*waves* Apologies, I wasn't online last night. I got ill. *begs for forgiveness*
Thanks for all you guys said ^.^ Hehe, making things tense worked! =3
Sorry about the cliffy, Wolf. <3
Wow, thanks Oathy! =O Tis rather flattering!
Kya. Put Loki back. *glares* Sable might come out and eat you. Hehe, thank you <3
Kairi stood perfectly still, eyes closed tightly as she tried not to inflame the situation further. She withheld a whimper, but it manifested itself into a fearful quiver, trembling through her entire body. It seemed the seconds were dragging on, Sora’s footsteps a resonant, constant pulse in the back of her head. From the sound of it, he was the only one moving; the others obviously fixed to their respective spots. She hoped, and prayed that he would reach her soon, for her fear was building with each moment that scraped past.
“Stop!” Ikawa suddenly shouted, prompting a jump from Kairi. Opening her blue eyes, she saw Ikawa, holding out a firm arm to where she assumed Sora had come to a quick halt. Her bleary eyes widened as she heard his following words. “Don’t touch him, Sora. Don’t go near him, I mean it.” The intense scowl on his face was like nothing she’d ever seen, the serious tone in his voice threatening whoever was on the receiving end of this glare. His gaze was then thrown to the figure behind her. She desperately wanted to look, but did not dare move from her spot.
She felt a shiver surge cold down her spine as the caress of fingers ran over her nape.
“Who is this, Ikawa?” she heard Sora’s voice cry out, along with the familiar sounds of the Keyblade. Her heart pounded as she prayed for him to do something. Her blue eyes gazed at Ikawa, whose glare continued to be fixed upon someone - or even, something - over her shoulder.
She tried not to panic as she heard a small, yet sinister laugh from behind. Instinctively, she hunched up her shoulders, drawing her arms closer to her chest. Thankfully, the touch upon her neck had left - for now.
“Aren’t you gonna stop him?!” Sora roared in desperation.
From the sound of his voice, this situation seemed more dire than ever before. Kairi peeked with one eye, trembling as she looked desperately at Ikawa. With each second, it was becoming more likely that her suspicions were true. There was no way Ikawa could have been on their side if he did nothing to stop whoever was behind her. She assumed it was a member - after all, there were no other choices. Her lips curled into a slight frown, but was overwhelmed by her fear. She hoped that they would not fall prey to some sort of trap - after all, she could not help feeling that this had all been planned. Ikawa had seemed all too happy to let them wander the strange room. And now, this had happened.
“I told ya, don’t move,” Ikawa hissed, eyes not moving from their spot. He slightly advanced towards Kairi, appearing somewhat tremulous. “Just leave her alone, Ivy. She’s not the one yer here for.”
“True,” the voice replied. His tone seemed refined, and cultured, unlike Ikawa’s comparatively terse, and coarse language. Kairi shuddered as the touch moved to her cheek. His fingers were cold, and hard, his touch sending quivers of fear to the pit of her stomach. “But what is to stop me taking her, too?” Kairi tried to hold another cry in her chest as he whirled her around by her shoulders, but it escaped in a mournful whimper.
Feeling his hands tightly grasping her shoulders, she kept her eyes tightly closed, but even having them shut could not stop her tears escaping. They trickled down her cheeks as she stood there, drawing away from him as much as she could. Her lips shook as she bit her tongue.
“Don’t touch her!” Sora threatened, his voice reverberating in the cavernous room. Kairi could tell that he was close, but not close enough to do anything. “Just leave her alone! Ikawa’s right, I’m the one you’re here for.”
“I am aware of that,” the voice replied, arrogant. “And if you would merely listen, you would have heard that there is nothing to stop me taking the girl, too.” He muttered to himself. “Incompetent fool.” His attention then turned to Kairi. “Why, what is the matter?”
Kairi did not respond, could not even bring herself to open her eyes. She felt a burst of fear in her chest as she felt his fingers drying the tears from her cheeks.
“Don’t cry,” he purred alluringly, cupping her face in his hands. Kairi shuddered; but not as much as Sora. He quivered with anger to see this.
Kairi trembled as she took a peek at him. Surprisingly, he appeared to be her own age, with a young, handsome face. He flashed an educated - but sinister - smile, his vivid eyes slowly wandering over her tear-stained face to meet her red eyes. From what she could tell from the few seconds she saw him, he appeared to be of a slender build, standing tall, without a shirt.
