not...

Time Started: 12:47 Yeah, that whole "I'm gunna post all of ATJ" didn't work out so well. I got to the fifth chapter and got bored.
Darn my lack of enthusiasm!

I feel proud of myself. I finally updated my Aanyx MMD model, if only slightly! Yay, no more revealing clothes for her!
I changed her headphones so that she doesn't have a microphone thing extended anymore. I'd love to take them out completely, but I'm waiting for that until I can find a different Haku base to use. The one right now is Animasa, which is a good starter, but her head is massive and the physics suck when you try and play a motion data. The breasts giggle unnecesarily when she's just standing there.
For this one I just switched the given low-cut  tanktop with a t-shirt. I still don't know how to change physics, though, so the sleeves are a little wonky. Sometimes the skin shows through the sleeves, which is a little awkword. But again, I'm hoping to find a better Haku model to use.
I'd use any other base, but Haku's hair is the closest one to Aanyx's.

Here's her outfit in Agrabah, the Kingdom Hearts equivalent of Disney's Aladdin.

That's right, I've never really explained Kingdom Hearts, have I?

Have fun.

This has been a certified drabble courtesy of Sincerely Doubtful Productions

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Twilit Journey: Aanyx's Tale, Chapters 00-05

(Author's Note: Oh yeah, before I forget, Kat did help write this a bit, so she gets her own character, Narexk. So if you read 'Kat' it's not our Kat, but her character that for whatever reason she wanted to have the same name as herself.)
Twilight Town-a quaint little place famous for it's Summer Struggle Tournament. Contestants from all over the world train for months in an attempt to make it to the finals.
Unfortunately, that means less time for me to hang out with two of my best friends, Heyner and Roxas.
Who am I, you ask? Aanyx-Just Aanyx. I don't much care for my full name, especially since my first name is so weird in the first place. I live just past Sunset Hill, with my mom. She's a lawyer, though, so I don't see her around much.
That's why I like coming to this side of town-not only do most of my friends live over here, but there's also a lot more excitement over here. And this week's excitement is coming from none other than the Struggle Tournament!
So here I am, sitting in the biggest alley in town, as the two blonds of our group duke it out with bright blue slightly padded bats-Struggle Bats, to be exact-while my other two friends, Olette and Pence, ditched to get us dinner.
"Oops...Time!" I called, noticing the stopwatch had...well, stopped. "Who won?" Roxas asked before chugging a waterbottle. I looked from one to the other, "Um..."
"Forget it, she's hopeless." Heyner huffed, tossing his towel down. "Look, forgive me for not finding the Struggle as interesting as you two do, okay? And you know I have a fairly small attention span, so you can just-" I was promptly cut off by Pence's call of "FOOOD!" from the other end of the alley. "Finally!"
"Man, I'm starved!"
"Boys..." I muttered with a roll of my eyes, though joined the others inside The Usual Spot nonetheless.
"Aren't you gonna eat, Aanyx?" Olette asked, looking up from her own carton of good old-fashioned take-out noodles. I shook my head, cracking my knuckles habitually, "Nah, I'm not that hungry...At least, not for Jason's. Mom and I had some last night, so..."
"What else is there to eat 'round here?" Heyner snorted. I rolled my eyes, "Oh, I dunno, a home-cooked meal perhaps?"
"How is your mom doing, anyway?" Roxas asked, leaning back in his seat. I shrugged, "Normal, I 'spose. I wouldn't really know, she talks more to her clients than me nowadays..."
"I'm sure she's just having a busy month, that's all." Olette suggested-just like she always does. "Yeah, more like busy year..." I muttered before standing, "Listen, I'd better get going-I'm still house-sitting for Mr. Brown and I haven't really been sleeping well, anyway. Must be pre-school jitters..." With that and a half-hearted wave over my shoulder, I made my way to the train station, staring at my feet as I walked.
To be honest, I would've rather had the pre-school jitters. No, the real reason I couldn't sleep was that stupid voice.
They all began like any other dream, I suppose, where I'm doing whatever it is I'm doing like most dreams go. Then I have the urge to start I do...and I walk clean off the scenery and into pitch-black darkness. And every time, that voice starts talking to me, saying how I'll submit, or some other such cheesy nonsense. If it weren't happening to me, I'd say it was a badly written horror film or something.
But there's just something about his voice-something that makes me want to scream bloody murder and gauge out his eyeballs. And there's the fact that he never shows himself.
But I do see other things, while this happens. Cloaked and face-less, eighteen figures form out of the darkness, not quite solid. Then the sixteenth from the left takes off her hood-and I wake up. There's no denying those seaweed-green eyes, nor that annoying mess of auburn bangs-That sixteenth figure is me.
Creepy, right? It gives me chills just thinking about it...
Realizing I had stopped at the foot of the stairs, I shook my head in a half-hearted attempt to clear it of the dream. All I succeeded in doing was to make my long braid smack my shoulder a few times. Why do cartoons and stories have people do that if it never works?
More importantly, why do I do it if it never works?
Boredom creeping through the more-or-less silent train ride, I jingled the keys in my pocket. The Browns would be back from their week-long trip to the beach soon, and maybe I can ask Mrs. Brown about it. She claims to be psychic, but really I've yet to believe her. I think she's just good at reading people. Like Sherlock Holmes. She's still the best person I can think of to ask about it. She knows about reading dreams and what-not, so maybe she can help...
Then again, had I slept a bit better, I suppose I would be able to think a bit more clearly. Well, maybe pure lack of sleep will drive the dream away tonight...

Remember, little Butterfly. Remember what you are...
"No..." I took a step back as the sixteenth from the left walked to stand in front of me, her gloved hands reaching up to push her hood away. I closed my eyes, not wanting to see what I knew was coming.
Then the dream changed, and this time I felt someone walk over. "Embrace it." The voice demanded, "Remember, Aanyx. Remember what we are. Remember who you are..." Why do I know that voice? My eyes snapped open, and one of the taller of the eighteen stood before me—male, with a distinctive, mischievous baritone. The image of a familiar, angular face with a downward triangle tattooed on either cheek flashed through my mind, his name on the tip of my tongue. What is his name?
His hands covered mine, grasping the edge of the large hood I was now somehow wearing, and we pulled it down together. The moment it was down I remembered the name, inhaled with the need to let it out before it left me again...
...And a warm, goey substance rolled down the side of my face, waking me instantly as I groaned in frustration. Stupid dog...
Wait, I don't have a dog...
Wiping the drool off on my arm I sat up and looked around, my eyes stinging.
"Good morning." A woman chuckled as she entered carrying a hand towel. She had thick, curly blonde hair and an abundance of freckles spanned from one prominent cheekbone to the other, her eyes narrow and perhaps the iciest shade of green I've ever seen. At first glance, she appeared to be a model, with her slim figure and tall stature. For those who knew better, however, this was clumsy old Mrs. Jamie Brown, all bone with a soft spot for anything caramel—who happened to frequently sport a wicked five-inch heel.
Her presence only secured my assumptions—I'd fallen asleep on the couch. "Sorry..." I mumbled weakly, rubbing my eyes—though the action was more a vain attempt to re-moisten my contacts than to rid my eyes of sleep—as their pit bull, Fido, drooled on my pant-leg. "It happens, my dear. Now, why don't you clean yourself up and maybe change your contacts and come back for tea so we can discuss this dream that's been troubling you."
"How did you—"
"You were tossing and turning in your sleep all night. Rick wanted to wake you before you fell off, but I figured you needed to fight it yourself." She stated simply, shooing me out. Well, at least I don't have to ask her about the dream, anyhow...
So, after finding a semi-clean pair of jeans and a large green tee that at least looked clean—so it smelt like chocolate, at least that stain was gone!—I switched out my contacts and, for good measure, grabbed that extra box of caramels off the top of the fridge—a little shelf-life never hurt anyone, right?—and made my way back across the street.
"Well, looks like the Sleeping Beauty didn't die from a blow to the head." Rick Brown teased, standing aside to let me in. At five-foot two he was, perhaps, the roundest coach in all of Twilight Town. Balding, pot-bellied, and with the world's least funny jokes piled a mile high, Rick Brown was once a champion gymnast...and then he hit thirty-five, and gave up his title to marry the local loon, Jamie Jensen 'The Seer'. After a ten-year honeymoon he returned with a belly twice his size, and the world has to wonder: What the HELL happened?
"Thank goodness for that; I'd much rather die from something a bit more exciting."
"Like a paper cut?"
"Sure." I rolled my eyes. Still not any funnier than the last time he asked me that.
Several somewhat painful hours later found me, as usual, late for our group's meet up. Granted, I wasn't exactly there when they decided what time, but I'm late for everything anyway.
It's not that I don't have a watch—in fact, I have seven—it's the fact that I'm otherwise occupied and never wear one.
