ack!

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  1. Meet Me at Atatakai Onsen

    A small sense of relief overcame Daisuke as Ken broke their kiss. His biggest fear was not knowing when to stop, because with all the hormones and emotional stress dancing around inside him, there was at least a 110% chance that he'd have forced more of himself on his best friend. But he was so warm, and soft, and even though it was clear the poor kid has so little experience, at least Daisuke had the first hand account. So it wasn't so weird when a quiet groan escaped his throat, as Ken left him to grab them some tea... An even louder groan manifesting when he realized he was, uh, quite "excited". With a heavy blush, he slunk into the chair at the dining table and placed one elbow on the table and used his other hand to try to cover his crotch. Daisuke nodded his head in appreciation for his drink, and was surprised when Ken took his hand. His cheeks felt like they were going to burn off at that point. How could he answer Ken's questions without sounding like a complete idiot? Especially when it all seemed to be going so... Well? "I well..." Daisuke choked a little, taking his hand from his lap and rubbing the sore spot on his jaw. "I dunno. I'm sorry. I mean..." Daisuke breathed out and closed his eyes. This was Ken. There was no use lying or failing to answer him. "Yes and yes?" He tightened his grip as he tried to explain his feelings--something he was never very eloquent at doing. "Maybe... I'm confused? I don't know. Friends don't do this, you know? But... You're so important to me, and even all the shit you do to just piss me off, I still can't hate you. Every moment with you is..." He glanced around the room, around the apartment that he could almost call theirs, and knew with Ken he always felt like he was home. "I-I'm not saying anything has to happen. It probably shouldn't. I don't even know if I want it to or if you want it to or..." Daisuke's hand moved to the table and nervously began to drum. Why was this so hard? The first time he told Tatum he loved her it was much easier to say. That was years ago--now it just meant they would do what they could to help the other, not that they wanted to be together forever. But with Ken, for the past year, he did want forever, which is what made it so hard to come to terms with. The hurdle of sexuality was just another roadblock. So for lack of better committal, he blurted out, "I'd like to keep kissing you, if you'll let me." The absurdity of his request instantly cracked him into a chuckle. As his amusement subsided, he finally took his first sip of tea, the smile still failing to leave his cheeks. It didn't matter, did it? Labels weren't needed when something felt right. Daisuke wanted Ken in body and mind, and if Ken wanted that too, then that's it. Right? Taking Ken's hand, his other hand occupied with his cup of tea, Daisuke stood from his seat and dragged the boy into the small living space. There was a couch that was barely big enough to fit the two of them, and even worse, it had no armrests on either side. However, it had been a long, grueling, and taxing day and even a plank of wood would look restful to the goggle head. Flopping down and depositing his cup on the coffee table, he leaned back and cooly wrapped his arm around his friend. There was an awkwardness about it--just as one would expect when one starts to make out with their best friend for the first time--but the craving for closeness, one that he knew he may not see again for a quite sometime without jogress, was overwhelming. And boy, did he ever burst open that dam. "So much has happened today, Ken. I'm sorry I threw this on top of everything." He looked at Ken, his eyes tracing every contour of the man's face--the fine straight nose, softly defined chin, the gentleness of his eyebrows, the kindness in his eyes. "You're... All I need, Ichijouji." Bringing the boy close, he wrapped his other arm for an embrace and left loving kisses across sharp cheekbones. "And believe it or not, it's kinda always been that way." He nuzzled Ken's ear and let out a soft sigh. Every touch and kiss placed on Ken was proving to be an inner battle for Daisuke to not just fuck the kid out of his pants. The situation hardly felt suitable, though they had succeeded at at least surviving the day--and that in itself was a good cause for celebration. Being with Ken made it easier to forget the betrayal he felt from everybody else (just as they were all feeling about him). And it was so important that he only did what Ken wanted--Daisuke was (mostly) content with just sleeping in his friend's arms for the entire night. Tilting Ken's face to meet his, he gave the boy another kiss, his hand finding its way underneath the button up shirt and caressing the silky skin beneath. The sensations, the everything, made him crazy with lust. Ken was a quick learner and was already proving the combined use of his lips and tongue. After every few kisses he'd have to bury his head in the nape of Ken's neck, his erection just failing to be hidden at all at this point. "S-Shit..." He stammered. Every one of his muscles was shaking, on edge to finally get what his entire body had yearned for for so long. Pulling back, Daisuke sat forward and rested his elbows on his knees. It was too much. It was too much to ask for the both of them. Daisuke began to feel like it hadn't been the right time. His body wasn't ready to handle all of this at one time. Irrationally, he feared maybe he was just doing this because of the stress. More importantly, he didn't want to risk going too far and ruining the last great thing in his life.
  2. Meet Me at Atatakai Onsen

