Moments earlier, during Aqua and Braig's conversation and their confrontation with Vanitas, another battle was raging among the stone pillars high above. Terra and Master Xehanort were still going at it, the darkness flowing about them like a gigantic sheet of pure energy. Terra's eyes flashed yellow every so often, and whenever he caught sight of it, Xehanort would smile to himself. Wings of dark energy were beginning to emerge from Terra's back, but they were still too small to even lift him off of the ground. He was still trying to hold back from using the same dark power that he had used to kill his friend Aqua. Nonetheless, in Master Xehanort's view, it was only a matter of time.
"Awaken, Terra! It's useless to hold back! Unleash all of your rage and strike me down, just like you wish to!"
This time, Terra swung for Xehanort's head. The elderly keyblade master stepped back to just narrowly avoid the blade's strike. Their swords connected again and again, just like before. Sparks flew and the ringing grew louder, but neither showed a sign of weakness. In the midst of another clash, Master Xehanort exclaimed, "Come now, Terra! Look at yourself! You claim to be with the light, yet here you are, attempting to murder a feeble old man for revenge! My boy, you're already sinking into the darkness as we speak!"
Terra couldn't take much more of this. Master Xehanort's words only infuriated him more and more. And even worse, he was right. There was no chance of winning as long as he didn't tap into the dark powers. His promise to himself of staying away from that evil was only holding him back. He couldn't avenge Aqua's death unless he went all-out right here, right now, and took down Master Xehanort before his plans came into fruition. There was no point in resisting anymore. Terra sighed; all he wanted was to be able to live happily with his friends, and explore the universe together as keyblade masters. But it looked like it was never meant to be.
He had hit the end of the road. The young man just hoped that Ventus would forgive him for this.
"Alright...you want me to use my darkness so badly? Then I will, but I'll use it to defeat you!"
Terra's free hand immediately became covered with black flames, twisting into the form of an over-sized fist. He bashed this fist of concentrated darkness against Master Xehanort's face, hitting him square in jaw. He didn't stop after only one punch; he hit Xehanort over and over as if he were trying to hammer down a frustratingly stubborn nail. In spite of the vicious beating on his head, Xehanort was still able to flick his wrist and knock Terra back with a levitating boulder.
Master Xehanort lightly touched at his wounded face; it was only thanks to a magical force-field he had placed on his skin that the damage hadn't been greater. He had a black eye, a broken nose, and a few missing teeth, to say the least. He broke out into a fit of psychotic cackling. This was perfect; the boy possessed so much power, just as he had expected. His heart had opened to the darkness, and it left him susceptible to control. Now, all he had to do was-
Xehanort's thought process was abruptly cut short by Terra's assault with a large, scythe-shaped appendage. It was coming out of Terra's right shoulder. Several spindly legs made of darkness were supporting his body and lifting it a good two or three feet above the elder. Terra's eyes were covered in shades of darkness, and his keyblade was too. He was still wearing his armor, so Xehanort could not see it, but the boy's bare skin was becoming covered in thick red veins. The darkness with in him was reaching the height of its power, and it was something that went beyond Xehanort's own power. The Keyblade Master laughed once more.
The scythe wedged its tip deep into Master Xehanort's abdomen, and then one of Terra's spiky legs stabbed him through the rib. The Keyblade Master started to spit up blood; he had no chance in winning with such brittle bones and weakened magic. And now, with their darkness flowing through each other like this, he could finally take on the last step of his plan. He knew that Vanitas would succeed in making the X-blade, and then, together they would rule everything. Xehanort lifted up his keyblade, but instead, he turned it on himself. Terra shouted something but his words only sounded like the cries of a mindless beast. Another arm, this time a skinny clawed hand, burst out of the boy's chest and wrapped its prickling fingers around Xehanort's throat. Xehanort did not deter from holding onto his keyblade. Just a few more moments, and then he could transfer himself into the boy's body.
Master Eraqus finally arrived onto the scene, and was momentarily stunned by what he saw. Terra looked over his shoulder and saw the man who had raised him for most of his life.
"...Master?" Terra gasped. If he could have had the chance, he would have apologized. He would have begged for forgiveness for taking Aqua's life like he did. He tried to say something else, but the words couldn't come. Master Eraqus started to run to him, hand outstretched.
"You're too late, Eraqus!" Xehanort bellowed.
Xehanort thrust his keyblade into his own chest. His body vanished into light particles, and all that remained was his heart. The glowing heart proceeded to enter Terra's chest on its own. Terra threw back his head, wailing in agony, his body feeling like it was exploding from the inside. The darkness coming off of him began acting erratically until it disappeared altogether. Without the darkness supporting his levitation, Terra collapsed onto his knees. His armor crumbled away from his body, and his hair was now a silky sheen of white. Eraqus slowly approached his apprentice.
"Terra? Are you alright? Speak to me, Terra!"
Terra didn't move.
"Terra!" Master Eraqus shook the boy's shoulder, but he was immediately greeted with a keyblade nearly cutting his throat open. Terra flashed a familiar sneer at his master; it was the same sinister little grin that Master Xehanort always wore. Eraqus gasped. He jumped back with an aero spell to put some distance between them again. Eraqus withdrew his keyblade, and went into an offensive position as he watched 'Terra' stand up. Never before had it felt so agonizingly painful to have to point his weapon at a servant of darkness. This was beyond anything he could have expected Master Xehanort to attempt.
"Xehanort...how could do this? You stole his body! He's...he was only a boy!"
