It's Not Over
He waited rather impatiently; tapping his fingers on the arm of the chair as time progressed. Really, to think that the man would have returned with the vessel by now, but nonetheless, Xehanort continued to sit on his chair, hoping that the task was successful. Though, after waiting another few minutes, that thought quickly faded once when Xehanort saw his younger self arrive empty handed.
The young man simply walked out of the dark portal, and made his way to the center of the round room. Even though he didn't want to look at the old man, due to failing his mission, he had no choice but to face Xehanort.
"I'm sorry Master Xehanort, but…I have failed to retrieve the vessel that you wanted," the young Xehanort said; no doubt feeling ashamed.
"Hmph, clearly," the Master said; looking down at him.
"And…may I ask, how did this come about?" he continued; crossing his legs.
"Well, it was because of Sora.
He used Vanitas' power to fight me off in order to protect Ven.
That…is mainly the reason why I'm here empty handed."
"Hmph, I see…so because of your failure, Ventus is now awake I'm sure."
"Well, yes there is that possibility, but, there could also be a chance that Ven's heart is trapped within Sora's body for good."
"What do you mean?" the Master asked; raising an eyebrow.
"Well it's like what you said before, if Vanitas' power influenced Sora, he'll no doubt turn into a different being…and when I fought him, I sensed that Sora wasn't truly himself anymore.
He probably left Castle Oblivion, doing who knows what.
Anyways, I can just go back and get the vessel…that is, if you want me to."
With what his younger self had to say, Xehanort pondered about what to do. He knew, without a doubt in his mind that Sora would have fallen to the darkness. But what he didn't know, was that where would his apprentice, Vanitas stand. Would he still be sheltered within Sora's heart, would he try to help Sora by waking Ven up some-how? All this filled his mind; after all, ever since when the boy was on his side, Vanitas wouldn't really listen to his orders and mostly did what he pleased.
And…now that no one is there to put a leash on Vanitas…per say….there was no telling in what he could do.
After a while of thinking about the situation, Xehanort finally spoke.
"No, forget about going back there, it really wouldn't be wise to; especially since you just retreated from there.
Normally, it would be hard to predict Vanitas' actions, but, considering in how I put him in a position where he had to be with our enemies, in order for my plan to work, I would say that he no-doubtfully helped Sora into awakening Ven.
Not only because he's trying to be good, but because it's already in his nature to help his other half on extremely rare occasions.
Vanitas had done kind things every now and then, when he use to take care Ven, but due to him being the dark side, those acts are easily overlooked to him.
Just as Ven overlooked the darkness in his heart, before I brought it towards his attention."
"Okay, so then if you say that Vanitas helped, what are we going to do now?
You know that we still need a vessel to complete our army."
Xehanort then raised a hand, basically telling his younger self to keep calm and not worry.
"Relax, for I have another plan. We will complete our army no matter what.
Though I have to say," he began trailing off a bit, "If the other plan went on as envisioned, it would have made things easier on the guardians of light…..and the worlds."
Xehanort then raised his hand again, and within a second, a swirling ball of dark energy was instantly created in his palm.
"Time to bring forth the next candidate," Xehanort continued.
With nothing much left to say, the young Xehanort then teleported, now sitting on one of the tall chairs. And pretty soon within time, all the previously empty seats were suddenly being filled; each black hooded member teleporting in each one. This was it, the new, nearly complete, Organization XIII. All the seats were filled but one, though in Xehanort's eyes, that was going to change in due time. The seat…will be filled.
And, with the thought of who the next person was going to be, Xehanort couldn't help, but give a sinister smirk.
It was awfully quiet in this place…to quiet for the woman's liking. After a long time of being trapped in the Realm of Darkness, she thought she would be used to her surroundings by now. Continuously seeing nothing but the moon and the dark night sky, hearing nothing but her own thoughts and the sounds of the calm waves, but no, at this point, since she knew that she was never going to return to the real world, she felt like she was going to go insane. Just think about it, being alone for many years, cut off from the world, leaving you to have no one to talk to; it would probably drive any person crazy.
The only thing that helped the woman kept going…was hope.
After gazing at the sight of her reflection in the water, the woman then turned her attention to the illuminating moon before her.
"I just hope that Sora found my Key-blade," she said to herself; giving a sigh.
