Perfect Present: The Neo Birthday Fic
Story 1 of 3 of the Neo Trilogy 2 series
By CyberDracomon (King of Takari)

(Author's Note: Just when you thought the cliche fics were becoming horribly overdone and overcopied, the Neo Trilogy is back! Last time around, I redid the overused prom, hospital and diary fics and with such a response, how could I not do another trilogy? I've looked around FF.N and decided this time I'll be redoing the birthday, the rivalry and the triangle fic and this Trilogy begins with the birthday fic. If you've seen them, you'll know a birthday fic is where someone has a birthday party and one of the guests falls in love with the birthday boy or girl. Once again prepare for a new kind of fic from an old plotline and expect a twist you didn't plan on! Of course this is Takari, so TK and Kari will be 15 here, and of course the birthday boy or girl's age will be up a year. With all that said, please read, review, and most importantly enjoy! ^_^)

(Dedication: This Trilogy is dedicated to Lace123. Yes, you read right, not the fic, the entire Trilogy. Why the whole Trilogy? She knows. ^_^)

TK stood in front of his school locker, fumbling around with the locker's padlock. It was the end of the day and he had somehow forgotten the last number of his combination. After a few minutes of twisting the small knob he got the right number, letting the lock snap open. TK removed the lock and opened the metal door to retrieve his history book when a small, folded piece of paper fell out of his locker and onto the school floor. He quickly bent down and picked it up, unfolding it as he stood up.

"To TK..." He read outloud. "You are invited to a birthday party this Saturday. Present optional, but appreciated as long as it's not clothes. The party will start at 2 pm at..." TK stopped as he read the address of the party. "Wait, that's Kari's address..." He suddenly felt like panicking, he didn't know it was Kari's birthday Saturday, he had completely forgotten.

"You got one, too?" Someone said behind him. TK turned to see Yolei right behind him, also holding a folded piece of paper. He assumed it was another invite, though.

"Yeah..." He replied. "Did you know it was Kari's birthday?" TK asked, hoping for some kind of sign he wasn't alone. Yolei shook her head, letting TK take some pressure off of himself.

"I guess I completely forgot..." She said. "I hope Davis or Cody has better memory than we do, I'm not even sure I can get a present for her on such short notice." TK couldn't help but cringe at the thought of Davis remembering and him forgetting, but quickly shook it off as best he could.

"Yeah, same here..." TK said. "Gotta try though, right?" Yolei smiled at him, nodding.

"That's the spirit!" She said with her usual enthusiasm. "Besides, if you can't get a gift in time, let me know, my family's store has a few roses for sale." TK gulped nervously. "Something wrong with roses?" Yolei asked, curious.

"Well, no." TK said, a little shakey. "Just aren't roses a little to... I don't know, serious?" Yolei gave him a confused look before a mischievous smirk crossed her face.

"Oh, I get it..." She said. "You don't want to get her roses because you've got a crush on her and she might not feel the same." TK could feel his face blush and a bit of nervous sweat forming on his brow. She was right, he did have a crush on Kari, if you could even call it a crush, that is.

"No, no!" TK said, trying to sound convincing. "It's nothing like that, it's just that... just that..." He was trying desperately to come up with an excuse, but could find none, the only possibility was the true one, the one Yolei already knew.

"TK, relax for a second." Yolei said, trying to ease him. "Look, if that's really how you feel, maybe Kari's birthday is the best time to tell her. Who knows, it could be the best present she gets." He never though of that. If Kari did feel the same way both of them would be getting a present at the party.

"Um... I'll think about it." TK said, still not totally sure. "Thanks, Yolei." Yolei smiled in response.

"No problem." She answered. "I've gotta get going, mom wanted me to get home early today. See you Saturday!" With that, Yolei left, not looking back to wait for TK's goodbye. He didn't really have time to give one, as soon as he was about to say goodbye he caught Davis in the corner of his eye, walking down the hallway. He didn't want to give anything away, but he had to know if Davis remembered.

"Hey, Davis!" TK said, just loud enough to get his attention. Davis looked over before walking his way.

