As they were growing up, everyone expected them to end up together. They had a natural bond from the very beginning and had been close from the first moment they met on, just because they happened to be the same age. Everyone expected the little Child of Light to hook up with the Bearer of Hope, including Yagami Hikari herself. The little Motomiya Daisuke was only a temporary roadblock and everyone passed it off as puppy love, something that would go away and leave Hikari to Takaishi Takeru, her predestined.

And it did eventually go away, as all young crushes do, and Hikari went back to focusing on the idea of eventually falling in love with Takeru and all that stuff people imagined for them.

But she was in trouble now, because this so-called destiny wasn't working out. Takeru didn't seem very interested in her. He was a nice guy and all, a great friend, but he was too busy to take up anything romantic with anyone, let alone this girl he'd known since he was a little kid. And she wasn't really interested in him, either. Sure, he was cute. But that was where it ended for her. She didn't find anything interesting in him at all.

But Daisuke, on the other hand...

The boy with mahogany red hair sat in their trigonometry class, knees pulled up to his chin and his orange shoes balancing on the edge of the chair. It didn't look like a comfortable position, but apparently it was relaxed enough for him. He had headphones on, unbeknownst to their instructor because they were small enough to be hidden behind his hair. One hand rested on his left ear, blocking out the class in light of the music, and the other taking notes idly as the teacher wrote them on the overhead.

Takeru sat next to him, scribbling something on his notebook and sliding it quietly over to Daisuke's desk. Daisuke leaned forwards and read off the words that set them both snickering as best they could without attracting the attention of the teacher. He wrote something down and slid it back, grinning innocently as he looked back towards the front of the room.

Hikari tilted her head to the side. It was funny how they were friends now. Taichi and Yamato said it would happen, but no one really believed them. Not with the way those two fought. Watching those two was like looking into a mirror backwards. Takeru was the stereotypical blondie, the perfect student who was always happy and just floated through life. Daisuke was the opposite – he was always struggling to keep up his grades, and was certainly not blonde. Takeru was a good little kid who rarely cursed; Daisuke was always getting in trouble and ran his mouth like a sailor.

There was something striking about Daisuke, with his dark skin and hair and eyes and... Hikari's thoughts were interrupted as the bell rang. Everyone swept their books into their bags and headed out the door. Takeru and Daisuke waited outside for Hikari, as was their normal practice. She smiled brightly and the three headed down the hallway.

Daisuke settled the headphones around his neck, shoving his hands into the pockets of his baggy jeans. "You know, I'm beginning to understand exactly why my grades suck so much. Paying attention is a good thing. I don't do it."

The trio hesitated at Hikari's locker and the girl opened it, sorting through the books and notebooks before she shoved things she needed into her bag. "Maybe you should spend as much effort on school as you do on... well... everything else," she glanced up at Daisuke. "Like skating, or playing soccer, or whatever that crap you do with Yamato is..."

"It's called 'playing bass,' Hi-chan," the boy grinned at her as they walked down to Takeru's locker. "I never saw the point of spending time on something I didn't understand. And math... I do not understand that. Thusly..." he waved a hand as if he was brushing away the rest of the thought.

Takeru raised an eyebrow as he shoved a book into his locker. "I know what the point is! Not flunking high school." He laughed as Daisuke swung a half-hearted punch into his shoulder. "Seriously, though. If you don't 'get it,' I'll help you if you want."

"Oh no you won't. I've seen your trig scores. You need just as much help as I do." Both stopped and turned towards Hikari pointedly.

She sighed and glanced up at the ceiling. "Oh, all right. You guys have been bugging me about this for a long time, so I might as well just agree to it and get it over with."

"My grades thank you in advance," Daisuke tilted his head as he spun the bolt of his locker and felt it click, popping the door and swinging it open.

"Good Lord. I never fail to be amazed by the condition of his locker," Takeru told Hikari, who smiled brightly.

