* * * * *
It's how the hustle goes,
See what the jukebox knows.
* * *
"Demyx, what happened last night?"
"Oh, hey, dude!" the blonde said in response, a guilty grin slinking onto his face. "You're home early! Axel said you two would be gone for a few more days."
Clenching his fists threateningly, Roxas leveled a stony glare at Demyx, looked pointedly around the room –which was in complete disarray, and what had happened to the poor window blinds?-, then back at his nervously laughing friend. "Don't dodge the question. What. Happened?"
"Funny you should ask, it's actually a pretty entertaining story and really, you-"
"Alright, alright! Imagine this: First thing you know is that you're playing Solitaire, and that there isn't really a way to win this game that you can see. Then, through a confusing set of moves that you don't really remember, you're not playing Solitaire anymore, and instead have gotten into a game of Hearts with three other people. A couple of moves after that, you and five other people are now playing BS. By the end of the round, you're back to playing Solitaire, you don't know what the hell just happened, your pants are gone, your shirt's undone, and all you have to do is move the Ten of Diamonds to the Jack of Spades and you've won the game."
"…Demyx, what the hell kind of card games have you been playing?"
"I have no idea, but I think I won."
Roxas stared at Demyx -sprawled (and now that he mentioned it, where were his pants?) on the floor with cards scattered all around him- disbelief warring with resigned amusement on his face. "You don't even know what game you were playing and you lost your pants, yet you think you won?"
A brief moment of thought was all it took before a smile crossed Demyx's face as he nodded. "Someone had to take off my pants during the course of the night. Yeah, I count that as winning."
With a sigh, Roxas gave in, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "You've been hanging out with Axel too much."
"You say that like it's a bad thing, Roxy…," a dark voice purred, and its owner draped himself across the smaller blonde's shoulders.
Snorting slightly, Roxas shrugged, trying not to make it too obvious that he was leaning into Axel's warm body. "It might be. Oh, and we're never letting Demyx have Luxord over again."
"Yeah, why?" Demyx called, still on the floor and apparently happy with it.
"He's a cool dude!"
"He knows everything!"
"He…takes all my money…"
"He smells like Midnight Lavender!"
"Why do we keep inviting him over?"
"Why can't he come over more?"
His amusement fading, Roxas didn't even blink at any of Demyx's seemingly pointless statements. "Because he deflowered you, you idiot. I'm not going to let a rapist into your house again!" Roxas ground out, twisting awkwardly so he could glare at the two of them.
Axel blinked. "Luxord got in Demyx's pants? I thought he was straight. Luxord, that is. We all know Demyx doesn't care, as long as they're breathing."
"Actually," Demyx corrected, spreading his arms and legs to resemble a starfish, "it wa-"
"Shut up. What you have to say no longer counts towards anything. You think Luxord stealing your pants is a good thing!" Roxas interrupted, still scowling.
The lanky redhead raised an eyebrow, grinning lewdly. "My, my, Demyx, getting your pants stolen now, are we? Are your groupies still not frightening you? After all, they're only in it for your body."
"Seriously, Demyx, you're such a prostitute. Like in that song you sing," Roxas said, forgetting his irritation long enough to bring up an old argument as he shifted in Axel's arms.
Demyx lifted his head long enough to poke his tongue out at Roxas, teal eyes amused. "One, I'm not a prostitute. Two, Don't Stop Believing is totally not about prostitutes, and actually, I was going to say that it wasn't Luxord." His head thumped down on the ground, and he winced. "Ow…."
Two sets of eyes blinked over at the blonde. Braving the silence, Roxas cautiously asked, "Wasn't…Luxord…who did what?"
"Took my pants, of course. Man, I really hit my head…." Demyx pouted, prodding at the back of his head gingerly before spreading back out.
Hearing glee course through Axel as the tall man purred out a laugh, Roxas shook his head and sighed. "You sound so unconcerned. Way to go, Dem."
Their friend shrugged a shoulder, eyes fixed, unfocused, on the ceiling. "I know it wasn't Luxord. Otherwise you would've already known about the bidding. Someone would've called and said 'We have a pair of pants owned by the ridiculously gorgeous and talented -"
"And modest, too."
Demyx continued without a pause, his grin growing larger, "'Soon-to-be world-famous musician, Demyx Lachlan! How much do you want for them?'"
"No offense, Demyx, but unless you stop singing about prostitutes, you're never going to be world famous," Axel drawled, resting his jaw on Roxas's shoulder. Roxas idly reached a hand up to stroke his hair, sliding the silky strands between his fingers.
"For the last time," and Demyx finally sat up, hair in disarray –which was feat, given its normal faux-hawk style- and an exasperated glare on his face, "It's not about prostitutes! It's about love in the face of adversity and never giving up on your dreams!"
Axel and Roxas looked at each other briefly and then said in unison, "It's about prostitutes."
Waving a hand to dismiss the issue, Demyx began to pick cards from his body, humming idly. "Not the point. Oh, and I didn't get lucky last night, either. I think I'd remember that." He frowned, twirling a red ten between his hands. "At least, I hope I'd remember something like that."
"So wait…if Luxord doesn't have your pants…" Roxas said slowly, eyebrow's furrowing.
"And you didn't have sex with anyone…" Axel continued, watching Demyx calmly sort through the cards with bemusement.
"Then what the hell happened to you last night?"
Demyx blinked up at them, unconcerned. "I played Solitaire turned Hearts turned BS turned Solitaire again, and someone took my pants and undid my shirt. Other than that, absolutely nothing."
"Wow, you're not even a real rock star yet, and already you're getting pieces of clothing stolen." Axel shook his head with a soft laugh. "Man, your music career is off to a flying start, huh?"
"You're just jealous that some person has more groupie-love than you, and wanted my pants so I would try and find them, and then we would meet and fall in love, and all of my songs I ever wrote would be about them and not about you anymore," Demyx said primly, shuffling the cards in his hands.
Verdant eyes blinked at the musician. "What are you talking about? You haven't written any songs about me."
Turning towards Axel with an angelic smile, Demyx said sweetly, "Why, Axel! Who else do you think the prostitute would be? If that song was actually about them, that is."
"What the-! You! I!" The lean man pointed a threatening finger at Demyx, growling, "Why I ought 'a…."
As Roxas choked back a laugh at Axel's indignant sputtering, Demyx turned to him. "Oh, don't laugh, Roxas. After all, you're the guy who bought the prostitute."
Demyx shrugged, finally standing and brushing off his legs. "Ew, carpet impressions on my bum," he moaned before looking at his two friends. "So, if you need me for the next thirty minutes, too bad. I'm gonna take a shower and scrub carpet scum off of me." And with that, he wandered from the room, scratching absently at his side.
"He's way too easygoing," Roxas muttered, mouth twisted in a half-frown. "Seriously, what if something really bad happens to him? He can't just brush it off like this."
Axel grinned suddenly, feral and dangerous. "Don't worry, I have a plan."
Roxas suddenly felt dread seep into him at those words. "Axel, last time you had a plan-"
"Hey, hey," the redhead interrupted, waving a slender finger in his face. "This time, it doesn't involve fireworks. We should be fine."
"Last time wasn't supposed to involve fireworks!"
"Hush, it's a plan."
"Alright, if it's such a plan, what is it?"
"We're going to talk to Zexion!"
* * *
In the middle of his shower, Demyx paused as he felt a sense of impending doom, but after a moment, he shrugged, started whistling, and began to make soap bubbles with his shampoo.
* * *
Put my last quarter on,
I play Authority Song.
* * *
"You want me to stalk your friend?" Zexion lowered his book to stare at the two intruders over the rim of his glasses. "Explain the logic of this one to me."
"Well, this friend I have, you see, he's getting… a bit famous, and people are starting to do strange things to him because of that, and he doesn't really seem to care at all, and, since he's our friend, it's worrying us, since he really should be concerned about some of the things that have happened," Axel explained, waving his hands in the air as though the motions would make his plan seem less insane. "So we want you to stalk him and make him understand that he can't be so easygoing."
One slate-grey eyebrow rose, its owner returning his gaze to his book. "Why couldn't you ask Marluxia to do it?" Zexion paused, then looked back at Axel, his expression slightly worried. "It's…not Marluxia that you want me to follow, is it?"
"No, of course not! His name is Demyx. Demyx Lachlan."
Roxas watched as Zexion relaxed again, his face returning to its typical non-expression. With a shake of his head, Roxas muttered, "I'm not sure this is a good idea…."
