Disclaimer: Nooooot mine. But I totally just bought a PSP just so I can play Birth By Sleep. And then a few connector cables so I can hook it up to a big screen and all my roomies can watch.
Author's Notes: Here's the final chapter! I'd apologize for it being late (or at least, for it taking me so long), but it's also a HUGE chapter. Maybe I should apologize for that instead….
Dedications: Evil-Pixie-Dust. BECAUSE I LOVE YOU, BABE! CAPSLOCK IS FUN! To Dualism, because you make me smile. To EVERYONE WHO'S EVER READ THIS OR REVIEWED IT! Thank you for taking the time to do so! I'm glad that I can write something that you enjoy (hopefully).
Now for the end of all things….
There are no words for how terrible this morning has been.
After my revelation of earlier, I was unable to get back to sleep, and so I have spent my time trying to … reorganize my memories, if you will. They are jumbled and tangled, overlaying events that have happened in this life with ones that happened similarly in the last one, and vice versa. The sheer mass of the knowledge I now hold is almost nauseating at times, and I can barely move for fear of vertigo.
One mind is no place for two people.
And we are two people. Almost three, if you factor in The Cloaked Schemer's memories of Ienzo. We are not the same, and yet we are, and I am so very confused and conflicted. I have not seen Demyx, nor heard from Axel and Roxas in a few weeks. I need to know what is going on, and that is extraordinarily hard to do without another frame of reference.
I hate every second of this. I feel as though I am not remembering everything I need to.
This is what I know.
I was Number Six in Organization Thirteen. I didn't like dirtying my hands with actual work, but that didn't mean I couldn't fight. I was even more manipulative then than I am now, but the fascination of figuring out the inner workings of someone's mind remains just as strong as ever. My love of books also has not diminished, and the part of me that remains simply Zexion wants to visit the library at the Castle that Never Was and hide in there for a few days, surfacing only for minimal amounts of food. The library there is extensive, and I remember it holding books that I had always meant to read and never did.
During my…life, as you could call it, I was in charge of very little, as the Superior, a man named Xemnas, knew that I wouldn't care very much about anything not directly related to my library. I was briefly used to train Roxas when he first arrived, but very little else aside from the ill-fated Castle Oblivion venture, though there were various solo missions to keep me occupied.
My direct superior was Vexen, our old Chemistry professor and Number Four in the Organization. His and Marluxia's romance now seems even odder than it did before, given that they disliked each other so very much in the past. Marluxia himself was Number Eleven, ambitious, traitorous, and deadly. Saïx is obviously Axel's old friend, Number Seven and Xemnas's right hand man.
Roxas was Number Thirteen, youngest of all of us, and probably the most incomplete as a Nobody, because his Somebody, Sora, was still alive. Number Eight, Axel –liar, murderer, close to all and friend to only one- he did everything with Roxas in mind. Even in our past life, he was always in love with the petite blonde.
Demyx was Number Nine. Melodious Nocturne, naïve and unmotivated to do anything besides play his sitar and tell us that we still had our hearts. Never easily found if a job was to be done and pacifistic to the last. Captivating even then.
How many of us? How many of us will remember who we used to be? Four out of thirteen? All of us?
Will Sora and Riku also remember?
I wonder these things, and I have no answers. The only one who might is Demyx, and he is nowhere to be found.
The guilt in Axel's eyes is now easily understood. He remembers what he did to me. Perhaps my death wasn't … directly his fault, as his hands weren't the ones around my throat, but the intent was his, the scheming his, the decision to go through with it his. I imagine that finding out that you coolly and coldly ordered the death of someone you now count among your closest friends is quite a blow.
Likewise, all of Roxas and Axel's arguments now make sense. As does why they chose never to fight while I was within hearing range.
After all, it's not like I knew before now.
I should…probably call them. Ask how their trip is going. Tell them that I remember now. Find out why…. Why we were so stupid. So foolish. So blind.
God, I wish they were here right now. Axel always seems to have some sort of crazy, half-baked plan, and Roxas would … I don't know what Roxas would do. Something either equally harebrained or completely brilliant.
Knowing the two of them, whatever we ended up with would be a bizarre mix of the two.
I miss them. And yet I know that I cannot ask them to come back. They have waited so long for this trip that it would be unfair to both of them.
Even so, I do need to call them. Make sure that I'm not… not just hallucinating this. I know they remember what I do, but at the same time I need to hear them say it. I need to hear some sort of verification. I …
I'll have to call later. Roxas has probably dragged Axel out sight-seeing, and neither of them have reliable service in Europe on their cell phones.
I suppose I must think. Go to work. And just think.
