Standard disclaimers for Digimon Adventure 01 and 02
apply. The only thing I make off of this is…uh…well… Oi, give me a minute!
I'll come up with something. Actually, suing would be pointless since I
just signed my life away to the public university system again. All you
would get would be a couple of really pathetic whimpers and some pocket
Warnings: Shounen ai content…of course. Mostly Daiken/Kendai, but some
Taiyama/Yamatai is present as well. First and foremost, though, is the
fact that this fic has Motomiya Jun. Some people will run away screaming
because of that fact, but I think the girl needs to be given a chance. As
someone who is an older sister, I think Jun is a wonderfully realistic
character that spends way too much time being misrepresented in fanfics.
So this is my tiny tribute to Motomiya Jun, older sister of the
wonderfully genki Daisuke (::fangirl squeal:: Chou kawaii ne! ^_~).
Motomiya Jun trudged homeward with a defeated sigh. Yet another day of
school at a boring all-girls establishment; if it wasn't for the fact that
Misao had talked her parents into letting her transfer to Jun's school
this year, she would be going absolutely nuts! As it was, she was having a
hard time keeping her focus, even though term was drawing to an end. It
wasn't chasing boys that was stealing her attention, and it wasn't
worrying about her grades. She had lots of things on her mind, but those
things were merely minor hobbies or chores in comparison.
There was the fact that her cram school tutor kept pressing her
to talk with her parents about taking more challenging classes. True, more
challenging classes might help to hold her interest and keep her mind from
But I don't want to! She scowled, kicking at a lump of trash on
the sidewalk. She wasn't dumb, she could handle harder classes, but why
bother? Sure, her mom and dad were home more often these days—but that
that didn't mean they cared more.
Jun was used to it, though. The lack of interest still hurt, but she'd
developed strong coping measures over the years. She was loud, she was
brash and stubborn, and she was madcap to the point of almost being scary.
She was nowhere near as sensitive as she'd been when she was younger, and
she was good at hiding what she was really feeling and thinking. Misao was
probably the only person who'd gotten to see the real Motomiya Jun. Well,
outside of Daisuke, anyway, but her little brother didn't count.
She bit her lip at the thought of her little brother, brow furrowing.
The thing that was really worrying her was Daisuke. Jun knew he'd been
having a rough time of it during the last school year. First he and Miyako
had drifted apart, then there'd been the hero-worship of Yagami Taichi,
and then there was the hopeless crush on Taichi's little sister, and then
there were the fights with Takaishi Takeru, her Yamato-sama's brother,
"Dork." They didn't talk together like they'd used to, she and her
brother, but she was still quite good at reading him. She knew he was torn
when it came to their parents—happy that they were home more often, that
they were taking an interest in his soccer team, but sad that they seemed
so sure that he had problems with school simply because he had detention
"Kya, my poor Otouto-chan," Jun murmured, letting herself into the
apartment building. Daisuke did seem to perking up recently—a fact that
caused her much joy—thanks in part to his new friend, Ichijouji Ken. For
the smile alone that the mention of the boy's name brought to her
brother's face, she would have liked Ken. But he was kind and polite as
well, and his mix of shyness and tentative teasing had warmed her heart,
seeing the way it drew her brother out of his 'Nothing-Can-Touch-Me'
shell. So what if Ken was a genius celebrity? So what if he didn't attend
Odaiba Primary and lived across the river in Tamachi? The only thing she
cared about was the fact that Ken was helping to prove that the friendly,
caring boy she remembered still existed.
The elevator ride up to the apartment was short, and after a minor
fight with her backpack, she pulled out her keys and unlocked the door.
Silence was her only greeting as she shuffled inside and closed the
door. She hung up her jacket, toed off her shoes and slipped on her house
slippers, and stepped into the living room to see what messages would
First there was a note from her mother, hastily written, saying that a
friend was sick and she'd gone to help out the family. Their father was
pulling a late shift and wouldn't be home until sometime after eleven.
There was rice in the cooker and curry in the crockpot when Jun and
Daisuke got hungry, but Jun needed to make sure that Daisuke got all of
his homework done before he went to bed.
The second note—scratchy as if written with a bad pen, but neat
nonetheless—was from Daisuke.
Have a last minute study session with my friends at school. Be back
P.S. I made fudge at school if you wanna have some with me later. And
don't you dare give me any of that crap about chocolate giving you zits. I
don't believe it for a minute.'
Jun had to laugh: Daisuke certainly wasn't the most tactful of people,
but he could be so cute sometimes. She glanced up at the clock. 5:45.
