Disclaimer: I own nothing to do with Kingdom Hearts, not the people, not the places,etc..... they all belong to Square and Disney and I hope they do something really great with them in the upcoming games!!

This is the first time I have ventured putting up a first chapter, without having finished the story. Might be a big mistake. Please review though and maybe it'll spur me on with the storyline.


In The Beginning: When Axel Met Demyx

As Axel slowly trudged back home through gloomy streets, peopled by inarticulate grey Nobodies, he wished, not for the first time, that he had never joined the stupid Organization, he wished that he had had any other realistic choice. Sometimes, like today, he wondered if just fading into the ether wasn't a better alternative. He was bored, and tired of having to live with a crowd of people he didn't much like, and who didn't much like each other. They didn't even really have a common goal, just an amorphous connection to each other, based on their singular anatomy, and the fact that they could still pass for human, some more than others, he thought wryly, but all quite different from these grey shapes that roamed the streets down here.

Organization XIII, but usually more like Organization X or XI, depending on who had been killed, turned into a dusk, or disappeared, usually to be hunted down and then turned into a dusk, or killed, which ever satisfied the Superior's current mood. Everyone kept the number they were assigned when they joined, a bit like having a position on a soccer team. He had joined just after the current numbers X, XI and XII, and had filled the recently vacated, (he hadn't even asked how), number VIII slot. After his job today, he knew IX now needed replacing, and XIII was only notable for the fact that there actually wasn't one. Really kind of an Organization XII at best! Xemnas kept telling them, interminably, that XIII would join them shortly, and a place must be kept available for him, a unique Nobody with the power to wield something called the Keyblade, which would deliver them Kingdom Hearts.

Axel wasn't interested in Kingdom Hearts, to be honest, the whole 'power over the kingdoms of light and dark and all those who lived within them concept' was another thing that bored him solid, he just wanted one little heart for himself, and as long as that card was still on the table, he knew he would probably stick with their megalomaniac Superior, however ridiculous he came across, and whatever stupidly pointless mission he was sent on. Like today's wholly pointless trip to check for his paranoid boss, who trusted no-one except maybe, Saix, that number IV had honestly changed the recently departed number IX into a dusk, accidentally, during the course of one of his experiments. Note to self, NEVER volunteer for an experiment, avoid Vexen like the plague that he was. Got it memorized, Axel baby?

As he neared their extremely inconvenient residence, with the beginnings of an enormous heart, Kingdom Hearts, taking shape in the void overhead, he noticed that the conversationless grey beings seemed more than usually agitated. An explanation was not long in coming, as they parted to reveal a pink-haired, young man walking towards him down the slope.

You really OUGHT to be forgiven for thinking Marluxia was gay, thought Axel, knowing that Marluxia would NEVER forgive anyone for that. Even for someone without a heart, he was the coldest, most dispassionate bastard of a killer that Axel had ever met. Not that he'd had much experience of killing, at all, until the Organization, but this guy could stab you in the back whilst smiling to your face.

"Axel," he purred, as he drew level, "well met, my friend. The big boys were beginning to wonder if you were coming back at all!"

"Well, they should try looking for a one particular goddamn dusk, in a city crammed to the rafters with goddamn identical ones, none of whom, in case they hadn't noticed, have the power of verbal communication!" replied an extremely ticked off Axel, aware he had been sent on this mission since he was the Organization's most recent addition, and therefore, whipping-boy, at least until they replaced number IX – and then he'd wipe that smug look off Marluxia's face.

"I'm sure it was an extremely arduous task for you, but important events have occurred in your absence, and everyone is in the Meeting Hall, and quite anxious for your news, I'm sure!" said Marluxia with a half-smile, (or was it a sneer, Axel couldn't decide), on his lips that indicated that whatever Axel had to say was of absolutely no importance whatsoever.

"I presume you found our erstwhile companion," he tittered finding something amusing about it all, "well of course you must have, or you really wouldn't have been able to come back, now would you?"

