I don't own Digimon

"So anyways, did you see the way Miyako and Ken weren't talking to each other tonight? I bet they had a fight about her studying in London next semester." Kari paused to fish another cigarette out of her purse and pop it in her mouth. TK and Davis watched silently, curious to see if she would realize she was lighting the wrong end. She didn't.

"God, dammit," she cursed at the singed filter. "Why didn't you tell me?" She tilted her head backwards and glared at TK sitting on the step above her.

"Because I didn't think you were really going to it. I mean do it, and it makes you taste like an ashtray." He reached down to brush the shiny brown hair out of her eyes. In his left hand was clutched an almost empty handle of Jack Daniels. It had been full earlier that night.

"Like you'll get a chance to taste me tonight," Kari grumbled. She leaned back against his chest and pulled his knees forward to use as armrests.

"I have noticed," Davis put in, waggling his index finger at her weakly. Then he paused as he forgot what he meant to say.

"I've noticed that you're drunk," Kari snapped as she dug around in her purse for another cigarette.

"You are pretty plastered, Davis," TK confirmed before taking a shot of whiskey.

"So are both of you! And that's besides. that's besides the point." He waggled his finger more vigorously. "What I've noticed is that whenever Kari gets drunk, that's the only time she ever smokes, or gossips, or acts really bitchy."

"True." TK nodded thoughtfully and took another long swig.

"You can both kiss my ass," Kari muttered. She finally found a lonely, crumpled cigarette at the very bottom of her purse. She wrinkled her nose in disdain before lighting it, checking twice to make sure the filtered end was in her mouth.

"You want the last shot?" TK held the bottle of Jack out to Davis, who gave a sickly grimace and shook his head. "Suit yourself." TK slugged back the last bit of whiskey. He studied the empty bottle for a long moment before clenching his teeth and hurling it towards the parking lot in front of them, where it shattered into a million tiny splinters that sparkled like diamonds in the moonlight.

"That's going to give somebody a flat tire," Davis intoned quietly.

The three of them were silent for a little while as they contemplated the crystalline pile of glass. It was bitterly cold, the forecast for that Sunday morning called for the possibility of snow flurries in the pre-dawn hours. But they were warm with copious amounts of alcohol, and despite their relatively light clothing, were not too uncomfortable sitting on the stone steps at the back of the East dorm of Odaiba University.

Earlier in the day they had gone to see the University photography exhibit, where Kari had the honor of being the only undergraduate to have her work shone. TK had been named to the all-conference 1st team in basketball. And the soccer team had started off the spring schedule with a convincing victory, Davis and Ken each supplying a pair of goals. But all that seemed years in the past, just as the coming morning seemed decades in the future. Saturday night was a separate little universe, with its special brand of wild, reckless magic, sorcery that flourished in the glow of cigarette embers and the glitter of broken whiskey bottles. The night had shown them through a jamboree of flowing lights and the thumping of synthetic bass, and now it had seen fit to deposit them back on the steps where they started.

"I hope Ken and Miyako aren't having real problems," Kari broke the silence. She took one last drag of her cigarette and then flicked it away. It scraped along the concrete in a trail of ash and sparks. "Do you think I should call her?"

TK shook his head. "She would have called you by now if anything was really wrong."

Davis suddenly groaned and held his head in his hands. "I'm going to have the worst hangover during practice tomorrow. unless."

"Unless what?" Kari and TK said together.

"Unless I go smoke out." He gleefully reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a plastic baggie full of weed. "Who wants to come?"

"Are you kidding?" Kari snorted in disgust. "You know I hate that shit."

Davis arched his eyebrows pleadingly at TK, who pointed at Kari and then made a slashing gesture across his throat. "Tomorrow," he mouthed.

Davis frowned. "Come on, you guys, it's Purple Haze. Jun's boyfriend got it for me."

"Cry me a river," Kari spat. She began to dig around in her purse again, hoping to find just one more cigarette.

"Sorry, buddy." TK shrugged his shoulders.

"Fine," Davis sighed dejectedly. "I'll go over to Tai and Matt's and see if they're still up for some wholesome fun." He slowly climbed to his feet and took a few uncertain steps before gaining his balance. "Lata, playas." he waved to them.

"Don't come bugging us for food later, you lousy burnout!" Kari called after him, then as an afterthought added, "Be careful!"