Well, that should give her enough time to change clothes and freshen up a
bit before Daisuke returned home, she decided, heading for her room.
"Yo, I'm home!" Daisuke chirped as he threw open the apartment door and
closed it behind him. He grinned when he heard a muffled "Welcome back!"
float down the hall, flopping down on the steps to wrestle his shoes off.
Jun came down the hall in a t-shirt and sweatpants, smiling at the
sight of her brother arguing with his footwear. "How was school, brat?"
she asked, ruffling his hair when he bounced to his feet.
Daisuke stuck his tongue out. "Same old, same old." His expression
sobered as he regarded her with vaguely haunted eyes. "Did your midterm
report come today?"
Haunted hadn't been the appropriate word; weary was more like
it. "Yes," Jun said with a sigh. "And my cram school tutor is pushing for
me to take more advanced classes next term. He wants me to talk to Kaasan
"When?" Daisuke snorted and shook his head. "You know, we don't really
have it that bad, Aneki, but sometimes…"
"I know, Otouto, I know." And she did, because the situation was
hardly new. "Kaasan left us rice and curry. You hungry?"
He shrugged, looking pensive. "Sure."
She frowned but refrained from saying anything. When her brother got
into one of his deep thought modes, he was hard to talk to; and whatever
he was thinking about must be pretty important, judging from the way his
eyebrows sloped together, shadowing his eyes.
"Go and sit. I'll serve us both."
"Uh-huh, yeah. Um, thanks."
"Oh, kami-sama, where is he?! I could have sworn he was in here! Oi,
"Daisuke, what's going on?" Jun peeked around the door into her
brother's room, rubbing at her tired eyes. Staring at a trig textbook for
over an hour will do that to a person. Her eyes widened, though, and every
trace of sleepiness vanished as she took in the state of her brother's
Daisuke wasn't an overly neat person, but neither was he a slob.
However, his room looked as though a herd of stampeding fangirls had run
through it and torn the place apart. Drawers had been pulled out, papers
had been flung haphazardly, and bedding had been ripped from its place and
strewn on the floor. To top it all off, her brother looked extremely
distressed; she couldn't remember the last time she'd seen him so upset.
Expression concerned, Jun asked, "Daisuke, what's wrong?"
"I, I, I—" His eyes were wild, darting around the room as his body
twitched in an almost nervous fashion. "I…I—"
Just then the sound of someone rapping tentatively on the door caught
Jun's attention. She scowled faintly in irritation, but turned away from
her brother. "I'll be right back, Daisuke."
She ran out to answer the door, too preoccupied to use any of her
usual caution, throwing the door open with an expectant expression. She
ended up blinking in surprise at the boy standing hesitantly outside.
"Ken-kun! What are you doing here at this hour?"
Ichijouji Ken smiled shyly, clutching the bundle in his arms tighter.
"Hello, Jun-san. Is Daisuke home?"
"Yeah, he's in his room flipping out about something. It sounded as
though he forgot something at school," Jun said with a sigh, raking a hand
through her spiky hair. "Some days I swear that boy would forget his head
if it weren't attached."
Ken's expression turned worried. "May I come in, Jun-san?"
Jun waved him inside, closing the door behind him. "You have
unbelievable timing, Ken! Maybe you'll get him to do something more than
stutter one word over and over again."
The ebon-haired boy set his bundle down, shrugging out of his coat and
shoes. He glanced at Jun for permission to head back to Daisuke's room,
cradling the bundle once again.
"Go on, I'll be right behind you," she said with a grin.
Ken nodded with a smile, setting off down the hall with Jun trailing
Daisuke was standing slumped in the doorway, forehead pressed against
the back of his hand as he leaned on the wood for support. Jun felt a
moment of worry as she took in his expression, the dejected set to his
shoulders, the way his other hand hung limply at his side, how his jaw was
clenched and his eyes were tightly shut. What could make you so upset,
Ken stopped a few feet away, tipping his head slightly to one side.
She watched him frown briefly, a little crease appearing on his forehead,
disappearing as quickly as it had come when he suddenly smiled. His pale
violet eyes seemed to hold boundless warmth, warmth that was relayed in
his gentle voice when he spoke. "Daisuke-kun, it's all right."
It was not a question; it was a statement, said in a quiet, assured
fashion that startled both Motomiyas, but for different reasons.
