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Fanfiction ► Kingdom Hearts: Aqua's Days



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Alisa180

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Profession lurker here with a fic! Its an AU that asks, "What if Aqua somehow wound up with the Organization?"

Chapter 1

How long had she been wandering this place?

She didn't know. Time had no meaning here. All she knew now was darkness. A dark realm which seemed to stretch on everywhere. She had known the light, once. But fate had been cruel and cast her here, all alone, to wander. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't seem to find the light again.

She continued to walk, observing the dark surroundings. Occasionally, a shadow would emerge. It would observe her for a moment, before continuing on its way. Without her weapon, she was no threat to it. There were much bigger things it could go after.

She continued to trudge forward.

Then, she spotted something.

It was out of place in the dark. It was somewhat brighter, and it seemed familiar...She hesitantly began walking toward it, almost not willing to believe...

As she got a bit closer, she realized, to her relief and joy, that she had not been mistaken after all. There was no mistaking that blond windswept hair...but, she reminded herself, it would do her good to make absolutely sure...

"Ventus?" She asked cautiously.

"Huh?" The boy turned around. She could see his face now. And it was the same face as her friend. The blue eyes, his expression...it was all the same. He was wearing some sort of black coat, but she paid it little attention. What mattered was that it was him and that he was here!

"It is you!" She exclaimed. Inexplicable feelings went through her as she ran forward to catch the boy in a tight hug.

She couldn't believe that Ven had found her-wait. Something was wrong. Why was he so stiff, like he wasn't used to physical affection? Why didn't he say anything to her? She drew back and looked at him again. He looked confused, and dazed.

"Uh, who are you?" He asked.

A shot of pain went straight through her heart. No...it couldn't be...

"Ven, its me. Aqua," she whispered. Judging from his expression, the name wasn't familiar to him.

Her heart dropped fast. Had everything...losing his heart and apparently getting it back again...had it erased Ven's memory?

"I'm sorry to say that our friend doesn't recall the old times," came a new voice.

Aqua looked up to see two new figures approaching, emerging from the dark. One had long grey hair, tan skin, and yellow eyes. He was looking at her was great interest. The other one had spiky red hair, green eyes, and seemed bored more then anything else. Both of them wore the same black coat that Ventus now wore.

She recognized the first man immediately. "You..you're..." He was the result when Terra and Master Xenahort had fused. The question was, which personality was in control? She hoped, almost desperately, that it was Terra.

The man smiled. An evil smile that told her more then anything which personality was dominant at that moment. "I've gone by many names now. Xenahort, Ansem, Terra..." Aqua's heart skipped a beat at the name. "But now, at this time, you may call me...Xemnas."

Xemnas...She didn't know why but she was getting a very bad vibe from this person. Something was innately wrong, she could tell. She kept her voice steady as she spoke. "What do you want?" She asked. And then, as an afterthought, added, "And what did you do with Ventus!?"

The boy in front of her shook his head, "That name again...it sounds familiar but..."

Aqua suddenly saw hope, a small one, but she would take any at this point. She smiled gently down at the boy. "Ven, do you remember anything?"

"Why do you keep calling me that?" He asked. "My name is Roxas."

And just like that, Aqua felt hope suck away again. She glared angrily at Xemnas. Xemnas shrugged in an exaggerated manner. "I'm afraid that your-our-old companion is a victim of circumstance. He remembers nothing."

Nothing. Ventus didn't remember her, Terra, Eraqus...nothing. Her shoulder sagged. She looked at Xemnas again, "How did this happen?"

"Unfortunate circumstances, as I have said. I myself do not remember as much as I would like." Xemnas admitted, "I remember some scattered things, but I do know that both you and him," he nodded at Ven-Roxas?, "Were once dear friends of mine." So Xanahort may be the dominant personality, but Terra was definitely influencing him. Xemnas put out his hand, offering it to her, "But you could help me repair my broken chain of memories. Won't you come with us? We'll be able to work this all out..."

Aqua instinctively shrunk back. This was the Terra-Xanahort mix...but something was wrong. Terribly wrong. She couldn't tell what is was, but she knew, somehow, that this person was dangerous. Going with him, even if it meant being with Ven again, would mean being part of something horrible, for she just knew, perhaps because of who he once was, that this man did not have pure intentions. He had done something to Ven, who was to say he wouldn't do something to her too? She then did what her instincts told her to.

She turned and ran.

"Stop her."

Aqua let out a suprised yelp and skidded to a halt as a wall of flame suddenly blocked her path. She turned back to the two men who were now approaching her.

"Now," Xemnas said, "I'm trying to be nice. We need you Aqua. Why are you hesitating? Am I not your friend? Is Ventus not your friend? Or is there something, something I do not know, that is holding you back?"

Aqua gave him a hard glare. It was becoming obvious to her now that Xemnas wasn't going to let her get away. She stood firm, and stared at him right in the eyes. And there she got a glimpse of what was wrong.

His eyes. They were lifeless. There was no glint of anything, not darkness, not light. Aqua once again got the feeling that something was completely wrong with this man.

"I would go with us." The other man spoke for the first time, "If you refuse to come with us by yourself, I do have orders to drag you with us if I have to."

She wasn't getting away. She had no choice. With her eyes still lock firmly on Xemnas, she said, "You don't have to drag me. I'll come with."

Xemnas nodded in approval, "Excellent."

The wall of fire behind her finally subsided. Xemnas stretched out an arm in one direction. Just a few inches from it, something formed. Darkness. It formed itself into some sort of portal. She shivered. Did they expect her to...?

"This way." Xemnas stepped through the portal. The other man followed.

Yep, they did.

Aqua suddenly became aware of Roxas standing next to her. She looked at him. He was holding a black coat out to her.

"Here," he said, "We brought this for you. It will protect you from the dark corridors."

Dark corridors. So that's what that portal of darkness was. Reluctantly, she slipped on the coat. Then, finally, she stepped through the dark portal, with Roxas right behind her.

n/n/n/n/

They spent a few moments going through a strange space and emerged in pouring down rain.