“I’m not just gonna stand here,” Sora murmured to himself, readying himself to attack while the man was preoccupied. He grasped the Keyblade with both hands, before lunging forward with raging footsteps. “Hold on, Kairi!”
He was about to strike, when he felt a heavy blow send him crashing to the ground from the side. He skidded on the wooden floor, before collapsing into a crumpled heap; strangely, with a large weight on top of himself. Not wasting a second - despite the pain - he did his best to fight off this new foe.
“I told ya, don’t move!” a familiar voice repeated once more. Sora opened his eyes to see Ikawa’s green glare facing back.
“What are you doing?!” Sora asked, frantically trying to throw the man off as he ignored the pain. “I can’t let that guy take Kairi, I have to do something! Stop getting in the way!” Ikawa shook his head, eyes full of a worried alarm.
“Sora, that is Ivy,” he whispered. His words were fast; they could not waste time. “One wrong move, and he’ll kill her.” Sora’s eyes widened as he rose from the ground. “No-one has ever survived his poison.” Ikawa got to his feet, glaring as Ivy glanced over his shoulder at the two. It was clear now whose side Ikawa was on; still Sora’s, despite his earlier - misunderstood - words.
Ivy smirked slightly as he watched them. His sleek, white hair glimmered purple as it became caught in the flickering light, shining with a lilac sheen as the long locks swayed with movement. He glared back at Ikawa with vivid, purple, green-flecked eyes, his incredibly long, white eyelashes fluttering gently at them.
“What are you doing?” he smiled at their apparent ineptness. With a single sweep of his arm, he curled Kairi closer to himself, so that she unwillingly stood at his side. He eyed Sora as he trembled with rage - yet, managing to hold it inside with his characteristic angelic patience. “Now, then. I suppose we should get down to business.” His unusually long, clawed fingers ran through Kairi’s red hair, and he seemed to be loving every second. “Not before I introduce myself, of course.” He bowed to them, giving a malicious smirk. “I am Ivy.”
“Stop it,” Sora growled, heart aching as he saw the terrified look in Kairi’s eyes. It pained him to stand there while she was in his grasp. “Just leave her alone.”
“He’s right,” Ikawa commented, taking a slow step closer to Ivy and Kairi. It was clear that this situation was fragile. “Listen, Ivy. I’m willin’ to make ya a deal.” Ivy smiled, eyes wandering Kairi’s face again. His grip released around her shoulder, but grabbed her hand in an instant. He rubbed her hand gently with his fingers. If Kairi did not know better, she would have assumed he was trying to comfort her.
“Go on,” he smiled vindictively, eyes alight with a cruel joy. “I am listening.”
Sora looked the man up and down as he spoke with Ikawa. His white hair tumbled right down his back, his slender - yet toned - body tattooed with a giant creeping vine; poison ivy. He wore no shoes, clawed toes poking out from the light, linen trousers that he wore.
“If you release Kairi,” Ikawa started, standing tall, “ya can have me. Do your worst. Take me back to Loki. Whatever ya want. Just don’t hurt her.” He seemed courageous, refusing to back down. Ivy purred a laugh as he looked down to Kairi. She did not look back, trembling as her eyes remained fixed at the ground.
“That is all I must do?” he smiled, rubbing his chiselled features with his free hand. “That sounds far too easy, my friend. Perhaps I could tweak this bargain slightly.” Ikawa frowned deeply, anticipating Ivy‘s venomous words.
“That’s crazy,” Sora whispered, so that Ikawa could hear. “We want Kairi back, but we don’t want to lose you in return!” Ikawa shook his head, giving a cocky smile.
“Don’t worry, Sora,” he grinned, looking back over his shoulder to reassure the man. “I know what he’s gonna say now. I’ll be okay.”
“Perhaps I could tempt you with a duel,” Ivy smirked, eyes narrowing into dark, swirling slits. “A fight to the death. If I win, I get the girl. And Sora. If you win, then, naturally, you may keep them.” Ikawa gave a smug nod, knowing that Ivy would have offered this.
“You got it,” he replied, sending a quiver of fear through Sora’s being. It was not that he doubted Ikawa, but more the fear of what might happen. If they lost Ikawa, not only would they be losing a friend; but they would be at a serious disadvantage within this labyrinth of a place. Sora was not sure he could stand by while the man fought to his death, and made a promise to himself - the very moment it looked like Ikawa was in trouble, he would step in.
Ivy gave a nod, and turned to Kairi. He lifted her dainty hand, kissing it with a courteous smile. She winced at his touch. Sora narrowed his eyes. The sooner he could fight Ivy, the better. No-one would touch Kairi and get away with it.
