Author's Note: Written for the LexZex Club contest on DA. Written in about five to ten minutes, seriously. The first person to note me the title of the book the quotation Zexion makes at the end of the fic gets a free request thing because I need more of a damn drive to write.

On that note, two and a half pages of the next chapter of 'When The Gods Aren't Watching' has been written, just not typed up...

Enjoy what my lovely mind comes up with!

Ienzo had always been distant, keeping himself apart from the others in every way possible until he became almost unreachable it seemed. It was a perfectly normal defense mechanism - what isn't close can't hurt you, after all. But he was never truly happy.

Books cannot give you a hug or words of true, heartfelt reassurance.

Of course, 'heartfelt' meant as little to Zexion as it had to Ienzo.

But the Nobody of the young scientist wished, as his Somebody hadn't, that he had taken the chance to feel it. Feel.

Before it was too late.

No use crying over spilt milk, they say, but Zexion was long sick of long rotten sayings and quotations.

He wanted answers.

Wanted them with every scrap of remembered emotion he had left. And as the skin finally broke over his knuckles and red essence from still veins smeared the white stone realisation dawned upon him in a wave that forced him to his knees.

Forehead pressed against the cool, blood moistened wall, he shook and panted, eyes wide and vision blurry.

Be careful what you wish for.

You just might get it.

Ienzo had wanted to find the heart's secrets, as the other Apprentices had. Not thinking a moment of the consequences...What could happen?

Pain. Or the memory of, at least.

Pain both physical and mental. Tearing through every inch of his body as the Darkness had swallowed them and spat out husks like fish bones.

The answers he wanted so badly now...Would he get them...Only to be plagued by something anew?

He didn't know.

A hand, solitary, on his shoulder broke the concentration and the long suppressed urge to scream surfaced and a heart rendering (or indeed, it would have been had anything with a heart been there to hear it) wail cut through the suffocating silence of the castle.

Lexaeus stood quiet and firm as the walls around them as the younger male's voice finally broke, staccatos of breath and disjointed words and pleas.

Help me...

Strong arms lifted him from the floor, closeness Ienzo would have never allowed...

Stuff Ienzo. Zexion would not be twice the fool he had been...He had long learned that the closeness of a kindred spirit made that chasm in his chest seem smaller...Or at the very least, easier to accept.

A burden shared is easily beared.

Blue eyes looked up at the visage of the man carrying him, analytical as always.

"Lexaeus...I am not a child."

"No, but you are as precious as one."

The look he was give with that remark silenced his protests and the illusionist resigned himself to relax against his chest, breathing in the scent of fresh soil, such a lifelike scent...

No. No more.

"We...Are the dead."

Lexaeus looked sharply at the other Nobody when he heard those words. The weight of them stopped his steady footfalls.


The only answer was a soft, almost maniacal chuckle.

He shook his head and resumed the pace.

Bah, they had already lost their hearts, why not their minds too?

Post Script: Remember! PM me the title of the book that quote's from and I'll write you a thing!