    Three minutes. It only took three minutes. Thirty seconds in, Daisuke had provided enough of a distraction to let Ken slip free. It was when Taichi's nose began to run vibrant red was when his pals came to throw Daisuke off him. Like a dog, he lunged back at the older man, only to be shoved back by the two other guys, nearly causing him to fall to his ass. Nursing his bleeding nose with the back of his hand, that's when Taichi noticed that Ken had disappeared back to the main street. "Dammit! Ichijouji!" Without even having to command his wills, the two lackies made haste toward the bustling moving crowd of people near the television station. One minute in, Daisuke made another move, Taichi missing it by a graze to arm, and landing a clean punch straight into Daisuke's side. This was returned with a shoulder shove to the chest and a sweep to the legs. Taichi didn't falter and stood strong, grabbing the younger boy by the collar of his shirt and running him to the alleyway's wall. With both arms cross against Daisuke's chest, he pinned the boy against the wall. The smaller one tried to squirm free, attempting to raise his hand to leverage off of the wall with a hearty kick. "Motomiya. STOP." Taichi's voice boomed, his body leaning into the pressure on Daisuke's chest. "Stop." Two minutes in, their eyes latched, their years of history searching each other out in anticipation of the others next move. Daisuke had always been the inferior one--the younger one, the second leader, the more crass one, the less plan oriented, the less likely to succeed. Taichi was his role model--something to aspire to. Whatever he did was what to follow. They had been eye to eye before, thrown into arguments that lasted days or weeks, but both always emerged with deep respect and a stronger friendship. But something was off about this. There was an anger in Taichi's eye that Daisuke had only seen a couple of times before--akin to the time of Diaboromon. It scared him. Two and a half minutes in, Daisuke felt the courage in his body slip out, and his heart beat so hard it was like a heavy bass in his eardrums. "I know you aren't like this, Motomiya. It was only a matter of time before Ichijiouji fucked up again. Don't let him take you down with him." Taichi leaned in more, causing Daisuke to whimper slightly, finding himself completely disarmed in the face of his mentor. "You idiots have no idea what kind of shit you've started." The blood from his nose had trailed to his chin, and a drop dripped onto Daisuke's shirt as Taichi finished his talk, "You won't win, and we'll figure out what you're both really planning to do." Three minutes in, Taichi gave one final shove against the wall and stepped back. He righted his business suit and sniffed in deep as he cleared the blood off his face the best he could. With one last hateful glance, he pointed to the beloved accessory at Daisuke's neck and spat, "You don't deserve to wear those." And as best he could, he walked away as if nothing had even happened. But it had. The last words hit Daisuke harder than any fist could. He tried to contain the bubble of emotion that croaked up to this throat as he grabbed his own chest in relief. If they only knew, he tried to tell himself. If they only knew why we were doing it... They wouldn't be so pissed off... Right? It was hard to think of the right way to go about this. It was an eroding sensation the entire day--as every minute passed their friendships were washing away. Every text message, every sad look, every painful glare was gnawing away at his pride and strength. How could he continue without to essences that made him Motomiya Daisuke? After all, if he wasn't fighting for friendship and courage, than what was he fighting for? Daisuke slunk to the ground, bringing his knees to his chest and one hand to his sore jaw. He fought back waves of anger and sadness and disappointment with clenched teeth. It hadn't even been twenty four hours and he was back into a sniveling pile of emotions--more broken now as the only person he truly had anymore was Ken. Ken... Before Ichijouji fucked up again... Those words made Daisuke seethe with anger. It meant that Taichi never really did trust Ken. That for almost ten years, he was never able to forgive him or trust him. All those birthday presents and friendly smiles and games of soccer all seemed to be an elaborate lie now. Nothing Taichi gave Ken was ever authentic. What made him madder was that Taichi probably wasn't the only one. Yamato, Jo, Koushiro, Miyako... It wasn't any use to hold back the tears as he counted away his most trusted companions as being the least trustworthy. They'd never see past Ken's history. They'd never bother to give him the benefit of the doubt. They were never there for the times Ken really needed them. They never bothered to try. And although Ken was openly taking the position of blame this time, it was clear that he didn't even have to. They were all going to assume anyway. Moving thousands of miles away never seemed so appealing. He'd probably even offer the idea to Ken at this point. The buzzing in his pocket snapped him back to reality. Fumbling through his pocket, he wiped the tears and snot from his face with his shirt as he brought the phone to ear. "K-Ken." He paused, trying to grab composure of his voice. Hearing Ken made his heart feel less broken. "No. I'm okay. Y-yeah. I gave him the run for his money. You finished the interview? ... Good. Good. Listen, I don't... I was thinking the same thing. But do me a favor and, I dunno... Take some back routes." Daisuke padded the corner of his eye as he stood up. "Okay. I'll see you soon." Ken was already at his apartment when Daisuke arrived. Daisuke waited outside of the door impatiently after he had knocked, his brain electrified with too many emotions. The excitement in him to be in a safe place with his anchor was the only place he could think of he wanted to be. In the morning, they'd try to go back to the Digital World, but for now, they were going to try to wind down. As Ken opened the door, Daisuke saw the drained smile across his friend's lips, his sad yet happy eyes looking back at him. Stepping inside the apartment and closing the door behind him, Daisuke allowed a smile to cross his face as well. It didn't take much for him to break his inhibitions. To know that even what he was about to do wouldn't ruin anything between them, because anything could be forgiven when it came to their friendship. With two gentle hands, he reached for Ken's face, pausing to get quietly lost in the oceans of color. It was clear now that he had to stop lying--that his countless blushes were for a reason. That his one night stands were just vessels for elaborate fantasies. That running away to America was just an risky plan to hide feelings he shouldn't have. But it just didn't matter anymore. It didn't. Daisuke pressed his lips to Ken's. Once. Then twice. Until finally he got a hesitant reaction that made Daisuke melt into Ken's body. Arms wrapped around the taller boy's waist now, he kissed away every frustrated night from the past year away. Somewhere, on that haunted beach of his dreams, he watched as Ken's shadow finally looked back at him.
  3. Post your Desktop

    So I've heard. Haha! I do think I'll ever reach that level of nerd. I'm forever web development... And baby-faced front-end as well. :<
  4. Post your Desktop

    I figured it was Linux. What a nerd. XD
  5. Post your Desktop

    Ah! There it is! What OS is that? :O
  6. Many greets.

    appuuutchhhhhhhhhhh *waves hand*
  7. Many greets.

    There's a face I remember. :) Welcome back! I gave you an upgrade as well. <3
  8. Post your Desktop

    Your image doesn't work! T_T Anyway, this is my work computer right now... Minus the two monitors on either side. :X But really my work desk is more impressive *gloat*
  9. Meet Me at Atatakai Onsen

