[12:05 AM 10/14/04 : Apologizes to people confused by the last chapter on fanficnet -- apparently the style I use for Krad's speech (a double slash) was read as a URL marker and stripped. =.=;;;; It took me a better part of an hour -- after someone wrote me a nice review and commented that the way that Krad didn't have a speech marker really made it seem like he was part of Satoshi, and I went "Wait, WHAT? I didn't have anything planned with Krad's style -- WHAT?" -- to find a speech marker that fanficnet wouldn't strip. XO
Vikki: Did you find something that wouldn't be stripped yet?
Meg: #(&@)&#@!?!!!! RAIJI DESU. MAKUSU.
Vikki: ...I guess not.
So that should be fixed now. I think. I'll check. AGAIN. In the meantime, I'll try to remember it for Krad's next scene and there's a nice version up at www . fenya . net fanfics dnangel / mydec -- remove the spaces. It isn't linked from the main fanfic site yet, because I'm sort of lazy and I've got a horrible backlog of fics to code. Or else you can always check my lj (on the fanficnet profile) for updates. More notes after the actual, you know, fic.]
My December 02 : sweet
DNAngel still isn't mine. Damn.
When Daisuke returned with the drinks, Hiwatari-kun's eyes were closed and he looked nearly peaceful. With was fast asleep. Hiwatari-kun was still as white as a sheet, though.
::He's ALWAYS pale. It's kind of genetic.::
::No, the reason for it.::
Daisuke decided it was probably better not to take that particular remark up with Dark. There were some things that he really didn't want to know about. "Hiwatari-kun," he called. "I brought you some vitamin water."
Hiwatari-kun opened his eyes and looked blearily at him. "Oh. Thanks." He took the bottle from Daisuke and scooped With from his lap and held him out to Daisuke. With dangled from Hiwatari-kun's grasp peacefully until Daisuke took him back and tucked him in his sweatshirt hood again.
Daisuke was surprised; With usually wasn't that relaxed around people who weren't Niwa. Well, he liked Daisuke's dad, but he'd married into the family. For With to be so relaxed around Hiwatari-kun was ... weird, he thought. Just sort of weird. Sort of nice, but mostly weird.
::Wow, are you not making sense.::
:It IS weird. And I don't know why.:
::I'll tell you what. I won't explain and you won't have a heart attack. Deal?::
"Do you feel better now?" he asked.
"Yes," said Hiwatari-kun and stood up. And swayed.
"GEH." Daisuke sprang forward.
"I'm fine," said Hiwatari-kun. He took a step forward, and nearly fell.
::...you ever notice that he has this thing where he has to be in control all the time?::
::I'm just SAYING.::
Daisuke somehow managed to support Hiwatari-kun despite the latter's irritated efforts to brush him aside -- irritated, but not very effective, which made Hiwatari-kun very obviously more irritated. "I think you need to lie down for a while," said Daisuke, firmly.
"Where?" snapped Hiwatari-kun.
::Where?:: Dark paused. ::Ah, dammit, I HATE doing that.::
"It's a nice sunny day," said Daisuke, ignoring Dark and Hiwatari-kun's continued efforts to get away from Daisuke's supporting arm. "So you can lie on the grass. And then --"
::We'll drink this nice vitamin water and feel all better.::
"I'm not a baby," said Hiwatari-kun.
::....ah, crap, not AGAIN....::
:You're not being very helpful.:
"I'm fine," said Hiwatari-kun.
"You nearly fell flat on your face," said Daisuke, who could be stubborn, too.
Hiwatari-kun opened his mouth, and then looked down at Daisuke's arm. "I have a question."
"When did you start wearing such loose clothes?"
Daisuke scratched his head nervously. "Actually, it's because I'm still smaller than Dark. I think. I dunno, I just wear what Mom tells me to."
".....," said Hiwatari-kun.
"It's just easier that way," said Daisuke. "See, if I have to transform into Dark suddenly my clothes are too tight for him. So if I wear a loose shirt and pants, they fit him pretty well, and if they're a little tight..."
