Strum a Melody for Me

Summary: Zexion Ishida has a lot of problems. First of all, he's got a paper due tomorrow… he lost his hearing at the age of ten, changed highschools when he was sixteen, and became roommates with Demyx when he was eighteen and in college. Wait… why is that last one a problem? An AU Zemyx Fanfic from Zexion's point of view.

Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts, Zexion, Demyx or anyone else… as much as I wish I did sometimes… Maybe I could try stealing them all one day… But I think the other fangirls would kill me… Heh.

Pairings: Zexion/Demyx, Axel/Roxas, Larxene/Marluxia, and other to come (it's a surprise!)

Chapter 1 "Hello There"

"Hello there, angel from my nightmare, the shadow in the background of the morgue, the unsuspecting victim of darkness in the valley, we can live like Jack and Sally if we want."

–I Miss You by Blink182

Six days in and I still haven't finished my essay. Maybe a paper on one's weaknesses wasn't the best idea.

Any idea I had only kept me coming back to one weakness that I could never simply write on such blank stiff paper. How does one write of love on such an unrelenting, harsh, deathly white surface, such as paper?

Maybe I should start somewhere else, to explain. I suppose the base of my problems began when I was only ten years old.

A bad car accident had marred half of my face and lost me my hearing forever.

I would be lying if I said I didn't remember it. It's kind of hard to forget the sound of grinding metal and the intense smell from fumes of mixing car fluids. How warm one side of my head was, and my foggy mind seemed to only register bits and pieces of sounds, as if someone was messing with a radio station every other moment.

Eventually the sounds stopped all together and melded into a soft static that I now ignore most of the time. The static never changes, but my ears now register no other sound, as if the world is on a permanent mute.

So, as the doctors simply and uncaringly told me: I'm deaf. They didn't explain more then that when informing me by a written note. My mother told me later that they had been more concerned with saving my sight at the time, and didn't mean to be so blunt. However, now that I know that both my eyes work perfectly fine (even if one is oddly colored) it seems even crueler to so rudely announce in such a blunt manor, that I will never hear another person's voice again. I'll never listen to the gentle beats of music, or the laughter of my little sister. I'll never be able to hear the soft emotion in my loved one's rich voice…

Maybe that's why I hated to tell anyone about my disability. Even my best friend, in all his muscled glory, had to jump through hoops just to find out that I had to go to lip-reading classes now. Lex forced me to let him come with me to my next class, and learned right along side me. He even learned sign language with me, regardless of my ability to speak normally. I had been old enough to remember how to correctly control my voice, even though I can't hear it.

But I'm going off on a tangent now. It was only when I changed highschools that an idea struck me. Lexaeus hated it, right from the start, but I never did do a good job of listening to him, even when he's right.

I had discovered that the fad of wearing headphones all the time could be used to my advantage. People with headphones, usually blasting music through their eardrums, were always treated as if they couldn't hear a thing that was going on unless it was in their sight. Being deaf, I found this to be useful when I wandered around in public, because people wouldn't get mad at me when I couldn't hear them or didn't notice them talking behind me.

When Lex and I changed highschools, I began to wear them all the time, never explaining to anyone who didn't need to know that I was actually deaf and couldn't hear the music screaming from my headphones. My mother bought me a laptop so I could record my class notes as text and read them instead of trying vainly to see the teacher's lips all the time.

It didn't seem like a big deal to me at the time. I didn't like to tell people things that would make them treat me differently, and other people didn't seem to care anyway. Only Lex had a problem. He had this thing called "honor" and (regardless that being a football jock made it all the more amusing that he had such a view on life) he hated dishonesty.

All through highschool he bothered me to give up on my act, but by now it was a game to me and I didn't like to lose games.

I'll go ahead and skip forward to the day I met the rest of my problem.

First day of college: moving-in day. Lex helped me carry my bags and boxes up to my dorm (read: he carried most of them and I carried almost nothing). Although he was going to a different college that was best for English majors and I was going to one that was good for Biology majors, I had helped him move into his dorm earlier and now he was returning the favor. Plus, it would be the last time we would see each other for a long while.

Adjusting my headphones, I pointed out the places for each box and bag to be set. I would unpack later. Right now I just needed everything in the room.

"Is that the last box?" I said aloud and clearly. I'm told my voice grew very proper and direct when I lost my hearing, making me sound highly intelligent. I suppose that is just because I have only memories of how things sound, and I always have to think through my words entirely too much before I can say them.

Lex caught my eye, like he always did before he spoke, "I think so. Do you need help setting up your books?" His eyes traveled over to my headphones and scowled a motion that pulled his skin tight against his face. "Can't you take those off, Zexion? There isn't anyone around to fool."

I gave my cursory smile and tugged one side down. "Happy?" I knew this would only annoy him, but I smirked at the thought.

He blew a huff from his square jaw, "No, but I suppose I should know better by now." He turned away for a moment. I frowned. I hated when people turned their faces away. It was like the world shut down on me and left me without a paddle. I pulled the headphones back into place with a scowl, pulling the i-kod out of my pocket to see what song was playing.

