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The Secrets of Esper
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June 2007
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Who: Saix and Demyx
When: !four months ago! Just before Winter Solstice
Where: At Saix's hut
What: chocolate, talking, dancing, caffeine...
Warning: none
Status: first part finished

This time, it wasn't the metal bug's deafening roar that disturbed the silence of the forest, but a low, steady hum, and some despicable stench in the air. The savage knew what it was - smaller metal bugs, running on the city (and sometimes, the forest) roads, carrying people in the inside. Apparently, somebody was coming right his way.

Pointed ears giving a faint wiggle, he paused where he was, with his fingers nimbly working another knot into his fishing net. What day was it...? Xemnas hadn't sent anyone to him, at least, not that he could remember. Then again, he didn't always trust that metal box with Xemnas' voice inside of it to always tell him the truth. Saix shifted to stand, golden eyes moving to the source of that irritating sound.

It grew louder and louder, then abruptly ceased to a purr, then quieted. There was some shuffling, then the sound of footsteps, and from the thick foliage, a familiar figure stepped forth, balancing a large box on his slim shoulders - the blond city scientist, Demyx.

The young archeologist was up to his ears in work in the past weeks but now that the Winter Solstice was mere days away, he decided to take a break. In a fit of holiday spirit, he went out, bought a few packs of soda and the biggest box of chocolate he could find, borrowed a heavy company jeep and drove out into the wilderness to bring the presents to his beloved contact. He grew quite fond of Saix since they first met, he got used to the savage's habits - namely, running around in the buff and never looking anybody in the eyes.

The trip took twice as long as usual, but Demyx didn't mind. He tried to find the smoother terrain, and the weather was calm, even though the rainy season was bound to crash down on the three cities in the course of a week.

"Hello, Saix!" He shouted happily, trying not to drop the box. "Happy Solstice! I bought you something, you'll like it I'm sure! Soda and chocolate, how about it?"

The growl was barely audible, but it was there, lost beneath the roar of the engine and the loud footsteps of the intruder. Saix knew his smell. Saix knew the sounds of his feet. Saix knew his voice. Small, pointed ears stiffened, his shoulders going taut, he stared blankly at the approaching figure of that crazy spiky-head from the see-tee. ..what was he doing? In curiosity, he dropped down to all fours, gracefully easing himself to Demyx's side in an odd display of animalistic strides.

"Hello, Demyx," he answered quietly, sniffing the scientist's pant leg to make sure that he'd been completely accurate with the name. Dried trees, tea, and a female with green hair--this was definitely Demyx. Muscles shifted beneath bronzed skin, turning him to crouch patiently behind the blonde. After a moment, he added: "You are very loud today."

"Aa, I'm sorry," Demyx giggled, "I'm just happy, you know. In the city, there will be a big holiday soon, when everybody gives their loved ones gifts and-" And the thought hit home. The scientists quieted, set the box down and dropped on his knees to casually sit on the ground. "I suppose, you haven't received many gifts... at least, not without a reason. Say Saix, the natives have no celebration around this time? Like... offerings to Leviathan, because of the upcoming rains? The old Cetras called it All Souls' Day, and they were remembering their deceased ones."

It didn't hurt his feelings. Even if Demyx actually finished his statement, Saix had been by himself long enough that he didn't grieve for a family. The eeza didn't have families or people who loved him, and that was as much a fact as the sun rose every morning and the rain always fell. "I do not get gifts," came his slow reply, as golden eyes trailed over the box laying before them. Timidly, he reached out a clawed hand to lightly touch it, as if he half-expected it to move. "The others celebrate All Souls' Day... There are treats for the little ones during the day, flames are lit for the deceased at dusk, and there are dances until the sun rises again..."

"I see," Demyx nodded and fought off the urge to pat the hand poking the box. "Well then, something new starts today. I'd like to thank you your patience and your help, it means much, it helped me a great deal in my work. So, I bought you some treats." He flipped the clasps open on the lid, took it off and pushed the plastic container toward the savage. "Happy early All Soul's Day, then. I hope you'll like the chocolate. And I'd be really delighted if you told me more about the celebrations. For me, it's very interesting." He waited for the reaction. Saix had a soft spot for fizzy drinks and candy, and there was a lot now from both.

