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Fanfic / A Skittering Heart

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A Skittering Heart's Cover

There is more light inside our hearts than all the stars that we can see.
If you ever feel alone.
If you ever need me.
Just close your eyes and look inside.
I'll be there.
I promise.

A Worm fanfic by Stewart92 written on the Spacebattles web forum. It has been cross-posted to, AO3, and Sufficient Velocity. Currently on its second thread. A remake titled A Skittering Heart: Final Mix can be found here.

A Skittering Heart is a crossover story between Worm and Kingdom Hearts. When placed under immense physical and psychological stress, instead of Triggering as a parahuman, Taylor Hebert awakens the power of a Keyblade from Kingdom Hearts. Armed with a weapon wielded by heroes and villains across the stars, Taylor sets out to be the hero Brockton Bay deserves… and ends up becoming a fashion model along the way.

The plot makes use of numerous minor characters from canon and original characters to build a very different perspective on the world of capes encountered by Taylor in-canon. Starting earlier than canon the story A Skittering Heart is both Lighter and Softer and, paradoxically, Darker and Edgier than the original Worm.

Warning: The story contains spoilers for both Worm and Kingdom Hearts.

This fanfic contains examples of:

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     Story wide Tropes 
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: A number of the espers are the living personification of a concept.
    • Ifrit is the embodiment of Fire and Ruin.
    • Shiva represents Ice Everlasting and Isolation.
    • Mog is the esper of Guidance and Curiosity
    • Ultros represents Infiltration and Tracking
  • Another Side, Another Story: The frequent use of interludes means that the stories of the side characters feature much more prominently than in Worm.
  • Darker and Edgier: Both played straight and inverted. For the inversion please see Lighter and Softer. In a Skittering Heart, despite improvements to her life Taylor has lost an eye, her father is in long term psychiatric care due to brain damage that causes him to mistake Taylor for her mother, trauma from being badly burned during Bakuda’s bomb attack, and at the equivalent point of the start of canon Worm, suffers a psychotic break due to witnessing her best friend be incinerated right in front of her after she’d just fought Lung to try and prevent that exact outcome.
  • Lampshade Hanging: It’s everywhere. From Taylor using reaction commands, calling her attacks, to Taylor thinking Tattletale spouting nonsense that sounds like it belongs in a book. Generally used as a means to integrate the game mechanics of Kingdom Hearts into a written format and make them compatible with Worm.
  • Lighter and Softer: Both played straight and inverted. For said inversion(s), please see Darker and Edgier. While the story has many dark aspects that make it worse than canon, it also has many aspects that make it less grim than its canon counterpart. In A Skittering Heart Taylor managed to make friends with people who did not cause her a moral dilemma (Parian/Sabah, Mog the Moogle, and Boco the Chocobo) like the Undersiders did. Due to the presence of Boco Shadow Stalker’s solo-patrols are brought to light causing Sophia to receive better therapy and be removed from school. The removal from school causes a splintering between Taylor’s school bullies and while the infighting occurs Taylor is unmolested at school. So between having friends earlier than canon, school being bearable, and having a legal job as a Cape, Taylor’s life is greatly improved over canon.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Taylor. She practically embodies this trope, using magic as her go to solution in nearly any situation. She uses ice to trip opponents, encase them in shells, heal herself, and much more. She’s a warrior unafraid to take a stand and does so with magic. This is mainly due to Taylor choosing the Staff during the Dive into the Heart, the author said the story would have gone in a very different direction if the readers had chosen differently.
  • Masquerade: Heroes and Villains both live by a set of 'unwritten rules' to maintain this. They will not go out of their way to find a Capes secret identity and if they do accidentally, they will not use it against them. This even extends to the general public with most internet sites (Para Humans Online mainly) banning speculation on Cape identities.
    • People who break the Masquerade generally do not survive long.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Taylor frequently unlocks new powers as she needs them. Justified: It’s the implementation of the level up mechanics from Kingdom Hearts into a story format. Only powers which appear in game appear and in a similar order to the leveling system.
    • Somewhat lampshaded by Clockblocker: "Keynote. Grab bags are supposed to take a few powers from the bag, not take the whole bag and run away cackling."
  • Zipperiffic: considering one of the core elements of the story, it's not surprising that Taylor's cape outfit is subject to this. Mog even invokes it by stating that it's tradition.

