Welcome Back to the Darkness

Once a heart is consumed in darkness, it breaches a point of confusion. Should it fade into nothingness, or should it leave something behind? Feelings are not omitted, and love carries on into the next division, but can it last in someone who is not meant to exist? Can it begin to return if another heart triggers it? Upon your return to Organization XIII, you've soon found that a battle of emotions has become a battle for survival. Which of your newly made "friends" will be your savior in the darkness? ---Please review!!! *Sequel to Welcome Back to the Truth [Highly suggested you read the first one before this][Familiarity for KH2]


29. Chapter 29

The human body is an amazing machine. It can heal near fatal wounds, restore itself from illness, and with the right chemical releases, give you far more strength than you ever thought possible. Adrenaline certainly helped with such things, numbing your wounds and helping you push forward in your escape. However, it was not entirely a miracle worker, as your throat was starting to feel downright raw from rapid breathing. It was a blessing from the heavens when Zexion pulled you into a shaded area and told you to wait.


As you stood there in the darkness, it began to dawn on you just what was taking place. Nearly every member of Organization XIII was bent on killing you, and if they weren't targeting you, it was someone you deeply cared for. Suddenly, it felt as though the walls of the castle were closing in on you, and at the same time, the terrain felt so enormous and lonely.


Leaning your back against the cool wall, you closed your eyes and breathed in deeply. Even though Zexion had only been gone for a few moments, it seemed closer to forever. Nervously, you began to fiddle with your bracelet, shifting on your feet and shooting glances at random places.


Footsteps moving at a fast pace made you jump and whirl around, but whoever it was suddenly gave a yelp of surprise, followed by the familiar thud of a body hitting the floor. Frowning, you leaned forward as far as you dared, but weren't able to see anything. A growl reverberated down the adjacent hall.


"Demyx! This is not naptime! Get your lazy ass off of the floor and get back to searching. If we don't find her soon, Xemnas is going to have our heads. And you know how he gets when things go wrong." You weren't sure, but the voice sounded like Luxord's. Demyx responded with a groan of acknowledgment and the sound of flailing limbs as he tried to rise to his feet.


"It smells terrible down here! Someone spilled something everywhere. Look; it's trailing all the way down the hallway."


"Maybe we'll get lucky, and it's a trail that leads to her. More than likely though, it's some sort of trap. Ignore it for now and move along." The voices dispersed as they went away, and you found yourself wondering what they could be talking about. A liquid trail down the corridor?


There was no room for investigation now. Zexion told you to wait, and you had promised to follow orders. Sighing, you slid down the wall and sat on the floor, arching your hood over your head for good measure. It seemed like just yesterday, you were walking into this castle. There were so many memories now, and so many milestones you'd reached just by making a small decision to join.


How could one duplicate being soaked and chilled to the bone, and having the warmth of not just walking into a heated room, but into Axel's welcome and flirtatious company? Or sneaking into the dimly-lit gardens in the middle of the night with Zexion? Or your favorite of all- the worn library, with all of its mysterious volumes, and the inexplicable new fondness for your roommate.


You held this thought close to you, and without even a thought of doing it, you had raised your hand and placed it over your heart, as if vowing to hold that memory there. You loved him. It was not a question of whether or not, or why. You simply did. And now, he acted as your savior, as he had done time and time again. He was not the only one defending you, of course, but currently, the only one that really mattered to you.


And as you stood there, counting every breath you took before his return, you set your jaw and hoped, with all of your might, that things would be okay after this. Adventures were great, but yours had been set in a rather dark ambiance. It was time for that to turn around.


It was strange how when dreading something, time seems to take leaps and bounds that gets the event closer, until it stands looming before you, intimidating as ever. But when you were excited, or afraid for someone's life or well being, it could not move quickly enough. It inched by, torturous and lethargic, as if laughing at your predicaments.


Truthfully, it had likely only been twenty minutes, but once again you marveled at how it felt like hours. As you were really beginning to worry, straining your ears for any sign, possibly a footstep or a shout, a hand grabbed your forearm and pulled you to your feet. Zexion was not alone.


