Disclaimer: Digimon is copyrighted by Akiyoshi Hongo and produced by Toei Animation and Bandai. The fanfic's plot is the only thing that belongs to me.

Author's Note: This Patamon/Gatomon fanfic is for Kari Izumi's "Digimon Pairings Fanfiction Challenge."

Learning a Lesson

The summertime was always beautiful in Odaiba. The first part of the trimester was ending, allowing the children to roam around and be free from the horror known as school. Trees bloomed at its peak during this season. Green leaves glistened in the sun and danced in the gentle summer breeze, creating a soft rustle.

However, whenever summer rolled along: one phrase always popped in many people's minds…

Ice cream!

Yes, that was right, there was nothing unlike ice cream during the summer. Ice cream parlors were literally filled with pedestrians, especially during the hottest summer days. There they were, people of all ages lining up the sidewalks waiting patiently in the hot, baking sun just to get a scoop of the delicious scoop of ice cream. It was just the perfect treat for anyone, and they make nice to-go snacks, too.

But parlors were not only open in the daytime. No, my friends, they were not, despite what some people claimed. Parlors were open during the night, as well, for those who enjoyed having a late night snack every once in a while. Not common, yes, but they were around, if you spotted them carefully.

And this was when our story began.

It was around 5:45 in the afternoon in the beautiful artificial island, where the Takaishi household was quiet. Natsuko was not back from the newspaper business, and according to a text message that T.K. received, that she was going to arrive back until quite later that evening. In addition, T.K. and Kari were going on an Odaiba stroll to have some ice cream of their own.

"Ready to go on our 'dairy date,' T.K.?"

Well… almost.

In the living room were two humans. One was a shorthaired girl dressed in a pink T-shirt, white wristbands, morning glory blue shorts, and white sandals. The other was a blond-haired boy wearing a white hat, light green shirt, black shorts, and dark teal sandals.

"Just about, Kari," replied T.K. as he put his wallet in his pocket. "I like to get some of that rocky road when we arrive there."

"Or pistachio," said Kari and clasped her hands towards her mouth. The ice cream must smell and taste very good. She could actually smell that tasty aroma right now! She just had to eat some; she just had to!

"Or any kind of ice cream you two kittens love to chow down on," interrupted a voice nearby.

T.K. and Kari veered their attention to the dinner table located at their right, where they noticed Gatomon sitting on the tabletop.

"You're starting to have a crave for ice cream, I assume," said Kari with a smile that was both semi-compassionate, semi-teasing.

"Craving for ice cream?" Gatomon looked like she was about to hurl. No, seriously, her stomach felt completely ill after hearing that. "I'm not a dairy fan at all!"

"Sure, you're not," teased a squeaky, sly male voice from the kitchen and flapped his orange wings. "Then, why did you sneak into the kitchen to drink a gallon of milk after accidentally eating sushi with wasabi on it?"

Gatomon looked at Patamon and scowled. "My whole mouth was burning, and I needed SOMETHING to stop the spice."

"Riiight," was Patamon's mischievous reply and smiled widely. "Then, how come you licked your 'chompers'?"

"Do… not… continue…" growled Gatomon and tightened her glove-covered claws.

T.K. and Kari could not withstand laughing at their partners' squabbles. This was Patamon and Gatomon's friendship, all right: teasing and somewhat comical.

"We'll be going out now," said T.K. after calming down… if he could.

But Kari did have enough self-control, and she was able to regain her composure completely. Although it was for that moment, to be exact, she always had this immediate self-control, especially when she was serious. "Now, be good, you two," she warned. "We don't want anyone complain of a couple of Digimon roughhousing and wrecking the whole apartment up."

"We will," promised the Digimon.

"After I tell him to quit it with the crackups," crossly added Gatomon in thought.

Neither T.K. nor Kari detected her thoughts, though. Perhaps, it was because they used all their ability to stop any potential giggles from escaping. Or it might be something else.

Anyway, that was not important.

T.K. walked to the end of the hallway, grasped the handle of the front door, and swung it open.