"Ugh, I hate rain." The red-haired man muttered as he slipped the hood of his coat over his head.

Aqua also pulled up her hood. She took a good look around. It wasn't any world that she had ever been to before. It was a huge city, lit up by neon lights. But it was eerily empty. Looking up, she saw a huge castle, towering over everything. And beyond the castle, was a heart-shaped moon.

"Kingdom Hearts," she whispered.

"Hm?" Roxas looked at her.

"What is this place?" She asked.

"This place?" The red haired man said, "This is the World That Never Was. And that castle up there is the Castle That Never Was. Home sweet home." From his tone, Aqua got the impression that he didn't see the place as much of a home at all.

World That Never Was? What did that mean? That is was a world that never existed? Yet, it did exist, she was standing in it right now.

Xemnas spoke, "Axel, Roxas, you two are free to return to the castle and resume your usual activities. I will personally give Saix your reports."

"Thanks." The red haired man walked over to Roxas and placed a hand on his shoulder, "C'mon. I bet Xion's already at the clocktower. And I'm sick of this rain."

Aqua saw a smug smile form on Roxas's face, "What? You don't like getting wet?" He asked.

"Hell no. And don't you dare get any ideas!" The pair vanished into the dark corridor that Axel had created.

Aqua found herself staring at the place where the corridor had vanished. Was Roxas really Ventus? He seemed different...Was it because of his lost memories?

"Come," Xemnas said. Aqua turned to him in time to see him form another dark corridor. He stepped through. Aqua followed. She once again found herself walking through the strange space. When they emerged she found herself in some sort of strange room. The walls were white, with strange symbols. There were a few chairs and Xemnas gestured for her to sit at one of them. Aqua sat and removed the hood of her coat. She turned her head to the nearby window. Outside, she could see the heart shaped moon that was Kingdom Hearts.

Before any of them could say anything, there was a knock at the door.

"Yes?" Xemnas said.

The door opened. The person who stepped in had a black coat like all the others Aqua had met so far. He had long blue dreadlocks, yellow eyes, and an X-shaped scar on his face. Under one arm, he carried a clipboard. His face was completely expressionless.

"Lord Xemnas," This new visitor said, "You have returned."

"Saix, I was just about to summon you."

The new person, Saix, looked at Aqua. Aqua once again got that feeling. The feeling that something was off. Really off and wrong. "Lord Xemnas, who is this?"

"This?" He gestured to Aqua, "This is our new Keyblade wielder."

"What?" Aqua turned back to Xemnas sharply. What did he mean by that?

Saix seemed surprised, "Another one?"

Xemnas nodded, "She is a old dear friend of mine who I have been searching for. Find Xigbar and tell him to retrieve the items from the chamber. He will understand. Also, would you mind getting that...charm...from Vexen's old room?"

Saix paused for a moment then nodded. He stepped out of the room, leaving Aqua alone with Xemnas.

"What's going on!?" Aqua demanded. Xemnas raised a hand for peace. He them smiled again.

"I understand that you are confused. I will explain everything. To begin, everyone in this castle in a Nobody. Surely a Keyblade wielder such as yourself knows what that is."

Aqua did and it hit her like a thunderbolt. No...this explained what was so wrong...

"What are those?" Aqua pointed to the strange white creatures a distance away. Master Eraqus had brought her to this strange realm for another lesson.

"Those?" Eraqus turned to look at the creatures. "Those are Nobodies."

"Nobodies?"

"I have already told you about Heartless, correct? Nobodies are sort of an after-product of Heartless creation. When a person with a strong heart becomes a Heartless, sometimes the shell they leave behind begins to act of its own will. These beings have no hearts. They are, in fact, nothing."

"Nothing?"

"Without a heart to associate with either light or darkness, they are rejected by both realms. Therefore, they dwell in this in-between realm. They do not exist, yet they do. Strange creatures, Nobodies."

Aqua observed the creatures, who were coming closer. She tensed a little, before they finally turned and vanished. Eraqus smiled sadly.

"Nobodies are not like Heartless. They do not act on instinct. They can, to some extent, think, plan and stratagize. However," Eraqus turned to Aqua, "I once heard from my master of a kind of special Nobody."

"Special Nobody?" Aqua looked at her master, silently asking for more answers.

Eraqus nodded, "If a heart is strong enough, the Nobody can keep its human shape, form, memories and will. This kind of Nobody is rare, and hasn't occurred in my lifetime. But it occurred in my master's. He even faced down the Nobody. He said that the Nobody was indistinguishable from a human. But since it lacked a heart, it instead relied on its human memories to 'fake it.' It seemed to have emotions, but it was all an act. It couldn't feel anything. It was very dangerous. My master didn't destroy it, another Keyblade wielder did, but he did tell me about it, as a warning." Eraqus shook his head. "It was a pathetic existance. According to my master, it talked a bit about feeling empty and numb, that it was trying to fill that emptiness, trying to find a way to feel again. It was truly incomplete." He then turned to Aqua, "I tell you this to warn you. A human-shape Nobody will probably not occur in your lifetime, but it is always best to know in case it does."

Not even Eraqus could have predicted this. Not one, but multiple human-shape Nobodies. And they were together, apparently working toward some sort of common goal. This was terrible...this was a disaster. No wonder she felt something was wrong with them. They lacked hearts. An essential part of their being.

Then that must mean...was Ven a Nobody too!? Had the body she hidden away somehow woken up and started acting on its own!? The thought, she realized, was horrifying. She looked at Xemnas, clearly shaken.

He merely kept smiling, "We are Organization XIII. We seek Kingdom Hearts. And the Keyblade is the key to that goal. We need Kingdom Hearts. And with you Aqua, we will be able to reach that goal just a bit faster."

Saix entered. He was carrying a strange black object in his hand. He gave it to Xemnas.

Aqua shook her head fiercely, "I won't help you."