Hiwatari-kun considered this gravely. "Right."
"And, um..." Daisuke shifted uncomfortably. "Since, um, things started, um, happening ... Mom kind of feels better if I'm, um..."
"Ready to transform at a minute's notice?"
Daisuke nodded, even more uncomfortably. Hiwatari-kun looked sad, for some reason.
"Anyway," said Daisuke, "You need to lie down."
Hiwatari-kun sighed. "Niwa?"
"You're not going to give up until I go lie down, are you?"
"No," said Daisuke.
There was a long silence. "Niwa?"
"You're an idiot."
They ended up sitting in an area of the park with trees growing tall above them, casting dappled shadows on the ground. Daisuke liked places with light and shadow; you weren't so conspicuous then. The ground was dry, fortunately, and the grass had recently been cut. Hiwatari-kun sat down for a few minutes, looking pale and stubborn, and Daisuke sat beside him, less pale (he hoped) and even more stubborn, petting With. And waiting. Finally Hiwatari-kun sighed impatiently and flung himself down.
"I'm lying down," he said, pointedly.
"So why aren't you leaving me alone?"
"Because," said Daisuke, calmly, "As soon as I get out of sight you're going to get up and walk around some more."
"......," said Hiwatari-kun.
"Am I wrong?"
"No," said Hiwatari-kun, reluctantly.
"Anyway," said Daisuke, "it's a nice day. I don't mind sitting here for a while."
There was a long silence. "If that was a threat, Niwa..."
"Huh," said Hiwatari-kun, and flung his arm over his eyes. He stayed like that for a while, and Daisuke saw his breathing deepen and even out. Finally his arm slid off his face, and Daisuke saw that his eyes were closed. It was probably really uncomfortable sleeping with his glasses on like that, but Daisuke didn't dare try to take them off for him.
He realized suddenly he had never really looked at Hiwatari-kun -- which was probably because Hiwatari-kun was either staring at him (what did he see? he wondered) or else he was being Dark and didn't have the time or attention to do anything but make sure that Dark wasn't going to do something more than usually outrageous, or else they were running away, or fighting Krad, or about to fight Krad.
And now Hiwatari-kun was asleep and Dark had retreated to the far corner of Daisuke's mind, and Daisuke could look, if he wanted. It was sort of embarrassing, but Daisuke refused to think about it. With Hiwatari-kun so quiet, it was easy to pretend that he was a model to copy, a subject to paint.
Hiwatari-kun was too thin, his cheek and wrist bones sharp against his skin. His shirt had slipped slightly off his throat and his collarbone was just as clearly defined -- too clearly, as if his body burnt what fuel he remembered to give it so quickly it had none to spare to make into flesh.
His eyes were closed, with oddly thick lashes sweeping down over his cheeks, but Daisuke knew they were blue. No, not blue, exactly, a color between blue and grey that could shift instantly from one color to the other to a deep blue-black. They would be nearly impossible to paint, he thought, unless you miraculously found that exact storm-shade, a pale blue the color of a clear, snowy day's sky, with undertones of ocean and silver.
His face, too, would be hard -- at rest it was almost sad, resigned to some fate. And yet it could be hard or cold, and Daisuke remembered it twisted in agony, emotion ripping through it like a physical force. You had to look for the subtle changes in Hiwatari-kun's face, though; a slight quirk in his mouth or an eyebrow raised slightly or lowered just a bit. When you learned to read them, it was so easy. So easy to look for the tiny lift at the corner of his mouth that passed for a smile, the particular set of his eyebrows and the bland look he wore when he said something deadpan, the look that meant he couldn't believe what was happening, and could he leave now? And then there was the way his eyes widened in shock, the pupil contracting so all you could see was a point of black in the blue of the iris, or the way they could hold the faintest glimmer of laughter or a distant constant sorrow, a look that made Daisuke hurt in sympathy, even when he hadn't known what it was.
