Xigbar/Demyx is my OTP! I just wish I could do their characterizations some actual justice. Ah well...

Takes place the day after Demyx's addition to The Organization. Basically, this is just the random result of intense boredom.

I'm not even sure if it's strong enough to be under the "Romance" genre, or if it has a secondary genre, so I'm just going to stick to Romance. Rated K+ only because of slight language.

The very instant Xigbar saw the kid, he knew there was something weird about him.

To begin with, he had just awakened and finished gearing himself up for the day's mission when he decided to stop into the kitchen for breakfast. The Nobodies all had strange eating schedules, most of which didn't coincide. Xigbar, had he been given the opportunity to guess who he'd be eating with, would have sworn no one would be in the room.

As the Freeshooter made his entrance into one of the few rooms in the castle that resembled what a normal room looked like, he found himself pausing in the doorway and raising the eyebrow above his unconcealed eye. A hand reached back to scratch at the nape of his neck.

Wearing an unbelievably wide grin and kicking his legs--legs that barely even reached the floor--was a boy Xigbar had most definitely never seen before. He looked to be about eighteen or so, with an absurd mullet for hair and an unsettlingly adorable glow to his sea-green eyes.

And though the smile on his face alone should have been enough to make Xigbar ask if something was wrong with the kid (who really smiled in this place?), weirdest of all was that he had a spoon dipped into a bowl that should have held cereal, but instead, contained a large fish. Raw.

Its head was still on and everything.

"Uh...okay, what the hell's going on?" Xigbar asked gruffly as he stepped into the room, his arms crossed and a dubious expression on his face.

The boy jumped in his seat, causing him to drop his spoon to the shiny, tiled floor with a clatter. Mouth hanging open, he stared at Xigbar as if he had jumped out at him from a closet.

Xigbar supposed he couldn't hold the kid's initial shock against him; the combination of heavy facial scars and an eyepatch didn't make for a pretty sight. Still, it was rude to stare like that. Pulling a chair out from beneath the table, he promptly sat down across from the neophyte--assuming he was a neophyte, which he had to be; how else did he have the coat?--and thumped his elbows down on the table. "Hey, kid, close your mouth. It's kinda impolite."

Once the newcomer was over his momentary terror, he went right back to grinning; this time, if possible, his expression was even more cheerful than earlier. "Oh, hey!" he greeted. "Sorry, I just haven't seen practically anyone all day, which is really weird...so I really wasn't expecting someone to come in now!"

"...Yeah." Xigbar took the time out to size the boy up. His coat, part of the Organization's dress-code, looked a little long on him, and there was a sort of dazed air to him that suggested he was caught in the middle of a dream sequence. Newborn Nobodies were often confused as to their newfound state, and without much insight as to what had happened to them, but this was a different sort of bemusement. He looked like a child at the aquarium for the first time.

Was it possible to be so enthusiastic about a place so filled with nothingness?

Xigbar didn't think so. In fact, it made him worry for the boy's sanity, or wonder how much he knew about his predicament thus far. "You okay, kid?"

"Yeah, definitely!" The boy nodded pleasantly, stooping low to retrieve his spoon. Xigbar couldn't help but notice that he had an odd way of gripping the utensil--like he'd never used, or even seen, it before.

"I'm just, you know, getting used to stuff," the neophyte went on to explain. "Like breathing. It's completely weird now!"

"Getting used to stuff," Xigbar had expected. It was hard to cope with the idea of having lost your heart. But breathing? What did that have to do with anything? Once again, his eyebrow arched; and when he acknowledged that the kid didn't cower, although the action was enough to be considered menacing by many, his respect for him greatly increased. "You got some kind of lung disease?" he joked with a lop-sided grin.

"'Lung disease'?" the boy repeated, his face registering deep concentration. Even the way he repeated Xigbar's words was funny; like he hadn't heard of either one before. Finally, he gave up, surrendering with a hopeless shrug--quickly negated with a friendly smile. "Well, I meant...you know, this stuff!" He made a hand motion like he was trying to grab the air before his very eyes.

It made Xigbar blink, then laugh. "You mean air, or is there something you can see and I can't?"

