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The Puppet Master and The Fool

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“Xehanort, please!” A voice cried, breaking like glass.

 

The unquenchable darkness that raged through Xehanort’s heart screamed at him. Assuring him that there wasn’t anything to look back at.

 

But there was.

 

Him.

 

He tugged on Xehanort’s arm with much gusto, a pro of all the training they had both gone through, his fingernails dug into the skin.

 

It wasn’t hurting Xehanort, but he knew that even if he mentioned it, it wouldn’t change the man’s actions. Not now.

 

“Eraqus, go away.” A childish remark, but Xehanort spat it out as if it was poison in his mouth.

 

The death grip on him didn’t let up.

 

A sniff came from the man behind Xehanort.

 

Crying? Eraqus doesn’t cry. He goes through life with smile that never ceases to stretch wonderfully across his face.

This isn’t worth crying about.

 

But Xehanort was too caught up in his own selfish, cruel, now darkness ridden world to even care about Eraqus’ pain.

 

His heartbreak.

 

Even so, damning all his self restraint to hell, he turned his head.

 

Eraqus’ dark eyes were always easy for Xehanort to fall into. He tended to stare at them for long periods of time, savoring the way Eraqus would turn a bright shade of red.

 

There was no timidness or softness in Eraqus’ eyes now, only an icy glare. His body was shaking with fury.

Xehanort could understand, although at that moment; he didn’t care. Not at all.

 

Funny.

 

How different his feelings were now. How much the darkness changed his way of looking at Eraqus.

 

He used to care immensely when those eyes would so much as narrow at him.

 

Used to? The darkness whispered that those feelings are worthless. And that made sense to him.

 

As dark eyes met silver in a stare-down, a jumble of words came from Eraqus. It took Xehanort a second to put them together.

 

“Our promise, Xeha, don’t you remember our promise?” His voice was unstable but Eraqus kept a firm face. He held up his left hand, where their promise struck Xehanort straight through the heart.

 

Full of shame, he tore his eyes away.

 

Anguish rapidly moved through his veins.
He felt it burning him from the inside out.

 

Unfortunately, Xehanort’s mind was made up.

 

He grabbed onto Eraqus’ hand and forcefully removed it. “That means nothing, Era. You’re such a fool.” A venom-filled emphasis was put on the word “fool”. Xehanort met the man’s shocked face with a triumphant gaze.

 

Fool? Had Xehanort played him like a fiddle? Was everything they had just another one of his games?

 

So many of those questions rushed through Eraqus’ mind. But no answers could match up, none of them made sense.

 

None.

 

Xehanort’s face was twisted with a look nothing short of nefarious.

 

Nevertheless, Eraqus stood his ground.

 

His whole body was aflame with a rage that didn’t come naturally. He absolutely fumed at someone he held closest to his heart.

 

But even with the anger, the outrage, he couldn’t stop the small gasp that escaped him at what Xehanort did.

 

Xehanort, staring hard with those seething yellow eyes, took off the promise that fit snugly on his finger. Without a second glance; it was tossed onto the ground.

 

To pour more salt in the wound, Xehanort stomped on the ring. “As I said, my naive friend, it means nothing.”

 

Eraqus was stuck. He couldn’t move, speak, or even blink. The previous fury, one that had sparked every nerve, had vanished.

 

Xehanort didn’t wait for a response, he’d done his duty. Now it was on to the next.

 

He turned and stalked away. His ears went deaf to the shattering of Eraqus’ very being.

 

An abrupt roar of wrath came from the broken man. “You get back here, bastard!” Eraqus summoned his Keyblade and pointed at Xehanort.

 

“Finish what you started, you coward, and fight me!”

 

Xehanort let out a huff, one fueled with arrogance. “I will end your life, but today is not that day. For now, I’ll let you stew in your own stupidity.”

 

Quick as a blink, he was gone.

 

Gone?

 

Gone.

 

Screaming. That’s all he could focus on, his own screaming.

 

His soul was breaking into little pieces and he could do nothing about it.

 

Absolutely nothing.

 

Xehanort’s words rang true.

 

Eraqus.

Was.

Nothing.