Disclaimer: Once again, I am making use of things that are not mine! Mwahahahaha! Saban can
consider it their valentine to me to let me use their characters, concepts, etc.
The Best Valentine
There had never been a moment in history when Davis wanted to smack anyone so much
as he had when he saw TK come smiling up the hall. The entire school seemed unbearably
cheerful lately, in its red and pink heart-shaped decorations and cupid mobiles, and seeing his rival blithely enjoying it all was particularly annoying. Davis scowled at TK, but the blonde didn't seem to notice.
"You look happy today," said Davis. It was as much an accusation as anything else.
"Uh-huh!" TK agreed, still grinning.
"You want to explain why that is, or do you want to keep me guessing?"
"Tomorrow's Valentine's Day," said TK.
"And this is important why?" asked Davis.
"What? Don't you like Valentine's Day?" TK replied.
"Why should I?" Davis replied. "It's just like any other day, except everyone gets presents
"Maybe you'd be more popular if you didn't scowl all the time," said TK. "You look like a
DeviDramon with a toothache."
"Sure, laugh at me," Davis. "Why are you so cheerful, anyway? You expecting something
special to happen tomorrow?"
TK's grin would have widened, if that were possible. "Sure! I've been saving up my
allowance for it for months!"
"Saving?" Davis repeated.
"Uh-huh! You got it. I'm taking Kari out to dinner!"
Davis tried to suppress the urge to fall on the floor and die. "You are?"
TK nodded. "I asked her last night. My brother's got a booking at one of the best places
in town, and he managed to get me some reservations. I even talked him into dedicating a number to her. It's going to be the best Valentine's Day ever!"
"I'll bet," said Davis weakly.
"Yep," TK replied. "Anyway, I gotta get ready for class, and my locker's way on the other
side of the school. See ya later, Davis."
Davis didn't even manage a goodbye. He just stood and stared, slack jawed. How did this
happen? All he ever did, all he ever thought of, was to try to get Kari to go out with him, and yet TK had managed it without even trying hard! It wasn't fair! Davis began to splutter incoherently, unable to think of any words bad enough to express his frustration. He kicked the nearest locker, but didn't manage any more than to stub his toe.
"YOW! Ow, ow, ow, ow..." Davis began to hop around on one foot. Finally, he lost his
balance and toppled over. "Ouch!"
"Hey, Davis, what do you think you're doing?" asked a familiar voice. The boy looked up
to see Yolei smirking down at him.
"Yeah, the Valentine's Dance isn't until tomorrow night," Kari added, coming to stand
next to her friend.
"I was just... practicing," said Davis.
"You sure look like you could use the practice," Yolei replied.
"Well, I don't really think I'm going to the dance, actually," answered Davis, pushing
himself up off the floor. "I can't think of anyone I want to ask... at least, no one who hasn't
already got a date." He tried to shoot a meaningful look at Kari, but her eyes never met his.
"That's okay, Davis," Yolei replied. "I haven't got a date, either I never have dates for
anything. No one even gives me any of those icky little candy hearts with words on them."
"You mean you never get anything at all on Valentine's Day?" asked Kari.
"Well, I did once get a cavity from eating too many sugar cookies."
Just then, a shy-looking dark haired boy ran up, holding something behind his back.
"Hey, Yolei!" he said. "You remember me? Toby, from your computer club?"
"Yeah, sure I remember you," she replied. "You were the one who got second prize in the
graphics design competition."
"I didn't do as well as you did, though," the boy replied. "Anyway, I was wondering, if
you didn't have any other plans..." He pulled a red construction-paper heart from behind his back and offered it to her. "Would you like to go to the dance with me."
Yolei glowed. "I'd love to!"
"Great!" Toby replied. "I'll call you tonight, okay?"
"I'll look forward to it," Yolei replied.
