Onjin 1.0
A Digimon Fanfiction
Jin (aiko@cephiro.com)

Don't own Digimon. Would like to own Daisuke. XD

Quick notes: Daisuke on top~! *fangirlish cackle* Erm, right. I've decided to release Onjin in its entirety--I figured that it would make a smoother read. This fiction has spoilers for the second season of Digimon. Nothing in detail, just big general spoilers. You know, the "Ken thing." ^_^;

Warning: This fanfiction has shounen-ai (male x male cuteness) themes and hints at yaoi (male x male funness ^_~). If you don't like this kind of stuff, DON'T read it. Simple, non? ^_^

Onjin = savior
-chan = a term of endearment (usually used amongst girls or in pet names ^^;)

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"Get in the cab."

"Don't wanna." Daisuke whined.

Ken ground his teeth as pleasantly as possible. "Get in the cab."

"I. Do. Not. Wanna."

"...Hikari and Miyako will kill you."

"I'll kill myself if I have to go."

Ken sighed and raked a hand through his fine jet-black hair. Two hours, Ken thought morosely after he had checked his watch. They were two hours late. It had taken ten minutes to get Daisuke to answer the door at noon in his pajamas, twenty-five minutes to get dressed (Daisuke continually fell asleep with an article of clothing half-on and a very embarrassed Ken had to kick him awake each time), and ten minutes to eat something (Ken had never seen a pop-tart eaten so slowly in his life). The rest of the time had been spent dragging the stubborn boy out of his house, pushing him to the sidewalk, and dealing with the ensuing scuffle that had awarded both with a number of scrapes and bruises.

They had probably given up on the two of them and had gone shopping by themselves. Ken wouldn't necessarily admit that he felt at least a little bit relieved. Yamato and Taichi were probably terrorizing the women's clothing shops at that moment...

So they remained on the sidewalk, Daisuke absolutely refusing to move from his position crouched on the sidewalk.

The tackle hold had almost worked... Ken eyed the boy critically.

"If you try it I'll bite you."

"Again?"

"Again." Daisuke's chocolate eyes glared up at him from under his spiky mass of hair.

If Ken didn't have the sense the squelch the thought, he would have been under the influence that Daisuke looked adorable at that moment. His knees were brought up to his chin and he crouched close to the ground like a wary cat ready to pounce. That might have seemed at least a little intimidating (especially considering the bite-mark on Ken's shoulder that was starting to sting a little), if it weren't for the fact that the boy was pouting like a kid whose candy had just been stolen.

He smirked instead.

"What?"

"You look like a five-year-old."

"You look like a girl," Daisuke retorted.

"Brat."

"Pansy."

"Don't push your luck. I could beat you any time," Ken mock-sneered, no real threat coloring his words.

Daisuke didn't relax. "You want to try me again?"

"Not really," Ken sighed, "I want to go home..."

"Well?" Daisuke asked hopefully.

"...but Hikari and Miyako really would try to kill us. Well, Miyako would, at least." He finished.

The boy deflated and rocked back on his heels. "Probably just me."

"Probably," Ken's eyes glinted mischievously, "but I'd protect you."

He had said the words lightly, but Daisuke froze as soon as they came out of his mouth. Ken mentally swore-he shouldn't have even thought that, let alone say it. Now what was Daisuke going to think?

Daisuke surprised him by grinning slyly. "Well, if that's the case, I don't have anything to worry about." He stood and dusted himself off.

Ken had the courage to raise an eyebrow. That was a little strange...

...but it was nothing compared to what Daisuke murmured in his ear as he bounded past him to the cab. "...do I, *Ken-chan*?"

Ken stood in open-mouthed shock as Daisuke dove into the back seat of the cab and gave the disgruntled cab driver a wide smile.

Ken-chan...?

~

"God DAMMIT, Daisuke, I'm going to KILL YOU!" Miyako shrieked when the pair finally made it into the small café at the corner of the shopping center.

Daisuke groaned and Ken hid his laughter under a coughing fit that continued the whole trip to their table.

"Better?" Hikari asked dryly as the two slipped into the booth on the side opposite of the girls'. Ken nodded mutely, trying to wipe any traces of amusement or embarrassment from his face. Their seat was surrounded by a sundry of shopping bags, and Ken noted this with no faint amount of relief.

