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Everything posted by ack!

  1. How's everybody doing? What's going on in your life right now? Things are ok here. I'm working on moving to upstate New York... Again. Need to work on some cosplays over the next couple of weeks and keep on top of studying Japanese and all that other junk. I'm basically just keeping myself busy as much as I can. TELL ME WHAT IS UP WITH YOU ALL I MISS YOU AND LOVE YOU ETC
  2. "It won't be for long" he had written. And he meant it. He didn't intend to stay unemployeed for long. Thirty-five and growing soft in all the unsavory places, he couldn't be crashing at his friend Levi's house for longer than a few months. Erwin was well respected, well educated, and well liked in his school district. He had a powerful rolodex of references. However, his last school underwent some budget cuts, and his department of two was cut in half, and unfortunately he was the half to go. He had his resume into every school's inbox in a fifty mile radius, and he was willing to expand it larger than that. Surely somebody would bite. He was well respected, well educated, and well liked after all. And he was growing soft in all the most unsavory places. Erwin leaned his head back on the arm rest of the loveseat. Everything about Levi's apartment matched his stature--small, stylish, and crafted with purpose. Even though he made well for himself, he was minimalistic, including his furniture in his living room. Erwin kicked his feet along the edge of the couch, bit his lip as he checked the same job posting board for the fifth time in three hours. His cat, Gunner, swatted at his foot once before he hissed him away--another reason why Erwin had to move out. Levi wasn't really an "animal person". And Erwin wasn't really "clean". And they kind of "fought a lot", if he was being honest. With a groan, he threw his head back and slapped his laptop shut. Closing his eyes, he figured he'd take a little nap before his new housemate got home.
  3. It Won't Be For Long

    Erwin's eyes snapped open. He sucked in a breath and groaned it right back out as he ran his hand down his face. The laptop on his belly swayed and teetered and smashed to the floor. Twisting his body to look over the edge of the small loveseat, Erwin muttered a curse under his breath. "Fuck... What..." Erwin shook his head, eyes wobbling up to look at the digital clock under the television. 8PM. He slept for six hours. How did that happen? Erwin hated naps. Erwin hated breaks, honestly. Erwin hated being restless and bored and stagnant... And being in Levi's house was making him all of these things. Being alone and bored made his mind run too wild into places he had worked his whole life to ignore. To think, he had only been here for two days. He really needed to get out of here soon. Placing a heavy foot on the floor, Erwin rolled off of the couch and stood up straight to stretch. His back popped and cracked all the way up through his elbows and knees. He moaned out and shook out his limbs as he limped into the kitchen to greet his host in the kitchen. "Good evening, Levi." He smacked his lips, moved to the refrigerator, opened it, but closed it soon after as he turned to lean against the counter. He smiled down at Levi, rubbing the sleep from his eyes as he rubbed a palm to into his eyes. "Sorry about Gunner. He's just as nervous as I am, I think." Swaying off the counter, he lumbered over to the paper towels, pulled off one too many squares, and roamed around until he found the pile of kitty barf and picked it up in one scoop. He shivered at the sensation, walked it to the trash, and dropped it in. Moving to the sink, he washed his hands with soap before turning off the faucet and turning back to Levi. Levi had become a decently close friend over the past few years. They never hung out without Mike as a buffer before recently, but he'd had a few relatively revealing conversations over messenger that may or may not have involved alcohol on lonely nights. It was those conversations that prevented Erwin from venturing alone with Levi--it's what made him hesitant to accept the invite that Levi had offered. Because, what wasn't charming about this elegant small man? Well off and successful, clean and well put together, quiet and mysterious, humorous and blunt. Erwin didn't have a crush on Levi. And he definitely didn't feel the heat around his neck as he thought of the time he said Levi was cute when he was far too drunk to remember to censor himself. "Do you need help with cooking?" Erwin said, and it came out like a croak. "I warn you: I'm not that great." He offered a genuine smile, and he hoped it would hide the red creeping across his skin.
  4. Unconventional

