destavedated: (sakura)
Tabbi-Katt ([personal profile] destavedated) wrote2016-12-23 07:48 am

[RIFF] The Last Days of My Life

Ladies and gentleman, I have a confession. I... am in love. The object of this love is a fanfic that some may call average, perhaps even bad, but it has filled me with such joy that I feel the need to share it with the world. Now, I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about riffing on fics— after all, this stuff is made for free and by amateurs, isn't it a bit cruel to mock it like you would a product you pay for? And I understand those feelings, but I'm not going to mock this fic, instead I'm going to share my feelings on it and try to explain why it has become my new love.

The fic in question is a Kingdom Hearts fic by WolfHearts14, titled "The Last Days of My Life". The summary gives us the premise that, in high school AU fashion, Xion and her twin sister have moved to Twilight Town and the sister has a mysterious illness, but that won't stop her from striking up a romance with fan-favourite character Zexion. Sounds run of the mill, right? But within that innocent sounding idea is a roller coaster of a story, featuring romance drama, school plays, jealous love rivals, tragic twins, sudden ER visits, prophetic dreams, and character names ripped straight out of Warrior Cats.

My friends, I hope you enjoy the story of Myrr...

Chapter One opens with an infodump from Xion's point-of-view explaining the basic set-up for the story. But Xion isn't the true main character, oh no, that honour would go to her twin sister named Myrrglosch Frostwinds. Yes, you read that right. As it turns out, that name actually comes from a spin-off of the Guardian of Ga'hoole series, Wolves of the Beyond by Kathryn Lasky, so I was close with my earlier reference. Myrr (the name she prefers, for obvious reasons) has the same blue eyes as Xion but long golden hair instead of short black, because these two are fraternal twins to shake up the formula a bit. When they were twelve years old, Myrr was diagnosed with a mysterious condition that I can only assume was officially named "condition" because that's what we'll continuously know it by. If that wasn't bad enough, their parents are getting a divorce over... the need for a start to the story, I suppose. All we ever know of the mother was that she wants nothing more to do with her daughters and that's the extent of character she gets.

The story proper begins with the Frostwinds family— fifteen-year-old twins Xion and Myrr, and Vexen as their father— moving from Radiant Garden to Twilight Town. Their house has a willow tree next to it, which apparently makes it nice. Xion immediately befriends Roxas, who turns out to be their next-door neighbour, what a co-winky-dink! They're all going to Oblivion High, and even Vexen is going there to be the new chemistry teacher. Then we get our first look into Myrr's POV:

I saw Xion talking to this boy; it's been a while since she had a boyfriend. Not since Riku Shadowlance almost hurted her. I was glad, this one seemed nice.

Okay, these names are amazing. As a side note, I find it interesting the writer chose to make Riku the jerk boyfriend of Xion's past. In a more self-aware fic I might even call this a Take That at people that ship the two together despite their interactions in Days mostly coming from Riku wanting Xion to give up her life so he could get Sora back. For now, it's a very brief look into the high school drama to come.

I guess that I wasn't lucky to meet nice boys, especially since that letter came. Ever since then I didn't want a boyfriend if I would crush his heart when they find out about my condition.

"I mean, this condition is clearly something that will lead to my untimely death, but the real danger is to my social life! I can't get a boyfriend, oh noes!"

Bedrooms are chosen, ice cream is eaten with Xion, Roxas, and Axel (Myrr gets the unique mint flavour instead of that regular ol' sea-salt) and we're on to Chapter Two!

(Myrr POV)

"Class, we have two new students, Xion and Myrrglosch Frostwinds," Saix Lunarwing, our English teacher, said, "Xion would you sit next to Roxas and Myrrglosch would you sit next to Zexion. Roxas and Zexion, raise your hands so they could find you."

Xion was lucky to sit next to Roxas; she had already befriended Roxas Goldenwing and Axel Fireblaze.

I love these names! I love them so much! They don't fit into a high school reality at all, but the writer tries so hard to make each one fancy and fit to the characters. I need to list them all for your reading enjoyment. Within the school alone we have:
  • Xion, Myrrglosch, and Vexen Frostwinds (our main characters)

  • Roxas Goldenwing (the boy next door, and I assume named after a scrapped Silverwing sequel)

  • Axel Fireblaze (the friend that is several years older but is still in a sophomore class for some reason)

  • Saix Lunarwing (the English and homeroom teacher)

  • Zexion Silvera (love interest, and the only surname I've found that exists in the telephone book)

  • Lexaeus Rockwall (phys. ed teacher)

  • Arlene Sparkringer (the "algerbra" teacher)

  • Selphie Silverstar (token love rival and Sort Of Villain)

  • Olette Gildsilk (token Sort Of Friend)

  • And finally we have the drama teacher, Lumaria Foreseer and/or Lumaria Floralfinish. For some reason, he changes his name in the space of one scene break so he gets two high fantasy names!

Oh, and the doctor that diagnosed Myrr's condition is Aqua Seaway. Speaking of...

She was lucky she didn't have the condition.

