Title: Alone Together
Season/Timeline: Digimon Adventure 02, episode 35, Cody Takes a Stand.
Summary: One possible version of events from the night Ken slept over at Daisuke's.
For: MokieFraggle, 5000 kiriban winner at The Snowfields.
Daisuke shut the door and turned back towards his guests with one of those polite smiles his mom had been trying to get him to use whenever they had company. This went totally against his nature, however, so he didn't use them that often. But since he had some very special guests today, he gave it a shot.
He could see one of those guests very clearly from where he was standing, and there was just something about Ichijouji Ken being framed between two tall glasses of lemonade that just appealed to him. The fragile innocent look really works for him. The redhead mentally grinned as he headed over to where the others were sitting.
"Here you go!" He set the tray down and picked one of the glasses up, offering it directly to Ken as the girls reached for their own. The ex-Kaiser took it carefully, with a murmured thank you that was so much his courteous hallmark. "That's my mom's special lemonade, squeezed from very special lemons!"
Miyako eyed him warily. "What's so special about them?" He'd been expecting that from her, and he had his answer.
"They were on sale."
Rolled eyes and snickers went around the room and Daisuke flopped back on the bed. Ken was still where he'd been, sitting rather near him, with Hikari sitting on the floor right across from Daisuke, Salamon next to her, and Miyako across from Ken and technically in between Daisuke and Hikari. Being so near Ken made odd things happen in his mind, and even now he was feeling a shiver of some kind go down his spine. He hadn't really noticed when he'd started to feel so shivery around Ken, it had snuck up on him so gradually. All he knew was it just felt good.
I'm supposed to be his best friend. The Chosen of Courage and Friendship tried hard not to let these feelings get the better of him. He had important things to do; BlackWarGreymon, Archnemon, and Mummymon were still out there somewhere, doing who knew what. He didn't have time to get all fluttery inside. No matter how much he might want to.
Well, he knew the remedy for that: teasing someone else. It got his mind off of his own issues and made someone else the center of attention, while he got to share the limelight. That was perfectly fine with him. And he knew just who to start poking at, especially now that they were all in the same room together.
"Okay, Miyako, I've got a question." He sipped at his lemonade and seemed just to be watching his violet-haired friend. One would have had to be very close to him to see that he was actually keeping an eye on Ken just as much as he was Miyako. He wanted to know his friend's reaction to what he was about to ask.
She looked at him, looking a bit wary as well. "What is it?" Daisuke's questions had a habit of taking one totally off guard, no matter how well prepared you thought you were.
"Who is your current Crush of the Week?" That probably ranked fairly high on the 'rude' scale, but Daisuke had never been the most mannerly of people. Besides, he wanted to be certain Miyako's eyes were off Ken. The last thing that the dark-haired boy needed was to be put in a situation with a predatory female after him. He was barely mentally stable enough for friends, much less anything else.
Miyako blinked twice as she looked at him, and her eyes flicked for the briefest of moments to Ken. Daisuke was about to start making mental plans to yell at her when she looked back at him and shrugged. "I haven't decided yet. There's so many cute people around, I just can't make up my mind."
"You should talk to my sister," Daisuke rolled his eyes. "When she's not mooning over Yamato, she's got five other rock stars she's going on about. Half the time I think she yaps about him just because he's the only one she actually knows."
"A crush on someone famous is a perfectly natural thing to have," Ken murmured softly, petting Leafmon as he spoke. "It's a safe object of fantasy, someone you know you'll never meet and can't ever make a fool of yourself in front of."
Miyako looked at Ken for a moment, then stood up, carefully putting Pururumon down. "Ken, could I talk to you for a couple of minutes? Just you and me?"
The Child of Kindness looked a little surprised, and for a moment he seemed to be asking Daisuke for advice with his eyes. The redhead shrugged casually. "Hey, she doesn't bite, too hard. It's not that time of the month anyway, is it, Miyako?"
She glowered at him and mimed a blow, which he playfully pulled away from. "Come on, Ken, this won't take long." The tall girl tugged him away from the others and pulled him to the far side of the room, then started to whisper furiously into his ear. Whatever she was saying, it didn't take all that long for Ken to be blushing a furious shade of red over it, and Daisuke wished his hearing were better. He was finding himself very curious about what they were talking about.
Whatever it was, Miyako kept waving an arm in the general direction of the group, and Ken kept on muttering something while doing his level best to impersonate a tomato and shaking his head as hard as he could. Finally, she threw up her arms and whispered one last thing into his ear. Ken blushed even more fiery red, then finally nodded, seeming to give in.
