Name: Xanthos Samurai
Disclaimer: I own no part of Kingdom Hearts. If I did, this would be canonical.
Category: Needles/Blades/Cutting, Gore
Summary: Vexen, Xigbar and Xaldin capture Sora and Roxas to perform an experiment intended to re-join Nobody and Other when something goes terribly wrong.
Notes: Sadly, this isn't the ending that I had originally intended for this fic. I had to cut it short due to the deadline, but I think it could be worse. I intend to finish it with the ending I intended very soon!
Because Vexen himself had been deeply preoccupied in making the necessary preparations, Xigbar and Xaldin had gone to catch the subjects. The habit of referring to the object of experimentation as “the subject” was one that Vexen had acquired in life. It was an idiom of science, for one thing. For another, it had been a method by which he could harden himself to performing sometimes cruel experiments on living things. By reducing these living things to merely “subjects,” it became easier to do the things he did. Despite the fact that he now had no heart and was therefore incapable of feeling anything towards the beings he experimented on, Vexen retained the phrase out of habit.
“I’m disappointed, Vexen.” Xigbar returned first. His quarry was tucked casually under one arm, limp and unconscious. “You made it sound as if Sora was going to be the harder one to catch. This was easier than taking potshots off lost kids in Traverse Town.”
"I trust you didn’t damage the subject?” Vexen barely glanced up from his notes.
“Nope. I’m waitin’ my turn.” The Freeshooter dumped the unconscious boy on one of two stainless steel operating tables that were placed side-by-side in the middle of the room. He sat on one of the counters and looked at Sora with a gaze that wasn’t made any less intense by the absence of one eye. “…He looks awful yummy, though…”
“Is the subject thoroughly unconscious?” No longer occupied with his notes, Vexen walked briskly over to the table. “It would be inconvenient if he woke in the middle of the procedures.”
“Dontcha trust me?” Xigbar grinned over at the Chilly Academic, who gave Xigbar a look that would have been hard-pressed to be more frigid. Laughing, Xigbar rocked back and forth on the table. “Smart choice.”
“Only a fool would trust any of us, but not even a fool would trust you,” said Vexen.
“That’s a fine way to speak to someone who is doing you a favor.”
The harsh, low growl of Xaldin’s voice was unmistakable. Just as Xigbar had done a short while earlier, he stood in the doorway of the laboratory with a boy under one arm. However, this boy was fully conscious and very much struggling against his captor.
“What the hell is going on here?! Xaldin, you bastard, what are you doing to me?! Let me go right now!” Despite all his struggling, XIII remained firmly within Xaldin’s grasp.
“Some favor.” Vexen looked coldly put out. “I thought I asked for him to be subdued and unharmed, Xaldin.”
“I couldn’t subdue him without putting a big hole in his head. I could only assume you’d prefer him intact over unconscious.” Xaldin raised a brow at Vexen, daring him to protest further.
IV shrugged. “Xigbar, if you would be so kind.”
“I’ve been wantin’ to do this a long time,” grinned Xigbar. He hopped off the counter and walked over to Xaldin and Roxas.
Roxas’ eyes widened as Xigbar advanced. He had no idea what was happening or what was about to happen. A figure, familiar though Roxas was sure he had never seen it before was in a heap on an operating table. His blue eyes widened.
“Is that Sora?! What is Sora doing here?! What the fuck are you doing?!” His voice rose hysterically, nearly to the point of screaming.
“Shut him up already,” snarled Xaldin. His grasp on the boy was slipping as Roxas’ struggles for freedom became increasingly frantic.
In life, Braig’s scientific specialty had been the nervous system, mainly concentrated on the effects of sensory deprivation. He’d made an extensive study of pressure points in the body and knew more about physical weaknesses and strengths than the rest of them. It was a simple matter of pressing two fingers on a certain spot on Roxas’ neck. The boy went limp and sagged against Xaldin’s arms.
