Welcome to Kingdom Hearts: World Destiny! We are an AU Kingdom Hearts RP with no word count. World Destiny's story takes place post Dream Drop Distance, at which point we make considerable steps in our own story direction. Feel free to check out the Plot link to find out more!
All guests are welcome to drop in and say hi!
Nightfall: Chapter 2
Two years after the events of Dream Drop Distance, the Darkness became so great that it swallowed the worlds, locking them away within its merciless abyss.
Twilight Town, now covered in eternal night, stands as one of last Sanctuaries of Light. It is where players begin their journey.
Ever resourceful, the Moogles have created a safe place for refugees. They have charged the Denizens of Light with finding Castle Oblivion: it holds a key to the puzzle of the lost worlds.
But within the dark shadows of the sanctuary world a powerful dark force still looms, waiting to strike. Each survivor must choose whether to go to Castle Oblivion or stay behind to protect the world from the dragon that lurks in the shadows.
The world was dark and gloomy and watchful - just like she remembered. Something sinister stirred in the breeze, but the next moment it was still as ice; a wicked chill pierced the air, the presence of autumn and the creeping reminder of the coming winter, a tentative breath sucked in by the cautious and the watchful. Ren was watchful, all right, but she'd never been cautious; observant and careful, but she didn't bother to hold her breath when she could take it all in.
The whole world seemed like it was waiting for something; a leaf spun off a dying tree, its downward descent dizzying and slow, an aching impatience nearly tangible as Ren's eyes followed it to the ground. Everything was on edge... something could spring from a darkened corner at any moment, yet as the seconds ticked by, nothing occurred. Not yet.
As the short bristles on the back of her neck stood on edge and a delightful shiver crawled down her spine, she grinned. Nothing like the threat of a scare to get one's blood pumping. She dimly recalled the memory of this world - one when she was still young and idiotic and bold as brass, but equally terrified and unwilling to admit it. Shit, son. There were a lot more terrifying things than what went bump in the night. She was intrigued, thrilled, on a razor's edge... but fear was not a resonating emotion, not tonight, not in this land.
A hustle and bustle in the twisted town echoed in the fringes of the forest, voices calling to one another and adding to the unfocused rustling of the trees and the leaves and the bushes - despite the lack of a breeze. Ren lazed against an old, gnarled tree, with branches that spread and webbed like skeletal fingers reaching to touch the sky and the air. Though she'd come here for a reason, she felt no immediate desire to join in the ruckus of the town beyond the trees and the graveyard. What was the hurry, honestly? Languid and relaxed like a snake, her pale skin practically glowing in the dark through the tatters of her old black clothes, she scanned her surroundings, at ease in the unease. She remembered that this world was odd in its magics - her appearance had changed, not of her own volition, and she felt the small leathery black wings poking out of her shirt. Whatever, man. She thought it was neat; she looked creepy enough to fit in and scare an unsuspecting moron. The smirk crept to her face again, her slightly yellow teeth gleaming momentarily.
Yeah, all right, she'd come here to find someone - someone she only vaguely remembered, one of the sparse few that had stuck in her mind after her disconnection (and one of the few people that she remembered was still alive, which was worth noting). And it was also very true that chilling out in solitude probably wasn't going to do much for her cause. But, man, what was the fucking rush? She liked the feel of this world, and she hadn't been 'round these parts in a while; there was no problem, none at all, with soaking it in while she could. Enjoy the present. Don't give a shit about the future, and vaguely shrug off the past. Her motto, y'know?
A smoke would be a nice noxious pastime to use to dwell in this creepy atmosphere. Ren dug around for a cigarette in the pouch hanging on her belt, and her thin lips clamped around the tiny cylinder - packed with toxins - while she rummaged for a lighter, the curved talons that had replaced her nails clicking softly together in her search, the black feathers on her wrists getting slightly ruffled. But she came up empty-handed and scowled, cussing darkly around the cig. Figures. She'd forgotten to pick up a lighter in Twilight Town, and now her addiction was stabbing her in the back. Or, rather, some area in her chest, where the longing for an inhale full of smoke was almost nauseating. Ugh. Maybe she'd have to head into town sooner than she thought.
