A/N: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh... Hands is finally finished (phew, what a writing workout this was...) I sort of feel sad that it's done now, but I'm glad that I managed to churn another chapter out before day 60 (yeah... I keep my documents stored on FF for the full 60 days as a means of counting just how many days its been since I last updated. Bit sad really...) So after this, Ever After will be the next to be updated. Still playing around with the idea of having multiple large works on the go at the same time; it's starting to look likely as it'll be a challenge for me.

Anyway, before I ramble, read, review and enjoy~ And I'd love to have reviews, for reviews are my olive oil and lemon cake (it actually does taste nice despite the ingredient choice!)

Zexion had stared at the message long and hard for a good solid ten minutes that evening, contemplating over what Axel wanted to say to him. Although he had been hurt by the redhead, it didn't mean he hated him. But neither did it mean that he still loved him. He didn't think he ever loved him. He just fell in love with the notion of being with someone. Fell in love with the sense of cold security whenever he felt Axel's cool hands. And maybe that was why their relationship fell through; because Zexion never fell for him, Axel lost patience with him.

Maybe both of them were just as hurt as each other. Maybe.

He texted back:

Alright. Come over to the apartment tomorrow. We'll talk then.

He didn't sign it. He didn't want Axel to get into trouble with his blond 'mistress'. Well, Axel would get into trouble anyway, but at least, if said mistress didn't look at the details, the redhead wouldn't get accused of sliding back to an ex's arms.

The response to Zexion's text was almost instantaneous.

See you there.

And the proverbial dagger lodged in his heart twisted further. Why did this feel so much like a betrayal, when he wasn't even with Demyx, the guy he was slowly starting to have feelings for? When he knew Demyx liked someone else?

Rather than over-thinking it and trying to make sense of this like he usually would, he ended up just going to bed. He was too tired and too annoyed to try figuring it all out. Maybe tomorrow would give him the answer.

The doorbell rang later that morning when Zexion just about stepped out of the shower, frustrated and annoyed over the fact that the answer had been staring right at him the whole time. 'Just tell Demyx! Tell him that you like him!' his mind had screeched at him. No more beating around the bush. Wasn't that his advice to Demyx at that double date? The doorbell kept ringing.

"I'm coming! I'm coming!" Zexion yelled, furious that he was getting disturbed. He swore if it was one of those ridiculous charity muggers again doing early morning rounds… He opened the door.

And lo and behold, there was that familiar honey-blond mullet lovechild and childish teal eyes looking at him. He looked quite surprised for some reason. "That's…quite a face you've got there."

"Spare me," Zexion grumbled. "And just what are you doing here so early?"

"I wanted to talk."

"At nine in the morning?"

"Nine twenty actually."

"That's beside the point." He sighed, stepping aside. "Come on in. You've had breakfast already?"

"Grabbed some toast. Could do with some water though."

"Help yourself. Kitchenette is on the left. Just let me get a shirt on." Zexion had only just managed to grab his jeans and slip them on when Demyx called. When he got back in, he noticed that his phone's screen was blinking. A text. He picked it up while perusing his wardrobe for one of his lighter shirts.

Sorry Zex. Rox is getting a little antsy about something and I'm terrified he's gonna go apeshit on me if he finds out about us speaking. Mind if I came over now while he's gone to a lecture? Axel

Zexion was about to respond with a 'no, I've got a visitor' when his phone buzzed again. Another text from Axel.

P.S. I know this is going to sound random but I've just noticed that the two important guys in my love life have nicknames that end with an 'x'. A sign?

Zexion only frowned. Axel had a knack for making something sound ambiguous; he didn't know if Axel was being deep and thoughtful or if he was trying to insinuate that they should have a threesome. But the thing that made Zexion's heart flutter just a little was the fact that Axel had acknowledged him as someone important. He felt his hand tremble a little bit. Demyx was here, but oh the old longing to see Axel again had just kicked in. Then his logical mind put itself into the driver's seat: he had a choice. Pine for Axel and continue getting trampled on like a doormat, or admit all to Demyx and risk rejection. Either way, the risk of emotional pain was very real.

Axel: familiar, comforting, like an old book that you love to death and read at least once every six months, pages yellowing from good use, corners turned over, spine creasing lightly. Cold hands.

