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"Braig?  Braig..."

Braig turned over, wrapping himself further into his sheets, stirred by the soft voice coming out of the darkness. He was half convinced that he was dreaming, and half convinced he was hallucinating, but either way he wasn't ready to wake up. Sleep was too comfortable when he had just dealt with one long day of balancing impossible chemical equations. Chemistry was the worst, made even more so by how damned good at it Even was, or maybe because of that way he gloated when he had the answers and knew that Braig did not.  For the fact alone that he hadn't tried to strangle the prissy bastard even once, Braig had earned this sleep.

But the voice would not shut up, and he blinked up into the darkness, staring vacantly at the drywall there.  

"Hm..?  Heh?  What is it, Dilan?"

A small face came into view, tanned and framed by white locks of hair that didn't quite fall into place. Golden eyes blinked down at him, confused, filling Braig's vision where the ceiling just had been.
"You're not Dilan..."  He muttered, softly, reaching with a sheet-tangled hand to poke a soft cheek.  

Xehanort merely blinked, again, as Braig's fingers touched him and confirmed his presence.  "Braig..."

"Whoa...hold on."
The older apprentice sat up, suddenly, finally realizing his situation.  "What are you doing here?"
No one was allowed in to his domain, except maybe Dilan, when the two of them were studying or copying notes.  Dilan was the only one Braig could trust to not care if the place was messy while they worked, especially if the two of them were going to keep pace with Even or Ienzo.  But beyond that, Braig's room was his alone. This was the first time that the newest member of the castle had tried anything so daring, and Braig was left completely stunned.

The young man looked away, uncertain, seeming to shrink before Braig's demand.  He had that almost-frightened look in his eye, like one who had walked into a murky den and suddenly came face-to-face with its inhabitant.  But there was a firm resolve, there, too, behind that fear, plus that ever-present curiosity Xehanort showed during the day.  He had come in here for a reason, Braig knew.
"I....well..."
Then maybe, he mused, if he wanted to coax out the secret, he ought to lend a helping hand.

And so Braig grinned, and reached out once more, ruffling the kid's hair.  "Hey, go ahead.  It can't be that embarrassing. And I won't laugh, either way."

Xehanort seemed to relax, greatly, stiff posture sighing into something that didn't make him look as if he were about to flee.  "It's just that...I had a bad dream."

Well, that was unexpected.  Although, when Braig tried to run through his head what other reasons the new apprentice might have for sneaking into anyone's room in the middle of the night, it made the most sense.  Xehanort wasn't really -that- young...he was almost fifteen, if Master Ansem gauged it right.  But given that he had been found barely over a year ago, and had no prior memories of his life before coming to the castle, no one quite knew what that put his mental age around. His insatiable drive to learn mimicked that of a child, while the leaps his mind made in the classroom rivaled those of a fully researched scientist.  At least, that had been Elaeus's first assessment.
Still, that same 'scientist' was here now, standing by his bed, complaining about bad dreams.  

"Alright.  So tell me about it."

The young man stiffened, and his golden eyes flashed, for just a moment, in the almost-dark. "It wasn't pleasant, Braig..."  

"Bad dreams usually aren't."

"If I say it out loud, that...almost makes it real."  
The quiet words became lost in the vast expanse of air, barely whispered to begin with.  Xehanort shivered, and his small hands tightened on Braig's bedsheets where they had been placed not long before.  "I don't want this to be real."

Braig leaned back against his wall, running fingers through his hair while he watched the kid breath in, and out again, shallowly.  Afraid.
"That bad, huh?"
After a moment, he sighed, and patted the spot next to him on the bed.  
"Alright, alright.  Come up here."
Xehanort wasn't really that young, but then again, neither was Braig.  In fact,he was getting kind of old. Enough to make his gesture feel a little weird.  He was nearly twenty, himself, inviting a teenager into bed with him.  Fifteen and Twenty.
Then again, that wasn't so much difference...was it?
Xehanort certainly didn't seem to mind, as Braig watched the young man crawl up next to him.  This was the last thing he expected to be doing tonight, and it was absolutely ridiculous.  He would be laying next to the brain of a genius, the body of a teenager, and the mental development of a five-year-old.  Well, maybe not that young...
"You can stay with me, tonight, if you think it will help.  I can't promise anything, but...I know for a fact that bad dreams aren't allowed inside my room.  So if one tries to get in here..."
He leaned off the wall, offering a blanket to Xehanort and going to lay down.
"It'll have to get through me."

Xehanort blinked, again, perplexed in a way that reminded Braig of androids in those shows that Dilan watched.  Seeing everything...gathering information...processing it...but not necessarily coming to the right conclusion. Xehanort was just not on the same page as everybody else was.  It was almost frightening, and kind of cool, at the same time.  
The young man accepted the blanket, nonetheless.
"Have you ever had a bad dream, Braig?"

"Heh.  Doesn't everyone?"
It was a little awkward, suddenly, trying to get comfortable with another body in the bed.  His normal position wouldn't work at all, not without putting his arm over Xehanort's chest, and that would put the awkwardness to an extreme.
Except, oddly enough, Xehanort was taking that arm, almost as if he could read Braig's mind, and putting it around him, snuggling up next to the older apprentice as if he had done the same thing every day of his known life.  It happened so smoothly, Braig barely even had time to register what was going on before there was a small warm body closely pressed against him, tucked in where it seemed to feel safe.