Rubbing at dark, tired bruises beneath his eyes, the pale man sits in his chair, running idle fingertips across the ink-covered pages of the journal. His expression is troubled and unfocused, and every time his eyes flutter closed, they remain that way longer and longer until he is mostly dozing at his desk. After a few minutes of fitful sleep, he jerks awake.
His eyes dart around as though his surroundings are unfamiliar. Finally recognizing where he is, the pale man relaxes, though even that motion is weary. Eventually, he stands and makes his way to the door.
The journal lies on the desk, open in the sunlight.
I finally managed to talk to Axel and Roxas earlier today.
They have confirmed what I know. I'm not going insane or anything of the sort. They remember everything too. What a relief that is, to know that. They also apologized, almost as soon as they found out that I remembered. It seems that they believed I would think they were insane if they suddenly started talking about what had happened and past lives, and I have to concur with them.
If I think about it rationally, I would not have reacted well.
Still, that doesn't stop the mild feeling of betrayal. It's just ill-timing. If I had remembered a few weeks earlier….
No matter. I didn't, so I have to live with this. They meant no harm with what they had done.
From what I have gathered, the two of them remembered around the same time, and most of their arguments were full of Roxas calling Axel an idiot and Axel trying to defend himself. The lengths Axel went to for that boy….
How in the world could we mistake that for anything other than love? How could we keep insisting that we felt nothing when a few of us so obviously did?
I suppose we just hated to be proven wrong too much.
Arrogance. It killed us all, in the end.
Axel and Roxas filled me in on what happened after I was killed. Everything spiraled out of control, and nothing went as planned. Our dream failed us, and we all ended up fighting for something we knew we would lose. Sora was always there, pure and misguided intentions blazing through us as though we were naught but shadows. Well, they would seem misguided to us. After all, he was fighting us. To him, we were the ones in the wrong.
Though it is not like we did much to disprove him there.
The two halves are me are in such disharmony. The Schemer, proud and arrogant, still stubbornly believes that what he –I—was doing was right. Still sees it as the best option. I have to look at it with the eyes of someone who never had to personally experience the pain and confusion of losing their heart, and I find that I cannot exactly agree with him. There were so many mistakes made, and it's hard to believe that a group of thirteen strong-willed people weren't able to see them all.
But you are always able to see your mistakes best after they've happened.
Another thing. Axel and Roxas indicated that there definitely was something I haven't remembered. They will not tell me what it is, or what it concerns, and that frustrates me. I understand that I should remember these things on my own, but I feel as though my mind can't hold any more information, and the fact that there is still more? Sickening.
How strange is it, though? I am unaware of anything missing. I can almost count the exact number of days I was 'alive', and I can tell you exactly what I did during each and every one.
Why is it, then, that I am missing something? Something of vital importance?
Why is it that I remember nothing more of Demyx?
Aside from the few flashes I had before I remembered everything else, I cannot recall anything past a few idle conversations or missions with him. There must have been something more.
There must have been.
His forehead cradled in his palm, the slate-haired librarian lets out a heavy sigh, eyes shadowed and troubled. After closing the journal softly, his gaze turns to the blue wristband on the table.
He picks it up with a gentle touch, twisting the cotton around his hands and raising it to his lips, breathing in ocean and warmth. It eases some distantly aching part of him. He shakes his head in frustration, standing to ready himself for bed. The city outside the window holds no interest for him tonight, and he passes by it without a glance on his circuit.
Even as he sleeps, the musician's wristband is in his hands.
Number Nine hasn't shown his face yet.
It has been three weeks since I have remembered, two and a half weeks since I got in touch with Axel and Roxas, and I have not seen him this entire time. I wonder if he knows I remember, and is avoiding me. I wonder how much he himself remembers.
In my memories he acts differently than I've seen him behave thus far. In this life, he seems like a pale shadow of himself, a flat pane of glass, so unlike the tumultuous being he was before. Instead of chattering constantly, meaninglessly, he acts most like who he is nearest to at the moment, I have come to realize. That explains his curious behavior when we were alone together and the change I witnessed once Axel and Roxas returned home. I am not given to idle chatter, and since I am not… apparently he was not either.
But Number Nine never behaved in that manner before. Perhaps it is a new development?
Whatever the answer, I still need to talk to him. I know that he is in town. He said that he never leaves the city, just wanders aimlessly within its boundaries. As though he knows everyone will end up here at least once. He is the catalyst for all of this, I am sure. He remembered before us, and it was only after his presence in our lives that we began to remember.
I wonder how many of us he has met. It cannot be all of us, certainly. Saïx has not set foot inside this city as far as I know, and Marluxia and Vexen visit only infrequently. However, the possibility is still there.
