Title: Strange
Rating: R (for language and implied situations)
Warnings: OOC, angst
Pairings: Kensuke, Kenyako
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.
Chapter Word Count: 5,100+
Disclaimer: Digimon and the characters within belong to their respective owners. No profit is being made.

Author's Note: Remember, in 02 they're in 7th grade. In this story they are in 10th. They are 16 and they've grown, except, not so much so for Iori, he's 14 and in 9th and in my head he'll always be at least a head short than everyone else. It's not exactly fair but it's how I see him and how it's gotta be.

Story's Note: Two small edits have been made to previous parts. The first in Part 3 and the second in Part 5. I don't feel the need to name them, only to point them out. Both were in Ken's dialogue and both were my errors, not Ken's. They have been bothering me, and now they have been fixed.

"Good morning, Mrs. Hida. I am Ichijouji Ken and this is Motomiya Davis. We are friends of Iori's, may we speak with him?"

The woman who answered the door was very petite; not surprising, given Iori's small stature. She tilted her head back slightly to look up at them. "Oh, of course," she said, smiling politely. "We were just finishing breakfast. Please, come in. I'm sure he'll be ready in a moment." She stepped back, allowing them entry.

Mrs. Hida showed them a sitting area just past the door. "You may wait here… unless you'd like something to eat. I'm not sure there is enough for a full meal but I'm certain that there is still something left of breakfast."

Ken smiled and Daisuke tried not to compare it to the smile of a crocodile, "No thank you, we've already eaten."

She nodded slightly and left them waiting in the room.

"You know," Daisuke said as quietly as he could manage, "It's considered impolite to refuse hospitality when the hostess offers."

Ken leveled a look at him that let Daisuke know that Ken saw right through his bullshit. "If you're hungry, you'll just have to wait," he said in a volume just below normal conversation level, not bothering to whisper like Daisuke had.

Clearing his throat, Daisuke said, "I mean… just that you were being so nice to Mrs. Inoue—"

"I'm not dating Iori. I don't need to impress Mrs. Hida; not overtly offending her will suit my purpose."

Iori walked into the room at that moment. He stopped in the middle of the floor a few feet in front of them and waited.

For a second, Daisuke thought Iori was going to do something embarrassing like kneel, but he just stood there watching, waiting for something, probably orders from one of them.

It made Daisuke uncomfortable, he frowned slightly.

Ken looked over at Iori for a moment as Iori's eyes shifted between the two of them. Finally Iori's gaze settled on Ken as he stood up.

"We need some place we can talk privately."

Iori nodded once, "We can go to my room."

Daisuke's move to stand as well was aborted when Ken said, "You stay here." Ken and Iori exited, leaving Daisuke alone and wondering exactly what had just happened.

He supposed Ken was still a bit angry; it wasn't like Ken had asked him to follow. But then again, Ken hadn't continued to tell him to leave either; that was practically a written invitation. If Ken hadn't wanted him there after all of that, he definitely would have made Daisuke leave.

Sighing, Daisuke leaned back and stared up at the ceiling.

Trust.

His life was really just too complicated.

Trust was something that Daisuke didn't really think he could afford. His father, his mother, Wallace… they'd all let him down. He thought he may have trusted Jun once upon a time, but it's not like that had turned out much better. Anyone, everyone he had ever trusted, it had all turned out just the same and Daisuke wasn't sure he could handle being let down like that again.

But if there was one thing he knew, it was that Ken wasn't like anyone else he had ever met.

Still, did that mean that he trusted Ken? Well, no, he didn't, not really. He didn't trust Ken to be nice, or even approachable. He didn't trust Ken to be honest, or even fair. He definitely didn't trust Ken to have his best interest at heart, wouldn't even dream of that. But...wasn't he trusting Ken with his life?