"Do they? What were yours about, Braig?"

Still stunned, Braig barely managed to get his bearings back in time to make any reply at all.
"Are...are you sure you want to hear that right now? So soon after you had one?"

The ivory mass of hair in front of him nodded, and snuggled deeper in.
"Because you said you'll keep away the nightmares.  I trust you."

"There's gonna be sharks..."

"What's a shark, Braig?"

The older apprentice laughed, and pulled the blankets up around them with his free arm, going along with the strange turn of events in the only way he knew how--by accepting them.  This was like having a little brother...and Braig liked that.  His family hadn't been small, but he still had been the youngest.  After his brothers had grown and gone out to sea, it was just him playing on the beach, alone.  
"I'll tell you all about it, since those dreams are silly to me, now.  But who knows...by the time you're my age...maybe yours will seem silly to you, too.  And then, we can remember tonight, and laugh about them, together.  Does that sound good?"

Xehanort sighed, contentedly, and nodded.
"Only we shouldn't laugh, Braig.  Even years from now."  His voice turned suddenly grave, as he shivered, one last time.  "The Darkness doesn't like to be laughed at."

Braig puzzled over that one for hours, even long after the small form nestled next to him had gone to sleep.
Maybe, in the years to come, he'd understand.
Maybe, like so many other things Xehanort had started to talk about...he never would.

~~~~~~~


Braig woke, the next night, sitting up in bed, his neck hairs standing straight on end.
Something had just roused him, and unpleasantly, but despite all of his trying, he couldn't quite remember what it was.  Vague remnants of dreams flittered through his mind, but they were jumbled and incomprehensible--nothing more than the memories from the day being sorted out inside his head, and definitely not the reason he had been disturbed.

The sound came again, however, and Braig identified it immediately as the one that had awoken him.  It was a dull thump, like that of a corpse being dropped, echoing against the wall and sending chills across his spine.  The noise reverberated through his room until it faded into nothing, leaving all as still as it had been.  Nothing was out of place.  No outside reactions of any kind could be heard to give proof to the eerie disruption.  There was just the silence, and the night.

But when it hit again, through the wall just to his left, Braig leapt out of bed with a new sort of worry.  That was Dilan's room, behind that wall.  Dilan's bed was on the other side of it.  If the noise was coming from in there, then something was wrong with Dilan.

Grabbing his slippers Braig hopped, one foot at a time, to his door, sliding them on one-handed as he went.  He wasn't as smart as Even, as observant as Ienzo, as strong as Elaeus, or as insightful as Xehanort. For that matter, he wasn't just as generally capable as Dilan seemed to be.  But he was fast, and he was stealthy, and those were the sorts of things one needed when sneaking around at night.  Braig was out his door without making a noise, and down the hall before the thud could sound again.  Dilan always locked his rooms before he slept, but he kept a spare key outside on the floor beside them, in the little niche where the ancient carpeting had started to come up.  No one else had seen him put it there, but, then again, there had never been a need to break into Dilan's room.

But even when he stepped carefully inside the doorway, nothing seemed particularly amiss.  He closed the door behind him, waiting for his eyes to compensate for the new darkness. Although both of them rarely shut their windows, Braig's curtain's were always drawn, letting in the light and warmth and life from the outside world.  Dilan's had always left his closed, though, letting in only the wind.  It ruffled the draperies softly, now, throwing splashes of light and darkness on the walls and making restless spirits out of dresser drawers.  Even Braig had half a mind to flee from the creepy twilight:  Dilan's room felt like an abandoned tomb.

And then the noise was back, causing Braig to jump.  On the bed, a dark mass had shuddered, up against the wall, and now lay still.  Logic would say that any Dilan-shaped lump on Dilan's bed would have to be Dilan, tossing and turning underneath his sheets, but Braig still approached as cautiously as any guy would when dealing with the strange unknown.  With a gulp, he reached out towards it, aiming for what he could only hope was Dilan's shoulder...

Except, suddenly, a hand shot out from underneath the blankets, and caught the young man by the wrist.  Braig yelped, in surprise, only to find another hand clamping down across his mouth to silence him.  Faster than he was aware of, he had been pulled up onto the bed and shoved face down into the pillows, his arm twisted up behind his back.
"MPHRphm!"
What was meant to come out as 'it's me!' was sorely garbled, and Braig winced, feeling his muscles strain in unexpected ways.

But when he didn't struggle further, finally he felt the grip relax, and heard a heavy sigh.  Dilan flopped back down onto the bed, letting go of Braig, glancing over and giving his 'assailant' a very cross stare.
"You shouldn't be sneaking up on me."

Slowly pulling himself up, rubbing sore spots and checking, truthfully, for broken bones, Braig grimaced.  "Well, sorry if I was trying to save you, man."

"Save me?  What the hell are you talking about?"  

Braig could only smirk.  "You know...from that monster that was sleeping in your bed."

With a roll of his eyes, Dilan turned over onto his side, facing away from the intruder.  "Well, he's gone now, so why don't you go back to bed."

"Hey.  Dilan."

Obviously having been expecting some sort of quirky comeback, the dark-haired man glanced back to see why it never came.
"..."

"Is everything alright?"
Braig spoke gently, cautiously, but honestly.  The other apprentice was the kind to never open up about his life, always moving forward with relentlessness that paralleled even Xehanort's drive.  It was only in rare moments that Braig could crack his surface, and get a glimpse down to see the man who had a startling wit, a vast amount of talent, and a cynicism that could undo even the most certain of intellectual opponents.  The glimpses were enough to keep Braig trying to see more, and, he half expected,  were what allowed them to become friends.  No matter how many walls Dilan built inside his mind, it was always Braig standing outside the gate and asking him to come and play.

"..."
Dilan eyed him for a moment more, before turning back to face the wall, leaving Braig shut out again.  "Yeah."

"You're lying."

"So?"

"..."

"Alright."  Braig sighed, finally, frustrated.  If they were friends, he didn't understand why Dilan kept so much still hidden from him.  But, at the same time, he knew when he could press a little deeper, and when to retreat.  This was one of those latter times.  Pushing Dilan never got anyone anywhere...it was like trying to push through a wall of air.  He would always slip through anyone's fingers.
"But hey. You know where to find me if the monster comes back."

Even though Dilan's back was the only thing exposed, Braig still could feel him smirk.

But it wasn't until Braig had almost left the room, before Dilan offered a reply.  
"...there are some things in life...that...no matter how you retell them...can't possibly live up to how they were.  All I can say is that...once...I had something perfect."  The brown-haired man stopped, and turned, to look at the other lying still upon the bed. "But I wasn't strong enough to hold it, and it got away.  No matter what I go through, or how much I work now, that thing can never return to me, Braig.  All I can do is become strong enough, to make sure it never happens again.  Every night I am reminded."

".....you had a bad dream."  Braig sighed, softly, able to understand.  "Dude, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to barge in."

Dilan chuckled, rolling over onto his back and looking to where Braig stood inside the door.  "Even in our dreams, we're helpless.  When I wake I feel like I'm a kid again, but there is no one to run to, to tell me everything is going to be alright."  Dilan took a deep breath, and shook his head.  "I should be more grateful to you, Braig.  You're the only one that seems to keep away my nightmares, when I think about you. I can almost be the man I thought I'd be, when you're around.  I guess you make me forget, somehow, about what it is I've lost.  I can only think about how good a friend I've found."  
He smiled, then, and Braig was struck by how sincere it was.  Dilan never smiled.
Maybe he had chased away the monster, after all...

"Dilan...thanks. From now on...you don't ever have to worry."  He grinned.  "No matter where you go, you can't lose me. We're friends, for life."

"Friends for life.  I'll hold you to that, Braig."

"I hope you do."
Braig smiled, and turned away.
"Sweet dreams, okay?"
He closed the door, and was gone.