Still, she was lazy, and for the moment, she wasn't goin' anywhere.
A rustle here. A whisper there. A soft howl in the cool autumn wind.
The moon was low and big. Normally it would be a bold and comforting thing, but for its size, it did little to brighten the colors of this drab world. Even the flickering lights of the cackling lanterns scattered throughout did little to ease the eerie air.
Something along the outskirts of the town told travelers that something was watching them, just waiting to strike; an unspoken warning sent as a chill to the bones.
Being a Nobody had its drawbacks; there were certain things he was immune to: certain feelings. Certain thrills. The rumors of this town were difficult to discern, if he could at all. But its unique and peculiar beauty was unmistakable.
The sights and sounds of this place really lived up to the legend. Even if the new Moogle transportation system had turned this world into a giant tourist attraction, the core of Halloween Town remained untouched; perfect. Despite the fact he hadn't been here for awhile, it was just as authentic as he'd remembered it. And it was on his list of places to return to once he'd re-ascertained his Heart.
His hands cradled his head, pushing against the cape's fancy webbed neckpiece. Those deep jade green eyes were dulled by this world's color scheme, but they caught everything just as sharply as ever they had, taking note of the few glistening stars that hung low in the atmosphere.
A few dry leaves scraped along the ground, sent spiraling by the breeze. Occasionally, one could hear an indecipherable murmur from no one inparticular.
Just past the migrating leaves sat another occupant of the world. Bony wings sprouted from her shoulders, the last of their feathers dwindling like the last of the leaves parting from their tree.
From the back, her hair, her small frame... her identity was easy to pinpoint. He'd seen this one before, so long ago. The last time he'd been here. Was she a resident to the world? He would assume so until being proven wrong. It was apparent that she had been working herself into a fluster, scouring her belongings in search of something. And judging by the cigarette her lips had pursed themselves around, he was going to assume she needed a light.
Oh, what perfect timing.
"What have we got here?" the Vampire strode effortlessly up behind his newest plaything, leaning over her shoulder to touch the tip of her cigarette. There was no flashy use of flame, but the tip smoldered to life, and Axel smirked with satisfaction, eyes on the subject's face. "A little Birdy that's lost her wings?"
He was going to get a kick out of this scene. After so long, meeting her again. Here. And he couldn't have entered at a better time.
She heard the footsteps, moments before she heard his voice. C'mon, in a world like this, with crispy brown leaves just waiting to crinkle and rustle loudly at any given opportunity? She'd have to be effing deaf to not have some sort of audio warning before he thought he'd be daring and creep up on her. And she was, after all, very aware of anything and everything that could threaten her security. The primary goal is always to get out, and with that, stay alive.
But these footsteps weren't threatening ones, and in all reality, she'd only had a split second's notice before he was upon her. So it was all in common sense, really, that she needn't move an allow him to throw her off balance. She was in control so long as she was apathetic; it's the law of the land, especially this one, which thrived on uncontrolled emotions.
Ren smirked, sucking in a deep, smoke-filled breath. "Thanks." she said, not bothering to comment on the closeness or the unexpected arrival - in her tone, it really all sounded like they'd planned to meet there or something of the sort. "Touch of fire. Nice." Smoke spilled out of her mouth as she talked, the residual effects of smoking; for a moment, she was the caricature of a smoke-breathing dragon. The creepy wings certainly completed the look.
Speaking of wings, he'd certainly noticed them, by the stupid-ass 'Birdy' comment. Hell naw she hadn't lost her wings; did he not see their symbolism come to life on her back? It's like, he definitely had, but was choosing to ignore it or some shit. Whatever. He was trying too hard to be creepy. Ren wasn't buying any of that shit.
She puffed out another breath of noxious gas before tilting her face slightly to look at him full-on (once again failing to comment on their close proximity, but mostly because she really didn't give a flying fuck). To be honest, she definitely thought she'd recognized that voice - and now he'd gone and proved her right and yup, it was that same sleazy guy from years ago with the triangle tattoos and gravity-defying hair. Figures. It looked like he hadn't changed a goddamn bit.
