Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon Savers.
Once, back when they were in the digital world, he embraced her.
They had been standing on a crumbling cliff and a tribe of hostile digimon was advancing fast. Every human and digimon jumped before they could be buried in the rocks. She hesitated. It was a twenty foot long jump. Masaru yelled at her to hurry. Lalamon raced back to her partner, but it was too late.
And as she squeezed her eyes shut, prepared to leap, Touma grabbed her from behind. His arms wrapped firmly around her and held her against him until they reached the ground safely. All twenty feet of the way.
She had been too worried that her stomach was still somewhere up on the cliffs to notice he kept his arms around her long after they were secure on the ground.
"Are you okay?" he asked her calmly, but there was an undercurrent of worry that Masaru and Lalamon caught on. She was too busy berating herself for dragging everybody else down to notice.
"I'm okay," she replied, looking up at him. That's when she noticed how close his blue orbs were to her face, and consequently, how close the rest of him was to her.
His arms were still lingering around her as he pressed, "Are you sure? You look a little pale." Now she noticed the anxiety that laced his tone, and an uncomfortable sensation swept through her. It felt strangely familiar and exciting, yet she knew it was wrong.
To cover up that feeling, she grinned and reached to ruffle his hair. Just as a big sister would do to a younger brother. "Don't worry, I'm fine. Thanks, Touma."
Was that a flash in his eyes? Before she could confirm, it was gone, and Touma was smiling evenly. "I see. That's good." He stepped away from her and went to join the others. She stood there, collecting her thoughts.
For a moment, that flash looked like disappointment. Almost. She wasn't sure.
Then Lalamon called her; they had to hurry before the dust cleared and the tribal digimon gathered their wits. She immediately followed, forgetting about the flash and that odd feeling.
Once, when they decided to have a picnic, he found her.
The Noguchi and Daimon families wanted to commemorate their memories of their adventures with the digimon, and honor the sacrifices that were made. It was also exactly a year after Masaru left for the digital world. The old DATS members were invited, as well as Touma's sister Relena, who was still in her wheelchair then.
Of course, Yoshino just had to get lost. And she left her cell phone charging in her apartment. If Lalamon were still with her then this wouldn't have—
No. She wouldn't think those thoughts. It was bad enough that she missed Masaru and their old days together, and that pretty soon Touma would be going back to Austria for good—
She sighed and leaned against the blossom tree, tired of running around fruitlessly. It was ten minutes past the meeting time, and no doubt they were calling her phone. Which was useless.
The voice was very familiar, and she blinked before turning to see the blond running toward her.
"What are you doing here? Everybody's been looking for you!" He finally stopped before her, bending down to catch his breath.
"I got lost, and I forgot my cell phone," she replied, staring at him. "How did you—"
"Never mind that," he cut in, grasping her wrist. "They're waiting for us. Come on!" Before she could respond he pulled her into a run.
Masaru and Lalamon weren't there to notice it, but Yoshino just barely managed to spot the barest glimpse of relief in his face and voice. That odd feeling came again, stronger than before, but she ignored it and focused on keeping up with Touma's pace.
It was natural, she decided, for him to be worried. She was his older sister figure after all.
Once, a long time after the picnic and a short time before he left for Austria, he was angry. At her.
She went to his mansion with great trepidation, because it was her first time. Should any girls know she was going alone to Touma Norstein's mansion, they'd probably kill her, most likely. If that fiasco with Neon was any indication.
He was not alone. Relena, his sister, was with him. They seemed to be enjoying their last days in Japan.
Yoshino would have left right then and there, if he had not made her stay. "I'll go prepare some tea," he told the girls, before leaving them in the sitting room.
Relena explained, "Ever since Gaomon left, Onii-sama has been making tea by himself. He won't let anyone else do it." Yoshino nodded, albeit stiffly. The younger girl laughed, "Don't be so nervous. You're a good friend of Onii-sama, right? Is it Yoshino-san?"
"Ah, just call me Yoshino."
A smile. "How about Yoshino Onee-san?"
"U-um, sure." Yoshino shifted uncomfortably. "Are you sure it's okay? I mean, I came unannounced and you two should be busy…" She meant their departure for Austria.
Relena shook her head, "It's perfectly fine. Onii-sama was just talking about you anyways."
"Oh." She was at a loss of what to say. What could she say to something like that?
Touma entered just then, bearing a tray with cups of steaming tea. "I hope it tastes all right," he said, giving one to Yoshino.
"I'm sure it will taste delicious," she assured him. Then, before she lost her nerve, "Um, I'm actually here for… a favor."