…I am afraid of what I will do if I see him.
I do not want him near me, and yet I need him here. The Schemer in me is desperate to see him, but for what purpose, I do not know, and am afraid to find out.
The pale man stares woodenly at the pages before him, seeing the lines crossing through every repetition of the blonde musician' name, always replacing it with the colder "Number Nine". He sees this, feels the tightening in his chest, hears a hollow roaring in his ears, and shuts the book with a loud slap. The noise seems to startle him, and he stands up, freezing in place after only a step.
The strange anxiety in him dissipates after a few moments, and he slumps onto the bed, turning his face blindly into the pillow.
He falls asleep still dressed, and his dreams are melancholy, mourning something he knows he needs, but doesn't know where to find.
The clouds are dark and restless outside. The lampposts that I can see are swaying with the force of the wind, and the sky itself –where visible through the clouds- is a strange blue that fades into yellow around where the sun has set. The disquieting otherworldliness of the weather outside seems fitting, given the evening I just had.
For the first time since I have remembered my past life one month ago, Demyx showed up at my house.
He showed up, and I could not think, could not breathe, and there was this constant buzzing in my ears. Once more, he was soaked, clothes clinging to his skin. His eyes were touched by wariness, sadness welling in their green-blue depths. I let him inside, but couldn't make myself face him. The world was ringing, spinning, never still and I could not think of what to say, but before I knew it, my lips were moving.
"Why didn't you tell me?"
Those were my first words to him. Minutes of silence had passed between the two of us, just standing there, neither willing to make a move, and I broke it like that. Of all the things I could have said –wanted to say-, I said that. For one as eloquent as I, one would think that I could have come up with some better way, something else, not so accusing, but in that moment, I could not hear past the rushing in my blood and the screaming in my skin.
Why does he always seem to undo me?
We fought for a while. It matters not what about. I was … For some reason, I could not move past that single question, no matter what he answered. And he answered in so many different ways, but none of them were the answer I was seeking. The Schemer is more intent than I give him credit for. I forgot my own tendency and ability to focus on one thing until I get what I want. And all I wanted….
I wanted something he could not seem to give.
"Because you would figure it out on your own eventually."
"You never asked!"
"It didn't seem important."
"Because you still don't remember everything!"
"I don't know."
"I don't know!"
I just remember him watching me with tired, tired sea-green eyes even as he yelled and cursed at me, as though he knew that this would happen all along. He expected this to happen, to go badly. That bizarre melancholy that originally drew me to him was caused by me all along.
How long has he known, I wonder?
How long has he had to wonder if he was just imagining things?
I am no longer sure what I was after.
Answers, vindication, anger.
Demyx. Just Demyx.
Something in my blood sings for him, and the Schemer in me yearns for him so badly, yet I still know not for what purpose. I am angry with him for keeping something so integral to myself from me, and I want him so badly, because I still have never stopped… stopped loving him. Even before I knew why, I wanted him in my life, and that desire hasn't changed in the slightest. If anything, it's only become worse. A fever within me.
Just my luck. I managed to drive away one of the few people I desire to keep near me, and all because of a misplaced feeling of anger, an accusing question.
I am … not proud of my actions, but I do not regret them. After all, he will be back.
He always comes back.
I no longer know who to ask, but please….
Let him come back to me….
The low rumble of thunder fills the dark room. His eyes closed tightly, the pale man sits at his desk, lips pressed into a thin line and hands clenched on his thighs. After many long minutes, he shuts the journal, changes into his sleeping clothes, and walks agitatedly around the apartment, pausing in the main room.
He spends several moments staring at the door, need unknowingly etched into every line and curve of his body. A few hesitant, near-silent steps are taken, and the pale man's slender fingers find the door, his entire body following their path into the wood until he is flush against it. Cheek, neck, shoulders, lips, hips, legs; all are pressed hard against the cool wood until a frustrated moan escapes the librarian's lips, and he sags against the door, face contorted in pain.
Somewhere in the darkened city, a blonde musician looks up at the sky and closes his eyes to the sting of rain and tears, letting his back rest against different door to a different building and wishing he was in a near-empty apartment with a pale man who smells of books and ink.
For three long months, I have stopped writing in this, have given it up as a lost cause, but this is driving me insane. I have not seen Demyx since that night, Axel and Roxas are still in Europe, and I am still alone in my apartment, waiting for school to start up again so I can get to work on my doctorate. Everything had seemed as though it was back to normal, and yet nothing is the same.
Perhaps I should have written this immediately the next day, but the memories have been returning slowly. For me, and for others.
That… was unforgivably vague, excuse me. I shall explain.
