The Cogitare Bookstore


Super Long and Final A/N: I haven't really had the energy to work on fanfiction wholeheartedly in recent weeks. I apologize for the delay, but I felt implored to wait until I was in a good mood. Since, after all, I fucking love my story and don't give a crap if that sounds arrogant.

I want to convey my endless thanks and gratitude to any lovely soul that spent hours reading this unpaid plot. I adore those who admitted to crying because of Axel's suicide attempt, Demyx's past and Zexion's reaction. Each and every review, favorite and watch alert spurred me towards an adamant effort- I want to end this perfectly so each and every reader steps away with a feeling of content. I don't want the stuff I create to be an -AHEM- porn-without-a-plot-fanwhore-OOC-fic where the characters get together because why the fuck not. Cogitare seriously only started as a fluffy diversion, a few chapters at best. I never intended to write all that dark stuff until I realized I was enjoying myself so much so that I thought, "Might as well."

The entire reason I write at all is to make someone so enthralled with my plot that they laugh aloud with amusement and later weep or become overly-emotional from empathy. To make a story truly balanced one merely requires an endless good sense of humor, a diverse vocabulary and a heavy dose of angst. If I enjoy writing this and you enjoy reading it, everybody wins. Oh, and that reminds me.

Hey you. With the face. Know what you should do? Read Cogitare all over again, now that it's done and the uninterrupted character development is as it was meant to be. Kinda like when you get obsessed with a series that hasn't ended yet, read each novel one by one with years between them, and then when it's all over you snag the box-set. When you reread each part simultaneously you end up getting so much more out of it the second time around.

Ahem. Just a suggestion.

The Final Chapter: Our Enviable Situation

Zexion made a extra-large pizza. When the other half of the group returned their cheeks were flushed from the biting wind. The first pie lasted all of five minutes between six people. Zexion wound up cooking a second. They were famished and could clearly polish off any food placed in front of them. Moving turned out to be a grueling workout. Thankfully Zexion was pleased with his current apartment and didn't feel the urge to relocate; he didn't want to do that any time soon. Muscles he hadn't known he possessed were aching with protest.

Demyx was faring a lot better. His body was toned and healthy. Live shows required him to lift amps and other miscellaneous equipment. His instrument Loki was heavy to hold aloft and Demyx reveled in prancing about while he sang, earning the man a killer six-pack. Zexion randomly thought he ought to get a gym membership of some sort. The majority of physical exertion he ever accomplished was organizing books upon a shelf. Zexion wasn't the sort to care about his appearance or wardrobe. In fact, he'd actively avoided giving a damn about that since he considered it shallow and self-serving. However, now he wanted to be desirable to Demyx. And nothing was less sexy than getting tired mid-coitus because he was out of shape.

Demyx cleared away cardboard boxes to make room while the bookworm checked the pizza to make sure it didn't burn. The group meandered to lounge on a set of couches, munching companionably with the radio playing in the background. Axel handed out beer and they guzzled the alcohol greedily. Even Zexion was starting to enjoy certain brands of beer.

How strange, the slate-haired man considered as he took a sip from the bottle. In the last year he'd imbibed his first beer and inhaled an illegal drug. He'd lost his virginity, too. Some might view Demyx as a bad influence, he mused. But Zexion couldn't feel that way as he discretely scanned the expressive face of his boyfriend. Demyx enjoyed his life. He wasn't an alcoholic or a drug addict, far from it. He might partake in activities others frowned upon, but he was intelligent, determined and headstrong. He was a man that wholeheartedly sprinted full throttle towards anything. Conservatives might scowl at the sodomy, or their hedonism. Zexion was positive those people hadn't really truly lived. In every sense of the word. He was certain they never knew how much more he received from the act of drinking a beer while bantering with his buddies in his living room. And when he also considered the fact that most people felt homosexuality was sinful, or an abomination… Zexion wanted nothing more than to childishly stick his tongue out, aim his middle finger aloft, and pull Demyx closer. Because love was love. Loving Demyx wasn't something he chose, it wasn't something he'd even planned.

