Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. If I did, Kenyako would never have been even a fever dream. So it's safe to assume I'm making no money off of it.

This was supposed to be angst...how did it turn into fluff? *baffled*


It was just a blurb on the news. An accident. Of course, Ken Ichijouji had been a child prodigy, so anything

particularly tragic that happened to him was newsworthy.

People who heard it inevitably paused to exclaim, "Oh, the poor boy!" Before going on with their daily


Most of them had forgotten about it by the next day. Others gossiped about it at lunch.

"Did you hear about that Ichijouji boy? So sad! His poor family, already lost one son...now this."

It was only a world-shattering event for a small handful of people.

Daisuke's feet pounded the sidewalk like a punishment. He hadn't needed to be told that something was

wrong with his jogress partner, the bond that kept their hearts beating in time told him an hour before

anyone else knew.

It would go down in memory as one of the most painful, panic-ridden hours of his life.

He remembered it in broken fragments; the terrible clenching inside where Ken's heart could always be felt, the glass he'd dropped, the pieces of it under his bare feet, the blood he only distantly recognized as his own, phone calls, e-mails, no one able to tell him what had happened.

Jun would tell him afterward in haunted tones that she never wanted to see him like that again. It wasn't, she

said, that he looked like he had seen a ghost, it was that he looked like he had seen his *own* ghost.


The hospital smelled like antiseptic and felt like a funeral. They wouldn't let him go up to see Ken, at first.

He wasn't family, he was just an ordinary fifteen year old who outright refused to leave, and was getting increasingly loud and insistent.

Then one of the Kido brothers showed up, not Jyou, the older one who'd gone into medicine. He smoothed things over with the front desk personnel and ushered Daisuke upstairs. Daisuke couldn't for the life of him remember the man's name, but he was eternally grateful to him. (1)

He left Daisuke outside the ICU, called away by some emergency, and Daisuke pushed his way nervously through the big double doors.

He found his way to Ken's bed easily enough but the drawn curtain made him hesitate. He could hear Ken's mother's voice on the other side, talking to a doctor.

He hadn't intended to eavesdrop but...

"....nothing we can do for him, I'm sorry. His auditory nerve is completely severed. He's going to be deaf for the rest of his life..at this point we..." Daisuke stood frozen on the other side, numb. The words filtered through as if from far away.

Then he pushed his way through the curtain, interrupting them. Both adults turned to look at him, and he thought, fiercely, that it was a good thing he had. Mrs. Ichijouji looked teary-eyed and strained, and what the doctor was telling her couldn't have been helping.

She pulled herself together visibly, and gave him a watery smile, "Oh, Daisuke dear, I'm glad you're here.

Ken will..will be so happy to see you when he wakes up." She faltered, and covered it up by pulling him into a hug. As Ken's best friend, Daisuke had been involuntarily drafted into the position of 'the extra son we didn't have, but who manages to eat us out of house and home anyway' long ago.

"Why don't you sit down? He's asleep..they gave him something. I..you can wait for him to come around.

He..he won't be able to hear you when you speak to him." The words 'ever again' were not added, but

Daisuke had heard enough that they didn't need to be.

Ken looked small in the hospital bed, but his coloring was normal. Daisuke resolutely ignored the bandage behind his ear.

Dark lashes dusted pale cheeks, hair spread out across the pillow. Daisuke had seen him like this at countless sleepovers, but this time was different.

The bruise near his temple seemed like such a small thing, but it made Daisuke bite his lip and look away.

Sometime during his inspection Ken's mother had slipped out, the doctor having shuffled out even before that.

He sank into the chair. After a moment, he reached out and touched Ken's hand. There was no response but he held onto it anyway.

The others came, stood around awkwardly with a kind of pained helplessness, then left again. Daisuke was barely aware of them.

He stayed until the nurses made him leave, even though Ken didn't wake up anytime that afternoon.


The next day saw him back at the ICU as soon as school let out...only to find that Ken had been released, and gone home with his parents that morning.

It took twenty minutes to get to the train station and he almost didn't have enough for a ticket. He worried about how he was going to get home, but more about how he was going to make it through the rest of the day if he didn't see Ken and make absolutely sure he was all right.

Mrs. Ichijouji let him in with a troubled expression, "He's shut himself up in his room. He doesn't want to see anyone."

Daisuke just grinned, "Since when has that *ever* included me?"

She smiled like her son, slowly but surely, "Go on then, if anyone can get through to him when he's like this, it's you."

Daisuke slid the door to Ken's room open and paused, staring at his best friend's back. His heart lurched painfully when he realized that Ken hadn't turned away from his computer because he hadn't heard the footsteps in the hall, hadn't heard Daisuke's voice, hadn't heard his door, hadn't heard *anything*.

He slipped up to the other boy and laid a hand on his shoulder, Ken jumped, startled.

His eyes shimmered with unshed tears, "Daisuke?"

His voice was strange, hesitant. Daisuke's heart lurched again.

Ken couldn't hear his own voice.

There was nothing Daisuke could say, so he smiled and slipped his hands into Ken's, pulling him out of his chair.

Then he squeezed his hand and led him into the living room. Ken looked mystified until Daisuke set up his game console and plugged in 'Street Fighter'.

He didn't leave until he'd won a smile from Ken with a greatly exaggerated 'Victory Dance' that looked rather a lot like 'The Funky Chicken'.