     Prologue — Ch. 1 - 4 
  • All of the Other Reindeer: This is what caused Taylor to awaken her latent power of the Keyblade. She was locked into her biological waste filled locker for hours and no one tried to get her out, despite numerous witnesses. Instead they stood around and laughed.
  • But Thou Must!: During the Dive into the Heart, Taylor tries to simply leave the Station of Awakening where a Keyblade wielder choose the path they will go down; sword - attack, shield - defense, staff- magic. It turns out Taylor can't leave until she chooses. She eventually chooses the staff.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening:
    • Taylor and every parahuman. Taylor awakened the Keyblade after being bullied and socially isolated for a year, after her mother had died and locked inside her own locker with rotten used tampons for several hours.
    • It’s later implied Sabah gained her powers after the death of her father and the pushiness of a male suitor when she is a lesbian.

     Act 1 — Ch. 5 - 8 
  • All of the Other Reindeer: After returning to Winslow Taylor finds her bullies unpunished and unafraid. They immediately resume bullying her while multiple people just watch on.
  • Broken Bird: Almost a requirement to be a parahuman due to the necessary Traumatic Superpower Awakening.
    • Special mention goes to Taylor. Her mother's dead, her ex-best friend betrayed her and tormented her, then her father was put in long term psychiatric care for brain damage. Needless to say Taylor's mental health has been severely affected.

     Act 2 — Ch. 9 - 13 
  • Action Girl: Taylor. While initially weak (struggles against three gangsters), she quickly racks up the levels in badass to become an absolute powerhouse. She fights against Rune of the Empire 88 and then goes toe to toe with Lung forcing his growth as far as entire teams of heroes have before.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Circus. The identification of Circus as male or female shifts depending on the character observing and no one, not even Circus, is definite about their gender. This is implied to be one of his/her super powers, to be able to switch gender or pick anything in between during their interlude.
  • Anti-Magic: Taylor's Keyblade, The Melody of the Lost, has the unique ability 'silence.' It is later revealed to essentially end any ongoing affects of parahuman powers that require constant input from the parahuman (e.g. telekinesis, regeneration).
  • Badass Longcoat: Taylor’s second costume consist of this and a magically darkened hood.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Enforced: Taylor is noted by Mog to be particularly adept at magic because she doesn’t need to do this. She still does though as it makes spell casting easier.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Despite appearing to want to at several stages, Sabah cannot bring herself to ask Taylor if she likes her, or tell Taylor she has feelings for her.
  • Clueless Chick-Magnet: Taylor seems to be a victim of this. Between her actions causing Sabah to develop a crush on her she’s also drawn interest from Rune, for defeating her, and Tattletale, for no selling her power. Taylor however, remains Oblivious to Love.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Or at least Circus thinks so. After trying and failing to steal the Keyblade and consequently hurting Taylor Parian gets angry and defeats Circus. After talking out their problems Circus leaves but comes back, jumping in to help Taylor and Sabah fight Lung and Oni Lee. Circus also gives them a new coffee table. Taylor and Sabah are less than enthused by this.
  • Desperately Craves Affection:
    • Taylor is implied to feel this, as she responds so readily to physical affection in story. She often makes note of fondly remembered moments of physical contact.
    • Sabah to a lesser extent. Due to self imposed social isolation Sabah has lacked much in the way of affection. The only reference to a family is her dead father and Sabah seems to want the companionship and physical affection love brings.
  • Emotional Powers: Taylor uses her emotions to help her cast spells. This is beneficial as it makes her spells much more powerful. However, the downside is the spells affecting her emotional state by way of the associated memories (such as Ice being powered literally by despair).
  • Empathy Pet: Boco seems to be this for Sabah, often coming home late and causing her to mother him. He does, however, seem fully intelligent and allows Sabah to do so.
  • Endearingly Dorky: Taylor. She's shy, socially awkward, a little nerdy and oblivious and as such is somewhat of a dork. She also acts very cutely with her best friend Sabah, who seems to quite like this.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Taylor starts wearing an eyepatch after losing her left eye to one of Bakuda’s bombs. It no longer seems to hinder her much after the initial adjustment.