She then lowered her eyes, staring at the water again.
"I really wish….that I could see my friends again," she said; shifting to another thought.
"Terra…Ven…."she whispered faintly.
With nothing else left to do, the woman then hugged her legs; burying her face onto her knees. Tears immediately wanted to escape, but after suddenly hearing a voice, the woman then picked up her head.
"So, you want to see your friends again," she heard the voice say.
"Well, don't you worry your pretty little blue head.
For I can get you out of this place so you can go and see them," the voice continued.
The woman then finally got up, and started to look around, she wondered, where was that voice coming from? To her, the voice sounded strangely familiar, but for some reason, she just couldn't put her finger on who it could be.
"W-where, where are you?
Show yourself," the woman demanded.
"Fine, as you wish…" the voice responded back.
And with that said, a dark portal appeared from a distance, in front of the woman. Automatically sensing the dark aura when the hooded figure walked out of it, the woman knew that the mysterious person was dangerous. Though the only problem was that, even if she knew that he was dangerous, the woman couldn't defend herself. She had no weapon to fight with since she had given them both up for the sake of her two friends. But of course she couldn't let her enemy know that, so she still took a fighting stance, being on her guard.
"Hello, Aqua," the hooded figure said.
"Who…who are you?
And how do you know my name?" Aqua asked determined.
Unknowingly to Aqua, the person under the hood was no one other than Vanitas, but considering how the two despise each other with a passion, Vanitas had no intention into introducing himself to the woman, he just wanted to get in and get out; avoid making conversation as much as possible.
"I'm basically the answer to your problem, and how I know your name will forever be a mystery to you," Van said; giving Aqua the cold shoulder.
Aqua then made a sour face, still keeping her guard up.
"Well then, if you don't tell me who you are, how can I even trust you? How am I supposed to know that you are willing to help me? For all I know, this can be some kind of trap," Aqua said.
"Hmph, it's better that you don't know who I am anyway, it would only cause more problems and…I'll give you a reason to trust me, and that reason…is Ventus; this isn't a trap," Vanitas responded back.
After hearing Ven's name, Aqua's eyes widen with surprise.
"Did…did Sora succeed?
Is Ven finally awake after all these years?" Aqua wondered.
"You…you know about Ven?" she asked out loud.
"Yes, he has finally awakened from his slumber and is now on the search for you."
Vanitas then extended out his right hand.
"I can take you to the Mysterious Tower; you and Ven will be reunited there.
"W-what, what should I do?
Should…should I go with this person?" Aqua asked herself.
Deep down, she didn't trust the figure, but when it came to the possibility of her seeing her friends again, a side of Aqua was willing to go and take a chance; especially since she'll be out of the Realm of Darkness after all these years.
Without even realizing it, Aqua immediately took a step forward, but then, as she looked at the dark portal in front of her, the fear of the unknown made her stay glued to the ground. She thought, what if all this wasn't even real? What if the person was just playing a trick on her and was going to take her somewhere else to do who knows what?
But then it came back to what he said, what if he was telling the truth? What if Sora saved Ven and both of them are now searching for her? She could finally meet the sweet boy again as well as be reunited with Ven. It was all just too good to be true.
After a few more seconds of thinking about what to do, Aqua then finally took another step forward; taking a chance.
"I still don't trust you…but, I'm willing to take a chance if it means seeing Ven again," Aqua said to Vanitas.
And after taking another few steps forward, she then extended out her hand, and gently took his.
With nothing else left to say, Vanitas then gripped Aqua's hand a little tighter; holding it.
"Very well then, follow me," he said turning his back.
The couple then started to walk into the portal, finally leaving the dark realm behind.
As of now, it was only a matter of time before Aqua would be reunited with one of her friends.
"This is sooo cool. I had never ridden in a Gummi ship before," Ven said excitedly.
Apparently out of luck, the trio managed to find their way out of the maze-like structure of Castle Oblivion. At first, Donald and Goofy thought it would have been a problem getting back to the entrance, since at one point they got lost themselves, but since Ven was with them, it wasn't much of a problem, due him using the Master's Key-blade in order to find their way out, and board the ship.
As Donald was piloting the Gummi ship, Ven was just sitting on a chair close to a circular window; taking in everything that he was seeing. From the technology that they had, to the rooms, to seeing the stars in space, and most importantly, to the controls that operated the ship.
