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Roxas's dreams had always looked weird. Granted, he didn't know what dreams were supposed to look like, but he was pretty sure this wasn't it. They weren't supposed to be hazy and fuzzy and all but indecipherable while still being infinitely more vibrant than the waking world. He couldn't quite explain it, but everything just seemed more alive in his dreams. Every time he dreamed of that boy, the world looked different in a way that made his head hurt. And then, when he woke up in the morning, with everything back to the sharp clean lines and comfortably familiar dullness of Castle Oblivion, his chest ached like someone was squeezing something inside him. He'd brought it up to Axel, who'd only laughed and teased him about sweets right before bed if he thought he was having dreams, so he didn't mention it again. 

 

It wasn't until he was in the Twilight Town simulation that he found out what it was. DiZ was a bastard, and Roxas hated him with every fiber of his being, but he did a good job of making up Roxas's fake childhood. Now Roxas remembered sitting in class while his teacher showed slide after slide of pictures that all looked the same and the excited chattering of the kids who could see the distinctive that apparently existed. He remembered nodding off in class instead of reading poetry that fruitlessly tried explaining how the world changed when they met their Other. He remembered his mother sitting him down and telling him about how one day he'd get to see in color, too. He remembered late nights with Hayner as they talked about who they hoped would be the person to bring the color to their worlds. He remembered soulmates. 

 

If he'd been given a chance to think about it, he would have assumed that the reason he saw in color in his dreams was because whoever he was dreaming about had already found their soulmate, like maybe that girl he also dreamt about. Or maybe he had met his soulmate in passing and somehow it was just subconsciously registering in his dream. He never would have imagined that dream sharing was part of his soulmate story because that's just not how soulmates worked in the slightest. He was pretty sure dream sharing wasn't a typical part of any aspect of life, but it absolutely wasn't with soulmates. 

 

And then DiZ had to ruin it all. He insisted that Roxas didn't have a heart, and without one he'd never have a soulmate. He didn't specifically say the last part, but Roxas, now armed with all his memories from the Organization, kind of connected the dots. He wasn't sure how he managed to be heartbroken without a heart to break, but he couldn't ignore the pain from the void where his non-existent heart should be at the thought of never meeting his Other. And so, he resorted to the one emotion that he'd felt most strongly since the beginning and the one he always knew he could hide behind when nothing else worked. He smashed the computer and he tried to smash DiZ even after learning he was nothing but data. 

 

As he was about to turn on his heel for another attack, the giant lotus-looking thing behind him opened up. And he, like a moth to a flame, was drawn to it. He couldn't imagine who this Sora could be that he was so much more important that Roxas had to die, and he wanted to see the boy who ruined his life. He knew there was nothing he could do to save himself from this fate, but he wanted to snow the face he would be hating for the rest of time. And he would. He'd will every last scrap of whatever he had left together, just enough for him to keep on hating for as long as possible.

 

Brown, his mind supplied helpfully upon finally seeing Sora properly for the first time. He's very brown. He's got red shorts on. 

 

Later, he'd marvel at the irony of finally seeing in color with his own two eyes in a room that was solid white, but it was perfect. Of course Sora would be the one beacon of color in the void. Roxas's world had narrowed down to one point and that point was very colorful indeed. 

 

My eyes are blue, Roxas thought, blinking at his reflection in one of the petals. He reached out a hand, but the fingers curled in on themselves before they could touch. He wondered if Sora's eyes were blue too, and if they were the same blue. He had a feeling that even if they were identical, they'd still be different. He desperately wanted to find out. He turned back to Sora and took what felt like the first proper breath in his admittedly short life.

 

"Sora," he said, testing out the way the name felt in his mouth. It was as natural as his own. But that couldn't hide the bitterness and sadness of his next words. "You're lucky. It looks like my summer vacation is over."