16 January 2007 @ 12:32 am
[Kingdom Hearts] Finding His Footing  
TITLE: Finding His Footing
FANDOM: Kingdom Hearts
RATING: PG-13
CHARACTERS: Demyx, Xigbar
SERIES: Within Striking Distance
WORD COUNT: 1 904
DISCLAIMER:  Kingdom Hearts is © Disney and Square Enix. No profit is being made from this work.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Platonic fic for the win! Yeah, so, there's no actual slash, but Demyx is naked for the whole thing. You know you want to see how I managed that combination.
SUMMARY: Demyx is new, and out of sorts.

Finding His Footing

If there's one thing Xigbar hates about Saïx (besides everything), it's the way he always squirms out of the annoying duties of the World that Never Was. He gets to run around, collecting hearts and figuring out the locations of new Nobodies, while the other (original) members end up getting stuck with the mundane crap. Like bathroom duty. And laundry.

And, apparently, helping out the new members with the whole 'gaining a weapon and discovering their element' thing. Xigbar's managed to avoid doing that for the last two members (and he's very, very happy about not getting stuck with Axel – Zexion's hair was singed for weeks) so it was bound to happen sooner or later.

Although, to be honest, when Xigbar bangs open the door to the most recent member's room, the last thing he expects is to be greeted by the sound of a very girly shrieking noise and a thump.

The new kid stares up at him with wide eyes from where he's sprawled on the floor. Sprawled very nakedly on the floor.

"Damnit, runt," Xigbar says sharply, "don't you know how to put pants on?"

The Organization's new number IX flushes, turning his eyes to the floor where the black pants are crumpled in a heap. It looks like someone threw the clothes at the kid and left. Which... yeah, probably. Saïx can be an asshole that way.

But still. He can put pants on, can't he?

"My name's Demyx," the kid says quietly, drawing his legs up to his chest. He's rubbing his hands almost compulsively over his knees, as if he can't believe they're there. Huh. Maybe the Heartless ripped off his kneecaps before going for his heart, Xigbar thinks. Weird, but not impossible. "And I know how to put pants on. I can see how you wear them."

Huh. Not a spineless one, then. Not that any Nobody with a human form would be, but Xigbar'd had his doubts when he first walked into the room.

"Then why aren't you wearing them?" he grunts.

"I can't..." Demyx hesitates, glancing up at Xigbar. He waves his hands slightly, as if searching for the word. "I can't... what you're doing." He points.

Xigbar looks down at himself, then back at the kid. "What, wear pants?"

Demyx bites his lip, turning his face away, and for a second Xigbar thinks the kid's going to cry. He stares; is Xemnas certain he didn't grab a human by mistake? Then he sighs.

"Okay, okay. I'm not gonna yell at you. Tell me what you can't do."

Demyx points at Xigbar again, then says softly, "I don't know the word."

"C'mon, kid, we all remember the simple shit."

"It wasn't simple!" The kid's voice is frustrated. "I'm not going to remember something I never did before!"

"You didn't walk or anything where your Other came from?" Xigbar asks incredulously, but the kid isn't listening to him anymore.

"Walking!" Demyx exclaims, his eyes lighting up. His hands wave about expressively, and he nearly falls onto his side from the loss of balance. "That's—" he stops, then slumps. "...not the word. But it's close to that. Walking without moving."

Xigbar knows his eyebrows having been attempting to climb up into his hairline for the past few minutes of this conversation, but now they seem to want to permanently take up residence there. "Standing?"

"Yes!" This time, Demyx does fall over, giving a faint squeak as he does so. He easily pushes himself back up using his arms, and now that Xigbar really looks, he can see that for arms so slim, they actually have a decent amount of muscle.

"Okay, okay." Xigbar spreads his hands, as if in askance. "You can't stand? You don't remember how to stand?"

"I told you," Demyx says, sounding put out and actually a bit annoyed, "I can't remember something I've never done."

