A Simple Touch

Leave Me In The Dark

"I'm asking you...as a friend...just...put an end to me..."

Sora stood his ground, eyeing at his opponent; whether if it was noticeable or not, as Sora tightened his grip on the new Key-blade, he was giving young Xehanort the look. Xehanort himself wasn't too familiar with it, but whenever Sora is really peeved, he tends to glare with intense anger, and hatred. Because of this expression, one would say, maybe that, Ventus, or even Roxas could be seen also… through Sora; with them having the same glare.

After running to try and strike his opponent, Sora was pushed back against the wall with full force. Pain engulfed his body, but Sora simply ignored it, he had to ignore it, with Ven's heart inside him, he knew, he knew he had to try his hardest to not let Xehanort lay a finger on his comatose body; Sora said to himself, that he just had to protect Ven, no matter what. With this thought engraved in his mind, Sora forced himself to stand up; ready to fight once more.

Seeing that Sora was breathing heavily after failing to strike him, Xehanort gave a smirk. He thought that Sora was going to be a challenge, especially with all the darkness that dwells within his unstable heart, but after seeing this performance, Xehanort thought it was very pitiful.

"Really?

Is that all you got?" Xehanort asked; wanting to laugh.

Sora then focused his attention to the floor, having his hand over his chest; whether if it was darkness clouding his judgment, Sora figured he couldn't beat Xehanort…no…not like this. Sora needed to protect Ven with all his power, even if it meant…risking his own life. Sora then closed his eyes, and without even realizing it, dark aura started to surround his body. At this rate, Sora was tired of all this nonsense…it had to end here and now. Ven can't be sucked back into being a manipulative pawn for Xehanort.

Sora then sharply picked up his head and opened his now amber eyes.

"I'm putting an end to this!" he said angrily.

After seeing what Sora just did, a spark of interest reflected in Xehanort's eyes. The new founded darkness was surely influencing him, the only question that remained was, has Sora lost himself completely?

With all the power running through his veins, Sora charged at Xehanort with all his might. After studying Sora closely, Xehanort stood his ground and prepared himself for what-ever attack Sora might have up his sleeves. At this point in the game, the answer to Xehanort's question was clear. Sora could possibly stop Xehanort from capturing the vessel, but in the end…he failed; letting the darkness take hold of him.

No matter what the outcome….

"You've lost…" Xehanort said smirking.

As he then moved his Ethereal Blades to block the attack, Sora came and with all his strength, swung his own blade against Xehanort's weapons. The clash between the two weapons was so fierce, that Xehanort almost fell back.

"Hmph, you have to do better than that," he said; still having a smirk.

This only infuriated Sora even more. Whiling his blade was still against Xehanort's weapons; Sora used his other hand and created a dark electric ball of energy. As the growing power was in his possession, and with accurate timing, Sora then pushed the Ethereal Blades in a certain position and created an opening. With this, Sora then moved his other hand and hit Xehanort right in the chest.

The hit was surprisingly brutal, since Xehanort could feel the power and shock of the attack. After the deed was done, Xehanort was automatically sent flying back with incredible force, falling hard to the floor. As he was down for the count, Sora couldn't help but smile with pleasure. At this point, it could be Sora's inner darkness talking, but as he saw his opponent weak, Sora thought he deserved it, it didn't matter if he was a younger version of the villain they were dealing with. Him and him alone corrupted and ruined so many innocent lives for his own selfish desires.

So having this knowledge in mind, it was tempting to do more harm to the man Sora was staring down at in disgust. As Xehanort finally got back on his feet, he looked at Sora and gave a chuckle.

"Alright, I'll admit, I didn't see that coming," he said.

"But what I said before still stands….even if you won this battle, you still lost," Xehanort continued; having an evil smile.

Sora then returned his glare, about to give another attack, though before he could do anything, a dark portal opened behind Xehanort, making him disappear into the darkness; leaving Sora alone. As victory would be at hand, since Sora stopped Xehanort from taking Ven, Sora was beyond frustrated, he wanted to end this nonsense, he wanted to do so much more; to get back at Xehanort, but he left.

Pretty soon, the Key-blade that Sora had, reacted on its own; creating a beam of light, breaking the seal and unlocking the door in front of him. Though before Sora could go any further, he started to hear voices, familiar voices; yet he was surprisingly annoyed by them.

"Really?

That's impossible, how could they have found their way here?

This castle is like a maze," Sora said in his mind.

