Written by: Kanemaki Tomoco
Original Plan: Nomura Tetsuya
Note: ‘Kingdom Hearts: Another Report is a 64-page book that was given exclusively to those who pre-ordered Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+ as a bonus.’ Roxas—Somewhere in Time is a 5 page story from that book. I own my own copy of this book thanks to avale-reves.
Copyrighted by Disney, Square Enix and Touchstone Pictures. No profits are gained from these unofficial fan translations.
Roxas—Somewhere in Time
His field of vision slowly opened up, from the vague and hazy realm of only having just awakened from sleep. It was also vague and hazy in his dreams, but this ‘castle in between worlds’ was also dim and hazy, and Roxas didn’t think it was all that different.
For the past several days, I’ve been dreaming a lot. But, I don’t really remember what the dreams were about. They feel like they were fun, and also feel like they were incredibly painful. In any case, only the fact that I’ve dreamed every night remains in my memories. Though of course, memories of that level are forgotten if I’m spending my days busily.
Maybe my sleep has been shallow because of the dreams; my head feels really fuzzy and heavy. As he went to get up out of bed, he sat up abruptly, surprised by a face peering into his own.
The result was, he’d head butted the other person with full strength. He, who had red hair, sank into a crouch, clutching his bashed forehead. Wearily, Roxas sighed, and said, “this sort of thing happens when you show up all of a sudden, Axel.”
“No apology?” He with the red hair—Axel stood up, his mouth turned down at the corners, and looked down at Roxas who still sat in bed.
“I shouldn’t have to. The one showing up all of a sudden when others are waking up is in the wrong.”
“Is that how to treat a best friend on coming back from completing a long mission!”
“I don’t recall becoming your best friend.”
Roxas got off the bed, and, ignoring Axel, turned his back and put on a black coat.
Axel said ‘best friend’. But that’s only playing at being human; it’s a relationship that we, nobodies without hearts, aren’t supposed to have. But, within the organisation, I’ve become especially close to Axel—no, it’s a fact without mistake that we are closer than the other members, and I don’t really know how that relationship should be expressed.
“Well, what did you want?”
“Xemnas is calling,” Axel answered, and sat on Roxas’ bed.
“What about Marluxia and the others?” Roxas asked, turning around, and Axel frowned, lowering his eyes slightly.“Didn’t they come back with you?” Roxas questioned further. Axel lifted his face slowly, and gazed at Roxas. Feeling uncomfortable under those eyes, Roxas averted his.
It was months ago that Axel had gone on a mission to a place called Castle Oblivion. Other than Axel, a bunch of other members of the Organisation had also gone to that castle, with Marluxia as their leader. In that special castle, lined with countless white rooms, the Organisation had conducted certain research. Of course, Roxas didn’t know what they were researching, and he didn’t intend to find out. Does Axel’s return mean that something happened at Castle Oblivion?
“Anyway, we should go to Xemnas, shouldn’t we.”
“That’s right,” answered Axel, standing up and yawning widely. Then, he walked over to Roxas and slung an arm over his shoulder. “When we’re done, you wanna go for some ice cream or something in Twilight Town?”
“That wouldn’t be bad,” Roxas said, looking up at Axel, who was at his side, and he smiled slightly.
Eating ice cream in that town—isn’t bad.
Sitting on the chilly marble seats, Roxas listened attentively to Xemnas. Xemnas was talking about how at Castle Oblivion, five members including Marluxia had been destroyed by the keyblade hero.
“So I guess this mean the keyblade hero has come to a halt.”
Xaldin crossed his arms.
“Having Naminé taken is a blow. How do you intend to take responsibility, Axel?” asked Saïx.
“In a life-or-death situation, I escaped in desperation. Does that mean I’m responsible?” Axel retorted.
“Ah, its fine I guess—let’s ask our own keyblade hero what his opinion is.” Xigbar looked at Roxas.
I don’t have an opinion, or anything. The keyblade… the key to the worlds.
To Roxas, who could wield the same kind of special blade, the keyblade hero wasn’t any more or less than just someone who had the same power as him. Only in the Organisation because he had nowhere to go, he didn’t really know whether he wanted to take back his lost heart, either.
At the word suddenly spoken by Xigbar, Roxas lifted his face.
It feels like I’ve heard that somewhere before.
“What the hell is that?” Demyx asked, shrugging his shoulders.
“Hehheh—really? You don’t know anything, do you?” Xigbar sniggered, and to the side of him, Saïx exhaled. Axel frowned, and Demyx tilted his head to one side. Luxord and Xaldin, and Xemnas, stayed expressionless.
Each of their different reactions weighed on his mind.
“The keyblade hero going to sleep has no effect on our plans. We must advance towards our goal.” At Xigbar’s words, Xemnas opened his mouth as if to lighten the air again.
“Axel—take Roxas to Hollow Bastion. It seems as though there’s been movement around the keyhole.”
“Even though I just got back?!” Axel protested.
“Give us compensation for having let Naminé escape,” Xemnas declared, and his figure vanished.
Roxas and Axel walked inside a dark portal. They were heading for Hollow Bastion. The ability to open dark portals to the passageways of darkness that connected all places in all worlds was another ability that members of the Organisation possessed.
“This is so damn—don’t I get a freaking break?”
Roxas, with his hood still up, trailed after a simmering, grumbling Axel.
Sora—the keyblade—it worries me.
Axel spun around to face Roxas. “After this has finished there’ll be ice cream, you know, Roxas! Got it memorised?”
At the word Roxas muttered, Axel frowned.
“Don’t worry about things Xigbar says.”
“I’m not worrying because I want to—it’s just nagging at me,’ answered Roxas, and stopped walking. “Axel—you know about Sora, don’t you?”
