The winter was bitterly cold.
Spring was hardly an entire month away, but the city of Odaiba was still stuck in the middle of freezing cold weather. Sitting inside of an apartment were six kids, watching the snowfall.
It had been six years since the mess in the Digital World, and now the second generation of kids was catching up on the events passed. Or rather, some of them were. Daisuke was curled up on the couch, fast asleep, huddled up in a sweatshirt and large baggy jeans.
"He always does that," Miyako complained. "We all try to sit down and get serious, get all reminiscent of days passed... and he falls asleep. And he snores, too! Someone hit him!"
Hikari nudged the boy on the couch next to her until he shifted, silencing the soft sounds of his breathing that Miyako had passed off as snoring. "We were all up late, studying."
"Yeah," Takeru shot a glare at Miyako. "Unlike you, some of us have exams to go through."
"Hey, I have exams too. Just because it's an all girls school doesn't mean it's any easier than public school," she complained. The purple haired girl had developed quite nicely over the years, turning in her glasses for contacts and growing something more in the curves department. She'd gone to a public school in 7th grade, only one year after the digital adventure, so she'd missed a huge amount of contact with the rest of the kids.
Iori was younger than them all and had only spent one year in the same junior high as the others, then lost touch once more when they all moved on to high school. He was still smaller than the average kid, soft-spoken and shy, but he was obviously older and more mature.
Ken went to a different high school than Hikari, Takeru, and Daisuke. It was a private high school, made up of kids who were too smart for their own good, according to Daisuke. He was so busy working to maintain grades enough to continue attending the school that he never got to see the rest, either.
Out of the original team, only Daisuke, Takeru, and Hikari stuck together. It had been a rough ride, with each of them fading away to their own paths at times, but they'd always returned as one. The three were best friends, holding unbreakable bonds with each other.
"Ugh, God, shut him up!" Miyako snarled in Daisuke's direction. Hikari giggled a bit, nudging him on the shoulder again. "How obnoxious."
"Miya-chan, you're a whore," Daisuke mumbled into the couch, opening one eye wearily.
"WHAT DID YOU SAY?"
"Jus' kidd'nz," he slurred out, flashing a grin before shifting on the couch and going back to sleep.
"That stupid jerk, I should... Grrrrrr!"
"You like him, don't you," Iori smirked.
"HIM? Like HIM? Ew, no! I don't date younger boys! Ick! Well... not him anyway..." she tossed a glance in Ken's direction. It was a blatant hint at the fact that she still liked him, even after all the years and several boyfriends in between.
Ken hardly took any notice. His eyes were on Daisuke as he watched the dark boy sleeping.
Hikari stared at the boy with indigo hair for a long moment before nudging Takeru and giving him a meaningful look. Takeru turned his blue eyed gaze on the other boy as well, trying to pick up on what it was that Hikari was seeing. "I don't get it," he whispered to her.
The whispered voice snapped Ken from his trance and he realized Hikari and Takeru were watching him. He didn't notice Miyako's infatuated glances. "Oh. Sorry, were you talking to me? I guess I was zoning out a little bit, wasn't I?" he smiled. Rising to his feet, he headed towards the kitchen. "I'm going to get a drink. Does anyone else want something?"
"I'll come with you and we'll get sodas for everybody," Hikari hopped off the couch, threw a glance at Takeru, then skipped after Ken.
Hikari leaned over the table and peered closely at Ken. "I know who you like," she announced.
Ken blinked and stared back at her. "You don't beat around the bush, now, do you?"
"Nope!" she cheerfully responded, winking. Drumming her fingers on the table, she smiled. "So do I have to prove it, or will you admit it to me?"
"Oh, no, I believe you. I'm sure that you do know. I'm just not sure how you picked up on it."
"Oh, please!" she giggled, taking the bottle of soda he handed to her. "You were practically drooling over him just now."
Taking six cups from the cabinet, Ken placed them on the table. "I don't know why I bother," he shrugged.
"What do you mean?" she started filling the cups, glancing up at him briefly. "Bother liking him?"
