[Notes:

Whoa. I almost had no point for writing this half-assed piece of crap. No, there will not be any additional parts, I am hereby DONE with this forever and ever and ever. I just HAD to do this because I've been impatient with my progression of BMD (I am getting right back on it as of this story's completion, though), plus I've always been a little color-addict and whenever I see red and green paired together, such as, CONSTANTLY during Christmas, my Jenkato fetish reaches these scary all-time highs.

What breaks my heart is that there's been no Christmas Jenkatos this year so far. There's DOZENS of those miserable Rukato and Jenruki Christmas fics. Even Ryuki ones even though I like Ryuki. It disturbs me and disillusions me beyond control because I'm seeing all this and yet….REDGREEN!! ARGH!!! So this is something I crapped out from that insanity. Now a 2002 Christmasy Jenkato fic EXISTS! I probably have it in a slew of mistakes (even the color relationships— just note that I really don't like Art class, so I really really don't care), but I think I did the best of my abilities as this story was done on very short notice.

It's sapfluffWAFFyay. I'm sure it will make you all want to puke. To prove I don't hate Ruki (and do infact lurve her) despite my deep, and stinking hatred for the Rukato and Jenruki pairings, I made her somewhat of a hero here, so OOC might be a little…oddly present. But I hope it's not too bad! If it is, I will explode…it happens sometimes.

And I can't help but feel like a stole a plot element from Kenji Kotaro's Bah, Humbug!, that wonderful Jenkato-inclusive Christmas fic of 2001. If I did, I greatly apologize, because Kenji Kotaro deserves much better fanpraise. And with all that said, try your damndest to ENJOY!! …you all will love the self-hating Jenrya Lee, anyway. Only scary people don't like that.]

[POV – Jenrya]

Dad wasn't kidding when he made that comment on me thinking too much. I suppose it is an inherited trait… but it's not like I can help it. There's always so much in the world to wonder about. How things work, what things are, why things do what they do… the whole natural order of life is pretty amazing once you think about it.

Then again, if you try telling that to the kids my age, you get laughed at. For about 3 minutes.

So I've never been a social person… and I've always been cooped up in my room by my own free will, only coming out when I wanted to show to the rest of my family that I existed. That's all who really mattered for a big portion of my life… my family. No one was ever interested in me when I was little. I'm sure that misuse of karate situation years back didn't help them like me any better, but it was a pretty lonely lifestyle to live out. Then again, in those days, I didn't mind it too much. There was no other way I knew how to live. I was usually jealous of my older sister and brother getting more praise and attention than I did— or did they? My parents didn't neglect me at all… it just feels like they loved Rinchei and Jaarin more than me. And when Shuichon came along, they still loved her over me. …They never told me this personally; it's just how I felt sometimes. Though time and time again my parents, and even my own siblings would assure me that we're all loved equally in the household. But do they ever really keep score, like how I do? Every single moment, every sentence said?

… Is it normal to be the scoreboard of the family?

It's an endless and reward-less job, that's a definite. But at least I know for sure, that points-wise, I'm always on the losing side. Sometimes I still am, I guess… though things are different now. Ever since Terriermon came into my life, I've definitely been standing out more in the household. Of course, so has Shuichon, since the coming of Lopmon. I guess I could say that Terriermon himself has given me a whole new outlook on life… and what it's like to not have to be the constant score-keeper of my own family. And to just be someone, well… more relaxed. Not only is Terriermon around now to make me feel like one of the family more often, I'm also not just 100% reliant on my family anymore. I actually have… friends now.

Well, not many, really. Just a few.

… Or one or two, if it must be specific…

It's nervousness, right? Has to be. I mean, it isn't like I really had friends before I was a Tamer, if you don't count Terriermon… but how can they all be in this closely-knit circle all together when… when I feel so left out half the time?

I'm not kidding myself, no matter how many sticky situations I've been in with Ruki, I'm never going to be anything more than civil to her. I can barely count on her as a friend. Even though she's visibly softened up some, she's still not one to want to be around. To expect a good time, at least. She's not the type I want to start out on making friends with, either… not when she's so scarily opposite to me. Ruki doesn't seem to care, anyway. As long as she has Juri around to be best friends with, and Ryo and Hirokazu around to beat up on, she couldn't be happier.

