A/N: Well, this is it! The final installment of Intelligence Testing. A big thanks to everyone and anyone who took the time out of their lives to read this, and even more love to those who sent me reviews. Because of you guys, I will be back with more silly little Organization XIII fics, so watch out for them! If any of you guys want to drop me a message, IM me at peacecat26 or email me at I'm not sure I could have made it to the end without all of my reviewers letting me know that they were looking forwards to it, so it would be an honor if I could thank you each more properly. And on to the fic! (I'll try to make this last bit a tad less confusing ;)
"Ungh…" Demyx winced. He had just be jolted out of a deep sleep by something pushing down hard on his chest and shaking him around. He tried to pitifully push back, but to no avail.
"Don't worry about how hard you're hitting him Lexeaus!" The voice sounded familiar. "It's ok if he gets a few broken bones, as long as we can wake him up before he fades away!"
Okay. That got Demyx up. He began fighting his assailant with renewed strength while gathering the energy in his lungs to squeak bloody murder (well, it was supposed to be a deathly intimidating yell, but you try managing something other than squeaking when you first get up in the morning). Finally, the pounding on his chest stopped.
"There we go, he's awake." It was Lexeaus who spoke this time, it was his slightly unorthodox method that had pulled Demyx out of his nap. He was able to recognize the earlier voice as that of Xemnas. The Melodious Nocturne pulled the hood of his cloak back, (with some difficulty, the thing felt like it had grown ten sizes) and paused to take in his surroundings.
He was in the lounge, a large and comfortable room that the Organization used for quiet relaxation. He was lying down on one of the room's many couches. Xemnas, Lexeaus, Xigbar, and Zexion were all standing around him. Xigbar stuck his arms under Demyx's shoulders and hoisted the young Organization member into a sitting position as Zexion grabbed his wrist and took his pulse. Demyx realized for the first time how cold he was. He was soaked to the skin and being in the warm room seemed to only have a slight effect on his constant shivering. As he looked around, Demyx noticed Lexeaus wasn't wearing a cloak, only the white T-shirt and black pants that the Organization wore underneath their intimidating hooded garments. Demyx himself was only wearing the pants, some one had removed his shirt and shoes.
"How you feelin' Kid?" Xigbar sat down next to him. Demyx shrugged the best he could while still shivering uncontrollably.
"I dunno, what happened?"
Xigbar rolled his eyes. "Am I going to have to knock the sense into you? Cause I will, don't get me wrong. But tell us, why did you think it would be a good idea to take a nap outside in the rain?"
"Oh! That!" Demyx chuckled as the memories flooded through him. "I wasn't trying anything stupid, I just wanted to go outside for a bit. Didn't realize I was so tired. I didn't mean to fall asleep, really!" Why did he want to step outside anyways? Oh. Right, the test. Demyx sighed and shifted his gaze to the floor. Stupid test.. "So, how did you guys find me?"
"These." Xigbar nudged the blueprints from earlier with his foot. "After you didn't come back to visit me when Xemnas announced the scores, Zexion and I got worried and we found out something that went wrong. When we called you and we couldn't find you, we got even more worried. We called everyone together to look for you. Well, everyone except Xaldin, Luxord, and Vexen. They were too much into their alcoholic poker already that we didn't think we could have them join a search party without falling on their faces. We divided up the blueprints and looked in the places you had marked. Lexeaus was the one who found you. He said your skin was turning blue and you were starting to Fade. Said he was afraid we were too late. So we went into the lounge, kicked all the newer members out so you could have some breathing room, and tried anything we could think of to wake you up. Lexeaus threw his coat over you so you wouldn't freeze, you're wearing it now, yours was soaked. Zexion said that he read once that the surest way to wake some one up was to press on the "sternum" and rub like hell. He said it was so painful that it's been used tell if people are just unconscious or in a coma. And it worked. And here you are. And you owe us all dessert for making us worry our asses off."
Demyx screeched his train of thought to a halt as he wondered how exactly one could worry their ass entirely off, and he looked around, trying to find Lexeaus to thank him. "Um, thanks guys, all of you, I'm really sorry you worried like that. But where is Lexeaus? I could have sworn he was here just a minute ago…" Demyx's question was answered as the Silent Hero stepped through a dark portal, holding a mug of something steaming.