At Roxas’ question, Axel scratched his head, looking troubled for a moment. Then he looked into Roxas’ face.
“I dunno—and I wouldn’t tell you even if I did.”
“—Because you don’t need to know,” answered Axel, and turned his back on Roxas. There’s no need for me to tell Roxas of his connection with Sora right now. No… I don’t want him to know.
Roxas, the special nobody—and the keyblade hero.
Can I really be hiding the truth from Xemnas?
And then, can I also hide the truth from Roxas?
“What.” Axel said, in a tight voice, and turned to Roxas.
“I want to know.”
“…I don’t know.” Roxas hung his head again.
I am nothing—I don’t understand anything. It feels like something is moving in an unknown part of me, and I feel sick.
“What does the Organisation exist for?”
“In order to gain hearts,” Axel replied, fluidly, as if he had had an answer prepared. But, Roxas didn’t lift his head.
“Hey, I said there’s no point thinking ‘bout that kinda thing—let’s go. Once we’re done, there’s an ice cream waiting.” Axel put a hand on Roxas’ shoulder, looking ahead.
There in front, the darkness connecting to Hollow Bastion had opened up.
Roxas and Axel walked inside the ruined castle.
“They said there’d be something in a place like this?” Axel muttered, and that instant, there was a change in the surrounding atmosphere.
A keyblade was gripped in Roxas’ hand. As if on cue, countless heartless surrounded Roxas and Axel simultaneously.
“What a hassle…” Standing behind Roxas, back to back, chakrams were gripped in Axel’s hands. “Exterminating these is the mission for sure, right?”
“Well yeah!” Roxas called back to Axel, and jumped, flashing his keyblade. Axel whistled at the sight.
“Don’t need your idle comments, you hurry up and move too.”
“Yeah, yeah!” Axel also ran at the swarm of heartless. The pair cleared away the heartless, but it didn’t take that long. In the space of a breath, the castle was restored to its original stillness. No presences could be sensed inside the castle.
“Was that really what we had to do?” Axel tilted his head, and in that moment, from above their heads the sound of a bird beating its wings could be heard.
Looking up above his head, Roxas saw a single bird cage hanging there. It seemed as if the bird’s wing beats they could hear was coming from there somehow.
“Let it free?”
Roxas nodded at those words, and Axel threw a chakram, causing the bird cage to drop. From the fallen cage, one crow flew up.
“Well, will we go back then?”
“—Yeah,” replied Roxas, as Axel watched the bird fly away in satisfaction, and he stared at the broken bird cage.
In Twilight Town, the setting sun sank. From far off, the voices of playing children could be heard. The pair, who had bought two ice creams, started walking towards the station at a leisurely pace.
“We’re going there, right?”
“Yeah,” Roxas nodded, gnawing on the ice cream.
“Don’t start eating before me, Roxas,” Axel complained. That moment, a ball rolled up and bumped into Roxas’ foot.
“Scuse me!” A boy came running up.
“Hayner, not again!”
Behind him, a girl came running, and then following her, a slightly chubby boy. Roxas picked up the ball at his feet, and threw the ball back to the boy and his friends. The three dipped their heads in a bow, and ran away again with the ball.
“—They’d be around the same age as me, wouldn’t they,” Roxas muttered.
“Huh?” Axel asked, and Roxas wondered if he hadn’t caught it.
“Nothing.” Roxas shook his head slightly and started walking. Roxas turned to watch the pigeons in front take flight.
The castle in which the Organisation lives is like a bird cage. Without anything being let known to me, inside that castle I spend my days being given suitable tasks.
Yeah—without letting me know anything.
Is it really good for me to be here?
“Stop zoning out and sit down, I said.”
The pair had arrived at a clock tower that was on top of Twilight Town station. From here, they could look out over the town. It was also a special place to the two, who had eaten ice cream there on the day they had first met.
“Your ice cream’s melting,” said Axel, and Roxas hurriedly put the ice cream in his mouth.
“I didn’t really get what we were doing with that mission.”
Roxas lowered his eyes.
“I wonder what that crow was.”
Axel heaved a sigh at Roxas, who was giving nothing but noncommittal answers.
“Are you by any chance, still worrying about that thing Xigbar said?”
Birds flew by, almost brushing Roxas’ nose.
“I wonder whether it’d be fun to fly like that.”
“—It’d be fun, I guess,” Axel replied, taking a bite of his ice cream.
“I wonder how long it’ll be okay to do this.”
Axel stared at Roxas. Maybe Roxas is feeling the build up of doing the same kind of missions day after day. Every day, Roxas was given the same mission, to subdue heartless. But it couldn’t be helped, Axel thought. Roxas was special. To the Organisation, and to Axel. Just like how the Organisation can’t let Roxas know anything, I don’t think I’ll let him know anything myself.
This is betraying Roxas, isn’t it?
“We might not always be able to be together,” murmured Axel, without realising.
“Huh?” This time, it was Roxas who looked at Axel.
“What’s with you, don’t make such a scary face.”
Axel turned his face away from Roxas, and bit his ice cream. Roxas didn’t know of Axel’s unrest. And, Axel didn’t know of Roxas’ unrest.
“We can’t be together forever… huh…” Roxas muttered.
“We gotta make heaps of memories, right,” Axel said, laughing.
“What are you on about,” laughed Roxas, pulled in.
Can memories really exist for us, who have no hearts in the first place?
“No, it’s just…”
It’s just—it’s just, I get this feeling like Roxas might be going away somewhere, and I shouldn’t have a heart, but something is stirring inside my chest.
“Memories, then—” murmured Roxas, watching the setting sun.
In his profile, Axel took a bite of his ice cream, and just like Roxas, watched the sun set.