“This will not take long,” Ivy purred to her, standing upright. “I shall be back for you. And then, we shall talk.” He released his grip. Kairi tremulously made a start towards Sora, but her fear held her back slightly. Her movement was slow, at first, but noticing Ivy’s advance towards Ikawa, she ran to Sora’s side.
She felt a wave of relief wash over herself as she found Sora’s arms, burying herself as close to him as she could possibly get. Sora gladly wrapped his arms around her, running his hands over her crimson hair.
“Sorry I didn’t come after you,” he whispered, nuzzling his face into her neck. “We need to be careful around Ivy. Ikawa says he has lethal poison.” Kairi’s eyes widened as she absorbed the information. This didn’t sound good at all.
Ivy paced backwards slightly, giving himself more space. This room was huge; there was plenty of room for them to duel. Ikawa followed, and the others spread out, ominously anticipating the combat. Ikawa followed, a determined frown forming upon his face.
Not a moment passed, before Ivy lunged at him. Ikawa deftly dodged the onslaught, leaning back before throwing his weight forward in a single, well-aimed punch. His fist hit its target - pain swelling through Ivy’s face as the strike hit his cheek. Ikawa gave a cocky smile, standing a short distance back while Ivy recovered.
Undeterred, Ivy scowled, leaping forward, throwing himself down so that he landed on a single hand - before gracefully springing on it, towards Ikawa with an incredible force. As he moved through the air, he turned slightly, hurling his foot against Ikawa’s neck. Ikawa was strong, but Ivy was quick, and agile. His slender frame was a much more difficult target than Ikawa’s hulking form.
“Wow,” Sora whispered, eyes widening as he watched the acrobatics of this man. Fighting him seemed a daunting task - he could not believe Ikawa had chosen to do such a thing. He did not anticipate having to duel with Ivy himself - wincing as he watched Ikawa cry out in pain.
Ikawa, naturally, was thrown to the ground with the force, his neck pulsing with agony as the pain shattered through him. But he could not lie there to recover - Ivy came at him again, fists clenched as he readied another attack. Ikawa somehow summoned the strength to roll out of the way, dodging Ivy’s furious swipes. Quick-thinking, he swung his legs around, sending Ivy to the ground with an echoing thud. He did not waste a moment, pummelling Ivy’s face with everything that he had, prompting cries of frustration and agony.
Ivy struggled slightly, but his frantic swipes were getting him nowhere. With a particularly powerful punch, he was thrown back, so that he lay flat on the ground. He groaned in pain, but suddenly recognised this as his chance as Ikawa rose to his feet, looming tall over his crumpled body. Without hesitation, he placed his palms back over his shoulders - launching himself from the ground, feet first to meet Ikawa’s chest.
Winded, Ikawa stumbled back, his weighty body swaying from side to side as he clutched at his chest. Casting his eyes forward in a wince, he saw Ivy running again - and knew that this time, there was no defending himself. He closed his eyes, bracing himself for a nasty blow. Again, Ivy’s foot met Ikawa’s cheek - his clawed, razor-sharp toes leaving trails of blood down his skin.
“Argh!” Ikawa shouted, being flung back to strike the wall, pain shattering through his entire body. He fell forward, down onto his hands and knees, breathing heavily.
“Thank god,” he thought to himself, seeing a spot of blood drip down to the wooden floor, “that was his foot. I’d have been dead if that were his hands.”
Smearing the blood across his face with his hand, he struggled to his feet, his brow dripping with beads of sweat. He was becoming more exhausted with each movement - the pain pulsated through him now, the adrenaline unable to numb his body from such agony. He quivered slightly as he stood, but made every effort to hide this, not wanting to appear disadvantaged. Ivy laughed loudly, placing his clawed hands at his hips.
“It was unwise of you to accept my challenge,” he smiled, staying at the same spot. “Perhaps you should not have been so arrogant, Ikawa. You know you cannot beat me in battle.” Ikawa grunted, shaking his head.
“Shut up,” he growled angrily, refusing to let this man get the better of him. “Of course I can beat ya. This is just gettin’ started, Ivy. Ya haven’t even used any poison yet.”
“‘Yet’, being the operative word,” Ivy purred, grooming his sleek, white locks. He then cast his eyes to his clawed fingers, admiring their deadly points with a smile. “Of course, I could get around to using it, seeing as you have shown such a keen interest in being my next victim.”
