"Darkness…you gave into it once, who's to say you might give into it again…the closer you get to the light, the greater your shadow becomes…"
Vanitas' Point of View
Honestly, after so long, I never thought I would see his face again.
"Ventus…" I whispered, looking at him.
Though, as usual, he just kept staring at me with those eyes; it made me think, did he really change at all? But…I guess it was a stupid question since obviously his character will never change, he will always be care free and naïve…like Sora.
With him just looking at me like this, it felt really quiet and awkward; after all, the last time we saw each other…was when we were at each other's throats playing "Tug-of-war" for total control over his body. Hmph…almost feels like déjà vu now that I come around to it since the situation was the same way for Sora.
After a second, I saw that his expression changed, and that his hand quickly turned into a tight fist; seeing this…it only informed me that he still prefers his friends rather than his own brother; the Ven I knew, the one that liked me…was gone, then again…I always knew he was gone, that's way I always messed with him and talked low of his friends and his so-called friendship with them.
"What are you doing here?!" Ven yelled at me infuriated.
Oh, those words…how they feel like little daggers ripping away at my skin; feeling…rejected and unwelcome. Though, I knew better to not let this get to me, so like I always do, I placed a noticeable smirk on my face, almost wanting to laugh.
"Really…isn't it obvious, Sora was the one that brought me here…telling me to stay," I said, still giving a smirk.
It was all quiet, until Ven spoke again.
"Why…why would he let someone like you be here?" he asked confused.
I then gave a sigh and turned away, now facing the ocean.
"Because he has it in his mind that I could be saved like you," I said, still having my attention towards the ocean.
"Mmm…okay, it does kind of sound like something Sora would say," I heard Ven say, yet his tone was calmer.
"But…I still don't trust you, for all I know, you being here could put Sora in some kind of danger," Ven continued.
I then tore myself away from the ocean and looked at Ven.
"Really Ven…still fixed on the image of me in the past. Seriously…has it ever at least once crossed your mind in why I was like this…or…the fact that maybe I have changed?" I asked walking closer to him.
Within every step I took towards him, I swear I could feel the familiar taste of hatred and anger building up inside me again. If I hadn't put my trust into Sora along with him trusting me in return, I would have already thrust my Key-blade through Ven's body; savoring the moment where I could see the life leaving his eyes…but again…because of Sora, I cannot.
"Well no, there was nothing to think about, you made your intentions clear, and you were willing to hurt my friends, you're nothing but darkness and like my Master taught me, it's horrible and wicked. Since you are darkness, you haven't changed and you probably never will," Ven said.
Without another word, I then grabbed him by the hair and pulled him in close to me.
"Funny…what you said is the exact opposite of what Sora feels, he thinks there is good in me and that I can change, honestly, I think it's pretty stupid, but he's him so I'll let that slide, but you, with the relationship we have, I thought you were the one to better understand me but…I guess I was wrong. You see me for what I am on the outside, not the inside…unlike him," I said, trying not to let my negative emotions get the better of me.
I then let him go and he fell down on the sand.
"After seeing the two of you, you two are the same…yet at the same time…nothing like each other," I finished.
As I continued to look down at him, he slowly got up, sitting on the sand.
"It's his ability to see the goodness in people that makes him special. I learned that the first time I saw him…years and years ago. Because of this ability he has, it makes it easier for him to help people and quick to trust strangers before mistrusting.
Hmph…if he wasn't like this, he probably would have let you die since you were a stranger back then," I continued; facing back to the sunset.
"Wait, you're telling me you knew him since then too…but how, I thought only I did," Ven asked confused; I even heard him getting up from the sand.
"Your early memories are probably tarnished, but at the time when you couldn't function, I was the one who took care of you before your….friends, so at the time, when a light saved you, I was instantly aware of Sora's presence, resulting in me to have his face.
Because of the connection you two shared, I was curious about him, so I went to Destiny Islands to see him for myself and after that, I met him again when he was only four.
He was so much like you, happy, nice, and care free…though the only difference was that…even though he talked to me, a stranger at the time, I got this vibe like if I was already a friend…so your question, yes I knew him," I said.
"Oh…" I heard Ven say.
I then turned to him again and saw that his head was down, staring at the sand. I wondered what he was thinking, did he feel dumb, like if I didn't know this, or, did he start to feel unexplainable guilt, after the way he yelled at me and said I wouldn't change. I wonder…
"I'm…I'm sorry I yelled at you earlier," he finally managed to speak.