That caused Daisuke to frown; he was trusting Ken with his life, his secrets, his truth. Even Wallace hadn't known the whole truth about his mother. Wallace had known that Jun's death had hit her hard, but Daisuke had never let him know, never showed him just how bad it was. But Ken knew, and Daisuke trusted Ken to keep that secret. Stranger still, Daisuke trusted Ken to do what he could to help. And, though neither one of them was sure just what that would be, Daisuke was sure Ken would do it. That never stopped him from wondering if his trust was misplaced, however. He suspected he was crazy to trust Ken so much, especially after the other so freely admitted he was just using Daisuke. But he couldn't help the trust he felt. Then again, maybe that was exactly what Ken was counting on. He—

Daisuke had probably been on the verge of some sort of personal revelation, but his thoughts were interrupted as the subject of them reentered the room with Iori hot on his heels. Something about them made Daisuke pause; it was their faces, expressionless. From what he had seen of Iori so far that wasn't unusual, but for Ken it was positively alarming. Daisuke was used to seeing some kind of edge, anger or irritation, but it wasn't like Ken or Ichijouji to disguise their mood. What was this about?

"You two need to talk," was all that he said, and Daisuke relaxed slightly because he could still hear the slightest bit of aggression. At least that let him know he was still dealing with Ken.

Daisuke stood slowly and walked past, trying to stare at Ken's face surreptitiously. Ken's expression never changed. Iori led Daisuke down the same hall he and Ken had disappeared down earlier which apparently led to Iori's room. Iori paused in the doorway to let Daisuke pass and then shut the door behind them.

They stared at each other for at least a minute before Daisuke cleared his throat nervously.

"Um, don't take this the wrong way or anything but I… I don't really have anything to say…" Daisuke finished in a rush. He'd actually edited himself, figuring that, 'I don't have anything to say to you,' was probably pretty rude.

"I believe Ken wanted you to assert your authority."

Daisuke frowned, "Um, well, you already know you're supposed to do what I tell you, so…," he trailed off again. Iori was still starting at him, and it wasn't even unnerving anymore, now it was just tiresome. "You could help me out, you know."

"What would you like help with?"

"No, No, I mean like...." Daisuke sighed and sat on the edge of Iori's bed, which just about put them at eye level. "It's kinda obvious I don't know what I'm doing. I don't want to order you around; I mean… we have Ken for that." He laughed at his own joke and it sounded like he was going a bit insane, way too awkward. "Um, look, can't you just assist me or something?"

"What would you like assistance with?"

"Stop! God! You weren't this difficult to deal with before. I bet Ken told you not to make this easy for me!"

Iori said nothing.

"Fine. Tell me. Did Ken tell you not to make this easy for me?"

"I can not tell you what Ken and I talked about."

Daisuke threw his hands up and made a thoroughly disgusted noise. He stood up to pace out his frustration, but with Iori standing in the way, he could only get two steps in either direction.

Exasperated, he asked, "Why are you even doing this? I asked you that before and you didn't answer me, so why don't you tell me right now?"

That got a reaction, Iori frowned. "Ken told me this will help me," he said tersely.

Daisuke rolled his eyes and stood over Iori, trying to use his height to seem intimidating. "If you're talking about that thing with your grandfather, I don't buy it."

Iori's head turned down and he stared at his feet with a little frown. Daisuke sighed internally; if there was any time to assert that "authority" he supposedly had, this was it. No time like the present.

"No. You look at me when I'm talking to you."

Iori looked up sharply and instead of looking angry or defiant as Daisuke had expected, Iori's eyes were wide with shock or surprise or, and maybe Daisuke was just imagining it, he thought he saw a little anticipation.

It was Daisuke's turn to frown again, but he resisted the urge to step away. "Ken told me about your situation… If dealing with your grandfather is the problem, you don't need this. You could go listen to him and take his orders instead of ours. So you're gonna have to think of a better story than that, or better yet, tell the truth. What's the real reason you made this deal?"

"When my father died I... lost focus. My grades started to slip and I began to behave in what my mother calls an 'unbecoming manner.' She asked my grandfather to come live with us, to be a role model, a replacement," bitterness was evident in his voice at that word. "She thinks I lack guidance and that He will fill that void, but he only makes the problem worse. My grandfather doesn't give orders. He never tells me what to do, only what not to do." Iori was getting more and more worked up as he continued, "He thinks he can come here and effortlessly replace my father in my life. He thinks he will undue my father's teachings, that I will welcome his criticisms. He is sadly mistaken."

"Okay... what's he so critical about that's got you upset?"

"He and my father never saw eye to eye. He was always trying to get my father to conform to his ideals. He never agreed with my father's life choices and now that my father is dead, he is trying to come here and do what my father would never have allowed."