"Hey DK, what's up?" Davis said, again messing up his name. TK had learned to ignore it after so long though.

"I just wanted to ask if you got an invite to Kari's birthday party Saturday." TK asked. Davis shot him a confused look, then quickly smiled.

"Oh, sure, I got the invite just today." Davis said. "I've already got a present and everything." Now TK felt even worse, of all people Davis did remember her birthday.

"Oh..." TK said, trying to hide the disappointment in his voice. "Well, I'll see you there, then?" Davis nodded, grinning to himself.

"Of course." He replied. "See you Saturday, TB." With one more name screw up added to the list, Davis walked off, leaving TK with things to consider. He already let Davis get a step ahead of him, he had to at least top him at the party. TK shut his locker, resetting the lock, then walked down the hallway on his way out of school and back home.


Later that day, TK found himself walking along the street, keeping an eye on all of the stores he passed. Him mom had given him the money he needed for Kari's present and with some money he found lying around in his room, he had enough for a great present. TK had walked this street a dozen times, but he never realized how many stores there were on a single street.

He was about to turn and return home when his eyes landed on a jewelry store nearby. He somehow remembered seeing it before when he was on this street, but never paid close attention to it until now. TK walked inside and immediately felt a chill of cold air from the store's air conditioners. Inside the store looked much more professional than the outside, perfectly clean with glass display cases in every direction, all proudly displaying gold, silver, and precious jewels. The store was vacant except for a man behind the main counter with jet black hair and eye glasses. The man looked over and faintly smiled at TK.

"Can I help you, sir?" The man said. TK looked around quickly, realizing he wasn't sure.

"Um... I'm looking for a birthday present for a friend of mine." TK said, trying not to give any details away. The man walked out from behind the counter and came a little closer to TK.

"I see..." He said. "I suppose this is for a special female friend, then?" The man said it so calmly TK wasn't sure how to respond. "Don't be so surprised, a lot of young men come in here for presents for girlfriends. I don't think you'd be in a jewelry store for a present for a male friend, anyway, correct?" TK was surprised how much this man knew already, he had obviously seen it a lot already.

"Well, she's not my girlfriend..." TK said, somewhat disappointed saying it himself. Just then he thought back to the day's events, deciding something he had been questioning all day. "...but I'd like to get her something that might change that." The man smiled a little more, relaxing TK.

"I thought as much..." He said. "Actually another boy came in here asking something similar just yesterday." TK felt a wave of panic going through him, dreading the possibility that boy was Davis. "Come with me, I have just the thing." With that he walked off and stopped at a nearby display case. TK followed quickly behind, stopping beside him. Inside the case were many styles of lockets and pendants, all made of gold with at least one gemstone on them. The man reached in and pulled out a heart shaped locket with a sapphire in the center surrounded by small diamonds. It almost reminded TK of Gatomon's eyes.

"It's perfect." TK said, still looking at it. The jeweler opened the locket, revealing silver panels on the insides of both halves.

"It's designed to have an engraving on the inside." He said. "We can put whatever you want on the inside in no time if you'd like." TK gave it some thought, but quickly came up with an idea.

"Does that include more... unusual shapes?" He asked. The jeweler nodded in response. "Okay, then, I'll take it." TK followed the man back to the main counter where he produced a pencil and small pad of blank paper. TK guessed what he wanted to do and took both items and began to draw two shapes, occasionally erasing away parts. When he was done he presented the jeweler with drawings of the crests of hope and light.

"Unusual shapes, indeed." He said, examining the drawings. "Any special value of these?" TK wasn't sure what to answer, he couldn't say they were symbols from the Digiworld, but he didn't know a sensible excuse, either.

"No, just sentimental value." He said, trying not to put in any details. "Just put one on each side of the locket." The jeweler nodded, then picked up the drawing and locket before retreating to a back room, most likely the engraving room. TK found a small chair to wait in while he did the engravements.

