Ken sat by the edge of the river, reading a small, worn book of poetry. It was a cool, crisp day. Wormmon lay with his head pillowed on Ken's knee and Ken sat in silence except for the slight hiss of his breath and the whisk of turned pages. He got to a certain page, then he took a deep breath.

"Listen, Wormmon." He said in a quiet voice, then read out loud.

"A stranger has come
"To share my room in the house not right in the head.
"A girl mad as birds."

Ken closed his eyes and spoke the rest from his heart.

"Bolting the night of the door with her arm, her plume
"Strait in the mazed bed
"She deludes the heaven-proof house with entering clouds."

"Yet she deludes with walking the nightmarish room
"As large as the dead
"Or rides the imagined oceans of the male wards."

"She has come possessed
"Who admits the delusive light through the bouncing wall
"Possessed by the skies."

"She sleeps in the narrow trough yet she walks the dust
"Yet raves at her will
"On the madhouse boards worn thin by my walking tears."

"And taken by the light in her arms at long and dear last
"I may, without fail
"Suffer the first vision that set fire to the stars."

"It's very pretty." Wormmon said, after a moment.

"I think so, too." Ken said. He caressed the worn cover with the tips of his fingers. "Hell." He said."

"What?"

"The poem's called 'Love in the Asylum.' I've always...to me it always meant that Hell isn't that bad if you have someone. That love can make any place okay."

Wormmon nodded slowly.

Ken looked at the book, then stroked Wormmon's head slightly. "Being with someone." He whispered.

"Why do I think you're not talking about me?" Wormmon asked.

"What was it like, Wormmon? Being Paildramon?"

"It was...hard to explain." Wormmon said. "I liked it, though. What about you?"

"Me?"

"Did you feel anything?"

Ken closed his eyes. "I...I could feel Daisuke's heart beating. Then...it was like...like he was right here, over my shoulder. The feeling went away, though."

"Did you like it?"

Ken smiled slightly. "I think I did."

"You really like him, don't you? I mean, you liked him...before...well, you hated him, but you hated him in a STRANGE way...you were always watching. You were watching them all, but especially him. And now..."

"I still can't stop thinking about him." Ken said. "I thought...I thought it had something to do with being Kaizer...but I still feel it. Stronger now."

"Do you love him?"

"I...don't know. I think I do."

Wormmon rubbed his head against Ken's leg like an oversized cat. "Well, I love you. And if you love him, that's okay."

Ken smiled. "Thanks."

"Ken?" Asked a voice.

Ken dropped the book. With a scabble and a scree, Daisuke come down beside him.

"How much did you hear, Daisuke?" Ken asked.

"Um...I showed up about half-way through the poem."

"Great." Ken said.

"Ken...did you mean what you said?"

"Possibly." Ken said, then looked away.

"Oh." Daisuke looked at his hands, then picked the book up out of the dust. "Dylan Thomas. Who's that?"

"A poet."

"Oh." Daisuke turned the book over in his hands. "You like his stuff?"

"Yes."

"You like me?"

And with ninja-like accuracy, he lulls me into a sense of security, Ken thought. Or not. He took a deep breath. "Yes. I do."

"Oh. Well, that's good, 'cause I kinda...sorta...like you too, Ken."

Ken lowered his head, unsure of whether to smile or blush. Or maybe do both. Wormmon stood up. "I think I'll leave you two alone." Wormmon said, then sort-of-bounced off under a bush.

"Now that the peanut gallery is gone..." Daisuke said.

"Did you mean it, Daisuke? What you said?"

"Well, yeah. We ARE partners, you know."

"Yeah." Ken said, then reached his hand out for the book. There should be more to this, he thought, but didn't say it.

Daisuke looked at the book. "Only if you promise to read me something from it."

"Read you...?"

"You have a nice voice, Ken. And I'm not really big on reading, myself. Here." Daisuke opened the book to a random page, then handed it to Ken. "Read me this one."

Ken took it back, turned it rightside-up, then took a deep breath. "'My hero bares his nerves.' You...you want this one?"

"Sure."