"What do you suppose that's all about?" Salamon wondered as she watched them. She might be more puppy than cat at the moment, but curiosity ruled her constantly. Hikari had mentioned that she had been raised by Vamdemon, and keeping an vigilant eye on all things around her was a habit she not only couldn't, but wouldn't, shake.
Daisuke shrugged. "You got me." He didn't want to think that Miyako really did have some sort of feelings for Ken anymore, especially since he was starting to wonder if he felt something more than a proper friendship for the ex-Kaiser. He didn't want to have to fight one of his friends in something like that. It had been annoying enough when he'd had the whole mental triangle thing between himself, Hikari, and Takeru!
Maybe she's trying to set him up with Hikari? Daisuke tried not to choke on an icecube at the thought. As much as he liked them both, they both needed to learn to stand on their own two feet too much to be a couple, at least right now. Then again, maybe they could learn together...he felt a thick spike of jealousy slam into his head and heart and closed his eyes, shaking his head just a little. No. No way. I am not getting jealous. No way.
"Okay, so what do we do now?" Miyako bounced back to where she'd been sitting and pulled Pururumon back into her lap. All of the Chosen Children had a severe tendency to pet their partners whenever they were just sitting around. Something about having them so small and cuddly was just irresistible.
Daisuke leaned over to Ken and poked him gently on the arm. "So what was Miyako trying to get you to do, kiss her?" He teased gently. The other boy shook his head quickly, the blush still not having faded. "Come on, what was it?"
"Leave him alone, Daisuke," Miyako ordered imperiously. "You'll find out."
The redhead looked very annoyed. He hated secrets being kept like this. He liked secrets in general, but when they were being kept from him like this, it just got on his nerves. "Why can't I find out now?"
Surprisingly, the answer didn't come from Miyako. Ken's voice held a touch of firmness it hadn't since he had given up being the Kaiser. "Because I'm not going to tell you until I promised Miyako I would."
Daisuke blinked a little, looking at his friend. This was a side of Ken he'd never really expected to see again: pure will, not compromising for anything or anyone. He tended to think of that part of him as the 'Kaiser side', and he did find it a bit exciting. So what do I call it now? He mentally snickered. Kenser? KaiKen?
"Wow, that was pretty tough, Ken." Miyako grinned proudly, then reached across the tray of food to pat him on the head. "Good boy."
Ken blushed so hard Daisuke was willing to believe that all of his blood was concentrated in his face right now. "I'm not a dog, Miyako!"
"I know. They obey better than you do." She grinned at him, sticking her tongue out slightly, and he seemed to have something stuck his throat suddenly as he coughed.
Daisuke looked more than a little confused at that exchange, then shrugged. It was probably something to do with whatever he wasn't being told. Secrets being kept from me by my friends in my own room. What's the world coming to?
"Bye!" Daisuke and Ken both waved as the girls and their partners left. Miyako had given Ken a very firm look before they'd made their farewells, and Daisuke was itching to know what was going on with them. He could already figure he wasn't going to know until Ken was ready to let him know, whenever that was.
As they headed out of sight, the two guys both leaned back and looked at each other with near identical grins. "Looks like it's just us now." Daisuke grinned. He could hardly believe he was alone with just Ken in his room. Well, Ken, Leafmon, and Chikomon in the room, and his parents watching TV in the living room, and Jun in her room doing whatever it was she did there. Close enough.
"Yeah." Ken fidgeted a bit as he sat back down where he'd been all afternoon. "I've...never spent the night at someone's house before."
"I know, you said that already." Daisuke reminded him. "I like having you here, Ken. It's fun to have someone around. I've never had a best friend before, you know."
Amethyst eyes blinked in confusion. "But I thought you and Takeru...or..." He looked for a moment over at Chikomon, then back to Daisuke, confusion reigning in his eyes.
"Not quite the same thing. Takeru and I are friends, and Chikomon's really special to me, but there's never really been a human I could talk to, someone who understands." Daisuke felt a bit like blushing himself. He'd never put anything in words like that before. As much as he liked his Digimon partner, it was a little hard to talk about personal things such as crushes and homework when said partner had never heard of either of those things in all his life.
Ken nodded slowly, then glanced around the room, obviously looking for something else to talk about. "This room is really...you, Daisuke."
"It's my room. Who else should it be?"