    It was just another day, Daisuke had to keep telling himself. Twenty four hours and it would be over, and tomorrow would be here. It was just another day. The melody on his cellphone was chirping midi bytes at him. Three minutes. Five minutes. Ten minutes. He closed his eyes. Just another day. “Daisuke,” his mother called from the other side of his door. “Are you awake?” He didn’t answer. “Daisuke, you need to get up. You’ll be late.” Daisuke knew. He wasn’t stupid. Or at least, not about what day it was, or how late it was, or what it meant if he didn’t make it to school today. It was like a swollen levee. Days, months, years of apathy--hours spent outside with a soccer ball or late nights at the movies. He hated school. Didn’t see the point. Hated the idea of “cram school”, of losing the most precious days of his life to sitting at a desk. And now today was the day, and he was going to fail. He was going to fail and he didn’t know how he was going to answer to anybody. Mom, dad, Jun… Ken. The levee was going to overflow and burst and the future was about to be drowned and buried under the mud of his bad decisions. What else was new. “Daisuke!” His mother was banging on his door now. “I know, I know!” Daisuke shouted back, raising and turning his body to sit at the edge of his bed. “Fucking shut up.” He said in a whispering groan, his palms digging into his eyes and dislodging the sleep from them. “Fuck.” He got up and started dressing. It was an automatic thing. His uniform laid crumpled and wrinkled on the floor, but he pulled it on without concern. It was a standard uniform--black with gold buttons. Like most of the other “rebellious” kids, he wore the jacket open so the white collared shirt beneath was exposed. Tugging at the bottoms of the jacket hem, he adjusted the fit in the mirror and gave himself a tired nod. He didn’t bother to tame his hair, and spent only a few seconds brushing his teeth. There was just no fucking point. Daisuke dropped his D3 and D-Terminal into his two available pants pockets, the weight of them being a reassurance to what once mattered. What still matters. Taichi had talked to him about how he and a few of the other chosen were looking at careers paths in Digital World relations. He wanted that, he thought. Really, he just wanted to run away and live there. Maybe sell ramen at some Digitamamon restaurants. He smirked slightly. With Chibimon shoved into his bookbag and nothing else, he left the apartment while somehow avoiding his mother. If he didn’t want to be any later, he’d have to avoid that screaming match at all costs. School wasn’t far away, maybe only a ten minute walk at a brisk pace. He’d make it in time for the bell. Make it in time for the first of many tests. The walking sign was red. He tapped his toes on the pavement while he bit his lip. Chibimon adjusted his weight in his backpack, causing Daisuke to lose balance for a second. After regaining his footing, his orientation had shifted north toward Tokyo proper. Biting hard on his lip, he shook his head and huffed out a curse as he headed toward the Rainbow Bridge. Tamachi was on the other side. So was Ken. He could kill a few hours and then surprise him to dinner. He’d like that right? They didn’t get to see each other much anymore. Ken had finished his exams a few days ago, so he didn’t have cram school anymore. They were free. They could see each other again. Best buddies and shit, destroyed by fucking school. Fucking school. They were free, now. He chanted that in his head until he started to believe it, until he felt like there was no question that things would be fine. Totally fine. Yeah.
  5. Unconventional

    Daisuke laughed softly. "Yeah," he said, distantly. It sounded as if he was longing for something different, like a conversation from the past. "I guess. I guess not." He raised his head to look at Ken, but he couldn't match his eyes. He focused on his lips, but felt the flush rising in his cheeks again, causing him to avert his gaze to someplace past his head. "I'm sorry." He ran the back of his hand against his eyes, slumped into himself as he tried to compose himself. Trying to pick up the pieces of himself was difficult when he had no idea what they had even constructed before. Who the fuck was he? Who was he without the people around him? Without Ken? "I'm good at making decisions when it matters." He said, not even sure if he believed that either. But decisions about himself... Yeah, they didn't matter as much. "Not that... Not that this doesn't matter." He corrected himself. He got to his feet, stretching his back absently. "I'm going to go find out where V-mon went. I'm not so hungry anymore." He watched the river for a lingering minute, until he turned away from Ken. He was running away, he knew it. And he was pretty sure Ken knew it too. He was an expert in it, after all.
  6. Unconventional

    He was so stupid. He was always like this. He acted before he thought, and sometimes that worked out. When they were all working on saving the Digital World all those years ago, he did it all the time. Things just worked out. But there was a very important key factor to that: he had his friends to believe in. He'd pull the trigger, and they were the bullet. He didn't have them in this case. It was just him. And he was shooting blanks. Daisuke ran a hand down his face, sighed out heavy and long. No, it's not what he thought. He didn't think kissing Ken was wrong--it was the most right thing he could ever have done. It was the implication that nothing could happen going forward that crushed him. That this was the only time he'd ever be able to feel his lips against his, and that crushed him--completely. Was he just thinking ahead? Maybe Ken... Could change? Maybe they could just forget it all for real? Forget the standards, forget who they're supposed to be so they can... No... "Y-yeah... Yeah. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have..." He was so warm. He had never felt so connected to Ken, and how could he possibly be sorry about that? How could that be a mistake? He turned it in his head, tried to find words, tried to fight back the tears that wanted to breach his eyes. Say something, Daisuke. Say anything. Ken's heart was railing in his ears, there was a panic that flooded his chest and he felt like he was going to drown. He had to say something. "I just don't know what to do, Ken. I..." He breathed. "I..." He couldn't say it. He couldn't fucking say it, and the tears came down before he could stop them.
  7. Unconventional

    Daisuke grounded his hands on Ken's shoulders. He sucked in air against Ken's lips, his own quivering against them. Ken was kissing him. He leaned into it, felt it all--Ken's body against his, the way his lips moved timidly with his lead, even how it tasted... Like butterscotch, for some reason. He smiled, running his hands down Ken's arms, letting them rest and grasp elbows. He jarred him forward, took Ken's mouth more completely, let his inhibitions falter in the face of their eagerness. Slipping his arms around Ken's waist, he beckons Ken's lips open with his chin, lets his tongue taste the sweetness of the skin there. He tries to keep focused, tries not to let his legs fall out from under him. He had never been hungry for anything so much in his life. When would it end, though? They were syncing, but Ken was still erratic. He was going to lose him to panic, and he felt just a little bit like he was taking advantage. Ken was kissing him, but did he want to? Ken in his right mind would never... But he was so comforting. Like a warm bath, he was engulfed in the feeling. It brought a heat to his cheeks and the tips of his ears. He drew Ken's body closer to him as he tilted his head, let his tongue roll against Ken's, and he knew... No, it had been a mistake. His eyebrows furrowed, and he groaned against Ken's mouth and leaned back. He brought a hand to his mouth and shook his head. Their heartbeats were railing in his ears, and he was making him nauseous. They kissed. They kissed and he couldn't take it back, and Ken didn't want it. Not really. Why would he? They couldn't do anything with this. They would never stay here. Going back home wouldn't fix anything. He felt one knee loosen. He felt so much heavier than he ever had, like gravity had increased without notice. He grabbed onto Ken's shirt for purchase, but it didn't help. He fell to his knees, his eyes downcast, his fingers to his lips. He shook his head, wanted to shake out the past few minutes. This time he pushed away, but he was protecting them, right? Like he always did? Got them into this, like he always did? "This was a mistake, wasn't it?" And he could still feel Ken's tongue against his, and it felt swollen and foreign, and he wanted it back.
  8. Unconventional

