Disclaimer: KHII belongs to Square-Enix and Disney.
Note: Last part, hope it's not too cliché. Sorry it's so late, I don't know what happened!
.: Lost in the Music:.
She saw Demyx several times over the next two months. He never stopped to talk to her, it was just enough to let her know he hadn't forgotten about her. He always had his hood up, and he always had the same sitar strapped across his back. She couldn't help but wonder what he was up to, she knew him well enough to know this was not something he would normally do.
"What are you staring at?"
Namine turned suddenly and noticed the girl standing beside her, following her gaze across the street to where Demyx sat playing his sitar for yet another crowd of intrigued listeners.
"Oh, that guy? Yea, he's pretty good." Olette smiled over to Namine and she glanced back over to him. "He always wears that hood though, what's he hiding?" She wondered aloud, not seeming to notice that Namine was more or less in a trance at the faint music drifting across the street to them.
"Are you coming?" She looked back to Olette with a start and hurried after her down the street. They were going to be late for school at this rate.
That was the last time she saw him for another two months.
It was well into spring now, and Namine watched from her seat beside the windows as the sun beat down across the football field. The students dragging themselves back and forth across the field were obviously unenthusiastic about the heat. She watched absently as several of them tripped over each other and collapsed into the shade of a tree, not moving even when the teacher came over to reprimand them.
Every couple of days she would catch a glimpse of a hooded figure and turn to look, only to find that it was someone else. She didn't understand why he wouldn't come to see her for so long, it had seemed like he had really wanted to.
"Hey…" Olette said softly from the seat beside her. They didn't have much work to do, school would be out for the summer soon and their teacher was just as anxious for the break as they were.
"What's the matter?" She said when Namine didn't respond.
"Oh, nothing… I just really want out of here." Namine replied with a smile. It wasn't a complete lie, she really did want out of school.
Olette smiled and leaned over to look at the piece of paper on her desk. "Who's that supposed to be?" She asked curiously.
Namine looked down at the scribbled little picture of Demyx she had drawn. "A boy I met a while ago." She said quietly.
"Does he go to school here?" Olette asked, still looking at the picture. Namine shook her head.
"No, actually, he lives in the city." She mumbled.
"Oh." Olette sat back and seemed thoughtful for a moment. "He seems really familiar…"
"He used to come around here and play a sitar, we saw him a while ago, remember?" Namine said with another small smile. Olette's eyes widened.
"Oh! I do remember him! I see, you have a crush on him!" She said happily, laughing as Namine began to blush.
"Come to think of it, I haven't seen him around in a while." Olette said, leaning on her desk as Namine gathered up her papers and shoved them in her backpack. "What happened to him?" She asked.
Namine shrugged. "I don't know…"
It wasn't a part of town Demyx would normally wander into, and he kept the hood tight around his face. It didn't take long to find the building he was looking for, and he sat down on the steps and took his sitar down from his back. The morning was young, and people rushed by busily headed to work. He knew it wouldn't take long, in fact, he had been worried he might have shown up too late. It proved to be perfect timing, however, as the man he had been looking for walked casually down the sidewalk and paused to buy a newspaper. He read it for a moment, and something seemed to catch his attention.
He looked up sharply, glancing around him through the bustling downtown street before his eyes settled on the boy sitting on the front steps to a tall office building. He was playing his sitar like he did everyday, playing the same old song, his fingers moving expertly on the strings to send the same vibrating notes echoing down the sidewalk.
The man nearly dropped his newspaper, but tightened his grip instead, his knuckles whitening. He walked over to the boy and looked down at him sternly, only receiving a glimpse of the boy's neck and chin from under the hood and a sly grin in response.
He stood there for a long time, listening to him play the sitar as people rushed by them. The crows slowly began to die down and they began to relax in each other's presence. All at once, Demyx stopped playing and looked up at the man, giving him another cheeky grin.
"I'm ready." He said simply.
He watched in amusement as the man leaned his head back and let out a very relieved, very joyous laugh.
Namine was sitting on a couch and watching a movie in Olette's basement when she heard the girl coming back down the stairs. She turned to look up at her and noticed that she was carrying a large box, which she quickly set down in the middle of the floor.
