:) You guys are amazing!

Thank you all for your reviews! They're all wonderful, and I love hearing from you guys!

I'm sorry if I didn't respond directly to your review... I've been busy with AP classes, but this Monday through Friday I have school break, so I can take a breath and chill for a week, thank goodness!

:D And yes... that was my favorite chapter.

But... this one is good too, I think. At least, I like it.

So, as always, leave a review and let me know!!

You know you're wonderful :)

Chapter Songs: The Storm, Danny Boy (Harp)

Enjoy! :)


"Well… what else do I enjoy besides my instrument? I enjoy long walks on the beach, and every now and then I enjoy candlelit dinners."

"Yes… thank you for your time. We'll call you if there's an opening for bassoon." Leon replied politely, his cold eyes the only thing giving his disgust away freely.

"Do you know when you'll have it figured out?" The man asked, clearly hopeful and curious. Leon frowned and glanced over at the youth next to him, annoyed to see the boy clearly zoning out and hardly paying attention to the conversation going on.

"We'll have to go through each paper and look through the names… it might take a few weeks." Leon replied diplomatically. He cleared his throat and glanced over at Roxas, surreptitiously nudging him underneath the table to signal that he should say something. Looking away from the music dancing along the bassoon in the man's hands, Roxas forced himself to meet slightly hopeful eyes, the solemn notes surrounding him sounding better than the man's petty attempts at playing.

"If you worry too much about how we think you'll play, you lose the effect of the song. Just play... don't think." Roxas stated softly, looking away the moment that the man's face began to fall. It was obvious to him that the boy wasn't impressed, at all.

"Oh… right, yeah… I get it. Thanks, Mr. Strife." The guys sadly gathered up his instrument, the case, and his sheet music before he slowly walked out. Roxas hardly paid him any mind though, his eyes following the page before him and the next person that he'd have to interview and listen to. It was annoying and sad to do, in his opinion, because these people weren't trying to work for the love of music; they were just trying to get a job.

Roxas is eighteen.

By now he is a living legend. He has sold over 25 albums of music, each one going to platinum record and each one loved and adored by many. No two songs were the same, and no two albums could be said to mimic one another. He was an inspiration to the many musicians that wanted to make it big, and he was an icon to those who didn't think that they could succeed. By this time he has grown old enough to realize that his life wasn't like others and that he wasn't like others. By this time he has moved on from the hope of being cured, and he has moved on from the idea of not being alone. After a full year of loneliness he was realizing quite quickly that he truly was alone, and that no one, not even a kind hearted redhead, could truly keep him from feeling that way. Traveling with people who were out for his success, not his music was beginning to take its toll on him and it was beginning to wear down on him.

But he couldn't stop.

Stopping meant failure. Failure wasn't an option in his father's eyes.

Roxas Strife was at the age that his father deemed acceptable to begin running his own orchestra. Now, he could create symphonies that he could conduct, and run people who he wished. It was a birthday present of sorts, saying that there would be a little more freedom in his music, a little more of a chance to branch out. Now, he could not only write his own music, but he could begin to think business with pay, work hours, programs, and sponsors for his personal orchestra.

Roxas really didn't like this birthday present, of sorts.

There was no love in these musicians' hearts for music, not in the way that Roxas wanted it to be. They wanted to be able to say they worked underneath a prodigy, a boy who made music better than Beethoven. They didn't want to reach the music and they didn't care about feeling it the way it was meant to be. Glancing over at his "partner" in the interviews, Roxas frowned at the way that Leon was glaring at him.

"What?" He asked despite the fact he really didn't care what his father's lawyer thought of him. He couldn't stand the way that the man always seemed to have something against him, like he'd somehow offended him without even trying.

"You need to be a bit more personable with them if you're going to work with them." Leon snapped, shuffling his papers and nodding towards the man at the door to bring the next person in. Shrugging against the annoyance settling onto his shoulders, Roxas decided to ignore his comment and instead tried to push away the small headache building against his temples. It had been too long since he'd last played his music, and he needed to get the melody out of his head, and fast. If he didn't- Roxas shook his head. It was best not to think about that. Reaching into his suit pocket, he held the medicine bottle tightly in one hand, debating. He really wanted to take a pill and calm down, but should he? He was given enough to last the month, a pill a day, but sometimes he'd take two, three, or sometimes four to ease the pain building against him. Once again, he was almost out, and still had 10 more days until a refill was legally acceptable.