  • Fairy Companion: Mog! He acts as Taylor’s magical tutor and item creator/upgrader.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: Invoked: Sabah deliberately designed Taylor's costume to invoke this trope. By dressing Taylor in all white Sabah deliberately portrayed Taylor as Good, a Hero, and she is easily identified as such by anyone meeting her.
  • Healing Hands:
    • Taylor has this as a spell, Cure, which can heal injuries (cuts, bruises, broken bones) but the more severe the injury the less it is healed, up to reviving the recently dead but leaving them otherwise unhealed.
    • Panacea has been referenced to have this power as per canon.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Sabah states in Chapter 9 that her power is no good in a fight, that's why the gangs leave her alone. This is shown to be untrue as in Chapter 13 when Sabah uses her powers to easily beat Circus.
    • Sabah demonstrates this again. While not calling her ability to create shells for Espers and allowing them to Travel to Eartn-Bet as weak, she doesn't believe it is combat applicable. This shown to be untrue and in fact a truly awesome power when, with the help of Mog and Boco Sabah enters her Super Mode.
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: Taylor repeatedly does or is mentioned to have done this to Sabah. She bakes Sabah cakes, puts bubbles on her nose when doing the dishes, cuddles up to her on the couch, wanders around in her underwear… Taylor is the master of accidental innuendo.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes:
    • Taylor’s Badass Long Coat has been alter magically by Mog so that the hood is always in darkness and cannot be blown off.
    • Parian wears an impossible dress, justified as her telekinetic powers allow her to control the cloth that forms her costume.
  • In a Single Bound: Taylor possesses the ability to leap 10 to 12 feet into the air. While this doesn't seem to damage the enviroment, it is later to shown to provide the appropriate recoil when kicking off people.
  • Insistent Terminology: It’s Portunes! After Assault forgets Taylor’s cape name (Portunes) when giving a TV interview after meeting her he calls her Keynote. Everyone subsequently calls Taylor Keynote despite her attempts to correct them.
  • Little Miss Badass: Vista, as per canon. She's young, small, cute, one of the most powerful heroes in the city, as well as the most experienced of the Wards team. Specifically noted to be so by Taylor after going on a patrol with her.
  • Mind over Matter: Sabah’s super power is to imbue light materials (nothing much heavier than cloth or needles) with kinetic energy that allows her to manipulate them telekinetically. If this is done too fast, too much is energy is added, or the wrong material imbued it results in an explosive failure.
  • Morton's Fork: Rune states that Kaiser uses this method to recruit his followers, with herself being one of those recruits.
  • No Social Skills: The implied reason for Taylor’s obliviousness to love and accidental flirting. Due to more than a year of bullying and near total social isolation Taylor has lost near all social skills, especially as she wasn’t the most social person before the bullying. Fortunately or unfortunately she's picking up her skills again from Sabah who is a lesbian with a crush on her.
  • Oblivious to Love: Despite Sabah’s best efforts and Taylor’s Accidental Innuendo, Taylor remains unaware Sabah has feelings for her and that she returns those feelings.
  • O.C. Stand-in: Circus was given little screen time in canon. In A Skittering Heart they’re more than just a gender ambiguous clown. S/He’s given some extra dimension such as being a kleptomaniac, Sir Swearsalot, and having a strong desire to steal personal belongings that people hold with value, without understanding why they are valuable.
  • Power Incontinence:
    • The Keyblade causes Tattletale to suffer from this due its metaphysical nature.
    • Taylor suffers from this to a lesser extent, often summoning the Keyblade in her sleep.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Circus swears almost at least once per sentence. Special note is made in Circus’s interlude that to them swearing is like smoking, something they’re addicted to and not swearing is painful.
  • Summon Magic:
    • Sabah demonstrates a variation of this power. She can create life like dolls which can house espers/summon spirits.
    • Taylor also gains this later when she summons Ifrit.
  • Technical Pacifist:
    • Sabah does not like fighting, she does not want to be a hero. She wants to make clothes and be a fashion designer. Unfortunately fate is not kind and she must frequently put aside her dislike of fighting to defend herself and her best friend Taylor.
    • Taylor to a lesser extent. While she may not be as radically opposed to fighting as Sabah, she would like it if there was no need and she could just protect her neighborhood and no one bother her or Sabah.