The group of friends pleased themselves with swapping stories until after a few drinks they were ready to pass the hell out. Roxas and Axel collapsed on the full-sized sofa with Dem's extra comforter. Reno claimed the spare room and twin-sized bed, Marly creating a blanket-utopia on the floor next to him so they could whisper cynically to one another. It wasn't even midnight when Zexion dozed off. Aside from Demyx, he'd never had other people staying the night in his apartment. Several months prior that would've made him very uncomfortable and worried. But he could care less with Dem snuggled next to him and mumbling goodnight. Reno and Marluxia were the last pair to fall asleep. They'd both taken an immediate liking to one another, and were anxious to spew vicious gossip.

"So you've know that spunky musician for how long?" Marluxia inquired, rolling on his front so he could rest his weight on the pillow and glance towards the bed. From that angle he could barely see out the window, it was snowing again.

"Hmmm…" Reno murmured through a yawn, fingers running through his long ponytail. "Pretty much my whole life. I think Axel started hanging with Demyx when he was like twelve? Thirteen? Something like that. Axel, Ariel and Dem used to be inseparable. Three peas in a pod. Oh, Ariel being my sister who died."

"I've heard about her. Zexion visited her grave." Marly paused for a beat, bringing his hand to his mouth and wondering if he'd said too much. He decided to change the subject.

"What do you think of Zexion?" Marluxia queried, honestly curious about the outsiders opinion.

Reno chuckled capricously, still feeling a little drunk. "He's an overly-intellectual square peg in the proverbial round hole. Said hole to which I'm referring, of course, belongs to a certain Dem-""

"I think Zexion is awesome." Marluxia scoffed, curtly cutting Reno off. "He's his own person. Being overly-intellectual or a bookwork isn't something to criticize. People who read a lot tend to score better on IQ tests. Those who spend more time with books instead of television are a minuscule demographic, but that doesn't mean they're bad. Zexion know's what he's talking about when he forms an opinion, and he's accumulated this amazing personal library-"

Marluxia bit his own tongue. He couldn't believe how inexplicably defensive he'd sounded! Reno glanced down at him curiously, startled by the forceful declaration.

Reno held one hand up, "Dude, I wasn't trying to be mean. I think Demyx is lucky to have found Zexion, and vice versa."

Marluxia rolled his eyes in exasperation. "You don't have to lie about it, Ginger. We both know you're an ass."

Reno cheekily smirked his agreement.

"Anyway." Marluxia continued, "Since I'm on a roll with these questions. Why do you hang all over Roxas?"

In the dim light Marluxia could barely see Reno's lips curl into a devious cheshire grin.

"Hah!" Reno faked a pout. "Oh, dear. What to say? Truthfully? It may sound melodramatic."

"Go on."

Reno leaned back on the pillow, heaving a great sigh. "I do it because, well… Hmmmm."

Marluxia was impatient from how long it took the normally self-assured guy to respond. Reno seemed to be debating something in his mind and Marluxia just wanted the straight answer.

"I guess… It's just nice to see Axel passionate about something." Reno hedged. "After Ariel died, he go so… Let's just say it was fuckin' horrible. At the time I didn't even know about Roxas or them dating. My bro never brought anyone home for the holidays. Demyx used to be his only friend and Ax never talked about that sorta shit with me."

Reno whistled, "Hoo~ Not that I blame 'im, o'course. We aren't very close siblings. Same gene pool but totally different, ya' kno? And our parents aren't really warm and affectionate and cuddly."

"How did you meet Roxas?" Marluxia prompted.

