I think this fic is due tomorrow...SUCCESS! I have about 45 minutes left before this becomes late in my time zone.
Anyways. Indigo here, with her first one-shot. AngelKairi's challenge to be exact. And let me tell you, this just wouldn't end...
prompt: The Hush Sound
Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts yada yada yadada
A student walks by in the crowed hallway, brushing roughly against Demyx's shoulder. A second later she turns around, shifting the binder in her hands to hold one up and apologizes with a half grin. Another second and she's already gone down the hallway.
Demyx only smiles in return and mirrors the gesture-even though she can't see it with her back turn.
Where. Is. Zexion.
He sticks a thumb under the strap on his shoulder, adjusting the guitar (well actually it's a sitar) case he's carrying along in the hallway. It's the second kid to accidentally walk into the neck of it. The guy walks away rubbing the side of his arm cursing, but Demyx doesn't justify that it's not his fault the kid wasn't watching.
Because he knows he'll never hear it.
This is Zexion's locker...isn't it? I guess I'll wait here for him to come.
Demyx unstraps the case so he can lean back against the row of lockers without crushing his precious sitar. All around him are the carefree students chatting away about the social event of the year. They're talking about which shoe size is in, which radio station is more underground, and what's the newest pick-up line.
The soundtrack of their school.
If Zexion doesn't get here soon I think my head's going to implode from listening to all this.
All around him it's just noise, noise, noise. Everyone's afraid of silence. Let's fill it in with something less original.
They have voices, why don't they sing?
It's better to lose something than it is to have nothing. There's a difference, Zexion says. With the former, at least you have a purpose in life-to get it back.
Of all the days, why am I letting it get to me now?
Demyx bangs his head against the locker behind him. Not hard enough to hurt or clear his head, but loud enough for him to know he's there. Amidst the sounds of everyday life around him, he just wants to know how to be a part of it.
It's The Destiny High Soundtack, as composed by Demyx. The voice you'll never hear.
I was fine this morning, why am I so nervous now? God if Zexion doesn't get here soon, I might lose all my courage to tell him...
Demyx smirks at the statement. How do you tell someone you love them without saying anything at all? Because in the next five minutes he's going to have to learn how.
It's not until a good six minutes later when someone he knows shows up. It's not Zexion, but it's someone that might help calm his nerves.
In his head, he can hear a sharp melody ring out. It lashes then fades, sudden in the kind of style that makes you wonder whether or not you heard it at all. Then as soon as you start to doubt yourself it comes back quicker.
The sharpness and strikingness is like the being in song form. With the shocking red hair and striking features to every step that parts the crowds of student around him in his symphony.
It's strange, since Demyx doesn't talk in words he likes to think in melodies.
The bass in the background appears and Axel says hello.
For good measure Axel holds up his hand as well. He's smiling as he's waving. But his fingers are together and it's like a goodbye wave. Demyx smiles to himself as he realizes that the pyro has gotten the sign for "hello" and "goodbye" mixed up. But he doesn't say anything because at least he's trying. Sign language was never an easy thing to learn.
He mouths back. He stretches his lips back like a smile for the first syllable and then brings his tongue back up to tap against his front teeth, ending with his mouth shaped in an 'o'. Demyx finds lip-reading much more comfortable. Because instead of staring at your hands, they're staring at your face. Like you're actually speaking.
And sometimes when he's talking to Zexion, the steel blue haired boy would keep his eyes trained solely on Demyx's face throughout the conversation.
At the same time, Demyx holds up his right hand in a salute. Placing it against his temple and then lifting it up. After a moment, Demyx can see the realization dawning on Axel's face as a sheepish grin appears.
"Oh." he says. "Sorry 'bout that."
Axel forms a fist with his hand, placing the thumb in front of the first two fingers. He moves his hand in a circular motion midchest height. The gesture for "sorry."
To most people, Axel might seem like an idiot using sign language to someone who can hear perfectly. But the redhead says it's because he wants to learn it. He still has trouble reading Demyx's gestures at times and lip-reading can be ambiguous.
Demyx knows this because he's interchanged the word "Axel" and "Asshole" quite a few times and it had taken Roxas months to notice.
"So, what's up?" asks Axel.
The pyro holds his left hand out, followed by his right hand with an index figner pointed out. He runs it against the open palm. Afterwards he points up. The direct English-to-sign-language translation of "what's up." Demyx has to suppress the urge to laugh. Like most people, Axel never understood that sign language was actually...a language.
Each word, alphabet, phrase, expression, even grammar. Yes there is grammar. There's a topic, there's a comment, there's a time. Sometimes they change, sometimes they don't. And each word in English can have multiple gestures in sign language.
Depending on what you're doing, where you're doing it, when you're doing it, and who you're doing it with.
And some people actually ask him why he prefers lip-reading.
Not much. I stayed up late last night finishing my English essay. I'm kinda tired.
He mouths it for Axel and he signals it with his hands. The redhead pays more attention to his mouth, but only because he struggles with the latter.
