Alright and we are back with another chapter of this story. I've been on a roll with ideas lately for this and the ideas were just there. Again, thank you for all of you who are keeping up with this, and I appreciate the feedback as well. Also, thanks once again to RikuKingdomHearts for helping to edit this. Now without further ado, let's get to the story!
Aqua and Terra stared off into the distant wasteland, watching as the wind kicked up dust in large whirlwinds. They could no longer see the silhouette of Ven-Van any longer. Aqua looked as if she would cry, afraid that she was losing her friend. She wanted to cry out for him, but deep in her heart, she knew that action would yield no result. She laid her head against Terra's chest as he held the back of her head close and comforted her. Then suddenly, she jerked her head away from him rapidly, and as she peered up at him, her watery eyes held the look of worry and hurt as she laid into Terra.
"How could you just let him go like that?! Why… Why didn't you try to stop him?" Aqua shouted at Terra. She tried to keep herself calm, but it was hard to keep her eyes from swelling up with tears.
Terra was taken aback. "Well, I didn't want him to go either. But, it seemed that is what he really wanted. I'm...sure it must be confusing having to deal with another person inside of your head. And to try and control your own darkness...I know. I'm sure he will come back to us soon enough," Terra stated rather worriedly, secretly doubting his own words.
"But after all we've been through… and everything that happened here. I still don't understand… There could have been some way… We could have helped him. I'm just worried about Ven…" Aqua lowered her head as she let out a long sigh.
"I know you wanted us to all be together again, and so did I. I just...I don't know. It felt like the right thing to do. I'm worried about him too. But, you saw Vanitas seemed to be more in control. It's like Ven wasn't even there right now," Terra shifted his eyes down and away.
Aqua frowned. "And that's what I am worried most about. I know… we may have misjudged Vanitas a little… but I still don't know if we can fully trust him. There is still so much we don't know… and now I am afraid we may never know."
Terra glanced back up at her. "Yeah Vanitas still seems a bit unstable. He almost killed us after all too, which is another reason why I didn't try to stop him. What could we have done if he suddenly decided to attack us again? You saw how powerful he is. Though, it seems that he might be a bit more calm after Xehanort is gone. Maybe Vanitas just needs time to work things out with Ventus. I hope that he comes back around," Terra admitted, the worry starting to show in his words.
Aqua sighed as she rested her head against Terra's chest again. There was still apart of her that wanted to argue more, a part of her that wanted to go out and find Ven, but she knew it was pointless. "I hope so too…" All of Aqua's determination and energy faded away as her body relaxed. She was far more exhausted that she had originally thought.
Terra put his arm around Aqua's head as she laid against him. Truthfully, he was just as worried as she was, but he had to be strong for her, so he would just keep that to himself. He peered off into the distant sky and watched as the clouds rolled by slowly.
"Come back to us soon buddy. We'll be waiting."
Terra then directed his speech at Aqua as he spoke a little louder. "So, I guess we should find somewhere to go now. No point in staying here."
Aqua nodded in agreement as the two of them began walking off together.
Once he was a good distance away, Ven-Van summoned his keyblade again. He needed to turn it into a glider to be able to travel, so he knew that he would have to concentrate on making it. As he closed his eyes and focused, the X-blade began to shape and mold into a glider on which he could ride. He seemed a bit surprised, but pleased at how it had turned out as he hopped onto it with no hesitation and took off into the sky. He whizzed around in a couple of circles as he tried to get the hang of piloting one of those things. As soon as he was ready, a portal then opened up and he traveled into it and into the Lanes Between.
He entered the Lanes Between and noticed the vastness of space all around him. There were various stars that were placed all around them in different locations, indicating the different worlds that were out there. The space around them was mostly black with some multi-colored cloud-like substances just floating around the empty space. As Vanitas was still in control, he had never seen anything quite like this before, so he was quite amazed at the beauty of it all.
After he finished his stargazing, Ven-Van tried to decide which star to go to, but he was unsure of the different worlds out there. He knew that Ventus would probably know more about these things, but he had no way to really ask him or know without Ventus taking over, which he didn't really want to happen right now. He was surprised, however, that Ventus had not seemed to try it after he forcibly reined him in earlier so that he could not take control. After some deliberating with himself, he finally decided that he would just to whichever one he could reach first.