"I somehow knew you would say that." The black object suddenly zipped from Xemnas's hand to attach itself to Aqua. The second it touched her, she yelled out in pain. A burning sensation, like nothing else, flared from the spot. Then it was gone, along with the black object.

She gave the spot where the object had vanished a quick glance before looked at Xemnas.

"That object binds you to this castle," Xemnas explained, "It binds you to us effectively. It only works on those with hearts however. Which is really a disappointment, there are a few among our ranks I would like to keep in our group no matter what. Either way, that object has bonded to your heart. The longer you are away from this castle, the weaker you will become. If you are away for too long, it will kill you."

Aqua had never felt hate stir in her heart so strongly since Master Xanahort. No, she hated him because she knew it was the Xanahort side of him that was doing this. Whatever of Terra was left didn't have as much influence as she thought.

Xemnas turned to Saix, "Did you give Xigbar the orders?" A nod. "Good." He turned back to Aqua, "Right now, Xigbar has gone to fetch your armor and your Keyblade. They will be returned to you tomorrow. For now, Saix will show you to your room. Rest up, tomorrow will begin your induction into the Organization."

n/n/n/n/

Saix led her to her room, as promised. The whole walk was spent mostly in silence, with Saix just giving her some instructions on what to do in the morning. He had then left her at the door, then went to tend to other duties.

Aqua now lay awake on her bed, staring at the ceiling. Her room, like much of the rest of the castle, was mostly white. The light from Kingdom Hearts flitered through the window.

After assesing her situation, she finally decided that she was just stuck. She didn't disbelieve that the charm given to her would eventually kill her if she tried to leave the Organization. She was going to be forced into going along with whatever twisted scheme Xemnas had planned.

She gazed outside at the heart-shaped moon.

Kingdom Hearts. Xemnas craved it, just like Xanahort had. The members of this Organization were helping him do it. She was supposed to protect the blance between light and dark, and here she was about to help throw off that balance.

She remembered her thoughts from earlier. Ven...he went by Roxas now and he had lost all memories of his time with Aqua and Terra. He had to be the shell that she had left in the Chamber of Awakening. But how had those memories been lost? Xemnas said that he was the victim of unfortunate circumstances, but what circumstances?

Sleep didn't come easily, but she somehow managed.

n/n/n/n/

Aqua walked into the lobby, known as the Grey Area. According to Saix, this is where she was to report for work.

The lobby was a wide area, with some couches and some tables. A huge window spanned the far side, beyond which the sky, the city, and Kingdom Hearts could be seen. There were already some people in the lobby. The redhaired man from ealier was leaning against the window in one corner. Another one was sitting at one of the couches, strumming some sort of strange instrument. Two more were on another set of couches across from each other, playing what seemed to be a game of cards on the table.

One of the players looked up from the game. He had very short white hair and a small goatee. He smiled, seeming amused.

"The new recruit is up," he said simply. There was the hint of an accent in his voice.

The other player turned around in his seat. Aqua recognized him immediately.

"You!" She shouted. Braig! He had helped Master Xanahort.

He chuckled, "You remember me, huh? 'Fraid our positions are much different now. My name's Xigbar now by the way. And before I forget," he reached down and grabbed something next to him and lifted it up, "This is yours."

Her Keyblade! Almost immediately after Xigbar picked it up, the Keyblade vanished and reappeared in her hand. The other person seemed very pleased with this.

"So you are one of the Keyblade's chosen," he remarked, "My name is Luxord. What wonderful luck we have, to receive a third Keyblade."

"Third?" Aqua dismissed her Keyblade to look at Luxord, dread forming in her stomach. Two other Keyblade wielders had been captured? Or was it something else?

"Numbers thirteen and fourteen are also ones chosen by the Keyblade," Luxord explained, "They are a bit younger then you." He then looked up, as if trying to see something behind Aqua, "Here's number thirteen now."

Aqua turned to find Roxas entering the lobby. Her thoughts from last night flooded back to her. She swallowed hard and smiled at him.

"Good morning Roxas," she said.

Roxas turned his head and nodded to her, "Good morning, er,"

"Aqua," she supplied.

"Aqua. Right." Roxas turned away and made a beeline for the redhaired man on the other side of the room. Aqua watched as the man lifted his head and smiled. He stood up as Roxas finished crossing over and the two were soon engaged in what seemed to be a lively conversation. They seemed to be friends but...it was all an act...they were Nobodies....

Aqua observed them for a moment. She was just about to ask just who the redhaired man was when Saix finally entered the lobby.

"Break time is over," he said flatly. He then turned his head and raised his voice, "That means you too Demyx!"

"Hm?" The one with the strange instrument, Demyx, looked up.

Saix sighed in an exaggerated manner. He then turned to the rest of the group, "As you all already know from the meeting, we have found another Keyblade wielder. She is not a Nobody, but she will be helping us nonetheless. Aqua," he nodded to her. Aqua turned to the group at large. They were all looking at her with mixed reactions.

"Another girl?" Demyx said, "That makes two now. Three if you count the late witch."

Saix ignored Demyx and continued, "Aqua, for your first mission, you will be paired with Xion. She will be able to teach you the basics, and perhaps you will be able to teach her a thing or two."

Aqua cast her eyes over the group again. "Which one is Xion?" Was it the redhaired man?

As if on cue, someone came running into the lobby with their head down. A girl. She was muttering to herself, "I overslept, I can't-ACK!" She collided with Saix.

Saix was off balance for a few moments, but he quickly regained it and turned to glare at the girl behind him, "Xion, it would be beneficial if you would watch where you're going."

That was Xion? The girl, who had stumbled, quickly regained her composure and stood up straight. Xion had raven hair, blue eyes, and she couldn't have been any older then Roxas. She bowed her head, "Sorry Saix."

Saix 'hmphed', "You will be paired with Aqua today. You will tell her how our Organization works alongside a regular mission. I am going to prepare the dark corridor," he turned, "Report to me when you are ready. And Aqua, that charm of yours will protect you from the corridors. There will be no need for the coat." That was good, because she had forgotten about that thing.

