A/N: Final Chapter!
Outside should have been a bright morning but in that town, it was always twilight. Excitement bubbled around and the daily activities began. Doves fluttered past the windows, twirling high into the sky. A lone train rushed down its tracks. The cast of the orange glow of the setting sun draped into the room, illuminated everything with a gleam. The room was prized with various objects that hung from the ceiling or patterned the walls and furniture.
A boy lay on the bed, wearing only a T-shirt and shorts. His toes twitched as he began to stir. He should have been awake an hour earlier, but he'd slept in. One had to enjoy his summer break anyways. Already, his friends would be waiting for him impatiently and would tease him and ruffle his hair. They would find jobs together and earn money for their one single and mutual goal: to visit the beach.
He opened his oceanic eyes to the world, taking in the sight of his pale ceiling. Suddenly swinging his body into a sitting position, he casually raised a knee and rested his arm on it. He took to gazing out of the window, unsurprised to see everyone up and bustling around.
It was so soon. He had seven more days to go until school began.
Rushing out to meet with his friends at the Usual Spot, he threw on his vest as he bolted out of the door. People stared to see the boy so full of energy and darting past them. He greeted them all, enjoying the good weather and the great feel of the sun's kiss on his skin.
"Maybe," he said to himself, eyes gleaming with liveliness. "Maybe today we'll finally hit the beach."
The white room was always quiet and serene. The pallid colors never blushed by the setting sun. White curtains billowed gently as a breeze came into the room. The white flowers on her table jostled slightly in the vase, as if playing musical chairs.
She brushed away a few crumbs of crayons that had decided to settle on the white pages. Smiling at her latest magnum opus, she traced the outlines tenderly—and one would have said "lovingly".
Turning to admire the forever setting sun, she loved the ways the light painted the tips of the trees orange and how the gates that were as black as night gave in to the light, settling for a dull gleam. There wasn't much time left. She couldn't keep enjoying this scene forever.
"Sora," a voice filled with quietude, "is he ready?"
"Almost." She'd decided to hide her emotions—emotions a Nobody shouldn't have. Yet still, she couldn't remove the sorrow that filled her voice. She turned away from the windows, taking in black leather and soft silver hair. Sometimes she wanted to run her fingers through them, just to see if they were as silky as they appeared. "He's almost ready. Now that Xion's fused with Sora, everything is easier."
Riku nodded in approval, though she would never know how much his chest ached from the sacrifice.
"Now, it's just…," she didn't want to say the last word, the one that would bring her most pain. But she knew she had to face the truth. Roxas was Sora's Nobody.
"It's just Roxas now, huh," Riku finished for her.
She didn't answer.
It wasn't because she was afraid, nor was it because she didn't want to do what she had to. It was because she was suddenly flooded with memories that she didn't know how to handle. Nostalgic memories—ones that took her into a whole new world where she'd sacrificed herself to let the world begin anew. A world where she discovered so much.
A world where she loved that young boy. That young boy named…
It was always her place, to feel the waves lunge and recede from the shore. To her, the waves represented her past. She tried to save them, reaching to grasp her goal, then receding back into the shadows, as if tired, exhaling a breath.
They sat together, cooling their toes in the water, feeling the lukewarm wind comb through their hair and caress their cheeks. Tropical weather. It was almost always humid. Sora and Kairi had been tanned by their daily activities by the beach, but strangely Riku, who spent time at the beach as long as they did, never seemed to become a shade darker.
He kicked the waves, sending clear droplets into the air before reuniting with the cerulean waters.
"So that's how it was?"
"I never had the chance to tell you really," she admitted, "with all the turmoil going around. But Kairi doesn't really seem to remember anything like that. No one else seems to either."
"I don't remember anything earlier than being a member of the Organization XIII," he shook his head regretfully. "Axel says I was a zombie at first, but I don't remember that either. I don't remember anything prior to that. I don't even remember Xion…. "
"Xion…," I whispered. "For her to have lost both parents and to have suffered such a tragedy..."