I think I need to start giving that word something fancy. If I were to read this aloud, I'd dramatically whisper every time "condition" appeared. But in writing the best I can do is italicize it and make it bright red to make the word stick out like the sore thumb it always does.

She was lucky she didn't have the condition.

Yeah, that feels appropriate.

Myyr sits next to Zexion, who I mentioned is something of a favourite for these kinds of fans. In the games, Zexion comes across as one of the few truly loyal members of Organization XIII, the guy who'd rather everyone just got their work done and accomplished their goals. Here he's... Actually, I don't know what he is. He's really just a standee boyfriend that the reader can project themselves onto. He and Myrr have their first scintillating conversation of a few sentences about the cool dragon she's drawing. Then after one paragraph mentioning all the teachers we talked about above, they decide to spend lunch break in the library. Despite seemingly going there together, Zexion never finds Myrr so she sits down to read. Now, we were told in the English class segment that Myrr has already read and memorized Romeo and Juliet to establish her as a smart girl (all we need is a Wuthering Heights name drop and we'll be full Twilight Saga phase), so what would you imagine she reads in her free time? More Shakespeare or classic literature? No, she reads Redwall. That's quite the eclectic taste Miss Myrr has, but I love me some old English plays and children's books too, so I can't judge her too harshly. I've read Midsummer Night's Dreams alongside Tale of Desperaux. She finishes the entire book before lunch break ends and spends some time drawing Tiria Wildlough, who could well be a classmate with a name like that. Special mention is given to Myrr being "thankful" she only has one other class with Zexion, so we're meant to believe she's thrown off by his initial interest in her. Even in the summary it describes Myrr as "relentless" when it comes to making friends and once school's out she goes home and locks her bedroom door. This romance is off to an interesting start.

(Xion POV)

"Hey Xi, do you think Myrr had made any friends yet?" Roxas asked.

"I don't know, ever since we were twelve, she is becoming relentless," I told him, "I'm not sure if she will make any."

I'm also not sure if you're using "relentless" in the right context, Xion. Sure, the word could describe someone who is distant or cold-hearted, but it's not the strongest adjective out there. Xion uses the word like it's a disease.

I wouldn't tell Roxas why Myrr had became relentless, she just did. I will not tell him of her condition. But Myrr was talented; she had an amazing voice if she was willing to share it and a great artist.

As you might have already guessed, reader, Myyrglosch is your typical example of the Mary Sue, a character made to be a perfect fantasy for the writer or audience to see themselves in. I for one love what a classic example of this trope she is. No, really, I do honestly like the innocence here. People throw around the term 'Mary Sue' as a quick way to describe a character they don't like, but a Mary Sue is not an inherently terrible character, just one that needs a bit more finesse to them. We can see a few self-insert characteristics in Myrrh, the want to have a good singing voice and artistic skills, and there's nothing offensive in having girls explore their own power fantasies despite how some people treat Mary Sues like the WORST THING EVAR that could happen in fiction. The Sue traits here could work if we went in to why and how Myrr developed these skills. Dropping this information from her sister's point of view isn't a bad way to do it, since it would make sense for the person closest to her to highlight her good points.

The chapter ends with this rather odd sentence:

We would just have to wait until Myrr will reawaken.

At first that seems like a sentence only here for forced importance, but it turns out this is foreshadowing. We'll get to that later.

Chapter Three opens with the drama class starting up their spring show, and it turns out they're doing Myrr's favourite movie, Girl vs. Monster, oh boy! This, by the way, is a real movie produced for the Disney Channel. Common high school musical, as you all know. I can't wait for the fall show featuring Halloweentown or their practice sessions reading lines from Pixel Perfect.

Myyr knows she can "easily" cover the lead role's pitch so she auditions for the part (Zexion even wishes her good luck).

Selpie obviously tried out for Skylar, but I could say that she was terribly off key a bit. Zexion tried out for Ryan, I heard him sing the song almost perfectly.

Character likeability portrayed in singing talent. It's not often I see that.

Myrr does her audition song and she ends up getting a standing ovation and the lead role, hooray! We go more in depth to why we shouldn't like Selphie because she calls our protagonist "Frostbite" and clicks away in high heels. Gasp! Unsurprisingly, Zexion plays the role of her love interest. In the show, I mean. Still, not only does this serve as a parallel for them, they can now also bond over practicing their lines together. That's a believable way to start a high school romance, good on you, writer.

Xion was excited that I had Skylar's role as well as Axel and Roxas, which we had celebrated with sea-salt ice cream. Even dad was pleased with my achievement

"Dad was happy I'd finally accomplished something in my life. He used to call me his tiny failure, what a cute nickname!"

She also befriends Olette thanks to this play, so I guess she's over that whole "relentless" phase. With that out of the way, Chapter Three ends with reminding us of this story's main conflict:

Only thing is, I didn't want them to hear the unavoidable news about my condition.


Chapter Four and final dress rehearsals are already right around the corner. This fic knows how to move along at a brisk pace. Zexion picks up Myrr's bookbag and hands it to her, which at first just seems a friendly gesture but he has a reason:

"But then you would have had to bend over, and who knows what Selphie would do if she even got one embarrassing picture of you," Zexion said.

