Masaru stretched his arms over his head and completely went limp in his chair. His arms fell behind the arm rests and his legs were stretched out in front of him as he gazed up at the ceiling. Touma blinked and looked over at his friend. "Tired?" he asked dubiously.

"Shut up," Masaru murmured, but the retort didn't have much bite to it.

Touma turned his swivel chair so that he was facing Masaru. The red head continued to stare at the ceiling but Touma didn't care. "It wasn't a glib question, Masaru. Are you tired?"

Masaru sat up and gave Touma a look that plainly read 'what the hell did you just say?' "Huh?" he asked.

Touma sighed and rubbed his forehead. "I'm serious, Masaru, are you tired?" he translated.

Masaru let his head fall back and rubbed the heels of his hands into his eyes. "Kinda," he sighed. He had learned awhile ago that lying to Touma had no effect whatsoever. Touma knew what the answer was, he just liked asking the question anyways.

"When's your shift over?" Touma asked, returning back to the computer screen.

"Hm? I'd say," Masaru paused and glanced at the clock on his own computer screen. "In about 30 minutes."

Touma glanced down at the clock and saw that it read 7:30. He smiled a little and realized that 8 was when his own shift ended. "Is your mother and Chika home?" he asked.

"No, they're in Edo visiting my aunt for the weekend. Why so many questions?" Masaru snapped.

Touma shrugged and then glared at Masaru. "Because if your mother and Chika aren't home then you won't go home and rest like you should, you'll go out and pick a fight somewhere."

Masaru growled but didn't think it worth the effort to go after the blonde pretty boy. "Shut up," he hissed.

Ikuto appeared out of nowhere by Masaru's head. The boy had a large smile on his face and it was clear that he was laughing at Masaru. "Touma has Masaru good," he giggled. "Unless Masaru mama there to say no, Masaru no do anything he should."

Masaru sat up and took a halfhearted swipe at the annoying child. Ikuto danced easily out of the way and continued to annoy Masaru. "Why does Masaru no take rest? You tell me to take rest all the time but you never do what you say."

"That's because Masaru is a hypocrite," Touma said quietly.

Ikuto blinked while Masaru began to turn and angry shade of red. "Hee-poh-cree-t?" he asked slowly, letting the long word roll off his tongue.

"Hypocrite," Touma said again as he watched Masaru throw a silent tantrum from the corner of his eye. "It means that Masaru tells you to do something, but doesn't follow his own advice."

Up until then their digimon had been fairly quiet, but Agumon deemed that it was a good time to intervene on the growing conflict. "Aniki, it's okay," he assured. "Don't worry, we'll go home after everything is done. Right?" he asked the extremely annoyed DATS agent.

"Sure," Masaru hissed. "We'll go home," Agumon looked up happily. Then Masaru added, "After I go to the arcade and get something to eat."

Touma sighed and glared at Masaru. "Stop being such a brat, Masaru," he hissed. "You're setting horrible examples for Ikuto and Chika."

"Yeah?" Masaru snapped. "Well, if I'm such a horrible role model then maybe they should try and be more perfect like you are!" he yelled and stomped out of the room.

"Masaru mad…" Ikuto said softly.

"I hate to tell you this Touma… but that was your fault," Megumi said quietly.

"How in the hell was that my fault?" Touma asked indignantly.

"Aniki is very serious about taking care of Ikuto and Chika," Agumon said softly as he looked at Touma with a large eye. "He knows he isn't as smart as you are, or even as strong as you are sometimes, but he tries hard anyways. I know you don't mean it but that was very mean," Agumon finished.

Gaomon closed his eyes and furrowed his eyebrows before adding, "I agree master."

Ikuto cocked his head to one side, and quietly wondered what the hell was going on. Everything went from good-natured teasing to quiet accusation in about 20 seconds.

Megumi smiled and nodded at the clock. "We'll let you go ten minutes early, go chase your boyfriend and apologize before he gets really mad and does something stupid."

Touma turned a healthy shade of red. "M-m-my…WHAT?"

Now Ikuto and Falcomon looked very confused as Gaomon and Agumon both began to blush as well.

Megumi rolled her eyes as Miki started to giggle madly. "He's a boy, he's your friend and he is pissed off. Everyone here knows Masaru does stupid things when he's pissed off. Today that was your fault. Go fix it," she said and returned to her computer.