Saix walked away to another spot spot in the lobby, leaving Aqua with Xion. Xion rocked back and forth on her heels nervously, "So you're the new Keyblade Wielder?" She asked, "I heard from Roxas since I slept through the meeting." She seemed sheepish.

"I heard that there were two other Keyblade Wielders," Aqua said, "Who are the other two?"

"Well, I'm one," She was a Keyblade Wielder!? The shocks just kept on coming, "And Roxas is the other." Aqua wasn't really surprised there. But still, Xion was Keyblade wielder? Then who had her master been? Xion pointed to another part of the room. Aqua hadn't noticed it earlier, but floating there, dressed in the black coat that all the Organization members wore, was a moogle. "Over there's the Moogle Shop. You can buy what you need there. I'll meet you next to the corridor." Xion then walked in the direction of Saix.

Aqua didn't feel the need to buy anything, despite the extra munny she kept in one of her pockets. So she walked over to where Saix and Xion were waiting.

n/n/n/n/

They emerged in a world that Aqua didn't recognize. It was a town of some sort, one with quite the sunset apparently. Xion was right next to Aqua when they came out of the corridor.

"This is Twilight Town," Xion explained, "Its a pretty quiet town, Heartless aside."

Aqua snapped her head to look at Xion, "Heartless?"

Xion nodded, "They're these dark creatures that show up in all the worlds. The Keyblade attracts them. Our job is to defeat them. Ah!"

A short distance away, something had materialized. Some strange creatures, with yellow eyes and strange shapes.

"Heartless! Perfect!"

"Those are Heartless!?" They didn't look much like the shadow creatures that Aqua was familiar with. Oh wait. Emerging from the ground, were some shadows. These were the Heartless that Aqua was more familiar with. But...

Heartless were here! In a world! Outside the realm of darkness! This was bad. No, this was a disaster. The Heartless, here, was worse, much worse, then the Unversed. The Unversed had potential to wreak havoc, true, but the Heartless had the capacity to destroy. Destroy this world, any world, eventually condemn everything to darkness. That would throw off the balance of light and dark so badly that Aqua didn't even want to think about it.

How did they get here? Why were they here? What had happened while she was trapped in the dark realm?

Apparently Xion didn't know about dire implications of the Heartless, as she summoned her Keyblade, one with a white blade and a yellow hilt, and got into a stance. "Watch!" She ran forward and slahed her Keyblade at the Heartless. In a few minutes, the creatures were destroyed. An odd thing happened when the creatures were felled. When they were destroyed, a heart rose from it and vanished into the sky above. Aqua observed this warily. Xion turned back to her and pointed to one of the hearts as it vanished out of sight.

"You see those hearts? Our job, as Keyblade wielders, is to collect those."

Aqua turned to face Xion, "What do you mean?"

Xion scrunched up her face, as if trying to remember, "When a Heartless is defeated with the Keyblade, it releases a heart. Not all Heartless release a heart. There are two types. First are Pureblood Heartless, which are pure shadow. They don't release any hearts." She sounded like she was reciting something she had read from a book, or likely had heard from a lecture. Aqua nodded, indicating the girl to go on, "The other type are Emblem Heartless, which are designated with an emblem. They release hearts. When a heart is released with our Keyblades, it goes to Kingdom Hearts."

Aqua nodded again, "How do the hearts relate to Kingdom Hearts?" She asked.

Xion continued to concetrate, "Um, according to Xigbar, the real Kingdom Hearts was sealed already." Someone had sealed Kingdom Hearts? Then what was that outside the Castle That Never Was? "So the Organization is trying to make an artificial one." What!? "We need hearts to complete Kingdom Hearts." She still sounded like she was reciting a lecture. "When Kingdom Hearts is complete we will be able to get hearts of our own."

"I get it now," Aqua muttered. Since someone, likely some Keyblade wielder that she didn't know about, had sealed Kingdom Hearts, Xemnas was trying to contruct a new one using hearts. So the Nobodies wanted hearts of their own. Remebering how Master Eraqus talked about the Nobody feeling empty and numb, it started to come together. These Nobodies were so desperate to get rid of those feelings of nothingness, that they were willing to go to extreme lengths.

Xion looked a little nervous now, "I think that's all you need to know. Our mission today is to collect hearts. So we just need to find some Emblem Heartless."

On cue, some Heartless materialized, a few yards away. "Ah ha!" Xion summoned her Keyblade. She rushed forward to attack. A few moments later, there was a yelp as she was hit.

Aqua finally summoned her own Keyblade. She ran to help Xion.

These Heartless floated in the air, and apparently were fond of magic. One of them summoned a fireball and launched it. Aqua blocked the fireball with her Keyblade and slashed at the creature. Pretty soon, the group of Heartless was eliminated. Aqua sadly watched the hearts float into the sky. She then turned to Xion.

"Are you alright?" She asked, offering a hand to the staggering girl. Xion had taken some damage during the fight.

"Thanks, I'm fine." Xion took Aqua's hand and stood up. Aqua looked into the girl's eys for the first time and was suprised by what she saw.

The eyes, unlike Saix, Xemnas, or even Xigbar, they weren't empty. Indeed, while she sensed something different about the younger girl, Aqua wasn't getting the awful feeling of wrongness that she had gotten from the other Organization members so far. Actually, now that she thought about it, she didn't get that feeling around Roxas either. In fact, Aqua sensed a strong light from this girl.

Just who was this girl? What was she doing with the Organization?

Without thinking, Aqua reached out and found herself ajusting the girl's hands on the Keyblade. "Grip it like this," she advised, "Allows you just a little bit more momentum more easily."

Xion gave her a confused look, "How do you know this?"

Aqua offered a gentle smile, "I'm a Keyblade Master. I trained under one of the best. It's only natural that I know these things." She gave Xion a small pat on the head, "There are a lot more things I can teach you, actually."

Xion looked at her with such hope-filled eyes that it suprised her, "You can teach me how to use the Keyblade better?"

