Legal Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters presented here.
Title: Defending His Honor
Romance: Ken/Daisuke, hinted Taichi/Yamato
Rated: T
Notes: This takes place some years after 02, but ignores the canonical epilogue.

Ken turned a page, hardly aware of anything else that existed outside the realm of the novel before him. What parts of him were aware were waiting for something: Daisuke to come home. He didn't like it when Daisuke was late. That usually meant something was going on that wasn't pleasant. The last time he'd been late, there had been an invasion of rather nasty Viral types who had thought the best way to defeat the Chosen would be to start with Daisuke. That hadn't really went over very well, but it had also made Ken very, very nervous whenever his best friend was home late.

Of course the time before that, Daisuke had been home late because a new ice cream shop had opened up, and the goggle-wearing teen had decided to find out just what it was like to eat thirty-one flavors in a single day. That had been fun. Except that it hadn't been, really. Seeing Daisuke on an ice cream overload was the new definition of 'experience' in Ken's mind.

The watching part of him relaxed as he heard the door open, and Daisuke's familiar breathing followed it. He turned another page, a faint smile tugging at his lips. "Hi, Daisuke. Late again?" He wondered what kind of story the other man would have to explain his being late this time.

He wasn't really expecting his answer to be the sound of some of the small, valuable, and extremely breakable ornaments that Miyako had given them for their apartment-warming gift being shoved together. Ken snapped his head up, and a heartbeat later his jaw dropped in shock. Of all the ways he had seen Daisuke since they were eleven years old, this wasn't one of them.

Daisuke had a severe black eye, a huge bruise on his chin, and various other small wounds everywhere, as well as his clothes torn, and a triumphant gleam in his brown eyes. Ken tossed his book to the side, not even caring if he lost his place, and hurried over to him. "What in the world did you run into, a Mack truck?"

"Close. He was built like one." Daisuke groaned, the effort it took to speak without pain considerable. Ken sighed and shook his head, a smile tugging on his lips.

"You never change. Come on, let's get you cleaned up." He started towards the bathroom, thinking of all the first aid things he'd packed in there over the years. Daisuke didn't really have a temper, so to speak. He just was of the firm opinion that while it was best to be friends, sometimes friends just needed to get the hell beaten out of them every now and then. He'd obviously picked that up from Yamato and Taichi.

Daisuke just rolled his eyes, wincing as he did so. "He was asking for it." Ken chuckled briefly before he opened the cabinet under the sink and started to rummage through it. Where had he put those bandages the last time? They really needed to redesign this thing so it was easier to get to everything.

"Why was he asking for it?" He knew Daisuke wouldn't be happy until he'd told him the whole story, with as many bells and whistles as he could manage to hang onto it. He heard Daisuke mutter something as he moved more into the cabinet, glad he'd kept his thin build as he'd gotten older. Daisuke wouldn't be able to do this. "I didn't catch that."

"I said, he called you ugly!"

Ken sat back almost at once, wincing as his head came in contact with the top of the cabinet, sending him yelping and rubbing the back of his head quickly. He couldn't have heard that right. Not at all. He squirmed back just enough to stare up at Daisuke incredulously. "You got into a fight over me?"

"Why not?" Daisuke blinked slightly, as if the matter didn't even need to be discussed. Ken shook his head, wincing slightly at the pain that caused. Great, now he was going to need some first aid too.

"Because I'm not worth it, maybe?" He chuckled a little, turning his attention back to the cabinet. There was everything he needed, right there in the box underneath the tissues! If it had been a snake, it might well have bitten him. "There are millions of people here in Japan, and billions in the world. Not everyone's going to think I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread." He chuckled a bit more to himself. There had been a time when he would've thought completely otherwise. Strange what growing up could do to a person.

Daisuke just huffed up, glaring. "I don't care if he thinks you're great or not. But you're not ugly and no one ever gets to say that!"