"...I mean, it's true that stuff's been stolen around town, and we've got a score to settle with Seifer and everything. So, if he wants to think we'd done it, I can't really blame him. See, that's not what really bugs me. What really bugs me is that he's goin' around telling everybody WE'RE the thieves! Now the whole town and their mothers are treating us like the Klepto Klub! Have you ever been this ticked off before in your LIFE? 'Cuz I haven't! Nuh-uh! NEVER!" I heard Heyner fume. I couldn't help but roll my eyes as I approached; it couldn't be that bad…"Now...What to do?" I heard a few hums of thought before Roxas spoke up, making me freeze just outside the tarp door, "We could find the REAL thieves. That would set the record straight!" I threw the tarp open, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. WHAT? What thieves? What did they steal? And why the hell did Seifer pin it on us?"
"You'd know that, if you showed up on time!" Heyner growled, hands balling into fists at his sides. I mirrored his pose, "Well, excuse me for being otherwise occupied!"
"You're always otherwise occupied!"
"Am not!"
"Yes, you are! It's always gymnastics practice, or you picked a fight, or you made a bet and couldn't bail—"
"That happened once!" I protested, but he continued over me.
"—or you had to help your mom, or you were up late doing homework and slept through your alarm—"
"Excuse me for not wanting to go to summer school!"
"—or my personal favorite, you forgot!" Heyner finished in a yell.
"Sorry for not living up to your expectations, then!"
"You couldn't even think of an excuse? Just, 'Oh, I forgot, my bad' and then you expect us to be okay with that?"
"Yes, that's what friends do, they forgive each other!"
"Being part of this group means participation! How are you supposed to be a part of this group if you're never here to participate?"
That stung deep. I looked from face to face, noticing Olette and Roxas' expressions of shock and the need to keep the group together, as opposed to Pence's look of agreement. "So, that's it, then. I guess I'm outta this family too. I can't depend on mom…Just like I can't depend on you!" With that I tore out of the alley, refusing to cry. So I'm not exactly punctual. Does that really mean he had the right to ban me?
Our group was formed because we were four people who had nowhere else to go. We were outcasts at school—and when Roxas showed up, he just sort of fit right in with us, like it was ment to be. Now I see why Heyner hung out with him so much—he was supposed to replace me. Got to keep it an even number and all that, right?
"Well, well, well. Look what the dog barfed up this time." Great, this was just icing on the cake, really. The one person I hate most had to go and show up at the worst time possible…
"Look, Valenteen, I'm really not in the mood. So unless you want Daddy's expensive plastic surgery to be for naught, I'd suggest you get the hell outta my way."
The best way to describe Scarlet Valenteen would be 'Slut'. She wears strapless bras under unbuttoned shirts, sleeves rolled to the elbow, miniskirts, and high-heel boots. Her face would be pretty, were it not covered in more makeup than humanly possible; as would her hair, were it not curlier than a telephone chord.
Scarlet 'tsked' through her bubblegum, chewing like a cow between every word, "What's the matter, did your boyfriend dump you—oh, that's right, you don't have one, do you? And it's no wonder, considering you act and dress just like a boy…"
"Just because I actually wear clothes doesn't mean I dress just like a boy. At least I have dignity."
"At least I'm not afraid to show what I've been given."
"Yeah, through million-munny surgery."
"At least my Daddy doesn't leave me to snore on the neighbor's couch."
I scowled, "How did you know about that?"
"Aanyx, Aanyx, Aanyx. EVERYONE knows about that."
"Obviously not everyone…" I muttered, more to myself than not. Scarlet placed a hand on her chest in mock-concern, "What's the matter, did you and your little gang of nobodies break up?"
"It's not a gang!"
"What are you calling it? An organization?" Scarlet snorted. The image of the eighteen cloaked figures resurfaced, the word organization repeating in multiple voices. "Stop it."
"Why? Did those nobodies kick you out? Are you all alone?" The voices grew louder, some now saying 'Nobody' as well. "Shut up…"
"There's nothing worse than a nobody with no one else beside them. Especially when—"
"SHUT UP!" I yelled, unable to take it much longer. Some sort of power had come from my anger—forcing Scarlet to go flying down Market Street in a gust of what looked like pitch-black swirling smoke. I looked from my hands to her unconscious form before taking off down an alley, by-passing the curious stares and murmurs as I ran straight for home.
Tears stung at my eyes, the voices never quieting their constant buzzing.
"Aanyx!" That voice…that voice from my dream! No, he can't be here! He can't be real! I pushed myself harder, panting now, and the boy ran after me, "Aanyx! Slow down!"
Warm arms linked around me, trapping my arms at my sides as I was lifted off the ground. "For crying out loud, woman! Hold still!"
"Let me go, you pervert!" I cried, refusing to stop kicking and squirming. I felt the power once more, flooding from my very core into my hands. The grip tightened slightly, "That trick won't work on me, little fish." He said in an almost teasing tone, "You can't fight fire forever."
It was suddenly hot—too hot for a town submerged in endless twilight. Everywhere his body touched mine began to burn, and my sleeve caught fire. The man grabbed it in his hand, holding it in front of me. "I don't want to have to hurt you, Aanyx. Not all of us are evil. Please don't make me do what Saïx wants…"
For some reason, a part of me wanted to hear him out. The rest of me wanted to scream rape, kick him in the balls, and run. But Mrs. Brown's words kept me in place; "Perhaps they are a part of a life you once had, and they want you to come back."
"…Let me go." I demanded, trying to sort out my thoughts. The grip slackened slightly, "Will you run?"
"You're lying. Do you think I'd work with you for so long and not be able to tell the difference?"
"Work? What are you talking about? I'm not even 16 yet—I'm still too young to have a job."
"So the reports were true, then. You really did forget. That explains the running…"
"Forget? Forget what? I've lived here my whole life…and stop trying to confuse me! Let. Me. Go!"
"Tell you what; you swear on Kingdom Hearts you won't run away, and—" The grip went entirely slack then, his hair brushing the back of my head as he looked over his shoulder, "…Damnit, time's up…"
I was suddenly spun around as the man replaced his hood, "I'll be back—tomorrow. And next time I promise it won't be so hostile."
"What are you—?" His gloved hand covered my eyes, and I felt my body grow heavy as my words slurred, darkness taking hold of my brain…
 DAY 02
"Remember, Aanyx. Remember what we are. Remember who you are…" The dream changed again. This time, the other voices chanted, some repeating 'Organization' and others 'Nobodies'. Or maybe I just noticed it this time, because I already know what he looks like…
"Aanyx, I thought I told you to clean this room!"
It took all my willpower to not bolt up in bed. "I did." I mumbled in the sleepiest tone I could muster. "You call this clean? It looks like a tornado hit!"
"No, I call this 'I'm in a hurry and I need something to wear'."
"Honestly, why I ever bought you that dresser. Do you have anything in there?"
"Sure, that's where I keep all my movies."
"What about your entertainment stand?"
"That's full of CDs and games."
"And the CD tower?"
"Where else am I supposed to put my hats and belts?"
"On the hooks in your closet?"
"…There's hooks in my closet?" No, seriously, I never knew. My closet's chest-high with shit on a good day.
Mom gave a strained sigh—the kind of sigh that clearly says 'I would SO kill you right now if I could…'—and backed out of the room, "Listen, I'm going to be working late again tonight, but there's food in the kitchen. And don't forget today's Tuesday, which means gymnastics practice!"
"Yeah, yeah. Sure, mom. I just need to stop by the Library, and I'll go straight to practice." And why do I need to go to the Library? To look up that guy. I KNOW I've never seen him around town, but every time he spoke it was like riding the fucking Déjà Vu Express.
After changing into something comfortable—sweats and a ribbed tank top—I roller-bladed to the Library, snagging my favorite laptop and the only back corner with a table. The guy had to be fresh out of High School, going by age, so I found the online yearbooks and began my pursuit.
"This seat taken?" I looked up, admittedly surprised to find that he'd ditched the cloak, boots, and gloves for a pair of black skinny-jeans, sneakers, and a red t-shirt with a skull surrounded by flames on the front. I sat up in the seat, not failing to notice he'd trap me in the corner if he sat down. "Depends on if I should grab a fire extinguisher or not."
"Hey, I promised it'd be less hostile, didn't I?" He gave a mischievous grin as he sat languidly, resting his elbows on the table and his chin on his knuckles. "You won't find me in there, by the way." He added with a feigned nonchalance, nodding towards the laptop. I closed it with an angry huff, "Then I'm either hallucinating, or you really are from somewhere else."
"Which do you think it is?" His grin took on an almost insane air, so I punched him flat in the nose, making him topple back in his chair with a dull thud. "OW! Jeez, what was that for?"
"Well, partly to test my theory, and partly to wipe that fucking grin off your face." I added a kick to his chin for good measure, "And that was for setting me on fire."
His mane of spiky red hair popped over the side of the table, emerald eyes narrowed in a glare that clearly said not amused. I gave my own insane grin in return, "Hey, I never said I wouldn't be hostile, now did I?"
I stood then, gathering the laptop and heading around him towards the front of the Library, "Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go humiliate myself once again in front of my neighbor…"
"Doing what, exactly?"
"Gymnastics." I had a feeling he'd tag along, and unfortunately that feeling usually tends to be right. Sure enough, he sprang to his feet and followed after, resetting his nose into place as he went, "Since when do you do gymnastics?"