"That's exactly why he's most fitting," 'Terra' replied, his voice growing louder and louder, "My former body was old and frail; I was only half as powerful as I had been in the days of my youth! I needed a younger form to continue living, so I may be able to witness the next Keyblade War brought on by my own deeds! Don't you understand, Eraqus? If you just accepted the darkness like I did, then you would be able to continue living forever like a god! We could work together in controlling this universe, you and I!"
Eraqus sighed. He hadn't been deceived, after all; his brother in arms was truly lost.
"I'm sorry that things had to be this way, Xehanort. I really am. If you refuse to change your ways right here and now, then I will be forced to defeat you once and for all by myself."
"I'd like to see you try! My power is almighty; Terra's darkness is far beyond that of my own!" 'Terra' proclaimed, and he summoned Xehanort's keyblade into his hand. Eraqus prepared to fight, however hard it may be to have to strike his own student with intent to kill, but suddenly...he was blindsided by an eruption of light from below. He only glanced away for a second. It was all the time that 'Terra' needed to slash his blade against the man's chest, ripping through the armor like it was paper, cutting through the soft flesh. After struggling to remain on his feet for the longest time, Eraqus collapsed into a heap. High above the two man, Aqua was the sole witness to the attack. There was nothing she could do about it. She shouted to her master in despair, but her words were muted from within the bubble-shield.
The beam of light edged closer, swelling like a balloon. 'Terra' created his own shield of dark energy to protect both himself and Master Eraqus' body. He figured that he could find some use for the fresh corpse of a Keyblade Master in the future somehow. He almost felt a little bad having to cut down his former friend like this. They had been through so much, suffered so much, and yet they pulled each other through it all. But then he thought about the X-blade again, and that single hint of guilt in his mind vanished completely.
Aqua, Mickey, and Braig landed a good ten miles or so away from the explosion, which was still steadily growing in size. Aqua felt like there was a new heaviness in her chest now aside from her globular breasts. Ventus, Terra, Master Eraqus...she had just lost them all. It was as if her family had just been murdered before her very eyes. She didn't know whether to cry or scream, or do both. She simply sat down and watched the scene unfold before her. She felt so very tired, and yet, her job wasn't done yet. She had to take down whatever was going to come out of that light, whether it was Vanitas...or Ventus. And the same would be said for the possessed Terra as well. But, there had to be some way that she could save them; she refused to let her friends be swallowed up by the darkness. She had to stop Master Xehanort and Vanitas somehow.
Suddenly, the bluenette felt a comforting hand touch her on the shoulder. It was the black mouse.
"I'm really sorry that things have gotten this bad; I wish I had gotten here in time...we could have at least saved that Ventus boy." The mouse sounded genuinely upset about the current situation, which was understandable, but he seemed to want to blame himself for it as well. Aqua forced out a tiny smile to help ease things along, even though it was difficult to do so.
"It's alright. I just appreciate that you even came in and saved me and Braig at the last minute. By the way, you seem kind of familiar...you have a keyblade, right?"
The mouse nodded, lifting up his colorfully-designed keyblade to show it off. "Yep! The name's Mickey Mouse, Master Yen Sid's apprentice! I'm taking my Mark of Mastery test right now, actually. It's thanks to my wayfinder that I ended up here to help you guys in your battle!"
"I'm Aqua. Oh, so you're Mickey Mouse! Master Eraqus has mentioned you a few times before when he spoke of former keyblade wielder Yen Sid! To be honest, I never expected that you were literally a mouse..."
"Hah...I get that alot, to be honest..."
"Will you help me stop Vanitas and Xehanort? I know we've only just met, but you're here, and you have a keyblade...we need to work together to keep them from accomplishing whatever they're after. And we need to save my friends. I can't stand to see them being used as pawns like this."
Mickey nodded. "Of curse I'll help! Judging how the wayfinder happened to bring me to this place at this exact time, I think it's more than just a coincidence! I believe I was brought here specifically to help you! You have my full support, Aqua!"
"Thank you...so much!"
Suddenly, a third voice spoke up from behind them. "I still haven't completed my job yet, so I guess it means I have to go too, right?"
Aqua and Mickey looked over at Braig, who had finally awakened after being knocked unconscious by Vanitas' Unversed. The sharp-shooter was already checking over his arrow-guns to ensure that they weren't damaged. Aqua was impressed with his tenacity; she would have expected a non-keyblade user to have already fled by this point, but he was deeply determined to get his hands on Aqua's fat, fluffy gut. She didn't know whether to consider it a good thing or not, yet either way, she was glad that he could help her in her time of need like this. He was dependable.
"It's only half because of you; the other half is because I know the old geezer will come after me next if we don't take him out right now."
The light show from afar finally receded, leaving a gigantic crater in its place. A single figure stood in the middle of the hole as wide as a football field. Aqua, Mickey, and Braig took caution in approaching the crater. The boy standing before them resembled Ventus physically, but he was wearing Vanitas' red and black organic suit. In his hand was a very unique keyblade; it resembled an over-sized sword, but its base was made out of two crossing keyblades and various other light and dark designs. Just her first glimpse of it was enough for Aqua to be able to tell how powerful it was. Never before had she seen such a massive, imposing keyblade. Suddenly, the boy opened his eyes, and flashed that familiar Ventus smile at the bluenette.
"Nice to see you didn't run away after all, Aqua, Not that you could run very far with your fat ass." The Ventus look-alike spoke with the voice of Vanitas. Aqua's heart fell; despite the appearances, her friend's body had been fully possessed by his own dark counterpart. She had to figure out some way to either stall the fight or keep battling him until she could figure out how to separate Vanitas from Ventus. As it was so far, things didn't look good, especially with that glorified keyblade. Aqua took a step forward towards the blonde youth.