    Every word that shot from Ken's mouth stung Daisuke just as much it did their companions. Ken some times had a way with words that wasn't the friendliest, but they were often due in part to his social skills. His intelligence forced him to be direct, which usually meant he was honestly. Sometimes, brutally so. But it was the tone. The emphasis. The spite trailing at the end of each word... If only they could tell them what was really going on. Even though he was "over" Hikari by several years, he still hated seeing her broken. Even worse, by one of their best friends. There was nothing else they could do, though. In order to cut them off their trail, they'd have to be harsh, and so Ken was. Hands held together tight, they hurried through the busy Tokyo evening to their next destination. If one wasn't dragging the other at any given time, they were simply enjoying the heightened pulses flowing between their hands. Much to Daisuke's surprise, even without their partners in sight, they still had the connection. He remembered, with a slight blush, the night after their first jogress... He wondered if Ken could feel it too? Maybe that's why they refused to free their hands? Maybe they... "It's over here, Ichijouji!" Daisuke said, irritation on his voice. He caught the boy from going the wrong direction and dragged him across an intersection, shouldering passerbys with a quick apology. They had about a half hour until their next interview, and they had about five more blocks to make before reaching it. And worse, he knew what would be awaiting them. They'd be lucky if they made it in front of a camera at all for the remainder of the night. After a few more blocks, they were stopped at a red light, and Daisuke let go of Ken's hand. He turned to him and held either side of his arms. "I'll handle Taichi. If it means you need to do the interview yourself, then that's what we have to do." He nodded and waited for Ken to affirm. They had to solidify their campaign--missing an interview could start rumors against their cause. Missing an interview could open somebody like Taichi to take to television sooner than expected. It was only a matter of time. "We should be home free after this, Ichijouji. Maybe we can even see them!" Though it was hard to keep his excitement down, he whispered the last sentence in case of being overheard. They were at the corner of the intersection next to the station, and none of their friends seemed to be insight. Though a relief, Daisuke's heart was still racing. Could Hikari have lied to them? He doubted it. He doubted Taichi's own threats, as well. And with good reason. A hand landed heavily on Daisuke's shoulder, and abruptly spun him around. "HEY!" Daisuke shouted, stumbling over his own feet until he was righted by the clutches of his disruptor. It took a few seconds for the face to register in his brain. Of course. Of course. "Kamiya." It would figure he'd try to grab them away from the station. Taichi, although still technically an intern, was basically on the road to building his own career description and was already making a hefty salary. Ever since the merging of the worlds, Taichi was the man everybody went to. And it suited him. He was always kind and fair in his delegations, but he knew when to be strict. Protecting the Digital World was his number one task, and he had many eyes on him at all times. He had to keep a low profile. Any sort of dissection of the mess Daisuke and Ken were making had to be made in a very calculated manner. Appearing as a bully only made his case weaker. So there had to be other plans for them. Taichi had grown into his features, his hair shorter and cut to a business style. His eyes were vibrant with life, even below the chocolately darkness. The lines at the corners of his mouth demanded the respect his elder status deserved. With a sly smile, Taichi responded. "Motomiya." He grabbed the boy's arm and started to escort him down the wrong direction of the station. It was then that he noticed that Taichi had brought some friends--nobody that he knew--but just two extra bodies he wasn't really expecting. Luckily, though, it seemed they were all digimon-less. However, one of them had Ken by the arm, and the last tailed them as they found a more secluded part of the street, fragrantly beside a dumpster. "I told you boys I'd come for you." He hissed. "Always true to your word, huh?" Daisuke ripped his arm free and protectively pulled Ken away from his mystery captor and stood in front of him. "Pretty sure this could have waited, don't you think?" Taichi gave a click of his tongue and shook his head. "Unfortunately, I gave you plenty of warning. Your little media tour has to be cut here. I have enough of a mess to clean up." "It's not a mess to be cleaned up. What we're saying is the clean-up." "Going out and saying to the entire world that you have plans to disrupt their entire lives, with absolutely no authority, is what you call a 'clean-up'?" Daisuke just had to get him madder. Mad enough to hit him. "Well what you and your team of winners is doing doesn't seem to be working." Taichi's eyes narrowed as he took a step closer to Daisuke. Daisuke could smell the young man's cologne, even over the smell of the trash. "What you're proposing isn't even possible, and isn't necessary." "Mmmm... But it is." With a laugh, Taichi said, "Really?" "Yeah, because we've seen what's been happening, and well... We're just smarter than you. So we figured we'd just, you know, handle this situation too. Honestly, you're luckily we aren't cha---" Taichi grabbed the front of Daisuke's shirt and dragged him forward the last foot between them. Daisuke could feel his mentor's hot breath against his skin, his respiration heavy with anger. "Yo, you should probably let me go." "Motomiya..." "Just fuck off, Kamiya." There it was. There had been too many times that he'd seen Taichi crack. He was quite a man, but insulting his team and insulting him would only be able to hold his composure for so long. Daisuke's teeth clicked an echo through his skull, the ripe pain of Taichi's fist to his jaw already forming a tender bruise. Taichi may have been taller, but Daisuke was more muscular in his older age, and grabbed his assailant while planting a sweet fist kiss on Taichi's cheek. He just had to distract the lot of them long enough for Ken to do what he did best, and that was to invisibly slide away from the scene and finish their final interview.
  10. Meet Me at Atatakai Onsen

    "We're going back to the idea of conservation." Daisuke said. The set for their evening casting was one of the larger ones they had been on during the day. Luckily, it was their second to last one. Unluckily, this also had an audience. Directly in front of them were Hikari and Miyako, the latter staring daggers into their foreheads. "There will clearly be details that will need to be worked out, but instating something like an entry fee, greater regulations, and so on will be necessary. But in order to set that up, we need to control the entry count so we can start the changes." He shook his head, playing up his remorse for the passing news. His friend's glares threatening to put him on tilt. "This is important, and we need your support. We'll continue to work out the courses of action, but guarantee it will be happening." Their story was becoming less threatening, but was still running outside of the realm of what may have been within their right of handling. The presence of the children of light and love solidified the "wrong doing" they were pursuing. Daisuke's nerves were tense, expecting at any moment that Miyako would leap from her seat and unleash a passionate speech about how stupid the two boys were being. But it never happened. They finished their short interview without a hitch and proceeded off stage. Daisuke placed a hand on the small of Ken's back and guided him quickly past pages and make-up artists and general workers, passing with the quick excuse of having appointments to keep. Sorry, no, we can't sign that. No, we don't have time to explain the grand scheme of things. After descending several floors by elevator, they managed their way into the main entrance of the building. Daisuke grabbed a hold of Ken's upper arm and hurried toward the doors. And there they were. Hikari and Miyako. Hikari and Miyako were jogress partners, just like Daisuke and Ken. After their first jogress, they became close friends, to the point that Daisuke, in prepubescent boy dreams, suspected they may have even been "together". But those thoughts were dispelled when Hikari became good friends with Ken, and when Miyako brought her boyfriend to one of their Christmas parties. However, they were never afraid to hold their own together, hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder. Never afraid of how they may appear, because together, they were a storm. Because when you jogress, you forever leave a piece of yourself in the other person's heart.. Daisuke tried to move them toward an alternate exit, but the pair mirrored their movements, blocking their escape. "We have another appointment!" Daisuke's voice was raised into a slight shrill over the bustle of the room. "W-we'll talk later!" Miyako charged forward, dragging Hikari along by one hand. "Oh no you don't." She stopped short, only a few inches from Daisuke's face, "We talk now." Daisuke hated fighting with Miyako. She was reliably stubborn and out of all the chosen children, probably the one he least enjoyed the presence of. "I said, we'll talk later." Daisuke's eyes narrowed, the grip on Ken's arm growing tighter as the tension grew between them. "Hikari has tried to contact you both. We want to know what's up, right now." Her reaction was to also tighten her grip on Hikari's hand. "Well," Daisuke started, stepping back, "That means you've seen the news. So, what else can we say? Now like I said, we have places to be." He started to guide them away until Hikari stopped him by placing a hand on his shoulder. "Daisuke, if you don't talk us, my brother will be at your next stop." Hikari's voice was soft, barely above a whisper. He could see the tears in her eyes welling, her bottom lip barely quivering. She cared so much, it consumed her sometimes. Her sad eyes looking the pair up and down, until she finally muttered, "Ken, please. You can't... Just do all of this without us. Aren't we all friends?"
  11. Meet Me at Atatakai Onsen

