Disclaimer: I don't own Kingdom Hearts, etc, but I do own a copy of Re:Chain of Memories.

AN: I'm finally done with this monster! It has taken me about six months to complete this story, and I feel so happy for seeing it through! I hope you like!

Harmonic Melodies

Prologue.

Demyx paced the hallways, sitar in hand, humming a nonsense melody. This was not an odd sight to behold, except for the fact that it was four in the morning, and Demyx had not slept all night. His eyes darted nervously left, right, and around, panic swishing over him like mud slung from a busy street. His pacing was erratic; he walked in zig-zags. Arpeggio, his sitar, bumped noisily into the walls, strings twanging and screeching. The melody that spilled from Demyx in spasms of erratic sound was off-key and almost beyond being a song anymore. Hair hung over Demyx's face in an unorganized fashion, concealing the shadows that had buried themselves deep under his dulled blue eyes. The entirety of Demyx's posture had been stubbed to nothing, his figure slumped like that of a fifty year old couch potato.

It had been five days.

Day One.

Demyx yawned dramatically as he stretched out across the couch in one of Never Was's common rooms. It occurred to him that he had a strange dream, and could remember it in minute detail. After a few minutes of debating, he decided to see if Axel knew anything about dream meanings. If not, maybe he could find something in the library, given that Zexion ever left. The man gave Demyx such a glare every time he so much as entered the library, that glare that chilled Demyx's blood instantaneously. With only a slight glance in the direction of Luxord, cards splayed randomly around him, the gambler just barely reviving from passed out to half-drunken stupor, Demyx meandered down the hallway to Axel's rooms. Axel would probably be asleep, but that was alright; Demyx would just have to wake him, however unpleasant that could be, as it usually involved random bouts of flame spurting from Axel's fingertips whenever Demyx attempted to rouse him.

Axel was Demyx's best friend.

Rubbing his eyes sleepily, Demyx almost didn't notice the sticky note attached to Axel's door. It was a very flamboyant sticky note, brightly colored and swirled with flame designs. Demyx squinted awkwardly at it as he translated Axel's mutant black scribble into coherent sentences. Something about a mission…being gone for a month? Demyx's eyes widened, and he reread the note again, checking if there was anything he could have possibly misread. Axel had never been gone even close to that long before, and Demyx wondered what kind of a mission could possibly take such an awful amount of time. What in nothing's name was he supposed to do during that time? Axel usually thought up the entertainment, Demyx not being so good at that sort of thing.

Axel was Demyx's only friend.

No one else in the Organization found it worth their time to talk to Demyx. By most, he was considered an idiot, a nuisance, and a waste of an existence, or nonexistence to those who preferred to put what they were in such terms. Luxord used to talk to him, but after about a week of Demyx losing at poker, and still not understanding the rules, Luxord began to ignore him as well. Axel, out of everyone, was the exception. Never did he ignore Demyx, or call him stupid in anything other than an affectionate manner. Demyx did weapons practice and training with Axel, and Axel listened to Demyx's sitar playing. Best of all, Axel was always open to conversation, any time, any where. Conversation was ongoing between them, even if it was ridiculous.

"Axel, what's a tetrahedron?"

"I don't know, sounds like some sort of dinosaur."

"Or like one of Marly's precious plants."

"Wanna go find out if he has any?"

"How? He still won't speak to us after the sparkly cabbage incident."

"Easy."

"Axel, are you sure that's a good idea? If you set one on fire they might all- oh."

"Exactly."

Demyx sighed and walked away from Axel's door. So he would have to survive a whole month here without Axel? It couldn't be that hard, Demyx decided. Thing is, he hadn't, before Axel left on this particular mission, noticed just how much he was attached to the aimless conversation, and the companionship of a friend. There was no sound in the kitchen as he ate breakfast. Demyx kept flinching at random little sounds that he had not noticed before, and did not want to notice. By the end of breakfast, he was certain their were rats in the walls. 'Maybe they're nobody rats,' he joked to himself uneasily.