    Daisuke laughed. It was one laced with disbelief, amusement, sadness. He gave his arms some slack, let Ken's rigid body drift slightly away from him. "Yeah, you are." He moved his hands up Ken's arms, squeezed them gently as if using it as a reassurance. "And I don't think you'll ever understand how much that means to me." He rested his forehead on Ken's chest, shaking his head as he wrapped his arms around Ken's waist again. The taller man wasn't leaving yet, and he was going to take advantage of the closeness. He wanted to get drunk on it before he maybe lost it forever. "But I mean... Are you... Living it for yourself? Are you living your damn life, Ken? I don't think I am, and I want to fix it. I want to live for myself." The more he talked, the more he knew they'd be going back that night. That this moment would become a memory. That Ken would to go college, and he would be forced to go to ronin school. He'd be behind, he'd be a failure. He's finally get through college, he'd get a job and... How mundane. He felt the anger welling in him again, his fingers twisting across Ken's back. "I want..." Daisuke swallowed. He'd already come this far. He'd kissed him and there was no taking that back. He had feelings, and there was no changing that. "I miss you, Ken. I don't want to keep missing you. This... Place reminds me of us. I want to live for that. You don't have to as well, but I just... I want you to be happy. More than anything."
  9. Unconventional

    Daisuke felt empty when Ken left him, like all of the warmth in him was sucked out and he was left with a frigid, barren tundra. He longed to get it back, needed to get it back. Fumbling after him, he grabbed onto Ken's wrist and reeled him back, pulled him into an embrace so tight that he felt his own breath get knocked out. "Don't leave, Ken. Please." He buried his face into his chest, his fingers balling into the back of Ken's shirt. "I'm sorry. I'm so fuckin' sorry. I didn't mean to." But he did, he did mean to. "I mean, I didn't know how else to make you understand." Understand what? It didn't explain anything. "I know what you're saying. I get it. But you have to see it, Ken. You have to see that the you here is... The us here is different. There's shit to do in the real world. It's good for a lot of people... But can't you see? Can't you see why I feel like this just makes sense?" He feels a sob wrap around his throat, chokes him until there's tears in his eyes. All the anger he felt a short time ago had melted away and replaced with sadness... For himself, for Ken, for them, for the Digital World, their digimon, their future... And he was so frustrated that he couldn't express what he meant, that Ken didn't understand or care to understand. Daisuke's eyes search Ken's. He feels the tense muscles in Ken's back, knows he can wrench out of his grasp if he really wanted to. He hoped with every fiber of his being that he wouldn't. At least for a little while. "I told you to live, Ichijouji. And I just want to know if you did."
  10. Unconventional

    The thumping in his ears wasn't just his heartbeat, it was Ken's too. It drummed so hard that he felt his chest swell, like there was too much blood in his body to be contained by his skin and bones. He could see the throbbing in Ken's neck, see the way his Adam's apple bobbed as he talked, saw the savageness in his eyes trying to consume him. It had been years since he'd seen this... The reminder twisted his stomach, made his voice croak unintentionally as Ken tightened his grip around his collar. Daisuke brought his hands up to plant onto Ken's wrist, he could feel hot breath against his face, and it made him grimace. "Ken," he muttered, only to be berated more, until finally Ken seemed to be out of steam. He was released, and he let go of Ken as well, their bodies still close enough to hear the raised pulse between the both of them. He tried to find words. It's not that he didn't understand what Ken was saying, or where he was coming from. He just didn't understand why Ken couldn't understand where he was coming from. "It's..." He stepped forward, filling the gap between them until their chests were almost touching. Here, at this waterfall, was some of his most cherished memories with Ken. They had been so close since that day in the desert, he had to crash through so many of Ken's barriers to get them to be standing here right now. When they battled, he felt more alive than any other time. He would awake from dreams covered in sweat, heart railing against his ribs, adrenaline screaming to relive those feelings. But these moments... The ones that involved skipping rocks, talking about after school activities, planning their next adventure in lands even uncharted by the Kaiser... They were quiet and insignificant, but it's what made Daisuke fall in love with Ken. He was so... Human when he was in Digital World. So relieved, so free. Why would Ken ever want to go back? Didn't he realize how different he was here? Wait... He loved Ken? His eyes wavered around Ken's face, trying to pick a spot to focus on. Daisuke had attributed everything to just boyish hormones in the past. He felt the sexual tension, wanted to kiss his lips and feel his skin against his. But it never seemed right to act on it. He was a teenager, after all. Fulfilling desires like that for the sake of fulfilling desires could only end in awkward heartbreak. And sure, he always had loved Ken, but... Not like this. Not like this feeling of realization, where everything he had ever done up since their meeting had been for him in some regard. How even now, all he wished for was to be with him, to be with Ken as free and as happy as he can be. Naturally, being in the Digital World is where he concluded they'd end up. His frustrations of being shot down, to be yelled at, seemed validated now. He reached up, gently put his hands on either side of Ken's flushed cheeks, felt the warmth of their anger in his palms. Pulling him down to reach his face, Daisuke looked into Ken's eyes, saw the feral fear in them, felt his own heart break and shatter like them. He was so beautiful and ugly and strong and broken all at once, and it just didn't matter how Ken reacted because he could handle it. They could handle it. Daisuke pressed his lips to Ken's, and it was a stiff awkward thing. Ken wasn't expecting it, and Daisuke hadn't kissed many people in his past. But there was something different about it. There was an electricity to it, like the intimacy of it sparked their jogress connection, ran fire through all of his veins and made him whimper immediately against Ken's mouth. His fingers curled against Ken's cheeks as he kissed him again, felt that sensation like a buried memory from his past, floating to the surface of the now to pop into reality. He kissed him a third time, hoping that Ken would kiss back, that he didn't just let his dumb mind do dumb things again. But he might have. He might have just fucked up big time.
  11. Unconventional

