Welcome Back to the Darkness

Once a heart is consumed in darkness, it breaches a point of confusion. Should it fade into nothingness, or should it leave something behind? Feelings are not omitted, and love carries on into the next division, but can it last in someone who is not meant to exist? Can it begin to return if another heart triggers it? Upon your return to Organization XIII, you've soon found that a battle of emotions has become a battle for survival. Which of your newly made "friends" will be your savior in the darkness? ---Please review!!! *Sequel to Welcome Back to the Truth [Highly suggested you read the first one before this][Familiarity for KH2]

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14. Chapter 14

With certainty that you had full privacy, you pulled on a pair of faded jeans, a white tanktop, and a bright green hoodie. You locked the door behind you and hurried to the lobby, where you were sure Zexion waited for you. Sure enough, he was standing patiently by the exit.

 

"I'm ready," you said breathlessly. He nodded and led the way outside, once more shielding you from the rain. You fell into step beside him, observing the dreary gray hue the world around you now had from the weather.

 

"It should be perfectly sunny tomorrow; it does not smell like the rain clouds travel too far."

 

"So everyone has their own individual aroma, huh? What do you smell like, Zexion?" You smiled at him, watching as his eyebrows twitched downward.

 

"If I asked you what you smelled like, would you be able to tell me?" he questioned, making you blink and think it over.

 

"You're right, I suppose. Well, are you curious?" He gave you a confused look, which you took as encouragement. Leaning over, you placed your nose in the crook of his neck and breathed deeply. "Well I don't have as good a sniffer as you, but I'll assure you that you smell quite wonderful. Like...spicy roses."

 

It was a delightfully awkward moment; one that you caused on purpose. One thing you'd noticed was that Zexion hated drawing attention to himself, and it always embarrassed him when someone else did it. Hence, a pair of pink spots would appear on his cheekbones; only one was visible, of course.

 

The walk was silent for a while, the only sound being the pad of footsteps between the two of you. It was already evening, you were sure, for the light was very dim and still fading. A slight breeze that blew against your face abruptly became a huge gust of wind. The umbrella was unfortunately caught in the event, and took off, tumbling down the hill and becoming a black speck in the distance.

 

It looked as though the two of you were unable to stay dry after all. Your clothes were drenched within the minute, your hair hanging in strings around your face. Zexion's stuck to the side of his, with a few strands isolated on the other side. It was both rather humorous and attractive at the same time.

 

"We could just teleport," you suggested, but Zexion gave a firm shake of his head.

 

"Xemnas disabled any of that the moment we arrived. We couldn't do it if we tried." Well damn it all, Mansex. Just ruining everything. The weather was cold, that was for sure. Your skin had turned pale, your lips quivering as you hugged yourself and quickened your pace.

 

The lush green hills were lined with random stones much like you'd seen in pictures of the land they called Ireland. It was a strange contrast to the tropical area everyone was staying in. It didn't look like the library was too far off; it would maybe take ten more minutes to get there.

 

You didn't need to be near it to see that it was worn and old. The walls were grungy and decorated with vines that snaked up the tan bricks. Nevertheless, it looked like a marvelous old chapel, and very comforting as a shelter out of the rain, which was getting louder and heavier by the second.

 

"Wh...What happened with Axel back there?" Zexion called, raising his voice above the downpour. "If you don't mind my inquiry."

 

"Why do you want to know, if you don't mind mine?" you questioned, giving a huge twitch in your body's attempt to get warm.

 

"You seemed really upset. I was wondering if he hurt you, or...I know he kissed you, but..." He gritted his teeth to try to keep them from chattering before looking away, obviously feeling uncomfortable with what he really desired to ask, whatever that was.

 

"Is this really the time to be asking about it? We're freezing to death!"

 

"Sorry," he murmured. "Maybe we should run?"

 

"Good idea."

 

"I was just kidding. Too much work." You shot him a strange look, but did not argue; it was a waste of breath. Nevertheless, you increased your walk to almost a jog, eager to be in a dry place. The library was almost right there; you could see the piles of scattered books through the windows void of glass.

 

Only one more icy minute went by before Zexion was pulling the old wooden door open. It creaked loudly on its hinges, but remained sturdy enough. The two of you hastily entered and closed it behind you. He made sure it would remain shut while you rubbed your hands up and down your arms. You were sure pissed off at Axel, but his company would be most welcome at this point.

 

However, there was no one else you would have liked to share this moment with more. Dusty old books were everywhere, untouched for years in this abandoned building. There were probably handwritten novels that were never printed- an exclusive find that could only be appreciated by a true bookworm. Zexion never looked so euphoric.

