There is no doubt in Rikus mind that no matter where he goes, no matter what he does, Roxas is going to be faster. Somehow hell slip away as though hes never been there, a wisp of something that doesnt quite exist slipping through his fingers like water. He cant catch him, he cant hold onto him, he cant complete his objective.
But in spite of that he plunges forward, unsure where the dark corridor will take him but knowing the fact that it lingers is open invitation. Roxas enjoys this game that they play, never tiring of it, no matter how many times theyve played it out.
No matter how many times the nobody wins.
And he plays this game because there is nothing else for him, barreling down the void path between one world and another, footfalls the lone resonance within this dead space aside from the harsh sound of his rushing breaths, the thrill of his heart as he delves onward. He doesnt know why his heart always races, but he tells himself it is because of adrenaline. From the struggle and from the fight and from the fact that hes lost before and may yet again.
If he does hell just have to recover and try once more. And it wont ever end until either he is dead or he captures Roxas, which in a way is destroying him too. No matter what DiZ says, in some way the nobody will be erased, will no longer have his own physical presence.
Something about that grips his heart and squeezes it harshly, but he attributes that to the oppressive darkness of his passage, the air stale and cold as he makes his way.
Both an eternity and an instant later he arrives, stepping onto darkened cobblestone streets with an unfamiliar clank, turning on his heel to find the passage has vanished. The way is shut unless he chooses to open another path but he already knows he will not. No, hell fight until he cant fight any longer.
For what he has done, for what he may do still yet, this is his means of atonement.
Yet he does not find his mark right away, venturing through what appears to be a town square, though it warped and full of strongly defined shadows. At the heart of this open space he finds a fountain spewing a noxious toxic green that reminds him far too much of a certain nobodys eyes, no water to be seen but his reflection shuddering upon the pools surface is enough to make him back away.
It is only then that he hears the mirthless laughter of the blonde he seeks, finding hes nearly backed into him as he whirls around, his crimson cape flowing dramatically around him before falling in its place upon his shoulders again.
His blindfold is gone. Instantly he doesnt like that, a hand already upon his face to confirm as Roxas watches him with a faint mark of amusement, though he knows it cant be real. Its only a mimicry of true emotion and he has none. Riku knows he has none, knows it as though it has been burned into his heart. Yet he always must remind himself, and he doesnt know why.
Playing the hero, Ri-ku? Why he always chooses to speak the name so tauntingly escapes him, taking brief survey of the others apparel and concluding that this world must have a change effect upon those who set foot within it. Ill admit, you make a lovely knight.
The words mean nothing, theyre hollow, and they hurt. Hes no hero, no knight in shining armor. This world has a wicked sense of humor along with the nobody. Not a knight and not a hero, though appropriate that he was the black knight. Apparently the other isnt familiar with that, he muses.
He cant remember any instance where the black knight is the hero, although often hes this great and worthy opponent, this strong peerless soul whose only folly is pride. And the more he thinks of it the more appropriate it is that he is given this form. More than anything there is dry humor within it and ever more as he realizes that of all things, Roxas is an angel.
Of all the things he could not possibly be, an angel is by far the worst. But the wings are twisted and dark, a thick collar about his neck with a broken chain hanging from it, jacket and gloves dark in contrast to white pants. But nothing is pure white and he doubts anything is here. A fallen angel then, and he a black knight.
Seeming mistakes make a little more sense to him, watching the nobody shift uncomfortably under his gaze, and knowing there would be the rise of resentment as he cannot help but laugh.
As cold and humorless as Roxas, nothing but smoke and mirrors, nothing real and nothing tangible. Maybe the one he seeks so doggedly is starting to rub off on him or perhaps its the darkness within his veins, that his heart is so steeped in. But he cant help this fit of empty humor as it seizes him. The black winged angel and the black knight
He can only imagine what his friend might be in a world like this.
And suddenly hes seized by his collar, hearing his armor screech unpleasantly as he meets the dark cobblestone street, the impact jarring as he finds a familiar weight bearing down on him. Less familiar is the sharp strike to his face, the resonant sound and lingering burn telling him hes been slapped.
There are many things that he expects, but none of them such a form of contact. And for a time he simply allows his gaze to linger over the dark pavement before him, the forms of nearby buildings lost to shadow as he waits. Effectively silenced he chooses to say nothing, eventually drawn by the feel of being watched to return the attention of cold blue eyes.