"Then I thank you for your consideration," I said.

"Thank you for considering the possibility of my panty shots, future lover."

He wants to practice their lines at her house and there's two sentences of tension before her dad gives the okay. Before then, though, Myrr wants to spend some time by herself so she tells him to get directions from her sister.

"Okay," Zexion said, "I'll see you later, my little miracle."

I flinched at what he called me.
Wait, what did he call you? He called me his little miracle. Ah, yes. Thanks for the reminder. Funny thing is that is sort of what my name means. Myrr is just a nickname, but Myrrglosch means bits of a miracle. I guess that was why my dad named me Myrrglosch was because of my condition. "Dad had a really bizarre sense of humour like that."

Also, weren't they twelve when she was diagnosed? Was her name Tiffany before and Vexen legally changed his daughter's name to a fantasy one for kicks? I can imagine Vexen doing that. Anything for the sake of science.

It turns out Myrr is waiting on an email from Dr. Aqua for an update on her condition, but no news yet. In the meantime, Zexion meets up with Xion and when she hears her sis is at the library she busts this out:

"That's one of her excuses," I said, "she told you a lie like how she told others who had wanted to date her back at Radiant Garden."

"Wait what?" Zexion asked, "Why do you think I want to date her? I just want to be her friend!"

"It's just nothing," I said, "I promised Myrr I wouldn't tell anyone of her secret."

"What secret?" Zexion asked. I bit my lip, what was I going to say?

I'd suggest you say nothing but you'd need to go back in time to solve that. The more I read the more I think Xion is desperate to tell someone of what's going on but has to lead people into it for the sake of not breaking her promise. Seriously, how could that conversation not end with him asking what was up? On the plus side, we have "secret" instead of condition for a change of pace. Myrr overhears part of this conversation and catches up.

"Hey Xion," I said.

"Myrr! Why were you at the library?" Xion asked.

"Personal stuff, that's all," Myrr said then whispered in my ear, "Wanting to see if anything was new about my condition."

"I see," Xion said, "Let's hurry home, we'll find out what we're going to make for dinner."

Phew, she hadn't told them yet. I was beginning to feel that Zexion might be onto knowing about my condition.

Those few lines got me thinking about the habits I see in a lot of beginner writers so I'd like to discuss that a bit. A lot of writers when starting out lean towards first-person POV, and I think I understand why: it's no fun to simply state when a character is sad or happy, but it's also hard to find new and unique ways to describe characters' feelings, so if that character can observe their own emotions, that works, right? 1st-person is a fine way to tell a story, it really is, but a lot of newbies use it the same way you could use 3rd-person, and even this writer messed up and suddenly switched back to Xion's POV. This story would probably work fine if it was written in 3rd-person. I mean, most of these scenes wouldn't change at all if you switched all instances of "I" to "he" or "she". As well, hopping back and forth between people's heads doesn't seem to add much. We already know Xion told him nothing, having Myrr repeat this information isn't necessary. Anyway, enough analyzing, back to funny sentences!

Dinner is what I can only assume the writer ate that afternoon. Afterwards, Myrr runs up to her room to draw up a cool water dragon, but not on any old sheet of paper, she draws in a sketchbook she's had but hasn't used since the divorce. Um, good for her for moving past that, I guess? I'm starting to realize this whole divorce thing doesn't affect very much in the story.

Zexion asks why Myrr immediately left to her room after dinner.

"She likes to spend time alone. Before we would do almost everything together, but now, I believe that if she wants to be alone, then she should," I said, being very careful not mentioning her condition.

Meanwhile, Xion's thinking "Oh, please ask me why, please oh please oh please!"

Zexion asks if he can talk to Myrr anyway, to which Xion says okay before suddenly turning deadly serious and saying that if he does anything out of line she'll make him regret it. After Zexion sidles out of the room, appropriately creeped out, Xion turns to Roxas, who is just as confused as the reader and asks what that was about.

"Nothing," I said, I was obviously avoiding the question. (Are you really, though?)

"I know there was something different about Myrr," Roxas said, "Your being protective of her. Just tell me why you said that to Zexion."

"Fine, when we were little, like I said, we did everything together," I said,

"They forced it out of me, Myrr, I swear!"

She still isn't ready to give all the details, but Roxas is understanding and doesn't push her for any more and the two hug. Xion thinks Roxas is great because he's not Riku.

Upstairs, Myrr is so focused on her dragon picture that Zexion has to full-name her to grab her attention. He asks if she's okay, since she has been so secluded and defensive, and he recognizes these traits because he was just like her until dot dot dot.

"Until what?" I asked.

"Until you came into my life," Zexion said, "Every time I am not at school or in drama class, I think about you. I consider myself lucky."

HE'S IN LURV! He loves how Myrr is so different, which to me would be how asocial she is in comparison to all the other insta-friends in this story, but Zexion sees a lot of strengths rarely shown in the narrative.

"Your artistic, kind, helpful and have an amazing voice. Anyone who cherishes them would be lucky to have be your boyfriend. Yet something is making you hide it. Please, tell me."

"I would if I could trust you," I said.