Jun watched with bemused fascination the way her brother's expression
changed when he caught sight of his friend. Daisuke went from completely
dejected to almost euphorically relieved. He pushed away from the
doorframe, throwing himself at Ken with what sounded suspiciously like
In that next instance, Jun wasn't sure what surprised her more—her
little brother wrapping his arms around the other boy as if he'd never let
go, or the squeaky protest that came from the bundle squished between
Daisuke hastily backed away, blinking at the bundle. He looked up at
Ken, a smile hovering on his lips, hope shining in his smoky eyes. "Is
Ken smiled and nodded, holding the bundle out. "He crawled into my bag
with Minomon and fell asleep. I didn't notice until after dinner; I'm
sorry if you were worried. I brought him over as soon as I could."
Looking between the two boys, absolutely confused, Jun crossed her
arms over her chest and began to tap her foot. "All right, would someone
care to explain what's going on?"
The two boys exchanged an unreadable look. Ken looked down at his
feet, a blush staining his pale cheeks. Daisuke put one hand behind his
head while the other carefully held the bundle, laughing nervously. "Well,
Aneki, it's like this…"
She leaned against the hall wall, making seem as though she was
'getting comfortable.' "I'm waiting, Daisuke."
Daisuke looked to Ken for help, but the Keeper of Kindness merely
shrugged in uncertainty. He sighed in defeat, motioning with his hand.
"Come on in, Jun. It's a long story."
Jun smirked, walking into his room. "I had a feeling it was." Almost
unconsciously she began to straighten things back up, giving him a chance
to collect his thoughts. When she was done remaking his bed, she perched
on the edge, leaning on her knees and giving him her full attention.
Daisuke sat down cross-legged on the floor across from her, Ken beside
him, the noise-making bundle directly in front of him. He seemed
indecisive, worrying his bottom lip between his teeth. But then Ken laid a
hand on his shoulder, and the tension seemed to melt away. He looked up at
her with wide eyes, took a deep breath, and began.
"I won't ask you not to tell Kaasan and Tousan, but I'd rather you
didn't. I don't know how they'll react, and I'm not sure…I'm not sure I
can deal with it right now.
"You probably noticed that I've been different lately." He grinned,
shaking his head. "What am I saying? There's no way you could have missed
She grinned in return. "Of course not. You're my Otouto-chan; it's my
job to notice things like that."
He frowned then, as if not quite sure where to start his story. "Do
you remember three years ago when we saw that really weird thing on the
Internet? You know, when all those missiles were launched and the one was
heading for Odaiba?" When she nodded, he continued. "I know this is going
to sound really weird, but you remember the creatures that were fighting
the virus that caused the missiles to launch? They're called digimon—short
for Digital Monsters."
Jun blinked, but nodded slowly after a moment of thought. "Okaaay. I
think I'm with you so far."
"Those digimon have human partners called Chosen Children, people who
were picked to defend Earth and the Digitalworld."
Holding up a hand, Jun said, "Wait a minute, you said have; as
in, they're still around?"
Daisuke nodded slowly. She sighed and shook her head, a hand on her
forehead. "Kya, I can tell that my poor brain is going to hurt by the time
we get done with this. Go on, Daisuke."
"Well, there's the older group of Chosen Children, the ones that
fought the mutated virus digimon on the Internet. And then there's the new
group of Chosen Children. They were picked because there was something
happening in the Digitalworld that the older Children wouldn't be able to
fight. Two came from the earlier group of Chosen Children, but the other
four…" He trailed off, scratching his nose. "As near as we can tell, three
were chosen because of their mix of the earlier Children's traits, but the
Ken smiled sadly when he trailed off again. "Don't try to sugar-coat
it, Daisuke." He looked up at Jun, his expression somber. "The fourth had
been a Chosen Child from earlier as well, but he hadn't known it. And
then…then, after losing his older brother, he let the darkness that
resided in his soul take over. He went to the Digitalworld as a
conqueror—that is why the new Children were Chosen."
Jun wondered at the way his voice quavered, wondered at the quiet,
subtle way her brother slipped their hands together. This was personal,
for both of them; it didn't take a genius to figure that out. And to her,
that meant only one thing. "It's you, isn't it, Daisuke? You're one of
those new Chosen Children. That's why you've been happier lately, why
you've started to come out of your shell."
Daisuke flushed at her choice of wording, but nodded. "Yeah, that's
part of it."
It explained a lot, really; the numerous after school excursions, the
hushed conversations over the phone, the last minute sleepovers. Daisuke
was the kind of person that needed a sense of purpose, something to work
for, and being a Chosen Child had helped him find that again.
"And this little guy"—he began to unwrap the bundle—"is the reason I
was so upset. Aneki, meet Chibimon."
