A/N: I know. I know. "Rosa, you should be updating Ever After. Not uploading yet another story you'll inevitably lose interest in or forget about!" I can't help it though _ Zemyx is sort of like my go-to couple when I'm in a slump. I can assure you though, I am getting there with the next chapter of Ever After. Slowly. Very slowly. I'll try to update it before Expo. Promise.

Anyways! Please enjoy the fluff. This is probably another two-to-three-parter story. Sadly inspired by the limbs at the end of our arms. An old wives' tale. And a song by Leona Lewis.

Yeah, excuse me while I go and try to forget I ever had to listen to that last one. I blame FF13 for having it as a theme song entirely.

Please read and review! For reviews are my curries!


Zexion used to believe that old saying, "cold hands, warm heart", when he was little. As a child, he remembered holding his mother's small delicate hand one cold winter day and commenting how cold they were. She had replied with a smile that old wives' tale, and from that day on Zexion blindly started to believe it.

That was until he met Axel. Axel, who was too wild to be true, who lived by his own rules, and had the coldest pair of hands that Zexion had ever come across. From that first handshake, Zexion began to believe that behind the hard-ass attitude was the warmest heart in existence.

Needless to say, the theory that a person with a pair of cold hands owned a kind heart had been dropped on its head. Friends had said that Axel was too wild for Zexion, who was far happier at home with a good book by Ansem Wise than going out raving at some random club in downtown Radiant Garden. The naysayers were all betting on how long the relationship between a university sophomore on a scholarship and a wild party-animal and pyromaniac graduate was going to last. They did last pretty long, until Zexion found out about Axel's string of affairs and one-night-stands. Oh, and the 'mistress'; a blond kid that looked far too pretty to be considered a boy at first glance unless one was lucky enough to have a good long look before getting their ass handed over to them. Let's not forget about that.

What really hurt was when Axel dared to suggest "break-up sex". Zexion had thrown him out with inhuman strength that had been unknown to him faster than he could say "no way in hell asshole."

For the best part, Zexion appeared to be normal. Doing his studies to the highest standard, going to his job at the university library, going to the societies he had joined (the academic ones of course), and even doing his daily routine without missing a step. At night though, the fact that he was alone really hit him when he lay awake in the big double bed that he and Axel had bought together when Axel decided to move in with him spontaneously. He knew he should've gotten rid of it, like the rest of Axel's stuff, but Zexion couldn't be bothered.

Plus it was a very comfortable bed. One would be mad to throw it away.

Since then, Zexion began to be sceptical on that saying he had once so faithfully believed in, no longer trusting the 'outsiders' beyond his social circle. This carried on for about three months.

And then he met Demyx.

It had been a cold and bitter March morning in the park, but bright. Very bright. Zexion had had a bit of time to kill before going to a lecture on the other side of the park, so he decided to read the novel "Keybearer" by Ansem Wise, an old book of his that Zexion had brought from home. It had been the first book he had read from his favourite author, and he always found himself coming back to it if he had no other book to read. It was a comfort for Zexion, knowing there was something familiar to go to if he needed it.

A comfort he almost lost to a muddy puddle and a rocket made from a bottle that had crash-landed into it just in front of him, spooking the sophomore out of his wits. What came out of the bushes following that, Zexion had no idea would be a huge part of his life.

He must've been nearly six foot tall. Maybe one or two inches shy of it. His hair was…odd. It seemed to be styled like a mullet, but there was definitely edge of a Mohawk cut to it. His hair was honey-blond at the top, with darker dirty blond strands of hair falling down to his back and shoulders. His eyes were a serene teal to turquoise colour, though a hint of playfulness shone through them, the same sort of sparkle one would find in a toddler or young child. His skin was sun-kissed, but nary a freckle or sun-spot to soil it. Around his neck, a string of colourful shells hanging off a dark leather cord, a small blue stone delicately dangling from it. Zexion had the feeling that, despite being far from the coastline, this man was what people called a beach bum, or a surfer.

He guessed that he was the latter of the two.

The man, however, was very apologetic. "Sorry! Miscalculated flight plan!" Zexion's impression that the stranger was a very serene and mature person, if slightly eccentric, was dashed just like that with an almost goofy sounding apology. However, the question remained…what was he doing with a rocket made from a bottle?