At least twice within these last three months, Marluxia and Vexen have paid a visit over here, just to spend a weekend away from the store. Judging from the call I got from them no more than two weeks ago, they encountered Demyx during their time here. They have regained their memories, and it has seemed to be difficult for them to work past their conflicting recollections. I know that Vexen took a separate trip up here to stay with me until they could sort themselves out. He told me that yes, he had seen someone who looked like Demyx, playing guitar out on the street.
It appeared to help. Marluxia and Vexen apparently sat down and talked over the residual anger and betrayal they went through. Though neither of them are happy with Axel.
I can't say I blame them, since it wasn't so long ago that I was upset with him as well. They'll forgive him. It's hard to not forgive Axel.
Other than Marluxia and Vexen, however… the only other person that has remembered anything is a woman who passed through their store who ended up being Larxene. She had just moved to that area from here, according to them, and she seems to have lost a great deal of the harshness I associated with her. She's still ruthless, but it's less from a lack of pity than it is from necessity.
It doesn't surprise me to find out that she is a lawyer.
As for me….
The last piece has finally slipped into place. Demyx and I were lovers.
I knew that we had been… carnally involved, for lack of a better (or more delicate) way of putting it, but it was more than that. Before I was sent to Castle Oblivion, we had formed a close bond, one that was not entirely sexual in nature. I hesitate to call it love only because my other self was so cold that he did not allow himself to feel it.
But Demyx…. Demyx -the one no one really expected to be as tricky as he was, the one who was constantly wiggling his way out of missions so he could play music- managed to work himself in close enough to me (though I have no idea why; I wasn't the kindest person to him) that I allowed the beginnings of emotion to thread around me. Demyx believed that he could still feel, even to the point that he thought we still had hearts.
There was an interesting theory to that, I remember that much, but I cannot remember the specific details of it as of yet. I will write them down once I remember.
In light of these new revelations, the fact that I haven't spoken to him except for that argument lends itself to frustration. I am irritated with myself for my behavior.
And curious about his.
If he knew we were lovers, why didn't he bring it up?
It is illogical, but I find myself trying to find him, even when I know I will not be able to. Demyx has already proven his ability to hide himself from me, but nevertheless….
I see him everywhere.
I hear his laughter as I walk past a group of students on campus, and when I turn to find him, he is nowhere to be found.
I smell him as people pass me on the sidewalk, but it is not him, never him.
I see him, flickering in the corner of my eye.
I see him.
And still, I cannot find him.
Closing the book with a heavy sigh, the slate-haired man rubs his forehead with ungentle fingers. A distant pressure is building there, and he walks into the kitchen to get some water, his steps tired and pained.
The city outside the window is a constant torment to him, teasing him with the knowledge that what he seeks is out there, but hidden from him.
It's confirmed. Sora and Riku remember everything as well. They called Sora's cousin, Namine, to talk with her about it, for Namine has always had a strange rapport with Sora's memories. She, and her sister Kairi, both began to remember everything.
All have met Demyx at least once.
What is it about him that drives us to old memories? If anything, one would think that Sora, for whom so much grief was caused, would be the binding factor. But no. Instead, it is a man that no one thought much of, aside from him being eccentric, and lazy, and too "cheerful".
Nine months have passed since the night I last saw him. He is still around here somewhere, and I know this like I have known no other thing. The knowledge of him has been written into my very being.
In my last entry, I believe I mentioned a theory of Demyx's as to why we had hearts. Late last night, as I was sitting in the windowsill overlooking the city, I remembered the entirety of it. It was an interesting idea.
Demyx had a theory, one that he only told two people of the entire extent. Roxas was one.
I was the other.
Everyone in the Organization knew the beginning of it: that he believed we still had hearts.
These are the words he whispered to me only when shadows shrouded us both, his head on my shoulder, legs tangled together like so many puzzle pieces.
"Heartless are made up of everything dark in a person's heart, right? Right. And supposedly, we are the shells of what's left behind, the empty body and soul, right? I keep wondering, Zexy, why… what happens to the light? What happens to the good in people, huh? Why don't the Heartless use the Corridors of Darkness like we do? And I don't think that we're the good left, because obviously we're not, because none of us are good people, really, not truly, but maybe…," and he would take a deep shuddering breath here, his nose and cheek warm against my neck, "maybe we've just been given another chance. New hearts, you know? And the reason we can't feel anything is because we're like kids, you know? Kids don't know anything besides hunger and physical sensation, but they're not old enough to understand anything else. But with us…."
Children with the minds of adults. Unable to feel anything besides selfish desires, but knowing that there are so many other things out there.
If he was right….
But even he didn't know. And part of me knows that he was grasping at straws to find the theory to begin with.
