Author: Gray-Rain Skies PM
There was more to them than empty shells, he was sure of it. [ZexionDemyx]Rated: Fiction T - English - Zexion & Demyx - Words: 8,322 - Reviews: 33 - Favs: 59 - Follows: 3 - Published: 03-11-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3435243
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
For Silver Moon Droplet, or Ana.
(ducks) Please don't kill me. This oneshot just would not end. (stabs) Yeah, I know, right? Another ridiculously long oneshot that you guys are gonna murder me for. (sigh) I guess I can only say this: Um, please don't.
Oh well. It's my first Zexion x Demyx, too, because I really think the pairing's cute. I hope it's not too bad, though; admittedly, I think Demyx is a little too innocent.
But he's still so cute. (hugs Demyx) And I hope you like it, Ana!
-- - --
"Oh, we do too have hearts. Don't be ma-ad."
Holding his arms defensively to his chest, the blond stared mournfully at his superior standing opposite to him, whose gaze flicked up from the text in his hand to stare back impassively, curtain of dark hair draping as always over his right eye. He said nothing, the silence achingly prolonged as the blond squirmed, shifting his feet and even offering a small smile as he tried for a reaction out of the stoic Zexion, but was only rewarded with a roll of the eyes in the end. Attention falling back to his book, Number Six shifted his feet and glided around the sulking blond, footfalls echoing in the hallway as he made his way to the library.
"Zexion!" the blond complained, turning around and bouncing on his heels, only to be ignored as the smaller man disappeared down the passageways.
Drawing his lower lip out in a pout, crossing his arms, Number Nine let his head fall, a few strands of dirty blond hair tickling his forehead as he stared at the tiled floor in thought. It didn't matter to him, that others in the Organization were convinced that they were lesser than other humans all because of a mere flaw. There was something special about Nobodies, that he was convinced, and the fact that he could be feeling this saddened now by Zexion's rejection only served to encourage such a thought process more within him.
He only wished that his fellow comrade wasn't so inclined to give up. He knew that he certainly couldn't live like that, strolling through the halls without need of a smile and brushing past his fellow associates as if he didn't notice, just the way Zexion did, thinking himself the only one in the world.
Sighing glumly, lowering his arms so that they swung weakly at his sides, he shook his head, not one to remain dismal about anything for too long. Theirs was a volatile existence, anyway; if one spent too long dwelling on anger, betrayal, wrath, sadness, hopeless or any other negative feelings for that matter, the end would come too quickly, half-life not lived to the fullest and death too soon coming to stake its claim.
So that was why he was already smiling; he didn't want to lose moments to dejection and anger (or at least phantom copies of such), because where was the fun then? And he was going to get Zexion to smile, he was sure of it.
"Pining over Number Six, Dem?"
Perking up, he looked over his shoulder with a widened grin, in time to see Axel step out of a dark portal, arms crossed over his chest, green eyes flashing as if he'd been told some sort of joke.
"See! You think we have hearts, right, Axel?"
Smile faltering, the red-haired Nobody merely shook his head, pinching the bridge of his nose with a sigh. "I don't know, Demyx. Don't bring this up again."
Pouting immediately, the blond tried to pin Axel with an irritated glare. Why were the Organization members so stubborn, anyway? Didn't they know how to smile?
He tried to keep up his stern façade for once, too. However, as the redhead lifted his chin, arched a brow, and allowed a grin to slip his lips upward incredulously, Demyx felt his smile widen brightly and then he was scratching the back of his head slightly, finding it quite impossible to stay upset.
Really, he didn't know how Zexion managed it, staying silent and brooding all the time.
"Well, good luck with your love problems," Axel replied nonchalantly, waving his hand in the air with an absent flourish, arms moving to cross back over his chest when he started down the hallways.
Sheepishly rubbing the back of his neck, grinning after the mischievous redhead, Demyx lingered in the hallway, the whites of the walls and quiet of the castle settling in around him.
-- - --
"I don't trust him."
Demyx tilted his head at the two cloaked figures, lingering in a corner as he leaned against the wall. Blinking innocently, he found it rather unreasonable that members of the Organization could so quickly judge the newest member. Sure, he was young, and yes, he was inexperienced, but they had to dislike him so quickly because he hadn't proved his loyalty?
He didn't understand.
"You keep frowning like that and your face will stay that way."
Jumping, Demyx turned his attention to the left, catching Axel lounging against the walls luxuriously, the space he occupied empty only moments before. Smile flitting to his face a moment, the redhead then turned his head and further crossed his arms over his chest, rolling his eyes in agitation.
"So," he began, voice drawling, tone bored, "Number Thirteen."
"He's young," Demyx put in thoughtfully.
"He's gonna weigh us down."
Demyx sighed tiredly. "O-oh. Not you too, Axel…"
Looking back, he grinned playfully, holding his hands up defensively. "Hey, I call it as I see it, Dem. After all, we can't all be natural-born optimists like you."
"You should give him a chance," the blond insisted.
Waving his hand in an exaggerated manner, he nodded distractedly, appearing as if he wasn't listening to everything Demyx was saying. Frowning, displeased that Axel was being so, well, like himself, actually, the blond let his head fall, shifting his feet on the floor so that the toes of his boots tapped together uncertainly.