"Vanitas,leave Ventus' body! Now! He doesn't want to be apart of you! Why do you have to be this way?"
"What? You're seriously telling me to leave his body? He's my other half; he's the one with the true body! He's my home! Who do you think you are, ordering someone to abandon the place they belong simply because it upsets you? Ventus and I were meant to become one again, and I needed his power to create the lovely X-blade here!"
"Keyblade? X-blade?" Aqua nervously eyed the weapon. It was so beautiful, and yet so frightening. Vanitas chuckled, and swung the blade once through the air, testing it out. The way it ripped through the air was so fast that even Aqua had to admit that she nearly missed it. In spite of its size, it seemed Vanitas was able to wield it without any difficulties whatsoever. He was probably even faster now with Ventus' incredibly speediness added to his repertoire.
"Yes, this is one special blade; it can open the way to Kingdom Hearts. Unfortunately it's still not completely finished yet, but I just need to get Ventus to submit to me within his heart and then I'll be invincible. That doesn't mean I can't kill you all right now as I am, though,"
Aqua couldn't believe it. Somewhere, deep inside, Ventus was still fighting. She was so relieved. There may be a chance to rescue him after all.
"Hey, c'mon, are we going to kick this little creep's butt now or what?" Braig shouted from behind her. Vanitas scoffed.
"You're the kind of idiot who's always begging for a death wish, aren't you?"
Braig replied, not with words, but instead by firing a projectile for the boy's temple. Vanitas shattered the tiny needle with a swing of the X-blade.
"You do know that I'm no longer fully apart of the darkness? I have a human body now; you don't really want to kill Aqua's friend, now do you?"
"Like I give a damn if he lives or dies."
Aqua threw Braig a vicious glare that would have sent even the mightiest of Unversed dashing away for safety, and it was probably only the third time that she ever had to use it. Instead of running, though, Braig just muttered a half-assed apology under his breath and stepped back a few paces. He figured his chances to getting to touch that luscious belly had just dropped significantly.
"I think it's a waste of time to go on about this," Vanitas announced, "You're all going to have to die anyway. Thank you for all the fun, Aqua; turning you into a big blubbery bitch really gave me a good laugh! Since you're so slow and weak now, I should probably put you out of your misery, right?"
Vanitas warped through the air, transporting himself over to Aqua, his blade held high to land a quick, single strike of death. Fortunately, Aqua had already anticipated this method of attack; she slammed her big belly into the small boy, and he bounced off of her like a human-sized rubber ball. However, Vanitas caught himself in mid-air and proceeded to attempt at murdering Aqua once more. This time, he was blocked by both Aqua's and Mickey's keyblades. While this was going on, Braig leaped over them all, and fired three projectiles into Vanitas' chest. These particular green projectiles were designed to be much less damaging to the opponent, more like knock-out rounds than anything else. This was only the second time that Braig had ever had to use them.
Vanitas covered himself in a black aura of flames, and the needles melted off of his skin-like suit. He gripped the handle of the X-blade tighter and pushed harder; Aqua and Mickey were knocked back by the immense strength that the X-blade possessed. It would be impossible for them to connect with it for too long, or else they risked their own blades of being shattered apart. However, the initial contact did rise some hope within Aqua. She could feel it from the blade itself; Ventus was fighting Vanitas within his own heart at this very moment. Vanitas hadn't been lying after all, surprisingly enough.
"Hmm? What's this?"
'Terra' walked over by the edge of the rock platform and looked down. He could see Vanitas, now having fused with his light-self, in battle against Aqua, Braig, and some strange animal-humanoid. Although there was little chance that he would fail in defeating them all, it still seemed a bit unfair to be three-on-one. Plus, 'Terra' had a desire to try out his new body and powers on some fresh victims.
He was about to descend when a voice behind him called out.
"Hold it. You still have...me to fight!"
'Terra' turned around. Eraqus was back on his feet, a little disheveled, but his injury was now all but completely healed. The possessed teen rolled his eyes. He had never met a more stubborn man than his former brother-in-arms.
"You got yourself back up with a cure spell only to get knocked down again. You know that, don't you, Eraqus?"
"I won't...allow you to...harm these children any further!" Eraqus shouted at the top of lungs. He paused for a moment to cough. He looked down at the large vertical cut in his armor plating; he may have been able to stop the bleeding, but the injury was still painful, and it would eventually incapacitate him if he didn't hurry along with this battle.
"You're wasting your time, Eraqus. It is already too late to fix anything! All that's left is for the X-blade to reach its completed form; you and your dear little apprentices have already lost!"
"They were...they were your apprentices too! We trained them together! Don't you feel any guilt for what you're doing? You're ruining their young lives for your own selfish ambitions! This is madness, Xehanort! You have to stop this right now before there really is no turning back! I beg you!" Eraqus removed his helmet, as if being able to look the man straight in the eye would be able to change his disposition. Of course, this was just a foolish dream.
"Please, Xehanort...you've let the darkness corrupt you. I know that you're not really like this."
'Terra' acted as if he did not hear the other man. Instead, he summoned his keyblade to his hand. His expression was unreadable, but some of Eraqus' words still lingered in the back of his mind.
"Very well, Eraqus. I'll take care of you first before Aqua or that traitorous little assassin."
Eraqus truly wished that this was all just a nightmare, and that he would soon wake up in his quarters. Things were not going nearly as well as he had hoped.