~~~~~


Not even a week had passed before he heard the door open to his room, and stirred, once more, within his sleep.  
Xehanort had been back twice, often enough that Braig had almost begun to expect it, and when he heard the frightening 'thud' against his wall, he knew that Dilan needed just a reassuring 'knock' right back. His nightly adventures were starting to amuse him, enough so that when he glanced over to welcome Xehanort and found Even's grim visage mocking him instead, he almost fell right out of bed.

"Even!  What on earth are you doing in my room?!"  
Caught completely off guard, Braig found himself pulling his covers over his legs and chest without even realizing, trying to preserve some sort of modesty that his night-clothes had already been protecting.  

"I had a bad dream,"  came the wry response, as Even smirked down to him. "Aren't you the one to come to?"

It took the darker-haired apprentice a moment to realize that the other man was kidding, and even then he barely managed to catch on.
"Well, I sure as hell hope you don't want me to cuddle up with you to stop it."

"No, not particularly.  I can barely stomach seeing you in the classroom, much less seeing you in bed. Although it would seem I'm already guilty of that."  Even frowned.  "The state that you keep this room in is appalling."

"So you came all the way down the hall to critique my messy room?"

"Hardly. I came to talk with you because Xehanort visited me the other night when you were away."

"Oh?  Uh...did he, now...?"   Braig cursed his grogginess for making his words sound as fake as they really were.  

"He informed me of what you two had been... 'doing,' together."

"..."  Well, crap. It had been awkward enough sharing his bed with a fifteen year old, on principle alone. It was suddenly way more awkward, with Even being aware of it.
"Anything else?"

"He also most tactlessly informed me that I was much less accommodating than you were. Apparently I'm too thin and do not generate quite enough heat."

This statement was promptly followed by Braig actually falling out of bed.  He didn't even entirely remember the experience, but the next thing he knew Even was staring down at him from above, his hands behind his back, one thin eyebrow raised.

"Comfortable down there?"

"As if."  Braig looked up at him, before suddenly laughing as the situation struck home.  Xehanort had somehow convinced Even to let him stay the night?  Cold, unpersonable Even had shared his bed with the sleepless apprentice, as well?  Unexpectedly, Braig had something in common with Even.
That thought was enough to stop his laughter.

After a moment of stony silence, the light-haired apprentice reached down, and offered Braig a hand.  
"Are you finished, now?"

"Yeah."  Braig sobered, staring at the hand in uncertainty, debating whether or not to accept it.  
"...what is it that you really wanted, then?"

"How long has he been coming to see you?  I want to know if I should be expecting him again."

"A few weeks."  After a moment of debating which would be more likely: Even's hand being ice-cold, or being oversoaked in enough disinfectant to kill an army of germs and ten Braigs alike, the darker-haired apprentice finally accepted it.  