"That's the word!" The neophyte's face lit up as he snapped his fingers and settled back down in his seat, the bowl of fish completely forgotten. "It's really dry...kinda scratchy. It's hard to breathe. And then I keep forgetting how to breathe now and panicking, and..."

"Whoa, whoa, slow down!" Xigbar waved his hands at the boy. "You're givin' me a headache. Try that again. What's got you so confused?"

Once again, the boy's face scrunched up with thought. Xigbar tried not to grin at how cute it was, especially since he knew his mind was not supposed to be on that topic.

Finally, the boy found a way to articulate the general gist of his problem. He looked rather relieved with himself when he finally came to the conclusion: "There's no water!"

"Eh?" Xigbar stood up just enough to nod, over the boy's shoulder, at the counter against the wall. "There's a sink right there. You need a glass of water? Don't go hyperventilating on me, now..."

Then it clicked. The boy's bewilderment, and his problem with breathing... Xigbar's only apparent eye widened as he thumped back down in his seat. "Holy shit. You're...not from Atlantica, are you?"

"Yeah!" The boy nodded his head eagerly, his face brightening tenfold. "Are you?"

"Like hell I'm from Atlantica!" Xigbar didn't know mermen could become Nobodies. And assuming they could, he didn't know they would instantly attain legs and lungs, either. It was an unusual concept to him, and one he was still struggling with...although, at present, it was the most logical explanation. Still. To think that he was sitting across the table from someone who had once been a merman...merboy, even... It was enough to send Xigbar hunched over with laughter.

Evidently, this only added more confusion to the neophyte's agenda. He tilted his head in a manner so ridiculous that it was nearly laying on his own shoulder. "Uh? What's going on?" He reinstated his smile for amiability's sake.

"No...nothin', forget it." Xigbar leaned back in his seat, shaking his head occasionally. "So how're your...uh...legs?" And he instantly burst out laughing again.

By now, the boy was finally catching on. Indignantly--although he looked more hurt than angry--he frowned, raising an index finger matter-of-factly. "Hey! You're the one being rude now!" During his brief pause, he rubbed awkwardly at the back of his head, guilt washing over him at having insulted the Nobody opposite him. "I mean...I'm still getting the hang of it, and it's kinda mean to make fun of me... Not that I'm saying you're mean! 'Cause I think you're way nice!" This time, it was the neophyte who was shaking his hands. "It's just...I wanna make friends here, and every time I say something about how weird this place is, or how I wanna go home..." His face fell.

Now Xigbar felt guilty. Well...not that he could actually feel. Xemnas would remind him of that frequently; but Xemnas wasn't here to mention it now, and currently, Xigbar was very much convinced otherwise. Frowning, he ran a hand through his long, gray ponytail, glancing wearily at the kid. "Hey..." he restarted in a softer, almost soothing, voice. "C'mon, I didn't mean it like that. I just never met a mermaid...man, whatever, before."

The boy still looked dismayed. Taking measures into his own hands, Xigbar leaned across the table and poked him square in the forehead. "C'mon," he repeated, trying to put on a semi-upbeat face for the neophyte. Why did he even care how he was treated? "Everything up here's strange to ya, right? Breathing a new way, getting 'round a new way... I think 'bout living under the ocean, and it's the same way for me. You probably grew up with a fin or something, so legs are freaky to you. Well, the same goes for me and...you know, the opposite. I grew up with legs, so I can't imagine a fin."

Curiously, the boy tilted his head to the other side, although his eyes raised to follow Xigbar's finger. "Really?" he asked, somewhat incredulously. "You did? So you must be a pro at this!"

Xigbar laughed again--only this time, it was much less derisive and much more light. "Yeah, you can say that." He paused, withdrawing his arms so they were wrapped up in front of him. "What's your name, kid?"

Happy that someone wanted to know--and mindful of the fact that, according to the Superior, he was no longer allowed to use his old name--the boy gave him a grin; it was so childish and naive that Xigbar wondered if anyone had told him about his heart being stolen away. He didn't have it in him to bring it up just yet and find out.

"It's Demyx!"

Xigbar didn't even bother scrambling his name and trying to figure out what it formed without the x. What would have been the purpose? "Xigbar." He grinned right back at him, grasping his hand in what was supposed to be a handshake. Not only did Demyx not reciprocate the action, but he seemed to be utterly baffled at the exchange.

