An Unbreakable Connection


Aqua is alone as she sits on the rock and listens to the tide wash against the shore of the Dark Margin. The clear blue glass of her wayfinder glimmers faintly on her flat palm.

Together, always.

The three of us will always be one.

I promise that I will bring him back, and this time you'll see that he has what it takes to be a master.

The memories tear at her. She failed. She failed to bring Terra home, to stop him from succumbing to darkness. She failed to stop Vanitas from merging with Ven and forging the x-blade. Now Ven is comatose and Terra is…

She shakes her head, refusing to go there. Looking back won't change anything. They are both gone and she won't bring them back by focusing on the past.


She turns her head, half-expecting to see Terra, but instead sees Ven. The younger keyblade wielder doesn't grin at her like he always used to; his eyes are sad, sadder than anything she'd seen before.


'Don't worry,' Ven says. 'We're with you.'

'Don't give up.' She can't see Terra, but she can hear his voice somewhere close to her ear. 'We believe in you.'

And even though they're only illusions created by her heart, Aqua feels comforted. She traces the contours of the wayfinder, a wistful smile gracing her face.

'Together, always,' she whispers.


He's sitting on the trunk of the twisted palm tree that stands near the edge of the island. It's where he usually is, when he's not talking with Ansem the Wise or half-heartedly playing command board with Roxas. Here, he can think about the things that he rarely speaks aloud.


Xion comes toward him. She's not smiling. (She never smiles.)

'Hey, Xion,' he greets her.

'You miss them,' Xion says simply.

He nods. He likes Roxas and Xion, but they aren't Aqua and Terra.

He'd told her and Roxas something about his past, and how he'd come to be in Sora's heart. How he'd lived in the Land of Departure with Aqua and Terra and Master Eraqus. How he'd come to view and love them as his family. How he'd lost them. Roxas and Xion understood. They'd lost people they loved, too.

'They're hurting, Xion. I can feel it.'

He doesn't know how, or why, or where it's coming from. All that's clear is that Aqua and Terra are in pain somewhere and he can feel it. He wants to be there for them like they always were for him, but he can't.

He can only share in their pain.

Xion sits beside him and gazes out at the sea. 'What do you wish for, Ven?'

It's a question with an obvious answer, but he replies anyway. 'Me, Aqua and Terra together again. For Aqua and Terra to stop hurting.'

She looks at him, and the grief in her eyes almost drowns him. No matter what he's enduring, he'll never know true hurt like Xion's. Or Roxas', for that matter.

'Believe in your wish and maybe it'll come true.'

He doesn't know how to make her feel better, so he simply says, 'Thanks, Xion.'


'Aqua! Ven!'

He opens his eyes to find the darkness pressing against him, as always. He is alone. Eraqus' heart is sleeping—has been sleeping ever since they split into Heartless and Nobody years ago. The only company he has are Xehanort and his own dark thoughts.

It was just a dream. What's left of his heart aches to think of it.

He misses them. He sees illusions of them sometimes—distortions caused by the darkness in his heart. Ven, golden-eyed and grinning, not his trademark carefree grin but an evil, inhuman one. Aqua too, her pained eyes pleading to him as his hands squeeze her throat.

See what you brought upon them? The pain you caused them?

Stop. He presses his palm to his forehead, willing that insidious voice to go away. It wasn't—

Your master is dead. Your precious friends are lost to you as well. You do not even have control over your own body. Why resist? You have nothing. You are nothing.

The darkness presses on him again. He covers his ears, tries not to let the words eat at him.

Your heart and body bend to my will. Soon your mind will follow. I can already feel the cracks in your armour. You will cave to me, Terra, and I will consume your heart once and for all.

Enough. I won't listen to this.

Xehanort's laughter echoes through him. You know I am right. You cannot escape me now—I am part of you. Your resistance is futile.

The old master's voice fades away, but Terra can still feel him, like a wasp hovering on the outskirts of his mind. Because he is part of me. Just like he says.

He closes his eyes, and hears Xehanort's laughter again, coming from somewhere deep within him. Is this really his fate now? An eternity of fighting the darkness in his heart, until his courage dwindles and it consumes him entirely?

Aqua, Ven, I'm sorry.

I miss you.

The thought ricochets through him like a prayer. He doesn't expect a reply, and he doesn't receive any. Instead, to his surprise, two familiar warmths envelop him and hold him close.

He recognizes them as soon as they touch his heart. Tears sting his eyes as they share whatever light they can spare with him. Slowly, the fear and pain and doubt falls away, replaced by resolve. He must keep fighting, for them. Nothing that Xehanort could do to him matters compared to that.

Aqua, Ven. I-I won't let him consume me. I swear I will keep fighting until we're together again.