"So, Spiky," she drawled. As she couldn't recall ever encountering him outside of Halloween Town, she was making a similar assumption about his status as a citizen as he had been hers moments ago (not that she knew that, mind). Spinning away slightly from the tree and his body - ever the flighty little bitch - she continued on in that lazy, condescending voice, "Why ain't ya participatin' in the festivities? They're probably in need of a, eh, whatever you are."
It was obvious he was a vampire, but the smirk that accompanied the sort-of-insulting comment was meant more for her lack of fear for the entire situation.
Also, she should probably ask for his name at some point. But whatever, man, whatever, all in due time.
The ginger was analyzing her body language, fully recognizing the toughness she was so forwardly portraying.
His arms folded quite comfortably across his chest, resting just a little beneath where the dull red ruff tucked into that fancy shirt. The harpy-girl snaked away to set her casual gaze on him, inquiry simple, sure. But the full depth of the answer was something he wasn't prepared to so flippantly give away.
My heart just wouldn't be in it, you know?
He had once told Sora exactly that. But, this was different: he had hardly known this female, and the less he told her about himself, the safer he was. But that didn't really mean he had to lie, either. For there was a nice grey area between the Light and the Darkness, the Truth and the Lie; one he had mastered well.
A slight, empty smirk twisted one side of his perfect lips, one white fang peeking so devilishly out. One hand un-weaved itself and gestured loosely toward the lively festivities yonder. "Eh, that stuff's not really my thing."
By all rights, he could've reversed the question and sprung it back on the small firecracker, perhaps coursing the conversation in a more appreciable direction. But at present, he had other things in mind. Business, as it were. "Besides, I've got an agenda to take care of." However lax he was taking his responsibilities, he still had them. And perhaps a resident of this curiously bleak and dreary town, as he'd most certainly assumed she was, could give him a few answers that could help him along his way.
Curiosity lit the ever-glistening embers in those jade eyes, color softened by the rules of the land, but the fire had never dulled. Despite her attempts to put distance between them, the young charmer had gracefully woven his way back in, and he stood slightly closer than two strangers should: at that edge between security and the broken comfort zone.
And it was in this breech, on the edge of her comfort, he would poise himself, directly in front of her legs. Lithe body seemed straight, even in the slight bend of his spine as one arm crossed, and the other contemplatively stroked his chin.
"And I'm quite sure a woman of your capacity and guile could… easily, answer a few simple questions," There was half a beat of quiet as he considered how to continue: the charmer, charming the Snake as he saw it. In the quiet there was time enough for the wind to rattle a few dry leaves. A quiet howl sounded in the distance, its origin lost in the obscurity of the horizon.
To get to the heart of what he needed to know, he'd actually have to find out about the Heartless activity in this world. But that was information that he'd dig up in time.
The sarcastic word was a sigh from her lips, fluttering out with the cigarette fumes that poured from her mouth, disguised as a puff of warm breath on a cold day. She held the cigarette between two of her fingers, with her wrist bent in a lackadaisical, apathetic way, indicating that her cig could fall to the ground any moment and she couldn't care less. She let her eyes fall shut as the last bit of smoke left her lungs. Who doesn't have one these days? Hell, I've got my own.
When Ren bothered to open her eyes again, she was not entirely surprised to see that he'd moved to her bubble again, seeing fit to grin down at her with unnerving closeness. She leered up at him, unimpressed, somehow seeming to be the taller one, though she was more than several inches shorter than him. The more condescending you are, the more height you gain. It's, like, effing the rule of snark.
Just how many people, she wondered with no small bit of disgust, fell for this shmuck? Not even just girls, oh no; she wouldn't doubt it if he was, eh, sexually fluid. (Hey, it's not like she could complain if he was. That'd make her a little bit of a hypocrite.) He was attractive, she wasn't going to deny any of that. Even if Ren wasn't easy on the eyes, well, that didn't mean she couldn't appreciate aesthetics.
But she knew a snake charmer when she saw one - being rather reptilian herself, if you catch my drift. She didn't trust him, not one bit. He was trying to seduce her - maybe not in the traditional sense, but the body language and auditory messages were all there. Maybe that was the way he just acted. Pah. Load of shit, if you asked her. (Nobody ever did, but like hell that'd keep her quiet.) He was a calculating one, or he was just stupid. Still, it's always better to assume your opponent or rival or enemy or friend or what have you is always smarter than you; planning for intelligence proves to be far less risky than trying to count on stupidity.