"Sora!" Donald and Goofy cried out in happiness.

"We're so happy we finally found you," Goofy said.

"Yeah, it wasn't easy, we kept getting lost, but then a strange light showed us the way and lead us to you," Donald said.

"That's nice…" Sora uttered coldly; still having his back towards his friends.

"Uh?" Goofy said.

"Uh….Sora?

Are you okay?" Donald asked.

"I'm okay, but for starters…."

Sora then turned his head, eyeing at his former friends. His soulless deep amber eyes fixed on their appearance. Dark aura was emerging once more, swirling around his body. As Donald and Goofy were stunned, or even better, speechless, a smirk appeared on Sora's face as he then turned his whole body to face them.

"I'm no longer the friend you once knew…" he said sharply; slowly holding up the Key-blade at them.

Silence quickly filled the gloomy atmosphere. Yes…gloomy, as of now, this place, this world, it was no longer a beautiful sanctuary. Ven was alone, conflicted with his thoughts. After the fight he and Vanitas had, Ven started to wonder. Was…was it right? To follow in what he saw and believed in without even hearing Van's explanation? Well, if it were phrased this way, obviously it wouldn't be right and Ven would be the villain here; leading him to develop unwanted guilt.

But then Ven quickly reminded himself that Vanitas was a being of darkness; a monster who wants to diminish the purest of lights, and has a cunning ability to achieve things that he desires, no matter if it hurts others. And to Ven's knowledge, what better way to trick people than by toying with their emotions; a power that Vanitas always possessed since the past. To Ven, the Unversed were proof of that cunning ability. In his eyes, Vanitas can take negative emotions from people and turn them into creatures, but with his evil ways, he could probably use the positive emotions like caring, and love to his advantage too.

For example, relating it to the little stunt Van pulled when he said Terra was going to be a different person. At this point of thinking about it, Ven knew now that Vanitas was toying with his emotion of caring, since he cherishes his friends. Just having all this in mind, made Ven not want to hear Vanitas' explanation, because Ven thinks he would have probably made up a clever story to cover himself. And if the story wasn't enough, Vanitas probably would have pulled out that card, saying that they're brothers and how he nurtured him.

"Oh he's good, trying to play with my emotions like he had in the past…" Ven uttered to himself; remembering the fight.

With this thought, it would have eased Ven's mind, saying to Vanitas that he would never change, but after remembering what he said and the way he looked, that was when Ven was conflicted.

"I guess I'll be going then...oh...and for the record, if you say I'm the monster I always have been, I probably would have choked or even stabbed you by now...but I didn't," Vanitas' voice echoed in Ven's head.

Sure, it might not seem much, but this is Vanitas we're talking about. Ven couldn't help, but to actually believe this statement was true. He knew very well that Vanitas would love to harm him if he ever had the chance, but…to hold it back until he was caught, or better yet, to not even harm him at all? It didn't add up to Ven. It was rather confusing and troubling, Ven didn't want to go in blindly this time…he wanted to make sure, is Vanitas trying to be good, or, is he just playing a better trick on him, wanting him to believe Van was trying even though he wasn't.

In the end, for some odd reason, Ven's heart was sinking in sadness. After everything that happened, he still couldn't help but feel guilty nonetheless. He just continued to stare aimlessly at the shell that was given to him.

"Vanitas…" Ven uttered softly; putting his fingers over the small seashell.

As the wind kept blowing harder, Ven then gave a sigh, turning his attention to the horizon.

"Well, what-ever reason Vanitas did it for…it's too late to fix the mistake.

The darkness is starting to swallow up everything, and pretty soon after…we'll all fade into nothingness…" Ven said; looking at the clouds growing darker.

And just as Ven stated, darkness was swallowing up the island. The sight was so horrendous, that the scene looked like a mirrored version of the storm that once destroyed the real Destiny Islands. For most people that would experience a storm as dreadful as this, they would no doubtfully go into a panic and try desperately to escape its evil clutches, but for Ven…he didn't show a single drop of fear. Instead, he just remained where he was, accepting what was to come, to him, it was pointless to run; there's no escaping the darkness.

And just like what happened to Riku when the storm hit, a swirl of darkness appeared underneath Ven's feet; slowly wrapping itself around his body. As Ven lowered his eyes to the ground, he just gave another sigh.

"Roxas…Xion…I'm sorry this happened," he whispered to the air.