“Place him on the other table,” commanded Vexen. The lancer did so, arranging both Roxas and Sora so that they were both stretched out on the tables on their backs. Having the two of them side-by-side in such close proximity made the numerous similarities between them all the more apparent.
“Such a unique opportunity to study the relationship between Nobody and Other,” Vexen breathed. For the first time, his voice rang of something other than apathy. A slight note of fanaticism had snuck in. “This is the first time that it’s ever been possible to perform an experiment of this nature.”
“So what’s the plan?” Xigbar resumed his seat on the counter, content to just sit and watch the proceedings. As far as he was concerned, his part in this operation had been carried out. All that was left was for him to sit back and wait to reap the rewards.
“The plan is,” Vexen paused, readying a tray of tools. “Xaldin, as the most skilled surgeon, is going to perform the actual proceedings and I’m going to supervise. You’re going to keep your hands out of the way.”
“As long as you give me what you promised, I’ll be quieter than an Assassin.” Xigbar reached for a scalpel and began to idly carve designs into his coat.
“Humph. Speaking of which…” IV turned to his dreadlocked associate. “Did you take precautions for VIII? This procedure is going to take some time and there’s no doubt that that conniving nitwit is going to wonder where XIII is.”
Xaldin nodded curtly. “It’s taken care of. He thinks that Roxas is exploring worlds or some such nonsense and has no doubt gone off to look for him.”
“Good. That would have been the last thing we needed.” Satisfied, Vexen turned back to his two subjects – the brown-haired Other and his blonde Nobody. Strange, they looked almost peaceful lying there side by side. In another time, another place, they could have been brothers asleep together after a long day of sunshine and making happy memories.
But no. They were not anything as romantic or sentimental as brothers. Sora and Roxas were fragments of the same person – two fragments who had been violently ripped apart and must inexorably be rejoined. It was the goal of all Nobodies. In actuality, XIII should be honored that he was the first of all of them to get the chance.
“Sora is to be known henceforth as Other and Roxas as Nobody,” said Vexen. He opened a thick book full of handwritten notes and diagrams. “After removing all clothing, the first incisions are to be identical – starting just above the navel and extending upwards in a straight line to the bottom of the ribcage.”
The operation proceeded that way for quite some time. Vexen would call out instructions to Xaldin, who would execute them with hands made swift and sure by years of practice. Although his desire to join in the fun and games was painfully apparent, Xigbar kept his word and remained on the counter, though he fidgeted constantly.
Differences between the two bodies had been in Vexen’s hypotheses, of course, but the degree of difference surprised even him. Being a Nobody and thus lacking a heart, Roxas had no blood. Organs lay fully formed within his stomach and chest, but were completely dry. Dry and cold. Compared to the slick, wet, warm innards within Sora, it was as if he was made of paper.
“What’re you gonna do with those guts?” Xigbar leaned forward and twisted his hands in Xaldin’s dreadlocks, sliding them through his fingers as if pretending they were the intestines that he so wanted to play with.
Without even looking back at his lover, Xaldin lifted one of the long organs coiled neatly on the stainless steel table beside Sora’s unconscious body and tossed it back at him. The Freeshooter snatched it out of thin air and held it to his lips. With a grin of absolute delight, he began to devour it, slurping it down his throat like noodles. When he was done, blood ringed his mouth and stained his fingers and teeth, making his appearance all the more demonic.
“Give me something with bones next,” he leaned forward and kissed Xaldin’s jaw from behind, a hand sneaking around the lancer’s waist.
“Stop interfering,” Vexen said icily. “Don’t distract him.”
“Oh, Xally can handle a lot more distraction than this and still keep his focus, trust me.” Xigbar bit Xaldin’s ear and smirked at Vexen. “Look at his hands. Still as steady as anything.”
“I don’t care. Get off.” Vexen stooped and picked up a severed right hand – Sora’s – and tossed it at Xigbar. “Here. Occupy yourself with that.”
