Poker: a game consisting mostly of luck with a bit of strategy and a pinch of skill thrown in to make things interesting. Even professionals poker players were dealt hands that were duds every once in a while. There was never a sure-fire way to secure a win and that was why Xigbar had agreed to play with Demyx, Axel, and Luxord. Had the Gambler of Fate not been at the table with that cocky grin on his face Xigbar would have seated himself down promptly and whooped Axel and Demyx soundly. With Luxord there he had paused: the man was notorious for his ability to win everything. Everything. It was infuriating to sit down with the Brit and play anything with him because failure was imminent. But, he reminded himself as he sat down next to Axel, poker was a different story. The luck of the draw, that's what seventy percent of this game was about. Luxord couldn't make a royal flush line up perfectly in the deck so he got it on his first draw…could he? No, of course he couldn't.
"So glad you decided to join us, Xigbar," Luxord said with a smooth tone to his voice as he expertly shuffled his deck of cards. "I've been wanting to try playing poker on teams for a while now but I've never got enough volunteers to sit down with me and play."
Can't imagine why, the Freeshooter thought to himself as he frowned at Luxord. "Teams? How the hell do you play poker with teams?"
"Oh, it's quite simple, really," Luxord said, his gloved hands a blur as the cards continued to move between his fingers. "You are awarded points for what place you finish: first place gets four points, second place gets three points, and so on. Three hands and the team with the most points at the end wins."
"And what is the prize?" Axel asked, arching a brow. He was obviously as skeptic as Xigbar. Demyx, who was seated across from Axel, looked excited to try a new game and didn't seem to notice the two Nobodies opposite him were being so wary.
"Ha ha," the blonde said, a gleam in his eye. "You do know I like to gamble, Axel. I was thinking, perhaps, our weapons. Just for the day," he added quickly as a chorus of whines, moans, and swearing rose up quickly. "The losing team must switch weapons. You don't have to use them, of course, unless you're sent out on a mission."
Xigbar sat back in his chair, arms folded across his chest. They would be gambling their weapons away? Pfh. Give up his precious guns in exchange for…something. He wasn't sure who was on his team yet. He supposed if he ended up on Luxord's team he'd have a fair shot of not having his weapons switched, and if he wound up with Axel his chakrams would be an all right trade. But if he got—
"Demyx, you'll be with Xigbar since you're diagonally across from him, and I'll be with Axel," Luxord declared as he gave the deck a final shuffle. "Wouldn't want any cheating going on." He grinned across the table at Xigbar, whose mouth was open in dread. Oh God.
Demyx, on the other hand, gave a happy whoop. "All right! Me and Xig are gonna take you guys down," he exclaimed, pumping his fist in the air. Xigbar managed to resist slapping his hand over his face: the boy couldn't play poker to save his life. The last time they had played Demyx had started poking Larxene who had been passing by, thinking the game was 'poke her' and not 'poker'. Axel didn't seem too upset with his partner and nudged Xigbar in the side as Luxord passed out the cards.
"Know how to play the sitar, Xigbar?" he asked with a vicious grin. Xigbar only narrowed his good eye and picked up his cards grimly to start the game and seal his fate.
The next hour found Xigbar and Demyx alone at the table, the winning team off to celebrate by raiding Xaldin's sake stash. The Freeshooter was holding his head in his hands, his elbows resting on the table, mentally berating himself. Stupid, stupid, stupid! How had he talked himself into thinking Luxord could lose? He was so mad at himself that it took him a moment to register Demyx's perky voice.
"…so bad as you're making it out to be, Xigbar. It's only for a day." Xigbar lifted his head to be confronted with a pair of green-blue eyes staring almost anxiously at him. He knew that face: he saw it far too often. Whenever the blonde wanted something he got this look on his face that screamed 'if I don't get it in two seconds I'm gonna start to cry'. And, the funny part was, he actually would start to tear up. It always worked, too, damn him.
"Fine, fine, just don't start the water works again," Xigbar grumbled as he summoned his two guns and grumpily put them on the table between them. He watched as Demyx tried to suppress a grin by biting his bottom lip and couldn't help but snort softly. The kid was too cute for his own good. As Demyx reached out to grab the handles of the two guns, Xigbar held up a hand to tell him to stop. "I believe I need something in return," he said, turning his hand so he held it out.
"Oh, right!" An instant later Demyx was handing him his blue sitar. Xigbar had to quickly bring his other hand up to hold it. It was a lot heavier than it looked. As he brought it back to his side of the table Demyx grabbed his guns off the table and lifted them, turning them this way and that to let the light catch the shiny material. "These are really light! They look so awkward…" He furrowed his brows as his fingers gripped the handles. "Now where's the trigger?"
"Hold on there, kiddo," Xigbar said quickly. "You're not going to try and shoot stuff in here are you?" He had a horrible mental image of Demyx running around the castle, shooting everyone and everything he came across. None of the weapons the Organization members had could kill one another and he was sure the blonde would try and shoot some of the more lenient members: namely himself. It didn't mean it didn't hurt, of course, and he really didn't want to be walking down the halls and end up with a bullet sticking out of his butt.
"I'm gonna take them outside, Xig," Demxy said with a laugh. "I'm not stupid." He lifted the gun closer to his face, going cross-eyed slightly as he tried to find the trigger. "Hey…there's no trigger on these things!" No sooner had he said that than a bullet was firmly lodged in the opposite wall. Demyx looked at it in surprise and then grinned. "Ah hah…interesting set-up, Xiggy."
