Legal Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon. Toei Entertainment does.
Title: The Warm
Romance: Daisuke x Takeru
Notes: This is for the Digimon Pairings Challenge, round three.

Of all the places to get stuck in the Digital World, it had to be here. Daisuke swore under his breath vividly as he tromped through the snow-covered expanse. If and when he got the chance, he was going to find out just what had done this and explain to whatever it was, human or Digimon, all the interesting reasons why it shouldn't have been done to them.

'Them' at the moment only meant himself and Takeru. All the others had made it out safely, even their Digimon. Before they'd been able to make it through the portal, something had sealed it, sending them bouncing backwards and on their respective rear ends. Now they were trapped here until they could find another exit, which was why he was trying to find firewood.

There! He pounced on a scattered pile of sticks and did his best to shake the snow off of them. This would help keep them warm through the night. Now if Takeru had managed to find them something to eat, it would be even better. They'd surely be able to live until morning.

He dragged the sticks back to the makeshift camp they'd set up and dropped them down as soon as he got there. "Hey, Takeru! I'm back!" There was no reply, and he sighed. "Looks like I got back first."

Which meant he was going to have to get a fire going, so they could cook whatever Takeru scrounged up, if it needed to be cooked. It wasn't always easy to tell with Digital World food. Something that looked as if it should be eaten straight off the tree could need to be boiled or baked or something.

What he wouldn't have given for one of their Digimon, or some Digimon that could handle fire, or something like that right now. He didn't think he had any matches on him, and rubbing two sticks together would probably take forever, no matter what the books said about it. Daisuke stared at the pile of wood for a few moments before he started to put it into order. Next time he knew they were going to be trapped in what was probably the coldest part of the Digital World, he would bring matches. Among other things.

Well, he'd just have to take forever with it if that was what he had to do to get them warm. There was no way he was going to stand in front of Yamato and tell him that he'd let the younger blond freeze because he hadn't had the nerve to rub two sticks together. If Yamato didn't kill him, he'd do worse: he'd let Angemon loose on him. Daisuke was willing to rub sticks together all night if it meant he wouldn't have to deal with that.

Once he had a suitable pile of wood ready to be merrily set fire to, he started looking for any kind of sticks that would be able to help with that. He couldn't remember anything about the sticks having to be particular ones, so he wound up just grabbing two short ones from the stack he'd dragged in and started to rub them against each other.

The sticks somewhat squeaked against each other as he rubbed harder and harder, and they tended to slip away more than they didn't. Daisuke glared at them as if that would help, refusing to give up. There was a way to do this, he just had to figure it out.

A violent shudder of cold gripped him suddenly, and he dropped the sticks, wrapping his arms around himself in an attempt to retain just a little warmth. He was too cold even to swear, though a few well-chosen words did wander through his mind. They just didn't stick around long enough for him to vocalize them.

Then the cold was gone, or at least had backed off for the moment, as something warm and fluffy was wrapped around him. He poked his head out of it and looked down to see he was currently encased in a thick red blanket that matched his hair. "Um, where did this come from?"

"I found a collection of wardrobes over that way," Takeru said as he came from behind Daisuke. He motioned briefly towards the way he'd been exploring for food. "They had a lot of these in them, so I brought these two back for us."

He had never been so completely grateful to the blond in his entire life. There had been multiple times he would been convinced that he would never have been grateful in the first place, but he didn't mind being proven wrong. Not when the proof came in the form of a lovely warm blanket.

Takeru eyed his collection of would-be firewood, then looked up at him. Daisuke only partially noticed how nice the blue blanket that his friend wore went with his eyes. But he did notice it. "Didn't bring any matches with you?"

"Who brings matches to the Digital World?" Daisuke growled the words out annoyedly. Takeru was his friend, but there were just times he wanted to hurt the overly competent boy so very badly.

"I do. Jyou got me into it." Takeru knelt by the pile of sticks and began to rework them carefully, his hands moving with near lightning speed before he leaned back and pulled out a book of matches. If Daisuke hadn't known how much they needed this warmth, he would've seriously considered knocking them into the snow, just to be annoying. As cute as Takeru was, he still got on Daisuke's nerves once in a great while. Like now.

In a very few minutes, the blazing flames of a fire leaped up from the wood, and Daisuke inched his way closer. He'd find some other way to get back at Takeru for knowing all of this when he didn't. It was one thing to go camping when one had prepared for it. Being thrown into it like this was insane.

"Did you happen to find anything to eat out there?"

Takeru sighed as he settled down beside Daisuke. "I wish. But this place is probably about as short on food as it is on...everything."