Yolei's good fortune did not have an uplifting effect on Davis. While his friend stood
staring at the red heart with a foolish smile on her face, Davis stared at the floor and fumed. Kari tried to comfort him.
"Don't worry, Davis," she said. "I'm sure you'll find someone to go with. You're a nice
guy, you've got a great sense of humor, you're athletic... I'm sure someone here would love to go to the dance with you. It's not like there's any shortage of people. I've already been asked out three times this morning. I hate to have to turn them down."
"Yeah," Davis sighed. "You might be right. I'll find something to do with myself."
He waved a goodbye and slunk off to class. On the way, he ran into Cody, who was
presiding over a knot of similarly-aged children, probably his classmates.
"Hey, Cody, what's up?" Davis called.
"Passing out invitations," Cody replied. "Want one?"
"Invitations to what?" asked Davis. "I know you're not going to the dance tomorrow!"
Cody shook his head seriously. "I'm too young to stay out that late, but my mom's letting
me have a party at my house. We're going to have homemade cookies and soda and watch
movies. You can come if you want."
"Hey, what makes you think I don't have somewhere to be on Valentine's Day?" Davis
"Because TK already told me last night that he was taking Kari out," Cody replied. "I
knew you wouldn't want to go with anyone else. I thought I'd invite you to my party so you
wouldn't be lonely."
"Oh, yeah? Well, I don't need your pity," Davis snapped. "I'll go to the Digital World!
They don't celebrate Valentine's Day there!"
"Davis! There are people listening!" exclaimed Cody.
"Let 'em listen! I don't care!" answered Davis. He turned and ran down the hall. Cody
watched him with worry in his eyes.
"What's with that guy?" someone asked.
"Um, he's just a bit... emotional," Cody replied. "He'll be okay, though. I hope."
Davis sat alone on the bleachers of the soccer field. The rest of the school had departed,
leaving him to sit and think and push himself ever closer to tears. It didn't matter if he was alone
out here. It wasn't any different than any other time.
Well, that wasn't quite correct. He was never completely alone, not these days. A friendly
little blue presence sat next to him, watching him with wide brown eyes and a concerned
"Are you okay, Davis?" asked DemiVeemon.
"No, I'm not okay," Davis replied. "This has been the worst school day ever! All day long,
everyone was running around having a good time and getting ready for tomorrow, and I was
totally left out. Do you ever get the feeling you're all alone?"
DemiVeemon shook his head. "Why should I? I always have you, don't I? And you've got me, so you shouldn't be lonely."
Davis managed to dredge up a smile for his little friend. "Yeah, I know you love me, DemiVeemon, but I need more friends than just my Digimon. A guy needs some people friends, especially on Valentine's Day."
"How about him? Is he your friend?" asked DemiVeemon, pointing.
Davis looked down on the soccer field. Where there had been no one before, there was now a boy with unruly brown hair. He was busy kicking a soccer ball around, executing skillful maneuvers that added yet another shade of envy to Davis's emotions. However, the emotion wasn't as strong as it would have been if DemiVeemon had been wrong. This was a friend, and Davis felt like he needed to have one around right now.
"Hey, Tai, up here!" he shouted.
Tai trapped the ball and glanced up at the bleachers. "Hey, Davis! What are you doing way out here? Shouldn't you be going home?"
"Nah. I needed to come out somewhere and think," Davis replied.
"Oh. Troubles, huh?"
Davis nodded glumly. DemiVeemon crawled into the boy's lap and made sympathetic noises.
"That's a bummer," said Tai. "You need someone to talk to? You know I'm here to help for more than just Digimon stuff."
"Well, if you're not too busy..."
"I'm not busy. I'm just goofing around tonight, and you look like you could use some help." Tai kicked the soccer ball into the goal and then vaulted over the wall next to the bleachers to join his friend. He dropped onto the bench next to Davis. "Start talking. I'm all ears."
"Well, it's about this whole Valentine's Day thing," said Davis. "It's got me all bummed."