When the blanket was unwrapped, a small, blue creature with backswept
ears and tail blinked up at her with wide red eyes. He glanced back at
Daisuke uncertainly, and then turned to Jun with a smile reminding her of
a cat. "Konnichiwa, Daishuke's neechan!" he chirped in his squeaky voice.
Jun blinked slowly, feeling somewhat bemused. "Konnichiwa, Chibimon."
Chibimon nodded and turned, racing for Daisuke's lap and climbing up
into it. "Daishuke, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to scare you, but I was so
tired, and Minomon and I fell asleep, and, and—"
Daisuke chuckled at the little digimon's ramblings, rubbing his ears
in reassurance. "It's okay, Chibimon. I'm just glad that you're okay."
"Yeah!" Chibimon grinned, looking over at Ken. "Ken fed me
"Stroganoff," Ken supplied with a small laugh.
Chibimon nodded excitedly. "Yeah! It was good, Daishuke! You should
try it some time."
Jun was being awfully quiet, and Daisuke glanced up at her worriedly.
"Neechan? You okay?"
Jun frowned in thought, slowly rising to her feet. "Yeah, Daisuke.
Just…give me a moment alone out in the living room, okay?"
He nodded in understanding but his eyes were shadowed with worry
nonetheless as she left the room.
When she closed the door behind her, Jun had to fight the urge to
slump down against it and do something very undignified—like scream,
maybe, or at least rant very loudly. Not because she was upset, but
because she needed to do something to release the pent up emotions
that were making her chest tight.
Heading for the couch, she threw herself down with a deep sigh,
staring up at the ceiling. There was a part of her that felt off, after
hearing Daisuke's story. It was the older sibling part of her, the part
that watched out for Daisuke's well being no matter how upset Jun got with
him. Her little brother had been fighting something dark—possibly
deadly—for months, and she hadn't even had even a vague clue that anything
unusual was going on. Well, maybe she'd had a clue or two, but she'd never
thought it would prove to be anything like Daisuke had explained. Now she
had a whole new worry to add to her list; and she couldn't help wondering
how many other older siblings were in the same boat, having to worry about
their younger brother or sister who was out trying to protect two worlds
Pressing the heels of her hands into her burning eyes, Jun prayed to
every kami she was able to think of at that moment. Watch out for my
Otouto-chan, please? He can be annoying and graceless, but I…I care for
him, and he's the only little brother I've got.
With yet another sigh, she sat up, swinging her legs over the edge of
the couch. She glanced up at the clock on the wall, frowning. It was
getting on towards ten, and Ken should probably be heading home. She
didn't feel right having him walk to the train station alone at this hour,
and as she headed back to Daisuke's room, she decided that she would walk
to the station with him.
Apparently she hadn't closed the door completely; a strip of light
spilled from between the opening, lighting the shadowed hall. She gently
pushed the door open a bit further and peeked around the corner, Ken's
name dying unspoken on her lips as she took in the sight that greeted her.
Ken sat on her brother's bed, his back against the wall. Chibimon was
curled up on the pillow, a happy, contented expression on his face. And
Daisuke was sprawled on the bed as well, his head resting in Ken's lap. He
was speaking quietly about something, illustrating his point with his
hands. Ken smiled and nodded, his hand absently running through Daisuke's
spiky auburn hair.
It was an eye-opening tableau if ever she'd seen one, and Motomiya Jun
wondered, briefly, if the curry had been drugged. Everything up till
dinner had seemed normal enough, but everything afterwards had been beyond
"…and then Coach Imura told me that tryouts for the Tokyo-wide team
were being moved up by a week and I almost panicked! I mean, that's like
the week before finals! But I think I can pull it off—if you still
tutor me in math."
"Sure," Ken said, nodding his head. Then he smiled wistfully. "It
would be nice if I could make it this year. I missed out last year
because…" He trailed off, looking away.
Daisuke frowned, reaching up and gently touching Ken's cheek. "Ken…"
The way he said the ebon-haired boy's name, the inflection carefully
controlled, the innuendos hovering under the surface, made Jun catch her
breath, her brown eyes wide. She'd heard him use a similar tone before,
one that was a touch more cheerful, a touch more energetic, usually tinged
with a worshipful edge. But the name that used to fall from his mouth with
that tone was Hikari, not Ken. And there were other subtle differences
this time; tenderness, worry—forgiveness, too, and she wondered at that
last one. There was also an underlying strength, the kind of strength that
could only come from a strong bond of trust, of friendship.