"What's that?" Namine asked curiously, moving to sit on her knees in front of it.
"It's all my old CD's and movies, I never unpacked them after we moved here." She said, opening the box and peering into it.
Namine watched out of boredom as the girl started pulling things out and setting them aside.
"A lot o this stuff I don't even listen to anymore." She said, motioning to a pile of CD's next to her. "If you want any of them you can have them, I'll probably just pack them away somewhere."
Namine picked through them absently, setting them back down again more for show than out of actual interest.
"So did anything happen between you and that musician guy?" Olette asked curiously, giving Namine a sly look.
She blushed lightly and shook her head. "Not really, I mean, he kissed me once, but it wasn't really…" She said quickly, her blush darkening.
Olette grinned over at her. "I asked Hayner about it and he said he saw you two walking to your house a while back!" She said teasingly. Namine fumed slightly.
"It was nothing, we were just talking!" She said defensively. Olette was about to say something else when she glanced down at a CD she had picked up.
"Oh, hey!" She said happily, holding it up. "I forgot I had this!" She handed it over the box to Namine and she took it, glancing down at it briefly.
"So what are you going to do this summer?" Olette asked, digging back into the box to see what else she could find. Namine shrugged.
"I'm not really sure yet, I was thinking about taking some art workshops at the community college." She replied, glancing down at the CD in her hands. She brushed her fingers over it, absently wiping away some dust while thinking about the posters she saw for the workshops.
"Oh yea? Better than my plans, I'm getting a part time job, I won't have any time to have fun!" Olette pouted, pulling out a stack of old movies and looking through them.
Namine finally looked down at the CD she was holding and finished wiping the dust off, noticing an odd white design embossed over the cover. She didn't recognize it, so she flipped it over and checked the back. There was a list of songs and some copyright information, and she set it aside with a shrug.
"Have you heard them?" Olette asked, noticing she had discarded the CD. Namine shook her head. "Are you serious? They were huge a couple of years ago!" She breathed, reaching towards it when Namine picked it up again.
She thought for a moment and flipped the case open, looking at the shiny black CD inside before pulling out the booklet.
"Heartless? What kind of a name is that for a band?" Namine asked doubtfully. Olette laughed.
"They were a metal band, maybe that's why you never heard of them. You weren't big on music back then, though, were you?" Olette replied.
Namine didn't answer, she was busy staring at the group photo on the back of the booklet. Her hand started to shake and she almost dropped it, receiving a worried look from Olette and she scrambled to the girl's side.
"What's the matter?" She asked hurriedly. Namine gulped.
"What, exactly, happened to the band?" She asked rather shakily. Olette looked confused for a moment.
"They broke up, their sitar player decided-" She didn't get a chance to finish as Namine shoved the booklet into her face and pointed at something. Olette's eyes went wide as she realized what had the girl so worked up.
"Oh my god, Namine! That guy you were talking to is their missing sitar player!!" She shrieked, jumping to her feet in excitement. "That's why I recognized him! That guy had the same exact sitar and it's the only one of its kind!"
Namine wasn't listening, she was busy staring down at the CD lying on the floor beside her knees in shock.
The following months were very long and drawn out, especially with the shocking discovery she had made. Olette had promised not to tell anyone that the mysterious boy that had been seemingly following Namine around was actually a ex band member, but rumors found their way around anyway.
She couldn't help but feel a little betrayed, he had basically lied to her. Indirectly, of course, and she supposed she hadn't asked, but it would have been nice to know that he was far from the poor homeless boy she had thought he was.
The realization that he was actually famous had helped her to distance herself from the memories, but she couldn't help but feel a little heartbroken. But they were into their last week of school and there was no time for personal problems with the piles of homework stacked up on them. She had to get creative with her time, and so she reserved deep thoughts and reminiscences to the long walk home everyday after school.
At any rate, she hadn't been expecting for anyone to catch up to her, especially not appear beside her unexpectedly.
She jumped to the side and shrieked in surprise, face instantly turning red from embarrassment, then anger when she realized who it was.
"What are you doing here!" She shouted, hands furiously balled into fists at her side. She hadn't meant it like that, but her mind was swimming with confused thoughts and she couldn't sort them out. The shock began to sink in and she stumbled back, holding a hand to her forehead and bracing herself against a tree.