Ken gave his head one last gingerly rub before he poured out some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and started to clean the worst of the cuts on Daisuke. "Why not? Everyone has their own idea of what's attractive, after all." He carefully wiped away the blood, wincing slightly at some of the damage as it was revealed. Daisuke had really gotten into a good fight this time. "This might sting a bit." He held a towel carefully under the cut, and poured some wound cleanser directly onto it. Jyou swore by this new medication, and Ken trusted his friend's judgment. After all, this was what Jyou was training for. Not to mention, he'd seen it work before.

Once it was done, he turned to find some band-aids, glad that Daisuke wasn't going on too much about what was going on. That was a little odd of him. Maybe if he asked something. "So, why isn't anyone allowed to insult my appearance?" He turned, stripped the covering from the band-aid and reaching to apply it to the cut.

"Because you're beautiful."

Ken froze where he was, the band-aid only halfway applied. He couldn't have heard that right. He must've messed up his ears when he'd hit his head. "You...think I'm beautiful?"


The former Kaiser relaxed some. Yes, that was what he'd been expecting.

"I know you are."

Ken froze where he was, his fingers just touching Daisuke's hair as he looked at him, adrift suddenly. The evening had taken a turn he wasn't even close to being comfortable with yet, much less ready for. The thought of Daisuke thinking he was had never once crossed his mind. Daisuke turned just a little to look at him, that spark that he'd always enjoyed seeing there, for a variety of reasons, gleaming at him. He struggled to find something, anything to say... "Thank you." It wasn't the best set of words, but it would do. "That means a lot, coming from you."

Daisuke grinned quickly at him, mischief sparking. "I don't know why, if someone else can think that you're ugly."

"That's simple." Ken reached for another bandage. He wondered why he had to explain this to Daisuke in the first place. "Your opinion matters to me. Japan's doesn't."

The other looked a little surprised at that, and Ken fought down the thrill of having startled him. It didn't happen that often; Daisuke simply took too many things in stride. "Why does mine matter? I'm just Daisuke."

"Oh, I don't know." Ken shrugged as he took care of the next injury. "Maybe because you're my best friend, the one person besides Wormmon whom I trust no matter what. The one person I trust absolutely. Now stop wriggling and let me get this band-aid on, you big baby." He laughed a little as Daisuke sniffled playfully at him, before settling down to remain still while he took care of the injuries.

Daisuke thinks I'm beautiful. His stomach whirled around as if it were on a roller coaster at the very thought. He'd always known people thought that about him. For the love of all that was holy, Miyako had had a crush on them when they were kids! But to find out that his best friend thought more than set him a little back.

He didn't want to think about it too much, though. Not right now, not when Daisuke needed him thinking about him instead of thinking about him. "Come on, I'll make you an ice pack for that bruise. Your eye isn't worth the steak I've been marinating." Daisuke groaned poutily, and Ken just looked at him, lips twitching a little. He knew his friend's weaknesses. "It's been marinating for two days. Do you have any idea how tender it's going to be when I'm finished?" Daisuke looked as if he might consider melting on the spot. Steak was one of the few overseas pleasures Daisuke really liked, and he wasn't really going to let it go to waste. "Still want it for your black eye?"

After a full minute of Daisuke just looking at him with what he had come to term 'steak-begging eyes', Ken just grinned and headed into the kitchen. One ice pack, coming up.

Once it was done, Ken shoved it at him teasingly, then laid it quite gently over the eye. "Go sit down and vegetate for a while. I'm going to start dinner.

He turned back towards the refrigerator, looking over his shoulder as Daisuke chuckled some. "Hey, Ken? If you think I look should see the other guy."

"You don't think that surprises me, do you? After all, you can still get the best of me still."

"Only because you don't practice like you should." Daisuke retorted, settling down on the couch from the sound of things. Their apartment wasn't the biggest in Japan, so Ken only had to look over his shoulder to get a glimpse of him.

"And that explains when we were eleven, how?"

Daisuke laughed a little. "You weren't paying attention." Ken could only agree with that; something else entirely had been on his mind right then. The thought of actually fighting just hadn't occurred to him. Things were quiet for a few moments, until Daisuke asked, "SO what were you paying attention to?"