And before Ven let the darkness take him away, he took one last look at the sky. Remembering how beautiful it was before everything went black and gray. The colors seemed eternal until all of a sudden…a bright light broke through; surprising Ven. He knew that kind of light from anywhere, it was a light of a shooting star. As the small light continued to travel downward from the gloomy sky, Ven just gave a warm smile, closing his eyes.

"Sora…."

Vanitas was walking on another part of the island. As much as he probably wanted Ven to listen to him; the situation of that was tossed aside for the time being. After witnessing the close ending of this world, Vanitas had more important things to think about; and that important thing…was Sora. Vanitas thought, if this sanctuary is disappearing, then that meant the inner darkness in Sora's heart is growing rapidly; swallowing up everything that is good. Sora will definitely lose himself forever, and Ven, Roxas, and Xion will be swallowed up as well; imprisoned in eternal darkness.

Vanitas figured since his existence is already made up of darkness, nothing will really happen to him. He couldn't really explain why, but despite in what Ventus said to him, Vanitas wanted to try and do something; to stop all this from escalating even further. But as Vanitas saw the storm already taking half of the world; he came to the conclusion that he couldn't do anything. Since he is already one with the darkness, the only thing he could do was probably speed up the process; which he doesn't want.

"It's no use, there's no way to stop this…" Vanitas whispered to the air.

As he then turned his attention to the sky, Van suddenly saw a light unraveling from the clouds. The light turned out to be a shooting star as it came flying down like rocket, hitting the surface of the sand.

"What the-?" Vanitas asked, as he saw the star land a few inches away from him.

But pretty soon, as the elegant light diminished, Vanitas was even more confused and surprised when he saw the figure. It just goes to show that, it might have looked similar to a shooting star, but this star in particular wasn't an ordinary one. No, the star revealed itself to be a person.

"Sora?" Van asked feeling surprised.

Without even saying a word, Sora slowly picked up his head, looking at Vanitas. Strangely, it displayed in his eyes, that he was extremely tired. At first, Vanitas wondered why, but then after drawing out a conclusion in his mind, Vanitas bit his bottom lip; not liking where the situation was going.

"He obviously used the power of darkness; making him tired and weak," he said in his mind.

As Sora kept his eyes on Vanitas, he had a sudden urge to tell him what had happened. To tell him that he found Ven's body, though Xehanort was after him again; which ended in the worst possible way, to give into the darkness in order to protect Ven. At this stage, Sora really felt like if he was a mirrored version of his best friend Riku.

Ignoring that he was weak, Sora tried to speak.

"Vanitas…." he said.

After not being able to say another word, Sora then closed his eyes and lost consciousness; collapsing to the ground.

"SORA!" Vanitas cried; running over to him.

"Sora? Sora?" Van continued; shaking him.

Though as much as Vanitas tried, Sora didn't wake up. Then that's when it hit Van, seeing Sora like this, and seeing the world disappearing, it felt like déjà vu. The vision he remembered, it was a warning of what was to come; though instead of the fire displayed in the vision, it's the horrific storm the darkness is unleashing.

"This vision was brought to Riku and I, but now…Riku is the only one who is blissfully unaware of the truth it held…" Vanitas said to himself.

Without even realizing it as he was watching the storm, Vanitas was basically cradling Sora in his arms.

"I guess…what I said to Riku in the vision, also held some truth to it too…"

He then looked down at Sora, seeing his sleeping peaceful face.

"As of now, this boy really does belong to me…

He belongs to the darkness now…."

Without a second thought, Donald and Goofy summoned their weapons. They didn't know what was really going on, but while seeing the evil glare in Sora's once innocent eyes, they figured it couldn't be good. To them, what-ever it was that they were facing, they only wished it didn't have to deal with the idea of possibly fighting their best friend.

"Don't you dare make another move!" Donald said angrily; pointing the staff at Sora.

Though Sora only chuckled, not taking his former friends seriously.

"Oh that's a good one. That pretty little toy of yours is no match for the power that I have," he continued with a smirk.

"Don't underestimate us! Especially Sora! He got rid of you once and can do it again," Goofy said.

"Oh I see, you guys think I'm Vanitas," Sora said lowering his Key-blade.

"Hard to believe he didn't tell you guys though," he continued trailing off, "Well anyways, newsflash, I'm not Vanitas, whether if he likes the word or not, he was a weakling from the start; not able to pull the trigger.

I wouldn't really say I'm surprised though, that's what happens when you're too close to the light; it corrupts you, the same way as darkness does."

"So then who are you?" Donald asked.