"It's probably just a phase, then."  
Even pulled, and Braig rocked forward, until both of them were standing in the uncomfortable stillness of his room.  "That's all I wanted to know."

"Seriously?"  Braig blinked, surprised, thinking that Even had gone through a lot of effort just to ask an easy question.

"Yes, of course."  Raising an eyebrow to his surprise, Even nonetheless turned away.  "Although, I do have something for you."  The second hand which had been hiding behind Even's back was now visible to him, and it held up something that Braig didn't quite recognize.  A wooden hoop dangled on a leather band, interlaced with sinew string, colorful beads, and long speckled feathers.

"Geeze, Even." Braig blinked, and smirked  "What kind of kinky bondage-thing is that?"  

"It's called a Dreamcatcher."  That ever-present frown on Even's face had deepened.  "I'm supposing in your backwater sea community you'd never hear of it, but I did a little research into what it was."  He handed the strange hoop over, and Braig took it, his eyes tracing the woven path of string around its center.  
"Supposedly, if folklore is correct, it is meant for trapping bad dreams in its webbing, and letting harmless ones pass through.  I'll leave the details of its workings to your own research, but if it proves successful the peace while I'm asleep will let me know."

"Catches dreams, eh?"  Braig pushed on one end of the hoop, watching it twirl around its band.  "Why are you giving it up, then?"

"I found it in the attic while I was looking for Master Ansem's old research journals, so it's not as if it has any worth to me. As to why..."  Even continued on his path to the door, carefully, stepping gingerly over the socks and shirts and paintballs strewn across the room.  
"Let's just say I'm tired of small boys crawling underneath my covers and loud knocks on the walls at night.  Who knows?  Maybe you would start having bad dreams, too, and then I'd find a whole slew of near-grown men waiting in my bed each evening."  Even rolled his eyes.

"...well, I don't know how to say this to you, but....thanks." Braig was still surprised, but pleasantly so, as he watched his guest departing through the doorway.

"No thanks is needed.  Let us just hope this 'phase' of Xehanort's passes by us, soon."

With a soft chuckle, Braig nodded, and walked to his window to hang the strange device.  He had never heard of it before, and didn't really believe in superstition...but...ever since coming to this castle he had seen enough strange things to know that magic did exist.  Who was he to say that leather nets couldn't catch bad dreams?
It was worth a try, at any rate.

He watched it dangle, even as he crept back to his bed and crawled beneath his covers.  
No bad dreams inside his room....he had made a promise to Xehanort about that.