He stared at the candies in childlike wonder, hawk-like eyes widening to rounded, docile orbs. He waited only for a brief moment, to be assured that those decadent treats were indeed for him, then reached out to pluck a few chocolate squares from their box. Practically trembling, he pressed the first of the squares into his mouth and bit down, the sugary sweet taste spreading across his tongue and coating the insides of his cheeks. The gesture that followed looked almost painful for the savage, his lips twitching upward in an awkward imitation of a smile and holding clumsily while he chewed. Demyx did a lot of smiling, so it must have been something he liked; since Saix had no idea he'd be sharing company for an All Souls' Day celebration, he didn't have a gift to return. The smile was the best he had to offer.

"Thank you.. Demyx." Pausing, he offered one of his treats to the scientist, watching the other's hand with a calculating stare. "At dusk, the river looks like a sea of stars. There are many vessels alit with flame, offerings to the dearly departed, that float along the waters. I make an offering every year to the man I murdered upon my finding, in hopes that his soul can forgive me."

The young archeologist took the bonbon and as the thick filling melted on his tongue, he blinked - alcohol...? Guardians, it was made with alcohol...? He never noticed... The smile didn't go unnoticed either, and accompanying to Saix's last words, it made Demyx's heart tighten in his chest. Saix , no matter how grumpy and wild he looked, was full of human feelings... And he was so unused to let them show.

"I'm sure he will, you were just a baby... You didn't know." He said softly, and licked the melted sweet off his fingers. The tropical heat didn't do much good to anything what was capable of melting. "It must be a beautiful sight," he sighed. "It'd be good to see it... And it is a wonderful tradition, to help the souls find their way... What else do the natives do, I mean, yes, eating and dancing, but... is there some special food? Other customs? Perhaps they try to ask the Guardians or the stars about the future?" His thirst for knowledge was hard to quench.

"All Souls' Day is strictly for remembering the past... Prayers are offered to the dead, and flowers are collected for their memories. The villagers create their feast around the roonfruit, which ripens only around this time; it is very thick and very succulent, and seems to bleed when cut. They chose it because it represents the blood of the fallen."

After a moment (and another chocolate), Saix turned yet another stare on Demyx. This one landed near his shoulder, to feign targeting the throat. "You cannot search for the roonfruit. You're not a villager." The savage pulled his knees toward himself, then bowed them outward in a shameless criss-crossed position.

It was only by chance that he happened to catch a glimpse of aluminum inside the box, and like a flash, he plucked up one of the sodas. His fangs punctured the top of the can with a loud 'pop', then a long tongue moved to lap up the liquid that began to fizz through.

"I won't, then," Demyx sighed resigned; his curiosity always encountered these borders, the barbed wire of jealously guarded tradition, customs and unwritten laws. He wanted to know everything but he was an outsider, the natives didn't trust him, and they were actually right. But when he thought about it, that the bigger part of this wonderful world will be forever sealed away from him, Demyx almost wanted to cry.

Watching the savage opening the can, he shook his head. "It still amazes me, how strong your teeth are, and how you manage to not cut yourself." Umm, yeah, since his eyes were already there, he stole a glance at that exposed lap, too... wow. Axel's wasn't this big... though the redhead had wicked ways to use it. "You like what I brought?"

Demyx looked very sad sometimes, and it confused the wild man to no end. Did he really want to be like the villagers? He was a see-tee dweller. They had happy lives, didn't they? Xemnas said that the see-tee dwellers got their food from a cold box, and put it in another box to make it warm, even better than the feasts in the village. Why would Demyx want to be away from the see-tee? "I am eeza," he answered gruffly, before taking a loud slurp from his can, "I won't die until the great hunter strikes me down. I won't be wounded, either..."

What was the scientist staring at..? "Um... yes. I like your gifts very much." After a moment of silent thought, he regarded the blonde in utmost curiosity. "Demyx.. are you trying to be my family?"

Now, that was pretty out of the blue. Demyx straightened with a gasp, blue eyes widening and blinking quite shocked at the savage. "Y-your f-f-f..." A little more blinking, then Demyx shook his head. "Family as in... what? We're certainly not blood related, and I can't stay here-" Not to mention Axel would spit fire. Guardians, was he still afraid of the redhead...? Or... he got afraid now that they... dated...? "Although I'm trying... I'm trying to be your friend, Saix. I like you... in a way. You're interesting, you can teach me much. You're a good hunter and I respect you, and I would like you to trust me. To let me closer, maybe even... to touch you. But I won't do that until you allow it to me!" he added hastily.

He blinked slowly, thick black lashes hooding inquisitive golden eyes. Friend... Demyx didn't want to be in his pack, he wanted to be a friend. Which, Saix reasoned, was interesting. He'd never had a friend before. "No... you mustn't stay here," came that gentle reply, as Saix set his soda to the side, then began to inch forward. With a great deal of hesitancy, one claw extended toward the blonde, his arm outstretching to its full length. "I.. want you to have a present too, friend."