"Its fine," Zexion brushed it off. "It's not like any damage was done." He would've asked, but he didn't want to appear nosy. Besides, it wasn't like they were ever going to see each other again so why bother going into these kinds of details?

"What about your book?" the man asked, eyeing the paperback in the shorter of the two's hands. Zexion looked down. The back was a bit speckled by brown water, but other than that, it had survived.

"It'll be fine. Just a little staining." In reality, if the book had been damaged beyond repair, Zexion would have been devastated while spending his term in a state prison. The book held sentimental value and anyone who knew Zexion well enough knew that to ask to borrow it was like having a death wish.

"You sure?" The man made a lopsided expression of some sort of knowledgeable look and one of concern. "You immediately tried to protect it when this piece of junk tried to maim it."

"It's fine." If there was anything that infuriated the petit slate-haired man, it was when people just didn't accept the first confirmation of complete fine-ness. "A little water isn't going to destroy it." Besides, he had chewed Axel and a few others out even worse for far more serious crimes. To this day, Axel was still carrying a pretty hefty scar just a little bit above his fully-functioning erectile equipment from a very sharp ink pen. The crime: he tossed a book to the floor, damaging its spine.

The man in front of him didn't look convinced. "Can I make it up to you for scaring the pants off of ya at least?"

Zexion just gave him his most patented 'you have said something stupid so therefore you are just that: stupid' gaze. "I think that would be entirely unnecessary. And contrary to your belief, my pants are firmly on."

The man just shrugged, reaching over to pat Zexion's shoulder amiably. The smaller man shrugged him off subtly. "Hey, just so I can get some peace of mind."

"Thank you, but no thanks." He blinked, looking at his watch. One-fifty. He only had ten minutes to get to his Renaissance Literature lecture, otherwise he'd be a fricasseed sophomore on Professor Dilan's dinner table. "It was pleasant meeting you," Zexion said, turning on his heels. "But I'm going to be late for a pressing appointment."

"Hey! Wait!"

Zexion just waved him off, heading his way over to his lecture theatre. "Play safely with your……bottle-rocket."

"Well that's rude. You didn't even tell me your-"

"Demyx! Where are you?" a small child's voice yelled. Zexion looked over his shoulder, swiftly raising a judgemental brow. So this man had a child with him. Shouldn't he be more worried about said child rather than getting a name from a person he just met? Fortunately for the child, this 'Demyx' seemed to have remembered why he even was chasing after a plastic bottle in the first place. Zexion took this chance to leave without further getting involved with the man.

Little did he know that Fate, Chance and Cupid had decided to gang up on him when it concerned this goofball that he would later get to be acquainted with far better than he had ever wanted to.


In his line of work at the library, Zexion hated being on the check out desk. Not because he hated talking to people or hated sorting out where books ought to go once returned, but because he hated having to deal with idiots who were trying to wrangle their way out of paying fees for lateness. Such as this case with repeat offender Sora Leonhart.

"Come on Zexy," Sora pouted. "You know I'm no good at remembering this kinda stuff!" Sadly, yes, Zexion did know just how bad Sora was at remembering return dates. Sora wasn't put on the black list for tardiness on account that he was actually becoming one of the biggest sources of income for the library at an accelerated rate. Rumour had it in the staff room was so legendary was the petit brunet's forgetfulness that he might just earn himself a plaque in the library for his 'generous donations'. On the other, more realistic hand, it was how Sora and Zexion got to know each other past casual acquaintances to mutual friendship.

"You aren't an exception to the rule Sora," Zexion droned. "And will you stop calling me Zexy."

"No. Nnnn!" Sora stuck his tongue out childishly. "You're so mean and unflexible Zexy."

"The word is inflexible," Zexion corrected. "And yes, yes I am. That will be three thousand and twenty munny please."

"Three thousand and twenty?"

"Didn't you read the sign? The late fee's gone up by ten per cent since two weeks ago."

"I swear you guys just do this on purpose," Sora deflated. "Trying to drain me, a poor sophomore student, and my pitiful grant…"

"Why don't you try to remember your return dates rather than running around fretting about your little suitor?" Zexion countered.

"S-Suitor? Ha ha ha ha, wh-what are y-you talking about Z-Zexy? Wh-What su-suitor?" Zexion smirked at Sora's stammering. So it was getting quite serious.