"Is he scared?" Demyx found himself asking, immensely curious.
"He's a Nobody, Dem. How can he be?"
Shrugging weakly, the blond kept tapping his feet together, mouth twisting in a sad grimace. Truth be told, he was worried about the small boy. Something about the way he was taking everything so calmly, so well in stride, had him wondering if he was really as stable as he made himself appear.
Nobodies were secretive by nature, anyway. Without the hearts to feel, they had much to distrust and much to keep hidden. They carried themselves in a way that threatened harm to any who dared intrude on private thoughts. And Number Thirteen, dubbed Key of Destiny, called Roxas…he was no different.
But his eyes looked lost, and Demyx wondered just how held together the mostly-apathetic teen was.
"Demyx silent for once. How rare."
Attention snapping to at the sound of the breezing voice, Demyx felt his thoughts clear away as a cheerful grin brightened his expression. Pushing himself away from the wall, he clasped his hands awkwardly behind his back, bouncing on his heels as he caught sight of the dark-haired Number Six linger at the corner of the hallway, bored gaze sifting over the empty corridor and then completely glancing over him, moving to fall on Axel.
The redhead, for his part, grinned viciously, tilting down as he nodded his head and sparing the slightly discouraged Demyx a merciless look. "He's lost in romantic thoughts of you, Zexion. I'll bet he's making a long list in his head on the delusional redeeming qualities he thinks you have."
Zexion scoffed, visible eye narrowing as his impassive face darkened with discontent. Demyx, on the other hand, who'd yelped at Axel's comment, was stuttering words to the man blatantly ignoring him, waving his hands defensively as he swore that that wasn't the case.
"…n-no, really. Uh, don't…don't be mad, Zexion. I was thinking about Number Thirteen, not you! I-I mean, not that you're not nice and all, because you really can be, Zexion, I know you can be, you just try to hide it---"
Gaze snapping his way, Demyx stiffened in something akin to fear but not quite developed enough to be so, nervous expression paling at the ruthlessly dull stare matching his widened one. "Fool." Cringing at the bluntness of the insult, one eye closed as his shoulders hunched defensively, Demyx fiddled with his cloak in a sheepish manner as Axel watched in amusement, shrugging when Demyx glanced over at him awkwardly.
"S-sorry," the blond offered, looking back at the cool-tempered man, rubbing the back of his neck as he eased his submissive stance and offered a hopeful smile. Zexion, stoic as ever, allowed his gaze to flick from the ever-attentive Axel and then fall back onto Demyx's countenance, the blond watching all the while and tilting his head when Number Six's mouth twitched, his stare freezing over as he almost seemed to glower in accusation Demyx's way.
Without warning Zexion switched his feet, stepping away as his cloaks rippled softly in the air his movements created, footfalls creating echoes in the silence as he left without a word. Demyx eyed him curiously, though, feeling like he was missing something as he scratched at his neck slightly, a small smile quirking his lips upwards moments later when he caught the dark-haired man withdraw a book from the hidden recesses of his cloak, stepping into a darkness portal soon after.
"Well, you keep trying, Dem," Axel laughed gently, successfully gaining the blond's undivided attention. Blinking innocently, he stared in expectation, waiting for the redhead to go on. And, as he was one for dramatics and loved the attention, Axel waved his arm with a flourish, prolonging the silence as he stepped off the wall and glided past, Demyx's gaze following his movements as the blond furrowed his brow, greatly confused.
Summoning a portal, Axel turned, grinned, and tapped his temple playfully. "He's warming up to you, at any rate."
And Axel disappeared, leaving Demyx to stare after his departure in bewilderment, head tilted greatly to the side, back lounging against the wall as he blinked once.
-- - --
"Roxas is a pain in my ass," Axel moped, running his finger in circles on the table, other arm propped up on the table as he rested in cheek in his hand. Demyx smiled brilliantly in reply, offering silent encouragement as he lounged in a chair farther away, sitar resting against his legs as he plucked idly at the instrument, disjointed melody playing around with his mind.
"Not to be taken literally, I assume," Zexion replied smartly, eyes never glancing up from the book, his mask of a face never twitching once.
Demyx, who'd laughed at the comment and looked up, blinked when the man didn't respond, smile slowly falling down into a pout. He didn't understand why the dark-haired man had to be one of those Nobodies convinced that his existence was a sin and thus punished himself, never allowing even phantoms of emotions to pass across his features.
"Jeez, Zexion. Give me some credit."
"Number Six," he corrected idly, eyes narrowed in the briefest display of annoyance. "You'd best memorize that, Axel."
Demyx grinned as the redhead glanced sourly at the smaller man, a deep tune reverberating softly from the strummed strings of his instrument as he idly scraped his shoes against the floor tiles. Axel looked none too pleased, having been shown up by his own signature phrase, and was currently leaning back in his chair, simmering with anger as he crossed his arms over his chest and slammed his boots onto the table.
"Child," Zexion scoffed softly, gaze rolling to the ceiling as it flicked to the green-eyed Nobody and away.
"How is good 'ol Number Thirteen?" Demyx offered jovially, tilting his head to the side, question for Axel but brilliant smile directed towards Zexion. The man glanced up as he sensed his stare, the slight twitch of his eyebrow the only inclination that he was the least bit curious towards Demyx's actions, and, if possible, the blond beamed more brightly.