"Be back tonight!" called Kari, and she and T.K. left the house.

The moment their footsteps were out of earshot, Gatomon glared at Patamon, who still sported that bothersome grin.

"Don't even think about it," she hissed dangerously.

Patamon pretended he hadn't heard.

"Think about what?" he asked cunningly.

Gatomon was not fooled. "Don't play that game with me, mister."

"What game?" Patamon went along.

Gatomon finally had enough and slapped her forehead with her right hand. "I give up this game," she groaned. "I'll go watch some television and let yourself have fun on your own." With that, she jumped down, walked to the couch nearby, sat down, and pressed the "power" button on the remote control.

From atop the kitchen counter, Patamon looked at her sourly. "Heavens, Gatomon. Can't ya take a joke?" Sometimes, people could take a joke and laugh it off. While other times, it went too far and became personal. Digimon were no exception to this rule. After all, they had minds and feelings of their own, do they not?

Apparently, Patamon crossed the line, and he sighed upon the thought.

"Maybe, I did make it a bit personal with my constant teasing," he thought guiltily. "I think I should apologize to her…" he eyed Gatomon's cross expression, "…AFTER she calms down a bit."

And, so, he waited.

For about an hour, to be exact.

T.K. and Kari were not back yet (possibly either taking a walk around the city or waiting to eat some ice cream), leaving the two Digimon all alone a little longer than what they thought. During the time, Gatomon was calm enough to allow Patamon to join her at the couch, although she was still quite cross at him from his – in her words – "puppy yapping."

Even with Patamon welcomed beside her, he still felt a little remorseful, as well as a little uncomfortable; and it was evident as he occasionally fidgeted and did not look at her (and had not looked at her even once since he was allowed to join her). So, they merely wasted some precious time watching some boring shows.

"The next time I watch some soap opera is when the Digital Deserts freeze over," thought Patamon with an inward moan. Those "cardboard cutouts" he witnessed were so boring, that he was two inches and a boom bubble away from falling asleep! No more soap operas for him, as far as he was concerned.

Still, albeit the frustrations from watching shows of his least-favorite genre, the guilt remained. "I wonder if she's ready to speak to me after being a bit stupid earlier," he thought before looking at Gatomon for the first time since joining her. "From her eyes, however, she still might not be. Still… it's best if I try."

A gulp followed. What if he tried, and she responded negatively? And when I meant negatively, I mean negatively, as if violently negative. Gatomon was wise, yes, but she was sometimes one who used actions rather than words. Therefore, he proceeded with caution.

"Um… Gatomon?" he said slowly, trying not to trudge on dangerous waters (or, in Gatomon's case, egos).

"Yes, Patamon?" said Gatomon sourly, her gaze fixated on the high-definition television screen before her. That television could really escape reality and land into fantasy until someone interrupted, could they?

Patamon looked at the kitchen counter nervously then looked back at Gatomon. "I know you're still upset at me teasing you and everything—"

"Well, duh, I was upset," grumbled Gatomon, interrupting his sentence.

Patamon shook his head. It was official: Gatomon was still mad at him. But he still liked to try to get through to her.

"I'm not sure if what I say will cool you down, but…" he again grew concerned.

"'But' what?" wondered Gatomon as she still looked at the screen, letting her own tough attitude calm down a tad.

Patamon sighed, relaxing himself. "…But what I like to say is that I'm sorry for my teasing. I didn't intend to be cruel, but I apologize for hurting your feelings."

Gatomon's blue eyes looked back at him, brows furrowed.

"Now, I've done it," he thought, mentally panicking. "I've made my own death sentence now." His execution was apparently imminent.


Perhaps not—

The chubby hamster nearly fell face-first on the floor, but his wings helped him remain steady on the couch. "Excuse me?" he asked, surprised.

Gatomon had turned off the television upon hearing the apology, put the remote down, and was now looking at him with relaxed eyes. "I thank you for the apology, Patamon," she repeated, but with more detail. "It made me feel better."