It was frightening, yes, but his face remained brave and solemn. He trusted that Demyx wouldn't hurt him, but.. it had been a very long time since he'd willingly allowed himself to be touched. Maybe the scientist would stop looking so sad if he got to do something he wanted.

The blue eyes were shining brightly, the archeologist's expression set in confusion. Saix... was willing to consider to be friends? With him? And he allowed to touch, when a month ago, he clawed Demyx for that...?

Eat your heart out, Zexion.

With the same hesitancy, Demyx lifted his own slender hand and cautiously clasped it with the native's. A more ancient kind of handshake, the first sign of something... stronger, warmer, lighter. Demyx indeed smiled, brightly, with a faint blush adorning his cheeks. "It's a great gift, Saix. I promise that I'll never become unworthy of it. The Guardians shall hear my words."

It seemed so... meaningful. The wild warrior and the cultured city scientist, sitting on the grass with a box of sodas and chocolate, and they were holding hands, trying to sort out everything inside, and hoping that it'll last.

It was strange, that one so strong would be intimidated by a male as small and unthreatening as Demyx. Saix trembled when those small fingers touched his palm, feeling a nervous twisting in his gut; despite himself, he growled softly at the blonde, but he didn't recoil and made no move to retaliate. Friends from see-tee did this sort of thing. Still, there was the underlying fear that someone would see, and then he would find himself in a great deal of pain. Frankly, he didn't want to deal with that. Even if Demyx's skin was soft and smooth like the water on a still, cool morning, Saix was terrified of him, and after a few moments of agonizing contact, he jerked his hand away, clasped his soda, and scooted backwards. Golden gaze dropped to the ground, he pretended to concentrate on his treat, rather than the violent shaking in his limbs. "What else do you want to know about the villagers?"

Oh. Demyx jumped a bit when the other wrenched his hand away and he couldn't help but feel a little guilty as he noticed, just how nervous Saix was. As if he had been afraid... What made sense. Being a demon surely meant that nobody liked you.

Glancing at the sky, Demyx frowned a little. The sun was still up, they why was it getting darker...? As he turned his face upwards, a drop of water hit him right on the forehead. "Oh... Seems it's about to rain- Oh, dear." In a tropical squall, it was suicide for such a relatively unexperienced driver as him to head home. "Drat. I'll just... get back to the car and wait it out. Look here, this is how you close the box." He quickly showed the clasps, then stood. "Take your gift to a safe place. I hope it'll be just a quick shower and we can continue this conversation."

Quickly, he wrapped long fingers around his box and held it close, as though it was some sort of fragile, priceless treasure that required the protection of his very body. Fingertips caressing the smooth surface, he rose to an awkward hunch, fully intending on retreating to the safety of his den. It was out of momentary curiosity that he glanced in the direction of the metal bug, and despite the gnawing need to hide his present someplace safe, he couldn't help but speak. "Car is closed up... you won't be able to breathe inside of it. I will... let you see my den and stay.. You can breathe inside my den."

Demyx bowed his head and his shoulders started to shake. He was trying his best to not laugh out loud, but he failed. Saix's innocence was so refreshing, so... sweet. "What gave you the idea I can't breathe inside the car...?" He smiled brightly at the savage. "Of course I can. The city is far away, and I was inside that car the entire way here... I should be dead by now if I had to hold my breath. However, thank you for your generosity." He bowed lightly. "It's an honor that you allow me into your home, really." He was completely sincere about it. Not to mention curious.

What was funny...? If he had any clue at all that Demyx was laughing at his expense, he would have blushed, but instead, his ears twitched at that unfamiliar sound. It was pleasant, like the song of a baby bird or the chirp of one of those small rodents that scurried back and forth across the forest floor; he had the sudden urge to imitate it, but the laughter died down too quickly for him to commit it to memory. "There are shields where the air should come through," he explained slowly, referring to the windows, "And there are no holes for you to breathe.. how do you breathe?"

He shuffled into the little shack, which was empty save for a few spearheads and rope piled together, a bundle of furs topped with a shabby blanket that served as his "nest", and a ratty old bear nestled carefully against the folds of fabric. "I don't have a stool... You can sit in my nest if you want."

The archeologist was turning his head to take in everything. It was a meager home but what else would a warrior need, who spends most of his time out in the wild? "Thank you," he nodded, referring to the offer. "Just... I hope my scent won't disturb you if I rub it into your blankets or something..." He really didn't want to do anything rude. This was Saix's territory and the very least Demyx could do was to respect it as deeply as he could.