Ken almost bit his tongue. There is fate, he thought. Daisuke chooses the one that makes me think about him. "Okay." Ken said, and began reading.

"My hero bares his nerves along my wrist
"That rules from wrist to shoulder
"Unpacks the head that, like a sleepy ghost,
"Leans on my mortal ruler
"The proud spine spurning turn and twist."

Daisuke moved closer to Ken as he read and, casually, put his arm around Ken's shoulders. Ken suddenly found himself reading around an unexplainable lump in his throat.

"And these poor nerves so wired to the skull
"Ache on the lovelorn paper
"I hug to love with my unruly scrawl
"That utters all love hunger
"And tells the page the empty ill."

"My hero..." Ken took a deep breath. Oh, god. The part he didn't want to talk about. He swallowed and started again.

"My hero bares my side and sees his heart
"Tread, like a naked venus
"The beach of flesh and wind her bloodred plait
"Stripping my loin of promise.
"He promises a secret heat."

Both boys were blushing bright red. It'll be easier now, Ken thought.

"He holds the wire from this box of nerves
"Praising mortal error
"Of birth and death, the two sad knaves of thieves
"And the hunger's emperor;
"He pulls the chain, the cistern moves."

Daisuke had his chin almost on Ken's shoulder and was reading along. "That it?" He asked.

"That's it." Ken replied.

"It's...I don't know much about poetry."

"It's one of my favorites."

"It's very good." Daisuke said, quickly.

"I think so, too." Ken said. Oh, God, Ken thought. He's still touching me...

Daisuke apparently realized the same thing, because he blushed bright red and started to pull his arm back. "I don't mind, Daisuke." He said.

"Mind what?" Daisuke asked.

Ken raised a hand and worked his fingers in with Daisuke's. "This"

"Oh. That." Daisuke said. "Yeah."

Ken looked at Daisuke. He has nice eyes, Ken thought. Then they both blushed bright red and looked away. Daisuke looked at the book in Ken's hands, reading the words again. Then Daisuke looked up. Their eyes met again.

Ken looked away. Am I blushing? He thought

Daisuke raised the hand that wasn't holding Ken's and tentatively touched Ken's cheek, angling the black-haired boy's face in front of his own. Slowly, clumsily, their lips met.

Their first kiss was only the stuff of dreams in it's meaning. Ken was over timid and Daisuke was over eager. They pulled back quickly, and Daisuke began to laugh. Ken almost got angry, but he realised the darker boy was laughing at himself. Ken smiled.

"I...I don't have much practice with this kissing stuff." Daisuke said.

"Neither do I." Ken said.

"Maybe...maybe we could try again?" Daisuke asked.

"Okay." Ken breathed.

Their second kiss went better. Ken relaxed as Daisuke's tongue slipped into his mouth. He sighed.

He forgot to breathe.

The kiss was, understandably, shortened. Ken gasped for breath. Daisuke smiled.

"Forgot..."

"Forgot to breathe." Ken said.

"I just take your breath away."

Ken shook his head. "You...you taste like cinnamon and chocolate." He said.

"You taste...salty."

"Salty?"

"Salty."

"Salty." Ken said, slowly.

"I like salty things, Ken. Chips and popcorn and pretzels and...you."

"I've always been partial to chocolate, myself." Ken said.

"See? We both got lucky." Daisuke said, then he stopped for a second. "Not like that." He sputtered.

Ken smiled. They moved closer, lips almost brushing...

"D'suke?" Asked a small voice from near where Wormmon had disappeared.

Daisuke pulled back slightly and turned. "What, Chibimon?"

"Don't you think we're going to be late?" Chibimon asked.

Daisuke swore and smacked his forehead. "I forgot! The meeting! Ken..."

"Go on." Ken said.

Daisuke kissed Ken's forehead. "I'll see you later, okay?"

"Okay."

"And maybe we could practice this kissing thing some more when we see each other again." Daisuke said.

"I...I'd like that." Ken said.

"Cool." Daisuke stood up and gathered up Chibimon. "Um...bye."

"Bye."

Daisuke ran up the bank, waved expansively, then ran off. Wormmon slowly made his way back from the bushes. "Ken-chan?"

