TMart: Welcome welcome! Sorry for the delay, but the holidays kinda threw everything for a loop. Haha. But we are back now with this next and also final chapter of the story.
Riku: Holidays are holidays, but yes we have finished it now finally. It feels like forever but really hasn't even been a year.
TMart: It's amazing how time flies when you're having fun! And this story has been quite the ride.
Riku: Yup :) We hope that you all enjoy this finale we have for you.
TMart: Well, without further ado, let's begin.
Dinner had been probably the most delicious food he had ever experienced. There were so many kinds of foods to choose from and all of them smelled wonderful. He happily tried each of them to see whether or not he liked it or not, and it turned out he liked each food there. His most favorite probably being the pizza.
But what surprised him was that there was even more food that came afterwards. Once dinner was done more people came in with a few more things of food, not as many as before, but still enough good-looking things.
Though something large was placed down in him that was far too large for him to eat on his own. Whatever it was though had a rich and tasty smell coming off. Different than pizza, but still yummy smelling, maybe even more so than the pizza.
What was before him was large and reactular and a light brown color. There was little details on the top of it and little fancy designs as well. In the center had a bit of writing saying 'Happy Birthday Vanitas'.
Aqua walked over and leaned over next to Vanitas. "This is your birthday cake. Do you know what it special about it?"
"No. Do I get to eat all of it?" Vanitas asked.
Aqua laughed gently. "No you get to share it with everyone else. But first we are going to put these candles in it. Then we light them and sing a little song for you."
"A song for me? Why's that?"
"Because it is your birthday and that is what people do. Then once we sing the song, you close your eyes and make a wish. It can be anything you want it to be and then you blow out the candles."
"Oh," Vanitas said, not quite understanding the meaning of it.
"It's just a tradition for fun. Just have fun with it and don't overthink it, okay?"
"Okay then," Vanitas answered softly.
"Everyone ready then?" Aqua asked and made sure that everyone was paying attention.
She made a three count and then everyone started singing to Vanitas in the most cheerful tone they had.
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday dear Vanitas,
Happy Birthday to you.
It was all over quickly as everyone started to clap. Vanitas sat there and stared, not knowing exactly what it was all about. But for some reason, hearing everyone seemingly cheer for him made a smile cross his little face. He looked around to see everyone giving him a smile in return. It all felt nice.
"So, uh, I make a wish now?"
"Yep, you can do anything you want. Go ahead!" Zack encouraged him as he patted him on the shoulder.
Vanitas thought hard about what he wanted, taking a few seconds. But soon, he knew exactly what it was. With a big inhale of air, he blew hard and extinguished all of the candles at once. Everyone in the room began to cheer as Ventus excitedly waved to Vanitas.
"So what did you wish for Vani?!"
"You know that's supposed to be a secret," Isa spoke up as he nudged him.
"Well I kinda wanna know too," Lea interjected.
The adults in the room shared a glance with each other and sighed. At which point, Zack spoke to his son.
"It's up to you if you want to tell them."
There was not much waiting though as Vanitas had apparently already made up his mind what he was going to do.
"I wished that things can stay like this always and be happy."
Aqua and Zack shared a small glance with each other and smiled widely. It was obvious the room was radiating with positivity at the moment as well.
Then, Aqua took the knife and began slicing pieces of the cake in order to pass them around. "Well now, let's all celebrate."
Another month and moved by right before Vanitas's eyes, but he still enjoyed every moment of it. Everyday was a new experience for him, bringing in new memories every step of the way. With how things had been going he couldn't see anything that would be able to tear down what had been built up, and he couldn't wait to see what was next.
The first thing he did when he woke up was to wake up his brother. It had become a routine at this point that one would always wake up the other if they were still asleep, and Ventus was clearly still sleeping.
Vanitas crawled up onto the bed and started to shake his brother while trying not to laugh. "Ven. Ven! Wake up! Wake up, we gotta get up!"