As the harmony made his teeth clench together, Roxas decided that he'd just have to suffer for the last few days. He grabbed his medicine bottle and pulled out a pill, dry swallowing it and ignoring the disapproving glance Leon gave him.

"Must you do that?" Leon asked irritably. Roxas hardly looked over at him as he willed the effects of the medicine to take over him and numb the music for a little while. It was beginning to become a bit too painful to listen to, a bit too painful to focus on while he was stuck in the middle of the interview room.

"If you'd like me to be a bit more personable… then yes, I must." He replied evenly as the doors opened and another person came in, their dark hair and strange appearance slightly surprising. She wore an unusual, black and grey dress with chains, fur, and buckles adoring it in an almost comical way if not for the dark, piercing stare her gold eyes had. Her hair was pulled up into an intricate bun save for bangs that hid some of her pale, ashen face and purple lips. Roxas looked her over for a second before he heard a solemn, dark cello breaking through the slowly fading music. The medicine was starting to kick in, thankfully, and he could feel the blessed indifference that would keep the pain at bay until he could get to an instrument of his own and play the sorrow away. Thank God for Zexion's fast acting drugs.

"Name, and instrument?" Leon asked in his politically acceptable voice he used when meeting new people. It was a slick, smooth voice that could reel people in, a voice that could seal deals and win court battles.

Roxas hated it.

"Cello." Roxas said in bored tones, leaning back in his chair to ease the tension in his back somewhat. Leon glanced disgustedly in his direction, but Roxas ignored it as he heard the music playing. As the strange, scary looking woman walked into the center of the room with knee high, black leather boots, she turned and fixed him with a raised eyebrow and interested eyes.

"Lulu, cello." She deadpanned back, voice emotionless, refusing to give away her actual interest. Roxas could hear it in the cello though, that she was slightly amused and interested that he knew that. Leon gave him an annoyed glance, but Roxas merely smirked back in reply. It wasn't anything big that he could hear the cello surrounding her like a cloak, but it really made his day sometimes to rile Leon up. The man really brought the worst out of him.

"How old are you?" The standard questions always came first.

"Twenty three."

"Do you have a personal piece to play?" Leon asked in a faux curious tone. The girl named Lulu nodded slowly before she opened the instrument case and then began pulling out her cello and bow, eyes intent and shining on the instrument in front of her with something verging interest. Roxas kept his gaze on her as she quickly and meticulously prepped the instrument, and he felt a slight tugging on the notes in the air as she swept her gaze up to meet his.

"I wrote this about a year ago." She said in that smooth, annoyed tone. Her eyebrow was raised as Roxas didn't bother to hide his blatant stare, but with a quirk of her lips she shrugged. Settling down onto the chair that had been provided by the workers there she maneuvered herself around the instrument, giving Roxas one last glance that made the notes glide along the air between them hauntingly.

"You can begin when you feel-"

She didn't wait for him to finish.

The magic had already begun.

And Roxas was immediately transfixed.

Her head dropped down the moment the bow hit the strings, eyes closing humbly as nimble, long fingers slid along the neck of the instrument. Her breathing was smooth and long, keeping everything steady and even as she played. With wide eyes, Roxas stared as a sudden twist in the music stopped the notes mid-string in his ears and then began to mold around the song that she was playing, building it up and crashing it down around him like a strong and fast riptide. Rarely, so very rarely, Roxas would be able to take something that someone else had made and find that it was malleable, changeable, stunning and clear, a musical piece that was what music should be. It was moveable, breatheable, something so tangible that he was almost sure that he could touch it if he wanted.

It was beautiful.

