Hope in Despair (aka Hope gets some KFC)
Part 1 - A Noticeable Change
by Ashna

This is in high school and all the second season Digidestined are going to the same school. Except for Iori. They're all fourteen and the older digidestined are about 17 in the last year of high school. The plot line focuses mostly on Takeru and Ken with wee little parts by Daisuke every now and then. One Hikari bit too, hey I needed the voice of wisdom and frankly only Hikari can fill that role. This story has Yaoi content, can't handle it don't read it. Hard core Takari fans might not want to read this....Kensuke, Sorato (Sorry Taito fans but a friend made me!) and Taito. Warning! There are a few big surprises in here so be prepared!

(Can you figure out what K.F.C. is?)

And there will be a prequel/sequel to the Taito bits. Because it was too much to go into in this one. Thank you Katherine for giving me the idea by forcing me into writing a Sorato! Heehee...you can never win!

Disclaimer: Of course this stuff isn't ours!


Takeru yawned as he walked home with Hikari. It had been a long day and he was beat. He wasn't looking forward to going out tonight. It'd been her idea to go out for dinner but now Takeru wished she'd scheduled it for another day. Relaxing was good but he was tired.

The still petite brunette even at fourteen smiled at him as he squeezed her hand. She'd been really quiet lately and he wasn't quite sure why.

"Hikari is anything bothering you?" he asked.

She smiled weakly and looked a little nervous. She'd been doing that a lot lately too.

"No, nothing's bothering me. Wh- why'd you ask?" She said with a false tone.

"Oh no reason you've just been really quiet 's all." He answered her looking ahead and thinking.

Things had been like this for a while between them. Distant. In fact that's all the relationship had ever been for him. Oh sure he went through all the motions. Holding hands, the silly love bird talk but he'd never felt that strongly towards her. At least not like that.

He couldn't even remember why he'd agreed to go out with her in the first place. Probably the pressure from everyone else. They all assumed because of their crests they would fall in love. A special bond or some crap like that.

They were the digidestined of hope and light of course they had a bond. He understood Hikari and she understood him with some thing closer to instinct then conscious thought. But that's all, a bond of similar situation and ideals but never love.

He hadn't minded being with Hikari though and neither had she. They'd just gone along with the opinions of the others. She was fun to be around and with her he didn't feel quite so lonely.

Yeah he got lonely, lonely in spirit. Takeru was more like his brother than some people realized. They both had the Ishida temper and they both had that tendency to brood. They'd gotten the former from their father and the latter from their mother. The only difference between them was that Yamato had always found some way of expressing himself. He'd play his music or go fight with Taichi. Takeru had never been able to release his feelings in any way. He'd cried a lot when he was younger and would sometimes get a little angry when his feeling became too strong but he'd grown out of all that quickly.

Then he'd met Hikari and she'd understood because she was much the same. They had a way of coexisting in the same frame of mind. Both could become depressed, becoming something much different from their normally cheery selves. Neither had ever been able to pull each other out of it though. That was probably why they'd never fallen in love.

Hikari suddenly stopped and Takeru paused dragging himself out of his own thoughts. He looked at her in confusion because she was so worked up over something he couldn't even read her.

"Takeru...." she started faltering then taking a deep breath she started again.

"Takeru I can't do this...us any longer."

He blinked and nodded not terribly upset, this was something he'd been expecting for a while. Hikari's bouts of depression came from her own relationship with the light. Light could not exist without darkness and she was constantly torn between the two. He'd always tried to help her but had his own problems to deal with.

"Takeru I've been thinking and I think we should see other people." She paused while Takeru didn't say anything just waited for her to finish.

"It's just that there's someone I like and I want, I want to be free to ask them out."

Takeru could tell this person meant a lot to Hikari. She'd been talking a lot lately about a someone she'd met in photography class. Takeru smiled as he now realized that they'd been more to her than just a new friend.

"It's Akira right?" He asked with a grin hoping to embarrass her a little.

She blushed prettily, the color rising on her normally pale cheeks.

"Yes, and don't be a jerk like Daisuke about it either."

Takeru smiled and gave her a gentle hug around her shoulders. She hugged him back, arms around his waist.

"Hikari I'm happy that you've found someone you care for. So your free, free as a bird, free as a butterfly, free as a Hawkmon, free as a Biyomon." He said grabbing her arms and flapping them around.

Hikari giggled and managed to pull her arms away from her best friend which was all they'd ever really been. She stopped laughing and gave Takeru a hopeful look with her soft brown eyes.