Why had he asked that? Ken wasn't sure, but if he asked, it deserved an answer. "Honestly?" He wasn't surprised at the affirmative answer. " You. I just couldn't believe that one brash, seemingly broken boy could cause me so much trouble in so little time. That no matter how clever I was being, you would always find the one fatal flaw that I missed. It just didn't make any sense that I could see it and no one else could. " He chopped, thinking back to that long ago day when so much had begun to shift and change around. "I was so busy watching my perfect dream going up in smoke that I never saw you heading my way."

Silence came from the other room for a few moments. "There's something else I've been wondering for a while."

"What's that?"

Daisuke fidgeted a little, shifting around on the couch. "It's kind of silly."

"I've known you almost half our lives, Daisuke. I think I can handle it."

He could hear a breath being taken. "Were you ever jealous because I had friends, and back then, you didn't?"

Ken's chopping stopped. Had he been? He hadn't thought about it that much. "While I was the Kaiser, or afterwards?"

"While you were. Doesn't matter about after. You had a friend then." Ken found himself smiling. Daisuke was right after all. He thought a bit about the question, chopping and slicing some more to give himself something to focus on.

"I'm not really sure. Yes, and no, I think." He stopped for a moment, looking over at Daisuke. "Why do you ask?"

The other shifted around some, looking a little nervous. "Just curious. And..I ...well...I..." It wasn't every day that Daisuke was flustered like that. Ken enjoyed it while he could, before his thoughts pulled him back to what Daisuke had asked.

"I know that I considered friendship a liability. That's when I started to shut Wormmon out. I know I couldn't understand why the others kept charging to your rescue, even when you fought and argued and everything else." A faint blush dusted his cheeks. "I remember hating Hikari with a passion."

"Because I liked her then?"

Ken shrugged a little. "Partly, I think. The hero is always supposed to concentrate on the villain, not the damsel in distress once she's saved. And you weren't as much fun when you were trying to save her. It's like you stopped thinking, and it made the game too easy." He noticed the blush on Daisuke's own cheeks and grinned. Fair was fair after all. "Why are you asking all of this now?"

"I don't know." Daisuke stretched out, staring up at the ceiling. "I've been thinking about it for a while." He looked thoughtful. "Is that why you never really went after just her? You wanted me...thinking." Ken nodded, recalling the time when Hikari had been trapped in the city of machines. He'd been more interested in finding out just why his Evil Ring hadn't kept on working on Andromon, but part of him had also avoided doing anything in specific to the girl. Daisuke wouldn't have been as much fun any other way. "No one's ever wanted me to think for them."

Ken scoffed and snorted. "Haven't you spent all this time teaching me I should do things for myself and not because people expect it of me?"

Daisuke curled up a little more on the couch, shrugging some. "Yeah, silly me."

Ken frowned at once; Daisuke didn't normally react like that. He had more to find out than he thought he had. "We were kids back then, Daisuke, and I was an idiot. Not for seeing how smart you are, but of how much I was denying the reality around me." He laughed a little, thinking of how silly that younger him had been. "After all, the great Ichijouji Ken, smarter than any other human on the planet, couldn't be wrong about a virtual reality game. But knew. What I expected from you back then should be no less than what you expect from yourself."

"I only knew because Taichi told me. You didn't have anyone telling you the truth."

There was silence as he started to stir fry the vegetables and steak. "I know that no, but then...I should have then too."

Daisuke sat up a little, his glare visible even with Ken's back turned to him. "You're not any better than anyone else, Ken, or any worse! That could've happened to anyone! You're not any more vulnerable to anything! So quit with the 'oh, why me, I should've known!' attitude!"

Ken chuckled a little as he looked over at Daisuke. "I know that now, Daisuke. Thanks to you. But I can still feel how I felt back then, too."

Daisuke's glower was just as visible as his glare had been. "Well, if you had back then, we might not know each other now, so just be grateful!"