Xigbar simply grunted in response. He was having trouble holding onto the sitar. It was such an awkward shape and his hand couldn't fit around the neck all the way, which felt odd since he was used to grasping a smaller handle. The instrument needed a strap to go around his back like a guitar. How did Demyx manage to play this and hold it at the same time? "What? Oh…right, just squeeze the handles," he muttered, the question of how to shoot the firearms finally reaching his brain. "This is so freakin' awkward," he grumbled, looking up to ask Demyx if he could just banish it for now: he didn't want to lug this thing around all day. But all he saw of the Melodious Nocturne was the end of his cloak disappearing around the doorframe at high speed. Wonderful.
The older Nobody stood and opened a portal to his room, not wanting to have to carry the sitar all the way up the stairs. At least he could dump it there for the day. Stepping through the dark hole, he ended up in the small room that he had claimed as his upon acquiring the castle. They rooms everyone called their own were pretty much the same size and shape, just in different locations throughout the castle. He tossed the sitar onto the bed, the strings vibrating slightly from the almost violent motion. He scowled at it before quickly teleporting away to see what damage Demyx was doing.
Xigbar should have known he would have nothing to worry about. He finally found Demyx on top of one of the towers of the castle, firing the twin guns off into space. Every now and then he would almost hit a bird, but so far he hadn't done any damage. Still wanting to keep an eye on his precious weapons, Xigbar casually levitated just beside Demyx, stretched out in a relaxed position as if he were lying on an invisible couch. He was getting a kick out of watching the blonde, who was making soft 'pew pew pew' noises each time he fired the gun, even though the weapons made their own sounds. His one golden eye slid closed after about a half hour of watching Demyx waste his bullets and he dozed off. It wasn't until he felt a finger prod his shoulder that he opened his eye once more, peering at Demyx who was watching him intently.
"What do you want, kid?" he asked, stretching his arms over his head as he woke up from his short nap.
"I was just wondering where you put my sitar."
Xigbar turned his head to look at Demyx, the tone of voice raising a red flag. The younger Nobody had, by this point, sat down on the stone tower, his legs dangling over the edge, and was looking down at his hands. The two guns sat on either side of him, resting after their long period of use. Demyx's body language radiated hurt and Xigbar sat up, looking from his perch in the air down to the top of his companion's spiky hair. His shoulders were slumped and he could tell that there was a frown on his face. "It's in my room," he said slowly, unsure if this was the right thing to say. Apparently it wasn't. Demyx cringed at his words and hung his head lower. Dear God, the boy wore his heart on his sleeve!
Xigbar blinked at his own thought. His heart on his sleeve? Impossible. But here the boy was, moping and dejected just because his own 'weapon' wasn't being enjoyed as much as the guns had been. The blonde was always going on and on about how all the Nobodies did have hearts; they just had forgotten how to feel. If anyone could convince Xigbar that they did have hearts, it would be Demyx. No other Nobody was as emotional as the Melodious Nocturne and it was a well-known fact that emotions were from the heart, not the head.
"It's…ah…because I don't know how to play it," Xigbar said after a few moments of silence. He really didn't like seeing Demyx like this: it wasn't like him to be sad. "Anyone can shoot a gun, right? I didn't want to butcher…the art." Oh God. How disgustingly charming was that? It was enough, apparently, because Demyx instantly brightened up and turned, looking up at his floating friend with a huge grin.
"Is that all? Oh, Xiggy, you're too funny," he said with a snicker. "I can teach you how to play it. It's really not that hard. I mean, like you said, it's not as easy as shooting a gun, but once you get the hang of it it's pretty simple." He stood quickly after grabbing the two guns and held them out to Xigbar, who blinked in surprise. "I know it hasn't been a full day yet, but Luxord doesn't need to know. Besides, I think I heard he's off on a mission and won't be back until tonight."
Xigbar nodded and reached out, his fingers closing around the familiar handles which were still warm from Demyx's hands. He held them for a moment before letting them vanish, his fingers tingling from the odd magic that summoned and banished the guns. "Thanks, kid." He paused and returned his legs to a standing position, resting his feet a few inches off the ledge of the building, letting himself descend the rest of the way gently.
"No problem," Demyx said with a grin before grabbing Xigbar's hand and tugging him back towards the door that led to the stairs. The older Nobody stumbled, taking by surprise by the sudden tugging and walked awkwardly for a few steps before finding his feet. "Where are we going?" he asked, amused by the sudden enthusiasm.
"Your room, of course. I've got to teach you how to play the sitar. Unless," Demyx said, stopping a few feet shy of the door. He turned to face Xigbar, his face that pitiful 'I'm gonna cry' expression once more, green-blue eyes shimmering with waiting-to-spill tears. "Unless you'd rather not learn."
Xigbar managed to keep himself from smiling. He wasn't sure how he did it, but it took a lot of effort. "Well, if you're gonna go and cry about it I might as well let you teach me." The look on Demyx's face after he had said that would have made Xemnas believe that there was a heart beating away under the black cloak and it made Xigbar freeze for a moment, Demyx's constant arguments and his own unsure thoughts swirling about. A tug on his hand to get him moving again shook him from his thoughts and, with a smile tugging at his lips, he followed Demyx back inside the castle.