Disclaimer: I own as much as any fanfic writer. Also, this is XigDem romance. Don't like it, read again and again until you do.

AN: Thanks again to my dearest Karasu for the proofreading!

Now, I had a bit of a crisis whilst writing this, because the part of me that wants to keep everything the way it's put in the game (you know, Nobodies have no hearts and all that) got in the way. However, it's Disney. And Disney is all about magic and stuff. They had hearts after all! And besides, I see Demyx as the type to rebel against this idea.

So, enjoy part two! C:


Gold

By Eden

:Part Two:

The late night was still, and if Demyx could have guessed, it would have probably been the very center of the night. Still, street urchins were meandering through the alleys in search of scraps and vendors were scuffling through their wares to prepare for the daytime hours of the market rush.

The two slipped out the door and into the humid darkness (and for a moment, the younger Nobody had remembered his extreme thirst and had thought to get a drink from the well, then thought better of it and feared getting a disease, even if he wasn't sure if Nobodies could get sick in their nonexistent state). Demyx was still in just his teal shirt and Xigbar had re-garbed his robe. Demyx had kept his eyes turned from the other Nobody the entire time he had redressed himself.

"So… where are we going?" Demyx finally questioned, his voice still slightly groggy with sleep. Xigbar had shaken him awake so roughly that he had felt his neck crack in several places. He prayed that Xigbar wouldn't use that same tactic when disposing of him. If he disposed of him. That was still to be seen.

"There's this sweet little underground pub that I'd like to show ya. Got the best drinks and entertainment in all of Agrabah. It's only open at night, so sorry for wakin' ya up, but I just had to get you here. Hopefully, they won't think you're underage," Xigbar answered, ensuring that his arm was fastened around IX so their movements wouldn't be hampered by the younger Nobody's near-sleep-walk. "Trust me, lil' dude, you will love it."

Huh, where had Demyx heard that before?

Ugh, he was too tired to think about it and let Xigbar tug him along.

After a few more minutes of traversing, the two finally reached a small wooden trap door on the ground shoved up against the side of a building. Demyx never would have noticed it if the Freeshooter had not stopped him in his tracks with, "There it is, Nocturne," and pointed to the thin outline of the entrance. Releasing his hold on Demyx's shoulder (which caused poor IX to stumble and flail for a moment) Xigbar strutted over to the trap door and yanked on a golden ring, the sand sifting out of the way and the hinges creaking angrily.

"After you," Xigbar spoke sweetly, bowing for Demyx to move on down the steps and into the dimly lit chamber.

For a moment, Demyx considered the option that this wasn't a bar at all, but a place that would surely prove to be the pathetic little Nobody's demise. However, the soft lilt of music drifted out of the opening, and IX decided it wouldn't hurt to be just a little more curious. He wasn't dead (or whatever it was that Nobodies were once they were terminated) yet, that was for sure.

The door banged closed behind Xigbar as he followed Demyx down the steps. The smell of smoke and incense floated under their noses, and after descending for so long, the Nocturne was met with a sight that he thought only existed in all of those odd adventure movies he had sometimes found himself watching in his spare time. There were knee-high tables, all surrounded by cushioned pillows upon which the patrons were seated, set out all around the barely-lit room, each one holding upon it a candle which burned multicolored smoke. A stage was set up at the back of the room and several scantily-clad ladies (and a few men, surprisingly) were dancing to the high-pitched music traditional to any Arabian setup.

"Ah, you must be guests. Please, have a seat and I shall bring you a drink," Demyx heard beside him in a rather smooth and pleasant accent, and he turned to see that a tall and tanned man with delicate features had addressed him. Rather androgynous, IX thought to himself, but it was obviously a man voice-wise.

Grasping Demyx by the shoulders, Xigbar led Demyx on to an unoccupied table at which the two of them sat across from each other.

"So, you like it?"

Demyx nodded earnestly, his eyes darting about to take in all the sights so as to never forget them. He had to admit, the joint had a wonderful atmosphere, and it wasn't as hot as the rest of the city, thankfully, perhaps due to its underground status. The song changed to something a little slower and the dancing ladies (and men) changed the pace of their steps.

Finally, Demyx's eyes settled back onto Xigbar and he noticed he had been watching him with an inquisitive golden eye. Nervously, he attempted conversation with, "So, how'd you find this place?"

"I was just lucky, I guess. Recon mission, and I had finished up early. I decided to have a look around, and I tripped over something. Turned out to be the handle that opened the door," replied Xigbar, resting his back up against the wall. "Farqui, the guy who greeted you, gave me a free drink and everything. He'll probably do that again, since you're new here, too. Nice fella."