"Your Other was—" he eyes Demyx's face "—what, sixteen? And you haven't walked?" Xigbar snorts. "As if."

"I haven't!" Demyx insists. "I can't help it. It just... I couldn't do it." He looks frustrated, then says, "I don't remember why. I just... couldn't."

Okay, well, to be fair, Xigbar can't really blame the kid for something his Other didn't do. Hell, maybe Demyx's Other didn't have any legs or something like that. Makes sense that in his Nobody form, he would've chosen to get himself a pair of legs. From what Zexion's said, his Other always needed glasses, but Zexion doesn't need any now.

Then again, his own scars hadn't been healed, but Xigbar likes them. Maybe that had something to do with it. He can't really imagine someone being fond of a lack of legs. Well, maybe fish.

"If you wanna walk, you're gonna have to stand," Xigbar tells him. "Look, I'll help you." He holds out a hand.

Demyx takes it warily, his fingers closing tightly and belying his trepidation. Xigbar pulls, intent on yanking the kid to his feet—

—and ends up simply dragging him across the floor. Demyx yelps, letting go abruptly, his hands flying to his backside.

"Ow! That hurt!" He glares up at Xigbar, his cheeks stained red with embarrassment at the perceived practical joke.

"You're supposed to push off with your feet," Xigbar explains, his patience waning. He ought to be out collecting hearts or something, not trying to coddle some weird new kid who can't even figure out how to stand.

Demyx hesitates, still obviously wondering if it's some kind of joke, and asks, "Feet?"

Xigbar just looks at him. Slowly, Demyx reaches down and touches one slim hand to his left foot, and looks back up at Xigbar.

"You got it," Xigbar says, before Demyx can ask anything else. "Now, what you gotta do is flatten both of those against the floor and brace yourself when I pull you. Got it?"

"Got it," Demyx says, a tad suspiciously, but takes ahold of Xigbar's outstretched hand anyway. After a moment's thought, the Freeshooter holds out the other hand; he figures Demyx can use all the extra balance he can get.

The kid's fingers are surprisingly rough, Xigbar notes this time around. Callused, especially around the tips.

He pulls, Demyx braces, and... up. Demyx is so startled by his success that he squeaks and nearly falls down again, but hell no, Xigbar is not going through that again, and catches the kid around the waist.

"Um... thanks," Demyx says awkwardly as Xigbar steadies him, swaying slightly when the older man lets him go. He manages to stay on his feet, though, which is a relief.

"Where're the calluses from, kid?" Xigbar asks, nodding at his hands. "If you couldn't do something as simple as walking, where'd you get the energy to do something strenuous enough to mark up your hands?"

"I play sitar," Demyx explains, a smile lighting his face at the memory. "The calluses are from that, though sometimes I still—well, my Other would—make them bleed from playing a bit too long. The calluses peel sometimes, and that's annoying, because then they catch on the strings when you're trying to play." He wiggles his fingers for a moment, then inspects them. "At least they're not peeling now."

"You can't remember what standing is, but you remember all of that?" Xigbar asks, impressed.

"I play my sitar all the time," Demyx reminds him, frowning at the older man. "I didn't stand."

"Yeah, yeah." Xigbar waves his hand.

"I wish it was here," Demyx says, his voice sounding surprisingly mournful for one without a heart. He holds out a hand, twitching his fingers, as if he can feel it in his hand. "I wish—oh!" There's a flash, some weird light-glitter, and suddenly there's a blue instrument (a sitar, Xigbar assumes – he's not all that musically inclined) in Demyx's hand.

Unfortunately, the instrument is big, and Demyx hasn't yet figured out how to balance properly. Xigbar catches him by the arm, forcefully holding him up even as Demyx clutches the sitar.

The kid leans on it for balance, and Xigbar backs off.

"What...?" Demyx's face is almost like a child's, full of a wonder Xigbar knows Demyx can't feel, but it makes Xigbar's empty chest cavity warm a bit anyway.