"Believe me I am." Ken murmured quietly. He could see Daisuke's smug smirk...and then tried not to laugh too hard as Daisuke's icepack fell quite firmly onto his toe. Daisuke grumbled softly as he picked it back up and put it where it belonged, ignoring the way the snickers smuggled their way out of Ken.

Once dinner was ready, Ken put took out two shallow oval bowls, carefully half-filling each with steamed rice and then layered the liquid stir fry over the top. "Do you want to eat there or at the table?" Daisuke's reply was a thoughtful murmur, and Ken patiently started to repeat himself when an idea occurred to him. "Maybe we should eat in there, Daisuke."

"Why?" At least the other had come back from whatever mental distance he'd been away to. Ken motioned out the window with his chopsticks, faintly smiling.

"Well, for one thing, look at that sunset." Ken watched as Daisuke looked that way, seeing the sunset that promised to be even more glorious than Daisuke's black eye.

"All right." Daisuke murmured in reply, and Ken chuckled, bringing first Daisuke's plate and chopsticks out to put in front of him, then gave a little bow as if he were a maitre'd.

"What can I get you to drink, Motomiya-san?" He wasn't surprised at all to hear Daisuke request one of his favorite sodas. Caffeine was life to the energetic young man, and always had been. Ken grinned as he placed the drink down before his friend, his other hand behind his back. "You look like a half-mutated raccoon, you know."

Daisuke rolled his eyes. "Like I said, you should see the other guy." In a show of extreme maturity, he stuck his tongue out at Ken, who had been waiting just for that. He pulled his hand from behind his back and plopped a small piece of chocolate on Daisuke's tongue.

"Took you long enough to do that." He spun and hurried to get his own dinner, calling out behind him, "Daisuke, you'd better eat that chocolate, too! That's one of Yamato's chocolate truffles, and I was saving it for me!" It was actually the last of the batch that the older man had made for Ken's last birthday, but Ken couldn't think of a better place for it to be than where it was just then.

Once he settled back in the living room, balancing his own bowl, chopsticks, and some hot tea, he glanced over at Daisuke to see how he was doing. The moment his eyes met the other man, he forgot how to breathe. Daisuke was more than just sucking the truffle. Ken had no words to describe it, but there was something incredibly sensual about what he was doing.

" don't have to eat it that slowly, Daisuke." Ken dragged his gaze away and picked up his chopsticks, doing his best to stare at his fingers until he had them properly settled. He had a feeling he wasn't quite that graceful as Daisuke began to bite through the truffle. What was wrong with him today?

Things got a little easier once the truffle was finished, and Daisuke worked on the actual meal. Ken remembered how to breathe, and soon he was done, while Daisuke still poked at his rice. Ken was glad the couch was just large enough for both of them to sit there without being dangerously close to each other. The way Daisuke had been sucking at that truffle had been positively sinful. "I think I outdid myself this time. I doubt Yamato could've done better." He chuckled a little. "I'd never ask Taichi to agree with me, though." He looked at Daisuke, one eyebrow raised slightly. "Is it all right? I mean, to you?"

Daisuke nodded a bit, and Ken frowned. Was there something wrong with him? "Are you all right?"

"Mmm?" Daisuke's eyes had turned dreamy and distant for a moment or two, and Ken leaned forward a bit, worried. "Yeah, I'm fine."

"Are you sure?" Ken reached out and touched the bruise lightly, doing his best not to cause any extra pain. "Maybe I should put something on this." Was Daisuke shivering? He couldn't be, it wasn't that cold.

"No, that's fine. I should probably get some rest." Daisuke tried to pull back some, but Ken leaned forward, keeping his fingers on the colorful injury. Daisuke was shivering. Maybe he needed a blanket.