Axel laughs. Something Demyx will never be able to do.
"Yeah, I heard the same thing from Roxas."
Heard he says. Like they're actually talking. It makes Demyx feel a bit better about everything. The mood's been lighten and the empty space inside has been filled. This is what friends are for.
"I was talking to him last night and he wouldn't stop saying how mythology relates to me not passing high school. He says it's something called fate or whatever."
Axel laughs again and Demyx watches.
"By the way, have you seen blondie anywhere?"
Demyx shakes his head.
Have you seen Zexion?
Axel mirrors it, adding in the simple 'no' gesture as well. After a moment an awkward silence appears. Demyx has every right to blame it on Axel. After all, the redhead's the only one that can fill it. This hush is as loud as Demyx can get.
You like him...Roxas, don't you?
The redhead's eyes widen and he looks surprise. He shouldn't have. Demyx has to listen to every conversation. After a while, you pick up traits in people and hear more than just what they say. But it's not just him. The whole student body had become painfully aware of Axel's infatuation with the kid (except for the object of affection himself).
After a sigh Axel replies. "Yeah. But...I don't know how to tell him."
When it's Demyx turn to speak, he tries to keep the rigid motions out of his gestures so Axel can't hear the malice in voice.
At least you can...
Guilt. Hurt. Shame. It's all reflected in Axel's eyes. People's voices can change, their expressions can be disguised but there's always a way to see if what they say is really what they mean. Why use your gift to trick other people?
After a moment the 'silence' breaks again.
"Sorry." says Axel, and everything about that matches.
"I'm really sorry." he says again. "I guess that kinda puts thing in perspective. I mean, I shouldn't have said that. You're completely right...I should hav-I'm kinda pathetic aren't I?"
The redhead shakes his head, eyes downcast and opens his mouth to say something else. But then stops. It looks like he doesn't know what to say now. Demyx probably shouldn't have put that so harshly.
But for a brief moment, Demyx envies Axel. To have your voice stuck in your throat, to not know what to say. That happened to Demyx once. Except it stayed like that.
Like the redhead struggling to end his apology. But nothing came out. Nothing sounded right.
It happened to him once.
It's a note on Demyx desk. He's sitting in his physic classroom. The teacher is up on the board, writing down answers that don't match up with his homework. Damn, looks like another long year.
But that's not important right now. What's important is the note, the note written in Zexion's handwriting. The one thrown by Zexion- who's currently sitting two rows up and to the right of him. It's amazing how he can throw back that far without getting caught, let alone getting it right in the middle of his desk.
Demyx takes it after forgoing a glance to see that the teacher is still preoccupied. He scribbles down his reply.
'Hey yourself. Where were you this morning?'
He tosses it back up to the front. The note lands perfectly on the other junior's desk. It's a practiced skill. They might not seem like it, but he and Zexion were pretty notorious for passing notes in class without ever getting caught. Sometimes that's Demyx's only way to communicate with other students.
Like he said it's a practiced skill.
The note comes back quicker than he expected and almost hits him in the head. Demyx unfolds it again and reads.
'I stayed up late finishing my essay last night. I think I overslept.'
This time Demyx really does almost laugh. He could just picture Zexion saying it. Zexion being all professional with his crazy intellect and sophisticated manner saying: "I overslept." The thought's enough to make him risk a laugh.
Or at least, that's one side of the stereotypes of him. All the teachers thought of Zexion as somewhat of an equal. Why not? He's smart, he does his homework, he does Demyx's homework occasionally but don't tell anyone (maybe that's why he's failing physics), he has a high-class family, and he'll probably go to a good college and get a good job and become filthy rich.
Then there's the student population view of him. And goddamn it, his Zexion was not emo.
For one, he talks a lot. He's not all shy and secluded and anti-social. If anything, people avoid him because he talks too much. And no one understands him.
No, not in the whole "You don't understand me! No one understands me! Fuck, even I don't understand myself!" kind.
It's more like the "Neurotransmitter molecules are usually packaged in vesicles and when an action potential travels to the synapse, the rapid depolarization causes calcium ion channels to open, leading to the release of the packaged neurotransmitter, a mechanism called exocytose...yada yada yada...and that's how we can feel Demyx. Anymore questions?"
And people wonder why Zexion doesn't have many friends.
The teacher has turned around again so Demyx can't pass his note. After a while, he can't concentrate either.
His thoughts and eyes drift off to the boy sitting rows in front of him. Of course his back is turned, facing the teacher attentively, and if Demyx really wanted to he could just throw the note at the back of his head. And of course he would never do that.
Because Zexion was his first and only best friend.
It started with an English project-partnered of course.
This was before Demyx had confidence in himself. Back when he was self conscious about more things than teenagers should ever worry about. When people struggled to tell the object of their affection how they felt, Demyx struggled with telling his parents he needed a ride to school.
And when he sat next to Zexion, that first week of school, the first week of high school-two years ago. He feared Zexion figuring out his secret. So he doesn't say anything at all.
