They’d finally made it into the castle. Well, they’d made it onto the grounds before, but never actually inside, to be more specific.
But now here they were, walking around inside the spacious entry hall.
“Where is everyone?” Isa wondered.
“Who cares~?” Lea laughed, hopping back down from the steps. “We made it in!”
Isa chuckled softly at his friend’s antics, but quickly grew serious again. “Well, yes, we did - and don’t get me wrong, I’m just as proud of it as you are. But…where are those two guards? They’re always here."
Lea shrugged. "Other business to take care of?”
“Like what, Lea?”
Lea frowned. “Wait, yeah. Good point…” He tapped his chin with a finger. “Wanna go look for ‘em?”
Isa blinked at his friend, before laughing. “You’re saying we should go look for the men who are sure to kick us out as soon as they see us?” He asked.
“Yeah, so?” Lea challenged. “It’s a mystery! Don’t tell me you’re not interested.”
“I am, in fact.” Isa shook his head, smiling. “I was just making sure you were all in, silly.”
“When am I ever not?!”
“True.” Isa walked past Lea up the stairs, stopping on the second floor landing before turning to face the other boy. “You coming?”
“Do you have to ask?” Lea called, before running after him.
The boys had searched the castle - in fact, it felt like they’d searched the entire castle - but hadn’t found a single person. The only clue they had was a door, ajar and leading down into the basement levels.
So, of course, they took it. Lea in the lead, the two boys headed down into the winding hallways of the lower floors.
“This strikes me as a very ill-advised plan, Lea.” Isa said after a while.
“Yeah? How come?” Lea stopped, turning to face his friend. “I thought you were enjoying this?”
Isa smiled, but it didn’t reach his eyes this time. “I don’t know. I’m getting a bad feeling about this, Lea. It’s…” He sighed. “It’s nothing. I just don’t think wandering around the basement of a seemingly-empty castle seems like the brightest of ideas.”
Lea laughed softly, leaning over and giving Isa a light kiss on the cheek. “We’ll be fine, dumbass. We’re not going to get eaten or attacked by a hideous mutant monster - that only happens in movies.” He said teasingly. “Aren’t I supposed to be the irrational one?”
“Oooh, look at you using big words.” Isa teased back, pushing Lea’s face away gently. “You’re right, though. I’m just being paranoid.” He smiled, worry seemingly gone, and the two continued on.
A few minutes later, they turned a corner and found themselves in one final, long corridor, ending in another open door.
The boys exchanged looks, and crept down the hall to the door and peeked in. The office they were looking into was a wreck - books tossed everywhere off the shelves, and the chair tipped over. Isa’s eyes widened, and he tugged on Lea’s arms. “Lea. Look.” He whispered, pointing.
Lea’s eyes followed Isa’s finger, and widened to match as he saw what was being pointed at - a secret passage, the entry gaping wide as yellow walls gave way to steel and pipes and wires.
Lea turned to gape at Isa, gesturing wildly but unable to get words out. Isa smiled slightly and flicked the redhead’s forehead. Before either of them could speak, though, a series of crashes and yells emanated from the dark passageway.
Exchanging panicked looks, the two boys darted across the office and into the hall, turning the corners until they stood on a balcony overlooking a huge room…filled with monsters. A sea of creatures, dark-colored and golden-eyed.
Isa turned to glare at Lea. “No monsters, you said.” He hissed.
“How was I supposed to know?” Lea snapped softly. Another crash cut him off, and they ran the rest of the balcony’s length to peek in the door in front of them.
They stifled twin gasps at the sight before them. The two guards were lying on the floor alongside a third - weapons next to them, meaning they’d been fighting - as well as two figures in lab coats, a blond and a little boy.
Lea’s eyes widened in shock, recognizing the little boy as Ienzo, the mute boy that would play with the other kids in town sometimes. He glanced from him to the other figures, all still and quiet - he didn’t know if they were unconscious or dead - before looking up at the culprit.
The dark-skinned guy. The one that had showed up in town a couple months earlier. He was standing over the prone group, holding some kind of weird sword. Lea let out a growl of anger, and before Isa could stop him, he leaped at the man.
