So, here it is. The continuation of my first fanfiction, Twilit Road to Dawn, which you should probably read first (if you haven't already) to get what the hell is going on.
Warnings: Coarse language, humor, sarcasm, random moments, cheesy scenes, etc., same as before.
I was running. I wasn’t sure what I was running from, but I was running like hell in the opposite direction. The things behind me were very familiar, but I had no name for them. They were just these dark creatures that apparently had a strong urge to chase me. And there were a lot of the little buggers.
I had no idea where I was, but I didn’t care. All I really cared about was getting away from those things. The door was just ahead; I had to get through it. That door was the only way to get rid of the creatures. I didn’t know how, or why, I just knew. The creatures also knew this.
I was almost to the door when the one in front, the leader of this annoying band, tackled me through the door and into the dark oblivion. I struggled to get it off of me when I realized that it wasn’t there anymore. Something else had taken its place. This entity was darker, fouler.
Come. Join us.
I shuddered at the voice. A voice that was way too familiar for comfort. A voice that I despised. His voice.
The scene changed completely. It went from a blanketing darkness to a blinding white light. I was in a room filled with thirteen cloaked beings sitting on different levels of chairs. I was lying on a sort of dais in the center of the room. It was too bright, so I closed my eyes.
Xemnas’ voice filled the room. “A new member. She was wandering around in the city below. I believe she could be of quite some use to us.”
The others murmured, and then someone spoke. “And how do you know that?” This voice was familiar, too, and he got my blood boiling every time I thought about him. He was the first person I met in Hollow Bastion. That man could rival my sarcasm and kick my ass. His name was Axel. I wanted to reply to his question, say something clever and sarcastic with a big smirk on my face, but my body wouldn’t move. I slitted my eyes open and looked at everyone.
“She might have a special ability, like you, me, or Larxene.” This person looked younger than the rest, sounded younger, too. He ignored Demyx’s complaints. “Or maybe she could be like you, Roxas.” I looked over to Roxas. His face was emotionless as he looked down at me.
Another scene change. This time I was hanging over a great abyss. My hands were gripping at the top of the cliff, and they were slipping. Above me was the young man from before, Roxas, and Axel. Roxas and the other guy were trying to help me up; Axel was standing behind them with their arms crossed.
“Axel! Get your ass over here and help us!” the guy shouted.
“Why should I?” Axel asked boredly. “It’s not like I got her into this.” Why was he saying that like I just got stuck in a hole or something instead of hanging on for dear life?! Besides, it’s not my fault I fell off a cliff. I think. I… actually have no idea how I got into this situation.
“Axel, Xemnas will be really mad if she falls,” Roxas said. “And it’ll be your fault.”
“Oh, damn!” Axel exclaimed.
“Not you,” Axel replied tensely. “We’ve got company.”
“Heartless? Hang on, I’m coming.” Roxas turned to face me, apology in his eyes, and let me go. I fell a few inches. The guy was struggling to keep me up.
“I’m so sorry,” he whispered, loosening his grip. My eyes started to water as I realized what he was about to do. “I love you.” And I fell into the abyss.
I woke up screaming. That was the first night I had that dream.
Chapter 1: Dreams or Nightmares?
I am unwritten; can’t read my mind. I’m undefined.
I’m just beginning. The pen’s in my hand, ending unplanned.
Staring at the blank page before you,
Open up the dirty window;
Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find.
Reaching for something in the distance;
So close you can almost taste it.
Release your inhibitions.
Feel the rain on your skin.
No one else can feel it for you,
Only you can let it in.
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips.
Drench yourself in words unspoken,
Live your life with arms wide open.
Today is where your book begins,
The rest is still unwritten.
This is basically where I left off my last thrilling adventure to the outside worlds. I was having fun on the Islands, hanging out with my bestest best buddies, blissfully unaware of the dangers that were to come.
“Crystal? Crystal. Earth to Crystal!” Something very hard hit me in the back of the head.
“Ow! What was that for?” I turned to see who the culprit was so I could return the favor. Sora, Kairi, Riku, and I were hanging out in Riku’s backyard. Kairi had her hand over her face, Sora was laughing, and Riku looked at Sora like he wanted to hit him. Just another day on the islands.
“I asked you if you wanted to go to the island today,” Riku repeated. “Maybe see if you can get a paopu fruit. Sora threw the rock, by the way.” He threw a rock at me???