Xigbar didn’t need to be told twice. He sucked on the fingers first, savoring the taste of old sweat mingled with the revenant tang of metal left by the keyblade’s hilt. Oh, but under all of it was still the part that Xigbar craved most – the flesh and blood. He’d never tasted Sora before. In fact, he’d never really even considered the possibility of consuming the boy, but now he wondered why. If he had known how delectable the boy’s flesh tasted, he would have had a much harder time bringing him back to Vexen in one piece.
As Xigbar occupied himself in methodically and gleefully eating the hand and spitting the bones out into a growing pile on the floor, Xaldin was reaching an end to his own endeavors. As per Vexen’s instructions, both Nobody and Other were now both severed down the middle, each half-person in two halves themselves. It was a strange and bizarre representation of duplicity – four quarters of one person lying exposed on stainless-steel tables, their intimate workings wrenched open for all the world to see. Roxas was still as clean and dead as a cut-open doll, but Sora was nothing but red and yellow and horror and gore. Blood dripped off the edges of the table and fell in long ribbon strands to the floor. Xaldin stepped into this puddle of life thoughtlessly and his boots left bright red treaded patterns on the white floor as he circled the tables.
Vexen assisted Xaldin in placing one half of each subject aside and, using his own special power, froze them. They only needed one half of each for this particular experiment, yes, but there was no point in wasting specimens. It was clear that Xigbar would have preferred it if the discarded corpse halves had been entrusted to him to dispose of, but he was satisfied with the several bits of flesh and meat that Xaldin had tossed him over the course of the operation.
“The next order of business is the real part of the experiment.” Vexen turned to the Freeshooter and the lancer after he’d frozen the remaining halves. “We have successfully created the components for a new, whole being. With these remaining halves, we shall attempt to fuse them together to create what we hope will be a whole person that isn’t Nobody or Other, but both.”
Xaldin straightened, scowling as his spine popped a half-dozen times. Hunching over a table for such an extended period of time wasn’t exactly the most comfortable of activities, but he loved it just the same. Looking back down at the hundreds of tiny stitches he had just made – the straight serrated line that neatly bisected the two halves of the unnatural body that lay on the table – Xaldin fancied that he could feel a strong surge of accomplishment and pride. And maybe even a little fondness.
It was a beautiful sight, as far as macabre images go. Xaldin didn’t consider himself an artiste like Demyx or (perish the thought) Marluxia, but he definitely had a certain appreciation for the aesthetically pleasing. Even when it was something like a beautifully stitched-together corpse, Xaldin could appreciate it.
That was one of the advantages of being without a heart, Xaldin had supposed before. One could look upon things and simply admire the aesthetics of them without emotions coming into the frame and complicating the issue. For example, when he had been Dilan, he would have been unable to enjoy Xigbar’s unique sense of... fun. At least, not without emotions such as revulsion or horror getting in the way.
This half-hearted creature, pieced together with rows upon rows of neat black stitches, was beautiful. The inner workings of a body, visible beneath a thin, easily removable layer of skin, were beautiful. A splash of red blood across a green field bathed in moonlight, the remains of a young woman with a hole where her heart had once been – a result of Xigbar’s “tendencies.” That too was beautiful.
“It’s time to commence the next phase.”
The mechanical lack of tone in Vexen’s voice efficiently scattered Xaldin’s reverie to the far corners of the lab. Everything about Vexen was efficient, including his interruptions.
“I’ve always wondered what Keyblader heart tastes like…”
Xigbar’s quiet musings provided a soft, if disturbing background murmur to the work that Xaldin and Vexen carried out. Neither of them acknowledged him, even though he was crouched on the table beside the newly-created body. Xaldin was well aware that he could get Xigbar down on the floor and away from the body before Xigbar would have time to react. Normally, Xigbar was far too fast, but as long as he was in this state… Xaldin had the advantage. The two subjects, Roxas and Sora, had been neatly bisected and then rejoined according to Vexen’s notes. Up to this point, everything had gone smoothly – even Xigbar was behaving himself. But the operations had really only just begun.