"What?"

"You're...smiling."

Ken raised a hand to his lips. "I suppose I am at that." He looked back at the book, still smiling, then recited.

"And taken by light in her arms at long and dear last
"I may, without fail,
"Suffer the first vision that set fire to the stars."

"You'd have to change that to 'his.'" Wormmon noted. "If Daisuke is your someone, that is."

"Yeah." Ken agreed. Then he looked at the book. "Come on. Let's go finish that jelly roll, okay?"

"'Kay"

Ken gathered up Wormmon and started the walk home.

~~~~~

Daisuke skittered into the computer room at high speed. "I'm here!" He yelled.

"Where WERE you?" Miyako asked.

"I was...enjoying the poetry of Thomas Dylan." Daisuke said.

"You mean Dylan Thomas?" Miyako asked.

"Yeah. Him!"

Kari rolled her eyes.

"He was!" Chibimon said. "Ken was reading to him!"

"CHIBIMON!" Daisuke yelled.

"What?" Chibimon asked.

"KEN was reading to you?" Iori asked. "KEN?"

"It's the 'reading to him' part that worries me." TK said.

"They were mmmph mmmph mmmph!" Daisuke clamped a hand over Chibimon's mouth.

"What was Chibimon about to say, Daisuke?" Kari asked.

"You know, I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition here!"

"Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition." Miyako muttered.

Chibimon had started to squirm. He wanted to be put down so he could get to the food. Daisuke was clasping him tightly, not about to set the little snitch down when he could still tell the rest of the story.

"What were you doing with Ken?" Iori asked.

"Trying to get him to join us, of course."

"And how is poetry involved in that?" Miyako asked. "Chibimon, what were they doing?"

"DON'T TELL THEM, CHIBIMON!"

Miyako pulled a chocolate bar out of her pocket and held it out. Chibimon's eyes got wide and he worked his way out of Daisuke's arms. Daisuke made a futile grab for him, but the little blue digimon was faster than he was, especially when faced with the prospect of a chocolate bar.

Miyako handed the chocolate bar to Chibimon. "What were they doing, Chibimon?"

"Well," Chibimon said around a mouthful of candy. "We were on our way here and Daisuke thought that he heard Ken talking, and Ken was sitting in the park reading poetry to Wormmon..."

"Does that sound wierd to anyone else?" TK asked.

"And Daisuke stood there while Ken read, then he finished and talked to Wormmon for a little bit, and Daisuke and I were about to leave, but Ken said something and Daisuke put me down and he went to talk to Ken, then Wormmon went off and we talked for a little bit, then Daisuke asked Ken to read him something, and he did, and then they kissed..."

"They WHAT?" Everyone asked.

"Daisuke?" Kari said.

Daisuke was blushing bright red. "You're a little snitch, do you know that, Chibimon?"

"Did I say something wrong?"

"Kinda."

"Oh. Sorry." Chibimon finished the chocolate, then nuzzled Daisuke's ankle. Daisuke picked him up.

"Daisuke? Were you and Ken..." Kari asked

"Um...kinda...sorta...yes. It was only the once, though."

"Actually, it was twice." Chibimon said. "And you kissed his head before you left."

"Yeah. I remember now. Thanks, Chibimon."

"Any time!"

Miyako's eyes had opened large enough that her glasses had slipped down the bridge of her nose. "You and...Ken?" She squeaked.

"Um...yeah."

"You...and Ken?"

"Yes."

Miyako touched her forehead, then she looked up. "Cool. Can we go to the Digital World now?"

Quietly, everyone pulled out their D-3's and opened the Digiport.

*****

I'm probably going to continue this.

Oh, and all poems are by Dylan Thomas. Any mistakes in transcribing are my own. Go read Dylan Thomas now. If you've only heard "Do not go gentle into that good night" well...you're missing a lot. Okay. I'm done

Oh, yeah. Feb-27-2001, I didn't JUST re-upload it, I also corrected a few little things...Miyako's dorky Monty Python reference works better now, for instance. There IS a second chapter to this bopping around my notebook, I just have to get my act together and get my muse to shut up long enough to type it up...