None of that stops me from wanting it to be real. Ienzo and Zexion were not the same person, so why should they share a heart between them? I don't even think we knew what would happen to us when we got 'our' hearts back. We wouldn't have remained as Nobodies, but would we, could we become our Somebodies again?
So many questions.
So many, and no answers, but his theory makes a strange sort of sense. The entire time, we were overcompensating for our emotions. We were as infants, new-born and young, but with the minds of adults. The blissful period of awakening most children have was taken from us and we were thrust cruelly into a world that didn't understand. None of us understood. We just knew that something was wrong, was missing, and, like children, we just wanted it back. By any means necessary.
Perhaps he was right all along.
Maybe we already had hearts.
And perhaps we had just forgotten how to use them.
I suppose we shall never know. He could have been wrong, he could have been right. It doesn't matter now. For some reason, we have been given… a sort of second chance. We have been made anew, and this time….
I will not allow him to be taken from me again.
Stretching his arms over his arm, slowly, predatorily, the pale man stands with a lithe movement, his eyes snapping and determined in a way they haven't been for months. He walks from his room with confident strides, turning off all the lights and checking his rooms habitually.
In front of the window, he lifts his head with a smirk, casting his contemptuous gaze at the labyrinthine maze of a city that attempted to keep his desires from him. It will not do so again.
The librarian heads back to his room, already beginning to plot.
It is done.
A year and a day, and it. Is. Done.
Excuse my triumph for the moment; I needed to get it out of the way before I continued.
This will be a challenging entry, as I feel the need to explain the events of this day, but I am uncertain as to how…objective my point of view will be. It will most likely be easier for me to attempt to transcribe what happened, as it happened.
I will try my hardest to be honest, and not paint myself in the best light, as narrators are wont to do.
Typically on Fridays, I remain at the college until around three in the afternoon, at which time I leave for home. I get home by four (if the traffic is bad), and occupy myself for the rest of the evening with books, homework, or a good movie and a phone call to Axel and Roxas. This pattern of mine doesn't change. Normally.
But when I got to my flat today, a certain blond musician was sitting in front of the door, back propped against the wood, backpack to one side, and guitar splayed across his lap. I had no idea as to what drove him to my doorstep this day, but I will admit to a jolt of satisfaction curling through me.
I could not tell you exactly how long we simply stared at each other, nor could I even begin to guess what Demyx was thinking or feeling. I did wonder what had finally made him come back here (to me, but, at the time, I shied away from such emotional sentiments). After the silence had stretched so long between us that even I was becoming uncomfortable, I walked forward, opened the door, and invited him inside.
Unfortunately, the change of scenery did not inspire either of us to more conversational heights. He watched me –almost nervously– as I set down my book-bag and began to heat some water for tea. It became obvious that he was not going to start speaking, so it was up to me.
"Is there something you require, Demyx?"
He fidgeted, eyes sliding away as he answered, "Um, yeah. Yeah, I came to… get my stuff. You know, get it out of your place and all."
Raising an eyebrow at him, I crossed my arms. "Surely that cannot be all."
"Well, it is." Some of the steel had come back into his voice, though he could not meet my eyes for long, and he stood straighter, chin rising almost defiantly. "I just want to get my shit and get out, never see you again."
Immediately, my mouth snapped down into an angry line. "You're running away again."
Demyx stiffened, cheeks blazing, and retorted, "I am not! I'm just…." He floundered for a second, waving a hand erratically around in the air. "Finally getting all of my things from here. I know I kept leaving them."
It was a weak excuse and it was obvious that he knew it was, even as I advanced on him, frustration evident in all of my features.
"Shirking your duties has always been an extraordinary trait of yours, Number Nine," I spat out. In retrospect, I am not proud of having brought that up. Demyx jerked back as though he had been hit, the flush gaining strength even as he replied with some remark about how I would know, since I always dumped my responsibilities on someone else, too.
We traded insults back and forth for some time, getting closer and closer to each other until we were standing toe-to-toe. And then it reached the breaking point.
"Why do you always have to come in here and just screw everything up, Demyx? You always do, like you're some sort of social hurricane and you leave me to pick up the pieces!" I grabbed Demyx by the collar of his shirt, tugging him down a few inches. (I routinely curse my lack of height; it makes for a poor intimidation technique.)
"And why is it," I snarled, shaking the taller man for emphasis, "that all I can think about right now is throwing you against that wall and making you mine?"
His blue-green eyes widened, and, for the first time during the fight, he seemed at a loss for words. The shock didn't last long, as his face grew angry.
Sometimes, I truly have to doubt the reliability of my brain-to-mouth filter. That particular tidbit of information was not one I meant to share.
