Notes: Eh…been a while, hasn't it? No inspiration lately, sorry to say. Well, no inspiration until a few days ago…let's just hope it stays in the right lines of the fic, ne? Please note: some of you will have seen the first part of this chapter. It's chapter 10. The epilogue was too short to be left on its own, so I doubled chapter 10 with it. Some of you however, will be seeing chapter 10 for the first time.

Warnings: Contains shounen ai/two guys making out. If I have to tell you that at this point in the story…

Disclaimer: Don't own it.

School Daze
By Rosethorn

Chapter 10: The Object of My Affection

I silently curse as I catch myself watching Daisuke again. I find myself doing that a lot lately. Even more than before that fight a few months ago…and although I still wonder what it is that has Daisuke so nervous about showing that he's intelligent, I know that he'll tell me whenever he sees fit. Besides, if he doesn't, then I'll go grill him about it again…maybe at his place this time…

'Methinks you have a crush,' I hear a voice say dryly in my head.

'I need to stop cramming for test; the sleep-deprivation has got me hearing things.' But I can't help but wonder if that voice, whatever it is, is correct. In fact, it would explain the staring, and the blushing any and every time he comes within a foot of me…

'Then there's the insane jealousy whenever he's palling around with Miyako, 'Kari, or Tai…Or whenever he mentions Ken?' Definitely need to stop those cramming sessions.

"—ekend?" I hear Dai ask, bringing my train of thought to an abrupt halt.

"Pardon?" I ask, blushing slightly.

'Brilliant, Koushirou! Bloody brilliant! That makes you sound like the genius you are! Uh huh!' That line of derision continues as Dai shoots me an exasperated look.

"I asked if you were interested in coming over this weekend," he repeats very slowly. I give him a dirty look, and he pulls an innocent one, to which I snort at. He fakes a hurt expression before shooting me a mock-glare, to which I roll my eyes and mutter something about "dramatic, cute, soccer players" (which he fortunately does not hear). He stands and motions to the door of the classroom, as the last bell rings. I get up and follow him out, thankful that school is finally over for the week. Normally Daisuke and I would linger, waiting for the rest of our friends, but today he surprises me by linking his arm with mine and drags me out the entrance of the school quickly.

"Dai? What's the hurry?" To my further surprise, he turns a faint shade of red.

"A-ano…I-I need to talk to you without everyone else breathing down my neck." He finally decides that we are far enough ahead of everyone that he slows down, and releases my arm, which I rub, trying to regain the warmth of his arm again. We walk in silence for a few minutes longer, before I decide to try to find out what is troubling him.

"Ano, Dai? Would you like to come over to my place? Both of my parents should still be working, if you're worried about being overheard." He turns redder.

"S-sure, Koushirou…" "Koushirou"? It must be serious. He hasn't called me by my full name for a while now. It's always "Kou", although I'm tempted to tell him to call me "Izzy", so he'll have a special name…almost everyone else in our circle of friends has started calling me "Kou" thanks to Dai, but they'll know better than to call me "Izzy".

We soon reach where my apartment is, and I unlock the door and enter, motioning for Dai to follow. Taking off our shoes, we wander to my bedroom, where we both unload our bags…well, I do anyways.

"Dai?" He looks even more nervous now, shifting from foot to foot, and eyeing the door, as if he's planning on turning tail and running away right there. "What is it, Dai?" I approach him slowly. He backs away, as though I mean to harm him. Suddenly, he stops backing away and squares his shoulders, a determined look on his face. I hear him mutter "I'm not a coward!", and I soon find a hand on my arm pulling me closer. Shortly after that, two lips meet my own. I stiffen in shock and he pulls away, looking at me with sadness and fear. I feel the effects of the withdrawal of his touch immediately, and I reach out my without thinking to recapture it. He shrinks away, as though afraid that I shall strike him, but I just rest my hand on his cheek, my fingertips lightly brushing his bangs. He leans into the touch.

"How long?" I ask softly, my eyes willing his to meet them.