Demyx: new, terrifyingly exciting, like a new book with gleaming cover, embossed lettering, crisp white pages waiting to be read, filled to the gunnels with new knowledge or a new story, practically untouched. Warm hands.

He took a deep breath and let his thumb type the message.

Fine. But keep it quick please. I have some work to do today.

He paused, thinking about whether he should say he had an unexpected visitor. But then he thought, as long as Demyx and Axel didn't see each other, neither of them had to know. He pressed the send button, and continued to dress himself.

When he got out, Demyx was looking out of the window. He looked a little shaky, as if nervous over something…or something had gone horribly wrong. Zexion was silent for a moment, wondering if Demyx had spoken to the guy he liked and got rejected for it. It wouldn't be appropriate for him to tell Demyx the truth about how he felt for him. "Demyx?"

The blond turned, giving him a nervous smile. "Hey. Um, sorry about the sudden visit. It's just…kinda important."

"Oh." Zexion took a seat, using his gaze to tell Demyx that he was free to sit too. However, the honey-blond hadn't seemed to notice; the slate-haired one observed that Demyx was getting even more jittery. "Did something happen?"

"No. Not really. Just…wanted you to hear me out." He was standing right in front of him now. Zexion felt his heart rate sky rocket. He was so close…


Demyx nodded his head. "You remember when you said that I shouldn't beat around the bush anymore? Come straight out with it and tell the guy I like how it is, remember?"

"Yes…your point?"

"Well, um…you see…um…" Demyx seemed bashful all of a sudden, nervously scratching the back of his head. Zexion idly noted that it seemed to be a nervous habit the blond shared with his previous redheaded lover. "Um…I…well, I…"

Zexion sighed. "If you don't know how to confess, you just have to say you don't know how. You don't even have to say that version of the one-four-three." He stood up, deciding he needed a coffee. As long as he was giving Demyx advice, he could follow his own and act out like it was an example. Sure, Demyx might not think it was serious, but at least Zexion wouldn't be torturing himself over it. "Just say that you care, that you think about him, worry about him, act totally unlike yourself when you do think of him and when you're around him you feel like you're the happiest person on earth, and when you're not with him you miss him." He was beginning to hate this 'him' now. "I mean, maybe it's better suited for a girl but-" He yelped when he felt Demyx's hands on his shoulders suddenly, looking at him with a look that could only be described as like a deer in the headlights.

Demyx had a serious look on his face, a look he had only seen when the blond was concentrating on a complicated song on his sitar. "Don't mock me. Saying 'that version of the one-four-three' is the most powerful thing I can do."

"Wh-What…?" Zexion could hardly believe his ears. "De…myx?"

The honey-blond was taking a deep breath, looking like he was trying to get himself ready for the rejection that could come. "I like you Zexion. The guy I like is you. Had been since we first met. Had been since I first saw you in the park with that jerk of an ex last winter."

"Wait…Wait! What?" It was all Zexion could say, eyes wide as saucers. Demyx liked him even before they were properly introduced? Before they even exchanged words because of a flying bottle? While Zexion and Axel were in the dying stages of their relationship?

That long?

"I know it's stupid, and childish and whatever else you think it is, but that's how I feel and you wouldn't believe how excited I was when I saw you and Sora hanging out when I went to go pester him because I actually had a valid reason to speak to you but then I heard you broke up with the jerk and I wanted to respect your need for space during that time and-"

"Demyx. Shut up." The honey-blond went mute, serious expression replaced with that normal goofy one Zexion was more used to. Zexion's palm was currently nursing his forehead. Now how the hell did he end up having this headache. "First, please don't butcher the English language within the space on a minute. A sentence can't be that long. You'll run out of breath." He noted that Demyx's lips had puckered into an 'oh' shape. "Secondly, if you already knew me, why did you- no, don't even bother answering that, you already said the reason. It's just…urgh…" He tried to wretch himself free. This was way over his own head right now. He wasn't prepared for this. "Okay, clearly the heat has gotten to your brain somehow." Yes, that was it. Summer heat. That was the only clear answer. Why else would Demyx, the musical free spirit that liked popular culture, was a hit with the ladies (and gents) and was much loved by children, say that he liked -liked!- a bookish hanging-out-at-coffee-houses sort…of…

Oh. Fuck. Demyx had been describing him that night.

"You're not thinking straight," his mouth was motoring on, ignoring the screaming from his more emotional side. "I mean, what the hell would you see in-" He jumped when he felt Demyx's arms suddenly wrap around him from behind, holding him tightly.