I cannot even begin to try and repeat all that Demyx said here since he backtracked a great deal in his conversation, but the general idea of it is that he was offended that I would even suggest such a thing (as though he were easy. The idea is laughable. Demyx is not, in any way, easy), he never wanted to see me again, he couldn't believe that I would just say that, and obviously I only wanted to have a warm body to fuck again, and it was the last one of those that made my blood boil.
"-and all you ever wanted was a willing body to fuck, so of course I don't mean much, it could've been Roxas for all you care-"
"That is not how it was, God damn it, and you fucking know that!"
Not… my most … verbose retort, that is certain. I blame my prolonged exposure to Axel for the sudden drop in my ability to express myself.
We were silent for a moment, breaths harsh and ripping from our lungs, neither looking at the other. Light streamed in between the cracks in the curtains, staining the room with sharp red-gold light in ribbons across the floor, and plunging the rest of the room in deeper, blacker shadows.
"Demyx," and I hated, still hate, the way my voice sounded. Soft, shard-like in its hidden brokenness, curious and dead and muted. "Demyx, what … do you think love is?"
For the longest time, he didn't answer. I have no idea what possessed me to ask that question, but I was sure then –as I am sure now– that the answer he gave is important in some way in order for me to finally figure him out. Finally understand what makes him tick.
"Love is like the color blue," he said with a sad smile, ocean eyes fixed on some point on the floor, glazed with misery and dislocation. "I can say the word blue to someone, and they'll know what I'm talking about, but their color isn't the same as mine, will never be the same as mine." Demyx took a rasping breath, his lips twisted in the mockery of what could have been a smile. "It's something that everyone thinks they know, but no one really understands."
Silence once again fell in the living room, and it took what felt like an eternity for Demyx to raise his eyes from the ground. "I never really understood it either. I said and I said," and his voice choked in the middle, eyes darting down yet again, "but I never really got it."
I can almost pride myself on the words I spoke next, due to their results, but at the same time… I felt so petty and small for asking.
"Why, Demyx? Why can't you just give me another chance?"
After everything, one would think that he would be asking for another chance, since it was he who had walked away again and again in this life. But in the last one….
In the last one, it was I who had left him.
Demyx bit his lips, the inside of his cheeks, didn't look up. At the time, I never would have thought that an emotion could make me so dizzy, but a strange mixture of fear, anticipation, and subdued, worried hope made my head spin until it was only the sight of Demyx keeping me upright.
"I-I just… I can't." But his voice trembled. And he swayed towards me, even as I took a few cautious steps nearer.
"Why, Demyx?" I asked again.
He glanced up, mouth bitten blood-red. "I can't…" Demyx seemed to steel himself again. "It's not like you to want me, anyway. I don't want to… to just get used and cast aside." His voice trailed off on the last words, as though he himself wasn't sure of what he was saying.
"Don't you understand, damn it?" I asked as I stepped into his space, my hands clenching in the collar of his shirt in a strange mimicry of the events a few minutes before. "I want you. In all your frustrations, in all of your joys. In everything. I just. Want. You." I stared into his eyes, thumb smoothing over the fluttering pulse point in his neck. "Why is that so hard to comprehend?"
I blinked, almost distracted (if I am to be honest) by the vibrations of his voice in his throat. "What?"
"I lived," he began, eyes sliding closed and mouth pressed into a tense line, "for sixteen years with the knowledge that someone was out there for me, and that I already knew what it would feel like when they died. And then I find that person again, and they have no idea who I am. Excuse me for knowing that a happy ending might not be possible, or being scared, because I might have to face the heartbreak of losing you again! I might not be smart, Zexy," and a small part of me smiled again at the nickname, "but I do have some sense of self-preservation."
If I had been paying more attention at the time, I would have realized that I had given him the entirely wrong impression throughout most of the conversation, but I had not been paying attention to my words. I knew of the emotions behind them, and I have been writing them in here for so long that I had forgotten that he did not know of how I felt.
One of my hands let go of his collar, sliding back to thread its way into Demyx's hair and tugging him down.
Ah, this is embarrassing to write….
I kissed him. Putting it simply. After a few seconds of chaste contact, Demyx relaxed into the kiss, finally responding. And, at the risk of sounding overly sentimental and sappy, it was as though a void inside me was filled to overflowing. When I eventually pulled back, his eyes were wide and bright in his flushed face, and hope had finally -finally- overwritten the sadness that was ever present in his eyes.
"I still think you're worth it," I murmured, stroking the nape of his neck. "Even if you insist on being an imbecile, and thinking you're being noble and self-sacrificing. Just give in to me, Demyx. It'll be alright."
