Duel of Illusions

Co-written with Darkelements10

Summary: Sequel to Duel of Fates. Fear attracts the fearful. Fear is my ally and my enemy. What do I do when my greatest strength is my greatest threat? It stalks me and those I love. But what if there's a way to be normal again?

Chapter 1 – Just Like Old Times

"Zack!" Sixteen year old Cody Martin said to his twin brother, Zack. Cody frowned as he crossed his arms over his chest. "I thought we agreed on the plane that I was going to get the window side! You got it last time!" His eyes gave the interior of their hotel room a quick glance before once again falling on his brother. Cody look of complete annoyance however seemed to have no effect on Zack's demeanor at all.

Zack smiled as he shook his head. "Cody, Cody, Cody," Zack replied. He walked over to Cody and put his hand on his little brother's shoulder. "Where are we again?"

"Japan," Cody said sarcastically. "What's that got to do with anything?"

"Well," Zack said in a matter-of-fact tone. "If I remember correctly, in Japan you are supposed to honor your big brother. So since I am the eldest between us…by a grand fifteen minutes, I decided that I want the window side."


"Sorry little bro," Zack said, cutting Cody off. He walked away from Cody and jumped onto the bed. "But rules are rules. Just remember, second born means second choice. So, since I get first choice, I'm taking the window side."

Cody growled as he flung his bag on the interior bed.

Zach chuckled to himself. He picked up the remote to their hotel room TV and flipped through the TV channels. "Oh," Zack said over the TV. "Look on the bright side Codes, you're closer to the bathroom."

"How is that good?" Cody said. "I don't eat like you."

"Oh, well," Zack responded with a laugh. "Never mind then."

Cody shook his head again as he walked out of the room to go cool off. Zack is such a pain sometimes! Cody said to himself. Seriously! Fifteen minutes! But besides that, how did he possibly remember that about Japan when he can't remember what the difference between sine and cosine is? Oh well, I'm here and I'm not gonna let Zack ruin it.

"Hey Cody!" A voice behind Cody called called. Cody spun around and looked at the smiling face of his friend, Sydney Hiroshima.

"Hey Syd," Cody replied, trying to clear his annoyance at his brother off his face and forced a smile. "You guys good to go?"

"Mostly," Sydney replied. "How you like here so far?"

"It's nice," Cody said as he briefly glanced around at their surroundings, which boasted the hotel's traditional Japanese theme. "Thanks again for bringing us too. Can't wait to see the concert."

Sydney smiled, causing dimples to form in each of his cheeks. "Yea no prob. We had the space so we figured what the hell? Guess you guys got in ok?"

"Yea, Julius picked us up from the airport," Cody said. "When'd you guys get here?"

"Yesterday morning," Sydney said as he shifted in place. "This concert's gonna be a big one. We've been trying to get set up since last night, but Pat and Noah were too tired from the flight. Luckily, the concert isn't until tomorrow night so we still got plenty of time to get set up."

"Yea," Cody nodded.

"And it gives us some time to show you guys some stuff," Sydney added.

"Yea true. I've always wanted to see Japan," Cody said. "After all I've read about it, the culture is just amazing! Did you know-"

"I probably do," Sydney said, cutting Cody off. He cocked his head as his smile stretched further.

"Yea probably," Cody shrugged.

Sydney looked at him. "What's wrong Cody?" Sydney asked, crossing his arms over his chest.

"Zack being Zack," Cody replied. "But I'm not going to let him ruin my good time."

Sydney smiled again. "Don't worry, Rikku will keep him in line."

"Yea I guess," Cody replied.

"Hey, here's something else you'll like," Sydney continued. "Crystal is here with us too."

Cody's look brightened up. "R-really?" Sydney nodded. "Where are they?" He asked figuring she'd be with her cousins, Rikku and Rumiku Hiroshima. Rikku and Rumiku were Sydney's older, twin sisters. Cody had met them and their cousin, Crystal, several years ago when Rikku, Rumiku, and their family had moved into the Tipton hotel.

"Down at the pool last I knew," Sydney said. "Her, Rikku and Rumiku went there to take a break."

"Oh, ok," Cody replied. "Thanks Syd, I'll see ya round." With that, Cody turned and headed for the elevator.