He couldn't say how long she played. He couldn't say how many times she almost slipped or how many times that her eyelashes fluttered emotionally against her cheeks as she slid her fingers up and down the strings and created a tone that shook the very core of the music in his head. All he could say was that when it ended, he felt spent, like it was him playing the instrument, like it was him that had played such a pretty song.

The girl, Lulu, looked up slowly when she finished, and her intriguing eyes immediately snapped to Roxas, the stare in them penetrating. There was a knowing glint in her eyes, a knowing glint that told her that he knew what she was feeling, that he had heard what she had meant to play, and that he had approved wholeheartedly, though he hadn't said so. The music had probably told her, betrayed his feelings, and whispered the truth against her ears.

He made sure to keep his face politely bored and emotionless.

Leon shifted in his seat at the end of her song, breaking the spell with his disgusting movements, and the chair squeaked. Lulu didn't even look away from Roxas as he spoke.

"Is there anything else that you enjoy apart from your musical career?" He asked blandly. He wasn't as impressed as Roxas, wasn't impressed by the way that the music was still playing along in the air, teasing Roxas and taunting him with a melody all of its own. Lulu shrugged and looked away from Roxas to pack her cello away quickly and carefully.

"Music is my passion; what else is there?" She responded in the same emotionless voice that she'd first spoken with. She finished packing up, and then turned to face Roxas who couldn't tear his eyes away from the way that though she seemed emotionless and dead to the world, her hands had reverently caressed the instrument as she put it away.

"Yes… thank you for your time. We'll call you if there's an opening for cello." Leon said to her in a businesslike tone. It was obvious that he didn't want to call her, and that he found her lacking what he wanted. Lulu nodded slowly at that, eyes fixed back on Roxas, waiting for him to speak. Clearing his throat softly, Roxas leaned forward onto his elbows without thinking.

"And… can you… make music like that often?" He asked, keeping his tone light. He wanted to know, needed to know because the hope within him was burning, attempting to rip him apart that someone had been able to make music that reached him and touched his music, taunted his music and played with it, molding it to something new…

"That took a month of nothing but hard work, but yes." Lulu replied, deadpan.

Oh.

His words dried up in his throat, a small noise issuing from his lips. Of course. Why did he always have to ask? Whenever he heard something absolutely wonderful, he had to ruin it for himself and ask, almost beg to understand where they'd found it because something within him pleaded to know, nearly fell to its hands and knees to find out if they'd found it the way he found it, to see if they could touch the music the way he could, fingers stroking the notes…

"Oh." Roxas just barely managed to say past heavy lips. He fell back against the comfy part of his chair, mildly disappointed. He couldn't be too upset though; it wasn't like there was enough hope within him to really push his spirits up. Roxas could never say why he did it to himself, but he did almost every single time. He dared himself to hope, and that was stupid. There was no way he'd really find someone who could truly understand.

There was no one in the world like him, and he knew it.

Lulu seemed to understand his sudden change in attitude. Giving a slight tilt of the head she nodded slowly to them before she left, and the room descended into silence.

Roxas numbly reached into his pocket to pull out another pill from the bottle.

He didn't feel like listening to the music, for the moment.


The days past. Roxas wasn't even sure how many days it had been since they'd started, but the line never seemed to want to end. He listened as people played music, attempted to show the devotion that he had with his life. They attempted jokes, attempted flattery, attempted to wheedle their way into his life like he actually would allow them to, and it was all in vain. It only succeeded in giving him headaches that would last the night as he attempted to sleep and chase away the haunting melodies that demanded he play.

Leon was insufferable.

"I'm telling you, this one has promise." Leon pointed to the paper where the profile of a man with slanted, gold eyes stared predatorily up at him. Roxas shook his head and sighed softly.

"He doesn't hear anything but the notes on the page." Roxas replied tiredly.

"You want someone like that. He'll listen and do exactly as you say. He has higher sights, but wants to start small. You're his ticket to the big dogs, and he's your ticket to becoming a big dog." Leon attempted to sound convincing, but his odd hatred of Roxas and everything that he was made him sound irritable and grouchy. Leaning back in the chair he'd sat in for weeks almost, Roxas shook his head.

