Don't own digimon

Oh, don't you just love the snazzy title (it's right up there with the summary)?!  *rolls eyes* Well, this is going to be a three-part fic. I wanted to wait until I had all three parts done before I posted anything, but well…I'm not the most patient person on the planet, and I think it just got the better of me. #^-^# Oops. And I just want to say in advance that I do a lot of reading at FF.N, so a lot of what's written here has been influenced by what I've read. (Go…read the fics on my fav list…*wiggles my fingers like that's going to magically do something* )


Picture Perfect

"Takeru! Hurry up and open the door!" Stupid Takeru! I know he's home. His Mom's obviously not since no one answered the doorbell when I was doing my rendition of 'Flight of the Bumblebee' on it. But I know Takeru's home. He's always at home on Sunday mornings curled up in his bedroom, headphones jammed on his head and his face stuck in some stupid five hundred page monstrosity of a book. 

"C'mon bookworm! This is important!" I know you're here Takaishi, and I am not leaving you alone this time so get your nose out of the fucking book and help me. His neighbors are starting to come out to see what all the pounding is about. I don't care. Can't they see this is an emergency? Eh. Probably not. Stupid neighbors. Bracing myself, I ram my shoulder at the door. His mother will kill me if I actually manage to bust it in, but I have to talk to Takeru and since he's space cadetting in the land of boring books and loud music, I have to be forceful. I turn to ram the door again. "Takeru open the damn…"

The door suddenly gives way and I'm falling all over him. Jerk, he did that on purpose! I shoot him a halfhearted glare, and he's trying his hardest not to laugh. Oh, don't get me wrong I like the guy. He's my best friend. We just spend way too much time trying to one up each other.

Ken says we're both egomaniacs and that we have to battle it out each time we meet to see who gets to be the dominant one. I think he compared us to guy baboons. And if I recall right, that had both of us pouncing on him instead of each other. Takeru and I agree that if any one of the three of us is going to have a blue butt, it's going to be Ken. He's the one with the blue hair after all. 

Ken. I sigh as Takeru offers me help from up off his floor. I have so fucked up big time. 


"So where's the fire and how did you start it?" He asks as we walk into his family room. Patamon's snoozing on the TV again. Maybe I should have brought Chibimon with me. They're both getting a bit fat from inactivity. No, c'mon Daisuke, focus. Chibimon's at home trying to figure out what's happening with Ken through Wormmon.

"I didn't do it on purpose." I'm serious! I didn't do it on purpose!

"You never do." Takeru gives me that look of exasperated resignation. I give him an aggravated glare to let him know that now is not the time to tease me about being dense. "So what happened that's got you all excited?"

"It's Ken…" I start off before coming to a grinding halt. I know Takeru knows that I'm prone to screwing things up in a big way, and he's heard about most of my more notorious bunglings. But still, this is Mr. Perfect, never-screwed-up-anything-important-in-his-entire-life, Takeru. It's damned embarrassing. Half the time, I think the only reason Ken and Takeru keep me around is because I remind them of what it's like for the rest of the people in the world who make mistakes on a regular basis. Dorks, I think sourly. 

"And…?" Takeru prompts, pulling me out of my thoughts. Oh yeah. Ken.

"And we were hanging out last night after having caught a really late night flick. I was just horsing around and, you know, being my usual self, but Ken had been really moody all night. You know how he gets sometimes. So I tried to cheer him up." It had seemed like a good idea at the time. I mean, Ken's been mopey all week and usually I can pull him out of his more morose moods by just being the brainless idiot that I am. But nooooo….

"I take it that what you did, didn't work." Give the man a prize.

"No." I sigh as I try not to squirm. I feel so guilty. I hate feeling guilty. "I was joking around and I told him if he didn't quit looking so down in the dumps, he was going end up joining the world of the dead. Then he got all huffy and said that he just might if it would get me off his case. So I got right in his face and demanded to know what was wrong and…"

"And he kissed you, didn't he?" Great, he's got that 'I can't believe you're this dense' look on his face. "Daisuke, you had to have seen this coming…"

"What?! How was I supposed to have seen this coming?" Do I look like a fucking mind reader to anyone? I'm sorry, I just don't have the female sixth sense when it comes to figuring out the intricacies of reading what it is that people mean, but don't say, but expect you to know anyway. Time to face facts; my two best friends are girls in disguise. I just know it. God, doesn't anyone ever just act and say what they fucking mean besides me?!