Patamon's look of surprise stained his face. But it did not stay for very long, as his expression subsequently relaxed, and he sighed. "For a moment, I thought you were gonna kill me," he quipped, relieved.

Gatomon shook her head and giggled a little. "I may get angry at times, but I don't kill friends." She raised her left-handed claws and wiggled them. "Besides, if I ever did that, T.K. would be after my neck, and I'd have no choice but to flee and go into hiding."

"I wouldn't be surprised," chuckled Patamon. "No offense, of course."

Gatomon could not resist laughing, too. "None taken."

Soon after, both Digimon chuckled and chuckled. Just think about it: both Digimon squabbled, and Gatomon had her feelings hurt by Patamon (who admittedly was being a bit of a jerk). Now that Patamon apologized, everything was back to normal again. Moods could really change in an instant through a heartfelt apology, could it?


Um, when was a stomach growling supposed to be included in the package?

Oh, well. This event just occurred, and there was no turning back now, especially for the now hungry – and semi-embarrassed – Patamon.

"I think I'm ready for something to eat," he quipped while briefly looking at his stomach. "You're feeling a little hungry yourself, Gatomon?"

Gatomon shook her head. "No thanks, I already—"


Patamon could not remain stable on the couch this time, for he began rolling on the floor in hysterical laughter. "I don't think that's what your stomach said."

Gatomon wished she sunk her head in a sandbox. Unfortunately, the only place to find sand now was at the beach, and she was not planning to bake in the summer sun anytime soon. "All right, Patamon. I'll have something to eat… and STOP ROLLING ON THE FLOOR!"

Patamon did after hearing Gatomon's embarrassed shout and stood on his hind legs. "Sorry 'bout that; couldn't resist," he apologized and bowed.

"It's okay," replied Gatomon and jumped down. "Just keep your composure."

"I'll try." Patamon made no guarantees, but it was a shot.

Subsequently, they made their slow walk to the kitchen, where they began searching for any food they could possibly obtain. They searched the cabinet, the étagère, the refrigerator, and the freezer. Heck, they even wandered their eyes through a glass cabinet to search for food.

Alas, a collective groan filled the kitchen.

"Nothing," Gatomon sighed as she closed the cabinet door.

"Nothing here, either," said Patamon as he closed the drawer located at the bottom of the refrigerator (which was found at the far end of the kitchen).

Gatomon opened another kitchen cabinet door (this time, located by the doorway), where she noticed nothing but candies. "Other than a tremendous pile of sweets, there's nothing here."

Patamon stopped exploring the fridge and perked up his bat ears for a moment. "That must be my candy cabinet that you found," he said then went back to searching.

Gatomon blinked. "'Candy cabinet'?" Her eyes wandered and murmured the following words, "More like a candy 'safe' to me."

She wanted to chuckle upon seeing this stash. Apparently, Patamon saved all these treats that friends and family game him for other uses. The only question was for what? What was he planning to utilize these candies for? Were they stashed away for emergencies, or was he planning to something else, like make certain meals that contained these candies as ingredients?

"Maybe, all the reasons varied."

Quite likely, that was the answer.

Nevertheless, one part of her brain was literally screaming, "That's not dinner!" to her. Indeed, what she saw was not dinner: this was a collection of snacks!

A disgruntled sigh escaped her system after she closed the cabinet door. "I give up. There's nothing here that we can eat."

Patamon was still looking through the refrigerator when Gatomon made her announcement. Finally, he stopped searching and crawled out, closing the door in the process. "I haven't found anything, either," he said at last.

Gatomon jumped down and walked to Patamon. "It looks like we're not gonna be able eat until T.K. and Kari return," she replied, then looked up at the clock; it read "6:45," according to its arms. "And it'll be quite some time, as they're on their date now."

"Yeah," said Patamon and slouched. "Looks like we mu—" There came a ray of hope; Patamon straightened up, a smile on his face. "On second thought…" He reopened the refrigerator door and dove back in.

"What is it, Patamon?" asked Gatomon in a confused voice.

"As it turns out, Gatomon," said Patamon as he moves items on the shelves out of the way, "I think we can eat right now after all."