Ventus mumbled a response too quiet to understand. He was still sleeping, or at least trying to, though his brother was making it very hard now. It only took a few more shakes from Vanitas to finally get him up and awake.
"Okay, I'm awake now," Ventus yawned before stretching.
The two of them got ready and headed downstairs for breakfast where they saw their parents setting the table. Today seemed like any other day, but Vanitas started to notice that something seemed different. His parents seemed more happy than usual and they kept smiling to add to that whole happiness vibe.
Vanitas watched as his mother hummed a little peaceful tune before taking her seat at the table. "Good morning Vani. Ven."
"Good morning mom!" Ventus replied first.
"Morning," Vanitas answered shortly after as they both took their seats.
After a few seconds, Zack cleared his throat. "Hey, I'm still here, I haven't gone anywhere just like all the other times" he said jokingly.
"Morning," Ventus and Vanitas both responded in unison, trying not to giggle to one another.
"Food smells good this morning, doesn't it boys?" Zack questioned.
"Oh yeah, I'm so hungry!" Ventus replied joyously.
Vanitas chimed in as well. "Me too!"
They didn't have to wait long as Aqua finally brought the finished food to the table. She continued to hum happily after the food was set and they were all ready to eat. It still seemed weird to Vanitas. He knew that they had been happy before, but this was a different kind of happy he had never seen before. It seemed far too cheerful than what would be normal. Or, at least what he was used to.
He almost said something until he noticed the delicious food that was sitting in front of him now. Drool began to form in his mouth as he stared at the breakfast that had been prepared. Not wanting to wait any longer, he dug right into his food, enjoying every bit.
Once he had eaten he still noticed how happy his parents were. It still felt so strange to him and he found himself wanted to know why. He wanted to understand why out of any day that they seemed extra happy today.
"Mom? Dad?" Vanitas asked, finally finding the words to speak up.
"Yes Vani?" Aqua asked in a gentle voice. "Something on your mind?"
"Hmm… why are you two so happy?"
Ventus interjected. "Huh? What do you mean Vani?" seemingly not noticing the same thing that Vanitas did.
Aqua and Zack shared a look between each other as they were finishing off their food. Aqua fluttered her blue eyes a few times at Zack as if trying to tell him something just by her look. He seemed to understand as he nodded and then turned his head back towards where the boys were sitting as Aqua did the same.
"Well, since we have finished up the food, I guess we should go ahead and start. It's something that we were going to tell you two today anyways after you were up," Zack began, though his word choice raised more questions among the boys.
"Oh? What is it? Something super secret?" Ventus inquired innocently.
"Yeah, something like that?" Vanitas followed up.
Aqua found herself slightly chuckling. "Well, I guess you could say something like that," she replied, placing a hand over her stomach briefly as she looked down.
"But what is it then? You gotta tell us now!" Ventus cheered. "It's something really good isn't it? But it's not food is it?"
"Well, just calm down real quick," Zack started, waiting for the boys to remain still and listen. "Okay so… of course you know we adopted both of you. We wanted kids and it was the best way at the time."
Aqua nodded in agreement. "But now that we have had some more time to think, we wanted to expand our little family. This time in a different way."
The boys continued to listen, trying to understand what their parents were saying.
"We love you both very much," Aqua continued. "But we wanted something of our own finally," she spoke as she glanced back to Zack with a smile on her face.
"Yeah, what we're trying to say is that you're both going to have a little sister!" he exclaimed with joy.
"We're going to be having a baby. And we wanted to share it with you as soon as we knew everything," Aqua stammered over her words, obviously getting choked up with emotion.
"A baby… sister?" Ventus asked. Clearly this was not the answer he was expecting to hear. His face filled with confusion, trying to process what he had just been told. Out of every option he had imagined in his head, a little baby was the last of his thoughts, or more actually it wasn't even one of them.
"Yeah! Isn't it exciting?" Zack bursted out again.