If he'd been counting on some broad sidling up to him and his big green eyes and cooing oh yes of course mister whatever you say, then he'd gravely miscalculated, and maybe Ren should have been counting on stupidity.
But eh, whatever. Questions are harmless until they become actual information. And maybe she'd get some information out of him.
"I'm listening," came her cool response, right on time. She didn't let in on anything she'd just thought, because that was akin to flashing your opponent your hand. Just because she didn't know what to do with it yet doesn't mean it wouldn't be a stupid move.
She met his gaze with a quirked eyebrow, but blinked freely. Staring contests were for amateurs.
Axel had always been a charmer; one that had learned quickly the art of the con man, and had perfected his act with careful, calculating precision. After all, a wise Charmer learned to study his prey. And this prey was cold: strong, but most likely at the cost of her emotions. The two were not exactly friends, but nor were they complete strangers.
He couldn't help thinking that, since their last meeting, she'd only grown blacker on the inside. Her demeanor was drier, starker than he'd recalled. Colder, somehow. His curiosity sparked with wonder about what could've happened during their time apart that would've turned her heart to stone. Hearts were unpredictable and peculiar, but somehow wonderful things... Did she even still have one?
Perhaps she'd become some strand of advanced Heartless, and he'd been wasting his breath the whole time? Heartless weren't as fun to amuse. Yanking a Somebody's strings... now that's where the fun was!
But what did a Nobody really know of fun? When he finally ascertained that Heart he'd been after for so long, he would know just how different Nobodies and Somebodies were. Until then, the line would remain much like his race: in a fog of mysterious grey. The line between the black and the white: certainly uncertain.
Well, whatever she was, she was playing with caution into his hand. Perhaps she had planned to bite him, but the risk of getting some answers was good enough for him. Truth be told, he hadn't really come here planning to ask questions. But an opportunity was an opportunity; he'd roll the dice.
The Flurry's sharp stare had softened, gaze fixed on the cunning wild snake with a certain manner of calculated calmness: he didn't want to intimidate her. Axel was fully aware of the dangers of a cornered python, and it was with such respect and caution that he'd proceed.
Yes, he was a suave Charmer, but the tranquility he seemed to exude was a farce: the type that was strung up simply because danger could strike with its fangs at any given moment. This was was like the eggshell walk between the charmer and the snake, each knowing the other could grant peace or just as easily do them harm. It was true, the Snake could bite his calf at any moment, and he could just as easily smite the Snake's head under heel.
Danger, or peace? What would be the end result between them? He would bear peace for as long as it was echoed back to him. "Well for starters, certainly a cunning and stalwart woman like yourself might have no trouble divulging what sort of Heartless activity she's seen in Halloween Town lately."
Hahahaha. Intimidated? By this schmuck? Not hardly. She would've scoffed, had the thought been voiced aloud.
Still, Ren knew an intelligent guy when she saw one. She looked up at him, her expression still as apathetic as ever, and also remembered that the most intelligent people frequented double lives as irredeemable dumbasses. She could see it in the shift of his stance and in his eyes; he thought she was going to perhaps lash out at him, and he was prepared for such. Seriously. What sort of idiot did he think she was?
She had no quarrel with this guy. She just generally hated people. She'd bite if she was trod on, not just because the other dude existed. She wasn't that loose of a cannon. Besides, they had history! (Sort of.) They'd both met here before, and she had reason to believe he might be from here.
She also wasn't an object easily charmed. While her expression remained... well... expressionless, there was a certain unyielding edge to her eyes. While her physical stance was flirty, her eyes, again, remained uninviting. He was objectifying her, wasn't he? Commodifying her, huh? Making her out to be some sort of tamable animal instead of a human being, an equal? Gods.
Okay, so, maybe he wasn't doing all that. She wasn't a fucking mind reader, after all. But she'd seen his type before; he thought he was playing with fire, and he thought he was going to rein her in before she tried anything. Two things: she wasn't going to try anything, and she wouldn't be reined in. Plain and simple.