She cringed as the siblings looked at her. They'd probably kick her out now.
"What is it?" he asked curiously.
"Um, it has to do with some file reports back at HQ. I'm having trouble transferring data to the electronic base. I think it might have to do with the microchips, though I'm not too sure. I brought it with me, but…" She added hastily, "You don't have to look at it, of course, I just asked you out of the blue and you're probably busy—"
"Can I take a look at it?"
She blinked, "O-of course, but are you…?"
He smiled, "I'm not busy. Right, Relena?"
"Right, Onii-sama. You should probably use the library."
He nodded at the suggestion and turned to Yoshino expectantly. "Let's go then."
"Have fun, Onii-sama. Onee-san."
Yoshino swore the younger girl was smirking, but when she turned to check, Relena was only drinking her tea.
Working on the files took longer than she expected. Certainly Touma hadn't expected to spend so much time on them. The files had a deceptively simple appearance.
It was late afternoon when they were finished. Yoshino sighed and slumped back in her chair, glad to stop bending over the tiny print. "Good work," she told him.
He stretched. "No problem. I enjoyed the challenge."
It was times like these she was reminded that the boy sitting in front of her had already graduated university at the age of twelve and was qualified to be a doctor. It was times like these she forgot just how much younger he really was. She was suddenly glad she remembered.
Sister. Older sister.
Standing up, she gathered the papers spread on the oak table surface. He immediately followed suit to help her. When they reached for the same paper, his hand touched hers. There was a pleasant tingle.
She quickly pulled away, avoiding his eyes and pretending nothing happened. It was silent, save the sounds of rustling paper.
"Well," she said when they were finished, "I guess I'll be going now, before it gets too late."
"Yeah." He was looking at her.
She switched on a smile and held out her hand, which was probably a mistake. "Thanks for your hard work, Touma."
"No problem," he repeated, taking her hand firmly. His blue eyes were deep and said many things, many things that she didn't want to find out.
"I really appreciate your help." Then, she tiptoed slightly and reached out to ruffle his hair. Another mistake.
His eyes flashed. He jerked away before snagging her wrist, and she was taken aback at the expression on his face. He was angry. At her. And what he said next surprised her even more.
"I'm not a little kid anymore." His tone was low, controlled, but she could detect the frustration rolling underneath those words.
A pause. "I'm sorry," she finally said. She didn't know it bothered him that much. After all, she had always treated him as her little brother, the same as Masaru. But then, she had always treated him differently than Masaru. "I'm sorry," she said again, dismayed. "I wasn't patronizing you, Touma."
To her surprise, he sighed and lowered her hand. "No, of course you weren't. I'm sorry, it was my fault. I was acting immature." He gently released her wrist. "I was just… I thought that when you… Never mind."
"Are you okay?" she asked concernedly.
He smiled at her, "Yes. I must be tired, that's all." Any traces of his earlier mood had disappeared. "Don't worry about it, Yoshino."
She nodded, not entirely convinced. "Then… I'll be going—"
"I'm afraid not," cut in a cheerful voice, and they saw Relena at the library door. She smiled at Yoshino, "Dinner's being prepared for you, Onee-san." Then, before they could say anything, she was gone.
Yoshino turned to Touma, who smiled apologetically. "Why don't you stay for a little longer? My sister doesn't get that many guests. And since we'll be leaving soon..."
She ignored the sudden jolt in her chest at his words and smiled in acquiesce, "I guess I have no choice."
In reality, she wanted very much to stay. And she wanted him to stay as well. He had been by her side for so long, both in DATS and after Masaru and the digimon left. Even if they didn't see each other much, he was always within reach if she ever needed him. Just like today.
Relena was calling for them. Touma glanced at her.
"Come on, let's go."
As she followed him, she realized that maybe, just maybe, he wasn't a little brother figure to her. And maybe he didn't think of her as an older sister.
It was only once, but the thought crossed her mind and stayed.
Maybe it isn't so bad to think of him as something more.
A/N: Ahh, I did it. My very first Digimon fic! It was inevitable. It had to happen. I'm just surprised it didn't happen sooner. And what a couple I chose. XD
Formally introducing my favorite Digimon Data Squad couple… Fujieda Yoshino and Touma H. Norstein. Japanese version names, of course. English dubs are too funny for me.
What more can I say? The ending was… meh. Eh, I'm tired, I guess. This fic took me a whole day to crank out. But it was worth it. Hopefully it was worth reading as well. XB I'll be producing more Toshino fluff and fics. Probably.
Well, thank you very much for taking time to read. I appreciate it very much!