About half an hour later the jeweler returned with the locket in hand. TK stood and walked back to the counter he was behind to take a look at his work. Once again the jeweler opened the locket, but instead of normal engravings, they had also been filled in with gold.

"Um..." TK said, worried. "The necklace and engravement I'm sure I can afford... but the gold filling is another story..." The jeweler ust smiled, shaking his head.

"Don't worry about it." He said. "I offered to do this for that other boy, but after I had the gold melted down he changed his mind. He paid for the gold filling already and I already had the melted gold, so I did it for free. Besides, I can tell you really want to impress this girl." TK blushed a little at the comment. He took the money from his pockets and gave it to the jeweler, paying for the necklace. He then gave TK the locket, which he took a close look at. He ran a finger across the crest of hope on the left heart, feeling a little warmth still in the recently melted gold.

"Do you have a box I can put this in?" TK asked. The man nodded, then produced a small red jewelry box from under the counter. TK took it and placed the necklace inside gently, then snapped the box shut. "Thanks a lot!" He said, walking toward the door. The jeweler waved back with a smile as TK left the building, still clutching the jewelry box. He started to walk back home, hoping Kari would like the locket.


Saturday came sooner than TK expected and before he knew it he was walking toward Kari's apartment with the jewelry box with locket in hand. His nerves felt like they were going to give out at any second, he was kind of in disbelief that he had gotten Kari such a present. Often he dreamed of some romantic setting and giving her a gift that showed his love. True, a birthday party isn't the most romantic setting, but the gift was more than he ever imagined. TK's thoughts broke when he realized he was now in front of Kari's apartment building. TK could feel a bit of nervous sweat on the back of his neck as he started up the stairs to her floor. He wasn't sure how to give her the locket in a crowded party but he knew he had to. This might be his only chance, especially if that other kid that bought a necklace really was Davis. Finally he reached Kari's floor, somewhat winded from the long climb. He walked across the open hallway until he reached the door to Kari's apartment. He reached up with a closed hand and gave a few quick knocks. TK stepped back to wait, then put the present behind his back, holding onto it with both hands. After a minute the door opened and TK was surprised to see Kari on the other side.

"Hi TK!" She greeted him. "I'm glad you could make it." TK smiled nervously, but something didn't make sense.

"Hi Kari." He replied. "Um... shouldn'd you be sitting in front of a pile of gifts or a cake or something?" Kari gave him a confused look, making TK realized something wasn't right.

"Why would I be doing that at my brother's birthday party?" She said. TK stared blankly, then remembered the invite he got. It didn't say which Kamiya's birthday it was, just that it was at the Kamiya apartment.

"Oh... well, I thought maybe you'd be waiting for Tai to open your present to him." He said to cover up. No wonder Davis was acting so strange, he must have known it was Tai's birthday, now TK was stuck with no present and a locket he couldn't give Kari or return and get his money back. He quickly slipped the jewelry box into his back pocket, not wanting Kari to mistake it as a present for Tai.

"Well, maybe..." Kari said. "I do want to see his reaction to my present. Come on in, we're still waiting for a few people." With that Kari walked back into the apartment with TK following behind, closing the door behind him. Inside Yolei, Matt, Izzy, Mimi, Joe and Sora were already there, scattered around the main room and kitchen, waiting for Tai to arrive. TK made his way over to Yolei, who was sipping from a glass of punch.

"Yolei, did you find out this party was for Tai?" TK asked, looking for some relief. Yolei shook her head in response.

"No, I didn't know until I came in here." She said. "Luckily I got Kari a new soccerball so I can give it to Tai, too." TK wished he had thought of that, but he doubted the same trick would work with his present. He heard the door open again and looked to see Cody walking in, holding a small present wrapped in green paper. It looked like only a few of the invites had forgotten to put Tai's name on them. He turned his head until his eyes landed on Kari, who was piling up all the presents they had so far. TK thought about pulling her aside and just giving her the present in private, but before he could even act there were more knocks at the door. Kari walked over and opened the door, letting Davis and Ken in, both with fair sized presents in their hands. TK couldn't help but feel mad that Davis lead him on like that, but tried not to show it as Davis approached him, a smug grin on his face.