He doesn't tell him he can't tell him anything. And it was a lot simpler than he thought. He had even asked the teacher not to tell the class, blaming it on a self-esteem issue. The lady had given him the saddest sympathetic look he had ever seen and he almost felt bad for lying.
He just wanted to fit in. That's all he wanted. Others had done worse for that sense of comfort - like drugs, sex, and gangs. And it wasn't like he was hurting anyone.
But he did.
"What's your name?"
His voice. It didn't sound emotionless. But it didn't sound friendly either. More like disinterested.
Demyx had used it to his advantage. He moved his binder closer to the dyed-blue haired boy.
Yeah Zexion's hair was blue- he was a really interesting kid now that Demyx thought about it. Back then, the color was more vivid. Now it's faded to a grayish tint and the silver roots are showing at the top…maybe that's why people thought he was emo.
When Zexion hadn't heard a reply he turned around, prepared to repeat his question maturely to someone who seemed likely to not cooperate. Instead he spied the binder, with the word "DEMYX" written in blue sharpie across it.
Demyx inwardly cheered. One question and it almost ruined his facade. Every time someone asked him that - every time and it made him feel like crying.
Do you know how much that hurts? Not being able to say your own name?
His partner keeps his eyes trained on the binder. "How do you pronounce that?"
And Demyx freezes.
He isn't sure how long that moment lasts, but his partner is either going to think he's stupid for not knowing how to pronounce his own name- or he's going to think Demyx is ignoring him and doesn't want to be his friend.
And it's the exact opposite of that. Demyx would love to tell him his name and be his friend.
"Dem-yx...or De-mi-kku-su is what his family calls him."
He looks up at the person who's spoken his name. Tifa Lockhart. Actually it's Ms. Lockhart the ninth grade English teacher that saved Demyx's first friendship.
She crouches a bit lower to Zexion, who seems completely unfazed by her large chest getting closer. "He's a bit embarrassed by his name. His parents are foreign-they're from Hollow Bastion and names like that are common there. He's also kinda shy and doesn't talk much, but he's a great listener. You two could be really good friends."
And with a wink she leaves.
An understanding teacher. Demyx plea had been impractical, keeping his 'disability' a secret from everyone else. He didn't want people's pity; he just wanted to fit in. And Zexion was his first trial.
When he turned to face the boy, the freshmen looked a bit...shock.
Demyx wasn't surprised, it must be weird. To be the outcast of the class. To be the quiet one of the class (this was before Demyx had triggered his talkative side…and nowadays he wish he knew how to turn it off).
And now Zexion was meeting his match. Someone who talked even less than he did...well kind of.
After a while, none of them had said anything. It almost looked like Zexion was forcing himself to speak. "I'll work on this part...The research."
Then silence. Maybe Zexion was in pain. Being forced to start every conversation. And when Demyx reminisced about it now, he finds it funny because he can't get Zexion to shut up half the time. Did he really change Zexion that much?
"...You can work on the second part."
Demyx nodded again.
More silence. After a while Zexion must have deemed it past his speech quote. Because for the rest of the class time, the two worked silently side-by-side. But Demyx didn't care; at least it was a start. And he wasn't hurting anyone right?
The aforementioned blond was jerked from his day dream. Cid, the physics teacher who secretly wanted to be an astronaut, looked completely exhausted. He wanted stars and space, lots and lots of empty space away from his kids and wife. Instead he's here with no space at all and kids everywhere.
But before the teacher takes his head out of his palm, another note is thrown on his desk.
Demyx swipes it quickly and holds it underneath the wooden surface, away from the teacher's eyes before he looks up.
"Would you like to tell the class the answer?" Cid asks, rubbing his temple.
"Well?!" he barks.
And it happens so quick you wouldn't be able to tell unless you were Zexion who had it all planned. Demyx grabs for a post-it off the stack at the corner of his desk with one hand. With the other he unfolds the note under the desk, a quick glance and it tells him the answer is 69 kilograms. Zexion's handwriting staring right back at him.
He scribbles it down on the post-it and hands it to Namine. The girl in white sitting next to him. She's been watching him the whole time but even she's fooled into thinking it's Demyx own answer.
After a moment she reads it out loud to Cid. Her voice is small, but not timid in the least bit. But it's still too soft so Cid has to yell at her to speak up. Even though it's kind of harsh, Demyx has to side with Cid on this one.
Even though he's grateful for Namine to be his microphone, he wish she had a volume button. People should use their gift unashamedly, to the highest extent. Let the audience know you're part of the symphony as the conductor watches enviously.
Life is a solo, not a chorus Zexion once told him.
"Right, 69..." It's like reverse psychology- the way Cid gets disappointed at the right answer.
When the teacher turns around again, Demyx allows himself to put his guard down and relax. He looks over to Zexion up front and a single blue eye stares back at him. No Zexion isn't emo, he just needs a haircut...badly.
He mouths. And Zexion smiles. It's one of those rare ones and Demyx treasures it.
The blue-haired boy doesn't reply but instead tries to signal at the paper Demyx is holding with his eyes. The blond takes it out from underneath the desk again. It's the original physics answer.