There were indeed rather large nobody rats in the walls, who were very rebellious. That, however, does not pertain to this particular story, except to point out that Demyx was not imagining things.

Discomfort followed Demyx like a rather large cockroach on a leash all day, pulling and tugging at him, then scuttling along and setting in miserably when Demyx tried to escape its gaze. Before, it had not bothered him that the other nobodies preferred not to talk to him unless they had to, but when he found himself with no one at all to talk to, it became a very big problem. Luxord only wanted to play cards, and Demyx had no munny to gamble to get the goateed man's attention. Xaldin had a nasty aura that Demyx didn't dare broach, and Marluxia definitely wouldn't allow Demyx anywhere near him, due to the fact that Marluxia had been the butt of numerous jokes, and was always extremely paranoid. Lexaeus was just overwhelming, and Saix and Xemnas were scary, and would probably just send him off on some mission he didn't want to go on. Vexen liked to use him as a guinea pig for his experiments, and Xigbar…well, Xigbar was just hard to read, and if he were in a cranky mood…let's just say Demyx didn't like guns too much.

There was one other person.

His name was Zexion, and Demyx couldn't tell anyone much about him. Demyx hadn't ever been on a mission with him, or gotten any sort of conversation out of him. Zexion liked to keep to himself, reading assumedly. He had bright eyes hidden by a mix of pale and dark hair, and was probably the shortest member of the Organization. Demyx had always harbored a great curiosity about what Zexion was like, but all he got for it was a door slammed in his face.

Zexion was not what Demyx, or most other people for that matter, considered friendly.

Now, if you had told Zexion this, he would probably just say that he liked his peace and quiet. He simply liked to be left alone. No, he didn't need anyone's company. They were nobodies; they couldn't feel need. It was preposterous to even so much as think otherwise. Going along with this train of logic, it seemed plausible that Zexion would avoid Demyx like the bubonic plague, due to the fact that Demyx claimed that he did indeed have a heart, but it wasn't so. Truthfully, their paths just hadn't crossed enough for Zexion to get more than a passing overview of Demyx's existence, and Demyx, being habitually distracted as he was, had even less of an idea of what Zexion was like. It was all pure happenstance that they didn't really know each other, and Zexion didn't care. He had convinced himself, like the majority of the nobodies, that it just wasn't plausible for him to feel.

No one stopped to think that maybe Demyx was right.

They scorned him, all of them did. Even Axel didn't truly believe Demyx, for all that he wanted to. So, Demyx ended up a very quiet, dull, bland day staring at empty seats in their meeting room, realizing that once again, he had been given an incorrect meeting time. Why, Demyx mused, if they truly could not feel, did the others still care to keep Demyx away? If he had thought a little harder, perhaps he would have realized that they were absolutely drowning in denial, scared that Demyx's opinions would break the glass of the fragile little world that they had built for themselves; a world based on their theories of being nothing, so they said, but yet, they couldn't deny that they wanted their hearts back, and that was still a want. That scared them, another feeling they denied readily, so they shunned the one who had made the crack in their glass wall, only keeping him near to keep him under their control, to use as they wanted: a tool. They sealed the crack up with, let's say, peanut butter, not realizing that it would eventually melt and come back apart. Demyx had been content to be lazy and let things go as they were; he had Axel for small talk and friendship, though Axel would never admit that friendship was what it was, for that would imply that he actually cared. Still, Demyx was content in his simple little world, content to feign ignorance and diddle away his days with music, pranks, and meaningless chatter that only the two friends understood.

With the simple routines gone, the lies of their existence began to gnaw at Demyx.

