A Simple Touch

A Light to a Shadow

"Everything was cold and silent, nothing could be heard but only the sound of the wind…blowing…blowing; quiet sobs slowly emerging from the distance…"

Ventus' Point-of-view

This…this couldn't be happening. It…it shouldn't be happening. With everything surrounding me moving ever so slowly, my knees finally collapsed to the cold floor. This…this was a nightmare that I wished I never woken up to. Sora…my friend…I was losing him; after all the things that he had done to save us. Knowing that he was fading away, I couldn't help but let my emotions control me; tears instantly formed, rolling down my cheeks as I looked down at Sora. As my teary eyes met his blank ones, my mind was beginning to race as I had him in my arms. I didn't want him to go; I wanted him to be alright. Thinking that all this was just a dream and that it wasn't happening…but sadly, this was reality.

Why is it so cruel? First Terra and Aqua…and now its Sora. At this point, I truly felt helpless to save him. It just didn't feel right, being here, watching him fade. As I felt more tears streaming down my face, my eyes suddenly widen when I saw Sora give me a warm smile. To tell you the truth, when I saw the smile, I was a bit stunned, I mean, I know I never truly met Sora face to face, but when I came across this smile; something in the back of my mind was telling me that I've seen this particular smile before. It was hazy, but then I remembered….

A person can imitate another person, perfectly even, but, as far as I learned, you can never imitate another person's eyes; no matter if they share the same color. Everyone has a different personality and it's always reflected within the eyes. They say that the eyes are a window to the very soul of a person. So, with another glance, channeling out everything around me and only looking at the eyes before me, I instantly saw what I was always familiar with. The eyes were reflecting pain, despite them being empty. With this, it almost felt like if I was looking at a mirror. Because of this feeling and the smile, his name came to mind; Vanitas. Was this person Vanitas instead of Sora?

Though, before I came to a conclusion, I then noticed that Sora finally disappeared; he simply vanished into small fragments of light. At this point, it was clear to say…that Sora was gone. Gone. The word itself just couldn't settle in my head, not wanting to accept it. Sora…he…he couldn't be gone…knowing him, he always finds a way to come back one way or another.

Keeping this in mind and remembering his smile, I then looked up at the remaining lights. After being in his heart for a while now, I just know that Sora will come back without a doubt. So, instead of crying, I should have hope and try to be strong. I'm pretty sure Roxas and Xion would have the same thought if they were here too. Though for now, I can only assume that they are okay where ever they are…until we meet again.

After what it seemed like if I was alright now; about to stand up and have my head held up high; signifying that I'm not giving up, something then all of sudden struck me in my chest. Due to this, I remained frozen were I kneeled. It was weird...it almost felt like I was beginning to choke up again; having a huge lump in my throat. The thought of those eyes came back to me.

Vanitas…did he make it like the rest of us did? Or…did something happen to him? With these questions emerging in my mind, I then lowered my head, staring aimlessly at the floor. The feeling…it hasn't gone away… To be honest, this feeling felt like the time I nearly died when I spitted into two. But that was a long time ago, why am I having this compressing sensation within my chest now? I mean, I'm not dying, I'm perfectly fine. Could…could it be that I'm still not complete? Or, is it my mind playing tricks on me; making me believe that I'm in-complete. I don't know what to say, but, it seems like I do feel in-complete; though the question is…why?

Then, that's when Vanitas came into mind once more. When thinking about him, and trying to endure this compressing feeling, something within me snapped. I didn't know how to describe this sudden sensation, but I felt like I wanted to scream in pain, yell, and possibly do more; but not losing myself completely, I just let all these sudden emotions flow out of me by tears. What...what was happening to me? I...I remember my share of pain, but this…this kind of pain felt new to me. Hatred, frustration, sadness, and being cold-hearted; it all filled within me like water. Though out of all of what I was feeling, the one emotion that was feeding me more...was jealously, or maybe, to be more precise…envious.

Without even realizing it, my hand then tightened into a fist. My life felt good and promising before when Terra and Aqua were around, but now all of sudden, I felt like a part of that image shattered, filling the missing spaces with nothing but bitterness, and emptiness. Before I felt the new emotions take me even further, I then stopped and blinked in confusion. Why…why was I acting like this…why was I acting like Vanitas? N—No, strike that, I wasn't acting…it almost felt like if I was feeling what he was experiencing; feeling what he felt, for…his whole life as a matter of fact.