"Whatever, I'm use to it," I said turning away.
After a while of being in this place, I already felt like I wanted to break out and leave; to just forget about Sora's plan and run. Though, an unexpected touch on my shoulder interrupted my thoughts. As I turned my head, I saw that it was Ven's hand; he looked at me, giving an unexpectedly warm smile. Honestly, it was quite weird for me, since every time I would see that smile, it was always given towards his friends…never me; what is he thinking?
"You're right about one thing, Sora does care for a lot of people, even people he barely knows…people like me, and I guess…if he's able to see good in you, then maybe I can at least give you another chance…who knows...maybe I'm the only one who could really bring the good out of you. After all, we're like brothers…" Ven said in a calm tone.
"Really…I like to see you try," I said not buying a single word he said.
Ven was starting to creep me out…I mean come on, one minute he's yelling at me, not wanting to have anything to do with me like before, and once when I talked about Sora, he apologies for his harsh outburst and is willing to help me? I don't know whether if this is a trap or something…it's just too good to be true…like…like if I'm in a dream. Being in Sora's heart, now I'm curious, is this really Ven, or simply an illusion of him.
"So…you really took care of me before I met Terra and Aqua?" he asked scratching the back of his head.
"Uh yeah…" I plainly said; I was so tangled up in my thoughts about him, that I couldn't say anything better.
After a second, I saw that another warm smile appeared on his face; it seemed like he got an idea, so then he got my hand and started to tug at it, "Come with me…."he said softly.
"Huh?" I asked confused.
"I want to show you something…" he said in a happy tone.
End of Vanitas' POV
Sora's Point of View
Wow, it has been quite a while since I been to Disney Castle; nothing has changed much, not that I'm complaining. After the whole Vanitas thing…I guess I'll call it that since I don't know what else to call it, the entire gang went back to the Library so we could talk about what had happened and most importantly, to discuss in why the king summoned me and my friends here.
It was nice to meet the Queen and her friend Daisy again, but I guess what we were going to talk about seemed a bit private, so I saw that the king asked her to clear the room. By the look in her face, she didn't really seem to mind so…we ended up having the whole room to ourselves.
Because of this guilt I was having, I decided I wanted to talk first before getting deeper into the conversation; I guess you could say I just wanted to get this unbearable feeling off my chest.
"You all probably already know this but, that person who was controlling me, his name was Vanitas…" I said.
"Yeah we know, he told me and I told the others," Riku said, "But…the thing is, do you know who he is exactly…I mean the way he talked and portrayed as you, it seemed like he knew you before… do you have a connection with this guy?"
In an instant, I was already tangled up, thinking of what to say; honestly…there was so many things that happened that I wanted to tell Riku and the others, but…something inside was holding me back; I think if I would have told them everything about me and Van…especially Van, they'll probably won't believe me, and I couldn't really blame them, since after the way Van treated them.
So…I decided for my answer to be brief; my eyes trailed off to the ground, finally regaining my voice.
"Yeah…we know each other…and…the reason I say this was partly my fault is because….I…I…"
I couldn't bear to say these words, I knew if I said them, Riku, Kairi and the others wouldn't believe me even if I told them it was true.
"You what?" I heard Kairi say.
I then lowered my head and tighten my hand into a fist; part of my hair was covering my eyes.
"I gave into the darkness…." I finally said, not making eye-contact.
"I let Vanitas take over me..." I continued.
I then looked up, and saw that everyone was stunned to hear me say those words. I knew this was to be expected, but again, I couldn't help but feel guilty.
"So…what he said was true…." I heard Riku utter to himself.
"Sora…why…why did you do that, you must have known the consequences," Kairi said walking up to me.
Yeah…just seeing the hurt in Kairi's eyes; I couldn't bear to tell everyone the real reason behind my actions. I mean come on, if I told them that I let Vanitas take over my body just to see if he could change, all of them will chew me out after seeing what Van did to them and nearly destroying this world. It just goes to show that saving Van in particular… wasn't going to be easy.
So, to add to my unusual behavior, I did the thing, that I thought I would never do…lie.
"I was being held hostage…and if I didn't listen to the people's demands, they were going to go after you all, so I begged Van that he can take my body in exchange to not hurt you guys…but after what happened…it didn't really go the way I wanted…" I said.