Unable to restrain himself, Xigbar snickered. "It's a handshake! You fish people don't have that either?"

"Nope!" But Demyx was eager to catch on to the customs of this new world--whatever kind of world it was--and lessen the possibility of the others ostracizing him. In an attempt to shake hands, he stole hold of Xigbar's and waved it around a bit, then turned it over and peered at the palm intently. "Whoa...!"

Xigbar failed to see what was so fascinating about his hand, but altogether, failed to withdraw it. Before he could even ask what Demyx was doing, he found the younger Nobody pressing the palm of his hand to his face.

Eyes widening, all he could do was watch as Demyx closed his eyes peacefully and practically nuzzled against his hand.

Was this the way merpeople greeted each other? If that were the case, Xigbar now knew one thing for certain: If the Superior ever gave him instructions to visit Atlantica, he was forfeiting the mission or handing it over to someone else. No way was he going there. Not if it meant he had to cradle faces, and--

Again, Xigbar couldn't help it as he made note of another fact about Demyx; his skin was incredibly soft. There was something strange about the way the side of his face fit perfectly into his hand, too... Like a missing puzzle piece only recently discovered by the owner of the other half. At the same time, it felt like it was supposed to happen all along...and maybe somewhere in the back of his mind, in an unconscious area Xigbar had never before dared to venture into, he knew it was alright. Not alright--right.

All these thoughts...Xigbar could only hope they weren't his own. He knew, at least, that they weren't coming from him. If he removed his hand now, he felt like he would be missing out on so much. But he knew he had to... Especially if someone walked in and discovered the unusual display. Reluctantly, Xigbar tore his arm back, voicing the first thing that came to mind as the proper response for this type of situation. It wasn't what he would have liked to say, but it felt appropriate.

"Man, you are weird."

Demyx didn't seem to think anything was weird about it--but he also didn't seem to mind Xigbar saying so. It was then that it dawned on Xigbar; the kid was too innocent to be thinking anywhere near along the lines of what just flashed through his mind. He knew he should have been relieved, but it was more disappointing than anything.

Deciding to put the distracting experience behind him, Xigbar pushed his chair back from the table and stood up from his seat, motioning towards the fish in the bowl. "Where'd you get that from?"

"Oh, this?" Demyx grinned. "Well, a few hours ago, there was this guy with red hair... Seemed pretty nice! I tried talking to him, you know, to see if he wanted to be friends--and when I told him I was from Atlantica, he got this out from the refrigerator and put it into a bowl for me. He said 'This is how you eat breakfast up here. I bet you're pretty hungry.' " Demyx's grin reverted to a thoughtful frown as he poked at the raw fish with the convex side of his spoon. "But...I dunno how to eat it like this..."

"Figures." Axel could be a smartass when he went out of his way to do just that--and it seemed as if he had. Laughing lightly, Xigbar headed on over to the counter. The pyro was probably ecstatic that he wasn't the "new guy" anymore, too. "Let's try cereal instead."

"Okay!" Demyx willingly complied. "Thanks a ton!"

And as Xigbar slammed cabinet doors shut and pulled out new silverware, chattering on idly to him about how to use a spoon, and which Nobodies Demyx would want to avoid, Demyx nodded and conversed every bit as animatedly as his new friend. Silently, however, his mind was preoccupied with other matters as he wondered when would be the next time the puzzle pieces would fit back into place.

I'm probably not going to draw it out into more chapters, since it was just a random idea for something to write about and, again, spawned from boredom. x.x So, yet another one-shot. I'm glad I finally did it though. I love these two so much. I just wish I could pull them off fairly well. Xigbar's really hard for me to write, for some reason.

I always wanted to write something about Mer!Demyx because...yeah...I thought it would make sense for his background. The other day, I was trying to match everyone up with where they might have originated from based on their elements, or weapons, or the way they looked. I got Land of Dragons for Xaldin, Atlantica for Demyx, and Ancient Greece (y'know, Hercules setting) for Marluxia. From there, my brain just kinda stopped working.

I don't know why I so desperately want Marluxia to be Greek. Oh well! Oh crap, I rambled. I'm sorry.