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 in college with Demyx when he was eighteen. Wait… why is that last one a problem? An AU Zemyx Fanfic from Zexion's point of view.
Dedication: To whomever.
Chapter 6 "Fate Fell Short"
"Look to the past, and remember and smile, and maybe tonight, I can breathe for awhile, I'm not in the scene. I think I'm falling asleep, but then all that it means is, I'll always be dreaming of you. Fate fell short this time, your smile fades in the summer, place your hand in mine, I'll leave when I wanna. This place was never the same again, after you came and went."
-"Feeling This" by Blink 182
Father Luxord LeBeau was drunk… again.
…Not that he didn't come to every class stoned, drunk, or hung-over.
Usually he picked some random student to run the class (typically he picked the ones who looked like they were pissed with him, just to piss them off more) then he would collapse on top of his desk, and today it was my turn.
I cleared my throat as I stood in front of the gaggle of nutjobs that I had the unfortunate experience of being in the same class as. As the students trickled into the room, I glanced sideways at the sleeping form the professor, whom was passed out over his desk, papers and pens toppling off and on the floor all around him.
I sighed, running my fingers through my hair and flipping through the textbook I'd picked from our course log to talk about today. LeBeau did expect us to do well on our tests and exams, regardless of his lack of teaching… which is why he made a point of picking students to teach (why he didn't just get a Grad student, I'll never know).
I rapped my fingers on the table in front of me as I waited for the students to quiet. I and another girl, Quistis Trepe, I believe it was, were the only students who bothered to attempt to teach. And it was a fact that many of the other students didn't enjoy that. It was bad enough they had to show up at all… many students cursed the fact that LeBeau always woke at some point during the class and took role and would dock our grade if we failed to show.
In short, the guy was a bastard, especially for a monk, but enough of him.
I cleared my throat again, making sure to make myself louder this time. The class finally realized it was one of my days and a collective groan went through the class. One day they would thank me… probably the day before the final exam, while they were in the process of begging me to 'help' them by letting them cheat off me.
"Okay, you guys all need to shut the hell up. I'm going to go through some of the arguments between different view points that we've been discussing."
"You really are something, eh?"
I spared Larxene a glance to 'hear' her out, as I collected my books into my backpack with a single swift motion. "What do you mean by that?" I frowned.
Larxene had a vague grin spread across her features, it was obvious she was in a good mood, and when she was in a good mood, she enjoyed inflicting suffering on others. "You beaned him right between the eyes." She snorted and made a half-hearted gesture with her arms, still grinning cattishly.
"He was being rude." I continued to frown. Maybe I should pay more attention to how Larxene's more eccentric habits rubbed off on me. A kid, Hayner Schlacht I think, had hit me with a paper airplane in the middle of class, and so I taught him the reason people didn't mess around during my times to run the class. Not bothering to turn around, I'd managed to nail him in the forehead with my marker.
Lar just chuckled, gathering her books and dumping them into her own bag, before slinging it over her shoulder and following me down the hall. "Hayner's always rude" She rolled her eyes. "I mean last week-" She paused mid-stride. "Hm."
I stopped a moment later to see the frown growing across her face before she continued our march into the chilling fall weather.
"I didn't think of it before but I guess that makes sense now," She muttered finally, a smirk running across her lips.
She peered over at me, expecting a response, I suppose, but I had slipped on my neutral mask to wait her out.
Running fingers through one of the antenna which she gelled to stick out of her hair, she watched me cautiously, her mouth still twisted in a smirk, "You do know that everyone in the class thinks it's hilarious that you wear your headphones when you 'teach', and they love to throw comments at your back all the time."
I let my face fall into a frown, but didn't let it show my growing horror, "What kind of comments…?"
The blonde sneered at me and leaned down, putting her face near mine, causing me to take a step backwards. "Find out for yourself, shortie Zexcake." She chuckled, when patted me on top of my head, gaining a scowl from me, "But you know, it'd only take once," She plucked at the wire of my headphones, "If you ever forgot these, even once, everyone'd figured it out, yanno." She grinned with a glint in her eyes, then within the next breathe, she turned and strolled away, leaving me on the path alone.