“I hope you had a brilliant idea regarding how we’re going to wake it up,” growled Xaldin. “As far as I’m concerned, I’m done with this experiment of yours.”
“You agreed to provide your services for the entirety of the procedure.” Vexen looked severely at Xaldin over the top of a clipboard.
“I never said I was going to leave,” said Xaldin.
“We can’t leave now, Xally.” Xigbar suddenly appeared just behind Xaldin. A bloody scalpel was casually twirled between his fingers as he spoke. “Aren’t you curious? You can’t just leave in the middle without seeing the outcome. Your curiosity will drive you crazy.”
“If you haven’t driven me crazy by now, Xigbar, nothing will.” Xaldin’s snarl was thicker than usual. Probably because he didn’t want to admit that Xigbar was, infuriatingly enough, absolutely correct.
“Enough. If we’re going to conduct this experiment, let’s do it now. Our chances for success are higher if the bodies are still fresh.” Vexen walked over to the two tables. Almost with admiration, he looked down at the subject.
Xaldin had done an excellent job – you would have thought that the subject had been whole originally if you disregarded the stitches and the fact that the hair, eyes and skintone varied slightly. Fascinating, yes, but also inconsequential. What mattered was that the bodies had fit together perfectly.
“So what’s the plan? You gonna zap ‘em? You know that I prefer my meat raw, but I don’t mind it being heated up. We could get Larxene in here – I’m sure she’d love an excuse to electrocute the piss outta something.”
The crudeness of Xigbar’s language would probably have annoyed Vexen under normal circumstances, but today was different. It was too important.
“No. XII’s assistance is not necessary in this instance. I have procured another method for revitalizing the subject.” Vexen now went into a supply closet adjacent to the room. He returned a moment later with a stainless steel tray upon which rested a syringe filled with glowing white-gold liquid.
“What is that, Vexen?” Xaldin eyed the syringe mistrustfully.
“Essence of Kingdom Hearts.”
Xaldin started and turned to stare at Vexen through narrowed eyes.
“You’re out of your mind.” He stated flatly.
Shivers ran up and down Xigbar’s spine, but not shivers of fear. Shivers of anticipation. Or delight. Or madness. Hell, it didn’t matter – it all amounted to the same thing. He peered over Xaldin’s and dug his long, bloodstained fingers into the lancer’s shoulders.
“I want to see it…” He breathed.
“No. Get back on the counter. You promised you’d behave. If you don’t, you get no more treats.”
The temptation of a potential feast of human and Nobody flesh was enough to make Xigbar stop. His mind was struggling, boiling inside his head like magma. It was difficult to stay good. So difficult. Even when Xaldin promised treats. And maybe even fucking later, if he really behaved. Or if Xaldin got desperate. Xigbar started to grin. No, stay focused. It took all his effort to sit back on the counter and be still. A slim white bone from a finger still rested in a sticky pool of blood. Xigbar began to chew on it with zeal, more to keep his mind occupied than anything.
The needle slid into the creature’s arm smoothly. Vexen injected it into the left arm – Sora’s arm. If his calculations were correct, the blood from Sora’s body would flow into Roxas’, carrying the essence of Kingdom Hearts with it.
Vexen’s hypothesis proved correct. Almost before he had pulled the needle from the skin, the creature on the table began to stir. It began with a twitch in the fingers and spread quickly over the rest of the body, like a flame devouring a piece of paper. A low moan escaped the newly reanimated lips.
“Nnngh… What’s going on…?”
To the fascination of the three Nobodies, the voice in which the creature spoke alternated between Roxas’ and Sora’s. It was strange, but it also proved that this thing that they had created was a perfect combination of Sora and Roxas.
Xaldin suddenly became aware of Xigbar’s breathing, which had suddenly become short and ragged. He tore his eyes away from the creature and looked over his shoulder to see the Freeshooter crouched on the counter. A strange light was gleaming in his remaining eye and every muscle was straining towards the creature on the table.