What, was all that heaped praise not enough? To be fair, simply being impressed by someone doesn't equate to keeping your biggest secrets safe and when Myrr says it'll take a while to tell him, Zexion says he'll wait, which is actually sweet. (Not something I can imagine Zexion doing, but I've accepted this fic is of the Mad Libs variety where the writer just wants to write anything with the names of characters they like. Let's be honest here, we've all read far worse examples than this.) He stays the night, sleeping in the living room.

Meanwhile, Xion is still worried if something's happening to her sister but— get this— she fully believes twins have a psychic connection and she hasn't felt a disturbance in the Force or whatever, so she's probably fine. Myrr pops out to tell her everything went well and her future boyfriend sure is a nice guy. Xion thinks Zexion is great because he's not Riku. Wait a second, how are these boys not like him? We don't know him. All we know is he almost hurted Xion but we never hear any details and he never appears in the story. There's leaving events ambiguous and then there's plain missing a huge chunk of the story. So far Riku is a bigger mystery than Myrr's enigmatic disease.

Xion finds Zex eavesdropping outside the door and he reveals, to everyone's shock I'm sure, that he's fallen in love with Myrr! And judging by the way he relays this information he's also fallen into a 19th century romance novel.

"Yes, but though, even if it had slipped," Zexion said, " I can never stop thinking about her, her voice when she sings still haunts my mind, her art brightens my mood. Oh, I could never stop wondering of her own seclusion."

So much for just wanting to be her friend, eh? They briefly recount all of what was said the past few scenes and Xion does her usual goading people into asking about all these secrets.

"It's because she believed that these events that separated our families were all her fault," I said, "because of her…"

"Of her what?" Zexion asked.

"Nothing, I can't tell," I said, "good night Zexion."

See what I mean? She's so desperate to tell someone, anyone! I think she wants to annoy people into finally cracking and demanding the truth. I know I would be by now.

Chapter Five, the halfway mark of the fic, is celebrated with pancakes! Super special blueberry-chocolate-chip pancakes, everyone's favourite, of course! Zexion wants to take Myrr somewhere but wants it to be a surprise so he blindfolds her (doing good on the trust building, there). Apparently this blindfold causes complete sensory deprivation because she doesn't have any clue where they are until its removed and she finds herself on top of the clock tower. The clock tower that doubles as a train station. I dunno, maybe it's silent this time of the morning... and has no stairs...

And now, dear audience, we come to my favourite scene in this entire story. I have to copy-paste it all for your reading enjoyment because you need to see this in its full glory:

"It's not much a surprise to be here," Zexion said, "but I've always thought that this would be the best place to tell you."

"This is amazing," I said, "I've never seen the sunrise this way."

"Hey I thought I would be here by myself this morning," this voice was close to familiar, but when I turned around I saw it was Riku.

"Riku! What do you want?" I asked.

He gave me a puzzled look.

"Oh, you're confusing me with my identical twin brother, Riku Shadowlance, names Repliku," he said, "ran away so then I wouldn't get into any trouble Riku does."

"He almost hurt my sister," I said.

"I didn't know," Repliku said, "I guess that means that there is one more reason why Riku should be arrested, yet he always gets away. I'll be going now if you don't want me to be here."

Oh, where do I even begin?

First of all, I like that double fake-out the author pulled: we think we're about to get a love confession but it's interrupted, and then we think we're finally going to meet this fic's Riku but that's wrong too! It may also be the one time I've ever seen the "you've gotten me confused with my twin" line not be used for a lie. This also seems to imply that Xion and family had no idea, as twins, that a boy she dated was also a twin. Kinda seems like one of those things you small talk about on the first date. (Or at least I have.)

And is this story trying to tell me someone in this world honestly named their child Repliku Shadowlance? Poor kid must have been bullied every day of his life with a name like that, it makes me wonder how he didn't become the juvenile delinquent. Speak of the devil, we get even more info hastily dropped for a character that isn't in this plot; turns out Riku isn't just an ex-boyfriend he's also on the run from the freakin' law! Who is this mystery boy and what in the world is his story? I want to read that instead!

But the final and best part of this whole sequence? Repliku never shows up again. After this he simply walks away and no one mentions him or his brother for the rest of the story. Really think about that for a moment: if this were a novel you would have just read a scene where a new character walked in, dropped their whole backstory for no reason, and then left. That kind of scene would be completely pointless in anything else, but in a fic it serves the purpose of letting us know what the characters from the source material are up to in this new storyline, so it almost makes sense, if you squint real hard. Only in a fanfic, man. Only in a fanfic.

So after Repliku has an even briefer existence than in the games and leaves, Zexion gets back to the whole love confession he came up here for. Myrr loves him back and finally feels ready to trust someone and share with them the terrible, horrible, dark secret she's held all this time. And her sickness turns out to beeeeeee... a weak heart. Oh. Um.

"Fine, but you will be the only other person who will know," I said, and then whispered into his ear, "when I was twelve, I got a letter from my doctor; I was diagnosed with an unknown condition that affects my heart. Sooner or later, my heart will stop and I will breathe my last. (You do realize that will happen to everyone eventually, right?) I just never wanted to tell anyone because then, you will feel pain of me gone forever, away from your love. I'm sorry, I should have told you before, but I was scared."