"Lots of people like him."
"He's still single, though."
"Yes, but, well... He doesn't swing that way."
"You kidding me?" Hikari made a face. "He's bi. Didn't you know that? I thought everyone did. He makes jokes about it all the time."
Ken's eyes widened. "He is?"
The girl nodded, then capped the bottle. "So what about you? Bi?" He shook his head. "Ooh, all the way. That's cool. I always thought it was cheating to be bisexual, because you're getting both worlds where as everyone else has picked one or the other. Besides, it's difficult to date someone that's bi. You have to fight twice as hard to keep guys and girls away."
Arching an eyebrow, Ken smirked a bit. "Takeru?"
"Bingo. Well, bicurious, he says. Long term is going to be with a girl – that's me. But he finds men attractive, too. Daisuke says he'd claim the same thing, except he doesn't believe in controlling who you fall in love with, so he might go long term with a guy or a girl. It's like heads or tails, you know? You call it, it's half chance. Life is full of half chances, he says. Smart guy, that Daisuke," she finished the conversation, taking three of the glasses in her hands and heading back to the living room. "But in conclusion, just talk to him about it. I mean, what's the worst that could happen?"
The 'worst that could happen' was that Daisuke could laugh in his face. Hikari could be lying. Daisuke was nice, but he wasn't exactly the type to come up with some of the stuff Hikari said he'd come up with. As far as Ken knew, anyway. He thought over this as he stood outside the Motomiya apartment, pondering before knocking on the door.
He'd gone over this conversation in his head more times than he could count, and he could count fairly high. It all ended in a romantic way, with deep passionate kisses. Some of them were X-Rated thoughts. He felt a little guilty thinking all of this about Daisuke, while leaving Daisuke clueless about any of the desire.
On the other hand, Daisuke had plenty of girls and several guys that liked him. He was attractive – extremely attractive. He was always cute to begin with, and the six years had been oh-so-good to him. "Daisuke is ugly as my ass," Takeru had once said. "And Hi-chan says my ass looks very good." Daisuke laughed. Hikari blushed. Everyone else didn't know if they should laugh or say it was a mean comment.
But his thoughts were straying. The issue at hand was either knocking on that door or turning around and letting it go.
Ken vaguely remembered a girl, a girl with red and black streaked hair. She was commonly described to him as Daisuke's counterpart, his soulmate. Her name he couldn't recall – maybe it started with an A, or a K perhaps. They'd been dating, he remembered, but he never glimpsed her or heard any words about her anymore. 'They must have broken up. It's probably a touchy subject so no one mentions it,' Ken thought resolutely.
And Hikari did say that he was single...
He raised his hand to knock on the door.
He lowered it again.
He'd fallen for Daisuke because he thought they would make a nice couple. While Ken himself was calm and composed, Daisuke was firey and erratic, crazy in all the right ways. He had a hot temper and always leapt before even thinking about it twice. Ken would be nice for him.
The hand went up. His knuckles silently brushed the wooden door, and then he lowered it again.
That was Takeru's job, though. Takeru was the one who was mellow and serene, always stopping Daisuke before he went in too deep. They evened each other out. So now that this position was filled, where was Ken's place in Daisuke's life? Where would the appeal be? They certainly weren't anything alike in social standings. Daisuke was high on the ladder. Everyone knew him and loved him, although he hated a good majority of the people for their popular ways and snobbish treatments of those "lower" than themselves. Ken was also well known, but not everyone liked him. Many were jealous of his intelligence and despised him because of it. He was seen as a geek.
Daisuke was not.
But then again, perhaps there was something to that opposites attract phrase after all. Once more, he raised his fist and faked knocking in the air, inches from the door. He sighed.
It was no use. Even if there was a shot, he could never muster up the courage to tell Daisuke anything.
He put his hand down and turned away from the door. Maybe some other time. Maybe another day, when he was feeling braver and had less self-doubt. Maybe then he would knock on that door and make one of those fantasies of his come true.
But not today.