"Since Mom forced me to sign up for classes ten years ago."
"You have a mom here?"
"Yes, Boy Blunder, I have a mom. What, did you think I came outta my dad's ass or something?"
"Okay, easy. Man, they really nailed it to ya thick, didn't they?"
"Nailed what exactly?"
"Nothing, nothing. So; gymnastics…"
"Is a pain-in-the-ass excuse to starve me of the freedom every teenager wants. The only thing semi-decent about it is the fact that it gives me every opportunity to beat the shit outta Valenteen."
"Who's Valenteen?"
"The resident walking whore house. You know, the one I threw down the hill yesterday? Which reminds me, how did I do that and why didn't it work on you?"
"So you don't remember that either, huh? Oh boy, how do I explain this…" He trailed off, rubbing the back of his neck, "Well…you used the power of Darkness. It's something that you were born with…"
"If you tell me I'm destined for greatness I swear I will turn you into a eunuch."
"No, definitely not destined for greatness." He assured hurriedly, crossing his hands over his hips in a feeble attempt at protection. "Then why do I have power over the dark?"
"Not dark—Darkness, with a capital 'D'. As in, the Dark Matter that we Nobodies are created from."
"So just because I'm an outcast, I get power? Do my friends have it?"
"Which friends? The ones that left you?"
"Hey, they didn't leave me, Heyner and Pence did. Olette and Roxas are still friends."
"Well, I honestly have no clue about the other three, but Roxas has the power too. But he doesn't remember either, so you might not want to mention it to him."
"Riiiiight. So lemme see if I've got this straight; I was born with power over this thing called Dark Matter that I was supposedly created from. My best friend has it too, but he doesn't know, and I can't tell him either way because he's in that stupid gang/group that half the members hate my guts now anyway. And you're, what? A clown from outer-space here to brainwash everyone with your cocoons of cotton candy?" At his raised eyebrow I shrugged, "It was in a movie I saw a few nights ago. Craziest shit I've ever seen."
"Well, you got part of it right. I'm a Nobody too, and one of your friends. We live in The World That Never Was—"
"Charming name."
"—and we're both part of Organization XIII. I'm number VIII—the name's Axel, got it memorized?"
"Um…sure…So this organization…what do we do?"
"Oh, travel the worlds, collect information, persuade the higher ups to be on our side…"
"Whoa, whoa, whoa. Back up a sec…Worlds? As in…more than one?"
"To be exact, there are 65 known worlds in the universe with life…and twenty-some-odd without life." Axel grinned. I pinched the bridge of my nose, stopping outside to lean against the side of the building, "You realize I'm taking a lot on faith here, right?" Then a thought struck me, "Wait a sec…why are you here, anyway?"
"Isn't it obvious? To make you remember—and bring you back home."
"Okay, now I KNOW you're crazy." I spun on my heel and opened the door to the gymnastics hall, pausing as an odd warmth spread through me at the word 'home'. "Tell me something, Axel…" I muttered, looking down at my feet, "This home of ours…am I…wanted?"
"Of course you're wanted. Okay, maybe not by everyone, but those of us who are left…we need you back, Aanyx. More than you could imagine." I couldn't help the smile that spread across my face at the thought. "Thank you…"
Several hours of practice later, I was rather surprised to find him climbing down onto the mat. "Who's this, Aanyx?" Mr. Brown asked, eying Axel warily. "Um…This is Axel. He's an old friend who…came back to this side of town for vacation." I lied lamely before turning sharply to the red-head in question, "What. Are. You. Doing?"
"Your form is all wrong. You've gotten lax since you left."
"I left? Why did I leave? I thought you wanted me back."
"We do. You left because of a misunderstanding. Right place at the wrong time kind of moment. Now; let's see what you've got." He slid into a combat stance as he spoke, and Mr. Brown fumbled with his clipboard, "There will be no brawling in my hall! Sir, either take this matter outside or return to the stands at once."
"Okay, we'll take it outside, then."
The moment he was out of stance I knocked his weight out from under him, pinning him to the not-so-squishy mat below. "Gotten lax, have I?"
"You remember?" He asked hopefully. I let him up then, "No…at least, I don't think so…I just had a really big urge to do that, so I did."
"Still following instincts. That's good—it means I don't have to start from the beginning."
After I'd changed back out of my leotard we headed for the Sandlot, where he once more took up his stance. "Well? Call your weapons."
"Call my…what?"
"Um…never mind…let's see what you've got."
"Listen, I don't wanna hurt you, pal…"
"Nothing you try you haven't already done in practice."
So I tried sweeping his feet out from under him again. Expecting the move, he jumped over me, and I quickly blocked his jab to the shoulder before elbowing him in the chest. Hand still clenched over his fist, I grabbed his elbow with my other hand and spun around, holding his arm up and back as he was forced to kneel.
"That was new…" Axel admitted, shock evident in his tone, before the battle continued. A strange thrill stole through me, driving me harder, faster, with every blow and block, twist and jump.
"Hey!" The sudden awareness of reality caused me to misjudge my footing, and I landed face-first in the dirt. I vaguely heard Axel give a mutter of "Crap…" before he took off running, and Olette helped me to my feet. "Who was that guy?"
"Dunno…I think he said his name was Axel or something." I shrugged, wiping the blood off my elbow. "What did he want?" Roxas asked, walking towards where Axel had run off.
"To piss me off, probably. Showed up at practice saying how my form was all wrong, got yelled at by Mr. Brown to take it outside, so we did. He's long gone by now, though."
"Probably one of those punks from the other side of town…He didn't hurt you, did he?" Roxas asked. I waved him off, "Nah, nothing I haven't done a million times before. Just a few scrapes and bruises."
"Maybe we should tell Seifer. I mean, he is on the Committee." Olette suggested. I waved that off too, "And what, make your group fall apart because you had a decent conversation? Knowing Heyner, you're pushing it as it is, aren't you? I'm just as bad as Seifer now…"
"Don't say that, Aanyx!"
"You're still our friend."
"Thanks, guys, but let's face it. Heyner's too stubborn to see the other side of the facts. I don't want the group to fall apart just cause of me…"
I grabbed each of their shoulders as I walked between the two, giving them a light squeeze, "Things are changing, now. We can't be together forever."
"Where are you going?" Olette demanded. "Home, I guess. Nothin much to do 'round town by yourself, is there?"
"Come to the beach with us, then."
"You know why I can't do that, Roxas…" I trailed off sadly, not stopping as I headed to Station Heights. "What are you doing here?" My head snapped up to see Heyner glowering at me from across the way. "What, can't I take the train home?"
"Not if we're taking the same train to the beach."
"But it isn't the same train, dumbass." Axel said, suddenly appearing from inside. "Who're you?"
"Axel, what are you doing here?" I growled. Axel ignored both questions as he walked to my side, keeping his eyes on Heyner the whole time. "Can I torch him?"
"There will be no torching here. He's not worth it, Axel." Another voice, this one feminine, declared. She appeared to be about thirteen, with unnaturally pale skin, silvery-blonde hair, and an abundance of glowing orange tattoos. She, too, wore one of those black cloaks. If the Déjà vu from Axel was bad, this was the strongest yet. "I know you…"
"That's right, Aanyx. I'm Xcaiyet." The girl smiled warmly at me before glaring at Heyner. "Who are these freaks?" Heyner demanded, stepping back slightly. "A better friend then you ever were, I'm sure." Xcaiyet snarled, pulling her upper lip back in a feral, animalistic growl. "Calm down, Xcaiy." Axel warned, placing a hand on the girl's shoulder. "It's not like I can kill 'im. Roxie would throw a fit." Xcaiyet insisted. "Roxie? You know Roxas too?"
"She really forgot, then? Damn, this makes it that much harder…"
Something long, green, and oddly shaped suddenly flew through the air, nearly colliding with Axel and Xcaiyet. "Time's up, Wolfie." Axel muttered, disappearing in a swirl of Dark Matter. Xcaiyet spared me a glance, "Come back to us, Aanyx," before she, too, disappeared.
Heyner stumbled, "What kind of freaks are you hanging with?"
"The only freak I see here is you." I growled, marching up the stairs and into the station. My head pounded a migraine, my knees hurt from the brawl, and once more the voices began to chant.
Day 03
Organization XIII…
Organization XIII…
No right to 'be', yet we 'are'…
Come back…
Come back to us…
You're part of this, Aanyx…
Part of this…
Number XVI…
The Twilight Morph…
I woke this time to a sudden sense of falling, letting out a yell that sounded something like "Gwagh!" as I rolled off the bed and onto my skates. "Oof, painful…" I groaned, rubbing my stomach as I pulled my hair out of my face.
"Well, at least you're as graceful as always…" A familiar voice chuckled. The face flashed through my mind, followed by thousands of memories as everything snapped into place. My head shot up to look at a boyish face, a pair of seaweed-green eyes identical to my own staring back at me worriedly. "DEMYX!" I cried happily, scrambling to my feet and enveloping my older brother in a hug. "Took you long enough." Axel teased. "Yeah, well, excuse me for being brainwashed." I rolled my eyes, still hugging Demyx tightly.
