A Simple Touch

Hazy But Still Here

"Look into my eyes…what do you see? Nothing…not a light to be seen. Your friend…is gone… he had willingly given into the darkness…."

-Vanitas

"So, I guess the scent I picked up earlier was right, something terrible did happen to Sora, and now a demon is posing as him, the castle…is in danger," Riku said in his mind eyeing at the imposter.

Without really a moment to lose, Riku put his right hand behind his back and silently summoned his Key-blade.

"You monster…what did you do to my friend?" Riku asked in his mind still looking at the imposter.

As Sora was walking out, he spotted Riku from the corner of his eye. So Sora turned and caught up to greet his friend…or in this case apologized for not following the others.

"Hey, sorry you had to come back and get me…." Sora said scratching the back of his head, giving a small laugh.

"I guess I wanted to see what's changed, since it has been a while since my last visit here," he continued still putting up a smile.

Though Riku wasn't the least forgiving or amused; it was displayed in his eyes that he was dead serious….like if he didn't want to be messed with.

It was a bit quiet, but then in a split second, Riku immediately pulled out his Key-blade and pushed the blade hard against Sora's neck; Riku ended up having him pinned against the wall because of this. It was very clear in his eyes that he was angry; Riku wanted answers and wanted them now.

But Vanitas still didn't blow his cover…he tried as best as he could to show fear and confusion through Sora's eyes.

"R-Riku…what are you doing?" Sora asked terrified looking at his friend.

Then Riku put the Key-blade even closer to his neck…..

"Cut the crap! I know my best friend, and well guess what, I know for a fact that you're not him," Riku said angrily to Vanitas.

Once Vanitas heard that statement…it was over; no use to keep pretending now. He then changed his expression; portraying himself to be more serious in his 'sudden' darker blue eyes.

"Well, well, well, aren't you the smart one, may I ask, what gave it away?" Vanitas asked having an amused twisted smile.

"You're scent…you reek of darkness, that's what gave it away." Riku responded still having Vanitas pinned against the wall.

"But enough of this...where's Sora? What did you do to him?!" Riku snapped.

Then to Riku's surprise, Vanitas started to laugh, amused by his question. But it just made Riku even madder, after all, it's his best friend he is talking about, he didn't really seemed be in a gaming mood. Eventually, Vanitas finally spoke.

"You're looking at him...or at least his body," he said still having a twisted smile.

"What do you mean?" Riku asked.

"Mmm….knowing you, you're probably not going to like what I'm about to say next," Vanitas said trailing off a bit.

"Tell me!" Riku said infuriated... wanting him to spit it out.

The Key-blade was already digging into the surface of Sora's neck; a drop of blood suddenly appeared and started to roll silently down the blade.

Vanitas felt the pain….but wasn't really affected by it; he was as hard as stone, hardly showing any emotion of hurt, after all, to Vanitas, he had suffered far more pain in his life than what he was dealing with right now.

"Look into my eyes…what do you see?" Vanitas asked.

But this question only confused Riku…the person he was seeing before him looked like his best friend, but his eyes were surprisingly darker than usual as stated before.

"You see nothing….nothing, not a light to be seen through these eyes. What I'm getting at Riku…is…" Van said.

Then from out of nowhere, dark aura was surrounding his body, it startled Riku a little, but he stood his ground. But to his surprise, it seemed like something, or someone grabbed him from the back, catching him off guard and made him lose his grip on Vanitas.

To Riku's surprise, what grabbed him, and now had a hold on him, was a large blue creature, unknowingly for Riku, it was an Unversed that was binding him down to his knees. Vanitas was no longer trapped against the wall; it seemed like in the quickest way, the tables had turned, since now Riku was the one who was captured…or in this case, trapped.

"I didn't really harm your friend…strike that, at least not that much anyways, but your friend is gone….he had willingly given into the darkness," Vanitas finished, walking up to Riku who was struggling to break free.

Though it seemed like if Vanitas was right, it was something Riku didn't want to hear at all. Riku always pictured Sora as an innocent, caring and a bit naïve, teenage boy, never in a million years Sora would do an absurd thing like giving into the darkness…it just didn't compute; so Riku quickly denied it…he didn't like the answer, nor wanted to hear it again.

"You're lying! Sora would never give into the darkness!" Riku shouted having his eyes closed.

But Vanitas just shook his head, like if he was already bored, to him; this confrontation was pointless, and since Riku wasn't really the target… he didn't really feel like getting his hands dirty…at least not yet, since everyone else hasn't figured out the truth about Van's identity yet.

Vanitas then gave a small sigh and summoned his own Key-blade; this time it wasn't Sora's. He put the tip of the blade underneath Riku's chin.

"Oh quit whining you baby, and get over it! Things don't stay pure forever, he gave in, so now I have total control over his body, that's it, end of story," Vanitas said angrily.