    Daisuke choked on the last bit of his meal. Of course Ken would have been able to figure it out. Not that Daisuke was a particularly good liar, but was more so surprised that Ken had remembered there was even an American girl at all. He set his bowl down, coughing down some misplaced noodles, and fingered his chopsticks nervously. "Y-yeah. Looks like we are." If he could avoid it, he'd just rather leave her out of any future discussions with Ken. Forever. "If people didn't know about us before... Apparently they do now..." Ken's stress started to saturate the room. Daisuke may have been the emotionally fiery one, but when it came to dark distress, Ken radiated energy. Carefully, Daisuke placed his hand on Ken's arm, coaxing the boy to reveal one side of his face. "Hey. I don't need you combusting on me now, Ichijouji. You know you're the brain of any operation. I can't do this without you." With Ken's arm flat on the table, Daisuke took his hand within his and squeezed it lightly. "We're... We're in a situation that really, really sucks. I had no idea that it would have gotten this bad. But we need to remember who we're doing this for. For Wormmon... And Veemon... The best we can do is keep them safe. They've saved our lives so many times, Ken." He clasped his other hand onto Ken's, bringing the boy closer to him from across the table. "You're crazy, but I know in there, you're three steps ahead of everybody. You're five steps ahead of me. I... I hate seeing you like this. I hate seeing you do this to yourself... I swear, when this is all over..." He drew their hands to his forehead and sighed. He didn't know what else to say. The cogs that had started to turn would forever blemish their names. If they backed down eventually from the stance, they'd look like a bunch of kooks. If they kept with it, they'd lose everything--their partners, their friends, possibly their credibility. Even if they eventually told the truth, they'd be looked at as cowards. Their personas were so much larger than they had thought--it was no wonder Etemon and his goons were so excited to get his hands on them. "We aren't kids, you know." Daisuke said, releasing his grip. "So much of everything in our history together has been out of our control. This may have started out as a shitstorm, but we can take control. We can own this. Just don't ever believe what you're saying. We may be saying one to thing everybody else, but you aren't cruel or mean or hateful or controlling... You aren't the demons from your childhood, okay?" Daisuke slid out of his chair and took both of their bowls. "Just don't forget, okay?" He smiled and went to the kitchen to deposit the dishes. Glancing at the small analog clock on the counter, they had a little over an hour before they had to be at their evening news cast. The dread inside of him made his limbs feel heavy. All he wanted to do was to stay inside, here in Ken's space, where the world around them hadn't completely gone to shit yet. "We have to get going soon..." Daisuke said, his words fading into the silence. A sense of deja vu overcame him, the emotional padding in the room reminding him of the earlier days of their relationship. "Ken, get out from under there." Daisuke said, pulling on the covers of his friend's bed. He was standing on his friend's desk, leaning over the gap between it and the bunk bed. Ken was hibernating, the covers over his head, only answering in low mumbles and stiff groans. "Stop being a jerk! You said we could go to the arcade today! What the heck is your problem!" With a swift tug, he managed to remove the blanket from around his friend's head, leaving dark strands to stick on end from the static. "Keeeeeen." Then he saw his eyes. They were puffy and wet, strands of his hair sticking to his damp cheeks, causing dramatic cracks across his pale skin. "W-what's... What's wrong, Ichijouji?" But he never got an answer. He never did get an answer. For several months, for years, Ken would just have "off days". Where he couldn't move, or eat, or even talk. Ken would always hide his face back into the bed, with a soft whimper, and Daisuke would know he just had to be there. Climbing down from the desk, he grabbed a comic from his backpack and sat in the sliding door window. After his fourth re-read, Ken finally climbed down the bunk. They didn't say a word to each other as Ken came and sat next to Daisuke. They watched the sun raise to the high point in the sky, the rays of light slightly crisping Daisuke's darker skin. He read the comic three more times until Ken finally said a word. And that was all right. It took a long time for Ken to become the man he was now. Daisuke couldn't help but feel a bit responsible. Where even silent rooms spoke myriad of words between the two. Where a feeble lie couldn't get through the keen senses of kindness. Where neither would ever go to battle with an empty stomach. And lately, all Daisuke wanted to do when Ken was in pain was to wrap them both up in a blanket and hold him tight, softly wiping away tears with the back of a finger. His heart swelled against his ribcage, the strain and stress of their entire situation causing him to near buckle in the knees. "I'm sorry, Ken. I'm sorry for being an asshole lately. I guess everything is just... Really... Getting to me."
  12. Meet Me at Atatakai Onsen

    As if the situation couldn't get any worse, it somehow did. Daisuke cursed himself for not realizing sooner the conflict they were going to stir between their close friends. Everything about their situation was quickly teetering out of control, and Ken's suggested "cover-up" was just another wobble in the upset. Taichi was the last person he wanted to butt heads with. Not only because the young man held one of the highest tiers of personal respect for Daisuke, but also because he was borderline terrifying in battle. Ken and Daisuke made a formidable team--by far one of the best--but put Taichi with Yamato... They didn't hold a candle to their elders. And even alone, Taichi could whip them up and down with his years of trained diplomacy and debating. Being a natural born leader made him a person you never wanted to cross. And at this rate, they were alienating themselves from all their friends. They were becoming the enemy. And here was Ken, outright saying he was the enemy. That, somehow, he had snapped and revived a darkness within that was thought to have been eradicated long ago. No. He didn't like what was happening at all. They finally arrived at Ken's. His apartment was a miniature version of a real apartment. Small kitchen, small table, small living space, small bedroom, small bathroom. It was quaint, and more importantly, it belonged to him. Although Daisuke's residence was more spacious, he always valued the weekends he spent at Ken's. His own personal futon was rolled into the corner of the living room, and there was even a towel and toothbrush that permanently resided in the washroom. As he did so many times before, he riffled through the refrigerator and cupboards, pulling ingredients for a simple and quick ramen--he would have done something more fancy if they didn't have a schedule to adhere to... Or just better circumstances to meet under. "So explain to me again..." Daisuke started to ask. It had been the third time he had to ask about Ken's new plan. Just as before, he understood it, but he wasn't going to outright approve of it. If it was possible, this idea was even stupider. He started to chop some scallions as he continued, "You went bat-shit and decided the only course of action was to capture Veemon and hold him hostage. That way, I can help you go around spreading the holy word you believe in--which is to disconnect the worlds." He pouted his lips and nodded, his eyebrows furrowing slightly. "Yup. Yup, sounds good." Taking out a pot, he put it on the stove and poured a few cups of chicken stock into it. "Except for that whole part where you are essentially a psycho. Yeah. I don't like that part so much." He turned to Ken, who was seated at the two-person dinner table. "Ken..." Shaking his head, he continued prepping their meal. Cooking was therapeutic for the goggle head. He was in his element among the fragrance of his ingredients and the heat of the stove. Ken was a great audience too--even if he made crap, the dark haired boy always choked the food down with a smile. Though when confronted for honest opinions, he always gave it. It allowed Daisuke to hone his recipes, one bowl at a time. Placing the long, thin ramen noodles into the boiling broth, Daisuke stood back and leaned into the kitchen counter. He folded his arms and looked down at his sock covered feet. "I just don't like it." He admitted. "I don't like it when you do this to yourself. You do it more often than you think. You--" There was a vibration in his pocket. Afraid that it might be Taichi, he removed his phone from his pocket and saw that he had one new message. At least it was only one, he supposed. Tatum: Davis! You're on the news over here! What the hell are you and Ken talking about!? His petname might as well have been blinking in giant red letters across his face. If there were any color in his skin, it seeped right out of him, melting into a pool around his feet. It had been a couple of weeks since he had talked to Tatum. Their last conversation ended with Daisuke's excited, yet nervous, agreement to move to America. The two had a long history, almost as long as the one he had with Ken. She had been one of the American chosen that he met up with on Christmas Day at Rockefeller Center. They didn't start talking until several months after the Diaboromon incident, where she randomly contacted him over his D-Terminal, requesting they meet in the Digital World for a picnic. With golden hair and emerald eyes, she was a stark contrast to his previous girl crush, Hikari. But honestly, at that point, he had started to ween interest off of the child of light--especially as he unhappily perceived she had an interest in Ken. Tatum always filled a certain hole in his life that he had long desired to fill. She offered a new perspective on life--both from living halfway across the globe, and by being the first girl he could call his. A few winters ago she invited him out in December, her broken attempts at Japanese only getting better as the years progressed. It was his first time back in the country since they day they saved the city together. They walked all the great tourist attractions--Central Park, Times Square, Statue of Liberty--before finally ending it at the park where they first met. Unabashed, she took his face between two mittened hands and kissed him until his ears tingled against the frosty air. "Merry Christmas, Davis," she said, kissing him again until he couldn't even remember his given name. And as if Daisuke had been stuck with his proverbial hand in the proverbial cookie jar, he shoved the cellphone back into his pocket. Ken knew about Tatum--it was hard for him not to. Daisuke, however, never talked about just how involved he was with the American girl. And he certainly wasn't up for admitting at that point that she was the one who had convinced him to think about moving. Daisuke knew, of course, he couldn't blame everything on the poor girl. She had a hard time crossing his mind when he was with Ken--which was honestly, one of the biggest problems. Judging from her text, their news castings must have found their way onto American morning news. And it was then that it hit him--Ken and Daisuke may have vastly underestimated just how much of and impact they really had. If they were already reaching headlines in places with such high population and influence... Daisuke swallowed hard. "I-it was just Taichi again. Old man sure is crotchety." Daisuke laughed nervously as he poured some bowls and brought them over to the table. "But he won't be interrupting this." He smiled, as he took the seat opposite of his friend. Raising his chopsticks, he dug in and got a big wad of noodles and slurped them up, fishing for a reaction from his friend. For these moments, they were the ones that endangered their entire friendship. If they somehow survived this entire situation with any type of integrity, Daisuke certainly couldn't hold onto any for much longer. It was getting too hard for him to not see them together.
  13. Meet Me at Atatakai Onsen