Gatomon's hopes brightened considerably, and she walked to where he could see nothing except his bat-like wings peaking out from above soda bottles. "So we can eat now?"

"Not exactly," corrected Patamon. "We can eat; we just have to make it ourselves."

"Make it our—" Gatomon wondered, then looked as if her eyes were going to pop out. "Wait a minute; are you saying that we have to make it on our own?"

"That's right," Patamon replied in a rather cheery tone, his body still behind the bottles. Eagerness was beginning to erupt within him. He was apparently waiting this moment, and this was the time to do it.

"But I can't cook," spluttered Gatomon. "I don't even know how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!"

"You may not," said Patamon, his wings being the only part of his body in plain view. Then, out of nowhere, a chef's hat was implanted on the top of his head. "But I can."

Gatomon silenced herself out of bewilderment, something that Patamon caught.

"Don't worry," he said and finally crawled out of the refrigerator. In his left hand was a yellow package of ham. "I know how to cook, and I'll teach you how. First, with this." He pointed at the ham with his left finger.

With that, they began to make some food. First, they needed to take out a plate, which they did. The plate was china that contained light blue flowers on the rim. Next, the sandwiches were made, as Patamon instructed her how to make the ham sandwich (which was relatively easy: the ham was placed in between two slices).

"You can also consider this practice to making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, if you wish to interpret it that way," suggested Patamon kindly.

The next step was where Patamon himself had to do: slicing the sandwiches in perfect halves. Unlike Gatomon, he knew how to handle a knife while being extremely cautious. After all, the last thing both Digimon wanted was to get one or both of them seriously hurt and to take the red eye express a trip to a Digital Emergency Room.

Finally, with the sandwiches completed and sliced in halves, they carried the entire load back to the living room, where they rested it on the glass coffee table in front of the couch.

Needless to say, it was an enjoyable meal. The munching was careful, containing small bites and lots of quiet chewing, as well as watching some entertaining news about criminals doing nothing except being completely stupid! Dinner today would not contain any stomachaches during the meal, as far as they were concern; but there were some bursts of laughter, especially when one group of criminals robbed a gas station and ran out of fuel on the highway.

At last, they finished, but it would have been a little bit slower if they unanimously decided not to turn off that blasted television.

"That was a nice dinner," said Patamon with a contented sigh.

Life surely felt good now.

"It really was," agreed Gatomon and politely wiped her mouth with a napkin (something that lay on her lap).

"Ya know, you don't have to act like you're in a formal restaurant," said Patamon. "Although you do act cute doing that," he suddenly added in thought.

Wait a second. What did he mentally say? Did he just think the word "cute" at Getomon's direction? Oh, boy. Thank heavens he made no sign of embarrassment or any form of sign of attraction, though. Otherwise, who knew what could happen next?

"Well, Kari has always been telling me to 'eat with good manners,'" said Gatomon and quoted what Kari always advised to her. From her actions, she seemed to take no notice as to what Patamon was thinking. And they were so close, too – such a shame.

"It seems like she's taught you better than she thought," said Patamon.

"It took practice," replied Gatomon. "And I occasionally slip at times when it comes to being polite, especially when I lose my temper."

Patamon looked up at the ceiling, as if he was pondering for a moment.

"Like earlier today?"

Unfortunately, he did not apparently think that logically or with some common sense, and he covered his mouth afterwards to showcase his proclaimed "stupidity."

"Way to go Patamon," he thought incredulously. He was never one to beat himself up for being asinine, but he wished to have his mouth surgically taped up. Never again would he have a mouth— Yes, that was nice to think about… Not.

He was safe from torture tonight, however.

"It's all right, Patamon," she reassured him, detecting his thoughts like a mind reader. "I'm not taking any offense to what you said."

Patamon calmed down and gave her a look of surprise. "You're not?"

Gatomon shook her head. "As I said, I have a temper that I'm trying to control, something that I've not been doing too well, I must say." She resisted a giggle after saying that. Maybe, she felt a little foolish herself. "I should visit a psychiatrist to deal with my anger." Perhaps, she should. Perhaps, she should not. We ought to let her figure this out on her own. Yes, that was right. Let her consider it.