Aqua would have performed a series of complex flips to dodge Vanitas' attacks, but she was far too fat for something so physically demanding. Instead, she simply waddled away as quickly as she could.
"D-Dammit, this is definitely one of those times that I REALLY hate being so big," she muttered under her breath, panting heavily, her flabby body jostling wildly inside her armor. She felt like a big bowl of jello being shaken about by constant vibrations. Or even worse, an overfilled water balloon. Her only consolation for all of this was that no one could see just how much she wobbled with all of her armor on. Not that it stopped Vanitas from making more fat-related insults.
"You know the only reason I haven't punctured that fat balloon belly of yours yet is because I'm not really trying, don't you?" Vanitas cackled. It was a complete lie, but they didn't need to know that.
Aqua spun around and blasted a firaga spell in Vanitas' face. However, the dark aura swarming around him blocked it out completely. Mickey attempted to create a chain of attacks fueled with magical power, but they were swiftly blocked by the X-blade. Braig's projectiles were still of no use either. It was only with the occasional grazing of Aqua's or Mickey's keyblades that seemed to affect the possessed boy the most. Mickey was speedy and difficult to hit due to his small size, so he had the better chance at landing a strike. Aqua, however, as much as she wanted to help, was basically a giant, flabby target. Her magic was her only use, being able to keep him distracted and disoriented whenever she could.
Mickey slid himself underneath the oncoming X-blade, dodging it, and then jumped up to strike Vanitas in the chest. Cursing loudly, he retaliated by kicking the mouse; it sent Mickey flying, but he caught himself just before tumbling into a set of jagged rocks. Braig had already given up on trying and contented himself with watching the fight from afar. He knew when his skills weren't needed, and they obviously were of no help here.
"Get...out...of...his...body!" Aqua screamed, whacking Vanitas over and over on the head. It was a little hard to bring herself to do it when he had Ventus' face, but it had to be done.
"Dammit! All of you, get off of me!"
Vanitas unleashed a sudden wave of darkness from his body; it pushed Aqua and Mickey back a few feet. Vanitas was practically ready to fly into a psychotic rage. He was the wielder of the almighty X-blade; even if the sword wasn't at its full potential yet, how could he possibly be getting beaten around by an obese slob and a talking mouse? It was a level of humiliation that went beyond anything he could possibly fathom. He had everything, and yet he couldn't kill them as easily as he wanted to. Deep inside of his heart, he was still battling what remained of Ventus' soul. He suspected that it was because of that that he still wasn't at full power. Nonetheless, he needed to win the battle of hearts to have full control over Ventus once and for all. He had to fight everyone without being able to use the peak of his power anymore. It was quite a conundrum.
Aqua was also concerned with her power. She had to figure out how to break through Vanitas' dark veil and damage him directly. One good shot, if aimed correctly, was better than nothing at all. However, she had struggled, and failed, to devise any logical solution.
And then, like some kind of bizarre miracle, a voice suddenly spoke to her.
"Hey there, you seem to be having some trouble,"
Aqua nearly jumped out of her armor in surprise. It was her own voice talking to her, or rather, a deeper version of her voice. The same voice as the Unversed that had transformed her into a fatass in the first place. She looked around at Mickey and Braig, but it seemed like she was the only one who could hear the voice. Although it made sense, considering it was coming from inside her own mind.
"You...I thought I destroyed you for good!"
"Yeah, you kinda did, but there was still a little piece of me I left hiding inside of your heart just in case." the Unversed chuckled over how clever it could be. Aqua could only groan, however. This was the last thing she needed right now, of all times.
"So basically I ended up not defeating you at all?"
"Well, look, I'm just a small piece of myself right now, a fledgling of darkness. Almost all of my power is gone, and I can't affect your mind, or your appetite, like I used to. I've just been sitting here, inside your heart. I've seen everything that's happened to you since you came to the Keyblade Graveyard. Honestly, girl, even though you're trying to kill my creator, I think I've grown to like you quite alot. You taught me everything I know right now. So I want to help you out, capiche?"
"What? But...you're an Unversed! A creature born of negativity! Forgive me for saying this, but I've never thought of your kind as being able to develop an actual set of emotions and being capable of higher thinking..."
"I guess it was just your influence. Being so close to your heart and hearing all of your thoughts has caused actual emotions to form inside of me. I'm hardly much of an Unversed anymore as I am something totally different, a higher being that goes beyond the worthless fodder you've been killing all this time. Not that it matters much; I don't have a body to show off anymore."
"Look, I can't just talk to you inside my head like this. I'm in the middle of a battle for life or death! I have to save my friend!"
"That's what I'm saying. I need you to absorb what's left of my power, and let it become one with you. It'll give you the strength to take Vanitas down a notch, considering he isn't even at full strength right now."
"You want me...to become part-Unversed?"
"Nah, it ain't like that. It just adds something special to your light, if you get my drift. Of course, there is a side-effect, due to the way I'm designed."
"What is it?"
"If we become one, then you'll be stuck to being a glutton forever. I won't have any control over your mind and I'll be gone from your heart's confines for good...but you will end up with an ever-lasting hunger that could take hours of gorging to satisfy, and you'll become addicted to doing it. It's just a regular trade-off, basically. Honestly I would rather it not turn out like that, but I don't make the rules, and it's our choice to take my offer or not. You're a smart girl; you could probably figure out another way to win if that's what you want to do."
Unlike so many times before, Aqua had already made up her mind from the get-go. "If you're telling the truth that your power will help me save Ventus...then I'll do it."