"It's not that bad," the other boy lifted a pile of papers with his foot and nudged the book underneath them to the floor. "Okay, I guess it is that bad. But either way, I know where everything is in it. Except... hmm... where's my history book..."

Hikari and Takeru leaned against the wall of lockers as Daisuke fished through the bottom of his locker with his foot. "It would probably go a lot faster if you actually used your hands," Hikari suggested.

"Heathen." The girl shook her head and studied the ceiling for a moment. "Here we go. I knew I could find it." Daisuke shoved the book into his bag and nudged the papers back enough so that he could shut the door of the locker. "Ta da!"

"Is your entire life like that?" Takeru raised on eyebrow at him. "I mean... considering your room and how it looks..."

"Hey! My room is clean!" Daisuke protested.

"No it isn't."

"Yes it is! It's... reasonably clean..."

"Liar. It's a complete mess."

"It is not."

"Jun trips over things all the time, she says."

"Yeah, well, Jun is a klutz. And she shouldn't be in my room, anyway. You're lucky to be an only child. I'm so jealous."

"It's not as great as it sounds," Takeru shrugged as the three walked outside and down the steps of the high school.

Hikari walked in the middle of the two as they headed down the street. She wondered why they always walked this way – Takeru on the left, her in the middle, and Daisuke on the right. "Staring contest! Straight faced!" Takeru announced as they paused at the crosswalk, turning and staring at Daisuke. Hikari looked up and glanced back and forth between the two. It had hardly been half of a minute when Daisuke broke into a grin. Takeru beamed triumphantly and the three headed across as the sign flashed onto WALK.

"That's not fair, you know I can't handle that without laughing," Daisuke complained.

"It is too fair. You always win at eye contact, so it's only fair that I win at something too," Takeru said.

"No it isn't. Daisuke dominates all. I should be able to win everything."

"But Dais, you can't win at everything. You suck."

"Dammit."

Hikari smiled and tossed her hair back from her face, glancing back and forth between the two. Every day of high school had been this way. This was her life, and she wouldn't trade it for anything.

"I want that," Daisuke stopped the three outside of a store window and pointed. The other two stood at his side and peered in the window.

Takeru tilted his head to the side. "The bass?"

"The six-string. Dais wants. Is it harder than a four-string?" he glanced up at Takeru questioningly.

The blonde shook his head. "I don't know, Yamato never mentioned it. I assume not, since he can play it."

"Your brother is talented," Hikari poked Takeru in the arm. "You don't give him enough credit. How much is it, Dai-sama?"

"Um, that one, I think, is seven hundred or so. They're really expensive, especially that one. That's why I haven't gotten one yet. Maybe Yamato will upgrade again and I'll get his," Daisuke shrugged, continuing down the street.

Hikari itched her nose. "When's the next concert, speaking of which? Are you doing it or not?"

"Dunno. Takeru, next time you talk to Yama-chan, have him call me, m'kay?"

"Yamato never gives me anything anymore. He gave his stupid guitar to you. No fair. I really wanted that bass, too."

"He likes me better. Plus, you can't sing or play bass for crap. So there."

"Hey guys?" Hikari interrupted, then pointed at a small store. "I need to run in there and buy something for my mom's birthday."

The two boys stopped and studied the store from across the street. Daisuke tilted his head to the side and made a face. "I don't know, Hikari. What do you think, Takeru?"

"I don't know... it's awfully... pink in there..."

"Pink isn't a very manly colour."

"No, it sure isn't..."

The girl rolled her eyes and sighed. "Okay, here, I'll make you two a deal. You stay here and I'll run in to the store alone. It'll only take a few minutes." She pointed at them both as if they were dogs and understood hand signals instead of words. "Stay."

Daisuke yawned as he watched her hop across the street. "So, Takeru. Did you make up that algebra test today?"

"Yeap. I probably flunked. It seemed easy, and you know what that means."

"Shut up, you never flunk anything. You probably aced the stupid thing."