    "Hey." Daisuke scrambled to his feet, slipping slightly on the loose rocks, his knee hitting the ground before finally pushing himself to stand up. "Oi. Don'chya..." He jogged to Ken and grabbed his arm, tugging the man back abruptly. "Don'chya fucking walk away from me, Ichijouji." His brown eyes were roasting under an anger that he was struggling to control. This was all that his mind had been on about for weeks, months. He may have set Ken off, but you know what? Good. "What the hell would you do if Wormmon was left in the Digital World if that were to happen? Huh? What the fuck would you do? I can't even imagine anything worse than losing V-mon. And... And it's..." Daisuke huffed out. He didn't dare to say it. "So what if I would get locked away. At least I would be with him. At least I could be here in a world that I understand. What the hell makes the real world so special? All it has are tests and school and work. Stupid families that treat you like an idiot. Friends that have no time for you, will never have time for you. "'Oh, Daisuke, you can start a family.' 'Hey, Daisuke. You can have your own business.' 'Don't worry, Daisuke, everybody has to go through the same shit.'" He spat in mocking voices. "No I fucking don't. And isn't that just the most grown up shit I could ever think of to do? Think for myself? Do what I want to do? What I know I'm good at? "I belong here, Ken." He didn't realize that his grip had grown so tight, his knuckles white, the veins in his hands throbbing. A sigh escaped from his nose as he withdrew his hand. "I know you lived here, Ken. I know you went through shit. I can't even pretend I understand what you went through. But besides all the..." He waved his hand vaguely. "I... I get why you might have done it. I think I got it even when we were kids. "If the gates ever closed, Ken... Which side would you really want to be on? Just... Entertain the idea for me. What do you want to do in the real world that's worth more than all of this?" He turned slightly, looked out across the river, the foggy mist of the waterfall, the green tops of the trees, the lavender mountains in the distance.The sun was so warm, the sky so blue. So beautiful. He would miss his friends. He would miss his family. But he already missed the digital world, and it was still a place that had always been open for him. He wondered... He wondered...
  12. Unconventional

    Daisuke waved his hand. "Don't talk to me like I don't know that, Ken." It came out with an aggressive edge, and he wasn't about to reel it back in. "I know we're all growing up. Things can't be the way they used to be. Just..." He picked up a pebble and tossed it in the river as he tried to collect his thoughts. "You don't fuckin' get it, man. You never have." He swallowed. "I guess getting people to talk to me has been easier since all that shit we did, but it's not anymore real now than it was then. You guys are my friends. I don't really... Have much else. Or rather, how are other people even supposed to compare?" He laughed under his breath, leaning a shoulder into Ken's. "It's different here, though. I get along with the digimon. There's no big conflicts now, and hopefully never again... But they always need help. We're humans and we're just kinda good at things they aren't sometimes. We could do well here." He left the 'we' ambiguous. Deep down, he'd love the 'we' to include more than just V-mon. "They'd protect us and feed us. We'd be needed." And Daisuke guessed that's what it boiled down to. He had them to believe in, to support, and in return, they found a need for him. Despite all his insistant needs to be noticed, to be impressive, it came down to his simple belief in them that they all relied on. In turn, he relied on that. Now it was gone, and he was floundering. Struggling to see his place in the world. V-mon needed him. The digimon here could eventually. Ken didn't need him anymore. Did he ever, though? Daisuke felt the smile on his face, but it didn't feel real. Eyes unfocused, he bit at the inside of his lip nervously. "This would be different than running away, Ken." And he wasn't exactly sure how, but he realized that it might not have been the best thing to say.
  13. Unconventional