Aqua nodded, "Yes. I can train you whenever we get a mission together." This girl obviously hadn't received much proper training. A little, Aqua knew, could go a long way. And with a light this strong, Xion no doubt had potential.

"So, does this make us friends?" The question was so innocent that Aqua laughed.

"Of course."

Xion smiled, "Then when we're done with our mission, do you want to come meet my other friends? We meet after work every day on the Twilight Town clocktower." She gestured to the large clocktower in the distance.

"Sure, why not?"

n/n/n/n/

When they had finished with heart collection, they had made one stop, by an ice cream shop. Xion bought four bars of sea-salt ice cream.

"We always eat ice cream up there, today's going to be my treat," Xion explained, "There's one for you too Aqua."

After that, Xion had led the way to the clocktower. And Aqua got a small suprise when they got to the top.

"You again?" The redhaired man sitting at the edge turned to face her at her voice. She kept seeing this guy. Just who was he?

"Oh right, you're the new girl," he muttered before turning his head toward Xion, "Hey Xion, you have fun with the new gal?"

Xion nodded, "She's nice, that's why I brought her up here. Hope you don't mind." She was smiling brightly.

"I don't."

"Just who are you?" Aqua asked, "I saw you with Xemnas. You helped him."

"The name's Axel. Got it memorized? As for helping him, I was under orders." Axel turned back to face the sky while Xion took a seat at the clocktower's edge. She patted the spot next her.

"Why don't you sit here Aqua?" Aqua hesitated for a moment before taking the seat next to Xion. She noticed that there was a gap between Axel and Xion deliberately left open. Did someone else come up here as well? Xion answered that. She looked at the spot. "Roxas is late." She commented.

"He'll show," Axel replied, "He wasn't given a very hard mission."

"Then what's keeping him?"

"He was partnered with Demyx."

"Oh." Xion said it like that explained everything.

"What does it matter that he was partnered with Demyx?" Aqua asked.

"Demyx is lazy," Xion explained, "He spends most of his time lounging around playing his sitar. Even during missions, he still manages to find ways to slack off. I was partnered with him once. Not only is he lazy, but he's also a scaredy-cat."

"He's not much of a fighter either," Axel continued, "They mostly put him on recon because he can't handle combat missions very well period. Don't know why they decided to pair him up with Roxas today."

"I see," Aqua muttered. She was starting to get the impression that there were a whole range of personalities within the Organization. Demyx...Why did he keep acting like he had that emotions when the act was clearly that of a coward? Were the Nobodies so desperate to feel whole that they were willing to fall back on whatever persona was available to them?

"By the way, no hard feelings, right?"

"Huh?" Aqua turned to face Axel.

"About yesterday." Aqua then realized he was talking about his role in her capture yesterday, "I'm sorry, but I was under orders. And with the boss there, I was in no position to disobey in any way." Wait, he was apologizing!?

"What are you apologizing for?" She asked, confused.

"Well, since Xion here has obviously attached herself to you," He ignored Xion's outburst, "I figure this isn't the last time I'm going to see you up here. So I want that cleared out of the way. The last thing we need up here is tension."

Aqua considered his words. Why did he want to make the effort to get along with her? Simply because of Xion?

A dark corridor opened up near where they were sitting. Out of it stepped a soaking wet Roxas. The three already sitting down gave him odd looks. He groaned in exasperation.

"Demyx," he said simply, "Last ditch attempt to defeat a huge Heartless that popped up in the middle of our mission."

"Ah."

Roxas turned to Aqua. He raised an eyebrow, "What are you doing up here?"

"Xion invited me," Aqua explained.

"I see." Roxas took the spot between Axel and Xion.

"And before I forget," Xion reached into one of her pockets. Out of it, she pulled the ice cream. "Ta-dah!"

"Nice!" Roxas commented as Xion handed out the bars.

Aqua took hers from Xion. She had never had sea-salt ice cream, though she had heard of it. Cautiously, she took a bite. It was salty...but, she realized, really sweet too. She took another bite as she listened to the conversation of the trio next to her. The conversation was lively. Xion had called the two boys her friends. Roxas she could understand, he was a fellow Keyblade wielder. But what was the story behind Axel, she wondered.

"Oh that reminds me," Xion was saying, "Aqua here said that she would help me learn how to wield the Keyblade better."

"Really?" Roxas leaned over a little to get a better view of Aqua, "Why would you do that?"

"I'm a Keyblade Master," Aqua explained, "Part of my job is to teach younger wielders." As an afterthought, she added, "I'll give you a few lessons too if you want."

Roxas seemed to think about it for a moment, and shook his head, "No thanks. I don't think I really need any training."

"Suit yourself."

"We can meet in the Hall of Empty Melodies after work tomorrow," Xion offered, "The Organization often uses that area for training. I'm sure they won't mind if you give me your lessons there."

"Might want to get that cleared with Saix," Axel advised, "Last thing you want is to get in trouble with him."

"I'll make sure to ask him first thing tomorrow."

The rest of the time on the clock tower was spent with Roxas, Xion and Axel talking and Aqua feeling strangely detached. She observed Roxas closely. Right now, he was acting a bit more like Ven. Cheerful, talkative...She shivered involuntarily when she remembered her thoughts from yesterday. Was Roxas truly Ven? They had different personalities...but could that be written off due to memory loss? What had caused him to lose his memories anyway?

When it finally got late enough, the quartet finally decided to head back to the castle. Just as Aqua was preparing to go through the dark corridor Axel had created and had already vanished through with Xion, she felt something grab her arm. She looked down in time to see Roxas.

"Earlier," he started, "You called me Ventus. Why?"

Aqua looked down at the ground. How could she possibly explain? "Its just...you look like a precious friend of mine."

"And you thought I was him?" Aqua nodded. "Maybe...I am him. Maybe that's who I was." Aqua looked up at the young Nobody in surprise. He was looking down at the ground and seemed strangely melonchy. "I remember nothing of my time before I was a Nobody. Maybe...I was your friend...Ventus...And I just don't remember."

