This Kingdom Hearts fanfiction was submitted by Miranda Atlas.
Aqua stared horrified at the face of one of her closest friends as he smiled up at her, his once blue eyes a shining gold. She had promised to look after Terra and Ventus, yet here they all were– in the Keyblade Graveyard, their master gone, their inseparable friendship so delicately hung in the balance. In the end, Aqua hadn’t been able to protect them; Terra had fallen to darkness and battled Xehanort out of her reach, and Ventus… it wasn’t him in front of her, Ven was beyond her reach as well. She could not protect them now, but Aqua knew she had to stop Vanitas at all costs. Her friend’s heart, and so much more, hung in the balance. He smirked at her, wearing Ven’s face, and Aqua’s anger and shock flickered silently under a wave of dread.
Glaring at Vanitas disdainfully, she gripped her Keyblade. “Ven, if you can hear me, you have to fight!”
Vanitas sneered. “He can’t hear you where he is. And his fight will not end in his victory” He brandished the unfinished X-blade. “Ventus will play his role. The Keyblade War will begin anew!”
Aqua straightened and raised her Keyblade. “Give back Ven’s heart!” she yelled, charging towards him.
• • •
Ventus breathed heavily as he focused on destroying Vanitas. He would not let Vanitas hurt his friends, and Ven would never agree to forge the X-blade: he had to stop Vanitas from beginning a new Keyblade War, even if it meant his own heart wouldn’t survive the process. He would not let Vanitas win.
His heart filled with the sound of clashing Keyblades as they rolled, struck, and parried one another’s blows. “For Terra and Aqua,” Ven thought as saw Vanitas stumble. He raised his Keyblade for the final strike. “For Terra and Aqua!”
Vanitas staggered back. “But… why…” he gasped, desperately clutching the unfinished X-blade.
Ven watched him coldly as Vanitas kneeled. “Now I’m in control,” he said evenly.
Vanitas laughed bitterly. “You’re not going to finish me off just yet? You… Coward…” he spat, panting.
Ven glared down at him icily. “Not until I know that Aqua is safe. I’ll deal with you soon enough.” Ven looked up. “I’m taking my body back first.”
• • •
Aqua and Vanitas danced around one another, evading and striking. Aqua cartwheeled out of the way as Vanitas swung dangerously close — they were both tiring. “I have to finish this quickly,” Aqua thought. She blocked and countered an attack, and in the opening charged for the last blow. She let her Keyblade fall with all her strength–
When he looked up. Ven’s blue eyes found Aqua’s, and shock and horror flashed across both their faces. “Ven!” Aqua cried, but it was too late to stop her Keyblade in its course, and Aqua watched her friend fall. She rushed forward to catch him as his own Keyblade clattered to the ground, disappearing into light.
He barely reached her arms as he, too, dissolved into a shimmering mist. As he fell, his Wayfinder slipped and shattered onto the stone as Ven shattered into light in Aqua’s embrace.
Aqua gasped in shock and grief as Ven slipped through her hands — Ven. It was Ven, she had met his eyes and seen his terror. “Ventus…” Aqua whispered softly, sinking to her knees. Her breaths shook, and a broken cry escaped her throat. “Ventus, no… what have I done?” Her voice wavered as she knelt, holding the shards of the fractured Wayfinder to her chest. “What have I done…”