Normally, Organization members were expected to find their own food on missions. Unless food was especially scarce in the world they were in, or struck them as being actively unsafe to eat, they weren't allowed to return home for meals, period. Either they found food in the world they were in, or they thought ahead and brought some along, or they went hungry until they got home. Demyx took that last option a little more often than he probably should, since he was a little more fussy about his food than some and was used to working hungry anyway, but he was starting to get the feeling he'd have to brown-bag it a lot more often - even in a fairly modernized world like this one, bizarrely named "Bob", it was more difficult than it should be to find a meal that was cheap, quick, convenient, fit to eat, and vegetarian. He still considered fish edible, but he always worried about it when he wasn't buying and cooking it himself - on unindustrialized worlds, he worried about freshness and sanitation, and on industrial worlds, he worried about overfishing and pollution. And from little stalls like the ones that were congregated on this street, he wasn't entirely sure about freshness and sanitation either, industrialized world or no. He still remembered that one time when Axel and Roxas ate a couple burritos from a stall like these; he'd had to clean the bathroom once a day for three days before Axel finally got over his food poisoning, and Roxas hadn't been any better off. And Demyx personally might have been immune to some of the typical symptoms of food poisoning, but not all.

And, unfortunately, he was hungry.

Maybe it was worth taking a look at some of these little stalls, just in case he got lucky. What were they serving - chicken, chicken, beef, chicken, sausage - that one was selling fried fish, but he didn't like the look of it - beef, lamb...lamb? Now that was a bit of a surprise, given his surroundings...maybe it was worth taking a closer look, in case that stall also served something he could eat...and as he went for a closer look, he walked right into the path of someone just walking away from a different stall with his meal in hand. Only the density of the crowd around them kept them both on their feet. "I'm sorry," Demyx stammered quickly, and the other man dropped his food, staring at him like he had three eyes. "Oh - oh, man - I'm so sorry about that - totally did not mean - here, what'd you have? I'll buy you some - um..." Demyx was only just realizing how the other man was staring at him, and was completely stumped as to why. Did he have some horrible stains on his robe now? Had his skin spontaneously turned some unnatural color? Was he bleeding profusely without knowing it? He looked himself over, couldn't find anything obvious, and looked back at the man he'd run into.

"...Blessed Gods," were the only words he could get out of his mouth once it finally clicked. He'd run straight into himself.

The other-Demyx looked every bit as stunned as he was - probably why he dropped his food after the collision - which was a very tiny relief. It meant that if this other-Demyx was a genetically engineered clone, at least he wasn't aware of it. Really comforting, that was. "...Who the hell are you?" he asked weakly, not knowing what else to say.

The other-Demyx didn't snap at him for the rude question, but he seemed way too off-balance to answer sensibly for several long moments. "...Demyx; who the hell are you?" he finally said in a similarly weak voice.

"Oh, shit. Oh, shit. Oh, no. This can't be real. I'm going to wake up in a second and find out I dreamed this all, aren't I...please tell me I am..." Knowing but not caring that he was babbling like an idiot, Demyx screwed his eyes shut, as if that would somehow make the stalls and the mess and the crowds and the other-Demyx all disappear back into his psycho imagination from whence they came. Judging by the lingering food smells, and the unending noise of the crowd, he decided it hadn't worked. "...I'm not, am I," he said weakly, his inflection turning it from a question into a statement, as he opened his eyes again.

The other-Demyx shook his head very slowly, his eyes still as wide as dinner plates. "Only if I am, mate. Only if I am."

"Well. It's...slightly reassuring to know that you're as freaked out as I am..." Demyx pressed a hand to his forehead, willing himself to calm down before he had a seizure, and took another good look at other-Demyx. The other-Demyx wasn't wearing hearing aids, and it was easy to tell with their absence that he didn't have any scars behind his right ear either, for which Demyx was slightly grateful - this wasn't an exact clone. That, and the other-Demyx talked like Luxord. "At least we're not...completely identical...I think..."

"I should hope not," the other-Demyx grunted, rubbing the bridge of his nose and flopping onto a handy bench that miraculously had a seat free. "You sound like you're from Kansouri."

"...Kansouri?" Demyx really wished there was another seat free on that bench, because he really felt the need to sit down. "The hell is Kansouri?"

The other-Demyx stared at him with his mouth hanging open for several moments, as if trying to answer but at a total loss for words, then shook his head. "Well, if Vexen had been cloning me for whatever bizarre purpose that head case might have, he'd probably put the clone at least a little ways in the international politics where the hell are you from, then?"

Since the day could not possibly get any weirder than it already was, Demyx decided to go for broke. "I'm from the World that Never Was. I'm only in Bob on business. So do you know the same Vexen I know, or are there two Vexens as well? Because I don't think the Vexen I know ever leaves the castle if he can help it, and the castle is in the World that Never Was."

Other-Demyx kept staring blankly at him. "...All right, one of us is off his rocker. Possibly both of us. You're not even from this planet?"

"I'm not even from this universe." Things were still making absolutely no logical sense, so Demyx's mind was trying to put it into some totally illogical sense. Well, any sense was better than no sense at all. "This is great. This is perfect. Out of three...zillion worlds and universes out there, I happen to get sent to one that contains parallel versions of...of all of us, and just my luck, I walk into myself while I'm trying to get some lunch."

Other-Demyx was still staring at him, now shaking his head slowly, his disbelief levels clearly maxed out. "That sounds absolutely insane, but it makes more sense than anything else I can think of. So just who do you mean by 'all of us', out of curiosity?"

