A/N: Well, I finally got a second chapter for something up. I'm actually kind of proud of myself~
If you find any spelling/grammar/accidental coding errors (by that I mean, I do my coding in the Word document for dA, and sometimes I don't catch it all during the transfer, so there are little /i's everywhere) please do tell me. I don't have time to do the whole 'beta' thing, but I've never really needed to. I'm usually pretty good about it...
I know it's still going slow, very little action. But the last bit starts to make things interesting~!
Myde—no, no, it was Demyx, Demyx—was losing track of things. He had immediately started in on The Beginner's Guide to Chess, mostly because that's what Zexion had told him to do, and he was still in a state of blindly doing as he was told. He didn't want to think about what he had gotten himself into, what he had done, so he just dove right into all sorts of information about chess. He had never played the game himself, but he knew it looked really complicated. He now knew he couldn't have been more right. Every single piece did something different, could only move a certain way, could only take another person's piece a certain way, and it was all very confusing. But the book did a good job of taking it one step at a time, so he was actually beginning to learn something.
For example, Zexion seemed scarier and scarier by the minute. Everything Demyx read about the King, the piece Zexion had clearly stated was himself, fit in with what Demyx knew of the small male. The overseer, the one pulling all the strings…The big question, though, was what piece did Demyx fit into? Was he a lowly pawn, to be blindly sacrificed, or a more important piece? He wasn't sure which he'd prefer. He didn't much like the idea of being sacrificed, but if he was more important, he would probably be used by Zexion a lot more…
Furrowing his brow, Demyx tried to concentrate more on chess and less on horrible thoughts like that. Zexion really didn't seem that bad…Sure, he was Kira, but wasn't Kira only killing the criminals? So Kira was a good person in a way, right? If Zexion only killed criminals, he couldn't be all that horrible…No, no, chess, he had to concentrate on chess. The Knight was the horse-head one, and it…Was Zexion wrong to kill the bad people?
"Demyx." The blonde jumped and dropped the book he was trying to read to the table.
"Y-yeah?" he managed to get out once his heart stopped beating at a mile a minute.
Zexion stood up and placed the book he had been reading face-down so Demyx couldn't see the cover before continuing with what he had to say. "Do you have any food allergies, or anything you simply won't eat?"
Thoroughly confused—surprise, surprise—Demyx just shook his head. He then thought about the question for a second, and shook his head again, with a bit more conviction. "No, not really. Why?"
The slate-haired male didn't answer. Instead, he stated simply, "Stay here. Continue studying." He then left the room, and closed the door behind him. Demyx stared for a moment, then returned to the task of keeping his mind away from the important things.
- - - - -
"So, Zexion…Tell me the truth. What's the story? Why did you bring home that Demyx kid?" The happy couple was currently in the kitchen, Zexion chopping vegetables and Marluxia keeping him company. Though Marluxia could cook perfectly well on his own, everything Zexion made tasted better, and had less likelihood of being over- or under-cooked. Though at the moment, Marluxia had a nagging urge to take the large knife away from the smaller male.
Zexion had long ago become an expert at wielding knives…for cooking purposes only, of course. He was scary when he really got going, though he maintained his usual calm expression and tone throughout the process. Pushing aside a pile of finely-chopped onions—he had the magical power of not tearing up while he chopped onions, in spite of his overly-sensitive nose, that Marluxia had never quite understood—Zexion tossed a cucumber at Marluxia and said simply, "Peel that."
Marluxia did as he was told, knowing that asking again was a bad idea. Zexion would either answer him when he felt like it, or wouldn't. Even if he did say something, it couldn't be trusted. Zexion had a habit of lying, even when lies were unnecessary. And he was way too good at it. The only way Marluxia could tell that he was lying was that he always lied.
Without further ado, Zexion stated in his matter-of-fact way, "If I wanted you to know the truth, I wouldn't have told you a lie. That is, assuming I was lying. I might have been completely honest with you."
Marluxia chuckled lightly. "You, honest? That'll be the day."
"Well, then, I suppose you'll have to deal with the lie. Can you handle that, Marluxia? Or have you finally grown tired of my lies?"
"Are you kidding? That's what makes you so fun. Every day is another question waiting to be answered."
- - - - -
After an uncomfortably silent dinner that made Demyx wish he was back in the library studying some more, he realized he didn't want to continue studying much at all when he was forced to just that. He could handle studying for a while, but by the time he was finished he had been doing so for several hours on end. As much as he hated it, he didn't dare complain, not to Zexion.