"Speaking of which; would you care to fill us in on exactly what happened?" Demyx asked.
The grin fell from my face, "…It was a trap—all of it. What I thought was Saïx saying I needed to be killed off was actually Riku with a voice changer."
"He's working with someone—someone that's trying to bring Sora back. He had to lure me away from the Organization, and bring me here. I think the idea was to get Sora's emotions to respond within Roxas—Riku must have found out that we're friends."
"Or his employer did, at least." Axel corrected.
"What happened then?" Demyx asked worriedly. "We fought—Riku and I. In a world I'd never been to—Outer Rim, connected to the Underground Tunnels. Steam-powered technology, if I remember correctly. But as soon as I started to beat him, someone got me from behind, and I blacked out. Next thing I know, I'm an ordinary girl going to High School. It was like my real life never existed—like I was always normal.
"But I still never fit in. My so-called mom is never home, the only friends I made here apparently hate my guts, and Roxas is somehow thrown in the middle of it all." I leaned back onto my bed, lost in thought as I stared at the ceiling. "This has got to be a fake town."
"Right again. Riku's employer made it to keep you and Roxas here, according to Intel."
"And really keep you here. We've already tried to take you out multiple times."
"Well, now that I remember everything, can't I just morph a door or something?"
"That's the thing—part of the town's system is holding back your powers—probably to keep up the 'normal' façade."
"What about with Valenteen?"
"Sheer willpower—which, by the way, I should thank you for, because that was our ticket in."
"Is there a way to get them back?"
"Well, there is one way…" Demyx trailed off. Axel glanced at him, "But last time she did that, he—"
"But she's gotta be ready for it now, right?"
"What am I ready for?"
"The Chamber of Waking." Both chorused. I swallowed, "Is that the only way?"
"Unless you can somehow shut down the system…"
"Then let's do this. Shoo." At their questioning raised eyebrows I added, "I've gotta get dressed, don't I? No powers means no metamorphosis, and I am not about to give either of you a show, so wait in the kitchen. While you're in there, do us a favor and make breakfast. I'm gonna need all the strength I can get for this…"
The Chamber of Waking. The only way to access the world is through undisturbed meditation. It's a place where everyone with some power must visit when they're ready. I suppose you could call it a spiritual journey to hone the powers you're given…
I could remember all too well what happened last time I tried to take the journey—not too long after I'd joined the Organization, actually. I obviously wasn't ready…If Jareth hadn't saved me…
Shuddering, I changed quickly into a t-shirt and jeans. After a quick breakfast of eggs and toast, Axel created a portal of Darkness that lead to the top of the clock tower. "A clear view means a clear mind, right?" Demyx said in explanation. I nodded, sitting on the ledge and crossing my legs. "I am Aanyx, Twilight Morph, Organization XIII's number XVI. I call upon Her Darkness, Her Lightness, and Kingdom Hearts Himself; I ask that you watch over me as I descend into The Chamber of Waking…"
The moment the words left my mouth I felt myself being pulled away, lifted high into the air as though flying in Neverland. In a flash of light I was teleported, gone from this world as I left my body behind.
I felt a soft, cotton-like fabric drape over my body as I waited for my eyes to adjust to the dark. My heartbeat raced in anticipation, loud in the silence of the world.
Looking around cautiously, I took a wary step foreword, making the floor erupt into thousands of doves. The floor gave an eerie glow, illuminating what I was now wearing.
It was a simple, low-neckline dress with wide sleeves that drooped all the way to the floor. The top portion cut off just below my ribcage with two chords of the same forest green fabric that criss-crossed over my exposed abdomen before tying in front at the waistline of the skirt. A sheer over-skirt parted all the way down the middle, flowing and grey like smoke.
The floor, I now noticed, was actually a large circular platform made entirely of stained glass. Within the large circle sat another circle, divided into sixteen parts, followed by another thin circle, and then another, this one filled with eighteen smaller circles, each holding a crown outline, four slightly bigger circles, holding Nobody symbols, and two circles bigger than the four overlapping the rest, containing the heads of myself and a man with long black hair, red eyes, and pointed, shark-like teeth—my creator and worst nightmare, Ikxe. In the very centermost circle sat my Somebody—Anya by name, with darker hair than mine and no bangs—a dark red flower in her hair and an evil glint in her sea-green eyes.
I tread carefully, worried my weight would cause the glass to shatter. It didn't, so I scuffed my shoe against Ikxe's face. Stupid prat…
"There holds no peace within the worlds. Run all you want; there is no escape for you. Your journey will soon begin—A Twilit Journey from light to ever-lasting darkness. For you are but a sliver of the universe, and as such you belong to me…My dear little Princess…" I gulped, spinning on my heel as the ground began to rumble, Ikxe himself rising from the glass. His long black hair was tied back at the nape of his neck, crimson eyes gleaming as he slowly walked towards me. He wore a sort of general's uniform, a bronze-hilted cutlass strapped to his waist.
I folded my arms over my midsection, steeling my gaze and refusing to tremble, "Hello again, Ikxe. Or are you calling yourself something else now?"
"Dear Princess. Won't you return home to me?"
"I do believe that I flew off from your little nest." I said, pretending to think about it as we simultaneously began to circle like lions. He growled in his throat and lunged toward me, but I spun out of the way, keeping up the cool façade, "Temper, temper. And you wonder why your big brother doesn't speak to you anymore."
"Silence! You are mine! I made you!"
"And you're a deranged psychopath. Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, I've got other demons to conquer. Ta."
"You can't save him, Aanyx." I froze, spinning back to face his triumphant grin. "That boy is destined to fall into Darkness—just like the rest of your pathetic friends."
"Then I'll bring them back." I stated simply, "You gave me this heart born of darkness, didn't you? It makes me stronger than you, because I not only have one, but it doesn't stop me from doing this." To demonstrate, I snapped my fingers, causing a portal of Darkness to open below his feet. "You will return to me, I garuntee—" Ikxe called as he fell. I breathed a sigh of relief and sunk to my knees, "One down…"
You handled him well, child. A motherly voice said, echoing all around. But remember that you can't bluff your way out of everything. Prepare yourself, and climb the stairs once you are ready. I closed my eyes, steeling my mind, and made my way up the staircase that had appeared.
This second platform was in the same design as the first, the two character circles holding Xcaiyet and Kat (another creation of Ikxe and the Organization's No. XVII) while the center held myself, clad in the same dress I now wore.
The moment I stepped onto this platform, a set of three pedestals rose upward, each carrying a weapon. The left-hand carried a shield, the middle a sword, and the right-hand a staff. Each was simple in design, the only décor an artfully placed Nobody symbol.
The choices you make will resound in those around you. Choose well. A new, masculine voice warned. Unsure of what else to do, I walked up and plucked the shield off its stand. It fit perfectly over my arm, warmth radiating from it as another feminine voice whispered through the air.
The power of the guardian. Kindness to aid friends. A shield to repel all. Is this the power you seek?
"I…I don't know…" I admitted, replacing the shield. I next gripped the sword, the image of a bloody battlefield racing through my mind with the second voice's words.
The power of the warrior. Invincible courage. A sword of terrible destruction. Is this the power you seek?
"Terrible destruction? I don't think so…" I quickly replaced it, grabbing the staff instead. My heart lurched, hands burning as though the staff was poisoned. The third voice once more spoke, and I had to strain to hear her over the loud hiss as my body rejected the magic.
The power of the mystic. Inner strength. A staff of wonder and ruin. Is this the power you seek?
"The only wonder this holds is that it hasn't ruined my hands yet!" I set the staff down on the pedestal, unable to hold on any longer. My hands felt raw, and I rubbed them on the sides of my dress as though to rid them of the magic. The movement was somehow soothing.
I looked from one weapon to the next before calling my whips to hand, looking at each of them in turn. "What if I don't want to choose any of these? Why can't I stay with my whips? What, do I have to go with the theme or something? Okay, how about this;" Kicking the staff to the ground I placed my whips on its stand, picked them up, and declared, "The power of the Aanyx. Determined stubbornness. Whips to do my bidding. Is this the power you seek? Yes."
A trio of chuckles met this, the masculine voice once more speaking. Determined stubbornness indeed, my child. Very well, your path is set. Now, what will you give up in exchange?
"Now that one's easy—the magic."
So sure of yourself?
"Look, if you are who I think you are, then you already know that my body can't handle any more magic. I push my limits with the two spells I know as it is. I'm not going to give up friendship, nor courage. Those two have kept me going many times. But the power of the mystic would only destroy me from the inside-out."
Even at the sacrifice of inner strength?
"If that must be tied to magic, then I'll use my willpower instead. Inner doubt or no." The first voice returned once more.
Very well spoken, my child. We are almost through—but the door won't open just yet. First, you must answer three questions. Steel your mind, and head upstairs.
I didn't wait this time, instead marching straight up the stairs. I was therefore surprised to see Demyx, Jareth, and Xemnas standing in a semi-circle. Keeping with trend, I stopped at Demyx first. "What do you want out of life, Aanyx?" I looked down in thought, noticing this floor had only two circles—a large Nobody symbol surrounded by eighteen roman numerals. Some were scuffed out—those we lost in the Castle Oblivion fiasco.