"Don't discount yourself," the honey-blond said. "Don't tell me I'm being an idiot too. I know how I feel. And I'm not beating around the bush anymore." The hold became tighter, and Zexion flushed as the heat from Demyx's hands seeped into him. "I like you Zexion. I really like you."

His mouth went dry, unable to formulate words in his mind let alone speak them. Those hands were so warm…so very warm… If this continued, Zexion was going to…

The doorbell rang; Zexion immediately pulled away. "I- I better get that!" He had to admit, this was the fastest his feet had ever gone in a short space. But why did Demyx have to say all this right now? Why did Axel have to contact him again? If someone else was at the door to start professing their love to him that would be the last straw for him!

He opened it; he was greeted by green eyes and a shock of red, spiky hair. "Whoa, Zex. You look like you've just run a marathon."


The elder looked at him with a curious look, tilting his head lightly to the right. "What's up? Did something happen?" His face softened a little bit. "It's not your mom, is it?"

"No. She's fine," Zexion mumbled. He and Axel had been together when Zexion's mother had a small accident. Ms. Andrews ended up falling down the stairs because of a hole in the rug on the top floor, having been found by a neighbour who heard her screaming in pain. Zexion hardly left the hospital during that time; Axel house-sat for her, looking into who was best qualified to mend a hole in a rug before deciding he could just patch it up himself. Ms. Andrews was not best pleased by the result, but she was appreciative of the thought of her son's boyfriend. "What did you want to talk about?"

"Can we talk inside? I don't really want the neighbours to hear," Axel murmured, his eyes darting to the right; next door was Alice Chant, a girl who had been one of the first to see him off with a self-satisfied smirk and a comforting batch of cookies to help mend Zexion's apparent broken heart. The smaller one nodded his head in understanding.

"I have a visitor at the moment, but I can ask him to come back."

"Thanks." Zexion stepped aside to let Axel in; the redhead looked around, smiling weakly. "You haven't changed it at all."

"Well, for the most part." Zexion walked back into the living room, seeing that Demyx had been waiting patiently for him, though his eyes enlarged when he saw the redhead behind him. "Demyx, do you mind if we talk about…that later? I have some important business to discuss."

"…Yeah, okay," Demyx nodded, though he swallowed thickly a lump he had been holding in his throat. His hands were clenched, almost as if he was trying to stop himself from doing something stupid. He was about to pass Zexion when he stopped and held him suddenly. Zexion stiffened in shock, but he never realised the glare he had given to the redhead. Axel just blinked. "I'll see you after lunch," Demyx stated. "Take care." His hold tightened for a second before letting the smaller one go, giving him a strained smile before disappearing out the door.

And Zexion couldn't help but think that had been way too easy. "You really need to put that guy out of his misery," Axel commented.


"He likes you."

"…yeah, I know."

"How about you?"

Zexion didn't respond, looking away in embarrassment. He jumped when he felt Axel's ice cold hands stroke through his hair like he used to do when they were together. "I'll keep it short then. I'm not letting you delay this anymore."

"Why would you care?"

"Because, Zex, you have to be one of the most patient people I've ever had the honour of being with despite all my fuck ups, so I'd rather prefer it if you were happy after all the shit I put you through." He pulled his hand away, looking down at the little man. "Anyway, that's not what I wanted to talk about."

"Alright," Zexion sighed, sitting down on the brown sofa. Axel did the same, but neither of them looked at each other, sudden awkwardness coming over them. "So…what is it that you wanted to talk about?"

"Well, it's more of an apology and begging for forgiveness more than anything else."

"An apology?"

"Yeah." Axel looked at him, his back totally straight as if he had been tied to a pole. "I've done some stupid things in the past, even before we were together. I could never commit, I was always skirt-chasing or trouser-chasing, I pretty much got hammered most nights and when I was I'd say some pretty cruel things. Especially to you when we were together because you just wouldn't fight back. It aggravated me just how passive you were."

"Excuse me for wanting to keep my head on my neck," Zexion glowered, folding his arms across his chest. "So I'm guessing you've done a stupid thing to Roxas?"

"Yeah. You remember Larxene?"