    Even through his grogginess, intense stress, and irritability, a huge smile stretched across Daisuke's face. The five hours of sleep had done little for how rested he felt, but it had mitigated his anger toward his friend. This just made things quite a bit better. He threw his arms around his friend, drawing their body's so close that he could almost feel the comforting, pulsating connection of their hearts through their clothes. Daisuke held them together, perhaps a few seconds too long, finding it hard to leave the warmth and pleasantly woody smell of Ken's aftershave. Without thinking, he placed a kiss on the boy's cheek and added some space between them, his hands moving to hold Ken by the arms. "You're the man! I-I would love that!" He gently shook his friend, a blush rapidly appearing upon his cheeks as well. "I would love that..." Dropping his hands, Daisuke averted his gaze toward the ground, biting the inside of his mouth out of discontent. Way to make things awkward. Having his friend's support did make a world of difference, but it didn't really change anything. It would just mean they'd hold onto the strands of their relationship just a little bit longer until they finally frayed too far apart. Then, everything would just be a memory. How much was his dream worth to him, he wondered. How much of it consisted of running away? "I guess we don't have much time to waste, huh?" After the third interview, they had started to get the hang of things. Their excuses had turned into arguments that were almost compelling. "We have control over this. This isn't a case of who owns what." Daisuke said on the local afternoon news. Ken was sitting next to him, one long lanky leg crossed over the other, hands clasped in his lap. As per usual, Ken had spoken first about the initial plan, adding in more details as the day progressed. Daisuke came in and swept up with sweet smiles and personal conversation. "As Ken said, nobody owns the Digital World, so do you really think we have any right to stomp around their yard whenever we want? Listen, it's simple fact--merging the worlds has caused physical and emotional damage--to the point of being irreparable. "We are suggesting this 'slow burn' approach because we know how hard it is to say good bye... We know. But this is something we can do, this is something that should be done, and that's why we are here to spread the word." The news caster shifted in his seat as he finished writing a few notes on his index card. "You two were an integral part of the world being the way it is now. The tenth year anniversary is coming up in a couple of months... Why now?" Daisuke chuckled. "We've talked about this so many times! Haven't you read the papers?" He winked at the camera before continuing, "All we set out to do was to stabilize the worlds. Malomyotismon wanted to control everything." He paused, pain welling into his chest, waiting to be exposed on his words. "He controlled Ken. He controlled Oikawa. But we all defeated him--with the help of all the Chosen and our own digimon partners. Oikawa's final wish was to share the kind of relationship we have with our digimon with everyone in the world. "A-and no... You see, what was given to us was a great gift. The days I've been able to spend with Veemon have been the best. It's given us all a single point of light to follow--a greater connection than 'hey, sure is nice out' or 'the Swallows sure are doing great this season, huh?'" Daisuke looked to his friend for a moment, allowing the silence to sink in. "It's given us friendships we've never known were possible. "So it should be easy to see why we need to preserve this special part of our history. We've all lived longer without the Digital World than with it. We can all learn to do it again." By the time they had left the studio, they had a small break before their evening interviews. Daisuke wiped off the third round of make-up from his face with the inside of his shirt. The pair were waiting at the bustling train station--rush hour approaching with the steady sea of bodies. Their heads were bowed in a naive attempt to avoid recognition; their arms touching in an attempt to ground themselves. Absently, he pulled out his phone from his pocket, realizing that it was the first time he had bothered to check it all day. 14 text messages. A chill of fear ran from the top of his head to his tailbone. Reluctantly, he opened his inbox to see the senders. Sticking a thumbnail between his teeth, he read down the messages from the newest first. Taichi: You need to stop immediately and talk to me. Don't make me come to you, Motomiya. Taichi: Daisuke, where are you? Call me. Now. Hikari: I heard from Taichi. He said you aren't responding to him either! Please answer us! We need to talk! Iori: Is everything all right, Motomiya? Taichi: Daisuke. I'm serious. Call me. Yamato: Hey man, long time no talk. Saw you on TV. Dunno if I like what I saw. Hit me up. Taichi: Hey, saw you another show. Can you please call? You can't do this. Takeru: Daisuke? Koushiro: Taichi sent me a stream of you on Tokyo Now! I am unsure if what you're proposing is even possible, nor do I necessarily agree with it. We should all meet and talk about the chances of the two of you perpetuating false information. Taichi: Daisuke, what's up? Let me know. Taichi: Saw you on TV. Is something wrong? Hikari: Hi Dai. Sorry to bother you, but you and Ken are really scaring me. Please call me! Ken: Ready? Daisuke nudged Ken's arm to get his attention. He brought his lips close to Ken's ear in order to quell the noise around them. "We're in trouble. Big trouble." Bringing up the recent message from Taichi, he showed his phone screen to Ken with a frown.
  14. Celebration Thread