Don't get me wrong here, that's still a rough thing to deal with, but after all this build-up I was expecting something far more fantastical. This seems like the kind of story that would make up a bizarre soap-opera disease, like she can't fall in love because the moment she does her heart will stop beating. I understand why this is still a big deal, but it feels rather small considering how long it took to get here. At least Xion can't hammer this secret over people's heads anymore so I'm grateful for that.

Anyway, the two snuggle and we get more of the same praise from before on how Zexion thinks Myrr is so great, which only serves to make me realize that we don't know much of why she's infatuated with him other than generic niceness. Then she says this:

"Thank you Zexion," I said, "truth is I could never draw people."

"The whole inevitable cardiac arrest wasn't my big secret. I've actually been too terrified to admit I'm terrible at human anatomy. Why else do you think I draw only dragons all the time?"

There's an incredibly brief scene with Xion talking to Vexen Dad about how well they're getting along in Twilight Town, because I guess after a whole semester the family finally remembered to talk to each other. There's an even briefer scene (three sentences) of Zexion walking Myrr home. Once again, this ever switching POV style makes for very rocky storytelling.

(Xion POV)
I saw Myrr walk in; she was walking in as if she was light on her feet. Yet though, I knew it at first sight, she's in love she said good morning to dad and went to her room.

Whoa, she greeted her blood relatives? Something must be different! Myrr says she told her new BF everything and it went fine, then she, as usual, goes to her room to draw something. A super secret something that we don't know about yet but apparently it's the best thing she's ever drawn so far. She remarks: Truly love was what I've been missing for three years. Does her family not love her? Since it just showed they rarely talk to each other I suppose not. Either that or this is the kind of story that thinks the concept of "love" only counts if it's romantic. She soon falls asleep from love, and yes that is literally what she described it as.

Chapter Six, show day, and the title promises us a major disaster is about to happen. Before that, though, Myrr does the whole anime girl trope of running off to school with breakfast in tow (a poppy seed bagel rather than simple toast, points for attention to detail) and while getting ready for their Disney Channel play premiere she shows off the picture she worked so hard on. It turns out to be her and Zexion drawn up as wolves.

"It's amazing," he said, fingering the detail.

"But I imagined myself as more of a corvid kind of guy. The next time you draw our fursonas could you maybe make me a crow or raven?"

"If you want, you can have it," I said, "Something to remember me by if I leave your side."

"Thank you," he said.

"...but that's kind of a creepy thing to say out of the blue, honey."

Xion arrives to see their "flawless and perfect" show, because apparently being related to one of the stars means you can skip classes, like this is hospital visitation rules. Hey, speaking of hospitals, I'd say now is a good time to finish up the Jealous Selphie arc, wouldn't you say? After we go full songfic for a moment, tragedy strikes!

That when it happened when Selphie came in she spun and elbowed Myrr. I saw the pain in her face. And collapsed on the floor, breathing heavily, but Selphie never noticed.

What's Xion's reaction upon seeing this, you may ask? To do precisely jack and squat and let everyone finish their number. Okay, I'm calling bull on this. If I saw my sister collapse on stage you can bet your asteroids I'd be up there in a heartbeat. It wouldn't even be a conscious action, I'd just be watching one second, the next I'd be right beside her. I wouldn't just sit there to see how all this played out. After someone finally notices one of the leads is on the floor, an ambulance is called and sister plus boyfriend hop in for the ride. We also resolve the anemic conflict with Selphie.

"I thought you would love me," Selphie said.

"No, I never would love a cold person like you," Zexion said.


Everyone important is off to the hospital and now seems like a totally appropriate time to expel more praise about how super special awesomesauce Myrr is.

"Truth is, I never had a girlfriend, they were all the same," Zexion said, "When I met Myrr, I could tell she was different, and she was, she was different from any other girl, and it is not from her condition. I care for her with my life."

See, this is why Mary Sues are something you should avoid in writing. A character needs more than someone going "They're cool, take my word for it" to be compelling to follow. Myrr is far from a bad person, I get that, but she still can't match up to half the compliments heaped upon her because she doesn't do very much. She and Zexy have only known each other a few months and have been dating for a day, pushing this soul mates angle so soon is stretching my belief in this romance. Being in love is great, everyone understands that feeling, but not many people believe any relationship, let alone their first one, was Destined To Be. Zexion is giving Bella Swan a run for her money here.

And what does Xion— who, need I remind you, is sitting next to her unconscious, possibly dying sister— say to all this?

"That's nice, she never had a boyfriend," I said.

Priorities! You need to get some!

At the hospital we meet a new doctor, Terra Brockhall. I'll assume his name comes from a Pokemon reference, because rock type or something, and move on to chapter seven, named Awake Once More. See, that ending line way back from Chapter Two was foreshadowing how Myrr literally needed to reawaken. Bet you didn't see that coming. The chapter opens with Myrr in that state of fictional unconsciousness that means she's aware of everything going on around her but can't open her eyes. More on that soon, trust me.