"That's good," Daisuke pointedly ignored Miyako's ranting and instead grinned secretively at Ken, "I woouldn't want my onjin to fallill, would I?"

Hikari hadn't missed the almost stricken look that crossed Ken's face. She gazed at him, questioning him with her eyes. Ken shook his head. Later... he'd explain later. Hikari shrugged.

Even Miyako paused in her raving to raise an eyebrow at Daisuke. "What are you babbling about now?"

Daisuke didn't miss a beat. "Anything but your face," he informed her cheerfully.

"You..." Miyako looked ready to lunge over the table and Hikari half-heartedly attempted to restrain the emotional girl, her mind on other things.

Hikari was the only person that he had told so far--the only person that he had felt safe in telling. She had completely understood, as he had expected, and she even said that she had been expecting it for a while. Characteristically, she swore that she'd be there to help whenever he needed it.

It was a small relief; Ken thought sardonically--such things seemed to allow him to survive the past few weeks.

Ken sighed and looked at Daisuke out of the corner of his eye. The fiery boy was still arguing animatedly with Miyako. He might need that help sooner than he thought... with Daisuke acting so strangely, he wasn't sure that he could hold it all in much longer.

Daisuke had always been more open with him than anyone else had ever tried to be. It had taken him a long time to recover emotionally after he ceased to exist as the Digimon Kaizer, and Ken sincerely doubted that he could have done it without Daisuke's support and encouragement. There weren't words enough to describe how grateful Ken felt that they were friends.

Friends. Ken didn't know how or when it had happened--he had a sneaking suspicion that it had affected him even when he was still the Kaizer--but he had begun to feel a great deal more than friendly feelings towards Daisuke. He was attracted to him, that much was obvious, but Daisuke was more important to him than mere attraction. If he hadn't met Daisuke... he shuddered to think of what his life would be like.

"Heeeeey~! Earth to Ken!"

Ken jumped and turned his head to look at Daisuke, who was peering at him with some visible concern. "Y-yeah?"

"You okay?" Daisuke asked, lifting an eyebrow. The girls were chattering and weren't paying attention to their exchange.

"Yeah, I was just... thinking." Ken chuckled lamely.

"About what?" he persisted, true to character.

Ken froze. "N-nothing."

"Buuuullshi-"

"OIII!!!" Taichi bellowed as he, Yamato, Iori and Takeru made their way into the café.

"Make an entrance, why don't you?" Hikari muttered as she rubbed her temples wearily. "My brother is such a moron..."

"It's about time you guys got here!" Daisuke yelled.

Yamato smirked. "We've been here since noon. *You're* the one that are late."

"Damn." Daisuke muttered and slumped in the booth.

Takeru, Yamato and Iori all stood in front of the table the four were sharing while Taichi deliberately shoved his way into the seat Daisuke and Ken were sharing, smashing Daisuke against the wall and pressing Ken against Daisuke. "So, what's up?" he grinned.

"Ow! Dammit, Taichi!" Daisuke exclaimed with his cheek smashed against the frosty window, "What the hell do you think you're doing?!"

Ken would have said something if his mouth wasn't full of Daisuke's jacket.

"Being cute." Taichi smiled at the same time Hikari muttered, "Being an asshole."

Ken was inclined to agree with Hikari until Taichi slid off the seat a few inches, allowing the two boys a little more room. Ken was suddenly very aware of his body pressed against Daisuke's--or was it the other way around?--and he was mortified to feel the blood rushing to his face in response.

Daisuke obviously became aware as well. He let out an awkward cough and shifted his position slightly. Hikari gaped at her brother, who beamed innocently in response. Ken wouldn't have been surprised if a luminescent halo had appeared above his head.

Daisuke, for the first time that day, actually looked flustered and kept his mouth shut.

"So," Iori said finally, "are we going to make it to the movie or not?"

~

The group had marched over to the movie theatre--only a block away from the café--and had actually made it in time for a later showing.

"Look, Yama-chan!" Taichi sang happily, "A nice dark corner all to ourselves!" He grabbed the blond boy's arm and danced down the last aisle all the way to the end.

"Moron!" Yamato laughed as he was pulled along.

"At least they had the courtesy to separate themselves from us this time." Takeru sighed.