He flips it over- and it's Zexion's handwriting staring back at him once more.
"So, how did it happen?"
Demyx looks up in time to see Axel get elbowed by a blond kid. The taller of the two rubs his side with a mock pained expression on his face, but the blond is still glaring at him furiously nevertheless. The younger boy moves his gaze to Demyx and his blue eyes have soften- but he still looks a bit mad from Axel's remark.
"Sorry." he says. "Axel didn't mean to be an insensitive jerk like that."
The redhead scoffs.
But before Demyx can think of a way to reply, Axel does it for him. He points a finger at Demyx and says "Roxy, I'd like you to meet my new friend Demyx."
After Demyx gives a friendly wave, the pyro slings an arm around his shorter companion- despite his protests.
"Demyx, this is Roxas. He hits me a lot. And he's a really abusive boyfriend. But he lets me call him Roxy so I don't mind."
Roxas looks like he wants to kick Axel in the shin, very very hard. But he refrains after the comment. Instead he just glares daggers at the redhead and mutters "I'm not your damn boyfriend. Stop telling people that!"
Roxas pushes Axel off unsuccessfully as the pyro tries to ruffle his hair.
Demyx smiles. His first friends, this was after he had met Zexion for the first time. Before his secret was found out and almost completely wrecked their relationship.
Can you read sign language?
He writes on a sheet of notebook paper and hands it to the kid -Roxas- because he looks like the smarter of the two. Roxas shakes his head and apologizes. Demyx writes that it's alright and if they still want to hear the story, he doesn't mind telling it.
They still do.
It was a car accident.
My dad was driving and my mom was in the seat next to them.
I was in the back seat, about nine years old. A car hit us from behind, so I took most of the impact. My parents were fine but I ended up in the hospital for a few weeks.
When I woke up, the doctors told me not to speak. They said my throat was still healing - and that the injury was just temporary. I'd be able to speak again in a month. But when I finally did nothing came out.
He stops there because there's nothing left to say, almost shocked that his story was so…short. And yet he hadn't even conveyed all the emotions involved in the accident.
"That almost happened to my brother." says Roxas quietly.
The blond looks like he hadn't meant for that to slip out. Even Axel looks surprised.
But with an encouraging look from Demyx, the other continues. This was when he realized there's more to being a listening than just asking questions.
"He was in a coma for a year." The blond starts out hesitantly. Axel looks like he wants to put a comforting arm around him, but at the same time doesn't want to be kicked again.
"And when Sora woke he had forgotten some of his memories, including how to speak. But he was fine physically so the doctor recommended we get him a speech therapist. He can talk normally now."
Demyx smiles but it's a sad one. At least someone got their happy ending. Demyx vocal cords were damaged permanently in the crash. He can't physically speak ever again. He's lucky to be alive.
"Ya know Demyx. You're the only mute person I know, well asides from Hellen Keller."
Axel gets a smack on the head. He rubs it again in the same hurtful manner as before but Roxas's glare doesn't waver. Demyx briefly wonders how Roxas can reach up that high when he's so short...
"Helen Keller was deaf and blind- not mute stupid!"
Demyx laughs. Well, he almost does. A hand quickly goes up to cover his mouth so no one can hear him- because it's not a real laugh.
Not without your voice. It's just a rough outtake of air. A sad excuse for a laugh. It's embarrassing and he never wants anyone to hear it.
Well actually he writes.
Heller Keller could be considered mute to some. When she was young she couldn't talk. Because she could never hear or see people talking, she didn't know how to talk either. Even though she had a voice and was physically able to do so.
She was lucky, she still had her voice- she just had to find it.
Roxas stares at the note, absentmindedly batting Axel's hands away from his hair. (Demyx still can't believe what's taking Axel so long now to confess, at least the pyro could.) After a while he looks up.
"Demyx, do you think you could teach me sign language?"
And of course he looks shock. Learn sign language just for him? Well yeah, his parents did that. But that's because they were his parents. But his friends wanted to learn it too?
"Oh! Me too, if Roxy wants to learn then I wanna learn too Demyx!"
"Shut up, Axel."
Sure why not? he writes. But he never seriously thought that they would go that far. That Roxas would learn it that fluently and Axel would keep trying after all those years. So this is what it feels like to have friends to talk to...
"You brought your sitar." says Zexion. His voice is laced with surprise and...Excitement?
How didja know it wasn't a guitar?
Demyx mouths it and he gestures it. Like always. And Zexion only watches his face, not his hand.
But Zexion understands sign language too. Better than Roxas. He knows this because Zexion acts as a translator most of the time. He's the back note lyrics to Demyx's melody.
He's also the one that first got Demyx into music. Without him, Demyx would have never discovered his love and passion for the arts. It must have been fate when Zexion gave him his first instrument - a harmonica.
"It was a lucky guess."
But Demyx can see the way he smiles before he turns his head. They're walking out of physics now, and it's off to English. And despite all the happy memories he's received from that subject, today he really doesn't want to go. Today was the day they had to "share" their essays aloud to the class.