"I want someone to search for the music beneath the black lines and designs."

They shifted through more papers and Roxas found the next man that would play. His eyes scanned through the summary of him, and Leon read the copy of the profile beside him with quick, sweeping motions of his ash gray eyes.

"Who put these together?" Roxas asked softly.

"Zexion helped me assemble some of the profiles."

"I like this one." Roxas replied, pointing at one paper emphatically. Leon gave him a skeptical, annoyed glance, but Roxas didn't look up at him. He didn't want to see the disdain show on the man's face for the people that he generally approved of. Whenever he liked someone, Leon found something about them that made them unable to hire.

Name: Demyx Ashwood

Age: 21

Instrument: Sitar, guitar, violin, cello, harp, percussion

Bio: Demyx Ashwood is a graduate of Kingdom Key University of Music and Art, his talents ranging from theater to chorus and music. Has a family of nine and each one is musically gifted in some way. Demyx stayed in marching band, jazz band, and show band throughout high school where he earned a scholarship to K.K.U.M.A after graduation of his high school. He attended from age of 18 to age of 20 where he graduated with an associate's degree in music and music theory and then began working with other musicians in Amber Hall. Very energetic and enthusiastic with work, Demyx was a well liked and respected musician. In the previous year however, Demyx was checked into The Clow, a mental institute under the diagnosis of hallucinations in the form of music. Demyx Ashwood claimed that he could quite literally see the music notes floating in the air as he played, and would often stop to stare at it. Under the work of Dr. Ienzo, Demyx was able to make a medicated recovery and was released three months ago. In societal terms, he is sane and able to function in day to day life. His musical talent was unaffected. He listens and follows directions very well, but requires some encouragement.

"The psychopath?" Leon snapped incredulously.

"He's nothing of the sort." Roxas replied, suddenly feeling the need to be defensive of the man that had caught his interest so suddenly. The words blurred before him on the page, taunting him with their jaunty, hopeful letters.

See the music notes… as he played…

If that wasn't hope, Roxas didn't know what was.

"I'm not going to let you hire some psychopathic nut to come and work for you; that sort of thing will get you in trouble in the business world." Leon chided him. Roxas set the paper down slowly and gave Leon a leveled stare, his cold eyes taking him in for the monster that he was.

"You haven't even heard him play." Roxas hissed angrily. "I bet you he's better than the rest of them together. I bet you because of what he sees, he can create things that your man-" He jabbed the profile of the predatory man, pushing it from the table, "will never be able to fathom. You look down on him, think you're better, when he's probably seen more than you'll ever see, and he'll accomplish more than you can ever hope to know."

His hands were trembling, he was so angry, and he felt sparks of music dancing along his veins. A thick, bass drum hummed in his ears, egging him on, begging for more, begging for him to act, to destroy the man that was attempting to take away his hope. Leon stared back at him, grey, dead eyes watching him, but the usual sense of anger was gone. Instead, it looked like pity was in his eyes, but only for the moment.

"Bring him in." Leon ordered quietly, looking away.

Roxas felt his heart throbbing furiously, and a numb part of him was whispering against his ear like a snake, egging on his anger, but when the door opened and a boy near his age walked in slowly, the anger fled entirely.

It was him.

It was the boy that made him hope.

He seemed odd, at first glance. He was tall and lanky, and skinnier than what Roxas had assumed he would be. The picture had given him a fuller appearance, but maybe the picture was before his time at the insane asylum? He had piercing, sea blue eyes that sought him out and fixed a sure, knowing stare on his face as he walked in and then stood on the floor before him. He walked carefully, his steps cautious as if he'd fall over at any moment. Odd, faux hawk/mullet styled dirty blonde hair stuck up on top of his head, and as if out of habit, he ran his finger through it awkwardly.

It was obvious the moment that he walked in that there was something different about him. The music became a little unsettled at first, its tones and melodies weaving around awkwardly before becoming something a little more presentable, a soothing creation that Roxas knew for a fact that Demyx could hear. His eyes seemed to shine even brighter when the music came out with an actually tangible song.