"Riku still not responding, hmm?"

"…kinda…" Sora admitted quietly.

"'Kinda'?"

"Well…it's not like he's not responding. It's more like…he's treating it like a joke…" Sora seemed to wilt with each word, despairingly gloomy now. Ahhhhh, pure satisfaction in seeing Sora squirm awkwardly like this.

"Honestly Sora, it sounds like Riku has a thicker skull than first thought," Zexion droned monotonously. He met Riku a couple of times before; smart kid, just pretty much in a world of his own sometimes, going on about how he wanted to see the world. Sora had looked at him with such infatuated eyes that Zexion was in half a mind to slap the silver-haired one across the head for being such a blind idiot. "At this rate you're gonna have to throw yourself onto him just to get him to realise your feelings."

"Oooo noooooooo," Sora moaned, burying his face into his hands. "Riku will think I'm such a freak if I did that. A desperate freak."

"Huh…maybe…" He wondered idly if it had been like that when he first met Axel; desperation of wanting to not be alone anymore finally kicking in after so many years of celibacy because he had been the geeky kid that no one wanted to date from middle school all the way up to high school. The geeky kid that soon found out he had more of a fascination with his fellow man rather than with women. Well, he learnt from that mistake. No way was he going to be so freakishly desperate enough to jump into any man's pants just on the basis of how temperate their hands were.

"Soooooooo, what about you?" Sora asked. "It's been months since you and Axel…"

"Yes, it has. And no, I haven't jumped into the next prospective male's bed that I came across."

Sora laughed lightly, blue eyes twinkling with a childish quality. It seemed familiar that twinkle…now where did he see that… "I'm not asking if you've been having a string of one night stands. You're more of a serial monogamist."

"Axel's been my one and only serious relationship," Zexion muttered. "How can you decide I'm a…serial…monogamist?" Although he loved categorising and ordering his book collections and possessions, he wasn't at all fond of being categorised in the dating circle like some object.

"You just kinda have that feeling around you, y'know," Sora said sagely, acting like he was the all great guru of dating. "You couldn't date several guys at a time to see what you like the most at all. You're so set on what you like."

"And that's a bad thing?"

"Well, the downside is that once the relationship goes belly-up, it's like the end of the world." Sora shrugged. "Trust me, I've got a friend and an older brother who are like that. Kairi went into a raging fit over the last guy that dumped her and Leon wouldn't stop emo-ing when he and Rinoa broke it off for months."

"Sora…when's Leon not acting like an emo or too cool?"

"Point taken," Sora giggled. "Soooo…about that fee…"

"Three thousand and twenty please," Zexion stated firmly.

"Fine," Sora sighed, fishing for his wallet. He then idly commented, "You know who I'd think you'd be perfect for?"

"What?"

"A free spirit."

"I think Axel fits snugly into that category."

"Nah nah," Sora shook his head, putting down the collection of munny notes and coins. "Axel's a party animal. A guy who likes to have a taste of all the things on offer to him. A free spirit is a bit more grounded than that. They still drive you nuts with their eccentricities, but you're assured that they won't be straying too far from home." He then grinned. "That, and they'd respect your incredible unflexible need for space."

"Inflexible," Zexion corrected again. "And I can assure you that I'm as flexible as can be in every sense of the word."

"Really?" a familiar voice asked with genuine curiosity. Zexion immediately wanted to take back the retort, turning to his right to glare at whoever dared interpret that as some perverted connotation. His glare turned to blankness at the strange familiarity of that love-child between a Mohawk and a mullet hairstyle with varying shades of blond and those childish teal-coloured eyes. Now this was a face that seemed recognizable. Did he get a name for it? Danny…Denny…Demmy…?

"Hi," the blond grinned, string of shells and blue stones clinking merrily together. "I'm the guy that nearly got you covered in mud thanks to a miscalculated flight plan of a bottle-turned-rocket. Remember me?"

Oh. Yeah. Now he remembered him. He heard Sora trying to stifle a snigger; despite his appearance, Sora was anything but innocent. Zexion shot the brunet a glare, then turned back to the blond. "Yes. I remember you. Can I help you in some way?"

"I still have to make it up to you somehow for that incident. A hint from you maybe?" He flashed a set of pearly white teeth in a disarming fashion.