Did the guy have to camp it up to provoke people? Axel called on all of his willpower, to resist punching the pink poodle's lights out. He dug his hands into the pockets of his robe, and merely mumbled, "You can tell them I'm on my way, just need to stop in at the little boys' room," and throw up, he thought to himself.

Nixone's days had already been numbered, after a run in with Marluxia the previous week, and now Axel wondered if the experiment had really been an accident, or whether the number XI had found a way of dealing with the issue without dirtying his own hands.

He made a quick stop by his room to change his robe which was soaked at the hem, the extra weight making him hunch more than usual. When he arrived at the Meeting Hall, by far the most grandiose room in their convoluted palace, he was more than a little surprised to see all the seats, all thirteen seats – bar his own, were occupied.

"About time, Axel," intoned Xemnas, in his best Superior voice. "Since you are now here I am presuming that you tied up our loose end, so to speak, and the matter can now be laid to rest," he allowed himself a small smile. "As you can probably see, we too, have had an eventful day! Let me introduce you to our two latest members, who finally complete our little family!"

Axel, already sickened by Marluxia, was now feeling an even more urgent need to throw up, and was only prevented from it by the realisation, that it would probably induce a barf-fest, judging by the looks on most of the other faces. Larxene, in particular, had gone a shade of green that made her hair look even more bottle-blonde than usual, and definitely made her look more like the insect that she was.

"On your right, and taking the new number nine seat, is Demyx," he said, airily indicating the ash-blond mullet with sea-green eyes, now emerging from under his hood, and making Axel forget all about his previous desire to chuck up. The genuine beam, that emanated from the young man's face, made Axel wonder if there hadn't been a mistake somewhere – this guy had to have a heart!

"Demyx, has power over water," he continued, after what he considered to be a suitably dramatic pause.

"Great, a drip!" muttered Marluxia under his breath, Xigbar, who was officially the Organization's number II, and a founder member, was less circumspect about who heard him.

"Still wet behind the ears are you, boy!" he laughed, creasing up at his own joke, and nearly slipping a long way down off his seat.

Axel, expecting the normal rude response that Xigbar's utterances provoked, turned to his right at the silence, and noticed that the comment had wiped the smile off the blond's face. Now, he looked genuinely hurt. Two things occurred to Axel simultaneously, first, that there was definitely no way that this Demyx had a big empty space in his chest like the rest of them, and second, that he wasn't going to last here two minutes without someone to look after him, a thought, which Axel realised was making him feel pleasantly warm.

He smiled his broadest at his neighbour and said, loud enough for Xig to hear, even over his guffaws, "Take no notice of the Cyclops over there, he's just a number 2," and he wiggled his backside suggestively in his seat, indicating what kind of a number 2, he meant.

He was rewarded for his effort, by another beam from the blond, and a "Shut up, you psychotic moron!" from the dark-haired man with the eyepatch.

"Moving on," boomed Xemnas, unwilling to see this, as so many meetings, degenerate into insult trading before he had got to his big news. "On my left, in seat Thirteen," he said emphasising the word heavily, "I want you all to welcome" – again the emphasis – "Roxas, wielder of the Keyblade, and our key to Kingdom Hearts!" he finished dramatically, and with a very self-satisfied smile on his face.

A very small, very young sandy blond, with piercing blue eyes, let his hood down to his shoulders, looking a little apprehensive after Demyx's introduction.

"Oh, for god's sake, Xemnas," bellowed a usually quiet and introspective Lexaeus, voicing what most of them were thinking, "what next? Look's more like you're planning to open a kindergarten than Kingdom Hearts!"

The blond was now shaded a bright, but not very flattering tomato colour, and Xemnas, by contrast had a face like thunder. "Silence! The Keyblade chooses its bearer, not the other way round! If the Keyblade has chosen Roxas it is because he has qualities and abilities that you all obviously lack, or it would have chosen one of you! I will hear no more on the subject, be very mindful of that, or you will be the first to feel what the Keyblade, and its wielder are capable of! Saix," he turned to his effective deputy, "I will escort our new arrivals to their rooms, you can deal with any other business and close this meeting!" and Xemnas opened portals in front of the three of them, and indicated that the rookies should move forward into theirs as he was doing.