"Name?" Leon asked in the same tone as before. Roxas had to work to keep his facial expressions calm and neutral as the boy looked at Leon and then looked above their heads like there was something there that was even more fascinating than what they had to say.

"Demyx…" The boy replied in a light, amazed voice. His eyes followed the air above their heads like there was something there, and Roxas could feel that if he looked up, he'd hear the music that Demyx felt that he saw. The flute whistled beautifully above him, and he had to fight to keep himself from giving anything away.

"Age?" Leon didn't sound happy about how Demyx was behaving.

"Twenty one…" Demyx breathed out in response.

"What instrument will you play today, Mr. Ashwood?" Demyx jerked away from his daze as Leon spoke, like Leon had said something particularly offensive.

"I am not Mr. Ashwood. That's my father." He said quite seriously. Roxas had to lean back a little so that no one could see the laughter in his eyes at that.

"Alright then, Demyx…" Leon sounded disgusted, but his words seemed to appease Demyx. A small, dreamy smile took over his face, and he began staring above their heads again.

"I'll play whatever you need me to…" He replied easily. Leon gave Roxas a slightly annoyed look at that, and Roxas leaned up.

"Play the harp." Roxas asked, motioning towards the harp they'd set up for anyone who wanted to use it. Demyx looked over at it for a moment before his eyes grew a fraction wider and his smile became one of delight.

"I love harps." He whispered, walking over to it numbly and settling down slowly, pulling it back against his shoulder and keeping it steady, a surprising feat since he was so slight and the harp was so big. Roxas leaned onto the table, elbows propping him up as he watched, a critical gaze on his face as he waited.

"Ready whenever you are." Leon motioned him on with a wave of his hand. Demyx wasn't even paying attention to him though. His mind seemed to fade from reality, his eyes taking on a wondrous look as he stared at the air above them. Roxas, hardly aware what he was doing, held his breath, waiting.

He could hear the music in the air, spreading like a canvas across the expanse between them, a harp that was sultry and smooth. Could Demyx see it? Could he see the way that it was caressing his skin like a temptress? Roxas felt his lungs burning, but he couldn't open his lips to breathe again. He was waiting. Waiting to see.

Demyx played.

And it was everything he wanted it to be.

It was like Roxas heard it first in his mind, and then in the air. He knew exactly what would be played, how it would sound, the clarity that it would produce… he felt his lungs screaming, and he let out a breath he'd hardly cared that he was holding, icy blue eyes taking in everything like it was going to disappear. Demyx's face remained upwards, breathing in the beauty and then playing it, fingers skillfully stroking the strings like they were silk, charming the magic and then playing it for their ears, and their ears alone.

"Is this guy really-"

"Sh…" Roxas breathed, cutting him off as he leaned in ever more, eyes wide. He didn't care that Leon let out a snort of derision before leaning back in his chair and waiting impatiently. All that mattered, was that hope could be answered.

And boy, it was being answered.

Roxas hardly realized when it was over. He could see vague snatches of Demyx letting out a soft, satisfied breath as he stood up, the music continuing from where the boy had left it. He could hardly see as Demyx smiled and walked back towards them with his eyes wide and wondrous, filled with the same beauty that was still cascading against Roxas's ears. He could hardly hear as Leon said something or other that was probably biting and dry, and he could hardly hear Demyx's dreamy response. All he was aware of was that Demyx turned to him with knowing eyes, and he parted his dry lips to say something, anything.

This… this was hope.

"So you read the music… in the air?" He asked quietly, hating how he was having trouble keeping his voice under control. Demyx nodded dreamily, and smiled.

"And you hear the same thing I see…"

"Yes," Roxas whispered.

"How wonderful…" Demyx smiled and bowed in a strange, out there way, his eyes suddenly fastened to Roxas's face instead of the space above him. "I do hope I get in… the music around you is simply… wonderful." His head tilted a little to the side curiously, Demyx waved slowly before he turned and walked from the room without waiting for Leon to say anything else.

