Trouble With Sleep

Disclaimer: I don't own anything from the series Digimon and I'm not making any money from this fic

Summary: Ken keeps having nightmares. One of his friends has an idea of how to help. Written for the remorse square in the Advent Bingo challenge

Warning(s): Spanking; spoilers for the first two series of Digimon; references to psychotic behaviour; elements of depression; memories of abusive behaviour

Author's Note: I used to love Digimon when I was younger. I figured I'd return to the world for one of these advent challenge fics

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It was far too early for anyone to be awake, but for the boy sitting on the bench, looking out over the water, it was a peaceful time. Before any human could disturb the peace and quiet. He sat, his digimon on his lap, hand resting gently on Wormmon's back. His tiny partner was sleeping peacefully; an action he'd never been able to take Before.

Ken sighed, closing his eyes for a brief second. His entire life could be divided into Before and After. Before becoming the Digimon Emperor, back when he'd still been a good person. Innocent. When he hadn't wanted anything other than to explore the whole of the Digital World with his best friend.

And After...After his reign of terror had come to a sudden and abrupt end. After Wormmon had sacrificed himself to make Ken see...and now that he had, he could never go back. He'd never regain that innocence again.

His eyes welled with tears.

"Hey, Ken."

Startled at the sudden voice, Ken swiped at the dampness on his cheeks and glanced up as Davis planted himself on the bench next to him. "What are you doing here?"

"Veemon saw you here yesterday morning." Davis shrugged unapologetically. "Figured you'd be here today too." He bumped shoulders with Ken. "You know you don't have to stay out here, right? Come back to my place." He grinned and then said in a softer, more serious voice, "You know, stop being alone. We'll be your friends if you let us."

"I'm not alone," Ken answered reflexively, looking down at his curled digimon.

"Still, you should come to mine."

"No. I'm good here," Ken answered.

Davis smiled, but he spoke in a serious tone. "I'm not asking."

Taken aback, Ken looked uncertainly at Davis. He was used to the other boy joking around, but Davis looked far more serious than Ken was used to. It pushed him into a more serious mindset, rather than the tolerant amusement he normally addressed the other boy with, and he agreed quietly. "Okay." He touched Wormmon under his chin, calling softly to his digimon. "Hey, Wormmon, we're going to Davis' house."

The small digimon stirred, nuzzling into Ken's hand with a sleepy mumble. "Okay, Ken."

Ken smiled, feeling a rush of love and affection for his best friend...his partner. "I'll carry you," he said softly. The sense of painful guilt followed hard on the heels of the positive and he couldn't stop his arms from convulsively tightening around Wormmon. The small digimon didn't protest, though, nuzzling into Ken's chest as he stood up.

When Ken glanced at Davis, the other boy was watching him with a serious, thoughtful look on his face. Then he stood up and grinned, looking more like the Davis Ken was used to seeing. "We'd better pick up some food on the way. I promised Veemon I'd get him some breakfast. He wanted to sleep in..." Davis turned to leave, still talking.

Ken shook his head, amused in spite of himself, and followed Davis, his digimon cradled in his arms.

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"I never thought digimon would eat so much." Ken looked on as Veemon and Wormmon devoured the food that had been placed in front of them. It would worry him...if he hadn't grown so used to seeing his partner's appetite. He glanced at Davis, wondering if the other boy agreed...and then his eyes widened and he was startled into a laugh.

"What?" Actually, because Davis' mouth was filled with food, it was more of a grunt with vague Japanese sounds mixed in.

"I thought eating so much food was just a digimon thing," Ken replied, a tiny smile teasing the corners of his mouth.

Davis swallowed and waved a hand towards Ken's own pile of food. "Not eating?"

"I'm not hungry."

"What's wrong, Ken?" Wormmon turned from his food to look anxiously up at Ken.