"The little jerk," Axel commented softly, the undertone of his voice fond, a thing which Demyx noticed immediately. Breaking his staring contest with Number Six, the blond sharply turned his gaze on Axel, whose eyes were focused on the ceiling, arrogant smile softened somewhat. Scratching his chin thoughtfully, Axel shrugged his shoulders. "He's still being the high-and-mighty brat, acting all princely and too good for us; you know, all aloof and untrusting?" Grinning, Axel lowered his head, wrinkling his nose in good humor. "He acts like he's the only one in the world without a heart. Imagine that."
Demyx laughed good-naturedly, rubbing the back of his neck as he leaned over his sitar and rested his chin on it comfortably. "It's a difficult concept to swallow, Axel. Besides, he hasn't been here long."
"Number Eight isn't known for his patience," Zexion remarked dully, gloved fingers toying with a page in his text as his eyes swept over the wording, the rustle of turning paper following soon after.
"Ooh, resorting to rank numbers, Zexion. Intimidating."
"---Six, yeah, yeah. I got it memorized," he interrupted before the dark-haired man could continue, and Demyx laughed softly, gentle smile playing on his lips as he watched the exchange.
Was this what friendship was like? They all said that, because Nobodies didn't have hearts, they couldn't have feelings of amiability or loyalty; thus, friendship was out of the question. But then what was this, this fraternizing and joking and teasing that they did so easily and thoughtlessly?
Leaning his head against part of his sitar, eyes falling to a close affectionately, he nodded once to himself. He didn't care what was said. This couldn't be some imitation.
"You guys are nice," he found himself saying, lowering his head at their stunned stares to pick at a few strings on his sitar. "I couldn't have asked for better friends."
He chose to ignore their following silence, not unaware of the fact that they probably didn't see their association in the light he saw it in. Laughing once as his fingers stumbled over a string and made an awkward sound, he kept his head inclined downwards, eyes trained on his fingertips.
Glancing up, Demyx grinned at the skeptical redhead, infectious smile no doubt softening the man's uncertainty. Rolling his eyes playfully, Axel stretched backwards, arms reaching over his head as he leaned over the back of his chair, eyes distracted by thought as they stared at the ceiling tiles.
"Don't be naïve," Zexion replied sharply, and Axel did a good job of masking his sudden stiffness, but Demyx caught it all the same. Smiling ruefully, turning his eyes to tilt his head at Number Six, Demyx waited for the brutal slander, which Zexion could achieve at a painful level with his few but still scathingly sarcastic remarks.
Shoulders hunching defensively, smile wavering between genuine and weak, Demyx met Zexion's deep blue stare, waiting for the words to come.
They were utterly surprising when they did.
"You'll only get hurt."
Demyx found himself unsure of what to think, staring after the superior Organization member, so his gaze strayed to Axel. The redhead's attention had been captured, and he was leaning forward in his righted chair as Zexion stood smoothly, book snapping in his hand, curtain of hair shifting over his right eye as he pushed his chair into place, cloak sweeping behind him as his feet carried him soundlessly to the door.
"Zex-Zexion…!" Demyx stuttered, half-rising out of his chair. But his efforts were in vain, for the door was already closing behind the dark-haired man, his movements without hesitation.
Sighing and setting aside his sitar, Demyx slumped forward, arms dangling before him as he glowered at the floor tiles, his mind reeling.
"What's eating him?" Axel commented dryly before stretching languidly again, legs propped back up upon the table as he crossed his arms comfortably, eyes tracing something on the white walls as his thoughts left the current room.
Gaze hesitantly flicking back to the door, Demyx felt his eyes fall to a close, and then he found himself smiling affectionately, just because he never had been skilled at getting mad at anyone. Especially when it came to Zexion.
-- - --
The castle was as calm as it could be, what with its thirteen eccentric members, and this Demyx noted peacefully as he lounged in an open hallway, sandwich loosely in hand.
He'd learned from trailing behind Zexion a lot of the time that this hallway, one which led to a library that was hardly ever used, was seldom occupied by anyone else in the Organization. It was why Number Six liked it, he'd murmured to the blond, speaking calmly to him in a rare instance as Demyx allowed himself to be silent and just listen. Listening was easy when it came to the Cloaked Schemer, though; his voice was soft, like the rustle of dark curtains, gentle and beautiful and entirely captivating.
Smiling, Demyx let his legs stretch out before him comfortably, pleased that for once Larxene's sadistic hunts were halted especially and that the other members weren't making a mess out of the halls and open rooms for the sake of fighting those they clashed heads with; the overall lack of screaming and explosions had him in a good mood, considering he didn't have to cower in his room fearfully until the tempest of violence had blown over.
Taking a bite out of his lunch and chewing thoughtfully, Demyx let his eyes stray to the left, the sound of calm footsteps gaining his curiosity. Soon enough, Number Six walked into his view, surprised gaze falling on the blond as the other man halted.
Swallowing, Demyx grinned exuberantly. "Zexion!"
The man addressed let out a sigh, one that could maybe have had tones of amusement lying underneath but Demyx wasn't quite sure. So, instead of asking, he patted the open space of floor beside him, friendly smile extending his welcome.