"Yeah it is pretty cool.
I remember Sora was just as excited as you are when he first boarded our ship.
You know, you two seem kind of alike," Goofy said.
Ven nonetheless giggled at the comment and turned his attention back to the control panel.
"Oh, hey, what is this button for?" Ven said putting his finger over it.
Though, instead of an answer, Donald smacked his hand away; not wanting him to press it, or more less, not wanting him to touch any of the other controls.
"Yeah, maybe he's a little too much like Sora," Donald said in his mind; referring to Goofy's comment.
"Sorry, but I don't want you touching any of the controls, okay?" Donald said out loud.
With nothing really to say, Ven just looked at Donald and gave him a confused okay.
"Does he always get mad so easily?" Ven whispered to Goofy.
Goofy then chuckled, "You should see how he acts when Sora plays around with him."
"Hmmm, I could probably imagine," Ven said; remembering some of Sora's memories.
I guess the two really are close then…" he continued.
"Yup," Goofy said.
As Donald continued to drive the ship, Ven then turned to him.
"So, Donald, where are we going exactly?" he asked; changing the subject.
"Well, we're going to where the King is," Donald said.
"Oh you mean Mickey right?
So you know where he is?" Ven asked.
Yes, though it wasn't easy, but don't worry, with the route we're taking, we'll be there in no time.
We'll be able to tell him everything about Xehanort, and most importantly, one of Sora's friends will be there with him; she'll be able to help get Sora back to his original form.
By the way, where is Sora anyway?" Donald said; turning to Ven.
"Oh, well, when I was looking at one of the rooms, I left Sora on the bed so he could sleep, he looked kind of tired," Ven responded back.
"Oh," Donald said.
"You know, now that you mention it, I should go and check up on him," Ven continued; getting up from his chair.
"Ok," Goofy said; seeing Ven leave.
Though after another second, he was already gone. Once when Ven found the room that Sora was in, he slowly turned the knob and entered. And, instead of seeing the small Heartless sleeping as Ven intended, he saw that the Heartless was awake, looking outside the window.
"So, I see that you're awake," Ven said calmly; giving a warm smile.
He then closed the door behind him and made his way to the bed.
"It really is amazing, seeing the wonders of space," Ven continued; now sitting on the edge of the bed.
"Hmmm, kind of hard to believe that all the stars out there represents a world."
Reminds me of the time when my friend Terra tried to explain the concept to me…but at the time, it just went over my head," Ven said; giving a slight chuckle.
The Heartless then turned its head, twitching its antennas'.
Since obviously it couldn't speak, Ven looked at the Heartless and wondered what the creature could be thinking when-ever he talks to it. The Heartless always looked like it was listening to everything he would say, but since it was mostly a one sided conversation, Ven wasn't too sure if the Heartless was really listening to him, or better yet, if the Heartless even understood him or not. And to top it off, Ven still wasn't sure if Sora even had his memories.
But, tossing all that to the side, trying to stay positive, Ven kept talking to him nonetheless; thinking that the Heartless understood every word due to seeing its gestures.
After giving a sigh, and feeling the need to relax, Ven then got on top of the bed, and laid his head on the soft pillow. Though after a second, he then turned to his right side, staring aimlessly at the wall ahead of him.
"Sora…" Ven uttered softly; not facing the Heartless.
"I'm sorry I brought you into this…."
Not exactly sure what Ven meant, the Heartless titled its head; showing confusion.
"If…if I had known that Xehanort would have been after you in order to get to me….
I probably would have never stayed with you…
I would have just accepted my fate and…disappeared completely from this world….
If I was gone, Xehanort wouldn't have been able to find my body, or even…hurt you… our connection…would have disappeared….
I'm grateful for what you did for me…but, I can't help but to feel guilty that I put you in danger…ever since you were a child….
And for that….I'm sorry…."
Within hearing what Ven had to say, the Heartless started to walk a little closer to him. Just seeing the boy sad again, it made the Heartless wished that it had the ability to talk, in order to cheer him up.
