acceptedoblivion: (concealed ♥ I'll wait here)
ira | riku replica ([personal profile] acceptedoblivion) wrote2014-09-15 11:00 am

Post-Animus entry: The Final Decision

In the countless hours - days, weeks, months - he wandered the empty halls, there was not much to say. The halls, for however silent they had been before the world ended with his being "saved" by the residents of a tower he could not even hope to return to through the Darkness. At least in those clinically-clean halls filled with more illusions and glamours than this could boast there were other people, but here?

All he could do was stand in the place his Naminé--not the one still in the Tower--would have been when the worlds fell, trying to catch even a small hint of the sweetness of her scent. The calming nature that she had held, the sad smile she always wore, the apologies he could tell she'd wanted to say but couldn't. Not with Sora, not with him or the others. The guilt she must have felt... how much he wanted to say to her that he knew, that it was alright. He'd done what he'd always wanted to be in the end. He'd become his own person, been to a world outside this one, and even though he was still a copy of Riku... he's accepted that.

But like Axel, she too had faded away in this lifeless castle. She had no body, not like Sora and the others whose bodies still looked as though they were only asleep within the pods. He knew better, knew that if he disabled them their bodies would degrade just as much as Riku's, Mickey's, and that guy who tried to disguise himself for some reason.

Maybe it was because he was someone without their own original identity, but it seemed dumb to him that someone would do that. Not like they'd know it was their last moments. The thought still left a sour taste in his mouth. Yet again, he found himself tensing, as he thought of it again. How blissfully unaware they must have been, as the world ended and their Hearts lost. A part of him wanted to join them, as he had when the shadows in the shape of children approached him with their voices. Yet tried as he might, he could not die. He could not destroy himself, even though he was on the verge of saying good riddance to it before waking up to that strangely-coloured bat and an older Riku than he knew before had stopped him from doing so. The amount of times he'd died there... The amounts of time he'd tried to die...

He lost count.

He'd lost count, even now, as he sighed and once more turned his back upon the pods that held the first real person to treat him like a person and not a puppet.

'Sora...' a bitter laugh escaped his throat, ignoring the raspiness of disuse and how he'd tried clawing at it before. "I used to think... how real your emotions were would have been enough."

Now he knew better, even if he couldn't finish that thought aloud. There was nothing he could do for them as the end came ever closer. Whether he was to be absorbed back into the tower to power it again, or if their worlds would be restored... at least then he would be reunited with the others. At least then, he wouldn't have to simply wander the empty white halls as he did now, ignoring the lifeless bodies as much as he possibly could when he neared one of them. At least then, he wouldn't have just Vexen's notes on the Replica Project and other research data to keep him entertained as he waited for the end, no matter what it would be.

There was a finite amount of time left, and he was determined to spend it the best he could. Even if his creators had no idea that this would be in store for them, there had been a vain semblance of hope that there would at least be something in those notes that could shed some light on where his own heart would go, were his world restored. Yet darkness seemed to be the only answer outside of oblivion. For men of science, they sure did have a closed opinion of the state of the multiverse if they hadn't thought outside of even this realm of possibility. Though perhaps that was just him finding a bit of amusement that someone made and later repurposed for the "lulz" over surviving those who left these records.

'A fake being like me, living on far beyond his creators... How ironic.'

And yet, for every day he thought had passed, he found himself back where he was do fade, standing over the real thing's body just a little closer than he had for the replica. After all this time, he remembered well how Riku had tried to give him some semblance of comfort as he began fading away. He guessed closing Riku's eyes had been an attempt to do the same the first time he'd been sent back for any amount of time.

Yet knowing what he did now, he wished he could share with his real thing the name he had chosen, the experiences he'd had in the outside world. That was one desire they'd shared, after all. Now... there would never be a chance like that.

At least, until he heard a voice.

A voice that gave him a choice.

"So if the worlds are restored, I'll disappear like I was supposed to?"

"Yeah. I'm really sorry."

The boy was silent for a moment, thoughts swimming in his head. He can tell that Zo is being sincere, just like Sora had been. Maybe that should be enough.

"...Restore their worlds."

With his choice vocalized, he could almost hear Sora's voice saying he should take the chance and be his own person. And maybe one person shouldn't sacrifice themselves for the worlds, said another. Yet he couldn't exist like this anymore, and even if there wasn't a chance in the worlds for him to return from the abyss of deep sleep... his heart had already decided before he was ever asked.

"You have already given me the chance that I could have ever asked for, and though it caused this..." He motioned freely with his arms, even though he felt as though for a moment, he was floating. "For a time, I was able to be my own person. So, thanks. And..."

His voice trailed for a moment, but he nodded. "...You will never be forgotten, even if when I fade, it will only be a memory lost to the darkness."

---


For a moment after he said his farewell to the brave boy who was sacrificing himself so that those who had been trapped inside the Tower of Animus could live their lives anew, it felt like he was floating in the abyss. Slowly this sensation faded, and instead of nothing, he felt whisks of darkness playing at his fading cheeks. He could see the sunset in the simulated sky above, could hear the voice his was based off of trying to vaguely comfort him in where his heart would be going as it grew harder and harder to maintain himself.

He'd almost forgotten how he'd been afraid, trying to cover it up with false bravado and only voicing his concern offhandedly. A mocking smirk crossed his lips if ever briefly, before he cocked his head to the side a little in an attempt to look Riku in the eye. "I know Sora won't remember... when he wakes up, but whatever you decide... never forget it was my choice to fade here. It's not your fault."

Light knows how much the Riku he met in the Tower beat himself up for it. He might as well trade one attempt at consolation for another. After all, it was his decision in the end to return the worlds the way they had been.

"Oh, almost forgot..." The replica spared the real thing the most sincere smile he'd ever given anyone in this castle. "My name...is Ira. If you ever meet a guy named of Richtofen... set him on fire for me."

Riku looked almost as shocked as he did back then, when he first experienced sleep paralysis in another time and another place. The same way he felt when a handful of others actually cared enough about him to not want him to die, however fleeting death's grasp had been. Yet he nodded, likely still confused as to why the replica would ask him to do it instead of live and do it himself. Though Ira knew, he likely would not be able to for a long time.

With that agreed upon, the replica--fading boy--looked up to the sky--no, ceiling--once more.

"Tch, a faithful replica to the very end..." Yet at the end, his thoughts went to the first adult he met, who thought enough of him to try and give him a nickname, the people he'd both made allies with and enemies of, and the sister replica he never knew he'd had. All of which he'd likely never see again. Even Ganondorf, whose power he could still vaguely feel from the act that got him in the 'good graces' of the morally ambiguous. "That's... alright."

As he faded away, the still air held one last whisper for those he'd met.

'Take care, Katsuya... Riku... Xion...'