“Don’t you dare.” Xaldin hissed from between clenched teeth. He reached out to collar Xigbar, but the quicker man flickered back. A mad grin stretched across Xigbar’s face and his knuckles where white from gripping the edge of the counter.
“He smells really, really good…”
“Xigbar, I will fucking kill you.” Xaldin heard another moan behind him and resisted the urge to turn around and look.
Xigbar tore his gaze from the creature and grinned at Xaldin. His one eye gleamed unnaturally bright.
“We’re already dead, don’t you remember?”
Behind them both, Vexen was struggling with something and the moans were getting louder.
“Xaldin, help me!” Vexen sounded strained.
Cursing inwardly, Xaldin tensed and then lunged as Xigbar sprang. He caught the Freeshooter in midair and brought him down to the floor. Naturally, Xigbar resisted, but Xaldin was far more powerful and quickly pinned him.
“You promised, Xigbar. And you are going to keep your promise…” Xaldin looked around and then finally tugged at the chain of his coat until it loosened and came off in his hands. He quickly tied Xigbar’s wrists together so tightly that the cord dug into the skin. It probably would have drawn blood if Xigbar had been capable of bleeding.
“…Even if I have to force you to.”
Xaldin stood up again, hoping that the makeshift restraint would keep Xigbar at bay long enough. He turned to Vexen.
The experiment was clearly not going as the Chilly Academic had intended.
The creature had risen from the table and was stumbling around the laboratory. Every movement was stiff and disjointed and awkward, like a child just learning to walk. It grabbed at the tables and counters, knocking countless beakers and flasks and instruments to the ground. Vexen tried to restrain it, but found that the creature’s strength was double that of either Sora or Roxas’. He couldn’t control it.
“Grab it!” Vexen yelled to Xaldin. “Before it wrecks the entire lab!”
Both Xaldin and Vexen ignored Xigbar’s taunting, sing-song voice. They had more pressing things to worry about.
The Lancer lunged for the hybrid creature, but it threw him aside with surprising ease. Xaldin crashed into a cabinet and landed on the floor amid a shower of glass.
“What have you done to me!?”
The terrifying, alternating voice ricocheted off the walls. Sora’s words rang with fear, Roxas’ with rage. Vexen darted around, seeking to seize the more volatile and expensive of the instruments and vials before the rebelling experiment could destroy them. With a grunt, Xaldin pushed himself up off the glass-littered floor and lunged once again at the creature. This time, he caught it from behind and brought it down. It struggled, clawing at the slick fabric of the coat, but Xaldin managed to keep a grip on it.
“What have you done to me?!” It was screaming now as it flailed and clawed at everything that it could reach. Fingernails dug into Xaldin’s arm even though the coat, tearing the flesh.
“What did you do?!” The creature thrashed and twisted in Xaldin’s grasp, raking its fingers across Xaldin’s face.
“Vexen, if it isn’t too much fucking trouble…” Xaldin shoved the hybrid down and muscled it so that its arms were held tightly behind its back.
“I’m coming.” Vexen’s voice rang with feigned impatience as he made his way across the wreckage. He held a metal pole in his hands, which he intended to use to knock the creature unconscious. It was a good plan and probably would have worked if Xigbar’s bloodlust hadn’t chosen that moment to break free of his control.
How could he have resisted, after all? The Soroxas looked like such a fun thing to hunt… And so tasty.
It happened before Xaldin and Vexen even realized it. One moment, Xigbar had been lying in restraints on the floor and the creature was in Xaldin’s arms. The next, Xaldin and Vexen were both sprawled on the floor as Xigbar threw himself at the creature. His greater weight shoved the hybrid back so that it crashed into the wall behind it, shattering yet another glass cabinet.
Unprepared for the sudden assault, Soroxas fell heavily to the floor. Xigbar was upon it in a moment, pulling it back up to its feet and pinning it up against the wall. Madness gleamed in his eye and his breath came fast and heavy between teeth that were bloodstained and clenched in a fierce carnivore’s grin. His eye darted back and forth between the two halves, delighting in the simultaneous sight of Roxas’ rage and Sora’s terror.