Too carried away by the insanity of the moment to care if he was making sense or not, Demyx started listing Organization members at random. "Well...Axel, Zexion, Xigbar, Luxord, Roxas, Fori..."

"All right, I know the first four - or at least versions of them or what the hell ever - but who the hell are Roxas and Fori?"

"...I am so deeply relieved that you have to ask you can't even imagine it. You know what? Never mind who they are. I'm just grateful they didn't clone all of us."

"Who? Who cloned who? And who's a clone of whom?"

"Like I know?" All of a sudden, Demyx started to laugh out loud - the situation was so crazy and unreal that it couldn't help but be hilarious as well. Fortunately, other-Demyx cracked up a few moments later, otherwise he would have felt unbearably stupid. "Okay, yeah, so anyway..." He couldn't stop laughing long enough to get out a complete sentence in one try. "This is the most crazy-ass day of my life. And trust me, there are a lot of contenders for the title. Whoo!" The two of them just kept laughing uncontrollably for several minutes, long enough to attract a certain amount of attention from the crowd. "So anyway. I haven't actually introduced myself yet. I'm Demyx."

"You know, somehow, I guessed that was your name...I'm just psychic..." That made both of them crack up all over again. "So what exactly brings you to Planet Bob? Are you doing a study of dysfunctional world politics or something? Trying to set up an interplanetary trade deal? Looking for a recording contract?"

...Well, why not tell the truth? Other-Demyx's day couldn't get any weirder either. Then again, if he told tales out of school, Xemnas would gut him as cheerfully as he ever did anything. On the other hand, how would he ever know, unless this Demyx somehow made it to the World that Never Was? "I'm hunting supernatural creatures that spawn from misery and despair and feed on people's hearts," he finally said with as much honesty as he thought he could afford, still grinning like an idiot. He still didn't feel quite secure enough to mention that they'd already gotten his heart. "They tend to thrive in war zones, and from what I gather, this world is very often one huge war zone. So what do you do, out of curiosity?"

Other-Demyx cleared his throat, looking obscurely embarrassed and evasive. "Since I can't possibly top your story, let's just say that that's classified information. By the way, that is one bad-ass trenchcoat. I wish I had one like it."

"Part of the uniform," Demyx replied, unable to resist posing a little. "I could possibly hook you up with one, assuming my boss never finds out. And those are some sweet gloves you have on."

Other-Demyx flashed an I-know-something-you-don't-know grin. "Oh, you have no idea."

Since other-Demyx wasn't forthcoming as to why Demyx had no idea just how awesome his gloves were, a slightly awkward lull in conversation followed. "...You know, I haven't eaten yet, and, uh, I'm pretty sure you haven't either," Demyx said finally. "You wanna go get something to eat?"

"Good deal, if you can find some place that can do better than greasy mystery meat," other-Demyx said, looking back at the food stalls with a touch of disdain. "I mean, it's better than starving when you're short on cash or in a hurry, but...when you can do better..."

"I'm not sure it's better than starving," Demyx said, trying not to let himself feel a touch superior. "Axel can cook better than that."

"Your Axel cooks?"

"Not worth shit."

"Yours and mine have something in common, then..." Other-Demyx laughed as he stood up and tried to work his way through the crowd to somewhere else. "Does yours go on a bender whenever he breaks up with his latest girlfriend too?"

Demyx kept himself from cringing at the thought of just what Axel could be capable of when he was on a bender, and decided it was probably better not to mention that part. "Well, the only girlfriend I ever knew of him having was Larxene, and he certainly went on a bender when they broke up," was the most he would say as he slid through the crowd after other-Demyx with practiced ease. "Since then, he's been more into one-night stands than one steady anything."

"Your Axel dated Larxene?" Other-Demyx definitely cringed at that. "Man. If your Larxene is anything like ours, I'm amazed he's still got his balls attached."

"If your Larxene wasn't anything like ours, you never would have mentioned that."

Other-Demyx laughed aloud. "That says it all, I think. I wouldn't bother with her if she was the last girl on Bob, personally; she'd eat me. Besides, I've already done better," he added with a touch of smugness. "The Queen's sister. Given that she still lives in Kurast most of the time, it's kind of a long-distance thing, but we still see enough of -"

Demyx groaned and covered his eyes with his hands, tripping over a curb and almost going down. "Oh, this is brilliant. Not only does my doppelganger have perfect hearing, he's dating a princess while I can barely find a girl worth asking for her phone number. Who the hell let you have all the luck? And where do I get some?"

AN: And then they went to an ethnic restaurant and shared a few beers and promised to meet up again sometime...anyway. There's a story behind this...

My boyfriend is the one who got me into Kingdom Hearts in general and the Organization specifically in the first place. We were in a political sim RP where he used the Organization as his country's elite black ops unit, and eventually I started to realize that they weren't OCs. His favorites are Xemnas, Xaldin, and Saix, but goofball Demyx was the first one to appeal to me. They rely on technology advanced enough to be inseparable from magic to the casual observer, which is where other-Demyx's gloves come in - by slamming his gloved hand against the ground, he can summon walls or pillars of water, depending on whether he uses an open hand or closed fist. (clears throat) Anyway, he wrote and published a story where his Xigbar and Luxord get transported to the Castle that Never Was by one of Vexen's crazy experiments, so I wrote one where my Demyx ends up in the other RP world and runs into his Demyx.

...Yeah, I don't think this is going into my personal canon. It's just a fun aside.