"I met Roxas when I came here on a random visit. I was checking up on that idiot because even though our frigid mother acts like a bitch, she does still care about him to a certain extent. Not that she'll ever admit it, and not that Ax even knows. So, yeah, when I came here and shit Axel was trying to hide my existence from Roxas and vice versa. I found out about 'im from Dem's big mouth, not that they were dating, but that they were close. I thought something was fishy and I turned the tables so we'd eventually run into each other."

Reno frowned for a moment. "And, dude, was I thrown by that. I nearly died from shock when Axel said they were dating. I'd never though Ax was queer, and they acted so fuckin' weird. You would seriously never be able to tell they even remotely liked each other. In a million years."

Marly nodded pointlessly.

"The last time I'd seen Ax before that was at Ariel's funeral." Reno's voice grew distant, a tad melancholy. "He looked empty through the core that day. It's something I wish I could fuckin' forget. Ariel was truly the most wonderful sort of girl. Selfless, kind…."

He paused before adding, "I'm sure you've already noticed that I don't give two shits about anyone else besides myself. But I loved Ariel. We all did. It was hard not to. I'm sure to this day, me an' Ax are still debating which of us most deserved to die instead of her."

Reno huffed, remembering himself, "Fuckin' tangent. So, then I came here and when I saw Axel with that kid and it was like nothing had ever happened. I thought for sure he'd still be depressed after Ariel's death and his stupid fuckin' psychotic episode. The change in him was pretty fuckin' dramatic, lemme tell yah. He acted so obnoxiously happy when he was around that blond, even if the kid spent the majority of the time cussin' him out."

Reno sighed again, "So, if I'm being all metaphorical and shit; I tease Roxas because at least Axel's alive to see it."

Reno pulled the blankets around him, turning over and attempting a nonchalant tone. "Anyway, enough chatting dude. I'm beat. Let's pass out."

Marluxia mulled what Reno said for a good hour before finally sleeping himself. He wasn't sure why the conversation made him feel so much better despite the fact he didn't understand what Reno was referring to with his final comment. Why wouldn't Axel be alive to see it?

The next morning was New Year's Eve. They had two full days of blissful freedom that they intended to share companionably. Since their internal clocks were normally set for early hours, they awoke before ten and after showering congregated in the cramped dining room. Like a group of teenagers after a slumber party they playfully bitched and whined during a makeshift eggs and toast breakfast. Poorly made, yet satisfying. Axel snagged the Champaign he'd purchased from the fridge and some left-over orange juice. Zexion watched him mix the drink with expert ease, just the same as the first night he'd gone to that party. Axel was rarely deemed graceful, but fixing drinks was his pride and as he added a pinch of sugar he cooed, "This is the perfect Mumosa!"

It was an appetizing beverage, Zexion found, and one of his new favorites. Marluxia and Reno started drinking Old Fashion brandy, while Roxas and Demyx favored beer. Which was fine said Axel, winking at Zexion and informing him that meant more for them to share.

The day past in a spectacular and surreal blur, each hour ticking down to the new year. They swapped mindlessly stories, commented about obvious things, and most importantly the group enjoyed the casual gathering. Just before twilight they found Demyx's camera and began snapping hundreds of photos. They then would pause to scarf down enough food so they could start drinking again and take even more photos. Zexion felt like he was a giddy child again, innocent and alive. He was elating in the activities he used to frown upon. When he clicked through the pictures on Dem's tiny camera screen, he almost didn't recognize himself anymore. He was smiling and his cheeks were bright and he was laughing and… he was truly utterly happy. Life pre-Demyx was a monotonous blur of the mundane. It wasn't an unhappy or depressing time, it was simply dull and lifeless. After Demyx was this new and exciting world of music and live shows and interesting people who had random quirks. Zexion was no longer a loner working in a bookstore, idly passing the time.