"Hey, TF." Davis said, screwing up his name again. "Enjoying "Kari's" party?" He said loud enough so only TK could hear.

"You've got some nerve tricking me like that, you know..." TK said, letting a bit of his anger out accidentally. He just realized Yolei had left when Davis came over and it was just him and Davis in their area of the apartment.

"Hey, it was just a joke." Davis replied, now dropping the grin for a simple smile. "Besides, it's not like you messed up and got her something really expensive." TK wished he had never asked Davis about the party in the first place. He was about to reply when he heard the door open again, but with no knock.

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!" Everyone in the main room said. TK realized he had just missed Tai's big entrance. Davis realized the same as he was now hurrying back to the main room to join the party. TK followed, but slower, still worried that he was the only one without a present.


"Okay, this one's from Ken." Tai announced, holding a block-shaped present wrapped in silver paper. Tai shredded the wrapping off, letting it fall into a pile of wrapping paper at his feet. Inside the paper was a shoebox. Tai pulled the lit off, revealing a pair of brand new soccer kleets. At any age Tai was still really big on soccer and was already planning on joining a college team. "Thanks, Ken, just what I needed!" Ken nodded, smiling. Even after three years it was still strange to TK to see him smile.

"They're the same brand I use, the best on the market." Ken said, still with the same, very calm tone of voice he always had. Tai placed the lid back onto the box and laid it onto the table with his other gifts. Izzy gave him some games for his computer, Matt gave him his old guitar, Joe got him new shin guards, Cody gave him a new pair of goggles, Yolei gave him the soccerball, and Mimi gave him a new outfit which somehow ended up on the bottom of a pile of the boxed presents. TK was kind of relieved to see that Sora didn't have a present, either. Davis and Kari's presents had yet to be opened and both were still waiting in front of Tai. He reached for the gift wrapped in yellow paper.

"Okay, this one's from Kari, right?" Tai asked, looking to his little sister. Kari nodded, then took a seat beside Tai as he unwrapped the gift, revealing a small bottle. "Cologne?" Tai said, giving his sister a weird look. "This supposed to tell me something?" Kari giggled a little at the comment.

"Let's just say you could use it after your soccer games." Kari said. Most of the room laughed a bit before Tai set the bottle down with the other presents. He then grabbed the last one, the one from Davis. It was wrapped in blue paper, but it wasn't as neat of a wrapping job as most of the others. Tai had a tough time getting through the layers of tape Davis had sealed the paper with.

"Uh, Davis, next year can you just hand me the present?" Tai asked, still working on the wrapping. Davis smiled nervously, waiting for Tai to finish. Once the tape was finally out of the way, Tai tore off the paper. The gift looked like a radio, but it was much smaller, like it was just a goofy toy. "This is a real radio?" Tai said in confusion.

"Yeah, it's a baby radio." Davis responded. "You can take it anywhere and it works just as well as a full sized one. I thought it could save some space in your college dorm room." Tai set the micro stereo with the other presents on the table, which was quite full by now.

"Yeah, it will, thanks." Tai said. TK breathed in relief, it looked like Tai didn't notice that he didn't have a present. At least that was what TK hoped. He looked at the time and saw that it was already 7 p.m., time had gone by really fast. They had already eaten the entire cake, two tubs of ice cream and played more competitive video games than imaginable. Tk wandered into the kitchen and pulled the jewelry box from his back pocket before sitting down. He hid it under the kitchen table, out of everyone's view but his own, if anyone was in the kitchen anyway. He could hear the door opening and looked back to see Joe, Ken, Cody and Mimi already leaving, all of which couldn't stay for their own reasons. He looked away, staring at the box in his hands, but kept hearing the door open and close. By the time he looked back up, only Sora, Kari, Tai, and Matt were still there, who were cleaning up. All except for Tai, that is, who had just finished relocating everything to his room. TK looked back down at the box, trying to forget that he ever got into this mess.