Unreadable cobalt blue eyes flicked to him, pinning him easily in place. Roxas suppressed a shiver. "Oh? You're acquainted with Axel's particular brand of scheme, then, are you?" Zexion asked, quirking an eyebrow in question.
"Of course he is," Axel snorted, looping a bony around Roxas's shoulders. "He's my boyfriend."
Zexion slid his gaze from Roxas to Axel and then back to Roxas, amusement glimmering in the depths of his eyes. "My condolences," he murmured, smooth as water, before turning to Axel. "What would I be paid?"
"What do you want?" Axel asked, arm still around Roxas.
The pale man tilted his head, blinking slowly once. "A year's supply of all my tea."
Axel made a horrified face. "Absolutely not! I know how much tea you drink! One year's supply of ONE tea."
"My favorite tea." Zexion countered.
"Dude, no, you drink that twice as much as any of the others!"
"Three times as much and you're paying me to stalk someone until they become scared. I don't know how long that will take, and I'll need all the caffeine I can get."
Axel wavered for a second, thinking about it. "Done. A year's supply of your favorite tea."
"Excuse us for a second," Roxas said, wrapping an arm around Axel and tugging him a few feet away to whisper, "Look, I'm still not sure this is a good idea. Does this guy even know anything about Demyx?"
Before Axel could answer, a cool voice interrupted them. "Of course I don't. I don't pay attention to pop culture unless it becomes absolutely necessary."
Roxas whipped around to find the slate-haired man standing unnervingly close, eyes half-lidded but intent. "Alright, well, you've got the creepy part down, man," the blonde muttered, rubbing his arms nervously. "But if you don't know anything about Demyx, how in the world will you pull off being an obsessed fan?"
Roxas blinked. "Excuse me?"
Axel clapped a hand onto Zexion's shoulder, grinning widely and ignoring the way Zexion flinched at the contact. "This guy can remember anything. Seriously, anything. He reads it, he remembers it. He sees it, he remembers it. He hears it, he remembers it. He smells it-"
"Yes, Axel, we get the point." Roxas shook his head in exasperation.
"So, all he has to do is read up once on Demyx, and he'll have it down. No problem!"
Roxas looked over Zexion skeptically, taking in his glasses, slacks and comfortable shirt. He obviously wasn't going to like any of Demyx's songs. Probably preferred classical music. "Have you heard any of Demyx's music before?"
With a tilt of his head and a questioning lift of one eyebrow, Zexion answered, "No."
"Get used to hearing him sing about prostitutes, then." Roxas heaved a sigh, then frowned at Axel. "Alright, fine, this seems like a better plan than anything I've got. But if it doesn't work, I reserve full right to say that I told you so."
The redhead grinned, shrugging his shoulders exaggeratedly slow. "See, Roxy? I can come up with good plans. Alright, Zexion, we'll leave you to your studying! Have fun!" And with that, they left as quickly as they had come, the library quieting to a near-deafening silence in their absence.
Zexion, standing in a beam of golden light, blinked curiously behind his glasses.
* * *
Honesty or Mystery? Tell me
I'm not scared anymore.
* * *
Alright, so maybe Axel and Roxas were right and this was getting a little ridiculous.
Demyx scowled down at the floor before risking another glance over his shoulder. Yeah, same guy, same distance behind him, same book. Seriously, he had just come to walk around the mall in peace, and now, some guy was just … following him. Had been for the past hour. Demyx had tried to lose him in the food court crowd, but this guy –without even lifting his eyes from his book, which was the creepiest part- had just calmly slipped through them and continued to follow him.
Running his hands through his hair, Demyx frowned. Was there a reason this guy was following him? He couldn't think of any laws he had broken recently, so it couldn't be an undercover cop. Besides, the gray-purple hair wasn't all that … incognito. Biting his lip nervously, he tried to remember if something he had done could have pissed off the mafia.
Well, Axel and Roxas were always saying that his song was about prostitutes…. Maybe they took offense?
God, he hoped not. According to all the movies, crossing the mafia was not something you wanted to do if you also wanted to stay alive.
Checking over his shoulder again, Demyx scanned the crowd. Finding nothing, he heaved a sigh of relief and straightened his shoulders. "Finally!" he breathed, smiling slightly.
Demyx squeaked, jerking his eyes down to see the slate-haired man standing next to him. Twitching slightly (when had he gotten that close?), the musician answered him slowly, "Well, I was gonna say that I had finally …" He trailed off, tilting his head to the side. Demyx blinked at the shorter man. "What are you doing?" he asked, curiosity overwhelming him.
Blue eyes didn't even look up from the book. "Following you."
"…Why?" Demyx was getting nervous. Something about this guy was just…off. Strange. Weird. Creepy. He could come up with synonyms for days.
Well, probably not, but still.
The short, pale man finally looked up at the blonde, eyes dark and unreadable over his glasses. "Because I can."
"…Haaaahn?" Probably not the most attractive noise Demyx had ever made in his life, but it fit the situation.
"You are Demyx Lachlan." And the stranger finally, finally, put away the damn book to hold out one hand. "And I," he said with a sardonic smile, as though he had a secret joke with the world, "am your biggest fan."
That changed things.
With a cheerful grin, Demyx took the pale man's hand, shaking it enthusiastically. "Nice to meet you! I've always wanted to meet my biggest fan! I never actually thought I'd have one of those!" Demyx said, grinning from ear to ear.
Something like amusement appeared in the stranger's eyes. "The pleasure is all mine, I assure you." Looking slightly to the side, he muttered, "Though I am beginning to see what they meant."
Demyx blinked. "Hm?"
"Oh, nothing. You're just as friendly as everyone says you are, Demyx Lachlan." The man smiled again, blue eyes –cobalt blue eyes, he'd never seen that particular color before- watching him intently behind slate colored hair. "Possibly friendlier."
Shrugging one shoulder, Demyx glanced to one side in rare show of embarrassment. "Hey, it's still flattering for me to meet a fan of mine that's not Axel or Roxas."
Looking over the rim of thin-framed glasses, the pale man raised one eyebrow. "They are fans of yours?"
Demyx laughed. "You could say that. They're my friends. They like bitching and moaning about all my songs, though."
"You consider them fans, despite how much they complain about you?"
With another blink, Demyx answered slowly, actually taking a moment to think about it. "Well, yeah. I mean, they've been with me since I was nothing but a college student just trying to get a few songs together to play at a local restaurant. They only give me hell because they had to listen to the songs so often and now they feel like they have to reduce my ego. And honestly, their opinion still means the most to me."
The man tilted his head, his hair falling out of the way of his right eye. Staring almost curiously –and here Demyx shuddered, because this guy made him feel a bit like a butterfly with its wings pinned in place-, he tapped a finger on the spine of his book and asked, "Have you told them that?"
"Hell no, that's just embarrassing. Besides, they already know they matter."
Humming softly, the man's eyes finally left him, looking over Demyx's shoulder. Somehow, Demyx got the feeling that the man was just thinking, not actually looking at anything in particular. The blonde took the opportunity to actually examine his fan, sliding eyes over tight-fit black slacks and the soft grey shirt with a neckline that skimmed across pale skin and delicate collarbones. His face was angular and pale in the same way his body was, slender without being feminine. Delicate, but not in any way breakable.
Really … very appealing, actually.
Demyx swallowed hard, unprepared for the sudden rush of heat through his body.
Maybe this is what Axel and Roxas meant when they said to be careful around my fans…, he thought, tearing his eyes away from the attractive stranger.
This wasn't good.
Well, alright, it was. But in a way that totally wasn't okay.
Deep blue eyes swiveled back to him, and the man nodded once, as though deciding something. "I'll be seeing you around, Demyx Lachlan," the man murmured, giving him a small bow before turning and leaving.
Weird. As in … weirdly hot, Demyx thought as he watched the man saunter off, eyes trailing down to stare in bemusement at the way the man's slacks formed around his ass.
That…probably wasn't a good sign. But damn, it was nice to look at….
"Hey, wait!" Demyx called out, suddenly remembering something, tearing his eyes away from the stranger's rear for a second.
The slate-haired man turned around, tilting his head curiously.
Swallowing, Demyx pulled nervously on the hem of his shirt. "Are you gonna be at the concert tomorrow?"
Something indefinable flickered through the stranger's cobalt eyes and he slowly shook his head. "Regrettably not. Business came up, and I can't make it."
"Oh…" And didn't that sting a little. Demyx bit the inside of his lip and tapped his foot anxiously, looking down at the floor.
