Series: Kingdom Hearts (CoM)
Warning(s): violence, run-on sentences, references to The Black Cauldron and Wicked.
Summary: Let his flesh not be torn, let his blood leave no stain.
Status: Drabble / Complete
This was not intended to be a combat mission. There was to be no fighting at all, no physical contact between the inhabitants and themselves in any way. They were simply sent here to observe and collect information, nothing more.
Zexion repeats that over and over to himself as he runs through the dank corridors of the castle. The air is muggy and stale and it makes it so much harder to breathe even though he's gasping for air. But he can't stop, can't stop because they're right behind him, clanking and clattering like all skeletons do.
If only they had intercepted, interfered before the Cauldron was used. They'd considered it and debated it, but in the end, they'd decided to remain in the shadows and watch. It had been a grievous error on their part.
He rounds a corner, clutching the Lexicon to his chest. It's weighing him down, but he can't spare the concentration to dismiss it. He's focusing solely on deceiving the creatures, trying to trap them in their minds so that he can escape. Of course, it's difficult to manipulate something that doesn't have a brain or a conscience or anything of the sort. Bones, bones, nothing but bones and mouldering armor and cobwebs.
He lost track of Lexaeus long ago. They'd been separated when the undead army had risen, when the hero and his princess had tried to escape. He doesn't know if those two made it. He doesn't know if Lexaeus made it.
And even though he shouldn't be diverting his attention, he can't stop himself from clutching the book just a little bit closer as he begins the spell he'd read in the Lexicon years ago, "Eleka nahmen nahmen, ah turn ah turn eleka nahmen," and his voice is anything but melodic because his breaths are whistling in and out of him, rasping, "Eleka nahmen nahmen, ah turn ah turn eleka-,"
But he coughs and splutters and then there's a crooked axe slashing across his back because they've caught up with him. He screams and almost falls and tries to keep running but a spear pierces his leg and that's it because he crashes to the ground and they're on him, flails and swords and knives and whips tearing into him as he writhes and shrieks and he watches his obsidian blood flow over the stone in black rivers and all he can do is cling to the book in his arms. The smell of decay is everywhere, clouding his senses and that's almost as bad as the pain because it makes his head hurt. At some point he attempts to fight back, drawing his focus, his energy, and trying to find something to target but then a spiked mace rips through his stomach and he returns to screaming.
The noise of breaking bones suddenly fills the air like a rock slide. A monolithic weapon crashes through the mass of skeletal creatures above him, shattering them and flinging them in every direction. Their blades are torn from his skin and he gasps in pain, curling himself around the stained book. And even though he's in agony, he can't help but smirk ever so slightly.
A moment later and nothing but a fine powder remains of the skeletons, having been crushed by the enormous tomahawk. Then Lexaeus is kneeling down beside him and slipping immense hands under him, enveloping him in massive arms and holding him gently against a gigantic chest. The movement hurts but he doesn't complain, remaining relaxed and compliant in the other's grasp. Those large fingers gloss over his torn and shredded skin with immaculate care, cataloguing each wound and leaving a reassuring touch when warranted, just enough to make him shift somewhat restlessly against the man's strong frame.
Lexaeus speaks and his voice is the low rumble of an earthquake. "I was close to being decapitated, but for some reason, the soldiers were prevented from carrying out the task, and I was able to escape," he murmurs, and he sounds both calm and relieved, albeit curious, "What did you do?"
And Zexion simply looks at him wickedly and says, "I protected you."