Disclaimer: If I owned DNAngel, Dark would have been freed, not trapped in that stupid painting/sculpture/whatever it was.- Sniffles-

My roommate bought DNAngel, and we were finally able to watch the whole thing. Afterwards she turned on the music thing, where we got to see Shinichiro Miyamoto play Caged Bird. I was almost in tears; I admit it. This came to me afterwards. I haven't written Anime fanfiction for quite awhile, so bear with me, and please let me know what you thought.

Hints of Dark+Daisuke ahead, and a smidgen of Hiwatari+Daisuke at the end for my Shi-chan.

Enjoy!

As the Sun Sets

It's late when I finally make it to my room. Only afternoon really, but after all the excitement it seems like it's been days. It took hours to calm everyone down, then explain things to Mom and Dad and Grandpa. Mom fussed over me, trying to make sure I was really okay. Dad seemed proud but tired, but then he was still recovering from the effects of the relief.

It was Grandpa that I couldn't stand. He was so quiet, just listening to me tell them everything. He didn't even say anything afterwards. He just kept staring at me. The look in his eyes... I couldn't...

I open the window and move out to the balcony. I'm so tired my body's practically screaming at me to sleep, but I can't yet. I just want... Just some fresh air. Just for a little while.

It's beautiful. The horizon, I mean. The way the sun stretches out over the town, lighting everything up with a golden glow. It almost seems like it's promising a new day. A day full of possiblities.

"It's nice, isn't it Dark?" I whisper.

I frown at the silence. "Dark? Are you ignoring me? Dark!" I whine the last call, knowing he hates when I do that and loves to tease me for it.

There's no response.

"He's really gone, isn't he?" I murmur to myself. I hadn't had time to think about it earlier, but now... Dark wasn't exactly a constant voice in my head. I mean, he did usually leave me alone when I was at school or something. But there were still the moments when it was just us that he'd talk to me. Most of the time he was a pain, always making fun of me. It was so annoying! He always had some sort of comment just to make me angry or upset. And he kept threatening to take over our body at the worst times.

But he wasn't always teasing me. There were times, like now, when we'd just talk. Enjoying a sunset or the night sky together. He wouldn't tell me about his past or much about himself, but we'd talk about what we saw or what we were planning to do later. I'd tell him how I felt about something that had happened during the day. He was a great listener when he wanted to be.

Not that I knew that at first. It wasn't until after he'd kissed Miss Harada that it happened. I was...hurt. I'm still not entirely sure why. It wasn't just because she kissed him, and not me. I mean, it was, but that wasn't all of it. To know that Dark would...would do that to me, hurt. A lot. He knew about my feelings for her, but he still did it. It was like my feelings didn't matter at all.

He finally confronted me about it when I was watching the sunset, waiting for the time to head out for another theft.

What are you moping over? You've been like this for days.

"I'm not moping." I muttered.

Liar. What is it?

"Nothing."

You're still ly-ing. he sing-songed.

"Just leave me alone!" I snapped. I buried my face in my arms.

There was a long silence. This is over her, isn't it?

"No."

Daisuke...

"Just leave me alone, Dark!" I tried to hold it back, but my shoulders hitched. I muffled a sob in my sleeve.

Idiot. he told me softly. I can tell you're crying.

"'m not."

Daisuke...I... He sighed. I forgot myself.

"Forgot?" I mumbled, sniffling.

There was another long pause. Risa reminds me of someone. Someone I used to know. I forgot for awhile, that she's not the same person. I shouldn't have done it.

"No, you shouldn't have!" I snapped back. I felt my eyes start to fill, and tried to wipe at them without being noticed.

It was useless, of course. I told you, I know you're crying.

I gave up trying to hide it. "So what?"

He sighed again. I'm sorry.

I tried to snort, only to sob again.

I'm sorry I hurt you. he continued, his tone gentle. I never want to hurt you, Daisuke.

There were so many things I wanted to say back. Nice try, could have fooled me, I'm so sure, too late. I ended up not saying anything at all.

That was also the first time I noticed it. Dark wasn't exactly a presence in my mind that I could reach out and touch. I could hear him when he wanted me to, but the communication seemed to be mostly one-sided. But at that moment, I could feel something. A feeling of longing and regret, and it wasn't mine. And something else. Something that I didn't want to try to identify.

"You knew I like her." I mumbled at last, staring out over the landscape. "You knew and you did it anyway. Do my feelings matter to you at all? Do I even matter! Or am I just a body you're using at the moment!" I was shouting before I realized it, only to choke on another sob.

Daisuke, calm down. You're going to hurt yourself.