… how I envy her.

Maybe I could've gotten on better with Juri if I made more of an attempt to socialize with her. But I'm really queasy when it comes to that… so I never really got to know her. She seems nice enough, though. A hell of a lot more pleasant than Ruki, I can say that much. It was just a little hard getting to know her because she never really noticed I was there half the time. Of course, by the time I eventually saw her, she was all caught up in Leomon and soon after that was Leomon's death and the rest of her hard life, and it seemed only Takato could pull her through that kind of depression… because Takato really cares about her…

And… now I think I'm jealous.

"Ne, Jen," that familiar voice spoke to me in his unassuming tone. "If you're planning on heading back in soon, I wouldn't mind, y'know. It's really cold, and you're gonna get sick if you stand out here a minute longer!"

"I'd have to be around people with the cold virus to get sick, Terriermon," I said. "I'm fine with just staying, but if you're cold, you can go ahead and hurry inside. I'll make you hot chocolate when I come in."

"Ehh, I'm just gonna stick around," Terriermon muttered. "I don't trust you enough to come back in at a reasonable time. What's wrong, Jen? Can't seem to moumantai?"

"I'm just… thinking."

I could tell I was trying Terriermon's patience as he made an annoying sweatdrop.

"And what can't you think about inside a nice, warm home that you can think about out in the freezing cold, leaning against this tree in the middle of a snowstorm?"

"Christmas, I guess," was my reply. "It's not too far away now." And it was, kind of, the reason why I'm sitting out here in nothing but a simple coat, leaning against a tree near our apartment building. A streetlight lit the area around me, as it was getting pretty late now. Sure, you could expect my parents to be worried after a while, but I did tell them that I was out running an errand, and I'd be back late.

Oh… that errand…

"Thanks for the observation, Captain Obvious," Terriermon complained. "Didn't you already get presents for everyone, though? What's to think about it now? I'm sure Shuichon won't mind the snow boots, or Rinchei won't mind that boring old tie…"

I guess it's safe to assume my jealousy comes from fear of competition, especially around this time of year… everyone knows each other so well, save for me, they know exactly the right thing to get for each other this year. Then there's me; I don't know anybody well except for Takato. And I never even knew what to get him for Christmas. Not that I couldn't guess; he draws a lot, so I figured some new pen or pencil set… markers, crayons, paints… ANYTHING like that would suffice for a decent present.

Then I found out that's what everyone else was getting him…

"He-looo," went my partner as he waved his paw in front of my face, sadly bringing me back to reality. "Stop zoning out in the middle of our conversation!"

"I'm sorry," I apologized, but my heart wasn't really in it. So I can imagine Terriermon could sense my insincerity.

"I thought Christmas was all about giving and receiving and the thought that counts," he reminded me. "Not about present content. Unless I'm way off-base here, just moumantai already!"

I still couldn't bear to smile despite Terriermon's uplifting sentiments. Even if they were sarcastic half the time, Terriermon actually helped me appreciate the humor in sarcasm… "I just think I should give something special to Takato. I mean, he's helped me so much, more than anyone else except for you, Terriermon. What I thought about getting him at first is, well…"

"Common?" Terriermon smirked. "Jen, the time for getting a really special present in that manner to someone isn't Christmas. I think they call that holiday Valentine's."

"I never said anything that would imply that," I sharply replied. "I just want to show him that I care. I mean, I'm his best friend… right? Shouldn't my gift to him stand out from all the others?"

"If you're willing to stand out here and freeze to death over it, I think it's a deeper caring than you say it is," my partner, as he said this, grabbed my giant scarf and wrapped it around himself, shivering all the while. "I still think you should wait until Valentine's Day before getting into those kinds of gifts, though."

"Probably, but Christmas is too special to just treat any other way," I countered. "For some reason, it's Christmas that makes me think the most about Takato…"

This was true, too. It's weird to explain why, but… ever since the year I met Takato, he'd always pop into my mind whenever I saw something colored red. I think his D-arc or his Digimon would be the cause for that, but nonetheless, I would think about Takato when red things came about. It could either be a one-second thought or something that lasts the entire day, but it always comes without warning. It's sometimes like that with the other Tamers too, I guess. Except thinking about Ruki usually makes me feel uncomfortable, and when you think about it, I'd have to think of her practically every time I looked into the sky. Damn blue for being such a universal color!