"Great." He wished he hadn't skipped breakfast that morning. He'd been eager to get over to Koushirou's and see what the redhead had found that was so important they all had to check it out. It had been nearly five years since the last serious trouble had cropped up, and seven years since they'd put paid to Belial Vamdemon. He rubbed the back of his neck thoughtfully; there were days when he didn't feel nineteen, to be honest. He wasn't sure if it was because he was Daisuke, perpetually unable to grow up, or what.

His stomach rumbled as if the thought of not eating made him want to eat even more. He wouldn't have been surprised. His every body part liked to be contrary like that. Maybe he should've packed some snacks or something. They could melt snow for water, at least, and they'd be out of there as soon as they could in the morning, anyway.

"Any idea on where the nearest television that works is?" Maybe that was the only thing that was wrong, the television they'd tried to use had some sort of glitch or something. At least it hadn't been an evil Digimon of some kind. Sure, this was a pain in every body part, but it was survivable. He hoped no Digimon would show up for a fight, either. Without their partners, there wasn't much they could do to save themselves.

"You got me. I did get in touch with Koushirou while I was checking around for food, though. Seems the same thing that trapped us here is what had him all excited. It's some kind of a storm in between the worlds. It just registered as being here because his laptop isn't good enough to distiguish between between and here right now. It'll be cleared up by tomorrow morning and we can go home." Takeru poked at the fire with a long stick. "You know what would go good right now? Some marshmallows."

Why did he hang out with this guy? Oh, right, they were friends. "Don't talk about food. I didn't eat this morning." If it had been a little warmer, he would have thrown himself back on the ground to stare moodily at the crystal clear sky.

Assuming the sky had been crystal clear, which it wasn't. It had been while he was looking for the wood, but now thick clouds were starting to roll in, and he'd lay some good odds they were full of snow, too. He didn't want to wonder what else would go wrong.

"You should have. We could've been here a while trying to find Koushirou's storm, until he figured out he was wrong about it all." That had been what they were trying to do when they'd went through the gate, go back for dinner. He'd had hopes his mom would make his favorite tonight, too. But since he wouldn't know for hours and hours...

He shot the most annoyed look he had in his arsenal at Takeru. "I know that. I had the weirdest idea we could go home if things went too long."

Takeru was quiet for several minutes. When he did say something, Daisuke almost didn't catch it. "Don't assume you can just go home when you want to."

There was something really off about the way he said that, and Daisuke inched a bit closer. "Huh? What did you mean?" There was no use in beating about the bush, he felt.

"Nothing." Takeru shook his head and prodded at the fire again. "We'll be fine. If the others don't find us before morning, we'll get out of this freeze-zone and find a way out ourselves."

Right. Daisuke couldn't argue with that, even if he'd wanted to. And if Takeru wanted to clam up about things, then he wouldn't argue about it either. He knew it was like pulling teeth to get the blond to say something if he didn't want to. In fact, pulling teeth would probably be a lot easier. Besides, he was of the opinion Takeru probably meant something about his parents' divorce. He could still get weird about that once in a while.

"So, I heard you've been working on a novel or something?" He wasn't going to just let it be quiet, though. There was enough of that with all this snow. Their voices made it seem as if things were alive here, instead of everything being frozen in some kind of suspended animation. That was one reason he hated snow and ice and winter in general. Everything was just too blasted quiet!

"Yeah. I've kind of been trying put what's happened to us down. Not perfectly, of course." Takeru's teeth flashed briefly in a smile, and Daisuke did his best to ignore the way that made him feel. He'd been doing his best to deal with the fact he was finding guys and girls attractive, but why did he have to start thinking those kinds of thoughts about Takeru? Why couldn't it have been Ken? He knew Ken would've understood much better than Takeru.

But, no, his silly fancy had to strike out for the pretty blond with the deep blue eyes and the smile that lit his world on fire, and if he didn't stop thinking like this, he was going to find some kind of ice Digimon, since some had to live around here, and beg to be frozen alive.

"Do I even want to know what kinds of things you're changing?"

"I'd rather not say right now. I'm still not done with the outline. Could be almost anything once it's done."

Daisuke nodded; he'd run into the same thing when he tried to talk to Yamato about his music. Some things just weren't supposed to be meddled with ahead of time. It could get really annoying. He stared into the flickering flames, wanting to think of something to talk about that they could talk about. What could it be? Oh, yeah, he knew.

"How's that date of yours go? What was her name again..." He scraped his brain for the last girl Takeru had mentioned he was going out with. " was Narita...Narita Ume, right?"