Axel caught Demyx's eye before he disappeared. "I'm in room 8, if you feel like company later!"

Once they had left, the meeting degenerated into the usual free-for-all. Xigbar was still furious with an Axel, who, relishing his new status, no longer the newbie, was joyfully flinging more and more colourful insults across the room at him. Lexaeus and Zexion were having a heated debate on the merits of ever younger blood in the Organization, Marluxia was making improper suggestions to Larxene, which, for once, appeared to be well received, Luxord was snoring, pissed as usual, Xaldin was trying to get comfortable with a men's magazine he had pulled from under his seat cushion, Vexen was drawing diagrams and formulae on a pad, oblivious to everything and everyone around him, and Saix was looking very bored with them all. It was patently obvious that no more business would be done that day but he felt a duty to his hero and Superior to keep the aggravating bunch contained in the hall, at least until Xemnas had settled the newbies into their rooms.

After checking his watch for the thirtieth or fortieth time, and feeling that enough time had passed, Saix yelled "Cut! Meeting over! Get the hell out of here, and take any rubbish you brought in with you!" he added, as he saw Xaldin pushing his magazine back under his cushion.

Axel decided to portal quickly, Xig was not in a good mood, and whilst he wouldn't have tried to actually shoot Axel in the Meeting Hall, a corridor was another matter. He thought he might have to portal a lot for the next day or so. At least their rooms were as sacrosanct as the Hall. Meals, however, might be more of a problem, especially if Xemnas didn't attend, which he often didn't these days, preferring to dine in Saix's buttkissing company, alone. That was usually OK, kept them out of everyones' hair, and they had the fun of watching Larxene's face at the collective noises several men could make during and after eating! He had to smile, as he landed conveniently on his bed.

Once on safe ground, he grabbed for a towel, and to take a much needed shower. He could easily miss a meal or two if he had to. It wasn't if any of them actually had to eat to survive, it was just a very tactile pleasure, as opposed to the emotional ones they couldn't do anymore, and not one he'd give up unless absolutely necessary!

He had just moved his weary body off the bed and in the direction of his ensuite when he heard a knock at the door. Who knocked? They screamed, they yelled, they vainly threatened to portal, and in the case of Vexen, occasionally just walked in thinking they were somewhere else, but no-one knocked.

"Yeah?" yelled Axel, "Who is it?" Even Xig wasn't dumb enough to think he'd get invited in.

"Uh, Axel? That is your name isn't it? Axel?" a rather gentle sounding voice enquired, "We, that is, Roxas and me, Demyx, wondered if we could take you up on your offer of a bit of company, only we're not too sure what we're supposed to be doing exactly!"

Join the club, thought Axel, but out loud he sounded much more the old hand, well, old new hand!

"Just give me five minutes to shower and then I'm all yours," he said, getting that weird, warm tingly feeling, which technically he couldn't feel, again at the thought of seeing Demyx.

"OK, we'll just wait in Roxas's room, it's closest."

"Don't be idiots," Axel yelled through the wood. "Come in and wait here, I'm just going to shower!"

They walked in to a sight they didn't expect, a firm cute butt with a dolphin tattoo, and a similarly decorated shoulder disappearing round the door to his bathroom.

"Hope he's got more on, on the way back," said a tomato-coloured Roxas, unused to this lack of inhibition, "Oh, I don't know," grinned Demyx, "he might have more dolphins!"

"EEUUW!" said Roxas, "that's so wrong, somehow!"

"So you don't think he's absolutely gorgeous then, or you don't like dophins?" asked Demyx, not quite loud enough to be heard over the shower next door.

"No, Demyx, dolphins are fine, but I kind of like girls. Well, I like A girl. Problem is, I can picture her, I know that I know her, I would do anything for her, but I don't think I've ever met her, and I don't know, or at least, I don't remember, her name."

