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Under the dog star sail
Over the reefs of moonshine
Under the skies of fall
North, north west, the stones of Faroe

Under the Arctic fire
Over the seas of silence
Hauling on frozen ropes
For all my days remaining
But would north be true?

Sting, "Why Should I Cry For You?"

It was way past 10:30pm, and Davis didn't care.

The dance had been winding down when Davis and Kari had returned from the digital world. In the cool computer lab, a blue glow from the flickering screen was shed over the sleeping forms of Ken and TK. It was such a surprising sight. In a state of mirth, and with Kari's encouragement, Davis decided to wake Ken with a kiss.

For Ken, waking had been like emerging from a shipwreck, quickly kicking his way towards consciousness as he spied a radiant light above. Eyes closed, his awareness returned with the knowledge that something had just recently brushed his lips. Even as he was opening his eyes, memory of the sensation sharpened, and he realized that someone had kissed him.

Kari had knelt down next to TK, and had pulled him away from Ken, whispering, "let's go." Ken heard the voice, and opened his eyes, startled. Confused. *Who just kissed me?* He looked around, the room, and saw Davis grinning like a fool, kneeling right next to him, and Kari and TK in the process of standing up. *Davis, then.* Ken's eyes darkened for a moment, and he felt himself stiffen.

"What are you doing?" He heard himself whisper, a touch harshly. Maybe a little huskily.

"Rescuing you from a fate worse then death." Davis whispered back, and then glanced significantly at TK.

TK rolled his eyes, and Kari looked down at Davis where he huddled next to Ken, who was leaning against the wall, a mixture of confusion and embarrassment. She knew that the next few minutes would be critical. So long as she and TK were there, Davis would continue in his irreverent banter, and she saw quite clearly that Ken's sensitive nature would be offended, having felt that he'd been made fun of. Before TK could reply, she leaned down and tousled Davis' hair. "Be nice." Ken gave her a murderous look, which caused her to smile. She took advantage of the shifted focus to grab TK. "Ok, boys. TK and I are outta here."

You had to love the way that TK's eyes lit up, the way he grabbed her arm, the way they practically *ran* out of the room.


Davis watched them leave, speechless. He had been hoping for a few more minutes of Kari's presence. He was so sure that he'd find the right things to say while she was around! And that thing he had said about TK, a stroke of genius! His target fled, Davis had to confront reality, which was just now giving him the most level-eyed, imperturbable gaze that he'd ever seen.

Ken. Practically his own species, he was so divergent in the way he acted..and stimuli. Ken's silence was a reaction Davis didn't know how to face. So Davis just looked back at him, but he must have been staring a bit, because Ken narrowed his eyes, slightly.

*What is Ken?* A tiger, a dragon? *Certainly he's a predator.* Davis remembered the days that Ken had haunted his dreams as the Digital Kaiser, after he had found out his true identity. How could someone so *perfect* be so evil? Even now, knowing that Ken had seen the whole Digital world as an elaborate computer game, didn't lessen Davis' sense that Ken was innately dangerous. But then, this was a different kind of danger.


For his part, Ken was completely speechless. He had no idea what was going on. At first, he thought that Davis had been mocking him, and that infuriated him. And then Kari dared to touch Davis in a familiar way, and he lurched into despair. But he remembered what TK had said, and when he saw that Kari wasn't going to stick around to flirt with one (or all!) of them, he saw the truth of TK's trust. There was nothing between her and Davis, Ken realized with startled clarity. They are just friends!

It was very interesting, to see the change that came over Davis as soon as his audience left. *So I'm not an audience to him?* Ken was intrigued by this supposition. Perhaps his dream had been more accurate then he had hoped.


Davis was at the breaking point. All this looking...ok, *staring*....was outside his comfort range. It had all been very well, to imagine his towering self-confidence towards an imaginary Ken. In his mind, Davis had envisioned a scene of seduction, Ken immediately submitting to the fire of Davis' passion. But that ignored the reality...Ken never submitted, not to anything, or anyone. If anyone was going to have to be shy and clumsy, maybe it would have to be Davis. He certainly was off to a good start.

He praised all that is holy, when Ken finally opened his mouth to speak. "What's going on here, Davis?"


Ken winced internally. He hadn't meant to be so blunt.


Glancing down at last, Davis was surprised at how relieved he felt to finally disengage from that penetrating stare. But then, why had he started to blush? And now, grin?! Oh, no, this was not good. He had lost control before one syllable had passed his flushed lips.

Davis began to panic.


Ken was *very* far from detached from this moment, and found that he was struggling to maintain any level of composure as he watched the play of emotions cast across Davis' face. And then, to make things worse, Davis slowly placed his hand over Ken's. He moved at a glacier's pace, clumsy and extremely hesitant, but there it was. This was nothing like the casualness that Davis usually displayed when touching him. This was purposeful.

Never had Ken felt so helplessly enthralled.


Davis had no idea what to do. Ken's eyes were so large, that despite the darkness he could see a flash of purple. Ken's body was completely still. Davis envied him that; he couldn't stop shaking, himself. No pulling away, but Davis wasn't at all sure that it wasn't because Ken was in shock. Well, he might as well press on here, no matter how ridiculous he felt. He might never get a chance to try this again, and he *really* wanted a proper taste of those pale lips.


Ken was numb. Bottomlessly numb, his hands had begun a slow freeze, and the blood seemed to be draining out of other parts of him, as well. His brain, to start. Thinking was difficult, his thoughts as sluggish as maple syrup. His heart was pounding so strongly that he felt it deep in his abdomen. *Why do I feel like I'm dying?*

Davis took Ken's icy hand and kissed it, looking for all the world as if he was going to ravish him! Never had Davis looked so focused. Ken was beside himself, and suddenly, a warm flash shattered the encroaching cold. Before Davis had a chance to take another breath, Ken pushed him backwards roughly and began kissing him, thoroughly.


Even as Davis reeled as his head clanged against the floor, he was composed enough to sigh internally. *He's going to kill me* he thought, oddly complacently. *The shock has worn off, and now it's the end.* But Ken's hands, which had seemed so cold, now flashed with fire as they found his body.


At first he grabbed Davis' hair, roughly. (Ken was thinking *that'll show her* at this exact moment. Proof that even the most sensible genius can get carried away). And then, leaving one hand to tend the hair (so silky! *Kari, eat your heart out!*), he used his other arm to position himself for the most invasive kiss he could imagine. Pressing his body over Davis', he took a deep breath, and then plunged in.


Davis only had the time to think, *It's true. He doesn't submit to ANYONE,* before the world exploded into a kind of confusing clarity.