No matter what happened...

~~~~~~~


There was a knock on his door, and Xigbar stirred, slightly, turning over beneath his bedsheets.  Soft footsteps could be heard across the pristine marble floors, and when he glanced up, Xemnas' face was there to greet him.

"I had a bad dream."  He spoke, emotionless but bothered, nonetheless.

"Care to tell me about it?"  Xigbar smirked, just a bit, and scooted over to make room.

"No."  Shaking his head, Xemnas sat beside him on the covers.
"Let us talk of sharks, and dreamcatchers, of hearts and friendships...and then, finally, when we're through, we can laugh about the Darkness."
:iconsaeru:

Here's a story, non-Puppet related! The OrgXIII club (:iconorganization:) is having a contest, and I thought it was a good excuse to write. If you'd like, consider this to sort of go along with our "Ansem Scholarship Fund" picture. Thats how I imagined everyone to look in writing this, at any rate.

I had a LOT of trouble writing from Braig's point of view. I drafted out an absolutely lovely piece of literature, and had U-E sit down and read it. It was immediately denounced as 'not Braig enough.' Apparently I write like Vexen. >.>
So it had to be completely overhauled. All of my beautifully verbose text was scrapped to make way for the thoughts of a twenty year old paintball expert. So yeah, some of the grammar is completely incorrect. That is done on purpose.

Hope you can enjoy.

Look! Fanart! [link]
<3 !

Xemnas, Xehanort, and Xigbar c Square-Enix/Disney.
I guess TECHNICALLY so are Braig, Even, and Dilan, despite that we never see them. o.O
Add a Comment:
 
:icondrawingforaliving:
Drawingforaliving Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so adorable!>w<
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:iconkerenpokekhfan:
kerenpokekhfan Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012  Student
Wow,What a nice touching story and it matches perfectly cuz braig even said he had xehyxehs back in BBS=)
Reply
:iconlady-nina:
Lady-Nina Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I must admit I had expected that last part with Xemnas and Xuggy XD but besides that it was a very sweet story :3
Reply
:iconthemightychocomofo:
TheMightyChocoMofo Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
This is a really nice fic, I like it. :3
Reply
:iconwowireallylikeanime:
wowireallylikeanime Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2009
So wonderful
I'm faving
Reply
:iconsummermacpherson:
summermacpherson Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2009
oh my gosh i'm gonna cry!

such a beautiful story!
Reply
:iconkitkat-teh-mime:
kitkat-teh-mime Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2009
:wow:
I wish I could write like this actually. This whole story made me both go "awww" and laugh at the same time. Its cute, and sad... The ending was a bittersweet way to end it. X3
:heart::heart:
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:iconghost-of-dreams:
ghost-of-dreams Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Awww!!! This is soooo sweet and cute!!! I love the characterization! It is perfect!!! Wonderful job! :heart:
Reply
:iconbellethebeauty:
BelleTheBeauty Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2008  Student Writer
This is beautiful! Everyone's characters are shown perfectly here, and the plot itself is so sweet and lovely! This is truly a marvelous work of literature! And I think that it is indeed perfectly in the character of Braig! :clap:
Reply
:iconsporkruler:
SporkRuler Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow. What a lovely story.

Now, I'm going to apologize in advance, because when it comes to literature and writings, I have no way of commenting and//or crititquing without sounding like a complete and udder dork. So I apologize right now. =]

I love it. Like.. it is beautiful. The irony of it is great. And it was written in such a way that the reader can really VISUALIZE it. It's very detail-orriented, which makes it easy to follow, and better to understand.
I also liked how you incoroporrated their ages so that it gives a better perspective on the irony of the story. Very interessting age for Xehanort. And background story.. I have limited information on KH I & II, but did you make that up? Not meaning to sound rude at all, because I like it.
But the story is very cute-ly written. It shows companionship and innocence, which is something not shown very much in most KH fanfictions. (And, it may be just me, but it kind of gives a reason for Braig being #2. But that's just the limited information going again.)
And, I shant lie. I was scared sock-less when it was Even at the bedside and not Xehanort. And when you described the anti-bacterial part, I giggled like WOAH. Because it's SO TRUE.
Haha... ah, well. This is a fantastic story. You write very well, and I hope to read more of your work in the future.
=]
:heart:

(I hope that wasn't too bad or corny. You guys rock!)
Reply
:iconsporkruler:
SporkRuler Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Double post... sorry! =[
Reply
:iconsporkruler:
SporkRuler Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow. What a lovely story.

Now, I'm going to apologize in advance, because when it comes to literature and writings, I have no way of commenting and//or crititquing without sounding like a complete and udder dork. So I apologize right now. =]

I love it. Like.. it is beautiful. The irony of it is great. And it was written in such a way that the reader can really VISUALIZE it. It's very detail-orriented, which makes it easy to follow, and better to understand.
I also liked how you incoroporrated their ages so that it gives a better perspective on the irony of the story. Very interessting age for Xehanort. And background story.. I have limited information on KH I & II, but did you make that up? Not meaning to sound rude at all, because I like it.
But the story is very cute-ly written. It shows companionship and innocence, which is something not shown very much in most KH fanfictions. (And, it may be just me, but it kind of gives a reason for Braig being #2. But that's just the limited information going again.)
And, I shant lie. I was scared sock-less when it was Even at the bedside and not Xehanort. And when you described the anti-bacterial part, I giggled like WOAH. Because it's SO TRUE.
Haha... ah, well. This is a fantastic story. You write very well, and I hope to read more of your work in the future.
=]
:heart:

(I hope that wasn't too bad or corny. You guys rock!)
Reply
:iconatemozzarella:
AteMozzarella Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2007  Student General Artist
Wow, that was sooo cool XD
The last part was very weird, but it's the kind of story that would probably make me feel nostalgic and fuzzy and junk ^^
Reply
:iconziravinova:
ZiraVinova Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
That's somehow kinda depressing. But sweet nevertheless.
Reply
:icon8-13:
8-13 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2007
Thankyou. ^.^ I...yeah. Bittersweet, I suppose?

-Saeru
Reply
:iconmechtadyne:
Mechtadyne Featured By Owner Oct 5, 2007
I must say, that is truly beautiful. I think you're the one with the gift here! It was beautifully written, and I'd say you kept all of them in character prefectly.