"I'm sorry but I still don't get it. Why don't you just suck it up and do what he says; it's not that difficult. Just put up with it. I mean whatever he tells you can't be much worse than the crap Ken's going to be making you do."

Iori's expression turned in on its self, like he was in pain, "Are you not listening? He does not tell me what to do."

"So congratulations, you have the perfect solution. Let him talk at you and ignore him, everybody gets what they want."

"No," Iori said in a strangled voice.

Daisuke rolled his eyes, "What now? I still don't get it, what is the problem?"

"I like taking orders! I need to be told what to do!" Iori shouted, his frustration was making him breathe hard and he was staring at Daisuke, willing him to understand.

And... oh. Oh! Wow, Daisuke thought. That was really messed up. He took a moment to wonder about exactly what kind of relationship Iori had with his father, but then decided it was for the best that he didn't think about it. What Daisuke really wanted to know was how Ken managed to find people with these kinds of issues so easily: Daisuke's own identity issues and Iori who was... what... so programmed to take orders that he couldn't function without them? Man, what a mess.

Daisuke cleared his throat and tried to think of something to say, "Ok. Um look, I think I may be able to help you after-all."

Iori gave him a skeptical look, Daisuke didn't really blame him. Any help he could give Iori would only be a temporary fix, would probably just make the problem worse, but this is what Ken wanted him to do.

"Deal with your grandfather. That is a direct order, my first from me to you. You know, be..." he wanted to say 'nice' but that was too vague and he figured this was probably one time he would have to be explicit. "Be respectful to the man, he is your grandfather after all. Listen to what he has to say, even if you don't like it; that will make your mother happy. But that doesn't make it ok for him to talk about your father. If he says something you don't like, don't let him get away with it. Challenge him or tell him he's wrong or whatever you need to do, but stop avoiding him. And you need to start taking school seriously, do your homework, always, and your school work too for that matter. And stop acting out or whatever you were doing to make your mom upset in the first place.

"Did I miss anything?"

Iori was just staring at Daisuke like he couldn't believe what he had just said.

"Remember those were orders, so you have to do all of those things, Ok? And if you feel... like you're starting to slip or you need... Just come to me first, Ok? Don't both Ken with it. I'll take care of it." Really, he just wanted to keep this kid away from Ken as much as possible. Iori was even more vulnerable than himself and he kind of felt like he needed to protect him. "Is that everything?"

Iori just nodded, mutely.

"Ok, we can...," he paused and then rephrased what he was about to say. "Take me back to Ken now." Daisuke figured he would have to get used to speaking to Iori like that, and he hoped he never started to like it.

He just didn't see how this was going to help Iori and that worried him. Though, to be honest, Ken had made it perfectly clear to Daisuke that Iori didn't need help, and so the whole point of this was to use him. But Ken had made Iori believe that this was exactly what he needed. What guarantee did Daisuke have that Ken wasn't lying to him as well? He could be stringing Daisuke along. It wasn't as if Ken had ever made a secret of his intentions to use anyone and everyone that he could, including Daisuke, maybe even especially Daisuke. Maybe he should rethink—

Daisuke's train of thought abruptly derailed.

Miyako was sitting on the couch practically wrapped around Ken, whispering something in his ear. And for once, he didn't look murderous. Ken looked interested in what she was saying; maybe even a little pleased that she was hanging on him!

Iori tactfully cleared his throat to let them know they were standing there. Good thing too; Daisuke felt on the verge of doing something stupid, and embarrassing.

Miyako looked up but didn't pull away. "Iori. Davis." She said in greeting; tossing another poisonous glare at Daisuke.

"Miyako," he greeted back, barely managing to stop himself from asking, 'What is she doing here?' The last thing he wanted was to start sounding like a scorned girlfriend.

"What's he doing here?" Miyako asked, still glaring at him. Daisuke managed not to die from irony as he rolled his eyes.

"We're having a meeting," Ken said simply. "We're going back to your room, Iori. Lead the way."

Iori turned on his heel and marched back to his room like a good little... whatever he was. Ken helped Miyako to her feet and started to escort her to the room. Daisuke let them pass so he could glare at the back of Miyako's head in peace.