Ken shook his head and smiled sadly. "Sorry, Daisuke-kun. I'm trying,
I really am. It's just that…"
Daisuke smiled in understanding. "Just remember, that I forgive you.
Hell, the others forgive you, even Iori! And I will wait for the day that
you can forgive yourself, Ken-chan—I'll wait, right here, right by your
"Daisuke, you're in my lap, not by my side!" Ken said with a laugh.
"Oh, whatever!" Daisuke laughed. Then his expression sobered as he
placed his fist over his heart. "I mean it though, Ken, more so every day
that goes by. My heart…"
"…with yours," Ken completed in a soft murmur, dipping his head as
Daisuke reached for him.
Jun's eyes widened, and she clapped both hands to her mouth to prevent
a yelp from escaping, ducking back out of the room. Her cheeks burned from
the voyeuristic near miss, and her heart was thumping wildly in her chest
as she leaned against the wall. Oh, kami-sama! I never thought that
Daisuke… And Ken-kun's a sweety, but… Shit, Kaasan and Tousan would
probably freak! And I…
She slowly pulled her hands away from her mouth, heart rate slowing as
she frowned in thought. And I'm okay with this. That startled her a
little, that she was so quickly adjusted to the idea that her brother and
Ken were "more than just friends," as the saying went. All the signs had
been there, right in front of her, the entire time she'd known Ken; the
softened tone of voice, the blushing, the hand-holding, the looks of
Jun had questions, though—who wouldn't? And she was even more
determined now to walk with Ken to the train station.
Firming her resolve, Jun knocked loudly on the door, pausing before
she stuck her head around the corner.
She had to bite back a grin; the two boys were sitting on opposite
ends of the bed, looking anywhere but at each other. Ah, young
"Ken-kun, it's getting rather late. I don't like the idea of you
walking down to the station alone, though, so I'll walk with you, if it's
Ken smiled politely. "Arigatou, Jun-san."
"Great! I'll go and get my coat." She grinned, shaking a finger at
them. "Don't make me wait too long!"
Ken walked silently beside Jun, wondering what the older girl was
thinking about. Her expression was contemplative, eyebrows drawn over her
She smiled, suddenly, turning to look at him. "I meant to say
something before now, Ken-kun, but better late than never, ne? I wanted to
Violet eyes blinked in confusion. "Thank me? For what?"
"For being my brother's friend."
He smiled shyly, slipping his hands into his pockets. "You don't need
to thank me, Jun-san. If anything, I should be the one thanking him. I…I
never really had friends before Daisuke."
Jun nodded. "Yes, well, my otouto-chan can be rather persistent when
he wants something. Speaking of wanting something…what are your
"Huh?" He looked up at her in surprise. "My dreams?"
"Yeah!" She waved a hand, making a grandiose gesture. "You know,
something that you want more than anything, something that would make you
Ken frowned. "I'm not sure I understand," he said quietly.
She smiled fondly at his tone and expression. "I'll give you an
example, then. My dream…is to be a mother," she murmured. She felt her
heart clench at those words, and swallowed the lump in her throat; this
was a very private dream, something that she hadn't shared with even Misao
or Daisuke. "I want to have a family, people that I can take care of and
care for. I want to find a man that can make me laugh, who's smart and
kind, someone that will sweep me off my feet." She laughed, hand behind
her head. "It sounds silly, I know, but it's what I want."
"It's not silly, it's wonderful," Ken said, his eyes wide. "And I
guess… I guess that if I have a dream, it's to someday be able to forgive
myself." He flushed a little, looking down at his toes. "Someone that's
very important to me is waiting for that day. And I want to be able to
forgive myself, because it will make them happy."
"I see," Jun said. Ken's words made a lot of sense, helped to pin
together what she'd seen and heard earlier. And it also made her feel a
bit better, as Daisuke's big sister, to hear those words; Ken really cared
for him a lot. "Ken-kun, may I ask you another question?"
"The fourth Child you and Daisuke spoke of…it was you, wasn't it?" She
asked the question gently, trying to keep him at ease. "And I'm guessing
that part of the guilt you feel, part of the reason you aren't able to
forgive yourself yet, is because you hurt that important person during
that time of darkness."
Ken swallowed audibly, nodding. By this time they had stopped walking,
and were standing in front of a corner store window. "Y-yes."
Jun smiled slightly. "Don't worry, I only have one last question,
Ken-kun: how long have you been dating my brother?"
At that moment, she wished she had a camera: Ken's expression was
completely and utterly priceless. His eyes went wide and a little squawk
of dismay escaped from his gaping mouth. "I—! You—! How—!"