"Um I was thinking that maybe we could skip the dinner date. He kinda asked me to a movie tonight as a friend and I didn't exactly say no and..."

The tall blonde laughed and gave her a little push towards Akira's place.

"Go I was trying to think of a way to go home and sleep anyway."

~~~~~~~~~~~ Several weeks pass/ at school.

Takeru came out the school gates and looked around for Ken. Both were in the same geology class, though Ken was the teachers assistant. Ken had agreed to help him study for a big test next week.

Takeru had been surprised at how close he and the digidestined of kindness had become over the years. He now honestly considered Ken his best friend next to Hikari. He figured it was something to do with the fact that both of them were fairly introspective. Ken would often come to him for advice and vice versa. Of course the friendship had taken a while to develop while Daisuke had slowly brought Ken out of his shell but that hardly mattered now.

The raven haired boy was leaning against the wall with his book bag waiting. Takeru walked up to him and waved hello. Then stopped as Ken looked up and he saw his face.

"Whoa! Ken what happened to you? Did you get into a fight or something? You look like shit." Takeru said amazed at the amount of damage on his friends face.

He had a rather large black eye that was slowly swelling, his nose had been bleeding, one side of his face was turning a nasty shade of yellow green and his lip was split. Ken nodded and smiled looking happy.

"Well you should see the other guy. He's got two black eyes and I think I broke his nose."

*He's been hanging around Daisuke too much. He's actually glad to have broken someone's nose.*

"Um and why'd you do that?" Takeru asked genuinely curious to find out what could have made Ken that mad.

"Some asshole pushed me into a locker saying I was a sissy fag who should get beat up. Then he said he'd kick my faggy assed boyfriend after he was done with me. So I punched him. Then he punched me and well...." Ken said starting to look just a little sheepish.

Takeru laughed and smiled giving Ken a slap on the shoulder. Ken was normally very gentle but tended to get angry whenever someone insulted or threatened Daisuke.

"Hey that's a good thing then! Jerks like that shouldn't even be allowed to coexist with real human beings."

Ken chucked and proceeded to tell just how much pain he'd inflicted on the bully before a teacher had split them up. Of course Ken was now suspended for a week but the other guy got a month because he'd started the fight on prejudice alone.

Takeru listened with just half his mind. The other was reflecting on the one relationship no one had seen coming. Everyone had been surprised when Daisuke had started dating Ken. One day he'd been bugging Hikari about liking her the next he admitted to being with Ken since their adventures in the digital world.

The two were sickeningly sweet around each other too. Always holding hands and whispering things into each others ears that made the other blush. But no one minded because the they were so obviously happy together. Daisuke could always manage to bring out Ken's personality and Ken could magically calm down Daisuke in any situation.

He was terribly jealous of them and the happiness they'd found together. Takeru didn't think he would ever find someone to be that close to. He'd voiced these fears a few times to Ken and his brother Yamato but both told him he was an idiot and to have a little patience.

He glanced at Ken who was now talking about the college courses he was taking on the weekends so that he wouldn't stagnate his brain in a normal high school. Takeru wondered what it was like to love someone enough to switch schools and expose yourself to constant ridicule. He considered Ken and Daisuke two of the bravest people he knew.

~~~~~~~~~~ At Takeru's place

"Okay first off you have to find out which class the rock is. That can usually be done by what kind of rock it's made out of." Ken was explaining but Takeru wasn't really listening.

Lately he'd been feeling a little punkish. He would start thinking about his love life, his future and several other things that tended to depress him. It wasn't like he meant to do that it was just normally he would have talked to Hikari about that sort of thing but she was off with her new boyfriend most of the time now. Besides he never did like bugging her with his problems, she always had so many of her own.

"Earth to Takeru, what's up with you lately that's the third time you've drifted off like that today." Ken said waving a pale hand in front of his friend's face.

"Sorry Ken I've just been a little depressed lately that's all." Takeru said absentmindedly focusing his attention back on the work.

Ken nodded then frowned in concern.

"You want to talk about it?" he asked always knowing when something was bothering the cheerful blonde.

Takeru shook his head in a negative hoping Ken wouldn't push him. As much as he valued the friendship between them he didn't feel comfortable unloading on Ken. Just like Hikari, Ken still had his own issues to deal with and he didn't need his friend whining to him.