"Almost right after I met you," he replies, still avoiding my gaze. I move my hand to the back of his neck, and propel his head towards mine. Just before our lips touch again, I whisper:

"Me too." Our lips meet, except with less hesitation. We draw nearer until my arms are around his neck, his around my waist. I allow him to deepen the kiss, but soon trivial matters (such as breathing), cause us to part.

"Aishiteru," we both state at the same time, then laugh at the slip. I thin let my eyes drown in his warm, brown ones as I state:

"I do, you know; love you." He smiles shyly and nods.

"And I you." I feel my face break into a wide grin as our lips meet again.

'With all my heart, I love you.'

oOOo()oOOo

Epilogue: A Reflection

I wince as 'Kari squeals for what must have been the 50th time today. Glancing over to Kou, I can see that he's doing the same. Honestly! What is it with girls and finding out that two of their male friends are going out? It's creepy! I mean, it's like they all get highs off it or something! I shudder at the thought. My boyfriend—I can call him that now, my boyfriend—glances over, coal eyes showing a bit of concern. He drapes his arm over one of my shoulders, pulling me close.

"Are you okay?" he whispers, causing not only 'Kari, but the rest of the girls at our table to squeal. Ugh. Gag me with a spoon, man! Girls. I'm glad I have Kou. At least I have a chance of understanding him! I turn my head slightly to face him.

"Nothing I can't handle, love," I find myself whispering back. He gives me that lop-sided grin that I absolutely love and lets his arm drop, only to have both arms wrap around my waist, pulling me closer. If anyone had told me that Kou was a cuddling type, I would have asked them to seek counseling—immediately. I mean, he normally exudes this aura of "Personal Space. Do Not Cross." around him, and yes, it definitely uses those capital letters to describe it. But here he is, Mr. Snuggles himself. Not that I mind! It's nice to feel that kind of love and warmth. One downside is that he always manages to make me sleepy when he does this. I realize that it sounds like a strange downside, but it makes me uncomfortable if I'm in a public setting. I mean, what if something happens and I'm too groggy to do something about—excuse me, yawn moment—about it.

Take the last time we were at the park for example! We were beneath one of those cherry trees (working on a chemistry paper no less), Kou working on his laptop while I dictated from the textbook. Doesn't sound cozy? Well, the laptop was resting on my knees, and let me tell you that he makes a really good pillow. In any rate, I had somehow dropped off in the middle of dictating. The next thing I knew was when I was soaking wet, and being roughly pushed away. I looked up, blinking sleepily in time to see two kids running down the street, yelling rather derogatory words at the two of us. I turned to see Kou kneeling over a black something that was making weird sounds. Turns out that the thing making weird sounds was his laptop—not his "baby", but still, a really nice laptop. He had pushed me off him when he saw the thing sparking, so as to make sure I didn't get hurt by it. So yeah, I'm a bit edgy about all this still. I mean, I'm used to negative attention, but Kou? He's so shy…He's never dated a girl, much less done the strange thing and dated a guy!

Uh oh. I hear more squealing. I glance up in time to see Taichi and Yamato heading towards us. Ah. That would explain it. Two more guys dating each other. I give them both a sympathetic look, though most of the sympathy is directed at Tai. Yamato is used to all the squealing and screaming and all that fun stuff from being a big rock star. Tai is used to some followers, true (being the soccer captain and all), but he's not exactly used to the squealing. Particularly from his sister.

"So how was Ido-sensei?" I ask them, getting a grin on my face from the loud groan Tai makes, and the exasperated expression that finds its way onto Yamato's face. "That good, eh?" I feel a vibration through my body as Kou begins laughing softly. Though I join in as—in almost unison—everyone drops their plates, forks, chopsticks, etc. to stare at the two of us. Honestly! You'd think Kou'd never laughed before—wait. He never has laughed in front of them. I lean back slightly.

"I think you're scaring them now, Kou…" I whisper, grinning. He winks at me and nods.