Demyx grinned as a dull bronze goblet was set before him by a slender, ringed, and braceleted hand.

"Drink, newcomer. Enjoy for free."

Xigbar smirked as he got his own drink, which he gulped down like his life depended on it. Demyx, however, eyed the liquid a little suspiciously.

"…What is it?" he asked, leaning in to get a better look.

"Doe'n't matter, it's damn good," Xigbar replied, motioning to Farqui to get him another round.

Demyx gingerly held the goblet and took a swig. Sweet, with a bitter aftertaste… but it was as Xigbar had put it. Damn good.

He swallowed the rest of it down as the next song started up, and by the end of that next song, he had already had three more.

"You know… Xig, I don't think that I get the respect I deserve," Demyx complained drunkenly. Xigbar had had way more than him, and he was still completely sober. Maybe the younger Nobody was just a lightweight. Either way, whatever the Hell it was that had been in his cup was getting to him. Xigbar listened, an amused smile gracing his lips.

"Really, now?"

"No. I think that—" a hiccup "—I think that Xemnas is intimidated. Really, he just—ugh, he's just so, you know… you know," though not even Demyx knew where he was going with this. His brain was much too slovenly to really begin to grasp what was going on.

Xigbar was about to continue the conversation, just to tickle his own fancy, but was interrupted by Farqui tapping Demyx on the shoulder and saying, "How about getting onstage and dancing? Dancers are leaving now, but business is still going. We need entertainment."

Before the Freeshooter could prevent IX from completely making a dimwit out of himself, Demyx had already given a nod and was bounding on toward the stage. He landed on the stage and a crude kind of spotlight was thrown onto him.

"Hellooo! It's good to be here!" Demyx shouted, and Xigbar could be seen folding his hands over his face. "I'd like… to dedicate this song to a… special someone. Yeah, you know who you are," Demyx finished up, giving a wink in Xigbar's direction.

All eyes were on the Nocturne now, and a few gave cheers of approval as the music started up and Demyx began gyrating his hips to the beat. He slipped off a glove, then another and threw them behind him. A wave of whoops shot through the crowd as Demyx stepped into it, working his shirt off his body, the spotlight following his every movement. Of course, his mind had all but given out at this point.

He waded through the crowd, remembering somewhat that he had done this in his past life, and hands reached out in worship as Demyx made his way to where Xigbar was seated. For the first time ever, there was not a trace of mockery in that golden optic as it took in the sight of Demyx wrapping his arms about the older Nobody's neck, his legs draping seductively about his waist. The Nocturne smiled sweetly as Xigbar's face began to blur, and he leaned close.

"Nnngh, love you, baby," Demyx whispered before collapsing, completely exhausted, upon Xigbar's shoulder. He was out cold.

The Nocturne's eyes parted open slightly, and the first sensation that graced him was the pounding in his head. Ugh, the last thing that he could recall was… well, it was all sort of muddled. He just had the feeling that he had just done something completely stupid.

Demyx looked about him, and could see he was back in the room they had rented. His shirt, gloves, and boots were tossed to the side, and he wondered why. He didn't remember taking them off… or did he? Deep navy blue illuminated with a white undertone shined through the window, lighting up the room enough for Demyx to see a figure gazing out over the city.

Demyx remained silent, his teal eyes staring intently, as he realized the figure was Xigbar, once more his coat shed. However, Demyx dared not avert his eyes this time.

The Freeshooter stood in profile, but Demyx could see more of his back at this certain angle. Greying hair, loosened from its usual ponytail, draped limply over the toned muscles of Xigbar's arms and shoulders. Littered here and there were scars—some deep and whitened, some light and delicate—that flowed over the entirety of II's back and arms. At times, a few traveled around Xigbar's stomach and out of view. It made him wonder what he had seen, what he had gone through, what, in all his years of existence, had made him into the scarred-up Freeshooter, so invincible and great in the eyes of the Nocturne, today.

For a mere moment, the Nocturne's state of mind pertaining to Xigbar—rough, uncivilized, rude, constantly sarcastic—seemingly melted away as he soaked in the sight before him. He looked so calm, so kind, that Demyx completely deleted the concept of Xigbar bringing him here with malicious intentions. Oddly enough, at this very point, after all they had been through in this one day, it was actually the furthest thing from his mind. The Freeshooter just appeared so… serene.

Yet in that serenity there seemed an unspoken sadness. Now, Demyx had never read that Xigbar was a sad person. There was simply no way! Still, this silence seemed to carry a sort of reflective quality—a spiritual disquiet—that seemed to chill the Nocturne to his very core, even despite the night's sweltering humidity.