Tossing and turning, Demyx couldn't find a way to fall asleep. Everything seemed to echo, to scream at him that he was alone, alone, would be alone forever, while at the same time he knew there were no real noises, that all the voices were imagined. Trying to reassure himself with his own voice proved fruitless, and only served to fill him further with a terrible uneasiness. Crawling out of bed, he struggled into his coat and summoned his sitar, treating the instrument much as one would a stuffed animal or blanket from their childhood, carrying it along perhaps in hopes that it would comfort him in some magical way, but sadly, there are some regions of the brain that physical being cannot pry into. The fears that plagued Demyx were buried too deep within his subconscious to be pried from their deep-rooted nesting place by any physical contribution. Cringing once again at the monochrome, silent walls he resided amongst, he explored the hallways of the Castle That Never Was, hoping to find someone, anyone who he could convince to speak to him, even if they were reprimanding him for some forgotten vandalism. There were sounds that he would swear he had heard a moment before, but, turning a corner or glancing into a room, there was always emptiness, or nobodies who looked away from him and would not be cajoled into speech, no matter how Demyx would plead. Not that he pleaded or begged, of course, he wouldn't stoop that low; the looks they shot him when he stood in their view spoke volumes, telling him he was too much of a disgrace to waste time or thought on.

Too bad he still existed to them, disgrace though he was; perhaps if he did not exist in their eyes they would at least talk near him.

Even Luxord, utterly drunk as he almost always was, would not speak a word to Demyx. Demyx sat near him a while, thinking that he might be the first one to crack and say something, anything, but still silence reigned over Demyx's world. Sounds from his sitar did not help either, and he kept stumbling over notes until he stopped in embarrassment at his mistakes. Finally, he left Luxord's presence, and Luxord sighed in relief, though he convinced himself that it was just the return of freedom to speak that made him almost feel something. What else could be expected of a nobody? Demyx, meanwhile, walked down a windowed corridor, sensing that, were this a normal world, dawn would be creeping over the horizon.

Day Two.

Rules were one of Xemnas's favorite things. Rules meant order, reason, and control. They meant that whatever one of the other nobodies did, anything that could be linked to feeling, could instead be put into a rule, and no one questioned why, once something was a rule. No one but Demyx, and sometimes Axel. Demyx despised Xemnas's rules, despised the control Xemnas had over them all. He hated that he had joined the Organization, but knew if he left, they would certainly hunt him down and kill him off; so he stayed, doing his best to ignore his misery, and breaking as many rules as possible. Thus, many of Xemnas's rules pertained to Demyx, even if they did not mention him by name.

Demyx was not allowed to leave Never Was unless he had a mission.

Demyx fidgeted, trying to find something to entertain himself. Did Never Was have to be so completely, utterly, bland? It was either white, gray, white with a slight tinge of gray, or better yet, white! It angered him that, for all the power that they possessed, there was no attempt at decor to be seen. The place was as boring as the "non-existence" the others claimed to have! At least the heartless had their strange neon signs that echoed the neon radiance of their beady little eyes.

Now there was an idea.

Taking a long path through the pale corridors, as was done so little these days, since after all, the members of the organization could open a portal whenever they pleased, he meandered into a random room, heading downwards. A slight sound startled him out of his small hoping thoughts. Looking down, he saw iridescent, glittering panels, then an abyss that stretched no small distance. It was curious; he hadn't remembered these paths to make noise. Hollow sounds, indeed, but they were faintly musical. The whimsical platforms entertained him for a few minutes, but it didn't last long. Though lovely in an idealistic way, they were only a musical imitation. Hah. A musical imitation. That was probably what he seemed like to the "nonexistent" members. Just an imitation of something that had once existed. He let out a yell.

"I do exist!"

Of course, no one answered but his echo, and he moved onwards, shaking the haunting hollow sounds of the panels from his head. Down, and further down he traveled, watching the activity among the streets of the dark city below whenever he could. Smiling, he imagined the heartless as if they were dancing to a silent beat. In his head, he could hear it, a busy beat, repeating, twisting, swirling about his brain. Perhaps he would play it, play a little game. Maybe it would work, get his mind off of its dangerous path. Trekking to Memory's Skyscraper, he portaled up between two brightly glowing billboards and pulled his sitar into existence.

