Two At the Top



Fluff. I'm good at it. Stick with what you're good at, yes? It works for me.

Toria (little sister) and I were playing on the snow today. It was great fun. We found a pile of snow on a street corner. There were no other children around. She climbed up first, and I stood at the bottom and threw snow at her. Then I climbed up on top and offered to share it with her. She shared until she rolled down one side and I rolled down another. Then the little wench started throwing snowballs at me. Grr. And Brr.


Daisuke looked about the street. As far as the eye could see, the same vision appeared. White. White streets, white sidewalks. White-covered cars. White-covered people. It looked like some fairy-tale land, covered with the fresh and pure powder which marked the winter season. Daisuke was in heaven.

Or would be, if he wasn't trapped inside. Is your homework done? his mother asked. Daisuke turned away from the window with a pout already in place. His mother simply frowned back, left eyebrow cocked. When there was no verbal response — Daisuke was trying to let his cuteness speak for him — she turned and left him in his room. Dinner will be ready soon, Daisuke. Bring what you've finished with you to the kitchen.

He turned back to the window as soon as she was gone. The ground was only a few floors away. Still too far to escape through the window, even if he could have somehow gotten the glass out of the frame. He sighed before looking back at the task in front of him. He was sitting on the end of his bed, in front of the window, with his homework spread out over the bedspread. Homework which he should have done earlier that day so he could enjoy the weather now. What was the point of having a snow day if he couldn't go outside and enjoy the snow?

I should have just gone to Ken's this morning. The lament was six hours too late. His mother had come home at lunchtime, having gone to work that morning. With a mother's intuition, she had known having her children were alone in the house was a bad idea.. With most children, leaving them unattended might not have been a problem. However, when your children were Daisuke and Jun... it tended to be cheaper to work prevention rather than clean-up. Not to mention less stressful.

The door to his room creaked. It was already open, but was being pushed open further. Daisuke turned at the sound to see Jun smirking in the doorway with the phone. You have a phone call. She held her telephone, base and all, the cord dangling behind her in the hallway to mark the path from her room. The receiver was being held out to him. It's Ken.

He was already moving to get off the bed after she'd said he had a telephone call, but the identity of the caller made him move faster as he got excited. Give me- he reached for the phone, but she held it back and simply smiled wider.

She put the phone up to her ear. Sorry, Ken. Daisuke can't talk right now. Mother says no phone calls until his homework is done. She paused while Ken said something in response. Daisuke stood rooted to the spot, surprise holding him immobile. Sure, he could have wrestled the phone from her, but she was already talking back into the mouthpiece. Yes. I'll let him know as soon as he's finished.

he said in dismay. He belatedly tried to get the phone from her, but she was already hanging up. Why did you do that?

Because you're not supposed to be talking on the phone. Would you have rather me tell him you were too busy to talk to him? That he wasn't important enough for you to come to the phone? Because those are the kinds of lies I tell, you know. Especially when it's a bratty little brother I'm lying for.

Daisuke crossed his arms. Now he won't call again. He didn't mean for his voice to be petulant, but having Ken call was about the closest he was likely to get to doing anything fun that day, and Jun had just ruined that.

He doesn't have to. Jun treated him a special smile given my sisters everywhere who knew they had their younger sibling right where they wanted him. Daisuke simply looked at her, not impressed by her attitude and more than a little impatient. You are going to call him back as soon as you're done with your homework.

But I don't want to do it! His dismay was evident.

You don't want to call Ken? Now she was just being evil.

He stomped back to his bed and sat down on it. Just go away if you're going to be mean.

She laughed at him and disappeared back into the hall. Daisuke sat a moment longer before deciding she wasn't about to come back to gloat at him more. He turned his head and looked at the books and notepads spread out on his bed. If he did manage to get it done... He turned and looked outside. With sudden determination, he turned back to the books waiting for him and settled in to do his homework.


At dinner, Daisuke's homework folder sat like a trophy in the middle of the table. His parents were both extremely pleased with it. Jun, who he had expected to be disappointed to lose her source of entertainment, simply nodded as if she knew he'd do exactly as he'd done. His sister was psychic. On top of being psycho.

When they were done with the meal, Daisuke waited around the table while his father looked through what he'd done and compared it with the notes for what he was supposed to have done. Somewhere there was probably a missed math problem or an incorrectly answered essay question which would make a teacher sigh and shake her head. However, there was enough work done to show he'd spent time doing his homework, to show he'd done exactly as his parents had asked, right down to bringing it to the table.

You can go call a friend now, his father said, nodding proudly. It wasn't every day Daisuke did as he was told, so even if the writing made the work nearly illegible, they'd let him go. It was done.