"I will, however, be taping the concert. It is airing on television, is it not?"
He glanced back up to find that the man had edged a little closer again, and he smiled, nodding. "Yep. It will be! Channel Eight. At seven o'clock. First time it'll be broadcasted!" Demyx grinned widely and the slate-haired man tilted his head again, blinked a few times, nodded and turned around again.
"I will be watching it, then," he called over his shoulder before burying his nose back into his book, weaving into a crowd of people without a glance either at them or back at Demyx.
Demyx watched him go, eyes trained on the nice way his legs moved. Once he was out of sight, he sighed, blinked and swore under his breath. "Damn it, I never got his name!"
* * *
I've got no secret purpose.
I don't seem obvious, do I?
I don't seem obvious, do I?
(I don't seem obvious do-)
* * *
"Oh, and Axel? I'll need his phone number too. … What? No, I'm supposed to be creepy, remember? … Yes, a set of keys to his house would be just lovely." Zexion balanced his phone on his shoulder as he knelt down to place a cup of cat food in front of an orange tabby cat, petting the soft, fluffy fur. "Good kitty…. No, not you, Axel, my cat. … Yes I have a cat, why does that sur-" He cut off with a sigh, standing. "You're a magnificent bastard, Axel. I'll see you later."
Zexion would never admit to the satisfaction he felt as he snapped the phone closed and dropped it on the table. Rubbing his forehead and moaning softly, the slight man began to make a cup of tea, feeling the ache behind his eyes throb with his heartbeat. An entire day spent reading various Wikipedia articles, news reports, and (Zexion suppressed a shudder) fan blogs all about Demyx Lachlan was wreaking havoc on his eyes. Thankfully, he had made it through everything relevant.
The things he did to put himself through graduate school.
The microwave beeped at him, and he reached inside it to grab the mug of water, adding the bag of tea leaves. Curling his hands around the warm cup, Zexion shuffled over to his sofa, setting the tea down on an old coffee table to steep.
With a delicate purring noise, Calcifer hopped onto the couch. Zexion reached out, a smile curving his lips as the cat rubbed along his hand, arching happily into the contact. After a few seconds, though, Calcifer appeared to become bored, and sauntered off. Zexion only shook his head and turned on the television to the local news channel, reaching out to grab his tea.
"And at tonight's concert, up and coming musician, Demyx Lachlan-"
Zexion paused mid-reach and looked at the television curiously. That concert had been tonight, hadn't it? It had slipped his mind.
"-made some interesting comments. Here is a clip now."
Turning to face the screen fully, Zexion watched the image of Demyx pull back from finishing a song, sweaty and smiling, obviously ecstatic. The blonde walked back up to the microphone, still grinning. "Hey everyone!" he shouted, "Glad you all came out to see us tonight! Before our last song, I'd like to give a shout-out to my biggest fan!" He waved in the general direction of everywhere, his eyes crinkling at the corners. "Yeah, you know who you are! I'm sorry you're not able to make it tonight, but I hope you're having a great time and everything! Just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking about you, wherever you are! I wanna see you again, so don't go anywhere, yeah? Alright, let's kick it to the beat!"
And he stepped back from the microphone, unaware of Zexion, sitting in his living room, heart pounding inexplicably hard, face flushed, and eyes wide.
The news anchor came back on screen, shaking her head with a slight smile. "There is now speculation as to exactly who Mr. Lachlan was referring to, whether it is a significant other, or simply a dedicated fan that touched his heart."
"Or a stalker-for-hire who wasn't expecting any of this at all," Zexion muttered, reaching out with shaky hands to finally grab his cup of tea and clutch it close to his chest, and ignoring the curious mews and head-buts from his cat. Wasn't expecting Demyx to look as good, if not better than he did in the pictures in real life. Wasn't expecting Demyx to really be so unconcerned about himself. Wasn't expecting Demyx to be so nice and charming.
Wasn't expecting to immediately like Demyx.
All of this for a year's supply of tea.
Suddenly, he wasn't sure it was worth it anymore.
* * *
The DJ never has it,
If those are Roy's headphones,
You bet he'd play what goes on.
* * *
"Demyx, who were you talking about?" Roxas asked, foot tapping furiously on the floor as he shrugged off Axel's comforting hands.
The blond looked up from the sink, pausing in the middle of taking off his stage make-up. "Um. Which time are we talking about? I talk about a lot of people." Demyx scrubbed hard at a bit of eyeliner that refused to come off and swore under his breath.
Roxas narrowed his eyes in a glare, grinding his teeth together. "The biggest fan part, Dem. Who were you talking about?"
"Oh, that?" And Demyx straightened, patting his face with a towel. "Honestly, he's a bit of a creeper. But, yeah, he's a guy I met at the mall yesterday. Said he was my biggest fan. Hot as hell, and the nicest ass I've ever seen on anyone ever, but he must've followed me around for about an hour before he actually came up and said anything. Weirdest thing ever. Poor thing must have been so nervous…."
"Nervous," Axel deadpanned, arching an eyebrow in disbelief. Roxas traded a despairing glance with his boyfriend. Demyx was so thick sometimes.
The guitarist only blinked at them over his towel. "Well. Yeah, I mean… he was meeting … ya know… his idol. Of course he was nervous."
Scratch that. All the time. Demyx was just stupid.
Roxas sighed, slapping his palm to his forehead. "Demyx, what in the world makes you think that you're his idol, of all things? You talked to him for, like, what? Ten, fifteen minutes, maybe? How did you get that idea?"
"Well, you know," and a faint trace of irritation wove its way into Demyx's voice (Wonder upon wonders, he could feel irritation, Roxas mused in the back of his mind), "normally when someone is your biggest fa-" The blonde stopped, looking at the mirror, though his eyes weren't focused on it at all. "I should… I dunno, do something with him. Dinner or," he made a vague gesture, "something. That'd be a good idea, right?"
Throwing his hands in the air, Roxas turned around, pointing threateningly at Axel. "I'm tagging you in. Clean up your mess."
Axel, however, had a teasing smirk around his lips, and it creased the corners of his eyes as he drawled out, "My, my, Demyx…. You like this guy."
Demyx immediately turned bright red. "I said nothing. I have no idea what you're talking about," he squeaked, fumbling with the towel much more than was necessary.
"You like hi-oh shit, hang on." The redhead fumbled around in his pocket for a second, bringing out a phone and glancing at the screen with a raised eyebrow. "Speaking of," he murmured cryptically. "Roxas, you're back in. I have to take this." He wandered a few steps away, talking into the phone with an amused expression.
Scowling, Roxas gave Demyx an once-over, letting out an irritated sigh when he saw the pleading in the musician's eyes, and the hopeful half-grin that curved his lips. "Fine, fine, we'll drop it for now," he grumbled, throwing his hands up and pretending to ignore the grateful smile that crossed Demyx's face. "See what happens when it explodes in your face."
And it would. It had to.
Roxas would make sure of it.
* * *
Honesty or Mystery? Tell me
I'm not scared anymore.
* * *
Sunlight slanted across Demyx's eyes, and he grumbled, turning away from the window with a snort. Mornings sucked. But luckily, he had nothing to do that day. Sighing blissfully, he let himself sink into his soft pillows, just imagining the sorts of dre-
"Good morning, Demyx."
-ams he would … was that his biggest fan's voice?
A soft huff. "Don't bother pretending that you didn't wake up. I saw the change in your breathing. Besides, it's far too late for you to be sleeping, anyway."
…Yeah, that was him. In Demyx's room.
Muttered, "I have no idea how you managed to become a rising star if you're so lazy."
Demyx cracked open an eye blearily, trying to get the swimming image of the lilac-haired man to focus. "'m not lazy," he muttered hazily.
He fuzzily saw the man raise an eyebrow. "It's half-past ten in the morning. Lazy." The bed shook as it was kicked. "Now get up. It's a perfectly good day, and I will not have you waste it."
He sighed. "Stop that, and get up."
Closing his eyes, Demyx buried his face in his pillow. "…no, dun wanna."
"UP, Demyx Lachlan. I have food for you."
Demyx sat straight up, blinking sleep out of his eyes as he stumbled out of bed, newly-awake legs floundering before managing to hold him up. "Point me to the kitchen, you angel, you."
The pale man covered his mouth as he laughed softly, waving the fingers of his other hand in a shooing motion. Following the man's urging (and his own nose) into the kitchen (and he ignored the way he staggered around, because that was so undignified), Demyx grabbed a chair, spun it around, and sat in it backwards, looking eagerly around the table for food.
