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This was my entry for the contest....... but I was banned from the interwebs for a day and therefore missed my last chance. -Fade in- Namine sat in the white room she had called home for many a day now. With nothing else to do, she began to draw. The abandoned mansion creaked with DiZ's steps as he always checked on her at the wake of half-an-hour intervals. It's not that she thought DiZ was a bad person, but he wasn't exactly good company, either. Namine ''felt'' something....something like ''loneliness'', much like that she had ''felt'' before. But even so, she was glad she had at least someone to talk to....even if he only saw her as a nobody, but to her that seemed fine, because that was all she saw herself as.. still, he seemed to care somewhat nonetheless. He had that kind of an air about him, he seemed to discard any semblance of caring, but deep down, it was obvious he felt sorry for Namine. That person was someone she had seen before in memories, Riku. Every week, after following DiZ's orders and checking on Roxas and other person, he almost always came back to ask Namine how she had progressed with Sora's memories. The conversations they had when Riku entered the white room usually consisted of nothing more than a few sentences, ''Are you making progress?'' then she would reply with something like ''Yes. But it has become more difficult for me'' and then they would stop talking altogether. But today was different. DiZ wasn't around to monitor what Namine was doing nor to give Riku tasks. This time, when Riku entered the room, he didn't sit down. Instead he suggested they go to the clock tower. ''Huh?'' Namine said, ''Why?'' ''I tell you once we get there'' was all he told her. ---- Following Riku, Namine walked through the quiet buildings of Twilight Town until they reached the towns landmark, the clock tower. Once there, they silently made their way to the top. Riku leaned against the wall and Namine sat over the edge, simply looking out to the sunset overhead. Namine was deep in thought for a moment, then spoke up. ''Why..Did you bring us here?'' Namine asked the cloaked boy. ''Those three you were talking about'' he spoke, ''I always see them up here, acting like best friends''. He started to walk over to the edge, were Namine was sitting, however he did not sit down. Namine looked up at him. He laughed slightly before speaking again, ''I guess you could say.... you remind me of an old friend, someone I haven't seen in a while'' Namine smiled, she knew who he meant, from the memories Namine had seen, Riku saw her other as a dear friend. She was happy Riku could see her as a friend in some form, even if it wasn't true friendship. ''I'm glad'' -Fade out-
[This is a story about how Terra and Ventus became friends. This is my contest entry.] --- “Terra, you can’t keep putting this off.” Terra stopped gazing at the floor and looked up to meet the frustrated eyes staring back at him. Awkwardly, Terra turned away to stare at something else while he searched for a response. She was right, of course. Aqua was usually right and Terra took a moment to be thankful that she never rubbed that fact in. She may be about the same age as him but sometimes she seemed a lot older. She was standing across from him with her arms folded while he leaned against the corridor wall, clearly uncomfortable. When he couldn’t think of anything to say, Aqua spoke again. “He’s been getting a lot better. Really! I’ve spoken to him; Master Eraqus has spoken to him. Why won’t you go talk to him?” Terra sighed. He had to say something. It might as well be the truth. “I’m worried I might say the wrong thing again. I messed him up pretty badly the last time I tried to talk to him. What if I…?” “Terra,” Aqua softened. “That wasn’t your fault; you just didn’t know. Don’t blame yourself.” When Terra hung his head, Aqua sighed. “Well, don’t blame yourself anymore. Forget about it and just start over.” Is it that easy? Terra wanted to move on from this more than anything right now, but every time he remembered those cries he would go back to feeling terrible. He needed to atone for this, somehow. “What am I supposed to say to him?” He looked back up at Aqua. “How do I make things up to him?” His face must have had shame written across it, because Aqua took sympathy and stepped towards him. “Just go in there and be his friend. Once you’re there, you’ll know what to do.” She put a hand on his shoulder. “You need to be more confident in yourself, Terra. You can do this.” Terra gave her a shaky smile then hesitated to reply, still