"Are you going to play it?"
Demyx raises an eyebrow.
"You don't have band today. Were you planning on playing it during lunch?"
Demyx smiles Maybe.
"That was a yes right?"
That's a maybe.
"But I've been looking forward to hearing you play your songs. You'll be playing it for me right?"
What?! When did I say that?!
"Did you write the song you're playing for me as well?"
You know I can't write songs!
"Is it a love song?"
NO! I didn't write a song for you! And if I did it wouldn't be a love song and I wouldn't be playing it for you! Stop putting words in my mout-
"Cool. What's it called?"
Demyx just glares at him, playfully of course. Zexion was the only person in the entire world that Demyx didn't mind being talked over by. Because Zexion knew how to interrupt a mute person. It was such a special bond...and today he was going to risk it all. He might ruin it forever for the two of them.
But Demyx doesn't say that. Not that he can really say anything at all, but he can when it's with Zexion.
It was a mistake. Letting him get that close.
He realizes this after their first week together. The project had already come and gone but their relationship - however small and still forming at that point - had stayed.
It wasn't that hard actually. Zexion was a really quiet kid, and Demyx couldn't talk. The silence that formed around them was somehow comforting. Demyx never tried to make idle conversation with Zexion, sometime he found the blue-haired kid hated after observations.
Zexion didn't like talking about things other teenagers talked about. His dad was a scientist and his step-mother was a doctor majoring in neurology. Sometimes Zexion would bring up something his dad had discovered in his research or someone peculiar about a patient his mom treated.
"You remember what proproception is right?" asked Zexion, at the end of class one time.
Demyx nodded. Zexion had talked about that a few days ago. By now it's been a month since they've known each other.
For a second, the older boys smiles. Whether if it's because Demyx looks genuinely interested or if it's because the blond actually remembered something is unimportant. But it only lasts for a second and Demyx wasn't even sure if he saw it in the first place.
"Proproception is like another one of our five senses. It's the sense of ourselves. Our body. Like how we know we can move our fingers and how we know they belong to us..."
Just for the record, Demyx already knew that. He's been listening to everything Zexion said, ever since the boy had opened up. Demyx never asked a single question, but he was always there to listen.
"...and Gloria met Mr. Xemnas again last Saturday."
Gloria is Zexion's step mom. The neurologist. And Xemnas was one of her more unique patients. The man suffered from a multiple-personality-disorder, sometimes calling himself 'Xehanort' or 'DiZ' or 'Ansem.'
And if he wanted to be called 'Ansem' that day, you had to distiguish between 'Ansem the Wise' or 'Ansem seeker of Darkness' or else he would throw an angry tantrum.
It also didn't help that Xemnas also had dslyexia and would sometimes misspell his name as Mansex on his forms.
Demyx would very much like to meet this man. He nodded again to show that he was listening.
"Well." began Zexion. The boy turns his head to the side, Demyx noticed he always did this whenever he wanted to hide the fact he 'the ever emotionless one to others' found something amusing.
When his blue eyes meet Demyx again, there isn't even a ghost of a smile on his lips. But Demyx can see right through him.
"Xemnas has a problem with his proproception sense as well." The edges of Zexion's mouth twitch and Demyx finds himself smiling widely.
"But his case is different than all of Gloria's other patients. Usually with proproception, it's like a patient being unable to move a limb. All their muscles and tendons will be connected, but the nerves won't be able to send any signals back to the brain. So even though it's there physically, they won't be able to feel it or move it. So they become hysterical and think they're missing a body part."
Demyx is still listening, but he doesn't say a word. He remembers Zexion telling him how his dad had to overcome this problem with his amputation victims. Hopefully the other boy will take this as a signal to keep going.
"In Xemnas' case, he thinks his heart is missing."
Frantically, he moves his hand up to stop it from coming out. But the puzzled look on Zexion's face tells him that it's too late. That godforsaken noise had already escaped his mouth.
Zexion's brows narrow in worry as he fixes Demyx with a concern look.
"Demyx, are you alright?"
And Demyx - feeling like an idiot - nods. Because that's all he can really do. Still covering his mouth with a hand, he gets up to leave.
But Zexion follows him to the door. Something akin to worry or fear written all across the other's face. "Was it- was it something I said? Did I do something wrong? Demyx?"
Demyx shakes his head. His vision blurs a bit as he rushes out of the room. It's all happening too fast and he's hadn't prepared for this.
He has no idea why he's running away or how he's going to explain why he can't say anything back to calm Zexion's worries.
Their 11th grade English teacher is Ms. Gainsborough, she's kind and sweet and reminds him of Tifa. Except her chest is least distracting and she likes to smell pretty flowers instead of kick boxing.
He sits in the back of the room with Zexion. Next to Zexion.
And on his other side is Roxas. The blond is fast asleep - arms and papers on top of his desk and a mass of blond hair everywhere. If Axel were here and taking this class, he'd have his Polaroid camera out right now.