"That's odd," admitted Demyx. "Strange... I think I only liked girls before, but Axel... the minute I saw him something just went 'Bing!'

"Let's look at the wardrobe," Roxas suggested, "I just heard the shower go off!"

"Hell, he's only got the same bits as us Roxas, and I don't think they're that bothered about that kind of thing here! Not quite sure where that weirdo, sick looking female fits in, but for the most part I think this is just all guys together! Like at camp!"

"Demyx, I've only just turned 15, I think! I don't think I've ever been to camp, I've never seen anyone else's bits, and I really don't want today to be the day!" whispered Roxas, insistently.

Axel had caught the last sentence, and smiled to himself, wickedly, as he briskly towelled off, causing little sparks to flutter over his skin. His better self came through though, for once, the kids in the other room had had enough frights for one day, and he wrapped the long bright green towel round his waist, still revealing another dolphin on his right calf.

"Hey, you two, I'm truly honoured, thought you might have had enough of us all after that meeting!" Axel greeted them, silently noting that they would definitely have had enough had they stayed a moment longer!

"I'm sure that everyone's really nice once you get to know them!" beamed the blond who, barring his Nobody scent which, up close, was now obvious to Axel, was far too nice to be devoid of a heart.

The younger blond didn't look quite so convinced, but smiled anyway at Demyx's infectious grin.

"Don't let me be the one to disabuse you of that opinion! They'll all do it themselves in their own time! But seriously, there are a couple you really want to watch out for, trust me, this is NOT camp! First of all, don't even look at the female unless you're ready to get torn to shreds – literally – by her! She's vicious. And the one that resembles a pink poodle – the same, doubled. The others are pretty much all mouth and no trousers, but don't turn your back on the blond goatee when he's drunk, it's not just what he might do, but the fact that he can manipulate time to ensure you won't remember a thing!"

He could see he had their attention from the looks on their faces, and carried on imparting the useful stuff he wished he'd known straight off, before they had to go to dinner.

"Oh, and never tell Saix anything that you don't want Xemnas to know, immediately. On the other hand, if you want Saix to disappear for a while, tell him you have something to confide which he must not tell Xemnas!" he smiled, amused at the look of rapt attention on their faces, and the number of times he had used that particular ruse to good effect.

"Last, but definitely not least," said Axel, remembering the fate of the previous number nine, and really not willing to see the same happen to this new and attractive model, "NEVER agree to any of Vexen's experiments! Got it memorised?"

Both young blonds were sitting on the bed, eyes and mouths wide open, and heightened colour on their faces. Axel, thought his information had been useful, but not that stunning. Then he realised that whilst he had been talking he had unconsciously finished towelling off, and begun getting dressed.

"Well, I hope you caught the info as well," he chuckled, "I don't do repeat performances! Oh, and that's another thing...Roxas, isn't it?...you'll have to get used to the fact that we are all rather inconsiderate of others, no heart so no feelings, well at least not the of the more refined kind!"

Demyx was the first to recover his equanimity.

"Xemnas mentioned how we wouldn't feel the same now, but I kind of do!" noting to himself, that he had never felt quite that way about a girl, but neither had he ever seen one naked.

"What you think you're feeling are just trace emotions from before. You're new, in time they'll fade, become just a memory of a trace of a feeling. It's gradual and you don't really notice it, you just kind of adjust."

"So, how come you're being so nice to us, then?" queried a now more comfortable, Roxas.

"Ah, I'm fairly new too. I still remember a bit, and to be honest, it gets a bit lonely and boring stuck here with that load of weirdos for your only company. You'll realise it soon enough for yourselves, probably by the end of dinner! Talking of which, we'd better get down to the dining room. Xemnas will probably be in attendance tonight, in honour of your arrival, which should guarantee that things won't degenerate too much, but normally, don't expect much in the way of table manners. And if you want to ensure you get something you like, hopefully, uncontaminated by any of the others, make sure you get down early! Got it memorised?"