    V-mon had been collecting firewood on their trek up, and Daisuke was working on setting together a fire. He paused at Ken's question, honestly a little surprised that it had been asked at all. "Of course I do." Daisuke said bluntly. "I find I miss it more and more lately..." His voice trailed. Letting his butt hit the pebbled ground, he rested his elbows on his knees and stared off at the river in front of them. "I guess..." Picking up a stray stick, he stokes the wood that has yet to be lit. "You know, I had a purpose back then. When we all were fighting, we were something. I was something. I've never believed in anything so much in my entire life." With his free hand, he scratched at the side of his face before continuing. "You guys were... Amazing. And now..." He craned his neck up to look at Ken. "You're all kinda amazing without me." He laughed slightly before looking back at the pile of wood. "I miss you guys, so coming here makes me feel less like I'm..." Daisuke's shoulders slunk forward. It honestly wasn't that easy for him to make friends. The chosen, their adventures, although they were treacherous, gave him a sense of belonging. It distracted him from himself, gave him faith in those around him. If he could focus on them, then maybe he didn't have to focus on himself. But then they won, and then they started to grow up, and he just... Drifted. He craved the companionship for their comradeship with each passing year that it took a permanent pained residences in his stomach. School, careers, life. It just lost the flavor of desire for Daisuke. He knew what life tasted like back then, and he hadn't had anything like it since. He was afraid he never would. So he skipped exams. He played hooky with his best friend. Because in the long run, did it matter? He wasn't a nihilist, he wasn't suicidal. He knew the answer to the question, but it didn't reside in the "real" world. It was here, at this waterfall, under this sun, breathing this air. Nothing else could compare. He didn't want it to. "Yeah, I love it here. I'd never leave, if I had the choice."
  14. Unconventional

    They were all ready and packed, at least in the physical sense. Daisuke had opened the portal from Ken's computer and entered into the Digital World. The surroundings were familiar, like an old friend welcoming them home. No amount of months away could fade the trails away from his mind. The contour of the forest slicing against the meadow. The nearby river gurgling a quiet herald for their return. He took a deep breath, always surprised how real it felt. He knew he couldn't look at the "real" world versus the "digital" world and expect one to be less tangible than the other. They were both very real spacial planes. He existed just as much here as he did in Tokyo. And if he had to choose one over the other, everything here just felt... Better. He rolled his shoulders, the backpack full of supplies clinking pans against pots and shifting to rest just above his tailbone. "The usual, then?" It was a rhetorical question. V-mon and Wormmon were already scampering off in front of Ken and himself leading the way. He smiled, and it felt as warm as the sun the kissed his lips. The pain in his hand, in his heart, in his mind... It was melting away, and it didn't threaten to freeze again when he looked at Ken. "It's way nicer here. We should have just spent the whole week here, probably." He turned his gaze to ahead of him. They were about to enter the forest. Some trees still had knife marks in their bark, ancient symbols from their shared past. The trail was about two miles long at a steady incline. In the end, they'd end up at a small clearing near a short waterfall. There'd been many nights they'd stay huddled inside a tent much too small for two boys of any age to share. Today, they just intended to set a fire, cook, and return home. Daisuke just had a hard time understanding why he had to go back. "You know, I came here one time. A long time ago... Uh, nah, maybe it was like two years ago," he passed into the forest, Ken following behind. A carved triangle in a nearby tree kept him on track. "By myself. I just, I dunno. I guess I was pissed off at something. At Jun probably. Yeah, no, it was definitely Jun. She was pissed off, because I was just existing." He pauses when he stumbles over a branch, laughing slightly when he regains his balance. "Not like... Not like she wanted me dead, but you know how she can be. She wanted to have a boy over, and I wanted to watch TV. I lost. I got pissed. I came here." He was rambling, but the tension between them was palpable, and he wanted to alleviate that with words. He supposed it didn't matter if Ken was actually listening to him or not at this point. "I didn't even come with V-mon. I just ran up the fucking mountain. The whole way. Then when I got to the top, I screamed." He looked at Ken and smiled. "I screamed so loud that some Gekomon told me to shut the hell up." His fingers wrap around the straps of his backpack. "It felt good, somehow. Maybe it's just... Being here. Not just the Digital World but here. Memories, ya know?" Daisuke takes a sharp turn up a steeper hill, their aged trail telling him to do it. V-mon and Wormmon were so far ahead he could barely even hear their excited giggles. "Shit was simpler back then, I guess." His voice trailed. "Screaming into some treetops probably won't fix any of the shit we're going through now. But I'm excited to try anyway."
  15. Unconventional

    Daisuke's eyes were shut tight as Ken cleaned and covered his wound. He sighed heavily when it was over, and he looked up at Ken's reflection in the mirror. "I've had worse." Which was true, but the panic was still real, and he flexed his injured hand even though it stung. He wondered for a brief moment what was hurting more, his finger or his heart. They both stood there for a few moments. Ken had moved to put the bandages back, Daisuke losing sight of him as the cabinet door opened and closed. There seemed to be a stillness in Ken's face that mirrored his own. It was quiet and behind his eyes, and Daisuke could feel it when their hands touched. There was something off with Ken too, and he wasn't sure what. He wasn't sure if he should pry. Touching his bandaged finger to his lips, Daisuke leaned his butt against the bathroom sink and looked down at the floor. He honestly wasn't sure if he wanted to go to the Digital World anymore. He wasn't sure if he wanted to be here at Ken's, or around Ken, or even think of Ken at the moment. The thought alone upset him, but at that second he felt like it was the right thing. "I don't..." He started, but he was interrupted by Chibimon running head first into the bathroom, a concerned Minomon close behind. "Daisuke~! Are you all right!? We're ready to go!" Chibimon stood back up, his giant head throwing him off balance as he got to two feet. There was a genuine happiness across his face, and the excitement was laden on his voice. It had been months since the two of them had gone--longer since the four of them had gone. Exams. It was because of those damn exams that they couldn't do something like this for so long. Their Digimon deserved this more than anything. He couldn't back down now. "Yeah, I'm fine. Just a little cut." He smiled down at his partner, and swept down to pick him up in his arms. "Just let us pack up a couple of more things, and we'll get going, okay?" Chibimon nodded against his chest, and Daisuke felt his smile turn real. Daisuke turned back to Ken, finally feeling like he might be able to survive the next couple of hours with his best friend. "You ready?"
  16. Unconventional