"Nothing's wrong. I'm fine." Ken stroked over Wormmon's back, marvelling again at the loyalty and love his friend and partner still demonstrated towards him, even though Ken had treated him horribly. His smile was sad as his digimon nuzzled into his hand, shifting so that he could receive more attention.

"Okay." Davis put his food to one side and straightened, that serious note creeping back into his voice. "Guess we need to move to the real reason why we're here, huh?"

"I didn't think you were capable of duplicity, Davis," Ken commented, trying for a flippant tone to hide the concern that sparked at the other boy's words.

Davis cocked his head to one side. "I'm not." He sounded injured as he said, "I wanted you to come here because we're friends. But also, I wanted to help you. Cause you feel guilty and I don't think you should...but if you won't believe what I'm telling you, maybe you'll believe it if I spank you."

The words were spoken so naturally...without hesitation...that it took Ken a moment to realise exactly what Davis had said. "A spanking?" he repeated, still not sure he'd heard right. "You're joking, right?"

"Nope." Davis shrugged. "Look, you don't want to join our team because you can't get past everything you did as the Digimon Emperor. I want you on our team. I want you as my friend. So if I spank you, then you know I don't hold a grudge against you and we can move past it. Right?" He looked at Ken, giving a hopeful smile.

"What's a spanking?" Wormmon asked into the silence.

"It's like fighting with humans," Veemon responded, before either Ken or Davis could respond. "But only one is doing the hitting. And it's on their butts. And they bend over for it."

Davis blinked and focused on his digimon. "That's what you got from the research I was doing last night?"

"You researched spanking?" Ken wasn't sure how he was supposed to feel about that. Oddly, he didn't find the idea of being spanked abhorrent. He didn't even have a problem with Davis spanking him, as the other boy was one of those he'd been responsible for hurting.

"Doesn't it hurt?" Wormmon asked worriedly, nuzzling Ken's hand. "I don't want you to hurt..."

Ken crouched down and wrapped his arms around Wormmon's small body. "I hurt a lot of living beings," he whispered to his friend. "I can't say Davis' idea is one I would have come up with myself, but he's right. I'm hurting inside." He didn't have to explain how much the guilt affected him to his best friend and partner. Wormmon had been there every time he'd woken from a nightmare. He'd cried more times than he could count cuddling his digimon.

"Does that mean you're agreeing to this?" Davis asked.

Ken glanced at the other boy and nodded. "Yeah." He took a deep breath and then pressed a kiss to his digimon's head, whispering, "Don't worry about me. I trust Davis." He then stood up and turned to face the other boy, feeling more at peace than he had in a long time. "How do you want to do this?"

If Davis was surprised by Ken's response, he gave no sign of it. Instead, he nodded and then glanced around the room. "Okay. I think the easiest way to do this is if you lay across my knee." He sat down on the chair and frowned. "But it's not exactly comfortable for you. I mean, your body isn't going to be supported. But we can't do this in the living room. What if my parents or Jun come back?"

"It's fine, Davis." Ken walked over to the other boy.

"Veemon, why don't you stand guard outside?" Davis suggested.

The digimon nodded and walked to the door, then paused and looked back at the two of them. "If you're going to be making a lot of noise, how will I know you need me?"

"I'll yell your name." Davis grinned.

"Wormmon, you go with Veemon." Ken didn't want his best friend worried by what was about to happen.

"Okay, Ken," the little digimon replied trustingly.

Ken watched as the two left the room and then he turned back to Davis. Taking a deep breath, he walked over to the other boy and moved to bend over Davis' lap.

Davis quickly shook his head. "Uh, no." A red tinge crept into his cheeks as he said, "Pretty sure it's more effective if you have your pants down. Underwear too."

Ken thought about asking Davis if he'd ever been spanked, but quickly decided he didn't want to embarrass either of them more than they already were. His hands went to his pants and he shoved them down along with his underwear, then quickly bent forward over the other boy's lap, adjusting his position enough to be as comfortable as it was possible to be.