  • Transparent Closet: Taylor seems to be exhibiting this. She constantly acts sweet and flirts with Sabah, performing couply type actions. Yet she makes no further moves, mostly because she was damaged by her former best friend. It's obvious enough that her father mistakes Taylor's attempt to tell him she's a cape as her coming out of the closet.
  • Xanatos Gambit: Kaiser tries this on Taylor and Sabah. To deescalate tensions between the Empire and the two Rogues after Rune attacked Taylor he specifically gives them territory that border both his own territory and that of the rival gang the ABB. The idea is that the ABB will focus on moving through that area forcing the two Rogues to either leave, get killed by the ABB, or join the Empire. He did not seem to count on them proving strong enough to hold their ground although that arguably benefits Kaiser too.

     Act 3 — Ch. 14 - 17 
  • Alas, Poor Yorick: Downplayed. At the end of chapter 15, when Taylor believes Sabah is dead she picks up Sabah's burnt mask and cries over it.
  • Anthropomorphic Personification: The Espers are each implied to embody a different series of aspects as anthropomorphic personifications. Ifrit for instance, is the embodiment of fire and ruin.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Sabah in her alter ego, Parian, was the first person to have been nice to Taylor in nearly two years. This results in Taylor latching onto Sabah emotionally. It is so extreme that Taylor is prepared to sacrifice her life in Sabah's defense.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Happens multiple times during the battle against Lung.
    • Sabah does this when Lung is squeezing Taylor to death, saving her.
    • Circus later does this, saving Taylor again by stabbing Lung in the eyes.
    • Taylor later saves Sabah when Lung is about to kill her by hitting him with a rocket strike from the Keyblade.
  • Blade Enthusiast: Circus. Along with many of their other personality quirks, Circus is an expert with throwing knives and loves them. They even got into a knife fight with a teleporting assassin infamous for using knives and when asked how they beat them replies “He tried to out knife me.”
  • Break the Cutie: Already starting of with a tragic backstory, Taylor's life keeps getting worse, she still gets bullied, her father gets brain damaged while she loses an eye, and her new home is destroyed. The only light and good thing in her life is her new best friend Sabah and her two summons, Mog and Boco whose presence of Earth is tied to Sabah. Then Sabah apparently dies in front of her, and Taylor just collapses in despair.
  • Chaotic Neutral: In-Universe example. The espers wish for Taylor to be the first Keyblade wielder to be this, serving neither the Light nor Darkness but rather the result of their battle, chaos itself.
  • The Chessmaster: Coil. When both the Protectorate and Wards are tied up earlier than canon, he makes his move early to capture Dinah, while at the same time using Tattletale to gather information on the Keyblade.
  • Conscience Makes You Go Back: When fleeing Lung the Undersiders use Taylor as a distraction while they escape Lung. Later, they return after to help fight Lung because Grue and Tattletale feel guilty leaving someone else to fight Lung for them.
  • Death Seeker: Downplayed. Despite her changed situation from canon, Taylor was still suicidal due to depression. Whilst Taylor claims to have never thought of killing herself, she still attacks Lung knowing that she is likely going to die. She does so because she fears having no value, that one day she will wake up powerless again and lose her friends. She can't bear the thought of returning to her life before she met Sabah so she'd rather die.
  • Era-Specific Personality: The Espers are revealed to suffer from this to a certain extent. They each have a variety incarnations and forms due to being composites of belief and the beliefs of different places/times not being consistent.
    • Bahumut, the Dragon King, is noted to be especially prone to this, even going so far as to "whore himself out."
  • Fate Worse than Death: Ifrit implies this about the process of losing one's heart and becoming one of the Heartless, a race of Omnicidal Maniacs.
  • Friendship Moment: When Sabah sees Taylor trapped inside a magical barrier and being mind raped she reminds Taylor how heroic she is and tells Taylor how much she values her as a friend. Sabah then proceeds to shatter the barrier out of love for her friend.
    "Enough of that! I didn't risk my neck, fighting Lung, Oni Lee or anything else that’s happened tonight for a nobody. For someone who doesn’t matter. I did it for my friend, someone very important to me. Maybe you've heard of her? Portunes the hero? You need to get it together Portunes."