"She sacrificed herself, knowing that we wouldn't remember her afterwards," he shook his head, mind lost in turmoil. "I can't believe someone would be so…so selfless. But what about Ven and Aqua? What about them? You never mentioned them afterwards."
"That's true. I never saw them in the battle," I contemplated on the thought. "Hayner, Pence, and Olette were the only ones left to awaken them, seeing as Sora and Kairi came to find us."
"Ever since the world restarted…," he murmured, "I don't ever remember meeting people like Shinra and Tseng here. They must be in different worlds. I only met Aerith through Sora too."
"You met Aerith?"
"Yeah. She was in Hollow Bastion."
"How was she?"
"Oh, she was great. Really nice."
I sighed in relief. At least she was fine. "Now, remembering everything, I suddenly feel so…sad for the Organization XIII. In this world, they're mislead and have done so many terrible things."
"In the past, they were the good guys right?"
"Not exactly, but they were our friends." I felt a tear slide down my cheeks, remembering how good Marluxia was to me and how Zexion was always there to protect me. But when I met them again, Marluxia had become sadistic and a traitor to Xemnas, while Zexion had become a stoic and indifferent man.
"It bothers me," Roxas suddenly began, "How other are suffering out there—those of them who are connected to Sora and me. The Nobodies…the former Keyblade wielders…" I nodded as he continued. "That's why we've got to set things straight. We have to fix things and help them."
"Sora decided to didn't he? So did you."
"When are you leaving?" I bit my lower lip, waiting for his answer. He was silent for a long time, just watching the waves rush on and off of the shore. The sun was slowly setting. Sora, Riku, and Kairi would be watching the sunset together soon.
Riku Replica… I wondered if he was really happy to see Xion. Roxas and I had missed out on so much when we'd left for our mission.
"Tomorrow," was his answer.
I sighed, expecting it anyways. What was I hoping for? Don't be so selfish, I scolded myself mentally. There are other people who need them.
"That's so soon—"
"Shh," he hushed me, flicking me in the forehead. I cringed and mock glowered back at him. "Watch the sunset." I glanced behind him, where far in the distance, Kairi had fallen asleep on Sora's shoulder. She would be missing this sunset. Some would have called it a waste, but I understood her.
With a hand on Roxas' shoulder, I turned him away from the sunset. "I'm not going to. The next time I see a sunset, it's going to be when you all come back,"
"That's romantic," he chuckled.
I ignored him.
"Her loss." He took my hand off of his shoulder and kissed the tips of my fingers.
I fell backwards against the sand, holding his hand.
"Terra, Ven, and Aqua must be really lonely right now," Roxas commented, falling backwards to join me on the sand. We watched early stars race one another across the sky, seeing who would appear first. Although the glamorous sunset lay at our feet, the cool and serene night blue sky lay overhead.
I nodded, watching a star flicker to life. Closing my eyelids, I relaxed, and my grip on his hand loosened.
"You're beautiful," Roxas suddenly commented. "Have I ever mentioned that?"
I blushed, the last of the sunset creeping away from the sky. "You might have before."
"Oh," he grinned. "How cruel. You don't remember."
"S-Shut up," I looked away. "You're one to talk. And you're much more beautiful than I am. You amaze me way too much."
"You think so? I'm pretty certain it's the other way around."
"No, it isn't. Hush," I squeezed his hand. "I'm trying to sleep." He chuckled.
"Then I want to dream with you." He whispered, suddenly close to my ear. My eyes flew open to see him hovering halfway over me, his cheek close to mine. I lifted my arms off of the sand tentatively to loop them around his neck. I pulled him down and he "oomph"-ed in surprise. Slowly, he wound his arms around me too.
"Dream with me."
A/N: This lengthy story is officially done! Even as an epilogue, it still reached about 1000 words. LOL.
I really did enjoy writing this story and hearing feedback from all readers :) Thanks guys! Your last reviews totally made my day! Thanks guys for staying with my terrible uploading habits for so long 3 Stay tuned for more stories~
Over and out!