"What? Really, girl? You sure?"
"Yes. I have to save my friends...my family...from the darkness. If it means becoming a fatty for the rest of my life, then I'll do it. I have to rescue them by any means necessary."
"Damn...I'd say you have some pretty big balls to be doing this, but that would just be ridiculous. Alright, then, it seems like I can't talk you out of it either. It's been nice knowing you, Aqua. I hope my power will be of use to you. And just remember this one thing...always try something fried at least once, even if it's a vegetable. And now, I bid you adieu."
"Will you please hurry up? I can't just stand here
"Right, right...ciao. Remember me as you stuff your fat face with several cartons of sea-salt ice cream."
It took less than second for Aqua to feel the effects of the Unversed's noble sacrifice. It was as if a well-spring of power had suddenly arisen within her. However, this was a kind of power far removed from both light and darkness. It was a third element, an unknown energy that had been created from the Unversed itself. Although, Aqua would guess, it was still closer to being like darkness than it was like light. It was by mixing it with the light that she was able to unleash a new kind of power. Immediately, Aqua's keyblade began to glow, growing longer into a literal hand-held beam of light. She could feel her armor becoming even tighter on her body; apparently absorbing the obese Unversed made her put on a few pounds somehow.
"What the...hell is this?" Vanitas was the only one capable of sensing Aqua's new-found strength. It was far too similar to his Unversed, which only confused him further. He didn't like it, not one bit.
He charged towards the bluenette with the X-blade prepared to slice her clean in two. He was desperate to dispose of her before she could cause him any more trouble. Their blades collided, and the impacting result caused the very dust around their feet to be blown away. Vanitas pushed forward, but Aqua was able to hold her ground much better than before. Vanitas tried to throw a few fireballs of darkness in her face, but they were instantly destroyed by a few well-aimed shots from Braig's arrow-guns. Vanitas howled like a dog fighting on its last limb. Inside of his heart, it seemed like Ventus had suddenly gained the upper-hand. Aqua could sense it through the connection of their keyblades. Aqua didn't know how long this burst of energy would last, so she focused all of it into her keyblade, and struck.
"No! No! This...this can't be happening! Oh my god, no!"
The X-blade crumbled apart like tinfoil in Vanitas' trembling fingers. At the same time, Ventus came out the victor of the battle inside the heart. His very existence was starting to fade away. He couldn't even summon his own keyblade anymore, and his magical abilities were gone. Vanitas screamed, a far difference from his usual gloating self, as the darkness literally evaporated from his body. The boy fell onto his knees, writhing and twitching in immense pain. He was really going to die. The very thought of it frightened him like nothing else. He had been so sure of himself, believing that he would be victorious no matter what, but now there was nothing he could do. Not even his 'father' Master Xehanort could save him now. Vanitas looked up at Aqua, and glared at her. She was the one who had doomed him. He reached up toward her throat...and then he was gone.
Now back in his original clothes, freed from his dark-self forever, the unconscious Ventus collapsed. Mickey and Braig ran over.
Braig nodded firmly, and gave the bluenette a pat on the shoulder. "Damn...I knew you weren't an ordinary Keyblade Master, but where did that power come from? You really kicked ass! And I just saved your life a second time, you know! I think I deserve something special fro that, right? Along with getting to touch your belly and the gil you promised me, of course."
"Ugh...I'm so hungry..." Aqua grumbled under her breath.
She knelt down beside Ventus, lightly brushing his cheek with the back of her hand. She was so relieved to see that he was alright physically, but she couldn't feel truly relaxed until she knew whether his heart or his mind were still intact. Who knows what the fusion, and subsequent diffusion, with Vanitas could have done to him. And for some reason she just couldn't stop thinking about donuts in this serious moment.
"Aqua..." It was Mickey who spoke this time.
"Yeah, I know," Aqua straightened herself, " We still need to deal with Master Xehanort too. We're not out of this just yet."
"Ah...Master Xehanort...yeah, maybe I should just sit out of this one, eh?" Braig suggested.
"No, we need you! We need all the help we can get!"
"You know, Aqua, maybe he should stay, and keep watch over Ventus' body just in case," Mickey said to the obese girl. Aqua thought about it; it was true that Braig's shots had little to no effect on Vanitas as it was. She wouldn't be able to forgive herself if she caused him to get killed in the next battle, even if he was kind of a prick.
"Alright...you can stay out of it...but make sure nothing happens to Ven, okay?"
"Sure." Braig was willing to take any kind of mundane assignment to get out of having to fight against that psychopath Xehanort. It would be better if he was mistaken for being defeated rather than running behind the geezer's back. It was a fail-safe plan.
"Okay, Mickey, let's go...and, after this, do you know a place with alot of good food?" Aqua asked the mouse as they walked along side-by-side. Her stomach wouldn't stop rumbling. It seemed that the gluttonous effects of her Unversed had taken effect immediately; she just hoped this didn't affect her combat abilities.
"Well, on my world we have over a hundred different ice cream flavors!"
"I think I've been there before..."
"Really? Then...were you the one who ruined the Dream Festival by eating everything?"
"Err...actually, I might not have been there, after all...my mistake!"
The two keyblade wielders arrived at their destination in a matter of minutes. It was atop a large, elevated rock platform that Master Xehanort was currently in battle with Master Eraqus while possessing Terra's body. Terra's possession was a different kind from Ventus', and there was a good chance that it wouldn't be so easy to rescue him. Of course, Aqua was determined to achieve victory nonetheless. She wrapped an aero spell around herself and Mickey, and the two of them slowly floated up to the top. What they discovered awaiting them was a horrific scene.