Before she could do anything else, he was at her side, holding her up and pressing up close beside her. "I needed to see you." Demyx said softly.
"Where have you been?!" Namine couldn't help herself, and he visibly flinched.
"I had some stuff to take care of, I'm really sorry, Namine. I wanted to come but I just couldn't." He mumbled, resting his chin on her shoulder in a rather defensive hug. She sighed and relaxed, letting him hold her like that for several long minutes before she collected herself.
"You…" She inhaled sharply and paused. "You lied to me." She said carefully. He pulled back and the hood slid back far enough that she could see his eyes.
"You played your sitar for the band Heartless…" She said quietly. He seemed surprised, then looked flustered.
"Namine…" He sighed. "You found out, huh?" His voice was low and quiet, and she almost couldn't believe it was actually true. She had been expecting him to tell her it was a misunderstanding, that wasn't really him in the picture and he hadn't ever been famous.
"You didn't ask, Namine, and I was a lot happier without you knowing." He said quietly, sadness seeping into his eyes. She hesitated for a moment, unsure of what to say. He took the opportunity to lean down and brush his lips over hers, kissing her gently before she could push him away. She relaxed against the tree beside her and let her eyes drift closed, feeling him wind his other arm around her stomach and gently pull her close.
Footsteps jarred her out of her thoughts and she pulled back, almost startling him as he looked up at the group of girls walking towards them. He adjusted his hood and turned away, looking down at Namine though she couldn't see his eyes anymore. One of the girls in the group waved a hello to her and she smiled in return, trying desperately to pretend like nothing about her situation was out of the ordinary.
"Okay, so…" She said quietly, taking a deep breath. "You were in the band. How did you wind up in the slums?" She asked, not even caring if she was being nosy or rude. He didn't seem to mind, and offered her his hand to continue walking along towards her house.
"Well, I was too young, really. I hated it, I wanted to be a normal kid that nobody knew like everyone else out there, and everywhere I went people would scream my name and want me to sign something." He said casually.
"That's why you wear the hood?" Namine asked. He nodded and tugged at it.
"I could take it off, but somebody would recognize me." He said, shrugging. "So, I told them I didn't want to be in the band anymore, and I would come back when I was ready. They couldn't have the band without me, I guess, and they just broke up and went their separate ways. This is where I grew up, so I came back here. If I went home, people would know who I was, so I just sat down in the slums one day and that was that. I was happy there, until I met you, at least." He said with a grin, looking down at her as she stared up at him.
"You changed everything, Namine. After I met you I thought, maybe if I had a real life, I would be good enough for you. That's why I was gone for so long. I had some things to sort out to get my life back on track." He said, and she could see his face redden slightly under the hood.
"Wait, what do you mean? Where did you have to go?" She asked in confusion. He shrugged again.
"I had some people to track down and convince to form a band again." He said simply. Namine stopped in her tracks, her heart beating too loud for her to process what he was saying.
"You mean…" She croaked weakly. It was bad enough to find out her secret boyfriend was an ex celebrity, and now he was suggesting he might get famous again?
"Yea, I was practicing with the band, had to work out some kinks and record a few songs to see if we could do it. The guys were so excited, it didn't take much convincing." He said with a pleased grin.
Namine leaned heavily on him, her mind spinning at the thought of what direction her life might take now.
"Actually, I can't stay long. The guys are really eager to get back in business, so, well…" He dug around in his pocket and handed her something. "I'm gonna be really busy, so we can talk later." He said gesturing at her hand before stepping back. He leaned in and gave her another kiss. "Bye, Namine." he said softly, waving to her before jogging down the sidewalk and crossing the street. There was a car waiting down the block and she watched in dismay as he climbed in and it pulled back out into the street.
Her hand was clenched tightly, and she forced it open to stare down at the two tickets in her hand. Her stomach lurched slightly in disbelief and she leaned heavily on the tree beside her. They were doing a show downtown in two weeks, she wasn't sure that was enough time for the reality to sink in.
Her eyes flew open and she felt her stomach lurch.