"Right." Takeru laughed briefly. "You know, you always remember the names of the girls I go out with. Better than I do sometimes."

How could he not? They were the ones who kept Takeru's attention away from him. No! Bad thoughts! Back, bad thoughts! He was not going to think them anymore!

"Just one of those weird things." He shrugged, pretending it didn't mean anything to him. "I bet you could name all of my dates if you really wanted to."

Takeru shrugged briefly. "I haven't really noticed you dating anyone in the last year, honestly."

That would be because he hadn't been dating in the last year. Ever since he'd first started to notice that the images going through his dreams were those of warm blue eyes and straw-blond hair, of a male laugh and a friendly jab on the shoulder instead of a girl's smile and soft...other parts. Yeah. Not that those weren't pretty interesting too, but on the whole...yeah.

"Haven't found the right one yet," Daisuke said, waving one hand carelessly before he tucked it back inside the blanket. What made this even more insane was that it was July back on Earth. They shouldn't have had to put up with this in the summer! "Still looking, you know."

Takeru made a noncommital noise and placed another branch on the fire. "Yamato's probably going crazy looking for us."

"You mean you," Daisuke corrected him without any anger. He knew damned well when it came to Yamato, Takeru was first, foremost, and only, and that was how it should be. Not that he thought Yamato would ignore him, but the older blond's thoughts were going to be centering around the teen next to him. He hadn't really noticed just how close Takeru was either, until just now. Had he moved closer? It was hard to tell. There wasn't that much space between them anyway. They had to stay close to the fire to stay warm. Too bad there hadn't been a convenient cave they could have hidden in.

"You, too." Takeru retorted. "Don't forget it."

"Like I could. But he's looking for you first." Daisuke glowered at him before he stared into the fire some more. He wondered once in a while what it would be like to have a sibling that protective. Jun cared about him, loved him a lot, and he returned it, but they'd never been as obsessive as either Takeru or Yamato could be at times. Maybe it had something to do with how they'd grown up.

Everything was quiet, save for the noise of various kinds of digital wildlife making their way around, for a long stretch of time. Daisuke fought off first one yawn, then another. He didn't want to go to sleep, especially not as the clouds above slowly began to sprinkle white flakes down on them. Why couldn't the Digital World have had warm snow? Just as pretty but without the threat of them freezing to death.

"So, what's the right one going to be like?" The question came out of nowhere, and he simply stared at Takeru for a few moments, not at all certain of why he'd asked.

"Huh?" was his reply when he finally did say something.

Takeru laughed, and Daisuke fought back the childish reaction of shoving him. "I asked what your 'right one' is going to be like. What are you looking for in someone?"

"Oh. Well." Daisuke tried not to answer in the one word he knew would change more than he wanted to change, which was simply you. He wasn't ready for that, and he knew Takeru wasn't either. "I haven't thought about it that much." The standard lie.

Takeru snorted. "Wrong. You wouldn't know you were waiting for someone if you didn't know what you wanted."

"You can't be sure!" Daisuke did shove him this time. It wasn't a hard one, just enough to let him know that he was there. "But I guess I could try. It'll kill some time, anyway." He wasn't certain if sleeping in the snow was all that good of an idea, even with their blankets. Besides, maybe he could use this to figure out if he really liked Takeru 'like that' or not. It could all be in his head. It wasn't as if he were the only blue-eyed blond in the world. "I guess, someone nice. But not too nice. You know, someone who can smack me when I need it. And doesn't mind being smacked if they need it."

That put Ken out of the running right then and there. The blue-haired teen would admit when he was wrong, but when it came to helping someone else figure out when they were wrong, he shied away every time. Daisuke didn't mind it in their friendship, but for anything more, it just wouldn't do.

"Go on." Takeru sounded interested. Daisuke didn't want to think about why. He probably just didn't want to fall asleep either.

"I don't know, really..." He'd never thought about it like this before. What could he say that wasn't a description of Takeru? Every quality he thought of, and some that he wasn't sure about, meant him. "Someone strong. Someone who makes me think."

There was nothing from the blond and Daisuke thought even more. He wasn't done yet. "Someone who can really challenge me." Ken did, but not in the way Daisuke really wanted to be challenged. Ken had lost a lot of his taste for competition over the last few years. Daisuke couldn't blame him at all, and it made their friendship even stronger, but this wasn't friendship he was thinking about.

"What would they look like?" Daisuke should have paid more attention to the question, but he was so caught up in his own thoughts all he could do was answer it.

"That's easy. They're blond, with blue eyes. Really gorgeous eyes someone could get lost in." He sighed ever so softly as a thousand fantasies swarmed his mind at once.