The other shrugged a little. "Mine is more my brother than me. I haven't felt like changing it for a long time."
Daisuke was rapidly becoming used to the feelings of confusion that came with being around Ken. "You have a brother? You haven't ever said anything about him before." Well, he was fairly sure he remembered Ken yelling about someone named 'Osamu' back when he'd been spazzing out about being the Kaiser and losing people, but Ken had been a little unclear at the time so Daisuke hadn't gotten that much information. Then something occured to him. "Hey, wait a second...I'm an idiot! I should've figured it out before!"
Ken looked over at his friend, obviously just as confused as Daisuke himself was feeling. "What are you talking about?"
"I know who your brother was." Daisuke hurried over to one of his bookcases and started to look through a photo album, muttering things under his breath.
"You do?" Ken looked even more startled. It had almost felt at some points in time as if he were the only one who remembered Osamu. He'd liked that feeling once, of knowing that he had so fully taken on his brother's destiny that no one recalled Ichijouji Osamu had ever existed. That had changed by now, however. He wanted people to remember the real genius in the family.
Daisuke nodded, then brought the photo album over. Inserted carefully into it was one of Osamu's clippings. Ken touched it gently, seeing his brother there, just a few months before the car accident that had claimed his life. He had won another contest for something or other. Ken couldn't remember just right offhand, and he didn't care to read the text to see what it was. He just looked at the image of his brother, caught forever as he had been, young and proud and strong.
"Jun clipped this. He was her first big 'celebrity crush' I guess you could say." Daisuke told him. "She had a whole set of clippings and things about him. After the accident, she cried a lot, then put this in her closet. She cleaned it out a couple of weeks before I got my D-3, and this kind of caught my eye." He could almost feel Daisuke grinning at him. "Look here."
The redhead reached over to turn the page to a new clipping, and Ken stared in surprise. Osamu's face looked back at him, and his own was next to it, from two years earlier. "I remember this..." Ken murmured softly, touching it gently. "The article's about the whole family. They wanted to see the 'genes that produced genius' or something like that."
Daisuke could see tears sparkling in Ken's eyes and made a sudden decision. "You can keep this." He touched the whole scrapbook. "It's yours now."
Ken turned quickly to look at him, his eyes wide in surprise. "You mean it?" Daisuke nodded sharply, and Ken felt something warm and caring flare up inside of his heart at the unexpected gesture. He didn't have any of the clippings he'd once kept of his brother. Before he'd made his move to the Digital World after that soccer game against Odaiba, he'd specifically burned them all and cast the ashes out on the wind. He looked through the book carefully, and realized there were also a few things in here about him. His disappearance, and then later his reappearance. "Jun didn't put these in here, did she?" He asked quietly.
"Nope. I did." Daisuke turned to another article: the one featuring the soccer game. All of Ken's matches had been put in the paper, but he hadn't even bothered to look at this one. He'd been too humiliated at the time.
He almost smiled as he looked this time, though. The picture that went with it was the one of Daisuke sliding into him. He touched it gently. "You know, that's where it changed for me. When you tackled me like that. I'd finally run into someone who gave me a challenge."
"Funny, I thought I was the one who ran into you." Daisuke grinned a bit at him, and Ken smiled back.
"You did." Without knowing exactly why, he bent down and tugged the leg of his pants up. There was still a faint scar there, faded by the passage of time, but still visible if you knew what to look for.
Daisuke reached down to touch it gently. "I can't say I'm sorry I did this." He told Ken honestly. "But I am sorry that it had to be done."
"I know. So am I." Ken's hand dropped down and covered Daisuke's gently. "If there's one thing I am learning...mainly by patient application of a board to the back of my head by you and everyone else...it's that the past is the past."
Daisuke looked at their hands, then put his other hand on top of Ken's, and lifted the small pile up carefully. He opened his mouth to say something, but whatever it was he had in mind was never said, since something else came out altogether. "Ken, would you mind too terribly if I kissed you?"
Ken blinked, staring at him, and as Daisuke's ears heard what his mouth had said, he dropped the hands and buried his head under the nearest pillow, muttering horrible things about how his mouth and his brain really needed to get on better speaking terms so he didn't keep on doing this kind of thing.
He reached out to carefully touch Daisuke's shoulder. "Daisuke, did you ask what I think you asked?"
"Do you think I asked you if I could kiss you?" The voice was muffled, but he could tell that was what he'd said.
