A/N: Next installment! Whoot! You know, lately I've been writing out at least the first three chapters before I start posting multi-part fics, but this idea I pretty much just went with, so updates depend mostly on blind inspiration, dumb luck, and my rather sketchy outline. ^_^;; Yes, I'm a baka. I don't care! *dances down the aisle*

Daisuke's POV.


"Pocket Comfort"

"Unrequited love. It's fantastic! It never has to change, it never has to grow up; it never has to die." ~ Vince Tyler; "Queer as Folk" (UK)


I'm a really selfish person.

But that's human nature. People want to be happy, to feel important and appreciated- or at least that's what Ken tells me. And I think he's right.

I don't know what to do, though. Hikari's crying in my arms, which used to be something I fantasized about, but in reality is scary and not romantic at all. She's not crying prettily either, like people do in movies with a couple of tragic tears falling down an impassively despairing face, but in huge, heaving sobs that make her eyes and nose run. A quick inspection of my pockets unearths the handkerchief my sister has made me carry around in my back pocket since I was ten just in case I ran into . . . well, a situation like this.

Jun's always been weird, but she has some pretty good ideas sometimes.

Finally, Hikari pulls back, and I give her the hankie. A moment's work, and her face is dry again, even if her eyes are still watery and her cheeks are red.

"You okay?" I ask softly.

"What do you think?!" she snaps. She hits me, and then blows her nose loudly. "I'm fucking pregnant, Daisuke! I'm having a BABY! A baby!"

"And mood swings too, I see," I mutter, rubbing at my throbbing arm.

"My period is two weeks late," Hikari sniffles, hiding her face in my chest again. "And my breasts hurt, and I feel like puking, and I'm really, really tired but I can't sleep 'cause I get these awful nightmares about what's gonna happen when my parents find out."

"What's Takeru think?" I ask, resting my chin on top of her head.

She shudders. "Don't know. Didn't tell him."

". . . you know, he MAY notice eventually," I say carefully. "Funny thing about Takeru- he's really kinda observant that way. You know, can't gain thirty pounds or forty in nine months without him raising an eyebrow."

Hikari laughs weakly, but I can tell that she's started to cry again (mostly because my shirt's kinda thin and starting to stick to my chest where her face is).

"Why'd you tell me?" I ask, keeping my voice as calm and quiet as I can. I'll register all this later and freak out then.

"I- I don't know," she stammers. "I- I just needed to talk, and I was afraid Miyako would tell somebody and you've always been around and I'm still too afraid to tell Takeru any of this. His mom is gonna kill him! She talks to him all the time about this stuff, and she's always saying if he ever has sex, he HAS to use condoms and spermicides and the girl should be on the Pill and-"

"Calm down!" I say in exasperation, grabbing her shoulders. "Come on, let's cut the rest of the morning. I'll buy you a biscotti or something and we can come back after lunch."

"Sounds like a plan," Hikari replies with a slightly shaky smile. "But I hate biscotti."

"Really? Me neither," I confess with a grin. "I thought girls like stuff like that."

"Not me." Hikari shakes her head stubbornly. "You're getting me okonomiyaki, and ramen, and like, eight different kinds of candy- and I want Pocky! I have the absolute WORST craving for Pocky!"

I give her a sheepish grin. "I've only got one wallet, Hikari- chan."

"Between the two of us, we'll afford it," she says with a wink. "Come on, let's go!"

I can't say no to her when she's looking at me like this. So I follow her as she heads towards the doors at the other end of the hallway and listen to her gentle laughter when I crack a stupid joke.

I know she's scared, and I know she just needs someone to be with her for a little bit while she sorts herself out. So I banish my usual knight-in-dingy-armor fantasy and follow her as the jester instead.

Sometimes you have to give up your pride for other people's sake.


* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *


Hikari smiles at me over our table and sips her soda daintily.

Okay, so she chugs it, but I'm the narrator here, so give me my pathetic adolescent fantasies, dammit.

Besides, she looks cute binging. Kinda like Miyako, only less likely to bite my hand off.

"That's mine!" Hikari protests, snatching the dumplings out from under my nose.

Scratch that, MORE likely.

She's really pretty crazy, now that I see her one-on-one. Usually we're in a big group situation, so lately I've been forgetting how much fun she can be in her own way, when we're not dragging her around after us on our usual psycho schemes. I'd forgotten that about her, when it was one of the first things that made me fall for her.

It used to make me uneasy, to think that I could forget important things like that. But Ken says that no one ever really "forgets" anything- everything a person has ever seen and felt and done is burnt into their brains for the rest of their lives, even if they can't actually get at it.

Somehow, he always manages to make me feel better.

I just hope that I can do the same thing for Hikari.

"Waiter!" she shouts. "More ramen!"

Without emptying my wallet, preferably.

I give her a slightly dubious look and polish off the rest of my own ramen before Hikari can get a hold of it and leave poor little me with an empty wallet AND an empty bowl, which would suck muchly.

But when the ramen comes, she smiles at me again and clicks our glasses together.

"To getting out of this without my parents killing me," she declares.

"To getting out of this without Takeru kicking my ass when he finds out you told me first," I counter with a grin. She laughs. It feels nice.

I really wish I had some fucking clue as to what to do next.



* tbc . . . *



. : sing for your supper : .