"That'll be your weapon here, kid." He almost draws his guns as an example, but thinks better of it, considering how Demyx is still trying to acclimate himself to the fact that a non-lethal item just appeared.

Demyx blinks, then just looks at him. "It's not a weapon," he says plainly. "It's an instrument."

"Right. Anyway, about the pants—" Xigbar begins, but Demyx starts to play.

While his immediate reaction is to tell the kid not to sing or even make noise (Axel sings in the shower sometimes, and dear god the pain doesn't end), Demyx is actually good.

He thinks he catches the words: 'that's why it's hotter, under the water...' but that makes no sense, so he's probably heard wrong.

Xigbar doesn't know where the music is from, but it makes him think of... bubbles. Huh. Of course, that might have been prompted by the way the moisture in the air around them is currently becoming actual water, swirling around the kid as he plays.

"Oh!" Demyx gasps, jerking in shock. As soon as he stops playing, the water falls to the floor, splashing into puddles at their feet. Demyx stares, and almost falls over as Xigbar unthinkingly claps him on the shoulder. Only by leaning on his sitar does he remain on his feet.

"Heh, good job, kid." Xigbar nods in approval, eyeing the water. "Figured you'd be useless, but hey, maybe not." He ignores the scowl (more like a pout, in Demyx's case) sent his way. The older man kicks the water with his boot. "Try it again."

Obediently, Demyx strums out a few more notes of the song on his sitar, but nothing happens.

"Come on, water," Demyx says, staring at the floor. "Come on, dance." He strums once, hard, and all of a sudden the water is alive, swirling heavily around him like a wall. Once again, it crashes to the floor as soon as Demyx stops playing (Xigbar warps to the hallway to avoid the splash, then back again) but the kid's got the hang of it now. He strums one string, softly, and the water swishes around at his feet.

Xigbar surveys the scene: Demyx proudly looking over his new weapon, the evidence of his elemental power spattered on the floor, and the kid now has the ability to stand. Excellent. They now officially have a new number in their slowly growing Organization.

"Okay," Xigbar says finally. "Now let's try for pants."





tbc.

---

And so began the story of Xigbar and Demyx's unorthodox friendship, strengthened over tag-team efforts of soaking Marluxia's new hairdos and warping away. However, unbeknownst to them, such blatant cruelty to Marluxia's poor, innocent hair was what spurred the ambitious man to turn on the Organization and plot its destruction.

No one messes with Marluxia's hair.

...Yeah. Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, Demyx was definitely from Atlantica. You know it. The water, the music, the tendency to flee from problems... (I'M LOOKING AT YOU, KHI TRITON. "Get out of my world! There's no Heartless problem! LALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!")
 
 
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )
Troasaurus Rex: I'll be in my bunk!megalotro on January 16th, 2007 06:39 am (UTC)
Ooo honey I loved it ^^ even though I don't know the characters at all, you sort of held my hand and walked me through what was what without actually making it obvious ^^ because Demyx is all 'whu?' ^^ very sweet and lovely ^^ and nekkid!

*grabbyhands* I forget how very much I adore your writing ^^ *clings* DO ME WRITE MOOOORE!

-Tro
Alenafire_tears on January 19th, 2007 05:11 am (UTC)
Sankyuu! *glows* I'm thinking of doing a mini-series with Demyx and Xigbar. Episode Two: teaching Demyx that the pants aren't just used when we go outside; you have to wear them in the house, and especially when Superior is walking around.
Jae - Apprentice Sakurazukamorisakurazuka_jae on January 16th, 2007 10:07 am (UTC)
Demyx was definitely from Atlantica - there is simply no other explanation. I enjoyed this story a lot (especially the lack of pants :-).
Alenafire_tears on January 19th, 2007 05:09 am (UTC)
Everyone wants a pantsless Demyx! Especially Xigbar. Except when Superior might come by; then he wants Demyx in full Organization uniform and looking non-debauched. And preferably not tripping over his own feet.
snarkymonkey: *mew* // silvernytesnarkymonkey on January 16th, 2007 02:48 pm (UTC)
AW! That was a cute little interlude. I have NO IDEA what the game is about but as Tro said, you explain enough without leaving me going, "Eh, wha?"

