Rating: R (for language)
Warnings: OOC, angst
Pairings: Kensuke and a sham Kenyako on the side.
Summery: When nature is overruled by nurture the sins of the family can be devastating. Maybe the wrongs can be righted. Maybe Ken and Daisuke can help each other, if they get over their own problems first.
Disclaimer: Digimon and the characters within belong to their respective owners. No profit is being made.
Authors notes: Sorry, this is a bit of a departure from my usual Digimon fanfic. For starters, it's not meant to be cute. There are no digimon in this fic and this doesn't even take place in a universe where digimon exist. And I'd also like to thank Ollin for beta-ing this. But, as always, all mistakes are still my fault. Please, direct all comments and criticism my way
"Is it just me, or is he staring at me?" Daisuke leaned over and asked the girl to the right.
"Hmm? Excuse me?"
"Nothing, nothing," he said, leaning back to his seat. He had just started this, having conversations with people he barely knew. He wouldn't really call them conversations though, since no one was actually speaking with him. He had gotten a few weird looks but mostly he was being ignored.
He was lonely. His best friend had just moved halfway across the country last week and he had yet to find a way to occupy his time.
All the things he used to do with Wallace were just no fun anymore. Passing notes in homeroom, pointless with out someone to write back. Making fun of teachers lost all its charm without someone to tell the jokes. Nothing good ever came on TV anymore without Wallace holding the remote. Soccer was no fun without someone to play with. Even going to the mall and checking out girls had lost all its appeal.
He felt worse than alone, he felt like he had lost a brother. No, it was worst than that, he felt bored.
He should have probably taken the time to wonder why losing a close friend, his only friend, was less important than having nothing to do, but he was distracted.
The guy behind him had been staring at him constantly for a period and a half and it was becoming annoying. The guy, Tim or Tom or something, had just transferred into the school five or six weeks ago. Daisuke hadn't really noticed because Wallace hadn't cared to know anything about the new kid. Tim, after all, was not a hot chick.
Now with nothing else to do, Daisuke was left free to wonder why that kid was staring holes in the back of his head. But, fortunately, the bell rang and class let out.
Daisuke was surprised to see that the kid wasn't following him to his next class; heading in the same direction? Yes. Stalking? No. Daisuke was a little miffed at that, he had wanted to turn on the guy and tell him to get a life. That was how he had met Wallace.
The guy, unaware of Daisuke's intentions, was actually talking to a girl. Daisuke remembered her name was Miyako. Wallace had classified her as "a nice piece of ass." Wallace had tried to talk to her but she had called him a jerk and that had been the end of it. Wallace had changed his opinion and now Miyako was "a real bitch, not even worth it." Daisuke felt inclined to agree.
Daisuke leaned against the wall to watch the show. But, he had no intention of being late. Ten minutes was entirely too much time to walk from his third period to his fourth, the classrooms were about thirty yards apart. In the mean time, he wanted to see how the new kid would handle the bitch.
Miyako had run up and thrown an arm around the kid's shoulder like they were old friends. She was talking about something but the kid was ignoring her, he hadn't even stopped walking. She seemed to get pissed and produced a sheet of paper out of her pocket and started waving it around in front of his face.
That got his attention. The guy stopped walking and took the paper from Miyako. He read it and didn't seem to like what he was seeing. He balled the paper up in his fist and glared at her.
Daisuke looked down at his watch and decided he didn't have time for them to fight. He walked over to them right before Miyako could start screaming.
"Hey, Miyako, can you excuse us?"
She blinked at him for a couple of seconds as if she didn't recognize him, then realization struck, "Davis? What do you want?"
He shrugged, "I don't know."
"Go away, Miyako," the new guy ordered.
It might have been Daisuke's imagination but it looked like she paled a little. She didn't argue though, she turned on her heels and left them in the middle of the crowded hallway.
"So listen, your name's Tom, right?"
"Ok, Ken. You've been staring at me all day."
Daisuke took a second to catch up. He had been expecting denial or an accusation of some kind. The simple acknowledgment had derailed his train of thought. "Er… Why?"
"There is something different about you." Ken seemed completely unmoved by Daisuke suddenly appearance in front of him. His tone was calm and indifferent but his stare penetrating.
That annoyed Daisuke, "Different? Like what?"
"Where is your better half?"
"Wallace moved—" Daisuke answered on reflex. "Hey wait! What's that supposed to mean?"
"Five minutes after the last bell be at the front gate of the school."
"Just be there," Ken said over his shoulder as he walked away. It sounded like an order again.
Five minutes after the last bell, Daisuke was laughing uproariously at Ken standing at the gate waiting for him to show up.
