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 all.

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 calmly.

"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 wouldn't care."

Daisuke puzzled this one out. "You said you didn't have a family," he said.

"I don't."

"But then you said your father wouldn't care?"

"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 now?"

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 apartment building."


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 of it.

"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 late.

"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.


Dark had surfaced for approximately three seconds and then retired to wherever he spent his time when he wasn't harassing Daisuke, saying, sweetly, that he was sure Daisuke could take care of things. Daisuke just wanted one good smack at his alter ego, that was all. The fact that that was slightly more likely to happen than Harada-san kissing Hiwatari-kun in class was beside the point.

He sighed heavily and replaced the phone receiver. Dark had pointed out that as far as Daisuke knew, he could be hours here, so Daisuke had called his mother and endured a five minute inquisition about WHY he had walked Hiwatari-kun home and WHAT was he going to do now, and how drunk had sweet Riku-chan been, and WAS there any chance of him getting back to the party and FINALLY kissing her. Then his father had removed the phone from her protesting grip and settled Daisuke's plans, such as they were, in thirty seconds.

Hiwatari-kun's kitchen was notoriously understocked -- well, ok, he admended silently, it wasn't understocked, it was as bare as -- as -- as -- as a candy store the day before Valentine's Day. He opened a few cubboards in guilty curiosity, and discovered that Hiwatari-kun apparently lived on

a) instant ramen
b) instant rice
c) instant soup
d) air.

He shook his head. Of course, his mother took a gleeful and vaguely disturbing joy in making sure Daisuke got meals balanced to the last microgram, so Daisuke supposed that if he had to live alone, he'd live in the same state as Hiwatari-kun.

//Yeah, but you can cook.//

/Dark! Don't you leave me --/


/--alone. You jerk./


/....../ Daisuke gave up. Hiwatari-kun wasn't much for medicines, either, he discovered. His medicine cabinet [kept, as decreed, in the kitchen instead of the bathroom] consisted of a bottle of aspirin with precisely seven pills inside, and a dusty package of bandages. After a longer seach, he managed to find a plastic cup of the sort convienence stores gave out with coffee, filled it with water, and carried it and two of the seven pills to Hiwatari-kun's bedroom.

Hiwatari-kun was sprawled across his bed, one arm across his head. One eye opened and regarded Daisuke in a neutral manner.

"I brought you the aspirin," said Daisuke brightly. One part of his mind wondered uneasily if brightness was the best thing, under the circumstances, but he couldn't think what else to do.

Hiwatari-kun sat up, rather too steadily, and Daisuke placed the aspirin and water into his hands. "You should drink all of the water," said Daisuke, aware that he was babbling nervously. "Because alcohol makes you dehydrated."

Hiwatari-kun obediently swallowed the pills and all of the water. Daisuke took the cup back, and set it on the stand. "Well," he said, preparing to bolt, "I'd better get--"

He never even saw Hiwatari-kun move, which said something rather nasty about the fact that he'd always managed to escape before.


//Oooh,// said Dark, interestedly, //He sure can move fast when he wants to.//


Hiwatari-kun's body pinned him down effectively, and Daisuke once again cursed his slender build. He simply didn't have the mass to fight his way free.

"I'm drunk," announced Hiwatari-kun.

"Let me go," said Daisuke.

"I'm really drunk," continued Hiwatari-kun, thoughtfully. "And I'm not enjoying it one little bit. Because I feel really sober, only I know I'm not."

"Hiwatari-kun," said Daisuke, fighting desperately for reason, "You really don't want to --"

"Yes, I do," said Hiwatari-kun, calmly. "Because I've always wondered how you could be so warm, and now I'm drunk and therefore not responsible for my actions, and I am very cold."

Daisuke opened his mouth to point out that Hiwatari-kun seemed plenty warm to _him_ -- then it dawned on him that Hiwatari-kun wasn't talking about physical warmth. And that surprised him so much that he lay stupidly under Hiwatari-kun, trying to comprehend a world where someone looked at him and saw 'warmth', and he almost missed the first light brush of Hiwatari-kun's lips against his forehead. Almost. He squawked.

"I'm not going to do anything, you idiot," said Hiwatari-kun, patiently. "But as long as I'm drunk I might as well kiss you."

That almost made sense, in a Dark sort of way. "Hiwatari-kun, you really don't want to--"

Hiwatari-kun's mouth descended on his own. It was surprise that kept him still, surprise that made him instinctively relax and yield. He didn't know what it was that made him part his lips under Hiwatari-kun's, but it had something to do with the sweet taste of punch still on Hiwatari-kun's lips. He couldn't think of an excuse when his hand slid out from under Hiwatari-kun's chest and into his hair, but by that point he didn't really care to think of one.

As adruptly as he'd bent it, Hiwatari-kun pulled his head away. "That was nice," he said, with precise, drunken politeness. "I liked it. Thank you. Good night." His head fell onto the pillow, and he was asleep.

Daisuke lay for a few minutes, willing his eyes to uncross. "You could have rolled over," he said to the unconcious, warm lump sprawled over him. "And I could have left, and we could have avoided the very embarassing talk we're going to have tomorrow morning."

//Like hell,// said Dark, amiably. //That talk's been in the works for the last two hundred years.//

/Do I want to know?/

//Mmm... shall we say Mr Commander, Sir's family runs to the obsessive side of the scale.//

/Great./ Daisuke wiggled his other arm out from under Hiwatari-kun's chest. Hiwatari-kun stirred and wrapped his arms tightly around Daisuke. /.../

//If it were anyone else besides you and him, I'd say it was kind of cute.//

/Oh, shut up./

//I just calls it as I sees it, Daisuke.// Dark, Daisuke thought resentfully, was much too amused by this. //Good night.//

Daisuke sighed. /Night, Dark./ "Good night, Hiwatari-kun. I wish you wouldn't hog all the pillows like that."

//Always been pillow hogs. Always. Trust me on this.//

/...I'd rather not./


Sometime during the night, Satoshi woke up and thought he was dreaming that Niwa was curled into him. Being a sensible boy, he pulled him closer and buried his face in soft red hair, and enjoyed his dreams.



See! Look! I can do Christmas fics only four months after the fact! >_> Merry extremely belated Christmas, Shi-chan.

No clever remarks. X_x I'm sick.