"I do believe I am," he agrees, before looking up at the rest of the table. I follow his gaze. 'Kari and T.G. both start eating again, the shock factor maxed after I announced our "couple status". Tai and Yamato both look at each other and shrug before Tai fishes out his lunch and insists that Yamato share it. Miyako is just staring at us, mouth open. I think she shorted something in there.

"You're catching flies," 'Kari says, closing Miyako's mouth with a finger, giggling. Miyako shakes her for a few more seconds before sighing and removing her glasses to clean them. She only does that when she's agitated about something.

"Problem, Miya?" I ask with, I will admit, a bit of testiness. When agitated, she tends to search out a target—me. She pauses, focusing on the general direction of my voice—the girl's legally blind without those glasses.

"Just trying to understand, Dai," she replies, a frown appearing on her forehead. "Tai and Yamato I understand. One, they've known each other forever, and two, they're similar enough to be able to carry on long conversations, but different enough to not bore each other." She puts on her glasses again, resuming her penetrating stare. "But you and Kou?" I feel my boyfriend stiffen slightly behind me, so I put one hand on top of his joined two and squeeze gently, letting him know everything is fine.

"I realize that we may seem different, Miya, but we're happy together. Do you have a problem with that?" I ask calmly. She gives me a bright smile, and it is then that I know she'll be behind us 130, and I let out a quiet sigh of relief.

"Not at all, Dai!" she says brightly. "Just trying to figure out what Kou sees in you is all!" she adds, winking and sticking her tongue out at me. I grin back before protesting with mock-indignation. Yes, everything is going to be fine. Leaning back against Kou once again, I tilt my head up to look at him.

"I love you," I whisper. He gives me a soft smile in response.

"I love you too."

oOOo()oOOo

Owari. That's it, folks!! I am trying to get out a sequel. I hope to have the first chapter out sometime in November, but with a lot of personal shit going on…it may be a bit. Thank you, each and every reviewer/emailer/reader for taking the time to read this fanfic. You guys/girls/digimon/whatever are my world! I hope y'all keep reading and writing. Remember! This is the first story I've ever finished. It will not be, by far, the last. ::wink::

Love always

Rosethorn

Thank you's:

Vialana: Thanks! I'm sorry about not putting in Koushirou finding out…It should happen in the sequel, which is in the works! I'm glad you liked all of the fic!! This thing's kinda been my baby, 'cause it's the first one that I've ever been close to finishing…

Sillie: Thanks!! Sorry with not following the "soon" part, but I did continue and finish!!

Nine1: Thanks! They're good friends…and more ::wink:: Cookie? COOOKIIIEEEE!!!!!!!!!! ::bounces::
(Dai: Now you've done it. You've gotten her on a sugar high…::sighs and runs after Rosethorn::)

nEo-cHaN: Thanks!! I love his laptop…or rather, I love his obsessive-compulsive behaviour regarding said laptop. ::laughs:: Speaking of more soon ::pokes back:: I haven't seen new stuff sent to me.

Babyshiro: Thanks! Well…eh heh…They all find out in the sequel. Needed something to continue with ::laughs nervously::

SelenaWheeler: Thanks!! Oh damn…fire engine time. Thanks for the compliment, really. Now I'm gonna go find some ice cubes to cool down my face.

VtE: Thanks! Hope this satisfies the eager await of what happens next…

Blank: Thanks!! I'm glad you like it! Um…I think there was Taito in chapter 10…::glances up:: Hm…guess not. I'll try to focus more on Taito in the sequel as well.

Midnight Fairy: Thanks! YIPES!!! It's updated and finished! It's updated and finished!!

Samanda Hime-sama: Thanks!! Yay!! Daishiro!!! They don't write enough Daishiro ::sniffle::

Catgirl Rahen: Thanks! Um…I can see I was a bit behind on the "soon" part…::laughs nervously:: But I came back with a finish!!

Fae Quill: Thanks!! I did the fluffy thang, ne? I like fluff. I don't like mega-angst.