"T-Terra! Master Eraqus!"
'Terra', with white hair and a tanned shade of skin, was facing down against Eraqus, both of them bruised and bloodied. Almost all of Eraqus' armor had been destroyed, leaving him with a glove on his wielding hand and most of the leggings. The torso had been shattered apart, revealing the full extant of the deep gash that 'Terra' had given him earlier. The front of his coat was stained in his own blood. He was breathing heavily, and having difficulties keeping himself standing straight. However, it wasn't completely one-sided. 'Terra' was covered in cuts from the master's keyblade, and his own clothes were in tatters. The darkness flowing off of his body was in a waning state. Eraqus swung his keyblade over his head in an arc, and hundreds of golden chins erupted from its tip, all of them flying at 'Terra' with intent of entrapping him.
'Terra' knocked back several of the chains with his keyblade alone, but the last three he blew away with a sweep of dark energy. He let out a raspy bout of laughter at his opponent's expense.
"Eraqus...you keep trying too hard...eventually those wounds of yours will catch up to you," he chided.
"Be quiet, you...you demon!" Eraqus shouted back.
Aqua couldn't simply stand by anymore. A beam made of light and negativity wrapped together fired from her keyblade. However, 'Terra' was already rushing at Eraqus before the attack could hit in time. He summoned all of his remaining dark power, and it twisted his body; he was no longer human, instead becoming a muscular, winged demon like nothing ever seen before. Its face was mostly teeth and spikes, and it possessed huge arms capable of crushing anything harder than the strongest metal. The demon's horns were shaped like an X over its head, most likely an addition made by Xehanort himself. Somehow it was able to support its bulky torso on a pair of stubby, yet still muscular, legs.
It was the true form of Terra's inner darkness; a demented creature that had been birthed from the deepest nightmares of its creator. Eraqus put up his guard, but it was no use. The demon's fist snapped Eraqus' keyblade in two, as well as the old man's ribs. And that wasn't all it damaged, either. More blood spewed from the Keyblade Master's lips, and finally, he collapsed.
Aqua couldn't even take the time to scream, as she needed any opportunity she could get to strike back. She pounced at the demon's back. She thrust her keyblade deep into its back, eliciting an animal-like screech from the beast. The bluenette was seriously dying for a eclair or something right then and there. The monster's constant struggling eventually succeeded in throwing her off, keyblade still in hand. The demon turned to face her. Much to Aqua's shock, it began to speak.
"You...so Vanitas failed, after all...the X-blade must have been destroyed?"
"That's right! You can't get away with it anymore, Xehanort!" Mickey exclaimed from sidelines, dragging Eraqus' body away from the battle zone.
"Hmph...pitiful little fools...Vanitas' defeat is very unfortunate to hear, but it doesn't completely stop me from obtaining my goal...although allowing you two to stay alive would be a problem..."
Aqua scowled, causing her wobbling cheeks to puff out further. She knew that letting darkness in her heart was a bad thing, but she couldn't help but hate Master Xehanort. After everything he had done to both her and the people she cared about most, he had to pay. But she also had to be careful not to kill Terra either. Even more important in her mind was getting something to eat. Her hunger was growing with every passing second; she needed to finish this quickly.
The Terra-demon growled like some kind of feral wolf. Waves of silky white hair sprouted from its skull, and its eyes flashed from red to yellow and back. The wings on its back receded, and in their place were a set of twitching, needle-shaped appendages all over its backside. Its legs also grew in size, which served to make the already towering beast to become even taller. A blood-red X arose on its pectorals, stretching out in all directions, covering the whole front side of the body.
"I'll kill you all with this wonderful darkness."
The monster dived into the ground, and immediately popped out behind Aqua. It swung a fist for the girl's head, intending to decapitate her through force. Aqua rolled forward just in time. However, it wasn't enough. One of the demon's tendrils stabbed her through the ankle while she was in mid-roll. She winced; it hurt alot worse than she would have expected. The same tendril was prepared to tear open the entire leg, but then Mickey jumped in and sliced it apart. The demon roared with its usual defiance.
"Are you alright, Aqua?" Mickey asked. He cast a cure spell on Aqua's leg; the hole was still there, but it stopped both the pain and the bleeding. Aqua gave the mouse an affirmative nod in response.
Aqua and Mickey dodged a beam of red energy fired from the beast's mouth. Again and again it shot these searing-hot lasers, but with speed and a little bit of luck the two keyblade wielders had succeeded in avoiding them all. The demon was starting to get anxious. He aimed most of his attacks at Aqua, as he figured that her morbid obesity would eventually cause her to falter soon enough. Claw swipes, punches, and more beams and energy balls of darkness seemed to all fail against the flabby female. Although his demonic form gave him great power, it had sacrificed much of his speed, even when teleportation was concerned. Every so often, he landed a hit or two, but it wasn't enough.
Once again, the demon started to transform, but this time its face took on the appearance of Master Xehanort's. It was quite a grotesque sight to see the wizened old man's head atop a monstrous, muscle-bound body. Although, in another sense, it would have probably made Aqua double over in hysterics if it hadn't been so real in front of her.
"Aqua...why do you keep resisting...you're so incredibly powerful in magic compared to Terra or Ventus...we should be working together, instead of constantly fighting like this...I can give you what you want..." he sounded as if he were speaking through a respirator. He hardly seemed human anymore; it was almost like the real Xehanort was actually dead and this was just a sick play being put on by the demonic monstrosity that had devoured his heart and soul.