Touma's mouth formed a silent 'o' as he ran up the stairs. He turned around and said, "Gaomon, Agumon, take Ikuto to Masaru's house and watch him until we come back," before running out of the room.

"Yes, master," Gaomon said stiffly and Agumon nodded.

A second later Yoshino came in with Lalamon floating behind her. "Touma just passed me, he looks kind of upset. What happened?"

Miki giggled and raised up a finger. "Well, one hopes he running to confess."

"Huh?" Yoshino gasped. "Really?"

"I wish," Megumi sighed good-naturedly. "Then maybe he'd start doing work as fast as he used to. I'm picking up all the slack you know. He spends all his time glancing at Masaru then looking away. It's annoying!"

"No way!" Agumon gasped.

"Is this bad thing?" Ikuto asked.

"M-m-master…!?" Gaomon gasped.

Yoshino felt a smile tug at her lips as she fell into her chair and prepared to get ready for the night shift. "One can only hope."

"Boys don't notice these things as much as girls do," Lalamon said in her high voice. "That's what Yoshino said."

"Yes, yes," Yoshino sighed. "But it's none of our business."

"But it is amusing," Miki and Megumi said together then laughed.

"Is… bad thing?" Ikuto asked.

"No," everyone replied, a bit dazedly. "It's fine," Megumi said. "Go home, Ikuto. You're too young to have to worry about this stuff."

Ikuto crossed his arms and stomped huffily out of the room. He hated being treated like a little kid. Gaomon, Falcomon and Agumon followed, wondering what on earth was going to happen.


Touma ran outside of the DATS building and down the street looking around for Masaru. Masaru was nowhere to be found, but the more Touma couldn't find him, the more he wanted Masaru to be there. He mulled over his words in his head and finally understood what he had done wrong. They were right, it was a mean thing to say but that didn't mean that Masaru had to act like he was five and run off.

Still, he hoped Masaru hadn't done something stupid.


Masaru sat on the edge of the pier and threw another rock into the ocean. He heard a small plop in the inky darkness and squinted to see if he could see the ripples. After a futile search he sighed and picked up another rock and threw it. He was pissed and he wanted to just find Touma, punch him and have done with it, but he knew it wasn't that simple.

Touma was right in some ways, but to hear those words from Touma's mouth struck a chord within Masaru. Secretly, sometimes he envied Touma. He was smart, good looking, an excellent fighter and in the end, almost perfect. He knew Chika liked him and he knew that Ikuto did as well. He wouldn't be human if he didn't find himself just a little jealous.

Of course these were deep and private thoughts. He would never tell anyone, any of this. Not just because he had pride, but also because it made him sound like a little kid and he knew it. He was fine with who he was. He wouldn't want to be any other way with any other friends or any other family. He loved those close to him and he was willing to do anything to keep them safe. Still, knowing that Touma was so much better at almost everything and the fact that he had it shoved in his face at least once a day was infuriating.

It was almost better when it was just them. Him, and Touma, together. When they had those quiet moments, Touma wasn't some rich, perfect child, he was just another person. He didn't act any different, but he felt different. More relaxed, nicer, calmer. Masaru liked that side of Touma, because it allowed him to relax as well. He wished he could see that side of Touma all the time, instead of just once in awhile.

Lately, he had been feeling a little weird around Touma, but that didn't matter much. Touma pissed him off and they would fight, but instead of just steaming it off like he used to, he would feel bad about it. It would feel like he had just fought with his mom or Chika. He didn't like that very much and felt bad that he would get so upset after a stupid argument. And yet, he couldn't help it.

Finally, Masaru ran out of rocks and brought his knees up to his chest. He didn't know what to do anymore nor did he want to make any effort. So he decided to just sit there.

After a few minutes of silence, he heard some footsteps behind him. Without even turning around he adopted his 'devil may care' attitude and hunched up even more. "What?" he snapped.

He heard Touma's sigh and felt Touma sit on his left side. He glanced in Touma's direction and saw that the blond teen looked truly upset. "Sorry," he muttered quickly and blushed.

Masaru looked at Touma and uncurled. He stretched out and leaned back so that his forearms were supporting him. There was a long silence as Touma looked at the darkened ocean and Masaru looked at the sky. For awhile Touma wondered if Masaru was going to say anything, but then he heard a small "S'okay" and that was it.

