A/N: Second to last challenge from an old whiteknuckle meme, requested by wanderingscribe. Fandom: Digimon; title: "Nerveless"; line: "You've fallen out of bounds, Yamato. Don't expect me to sympathize with your plight."; pairing: Takeru/Yamato.

. . . you know, re-reading that, I bet she wanted angst and a lot more focus on the Taketo. And yet . . . eyes the fic dubiously Wellll, you'll see.

God I miss this fandom.

"Nerveless"

"You've fallen out of bounds, Yamato," a voice whispered from behind him, dark and taunting. "Don't expect me to sympathize with your plight."

Yamato smacked a pillow in his little brother's face without turning to look, and Takeru fell atop him, laughing.

"It's impossible to properly play video games with you in here, you know that?" Taichi inquired from the other end of the couch, shaking his head as Yamato tried to wrestle his character back onto the path without knocking Takeru to the floor.

Takeru looked smug. "Damn straight it is," he declared, draping his arms around Yamato's neck.

"Not to make the obvious pun, but 'straight' has nothing to do with it," Ken said dryly from his own position seated on the floor with his back to the sofa and the third and final still-in- play controller in his hands. Yamato flushed slightly, suddenly concentrating very, very hard on his own game controller.

"Does it ever anymore?" Daisuke asked Ken, situated similarly next to him and munching vaguely but determinedly at a bowl of caramel-soaked popcorn. He sounded genuinely curious.

"I wouldn't know." Ken's character stabbed Taichi's through the skull and Taichi whined in dismay, dropping his controller and scowling at the screen.

"That was my last life!" he protested.

"That's what you get for walking repeatedly into the fire pits," Ken retorted smoothly,

"I thought it was a shortcut!" Taichi sulked against the sofa, still glowering at the screen. "They always try to hide shortcuts."

"Behind the charred skeletons of the incautious masses?" Ken raised an eyebrow at him. Taichi stuck out his tongue in retaliation and Ken killed an orge without even looking back to the screen.

Yamato blinked. "How-?"

"He listens to the sound effects," Daisuke explained as he licked his fingers clean, his own eyes never wavering from the screen. "When enemies approach, the game makes footstep noises five times before they get in range. Then you can just use a double-sided sword to attack, so you'll catch 'em on the backswing if they're sneaking up from behind."

"We play this game a lot," Ken explained sheepishly as the others stared at them.

"Waaaay too much," Taichi muttered.

"Like you have room to talk," Yamato replied dryly. "Mr. 'Just One More Level Before We Go to the Dance, Honey.' You're lucky Sora didn't kill you for that."

"She may as well have, she pulled the plug when I was ONE BOSS away from the last level," Taichi replied gloomily, stealing the popcorn from Daisuke. "I didn't even have any of it saved." Daisuke gave him a dirty look and half-scrambled over Ken to try and reclaim his stolen food. Ken didn't even miss a step on- screen and in fact managed to neatly behead another orge even with Daisuke's knee planted firmly in his spine.

"This is boring," Takeru grumbled.

"Only 'cause Ken already killed everybody." Taichi gave the brunet a significant look and shoved Daisuke off the couch, where the other hit the floor and cursed violently. "Obviously we didn't teach you the teamwork thing QUITE as well as we thought, Kaiser-san."

"That's Kaiser-'sama,' thank you," Ken replied politely as he sliced Yamato's character in half and trotted into the head boss's lair.

"Note to self: next time we play video games, we are NOT inviting any boy geniuses," Yamato said in amusement as he tossed his controller aside uncaringly and Takeru sat on the back on the couch to wrap his arms loosely under the other's neck and sit with his legs on either side of the older boy.

"Sore losers," Daisuke sniggered, rolling over on his stomach.

"This comes from the guy who nearly punched me for accidentally killing him!" Taichi shot back, voice muffled by the sticky caramel.

"Suuure, you ACCIDENTALLY dropped a mountain on my head," Daisuke sniped sulkily, eyeing him with obvious dubiousness and still plotting ways to recover the popcorn.

Ken set down his controller. "Okay, I'm done," he said dismissively as the cheesy ending animation began.

"Six hours for a game that's supposed to take thirty-seven on a perfect run. And that with one life." Takeru glanced at his watch just to double-check. "What d'ya think the manufacturers would say if they knew?"

"They usually cry," Daisuke told him with a shrug, then grinned. "Ken has that kind of effect on computer people, y'know?"

"I think I'd like to design a game sometime," Ken mused aloud as he turned off the system and rested his chin in his hands. "It might be interesting."

"No one else would be able to finish it," Takeru reminded him with an amused smile, leaning down and resting his chin on Yamato's head.

"That'd just help it sell!" Taichi pointed out with a laugh, throwing his head back against the sofa. "Everyone would want to be the first."

"Yeah, whatever . . . aw, man, my hands are KILLING me," Yamato complained, shaking nerveless fingers out ineffectively. "I have practice tonight, dammit!"

"Hang on, give 'em here." Takeru tugged Yamato's left hand up and started massaging it with a practiced air. His brother had a tendency to seriously abuse his digits.

"Thanks," Yamato replied with a small grin, leaning back against him comfortably.

"Neeeever gonna get used to that," Daisuke commented as he pounced Taichi in another attempt to recover the lost popcorn.

"Like we're never going to get used to the fact that you occasionally try to undress Ken in public?" Takeru retorted dryly. Ken blushed and Daisuke paused in his battle for the popcorn to toss an aptly named throw pillow at Takeru's head.

"You're just jealous that mine's prettier," he huffed.

"Ohhhh no, we are NOT having this conversation-" Taichi began, but too late. There was a dangerous look in Yamato's eyes.

"WHO'S prettier?"

ende

. : owie owie CARPAL TUNNEL HURTS O. : .