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The last thing Sora expected when he woke up was to see his Kingstagram blowing up. Well, actually, he was used to it, but usually it was messages from multiple people, not just Roxas.

@roxas: hey

@roxas: hey sora

@roxas: hey sora there’s a problem

@roxas: hey sora remember that guy vanitas? looked like you but if you made every possible bad life decision?

@roxas: well, he’s kind of maybe not as dead as we might have thought

That was never good to hear in the morning. Everything had been peaceful since the battle against Xehanort, and though it had been a while since any of them had seen each other, Sora still talked with Roxas and Ventus when they had time (meaning when any of their families left them alone for long enough so as to not be interrupted.) Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, Sora dialed Roxas’ number. He answered after the second ring.

“It’s about time you answered me. I’ve been chasing this idiot around for three hours!” Sora sighed. Roxas knows there’s a time zone difference between Destiny Island and Twilight Town.

“You know there’s a time zone difference between Destiny Islands and Twilight Town! Anyways, is it that bad? Why can’t we just call Ventus?” Vanitas was his problem, after all.

“Do you want to be the one to interrupt his family vacation with his parents? Friends? Whatever Terra and Aqua are? They deserve the family time after what happened.”

Sora had to admit he had a point. “Okay, well what’s the damage? Are Lea and Xion there?”

“Tuesdays are Lea and Isa’s therapy days, you know this! Xion’s been helping me track him around town but he’s slippery. She thought that with three of us it would be easier, and we could take care of it without worrying Ventus. Besides, we got him once before, it shouldn’t be that hard to do it again.”

“Roxas, you weren’t even there last time.”

“Okay, but still! The less people know about this, the better. So will you please come take care of this before he decides to commit arson or something?” His annoyance showed through the phone; he must have been at it for a while.

It wasn’t like Sora had any plans today. “I’ll be there as quick as possible,” he said, hanging up.

“As quick as possible” turned out to be fifteen minutes. After landing on the outskirts of Twilight Town, Sora set out to find Roxas. This wasn’t a particularly difficult task considering the boy was running around like his head was cut off. “Xion’s got him in the woods by the old mansion. He’s stopped running and has been there for about five minutes. It’s like he’s waiting for something.”

This was concerning. The only thing worse than Vanitas on his own was Vanitas with backup. “Come on then, let’s go!” And the two boys set off.

Vanitas was indeed in the forest. He had parked himself on a fallen tree and was looking around as if expecting someone. Xion was watching him from behind a tree when the boys arrived. “So you guys chased him around town until you got here and then he just stopped? Just like that?” Sora asked. None of them noticed Vanitas’ head perk up at the statement.

“Yeah, he’s just been sitting here like he’s waiting for someone to show up. Roxas went to find you while I watched him,” Xion explained.

The would-be fugitive hunters froze at the sound of their bounty. “It’s about time you showed up. I’ve got beef with you.” He stood up off the log, Void Gear in hand. “I am so much more than you know. I am your downfall!” With that, he charged towards the three young keyblade wielders. The three of them. With just himself on his side. Sora, Xion, and Roxas could really tell he didn’t think this through. In a matter of minutes, they had him on the ground, keyblade thrown aside. Sora held Kingdom Key to Vanitas’ throat in a threatening gesture.

“Vanitas! Why did you come back? You’ve already died twice and last time you were so excited about it,” said Sora.

“Let’s just say I had some unfinished business with someone. A few someones, actually.” Vanitas looked at each of the three assembled before him. “You,” he locked eyes with Sora, “you killed me. That makes it personal.” Hus eyes shifted to Roxas. “You look just like my lesser half. Even have the same righteous attitude.” And then to Xion. “And you... I just can’t stand goody-two-shoes.”

“That’s all rich coming from the guy who shouldn’t even be here.” Xion had had it. No one insults her friends. “You’re just mad ‘cause you don’t have friends who’ll back you up.”

“Oh please, spare me the power of friendship speech. If you aren’t going to finish me off then hurry up and die so I can win.” Vanitas had also had it, but his version of done was different than hers. “I don’t even know how I came back. I guess you all just missed me so much,” he said with a smirk.

“I missed you like I miss being in the Organization! Sora, hurry up and kill this clown!” This one came from Roxas, who was also quickly losing his patience.

“Guys, wait! Killing him is what he wants!” As much as Sora had a point, the alternative was letting him go, which was easily the worst possible option.

“Hey shortstack, have you maybe considered that I want to be dead?” The drop in patience was reaching Vanitas. “I don’t want to be here as much as you don’t want me here. So off me or I’ll do. It. My. Self,” Vanitas said through gritted teeth. Sora started, never had he met someone so adamant about dying. His hesitation must have shown, as Vanitas sighed. “Fine then, have it your way.” With that he grabbed the end of the Kingdom Key and impaled himself on it. Sorra reeled back in shock, as did Roxas and Xion, but it was too late. Black tendrils of smoke began to rise off of Vanitas.

“Vanitas, why do you want to die so much? You have just as much a right to live as anyone else here, so why do you insist on throwing it away?” The idea that someone could choose not to cherish life was hard for Sora to grasp, all of the other enemies he had fought wished to keep their own life, no matter how they thought of others.

“I guess that’s just who I am. Tell my lesser half I said ‘hi’.” And with that, Vanitas was gone, as quickly as he had arrived. The decision was unanimously made to not tell Ventus, seeing as no one wanted to be the one to interrupt his family vacation. In fact, the decision was unanimously made not to tell anyone, seeing as Vanitas’ return could have just been some kind of cosmic fluke, a joke played on the three whose lives were tied together in ways Vanitas could never truly understand.