Deep down, it's natural to feel guilty after seeing what had happened, but if you look at the overall picture, the unwanted events still would have unfolded no matter what, maybe a bit differently, but still nonetheless. Even if Ven would have disappeared; not being sheltered in Sora's heart from the start, nothing in the world would have changed the fact that Sora still would have been involved one way or another. Darkness still would have devoured his world, he still would have been separated from his friends Riku and Kairi, and Key-blade wielder or not, Sora still would have tried his best to rescue his friends no matter what…that's just the kind of person he is.
So, in the end, Ven wouldn't really need to apologize…it was never his fault after all. If only if the Heartless could tell him that though.
"I want to apologize to Vanitas as well…but considering how the way he is, I don't think I'll ever get the chance to…."
After a long period of silence, Ven then gave another sigh.
"I wish my friends were here…I miss them…" his eyes then started to get heavy.
Pretty soon after that, Ven finally closed his eyes; drifting to sleep.
With everything being quiet now, the Heartless then made its way to the side of the pillow, making itself comfortable. Though pretty soon, it didn't last. Once when the Heartless picked up something unusual with its antennas', it turned its head to the source. And what it saw… unraveling from the floor, was an Unversed.
As the creature successfully formed, it immediately locked its red demented eyes at the Heartless. The two creatures stared at each other; waiting to see if one would attack the other, but after continuously staring, the Unversed got tired, and quickly made its way to Ven.
Still looking baffled, the Heartless continued to watch the Unversed, wondering what it was going to do. At first, the Heartless thought that it was going to attack Ven, but after seeing that the creature just touched his forehead and quickly sank back into the floor, the Heartless didn't do anything. In fact, after the quick encounter, it was even more confused than ever.
Little did the Heartless know… that the Unversed gave Ven something to be happy about. Whether if Ven takes the image as a dream or not, it was Vanitas way of telling him that one of his friends is okay.
It was a bit hazy, though Ven saw Aqua standing, looking like if she was staring right at him; oddly enough, disgusted. At this moment, he knew that it wasn't right since they're best friends, but, as Ven then turned behind him, he then saw the person that Aqua was really looking at.
"Vanitas…is that you?" Ven couldn't help but ask; stepping aside.
Though since everything was in a form of a dream; there was no response; instead, Aqua spoke.
"I still don't trust you…but, I'm willing to take a chance if it means seeing Ven again," she said; eventually taking the person's hand.
"Very well then, follow me," the person said; turning his back.
It has to be Vanitas…" Ven said.
After that…the last thing he saw…was the two leave into the portal.
After taking a long nap, Ven finally woke up; having the dream still fresh in his mind.
"Aqua…she's ok," he said to himself; forming a smile.
After a second, Ven then turned to his left, seeing the Heartless.
"I guess I kind of dozed off huh…" he chuckled; petting the creature on the head.
Though, as time passed being in the room, Ven figured it was about time to rejoin Donald and Goofy. So, with the thought in mind, Ven got off the bed, and picked up the Heartless, now having it in his arms; though, just before he was about to leave the room, something familiar from the window captured his eye.
"What…" he said in a low voice; turning to the window.
At first glance, it looked like there was nothing but clouds, indicating that the ship was no longer flying in space, and it was true, since it means that they have arrived at their destination, but as Ven took a closer look, he saw that the world that they were landing in, was not the one the he expected it to be.
As the clouds started to clear, Ven started to see it…the dirt…the rocks…and most importantly, the field of the abandon keys; from seeing the sight all the way up to the ship, it was rather small to tell, but since Ven had been to this dreadful place before, he knew without a doubt that it was the field.
"King Mickey…he's...here?" Ven wondered.
And, as if being in a trance, Ven raised one of his hands, and put it over the cold surface of the glass.
Just being in this world again, it started to make Ven relive the moments of what happened so long ago; him losing his friends. And, even though it was bad, making Ven feel angry; forming his hand into a fist, he immediately shook the feeling away and calmed himself down.
No matter how much hatred he had towards Xehanort, Ven stayed focused on what was important, and that was the fact that Vanitas was no longer on Xehanort's side. Along with that, Ven was even glad that Aqua was okay, no longer imprisoned in the darkness, and since they're here, Sora will soon be his old self again once when he reunites with Kairi.
"Remember…just try and stay positive…." Ven said; lowering his hand, taking a breath.
And after doing so, he then walked out of the room and rejoined with Donald and Goofy.
"So, I taken you took a nap?" Donald said; preparing to land the ship.
"How'd you know?" Ven asked; walking closer to the gang.
