Fairy Tales and Wishes
Daisuke looked up at the apartment building with hopeful eyes. Saddened, but hopeful. So much was going to ride on this one meeting. It seemed so silly though. He'd never been a worried person. He was Daisuke Motomiya, former leader of the DigiDestined and Keeper of the Crests of Courage and Friendship.
Today was different though. It wasn't a battle he was running into, this was something he couldn't let his emotions run. If that happened, he'd lose. Lose everything he was hoping for by coming here to Tamachi in the first place.
Ken. He had come here to see Ken. Once upon a time, it would have been much different. He wouldn't be standing outside the apartment building, mulling over his reasons for coming here. By now he would have been inside Ken's apartment, hugging his best friend briefly, and pulling Chibimon out of his backpack.
Ken would smile shyly and shut the door behind them then his soft voice would fill the room with his predictable question: 'How are you Dai?'
Daisuke sighed and ran a hand through his hair. Now much shorter than it had been in those years. His fingers fell to the goggles that hung round his neck. There was really no reason for wearing them. Memories, perhaps. Usually his son would have them, but his mother didn't like them too much, so he'd left them behind. Daisuke smiled at the thought of his boy. It would have been nice if he could've come, but this was really something he should do on his own.
All he had to do was take the first step. Step into the building. That was all. After that he wouldn't turn back.
Taking one step seemed a momentous task though.
Considering simply turning tail and running he took a shaky step forward into the building. Daisuke sighed in relief and headed towards the elevator.
"Why are you going to see Ken-chan?" Chibimon asked excitedly.
"It's time to, Chibimon."
"Can I come?"
Daisuke paused before shaking his head. "Not this time buddy. Sorry."
"I understand. I don't mind staying here as long as you bring me something to eat when you get back!"
Daisuke smiled softly and pulled the little blue Digimon into his arms, hugging him lovingly.
"Will you tell me what happens?"
"Of course I will. As soon as I get back."
The elevator hummed quietly as it made its slow progression up to the correct floor. Daisuke waited patiently, tapping his foot in time to the music filling the moving room. Numbers blinked as they rose higher before the elevator lurched to a stop.
Daisuke smiled as he looked down the familiar halls. Ken's parents had moved away a long while ago, while they were all still in college, but Ken and Miyako had gotten the apartment as sort of a wedding present.
He frowned at the thought. He'd gone to the wedding simply out of courtesy. Miyako and Ken were both DigiDestined, he couldn't just decline the invitation. He'd thought about making up an excuse but he'd never been able to bring himself to do it. Ken had wanted him to be his Best Man! It would hurt him so much if he'd refused.
Daisuke took a deep breath and stepped out of the elevator, walking down the hall slower than he generally would have. Ken's apartment was only down the hall. There would still be time to turn back if he wanted.
Did he want to, though?
No. This was too important.
Ken looked up from his newspaper as someone knocked on the door. He knew who it was. He'd seen Daisuke standing outside the apartment building earlier.
Of course he'd considered pretending to be out but something kept nagging at him to stay in the apartment. To stay and talk with Daisuke.
It could be like the old days. It might be if they both tried. They could pretend. He'd been pretending since college, all he had to do was throw more lies onto the large pile.
Ken set down his paper before standing. His eyes flicked around the immaculate apartment and he frowned at the paper, lifting it and dropping it in the bin before hurrying to the door.
With a deep, calming breath, he turned the doorknob and opened the door.
"Motomiya-san," he said and Daisuke smiled brightly. Ken saw through the mask though. He could see the dark, clouded look in Daisuke's eyes. His eyes always gave away his true emotions.
"Please come in," Ken said with a flat tone, though he tried to sound inviting.
"Sure, thanks," Daisuke replied and walked into the entrance, slipping off his shoes and moving them aside to join another set.
Ken shut the door behind him with a loud 'click' before he turned to look at Daisuke.
"How are you?" Ken asked and Daisuke looked up. Emotions flashed across his face quickly at hearing the question. Perhaps everything was all right now. Perhaps they could go back to how things used to be. Perhaps…
"I'm fine. Good actually. Busy…y'know…"
He followed Ken down the hall and into the living room. Daisuke looked around the spotless area and grimaced, feeling like by just being there he was dirtying something.
"Please, have a seat," Ken said, gesturing towards one of the cream-colored armchairs. Daisuke nodded and carefully sat down, being especially careful not to touch anything else.
Ken sat across from him and smiled gently. "How is the Noodle cart business going? I saw the magazines."
Daisuke smiled. "That's good too. Keeping me on my toes. I need that though."