"Daisuke, he follows you around like a little lost puppy half the time, how could you miss this?" Ken does? This is news to me. The last time I checked, the three of us were just a couple of good friends. I glance up at Takeru and he's got this kind of funny look on his face. I'd be able to figure out what he's thinking, but like I just explained, I'm all but clueless in the whole creepy telepathic department.

"I didn't know! It wasn't obvious to me, and he doesn't follow me around like a damned puppy." I mutter a bit sullenly, and Takeru rolls his eyes at me. "Besides that's not the worst part anyway. He kissed me, and well…you know how I get when I don't know what to do and I'm embarrassed…"

"Please tell me you didn't…" 

"I shoved him away and then I punched him." I feel like shit. Ken's supposed to be my best friend. He told both Takeru and I like…Well I guess it's been a year already…Anyway, he told us that he was into guys. And after having unglued my jaw from the sidewalk, I was okay with that. Ken had reassured us both that he didn't have 'designs' on either of us, but that he just wanted us to know. But now he's changed everything! "I didn't know what to do! It was just like a reaction. I mean… I thought he was my friend because he wanted to be my friend, not because he thought I was cute or something."

"What does his being your friend have to do with you being cute?" Takeru's got that typical 'I have no idea what the hell you're talking about' perplexed look on his face as he asks.

"He's my best friend. The three of us hang out and stuff cause we're friends. It just seems now that the only reason he got so chummy was because he thought I was cute and I'd make good boyfriend material or something." Oh yay, I sound like a whiny four-year-old. But c'mon! I just don't get it! Why do people get so hyped on romance? I mean, as far as I can tell all romance ever does is ruin friendships and complicate things a hell of a lot more than they oughta be complicated. For God's sake, how many people are actually happy when they're falling in love?! They're always doing that 'I wonder if so and so likes me, and if they don't well what's wrong with me, and if they do why don't they say anything' and blah blah blah. I swear, people claim falling in love is this great trip, but all I'm seeing is the ear markings for some kind of paranoia disorder.

I mean, I'm still trying to make it up to Hikari for fucking up our friendship when we were eleven and we're sixteen now. That's five years of trying to fix what stupid romantic feelings destroyed. And in retrospect, I didn't even really ever love her like that! God, what a waste of time and energy.

"Anyway, that's not the important part." I wave away my mini internal rant on romance to get back to the point that Takeru's patiently waiting for. "I ran after that and agonized over the whole thing last night before I finally got my ass in gear and went over to his place this morning. God, Takeru, I'm telling you, something is seriously up with him."

"Well let's see, you rejected him, punched him, and then ran. Yeah, I'd say something's up with him." Oh sarcasm. Yippee. Thank you so much, Takeru. Of course, I probably shouldn't get too snappy I deserved that.

"Not helping…" I tell him as I slump back into the couch cushions and he shoots me a semi-apologetic look. I can tell he doesn't think much of my suspicions and I know he probably thinks I'm exaggerating. I have been known to do that after all. But I'm completely on the level this time. There really is something up with Ken. It just doesn't feel right, but I can't put my finger on the 'why'. "Besides, it was more than that. You didn't see him, Takeru. Even Chibimon agreed that there was something really different; really wrong, about the way he was acting. Do you think…could you go over and talk to him for me?"

"Sure. He's probably got a lot on his mind anyway, what with having to change schools and all and this being that time of year."

"This time of year?" I echo.

"You know, remember he told us that Osamu died in the spring. The anniversary's got to be coming up sometime soon." I wince. Oh shit. Man, if I felt like crap before…I knew about the school business. Ken's parents finally got a clue and realized that Ken wasn't quite cutting it in the nerd school anymore and they decided to transfer him to regular high school. I guess I can see why he'd be a little upset about that, but now he gets to see me and Takeru all the time instead of just on the weekends. And for once we actually get to play on the same soccer team. But as for Osamu? Shit, shit, shit. I so fucked everything up. No wonder he was being so depressing. Me and my crappy memory.