"Just a lucky guess," Goofy chipped in.
The Heartless just stared at Goofy in return.
"So, since we're landing, I'm assuming that the King is here right?" Ven continued; looking at the horrible environment.
"Yeah, though to be honest, Goofy and I have never been here before. So, it might take a while to find him," Donald stated.
"Hmmm, well…I've been here before, quite enough times to know my way around this place…so, we might find him faster than you think," Ven said.
And just when the ship successfully landed, everything became silent.
"Well, I guess it's time to go and look," Donald said; hopping off his seat.
"Yeah," Goofy agreed.
"Ok," Ven stated.
And without wasting any time, Ven turned, and started to walk; almost being the first one out of the ship. What made him stop and turn back though, was the sound of Goofy's voice.
"Uh, just being a little curious Ven, but uh, since you said you been here before, do you know what this place is?" he asked.
It was silent for a second, but Ven managed to answer Goofy's question.
"This place…is known as 'The Key-blade Graveyard'…" he stated.
And just hearing the word, 'graveyard,' it immediately sent a chill down Donald's and Goofy's spine. As of now, one thing's for sure for the both of them, they have to keep on their guard at all times; you never know what could happen in a place like this.
"Ok…well…let's get going," Donald said; taking the lead.
And with that said, Ven and Goofy followed Donald off the ship, and wasted no time on the search for Mickey, Riku, and Kairi. While Ven was walking, feeling nostalgic of the deserted wasteland, Donald and Goofy had their minds on the king, wondering where he could be.
At first, there seemed to be no luck, no person to be seen except the countless structures of rocks; as said before, completely deserted. Though, the gang kept going, they knew that Mickey and everyone else had to be somewhere.
As the wind kept blowing, still not able to locate any one, Donald was at the peak of giving up…that is…until Ven said something.
"Look guys over there!
I think I see them," Ven said pointing.
Donald and Goofy then turned, and immediately saw three figures off in the distance. Two of the figures were tall, and the last one was short. Keeping this in mind, Donald and Goofy looked at each other happily, knowing that they finally found them. But then the smiles quickly faded once when they turned to the Heartless that was now on Ven's shoulder. They wondered, how were they going take the news about Sora, especially Riku? Odds are, not too good.
Keeping the thought in mind, Donald then turned back to the trio ahead of them, and waved his hand in the air.
Kairi," Donald called.
"Over here!" Goofy shouted.
It took a while, but the pair was able to get the other's attention. As soon as they did, Donald and Goofy stopped waving and waited for the trio to come over. And when they did, everyone happily greeted each other.
"Hello your majesty," Donald and Goofy said.
"Hello fellas, didn't expect you here, we we're just here trying to find some clues to where Terra could be," Mickey said; looking at them.
Though, after a second, his gaze went to Ventus.
Is…is that really you?" Mickey said; slowly walking up to him.
At the sight of seeing Ven right in front of him, Mickey just couldn't believe it…after all, he hadn't seen Ven in years; and on a side note, in Mickey's opinion, it was quite surprising to see that Ven didn't even age a day either.
Having a slight smile, Ven kneeled to Mickey's level, and took his hand, greeting him.
"It's nice to see you again Mickey," Ven said.
Knowing the fact that Ven really was present and not being an illusion, Mickey couldn't help but form a friendly smile. It really would have been a touching moment; having friends see each other again after so long, but then Mickey's attention went to the Heartless; having many questions forming in his head.
Wait…don't tell me…." Mickey said; putting the pieces together.
"No…Sora…" Kairi said; not wanting to believe it.
"I knew it…I knew that Vanitas couldn't be trusted.
I should have tagged along, I should have done something," Riku said in his mind; feeling angry.
"We ran into Xehanort again, apparently he was after Ven before Sora step in and saved him, though at the cost of losing his heart," Donald said; explaining the situation.
"And possibly his memories as well…" Ven said.
"So because of what happened, we thought it was important to report this to you. Wondering what we should do? That, and also because we hoped that Kairi could some-how bring Sora back like before," Goofy stated.
"Oh, I see," Mickey said; his eyes lowering to the ground.
"Can you do it?" Ven asked kairi; standing up properly.
"I…I could try," Kairi said; walking up to him.
And without another word, she then gently took the Heartless from Ven's shoulder; now having the creature in her hands.