Sound burst from his fingers and lungs to an enigmatic beat.

A concert to heartless? Such a waste to most, he was sure. It didn't matter; no one was there to see, as they didn't care. So he played on, without worrying for a while, stopping only when the heartless swarmed the tower, and then to beat them away from him. For some reason, the heartless kept stampeding upward. Surely he hadn't caused them to come this way? He considered portaling away, but a wish that he might be allowed to continue his unconcerned playing lured him in.

That's when he lost control.

Soon he was beating heartless to a shadowy pulp all around him, completely lost to battle lust he hadn't known he had the capacity to possess. He didn't approve of violence: rather he thought it worthless. It was irrational to his aesthetics, but here he was, grinning and mutilating like Axel when he was in a malicious mood. Underneath it all, his mind was a whir of thoughtlessness, his brain not moving as fast as his fingers. Adrenaline pumped through his veins at the speed of rapids rushing towards a waterfall, and fall he did, his consciousness finally catching up with him in a suction of realization. Arpeggio dropped from his hand as it grew slack. What had he done? A portal took him back to the pristine outer walls of the upper castle, and he sat looking down at the swarming chaos he seemed to have caused.

It seemed that to consort with the shadow creatures below was to consort with their madness, as well.

Stark loneliness washed over him again, almost like a physical pain, gnawing and shredding his reasonable thought and common sense more each voiceless second. If only Axel were here, he wouldn't have this problem. Why had he become so reliant on Axel? Choosing to ignore the fact that Axel was not a reliable factor had been a big mistake, he realized. Head down, he slowly ascended to the room he had paused in previously. Chords from his sitar became clones, and they in turn created a loud screeching cacophony of the platforms. A walkway with such pleasant melodic dreams- such fake dreams- became an epiphany of pain and agony, the personification of Demyx's feelings about his current predicament.

One nobody heard the echoes, and didn't care.

Energy was forced through the sounds made by calloused fingers on ivory strings until there was no more power to be spent. Demyx stared at the glittering colors of the panels and listened to the echoes that were the remains of his anger until they became nothing, just like he was supposed to be. Like how he refused to act for the others, wanting to be true. Truth was so hard to uphold. Truth was a heroic element, wasn't it? So it wasn't meant for their kind, that's what Axel would argue, Demyx was sure, were Axel in a debating state of mind. All the harder his struggle, that he seemed to be alone in it, the only one with absolute faith that he had a heart, somewhere, somehow. It sucked being alone, was what he thought before settling on the floor and submitting to the sleep that beckoned him, a miserable ache where there had been anger just a little while ago.

Anger was not easy to uphold, either.

Day 3.

All Demyx could remember was that most of the day passed in a blur. He had been up late, his escapade with the heartless and the musical panels having taken much longer than he suspected, and woke early. Luxord turned his back for a moment, and half his alcohol bottles had disappeared. Not that he noticed, since he was quite drunk for it being early morning. In fact, he didn't notice until about noon, when he ran out, and ended up becoming much more sober than he would like, and finally drinking away the massive headache he acquired as a result. It was no little consequence of this that he almost lost a card game to Marluxia that morning, but that didn't mean anything to anyone but Luxord, and he soon forgot it. Alcohol does that to people, even to those who were only part of a whole.

Drinking only seemed to make Demyx's loneliness worse.

His common sense was dulled by the drinking, by whatever the liquid happened to be more specifically than alcohol. Just a tipsy step through the darkness, and he was on the clock tower in Twilight Town. Even through the dizzy thoughts that his brain now entertained, he did not dare go any further than this, even though the thought of someone who would speak to him beckoned him enticingly. The continuously setting sun combined with his train of thought only served to make him more miserable. Becoming a drunk did not suit Demyx at this time; he was a very unhappy drunk.