The teacher walks in a minute before the bell rings. Zexion taps him on the shoulder and inclines his head to point out Roxas. A moment later and Demyx's pencil is throw at Roxas, waking the blond up.
The boy gives a jerk as he gets up, Roxas doesn't make any noise but the sudden movement has caught Aerith's eye.
"Roxas, since you seem to be enjoying this class so much." At that the blond gave a sheepish smile that was sleep-laden, but Aerith wasn't a teacher you had to worry about. "Why don't you join us at the front of the class and enlighten us with your views on mythology."
That was the simple assignment. An open topic with anything about the Greek or Roman myths. Demyx blew off his math homework to write his.
When Roxas had reached the front of the classroom, any trace of embarrassment was gone from his face. In fact, he didn't even seem to care if anyone was paying attention as he read aloud his essay. Demyx would kill for that kind of confidence.
He only half-listens this time, the report had something to do with fate or destiny. And maybe stars.
Another student comes up, and Demyx barely hears her. Until she mentions Echo. The singing and dancing nymph. The one that angered the Gods with her constant talking so they punished her by taking away her freedom of speech. Allowing her only to repeat what others have said.
Demxy twitches a bit. At least she still had her voice, damn it.
As he shifted uncomfortably, Zexion seemed to have noticed. He didn't even ask what was wrong, Zexion probably already knew what was going on through his mind.
But Demyx was unprepared when the blue-haired boy leaned over and whispered in his ear. He immediately froze as lips brushed against his lobe, followed by heated breath as Zexion spoke.
It takes him an eternity to realize that Zexion had asked him a question, he quickly nods his head to tell Zexion that yes, he was alright. He just can't help it when his best friend is that close and his heart is beating a mile a minute.
Zexion draws back, and Demyx lets out a sigh. It's either of relief or disappointment, he can't decide.
From his right he hears a sigh (and to his left he hears snoring because Roxas had fallen asleep again - but that's not important). But when he turns around Zexion is staring at the other blond.
"Roxas." he says. Zexion has this thing, where he doesn't have to speak loudly at all - and yet everyone hears him.
The blond on the other side of Demyx lifts his head slightly and stares at them beneath golden locks. "What?" he asks, obviously annoyed.
"The essay shouldn't have taken you that long to type." Zexion says it out of curiosity than concern for their friend.
"No, it's not that." Says the blue-eyed boy as he stretches, his movements sluggish. After a yawn he replies.
"Axel kept me up all night."
Both Demyx and Zexion give him a look.
Roxas fully wakes up at hearing what he had just said and quickly shouts. "On the phone!"
The next person to come up talks about Teiresias from Oedipus Rex, a Greek drama. The blind prophet. The old man that could never see anything, but could still see the future.
A nudge from Zexion's direction makes him turn around. His best friend's face is only a few inches away and it's times likes these he's glad Zexion doesn't need sign language.
"That reminds me of you."
Demyx raises an eyebrow. Before he could even comprehend what Zexion was talking about - what reminded Zexion of him? - his name had been called.
"Demyx?" said Aerith.
The blond boy was suddenly jerked out of his thoughts. When Zexion had withdrawn once more - and for some reason he seemed reluctant - Demyx looked up. The English teacher was looking at him expectantly, and only one thing was racing through his mind.
Was she serious? How was a mute kid supposed to read something aloud to a class?
Zexion seemed to be thinking along the same thoughts as well since he stood up. Demyx would have to thank him later.
"Ms. Gainsborough, may I act as a translator?"
A look of horror appeared on Demyx's face. Just because he couldn't talk in front of the class, it didn't mean he wanted to! Demyx tried to catch the older boy's attention, but to no avail.
Something in the back of his mind told him that Zexion must have planned this all along. The blue-haired teen always did bring up the sensitive topic of Demyx's shyness and his stage fright, even though he wanted to become a musician one day.
But Aerith shook her head with a smile. "That's quite alright Zexion, thank you for offering. But I'll translate for Demyx."
For some reason that made him even more nervous. Now Zexion would be watching him present his essay.
He briefly wonders if a person can stutter in sign language.
It's Friday, so Demyx only has to avoid Zexion for the rest of that day- and he's home free.
But all of Friday night he feels guilty. Saturday morning he wakes up, and he still feels guilty.
His mom senses it and makes him chocolate chip pancakes - his favorite - but the feeling stays. His dad must have noticed it too because he gets home early that day and they go out to lunch together.
Demyx keeps wondering why everyone is treating him so nicely until Axel and Roxas show up at his door with balloons.
It was his fucking birthday and he had forgotten.
So he pushes Zexion out from his mind. He forgets the hurtful look on the other's face when he left. The desperate plea that rang after him when he ran out. He forgets it all amidst birthday cakes and presents.
It isn't until all the guest leave and the last dotting relative has bid their farewell does Demyx remember.
When he's heading upstairs, prepared to put away all the CDs he had gotten and his new mp3 player. He's barely on the first step before the phone rings.