"If you have no queries about the library functions or on check out and return dates, please go elsewhere," Zexion retorted. Seriously…the amount of times he had been chatted up while he was working…was it so obvious that he batted for the other team?

"You always this cold to people trying to be perfectly nice to you?"

"Nope. Only to people who just can't take the hint."

"Ouch, harsh." But the blond didn't seem the least bit phased. "So I guess asking for your name would be too much?"

"I'd much prefer it if you left our chance meeting as just an unfortunate accident that included your bottle and a muddy puddle," Zexion replied with a deadpan voice.

"Shame," the man grinned, suddenly taking Zexion's hand and trapping it tightly within his, earning a surprised gasp from the petit slate-haired man. He was about to protest, but he felt the nib of a ballpoint pen stroke across his skin, blinking as he watched the blond write something on the back of his hand. He drew a line and let it go. "That's my name and my number. Call me sometime and I'll make it up to you for your book's near destruction."

Zexion flushed hotly, mostly out of sheer incredulousness of this man's boldness. "And what makes you think I'm going to call you?"

"Let's say there's a chance," the blond grinned, waving a book in his other hand. Zexion blinked when he realised it had been the book Sora had just returned. "Mind if I check this one out?"

"I hardly believe that you'd be interested in the culture of-" He read the title; Sora had been taking out travelogues recently in order to impress Riku. "-Mount Olympus."

"You might be surprised," the man shrugged. "Can I check it out?"

Now usually, Zexion would very monotonously reply that no, he couldn't because the book had to be checked in and that he had to verify if the book in question had a waiting list. But because he knew that travelogues didn't have waiting lists and that that edition was fairly recent and could be found in nearly ever book shop across the country, he decided to let it slide. Just this once. "Give it here. I'll check it out for you."

"Awesome," the blond said, handing the book over to him and letting the smaller man do his technological wizardry. A few seconds later, the book was handed back to the tall blond. "Well then, speak to you soon Zexy."

"Don't hold your…hey! How did you-?" But the blond had already left, dashing out the door as quickly as he could. Zexion could only blink dumbly before lifting his hand up to see the number. In blue ink, with a drawing of a smiley face right next to it, were the words: "Hi, I'm Demyx. Call me ^_^". A number, most likely a mobile phone judging by the fact it began with '07', was underlined underneath the message. He turned to face the brunet, who looked like he was just about to burst from laughing.

"Did you dare mouth to that total stranger just what my most hated nickname was?" he asked in a dangerously low tone.

"Ohhhh he's no stranger," Sora beamed. "He's my cousin."

Zexion wanted to hit his head against the wall at this point. Oh. Fucking. Great. What a wonderfully small world it was.


Brrrrrring brring brrrrrrring. Brrrrrring brring brrrrrrring.

"Hello?"

"Good thing you happen to be friends with my little cuz, huh?"

"Don't tell me he told you my number too…"

"He did. And your time schedule. And your email address. And your mom's number in case you decided to hide away there."

"Tell Sora that if I ever see him again, he's going to get a lecture on personal information security."

"Will do. Anyways, there's this live music bar that me and my friends frequent a lot and I heard they got a good band playing this Saturday."

"Point being?"

"You wanna go? Call this a way of saying 'sorry for almost hitting you with either a model rocket or a bad case of a mud bath'."

"…"

"Zexy?"

"Zexion. My name is Zexion."

"Ahh, so you finally tell me your name."

"No. I just hate being called 'Zexy'."

"Aww, but I think it's quirky."

"It sounds like a really bad pseudonym for a prostitute."

"Alright, we'll just keep it to plain old Zexion. Now, Saturday?"

"You're not gonna leave me alone until I say 'yes', aren't you?"

"That's the idea."

"…Fine. I'll go."

"Awesome. Uhh…could you tell me where you live? Sora didn't write down what your address was."

"Thank the…write down?"

"Yeah. That's why I checked out that book on Mount Olympus that day. Course, I did read the book too. Pretty cool place! Makes me wanna go there and see it for myself."

"…"

"Uh oh. That sigh didn't sound good."

"Demyx, please tell your cousin that if he ever wants to see the light of day again, he will not give out my personal information out to whomever he wishes or write on library books."

"Right…lecture on personal information giving out and writing on books, threaten with possibility of not surviving the next week. Gotcha. You live at…?"

