Simple and Clean

Chapter 2 – Night after Night

Matty MacGregor Devory

July 2007

Betareader : rawkerdemyx

A/N: Thanks for all the reviews and comments! It really cheers me up and encourages me to keep on writing this fict I hope you're all gonna like this chapter !

Mentions of Xehanort/Ienzo and Xemnas/Zexion.

-&-

Time after time I lose again
Night after night I wake up shaking
'Cause my world is breaking

Ienzo was very happy not to have grown up with hormone-filled teenagers.

His first opinion about Riku's friends was "annoying." They were all unlike him: hyper, happy, and always talking. The blue haired boy wondered how Riku was able to hang out with people like that. They were always talking about things that were supposed to be funny. More than once, Ienzo had to stop himself from rolling his eyes. He had never been able to stand loud people. Spending two hours with those teenagers gave him a serious headache. How he missed Lexaeus's calm or Vexen's seriousness. It was what he missed the most about the Organization so far. Some Nobodies, such as Demyx, thought that they still could have emotions but most of them knew they did not, so they all were calm and maybe a bit boring. Without feelings to drive them, they were predictable; they did not have mood swings and life held no surprises. To a normal human being, life in The World That Never Was would have been unbearable and utterly boring. But for someone like Ienzo, who did not like unpredictable things when he was still human, it was like eternal peace.

So, that meant this island was like hell. First of all, it was sunny. Way too sunny. It hurt his eyes even though they were covered by his long bangs. And it was hot. He hated sweating or when his cheeks got red because of the heat. His stupid black hoodie made the sun felt twice as hot, but he was too shy and too stubborn to take it off. Then there was that stupid thing called sand. Each particle was small enough to get stuck inside his boots and hurt his feet. Damn it. He hated this place. How he missed The World That Never Was and Radiant Garden. Those were civilized places at least!

But there were even more annoying things – Riku's friends. Sora, that annoying Keyblade Master, Kairi, the Princess of Heart, Selphie, your typical teenage girl, Tidus, a swordsman wannabe always looking for a fight, and Wakka, a blitzball fan. They all welcomed him well, telling they were happy to have someone else to play with. At that, Ienzo frowned. Play? Wasn't it children who liked to play? What kind of game did teenagers play anyway? Once again, he felt stupid.
For all the two hours he spent with them, he swore a hundred times that he would kill them all one after the other. Selphie had not left him alone. She was always touching him or holding his arm. And she had talked and talked about things about which he could not care less.

Then after she went home, Tidus asked him if he wanted to fight against him. Zexion knew how to fight, but Ienzo was not sure he was still able to. And he preferred not to try. What if he had sent the kid accidentally to the Realm of Darkness? His friends would not have been happy. Riku seemed to have thought about the same thing and told Tidus to leave his cousin alone.

It would have been dishonest to say that Kairi was not a nice person. Her voice was soft and caring. She had welcomed him to their Islands in a warm way, shaking his hand like he had been an old-time friend. She was the most mature one of the group. It was no wonder why Riku had done everything possible to save her. Such sweet people were so hard to find.

Sora was, well, Sora. He had not really changed since the last time Ienzo had seen him. He still looked pretty young even though he had grown up a bit. They were about the same size now, which made the blue haired teen swear because the other boy would still grow up! Anyway. Sora was still a dumb, carefree, and cheerful kid. He had a nice smile that could warm anyone's heart. His attitude was the one of someone without problems. It seemed like he had never had problems with Heartless and Keyblades. He never talked of the past, always looking in the future. It was hard to admit, but Ienzo thought the Keyblade master was a nice person, even though the brat had killed almost all of his comrades. But after all, it was his job to get rid of the evilness and Organization XIII had been considered as evil. Hmpf.

If the Organization's Superior, Xemnas, had known that all he had to do to get his heart back was to die, he would have never bother using the Keyblade Master to collect hearts.
In a way, they had been stupid. Now that Ienzo had gotten his heart back, it seemed so obvious. Too late. He was the only one left. The only one who had survived. He, the Cloaked Schemer, who had been hiding behind the Superior, was the only one still alive. But why was he the only one to have regained his heart? What did he do that the other members did not? Why had his death been different than Xemnas's? Hell, he did not even know how the Superior had been killed! He should ask Riku later.

Thinking about his Superior made Ienzo's heart ache in a painful way. He remembered how, before he became a Nobody, he had been in love with Xehanort. Xehanort had shared the same feeling with the youngest apprentice. But when the Heartless had stolen their hearts, everything changed. Xemnas seemed to have forgotten that he and Zexion had been lovers, now using the teenager only when he wanted to have sex. And Zexion had been stupid enough to keep on loving him, no matter what the Superior did to him. But was it love if they did not have hearts? It was hard to tell. Zexion remembered how Ienzo had loved Xehanort, but for Xemnas, it had only been memories of a long lost love. Tsk. All of the matters of the heart were so hard to understand. They had come this far, still they understood nothing.

