Ever since the final battle with Xehanort, Sora had taken to visiting the Land of Departure frequently.
If anyone asked him, it was because he wanted to see how Terra, Aqua, and Ventus were recovering from the ordeals they had all gone through. And while that was true, he might have left out the fact that there was one more person he wanted to see.
Vanitas had fascinated Sora ever since he had first appeared, very shortly after Ven's heart had been returned to him. Ven and Aqua had both been sure that he was going to fight them, but instead he retreated without a word. Sora wondered about the boy with his face, but didn't see him again until the battle against Xehanort. He wasn't sure exactly what side the dark Keyblade wielder was on. He hated the Guardians of Light, and made it very clear and even crossed blades with a few of them, but he seemed to hate Xehanort more, and even struck down one of the thirteen.
After the battle, Ventus had prevented him from running off again. "We need to keep an eye on him so he can't cause any trouble," Aqua had explained. Sure, Vanitas had helped, sort of, but he was in no way a "good" guy. While the others had discussed what to do with him, Sora moved away from the others to try and talk with his look alike. Vanitas, however, refused to even look at him.
In the end, it was decided that Vanitas would go with Terra, Aqua, and Ventus to the Land of Departure. They were most familiar with him, and were best suited to keep an eye on him, and when everyone had parted ways they took Vanitas with them.
Of course, that hadn't stopped Sora from being curious about him. Ven understood, thankfully. Like Sora, he wanted to get to know his own lookalike more. Unlike Vanitas, however, Roxas wasn't quite as reluctant to befriend Ventus, and despite a few bumps along the way, the two actually got along really well. But Vanitas… Well, Ventus made it a point to tell Sora not to get his hopes up. Vanitas was a being of pure darkness who had been Xehanort's pawn for a few years before he and Ventus had forged the X-blade. Friendship wasn't exactly in his nature. On top of that, he was technically a prisoner in the Land of Departure, which Ventus said definitely wasn't helping with his mood (though he was given free reign of the castle grounds; Aqua and Yen Sid had devised a spell that prevented the use of Dark Corridors so that he would not be able to escape on his own).
Still, Sora was persistent, and with several visits and a little help from Ven, he learned to figure out where most of Vanitas' favorite haunts were around the castle. One of these, surprisingly, happened to be the kitchen.
The first time Sora found him there, Vanitas did not notice him right away, completely engrossed in whatever it was he was doing. So when Sora greeted him with a loud "Hey, Vanitas," he swore loudly and nearly dropped the knife he had been holding.
Thankfully, he managed to regain his hold on the knife without injuring himself. Taking a deep breath through his nose, he turned to fix a golden-eyed glare on his blue-eyed lookalike. "Sora you idiot," he hissed. "What the hell are you doing here?!"
Sora smiled sheepishly and rubbed the back of his neck. "Sorry. I was just wondering where you were."
"Now you know," said Vanitas, turning back to the food he'd been preparing. "Now get out."
"But I just got here," said Sora, frowning. Vanitas opened his mouth to speak, but Sora cut him off before he could tell him to leave again. "I didn't know you could cook."
Vanitas glared at him for a moment. "There's a lot you don't know, Sora."
"Is it fun?"
Vanitas' glare softened to a scowl (Sora counted this as a small victory) and he paused in his work before speaking. "It gives me something to do. There's only so much a creature of the dark can do as a prisoner in this tiny place."
"Do the others know you can cook?"
"Who do you think does all the cooking around here?" Vanitas asked. "Terra lives off of instant food that doesn't require any work at all. Aqua can't cook for shit, no matter what she tries to make. And Ventus has lived such a pathetically sheltered life that he hasn't even needed to make his own food once!"
"Oh." Sora watched as Vanitas finished with the vegetables he'd been working with and set the knife in the sink before moving grabbing what looked like a weirdly proportioned pair of scissors, a separate knife, and a whole raw chicken. "What are those scissors for?"
"These," Vanitas said while lifting the scissors in the air for Sora to see, "are called 'kitchen shears,' and they're very useful for breaking down poultry. I don't need them right now though, but it's good to have them available for when I do." He picked up the knife and laid the chicken out on a fresh cutting board with the skin taught, but stopped before doing anything else. "Sora," he said with a small smirk. "Are you squeamish at all?"
Sora raised an eyebrow at the strange question, but shrugged. "It really depends, I guess. I'm okay with blood, and I've had my fair share of injuries, but I actually haven't had to deal with broken bones or anything like that." He frowned. "Why do you ask?"
"Oh, no reason," said Vanitas. He made an incision in the skin of the chicken close to the leg before setting the knife down. Sora watched curiously as Vanitas grabbed the chicken's leg and twisted it away from the body until a sickening POP was heard. Sora flinched at the noise, and Vanitas chuckled at his reaction. "Sorry, that was just me disconnecting the joint from the socket here. Look, you can see the bone sticking out right here. Hey, are you feeling okay, Sora? You don't look too good."
Sora quickly shook his head to clear it. "I-I'm fine," he said, quickly plastering a smile on his face. "Actually, you know, Riku and Kairi are probably waiting for me back at the Islands, so I should go."
"Yeah, sure." Vanitas snickered as Sora backed out of the kitchen. "If you can't handle seeing how meat actually makes it onto the plate, you might as well go."
"R-Right," said Sora, his face flushed bright red. He knew that the chicken had to be cut apart before it could be eaten. He just hadn't expected it to be so… gruesome. "Uh… See you."
Maybe he had left the kitchen a little too fast, because Vanitas began laughing behind him. Still, he thought, he actually seemed happy back there. And if teasing Sora while cooking was what it took to make Vanitas smile… Well, he'd just have to come back more often.