"Right." Hikari growled, "They won't get us kicked out of the theatre if they're on their own."

"........" said Miyako and Iori.

Iori, Miyako, Hikari and Takeru made their way into one of the aisles furthest from the screen. Daisuke hung back, blocking Ken from following them.

"What's up?" Ken asked Daisuke's back.

He turned around and grinned brilliantly. "We're not going to sit with those wusses. This is an action flick, so the best place..." he grabbed Ken's wrist, "...is up in the front!"

"Wait, Daisuke!" Ken yelped as he was dragged down the main aisle. "You can't expect us to sit this close to the screen without going completely bli-" Ken was unceremoniously dumped in a seat and Daisuke threw himself down next to him.

Ken stared blankly at Daisuke, who was staring straight ahead, grinning widely.

"You're... a moron, you know that?"

"Always have." Daisuke swore cheerfully.

~

The entire room was filled with sounds of screaming, cursing, explosions, lasers firing, women crying, and men posturing (the last wasn't necessarily a sound, but it was done so frequently and to such a degree that it couldn't be ignored even if your eyes were shut). Otherwise, the theatre was sparsely-populated.

"How did we get suckered into this?" Miyako groaned over the racket.

"We're horribly outnumbered." Hikari sighed and toyed with her empty candy box.

Iori and Takeru turned to frown at the girls. "Shh, this is the best part!" Iori's eyes shone with manic glee.

Hikari made a strangled noise and Miyako rolled her eyes. "You know, you'd think that with the fruits over in the corner, we'd be able to at least put up a good fight to see a romance, right?" Miyako screwed up her face as an inhuman scream sounded. "Oh, that's just disgusting. The human body can't possibly contain that much blood and guts."

Iori grinned widely, disconcerting both girls. "Oh yes, it can."

Miyako shuddered.

"Well," Hikari continued after eyeing Iori warily, "despite the fact that he has a boyfriend, Taichi would rather be dead than seen at a 'chick flick.'"

"That's a little ironic. He doesn't seem to mind being seen making out with said boyfriend in a public area."

Hikari shrugged helplessly. "Whenever the whim happens to chance him (and God, does it chance frequently), he doesn't seem to care where he is. Although I do think that there's a good reason that they were all for seeing this kind of movie. The loud sounds do tend to cover up the... noise that they're so fond of making."

Miyako gazed at her friend with sympathy. "It really must suck having a hormonally-driven brother with a drop-dead gorgeous boyfriend living in the same house as you."

"You have no idea."

"Are you done yet?" Takeru whined without looking away from the screen.

Hikari regarded the boy dangerously. "You will be if you don't stop whining."

Miyako snickered none too quietly. "Oh, Takeru's not getting any tonight..."

Takeru flushed and sank deeper into his seat.

"Nicely done." Miyako grinned and poured the last of her candy into her mouth.

Hikari smirked. "I've had a lot of practice."

The noise ended abruptly; the movie had changed scenes in the only way a typical action movie could--quickly with little or no meaning.

Someone in the back corner of the theatre chose this inopportune moment to squeal, "TAAAIII-CHAAAAAAAN!!"

There was a moment of terrified silence before Takeru and Hikari buried their faces in their hands. "They're like rabbits!" Takeru cried despairingly.

A fit of giggling from the corner followed Takeru's embarrassed outburst. "Did that." Yamato called out.

"No, I think that was the wolf-sheep thing."

"Oh. Well then, we'll have to do that next time." Yamato sounded entirely too pleased with the prospect.

The pair's unfortunate younger siblings whimpered.

Ken was momentarily distracted by the outburst in the back of theatre, but had turned back to face the screen after recognizing the all-too-familiar situation. He smiled dryly. It wasn't like he was paying any attention to the movie anyway. The most he had gotten accomplished so far was to absolutely not turn his head to stare at Daisuke. He had a feeling that if he did, he wouldn't be able to stop.

"Hey, Ken?"

Ken jumped and turned. Damn it all. "What?" He was surprised at how calm he managed to sound.

"What's wrong?" he whispered, gazing at Ken intently. The flickering lights reflecting on the screen made his features seem almost luminescent, making him appear far more impressive than Ken had ever allowed himself to think him to be.