    Daisuke breathed in deep, smelling the clean scent of Ken. He was always so clean. Even after a whole day out on the soccer field, the man could still smell fresh. He smiled as he pushed away slightly, his arms still encircling his friend. "You're a dumbass." His smile turned into a sheepish grin. He caught himself glancing down at Ken's lips, and it took every bit of consciousness to yell at him to not kiss them. With that, he abruptly forced himself away from Ken. He raised a hand to run through his hair, his head shaking slightly at his own thoughts, his own stupid thoughts. Choosing to avoid the feelings surging and bursting through his body, he grabbed Ken's empty bag and rushed to the kitchen. He piled the travel pans, knives, serving plates, and a variety of spices. His lip hurt from his teeth sawing into it, and he could feel tears stinging his eyes. What the fuck, Motomiya. With his haste, his finger slipped and caught the edge of the filleting knife. Hot and red, his finger bled bright drops into his palm and onto the kitchen floor. "Fuck." He said, scrambling to his feet and rushing to the bathroom. His good hand flung the cabinet open, and grabbed onto the box of bandages. He couldn't get the box open. Fuck, he couldn't get the box open. It wasn't the first time Daisuke had had these thoughts. He had been struggling with them for most of their friendship. But it had never been that close to slipping. Maybe he had let his own guard down. He had skipped out on exams just so he could see the kid, after all. Being without Ken's presence made him feel like in a perpetual state of cabin fever. Being with him alleviated that. Oh, how it frustrated him that he had this strange co-dependence to a man that was so eager to find ways to get further away from him. Not intentionally, Daisuke had to remind himself, but didn't he feel the same way... At all? Like every day without the other was like having maggots crawling right under the skin, jittering and pulsating and waiting to chew their way out. Daisuke managed to get a bandage out, at this point having bled all over the inside of the sink. He couldn't stop shaking his head, trying to sway the thoughts out of his head. This was a bad idea. Going to the Digital World was a bad idea. Being interested in Ken was a bad idea. "Fuck." It was more desperate, breathy and quiet. Daisuke liked girls. He liked Hikari for even a year or two into his teenage years. He dated girls... But they never seemed to stick. Never seemed to get him. Too talkative. Too eager to please. Too flashy. He didn't know how to act, to the point that he didn't even know who he was. Ken made it easy. Why did he make it so easy? Daisuke fumbled with the bandage, unable to get it open with one hand. Why was Ken angry at him earlier? Why was he disappointed? They were together. But not together. Never. No. Daisuke growled in frustration and threw the box of bandages into the sink. Calm down. Daisuke closed his eyes and took his uninjured hand up to the bridge of his nose. Nothing happened. Nothing was going to happen. Nothing can happen.
  17. Unconventional

    Daisuke took the package, mouth slightly ajar with awe as he tilted the box in his hands. He shook it a little to test the contents, and looked up at Ken with a bashful look. "But..." He carefully tore the tissue off and slid open the top and pulled the bento box from it. Placing the gift box on the desk beside him, he popped open the bento and gave a toothy smile. "Holy shit, Ken." Picking up the chopsticks, and admired the weight, smoothness, and crafting of each piece, awe across his face. Ken had a pair of expensive chopsticks he used on special occasions. Daisuke had always been jealous of them and expressed that by making fun of him. "How much did those cost you?" He would click his own cheap chopsticks together. "The entirety of the Emperor's fortune?" And Ken would scoff, his eyes closed as he tilted a bowl of rice to his mouth while Daisuke laughed at him. And now he had his own pair, and he did nothing to deserve them. "I can't... Accept these, Ken. I didn't do anything to deserve this kindness." Polite speech was not his strong suit, but he found himself accidentally slipping into it as he tried to humble is gift. He brought the chopstick closer to his eyes and squinted. "These are... These are so great!" He placed the chopsticks back into the box and placed it next to the wrapping on the desk. Unceremoniously, he swung back around and nearly leapt onto Ken, his arms wrapped tightly around the taller boy's neck. His nose buried into the crook of Ken's neck and he smiled into Ken's shirt. "Thank you so much." His cheeks went hot as he felt Ken's heart bounding against his. He could hear it in his ears, and feel it beating in time with his, and temporarily he lost himself. His arms wrapped tighter, until their fronts were flush against each other, and he breathed in deep. A soft chuckle passed his lips, a chill running down his spine as their bodies shifted against each other. "You know me so well. But you expected too much out of me. So I guess that makes us both fools."
  18. Unconventional