I didn't cry, but came close to it, and I did laugh alot at some parts.

I must say it again though, this is an absolutely fabulous, beautiful story.
Reply
:icon8-13:
8-13 Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2007
Your comment inspired me to go and read it, again, myself, since it has really been a while.

Thank you, truly, for your kind words. ^.^ It really means a lot that you would leave a comment. I have to admit, this time through, I almost cried, myself. ;-;

-Saeru
Reply
:iconrikaartistic:
RikaArtistic Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2007
wfhfb .__. that was awesome!! You're such a darn good writer!!
I was like.. ahlf-way through this last night and my dad told me get off and I was all "NUU!! DD8"
This made me smile! x33 It really did. And laugh. xD
I needed that! ^^ Espetially from last night's fire.... and this morning's... -shivers- SPEAKING OF NIGHTMARES!!! DD8 The night before I had a nightmare my house caught fire. .__. and guess what happened? Two houses away there was a fire.. TWICE!
Creepy, huh?

But, anyways...

Love this! ^^ I've gotta fave it!! x3
Reply
:iconxtaintedx3l0vex:
xTAiNTEDX3L0VEx Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2007  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
omg that was so cute!

i loved it!

:D
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:iconaxelxroxasxme:
AxelxRoxasxME Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2007
aaawww Xemmy still has nightmares!!!
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8-13 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2007
I wonder how being a Nobody effects dreams, actually. *ponders*

~saeru
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:iconaxelxroxasxme:
AxelxRoxasxME Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2007
ya. good question... i wonder that too.
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:iconblank-death:
blank-death Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2007
I read this originally on KHV and was sadly duped into believing that the thief had written it. Now that I have the chance, I'd love to give this story proper credit where credit is rightfully due:

You did a wonderful job in balancing the wording and execution. Every description is as it should be, enough to give an image but enough space to let the reader fill in the finer details. The characterzations are a delight to read, as is the entire story. You have a more than apparent talent for writing.
It's so very hard to find lovely fics like this, the sort with creative liscense and an actual story that remains feasibly canon. I hope to see more works from you in the future. Like I said earlier, you certainly have a gift. :]

As for the stealing itself, I'll try to help get the incident fixed so that they don't continue to be wrongfully praised for something they ripped.
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8-13 Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2007
What a strange experience this all has been. o.O It was by complete accident that U-E found a user on KH-vids using our Dilan icon, which was quickly traced back to that story thread. I'm still laughing over the whole situation, despite its serious nature. Picture thieving I'd subscribe to, as its a simple matter and near impossible to track. But an entire story? *chuckles*

I really appreciate that you'd come all the way here to leave a comment. I know I've said this before, but stories require so much more of an commitment from the audience than a piece of art, that I'm truly pleased when someone not only takes the time to view it, but bothers to give it enough thought for a critique, as well. Its even more pleasing when that someone is as versed in literary terms as you are, to aptly communicate exactly what you mean. ^.^ So thank you, truly.

This whole story was really so much of an accident...it was never planned, and barely even conceived before it spontaneously arrived upon my laptop. Reading back through it, now(heavens, its been a while since I've done so), I think there is a lot that I would change, or reword, or whatnot. But seeing as fan-stories can't really amount to much, anyhow...*sighs* I suppose I've got a lack of motivation to perfect it. Beyond personal motivation to improve. >.> On second thought, maybe I will fix some of those errors. Especially since this story is gaining a wider audience than I anticipated. o.o

I would have never thought to submit it up on kh-vids, after all. In fact, I'm very unfamiliar with the forums there, or the correct policies of action for this sort of event. I really appreciate your help in this matter. In fact, I did last night read through your post about the components of a story(It popped up in a google search when I typed in 'Braigs Gift,' to see where else my story might have landed. Strange that it brought me to your thread.), and I'm thrilled that someone out there took the time to write up a 'tutorial,' so to speak, for aspiring authors. You've got some really nice examples up there. ^.^

~saeru
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:iconblank-death:
blank-death Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2007
The "why it ended up in the thread", I shudder to think I actually asked the person for an interview, we all do stupid things. D8

Anyway, if it's not too much, would you mind if I quoted you for the help thread as well as linked to your DA version of the story?
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:icon8-13:
8-13 Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2007
If you get this twice I'm sorry...
I believe I replied to the wrong comment.

There wasn't any reason to NOT believe that Kitsune had written it. As they say, even monkeys can come up with novels...
I probably would have believed it, too.

Ahh...I'm honored that you did ask them for an interview, though. ^.^ I certainly wouldn't mind being quoted for the help thread or being linked, and I thank you for the opportunity. What would you want to quote?

~saeru
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:iconblank-death:
blank-death Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2007
Well I would like to quote the thoughtful tidbits you mentioned in your previous response- about the commitment involved in writing stories as well as your post-view of something you had written earlier and the like.

I'd also like to quote anything else you want to tag on to spread to other writers. :]
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:icon8-13:
8-13 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2007
Alright, then. ^.^ I'll add in my 'two cents,' as it were.

When I begin a story, all that I start out with is a concept. Just something extremely basic. In the case of Braig's Gift, all I wanted to do was bring a connection to characters that we're supposed to(if we're going by what KH is saying) remain unconnected to. Nightmares are a sort of universal subject...nearly everyone had them as children...and what did we do?
What would someone like Xehanort do?
And what would that lead to?

The concept was very simple...'children' seeking solace...
which brought about all those questions, there. Those are the questions that I want to answer as I write.
Those are what I keep in my mind, and just...go.

