A Late Night Talk by Chyna Rose

Disclaimer:  I don't own Digimon.  This is for TK Takashi's no romance relationship contest.  To my everlasting surprise, there is no more Yaoi in it than the English dubbed version of the show.  (And TK, yes this qualifies under your 'no slash content- even as subtext' rule.)  If any of it seems a bit strange, blame it on the fact that I wrote most of it on a night flight from Vegas to New York after a five hour delay at the airport.

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      There are times when you think you know someone so well and then later find out that you were completely wrong about them.  I recently had one of these experiences. 

      Daisuke was staying at my apartment for a few days since his parents had to go out of town for an emergency.  It was kinda weird having him stay with us; I never thought he liked me well enough to ask if he could stay.  (although I know I wasn't his first choice.  That would've been Ken)  From the moment his dad dropped him off, he was… different.  One thing you have to know about Daisuke –he's usually pretty hyper.  But that day he seemed pretty subdued; troubled even. Not at all like his normal self.  At the time I chalked it up to whatever emergency his parents had to see to and the fact that he had a doctor's appointment earlier.  (some people, like my brother, just can't stand doctors.  Yamato may be very fearless about a lot of things, but mention him going for a check up, and you'd have to carry him out of the house kicking and screaming.)

      He didn't perk up at dinner.  Instead of inhaling his food like he normally does, he just pushed it around his plate.  (Again something I guessed was due to his parent's emergency) 

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He was sitting in front of the window looking out.  It was a blank, dead stare.  The kind when you are looking at absolutely nothing and your mind was millions of miles away. 

"Didn't think you'd still be up." I said.

"Couldn't sleep." He replied in a tired voice.  He swiped a hand across his eyes with a sniff.  Then it hit me; he was crying. 

I've never seen him cry before.  I've seen him be put down verbally and stand there with that idiotic grin of his.  Hell, I've put him down without him looking even the tinniest bit hurt.  He just always came off as the kind of person who just lets all unhappiness slide off them like water on a duck's back.  With eternal optimism like that, I had always thought, it was no wonder that he was able to unleash the power of the Digiegg of Miracles.  Or forgive Ken so quickly.

But then, watching him watch the night, I had trouble picturing him as the Unflappably Happy Daisuke.  He looked tired and so much older than he really was.  Or maybe, he looked as old as all the battles in the Digiworld made him.

"You ok?"

"I guess.  Takeru, do you think it's worth it?"

"Thought about what's worth it?"

"This… anything… Life."

"Of course it's worth it."

"Is it really?"

"You're not thinking about…"

"I don't know. Maybe.  Maybe  Shiroh had the right idea."

"You can't say that!"

"Can't I?  What do I have waiting for me here?  An unrequited love?  A daily dose of humiliation that I'm expected to take with a smile?  Something new to fight just so that the world can be saved until the next evil pops up?"

"You have your friends.  We may not be much, but we're still your friends."

I was getting scared.  We had lost a classmate to suicide a few weeks earlier.  She/he jumped out a twentieth story window.  And here was Daisuke, saying that death would be easier than life.  And there I was, beginning to believe he actually would do something that stupid.

"Are you?  Or am I just the fool who pretended to be leader?"

"You never backed down from a fight; even when the odds and the rest of the team were against you.  You've worked miracles."

"There are no miracles anymore.  And there are some fights that you are better off giving up."

"Life isn't one of them."

He went silent then, staring out the window.  I hoped I had gotten through to him; that somehow he saw that he just had to continue the struggle that was life.  After about five minutes of silence, he sighed.  It must have been three am by that point –way past the time when we should've been asleep, but neither of us cared. 

"When I was nine, I threw myself down a flight of stairs.  I cracked three ribs and broke my leg; ended up hospitalized for three weeks.  The doctor who saw me thought my parents were hitting me."  He confessed, breaking the silence and utterly confusing me.

"Why would he think that?"

"It wasn't the first time I ended up in there.  I had a history of accidents –cuts, bruises, broken bones… Even a few burns.  And a lot of the time, when they asked how I got hurt, they got a suspicious excuse.  There was this time when I broke my arm after jumping off a swing;  I flew about twelve feet and landed hard right on the edge of a sandbox.  And I just sat there talking to this girl playing in there as if nothing was wrong."

"Didn't that hurt?"

"It hurt alright, but I just didn't care about the pain.  It wasn't as important as the fact that I managed to jump farther than anyone else.  Anyway… after a while, the doctor who saw me right after my fall called in another doctor to talk to me in hopes that I would be 'more open about what was going on' with her.  The new doctor didn't seem to be convinced that I was being abused.  She asked me about other things in my life –like soccer, and school, and how sometimes I couldn't fall asleep and I'd just stare out the window or just slip out and wander the streets."

I didn't know what to think about this revelation.  I mean, I could kinda see where this was going, but I wasn't sure: the pieces were all there, they just wouldn't fit together properly.  I looked blankly at him trying to comprehend, not only what it all meant, but why he was telling me this in the first place.  And for the first time since I found him sitting on the sill, he turned to face me.

"I was diagnosed as bi-polar and put on anti-depressants the very next day.  I know the medication's working, but sometimes it doesn't feel like it is.  Don't worry TK, I'm not going to hurt myself.  Not that I don't want to, but that's not me talking; it's the disease."

"What do you want me to do?"

"Just be there I guess.  Bring me back down to Earth when I get a little crazed.  Force me to fight when I get too tired and want to give in.  Put up with me no matter how I act.  Remind me that it's okay to feel.  Maybe even understand a little."

"That's not going to be easy."

"It never is. What time is it?"

"A little after three."

"We'd better get back to bed then.  Oh, and TK,"

"Yeah?"

"Thanks."

"For what?"

"For just listening and at least trying to understand.  Sometimes, that's all I need."

It's funny how you can know someone for so long and still learn things that will totally surprise you.  I would've never pegged Taichi as an opera fan, or guessed that Koushiro DJ's at raves on occasion.  And even after the talk I had with Daisuke, it's still hard to think of him as anything but happy go lucky.  But then, I have my own little secret.  I read romance novels.  I'm just glad Daisuke hasn't found out about that.  Even with our new understanding, he would never let me live it down.