"Sit properly. I won't be held responsible for you making a mess of yourself," the slate-hair man scolded, holding a plate just out of reach.
Demyx pouted before slowly –sulkily– turning the chair back around and siting in it normally. He also ignored the shiver sent down his spine when the man smiled slowly at him. The plate was set in front of him and he picked up a fork, ready to dig into the delicious and warm smelling waffles that the stranger had made for him. Then he paused, looked up at his fan standing next to the table, frowned slightly.
"You know," he began, tilting his head curiously, "I don't even know your name. And why are you standing? Didn't you make some for yourself?"
The man raised an eyebrow before slowly grabbing another plate and sitting down next to him. Something in the way he moved seemed puzzled, almost hesitant, but Demyx shrugged it off, devouring his food hungrily.
"Mmm?" Demyx looked up from his food, meeting piercing blue eyes.
"My name's Zexion Chakal."
Smiling, the blonde companionably bumped his elbow against Zexion's, almost knocking the slender man's hand into his syrup-covered waffles. "Cool. Nice to meet you. Where were you born?"
Zexion cocked his head at him, cutting his waffles into even squares. "Why do you ask?"
"It seems a little unfair that you know almost everything about me, but I know next to nothing about you." Demyx shrugged. "Just trying to even the playing field."
Silence greeted that, broken only by the noises Demyx made while eating. Then Zexion let out a drawn out hum, popping a piece of his waffle into his mouth and chewing slowly. "Yes, I suppose that makes sense," he said after he had cleared his throat. "Cairo, if it really means that much to you."
Demyx just grinned at him. They ate quietly after that, Demyx singing or humming softly and Zexion just absently staring out into space.
"Oh, I forgot to ask! How did you get in here?" Demyx questioned curiously, nodding at the front door. "I always lock that door at night, and the only people who have keys are Roxas and Axel." Without really waiting for an answer, he continued, musing, "Maybe I just forgot. I've been doing that a lot, recently."
Zexion twitched slightly, but continued eating. "I just…have a skill. With doors."
Grinning, Demyx shrugged a little bit. "Cool."
"Very cool," Zexion muttered, burying his nose in his drink and gulping it down like it was some sort of saving grace.
Demyx patted his mouth with a napkin. "Dude, can you, like, come over and cook for me all the time? This food is amazing! Seriously better than anything Axel's ever made."
And Zexion smiled a slow smile. "Yes, as a matter of fact, I can."
* * *
I've got no secret purpose.
I don't seem obvious, do I?
I don't seem obvious, do I?
I don't seem obvious, do I? Do I
* * *
"Demyx, I'm afraid that we're not meant to be," Zexion announced grandly as he opened the door to Demyx's house. Demyx twitched a little bit (he still wasn't used to Zexion's sudden comings and goings, even a month after they first had breakfast), and grinned over his shoulder at the slender man. Rising from the couch, he popped his back as he stretched. Zexion continued easily into the house, putting his jacket on the back of the couch where Demyx had just been.
The blonde half-smiled at him, saying playfully, "Aw, but Zexy! I like you so much!"
With a sigh, Zexion shook his head, a smile playing around his lips. They moved easily into the kitchen, Demyx starting to heat up some water, and Zexion preparing his tea for drinking. As the pot began to make ominous hissing noises, Demyx turned to Zexion. The pale man was leaning against the counter, obviously thinking quite hard, and whatever words Demyx was about to say were swallowed, lost in a moment of silent observation.
Or ogling, really.
Demyx wasn't too ashamed to admit that over the month he had known Zexion, he had spent most of their time together subtly (and not so subtly) checking the other out.
Shaken out of his thoughts by a high-pitched squealing, Demyx watched as Zexion poured the hot water into his coffee cup, curling his hands almost delicately around it. As Zexion smelled the faint steam that came out of the cup, the musician walked them over to the counter, sprawling himself onto a barstool easily.
"So," he began, cocking his head at Zexion, "what in the world were you talking about?"
"Hm? Oh, that. Apparently, your fans are all supposed to be the club dancing type, and the fact that I am not perturbs most of them." Zexion let out a loud, over-dramatic sigh, sipping at his tea cautiously. "However will I survive, knowing that our future together is dependent on me dancing like a slut to the music?"
"No offense," Demyx said cautiously, a smile on his lips, "But I can't really see you dancing like that."
"What, you don't think I can 'drop it drop it low?'" Zexion asked in a completely serious monotone, taking another sip of his drink.
Demyx coughed into his mug, trying to kill his laughter before Zexion heard it.
Apparently, he didn't do a good enough job, as Zexion just smirked and said dryly, "No, no, go ahead and laugh. I'm told I'm a hoot at parties. Everyone loves to watch a white boy try and bust a move."
"I'm sure you're not that bad," the blonde soothed, not thinking of the slender man dancing at all. Nope, totally not thinking about it. Damn, but it was hot in here. "With some instruction…" he trailed off.
Amused cobalt eyes glanced at him over the rim of a tea-filled glass. "Why, Demyx Lachlan, are you offering to teach me how to dance?" Zexion asked, humor filling his voice as he slanted an eyebrow sardonically. "Didn't you hear the word "try" earlier?"
Demyx shrugged casually, trying to ignore the way his heart was pounding in his throat. "I'm willing to give it a shot."
Obviously, that was not was he expected to hear. Zexion froze, his glass halfway back to the table. "I don't dance," the pale man said stiffly, softly.
"Wait, what do you mean you don't dance?"
Zexion carefully set down his cup, reaching up to readjust his glasses warily. "I mean exactly that. I don't dance. Or rather, I can't dance. Nor do I want to."
"But…but…" Demyx was at a loss for words. "Not even to classical music? I mean, some of those waltzes…. It's amazing that you can sit still! Strauss, Tchaikovsky, you can sit through them without wanting to dance?"
Wide cobalt eyes stared at him from behind glass, and Demyx had to throttle the urge to pull off Zexion's glasses. "You…like classical music?"
Demyx snorted, a lopsided grin stretching across his face. "Of course! Beethoven rocks, and Chopin is totally my homeboy."
"I'm going to ignore what you just said there and focus on the fact that you actually like classical music." Zexion rested his chin in the palm of his hand, eyebrows furrowed in curiosity. "I never expected it."
Rubbing the back of his neck nervously – and really, what was up with that? It was just Zexion (and he had to admit that that was the reason he was nervous)-, Demyx shrugged a little. "Yeah, well, my parents had me take piano lessons when I was younger. Never got good enough to play the really interesting stuff, but I've always held it close to my heart ever since then. Besides, guitar's a classical instrument." He squinted. "Sorta."
"If you play it right, it is." Zexion's eyes didn't waver at all, strangely intent. Demyx couldn't help but shiver, and he noticed the way that Zexion's gaze flicked over him as he did so, heat rushing through him.
"I, uh, I also play piano."
An amused smile curved Zexion's lips. And no, Demyx was not staring at them. Not at all. "So you just said."
Right. "R-right. I knew that."
There was an awkward silence as Demyx desperately tried to get his mind away from the interesting things that Zexion's smile did to his face. Zexion watched his internal squirming with muted enjoyment, sipping occasionally at his tea.
"Um," Demyx slowly began, carefully not looking at Zexion, "Are you, I mean, you should…. Um…"
The pale man set down his cup as he stood fluidly. "I should go. You must be tired."
Demyx nodded, pushing his desire for Zexion to stay down. "Y-yeah. Tired."
Watching Zexion saunter towards the door, Demyx sighed a little. He really did like Zexion. A lot more than he should, according to Roxas, who seemed to have a pet peeve against slate-haired man. And it was for the best that he was going. Demyx did have a lot to do, and he was tired. But…
"Hey, Zexion?" Demyx called out.
Zexion stopped, looked over his shoulder.
"I was serious about the dance lessons."
A slight smile turned the corners of Zexion's mouth up mischievously. "And I was serious about me being very bad at it. But thank you, anyway."
With that, he left the house, the door clicking shut behind him.
"Yeah. You're welcome," Demyx whispered softly.
* * *
Oh, well I'm in.
That means something, doesn't it?
* * *
Demyx wished it was a bit more surprising to walk into his house and find Zexion sitting on his couch, but after half a year of knowing the strange man, it just seemed routine.
(He also silenced the little voice in his head that said that he wouldn't mind it ever becoming routine, that this felt like Zexion was living with him (and didn't he want that?))