Sydney smiled to himself as he walked back to his own room.

"You tell him Syd?"

Sydney looked over and saw Rafael Cloud sitting at the table in his room.

"Raf-san!" Sydney said, rushing over. "What are you doing here?"

Rafael smiled. "Come on Syd! You guys have your biggest concert in a long time right here in my home town and you think I'm going to miss it?"

"That's true," Sydney replied. "But what did you mean by 'did I tell him?'"

"About that thing I explained to you last month."

Sydney shook his head. "I don't think we gotta worry about that right now. I mean, we haven't seen anything or anyone from Wingz Corp in two years."

"I know," Rafael said. "But if the scriptures are true, and they usually are, our plates are gonna be full for a while. Cody and Zack, being the most powerful elementals of our time should know what happened last time."

"I guess," Sydney said. "When's that supposed to happen anyway?"

"Tomorrow night," Rafael replied.

"Are you sure though? Didn't you say it only happens like once every 3,000 years or something?"

"That was the last time it happened," Rafael said. "But the signs are definitely pointing to it happening again tomorrow night."

"I'm not worried," Sydney replied. "No reason to be."

Rafael ran his hand through his hair. "Hope you're right Syd. Anyway you seen Julius? I gotta kick his butt at a few rounds of Mortal Kombat X."

"He's somewhere," Sydney replied. "Give him a call." With that, Sydney turned and walked out and back to Cody and Zack's room. "Hey Zack, giving Cody a hard time already?" Sydney asked with a smirk when he got there.

"Hey Syd," Zack replied, glancing over from his bed.

"How was the flight?" Sydney asked. Almost instantly though he regretted asking as he knew what Zack's answer would probably be.

"It was long," Zack said. "But it definitely had some great scenery." His eyes didn't leave the TV and it looked like he had to force a smile.

And there it is, Sydney thought to himself. Looking over though, Sydney noticed that Zack seemed a little distracted, and didn't give his answer how he normally would. "What's up Zack?" Sydney asked.

"What do you mean?"

"Well," Sydney said, stepping in front of the TV. "For starters, you didn't seem to care too much about that 'great scenery' when I asked you. What's up?"

"Nothing." He noticed Sydney's eyes were unwavering.

"Do I haveta read your mind?"

"You can't do that…can you?"

"That's for me to know and you to find out," Sydney answered smugly as he crossed his arms over his chest. Duh I can't do that, but might get him to answer me.

"Fine," Zack replied. "I was just thinking what it might be like to be normal for a change. As in no elements, just being a normal teenager."

Sydney smiled slightly as he walked forward and sat down on the end of Zack's bed. "Would be different," he said. "But who knows, you might get to see what it's like."

"What do you mean?' Zack asked.

Sydney took a breath. "Well I was talking with Rafael, and looks like we're in line for a inter-star planetary alignment."

"A what?" Zack asked with a clueless face.

Sydney sighed. "Basically," he said as he walked over to the table and grabbed some paper that hotel provided to its rooms as well as a pen. "When these five stars, solar system, the sun, and the moon align like this with the earth in the center," Sydney the stars and planets. In the middle he drew the sun, moon, and earth in a line with the earth between the sun and the moon. "Something amazing happens. But this hasn't occurred for like thousands of years or something like that."

"What happens?" Zack asked curiously.

"Elemental powers disappear temporarily," Sydney finished as he crumbled up the paper. "At least that's what Rafael told me."

"Wait, so they just shut off?"

"Something like that," Sydney replied with a sigh. "But I don't think it will happen. Who knows, maybe you'll get to see what it's like to be 'normal' after all." Sydney made air quotes when he said "normal." "Anyway, excited about the concert?"

"Yea def," Zack said. "And I'm sure Rikku will be awesome, as usual."

Sydney rolled his eyes. Here we go again, Sydney said to himself. "Yea, anyway I gotta go find her and Julius," Sydney said. "See ya guys at dinner."

"See ya," Zack replied. To be normal again, Zack thought to himself. That's what would really be cool. It'll be just like old times, when everything was easy and we didn't haveta worry about the world day in and day out. With that, Zack turned his attention back to the TV and was once again engrossed in his program.

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