Ken tilted his head giving Takeru a good look then shrugged turning back to the Geology text book in his lap. Ken knew when not to push Takeru and figured this was one of those times.

~~~~~~~~~~ Later that night

It was two o'clock in the morning and Takeru was still awake. He'd left his room, where he'd just been staring at the ceiling, to sit in the living room staring out the window at the rain.

This was the third time this week that he hadn't been able to sleep. He honestly didn't know why but he'd feel listless and zoned out during the day but couldn't relax enough to sleep at night.

He shivered and pulled a blanket tighter around his shoulders. Now that fall was settling in, nights were getting chilly. A noise made him look up and he saw his Mom in her house coat looking sleepy.

"What are you still doing up honey and why are you in the dark?" She asked walking forward and turning on a lamp.

"Couldn't sleep." he answered.

She moved forward and placed a kiss on his cheek. No matter how old her boys got she tended to baby them. Though Yamato wouldn't put up with it like Takeru did. She moved into the kitchen giving him a warm smile as she did.

"I'll just make you some steamed milk like I did for Yamato when he was younger. He would always get up late at night and couldn't get back to sleep. It should do the trick. Relaxes the mind or something like that."

Takeru smiled slightly as his Mom bustled around the kitchen. She really did care for both her sons even if neither of them really were very open anymore.

"Thanks Mom." He said as she handed him a cup several minutes later.

"I put some almond flavoring in it so it tastes better. I'm going back to bed so after you're finished you go straight to bed okay? You do have school in the morning."

She left and Takeru reached over to turn off the light again. He really didn't feel like being in the light right now. He continued to stare out at the rain, sipping the drink and thinking about things.

He didn't know why he was thinking about the things he was. The divorce and how it had split up his family making his Mother worry constantly about him but mostly about his Father and Yamato. The time when he'd lost Angemon and the times when he and the other Digidestined fought against things too dark and pointless to make sense of. It was just making him depressed. But he couldn't get his mind off them.

This happened a lot more than people realized. He was always thinking about those types of things just like his brother.

*But I don't have anyone to talk to about it. He's got Sora now and before her he'd play his music.*

Takeru sighed and put the now empty mug down. He suddenly felt very tired though he doubted it had anything to do with the milk. He shivered again as he looked out the window on his way to bed.

*The rain has turned everything gray and dark.*

He crawled into bed pulling up the covers and tried to get warm again. He managed to relax and drifted off to sleep.

~~~~~~~ A few weeks later

It was the weekend and Takeru was walking home with Yamato, Sora and Daisuke. They'd all gone to see Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon in the theatre. Sora had wanted to see it for the romance and asked Yamato to take her. Yamato had phoned Takeru to ask if he'd please come along. Takeru had raised an eye brow at the desperate tone in his brother's voice, after all he had been dating Sora for months now, but had agreed. Daisuke had been over at Takeru's at the time and had come after he found out there was fighting in the movie.

All through the movie Daisuke had fidgeted while Sora cuddled up to a unresponsive Yamato. Takeru hadn't even paid attention to the thing. His mind was a complete blank. He'd felt a bit numb and had only remembered the end. There was something fascinating to him about the girl's jump off the bridge into the swirling mists surrounding the base of the mountain. His mind was stuck in a morbid replay of the scene as they walked.

He jumped out of his own thoughts as Yamato whacked him across the back of the head.

"Ow, jerk what did you do that for?" he grumbled giving his brother an annoyed look.

"As I was saying while you were off in la la land me and Sora have plans so we're going now. I'm still coming over for dinner next week, the concert was canceled so tell Mom it's a go, okay?" Yamato said pulling Takeru's hat down over his eyes playfully.

"Yeah whatever." he said not in the mood for brotherly banter.

They left, Sora grabbing Yamato's hand as they went. Takeru left, a pang of jealously at Yamato's good fortune. Yet another person around him who'd found happiness while he was still alone...

~~~~~~~~ Need another point of view? Yeah me too.

Daisuke frowned as Takeru seemed to drift off into his own world again. He'd been doing that a lot in the last few weeks and Daisuke was getting worried about his friend. Ken had mentioned to Daisuke that he should be keeping an eye on the blonde digidestined of hope. He'd asked Ken why, not really understanding and Ken had just shrugged saying he had a feeling.

*Ken can be so annoying when he's being all.. Being all.....smart. He never thinks I'll understand. Okay so maybe sometimes....most of the time...I don't. But he doesn't have to be so...annoying!*

"Hey Takeru I was going to meet up with Ken later do you wanna like phone up Hikari, Miyako and Iori and go for pizza or something?" he asked thinking Ken wouldn't mind turning the date into a friend get together."

No response.

"Hello Takeru is anybody home up there? Or has bleaching your hair finally gotten to your brain?"

He gave Takeru a little shove getting the other boy's attention. Takeru blinked then frowned as he heard what Daisuke said.

"I do not bleach my hair." he said not rising to the bait.

The two boys had never been particularity close before high school but had one thing in common. The people they cared for the most were the same. This had created a common ground for them to stand on. It was only now as they matured and became older that they had become good friends. But they still got on each other's nerves at times.

"Well do you wanna phone the others and go for pizza?" Daisuke asked getting impatient as his stomach growled in hunger.

"Okay, okay I know better then to get between you and your stomach. You're worse then a rookie digimon." Takeru said with a smile as he finally woke up a little.

"All right food! First I'll phone Ken before he leaves home and then..."