“Uh, yeah. Sure. Whatever,” I said distantly. I had the dream again the night before, and it made just as much sense as it did the first night I had it. None whatsoever.
“Are you okay?” Riku asked cautiously. “You’ve only been here about a week, but I know you wouldn’t pass up a chance to throw something at Sora. Not that I blame you.” He looked at Sora jokingly.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” I assured him. Then I gave him a peck on the lips. Sora made a noise but I ignored him. “I’ll tell you about it later, okay?”
“Okay. To the island, then?”
“To the island!” Sora jumped in out of nowhere. We all did face-palms.
* * *
Riku and I stared at the sunset from our usual place: the mini island with the paopu tree. After a long day of hanging out with Sora and Kairi, walking around the island, sparring with Riku (and winning some), and trying to get one measly paopu fruit, we were just taking some time to ourselves. Sora and Kairi were doing the same thing in the secret place. My head was on Riku’s shoulder when he asked, “So what’s been bothering you lately?”
“It’s nothing,” I lied. “Just a dream.”
“If it’s bothering you this much, then it’s not nothing,” he said firmly. “What’s the dream about?”
I didn’t want to tell him about it for a lot of reasons. First of all, I didn’t want him worrying about me. Second, since Xemnas was in it, that would bring back some very bitter memories. And third, that guy who told me he loved me (then dropped me to my death into an abyss). That might make things very uncomfortable, especially since he used to be in Organization XIII. I sighed, and brought my head up to look at him.
“In this dream, at first I’m running from these dark creatures…”
“No. Something else,” I said, staring at the water. “Anyway, I’m running from them towards a door, but they get me. We fall through the door and into darkness, and I end up in a bright, white room with Organization XIII.” Riku clenched his fist. “Xemnas told everyone about how he found me and that I could be useful. Then Axel asked how he would know that, and some guy just went off about how I could have a special ability like him, Axel, or someone named Larxene. Or that I might be like Roxas.”
“Meaning you might be able to wield a Keyblade?”
“I guess,” I shrugged.
“That it?” he asked, looking at my face. His beautiful turquoise eyes searched my sapphire blue ones softly. I really hoped he wouldn’t see the whole truth in my eyes. I didn’t want him to know about the guy; or, you know, falling to my death because of the guy.
“Yeah, that’s it,” I said. “But I don’t know what’s causing these dreams. I wasn’t having them the first couple of days I’ve been here. What’s triggering them now?” I stared back into Riku’s eyes, trying to see if I could find a little comfort. He turned to stare at the sea.
“I… don’t know,” he finally said. “Did you know that Roxas had dreams about Sora’s memories?”
“Really? No, I didn’t.”
“Yeah. But the trigger for his dreams was Sora’s memories getting restored after Castle Oblivion, only Sora doesn’t remember what happened in Castle Oblivion. And since Roxas was Sora’s Nobody, he got affected by this.”
“That’s great for him, but I’m pretty sure that I’m not a Nobody who’s having dreams about her original self who’s in a pod restoring her memories,” I said sarcastically. But to tell you the truth, I sort of counted that as a possibility. When I still thought Riku was Ansem and Ansem was DiZ, they kept the fact that I was in a pod for about a year a secret from me. Plus they didn’t tell me their real names, or about Riku transforming himself into Ansem to use the power of darkness. Or that I was using the power of darkness through him. Geez, there were a lot of secrets. So why do I love Riku?
“You’re not a Nobody. Ansem the Wise would’ve told me if you were.” He hugged me tightly, then said, “Okay, enough depressing dream talk for today. Let’s go see what Sora and Kairi are up to.” He jumped off the tree and looked at me expectantly.
“Again? Why can’t we just leave them alone?” I asked, reluctantly slipping off the tree. Ever since we got back from the Other Side, Riku and Sora have been playing tricks and spying on each other, dragging Kairi and me along.
“I’m not going to stop unless he stops too.” Riku announced firmly, but I could see the little smile he had.
“You two are such children,” I said to him as we walked to the secret place.
* * *
That night, I slept over at Riku’s house for the first time since those dreams started. It was the usual: hanging out, dinner, then falling asleep on the couch during a movie. I was kinda worried that I might wake up screaming again, but I had a different dream that night.
I was falling into the abyss, like last time, with the guy above me, his hand outstretched.