Zexion went bug-eyed. Larxene Argent was considered as possibly the most brutal bitch you could ever come across. Zexion's dealings with her had been limited to one of his science modules on his course, and also when he caught Axel in the act with the blonde. He found out quickly that apparently Larxene was a nymphomaniac, and Axel was more than happy to comply with her demands; he and Zexion had been having an argument at the time. "Her? Again?"

"I should have told you but I got her number. Just a week ago she started sexting me. I was being an idiot at the time and just sexted back but Roxas caught on. He was on the verge of murdering her. Then he just broke down and told me just what he thought of me." The redhead looked fairly uncomfortable; he was just as bad as Zexion at expressing intimate emotions. "I didn't know what to do. And I just kept thinking, have I hurt everyone I've ever been in a relationship with just because I didn't know how much I was hurting them?"

"Axel…no person who's trying to commit to a relationship would cheat on their partner if they loved them," Zexion explained calmly. "Besides… I think in our case, I'm just as much to blame as you were."

"What do you mean?"

"I liked you. I fancied you. But I didn't love you." Zexion took a deep breath; he said it. He made his choice. He wasn't going to pine over Axel anymore. He was going to move on. "I think I was more in love with the fact that I was with someone rather than the person I was with. And that was wrong of me. So…I apologise as well."

"You don't need to apologise Zex." He looked up. Axel seemed pretty much at peace with himself. "All I need to know is whether you forgive me or not for what I did to you."

He thought about this. Did he forgive him? No, not really. Could he forgive him? Maybe, in time. "I wasn't the one for you. Let's just leave it at that."

"Deal." Axel seemed a bit happier at that. "Now… about that guy."

"Demyx? What about him?"

"Are you gonna talk to him or not?"

"Well it wouldn't be fair on him considering you interrupted him mid-confession."

"Then what are you sitting here talking to me for?" Axel asked, surprisingly being very assertive about this. "Get off your arse and find the guy."

"You don't mind seeing your ex with someone else?"

"Zexion, do you mind the fact that I'm trying to make amends in order to prove to that spitfire of a kid that I love him?"

And for some reason, although Zexion figured he should have felt the sting of hurt in his chest, he couldn't help but smile and feel like a weight had been lifted off his shoulders. "You know what, I think I don't mind at all."

Brrrrrring brring brrrrrrring. Brrrrrring brring brrrrrrring

"Demyx Lowell speaking."

"Demyx, its Zexion."

"Oh. Hey. So… um… I guess you and your ex…"

"We've patched some loose ends up. He just wanted my blessing."

"Your blessing? For what?"

"For being in committed relationship with the guy he cheated on me with."

"What?-! Don't tell me you actually-!"

"Yes, I did. And I'm glad he's happy with him and that he's even going around contacting every person he's ever been with and hurt just to apologise to them all to prove how much he cares for said mistress."

"Zexion… how can you do that? After all he's done to you?"

"Because I'm a mature adult who doesn't really hold grudges. That, and I feel like it's time that we both moved on from what happened."

"…I couldn't do that…"

"It's not something that everyone can do. But anyway, that isn't the point of this call."


"Can we talk? In private? About what you said this morning."

"Uhh… yeah. We can."

"Good. Come over to my apartment right now. Axel's gone."

"Right now? But Zex I'm-"

"You have half an hour to get here. If you're not here within that time limit, I am going to assume you have chickened out and break all contact with you. I can't stand cowards."



Demyx made it with minutes to spare after Zexion made that call, panting and heaving at the small sophomore's front door. The sophomore in question couldn't help but look rather satisfied with himself; only fair to be mean to the blond since he had put him in a rather uncomfortable situation right before meeting up with Axel. He ushered Demyx in, closing the door behind him before leaning against it, looking straight at the other. Demyx seemed bashful again, looking at the floor as if something was far more interesting by his feet.

"So… you like me, huh?" Demyx nodded his head in affirmative. "And you've liked me since before we even met?" Another nod of confirmation. "So you've known I've existed this whole time, even through Sora who is your cousin." Another, more timid, nod. "So explain to me why you couldn't have approached me any of those times? Because of Axel?"

"Not just because of him," Demyx muttered.

"I'm listening."