Poor pantsless goon. ^___^
Alenafire_tears on January 19th, 2007 04:43 am (UTC)
He's an utter dork; I hated having to fight him, 'cause he's just so damned cute that I don't know why he's on the bad guys' side. The first time you meet him is in the Underworld, and basically what happens is:

[CUTSCENE]
SORA: *walks into the room*
DEMYX: RUN! RUN AWAY! *races past them*
SORA: ???
BOULDERS: *fall from ceiling*
SORA: O_O


Yes, he actually does yell 'Run! Run away!' like a little girl. And he uses cue cards because he doesn't know what the hell to do.
snarkymonkey: Tea is the bestsnarkymonkey on January 19th, 2007 07:22 am (UTC)
*cacklesnorts* I think the best part has to be the use of cue cards. Nothing better than a cue card. XD
conserconser on January 16th, 2007 08:24 pm (UTC)
I laughed so hard once I figured out Demyx was from Atlantics because yes! This was much fun, thank you.
Alenafire_tears on January 19th, 2007 05:03 am (UTC)
You're welcome!

You totally know he was Sebastian's best (read: only) sitar player. And just as insanely obsessive about the musicals.


"Can I play in this one?"
"You play a sitar, mon."
"...Is that a yes?!"
"*faceclaw*"
conserconser on January 19th, 2007 05:05 am (UTC)
I'm sure he was such a sweet boy, too. Yet such a bitch to kill.
Alenafire_tears on January 19th, 2007 05:15 am (UTC)
Jesus, he was the only Organization member who actually killed me. THREE TIMES. Everyone else, no problem (except for Luxord, but that was only because I didn't know what the hell I was supposed to do — once I figured it out, I kicked his ass). I was like "WHY, DEMYX?"

I'm playing it through again on Proud mode, and I am NOT looking forward to that fight. I anticipate screaming in pure fury and cursing him to have to deal with Cerberus and falling rocks for eternity.
conserconser on January 19th, 2007 05:27 am (UTC)
He killed me twice, and the only things this fight gave me was grief, frustration, and the knowledge that Demyx must have been going easy on Sora the first time they fought, and probably in no way wanted to kill Roxas at all! Further grief!
Alenafire_tears on January 19th, 2007 05:46 am (UTC)
...Oh shit, I never thought about it that way. Now I feel even worse about killing him.

And he was so distressed when he died, too. I mean, you can't tell me that they can't feel after the way he was spazzing over dying. And how horrible must that be? You don't get to close your eyes and drift away; you're totally aware as you're fading into non-existence. Axel totally got the good end of the deal with the go-out-with-a-bang thing.

...

I don't think I'll be able to kill him in good conscience next time. I'll just stand there and let him beat the crap out of me about five or six times to atone for his own murder. >.>
conserconser on January 19th, 2007 06:20 am (UTC)
This is a worthy plan of yours.

Gah, so much anger for Sora just believing without a doubt that Nobodies don't feel! Thank god the opposite is obvious before the end of the game.

Oh, Axel ...
Alenafire_tears on January 19th, 2007 06:28 am (UTC)
I can't say I blame him, although it did piss me off. I mean, it was Yen Sid who explained it all to him — Sora, being Sora, was probably like "Omg it's the king's teacher! He can't be wrong!" and didn't think about the fact that hey, he's not a Nobody... how the hell does he know what they feel?

Even if they don't feel whole, they do have emotions; look at Axel. The situation with Axel and Roxas, to me, strikes me as a massive parallel to the Riku and Sora story from KHI. Best friends, on opposite sides of the playing field; one in darkness, reaching out to the one who's in the light and asking him to join him — and, failing in that, finally trying to take the Light down. And then, ultimately, sacrificing himself for the right reasons.