“You bastard, what the hell did you do to these guys!?” He yelled, charging at the man. He didn’t move, seemingly unaware he was being attacked. But just before Lea’s fist connected, his hand snapped up to catch it, casually twisting his arm to the side with a snap and tossing him into the wall.
Lea let out a cry of pain as he hit the wall, slumping against it and clutching his broken arm. Without flinching, the man walked over to him, raising the weird sword over his head.
Before he could bring it down on Lea, Isa tore across the room, tackling the man to the floor. “STAY AWAY FROM HIM!!” He roared, eyes alight with anger.
The man’s expression finally changed, a small smirk crossing his face. “So quick to protect him, I see.” He noted softly.
“Of course I am!” Isa snapped, still in a crouch and green eyes still filled with rage. “He’s my best friend - like HELL I’m letting you touch him!”
The man’s smirk returned. “Oh, but who said I had to touch him to wound him?” He said softly. “You both are strong of spirit…I could use you as well.” The last words were spoken to himself, but he raised a hand, index finger out, and pointed it at Lea.
Lea’s eyes widened. “Wai- Wha-” He gasped, still dazed from hitting the wall.
Both boys gasped as the man’s hand began to glow with swirling black and deep red light, and several things happened at once.
A dark energy seemed to fire from the man’s hand as he drew an X in the air, and Isa threw himself at Lea as if to protect him from the blast.
The room filled with light, and the first one to recover was the man. He clicked his tongue softly, as if disappointed. “A shame. I liked the red-haired one’s fire. But you’ll do, I suppose. I’ll always have time to mark him later.” He mused quietly.
Meanwhile, Lea was frozen in horror, face splattered with red.
“I…Isa…?” He asked softly, nudging the still body on top of him. A moan made him relax slightly, but only slightly. “….A-Are you…okay…?” He whispered.
“L…ea.” Isa managed after a second, lifting his head to meet Lea’s eyes, face covered in blood. “R…un.”
“And leave you behind…? Never.” Lea said firmly, wrapping his arms around Isa and glaring up at the man. “I’m staying with him to the end, asshole. So if you’re gonna kill us, you better do a good job. Because if he dies and I doesn’t, I’ll kill you.”
The man laughed. “Oh, I don’t plan to kill you, boy.” He said, raising his blade. “But rest assured. You’ll be going together.”
Lea closed his eyes, pulling Isa closer. “Don’t worry.” He told the other boy. “I’ll stick with you to the end, Isa.”
Isa glanced up at him one last time. “….Obnoxious.” He mumbled, before closing his eyes as well.
“Immortal.” Lea whispered back, before the man brought the weapon down, claiming both their hearts at once.
#1. Isa isn’t one to change his facial expressions much. But he reveals a lot through his tone of voice, and his eyes. But only someone who’s been with him for so long can read these minute changes when they happen. Someone like Lea.
#2. One certain tone of voice Lea will forever be afraid of is Isa’s voice when he’s tracking him down for whatever misdeed Lea might have done (especially when it’s summer, and there’s less than a week left to their break, but a tower of homework left undone). It’s strange how Isa’s merely saying his name, but his tone adds a deathly ring to it. A tone so sharp, it could kill Lea through eight lifetimes.
#3. This same tone is what made Axel run away immediately (though he was midway apologizing to Sora about Kairi) when he heard Saix call his name in Hollow Bastion. (I can’t find the gifset of the specific scene anymore, but I’m referring to the scene between the gifs in this gifset.)
In relation to that, back when they were still kids, Lea would normally run away when he hears this tone from Isa, too.
#4. Saix’ Berserk mode reminds Axel of how scary Isa was whenever Lea tried to skip on his homework, or whenever Lea fell asleep while Isa tutored him.
(#4.5 Isa tutors Lea, not that Lea’s stupid. He’s just a lazybum. lol Lea’s mom asked Isa to do it. Isa had wanted a reason to boss Lea around for a long time already, so he immediately accepted it. Besides, Lea’s mom’s blueberry cupcakes were to die for. /completelyrandomheadcanon)
#5. Saix’ Berserk mode and how he wants power from the moon (beside from obvious reasons: Kingdom Hearts) originated from late night sessions with Lea, wherein Isa had to be mad the whole night just to keep Lea up, so that Lea wouldn’t fail their test the following day. He’d been calling on the power of the moon ever since.