“Zexion! Come on! You can’t do anything for her now,” Roxas shouted. Zexion looked at me one more time and left. I was still falling, but I had a slight ache in my heart from just thinking about Zexion. I knew what the feeling was, because it’s the way my heart feels when I think about Riku. But… does that mean I love Zexion, too? I shuddered.
I was still falling into the abyss when I suddenly, reflexively, opened up a portal below me. I fell through it… and did a faceplant into the dirt. It probably should’ve knocked me out, but it was still very aware of what was going on around me. I was in the wooded area of Twilight Town, the big wall to my left and the clearing ahead of me. I tried to get up, but my body wouldn’t do what I wanted it to. How far did I fall?
I heard footsteps coming towards me from the clearing ahead. I tried to see who it was, but my body still wouldn’t oblige. The footsteps stopped right in front of me, and I could hear a lighter set of feet behind the first; they must’ve been covered by the first set.
“A member from Organization XIII? What’s she doing here?” This voice… I knew this voice… DiZ, er, Ansem the Wise!
“She might be a newer member,” said a small, female voice that sounded vaguely familiar. “I never saw her when I was with them. Then again, I only saw a few members there.”
“Do you think you can search her memories?” DiZ asked while picking me up. We headed towards the clearing, and I knew we were heading towards the abandoned mansion so he could put me in a pod.
“If she’s a Nobody or a person, no problem,” the girl replied hesitantly.
“I heard some of the Organization members talk about her. They were saying things like she may not be a Nobody, but she’s not whole, either.” What? I’m whole! I know I’m whole! If I’m not a Nobody, and not a Heartless, how can I not be whole?
“Did they explain that?”
“No. They had to take care of something else.”
“Hmm.” Then the scene turned dark. I was waking up in a hotel room. Riku (though I didn’t know it was him then) was sitting in the corner.
I woke up panting.
“Good morning, Sunshine.”
“Wha?” I asked groggily. For a second I had no clue where I was (I had fallen on the floor). Then I focused on Riku’s face above me, and I relaxed a little. Well, my breathing slowed down. A bit. “Oh.”
“Did you have the dream last night?” he asked.
“Uh… not exactly.” I remembered the part about Zexion and my heart hurt.
“And what does that mean?” He sat up and looked down at me with his “you know I know that you’re hiding something” face. It was sort of like a small smile hidden behind a “don’t mess with me” mask. It was one of the many things I loved about him. When I was still traveling with Riku in the form of Ansem, Ansem the Wise told me that Riku wouldn’t really smile, except sarcastic ones. He was always so quiet, Ansem said to me. It was one of the very few conversations I had with him alone.
“Why is Ansem so serious,” I asked him when Riku left on one of his missions, leaving Ansem to babysit. Why was he babysitting me? It was after I fought Sora and ran off to Halloween Town. And Xemnas possessed me right after that… And I blacked out for a few days. Riku and Ansem probably didn’t think I was “stable” enough to be on my own just yet.
“Because he has to think about a lot.” Ansem was on his computers, checking something or other, typing a few words every so often. I was bored out of my mind.
“What does he have to think about that would make him so closed?”
“Nothing I can tell you.”
“Why not?” I whined. Ansem sighed.
“It’s not my place to tell. Ansem will tell you himself if he wants you to know. Now, please stop asking so many questions.”
“But I’m bored and curious,” I huffed. It wasn’t as much fun being babysat as it was to be out somewhere kicking Nobody and Heartless butt. Ansem replied with a bigger sigh.
“Why do you keep doing that?” Riku asked me light-heartedly.
“Keep doing what?”
“’Cuz I have a lot to think about,” I defended. “What’d you ask?”
“Do you like waffles?”
* * *
“So, would you rather share a paopu fruit with Sora or get eaten by sharks,” Kairi asked me. We were hanging out in her room after dinner playing “would you rather?”.
“Sharks, hands down,” I laughed. “Would you rather… lose your soul or sell Sora?”
“Huh… That’s tough. How much for Sora?”
“Couple million,” I said.
“Probably… my soul,” she decided.
“Really?” I was shocked. “Sora over your own soul and munny?”
“What about you? Would you rather lose your soul or sell Riku?”
“Point taken,” I admitted. “Speaking of them, where’ve they been for the past couple days?” Seriously, we hadn’t seen them for a while after I spent the night at Riku’s. They wouldn’t be dumb enough to build another raft (without me and Kairi, that is).