Since he had known Zexion, the pale man had just shoved himself into Demyx's life with little to no regard to anything he might have been messing up; he got inside Demyx's house, sat on his couch, ate his food, mysteriously appeared backstage at Demyx's concerts, and underneath Demyx's skin, all with an enigmatic smile and a bitingly sarcastic wit. Zexion was always there, it seemed.
"Demyx," Zexion answered, not even looking up as he turned a page gently. The blonde flopped himself down onto the couch, hissing just a little as his sore back protested the sudden impact. Leaning his head back, Demyx stared absently at the ceiling, motes of light swirling in twilit spirals in the air.
He felt Zexion shift on the couch, and looked over to see him tuck his feet close to his body, curling himself into a tight, comfortable ball, silver-rimmed glasses perched daintily on the bridge of his nose. "So, how are you?"
Zexion hummed noncommittally, absorbed in his book.
"That's good. How'd your day go?"
Another non-answer, and Zexion turned the page.
"Wanna hear about my day?"
"Sure, go ahead," he murmured absently, not even paying attention.
"I had an awesome day today," Demyx began blandly, smiling a little. "First I got a magical pony that taught me how to fly, and I flew all the way out to the moon, where I learned that people can breathe in deep space. Also, the sky exploded and turned pink. A really ugly shade of pink too. But then the magical pony gave up her life to turn the sky blue again."
Zexion paused in the middle of turning another page, furrowing his eyebrows. Then he sighed and turned to Demyx. "I'm fairly certain that you didn't do any of that, you liar."
Demyx only blinked at him, all wide-eyes and laughter. "Zexion! I am so offended that you think I would lie about something as important as magical ponies!"
An offended look crossed his face. "You know I can't hear much when I'm reading."
"Yeah, I know. I just like messing with you," Demyx groaned as he twisted, trying to pop his back. The uncomfortable ache in his spine didn't disappear, and he let out a disappointed whine. "Man, I would murder someone for a back massage right now…."
"Aw, big bad musician has back problems?" Zexion cooed sarcastically, tilting his head down to see him clearly, hair falling out of the way.
"When big bad musician has been sitting around all day with record producers, yes, he does," the blonde groused, taking a deep breath and wincing when even that seemed to make something hurt.
Zexion paused in the middle of turning a page and uncurled his body, sitting up and putting his feet flat on the floor. "You're… you're getting signed?"
Grinning happily at the ceiling, Demyx flopped back onto his couch, sighing gratefully as the cushions formed around his back. "Yeah, we are! It's gonna mean a whole new shit-ton of work, because there'll be new songs to write, and tours to go on, and videos to shoot, and CDs to come out with…"
"And more fans…" Zexion murmured, his posture strangely tense and eyes distant.
The blond blinked at him, then smiled easily. "Aw, Zexy, don't worry! You're always going to be my number one fan! Your groupie-love will always be special!" He paused, another conversation coming to mind. Feeling the couch move as Zexion shifted, Demyx tried cracking his back again, muscles still screaming as they protested the movement. "Heh, that reminds me of a conversation I had with Axel a few days before I met you."
"Mmm, there was an incident. The one with the pants and the card game that I told you about, right?" At Zexion's nod, he continued, "So, I was making a joke about how someone obviously had a large amount of groupie-love for me, and Axel was only worried because he thought that their groupie-love exceeded his own, and then I wouldn't write anymore songs about him. He was making fun of me earlier, you know, for-" and Demyx smiled as Zexion finished his sentence with:
"-the song that is not about prostitutes, yes."
The blonde nodded, rolling a shoulder tentatively. "Exactly. And so I told him that he was the prostitute in the song, if it was about prostitutes, and he got all offended and stuff. It was funny." He paused, blinking to himself. "I wonder what happened to those pants. They were comfy."
Zexion laughed softly, and a flash of shivering heat went through Demyx. They spent a few moments just half-smiling and staring at each other (slowly gravitating towards each other), and they were tilting their heads just a bit, noses bumping-
-and then Demyx's cell phone went off.
Demyx really hated Axel's timing sometimes.
* * *
Oh, won't you dance with me a little bit?
Oh, you don't notice cuz the music's too loud!
* * *
Zexion watched Demyx stroll around the room, talking animatedly into the phone as he waved his hands in grand, nonsensical gestures.
And wondered what the hell he was doing.
He should just get up and leave, makes his excuses just like he had for the past … while (six months, if he was to be completely honest). Demyx was just too much to handle for so long. He was a bundle of constantly vibrating light and boundless energy, and Zexion could not help but be attracted to his sort of downplayed charisma. And he just couldn't… couldn't bring himself to betray the sort of naïve trust that Demyx had placed in him since day one. Every day his thoughts would run with "tell him now, tell him now, hurt him now, do your job" and a single glance from laughing teal eyes would change it to "later, tell him later, keep him for now."
"No, no, it goes a bit more like this," and Demyx sang wordless notes, then frowned at the phone. "Don't be a bitch, Axel. It's not that difficult a concept. And why are you even arguing with Roxas about diminished seventh chords anyway?"
Looking at the musician's back as he turned away with an apologetic smile towards Zexion, the pale man studied him, examining the curve of his spine, the fluidity with which he moved. Why was it so hard to resist Demyx, anyway? His music was infectious, his smile endearing, no one Zexion knew who had just heard his music disliked him.
"Like a black hole," Zexion thought morosely, staring down at his hands, fingers threaded carefully together. "He just draws people in. And once he has you, there's no escape."
He heard the click of the phone being shut and looked up, meeting Demyx's eyes as the blonde turned back around.
"Sorry, Axel had a question that he wanted answered," Demyx explained, the corner of his mouth raising in an aborted smile, aqua eyes meeting, yet not quite meeting, his own. Zexion pulled himself out of the contemplation of the curve of Demyx's lips repeatedly, a strange sort of lastitude (helplessness) sinking into his veins.
What was he doing?
He should leave.
(He didn't want to leave.)
Zexion breathed out, nodding as he closed his eyes slowly, opening them only when he had to. "Yeah. I'm fine."
"That's… that's good. I kinda… well, I um." The blonde bit his lip, and Zexion tilted his head in curiosity. With a fond sigh, Demyx leaned down, a cautious (nervous, his brain supplied) half-smile on his face, and he pressed his lips against Zexion's, threading shaky hands through Zexion's hair. He was only there for a bit, and Zexion knew that he looked shell-shocked when Demyx pulled back, same nervous smile looking down at him.
"Good, yeah?" he breathed, the words puffing against Zexion's skin, hazy and meaningless. Zexion's entire body yearned for Demyx, wanted to push up against him, pin him down, take and keep any part of him he could. Take him and keep him before he was found out.
(And he would be found out; he had seen the look in Roxas's eyes as of late, knew that all of it was too good to last.)
He had to leave, now. But he couldn't make himself move.
Apparently, the silence was good enough of an answer for Demyx, who slid his long, lithe body into Zexion's lap with a relieved exhalation, kissing him as though he had no other purpose in the world.
And Zexion forgot.
Forgot about all of the reasons he shouldn't do this. Forgot about the deception he was running. Forgot about his carefully laid (and haphazardly ruined) plans. Forgot his name, who he was, who he was supposed to be. Forgot and forgot until all he knew was the taste of Demyx's mouth and the slide of his body.
* * *
It's how the hustle goes,
See what the jukebox knows.
Put my last quarter on,
I play Authority Song.
* * *
"Alright, Demyx, this has to stop. First prostitutes, now stalkers? Seriously, why do you have to keep singing about stuff like this?" Roxas waved the piece of paper around wildly, dramatically, as he paced around the room.
Demyx looked blearily up at him and yawned. "Not about prostitutes," he said almost out of habit, letting his head flop back onto his crossed arms on the desk.
Walking over to the tired blonde, Roxas smiled fondly. It was obvious that Demyx had worked hard on this song (he had been in some sort of creative haze for the past day or two, around the time he had gotten that god-forsaken hickey that was still on his neck, come to think of it), but still, it was the principle of the thing. "Dear God, please don't tell me that you really mean for this to be your next song! I mean, really, 'Passing by, you light up my darkest skies. You take only seconds to draw me in'?"
Sleepy teal eyes blinked at him from the crook of Demyx's elbow. "It has a really awesome bass riff to it. I think you'll like it."
"You've written the music for it," Roxas said disbelievingly. Normally, that came a day or two after the lyrics had been finished.
Another yawn. "Yep."
"Oh god, you really mean for this to be your next song."