"Not until you finish dinner." Ken told him, his fingers trailing down Daisuke's face for a moment. He'd never really thought about how nice the other man's skin felt before. It was rather pleasant. "Besides, when do you ever turn down a meal?" He grinned affectionately as he relaxed back into the couch. Ken was quite pleased to see Daisuke finishing up his food, and tried not to grin too much. "You're eating like a girl, Daisuke. Is it really that bad?" He pulled himself into the perfect Daisuke pout, grinning in his mind as Daisuke worked on cleaning his plate. Yes, things were doing quite well tonight.

Once it was all done, Ken rested his head on the back of the couch, content. He could see Daisuke starting to get up, reaching for the dishes, and shook his head. "I'll get those in a minute. Watch the sunset, Daisuke." He stretched out completely, enjoying the feeling as he closed his eyes.

"I'm not an invalid, Ken." Daisuke responded tartly. Ken lazily opened one eye.

"Can't a guy spoil his best friend once in a while?" He watched as Daisuke put the plates down and curled back up on the couch, ignoring the ice pack that slipped away at the same time. Ken stood, scooping the pack up and placed it once more over Daisuke's eye. "So what's wrong?"

Nothing came for an answer right away. Finally, "Isn't it a gorgeous sunset?"

"Yes." Ken absently noticed that he was still touching Daisuke's cheek. It felt right, though, so he didn't bother to lift his hand. "Like one of your paintings. That's why I didn't want to move yet."

Daisuke turned slightly to look at him, his brown eyes clouded with emotions that Ken couldn't put a name to. He'd never seen his friend look at anyone like that before. There had been looks sent towards Hikari, and one or two other girls, and some guys as they got older, that were vaguely similar, but this...this was something special.

Ken pulled his eyes away, looking towards the sunset. What kind of thoughts were going through his mind? He really shouldn't be doing this kind of thing. Part of his mind noted that he was still touching Daisuke's face, and he slowly lifted one of the other man's hands to the icepack, keeping it there. He caressed the skin lightly before pulling away. "Sorry about that."

Daisuke blinked a few times, then shook his head a touch. "'s all right. Really."

Ken leaned a little closer, frowning. "You what?" What was on Daisuke's mind now?

"I...should go to bed." Daisuke slowly stood up, keeping the icepack on his eye. Ken nodded a little.

"Are you going to be all right?" Ken wasn't pleased that the only answer he got was quiet nod, then the sight of Daisuke's door closing firmly behind the cinnamon-haired man. Ken sighed briefly, then headed to gather up the dishes.

All the time he was cleaning up, a strange sort of feeling kept bothering him. Ever since their partners had jogress evolved for the first time, there had been a kind of link between himself and Daisuke. It wasn't anything as dramatic as telepathy, but every now and then, when one of them felt something extremely strongly, the other could feel it as well. Ken was having that feeling now.

He's upset about something. He frowned, bending his attention more and more to what he was feeling from his partner. And...frustrated? Daisuke had never handled frustration well. He was going to have to do something about this.

Once everything was cleaned up, Ken put on a pot of water and worked on brewing a particular blend of herbal teas he knew were good for soothing frustrated people. Daisuke had teased him more than once about the herbal nonsense, but Ken found it quite useful. Maybe I should try this professionally. He gazed at the various herbs he was using, wondering if there were a chance he could really do that for a living. It would be very nice to help a lot of people that way. He'd have to think about it.

Once the tea was done, he headed over to Daisuke's door and tapped on it lightly once before coming in. "Daisuke, I brought you some tea." He winced softly as the light from the door revealed Daisuke's tear-streaked face, and hurried in. "Do they still hurt?" He was so certain he'd taken care of them so they wouldn't!

"It's nothing." Daisuke shook his head, leaning more into the half-melted ice pack. "Really."

Ken snorted in disbelief. "I know you better than that, Daisuke. It takes a lot to get you to cry." He settled down on the edge of the bed, putting the tea on the nightstand, and then brushed a stray tear away. "Now, are you going to tell me, or are you going to make me worry all night?"

Daisuke sighed slowly. "It's just something that he said."

"Did he say something about you?" Ken's eyes narrowed, anger flaring all through him. There was nothing that would stop him from hurting someone if Daisuke had been hurt.

