Motomiya Daisuke slumped down on the rain-soaked steps in front of the
school, feeling suddenly very old and very tired. He'd meant to go home;
really he had. But somehow, something kept him from running any further
away . . .
Mostly because it was raining really hard and he seriously doubted that he
could even get home without an umbrella- or at least a decent jacket.
The burgundy-haired boy lifted a hand to his cheek; an ugly purple bruise
was already beginning to mar the tanned skin and he winced when he touched
"Jerk," he muttered halfheartedly to the downpour surrounding him, but knew
that he didn't mean it. Takeru had had every right to hit him- Hell, if
Daisuke had been in the other boy's place, he would've given himself a one-
way ticket to the emergency room.
But why did Takeru have to be so tense anyway?! It wasn't like he and
Hikari were officially dating after all; what was wrong with letting
Daisuke flirt with her a little? If Takeru hadn't gotten so mad about that,
Daisuke would've never said those things to him . . . Harsh things that he
didn't really mean and could take back later . . . Things that he secretly
did and probably couldn't.
"Agh, he makes me so MAD!" Daisuke yelled, dropping his head into his hands
and squeezing his eyes shut. "He's just one stupid guy! Why do I let him
get to me like this?!"
"Maybe you could ask him sometime- Bet he'd love to know why you do the
same thing to him," a dry voice commented as the rain suddenly seemed to
"Eh?!" Daisuke's eyes snapped open and he jerked his head up to find
himself under an umbrella and facing a very familiar face. "Ya- Yamato?!"
"Hey, kid." The tall blonde greeted him with a nod and Taichi Yagami leaned
down from behind Daisuke to get under the large, colorfully striped
umbrella that Yamato Ishida held.
"You are talking about T.K., right?" the wild-haired former goggle boy
asked, running his fingers through his damp hair distractedly, as if trying
to tame it. He quickly lost the battle with his rapidly frizzing mane and
focused all of his attention on Daisuke instead. "Well?" he asked
"Uh, yeah, I was," Daisuke replied hesitantly. For some reason, he suddenly
felt a little embarrassed.
"Takeru's a good kid- and you guys have a lot in common," Yamato commented.
"Why can't you get along?"
"The only thing I have in common with 'T.J.' is Hikari," Daisuke replied
grumpily, crossing his arms over his chest.
"I don't know about that . . ." Taichi began.
"You both do everything with such passion," Yamato continued, as if he and
Taichi shared the same thoughts. "Takeru is quieter than you, but he finds
a similar oddly contented pleasure in the most everyday of things. And you-
you're not as strategically minded as he is, but your plans still usually
seem to work out more or less for the best . . . I could go on, if you'd
like," he added.
"Can we just skip to whatever moral it is you guys are trying to get
across?" Daisuke asked with a sigh. "I'm no good at figuring out the subtle
Taichi rolled his eyes but grinned good-naturedly at the younger boy.
"Okay, Daisuke- The moral of today's story is that you and Takeru remind
Yama and me of ourselves the first few times we were in the digital world."
"Of course we do, I look almost exactly like you- and Takeru's not exactly
a far cry from being Yamato-sempai either," Daisuke muttered.
"That's not quite what he meant, kid," Yamato told him with an amused
"Then what DO you mean?" Daisuke demanded hotly, glaring up at the other
Taichi grinned again and Yamato smirked slightly as they both reached out
to muss up the younger Chosen Child's soggy hair.
"We'll tell you when you're older," Taichi promised, and it was then that
Daisuke realized in surprise that Taichi and Yamato had been holding each
other's hands for the entire conversation and neither seemed inclined to
let go. They'd acted so natural about it that he hadn't even noticed.
"See you later, Daisuke. And get out of this rain before you freeze to
death," Yamato told him. He gently pulled Taichi down the steps to his
level and the other boy's grin widened, something strange sparking in both
of their eyes.
Daisuke stared at them in utter bemusement for a moment before realizing
with a jolt what it was. Even though it was a thing he'd never seen up
close and personal before, it was still unmistakable.
That odd light in their expressions . . . that strange curve to their
smiles . . .
It could only be love.
Daisuke watched the pair walk out of sight with a peculiar kind of wonder,
strange thoughts fluttering through his mind and just as quickly leaving.
But one stuck out among the many:
I think I might like . . . to hold Takeru's hand like that . . .
"Daisuke?" a hesitant voice asked suddenly; he half-turned and realized
that Takeru was standing behind him, holding the door half-open.
Well, well, speak of the devil, Daisuke thought in amusement.
"I . . . I'm sorry I hit you like that," Takeru muttered, not meeting
Daisuke himself remained silent, carefully studying the other boy, who was
starting to fidget a little.
"I- um, that is we- we were getting worried. And . . . I should never have
gotten carried away like that, it was totally uncalled for!" Takeru
blurted. "Will you please come back inside now? You'll get sick out here
without a jacket." He smiled and finally looked up. "You can even flirt
with Hikari if you want," he added softly in a weak attempt at levity. "I
won't get jealous again."