(Xion POV)
It's been a week since the incident. She is fine, yet though, she hadn't woken up yet. We've been beginning to worry about her.

OH REALLY? She's only been in a very definite coma for seven days straight, but it's NOW that you're starting to worry? Wow, maybe her family doesn't love her after all.

Zexion's been worried sick. He always looks at the picture she gave him always muttering, "Something to remember me by if I ever leave your side."

How much would it suck for the only memento of your first girlfriend to be you and her as sparkle dogs?

Even the ever-absent Roxas and Axel have stopped by to visit her and beg her to wake up because, good golly gosh, life just won't be the same without her! She still fails to open her eyes because, as it turns out, this isn't a normal coma, oh me oh my no. Read on.

(Myrr POV)
I've been having dreams; they've been so strange and odd, yet so real as well. They were the reason why I never woke up; they lead me to something that I wanted to know. No matter how long it took, no matter what, I was being lead somewhere.

No matter what however, I never found the end. Yet instead, I found a wall blocking the path with a sphere held within. Within the sphere was a mark, one that comforted me. Unknowingly of what would happen I touched it with my right hand. Then I felt a searing burn on the back of my right hand, in the same shape as the mark.

Then I woke up…

If your only thought right now is "What?" then don't worry, it was mine too. And truthfully it still is because, even for an admirable attempt at weird dream sequences, I still can't fathom what any of that was supposed to convey. A vague something was leading her dream self to a vague somewhere, she touched a Dragon Ball, wakey wakey time. In the real world, everyone is happy to see Myrr is conscious again but the mood shifts when they see the dream mark (it's revealed to be the shape of a sun, by the way) is still on her hand. Yes, the dream physically altered her so suddenly magic is now a part of this universe. And the doctor has an unexpected answer for this.

"That rarely happens, unless if her dreams had led her somewhere where in her dream form had gained the mark," Terra said,

Rarely, he says! Which implies its happened and been documented before! And I still don't know what the frik-frak happened in that dream!

"It is very odd though. Like I said, it rarely happens like her condition."

"Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go check on Nancy next door. Her dreams keep clawing up her arms."

They ask if the mark will eventually fade away but no one knows for certain. Zexion of course thinks it just makes Myrr even more DIFFERENT (the most important trait in a significant other, I'm starting to think) but Myrr herself is worried and thinks it might be a sign her end is near. And what is her biggest concern when faced with the thought of untimely death? Repairing her relationship with her mother? Having to leave her twin sister behind? Not accomplishing any grand goals or becoming a famous artist? Nope.

I wish I could have more time with Zexion.

"Screw you, family! I have a perfect robot of a boyfriend that's way more important than you!"

Chapter Eight and people are noticing Myrr becoming even more distant than before. I know, hard to believe she could somehow become more distant. To cheer her up, Zexy asks if she wants to go to a party his friend Demyx is hosting. I guess he's in this story now. Her answer is essentially a shrug but she adds:

"Just be sure that no matter what happens, just don't try to do anything with me," I said, "I don't want any problems. Especially with," I said then whispered into his ear, "my condition."

Hey look, she's doing the dramatic overemphasis too! And was that conversation meant to imply she can't have sex because of her weak heart? I mean, that makes sense but this doesn't feel like the kind of fic where sudden smut would happen. Zexion, of course, continues to be the most understanding boyfriend ever so as to avoid any interesting conversations that could happen. (We're still leagues above most AkuRoku fics out there.) And now, joy of joys, we get to talk about something I'd hoped fics stopped doing years ago and that's adding in self-harm for the sake of attractive drama. Complete with an authour's note interrupting everything.

Ever since I slightly sliced the mark with a knife, it felt different. I wanted to do it again, but then I would lose so much blood then. Then I swore to myself I would only do it as little as possible and only nick the skin. It wasn't that painful, yet slightly enjoyable. (A/N: just saying, ever since she got the mark, she needs some sort of pain and joy in her life now.)

Look, I understand wanting to show that she's having difficulty with this whole situation, but there are better ways to do it. The start of this chapter already talked about how she spaces out to the point she forgets things and doesn't realize when people are talking to her. That's disassociation, that would be a fine way to show a character struggling with their circumstances. The cliched "It makes me feel alive instead of dead inside, I like it!" is a) a very shallow example of how actual self-harm works and b) really out of place in a fic like this. This is not helped by the one sentence mention of her dad finding out and his response is making her wear fingerless gloves. I highly doubt that would be a parent's first reaction to discovering their child is slicing their hand open. "Well, cover it up, sweetie, that will fix everything!"

Myrr goes to her room (are you getting sick of her going to her room yet?) and finds she has an email from Dr. Aqua, so we finally get to have something close to a dialogue with this character. Judging by this email, I think the main reason we haven't seen much of her is because she lacks any professionalism whatsoever.

Dear Myrrglosch,
I heard about what happened from Terra, I'm very sorry I couldn't be there. But remember, you and your condition are my main priority right now. I was helping my friend, Ventus Waywind, with his patient, Sora Akira, and his mental condition, and just saying, I could see why Ventus needed help.