“I don’t know,” Kairi said, pondering. “They might just be off playing tricks on each other.” But I could tell that wasn’t it. Kairi sucked at lying, but I wasn’t going to call her bluff. If they wanted to keep some more secrets from me, fine. They can face the hell I’ll give them later.
“As long as they don’t go too over the top,” I laughed. She laughed too, but both our laughs rang hollow. “It’s not too late to go to the island, is it?”
“Just want to make sure that they’re okay,” I said as I stood. If I my theory was correct, then Kairi should try to stop me and make up some lame excuse as to why. I wasn’t going to give her the chance. “Yes, I really do want to go to the island to make sure that they’re okay, and that’s that.” She sat silently, looking at the floor, then finally got up and walked with me to the dock.
When we got there, Kairi stopped before getting in the boat. “Sora told me about your dreams.”
“What?” I asked, taken off guard.
“I just know that you’re having dreams that are bothering you. Sora told me about them.”
“And Riku told Sora, right?” I sighed. “Whatever. Let’s just go to the island.”
“You’re not mad?”
“You bet I’m mad. But can’t take it back now.” Plus, if I wanted to beat the crap out of them, I could do it whenever I wanted.
“Oh. Okay,” said cautiously. She didn’t believe me one hundred percent, and she was right not to. We both need to work on our lying skills.
“So, where would they be?” I asked when we got to the island.
“Probably the secret place. Or on the other side of the island.”
“I’ll check the other side of the island. You get the secret place and anywhere else you can think of.” I didn’t wait for an answer, or protest. Walking to the other side of the island, I began to wonder exactly why the boys would disappear for days. Obviously, it was a secret about my dreams that all three of them knew about. Kairi also hung out with me a lot more over the past few days. She was supposed to keep me busy while the boys did… something that they don’t think I should know about but is going to anyway. Yeah.
The other side of the island was clear, so Kairi was probably talking to the guys right now and telling them to hide whatever they’re working on. Oh well, a little peace and quiet for a few minutes will do me some good.
I sat down on the beach and lay down on my back, staring at the sky. The sky was beautiful, full of sunset colors, clouds reflecting the colors, and meteors. The meteors were odd, but I didn’t think that they were something to worry about, so I just watched as hundreds upon hundreds of them flew across the sky…
And into the earth. A few of the meteors that I thought were just very slow were actually heading straight towards me. There was a little shelter thing right behind me, so I hid in there. Dozens of the things pelted the sand in front of me. Strangely, none of them were on fire (although, you’d think that after entering orbit and raining down on poor, unsuspecting bystanders, they’d at least smolder a little). The shower lasted only a minute or so, and when it was over, tons of little blocks littered that half of the island. That was another weird thing: they were blocks. When you think meteor, you usually think “round rock thing hurtling through space.” I went to examine these strange things, and found that they were also flexible and attached to other blocks easily, without provocation. Then I almost banged my head against something for being so stupid. These blocks were gummi blocks.
Wait. Why would gummi blocks be raining from the sky? Unless…
* * *
As Kairi watched Crystal go, she felt relieved that she didn’t have to convince Crystal to go to the other side of the island. As soon as Crystal was out of sight, Kairi headed for the tree house. Riku and Sora were in there, having some sort of argument (which was getting real ugly real fast).
“She knows that we know,” Kairi said over Riku and Sora. “She also knows that we’re keeping a secret from her.”
Riku and Sora immediately stopped arguing and looked at Kairi.
“Is she mad?” Sora asked.
“I don’t think she’s going to hurt you, if that’s what you mean.”
“Oh. That’s good.” Sora smiled and leaned back on his hands.
“Should we just tell her?” Kairi asked Riku.
Riku was silent. He got up and walked over to the doorway. “Where is she right now?” He didn’t sound angry, but he didn’t sound like Riku. It was scary.
“She’s on the other side of the island. What were you two arguing about just now?” Kairi asked, a little concerned. Sora and Riku looked at each other for a second, then Riku walked out of the tree house.
“About whether or not to tell Crystal,” Sora answered.
“Oh. Which side was Riku on?”
“He doesn’t want to tell her,” Sora said, then he too walked out of the tree house.
Kairi followed them, feeling sort of guilty for letting their secret, and the fact that she and Sora knew, slip. She was with Sora, though. She thought that Crystal had a right to know what they were planning. Riku could be angry all he wanted, but he was just going to have to suck it up because even if Sora and Riku decided not to tell her, Kairi would. Kairi followed the boys out of the tree house.