And then here's the strangest part of it, after the emotions disappeared, I then started to see flashbacks of Vanitas himself. The reason it was strange, was due to the fact that, in those quick memory flashes, each and every one of them had a time when Vanitas would strike down the Unversed with his Key-blade, or shockingly to me, with his own hands. And…when those demented creatures were destroyed, he would cry out in pain or even try to hold it in. It was shocking to me because all this time I didn't know that his own creations caused him pain. I mean, the last time I confronted him about those things, he looked like he pretty much had control over them, and showed no signs of suffering.

Boy, if I had to deal with that for the rest of my life, I think I probably would have gone insane, or maybe even hit a nervous breakdown. I wonder…did that happen to Vanitas along the way? Well, it probably would make sense since at the time he was so desperate into forging the x-blade with me. So he could end his suffering.

Knowing this now, I just gave a sigh and closed my eyes. At this point, I felt extremely guilty. If only, if I had seen these memories earlier, or even felt the pain that Vanitas was experiencing, I mean yeah I had an idea, but it never came close to this. If I had known all this before hand, I probably would have heard Van out and never would have started that fight with him. I guess he really was telling the truth about trying to help Sora; he really was trying to be good.

"Vanitas…" I whispered; feeling another tear roll down my face.

"I should have known you will never change, you will never be good, you will always be the monster that you are.

And whatever that happened between us before I met my friends, I don't care anymore; those early memories will remain meaningless to me, even if I continue to remember them," I heard my own voice say; remembering that this was the last thing I said to Van.

Still with the process of me remembering things, all I wanted to do now was to take back those words. The memories themselves aren't meaningless, no, they're probably the only thing that I have now that's still important; helping me see things and feel that I couldn't in the past.

"I hope Vanitas comes back…so, I could say…I'm sorry…" I whispered out loud.

And, as silence continued to surround me, out of nowhere, I started to get a sense that someone was with me. Feeling like the person was wiping a tear away from my face; basically telling me to not be sad.

"Don't worry, he'll come back…" a familiar voice said to me.

I have to say, the slight comfort did help me feel better, and…I could have sworn I heard that voice before, but since the voice was so faint, I couldn't identify it.

After I took another deep breath, I then finally opened my eyes, and when I did, I instantly saw something that was completely unexpected.

"Whoa!" I said; jumping back.

I know it was probably dumb, but the thing just surprised me so I couldn't help but react this way. And, since I moved suddenly, the creature before me also reacted…though scared instead; it back away shielding itself like if I was going to harm it. So, because the creature responded this way, I knew right away that it wasn't much of a threat; though it doesn't take away the fact that you still need to be cautious, after all, looks can be deceiving from what I learned from my Master.

Crawling forward, taking a step closer to the creature, I spoke.

"Uh, hi little guy, where did you come from?"

Though the creature didn't respond to my question, instead, it just looked at me, twitching one of its antennas'.

"Huh, you know, you remind me of those black creatures I was once attack by long ago. Except you're a lot smaller…and cuter," I said; forming a smile.

To be more descriptive about this creature, it basically had a vaguely humanoid body-like structure with a big round head, and circular glowing yellow eyes. So, obviously due to its features, it wasn't an Unversed. It really made me wonder what this thing was. In the back of my head I know I've seen them before, but never really quite knew the name of these beings.

Though the more I thought, the clearer I came to realize something. Since I was with Sora and had seen what he seen at times; enlightening myself with a few things, I then remembered. This creature standing before me was a Heartless; a being that is created when a person loses their heart; as far to my understanding. And once when the Heartless is created, if the person had so much darkness within their heart when they were alive, then their Heartless will be big as a result, or if they had little, the Heartless will be nothing but a small shadow; just like this one.