"Lay off the compliments, wouldja?" Ren paused to take another long draw on her cigarette - it was close to burning out, might as well use it while she could. As it turned out, from the question, he was not from here - and he was also tied up with World Politics (full capitalization required), what with his inquiry about the Heartless. She clucked her tongue softly, condescendingly. "You're not impressin' anybody, Spiky."
Gods, what a dick. What the hell's his problem? Whatever. She wasn't bothered enough to voice it aloud. (Besides, as much as she might gripe, she sorta liked him. As an... interesting acquaintance.)
"Me bein' stalwart" - she tutted, louder, with a heavily pronounced sneer - "has got shit to do with the fact that I don't live here, so I couldn't tell ya 'bout any Heartless activity."
She wasn't telling him where she actually lived (which, come to think of it, was nowhere) so there was no harm in saying that she didn't live in this creepy place. That made two of them, two strangers that had met twice in the same place. Coincidence? Maybe. Fate? Who fucking cares.
She exhaled the last of the smoke and dropped her cigarette in a lofty, lazy sort of way. She crushed the stub beneath her boot heel in a sort of deliberate movement that could either be seen as pragmatic, badass, or arrogant - or all three.
Her acerbic cussing was washing over his ears like bits of gritty molten acid a little harsher every wave. Truth be told, he wouldn't have to stick around for very long, just long enough to deplete the answers he needed from her before so majestically moving on.
Playing tough are we? Of course she would. He had expected nothing less, even if he'd slightly miscalculated the extent of her ba-dassery. She had the blank stare that said she had grown tougher right since the get-go. Even if she was as sly as a snake, she had reminded him more of a chihuahua that had looked in the mirror and seen a pitpull, than of an actual pitbull herself. A snake, sure. But one that flared up its frill to look bigger than it was...
-Green eyes traced her small stature-
...well, bigger than she was metaphorically speaking anyway.
His suave approach was doing him few favors. It was time to change tactics. He backed up a little, weaving so effortlessly back out of her personal bubble; it was so like him to dance on the edge: that ever-elusive carrot at the end of the string. Perhaps he thought of himself with a tad bit of fondness, truth be told. But when he looked as good as he did, who wouldn't?
"Tell ya what. I'll make you a deal," his gloved hands gestured toward her; they were dramatic movements, but at the same time, obviously built into his style. "I'll stop complimenting you just as soon as you..." for a second he broke back into her personal bubble as he leaned toward her, almost tapping her nose. ..."Stop cussing."
She had all the makings of a Pirate... in addition to creepy, fancy wings and claws. Perhaps she liked to barter. Well, he hadn't much left to yank her chain with; if there were no traces of Lea, he would probably just bass through the world, give it a once-over for quality assurance, and continue on his way.
He'd have to get back to Kairi soon; his report had been finished, and there was much still to be done.
But if he played it right, he'd still have plenty of time to yank this bad girl's chain.
He wanted her to stop swearing. Ha. Hahahahaha. Oh my gods. That was like asking the sun to stop coming up, like asking the wind to stop moving, like asking an alcoholic to stop thinking about drinking, like asking... okay, she was out of metaphors (or whatever, she'd never been good at all that poetic jank), but the point was across, wasn't it?
Ren grinned up at Spiky, who was smirking right back down at her in a way that was decidedly arrogant. He really thought he was all that, didn't he? Naw, man, he didn't know where it was at - she was all that, and it was about time he was straightened out.
"Listen, tiger," she said - sarcasm practically smearing her words and the outrageously condescending nickname - "I'd lay off the swears, but y'know, old habits die hard, and I can't be bothered." While speaking, she absentmindedly reached for a cigarette, though continued to stare up at him squarely in the eyes with that aggravating smirk on her face. "But once you hit the road, well, what I say ain't gonna bother you no more."
It was a none-too-subtle jibe that, in layman's terms, said clearly, get the hell out of here. Familiar though he was, he was obnoxious, and she was done with him.
... Or so she thought.
