"He did what?"

Takeru shrugged at me, tossing the mikan back and forth in his hands. He finally started to peel it. "It's no big deal, he just said that he liked me."

"You want me to kick his ass?"

"Daisuke," a hint of anger in his voice. Not that he's really angry. Just annoyed with my... er... violent tendency.

"I'm not joking, I'd do it!" I insist around the straw of my chocolate shake. I guess it isn't really a good thing that my first response when someone says, 'So-and-so said blah-blah-blah' is 'You want me to kick their ass?' But it's not like all my friends can take care of themselves. A few of the girls especially. It gets me in trouble sometimes though. There was a time when Takeru was in a fight or something and I kind of... well, not kind of, I did break it up... and then I set into the guy who was messing with him when he didn't shut up.

Seemed like the right thing to do. After all, I kick more ass than Takeru does. Except Takeru was angry because he thought I didn't think he could take care of himself.

Not that I don't. I mean, he's a cute kid and all, but he's pretty... wimpy.

"I know you would, but that's not really necessary." He started eating the mikan, which is a very interesting thing to watch. First he rips the top of the slice, then pulls the sides of it down and eats the stuff inside. Very intricate. I'd eat the damn thing whole, like an apple or something. But then again, I do put a lot of shit in my body anyway.

Watching him, I snap the paper cup down on the desk and shake my head. "Just swallow it whole."

He looks up at me, brushing blonde hair out of his eyes, and smirks a bit. "Why?"

"Because watching you do that is driving me crazy."

"Then don't watch?" he answered simply, starting on another slice.

Giving a grunt of disgust, I shove my feet off the floor and turn the chair around. It's one of those really neat chairs that swivels in circles. I have so much fun with that chair. I'll be sitting down and trying to study while randomly swinging around in circles. That explains my grades I suppose. But anyway, here I am turned around and listening to the slight rustle Takeru's clothes make when he moves his arms, staring out the glass doors that lead to the balcony. And wouldn't you know it, I can see this faint reflection of him eating that mikan in the glass.

It seems like people are always eating when they talk to me. It's kind of annoying. What, do I have a voice that makes people hungry or something? Horny maybe, but... well, that depends on the person and the time and... oh, nevermind.

Anyway, I spin around in the chair again and get up. He watches me as I head towards the door, and then gets up and follows me into the kitchen, still eating that stupid fruit. "What?" he asks as I give him a look halfway between annoyance and a glare. "Don't pout at me."

"Not pouting." I tug open the fridge door and start shifting through it. I wish my parents were drunks, I'm kind of in the mood for alcohol. Yamato's dad is the only one out of all of the kids parents who drinks. Not a problem – I'm over there every now and then and he always lets me get a little sloshed with him. Leads to the weirdest conversations, really, which is how Yamato found out me and Takeru are...

I have no idea why I still can't say it. Dating. Dating! There. Me and Takeru – I mean Takeru and I – are dating. We're dating. He's my... boyfriend. That word is weird as hell.

Instead I come up with one of those microwave-able dinner things. I don't need a microwave – I can cook my own dinner just fine – but right now I feel like being lazy. "Want anything?" I ask Takeru. He shakes his head, engrossed in mutilating that mikan, and I shrug and glance over the directions. A moron could make this stuff – perfect for me. I slam it in the microwave. Flopping onto a chair at the table, I sit there and drum out a rhythm on the wood for a moment. Takeru sits down across from me, and we stare at each other in silence for a minute before I get up and go back to my room. I click on the radio and turn it up loud enough so that I can hear it in the kitchen, then go back in and sit down while waiting for the microwave. The radio is currently playing a 311 song, and being that I like 311, I go back to drumming on the table with the beat and start singing under my breath.

Takeru just watches me in every bit of silence, only blinking every now and then and chewing the last bites of the mikan. I hate it when he goes all quiet like that, because it means I have to keep it from being eternally silent.

Singing works.

"Faces keep on changing while they're changing... a certain view will stay in tact..." The microwave goes off and I thank every god I've heard of under my breath.

With food in my mouth, I can't hardly be expected to keep up a conversation, can I? So I plop down with my dinner and start diggin' in, not so fast that I'll wolf it all down and be stuck with the same problem again, but fast enough that I'm constantly eating.

"Daisuke?" Takeru says not long after I start eating.

"Mn?" I glance up from the food, poking it with the fork.

"Can you turn down the radio?"

Swallowing, I narrow one eye. "But it's 311."

"Not anymore," he holds up a finger as the song ends.