Lights flashing across the stage, smoke rolling across the floor. A teenager slammed into her so hard she fell to her knees, only to be hoisted back up by the people around her for fear of her being trampled. Olette was lost in the crowd, they were separated shortly into the first song when the mosh pit formed, eager fans of the previously missing band overcome with emotion.
Demyx was up on stage, his band mates around him cradling their respective instruments. He looked the same except for some flashy new clothes, which Namine was sure he would change out of the moment the concert ended. If he noticed her in the crowd of violently dancing fans, he showed no sign of it.
Memories of her first concert came flooding back, along with the dream, forcing her to relive the experience. It wasn't that she hadn't had fun, she just wasn't a very social girl, and being in a room filled with screaming people wasn't her usual idea of a good time. She hadn't really wanted to go, but he would have been so upset if she hadn't. That, and she was admittedly curious about it.
A hand brushed through her hair and she jumped, throwing herself back against the wall to stare into her dark bedroom in shock. The window was open, and she noticed at once that it was one of her potted plants falling off the window sill that had woken her.
Demyx leaned on the end of her bed, and she exhaled in relief before leaning forward to fall into his arms. He buried his face in her hair and she knew he was nervous.
"Did you like it?" He asked quietly, hopefully, without looking up.
Namine nearly sighed, but held her breath. "The music wasn't bad, I suppose I could get used to it."
He knew at once she meant she wasn't a concert person, but didn't seem to mind. If anything, she thought she felt his body relax slightly against her.
"We're going on tour next month." He blurted out, his grip tightening again. Namine blinked in surprise and couldn't ignore the heavy feeling in her chest. "We'll be gone on the road until next May."
She had been expecting it, it was their big comeback, after all. Smiling grimly, she pulled back the covers and invited him to join her. He curled up miserably beside her and she spent a good hour brushing her fingers through his hair.
The sun was beating down heavily on her, and she leaned back on the porch steps. Olette was perched beside her, glancing over at her overly stressed best friend. She couldn't think of what to say to comfort the girl, and remained silent and contemplative.
All too soon, the small black car pulled up in the driveway, and Namine felt her stomach drop out in horror. The front door opened and she turned to look up as her mother stepped out of the house, arms crossed in a protective, yet disapproving way. She scowled slightly at the two men emerging from the car, then down at the two girls sitting on her doorstep. Namine climbed to her feet and reached out to take the hand Demyx offered her, moving to face her mother carefully.
"This is Demyx, mom." She said in a quiet, squeaking voice. "And this is…" She turned and realized she didn't know the driver's name, stopping short in embarrassment.
"Luxord…" Olette said dreamily, before anyone seemed to notice Namine falter. The tall blonde man beamed down at the girl in appreciation, receiving a blush in response.
Namine's mother nodded shortly and glanced between them. There was a brief uncomfortable silence before Demyx leaned down and picked up one of the tightly packed suitcases sitting beside Olette.
"Anyway, we have to go soon, we're already behind schedule." He muttered quietly, trying to avoid the disapproving glare of the older woman. Everyone present was painfully aware that the only reason she had agreed to let Namine go was because she expected Demyx to become a famous rockstar. It also helped that the band had agreed to not only bring Olette along, but pay for a private tutor for the girls while they were on the road.
Namine watched for a moment as Demyx wrestled the last suitcase into the trunk of the car. She felt a hand on her shoulder and turned to hug her mother.
"Okay, get out of here." The woman said quietly, disappearing back into the house as Namine smiled after her sadly. She stood watching the door for a moment before Olette tugged on her arm, urging her toward the car eagerly. She slipped into the front seat to grin happily at Luxord as Namine crawled in beside Demyx. He pulled an arm around her as she looked up at the house tearfully. The car started to back down the driveway and she shook her head to try and clear her mind.
She was heading out on the road with a band that was soon to become a major hit. She was dating the sitar player, and they had agreed to let her best friend tag along for the entire tour. It was certainly a busy summer ahead.
And the moral of this story is:
Things are not always as they appear.
Or something like that. For those that are curious, I determined the members of the band to be Demyx, Luxord, Xigbar, Axel, and Zexion. No idea what they each play, didn't get that far. I hope this ending doesn't seem as silly to you as it did to me… But thanks for sticking with it, those of you still reading!