His hands were long and slender, with sharply defined muscles. Artist's hands, although Daisuke had nearly the same type and his mother always called them thieves' hands. Hiwatari-kun's were meant to hold a brush sure and steady, but he knew that they were as capable of crushing force. It was funny, how the same pair could create and destroy, could be both beautiful and strong.
"We get arthritis early," said Hiwatari-kun, eyes still closed.
Daisuke tried not to leap three feet into the air, and failed. "Y-You're awake?"
"Yes, Niwa," said Hiwatari-kun, "I am awake. I don't know about you, but when someone stares at me for twenty minutes I tend to wake up. I'm funny like that."
Daisuke wondered for a second if Hiwatari-kun was being sarcastic. "Sorry."
"I don't mind," said Hiwatari-kun, sitting up. "It's a change."
Daisuke stared at him.
"To have someone look at me, I mean," said Hiwatari-kun. "Really look at me."
"Um," said Daisuke. Somehow, he didn't want to ask, as if it were something too private for him to know. "Uh... Ice-cream! Would you like some ice cream? There's a stand right there, see?"
"And they probably have a lot of good stuff and I'll get it, my treat, what flavor would you like -- yes?"
"And stop apologizing."
"Niwa," said Hiwatari-kun, warningly.
"Um, sor-- I mean, do you want ice cream?"
"I'll buy my own," said Hiwatari-kun.
"But I --"
"Niwa," said Hiwatari-kun, with an edge in his voice that somehow managed to suggest that Hiwatari-kun did not wake up in a good mood, and furthermore, was going to get his way come hell or high water, "I will buy my own damn ice cream. I do not want to be at a heist and have Dark demand I pay him back, or remind me at the top of his lungs that I'm buying next time."
:You wouldn't --:
::Damn Hikaris, memories like elephants, I swear. Eighty years later and they're STILL sore.::
:You made one of his ancestors pay you back for ice cream that one of my ancestors bought him.:
::Bastard refused,:: said Dark, sulkily. ::It was expensive back then, too.::
:... sometimes I feel really sorry for Hiwatari-kun's family.:
::Huh. They always gave ME twice as much hell as I gave THEM.::
:Why don't I believe that?:
Dark radiated innocence. ::You know me?::
Daisuke decided to ignore this, because Dark was bad enough without encouragement. He thought about offering Hiwatari-kun a hand up, but that would probably, as Dark would say, be a good way to lose his hand. He got up himself and didn't quite watch Hiwatari-kun stumble to his feet.
::Damn. Quicker than usual.::
:You say that a lot around him, did you know that?:
Dark was obviously not going to explain what he meant, so Daisuke started toward the ice cream stand, acutely aware of Hiwatari-kun following behind him.
::Watching your butt, too.::
:I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that.:
::'S probably a good idea.::
The vendor looked up and smiled as they came near, obviously assuming they were simply a pair of friends out enjoying the good weather. "Hello," she said. "What can I get you?"
Daisuke smiled weakly. "Hiwatari-kun," he said, "Why don't you go first?"
Hiwatari-kun looked at him and raised an eyebrow. Daisuke shrugged. Hiwatari-kun gave him another look that meant he thought Daisuke was insane but not worth arguing with. "Vanilla, please," he said.
::BORING,:: announced Dark, on cue.
:LOTS of people like vanilla. I like vanilla. Vanilla is a perfectly good flavor.:
::Yeah, sure,:: said Dark. ::What are you getting?::
Daisuke braced himself. :I thought strawberry --:
::WHAT? You're as boring as HE is! Look, there's Licorice Fudge Chunk Bubblegum Bits Toffee Nut Mocha Swirl! Get that and sprinkles. And walnuts. And those little chocolate chips.::
Daisuke made a horrible face before he caught himself. :I want strawberry,: he said, attempting firmness. :And you still haven't --:
::BORING BORING BORING. God, don't you ever want to LIVE a little? Why don't you let me get what I want for once?::
:Because,: said Daisuke, :It's my tastebuds we're talking about.:
:I am NOT!:
"Here you go," said the vendor. "Now, er... what would you like?"