At eleven, after the first twelve-pack of beer had been consumed, Marluxia and Reno left with enthusiastic waves for the bar scene a couple blocks away. The remaining group was surprisingly unhappy about the departure. During the latter half of the day, Reno ceased directing lewd comments at Roxas. Subsequently, he was finally acting like an okay guy. Demyx pulled out his giant box television and plugged it in so they could watch the ball drop on Times Square. Roxas and Axel were pooled on one side of the couch, cuddling despite the fact it was out of character. Demyx and Zexion became tangled on the floor below them, unable and uncaring to watch Rox and Ax kiss occasionally and make fun of people they saw on the television.

The room was quieter without Marluxia and Reno's loud voices, they were each buzzed and feeling too lazy to accomplish anything but watching the minutes count down. Ten, nine...


In the early morning during the first day of the brand new year Demyx was sleeping soundly, exhausted from the physical exertion and content beyond belief.

He dreamt of Ariel. And for the first time in ages, it wasn't a sad dream. They were sitting below the weeping willow on their school grounds, eating a box-lunch she'd made. She'd always been a good cook, Demyx mused. She was humming as her vibrant eyes traced the patterns of lights dancing across her bare legs.

Demyx somehow knew that she was dead and everything had changed. He felt like if he mentioned that fact the whole memory, moment, or whatever-the-hell-it-was would break, and he would lose her. He desperately wished for her to stay.

Ariel turned towards him in her inimitably fluid manner, inquiring with a lilting voice, "Penny for your thoughts?"

Demyx pooled his ams around his knees and ducked his chin. "Ariel…"

He didn't know how he could vocalize this. Demyx had never excelled at precisely wording whatever he happened to be feeling. Zexion was infinitely better than him with eloquently explaining things. His voice was thick as tar, cementing at the bottom of his throat.

Between everything he hadn't told her before and everything wanted to tell her now; he faltered simply because he'd never gotten this chance to have proper closure on that chapter of his life. Back in the day Ariel had been one of the only people loved him unconditionally. Spastic quirks, unconventional sexuality, the works. Without Ariel and Axel, back in a miserable memory of rape and confinement… without them… He couldn't fathom what sort of person he might've turned out to be. He probably would've gone mad.

"I'm happy that you are with a man like Zexion." Ariel cooed casually, effectively breaking his reverie. "I'm glad you were able to find such a wonderful thing. You're so cute when you fall in love. I adore that harmless stalker side of you."

Aqua eyes darted to her face, mouth dropping in perfect surprise. Ariel leaned against the trunk of the great tree, her fingers toying absently with thick blades of grass. They peered at one another. It was as if they were determined to re-memorize the features that they used to know like the back of their hand. That brilliance had sadly been forgotten ages ago.

"My Dearie Dem," Her voice cracked as it formed his affectionate nickname. Ariel sentimentally purred as a breathless declaration, "How I've missed you."

An emotion Demyx couldn't recognize flashed across her features so swiftly he thought he might have imagined it. She sighed slowly then, her graceful frame appearing so fragile to Demyx in that moment.

Her pink lips curled into a cautious smile. "I wanted to tell you something, so you'll feel better and hold no remorse from my passing. We do exist on after death, Dearie Dem, in a matter of speaking. For as long as we choose to. I'm positive Zexion will enjoy this little secret!

"It's most totally against the rules to tell you this. But you know me." She laughed at her own joke, the sound blissfully nostalgic. "Rules are made to be questioned. Most of that hogwash isn't credible at all, that's what I've always said!"

Ariel calmed to cup her mouth conspiratorially and softly inform him, "There is a grand library, the most elaborate of them all. It contains a replica of every parchment, book, scroll and tablet ever made by a human. Even the lost histories from Alexandria and authentic unedited religious tomes of antiquity can be studied by anyone at our world of learning."

"Are you talking about heaven?" Demyx whispered just as quietly.

"Not heaven, per say, that's such a loaded word. Hell, too. Both of those insightful concepts were fashioned by men scared of their mortality. Rather, hmm. It's like a super-specific utopia evolved for each particular person who, well… I really wouldn't go so far to say deserve it, based on how they lived. Hmm. Let's just say that your biological parents won't be getting any favors later on, they are totally-"

Ariel cut herself off and shook her head firmly in negation. "I've revealed too much, already! Seriously, sometimes I'm such a space cadet! I always… What was I trying to say…?"