enwrapped in doubts and nerves. Aqua turned and started walking away. “If you don’t go talk to him, I’ll stop going easy on you during sparring.” Despite himself, Terra couldn’t help but give out a brief laugh. It wasn’t much but it made him feel better. Once he’d relaxed again he scratched his head, considering Aqua’s words. Terra wanted to be more confident in himself, but that was easier said than done. He wasn’t afraid to fight anything, but talking to people was a very different story. He appreciated being able to chat with Aqua the way they did. As Terra had these thoughts, it occurred to him that the support he had in Aqua was exactly the kind of thing he needed to give. Be his friend. That’s what Aqua was doing for Terra right now. Terra had to take that example in turn and pay it forward. If the least he could do was make him laugh, that was enough. Terra straightened up and made up his mind. He made his way down the corridor until he reached the right room. Originally this had just been one of many spare rooms in the castle, but now the door had a name plate attached to it where it had previously been bare. This was new since Terra had last been here. VENTUS Clearly what Master Eraqus had told them was true; Ventus was going to live with them from now on. Reading the name on the door filled Terra’s stomach with butterflies again. Suddenly his confidence was draining. He nervously reached for the door handle, but stopped himself. I probably shouldn’t just walk in. He slowly raised his hand to knock on the door, but held back at the last second. I’ll probably disturb him; I’m not a gentle knocker. Terra cleared his throat to call Ventus’ name and ask permission to enter, but the words were caught in his throat. He’ll probably freak out when he hears my voice. Dejected, Terra turned around to walk away and almost bumped into Aqua, who looked like she’d been watching him the whole time. She was shaking her head, she had her hands on her hips, she was sighing and she even looked like she was trying not to laugh. Terra stammered to make an excuse but Aqua was already walking past him. “Let me help,” she muttered, rolling her eyes. Before Terra could stop her, she had her hand on the handle and was opening the door. She did so gently, with an air of caution that was not lost on Terra. “Ventus? It’s me, Aqua. Can I come in?” There was silence, but Ventus must have nodded because then Aqua was stepping into the room and waving at Terra, beckoning him to come in as well. Fighting every impulse in his body, Terra stiffly followed her in. The room was still quite bare. Nothing but the simple necessities currently decorated it, but Ventus didn’t have much personality to personalise it with yet, nor had he been living here very long. Terra felt a wave of sympathy as he remembered that Ventus had no idea who he was, so how could Ventus know what kind of room to live in? The room is as empty as his memories, Terra reflected sadly. But with a spark of hope, he thought: It won’t be empty for long. Ventus himself was sitting upright on the edge of his bed, no book in hand, no creases on his covers, no sign that he’d been doing anything else when they’d walked in. With his current state of mind, he could easily have been doing that for hours. He was smiling faintly at Aqua, as though he were practising happiness, but when he saw Terra his smile faded. Terra could feel his own heart sinking but there wasn’t a trace of fear or accusation on Ventus’ face, just curiosity and a blank lack of recognition. “Do you remember Terra?” Aqua asked him softly, gesturing to Terra. “…Terra.” Ventus mused, staring at him. Terra made himself stare back and tried to look friendly. I probably look like guilt itself. There was a pause while Ventus sat in thought. It started to grow uncomfortably long and Terra was beginning to wonder if Ventus even remembered what he was trying to remember when his eyebrows furrowed slightly and he finally said: “…I think so.” Terra was heavily regretting every second of this. “You know, he doesn’t have to remember me,” he whispered to Aqua. “Given what happened…” Aqua took his point. “It’s okay, Ventus. You only met Terra once before. He’d like to talk to you so that you two can get to know each other.” Ventus looked at her as she spoke, hopefully registering what she was saying. “Okay?” she added after a pause. “Okay,” Ventus replied. He seemed impossible to read, but then Terra reminded himself there was nothing to read. Not for the first time, Terra wondered what had happened to cause Ventus to lose all his memories like this. He