"Well, I must admit that she was not controlling her temper all too well," thought Patamon peculiarly, "although I'm glad she was able to hold back from flattening me." He made a memo to himself: never tell Gatomon that; and he was going to make sure he did not.

"However," he continued, "she isn't all that bad with her fiery attitude."

What? What was he thinking?

"Maybe, she's better with that temper of hers."

Wait a second. Time out here! Where had his logic gone to by making such an incredulous comment as this? It must have traveled all the way to next galaxy, perhaps.

"But I'll tell her later."

Well, thank whoever he or she was for returning some of his logic into his cranium.

Now, back to where we were.

"Well, now that we're done," said Patamon, "how about a little desert?"

"I wouldn't mind that," replied Gatomon with a shrug. "It'd be nice—" a yawn followed as she stretched her arms out. "—to take a long nap after eating desert."

Just like before, they returned to the kitchen, where Patamon placed the dirty plate in the empty sink. Then, they strode back to the refrigerator, where Patamon suddenly flew away for a moment, then returned with an unfolded stepladder.

"What are you using it for?" asked Gatomon as he positioned the stepladder in front of the refrigerator door.

"Well, Gatomon," said Patamon and sat on the top rung, "the only desert I have is a frozen one, and I can't pull the freezer door while flying."

"But why can't ya?" puzzled Gatomon. "You pulled the ice box open while flying. Why need the stepladder for the freezer?"

The answer, "Too much suction," followed. "And, no, I can't digivolve unless I have T.K.'s D-3 with," he added (in case Gatomon questioned him).

"As if I didn't know that," she thought crossly.

Unbeknownst to him, Patamon looked away and turned towards the freezer door. That was when he remembered something. "And… yeah… I forgot something to tell you," he said nervously.

Gatomon was about to ask him why he changed his behavior suddenly, when her ears straightened: She found out already! "Is that what I'm thinking?"

"Yep," nodded Patamon and turned back to Gatomon. "The desert would be ice cream."

Gatomon started feeling queasy, but hid it by keeping her composure. Surely, she should travel to Hollywood one day and become an actor, because she would fit in perfectly. "Then, sorry, but no thanks. I don't like ice cream."

Patamon suddenly felt heartbroken. He worked so hard to make his ice cream, and he was ready to reveal it all to her, where she made the announcement. Then again, he could also give himself a small portion of the blame, for he forgot to tell her prior.

However, something else popped into his mind like a light bulb suddenly radiating electricity. Well, while it was not an idea, it was nevertheless a thought. It was something that was said just before Kari and T.K. went on their "dairy date"; and he recognized what it was immediately.

"Gatomon, I have one question to ask you," he told her as he turned around to face her.

While he was thinking, the cat Digimon decided to stay in the kitchen, but not because she enjoyed watching a friend grieve, but because she thought it would give him comfort. This was her friend; it was a crime to leave them alone like that.

But him questioning her raised suspicions on whether it was best to run away or not.

"What is it?" she asked calmly. It was best to keep her composure, as before. She had better not try to race to the bathroom and vomit.

"You said that you don't like ice cream earlier today," began Patamon and climbed down to the floor, where he was at eye level with her. "You even said to me one time that you don't even like any form of frozen dairy."

Gatomon was having a hunch as to what he was talking about and said so.

Patamon followed up. "Then why did you drink an entire gallon of milk? And, no, I'm not playing around here," he added before Gatomon would not throttle him for "teasing."

Gatomon did not plan so. "I ate wasabi, and it was spicy. I needed milk to drown the spice out," she replied.

Patamon had some doubts, but only some. "I can accept that," he said, and then became somewhat serious. "However, something tells me that there was more than what you're saying."

She was now not liking what was coming, and he knew it.

"I'm not sure if it's true, but I think you liked milk." His stern tone contradicted his usual calm composure. Being serious in and out would cause her to do nothing except question him. "So, did you like the milk?" So precise these words came out from his mouth. They were daggers that were sharper than the point of a javelin.