 

Immediately, the young man set straight to checking the bindings to see what sort of selection the structure had to offer. Vaguely, you scanned the titles, your hand at last resting on an old photo album. You pried it open, grunting at the effort of lifting the weight.

 

A woman gazed back at you, familiar eyes sparkling with determination preserved so well in the shot. A suit of armor covered her body, her helmet held fast under one arm, and her sword held in the other. Gingerly, you traced your fingers across the portrait, amazed at the strength that seemed to emit from it.

 

"Zexion," you called, frowning in thought. He strode over to you, craning his neck to get a good look at her too.

 

"She looks like you," he said with a slight note of surprise in his voice. "Except, you know, not as deplorably weak."

 

"Thank you. I appreciate that."

 

"Xevia, she's wearing a suit of armor and brandishing a sword!"

 

"I can wield a blade larger than that, you know," you grumbled, shooting him a glare before looking back at the picture.

 

"Yeah, but no way in all the worlds could you wear such attire; it was so heavy."

 

"I wonder who she is," you whispered. He shrugged and moved to go back to the rest of the books. Turning the pages, you found multiple other warriors, each with a different weapon, but all with the same appearance of willpower. A few carried a certain darkness about them, as though to say the subject was of evil origins. Eventually getting creeped out, you shuddered and closed the album, scooting away and snatching up a small notebook.

 

As you were flipping through its contents, Zexion spoke his thoughts once again. "So...why were you so upset?" You looked up in surprise and softly returned the pad to its original place.

 

"Er...well, I was going to talk to you about that anyway."

 

"Oh?" he rumbled, aqua eyes fixed upon you.

 

"Zexion, please, please, please room with me," you burst. "I know you're with Lexaeus, and I would hate to take that joy away from you, but I can't stay with Axel. I just can't," you finished, panting from the exasperation. His piercing gaze seemed to penetrate your mind as silence hung heavily, almost taking on a cold demeanor.

 

"Hmm...I would have assumed you would desire to stay with him after that lovely display of affection. Curious that you wish otherwise."

 

"Not curious at all. I just don't want things going somewhere with Number VIII. He's...bad news, Zexion. Bad news bears."

 

"Funny, isn't it, how you behave as though you still had a heart? You accomplish that better than any of us, and when you're around, it almost makes most of us feel like we have one, too. I guess that may be because you have a stronger heart than many could hope to have."

 

"Zexion, I'm a Nobody. I don't have a-"

 

"Correction- you were a Nobody. How you managed to get your heart back is beyond me, but I do find it rather deplorable that you think I wouldn't notice something like that."

 

"You've known?" you asked incredulously.

 

"Well of course I've known. I'm one of the only members of this organization that is still devoted to his studies, let alone one of the very few that still has a brain. I have been running little tests and watching you; I'll admit that it hasn't been a dull experience in the slightest. However, you tend to let your heart get the best of you. Use your head a little; tell it who's boss."

 

"You think I haven't tried? In any case, this issue with Axel is only going to get worse since he seems to think I'll fall in love with him if he tries hard enough. Will you room with me or not?" you demanded. He sighed and marked his page, setting the current book he was studying beside him.

 

"Xevia, I think you can get some practice from this experience. Learn to overcome his trap, and if you really do need my assistance, you know where to find me." Sighing, you slowly nodded.

 

"I figured you wouldn't help me. How could I expect you to give up a room with your best friend?" With an awkward chuckle, you turned your back to him and managed to find a novel that looked interesting. Zexion already had made a small pile, so the least you could do was find one.

 

"I don't think I'll bother asking how he made you so upset. It just caught me off guard; you seemed to be enjoying yourself," he stated darkly.

 

"Don't be fooled by it; only lost in memories. I need to let go of the past. He's just making it difficult is all." You stared down at the book for a long time; only realizing it was a blank page when Zexion began making his way over by you to get the fireplace going.

 

"So your reputation is not entirely a lie," he observed, adding a few logs.

 

"Not entirely. There were three romances, and one was really not very serious, so I don't know why everyone is making such a huge deal about it."

 

"We never have anything like that happen between us, so it's kind of new. Besides, only the opinions of those that you care about most should matter to you. The rest you can disregard."

 

You set the volume down, going to the window and staring out at the almost dark world, the rain making it hard to see anything. Lightning flashed and wind whistled as it whipped past, making you shiver and back up in remembrance. Walking back to the center of the room, you sat down on the rug in the center, surprised it really was not all that dusty.

 

"The weather is not looking good. It won't be a fun trip back," you alerted him with irritation. He turned from the crevice, now lit with warm, crackling flames.