"You smell nice," was the simple response, the savage going down on hands and knees to go dig up a portion of his dirt floor. "I don't mind."

His fingertips scraped roughly over a corner of the room, pulling up piles of earth with each powerful stroke of his hand. Burying things was the most surefire way of keeping them safe--no one would ever think to look in the spots he picked out. "You've been standing for a long time.. you need to rest. I'll keep guard over you and your bug."

"Hey." Demyx pouted as he dropped down on the makeshift bed. "I'm not made of glass or something! And I wasn't standing." The innocent statement hurt a little - did he look really that scrawny in the eyes of the blue-haired warrior...? The remark on his scent made him blush just a little bit. He knew it was merely a statement, not a compliment, but still... At least he had one aspect Saix liked. "As for the car... Air is everywhere. When we pull up the shields, air gets trapped inside. The car also has some... holes hidden, that will let the air in and out, so we manage just fine. And we can always pull down those shields. By the way, the car doesn't need guarding, nobody will take it. Stay with me, please. I'd like to talk. I don't really know you..." His gaze shifted to the stuffed bear. "Saix... may I ask why is that toy here...?" It seemed so out of place. Maybe... Maybe it was some old possession, from Saix's childhood...? Maybe... he wasn't native-born at all...?

To Saix, there was no reason for him to worry about how his statements affected people. He just stated things as they were, with no aim for malice, and if he thought Demyx was as delicate and fragile as a girl, he would say it. That didn't make the scientist any less of a person in his eyes. In fact, Demyx was the only person he really liked at all. He was quiet and he had a good smell, he wore nice colors and his hair looked like sunshine--he was a good human. Once the hole had been created, he carefully put his box inside of it. Years of digging places to hide things in had made him very good at figuring out how big a hole something would require. As he pushed the dirt back onto his present, the muscles along his scarred back rippled, locks of tangled blue sliding along his shoulders to pool around his neck.

The mention of his bear, however, caused him to pause and lift his head, pointed ears wiggling slowly. "Floof... he is my friend. I found him, and I stitched up the place where his heart was ripped out." He was, of course, referring to a little blue patch on the left side of the bear's torso, which had been cut in the sloppy shape of a heart and awkwardly sewn into place. "He has been with me for many years."

Demyx, as an archeologist, was sort of used to severe superstitions, but... encountering them in real life left him gaping slightly. "He... Floof. He comes from the city," he mentioned absent-mindedly. This sort of reminded himself on his own childhood. He was a sensitive, emotional child, and he was convinced once his toys felt things. "He... sleeps with you, perhaps...?" Now, that felt awkward. He wanted to know, what tied Saix to the teddy. Why did he consider the toy a _friend_...? But this was Zexion's territory, and the young researcher was afraid that he'll say something wrong. "I had a friend like him, more or less... only he was called Kamal, and he looked more like a... tentacle dog."

"Yes... he sleeps with me." The dirt replaced in its previous spot, he stood to his full height and regarded the little plush toy with a degree of fondness that usually never surfaced within those golden eyes. He crouched down, well out of the way of Demyx, and plucked up Floof to gently cradle it against his chest. "His touches are soft and kind... Floof has never caused me pain before."

The savage sat down, tucking his legs beneath himself as he dropped the bear on top of his lap and fussed over a few frayed strings that were unwinding from their seams. The bear was obviously very old, and even with all the care Saix gave to it, the conscious observer could see that the toy was soon to fall into ruin. "Kamal was your friend in this way?"

"He was my protector," Demyx smiled, touched by the memories. "I had him when I was very small... I was afraid in the dark. So one day, my mother brought him to me and told me he'll watch out for me. I took Kamal everywhere. He was with me when my parents had to leave me alone, when I was sick or sad... He was a good friend, yes." Darn it, he wasn't going to weep, it's been ages he played with a stuffed animal...! But the memories were sweet, amusing and nostalgic, and Demyx's thoughts drifted toward his beloved mother, who was still on Gaia, slowly fading away, like a fragile flower.

A see-tee dweller was afraid of something? With an almost timid expression, he casted his gaze toward the scientist, making sure that it landed somewhere along his hands or arms. Since Demyx was the only person he liked, he definitely didn't want to do anything terrible to him. That would be... terrible. "Do you still keep him with you..?" came that unsure voice, as he awkwardly stood Floof on his two raggedy legs.