He passed out for a time, but luckily did not fall off the tower.

Returning to Never Was, he deduced, rather soggily, that no one had noticed he was gone, or not enough to care. Wandering about the castle, he bothered the other members who were about. Luxord figured out what had occurred in a sort of half-daze, and laughed to himself a while, imagining what Demyx had done with it. Never did he imagine that Demyx had actually drunk all of it in one setting. That was simply too out of the range of Demyx's personality for him to consider. Amusing as the things he imagined were, he suspected a prank, and was wary of everything for the majority of the day, until he forgot it entirely.

Still no one suspected that anything out of the usual was happening.

Demyx felt like he knew exactly how the last person left in an apocalypse movie must feel after a time, only he had degenerated to this state much more quickly. Besides, those stories always seemed to feature a hero of sorts, and he was no hero. True, he shone bright among his lying, scheming, conniving, warrior colleagues, but he could never overcome the fact that the means to get their goals were often sneaky and under-handed. Thus, they were branded the villains. Where else could he go, anyhow? All he was was a portion of a true being, stripped away from the rest. Even now, among others like him, he was not accepted, so how could he ever expect to be accepted by anyone else? Not to mention the whole "death to traitors" thing.

As the day progressed closer to its end, Demyx sunk deep into despair.

That night consisted of pacing, restless fingers fumbling over sitar strings, further attempts to hear the other members talking, if even overhearing their conversations with each other, which of course failed, and the quick, uncontrolled destruction of several of Demyx's belongings. Sleep wouldn't come, and every second that passed found Demyx growing even more restless. Boredom coupled with loneliness and insistent paranoia caused his energy levels to spike. Footsteps and raucous noises roused many organization members from their sleep that night, but they ignored it, returning to untroubled rest, which further proved that they only cared for their own well-being.

Selfish bastards.

Day 4.

One short nap was achieved a little past dawn, an aftereffect of the energetic high that had possessed him previously. Exhaustion greeted Demyx as he woke to another day in the sunlight-depraved world that he wanted to despise so badly. Thing was, it wasn't the world's fault, it was those who lived in the world who were faulty, erroneous. He banged his head against the kitchen counter-top as he stood up, and it added a headache to his persistent weariness. Head pounding, he struggled onto a stool by the counter. Cradling his head in his hands, he almost didn't notice the folder Saix silently laid in front of him.

It was a mission folder.

For once in his life, Demyx was overjoyed to receive a mission, any mission. There it was, in a manilla folder on the counter, permission to leave. In delight, despite the current physical agony, he daydreamed of convincing someone to speak to him, some stranger. Even eavesdropping sounded magnificent to him right now. There was a beautiful, musical hope blooming in his mind; if he weren't so tired, he would have been giddy with excitement.

Until he opened the folder.

It was just random chance that Demyx received that particular mission on that particular day, but it couldn't have gone worse for Demyx. Disappointment hit him like a cement wall as he scanned the world stats. The planet was populated mainly by squirrels, though occasionally a black dog had reportedly been spotted by the scouts sent thus far. The file instructed him to examine the planet and write a detailed analysis of its composition. Utterly bland seemed an accurate prediction of the world from the current information. The minor types of nobodies weren't too great at giving detailed descriptions, but when they said there wasn't much to see, they were usually right. Demyx grimaced unhappily as he read the rest of the reports, but left through a portal soon after.

A change of scenery seemed like a fantastic idea.