"Actually, if it's all the same to you, I don't think I will," Daisuke
Takeru's face fell. "But- But you can't stay out in this mess!" he
protested. "You'll get sick, or-"
Daisuke shook his head. "That's not what I was talking about," he corrected
the other. "I meant to say that I'm not gonna chase after Hikari anymore.
If you wanna be with her, then go for it. Or . . ." He hesitated for a
moment; then leaned back and threw all caution to the wind- well, most of
it anyway. "Or you could go for someone else," he finished.
Takeru fell silent for a moment. "Like who?" he asked finally.
"Like Miyako, or someone at school, or . . ." Daisuke hesitated again,
biting his lip. What if he was doing this all wrong? Worse, what if he took
this huge risk, and just wound up freaking Takeru out? Now that he thought
about it, he really didn't know the other boy's opinions on this sort of
thing. But Yamato was apparently seeing Taichi, and Takeru had never seemed
very hostile towards either of them . . . unless he didn't know, of course,
which seemed to be a likely possibility since he'd never mentioned anything
. . . unless Yamato had asked him to keep it a secret . . .
This is getting you nowhere fast, Motomiya, Daisuke warned himself
mentally. Just bite the bullet and spit it out! . . . That doesn't make
much sense . . . Oh, for crying out loud! Can't you stay focused for five
lousy seconds to tell the guy the way you feel?!
"Or who?" Takeru prompted curiously, stepping up next to him.
Daisuke looked up at his- Friend? Rival? Did it even matter anymore? - and
swallowed hard. "Or maybe . . . me," he whispered, voice as dry as
The two just stared at each other for a moment that seemed to last an
eternity, neither saying a word, one on the verge of panic and the other
just looking startled.
"I- I'm sorry, I must've misheard you." Takeru laughed nervously. "It- It
sounded like you said 'or maybe me'."
"That IS what I said," Daisuke said quietly.
Takeru sat down a bit too quickly, looking a little queasy.
Daisuke cringed and looked away from him. Please just let him let me down
GENTLY! he silently begged whatever god was in charge of unrequited
affection. I don't think I could deal with knowing that he hated me!
"Um . . . Daisuke, why . . ." Takeru trailed off almost immediately, then
appeared to steel himself and began again: "But you always flirt with
Hikari. We're both out here and well on our way to getting hypothermia
BECAUSE you were flirting with Hikari. Why would you change your mind about
everything from who you like to your sexuality after fifteen minutes in the
"It's not really changing my mind," Daisuke said softly. "I think . . . I
think that I've always felt this way about you, but I never really 'got' it
until tonight. And . . ." He hesitated. "This is gonna sound so weird . .
"Just spit it out," Takeru told him. "After all we've seen in the digital
world, it can't be THAT weird."
"Well . . ." Daisuke continued after a moment. "I never really understood
what the big difference between guys and girls was. I mean . . ." His
cheeks reddened slightly. "I think that you're beautiful, and even if you
were a girl, you'd still be beautiful. And you'd still have the same heart,
wouldn't you? And you're supposed to love people for their hearts, not for
their looks, right?"
"I . . . I don't know . . ." Takeru confessed slowly, bringing a half-
clenched fist to his lips and blushing faintly. "I never really thought of
it that way. I always thought that . . ." He caught himself and pressed his
lips together. "Never mind."
"No, tell me," Daisuke insisted. "Please?"
"Well, okay . . ." Takeru gulped. "I- I- Ialwayslikedguysbetterthangirls!"
he blurted, then, looking mortified, buried his face in his hands. "Sorry,"
he added in a small voice.
Daisuke rolled his eyes and swatted the blonde's hands down. "Didn't I just
say that I don't care about that kind of thing?" he demanded.
"Well . . . yeah," Takeru admitted, looking a little sheepish. Daisuke
chuckled and playfully pushed him. The pair fell silent after that and the
only sound was that of the rain, which had lightened to little more than a
"So . . . now what?" Daisuke asked finally. "I seem to remember it being
your move . . ."
"Yeah . . ." Takeru said softly. "It was, wasn't it."
"Well?" Daisuke pressed, trying to keep the hopeful note out of his voice.
"Well . . ." Takeru trailed off, then suddenly smiled. "I think we could
give it a try, don't you?"
Daisuke's eyes lit up. "Really?!" he asked excitedly. Takeru nodded, and
for a moment the burgundy-haired boy thought that he was going to die of
giddiness. "This is great, this is great, this is so great!" he said
gleefully, and Takeru giggled.
Suddenly, the blonde's face fell. "Oh- but what about the others?" he said
anxiously. "And I don't know what 'nii-san will say! What if he gets mad?"
Daisuke couldn't help but laugh as he grabbed the other boy's hand and
pulled him to his feet. "Takeru, believe me- Yamato is so NOT going to have
a problem with this!"