And why was Ienzo thinking about that right now? He should be sleeping. Even though he did not want to admit it, he was tired. A day spent with annoying teenagers was far worse than a day looking for his heart. So, now he was lying on a bed, but unable to find sleep. His eyes refused to stay shut. His body was screaming for some well deserved rest while his brain was far too active to allow that. The fact that he was not in his bed probably did not help him sleep. Riku had been nice enough to let Ienzo uses his room while he would be sleeping in the living room. Ienzo had not complained. He was the guest, so it was normal that he got the bed. Still, he could not help but feel a bit bad. It was Riku's house after all... He, Ienzo, was sleeping in the bed of the guy who tried to kill him. It was sick! Maybe Riku would come into the room while the blue-haired teen would be sleeping and try to finish what he had started! Shut up. Don't be paranoid!

Almost nervously, Ienzo sniffed the air. Riku's scent was not in the apartment, which meant the teen was away. Where could he be at two in the morning? Not that Ienzo cared anyway. With him away, it would be easier to fall asleep. No one could murder him in his sleep.

Taking slow breaths, Ienzo tried to calm himself. Eveything was fine. There was no sound except of the crashing of the waves on the sand nearby. The air was warm and soft, full of the scents of the ocean. No sound...

Within minutes, Ienzo fell asleep.

His dreams were empty of everything, like they had been when he was still a Nobody. The only difference was that they did not seem as scary. They were just blank, but relaxing. Until that smell reached him. At first, he could not recognize it. It was cold in a strange way, like a dry day in winter, almost making his brain hurt. The temperature in the room dropped of a few degrees, making him shiver under the sheets. Then, the sound of the waves stopped. Everything was unnaturally silent. Even his breath seemed to come to an halt.

All his senses were focused on that smell. He had smelled it so many times before that it was almost welcoming. But he could not put his finger on a name. Where had he smelled it? What was it? Why was it so cold and, in a strange way, scary? Then, something in his chest started to hurt. It made him grit his teeth. It felt like something was inside him, trying to break his ribcage to get out and run away with his heart. The ache was so painful that tears were starting to form at the corner of his eyes. The only time he had felt that kind of hurt was when the Heartless had stolen his heart. Was it... happening again?! A flash of yellow startled him, making him sit up on the bed. His eyes were looking around the find any sign that a Heartless had been in the room. But everything was calm and normal. His bangs were sticking to his sweaty forehead and his breath halting. Shaking, he put his hand over his heart. The reassuring beat was still there, making him sigh in relief. A nightmare. It had been nothing but a stupid nightmare.

A nervous laugh escaped his pale lips. If it had been a nightmare, why was the smell of darkness still in the apartment? Shit.

With amazing speed, Ienzo jumped out of the bed and ran to the door, not even taking the time to put his pants on. The scent was becoming overwhelming, meaning it probably came from the living room. Where Riku should be sleeping. Where was he when he was needed?!

Trying his best not to shake, his hand found its way to the doorknob. It felt cold under his already frozen fingers. Holding his breath, Ienzo finally pushed the door open. The scent of darkness nearly made him lost his balance. The only times he had felt pure darkness like this were when he had been with Xemnas. Could this mean...?

Without a second thought, the young man rushed to the living room. The temperature was very low, making him shiver. The floor felt like ice under his bare feet but he did not pay it too much attention. The cruel smell of darkness hurt his nose until he sensed another smell. This one was sweeter and less scary. Riku.

The teen was lying on the floor, shivering but sweating. He was shaking and crying. Something seemed terribly wrong with him.

Ienzo literally froze. It was the first time he saw Riku showing weakness. He had always seen the Keyblade wielder looking strong and self confident. Riku was the kind of person who was able to hide his emotions very easily. Even when he felt pain, it did not show on his face. It was always hard to tell what he was thinking because of that. It made him a great warrior though. His oponent could never read his next move because of his expressionless face. Maybe that is why Ienzo had gotten his ass kicked so easily...

But now, the great warrior was lying on the floor, crying his eyes out like a baby. What was he crying for? Bah, probably some stupid reason like his girlfriend broke up with him. Or maybe not. Even if it was that, Riku would not take the chance to cry in front of someone, especially not a boy who tried to kill him.

Plus, something did not seem right. The smell of darkness was still around.

But something mattered even more. Ienzo was standing there, watching the teen crying. And he did not know what to do. He, the great schemer, did not know what to do in front of something as childish as tears. His brain seemed paralyzed in front of the water pouring from Riku's eyes.

You are so stupid! Do something! Damn, I can barely remember the last time I cried... What should I do? I can't hug him or something like that...!

Hugs were the best cure against sadness and despair but... it would be akward to hug Riku, wouldn't it? They used to be ennemies after all. Urgh. They were no longer enemies, right? Not friends but... not enemies either. Therefore, Riku had saved his life back at the beach so maybe he could try to help him. Try. A little bit. It won't hurt. Vexen used to always hug me and I'm still alive. But he's dead. Well, it's Axel's fault, not the hugs' fault. Man, I miss Vexen.