"Sorry I left." Lexeaus handed the mug to Demyx. "I thought some one should tell the others that Number Nine's condition has stabilized. And I got him something warm to drink." Demyx looked at the cup Lexeaus gave him. It was his favorite, hot chocolate with two scoops of marshmallow fluff (not actual marshmallows! Do you know what they put in those things?). He smiled sheepishly.
"Thanks Lexeaus, and the rest of you too. I'm sorry for scaring you all again…"
"Um, actually, us four are the ones who need to apologize to you. Y'see, there has been a slight misunderstanding." Xigbar and the others were looking seriously guilty. "Well, when your results came, we all had one or two shots while watching Luxord cheat at poker, and we were feeling pretty confident, and one of you take it from here, I suck at explaining things like this."
"Fine." Xemnas spoke up. "Firstly, you should have this." The Superior reached into the pocket of his robes and took out a sheet of paper. He handed it to Demyx who scrutinized it closely.
"But… this says- it can't be!"
"Oh, it's true alright. We all owe you an apology for not getting you this information sooner."
"But…" Demyx was speechless. There were the results from his second test, and he had done even better than before. He winced as Lexeaus ruffled his hair.
"Congrats kid, you beat me."
"You didn't pass Vexen though, but it's probably for the best." Zexion cut in. "You know how competitive he can be, especially with the newer members."
"Exactly, now as I was saying," Xemnas continued, "we were debating how to break the news to the rest of the castle when some one, I can't remember who it was, mentioned that some of the other members might get jealous. Some one else came up with the bright idea of telling everyone else that you scored lower so that they wouldn't harm you in a fit of jealous rage. We all agreed, and I told Xigbar to let everyone else know that I would be announcing the results in the Proof shortly. I thought he would tell you how you did, but he assumed I had already told you. It was a mistake on all of our parts, and I regret that it happened. Still, your achievement was a surprise to all of us." Xemnas smiled. "I look forwards to seeing you surprise us again, Number Nine."
The apologies and congratulations continued for several minutes until Demyx, who was still exhausted, fell asleep into his hot chocolate. After applauding Xigbar's quick gravity spell that prevented any serious spilling, the older Organization members decided it was best to let the Melodious Nocturne get some rest. Xemnas dismissed both him and Xigbar from their scheduled mission the next day. Xaldin and Luxord would be taking their places. The Superior made it clear that they would get something extra for going on a mission with such short notice. Namely, they would be getting all the pictures that Lexeaus took of their drunken poker game. Few people knew that the Silent Hero had an interest in candid photography. Still, the money for his books and gym equipment had to come from somewhere, didn't it?
It was the next day, sometime in the afternoon (although you could never be sure in The World That Never Was). Xigbar was reading in one of the lounge's easy chairs. Xemnas had given him the task of watching over Demyx and sounding the alarm if it looked like the young Nobody was going to take a turn for the worse. Fortunately, everything was going smoothly. The Melodious Nocturne was fast asleep, still wrapped up in Lexeaus' coat. (The Silent Hero didn't mind, he said he'd be able to get out of work for the day since his intimidating black cloak was being used for charitable purposes.) Xigbar and Lexeaus took a few pictures of the snoozing little guy earlier. Honestly, he hugged his pillow like it was a teddy bear when he slept. If that wasn't both the most adorable thing ever and proof that the Organization did have hearts somewhere inside them, well, what else could be?
Xigbar walked across the room to open the lounge's curtains. He was feeling a little guilty. That morning, Vexen insisted that Demyx would recover faster if he took something that would help him fall asleep. Xemnas agreed and told Demyx to take the sedative, Demyx refused, and Xemnas turned around and began to walk away in a huff when he bumped into Xigbar who was bringing up some snacks and drinks. The Superior insisted that put the sleeping medicine in Demyx's tea, and two minutes later the Melodious Nocturne was out like a light. That was five hours ago.
"Hey!" Xigbar turned around and caught Larxene inching close to Number Nine with a felt point marker in her hand. "Nice try, now get outa here."
"Hrrmph!" The Savage Nymph threw her marker to the ground as she stormed out, muttering something about a bet with Marluxia. On a whim, Xigbar picked the marker up himself and scribbled the word "smarty" on Demyx's forehead. After a brief afterthought he also doodled a smiley face and a peace sign. Xigbar capped the marker and sat back down in his chair. The Freeshooter sighed and looked out the window at the heart shaped moon.
"Eh, I'm not that sure we need ya anyways, it looks like we can find enough excitement by ourselves."