Disclaimer: I don't own the dears. That, however, does not stop me from dreaming.

A/N: Hmmm…what to say…well, this is kind of pointless. The idea of Ken with glasses and hating it just sort of popped into my head. I used a lot of my own experience in the first week I had glasses for this, too. As for Ken and Daisuke's relationship in this – I was just kind of sick of all those "Ken, I love you!" "Oh wow, Daisuke, I never thought you'd love me back…let's have sex!" fics, so I made them have a sort of different relationship. Don't ask me. It seemed cool at the time. ^_^

This is SHOUNEN-AI. Don't like the idea of two boys loving each other unquestionably and unconditionally, don't be stupid and read this for flaming's sake alone. Arigatou, minna-san.

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Upside-Down Butterfly

By Akira Ichijouji

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Ken glared at the case he held between his hands. "Yes, Mama."

"The doctor said you have to wear them, Ken. Your eyes will just get worse, otherwise."

"Yes, I know, Mama. I heard too."

"I don't want to hear that you weren't wearing them in school today."

"Yes, Mama." He bowed. "I have to leave now." She scooped him in an awkward hug; awkward both because he was taller than she and because he was rather disgruntled.

He almost made it out the door before she admonished, "You're not wearing them, Ken."

He gritted his teeth, opening the case and fitting the oval-shaped, stylish frames on his face. "Ohayou, Mama," he said before closing the door behind him.

Ken walked, stony-faced, all the way to school. Things were bad enough already, what with his status as "The Boy Who Used to Be a Genius But Isn't Anymore Due to Some Mental Problems" as well as, due to an unfortunate dropping of his journal in the school hallway, the fact that now the entire school knew of his relationship – if one could call it that – with Motomiya Daisuke…and now he could be labeled as "four-eyes" as well? He was never teased to his face; everyone still seemed a bit in awe of him…afraid, more like. He could still hear the whispers that followed him wherever he went, however.

"There goes Ichijouji Ken. Did you know he likes boys?"

"I can't believe he still goes here. Did you see the marks he got on that last calculus test?"

"I heard he's on medication. Because he's crazy, you know?"

Ken usually didn't let it bother him. Just let them talk, he thought whenever a particularly biting remark stung him from behind. They don't have anything else to do besides make someone's life miserable.

Stupid glasses. Stupid heredity. His father never wore his glasses, but did Mama fuss at him for it? And of course Osamu always wore his glasses. Of course, when he was alive, no one would have dared call him four-eyes.

Ken had a suspicion that his eyesight had been saved this long because of the Dark Seed. Its power was slowly losing force in his body – most of the capacity for evil was gone – but so was his genius, his soccer and judo skills, as well as all the physical advantages it had given him. Agility. Speed. Enhanced hearing and sense of smell. Enhanced eyesight.

The bespectacled boy was lost in thought, but he still noticed how bright and clear everything looked. For the last few years, he hadn't even noticed that his eyesight was getting worse and worse; it seemed normal for everything to look slightly blurry, to squint to read the board, to identify people from long distances by their distinct patterns of blobs of color. Now everything seemed so brilliant…he could make out every tiny crack in the sidewalk, every pebble, every centimeter of bark on the tree he just passed…it was eerie. Not to mention the fact that he could detect every minute smudge on the lenses; also, it was very strange to have wire framing his vision, beyond which was a blur.

Ken rounded the corner, heading through the gates of his school.

Whee. What a fun day it was going to be.

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The day had been only a little better than Ken's expectations. Only a few of the remarks he heard pertained to his glasses. The rest covered the usual; his low grades, his supposed "deviant" sexuality, the way he'd been coerced into visiting the school therapist…

"Ichijouji-san?"

Ken started. "H-Hai?"

"I…I like your glasses. They suit you." The short, black-haired girl who had suddenly approached Ken at his locker blushed slightly before backing away and retreating to her own locker.

"A-Arigatou," Ken said softly at her retreating form. He was completely thrown. That had been the first nice thing one of his classmates had said to him since the beginning of the previous year.