"Sora…" Kairi said softly; gazing at the creature's circular glowing eyes.
Just looking at Sora being in this state again, it nearly brought Kairi into tears. Flashbacks of Sora sacrificing himself instantly played back in her mind. Even how she felt that day started to repeat itself. All that Kairi wanted…was for him to come back. Having the thought in mind, Kairi embraced the Heartless and instantly collapsed to her knees.
Please don't leave us….
Don't leave your friends….
We need you….
I need you….
Please remember us….
Please… remember, who you are…." Kairi said in her mind; closing her eyes.
At this point, all eyes were on the two; waiting to see what would happen, and at first, there was no reaction, but then suddenly, out of pure astonishment, the Heartless then changed. Light surrounded and engulfed the creature, instantly reshaping the figure into a more humanoid form.
As the process was happening, the light that surrounded the creature finally disappeared. And instead of a Heartless being in Kairi's arms, it was now Sora himself; embracing her tightly.
"It took a little while…but I remember everything now….
Thank you…Kairi," Sora whispered to her.
At the sight of seeing Sora again; everyone was smiling and happy.
So happy, that when he and Kairi got up to their feet, Sora was instantly attacked with hugs from Donald and Goofy.
"Sora, you're okay!" they both cried.
"Glad to see you guys too…" Sora said smiling.
He then turned to Riku; probably expecting him to be mad since he didn't keep his promise of being careful. But, honestly, none of that really mattered, Riku was only happy to see that he was okay; though when everything is over, he'll probably get after him; more likely to tell him off like he does when-ever Sora sleeps.
"Welcome back," Riku said to Sora; giving a warm smile.
Sora nonetheless gave Riku a smile in return.
And of course, after greeting the King, Sora then turned to one last person…Ventus.
At first, it was all silent between the two, not knowing what to say to the other. Deep down, Ven had always dreamt of this moment, wanting to meet the boy that saved him twice, they always had a connection, being able to speak to one another, but in the end, never face to face…that is…until now.
"I'm glad that you came back….it was the least I can do, since you saved me before," Ven said walking up to Sora.
"I just wanted to return the favor….thank you…Sora," he continued.
"No problem…" Sora said in return; giving a smile in return.
"I just hope that Vanitas comes back as well…" he continued in his mind; remembering everything that happened between them before Van left.
For Sora, he already broke one promise; the last thing that he wanted was to break another. And that other promise…was for Vanitas to have a life of his own alongside his brother Ven. And, considering the fact that Sora remembers when Ven told him about feeling guilty, and wanting to apologize, well…it made Sora feel sad.
Feeling the need to say something else, Sora put a hand on Ven's shoulder, about to speak, though, as the wind suddenly started to blow violently against the group, Sora wasn't able to.
"What's going on?" Kairi asked.
"I don't know, maybe a storm?" Mickey said.
"No…it has to be something else…" Riku stated.
"I sense someone coming, and I think I know who it is," Riku said in his mind; forming a fist.
Pretty soon after, a portal suddenly appeared in front of the gang. And, as soon as the hooded figure walked out, the portal disappeared and the wind stopped.
"So, most of the gang is here, how nice," the hooded figure said.
"That voice…" Sora and Ven said in their minds.
While everyone was staring in wonder, the hooded figure then raised his hand. And, before someone could question in what the person was doing, a familiar blue creature appeared from the ground.
Knowing all too well in what the creature was and who it belonged to; Donald, Goofy, and Kairi gasped in shock; after all, Kairi thought he was destroyed, and Donald and Goofy thought so too when Sora turned into a Heartless.
"So, you have returned…Vanitas…" Mickey said.
Vanitas didn't say anything, instead, the Unversed that was tasked to look after Ven, quickly made its way to its Master; having its negativity floating right back to him. At this point, Vanitas just embraced the pain, no use trying to fight it, or even cry or scream, no, it just isn't worth trying to break the chains anymore. They have…and forever will be…..unbreakable.
Having so much hatred towards him, seeing how he manipulated and hurt his friend, Riku just want to get back at Vanitas for all the cruel twisted things that he had done. In his eyes, there was never anything good about him; there never was…and never will be.
And within the heat of the moment, Riku summoned his Key-blade and ran full speed towards Vanitas.
"I had it with you!" Riku said.