Seven minutes after the last bell, Daisuke was panting, out of breath, at the front gate. Ken was nowhere to be seen.
The next day, Daisuke made it through second and third period, but just barely. This time it was the absence of the feeling of being watched that bothered him. Ken was in the room, the other boy was sitting right behind him, but he seemed to have forgotten that Daisuke existed.
Having had enough of the situation, Daisuke picked the change between third and fourth period to confront Ken once again.
"Hey, Ken! Wait up!" Daisuke yelled, chasing after the other boy. It was probably some trick of his imagination but it seemed like the crowds of students in the hall were moving around Ken only to stand in his way. He finally caught up, out of breath, "Where… where were you yesterday?" Daisuke wanted to stop but Ken had continued walking, he was trying to keep up.
"It doesn't matter now."
"Yes, it does. You told me to be there and you weren't there. What was all that about?"
Ken was walking past Daisuke's classroom now, "Where were you five minutes after the last bell?"
"At the front gate."
He pasted his own classroom. "Try again."
"I was on my way."
"Liar." There was no bitterness or accusation in Ken's tone but the word still stung Daisuke.
"Hey! Would you stop?"
He stopped and finally turned to face Daisuke. The halls were emptying and no one was paying them any attention. Ken was the same height as Daisuke but the way he was looking at him made Daisuke feel only a few inches tall. "What do you want from me?" Daisuke asked, at wits end.
"Where were you five minutes after the last bell?" Ken was giving him that look again.
"I was in the hallway," Daisuke admitted, he had to look away to say it. "But I did go to the gate," he said as if that would make it not his fault.
"I said five after. You were not there. You were deliberately late. It's over."
"What do you mean, 'It's over?'" Daisuke asked as Ken walked around him, back towards their classes.
"I'm not playing games with you. You're not ready."
"Ready for what?" Daisuke asked, chasing after the other boy.
"Go away," he said, but it didn't sound like an order as it had with Miyako the day before. It lacked the malice that had chased Miyako away.
"Hey!" Daisuke said, grabbing his arm to prevent Ken from going into his class.
Ken stiffened and, for a moment, Daisuke thought he was going to be hit. Instead, Ken just turned and looked at him. "What do you want?"
Daisuke got the distinct impression that Ken was asking something a lot more complex than just that simple question. He had no idea how to answer, "I just…"
Ken stared at him for five minutes longer while time moved around them. Students emptied the halls and Daisuke was still searching for the proper response.
Ken looked at his watch; it was almost time for the next class. "Five minutes after the last bell, today. Be at the front gate. No more chances. Do not be late and detention is no excuse. Get to your class, you have two minutes and forty-two seconds." He removed Daisuke's hand from his arm and went to class.
Daisuke ran to his locker and to his class. He made it to his seat with four seconds to spare.
Four minutes and twenty-six seconds after the last bell, Daisuke was waiting at the front gate.
Thirty-four seconds later, Ken strolled by without a pause in step. He said two words as he passed, "Let's go."
Daisuke followed him down the sidewalk. They were walking east, the complete opposite direction from his house. Ken didn't seem to show any indication of slowing or even acknowledging Daisuke. After a block and a half, Daisuke decided to take the matter into his own hands.
"Where are we going?" He said, stepping up to walk beside Ken.
"Does it matter?"
"Yes. I wanna know where I'm going," Daisuke did a little half step to match the other boy's smooth stride.
"You'll find out when we get there."
They walked past a building that looked like a community center. There was a playground with children running around and laughing. A group of older kids were standing at the corner of the building smoking and playing craps. Daisuke thought Ken was heading towards them but he walked passed without a second glance.
"Why am I following you?"
"That's a question you need to answer for yourself."
Daisuke was going to argue but decided to go along with it. "I'm following because you told me to come."
"Do you always do what you're told?"
They were walking through a small park now. It had grass, trees, birds, and bees; all pretty standard.
"I wanted to know why you were staring at me. You said I was different."
"I'm surprised you remembered," Ken said. He didn't sound surprised though; Daisuke hadn't heard him sound anything but angry in the past two days.
"Why would I forget? Don't answer that." Daisuke was starting to sweat. It had been chilly outside when he had left for school that morning; Daisuke had worn a leather jacket. "'There's something different about you.' 'Different? Like what?' 'Where's your better half?' 'What's that supposed to mean?' "Five minutes after the last bell, front gate, just be there.'" He repeated their earlier conversation with a very bored expression on his face.
"You see what?"
"You're like a blank slate or a mirror." Daisuke almost didn't here him speak, it was almost like he hadn't meant to say that aloud.