Ken gulped. The question was unexpected, and he wasn't sure he felt safe about the level of sincerity in the cheerful boy's voice. "H-huh?" he asked intelligently.

"You've been quiet today. More than you usually are, which isn't saying much, but... what's going on?"

"Nothing!" Ken said too quickly before catching himself. "Nothing... is wrong."

"I don't believe you." Daisuke said in a surprisingly flat tone.

Ken felt a fresh surge of frustration course through him. It was unfair to expect Daisuke to understand what he was feeling, especially since he didn't want Daisuke to know what he was thinking... but the anger built up within his chest nonetheless. He felt his hands curl into fists as he stared ahead at the screen.

"Ken?"

Ken grit his teeth. "What the hell do you think you were trying to pull?" he blurted.

Daisuke looked honestly surprised. "What?"

"This morning!" Ken continued without taking a breath of a moment to think.

"Noon."

"WHATEVER!" Ken roared.

Daisuke regarded him in stunned silence.

"Could you two please shut up?" someone hissed from the row behind them.

Daisuke turned in his seat to glare at the offender. "Could you please SUCK OFF?!" he bit out.

The person scoffed indignantly before standing to move to another seat, mumbling a few choice words about disrespectful teenagers. In any other situation, Ken probably would have snickered.

Grunting angrily, Daisuke turned back to Ken and his expression softened almost immediately. Ken swallowed hard. "You really are serious about this, aren't you?"

Having been given the chance to actually think before he spoke, Ken found himself at a sudden loss for words. He opened his mouth but nothing came out. The damned blush was still there.

If something didn't come out of Ken's mouth soon, he was certain that the first thing that would emerge would be a frustrated scream.

Before he could say anything, Daisuke leaned over and whispered, "I wasn't pulling anything."

Ken turned back to the screen again and took a self-conscious sip of his drink, keeping the straw safely lodged in his mouth. Less tempting to kiss Daisuke that way... Ken mentally winced.

Daisuke moved closer to compensate for the distance Ken had put between them. To Ken's horror and ultimate excitement Daisuke placed his mouth close enough to his ear for Ken to feel his warm breath against his skin. "Unless you want me to..." he finished.

Ken spat out his drink, blushing fiercely while Daisuke tried to muffle his laughter with his hands.

"Asshole."

"Girly-boy."

"Fruit."

"Only for you, Ken-chan."

Ken felt his cheeks grow warm all over again, this time with embarrassment, frustration, and finally anger. Ken knew at that moment, without a doubt, that Daisuke was only playing with him. At first, stupidly, he had thought that there might be a slight chance that Daisuke would mirror his own feelings, or at the very least that they could remain true friends to each other.

"True friends" didn't screw with each other like Daisuke was screwing with him, Ken decided.

When Ken had ceased to exist as the Digimon Kaizer, he couldn't put into words how grateful he was to Daisuke and his friends, although it had taken him long enough to realize how precious the gift of a second chance truly was. Daisuke had believed in him and always had. He had encouraged Ken to live again, to throw away his image of "the perfect child," and enjoy life for what it had to give him. Ken had spent those years of his life almost in awe of Daisuke Motomiya for his sincerity, openness, and courage. He had known that he cared deeply for him long before he even began to consider that maybe Daisuke might feel the slightest bit of the same for him.

It was stupid for him to even hope, Ken knew. For one, Ken was the former arch-enemy of Daisuke and the Chosen Children. Second, Ken was a boy. Daisuke was a boy. According to the Rules of Society, the two didn't mix, at least not in the way that Ken had imagined and longed for. Third, why would someone like Daisuke be interested in someone like him? Ken woke up every morning wondering at the fact that they were even friends. Daisuke was light, Ken was former dark, an off-kilter color that no one wanted to be concerned with. Tainted. Those that didn't know him didn't know his true self, those that did wanted to ignore him for what he truly was. Was. Could be.

Still is?

It would be so easy for him to put on his uniform again, to shield his eyes from the world, to cause pain to those that would do nothing but the same to him... Ken knew that what he had believed as the Kaizer was wrong, not even remotely true, but how easy would it be to forget all that if he ever had a whip in his hand again?

It was Daisuke who kept him from thinking like this every moment of his life; it was Daisuke that kept his sanity. Maybe Daisuke knew, and that was the reason why he stood by Ken, to help him remain his own self. To put down any danger of the darkness emerging again. If that was the case...