Roxas let out a breath he was hardly aware that he had been holding, and his hands trembled lightly in wonderment. He'd just met… someone like him. Someone that was above the others. Someone that would know him, would understand him the way that others didn't.

"You want him in the orchestra." Leon stated in his cold, businesslike tone.

"Yes," Roxas whispered.

"You know, I pity you, sometimes." Roxas jerked around at that, turning to give Leon a level stare as the man shifted through the papers to see who was next.

"I don't see why." Roxas snapped, feeling the bite in his words. He hated how Leon would say offhand things like that, like he was superior, like he was better than the people around him.

"You like him." Leon said easily.

"And that causes you to pity me, why?" A flute hissed sharply at Leon's words, and Roxas felt his hands clench into fists. Leon didn't seem to care that Roxas was angry though; he fixed his ash grey eyes on his client and cleared his throat, lips pursed.

"You want him in the orchestra to make yourself feel a little bit closer to sanity. You find comfort in the fact that you're not the craziest one out there." Leon replied calmly.

"That has nothing to do with it and you know it." Roxas hissed. Leon didn't seem to care that he'd once again riled up his client. He merely shrugged and motioned for the security to let the next person in.

"Insanity likes company, I suppose." Leon informed him blandly.


"Is this the last person?" Roxas asked tiredly. They'd been scanning people for weeks, and he was worn out. He didn't like listening to people play poorly, and he didn't like listening to people who wanted in for the wrong reasons. Roxas was tired, and his music was beginning to become unbearable with the way it kept correcting everyone's mistakes and trying to make him play it until he felt like his fingers might bleed.

Worst yet, he was out of medicine.

"Yes. This is the last profile. We shouldn't even take him since he put it in last minute, the day after the resumes were due-"

"I don't mind, as long as it's the last one." Roxas replied wearily. His tone was aggravated enough that Leon didn't argue with him, and for that he was a little grateful. He was sure that Leon was just as tired of him as he was of Leon, and it was like an unspoken truce was between them. The faster they worked, they less they had to see of each other. Why it wasn't his father working with him on the orchestra, Roxas would never know, but since he was stuck with Leon, he figured he'd try to make it as easy on himself as possible. Leon had come to that conclusion as well.

"And you already have most of the chairs filled, am I right?" Leon asked, rubbing his face tiredly.

"Most of them, yes. I have to narrow them down to what chair they'll have, and I need to pick one more violinist."

"This says that this man is a violinist and a novice piano player." Leon set the profile down and motioned for the security guard to open the door and let him in, leaning back in his chair and taking a sip of his water. Shrugging uncaringly, Roxas let his light blue eyes wander around the room before he idly picked up his glass of water and took a sip, eyes on the door.

He then almost spilled his water all over himself as a very familiar man walked into the room.

Not a lot had changed in a year. He was still tall and thin with broad shoulders and pale, ivory skin. His shock of red hair was spiked up and flashed around him like wildfire, and the set of strange tattoos still stood out against his skin sharply. He still walked like he was very much in control but at ease with the world, and his long, elegant fingers gripped a violin case easily. The most familiar thing about him would have to have been his eyes though.

The moment they met his, they set his world ablaze.

The music shuddered to a halt, the notes cutting off like someone had turned the volume off completely. It was like he'd been slapped in the face, the shock registering through him like electricity and leaving him dazed and a little confused.

Could it really be him…?

Axel…

"Name?" Leon asked, bored.

"Axel…" Roxas breathed, hardly realizing what he was saying. Leon gave him a slightly annoyed, curious glance at that, but Roxas didn't look back at him. He was too focused on the way that he couldn't look away from the man in front of them.

"Axel Sinclair." The red head said, his eyes locked with Roxas's. The violin was surrounding Roxas, bathing him in that strange, warm glow that spread from his veins to his heart, cloaking him in that tempting, close heat.

"And how old are you?"

"I'm twenty two." He said easily, his calm, low voice husky as he kept his gaze fastened to Roxas's face. He seemed to be drinking him in, and it was almost as if Roxas could feel the cold December air once more as they walked around the park, basking in the pain that they felt in the music. He could almost taste the coffee on his lips as he licked them, hardly registering that they'd gone dry.