Rolling his eyes to the ceiling, Number Six switched his feet and walked towards the blond, settling soundlessly on the ground when the distance had been covered and he was at Demyx's side. Still grinning, even as Zexion turned his gaze far to the left, making pains to ignore him, Demyx lowered his eyes to his sandwich and concentrated, trying to tear it evenly in half.
"Here," he offered, successfully gaining another surprised stare from the man beside him. Exposed eye flickering, he lowered his gaze and stared in suspicion at the sandwich he was holding, causing the blond to laugh. "It's not poisoned, Zexion."
Countenance darkening in annoyance, he snatched the food away from Demyx's hand abruptly, staring at it afterwards with a wary edge in his shoulders. Demyx grinned, taking an exaggerated bite in demonstration, and tried to muffle his laughter when the dark-haired followed his example in a tentative fashion, neither wanting to choke nor incur Number Six's anger.
"Good, right?" he asked eagerly as Zexion took another bite, grin wide on his face when the man shrugged and looked down the hall again.
Moments passed, and then Zexion wrinkled his nose slightly. "Number Thirteen."
Straightening, Demyx leaned forward, looking past Zexion to stare down the hallway. Presently, it was empty. "Roxas? Is he coming?"
Zexion gave a curt nod, taking another bite as the silence fell between them, the blond moving to sit back again when he saw no one still. Content, Demyx closed his eyes and hummed a melody under his breath, attempting to make it soft enough so that Zexion didn't become annoyed and leave but loud enough so that he could take the oppressive silence.
Number Six's cloak rustled beside him, Demyx faintly feeling him shift, and the blond stopped immediately, opening his eyes to cast a sheepish gaze Zexion's way. However, what he was met with was not an annoyed expression but a peaceful one, Zexion's head tilted slightly against the wall as his eyes stared straight ahead, thoughts no doubt on other things.
At the silence again, Zexion glanced up at him apathetically. "You can keep humming."
His lips twitched, and then he was smiling at his superior in something akin to embarrassment, fingers toying with the creases of his cloak as his sandwich lay forgotten. He was about to comply, lowering his head all the while, when footsteps caught his attention, persuading him to divert his gaze to the direction of the sound.
As predicted, Roxas stepped into view, small frame swallowed by his cloak moving to lean against the wall, ankles crossing as he crossed his arms over his chest, cool stare moving from Zexion to him.
Demyx was the only one of the three who fought to smile. "Hey, Roxas."
The boy started, no doubt unused to being addressed by anything besides his alias or rank number, and took a long time staring at Demyx, trying to formulate an answer. In the end, though, he only nodded, accusing stare softening somewhat, and replied, "Hi, Demyx…Zexion," a nod following with each name spoken.
"Number Six," Zexion corrected sharply.
Roxas stared at him dryly, looking as if he couldn't care less, but Demyx found himself watching him curiously. When the dark-haired man sensed his stare, however, the blond hurriedly glanced back at Roxas, guiltily rubbing the back of his neck.
Number Thirteen arched an eyebrow calmly, Demyx watching as his keen eyes passed from himself to Zexion. When they fell back onto him, too, there was a look of something else lessening the pained light in Number Thirteen's blue eyes. Demyx just couldn't identify it.
Until he smiled, that is.
Roxas commented nothing, and Demyx tilted his head curiously, wondering what assumption the Key of Destiny could have possibly made. They were just sitting beside the other calmly; he didn't understand what he could have missed that the younger boy, no more than fifteen, had seen with just a sweeping glance.
"What's so funny?" he asked innocently, blinking.
Roxas shook his head, shrugging his shoulders as his eyes trailed to the ceiling, smile still on his lips. It was the first time he'd seen the blond act his age, too. Roxas was too quiet, angry, and mature for someone of his years, so most of the members often forgot that he was still a kid in an Organization of adults; Demyx was included in that mix.
Only Axel ever seemed to always remember, getting into fights to defend the boy when Roxas didn't want him involved. The both of them were too stubborn, Axel just a hothead and Roxas too overwhelmed with false feelings of betrayal to ever want to trust completely. Still, the redhead was always there, and it seemed that Roxas was a degree happier at that; already he was smiling, when upon his arrival at the castle he'd been almost as emotionless as Zexion.
Casting a sideways glance at the silent man, he grinned to see Zexion with his eyes closed, moving to completely ignore Number Thirteen.
"Where's Axel, Roxas?" Demyx found himself saying, thoughts switching back to his previous musings as he turned to stare at the young blond once more.
Roxas growled expressively, startling Demyx, and even Zexion shifted, no doubt watching the younger Nobody with interest now. "That idiot? Like I care. He won't give me five minutes to myself."
"Maybe he's worried about---?"
"What could he possibly be worried about?" Roxas snapped, throwing up his hands in frustration. Demyx blinked, never having observed the blond being so, well, alive before. "Besides, he doesn't have a heart. None of us do." Roxas glowered at the floor, fists clenched. "Not that he'd ever use it if he had one. Stupid ass."
Zexion was smirking just barely when Demyx cast him an incredulous stare, feeling completely helpless. It was a thing which startled him further, leaving him incredibly confused as he tugged at his superior's sleeve and cast him a beseeching stare when Zexion looked his way curiously.