"…Alexander College Apartment Complex. Sixth floor, room number Sixty-nine."

"Great! Not too far from Leviathan Apartments. I'll pick you up at about six-ish. Oh, and Zexion."

"Yes?"

"Wear light clothing. It might get hot in there."

"I'm sure it will. Bye."

Click.


When it got to about five o'clock on a breezy Saturday evening, Zexion was still trying to figure out why for the life of him was he going through with this? He didn't do live music clubs. He wasn't into heavy metal or rock. He was not the type to get into hot, sweaty crowds where he was at total risk of having some drunken idiot try to feel him up. Bottom line: Zexion did not go out to music clubs, night clubs or concerts unless it was by the Lumiére Symphony Orchestra if he had somehow managed to get a ticket for one of their concerts. Which was rare. Extremely rare.

So why did he heed Demyx's advice and wear a pair of loose fitting jeans and a loose long-sleeved black t-shirt? Why was he not wearing his usual tattered brown leather shoes but a pair of trainers he only wore a couple of times when he felt his old faithfuls needed a rest? Why was he fussing over whether the outfit he was wearing now was OK for this kind of activity? For the love of all that was good and holy, he was only going out for a drink! And anyway, why was he ready to go an hour earlier than he should be?

"It's not a freaking date," he grumbled as he turned away from the mirror. "Yeah sure, the guy has done his homework when it came to contacting me but that doesn't mean he's interested in that kind of thing." He was being honest with himself; Demyx didn't exactly scream flaming gay or moderately bisexual. He was sort of…well…he guessed girls would swoon over him. Unlike his bookish self. Axel had once cruelly commented after a drunken night out that Zexion was totally asexual on the basis that he wouldn't put out for him when Axel wanted to have sex.

Best not to think about that too much though… He picked up one of the books lying on the coffee table, falling onto the sofa and opening it from where he last left it, removing the plain purple coloured thin piece of laminated card with a small yellow tassel hanging off it that acted as a bookmark. He needed something to take his mind off Demyx and this outing he had reluctantly agreed to.

Speaking of which, he remembered he still had to butcher Sora with a butter knife at some point. He'd probably see Sora at the library come Monday; the brunet hadn't checked out a new travelogue yet.

"Sheesh, hopefully this isn't Sora trying to bribe me to make him not pay for late fees by hooking me up with some random 'free spirit'." Deciding it was best not to worry about it anymore than he was already, he just concentrated on reading in the time he had left waiting around for Demyx. He was hedging his bets on the blond being late.

At about five-fifty, he was taken out of his bookish trance when he heard his buzzer go off. Someone was at the door. For a while, Zexion wondered who it could have been. Surely Demyx wasn't early?

Zexion really couldn't believe that it was the very same man that he saw as an annoyance only a few days ago. He blinked lightly, taking in the other's appearance. Baggy jeans, white sleeveless shirt with a rock band's logo, light blue mesh top underneath, usual string of shells around his neck and rubbery neon wristbands.

He couldn't help but notice there was a faint whiff of sea air about the blond. "Hey, I'm not late am I?" Demyx asked.

"You're ten minutes early," Zexion dryly informed. "That's late for you?"

"Well, doesn't hurt to have a head start," Demyx grinned. He then winked and turned around. "Ready to go?"

"Huh? We're going now?" It could be said that Zexion was a creature of routine; if he had an appointment of meeting, he'd arrive on the dot or slightly earlier. He hated being late or others making him wait around.

"Yeah. If we don't go now, the best places will be taken," Demyx explained, grabbing the sophomore by the wrist when it looked like he wasn't going to move from his spot. "Keys? Wallet? Good! Let's go!"

"H-Hey!" He only just barely managed to grab his keys from the table side. "At least let me lock my front door!"

Demyx only laughed sheepishly. "Oh yeah, sorry. Got overenthusiastic." He knocked his knuckles against the top of his head, sticking his tongue out while making the most ridiculous expression. Honestly, this man seemed to fluctuate between looking cool and serene to then acting like a total idiot. He just gave him a disparaging look before locking his door, safely stowing his keys into his front pocket.

"Now we can leave."

"Great! Now let's go!"

"Hey!" This time though, Zexion had no excuse to stop the exuberant blond.