Aqua reached out carefully and rested a hand on top of his head, "Maybe. It's possible." Suddenly, she wasn't entirely sure herself. There were too many unanswered questions.

Neither of them said anything else and went through the dark corridor, arriving back at the castle. Aqua saw Xion briefly before heading to her room. The girl had smiled and said, "Looking forward to our lesson tomorrow!"

Aqua slept a lot better that night.

End Chapter 1

Actually, this fic sprung from another "what-if" of mine that I was too lazy to write. Obviously, there's some backstory missing here (such as how Xemnas found Aqua) but all will eventually become clear!
 
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Sign

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So when I was done reading it, I was like :O

This is an amazing story, and I really don't have anything else to say. Really looking forward to see where you take it.

Oh, and welcome to the forums ^^
 

Evello

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Wow, this is quite good. When I heard that you were putting Aqua in the Organization, I was like "Ugh, not another AU Org fic..." but you've created some really interesting conflicts here. There were a couple really minute grammar problems, but other than that the only thing I didn't really like was the device in Aqua. I guess you could write it off as AU, but it seems like Xemnas would have used something like that on Sora in KH2. Still, this chapter was really good. Your portrayal of the Org. is spot on, and I love the Roxas/Ven confusion. I look forward to the next chapter.

EDIT: Oh, I forgot that I wanted to mention that the flashback with Aqua is rather abrupt. I think a n/n/n/n/ or a bit more description would be useful to separate the flashback from the present. At first, I didn't realize that there was a flashback and I was wondering where Eraqus came from.
 
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Alisa180

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Has it really been nearly a month since I updated? I need to pick up the pace!

Chapter 2


Aqua woke up with the light from Kingdom Hearts streaming through her window. She sat up slowly, keeping her eyes on the heart shaped moon...

Kingdom Hearts...the heart of all things. The Organization was trying to recreate it. And she was helping. Not by choice, but still...

She slowly got out of bed and found, to her surprise, a tray of food sitting on a nearby dresser. She walked over and examined it. Scrambled eggs, some bacon and a glass of milk. It smelled okay, but...

The growl of her stomach convinced her that the Organization had nothing to gain from attempting to poison her. She took the tray and sat back down on her bed, with the tray on her lap. Taking the fork provided, she took some of the eggs, examined it for a moment, then took a bite. To her surprise, it actually tasted pretty good. She began eating the rest of the food.

While she ate, she wondered who had cooked it for her.

n/n/n/n/

Aqua entered the Grey Room. She didn't see Xigbar today. That was probably a good thing. Axel was leaning against the corner again, and Luxord was sitting at the table, shuffling his cards. He noticed her and nodded,

"Ah, Aqua wasn't it?" He smiled good-naturedly. "In the mood for a few rounds of poker before setting out?"

Curiosity overcame caution. "Um, sure." She walked over and sat across from Luxord as he shuffled the deck.

"I'll play." Aqua looked in the direction of the voice to see Axel walking over. The redhead took a seat next to her. This seemed to delight Luxord.

"Wonderful! The more the merrier, as they say." He finished shuffling and dealt the cards, "How about we make the minimum bet 50 munny?"

Aqua had played poker before. It was something she used to play with Terra and Ven every once in a while back in the Land of Departure. To her credit, she actually did decently. As they played, other members of the Organization began filtering in.

A man with black deadlocks whom she didn't recognize entered with Saix right behind him. The blackhaired man passed by the table, seeming slightly annoyed.

"What's eating you?" Axel asked.

"Xigbar had some trouble in the field. Its my mission to bail him out today." The man walked away in the direction of the Moogle Shop. Saix stopped near their table next.

"Aqua, you will be teamed with Demyx today. Axel, you're with Roxas again. Luxord, you're on your own. I expect all of you to report as soon as you're ready." Saix then walked to stand in his usual spot.

Axel cast Aqua a sympathic glance, "You're with Demyx huh? All I can say is, good luck."

"I'm sure he's not that bad," Aqua replied. It was more to reassure herself more then anything else. From what she had heard yesterday, Demyx wasn't much help. But still, she wanted to at least meet the guy before jumping to conclusions.

Xion entered the Grey Area next. She smiled brightly and waved, "Good morning!"

"Morning Xi," Axel replied, "Sleep okay?"

Xion nodded.

"Don't forget about our lesson!" Aqua reminded her.

"Don't worry, I won't!" And with that, Xion turned and walked toward Saix. A few minutes later, she had vanished through a dark corridor. Aqua guessed that Xion was on her own today.

Roxas wasn't too far behind. When he entered, Axel set his cards down and stood up.

"Morning Axel," Roxas said, smiling and giving his friend an aknowledging nod.

"Morning Roxas. You and me are together today." Axel flashed the younger boy a smile.

Roxas nodded again, "Right. I just need to buy a few things and then we can head out." Roxas then began walking in the direction of the Moogle Shop.

Aqua then remembered that she needed to buy a few things as well. She had used the last of her potions during her mission with Xion yesterday. She set her cards down on the table. "That reminds me, I need to get a few things as well."

Luxord smiled, "I understand. Good game you two. I should begin my own preparations." He took the cards and reshuffled them back into the deck.

Aqua walked away and headed for the moogle, where Roxas already was. She heard him talking to it.

"Is it just me, or did the price of this go up from the last time I was here?" He was saying.

"It's just you, kupo!" The moogle said quickly, "Why would I raise the price of my products, kupo? If I make them too expensive, you all wouldn't be able to buy anything kupo!"

"Or, since they can only get their supplies from here, you can make the prices as high or low as you like," Aqua pointed out as she joined Roxas. "Good morning Roxas," she added.

"Morning Aqua," he responded.

Aqua found herself observing the boy quietly. Was he really Ven? They looked exactly alike...But since he truly didn't remember anything, she really couldn't know for sure. However, another part of her pointed out, if Roxas really was her old friend, didn't he have the right to know who he once was?

When Roxas finished shopping, he turned around, said, "See you later," and walked in the direction of Saix. Aqua then took her turn at the moogle.