"Axel!" You were rather surprised to see him, even though you shouldn't have been at all. You were in danger, so of course he would wish to see you himself and ensure your safety. Sure enough, he began to examine you as though he did not trust Zexion to have you in one piece. His eyes narrowed upon seeing the mark across your face. Carefully, he brought a gloved finger across it, pulling back as you winced.


"It always seems to happen to that lovely face of yours, doesn't it?" he said with a sly grin, despite the situation. You shrugged; what could you say? It wasn't like you'd asked for it. Turning to Zexion, you raised your eyebrows in silent questioning as to what would happen now.


Those aquamarine eyes stared back, cold and distant. Already, you began to fear what came next. Softly, you said his name in an inquiring way. His lips tightened, and he faced Axel, completely business.


"Axel, you recall what we discussed on the way over here." After his comrade nodded, the illusionist faced you once again. "Xevia, Axel is going to take you to safety." Already, you were opening your mouth to protest, but he silenced you with his hand and a fierce glare. "You promised you would follow orders, no matter what the cost.


"Axel is going to take you to safety," he continued, "and I am going to stay behind and make sure they don't have a chance to follow you. I need you to cooperate; this is important. You must never come back here. Do not seek me out, or anyone else for that matter. The only man I ask that you trust is the one whose capable hands I am leaving you to."


"But Zexion!" you shrieked, muffled still by his limb. You grabbed his wrist and wretched yourself free before diving into his arms. You clutched his abdomen, fighting tears with a childish innocence of not wanting to let go, even if it cost you your life. "Come with," you wailed quietly. "Please."


Not even carefully, but more in a way of disgust, he tore you from his body and tossed you back to Axel, who caught you and held you fast, despite your struggles to get away. Zexion moved closer until his nose was level with yours, and his gaze bore into you. The breath stopped in your throat, and you were motionless.


"I don't love you, Xevia." The words hit you like each were a slap in the face. "I never have. I'm a Nobody, remember?" He chuckled coldly. "You always seem to forget that." A single tear rolled down your cheek, and you quickly shook it away, struggling now more than ever. You didn't care if they found you anymore; let them. Your screams of protest were certainly a dead giveaway.


The man, your best friend these past months, had lied to you. In some way, there had been deception. And you hoped, you prayed it was now that was the lie. But did it matter? In the end, he had made the final cut. He refused to see you. You weren't to seek him; only to remain with Axel. That had to be closure enough. Why else would he hand you over to his main competition?


Falling limp, you whimpered, defeated in every possible way. Every man you had chosen, every person you had sought after had rejected you bitterly. How could life be justified in such a way? That not only did the being you loved in the beginning kill you, but had taken another's life- a piece of your genetics- with? That the one that could have saved you from such a fate, had chosen differently? And now, at the very mercy of Organization XIII, you were at least being protected, but at a high cost.


Voices were suddenly dangerously close, and their owners rapidly approaching the scene. Zexion gave Axel a firm nod, and then turned and ran toward the approaching mob, stopping at the intersection and waiting, his face set in determination. You felt Axel's muscles tense as he lifted you backward and toward the doors.


Again, you began screaming, trying to break from his grasp and reach Zexion, who not once looked back at you. "No! Don't do this! Please!" Large drops of saltwater were now streaming from your eyes and stinging your wounds. It may as well have been background noise.


One of the great doors opened, and Axel pulled you through. Just as you were expecting the doors to shut in front of you, blocking everyone from view, however, he threw you behind him and held you there. Taking a deep breath, the redhead made a grim face.


"I'm so sorry, friend," he said in a voice laden with melancholy. Fear ripped across your expression, and you realized they had made a further arrangement. Before you could do anything more, however, fire erupted from his hand and quickly caught on a substance on the floor. A chemical that smelled strongly and was spread across its surface; it was also apparently very flammable. Gasoline?


Screams came from your chest even harder now, but you hardly heard them. They were swept up in the roar of the flames. They consumed the castle, licking at the walls clouding the air with smoke. There were voices that answered you, out of agony and death. All you cared about was him. You would never see his face again. Not ever. Wordlessly, Axel closed the door and took you in his arms, bringing you into darkness, where silence brought you far away from that structure of horrors within.

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