In any case, Christmas is always a festive season, and as Christmas always is, there's a lot of… red to that season.

And not just red, either. Red paired with… green…

Eheh… my father… he was right… I think too deeply into some certain things… that don't even require thought…

"If that's the case, you'd better sit down and get to thinking about your perfect present!" Terriermon advised me. "There's only a few shopping days left."

"I wonder if I could even consider the 'perfect' present something that could be bought in a mall…" I thought out loud as I shifted my position on the tree.

Terriermon looked in another direction and proceeded to jump off me and to the ground. He had completely taken my scarf in the process. "Well, I'll give you some alone-time to think about that. Just come in soon, okay? I'm about to become a Digimon Popsicle right now!"

I nodded to him as he headed back towards the building. It's been snowing for a while now… it was snowing a lot earlier this week, so there was still plenty of it left on the ground. I didn't want to keep Terriermon out in this… I usually don't even like the cold very much, but when I get to thinking about Takato, I just can't… seem to mind the freezing conditions. Is it right when thinking about your best friend constantly makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside?

I didn't think so.

"Jen-kun…?"

I sharply turned to the direction of the soft voice acknowledging me. "Takato?" Of all the times…

"What're you doing outside?" he asked me curiously. Takato usually had this cute expression on his face whenever he wanted to know something… but apparently he's actually out here for a reason. He was well-dressed for the weather and he was carrying a few bags, but I couldn't tell what of.

"Just… thinking…"

That answer didn't quite satisfy him. "Really? I've been calling for you earlier today, but your mom said you've been out running errands."

"Gomen," I apologized, adding a respectful bow to it. "I've just been thinking about… the perfect present to someone who means a lot to me. But I haven't been getting very far."

Takato started walking over to me… "I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you and your special someone really mutually care for each other that much, then I'm sure any old thing would please them."

Oh, Takato, if it were just someone else… "S-sou."

"Actually, I've been out doing some last-minute Christmas shopping myself," he told me. "I'm not quite done yet. I was hoping you'd come with me if you still had some shopping to be done."

This amused me. The fact that he'd… want to go shopping with me, that is. "Well, I do still have that one last present to think about. …Sure, I'd like to come with you." On reflex, my eyes darted to the bags Takato was carrying as I noticed this was my opportunity to do something nice for him.

"Well, let's go, then… I think the malls will be closing in a couple of hours."

"Hey," I interrupted. "Do you need help with those, Takato-kun?" As I pointed to the bags, Takato understood what I was offering and flashed me an adorable little smile…

"Arigatou, Jen." He only handed me a couple of them.

So, we started walking off… I looked back at my apartment building, having this sinking feeling about why Terriermon left me as if it was a stage cue. …Did he know Takato was coming my way?

"So, yeah… I'm almost done with everyone's presents as it is. I've taken care of 'tousan's and 'kaasan's presents a while back… I got a watch for Ryo, a snowboard for Hirokazu, cards for Kenta…"

"Good to know we can always rely on you for decent presents," I complimented.

Takato blushed a little. "I just try to make everyone happy. But I'm not certain on what to get Katou-san."

Oh. Drat. I forgot… the tertiary color of Christmas… yellow.

"Sounds like you have the same problem as I do," I said with a fake smile plastered on my face. "You should follow the same advice you gave me."

"Aha, so you admit it, you do like someone!" Takato said with a sneer. He elbowed me in the chest slightly. "C'mon, who is it?"

Now I was blushing, slowing down and shrinking away from Takato, keeping a steady distance from him. "It's nothing serious, Takato."

"I had a feeling there was someone you liked," Takato mentioned, still grinning in that dumb, cute way… gah. "You can tell me, can't you? Best friends tell each other everything, Jen!"

"Just how obvious have I been?!"

"Obvious enough," Takato was looking at me like he just had it all figured out… and that worried me. "It's Ruki, isn't it?"