Swallowing back uncertainty and pushing back his sweat-matted hair, Demyx managed a small squeak of a, "Hey."

Xigbar neither flinched nor berated at the sound. Instead, he replied with a fairly hushed, "City's really pretty out this window."

Hesitantly, the Nocturne raised to his feet and stumbled over to the Freeshooter, the soft soles of his feet persistently protesting against the hardness of the stone beneath them. He feared for a moment that Xigbar didn't want him near, but II remained stolid in his stance as Demyx pulled up beside him. The once bustling metropolis of this evening was seemingly dead. Even the wanderers and vendors had retreated into sleep. Several hovels were lit up by candles, giving the city an almost empyrean (number six of Demyx's favorite words) feel to it. Like Xigbar had stated, it was quite the pretty sight.

"…How… long have you been up?" Demyx questioned, finally deciding to approach the shell of Xigbar's troubles, hoping to breech the reason of his discomposure.

The Freeshooter gave a quiet, "Heh," and then, "long enough to get to thinkin' about things."

"…Like…?"

"Nothin' important."

Demyx could feel himself sweating, and it wasn't just from the infamous Agrabah heat.

"It… It's important to me."

Xigbar cocked his head now, to face the Nocturne a little more fully, his golden eye glowing softly in the moonlight. Demyx could see now that the scars also congregated heavily on the Freeshooter's chest and belly. The very sight made Demyx's chest—heart—ache. In an odd way, he gained the courage to continue.

"I… may be reading too deeply into… all of this, but… it seems like you wanted to tell me something. That's why you wanted me to come here with you, isn't it? You wouldn't want just anyone to come with you, you wanted me. And I know that we had a great time down in that bar… though I can't remember everything, but… well, you told me not to read too deeply into things, so I might just be pulling all this out of thin air. So, if you were bothered by what happened in Wonderland and want to put me out of my misery, just do it without all the last-minute fun involved. I mean, I didn't think that you were mad about it, but—"

An index finger gently tilted Demyx's chin upward; the Nocturne had had his head down the entire time. The unexpected contact of Xigbar's bare skin shut him up nearly instantaneously.

"Whoa, whoa, you think that I… want to kill you?" Xigbar asked, gold locked to teal. That fang poked out yet again to greet Demyx with sarcasm in its shine.

"Why else would you bring me here? I mean, aren't you planning on letting me have a real good time before you shoot me up for kissing you and dump my remains in the desert?" IX inquired, his voice edging into panic. He wondered if Xigbar would be kind enough to put what was left of him in the same approximate area of sand instead of separating all the pieces. That would just be rude.

It was around this time that Xigbar broke into a low chuckle in his throat.

"Man, you really are off in your own little world…"

The first thing that Demyx noticed was that Xigbar had removed his hand from his chin and pressed it to the Nocturne's shoulder, causing a shock-wave to run down his spine. The next thing he noticed was that barely an inch separated their exposed bodies. Finally, but of course most importantly, Demyx came to realize that Xigbar's lips were on his.

Demyx cringed backwards from the gesture, his memories of their first kiss flooding back to him. Xigbar did not force him to return.

"Why are you toying with me like this…? Aren't you going to kill me? Don't do this to me if you're planning to destroy me…"

The Freeshooter sniffed, his lips pulling back into a sneer.

"You serious? If I had planned to kill you, I would have already done it. I don't go out havin' a good time with my victims, lil' dude. Are you really so paranoid…?"

The Nocturne managed little more than a shrug. He was so bewildered and flustered that he wasn't sure exactly what he should allow himself to believe. He wanted to believe, however, and with all his might, that someone was actually interested in whether he lived or died, with none of that "no heart" bull-crap shoved down his throat every five seconds. He knew they had hearts—and he wanted that "someone" to believe it with him. He wanted that very "someone" to be Xigbar, and no one else. Still… it was all so hopelessly confusing that the Nocturne could do little more than hand head and hope for the whole awkward situation to just pass him by.

He felt another hand place itself to his other shoulder, pulling him closer, skin touching skin.

"Lil' dude, you've got to be kidding me. You're willin' to let your fears get in the way of what you want?" Xigbar whispered, the usual mockery of his tone dropped.

The words that Xigbar spoke, so softly, almost lovingly, made Demyx's heart—whatever—flutter.

"But… you're not going to kill me? You… want it, too?"

The answer came immediately, Xigbar's voice lilting with playful seduction:

"What do you think?"

Before IX could even talk himself out of his next megrim, his arms had clasped on to the other Nobody's torso in a vice-like grip. Demyx didn't even bother to look up, but he could tell undoubtedly that Xigbar was smiling, too, as he wrapped his own carved-up arms about his waist.