The smirk on his features softened, so that the whispering traces of a smile grazed his lips as Zexion shook his head at him.
"You done venting yet, Rox?"
Demyx's gaze shot from Zexion's to Axel's, the dark-haired man's following at a calmer rate. Roxas, stepping back but glowering all the same, also stared at Axel, who'd appeared out of a dark portal when no one had been paying the other side of the hall any mind, probably there long enough to hear everything Roxas had said. His expression, normally so sarcastic, was soft with amusement, arms crossed as he held the wall up with his body.
"How much did you hear?" Roxas growled, and Demyx felt himself leaning forward curiously.
Axel smirked, causing Number Thirteen to stiffen in dread. "Enough to make my nonexistent heart bleed in pain," he said, covering the left side of his chest as he looked upon the Key of Destiny mock-pathetically. "Roxas, why would you wound me so? My heart always has a space for you."
Number Thirteen snorted derisively in response. Demyx watched, too, as an amused smirk spread further across Axel's lips, accenting the arrogant light in his green eyes.
"Save it for someone who cares," Roxas muttered, walking past the redhead in a display of annoyance, mumbling stiff goodbyes to the two sitting on the floor. Demyx watched as he walked out of sight the whole way, noting that he still hadn't gotten around to summoning a dark portal, and then switched his gaze to the redhead, who was staring after the blond fondly.
"That kid's a real piece of work," he said with a laugh, once silence had fallen and it was certain that Roxas was gone.
"He doesn't like you bothering him all the time, Axel," Demyx said hesitantly. "You heard that, right? He wants---"
"Yeah, I know."
Demyx stared at him in confusion. "Then why---?"
Axel tapped his forehead calmly, mocking smile on his lips. "I'm surprised that you of all people are asking that, Dem." His eyes flicked to the emotionless Zexion at his side and then back to him, lowering his hand to cross both arms comfortably.
Demyx blinked in confusion. "Am I missing something?"
Axel laughed, letting his head bow as he shook it in amusement. "Yes, Dem. A very big something."
"Wha-at?" he whined, hating to be left in the dark.
With a casual sweep of his hand, the redhead shrugged, pushing off of the wall. He never lingered too long in any place, so Demyx wasn't surprised. Once Axel put his two cents into the matter, he was satisfied and thus left, a bonus for him if he agitated or further confused others in any way. "Ask Zexion, my slow-minded friend."
"Number Six," was all the dark-haired man commented, leading Demyx to think he wasn't paying all that much attention.
Axel grinned wickedly, narrowed eyes cat-like as amusement glinted in their green recesses. With a casual wave he swept off down the hall, strolling carelessly as he walked off after Roxas, probably not summoning a portal just for the sport of the game. Demyx wasn't going to begin to even try to understand what went on in the redhead's mind, however.
He was fairly sure it was dangerous territory.
Sighing and turning back to look at Zexion, he brightened to see the man had opened his eyes again, obviously finding no further reason to ignore his surroundings. But as he thought back to what Axel had said, Demyx hesitated in asking his superior what the redhead had meant, instead lowering his eyes and poking idly at the bread of his sandwich.
"Zex…ion?" he ventured hesitantly, gloved finger peeling away some of the bread. "What…did he mean? Did you hear?"
"Never mind that, Demyx," the man said softly, tiredly, catching the blond's attention immediately. Zexion had never addressed him so before. It was either his rank number or insults that were meant to identify him when Number Six was talking. That or the dark-haired man just didn't speak to him at all.
Only able to nod, too stunned to be able to locate his voice, Demyx stared at the hands he'd unconsciously folded in his lap. Silence stretched, filling the expanse of the hallway and falling onto their shoulders like a heavy, draping cover. Everything was incredibly still, and the sound of his even breathing sounded loud and harsh to his ears.
For a long time, he was afraid to do anything to break the spell that had fallen over them as they sat in the abandoned hallway.
And then, unexpectedly, a weight pressed against his arm. Starting in his skin, Demyx hurriedly looked down, catching Zexion bow his head as he leaned for support against Demyx, eyes closed, countenance calm. Swallowing, he lifted his hand, wondering if Number Six was aware of his vulnerability, wondering if he would want to be woken up, wondering if he should wake him up so the stoic superior wouldn't grow enraged to find that he'd let himself fall into such a compromising position and Demyx had made no moves to stop him, but his thoughts froze when his arm hesitated, fingertips stopping just as strands of Zexion's hair ghosted over his skin. Clenching his fist, chewing his lip nervously, Demyx finally withdrew his arm and curled his legs close, deciding that he would live with his superior's wrath if Zexion was spared a few moments of peace.
The Nobody didn't have anyone. He remained physically aloof, distanced himself emotionally, and held a general dislike of all. Demyx could only imagine the stress of it all, and had no idea why Zexion would want to live the way he did.
But he wouldn't question it. Number Six's life was his own, no one else's.
Smiling happily, humming softly to himself, Demyx rested in the quiet of the hall, content to spend however long he had to in silence.
-- - --
Axel was different around Roxas. Demyx noticed that when he went searching for Zexion.