They were still in the park. Ken had circled back on the path and was walking back through it on a different trail.
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Where is Wallace?" This time Ken was definitely speaking to Daisuke.
"He moved last week. What does he have to do with anything?"
"I have only seen you without him a few times, all of them within the last week. You sat where he sat. Ate what he ate. Laughed at his jokes—"
"Why were you watching us?"
Ken ignored him, "—Did the things he did. Made fun of the people he made fun of. Like you were infatuated with him, but not that simple. You were his shadow, a reflection, and how he's gone. The past week you haven't done any work. You haven't eaten lunch. You haven't laughed at anything or talked to anyone."
"You're make it sound like I'm some sort of Pod Person or something," Daisuke said, defensively. He was trying not to think that Ken might be right in his observations.
"You're not real. You're like a blank slate, a reflection."
"So that's why you were staring at me?" Daisuke said, unintentionally trying to change the subject.
"I was deciding if I could use you."
Daisuke stopped walking, "What makes you think I would let you use me?"
"You need me."
"No. I don't."
Ken had kept walking. Daisuke watched him walk away until he was almost out of sight. He decided to follow again.
"What's your name?" Ken asked when Daisuke fell back in step.
"You already know my name," He said, but he could tell Ken was still waiting for him to answer the question. "Motomiya Daisuke."
"Why does everyone call you Davis?"
"You don't call me Davis."
"I'm not everyone."
Daisuke had a near overwhelming urge to call Ken a smart ass but refrained. He thought that Ken would say more but it seemed like he was waiting for Daisuke to answer his question first. "I don't know, they just do."
"Who was the first person to call you Davis?"
Daisuke thought about that for a second. It had never crossed his mind before; it hadn't really mattered. "It was Wallace, I guess. Back when we were kids he couldn't pronounce Daisuke so he started to call me Davis."
"And now even your teachers call you by that name."
"Yeah, so what?"
"No one knows you. They know Wallace, and that he had a friend named Davis, but Motomiya Daisuke does not exist." Ken was speaking as if he were lecturing on a simple subject. He always seemed to have that impersonal aura surrounding him.
"That's… just stupid."
"Yesterday, when you came to me, there was a girl there, Miyako. How long have you known her?"
"A couple of years. We started Junior High together."
"She didn't know you."
Frustrated, Daisuke said, "What are you talking about? She recognized me! Even though we don't talk much… well, ever, actually. She still said my name and everything!"
Ken shook his head, "It took her eight and a half seconds to remember your name, and that was only after she saw one of Wallace's sketches on the cover of the book you were holding. Why?"
"So I don't make a lasting impression," he said crossing is arms. "Thanks."
His eyes narrowed. "It's more than that, Daisuke. Miyako is the class president and the biggest gossipmonger in the school. She makes it her business to know everything there is to know about everyone in the school. She knows names, class schedules, addresses, and secret crushes of nearly everyone in the school. She has a near photographic memory and she didn't even know your name. Why?"
"I don't know!"
Ken decided to change tactics, "What's your favorite color?"
"What?" Daisuke's head was spinning, "What's that got to do with anything?"
"Answer the question."
Daisuke rolled his eyes and huffed, "It's green, Ok."
"What's your favorite food?"
"What kind of music do you like?"
I listen to a lot of rock," Daisuke said, hoping Ken would make a point soon.
Daisuke opened his mouth to answer but nothing came out.
A smile crossed Ken's face, Daisuke wasn't sure he liked it. "How many times did you see Wallace reading a book that wasn't assigned work?"
Daisuke shook his head, "Never."
"So he didn't read?"
"No! His room was full of books. I just never saw him reading." Daisuke sounded uncomfortable.
"How often did you go to his house?"
"Almost everyday. He wasn't allowed company on Sundays and Mondays for a while, and then his mom started to let me come over then, too. Oh, and we had violin practice on Wednesday."
Ken stopped walking and stared. Daisuke could see there was something going on in his head but Daisuke couldn't see past his eyes.
"You play the violin?" Ken asked. It almost sounded like he was hesitating.
Whatever it was, Ken was over it just that quickly. "Was he better than you?"
"Not really, we were about the same."
"When was the last time Wallace came to your house, Daisuke?"
Ken always seemed to know the exact thing to say to throw him out of his groove. Daisuke's eyes got a far away look, like he was remembering something unpleasant. "He used to all the time."
Ken started walking again. They were on their third loop of the park. "What's your favorite color?"
"You already asked that. I told you, it's green."
"I will bet everything I own that green was Wallace's favorite color."
"So we had the same favorite color, we were friends. It doesn't mean anything."
