Written for tafkae, in the valentinehearts challenge :)
Title: Memorizing Hope
Characters: Axel, Roxas, a little Sora
Word Count: 1416
Summary: Axel's last thoughts and memories
Notes:As stated above, written for a fic challenge community...I've never written either of these characters before, and written very little KH fic...hopefully I stayed pretty in character with Axel :) Also, to tafkae, I hope this is okay? I'm no good at writing fight scenes, but I tried to throw the Dusks in so there was at least *some* action :)
“It’s no use!”
The words echoed through the tunnel and he froze in his steps, the emptiness in his chest immediately growing deeper.
“Roxas…” He whispered. He knew it wasn’t actually him…but those words, that defeated tone of voice…it could have been him. At one point, it was. He at least remembered, even if nobody else did.
“It’s no use!”
The voice came from…underground? Aha! Of course, those tunnels…That’s where they ran off to…
There had been rumors of someone new. Someone. That implies we’re something…what a joke. The Dusks always reacted when a strong presence emerged…it could have been out of fear, out of excitement, or out of anger…or at least, it should have been. Emotion wasn’t exactly easy for them to define, after all. Though I’m getting to know frustration pretty well.
It was ridiculous. He’d been the go-to-guy for every member who had arrived after himself…shoved around and used. If he’d had a choice he wouldn’t have agreed to join them in the first place…but it’s not like us Nobodies have a choice in much of anything…He wasn’t trying to make friends, though…and they had a pretty promising deal worked out. Becoming real again? Maybe it wouldn’t be so great. Maybe it would. But it’s better than forgetting.
His role was set, though. He was nothing more than a messenger boy…he was the second new member to arrive, but he might as well have been the first…he was young, and he knew they didn’t trust him. Fine by me. Didn’t make much sense they sent someone like that to meet the new ones, would have made more sense for one of them to go…he wasn’t intimidating, he was cynical and didn’t care one way of the other. But, it got him out for a little while, so he didn’t complain. Not to them at least.
The Dusks had left in a hurry, faster than normal. Usually they’d act up for a few days, give them some warning, and when they did leave they were in his command, leading him straight to the new arriver where he could drag them back to base, no questions asked.
There had been no warning this time, however. They took off, tearing through the darkness. Apparently, that was some sort of big deal. Not like they’d clue me in. The Originals had immediately grown tense, had sought him out, telling him if he failed this, he should stay with the Dusks, because if he returned alone that’s what he would become.
A life of nothing…a Dusk may be better than this. At least then I wouldn’t know what it meant to be real…
He’d found them in Twilight Town. This one’s good….The other new members hadn’t made it that far. They had all wondered in darkness. Well why not? Better than being stuck here in the middle. He had found Twilight Town himself, when he first…appeared. Do we appear? The Darkness had been appealing, but somehow he wasn’t sure he had wanted to leave the Light. Of course they’d been waiting for him there, the minute he arrived, but at least he knew where he belonged. In the middle. Guess that’s why I’m the delivery boy.
He hated Twilight Town. It represented everything they were. Nothing. A Nowhere town for a Nothing body. Even the Dusks stayed away—usually. Now, though, the tunnels were screaming with them. Enough to give me a headache…
The tunnel opened into a room where Dusks had formed a circle, and were closing in the new arrival…whoever it was. He couldn’t tell anything about it…him, her, anything.
“Come on….don’t tell me you made it here but you don’t know how to fight?” He laughed from inside his hood, preparing to wave his arm and regain control of the swarm of Dusks, but a light burst from the center of their ranks, followed by a “What?!” The light arced around its source, the Dusks vanishing along with it, and he could finally see whatever the light was coming from.
“And people thought I was young…what?!” He had been surprised to see someone so young. But what really surprised him…was the new arrival’s weapon.
“What do you mean, what?”
“You…what’s that you’ve got? Those blades of yours. Pretty…fancy.”
“Oh…They’re…” But the blades vanished before the boy had a chance to finish.
He seems…different. The others were all sharp, defensive. They’d lashed out at him when they saw him, wanting to fight him. Even the musician…well, he hadn’t wanted to fight, necessarily, and he had been the easier to deal with, but even he’d had his moments of backtalk. This one though…He looks depressed.
“So…when did you get here?”
“What? Get…what were those things? And who are you? Let me see your face!”
He didn’t know what a Dusk was? And he didn’t seem to realize exactly what his weapon was, either. This is strange… They all knew. Maybe it was part of being a Nobody…not having a future made you want to hold on to your past. They knew each other, because anything that came near you with a heart felt so different. He needed to test this kid.
“Where’d you come from?”
“I’m…not sure. Where is this place?”
“You don’t even know where you are? Come on kid, think. What’d you have to do to get here? Put two and two together already.”
“Two and two…but…how can I know how I got here, if I don’t even know where here is?”
This had to be the right guy, the Dusks wouldn’t have found him otherwise…but then, the Originals had acted so strangely as soon as they were alerted to his presence. And there was just something about him…He was definitely a Nobody, at any rate.
“So…what’s your name?”
“My…name. It’s…” The boy jumped, though he couldn’t see anything nearby that should have surprised him. “Roxas. My name is Roxas.”
“Roxas…” He felt something odd as he said the boy’s name, watching the newcomer glance around with downcast eyes, biting his lip in confusion. Normally if he felt anything, it was contempt. Contempt, anger, even rejection, when the Originals and Number VII would shut him out even though he had been there almost as long as they had, at least in comparison to the others. Even when the musician arrived, though he didn’t feel anything negative…he also didn’t feel anything at all. Even if my emotions are only memories…
What he felt now…it wasn’t something negative. He didn’t want to run, or fight, or antagonize just because he could. Is this…hope? The boy began walking around the room, then turned, “Well are you going to tell me anything? Like where I am, or what those things were that attacked me? And you still haven’t told me who you are!”
He smiled for the first time since he had arrived, and threw back his hood. “The name’s Axel. And you better remember, because I’m not telling you again.”
“Axel, huh? All right. I’ve got it memorized. I won’t forget.”
“Memorized…yeah. Memories. That’s…well, you want to know where we are? Better start there, then. Memories, you know.”
“Come with me. There’s this…group. Think you’d be interested. I think they’ll be able to answer some of your questions.”
The boy smiled, and he felt that feeling again. It was…warm. Reminds me of Light…I like it…
He’d lost Roxas, though. The only friend he had ever known. They had endured the Nothing together…neither one of them had been very interested in the Superior’s plans, but the Organization was all they had…without it, they’d be nothing even amongst Nothings. Too bad Roxas had to be special. He wouldn’t have minded not having memories…then he wouldn’t be able to remember what sadness felt like.
He knew his body was fading away now, Sora was kneeling beside him, and the Dusks had all gone. But as soon as he’d seen the circle of Dusks closing in, he’d made up his mind. All he ever wanted was to see Roxas again…the Organization meant nothing if they both couldn’t be there. And maybe he couldn’t see Roxas now, but there was that feeling…that feeling he got the first time they met. That maybe being a Nobody wasn’t all bad. That just because they didn’t have hearts didn’t mean they couldn’t be happy. But the whole point was for us to be whole again…you’re whole, Roxas. He reached up and heard Sora call his name, but all he could see…was…You said you wouldn’t forget…don’t forget me…Roxas…