A/N: Right... okay... right. This is... a Kenkeru. Or Taken, or whatever. I wrote it as part of a gift exchange with the lovely
Sharami and... talk about hard. It's not really a pairing I'm used to (to be honest, I don't think I've EVER read a Kenkeru
before) so cut me some slack. I apologize if I screw up the characters or if it accidentally-on-purpose turns into Taito. Okay?
Good. Um... I think it's going to have one of those annoying, floaty endings that stops at the wrong place, leaving you to
interpret things for yourself. So... here we go... wish me luck >.<
Okay, what is wrong with this picture? Exciting, loud, upbeat, party-of-the-year inside, Takeru standing around in the cold
It's not like I wasn't invited or anything; as the 'star' of the basketball team (according to the school paper, not me), it is my
social obligation to attend. I did my attending. It was loud and sweaty and I didn't like it. Yeah, I'm young, up for anything... but
aren't I allowed to get a headache once in a while? And boy, does my head ACHE. I can still hear the music thumping through
the wall of the school gym (it doubles as an event hall) behind me, every dull drumbeat pounding mercilessly against my
All I want to do is go home and go to bed.
How much of a wet blanket do I sound? Give me a break, I'm exhausted from a game this morning (nobody should have to get
up at seven on a Saturday morning) and then I have to come to this party all on my own. You should see it in there. Everyone
has a partner or a little group of friends and followers. I can't work it out... normally I have lots of friends... but tonight they all
seem to have got absorbed into the party atmosphere and have randomly forgotten that I exist. Hikari came with Daisuke, and
before you ask, no, it doesn't bother me that the two of them are dating because, no, I'm not into her. Or him, before you ask
that one as well. Hikari's my best friend and Daisuke's a pretty good friend too. There's nothing else there.
I've known for a while now that I'm most definitely bi. Yes, shock horror, Takaishi Takeru is not 100% straight. 'However will
you sleep tonight?' as my brother would say. Yeah, that's right, Yamato's bi as well. And, for that matter, so is my Dad.
Personally, I think that it must be genetic. All in the genes.
"It runs in the family," Dad agrees seriously.
"You always have to copy everything I do, don't you Takeru?" My brother asks with a smile.
"Don't be silly," My mother says.
I don't think she wants to think of me turning out like my father. Not that she'd care if I turned into Yamato of course. They
reconciled recently and now he's at college, doing great, and she couldn't be prouder of him. He's back for Christmas so he
came to the party too. I would have gone with him, expect Taichi's come back as well so... it would really be pointless and I
figured I might as well go alone.
Naturally, they're still in there now, pissed and dancing (i.e. groping to music, while simultaneously trying to swallow each
other's tongues) right in the thick of it. It's scary, how readily people have accepted their relationship. Probably because they're
so open and relaxed about it, you barely notice that it isn't the norm. Plus, all the girls see it as the obvious reason why they
haven't been asked out by one of them yet and they can rest easy. Yamato and Taichi have always been popular individuals.
All through high school, what with Yamato's band being the hit it is, and Taichi being the captain of the soccer team. The school
heart throbs. And together, their popularity has doubled. I suppose that kind of makes sense when you think about it... it's
like... two for the price of one. Besides, people admire them for what they stand for. They've become some kind of symbol
for... I don't know. Something.
I hope that I'm so readily accepted for whoever I fall in love with.
Kami... it's freezing out here. Don't believe me? Okay, well... the whole of Odaiba is covered in white. Trust me, I'm here and
I shove my fingers into my pockets, hunching my shoulders against the icy air. There's HUGE snow clouds blanketing the sky.
Guess we're in for another round before the night is up. I can feel a sneeze tickling at my nostrils... damn no... it's not gonna
come... don't you hate that? When you have to sneeze but you just... don't?
I jump at the noise, startled because it definitely didn't come from me. I think. Unless I was so lost in my own thoughts that I
missed it. It didn't sound like a me-sneeze. It sounded quieter, breathier - more like Matt. What would he be doing out here?
Oh, I hope he and Tai haven't had another fight. They never last long, but they're frequent and passionate and it's always good
for Yamato to have a shoulder to lean on when he shoves Tai away. He has such a habit of working himself into depression
over the most trivial things.
Gritting my teeth, I trudge through the ankle-deep snow and around the corner of the building, in the general direction of the
sneeze and I can see instantly that it's not my brother. There's a figure sitting quietly on a bench, the snow that covered it having
been melted by the streetlight that shines above it, and it's a figure that I recognize.
He half turns, the corner of his mouth twitching in recognition.
"Hey Takeru." He says in his usual quiet, controlled voice. It's been quite a while since I've seen him. He and Daisuke are still
pretty close but now that we don't go... there... anymore, the rest of us have kind of lost contact. He goes to a different school
and I'm always busy with training and stuff... you know how it is. It must have been at least a year.
"Wow, how are you? It's been ages since I saw you last," I say, grinning easily.
He nods, shifting over on the bench to make room for me to sit down. He looks great. Kinda different, but great.
"I didn't know you were coming tonight." I sit down in the space offered, still smiling. It always makes me feel so good to catch
up with old friends.
"Yeah... I don't normally come to parties but... I was feeling bored so... " he shrugs kind of awkwardly.
"What are you doing out here then? It's freezing." I say, rubbing my arms for effect.
"I could ask the same of you," he returns and I shrug.
"It's so loud in there," I say sheepishly, "I've got kind of a headache. I'm just, you know, not feeling too sociable right now."
"Huh. Know the feeling." He tucks a lock of glossy dark hair behind his ear, looking out across the glittering, deserted playing
field as he talks to me.
"You out here for the same reason?"