Gatomon wanted to say "no." Just like her fiery attitude, it was in her nature to be persistent. She was always like this, and she did not want to change it for the slightest of reasons. Not even for one millisecond!

However, she did what was right, although it might break her character: she gave up her tough, tenacious exterior. "Okay, you win. I did like the milk, although it was mixed with that darn horseradish root."

"Nevertheless, you enjoyed it," said Patamon straightforwardly, then went onto a different subject… sort of. "Now, what about ice cream? Do you like it?"

It was another stab in the ego, and along with it went another revelation.

"I haven't tried it."

"Just as I thought," thought Patamon, then looked upset in both his attitude and face. "Then, how can you not like it when you said you never tried it? Not much common sense, if you ask me."

His sharp scolding gave Gatomon shivers down her digital spine. Never had she seen Patamon so disappointed in her before. And, yet, now that she thought about it, she deserved it. Fibbing never really did much to friendship; it only mounted tension and annoyance.

She hung her head out of guilt. "Guess what I did was really stupid, didn't I, Patamon?" she said melancholically.

"Yes, you did, and I'm not one who likes to have secrets hidden from me," replied Patamon crossly and calmly. Then, he returned to his forgiving character as he relaxed his composure and patted her on the right shoulder with his left hand. "But I'm not gonna let you pout like this, so chin up."

Indeed, she did, and she brought along an apologetic smile with it. "Next time if I something, I'll be straightforward," she promised.

"And keep that fiery attitude, too," added Patamon, and they shared a small laugh together.

"All right," Gatomon said after the laughter died down, "let's tried some of the ice cream and see if I do like it or not."

Patamon nodded, and he told her to stay there as he went back to the top rung to pick up the ice cream. The Champion-level Digimon nodded and promised to stay there, and he flew up to pick the summer desert up, where he pulled and pulled at the handle, hoping to open the freezer door.

She could not help but laugh at his struggles. It might be wrong…

"But he looks very cute trying to open it," she thought.

Whoa, wait a second! Now, she was having these romantic thoughts, too? When had the world come to, for heaven's sake? Love was the devil's advocate – that was what it was!

Well, Gatomon certainly did not think so.

"He should do this a little more sometime."

Oh, great. More thoughts? Stupid cupids plunging arrows into both of their hearts! Stupid, stupid, stupid!

"Oh, shut up," grumbled Gatomon in annoyance.

That was better.

"Here it is!" Patamon announced in his usual cherry tone, snapping Gatomon out of it.

She was going to have to think (or, in actuality, act) on it later. Right now, there was ice cream to devour.

With that, she sprung from the floor to the counter, where Patamon now was. Beside him was a rectangular container, cloudy from sitting in the freezer.

Now stand back as I open this," he told her before she could say anything; and with all his might, he pulled the tabs of the top open.

Once the top was placed to the side, they looked in the container. There was about two cups of frozen vanilla ice cream, all of which was in the shape of a squared cube at one of the corners.

"Now, one of the fun parts of ice cream," he said.

Gatomon already knew it: scooping it into small bowls.

Before she knew it, both were at the dining table located at the other side of the kitchen. The tabletop was about twenty feet long and fifteen feet wide; and it was standing on four three-and-a-half feet legs.

As for the Digimon, the Champion was on one end of the table, and the Rookie sat on the other side. In front of them were two ceramic bowls, both of them containing a cup of vanilla ice cream.

Gatomon looked a little nervous as she stared at the white glob in front of her. She had not tried it before and claimed she did not like it one bit. Wonderment kicked it as she started considering how it tasted and how she would react to it. Would it be bad, or would it be good? There was only one way to find out.

Patamon, on the other hand, was quite eager. He had the urge to lick his lips as he gazed at the ice cream. Despite eating a light dinner, he was still hungry, and he yearned to eat the frozen desert.

"It's time to eat now!"

At the announcement, they dug their spoons in the ice cream. The dessert was underway.