I knit my brows together, feeling the muscles of my face twist angrily under my pale skin. I strode down the beaten path towards the freshman dorms, gripping my backpack's straps tightly in attempt to control myself.
"Fuck." I finally growled aloud, letting my breathe escape in a huff. Breathing in and out was good, I needed to control myself. I hadn't had this much of a problem with my temper before… I didn't always feel the need to stomp off and hurt people, but I guess Lark's presence had definitely rubbed off on me. I couldn't have this happen so much.
I let my pace slow to a stop and closed my eyes, feeling the people walking down the same path pass me by. I didn't open my eyes until I knew they were long gone.
Tugging at my headphones, I yanked them down on my neck, letting their vibration of noise thud against my collarbone. It was nice to feel the breeze on my ears for once. I let my eyes slip closed again, not something I usually do much, as it left me near defenseless… but the breeze was strong today and I could reach out with my sense of touch and almost feel the things around me. The breeze tugged on my clothes and hair pulling it away from my face.
I need to calm down. I need to calm down, now.
I sighed, running a hair through my slate hair. Pausing in my nervous motion, I caught sight of a bench nearby and plopped my backpack on the wood. I adjusted my hoodie, then sat myself next to my bag, in the same motion, yanking a novel out of a front pocket of my bag.
I had finished the book Lex had given me and moved on to a new one Lex had told me about, called "Carmine Complex". I skimmed through the summary on the back and grimaced. I really need to stop reading romance novels… I sighed to myself, Or maybe at least tell Lex to stop suggesting them. I flipped to the first page, settling myself down for an hour or so of reading, I'll throw in a decent sci-fi tomorrow.
Motion nearby shook the ground slightly under my feet and my eyes snapped up to meet familiar oceanic blue eyes.
The blonde mullet boy blinked owlishly at me. Demyx tilted his head to the side, his hands hung loosely from their grip on his backpack's straps, his bubbly blue shirt bright against the autumn oranges and reds.
"Hey Zexy. What'cha doing?" Demyx's eyes crinkled at the edges with his innocent grin that chose that moment to appear.
I blinked back. My mind was devoid of the anger it had felt before (was it truly so short ago?), but that didn't mean I wasn't up for some mild teasing. That attitude was probably the reason I responded in the manor I did. "Echolocation." The word fell from my lips, dripping with sarcasm, but somehow also as innocent as his eyes that shone like ocean waters.
His forehead crinkled in thought and his smile turned thoughtful. "Isn't that what dolphins do?" He made some vague gesture with his hands from his forehead.
I felt a smile tug at my lips at his antics, "Most people think of bats first, but yes."
Demyx's grin was back from where it hid, its brilliance shone true even though the two of us were still a good few yards apart still. "I like dolphins better, 'cause they rock when you're out surfing and stuff" He made to close the distance between us but paused, "You done reading?"
I snapped my novel shut, dragging myself and my bag up from the bench, "Yes."
His answer was another bright smile.
Soon he stood beside me as we made our way back to the dorm, "You 'ver been surfing?"
I fiddled with the wire of my headphones, "No." I replied and watched a disbelieving look form on his soft face.
"Really? You should, it's awesome." His face turned wistful, and eyes mirroring the oceans he longed for. "It's like nothing else. Just you and the power of the waters."
"And your board."
"Huh?" He fixed me with a look, "Oh well of course. You can't surf without a board, silly." He turned back to that wistful expression, "Mine's got a name." The blonde threw a grin in my direction, "You wanna hear it?"
I twisted a lock of my oddly colored hair between my fingers and blinked back at him, "Of course, Dem." My answer seemed to echo of a more expressive meaning, that anything he would say, I would gladly 'listen' to.
If I wasn't used to watching, I wouldn't have noticed the color that hinted on the bridge of his nose before he ducked his head, his jaw moving but his lips out of my sight.