Daisuke ran to the phone and dialed Ken's apartment number. He glanced at the clock as it rang and Ken's mother answered. Is Ken there? he asked as soon as greetings were done.

No, he's not. I'm sorry, Daisuke. Maybe you should try his cell phone?

Thank you, ma'am. He hung up as soon as he heard her voice start her own goodbye' and then dialed Ken's cell.

It's about time, Ken's quiet voice said the moment the phone stopped ringing.

Daisuke grinned. What do you mean, it's about time? I just got done eating dinner. You wanted me to call sooner?

There was a distant laugh as heard through the earpiece. I suppose this is soon enough. Since your homework is done-

Who says it's done? Daisuke broke in to ask.

You had the choice of sitting at home all day and staring at the wall, or coming out to play in the snow with me. It wasn't very hard to figure out which of those options you would go for, Daisuke.

They shared a laugh that time, and Daisuke looked through the doorway and saw his mother sitting on the couch in the living room. So, where are you?

Why don't you come outside and see for yourself?

Daisuke slammed the phone down in its cradle and darted into the hallway. He was stumbling as he went out the door, as trying to put on his shoes and coat while walking seemed to impede his mobility. By the time he hit the elevator, he had one shoe and his coat on. It was a small matter to lean against the wall of the little cubicle and put the other shoe on. He put his hands into his gloves as he reached the ground level, and then it was a straight shot to the doors and outside.

Ken was waiting by the side walk outside. A path had been cleared to the street and the pile of snow behind Ken stood nearly as tall as the genius. Daisuke didn't stop until Ken was on his back in the snow.

The genius smiled up at him, not very surprised or upset with his position. Of course, he looked like he'd dressed for just such an occasion. His scarf was wrapped multiple times around his neck and his coat collar was high. He was protected from the snow which tried to creep down his neck, though the flecks on his face couldn't be helped. Ken said back.

Daisuke rolled onto his back so he was lying next to Ken. Miss me? he asked, turning his head to look at Ken.

The genius had his eyes closed, his pale skin tinged pink from the cold. Mm. Always. I've been waiting out here for half an hour. I thought you'd be done sooner.

Well, I didn't start it until you called, he admitted. He laughed slightly. And I think I did most of it wrong. But my parents were happy.

Ken made a tsking noise and shook his head. He reached out and curled his fingers around Daisuke's hand. The hold was awkward with two layers of gloves between them, but it was good enough. What do you want to do, before you go fix your homework? It was a not-so-subtle that Daisuke was expected to go back to his room and spend more hours with his books, but at least he had a reprieve. And he had Ken. He'd enjoy it while he had them both.

I want to play in the snow, Daisuke answered vaguely. In truth, he didn't know exactly what he wanted to do. It was starting to get dark, though the streetlights were coming up. There was fresh snow, but it would be too dark soon to enjoy snow angels. Snow fights were also best left for earlier in the day, when they could spend an hour between battles with hot cocoa while they warmed up.

Those same thoughts must have been running through Ken's mind, because he was silent for a while before offering a suggestion. There's a pile of snow at the corner.

Daisuke sat up and then got out of the snow. He pulled Ken up by the hand he still held and then tugged the genius down to the sidewalk and down to the corner. As said by the genius in tow, there was a pile of snow waiting for them. Except the pile was made of the snow which had covered the two streets which made up the intersection. It had all been set in the middle of an empty lot, and was now a mountain.

Daisuke breathed, staring up in awe. He let go of Ken's hand and stepped forward. He was practically vibrating with pent-up excitement. Come spring, after the snow melted, that strip of land would become another tall apartment building, or maybe a small store. There would be no trace of the mountain before them or of the young people who had braved its frosty heights. What there would be were stories and memories of fighting the way to the top and then sliding back to the bottom. For a few truly persistent or lucky souls, there would be victorious declarations of seeing the entire neighborhood from the top. Let's go.

Ken was beside him when Daisuke started making his way to the top. They dug into the snow with hands and feet, laughing and encouraging each other as they battled their way upwards. Part way up, Daisuke lost his grip and slid down. Unfazed by the setback, he let his body start the roll that took him back down. He didn't reach the bottom before losing momentum. Then he was back on his feet and looking up at Ken, who had taken a seat on the side of the mountain. How's the weather down there?

Har, har. Daisuke shook his head, then leaned down and shook it harder to get some of the snow off. He probably should have grabbed a hat before leaving the house. Why don't you come back down here and find out?