Poking his head curiously into open doorways, taking his chances and oftentimes getting run off by some indignant Organization member or another, Demyx had finally chanced upon one of the common rooms, venturing tentatively through the doorway when he thought it empty. However, upon taking a few steps, not only did he see that Zexion wasn't there, but he saw that Axel and Roxas were.
Stopping, offering a smile when Axel turned a lazy stare his way, he waved back belatedly when Axel gave a lazy flick of his wrist and turned his head back on the couch's armrest, reclining body taking up all of the cushions. Roxas, completely unaware of his sudden presence, was sitting cross-legged on the floor, growling every so often when the redhead playfully tousled his hair, a game of some sort set before him and capturing most of the younger blond's attention.
Rubbing the back of his neck weakly, Demyx decided that he'd rest his search for some time and moved to lean against the far wall, not wanting to bother the two friends bonding.
"Axel, knock it off."
"But you're so cute."
"Get over it. And no I'm not."
Axel laughed, ruffling his hair once more, and Roxas distractedly batted at his arm, brow furrowing as he tried to concentrate on whatever it was he was playing. "Delayed reaction much?"
"Pain in the ass much?" he retorted softly, hand hovering over something Demyx couldn't see from so far away. Closing his eyes, Number Nine smiled, tilting his head back as he allowed his gaze to study the ceiling when he blinked.
"Would you stop?!"
In surprise Demyx lowered his stare to watch Roxas fight off Axel's roaming hands, falling backwards when the redhead leaned down more. Even from far back Demyx could see the devious smile on Axel's features, and somewhat lamented the poor blond's fate. Roxas was still so unaware of how wicked the redhead could be when he wanted to.
Sliding off of the couch, getting onto his knees, Axel cracked his knuckles, getting a roll of the eyes on Roxas's part as he pushed himself up on his elbows. With a sidelong glance, Roxas shifted and reached out for the pillow he'd no doubt been looking for, grip landing on it easily, and in one swift blow, the grace and accuracy due to his skill at blademanship, he whacked Axel on the side of his face, sending the man falling to the ground with a dull thud.
Roxas snickered, head bowing, and then he was laughing outright, his hysterical cries filling the silent room as he clenched the pillow to his chest and doubled over.
"Y-you…you fell like a…you…" Throwing his head back, Roxas continued to laugh uncontrollably, his efforts to calm killed when Axel shot him an irritated glance. Squeezing the pillow, Roxas flopped backwards, feet in the air for a brief moment until he rolled to the side, curling into a ball as his body shook.
Demyx stared on at the display, wide-eyed and disbelieving. He'd never seen a Nobody lose control that easily. No one laughed in the Organization; for all the time he'd been there, he'd only seen mischievous, condescending, or sadistic smirks to indicate cruel amusement. That or his own bubbly, light laughter. Never, though, had he seen something quite so genuine, and apparently neither had Axel, because Number Eight softened as he pushed himself into a sitting position, just watching the hysterical blond with an affectionate smile on his face.
Was this what was called a miracle? He'd heard of such things, at any rate. They were phenomena that could not be explained, no matter the pains and details put in to try to find the answer.
He had to ask Zexion. He had to tell Zexion. Maybe this was the proof he'd need to be convinced that Nobodies had hearts.
Stepping away from the wall, smiling cheerfully as he watched Axel fumble for the pillow and start beating Roxas, calling him a stupid kid all while laughing softly, Demyx walked into the open hallway, deciding for the library at this point. It probably should have been his first choice, too, given this was Zexion and the man avoided social interaction like the plague.
Scratching at his chin thoughtfully, thinking a walk would do him some good and he could sort through his thoughts, Demyx turned the corner, walking down the white-walled hallway.
Roxas was different. Granted, it had taken time – he didn't know how long, though, because time didn't matter in the castle and their lives of not-quite-existence only had change or reprieve when death was dancing at the edges of the picture. It was a long time ago, Demyx could settle on, and back then the blond boy of fifteen-or-something years answered to no one, withdrawing himself from contact and casting threatening glares to those who dared to even try to figure him out. He was not soft, a thing which his age might suggest, and he was out to prove it, ruthless on his personal missions and ruthless in his private life.
He was no pushover, and he made people certain of that.
Axel had never been one to be intimidated, though. Of course, Roxas immediately hated him for that, or as much as he could considering his situation. But time had passed, and their friendship had undergone stages Demyx had had only glimpses of, so that now, Roxas was softened, and Axel was tamed.
Demyx had a sneaking suspicion, too, that, where Axel was the only one Roxas completely trusted, Roxas was the only one Axel truly liked.
Blinking when his fingertips came to rest against the library door, Demyx was startled to find that he'd come across the room so soon, and he stared off into space a few minutes more as his thoughts, like haze that had befallen his eyes, cleared away. Smiling hopefully, Demyx pushed at the barrier and watched as the wood swung open, revealing an airy expanse of room with book cases lining the otherwise empty walls and a few comfortable chairs resting beside tables with lamps. And there, in the middle, lounging in his favorite chair, sat Zexion, nose in his book and eyes picking apart the text.