"I'm sorry, what?" I said, trying not to sound like I repeated these words all the time and was quite tired of saying such.
His expression underneath the lovechild of Mohawk and mullet was edged with slight confusion.
I pointed at my head. "Music. Sorry."
Now he looked even more confused but this time he repeated himself, "I said, I named her Dancer."
"Like the reindeer?" I plucked at my headphone wire again as we walked.
"Nah. That's silly. More like a gypsy ghost. She glides like a dream and is sorta white and pretty and stuff."
I grunted what I knew to be an agreeable noise as Demyx continued to ramble on about his wonderful surfboard for the next ten minutes. My sight trailed off his lips and I glanced around at the small park this path drove through. The many trees were littered with bright hues of oranges, reds, and yellows.
My mind was still quieted by my earlier hour or so of reading time and the crispness of the world shocked my eyes for a moment. All the colors were bright and bold against memories of past autumns and suddenly I knew this is what people talked about when they said nothing beat the real thing. If I were an artist, like Larxene, I could paint for hours and days and never be able to capture this very moment on a canvas.
…Of course, Larxene didn't paint, but that was beside the point. It wasn't my metaphor's fault that Lark enjoyed stabbing clay blocks with sharp objects and claiming it as "art".
As I turned my head back to our path, the sun was setting and light hit the leaves just right. I blinked, unable to stop myself from muttering, "…Like rose petals,"
Demyx turned his head toward me, which caught my attention. "How is a tidal pool like roses?" His blonde brow rose in a confused look.
"Not water. The leaves. Look." I gestured out to the red leaves littered all across the path, hit with the sun in a way like rose petals had strung from the trees instead of leaves. For a moment, his face was written with an expression of slight hurt as he realized I hadn't been listening, and then he turned to the leaves.
Blue eyes glittered like the sun breaking across a newborn wave, "Wow. It does look like petals." He spared a glance at me, "Never took ya for a romantic, Zexy."
The corners of my lips tugged into a frown. "My friend, Lexaeus, is a romantic, not me."
He rolled his expression eyes, a smile still on his face as he turned to face forward again, "Whatever, Zexy." I saw his eyes glance down at my book then back at the path ahead.
The peace that had invaded my mind had finally corroded, "Will you stop calling me that?" I snapped, whipping my head around to glare at the once-rose-petals-now-leaves.
Demyx grinned, "Nope!" He slipped his arms behind his head as he strode along beside me.
I snorted in reply. We had been roommates for a month now and it wasn't like we didn't talk, it just… never was about anything important. I was used to Lex's and my deep conversations about life or Larxene and I ranting together about how ludicrous and dense most of the world was and how humans were slaves of nature. Sure, I had… less intelligent friends in highschool, but I didn't have to spend as much time with them as I had to with Demyx. Well it wasn't that I had to spend time with him; it just always happened that we ended up having to be in the same area at the same time. It was part of being roommates, I guess.
I also wasn't much of a talker, while mullet boy enjoyed rambling on for hours at a time, even when he managed no response from me.
Sometimes, we managed a semblance of a conversation, like a moment ago, but it was always broken in some manner. Either I would grow impatient or Demyx would remember some inane tune and start whistling or something, regardless of what, any conversation usually ended with me snapping at Demyx to "Shut the bloody hell up!" or something of the sort.
I rubbed my chin with my gloved hand for a moment, what I really needed was another good sit and read. I read like people drank, to relax and unwind… without the side effects of a hangover.
As we finally entered our dorm building, I unwound my scarf from my neck and that was when I realized that I had my headphones down around my neck as well. I quickly stuffed them back on my ears, gaining an odd look from my blonde, mulleted roommate.
I could feel my face burning and I tugged at my hair, as if in attempt to cover even more of my face with the slate-colored hair. Did he noticed? He must have! I zoned out for like ten minutes! Any hearing person wouldn't have interrupted with some shit about rose petals or whatever it was that I was babbling about! My mind raced with horror at my lapse, If he knows then he'll tell everyone and-
I barely caught his words from the corner of my eye and whipped my head around to face him. I must have had an odd expression strewn across my face because Demyx looked startled for a moment before continuing, "Zexy, I'm gonna get changed into my PJs, you wanna wait out here, again?"