"Welcome, kupo." The moogle said, "You're the new girl aren't you, kupo? What your name kupo?"

"Aqua. What's yours?"

There was a brief silence before the moogle responded, "My name doesn't matter, kupo. What would you like to buy kupo? I have many fine wares kupo."

Aqua felt that she wanted to say something to the moogle concerning his earlier conversation with Roxas, but in the end, she let it go with a mental note to keep an eye on the shopkeeper. She looked through what the Moogle had for sale and bought what she needed. She then turned and walked towards Saix. On her way, she noticed that Demyx had come in while she was shopping. She stopped by where he was sitting.

"Looks like we're together today," Aqua commented.

"I know," Demyx groaned, looking up from his instrument, "Aqua right? The new Keyblade user?" He groaned again and looked down at his instrument, "Knowing Saix, I'm probably stuck with a combat mission with you. Sheesh! I keep telling them that I'm not cut out for that stuff!"

Didn't Axel mention something yesterday about Demyx not being much of a good fighter? So why was he with her today? Pushing the question to the back of her mind, she walked over to Saix.

n/n/n/n/

Well, maybe this wouldn't be so bad. For the world Aqua and Demyx had emerged in was none other then Olympus Collisieum. A world that she was very familiar with.

"I remember this place," Aqua said quietly, as the pair emerged from the dark corridor.

"What? You've been here before?" Demyx asked.

Aqua nodded, "Yes, I have." She wondered if Zack was still around. Then she remembered her last conversation with him. And suddenly, she decided she didn't want to see him untill she figured out what to say to him. "Come on." She gestured for Demyx to follow her as she walked towards the Colliseum.

"You know, maybe I'll just stay out here..." Demyx said nervously as they approached the door.

"How about you wait, not out here, but in the stands?" Aqua suggested. At least that way she would be able to keep an eye on him. She pointed in one direction, "Spectator entrance is over there." She never heard Demyx's response, if he had any, as she entered the Collisieum.

The first person she noticed when she entered the lobby was a familiar face. His back was to her, and he was going over something on a clipboard. She smiled.

"Hey Phil."

The satyr turned around quickly. "Aqua!" He yelled. "It's been what, ten years!? I'd thought you were gone for good!" He looked her over, "You've kept in great shape though! I'm impressed!"

Aqua barely heard his last sentence for her mind had gone into a state of shock. Ten years!? She had been trapped for that long!? Then, what had happened during those ten years? Obviously the Xahanort-Terra mix had caused some havoc. The Organization was proof of that. And the vital barrier that had kept Heartless out of the worlds had also been shattered. She suddenly realized that much had happened during the ten years she had been gone, for things to reach this point.

"Hey! Are you still listening?" Aqua snapped her attention back to Phil.

"Sorry. I didn't realize that it's been that long. Guess I lost track of time." Aqua smiled, "I'm back though. What's been going on?"

"Well for one, while you were away, Herc became a full-fledged hero! I'm sure he'll be glad to see you, speaking of which."


"What about Zack?"

"Zack?"

"When I was last here, there was a boy with spikey black hair who was competing and always hanging around, what happened to him?"

"Oh him. I haven't seen him in a decade. He just up and vanished. No one knows where he went."

"I see." So Zack was gone. She wondered what happened to him. She couldn't help but feel depressed at the thought that she likely wasn't going to see him. "What else happened?"

"Well, these wierdos called Heartless showed up and started making all kinds of trouble," Phil grumbled a bit at this. He then perked, "But we found a way to catch them, and since then a good chunk of our tournaments lately have been centered around fighting them. Trains up newer heroes while getting rid of the Heartless in the process."

"That's actually a good idea." And it was something that she kind of expected. It was also convinent. The mission was to collect hearts. And a tournament would allow her to do that while getting back into the game on this world. "Any tournaments like that going on today?"

"Sure," Phil replied, checking his clipboard, "The Clythos Cup. Should be right up your alley. Interested in entering?"

Aqua nodded. This should be fun...

n/n/n/n/

The tournament was...interesting. There were lots of Heartless, mixed in with regular competitors. About halfway through, while waiting for her next match, Aqua saw another familiar face.

"Hercules!" She exclaimed. He looked different now. He was much more muscular, and he now wore leather armour instead of a white toga.

The person in question turned around. He looked in suprise at her, "Aqua! Hey, you look like you're in great shape! Long time no see."

Aqua blushed slightly. She then returned to the subject at hand, "I heard from Phil that you became a hero while I was gone."

Hercules nodded, "That's right! I've gone through a lot to reach this point. Phil's really proud of me."

"I can imagine." Aqua suddenly heard a noice that indicated that the match was to start soon. "I better get going."

"Good luck with yout match."

"Thanks."

n/n/n/n/

Aqua managed to win the tournament, somehow. There was tough competition, including a Heartless that resembled a chemleon that gave her trouble. In the end, she pulled through.

Back in the lobby, she met with Phil again. "Great job!" He said.

"Thanks." Aqua smiled. Hercules then came in.

"Aqua!" He exclaimed, "You did great in the tournament!"

Aqua nodded in aknowledgement, "Thank you."

"So, what are you going to do now?"

Aqua paused for a moment. She carefully formed her answer, "I'm going to have to leave again. I don't know when I'll be back. But I probably will be."

n/n/n/n/

Aqua exited the Collusieum with a smile on her face. It was great seeing Phil and Hercules again. She hoped that she would recieve more missions in this world. Having a few familiar faces who actually remembered her would help her keep a better grip on things.

As she walked away from the exit, she heard something. Music. It was...a wonderful tune actually. Curious, she walked in the direction of the sound.

She supposed she shouldn't have been suprised when she saw Demyx strumming his sitar in one area off to the side of the Collisieum entrance. She was willing to bet that he never even went inside. He hadn't noticed her yet, so she crept as close as she could, hoping to keep in that way.