~~~~~~~~ At the pizza place

Ken laughed as Miyako and Daisuke fought over a piece of pizza. Everyone was there including a few extras. Hikari had brought her boyfriend a small guy with large green eyes and bright red hair that Ken recognized from the year book committee. They were the perfect compliment for each other too. Ken had never seen Hikari act so happy before.

"MIYAKO THAT"S MY PIECE!" Daisuke yelled standing up to reached across the table and receiving several startled glances from the other customers.

Ken winced and reached out pulling Daisuke back down by the seat of his pants. Ken put a arm warningly across his lower back, his thumb through a belt loop to keep his disgruntled boyfriend sitting.

"Daisuke would you please stop acting like you're eleven again?" Ken pleaded. "You're going to get us kicked out."

Miyako giggled at Daisuke for getting in trouble. Ken turned his amethyst eyes on her and frowned.

"You're no help either Miyako. You just encourage him."

Daisuke rolled his eyes at Miyako and poked Ken in the side.

"Yes Mommy. Geesh chill out for once Ken." Daisuke said while at the same time grabbing a slice of pizza and stuffing most of it in his mouth.

"Daisuke you are way too immature." Hikari said disapprovingly.

"Stop teasing Ken for acting his age and trying to get you to act in a decent manner. I don't know how he can stand being around you sometimes." Hikari finished with a grin.

Ken laughed along with everyone else as Daisuke blushed and sputtered out some remark that was supposed to be funny but fell far from its mark. Ken glanced over at Takeru who was sitting near the window beside Ken. He was just staring outside ignoring them all. He wasn't even staring at anything in particular just the pavement.

*That's odd, normally he takes every chance he can get to bug Daisuke. I wonder what could be wrong?*

He was going to ask him but was distracted by Iori, who now much taller but every bit as serious asked him where he got his black eye from. Daisuke grinned because he loved hearing this story while Ken was getting pretty tired of telling it.

He'd completely forgotten about Takeru's odd behavior by the time he was finished telling the tale and then they all had to go home so he never did ask his friend what was wrong.

~~~~~~~~~ Next day after school

Ken waited once more outside the school gates for Takeru. His grades had been slipping and his teachers knowing that they were friends asked Ken to tutor the blonde. Ken had agreed having nothing much to do lately. Though Daisuke said making out with him for hours on end was doing something.

*Of course Daisuke would do anything to avoid homework too.*

Takeru came around the bend and Ken fell into step beside him. He didn't look to be in the mood for talking so Ken remained silent. They reached Takeru's house in record time having not slowed down to chat comfortably. Takeru silently opened the door. Silently put away their jackets. Silently went to his room. Silently got out his books.

*He's going to drive me insane. I must have gotten used to Daisuke's constant chattering because this silence is weird.*

Ken frowned as he began to explain a passage of the text Takeru hadn't understood in class.

*This isn't like Takeru at all. Why has he been so quiet and withdrawn lately? You'd think he was me on a bad day but this seems different somehow. It's not like he's thinking about anything at all.*

Ken tried for several hours to put some of the information from school into his friend's brain but Takeru kept drifting off. He'd started talking but it was only to answer questions. He didn't even apologize for zoning out.

Finally Ken slammed a book shut loudly as he asked the same question for the fifth time with no response. Takeru jumped and turned dull tired eyes towards Ken.

*He looks exhausted why haven't any of us noticed this happening?*

"Okay what's wrong Takeru. You've been completely out for it for weeks now. What is wrong with you?" Ken asked with a frown of concern on his face.

~~~~~~~~~~ Back to T.O. Oops T.A.? T.B.? T.L.C?

Takeru jumped as Ken slammed the book and asked him what was wrong. He didn't answer because he didn't really know. All he knew was that he didn't care about anything anymore and confusion at why everyone was so concerned. Yamato had even phoned him last weekend after he'd gotten home to make sure he was okay.