"Me?" Well, I'm Sora, yet at the same time I'm not, to make it simple for you guys, I'm his shadow, or to be more precise, his darkness," the shadow said; introducing his true nature.

"What?!" Donald and Goofy said simultaneously.

"Yes, and while you two idiots were going around thinking things were A-okay, Sora was keeping his mouth shut about Vanitas.

You thought he destroyed him? HA, looks like you don't know your friend well enough to not think he would spare a person's life, since obviously he's the good guy," the shadow said amused.

"And with the cost of Sora sparing him; having him in his heart, like Vanitas, it made Sora closer to the darkness more than ever.

Because of this, Sora was so scared that he planned with Vanitas, in order to help him embrace the darkness, to not be afraid and control it.

For the sake of not losing Riku, Kairi and you guys. But sadly while you weren't present; Sora had a fight with the mysterious man, and lost his grip completely.

Leaving me in control of his body…what a fitting end, for a fool like him.

Consumed by his own fear...looks like darkness did devour the light," the shadow finished; smirking evilly.

"You can say what-ever you want, but we're not going to lose faith in Sora!" Goofy yelled.

"Yeah, he'll come back like he always does," Donald added in.

"Hmph…false hope, that's all it is," the shadow darted back.

The shadow then raised the Key-blade at them once more.

"And now, I'm going to finish the two of you off. After that, Ven will be next. His body will die while his heart will forever be imprisoned in the darkness," he continued.

"Not if we can stop you!" Donald yelled.

"Hmph, then bring it," the shadow responded back.

Then without warning, Goofy went running with his shield; attempting to strike. Though the shadow sensed the attack before hand, so when Goofy came close, a small puddle of darkness appeared underneath the shadow's feet. Goofy missed him once when he sank into the ground. As Goofy looked down, he saw that the puddle disappeared without a trace.

"Where did he go?" Goofy asked; looking around.

"I don't know, but be sharp," Donald said; also examining the place.

Without noticing, a small portal then opened in the corner behind them. It was seen through the portal, that a pair of yellow glowing orbs was observing Donald and Goofy. It was clear to say, that he was eyeing at his targets, his prey, waiting for the right moment to strike. And as silence continued steadily, making Donald and Goofy uneasy, the shadow then jumped out and lunged at Donald.

Seeing what was coming as he turned, Goofy ran towards Donald.

"Donald look out!" he yelled.

The shadow that possessed Sora's body, no longer took his form, instead, he was an actual shadow; a Heartless to more precise. It was a surprise to Donald and Goofy, since he was acting like a dangerous wild animal, with one of his hands acting like a claw; pushing against Goofy's shield. It didn't come to their minds as Goofy was blocking the sudden attack, but the shadow was using Sora's anti-form approach; hoping to end the battle pretty quickly.

When the shadow wasn't looking, Donald then pointed the staff at him and casted a spell.

"THUNDER!" he yelled.

The thunder then shot out from the tip of the staff, and hit the shadow. It was pretty effective, since he was shrieking in pain, but sadly, it wasn't effective enough to bring him down completely. No, the pain just made him angrier. The shadow then kicked the shield out of Goofy's hands, and formed his hand into a fist, punching Goofy right in the stomach. As soon as he was down, the shadow then kicked him to the side. Donald was no match either, since as he was going to cast another spell, the shadow just grabbed him and threw him at Goofy; making them both hit each other.

As the shadow turned; now facing Sora's friends, he then changed back; no longer in anti-form.

"I'm going to tear you guys to shreds…" he said to them coldly; his eyes now displaying red than amber.

After what recently happened to him, Sora lost consciousness, sinking into a deep slumber. As this was happening, Sora's mind started to wander, eventually forming dreams in his subconscious. At first, the dreams were pleasant; him seeing his home, while Riku and Kairi were standing happily together. Then the dream vanished and transitioned to another, now seeing Donald and Goofy; them being their usual goofy selves as Sora likes to call it.

Then the dream changed to another, and then another; almost portraying a chain of treasured memories. Witnessing this, Sora then started to wonder, was this just a dream, or was it memories in the form of a dream? Having this question in the air, Sora pretty soon let it slip through his mind and just went with it. But as the dreams progressed, Sora started to feel a falling sensation.

Falling…falling…falling…as if there was no end. No doubt Sora was still dreaming, but like all dreams, when having one, there's always a risk of you falling into a nightmare. As Sora's eyes widen, his dream shifted into a nightmare. He was now seeing his home world in ruins, Riku and Kairi no-where to be found, and even Donald and Goofy weren't in sight either. All these chains of events eventually lead up to the nightmare Sora wished he never dreamed. The shadow…his words, it haunted Sora ever since he woken from it.