I bobbed my head in a nod as I schooled my face into a flat emotion. "I'll wait."
Demyx shrugged and punched the code into our door, letting himself in as I leaned back against the concrete wall and waited. I knew he didn't care about privacy but I myself wasn't going to invade the privacy of others even when they didn't care. …This, of course, doesn't apply to gaining access to blackmail, but the act of changing outfits wasn't anything to use for blackmail (unless said person had a special someone who would enjoy getting their hands on above mentioned photos… but that's a totally different story). Basically, I had made it our habit to take turns changing as the other waits in the hall or does some other chore in the bathroom. The idea that it was our habit didn't stop Demyx from asking me every time if I was sure I wanted to wait in the hall.
I rested my head against the cold concrete and closed my visible eye. It always felt odd to see only through my scarred eye. Details were skewed by my hair, yet none but the highly attentive would know I could still see.
It wasn't long before my nose was back to being buried in my book. Regardless of being a romance novel, it was quite excellent.
And certainly it wasn't long after that, when a certain girl stopped by and paced nervously in the hallway in front of Demyx's and my dorm. I recognized her as the girl from this morning and my anger spiked again, but I reeled my temper in and didn't move from my position until I had myself under control again.
I placed the book on the floor next to me and I slowly pulled myself up from my seat on the barely carpeted floor. "Are you waiting for Dem?" I spoke softly so not to let our conversation be heard too much by our hallmates.
She turned, giving me an odd look. "He lets you call him that?" I frowned slightly but waited for her to continue as she shook her head, "Nevermind. Look, tell Demyx to call me- my name's Yuffie, by the way- when he has time. It's important."
I adjusted my headphones and gave her a look, "He's right in there, if you want to talk to him just knock."
Yuffie shoved her hands into the pockets of her shorts, which looked uncomfortably cold even with the yellow fishnet leggings underneath. "Just tell him." She scowled and trudged down the hallway towards the door.
I shrugged and went back to reading.
"Well she can just fucking wait." The blonde nearly growled at me.
I raised a brow behind my mop of hair, frowning slightly, "Don't tell me that, tell her."
"Fine! I will!" He grabbed his cellphone and stomped out of the room, leaving me to blink at the slammed door.
I shrugged to myself and stuck my nose back in my book.
He didn't come back under nearly two in the morning.
Of course, I was not staying up for him.
Why should I? He had his own life and was probably out at a party with that wanna-be-ninja-girl. They were probably making out or something in a corner, drunk off their arses.
Right. Nothing to worry about.
He was probably fine.
…Yet, I couldn't help my eyes from ticking back to the red flashing numbers of my alarm clock (complete with a bed-shaker, since I couldn't actually hear the alarm) and finding that minutes were taking days to pass.
Then the door slammed open, hard enough to shake my bed and rid me of any pesky tiredness that might have been slowly coaxing me to actually sleeping.
Startled but largely still annoyed at him, I refused to move from my bed to see if the careless bastard was alright. The adrenaline from the door-slamming wasn't much help with this decision and I found my hands shaking in irritation.
This all seemed to be fairly worthless to my cause though, because a large and clumsy body soon toppled over my bed and sprawled himself on top of me.
I grunted and pushed at the annoying blonde, but he was fairly heavy and generally Not Helping with my growing panic. Most of his weight was on my legs and I managed to struggle up into a sitting position. "What the HELL, Demyx?" I hissed, my voice high with my fear, but he didn't even twitch in response. Jabbing a finger into his torso which had my legs trapped underneath, I tried to get any sort of response from him. "You had better not be drunk and going to throw up on me." I growled finally, barely comforting myself by the fact he wasn't actually touching any of my bare skin.