wanted to help, but he was still afraid. “Okay,” Aqua finished. “I’ll leave you two alone.” She must have spotted Terra’s fear because right before she left, she whispered “Be brave,” to him. She closed the door behind her, leaving Terra awkwardly standing around the centre of the room, alone with Ventus. Ventus gazed at Terra vacantly, while Terra glanced about as he fumbled for something to say. Okay, how do I start talking to him? Terra could never find the right words to say, as evidenced by his last talk with Ven. I should say ‘Hello’ or something first. Wait, did I already say hello? Will he find it weird if I say hello twice? At this point, Terra was certain Ventus would find anything he said weird. How much time had passed already? 30 seconds? A minute? 5 minutes? It felt like an age and nobody had said anything. Finally Terra went for a greeting. “Um, hi there.” He threw in a smile and a wave, trying to be welcoming. “Oh, hello.” Ventus responded as though Terra had just walked in. Even so, Terra was sure Ventus must have found him strange. It had been so easy to talk to him the first time, but now Terra felt disarmed. He had to find a way to make them both comfortable. “So…” Terra began, before he was even sure what he wanted to say. Whatever you do, don’t ask him a question. Don’t ask him a question. Do not ask him a question. “…How are you?” Terra mentally buried his face in his hands. “I’m fine.” Ventus replied without missing a beat. Oh good, he is getting better. However, Terra was sure he was about to mess him up again. Be his friend. Try and make him laugh. “Great! That’s really good. That’s…” Terra tried but he couldn’t think of any humour that Ventus was likely to get at this stage. Forget it. Just talk to him. Talk to him without asking any more questions. Terra tried to think of something to talk about, but he was unsure what Ventus would be interested in. No questions! “What do you want to talk about?” Terra mentally buried his head in the ground. “I don’t know,” came the response. Terra would have appreciated it if this kid just said more than a few words at a time. He began to feel very isolated standing in the one spot. He gingerly trod towards a table to try and find something to distract them. He didn’t expect the sudden remark that came next. “You look nervous, Terra.” “Huh?” Terra spun around looking back, perhaps a little too sharply. Ventus hadn’t moved and was still looking at him but his face showed concern. More than that, Terra had heard concern in his voice. So he isn’t completely empty. “Are you okay?” Ventus asked. “I-I’m fine,” Terra replied. Terra still felt foolish, but this time he also felt renewed. I’ve been forgetting to just talk to him like a real person. Ventus had been an unstable and even alien element until a few moments ago. Terra had been letting his fear get in the way of talking to a friend. He hadn’t been letting his heart do the talking. That was going to change now. “How about I tell you a little bit about myself?” “Okay,” Ventus nodded and actually smiled slightly. His eyes still had a ghostly quality to them, but he had a heart like everyone else and Terra was determined to help him find it. With newfound confidence, Terra opened up to him. They spoke for nearly an hour. Terra told him about where he came from and how he came to the Land of Departure. He talked with him about learning under Master Eraqus and how he was almost as close as a father to Terra. He told Ventus about his friendship with Aqua and how both of them were training to become keyblade Masters. When he told Ventus that becoming keyblade Masters was a shared dream of theirs, Ventus nodded and supposed aloud that since he would be staying with them, he’d have that dream as well. Terra encouraged him to find a dream he really wanted, something he cared about most of all and to give it everything he had, with whatever he had. “Thank you, Terra.” Ventus almost seemed to have brightened over their conversation. “You’re very nice.” For the first time in a while, Terra felt self-aware again, but now he was able to shrug it off easily. He was having a good time with the kid. He was a little spacey, but he listened to everything Terra said with genuine interest. Terra had also never known that he had so much to talk about. He felt like he was learning about both of them. It was very pleasant. “Well, yeah. I want to be your friend.” Ventus looked surprised. “You want to be my friend? Really?” His seriousness nearly made Terra chuckle. “Of course! I want to help you. I want to look out for you and be there for you. I want to