"You think just because you're back into reality, you're free from the darkness….well you're wrong.

You succumb to it once, there is no doubt you'll do it again…

You'll turn into your own shadow. You'll turn into me…

You'll lose yourself forever, and your friends will pay the price for it…" the shadow's voice echoed in Sora's head.

Even if he didn't want to face it, Sora finally accepted the fact that the nightmare did come true after all. Sora gave into the darkness; more than likely having the shadow in control, and pretty soon, as he warned Sora, his friends will soon pay the price.

At this point, Sora felt like he couldn't blame anyone but himself, he lacked control and always feared in what was to come in the future; he failed himself and his friends; even Ventus and Vanitas. Since Sora gave into the darkness in order to have more power to protect Ven, only to lose control entirely and put Ven in more danger. While for Vanitas, he helped by giving Sora a chance to conquer the darkness, but failed; in the end, not keeping his promise to help him get another chance at life.

As all this was racing in his mind, Sora started to shed tears. He just…he just wanted all this nonsense to stop, and stop now. Even if it was hard at the moment, Sora then remembered his little speech. Even in the deepest darkness, a light shines within; no matter how thick the darkness may be, or, even if the darkness does overshadow the light, extinguishing it, the light will come back; shining and burning even stronger than before; after all, nothing is really gone for good.

Within time, Sora then turned his hand into a fist.

"There just has to be a way to end this…" he said to himself.

And just when the cycle of nightmares seemed endless, they vanished. Though Sora realized he was still sinking deeper into his mind. As this was happening, a vision started to emerge. Still having the question of whether if the memories and dreams are tied together, Sora witnessed an event he was never aware of.

As the vision became clearer, Sora saw Ven, though by the look in his face, he was full of grief. Just seeing this, it made Sora feel like Ven was an interpretation of how he was feeling in his heart right now.

Ven then lowered his head, not wanting to face the two people in front of him. Unknowingly to Sora, the two people were Ven's best friends, Terra and Aqua.

"Weird, I feel like I've seen those two people before…" Sora said; turning his attention to Ven's friends.

"Could…could that girl be…Aqua?" he continued.

Sora started thinking about the idea, but then Ven's troubling voice, made him lose his train of thought; now focusing on Ven again.

"Xehanort wants me and Vanitas to fight.

To make some kind of x-blade…." he said sadly; not making eye-contact.

"But the Master said we can't let that happen….and tried to destroy me for it…" he continued; his voice sinking into more sadness.

"X-blade?" Aqua asked; not sure what that was.

Similar to Sora, fear was consuming Ven.

" I still don't know exactly what it is, but…it scares me to death," he said resting his hand over his chest, "Even, just the thought of it."

At this point, whether if it was noticeable or not, Ven started to get distraught. But still, his friends tried to comfort him, in order to ease his worries.

"Relax Ven, we're here, and we're going to take care of you," Terra said; resting his hand on Ven's shoulder.

But the worries still filled Ven's mind; not even noticing Terra's hand. At this point, Ven lost hope, he had a feeling that he couldn't run from this fight, even if he tried to. He knew…he knew that this nightmare was going to come true one way or another; there was no way of escaping his destiny, there was no way of escaping Vanitas…himself.

"I may have to fight Vanitas after all," Ven continued, "If I do, guys…."

It was hard to say it, but he knew it had to be done, if Ven lost touch in reality, one thing was clear; in order for his friends to be safe from harm's way.

"I want you to-" but he was cut off.

"The three of us can never be torn apart, alright?

I'll always find a way," Terra said; not wanting to accept Ven's possible demise.

Even Aqua chipped in and gave Ven a warm smile; putting her hand over his cheek. Knowing that this kind of comfort makes him feel better, Ven's fear of the future still haunted him; making Ven reject their optimistic ways. Having this engraved in his mind, Ven finally looked at his friends, while brushing off their hands.

"I'm asking you…as a friend…just…put an end to me," he said determined.

As the scene was ending, Sora just stared; not knowing what to think. But after a while, as he was slowly waking up, Sora thought of something…something that he never thought would have crossed his mind again. His heart ended up aching as Sora had his hand over his chest.

"It's probably the only way…" he said softly.

"Sora….Sora?" a voice called out to him.