It was all they needed to say, at the moment. Nothing else was wrong and for them to even think about apologizing to each other was a big deal. Touma and Masaru cared for each other a great deal but neither one really wanted to admit it. It wasn't right, it was embarrassing and a multitude of other things. But still…

Masaru finally sat back up and looked at Touma. "Why can't you just be nice all the time," he finally snapped.

Touma looked at Masaru, surprised. "Excuse me?" he asked.

"When we're alone, you're nicer. Calmer, happier and easier to talk to. Why can't you always be like that? You don't have to be an asshole when you're with other people you know," Masaru growled.

Touma blinked a few times, then burst into laughter. Masaru's eyes widened angrily as he watched his friend laugh. "What?"

"Sorry," Touma said as his laughter subsided. "I-it's just that… you…" Touma took in a deep breath and finally decided to let everyone else go to hell and talk openly with Masaru. "It's just… Masaru, it's not that I try and be like that around other people. It's just easier for me to be like that when I'm with you."

"Oh…" Masaru said softly. "Why?"

Touma shrugged. "I don't know. Maybe because you don't judge me. You don't care if I'm rich or smart or anything like that." Masaru blushed but Touma didn't notice. "To you, I'm just another person, and you're probably the only person that acts like that."

Masaru's lips twisted and he sighed. "That makes sense, I guess," he muttered.

Touma caught Masaru's gaze and held it. Masaru glared back and they stayed like that for a long while, neither one daring to break the gaze. Their pride on the line over the dumbest of contests, but that's part of what made their friendship work. Masaru helped Touma relax and Touma helped Masaru focus. It's what made them work. It's what made them work.

It was quiet, and little else could be heard besides the ocean lapping against the concrete pier that they were sitting on. They continued to stare at one another, but less intensely and more kindly. Neither one really knew why, or how, or any of the things you were 'supposed' to know about a quiet moment, but then again, neither one really would. They were just two boys with far too much responsibility and too few to share it with. So they clung to those who they did share it with for support and help. It's just that they clung tighter to some then to others.

The longer the moments became, the closer they drew together. Unable to look away and unable to break apart. Neither one wanted to and neither one didn't want to. It was something entirely their own and without any outside interference, there was nothing to stop the moment.

Finally they stopped, mere centimeters away from one another, still glaring at each other like the staring contest that they were having would decide the fate of the world. It took a few more long moments and many thoughts of 'what in the hell am I doing?' before they finally closed the last few centimeters between them and let their lips meet.

Masaru jerked for a second, surprised by the contact, even though he knew he had willingly gone into it. Touma hesitated for a second before deciding that he no longer cared and wrapped his arm around Masaru's waist and drew the feminine looking boy even closer. Masaru grabbed Touma's arm and gave him a glare that plainly read 'don't even.'

Touma didn't care and leaned in for one more kiss before letting go of Masaru. Masaru blushed and stood up with Touma rising next to him. "Just so you know, this doesn't mean I don't think you're a stuck up ass hole."

"And I still think you're an annoying jerk," Touma replied elegantly. "However…" Touma blushed, realizing that cheesy comments and gentle murmurs were not his strong point.

Masaru shrugged, "I know," he said simply. "And what does it matter anyways? It's not like anything will change."

Touma laughed and nodded, falling into step next to Masaru. "Except when we're alone."

It was Masaru's turn to laugh as they headed towards his home. "That's all I really care about, moron."

Touma nodded and walked next to Masaru in the dark night. Perhaps a little closer then he would have a few days before, but he did not try and put his arm around Masaru or anything like that. His now decided lover was right, nothing did change. They were still Touma and Masaru, and they would still fight like cats and dogs. They would still annoy one another and be ready to kill each other at any given time. But during those quiet, long moments of solitude they had together every once in awhile, they now knew they no longer had to be afraid of anything.

They were young men, chosen by whoever was screwed up enough to decide that so much responsibility should be placed on the shoulders of a few, over worked, stressed out people. They were 14, too young to be considered adult but too old to be kids. They were also both in their own ways, over bearing and intimidating people. However, they had managed to find solace in one another. And despite everything else, that's all that really mattered.


Hmm... not sure if I like this yet or not. I'll have to re-read in a few days and see.

Here's the third and final bit for you guys! Started with Troubles and now ends with this. Hope you enjoyed it! Maybe I'll try and get a Tomato centric multi chap off the ground.