"Axel," Demyx asked, a bit shyly, "Is there no one here you have a good word for?"

"Er," replied Axel, a bit surprised by the question, "How about no! Until you came today, I actually thought that I was the only vaguely sane Nobody. Of course," he teased, grinning "that may still prove to be the case!"

They all smiled together at that, and if any of them had had real feelings, they would have sworn they were enjoying themselves.

By now Axel was fully dressed, "Oh yeah, and another thing you should know, you don't need to wear your uniform, except on duty or at meeting, or if you get called to see Xemnas! In fact, unless you want to be thought of as a buttkisser like Saix, I'd get them off right away!"

"Problem there," said Roxas. "This is literally all I have to wear, except what I came in, which really doesn't look too good, since it was mainly white and got rather soiled on the way. Xemnas told me to leave everything when he came for me, didn't even give me a chance to go home and say goodbye!"

"Same," said Demyx, "that Saix guy told me this new robe would be all I'd ever need now. Made me change before we portalled!"

"Conniving bastards! Well, we are not going to let them get away with it. There must be something in my wardrobe that'll fit you, even if the colours are completely wrong for blonds, but there's no way you are going into dinner dressed like that, especially after what you've just told me!"

After a brief rummage he threw them some jeans and T-shirts, and then looked at them expectantly.

"Er.." Roxas began, "is there anyw.."

"Sorry, LADIES," grinned Axel, "I did mention that we don't bother to stand on ceremony, but you can use my bathroom if you want. I'd go and stand in the corridor, but there is a very real chance that Xigbar might shoot me, so I'd rather portal directly into Xemnas presence from here. You should know, your room is sacrosanct, so is the Meeting Hall and any location the Superior is in, well unless you want to die in a hurry, but all other areas are fair game and right now he's pretty mad at me."

"You kill each other?" Demyx looked horrified.

"Kill, maim, turn into lesser nobodies, yeah pretty much," ruminated Axel, unpeturbed by it all these days, except when he was a target.

"Xemnas, told us we were here to kill the Heartless, to change the future for the better of everyone! To reclaim our hearts! He said nothing about killing people!" Roxas added, very perturbed as he returned from the bathroom, where he had been listening, in Axel's overlong jeans, and too tight T.

"Well, he was partly telling the truth," Ax noted, as Demyx took Roxas's place in the bathroom, "he just missed out a lot of the little details, like where the hearts come from, how Kingdom Hearts is formed, and that Nobodies technically are not people, etc. No doubt he's waiting until you are a little more acclimatized to our way of life!" said Axel, still a little hazy on the detail himself, and not wholly willing to think about it, in case he had to admit that he wasn't entirely comfortable with it himself.

"But, hey, don't worry, there's only a few who are maniacal enough to actually try and kill one of us, and I can't see you deliberately winding any of them up. Xig will give up in a day or so, he's way too lazy to keep up a vendetta, and he's got the memory of a retarded goldfish!" concluded Axel, as Demyx came back in.

Somewhat surprised, he noted that Demyx's hairstyle was apparently deliberate, having been regelled back in place, and found himself wondering if his first assessment of Demyx's sanity had been correct, but after a quick mental tryout of various other styles on the blond youth, decided that it actually rather suited him. "At least he fits into the clothes better than Roxas," thought Axel, "in fact, he looks better in them than I do. OMG but he's gorgeous!" and before his staring became embarrassing for them both he turned to Roxas and asked, "Did Xemnas show you how to portal? He forgot to show me and I spent a week wandering the corridors, trying to find rooms which have no other access!"

"Yeah, he mentioned your story when he showed us!" laughed Roxas, not adding that Xemnas had referred to Axel as a complete moron in the telling of it.

"Well, if you're ready guys...Dinner awaits, and since we are a tad late, I strongly suggest you check your plates before you eat, with his Mightiness there it's unlikely anyone will have tried anything, but you never know!" and with that he portalled, the two newbies right behind.