Ken shook his head and grinned. I'm going to get to the top. You can join me if you like. It was a smug invitation. It was also premature. Ken began to slowly ascend again as Daisuke rushed up the side to get back to where he was. Ken's slow and steady path was fine for getting to the top, but it in no way included a contingency plan for when Daisuke decided revenge was sweet and that pulling Ken down with him was fun. Of course, Ken could have been taunting Daisuke in order for what happened to happen, but Daisuke refused to believe that Ken, his Ken, would relish having to go back to the bottom of the mountain.

They only made it halfway to the bottom before a fairly level bit of the mountain turned them around enough for them both to get their feet under them again. Ken was laughing as he sat beside Daisuke in the snow, covered from head to toe in the cold powder.

Do you feel better, now? Ken asked laughing, looking at Daisuke through snowy lashes.

Daisuke thought about that for a moment before looking up and over his shoulder, back up at the peak of the mountain. Kind of. Dusk had fallen and true dark was settling in for the night. Even with the lights of the city illuminating the streets and light spilling out of windows all over the place, the mountain of snow was relatively dark. Cold as well, but that they could ignore. With the darkness, it would be hard to see going up or down. We could climb it tomorrow. The offer was hesitant and flat, both of which were odd for Daisuke.

Ken smiled softly and put his right hand to his mouth. He bit the tip of a finger on his glove and pulled it off with his teeth, then reached out and brushed some of the snow away from his face before doing the same to Daisuke. It was quiet between them as he did that, his touch gentle and cold.

Daisuke tilted his head into Ken's hand, though his cheeks were cold enough by then that he couldn't truly feel the touch as anything more than pressure. We could have hot cocoa...

With a shake of his head, Ken withdrew his hand and put the glove back on, carefully tucking the bottom of it back into the sleeve of his coat. We can have hot cocoa after we get to the top. We're halfway there. Foolish to turn back, right?

They were the words Daisuke wanted to hear.

Daisuke nodded and turned back around. I'll race you! It was a foolish challenge. Daisuke knew that even as he said it. They were both tired and their clothes were wet where the snow had clung and then melted from body heat. Despite that, they both scrambled up the incline, until they reached the top. Ken reached it first and sat triumphantly while Daisuke finally clambered up beside him. Under the weight of their bodies, the peak was stamped down until they could sit side-by-side, arms around each other.

Can you spend the night? asked Daisuke. His feet kicked lazily at the side of the mountain of snow. Ken shifted under the arm Daisuke had around his shoulders, and his face pressed closer, until the chilled skin of their cheeks was touching.

My mother already gave me her permission. The lovely thing about having a snow day on a Friday was having the rest of the weekend off as well. In response to Ken's forethought in getting permission before he'd been invited, Daisuke kissed his cheek. Good boyfriends should always be so well-prepared. He said as much to Ken, who laughed. Daisuke turned his head and covered Ken's mouth with his own. The laughter stopped.

For a long while, it was quiet. The next voice to speak out into the cold air of night was feminine and familiar. Daisuke, mother says to come inside, and to bring Ken. There was a sound of a window closing, the opening of which had gone unnoticed.

The two at the top broke apart. In the moments before, they'd turned to each other and now were sitting in an embrace. Daisuke's back was to the wind, and Ken's face was tucked into his neck. You're going to help me fix my homework, right?

Of course, came Ken's muffled reply. He nuzzled closer for a moment, then pulled back. I'll look over your work while you make hot cocoa.

Daisuke sealed their agreement with a kiss, and then shifted, putting his feet back toward the earth. Race you to the bottom. Their descent was filled with as much laughter as their ascent, and they reached the bottom in record time. They tramped to the doors of Daisuke's apartment building, going through the undisturbed snow instead of taking the cleared off sidewalk, covering their legs with more snow, if that was possible.

The lobby of the building was decidedly warmer than outside, and they shivered in response to the change in temperature. Their assorted coats, gloves, hat, and scarf were removed by the time they'd reached the elevator. Shoes were lost after that, and Daisuke went so far as to peel his socks off, since they were wet from the snow which had fallen into his boots.

Their laughter rang in the hall as they flung bits of snow at each other, snow which they pulled out of their hair and off their coats. The door opened before they got there and Daisuke's mother ushered them inside with a warning about dragging water through the apartment. Hot cocoa was already waiting for them in the kitchen, along with Daisuke's homework. They settled down easily, focusing on the cocoa first, sitting next to each other and holding hands as they warmed up.

When their fingers were agile enough to once again turn pages and hold a pencil to write with, they started looking through pages of homework. With snow melting in his hair and a dull pencil in his hand, Daisuke wrote their names on top of a random sheet, then circled it with a heart. Two at the top of the page, on top of a mountain, on top of the world.


Word Count: 3133 (as per NoteTab Light)
Start/End: 01-28-2004 (approx. 2100 EST)/ 01-29-2004 (approx 1229 EST)