Dont you dare sound like that again. The words are cold as they always are but theres something strained in that tone, and he doesnt understand it.
Moments like this dont occur. Instances where he sees something else where there should be cold hatred or nothing at all, albeit brief, only flitting across a profoundly empty expression before its gone. Riku always tells himself that moments like this dont happen, they dont exist. Roxas doesnt feel, he cant ever feel, and the fact that he looks as though he can at this moment doesnt matter because hes fooling himself.
Foolish, foolish, foolish. He knows he cant trust anything a nobody does or says, no expression they portray, and yet at the sight of tears he finds himself at a loss. His eyes arent matching the rest of him, and there may be something akin to sorrow but he doesnt know how to interpret it, this instance where for once his mark doesnt seem the empty shell that he should be, but he knows that the blonde isnt a normal nobody.
That must be it, he assures himself, feeling tears hit his face.
Roxas doesnt sob, he doesnt make a sound at all. He only sits there in silence, his visage neutral but for his eyes, the rest of his features apathetic. Never
not like me.
The words are smothered before he quite understands them, the nobody claiming his mouth in a sharp kiss. And he knows hes supposed to fight, he always reminds himself that hes supposed to, that hes a traitor and a liar for not taking advantage of situations like this, but he cant help kissing back. He thinks Roxas knows that, but he knows far too many things he shouldnt.
At the same time he cant know true sorrow. He cant know any of those things, at least thats what he believes.
A nobody cant feel, a nobody is void, but they remember and that is how they convince others that they can. Its all an illusion, a deception, a mirage, disappearing the instant it becomes inconvenient to display such false mannerisms.
Its beyond the point of remembering how many times hes told himself those things in the presence of Roxas, and he had a worse time of it when the kiss turns gentle on him, accustomed to the bruising contact that usually finds a way to draw blood. That sharp brevity is what hes become accustomed to, not something that feels as though it should be called intimate, but for the fact that neither of them are suited to that.
No, theyre both beings of the darkness. Hes a shadow and Roxas a shell. And though he has a heart he doesnt think hes any better than the nobody, not with all of the things hes done, all the things he might do. All the things he knows hes going to do.
Hes a traitor and so is his heart, and he understands this now more than ever.
Even if its fake, he doesnt want the blonde to cry. He cares and it hurts because caring means nothing to a nobody, and hes probably being manipulated with these gestures and he doesnt care. Its a shame because in the end hes only repeating his mistakes, failing his friend as always, but he cant tell himself that he wants to end it anyhow.
Abruptly theres pain searing through his hand and up his arm, catching the sight of Oblivion pinning his hand to the ground, biting down a cry as he writhes.
The cause of this new injury only looks upon it with apathy, sitting back to look at what hes done, and there is nothing in his eyes again save that coldness that Riku has come to recognize. His focus idles upon the ruined hand. They both know it will be repaired by their next meeting but only one of them knows just how much it hurts.
And then Roxas stands, leaving the dark weapon where it is as he looks down upon Rikus face, and something flits over those eyes too quickly to be identified before he turns and opens a portal. Just as hes about to make his apparent exit he looks back over his shoulder, watching the silver-haired male struggle with his constraint, and sighs.
So you dont forget. I dont want someone like me.
With that he leaves, portal closing behind him as the keyblade vanishes, leaving Riku to his bloodied hand as he sits up.
The words dont make sense to him, but the pain dominates his mind and he doesnt know what hes supposed to think, if hes to think anything at all. He doesnt know how to interpret those words if there is meaning for them in him, cradling the bleeding hand to his chest.
And slowly, ever so slowly, he realizes that hes feeling his heartbeat through the fingers that pulse with so much pain. At that he cant help but issue that same humorless laughter that set Roxas off. There isnt any way that hell ever quite understand the other, and he knows that other will never quite understand him, but he knows what was meant. Its funny and its sad and he wonders why him.
He wants someone different, someone who feels pain and pleasure, joy and sorrow.
Because he cant feel any of those things himself. And perhaps that means hes even more the tool than he ever realized he was, but he doesnt care. Riku wont ever care, because there is one person that wants him no matter how much the sinner he thinks he is.
And thats the most defeating part of it. Hell end it, or Roxas will end him. Those are the only outcomes.