He'd found him. He'd found the violinist.

Or rather… the violinist had found him.

"And will you be playing a personal piece or something from another composer?" Leon asked impatiently. He obviously wasn't impressed with what he was seeing, so far.

"It's a personal piece." Axel only broke away from his staring contest with Roxas in order to pull out his violin, his eyes downcast as he carefully pulled out an impeccably made violin, the dark washed coloration showing its antiquity, but the smooth, glossy finish showing how well its master had taken care of it.

"You can begin when you like." Leon informed him tonelessly.

Without responding, Axel placed the violin against his chin and his eyes fluttered closed as he set the bow against the strings and took a deep, even breath.

And then he made magic.

The violin was soft at first, like a hesitance that made all other noise disappear. No music played around Roxas as Axel teased the music from the instrument, his face calm and serene as his arm instinctively arced back and forth in a steady, even rhythm. He didn't seem too hurried, and he didn't seem too slow. It was the perfect cadence, the perfect motions, and the perfect music.

And then, the music erupted.

It crashed around Roxas like a wave, surrounding him and drowning him with its noise as Axel played on and on, unknowing of what he'd just done with his solemn tune, unknowing of the harmonies he'd just created, the melodies that he'd played up as his skilled fingers paid homage to each and every note they could find. It wasn't pain that suffocated Roxas though; it was beauty. An entire orchestra was playing in his head, surrounding the violin and cradling it like it was a relic, giving it a heady undertone and making it sound grander that it already was. From Axel's melody alone, Roxas already had the first song of the orchestra well underway.

"… No one deserves to be alone…"

The violin build up and then laid down, following the trick of the bow as Axel worked the fine hairs along the strings and tilted his head just so to pick up the right sounds from the wood.

"Your music… is painful…"

Leon stirred next to him, restless, and Roxas let out a hiss as the chair's squeaking disrupted the painting surrounding him. Axel didn't seem to notice it though, and his music carried on, a mournful song that made Roxas's heart burn. Did he mean for it to be?

"Well then… Mr. Roxas Strife…"

The song was ending. Roxas could hear it in the way that the other instruments were beginning to fade out, letting the violin have its last say, the notes dancing along the air and embracing him like they were real. He could feel it in the way that he could remember the soft brush of lips against his, and the brightness of the mistletoe as he swung above his head.

Slowly and hauntingly, the song ended.

Axel's eyes opened slowly and they seemed glazed over, like he wasn't sure exactly where he was. When Leon coughed though, he jerked his head up and his easy smile crossed his face as he calmly began to put the violin away, fingers brushing the wood lovingly as he set it in the case and then clasped it shut.

"Well then, Mr. Sinclair…" Leon cleared his throat again and then looked up with his dead, emotionless eyes.

"I call it, The Storm." Axel said simply.

"I can see why you-"

"He's hired." Roxas said softly, smoothly cutting Leon off. Leon jerked around to look at Roxas like he was stupid, but Roxas wasn't looking at him. His light blue eyes were glued to Axel's face as he felt his lips part once more and sound come out.

"He's hired. First chair, violinist."

There was a stunned silence at that, Axel's eyes widening a fraction before he let a small, open smile grace his face. Leon shifted restlessly beside him at his words, but Roxas ignored him to lean forward and place his elbows on the table, the subtle violin playing on in his head as he continued to stare at the person that made the music come alive and breathe right against his skin.

"When can you start?" He asked persistently. Axel raised an eyebrow, running a hand through his hair as he shrugged and shook his head.

"I'll work whenever you want me to, sir."

"Tomorrow. We start work tomorrow."


Hit or miss? Let me know in a review!

I think the ending part is a little rushed... I don't know. That's what it feels like, at least.

How will I know?

You let me know, of course!

:D

So... I know, way to make Demyx sound insane... but I thought, hey... I can use this. Since he's a music guy, you know? I had to include him somehow, and that idea just popped into my head during Drill Team practice. Make sense? No. But still. And I love Axel. I don't know why, but I do.

I'll try to update soon!