"Couldn't find a date?" asked Tai.
"Aw, I don't know. I didn't really look for one. It's just... I feel like everybody has somebody but me. Even Yolei. Even Cody's having a bunch of friends over. And Kari's going out with TK. I didn't even get a chance to ask her... not like she would have said yes."
"You wanted to go out with Kari?" asked Tai. "When did this happen?"
"You didn't know? What have I got to do, tattoo it on my forehead or something?" asked Davis. "I've been trying to get her to go out with me for the last two years! And then TK waltzes in and gets her without even having to try."
"We'll, they've been friends for a long time," Tai offered. "Listen, Davis, you can't let yourself get discouraged. Just because Kari and TK are going on one date doesn't mean they're engaged, okay? You can't give up just because things didn't go perfectly this one time. You'll have other chances. Hey, if you really like her, maybe you can still do something for her to let her know."
"Like what?" asked Davis.
"Well... maybe you could give her something. Buy her a present."
"I haven't got any money," Davis replied. "My mom took my allowance away after I kicked a soccer ball through a plate-glass door."
"You did that?" asked Tai.
Davis nodded. "I couldn't tell it was closed! It's hard to tell with glass."
"You must have some kind of kicking power," Tai mused. "I wonder if I could do that?"
"A word of warning - it's not worth it," Davis replied.
"Yeah, you're probably right," said Tai. "Anyway, if you can't buy her something, maybe you could make something?"
"Last time I tried to make a valentine was in third grade. I glued my hands together, and they had to send me to the nurse's office to get unstuck."
"Okay, I guess that's out," Tai sighed. "Well, don't give up. There's got to be something. We're just not seeing it."
"I appreciate you trying to help," said Davis. "Especially with Kari being your sister and all. Are you sure I don't mind?"
"I don't mind. After all, the decision is still in Kari's hands. I'm just trying to make sure you get a chance, you know?" Tai replied. "Anyway, you and TK are both my friends. I would be happy seeing either of you dating Kari."
"Yeah. TK really does have the advantage. He knows more about her than I do. He'd know better what she likes," Davis said. "Hey, Tai, why don't you just tell me about her? You've got to know her better than anyone, and it might give me some ideas."
"Okay. Anything special you want to hear?"
"I don't know. Just whatever's interesting."
"All right... Hm. Did anyone ever tell you how we met our first Digimon?" asked Tai.
"You mean when you first went to the Digital World?"
"No, this was before that, back when we were both little," Tai replied. "I was just a kid, and Kari was still just learning how to talk. She was smart even then, though. She had this little whistle she'd blow to tell me what she wanted. It was like a code."
"She was a smart little kid," said Davis. "She's still smart."
"I know. She's brave, too. Sometimes I wonder why she wasn't chosen to be the Digidestined of Courage. When we first saw those monsters, I was kinda shook up, but she thought it was all a big game. The Digimon was friends with her... but I'm getting ahead of myself. It all started one night when I had this weird dream about an egg appearing in Kari's bed. At least, that's what I thought it was until I woke up the next morning and found Kari curled up around this egg as big as she was."
"A Digiegg?" Davis guessed.
"Yup! A real Digiegg, with a real Digimon inside. It started out as just a Botamon, but it grew up really fast. That night, it grew up into an Agumon - a huge one! It wrecked the apartment and ran off with Kari with it!"
"She must have been scared!"
Tai shook his head. "No way! She was having a good time. She thought the Agumon wanted to play with her... Maybe it did. Anyway, that same night, another egg appeared. That one had a Parrotmon in it, and the Parrotmon wasn't all that happy to see another Digimon."
"I heard about this fight!" Davis chimed in. "Agumon digivolved to Greymon and kicked the Parrotmon back where he came from!"
"Yup! They both went back to the Digital World where they belonged," said Tai. "They kinda left a wreck behind, though. It really bugged Kari, too. She walked around in a daze for the rest of the week. I never could explain to her why Greymon went away. She wanted him to come back and play piggy-back with her."