"Shut up!" I slid to to my knees, slamming my fist on the floor of the balcony. Another sob, so harsh it made my chest hurt. I gasped slightly, one hand coming up to clench my shirt.

Damn it, Daisuke! Calm down!

"Shut up." I choked out, nearly wheezing.

Idiot! When have I ever called you a body? When have I ever tried to say you don't matter to me!

The feelings intensified, mixing with frustration.

I sobbed again, staring at my lap as tears dripped down onto my pants. "You never consider my feelings. You're always trying to spend time with Risa, you're always making fun of me, y-you never consider how I feel!"

There was a surge of anger in the following silence that faded after a moment.

I paused. "Was that...you, just now?"

Was what me? His tone was short.

"That...that feeling. You're angry, aren't you?"

What clued you in?

I ignored the sarcasm, frowning as I tried to understand what was happening. "Frustration... And before that...you want something. Something you regret?"

There was another long silence. You're feeling my emotions?

"I think so." I frowned. "What are you frustrated over?" I froze, realizing the only thing it could be. The hurt I'd felt before swelled again, and I stared dismally at the ground. "You...you really do like Risa, don't you. That's why you kissed her."

I was feeling frustrated over you, stupid.

I blinked. "Me?"

He sighed. You're not a just a body to me, Daisuke. You never have been. I tease you because it's fun. You're easy to get mad. Besides... He seemed to hesitate. And I meant what I said before about Risa. She reminds me of someone. That's all.

"You were frustrated because I was mad?" Now I was just confused.

There was another long silence. I was frustrated because I can't...I couldn't help you the way I wanted to.

My breathing had finally steadied again, and the tears were drying up. I wiped my eyes absently, more concerned about Dark now than anything else. "How did you want to?"

Forget it. It doesn't matter. Besides, it's time to get going.

"Oh." I blinked for a moment, slightly hurt that he didn't want to tell me. But then, Dark wasn't exactly the sharing type. "Yeah, you're right."

As I moved to find With, I heard him mutter No matter what happens Daisuke, just...remember that you are important to me. That you do matter. And I mean you, not your body.

The strange feeling from before returned, but I never had the chance to try and figure it out.

I understand now what that strange feeling was. Maybe even somewhat of Dark had been longing for. I figured it out later when he took me out of Miss Freedert's world, but I was afraid. I didn't want to admit what Dark was feeling. No one had ever shared that feeling with me before, and his was so intense...

I can still remember his arm around me as he pulled me away from Miss Freedert and Miss Second Hand of Time. I was crying at the time, because I couldn't help them. I wanted to help them so badly. But I wasn't strong enough, even to do something as simple as painting. I wasn't thinking about it then, but his arms were so warm. I remember that he hugged me, just before we left that world. I remember his hand on my face, wiping my tears. And I think... I think he even...

Even at the end, he didn't really say it. I'm not sure why. Maybe because he felt awkward talking about it. Maybe because he knew that I was scared of it. Maybe because it wouldn't...he wouldn't be able to share it with me beyond what I felt from him.

I told him I knew, but even I couldn't say it back. I did mean it when I said I'd always remember him. I don't know if he'll remember me, though. I don't know what the world of the Black Wings is like. I don't even know if he'll want to remember me. Being able to remember a person he'd never see again would only cause him pain, and I don't want that.

My chest aches. I lean over the railing staring out at the sky. "He's not coming back." I tell myself softly. "He's gone, and he's never coming back." My voice cracks. I don't bother to try to hide my tears this time.

Useless tears, anyway. It's not like crying is going to bring Dark back to me. It's not like he can hear me. It's not like they'll make the ache go away. I'm alone in my head again, after over a year of sharing my body with him. Consciously at least. I'm not sure if he was always there and I just didn't notice, or if he couldn't use my body until I was fourteen. I finally got the silence back that I wanted so badly.

I feel empty. It's not the same, not being able to feel him. Not hearing his voice. Just knowing he'd be there when I needed him. I feel so alone now...

Arms come around me, and I jump. I turn to find Hiwatari watching me. "H-Hiwatari. What are you-"

"Your grandfather let me in." he answers, staring at me in that strange, intent way he has.

"Why-"

To my surprise, his arms squeeze me gently. "I can't completely understand." he tells me. "I've spend all this time trying to get rid of Krad. I hated him. But I can understand a little." His hand comes up to wipe the corner of my eye.

I bite my lip as more tears well up. I throw myself at him without reservation, clinging to him as he holds me. "He's gone." I sob. "He's really gone."

Hiwatari says nothing, only rubbing my back.

And I cry. I cry for a very long time.