When he left, Ken accused him of 'Running away because you're scared I'll kick your ass if we play another round.'

And Daisuke knew that everything was going to be okay.

Then he got down the road, remembered that he didn't have enough money for a return ticket, and cussed out a telephone pole.

Fortunately, his parents weren't *too* mad about the cab fare.


It took a week of whining, begging, and making extravagant promises before his parents gave in.

Then another week of being secretive and smiling in a suspicious way while Ken slanted curious looks at him.

Tamachi was a bit of a commute, but it was *worth* it just for the look on his best friend's face when he showed up in Ken's sign language class and slid into the seat next to his.

Daisuke's parents hadn't objected to the lessons at all, and there were classes in Odaiba, but Ken's parents were taking a separate class for adults....*someone* had to keep him company!


Ken's long fingers moved as gracefully as a dancer's, ~You're not getting it. It's *complicated gesture*~

Daisuke tried again.

Ken smirked, ~You just said 'grapefruit'.~


Ken told him out loud.

Daisuke winced, and scribbled a barely legible note. 'How can they look so much alike?'

"They don't. Your eyesight is probably going."

Daisuke made an obscene gesture.

"That one isn't even in the book."


There was a digidestined meeting a little over a month and a half after the accident. It was the first time Ken had been in a room with all of the others at once since it happened. He hadn't been awake for their hospital visit.

They'd pretty much stayed away from him for the last month, though Daisuke knew they'd been worried about him.

They'd asked constantly if he was coping okay.

He wondered if anyone had told Ken that they'd tried to visit him at the hospital, his own mind had been too full of other things at the time to think about it.

When Ken turned up he was so nervous he was shaking. Sometimes Daisuke really wished he could read his mind, so he could pull him out of it every time he started thinking depressing thoughts.

Since he couldn't, he settled for flinging an arm around the slender boy's shoulders and giving him a sideways hug.

It got him a grateful look that said he knew that Daisuke was trying to reassure him, and it was working.

They sank down onto the couch together. Daisuke pulled out a notebook and prepared to translate with faltering sign language and hastily scrawled notes. As it turned out, he hardly needed to: Koushiro and Miyako had already compiled a written transcript of everything they intended to say.

Sometimes, Daisuke reflected, the others could be surprisingly thoughtful.


Daisuke cracked his knuckles and tried again, ~Okay, I have it now, it's *gesture*~

Ken raised an eyebrow. ~I have no idea what that was supposed to be.~


~If you break the wall with your head, my mother will get mad at you.~

~Shut up.~

Ken gave him his best innocent look. ~I didn't say a word.~


~A sign name is supposed to be given to you by a deaf person...will you give me one?~ (2)

Ken smiled shyly, ~That's easy, your name is Dai Suki.~

Daisuke blushed.

~I like you too.~

Ken kissed him. Their noses bumped and Ken didn't seem to know what to do with his tongue-though he obviously wanted to use it, and both of them forgot how to breathe.

But, as first kisses went, it was far more sweet than awkward.

It was a day and a half before Daisuke could stop grinning. He wondered how long he'd been waiting for it without knowing what it was he'd been waiting for.


A year to the day after the accident, Ken's parents held a quiet little anniversary party. Ken's father called it 'putting the past behind us to celebrate the future.'

Daisuke wasn't so sure. It seemed an odd thing to commemorate, but Ken was more amused than anything else.

He called it 'an excuse to eat cake and coerce people into giving me presents. Like an extra birthday!'

Daisuke gave him earmuffs and got cake shoved down the back of his shirt for it.

Later Daisuke cornered him in the kitchen and kissed it all better.

Then he dropped a handful of ice down the back of Ken's pants, because fair was fair.


The first time they made love was sweeter even than their first kiss.

It was the little details that Daisuke remembered best: the way the moonlight fell on Ken's pale skin, creating dips and shadows that begged to be explored.

The little mewling sound Ken made when Daisuke tasted him for the first time. The way his hips shifted under his hands.

It was the arch of his neck as he tilted his head back.

The flutter of his fingers on a shoulder, as he fought the urge to push down on Daisuke's head.

The way he licked Daisuke's lips, then wrinkled his nose at his own taste.

The feeling of his slender fingers gliding over skin, caressing here and *there*. Oh.

The way he trembled, but his eyes were wicked and dark, as they slid against each other.

All the noises he made, strange and uncontrolled and wonderful.

And after..his hand resting on Daisuke's chest, feeling the rise and fall of it. Soft breath ghosting across Daisuke's ear.

Sweat cooling in the night air and the feel of Ken curled against him.

He never wanted the feeling to end.


~I love you.~

~I know, I'm irresistible that way.~

Ken swatted him with a rolled up magazine. ~Brat.~

~Ow! I give! I give! I love you too!~

They were being watched from across the room.

Takeru frowned, "Have you noticed that Daisuke doesn't talk out loud when he signs anymore?"

Hikari smiled, "I've noticed."

"What do you suppose they're talking about?"

Hikari watched them for a moment and her smile turned knowing, "Something private."


~You're beautiful.~

A smirk, ~I know. I'm irresistible.~

~Hey! You stole that line from me!~


And they lived happily ever after. And there was more cake.

1) He's in the Odaiba hospital because he was in Odaiba when it happened...it's a conveeeniant plot device.

2) True. It's tradition.