"Well Takeru? At least answer me." Ken said again a concerned look upon his face.

He blinked trying to clear his mind and shook his head. Ken sat there expectantly waiting for an answer.

"Nothing's wrong Ken. Sorry if I've been out of it lately, I didn't mean to worry you." He answered pulling a cheerful demeanor over his features not wanting Ken to pry.

To be honest Takeru felt nothing at all. He'd felt faintly numb for weeks. Things just didn't seem as important anymore. He was trying to pay attention in school but this numb feeling combined with lack of sleep was making it difficult.

The last few days had been the worst. He'd woken up suddenly feeling incredibly frightened. He hadn't been able to move and it had been difficult to breath. It wasn't like there was anything to be frightened of and the feeling passed but he could never get back to sleep. His nerves would be completely shot so he'd get up and stare out the window until he had to get ready for school.

But Ken didn't need to hear all this. Hikari might have listened before but she was pretty much gone in her own world of happiness and light. Ken had his own problems to deal with just like her. He'd never truly recovered from his time as the Digimon Kaiser and the shock of what he'd done. Even now he really only opened up to Daisuke and to a extent other then his lover, Takeru.

So Takeru put on a false smile deciding he'd have to act cheerful and happy around the others to keep them from worrying. He shivered a little as he did so feeling as if he was stepping into a cold gray fog.

Ken frowned again and leaned forward reaching out with one hand like he was about to say something when Takeru's Mom called from beyond the door.

"Ken your mother just phoned. She'd like you to go home now before it gets too dark."

Ken stood up grabbing his stuff. He glanced back at Takeru and paused at the door hovering.

"Takeru if you ever want to talk you have my number. Okay?" Ken said then left leaving Takeru alone in his room.

He got up and looked out the window to watch Ken leave. It had started raining again and the world was completely monochromatic. Not a hint of the setting sun showed through the gray slate clouds. Not a single green leaf was still upon the trees. Only blackish barren shapes raised their thin branches to the sky. Even Ken's figure as it stopped to wave from the side walk was a slight shape of dark clothes and pale skin.

~~~~~~~~~ Ken on his way home

Ken shivered as he looked up at Takeru's face in the window. The world outside was as cold and barren as Takeru's eyes had been when he'd looked at Ken with a false smile. Something was definitely wrong.

There had been something familiar about the flat emotionless look behind Takeru's blue eyes. In truth today they had looked more like gray than their normal bright cheery blue.

*Of course how could I be so stupid! It was just like the land around the ocean of darkness. Gray and void of the life it once had. Will that place ever leave us alone?*

Ken thought bitterly as he hurried to catch the bus home. Once there he dialed up Daisuke immediately needing a little more help to help Takeru.

~~~~~~~~~ The park next day

Hikari shivered it was a cold day out and she wished she was inside. Why had Daisuke called her out here anyway. He was fifteen minutes late now too.

She was about to go home when Daisuke came jogging around the corner. He was out of breath and panting for air.

"Hi Daisuke so what is it you wanted to talk to me about?" She asked just a little impatient.

"How much do you know about Takeru? Like I know you dated and all but did you really get to know him and stuff?" Daisuke asked ditzy even when serious.

Hikari blinked and thought for a second wanting to give a good answer. For once in his life Daisuke seemed very focused.

"I guess I know him very well Daisuke. Okay here's the thing we have a special bond like the old kindred souls thing." She paused trying to explain.

"I can't really explain but I know him very well. Very well. Why are you asking, is something wrong with Takeru?"

Daisuke opened his mouth and shrugged. He sat down on a bench despite the water covering it and looked confused.

"I don't know but Ken thinks there might be."

Hikari nodded and sat down beside him. This bit of news bothered her more than Daisuke being worried.

"If there was Ken might be able to tell. He's a lot like me and Takeru. Here let me explain because I don't think Ken's ever been able to figure this one out. Ironic considering how smart he is but anyway."

She paused again trying to think of a way to explain it to Daisuke who sat looking at her expectantly.

*Yeah Hikari time to explain psychological problems to Daisuke. Good luck.*

"You know how our crests represent the best thing about us right?"

Daisuke nodded.

"Well that trait can also be what's the worst about us or maybe I should say the opposite is our worst. No that's not right. Okay let's take Ken for example his crest is that of kindness right?"

Another nod.

"But if that trait is ruined, lost or corrupted the complete opposite becomes our strongest trait. So for Ken when he lost his kindness he became absolutely cruel."

Daisuke frowned never having thought about why Ken had become the Digimon Kaiser just that he was different now.