Daisuke jumped and looked at her. "Um...I'm still arg -- deciding."
The vendor blinked. Hiwatari-kun took a bite of his ice cream, and gave Daisuke a look that said he knew perfectly well what Daisuke was actually doing. And when had he gotten so good at interpeting Hiwatari-kun's looks?
::Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease? I want it!::
:It looks DISGUSTING.:
::IT DOES NOT,:: said Dark, outraged. ::YOU try being stuck in the back of someone's head and riding on their tastebuds and tell me if it's disgusting or not!::
:...can you actually taste stuff?:
::Yeah, if it's strong enough,:: said Dark. ::Don't give me that look, I'm used to it.::
Daisuke sighed. "I'd like one scoop of vanilla, one scoop of strawberry, and --" he tried not to make a face "-- a scoop of the Licorice Fudge Chunk Bubblegum Bits Toffee Nut Mocha Swirl. A SMALL one. On top. And sprinkles and walnuts and chocolate chips, please."
The vendor blinked at him. Daisuke tried not to look embarrassed, and failed.
That was definitely a chuckle being muffled behind Hiwatari-kun's ice-cream. Daisuke pretended he didn't hear the murmured "Would he like some pickles, too?"
The ice cream wasn't that bad, Daisuke thought, eating his way through the top scoop. It was just sort of ... overwhelming, and none of the flavors managed to overpower the others enough to make it so you could pretend it was nothing but one flavor that just happened to have elements of the others.
Actually, it sort of looked kind of cool, like a mixed media painting, only one with a bad palette, done by a four year old. It was the way the blue-black of the licorice looked against the brown chunks of the fudge, and how the lighter mocha color clashed with the bubble gum bits and sprinkles. Looking at it made him even more reluctant to eat it, so he just closed his eyes and ate as rapidly as possible.
::Don't eat that so fast, you'll get a --::
:: -- brain freeze.::
Daisuke was too busy making horrible faces to snap back at Dark, no matter how much he deserved it. You'd think that you would remember how awful eating ice cream too fast was, the way your head seemed to tighten up and explode all at once, with your ears not-quite ringing and your brain curling up and screaming wordlessly in pain as ice exploded all along your nerve endings. Daisuke always managed to forget, and he was always, always surprised.
"Are you all right?" said Hiawtari-kun.
"Arrrrgh," replied Daisuke. "Ow ow ow ow!"
"I see." Hiwatari-kun took a careful bite of his ice cream. "You shouldn't eat that so fast."
::WOULD HE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS UNHOLY STOP DOING THAT?!::
":ARRRRRRRGH OW OW OW!:"
Daisuke hopped up and down in agony, disturbing With, who woke up and hopped out of his hood. He gave Daisuke a look and scampered off. Daisuke shook his head violently, and his cone fell, gently, slowly over. "CRAP!"
Plop, plop, PLOP. Daisuke stared gloomily at his ice cream on the ground. His hand was smeared over with a brown-pink-white mixture of ice cream, which looked even grosser than it had in the cone. "Just my luck."
"You have ice cream all over your hand now," said Hiwatari-kun, master of the obvious. And his ice cream cone, for that matter. It wasn't fair. Hiwatari-kun never did stupid things like get brain freezes and upset his ice cream cone all over the ground.
Daisuke sighed. "Yeah," he said. At least he'd managed to not get it on his sweatshirt. He bet Hiwatari-kun could eat spaghetti wearing a white dress shirt and not get a single spot on it. Or drink a cup of coffee in the morning and not arrive at school and look down to see a huge splotch of brown covering his front.
"All over your hand," said Hiwatari-kun. His voice was a little funny.
::HUH,:: said Dark, sounding much too thoughtful for Daisuke's good.