She laughed, throwing a sisterly arm around his thin shoulders,
leading them in the direction of the station once again. "Oh, Ken! I'm an
older sister; like I told Daisuke earlier, I'm supposed to notice these
kinds of things. Of course, the fact that I nearly walked in on the two of
you kissing kind of helped to clinch it."
Ken blushed heatedly, but looked up at her with a determined
expression. "I hope you don't mind, Jun-san; I respect you, but I won't
give up Daisuke."
"Mind? Of course I mind, you've stolen my little brother out from
under my nose! Life just isn't fair; Daisuke got a boyfriend before I did.
Come on, you have to admit there's something tragic in that. Oh, and, drop
the 'san', will ya? I mean, it seems rather silly for you to be calling me
'Jun-san' when I feel like you're my little brother," Jun said with a
He seemed taken aback by her words. "Really?"
She gave him one of her friendly, madcap grins as she nodded. "In all
honesty, Ken, I don't mind at all. It kind of surprised me when I realised
that, but you've been good for Daisuke. You're a sweet guy and a great
friend, and I know…" She paused, smile turning wistful. "I know that you
Ken blushed yet again, but remained silent. His feelings for Daisuke
ran deep, and were extremely complex; he refused to give them any one name
until he could sort through them.
They walked silently the rest of the way to the station. Jun stepped
back and looked him over thoughtfully. "I meant it, Ken. You're like
another little brother; if you ever need someone to talk to, I'll make
He smiled at her, a brilliant smile that shone with a happiness that
came from deep within. "Arigatou, Jun…neechan."
She laughed, giving his shoulder a little push. "Impudent brat." Then
she growled in a mock-threatening tone, "Of course, if you ever hurt
Daisuke I'll have to hunt you down and scratch out those pretty eyes of
yours. I hope you understand."
"Yes," he said with a laugh. "Daisuke's lucky to have a sister like
"And he's lucky to have a special person like you," Jun added softly
with a smile. "Treasure the feelings you share, and the time you have
Ken hugged his arms around himself, a smile on his face, pale eyes
alight. "I will, Jun, I will."
Ishida Yamato slumped comfortably down into the bleachers over looking
the soccer field—or, he tried to, anyway. It was awfully hard to slouch
comfortably in metal bleachers. But he'd promised to come, he thought with
a sigh; it was the least he owed Taichi after having so many late night
Of course, he personally thought that Taichi and Daisuke were insane
to be out practising in such awful weather. But they were devoted to their
sport, and come rain or shine, if there was time to practise, that's what
they'd be doing.
He grinned as Daisuke skidded on the wet grass and overshot the ball.
Taichi grabbed the back of his t-shirt to try and prevent him from
falling, but they both ended up going down instead.
"Ah, graceful as ever, I see."
The perky, feminine voice startled Yamato, and he glanced around
wildly for the source. His eyes widened, and a tiny hint of fear tinged
his voice as he watched the girl coming closer. "J-Jun! What are you doing
Jun scowled, placing her hands on her hips. "Oh, chill out, Ishida
Yamato! I'm not here to stalk you."
He blinked at her wording, but found himself relaxing nonetheless.
She sighed, sitting down beside him; he couldn't help but notice that
she was dressed much better for the foul weather than the rest of them
were. "I actually came to deliver a message to my"—she wrinkled her nose,
looking down at the field—"currently mud-spattered little brother. But it
can wait until he's done practising."
Then she turned to him with a madcap grin, her eyes bright with
undisguised mischief. "But since I have you here, all to myself, I have a
couple of questions for you!"
Yamato wondered what she was up to. "All right."
Jun nodded, wrapping her arms around her updrawn knees. She looked out
across the field for a moment before she spoke again. "How…how do you deal
with it?" she asked softly.
"With what?" he asked, confused by her question.
"How do you deal with your little brother fighting something that you
can't? How do you deal with that sense of helplessness when all you want
to do is protect them, and you can't do it?"
Blue eyes flew wide. "You know?!"
She nodded, continuing to watch her brother and Taichi. "Daisuke told
me last week—and some things I pieced together on my own. And I thought I
was coping with things okay, you know? But then he came home a couple days
ago, after he and the others had gone out on their little after-school
mission, with nasty bruises on his back and ribs. I was scared, Yamato;
they were so deep that over three-quarters of them were swollen and red,
and the real bruises still haven't come to the surface yet. But
Daisuke…Daisuke just smiled and said he was okay. I know it hurts, but he
pretends it's nothing."