And being mute, he has no reason to pick up the phone. There's nothing he can really do. But he still stays on the stairs, setting his stuff down on the step before him.
His mom, holding a plate of left over cake in one hand, reaches out with her free one to pick up the phone. She pushes her graying blonde hair back and balances the receiver between her ear and her shoulder, all the while cleaning up the surprise party mess.
Hello she says, in her cheery voice. She doesn't sound the least bit tired. But after a while her brows narrow and her voice changes to something guarded. "Can I ask who's speaking?"
Demyx, out of pure instinct picks up the other phone on the table next to the stairs.
It's his voice again. The same one that tried to ask him what was wrong yesterday. But instead of sounding worried or concerned, this time he sounds...nervous?
Either way, Demyx is frozen with the receiver clutched in his hand and he tries his hardest not to let his heavy breathing be heard on the phone.
"Zexion..." His mom repeats, sounding a bit unsure of the situation. "...are you sure you have right Demyx, sweetheart?"
If Demyx was scared before, he isn't sure what he's feeling now.
"This is Demyx Nocturne's phone number right?" He hears Zexion ask on the phone. He sounds both emotionless and disinterested in the politest ways. But Demyx can tell he's nervous as hell.
"Yes." His mom says, and he hears her voice in the room they're both in and through the echo of the phone. Green eyes identical to his look back at him with concern.
Zexion was probably just as confused as his mom was - and it was all his fault.
"Can I...speak to him?" asks the voice on the phone. And Demyx can just picture what a wreck Zexion must be in.
Demyx covers the receiver of the phone. For whatever reason he doesn't know. Maybe he's afraid his emotions might make it through the other line.
He shakes his head frantically at his mom. No he can't talk to Zexion. He can never talk to Zexion. But please don't tell him that...
And his mom doesn't need sign language to communicate with Demyx either. Except their bond was different.
"Zexion, I'm sorry. He can't come to the phone right now." She's lying through her smile - just for Demyx, and maybe Zexion can tell it's not the truth.
"Can I take a message?" She asks.
The silence that follows makes Demyx want to hurl the phone at something, and run upstairs to his room and cry his heart out. But after a moment, Zexion speaks.
"I heard from a friend it was Demyx's birthday today." And his voice was so quiet; Demyx wished he had tried harder not to hear it.
"I just wanted to wish him a happy birthday...that's all."
Demyx doesn't wait for the click that follows after the conversation. He doesn't even notice the questioning glance his mom gives him. He just runs upstairs and wishes he could disappear - wishes he could be anywhere else but here.
It was like he wasn't even there, he should have just not picked up the phone in the first place.
He never felt so useless before.
"Dionysius was the god of wine, captured by sailors at sea…
Eris was the goddess of strife and chaos – most know for the Apple of Discord myth, where she threw an apple into the garden and caused the Trojan War…
Artemis and Orion were lovers...
But the goddess of the hunt and the hunter were doomed. Artemis' twin brother Apollo became angered and tricked her into killing Orion...He challenged her to shoot an arrow into the sea, which then hit Orion...The moon goddess, filled with grief at killing her lover, decided to save him and set him up against the stars."
Demyx is halfway through his presentation now. He's supposed to be explaining how mythology has made it into the media – but he's mainly interested in just songs. The one he's analyzing, it's called Wine Red by The Hush Sound. Something about that band makes him think there's irony hidden somewhere.
But that doesn't matter right now. What matters is he's reading aloud to the class for the first time. Granted it's through Aerith acting as the interpreter, but for once he kinda feels...normal.
When he's finished, he lets his hands fall to the side and Aerith faces the class. He notices that Roxas is still asleep and Zexion is staring...at...him...
As he's fighting to keep a blush down, a student asks a question. Aerith turns around with a smile to Demyx, waiting for his answer.
"Demyx, what do you feel this song is about?"
He returns the smile.
"I think the song is about the destruction of something that seems too beautiful to exist."
When he comes to class on Monday, he doesn't speak to Zexion...so it's not like anything's changed, right?
But when it's time for English, Demyx finds a new seat. And Zexion doesn't say anything.
He sits there the entire period but he can't pay attention. He knows Zexion is sitting on the other side of the classroom, but he's afraid to look. What if the boy was mad at him? For hiding his secret so long? It probably wasn't even the matter of him being mute anymore -he knew, it was about trust.
Zexion had trusted him, opened up to him, and became his closest friend.
But what did Demyx do? Well, he could have argued that he was planning on telli- relaying to Zexion about his lack of speech.
..but Demyx wasn't sure how much of that was a lie.
They're walking out of class now and Zexion is praising Demyx for every little thing he did. He didn't stand up that straight did he?
There's bubbly feeling in his chest and he couldn't suppress it even if he tried. It happens every time Zexion is around him, but he's afraid that if his heart beats any faster, the blue-haired boy might hear it.
But before that, he needs Zexion to hear something else first.
As they round the corner to get to the cafeteria, Demyx stops and walks over to a wall of lockers, setting his sitar case down. Realizing that Demyx was up to something, Zexion followed the blond.