Demyx slowly sat up, stretching his arms towards the ceiling. "Well, yeah, of course. I wouldn't have written it otherwise." He distractedly rubbed his face, blinking around the room as if he barely recognized it. His hand slowly slid down to press against the love-bite on his neck, and Demyx smiled absently, warmly.
Sighing, Roxas waved the paper with the lyrics in his face. "Demyx, just because they liked a song about prostitutes doesn't mean they'll like one about stalkers."
"Well, I played it for Zexion earlier, and he liked it. So there," the musician replied matter-of-factly, brushing the piece of paper out of his view.
Roxas paused in mid-wave.
Demyx turned to him, confused. "Played the song for Zexion. Earlier this morning. And he liked it."
"As in, your stalker. Zexion," Roxas said disbelievingly.
Rolling his eyes, Demyx shook his head slowly. "No, as in, Zexion. My biggest fan who can never make it to any of my concerts. Keep up here, Roxas."
Zexion, the guy Axel hired with tea to stalk Demyx to creep him out.
Zexion, the guy Demyx was now playing his new music for first, and spoke about with strange warmth in his voice.
And Demyx. Who had a hickey on his neck and a limp in his walk, and had last been seen with Zexion…two days ago.
Well, this was going according to plan.
"Mmm-hmm. Excuse me; I need to go talk to Axel for a second." Pivoting on his heel, Roxas stormed out of the room, eyebrows furrowed and lyrics still in hand.
* * *
Honesty or mystery? Tell me
I'm not scared anymore.
* * *
Axel looked up from his computer sharply as Roxas burst into the room.
"I was right, and you were wrong," the short blonde said with no preamble, mouth set in an almost-frown and eyes blazing. "Say it. Say 'Roxas was right, and I was wrong'. Right now."
More than slightly confused, Axel shrugged and said, "You were right and I was wrong. Now," Axel patted the arm of his chair, gesturing for Roxas to sit down, "Care to tell me what I'm wrong about this time?"
"Demyx is completely missing the point that we tried to make by hiring Zexion." Roxas paced around the room, ignoring his boyfriend's invitation to sit.
Axel hummed noncommittally, leaning back to watch Roxas go by. "Oh really? What do you mean?"
Gnawing on his thumb agitatedly, Roxas stared fixedly at one of the walls. "We probably should've hired Larxene instead," he muttered. "Would've actually worked."
Axel sighed. "Roxas."
Roxas stopped pacing, spinning on one heel to face Axel. "Yes?"
"What's going on, babe?" Axel asked gently, raising an eyebrow at him.
"Demyx is NOT getting the point we were trying to make." Roxas took a deep breath and swallowed his nerves, gearing himself for the fight. "I'm going to tell him that we hired Zexion."
Axel froze, the fondness in his eyes sharpening to worry. "Roxas…."
"No, no, don't you even start, I have to do this," Roxas cut him off, restarting his anxious pacing. "He's still just… so unworried about his personal safety, and I…I don't want him to get hurt."
"Don't tell him, then! Zexion is doing his job!"
Roxas whirled to face him, hands making cutting motions in the air as though he could silence every objection Axel made. "Not fast enough! It's been six months! All Zexion has done is get close to Demyx, and that's it. Axel, Demyx was signed a few days ago. He needs to be more aware!"
"Roxas, don't do this!" Axel snapped, and Roxas saw the worry making him rise from his chair, unfolding in his body and all of its angles. "Just trust me! Demyx doesn't need to know about Zexion!"
"Yes. He. Does," Roxas ground out. "We agreed, remember? He needs to be more cautious, and, if anything, he's become less cautious! He needs to be scared. To be hurt. And it needs to happen NOW." He took a shaking breath. "Before he gets seriously hurt."
Axel stared at him, mouth opening and closing as he tried to assemble an argument. "It's a bad idea, Roxas, please, just…"
"Wait. Trust me, and wait."
Roxas laughed a little, a hard, cracking noise. "I can't do that, Axel. I don't want him to be hurt!"
Striding forward, Axel ran his hands down Roxas's arms soothingly, smoothing the fabric of his grey jacket against his skin. Roxas let himself be pulled into a hug, pressing his forehead against Axel's warm neck.
"He's our friend," the blonde whispered. "I'm just…"
Axel sighed and finished his sentence. "…looking out for him, I know. But, Roxas," and he leaned back to stare straight into Roxas's eyes, green flaring with determination and pleading. "You can't. Please, trust me, just give Zexion some more time."
With a shake of his head, Roxas pulled away from Axel's hands, wrapping his arms around himself. "It won't work."
"How do you know that?"
"Because Demyx is falling in love with him."
Axel, damn him, didn't look too surprised. "Yes, well, it's Demyx of all people. He loves everyone. And besi-"
"They slept together," Roxas spat out, glaring at his boyfriend. Why didn't he understand? Demyx was falling seriously. All the signs were there. "I wouldn't exactly say that he's getting that he's supposed to be more cautious." And he just….
Just stood there, realization crossing his face, but no surprise.
Axel shrugged a shoulder, not denying it at all. "I figured something might happen."
Roxas gritted his teeth, body beginning to ache with frustration. "And you never cared to, oh, I don't know, TELL ME? Because that would've been nice!"
Holding up his hands in a gesture of placation, Axel admitted, "I should have said something about it. But I didn't, and I can't change that now. But I still don't think that telling Demyx will change anything! He could just brush it off!"
"It's Demyx," Roxas snorted. "He's going to take it personally."
"You don't know that." Axel watched him with furrowed eyebrows, like he didn't understand anything at all. "He could just brush it off, for all you know. Not care, and keep on going with Zexion."
Roxas just stared at Axel, and the redhead looked to the side, silently conceding how unlikely that was. "Demyx is going to feel betrayed. Because his 'fan'," Roxas sneered as he said it, air-quotes somehow making it seem so much more derisive, "lied to him from the beginning. Nothing was real. Not. One. Thing."
Something sad and knowing entered Axel's eyes. "Roxas," he insisted, "If you do this… you'll regret it. Please, just…"
"I have to." Roxas shook his head as he turned around, heading for the door. His voice sounded self-disgusted and pained to his own ears. "I'm just looking out for my friend."
* * *
Say anything you want, already
I'm not scared anymore.
* * *
Leaning back in his chair, Demyx hummed absently as he tweaked his song more, eyes slightly unfocused. Every time he shifted, he felt the echoes of aches in his thighs (it made him smile, remembering Zexion). He pulled his legs up to sit cross-legged in the chair, notebook balanced on his knees. Maybe if he got his work done fast, he could call Zexion out to lunch and they could spend the rest of the day together.
"Demyx, I think you're taking this relationship with Zexion too far."
Or maybe Roxas would try and interfere. Demyx let out an irritated huff and turned to face the smaller blonde. "Pssssh, no I'm not. What are you talking about?"
Roxas immediately asked, voice sharp around the corners, "Do you even know anything about him?"
Blinking, Demyx shook his head a little, confusion obvious on his face, "U-uh, well, yeah, I mean…. I know a lot about him. He likes tea, and reading books, and classical music. He can't dance, but he can do this pretty spectacular thing with his hips that-"
"Oh ew, I don't want to know that!" Roxas sputtered, and Demyx nearly rejoiced before he saw Roxas steel himself. "No, really," the blonde pressed, "how much do you actually know? He's nothing like you think he is."
Anger rose in the back of his mind, curling around the base of his neck. "Roxas, really, chillax about this, seriously. I know what he's told me, and that's-"
"And what if everything he's told you has been a lie?"
There was a brief silence. Demyx stared at Roxas's anger-hard eyes, eyebrows drawn down as he frowned. "And how would you know that?" he asked defensively. "You're just makin-"
Roxas barely even let him get any words out before he snapped, "I know he's lying to you, Demyx!" Blue eyes closed briefly, and Roxas's next words were heavy. "I know because Axel and I paid him to lie to you."
A pause. "No."
With the same heaviness in his voice, Roxas continued, "Yes. We did. You're too close to your fans sometimes, Demyx, and we were worried that one of them would hurt you and you would let them." Roxas's words dripped in sarcasm. "Good job of proving us right, by the way. Sleeping with Zexion because of a lie we paid him to tell."
Demyx shook his head angrily. "Zexion would never do that! He's not like that at all!"
"Oh?" and the small blonde nodded to something over Demyx's shoulder. "Why don't you just ask him yourself?"
Demyx turned around to see Zexion, standing pale-faced in the door. Hopefully (desperately), Demyx entreated, "Zexion, he's wrong, isn't he?"