"That's really pathetic, trying to win me over to your side after everything you've done..." Aqua coldly replied.
"You're making...a grave mistake..."
"No. I don't think I am."
"I will kill all of you...make no mistake about that! I will have...have...the Keyblade War! I must know... I have to know!"
"Master Xehanort...thank you for all of your training."
Aqua summoned the powers of the Unversed, and began running towards him. Xehanot suddenly realized that he had lost sight of Mickey earlier on. He looked around for him, but never behind his back, due to the difficulty of fully controlling such a heavy body. Xehanort's eyes bulged wide as he felt something long and sharp slide into his backside yet again. He peered over his broad shoulder to see Mickey glaring back at him. This was the chance Aqua needed. She thrust her own keyblade into Xehanort's chest. And then Mickey and Aqua began to unleash the light that was surging through their swords.
Xehanort's cries turned into a booming echo as the light flowed through every crevice of his darkness-fueled body. The skin was torn away from the sheer power that the pure light contained. It was destroying him from the inside. The rest of the darkness peeled away in layers, obliterating the massive demon's form and leaving behind the white-haired, tanned-skinned Terra in its place. Aqua stretched out her pudgy arms to catch him. Unfortunately, the darkness left behind seemed to have other plans. It grabbed hold of Terra's legs and started to pull him down into the depths. It was trying to take him into the realm of darkness, a place where beings of pure darkness all eventually found themselves. It was mistaking Xehanort inside of his heart for being the real Terra.
"Oh no! Terra!"
"Aqua, there's...I don't know if there's anything we can do!" Mickey cried.
Aqua looked at Terra, then at her armor, and finally at her keyblade. Her anxious expression suddenly became relaxed, and she let out a soft sigh. A grave decision had just been made, and she hardly needed a minute to think it over. It was the same as with accepting her Unversed's gift of power. She had never expected things to be as easy as she had initially hoped; returning to that peaceful life as apprentices under Master Eraqus was doomed to fail from the start. It was so disheartening. Ventus, Terra, Master Eraqus...they all suffered because of her. She let herself get controlled, turn into a fat glutton, and it was because she had been manipulated by Vanitas that her two best friends came to this world, and ended up in such pain. Master Eraqus was probably dead, and it was because she gave everyone a reason to split up instead of work together. As much as she hated to admit it, she did play a large role in causing these events to occur. So, this was most likely the best way she could think of to make it up to her beloved family.
"Mickey...please make sure Terra and Ventus get home safely, alright? And Master Eraqus too!" Aqua had grown to like the mouse during the short time that they worked together. She was convinced that he would make a great Keyblade Master someday. She wanted to say this aloud, but she didn't think of doing so at the time.
"Huh? Wait...Aqua? What do you mean?"
"Thank you for everything, Mickey."
As the last strand of Terra's hair disappeared into the void of darkness, Aqua proceeded to jump in after him.
For a few moments, Aqua couldn't breath. But as she went further in, she discovered that she could. She saw Terra a few feet below her. It was like they were slowly falling, or maybe they were sinking. All around them was complete darkness. High above there was a hole of light, but it was steadily getting smaller with each passing second. Aqua 'swam' down to the young man, and she looked over his unconscious form. Fortunately, he hadn't suffered any wounds from their attacks. He still had a chance at living. She looked at his face. There were so many things she wanted to say to him, but she didn't have the time. She didn't even know if he could hear her. Nonetheless, she spoke the words that she thought were most important.
"Terra...I'm so glad you're okay...and I'm so sorry for everything that's happened to you and Ven...I really hope you can forgive a crummy friend like me...I hope you'll continue to remember me though, anyway. And you don't have to worry; you never killed me. You saved me, Terra. Thank you so much for everything."
Aqua held her hands out in front of her, and her body began to glow. Both her keyblade and her armor vanished, and reformed themselves over Terra's body. As Aqua drifted lower, Terra was raised higher, his body being dragged back towards the light through the power of his friend's keyblade. The armor would also protect him from any sort of complications through the process of transferring between the worlds.
Aqua sighed with relief; now everything will be and Terra would be safe, Xehanort and Vanitas were defeated, and their plan to recreate the Keyblade War was halted. In the end, it was the light that was the victor. She didn't feel any regret for making this decision; if it would help her friends survive, then she was happy to make such a sacrifice.
Aqua leaned back and closed her eyes. She let the darkness swallow her whole. She finally had a chance to rest after so much strife. Lord knew that she needed it.
Braig sighed. He couldn't help but curse loudly while wandering through the empty streets of Radiant Garden. He thought back to everything that had happened in the past week since that fateful battle. It turned out that Terra didn't reemerge from the hole into darkness, and neither had Aqua. In the end, he and Mickey had to bring Ventus' body to the domain of former Keyblade Master Yen Sid. There, they learned that Ventus' heart was shattered beyond repair; he would likely never wake up again. Master Eraqus passed away from his injuries not long after arriving at his old ally's world. Braig swore again. He did feel a little bad for the keyblade wielders, but what truly upset him was Aqua's disappearance. The one-eyed sharpshooter took a flask from his waist and drank from it; it was the first batch of alcohol that he had in quite a long time.
"That damn little sneak," he grumbled under his breath, "Promising that gut, and all that gil...shit! I can't believe she got away without paying me! No one's ever pulled that shit on me before...but then again, none of my previous clients were ever swallowed up by darkness before..."