Daisuke waited for Dark to explain, realized that he wasn't going to, and shook out his hand. It was good and smeared. "Ew."
Hiwatari-kun stared at his hand. Daisuke looked up. Hiwatari-kun swallowed the rest of his cone, reached out, and took Daisuke's hand.
::....he wouldn't have the guts.::
:Um. What are you talking about?:
Hiwatari-kun, still very calm, raised Daisuke's hand to his mouth and licked some of the ice cream off.
Daisuke's brain made a sound like 'mrglefrzleguhEEHHHHHH?!' and ran into a brick wall, where it frantically tried to change gears and did nothing but grind them until there was nothing but screeching noise and the nasty scent of burning oil and rubber.
"I'd better go," said Hiwatari-kun calmly. He dropped Daisuke's hand and walked off, not quickly, but not slowly, either. Daisuke gaped after him. His hand was burning.
Hiwatari-kun, he thought. Tongue. Skin. Ice cream. OH. MY. GOD.
::That was slick,:: said Dark admiringly.
:He just -- ice-cream -- from -- HIWATARI-KUN JUST LICKED ICE-CREAM OFF MY HAND AND ALL YOU CAN SAY IS 'THAT WAS SLICK'?!:
::Waste not, want not, I always say.:: Piety sounded very bad on Dark.
::Well, I personally would have done a lingering look, and possibly kept hold of your hand for just a smidge longer,:: said Dark, in tones of a master critiquing an inferior yet promising work, ::but all in all, a very worthy effort. Considering he hardly ever flirts and all.::
:Hardly ever -- HE'S A BOY! DO I LOOK LIKE A GIRL TO YOU?!:
::You blush like one. It's really cute, did I ever tell you that?::
::You see, Dai-chan, usually little boys like little girls, but sometimes little boys like OTHER little boys!::
::And sometimes little girls like other little girls, and there's also little girls and little boys who like both little girls and little boys. Didn't Mummy explain that?::
:S-so Hiwatari-kun --:
::He can't help it, poor bugger. His family's always been Niwa-sexual.::
:Guh.: Daisuke stopped. :'Niwa-sexual'?:
::Shoulda seen his mom around Emiko.::
:I DID NOT WANT TO HEAR THAT ABOUT MY MOTHER.:
::It's not like Emiko ever noticed or anything.:: Dark shrugged. ::His mom just kind of ... watched ... her. Like a cat staring at a bird they know they can't catch.::
:Urgh.: Daisuke tried to get rid of that image, and failed. Something else occured to him. :He left.:
::Of course he left.::
:: ... do you work on being that dense, or is it a natural talent?:: It was hard to glare at someone when you lived in their head, but Dark managed it. ::Why do you THINK he bolted?::
: ... oh.:
::Yes, 'oh'.:: Dark was quiet for a long moment, and when he spoke again, his voice was almost gentle. ::Now that you know, what are you going to do? Daisuke.::
Daisuke finally fell asleep in the early morning, and Dark slid from his mind and sat on the bed, stroking Daisuke's hair to lull him more deeply into sleep. Daisuke had spent the whole night worrying about Hiwatari, what to do, what was going to happen, why him why Hiwatari-kun why they had to be enemies why Hiwatari-kun felt that way, on and on until Dark was tempted to send him to sleep, and didn't only because he knew the muddle of worry and questions in Daisuke's head would follow him in his dreams.
Poor little bugger, he thought. Didn't realize you had his heart, did you. And you didn't even steal it, he handed it to you and you didn't even know. It's not your fault. Or maybe it is, but you couldn't help it, any more than he could.
What a mess. Why'd you have to be so beautiful?
Why'd you have to not realize it, Daisuke?
Dark continued to be privately amazed at his hosts and the way they remained completely oblivious to their own beauty. It wasn't even modesty (a trait he had no patience for, even if he had finally stopped trying to stamp it out of the Niwa line), it was a real, honest to God complete lack of clue about the fact that if they were works of art Dark would have stolen them in a heartbeat.