"Not anymore," Demyx shook his head. "In the cities, toys are mostly for children... I grew up, I went to school, I was no longer afraid, and Kamal grew old and weary. So I put him into a box and mother took him to the attic, along with other things I didn't need anymore. I suppose he's still there." He rubbed his nose, proud that his eyes weren't brimming with tears. Since a long time, Demyx felt a bit lonely now.

Absently, he drew Floof against his chest, cradling his faithful friend as though he was a tiny child. "I'm not afraid... but Floof keeps me company. If I look into his eyes, he doesn't turn to stone.."

The savage pulled his knees up to his chest, long toes curling to press into the moist dirt. Outside, the first few droplets of rain pattered against the top of his shelter; none of the liquid made it inside, however--he'd learned how to patch up gaps in his roof with thick mud and leaves. "I'm certainly not a child, though. I am a fine hunter, and Floof is my friend, not a toy."

"We're not in the city, either," Demyx pointed out wisely. "Things are different here." He paused a bit, listening to the whisper of the rain. "Saix... I suppose people have caused you a lot of pain before but still... Do you think you could be able to..." It was hard to find the words for what he wanted to ask. "What would it take, how should somebody behave that you'd believe him that he doesn't want to hurt you?" On a childish, annoyed way, it hurt that the hunter didn't expect anything else form the archeologist either than from those, who were cruel to him through his life.

A claw sifted through tangled blue locks, itching irritably at a small leaf that had embedded itself within the azure strands-- he was getting itchy more and more lately. It was probably time for him to find a way to groom himself... The question caused bronze fingers to twitch, the native slowly curling in on himself. Did Demyx intend to touch him again...? He waited with silent breath, keen eyes locked on small hands, arms rigid around his prized possession.

No, no.. he wasn't going to touch... "I don't know," he answered honestly, pointed ears drooping at the tips while he thought, "I would have to trust that person, and I don't like to."

"How are we going to be friends, then?" Demyx murmured and placing an elbow on his knee, he leaned his chin into his hand. He peeked out on the door, watching the water-curtain veiling the jungle; the sound relaxed him, it was like a lullaby. Absent-mindedly, he started to hum, one of his favorite songs.

Perhaps, Saix will never trust him. Perhaps, one day, Demyx will do or say something and the savage will punish him for it. Lately, as it seemed, the blond researcher was quite prone to depression.

He'd let Demyx touch him... wasn't that a display of trust? It was fragile and it was small, but it was trust still the same. He didn't think that Demyx planned to tell anyone about the places Saix took him to, or the secrets of the natives; when the scientist promised not to do something, the savage truly believed him. The blonde was special. He was small, and he smelled nice, and he was different from everyone else. When he was near, Saix was afraid, yes, but sometimes, that soft, pleasant voice made him recall something he'd lost, even though he didn't have any clue as to what to call it. "I... will try.." came the timid rumbling of hesitant baritone, "I haven't had a human friend before."

That earned him a sincere smile. "Thank you, Saix. I'll be worthy of your trust, promise." He felt a lot better. "Hmm. I'd like to ask something, and I know you'll tell me the truth... What do you think of me?" Demyx tilted his head to the side, and glanced at the savage. He knew that Saix will indeed tell his honest opinion and it won't necessarily be the nicest thing ever, but... At least, he'll know what to change in his behavior. Demyx was aware of the fact, that he was rather easily excited, overly sensitive, easily intimidated and sort of dependant on others, and he tried to do something about that, just... usually the situation easily overwhelmed him and he fell right back into the usual patterns.

Introspective questions he hated the most. That meant he had to talk a lot, and the other party got to watch him while he moved his mouth. He'd never seen himself before, so he didn't know how strange he looked compared to other people--he just hated being stared at. Fang tugging at his lower lip, his shoulders rippled with a single breath. "I think.. you were born in the wrong place. You should be a child of the forest; you are gentle and kind, like a fawn, and you respect Nature in all of Her beauty." A clawed hand drifted to the ground, to trail over a pair of criss-crossed scars on the outside of his thigh. "But you have a curious nose. You can't leave anything alone, so maybe it's best that you are a see-tee dweller. The Hunter-Beasts of Forest would have snatched you up for a meal when you were young."

The archeologist giggled. It surprised him a great deal that Saix thought he was nice - he expected to be told that he's too loud, annoying, demanding, whatever.

