Disclaimer: I do not own Kingdom Hearts. I don't really own the title, either, since it's the name of a song.
Well... I'm not too proud of how this one turned out... but I wanted to get it off my mind so I went ahead and put it up here anyway. I found it unbearably cheesy.
People are unreliable and always changing. Your best friend may pledge his or her loyalty to you one moment and stab you in the back the next. People simply rely on their survival nature; daily decisions are based entirely on what will get a person higher in the food chain. It's the law of self-preservation. I can hardly blame anyone, for I was never much different (I've always been a treacherous man – the worst kind of person).
There's one thing about a person that never changes. It isn't the way they look, the way they speak, the way they think or feel. It's the way they smell.
A woman can dump buckets of perfume on herself, and a man can neglect his shower for a month; it makes no difference. Outer smell is something trivial; it's the inner smell that will stay the same through age and perfume and cleanliness (or lack thereof).
Explaining to you how a person smells is as impossible as explaining what chocolate tastes like. If I told you that person smells like mint and this person like strawberries, I would be describing the outer scent. But every person has their own unique scent, and although some have similar smells to others, it is still impossible to say what any one person smells like.
Very few can catch a person's true scent. Very few have memorized the scent of darkness. I am one of those few.
I lived in a large city, though I do not recall the name. I lived in an apartment. I worked at a library within walking distance. I had a certain path I took every day to work and back, and that path rarely wavered except to purchase food and the like. I lived a meaningless existence, with every scent around me committed to memory. Most of the same people passed me every day although it was so large a city.
It was a worthless existence. I could only wait for death, for that was the only change in cycle I could think of. Yet, a part of me fought the fate that waited, telling me it wasn't going to end anytime soon. There was something I had to do, I knew, I just didn't know what it was. I didn't lose sleep over it, either. I figured if it was really that important it would come to me in due time.
And it did come to me, although I wouldn't admit it for the longest time. A part of me shied away from this new… "memory", as it were. I did not want to face the music, as ironic as it is for me to say such a thing.
However, my attempts at ignoring this new realization failed miserably; regardless of a familiar scent making me feel so nostalgic. It just wasn't fathomable. Feeling nostalgic implied…well, feeling.
Unlike many people, I was very much aware that I had past lives. My only problem was that my memories from those lives had been erased; I deduced my defense mechanism was responsible for that.
That scent was from one of those lives, I knew it. Maybe even all of those lives. Never had so prominent a scent been so implacable. The more I tried to remember, the more the identity slipped away. It was infuriating; as though fate were restricting my abilities so that I might actually exert myself in physically hunting down the holder of the scent.
I did in fact go out of my way to track down the scent. I knew it was inevitable from the start, I'd just been hoping I was wrong. Of course, not only is the thought of my being wrong entirely improbable, the thought of my feeling enough to hope is simply something that does not happen.
In all my twenty-three years of this life, I'd never felt so much motivation to find a single person. I had never cared enough about anyone to as much as think about them. Even when my mother died on my fifteenth birthday, the urge to keep her alive was nothing next to my demanding need to find this person of my memories who eluded me.
One morning, on my way to work, I simply couldn't stand it anymore. I threw open the doors to the coffee shop which practically radiated that scent, drawing unwanted attention to myself. It was to be expected, of course, since I probably looked insane. My eyes were more likely than not bloodshot, considering I'd lost much of my beauty sleep to the wretched scent.
I stormed up to the counter and slammed my fists down angrily. If anyone hadn't been staring at me before, they were now.
Vaguely, I noticed a blonde woman perched on the stool beside me, sipping coffee contentedly. She had a smirk on her face, and was eying me amusedly. I turned to her, angry ever still, but had no chance to say anything.
"It's about time you showed up," she muttered. "You just missed him."
Naturally, I didn't have to ask what she was talking about. I briskly turned around and left, throwing the door open with a strength even I was unaware I was capable of.
I took a deep breath to calm myself, running a hand through my hair. The scent was rapidly diminishing. I could have easily pursued and found the source, but the rate of travel was much too fast for me, and I was not feeling up to tracing the remnants. My annoyance was in great amount, but not great enough to fuel physical endurance.