Patamon ate his ice cream slowly, but hungrily (something that Gatomon herself did when eating the sandwich). It was like he had not had this ice cream since forever, yet was acting polite and logical about it. After all, he would enjoy it more if he did not eat it so quickly, and that was the action he took.

Gatomon had not eaten one bite after about one minute, because she wondered how her taste buds would react to it. Yes, it was repetition, but of importance, too.

Before she thought about it even more, the wait was over.

"Well, here goes," she murmured to herself and ate some of the ice cream. Instantly, she felt the cold dairy touch her tongue, as the ice cream melted in her mouth and went down her throat. Quite honestly… she did not know what to think. All that she desired now was a little more ice cream to decide, so she ate some more. Then a little more, then more, then more!

Meanwhile, Patamon watched her eat that ice cream like it was her last meal. "She's very hilarious when she eats like crazy," he thought. "Not to mention she looks very cute doing that."

He wanted to laugh because of this, and this time, he did not hold back, for he guffawed and guffawed.

Gatomon did not care one bit. She just wanted to finish all that ice cream.

Moreover, although she was not completely sure, she could sense something else coming from him that he was not telling her.

First things first, though, the ice cream must be completely finished!

Several minutes later, all that were left in their bowls were dirty spoons and remnants of melted vanilla ice cream. They must have enjoyed desert a lot.

Well, if that were not convincing, would a contented sigh do the trick?

"Now, I'm full," said Patamon airlessly. And to think he merely ate one cup, too. Maybe, he was not as hungry as his face depicted.

Gatomon took an adjacent napkin and carefully wiped off her mouth with it. "I agree with that," she replied, a smile on her face. "And thanks for the ice cream, too."

"I welcome that," he said, accepting the compliment warmly. "And as it turns out, you did like ice cream after all."

"Yeah," chuckled Gatomon with a bit of embarrassment. "Yeah, I did like it." A blush crept along her face. "Next time before I decide whether I like it or not, I should try it, shouldn't I?" That was only half the reason.

"Hey, don't get yourself worked up there." Patamon gave her a look of sympathy.

"Yeah, I shouldn't," said Gatomon, ending her glum spell before it even started. Then, she decided the wait was over. Yes, it was sudden, but she was not letting her chance slip away. "Uh, Patamon, there's some ice cream on you."

Patamon looked at her confusingly. "Where?"

As if it was an urge, she leapt one minute and was in front of Patamon the next.

"Right there," was her reply before pressing her lips onto him.

Patamon felt an immediate shock run down his spine. He had never, and he meant never, saw Gatomon acting so bold before, especially towards him. Sure, he had seen her act quite daring towards others before (in some cases, embarrassing others), but never like this!

"…And, yet, it makes me feel warm."

That was not very surprising.

Just as he was feeling used to it, they pulled away, and they were now holding each other's arms and staring at each other with blank faces.

"Uh… whoa…" was Patamon's slow, speechless answer.

"Yeah…" said Gatomon slowly in return, her blank gaze including short gasps for breath. "Whoa, indeed."

After about a couple of minutes, they were able to relax. Their faces returned to normal, and they released their grasps.

A sudden grumble from Gatomon followed, and she turned away from him, feeling very cross at herself.

Confusion spread his face. "Gatomon, why are you mad at yourself when you kissed me just a second ago?" he wondered bewilderedly.

Gatomon's reply came suddenly. "It's just because I've felt I jumped the gun."

"Jump the gun? Why did you think of that?" he asked.

Gatomon was now confused herself. "To be quite honest with you, I'm not so sure." She looked back at him, changing the subject slightly. "I will have to admit that while I was eating, I felt something within, and after eating, I felt the urge to— Bah! Never mind. Forget about what I said."

She turned away and went to pick up the bowl, but Patamon's response stopped her.

"I must say that how you've occasionally behaved, you were cute yourself."

Gatomon looked back. "Excuse me?"

"Yes, I might get flattened," Patamon began in a bit of a joking matter (Gatomon resisted both a smile and laugh upon hearing his quip). "But I will have to say that when you were not only eating your ice cream, but when you became a bit temperamental in the past, you acted cute."