Even though the voice was faint, Sora knew it sounded familiar. It took time, but he started to regain consciousness as he was slowly opening his eyes. Once he did, his vision came into view, revealing Vanitas. It was awfully surprising, since Sora saw the worriness in Van's face; after all, he never shows these kinds of emotions to or towards anyone.

To Sora, it almost felt hard to believe that this was the same Vanitas that tried to harm Ven in the past; especially after seeing another memory where he was about to have the final showdown with Ven.

"Vanitas…" Sora couldn't help but say.

Seeing that Sora was awake made Van feel relieved on the inside. He probably would have shown his excitement by hugging him tightly like Ven would, but being the stubborn boy that he is…he once again hid his emotions, now being calm, and most of the time, cruel.

"You passed out…" he said sounding monotone; helping Sora to his feet.

"Y-yeah, I remember I was feeling weak…" Sora said; putting his hand over his forehead.

"What happened? As you can see everything is falling apart," Vanitas said; pointing to the storm.

Sora then gazed at the horrific storm; there was no doubt that the darkness was closing in. At this stage, it only made Sora more determined to go forward with his idea. No matter how crazy it was.

After another second of looking at the destruction, Sora lowered his eyes; focusing on the ground before him.

"I'm sorry Vanitas, I tried to control the darkness, but…as you can see, I failed," Sora said sadly.

But before Vanitas could say anything, Sora continued to speak.

"And...I don't know if you know, but, I found out that Xehanort is after Ven; he was, and probably still is planning to use him like before."

"What! I didn't know that, all this time I thought he was after you, since he told me his plan," Vanitas said surprised.

"Well looks like he let you in on half of the plan and lied about the rest," Sora said facing him.

"That bastard, I wonder what else he is hiding," Vanitas muttered.

"And how did you find out?" Van continued.

"Well, while I was following your plan; making me separate myself from my friends, I got a little help from a stranger when searching for Ven. He helped me find his body, and I did, only to find out it was a trap.

Xehanort's younger self was the one who was guiding me to where Ven was, and told me his plan straight-forward. He said he was going to use Ven's body as the last vessel.

Which…mainly explains why this is happening right now. I didn't want Xehanort to take Ven; I just…couldn't let him. So I did the unthinkable and let the darkness go. I won, but…now it seems like if it was for nothing. Ven is still in danger even as we speak," Sora said.

"Hmm…I see, but…there's nothing we can do…there's nothing I can do…." Vanitas said thinking; trying not to show concern for Ven.

"Without this sanctuary, Ven, will definitely be imprison in the darkness forever…with no hope of returning to his body," Vanitas continued.

"Well, if that's the case, I think it's about time to break out from the cell," Sora said determined.

"What do you mean?" Vanitas asked confused.

"Vanitas, you say you can't do anything, but I have an idea," Sora said.

"What is it?" Van wondered.

"Well…sadly with the way things are going, I'm too weak to regain control of my body, but you, you can still take over can you?" Sora asked.

"Y-yeah, I think so, but what good would that do?" Vanitas asked.

"You can take over my body, just for a while, enough time to end all this," Sora continued.

"Where is this going?" Vanitas asked raising an eyebrow.

The next line was hard to say, but Sora knew that this was probably the only way.

"What I want you to do Vanitas is to….put an end to me…" Sora said sadly; in a low voice.

"What?!" Van's eyes widen.

"It's the only way, Ven would be free, going back to his body, the new found darkness that you gave me will diminish and go back to you.

Everyone will be free, including you when Ven will be revived.

You two are connected so I'm sure you'll be brought back as well; keeping my promise," Sora explained.

Vanitas then made a sour face.

"Even if your plan will work, there is still a risk involved. If I were the one taking control and pierced my key-blade into your body; it will also be me probably taking my own life as well.

What I'm getting at Sora, is that I might not be revived. I don't know what will become of me, and besides, even if I do make it and Ven knew what happened to you, he would never forgive me," Vanitas explained.

"Well...it may be a risk, but I know that you care about Ven, and if you look deep into your dark heart, finding the light within you, you'll agree with me and accept the fact that it's a risk you're willing to take; to make sure Ven is safe," Sora said determined.

Vanitas didn't say anything. As much as he hates to admit it, Sora was right. Van did care about Ven, even if Ven thinks he doesn't. And the possibility of him being endanger made Vanitas feel conflicted. Since in the past, Vanitas always wanted Ven out of his life, but now after trying to change, it's weird to have the feeling of wanting to protect the thing you always loathed.

