Disclaimer: Me no own, you no sue.

Yoru: Well…I decided to be nice and go ahead and post this. You all were so sad and angry with me at the end of Obeisance, so I thought I better give you more.

Kuronue: If you haven't read Obeisance, you won't get this. Blunt, to the point, and true fact.

Yoru: Sooooo if you wanna read this, go back and read that! It's depressing, but it's only nine chapters! Those of you returning – thank you for your support and pies and such! On to the fic!

Axel couldn't understand why Demyx and Roxas always looked so happy. Three years after Zexion's death, he still couldn't even crack a smile. Every night, he told himself it was for the best, that Zexion was free from fear and despair. Every night, he reminded himself that his sacrifice was given for deep, desperate love.

Every night, he forced himself not to take his own half-life.

He knew that if he did, Xemnas would only find him again. Find him and punish him. Frankly, he was surprised that Xemnas had let Zexion go. But it wasn't completely unexpected; Xemnas wanted to punish Axel, and forcing him to live without Zexion was the worst he could do.

So Axel did his missions, he lived day after day; he killed who he had to and did what he was told. Life was meaningless.

Zoine (A/N: pronounced Zo-ih-nay) was never good with Math. He was always more inclined toward the literary arts, which brought him to his current predicament.

"Zoine, could you find the next number in this matrix, please?" asked the teacher blandly. Zoine blinked. He had no idea.


"Have you been paying the slightest bit of attention?" the teacher asked irritably. Zoine lowered his eyes and pushed his glasses farther up on his face, a nervous habit he'd picked up recently.

In fact he had not been paying attention. Instead he had been pondering his recurring dreams. Dreams of fire and pain softened by a pair of bright green eyes that he'd never seen before. They made him nauseous and yet also strangely nostalgic. He couldn't remember anything before his 16th birthday, except these dreams. His parents and doctor told him that his memries would come back to him sometime in the near future, but that had been three years ago. And still no sign that he hadn't been born 16.

He shook his head to catch the end of his teacher's lecture.

"…and goblins will fly out of my ears."

"What?" Zoine said stupidly. The teacher sighed and turned back to the board as the class laughed. Zoine sighed and looked at the clock. Only a few more minutes, and he could escape.

Once the teacher let them go, he hurried straight to his dorm room. He didn't really have friends; he preferred books to people. Even his athlete roommate ignored his existence, which led to Zoine having to endure groups of very loud friends in his room while he was trying to study. Sometimes Zoine wondered if the life before his 16th birthday had been better.

Axel watched the boy sleep from outside the window. Zexion's Somebody was lovely, but it wasn't the same. Still, that silvery-blue hair spread out messily over the pillow brought back so many memories, and the void where Axel's heart should have been ached fiercely as his love murmured something in his sleep.

Zexion's Somebody had grown out his hair at the bequest of his "mother", and it fell to the middle of his back. Axel longed to touch it, to run his fingers through it like he had when only the bangs had been long. Now the bangs fell to either side of the lovely face…the same face…framing it perfectly, and Axel hurt for the beauty just beyond the glass.

"That's not creepy at all, Axel," came a playful voice from behind him.

"I can't help it, Rox. I miss him."

"Shouldn't have killed him, even if it was to protect him." Roxas sat beside Axel, leaning against his shoulder.

"I couldn't stand to see him even slightly scared of me. This way, he's still sweet and innocent, and he doesn't remember what I…what Xemnas did to him."

"But he doesn't remember you at all," Roxas said quietly, noticing how Axel tensed.

"It's better this way." Axel's voice shook just a little.

"Axel, stop torturing yourself. Come live your life, and let him live the one you gave him."

"I can't stop coming to him. I can't live without him." Axel's voice echoed his longing, and Roxas hurriedly wiped his eyes.

"You have Demyx. Marluxia has Vexen. Xemnas has Saix but continues to use me as well…"

Roxas' eyes widened, but he let Axel continue.

"…I'm used and humiliated. Rox, why haven't I suffered enough?" Axel looked into Roxas' eyes, and in the green depths Roxas saw a broken, defeated man.



Axel looked up to see Saix standing above him, a nasty grin on his face.

"Yes, Seven?" the redhead gritted out. Saix grabbed his arm and yanked him to his feet.

"The Superior would like to see you."

Yoru: Just a note – I'm aware that Zexion's Somebody is named Ienzo. But Ienzo is from before Zexion became Zexion in the first place. Zoine is a completely different person; still bookish, but rather less intelligent and practically mute. So I'm not being ignorant, I'm just taking artistic license. Haha!