Ken nodded and silence descended upon them. Daisuke shuddered slightly before shifting uncomfortably in his seat.
"So…" they both said at once. Daisuke looked away as he saw the faint blush spread across Ken's cheeks.
"Sorry, you first," Ken said quietly.
"I was just wondering about your job."
"Oh, it's all right. Miyako doesn't like me-"
Ken paused as he noticed Daisuke stiffen at his wife's name. Stupid! He knew he wasn't supposed to say that. It brought up too much. It brought up too many memories.
"That's…too bad. I'm sure she's just worried about you," Daisuke said finally, clearing his throat.
"Yes, I'm sure she does," Ken replied, fidgeting nervously. "How is your son?"
Daisuke's face lightened. "He's good. Starting school soon. His mom's so proud of him. I mean, I am too, but she doesn't get much time with him."
Ken nodded. "He's a sweet boy."
Daisuke smiled slightly. Ken had met his son at the wedding. He'd been so much younger back then.
"What about…" Daisuke started and cleared his throat. It would be rude to not ask about Ken's children now. "What about your children?"
"Fine, fine… Having a baby around the house brings back memories of the others though. I'm not sure I'm pleased about two o'clock feedings."
Daisuke smiled and nodded, remembering well what it was like.
"Can I get you a drink? I've been a terrible host," Ken said suddenly and sprung to his feet.
"I um…sure," Daisuke agreed and watched Ken's hasty retreat into the kitchen.
He sighed and glanced over to a table next to the window. Atop it stood photos. Dozen's of them, all placed in perfectly ordered positions. So damn perfect like everything else. They displayed pictures of Miyako and Ken with their children, or just the children. School photos. Pictures of days at the beach or soccer practice.
His eyes drifted down the lines, finally resting on a familiar looking photo frame. His mind wandered back and finally he remembered where he'd seen it before. Ken used to keep that picture frame in his room. When Daisuke first became friends with the quiet Ex-Digimon Kaiser, the only picture in his room had been one of his brother, Osamu. Then one more took up a spot beside it. A plain wooden photo frame filled with a picture of Ken and himself. He'd been so surprised when Ken had told him why the picture was on the dresser.
Ken blushed faintly, looking away from Daisuke.
"I put it up there… I put that photo with the picture of my brother because…these are the people who mean the most to me."
Daisuke looked at Ken then back to the photo, then to Ken once more.
"You mean… I…"
"You mean a lot to me, Daisuke. You're my best friend and I don't know what I'd do without you. That's why your photo is here as well. It reminds me how much you mean to me."
Daisuke felt his own cheeks redden and he smiled nervously. "Really?" he asked.
Ken nodded but didn't look up. Too shy to meet Daisuke's questioning eyes.
"But Ken…I don't have a picture of you!" Daisuke said finally. "I don't have any."
Ken looked up and their eyes met for a second, he smiled and opened a drawer.
"I have…" Ken said before pausing, rustling through the neat contents of the drawer. Finally he pulled out a small book.
"Here, you can have this one. It's a little old though…"
Ken handed Daisuke the picture. A school photo, judging by the shot.
"Really? I can have this? Cool! I'll put it in my room, too."
Ken blushed again and put the book away, straightening the contents of the drawer before pushing it closed once more.
Now the frame had a picture of Miyako and himself.
Briefly he wondered what had happened to the picture. Had Ken just dumped it like so much worthless trash? Perhaps it had been Miyako's idea to get rid of it.
"Here you go," Ken said and placed the soda on a coaster, pushing it towards him before sitting back in his own seat.
"Thanks," Daisuke said, taking the soda and cracking it open. He didn't expect Ken to have anything alcoholic, not even beer.
"Daisuke…" Ken questioned and Daisuke looked up. He hadn't expected Ken to call him by anything besides Motomiya-san.
"Yes?" he asked, frankly quite curious about what Ken had to ask.
Ken took a sip of his soda before placing it down on its coaster. He leant back in his chair and placed his hands in his lap. "Why are you here in Tamachi?"
"Business," Daisuke said plainly. It was a downright lie but he couldn't tell Ken that he'd come all the way to Tamachi just to see him.
"Oh… I see."
Daisuke thought he heard the hurt in Ken's tone. But Ken had never been one to show any sort of emotions besides anger and guilt. He must have imagined it.
"How long are you staying?" Ken asked.
Daisuke furrowed his brows. "I arrived this morning for the meeting. I have the afternoon free and I just thought…thought I would come and see you."
Ken drew in his breath and glanced away, looking towards the window.
"You're lying, Daisuke."
"I am," Daisuke found himself saying. But what did it matter. If he said he wasn't, Ken would know he was anyhow. He'd always known. He was always so damn insightful.
