Vanitas - Ventus
He'd held him for almost an hour after he and Ventus had ported into the darker souls' bedroom, the two sharing a close space on the mattress with Vanitas cradling the other to his chest, letting him use his shirt as a towel for his tears and even waving off every apology for wetting the shirt.
Running his fingers up and down the others back, he pressed his face to the blondes' hair, glad that he hadn't been harmed at all even though he'd gone along with his bizarre plan, though it'd been well thought out. He'd forgotten to inform that none of the creatures would have turned on them due to the feel of his darkness encasing them entirely. He'd tell them later, once everyone had calmed down and re-gathered to mourn together.
"I wonder how they're doing," he heard muffled against his chest, his hand still running along the other's spine as he hummed in question, noting the strained voice and cracking tone, "Riku and Sora," the blonde mentioned, Vanitas feeling him cuddle further into him, head shifting to press against his upper chest, "They're… younger than us," younger… less experienced with loss like this.
Vanitas could never really feel loss, he knew the idea of it and mourned, but he hadn't truly felt it until then, not that he could outwardly express it all that well. Ven, Terra and Aqua… they'd lost their master, their father.
"They'll get through it. They have masters looking out for them," he knew that Ven understood the sentence, Masters being the three he'd fought against and then joined soon after. The masters were the glue and they all knew it, the three having been training the younger Keybearers since they were all awakened years after Xehanort's scheming.
"I hope you're including yourself in that," he blinked curtly, quirking slightly as the slightly muffled words were processed. Feeling the other shift against him, Vanitas lifting his head to be met by his bright blue gaze, warm, comforting, slightly red-rimmed, "You sell yourself short. You're one of us," he swallowed softly, having been reluctant to think that they considered him a Master among them, but then, so was- "And so is she,"
He let a soft smile grace his lips, Ventus having taken the words from his mind and spoke them for him. Returning his head to the pillow, he drew the blonde closer, their foreheads pressing as they shared the cushion.
Axel - Roxas
He winced as the bandages were tightened around his waist, Axel having to close his eyes and gnaw on his gum to stop himself from hissing or groaning from the throb that itched along his skin. He was used to burns, having a fire inside of him. But outside of him was another matter, especially when they weren't his.
"Sorry," he heard the blonde mutter softly, sounding guilty for the pain that flickered. It wasn't his fault and he figured that Roxas would understand that. If anything, he'd expected the other to be pissed off at him and enraged at that Xander guy. But instead, he seemed more subdued than anything else.
"No worries," he'd replied, wanting to avoid a longwinded argument if Axel did say It's not your fault, fully aware that the other Nobody would blame himself for causing more pain, even if it was just to cover up his already hurt body.
"Yo, you okay?" lifting his gaze towards the door with a rather startled stare, he saw Reno standing in the threshold, casually leaning against the frame with a humourless smirk on his face. An expression that told him that he wasn't at all happy that there had been a fight and that he'd gotten hurt somewhere along the way with the other redheads' knowledge. Despite having been avoiding the other, they could read each other like a childrens' book.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Axel replied curtly, breathing softly so as not agitate the huge burn-.
"No, I'm fine! You've got a burn from your thigh to your ribcage!" and there was that anger he'd been waiting for. Axel flickered his stare to the blonde, watching him seethe, a scowl on his face directly at the redhead while his hands were holding the ends of a bandage against Axel's side, "That's not fine," he added in a growl, a hiss.
"Seriously?!" the other redhead spoke up, Axel glancing towards him with a deadpanned look to see how wide his eyes really were. He appeared pretty shocked by the stare he got in return.
"Yeah, seriously," Roxas answered for him, the Chakram wielder having been about to reply at the same time. He returned his eyes to the blonde, the scowl darkening as if to dare him to say otherwise. Which he wouldn't, because he actually liked life, surprisingly preferring it over a swift but painful death by Roxas.
"Fine…" Axel muttered softly, finally giving in and resigning to the Nobody, noting the instant relaxation that came after his reply, "I'll be fine," he admitted without actually saying how hurt he actually was, the flat look he received drawing a gentle chuckle from his chest, and Axel being Axel… "-As soon as you hug me and hand-feed me," he smirked, a stifled snort originating from the doorway.
"I'll break you," Roxas replied after a moment, expression almost completely indifferent, almost. He could see that well-hidden relief blanketing the mind and shoulders of the other after Axel had finally responded with humour instead of winces or aching panting huffs.