"So…then who are you?" Riku finally asked.

"Vanitas…that is my name," he spoke.

"And well…I shouldn't really do this, since I'll be going against the Master's orders, but whatever…as far as it concerns you now, you know too much, you must be eliminated," Vanitas said still examining Riku; though Riku didn't say a word, he just looked at Vanitas disgusted for what he had done to his friend.

He wanted to wipe that smirk off Van's face, but his hand with the Key-blade was forcefully being held back; so in other words, he couldn't move even if he wanted to.

Without another word, Vanitas slowly raised his weapon; he was going to strike Riku. It took a second, but the Key-blade was gaining dark maximum energy; in translation, dark aura was swirling rapidly around the blade….this was truly going to be Riku's end, or so he thought.

Just when Vanitas was going to strike….something surprisingly stopped him in his tracks. His eyes widen in shock while his body was frozen; he couldn't move. It was like an unseen force was pulling him back, to not give the final blow.

"What! What is this?!" Vanitas said sharply still not able to move.

And in that moment, his head started to burn….similar to how Sora would react whenever Vanitas would invade his mind.

"I'll let you take my body, if you promise not to hurt my friends…." Sora's voice echoed in the way back of Vanitas' mind.

This first surprised Vanitas since he thought he could only invade Sora's mind, but it seems now since they are sharing the same body, their minds are co-existing, which allows Sora to have the ability to invade Vanitas' mind as well and vice versa. Though since darkness had overshadowed the light, the light is starting to grow dim.

"Please….don't…." a faint voice called out from within the darkness.

Without a doubt, Vanitas knew that the voice belonged to Sora; though it was kind of hard to tell at first since Sora's voice seemed at the point of giving out; like if he was dying. With this happening, it could only mean one thing, darkness really was smothering him….that…along with the possibility of his heart being broken into pieces.

Riku was awfully confused in what was happening, since Vanitas just stood there frozen…like if he was fighting with himself. Then that's when it clicked in his mind.

"It's Sora…he's still in there," Riku said in his mind; he figured there was still hope into getting back his best friend.

Though sadly, Sora's condition is so serious….that he may be at risk of not returning at all; if only Riku knew….

Even though this couldn't be seen by Riku, a faint shadow…or a spirit, started to emerge in front of Vanitas. To his surprise, the hazy shadow was Sora; though just like Ven years ago, he was see-through. It was clear as day that Sora looked like a total zombie….he had no pupils in his eyes; they were empty and lifeless. It seemed like they eventually stayed that way after he finished witnessing Van's and Ven's first memory.

The memory seemed like Ven's demise and yet at the same time, Van's birth…..

Even after enduring all the hurt Sora first stepped into….a small calm smile still sprouted across his face; looking at Vanitas. Even though Vanitas was in Sora's body, when looking at Van, Sora see Van's true self…or the self that he gave him.

Without another word, Sora slowly put one of his hands over Van's Key-blade. He lowered the blade down, more likely telling Vanitas to stop without having to say a word. Vanitas let Sora lower his weapon, but not because he was listening, it was because of shock... he was seeing Sora's presence, so it made him speechless; he didn't know what to say.

He thought he was rid of Sora for good…and yet, even at the point of possibly losing his life, he is still managing to keep fighting and kicking to be alive. And as Vanitas looked into Sora's lifeless eyes….it seemed like déjà vu all over again…there it was…that same hopeful twinkle in his eye…just like Ven many, many years ago.

"Mmmm….I can sense that you really are stubborn, I keep saying I'll never change, yet you still have this fantasy of me being good and can be saved like the rest…." Vanitas said to Sora a bit annoyed.

"Pitiful really, you're just wasting your energy….but since you did this….I guess I'll let your friend live a little longer, but that doesn't change the fact that the x-blade will soon be mine…once when I destroy this world," Vanitas finished.

Sora's eyes widen in shock, but then the expression quickly faded into sadness, he knew it was a predictable response coming from Vanitas, but he was hoping deep down that Van might have reconsidered, but then again, that alone is probably asking too much in his case. So nonetheless, Sora vanished…gone without a trace.

Since Sora's presence was no more, Vanitas thought it was over, though he suddenly started to feel the burning sensation in his head again, but this time it was really faint; so it didn't really count as burning, more like a small headache.

"Vanitas….if you keep this up….that emptiness inside you…will never be filled….." Sora's faint voice echoed once more in the deepest darkness.

But nonetheless, after hearing this statement, it just made Vanitas angry.

"Hmph….who do you think you are you brat? I'm doing what is right for me. Once I get the x-blade, my emptiness will be filled…you don't even have a right to speak since I'm in control…YOU DON'T KNOW ME! YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT I'VE BEEN THROUGH! NOW SHUT UP!" Vanitas said in his mind talking to Sora.