"Wait, you were being held hostage, by who?" Mickey asked.
"Xehanort…he ordered Vanitas to kidnap me. He also ordered him to destroy our home and yours too in the process," I said facing him.
"Oh, this is bad, this is the very reason why I wanted the three of you here," Mickey said.
"Master Yen Sid told me that Xehanort was developing a plan, a plan to re-create the x-blade to start another war…though after this event that happened, I didn't think he would have struck so quickly…did you get any insight about his plan when you were with him Sora?" Mickey asked.
"Well…there wasn't much, he said something about me being the last dark vessel, that's why I was kidnapped, but then he changed his mind and said something about destroying your world…I don't remember much at the moment…everything is still kind of blur…" I said.
"Mmm…this is bad, Xehanort can be unpredictable at times…I wonder if you are still the target Sora…" Mickey said.
"Your Majesty…not to be mean, but what exactly are we here for and what is this x-blade Xehanort is after," Kairi said.
"Oh, sorry…let me explain, you see it goes like this, long ago there was this item called the x-blade, this x-blade is quite powerful and different from our Key-blades. What makes it different from ours is that whoever wields it can control Kingdom Hearts.
Legend says if seven lights and thirteen darknesses clash, the x-blade will be created and a war will happen. So the reason I brought you three here is because you three are one of the seven lights, we need to join forces once again and stop Xehanort before this war happens…"
"But…then who are the other lights, surely we could find them so they can help us bring down Xehanort before he completes his army…" I said to Mickey.
"Yeah, that wouldn't be a bad idea, at this rate, we need all the help we can get," I heard Riku say.
"Well…the thing is, I have no idea where the other three are, the last time I saw them, was when we thought we put an end to Xehanort…the three youths gave up their lives to protect the worlds…" Mickey said, hinting a pinch of sadness in his voice.
Hearing this, it felt like my heart was sinking again. I guess I knew all too well of the feeling of losing someone close. I then raised my hand and slowly put it over my chest…thinking. Then…out of nowhere, that's when it hit me.
"Well, good luck finding Ven," Vanitas' voice echoed.
"Long story short, he nearly killed himself and in order to survive, he abandoned his body. His spirit went off in searching for you in order to retain his well being…leaving his body in a comatose state."
That's it, its Ven…he's one of the seven lights that the King is referring to. And if he was able to survive, then that means the other two people must have too; I know, I can feel it…they are not gone.
"Your majesty, I believe they're not gone, I think they are trapped somewhere and are waiting for someone to help them…we need to go and find them… to help them," I said.
"Mmm…I do think you're right Sora, but the question is, where do we start looking? Terra Aqua and Ven could be anywhere by now," Mickey said.
"So those were they're names? Riku asked.
"Yes…" Mickey said.
"Well, let's see, when exactly was the last time you saw them?" Kairi asked.
"Yeah," I agreed.
"Terra, I honestly have no idea, the last time I saw Aqua and Ven is when they were both at Yen Sid's place. I remember Aqua set herself on a quest to find Terra and took Ven with her, after that, I never heard from them again." Mickey said.
Aqua…why do I get this feeling that I heard that name before. Mmm…as far as I know, Vanitas said Ven's body was gone, but then Mickey said that Aqua took him…so there could be a chance Aqua knows where Ven's body is. This could only mean one thing; I have to find her first. That way I could find the body, and wake him up since I'm already aware that his spirit rests within my heart along with Van's.
So now the question is, where can Aqua be?
"Maybe…maybe we should go and ask Master Yen Sid…who knows…with his power, he probably figured out where she ended up…" I said to Mickey feeling determined.
"Worth a shot," Mickey said.
"I guess I better go and prepare the Gummi ship then," Donald said walking.
"Yeah, I'll go with ya Donald," Goofy said following happily.
It was quite a long travel in the Gummi ship, but we finally managed to get to Yen Sid's place, or…I guess what he calls it, "The Mysterious Tower." As we were walking inside the tower, I just kept thinking in my mind, hoping…praying that the Master knew where this Aqua character might be, I mean come on, we have to start somewhere right? And…if what I'm thinking is correct, she may hold the key to where Ven might be.