He initiated the glider into high gear and blasted off towards the nearest star. At first, things seemed to be going smoothly...until he encountered some debris from some asteroids. He moved the glider to try and avoid them and successfully managed to dodge the first few that approached the vicinity. However, he was not fast enough to dodge them all as some of the rubble made an impact upon the glider, causing Ven-Van to waver slightly. Soon he was able to stabilize the glider and get back on course with the direction he was headed. After sailing for a brief moment, there were more rocks that impeded his journey. Once again he could not avoid them all as the glider received even more damage. He started to get a bit worried, not knowing how much more that the glider would be able to handle.
As he tried to straighten his course, he felt that all-too-familiar headache again. It was Ventus. He was trying to assume control again. What a bad time to choose to want control of his body back. Vanitas tried to wrestle mentally with him to keep him from taking over.
"Just stop already Ventus. Don't you see the situation we're in here?!"
His head tinged a bit more as Ventus finally assumed a bit of control. "Yea that's why I'm trying to take over, since you don't know how to do this."
Now in control, Ventus started to right the glider and turned it towards another star, one that he knew that they would be able to go to without much trouble. However, just as he had made that adjustment, his head began to ache and spin.
"Ahh, Vanitas, just let me do this. I know where we're going."
"Shut up idiot, it doesn't matter, just let me back in control."
"No you need to give me my body back!"
"And you just need to let me handle this!"
While they were arguing with each other externally, neither of them were able to notice the large asteroid headed for them. As soon as they did, it was too late. The impact with the glider was tremendous, causing massive damage to it as it began to spiral out of control. The impact left the boy shaken, and on the verge of collapse. As the glider drifted down towards some unknown star coordinate, Ven-Van saw darkness encroaching upon his eyes as he passed out.
Ven-Van's eyes fluttered open slowly. He found himself face down in some sand, his mouth open. He jolted up quickly as the taste of the sand was dry and rough and he quickly spit it out. He needed some water. He looked around and there was a large, blue ocean right in front of him. He rushed down to the shore and put his face into the water and inhaled some quickly as to get that bad taste from his mouth. However, the water was very salty. Of course it was, as it was ocean water. He quickly spit it back out as well, not being satisfied. At least it was better than the taste of sand. After having done that, he then got up and took in the sight around him.
The sun was setting a beautiful crimson red, the radiance of the red spectrum dancing across the evening sky. The waves bounced along the shore, gradually encroaching upon the pier that was off to the left side of where he was sitting. He knew that no one was around at the moment. Here it was just the scenery and Vanitas...well, and Ventus too, even though Vanitas was the one really in control.
He felt his eyes growing a bit heavy as he listened to the sound of the crashing waves as the sunlight slowly faded from view. Then, he heard a faint familiar voice.
"Vanitas. We need to talk about things," the voice said ever so lightly.
The boy was startled by this, looking around for the source of the noise. He knew that voice all to well. It was Ventus. However, as he peered around the area, he saw nothing. There was nobody there. He was a bit perplexed at first. This whole time, each of them had only been able to know the other was there by them taking control of the body. But this time...the boy suddenly had a thought.
"Wait...maybe it's inside my head then. I guess that would make sense? I'm not really sure since this has never happened before. Oh well. Hey, weakling! Can you hear me?" the Vanitas side of him questioned loudly. Though had anyone been around, they would have assumed he was crazy for talking with himself.
His head began to hurt a bit now, as it did before when they had first come together as one again. Was Ventus trying to gain control again? That was something that Vanitas was trying to figure out for himself. It soon let up though after only a few moments, without any signs of a change having occurred. After having regained his composure, Vanitas thought about it and assumed that it must have been Ventus trying to say or do something. He made up his mind. He would finally talk to his other self...after all, they still needed to become complete.
Finally, the sun had set on the island. The stars were now in the sky, and they shone brightly across the fresh evening sky. Vanitas laid back onto the shore as he started to think about the journey that the two of them had been on so far. They had come back to this place to try and find some meaning of their self, but still, something did not feel right. As he pondered all of this, his eyes slowly closed as darkness danced across his pupils. For the first time in any of his existence, he relaxed, not caring about much at the moment. He was alone right now, but this is how he preferred it right now. Soon, the waves grew much quieter, the darkness encroached more upon himself as he felt everything just fade away in a moment.