Demyx couldn't help but laugh. His heart swelled with the love he'd stupidly taken for granted while she was around. He'd totally forgotten how she'd rambled and chatted. She'd always been able to find the humor in any situation, she'd been annoyingly optimistic and that side of her used to infuriate Axel.

Ariel pouted dramatically, "So, ahem. I simply wanted to tell you that such a library exists. I give you permission to pass this information along to that wonderful boyfriend of yours as my gesture of gratitude."

Demyx blinked, confused.

"I'm thanking him for the lovely book he left on my grave."

Demyx sucked in a breath of air sharply, awed. "You saw... that day?"

"…" Ariel waved her slender hand dismissively. Demyx stilled, wondering if she was going to say something more. The sky darkened as puffy clouds shaded the sun. The chirp of cicadas rang loud, distinct and clear.

"Demyx, I've always wanted to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for saving Axel during that time." Ariel flinched slightly, clenching her fist and hurriedly adding, "I've also wanted to tell you how proud I am of the person you've become."

"I didn't save him." Demyx insisted, reaching forward to cup his hand over her knee. Her skin was soft and warm to the touch.

"Roxas is the main reason Axel's happy," Demyx assured her. "They take good care of each other. I know for a fact that both Roxas and Zexion would've adored you."

Long red hair tossed in the wind, the color bright against the green, blue, and brown surroundings. Ariel pushed the tresses away from her mouth. For the second time her face became a blank canvas. Then, she flopped over onto her side. Her arms wrapped across Demyx's lap, hair splaying and tangled and curled.

He leaned and encircled his body against hers, hugging her fiercely, throat tight.

"Don't regret what has happened, Dearie Dem." Ariel whispered, petting his Mohawk like she used to. "We all love you so very much. Protect both of my brothers, and Roxas… and cherish Zexion. Keep them near you. Promise them that you will never leave, and keep your promise."

Demyx turned his face and he saw her beautiful smile one last time.

Her voice dreamily insisted, over and over, "The future has not been determined yet, Demyx, which is rather inevitable."


Demyx abruptly awoke, tears burning his eyes, body on fire. He blinked, wondering if that had truly been a dream and something he'd imagined in his own head. He rolled towards Zexion's bare chest under the comforter, quietly sniffling to himself and trying to reign in his emotions.

Ariel. It had been too vivid. Demyx shivered and snuggled closer to pale skin, a shock of tension making his fingers tingle against the soft fabric. Demyx closed his eyes. Zexion smelled like the library and old books, he thought serenely, just as he usually did. The library…

Demyx jolted abruptly, firmly shaking Zexion so he could tell him what Ariel said before he forgot. Something inside of him knew those words would be burned in his mind forever and he could reasonably tell Zexion at a later time, but he didn't want to take that chance.

Zexion blearily cracked his eyes open, moaning sleepily. He frowned upon spotting the glint of tears and he perched on his elbows, "Is something the matter?"

The musician laughed at the question, too loud for so early in the morning. Zexion was startled. The bookworm found his arms full of his boyfriend a moment later. Demyx shook his head against his chest and emitted melodious noises of childish pleasure. Zexion scooted up a little to sit on his bum and properly hug his lover. Demyx was still giggling happily.

Demyx pulled back, beaming and blissful. The guy was obviously flustered because he spoke rapidly, "You'll never believe me~! It was so amazing, Ariel came to me in my dream!"

He huffed in a breath of air, trying to calm himself and find the proper string of words to explain his ramblings. Zexion was listening, as always, with what Dem felt must be his full attention.

"It was so real, Zexy." He licked his lips. "I don't think it was a dream at all! We were sitting alone at this place we used to go all the time in high school. Under this weeping willow tree."