A soft shadow, born and twisted from the various electronics around the room that had decided to pollute us with blinking lights, passed over my bed and I snapped my head up to see the small ninja-girl glaring at me.
Woofie? No, maybe Doffie? "You must have a good explanation for this,"Buffy? No, Yuffie! Yes, Yuffie. "Yuffie, friend of my currently bone-crushing roommate."
She shot me a glance that reminded me of Larxene's hell-icing-over-glares, but with a true fury behind it instead of Lark's general annoyance with most of humanity. I narrowed my eyes and barely kept myself from crossing the faint boundary from watching to glaring at her.
Finally her lips moved, faint in the dim light, but I could read the words anyway, "Zmet – or whatever the hell your name is – you take good care of him, or I'll rip you a new one."
Confusion dawning over my expression, yet the words left my word before I could stop them, the same as earlier, "Of course."
Yuffie narrowed her glare, as if it was a secret laser beam of some kind, and let it blast along my… compact stature, until the lasers found the blonde, with his face still shoved nearby my hip as the rest of him crushed my legs. The lasers dimmed and softened, and I caught sight of what was probably a rare endearing look saved for my mulleted roommate only.
I noted, strangely, that there was no heat of lust, or anything in this endearment that I had found to be obvious on the faces of lovers.
…Okay so maybe they hadn't been drunkenly making out somewhere. And maybe she was just walking him home so he wouldn't spend the night in a ditch somewhere…
That didn't explain why the mulleted blonde was passed out, or why he had been so furious earlier with a friend who obviously cared for his well-being.
"What happened?" I murmured, keeping my voice low so not to wake the now-snoring blonde.
Yuffie just shook her head, running a hair through her short dark hair and looking away, "You'll find out in the morning, I suppose." She whispered, glaring at the wall like it had cheated on her mother with its fellow adjoining wall. It was a wonder all the school buildings hadn't just crumbled from all the icy and burning glares being thrown around these days.
I opened my mouth to demand more then that, but she spun on her heel and headed out the door, only pausing for a moment to glance back with a rather evil grin, saved just for me, I suppose, and pull a rude salute, "Tootles, boys!" before nudging the door shut behind her with her heel.
I muttered to myself and pushed at Demyx, but he was like a bag of bricks and wouldn't budge.
It was obvious that I was stuck like this until the heavy blonde decided to wake up. I jabbed one last time at his stomach. But instead of moving off, he nuzzled his cold nose into the hip of my pajamas and I yelped, pushing mindlessly at him until it was clear he wasn't going to move any more either way.
"Erg!" I growled and plopped backwards onto my bed. I ran my hand through my stale hair and blinked. I'm not in a mass panic. Interesting. Probably caused by the stress of the night and lack of sleep, a crooked smile grew over my lips. Normally, I would have hyperventilated by now, but I'm barely even freaked out. I laid my arm over my eyes, trying to banish the quirky smile that wouldn't disappear. Maybe mother was right that time could heal my phobia.
I yelped again, flailing my hand free of the sleepy blonde's sudden grip, feeling the panic add on another edge of adrenaline that I didn't need. Or maybe not… I rubbed at my twitching hand, as I pushed myself back to a sitting position, trying to rid myself of any panic that was receding even now.
Turning my eyes downward to the oddly twisted, but comfortable-looking mullet-head I had for a roommate.
He had a scowl spread across his previously perfectly relaxed face and the rumbles I felt from his chest I supposed now to be whimpers. I raised my brows and twisted my frown along my face until finally I sighed. His hand was clenched around part of my blanket and which I carefully removed and replaced with my wrist, careful to keep the fabric of my pajama shirt between his hand and mine.
My fingertips buzzed as I finished, having no way to keep them from touching his skin, but instantly the whimpers slowed into a gentle snore and his facial features relaxed into a soft smile.
I couldn't keep myself from smiling back just as softly and letting the gentle rumbles from his chest soothe me to sleep.
A/N: Sorry for this taking so long. I hope it was worth the wait :3 -kit