"Kind of...about both of us." Daisuke murmured. Ken realized he'd never seen Daisuke acting almost...shy before. I didn't even know he could be shy. It was rather sweet, really. He rested his hand on Daisuke's bicep comfortingly, finding it as smooth and strong as his face had been. Was he like that all over? "He asked me if I think you're so beautiful...why don't I just..."

Ken looked at him, confused. Why didn't Daisuke what? All confusion vanished, however, when Daisuke leaned up and brushed his lips across Ken's. Violet eyes went wide in shock, then he slowly began to kiss back, his eyes closing. This wasn't his first kiss, but right now, he couldn't imagine a better one, no matter how hard he tried. It just kept going on and on, until he finally pulled himself back just a little to realize he'd somehow been sprawled ungracefully across Daisuke, whose arms were around him gently: and who was trembling.

"Daisuke?" Ken blinked, wanting to know what was wrong. "Daisuke, what's..." What am I doing like this? He started to pull himself away. How could he be draped across him so brazenly?

"You didn't mind, did you?" Daisuke asked suddenly, and Ken froze where he was, licking his lips and getting a faint aftertaste of those incredible lips, which sent him boneless again. Daisuke hesitated a little, then went on. "That's not really what he asked me, though."


Daisuke shook his head quickly, a faint hint of a blush trying to creep across his cheeks. "Because I'm not going to do what he did ask me!" Ken blinked a little, until Daisuke leaned up and whispered something in his ear. The shade of red he turned was branded in his mind as kill me now red.

Ken shivered a little, then muttered quite softly, "I hope you broke his jaw." He knew it wasn't kind. Right now, he didn't care.

"In four places."

"Good." Ken nodded firmly. "That's what he should get for hurting you."

Daisuke shook his head a little. "That's not why I did it."

"I still can't believe you hit him for giving you his opinion of me." Ken was glad his blush was finally dying off. What would it look like if that kept on happening? Not good at all. "Why were you talking to him, anyway?" He stared down curiously at Daisuke, not quite realizing that he hadn't moved, so they were chest to chest and face to face.

"I was at that shop on the corner. The one just around from the grocery store. You know that one. That shop." Ken was mildly surprised to hear Daisuke not name it, but he knew which one was talking about. "He was working there."

"What were you doing there?" Ken didn't quite hear what Daisuke said in reply and leaned forward some more. "Daisuke?"

He was taken by surprise when the other turned his head, his lips brushing just a touch across Ken's. As the realization of just how close they were burst over him, another followed hot on its heels: that he was kissing back quite eagerly. He couldn't imagine why he wouldn't. This was Daisuke, after all. What else would he do?

He shifted around just a little as the kiss continued, angling himself so he could run the fingers of both of his hands through Daisuke's hair. Almost as soon as he started doing that, Daisuke shivered from top to toe. Ken started to pull back; he'd done something wrong, somehow! Daisuke didn't like it!

"No, don't go!" Daisuke wrapped one hand around Ken's wrist and refused to let him inch away any more. The two of them looked at each other, Ken unconsciously licking his lips. His other hand was still tangled in Daisuke's hair, his own hair swaying gently with every breath. Daisuke licked his lips himself, trying to work a word or two out of his lips. "I..."

"You what?" Ken whispered encouragingly, when nothing else seemed to be forthcoming.

"I've been wanting to do that for a long time." Daisuke said at last. Ken jumped a little; he'd never even noticed! How observant was that! "But you don't, do you?"

Ken jumped again, and shook his head without thinking about it. The second he did, Daisuke began to sag back away from him, the light dying in his eyes. Ken had to act. "I didn't have to kiss you back, you know. Over and over and over."

Brown eyes lit up with joy once more. "So you do want to?"

"It's nothing I've ever considered," Ken told him honestly. "I mean, you've seen my nonexistent dating life, but I wasn't thinking of any of that tonight. I just...reacted."