The musician scooted forward shamelessly, uncaring if the comforter had fallen away and his bare body became illuminated from the moonlight.

Zexion was trying very hard to listen to what he was saying. He would listen. He would not molest that indecently naked body and… god-dammit Demyx had the most beautiful eyes. No! Zexion berated himself. He would listen and not think about how glorious that expression on Dem's face was. But, it was just so damn adorable. Demyx was currently making him swoon and fall in love with him all over again and oh-fucking-hell his beautiful slender naked body.

"And she had something she wanted to tell you!" Demyx insisted.

Zexion blinked, "Pardon?"

"She said that she wanted to thank you for bringing that book to her grave. She said something about how she was in a place kinda like heaven, but not really. And in that place there is this huge library that you'd love."

Zexion's eyebrow quirked. He wasn't sure what to think. A wave of nostalgia he knew was not his own washed over him.

"Ariel said that there is this library that has everything EVER made by a human. She said that you can read the… um, what's that word? Authenticity? Antique….. Um. Something about that and books." Demyx nodded to himself. Then he returned his exuberant smile towards Zexion, "And she said that she was happy I'd found a love like you."

Demyx sighed, pressing his lips against Zexion's bare clavicle. Zexion silently pushed Demyx back on the bed, pushing soft skin together in a warm intimacy.

"You don't believe me?" Dem simpered.

Zexion chuckled, leaning to press a long set of kisses over his lover's pert mouth.

"I believe you." Zexion affirmed.

Demyx frowned, bouncing his fist lightly against Zexion's shoulder. "Liar!"

Zexion closed his eyes slowly, long lashes brushing against his cheeks. "I think I saw her, too."

The slate haired man huffed. Since it sounded so fanciful he wasn't sure why he bothered vocalizing this, but knew Demyx wouldn't care. "I dreamt there was this redhead girl that sang me a song on the beach, I couldn't understand a word of it. With jagged rocks encasing us, the echo of pounding waves was near. All I could smell was salt."

"Tha Mo Ghaol Air Aird A' Chuain.…." Demyx whispered back, the words sounding eloquent on his tongue. "It's an old Irish folk song we learned when we were kids for some festival at our school. It was her absolute favorite. About a girl whose love is lost upon the seas and might never return."

Zexion cupped Dem's face in his hand.

The couple made love after that, slowly, swiftly.

Zexion had long since learned where Demyx was most pleasured, and Demyx could make Zexion cum from a mere blow job. With sweet friction and tender glances, Zexion pushed himself inside Dem for the first time and could barely catch his breath. The sensation was too intense. It was tight and Demyx was keening and his messy sleep-tangled hair bounced and clung in a sweaty disarray. The slap of skin on hips echoed Zexion's frantic panting. They didn't care if they were loud and awoke the others, nothing mattered but them. It was enough to make everything spin into ecstasy. Their fingers twined and Zexion couldn't think of anything else to do but repeat like a manta how much he loved Demyx.

They held each other as the sun slowly rose, casting an abstract shadow across the wall.

Zexion, slightly drunk and still tingling from the post-sex high murmured, "My new year's declaration, Rox was saying how you need to have one. I've been doing so many things I've never done before, like dressing up for Halloween, so why not a declaration?"

Demyx pecked a kiss, giggling and encouraging, "A declaration!"

Zexion lifted his index finger in the air with one hand, and pulled Dem's waist snug against his with the other. Zexion enthusiastically pressed kisses along Dem's face and hair.

"The declaration!" Demyx reminded him.

"This year… I declare…" Zexion smiled to himself, not noticing when Demyx hitched his breath. Zexion was so damn sexy. He knew that he was the only person to have seen this side of that brilliant man.

As Ariel told him, no regrets. Those painful things brought him to this point. The future isn't determined, yet it's rather inevitable. Inevitable because each thing that cause a person to act and how they manage and survive… that's what creates the future.