"…You looked so cool to me. And you're really smart as well. I felt like I was just an idiot compared to you and I… I really wanted you to like me, even if it was just as a friend. So as soon as I found out that you were friends with Sora, I helped him out a little bit with the travelogues so I could hold at least one conversation with you. Then I found out you were in the Science Faculty so I studied extra hard in my modules too. Then I figured that you must like reading too since you work in the library so I looked up every book I thought you might have liked and read up on them, even the really difficult ones. I really tried to be someone that you might hang out with but… but as soon as I finally got a chance to talk to you, it all just went out of the window." Demyx deflated at this, looking a little depressed. "You wouldn't even tell me your name. I just… didn't know what to do."

"Demyx…" Zexion sighed, running a hand down his face. "I was going to run late for a wild module at the time. If you studied me so well you would have known that I value my studies. Secondly, we were perfect strangers in that situation. It's natural for people to just apologise for their mistakes, the other forgiving, and the whole thing just dropped and forgotten. People don't try to make up for trivial things." He then came over, flicking the blond's forehead to get him to look up. "And you want to know something? Axel and I once went a recital I had been looking forward to for months and Axel slept through the whole thing. He didn't even like the same things as I did. And on top of that, Axel's degree is in the humanities. He did sociology."

Demyx gave him a surprised look, half because of how much the flick to the forehead had hurt, and half because of what Zexion was telling him. Zexion concluded, "The bottom line is, you don't have to be a genius to impress me. I believe you told me to 'be yourself' about a week or so ago? Why not take your own advice." He then smiled ever so faintly at the honey-blond. "I rather like the 'you' who's as goofy as anything, doesn't do classical music but plays a sitar of all things, and is also a big kid at heart, Disney films et al."

If the expression of a person's face could be valued, Zexion would guess the one gracing Demyx's face would be valued as priceless. "Does this mean…?"

"Yes. I accept your feelings and reciprocate them." And as expected, Zexion felt Demyx's arms wrap around his middle tightly, unable to help himself just chuckling very quietly and very dryly. The blond in question was clinging to him as if the sophomore would be taken away if he let go. Those hands on his back were just as warm as every other time he felt them wrapped around his wrist or holding his hand.

"What about that guy though?"



"He came to apologise." Demyx pulled back at that, blinking the entire time. "Hard to believe I know, but that's all he wanted. What did you think he was there for?"

"…I thought you guys had been talking about getting back together," Demyx admitted. "I was really terrified that I had lost before I even started."

"Demyx, really…"

"Sorry. I guess I just don't feel like sharing you."

"I'd rather prefer it if you didn't," Zexion muttered, going just the tiniest bit pink in the cheeks. "I've had enough of being forced to share when I don't want to."

It had been about a week after Demyx's confession and Axel's apology. During this time, things just seemed to be normal, like neither had happened. Zexion hadn't heard from Axel again, which probably meant that he had managed to work things out with his new beau. His relationship with Demyx however…

"Demyx…why are you here again?" he sighed, putting his hands on his hips as he stood in front of the taller blond. Once again Demyx was playing his sitar, a stash of copper and silver munny coins glimmering in the late afternoon sunshine.

"I was waiting for you," the other grinned disarmingly. "Wanna grab dinner?" It was always like this. Demyx would wait for Zexion out on the library steps, then they would either walk to one of their apartments or go to one of the student bars on campus for dinner. Then, after dinner, they would just end up sitting together at one of their places; if it was Demyx's, they'd just sit on his bed and talk or listen to music, if it was Zexion's they'd end up on the sofa watching DVDs -either a choice between crime dramas that Zexion was so fond of, or Disney which Demyx insisted upon in order to 'make-up for boyfriend's deprived childhood'. So far, so friendly.

They never really got any further than the odd still-awkward hug or the hesitant touches to new untouched parts of their bodies -a shoulder, the small of a back, a one-armed wrap around a waist- but holding hands, even entwining fingers, had become an everyday occurrence. Something that Zexion secretly looked forward to, but he'd never admit to it. Especially not to Demyx. That was beside the point though.

"Yours, mine or out?" Zexion asked.

"How about mine? I got a new CD. It might be to your taste." That was the other thing about this new relationship seemed to create. The blond knew he was never going to be able to drag Zexion to concerts or large gigs so he did the next best thing by introducing new music to the other. Mostly rock bands he found, but there were other genres thrown in as well.

"This means takeaways again, doesn't it?"

"Yeah," Demyx laughed uneasily. "Not great date food but you can't deny dreamy tomato and cheesy delight."

"You'll find that I can do without pizza."