Daisuke looked at him for a few moments, then reached over and kissed him one more time. Ken kissed back at once, his hands flexing in Daisuke's hair like a cat's paws. Time ceased to have a meaning as they stayed like that, tasting each other's lips as if it were the nectar of life itself.

"You're beautiful," Daisuke told him when they finally broke apart. Ken started to shake his head in denial, and Daisuke stopped him, kissing him first, then roughly growled in Ken's ear. "I don't kiss just anyone!"

The sensation of Daisuke's breath in his ear sent shivers down Ken's spine. "That ...doesn't make me beautiful!" Daisuke just glowered at him fiercely, as if he'd said something incredibly stupid.

"I say you're beautiful, so there! If you argue with me, I...I.." Daisuke searched around for a suitable threat, then found one. "I won't kiss you anymore!"

Now that was just plain fighting dirty! Ken discarded his own age and maturity in the face of that threat, pulling a pout as perfect as any Daisuke ever had. He even did his best to get his eyes to be as large and luminous as Chibimon's could be. Daisuke didn't so much as bat an eye. Obviously he was immune to this kind of pout.

All right. I can deal with this. Ken shifted the pout to one he'd been playing with, his lower lip quivering a touch and a sheen to his wide eyes. Daisuke eyed him for a moment, then sniffed cutely, his lips twitching. Ken discarded the pout without a second thought. "Daisuke..." His fingers brushed lightly over the black eye and the bruised cheek. "It's going all purpley black now. It must hurt." He cocked his head to the side and eyed it again. "The colors are very pretty, though." He hated saying it like that, but it was oddly true in Daisuke's case. He'd never found a bruise beautiful before, and he hated even seeing it here, but it had an odd kind of appeal. Daisuke had it because of him. It didn't have quite the repulsive feeling he would've thought such a thing would have some hours earlier.

"About time something looked good on me," Daisuke commented. Ken almost sat straight up, glaring at him.

"Daisuke! You're still not over that? You've got your own fan club! How could you think you don't look good?" Ken would've smacked him, if he had been just a little less like himself. But he wasn't so he didn't. "I've always known you do!"

He knew he'd walked into a trap the moment the smirk flashed across Daisuke's face. "Then so do you! Because you've had your own fan club since you were ten!" Daisuke was the poster boy for smug just at that moment. Ken groaned and buried his face in Daisuke's chest.

"You're impossible." He didn't have to look up to know that Daisuke was still smirking like a maniac. "See? No matter what, you always find the fatal flaw in any of my logic." He lifted his head a little, beaming softly. "Thank you."

Daisuke smiled back at him, touching the side of Ken's face lightly. The contact sent small shivers of pleasure all down the slender man's body. "It's what I'm here for. Now, would you do me one huge favor?"

Ken was moving back before Daisuke fully finished his question. "Get off of you?" He loved the way Daisuke's lower lip was quivering so cutely. He would've liked to have spent a few hours watching it. Or maybe a few days. A few weeks. A lifetime or two.

"Kiss me again."

Ken's eyes went completely wide and defenceless as he was taken by surprise, but he hesitated only for a split second before he kissed Daisuke again. His fingers kneaded their way through Daisuke's hair, a moan issuing from deep in his throat as Daisuke caressed his own hair. He barely heard Daisuke talking to him at first. "So, aren't you going to ask me what I was doing in that store in the first place?"

"You didn't even tell me what store." Ken wasn't sure if that were true or not, but even if it weren't, he couldn't remember what had been said. Daisuke did have his hands in Ken's hair, after all. As Daisuke named the store, and the name sank into his brain, he sat up a little more. "What were you doing there?"

"Taichi and Yamato's anniversary is coming up. I was getting something for them."

Ken blinked in surprise, shaking his head a little. "But there?"