Along the way, Zexion had been pleasantly surprised by Demyx. Although he couldn't talk to him at length about books or his more classic taste in past times, he could however have a fairly prolonged discussion on some current events though the blond's interests were predominantly in music and celebrity. Thankfully, Zexion viewed such mindlessness as a valid conversation opener so he did try to keep up with it, no matter how boring or stupid he felt it was. Either way though, Zexion seemed to have learned more about certain popular bands such as the Nobodies and the Infernal Machine in one night talking to Demyx than he ever thought he could in his own spare time.

More importantly though, Demyx's hand seemed to be completely bound to Zexion's wrist, dragging him around with a grip that was firm but at the same time loose enough for Zexion to pull out of if he wanted to pull away. But Zexion was a bit reluctant to do that; even though it was spring, the nights were still pretty chilly. Demyx's hand provided a small source of warmth that Zexion didn't want to lose. He then had to dryly laugh at himself for noting down the temperature of his hands; such a stupid habit of his that he seriously needed to get rid of.

"Ah, we're here," Demyx stated suddenly, breaking off their current conversation about the pros and cons of their total opposite tastes in music. He still hadn't removed his hand from Zexion's wrist, as if he hadn't even realised they were still attached. He pushed the large, heavy door that had peeling blue paint cracking up and down it. A sign on it proclaimed in small white neon lights that it was the Genie in the Lamp Music Bar, followed by a small neon illustration of a flickering Agrabahan oil lamp. Zexion's expectations were promptly lowered. Not that he was expecting some sort of classy place anyway; he was a sophomore, and doubtless that Demyx was only a student himself. And it wasn't like they were on a date either. This was just 'hanging out'.

Even so, he couldn't believe just how busy it was now, with scantily clad barmaids strutting around in heels they could barely walk in serving drinks to the youthful patrons. There were a few that Zexion would have avoided at all costs, but generally they all seemed to be the wilder students at the university.

"Phew, looks like we're in time to get a seat," Demyx sighed in relief, still dragging the smaller man along to a vacant high table. "Lucky!" he sang.

"It gets busier than this?" Zexion asked, taking a seat once they got there. He hoped that Demyx wouldn't make some comment about the fact that Zexion's feet barely reached the foot-rest attached to the high stool he was sitting on.

"It gets wild," Demyx grinned. "It's awesome." He then seemed to pause thoughtfully, as if mulling over his own words. "Well, at least I think it's pretty awesome," he corrected. "You already said you were more into the classics."

Well, it was refreshing to hear someone being so considerate to his likes and dislikes for once. Maybe going along with this wasn't as bad as he had first thought. "I'd like to try new things every once in a while." That seemed to lift the blond's spirits.

"Drink's on me Zexion. Anything you like?"

"Err, just water."

"Huh? Just water?" Demyx repeated, sounding surprised.

"I don't really like alcohol," Zexion explained.

"You haven't lived," Demyx breathed, sounding more impressed than annoyed. Zexion had been taken aback by the reaction; if it had been Axel or some other guy trying to chat him up, he would've been given a look that was derogatory.

"Well excuse me for not sharing your tastes," Zexion huffed, turning his head away. He couldn't stand that amazed look anymore.

"No, no," Zexion could hear Demyx's smile. "I think that's amazing that you can refuse something like that." Zexion felt something akin to a faint blush coming on, but he wouldn't let it surface. He didn't want Demyx to see that he really was embarrassed by this strange reaction. "Water it is then! I'll be right back!" He immediately bounded off to the bar, leaving the smaller man alone at the table. Now that he was by himself, he really started to see just how out of place he was in this dark, noisy club that had a potent mixture of smoke, alcohol, cheap perfume and bodily odour as the setting's aroma. He stood out like a sore thumb with his unfussy clothing and lack of accessories. Maybe he should have worn that band shirt that had been given to him by Naminé; at least he'd fit into the crowd more.

"This your first time here?" a man asked, making Zexion jumped as he watched the stranger lean casually against the table. Dark hair, dark clothing, multiple facial piercings (lip, eyebrow, ears) and black kohl around his eyes. And the very obvious smell of a cologne called Shadow; ghastly woody smell.

"Can I help you?" Zexion curtly spoke back, not willing to give the stranger the benefit of an answer.