"What's wrong?" he asks. And it sounds nothing like the way he had talked to Roxas. It sounds kinder, gentler, in the most subtle ways.
But Zexion stops when he sees Demyx open the case. Looking up with the biggest smile Zexion had ever seen, Demyx asks
Wanna hear that love song now?
Zexion smirks. They don't need a language to know he said yes.
It wasn't until later that afternoon that something happened.
He's never told Zexion where his locker was. Not because he couldn't speak, but because Zexion never asked. Maybe that was why he had been able to be friends with the blue-haired boy for so long. They barely saw each other outside of English.
That's why it was surprising, when he came to his locker and found a note taped to the front.
What was even more curious was the fact that no words were written on it. There was only an arrow drawn pointing up.
The lockers weren't that tall, so Demyx was able to reach up and pull a package down. By looking at the shape, it was obviously a box. A medium sized one - just a little smaller than a shoebox - wrapped in black paper.
Demyx looked it over and search the area above and around his locker, but the name of the giver wasn't found.
He tentatively opened his gift, but immediately dropped the box when he found another note inside. It was taped to a book, which must have been the real present, and it was clearly Zexion's in handwriting.
Demyx feels a rush of something inside his stomach. Maybe it's relief, maybe this means Zexion isn't mad after all.
He honestly doesn't know what he's feeling.
Demyx peels the post-it off the book and looks at the title. A bit curious as why Zexion had chosen such an odd gift for him. The Trumpet of the Swan. But it must have been kind of hard, getting a present for someone that never talked about his hobbies.
It isn't until days later when he finishes reading it does he understand the second part of his gift. When he puts the two pieces together.
But for now, he can't remember why he was so sad in the first place. All he can think about is Zexion.
In all his excitement, he forgot about the box lying on the ground. He walks over to pick it up, but then spots something that glints in the light as he gets closer.
It's a harmonica.
Demyx looks up from his sitar and meets blue orbs staring back at him. Zexion looks thoughtful, his eyes sincere and content - but Demyx isn't. His plan didn't work.
He was supposed to be that swan from the story. The one that couldn't speak and express his love for the swan of his dreams. So he goes off on a journey by himself, to find a way to tell her how much he loved her. And in the end he finds it, through the help of music.
Kind of like that ugly duckling story - except the duckling isn't half bad looking. And he's mute. Oh, and he's gay too...okay you know what? That was a bad analogy, so nevermind.
Demyx doesn't notice that he's looking at anywhere but Zexion.
But the blond is lifting the strap of his sitar above his head and moves the instrument onto his lap. They're both sitting down and on the other side of the hallway are Zexion's pleading eyes.
He realizes that the other boy wouldn't be able to read his lips if he's looking downward, so he brings his gaze up - only to find that Zexion is sitting right next to him.
And then his heart goes into overdrive again and if Demyx wasn't mute and if this was a romance novel - this would be that part where he became incapable of speech.
The other boy seemed to be unfazed by their proximity. If anything, it felt like they were moving closer.
"Why did you stop playing?"
Because...I was trying to tell you...something.
"Tell me what?"
He starts, but then stops. It's so hard to mouth things when he can practically feel Zexion's breath on him. Demyx shakes his head instead.
Nevermind...it was nothing.
"No, tell me." says Zexion. And then something in the blue-haired boy's eye changes and Demyx realizes something for the first time.
They're inches apart, and there's no way Zexion can see his lips when their faces are this close.
Now that he thinks about it, their eye contact hasn't been broken either. And suddenly, suddenly he understands. Zexion had been reading his eyes the whole time. Not his hands, not his mouth. Zexion was reading his soul.
His eyes grow wide as he stares back at Zexion. Maybe….just maybe…
To test his theory, he gives Zexion a look.
He pours his entire soul into it and pleads to Zexion to understand how much the boy means to him. How he's always wanted Zexion to know, wanted to tell him this, how this means everything to him. And instead of using his lips to mouth it, he leans forward and presses them against the others.
It didn't matter that Demyx was mute, because they didn't need a language to love.
And when Zexion kisses him back, there were no words to describe it.
Indigo: Sweet, it's over. I'm serious. At page 12, I was like "well it's this far so might well keep going"... Then on page 18, I was like "okay can't give up now"...But then when it got be page 23, I think I just screamed "DIE!"
This was also unbeta'd. Any mistakes belong to...okay, fine me.
More disclaimers: The Hush Sound belongs to themselves, and the lead singer owns the quote. The Trumpet of the Swan belongs to E.B. White. The crazy rant Zexion does about "neurotransmitters" belongs to Wikipedia. And Sign language was written from memory. (Apparently there are multiple versions for "hello" and "goodbye" and the one that Axel uses is interchangeable.) So that means I am not an expert. Do not try this at home...
Reviews would be amazing. It took an insanely long time to write and it's not even that good. So any comments left would be greatly appreciated, especially if you liked it or thought it didn't suck...did I mention I'll love you forever:3