After that, Sora was silent, but it seemed like what he said, probably gave him an answer to his question. He been wondering why Vanitas was the way he is, he wondered what could have happened to him in making him so coldhearted and cruel; and when he would ask Van straight-forward, he would always get the same response… that he was always rotten, even at the time of his birth and says that he would never change.

But now, in a way, the truth sort of came out when Sora made Van mad. Van wasn't so evil in the beginning since he said out of anger, 'you don't know what I've been through.' Now, it was pretty clear to Sora that the first memory he saw….it wasn't only Ven who got hurt…it was Vanitas as well.

"So…something did happen to him… making him this way….now the question is, what was it?" Sora said to himself.

Though as Sora was floating aimlessly in the dark unknown... darkness was drawing near…suffocating him… little…by little.

After the headache was gone, Vanitas turned his attention to Riku. He was still being tied down by the Unversed. Van then put his hand over the side of his neck…feeling the small cut…remembering the slight pain that Riku inflicted on him earlier, though the pain didn't compare to what Sora did to him just now. Making him remember the pain…the suffering he had to endure years and years ago and still have to now.

Pretty soon with the healing spell, the cut disappeared. Vanitas then raised his Key-blade once more at Riku.

"And as for you," he snarled.

And just in a blink of an eye, Vanitas swung his Key-blade at Riku; literally knocking him out cold. The Unversed descended, resulting in Riku to fall on the floor. As he did, his Key-blade vanished.

Vanitas then put one of his feet over Riku's back; glaring at him. Hatred and anger were heavily displayed from within Sora's eyes; after all, Vanitas still had control over the body.

"Me and my big mouth," he muttered under his breath.

"Enjoy your little slumber…because once you wake up and we face each other again, I'll have no restraints, in other words…you will die," Vanitas said coldly.

With that said, Vanitas left… abandoning Riku.

It took Van time since he didn't quite know the castle, but he eventually found his way to the Library. To his luck, everyone was there….Donald, Goofy, Kairi, Daisy, and most importantly…the king and Queen, Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Still portraying himself as Sora, he gave a bright smile, greeting everyone as he walked in.

"Sora, where were you? We were thinking that you might have gotten lost somehow," Goofy said.

"Oh….well I was just exploring, but I kind of figured I needed to be here now since I didn't want people getting the wrong idea that if something bad might have happened to me," Sora said to Goofy.

"Oh, well it seems Riku ended up being worried, so he went looking for you," Mickey said.

"Mmmm….I wouldn't really worry, he probably gotten a little lost when he was looking for me," Sora said to Mickey.

"I'm pretty sure without a doubt he'll find his way here eventually," he finished.

After Sora finished talking, what he said made Mickey extremely suspicious. He thought it over and figured….Sora wouldn't really say not to worry, Mickey thought he would say something along the lines of maybe offering or saying to everyone to go look for him since he's his friend. Sora wouldn't be extremely worried, but slightly nonetheless. What Sora just said now, it didn't really seemed like he cared about his friend at all.

But Mickey pushed his suspicions aside and talked.

"Well…this is awfully a big castle, so it wouldn't hurt to split up and look for him," he said.

"Right, we all will go," Minnie said.

"Okay, though I think I'll stay here, you know, just in case he does come…I wouldn't really want to get lost myself in the castle," Sora said to Mickey.

"That's fine, let's go everyone," Mickey said; though as he walked out the door, his eyes couldn't really pull himself away from Sora's appearance.

With that, Sora was left alone in the library, while everyone else went off in different directions, beginning their search for Riku.

It was awfully quiet while he was waiting. Van just kept examining the millions of books the library had to offer on the shelves. Vanitas then raised his finger, and ran it across… feeling the multiple book's hard covers. He was bored, so he was trying to see if there was something interesting to read while waiting. But after a while, he sensed his creation nearby.

Without a doubt, a dark blue shadow appeared and just as quick as a bug, the shadow flew along the floor to Vanitas and popped out of the surface.

The Unversed took upon its usual form, and stared blankly at its Master.

"So…you found it?" Vanitas asked.

At first, the small creature didn't say anything, but then it jumped and landed on Vanitas' shoulder or Sora's in this case. Vanitas then slowly raised his right hand and started softly petting the top of the creature's head; he wasn't really too fond of these Unversed since he saw them as his walking weaknesses, but when they are the only thing that you have, you come to succumb to it, so… Vanitas some-what gives them a little affection, now and then because of this.

The Unversed then leaned close to Van's ear, it couldn't really be understandable, but the creatures had a type of language that only Vanitas could understand. The Unversed was whispering to him everything its seen.

After it had finished, Vanitas then made an evil smirk.

"Show me where it is then….lead the way," he said still some-what petting it.

And without another word, The Unversed obeyed its Master; it jumped off and started taking form into a shadow again; sinking into the floor.

As the Unversed led the way, Vanitas followed.

"This world...will finally be at its end."

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