Maybe it was just that Ken knew him like no one else did.
"Why are you really in Tamachi then, Daisuke?"
Daisuke sipped at his soda for a minute, trying to think of what to say. The only real option was the truth, as much as he dreaded it.
He sighed audibly and looked at Ken. "It's time we talked. That's why I'm in Tamachi."
"I see. What is there to talk about, Daisuke? Do you mean normal chit-chat or something else?"
"You know what I mean," Daisuke snapped back. He hated that tone in Ken's voice. That tone always seemed to mock him. He always got that tone when he was angry or nervous.
This was most likely a mixture of both.
Ken didn't meet his gaze again for at least five minutes. The silence rushed them, falling into the room and hanging over them. Ken felt the need to finally break it and spoke up.
"Yes, I do know what you mean. I didn't think you'd come though."
"It's been a long time. I needed time, Ken."
"It's been a very long time. Since the wedding you haven't spoken to me."
"Well what did you expect?"
"Then why are you arguing with me?"
"I'm not. Daisuke, please, don't be like this."
Daisuke jumped to his feet and ran a shaky hand through his hair. He didn't want this. Not today, not now, not ever.
Ken was up on his feet equally as fast, ready to stop him from leaving.
Daisuke drew in a harsh breath before falling back onto his seat. "Sorry. I overreacted. This isn't easy, Ken."
Ken sighed in relief and sat down slowly. "I know it's not easy."
Daisuke looked towards the balcony. "Let's go sit out there. I think I need the fresh air."
Ken nodded and they moved outside. Daisuke stared out across the streets and buildings, leaning on the balcony railing.
Everything was silent again though the noises of the dying day fell upon them. Daisuke felt it was his turn to say something and licked his lips as he thought; finally deciding on the right question.
"Would you have come to see me, Ken? I mean, if I hadn't come."
Ken bit his lip, standing a few paces from the shorter man and gazing out onto the city.
"No. I don't think I would have," he said at last. It was best to be truthful. They'd been lying for so long.
"That's fair," Daisuke responded. "I'm glad you didn't throw me out."
"Why would I throw you out?"
Daisuke sucked at his teeth for a minute before turning to him. "For disturbing your perfect life?"
Ken furrowed his brows angrily. "That's not true. You know that."
"Do I, Ken? Everything seems pretty sweet to me!"
"You're being unreasonable," Ken said, ending the argument. Fighting with Daisuke would only bring out his stubborn nature and that's not where he wanted to head.
Ken tapped at the railing before looking at Daisuke once more. "Perhaps I didn't come see you, and you never came here. We would do this for the rest of our lives and feel absolutely miserable."
"Yeah, well, we're stubborn pricks, what d'you want?"
"But you came here Daisuke. You came here."
"Yeah. Guess I did."
Ken sighed. "What I'm saying is…I'm glad you came."
"Even now that you know you're going to face everything we've put off?"
"Yes, even now."
"Guess we aren't as stubborn as I thought."
"I guess not."
Ken looked up and caught Daisuke's gaze. "I don't know what to say. There are so many things we need to talk about."
"Well let's start with the glaringly obvious then, shall we?"
"That would be what?"
Daisuke frowned. "You married Miyako."
"Yes. I believe you were there."
Daisuke balled his fists. The urge to hit Ken was bubbling inside him. He pressed it back within himself, slowly letting calm return to his body and mind. Ken was intelligent enough not to say anything more.
After a minute and finishing the soda, Daisuke felt himself under control again.
"What I mean to say is, you married Miyako. I want to know why you married Miyako."
"Because I had to."
"You had to?"
"Yes. It was what was right."
"No Ken, it wasn't right. It wasn't right!"
Ken looked away and leant on the railing again, glancing down at the street below.
"Perhaps not for you but I had to do what was best for everyone, not just you."
"Best for everyone? Who was everyone, Ken? Please, explain this to me, since I have previously been denied an explanation."
Ken grimaced at the sarcasm dripping in Daisuke's tone. "I know you will never forgive me, Daisuke, but I can't begin to explain myself. I pay for what I've done every day. When I look at my children and especially when I look at Miyako."
"I don't care! You think I have it easier. You tore my heart out! Do you think I'm happy?"
"I can't say."
"Well I'm not happy! I haven't been happy for a very long time!"
"I know I caused your unhappiness, and I truly am sorry. I could not deny Miyako what she deserved though."
Daisuke frowned. "There is nothing you could ever do to make me forgive you. First you cheat on me, not with another guy but with Miyako and not only once either, oh no, many a time! What were you thinking? But then, Miyako decides she wants more and you don't know when to call it off! Did you ever think of all the people you were hurting?"