"Zexy!" he chirped happily after he'd closed the door behind him. Immediately Zexion glanced up, expression dry as the page he'd been turning fluttered between his fingertips. Arching a brow in silent question, Zexion appeared to be waiting for Demyx to speak again, but the man only smiled cheerfully, bowing his head slightly as dirty-blond bangs swept over his forehead.
Shaking his head, Number Six sighed, lowering his gaze as he turned the page and began reading again. Smile lessening, Demyx pouted slightly, crossing his arms as he closed the distance between them, coming to a stop when he was hovering over the dark-haired man.
"Do you need something, Demyx?" Zexion drawled, eyes never leaving the text. Seconds passed, and then the rustle of another page turning slashed through the silence.
Briefly, the blond mused on how fast of a reader Zexion was.
Sighing in impatience, the man superior to him glanced up, visible eye darkened with agitation as he caught Demyx's gaze, previously distracted by thoughts, at last. Startling badly, Demyx sheepishly rubbed at the back of his head upon jumping, offering a tentative smile as Number Six maintained his glower.
Demyx, letting a sigh whisper past his lips when Zexion's impatient glare wouldn't let up, slumped his shoulders and crouched down slowly, on his knees before the Nobody before he could blink. Moving on impulse now, he tentatively rested his forearms on his comrade's legs and his chin on his arms soon after, glancing hesitantly up into Zexion's eyes.
Demyx blinked in confusion when the dark-haired man dropped his book. "Zexion…?"
Pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration, Number Six waved his other hand, signaling for Demyx to drop the issue. Smiling gently, comfortable and thoroughly relieved that the dark-haired Nobody was no longer glaring at him expectantly, the blond turned his head, cheek resting against his arms as he listened to the whisper of Zexion's cloak.
"Have you ever laughed, Zexy?" he found himself asking curiously, eyes closing once before they blinked open again.
The silence urged Demyx to look upwards, and he winced at the man's incredulous stare. Biting his lip, he forced an uneasy smile, hoping that Zexion wouldn't think him too much of an idiot for his question.
"No," he said simply.
"Do you…" Furrowing his brow in thought, Demyx momentarily glanced downwards. "Do you think…a heart's needed? For laughter, I mean?"
Zexion paused even longer this time, so much longer that again Demyx was tempted to look up. The younger Nobody was staring at him curiously, eyes alight with something he couldn't identify. "…I suppose."
A smile spread across Demyx's face immediately, an eager shine in his eyes. Zexion arched a brow. "Really? Because Roxas laughed. And I mean really laughed. Not something mean or anything, but he really, really laugh---"
"What did I tell you?" Zexion said sharply, eyes narrowed in some form or memory of anger. "Nobodies do not have hearts, Demyx. It's fact, but you are purposely being naïve."
"Zexion…" Demyx whined, cringing as he stared sadly into his superior's eyes. But his protests stopped at the icy stare he received, the blond instead swallowing nervously and lowering his chin onto his arms weakly, he cowering under Zexion's glare.
Brow arching, irritated expression dissolving, Number Six sighed, moving his hand to rest on Demyx's mullet-like hair absently. The blond stiffened beneath the sudden gesture, eyes wide and incredulous, but Zexion didn't explain himself, and gradually Demyx relaxed.
Smiling at last, calm beneath Number Six's confident, reassuring touch, he allowed his eyes to lower tiredly. "…Zexy?"
"Why…" Yawning slightly, snuggling his cheek more comfortably against his forearm afterwards, Demyx closed his eyes. "Why do you tell everyone to address you by your Organization rank?"
Silence fell, and Demyx vaguely wondered if Zexion was going to answer him at all. Expecting no answer, really, he let his shoulders relax, smiling when Number Six's fingers absently toyed with his hair.
"A name means something, Demyx," he started, voice soft, calming. "It means friendship, closeness. Nobodies who don't have hearts aren't reserved the right to address others as such."
Shifting, Demyx opened his eyes, staring at the floor in confusion. "But…I call you by your name, Zexy. And you call me by mine."
He sighed, and as Demyx glanced up at him he shrugged. "Your nonexistent heart is a little more real than most," he offered, pale lips softening from a strict line into the barest traces of a smile. "And, from being around you, I'd say it's contagious."
Beaming, Demyx tilted his head playfully, Zexion lifting his hand away at the action. "Ya see, Zexy? Nobodies do have hearts." Number Six sighed, rolling his eyes to the ceiling. "You don't have to believe me, of course."
"Not planning on it," he drawled, firmly placing his hand back on Demyx's head. Number Nine laughed in reply, delighting in the sensation for a new reason now.
As his laughter calmed and Demyx felt words were expected in the oppressive silence of the library, he took a deep breath. "Do you believe that you're my best friend, though?" he asked tentatively, chancing an unsure glance back towards Number Six. In response, Zexion's hand stilled on his hair, his visible eye widening slightly in surprise, as he comprehended Demyx's words. When Zexion, so startled, failed to answer, however, the blond lowered his head with a smile. "Do you…believe that I care about you?"
Number Six stared at him a long time, lips pursed and not even the least bit persuaded to move by any words. Perhaps he'd done wrong, speaking to Zexion of such things, because the Nobody had made it clear so many times how much he hated talk of emotions. But Demyx couldn't take the words back now, nor did he want to.