"Then I asked you what you think I did." Daisuke pulled himself from under the pillow and looked at Ken. He wasn't going to hide from what he'd asked, even if that wasn't what he'd thought he was going to ask. What was said was said, and they might as well get things out in the open. "What do you think?"
Ken looked at him quietly for a few moments. "Why do you want to do it?" He asked, after stretching Daisuke's nerves very nearly to the breaking point. Something in the way he said it made Daisuke very wary of just how he answered it. He wasn't going to lie, but he had to be honest.
"Because I think it would be a really good thing to kiss you. Because I like you."
The Child of Kindness looked at him, a slightly confused tinge to his violet eyes. "You like a lot of people. How come you haven't asked one of them to kiss you?"
"Because I don't like them like I like you. You make me feel...weird when I'm near you. Like I'm shivering inside, but I'm not cold. Kind of like I just took a really big bite of an ice cream cone, and it hasn't melted yet, only better."
Ken blinked; that was the first time he could ever remember his presence being referred to like that! The only thing that came to mind was, "What kind of ice cream?" As soon as he heard that, he knew exactly how Daisuke had felt when he'd asked that question: as if he wanted to hide under the nearest object for a while.
"Double chocolate chip!" Daisuke chirped, looking more at ease now that they were on the subject of junk food. That was something he knew quite well. You couldn't be Miyako's friend and not understand junk food, or Chibimon's partner.
"Double chocolate chip?" Ken shuddered violently at the mere thought, and was about to launch into why green tea ice cream was so much better when he recalled just how they'd gotten into this in the first place. "Daisuke?"
His Jogress partner looked at him curiously. "Yeah?"
Daisuke blinked a little, and Ken felt a little twist as he saw some of the light going out of those amazingly alive eyes before the redhead ducked his head and stared down at his fingertips. "Well...it's okay. I know you're not really ready for this kind of thing. I shouldn't have asked you, but my mouth just kind of runs off without me a lot of the time. I'm sorry." Daisuke wasn't used to apologizing, since he very seldom ever did anything he was sorry for, but he felt he had to this time.
Ken reached out to lift Daisuke's head up carefully and met his gaze. "That's not what I meant, Daisuke. What you asked was would you mind too terribly if I kissed you. So since I said no..."
He let the other work it out for himself, and a heartbeat later, Daisuke's eyes went wide. "You mean you wouldn't mind...you mean, you want to kiss me?"
"Yes." Ken smiled, then raised one finger. "This doesn't necessarily mean we're a couple or anything. This is something I want too, Daisuke, but we have a job to do. We have to protect the Digital World. There's BlackWarGremon, Mummymon, Archnemon...and who knows what else."
Daisuke nodded eagerly, the life having rushed back into his eyes. "But I'm not asking for forever. I just want right now. We can worry about forever when forever gets here." He grinned a little. "Besides, you can't get anywhere if you don't make a first step. How are we gonna know if we're good for forever if we don't try something?"
Ken chuckled a little. "I guess you're right." He inched a little closer to Daisuke, who leaned closer to him. Their arms went around each other a bit nervously, and it was obvious that neither of them had done anything like this before. Daisuke leaned in and brushed his lips across Ken's softly. Ken leaned into the kiss, then slowly started to return it, his lips pressed firmly against Daisuke's.
As they broke apart, Daisuke touched his lips with his fingers briefly. "That was...really...something."
"I know." Ken touched his own lips, then looked at Daisuke. "I wonder if this is what she meant."
The redhead blinked briefly. "Huh?" He asked with all his eloquence.
Ken showed he hadn't quite used up all of his blushing ability. "That's what Miyako was trying to get me to do."
"Kiss me?" Ken nodded, and Daisuke turned fairly red himself. He'd known Miyako was trying to get Ken set up with someone...he just hadn't guess it was him! "Oh, man..."
Ken ducked his head a bit. "She made me promise that I'd kiss you sometime tonight. I had to do it while you were awake, I couldn't just steal a kiss."
Daisuke blinked. "Oh." For a moment he wondered if that meant Ken hadn't really wanted to kiss him, then he shrugged it off. Ken had said he wanted to. He leaned a bit closer to Ken and grinned. "So, you think we can do this again sometime?"
"When did you have in mind?" Ken wondered, his arm sliding around Daisuke. He knew they weren't anything official yet, and he was kind of scared about doing this now, with everything that had changed in the last few months, but he knew they wouldn't take too many chances.
The redhead grinned. "Doing anything now?"
As it turned out, he wasn't.