You can rest assured that I'm running this "condition" gag so far into the ground you can't see it anymore. Seriously, does the word "illness" not exist in this world? Oh yeah, and apparently Aqua is both a heart doctor and a psychologist. How many years did she spend in med school, jeez. It's kind of sad that I'm so used to fics focusing on Organization XIII members that it's only now I realized the game protagonist hasn't been in the story. Not to mention he has a surprisingly boring name compared to everyone else. I expected something like Sora Cloudburster or Sora Skyheart from this fic.

He tells way too many stories of these make-believe adventures he has and somehow dragged me into his story. Hopefully, he'll never drag you into it as well. Oddly though it's the only thing that keeps his mind away from his condition. Maybe his stories will become famous and become a movie or something. (A/N: and that's how Kingdom Hearts was started! No not really, but I needed to explain why Aqua wasn't there anyway.)

Uhhh, because the family moved and are going to a different hospital so there would be different doctors? That was working fine up until now, I thought? Did this fic just coma theory the Kingdom Hearts series? Why was any of that needed?

Anyways getting off topic of why I sent you this.

"Anyhoo, just breaking all sorts of patient confidentiality rules up in here and giving you gossip you never expressed any interest in. Anything you'd like me to share with people apropos of nothing?"

So the soon-to-be-fired Dr.Aqua wants to talk with Myrr, who is annoyed that her life threatening crisis might interfere with the party plans. Before you can think 'Well, just switch the appointments' she does just that and there's a pointless one sentence cut-away to Xion noticing her sister went off alone. On the way to the train, Zexion catches up with Myrr and invites himself along, and she has a strange reaction to this.

"Of course," I said. And that's how I ended up spending a day when I rather spend it alone with Zexion.

So... Does she not like him anymore? That makes it seem like she doesn't want to be with him anymore, and if that was the case she could have simply said she didn't want him to be there. I mean, she is going to speak with a doctor, it's not like he can do much anyway. He's not allowed in the room during the examination and Aqua questions why Myrr is cutting herself.

"Ever since the mark came, I never knew any other way to keep my mind off of it, I've started to become distant ever since I got the mark," I said.

"And so cutting yourself is your only option?" she asked, "You're a beautiful girl, even if your life does hang in the line, cutting yourself won't change a thing. "

Wowzers, those are three statements that don't belong in the same sentence. "It shouldn't matter that you're dying or cutting yourself, what matters is you're pretty!" And if you think that's a horrible response from a doctor, she gives the absolutely horrifying advice of it being okay to continue since the cuts heal fast anyway, just don't go too deep. Aqua, you are a terrible doctor!

Suddenly Zexion is in the room, honestly he just pops in there with no verb to be seen, and is concerned for what Myrr is doing to herself. Not because she's hurting herself and really needs some help, but because (and tell me if you saw this one coming) he also used to commit self-harm but stopped when dear sweet Myrr entered his life and changed everything, like the angel on earth she surely is! Who cares about the cause of his self-harm, what we need to care about is how the girl who avoided him at first immediately solved it. True love knows no bounds.

Aqua sends him out of the room (which she should have done as soon as he came in, but whatever) because she has some bad news: the mark is a sign that Myrr's life will end exactly a week from today.

I was completely shocked,

Because this means you have a quite literal deadline and have to say goodbye to all your family and friends and die having accomplished nothing in life?

that means whatever time I have only one week to spend time with Zexion. I could never tell him that, it would break his heart.


Chapter Nine, the penultimate chapter, and just like that we're on Myrr's final day. I suppose nothing else of interest happened in the meantime. (She's only suffering from a terminal illness, boooorrrriiiing!) But there's a party to go to, so of course that's a great place to be for the end of your life. Everyone wants Myrr to sing a round on the karaoke machine so she sings 'Reset', the ending theme from Okami (standard karaoke song), and after reading the entire lyrics copy-pasted in, another obtrusive authour's note says this song was chosen because of how it fit to the story. I dunno, if you wanted dramatic irony a verse from 'We Three Kings' sure would be handy.
Myrrh is mine: Its bitter perfume
Breaths a life of gathering gloom.
Sorrow, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in a stone-cold tomb.

Merry Christmas!

Everyone applauds her for the song and she pulls Zexion outside to tell him the unfortunate news. Then, for reasons I don't understand, she proceeds to get mad at him because he didn't know about the thing she never told him about.

"What is it Myrr?" Zexion asked.

"You just don't get it do you?" I asked.

"What?" Zexion asked,

"This is my last day Zexion," I said.

"Wait, you're moving again?" Zexion asked.

"No, you just don't get it," I said.

Lady, you hid this information from him until the last possible second, why are you yelling at him? It really feels like Myrr doesn't want to be his girlfriend anymore. She even flees when he moves in for a kiss (excellent timing as usual for Zexion). I really hope she runs away in that style usually reserved for anime protagonists. You know the one. Elbows locked to the side, hands at chin level, fingers daintily curled into the palms, sparkling tears trailing behind her in the breeze. That run.

I was running as far and as fast as I could, I could feel my heart beating hard. I felt the pain, not from my condition, but for leaving Zexion.