A sudden movement in her peripheral vision made everything seem to move in slow motion; the movement was twitchy, weird, and definitely hostile. Instead of reaching for a cigarette, her hand immediately went to her pistol and, without a second thought, she turned her head to the side, lifted her arm in that direction and fired at the black shape of darkness without moving from her intimate position with the redhead. An unearthly howl fell out of the creature's mouth, and a bulbous yellow eye twitched and fell shut as the bullet soared through it.
It was a shadow, and it was huge. It'd only been growing out of the ground, quietly, by the time Ren caught sight of it; if Spiky here hadn't been distracting her, she'd've seen it sooner, she was certain. Its head was completely out, and soon the rest of its body followed; it was quite a few feet taller than the pirate, towering at the height of the middle branches of the strange woods' trees. Its entire body was black, except for those eyes; it was like an inflated Shadow or Neoshadow.
It was a Heartless, and it had sensed her heart and the redhead's. (Or, that's what she assumed, anyways, considering she didn't know that her partner was a Nobody.)
"Looks like we've got company."
Ren grinned, a grim, mirthless grin, and reloaded her pistol. It fully emerged and stood there, twitching, as it got its bearings - but it would be on them before long, the huge insect, with its jaws and spider breath ready to snatch up some defenseless hearts. (Wait, spiders were arachnids, not insects. Oh wait again, who even cares??)
She wasn't much one for boss battles, but on this occasion, she might not have much of a choice.
You know what they say, Hell hath no Fury like a woman scorned. But that knowledge had hardly deterred him. Oh how he wanted to strike a fire in this girl! Why? What was it about her? Why did he think it would be so amusing to create friction with her?
It wasn't so much about hoping to accomplish something as much as it was what had him baited on their first meeting: feminine charm she was different. She had an unbreakable air about her; one that just begged to be figured out. Not necessarily broken, just... hacked.
And then, the shadows began to stir.
Axel grunted, watching the thing rise up. The pretty little mockingbird was the first to take up arms, but her shot hardly caused the creature to falter. This gigantic Shadow was going to take some work. "Ah man. Just when I thought I was going to be able to kick back and enjoy myself," he put up his hands in the signature pose as his wheel-weapons sparked, whirred and spun to life. Black, white and silver tendrils spiraled around his arms with the summoning spell, and faded away as his Chakrams took form.
His gaze analyzed the opposing force, then settled into a hardened expression. Whisps of anger had sprouted into his voice. "...and on my day off, too!"
And with that, the Nobody engaged his foe, charging head-first into battle. One weapon, then the other spun with wavering accuracy toward their target, ready to carve this thing away strike by strike.
He attacked, moved with the speed of light to his next location, and attacked again. The speed at which he disappeared and returned had become his second nature, but were most impressive, giving off the illusion that he could practically teleport wherever it was he needed to appear.
The succession of his attacks would whittle away at this creature's health, and by continuously moving, not only was he difficult to lock on to but he was also hoping to keep it distracted.
Yet, despite his impressive show, it seemed the Heartless had taken no interest in him, and it lashed with sharp, abysmal claws directly for the Sky Pirate, its attention obviously favoring her.
Move, you idiot! Axel's teeth gritted together as he awaited the girl's reaction: either the dodge or the hit would come next.
Spiky was fast; he was a dash of red against the hulking black beast, no doubt doing his best to damage the monster. She was fast, but not nearly like that; her abilities lay in the realm of dancing around foes, swiping the clothes off their backs (and other things besides), and darting away. Still, she had a bit of fight in her yet.
Ren grinned, one of her incisors showing, and popped in another bullet. The creature had paused momentarily when her earlier bullet tore through its eye, but after a moment, the bulbous thing opened up again, as though there had been no damage. "Is that how it's gonna be, bad boy?" she muttered, finishing loading her pistol and swiftly cocking it and firing again. A howl was ripped from its body, and it swiped; there were a few little gnats buzzing around it, a bright red one and a black one from far away, and it was getting enraged. Great, just what I need.
While her fighting style was typically up close and personal, this boss battle called for some other tactics. Besides, she usually dealt with swathes of the little guys before bolting; she wasn't made for heavy firepower against the king of the baddies. She figured she'd let the redhead take the close range in this one, while she stayed far away...