"You did?" Gatomon wondered, bewildered.

"Mm-hmm," nodded Patamon and got on all fours, a closed-mouth grin on his face. "I like the 'womon' of my choice to be all fiery, all passionate, and you had all those traits that I admire." His cheeks started to feel minutely hot. "And, yes, I do like you."

Gatomon did not know what to say; she was speechless. Not one thing that could at least make some sense could be formed, not even a nonsensical babble. It came out as an absolute shock that her friend would even think of her as likeable romantically. Usually, her fiery attitude was capable enough of driving anyone insane… but not him. Not the tolerable, funny Patamon.

"T-Thanks, Patamon," stammered Gatomon, something that was a bit uncharacteristic of her. "I'm glad you do like me."

"It's nothin'," grinned Patamon and stood up again. "And is it okay if I can have a date with you?"

Gatomon thought she would never hear that, and it was such a great feeling to have someone ask to date her. It was so great, she had nothing to say on the matter.

Nothing except by saying, "Yes, I'd love to go on a date with you."

No more was said – only performed, as they hugged, closed their eyes, and kissed once more. Same as before, it felt tingly, but it went away quickly. In its place was a combination of warmth and comfort, especially where it would hit them the most: in the heart. Neither of them wanted to release, nor would they allow it. They would merely remain as one bond – one cozy, warm, relaxing bond.

Sadly, all kisses had to end sometime, and they slowly pulled away about a minute later, although they held had their arms wrapped around each other.

"And just like Kari and T.K.," resumed Patamon, "can we have a 'dairy date' of our own Saturday night? A peppermint 'dairy date,' perhaps?"

"I'd like that," smiled Gatomon. "I've never had peppermint ice cream before."

Patamon laughed. "That's because you've never had peppermint ice cream before."

"Not 'til two days from now," Gatomon told him back.

They shared a brief chuckle together and ended when Patamon looked at the wall clock above the door.

"It's almost eight o'clock," he said. "They should be back soon."

Gatomon looked at the clock herself then turned back to the Rookie. "We better return to the sink and dispose the dishes and napkins."

"Good idea."

Afterwards, they carried their bowls and spoons to the sink, where they would wait to be washed later; and they threw the used napkins in a wastepaper basket.


"WE'RE HOME!" called T.K. as he and Kari walked through the main door at the far end of the hall.

The Digimon briskly ran to their partners. Patamon jumped and landed on T.K.'s head, while Gatomon merely sat at Keri's feet.

"How was your date?" smiled a curious Patamon.

"It was great," Kari answered and turned to the DigiDestined of Hope on her right. "In fact, we enjoyed it so much that we agreed to go on another one Saturday night."

T.K. could not be any happier, and neither could the Digimon.

"So, how did your evening go?" asked T.K.

"It was rough at first, then went smoothly," answered Patamon and told them the rest of the story, which resulted in a feint blush from Gatomon.

"So you like ice cream after all!" exclaimed the DigiDestined of Light giddily.

"Yeah, I did," replied Gatomon and giggled shyly. "And I learned a lesson, too: never say 'I don't like it' unless I tried it."

"I'm glad you did," said Kari, her arms behind her back, and she turned to T.K. "Same time Saturday?"

T.K. nodded and blushed when she pecked him on the left cheek.

The female Kamiya chuckled at T.K.'s blush. "You're too cute when you tint pink."

T.K. laughed, welcoming it, and Patamon from the top of his head laughed with him.

Afterwards, all four said "good-bye," and Kari and Gatomon left the Takaishi household. It was at that moment that they began thinking about their future dates. They wondered what was going to happen coming Saturday, and how they would handle it.

It was especially the case with the two Digimon. They were now in love, and they were going to have their first official date coming that same Saturday night as their DigiDestined partners. The thought made them really excited. Frankly, the phrase "They could not wait" was a complete understatement! They sure were going to have some fun next time they met.

As it turned out two nights later, the Digimon did have a lot of fun and then some.

But that was another story.