  • The Fettered: Taylor has a very distinct mantra that she must ‘save people’. She wants to protect everyone from the Villains of her city after she was not able/aware she needed to stop a terrorist bombing by Bakuda which cost Taylor her eye and caused her father brain damage.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: When in her fusion with Ifrit, Taylor's empty eye socket glows an ominous red, flickering as though there was a fire inside it.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: During the Esper council interlude it is noted by Ifrit that Espers that aren't believed in are sad, weak beings, and that belief seems to make them stronger.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • After Taylor sees Sabah being attacked by Lung and incinerated right in front of her she stops fighting and breaks down screaming. It's directly said by Tattletale that Taylor was having a psychotic break at witnessing the death of her best friend.
    • A much more lighthearted BSOD occurs when Taylor finds out that, officially, she's a fashion model.
  • Hope Is Scary:
    • Almost directly said by Ifrit.
    Hope is the most dangerous thing of all.
    • The implied reason for why Taylor wanted to die. She was so used to her Jade-Colored Glasses that finally having friends and something good in her life terrified her as she was certain that one day she'd lose them.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat:
    • Mouse Protector seems to regularly try and get people to engage in this with her by using puns on them. She is delighted when Taylor is one of the few people to respond in kind and actually fire puns back at her.
    • Gilgamesh versus Mouse Protector. They are two large hams who literally fight each other, but not before both try to out do each other with dramatic entrances and proclaiming their names.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight:
    • The battle against Lung, specifically noted as such by Taylor. Lung constantly gets stronger during a fight. Taylor realizes that makes it virtually impossible for her to beat him as she lacks the fire power necessary to put him down fast enough before he can out pace her. She tries anyway.
    • Gilgamesh initially calls Taylor this due to the contract he struck with Danny due to being unable to directly hurt her. He then reconsiders when he realizes he can indirectly hurt Taylor by throwing other people at her or summoning his own arms, then calling Taylor a gimmick boss.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Even though Taylor is nowhere near the meeting where in canon Lung told his followers to 'kill kids', Taylor still ends up fighting Lung the same night she did in canon.
  • Living Emotional Crutch:
    • Sabah to Taylor. After the permanent brain damage of her dad, Taylor nearly had a break down and relies on Sabah to keep her going. She explicitly states that Sabah is the only reason she can keep going and dares to have hope.
    • Taylor is to a lesser extent this to Sabah. After going for so long without friends due to overworking herself and the isolation of having super powers, finally having a friend and possible romantic interest means she has become very dependent on Taylor for comfort and support. As you can imagine when either thinks the other is dead bad things ensue.
  • Love Confession: Subverted. After Taylor gets buried alive while fighting Lung, Sabah believes her to be dead. She laments “I never got to tell Taylor how I felt and now I never will.”
  • Mind Rape: Ifrit does this to Taylor, shutting off her emotions and inflicting her with physical and mental pain, whispering taunts in her mind. Justified as he was doing so due to the excess of rage he absorbed from Taylor to prevent her suffering a Fate Worse than Death
  • Mistaken for Gay: Taylor claims this when Clockblocker comments that Sabah and Taylor are acting incredibly gay. Not that he's judging. However, Taylor immediately refutes this claiming not to be a lesbian. It's unclear though if this is true or if Taylor is just still in the closet.
    "I'm not a lesbian."
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: During the battle against Lung after Taylor, the Undersiders, Circus, Sabah, Mog, Boco, Glory Girl, Brandish, Miss Militia, and even Ifrit have thrown everything they have against the dragon, he's still undefeated. Then Dragon arrives to finish the fight. Instead of like Taylor expected, Dragon doesn't go in guns blazing. Instead she reveals Paige Mcabee, who was being transported inside her suit. Then Paige, AKA Bad Canary, sings. Her song ensnares Lung and affects everyone else present, soothing them and making them sleepy, taking away aggression and the desire to fight. Where pure force, no matter how overwhelming, failed Canary's song soothes the dragon's heart and finally defeats Lung. Justified as Paige has Mind-Control Music as a super power.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Shadow Stalker pretty much states that Keynote/Taylor's hatred for her civilian life has made her dependent on her Cape personality to cope, just like Shadow Stalker herself.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The Omniscient Council of Vagueness that is first seen as basically Sinister Silhouettes are later revealed to be deeply divided and with many contesting an quirky personalities. They still remain vague and mysterious, and manage to get things done, just not as much as they could have if they did not spend so much of their time arguing.
