Satoshi was quite drunk.
He noted the fact with some interest.
Perhaps he ought to make a note of it, but he wasn't sure if his hands
were steady enough to write. Anyway, he was pleasantly relaxed and
felt a sense of calm pervading his body.
Perhaps he ought to get drunk more
often. He pondered this for a moment, and decided, with a trifle
bit of regret, that it would probably be a bad idea. He could lose
control. That would be bad. He wondered who had spiked the
punch at the school party, and decided he didn't much care, although Saehara
was now roaring out a strange song he claimed to have learned from an American
reporter. Satoshi was pretty sure that Saehara had no idea what the
lyrics actually meant [Saehara never did do well in English], but he wasn't
going to explain about the Souse family and what, precisely, an outhouse
was. Or, for that matter, what was meant by 'you gotta go Bears'.
Satoshi reminded himself to make sure that Saehara was never drunk when
trying to follow his team around while they tried to capture Dark, although
his team was a bunch of blithering incompentents half the time, anyway,
so it probably wouldn't matter.
Was Niwa drunk? If he was,
maybe Dark would appear. He turned around, very carefully, and looked
for him. He was standing in a corner, his eyes -- amber, decided
Satoshi, definitely Niwa's eyes were amber -- round and slightly horrified.
He looked completely sober. Probably too sober for his own good,
as even the twins were getting terribly giggly by this time, especially
Risa. Riku was swaying slightly but wore the expression of someone
who was going to stay sober if it killed her. The only thing that
spoilt the impression was the fact that every so often a funny smile would
pass over her face as she eyed Niwa thoughtfully.
That would be bad, thought Satoshi,
who could practically feel the alcohol rushing through his system by this
time. If anyone was going to corner Niwa in a dark area and ravish
him, Satoshi would prefer it be himself.
God, he was completely drunk, to
be thinking things like that. He should leave soon. He should
stop drinking that punch, which was foul even before whoever had spiked
it had spunked it -- was spunked a word? did he care? -- and had not been
improved by a fifth of extremely cheap whiskey. If it were whiskey
and not something worse. Satoshi tried to remember what was cheap,
fairly available and extremely alcoholic. If they were lucky, it
was just some cheap vodka and not vanilla extract or something like that.
Nobody was sick yet, so it wasn't rubbing alcohol.
Home. He was thinking about
going home. No, back to his place of residence, which was generally
clean enough to be used for an operating room. And just as bleak
and sterile. He bet Niwa had a nice home. Niwa had family, after
He swallowed the rest of his punch,
and decided that it was really time to leave. When one started thinking
that an enemy -- for that was what Niwa was, cute or not, nice or not,
with a family or not -- had it better than one did oneself, one needed
to stop drinking. Because if one started thinking about one's prey
as a human, one couldn't hunt as effectively.
Satoshi noted to himself that he
got weirdly philosophical when drunk. Definitely he was never getting
drunk again. He took a step toward the door, and realised he was
swaying. Damn. He concentrated on walking steadily, and nearly succeeded.
"Hiwatari-kun," said a voice about
as tall as his shoulder, sounding rather shocked and vaguely confused,
"Someone spiked the punch."
Satoshi looked down at Niwa, whose
amber eyes were even more horrified at close range. He briefly considered
something pithy like 'no shit, Sherlock', and decided it wasn't worth it.
"Yes," he said finally, "They did." That sounded nearly coherant.
"Did you drink any?" he asked.
Niwa shook his head. "I thought
it tasted funny."
Satoshi nodded solemnly. "It
does," he said, and slumped gently onto Niwa's shoulder.
"Geh." said Daisuke, frantically
trying to support Hiwatari-kun's weight. For someone who looked about
one meal away from starvation, Hiwatari-kun was surprisingly heavy, and
his full weight was now on Daisuke's shoulder. "H-Hiwatari-kun!"
"I'm drunk," announced Hiwatari-kun
"Yes, you are," said Daisuke.
You were supposed to humor drunks, weren't you? "Shouldn't you get home,
Hiwatari-kun? Won't your family be worried?"
"Haven't got one," said Hiwatari-kun,
still calmly, still slumped on Daisuke's shoulder. "And my father
Daisuke puzzled this one out.
"You said you didn't have a family," he said.
"But then you said your father wouldn't
"He won't," said Hiwatari-kun.
He made an effort to straighten his body and collapsed back on Daisuke.
Daisuke said "GEH!" and quickly hooked
Hiwatari-kun's arm around the opposite shoulder to the one that Hiwatari-kun
was slumped over. "But you have a family if you have a father, right?"
"There are more things on this earth,
Niwa Daisuke-kun, than ever you did see," intoned Hiwatari-kun. "I
don't have a family. I do have a father. Do you understand
Daisuke certainly did not, but nodded
anyway. Humor drunks, he repeated to himself, humor drunks.
He wished With was here. Or that he was as quick-witted as his alter
ego. Dark would know what to do with a drunk classmate who was slumped
all over him. It would probably involve dropping him into a lake,
but still, Dark could deal with it. Whereas Daisuke...