"Well you could," the man smirked easily, leaning a little closer. "You see, I've lost my number and-"

"My sweet honey!" Zexion jumped when he felt two arms suddenly wrap around him. He could smell sea air wafting into his nose. "Is this guy a friend of yours? Why don't you introduce him to me?"

"Uhhh," the guy moved away quickly, looking like he had just been burnt. "Hey man, sorry about that. Maybe next time." He disappeared into the crowd. He felt the arms leave his frame and a heaving sigh escaping from the man behind him.

"Man, sorry about that Zexion," Demyx said, coming to sit on the other side of the table. Zexion hadn't noticed that there were two glasses on the table while he was trying to think of a way of getting rid of the unwanted guest. "You get that a lot here. I shoulda really have ordered the drinks before getting a table but…"

"It's alright," Zexion sighed, though he had to admit he was glad Demyx did show up when he did. "I'm sort of used to getting chatted up." He then shrugged. "I must attract idiots like flies to honey."

Demyx could only laugh. "Yeah, maybe." He perked up a bit. "Ah, it's gonna start!" Zexion turned to face the area that had been designated as the stage; in reality, it was just a raised part of wooden platform that was only strong enough to hold the band and all its equipment up. Not that Zexion had many expectations anyway. Though of course, as soon as the music started and the vocalist belted out into the microphone, the whole place came to life.

Watching the people dancing though, it was almost like watching some strange group of animals performing a mating ritual on the nature channel. Sadly though, Demyx misinterpreted the curious glance. "Wanna?"

"Huh?" Zexion turned his attention back to Demyx, looking confused. Demyx could only grin lightly.

"You're looking at them." He tilted his head lightly towards the mass of bodies that were… 'dancing'.

"I can assure you that I don't particularly want to join them," Zexion retorted hastily. He was in no mood to get hit on, grinded against or touched in every sexual sense of the word. He did not want to find himself getting dry-humped by some overgrown hairy ape, thank you very much. The blond shrugged.

"Suit yourself. I'm gonna join." He then leaned over. "I wanna get closer to the band. You're welcome to join if you want." He must have noticed Zexion's hesitancy. "I promise, if you get uncomfortable, we'll get out of the mosh-pit right away."

Zexion tried to find some inkling of untruth, but he couldn't find any. Against his better judgement, he relinquished. "Alright."

"Awesome," Demyx beamed, once again taking Zexion's wrist, practically dragging him off his seat. "Let's go then!"

"Ah! Wait!" The blond didn't heed him, dragging him into the mass of sweaty moving bodies. The stench offended Zexion's nose, making him quiver in disgust. Honestly, how could any person want to willingly be a part of this primeval behaviour? And yet, having someone hold his wrist in this way felt comforting to him. He was inwardly glad it was so dark; he didn't want Demyx to see the small embarrassed flush appearing on his face. Geez…this guy…


Maybe he was just overwhelmed by the experience, but Zexion had been very quiet on the way back to his apartment. Of course, Demyx couldn't help but fill in the silence, talking about how the band was awesome or where they could've sounded better or the jerk that just stood right in front of them when the band had started playing a cover for a well-known song. He couldn't help but think there was something so cartoon-like about Demyx's animated chatter.

"You're being too quiet," Demyx frowned, though it looked more like a childish pout.

"Am I?"

"Yeah."

"Oh."

A despairing sigh. "Did you not like it?"

"No. That's not it," Zexion replied. He looked away slightly. "It was…different, but just not…what I'm used to I guess." He felt awkward. He wasn't used to these sorts of situations. He wasn't used to explaining himself for his lack of descriptive dialogues. Back when he was dating Axel, it didn't really matter; words weren't necessary. And 'hanging out' with friends didn't often include going to a music bar or a night club of all places. At most it was going to see some film for cheap at an old movie theatre with dodgy seating and even dodgier tasting popcorn.

Demyx only sighed, scratching the back of his head; probably a nervous habit. "Well, guess I should have expected it…"

"I'm assuming Sora gave you a strict run down of things you will definitely not see me at, correct?"

"Well yeah but…" he trailed off, pausing for a moment as if to carefully consider how he was going to word the next bit. "Don't you think it'd be a bit boring if you did the same thing over and over again?"