Unlike Ventus, who was trying trying to process the thought of having another sibling, Vanitas had a different set of thoughts on his mind. He heard clear as day what his parents had said, and he knew that they were excited… but he didn't understand it. He didn't feel as excited as they wanted him to be from what he could guess. He felt more worried if anything. More worried that they had seemingly wanted another kid out of the blue. He could only wonder how long they must have been thinking about the idea. Was it before he was adopted or after? Either way it still left him uneasy.
He sat there for a few more moments, trying to figure out what to say. Aqua's soft voice, however, pulled him right from his deep thoughts.
"Vanitas dear. Did you hear what we had said?" she asked curiously.
All eyes seemed to be on him now, at least from his parents. They seemed to be waiting to hear what his response would be for some reason. He wasn't sure why it mattered as much to them though. Eventually, even Ventus looked at him; however, not with the same look their parents were sporting.
"I-I… uhh… I don't know…" he trailed off before he could even get a full sentence out. "I thought that me and Ven… that we were good enough…"
The tone of his voice and the way he said those words struck both Zack and Aqua right in the heart. "Oh no honey, that's not it at all."
"But… but you want a baby. Doesn't that mean you… you're tired of us?" Vanitas asked.
He didn't even wait for his parents to answer him. "You wanna replace me. I'm not good enough anymore…" His chest was tightening each passing second. He felt like was being squeezed from the inside, and it hurt. It really hurt.
A moment later he was in his mother's arms. Her embrace was warm and tender just like always, but now Vanitas still felt that small bit of uneasiness. Either way his mother started to speak softly into his ear. "Vani, that isn't what this is all about. We don't want to replace you or Ven. We love you both dearly. We only wanted to expand our family even more."
"But I thought it would just be Vani and me? I liked it like that," Ventus chimed in, still trying to make sense of things.
Zack let out a tired sigh. "Well I didn't expect this all to happen," he said in a whispered breath to himself. "Look you two will still have each other of course. Just think of it as someone else to play and share things with."
It seemed that Ventus and Vanitas were both trying to think about what they had just heard. Though the gears were turning more in Ventus's head now as he started to slowly see what Zack was talking about.
"Oh really? Well that would be kinda cool then," Ventus added after that.
Vanitas, however, still was not as understanding. "B-But… You still want someone else… Why would we want someone else to play with? I like playing with just Ven. I don't want anyone else!"
"Vanitas!" Aqua yelled in a shocked surprise.
However, she immediately regretted her tone. She was so close to Vanitas that it seemed much louder than normal. Not only that, but she felt him flinch roughly and afterwards saw him starting to shake. He still had not completely recovered from the previous issues. She tried to hug him more but he slightly turned away.
"Vanitas… I didn't mean to yell. I was just surprised by what you said."
He turned to her finally, tears stained his eyes and blurred his vision. "Y-You guys don't want me either now do you?! I… I thought I was enough…" he couldn't continue his words as his sobs took over before turning into full-fledged crying.
Vanitas felt another pair of hands wrap around him. He blinked a few times to try and see through the tears and saw that it was Zack. Both his mom and dad were holding him tightly, still bringing that warm feeling that he enjoyed, but the tears wouldn't stop.
"Vani, I know it may be hard to understand," Zack said, speaking slowly and calmly as he could. "But please understand that we do not want to replace you. We would never want to lose you. It's like this… we adopted Ven and we loved him and then we found you and also wanted to adopt you. You found that both of you brought joy into our lives from the moment we meet you. So we thought we wanted to have even more joy in our lives with another. So we aren't replacing either one of you, we are just adding to the happiness and joy that you have already brought us."
Vanitas felt like his heart was melting. The words had been spoken so gently, so kindly to him. He truly felt like he understood what his parent meant in that moment. It started to feel so much clearer than before and he started smiling. "You… you really mean it?"
"Of course kiddo," Zack replied. "That's the truth and we don't ever want you to feel like we are replacing you or Ventus."