"Hey, TK?" He heard behind him. He looked behind him to see Tai standing over him, looking worried. "You look pretty down... something wrong?" TK shook his head slowly, but Tai took a seat next to him anyway, not fooled by TK's attempt. "Come on, you can tell me if something's bothering you. If it's because you didn't have a present it's no big deal." TK shook his head again, meaning it this time.

"No, it's not that..." He said, taking his eyes off the box. "The invite I got didn't have a name on it or anything, just your apartment's address. I kind of got tricked into thinking it was Kari's party and got her this expensive locket that I can't give her now..." Tai hesitated to answer, but instead reached behind him and pulled a blue box from his back pocket. TK looked at the box as Tai opened it's lid, revealing a locket similar to the one TK got for Kari, except with a red ruby in the center instead of a blue sapphire. "Wait, you're the one the jeweler was talking about? The kid that turned down the gold engraving?" Tai nodded, closing the lid on the second locket.

"Yeah, that's me." Tai answered. "I got the locket for Sora as an engagement present... I wanted to propose to her but when I told my parents they told me to wait until I was a little older. That was a few months ago, now that I'm officially a year older they said I could." TK opened up the lid on his jewelry box, taking another look at the sapphire locket.

"Well this isn't anything like an engagement present..." TK said. "...but I was looking forward to giving it to Kari..." Tai glanced at the locket and box in TK's hands, then at TK.

"...You're in love with my sister, aren't you?" Tai said, sounding very sure about the statement. TK suddenly panicked, realizing this was Kari's brother he was talking to.

"No, of course not, no way!" TK said, trying hard to convince Tai, but obviously failing. Tai gave TK one stern glare and TK stopped the rambles of "no"s. "...Yeah, I am..." Tai's glance lightened up, then smiled.

"You didn't have to act so worried." Tai said. "It was kind of obvious you would sooner or later." TK felt a lot of pressure fall off his shoulders, he had been worried that Tai would have objected.

"Sorry, just teen instincts I guess." TK replied. "Usually you're supposed to fear the big brother of a girl you love." Tai laughed a bit at the joke.

"Yeah, usually." He said. Tai paused for a second, thinking, then smiled again. "Hey, TK, you still want to get me a present I'll like?" TK gave him a puzzled look.

"Sure, but isn't it a little late?" He replied. Tai shook his head, still smiling.

"Nah, not for this one." He said. "Tell my sister how you feel about her. Before I go to college I want to know she'll be with someone that makes her really happy, someone I know won't hurt her, and I know that's you." TK couldn't believe the trust Tai had in him. Even Matt rarely did anything that needed this much trust.

"Thanks, Tai..." TK said. "I promise I'll take care of Kari... that is if she feels the same way." Tai stood from his chair, then faced TK again.

"You'd be surprised." Tai said simply before leaving the kitchen. TK watched as he entered the main room, then walked to Sora, who just finished helping with the cleaning. He whispered something to her before taking her hand and leading her out of the apartment door. TK hoped he was leading her to a better spot to pop the question.

Just then he did a double take and realized Kari had already left. Matt was asleep on the Kamiya sofa, probably tired from cleaning. TK closed the jewelry box and placed it back into his pocket before making his way back into the main room. He looked around for Kari, but she was nowhere in sight. TK kept looking around, trying to spot anything that might say where she is, when he noticed a long curtain on the other side of the living room waving around a little. He remembered a sliding glass door there that lead to a small balcony, he figured Kari went out there. TK walked forward slowly, trying not to disturb his brother, until he reached the curtain. He pushed it aside gently, revealing Kari, who was leaning against the railing of the balcony, staring up at a bright crescent moon.

"Hi Kari..." TK said quietly, trying not to startle her. Kari turned enough to look at TK, then smiled.

"Hey TK." She replied. "Have fun at the party?" TK nodded, returning the smile. He took a few steps forward, joining Kari at the edge of the balcony.

"Yeah, a lot of fun..." TK said, knowing he sounded a little down. Kari looked at him, a bit of worry in her eyes.