"How many things in your room are green?"
"It's your favorite color, how green is your room?"
Daisuke was silent for a bit too long, "Loads. There's loads of green in my room."
"Liar." Ken had a particular way of saying that word that made Daisuke cringe.
"Whatever," he shrugged.
"Wallace's favorite food was Hamburgers. He liked rock music; I bet the majority of his CDs were rock. And his room was full of books, all of which he read, none of which you ever saw him reading. Correct?"
Daisuke didn't answer.
"Is that correct?"
"Yes. Whatever. What has that got to do with anything?"
"I'm answering your questions."
"Which ones? You still haven't said the point of this."
Ken rounded on him and Daisuke had to pull back hard to stop from running into him. They were very close, eye-to-eye, and it still felt like Ken was towering over Daisuke.
"When you weren't around Wallace, what was your favorite food?"
"That's bullshit, Daisuke" Ken hadn't been yelling but he might as well have been.
Daisuke wanted to move away but he couldn't. Ken's stare had rooted him in place. He wasn't going to be able to get away from it.
"When Wallace wasn't around, what did you like to eat?"
"I don't know."
"When Wallace wasn't around, what music did you listen to?"
"I didn't listen to music."
"What books did you read?"
"What do you do when you go home, Daisuke?"
"What?" It seemed as if he were gravitating closer to Ken, it was distracting.
"You weren't under Wallace all day and night, were you? You do have a home, correct?"
"Yes," Daisuke said, grinding his teeth.
"What did you do when you went home?"
"Nothing, Ok! I didn't do anything!"
Ken closed his eyes, took a deep breath and stepped back.
Daisuke felt like he had been released from whatever hold Ken had over him. He took a step back as well, though he had no intention of leaving.
When Ken opened his eyes again it seemed, to Daisuke, like he had finally come to his conclusion.
Daisuke crossed his arms, "So you're saying I'm not human just because I don't have a favorite color or hobby? That's bullshit."
"I never said you were not human."
"Well, what are you saying then?"
"I'm saying you need a friend."
If you've ever seen someone get utterly destroyed, that might begin to explain it. Like a parent who loses a child, they shut down, crumple in on themselves. That's what happened to Ken, only in reverse. Ken folded outwards, blossomed. His cold exterior, the eyes that had just been so impenetrable a moment ago become friendly with a warmth that Daisuke hadn't felt in a very long time.
He saw the whole thing happen. It took less than a second, and Daisuke didn't believe it.
He blinked, "Davis? Wow. What are you doing here?" Then he smiled and shook his head, like it didn't matter. "I've seen you in class, you always look so bored and unhappy, at least you have since Wallace left. I wanted to ask you if you wanted to come over to my house sometime to play videogames or watch TV or something. Just to hangout."
Daisuke had just spent forty-three minutes with Ken and had gotten fairly familiar with the other boy. He felt that Ken, the only person he had spent any amount of time with in the past few years, other than Wallace, would be pretty recognizable to him, and not just in appearance, because appearance is not the only way to recognize someone. The way they sound, speech patterns, the way they move, posture; even smell can be telltale signs. Daisuke was even sure that he could stand in the center of a room of people, blindfolded, and he would still be able to tell if Ken was staring and where he was standing.
The boy in front of Daisuke had not changed in appearance, but Daisuke recognized Ken, and this was not he.
"Who are you?"
The boy blushed slightly, "Oh, I'm sorry." He extended a hand. "I'm Ichijouji Ken. I sit behind you in History and English."
"What are you doing?" Daisuke didn't want it to sound like the accusation that it did, but the other boy hadn't noticed.
His face scrunched up in confusion, "I was walking home? I don't usually come this way… but I guess it's good that I did," he brightened again. "It's really weird seeing you here like this. I've been thinking about asking you over for a couple of days now. And, all of a sudden, here you are. Do you live this way?"
"Oh. Ok." He looked confused again.
Daisuke sighed, "I was following someone." He put a lot of emphasis in the words, trying to coax a reaction from… from Ichijouji. He wanted a reason or something to explain what the hell was going on.
"Who?" he said, completely clueless.
"I don't know." Daisuke said, giving up.
"Why would you follow someone you don't know?"
"I was looking for answers."
"And because he told me to." Daisuke admitted.
"Oh… Well, if you're busy…" Ichijouji looked sad.
"I'm not busy, now."
He brightened, "You stopped following him?"
"Not on your life."
Daisuke smiled, he had a feeling he wouldn't be getting bored anytime soon, "I did stop following him. That's exactly what happened."
"Ok," Ichijouji's grin blew Daisuke's away. "Well, did you want to come over today?"