“Xigbar!” It was Roxas’ voice that cried out to him. He had seen for himself the results of Xigbar’s blood-madness and lust for carnage. He knew what was to happen next. The next words were Sora, who could see Roxas’ memories through their connected brain. “Don’t…”
But Xigbar was deaf to any kind of plea and dumb to the anguish of others. The tips of his fingers dug with surprising force into the creature’s slim shoulders. Bruises rose on Sora’s skin, but Roxas remained smooth and pale. It would never change.
“Looks like bein’ whole ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.”
Their eyes were so pretty. Xigbar had taken notice of their eyes before, of course, but he hadn’t ever really stopped and thought about it before this very moment. They were just so blue. He wondered if they would taste like blueberries. Or sky.
Only one way to find out.
Xigbar’s teeth were on the creature’s face in moments, biting down ferociously on the smooth curve of one cheekbone. He jerked his head back sharply and half of its face disappeared down his throat. Blood poured from Sora’s side and the hybrid creature screamed. Each syllable of the undulating scream was in a different voice.
The eye itself was next. The corner’s of Xigbar’s mouth were stretched tight into a smile as he hooked his bottom teeth into the creature’s left eye socket – Sora’s side. Red and white and yellow liquid filled up the ripped-open eye and gushed down the creature’s torn face, even dripping into its open, still-screaming mouth. Xigbar licked up the vile fluids with an eager tongue and sucked the remainder out of the punctured eye itself. With deft fingers, he tore out what remained of the eye and popped it into his mouth. He rolled it around with his tongue, savoring the clean taste and texture of the membranes on the otherwise slick surface of the eye. A sudden sadistic, playful thought sprang up in his mind and he grinned at the creature. He opened his mouth to reveal the eyeball resting on his tongue, staring back at the boy to whom it had once belonged.
At the grotesque sight, the creature’s knees buckled and it would have fallen to the floor if Xigbar had not been holding it up.
“C’mon, aren’t you gonna at least give me a fight?” He swallowed the eyeball and grinned at it. “Or is that it?”
Out of the corner of his one remaining eye, Xigbar noticed that Roxas’ hand had begun to move and slip into that all-too-familiar position – it was going to summon a keyblade.
“Not this time.” Xigbar remembered more about keyblades than Sora or Roxas would probably ever know. He was having far too good a time to let one interfere in his fun now.
It was a simple matter to grab the creature’s hands and bite off all of the slim fingers one by one. It was even simpler to rip open the creature’s chest along the seam and reach inside the cadaver for the heart, much like a bear reaching into a beehive for honey. At this point, the creature had ceased to scream and struggle and remained limp and silent and half torn-apart on the floor.
Bodies weren’t nearly as fun when they weren’t alive and wriggling and begging for mercy, but Xigbar wasn’t picky. Especially not about one that tasted so very very good. He fell upon the creature’s cadaver on the floor like a starved beast, rending and tearing and gulping chunks of flesh (both bloody and blood-less) down his throat.
From the once neatly-stitched body spilled forth organs that were dry and cold and organs that were slick and wet. They mixed together indiscriminately on the floor amid the blood and bile and shards of glass. Xigbar sat among this wreckage with the body pulled into his lap. He ripped out Xaldin’s meticulous stitches and pried part the two halves of the skull.
The brain was still slightly warm and was easily slurped down Xigbar’s throat. He didn’t even need to chew.
Once the conjoined bodies of the Nobody and Other no longer held any interest for Xigbar, he turned instead to the two frozen halves that still remained intact. All of his favorite parts had been eaten from the first two, but he found that the killing lust was still coursing through his body. He couldn’t possibly stop now.
Oh Xaldin and Vexen would probably be furious when they woke up, but what were they going to do? He already had a large percentage of both Sora and Roxas in his belly and nothing they could do could change that. Xigbar smirked to himself as he sucked the blood out from under his fingernails. He did so love experimentation.