Only, it wasn't great at all. It wasn't even decent. The place was more repetitive than the floors of Castle Oblivion, had Castle Oblivion been a hundred-story skyscraper, more repetitive than a one-note song. Everywhere he looked, it was squirrel, tree, squirrel, squirrel, tree. Repeat, throw in a mixer a few times, then repeat again. At least there was a sun, which should have been bright and comfortable, but in Demyx's state, it seemed much too bright, and hurt his eyes. Stalking through the shade of the endless trees, Demyx suddenly wondered how he was supposed to tell where he had began in the first place. The trees were evenly spaced, the squirrels were everywhere and all looked completely alike, and the sun didn't seem to move across the sky. There weren't even multiple species of trees; all were the same kind and same shape, all the way down to the markings of the bark. Had he been sufficiently more awake, he would have thought it an interesting phenomenon, pondered the thought of who the creator of such a planet might be, but at the current time, he found it boring.

He imagined Axel setting the squirrels' tails on fire.

Sure, it wasn't nice to the squirrels, but it was entertaining for a while, until he started hearing voices in his head again. Imagining things often led to his imagination getting away from him, and it tormented him horribly. Imitations of voices in his head made the desire for human interaction all the greater. Collapsing beneath a tree, he shook his head vigorously to try to get rid of the nonexistent voices. There was no achievement, only a sharpening of his headache. For some amount of time, he stared at the ground, vision blurred by the pains in his head, and lost sense of almost everything.

It really was too bad he wasn't able to pay attention a few minutes after he settled under the tree.

See, the black dog chose that particular moment to run past, chasing squirrels who regrouped around him for another round of chase while the dog pulled a boy along. If Demyx had noticed, he would have seen that A: They emerged and left through some sort of portal, and B: There was actually something other than squirrels and trees inhabiting the world for a time, however short. Sadly, Demyx was too caught up in his own pain and disintegration. By the time he pulled himself out of his own head, the duo of boy and dog were long gone. On with the mission he trudged, wanting nothing more than to never, ever, see another squirrel again. Of course, he could never be that fortunate. Too many squirrels to count passed in front of him within any short period of time, and they had begun to follow him much as they had followed the dog earlier, minus the squirrel-chasing.

Finally, Demyx had simply had enough.

Once he had returned to Never Was, he scribbled out a short, to the point report that basically said something along the lines of: there were squirrels and there were trees, and nothing else existed or mattered. Shoving it into the mission folder, he found Saix, passed it off to him, and watched the glowing-eyed man leave. Demyx sat against the wall of the room, staring out the grand, expansive window at the great heart-shaped moon that wasn't completely a moon and wondered what exactly Saix saw in it that kept him staring at it for hours. It was kind of eerie the way Saix was entranced so by it. Maybe if he stared long enough, he could understand something too, and he would finally have something in common with another one of the members. Soon, he was bored, and none the wiser, so counted the days until Axel returned.

There were too many.

Day 5.

Frustration caught up with him after another almost sleepless night. Demyx just couldn't seem to find a way to get over the agony of the loss of human sound. He paced, tormented. There were no missions, no anything, not to mention the other members were still resolute in ignoring him. The silence was so absolute that there didn't even seem to be any sound of lesser nobodies moving about. His stomach had long since ceased growling; there was an unrelenting pain that ground at his insides, but his mental anguish seemed much more important. He wanted to scream, but his voice could not be persuaded above a low volume.

The day wore on, and its pace was the slowest Demyx had ever seen.

He could hear the ticking of a clock somewhere, and tried to count the seconds as they passed. There was an almost nonexistent squealing of gears somewhere, but he could not find it. Up and down the castle's stairs and corridors he proceeded, the beat of his pace growing more and more weary and off-beat. The day stretched into a lonely, hollow eternity in Demyx's mind. His thoughts were sharp, fragmented bits, disjointed images, words, and echoes of sounds heard only once. Demyx also hadn't taken a shower in days, so he probably smelled, but he didn't even notice.

Day became night, though, as usual, there were no visible signs.

Demyx tripped over things that weren't there, and saw things that were never real to begin with. White walls were perfect for a backdrop to hallucination, a perfect palette for absurdly bright colors to play in front of his eyes. Play they did indeed, impossible jests of poetic plays swimming in and out of his vision. The physical aches of his body had begun to become more prominent, and he staggered about as if he were still drunk. His eyes twitched about chaotically, and if only he had actually heard the sounds he was making, he probably would have been ashamed. His body dragged the same direction as his hair: downward.