Vanitas wondered, was it right…to go along with Sora's crazy idea; with him possibly sacrificing himself in order to protect Ven?

Then that's when Van remembered what Ven said himself.

"No, I don't want to hear it, you don't care about him, and…you don't care about me.

The only person you care about is yourself," his words echoed in Van's head.

As his eyes lowered to the sand, Sora then walked up to Vanitas and put his hand on Van's shoulder.

"Please Vanitas…" Sora said; pretty much begging, "I'm asking you….as….as a friend…"

Hearing the word, "friend," made Vanitas look up at Sora. His eyes widen, possibly wondering if he heard the word right; Vanitas truly believed he was dreaming at this point, after all, he's been alone for so long, no-one has ever called him something so meaningful as the word friend.

"Friend…?" Vanitas asked.

Sora nonetheless nodded his head yes.

Van probably would have been happy, knowing he finally has a friend, but knowing of the situation; and already seeing Sora's future, Vanitas then lowered his head in sadness; Showing his emotion in full view.

Two lights are about to give out, and as painful as it is, both cannot be saved. In order for one light to keep going, the other must stay in the dark.

As much as they tried, Donald and Goofy were no match for the shadow. Goofy tried to get a few hits in, as well as Donald trying to strike him with his magic spells, but all attacks ended up being dodged.

With the last spell casted, the shadow dodged the fire, and eyed at his opponents, he knew that they were getting tired. Keeping this in mind, a devilish smile appeared upon his lips.

"Time to end this…" he said coldly.

The shadow then raised the new Key-blade, and casted a strange power. As the Key-blade glowed, so did the shadow, after a second, what came out of the blade, were multiple glowing chains. The chains flew in lightning speed towards Donald and Goofy, successfully wrapping themselves around their bodies. At this point, they were trapped. What were they suppose to do now in order to get out of it?

With the idea to keep struggling; trying to get loose, Donald and Goofy heard the shadow laughing in amusement.

"It's no use…those chains are unbreakable.

Now if you excuse me, I have an important matter to attend to.

We'll keep playing after I get back," the shadow said; turning his back on them.

"I think I'll start with Ven instead..." he said in his mind; walking away.

Not hearing Donald and Goofy, the shadow then proceeded, opening the door. Finally, after so many years, a person has managed to get access into the Chamber of Waking, but no-one would have ever thought it would have been someone corrupted with darkness.

As the shadow looked around the room, he eyed it in disgusted. For a being like him, the atmosphere was too calm and quiet for his liking. He even hated the single color that was displayed all around as well. Why was the room so white, he wondered, why couldn't it be something more dark instead.

The shadow continued his gaze until he finally set his eyes towards the middle of the room. His red eyes widen, as a smirk appeared on his face. There he was, Ventus, sitting peacefully asleep on the single white chair.

"So, you're the one that Sora wanted to protect," the shadow said; walking up to the chair.

Once he did, he started to study Ven's face. Even though he wasn't active, the shadow could sense the good will in the boy.

"Hmph, on one note I would consider sparing your life, since you helped create this chaotic situation, but on another note…"

Then the shadow surprisingly reached out, and grabbed Ven by the neck; ready to choke him.

"If you're still alive, there could be a chance I'll be stopped.

And the only way to guarantee it will never happen…is to eliminate every person Sora cares about."

The shadow then started to tighten his grip around Ven's throat.

"I warned him that his friends will pay the price, now, let your body forever die and your heart imprison in the dark."

Then, as the shadow attempted to tighten his grip more, an unseen force prohibited him in doing so. Within seeing this, the shadow's eyes widen in surprise and confusion. He won, why would this be happening to him, especially now? The shadow couldn't feel Sora at all, so he knew it couldn't be him doing this, so he wondered, who could it be?

Pretty soon after that, the shadow was starting to lose control, his arm started to shake, but he tried hard to hold his grip on Ven.

"No…it's Vanitas…but why…" the shadow wondered.

"Has the light really corrupted him that far..."

After another attempted to stay in control, the shadow lost; he was no longer possessing Sora. His grip on Ven still stand, but the Key-blade he had in the other was no longer in his grasp. The Key-blade fell, landing hard on the ground.

For a minute, Sora looked completely lifeless, since his head was lowered, facing the ground, but eventually, after what it seemed like forever, his head started to rise, slowly facing Ven. It displayed in Sora's eyes that they were amber, and no longer red. Even though amber signifies being with the darkness, there was something that was different when looking upon them.