Finding strength in the image, the answer came to me, and I looked my brother square in the eyes, "Unity. I want to have a home to go to, and know that I'm wanted there. A home that doesn't have to have an issue between those of Darkness and those of Light."
Is unity so grand? The third voice asked. I ignored her, turning instead to Jareth. "How now, little one?"
"I'm kind of surprised to see you roped in this, Jareth." I grinned at the Goblin King, who offered a pointed one in return. "The three of us are the only ones whose authority you respect, and let me tell you it is an honor the real me shall possibly never know. Now then, little Aanyx; What's most important to you?"
"Now that's a little trickier. But the fact is, you ask me any of these questions five years from now and my answers could be totally different. So I suppose I have to think of the here and now…" Once more, images of life in the Organization before it was torn apart flashed through my mind, and I couldn't help but shrug, "Call me single-minded, but I'm gonna go with home. A home that guarantees a sense of belonging—one that is every definition of the word."
Is home that important?
"It is if you're an outcast…" I muttered in response to the second voice's question before turning my attention to Xemnas. "What's my question, Superior?"
"Simple, Number XVI. What are you most afraid of?"
"Most afraid of? To be honest, I don't think I can answer that. Part of me wants to say loosing what I've worked so hard to keep—My brother, Roxas, Xcaiyet and Kat—but part of me has a fear I'm not sure I can put words to. 'Shattered' comes to mind…But shattered what, I can't say. Reality, maybe? Dreams?"
Is that so terrifying?
"Yes. It must be, because my mind refuses to think on it."
Very well then, little one. Are you ready for the final test?
"I came here ready for it." I nodded, summoning my whips as I looked around for a staircase. What I didn't expect was the floor to shatter beneath me, enveloping me in darkness. I didn't fight it, feeling a strangely comforting warmth spread through me as that first voice continued to speak.
The day you face your final test is both far off and very near.
But don't be afraid.
And don't forget…
There is no good or evil.
There is only power,
And those weak enough to corrupt it.
The choices made now and hereafter
Will take you down your Twilit Journey…
...And it is not an easy road...
Day 04
When I came to, I was admittedly surprised to find myself still atop the clock tower. "So you're back to normal, then?"
"Give me one good reason not to throw you off this clock tower." I growled, spinning to face the still-cloaked Riku. Said albino merely pushed away from the wall, walking over and bending so that he was at eyelevel, "Maybe because it won't do any good."
"Get outta my face." I shoved his shoulder and stalked to the other side, folding my arms over my chest. "You're notorious for screwing things up, you know that?" Riku taunted, following and leaning over the side. Damn, what I'd give to throw him off…
"What, was I still supposed to be a good little girl?"
"No—I knew you'd remember eventually. DiZ doesn't care what happens to you, anyway."
"Your employer? Lovely—that means I really am just the bait…" Then a thought struck me, "Wait a sec—what did I screw up, then?"
"That boy wasn't supposed to throw you out. His program glitched out, and I had to re-write it from scratch."
"Enjoy it while it lasts—consider it payback for saving me in Castle Oblivion."
"Wait—so I can see them again?" But by the time I'd turned towards him, he was gone. I stood there for a long time—or maybe it was only a few minutes—thinking over all that had happened, when the tower suddenly shook as the clock struck ten.
"The Struggle!" Cursing my luck, I slipped on my skates—not bothering to think how or when they got there—and raced down to the Sandlot, skidding to a stop with a cry of, "I'm NOT late!"
The small crowd that had gathered before the announcer turned, and I could see Roxas' eyes light up—at least he seemed glad I was there. Olette placed a hand on my shoulder, "Surprisingly…you're not. They're just about to start."
"Wait a sec…you mean…I'm really not late?"
"Late for breakfast, at least." Pence scoffed, stuffing another pancake in his mouth. Olette swatted his arm, "Pence! Those were for Aanyx!"
Seeing Roxas and Heyner climb onto the stage, I waved them down, "Shh! It's starting!"
"Our first match of today's Struggle tournament will be between Roxas and his best friend, Heyner!"
"You seem pretty excited about it, Aanyx. I thought you said you wouldn't watch it if someone paid you." Olette commented as we watched the match. I shrugged, "And miss out on a memory like this? Hell no!"
"Well, at least the gang's back together. I still can't believe you forgave Heyner after that."
"Well, it was my fault, wasn't it?" The conversation stopped there, however, as Roxas stole Heyner's last orb. "And the winner is…ROXAS! Not even friendship will slow this kid down! And Heyner put up a great fight too!"
Said blonde, however, had fallen straight to the ground and spread himself out on the stage. "I lost!" Heyner whined, "Aww, I can't believe it!" Roxas helped him to his feet, "It's not so bad…"
"Yeah…I guess I taught you well, huh?"
"I had a lotta fun fighting you." Heyner grinned at that before folding his arms over his chest and looking away, "Yeah, well I didn't, wise guy."
"Hey, let's find a way to cheer you up." Roxas suggested. "Nah, that's all right."
"Boys…" I muttered with a roll of my eyes before running to meet them, "Way ta go, Roxas!"
"I'm glad you came, Aanyx." He grinned, narrowly missing my noogie. Heyner once more folded his arms over his chest, "I'm surprised you came. Didn't you say something about 'rather eat dirt'?"
"Oh, whatever." I grinned, "Like I'd miss out on seeing you get pummeled."
"Oh yeah?"
Avoiding his tackle with a well-timed side-step, I looked at the stage and frowned, "Vivi's in the tournament?"
"Strange, huh? He just sorta came from nowhere…"
"When did Vivi get so tough?" Heyner asked. I shrugged, keeping my eyes trained on the match. In the times I'd seen Vivi fight, he would always stick to short-range attacks. This Vivi, however…
'He's a Dusk.' I realized, noticing the familiar, sporadic thrashing. 'That must mean Axel's trying for Roxas…'
THUNK! The Sandlot went silent as Seifer fell to the stage, all 100 orbs scattered around. "I-I'm not sure what just happened…Um…but…the winner is Vivi! In a positively blistering comeback!"
"Talk about unexpected…" Pence muttered to Olette, who nodded. I kept my eyes on the Dusk, watching as it stared straight at Roxas. "That's not Vivi." Seifer said suddenly, walking past. He stopped just after Roxas, not looking back as he added, "Thrash 'im."
Seeing the look on Roxas' face, I gently shoved his shoulder, "Aw, he's just being a sore looser. What other Vivi could there be, right?"
"Yeah, I guess…" But his look in the other direction spoke loud and clear, 'If only you knew…' That look worried me—what did I miss during the last few days? But he walked on stage before I could call him on it.
"And now, the match you've been waiting for: Roxas VS. Vivi!" Something rippled through the town—some sort of energy was approaching. I knew I couldn't be around when Axel showed up, because that might ruin what time I had left with Roxas. So, spotting a corn dog vendor on the other side, I leaned towards Olette, "Want anything? I'm gonna get a dog."
"Sure—and probably two for Pence."
"Got it."
I tried to keep the match in sight, hoping I looked like I was merely interested in the match. In actuality, however, I was more worried I'd be too late.
I just reached the shade behind the tree when the energy rippled again, this time causing the town to freeze itself. Thanking Kingdom Hearts for my luck, I waited in my hiding place as 'Vivi' turned into the Dusk, Roxas' Struggle bat turning into the Reverse Kingdom Key.
"Well now, there's an interesting turn of events…" I muttered, clutching the branches as Roxas fought the four Dusks without hesitancy. But why did he have the Reverse Kingdom Key? He never had it before…
'…No, that's not true' I realized, 'He had it after we defeated Xion…Who was made of Sora's memories! That means that Sora must be nearby!' I looked around, half-expecting the boy to be behind the trees as well. Nothing but the frozen town.
Hearing a sudden bout of applause made me turn my attention back towards the stage. There stood Axel, directly across the stage from Roxas, hood drawn. "Roxas. All right. Fight, fight, fight." Roxas took a weary step back. "You really don't remember. It's me…you know…" He paused to remove his hood, "Axel."
"Axel?" Roxas said, and I realized with a pang that I'd mentioned him before.
"Hey!" The sudden awareness of reality caused me to misjudge my footing, and Ilanded face-first in the dirt. I vaguely heard Axel give a mutter of "Crap…" before he took off running, and Olette helped me to my feet. "Who was that guy?"
"Dunno…I think he said his name was Axel or something." I shrugged, wiping the blood off my elbow. "What did he want?" Roxas asked, walking towards where Axel had run off. "To piss be off, probably…"
"Talk about 'Blank' with a capital 'B'. Man oh man, even the Dusks aren't gonna crack this one…" Axel said as he summoned his Chakrams in a bout of flames. Roxas took another step back, slowly running out of stage, "Wait a sec…tell me what's going on!"
Axel looked around, "This town is his creation, right? Which means we don't have time for a Q & A. You're coming with me—conscious or not—then you'll here the story." The town warped again, and I crouched low into the shadows at Axel's worried mutter of, 'uh-oh…' A man clad in red, head wrapped by bandages, appeared suddenly before me, and I somehow knew this was the man that had brought me here—DiZ, Riku had called him—the mysterious employer.