"Poor Kari," Davis sighed.
"I know what you mean. It was a sad sight, watching the sun come up and hear this tiny little kid begging Greymon to come back," said Tai. "I wonder if she still remembers? She never talks about it anymore."
"Well, she never talked about it to me," Davis replied. He stared up at the sky. The sun was still visible in the west, but the sky was darkening, and the first few stars were making a timid entrance. "It's getting late. I guess I'd better go home. Thanks for the story, Tai."
"Any time," Tai replied. "And hey, don't let things get you down. Things will turn out all right. If nothing else comes up, you can hang out with me. Joe and Izzy and I are having a guy's night out tomorrow and going to see Matt's band play."
"I'll think about it," Davis replied.
"Well, give me a call if you make up your mind, okay? Joe's brother is picking us all up, so we need to know in advance."
"Sure, I'll do that," Davis replied. "See ya, Tai."
"See ya, Davis."
Davis walked home in the falling dusk and thought. It wasn't an activity most people would have said he was skilled at, but he did it a lot more than anyone gave him credit for. Now, besides his quandary over what to do about Valentine's Day, he had images from Tai's story spinning around in his head. He wasn't surprised that even Kari could make friends with a fire-breathing monster. What gripped his imagination was the last scene Tai had described. Davis could see it all in his mind's eye: the red sun rising slowly over the ruined city, the streets turned to gravel and the buildings battered and scorched, and in the middle of it all, a tiny, sad eyed child calling for her friend to come back to her... Davis had never thought of Kari feeling lonely before, and the scene struck a deep chord in him. What would it take, he wondered, to remove the pain from those sad eyes in his mind?
"Davis, it's stuffy in here!" a little voice complained from within his backpack, "and you left one of those peanut butter and jellybean sandwiches in here, and it doesn't smell so good."
"Oops. I wondered what happened to that," Davis replied. "There aren't any people around right now. I guess you can come out and let me carry you a while."
"All right!" DemiVeemon cheered. There was a sound of a zipper coming undone, and the little Digimon scrambled up onto Davis's shoulders. "Ah, fresh air! I like riding piggyback."
Davis snapped his fingers. "DemiVeemon, that's it! You're a genius!"
"I am?" asked DemiVeemon.
"Yeah! You figured out what I can do for Kari's Valentine's Day present," Davis replied. "Come on! I've gotta get home and phone Tai."
"Hey, wait! I don't get it," said DemiVeemon. "Why do you want to call Tai? I thought you said you knew what you were going to do for Kari. Why would you want to go out with the guys?"
"I don't," Davis replied. "I've got something much better in mind!"
"I'm lost," said DemiVeemon.
"Just trust me!" answered Davis. "I've got an idea for the best Valentine ever!"
The next morning, Kari was surprised to see Davis looking unusually exuberant. With his fiery personality, Davis always seemed to be bouncing with energy, but today he looked positively radiant, so much that she found herself smiling at him. That only made his own grin widen, and he bounded over to greet her.
"Hey, Davis," she said. "You look like you won the lottery! Did you get a date for the dance?"
"No, but I've got something else special planned," said Davis. "Hey, Kari, what time is TK picking you up for your date?"
"Around six. Why?"
"Do you think you'd have time to come to the Digital World with me for a while?" Davis asked. "There's something there I want you to see."
"Well, I don't know," said Kari. "I'm going to have to have to go home and get dressed..."
"Come on! Please? It's only going to take a little while, I promise," said Davis. "It's a special surprise. Tai helped me set it up."
"You and Tai collaborated on something? Now I'm worried," Kari replied.
"Be serious," said Davis. "This is really important, okay? You know Tai wouldn't let me do anything bad. If you don't like it, I'll take you straight home again, and I won't ever mention it again."