And just seeing how the situation was turning out, Sora called out to his friend to stop, but since Riku was so consumed with angry and hatred, he ignored his best friend and swung his Key-blade at Vanitas with full force.
Though, instead of stabbing him, the Key-blade ended up clashing with Van's. As this happened, the black hood that Vanitas had on, came off, now revealing his face. At this sight of seeing his face, just about everyone was stunned to see the resemblance between him and their friend Sora; everyone, but Ven and Sora himself.
"Riku stop!" Sora called out again.
But Riku continued to ignore him.
Being in this situation before, Vanitas wouldn't hesitate to fight back. But since he was aware of Ven's presence; wanting to prove to him that he changed, he didn't fight back. Not really out of pleasure, or willing to kill, but instead, to defend himself; not really wanting to hurt Riku, which in this case is entirely different.
"You know, you shouldn't let your emotions get the better of you.
Otherwise you'll end up doing something that is entirely meaningless and stupid," Vanitas said to Riku; keeping him at bay.
"Shut up!" Riku cried.
"All you care about is bringing pain and suffering to others.
Sora trusted you, he believed in you.
He thought that you could have changed, but, he ended up becoming a Heartless because of you.
For all the things that you have done….you don't even deserve to be here," Riku continued.
"Hmph…maybe you're right…" Vanitas then looked at Ven, "Maybe I don't deserve to be here…" he said; now looking at Riku.
"After all…with all the terrible things that I've done…it would feel right to just…kill me wouldn't it….
To put an end to my existence, but look closely Riku…I haven't even started this fight, nor do I even want to fight.
And, for what happened to Sora, it really wasn't my intention to do that to him at all," Vanitas continued.
"You're lying," Riku said.
Though Sora had enough, so he ran towards them and got between; breaking the two up.
Ven quickly followed after.
"That's enough Riku," Sora said.
"Stop it Van," Ven looked at him.
Van nonetheless obeyed Ven and lowered his weapon, while Riku looked at Sora baffled.
"But…" Riku said; though Sora cut him off.
"It wasn't Vanitas' fault for what had happened to me, it was my doing," Sora stated.
"I…I don't understand," Riku responded.
Sora then decided to explain it to everybody and not just Riku.
"Well, some of you guys probably didn't know this, or probably didn't find out until it happened….but when everything went back to normal; having my body back…well… I just didn't have the heart to get rid of Vanitas…not after…what I've seen what he's been through…
So because of that, I let him stay within my heart, and I know it was probably stupid of me to do it, but I thought I was able to handle it…to handle the darkness and control it; but, now that I'm restored, I now realize that I bitten off more than I could chew, since the darkness overshadowed me…
And things could have got worse from there if I didn't do anything….so for the sake of you guys, and…Ven…I let Vanitas did what he did; it was the only way….
So, if you all are still mad…don't be angry with him; the person you should really be mad at, would be me due to my careless mistake, and for that, I'm sorry…" Sora said; lowering his head.
In Riku's case, Sora is a bit naïve, but, when it really comes down to it, he can't really get mad at Sora since he knows that he was just trying to help a person…even though Riku doesn't like the person to begin with. No, with everything that's going on, the one person everybody should be angry at, would be Xehanort himself.
Riku then finally lowered his weapon, and put his hand on Sora's shoulder.
"It's okay…you were just being you; following your heart…
I can't be mad about that," he then looked at Vanitas, "I just couldn't control my anger, I mean, if anything happened to you or Kairi…I don't know what I would do…" Riku said; looking back at Sora.
"Yeah, I know," Sora said; smiling.
"And…I guess I owe you an apology too Van," Ven said turning to him.
At first Van was confused, after all, he believed that Ventus still hated him.
"I'm sorry for what I said…you know, about you never changing…you were just trying to help me and Sora, and I appreciate that, it just took me a little longer than Sora to see the good in you…" Ven continued.
Being excited, Ven then held Van's hand and gripped it tightly.
"When this is all over, we can all hang out together.
Me, you, Terra and Aqua," he smiled brightly.
Just hearing all this from Ven, it actually made Vanitas happy inside; knowing that he'll wouldn't be alone anymore, but then the thought of being with his friends, well…it still made Van sick to his stomach; he always hated them and will forever continue to hate them.