That turned out to be a bit of a tactical error as they headed straight for the bed when they entered the room and Miyako promptly resumed hanging all over Ken again.

Iori was still waiting at the door so that he could shut it behind them. There was a small chair next to Iori's desk, but it didn't look tall enough to be comfortable. So Daisuke found a spot on the floor to sit and then turned away from the bed as much as possible without being obvious about it; he really didn't want to spend the rest of his time in the room watching Miyako practically sitting in Ken's lap. Of course, his line of sight then fell on Iori who, after shutting and locking the door, was now walking towards Daisuke. He didn't know if Iori intended to sit down or if he planned to stand at attention at Daisuke's side the whole time and Daisuke really didn't want to find out.

"Go sit in the chair, Iori," he said, pitching his voice low enough for only Iori to hear. He hadn't even looked up but Iori must have heard him because he turned with barely a pause in his step and headed to the chair.

"Ok," Miyako started as soon as Iori sat down, "Davis was right about Keiko, that little Bitch."

"Miyako," Ken admonished. His tone was more delicate than any Daisuke had ever heard him use but there was still an edge of warning to it.

She pouted but nodded slightly and continued. "Anyway, she's been taken care of." Miyako had a positively malicious grin on her face but she didn't say more.

Okay, Miyako liked to gloat, so why was she being all tightlipped? Of course, she could be setting herself up for a long epic tale again, but just to be sure, Daisuke had to ask. "What's that supposed to mean? What did you do?"

Miyako's smile turned even more vicious. "I had her deleted."

"What?" Daisuke exclaimed.

Miyako rolled her eyes, "Oh please, stop acting like I killed her. I only erased her from the school. But not before I created a new persona for her, of my choosing. Of course it would have been much easier to have her expelled, but her betrayal deserved a more personal touch."

Daisuke shook his head, "I'm sorry, but how exactly do you 'erase' someone?"

"It's a simple matter really," she said leaning forward to stare into Daisuke's eyes with a spiteful glint in her own. "Not unlike what was done to you, Motomiya Davis, but in reverse, of course." Then she leaned back again and smiled, bright and innocent.

Daisuke stared back at her blankly; she was blatantly threatening him and he didn't want to give her the satisfaction of a reaction.

After a long moment she seemed to grow bored with taunting him and she looked away. "Anyway, it's all taken care of now. All you need to know is if you see her in the halls... well, you shouldn't see her in the halls," another vicious smirk, "but if you do, feel free to spit on her." She laughed then but Daisuke wasn't exactly sure she was joking.

"So that's it then? You just 'erase' Keiko and that's it? What about Hideki and Tina? Weren't they involved? Are you letting them off scot-free?"

She waved him off, "I'm not worried about Hideki and as for Tina—"

"What do you mean you're not worried about Hideki?" he said loudly cutting off what she was about to say. "I realize he's not one of your social butterflies but you're stupid if you think—"

"As for Tina," she raised her voice to talk over him as if she couldn't hear he was speaking, "I've got a plan."

Daisuke rolled his eyes, "This I have to hear."

Miyako glared, "It's being taken care of."

That raised Daisuke's eyebrows. Miyako was being tightlipped, again, about one of her oh-so-brilliant plans, "Yeah, I'll believe it when I hear it."

"Stay out of it. It's none of your business," she snapped.

Daisuke opened his mouth to say something cutting but Ken beat him to the punch, "I'm making it his business."

She pulled away to turn and pout at him, "But Ken, he doesn't—"

"We are having this meeting to coordinate our efforts. There is no point in trying to withhold information." Ken sounded exasperated, or as close to it as got, like he was sick and tired of them arguing. Daisuke was pretty sick of it too, but if Miyako kept being a bitch, he really didn't see an end in sight.

Miyako crossed her arms and huffed for a minute then she said, "I'm blackmailing her into spying on Mimi. She's a cheerleader, not in Mimi's personal clique but she was hand picked, so that's close enough. She's going to Mimi for protection from me, after she tells Mimi about what happened to Keiko. She going to get closer to Mimi and feed me information in exchange for her and Hideki's safety."

"Wow," Daisuke said after a long moment of silence. "No wonder you didn't want to say anything. What an unbelievably stupid plan!"

