Isa was unfamiliar with the feeling of a heart. It was a sad realization to come to, that he had been suffering so long, so separated from what made him feel, that he’d forgotten entirely the warm weight in his chest. It had taken him by surprised the first time he’d run since regaining his human body. His heart pounded on in his chest, a quick, staccato rhythm that settled into a steady drumbeat. It had alarmed him the first time. He’d worried he’d some condition, but had been quickly comforted by the girl to know that was normal now. He was normal now.
Well, not exactly.
He still struggled daily to atone, he’d done unspeakable things, most of which had assisted Xehanort. The keyblade’s chosen told him he’d not been himself, that as a nobody, he’d not been in total control of his actions. Isa appreciated the boy’s optimism, even though it hadn’t been entirely true. He’d done what he’d done partially of his own volition, driven by his desire to find that which he had now. A heart.
Isa reflected on this as he sat in the corner of Yen Sid’s office. As welcoming as the younger wielders had been, the others had not been so eager to bring him into the fold. He spent his days here under supervision from the Master Yen Sid. The man was kind, though stern, and frankly Isa felt rather comfortable with him around. Now that he could stretch his mind back beyond his first day in the organization, he would say Yen Sid reminded him of his father, a scholar in charge of the royal libraries in Radiant Garden. When he was trusted again, Isa planned to visit the old man. According to Lea, he was still alive and had been worrying for him since his disappearance years ago.
The good fairies were kind as well, though Isa saw less of them now that they could travel more freely to their own world. In fact, Isa only noticed them when a new member was added to the ranks of the Chosen’s, which was why he was curious as to who would be coming today, as he’d seen them flitting about earlier in the day.
Isa didn’t have to wait long before he got his answer, although before that, a particular bloodhound he’d grown close to bounded through the door and into his lap, licking at his face, eliciting a chuckle from Isa which he’d been assured was another normal reaction to something like that. Not long after Pluto’s entrance did another follow, the twang of his sitar floating into the room before he did.
Or well, whatever he was called these days.
He wasn’t actually new to this group, Isa knew. Lea had gone so far as to warn him about the music-loving blonde being a package deal with joining the wielders. Truthfully, it had hurt Isa greatly to think he needed to be warned. He and Demyx had certainly had their differences in the past, but Isa hoped it was clear he had changed enough to show he could more than tolerate him. Apparently not then, not to Lea….
But now….here he was, standing before him, looking more confident, more content than he’d ever seen him, and, much to Isa’s shock, there was a genuine smile on his face when he spoke.
“Isa! I’m happy you’re alright!”
The increase in heart rate and the itch of his eyeballs was normal, he’d been assured by Yen Sid, who had been here when he’d experienced this phenomena before, when Isa had gotten the news his father was alive. Of course, Isa remembered what crying was in theory - but it had been so odd to experience that it still startled him..
“You okay?” He heard Demyx’s voice and it broke him out of his thoughts. “I know…” he murmured, his voice softer, closer. “It’s hard getting used to things...I remember what it felt like when my heart came back to me.” His words of encouragement only served to upset him more.
“I…” he began, his voice sounded like a ghost’s. A weak, pained whisper. He choked on his words. “I was-“
“Not yourself. I know they-“
“No!” The words came now, loudly, startlingly so. “I was myself,” he whispered, hating how strained it sounded. “I hated you. I blamed you for every problem, despite the cause. I was cruel to you.” he stared up at Demyx from where he sat, noting how far above Demyx was than him now. “How can you smile at me like that?!” He had more to say, but his heart felt as though it were being squeezed, distracting him from more talk, though it did give Demyx a moment to cut in.
“It wasn’t easy,” Demyx answer truthfully, lifting a hand to rub the side of his neck. “But I guess in the end anyone who was forced to work with Xehanort would’ve been a grump, too,” he teased, grinning at the blue-haired man before him. “So I decided not to worry about it...and I thought about a world where maybe we could be friends, and so-?” he laughed and shrugged his shoulders. “Here we are.”
Isa opened his mouth to speak, but stopped when he felt arms squeezing him tightly around his shoulders as Demyx knelt to hug him.
“And I’m glad you’re here with us now.”