    Worlds is in Boston next year! YESSS!! I don't need to travel for it! I mean, boo on not being able to travel, but it opens up my whole year to plan different trips. :E
  15. Meet Me at Atatakai Onsen

    Daisuke's head felt like it was being slowly squeezed by a vice, the alcohol from the night before still lingering in his system. The heat from the stage lights, and the pressure of being watched by thousands of people, made beads of sweat form and trail down his freshly shaven face. The bitter taste of makeup creeped in from the corner of his mouth. It took every bit of consciousness to not nervously jitter his legs or bite his lip. He had to sweep up the news with his charisma. Make it all sound like it wasn't a big deal. Bring them down easy, reminding them that the world used to be like this before. The room was already filling with tension. A low hum of chatter gathered in the audience as it became clear that this wasn't a joke. That the two influential chosen weren't on air to share more stories about friendship, courage, and kindness to others. The handmade signs in the crowd, ones that had their names on it, decorated with stars and hearts and cute caricatures, started to lower. "Are you saying that all human contact has been bad?" The host said. Daisuke for the life of him couldn't remember her name. "Surely, there has been more good than bad." Daisuke tugged on the edges of his shorts. Even being on live television, he couldn't keep his energy and casual wardrobe from the eyes of many. His simple plaid button up shirt, goggles hanging around his neck, and orange boots were a stark contrast to Ken's sleek, tailored business suit. He breathed out of his nose and leaned back into his seat, folding his arms over his chest. "That's not what we're saying. What we're saying is that not everybody is as responsible as people like you and me." He made eye contact with the host, "Who's your partner?" The host, her name was Akiko, lightly bent the notecards in her hand before she answered, "Chapmon." "Ah, Chapmon. I've met many of them. Very kind and caring little mons they are." He genuinely smiled, remembering the time he met one that permanently evolved into a Elecmon. He was so happy to take on the role of being one of the few lucky caretakers of Primary Village. "We aren't doubting the bond you two share. My bond with Veemon goes deeper than anything." He plowed through his feelings, through the lies he was about to tell. "He's told me first hand of some of the unrest in the Digital World." "Are things really that bad?" Akiko asked, her voice rising in concern. "We all know about the rules and laws that govern the real world, the digital world, and the link between them. We all know that, as Ken said, there will always be bad guys. The difference is that this is involves living creatures. Our friends. Don't they deserve our protection?" He looked at the camera, "This is a conservation effort. If we don't stop now, the Digital World as we know it could be destroyed by the few. They deserve more than that, don't you think?" His words were convincing even to him. And it's not that there wasn't a truth to it. There had been exploitation in the past. The Digital World suffered from more than a few handfuls of abuse cases, though not as many as those with real life animals. For example, most cats can't shoot lasers from their eyes if threatened. On top of that, there were a few instances of digital mining, both literally and figuratively. Crooks and so-called-businessmen found their way into the Digital World and took resources to sell in the real world for exponential profit--often displacing digimon in the process. The newly budding United Nations effort to end these illegal actions were often handled by their fresh-out-of-college intern, Taichi Kamiya. Needless to say, Taichi and friends were generally very good at their jobs. Akiko nodded, the producer noting that their segment was up. "Well, Motomiya Daisuke, Ichijouji Ken," she bowed her head in the direction of both her guests, "It has been a pleasure having you on our show again." Daisuke had almost forgotten he'd been on Tokyo Now! before. "I'm sure we will hear more about these efforts in the following day?" "Absolutely." The pair made their way behind stage and unhooked themselves from the microphones. They made their way silently to the back entrance of the studio, only wishing well to others along the way. When the cool air of the outside world hit his face, Daisuke let out a giant sigh. Rubbing his hands across his face, he caught Ken's eyes. "What's up next, captain?"
  16. Meet Me at Atatakai Onsen

    Of course Ken had thought about it. Daisuke knew how much Wormmon meant to him--their digital partners were everything to their human counterparts. He even shared the sentiment--the entire world could rot before he would let his friend be turned into digi-dust. But they were on the edge--they were on the edge of actions that would sway their entire history. And of course Ken was right. It's not like Daisuke didn't know the implications of moving. It's just he had put himself into that mindset when he figured the digital world was always going to be there. If the gates were closed, it wouldn't be so easy to see each other. They'd be an ocean away, their quickest connection being a fleeting thought about one another during a day. Maybe a text message. Even more rarely, a phone call. Their last minute picnics on File Island, where Ken always brought an extra bento for his unprepared friend. The games of soccer with the little ones in Primary Village. The real world visits--where they travelled by bullet train to Kyoto and Osaka, spending the night in small little hostels to enjoy the adventures within the cities on the following days. They'd be a thing of the past. Daisuke wanted more of that. He wanted it more than anything. The young man that sat across from him now was a man that would forever hold his childhood. However, it was getting too hard to deal with the butterflies that whirled up hurricanes in his stomach whenever the were together. The boy who had emotional and physical control over him in unprecedented ways--the type of control that brought his face to be radish red and his words to be jumbled together like a spilled jigsaw puzzle. He knew how it felt now to be an ocean away. He had felt it but a couple of days before. It hurt, but he could survive. He would find a way. He was mister optimistic--mister extrovert. Daisuke's eyes narrowed. His brain was trying to keep up with the conversation, both from having too much to drink and from being an emotional game of ping pong the entire night. Ken had always been critical--it was the over analyzer in him. He rightfully persuaded Daisuke from competing in a Battle of the Bands competition because "Daisuke, you can't tell your ass from a piano key". But this was different. This was an accessory to his dream, and Ken was once again using his condescending tone--or at least at that moment that's what it sounded like--to peel away his bundle of desires. "Do you think I'm stupid or something? 'I speak English.'" He wasn't going to admit that it was somewhere around a four year old's understanding, but he figured he's learn more later. "But I guess I am stupid, because I thought you'd be more supportive, huh? Guess I was wrong." Daisuke slammed his fist on the table. "I've always been there for you, Ichijouji. I'm here with you to get out of this shitfest we fell into." He began to remove the jacket that Ken had brought him as he spoke, "But I'm doing this, and you can either support me or shut the fuck up." Balling up the jacket, he placed it roughly on the table and slid his way out of his seat. "This one is on you," He said, referring to the tab they had built up. "I'll see you tomorrow." And with that, Daisuke was reunited with the cold fall air, his heart feeling a bit seasonally chill as well.
  17. Meet Me at Atatakai Onsen