"I forgot. You better go over and see him now. You know how he gets when he's had too much time to think and wallow." Takeru agrees with me and he gets up to pull Patamon into his arms. The orange basketball blinks and then tries to go back to sleep when he sees that it's just me. "I'm gonna head home and pick up Chibimon. Why don't you talk to him and then try to get him to come to the park. I can meet you guys there and we can work all this crap out together."

"Sounds like a plan."


Okay, when I said 'meet me in the park', I was thinking they'd be here in like an hour or two. How fucking long could it possibly take Takeru to explain to Ken that I screwed up and that I was sorry? I'm thinking half an hour to explain, half an hour to coax, and that would have put them here at the park about four hours ago. I look at my watch for like the fiftieth time in less than five minutes. I've been lounging here on this stupid park bench, Chibimon asleep on my stomach, for over five hours now. I'm bored stiff.

And feeling guiltier than hell the longer it takes for them to show up.

I mean, I guess Takeru's right. I should have seen this coming--the whole Ken kissing me thing. In retrospect, I suppose he was pretty obvious about it. It just never occurred to me. I had my best bud Ken, the genius geek, and I had my other best bud Takeru, Mr. Perfect basketball star. I guess I just didn't want anything to happen that would mess up the flow we've got going.

And well, like I've said, romance fucks up everything.

Besides, I'm not even sure I like Ken that way. Sure, I hang out with him. And okay, okay, so I'd be lying through my teeth if I said that I didn't think he was awfully damn sexy, but still. A guy just doesn't go and fall for his best friend. That only happens in the movies. And do the characters in the movies ever look real fucking happy with what happens? Hell no. Not until the last five minutes of the stupid flick, anyway. And knowing my luck, I would even get those five minutes in real life. I'd just get the psychotic-ness that comes with falling in love.

Besides all that, I feel the same way about Takeru that I do about Ken. And I mean, if I was really in love with Ken, I'd only feel that way towards him, right? Not to say that Takeru would or has ever thought of me in a romantic kind of way, but still. He's awfully damn hot, too.

So, what does that leave me with? I think both my friends could pose for the cover of GQ and have all of the world drool over them.

I like them both. As friends, I firmly tell myself.

And to think of Ken romantically just seems like a betrayal to Takeru and thinking of Takeru like that seems like a slap in the face to Ken. Stupid, stupid romance! I'm thinking that right about now Cupid would make a nice shish kabob. Skewer the little twerp and put the rest of us out of our misery.

It's just that my friends are like my world. I'm not the popular kid in school, and if it weren't for Takeru, I probably wouldn't get out much at all. I'd most likely be spending all of my time zoning out in Playstation land without him to pull me and Ken out into the real world. I'm not the most intelligent kid on the planet either, but I learn a lot of little odd ball things from hanging out with Ken that make me feel a little bit smarter than I actually am. He also helps both me and Takeru out with our math classes since the two of us couldn't multiply and get the same answer twice. We both would've flunked Algebra if it hadn't been for Ken.   

And I'm supposed to be able to pick one over the other romantically? Fuck that. Not to say that there's actually an opportunity to pick one over the other, considering Takeru's never said anything or even really hinted at it, but still. If I went out with Ken, what would that do to the friendship ring we've got going?

I'll tell you what it'd do, it would fucking ruin it.

If I dated Ken, I could pretty much see Takeru factoring in less and less in what we do. I mean seriously, he wouldn't come on any of our 'dates'; he'd be the stupid third wheel. But if Ken and I were dating, we'd be going out a lot with just the two of us. And even being the moron that I am, I can see Takeru slowly getting left out of stuff and drifting apart from us.

So of course I want everything to stay fucking platonic between the three of us! That's part of the reason I got so thoroughly pissed off when Ken kissed me. He's changing all the goddamned rules!