“Look! The sky!” Sora shouted. Kairi and Riku both looked at Sora, then at the meteor shower. Riku cursed under his breath and ran toward the other side of the island. Sora and Kairi, confused, ran after him.
“Riku!” Kairi yelled. “Riku, what’s wrong?”
“Riku, slow down!” Sora added.
They reached the other side of the island, and had to immediately find shelter. Some of the meteors were falling onto the island, and a few were heading straight towards them.
“Look out,” Sora said, pulling Riku under the doorway.
“Is not an idiot,” Sora finished for him. “She’ll know to get out of the way.”
Kairi could see that the meteor shower seemed like an eternity for Riku. She just couldn’t understand why a meteor shower and a few small meteors hitting the island was so bad. As soon as the meteor shower ended, Riku bolted for the spot where they had kept the raft.
Good news: Crystal was there and unharmed.
Bad news: someone else was there too.
“Crystal!” Riku shouted.
* * *
The voice… It was so familiar… I somehow knew that voice from somewhere. Anger rose inside of me, trying to get free and destroy the voice. That voice was manipulative and evil. I could feel it inside my heart that it was, though I had never heard it before. So I thought. I turned to see where the voice was, and my eyes fell upon an old man standing in the shadows.
“Who are you?” I asked, ready for whatever the geezer might throw at me. If he said “father”, then I’d have to switch weapons. You know, move to Coruscant and learn how to use the Force.
“You don’t recognize me? Surely you can’t have forgotten so easily.” He sounded like he was hurt by the fact that I had no clue who the hell he was. He stepped out of the shadows and I could see that he was eons older then he sounded. He was bald, had pointed ears and a goatee, and wore gloves, boots, dark pants, and a weird jacket. I don’t know why this bothered me, but he had his hands behind his back. What really caught my attention were his eyes. They were amber. The same color as Ansem’s eyes and Riku’s when he was in the form of Ansem, erm, Xehanort’s Heartless.
“Actually, it’s very easy for me to forget a face,” I shrugged. “Especially if I’ve never met them before.” I felt like running and finding Riku, Sora and Kairi, but there was just something about this guy that kept me in place. And for once, it wasn’t my curiosity. I would’ve run like hell in the other direction if I could. This guy scared me to death, but I sort of felt like I should show him some respect for some reason. Who was this guy?
What? Who’s Crystal? I tried to focus on the newest voice and figure out why he was calling me Crystal. I felt someone grab me, and instantly I snapped to attention. I was Crystal, and Riku was holding me. Sora and Kairi were between us and the old man, Keyblades ready. Riku shifted his position so that I was behind him, still in his arms, and that he was facing the geezer.
The old dude looked furious, like Sora, Riku and Kairi just made him lose something really valuable. He just stood there looking infuriated for a minute or two, then suddenly relaxed.
“You can tell your watchdogs that I’m not here to hurt you. I just want to tell you something,” he said, folding his hands behind him. Kairi, Riku and Sora glanced at me quickly, then tensed a little more.
“Whatever you want to say,” Riku said venomously, “you can say with us standing here.”
“It’s okay, Riku,” I said quietly, placing my hand on his arm.
“You sure?” he asked. I nodded, and he let go of me (though he kept one arm around me). Sora and Kairi put their Keyblades away. Despite the fact that I really wanted them to stay like that, now I was curious about what he wanted to tell me. Damn my curiosity.
“That’s better,” Old Guy nodded approvingly, playing with something behind his back. My head felt like it was about to split open and I got a flash of him standing in some desert place; it only lasted a fraction of a second, so I didn’t have time to react to it. “Now, I just came here to tell you that I need you to come with me.”
“Uhh… Why would I do that?” I asked, my curiosity growing, my temple throbbing slightly.
“You’ll find out on the way.” He looked me straight in the eye, and I could feel myself need to go with him. Like I couldn’t stand not to go with him. I also felt an arm hold me tighter. Riku, I thought. I shook my head and smiled.
“Sorry, but I decline.” I didn’t break eye contact with Old Guy, but I could feel Riku nodding in agreement, his grip getting so tight that I thought soon I wouldn’t be able to breathe (I didn’t mind, though. It was the only thing keeping me in my right mind). Old Guy looked like he was about to take me forcefully, but regained his composure. He opened some sort of portal (I say “some sort” because it was way different from the dark portals Riku and I used to use), and stepped partially through it.
