Herme: Hiya! I'm gonna take up a phenomenal amount of space to answer my dear, dear reviewers.

Tommy: So, if you want to read what she's gotta say, tuck in...otherwise, skip ahead!

To Mi Querida: hee hee, thank you! Reviewing as you read: wonderful! Ha ha, the humor in Ken having a myspace never occurred to me before you brought it up! Just for your amusement, here are their "myspace names": Ken's is The Digimon Emperor, and Daisuke's is SuperMonkeySexy. Ha ha, there's an inside joke to that! Hee hee, there's also an inside joke to "papi," but the only person who would know it doesn't read my stories! What! No pie? Then, how about some cheesecake?

To Tripnessa: Thank you for sticking it with me. Here is the update due to you.

To Takato the Dreamer: I'd like to say thank you and be all full of my self, but please, don't be impressed...eh...read the To Everyone in General.

To Axel-fiery-gurl: Glad to meet your approval! But, uh, who got busy? The boys? Or me? WHO?

Tommy: -Slaps Mistress-

Herme: Ah, thanks.

To Yunih: Thinking is always, good, ne? I seem to include a lot of thinking in my stuff...guess it's cuz I think too much. I will not make you wait any longer.

To Everyone in General: Thank you, so very much, for your continued attention and your kind and encouraging words. It makes me feel a fraud to allow everyone to think that I am writing this so quickly and posting so quickly. Did nobody see the dates in my Nonsensual Dialogue? Ha ha, admit it: no one read it, right? Well, to reiterate, it says: 23. March. 2006 – 1. July. 2006. The First of July is the day I finished writing this chapter. It actually took me months to write this. The reason I write before I post is because I'm never sure when I'll have to retire a certain project and/or finish it, plus I like to be able to edit back and forth between chapters. So, it will come to pass that as soon as I finish posting this story I will seemingly disappear off the face of the earth to work on another project. So, all you once-a-year posters, don't feel bad. I do the same, really. But thank you, I am glad to see that my hard work is paying off!

Tommy: Alright, are you done?

Herme: Yes, yes I am.

Tommy: Then let's get it on!

Herme: Please enjoy and I'll see you in the post note!

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
Capítulo Siete: Do you like pie?

"Make Love, Not War"
—American Proverb

Ken walked with a purpose. He was a man on a mission. You could tell by the way he used his walk, he's a…no, okay…

He was a man on a mission. He was a man with a purpose. He was a man…turning and walking the other direction!

Ken could use the exercise that would come from doubling back, going downstairs, walking across campus and then back upstairs to his next class. After all, all those funky flavor ice creams were taking a toll on him.

Don't get him wrong, this wasn't just typical Running and Hiding® maneuvering. He was waiting it out, remember? He was certain that Daisuke was not ready to talk, especially not this early in the morning, and he was also certain that Daisuke hadn't seen him as he used his kinda, sorta, not really Running and Hiding® maneuvering.

Ken sighed. It was only third period. What was he going to do during The Dreaded Fourth Period? If he went to the nurse's office again he would only cause more worry for his mother. She had been against his going to school this morning, and had constantly checked his forehead for signs of fever. He knew she was feeling more worried than usual because she had given him a huge hug before he walked out the door.

[A/N: Tommy: I feel a rant coming on. Me: *Cue Rant* Is it just me, or do mothers in Japan not know how to recognize moments that call for hugs? They *never* hug their kids when I know I would if I were them! And I'm not even a touchy-feely sort of person! Sorry, but it bothers me, that's why Ken's getting' the lovin' from his mum. *End Rant*]

Whatever, he'd worry about it when the time came.

Running and Hiding®? Little Voice whispered.

Shut up, Ken thought back.

As soon as the bell signifying class rang, Ken got a written note from his teacher and went to the Library. The quiet solitude of the room where he could be surrounded by his beloved books gave him the strength he seemed to be lacking. He should just find a good book about some courageous dude and (not literally) take a page out of his book. Thus, Ken found himself wandering far in the back where most of the other students never went.

