Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon
A Digimon Tamers Fic by Crazyeight
Takato breathed in a breath of fresh, spring air as he lay on the soft grass, the bright sun shining down on his face, his eyes closed against its light, and resting. Takato shifted on his spot, trying to find a more comfortable position, the action eliciting a light groan from his mouth. Soon enough, the young boy settled back down as he lazily lay on the ground. He didn't feel any shame over it though, as it was the sort of day to be lazy. The perfect time in fact; he couldn't have chosen a better day for just lying around and doing nothing…
A soft giggle from next to him reached Takato's ears and soon he found something forcing an object onto his face. His eyes snapping open in surprise, Takato's hands moved up and immediately struggled to remove the offending object. He couldn't clearly see what it was, as it obscured his vision, but by the small bits of light that poked through the small holes in it, and the slightly rough texture of its surface beneath his fingers, as well as its overall shape, Takato could tell that it was a hat of some sort.
Whatever it was that was keeping the hat on his face increased its force and squashed it down on him, earning a surprised and irritated squawk from Takato while a girlish giggle once again reached his ears, as though amused at his efforts. It also had a familiar sound to it, as though he should have recognized whoever it belonged to, but so caught up in his battle that he really didn't focus on it all that much. Finally, with one last surge of strength, Takato sat up and tore the item off his face, blinking at the shift in light as his eyes adjusted and looked down at what he now held in his hands. It was a hat, as he had guessed, but its appearance confused him. Its top, though slightly deformed from having been pushed onto his face, was rounded, and had a ring of flowers around it, sitting on a flat, wide brim. Takato looked at it in confusion for a moment when he heard the sound of giggling once more from next to him. Looking over to his left, Takato's eyes traced up a soft, flowing dress that had what looked like a pink apron tied to the front before moving up to find the identity of its wearer. For a second, Takato couldn't say anything as his eyes simply widened in surprise and his face heated up in embarrassment. Not in a million years would he have expected to see this sight. As a matter of fact, he expected to die first before… well, maybe not precisely that far but still. The rarity of the event that he was looking at before him was enough to give him pause and consider the possibility that maybe, just maybe, he had gone to the Great Beyond and just hadn't been aware of it. Probably wouldn't be that surprising since it usually took him a while to catch on to anything anyway, but that's beside the point.
A soft hand clasped gently around Takato's left as he continued to hold onto the owner's hat, a small smile curving upwards on the face of the girl that looked at him with a teasing, yet surprisingly loving, expression, fiery hair spilling downwards and just barely touching her shoulders while her familiar violet eyes sparkled, which only reinforced the possibility for Takato's belief that he was indeed dead.
How strange though that the sudden increase in his body temperature and heart rate told him otherwise.
Takato raised an eyebrow and cocked his head in confusion as he looked at the girl who sat next to him, completely caught off guard by what he was seeing.
"R-Rika?" Stammered Takato. The girl continued to smile at him.
"The one and only Gogglebrain," said the red haired girl in the dress. "Who'd you expect?"
Takato's mouth hung open in surprise for a moment before clicking shut. It certainly sounded like her, though if he were to answer his friend's question, he probably would have more expected that it was a Bakemon or something that was holding a flower hat over his face in a crude attempt to suffocate him rather than Rika. Well, actually she probably would do that, but… well… the thing was…
"R-Rika?" Stuttered Takato as he felt the heat in his face rise yet another few degrees. Rubbing the back of his head nervously, Takato pressed on, hoping that what courage he had wouldn't fail him in this moment of strangeness. "Um…"
Man, how to say it?
"…It's just that… uh…"
Rika tilted her head to the side, her hair swinging to the side as her face took on a questioning look. For some reason, Takato found her hair, no longer tied back in its traditional ponytail fascinating to watch.
"…You're in a dress."
There. He had said it. Now all that was left was for doomsday to rear its head.
Rika's eyes went from looking as though she were processing what she had just heard, to taking on a rather bemused expression, and then narrowing in what was most likely irritation. Crossing her arms, Rika turned away from the boy and gave a light hmmph.
"I thought I told you not to mention it, Gogglehead," the girl said rather crossly. Takato breathed a mental sigh of relief. At least now he knew that the Rika he knew hadn't totally taken leave of her senses, but the whole dress thing was a little bit odd. And disturbing. Very out of character for his friend. Maybe he could find out why she was dressed like this.
"Sorry," said Takato. "I… I guess I forgot. It's just… a little odd seeing you like this. I'm not used to it."
Rika glanced at him out of the corner of her eyes, a small glint in them; one that Takato noticed and became alert to it.
