The whole thing felt wrong since the beginning. Perhaps because, when Xigbar had said 'The Dimension Witch' with a snarl, he had pictured a castle not that different than Maleficent's, and he had kind of expected to find just as many minions waiting for them.
He certainly didn't expect to appear in a blooming garden, facing a queer looking house and have two girls in twirling dresses running towards them, even less have them giggling and dancing around them.
"They're here! They're here they're here they're here they're here!"
He risked a glance to Xigbar, but Xigbar's jaw was still tense, not that he could blame him. The whole place made him nervous, and he was biting his tongue to refrain from calling his sitar or his clones just yet.
The feeling increased when a man, tall and dark with glasses, came out of the house, carrying what seemed to be a laundry basket, two stuffed rabbits hanging over his shoulders. He was wearing a pink apron over his robes, and yet something in his smile and in his posture made him wary.
"Calm down, kid. He's not going to attack." Xigbar said, but Demyx kind of got the idea that he wasn't the only one nervous. Well, not that Xigbar was nervous, but he was probably getting whatever weird vibe that the place and the man was giving. And that was even before the 'stuffed' bunnies jumped off the man's shoulders to join the still-chanting-and-giggling-girls.
"My, I thought you wouldn't get here until later! I must apologize, the tea isn't ready yet, nor the bisquits," the man put the basquet down, smiling towards the girls. "Moro, Maro, Soel and Larg, please, stop bothering our guests."
"They're here! They're here they're here they're here they're here!" The girls held the bunnies, giggling as they ran towards the man. Their father, perhaps? Demyx saw the man put his hands over their heads, patting them softly; he suddenly realized that the man wasn't nervous in the least, as if he was used to dealing with two strangers in black leather.
"Yes, I can see that. Now, Soel, Larg, if you'd please go inside the house and inform Yuuko-chan that we have company, please. I'm sure Xigbar-san and Demyx-kun would appreciate it if their business was taken care off."
And at that moment, Demyx was oficially weirded out.
"H-how did he..."
"There's no need for that, idiot," Demyx' question about how could a man he was certain neither he or his Somebody had ever seen knew his name was interrupted as a tall, voluptous woman wearing a badly tied crimson kimono walked out of the house, an opium pipe hanging between her long fingers. "I could tell from the moment they arrived."
The man didn't say a thing, just gave the woman a - somewhat - amused smile and turned around to keep on hanging the laundry to dry, the girls and the not-stuffed-bunnies helping him do it.
"The Dimension Witch, finally." Xigbar gave a grin, walking closer, and Demyx followed close by, telling himself that he wasn't going to cling to Xigbar's arm because a) Xigbar probably wouldn't have it and b) he wasn't going to embarrass himself like that, despite everything. "I was starting to think there was a reason why you wouldn't receive me."
"I have nothing to do with whom might find my store or not," the woman - Yuuko, according to the other man - said with a careless shrug, moving to sit down over the wooden floor. The kimono parted even further as she let her long, pale legs dangle over the edge; she took another drag of her pipe, blowing out perfect rings, and Demyx was suddenly reminded of that Caterpillar in Wonderland. "People with wishes find it, people without wishes won't."
The man beamed, chirping a: "I told you so, my dear."
"You better keep your paws out of my booze, you bastard, or I'll make sure you can't sit down for a month," Yuuko snarled, huffing. "Besides, you cheated. Clow bastard."
Clow, Demyx assumed, turned towards her, a hand over his chest; he was still smiling.
"Yuuko-chan! I'm apalled that you think I'd cheat on something as important as alcohol," then he paused a moment, tilting his head almost innocent-like. "... more than once or twice in the same year, at least."
Yuuko huffed, but Xigbar hadn't stopped looking at her. Xigbar gave a grin.
"Okay then. I have a wish. We have a wish," Xigbar ammended, and then Demyx focused all of his attention to the woman, too, because this was it, for certain. "Grant it for us."
Yuuko took a long drag of her pipe. Clow and the girls and bunnies finished with the laundry. Demyx wondered about the possibilities of Luxord having followed them after a minute seemed to drag on and on.
Finally, Yuuko let go of the smoke. "Sorry. No can't do."
"What?! Why?" Demyx asked, eyes wide. He didn't turn to look at Xigbar, didn't turn to look at the other man, and just waited for an answer. "You didn't even hear what we wish for!"
Yuuko sighed, shaking her head before standing up, letting her kimono trail over her feet. "You explain it. I'm going back to bed; Moro, Maro, please, help me to my room."
"It's quite simple, really," Clow said, patting the girls on their heads again as they twirled around him to go and help Yuuko up. Demyx noticed that the man finally opened his eyes, and they were so sad for them, so honestly, completely sad that he hurt inside. "For every wish granted there has to be a price, something of the same value that has to stay here... and that something has to be dear for you. Yuuko could grant you your wish... but I'm afraid that the price would be too high."
"What would be the price for our hearts?" Xigbar asked. Demyx thought he probably was as frustrated as him, as defeated.
Clow gave them a small smile.
"Your hearts, of course."
"What?" Oh, and Xigbar was angry, too, but Demyx thought that it was completely understandable.
"There's nothing in this world on in the others that is as dear to you as your heart," Clow sighed. "And thus, if Yuuko-chan had agreed to your wishes, she would've kept your hearts here, with no chance of recollection. She wants to grant you the chance of finding them... without a price so high. Really, she's getting soft, but don't tell her I said that." The bunnies giggled, bouncing from the floor to the man's shoulders.
Demyx looked towards the floor. Xigbar's hands clenched into fists.
"What about you?" Xigbar asked Clow. His smile seemed polite, but not surprised, as if he had been waiting for that. "Can't you do a thing? I've also heard about you, Clow Reed."
"In theory, I might be able to," Clow agreed after a few moments. "In practice, I'm afraid that even I am not excent of equivalent trade, for which I'm most humbly grateful. No, I'm sorry. I can't help you there. I'm not one to grant wishes, and it would prove dangerous for everyone."
"There's nothing you can help us with?" Demyx wondered if his voice sounded as pathetic as he thought. He realized he was almost begging, but he couldn't bring himself to care at the moment, not if it got him his heart.
Clow's eyes opened again, the deep blue in theem seemingly endless before the man smiled again, sighing.
"To get a heart... try giving it up, first. Try giving up a heart."
Xigbar tsked. "C'mon kid, we're losing our time."
"Oh, you're not staying for tea? Such a shame," Clow bowed his head before turning to get inside of the house. "Do be careful. And, for what it's worth it, I wish you luck."
Luck. Demyx kept a sigh as he and Xigbar made their way back inside the darkness. He doubted that just luck would cut it out for them.