I let out a frustrated sigh and Chibimon grunts softly in his sleep. I suppose I should cool down a bit. It's not much of a problem anymore. Ken'll probably never speak to me again at this rate. Geez, of all the times for me to be an insensitive jerk…

I expected him to be sad, or angry with me. I guess I at least expected some kind of emotional response when I went over this morning. I wanted him to yell at me and get it over with 'cause I knew I deserved it. But he'd been so…so cold. I mean, Ken was standing right there in front of me, glaring down at me and sneering. Like I wasn't even worth the effort it took to open the apartment door to see who it was. I know, I know, I fucked up! I admit it already! But he just gave me this condescending glare and told me to get lost and that he had better things to do with his time than socialize with reckless, irrational boys of less than average intelligence.

I suck in a hurt breath at the memory. Sure, I should have thought before I did anything. I know that. Well, I know that now anyway. But still, he didn't have to call me stupid, he knows I'm pretty sensitive about that. I guess he was just taking a swipe at me like I'd taken a swipe at him, but the whole thing had just seemed really wrong. Like there was something that had happened that I wasn't privy to.  

Maybe I really did just imagine it.

In any case, going to Takeru to get him to sort it all out was a good idea, right? I mean, if anyone's gonna be calm and rational enough to sort all this out, it's gonna be him. I love trying to reassure myself like this. I groan and Chibimon cracks a questioning eye. Takeru's gonna fix this. He has to! Because heaven knows I'm not going to be able to pull this off by myself.

So where the hell are they? I blink and sit up, jostling Chibimon awake in the process. He gives a huge yawns and flicks his forked tongue out for a second. I reach out and give him a halfhearted pat on his shimmering scaly back. He's my 'cat-snake of higher than average intelligence'. Which is why I call him Chibimon instead.

"How much longer are we gonna be here?" He asks plaintively.

"Until someone shows up, I suppose." I answer as I look out across the park. They're nowhere in sight. Damn damn damn.

"Hey, isn't that Patamon?" I flick my glance in the direction that Chibimon's paw is pointing, and sure enough, there's the flying basketball barreling towards us through the trees like a bat pig outta hell.

"Daisuke! DaisukeDaisukeDaisuke!" Man, I've never seen him quite this panicked before. He does a bit of a goofy landing on the park bench beside us. "You have to come quick!" 

"What happened?" I demand as I stand up pushing Chibimon up onto my shoulder. Patamon takes a deep breath, which I'm thinking he really, really needs if he's not going to pass out completely.

"We went over to Ken's and he and Takeru talked for a little bit, and Takeru got to thinking that maybe Ken's dark spore was doing funny things because Ken had been acting just like the Kaiser. So we went to talk to Gennai, and…and…they're both at his place right now and you have to come quick!" Yeah, Patamon's going to pass out. Numbly, I snatch the guy off the bench and then make like speedy Gonzalez for the nearest computer terminal.

So I helped reactivate Ken's dark spore, huh? Shit. Just fucking shit. I'm gonna be lucky if either one of them ever speaks to me again.


I could hear the screaming even before I could see Gennai's fucking hut. Patamon, being the winged wonder, had already flown ahead of us, and I'm completely out of breath by the time I reach Gennai's front door and fling it open. I'm not quite sure what I was expecting. Maybe to see Ken trying to kill Gennai or trying to maim Takeru, you know, something of that sort. It would have explained Patamon's state of panic from the moment he'd found us.

But Gennai's just sitting calmly beside this neatly made bed, watching Takeru and Ken like nothing's wrong at all. And as for Ken and Takeru

Takeru's the one screaming. God, it hurts just to listen to it. He and Ken are facing each other, hands clasped with blood just streaming down their arms, and they're in the middle of some kind of circle made out of coding. I blink and just stare at them in shock for about a whole minute before I'm walking over to Gennai and yanking him up out of his chair by the front of his shirt.

"What the hell did you do to them?" I yell over Takeru's hoarse screams.

"This was the only way to negate the effects of the dark spore." Oh thank you for the informative answer, bastard. I yank at him again and growl, letting the dude know that I'm not satisfied with his explanation. "They only have four more minutes before the process is complete." He tries to calm me down. What are we baking a fucking cake here, or what? My one friend's in pain, and the other one is so pale he looks like he's about to pass out at any moment.

"What process?" I grit my teeth as I ask.

"Takeru is absorbing half of Ken's dark spore."