If I even stay that long. She quietly smirked to herself. I don't owe him nothin'.
She dove and roll as its huge claw came crashing down on the ground where she'd been standing moments before, hiding behind another one of those scraggly trees. She curled herself into a tight ball as she reloaded again before springing to her feet, back up against the bark, eyeing her target from around the back before sticking out her arm and firing again. The Heartless was being worn down, she noted, from the combined blows of Spiky's quickness and the heavy shots being fired in its direction - though it was no less angry. An unearthly roar cut through the chilled air, raising the hairs on Ren's arms and the back of her neck. Guess it's time to cut and run.
She paused to reload one last time, continuing to utilize her hiding spot to its full extent. She was certain she'd blinded the creature by now, so there was no need to move - not yet. And since its fist hadn't come crashing down on her, she assumed it hadn't seen her. It was just as well; she was about to duck out of this fight.
It's too bad she poked her head around at just exactly the wrong time.
A huge black claw plummeted down from the sky, and while Ren had enough fight-or-flight instincts to kick in before she was squashed like a bug, the needle-sharp claws tore through her clothes and gashed up her side pretty good. Thinking quickly - locking up the searing pain in one corner of her mind, her vision becoming white-hot with concentration despite the blood soaking her shirt - Ren rolled again, seeking refuge behind another thicker tree. There she sat, holding her side, grimacing. So much for the coward's way out.
She still had fight in her though, so she pulled herself into a crouch position, took quick aim, and fired again at the beast. He was definitely weakened at this point, but she was going to avoid moving as much as possible; instead, she sat herself down again, all but pinning her back to the tree, fumbling to reload her gun and ignoring the pain as best as she could. Dammit. She'd gotten sloppy, and the wound felt suspiciously deep.
"Hurry it up, Spiky," she spit out under her breath, her muscles tensed, as if preparing for a jump off a precipice.
The monstrosity swiped at the small female. He grimaced as she scurried away, a stream of red dropping to the ground in her absence. It was highly likely she would be rendered useless for the remainder of the fight. The flames that washed over both Chakrams exploded with an extra burst of energy, and he tossed them, one after the other, directly at the Mega Shadow. Between the two of them, the Heartless had taken a rather good beating in only a handful of short seconds.
The creature reeled forward at the hit, and turned toward him, antennae twitching. Finally it turned to look at him!
It's about time! Another shot fired from behind Ren's tree, but he hadn't expected that much more out of her; from his point of view, the slash she had the misfortune of sustaining looked nasty.
With a solid stance, the Flurry embraced his returning weapons one after the other. "Looks like it's just you and me now," Axel's feet shifted slightly as he stared coldly at his foe. It was one of those wild, daring stares that just screamed bring it!. The Nobody could sense this monster's impending demise, and that sense was made manifest with his dashing, fearless smirk.
The huge heartless slowly strode toward him, and Axel bolted forward - "Get a load of THIS!" - and blinked away, appearing a second later to flank the beast. One Chakram dove along the ground, plunging into the Heartless like a missile, right on his target. His second wheel-weapon was planted firmly in his hand, and he swept upward along its indecipherable jaw.
And there was pain.
Axel let out a growl of anger at the sudden pang of hurt, but he had to keep it together... had to finish what he'd started before getting distracted by his wound.
Lithe as he was, the Nobody used his momentum to gracefully spring off the Mega Shadow's chest. White and red Chakrams drawn up across his chest as he focussed his last assault, and then the Nobody hurled both with weapons with force directly at his target, unleashing a storm of damage and Fire.
For a moment, a wall of flame blanketed the vicinity. When it began to dissipate in the wind, the Nobody had already landed.
As Axel straightened up, his hand swept the center of his chest in an arrogant, upward motion similar to how one might dust off their pants when standing up. "You can come out now," just how badly had she gotten injured, anyway? With fingers crossed, it wouldn't be as bad as it looked.
The Nobody caught his breath as he waited for a response. He could feel a gentle wind pushing at his back. The invisible force carried autumn leaves in the passing breeze, and the last of the flames from his finishing move dwindled and faded away.