“One more thing.” He turned halfway to face me. “Just thought that you might like to know what you really are.”
“Really?” I faked excitement. “And what might that be?”
That’s when everything I thought I knew about me shattered.
“You are an Unbirth. Unlike Heartless and Nobodies, who have no hearts, Unbirths have no soul. Since you are an Unbirth, you have no soul.” And after doing a good job of crushing everything I ever knew (or thought I knew) about me, he disappeared like the coward he was sure to be into his portal.
“I’m a what?” I asked. If Riku hadn’t been holding on so tightly, I would’ve fallen right there.
* * *
I have no soul? When did that happen? How did that happen? How could I have possibly turned into a soul-seeking being and not know it? And that guy; he said (well, implied; same dif) that I knew him. That I “couldn’t have forgotten so easily.” Whatever the hell that means.
Sora, Riku and Kairi took me back to the main island, then we went to Riku’s house. We must’ve been there for hours, just talking about what happened. Well, they were talking. My brain was too numb to think about anything other than the fact that someone just told me I don’t exist. Well, not really exist. I’m pretty sure that I exist in the literal sense of the word… I’ll pinch myself, just to be sure. OW! Yeah, that was stupid. Anyways, the worst part was I couldn’t just put it off as some way for the creepy, old, bald guy trying to confuse me, make me vulnerable (which was working, by the way). Nope. There were some things that, looking back now, I really haven’t been able to account for. Time spent asleep in the pod thing. Time after my world got destroyed. That was all just one, big, dark, black period. Plus, the way some of the members of Organization XIII spoke to me, telling me things that made it seem like I was once a member that they had sent on a mission who just had a little trouble getting started. My dreams could sort of fill in the blanks, if I crammed them in really hard.
I decided to spend the night at Riku’s. Again. It just felt a little safer with him near me. Plus, I really wanted to talk to him alone, to maybe ask him what did happen to me from the time my world disappeared to when I woke up to him staring at me in the hotel. Surely he’d know.
“I don’t really know,” he confessed.
“But,” I stammered, “but weren’t you there the entire time?”
“I was there when they put you in the pod and when you woke up,” he explained. “The rest of the time I was doing something either about Xehanort’s Heartless or Sora.” He didn’t have to explain much about this. I knew he meant that he was alternating between fighting Ansem in his heart and searching for a way to wake Sora up. He wasn’t really around much when I was awake, either. Busy guy.
“Or Organization XIII.” I looked down at the floor. We were up in his bedroom and his parents were sound asleep (we probably were supposed to be sleeping, seeing as it was about midnight or so).
“Yeah,” he said. “But you get that, right? They were Nobodies who didn’t belong that were trying to be beings that they weren’t.”
“What about me?” I asked, whispering. “Am I just another person who doesn’t belong?”
Riku sighed. “No, you’re not. You know you’re not. Being what you are doesn’t change the way I feel about you.”
“And what am I?” I asked, stunned by what he said. That he said “what,” not “who”. “What are you talking about? What was he talking about? How can I not have a soul? And why haven’t you ever mentioned Unbirths on the list of bad guys. What does ‘Unbirth’ even mean? What the heck am I!?” My voice had escalated steadily louder during that, and by the time I was done, I was practically shouting. Who could blame me? Some guy had just told me that I was a soulless being with no place in the world (not in so many words, but still). And to top it all off, Riku, the guy I freakin’ loved, was basically confirming it!
“It means…” he began. “It means that you’ve lost your soul.” He looked away, then turned back towards me and grabbed me in an embrace. I already knew that annoying fact. He knew what I meant; he just didn’t want to tell me (which made me want to know even more). “That doesn’t matter to me, though. You could not have a heart or soul and I’d still love you. So… let’s just forget about all of this and go back to the way things were before, okay?” He looked at me hopefully, like I was actually going to listen to him for once.
But I couldn’t just forget about it. I don’t have a soul. That’s not something I can freaking deal with and accept. When did I lose my soul? Can I get it back? Is there another “me” that has my soul, like with Heartless and Nobodies? I looked at Riku, smiled, and told him that I was going to go to my “thinking spot” on the little island. He let me go. He knew I had to be alone; that’s probably one of the best things about him, he’s respectful (well, to me, anyway… most of the time… He caught Sora and Kairi making out in the secret spot. He wouldn’t shut up about it for a while).