  • Oh, Crap!: The very forces of Light and Dark have this reaction when the Espers decide to interfere with Taylor's life becoming the first Keyblade wielder to draw from chaos.
  • The Omniscient Councilof Vagueness: A rare non-villainous example. When Taylor, instead of receiving her power from a Shard, was pulled into the Dive into Heart where she received her Keyblade "The Melody of the Lost", something happened that allowed entry into her world from outside. This opened it up to the influence of Espers who send Mog & Boco to get the lay of the land. They discover that the wielder of the Keyblade, Taylor, is teetering on the edge of darkness and decide to lend their aid. They then discuss and observe how this affects Taylor, themselves and the balance of the worlds, and make decisions and statements based on understanding that seemingly only they possess.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The self proclaimed Plucky Comic Relief and slightly snarky Clockblocker, a young Super Hero of a government regulated and sponsored Super Team, the Wards, shows surprising amount of insight and analytical acumen when it comes to giving his thoughts on Keynote during a meeting to assess her threat level. This surprises most who know him, as he's mostly known for clowning around and cracking poorly thought out jokes.
  • The Power of Friendship: After returning to school and finding the bullying has immediately started up again, Taylor goes looking for Parian who she met once. When Taylor finds Parian not at home she turns around to leave with the implication she’s going off to try and commit suicide... and runs into Parian in her civilian identity, Sabah. Sabah recognizes Taylor and upon seeing her disheveled and distressed state invites her inside to eat pancakes and friendship happens.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Director Emily Piggot, the Mean Boss of the PRT East-North-East. Has every reason to hate parahumans as the Sole Survivor (Well... There was another survivor, but we don't talk about HIM) of an event involving a super powered madman. She was left with a Career-Ending Injury after the parahumans who were supposed to help ran away, and yes, she does hate and fear parahumans quite a bit. Despite all this she still tries to deal fairly with Keynote's case. She is more concerned with public safety and liability. She still wants to keep an eye on Keynote, but she explains why.
  • The Stations of the Canon: Despite not going out looking to fight crime, not entering ABB territory, and not hearing Lung's speech Taylor ends up fighting Lung on same night as canon all the same.
  • Super-Power Meltdown: When Taylor sees Sabah get supposedly incinerated by Lung's flames she has a psychotic break. This leads to her summoning Ifrit and giving him the order to “Burn them. Burn them all.” Understandably, this does not end well.
  • Status Buff: When in her fusion with Ifrit, Taylor accidentally casts the spell 'Mighty Guard' when attempting to heal Glory Girl. The spell not only heals, but also increase the recipients speed and provides them with a protective force field/shell.
  • Super Mode: This seems to be achieved in A Skittering Heart by a person fusing with one of the Espers. Results seem to vary depending on the person and Esper involved.
    • Choco Knight is the first such Super Mode, created by Mog and Boco fusing with Sabah. Choco Knight was able to fight on almost even ground with a ramped up Lung and could possibly have beaten him if not for the inherent time-limit of the transformation.
    • The as yet unnamed drive form for Taylor, created by her fusing with Ifrit. It grants Taylor many passive buffs, such as immunity to fire, as well as cosmetic changes.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Especially when that sword once thrown ignores gravity, homes in on the enemy, and will boomerang back to the thrower. Taylor's Keyblade is somewhat bullshit and in the worst case scenario can be summoned back to her hand. This even gets an upgrade when Taylor fuses with Ifrit allowing her to throw the Keyblade with rocket propulsion.
  • Unstoppable Rage:
    • Lung has this as a super power. Similar to the Hulk, when Lung gets angry and is in combat he increasingly grows bigger, stronger, and tougher, gains increasingly powerful pyrokinesis, and turns into a dragon.
    • Taylor does her own version of this by using her grief fueled rage at Sabah’s supposed death to summon a literal fire demon that is itself an unstoppable rage beast.
  • Wrong Context Magic: The Keyblade. As a non-shard derived power, the Keyblade has been shown to not play nicely with anyone who uses superpowers on it (hurting Circus when they tried to put it in a pocket dimension and making Tattletale start speaking prophetic nonsense).
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Ifrit says this to Taylor. That despite all her rage and despair, all the darkness inside her, that at her heart Taylor is a good person, that she has hope.