Phew… "And you thought you knew… no, it's not her."

Takato seemed honestly surprised. "You mean it?"

"I'm getting her coal for Christmas, Takato. No, of course I don't like her."

"Say, that's actually kind of fitting," Takato said, grinning again. "She's been a real scrooge this year."

"Don't tell me; you got her the same thing?"

"Great minds think alike!"

I laughed. Takato's sense of humor never could compare to Terriermon's, but nonetheless it made me laugh just as much.

"You know, I've been thinking," I told him as I pulled out my D-arc, lined with green. "How do you suppose we got these kinds of colors for our D-arcs when we got them? Is it supposed to match our personalities, or our Digimon, or what?"

"I've wondered about that," Takato mentioned, also taking out his red D-arc. "Red's not even my favorite color. Then again, I did say something about red being a color representing power when I created Guilmon…"

"So it makes sense for you," I said. "But the rest of us didn't make up our Digimon. And blue's my favorite color." Looking back to my D-arc, I sighed. "Then again, Terriermon has primarily green-themed evolutions, so maybe that's what it goes by."

"Possibly," my friend figured. "What made you think about this, anyway?"

"It's a little weird, but every time I think about Christmas, I think about us. The two of us specifically, I mean…"

Takato didn't say anything for about half a minute after that. Then he blinked and smiled. "Oh, yeah! I see what you mean. Red and green, huh. That is pretty funny."

"I know it's kind of stupid, but I was wondering if that had anything to do with how we've been getting along so well, I mean, ever since we first met." I was already feeling embarrassed about talking about this… but I could stand to be a little more open to Takato, I suppose. He's the only one I'd ever be open to, anyway.

"What, you mean because neither of us really got on well with Ruki, but we just clicked right from the beginning?"

"Yeah," I admitted. "Ridiculous, huh?"

"It's just my opinion, but I think it really comes from the gender barrier. And the fact that Ruki's always just been scary. But…" He stopped, and I stopped right behind him. "You're reminding me of something I learned in art class, now."

"What do you mean?" I looked down at Takato as he set his bags on the ground. He dug through one of them, and pulled out one of his textbooks from school; Art I.

"Just a second," Takato said to me as he straightened back up and opened his book. After a brief time of flipping through the pages, he scooted over to me so I could see what he was referring to. Looking down, I saw quite a few variations of the color wheel…

"What's all this?" I asked.

"Colors and their relationships to each other," was the reply. He slowly moved his finger across all the colors and started to explain them. "See, red, blue and yellow are the primary colors. Green, orange and purple are the secondary colors. The colors in between all these colors are called tertiary colors, and the colors that are the furthest away from each other are our opposite colors. We also call them complimentary colors. So look, Jen, at where red is, and where green is."

I looked, and saw, and… my eyes widened. "We're… complimentary?"

Takato smiled. "Sou da. We compliment each other when we're placed side by side, but mixed together, we form a dull, grey color."

I almost laughed again. "What is that supposed to mean about our friendship?"

And then I thanked some random universal being for it being so dark just now, because at that moment, Takato slung an arm around my shoulder and leaned on me. "I THINK it means that we were made to be together. Because we were fast friends easily, it must prove that our friendship was supposed to happen when we were destined to become Tamers!"

There was no way I could think of platonic friendship with all the thoughts I was thinking and the way Takato was being so gratuitous with touching me. I just chuckled along and tried to get over my blushing fits.

"Ruki's color doesn't seem to have much to do with us, anyway, so maybe that's why she doesn't care about us," Takato assumed. Then he snickered. "But her compliment is Hirokazu's color. Must be those rebellious personalities."

"So you're saying Ruki and Hirokazu must really like each other despite the fact that they fight constantly?" I asked him, wondering if the whole color business wasn't such a coincidence after all…

"You know they do," Takato pointed out. "Hirokazu has a raving mad crush on her, and, whether Ruki knows it or not, she's feeding right into his obsession. It's really funny."

"True," I felt I needed to mention something to get my mind off Takato so much, though. "What about Juri, though? What relationship does her color have with you?"