Jun turned to him then, with watery brown eyes, and asked hoarsely,
"How the hell am I supposed to deal with the fact that my little brother's
in pain and there's nothing that I can do? Huh? How am I supposed to deal
with the fact that he could…could die?" She closed her eyes, and the tears
that had been threatening spilled freely. "I've spent my whole life
protecting him, Yamato, and right now, I feel lost."
Yamato, quite literally, didn't know what to say. He was used to Jun
behaving like any other fangirl, not like a real person with real
problems. "I…Jun, I…"
She laughed tearily, wiping at her cheeks. "Kami, I'm sorry for
dumping this on you. But you're the only one I know semi-well enough to
ask. I guess I could have asked Taichi, but I think he's afraid of me;
guess I've run him over one too many times."
He looked down at his hands, wondering what he could say. "I…I don't
really know what to tell you, Jun-san. I don't have quite the same
problem, since I'm a Chosen Child as well, but I know it's something you
never get used. Every time my little brother comes back hurt, I feel it
too; I've always been fairly protective of Takeru, and it's only through
his own insistence that I've been able to back off. And even when they're
not your family…"
Looking down at the field, he smiled and shook his head. Daisuke and
Taichi were making faces up at them, covered from nearly head to toe in
mud. "Even when they're not your blood relations, it still hurts.
Taichi…Taichi was a lot like your brother is right now when we were
younger. He didn't think things through all the way, he was hot-tempered
and bull-headed, and had a habit of opening his mouth and inserting his
foot. But he was brave—he would look the worst odds in the eye and laugh.
And because he was the one with the most courage, he was the one that led
us into battle.
"He got hurt, a lot. And once…once, I thought we might lose him
completely. I'll be honest with you, Jun-san; there are only three things
that have made me cry in my life: my parents' divorce, worry for my
brother, and Taichi." He smiled wryly, pausing to flip off Taichi, who was
making rather rude gestures. "That guy can make me break down faster than
Jun nodded, still sniffling a bit. "And Taichi? How does he deal with
Yamato snorted, brushing hair out of his eyes. "Terribly. You wouldn't
believe the number of times I've found him curled up on my doorstep,
bawling his eyes out because Hikari-chan got hurt. Taichi has it pretty
rough, though; when Hikari was little, she was very sickly, and there was
one point that she came close to dying. It had inadvertently been his
fault, so he was already feeling bad about it, but then his mother blamed
him aloud. He's had an extreme complex over protecting his sister ever
"I know Daisuke's not fighting alone, and that reassures me some," Jun
said softly. "But ever since I found out about this, I've felt badly."
"Why?" he found himself asking curiously.
She smiled wryly. "Daisuke told me that you once yelled at him for
talking badly about me. But the truth of the matter is, I've behaved
insensitively a number of times this past year. I deserved anything he
said about me, however bad. Daisuke's never had an easy time making
friends—believe it or not, but he used to be impossibly shy—and he and his
oldest friend grew apart a little over a year ago. He leaned on me rather
heavily, then, and I was trying to get him to stand on his own feet. I
wasn't very nice about it, though," she said with a wince. "And you know,
up until a week ago, I was worried that my little brother wouldn't ever be
"What made you change your mind?" the blonde asked with an arched
Jun tipped her head to the side, beaming brightly. "Someone loves
He blinked at that, surprised. "Someone?" he ventured tentatively.
"Oh, don't give me that innocent stuff! Daisuke told me that you and
Taichi already knew," she said with a scowl.
Yamato sighed and nodded. "Yeah. As a matter of fact, we probably
figured it out before they did. It's just that…some people have a hard
time understanding. I'm glad that you can tolerate it, for their sake."
"Tolerate? Hell, just let somebody try to tear Ken and Daisuke apart!"
she said, shaking her fist. Her grin was madcap, but full of affection. "I
completely approve of their relationship, Yamato. Ken…Ken has done wonders
for my brother. Like I told him, he's becoming like a second little
brother; and I worry for him, too, the same way I do Daisuke. Maybe even
more, since he doesn't have Daisuke's strength of purpose."
It was interesting to see Motomiya Jun as a person, Yamato thought
with a small smile. It was nice to see that there was depth to her
character, that she cared for people so deeply.
Taichi and Daisuke were coming in from off the field, and they both
stood to walk down and meet them.
"Yaa, Aneki, what're you doing here?" Daisuke hailed with a grin,
trying to wipe some of the mud from his face. He only succeeded in
smearing it further.
Jun smiled fondly, pulling a tissue from her pocket and wiping the mud
off. "Ken-kun called and asked if you wanted to spend the night."