"…I want this."

He pressed a finger to a sliver of a scar, a soft yellow in the early morning light, tracing its trail like a map with meticulous softness. The older Nobody that lay on his stomach, his breathing quiet and even, did not even stir. Demyx's digit followed through, picking up the design of another one. To another, they might have been thought of as hideous and ugly things. To Demyx, they were beautiful.

At last, the Freeshooter's golden eye cracked open, and Demyx gave him a soft smile.

"Sleep well?"

Xigbar raised himself awkwardly to his elbows, black and silver hair cascading down his shoulders, and nodded his head, then, "You?"

The Nocturne simply smiled and answered, "Couldn't. I was too busy watching an angel."

"Psht, kid, don't get all sappy-sentimental on me now."

"Can't help it. You were just so sweet."

Xigbar rolled onto his back and exhaled. Yet Demyx still continued tracing any marks available to his fingertips. The feeling of skin-on-skin soothed the Nocturne, oddly. Hell, Xigbar wasn't about to begin complaining. Demyx hit a sensitive spot on his stomach, and II could feel his abdomen squirming for a moment.

"Yeah, well, next time, none of that cuddling crap. Next time, we actually get down to business, if you know what I'm saying," Xigbar mumbled, thoroughly displeased at the aspect of getting gypped out of "getting any." Perhaps next trip, Demyx would give in. For now, though, both Nobodies were content as the sun peeped up over the horizon.

Like all good things, this vacation had to come to an end, though they would have both liked to have stayed longer. Still, there was work to be done back at Never Was, and hopefully, they hadn't been too missed.

The man who had rented the place appeared immediately as the sun had come up all the way, and Xigbar had given him his due payment. The two bolted through the marketplace, though Xigbar agreed to buy Demyx a little something with what remained of the gold in the money pouch.

"But… I'll feel bad if you don't get something for yourself," Demyx told Xigbar haltingly as the seller attempted to con another customer into buying some sort of seashell necklace as he awaited them to pick something out.

"Please, lil' dude, you've given me more than I could ever buy."

Demyx flushed, then inquired, "You… really mean that?"

"Yeah… Now pick something, already."

The Nocturne turned back to the stand, and the vendor having triumphantly sold three necklaces, and gazed over the counter. Something caught his eye, then, and he smiled softly to himself.

"I'll take two of those," he said, poking at the objects of interest.

The vendor nodded, and held out his hand for his money. Xigbar plopped the bag down in his hand, and the seller stared at the heavy pouch with wide eyes.

Xigbar grinned, putting an arm about Demyx's shoulder after he had picked out what he had wanted, and called out over his shoulder, "Keep the change, dude."

They made it back to the gate, in one piece, thankfully (for the vendors were particularly ruthless for a sale on this day), and exited the doors back out to the camel-stall. Ugh, the smell still lingered. But luckily, the guard was nowhere to be seen, so he couldn't bother them with this and that about their mission and such.

"What did'ja get?" Xigbar prodded, leaning in to look at what Demyx was doing. By now, the Nocturne had yanked off his glove and done a small movement. Afterwards, the younger Nobody grabbed the Freeshooter's hand and jerked off his glove, fitting onto his finger a small golden ring. It was nothing special, not at all, but the Nocturne was beaming all the same. Demyx held up his smaller, paler left hand and compared it with Xigbar's rougher, larger right one, his face lit up with the early morning rays.

Chipper with excitement, Demyx asked, "You like them?"

"Of course, kid. They're beautiful…"

II had opened up the portal, and the camels suddenly came alive as they watched the two disappear into it. Into the darkness the two walked, and finally the stench of camel had receded. When they finally reached the end, they were back in the empty conference room. Obviously, they had not been missed at all.

Xigbar grappled Demyx's hand at that moment and held it tight, then smiled tenderly and leaned in to whisper into the younger Nobody's ear, "You really meant what you said, in the pub?"

Demyx's eyes widened. Now that he was a little more aware, memories were a little more fluid, and he knew exactly of what Xigbar spoke.

"Well, I… I mean, that is to say," Demyx stuttered out, and then finished his goofy stumbling and awkward talking with a quiet, "… Yeah."

The Freeshooter pressed his lips to Demyx's cheek, then continued on with, "Then I mean it when I say it, too."

Xigbar didn't even have to say it—Demyx already knew. The Nocturne turned his head, gold clasping to teal, not a trace of regret hindering either of them. Their lips met, and no other words were spoken. The glinting gold of their rings shining side-by-side said it all.