A new day came into being at the stroke of midnight.

Day 6.

- Four a.m. -

There were loud noises outside Zexion's door.

He had been up all night again, researching bits and pieces for a project Xemnas had given him. Usually, he stayed up during what most considered the night, and slept during the day. It was easier to work in peace that way. As he closed the book he had just finished taking notes on, he heard strange noises outside, followed by a cacophony of loud crashes seemingly just outside of his room. Did he really want to know? Luxord had probably given the wrong person alcohol again. It could also be Saix, looking for a fight. That was something he most definitely did not wish to be involved in, as such things weren't good for one's health.

Still, Zexion's curiosity got the better of him.

After all, he was a scientist. Such a position meant that he wanted to know everything that there was to know. The door creaked, protesting the disuse of many months. Peering around the doorframe suspiciously, Zexion discovered the despondent creature that should have been Demyx collapsed against the wall, shaking and staring at the the reflections on the floor. For a few minutes, he could do nothing but stare. What in all the worlds could have happened to make a member, any member, of the organization look like that? What Zexion saw was someone who had lost every hope and purpose in the world, and it scared. True, they weren't supposed to have true emotions, but, oh, Zexion felt fear as clear as the view through newly polished glass. Then, the curiosity returned, and he just had to know what had happened.

"Nine?"

There was a slight movement, and Zexion called out again, for some reason feeling inclined to let go of the numbers, if only for the moment. "Demyx?" Watching the dirty blond-haired sitarist impatiently, he took note of all the small despondencies in Demyx's appearance and manner. The conclusion he came to was that something was horribly wrong with him, though he wasn't yet sure what that might be. There was a slight whiff of alcohol along with Demyx's very human scent, and then…then there was the strong scent of fear that made Zexion wrinkle his nose. "Demyx?" he called once more, stepping out of his doorway. This time, Demyx heard him.

Electric blue eyes met with Demyx's dulled cyan eyes.

There was the strongest sense of astonishment expressed on Demyx's part, and a bit of a stunned awkwardness from Zexion, but a few seconds of eye contact and the sound of Zexion's voice acknowledging that Demyx existed were all it took for Demyx's eyes to shine with intense light, color turning back to the usual sunlight-on-the-ocean shade of cyan that they should have been. Zexion saw a tear roll down Demyx's cheek as his face erupted into a content smile.

"Thank you," Demyx whispered, then proceeded to collapse back against the wall and fall asleep.

Zexion shook his head. What had just occurred? He wasn't sure of anything that had just transpired. Demyx, completely asleep now, looked as if he hadn't slept well for a very long time. Carefully, he instructed several of the lesser nobodies to move Demyx to Zexion's bed. Zexion returned to his room, stretching and yawning. He could use a nap as well, he figured, so he tugged a cushion out from under the bed that Demyx now snored upon, curled up, and went to sleep.

- One p.m. -

Zexion was still sleeping, and hadn't calculated how tired he really was.

Demyx, however, had awoken slowly, dazed and disoriented. As he adjusted to his surroundings, he examined the diagrams and pictures tacked up around the room. Zexion sure seemed to work hard, he observed, which was something he had early on decided not to do. He wondered briefly if Zexion liked working, then turned his attention to the small figure sleeping closer to the floor. Zexion slept curled up like a cat, a small scowl on his face. The sight almost made Demyx laugh. It was surprising to him that Zexion happened to be the one to save him, as he really hadn't expected any sort of help from number six, of all people, much less to wake up to find that the Schemer had lent him his bed.

Zexion stirred.