As I was reminding myself of this, I didn't even notice that the shadow walked up to me, and by the time I turned my attention to it. The shadow then raised its two claws slowly, basically resting themselves upon my cheeks; as if it wanted me to look at it more closely. Oddly enough, due to the warmth, the claws felt like human-hands instead. Yup, this definitely must be my imagination kicking in, I mean, Heartless are no different from the Unversed; they attack people, but this one…this one was surprisingly different. This Heartless felt like a human to me than being an actual shadow. I was right, appearances can be deceiving.

And like I did before, I looked closer at the shadow's glowing yellow eyes. I wonder…could…could it be? Hmm, it must have since he vanished without a trace.

"Sora?" I said out loud.

"Is…is that you?"

After another second of staring at the shadow, the Heartless then lowered its claws and continued its gaze. It was clear to me that the creature couldn't speak, even if it wanted to. Though, I noticed when I mentioned Sora's name, the Heartless then titled its head in an oddly cute way, twitching its antennas. While seeing this, it then brought up another question.

I remember that when a Heartless is created, they are normally mindless with no memory of being human. So, did it happen to Sora? The Heartless doesn't seem mindless; (wanting to only collect hearts), but the look in its face seems like the creature displayed confusion, as if it has no memory of being a human, or to be more precise, the Heartless has no memory of being Sora. But, that's only an assumption since I'm not quite sure at the moment. Hopefully I'm wrong and Sora still held his memories and feelings as a Heartless. After all, it looked like a second ago he was trying to tell me who he was.

Well, in the end, one thing's for sure. Sora helped me, and well now…now it's my turn to help him. I'll do whatever it takes to try and turn him back to his original form. So, with this new goal set in my mind, I then gave a smile to the Heartless.

"Come on little guy, I'm not going to hurt you," I said to the shadow; welcoming it with open arms.

And as I had them opened, the shadow then slowly walked towards me; almost being hesitant. So while seeing this, I then tried to ease the creature's mind. If this shadow really was Sora, then there wouldn't be a need for him to be afraid of me. After all, we're friends.

"You don't have to worry, you can trust me."

And like you did for me….

"I'll protect you…"

While giving a warm smile, the shadow finally ran into my arms. And without another thought, I then got up from the floor and hugged the little shadow. Weird, at this moment, it almost felt like hugging a cute little stuff-animal. It was nice, but the moment didn't last long since after a second, the shadow then started to wiggle out of my grip and made its way onto my right shoulder.

"Okay sure, you can rest on my shoulder.

I don't mind," I said cheerfully; moving my eyes to the side.

And once again as a response; the shadow moved its antennas'.

Still thinking that it was adorable, I let out a slight giggle.

"Well, I guess we better be going," I said; turning my attention to the door.

But before I left, I made my way back to the chair and reclaimed the Key-blade that was abandoned there. It was a bit hazy since I've been asleep, but as far as I could remember, this was the Master's Key-blade, and the last thing I remember before I drifted to a deep sleep, was that Aqua used this Key-blade to re-create our home… in order to protect me while I slept.

"Terra…Aqua," I whispered; holding the Key-blade tightly in my left hand.

And...with nothing else left to say, having the Master's Key-blade in my hand, and having a companion on my shoulder on the opposite side, I then turned and made my way out of the room. I have to say…I've been asleep for so long, hidden from the world that now...now it's time for me to wake up and see it again…I'm ready…I'm ready to face whatever challenges that awaits me. Feeling strong, and confident, I then opened the doors ahead of me, and was instantly showered by rays of light.

"My awakening…" I whispered; as I walked into the light.

End of Ventus' POV

Sora's Point-of view?

Give in…and let go….

Give in…and let go…

These words continuously rang in my head. Almost like shadows were surrounding me, whispering them in my ear. Darkness, that's all I was surrounded by and…as much as I wanted to see the light, I quickly reminded myself that I was willing to do this; to be left here in the dark abyss in order to help out someone in need…or, so I thought. As I felt myself falling, stumbling deeper into the dark, my thoughts started to become hazy, while the voices in my head constantly grew louder within every second.

The voices…they kept telling to give into the darkness…to succumb to it, and let go of my existence that still remains in this realm. At first, as I entered this dark world, I remembered I was too quick to not let these demonic shadows pull me down. I'm not the type to give up that easily….or am I wrong? Am I just fooling myself, because now, after being in this realm for quite some time, I feel like the voices are wearying me down; making me slowly give in.