"Don't you want go home?" he repeated.
He tried to look at Hiwatari-kun's face, but only caught a glimpse of blue
hair and glasses nearly sliding off Hiwatari-kun's nose.
"Not really," said Hiwatari-kun,
thoughtfully, "But I suppose I should."
Daisuke heaved a sigh of relief.
"The door's over here," he said, trying to be helpful. Somehow he
managed to get Hiwatari-kun to the door, and then by another miracle, found
his shoes, and then it only took a few tries for Hiwatari-kun to successfully
put them on.
Hiwatari-kun stood up, and swayed.
Daisuke said "Geh!", and leaped forward. Hiwatari-kun essayed a few
steps. Daisuke said "GEH!!!" and shoved his shoulder under Hiwatari-kun's
arm. Hiwatari-kun leaned very heavily on it. Daisuke said,
piteously, "Geh..." and then, "W-Why don't I see you home...?"
"That would be very kind of you,"
said Hiwatari-kun, majestically, and they sallied forth into the night.
Daisuke thought that the journey
to Hiwatari-kun's apartment would never end. Hiwatari-kun was not
only heavy, but he was so drunk [how many cups of that punch had he HAD?
Daisuke was having a hard time believing that of him] that keeping him
to a more or less straight line was like trying to ... trying to ... well,
trying to do something really hard, anyway. And then every so often
Hiwatari-kun would stop and look at him. He didn't say anything.
He didn't do anything. He just Looked, and it was beginning to make
Daisuke very nervous. He'd seen that look in Hiwatari-kun's eye before,
generally about ten seconds before Dark was pinned/tackled/ leapt on from
above by him, and Daisuke knew that look when he saw it.
But it was still a little different.
Perhaps because it was directed at Daisuke, and not Dark? Or, he
decided, more likely because Hiwatari-kun was so completely soused that
he couldn't do it properly.
So, all in all, Daisuke thought he'd
never heard sweeter words than Hiwatari-kun's overly solemn "That's my
Niwa heaved an audible sigh of relief.
Satoshi looked down at him, mainly a view of red hair sticking straight
up in spikes and Niwa's slender shoulder. He was actually rather
surprised that Niwa had managed to support him all the way from the school.
It hadn't occured to Niwa to call a taxi, of course, and Satoshi had thought
of it, but he'd been curious to see how long it would take Niwa to think
"Can you get to your apartment by
yourself?" asked Niwa, hope radiating from every pore.
"No," said Satoshi baldly. "I don't
know which buttons to push on the elevator. And I can't get my keycard
into the lock like this."
There was a small and piteous "geh"
from Niwa's general direction, but he surpressed it nobly and helped Satoshi
into the building. There was no doorkeeper. Satoshi's apartment
was in the sort of place where a doorman discreetly appeared if they
sensed -- apparently by ESP -- that you needed one, and nobody got into
the building unless they belonged there or were invited, despite the lack
of obvious security. Satoshi had never asked what happened to intruders,
but he was under the impression it involved sharks and a lime pit.
Niwa's shoulder was very warm, he
thought. And he smelled of plain soap, and, ever so faintly, the
rougher, leathery scent of Dark. Satoshi had never smelled anything
like that before, something so ... nice and warm, he thought.
There was that singing in his blood,
and he pushed away from Niwa as fast as he could. Don't think about
it, he ordered himself, even as he swayed miserably. Don't think
about ... Him ... if you do, you change over. Don't think of him.
Don't need anyone. But it was too late for that, he thought, too
"Hiwatari-kun, are you all right?"
That was Niwa's anxious voice. He turned slowly back and looked down
at him again, and found himself swaying.
"No, I'm not," he said.
Niwa clucked and offered his shoulder
again, and Satoshi took him up on it, because it seemed that the damage
was already done. What was to be done about fate? Nothing, but to hold
off the poisoned day as long as you could. Slowly they made their way to
Satoshi's apartment, and Satoshi felt more drunk and miserable with each
step he took. Despair he knew as his dearest friend, but misery was
a new thing to him. Despair blanketed you, softly, shielding you
in its tender grasp, but misery, he thought suddenly, was like walking
on gravel. You had to feel. And that made it worse.
And somehow they got to his apartment,
and somehow they got the door open, and Satoshi slid deeper and deeper
into his misery. Why couldn't he have been a cheerful drunk? But
no, fate couldn't even be that kind to him, he had to be a melancholy one,
full of deep thoughts and introspection. Niwa would be a happy drunk.
It wasn't fair.
Niwa prodded him toward his bedroom.
"I'll find you some aspirin, ok?" he said. "aspirin's supposed to
be good for hangovers."
He didn't want aspirin, but he obediently
turned toward his room and sat down, rather heavily, on the bed.
If there was someone else more fucked up and miserable than Hiwatari Satoshi
at that very instant, he thought, he surely did pity them. He put
his arm over his face and fell back onto the bed.
He was so pathetic.