So, before people bash me, I'm not trying to say that Kosuke's evil. This is just how he comes off to me.

After all, Kosuke had been researching for how many years? He must've figured out how to lace a coffee with Hikari-art-murdering arsenic somewhere along the way…

Lost in Translation

There was one in every generation. It was just inevitable.

Actually, it seemed like there was one of everything in every generation. A squealing, loving mother. A wise mentor. An annoying best friend. A rival. A love, Dark thought with a small pang.

And then that one guy who gave you that look. That one guy who asked that question. That one guy who seemed to be constantly watching, constantly thinking, constantly suspecting, constantly threatening. There had been too many to count over the years.

And this time, it was Kosuke.

It was unnerving, Dark decided. As soon as anything was afoot, Kosuke always glanced at Daisuke first. No, not at Daisuke. He glanced at Dark. And then he'd ask Daisuke if he'd felt anything odd.

Which was Kosuke-speech for, "What is that parasite in the back of your head plotting now?"

Or if Daisuke came home in a seemingly bad mood, Kosuke was always the first to ask, "Dai, are you feeling all right?"

Which was Kosuke-speech for, "Is that parasite in the back of your head bothering you?"

When Daisuke had retreated to the back of his---well, their---head, Kosuke had been the one to force the Magic Ring-Thing-of-Exorcism-Evilness on Dark.

When Dark had taken over Daisuke to try and explain things to Riku, Kosuke had been the first one to get mad.

When Dark had stuck his neck out to retrieve Daisuke from the painting and Freedert, he'd felt Kosuke's suspicious glare on the back of his neck.

Dark even tried to talk to Daisuke about it once. He had no idea what Daisuke could actually do about it, but…well…

"Why do you think my dad hates you?" Daisuke had asked, bewildered. Dark had tried to explain about the coded conversations, the suspicions, the feeling of being constantly watched. And what had Daisuke's response been?

"Dark, I didn't know you were a paranoid world-conspiracy theorist. Are you feeling all right?"

Daisuke was a nice host, but he really just didn't have a clue.

So Dark knew---he knew---that if Kosuke were to be awake right now, he'd probably be getting exorcised.

It wasn't anybody's fault, really. Daisuke was a teenager. All the studies nowadays showed that teenagers should be getting at least eight to ten hours of sleep a night, and Daisuke definitely wasn't getting anywhere near that quota. So tonight, after the theft, when he'd asked Dark to take them home, Dark hadn't argued. Even though he knew that there would be many questions to answer, and, no doubt, many of Kosuke's attacks to stem. But hey, Daisuke's a good kid, Dark had thought. He deserves a small break. And it's so late. They'll probably all be asleep anyway, right?

Apparently not.

"Ah, Daisuke, you're---Dark?"

The thief stopped short in the doorway. Kosuke---Holy shit, he's AWAKE?---waited patiently for an answer. When none came, he asked, "Dark, where's Daisuke?"

Which is Kosuke-speech for: "What the hell have you done with my offspring, you psychotic parasite I am generously allowing to live?"

Dark kept his eyes steady on the floor. "Ah…he got tired on the way back. Asked me to go the rest of the way."

"Oh! All right, then."

Which is Kosuke-speech for: "You got lucky this time, thief. But if Daisuke ever tells me differently, I WILL exorcise you. Count on it."

Dark nodded, glancing quickly at the stairs. What were his chances of survival if he made a break for it? Probably not good…

"Would you like I drink? I was just about to make some coffee."

Which is Kosuke-speech for, "Sit down, please, while I perform a quick third-degree interrogation.. For my son's good, and my own peace of mind. Because we both know that you're up to something."

Kosuke seemed to take his silence for an affirmative. "Please, sit."

To his own surprise, Dark sat.

"Dark, how have you been feeling?" Kosuke asked as he fiddled with the kettle.

Which is Kosuke-speech for, "Parasite, what are you plotting?"

"Um…fine," The thief mumbled.

"Fine? Is that all?"

Which is Kosuke-speech for, "I'm onto you, you know. You might as well confess while I'm in a good mood."

Dark wasn't sure what else to say. What else was he supposed to say? Everything had been same old, same old, really…

"I've been a little worried, to be honest," Kosuke continued. "And Daisuke's been very worried lately."