"Where else do you shop for two of the biggest perverts in town?" Daisuke asked dryly. He leaned back against the pillows, a thoughtful look in his eyes. "I knew him, when we were in school. Before the Digital World, I mean. We were on the soccer team together. I wouldn't really say we were friends then, but we kind of hung out. But after I was Chosen, I didn't really have that much time for them anymore. I think he got jealous because we started to be friends afterward, too, and he just never got over it." He shrugged some, looking down at Ken, who was looking back at him with a faint hint of sadness in his eyes. "What?"

"So you lost a friend because of me?" The other asked softly, regret glimmering softly. Daisuke shook his head at once.

"No. I lost someone I didn't know that well because he couldn't deal with me having friends who weren't him. If he'd really wanted to be friends, he wouldn't have let that bother him. He just wanted to be my friend because it would've helped him get more famous. You're the one I'd rather have, Ken. I don't really want to think about him anymore. If he wants to grow up and stop being a jerk, then we can talk. Until then, I've got a lot better things to do, and I told him that too." Mischief glinted suddenly in his eyes as he leaned closer and whispered just what he'd bought into Ken's ear. The other flushed again, burying his face in Daisuke's chest once more.

"I'm not going to be there when you give it to them!" Ken declared, trying not to stammer when Daisuke wanted to know his reasons. There were just things he didn't need to see! All the blushing faded away as Daisuke began to stroke his face and hair lightly. It felt so good, and he couldn't think of a reason why either of them should stop right now.

"Ken..." Daisuke asked softly, still caressing and stroking gently. Ken made a noise that was vaguely a reply. "Did you want to go on a date with me?"

That sounded so heavenly. Ken nodded slightly, leaning up to kiss Daisuke once more, feeling those strong arms around him. He yawned suddenly, his mind reasserting itself, and caught a glimpse of the teacup he'd brought with himself. "Your tea's gotten cold." He pulled back a little and looked at the black eye from a little more closely. "How's that feel?"

Daisuke just shook his head. "It'll be fine." Ken wasn't going o take that for an answer, giving his friend a look that spelled that out quite clearly. Daisuke understood it at once. "It hurts."

"I'm going to get you some aspirin." Ken declared, scrambling up. He was back with the medicine in just a few moments, and handed them over to Daisuke. As the other swallowed, Ken settled on the bed, muffling a yawn. "Sorry about that. It kind of snuck up on me." He stood up, stretching some. "I'll leave the tea here. It's just as good cold, even if it's not as soothing."

"Ken." Daisuke had said his name once before, but Ken hadn't answered then. He didn't want them moving too fast, no matter how good their respective lips tasted. "You can stay in here if you want."

Ken flushed at once, his mind conjuring up all manner of images. "You mean like when we were kids?" Daisuke didn't exactly answer that, but he didn't have to. Ken ducked his head, hiding behind his hair the best he could. "Would it help you sleep better?"

"I think so."

The violet-eyed man nodded a bit. "All right. Just give me a few minutes." He didn't think Daisuke was being quite honest, but he also wasn't quite lying either. It would certainly help him sleep better tonight, to know that Daisuke wasn't sneaking off to defend his honor somewhere else. He locked up the apartment, cleaning up a few small things that needed it, and padded back into the bedroom ten minutes later, wearing only clingy and silky pajama bottoms. Daisuke sat up in bed, smiling at him.

"Come on, get some rest," Daisuke offered, holding a hand out to him. Ken took it, letting himself be pulled into the bed, and curled up beside him.

"You're the one who got into a fight today. I don't know why I'm the tired one." Ken murmured, cuddling into a warm pillow. Daisuke chuckled a little, stretching out some.

"You don't have my stamina," he declared sleepily and smugly. Ken yawned, closing his eyes. This was a familiar argument, and he knew just what was going to come next.

"I could kick your ass any day," he declared, not even waiting to hear Daisuke's usual response. "Good night, Daisuke." It felt so warm and safe in here. This was just what he'd been needing. Perfect contentment and someone he trusted with his heart and soul right here. He was glad it was Daisuke that he'd found had that trust. Within one heartbeat and the next, Ken and Daisuke were both sound asleep, and all the problems of the day were covered beneath the cloak of night.

The End