    A wave of guilt washed over Daisuke, like he just accidentally dropped a dozen eggs, or that he had just told his friend he planned to move three thousand miles away. Ken's grip on his wrists was disconcerting to him, the electricity of the touch sounding a siren inside of his head. "I uh..." Daisuke tried to find the words. He felt so certain about it for the past few weeks, but when confronted about answers, he struggled to provide them. "Well, you know, there is an open market over there. There's not a lot of authentic Japanese cuisine. I have a friend that's told me some good places that would really welcome it." Looking Ken in the eye was proving to be too difficult. He tried to politely pull his hands back, but the other boy's grip was too tight. "So, I figured I have the savings, right? I've spent the past couple of years at a dead end. And now, after we get out of this mess, I'm sure my reputation around Japan is going to be crap..." Finally, he regained control of his arms. He brought them to his sides and used them as grounding poles as he grabbed the edge of his cushioned seat. His body began to sway. "Listen, I'm sorry I brought it up. I just figured, you know, might as well get all the shit out on the table." As they had been so many times this evening, they were silent. Daisuke was bad with serious situations. He often didn't think far ahead about things, but his friends were arguably the most important thing in his life. There was little he could do at this point to not lose everything, anyway. With a sigh, Daisuke broke the invisible wall between them, "What we're going to do, it's going to change us. Have you thought about it? How life will truly be without them? If we go too far? If we end up failing to stop short of killing the connection?" Sadness caught his voice, causing the last few words to come out as a near croak. "We're all going to be stranded, Ken. So really, there's no reason not to move on." Daisuke gnawed on his bottom lip. His defeatist talk was surprising him, but it was only because he wasn't used to coming at problems from this angle. The whole "believe in each other and beat the snot out of your enemy" tactic was usually the route he'd prefer to take. It's the one he knew. But he felt a weight of doubt that just two human beings could succeed in the face of such grand scheme. "We'll be fine..." He said, not too sure if he believed his own words.
  18. ...and it made me frown

    that's horrifying. D:
  19. Secret Santa and Card Exchange Hooray!

    I will send and receive cards. I'll secret santa for somebody in the US. YAY!
  20. Meet Me at Atatakai Onsen

    Daisuke held his chin in his hand, his whole body leaning into the table as he shifted forward in his seat. Leave it to Captain Cool to take the bite right out of tension. His head twitched to the side, the corners of his lips contorting with every thought. He tried not to accept his friend's vote of confidence, mostly because it so brashly disregarded his entire argument for... Well, arguing. A quick chuckle escaped the corner of his mouth. "Of course we can do this. Your stupid ass just wants to do everything the hard way." Daisuke caught Ken's eyes, and he couldn't help but smile. So many times they had these same moments--a time where they couldn't pick themselves up through a time of difficultly. Always, with one well placed phrase, the other would reconstruct themselves and continue on. "Not to say you're right, but you usually are." Another drink had arrived, but Daisuke voted to sip it away this time. "You know how it was back then. We may not just be dealing with what we're seeing now. There might be more to this metaphorical iceburg." It had happened before. Myotismon was always their greatest enemy--one who had played the strings on all of his minions to do his biddings--including Ken. What if Etemon was just some other sinister being's puppet? He didn't believe for an instant that baboon had the power to harm his friends, but something else might. Many shady bytes lived in the shadows of the digital landscape. "So running with our tails between our legs was probably the only option." He said, still making it clear that he didn't have to like the plan. Ken could only win so many angles. The table was silent. Daisuke took another sip of his drink, finally beginning to feel the alcohol taking reign on his brain. Honestly, he had been surprised when Ken began to take interest in drinking. Japan had a drinking age, but it wasn't very well regulated. Because of it, Daisuke had been drinking recreationally since he was sixteen, but straight-as-a-ruler Ken didn't have his first one until he was of legal age. "Come on," Daisuke had said, edging his open can of beer closer and closer to Ken's face. They were in Ken's dorm room a few days after his twentieth birthday, belatedly celebrating as they couldn't be together on the day of. "Just have some, you pussy." Ken pushed the beverage away from his face, but failed to realize how much effort he put into his protest. With a swift tip of the can, the amber beverage spilled over Ken, Daisuke, and Ken's mattress. Their eyes locked--Ken staring daggers, while Daisuke's pled for forgiveness. After what felt like hours, the two marinating in a stinky brew of hops juice, Daisuke finally said, "Well, at least you got pissed." And that split second... The one where Ken's eyes narrowed from the bottom up. Where the left side--it was always the left side--of his mouth lifted to show his perfect teeth. Where the first breath of his well-tempoed laugh escaped between slightly ajar lips. Every chuckle made Daisuke feel lighter, happier, and loved. It was the first time Daisuke felt... Differently. Daisuke bit on his thumb nail, not in an attempt to remove it, but in an attempt to find words. The young man across from him had been proposing they actively involve themselves in changing their entire lives. And not just theirs, but the entire world's--for the second time. He knew, logically, it was all they could do at this point. That being in a stand off, it was better to be the slow one to win the race. But in the end, would things be the same? Cautiously, he glanced at Ken, their eyes meeting with a solemn understanding of what was to come in the next few days. Daisuke knew if they accidentally succeeded at what they were set out to do, nothing would ever be the same. And even if everything did go in their favor, who was to say it still wouldn't go sour? "I guess I just might as well say it." Daisuke gulped down the last of his drink and adverted his eyes past Ken's. It wasn't going to be easy, and it may not have been the best time. But he was well enough inebriated to not have the proper checks to stop himself. "I've been meaning to tell you for awhile, but you know..." Did he? "I think I'm going to be moving? Yeah. I'm going to be moving. I think I'll have better success somewhere else." He began to see the concern in Ken's eyes. "I know," he waved his hand, trying to diffuse the bomb he was about to set. "I'm not like you. I don't have all the brains you do to succeed, but I have the passion... And uh, I've just been doing my research, and America might be where I go."
  21. Meet Me at Atatakai Onsen