But…the funny thing is, every time I say, or even play back this girl's name, there's a ring to it…like if I heard of this person before, or maybe…even perhaps met her. It's…it's on the tip of my tongue, I think it was when…
"Sora?" I heard a voice.
"Huh?" I picked up my head.
"I said are you ready to go in?" Riku said to me standing by the door.
I then quickly tossed my thoughts to the side and answered, "Huh yeah, of course," I said showing a calm smile.
It took a minute, but the way my friends were looking at me, it seemed like they were still concerned about me; I can't really shake this feeling, but I feel like my mind is starting to wander off instantly for no reason, I really need to stop this, I don't want them to worry like they did before.
After Riku opened the door, we all went in and greeted the King's Master. As I saw him, he didn't seem quite surprised to see us, did he know that we were coming?
Hello Master Yen Sid, it's nice to meet you again," we all said; we even did a little bow to show a bit of respect.
"Now now, there's no need for that," he said waving his hand.
"Since you all are here, I'm assuming Mickey told you about the things that are happening?" he continued.
"Yes," Kairi, Riku, and I answered.
"You see Master, the reason that we are here is that we wanted to know if you knew where a certain someone is," Riku said stepping forward.
"Yes, we were hoping we could gather the lights, so we could stop Xehanort before he continues forward with what he is planning," Kairi said.
"Is that so…well who exactly are you looking for?" Yen Sid asked.
"We were wondering if you knew where Aqua is," Mickey said.
"Do you know where she could be?" I asked.
As I finally spoke, I saw that the Master picked up his head, and gave me a weird stare; It looked kind of strange…it's like if he thought I was someone else other than me. But, I tried not to let this get to me and overlooked it; I really wanted to know where this girl was.
"Mmmm….it was so long ago when it happened…I nearly have forgotten about her. I'm not truly sure in where she could be, but, if I had to assume, I believe she ended up in the realm of darkness…" he spoke.
"The realm of darkness," I muttered to myself.
I think I remember being in that place before…yes I remember now. Riku and I ended up there when we had nowhere else to go. We saved the worlds from being destroyed and we had a little set back…just talking; catching up on a few things. For a second, I truly believed that the place was going to be our new home, but…then the light brought us back to where we truly belonged.
But then again it's weird, if Aqua really was there, Riku and I would have seen her…or maybe the place is bigger than I thought. Is she there, and if so, how can we even get there. As far as I know from Riku's experience, only people who are currently walking the path of darkness can open portals to places, even places that are far from reach.
"Is there a way for us to get there?" Mickey asked.
"Well, there are many methods, but in the long run, it can become costly, you never know what could happen," he said.
"People along with her are hurting…I think it's worth the risk…" I said stepping forward feeling determined.
"Sora, wait, we should really think this through before doing anything," I heard Riku say grabbing my arm.
"Think about what, there's obviously nothing to think about Riku, we have to go there and save this girl," I burst out, moving my arm away.
This may sound strange…but I feel like her and the others are counting on me; to help them.
And, I know Riku, Kairi and the others are concerned about my safety, so then why did I act this way right now?…I looked at Riku and saw that he was a little stunned, so feeling guilt rising up again, I lowered my head.
"I'm sorry Riku, you're right, we should really think this through first," I said.
"Sora, may I talk to you alone for a bit?" I heard Yen Sid say.
So I turned to him and gave a nod, "Uh, yeah sure."
I'll admit I was feeling a little uneasy, what did he want to talk about? As I turned my head back, I saw that Mickey, Donald, Goofy, Kairi and Riku were walking out, though Riku gave one last look at me before leaving and closing the door behind him.
"Now then…tell me Sora, is there anything that is troubling you you wish to discuss?" Master Yen Sid asked.
"Well…" I said shrugging my shoulders.
"You wish to find a boy that is linked to your past…Ven may I add, am I correct?" he said.
"Y-Yeah," I stammered.
"You are determined to save him, so that's why you're determined to save Aqua as well, no matter what the cost…" he continued.
"But it's not only because of him…every time when I think of Aqua's name, I feel like if I knew her before…the only problem is, I can't seem to remember…" I said feeling sad.
"Mmm…it seems to me, with all this happening, you're starting to feel pressure, having the need to help them. I'm glad you wish to help, but if this keeps going to the point where you can't control it…it will surely break you, which Xehanort no doubtfully wants…"
"Yes, Master I understand, I'll try to relax…"
"Good, and another thing, please be careful, for a minute when you walked in, I sensed a great deal of darkness surrounding your body, I didn't know if you were really yourself."