"What planet are you from?"

"Apparently not the same one you're from."

"Fair dos," Demyx shrugged, standing up at last once his sitar was put back in its case. His hand snaked around Zexion's, grinning all the while at him. "Let's go."

And once again, Zexion just found himself surrendering to the blond. But it left him wondering… was it forever just going to be like this? A relationship where it felt more like they were friends who held hands and on occasion embrace each other awkwardly? It wasn't that he was itching to take the next step, it was more like he was wondering how much longer would they be hovering over the thin line between friendship and… well, being a couple. He was brought out of his trance at one squeeze on his hand. "Hmm?"

"You dazed out on me. Something up?" Demyx asked. He looked concerned.

"It's nothing," Zexion assured him. "Just had a lot on my mind lately."


"Partially that," Zexion replied truthfully. "Let's just go."

He didn't notice the worried look on Demyx's face.

Another night at Demyx's, another two half empty pizza boxes on the floor. Zexion was becoming accustomed to it now, especially the after-dinner cuddling that had only just begun to stop feeling so awkward and new to him. Well, he said cuddling, but it was more like Demyx was holding him around his middle and pulling him to his chest back first. Zexion was still a little hesitant about wrapping his arms around the other, which was probably why they weren't getting anywhere with their relationship right now. For now though, talking to Demyx with the Black Mages playing in the background was cosy enough for him.

"Hey Zex," Demyx started quietly, almost tentatively.


"Can I ask you something without you going all kamikaze word-ninja on me?"

"Yes. What is it?" He turned slightly, one indigo coloured eye blinking in question behind a cascade of slate hair.

"Are you regretting going out with me?" Now that had been a question he wasn't expecting. He just looked at him in sheer shock, whole body jerkily twisting around to face him.

"What the hell Demyx?"

"Sorry. Forget what I said." He looked away. He was no fool though; he could tell Demyx was upset about something.

"No. Tell me. What on earth makes you think I'm regretting being with you?"

For a while, Demyx stayed absolutely silent, not daring to look at him in the eye until, finally, he murmured, "You don't look happy."

"Is that it?"

"What do you mean is that it?-!" Demyx almost yelled, but he caught himself quickly. "It's just, the first few days were great but then all of a sudden you got all moody with me and no matter what I did to cheer you up or get you to talk what was on your mind you just wouldn't say what was wrong and I don't know if it's because it's something I've done or-"

"Aren't you the least bit worried that our relationship is currently at a standstill?" Zexion interrupted, confused as to why Demyx would think he wasn't happy.

"It's only at a standstill because I wanted to take it slow but the fact you don't seem to be-" Before Demyx could finished, his lips were pressed closed by two of Zexion's fingers. Teal eyes looked at him in confusion.

"So the fact of the matter is, both of us have been too terrified to do anything because we have both misunderstood the situation," Zexion concluded. It was almost surprising how quickly and maturely he was able to nip possible bust ups in the bud before they had a chance to blossom when it came to Demyx. Once the blond talked, it was like being buffeted by a tsunami of words backed up by emotions and anxieties. "Whereas I have been worrying about just what our relationship even is, you have been worrying if the relationship will just be." He took his fingers away, giving Demyx to speak. "My question to you is this: what exactly is your definition of 'taking it slow'?"

"Would you laugh if I said I was a bit of a romantic and wanted to get to know you better before I start trying to lay on the moves?"

"No. I'd probably hit you with numerous horrible teenage romance books for being too chivalrous though."

"Huh?" Demyx tilted his head, almost like a puppy when it was confused. "What do you mean?"

"Demyx, contrary to popular belief, just because I'm a 'coffee shop sort of guy', being romanced off my feet like some heroine in a bodice-ripper isn't something I really like." Now it all made sense. If he just told Demyx what was on his mind a few days ago, neither of them would have felt so out of depth. "I want you to be yourself and I want to get to know you, but I want to get to know you as your boyfriend, not as your best friend." Demyx still looked confused. "That means…um…well…urm…" Now he felt awkward. "Look, what we've been doing in the past week hasn't been that different from what we did when we friends. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I want you to bankrupt yourself doing something couples would do but it wouldn't hurt if you at least tried to-" He stopped immediately. Oh god, he couldn't say it. Here he was, being deliciously ironic in that now he was being the motor mouth and Demyx the silent listener, and now trying to insinuate that he wanted more than just awkward hugs and holding hands in public. What he wanted was…was something a bit more…deeper…intimate…

He could not stoop so low as to ask the blond to kiss him!