"You're definitely right with that," he agreed with a nod. "Probably, I would have wandered to the Cetra ruins to discover them all the time, and yes, something surely would have eaten me. Though..." He tapped his chin as the memory came back, vivid from the haze of the past. "You know, once I almost really got eaten. My uncle took me out to the Gaian forests when I was young. I loved it, but once I got careless, and a big beast attacked me."

There was that sound again...! Saix's head moved as though it was on a swivel, staring transfixed at the side of the archaeologist's head while that laugh played itself out. What was that noise? Faintly, he felt as if he should have been more familiar with it, like he'd made that happy, chirping noise once, a long time ago. His ears stood straight, their pointed tips pointing outward, then quirking when Demyx's pleasant voice replaced that sound. "Did you fight the beast? If you are alive, you must've."

"No, I was too young... Eleven years old I think? Yes, about that. And I had no idea, how to handle a weapon. I was examining a ruin, some crumbled wall, and I suddenly heard a growl. As I turned, there was a huge beast in front of me, with dark fur and long claws. I was so scared, I couldn't even scream first... Then the beast started to circle me and I cried for help. My voice irritated it though, and it roared and leapt at me. Its claws tore at my clothes, my skin, there was blood everywhere and I, in some desperate fit, tried to keep its teeth away from my neck." Demyx shivered, rubbing his arms. "Thank the Guardians, my uncle heard me and he came to rescue me; he shot the beast three times, took me into his arms and ran with me back to the camp. If it weren't for the potions, I would be dead now, but they were able to stop the bleeding. The wounds healed fast as well. Though, when she heard about it, my poor mother nearly died from the fright. But she never forbade me to go with uncle Luxord to hunt again."

Saix listened with all the attentiveness of a spellbound child, leaning forward on his hands and tilting his head when Demyx's voice rose and fell. Demyx told good stories! "You have battle scars, don't you? They are a point of pride for the men of Forest, you know." Demyx.. small, delicate Demyx... he might have scars, just like the proud villagers. And Saix was absolutely enthralled. "May I see?"

"They are barely visible..." Demyx protested with a blush - what Saix said, naturally made sense, but he never thought about those thin white lines as something important... Though... Now that he really thought about it, his childhood sweethearts and later, his lovers were fascinated by the adventure, too. Okay, Saix seemed so eager, why would he deny it... Demyx stood with a small sigh and loosened his belt. "They're on my thigh and really, they aren't too prominent..." He pushed the pants down and pulled his underwear a bit upper, turning to Saix that he could see. Indeed, there were five thin, white scratches on the pale, smooth skin. "Our healers do a good job. City folk aren't too proud of their scars... They think those make them ugly."

He crept close, keen eyes immediately finding the set of marks, and resting there as he shifted to settle next to those exposed legs. In a rather peculiar display, the savage leaned forward to touch the tip of his nose against the scars, feeling the slight upraisals of marred flesh, and after breathing out a soft sigh, he began to nuzzle them. "These are good scars... you shouldn't let your see-tee healers take them away."

"They can't do anything about them anymore..." Demyx said quietly. Goosebumps were raising on his skin from the touch and his guts stirred - ah yes, that was how Saix mush have felt each time you tried poking at him, Allegro. Keep that in mind. "These will stay with me to the rest of my life. S-Saix, what are you doing...?" Okay, it was surely something logical, to... eh, being so affectionate, but... It made Demyx a little jumpy. Not that it felt bad, it was just... weird. And sort of appealing. However, the archeologist didn't fancy getting a boner while at Saix's side. He yet had to learn about that particular aspect of the savage's life.

He sensed the unrest boiling over in Demyx and backed away accordingly. "I showed you that I like them.." he tried to explain, as he resituated himself in a shameless crouch, knees bowed out to either side, "See-tee dwellers don't touch things they like?"
"They do, it's just..." Demyx pulled his pants back and drew a few unsure circles into the air with his slender hand, "Touching another person's body... I mean, where the clothes usually cover, it's... umm... a certain right reserved for those one stands close with. Especially, when those spots are closer to... the most sensitive areas. I hope I'm making sense. It didn't feel bad, I'm just not used to be touched there, and especially not like that... With your nose." He chuckled a bit. "We tend to use our hands, our fingers to caress things we like."

The explanation went right over Saix's head, and it showed as he stared blankly at the blonde's shifting fingers. "What...?" See-tee dwellers were the sort that didn't touch... yet every see-tee dweller he'd encountered had tried to grab him in some manner or another when they'd first met. So, that meant they touched... but they didn't touch? Thinking about it made his head hurt, but he couldn't just leave it alone. He didn't live among people, so he had to find out all he could from those brave enough to speak to them. When a statement finally emerged that he understood, he held out both his hands, palms up, to show the dangerous nails that grew from his fingertips. "I would hurt you if I caressed you with my fingers."