be your friend, Ven.” The words came easily to him, but that was probably because they came from the heart. While still wanting to make up for their first meeting, Terra had really grown to care about Ventus and felt protective of him as though he were an older brother. “Do you want to be my friend?” Ventus looked truly happy as he replied. “Yeah, I sure do!” Then he frowned for a moment. “Wait. You called me Ven. But my name’s Ventus.” Terra smiled. “I know. I called you Ven as a sort of nickname. It’s shorter than Ventus and friendlier sounding. Is that okay? If you don’t like it, I won’t call you it.” Ventus considered for a moment. “So a nickname is a shorter name for friends? And you think ‘Ven’ could be my nickname?” Terra could tell Ventus had a lot to learn, but he wouldn’t resent a second spent teaching him. “Yeah,” Terra made a little arm-pump gesture, an excitable quirk he’d acquired over the years. “My friend, Ven.” Ventus paused for a moment, then smiled more broadly than he ever had. Terra laughed cheerfully. “Yeah! Ven. I like it, Terra. I can tell my friends to call me that! Should I tell Aqua to call me that?” “Definitely! Aqua would love to be your friend.” “What about Master Eraqus?” “Uh, well… He’s our Master so it’s a little different. I guess he can call you that if he wants.” Terra stood up and looked out the window. “You know, we’ve got a few hours left of sunlight. You want to go out and train for a bit? Together?” “Okay, let’s do that.” “Do you know the way to the training grounds? I could race you.” Terra had intended to go easy on Ven, but was surprised to discover just how fast Ven could run. He sped down the corridor where he shot past Aqua who had shouted a startled “Ventus?” at the sight of him only to hear an over-the shoulder cry of “Call me Ven!” Despite Ven’s claims, he actually didn’t know his way to training grounds and did two circuits of the castle before making it outside where Terra was waiting. The two of them had laughed over it, although Eraqus later complained that next time he’d like a little more warning before his catatonic guest nearly knocked him over. Aqua soon joined the two in their training, which eventually just became three friends hanging out. The trio spent that night lying under the cloudless night sky, watching for meteors and shooting stars.
The setting the white room in the mansion at Twilight town, the walls were covered with drawings, and sitting at one end of the long table was Naminé. She was just sitting there of the chair simply staring at her drawing pad with some coloured pencils resting beside it, her expression was filled with sadness as she just stared at the drawing that she had finished earlier. It showed three figures holding hands, each of them wearing black, one with red spiky hair, and another with blonde hair and the last one with black hair. But the figure with black hair seemed to be faded as if it was being rubbed out by a rubber, the young girl’s hands were resting on her lap as she was staring at her drawing in silence, suddenly the door opened as she looked up to see... “Riku? It’s you...” she said as Riku stood at the door wearing the black coat of the organization and his black blindfold as his expression appeared to be solemn as then walked towards Naminé “You felt it too didn’t you... She’s gone, Xion” Riku asked Naminé as he stood a few feet away from her as she looked at him and then returned her view to her drawing as she then picked up her drawing pad “Yes... Roxas defeated her, all that she was has returned into him, and the memories of Kairi that were used to create her have begun to return into Sora” she sadly summarised to Riku “Even though she’s gone... Her bonds with Roxas and Axel, and her connection to Sora allow us to still remember her, but that’s still only temporary” Naminé stated as soon they would forget Xion too “What she did... Xion did for her friend, so that Roxas could be better off... And that Sora could regain his memories, she chose to be end her existence for the ones who mattered to her” Riku told Naminé “We shouldn’t be sad that she’s gone... All our memories of Xion haven’t been erased, they’ve simple gone with her back into Sora” the teen said to Naminé who pondered what Riku said and then the faintest of smiles appeared on her face as she then looked at her drawing “She’s simply returned to Sora, as will Roxas... He’ll soon reunite with Sora, just like I’ll soon return to Kairi” Naminé stated as her smile brighten, as the drawing of Xion in the middle of Roxas and Axel had become more transparent but Naminé still smiled as