And I really want to know if Sora would have killed Naminé. I mean, she's a Nobody, so she must not have feelings or the right to exist... right?
conserconser on January 19th, 2007 06:39 am (UTC)
Sora, if he had seen her, probably not. Naminé doesn't exactly look a warrior, does she?

But if he didn't see her, probably would have run full tilt, Keyblade at the ready, until someone reminded him of the journal's 'Thank Naminé.'

Ultimately, I like to think Naminé would have been safe.

The parallel is awesome, I hadn't noticed that before. I use this example to clutch to Axel-will-come-back-to-us-he-will!
Alenafire_tears on January 19th, 2007 07:02 am (UTC)
Oh, I wouldn't have wanted her hurt, either. But I'm just saying that going by the logic Sora uses throughout the game (and assuming that she wasn't Kairi's Nobody), he should kill her. She's just a Nobody, no matter how harmless she looks. No heart, so soul, and no right to exist. Those fucking Dancer Nobodies look cute and harmless, too, before they throw you into a WALL.


Yeah, I'm totally not writing an Axel-coming-back fic. >.> I have a plausible reason, though! It's not just "GUYS SERIOUSLY HE WAS JUST SLEEPING. AND THEN... HE... PORTALED AWAY. TO BE... DRAMATIC. SERIOUSLY, GUYS."

And Demyx comes back, too! In Atlantica. Where he is practically invincible since he retains his mad water skillz.

ARIEL: Omg! A Heartless!
DEMYX: *twitches finger*
WATER: *whirlpool of death*
DEMYX: :D! OMG I AM NOT USELESS NOW. SO. HAPPY.

While Axel's in the background muttering 'hate this place hate this place hate this place CAN WE GO NOW'
conserconser on January 19th, 2007 07:10 am (UTC)
Oh, yes, Demyx-validation! You just know he wasn't respected, from the way he says "I knew I was the wrong guy for this." And how he's pretty much unlike the other BROODY-WE-TOOK-LESSONS-FROM-BATMAN Organization members.

I would dearly love to write Axel-is-back fic, and yet cannot a way for him to live.
Alenafire_tears on January 19th, 2007 07:19 am (UTC)
I don't understand why the hell they sent him to Hollow Bastion and Underworld, which are two places in the game where there is no water. I mean, at least in Twilight Town they had the open sewers and in the Pride Lands there was that waterfall. The Underworld? Demyx had, like, a green pool of radioactive death liquid that wasn't even water to work with. And in Hollow Bastion he ended up making his stand on a cliff. Great planning there, Xemnas.

My way of Axel-life includes an original character who gets to be in a coma from start to finish of the fic. Seriously, they find her in a coma. Mostly due to the keyblade she has jammed in her chest. It's supposed to be her keyblade, too, which basically means that she totally sucked and failed at life to end up with it shoved through her heart. She and Xemnas should totally team up when it comes to strategy.
conserconser on January 19th, 2007 07:34 am (UTC)
It's clear you admire this original character. ^_^

Xemnas cared nothing for the lives of his members. Demyx was never meant to succeed, because Xemnas' orders were for Demyx to kill Sora, something Xemnas never wanted. Sora was to be used.

Xenhanort and Ansem, what a pair.

Wait, someone just abandoned a Keyblade? Or can they not take it out without killing her/bringing her to life?
Wu May-May: Look Up to the Skydedpoo on January 16th, 2007 09:56 pm (UTC)
"Get out of my world! There's no Heartless problem! LALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

I ROFFLED when I read that. XDDD Aw man, so true. But great story, nonetheless. <3.
Alenafire_tears on January 19th, 2007 05:07 am (UTC)
Haha, I HATED Triton in KHI. When we saw him again in KHII I pretty much had a spaz attack of fury. I played straight through KHI and then immediately started playing II, so the memories of KeybladeMasterAbuse were fresh.