Then he almost jumped out of his skin as Takeru's hand brushed against his. It was so warm, so much warmer than he had a right to be, and it made Daisuke want to cling to him in an effort to get all of that warmth into his own body. How could someone be so warm when it was so cold everywhere else? What kind of little secret was Takeru holding back on him?

"Um..." He tried to ask a coherent question. It could have been any of the thousands rampaging through his mind. None of them made it out in one piece.

"That all sounds pretty familiar," Takeru said at last, his fingers playing briefly with Daisuke's own. "Would that have something to do with why you haven't dated in so long?"

Again, nothing that made the slightest bit of sense came out of Daisuke's mouth. Takeru chuckled softly. "Yes or no?"

Somehow or other, Daisuke managed a nod, though he had no idea of why or how. It just seemed to be the right thing to do at the moment. He'd been trying to keep something from Takeru, hadn't he? Or was it the other way around? He couldn't remember for the life of him. All that he could keep going through his mind was how warm Takeru felt, and the feeling of those fingers as they slowly slid up his arm to creep behind his neck in a firm grip for a moment before Takeru pulled him closer.

"Before we do anything else, I want you to know, I never kiss someone without at least a promise of a date." Takeru's blue, blue eyes were staring right into Daisuke's own, and his mental faculties had long since vanished. Did this mean Takeru wasn't going to kiss him? "So, once we're done with this IceDevimon, want to catch a movie or something? Maybe some dinner? Hit a museum?"

This time, words managed to make it through the haze that had settled over his mind and tongue. "Not a museum. Too boring."

"Ever been to one?" Takeru challenged, his eyes reflecting the firelight in a very appealing way. "Without being on a school trip, I mean?" Daisuke shook his head, and Takeru grinned even more. "Then how do you know it's boring? Maybe you just never went with the right person."

"Oh, fine." Daisuke found enough sense to roll his eyes, but he couldn't help feeling as jumpy and happy as Hikari after one of her photography projects returned with a perfect mark. "We can go to a museum."

"Good. Now that that's settled..."

Daisuke was seldom caught off guard. But when Takeru leaned forward and brushed their lips softly together, he knew for a fact he hadn't seen that coming. He was sure he should have. He just hadn't. But he knew what to do. He'd done it a few times before. He kissed back, leaning a little closer to the blond, letting all of the pent-up feelings he'd tried to keep to himself flow outward.

When they finally drew apart, Takeru wet his lips a little and looked at him. "Why didn't you say something before?" he asked at last. "I don't remember you being all that shy when it came to some of your other crushes."

"Because you were always dating someone else," Daisuke said simply. "I'm not going to go poking my nose in where I can see I'm not wanted. Besides, you never even told me you were interested in guys!"

Takeru shrugged briefly. "I'm not."

Daisuke blinked, confused. "You're not?" What had that kiss been? A pity kiss? The offer of a date, something just to get Daisuke off of guard? He cursed the day he'd ever decided he wanted someone to challenge him.

"I'm interested in you." Takeru said quietly, and Daisuke decided that could be answered only in one way: by pouncing on him and kissing him again. Takeru didn't seem to mind, kissing back with equal fervor.

Daisuke wasn't certain of how much time had passed, but the snow was beginning to ease off some, after not doing much more than dust the ground with a faint coating of white, and they were cuddled up by the fire again. It wasn't quite the same as earlier, however, as one blanket was spread out beneath them so they didn't have to sit on the cold ground, and the other was wrapped around the both of them. Takeru had called it sharing body warmth. Daisuke preferred to thin of it as a prelude to making out. Names didn't really appear to matter right now.

"So what do we tell everyone else?" Daisuke wondered, his arms tightly wound around Takeru.

"Who said we had to tell them anything?" Takeru challenged back. "It's not their business."

"I'd rather not get flayed by your brother, Taichi, Hikari, Iori, or Angemon," Daisuke retorted. "I like my skin right where it is."

"You're not the only one," Takeru chuckled. "I think it looks best right where it is." He shrugged fluidly. "We tell them that we kissed and held each other and are going out on a date. If they can't deal with it..."

"Right." Daisuke hoped they would. One of the last things he ever wanted to do was get his friends upset at him for anything he'd done. He sighed and leaned his head against Takeru's shoulder. "Is it all right to get some sleep?"

"We should manage. Go ahead, rest. We'll be home in a few hours anyway." Takeru told him. Daisuke nodded, yawned yet again, and was out of it in moments. Every dream he had, and he had several, were full of caring arms and blue eyes, and there was nothing more in the world he could've asked for to make himself happy and warm.

The End