Vanitas was falling. Everything around him had turned dark. He glanced around and it appeared as though he was in some kind of void. There was nothing but black everywhere around him. Slowly, as he descended, he saw a glow from a light below him. He peered down to see a stained glass platform. As he moved downward towards it, he finally caught a glimpse of what was embossed on the platform. It was him and Venus, standing back to back, weapons in hand. Vanitas slightly scoffed at the notion, but at the same time, he was interested in what that could mean.
The closer that he drifted towards the plate, he saw a faint figure below him, already occupying a small part of the platform. It was Ventus. It was as though Ventus had been waiting here for him that entire time. As Vanitas finally landed on the platform, Ventus looked over at him. A slight scowl came across Ven's face, one that he had seen many times before from his other half.
"Woah woah, don't get all hasty there with the look. After all, you're the one who suggested we do this after all," Vanitas replied to him haphazardly as he held his hands in front of him.
Ventus responded back with a hint of annoyance in his voice. "Yeah I did, so that we can try to sort through some things… Plus...I wanted to talk with you..."
Vanitas was taken aback by this a slight bit. Even though the two of them sometimes didn't agree on things, he was a bit in awe that Ventus actually wanted to see him for once. The two boys, the two halves...they stared at one another for quite some time before Vanitas finally spoke.
"So I take it this is the place where our heart is?" he questioned his other half.
"Yea…" Ventus responded as he uttered only that single word, a hint of exhaustion in his voice.
Vanitas suddenly felt some sort of confusion, but he was pretty sure that he knew everything that was going on at the moment here. He decided to just ignore that feeling. Brushing it off as nothing but a minor inconvenience. He started walking towards Ventus at a slow pace.
"So...brother...you said that we needed to talk Now that I think about it, strange as it sounds, so do I. You know why I joined back with you, and forcing you was the only way. You're just too stubborn to listen to good reason," Vanitas finished as he got closer to Ventus.
Ventus finally looked up at him as if to say something. He searched for the words that he wanted to say until he had finally found them.
"But why do you want that? For us to become one again?" Ven asked curiously.
"Because we have forged the X-blade, the ultimate weapon, and attained even greater power than before! Just look at the power that we gained back there. It was beyond anything either one of us had experienced. It's what we were supposed to do, for us to rejoin one another."
"Yeah?! Well I've been doing fine without you. I don't need your darkness making my life any harder."
"Harder?" Vanitas scoffed. "I think you mean easier. If you just allow us to join back together, then nothing could stand in our way. Not even the old man could do it." Vanitas finished as a small smirk came to his face while he pursed his lips.
"You know… You're sounding an awful lot like him now. That just makes things even more impossible."
Vanitas tried to remain calm at that comment as he bit his lip as he talked begrudgingly.
"Don't you dare compare me with him…"
Ventus knew that he had struck a nerve, but he he didn't care. Why should he have to care what Vanitas thought? Though, he didn't like the idea of thinking of Xehanort again. Not only that, but now he felt just a feeling of agitation. But, he wasn't actually agitated at anything, except for Vanitas of course.
"What about the that comment from earlier? A feckless neophyte was it? That's...exactly what Xehanort said to me before…" he trailed off, a sense of frustration coming over him.
Upon hearing those words said to him, Vanitas started to speak.
"All right, sure but…" Vanitas stopped in his thoughts before the words ever left his mouth.
He then faintly remembered that memory Ventus had mentioned. Pain swelled up inside of him, as he almost felt bad for calling Ven that before, as he was part of Ventus when that moment occurred. As Vanitas was lost in thought, Ventus continued.
"And besides, you're still darkness...I can never accept that. No matter what."
Vanitas looked at Ventus blankly. "Just ignore those thoughts and just stop fighting the inevitable. Together we will be much stronger, and the X-blade can finally be fully restored. We can finally be truly together as one again."
"No! I won't do it! I just...want to be myself! If I have to, I'll just put an end to you then," Ventus said as he summoned his keyblade.