While in the writing process...I find it very easy to stay on target, or in character, by simply pretending to BE that character...A little bit like method acting while one writes. ^.^ In that manner, I can minimize the OOC occurrences, and it gives me a better feel for their point of view, as well. I almost feel -bad- for claiming to put myself in their position...but I would feel worse if I wrote that they did something that they would not do. Its the best way that I have of showing my respect for their design. ^.^

If I had one piece of advice to give...it would be to obtain an editor. Someone who's opinion is really trusted. I have U-E read over everything that I write before I even think of submitting it everywhere, as they can catch errors that I miss. Its an extremely important part of the writing process, I think, whether one is a novice or a professional.

Thanks a bunch for asking me, and I hope this helps a little. ^.^
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:iconblank-death:
blank-death Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2007
Really I should be thanking you, and it does help muchly.

Thank you for contributing to the Components forum and I hope you continue to persue writing in some way or form. :]
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:iconyouji-zero:
Youji-Zero Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2007
I just loved it so much.I loved the part where young Xehanort woke Braig up and said that he had a bad dream.I would be surprised that if I do,which I would probaly do,is make an rp out of this.I mean...great way to make a popular rp and it is so like I had imagined...except that Xehanort being 5 years younger than Braig.I also loved that picture of the apprentices.The story was so warm hearted and caring.Xigbar would totally have to be a paintball gun player.I wouldn't name it any other way.
I cosplay too.This is my first year cosplaying as KH characters.I'm cosplaying as Demyx and Larxene.I wanted to do Xemnas too,but I don't have enough time and money to work on it right now.This will be my second year cosplaying at Mechacon in Lafayette,LA.The story just caught my attention and it's the best fanfic that I have read so far.It's just...how should I say it...AWESOME!!!
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NightshadeULF Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2007  Hobbyist Writer
Oh very lovely ^^ heheh long, but very well written
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EbonyKain Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2007
awww! it has WAFF and angst and i just loved it so much. it was beautiful
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:iconkilo-almighty:
kiLo-almighty Featured By Owner May 29, 2007
Aww! What a lovely story. |3
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:icon8-13:
8-13 Featured By Owner May 30, 2007
Thankyou!
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:icongreen-tail:
green-tail Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2007   Writer
I love love looove this story. < 33333 I love to read it. You should really write more little apprentice pieces! : DD
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8-13 Featured By Owner May 27, 2007
I really, really want to. As soon as I get the next chapter of Puppet up, I think I shall. ^.^ We're just worried that with all of these new KHFM scenes coming out, our information won't be correct for very long.

~saeru
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:icongreen-tail:
green-tail Featured By Owner May 30, 2007   Writer
Well, you can write something that wouldn't be effected by the new info coming out? Maybe? O: I want more apprenticessss <3 And I love the way you portray them... :3
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8-13 Featured By Owner May 30, 2007
Thankyou. ^.^ I'll try.

~saeru
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mindstrel Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2007
This is one of the first (and only) fan-fictions to really, honestly make me cry.

It's beautifully written.
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:icon8-13:
8-13 Featured By Owner May 27, 2007
;-; I'm honored. Thankyou so much for commenting, too.

~saeru
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GlassEyedPuppet Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2007
awesome.
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:icon8-13:
8-13 Featured By Owner May 27, 2007
Thankyou!
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:iconrose-vicious:
Rose-Vicious Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2007
I fucking loved this. With all my heart and all my soul. Aggg! Xehanort having bad dreams! He so would have bad dreams.

'Whats a shark?' Priceless XD Also the fact of how you placed the age difference. Xigbar wil be so pissed later because the man is a good head taller than him if you look at the Orgy height chart.

Even's 'ba I dont care keep him out' makes me giggle. He's such an ass. Like Dilan is such a bad ass. So much fun!

I am gonna have to show this to my Ienzo rper, she will giggle her brains out and we will both go doing the aweing thing. I might have to totally request if I could snatch up this idea. (I totally play both Braig / Xigbar, Xehanort / Xemnas)
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8-13 Featured By Owner May 27, 2007
First off...sorry it took me so long to reply. x-x We were gone for months making those damned costumes.

Second off, THANKYOU for YOUR reply! ^.^ I can tell you've definitely been considering the 'somebodies' a lot, as have we. ^.^ And we totally agree...Xigbar must be pissed in general at being rather lithe-framed(in comparison with Xem and Xal and Lex, at the least. Though heck, even Vexen seems to have some decent muscle mass under all those flowy robes...).

If you wanna RP it, please do to your hearts content. >.> Heavens knows that U-E and I do, on a nightly basis.

~saeru
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:iconrose-vicious:
Rose-Vicious Featured By Owner May 28, 2007
I know how you feel XDDD Getting my Xemnas wig together has been so painful. Otakon will be awesome though. (As everyone makes fun of chibi 5'3" Xemnas -_-;; ) So I know how you feel. But its ok. You got back XD

Ever since the prelude movie came out EVERYONE has been curious about the sombodies. Defently Xehanort. More Xehanort than everyone else. (Cant believe how many time's I've said Braig/Dilan/Ienzo/Aeleus/Even and people go wuh?) Xigbar is defently the type of guy who would use a gun. (Vexen needs that kind of mussle under his huge body frame. I mean, how's he supposed to check people with his shield? XD And I mean a hockey check, fyi >.>;)

Oooooh. Mans you wants me to jump in your rp and go yo. *Addict.... addict doesn't cover it. Lookit me, 6:30 in the morning, banging my Ienzo rper.... ahem* If you ever need rp, I'm up for it ^_^ *thumbs up*

But again. Great story. Luved it very much ^_^
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:icon8-13:
8-13 Featured By Owner May 28, 2007
Oh, you cosplay! Got a cosplay.com account?