I groan. "I'm eating," I whine, trying the next approach. I'm not really up for getting back on my feet and going in there. Besides, I like having the radio on. Background noise. And if you listen to the radio, it has to be loud.

Of course, it doesn't help to not get up and do it as he gets up and goes in to turn it down himself. No big deal, it's a news break anyway. The radio guy is telling me it's 38 degrees outside – no shit. It's broiling in here.

"Hey, Take-chan? Since you're up? Turn up the AC for me, okay?" I yell, going back to my dinner. He doesn't respond. Not my problem. He's probably found something amusing to play with. So I'll just sit here and eat this dinner that tastes vaguely like cum. And that is not a taste I enjoy.

Ever notice that you never really notice how bad something tastes until you put a name to it? Like if you say something tastes like shit, every bite after that tastes exactly the way shit would if you were to eat it. Which I haven't, but I know someone who has. He got twenty bucks for it and puked his brains out as soon as he put the cash in his wallet. Anyway, after clarifying that this dinner tastes like cum, it happens to taste very much like cum. So I drop the fork in the sink and throw the rest of it away, stopping by the thermostat to turn up the AC, and then head into my bedroom to find out what Takeru's playing with.

He opened the window next to my bed and has a fan sitting on the windowsill. Supposedly that's supposed to pull the air from outside, which is theoretically colder than the air inside, and make it feel better inside. I never really noticed it to work, but it does feel good to have air blowing on you, no matter the temperature. I closed the door behind me to keep the warm air from the window from effecting the air conditioning working in the living room. He's sitting on the edge of my bed, flipping through the notebook everyone gave me before I moved off to LA. I never look at that anymore because it makes me feel terrible.

See, my parents decided that since my grades sucked ass and I was always out doing things, it had something to do with environment. I can't remember exactly what the deal was, but in the end they told me I was being sent off to LA to live with my aunt and I couldn't do anything about it.

The problem wasn't my aunt – she was really great, and I've met her several times before – nor was it the location – hell, I speak English better than my parents do – it was just the idea that I would have to leave all my friends. Everybody.

At the time, the length of my stay was 'indefinite.' Considering how much my parents don't really care about me, I came to the conclusion that I was going to stay there for the rest of my high school career. And then after that, who knows how long it would be before I could have moved back to Japan and got myself a place of my own?

Needless to say, I was incredibly depressed at the idea. No one else took it very good either. So before I left, Hikari got this notebook. She put pictures of everyone in it, and then passed it around for two weeks, making sure every single person I'd ever been acquainted with signed it. Most people just wrote short things like, 'I can't believe you're leaving, good luck in the future, love so-and-so,' but all my friends wrote novels. Seriously. The shortest entry from my friends was Miyakos', and it was three pages. Takerus' was seven.

She didn't give me to book until right before I got on the plane, so for the entire 18 hour flight from Japan to the Canadian stop between the two flights, all I did was read over this thing over and over again. My head was pounding and I had airsickness like all hell, but I didn't want to put that thing away.

It still makes me feel really ill to think of when I left everyone behind. I was only gone for two and a half months before my aunt, sympathizing with how sick I was making myself by not being with all my friends, convinced my mom to let me come home.

That sounds really weird. My mom let me come home. I didn't have a goddamn problem with the environment – I'm just stupid as hell, that's all.

Zipping myself back to reality, I notice that Takeru is staring at me. I must have a weird look on my face because he looks really concerned. "You okay?"

"Yep," I shrug it all off, just the way I always do with anything that doesn't suit me, and plop down on the bed. I reach over to turn the radio off and turn the CD player on. The stereo is sitting on this shelf at the head of my bed, and I have so much other crap sitting up there. A few CDs, about two bucks in spare change, a half-drank cup of iced tea that's been there since I don't know when, a few empty Jones soda bottles, a sketch book that I pick up and doodle in randomly, a nearly empty carton of cigarettes, a game boy, a picture of all the other digidestined, a deck of cards, aspirin, a ceramic bowl that Hikari gave me that has about half of my bracelets in it, the rest of my bracelets being scattered on the shelves along with a few necklaces and rings, and of course the ever handy D-3 and D-terminal. Just the things on my shelf should give you a basic idea of the condition of the rest of my room. Anyway, I pick up one of the CDs and give it a glance before plopping it in the stereo and letting it play. Shifting on the bed, I flop back with the fan only six inches from my face and stare up at the ceiling.

It's a Brilliant Green CD, one of my favorite bands. They did the theme for the Japanese dub of Powerpuff Girls, which is in my opinion the best show I've ever seen. Listening to it always cheers me up, the perfect thing to get rid of that post-my-parents-shipped-me-away mood.

