Digimon: what might have been…
1400 words, roughly
was originally supposed to be a part of a monster series, but I never got around to writing it. For background purposes, Taichi's dead. It's also fucked up Takari that I've never edited.

"What the hell do you think you're doing?" he asked her harshly. Hikari looked at him, her eyes disturbingly clear.

"What do you think I'm doing?" she replied calmly, her hand clutching the razor.

"I think you're going to kill yourself," he said, his eyes upon the sharp object in her hand. Hikari shrugged nonchalantly; why was he making such a big deal out of this?

"Not the first time," she answered. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have an appointment in Hell."

"No you don't," he snarled and wrestled the gleaming metal out of her hand. Her eyes widened in shocked, and she tried to regain it, but he wouldn't let her.

"Damn you, give it back to me!" she hissed, her eyes narrowing into mere slits.

"Not until you promise that you won't cut yourself with it," he said fiercely. For an answer, she jumped on top of him, knocking him to the floor. He felt his head contact with the cold tile and he fought back the darkness. He felt her hand close over his and pry the razor away.

"You bastard. What makes you think you can choose life or death for me?" she hissed at him, scrambling to her feet.

"What gives you the right to choose?" he asked her coldly, sitting up. He ignored the sensation of dizziness. "Who the hell do you think you are?"

"It's my life!" she screeched at him. "It's my own goddamned life, and I do whatever the hell I want to do with it!" Damn him for intervening, she thought to herself bitterly. What right did he have?

"So I'm supposed to apologize for being concerned about a friend? I'm sorry, maybe the virtues of compassion and caring aren't exactly that high up on your list, but they are on mine," he said sardonically.

"It's my life Takeru. I do with it what I want," she repeated, throwing the words in his face. "No one ever asked you to step in."

"But that's what friends do," he said. "Did you expect me to sit around and watch you make a mess of yourself? God, Hikari, we were best friends as children. What the hell happened to make you change so much? You were so light and wise and fun then."

"Go back and live in your fairytale Takeru. There's no such thing as a happy endings. Didn't you know that?" she asked him bitterly, her hand still clutching the razor, inching closer and closer towards the tender skin of her other arm.

"I'm sorry you think that way Hikari. It's a shame, really. I remember when you told me that you used to hope for the future. That you would be able to teach children."

"Dreams are for the weak Takeru. Now go away," she said wearily, sinking slowly to the floor, clutching the basin. "Just go away Takaishi Takeru. You're no longer welcome."

"Not without making sure your not going to do anything stupid," he said stubbornly. Hikari's eyes flashed and she leapt to her feet.

"Like what? This?" she hissed and slashed her scarred wrist. Blood dripped from it, and she cut it again and again, making the wound deeper each time.

"Stop it!" he cried, taking hold of her other wrist and wrestling the object away from her. "You don't know what you're doing!"

"And you know everything? Oh please tell me, Almighty One. Why the hell are you still here?" she asked him scornfully, ignoring the scarlet pool on the tiled floor.

"Because you're my friend, and friends take care of each other. Let me see that cut," he said authoritatively. Hikari didn't move, and Takeru simply reached over to bring her wrist closer to him. Blood still dripped freely from it and was staining his clothes as well as Hikari's. Ignoring the stain, he brought her wrist closer to the sink and washed away the puddle that had pooled there.

"Where do you keep your first aid kit?" he asked her.

"I don't have one," she said dully. Takeru sighed, but didn't want to leave Hikari's side for fear that she would commit another stunt. After rummaging through her linen closet, he found an old, but clean cloth. Wrapping it tightly around her wrist, he set her down on the sofa.

"Why are you doing this?" she asked him.

"Because that's what friends do," he answered, setting a cup of tea in front of her. "Drink that."

Hikari sipped it slowly, letting the warmth enfold her. Takeru just watched her. His mind was still going over the memories they had shared together as children. Daisuke, Takeru, you two are so silly! Why are you fighting?

"I suppose," she said, startling him out of his reverie, "that you want to know what made me deteriorate like this," she began. We're not fighting, Hikari-chan!

She told him of Taichi's death, how it affected her. And then Takeru moved away to pursue his dream of basketball leaving her without her best friend. How all of her closest friends around her started to display problems of their own, from Daisuke with his phenomenal success to Miyako and her never ending depression. How drugs had seemed like a temporary escape into dreamlessness, nothingness. She started to cry soon, and Takeru moved to gather her into his arms, making soothing noises. Oh really now? Then what were you two yelling about?

"All you had to do was pick up the phone and call me," he said, rocking her gently as if she were a child. "That's all you had to do."

"I did at first, but you were so happy and I didn't want to ruin it for you. And then you started to drift away and—" she said brokenly, a fresh bout of sobs racking her thin frame. Takeru was encased with guilt. When he played basketball, he neglected his friends and family and it was only now that he realized how much guilt he shouldered himself. Nothing, Hikari-chan.

"I'm sorry," he said, rocking her gently and slowly like a child. Her sobs soon subsided, but she didn't let go. He was so warm and comfortable, like a sheltering rock from the storm. I love you and I won't let you go without a fight! Remembered words from so long ago.

"'keru?" she asked, her head muffled in his shoulder.

"Yes?" he asked soothingly.

"Do you love me?"

The question, totally unanticipated, threw him off balance. He was unable to answer because he himself didn't know.

"I don't know Hikari," he admitted. They were silent for a while longer, and Hikari lifted her head from his shoulder.

"Takeru?" she asked him again, her eyes rimmed with red and hair mussed slightly. He gave her a questioning glance.

"Will…" and her voice trailed off. "Will you love me?" she asked in a rush.

Takeru felt his world begin to spin and tumble, the colours blurring together into something incoherent. He didn't know what to say, but met her eyes and hoped that his own eyes could convey a proper answer. Because, quite frankly, he didn't know how to answer.

Hikari blinked, reading confusion in the cerulean orbs. It was more than obvious to her that he wanted desperately to say no, because he didn't want to cause her any more pain. But it was just as obvious to her that he wanted to say yes and she took that to be his answer.

Raising a trembling hand, she cupped his cheek and began to examine the contours. Takeru closed his eyes as she began to trace his cheek, his jaw and then back up on the other side. Hesitating, she leaned in closer to him, closer and closer until she could smell his aftershave, feel his breath on her face and kissed him lightly. He didn't respond, just sat there with his eyes closed. She kissed him again, this time more forcefully.

This time he moved. His eyes flew open when she broke the contact, and she could see the regret in his eyes. She understood all too well and crumpled into a ball.

"Hikari," he began tentatively, "I—"

"Just leave Takeru," she said wearily. "Please. I won't do anything stupid."

"But Hik—"

"Takeru, just leave. Please."

He didn't answer, but she heard him gather up his jacket. He stopped and tenderly brushed her hair for a brief moment. She didn't respond and he left quietly.