And there among the books, he found a man.

Daisuke frowned to himself and halted all of a sudden-like in the middle of the hallway, drawing complaints of "Hey!" and "What the hell, man?" from fellow students who were about to rear-end him. Ignoring them all, Daisuke continued to look at the corner that Ken had just disappeared around in rising frustration.

He recognized the Running and Hiding® (patented by Ken Ichijouji, 2006) technique. Anyone who had known Ken for as long as he had would. Anyone who had known Ken for half as long as he had would know.

"Oh, that's it," Daisuke said quietly to himself. Then, "That's it!" he shouted, not-so-quietly, drawing stares from his peers. "That's the last straw!"

Turning, he began walking towards Ken's third period classroom. When he got there, however, he found that Ken was not among the students sitting in the room.

Did he go home? Daisuke wondered. Then he snorted. Ken, ditch school? Not likely.

Daisuke turned and ran to the nurse's office. Flinging open the door, Daisuke looked at each of the beds. Empty.

"Oh my," the startled nurse said. "Are you feeling ill?"

"No," Daisuke said, breathlessly, "sorry, excuse me."

Closing the door, none too softly, Daisuke turned and ran back down the hall. If Ken wasn't doing his usual thing, then there was only one last place that Ken would run.

Just before Daisuke reached the Library doors, he forced himself to stop running and continue in a slow, even gait. His breathing returning to normal and his face restored to calm, he signed in and began a methodical search of each and every one of the aisles in the Library.

Each one, nothing, nothing. Finally, Daisuke stopped at the end of the last aisle in the library, far in the back.

"Damn it," he muttered, as he stared at the blank wall between the book shelves. He stared for a good long minute before he felt someone else's presence.

Turning, he found himself staring at the focus of his quest.

Ken's eyes widened before he could stop them.

After all his efforts in Running and Hiding® from Daisuke—

I knew it! Little Voice piped up.

—here he stood, face to face with that very person. There Daisuke stood, in all his glory, staring at him as if here were surprised to see him as well.

"Ah," nervousness at the Awkward Silence prompting Ken to speak, "uh, hi, Daisuke. What are you doing here? It's your lunchtime, isn't it?"

"Oh," Daisuke began with a nonchalant expression on his face that Ken had never seen before, "I'm just here for a bit of light reading."

"Oh," Ken said. Dai? Light reading? Is this a joke? he wondered.

The silence between them dragged like a rake on concrete.

Ken couldn't stand it. He had to try something! "So, uh—"

"Hey, why are you avoiding me?"

The softly asked question caught Ken off guard. It was like being asked if you liked pie during a job interview for a bookstore after having numerous questions involving theft and customer relations. Why pie? Why are you avoiding me? Ken stared at the pretense that Daisuke's face presented. Not even in their time in the Digiworld, had Ken ever seen Daisuke look this serious. The gravity of his expression made Daisuke seem so much older, suddenly, so much more mature. Oh gods…he looked dominant.

"I'm not," Ken said then. "You are avoiding me."

Daisuke's lips tightened before he responded. "Fine. Why are we avoiding each other?" he rephrased. "We're best friends, Ken! I've known you for five years. We've gone through so much in Digiworld. We defeated Malomyostismon together. We were a team. Why does it have to stop here?"

"You're the one who wanted it to stop here!" Ken said, his own irritation at Daisuke rising.

Who did Daisuke think he was? What made him think he could force this onto Ken, make him feel these things he didn't want to…wasn't ready to…feel? Who did he think he was lecturing?

"What?" Daisuke began, but Ken cut him off, continuing in his furiously whispered counter-attack.

"You're the one who wanted to stop it! Ignoring everything that happened when we woke up! This is not the same as the Digiworld! It's not the same! And it can't be the same anymore, Daisuke! We're not children anymore, and we're no longer simple best friends! It has changed between us whether you want to acknowledge it or not. It's changed and I don't know what to do about it."