So, despite everything, Ken left the building in a semi-good mood. His spirits lifted even more when he saw who was waiting for him, outside on the school steps.

Daisuke!

The blue-haired boy walked swiftly over to his best friend, who didn't seem too surprised about the intruding thing perched on his nose.

"I like them, Ken-chan. They make you look, oh, I don't know, sophisticated or something." Daisuke's face lit up in an enormous smile, and Ken allowed himself a small grin, the one reserved only for the redhead.

"Thanks, Dai-chan."

Daisuke grabbed his hand and pulled him down the steps. "Come on, I want ice cream. I'll get you some if you want," he added as and afterthought and flashed a grin up at his jogress partner.

Ken couldn't help hearing the whispers that accompanied him out the school gates.

"Do you think that's his boyfriend? I mean, look at the way they're holding hands!"

"Do you think they've…you know, done that?"

"Eeeewww!!! That's so gross!!!"

The bespectacled boy walked straight ahead, ignoring the sniggers coming from a group of girls sitting on the steps. He only prayed that Daisuke hadn't heard a word.

Would it be safe to say that Daisuke was his boyfriend? Ken was just as up in the air as the girls he had overheard talking. He and Dai were…well, he wasn't sure what they were. It was only times like this, when he actually thought about it, that it bothered him; and even now, it didn't bother him, just made him curious. There was no set word for the relationship between them. They were close; probably closer than two boys should be; they trusted each other implicitly, became distraught if separated for too long, slept with their arms around each other during sleepovers, wanting to always be sure their hearts kept time. They found that if they kept continual physical contact, they could almost tell what the other was thinking, and often responded to questions unasked. They told each other they loved each other daily, if not hourly. They'd even kissed, for reassurance, for comfort, for contact.

The other Chosen Children found this creepy. Ken and Daisuke would often have conversations with their eyes, wordlessly agreeing to things the others could only guess at. They supposed it had to do with the whole Jogress incident, but why hadn't the same thing happened to Miyako and Hikari, and Takeru and Iori?

Perhaps because they hadn't tried.

Now Daisuke and Ken were in the park, still holding hands, sitting as close as possible on a bench overlooking a grubby little pond, eating ice-cream. They had both ordered the same flavor; in a moment of hilarity and amazement a few years ago, they had discovered they both had the same favorite ice-cream.

Daisuke finished his first, licking off his sticky hands and wiping them on his shorts, then putting both arms around Ken's waist. "I love you," he said, nuzzling into Ken's shoulder.

Neither of them had ever been out on a date with a girl or another boy. It would have been nearly sacrilegious, bringing a foreign soul into the unity they shared; it felt like betrayal, like treachery. Why would they want to, anyway? Neither of them could really classify the time they spent together as "dating" or otherwise…they went to see movies, they went out to dinner, they walked in the park…but neither of them cared what it was called.

Ken had nearly forgotten about his glasses until he went to nuzzle his face into Daisuke's hair and they got in the way. He stiffened, and sighed. Daisuke instinctively knew what was wrong, and sat up, reaching out to cup the side of Ken's face. "Don't worry about it."

The bespectacled boy sighed again, then spied a bright blue butterfly on the ground. It was fluttering madly, trying to right itself, black legs waving helplessly upside-down in the air. He stared at it for a moment, and Daisuke got up to kneel down beside it, putting out his finger and letting the small creature cling to it. He righted it, and the butterfly folded and unfolded its jewel-like wings, antennae twitching.

Daisuke knelt in the grass, auburn hair blowing slightly wayward without the goggles he'd finally given up wearing. His skin was the perfect shade, tanned and soft as suede, matching his burnished hair in wildness and luminosity. Brown eyes fixed on Ken, suddenly, full lips quirked upwards in a private smile, and the butterfly took off, only to land, wings quivering, on the redhead's shoulder. Ken saw the love shining through Daisuke's every move in perfect clarity.

He was suddenly glad of his glasses.

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O W A R I

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