What if he was only pretending?

Ken stood, knocking his drink to the floor, and ran to the main aisle, stumbling over the legs of indignant movie-goers in his flight.

"Ken?!" Ken heard Daisuke shout from behind him. "KEN!"

The dark-haired boy ran out of the theatre and out of the building, pale, shaking, and fighting back tears.

~

It was snowing outside, and Ken cursed bitterly. He had left his coat in the warm theatre, leaving him only in his jeans, boots, and sweater. Going back certainly wasn't an option, so he ran all the faster.

What the hell was wrong with him, anyway?

The cold bit into him, but somehow Ken couldn't muster up the energy to be distressed.

Breath coming in shallow, burning gasps, legs screaming, his hair whipping his face in wet tendrils, he began to wonder if he should stop. He was blocks away from the theatre. As he continued down the streets the people gradually dispersed, all going home to their warm houses and welcoming families. His body quite suddenly made the decision for him and he fell to his knees in a fresh, thin layer of snow.

The park was almost deserted in the frigid evening. Children screamed and laughed just beyond his cluster of trees, but otherwise he felt caged. He crossed his arms over his chest in a meager attempt to warm himself, but his damp sweater made the action meaningless.

Stupid...

"KEN!"

Ken choked a little as he was jerked to his feet, the sudden motion making him see white. Something was being wrapped around him and his arms felt like they were caught in a fiery-hot vise.

"KEN! You fucking moron, wake up!"

If Ken hadn't felt so dizzy, he would have snorted. Fancy Daisuke Motomiya calling Ken Ichijouji a fucking moron. Recovering a bit, he rolled his head level and opened his eyes to tell him as much.

Seeing Ken's eyes open, Daisuke roughly pushed Ken's face into his chest. Daisuke rubbed Ken's arms in an attempt to warm the boy up. "Jesus, Ken, why did you run off like that?" He asked, sounding breathless and bemused.

His strength was coming back to him, Ken could feel it. And with that strength, the emotions that he had fled came rushing back. Completely overwhelmed, Ken saw nothing but his pain.

"Get the fuck off of me!" he screamed hoarsely, and punched Daisuke in the side, hard.

Daisuke fell back in shock, and Ken untangled himself from the taller boy's arms and struggled to remain on his feet. "What the hell do you think you're doing?!" the redhead yelled, clutching his side.

Ken couldn't speak. He was having a hard time just thinking coherently. So this is what seeing red is like, a tiny part of Ken noted. The indifferent observation didn't penetrate Ken's state in the slightest.

"Ken?! What the--"

"I should be asking you!" he finally snarled.

"What?!"

"Don't play dumb with me, you asshole!' Ken lunged at Daisuke, but the boy easily dodged the punch that Ken had aimed for his gut. Instead he caught both of Ken's wrists and swung the slighter boy around to hold him tightly in an position almost resembling a straight-jacket.

Ken would have none of it. He thrashed wildly in Daisuke's arms, screaming out obscenities that Ken himself didn't even realize that he knew.

"Ken! KEN!" Daisuke yelled, struggling to keep a hold on the hysterical boy.

With a violent lurch, Ken pushed Daisuke onto his back in the snow. As Ken was still wrapped in Daisuke's arms, he fell with him, but had a much softer impact than Daisuke. Daisuke suddenly found himself without breath, and he unconsciously loosened his hold on Ken. Taking advantage of the situation, Ken ripped free and rolled over to pin Daisuke's shoulders to the ground, keeping him pressed down in the snow with both his hands and his lower body.

It would be so easy to punch him, in the face, chest, shoulder, arm... over and over again until Daisuke couldn't hurt him anymore.

Crest of Kindness...

"What did I do, Ken?!" Daisuke gurgled through a mouthful of wet snow.

"Why are you acting like you don't know?!"

What a joke...

"...Ken..."

Something was burning his face, and on instinct his arm jerked to wipe it off. His hand came back wet.

"...Ken?" A tentative hand came up to rest on Ken's arm. When he didn't shrug it away, Daisuke sat up slowly to peer through the damp curtain of black silk. "Why are..." he trailed off.

"Why am I so fucked up?" Ken whispered, trying to choke down his tears. "What the hell is wrong with me?"