"The same goes for anyone. If you lost your courage you'd become a coward. Most likely an extreme coward. Not very likely but possible."

"So because your light if you lost that you'd be...darkness?" Daisuke said looking now very worried.

"Yes it's almost happened a few times too. Now for Takeru his crest is hope. He'd never had any trouble with keeping his hope before when we were younger but when he hit his teens he began having doubts and brooding a lot."

Daisuke nodded.

"Yeah I'd noticed he became more serious after our time in the digital world."

Hikari nodded then she frowned.

"Why did Ken think something was wrong with Takeru again?"

"He said Takeru was drifting off a lot and he'd seen something strange in Takeru's eyes. He said it reminded him of the land around the ocean of darkness?" Daisuke said not having understood that part of the conversation.

Hikari frowned now more worried then before. This sounded bad, really bad. Now when Takeru truly needed her she'd gone and distanced herself from him. Now she didn't think she could get close enough to him for her to help. She'd fallen in love and her heart belonged to them now. She couldn't open her heart to him anymore. She hadn't been able to before anyhow.

"Hikari what would be the opposite of hope?" Daisuke asked as he brooded over Takeru's behavior becoming very worried for his friend.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Next day at school

Ken was walking to the cafeteria to join the other at lunch. He really liked being at this school. Sure the classes were a little slow for him most of the time but he really didn't care too much about that. He had friends and Daisuke so he was happy.

He stopped as he saw Takeru walking outside. Which was ridiculous because he wasn't wearing a jacket and it was pouring rain outside. Ken followed wondering what he was up to, still worried about the night before.

Outside was a basket ball court and beyond that a few potables and beyond them was a small grove of trees. That's were Takeru was headed. Ken sighed over the fact that he was going to be soaked by the time he caught up with Takeru and ran after him.

He made it to the trees and was happy to see the branches prevented most of the rain from entering the grove. He saw the navy blue of the school's uniform moving deeper into the near twilight gloom beneath the trees.

Ken followed until he found Takeru standing in a small break in the tree's canopy. He was looking up through the gap letting the rain fall on his face. Ken paused uncertain whether he should step forward. There was a certain amount of symmetry between Takeru's current pose and what Ken had seen in his eyes.

Takeru was standing perfectly still as if he was a living statue. The half darkness beneath the sentinel-like trees seemed to be creeping closer towards the boy as if waiting for the pale light from the sky to fade and leave him standing in shadow. The blue of his uniform was dark enough to look black and the steady rain bled the life out of any other colors.

But it was the expression on Takeru's face that made it difficult for Ken to swallow. It was if he was a prisoner on death row who was starting to forget what freedom was. There was an emptiness in Takeru's gray eyes. Yes even his bright blue eyes looked drained of color beneath the rain.

Ken had never seen anyone look so lost before but he knew what it was. Of course he knew. After Wormmon had sacrificed himself to save Ken's kindness he'd been lost, unsure of how to find his way back to the person he knew was some where inside himself. It had taken a while and Daisuke had helped a lot but he'd managed.

*But with Takeru it's different. He's not lost trying to find himself like I was. I think he's become lost and he can't find his way back. I don't think he knows how.*

Ken stepped forward and laid a hand on Takeru's shoulder. Takeru blinked and looked down from his steady gaze at the concrete sky. He smiled at Ken but it was an empty one with no real feeling behind it.

"Hey Ken what are you doing out here?" He asked in a normal tone.

"I saw you walk out here and wondered why you were walking outside into the pouring rain without a jacket." He said unsure of how to approach the subject of how Takeru was feeling.

Takeru's smile faded for about ten seconds and Ken thought he saw a flicker of the nothingness that was behind his eyes. Ken's gut lurched as he remembered the feeling of horror that surrounded that ocean from so long ago.

*It feels as if Takeru's standing on the edge of that ocean.*

Then Takeru smiled again and laughed shaking his head.

"Dumb of me I guess. But now you're soaked to the bone following me out here and I know Daisuke will kill me if you get sick. So let's go inside." He said beginning to walk away.

Ken stood there for a moment and felt sick to his stomach as the shadows swallowed up Takeru's retreating figure. He looked up at the opening to frown at the featureless mass of clouds.

A sigh escaped from his lips as he turned back towards the retreating form of his best friend. To be honest Ken had first opened up to Takeru because he'd been attracted to the friendly blonde digidestined of Hope. Of course he'd quickly learned about the hopes held by just about all the digidestined of Hikari and Takeru getting together. So he'd turned away from that part of himself and found himself facing the energetic Daisuke.