"Yes, all the time. I loved you so much, Daisuke, and I didn't want to hurt you."
"Well, you did! You never even told me why. Why would you cheat on me, especially with Miyako?"
Ken lowered his head. "Because…I didn't want to hurt you."
"What the hell do you mean by that, Ichijouji?"
"I was no good for you. I'd hurt you. I figured, without me you could meet a nice girl and one day get married and start a family."
"Didn't I have a say on what was good for me and what wasn't?"
"You didn't know."
"I didn't know? You were the best thing that ever happened to me Ken! Everyone else pushed me away, even Takeru, but you were always there. Always! No matter what, I had you by my side. We were a couple for three and a half years, Ken! Did that mean absolutely nothing to you?"
"Of course it meant something. I mean it when I say I loved you. I meant it then as well. I left you because of that."
"Don't say you left me because you loved me, Ichijouji, don't even say it."
"But that's the reason. I knew you would be better off without me. Miyako wanted a family and my parents wanted me to start one. It was not the best solution but it was for the best. Now you have a son and my parents and Miyako are happy."
"Just because I have my son, does not mean I am happy. I love him but that is nothing compared to the pain I felt then, and nothing compared to the pain I still feel. You could have at least broken up with me first, and then gone to Miyako. Why did you cheat on me Ken? Was that part of your 'Save Daisuke from myself' plan?"
"No! I didn't mean it to happen that way. I went to Miya's that one time. It wasn't meant to be like that."
Ken slapped his palm on the rail and closed his eyes. He knew this would be hard. So very hard to bring up all these unwanted memories. So very hard to look Daisuke in the eyes and tell him everything was for the best and he'd never meant to hurt anyone. Just like being the Digimon Kaiser, except he'd known what he was doing. He knew he would hurt Daisuke by leaving him. Honestly he'd thought it for the best though.
"You deserve the explanation, as harsh as it is. If I could go back, I would do it differently, but since I cannot we have to deal with how it is now. I don't expect you to forgive me."
"Ken…I still can't believe…ugh!"
"I'm very sorry. I truly am."
"Being sorry doesn't always help, Ken."
"I know. This reminds me of the Digimon Kaiser. I was so sorry then as well. Not like this though. Nothing like this."
They stood in silence for what seemed like ages. Daisuke still trying to grasp what he'd been presented with and Ken feeling terrible, trying to think of anything that could possibly take the pain away.
"I don't expect I'll ever forgive you, Ken," Daisuke said, crunching the empty can in his hand, trying to take his mind of the numbing pain he felt inside.
"I know and I don't mind. You have every right to hate me and you have the right to stay angry with me for the rest of your life. I don't expect to ever see you again either. I hurt you too much for that."
"Yeah. I don't think it's wise."
Ken choked back a sob. When they pretended to be busy, just to avoid not seeing each other, it was easier. This was mind blowing. The thought of never seeing Daisuke again because he'd hurt him so much. His first real friend, his first love, his first everything. To lose it all because of what he'd done. So very stupidly done.
Ken couldn't bring himself to look up until he felt fingers under his chin. His head was slowly raised and he found himself gazing into Daisuke's pain filled eyes.
Daisuke left his hand fall back to his side and he smiled so very slightly. A small twitch of his lips, barely noticeable to even Ken himself.
"Ken. I never stopped loving you. You hurt me so much and I don't think I could ever see you again after this…but…I'll never stop loving you even if you did hurt me. That's how much you mean to me. More than a picture, more than meaningless words, and more than all the hurt you have dealt me. That's how much I love you and that's how much I will continue to love you, even if I never see you again."
Ken choked back another sob of pain as Daisuke smiled softly at him.
"Dai-chan…" he whispered. Daisuke moved closer and their lips met gently. For such a brief fleeting moment they were together again like none of this had happened. But then it ended. Ken watched as Daisuke fled through the doors and across the living room. He disappeared down the hall and Ken heard the click of the door once he'd left.
The tears now fell freely down his cheeks. Daisuke was gone and he would never come back. He would only now have memories of what could have been if he hadn't messed it up. What may have been if they were still together. Memories faded quickly though and the memories of the hurt he caused were just so much stronger. Those were the memories he'd have to live with for the rest of his life.
Daisuke hurried down the stairs and out of the building. He didn't know what he'd been expecting. Perhaps that he would forgive Ken, they would proclaim their undying love and become a couple again and live happily ever after. He'd been a fool and as rain blotched down from the heavy sky he realized that Fairy Tales weren't real, and wishes never came true.