The sketchbook was brand-new, a gift for Takato's birthday from his parents. They'd apparently decided that his art was a worthwhile hobby and potential career so long as he worked at it. And seeing at least one certain result of all that drawing, how could he not?

Guilmon still lived in his shelter in the park because there was hardly any room for him in the house. He wasn't a secret anymore, though—children always stopped by to visit him, sometimes bringing treats. He was never lonely anymore.

He was playing a game of tag with some of the local kids while Takato sat and sketched. He drew lightly at first and was careful to erase thoroughly when he needed to. This couldn't be anything less than the best drawing he'd ever made. First, Guilmon in an inquisitive stance, glancing at something just above him. Next were the trees in the background. And finally, when he knew what he wanted to put in to explain such a curious gaze, he added a leaf falling toward Guilmon's nose.

Takato put his pencil down and looked at the sketch. While part of him wanted to add color and really bring it to life, he was really happy with the drawing as it was. At last, he scribbled a small note in the corner and signed his name.

The next morning, he dropped by early before school. Guilmon was still asleep, so he decided not to wake him. A large roll with a candle sticking out of it was placed where Guilmon would easily find it. On the wall, Takato taped his sketch—laminated yesterday to protect it from the elements. In the lower right corner read the message: "Happy birthday Guilmon, from Takato."

As always, I do not own Digimon—it is the property of Toei Animation and distributed by Disney. This piece was written for acmeeoy on Live Journal.