"I declare that you and I must depart upon on a fancy vacation. New Zealand or Japan or to some music festival, if you'd prefer."

Zexion mumbled against the skin of Dem's neck, "I declare that we must accomplish the following things: We must have sex again in the back room of Cogitare. We need to get Marluxia laid so he won't be such a prick. I'd really not mind if you'd play your sitar for me sometime soon, naked perhaps. That new song you composed is lovely. And you should also eventually meet my parents. They might be shocked, however I'm sure you can charm them easily enough as long as you don't mention any sexual aspect of our relationship."

Zexion huffed, he'd stated his list with a long-winded breath, "And I declare that I will do my best to make you so happy that you'll forget what sadness feels like."

Demyx melted, enchanted by this man he could call his lover.

"Zexion," The musician sighed gleefully, pecking a few butterfly kisses on his boyfriend's clavicle. "I declare that we must not only depart upon a splendid vacation with ourselves, but we should also do a group trip with our friends in the next few months. Maybe summer. After we get all my stuff unpacked we need to break in every single horizontal surface within this apartment. Including the shower. And kitchen table. I declare… I declare that we are going to love each other so much that we can't even imagine life without one another. Forever and ever."

Zexion rolled his eyes playfully, "Well, that last part has already subsequently occured."

Demyx let his eyes flutter shut, he adjusted his body so he could press their foreheads together. "I'm so thankful I met you on that random day at Cogitaref."

"As am I. That feels like an eternity ago." Zexion confirmed.

"No," Demyx protested. "It feels like just yesterday."

"Just yesterday we'd be moving boxes and drum sets. Not swapping awkward small talk like that first encounter during summer."

Demyx's voice was thick as he drowsily mentioned, "We ought to buy Roxas something epic for his birthday since without him and his damn meddling we'd never have met."

"And you were so agitated with him." Zexion whispered. "When is his birthday?"

Dem was already fast asleep. Zexion followed that example, the image of a redheaded girl singing echoed across his mind. This time it wasn't a sad song though, it was one of radiant joy. For the pair of radical opposites, there needed to be no epilogue. Because day to day life was satisfactory enough. The oblivious man who'd been silent became vocal. And the musician who'd been broken was fixed. It was all so damn perfect.


Years later, Roxas was still giving himself a pat on the proverbial back for becoming the matchmaker in that match.

Zexion pushed the door of Cogitare open, the bell above the sign chimed cheerfully. The expansive array of books and the smell of coffee and parchment greeted him in the ancient store. A slew of random shoppers were perusing merchandise. Zexion could tell they were discretely eyeing his lover. Most of the current people around him had obviously arrived to watch Dem's Wednesday afternoon performance. Dem always insisted the shows be free of charge, as such they found a slew of talented amateurs to play at the venue. The live music becoming engrained upon the tacky wallpaper as books in the bookstore.

Demyx's shows, alongside a major reconstruction Axel designed, propelled Cogitare to become legendary.

At first, Dem only wanted to attract more customers. Marly had been hesitant to agree. When Zexion insisted they build a stage, Marly wanted to go cheap. But Demyx persevered with his dream of lights and expensive amps. After purchasing fancy coffee makers the events became notorious. None had banked upon the popularity Dem would achieve, or the subsequent contract labels contacting him. Not that he wanted that anymore. Fame wasn't for him, that was for people who wanted more than they already had. Dem already had what he wanted.

As Zexion strode along, Demyx was perched in the back. His aqua eyes were scanning a huge tome. He was sitting upon the stage they'd build in the same spot they'd first met. Marluxia stood on his left, shamelessly flirting with young college students.

Dem glanced up, smiling absently as his husband swung a set of keys around his index finger.

"I didn't intend to be late." Zexion mentioned with a touch of humor as he reached the stage, grinning down affectionatly.

Dem shook his head, "You've arrived just in time."