    Daisuke felt his stomach turn, but not in a nauseous way. In the "it's the morning of your birthday" kind of way, where you're excited to have all your friends over to overdose on sweets and juice and run around the house until you step on a stray Lego. Ken had him by the arm and was leading him to his apartment, and he couldn't think of anything cooler than that. They used to be more unabashed. The two of them would unapologetically sleep on each other's shoulders on trains or hold each other in hugs that lasted three heart beats too long. But they had been kids, and kids didn't understand what personal space was, or what it meant when somebody invaded it. They felt things, strong things, toward each other. Like a feeling that Daisuke probably should have had toward Jun--a sibling relationship. Ken was a friend, but he was like a brother too. When he was upset, Ken would hug him. When he was angry, Ken would talk to him. When he was lacking confidence, Ken reassured him. It was an unconditional love as much as it was unwavering. He wondered what he had ever done to deserve it. But they grew older, as all boys do, and Ken had started to clam up. He would adjust his shoulder if Daisuke's head fell onto his shoulder, and he would push away from hugs three heart beats too soon. He became more of a tutor to Daisuke at that point. Less about emotions and more about getting down to business. It was a shift, one that took a couple of years for Daisuke to notice and track, but a shift nonetheless. He didn't like it. He missed those moments, all those moments where whatever masks he had to wear outside could be taken off. He missed the moments of being understood by a person, sometimes even better than he understood himself. Daisuke missed Ken, but he realized that he missed them more. They were partners, and together they completed a whole, and when Daisuke had realized that several months ago, he honestly didn't see the point to involving himself in things that didn't involve Ken. It was irrational and selfish and dangerous, but it was the most real thing he felt in a long time--probably since the day they first jogressed. It was clear as the feeling of Ken on his arm at that moment, and he knew that had been the reason why he had skipped out on exams. Because feeling Ken's fingers delicately pressing into his arm, their shoulders touching, the soft radiating heat of their bodies... It was all he wanted. They arrived at Ken's empty apartment and went into Ken's room. Even after six years, the room still looked the same. Ken had little desire for materialistic things, though he did have some of Daisuke's gifts over the years displayed on his desk. Daisuke grinned and touched a finger to the top of the ceramic Wormmon he had made for Ken years ago. "Thank you, Ken." He said, softly. He didn't feel like he had to explain as to why, and he wasn't sure if he would even have an answer to give. He was just thankful that he was here with him today, and hopefully everyday... Someday.
  19. Unconventional

    "Ken," Daisuke said softly. Absently, he placed his hand on top of Ken's. "Please believe me. I'm fine. Stop worrying. When I need your help... I'll ask for it." He peeled Ken's hand off of him and held it in his. It was warm and soft, and Daisuke couldn't help but run his thumb across the knuckles. He offered a soft squeeze before releasing it. It occurred to him that Ken just needed reassurance. It was as if Ken was eating all the anxiety away from him, and now he was about to become unraveled. It was all his fault. "Listen. I don't have a plan. I'm sorry about about that. I'm... I probably did something really stupid." He scratched his chin and sighed. "Well, I did do something really stupid. But I'll figure it out. I always do, right?" Wanting to put some distance between Ken and himself, he made a few more steps toward the apartment. "I want something different, Ken. I don't know what... But I don't want this. This..." Daisuke clenched his fists. "Why do we need to have a plan? Even if we did, we don't always follow them, so what's the point? I know you care, Ken. I don't understand why you do, but you do, and I appreciate it. But I can't follow the same path everybody else does. I'm not like everybody else. We aren't like everybody else. Ever since we both first stepped foot into the Digital World we weren't. So why do I need to follow the charade?" He paused to breathe and collect his thoughts. He dug his hands into his pockets. "I might want to cook. I might want to play soccer. Maybe I'll end up working at McDonald's. Ken, none of that matters to me." So what did matter? Just say it. "Dammit, Ken. I don't want to lose anymore time with you." And he wasn't sure if he meant today or the past or the future. He wasn't sure how that was supposed to sound or in what context. "So just..." He turned back, his eyes a desperate plea for his friend to meet him, to come together on the same plain and just enjoy the day. "Can we please go to the river and worry about this later. I just wanted to see you."
  20. Unconventional

    They were within sight of Ken's apartment, but Daisuke stopped them short. He was trying so hard to have a good time, to not dwell on all of this shit, but Ken could just not get over it. "What do you want me to do, Ichijouji? Spend the rest of the day filling out applications? Should I be going to restaurant to restaurant begging me to take them under their wing?" He threw his arms out, exasperated. "Listen, great ideas. Yeah. Sure. I'll do that. But not right now." He turned his back to Ken and continued walking, albeit at a very slow pace. "Just lay off, dude." He'd come this far today, and he was determined to have a good time despite of it all. Ken's bad mood wasn't going to sway him. They were fire and ice, and eventually they always met in the middle--like a warm lake or a steamy onsen. At this point, they still didn't accompany the same state of matter. Just a little more of a push... "I'll just use you, huh? You eat my food and you be honest with me. Then maybe I can see about doing more with it." He looked over his shoulder, a smile returning to his face. Honestly, he loved the idea of being able to cook for Ken. It meant he could see him more. "Anyway, what the hell will you be eating when you're in school? You have no idea how to cook. You're fucking helpless." Sometimes it felt good to be so damned right.
  21. Unconventional