Vanitas then lowered his head, and pulled his hand away from Ven.
"I'm sorry…but I can't…" he said; not making eye-contact.
Seeing Van react this way made Ven baffled, at first he thought it was probably because of Terra and Aqua, but it really wasn't that all; unlike the case with Sora and Roxas, where Roxas tried to separate his existence from Sora, wanting to be his own person, it was the exact opposite between Ventus and Vanitas. Instead of going out of his way trying to have a life he thought he wanted, Van now realized that the life he always wanted…was Ventus'; in other words, instead of separating, he wants to become whole.
"What do you mean you can't?
Isn't this why you're here?" Ven asked confused.
Sora then walked up and joined Ven.
"Yeah Vanitas, I thought you wanted a new start, a new life," Sora said.
After a second, Vanitas finally looked up.
"I thought so too, until I realized that it won't solve the problem I always had to deal with," Vanitas said.
"What are you talking about, of course it will, now that you're with Ven everything-"though Sora was cut off.
"Everything will still be the same…"
After a while, Vanitas then gave a sigh.
Just think about it….why do you think I was never one of the people you are supposed to save?" Van continued.
Sora thought for a moment, but Vanitas continued to speak.
"It's because those people have the same desire, to have a new life, to be their own person.
I now realize that I don't want a new life…I want my old one back."
He then looked at Ven.
"I want to be whole…to be complete….that's what I really want."
"Van…" Ven couldn't help but say.
"I think… it's about time that the missing piece returns to its rightful place…."
"But…" Sora said.
"Don't worry Sora, its fine, even if it didn't turn out the way that you wanted it to, I would say that you still saved me nonetheless…." Van said.
He then put his hand on Sora's shoulder.
"If it wasn't for you, I still would have been under Xehanort's influence, and most importantly, having you for a friend made me feel better since...I never had any.
So…thank you for that Sora….
This isn't really good-bye… you'll still be hanging around with Ven I'm sure….
After all," he then looked at Ven again, "We're the same person."
"I'm...I'm just happy that I was able to help," Sora said.
With nothing much left to say, Van then turned to Ven.
"Hmm…after all these years I'm been taught that darkness was bad.
But after feeling the pain and seeing what you been through…I realize now that back then, you were just as scared and fragile as I was….
You're not completely bad… you just needed a friend…."
Ven then gave a sigh.
"I really wish you could stay Van….but I understand…
It really is the best thing to do for the both of us."
He then held out his hand.
"Let us be complete again."
And with that last statement, Vanitas then took his hand, and like how Roxas reunited with Sora, it was mainly the same thing for Ventus and Vanitas. Oddly enough, as Van was slowly disappearing, a warm smile appeared on his face; for the first time ever, he was actually happy; finally getting his wish. At this point, he would no longer have to worry about the pain, the Unversed, all that would finally be gone.
And, even though that he is a part of him, Ven couldn't help but see Vanitas as another person; a close brother to him.
"I'll miss you…
And thank you… for rescuing one of my friends…" he said in his mind.
And as Ven was looking, Vanitas finally disappeared; no longer in sight.
Feeling the sudden change in his once pure heart, Ven put his hand over his chest; taking everything in. And as he did this, his eyes turned amber, but since Vanitas wasn't looking on taking control this time, Ven's eyes quickly sank back to blue; his true eye color.
"So, you're ok?
Everything's fine?" Sora asked.
Ven then turned to him.
"I'm fine, never felt better in my life actually…" he said smiling.
With nothing much to say, Sora just smiled back and hugged him. It wasn't really necessary, but Sora felt the need to do so. Pretty soon, within time, Mickey then joined in, then Donald and Goofy, then finally Riku and Kairi.
Even though there is still more people to look for, and a battle closely drawing near, everyone couldn't help themselves but to at least have a little celebration of Ven finally becoming a complete person. At this rate, it wouldn't be too long until Ven reunites with Aqua, and for the rest of the gang to know in what's in store for them.
The battle...is still not over; not by a long shot.
"Darkness may have devoured the light….
But in the end, after the light came back burning brighter and stronger than ever, the Darkness itself soon evaporated into it…
Each accepting each other as equals…no longer overshadowing the other….
To think…all this had started when an infant...'a new born heart,' saved a boy from dying.
To think...that everything started with just...
"A Simple Touch…."
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