Vanitas lets out a slight chuckle. "You know we're technically already one being again. If you destroy me, then you'll die too you idiot."
"Well it would be better than being stuck with you for the rest of my life! I just want to go back to my friends!" Ventus exclaimed loudly.
Vanitas retorted heavily. "Yeah yeah, your friends. It's always about your friends isn't it?"
"Yeah, well at least I have some!"
That last part hurt. In the pit of his stomach, Vanitas felt almost sick. Those words that Ven had said echoed through his mind. He looked down to the ground without caring what was going on in front of him. He felt so many feelings boiling inside of him now.
Ventus had began to charge at him full force. He wanted something to change, and the only way to do that was to fight. But, he wasn't prepared for what happened next.
"And that's why I hate you! You had your friends...while I'm over here all alone!"
He was almost to Vanitas when he stopped abruptly in his tracks at that comment. He felt this sinking feeling in his stomach, like he was almost sick. And he also felt...sadness. He wasn't quite sure what was going on right now.
"Just...Ventus...please…" Vanitas finally spoke again, his words coming out shaky and heavy.
Shocked by what he had heard, Ventus looked at Vanitas. What he saw next was something that completely caught him off guard. As Vanitas raised his head to look at Ventus, there was a tear coming down his face. Ventus stared wide eyed, when suddenly he felt something wet on his cheek. A tear. Now Ventus actually did feel confused… about everything.
"Why am I crying? I'm not even sad about anything. I just wanted Vanitas to go away...that look on his face… he's never done that before. Wait! If our hearts are connected again, then...does that mean, we can feel what each other feels? Maybe I should try to find out what's going on."
Vanitas truly felt sad for the first time in what felt like forever, and he was unsure how to cope with it. The words that Ven uttered is not what hurt, it was the ramifications of what that meant.
Suddenly Ventus spoke up after a bit and unsummoned his keyblade.
"Vanitas...you're crying...and so am I. I'm not sure what's going on, but-"
"Of course you don't know! You never did care! Not once!" Vanitas yelled in frustration. As he began to cry more as the feeling of despair and loneliness crept in.
Ventus felt an even deeper feeling of despair and loneliness. "This must be what Vanitas was feeling." Ventus was trying to figure out what to say in response before Vanitas started again.
"You, Aqua, and Terra… You all were the same. You always saw me as this dark...thing! Never once did you think of how I felt. This loneliness and pain I have to feel everyday. Everything caused me pain! The only way I could truly be rid of all this pain was to join back with you. That's all I really wanted. So I didn't have to be hurt anymore. I don't want to be erased… I just want to be okay..."
Vanitas started to sob even more now, allowing all of his emotions to run rampant. At the same time, Ventus was feeling everything he was feeling, and he began to cry, even though he didn't want to. Vanitas had no more words as Ventus finally decided to speak up.
"Vanitas...I had no idea. None of us did. You always seemed to be there to hurt everyone and cause trouble. But, I guess that's because of all the pain you were in. But then the Unversed…"
"Yea what about them?! If you're wondering idiot, yes that's what has caused this pain. All that negativity only added to the pain I was feeling. Can you imagine what that kind of pain does to a person?!" He screamed at Ventus, his voice cracking under the weight of everything.
Ventus still wanted to be free of the darkness that was Vanitas, but at the same time, he felt that maybe Vanitas wasn't as bad as he had believed him to be. He didn't know what to do or what to say, as he stood there in front of his other half, watching as Vanitas continued to break.
Vanitas felt weak in his legs as he could no longer stand. He dropped to his knees suddenly, and hung his head low as sounds of sniffling could be heard coming from him. Vanitas hated himself for doing this. It made him feel weak, but he also knew that he couldn't hold back these emotions any longer.
"All of the pain and suffering I went through after being created...I was used, toyed with, and looked down upon by everyone as nothing more than a nuisance. I hated you. You had everything: good friends, a good teacher, and you were always happy. Things I never could have...I wanted to destroy everything you cared about so that you would be able to feel what I feel and know what it's like to be alone!" Vanitas struggled with his words as tears still fell.
Ventus felt like that he understood now. Especially since he could feel the things that Vanitas was feeling. He tried to do the only thing he knew how to do to help.