Daisuke looked alarmed. "Ken, you--"

"Am I some kind of joke to whole world?" Ken continued as if he hadn't heard the other boy speak, "I receive the Crest of Kindness, I go out and torture living beings... I get a second chance, but I'll never be able to fix what I've done... not when that part will always be inside of me..." He didn't even try to stop the tears, or to remove himself from Daisuke. He didn't care anymore...

There was a long, tense moment of silence broken by Ken's sniffling at random intervals. "You..." Daisuke started. He then punched Ken squarely in the jaw.

"Wha-" Ken stammered out, cradling his throbbing jaw, "What--"

He was caught off when Daisuke stood and yanked Ken up by his collar to join him. "What the HELL, Ken!" he yelled, shaking the boy for good measure, "I thought that we'd already been through this YEARS ago!"

Ken opened his mouth, closed it, then seemed to give up and he stared at the fiery boy in mute shock. The tears were already drying on his cheeks.

Daisuke looked truly angry. "You think you're some kind of joke, huh? Well then, what does that make Wormmon?" he growled. "What does that make the Chosen Children, our Digimon? What does that make me?"

Ken flinched, "I didn't mean--"

"I don't CARE you meant! What happened HAPPENED, and we were all involved with it, good and bad! Becoming the Digimon Kaizer was a mistake," and Daisuke's eyes suddenly softened, "but it wasn't yours. Don't you realize that anyone else in your position would have done the same, if not worse?"

"That's not tr--"

"For a genius, you're pretty damn stupid." Daisuke snapped. "That part of you, the part you hate, it IS you. You can't deny it, you can't push it away." He paused, and regarded Ken's hands distantly. "Everyone has that part in them. And it's hurting you to deny it. It hurts all of us..." Daisuke looked directly into his eyes, and Ken shrank back from the warmth that lay in his gaze.

"Then, why..." Ken began tentatively.

Daisuke cut him off fiercely. "You only became the Kaizer--"

"That wasn't what I was going to ask."

Daisuke blinked at Ken, bemused. "Then..."

Ken worked his mouth for a moment before he said the next words. "Why... do you treat me the way you do?"

"What?" Daisuke's grip on Ken's collar loosened until Ken was standing flat on his feet.

"You act like you know me, and that we're close friends, and then you do something like you did this morning..."

"Wait," Daisuke interrupted, "what are you talking about? What did I do this morning?"

Ken lifted an eyebrow and regarded Daisuke in silence.

"...Oh," he said finally, "that." Daisuke blushed a little. Slowly, as if it pained him, he said, "I was just messing around, Ken."

"That true?" Ken sounded doubtful that it was, about as much as Daisuke looked it.

"...sure."

Ken felt his resolve harden. "If that's the case, then you don't know me the way you think you do." He glared up at Daisuke. Nobody knows me.

Daisuke looked ready to protest, but deflated quickly. "I guess... I don't." He sounded miserable.

Ken stared at him in expectant silence.

"I guess... I was just hoping that..." Daisuke mumbled, staring at the snow covered ground over Ken's shoulder.

"Hope isn't your area of expertise, nor is it mine." Ken said bitterly.

Daisuke let go of Ken's collar completely and took a step back. Ken hadn't even realized the warmth of their close proximity until it was gone. Even with Daisuke standing a foot away from him, he felt suddenly cold.

"That's... not fair."

"Life isn't." Ken wrapped his arms around his upper body, trying to find the warmth that he had lost.

Daisuke laughed bitterly. The sharp sound seemed wrong coming from the usually light-hearted boy. "No, I guess it isn't."

Daisuke turned around and took a few more steps and Ken found himself ready to cry out. He didn't want the boy to leave, not with him alone in the cold... Wordlessly, Daisuke bent to pick up Ken's discarded jacket and Ken subsided shamefacedly. It must have been lost when he had gone after Daisuke, Ken realized belatedly.

"But..." Daisuke's voice was so quiet Ken at first thought that he hadn't heard it at all. The warm boy walked slowly towards Ken until the two were almost touching. He then wrapped Ken's own jacket around the shivering boy's shoulders with deliberate care. "...you can't blame someone for trying once in a while."