"So it was you…" Axel snarled, charging up his Chakrams with fire and throwing them at the man. They disappeared in a wall of green codes, and 'DiZ' turned his attention to Roxas, unfazed, "Roxas, this man speaks nonsense."
"Roxas, don't let him deceive you!" Axel cried desperately.
"ENOUGH!" I yelled, throwing a rock at DiZ. It, too, disappeared, and I suddenly felt very stupid as all three looked towards my hiding place. "…Aanyx? What are you doing—how—?" Roxas asked, confused. I groaned—so much for not being seen—and walked out, glaring at the one brown-orange eye I could see under the red-and-black bandages. "I'm not sure how, Rox." I said softly before returning my glare at DiZ, "What do you want." It wasn't a question. DiZ laughed, "The answer to your question can be found in the Seventh."
"What does that mean? Aanyx, what's going on?" Roxas demanded. I shook my head, "It's hard to say…" We were slowly engulfed in a white light, and I soon found myself back beside the corndog stand, four balanced in one hand and munny out.
Roxas snapped back to reality, and Vivi fell to the stage, out cold. "What…What just happened?"
Forgetting the corndogs, I shoved the orbs at the vendor, "Keep the change," and raced on stage, "Roxas!" The others joined in the group hug not long after, the announcer yelling over our cheers. "Ladies and gentlemen, Roxas—our new top Struggler!"
"Nice one, champ!" Pence chuckled, thumping him on the back. Roxas still seemed out of it, and Heyner leaned down to look him in the eyes, "…Roxas?"
"Setzeerrrr!" A group of girls cried as a silver-haired man clad in purple approached. I rolled my eyes, "Great, Captain of the Airhead Committee's cousin."
"That's Seifer's cousin?" Roxas asked. I nodded, placing a hand on his shoulder, "Sadly yes. Listen, Roxas…not that you need it, but…here." I pulled the star-shaped keychain out of my pocket, slapping it onto his hand. "What's this for?"
"It's a good luck charm. The red is for courage, while the black is for stability."
"Roxas! It's starting!" Olette called. I nudged him towards the stage, "Knock 'em dead, Rox."
"Thanks, Aan."
I watched as Setzer said something that caused Roxas to scowl, and I could just make out his growl of, "Get real!" over the din.
"Roxas, our underdog hero, versus Setzer, our defending champion! The winner of this match will be the true champion! That's bragging rights for a whole year, folks!"
This time I could hear Setzer's cry of, "Let's Struggle! My life's a chip in your pile. Time to ante up!"
"Nrgh! Heyner! That's way too tight!" Roxas gasped, trying to pull at the front of the championship belt. I chuckled, "Check out Roxie's bling."
"Looks good on you, new champion!" Pence called. Roxas merely rolled his eyes and grabbed the trophy, pulling each of the five stones off. Pence got yellow, Heyner red, Olette purple, green for me, and he kept the blue for himself. "As promised." He grinned, holding it up to the light. I followed suit, Twilight turning a beautiful emerald green. "One more treasure for us to share." Heyner chuckled. We sat there a moment longer, ice cream all but forgotten as we each admired our treasures. It was only after mine had slipped from my hand that I realized my grip had gone lax on the stick, causing me to fumble. I lost balance, eyes widening as time seemed to slow down.
My arms flailed.
Heyner, Pence, and Olette called my name.
Roxas dove after me, grabbing me and turning us around as we fell.
I blacked out.

Day 05

"Good tidings, my friends. Today we were given an odd request; someone new wants to join the Organization."
"What's so strange about that?"
"She has requested to battle one of you to the death—the winner takes that rank for themselves."
A burst of angry cries met this, and Xemnas had to bang his fist against the armrest of his throne several times for silence. "The one she has requested to challenge…is Number XVI."
"What?" Marluxia demanded, though was silenced at his Superior's glower. Xandera smirked, flying down to the ground of the Round Room, "I'm not one to decline a fight, Superior. Show the Nobody in."
Taking my cue I strode foreword as the doors opened, leaving my hood down to reveal the smirk on my face. Xandera bristled, "You!"
"Yes, Scaly, me. Whomever were you expecting? The muffin man?" Several snickers met this, but I merely shoved past the dragon girl and gave a respectful bow to Xemnas, "Thank you, Superior, for excepting my request."
"It was I whom excepted, bitch, and don't forget that."
"Oh, boo-hoo, the ickle dwagon girl feels left out." With a flick of my wrist the left whip lashed out, catching her around the neck in a surprise hold. My grin grew as I noticed several Organization members jump at the move, and I kept the hold tight as she struggled. "Here, this should…shock you back to life!" With a wordless demand, the whip sparked with lightning, the other catching her wrist before she could call her weapon forth. "Let me go, damnit!"
"What, and have you summon that Dark Matter Scythe? I think not!" But I did throw her across the room, slamming her into the wall between Xemnas and Xcaiyet. Multiple members cheered, making my grin widen more. I released her wrist, morphing the whip into a skull-tipped dagger, and pulled Xandera towards me. She spun right into the blade, Darkness spreading from the wound as blood bubbled from her lips and spurt over my shoulder. "That's for my parents, you heartless sonnova bitch." I murmured in her ear, pulling the dagger from her chest. Just like that she was gone, and I dismissed my weapons to kneel before Xemnas' throne. Silence echoed all around as he waved me to my throne, "Welcome Aanyx, Number XVI. The Twilight Morph."
That was a memory I hadn't thought of in a long time—my initiation, so to speak, into the Organization. When I killed a being for the first time, a sadistic smile on my face at the sheer fact that I could exact my revenge.
She led my parents to their deaths. Kidnapped my mother, helped Ursula impersonate her, and stole the Jade Trident for Ikxe. The kingdom perished, the castle's safety gone without the power of the trident, and my family along with it.
By the time I stole it back…they were gone. All of them—heartless fodder. It's how Edmy turned into Demyx—how I first discovered who Anya was…before Ikxe got to her…
What could have possibly happened, to take someone so…princess-ey…and turn them into a ten-year-old slut? It's just not right…
Sighing, I sat up in bed, only to freeze as I realized where I was. Granted, my eyes were burning like crazy because I'd fallen asleep with my contacts in, but there was no mistaking the all-white room.
"Don't worry—you're not in trouble." Yeah, right. You try waking up in what used to be your old bedroom, only to realize that your old boss was there the whole time.
"Your brother brought you back." Xemnas explained, standing from the desk and removing a rectangular pair of reading glasses. I couldn't think of anything else to say, so I said, "Nice glasses." He merely gave me one of those patient smiles and slipped them into his cloak's inner pocket, zipping it up as he spoke, "He also tells me that you were successful in fully accepting your powers."
"Well…almost fully. I'll still never have any more magic, but…" Realizing I was beginning to ramble, I cleared my throat and fiddled with the blanket. "Listen, Superior—"
"I have a special mission for you, XVI." I looked up to see his no-nonsense look, so I nodded and sat up straighter. "You won't like it, but you're the only one I know who can pull this off." Xemnas paused to cross the room, looking out at Kingdom Hearts as he gripped the windowsill, "It has come to our attention that Ansem has returned, and is attempting to bring Sora back."
"What sources?"
"Why, XV, naturally."
"You don't expect me to do everything that Fae says, do you?" Xemnas smirked at me before returning his attention to the heart-shaped moon, "XVI, I need to know you are still willing to be a member of this Organization."
I swung my legs over and slipped my boots on, summoning my cloak as I drew myself to my full height. "One year ago, you asked me to kill Ikxe's spy in your Organization. By doing that, you gave me the opportunity to avenge my parent's deaths. I've been loyal to you—this—" I gestured around the room, "since that day. I have been a proud wearer of this cloak, and I wear it now. You know my answer, Superior."
Xemnas smiled, "Then here is what you must do."
"Okay, I know I'm late, but—OOF!" My explanation was suddenly cut off as Olette nearly tackled me to the ground. "Thank GOD you're alive!"
"Um…yeah, why wouldn't I be?"
"Your mom said you didn't come home last night." Pence explained, "We've been looking for you EVERYWHERE!"
"Including Jason's, I see." I nodded towards the bag sporting a plump, spectacled face shoved in the middle of the logo, Jason's Noodle House. "Where were you, anyway?" Heyner demanded. I shrugged, "Had some stuff on my mind, needed to think."
"Think where?"
"We were so worried about you!" Olette cried, hugging me tighter. "Oof…okay, okay, Olette. Lemme breathe, will ya?"
"Well, she's not in…" Roxas trailed off, coming in behind me. He froze, and for just a second I was worried he remembered everything. "You're back…" Olette gave him a look I couldn't quite decipher and backed off, allowing me to change from roller skates to an old pair of tennis shoes I kept in the corner of the room. "What, did you think I'd up and leave forever? Dork." I shoved his shoulder playfully. "I couldn't forget you lot even if I wanted to."