Which is Kosuke-speech for, "You're making my son worry. Parasites who make my son worry get hurt."

Dakr squirmed a little on the couch. He'd noticed that Daisuke was starting to pick up a strange habit of turning around and asking him what he felt about this and that. Did that translate into "worried"?

"Dark…has anything been bothering you lately?"

Dark tried to think of things that could be bothering him. Krad, Daisuke's sleep pattern, Krad, Risa, Krad…and Krad. Nothing out of the ordinary. He shook his head, even though Kosuke wasn't facing him.

He probably has eyes in the back of his head anyway...

Kosuke turned, two mugs in hand, and sat down across from Dark. He passed a mug to him over the table. Dark sniffed at the coffee suspiciously. It didn't smell like Kosuke had done anything to it…but you never knew. Dark glanced at the other man over the rim of the mug. After all, Kosuke had been researching for how many years? He must've figured out how to lace a coffee with Hikari-art-murdering arsenic somewhere along the way…

Kosuke raised his eyebrows. "Too hot?"

Which is Kosuke-speech for, "What's wrong? It's harmless, you know. Just a harmless, arsenic-laced coffee that will get rid of you for good."

"It's fine," Dark placed the mug as quietly as he could on the table. It wasn't worth the risk. He could practically see the tiny sparkles of hope in Kosuke's eyes, just waiting for him to drink the stuff and fall to the floor choking and writhing…

Kosuke sighed, and put his mug down as well. "Maybe I'm prying too much. I don't know how this kind of question might sound to you, but…Dark, are you satisfied with the life you have now?"

Dark stared at him blankly. Satisfied?

Kosuke continued. "That is, do you feel that Daisuke is giving you enough…freedom isn't quite the word…control, maybe? Opportunities? Tell me if I'm not making sense---"

"You're making sense," Dark assured him quietly, more to shut him up than anything.

Both fell silent, Kosuke as he let the question sit and Dark as he mulled it over.

Enough freedom? Control? Opportunities?

What does he mean? What does that translate into for him?

Dark teethed his bottom lip a few times before finally answering: "He tries."

Kosuke frowned slightly. "He tries…but is it enough?"

"He tries," Dark repeated adamantly.

"But is it enough?"

"He's trying. That's as good as it's going to get. It's enough," Dark gritted.

Kosuke's eyebrows rose…and fell again. "I see," He said quietly. "As good as it's going to get…"

Which is Kosuke speech for, "So it's not even close, is it?"

Don't rub it in.

Kosuke looked down at his coffee. "Daisuke spoke to me about this a while ago. I'm sure you were asleep; I don't think he would have asked otherwise. He said it felt like you were getting…agitated."

Agitated? Sure. Krad's disappeared, things are awkward with Risa, Daisuke's getting weirder by the second. Why not be agitated?

"He's afraid that it's something he's doing…or not doing." Kosuke gave him an odd look. "Hasn't he been asking you questions lately? More questions than usual?"

How would you know how many questions he asks me? What the hell have you two been TALKING about while I've been sleeping?

"S-sure."

"And apparently your answers have been…not enough for him to work with. He's worried."

You've said that. You've said that almost a hundred times tonight.

"I guess what I'm trying to say is…you can tell him. Whatever you want, you know, it wouldn't hurt to tell him. You might be surprised by his response." Kosuke took a last swig of his coffee. "Ah, it's late, isn't it?"

Dark nodded absently.

"Will you be finishing that?"

What? Dark looked down. The arsenic-laced coffee. He lifted it gingerly and put it to his lips. One drop made it into his mouth…

…Cinnamon. And cream! He took a long gulp. And another. When the mug was empty, he handed it to Kosuke. "Thanks," he added quickly, remembering the manners his past hosts had tried to get him to implement the few times he was allowed out and about.

Kosuke dumped the mugs in the sink. "I'll get to those in the morning," He shrugged. Dark nodded, inching towards the stairs. The talk was over…right?

"Dark?"

Okay, maybe not

Dark turned back towards the kitchen.

Kosuke scratched the back of his head in a deceivingly innocent way. "Thanks for letting me ramble. And…you know that you are a part of this family, don't you?"

What?

Kosuke inclined his head to him. "I ask because I care." He nodded once to him, and left the room, leaving Dark standing bewildered.

That was Kosuke-speech for…

For?

Dark didn't know any more.