Zexion just looked at Demyx with stricken eyes, then turned his gaze to the floor.
Faltering slightly, taking a step towards the other man, Demyx felt a wave of shoulder-tightening tension. "…Zexion?"
Zexion, face averted, said nothing.
Once more, Demyx tried, his own words feeling strange and heavy in his mouth. "Zexion, answer me… is he right or wrong?"
Still Zexion said nothing, shoulders tense.
Silence rang across the room, and Demyx finally understood, with a knowledge that was heartbreaking in its finality, that Roxas wasn't lying. "How…why…?"
From behind Demyx, Roxas answered, "We paid him to. He knew nothing about you the day before you two met, and he's kept up his deception until now."
Demyx stared, hurt, at Zexion. Despite the aching in his chest, he wanted to be proven wrong. "But… Zexion…."
"Do you get it now?" Roxas snapped, stepping in front of Demyx. "Things like this could happen, only next time, it could really be a stalker and you could really get hurt." The blonde bit his lip. "I'm sorry that we had to do this, but…. We just didn't want to see you get hurt."
Roxas's words seemed to register slowly, since all of Demyx's attention was on Zexion, standing silent and immovable in the center of the doorframe. "You… I can't even… How could you?" he whispered, voice cracking.
Zexion, as expected, remained silent.
Anger swirled within Demyx, black and filled with heavy bass beats. "Why won't you say anything?" he demanded, stepping forward pugnaciously. "Damn it, did this mea-" The blonde cut himself off, shoulders shaking with harsh, cutting laughter. "Of course it didn't, what am I talking about." He looked at Zexion, face hard in anger. Demyx took a few steps forward, until he was an arm's length from Zexion.
Then he punched the shorter man.
Zexion's head snapped to the side, his glasses fly off his face, and still, still, he doesn't even look at Demyx.
Quietly, hurt bleeding through his voice, Demyx ground out, "I don't ever want to see you again," and he stormed from the room.
Roxas looked at Zexion, compassion, but no regret filling his gaze. As he left, he murmured, "I'm sorry…," the door swinging closed with a soft click.
Zexion, standing deserted in the room, clenched his jaw as the tears in his eyes threatened to spill over.
He had lost.
He had known this would happen.
(Somehow, knowing it would happen only made it worse, not better.)
He had lost.
And he would not see Demyx again.
* * *
Honesty or mystery? Want something else
Just tell me I'm not scared anymore.
* * *
A knock on the door, two months later, forced him to rethink that.
I really shouldn't have opened the door, Zexion thought tiredly, looking at Axel, who was standing right outside, with exasperation. "What are you doing here, Axel?" he asked, closing his eyes.
"I need you to fix Demyx."
A corner of Zexion's mouth twitched into a sneering smile. "I'm sure. Did you not hear him two months ago? I'm not exactly on his list of favorite people."
Axel sighed, looking off to the side. "Look, that's Roxas's fault, and I told him he was wrong. Let's not go into that. That's not the important part. What's important is that Demyx needs you right now. Really. So, let's get in the car and go see him."
"Don't you even want to know what's wrong?" Axel asked breezily, pushing his way into Zexion's apartment like he owned the place. Zexion slammed the door shut, shoulders tense.
"You're going to tell me anyway, aren't you?" he ground out, following Axel as the redhead wandered into his living room and flopped down onto his couch.
Axel laughed a little, and Zexion became aware of an edge in the redhead's manner that he hadn't noticed before. "Yeah, I am. Look," he began, leaning his elbows on his knees, "have you been keeping up with the news for him?"
Zexion shook his head mutely. He had known that it would hurt too much to see him knowing he'd never be able to touch him again.
"Hm, well, he has a new song written that he's only played for his bandmates and Roxas and me. And I think you should hear it." Axel stared earnestly up at Zexion, green eyes imploring and serious. "I know that what happened between the two of you hurt both of you. But I still insist that what Roxas did was hasty and wrong, so I'm trying to fix it."
"Nothing's wrong, it didn't hurt me-" Zexion started, only to be interrupted.
"Oh shut up, Zexion, you really fell in love with him and everyone saw it. Roxas just revealed how you met in the least flattering light possible," Axel brushed off his protestations, waving his hand in the air. "Now, trust me when I say this: Demyx misses you. And I need to make this right!"
"And what if you can't?" Zexion snapped.
Axel grinned at him, though his eyes were serious. "Then I was wrong. But at least I'll know."
Zexion thought for a second, clenching his hands at his sides. He could see Demyx again. He could try and explain everything. (He could get Demyx back.) Hope and frustration and pain swiveled and spun inside him until he was dizzy and rasping out, "Yeah. Yeah, okay. Let's go."
After ten minutes of Axel's driving, Zexion was regretting saying that.
"Why are you even allowed to have a license?" he asked as he stumbled, shaky-legged, out of the car. Axel quickly grabbed him by the shoulders and began to push him towards a door that was flanked by two rough-looking men.
"Roxas hates driving, and Demyx, well, you can imagine. No one wants to be in a car with him. Xaldin, Lexaeus, he's with me," the redhead said without pause, switching his attention to the large men seamlessly.
They stared briefly at Zexion; then they appeared to have an entire conversation based on the subtle tilts and angles of their eyebrows. After a few silent moments, the dark-haired one stepped to one side, opening the door for Axel.
Quickly pushing Zexion inside, Axel thanked the two bouncers. Zexion stood inside the door for a second, blinking heavily to rid himself of light spots on his vision. Loud, thumping bass and drums filled the air around him. He could hear the screaming of the fans, and Demyx's voice filling the empty spaces in the notes. As he was being steered past the technical equipment in the back of the stage, Zexion began to struggle with Axel.
A hand caught painfully on Zexion's elbow and Axel wrestled the smaller man into the gap between the curtains. "Come on, Zexion, don't make this so difficult," he muttered sotto voce.
"I can't do this, Axel, let me go!" Zexion twisted in Axel's grip restlessly, trying anything and everything he knew to break out of the tall redhead's grasp.
"Look at him, damn it," Axel hissed, another hand gripping the back of his neck harshly. "Look at him and tell me that nothing's wrong."
And Zexion looked reluctantly (desperately) at the stage, eyes immediately going to the figure in the middle of the stage as he walked back up to the microphone. Something in his demeanor was off, was sadder or just slower than Zexion was used to seeing it after a concert. Not that he had seen one recently, he reminded himself.
"Hey, so," Demyx began, smile a little cracked on one side, voice cheerful but strange, "we have a new song. And, well, you guys get to hear it first! How about that?" At his audience's roar of approval, he nodded to his bandmates, and the drums brought them in.
Letting the song wash over him, Zexion closed his eyes again. The music was beautiful, spiraling and all-encompassing. Zexion didn't truly pay attention to the words Demyx sang, just listened to his voice resonate pain and betrayal in a language older than words. When he opened his eyes, he focused on Demyx's face. The normally cheerful and upbeat musician had his eyes closed as he sang into the microphone, expression aching and lost.
As the bridge began, Demyx finally opened his eyes, and Zexion strained briefly against Axel's hands. The pain in those beloved eyes was visible, tears beginning to well in them.
"It's getting harder to sit here alone," Demyx sang, staring out into the audience with tears threatening the corners of his eyes, "and I've been waiting, I've been waiting, but you still ain't home. I have never ever felt so low. And I've been thinking, I've been thinking, oh, where did you go?"
And the tears began to fall.
Demyx was crying.
Demyx was crying in the middle of his concert, tears streaming down his face. His voice was unchanged, still clear and strong, but those tears….
"Was it real, or was I part of your collection?"
Zexion could not tell how long it was, but finally the song came to an end, and Demyx stepped back from the microphone, eyes falling from the audience to the stage as he caught his breath and tried to still his tears in vain.
"Do you see what I mean?" Axel's voice murmured in his ear, and Zexion twitched, still caught up in the song that had just finished. "It's all about you and him. And he misses you, even if he's too stubborn to admit it. So will you talk to him?"
Zexion licked his lips nervously, looking out at Demyx –standing heartbroken and crying on stage. "He might not…"
Tugging the shorter man away, Axel grinned manically. "Oh stop being a pessimist, Zexion. Just … go with it, you know? Ambush him, if you have to."
"Axel, what are you-?"
-And then Zexion was shoved into a changing room, Axel closing the door swiftly behind him.
"Just talk to him! I'll be right outside in case he gets handsy again!"
