Demyx glared unhappily at the composition he was working on. Sure, it was good, or at least the end result would be worth listening to, but it just wasn't satisfying him. For the first time in a long time, he didn't really want to compose right then. He wanted to leave his room and go find his friends and talk and socialize and have some fun.

Unfortunately, he was more-or-less trapped in his own room.

"Chickenpox," he muttered to nothing and no one in particular. "Of all the contagious viruses afflicting the known worlds I could have come down with, why did it have to be chickenpox? This is bloody humiliating..." Absentmindedly, he scratched the back of his neck, then stopped himself. He'd learned from experience that scratching didn't help a thing.

And it was just his astonishing luck that Axel and Roxas had never had chickenpox before. At least, Axel knew he hadn't; Roxas wouldn't remember whether he'd ever had it even if his Other had died of it, but Vexen had done some kind of blood test on him and said it looked like he'd never had it or been vaccinated against it. As a matter of fact, it was amazing how few members of the Organization had ever had or been vaccinated against chickenpox before. In fact, Demyx could count the visitors he was allowed on the fingers of one hand - Vexen, Lexaeus, and Luxord. None of them were particularly odious - well, Vexen wasn't the easiest non-person in the worlds to get along with, but he was still better than some - but only Vexen would ever have any reason to visit, and then only in his capacity as the Organization's chief of medical staff. Vexen didn't do friendly visits. Vexen barely did friendly.

How did Xigbar make it upwards of sixty years - at least, that was Demyx's guess - without ever contracting chickenpox? Hell, sickly as Demyx himself had been as a child, how had he made it eighteen?

On the plus side, as far as he knew, it was impossible to die of mere chickenpox given any real medical care at all. On the minus side, he felt like he was going to die of boredom.

At least Axel wasn't around to call him "Dotty" or something. He'd been temporarily moved into the empty room next to Roxas's, so he wouldn't have to share a bathroom with someone in isolation. They should have let him catch it, Demyx thought meanly, then sighed. "This is fucking boring," he complained to himself, then realized he was spending a lot of time talking to himself lately.

And it had only been two days - no, a day and a half; it had been 48 hours since he'd started breaking out in spots, and it had taken him another six hours to swallow his embarrassment and seek medical attention. He was only a day and a half into a full week of enforced isolation.

"Fuck that. In a week, I'll be completely off my rocker." He thought for a moment. "I mean, even more than I am already."

He stared blankly at the wall for a few moments, then back at the composition in his hands. Right then, he didn't feel the faintest bit inspired; he'd just been plugging away at it because it was something to do besides just sit around feeling sorry for himself. When he wasn't interested in it, composing was as much of a chore as cleaning the bathroom, and as fun. The composition went back on the desk, to wait for some time when he actually did feel inspired, and he himself flopped on the bed, burying his face in his pillow.

Right on cue, his back, chest, and stomach all started to itch horribly.

"Fuck this!" he growled irritably, his voice muffled by the pillow. Every time he held still too long - fifteen seconds being "too long" - something started to itch horribly, usually either something inaccessible or something he'd already accidentally scratched to bleeding yesterday or the day before. Last night, he hadn't been able to sleep a wink without the benefit of a hefty slug of Benadryl, he'd itched so much.

Grumbling and muttering to himself, he stood back up, peeled off his boxers - they were all he wore anymore; actual clothing was sheer itchy torture to wear - and headed for the bathtub. As it turned out, an oatmeal bath was the only thing that did anything to alleviate the itch without leaving him in a drugged stupor. He'd heard neem leaves would work too, but there wasn't a snowball's chance of getting his hands on any. Then again, his grandmother had said neem could cure anything. Not feeling like wasting too much effort thinking about it, he filled a coffee filter with oatmeal, tied it off with a rubber band, dropped it into the back of the bathtub, and turned on the hot water - as much as he tried, he never was able to control the temperature of water without help. The best he could do was make the tub fill faster with what was coming from the water heater. Once the tub was full and the tap was off, he was supposed to wait until the water cooled before getting in, but he wasn't feeling that patient - he waited until it was no longer hot enough to hurt, and that was it.

Funny. An oatmeal bath - how very unlikely a source of relief, but hell, as long as nothing itched anymore, he could spend all day in there. He was within a few minutes of falling asleep, now that he was finally able to relax...dimly, he wondered if his water powers would protect his hearing aids if he slid underwater while sleeping...

"You are in so damn much trouble...!"

Oatmeal water splashed all over the bathroom as Demyx jerked upright, instinctively covering himself with his hands. Axel was leaning on the doorframe, glaring at him, and rubbing his lower back as if it hurt...no, as if it itched. On closer examination, there were several visible red spots developing on his face. "I thought you were in freakin' quarantine...I hope you haven't managed to infect the whole Organization yet...okay, laughing is not an appropriate response here, got it memorized?"


AN: ...I was bored. No, I don't have chickenpox. I was working on a piece of artwork I really wasn't motivated to work on just then - I was plugging away at it because I had nothing better to do; I wanted to write, but had nothing to write about. So I wrote about Demyx forcing himself to work on a composition when he'd rather be doing something else. Then I went "why can't he do anything else?"

Set before "The Sweetest Things".