"More or less," Ken answers simply and there's a moment of silence where I realize that I don't really have anything to say.
"So... uh... " I start automatically, used to the easy flow of conversation between Hikari and I, and he turns to look at me
expectantly, which suddenly makes it even harder for me to think of something to say. I've never really noticed how nice to
look at Ken is. His eyes are this unusual kind of indigo colour with really dark, sooty lashes, which stand out all the more
against his pale, sculpted features. He looks so much older now... his hair is longer, his face slightly more angular...
"So... " he prompts.
"So... yes. So... how have you been?" I say eventually.
"Not bad. You?" He lifts his eyebrows as he asks.
He nods, eyes flicking across my face, no doubt noting the differences there. Which is fine because it gives me more permission
to look at him. He's wearing a dark, heavy coat, but despite it's warmth, his cheeks and the tip of his nose are brushed pink by
the cold air.
"How's the basketball? Ken asks, taking it upon himself to keep the conversation going after my rather pathetic attempts.
"Good. How's the soccer?"
"The same. We had a match yesterday. Naturally, we won by a mile," He informs me, smirking confidently, just like he used to.
"Great. I had a game this morning."
"What was the score?"
"I... can't remember. We won."
Really heavy, awkward, uncomfortable silence. I find myself mentally adding up all the things I like about the boy sitting next to
me, from what I can remember and from what I can see. The commanding grace of his movements, the calm drawl of his voice,
the way he observes everything so sensitively...
Okay, now I want to go back inside.
"It's really great about Taichi and your brother," Ken offers helpfully. A good topic; nice, solid common ground.
"Oh yeah. Yeah, it is, isn't it? It's cool that they've both found someone."
"I take it they're happy?"
"Please! Did you see them in there? You couldn't fit a spatula between them." I say with a grin, feeling more comfortable by the
second. Ken laughs.
"Yeah. And it's nice that everyone's so accepting."
"I know. How about Hikari and Daisuke?"
"Mm." He pauses. "Are you... you know... okay with that?" His voice is kind of teasing, but there's a note of genuine concern
"Sure. She's my friend... I want her to be happy. Even if it does mean that I get to spend less time with her." Ken nods,
understanding perfectly. I guess he must feel similarly about Daisuke. And as I answer his question, I think about it for the first
time. I love Hikari a lot. Not in a sexual way, more like you'd love a sister and... although it's wonderful that she's found
someone who's right for her... I can't help but feel sad about it. I don't want her, but I don't want to lose her. And the thought
of not being able to spend so much time with her, her choosing to sit next to someone who isn't me, her calling on someone else
first, is... sad. Unfair. Humbling.
"How about you? Are you okay with it?" I hear myself ask.
"Of course. Friendships last longer that relationships." Ken says sensibly.
"And if you're lucky you can get both at once. And that'll last forever." Ken looks away, his eyes trailing wistfully across the
"Like Yamato and Taichi," I mutter, feeling kind of lonely all of a sudden, "I hope I can have that some day."
"And doesn't it just seem like you're expected to be with someone? And that just, like, everyone else in the whole world is in a
"Because of course, you can only possibly be happy if you've got a someone." Ken continues my thought, slight sarcasm lacing
"Mm. What about you?"
"What about me?"
"Do you want a girl... " he cuts me off,
"... boy... I think." He mutters, looking away from me.
"Okay, boyfriend." I say, not even slightly phased. And why should I be? Ken shrugs silently in response, studying the ground
between his feet.
"And you?" He asks after a pause, "Do you want a... " he hesitates, allowing me to fill in the gaps.
"Either," I say with a smile, "I don't know... maybe."
"Maybe... " he agrees quietly, and more silence follows as we both drift in our own thoughts. But it isn't an uncomfortable
silence this time, more like the silence of two criminals on death row. A realization that this person beside you feels exactly what
you are feeling and therefore understands better than anyone else ever could. We should never have lost touch. We get on
pretty well when I think about it.
"Takeru?" Ken speaks my name slowly and I feel a little jolt of... something... as he leans to nudge me with his shoulder,
attracting my attention to him.
I follow his gaze upwards and watch as the sparse little flakes drift slowly down from the darkness above us. Wow. They seem
to appear from nowhere as they enter the little circle of artificial light that surrounds us, clear and sharp and sparkling. Across
the dark playing field, the flakes fall as pale little smudges, illuminated by nothing but the patchy moonlight that leaks through the
"Just think," Ken's saying, "everyone back in there is missing this right now."
"Yeah... " Talk about a movie-moment. It always seems weird, unnatural, when you get a moment like this in real life. I shiver,
only partly from the cold.
"Hey... do you think... " Ken starts, but is cut off by a voice that is way too loud for such a quiet, pensive moment.
"Ken?! Hey Ken, you out here buddy?" Ken groans.
"That's one of my friends from soccer," he explains, "I'm getting a lift home with him."
"We're all ready to go! Where are you?"
"Guess that's your cue then," I say cheerfully.
"Yeah... It was great to see you again TK," Ken replies, standing reluctantly, "Really great."
"Yeah. Same for you. We'll have to meet up again some time soon, okay?" I say, realizing that I really do mean that.
"Okay. I'd like that." He says with his usual lazy half-smile.
"See you then."
"Bye." He turns on his heel and starts to walk away, out of the light, and I fix my eyes on the fence at the end of the field, feeling
I hear his footsteps falter and look up as he turns back, assuming that there was something he forgot to say. He steps back into
the streetlight's circle and smiles at me before bending down to brush his lips quickly over mine.
He's still smiling as he leaves for real.
I stay sitting there for a while afterwards, until my fingers and toes are completely numb, and only go inside when Hikari comes
to fetch me.
A/N: Um... yeah. That was for you, Sharami.