Aqua almost started to speak. But then she and Zack both heard some sniffles to the side of them. When they both looked, they could see tears in Ventus's eyes, which had turned slightly red as he tried to wipe them away.
"I-I don't want things to change too much either…"
"Oh Ven…" Aqua began. "Come here please," she asked him softly with a gentle tone.
Ventus joined in their hug and the warmth felt even greater to Vanitas. They were together now and he loved the warm feelings moments like these gave. Though he started to think about what his parents said and he started to imagine if there was one more child joined in the hug. He saw that there wouldn't be anything wrong with that. It would just make the hug even larger.
Vanitas finally started to smile more. "I think… I think I like the idea of another sibling. And Ventus and I can watch over and play with them?"
"That's exactly it," Zack replied.
"Having another little child to play with is the most fun that all of this can bring," Aqua added.
"So we are going to get a little brother or sister?" Ventus suddenly asked.
Aqua laughed softly as she pulled away from the hug. Before she answered she got up from the table and picked up something from the counter. She placed it on the table in front of the boys. "This is what is called an ultrasound. It may not look like much and may look blurry, but this image shows your future… little sister."
Ventus and Vanitas stared at the picture and then up at their mother. "Little sister!?" They both shouted in union causing Zack and Aqua to laugh at how cute it sounded.
"Yeah, that's right. You boys are going to be big brothers to an adorable little sister," Aqua replied.
"What's her name?" Ventus asked.
"Yeah! What is she going to be called?" Vanitas added.
"Well we still have a few months before she is born," Aqua said before placing her hand over her stomach. "But we have been thinking of a few choices."
"Let me get you guys the list. Maybe you can help us decide."
Zack walked over to a drawer and pulled out a sheet of paper. He placed it next to the picture of the ultrasound and the boys began to read over it. There were a lot of different names on there, a lot of common sounding ones from what they could tell, but there was one that seemed new to Vanitas.
He pointed to a name and looked at his parents. "What's this one?"
"That's Xion," Zack answered.
"Ooh, I like how that sounds!" Ventus said. "That sounds like a really pretty name."
"Yeah, really pretty." Vanitas agreed.
"Aqua, it looks like our boys may be deciding the name for us after all," Zack laughed.
"Seems like it," Aqua said in agreement. "But I do like the name Xion as well."
"Can we name her Xion then?" Vanitas asked. "We all like the name so that means we should name her Xion."
Zack and Aqua started to laugh again. They smiled happily at the open mindedness that their children had. Finally Aqua spoke up again. "I think Xion would be a fine name to choose. So that settles it then. You're little baby sister is going to be named Xion."
"Yay!" Vanitas and Ventus cheered together.
"When do we get to see her?" Ventus then asked.
"Oh, well… that is going to be a few months," Aqua explained. "But don't worry now that you both know, we will keep you updated."
Vanitas and Ventus nodded with excitement. What had started off as a slightly worrisome morning was turning into something really fun and interesting. The concept of a new little sibling was still something strange to think about, but the more the boys thought about it the more excited they became.
They smiled up at her after that as they all thought about what would be coming in the future. Vanitas especially got lost deep in thought. In that moment, he was happier than he had ever been, and he was captivated by the moment. He had a family now that treated him nicely and actually cared for him, and most of all they were never ever going to forget about him or replace him.
"T-Thank you guys… for everything," he muttered out.
Even though he still was unsure about his feelings on certain matters, that family moment made every worry seem to disappear. He couldn't wait to find out what joy a new little sister would bring in the future. In that moment, everything felt just right.
TMart: There's the end of the story. It's amazing to think it's over already. But we hope that you all enjoyed it as much as we did writing it.
Riku: Thank you everyone so much once again. We worked really hard on this story and it is all possible we got this far because of all of you. So thank you so much.
TMart: Let us know what you thought as we do enjoy the feedback. Thanks again! But for now, we will see you all later.