We were curious waaay before the prelude movie. Judging by when your initial comment was made, I'd bet you were too. ^.^ And it is funny now that most people are curious about Xehanort now when so few people cared about Xemnas before. I recall seeing him frequently at the bottom of 'who is your favorite org member' polls just above Luxord and Larxene. Shame, really...he has always been my favorite. That tiny little line in the Ansem reports about him not being human caught my attention immediately, and I was hooked. *spreads more Xemnas love, etc*

And yeah! Dude! Totally! We have secret feelings that he was a paint-baller in his previous life...though I think I've said that already. e.e And...whoa. Vexen...ice-hockey. It suddenly all made sense. o.o

I used to be an online RPing addict...very much so. Who do you play, anyhow?

~saeru
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:iconrose-vicious:
Rose-Vicious Featured By Owner May 29, 2007
Well this is actually my first year cosplaying! I'm trying it out for the very first time .I haven't taken any pictures of myself yet in any of my costumes cause only one of them is done (and no one knows the guy XD) but one day I shall!!!

Well...... Xemnas threw buildings at you..... he was an unfair boss. And I got sick of his will shatner voice after a while. HOWEVER. Watching him in the french version? Going 'Oh, my kingdom hearts is ruined' sounds like an orgasm 100%. This is how much I love Xemnas: I would sell my soul to him (If 90% of it wasn't on rent.) Actually I think poor Lexaeus is always at the bottom of favorite. Poor Lex! Yea I always thought Xehanort was special. Though.... I dont know about not human. Because technically he wrote report number 2-13. So that doesn't help. I think I just love him cause he's evil, and has silver hair, and is the MAN. Oh and the twisted scientist part where he is the Judas makes me giggle too.

If Braig didn't paintball in his past life I'd be shocked! XDDDD Well, Here is our private theories on the 6:
Braig: Mechanic and Quatom Physicist under Ansem the Wise, built the machine and computer that made the heartless, outcast surfer boy. (We also think that he poked out his own eye XD). The first not-Xehaort to apprentice.
Dilan: Physicist under Ansem the wise, the one to find the unsuspecting victims, complete womanizer and pervert, from one of the richest families in RG. The second to apprentice.
Even: Biological chemist, proceeded with proper disection and analyzing work of the heartless, antisocial as all hell and complete worshiper of Ansem the Wise. The Third to apprentice
Aeleus: Geologist and Mathmatitian, usually the big hand everywhere and did restraints and made drawings, doesn't talk and was still part of the RG Milita, we think his family was all military and HUGE. Big brother complex with Ienzo, loves to play chess, and small fuzzy animals (that he shouldn't have in the lab.)The Fourth to apprentice.
Ienzo: psychoanalytical genious with good rounded knowledge in all science fields, Xehanort's right hand and usually looked over the victims of the heartless proceedure (and mindfucked them, oh yea.). Got picked on by Braig a lot (they hate eachother), very close to Aeleus, plays chess with hime very friday like clockwork, got everything done through Ansem (his favorite apprentice!). And the last to apprentice. Anyone else was fodder for the machine XD

So those are our theories that we made up. My Ienzo player n I do extensive Apprentice RPS, cause were dorks. XD

After all of that. Um. WHoo do I play? (Gets out her list)
Ansem the Wise / DiZ (I <3 Chris Lee)
Braig / Xigbar
Xehanort / Xemnas / Ansem Heartless
Aeleus / Lexaeus
Dilan / Xaldin
Demyx
Larxene
Luxord

.... and yea XDDD :D enjoy ^_^ *still addicted and always open for new fun.
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:icon8-13:
8-13 Featured By Owner May 30, 2007
Yus, yus, do. We like to see cosplayers. ^.^

Yes, yes, you're right. Lex is more frequently at the bottom. Which is unfortunate, because I've quite the soft-spot for him. I've come to appreciate them all very deeply, though I will admit there were some that took a while to grow on me.
As for the not-human thing...It was just Ansem's oppinion on Xehanort, but it will be interesting to see how correct it was. If he's not human, its likely in the same sort of way that Seph isn't...but that becomes an extremely complicated issue at that point. Whatever he may be...he's riddled with a destiny that becomes tragic despite his immense efforts to succeed. Poor, poor man...11 years building Kingdom hearts dashed to ruin by Sora. My, how I hate Sora.
And yeah. I'd give Xemnas...well, my heart. Cause thats what he is after. ^.^

Our opinions differ, though not by much.
We believe Even was the first to be apprenticed, hence where his haughty attitude originates. We don't think he was particularly pleased that Ansem chose others, as well, though he came to mesh with them in time. Agreed on his field of study, I'd say.
Second would have been Braig, (we see him as a computer expert + gamer...he just seems to fit the type) probably a little prankster too, but the only one who could get through to Dilan.
Dilan we saw as the third, and we have a HUGE history of his worked out that I'm almost afraid to go into because it sounds cheesy without appropriate description...but, in its basics, involved him being in love with the last princess of Radiant Garden, who died in a royal coup. We figured her death put the world in jeopardy, which was what spurred Ansem to begin his studies on its heart. He picked up Dilan at that time.
Dilan and Braig are best friends in our little universe, though I would have pegged Dilan as an Engineer. >.> And yeah, they probably both talk about girls together.
Elaeus and Ienzo we saw as joining at the same time, and I like your ideas on what they specialized in. Pretty on with ours on them, actually.
Xehanort...we figured he was last, and unexpected. At first an intruder in a tightly knit group, before slowly worming his way into everyone's heart. Even found him threatening to his position of 'top student,' but I figured no one else really seemed to mind. Lovely little dynamics they must have had. >.> Man, you're making me want to write all sorts more literature on them.

AAH! You play Ansem! Actually, thats AWESOME.
What SORTS of RP do you do? Real time or forum based?
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:iconrose-vicious:
Rose-Vicious Featured By Owner May 31, 2007
Everyone on my rp forum lurvs Lexaeus. Makes a good cup of tea, comforting (To Ienzo) adorable, so cute round women (he goes :blush: ) and is so good with small rodents!! I think I make him too adorable XD

I dont hate Sora. I just... would not mind hitting him in the face with a baseball bat a few times >.>

Christine is a bit too lazy to go into more detail about how awesome those ideas are or how she things or conflicts with her own, but goes awesome to the highest degree anyway. Ahhh, Xehanort, the one who turned ideas the to twisted level. The Ultimate puppet master. *Huggles Xehanort*

YES! I WORSHIP CHRIS LEE IN THE FORM OF ANSEM THE WISE! :highfive: Actually a friend of mine pushed me into playing him. (Actually 6 of them did but thats besides the point.) And he PWNS.
RP? I do both logging (Real time?) and forum based. I've never LARPed, but I'm defently online ohhhhhhhh as much as I can be XD. My big forum one is on LJ: Mercy Street RPG. Only crazy person with 5 Charries :p
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