It wasn't until the blue-haired male across from him fell asleep on the desk that Demyx knew he could stop. But even then, he wasn't sure what to do. Should he leave Zexion where he lay and just leave? Should he find Marluxia and tell him what happened? Worst of all, should he actually wake Zexion up? Even though it was the least attractive of the options, Demyx knew it was best if he tried to wake Zexion. Taking a deep breath, he said quietly, "Zexion." Nothing. So he went slightly louder, still barely above a whisper. "Hey, Zexion." Still nothing. Zexion was resting his head on one arm, the other clutching tightly to the book he had been reading. In a way, he almost looked innocent again, even though Demyx now knew he was anything but. He really didn't want to destroy this little bit of peace he doubted he would see very often, if ever again. But still, he knew he needed to wake the other up. Finally, he raised his voice to a normal speaking tone. "Hey, Zexion, wake up."
After all the silence broken by only his own voice, the door opening gave Demyx a start, causing him to knock over a small pile of books on the table. "Ah, um, sorry!" he managed to get out as he picked up the books and put them back where they had been neatly.
A deep chuckle startled him again. In his haste to pick up the books Zexion was so protective over, he hadn't so much as glanced at who had entered. Of course it was Marluxia, why would it be anyone else? "Ah, hey, um…he, he just kind of, fell asleep. I was going to wake him up 'cause I thought it was weird he was sleeping so early, but he didn't even twitch." This explanation of his predicament came pouring out of Demyx's mouth without his consent, and he caught himself wondering how he could fix that. If he made a habit of it—or rather, continued his habit—things could go downhill fast.
Marluxia more or less ignored him, much to his relief, instead leaning over next to the sleeping form and whispering something Demyx couldn't make out. Unlike his own futile attempts, Marluxia's simple whisper received something so momentous as a small wordless noise from Zexion, so quiet it was almost impossible to hear, and a slight shift of weight. Marluxia smiled at Zexion, apparently expecting this. "Don't worry—Demyx, was it?—he's always been like this. You couldn't have woken him up if you dragged him outside by his feet." He somehow managed to completely disregard Demyx's presence even while speaking to him. It was, just like everything else about Marluxia, disconcerting. "Where do you live?" When Demyx gave him his address after a few moments of blank staring, the man sighed slightly, though not in a way that meant anything negative. "He didn't even think about getting you home, did he? Typical. He thinks of everything until it comes to someone else's welfare. I'll give you a ride." With that, Marluxia managed to make it obvious he was done speaking to Demyx and would ignore him from then on, just by simply turning his back and facing Zexion. Demyx didn't mind. Even though Marluxia had been speaking words that seemed fairly kind, and he had been acting so…soft, it was obvious even to Demyx that the soft part was only for Zexion, and the words were far from sincerely pleasant.
As he watched Marluxia slowly coax Zexion to move in his sleep and carefully pry the book from his hand, Demyx again marveled at what he saw. How could these two interact so fluidly, so perfectly, as if they were a normal couple? They were so…different. Then again, they were also the same, in a way. Zexion seemed like he could be really nice, and maybe even considerate, yet his words were poisonous and cruel. Meanwhile Marluxia was the opposite: While his words weren't entirely unkind, his entire persona screamed of sadism. And yet, Zexion really did seem less irritated when Marluxia was around, if a bit more on edge, and Marluxia was being so incredibly gentle…
Demyx must have been staring, because Marluxia glanced over his shoulder in a way that didn't need words for explanation. Demyx flushed and quickly averted his gaze. When he glanced back up, Marluxia had picked Zexion up bridal-style and was leaving the room. Not really sure if he should stay or follow, his curiosity begged him to follow. So he did, if awkwardly.
When he glanced into the partially open door Marluxia had entered, Demyx saw that Zexion was just as hard a sleeper as Marluxia had said. The small male had been placed on the bed sitting up, and was now leaning against Marluxia while the older man checked his wounds, still completely fast asleep. As tanned fingers traced delicately over bruised skin, Zexion twitched in his sleep, and murmured wordlessly. The concern in Marluxia's voice was apparent as he said in a low voice, "You're too secretive for your own good, Zexion…"
It was at this point Demyx got really uncomfortable. He felt like he was intruding on something that was supposed to be a really private moment, so he quickly grabbed his bag from the library and went down the stairs. After a short wait, Marluxia was coming down the stairs, pulling on a coat. "Are you ready?" Without even waiting for confirmation from Demyx, he was already out the door, and Demyx had no choice but to follow quickly or be left behind.