They watched him stagger down the road, wincing as he banged his shoulder against a light pole.

Kari sighed and knit her brow. "Am I really a bitch when I'm drunk?" She asked wearily.

"Yep," TK responded without hesitation. He reached down and gently massaged her neck and shoulders. "But you're usually so sweet, and kind, and darling that no one's going to hate you for a little bit of drunken bitchiness." He grinned and kissed the top of her head.

She took hold of one of his arms and wrapped it across her shoulders like a shawl. "Well as long as we're adding up our faults, I really wish you guys would stop smoking weed. I don't see what so goddamn great about it anyway."

"No hangovers and a great sleep, perfect the night before a game or an early practice. You know Matt doesn't like to drink anymore, and sometimes you just need to get stupid."

"Well, your season's over, buster, no more ganja for you," Kari reprimanded.

"Whatever you say, oh precious light of my life," TK smirked.

"I'm serious." She elbowed him in the ribs. "If Sora ever found out Tai smoked, he'd be dog meat."

"Well, let's let Tai worry about that himself." He let his eyes fall closed for a moment. "You about ready for bed?"

"Nuh uh, one more cigarette." She peered deep into her purse.

"There are no more cigarettes! You have smoked every last damned one of them!"

"Okay, okay," She sighed and reluctantly zipped up her purse.

TK got to his feet quickly, and then immediately staggered backwards against the wall. Kari couldn't keep herself from laughing, which led to a bout of uncontrollable hiccups that made her slip down to her knees. TK regained mastery of his feet and helped her up. They leaned against one another as they stumbled up the stairs to what was technically his room, though everyone referred to it as theirs.

All at once TK felt the heaviness of sleep fall on his shoulders. He kicked off his shoes, clumsily stripped out of his jeans and polo shirt and tossed them on the chair next to his desk before slinking into bed and wrapping himself in the covers. Kari took her time as she waited for a sudden feeling of nausea to pass. She checked her cell phone for any messages from Miyako, and debated calling the other girl. Then she changed into one of his T-shirts and folded her clothes neatly in the laundry basket. She pulled the covers away from TK and curled up like a cat in his arms. Their shared heat spread delightfully through their muscles.

"You really think Ken and Miyako are okay?" she whispered in his ear.

"Positive." He pulled her close and kissed her lips. And for a little while they conversed in their own sweet, subtle dialect, where touches and scents and tiny sounds became words. Slowly they sunk towards blissful sleep.

"TK," she said, her eyes half-closed. "Tell me a story."

"Wha."

"Please."

He sighed, but was unable to refuse her anything. "Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess, with golden-brown hair, and enchanting brown eyes that glowed with hidden light. The princess was sad, because her cruel uncle kept her locked up in a tower with no one to care for her. Until one day, when the she heard a knock at her door-"

"TK?"

"Sweetheart, you're interrupting your own story."

"I'm sorry, I think I'm about to be sick."

There was a mad scramble to disentangle themselves from the sheets and get out of bed. Kari put a hand over her mouth as she half-stumbled half- crawled to the tiny bathroom. TK right on her heels, trying to hold her hair out of her face. She just barely made it to the toilet before her shoulders heaved and she threw up.

"It's okay, it's okay," He whispered and gently stroked her back.

For almost a minute she held onto the toilet bowl for dear life, then her stomach calmed and she leaned back against the wall. TK wet a hand towel at the sink and used it to wipe her flushed face and neck.

"How come I'm always the one to get sick and never you?" she groaned.

He gave a thin smile. "Its part of coming from a long line of alcoholics, along with liver failure and an early dea-"

"Don't say that!" she shouted suddenly. Her eyes shimmered with fright, and she shivered on the cold tile. "It scares me when you say that, please."

"Kari."

"What happened to your father last year. I won't let it happen to you, TK. I won't."

For a moment the dark look of the past months came to his face, and the blue of his eyes seemed frozen. But almost immediately it passed, replaced with sadness and caring. "I know, sweetheart."

He helped her to her feet and gave her a glass of water. Then he picked her up in his arms and kissed her nose before carrying her back to bed. They held each other tight. She ran her fingers through his golden hair while he traced little circles on her shoulder.

"TK," she whispered, as they were once again on the verge of sleep.

"Yeah?"

"When our kids ask, let's just tell them we spent all out time in college studying."

He smiled and kissed her forehead. "Fine by me."