"Doesn't sound like you're sorry enough," said Rika in a tone that sent a shiver down the boys spine. Rika sounded just a little bit more than just plain irritated now, though still a ways off from angry. Either way, it was more than enough reason for him to become cautious. If only he could remember how he got here, and why Rika was dressed like this.
"Um…" Takato's mind raced for a way to make it up to her, but due to the awkwardness of the situation, Takato couldn't think of a way to appease the fiery girl. It was just then that his eyes looked up at Rika's slightly turned face, and he noticed the amused glint in her eyes and the half hidden smirk that graced her features. Hit by a sense of déjà vu, Takato realized something.
"Hey! You're messing with my head, aren't you?"
Rika's smirk became playful.
"Guilty," she said as she turned once more to fully face him. "But I don't want to hear another word about this dress, got it? My Mom picked it out for me today and… er…"
"Oh," said Takato, still not really understanding any of what was going on, but despite the amount of questions that filled his mind right now, he was willing to go along with it. He felt a strange sensation of… something. Happiness? Contentment? Whatever it was that he was feeling it left him feeling safe and fulfilled for some reason. But there was something else that seemed off, something that bothered him slightly.
Rika continued on.
"Mom picked this out after I told her about… well, what we were doing today and… hey! Are you listening to me?"
Takato blinked at the girl.
"Ah! Um… yeah! Sure! It's just…" Takato took a look around. "… I was just wondering where Guilmon is…"
Rika sighed in exasperation and, from Takato's point of view, was resisting the desire to roll her eyes. Raising one hand and placing it on Takato's chest, she pushed him down to the ground.
"Takato. Jeri is looking after Dino-boy right now. You know that he's in good hands… well, I'd say that he would be if the moron twins didn't show up, but you never know. Besides. You promised, and let me emphasize that word for you Gogglehead," Rika took a moment to flick the boy's nose, earning a blush out of the goggle-wearing Tamer. "You promised that you were going to take it easy today. And believe me Takato, that's exactly what you're going to do, even if I have to tie you to a tree. Got it?"
Takato scratched his head, now completely and utterly confused about the nature of this bizarre outing that he was on. Since when had he promised to take it easy? And for what reason? And why were Jeri, Kazu, and Kenta willing to keep an eye on Guilmon so that he could be alone… with… Rika?
"Oookay…" Takato mentally shook his head. By the looks and sounds of it, he and Rika were…
Nah. Couldn't be. That wouldn't happen. Especially not with Rika and me. She'd probably be more likely to punch me out than to… er…
Suddenly, Rika's arms folded around Takato and she pulled him closer, and once more Takato felt himself blush against his will. There was something about this that seemed so off. So strange. So…
But before Takato could continue with his list of adjectives, Rika leaned forward and did something that completely and totally left him speechless. If he had thought that it would be a million years before he ever saw Rika wearing a dress, he would have tacked on a few more zeroes to this action. Most especially between him and her.
Rika's lips touched briefly on the corner of his own, sending a small feeling of an electrical current running through his body, and he stared at Rika incredulously as the temperature around him skyrocketed.
"Rika…" Takato whispered softly, and the girl smiled gently at him, a tenderness on her face that he rarely saw, and didn't think that he would ever see directed at him especially.
His last vision of the scene, before things began to grow dark, was that of Rika's face, still smiling at him, and all he could do was think about how special, and beautiful it looked to him just then…
Takato shifted beneath the blankets on his bed while next to him, Guilmon snored loudly. A small smile curved on his face as he turned onto his side, the light of the rising sun falling upon his face and causing the boy to finally stir. Opening his eyes tentatively, and then closing them against the sunlight, Takato sat up and yawned before taking a look around him.
It was all just a dream, thought Takato as he took in the familiar setting of his room.
"Great," muttered Takato as he rubbed at his eyes sleepily. "The last thing I need is to be dreaming about Rika again. She wasn't happy the first time when I told her about it and now…" Takato shook his head. There was a lot about that first dream that he hadn't understood, and now this second one didn't make any more sense. In fact, it only confused things even more. At least the first time around he thought that it was just to awaken him to his destiny, but now? And why like that? Takato touched his fingers to the corner of his lips where the Rika in his dream had kissed him. He hadn't thought of Rika like that in all the time that he had known her. He admired her skills and talent as a Tamer, and the air of professionalism that she carried whenever he saw her, but this? In a dress? It just didn't make sense!