"Hey!" Roxas shoved me back with a chuckle, and I once more attempted to give him a noogie. As always, he easily avoided, instead heading to sit on a box. "Now that the gang's back together, why don't we do that Summer Homework piece?" Olette suggested. I readily joined in with the boys' chorus of groans. "We agreed we'd get it done today." She reminded. Heyner leaned over, "Finding you was supposed to be our ticket outta it, damn it!"
"Oh, thanks. Like I'd be missing all day or something!" I hissed back at him. "So—what do we do it on?"
"Hey, here's an idea—why not the Seven Wonders?"
Seven Wonders—The answer lies in the seventh! I stood, pointing dramatically at him, "Pence, that might be the smartest thing you've said all summer!"
"It was?"
"Duh! We make a contest out of it—split up into teams, and find out the stuff we need that way. Whoever discovers the most about them wins…and the loser…has to write the others' papers!"
"Yeah, except there's one problem with that—there's an odd number in our group." Heyner pointed out. "I'll be ref." I shrugged. "Only if you write your own paper."
"Say what?"
"Oh, come on, you fell right into that one."
"Fine…" I grumbled, folding my arms over my chest.
"Seventh wonder, seventh wonder…" I mumbled, skimming the map Pence had drawn over, "Yeah, except you forgot to number them, you block-head!"
"He did that on purpose." I spun around, finding Riku there once more. I groaned, "Lemme guess—its part of his programming, right?"
"Well, essentially. It's so that the others don't go the same direction."
"Are you sure it's not just to make my life that much more difficult?" Noticing he was gone, I groaned louder, "Damnit, stop doing that to me!"
"He's a bit busy, sis." Demyx chuckled, appearing in a portal tossing an orange in one hand. "Revenge?"
"A bit. Let's just say Kat got bored." I winced in sympathy, "Those words should never be said in that order. Bored of Kat? Yes. Kat is bored? Now that there's fighting words."
"Yeah, well, let's just say she wasn't exactly thrilled to find out that 'Mr. Albino' stole 'Step Daddy' Roxas away."
"And either she's been planning this or you got P. that Ansem let me fall."
Demyx faltered, making me smile sadly, "Yeah, I know who he is. Let's just say Twilight Morph is back in action."
"You're not seriously doing that mission!"
"Yeah, I am. Look, I screwed up, Dem. I fell right into that trap, because I didn't trust our family. If I can do this right…"
"Hey, hey…" Demyx placed his hands on my shoulders, "I know this means a lot to you. That doesn't mean I'm not gonna worry, okay? It's what big brothers do."
"Yeah, you're right…But I'm gonna do it anyway. It's what little sisters do."
I was suddenly enveloped in a big hug, which I readily returned. "Head for the train station, and spend as much time as you can with him, okay?"
"Thank you…"
"Wait up!" I called, rushing into the train just before the doors closed. "Where were you?"
"Trying to find you lot, duh!" I rolled my eyes, flopping into the seat beside Roxas. The ride was boringly silent, so I pulled out my orb—I'd morphed it into a keychain—and began to look through it. The others followed suit-except Roxas. Figuring he had probably lost his, I offered mine.
"But that one's yours!"
"So? I want you to have it."
"Roxas, just take it. Please?"
I knew the pout would work. It always does. He gave me a soft smile, accepting the translucent stone. "…Thanks, Aanyx…"
We arrived at Sunset Terrace, both teams going separate ways. I tried tailing Roxas, but then Heyner began to think I was cheating, so I grudgingly waited for each report back at the station. I figured I should probably check in at 'home', but considering the only 'authorities' to call for missing persons was the Airhead Committee, I figured there was no rush. Besides, it's not like she was ever even close to being a parent…She's just a bunch of codes…
"Ya know…that last wonder…wasn't exactly wonderful." Roxas complained, rubbing a kink out of his neck. "Aw, man! You mean I missed out on ANOTHER adventure?" I groaned as Heyner and Olette ran up, "We got another lead!"
"Wonder number Six!"
"Which one is that? My freaking map isn't numbered!"
"That's why Olette and I've been going around finding the numbers to 'em, obviously." Heyner said with a roll of his eyes. "Wait a sec…we're at six already? Okay, what do we have so far?"
"Stairs—obvious bogus, considering Rai counted."
"Friend from Behind the Wall—a prank by some little girl."
"The Mysterious Voice—Just Vivi practicing for next year's Struggle."
"The Doppleganger—lamest yet, considering it's your reflection."
"And the Possessed Trash Bag—some poor mutt stuffed in a bag."
"And this is supposed to be the fancy side of town…?" I mumbled, crossing them off the map as listed. "That just leaves the Ghost Train in this area…"
"Wonder number Six! Though they say it comes and goes, no one is on board. No driver. No passengers. No return." Pence said in an eerie tone. I rolled my eyes, "Yeeahh, sure, whatever. Let's just see this glitch and get outta here, shall we?"
"Mess up, fault, problem, supposed wonder…shall I keep going, or did I use small enough words yet?" I called over my shoulder, heading for Sunset Hill.
"We've gotta make it to the beach next year." Olette suddenly said. We'd been sitting on the edge of the hill for a few hours now, watching the empty tracks for this supposed 'ghost train'. "Yeah; we'd better get jobs the second vacation starts."
"Heyner, is that even possible?"
"Sure, if we apply early."
"Good afternoon, slackers." Seifer suddenly said, causing Roxas and Heyner to jump to their feet. Me? I was more surprised to hear the boy's impersonation of our old teacher than anything…
"What're you doin' up here?"
"What d'you care?"
"I don't—tell me anyway."
Realizing this was to be another boy fight, I turned my attention back to the tracks with a silent sigh, closing my eyes against the light breeze. The clouds were rolling in—it smelt like rain, which ment it would probably rain within the next few hours.
And then it hit me—I was alone atop the hill, Roxas leading the way back to the station. "Damn…" Morphing my shoes into skates I quickly caught up to them, grabbing Roxas' elbow as he took the stairs two at a time, "Wait! None of the others were what they seemed, right? What if this isn't either?"
"Aanyx, I saw it! There's really no one on board!"
I bit my lip and looked away, unable to stand the desperation in his eyes, "If you say so…" But my eyes landed on the not-so-opaque yellow-and-purple train as Roxas stepped up to it, about to fall off into the oncoming train's path. "Roxas, wait!" Huffing, I tackled him in a go, diving off the tracks onto the small edge on the other side as the actual train pulled up. Roxas looked at me, shaking, his ocean blue eyes wide in fear. "…What's wrong with me?"
"Let's go home and work on the paper."
"The rumors were bogus—the end."
"We can still make it sound good if we write about all our hard work!"
I ignored the others' trailing discussion, glancing worriedly at Roxas. He'd been downright zombie-ish the whole ride back to Station Heights—sure, Roxas was known to brood, but it was never so…oh, I dunno…withdrawn?
"Wait, what about the seventh wonder?" I asked suddenly, recalling Ansem's words. That seemed to perk his interest, at least, "What is the Seventh?"
"According to this, it's the mansion…Of course, that just figures…" Of course it would be the one place that creeps me out in this whole town. Of course the bastard would know that, and set up his base there. Oh, you are going down, Ansem!
"What figures?"
"Ghosts. Apparently there's a girl in white that stands at the window…"
With that we took off for the mansion together, and I was soon staring down the large lock in the fence. I whistled low, "That would take a pretty damn big key, eh Roxas?" Of course, he probably wouldn't get the humor in it, but he would when his memories come back…
"…Roxas…?" Looking around, I realized he was no longer in the yard—instead, he was staring through the window as he said something to none other than Naminé herself before turning back away from the window. 'Fine, if that's the way it has to be…'
Rubbing my hands together I slowly worked up a greenish glow, placing my hands over the brick to the right of the gate. So I didn't have a big-ass key—I'd make my own entrance in.
Except…nothing happened. The glow stopped the moment my hand came in contact with the brick. Letting loose a string of my more colorful curses I threw a rock at it and turned away, not even surprised when Riku showed up right in front of me. "It's a wonder you're considered female at all, the way you swear."
"Yeah, apparently you lost your eye sight in the Darkness too, pal." I growled, shoving my chest foreword and flipping him off. "Give me back my keybearer."
"Your keybearer? Nothing about him belongs to you, idiot."
"Oh, but he does you? Hate ta break it to ya, Albino, but Roxie's the straightest and cleanest boy of the Organization."
"Including your brother?"
"For crying out loud, he talks fashion, that boy has gay tendencies. Now give me my keybearer back and give me some answers."
"Such a greedy little bitch."
"Okay, how about we negotiate—you give me what I want and I don't turn you into a eunuch."
"All right."
And then my mind went blank as something foreign touched my lips. By the time I realized he was kissing me the sensation was gone, a smirk on his face. "Now tell me you didn't enjoy that." He taunted. I said nothing, instead morphing my shoes into steel-toed boots and kicking him straight in the crotch. He let out a strangled cry of pain as my Thundaga spell jolted through his sensitive nerves, and I couldn't help but let out the sadistic grin. I knelt beside his fallen form, "Better than Ikxe…but that's not saying much, because he kisses like a camel. Now get in there and tell Ansem that I'll be in to either kill him or get my answers."