Daisuke's expression lit up like a Christmas tree. "Yeah!"
"I figured that's what your answer would be," she chuckled. "Kaasan
said to come and get you, though; something about wanting to see your
Smoky-brown eyes widened in awe. "Really? She wants to see them?"
She nodded. "Really, she wants to see them."
"Yatta!" Daisuke carolled, running for his bag. "Come on, Aneki!"
Jun shook her head and laughed at her brother's enthusiasm. "Hold up a
minute, you little terror." She turned back to Yamato, not blinking a whit
as he was glommed by a mud covered Taichi. "Is it worth it?" she asked
Yamato grinned, even as he was struggling to keep from falling to the
ground under Taichi's weight. "Oh yeah."
"One last question?"
He arched an eyebrow, waiting.
"Daisuke said that he and the two other new Chosen Children have
combined traits from your group. Whose traits did he inherit?"
The smile softened as Taichi peered over his shoulder at Jun,
wondering what was going on. "Ours," Yamato said softly.
She nodded with a small smile, as if he'd only confirmed what she
already suspected, and ran to catch up with her brother.
"What was that all about?" Taichi asked in confusion, arms around
Yamato's neck, draped across the blonde's back.
Yamato continued to smile, watching the pair disappear down the field.
"Okaaay." Taichi blinked for a moment, not quite sure that he
understood; he'd have to press Yamato for details later. "So what are we
doing for the rest of the weekend?"
"First of all, my nutty boyfriend is going to get off my back."
Taichi slid off with an unrepentant grin, running a hand through his
Yamato turned and looked him over, mud-spattered and dishevelled,
cocky grin and sparking sherry-brown eyes, and thought about his
conversation with Jun.
The brunette's expression faltered after a moment as Yamato continued
to just stare at him with unwavering, bright blue eyes. "Yama?"
My silly, lovable Keeper of Courage. I won't let anyone try to tear
us apart, either.
Taking a tentative step forward, Taichi reached up, gently touching
Yamato's cheek. "Yama?"
The Keeper of Friendship looked him in the eyes then, and he froze
like the proverbial deer in headlights. He squeaked in surprise as the
blonde grasped double handfuls of his t-shirt and pulled him in sharply,
making them stand nose to nose. "Yama?" he whispered uncertainly, eyes
Yamato kissed him then, intensely, searchingly, thoroughly. Taichi
murmured approval, wrapping his arms around his boyfriend's neck, opening
his mouth readily when Yamato deepened the kiss.
"What was that for?" he asked breathlessly when they broke
apart. It had felt as though Yamato were trying to put his entire being
into that kiss, and it shook him to the core.
Yamato smiled inscrutably. "For you—and for me. I like to memorise you
any way I can."
"Moron!" Taichi slapped him lightly upside the head. "Quit saying
that. You aren't going to lose me anytime soon."
Knowing better than no argue, the blonde said, "It's your weekend,
Tai. What do you feel like doing?"
Taichi frowned in thought. "I don't know, Yama. I haven't had you all
to myself in forever!"
A calculating smirk blossomed at those words. "Oh, by the way…my dad's
out of town for the weekend."
"Sleepover!" Taichi crowed automatically, pumping his fist.
Yamato laughed, easily catching his hyper boyfriend when the brunette
flung himself into his arms. "Who's gonna be sleeping?" he asked
"You, by the time I get through with you," Taichi purred, before
pulling him into an ardent kiss.
That night, Motomiya Jun crept around the house, making certain that
everything was in its place before she headed to bed. She felt
light-hearted, though, as she went about her nightly routine. Things were
beginning to look up for her and her brother. Their parents were going to
take a vacation for the first time ever, and they were planning a trip to
visit their grandparents. Their mother had asked to look at their midterm
reports, and had cried when she read the marks. They weren't perfect—she
and her brother weren't geniuses—but they were high, and Daisuke had
received a complement from his art instructor.
She paused inside of her own room, glancing at the picture on her
dresser before she climbed into bed. It was a picture of herself and
Daisuke when they'd been younger; Daisuke sported a fading black eye and a
gap-toothed grin, Jun had her left had splayed in a victory sign, winking
at the camera. Her brother had gotten the black eye from a school bully,
and what the picture didn't show was that Jun's right hand was in a
splint. She'd bruised her knuckles—had even popped one out of joint—when
she'd cold-cocked the boy that had dared to touch her brother.
"Siblings," she murmured as her head touched the pillow. "It hurts,
but I wouldn't want it any other way."