    Daisuke took his drink between both hands. Looked like Ken had ordered something on the harder side. He thought for a moment on whether he wanted to nurse it or throw it back. He decided with the latter, slamming his empty glass onto the table. The emptiness of his stomach would probably protest later, but he was thirsty from running so much. "Yeah, well..." Daisuke reclined in his seat, pushing his finger against the side of his empty glass and making it spin in place. "Don't think for a second I ain't pissed at you, Ichijouji." Placing a finger on the rim of the glass, he knocked it over, sounding off a faint clank as it hit the wooden table. "We could have beaten them. Found one of their weaknesses or something. I mean, how many times have we been in a situation like this?" In reality, it was none. Daisuke knew that. But seeing the dark haired boy here now, all the feelings started boiling up again. He wanted to push his buttons--make him angry too. "Do you really think they have that kind of power, Ken? Like, it was an Etemon, for fuck's sake. Taichi said they beat the snot out of the guy years ago. Now we need to play this--this--game which is really going to affect people, man! It's going to really fuck things up!" Daisuke shook his head and called the waiter for another drink. "What really gets me," he paused for a moment, "Is that you don't trust that we can fight together. That we need to just... Give into something so easily. That just because... Just because..." Stopping, he placed a hand on his forehead, trying hard to keep tears back in a public place. "Just because Veemon and Wormmon are gone... That we're not a threat together." The waiter came back with a fresh drink which never hit the table. Daisuke sighed heavily as another round hit his stomach. His cheeks were turning red and his muscles began to feel like warm taffy. "B-but... I mean... I dunno. What if they can? What if it's like Malomyotismon all over again? They could... Delete everybody..."
  22. Meet Me at Atatakai Onsen

    "What?" Daisuke hissed. "No, we don't! No! Ken! What the hell!?" He tried to pry Golemon's hand away with both hands, his palms getting scrapped by the rough hide of his captor. It was clear that they were continuing on with Ken's request, bringing the two of them down the corridor and into a different computer room. With a haphazard toss, the two humans tumbled to the floor, their devices clanking to the floor and skidding next to them. Daisuke shot up and tried to get to the door before the huge digimon could close it behind them, but he had no luck. "Dammit. Fucking... Dammit!" Rushing to his D3 and D-Terminal he attempted to connect to his partner, only to be greeted with a Could Not Connect message. Tears had already been streaming down his face, but a new wave buckled behind his eyelids. "We could have done something!" He shouted, forcing a raw palm into the corners of his eyes. "Who are we to give in like this! How..." He shook his head and breathed out a heavy sigh. Within his hands were his two devices, threatening to crack under his unchecked rage. And just as ever, Ken was statuesque in his remorse. Giving out his orders without a blink of emotion. Did he have any idea what he had done? Daisuke huffed. He couldn't bare to give Ken a sign of recognition, let alone a verbal confirmation to his plans. His face was ugly in pain, lips quivering under the weight of ten thousand emotions, and brows furrowed so deep his eyes were pinched closed. He scarcely even realized when he had entered back into the real world... "Fifty-two..." The soccer ball returned to Daisuke's hands, only be to bounced against the wall again. "Fifty-three..." Again. "Fifty-four... Fifty-five..." He was fidgeting--his legs, his arms, his face. He couldn't concentrate--the emotions were boiling in him, making it hard for him to do anything but exert it through physical means. "Sixty..." He dropped the soccer ball and got up from his bed. There was a distinct imprint left on the edge where he had been sitting, the covers strewn about in an in classic college kid fashion. For the first time in a long time, he said aloud something that wouldn't be heard. "I have to get outta here." Daisuke slammed every door behind him as he left, even ignoring his parents, who were seated in the living room, as he stepped out of the apartment's front door. Outside, the air was bitingly cold--abnormal even for late autumn. It didn't matter. The longer he was inside, the higher chance he had of busting his fist through the drywall. Daisuke jogged. He jogged without thinking, without destination, without motivation. Seconds turned into minutes, which compounded into an hour. Daisuke's lungs burned, his calves ached, his arms were rubber. It wasn't until he started coughing from the dryness in his throat did he slow to a stop. Resting his hands on his knees, he breathed puffs of heated air around him, the sweat on his skin sucking the heat from his body. His teeth began to chatter as he made his way to a park bench and slumped down onto it. Before him was Tokyo Bay, the Rainbow Bridge a good kilometer down the road. The prismatic lights illuminated both the bridge and the water below, bringing a hint of playfulness to the chilly fall night. This was where they fought Diaboramon nine years ago. Imperidaldramon, Omegamon, Yamato, Taichi... Ken. It had only been a few months after the entire world changed. But together, with all of his friends, they were able to do the improbable and keep the stability of the worlds in check. Working out conflicts was what they were good at. When everybody was together, nothing was impossible. And now...? Daisuke raised his legs up onto the bench and held his knees close to his chest. A breeze kicked up and made the hairs on his arms and legs stand on end--wishing that he had worn more than a t-shirt and shorts. Now he was to do what? Destroy that connection? Turn his back on his fellow chosen and his digimon partners? When had he ever given up on anybody? And now he had to lie to the masses, to tell them that the world was better off without their loving companions. Not even dogs could compare to the selflessness and unconditional love they provided to their humans. Ken should have known that much. "You fucking coward..." Daisuke said, again, to nobody. He had never been so livid. Ken wasn't the most courageous person. He played on the sidelines, often needing the push from his friend to find his way through conflicts. But there was something so egregious about what had transpired--there was just an unwritten rule between them. You never give up on anybody... And he betrayed that. He hadn't realized that he was biting his lip so hard until the coppery taste of blood hit his tongue. Daisuke rubbed a finger across his lip. But was he really mad at Ken? At least he said something. Daisuke wasn't getting anywhere with his childish tantrums. They still could have figured something out when they were there. They could have done it. Now they had to manipulate themselves, their friends, and the people of the world to believe in something so they didn't lose the two most important beings in their lives. Maybe. Who knew if Etemon and friends really even had that power. They were being played at all ends. Daisuke groaned loudly into his knees. The groan turned into an aggravated scream. He heard the scuttle of quickening footsteps as another pedestrian moved away from the crazy guy on the bench. He sat for several more minutes, stuck as a bundled cocoon of emotions before he finally uncurled himself and stood up. Across the bay he could see Imperialdramon, beaten and weak, sinking into the dark water of the bay. He felt the heavy stone of defeat, sadness, stress, and fear weigh down on his stomach. His complete loss of self belief. The inevitable terrible feeling of watching the world drowning along with the hope of humanity. But inside his heart was the butterfly--the butterfly of success, happiness, calm, and courage. When it flew, it raised the sword of justice and smote the darkness. Just as so many times before, the butterfly hatched from the kindness of its keeper. And they could do it again... Couldn't they? Daisuke pulled out his cellphone and looked at Ken's profile picture in his contacts. He read the number over and over again--read the boy's name front and backward. He thought of all they had been through. All the laughs. All the special moments that no amount of code could ever erase. Daisuke didn't have to agree with Ken's plan, but he deserved some sort of respect. He hesitated, embarrassed about his personal emotional distress and how easy it was for him to forgive a man he was so sure he hated just moments ago. Finally, he pressed the call button and raised the phone to his ear, nervously waiting on each ring for his friend to pick up on the other line. "Uh... Hey. Hi." Daisuke ran a shaking hand through his hair. "Er. What's... The plan?" Today began the day of relying on nobody else but themselves.
  23. Small handout I made

    Oooo. This is very awesome, and your handwriting is super nice! Did you do it all in one attempt?
  24. dumb shit noia made

    i came here expecting new art and there was none and now i'm mad