I love that. She has a magical disease that has haunted her this entire story, but she is about to die from a broken heart. That's a kind of melodrama I can get into, like a Key/VisualArt's production. Well, she would die from a broken heart but instead she face-plants into a river.

No, seriously.

I could feel my heart giving out on me little by little; then I collapsed in a rushing river.

I'm sorry, but I laughed so hard when first reading that, not helped by her reaction being what reads like mild annoyance.

Fine then, I thought to myself, let it be certain that no one ever finds me; that my body will drift to sea, forever lost and I will never have to see Zexion Silvera again.

All that time spent on heart problems and it's drowning that does her in. That's certainly a twist.

Well, that whole death thing sure sucks, now on to more important details like Xion getting together with Roxas. I bet nothing could ruin that happy moment... oh, except Zexion coming back and telling her that her sister's gone. Family death is always a bit of a buzzkill. She finds a convenient email from Aqua explaining how Myrr would die today and takes the news as underwhelmingly well as you would expect.

We just had let it passed by, a small funeral like gathering since we couldn't find her body. But we stayed at Twilight Town, since it's where her spirit rests. But Zexion however was deeply crushed and moved to Radiant Garden.

That's a surprisingly heavy subject the fic glosses over so quickly (because boyfriends are always more important, even when they're not your own). Xion never got the chance to say a final goodbye to her sister, she doesn't get a final anything with her sister, and I imagine the grieving process would hurt even more than usual because of that. From her perspective, she was having fun at a party when her other half simply vanished and she'll never truly know what happened. That's sad as hell, man. How does anyone else react to this tragedy? We'll never really know because the chapter ends right there.

And then! With no lead in or preamble! Surprise, it turns out these are the same characters in the Organization XIII we know from the games! In the very same lifetime! What's really amazing is that this is not the one time this writer's pulled an ending like this. So, yeah, everyone's in the Org now. 'Why' isn't fully explained, just that everyone joined at various times. The final author's note has a retroactive where-are-they-now deal that helps fill in some details: Vexen became a scientist to find a way to bring Myrr back, Zexion simply lost his heart same as canon except at a different age I guess, and some people like Demyx or Roxas merely forgot about Myrr's effect on their life. Apparently Axel, who has not spoken a single word this entire time, forced himself to forget about her because he was soooooo sad about what happened. Sure.

Anyhoo, the-still-somehow-a-Replica Xion holds on to the hope she can find her twin some day and those seashells she picks up during Days she discovers have fragments of Myrr's memories. That doesn't seem terribly helpful but WHATDOYOUKNOW it turns out Myyr's Nobody arrives at the castle. (I know DDD changed how Nobodies work for obvious pandering, but I still don't think you become one because you plain ol' died.) She's put under Zexion's care, because of course she would be, and he and Xion figure out the seashells will bring her back. Sure enough, they do and she's awakened once more! Again!

I know it must seem like I'm skipping a lot but this is all said and done in several sentences. This perfect golden ending is very hurried and, not going to lie, I don't mind all that much. Yeah, I'm making jokes for the fun of it, but it is actually quite fitting to this whole story, which has always held a certain "kid writing their first story in Wordpad" vibe to it. Everything being easily solved is the most apt ending it could have.

"Well my little miracle, you're a Nobody now," Zexion said, "a being who lost their heart, which means, the condition that affected you in your past life won't affect you."

"Good news, you're an empty shell!"

Everyone still loves each other and then it's time for Myrr, the fifteenth member of a thirteen member group, to receive her fancy new Nobody name. It ends up being...

"Ryxrm?" she asked.

I'm as confused as you are, Myrr. A person needs a pronunciation guide for a name like that. The best I can figure is you'd say it "Riks-erm". Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. She's also given the title 'the Miracle of Memories'.


Uh oh, everyone under 18 has to leave the room.

I can't believe it. Even if I am a puppet, I finally found my sister again. Now life at Organization XIII can finally have meaning for both me and Zexion.
~Xion, Number XIV the Enchantress of Memories

It's happily ever after... up until, you know, everything from the games happens. Kingdom Hearts is where happy relationships go to die.

And thus the story ends, with Myrr essentially being a palette swap of Xion's game counterpart, and isn't that a perfect way to wrap all this up?

I may have seemed harsh, and objectively this fic is not very good, but I can honestly say I enjoyed that fic more than most of what I've found this year. It kept me on my toes the entire time and, even if not in the intended way, entertained me from start to finish. This is the kind of fic that is written for the sole sake of 'fun'. It never pretended to be anything grander than a simple romance drama and I can can have fun with that too. I can only hope this post was fun for you to read as well.

Everyone have a good day, and a happy holidays!
mokyn: (xion/kairi)

[personal profile] mokyn 2017-04-02 03:45 am (UTC)(link)
So I was wasting time rereading this, and is Myrr's family seriously not informed she's got a week to live? The email to Xion seems to imply so, and I don't think you can do that for a character who's a minor. It was a major plot point in Deadline that the protagonist had just turned 18, so legally he could tell his doctor not to let anyone else know he had a terminal illness.

Also, still laughing and awwing over "So after Repliku has an even briefer existence than in the games" what a zinger.