Ikawa’s growl grew into a roar as he ran at Ivy, footsteps thundering towards him with incredible force. However, Ivy did not move from his spot - a confident line of action - and, as Ikawa was about to strike, he threw a fist forward. Ikawa fell back, body slamming against the ground.
Ivy smirked, looking down on Ikawa’s exhausted frame from above.
“So, Ikawa,” he smiled, “I never did ask why you betrayed us so.” He leaned down to look Ikawa in the eyes, feigning a wobbling lip. “It hurts so badly to see you against your own kind.”
“Ask Loki,” Ikawa grunted, shifting a shoulder as he prepared to throw a punch. He could not just lie there while Ivy loomed above him. It would be all over if he did not act. About to throw his fist, Ivy dropped to his side, holding his arms down to the floor. Now, Ikawa did not dare move. One move, and Ivy’s poison would be put to quick, lethal use - instead of using magic, his venom coursed through his veins, ready to flow through his clawed fingers.
“Continue,” Ivy growled, almost demanding an answer - and, quickly. Ikawa was only too kind to oblige, fearful of what Ivy might do.
“I failed a single mission,” Ikawa went on, beads of sweat running down his face, green eyes blazing with intensity - and, silent fear. “Loki decided to kick my ass for it. Badly. Why should I continue to serve someone that’s gonna beat me up if I set a foot outta line?” Ivy smirked, suddenly releasing his grip on Ikawa’s arms as he rose to his feet. He gave a superior smirk.
“You are just weak,” Ivy insisted, looking down with smouldering eyes. “We have all bore the brunt of his anger at some point or another. But we know it shall be worth it in the long run.” It seemed the man was entirely brainwashed. “Ikawa, you know what is promised for us. We are part of Loki’s plans, and shall be rewarded for all we have suffered, and endured in our efforts against the light.” He lifted his gaze, and scowled at Sora. “We will vanquish the light, believe me, Sora.”
“You’re wrong,” Sora shouted. “We’ll stop you!” Ivy smirked, placing his foot on Ikawa’s chest to stop his writhing.
“I’m sure you will,” he purred sarcastically. “I cannot wait to see Loki get his hands on you.” He eyed Sora’s body. “So frail. Without your Keyblade, you are a pitiless, worthless man. You are weak.” He laughed loudly, his cackle reverberating through the room. “And Loki shall crush you with his bare hands. You do know that he could break your neck with a twist of his arm?” Sora ignored these idle threats, believing in himself.
“He won’t get the chance!” he protested, standing forward. “I told you, we’re gonna stop him! We won’t let him get away with his plans!”
“I see,” Ivy purred sourly. He raised an eyebrow, as if to question Sora’s dedication to his cause. Ivy did not believe that Sora would win, not for a moment. “We will know soon enough, once I have won.”
“I won’t let you win!” Ikawa shouted at the top of his lungs. Suddenly, he felt a burst of strength. His anger had built with Ivy’s every word, and he was tired of the man’s blind arrogance. With a roar, he jumped to his feet, sending Ivy to the ground.
“So be it,” Ivy growled, looking up at Ikawa. “It is over, Ikawa.” There was to be no more dawdling. Ivy would have his way.
In an instant, he was back at his feet. Ikawa threw a few punches, but could not manage to land a hit. Ivy threw a punch at Ikawa’s face, sending him back slightly - before grasping his neck with a tight grip.
Ikawa struggled wildly, but, in his heart, he knew that there was no escaping his fate now. His feet scrambled frantically against the wooden floor, his green eyes narrowed with frustration as he found Ivy’s smirk, and his wild eyes.
“Perhaps you should have re-thought your alliance,” Ivy purred vindictively, tightening his crushing grip further and further. “This could have been avoided. You could have stood at our side as we ruled the universe.” He narrowed his eyes with a cruel smile, taking much delight from his writhing, and his agonised cries. “I suppose this was not to be.”
His grip became as tight as possible, and Ikawa gave a shout as he felt Ivy’s claws digging deeper, piercing his skin. That was it - and he was dropped to the ground like a lifeless rag doll. He could feel warm blood running down his skin, along with a strange, tingling sensation that began in his neck, running down towards each corner of his increasingly frail body.
“Don’t worry. Your death will be slow and painful. But you have an eternity of rest ahead, Ikawa.”
Hope you guys don’t kill me for this >.>; *cowers under blanket*
Sorry this was so late, but I think it’s the best chapter I’ve written in a long time -.-; I’ve been kinda iffy with the others, seeing as I had to write those in between studying and such. This took about two hours.