"It's probably because of Vanitas," I said in my head.
"Yes, Master I'll be careful," I said out loud.
"Now as for your trip to the dark realm, as I said before, there are many methods, but I'll try to see what I can do to get the one that is the most safest, in the mean time, I suggest you all, and the king should go about investigating in Xehanort's motivations."
"Okay, thank you Master, I guess I'll be going now."
So with that, I headed for the door and saw myself out, but as I was leaving, I could have sworn Master Yen Sid was still giving me that stare; makes me wonder what he is really thinking about me.
"So what did the Master say," Kairi said walking up to me.
"He said he'll find a safe way for us to be able to go to the dark realm, and in the meantime, to keep our eyes out for Xehanort," I said to her and the rest of the gang.
"Well I guess we better go then," Mickey said.
So with that, we all went back to the Gummi ship and took off.
Still… as we were in space, I couldn't help but continue to think about our visit with Master Yen Sid. I mean trying to relax, it seems nearly impossible since I feel like everyone is counting on me. And…the way he looked at me, it seemed like if he didn't trust me at all. I guess Vanitas' presence is really strong to not go unnoticed, I just hope letting him stay in my heart for shelter doesn't backfire on me, or better yet, change me.
Mmmm…now that I think about it, maybe Vanitas can help me. He's a dark being who can open portals, so…maybe out of luck…he can open one that leads to the dark realm. I wonder if we could still communicate with each like before.
Man…all this thinking is really making me feel dizzy. Master Yen Sid is right, I need to try to relax…to clear my mind. I think there's a bed somewhere in this ship, it won't hurt to rest until we land.
So while telling the others where I was going to be, I left and found the room. I got on the bed and just lied there… staring at the ceiling, attempting to clear my head. I don't know why but, it seemed like my body felt heavy as well as my eye lids, I tried to keep them up, but couldn't…I guess it won't hurt to rest my eyes for a while.
End of Sora's POV
"Please be careful, for a minute when you walked in, I sensed a great deal of darkness surrounding your body…I didn't know if you were really yourself." Yen Sid's voiced echoed.
"Where…where am I?" Sora said, trying to find out where he ended up.
It felt like there was no end, as he walked aimlessly, deeper into the cold silent world of darkness.
"This is really giving me the creeps…" Sora said, and within a second, he started to feel a cold chill run down his spine.
Something…or in this case, someone caught him off guard; Sora kept hearing laughter…a creepy laugh that almost sounded identical to his.
"Who…who's there…hello?" Sora said, starting to feel terrified.
Sora kept walking, trying to find where the insane laughter was coming from, but as he continued, all of sudden he came across a hooded figure. The hooded figure was standing, having its back turned to Sora.
"V-Vanitas…is that you?" Sora questioned, though the figure didn't answer.
It was awfully quiet between the two since neither of them spoke, but after a second, a dim light started to appear, breaking the atmosphere. The light shined down below the figure, while the figure raised its head staring at the dim light.
"Darkness….you got a brief taste of it…didn't you. You think just because your back into reality, you're free from the darkness….well your wrong.
You succumb to it once, there is no doubt you'll do it again…
After all," then the hooded person turned and faced Sora, "the closer you get to the light….the greater your shadow becomes…"
The figure then pulled the hood, revealing it to be a splitting image of Sora…though this Sora was quite pale like Vanitas, but what made him different, was the fact that his hair was darker brown, and had striking pure red eyes, similar to the color of blood.
"What…who are you?" Sora said stunned.
Though the figure just gave a smirk, and with a wave of his hand a long chain appeared in his grasp.
"Mmmm…let's see, should I tell you, or should I torture you first, decisions…decisions…" the figure said.
"This is becoming really weird, it...it has to be a dream..it has to," Sora said shaking his head.
Within a second, the chain wrapped around Sora hand, and without hesitation the figure pulled him, knocking Sora down to the floor.
"Let me answer your question with a question…which person do you think I am…you or Vanitas..?" the figure said.
Sora just lied there on the ground frozen, staring at the person's devilish eyes.
Sora immediately opened his eyes, and jumped up from the bed; panting...
He quickly put his hand over his chest, feeling his heart beat rapidly...
"All the ones you hold dear...will soon meet their end..."