Takato's smile disappeared. "Good question. Her compliment is… um, Kenta. She's a primary like me, and if you mix her color and mine together, you get 'Kazu…" He closed the book and put it back where he plucked it out, and picked up his bags again. "Jen, I don't know how I'm going to find a present to make her happy. Ever since Leomon died, I don't think another material possession is gonna make her happy. I feel so nervous when I think about her now. Makes me want to throw up…"

I was feeling sorry for Takato, now. "You shouldn't have to feel so bad over one girl, Takato-kun. Don't get me wrong; I think Juri's very nice and you've known her for a long time. You do deserve her, but do you want to tear yourself apart like this just to have that?"

"That's the scary thing," Takato said quietly. "I think my fear of all this is trying to convince me to give up…"

There was nothing supportive I could say about this now. My jealousy was slowly starting to eat me alive and demand a say in my advice to my best friend. But I'd have no part in it; I'm not greedy. If Takato knew about me… god knows what that'd do to his mentality.

"You'll be there for me, right?" Takato suddenly said. "Like, if things don't go well when I actually end up telling her…? Whenever that may be…?"

"Of course," I assured. "I'm your best friend. I'm always going to be there for you whenever you need me, for better or worse."

To emphasize my point, and for some reason I was feeling oddly brave, I gave Takato a hug. And in the process… Takato hugged me back, with a lot more enthusiasm. Poor guy… I could tell he really needed a hug right now. Why for, since I can't imagine this possibly upsetting him that much, I had no idea, but he was definitely glad I decided to hug him.

He gave me one last squeeze before slightly parting our embrace.

"Arigatou… Jen."

On that cue, I started feeling really nasty. I blushed yet again, cursing myself silently for choosing to feel that way about my best friend who's too good for me anyway.

We started walking towards the mall again. Takato slowed himself down so he could walk the exact same pace as me. Expression-wise, he never did get back to looking cheerful. He started walking closer to me, too… to the point where our arms would brush against each other on occasion. Eventually… to the point where the back of his hand would touch mine.

And all the while… I couldn't help but feel like we were being followed…

By the time we got to the mall, we didn't have a lot of time on our hands before it would close, so Takato and I made haste as we grabbed and bought the things on our lists to get them mostly out of the way. Eventually it got to a point where we had to split up; Takato's present in mind for Juri was, of course, some piece of expensive jewelry, which was on the opposite end of the mall, where I would be opposite of him, a full 5-minute walk away, trying to find his present. With only 10 minutes to spare, Takato and I went our own separate ways to get what we needed, and to meet back at the mall's entrance.

So here I was, at the front doors, waiting for him. The truly heartbreaking thing about this was that I never could find a present for Takato that I deemed worthy enough of him. The talk about the colors wasn't really a good incentive to let me know what he's been wanting, but from the way it sounds, it seems the one thing that would make him truly happy in the spirit of the season is to see Juri happy. Or at least, be her boyfriend. …I can't even be on the winning side of my own friends.

Just then, I saw Ruki in the distance, running steadily in my direction, looking uncharacteristically panicked as she reached the front doors. She was even more laden in bags than Takato was.

"Lee Jenrya?!"

"Ruki," I acknowledged, blinking in mild confusion. "Never thought I'd see you in a mall."

"Cut the small talk!" she demanded, looking to the doors. "They haven't locked up yet, have they?!"

"Uh… not that I know of," I responded, experimentally opening a door just to make sure. "You're not trapped yet."

Ruki just shot a glare at me. "Next time, don't STAND around the doors acting like you're locked in. You had me scared to death!"

"Sorry," I said, exasperated, but not in the mood to argue with my teammate today. "So, you're Christmas shopping too?"

"Uh, yeah," she nodded, not looking to be in a sociable mood. "Mother's orders. Well, I should get going before I really get locked in." Ruki started to go outside. "You should hurry and get out, too."

"I will," I promised. "Takato should be coming back any minute now."

"You're with him?" Ruki asked with amusement, complete with a smirk. "Figures. Oh, I did run across him earlier."

"So?"

Ruki narrowed her eyes. "He wanted me to give you this." In a split-second, she was offering me a folded slip of paper.

I never could bring myself to trust Ruki… but curiosity was getting the best of me, and I took the paper from her hand.