Daisuke especially. Partly because of his parents -- Dark approved of Emiko, who besides being lovely and sweet, had a certain evil sense of drama that Dark could only admire, and Kosuke not only had the great good sense to marry Emiko, he was quite a decent piece of work himself -- but partly, Dark thought, because of himself. You couldn't explain what made one piece of metal set with sparkly stones an ugly if expensive piece of junk, and another something to covet, to hold in your hands and study, to put around the neck or in the ears of a woman and stare at it until you saw beyond the flash of diamond and gleam of gold and into its heart. It simply was. Daisuke had that, the something that separated the junk from the art, but you couldn't say what it was.
Daisuke didn't know, might never know, what a work of art he was. If he had been oil and canvas or marble and stone, Dark would have cheerfully faced ten thousand Hiwataris to steal him.
Hiwatari knew. He had the Hikari eye for quality, the unerring instinct that said, This is real. That is not. This is art. That is an overpriced splodge of oil on a canvas. Dark knew, none better, that Hiwatari knew and appreciated what a beautiful object Daisuke was. Which led to more problems, when you thought about it, but the main difference between Dark and Hiwatari was that the former was content to make a daily trek to admire something beautiful in a museum or gallery, whereas Dark saw something beautiful as a logical reason to remove it somewhere where he could enjoy it all to himself.
:Dark?: Daisuke's mental voice was sleepy, but not annoyed.
:What are you thinking so hard about? 's keeping me up.:
And another reason why Daisuke was so special was the fact that he had won some genetic lottery and had enough latent power to make life extremely interesting not only for himself, Dark, Hiwatari and Krad, but for every living organism within a five mile radius. Dark had yet to convince himself that Daisuke needed to know this. Even he had barely become aware of it, and Dark operated on the theory that if you had to spring a shock on someone at least you should be able to explain it to them afterward.
It did explain why Daisuke was so aware of him, though.
::Nuffin' much. Sorry.::
:'Sokay. You were thinking about art, weren't you?:
::Yeah, kind of. Go to sleep, Daisuke.::
:Dark?: Daisuke's voice was even sleepier now. :That reminds me ... why do you steal things?:
::Cos I can.::
:...oh...,: said Daisuke, and Dark felt him drift off to sleep.
He did steal things because he could. But he also stole them because he was a possessive son of a bitch.
Here's a hint for people reading -- all the chapter titles are song titles. If you can correctly identify all of them, I'll ... be sort of impressed. (Unless you're like, Sakkit or Amy, in which case you probably gave me the songs in the first place.) I dunno, maybe write you a short or something. The fic is also named after a song, but only two or three of the chapters have titles from that particular band.
This story was begun sometime in late 2002 or 2003, I forget which; I think 2002. It started with an initial image of With riding in Daisuke's sweatshirt hood. I'd gotten about 60K of it done before a combination of RL and a feeling that it needed to ferment for a while made me lay it aside. (The projected final length is at least 120K, probably closer to 200+ -- I count fic by kilobyte length because I write in plain text, if you're wondering. My average fic is 6-10K.) I HOPE to finish it by the end of Nov 2004, but this is me and this is my brain, so you can probably tell how likely that's going to be. Some of the ideas are taken from vols 7 and 8 of the manga -- although I did a lot of the work before I had a chance to see vol 9, and I was spot on several things. Which sort of scared me, frankly.
(Someone was wondering -- yes, the first bit was taken more or less from the manga, if 'more or less' means 'went around grabbing people and shaking them until they hacked up something like a translation for me and then rewrote the stupid thing because it didn't go with the fic'. Aha.)
Thanks to Meia and Crysi for coming up with the sounds of Daisuke's brain going BLORK.
Thanks for reading! And thanks for the reviews, they make me feel like I'm not typing into a vacuum. X3 Don't expect the next chapter for a while; the next chapter has about 8K worth of text so far and I think I have to write a heist. SHOOT ME NOW.
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