Zexion snorted, readjusting his glasses on his nose. "Handsy. Punching me is now 'getting handsy'. Great." He looked around the room, taking in the make-up counters and brightly lit mirrors, before settling into a chair to wait, hands twisting nervously in his lap.
* * *
I've got no secret purpose.
I don't seem obvious, do I?
* * *
After his closing comments to the audience, Demyx slowly staggered off the stage, wiped out. He just wanted to go home and fall asleep until days, if not weeks, had passed. His band mates quietly patted him on his shoulder as they went to their own rooms, understanding that he didn't want others around right now. Rubbing the salt-crusted tracks of tears on his face with the heel of one hand, Demyx made his way slowly to his dressing room, ready to get out of his make-up and crash.
Axel was hovering outside the room, a sly smile quirking and darting across the corners of his face, though it faded slightly once he saw Demyx. "Hey, you okay?"
"Tired," Demyx rasped, shoulders slumping. "Just…tired."
"Oh. Well. Here, I won't get in your way any longer. Get changed and I'll drive you home." Axel stepped to one side, opening the door.
Demyx slowly staggered inside, murmuring his thanks to the redhead as he closed his eyes against the bright lights of the dressing room. "Alright, I'll try not to make you wai-" and then he opened his eyes, and they fell on a slight, slate-haired figure sitting in his chair. "No."
Zexion flinched, but he didn't move, a determined cant to the line of his lips.
"Sorry, Demyx," Axel apologized insincerely, closing the door. "You two need to talk things out."
A surge of energy slammed into Demyx, and he whirled to the door, thumping his fist on it. "No, no, no, I don't want to talk to him! Axel, open the door!"
"Too bad, Demy! I'll be right outside, but you two need to fix things!"
"Oh fuck no! No, not tonight, Axel, I can't do this right now!" Demyx pounded on the door, shoving his shoulder against it. "I don't want to talk to this lying bastard," he snarled, taking a moment to glare at Zexion, stiff and almost like an illusion in his room. He kept swearing, alternately kicking the door and pacing around the room, weariness pressing against him every time he stopped moving. "He has nothing to say that I want to hear anymore."
"Axel, let me out."
Demyx stopped and stared at Zexion, who was standing with a furious expression on his face. The slight man strode forward, brushing past Demyx (and the blonde musician could almost feel the fury crackling against his skin).
"He doesn't want to listen to the truth, and I'm not going to apologize to someone who isn't worth it," Zexion spat out, pining Demyx in place with an icy glare. "If he keeps acting like this, I'm going to start wondering if he was lying to me."
There was silence. Axel either wasn't listening, or didn't care.
Zexion sighed roughly, kicking the doorframe futilely. "I never should have fucking listened to him. Should have closed the god damned door in his face and never agreed to come here.," he ranted quietly under his breath, glaring as though he could set the door on fire with his mind.
"I… really pissed you off, huh?" Demyx asked, curiosity beginning to overtake the swarm of anger, and weariness settling into his bones.
"No, really?" the slate-haired man drawled sarcastically. "How did you get that idea?"
Demyx slowly sat down, looking at Zexion with a bit more interest now. "I think we need to talk, Zexion."
"Oh," the short man hissed, whirling back around in a swirl of slate hair and black cloth, "now you want to talk? And here I thought that you didn't want to hear anything I said!"
Spreading his hands in a helpless gesture, Demyx kept his eyes pinned on Zexion. "I only have one side of the story! I think… I think I really misunderstood what went on two months ago, and that needs to change." Seeing the wavering in Zexion's eyes, Demyx added, "Please."
"…fine. But you're not going to like it."
* * *
I don't seem obvious, do I? (Do I?)
I don't seem obvious, do I? (Do I?)
* * *
"I was hired to stalk you." Zexion sighed slightly, shaking his head. "Roxas already told you the reasons why."
Demyx frowned a little, hard creases forming around his mouth and eyes. "Yeah. He did."
Rolling his eyes, Zexion lounged, relaxed, against the nearest wall, crossing his feet at the ankles. "I was paid in a year of tea, and I wasn't supposed to tell you at all. I was just supposed to frighten you. Scare you out of being so… open, you know? And I thought it would be easy. Just be myself, and scare you. But it wasn't. You were…" and he gestured vaguely at all of Demyx, "you. You were you. Charming, easy-going, full of laughter, and just… not shallow at all, and so unlike I was expecting."
"Oh, and that's a bad thing now?" Demyx asked sarcastically, even as he wondered why he was being so defensive. He shook his head. Wasn't he allowed to be? (Demyx knew he really wasn't. He was just looking for a way to come out hurt by this. And that wasn't the point of talking to Zexion again.)
"Don't be a brat, Demyx," Zexion shot back immediately, unthinkingly, and he and Demyx stared at each other, both feeling unaccountably awkward. Shaking himself, Zexion continued, "I wasn't supposed to get close, but you just… draw people in. You were so… kind. I didn't want to hurt you too soon. And then…" he looked to one side, frowning a little. "Then I started to like you. And I wanted to keep you to myself. I knew I couldn't for long, so I grabbed what I could of you and held on. And I couldn't resist you when you…. Well…."
Demyx stared at Zexion. "You used me for sex?"
"That's not-! I …you…and you were … I made a mistake when I slept with you. Not-" he cut off the beginning of Demyx's protest, and the blonde subsided back into his chair with a grumble, "-because I didn't want to, but because…. Because I did want to. So much. And the entire reason that we had met, the reason you were brought to my attention was nothing like you suspected and that… it tore at me! I just…." Zexion frowned hard, lips pressed into a thin line. "I just wanted to tell you the truth," he said with a ragged sigh, looking to the side, eyes red-rimmed behind his glasses. "Because you deserve more than lies."
Demyx felt a twist inside him. In everything Roxas had said to him, he had never once mentioned that Zexion might not have wanted to deceive him. Nothing he had ever said even hinted that Zexion wasn't faking the entire thing. And if that was so –god, if that was so….
Clearing his throat roughly, Demyx looked over Zexion again, taking him in, drinking in the sight of him like he hadn't allowed himself to do before. The pale man was shaking, his posture not nearly so relaxed and self-assured as it had seemed, arms wrapped tightly around himself.
"I wanted to tell you," Zexion said again, voice soft. "I just… couldn't."
A ringing, echoing silence –hollow and crushing- filled the room. The strange and painful sort of pressure pushed in against him, and it made Demyx want to cover his ears. Closing his eyes, he tried to restart his thoughts, make them work again. Roxas had been wrong to do what he had done. He had… God, Roxas had screwed up. Demyx nodded slightly before he opened his eyes again, looking straight and determinedly at Zexion. "Roxas was wrong."
Zexion snorted, looking to the side. "Tell me something I don't know."
The corner of Demyx's mouth twitched slightly upwards, and he shook his head a little bit. "No really. He shouldn't have freaked out the way he did. If anything," the blonde spread his hands, "he should have talked to you first. Not me. It wasn't his place to say anything, even though I get that he was just worried about me. So there isn't much we can do about that."
Tilting his head to the side, Zexion eyed him cautiously, one eyebrow rising in question.
"Look," Demyx said, voice soft, "I don't ever expect that we can… just ignore this and go back to how we were, and I …this might not work, but I don't want to not try, you know? But…." He held out a hand, a hopeful smile curving the corners of his lips. "But I'd like to start over, if we could? Give it another shot?"
And Zexion looked at him long enough to make Demyx squirm a little, eye unreadable behind thin-frame glasses, silent and beautiful and there. Finally, he smiled slightly (and Demyx felt the anxiety in his chest ease hopefully), and reached out and shook Demyx's hand, and murmured, "I'd like that."
"Good. Definitely good. So." Demyx tightened his grip on Zexion's hand, smiling so wide his cheeks hurt. Shrugging one shoulder bashfully, the blonde straightened. "I'm Demyx Lachlan. It's nice to meet you."
"It's nice to meet you, Demyx Lachlan," Zexion said, sliding his glasses off his face with his free hand. "I am Zexion Chakal, and I really am your biggest fan."
Hearing the dry sarcasm in Zexion's voice –and oh, how he had missed that sense of humor!-, Demyx laughed freely, impulsively tugging the shorter man into a hug. For a brief second, he worried that he had made the wrong move, but then he felt Zexion's arms wind around him. Demyx, laughing, buried his face in Zexion's hair, breathed in the scent of him, and was suddenly sure that it would all work out.
It would. It had to.
Demyx would make sure of it.
* * *
I don't seem obvious, do I?
* * * * *