I headed to the docks where my boat was and checked out the moon. It was beautiful there, don’t get me wrong, but it reminded me of home too much. I’ve been away from home for almost two years, now (though I was in a pod for most of it); I still miss it. I still wonder if it was restored or not when Sora and King Mickey closed the Door to Darkness a year or so ago. Even if it was restored, how would I get there? The roads to the worlds are blocked and I didn’t have a gummi ship. And I can’t open up a portal anymore… I sighed and got into my boat, headed toward the island.
“Crystal! Wait up!” came a voice from shore. I looked to see who it was and found Kairi waving at me. I looked at the island longingly, sighed, and got out of the boat as Kairi ran to me.
“What’s up, Kairi?” I asked her. We had become pretty close friends since I’ve been living with her, but it was kinda hard for me to really get close to anyone on the island except Riku. She had that look where I could tell she really wanted to hug me. Hard. I didn’t like that look.
“I heard that you were upset, and I completely agree with Riku. We all love you, no matter what.” I could tell she was trying to cheer me up. It would’ve worked, too, had it not been for one tiny detail…
“Uh, thanks, but how do you even know about that? It only happened about five minutes ago… in Riku’s bedroom… after you and Sora left.” I said. I looked her in the eye and asked straight out, “Were you and Sora spying on me and Riku again?”
Kairi looked away guiltily, nodded and quickly said, “It was Sora’s idea. He wanted to get back at Riku for spying on us. I got dragged along.” I did a face-palm. Sora and Riku are always competing. Freaks. Then, I heard some splashing, a smack, and a muffled “Ow!” beneath us. I rolled my eyes and jumped off the dock, saying, “You guys are way too old for this, you know.” Sure enough, Riku had Sora in a headlock with a hand over his mouth. Riku immediately let go and climbed out from under the dock.
“Geez, Riku. You didn’t have to be so rough,” Sora shouted at Riku while rubbing his head. “Man, that really hurt!”
“Serves you right for spying on me,” I told him. “Again. And what are you doing under there with him, Riku? Hmm?”
He blushed. “Uh, making sure Sora didn’t do anything dumb? I’m sorry.” He kissed my cheek and hugged me. Sure, he may be a suck-up, but he’s good at it.
“You’re forgiven, you kiss-ass,” I broke. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to the island for some belated thinking. Kay?” I didn’t wait for an answer. I got back into my boat and rowed to the island.
* * *
So, I have no soul. How can that happen? I thought that only hearts could be taken by special beings. Examples: Heartless and Nobodies. Besides, doesn’t a person die if they get their souls taken from them? So now we’re facing a third enemy. Unbirths. But how can I be an Unbirth? I don’t have any memories of being attacked by some weird creature when my world was taken… Right?
Wait a minute! I was attacked. When my home was taken. But by who? All I saw around me were Heartless. And Riku when he somehow appeared on my world from out of nowhere and fought the Heartless. Yeah! Yeah, I’m sure Riku was the one who saved me…
… Sort of…
The more I thought about it, the less sure I was that the dark figure was Riku.
Could it have been an Unbirth? Am I actually soulless?
The moon had gone across the sky and was now almost near the horizon when I came to this conclusion, so I decided that I should check in with Kairi’s parents. Just so they didn’t worry about me.
“Seems like I don’t have to,” I told nobody in particular. Out on the water, a lantern was heading towards the island. I figured it was either Riku or Kairi, so I walked to the dock. I was surprised when I got there.
“Hey, Crystal,” Sora greeted me. “Just checking to make sure you were okay.”
“Oh. Thanks.” I smiled at him. I didn’t really know that much about Sora, other than he can wield a Keyblade, lives on Destiny Islands, and is a really great friend of Riku and Kairi’s. So, what was he doing there?
“Let me guess: you were expecting Riku or Kairi, right?” he asked, reading my face.
I blushed. “Well, yeah. You being here is cool too, but we don’t really know each other that well. Besides, you’re kinda my least favorite.”
Sora shrugged, then walked past me. He turned around and motioned for me to follow him. I, being curious as to why we weren’t heading back, did so. I had no idea where we were going, or why, especially since everyone might be worried about me by now.
“Uh, Sora, why aren’t we heading back?” I asked when we reached our destination: the other side of the island. Where Old Dude appeared and turned my life inside out.