He eventually found himself at the town square. Braig stopped. There was someone lying in the middle of the square. He approached the motionless figure, and he nearly dropped his liquor bottle in shock. It was Xehanort, or rather, the boy that Xehanort had possessed. Lying beside him was the broken remains of Aqua's armor. He couldn't believe it; why did it take so long for the boy to return from the darkness, and how come he ended up on Radiant Garden of all places? Not that it mattered. Braig was afraid of waking the boy up; Xehanort had been soundly defeated, but was he really purged from the boy's heart? He still had the white-silvery hair and the skin, after all.
Suddenly, before Braig could sneak away, the boy sat up.
"Ugh...oh god, my head..."
The boy looked over to Braig, and continued rubbing the back of his head. "Who...who are you?" he asked.
"Huh? You don't...recognize me?"
"N-No...why? Should I? Who are you? Where am I?"
At that instant, an idea popped in Braig's mind. This was his chance to still get what he wanted. Yes, he had failed at obtaining both gut and gil, but there was still that little desire in the back of his mind for power...and lots of it. The boy had no memory of past events, and that meant he could manipulate him and push him into believing whatever he told him. He definitely didn't want to get on the bad side of a keyblade wielder, but now he could safely get back on Xehanort's good side without risking his own butt. He might still get his own keyblade, after all. It was better than nothing at all, anyway.
"Just calm down, kid. Your name...is Xehanort."
In the realm of darkness, it was might that made right. Only the strongest beings obtained the most food, and reigned the most control. The thousands of tiny, weak creatures that covered the lands in droves were helpless to stop them; there were treated as little more than ants to be stepped on. And, of course, there was nothing but pure chaos and disorder. There was no creature living in the world of darkness who could possibly form any sort of speech, or create an organized rule. No, it was realm of fear, death, and destruction. Only the dark creatures, the Heartless as they were later called, that reached the outside world could feel any reconciliation at escaping a horrible fate.
However, there was one being, a recently new arrival, who posed a threat to even the mighty Darksides.
Aqua didn't know how long it had been since she entered the realm of darkness. Time did not operate normally here, and neither did just about anything else that would have made common sense. It was unlike anything she had ever experienced before. And yet, she seemed to fit in well.
"Come here, you!"
She reached downward, and scooped up a tiny Heartless by its antennae. She looked it over for a few moments, and then shoved the entire little creature into her mouth. She chewed it heartily; it tasted like blueberry pie. It was in the second hour of her entrance into the dark realm that she learned that Heartless tasted like five-course meals. Each Heartless had a different taste to it, although some shared the same flavor now and then. In a bizarre twist, she had discovered a heaven of sorts for her uncontrollable hunger. Unfortunately, the Heartless contained just as many calories as the food they tasted like. Thus, Aqua became much, much fatter than before.
Finishing off the rest of the Heartless she had been eating, the obese bluenette released a belch of satisfaction. She ran her plump, sausage-thick fingers over her middlemost belly roll. Her stomach had billowed outward into a truly immense ball of flesh and blubber. With four rolls in all, Aqua's gut hung low in front of her, directly between her permanently-spread thighs. Each individual roll was as thick as a car tire, and her bottommost roll was almost half as large as her whole body. Red stretch-marks riddled the vast, pale surface. Her stomach would break out into a jiggling fit whenever she burped or farted. Gone were the days of hating her girth; she now proudly displayed her adipose and treated it with love and affection.
Aqua had gained so much weight in her abdomen that she was no longer capable of walking; she had tamed a particularly fearsome Heartless to fetch all of her 'food' for her. She constantly lounged atop a gigantic throne designed just for her. She was practically a queen of the dark realm already. Aqua did think of Terra and Ventus constantly, but she also thought about food just as much, if not a little more so. She also sometimes wondered how come she didn't feel any cold despite having no clothes to wear anymore.
And it wasn't just her belly that grew bigger. She sprouted a third chin, and her cheeks took up a majority of her face. Her arms were encased in pillowy folds of fat, making it difficult to move them, but she still had enough muscle strength to pick up and eat her many decadent morsels. Aqua's breasts, surprisingly enough, did not get much larger but they were a little less gravity-defiant than before. Aqua's legs and butt took on whatever calories were left over from her stomach; if she could close her legs, they would look like they were melding together. They were incredibly plump, but not many rolls were evident. Her humongous rear was truly a marvel to see, and many a nasty Heartless had met their end underneath it. The two, bloated, squishy spheres took up a whole chair each, so her throne was specifically sized to fit her at any weight. They jostled about like crazy without needing much of a reason ,and they were covered with dimples from top to bottom. Unfortunately, due to sitting all the time, her butt was hardly seen anymore. It was already melding with the contours of her throne. All in all, she had fattened up to weighing over 600 pounds as it was. Not that she knew this; there were no scales to be found.
"Mmm...turkey breast...roast beef...sea-salt ice cream...filet mignon..." each bite filled her mouth with a myriad of incredible flavors and tastes. For some reason, her taste-buds were heightened inside this world of darkness and madness.
Aqua moaned in ecstasy as she swallowed several Heartless at one time. She felt a little bad for thinking so, but she was almost glad she ended up in the realm of darkness. The Unversed's effects were driving her into a strong need to eat and stuff herself all the time, and there was no better place to do so; the supply of 'edibles' were just about endless. Leaning back, the bluenette belched once more. She had enjoyed this snack just like every other snack, breakfast, lunch and dinner that came before it. She decided to ask her Heartless friend to bring her something a bit larger next time; she was curious to see how a Darkball or an Invisible tasted.
She wanted to return to the light realm someday, but right now there was little she could do about it but eat...and eat...and eat...