Title: Capturing Emeralds
Author: Trilies
Genre: Angst, romance
Word length: 1054
Sypnosis: Not all of the apprentices agreed.
Rating: PG-13
Yaoi/Yuri/Pairings: Xehanort/Elaeus, hint of Elaeus/Aerith

Disclaimer: This is for fun, not profit, and none of the characters below belong to me. (8

Notes: This, along with a bunch of other things, was done for May of 2009, and posted up on LJ. This is the first time I'm putting it all up on FFnet. Every single story was written in a day and without much editing. ^^; Thus, if my characterization is wonky or I misspelled something, feel free to offer some concrit!


"I'm leaving the project, Xehanort."

The deep voice rumbles throughout the laboratory, louder than it normally is. The man who has just spoken is a good head or so taller than most others, and strawberry blond hair curls around his face, framing it. His eyes are blue and piercing, heavy with the strength of his stoic anger. He is an intimidating figure, with muscles that one would not normally expect from some one of his occupation, a mere scientist. All in all, he forms an impressive, intimidating figure... Yet the subject of his anger does not seem to notice.

The silver-haired man only hums lightly to himself, seemingly oblivious to his companion. There's a light scratching noise in the air as he writes down notes, peering over the edge of his notebook to stare at the large glass box in front of him. A squirming sort of darkness shifts and twists inside the confines, and every few seconds, a pair of ominous golden eyes peer out at them in the dimness of the lab.

A wave of sickness rolls in the taller man's stomach, but he keeps it back. "Xehanort. Did you not-"

"Don't be so ridiculous, Aeleus." Xehanort interrupts him lazily, partially turning to him. His golden cats eyes rake up Aeleus' body, making the other feel suddenly uncomfortable. "What reason would you have to leave? The experiment is going perfectly."

"What reason!?" The words long to be snarled from his lips, carrying all the rage and disbelief which storms the inside of his chest. Instead, they simply come out as low and soft as always, and Aeleus feels his fists clench at his sides. By a miracle and nothing less, he manages to keep his calm. "Xehanort, we are toying with lives! We are sacrificing innocents, now, to feed our own selfish gain for knowledge! When I became an apprentice of Master Ansem, I did not do so just so I could perform atrocities such as this-"

"Master Ansem is no longer here."

The statement is said so suddenly, so casually, Aeleus jerks back for a moment, confused. Then, as the words finally dig through- "What did you do?" Silence, and the other apprentice just smiles at him, dark lips curved in a way that doesn't seem natural. Something suddenly burrows into Aeleus' heart, and before he knows it, he's suddenly in front of Xehanort, slamming his hands onto the desk behind him, on both sides. "Xehanort! What. Did. You. Do?"

If he's alarmed, Xehanort doesn't show it. Instead, still as calm as always, he places the notebook to the side, staring right into Elaeus' eyes. "So. You said you wanted to leave the project, Aeleus?" Slightly, he smiles, as if enjoying an inside joke.

With a pit forming in his stomach, Aeleus nods. "Yes. I refuse to associate with such monstrous acts any longer."

"Oh, what a hero you are, my dear Aeleus..." Slowly, one of Xehanort's tanned hands reaches up, fingers curling around the other apprentice's strong chin. "Still, I wonder... Would your dear Aerith still view you the same if she learned of what you've helped accomplish?" Aeleus freezes, his very soul laid bare on his face. Glittering sadistically, Xehanort's eyes narrow while his lips still smile. A madness-tinted chuckle tumbles from his mouth. "Ah, and what a fine test subject she'd make for this then, hm?"

"DON'T YOU DARE TOUCH HER!" His own enraged voice tears away what little calm he possessed in a landslide, and Aeleus looms over Xehanort, shaking in fury and fear. Images flash through his mind, of a beautiful girl with tumbling long brown locks of hair and soft green eyes, always smelling of flowers, always smiling no matter the circumstances-

Xehanort's hand slips down from his chin and to his shoulder, patting it in a mockingly reassuring way. "Don't worry, Aeleus," he murmurs, slipping his fingers down to the dark purple of Aeleus' vest. "Your... lover will remain safe." The word is almost hissed out, laden with venom. "Leave, if it's truly what you want."

Bewildered, Aeleus can only blink for a moment, and he stares at Xehanort, uncomprehending. When the darker-skinned apprentice suddenly leans forwards, tilting his head to the side so that their lips can meet, Aeleus jerks away- "But Ienzo and the others will stay with me." Blood turns to ice. Aeleus suddenly can't make himself move, and just stares into Xehanort's eyes. The other smiles almost cruelly, and doesn't make a move away, so their lips remain uncomfortably close. "Surely you did not expect them to accompany you in your selfish abandonment, did you, Aeleus? This is the scientific discovery of the century; Even will not leave it for anything. And Ienzo is quite loyal to all of this... I doubt Braig would leave them behind, so neither would Dilan. And dealing with the Darkness without you to watch over them... Well, it shall be dangerous, but we'll prevail. As Braig has already demonstrated, what are a few injuries here and there...?"

All the walls he's prepared, all the verbal weapons, his very will, seeps out of Aeleus. Wide eyed, he stares at Xehanort in something akin to horror. But they... The others are... They don't deserve- "Xehanort," he whispers, his voice hoarse for no reason he can think of. "They're your friends."

"And they're yours, too." Xehanort's fingers curl into Aeleus' vest and he presses up against the other man, who doesn't have the strength to resist. Disconcertingly gentle, he places a soft kiss on the corner of Aeleus' mouth. While Aeleus squeezes his eyes shut, practically slumping against him with only his grip on the desk keeping him up, Xehanort continues to whisper. "We'll become something better, Aeleus, don't worry, we'll do great, great things... Yet we can't do it without you, without our dear savior who never says a word in protest... Stay, Aeleus, stay and watch and protect or else who knows..." The soft flutter of lips lands on Aeleus' eyelid this time, and he winces. "What could happen...."

Slowly, Aeleus opens his eyes, heart heavy with something that feels like defeat and responsibility all in one. Wearily, he stares at Xehanort, who only smiles that odd smile of his. "Oh, Aeleus," he breathes, and presses closer against the one whose heartstrings he's tugged like an expert violinist. "Our poor, dear silent hero..."

And he seals it all with a kiss.