“This spot is where we built our raft,” he told me, ignoring my question. “We built it so we could see all the other worlds that are out there. Kairi had come to our island from a different world when we were little, which gave us, well, Riku, the idea. But the night before we were supposed to set sail, the Heartless came and took the heart of Destiny Islands. That was also the night I got the Keyblade. After sealing a lot of keyholes, with the help of Donald and Goofy, we went to Hollow Bastion. Kairi had lost her heart to the Heartless, and the only way to get it back was to unlock my heart, because her heart was resting in my heart.” That part got me a little dizzy. “I turned into a Heartless, then. I was stumbling through the darkness, forgetting my friends, my family, my home, who I was. But then I heard Kairi’s voice, and a bright light illuminated the darkness and brought me back.” I knew that there was an entire part he left out about fighting Riku for the majority of the journey. But that’s probably why he left it out.
“You know that Nobodies are born when a person with a strong heart and will is turned into a Heartless, and that Organization XIII was made up of Nobodies, right?”
“How could I forget?” I said, glaring at the water.
“Whenever I fought an Organization member, they would try to convince me that they had hearts, or that they at least remembered what having a heart was like. Anyway, they could mimic emotions and make you think they were actually people with feelings.”
“Okay, but what does that have to do with me?” I asked, depressed and a little confused.
“Roxas was different, though,” he continued, ignoring me again. “He left the Organization because he wanted to meet me. He and Naminé were the only Nobodies with the chance to meet their original selves. They weren’t bent on creating Kingdom Hearts or controlling worlds. They chose to live their own lives and feel how they wanted to feel.”
“Again, what does that have to do with me?”
“Just because you don’t have a soul doesn’t mean you can’t live the way you want to. Or feel the way you want to.”
“The story was nice, but couldn’t you have just told me that in the beginning?” I asked. Sora fell over.
“Well, I thought it was a good story,” he huffed.
“You’re right. Sorry.” Then I felt some tears well up. I had no idea where they came from, though. Maybe they were belated tears from when I first found out about being an Unbirth. I buried my face in Sora’s shoulder and just let them loose. If Sora was surprised or uncomfortable, he did a good job of not showing it. Once the tears were reduced to ragged breaths, we walked to the dock.
“Sora?” I asked as he got in his boat. “Can you tell Kairi’s parents and Riku that I’m staying here for the night?” I didn’t want to be around anyone until I could be somewhat okay with everything.
“You sure that’s a good idea?” he looked at me through the darkness, studying my face. I nodded. “Okay, then. Here.” He tossed me a sleeping bag, pillow, and lantern.
“How did you—?” I was… mildly surprised.
“Riku guessed that you might want some time to yourself.” Sora shrugged. “Guess I owe him 1000 munny.”
“I’ll ignore the fact that you two bet on my emotions.” I turned to walk away, and said over my shoulder, “Sora. Thanks.”
He just smiled goofily and rowed to the main island. I walked to the little shack and set up my stuff. Lying there in the dark, I got to thinking about where I was (for about the billionth time). And about how it was cool that no one was really in charge of me. Also about that guy who started all of these depressing soulless thoughts.
That man… Who is he? And how does he know so much about what I am? He acted like he knew me oh so well. Even though it wouldn’t be the first time, it still annoyed/creeped me out. I don’t even know where we could’ve met. I wasn’t exactly the most social person during my first year outside my world. If Ansem the Wise were still… alive, then maybe I could talk to him and… Wait, no gummi ship. Damn. Maybe Riku kept a few facts Ansem told him a secret from me (even though we promised each other we wouldn’t anymore). Though he seemed really upset when the guy showed up. No. Not upset. Pissed would be a more accurate description. The guy didn’t even say what his name was, so how could Riku be angry at a guy he probably doesn’t even know? Actually, I take that back. It is possible. I hate Old Dude too.
The rest of my pondering would have to wait until morning. Too bad I never had the chance. I was sleeping soundly for the first time in weeks, which was the first indication that something wasn’t right. Actually, it was the second. Some random guy popping up and telling me that I have no soul was the first. Something had changed. Something big. And I was about to find out just what it was.
Without a soul,-----------------------------------------------------
My spirit’s sleeping somewhere cold,
Until you find it there and lead it back
(Wake me up)
Wake me up inside.
(I can’t wake up)
Wake me up inside.
Call my name and save me from the dark.
(Wake me up)
Bid my blood to run.
(I can’t wake up)
Before I come undone.
Save me from the nothing I’ve become.
Tune in next week for Chapter 2: Gone.