I must be…as far as things are going right now, I actually feel calm, accepting the cold abyss that surrounds me, not only that, but, I also feel sleepy…sleepy enough to just close my eyes and dream. After all, to dream is nice…I can do what-ever I want and forget the problems that I had. Wait? Did…did I even have a problem before coming here? Weird, I can't seem to remember now…

I think…I think it was to…help someone. I remember feeling a moment of peace when a certain enemy was destroyed, due to the fact that it wouldn't cause more harm to…to…

Why can't I remember the rest?

Weird, the more I thought, the more confusing and hazier my mind got. The only thing that came really…was the comforting thought of coming back to someone…to my friends….

Wait…do I even have friends to come back to?

I can't even remember their names.

And…I can't even remember my own name either.

What…is my name?

Who…who am I?

I tried as best as I could to remember, but those voices, they kept coming back, it's almost like…that they didn't want me to remember. The shadows…the darkness, it wanted me to give in and make me disappear into nothingness.

Should, should I just give in?

As much as I know, I hardly know who I am…

I have no friends…I probably just imagined them…

And this place will forever be my home….

Might as well just fade, and be one with darkness itself…

Yes….

Let the darkness swallow me….let my existence fade into nothingness….

With my mind set, I then slowly closed eyes, ready now for what's to come. And as I did, everything around me felt cold and silent, nothing could be heard, but only the sound of myself steadily breathing…that is until, faint sobs started to emerge from a distance.

Faint sobs?

No, it couldn't be, it's probably just my imagination; after all, no voice can reach the realm that I'm in. No-one. But, as I finally opened my eyes, it was kind of hard to say it was part of my imagination. No, instead, as I paid more attention to the quiet sobs, I now knew it wasn't part of a dream. Someone…someone out there was hurting. But who?

Finally giving it some thought, I then noticed I stopped falling; instead I was hovering. It was probably because I stopped letting the darkness persuade me, but no matter, the only important thing I was thinking about now, was where the crying was coming from. I wanted to know who was hurting. I don't know why, but I had this weird feeling in my chest that I wanted to go and help this person, to put a smile on their face and make them forget their troubles. It was a bit hazy, but I had a feeling that I'd always use to do this when some-one would be sad.

So, with no second thought, I then made my way up; almost flying out of this realm; out of the darkness, and surprisingly….into the light.

And as soon as the warmth showered me, a voice started to rise as well; the voice seemed oddly familiar, but, for some unknown reason, I couldn't remember who it belonged to.

"Vanitas…" I heard the voice whisper; sensing the sadness.

Vanitas?

Why do I have this feeling like I know that person? The name does ring a bell, but, for some reason, the face of the person didn't come to mind, no matter how much I tried to remember. But, even though I couldn't exactly remember Vanitas, something tells me that he was important to the person that was hurting.

"I hope Vanitas comes back…so I could say…I'm sorry…" I heard the voice utter once again.

Mmmm….it seems to me like something bad had happened between Vanitas and this person, which finally brought the person into tears; wanting to probably make things right between the two of them. Oh, he must be really sad since he believes that he won't see Vanitas again because of what happened.

Maybe…maybe I should go to him, to comfort him in his time of need. After all, that's what friends do for each other. This may sound weird, but, the more I hear the voice, the more I'm familiar with it. It's like I know this person and… I have a feeling that we share a special connection. Could…could he be one of the friends that I had before I entered the eternal darkness?

Yes, he must have been, I'm positive he was. After all, I know his name…it's…it's…Ventus. Yes Ventus.

With the idea settled in my head, I then made my way, finally reaching my destination. The light that once surrounded me decreased, finally revealing a white room instead. Weird, as I looked around, nothing within the room seemed to jog my memory; I guess I'd never been in this room before.

As I continued to examine the room, I then noticed from a far that Ven was resting on his knees crying. Seeing this sight probably would have brought me into tears myself, but…I guess I was prohibited of shedding tears, or show any emotions of that matter. I guess it was because of the new form that I have taken when I came back to this world.