He'd just about forgotten his attraction towards Takeru in the happiness he'd found in Daisuke's arms but it had never gone away. He'd grown closer to the child of hope as a friend and comrade. Never letting his feelings go beyond that original mild interest and their comfortable friendship. And to his knowledge that's as far as those feelings had ever gotten nor did he plan for any further development.

He flicked a strand of ebony hair out of his eyes and followed after Takeru his thoughts circling. He didn't question his feelings nor did he notice how far they reached into his heart. All he cared about was finding a way to bring back the blue of Takeru's eyes.

~~~~~~~~~ After school (it's the weekend)

Daisuke walked home hand in hand with Ken. He couldn't believe how much Ken had changed since they'd first met the raven haired genius. He'd been the cruel Digimon Kaiser then the depressed guilt ridden ally. Neither had much inclination to think about others. Now with time and Daisuke's help he'd become much more confident.

Ken looked like he was having another brooding relapse. But of course with Daisuke around these never lasted long. He leaned over dropping Ken's hand to wrap his arm around his waist and kissed his cheek gently.

"Wake up Ken. No thinking unhappy thoughts around me remember?" Daisuke said pulling the other boy as close as he could and still be able to walk.

Ken smiled at him and Daisuke was glad to see no lingering shadows within his deep violet eyes. So often in the past Daisuke had felt as if he was losing the one person he'd come to care for above all others to that dark place he never talked about.

Some of his concern must have shown on his face because Ken laughing gave Daisuke a playful kiss on the mouth.

"Don't worry Dai-koi I was just thinking about Takeru and what Hikari told you. Oh thank you for talking with her for me I was too busy to call."

"No problem. Have you figured anything out yet?" Daisuke asked

Ken shook his head. Daisuke frowned and tried to think of something to make his lover feel better. He knew how close Ken was to Takeru. He even knew about Ken's former feeling for him and didn't want Ken to fret himself to pieces trying to help Takeru.

"Maybe there isn't a reason." Daisuke said hesitantly.

Ken gave him a look as if he'd said something that just might make sense. Daisuke shrugged and tried to make his own thoughts form into coherent thought.

"Maybe he doesn't have anything that would normally make him upset but he just is." Daisuke paused as Ken thought.

"You just might be right Daisuke. It's quite possible that Takeru has depression." Ken said looking much happier having come up with an answer.

Daisuke on the other hand was now confused his moment of brilliance fading as quickly as the setting suns rays.

"Um, but I thought we all ready knew Takeru was depressed." He said trying not to sound dumb but knowing he was anyway.

Ken smiled shaking his head.

"Not in the way your thinking. Or what you were thinking was correct."

"Uh, what?"

"Clinical depression is when someone is depressed and they might not even know why. It's a chemical imbalance within the body."

"Like when Jun gets really bitchy around that time every month?"

"Uh not quite the same Daisuke but I guess it's similar. Both have something to do with chemicals but with depression the effects are much more pronounced."

"And Jun acting like a she-bitch from hell isn't effective."

"Dai-koi you know I love you but could you please stop comparing depression to a girl's period? Even for you that's a stupid comparison."

"Sorry but she really does get bitchy....speaking of which I don't think we should go over to my house. I just remembered how Jun was acting this morning."

"Daisuke that is just too much implied information."

"Sorry. At least you don't live with it."

Ken sighed and Daisuke finally decided to shut up. He steered Ken away from his place and towards his favorite place to eat. His long haired lover always had enough money on him to buy lunch and dinner should he not come home till late and Daisuke had no qualms over exploiting this fact.

He had promptly forgotten about Takeru's problems now that a solution or at lest a name for the situation was found. Now he just wanted to eat and Ken had cheered up enough to forget his own worries to laugh as Daisuke drained his wallet and stuffed himself.

~~~~~~~~~~ Takeru's Place the weekend

Takeru sighed as his Mother dashed out of the house. She'd gotten an emergency phone call from work and was needed immediately. At first she'd told them no because it was time for Yamato's biweekly visit for dinner but had been threatened with the risk of being fired so she'd gone.

He stirred the food that was cooking on the stove. It didn't matter to him if his mother left. In fact nothing had really mattered to him. It had been a while since he'd felt much of anything.

Of course there were still the panic attacks. They'd stopped happening solely at night. Now he'd feel them at any given moment. At school the other day when he'd gone out side it had been because of a attack. The rain had brought back the numbness that settled down through his soul.

He hated the panic attacks. Hated how they made it difficult to breath and how tears would form in his eyes. He hated the heavy feeling on his limbs while all he wanted to do was run or break something.