"I understand that," Demyx nodded patiently. "From now on, I won't feel uneasy with you nuzzling me, because I know what you meant by it. It surprised me, that's all." He settled down again and smiled. "I have a lot to learn about you. You're so interesting, and so open and pure. Yes, I know!" He lifted his hand before the savage could have spoken up. "I remember, you're an eeza, you're not pure, you're a demon and you could kill people, I did not forget that. But you never lie, you speak openly, honestly, and you need nothing more than you really need for survival -- weapons, food, a place to sleep and Floof. City people are greedy. Compared to them, you're pure at heart."

Demyx might as well have been some alien from a distant planet, for Saix was now openly gawking at him. What in the Guardians' names was he going on about? The savage clamped his mouth shut while the archaeologist offered his explanation, the furrowing of his brow distorting the jagged scar in the along the bridge of his nose. "...you talk a lot, Demyx." After a moment, he shifted over to the doorway of his den, peering out at the dark rain that turned his territory into mud and mush. Blessed be Sky for His gifts. "I have... a question for you, if you don't mind."

"Of course not, go ahead."

A long finger pressed against the opening of his hut, idly scratching the dried wood. "You know I am eeza, yet you continue to come and see me. Why aren't you afraid?"

"I am afraid of you," Demyx corrected softly and ran his hand over the blankets and furs. "Somewhat at least. You're twice my size, you could easily kill me if I made you angry, your voice is deep and rumbling, if you'd shout or growl, I'd be scared. But, as I'm curious, I want to get to know you better, I need your knowledge about the forest, the natives, the Cetras... And I still can't really believe that you're an eeza... Demons wouldn't try to avoid killing people with their eyes and yet, you do. I know that you won't look at me, and then, what's there to fear? Something my boss has as well, or others in the Organization... Bodily strength and a commanding presence."

It was certainly the strangest explanation he'd ever heard. Saix let his gaze drift along the uneven surface of the floor, quietly noting that the spot in front of the doorway was easily becoming soaked with rain. He needed something to keep the outside away from his den... "You don't act like a person who is afraid." He shifted to settle on his legs, thick muscles bulging for just a moment. "You are kind to me, and even when I hurt you, you didn't turn and run. I don't understand you."

"Don't you remember when you first clawed me?" Demyx laughed easily, running his fingertips along his lower arm, there thin lines, similar to those on his thigh were. "I was terrified by your anger. I practically groveled at your feet. But when you're not angry, you're not scary. In fact, you're quite handsome, and you often look like a child, all wide-eyed and curious. I suppose, inside, I'm still a child... who only sees that the beast has soft fur and grace, and even though he knows it's a dangerous creature, he'd try to pet it. Eh, on second thought, that seems to be the exact case... I'm glad nobody knows about this."

The noise that escaped him could only be described as a snort, the wind rushing from his nose and mouth all at once as he gave a sudden toss of his head. Handsome. No one had ever called him handsome before, and frankly, he didn't believe it. As far as he knew, he resembled the drawings of the eeza, with jagged teeth and slanted, fierce eyes that saw everything. "I think you'll end up being carried off by one of your beasts, Demyx," he warned, one ear twitching as he spoke, "You should be more careful."

"I'm trying to, really. I don't want my beast to get angry with me, I like him too much. And I certainly don't want to get hurt. I have enough scars already." The archeologist leaned back on his hands, closing his eyes for a moment. It was so nice to just sit and converse with Saix... The young researcher guessed, he really thought about the savage as his child, maybe much like Luxord loved him - a nephew, so young and eager, whom one can teach and shape...

Saix stared at him for a long time. Unblinking, face motionless, his gaze didn't shift for a second. Seeing the other looking so happy and peaceful, he reminded Saix of an ache he hadn't felt in years, when he'd been younger and didn't understand how different he was from everyone else. Mithra was the prettiest girl in the village, the one that every boy wanted to have for his wife; when it came time for her to choose a husband, she was offered all sorts of things from hopeful suitors, Saix included. When he shyly approached with the loveliest flower he could find, the entire village watched in silence. He'd never forget the shame he felt when she turned her head away and laughed. Demyx didn't look like her, but she had been gentle to others; their demeanor was the same. "You're a female, aren't you?"