"Well, er… arigatou, Ruki."

Ruki just shrugged. "Merry Christmas and stuff. Bye." She raced out of the building and was out of sight just like that. I… couldn't help but wonder why Takato would need Ruki as a messenger, especially if it was something concerning me, but…

As the paper was just begging to be looked into, I started to unfold it, biting my lower lip in anticipation. Just what could this be…?

I closed my eyes, slowly reopened them, took a deep breath… and read the words written in some oddly-rushed handwriting:

Jenrya,

I know it might be a little hard to believe… and even harder to accept, but the thing of it is, I've come into a realization about myself very recently. I'm not quite sure how to cope with it, and you're the only one I trust well enough to come to about this situation. You've always helped me in my times of need before… and now I need you more than ever.

Jen, I love you. It's up to you whether or not you feel the same way, and I don't want to pressure you into anything; I just felt like I should let you know. Best friends tell each other everything, right…?

If you end up without a present from me this year, please don't be too upset. After realizing I had those feelings… I guess you can say I've been having trouble getting something to represent our love in the platonic sense. I'm really sorry, Jen-kun. If you want to talk to me, we'll talk the next time we meet, but if you don't want to, well… I understand that. It's perfectly fine.

I just hope one day someone worthy enough of you gives you the kind of love and recognition you deserve. If that happened, I could do without Christmas presents for the rest of my life. I really mean that, Jenrya.

- Takato

Again and again, my eyes read over the signature. Even if Ruki had told me it was from Takato, so the author of the letter was certainly no mystery. It was just simply hard to believe. Juri wasn't even mentioned in the letter, but that was the only thing seemingly wrong with the validity of the writing.

I didn't notice this at first, but after rereading so many times, a tear had fallen from my face and splattered onto the letter, right between the 'ato' of Takato's name. The ink smudged and utterly ruined the signature, but I couldn't control my urges; that letter really… got to me.

To think, Takato ironically being in the same position as me, neither of us knowing about the others' fondness for each other… us, both too paranoid and afraid to admit our feelings to one another, up until this very moment.

It was like it was almost too good to be true.

Then it occurred to me that it must've taken a lot of courage for Takato to come up to me and— well, maybe not face-to-face, but he still made a point to let me know that he… liked me like that. And me? I wasn't planning on doing that anytime soon. If ever! I really am a coward…

I gently re-folded the letter and placed it in my coat pocket.  I wiped my eyes and took a deep breath. I had decided. If Takato was going to make a fool of himself and blurt out his feelings to me in writing, then the best I could do was to do the very same thing. After all, it was pointless to be silent anymore. And I was tired of being quiet, always letting people walk by me and not notice how deeply I feel about things. I'm sick of being the doormat, the one being forgotten about, the one people rarely consider because I was too much of a damned anti-social to ever get to know them!

… No sooner than I had finally gathered all the determination and courage I could muster, Takato had returned. Something was wrong, though… he wasn't carrying any new bags… the only remotely new thing he had was a crumpled piece of paper sticking out halfway from his coat pocket.

… and he looked like he was about to cry…

"I never would have guessed," Takato said as softly as he could, but at the same time sounding a little… distant. "I never… ever… would have guessed that this would be a mutual feeling… Jen."

I knew what he was talking about, but yet again, I couldn't bring myself to believe it…

Takato rubbed his eyes and winced, seemingly trying to hold back on crying. "I… I don't know how you knew about that other insecurity with Katou-san… the fact that… not only am I too afraid to ask her out… I may by now also have someone else I've been… a little interested in…"

Now I knew that letter had to be genuinely his. "I… er…"

Takato looked directly into my eyes. "We must really be closer than I had thought. Jen… I'm just so sorry I waited this long to tell you… I guess you know how it feels, don't you? To like someone and be convinced that they'd never be able to like you back…?"

I could only nod.

"It finally makes sense," he told me… as he started walking in my direction. "I could never bring myself to say things like that to Katou-san… only after I'm old and dead and buried. But when it comes to telling you… I… I… it feels like the right thing to do… Jen…"

I was only somewhat-following. My hormones seemed to be doing better about that, though. I was blushing, again. "So… what are you trying to tell me…?"