 

"I think it best that we stay here tonight and wait it out." You glanced up in shock that he would suggest it; no doubt there would be talk the next day about how the two of you spent the night together in an abandoned library. Nevertheless, had he not just said that you should ignore what most of them had to say?

 

Zexion's opinion of you mattered, you decided, watching as he sat down in a filthy lounge chair and stuck his nose in what appeared to be someone's journal. Sighing, you laid back and stared at the ceiling, listening to the sound of the rain and recalling what had happened the last two times you were alone with one of the male members when the weather was bad. Thank goodness you wouldn't have to worry about that with this one; Zexion was just a friend, and certainly wouldn't make any move to make more drama.

 

Somewhere along the way, you must have fallen asleep, because by the time you woke up, the fire had been reduced to glowing embers, and the moonlight was shining in through the window. You moved to sit up, but a weight held you to the floor. Glancing down, you noticed an arm clothed in a long-sleeve white shirt across your waist.

 

The Cloaked Schemer removed it and rolled over at your movements, coming to a rest upon his back, where his face lit up with blue luminescence from outside. Your eyes remained fixed to his visage, captivated by the peace of his easy slumber. It was astonishingly the first time you'd really seen him sleep; the busybody was always awake doing something whenever you were, and you'd never woken in the middle of the night back at the castle, so there hadn't been an opportunity.

 

His expression was so soft; almost innocent, as though this strict man you so often stayed with was still just a kid. Perhaps this was because he really was. Zexion never seemed his age; he was always so far ahead of the others in his mature behavior that you had never stopped to really wonder about how old he was. Now you couldn't keep your mind from questioning why he was this way, and how someone so young had come to lose his heart so early. It was pitiful, really, when you thought about it. He probably had to give up a normal life for the pursuit of science. Had he even had the chance for a real childhood?

 

When you had first arrived to your new bedchamber, it had seemed impossible that the two of you would get along judging by the way he had treated you and reacted to your presence. Now you felt like you couldn't trust anyone in Organization XIII more than this one man that lay before you in deep sleep. You gazed at him warmly, grateful that you at least had his wisdom to help you along in your misadventures, and also wishing that he'd still been alive in the previous Organization so that you might have had the pleasure of his company there, too.

 

Zexion was by no means the pleasant fellow that could cheer you up with a few simple words and an exciting activity to fill your day. However, he shared your love of books, and his serious and blunt way of saying things had sort of a wry humor you'd taken a shine to. The worlds were so full of lies that it was nice to find someone who wasn't afraid to give the full truth.

 

His chest rose and fell in a slow rhythm, his breathing soft and barely audible. You reached out and carefully pushed his hair across his face to get it away from his eyes. The man stirred slightly, but did not wake up. With a slight smile, you shook your head and gave a yawn before lying back down.

 

Sleep reclaimed you fast, and you fell into unconsciousness. Zexion's optics slowly opened and shifted in your direction. He blinked a few times before staring at the ceiling. Why had you bothered with his hair? And for what reason had you been staring at him?

 

It was your scent that had woken him- your sweet, intoxicating fragrance that he never seemed to get used to. It was so irritating; he wanted to just ignore you, because ever since you'd moved in, he'd gotten half the work done than the usual. But it seemed like the harder he tried to be distant and unfriendly, that aroma softened him. It was like a blacklight to an insect. He couldn't be rude when you smelled like that, and you never gave him any real reason to be angry with you except for your feisty tongue and occasional foot out of line.

 

A pressure between his arm and his chest made his eyes widen before he looked down to see what it was. You laid your head on his shoulder, your arm resting upon his diaphragm and your body positioned in the crook of his arm. He stuttered, not really certain what to do. Was this how you'd been with Axel, when you were cold?

 

Your written words ran through his head, along with a nagging questioning as to why a journal you had written was found here, of all places. Sadistic Heartbreaker Chronicles, it was called. You'd logged your thoughts, your adventures, and your desires in a convenient little book that should have told him everything he needed to know about how your mind worked. But he still couldn't grasp it; the only thing he could conclude from reading it was that you changed your mind so often that he wouldn't be able to define who you were by simply reading something you'd written. No, it would have to be personal experience.

 

Exhaling, Zexion wrapped his arm around your waist in order to keep you warm, both annoyed by the close proximity and delighted at the addition to body heat. Slowly, his eyes fluttered back to close, and he drifted into a light sleep, doing so only for your benefit, for he had already slept his three hours. Regardless, morning would arrive soon, and there was no sense in waking you sooner than that. Besides, you'd need your wits about you if you were staying with Axel after all.

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