Shaking his head to clear his thoughts, Ienzo knelt down. The other boy did not seem to acknowledge his presence. Not really knowing what to do, Ienzo bit his lower lip. He had never been good at comforting other people, even when he still had his heart. To tell the truth, he had always been the one being comforted by others. Man, he used to be such a crybaby before he lost his heart! Even and Elaeus were always there to make him feel better. I have to stop thinking about them or I'm gonna start crying too...

"Hey..." Why did his voice sound so weak? "Riku, what's going on ?"

No answer; Riku kept on sobbing.

Ienzo really did not know what to do. Maybe he should try to find Sora or Kairi? They were Riku's friends after all, so they would probably know how to act with him. Hmpf. It was around four in the morning so they were probably asleep and Ienzo did not know even know where they lived. Too bad, he would have to deal with it alone. He had dealt with Heartless, with Xemnas's mood swings, Demyx's stupidy, Vexen's fixation on him, and even Larxene's evilness, but he did not know how to act with someone who was crying. How pathetic. It was not the kind of thing he could have learned while reading books.

Try another time. It's breaking my heart – hah, it sounds so funny to say that – to see him crying like that.

Okay. Ienzo hesitated a while, looking at the other teen. With a very slow gesture, he reached forward and put his hand on Riku's shoulder. The young man gave a start and look at the blue-haired boy. Their eyes locked and Ienzo's breath stopped. Pain. There was pain in those beautiful sea-green eyes - a kind of pain too big for words. Riku's eyes were so expressive that Ienzo could feel his pain. His grip on the Keyblade wielder's shoulder tightened.

"A-are you hurt…?" His voice seemed shaky.

As an answer, Riku put his arms around Ienzo's neck and hugged him tightly. The blue-haired teen froze, not expecting that at all. Riku's skin felt hot against his own and his breath seemed to burn the skin of his neck. Salty tears felt on his shirt.

"The Darkness..." Riku's voice was so low that Ienzo barely heard what he had said. "I can feel it growing inside me. It hurts so much...! I-I thought it was gone b-but I wake up every night because it whispers things to me a-and I don't want to go back to the Realm of Darkness...! I-I'm so scared! I don't want to tell Sora and Kairi about it because I'm afraid they might hate me or think I'm back with the dark side...! I'm so tired! I haven't slept for at least two weeks! I want to die! I –I just don't want to keep it on living knowing I might destroy the Islands again!"

Riku had said that very fast and Ienzo had to take a few seconds to make sure he got everything. So the darkness had not been a nightmare after all. It really was back. The Heartless were back to take their hearts once again. At that thought, Ienzo hugged the other teen a bit tighter. Damn it, he did not want to become a Nobody another time. With care, he rubbed Riku's back, trying to soothe him a little bit.

"Hey, don't worry, it's gonna be okay. Sora will destroy the darkness and everything will be fine." Xemnas would kill me if he heard that.

"I-I know he will but he won't be able to destroy the darkness that's inside me..." Riku sniffed and let his head rest on Ienzo's shoulder. He had stopped crying and now looked worn out.

"Oh, well, I guess it's up to you to destroy it. You nearly killed me so I guess you won't have any difficulties getting rid of what's eating you inside." Ienzo used a light tone, trying to cheer the other teen up.

Riku could not stop himself from smiling a bit. "It's not like it had been hard to kick your ass. You were the weakest member of the Organization I had to fight agaisnt."

"Hmpf, don't push your luck! I might still hold a grudge against you and try to kill you in your sleep."

"Maybe you should. With me gone, the world would be a better place." His voice held a sad note, wich made Ienzo's heart sank.

"Anyway. Now, get up and stop acting like a kid. You should be ashamed to have cried in front of an ennemy."

With that, Ienzo got to his feet, holding Riku's arm to help him getting up too. They stood face to face for a moment, not knowing what to do or what to say. The silence was incomfortable and akward.

"I... am going to sleep now." Riku said, his eyes dropping to the floor. "Good night and... thanks for helping me. I no longer consider you as an enemy." His small smile made Ienzo blushed but he hid it behind his long bangs.

"Yeah, good night." Almost shyly, Ienzo smiled back.

His smile was the most beautiful thing Riku had seen in many weeks.

I'm fool enough to fail again
Night after night I wake up crying
'Cause I feel like dying

-&-

I've finished it ! D I can't believe it ! I had soooo many difficulties writing this chapter xX I had written like two pages on the other computer which was full of viruses, then my father deleted it so I had to write it all over again TT.TT

Anyway. Thanks, thanks a lot to everybody who has read, commented, faved and added this story to their favorite stories list. You can't imagine how happy I am right now. I love you all and words can't describe how grateful I am.

Reviews and comments are not required but always appreciated.