"You don't sound like it..." She answered. "I noticed you were a little tense all day, I thought it was because you were one of the only guests that didn't have a present for Tai." TK shook his head. He felt a chill in his spine, he knew eventually he was going to tell her in this conversation, but it was still a nervous thought.

"It's not that, not at all..." He said. "I did have a present, actually." Kari looked at him, obviously curious.

"You did?" She asked. "Why didn't you give it to him? Or did I just not see your present?" TK put a hand behind his back, in his nervousness he had to check if the necklace was still there.

"Actually there was a weird mix-up..." TK said. "My invite didn't have Tai's name on it so I got a gift for the wrong Kamiya..." Kari giggled a little, the same giggle that made TK's heart melt.

"It was pretty late when I made those out, guess I forgot on some of the last ones." She explained. "So we'll say you did my birthday shopping very early, just don't let me know what it is until then." TK thought about doing just that until it was her birthday, but he was this far so he had to keep going.

"Actually..." TK said, reaching into his back pocket. "...I wanted you to have it now." He pulled the box from his pocket, trying very hard to keep his nervous hand from shaking. TK held it out to Kari, who slowly reached for it, gently picking it up. TK took a step back to wait for her reaction. He watch her open the lid of the box, her eyes immediately widen at the sight of the locket. She gently pulled the locket from the box, keeping it in one hand, and took a close look at the locket, obviously in disbelief, then opened it up. TK could hear a slight gasp escape her as she saw the gold crests on the insides of the locket.

"TK..." She managed to say. "...what does this mean..." TK smiled gently, stepping a little closer. He took the locket from her hand and gently fastened it around her neck. Kari stood there as he did this, then dropped the box, no longer in enough control to remain holding it.

"It means..." TK said, more nervous than he had ever been in his live. " means I love you, Kari..." Kari looked up at him, her eyes beginning to form tears.

"TK... I don't know what to say..." She said silently. TK put his hands on her sides, his nervousness forgotten, and gently pulled her a little closer.

"Sure you do..." He said gently. "Just think about it and say it, don't be nervous if it feels right." Kari hesitated, then put her arms around TK's neck, pulling herself as close as she could get.

"...I love you, too, TK..." She said, looking up at him. TK looked back into her eyes, admiring their perfect brown color. With little control left, TK closed his eyes and leaned forward a little, brushing his lips against Kari's in a soft kiss. Before he could pull back, Kari leaned forward, kissing him again with more passion than the first. After a minute the two parted, both dazzled by the pair of kisses.

"So I guess you liked the locket?" TK joked, breaking the silence. Kari laughed a little before loosening her grip on TK. Just then the two heard the front door open and quickly close with a slight slam.

"That's probably my brother." Kari said, letting go completely, much to TK's regret. "Let's see how he and Sora made out." TK nodded, then took Kari's hand as the two walked back through the curtain. Inside Tai and Sora were standing behind the couch, watching a still snoring Matt. TK didn't take long to notice the ruby locket around Sora's neck.

"Looks like things went well." TK mentioned, smiling at Tai. Tai smiled back, grinning widely.

"Yeah, for both of us." He replied. Kari and Sora smiled at each other as well. It seemed like everyone had gotten the present of their dreams on Tai's birthday. TK, however, knew his dreams were far from over.

The End

So there it is! Neo #4 and the first of Neo Trilogy 2! I know this took a long time and it might not be my best work, writers block, the flu, school events, seems like everything hit me at once. I did my best, though, so I hope you liked it. ^_^ I know the twist is hard to spot, but it's there. Every birthday fic has had the birthday boy or girl in the main couple of the fic. For once I wanted to see the guests as the couple and let the birthday boy's couple just on the sidelines.

So what's next for CyberDracomon? Of course I'm continuing this new Trilogy! Next up is the Rivalry Fic. This is a little older cliche fic, but I'm really excited to do it since it's the only cliche fic that's always Takari! A rivalry fic is where Tai and Matt are still feuding and TK and Kari are forbidden to see each other. Wait until you see the twists I've got for that one! Until then! ^_^