"Zexion…are you saying that you wouldn't mind if I did go a step further than cuddling?" Demyx asked carefully. The smaller sophomore didn't answer. "Zexion?"

"Yes, alright! I am asking that! If you've got a problem with it then-" Demyx took this as his cue to shut him up, and shut him up he did. With a kiss.

It had taken Zexion completely by surprise but it was actually a rather nice one. Sadly, almost embarrassingly for Zexion who had vowed never to compare Demyx to Axel, he did guiltily compare them. Whereas Axel's kisses were searing hot, fast and furious, filled with fire and made Zexion literally powerless to him, Demyx's were warm, gentler, lazier, slower and yet they too were making him melt into the blond's hands. It was almost like he was being overpowered and yet Demyx wasn't allowing himself to go any further unless Zexion was comfortable.

He realised that this really was what he wanted. Slow didn't have to mean not kiss, but a kiss didn't have to mean they were going to hump like rabbits in heat right now. Demyx pulled away after Zexion had this small silent perception. "Do I have permission to do this whenever the hell I feel like?" he asked quietly.

"So long as it's not a constant case of public show of affection," Zexion said, establishing a boundary. He was never good at doing things he considered very intimate in a public setting.

"Then consider your lips getting very bruised for the next couple of days," Demyx grinned, looking like a kid who had just had his birthday, Easter, Halloween and Christmas all rolled up into one giant present.

"You can consider me leaving the country then."

"Nuh-uh." He was pulled in closer. "Can't have that."

"You look happy," Sora commented. Although his relationship with Riku was practically flying happily with little disturbance, the brunet still visited the library to talk to Zexion. Eventually, the slate-haired one just decided to let it be; Sora seemed to not need those travelogues anymore.

"What makes you say that?" Zexion asked, but even he knew it himself that he looked a lot happier than usual. And coming from someone who rarely smiled and had been a bit of a recluse at best, that was a huge admission.

"You're frowning a lot less. And you're not muttering umpteen different ways of killing someone who's offended you in some way," the little brunet pointed out. "You and Demyx do something nice?"

"Oh nothing huge," Zexion dismissed. "We're just gotten a lot more comfortable with each other, that's all."

"How far have you guys gone now?"


"First, second or third base? Or have you gone the whole way?"

"That isn't something to discuss," Zexion frowned, sorting out the returned books for the third time that day.

"Hmm…'kay, then I guess you guys have gotten just about to first then," Sora surmised. Zexion flushed hotly.

"Sora, please."

"Sorry, sorry. I was just curious." He looked up at Zexion, chin resting in his palms. "Besides, I had to hear a lot of moping on Demyx's worries about you when you started going out."

"We've sorted them out. It was just a case of miscommunication."

"You sure it wasn't because you were being a prude?" Sora asked.

"Unlike you Sora, I don't put out so easily," Zexion remarked icily, watching in small pleasure at the way Sora squirmed under his gaze.

"It's not like we actually did it!" Sora whined.

"Mmhm, if that's what you want to believe."

"I'm serious! We didn't go all the way!" Zexion made a hushing motion, pointing to the group of people that were glancing curiously at the smaller brunet student. Sora shrunk a bit, looking thoroughly embarrassed now. "We really didn't…"

"I'm sure Sora," the other sighed, stopping what he was doing and looking at the clock on the wall. Demyx would be hanging around at any moment now.

"Hey Zexion…"


"Are you happy?"

"You just pointed out that I look it."

"Looking like it and being like it are two totally different things. I'm asking if you are happy."

"Why wouldn't I be?"

"Don't get mad at him, but Demyx told me that Axel turned up out of the blue." Ah.

"And you think my feelings were going to be all over the place because he did turn up?"

"Considering he's your ex-boyfriend, yes," Sora answered bluntly.

"I can assure you that Axel and I are in the past. He's happy with Roxas, and he was the one that encouraged me to listen to what Demyx had to say."

"He did that?"

"He's not the heartless bastard I had you believing," Zexion stated calmly, looking out of the front door and smiling. He had just seen Demyx arrive at the library steps. "He really can be kind. Just not very socially smart sometimes."