Bam! Laughter cut as if with a blade, Demyx was staring back, blue eyes wide, and a blush deepening on his face. "Wh-... A fem-..." A female. He was so cute and weak and adorable that Saix had taken him for a female. 'Father, your worst nightmare came true,' he thought bitterly. The Guardians damn it, he was not THAT much of a sissy! The archeologist pressed his lips together and folded his arms. "Do I look like one...?"

Why... why didn't see-tee dwellers just answer questions? Breathing a quiet sigh, he nodded. "You smell like one, too."

Great. A pretty flower. Apparently, some beasts could smell once you were submitting to males. Demyx was hurt and offended, part of his anger seemed ridiculous even to him - deep down, he knew Saix would probably don't give a damn about Demyx's sexual preferences, and it was pointless to involve city social standards, but... Well, no male except the gayest would like to be called a girl. "Your sense of smell never deceives you, does it?" he said, looking away, pouting. He noticed that the sound of the rain was growing more quiet slowly - great, he'll head home after it ceases.

His head swiveled from side to side. "No.." Something was off. Demyx was unhappy again, but tried to stifle it by dodging the question and making his mouth do the opposite of what Saix liked it to do. Frowning. Frowning looked bad on Demyx. "You don't like this question," he observed, dragging a claw across his own chest to relieve an itch.

"Not the slightest." Demyx was still pouting, failing to realize, just how much he resembled an annoyed female like that. "The rain is ceasing, I'll go home after it stops. If you have anything to share about All Soul's Day, I'd be glad to listen. And you mentioned dances, I hope I could see them one day. Perhaps next year. Maybe I'll be able to befriend with some villagers and they'll let me watch."

That settled it--Demyx was a girl, and didn't want to admit it. Only a woman would not answer a question on account of disliking it. Feeling just like he had when he was rejected the first time, he stared at the ground, his jaw tightening. Eeza probably weren't meant to mate, but he still kept hoping. Maybe he'd find a nice eeza female someday. At the mention of the dances, however, those sad ears lifted from their droop, Saix practically perking up like a dog offered a rare treat. "I will show you."

"You?" Demyx cocked an eyebrow, his misery dropping a few levels. "You _dance_...?" That was just crazy. The hunter didn't come off as the cheery type, who'd indulge into something as meaningless as dancing. Or, some local religious customs required it? Saix believed in the Guardians like every other native, that was sure. Slowly, the researcher pushed the emotional youth aside, replacing scowling with scientific curiosity.

"It pleases the Guardians.." he began, but trailed off when Demyx's tone proved to be incredulous. Had he said something foolish? Hanging his head, he bowed his shoulders inward and gave a low grunt. "The legends never said that eeza could not dance... It appeases the Guardians, honors the deceased... and I enjoy it."

Alright, offenses forgotten. The archeologist leaned a bit closer with a small smile. "You just don't really look like one who'd dance much... Thought it might be just me and my city upbringing. I like dancing as well, and... mm, I play music, too. I've been learning it since my childhood and I dare say I'm talented. I'd be glad if you showed me those dances." That breathtaking, nude, golden body swaying with the rhythm, hips swinging...? What a sight...!

"I will show you. I could... I could teach you..." He felt a little squeeze in his chest when Demyx's mood shifted, a small surge of pride that left his fingers and toes tingling. It made him... happy, a little. "Whenever you come to visit me next, if you'd like."

"We probably won't see each other for quite some time now..." Demyx pondered, scratching his head a bit. "The rainy season is coming, and then, the mating season and I remember that you asked me to not come then." Now, wait... That was at least four months. "Well... maybe I don't have to rush so much. I'd really like to see local dances and I'm certainly up for learning them." He smiled and nodded, stressing his words. That sounded to be fun.

Why did he feel so sad, knowing that this would be the last time he'd get to see Demyx for almost half a year? Normally, he was overjoyed to have his territory all to himself again, but the prospect of being by himself suddenly didn't seem so fun anymore.

He attributed it to the conversation. He liked talking, and having someone to talk back. Soundlessly, the native climbed to his feet and slid his hand out into the dying rain, silently assessing the number of drops that fell. "If you don't mind getting a little wet, we can go now."

Well. Wet clothes didn't feel particularly awesome on the skin, but Demyx knew the weather was still warm, he wasn't afraid of water, and indeed... Four months. Maybe he could come once or twice during it, but surely no more, the showers were too unpredicable for traveling, at least with copters... and the archeologist was sure that neither the company wanted to invest into a small airplane, nor would be Saix fond of the idea of having a landing place on his hunting grounds. Curiosity took the better of him anyway, so he took a deep breath and nodded. "Alright. A little rain won't hurt me."