"Sora, you've returned."
"AND YOU SHOULD FALL ON YOUR SCALES AND THANK ME FOR DOING SO. FUCKER."
"And there aren't any Heartless here now!"
"YOU'RE MOCKING ME, AREN'T YOU?!"
Tokiya: Laharlsesshy_is_sexii on January 18th, 2007 03:00 am (UTC)
*giggle* This was funny. And, really cute. When he said he couldn't stand, I so saw Atlantica, so saw it. Poor Xigbar, all he wanted was for him to wear his pants. ^^ Oh, so well written. You totally win. Bonus points for "Under the Sea".
Alenafire_tears on January 19th, 2007 04:16 am (UTC)
Oh, Demyx. Since he's from Atlantica, I don't think he'd quite understand how important the surface world considers clothing... or rather, wearing clothing. Not initially, anyway.

...And now I might have to write a fic about that.

"...Demyx, where are your pants?"
"They were too long for me, and I kept tripping over them! I'm going to try and hem them later, but right now I have to go report to Superior. I'll catch you later, Xigbar!"
"...*runs after him*"
NinjaMatty: Xemnasninjamatty on January 18th, 2007 03:32 pm (UTC)
Haha XD I'm so sure that Demyx is from Atlantica xD Really good fict ^^ Very well written and funny ^^
Alenafire_tears on January 19th, 2007 05:12 am (UTC)
He definitely is. They're all losers down there; Demyx would fit right in! It also explains how Sora fits in so well, too. They're all a bunch of big, adorable dorks. (Yay Sebastian!)
Thus I Refute Thee: KH2-xiggy pogo [envious-forms]legolas_sucks on January 28th, 2007 04:01 am (UTC)
um.

I LOVE YOU. KTHX.

no but seriously, i rarely ever read gen fic but omg i love this and im so glad i read it. you have mad skillz, yo. and just. yeah. how dem is from atlantica (cuz for serious, yeah) and how he discovered his element and xiggys all like helpful and stuff without really meaning to be and and. please write more. please please. i give you e-flowers!!

[and lawlz, poor marluxia! but i suppose thats what he gets for having *pink* hair]

<333




AND NOPANTS!DEMYX IS MADE OF WIN
demyxrockedme on August 5th, 2007 01:28 am (UTC)
"What? Wha-wha-wha NO, DUDE. Noo. (whine)" After Demyx!death: "Oh. Oh God. He's fading~ EEK NO DEMYX COME BACK!" was my reaction to Demyx's demise as well. he's probably my favorite character in the game >.< incidently, i reallllllly hope you continue this story. i love it :D
tunasaladsonnet on May 2nd, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
Demyx was definitely from Atlantica. I just never thought of the whole idea of him never ever walking. Awesome idea.

And so began the story of Xigbar and Demyx's unorthodox friendship, strengthened over tag-team efforts of soaking Marluxia's new hairdos and warping away.

Okay, so I knew I loved these two as friends before, but now I know I need to write it.

To les mems for you, awesome fic!
shinzuku on August 1st, 2008 11:38 pm (UTC)
That was awesome! I love the end.
Hobo Faerie: Roxas Heartless Adorableness =3mistyeyedreamer on September 2nd, 2009 05:09 am (UTC)
I don't ever think I've seen Demyx from Atlantica (I've seen him from Agrabah as a penniless sitar player, though, nevermind that that was actually India), but now that I think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Music, water, much easier to run away...it all seems to fit him :D

This was awesome, I loved it, and finally, YAY DEMYX! =3
(Anonymous) on December 14th, 2009 09:05 am (UTC)
(Oh, Atlantica! World of Dorks! No wonder I love that level. :D)

Umiyuri Papaeyra (me) was just given this fanfic to read and would like to mark this amongst her personal canon now.

Personal canon being an awesome thing in itself; mine, for example, gives Axel more visible character development for a life that ends only when he's ready, and puts him and Saix in a nice rocking boat to fight out their issues. Plus, you know, it also adds NPCs.

There need to be more NPCs. I wanna talk to more random Chinese people in Land of Dragons. :DDD
( 32 comments — Leave a comment )