He smiled at me, expression fond and exasperated. "You would say it like that." He shook his head without explaining the statement. "Though with such subtle persuasion, how can I resist?"
Lifting my chin almost arrogantly (and no, I was not asking for another kiss, I do not care what it seems like), I answered haughtily, if happily, "Obviously, you cannot."
Demyx just kissed me again, smiling the entire time. "I love you too, Zexion."
"Good," I murmured against his lips.
And it was good, is still good. I don't pretend to think that Demyx will never worry about me leaving him again. In fact, I fully expect that to surface again. What happened today was a quick fix, and a lucky one. I will not be able to employ the same methods again, which is quite disappointing as both the Schemer and I quite like these methods.
Demyx is worth all of the struggles, though, as this journal explains. I would have hardly chased him for a year and a half if he had not been worth it. And now I have him again. It is a new feeling, but a good one, and I intend to luxuriate in it as long as I can.
This should be the last entry in this journal dealing with Demyx. I may not have completed my task of figuring him out, but I should now have ample opportunity in which to observe him. But those findings will be private. Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go back to bed.
Farewell. It has been quite the journey.
Unhappy grumbles come from the bed as the pale man shuts the book and lays the pen beside it. With a smile, he turns to face the blond musician, who pouts at him and gestures him nearer. The pale man stands and walks over, though he pauses when he reaches the bed. He takes the time to trace the curious face of the blond with gentle fingers, a half-smile still on his lips.
Teal eyes roll, and the musician pulls him in for a kiss, sliding his tongue against the crease of the librarian's lips.
The night passes, and they rejoice in the fact that they are no longer alone.
I know that you're reading this, right now. I know this because later tonight, I'm going to give this journal to you and tell you to read it. Never had I intended for this book to be seen by anyone other than myself. But I believe that showing this to you will put a few questions that you have to rest.
Once, a long time ago, you asked me why I loved you. I wasn't able to answer then. I believe I made some comment to the effect of "We are Nobodies, Number Nine, we cannot love because we have no emotions" or something similar. But now I can answer you.
I will never be able to give you the one thing that made me notice you first. In this life, it was your eyes. In our original lives, I have no idea. I won't be so sappy as to say that it was everything about you, but that is what kept me with you. There is, was, has always been just something about you that makes it impossible for me to ignore you. The simple fact is, I just do. And from the moment you first showed up, you have captivated my interest.
I was never really angry with you for deceiving me, because I knew it to be for a good cause. I would not have taken the news that we knew each other in a past life well at all, and so I must apologize for my behavior from a year ago. It seems that I was… unfair in my accusations.
You have always managed to get beneath my skin.
This journal is now gifted to you, to do with as you please. It is my hope that it clears up any last suspicions you may have about my motives.
I love you, Demyx, and I hope that you now realize how much.
The pale man stands up from his desk with a sigh, looking at the note he just penned. There is a clattering noise from the kitchen, followed swiftly by several loud curses, and the lilac-haired man winces. He grabs the book and hurries out to make sure that nothing is burning yet.
Sunlight streams through the bedroom's window, pale and warm. It touches pictures of three people – the redhead, the small blonde, and the owner of the room-, glances across the glossed surface of a guitar, lingers on rumpled, still-warm sheets.
On a simple, innocuous blue wristband on the bedside table.
So, I'm just going to put this out there right now so you can get mad at me now, and I can make it all better later: You're a little bit of a dumbass.
Yeah. You heard me. Dumbass.
You could have just said something when we first met! I mean, geez, yeah, I looked a little bit lonely, but that's because you seemed all distant and uninterested and stuff, and all I could remember was this warmth in your eyes when you looked at me, and then it was gone! And then you just never spoke to me! What was I supposed to think? That you were writing in a little diary (I'm sorry, this is SO a diary, not a journal or whatever it is you're calling it, god, Zexy, you're such a girl) about everything I did?
You did that. I just read it.
Stop looking at me. I can feel your eyes on me, and it's a little distracting while I'm trying to verbally abuse you. In fact, just stop being sexy for a while. I can't concentrate.
(Just so you know, you think you're being soooo sneaky about watching me and you're really not. Way to be obvious, babe.)
I thought that now would be a good time to tell you that yes, everyone else remembers. A few weeks ago, I met Saïx when he came into town for a business trip, and that set off the chain of events for the last person who hadn't remembered yet. Everyone else has, even Sora, Kairi, Riku, and Namine.
We all remember, but really, if I'm going to tell the whole truth, the last person to remember everything is actually me.
Hard to believe, I know, but it's true.