"Davis!" she screamed.

He rolled his eyes again, "Oh, shut-up, you've said enough already.

"You're hinging all our plans on Tina? She's a lying little backstabber with all the reason in the world to betray you and you are sending her practically gift wrapped to Mimi! Are you stupid? I mean, that's not even saying anything about Hideki, what's going to stop him from throwing a wrench in your plan? If either one of them lets slip what you did to Keiko to an Administrator or—"

"Don't make me laugh, an Administrator? Please, shut up. Keiko doesn't matter anymore and Hideki is not going to try anything so he doesn't matter either. Tina will keep him under control and I'm keeping Tina under control," she said angrily.

"What the hell makes you think he's not going to do anything? You're trying to ruin his cousin's life and you're blackmailing his girlfriend, you think he's he just going to standby and do nothing? And where the hell do you get off thinking you can control a conniving bitch like Tina on the simple threat of ruining her high school reputation? You think that's going to stop her from stabbing you in the back at the first opportunity? You are seriously deluded."

"You have no idea what you're talking about! I was nice to Keiko! I can totally destroy her or Tina or you for that matter! Both of them know that! This isn't about them or you, this is about me and I swear if you weren't being protected—"

"Don't let that stop you! Do it! You think everything revolves around your little school, I could give a shit less."

"I'm not talking about the school, you idiot!"

"Both of you, shut-up."

Daisuke blinked and looked at Ken. He hadn't shouted but he might as well have for how quickly everything stopped. It had been a heated argument, but now it felt like a chill was creeping into the room as Ken slowly stood up. Miyako leaned away from him looking apprehensive, but it was Daisuke he was giving a murderous glare.

"Step outside," he said quietly to Daisuke and then to Iori he said, "Go wait with him."

Daisuke hesitated for a moment, staring at Ken. He felt just a little betrayed that Ken was taking Miyako's side over his, especially when Miyako was so obviously out of her mind. Unfortunately, his hesitation looked more like he was trying to stare Ken down, something Daisuke wouldn't even dream of trying to do while sitting at his feet. Ken's face darkened as he became angrier and he tensed as if to speak again. Daisuke backed down immediately, turning his head to look at the floor and standing up. He edged towards the door trying to make it look like he wasn't cowering and probably failing miserably.

"Outside of the apartment, Iori, wait there," Ken said, but Daisuke could still feel Ken glare burning into his back, or maybe that was Miyako... Daisuke wasn't crazy enough to turn around and find out.

Outside of the room, he looked but he didn't see Iori's mother or grandfather. Daisuke wondered how much of the argument they had heard; it made him wince, Miyako and he had gotten pretty loud.

When they stepped out of the apartment, Daisuke sat down on the floor with his back propped against the wall and carefully resisted the urge to put his head in his hands or beat his head into the wall. He was very proud of himself for being so calm, since he pretty sure Ken was about to come out here and kill him.

Daisuke looked up at Iori who was standing over him looking vaguely reproachful.

"What?" Daisuke asked, but couldn't quite manage the glare he was trying to work up.

Iori shrugged and stepped back, turning to lean on the wall as well.

Daisuke considered ordering Iori to spit it out, but then he realized he didn't really care. He let his head drop back against the wall and determinately thought about nothing.

After five minutes he told Iori to go get them some chairs, but Iori just shook his head and said, "Ken told me to wait out here with you."

At ten minutes, Daisuke stood and started pacing, mostly to bring the feeling back into his lower extremities.

At fifteen minutes, he sat back down; pacing was making him more nervous.

Just before the twenty minute mark, the door to the apartment opened and Ken stepped out. He looked down at both of them and his expression wasn't angry, it was regretful. Daisuke sat up straighter, what was going on?

"Go back inside, Iori, and help Miyako."

Iori nodded and went back through the door, leaving them alone.

"What happened?" Daisuke asked.

"Stand up." Ken said like he hadn't heard the question.

Daisuke stood slowly, leaning back against the wall trying to assess Ken's mood. They stared at each other for a long moment, Daisuke becoming increasingly worried by Ken's behavior.

Finally Ken said, "How could you be so stupid?" again with no anger, he just sounded tired and almost out of breath.

"I... are you ok?"