A pot started boiling over as Takeru had stopped stirring lost in his own thoughts. He ignored the pot and simply turned off all the burners on the oven.

As much as he hated the panic attacks he hated the numbness more. But each time the panic came he wished for the gray suspended feeling of being numb. It was just while he was numb it felt as if he wasn't stopping there. A hole of black despair had opened beneath him and was pulling him down. It hurt to go near that darkness and Takeru shrunk from it.

Takeru stood there staring at the pots trying to find his way from the black hells that stood before him but found he couldn't. The walls he'd put around him to stop others from seeing his misery had trapped himself inside. He could no more escape his down ward slide then fly.

He shivered though the heat was on. He was never warm lately though it didn't bother him. He was so close to the darkness he didn't know how to make it go away now. To either side and below was all darkness with a fading pale light from above.

"I don't want this..." He whispered as he moved towards a drawer in the kitchen.

He'd looked closer today at the blackness and had found himself trapped. Trapped inside of it the pale meager light almost lost.

He grabbed a double edged knife and stood there staring at it for several minutes. Then he knelt down on the kitchen floor propping the knife between his thighs. He quickly cut both wrists simultaneously. The knife dropped to the floor as Takeru's legs jerked in response to the pain.

He hadn't expected it to hurt so much. The blood formed a pool of red that stained the white linoleum beneath him. A wave of dizziness swept over him and he bent over arms cradled in his lap.

It didn't hurt anymore, in fact the numbness had returned and was spreading. It started in his arms and was slowly moving along his body. Another wave of dizziness swept over Takeru and he slowly slumped to one side to lie on the floor. His vision was starting to go fuzzy and he couldn't have moved even if he'd wanted to.

The door banged and foot steps sounded in the hall. Takeru recognized Yamato's voice as he called out a greeting. Another voice called out and Takeru thought it might be Taichi. Yamato had said something about Taichi coming over too.

Takeru closed his eyes as he suddenly felt very tired. His brother called out again and footsteps walked down the front hallway towards the kitchen.

"Oh shit......." Taichi's voice said and another set of footsteps came down the hall.

A strangled gasp and suddenly Takeru could feel himself being half picked up. Someone was wrapping what felt like towels around his wrists as the person holding him trembled.

"Yama, I need to phone an ambulance hold these down to stop the bleeding." Taichi's voice said taking on the ring of command and confidence from his old days as the leader of the digidestined.

*Yama? Since when did Taichi use such a familiar nickname?*

Takeru thought vaguely as the pressure on his wrists released for a second only to be replaced by the person holding him.

He was leaning against their chest their arms providing support. Takeru felt something wet hit his cheek and realized they were crying.

*Yamato, it's Yamato who's crying.*

His brother hadn't cried since they were both little. He could hear Yamato saying something quietly as he held him and he tried to listen though it was becoming hard to concentrate.

"Don't you dare die on me little bro, don't you dare."

Another wave of dizziness passed over Takeru and he opened his eyes to make sure the world wasn't turning like he thought it was. Yamato was crying and it made Takeru wonder why.

"Takeru?" Yamato said as his brother opened his eyes. "Takeru don't close your eyes, try and stay awake."

Takeru wasn't really listening. His vision was going gray around the edges and it was hard to focus on Yamato's face.

"Takeru why did you do this?" Yamato asked holding him tighter starting to look desperate as Takeru didn't focus on him.

Taichi returned from phoning the ambulance and wrapped his arms around Yamato's shoulders taking up one of Takeru's wrists to help stop the bleeding. Takeru noticed the towels around his wrists were bright red with blood. So was the front of Yamato's shirt.

He closed his eyes as yet another wave of dizziness swept over him almost sending him into unconsciousness. He could still hear Yamato's voice as he panicked.

"Takeru? Takeru! Wake up come on, wake up."

Taichi made some soothing sounds and Takeru could feel Yamato shaking with emotion.

"Why did he do this? I know he seemed a bit depressed a few weeks ago but this?" Yamato said between sobs.

"I don't know lover. I don't know...." Taichi answered.

Soon the paramedics showed up but by that time Takeru had slipped silently into darkness.


So should I write the rest? And before you ask, yes I do like torturing people it's a fun past time. Heh heh heh......evil is so fun. Ahem anyway this fic is really far from done of course but it's taken me what feels like forever to get to this point. Though by the time you people are reading it that means I've probably already finished I'm just taking my time posting the rest. How long should I wait..a week?...two weeks?....maybe a month? Crackles evilly. Ja ne.


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