    "Hmm, you're right." Daisuke popped a gyoza in his mouth, and continued talking as he chewed. "I didn't pack a bathing suit, so maybe the beach is a bad idea." He grinned a sly smile back at Ken. "Maybe we can go to the river and see how many fish Stingmon and XV-mon can catch." "I always win!" Chibimon chirped. It appeared that he had finished all his snacks, and was watching Daisuke's plate intently for any scraps. "I'm good at catching fish!" Daisuke laughed and pet his partner on the head. "Hell yeah, you are. I guess that settles it then." He shoved the last two dumplings into his mouth and started to raise his hand to call over the waitress when he caught the heavy look from Ken. "What?" He chewed and swallowed. "Shit, Ken, I'll just fucking tell them to truth. They'll probably care even less than I do." He leaned over and flicked his finger against Ken's forehead. "And I'm going to be a chef, numbskull. I don't need schooling for that." They both knew he was drastically over simplifying the future, but Daisuke was pretty sure he had a solid set of truths behind it that made his irrational choice today surprisingly rational. "Stop being pissed off that I found a loophole to the system. For a smart guy, you sure are dumb as hell." The smile on his face wouldn't leave, and it didn't leave after he paid for their meals and made their way back to Ken's apartment to open a digital gate. He could feel that Ken was still tense, still pissed off at him, but the air between them was becoming less stifling. He walked backwards and faced Ken as they made their way down the sidewalk. "Let's make sure to pack some pans for your house. I wanna cook some of the fish we catch tonight for you." He wanted to show Ken that everything would be ok. Because it was going to be... It had to be.
  22. Unconventional

    Daisuke settled into his side of the booth, Chibimon sitting next to him and doing his part to ravage Daisuke's backpack for snacks. The little monster was always hungry, and seemed to think of little else. Daisuke was honestly fine with it; he was simple to understand. Humans could be so complex. Slipping off his uniform jacket, he set it on top of his pillaged book bag and took at look at the menu. At that point, he realized he wasn't actually hungry. Everything looked so heavy and nauseating. He settled on an order of gyoza and rice. Any left overs could go to his trash can for a digimon. His finger ran down the edges of the menu, his eyes drifting above the top of it to look at Ken briefly. The man was still figuring out his order, his eyes darting across the pages, his teeth caught on the edge of his bottom lip like he was stuck mid-word. It was warm in the restaurant, and Ken was so pale that the flush that formed along his cheeks and neck was a brilliant pink against the white of his skin. And his eyes--his eyes were deep. Pools of muted cerulean encircled by navy. All these years, and Daisuke had never seen eyes like his. He flushed when he heard a breathy sigh escape his mouth. Closing the menu and placing it at the end of the table, Daisuke rubbed the bridge of his nose with his thumb and index finger. He asked himself again what the hell he was doing. What was going on in his mind that made this a good decision? What the fuck was he going to do? What was he going to do? Ken's question threw him off guard. Mostly because he hadn't even thought of it. He knew there would be repercussions for his actions, but the reality of it hadn't really caught up with him yet. He shrugged, his fingers moving from the bridge of his nose to the lip of his tea cup. He held it on the table with no intention of drinking it. "Nothing, probably. They'll find out eventually." He kept his gaze on the green liquid in his cup. "For all they know, I'm at school right now. That's good enough for me." Daisuke knew that was an answer that was going to frustrate Ken to no end, but he didn't know what else to tell him. That's exactly how it was going to go, unless Ken told on him. And Daisuke doubted that to be a possibility. "I want to go to the ocean." Daisuke said, his tongue sticking out of his mouth slightly as he grinned. "In the Digital World." He didn't want Ken to worry about what was to come. It wasn't his burden to bear. Daisuke would be fine, but he'd be better if he could spend some quality time with his best friend. "After we eat. I wanna go." He pushed aside his tea cup as their food was delivered to the table. Breaking his chopsticks, he unceremoniously started to dig into his rice. The thought made him feel better. It made the food easier to swallow, and he felt himself to be quite hungry indeed.
  23. Unconventional

    Daisuke smiled. He touched the back of his knuckles with one hand and let out a soft laugh. "Then we should celebrate, shouldn't we? You earned it, after all." He dared to look back up to Ken, the look of discomfort tangling his friend like a snare. It made him sad that he had contributed to putting Ken into that state, but they both needed it. "My treat." Standing up, he gathered his things once again, and he let Chibimon climb to rest on the top of his head. Stepping near Ken, he cupped the man's elbow and let his thumb linger on the inside of it, rubbing small circles into the soft spot. "I'll be okay, Ken. And so will you." He waited for Ken to return his gaze before letting go, although he didn't want to. There was a butterfly or two fluttering confused somersaults in his stomach, and he wasn't quite sure why. At first, Daisuke didn't know why he had come here. Skipping school wasn't uncommon for him, but skipping exams was another thing. But he was still set on going when he dragged himself out of bed this morning. So why was it? He wanted to see Ken, sure. And seeing him earlier in the day made it easier in some respect... However, he could have skipped school anywhere. Even into the Digital World. Why did he come to Tamachi? It's not like Ken had the answers. Though, he did feel the most at ease with him. Even with tempers flared, he realized he'd rather have that than nothing at all. He started to walk off, leaving Ken standing behind him. Ken would figure out shortly where they were going if he chose to follow. It was their favorite ramen joint, and tonkatsu was on the menu for this afternoon.