Author's Note: Well I finally decided to get this up and going. Strap into your seats kids it's gone be a long one. I didn't intend it that way but that's what's happened.

There is something I should mention. In this (and probably other stories) I use a teacher/ student concept. The idea is that as the Org gained new members Xemnas assigns one of the original six to train the neophytes. Lexaeus trains Demyx (he's the only one with the patience) and Xigbar trains Axel and so forth, with Xemnas himself training Roxas. I'm not sure of the others yet, or if they'll even be important.

Warning: This is an Axel/Demyx fic, and yes that means shonen-ai, two guys. There are several other pairs mentioned, including a break-up between Axel and Larxene. There won't be anything too graphic, since this story focuses mainly on Axel a) coming to terms with his attraction to Demyx and b) trying to find out if Number IX would be interested.

Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts


It seemed like an odd thing to have in a castle full of former researchers, at least Demyx thought so.

He never said anything out loud. He never judged anyone by appearances. Maybe someone other than himself had musical inclinations. Maybe they brought it in just for him. Or maybe it was just one of those things that turns up in castles.

It didn't matter. It was there. He'd always wanted a grand piano.

He knew exactly the song he'd wanted to play. Had learned it by heart.

And that was the problem.

That one stupid little cliché.

Didn't seem so stupid now.

At first he hadn't known it was a real problem. Even after Xemnas's little "orientation speech" he hadn't taken it too seriously. Then he'd found the piano. Had sat down to play. Finger poised on the keys…

But the song wouldn't come.

The raw truth of what had happened to him came crashing down on him.

Before, there'd only been a vague sense that something was wrong. Now he knew exactly what was gone.

He'd fled the room.

He'd been told that it had happened to all of them, that horrible moment of comprehension. No more was said.

In the intervening months he'd been trained to recognize and wield his power. He had not been surprised that his element was water. What did surprise him was that when he finally manifested his weapon, it was a sitar, a musical instrument.

Did this mean the music wasn't truly gone?

His fingers wrapped themselves around the sitar of their own accord. It was as if nothing had changed. His fingers moved, the notes flowed and became a melody.

And the water danced.