Well, who said that dreams had to make sense? The Tamer thought as he scratched his head and dragged himself out of bed, climbing carefully down the ladder and set himself down on the floor. He was already wide-awake, so there wasn't much reason to stay in bed at this moment. Besides, he just felt the need to get out and clear his head. Opening up the door to his balcony, Takato stepped out and took a look outside, taking note of his father as he fidgeted with a crate. Takato breathed in the morning air, calming himself from the odd, and somewhat frightening, dream. It was already fading to him, and he could begin forgetting about it now. And he'd better. He didn't much like the idea of having something slip out while he was hanging out with her, and he knew that she wouldn't react well to it. If he wasn't careful, she just might finally give him a send off with her fist (the fact that she hadn't already done so kept surprising him to no end, but he wasn't about to argue with a good thing). Sighing nervously, Takato turned around and began to head back into his room when a voice hailed him from down on the street, causing him to freeze on the spot and his face to pale before turning into a slightly crimson color.
Quickly turning around, Takato found Rika, not wearing a dress but instead her usual attire, standing side by side with Henry as the half-Chinese Tamer waved at him from the corner of his home, his partner, Terriermon, doing likewise with one of his elongated ears as the little rabbit like digimon hailed him from his spot on Henry's shoulder.
"HEY, TAKATOMON! C'MON DOWN AND BRING GUILMON WITH YOU! IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY OUT! THOUGH IF YOU DON'T MIND, WOULD YOU AT LEAST WEAR SOMETHING OTHER THAN YOUR PAJAMAS? IT'S EMBARRASSING ENOUGH TO BE SEEN WITH YOU IN PUBLIC AS IT IS!"
"Terriermon…" began Henry in exasperation, and Rika shot the little Rookie with a death glare before the two Tamers looked back up to Takato, who was still looking at them in surprise.
"We'll be waiting for you in the Bakery," called up Henry and Takato looked over at his father, who had been listening to the entire thing.
"You can go," said Takahiro Matsuki with a nod and a smile. "Just remember that your mother wants you back in the afternoon to man the cash register."
"Thanks Dad," replied Takato as he took one last look at his friends, his eyes locking with Rika's for a moment, what felt like too long of a pause to him, before he turned and all but leapt into his room, grabbing at a random pair of clothes on the floor (that conveniently looked like his regular blue hoody and tan pants) and began to tug them on. He paused with the struggle of his hoody shirt as a creaking sound reached his ears. Turning, eyebrows raised in confusion, he saw…
"AHHH! NO! GUILMON, DON'T!"
Before Takato knew it, his large, crimson dinosaur leapt off his bed and crushed Takato beneath his weight, while down below, Takato's mother yelled up to him that he and Guilmon had better not be destroying the room up there for what had to be the hundredth time since allowing Guilmon to live with them.
Rika and Henry exchanged glances as the sounds of the chaos erupted from the room, wondering if Takato and Guilmon, were alright, but eventually decided that they would be okay, if the continued amount of noise emerging from the goggle-wearing Tamer's room was any indication, that and Takahiro's barely restrained laughter.
"He's a basket case," said Henry with a light, but worried, grin.
"Got that right," said Rika as she looked up at the boy's room with a slightly embarrassed look on her face, though the small smile that she wore told the other Tamer that she wasn't at all unhappy with the situation. Henry headed towards the Bakery's entrance and opened the door, turning to see that Rika hadn't yet moved from her spot, still looking up at Takato's balcony.
"Rika?" Henry asked, looking a little confused.
"Huh?" Rika snapped out of her apparent gaze, and then, with one last look, headed into the Bakery, her eyes seemingly thoughtful.
"Oookay…" began Terriermon, but Henry rapped his knuckles on his partner's head.
"Not now Terriermon."
With a sigh, Takato tied his shoes while Guilmon pranced happily in front of his bedroom door, reminding him a little of a dog (which sort of surprised him in a way, since his mother hadn't allowed him to keep such an animal, or any other animal for that matter, and now here he was with a digital dinosaur). Finishing with the last lace, Takato grabbed his cards, D-Arc, and goggles, and after putting each of them in their accustomed places, Takato threw open the door and watched Guilmon in turn throw himself down the stairs that led to the Bakery part of his families home. Takato followed a bit more slowly as he closed the door behind him, a fragment of his dream about Rika flashing through his mind as he did so. The last part that showed her smiling. She had been smiling up at him like that right before he went back into his room, though without the dress and hair up in its usual ponytail. Dismissing the dream with a sigh, Takato went down the stairs after his friend, steeling himself for the day that was about to begin.
Today is going to be an interesting day, thought Takato.
A/N: I got this idea late last night (almost at midnight in fact), and it was something that I just had to get down, mostly because I could see it so clearly in my mind. A weird idea to be sure, and will probably remain as a one-shot (though it's sitting on the backburner for now on that possibility). What happens next, if anything, I don't know, but I still have a couple other projects to finish as it is before tacking on another to the already long list. Hoped you liked this fic. Later.