I knew all the songs I had on my i-kod. Well, I knew the words anyway, and I had seen the music videos for them. I had never heard a good amount of them though. Most songs that I had listened to before I had gone deaf only brought up those sickly twisted memories of good times that I could never have again.

A large hand draped itself across my shoulder. Alarm shot through my veins and I whipped around to face Lex, my face falling into a frown.

Anyone else would have gotten yelled at. My soft-spoken, jock of a friend, though, he was the only one who could get away with laying a hand on me. He always knew to stay away from my skin and always made sure the contact never lasted longer then it needed to.

"We're not going to see each other for a long time, Zex." He stated bluntly, making sure he had my attention.

"You make it sound like we'll never call each other." I spoke jokingly in what I knew to be a soft tone.

He raised a brow, "And what good would calling you be?"

I frowned and shook my head, "Fine, IM each other, happy? I suppose Saturday movie night is off too?" All through highschool we had gone to see old Chinese flicks, which were always translated across the bottom, so I wouldn't miss anything. Lexaeus had enjoyed those sorts of movies even before I became deaf, so that was one thing that had never changed throughout my childhood… I knew what his answer would be, though. I knew it was just another thing to be sacrificed to growing up.

"I suppose so, unless we can manage to watch movies together from two states away." His face seemed blank of emotion, only his eyes showing a gentle softness that I had come to know as his way of showing he was worried for me.

This made me mad. I disliked being treated like a child and I hated even more being treated like a poor deaf kid. "You know, I can take care of myself."

He ran a large hand through his crazy brown hair, "I know, but-"

"But what?!" I knew I was close to yelling and Lexaeus shot me a look.

"Lower your voice." He said stiffly and I snapped my mouth closed on my retort. Lex only ever verbally corrected me on my voice when he was annoyed with me. The giant man sighed, running a hand through his hair again in a nervous habit of his, "We shouldn't be fighting, but I worry for you. I know that you're not going to tell anyone about your disability, and I know that you're going to continue lying to as many people as possible… but this time, you're not going to have me to help you with anything… And I worry. Is it so impossible for you to accept that I'd do this even if you weren't deaf?"

I bowed my head, putting my cool palm against my forehead to think. He knew this was a gesture I didn't use with anyone else, because it left me so vulnerable without my sense of sight or touch. "I apologize for my actions. I guess I'm just stressed out as well. I should know that you've always been the mother hen-type." I knew he would smile at that, even without looking, "It's not like we won't keep in contact and I'll be sure to tell you how things go, even though I know you hate my games." I opened my eyes and looked up at him, fixing him with a teasingly sharp gaze, "But you'd better tell me how your days go too! It's not only you that worries."

Lex gave me one of his rare soft smiles and I returned it. He caught my eye again and spoke, "I should get going. My classes start tomorrow and I need to finish reading a novel for my Philosophy class."

I gave him a swift nod, "You'll probably finish it halfway through the plane ride, like usual, and then go off reading your Japanese comics." I snorted in a half amused way.

"Manga," he corrected me absent mindedly and rubbed the back of his head. "Of course, I will." he said simply and we walked down to the rental car in silence, only exchanging wishes for luck as he started the car and drove off. We weren't much for idle chatter, though, so this didn't seem abnormal to me.

When I strode back into my dorm, I noticed something new. My roommate had apparently started to unpack his stuff on his side of the room. The room was small, one bunk bed, which I had claimed the bottom of, two desks, one dresser and two closets. I had stuck some stuff into one closet and piled some things on the desk that fit under the top bunk with my bed, so that the foot of the bed stuck out at an odd angle. The fact my desk was close to my bed pleased me in some odd way though.

My dorm mate had piled a few things on the top bunk, and had a guitar case on top of his desk. I purposefully ignored the guitar. Although I played the part of a music-junkie, I hated had grown to hate all melodies. It was the one form of art that I would never be able to understand ever again.

Instead of dwelling on this, I decided to unpack some of my clothes and hang them in the closet. So, although ironic, I was in the closet when my roommate finally arrived.

The blonde looked like a mullet and a Mohawk had attempted to mate on top of his head. His body was thin, but wired like a swimmer's with the hidden muscle only showing as he struggled with a load of rather heavy-looking boxes. I took this all in as he wobbled into the room and plopped the boxes in a messy pile on the cement floor. It was then that he noticed me, and maybe if he hadn't flashed me that blindingly lovely smile in that first moment, just maybe I wouldn't be in the situation I am now.

"Hi! I'm Demyx! You must be my new roomie!"

I had already lost the game before it had even started.

Author's Note: I didn't mean for this to be a fanfic at first. I got the idea while I wandered my college's campus with my own headphones blaring loudly... people do just react to you differently. When I started to plan a story out in my head... Zexion just fit too well, and with Zexion comes Demyx... hehe ;3

I have this story up on my dA account (username: kit55), which will probably be updated quicker then it will be here... but don't let that stop you from reviewing! I love comments and critiques!