"I do feel what you're feeling now...our hearts, they're connected. I didn't want that at all at first. But knowing all of this now...maybe it wouldn't be so bad…" Ventus trailed off his words.
He knelt down to where Vanitas was, just to try and be there for him in some way. Vanitas felt his presence there and looked up to see him. Vanitas reached out his hand and put it over Ven's heart.
"I just...wanted to go home. And to feel like that I belong somewhere. I need you...brother."
Ventus heard and felt those words clearly as Vanitas's feelings reached him. He almost couldn't believe what he had heard, but a part of him was kind of glad to hear those words. He reached out his hand and touched to where Vanitas's heart was.
"Well, it looks like that we can do that then. I see that you're not really bad after all...just confused and hurt. You won't have to suffer anymore."
Vanitas felt an ache in his heart at hearing that, but the feeling was good. It was like, something had finally filled up a piece of him that had been missing. He reached out his hands and grabbed Ventus, and pulled him into an embrace. Ventus was a bit shocked, but also relieved. A smile crossed his face as he returned the hug to Vanitas.
They stayed like that for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, after clearing up some, Vanitas spoke up.
"So, you'll join with me then? We can finally be one again?"
Ventus looked up and nodded his head in an up and down manner. Vanitas seemed relieved now at hearing that. Finally he could feel wanted. He could have a place to call his own. He could truly have a heart and finally be one with his other half. He could finally feel loved. He felt tears running down his face once again. But this time, it wasn't sadness he was feeling. He was happy. Vanitas was finally actually happy for the first time as tears of joy streamed down his face.
As the two resolved their issues with one another, a bright light started to take over the mindscape they were in. It seemed that their time in this place had come to a close. Before they left though, Vanitas had one last thing to say to Ven face to face.
"Hey idiot...just, don't mention this to anyone or I'll have to kill you."
Ventus snickered. "You can't kill me now. We're the same after all again."
Vanitas offered a slight smile. "Huh, I guess you're right."
The two of them faded from each other's view as the bright light overtook the both of them. Soon after that flash, he was awake again. Slowly, he raised up from the shore on which he was laying as he felt some reassurance about everything that had happened between he and Ventus. It seemed that Ventus had allowed him to be more in control of things in the end, which was just fine with him. Suddenly, Vanitas heard a voice.
"Hey, Vanitas can you still hear me?"
It was Ventus. Vanitas tried to answer in his head, but could not figure out how to make that work, so he just spoke aloud.
"Yea, I hear you. So you can still talk to me through our mind then. Well, at least I have some company. By the way...since we are more properly combined now, don't you think we need a name?"
"Hmm...that would be a good idea. But how could we combine our name?"
Vanitas mulled it over for a few moments before finally coming to a conclusion.
"Venitas seems to fit fine and still sounds like my name too."
Ventus inwardly sighed. "That's what you came up with? Surely there's something better."
"Well if you have something, then I'm all ears on listening to you."
Ventus thought for quite a while and finally came up with something.
"I guess maybe we could use something like…Ventas."
"Really? That just sounds exactly like your name mostly."
"Oh yea, and your idea sounds like mostly your name."
"Well, we can't really have two names can we? So we have to decide on something."
"Since both of our ideas start with Ven...and you wanted to be part of me again, then why don't we just go with that? Seems simple enough."
Vanitas pondered for a moment. "Fine, we'll go with that. Idiot."
Ventus sighed again, but this time he just stayed quiet. Vanitas smirked inwardly at him. The boy now known simply as Ven started to slowly get up from his sitting position and began to start moving. He now had a new lease on life, and he was finally whole once again, just like he had always dreamed.
There's the end of another long chapter there. This one was even longer than the last so it's getting better. Also, thanks to RikuKingdomHearts for helping write the opening scene with me, which was a spur of the moment idea. Lol. I've got some idea of where it's gonna go, but if you have suggestions or thoughts and all, let me know. I appreciate all the feedback. Hope you guys enjoyed that chapter. Until the next time!
I am currently working on the next chapter of this story again after some inspiration from my friend Riku Kingdom Hearts. I wanna take this moment to say thank you for all the new followers/favorites/reviews on this story, and I am doing my best to work on it. No ETA yet but I just wanted to update you all.