"Well, I guess that would be all right," said Kari. "All right, I'll do it!"
"Great!" Davis beamed. "You won't be disappointed! Meet me in the computer lab right after school's out, okay? Three forty-five?"
"I think I can handle that," Kari replied.
"Awesome," said Davis. "I'll see you there."
Just then, the bell rang, warning students it was time to go to their home rooms. Kari bid Davis goodbye and hurried off to class, expecting that to be at least a temporary end to the subject. However, as she sat through her classes, she found herself wondering what exactly she was getting into, her thoughts breaking her concentration on her lessons. Whatever Davis was up to, it had to have something to do with Valentine's Day, but what was it? What could he have in store that she'd need to go to the DigiWorld to see? Why was Tai involved? She played restlessly with the possibilities, but nothing would come clear. With TK, Kari always knew where she stood, but where Davis was involved, there was no predicting the boy. Kari almost felt guilty - she was going to go on a classy date to one of the best restaurants in town with a great guy, but all she could think about was going to the Digital World to see what Davis had up his sleeve. When the last bell rang, she nearly ran to the computer room, and Davis... wasn't there.
Well, of course he wasn't there, Kari tried to assure herself. Davis had said to meet him at three forty-five, and it was just after three-thirty. Still, standing there in the empty computer room without even her Digimon for company (Gatomon had pleaded another engagement made herself scarce) made Kari feel a tiny bit uneasy. Could this be some kind of practical joke? All she had was Davis's word that Tai was involved, and Davis might say anything if he thought it might make Kari more likely to come somewhere with him. But even if that was the case, shouldn't he have been here? Just as the minute hand of the clock was touching the forty-five minute mark, the door of the computer lab burst open and Davis bounded in, looking breathless but excited.
"There you are!" Kari replied. "I was waiting for you!"
"Were you really?" asked Davis. "Does that mean you're looking forward to this?"
"Well, I'm curious," Kari admitted. "Where's DemiVeemon?"
"Same place Gatomon is: out on the playground," Davis replied. "He seems to think that since I get to spend the afternoon with you, he ought to get to hang out with her. She says he agreed to leave us alone, and he ought to agree to leave her alone, too."
Kari giggled. "Sounds like they're going to have an interesting day, too. So, where have you been?"
"Just making sure everything's all set up for us," Davis replied. "I had to make sure Tai had his end covered. Are you ready?"
"Yeah, I'm ready," Kari replied, trying to ignored the butterflies in her stomach.
"All right!" Davis cheered. "Digi-port open!"
The portal came open with a swirl of eye-dazzling lights. In the next instant, Davis and Kari appeared in a forested area, looking up the slope of a steep hill.
"Where are we now?" asked Kari.
"Just somewhere," Davis answered vaguely. "Don't worry, I checked, and this place is one-hundred-percent Spire free. Nothing's going to hurt us here."
"That's good," Kari replied. "So, where's the surprise?"
"Up at the top of the hill," said Davis, "but I don't want you to see it until just the right moment, so you've got to wear a blindfold. Here." He pulled a bandanna out of his pocket and tossed it to Kari.
"Are you sure about this?" she asked.
"Positive," Davis replied. "It just won't be as good without the blindfold."
"That sounds suspicious," Kari replied, but she went to work tying the bandanna over her eyes. Davis tested the knot, then waved his hand in front of her face. Satisfied that she wasn't going to see anything, he gently took her outstretched hands and began leading her up the hill.
*Where am I going?* Kari wondered. *What am I doing? Why am I out here with this crazy guy? I should have stayed at home... I wonder what's so spectacular that I have to wear this blindfold?*
After what seemed like a long walk to the sensory-deprived girl, but was actually just a short hike, Davis stopped walking. He stepped around behind her and put his arms around her waist. She felt an urge to pull away, but something stopped her, perhaps because he was being so gentle - his touch was as light as a breeze. He leaned over to whisper in her ear.