He pulled me in, and despite my being taller than him, he had no trouble wrapping his entire self around my body in what was probably the most questionable embrace of the century.

"Just like red and green… we're complimentary, Jen. If we're together… I think something nice would happen."

Okay, I couldn't follow. "Something… gray?"

"No," Takato smiled at me. "We both needed love, so I think… we'll have a very comfortable unity."

My lips formed a following smile. "…indeed."

[POV – Nodoby]

Ruki peeked over to the front of the mall, where she found her two fellow teammates in an embrace that told her they had finally faced their fears and reconciled. An odd smile came to her face as she noticed Jenrya and Takato pulling in even closer, like they were moving in to…

"You must be cold, Ruki," a voice from behind noted. "It's late as well. Did you succeed?"

Ruki turned around and smirked to her partner, Renamon. "Did you actually doubt me? Of course I succeeded."

"I can't expect less," Renamon admitted. "But this is the first time, I believe, you've put any real thought on those two. There's a reason, isn't there?"

Ruki put her hands on her hips and sighed. "Renamon, ever since I learned how to care about you, I've realized what a jerk I've been to them this whole time. Even after that… I'm never nice to them. I don't care enough to be big buddies with them or anything, but I felt like… for all they put up with me, they deserved something nice from me. Even if they'll never know I set them up."

"Interesting," Renamon commented. "That you would know to set them up so you could make them both happy."

"Are you kidding?" Ruki asked in her sarcastic manner. "Ever since I met them they've been practically drooling all over each other and shunning me! It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure that out, Renamon. It's a simple classic boy-likes-boy-who-likes-the-other-boy-back-but-is-too-afraid-to-express-the-feelings-because-of-a-girl."

"And… you're sure Juri will appreciate this?"

"I've been talking to her a lot, Renamon," said Ruki. "I guess she's become somewhat of my best friend… and best friends are open like that with each other. …She told me she couldn't handle a relationship right now, or anytime soon, no matter who might like her. Even Takato. She does need him, but she told me she strictly needed him as a friend. Juri's been worried sick that Takato may like her as more than a friend, and she said it'd put her in a weird position…"

"A partner's passing on may do that to a Tamer," Renamon assumed, remembering Leomon's trauma-inducing death all too well. "So, you decided to put Takato with Jenrya to save Juri the trouble?"

"Pretty much," Ruki replied. "Plus, I figured it'd make Takato happy to set him up with someone who already likes him.

"Think they'll still give you coal for Christmas?" Renamon asked smugly.

Ruki's eyes narrowed. "After all this, if they do, I'll just plant my foot up where the sun doesn't shine and show them how to say a decent 'Thank-You'."

Renamon just chuckled from this. "The Christmas spirit may make you a little warmer, but it never seems to be able to completely change you."

"Please, Renamon," Ruki grinned widely. "If I suddenly became a soft sugarpuff, I think the world would explode."

"And how," Renamon concurred. "God forbid anyone who wears steel-toed combat shoes to be so gentle…"

"They still come in handy this time of year, you know. Easier to keep the Salvation Army guys quiet after ringing their inane bell for 15 minutes nonstop."

"I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not, but Ruki, I'll just take your word for it this time…"

"Yeah, yeah, I'm always right. The bookstore's still open, I think. Come on, let's get Juri her present."

"Saving her all that trouble wasn't her present, you mean? …Maybe I was wrong about the Christmas Spirit…"

"Juri needs more than just getting Takato off her Fear List to have a perfect Christmas, you know. I'm just relieved that Takato and Jenrya's Christmases aren't screwed to hell, now."

[POV – Jenrya]

I couldn't help but think… just then, as Takato and I were having a moment-… a, er… kiss… that some kind of angel might be watching over me. It must have taken a miracle for this to happen. Could fate alone bring us complimentary colors together in unison?

I think not.

I'm just grateful that I have exactly what I needed all those years ago… someone who unconditionally loved me as much as I loved them, and cared not of the consequences, losses, or hardships in result in being with… me.

Whoever did it, wherever they came from, whoever decided that I was worthy enough to deserve the best Christmas present I'll ever have gotten… I… I just wanted to say…

Thank you.

[END]