    “Even in the deepest pits of human rage, buried in the darkness of your own despair... You clung to hope. You cried out for salvation and I answered your call."
  • Worth Living For: When tired and defeated after fighting Lung, Taylor believes she is going to die and she is okay with that. Then Ifrit confronts her about her reasons for fighting Lung and forces Taylor to admit she was seeking death. Then with prompting Taylor thinks about all the good she now has in her life, the friends she has made and she realizes... She no longer wants to die, the grey and empty world she lived in is gone. She has something, somebody worth living for.
     Act 4 — Ch. 18 - 22 
  • All Abusers Are Male: This implied to be how Sabah thinks. Sabah was forced into a relationship with a boy while she was studying Engineering at college through peer preesure, social isolation when she refused to date him, and her mother's expectations. She hated it and felt disgusted with him and herself for allowing it due to being a lesbian still in the closet. This contributed to her Trigger event and consequently Sabah dislikes men in general.
  • Badass Boast: Gilgamesh delivers a rather long one when he finally loses his cool after finding out that due to carelessness, Mog nearly blew up the planet and committed the crime of human sacrifice.
    Gilgamesh - “I am the warrior who knows no end to his battle. I am the man who has seen the darkest of nights and the brightest of dawns, seen villages and cities wiped out by disaster and obliterated by warring gods, entire worlds brought to an end in an instant! I’ve held the mightiest weapons of legend, and the deadliest of cursed arms! I have travelled across realms of darkness and light! I have sought the endless quest, the desire to fight and defeat all!! And now I have crossed the gap to this world and you, all of you, stand on my bridge, expecting me to bend but I will not bow!! I am the warrior who time cannot stop, I am the fighter that space cannot contain, and I am the swordmaster that will not be defeated!!!”
  • Becoming the Mask: Jess. Literally. Circus's real/birth name has never been revealed in story. The name Jess Quin was one she literally pulled out of hat to use for a year as her civilian identity. Circus never had any attachments and seemed to actively avoid them. However, she became attached to Taylor, Sabah, and Ingrid, enjoying the job they had at the Dollhouse together and no longer wanting to give up that identity and leads to their Heel–Face Turn.
  • Black Mage: Taylor has demonstrated use of all the traditional Final Fantasy elemental spells; Ice, Fire, and Thunder. In story, Taylor also realized with the spells she knew her repertoire was heavily slanted on the offensive/Black Mage side of the spell spectrum.
  • Closet Key: Sabah for Taylor to an extent. It's implied part of the reason Taylor never worked out she liked Sabah was because Taylor assumed she was straight, despite not liking the idea of kissing boys (to be fair, she didn't like the idea of kissing anyone. Sabah was implied to like Taylor though and Taylor returned the affection and unintentionally hit on Sabah leading to the pair developing unwitting crushes on each other. Fortunately Jess talked some sense into Taylor who then confronted Sabah and lead to their agreeing to start dating.
  • Drunken Boxing: Über learns and uses a variation of this when he fights Cricket to counter her nausea-inducing and balance-disrupting sonic attacks.
  • Genre Savvy:
  • Girls Love Chocolate: And cake. Especially chocolate cake. Sabah really loves chocolate, cakes, and most sweet things. Taylor wins lots of brownie points for herself by routinely baking such things for Sabah.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Circus performs one in a spectacular fashion. Circus was ordered by Coil to help 'steal' (kidnap) a little girl because she had a useful super power. However, due to her connections with Taylor, Sabah, and Ingrid as well as her own morality, Circus refused taking the name Jess as their true name and turning on the mercenaries they were supposed to be helping. Jess goes on to save Dinah and declare she's giving up villainy to become a hero.
  • Girliness Upgrade: Taylor receives one. At the start of the story she wears loose baggy sweaters and oversized jeans to hide her figure, criticizing her appearance. Later after eating better, magic healing to improve her complexion, receiving designer clothing from Sabah, and taking more pride in her appearance Taylor finally describes herself as pretty.
  • Large Ham:
    • Mouse Protector! Huzzah! Mouse Protector is a larger-than-life and hammy hero in a Crapsack World. She runs around screaming lines such as "The Truth has got its boots on" followed by "Boot to the head" and quite literally "For Great Justice!" However, this revealed to be a tactic to help create happy memories for her because the enhanced memory her super power gives her would otherwise drive her to suicide or becoming a monster.