The first smack was really more of a pat than anything else and Ken shifted slightly, wondering if Davis needed to be coached. The second and third smacks were harder, though, enough to sting; but that sting faded, only to blossom again as Davis delivered another swat.

This pattern continued, with the sting blooming and then fading as the next swat landed. Davis continued in that pattern down to Ken's thighs and by the time that circuit was finished, his backside was warm and beginning to feel sensitive, even if it didn't really hurt.

When Davis began to smack Ken's bottom again from the top, it wasn't really any harder, but the sting began to last past his hand landing. By the time a second circuit had been completed, Ken was starting to squirm. Tears filled his eyes and when Davis smacked again from the crest of his backside, Ken couldn't help beginning to whimper.

As his bottom and thighs began to warm and tingle under the stinging smacks, Ken felt more tears filling his eyes. Some harder smacks to the creases between his sit spots and thighs had him squirming and then throwing his hand back, wanting at least a break from the incessant swats.

Davis didn't miss a beat as he moved Ken's hand out of the way, holding it against his back, and began a third circuit. He might have been going harder; or maybe Ken's bottom was simply becoming more sensitive to the smacks. Either way, his bottom was beginning to sting more. He couldn't stop his legs from jerking, holding them still enough that the motion didn't turn into kicking.

"I know you think you're a bad person. That you don't deserve to have any friends. But I always wanted to be your friend. Before we found out you were the Digimon Emperor...but now, I want it even more. You're not evil."

The words hit Ken, piercing through his heart. He sniffled and swallowed, closing his eyes as tears seeped out of them. "How can you be so sure?" he whispered.

"All I have to do is look at you with Wormmon now. You never touched him before. You never treated him as your partner before," Davis said. "But he's sleeping on your lap. You're hugging him. Reassuring him. Treating him as your friend..."

"I don't deserve him." The tears ran down Ken's cheeks as he began to sob, his breath hitching. "I treated him in the worst way possible and all he did was stay by my side and... I was a monster. I don't understand how he can forgive me." But he was selfish. Selfish enough to be grateful for his digimon's forgiveness. "I'm going to spend the rest of my life making up for my monstrous acts," he whispered.

"I want to help you," Davis said quickly. "I want you to join us."

The words of acceptance were so simple and yet so powerful. Ken slumped bonelessly over Davis' lap. "They're never going to accept me," he whispered.

"I accept you." Davis stopped the spanking, his hand resting gently on Ken's back. "And they will too. With time. You're one of us."

"I...I want that." Ken finally put voice to that desire; the desire he'd been too afraid to speak out until now. "I want...friends. I want...to be accepted..."

"I accept you. You've got a friend now. You have me."

Ken breathed out deeply and slowly pushed himself up, pulling his clothing back into place. He wiped at his eyes and then looked at Davis. "Thank you."

Davis grinned and threw his arms around Ken without hesitation. "So you're gonna join us?!"

"Yeah." Ken let his breath out slowly and wrapped his arms around the other boy. "You've already spanked me," he tried to joke. "I'm half-afraid to find out what else you'll do to persuade me." His bottom was stinging, but the pain in his soul was finally starting to fade. The terrible weight that had been on his shoulders was beginning to lighten.

Grinning, Davis clapped Ken gently on the shoulder. "Okay, so you gonna eat something now?"

"Yeah." Ken looked at the food, feeling hungry...almost as hungry as Wormmon. He smiled to himself as Davis extricated himself from the embrace and then walked over to the door to let the two digimon back inside.

Ken grinned as his digimon quickly moved to his side and knelt down to pick up Wormmon, kissing the top of his little digimon's head. "I'm sure you're still hungry, so why don't we finish off the food that's left?" he suggested.

"Okay, Ken!" his partner replied agreeably.

Catching Davis' eye, Ken mouthed another word of thanks and then carefully sat down with Wormmon nestled in his lap, beginning to feed both himself and his digimon. His appetite had come back full strength and he was only just realising how hungry he was.

The End