"But he's like a freaking sex addict!" Sora exclaimed, ignoring any looks he was getting for his outburst.

"Hmm, maybe. Or he just didn't know how to commit. Who really knows?" He checked the clock again. Ten more minutes until he was let off. This was probably one of the first times he was actually looking forward to getting off work.

"I think you're way too mature for your own good," Sora frowned, clearly not liking the lack of dramatics. But then again, Sora thrived on dramatics. He was a Drama student after all.

"Maybe," Zexion dismissed. "But then again I could say that you're just looking for a reason to dislike someone."

"Wow, talk about going in circles," a new voice interjected. Zexion and Sora, startled, looked to the side of them, seeing Demyx was leaning against the front desk.

"Rare to see you here," Zexion rather ironically stated.

"Felt like coming inside for once," the blond grinned. "Plus I was wondering if you had any plans tonight?"

"Other than somehow ending up at one of our places?" Zexion asked.

"We can make room for that." And there was that grin that always won him over. He could only smile ever so subtly at Demyx.

"What have you got up your sleeve?"

"Not much," Demyx dismissed lightly, "but you'll like it."

"Is that so?"

"It is so." The atmosphere was changing fast, but it was disrupted by a loud coughing sound from the littler brunet with them. "Oh, Sora."

"Dem, could you please refrain from ravishing your boyfriend in front of me," Sora grumbled. "I really don't want to see my cousin and my friend at it."

Zexion looked away, highly embarrassed, while Demyx just sheepishly grinned. "Sorry cuz."

Sora just shook his head. "It's fine. I better get going anyway. Riku's taking me to this exhibition in town."

"Photography?" Demyx asked.

"How did you know?"

"You've suddenly become a well of knowledge concerning travelling." And to that, Sora just began to fluster over his words, managing a mumbled goodbye and vow to kill his cousin when he was alone and no one was there to help him. Demyx, good natured as always, just laughed it off, turning his attentions back to Zexion. "Your shift is over, right?"

"Yes…" His cheeks were still burning up though as he got his bag together, waving over the girl that would relieve him of check-out duty. "Let's just get going."

"Getting too much?" Demyx asked gently, waiting for Zexion to come out from behind the desk. Once he had, the honey-blond automatically took his hand. Zexion smiled faintly at the warmth he felt.

Yeah, he made the right choice by ignoring that old wives' tale. You couldn't measure the kindness in a person just by how warm or cold their hands were. "Just a little bit…"

"Guess that's Sora though, right? Always to the point." Demyx's fingers were slowly intertwining with his, holding the hand tightly as a way of telling the other he wasn't going to let go.

"Look at the kettle calling the pot back," Zexion chuckled.


Brrrrrring brring brrrrrrring. Brrrrrring brring brrrrrrring.

"Hey there, I can't answer the phone right now because I'm either rocking out or making out with Zexy. Please leave a message after the beep and I'll get back to ya. Bye~"

"Demyx, its Zexion. Can you please change your answering machine! People don't need to know how sexually active we are! And didn't I tell you I don't like it when you call me by that nickname. Anyway, not the point. My mom just called. She said she wanted me to go up to visit her. You want to come too? If you have plans though, I understand. Let me know as soon as possible. Bye."

Brrrrrring brring brrrrrrring. Brrrrrring brring brrrrrrring

"You've reached Zexion Andrews. I'm unable to answer the phone right now, but please leave a message after the tone and I'll call back as soon as I can. Thank you."

"Dude, Zexion, I think the one needing to change their answering machine is you. It sounds so… office worker-esque. Anyway, course I'd go with you! She's your mom. What more reason do I need? Other than the fact that I am 'sexually active' -as you put it- with you thus I need to beg for forgiveness for sullying her baby. Do you think she'll like me? Love ya Zexy! Bye~"

1 text message from Sexy Zexy.

She'll like you. And you don't need to worry about asking for forgiveness. You aren't exactly the first to sully me. Come over to mine on Friday. We'll go up the next morning.

1 text message from Demyx.

Alright and don't rub it in my face that I wasn't the first : ( Just throwing this out there, but wouldn't it be easier if I just stayed full time at your place? X

1 text message from Sexy Zexy.

Too soon for me. Wait until summer holidays start. See you Friday.

1 text message from Demyx.

Aww… you're too cruel. Don't I at least get a text kiss? X

1 text message from Sexy Zexy.