"Don't you just love a happy couple, Rude?" both lifting their eyes to the door, they saw the extra person standing tall behind the redhead, neither having noticed the additional presence hovering in the background. A freakin' ninja, that guy…
Sora - Leon
"Replace the green with the blue and then flick the switch behind the access panel," he listened to the older mans' instructions, Sora eyeing them over and repeating the sentence in his head, trying to ignore the sadness attempting to creep its way back into the forefront of his mind.
"Green," he muttered out loud, reaching out for the dummy control box that Leon had retrieved for him to learn with, "Blue," he added, replacing the green with it and watching the very fine spark it gave off, "And the switch," he flipped it, the whir of the box becoming live filling the little space between the two in the older mans' living room.
"Are you sure that this is how you want to spend your time right now, Sora?" said man asked after a long moment of silence, Sora returning the box to how it had been set previously to restart the lesson. He had to keep thinking, but not about that. He had to stay strong, especially after having already broken down. He was stronger than that. He had to be.
"I need a distraction… at least until Riku comes back," the younger brunette replied calmly, or as calmly as he could muster, trying to wave off the shake in his tone as he let his gaze drop slightly. He remembered his heavy reluctance to leave his friend there, but the tone he'd replied with, the broken edge to it. He couldn't say otherwise or ask him to get up or to come back with them. It hurt to hear it, having not heard it in years.
"Alright," the older responded softly, Sora going back to the wires and reaching for the blue-, "Wrong one," Leon pointed out smoothly, pointing it out to the Keybearer before he then reached for the green like he was supposed to, "You'd make a terrible engineer," the other joked, trying to lighten the mood just slightly, and as good as the intention was, Sora let a gentle scoff leave him.
"I'll stick to fighting your Nobodies and Heartless since you still haven't gotten rid of them," he teased back, hearing the feigned incredulous scoff that left the Committee leader, the brunette glancing up to see the amused stare he was being given.
He hadn't moved from the spot he'd been left in, Riku staring up at the heart-shaped moon after the downpour had ebbed, the clouds having eased apart to let the blue light shine down, casting over him and the graveyard, a rightly named world.
He'd been silently asking her to return, to come back, tears having dried against his cheeks in the time it'd taken to ask within the hour to two hours the Keybearer had been sitting on damp land, clothes drenched. The lost, empty coldness had crawled up his spine, the reassurance and comfort Avonia had given him now long gone and giving him no shield or defence for the sadness that scratched his heart.
"She'll come back," Riku blinked, dubious about whether the voice was in his head this time. He lowered his gaze to the ground, staring at it for a long moment before deciding that it hadn't and slowly turned to stare over his shoulder at the two men a few feet away, one standing further back than the other like he wanted to give them their space.
"How can you be so sure," he asked the master, unwilling to completely face the other man, but doing so anyway, turning side-on to Terra so that he wouldn't strain his neck as the other strode closer, entering his bubble of growing depression and loneliness. Both of which stepped aside as reassurance wanted to return, the older man giving it to him by just being there.
"Because we did," he watched as Terra knelt beside him, towering even though the other was only a few inches taller due to the similarity in physical age, "We were returned from the darkness thanks to all of you," his words processing, Riku stared, gazed, the reassurance building back up, more so when the heavy hand was placed on his shoulder, firm, unwavering, "She'll come back," even his voice was strong, no falter or crack being heard as he had with Sora's.
"Then I'll wait for her," he replied, feeling the light, the remnants of what Sarafina left for him before her disappearance. His eyes never fell from the other, both stares locked and firm, Terra's seeming far stronger. Why wouldn't it be? The man was a Master, strength pouring from him like it did on a daily basis.
"Wait for her with the rest of us," there was Riku's hesitance, the Keybearer's gaze flickering to the hand that was held out to him, no shake being seen, no fear, pain, resistance, "We'll all wait for her together," the man smiled softly, Riku hesitantly reaching his own out, feeling the other hand clamp firmly, reassuringly, comfortingly. They were there for him, they all were. They were there for each other.
"C'mon," the brunette Master gestured towards Zack and the Masters' portal, the glow bright and blinding. Being pulled to his feet, the grip was tight, firm as he was led towards the swirling light, Riku taking a last glance over his shoulder and up to the Heart-shape moon, feeling its warmth and reassurance. He'd be back. He'd wait for her, no matter how long it took.
VOD: Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed this edit/re-upload of First Spark. [The sequel is on Vanitas' Queen21's page if you want to read what we have of that so far.]