"You know, Dais, I think Hikari-chan likes you."

"Me? Nah."

"I don't know... I mean, what with all of that hanging on she was doing during lunch today... and she kinda... I don't know, just the way she talks to you."

"She's always affectionate with me. Okay, not always been that way," Daisuke shrugged. "Hey, Schroeder," he greeted a blue-haired boy from their school who was strolling past and stopped for a minute to talk. Takeru waited as Daisuke bummed a cigarette off of him, then waved to the retreating Schroeder. Fishing a lighter from his pocket, Daisuke lit up the cancer stick and talked out of the side of his mouth. "But anyway, what were we talking about? Oh, Hikari, right. She's not into me that way. She never was and I don't think she ever will be."

Takeru shrugged and rolled his eyes a bit, leaning against the wall and peering into the pink store Hikari hadn't yet returned from. "Whatever you say, Dais. You know girls more than I do."

"Speaking of girls," Daisuke ashed the cigarette a few times, "are you going to ask our little Hikari soon?"

"I don't know. I'm nervous."

"Ah-ha! So the famous Takeru is human after all, hmm?"

"Shut up, Dais. It's not as easy for me as it is for you," Takeru grumbled.

Daisuke smirked as he exhaled a long breath of smoke. "Oh, come on. You know it was a joke. Anyway, I don't see why you should worry. Everyone expects it, including her."

"I know. But somehow I get the feeling that she doesn't return it. Especially since I think she's all over you."

"You'll never know if you don't try. And she does not like me. By the way, on the subject of girls, the chick in my chemistry class? I'm dating her now."

"Oh? She's cute," Takeru said.

"Yeah she is," Daisuke agreed, leaning back and also directing his gaze at the pink store.

"Do you like her?" Takeru asked finally to break the silence.

"No," Daisuke ran the cigarette down to the filter and tossed it onto the sidewalk, stepping on it.

"Then why are you dating her?"

"Don't know. Because she asked me to. I give her until the end of the week, and if I'm not interested by then... I'm out."

"One week limit, huh?"

"Shut up, Takeru, that's not what I meant," Daisuke tossed a glare to his friend. "You know that."

Takeru made a face. "Yes. I know better. I was kidding, honest. But seriously, you waste a lot of time hanging around with girls you don't even like."

Daisuke sighed, glancing at his hand and wishing he hadn't smoked the cigarette as quickly as he did. "I know." He shoved his hands into his pockets, and started eyeing the brick wall he was standing next to. It was covered with posters advertising jobs, concerts, dances, other random events... He paused at a poster and read it over again, then pointed. "Look."

Takeru glanced over. "What?"

"This concert. Look. They're on tour. Rock show, baby."

"Oh yeah?" Takeru leaned on his friends shoulder and read the poster. "Whoa, whoa. That would be an awesome concert."

"Hell yeah." Daisuke tapped the poster with a finger. "The fourth. Is that a... Thursday?"

"Yep. Oh, dammit. I can't do on the fourth!"

The redhaired boy made a face. "No? How come?"

"Family stuff. Mom has some stupid presentation for work and she wants me to help her."

"God dammit," Daisuke groaned under his breath. "Now who'll I take?"

"Hey guys, sorry it took me so long. You wouldn't believe the line!" Hikari's voice interrupted from behind. Both boys turned around and studied her silently for a long moment, causing her to glance back and forth nervously. "Ummm... guys? Guys, what are you plotting? Stop that, I hate it when you guys look that way! Stop!"

"Hmm... what do you think, Takeru?"

"I don't know... it's awfully pink in there."

The two turned to each other for a long moment, then broke into laughter. Hikari stood there, as confused as ever, glancing back and forth between the two. "I don't... get it."

"Nevermind," Takeru shook his head.

Daisuke slung one arm around Hikari and started leading her down the street. "Hikari-chan... have I ever told you how great you'd look at a rock show?"