The melody was wonderful. It was a slower tune, peaceful, relaxing...Aqua closed her eyes, enjoying the sound. It was so strange. Demyx was a Nobody, without a heart. Yet he could obviously play music that could stir those who had hearts. Why did he play, she wondered? Did he use to be a muscian? She could imagine it.

The song finished. She opened her eyes as she heard Demyx sigh. He frowned as he strummed a few random notes. Aqua decided to make herself known.

"That was a pretty song."

Demyx jumped ten feet in the air and quickly turned to look at her, "GAH! How long were you there!?"

"A while," she admitted, "What was that song called?"

"That? Oracion. One of my favorite songs. Or used to be more like." He strummed a few more notes shaking his head, "I don't play it as often as I used to. I can barely handle it."

"What do you mean?" Aqua asked.

"You were listening right? The song has a powerful efffect on people...with hearts. The song used to move me like that. It's one of the reasons I started playing. But now, when I play it...nothing. Nada. I can't handle it. I can't handle how it doesn't make me feel that way anymore. That's why I rarely play it." He looked up at Aqua, "You get what I mean, right?"

Aqua nodded, "Yes, it's kind of hard to be moved by something when you don't have a heart." She felt a pang of sympathy. How awful, to know that something was once so important to you, but now it wasn't anything at all.

"None of my music makes my feel the same way it used to," Demyx shrugged, "I guess part of the reason I keep playing is in hopes that maybe, by some miracle, I'll get something again. Even though it drives almost everyone else in the castle nuts, so to speak." That made sense. It was hard to appreciate music when you didn't have a heart.

"Almost everyone?" Aqua raised an eyebrow.

"Xion's listened to me play once or twice. But beyond that..." Demyx shook his head again. "I guess that's why I stick around the Organization, as hard as the work is. Once Kingdom Hearts is complete, once we have our hearts back, I'll start getting things from my music again." He then chuckled, "I have no idea why I just told you all that."

"Maybe because you just simply haven't had a good listener in a while?" Aqua suggested.

"Maybe." Demyx's sitar vanished in a wiff of bubbles. "Anyhow, you're finished, right?"

"Right."

"Then let's go home already. I'm exhausted!"

Aqua nearly pointed out that he hadn't done anything, but kept her mouth shut in the end.

n/n/n/n/

After she got lost for the third time, Aqua finally swallowed her pride and asked Xigbar for directions. He gave them to her willingly, obviously laughing at her in his head. She brushed him off and followed his directions. She finally reached the Hall of Empty Melodies, where Xion was patiently waiting for her.

She smiled at the sight of the young girl. "Are you ready?

Xion nodded, "Ready!"

"Alright, we're going to start with some basics..."

The first order of buisness was to asess Xion. Aqua put her through some basic exercises, the kind that Eraqus used to drill her endlessly on. To Aqua's pleasure, the girl seemed to be as proficient in magic as she was. That meant that she would eventually be able to learn the more advanced magical techniques that Aqua used. She was well enough with most of the basics, but there was definently room for improvement.

They continued drilling, untill Aqua saw visible exhaustion in the girl. She finally called for Xion to stop. She walked over to the younger one, who was leaning on her knees, panting. Aqua smiled and set a hand on her shoulder.

"That was good," Aqua said, "You're very good with magic."

"I should be. I relied on it for a while." Xion replied through heavy breaths.

Aqua frowned "What do you mean?"

Xion stood up, "Have you ever heard of any one losing the ability to use the Keyblade?"

Lose the ability to use the Keyblade? Aqua shook her head, "I've never heard of such a thing." She then stared straight at Xion, "Did that happen to you?"

Xion nodded, "Don't tell anyone. Only Axel and Roxas know. But at one point...the Keyblade just wouldn't come to me anymore. My friends helped me hide it from the Organization. I got the ability to summon it again just in time."


"Hm..." Aqua pondered this for a few moments. Was is possible? She couldn't think of circumstances that would cause one to no longer be able to summon the Keyblade. She shook her head, "I'm sorry. I can't think of why that might have happened." But it did get her thinking. Was the reason that Xion wanted training because she was afraid of that happening again?

"Oh..." Xion wilted a bit, "That's alright." She then perked up again, "We're going to do this again, right?"

"Not today," Aqua said, "We're both tired and need our rest. However, we can easily schedule more time together. How about a few days from now?"

Xion nodded eagerly, "Okay! I'm looking forward to it!"

n/n/n/n/

Aqua was only mildly surprised to find dinner waiting for her when she got back to her room. As she examined it (steak and some vegtables) Axel happened to pass by her open door.

"Yo. How was Xion?"

Aqua turned to face him, "She has potential. Lots of it." She then pointed to her dinner, "Do you know who keeps bringing me food?"

"Probably the Dusks."

"Dusks?"

"Lowest form of Nobody. They do all the mundane tasks around here, cooking, cleaning, laundry, that stuff. They were probably ordered to keep you fed."

"Oh."

Axel then yawned, "I'm going to bed. See you tomorrow." He then walked away.

Aqua wasn't too sure what to think of the redhead. As she sat down on her bed to eat, she thought more about what had happened today, as well as going over what she needed to work on with Xion.

Finally, when she was done eating, she decided to get some sleep. As she lay her head down on her pillow, she heard something. She strained to hear it. It sounded familiar...she was sure she had heard a sound like that before, recently too. It took her a minute to realize what it was.

A sitar. It had to be Demyx.

Aqua shut her eyes, enjoying the sound. It wasn't Oracion, but it was still a nice tune. She listened for a while, before she heard someone yelling,

"Demyx! Would you cut out that racket!?"

"I'm just practiscing!" came the response.

"Go to bed!" Another voice yelled, "We need to sleep!" When the sound continued, the voice yelled, "Demyx I swear if you don't stop...!"

"Alright! Alright! Sheesh!" The music stopped.

Aqua felt another pang of sympathy for the Nobody. Perhaps she had judged the Organization too harshly. But...Kingdom Hearts couldn't be the answer, even if Xemnas had convinced them otherwise.

Aqua went to sleep, with the sound of music still ringing in her ears.
 
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