"Try again, loser," said an amused female voice. As soon as I was turned around, there was no one behind me. I felt an eyebrow twitch, and let a few curses slip as I glanced at my watch. I almost considered showing up for work late. Almost.
Instead, I took the first day off I'd taken in several years.
And all because of a scent.
That night, I had a nightmare. I assumed it was a memory from one of my past lives, considering I did not recall it from my current and the fact that I never dreamed unless it was a memory. It was remarkably vivid and I awoke to a terribly painful headache.
It could hardly be called a memory, anyway. I appeared to be dying, so although it was vivid, it was still from an incoherent perspective.
There was a blond… male. He appeared to be crying, although a great part of me said that he wasn't supposed to feel enough to cry. He wasn't supposed to feel at all, and neither was I. That didn't seem to stop me, however, as I could quite clearly feel a strong sense of regret. After the dream ended, I didn't understand why I was feeling regret. I was dying, the man was crying, and neither of us was supposed to feel anything. The man looked upset, and very much so. He was crying so much that it looked to me as though he'd never stop crying. I felt so much regret. Regret for leaving him there, with those people, all alone. Regret for being the cause of the suffering he so blatantly revealed.
His hand clutched mine, and his eyes – blue… green? – held a strange, desperate need for me to stay with him. It seemed a futile plea with death, almost an offering of himself in my place. It didn't make any sense, though. He wasn't supposed to feel, yet his eyes were shining with more feeling than I'd ever seen any human in my current life show. The more I thought about it, with that torturous headache in the darkness of the room around me, the more regret I felt. Feeling was foreign to me. I wondered if I had ever felt anything in my past lives, and I knew certainly that in my state of being a nobody I did not.
Except this particular time frame. It could have been a mirage; an altering of a memory to suit the requirements of a dream. Maybe it was so far-fetched that that was the exact reason it was a dream to begin with, rather than a flashback that hit me during a crucial part of time.
Usually memories came to me in flashbacks. I would be walking down the street one moment and in a hospital bed with a new memory the next. The memories were most often useless in every possible way.
This dream memory I wanted to cast aside as useless again, but I found myself incapable of doing so. That scent came to me with the dream, and now I did not want to let it go. I found myself longing for the scent after it began to dissipate, almost yearning to return to sleep in hopes that the dream would return again, the scent with it. The dream was important to me in every aspect, and I did not want to let it go.
And then I heard it; that song. It was not so much the song itself that was spectacular, but the voice singing it. A voice that was neither male nor female; it simply was. A voice that was more beautiful than any sound, and more desirable to hear than any group of words. It floated around me, like a canopy; bringing with it that familiar scent I so loved. The voice and the scent together were like a moment of ecstasy; I felt such an intense concentration of desire to keep it there that I probably could have spontaneously combusted.
I found it difficult to move, so the traverse from my bed to the open window was quite an amazing feat. I almost fell out of the window because of my disoriented state, and my eyesight was not what I remembered it to be. It was truly amazing how two simple things could bring me such intoxication that I could not move nor see properly.
The light of the moon illuminated the alley outside my window, and I am to this day grateful for that light. I caught sight of blond, and instantly knew with every fiber of my being that the source of the scent and voice was that spot of gold just beneath my window.
This was Demyx.
I was not the only one looking for Demyx. I may have been the only one able to identify scents, but I was not the only one looking for the source of the beautiful voice.
I knew that when I saw the evil golden eyes gazing up at me. I knew it when I saw the blood of "Demyx" pool beneath his fallen corpse. The most unbearable part of it was that I knew exactly who those eyes belonged to; those eyes I had seen one too many times. The eyes of a burning gold that forced me into submission regardless of the situation.
Pulling my own eyes away from his and the sight of my fallen memory, I struggled to regain my balance as I fought through cloudy vision to the door of my small apartment. It was harder than I first expected; not only had the disorientation from my dream failed to fade, but the remembrance of the burning eyes outside had caused my mind to fill with various things I didn't want to remember at all.
It was almost heartbreaking, the state I was in. Fleeing down the stairs, not bothering with the old elevator for fear that it should not get me to my destination in time, desperately needing Demyx to be alive when I reached him. It was like having your parents give you the thing you'd always wanted for your birthday, only for them to take it away and destroy it before your very eyes.