You were right in that I was the first to remember (and let me tell you, it's really weird to wake up one morning when you're seven and realize that your Uncle Xigbar really is your Uncle Xigbar), but I only knew things about him, conversations that I had with him or about him. So I could only recall the things he had said, or what I thought about him. Everything I knew about myself, I knew in reference to someone else. So I was incomplete until everyone else remembered. But I knew, when I met Xigbar, that there was someone I loved. And someone who loved me back.
Meeting you…. God, was it any wonder that I was suddenly sad all the time when I met both Axel and Roxas and had to face their love (both past and present) and then met you and saw the face of the man I was (am) crazy about, but he didn't even know my name? Add that to the sudden shock of memories that always comes whenever I meet people I knew, and, well…. It hurt, honestly, and even after you remembered your past life, you didn't remember us until later.
And then I got scared, because what if you never remembered us? What if I had just convinced myself that you loved me too? (I'm pretty good at lying to myself. I did it for years when I was younger, trying to convince myself that I was normal.) So I just… took every excuse I could to get the hell out of this before it became real. But then it was real, and I was even more scared.
I'm not anymore.
But none of that matters, really. Because you're here with me now, and I remember everything.
It's a good feeling.
Oh, and about your answer to why you loved me, is that what you answered? I was always too busy just watching your eyes to really pay attention. There was always this…fondness in them, and the tips of your ears would turn red (which I'm sure you never noticed before, because you don't blush a lot, and I never told you because, hehe, I like watching it, it's cute), and you would answer something really cold, but you would always make sure to rub the back of my neck or hand, or something else entirely (I'm sure you know what I'm talking about), and I would know that you were just saying "because I do" even if that's not what you really said.
Boy, that was a long sentence. I'm going to be hearing about grammar from you for a while after this, aren't I?
Oh well. Totally worth it.
And dude, I don't know how cool you think you are, but you're totally corny. It's a good thing, it really is, but seriously, you want to know what I had for breakfast? Complete and total corn. You're an intellectual badass, and you get all girly when it comes to romance. I'm surprised that there wasn't more of you sighing and moping about me in here- oh wait, that was everything I just read.
I'm kidding, I'm kidding, I love you.
Please don't cut me off.
I love you, Zexion. Always have. Even when you were being dumb, and a jerk. Don't deny it, you were.
You talk too much (when you decide to talk at all, that is), you're sarcastic and cutting and wonderful and mine, and I can't imagine anywhere else I'd ever want to go but here anymore. To steal some things from you….
I am Demyx, Number Nine of the Organization Thirteen, lover and boyfriend of Zexion. I am three-and-twenty years of age (and who talks like that, huh? Seriously, who ever talked like that?), and a musician who had to drop out of college in order to find all of these people who were only half-formed shadows in my mind. I smile too much, and I talk too loud, and I sing for no good reason, but you love me anyway, so it doesn't seem to matter.
And I want you more than anything I've ever wanted before.
I'm not all that good with words, but I think I manage to get my point across sometimes, so…. I love you. A lot. And now that you have me, I'm not going to leave you easily.
You'll never have to look for me again.
A tanned hand shuts the journal, lingering on the brown leather cover for only a second before the blond musician stands and hurries out to the living room. There is a large blush on his cheeks, and he keeps trying to check his smile. However, it refuses to go away.
He finds the pale man curled in the windowsill, the pen in his hand tapping nervously against the papers he has in his lap. At the sound of the blonde entering the room, his head jerks up, cobalt eyes wide.
Zexion barely has time to brace himself before the musician has knelt beside him, kissing him fiercely. He breathlessly makes some comment about appreciating the gift, and Demyx just shakes his head, kisses him again, murmurs something that is lost in Zexion's skin.
They twine around each other, and all is made anew.
Oh my god, I am SO GLAD this is done. I hope you all enjoyed the ride (I did, obviously, but I don't count), and I'm sorry for the wait on this last chapter! *bows* To make up for it, it's super long? (Not sure if that's a good thing…)
Notes on this Chapter:
1 – I hope that reading Demyx's entry at the end will clear up his reasons for doing a few things. If it doesn't, or if there's some inconsistency in my logic (there probably is) let me know.
2 – Demyx's moniker - Jubilate - A song or an outburst of joy and triumph. Well, I thought it was appropriate.
3 – I'D LIKE TO THANK MY ROOMMATE TYNA, RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't have been able to get some of the second argument in here done, because I got horrendously stuck. I asked her about it, and we furiously texted back and forth until we got it all. Thanks, Captain!
Just so you know that I do have other projects: I have a one-shot that's about half-done, and another chaptered fic that I can finally work on now that this is done! If you want more information on them, had over to my LiveJournal, and there should be a few snippets of them.
Thanks for reading!