"How much do you trust me?" he asked.
"I don't know," she replied.
"Do you trust me not to hurt you? Do you believe I'd never let anything bad happen to you?"
Kari thought about that. How much did she trust this wild, erratic boy? There was no predicting him - she'd been thinking that all day long - but there was no doubt in her mind that he cared about her well-being. The first time they had gone to the DigiWorld together, hadn't he fought to save her life? Whatever he did, whatever happened, it would be exciting and new, but it wouldn't be dangerous. She knew it as surely as she knew anything: Davis would do anything in his power to keep her safe.
"I trust you," she said.
"Then hang on tight," Davis replied.
In the next instant, she felt a surge of movement, and she realized she'd been lifted up into the air. Davis had picked her up off the ground, and he was leaping into the air. Then they weren't going up anymore, but down, and down fast. There was a split second of panic in Kari's mind, but the arms around her never faltered. She could feel no fear at all coming from Davis, so she only locked her arms tightly around him and trusted.
In the next instant, they landed on something solid... Well, not quite solid. They weren't falling anymore, but they were moving. Davis settled Kari into a sitting position and pulled the blindfold off. With a weird feeling of both surprise and familiarity, Kari realized they were riding on the shoulders of a charging Greymon. She turned to stare at Davis in confusion.
"What's this?" she asked.
"Piggy-back!" Davis exclaimed, grinning. "I brought Greymon back so you could have your piggy-back ride!"
For a moment, Kari looked puzzled. Then, slowly, memory dawned on her, and a wondering expression crossed her face.
"How did you know?" she whispered.
Davis just smiled. "Happy Valentine's Day, Kari."
"Thanks, Davis," she replied. "It's exactly what I wanted."
"Really? You mean it?" asked Davis. "Woo-hoo! Come on, Greymon, let's move! Show us what you can really do!"
"You got it, Davis!" Greymon rumbled, and he went from a steady trot to a full-throttle run. The Digidestined whooped in unison as they bounded over hills and leaped gullies, the wind tossing their hair. Throughout the wild ride, they both kept one arm firmly wrapped around Greymon's neck... and the other arm around each other. At last, the great beast came to the top of high ridge and paused, letting them look down on what looked like the entire Digital World. Above them, clouds rolled dramatically above their heads, just beginning to turn pink with the onset of evening. The sun made the lakes and rivers below them glitter like diamonds. Davis heard Kari sigh, and he turned to her.
"Do you like it?" he asked.
"It's beautiful," she replied. "I never imagined you would do anything like this for me."
"I just wanted to make you happy," Davis replied. "I can't afford anything fancy like TK can, and I know I'm not all that smart or talented or anything, so I can understand why you'd rather be with him than me, but well... I just wanted to do something that would let you know how I feel about you."
"Davis, this is the best Valentine anyone's ever given me. I can't think of anything you could have done that would have made me happier," she replied. "It's all just like a dream. I wish there was something I could do for you."
"You don't have to do a thing," Davis replied. "This is my dream, you know? Just you and me on top of the world."
"That's what you dream about?"
"Ever since I saw you."
There was a moment of silence. Greymon, who had been quietly eavesdropping on the conversation (which had, after all, been going on next to his ears) waited patiently for something to happen. When nothing did, he began to fidget.
"Um... what are you two doing up there?" he asked.
There was a flutter of motion behind his shoulders, as if the pair had suddenly jumped away from each other.
"Um... nothing!" Davis called back breathlessly.
"Well, are you guys going to sit up there and do nothing all night, or do you want to get moving again? Or would you rather go home? It's going to be night in your world soon."
"There's time. Let's stay here a while," said Kari.
"Right!" said Davis. "It won't be Valentine's Day forever! Let's enjoy it while we can! Go for it, Greymon!"
Greymon nodded and leaped forward, bounding down the hill with a speed that was like flying, and the two Digidestined held each other close for the entire flight.