It helps that Takeru puts the notebook on the desk and crawls up the bed until he's straddling me. "Hi," he smiles.


"What's up?"

"Nothin. C'mere," I lean up just enough, and he leans down just the right amount to meet me in the middle for a kiss.

I don't know if you've ever had a kiss like we had, but if you have, you'll know exactly what I mean. The way it felt... my mouth against his... it was more than enough to take care of any angst I had left behind. It ended and I collapsed back on the bed, Takeru slumping down next to me.

"You're blocking the fan."

"Sorry." He rolls over me, making me give out a rather loud, "Ohhhh GOD the pain!" before settling on the other side. He picks up one hand and starts scratching my stomach.

I don't know why he does that, but he does. He does it all the time. Like I'm a puppy. "Ah-ha!" I realize, accidentally saying it outloud.

"What?" he props himself up on one arm, still scratching my stomach with the other.

"You think I'm a puppy," I announce triumphantly.

He laughs. "Oh, sure, Dais, you got me all figured out."

"I know." I shut my eyes. Laying here with the fan blowing on my face and the music blaring in my ears, I try to filter everything else out except for the fact that right now, with Takeru curled up next to me, I'm happy. At this very second I couldn't be better. I try to engrave the feeling into my mind, so the next time I get angry about something, I can stop and shut my eyes and bring this feeling back again.

Not like it were that easy, but there's no point in wondering about that now – because right now I'm happy.

And I've completely forgotten that there was some other guy hitting on my boyfriend. Sitting up, I turn to study Takeru carefully. He blinks at me, trying to figure out what went wrong to disrupt the moment when we were both quiet and happy. "You aren't gonna do anything, are you?"

"Huh?" he blinks. Of course, he doesn't have any idea what I was thinking.

"I mean... that guy."

"Oh." He sits up now, too. "No."


"Daisuke, I can't even believe you're asking me this sort of a thing. I wouldn't ask you. I trust you. Don't you trust me?"

"Sure." I flop back on the bed and cover my face with my arms. Of course I trust him. It's that other guy I don't trust. So we come full circle to me wanting to kick this guys' ass.

"Dais." He leans back and into me gently. "Dais, come on."

Ripping my arms away from my head, I almost scream. "It's not you, all right? It's like... I'm worried about what he would do. And I'm sort of worried that... if he did something..." I don't want to even say it. I hardly want to think it. "What if he was... better than me."

"In bed?"

"NO!" Oops, there goes my temper. Check, one, two. I'm all right now. "No. I mean just all together. Come on, Takeru, I couldn't even list all my faults on my fingers and toes."

"So?" he blinks simply at me.

"So you could easily find someone better. Easily. I'm just scared you will." I rolled over to face the window, shutting my eyes at the breeze. I don't like that word, 'scared.' I hate being scared. It's weak to be scared. And I'm not weak.

I can feel Takeru squirming around over there, until he rolls over enough to lay against me, folding one arm over me and pulling me against him. Even as I start grumbling protests and trying to wiggle away, he doesn't let go. Instead he plops his chin on my arm and waits until I give up. Not like I can run away anyways – I'm between Takeru and the wall.

He reaches up with his free hand and turns off the stereo, then puts his chin on my arm again. Now the only sound is the faint noise from the city below and the whirring of the fan. Check that, the AC starts humming in the other room.

"Even if you have faults – and it's not like I don't – so does everyone else. Ah!" he catches me before I can start talking. "And besides. Even if I meet someone 'better,' and that's in quotes, it doesn't matter. They wouldn't be better, because I don't like them. I like you. And that's going to stay that way."

Sort of in emphasis, he leans over and kisses my shoulder.

I don't say anything for a while. He waits patiently. That's the best part about him. Always waiting. One time, I purposely pushed it to see how long he'd wait. In the middle of pushing it, I forgot what I was doing and fell asleep. He woke me up the next morning and kept asking me if things were okay. I was totally confused until I remember I'd never given the all clear sign the night before, which was very amusing to me. So amusing, in fact, I had to stop laughing completely before I could finish telling him what was so funny.

So finally, to avoid passing out again, I shrug. "Thanks."

He smiles. I can't see him, since my back is still to him, but I can feel him smile. He slides his chin off my shoulder and buries his face in the back of my neck.

The air conditioning stops humming and the apartment falls silent again, giving way to the soft noise of the fan running. After a while, Takeru's breath on my neck -ugh, that's so... adorable – slows and I can tell he's asleep. So I go back to memorizing this moment to ever detail, so I can have it in storage for the rest of my life.