So, smiling hesitantly, he lowered his arms and encircled them around Zexion's legs, chin on his knees as he stared up kindly at his superior. "Don't be mad…" he said in a hushed tone, remembering those long months ago when he'd finally had the courage to tell the dark-haired man what he believed: that Nobodies had hearts, and it was okay to be scared by such a thing.
Before that, before Zexion had glanced for longer than a second his way and contemplated Demyx's words, even if it had been in anger, Number Six had never regarded him for more than a brief period of time. Zexion was always passing him in the hallways, shouldering him aside or saying in clipped tones information about himself that implied that he wanted to be left alone.
His eyes, wide with innocence, roamed around the vacant hall. "So, how come you go down this hallway, Zexion? No one else comes down here at all. It's practically abandoned, and it's always quiet, and the library isn't really much of any---"
"I like…!" Zexion sighed, shaking his head. "I like the quiet, Number Nine."
The dark-haired man was aloof. He never allowed himself to display even the smallest hint of anything besides apathy, face always the cool, collected mask and movements always quiet, soft, hardly noticeable. And Demyx had always wondered if Zexion was afraid of allowing in even the mimicry of emotions, because then that would make the concrete evidence that they were Nobodies less than certain, and everything had to be exact for Number Six.
"Maybe…maybe you're just afraid of feeling, Z-Zexion?" he asked timidly, shifting his feet, pulling at the cuff of one of his robe's sleeves.
Number Six scoffed sharply, turning the page of his book, blatantly ignoring Demyx's weakly offered grin as he fiddled with the page, most likely contemplating answers in his mind. "Fool. How is that possible when Nobodies have no hearts to feel?" Looking up from his text, eyes passive, set of his mouth firm, his stiffened form spoke for him and stated that this was what he believed, pure and simple, and Demyx contradicting such gravely insulted him.
Wincing, Demyx got the notion that, just by talking back to Zexion, he'd gravely insulted him.
Tugging at his sleeve a few more times, he sighed, closed his eyes, and then brought his arms defensively to his chest, blinking and pinning his expressive eyes back on Zexion's dull stare. "Oh, we do too have hearts. Don't be ma-ad…"
"I'm…not mad," Zexion finally answered, breaking the silence between them born from Demyx's collapse into his thoughts.
Blinking, staring up at the man in surprise, he tilted his head. "…Zexy?" he asked hopefully, voice quiet, excitement painfully subdued.
Sighing tiredly as he began to play with Demyx's hair again, Number Six shook his head as he met Demyx's stare, shoulders relaxed, visible eye soft and lacking its regular condescending glint. "I believe you, Demyx."
He blinked several times, eyes shining in disbelief as a small smile slipped the corners of Zexion's lips upwards. He hardly wanted to think Number Six's words true, at any rate, because he'd never, in all his time just sitting beside the man, thought that Zexion would even accept his friendship.
It was a difficult concept to get his mind around.
"Idiot," he remarked, tone light, fingers moving to brush at his cheek affectionately. Lifting his chin off of Zexion's knees, unconsciously leaning his cheek into the man's touch, he blinked again, unable to stop, unable to admit to himself that Number Six's words, still playing around in his head, had really been spoken.
It wasn't even anything too monumental, either, which was probably the reason for Zexion's amused grin directed towards him as Demyx mulled it over, brows knit in confusion.
Rolling his eyes, Zexion flicked his fingers against the blond's forehead, Demyx yelping softly in response as he crouched down defensively. "Yes."
Wounded look dispelling immediately, Demyx laughed, arms moving to hug Zexion's legs again as he rested his chin back on his knees. Closing his eyes when Number Six sighed in annoyance and patted his head again, he found himself enjoying the quiet between them, comforted by the fact that it was just Zexion with him and no one else around.
"Anyway," Zexion mumbled softly, for once picking up the conversation with no urging on Demyx's part, "you're probably more pure without a heart than people are with hearts."
Blinking, Demyx stared at the soft carpet stretching away from them, feeling oddly pleased. "Really?"
"I am not starting this again, Demyx."
Laughing somewhat, the blond nodded, falling obediently silent.
"You're not to be this at ease around anyone else," Number Six ordered softly. The lull of his voice, blissfully distracting, only caused Demyx to nod his head, his mind only half taking in his words as his eyes lowered. "You're too naïve; other members will take advantage of you."
"Only you, Zexy," he murmured softly, nodding as he held his legs closer, nuzzling his cheek into the fabric of his robes. "No one else."
Silence reigned between them, Demyx easing into a state of dazed comfort, on the line of wakening and sleep. Yawning once, curling his legs more closely to the rest of his body, he sighed softly, wondering if hearts and Somebodies really mattered if the world could be this peaceful all the time.
In this little, quiet library, there was no fighting or anger or betrayal. There was just peace. He could feel it in the silence, cloaking them from the rest of the world, and he thought it to be one of the most reassuring things his uncertain mind had ever known.
"Fair enough," he heard faintly from Zexion's lips, a response to his sleep-drunken murmurings moments before. And as his gloved hand smoothed over his hair, and Demyx slipped further into a state of slumber, a smile tipped his lips upwards.
He really didn't need much more than this.
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Gah. Freakin', vindictive oneshot that wouldn't end...(sigh) Well, please review.