Musings after the end. For Meg. (Mild SatDai.)
by Mina Lightstar
It was almost like waking from a very vivid dream. The notable difference was that Daisuke had been conscious enough to know that the entire battle was not a dream. The Black Wings were no longer a threat, but neither was Daisuke a Tamer any longer.
Daisuke missed Dark already. It hadn't been long ago that they had said their goodbyes, in the midst of the battle between the Black Wings and Krad. After Daisuke's encouragement, Dark was nothing more than a whisper against his mind.
"Because I'm with you."
Only he wasn't. Not anymore.
He was back in the "real world" again, having been forcefully expelled from his vantage point, that in-between realm where he'd watched the Dark's battle and fought one of his own with Hiwatari-kun.
The Black Wings were gone, the crisis averted. Everything was back to normal, and everyone save those who had played a major role was unhurt. All in all, it was a job well done.
Except he had come back alone.
Daisuke started fully awake when something twitched against his arm. Hiwatari-kun.
Not alone, after all. Hiwatari-kun is back, too....
It was unusual for Daisuke to think and to know that there was no one else in his mind. He would look into a mirror and see himself all the time. There would never be any Dark staring back at him.
Daisuke blinked, and the world around him slowly came into focus. It was foggy; the mist was cool and moist against his skin, the ground hard against his back.
"Niwa." It was almost a whisper. Hiwatari-kun's voice was breathless and tired, evidence of his exhaustion.
Daisuke sat up immediately, concerned. He had learnt much, especially during the last dew missions. Dark was not invincible; the wings he flew on were not indestructible. Though strong and resilient, they were all sometimes as beautiful and fragile as butterfly wings.
And Krad was no different.
"Hiwatari-kun," Daisuke ventured, uncertain of what to say. He looked down at the one who had been his classmate, acquaintance, enemy, and maybe friend. As Daisuke had been Dark's Tamer, Hiwatari-kun Satoshi had been the vessel for Krad. Now they were both without their Others, but no doubt harbored different feelings toward the separation. Daisuke felt loss, Hiwatari-kun felt freedom.
Hiwatari-kun was staring up into nothing, eyes no longer hidden behind glasses he didn't need. Though he had spoken Daisuke's name, Hiwatari-kun had yet to say anything else. He looked... not quite dazed, but minutely forlorn.
"It's over," Daisuke said eventually. He fingered the torn bits of his black coat.
"Over," Hiwatari-kun murmured. His eyes locked with Daisuke's, and something in them changed. "Yes. Over."
Silence settled in again, and deepened the growing awkwardness of their situation. With all that had happened, one would think that finding himself in the middle of a misty battlefield with his fellow Tamer wouldn't be so unusual. Finally, Daisuke murmured, "I wondered why your father was so young."
For a moment, Hiwatari-kun said nothing. Then, suddenly, he began to laugh. The sound was quiet but so unlike Hiwatari-kun that Daisuke found himself laughing, too.
"Niwa," Hiwatari-kun said, struggling to sit up, "you're so... normal, sometimes."
At first, he wasn't sure how to take that. From Hiwatari-kun, it was a compliment; from Harada-san, it had been a gentle rejection. He decided to take it as the former. "You, too. Now." Daisuke shifted around to kneel in front of his friend, and reached out to steady Hiwatari-kun as his weak body wavered. The act caused the taller boy to fall forward and Daisuke caught him, resting his palms on Hiwatari-kun's bare back. "You're normal, too," he reiterated. He didn't bother to add that in many ways, like Daisuke, Hiwatari-kun was remarkable.
"Niwa, don't ever change." It was part-request, part-command.
Hiwatari-kun had never shown any hesitancy when it came to casual touching, but somehow what they were doing now was different, strangely significant. Daisuke felt oddly protective, had the urge to keep this Hiwatari -- this normal Hiwatari-kun -- safe. It made no difference that the only power that had abandoned him was Krad, and that Hiwatari-kun was still anything but incapable of taking care of himself.
So Daisuke held him tighter, closer, breathing deeply as Hiwatari-kun rested against him.
"And now..." Hiwatari-kun ventured. "What do we do now?"
Daisuke thought about it. School and homework and girlfriends seemed very far away -- far beyond this misty world and everything that had come before it.
"Obvious, isn't it?" Daisuke said at last, laughingly. He pulled back so he could look into Hiwatari-kun's eyes. "We be normal students."
Hiwatari-kun blinked. "Just that simple?" he mused, a hint of his usual self returning.
"Mm." Daisuke nodded. "Dark is Dark, Krad is Krad, you're you and I'm me. We can just be ourselves. Simple, really." If a little lonely, for now.
"Simply being ourselves..."
Daisuke nodded again, prepared to speak, but Hiwatari-kun was leaning forward, this time with intent, not weakness. He surprised Daisuke by kissing him softly but soundly on the lips.
It was closed-mouthed, lingering, and Daisuke's eyes closed of their own accord once he'd suppressed his initial urge to yelp and cry for an explanation. That's when Hiwatari-kun withdrew and kissed his forehead, eyelids, and then his lips again, the last a fraction harder than the others, before pulling back.
"What was that?" Daisuke asked, too startled to act startled.
"What might have been," Hiwatari-kun answered. There was a hint of something in his voice; Daisuke couldn't say exactly what it was. Regret? Sadness? Simple musing? Whatever it was, Hiwatari-kun was masking it well, and the implications of what the other boy was hiding was making Daisuke feel a mixture of emotions ranging from surprise to guilt. He might have tried to speak, but Hiwatari-kun beat him to it.
"Come on. Riku is waiting."
It was easier to concentrate on helping Hiwatari-kun walk than it was to work out what had just happened. So that's what Daisuke did, hooking an arm around the taller boy's waist and pulling the other's arm over his own shoulders. They started walking slowly, Hiwatari-kun leaning heavily on Daisuke for support.
As they walked away from the site of the battle, Daisuke looked over his shoulder, wondering how long it would be before that place was normal again, and then he blinked, tightening his grip on Hiwatari-kun a little.
It was so brief it could have been his imagination, and maybe it was. But in the mist, for an instant, he thought he saw wings.