    "It is I! Mouse Protector!"
    • Gilgamesh is as increbibly hammy as he is in the games. He deliberately plays music over a speaker system to act as theme music for his entrance, acts goofy and spouts rediculous lines and badass boasts as well as acting incredibly goofily and like he was straight out of game.
    “Hm, you think you can out kook me? I’m afraid you’re far too outmatched for that, Mouse Protector! For I am…” He trailed off and suddenly snapped his arms out, bending his legs, he swung his arms around in a circle and began running on the spot, he turned slowly, still running and flung his arms out as if to catch someone. “THE MIGHTY GILGAMESH!”
  • Lightning Bruiser: Taylor would qualify as such now. She has acknowledged she is a Brute (tougher to damage than a normal human) and wears an armored cloak. She has acquired significant skill and speed with her swordsmanship. She has a large variety of offensive spells for ranged combat. Finally, she is acquiring a number of support spells. Taylor is becoming a hero with few weaknesses who can fulfill any role.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Sabah feared that she and Taylor had this. After Taylor professed "I'm not a lesbian" Sabah thought her crush on Taylor was doomed and was one of the reasons she was so hesitant about making a move on Taylor. Fortunately it turns out Taylor simply hadn't thought about it all that much and was actually demisexual.
  • Magically-Binding Contract: Gilgamesh and Danny make one of these, allowing Gilgamesh control of his body while in exchange for healing him.
    “You shall not harm my body. You shall protect one object of my desire. You shall above all else... take my morals unto yourself.”
  • Magic Knight: Taylor firmly steps into this role. After initially using the Keyblade as a sword only rarely or unskillfully, she has now progressed to blocking super speed attacks, cutting huge chunks of ice with a single slash, and wielding the blade at what she describes as superhuman speeds.
  • Master of Unlocking: Taylor, Sabah, and Ifrit have at least mentioned or commented once on Taylor's ability to unlock any lock with the Keyblade and how useful it can/could be.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Taylor uses the spell 'Cure' to relieve stress, as a form of massage to relax muscles, and to help with her complexion.
    • Sabah takes this trope to its logical extreme, using her super powers to not be a hero or villain but to actually try and make money from her telekinetic control of cloth first using puppets and later a clothing business. She controls needles, thread, and cloth to do custom fittings for clients for which she charges a premium, and people will pay said premium to meet a real life super human.
  • The Paragon: Taylor has begun acting like this. Whether or not it's intentional is debatable but she inspires the best in others and encourages them to not only help themselves but to help others too. Taylor wants to help people and see those she helps in turn help someone else, just as Sabah helped her and now she helps others.
  • Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality: It was revealed Taylor suffered from this to an extent. Any situation or even just thinking about anything remotely physically intimate was enough to make Taylor want to gag. She found the idea of kissing vomit worthy and anything more absolute squick.
  • Shipper on Deck: Both Jess and Ingrid ship Sabah with Taylor. In a case of Everyone Can See It, both Ingrid and Jess could see the attraction both Taylor and Sabah had for each other and collectively tried to engineer situations where the two would be alone in a romantic setting, and spying on them while they did so. It's also implied Ingrid tried talking to Sabah into talking to Taylor about it, but that plan failed.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Taylor for Sabah. In case where Taylor could not imagine anything remotely sexual without feeling ill, she distinctly doesn't feel that way when she imagines kissing Sabah. Instead, Taylor blushes and feels her heart flutter, lips even parting when they nearly kiss at one point. This is implied to because Taylor requires an emotional connection to someone to feel any romantic feelings for them and since she has only one close human friend her choice for roamnce is reduced to a single individual, Sabah.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Taylor and Sabah. They finally cleared the air about how they both feel about each other and the psychosis each of them has (Sabah's relationship problems and Taylor's sexuality and self image issues). Consequently the two have dediced to try dating and see how it works out but due to the actions of different villains have yet to go on an actual date yet. Taylor herself describes Sabah as more than a friend, but girlfriend not having the right connotations due to the sheer amount of suppoort and love Taylor recieves from Sabah, calling the other girl her pillar.
  • White Mage: Taylor seems to want to learn more support type spells to fill this role when she can't go on the offensive.