His eyes were dark, a dark chocolate shade Ken had never seen them reach before. Ken gulped as Daisuke's hands lingered on his coat lapels a little longer than necessary. The warmth rushed back to him too quickly for him to handle. Ken closed his eyes tightly.

"Like this..." he whispered, and Daisuke's eyes lightened as Ken spoke. "Why do you have to treat me like this...?"

Daisuke stared at him before his blank face melted into a morose grin. "If you have to ask me that, then you don't know me the way you think you do."

Ken started at hearing his own words come back to him.

Daisuke's hands lingered for a few more seconds before he let them fall from Ken's coat lapels. Without speaking, he turned around and began to walk. That time, as the coldness started to creep back inside the slender boy, Ken did cry out.

"Wait!"

Daisuke turned his head to look at Ken over his shoulder, clearly surprised.

Ken opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out. What was he going to say, anyway? He didn't even know what he was feeling...

But he was getting so much colder...

"I..." he began. He took a shaking step forward only to nearly fall to the ground when his freezing leg gave out of him.

"Ken!" he heard Daisuke yell before he was roughly caught in strong arms. He was brought back to his full height and Daisuke held him at arms' length.

"Why are you crying?!" Daisuke sounded frustrated.

Ken started and brought a hand up to touch his wet cheeks. When had he started to cry again?

Ken remained silent for a moment, waiting for Daisuke's warmth to come through to him. Why... was it taking so long? "I-I'm cold..." Ken finally mumbled.

"...you probably have a cold already. Both of us probably do." Ken could hear the worry in Daisuke's voice despite his gruffness, and he felt warmer already.

"Don't leave..." Ken murmured, the heat of Daisuke's arms making him feel delirious. "I don't want to be alone again..."

Daisuke tensed, but Ken only wrapped his arms around the boy's waist and held onto him tightly. "Ken... we should probably go home." When Ken didn't respond, Daisuke added worriedly, "I will make sure you get home alright... Hey, Ken, c'mon..."

Ken refused to lift his face until Daisuke forced him to--not that he put up much of a fight, half-frozen and crying like a girl.

"Why are you crying?" Daisuke asked again, gentle eyes mere inches away from Ken's.

On sheer, foolish impulse, Ken leaned forward to close the small gap between them.

Daisuke's lips were colder than he had expected them to be, but they still held a warmth that sent delighted shivers down Ken's spine. The kiss was haste, a brief brush of silk against silk, and Ken withdrew, blushing terribly. Daisuke stared at him with wide eyes.

"...That's why." Ken smiled bitterly, ready for the rejection.

He wasn't ready for Daisuke's lips to clumsily find his own again. The kiss was much longer this time, and burned with a fire that nearly blinded Ken. He felt as if he were on fire...

When the flushed Daisuke finally broke the kiss off to stare at Ken through a half-lidded gaze, he smiled and said teasingly, "I don't think that" that" is something to cry about."

"You..." Ken gaped, fresh tears sliding down his cheeks. Daisuke brought Ken back into his embrace readily.

"I'm warm now..." Ken murmured dreamily. Your warmth saves me... everyday.

"...we should get home all the same." Daisuke withdrew from the embrace unwillingly and took Ken's hand in his.

"Daisuke?" Ken asked, his smile holding a hint of mischievousness.

"What?"

"You'll still see me home, right?"

---------------------------------------------------------

Final notes:

And it's DONE! Really, my writing skills SUCK. This has got to be one of the most rambling, out-of-character fictions that I've read. But it was fluffy, and it was Kensuke, and therefore I had to write it. ^_^; Truly, I commend anyone who had the willpower to trudge through this. ^^;;

The Taichi and Yamato "terrorizing the women's clothing shops" thing was inspired by a number of gratuitous and downright hilarious fanfictions by Mika Crystal. It's just FUN to imagine those two running amok in women's clothing. XD

I also want to thank all of those that have reviewed the story and given me encouragement--you guys are great~! A special thanks to Kathleen and Gatomon_Girl_14, both of whom went so far as to e-mail me. o_O Sugoi~ Arigatou, everyone!

And now my muse is pushing me to write a Taichi-Yamato-Daisuke threesome... or a Takeru-Ken-Daisuke... my muse isn't picky as long as it has Dai-chan in it. ^_~ Wonder if anyone would be interested? *niko*