Chapter Five

A sharp image accompanied the words, a dagger in Roxas’ consciousness. He might not have had a heart, but he’d been feeling feigned emotions all his life.

“Axel?” he whispered, though he refused to look up from where Oblivion lay on the ground.

The voice called out again, the harsh tones vanished. “You made a promise, remember?”

And beside Oblivion lay a second keyblade: Oathkeeper.

“I did?” Roxas asked, even though he knew the answer. The proof was right in front of him, his keyblade the seal of that oath.

“He did?” Demyx echoed, though his voice carried no emotion, and only the slightest intonation.

Roxas couldn’t see it, but Axel nodded, the red spikes of his hair bouncing at his neck. “You said you’d meet me, here, in the next life.”

More images flooded into Roxas’ mind, quick and violent and burning images of his fight with his best friend, that moment when they had lied to each other and themselves. It’s easy to believe a lie when you yourself are only an empty shell.

“But you said that I was different, that only I would have a next life,” Roxas said slowly, still confused by the whirlwind of events here and in his head.

“I’m glad I was wrong, Roxas,” Axel answered.

“And you aren’t different from us, buddy,” Demyx added.

Roxas finally looked up, his blue eyes narrowed and piercing. “What do you mean, I’m not different? Saïx said I was special." The blond youth paused as he remembered a raven-haired girl, cloaked in black. "I have a keyblade! Actually, I have two now! That has to mean something, right?”

His words were wrapped in anger, one of the only emotions that could echo in the Nobodies’ hollow shell. He was angry that they had deserted him. Angry that they though themselves above him. Angry that they had come crawling back all haughty and superior.

No more.

A series of gray figures rose from the ground behind Roxas, flanking him. Their covered heads were bowed, their stance patient. At each of their back was a silver X, two swords crossed and waiting to be drawn.

“Whoa, whoa, buddy,” Demyx called, nervous. “We’re all friends here, right?”

“Call off the Samurai, Roxas,” Axel said. “Please.”

Demyx retreated within his group of Dancers, who still spun and pirouetted about him. A flash brought his sitar into his hands, Arpeggio.

A second flash, quickly succeeded by a third, and Oblivion and Oathkeeper were gripped tight by Roxas.

“Demyx!” Axel yelled. “We were told not to engage him, stand down.”

The look of grim determination faded from Demyx’s face, and his body relaxed.

“Roxas, come back to us.”

The words hadn’t even left Demyx’s mouth before both he and Axel were engulfed in black mist. A swirl of blue, a brief wind, and the pair, along with the Dancers and even the Samurai, were gone.

Roxas was left alone, again, lost in the dreamscape of Wonderland.

The End

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