Zexion seemed to recoil at that, indigo coloured eyes blinking in a surprised fashion. Was he…boring? Was that why his lack of success when did come to dating all came down to that? Was that why…

Demyx seemed to have taken the reaction as a negative one. "Ah! Forget that I said that! That was uncalled for!"

"Uhh…no, it's alright." He recomposed himself. "It's…refreshing hearing such blunt honesty."

"You have a real knack of knowing how to make me feel worse about myself…"

"It's a gift." Oddly enough, Zexion felt the corner of his lips twitch into a slight smile, having to admit that this sort of gawkiness from the blond was something he actually found quite charming. "Besides…it was interesting. I guess you could say that I had fun." He knew that he was saying it mostly in the interest of politeness, but Demyx's expression lit up immediately.

"So I haven't completely made a huge hash of this then, huh?"

"Why does something tell me that I'm going to be seeing a lot more of you?" Zexion asked, realising just then that they had finally arrived at his apartment complex.

"Because you possibly are unless you outright reject me now?" Demyx suggested, not skipping a beat in that overly cheerful tone of his. A tone that was beginning to grate on him.

"Hrmmm…"

"Then I guess I am allowed to bother you again?"

"Preferably without the makeshift rocket," Zexion sighed, guessing it would be within his best interests to be nice. No matter how much this man annoyed him sometimes, he was still Sora's cousin, and Sora was a good friend to him. The brunet would never forgive him if he treated the blond with little respect. Demyx was oblivious to Zexion's thoughts.

"A'right. Next time we meet I'll try not to terrorise you with rockets made by four year olds."

"Good. Please do…" Hang on… 'rockets made by four year olds'? He looked at Demyx with a quizzical brow. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but you don't happen to work at the day-care centre on campus right?"

"Yup, I do," Demyx grinned. "Wasn't it obvious the first time we met?"

"…In hindsight, it is now." Demyx only laughed lightly, clearly amused with Zexion's apparent lack of logic. The slate-haired man frowned lightly; at the time he was more concerned with getting to his lecture than he was about the occupation of the blond man. "It wasn't like I was concerned about just what you were doing with a bottle of all things at that moment."

"Too busy worrying about getting to a class in time?" Zexion raised an eyebrow at that. Was it that obvious or did Sora inform Demyx of his extensive schedule? Demyx's smile hadn't faltered in the slightest. "So…can I see you again?" the blond asked quietly, looking at him dead straight in the eye.

He did think about it. Although he had the knack to get on his nerves, Demyx did prove to be a considerate person, and he was Sora's cousin. And it never hurt having more acquaintances. Zexion, for all his reputation as a sort of solitary being, did believe in working in tight, functional groups. "It wouldn't hurt, I suppose," he shrugged casually. Who was he to say if they were never allowed to see each other again? He jumped slightly in surprise when he felt a heavy warm hand pat his shoulder lightly.

"Great!"

And, as they say, it was the beginning of the end for Zexion.


Brrrrrring brring brrrrrrring. Brrrrrring brring brrrrrrring.

"Yes Demyx?"

"How'd ya know it was me?"

"Hmm, because for the past week you've been calling me at least once a day. It's kind of hard not to notice."

"I'd say its witchcraft."

"Witchcraft aside…what is it?"

"Um, you know that book that I borrowed from the library? The one that Sora defaced in order to give me your contact details?"

"What about it?"

"How much will it cost me to pay for a replacement one?"

"You lost it?"

"Err…you could say that."

"Demyx…"

"Let's just say that when I found it, the condition could have been better." A sigh. "The kids that I was babysitting last night thought they could colour in the pictures."

"…do realise that if it were not for the fact that it was a relatively childish way a perfectly good book has been defaced, you would be second on the list of people that will be lectured or possibly killed by me."

"I'm guessing Sora's top on it, right?"

"The fact that I find him charming is stopping me from skinning him alive."

"Hey! I'm charming too!"

"No Demyx. You are a foolish fool. A foolish fool who foolishly leaves library books to be preyed upon ignorant young children."

"I take it that you don't like kids then."

"I'm not good with children."

"Sourpuss. Anywho, how much is it gonna cost me to replace the book?"

"I hope you have three thousand five hundred munny spare."

"Wha-? It's that expensive?"

"Yes. I expect the new book to be in pristine condition when you give it to the library on Monday. Have a pleasant weekend Demyx."

"Oi! Zex-!"

Click.