With a snap of my fingers he was portaled away, and I was alone again on the outskirts of the forest. It wasn't long, however, before Roxas was suddenly there once more, a look on his face I couldn't quite understand…anger?
"So. What did you two talk about?" I tried not to sound too hard on him. It wasn't his fault he was roped into this. "Stuff…"
"She said something, didn't she?"
Roxas was silent a moment before answering bitterly, "Apparently I was never ment to exist." With that he took off at a brisk pace towards the Usual Spot. I stood there, rooted like the thousand-year-old trees that surrounded me. By the time I'd choked out my answer of "…And neither was I…" Roxas was completely swallowed by the forest.
I didn't follow him, instead turning angrily towards the mansion. The clouds rolled in, lightning cracking somewhere behind me. I didn't flinch, instead calling through the thunder. "For my will is as strong as yours…and my kingdom is as great…" I quoted, not even bothering to charge up my metamorphosis as I blasted the wall away with more lightning, "If you're as wise as they claim, you will set things right…" With a silent Aeroga spell the front door opened before me, and I let the sadistic grin leak out for good measure, "…To the pain, then."
No sooner had I stepped inside than the rain began to pour down like a maelstrom, the grin growing a hair. How appropriate… "Now to find the bastard that started this…"
I kept my head high, taking my surroundings in with one sweep before heading in a beeline for the closest blocked-off door. Casting the junk away with another Aeroga spell, I found myself in what was once a child's bedroom. Old, faded porcelain dolls sat in layers of dust upon equally dusty shelves. A wooden rocking horse sat near a corner, just to the left of the four-poster that stuck out from the center of the far wall. The walls themselves were some kind of pastel color, cracking away and stained from water damage.
I walked to the small desk, where a quill, ink, and paper sat waiting. On it was a picture drawn much how a fifth grader draws, showing the heartless symbol with a heart over it. Beside it was a picture frame, which I picked up. Smoothing a hand over the glass to better see the image, I smiled slightly.
A girl of five or so—not much shorter than Kat—sat on her father's knee, showing off her missing tooth. It was hard to tell through the old black-and-white photo, but she appeared to have thick, curly dark hair—assumedly a rich black cherry—and porcelain skin. She wore a dark-colored prairie dress under a plain white frock, a bow in her hair and black boots on her feet. She clutched a ragdoll to her chest fondly, her father's hand on her other shoulder.
Just who was this girl? I gently opened the frame and took out the photo, looking on the back of it. In a scrawling print I could just make out what it said. "…'Jessica Anne Smiths, 5th birthday.' Huh…" I read aloud, staring at the elegant sprawling ink. I then set the picture down on the desk, "You can come out, Naminé. I know you're in here."
"…She was an oracle. She could see things that would happen. She knew she'd die from a heartless attack on that day." Naminé said quietly, opening the door the rest of the way and walking up towards me. I stared at the heart over the heartless symbol. So that's how she knew what it was.
"…Why? Why did she have to be cursed? She was just a child!" I sighed frustratedly, turning away from the desk in disgust. Bile rose up in my mouth, making me scowl against its taste. Naminé sighed sadly, "It always happens to the best of us. Like you, Aanyx." I snorted, "Yeah, cause I'm really the best." I closed my eyes a moment, "…Let's get out of here. This room is making me want to punch something."
And so we continued on through a brothers' room, walls covered in long-since-dried blood. Past the parents room, geese feathers carpeting every last surface. We had just left a room with pearly-white bones of what looked like the family pet when Naminé jumped at a creak on the stairs behind us. I sighed, "I know you're there, guys. Honestly, what is it with people and trying to stalk me today?"
Kat and Xcaiyet sheepishly made themselves seen, and immediately flung into accusations.
"I'm only here cause Nee-chan said—"
"Kat made me come! You know how she is, and—"
"—only worried about you! What if you got kidnapped, or—"
"—which is why you should blame her, since I'm just the—"
"Okay, ENOUGH!" I shouted over their increasing volume, "Holy Darkness Herself, it's a wonder you guys don't wake the dead! Jeez…" Seeing them both open their mouths to protest once more, I quickly added, "Look, I don't care whose fault it was. You're both here now, and neither of you plan on leaving, so let's go."
With that I turned on my heel, heading for the next closest door. Within the room waited Riku and Ansem, both seated by the caved-in dining table. "Alright, bastard, give me my answers."
"A Nobody doesn't deserve to know."
"Really? Then why, pray tell, did you create that barrier?" I jerked a thumb over my shoulder, knowing full well that the doorway sealed the moment I stepped through. "Simply a precaution."
"Bull shit!" I spat, "You're petrified, because any one of us can kill you flat. That's also why you aren't really here—right? You've been a hologram every time I've seen you."
"Even if he is a hologram—I'm not. You know that—given the circumstances." Riku smirked, folding his hands over his chest in a cocky manner. I snarled, pointing threateningly at him, "Don't even get me started on you, Albino."
"Regardless, there is no need for you to meddle. You have done your part—just as Naminé has. And just like her, you too will be erased." With a nod in Riku's direction the hologram disappeared, and Soul Eater was suddenly at my neck. "You can't act rashly forever, girl. Sooner or later, you're gonna have to face the law." Riku warned. I merely let out a short exhaled grunt, springing away as my muscles tensed in expectancy.
"You won't kill me—or Naminé, for that matter." I taunted, morphing my whip mid-summon into a brass keyblade just in time to block his blow. A look of shock flashed over his face, replaced a split-second later by a wry grin, "That's a new trick. Are you that determined to match your jewelry?"
"You'll find I'm always full of surprises." I growled, swinging one keyblade and kicking him in the chest as he left himself open. Riku flew across the room, landing in a skid between the fireplace and the chair. He began to shoot fireballs at me, straight out of the hearth, and I caught all three in between my hands as one large fireball. The magic burned, but I kept a determined façade, forcing it larger before throwing it back at him. It dissipated before contact, "Damnit!" and Riku tsked, wagging his finger at me. "Trying to control other magic? Come now, that's not fair."
"Shut up and fight me, Albino. Or are you too scared that I might kill you?" I let out the sadistic grin once more, crouching low as I prepared to spring, "You know there's nothing stopping me from doing it. I've killed before, and I probably will again."
"So you are a heartless bitch."
"Wrong." With a quick portal to stand behind him I pressed the teeth into his neck, "Now tell me how I can save Roxas."
The bastard actually had the nerve to laugh at me, "He can't be saved, you sadistic bitch. Sora wakes tomorrow at noon, and there's nothing you can do to stop that." My grip slackened, and he slipped out of the way, making me stumble sideways into the chair. 'I'm too late…' I gripped my bangs, morphing Riku's feet to the floor so he wouldn't try anything. "Doth the shrew truly feel?" Riku mocked. I growled, standing angrily, "You have no idea what I've been through, you fucking bastard! You have no idea what it's like, to find out that your best friend is going to disappear tomorrow, and there's nothing you can do!" I grabbed the front of his cloak, "And you have the nerve to say something like that? Give me one good reason not to simply kill you, Ansem, and Sora right now? If Sora's dead, then Roxas is safe from the likes of you."
"Wrong again, princess. Sora has already begun to awaken, meaning that if you kill him then the Nobody will fade into Darkness just like the rest of that wimpy Organizat—"
I didn't let him finish, instead striking his pressure point. Morphing the barrier away I let the boy crumble awkwardly to the floor, "Naminé, I need you to get me to the other Twilight Town."
"You're not seriously going to—"
"No, I'm not." I growled at Xcaiyet, knowing full well she was merely reacting to my emotions. "Look, I have a job to do, and like it or not I'm going to have to go away for a while."
"We can still visit you, though…right Mommy?" Kat asked. I shrugged, "I don't see why not. But there are some guidelines. I'm going to have to pretend I'm not a Nobody, which means no letting on that I'm part of the Organization."
As I spoke, Naminé led the way to the library, where she opened the secret entrance to the lab and jumped in. I followed suit, continuing my instructions, "This mission is very important, and it can't be messed up. There are some members who don't even know about it. The problem with that is that I don't know who does and who doesn't." I paused, grabbing several pens off a countertop and morphing them into small communicators, complete with a 'texting mode', 'video mode', and a wrist strap for convenient carrying. I kept one for myself, handing the rest to Xcaiyet, "We need to stay connected, so use these. If anyone else decides to back us up, give them one."
"I will." Xcaiyet promised. I smiled, smoothing her hair behind her wolf-like ear, "Take care of yourselves."
"May Her Darkness watch over you." The wolf-girl grinned in return. I gave Kat a quick hug before turning to Naminé, "Try not to let anyone else hurt you, yeah?"
"Promise." Naminé smiled, giving me a tight hug. I readily returned it, nodding as she whispered in my ear. "I believe in you. You can do this, Aanyx."
"Looks like this is the end of Artificial Twilight Town, eh Mommy?"
"Not Artificial." I corrected, stepping up to the awaiting beam that would transport me back. I grinned at the three of them sadly, "Roxas' Twilight Town…" With that I stepped through, silently promising myself that I would return again with Roxas...