Daisuke exhaled with disbelief. "Why do we have to do something about it? Why can't we just—"

"We can't just go on the way it was, it's different now!"

"I don't want it to change," Daisuke said softly.

"It already has: you know what we did—"

Daisuke shook his head and reached outward. Ken froze when he felt Daisuke's hand suddenly grab onto his upper arms. Daisuke continued to shake his head, all the while looking at the floor and holding onto Ken as if he were the last lifejacket on the Titanic.

"No," Daisuke said then, his voice quiet, and Ken wondered that no one had come to find out what all the commotion was about. "I don't mean the change in our physical relationship," Daisuke continued, drawing Ken's attention back to the boy in front of him when Daisuke looked him in the eyes, "I mean, I don't want to continue on without you. Look I've been thinking about it—don't look so surprised!—I've been thinking about it for a long time now, and I realized that I don't hate what happened. A-actually, I liked it…a lot."

Ken blushed.

"And to be quite frank," Daisuke hurried on, the blush on his cheeks deepening along with Ken's, "I think I would like to continue that way." Daisuke paused when he took in Ken's shocked face. "Ah! If you don't think so that's fine, too! I mean, I can keep my love to myself, you don't have to do anything with me, just…just please don't leave me by myself."

Daisuke looked imploringly at Ken, but all Ken could do was stare back. His mind was desperately trying to process all that Daisuke had said from the beginning to the very end, but all it amounted to was one phrase in Ken's mind.

"You—you love me?"

Daisuke blinked. His blush spread through his whole body as he realized what a mortifying thing he had just admitted. For the first time in his young and stupid life, he had accidentally blurted out his actual feelings. Well, might as well go for gold.

"Yeah," Daisuke said after a moment. "Actually, I do."

Ken felt some unknown feeling sweep through his body, erasing everything that had happened in the past few days. All the bad, all the torment, all the uncertainty, suddenly nothing mattered anymore.

This boy, his first (human) friend, his best friend, his…Daisuke…loved him.

Ken felt his body, as if it belonged to someone else, move imperceptively towards Daisuke. Even as he did, it seemed Daisuke came closer to him.

Then it happened. Completely of their own will, without outside influence, the two met in the middle and all else faded.

Frightened and awkward without the liquor to move them along, the kiss was little more than a touch of their lips. At first. Then it was sloppy and wet. It felt good, but the happiness that was in Ken now made him laugh.

And so, laughing, Ken broke their "first" kiss.

"What are you laughing at?" Daisuke pouted.

"Nothing, sorry," Ken said, and then he leaned in a kissed Daisuke again quickly. Daisuke looked at Ken and Ken leaned back in. This time, their kiss was deeper and longer, and when they pulled apart this time, it was only because lack of breath demanded it.

"Hey," Daisuke whispered, out of breath, "wanna get out of here?"

Ken's considered his options.

Right Shoulder Angel: ~~Ditch school? Are you mad?~~

Left Shoulder Devil: ~~Pass this up? Are you mad?~~

"Yes," Ken said, "yes."

A/N: And so it ends! Or at least here it ends...Know what I mean? I mean, is it enough for you? Ha ha, well, I hope everyone who has made it thus far has enjoyed my little ditty, this Oneshot Run Amok. I really enjoyed writing this, no matter how long it took, and to everyone who has spoken up (you have been by far my most responsive audience), I cannot possible express how much I appreciate all that everyone has-

Tommy: Hey! -As Herme continues monologing in background- Psst! Psst! Hey, you guys! If you looking for more heated action you'll have to check out our account at mediaminer, or adultfanfiction. Herme's author name is the same there, I'd give you the link but this stupid document program sucks! If you can't find her, email her at hakuhaku -at- yahoo -dot- com and she'll be happy to send you the link.

Herme: -Finally catches on-- Hey, what are you whispering about over there?

Tommy: Go! Go!