Before I even approached Ven, I noticed that my hands were no longer hands…instead…they looked more like monstrous claws. They looked so sharp, that they could instantly pierce a person's chest. This was more than likely a tool for heart collecting. I know this much, mainly because when I nearly gave myself over to the darkness, a single thought of taking and consuming hearts started to invade my mind. But now, since I pulled away, the thought didn't influence me any further. I'm better than this, I don't need to take another person's life in order to survive.

As Ven continued to cry, I then finally made my way to him, and…even though I couldn't speak, I tried my best to.

"Don't worry, he'll come back…" I managed to say; though telepathically.

And as another effort to comfort Ven, since I didn't have fingers, and didn't want to hurt him with my claws, I then moved one of my antennas' closer, and instantly wiped a tear away from his face. After I did this, it seemed that my attempt had worked. Ven still had his eyes closed, though he stopped crying and a warm smile formed. Though, as he finally opened his eyes, I saw that he instantly jumped back. I guess he didn't expect to see me. Honestly I wouldn't have been so scared, but since it happened too quickly, I also reacted the same the way.

I even shielded myself just in case, but as I continued to see Ven; he didn't look that much afraid anymore. As I lowered my claws and gazed at him, I saw that he was crawling to my direction, and when we were face to face, he tried to talk to me.

"Uh, hi little guy, where did you come from?"

To be honest, I would have answered the question, but because I was in this form, I couldn't talk, and the whole telepathy thing, I guess it was only a one time thing since I couldn't do it anymore. So, I basically moved one of my antennas' as some kind of response.

"Huh, you know, you remind me of those black creatures I was once attack by long ago. Except you're a lot smaller…and cuter," Ven continued.

But still, with the lack of my ability to talk, I just stared at him. And, as I saw that Ven suddenly became deep in thought, a thought of my own entered my mind. Maybe Ven can help me jog my memory. Since I know his name, maybe…just maybe, he can help me remember my name. Knowing my name can help me remember other important things as well. So, getting his attention, I walked closer to Ven and put my claws on both sides of his face; I couldn't talk, so this was the next best thing.

And, when he got a very good look at me, Ven said something that I didn't expect to hear.

"Sora?

"Is…is that you?" he said wondering.

Sora, was that my name? The more I thought, the more confused I was. After all, if this really was my name, wouldn't have the name rang a bell? While I was thinking about this, I simply lowered my claws and gazed at Ven again, and I guess, even though I couldn't express my emotions very well, I could tell that Ven knew what I was feeling. Maybe the tilting of the head and my antennas moving probably gave it away, I don't know.

But no matter, if my name really is Sora, and I know that this person before me is Ven, then maybe it's best to hang around with him. So that way within time, my memories of when I was once human will finally come back. Hopefully they will, no, I'm positive they will. After all, if I was able to hold onto my humanity…my feelings this far, then my memories will surely return to me when the time is right.

So, after being a bit hesitant to go with Ven, my fears just melted away, now feeling calm and safe; running into his arms. And when he embraced me, hugging me for a moment or two, I couldn't help, but to jump on his shoulder instead. I thought he would probably be mad at first, but as I looked at him, him giving me a warm smile, it was clear that he didn't seem to mind at all. And obviously due to being in this form, he merely giggled, probably thinking I was cute since he said that word before.

"Well, I guess we better be going," Ven said; looking at the door ahead of us.

But before we left, he ended up going back getting something. As I saw that he grabbed the strange object from the floor, now having it in his left hand, I had a weird sensation when looking at it. It was a bit hazy, but as far as I could remember when I was in the dark, was that the weapon is the darkness' enemy; it was a Key-blade. If I had lost my humanity, I figured I would have probably been drawn to this weapon for only one reason…to destroy its wielder. But considering that it is not who I am, I'm not scared of the weapon. You know, to tell you the truth, I feel like I use to wield one of those weapons when I was human.

And…the more I thought about it, the more it felt like the feeling was more of a memory; though after a few seconds, my train of thought faded away once when Ven started walking to the door. I guess now it was time to leave this place, and face in what's to come. And once when Ven opened the door, rays of light showered over us as he continued to walk forward.

As of now, even though I helped Ven ease his sadness, one question still rests in my mind.

What happened to Vanitas?

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