His blue eyes flared open, staring at the ceiling before he sat up and stretched. "Morning! …or is it afternoon now?" Demyx asked. Zexion turned his gaze on Demyx, remembering exactly why he had slept on the floor. There was a bright, exuberant grin on Demyx's face, the darknesses of the night before already fading. Zexion wondered at the quick recovery, but didn't mention it.

"I believe it is afternoon."

"Well then, I guess it's a little late for breakfast." Demyx's stomach rumbled noisily. He rubbed at it. "Can't remember the last time I ate."

"Maybe you should take a shower first," proclaimed Zexion, wrinkling his nose, "You smell." He shoved the cushion back under his bed.

Demyx laughed. "Alright then. Thanks a bunch for everything, and y'know…" Demyx's voice got real quiet. "…not ignoring me and all." He flashed another bright smile, got up, and started to walk out Zexion's door.

"Meet me in the kitchen in an hour."

Demyx froze halfway out the door. "What for?"

"I want you to explain what was wrong last night." Zexion stretched again, trying to wake up a little more.

Demyx looked back at Zexion. "And breakfast?"

"Breakfast as well." Zexion agreed. He began picking up books and papers. He looked up to see that Demyx still hadn't left. "What now?"

"Does this mean that we're friends?" Demyx asked curiously.

Zexion was the one to freeze this time, thinking carefully. "Maybe. We'll have to discover that as we go, I suppose."

"So?"

"Maybe," he replied again, and Demyx grinned, finally leaving to go take a well-needed shower.

Maybe was good enough.

Epilogue.

"Zexion, Zexion, look what I found!" Demyx heaved a huge tome into Zexion's lap, grinning wildly, his every gesture excited. Zexion examined the cover. It was an old book of fairytales. An extremely old tome, it seemed.

"The importance of this is-?" he began, carefully opening the book to examine its contents.

"It's a book of fairy tales, and it's really old, and from a world that doesn't make many books, and…" Demyx continued on, seemingly telling every detail of the book. Zexion waited patiently, used to this by now. Thumbing through the pages of the book, he listened for the tone of Demyx's voice that meant he was getting to the point, which happened about five minutes later. "…and there're stories about nobodies in there, Zex! Stories about nobodies like us! I couldn't understand it all, but I bet you can figure it out, since you're so smart and all!"

Demyx didn't stop smiling the whole time.

"I'll read it, and let you know what I discover." Zexion flipped through the pages, interested in some very carefully drawn illustrations and detailed lettering. The book had clearly been created with care. Lexaeus looked over Zexion's shoulder. He traced an intricate letter on the first page of a story.

"It looks like it was created completely by hand, doesn't it?" Zexion asked him. Lexaeus nodded, and turned the page to reveal what looked to be a large heartless. Demyx looked at it in awe.

It was one of those drawings that could make it seem like the subject was staring right at you.

"I don't want to fight that thing," he said.

"You don't want to fight anything," Xigbar retorted from the doorway of Zexion's room.

"True," confirmed Demyx, "Too much work for me." Xigbar laughed.

"I found a world with tons of water, thought you might like ta see it," Xigbar announced. "Wanna go?'

"Not today."

"Why not?"

"Axel's supposed to be back today." Demyx's smile turned nervous.

"Don't ya worry, Demyx, Axel'll be happy that you made more friends."

"I hope so. Axel is my best friend, after all."

"Did I hear my name?" Axel posed dramatically in the doorway.

"Axel!" Demyx yelled excitedly, jumping up to hug the lanky redhead.

"You miss me?" Axel asked, grinning.

"He doesn't shut up about you half the time," grumbled Luxord teasingly as he walked past.

"Looks like you found something to do while I was gone," said Axel, "…and here I was worrying."

"You should warn him in person before you leave on a long mission like that one again," piped up Zexion suddenly, "from what I heard, he looked like he had a heart attack."

Xigbar snorted. "So he did."

Demyx didn't have to worry about the silence any longer.

Zexion's door didn't squeak anymore, either.