she knew Xion wasn’t truly gone A few days later... Three days after Roxas’s battle with Riku back in Twilight town Axel was sitting up on top of the clock tower lonely looking on at the sunset. His expression was plain as he stared out at the scene, tightly holding a sea-salt ice cream in his hands, Xemnas had ordered Axel to find and eliminate Roxas. He was able to locate him in a digital version of Twilight town that DiZ had created, he was unsuccessful in his attempt to capture Roxas the first time. He given an dreadful ultimatum, it was either destroy Roxas his best friend, or be destroyed, there was no alternative, he didn’t know what to do. He knew that Organization would destroy him he failed again, but how could he destroy his best friend, he had been sitting here for hours contemplating on what he should do. But just then he looked beside to the spot where Roxas used to sit with him, but then his vision went to further end. “It was me, Roxas... An... And?” Axel paused as he couldn’t figure out what he had just remembered, up here on the clock tower is the place he Roxas and someone else would meet for ice cream “What am I thinking? It was just me and Roxas who were always up here... Ha, I’m one who’s always memorized everything...” the nobody told himself as he then took a bite from his ice cream “Roxas... What should I do?” Axel asked as he just looked up at the orange sky as he just sat wondering what he should do, follow his orders and hurt his best friend, of betray the organization A week or so later... Roxas was now standing before Sora who was floating in the now open memory pod, his nobody had a smile on his face but this was still a bitter sweet moment for him. His life had come to end as he now accepted his fate to return to Sora. Just before Naminé was taken by DiZ she told him that nobodies like them were half a person, they wouldn’t fade away into the darkness, but instead they would to their original selves. Roxas then started walk towards the still sleeping Sora as began to glow a faint blue aura which began to envelop and surround Roxas’s body. The closer he got to Sora, the brighter the aura around him glowed, suddenly with being inches away from the keyblade wielder Roxas’s entire body had become a blue aura which was moving towards Sora and suddenly surrounded him as the memory pod closed back up. “Sora...” Roxas’s final words as the aura surrounding Sora had been absorbed into his body reuniting Roxas with Sora as the boy eyes twitched slightly as he continued to sleep Days later... Sora, Donald, and Goofy were running through the streets in the neon city of the world that never was, thanks to Axel’s sacrifice they were able to defeat the horde of nobodies they encountered and made it to the in between world in which the organization was based. Sora was saddened by Axel’s death and was more curious about the identity of this ‘Roxas’ that he saw in the picture and who the organization members kept referring him to as turned into a another street. They were heading straight to the castle at the end of this world as it was the organization’s base. Sora and the pair were standing at the Memory’s Skyscraper, the same place in which Roxas and Riku’s battle took place weeks ago. As the keyblade warrior paused he looked around the area as then noticed the artificial Kingdom Hearts hanging in the sky above the Castle That Never Was. The pale yellow heart shaped moon was the result of the thousands of hearts that had been collected by Roxas, Sora, and Xion through the keyblade’s rage, but Sora couldn’t shake the slight feeling of déjà-vu. The setting had once again changed, it was back to Twilight town, the town appeared to be deserted, as the town was bathed by the orange sunrays, and at the top the clock tower sat Roxas, Xion, and Axel each enjoying a sea-salt ice cream with smiled on their faces as they appeared to conversing with each other. This couldn’t be possible as each of them thought in their minds as they laughed and had fun, Xion wondered how her friends could even remember her... Axel couldn’t understand why he was here as he wondered why he wasn’t simply in the darkness, and Roxas pondered why he was sitting here as he his body had merged with Sora. The three friends all wondered how this was possible but they still didn’t question it, they just continued to eat their ice cream and enjoy the time they had with each other. Although it seemed to be a strange occurrence, maybe one of them was dreaming, maybe this was an after-life for nobodies, there so many answers, but in truth the answer was simple... Sora...