Perhaps a portion of my blurred vision was due to the tears that filled my eyes. Tears that I knew couldn't possibly be real. They could only be as real as they would have been in my life before. After all, no matter how many times I was brought back, nothing would ever get better. I lost my heart, and it was gone for good.
It started to rain. Just as I fell through the emergency exit, eyes on the lifeless body before me, it started to rain.
I didn't stop to look for that man. All I did was fall to the ground at the side of Demyx, childishly searching for even the slightest bit of life. It was like with my mother… only… somehow, it required more of a heart than anything else I'd ever felt before, if you could even so much as call those feelings.
When he smiled, I wanted to die.
"Hey… I'm dying, aren't I?"
Such a beautiful voice and such sad words…
"That's okay. It doesn't really feel like dying."
I was utterly speechless. He was… well, the closest thing there is to perfection. His eyes, fading yet still shimmering with their cerulean glory, and his smile… that brightened the darkness around us. It was just perfect.
"Demyx, I…" I couldn't even find my voice anymore.
"Demyx? Haha, silly, my name is Myde. But that's okay…lotsa other people call me Demyx. How'd you know?" he asked, innocence returning the color to his eyes, if only for a split second.
I think I smiled, because he had a look on his face suddenly that reminded me of how I was feeling.
"That's okay. I know you're not a stalker."
He didn't remember. I had looked for him since I caught his scent… I had suffered from the dreaming, I had watched that man kill him…
"You don't even remember," I whispered. I knew I looked hurt. I felt hurt. And Demyx had a sudden twist of regret slither across his face.
"No…I'm sorry. But… c-can I guess your name, I bet."
I didn't say anything, and I didn't want him to. It would only make him die faster.
"You're… hmm… Zexion, right?"
He looked stunned when I cried harder.
"I'm sorry, was that wrong? Please don't be upset."
I held him. He didn't seem to mind, really. He just moved a hand to my face, and stared into my eyes for what seemed like a very long time. It couldn't have been a long time, though. Demyx didn't have a long time.
"Hey, you'll be okay. Will you be okay, Zexy? At least for me… please?"
I shook my head, to which he frowned. "Why not?"
"You idiot… how am I supposed to say no when you look at me like that?"
He smiled again.
"Look for me next time, alright? You'd better find me next time. Before Larxene does. Or… that guy… who stabbed me…" He flinched. I felt a surge of hatred run through every drop of my blood.
"I'm sorry. It's my fault. I should have followed you. I should have tried harder to find you. All these years I wasted and when I finally find you I don't have the decency to—" My eyes widened as he shoved a hand over my mouth.
"Will you stop… being emo… for a second?" he asked, smiling although his face was twisting in pain.
"Stop saying that. You didn't do anything wrong, Zex. It was supposed to be like this. It's only fair. You left me last time… don't you remember?"
I did remember. I just wished I didn't. The thought of him in pain because of me was abhorrent in itself.
"Next time, it will be different, won't it, Zexy?"
"It was supposed to be different this time."
"Hey, it was just a fluke, right? This time around wasn't a mistake, and don't say you wasted years. You have a heart now, Zexion, or did you not notice?"
"Can I sing for you?"
I paused to protest, because of his condition, but his eyes were pleading. I sighed, smiling. "Do you need to ask?"
He smiled in return. "I guess not."
It lasted forever; the small time frame in which he filled with his voice was closed in an eternity of itself. It was a moment that would last forever. Years later, when someone walked by, they would hear it. Then they would shrug and continue walking, thinking that so beautiful a sound does not exist and they were imagining things. It was a lost carol that would last until the end of time. And however sad it was, it was still a carol, because that's what Demyx wanted it to be.
And it was only mine and his. Only he and I would know it was real. Somehow, it would lead us to each other again.
It's just the way these things work.
He shut his eyes with the last of his light, and I held him ever closer. I wanted to die, but I wouldn't. I couldn't just die with him when he asked me not to with those damn eyes of his.
I felt him, suddenly, in the rain around me.
"Demyx… I've always had a heart…"
"…It was you."
And no matter where we are, or how far apart we might be, the lost carol will always be there. It was there before.
There is always a carol. We just don't always know it's there.
Unbearably cheesy, yes? Thank you for reading!