- - - - -
Riding in Marluxia's rather nice car was, oddly enough, a lot more uncomfortable than walking with Zexion in complete silence. Marluxia was keeping a steady stream of questions that would have made it borderline impossible for anyone to stay silent, and Myde had always been a social being. No, wait, Demyx had always been a social being. Right. As such, he found it increasingly difficult as time wore on to remember Zexion's words of warning to not say a word. Finally, he started answering Marluxia's questions if they seemed harmless enough, like whether or not he went to school with Zexion, how old he was, if he had a job, just regular things regular people asked for regular small talk. Nothing to worry about.
But then, Marluxia started wandering towards the more worrisome subjects, and still Demyx found himself talking on. Like it was impossible to keep a secret from this guy. Not that he had been particularly good at keeping secrets to begin with, but he felt like if he even tried, those piercing blue eyes would give him the most condescending stare imaginable and his own truth would be told to him by the man who had stared into his soul. At this morbidly poetic thought, a shiver ran down Demyx's spine. The questioning look Marluxia gave him unnerved him even more, until he realized there had been a question he had missed. "Er, sorry, I was spacing, what was that?"
"Do you trust Zexion?" Marluxia repeated, his voice and expression no different, no less casual, than when he had been asking Demyx's age and other mundane information. But this was a serious question. One that Demyx not only didn't want to answer, but didn't have an answer to. But Marluxia was definitely expecting something.
"Well, I mean, I don't not trust him. He's just a guy who's helping me out, that's all. Wh-why do you ask?" The sprinkles of nervous laughter amongst Demyx's words probably did nothing to help the validity of them.
A glance in his direction caused Demyx to freeze up again, even though it still looked the same as before. "You can stop pretending. He told me it was a lie, and he didn't really need to. What he didn't tell me was the truth. You might as well."
What was he supposed to do now? He was stuck in a car with an incredibly scary pink-haired man who wanted a truth he couldn't have and was probably crazy enough to get it by whatever means necessary. Demyx's lips moved but no sound came out, which was good because if it had, that sound would have been nonsensical gibberish.
Smiling in a way that was anything but pleasant, Marluxia motioned past Demyx and said, "This is your address, right?"
Turning around to look out the window quickly, Demyx realized just then that the car had stopped moving. When he saw his house, he exhaled loudly out of relief, and went to open the door. Before he could, Marluxia's voice stopped him once more.
"The next time I see you, you'll be giving me an answer." There was no question in his voice, no request. It wasn't even an order. It was just…fact. The worst of it was, Demyx knew right then and there that Marluxia was right to be so confident in his words, because if asked again he would spill it all, from the Death Note and Riku to Zexion's secret identity. "Good night, Demyx. I apologize if Zexion came off a bit…harshly. He's never been good with people."
The sudden change of subject snapped Demyx out of his strange trance, and he uttered a simple goodbye before closing the door and watching the expensive car drive out of sight. He found himself wondering vaguely what Marluxia did for a living, then realized that was a really weird thought to have at this time of night on his front lawn. He turned around and walked up his front steps, entering his house seven hours later than usual.
"Oooh, you! Myde, where iwere/i you!? You had me worried sick!" Oh yeah. Rikku. He still had to figure out what to tell Rikku.
"I…" He faltered, then settled on one of the many things Zexion had made him promise to do. "Rikku, call me Demyx from now on."
"What? That's just weird. Why would I do that?"
"Because…I don't think I can explain. Just…I love you, Rikku. I'm sorry if you get dragged into anything."
"You're not making much sense…Maybe you should get to bed. You can explain in the morning!" As she said this, Rikku led him to his room and led him to his bed like a drunkard who couldn't stand on his own two feet. She then patted him on the head and left the room with a simple good night.
His eyes downcast, the young man now known as Demyx said to no one, "No. I can't."
- - - - -
The early-morning sun filtering through the windows brought about just enough light to shine in Zexion's eyes and awake him at a time much earlier than he preferred. Already in a bad mood, he attempted to turn over, only to find himself restrained by a pair of arms wrapped languidly around him. Instead of resisting, he stayed where he was. "You're awake," he said to the rose-scented being behind him. It wasn't a question. Marluxia kept to himself while he slept.
"I never got a chance to tell you last night, with that Demyx kid hanging around…"
"What is it?"
"Larxene pulled some strings."
"You got the position?"
"I am now an official member of the Kira Task Force."
With how the two were lying, Marluxia wasn't afforded a glimpse at the sly smile that now graced Zexion's lips. But he didn't need to see it to know that Zexion had been awaiting this news for some time now.
The Queen cannot be predicted.