It was quite hard to describe actually, were the eyes showing a hint of sadness, guilt, or maybe, was it something in-between. One thing's for sure, Sora's eyes didn't portray being evil this time despite its color.

"Ventus…" Vanitas said slowly; though oddly imitating Sora's innocent voice.

Vanitas' eyes then trailed slightly down, noticing that his hand was around Ven's neck. Already being in this position, made Vanitas try and fight back the temptation to finish what the shadow started. His fingers started to shake, as he slowly pulled them away; letting Ven go. After all, being in that position, it brought back the painful memory when he tried to choke Ven to death himself.

Knowing that he didn't have a lot of time left, Vanitas gave a sigh.

"I'm sorry it has to be this way Ven….

I'm not really good in expressing on how I feel, but one thing's sure, whether if you believe it or not…I do care about you…

I know I screwed up, and because of that, I'm willing to take the fall…in order to protect you…my brother…"

Oddly enough, Vanitas then started to change the color of his eyes to blue; imitating Sora even more. As he was doing this, he started to back away.

"And I know that you care about your friends, perhaps even more than me….

So…even though Sora might not come back, I'll make it seem like he was the one who saved you…not me…."

Vanitas then summoned his own Key-blade; gripping it tightly.

"After all, I have a reputation to keep…" he said; giving his usual smirk.

Vanitas then held his blade up high.

"Free the hearts that are trapped within this body…" he whispered.

With no hesitation, Vanitas then pierced his chest. Once the Key-blade made contacted, Vanitas lost all signs of awareness and feeling; because of this, his fingers loosen their grip, and his head fell forward; mirroring the same movements that Sora did once when he sacrificed his life to save Kairi. But instead of the Key-blade breaking, Vanitas' Key-blade simply vanished without a trace.

Once when this happened, Sora's chest began to glow, and as Sora hoped, Ventus' heart was released from within him. But as this was happening, Sora's body began to fade; making Vanitas lose control.

Pretty soon, the orb then flew elegantly, disappearing into Ven's chest. After so long, the heart was finally reunite with its body.

Being now complete, Ventus finally opened his eyes; his long sleep coming to an end.

"Rrrgh…my neck…" Ven said drowsy; trying to shake off the feeling of being stiff.

But as Ven looked up, he shot out from his chair. He always wanted to wake up, but he didn't want to wake up seeing this; a friend fading away from existence. Especially since that friend is Sora, the boy he was always friends with, but never truly met face to face. And now that he sees him, he's dying.

"SORA!" Ven cried.

Without a moment to lose, Ven ran and tried to catch him as he was falling. Luckily Ven did, but he eventually fell to his knees, looking down at Sora. Since Vanitas lost awareness of his surroundings, he just stared at Ven blankly; his false blue eyes still trying to focus on Ven. For a moment, it looked like Vanitas wanted to say something, but pretty soon, the light surrounding Sora was growing brighter; starting to make his body disappear. Seeing this, Ventus tried to hold back his tears, but knowing what was becoming of his friend, he couldn't resist.

Before finally giving into the slumber, Vanitas then formed a warm smile. Basically saying everything will be okay, don't cry and try to be strong; after all, that's pretty much what Sora would say himself if he was with them. As Ventus saw this, he was a bit stunned, he never really seen Sora before, and yet when he smiled, Ven sensed that he had seen this smile; recently actually. Then that's when he remembered Vanitas, he recalled it was when he said that Sora was looking for Aqua and Terra. The thought was there, but it didn't stick for long, since Ven noticed that Sora finally disappeared into small fragments of light.

As the small lights flew up in the air; slowly disappearing, Ven just looked up; frozen in his position. It was clear to say…that Sora was gone. And since he was gone, Ventus started to wonder…he knew Roxas and Xion will be okay, but the biggest question was…what was to become of his other half?

As he was gazing at the remaining lights, Ven lowered his head, staring at the ground.

"I'm back...but, why do I still feel in-complete..."

And for the first time ever, Ven started to feel Vanitas' pain; making him shed more tears.

With everything that happened, Sora was drifting, stumbling deeper in the dark. After seeing that his plan work, Sora was at ease, the shadow diminished, Ven and the others were free, and most importantly, Riku and Kairi would be safe from harm's way. But knowing that his friends will soon find out what happened to him, he just smiled to himself and closed his eyes; imagining that they would hear him.

"Don't worry…I'll come back..."

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