"Shut up."

And just like that, Daisuke realized what was going on, "You're about to... Ichijo—"

Ken did manage a weak glare then, "Shut your mouth and focus. I'm going back inside now, alone," he said pointedly. "You can't do what I told you to do—"

"I can!" Daisuke protested.

"Shut up!" Ken's glare strengthened. "No, you can't. I can't depend on you. You're a liability and I don't want to deal with you right now. Go home."

"Stop sending me away like a child!"

"Stop fucking acting like one!"

Daisuke blinked, taken aback, "You can't go back in there and finish the meeting like this," he said slowly, "You need my help."

Ken's eyes narrowed, "What you're doing is not helping and I don't need you."

"You told me..."

"I told you to leave her alone. Miyako is not your job, I am. Stop baiting her!"

"I can't believe you're yelling at me for telling her the truth!" Daisuke threw his hands up, "You can't possibly think—"

"Of course it's not going to work! It's not your job to clean up her mess. I was in control of the situation. You—"

"Oh excuse me, your exact words were, 'I'm making it his business.' What the hell was that then?"

"Was I speaking to you?" Ken said, in a dangerous tone.

Daisuke knew it wasn't really a question, so he didn't answer.

"I was speaking to her. You do what I tell you to do."

Daisuke crossed his arms, "I can't play your little game if you keep changing the rules."

Ken closed his eyes and took a few deep steadying breaths.

Daisuke wasn't sure what was going on; this wasn't like the other times Ken had changed into Ichijouji. Ken wasn't really acting like himself; he wasn't acting like Ichijouji either. The moment stretched to a minute and Ken still hadn't moved. Slowly, Daisuke uncrossed his arms and reached out to grab Ken by the shoulder.

Just before he made contact, Ken's eyes snapped open and he knocked Daisuke's hand away. "Don't touch me," he said, glare firmly back in place.

Daisuke rubbed his arm and glared back.

"I don't have time for this. Whatever your problem with Miyako is," he paused like he knew exactly what Daisuke's problem was, "get over it or go home. Last warning, last chance, Daisuke. In or out?"

"In."

"I have a plan, and I'm going back in there to explain it, and then I'm gone. Do you understand?"

"For how long?" Daisuke asked.

Ken took another deep breath, "A while."

Daisuke nodded slowly, "Ok."

"Good, because it will be your job to make sure everything goes to plan."

"Oh, so now it's my problem," Daisuke rolled his eyes.

Ken pushed him in the chest so hard it felt like a punch, Daisuke fell back against the wall with his breath knocked out of him, his eyes wide.

"You made this your problem," Ken grated out. "This is your fault." He stepped back, "Miyako will be doing most of the work, and you're just making sure everything runs smoothly. If she thinks she's in charge, let her. I'm serious, stop pissing her off, I won't be able to protect you again."

"I don't need your protection from Miyako; she can't do anything to me." Daisuke said stubbornly.

Ken stared at him for a long moment then cursed and looked away.

"What?"

Ken got him self under control and hit Daisuke again, but it wasn't even hard enough to make him flinch this time, "Miyako changed your class schedule, you idiot."

"What difference does that make?"

Ken glared again but he was looking slightly to the left of Daisuke's head so the effect was diminished. "I told her what classes to give you but she is the one who did the changing. She went into your records and changed your schedule."

It took a moment for that to sink in, and then Daisuke yelled, "You Let Her Look At My Record!"

"Shut up, Daisuke. I didn't let her do anything. She already had the access, it was the reason I went after her."

Daisuke eyes narrowed, "I thought you said it was because she knew everyone in the school, knew everyone's dirty little secrets."

"I said she knew names, class schedules and addresses for everyone, that kind of information isn't simple gossip."

"So how much does she know?"

"I don't know and I'm not going to try to find out. I've been keeping her preoccupied but I won't be able to do that anymore, so don't give her a reason to take a closer look."

Daisuke took a deep breath and nodded, "OK, I get it."

"Good. When we go back in there you need to apologize and then let it drop; you do not have the luxury of holding a grudge."

He nodded again, "OK."

"Then you are going to shut up and listen. I have a lot to explain and I doubt I'll have time to repeat myself or answer questions."

And they headed back into the apartment.