Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon or any of its copyrighted characters, plot, etc. Anything unfamiliar with the anime/manga series (or other series) in any of my stories is of my own creation and should be credited as such. I am not making a profit from any of these stories.
Author's Note (2008.04.24): I usually post Digimon stories on my old penname, eunc; however, I've decided to focus on this penname, Eun-jung, and will thus post new stories here from now on. I will complete all old and already posted stories on eunc but will only post brand new stories here. Anyway, I hope that everyone enjoys this one-shot and has plenty to comment about. Enjoy!
Be Mine, My Valentine
Leaving her room after dressing for school, Yagami Hikari stared with a dazed expression at the neatly wrapped package sitting on top of the dining table. The glittering cherry blossom-pink wrapping paper with the satin red ribbon bow rested delicately while emitting a feeling of love and happiness. With a lump growing in her throat, Hikari took in a deep breath. "It's wonderful, Onii-chan."
Yagami Taichi, turning away from the stove, smiled at his sister's compliment. His brown eyes reflected a glad face. "Thank you very much, Imouto-chan. I'm glad that you approve, since you're going to be the one giving it away," he said cheerily while turning back to his cooking.
Hikari gasped. "Really, Onii-chan? You made this, just for me?"
"Of course, silly. Today IS Valentine's Day, and I don't remember you making any chocolates last night—Wait, I remember, you were too tired from studying for your big test, so I decided to make some sweets for you," Taichi answered saucily, tossing the package of homemade chocolates to Hikari. "Besides, it's not even White Day, so I shouldn't be giving anyone anything."
The younger Yagami blushed at her older brother's kindness. "You didn't have to do all of this. You must have stayed up all night making these," Hikari muttered while blushing madly. She stared at the package thoughtfully as something occurred to her. "I didn't know you could make chocolates."
"Eh," Taichi shrugged while piling breakfast on a plate. "You learn things here and there after living alone for some time."
"But Onii-chan, you should be giving these chocolates to Sora-san or Yamato-san instead of giving them to me. You're just wasting your hard work on me." Taichi's face softened while placing a gentle hand on Hikari's cheek. The older brother gazed at his sister with only kindness.
"I'm not wasting any of my work on you. You're my baby sister—And don't worry about me. It's all right. Just give these to someone you really care about, like Takeru-kun." Taichi chuckled slightly at the thought and scratched his head sheepishly. "Heh, I really am an idiot. I've never really thought about who was my own number one—I guess my little baby sister is always number one in my heart."
Tears welled up in Hikari's ruby eyes. "Thank you so very much, 'nii-chan. I don't know how I'm ever going to make this up to you. I didn't even make you chocolate for today."
Taichi hugged Hikari tightly, gently wiping his little sister's tears away. "Ne, I don't need chocolate when I have you. I just want you to be happy. Now stop, no more crying. You better hurry now and get to school, or else you won't be able to take that test you spent all of last night studying for."
As Taichi followed Hikari out the door, the younger Yagami quickly turned around and kissed her older brother's cheek good-bye. "Bye, 'nii-chan. Thanks for staying with me while Okaa-san and Otou-san are gone. I hope you have a good day at work. I'll see you for dinner, and I promise that I'll make it up to you!"
Hikari ran towards the elevator, Taichi waving off after her. "Good luck on your test!"
"Hikari-chan! Good morning!"
The young lady turned around to see her best friend running across the street. With his blond hair glinting in the sun, a tall young man made his way towards Hikari. Stopping to wait, Yagami smiled at the sight. "Good morning, Takeru-kun! How are you today?"
Takaishi Takeru grinned while running up to his childhood friend. "I'm doing all right," he answered while slowing himself to a walking pace beside her.
"What are you doing all the way over here? You must have gotten up very early to get here," Hikari whispered worriedly, throwing Takeru a concerned glance. "Don't you live on the other side of town? You could be at school right now instead of here."
Takeru's grin only grew wider at Hikari's concern for him. Looking away for a moment, he readjusted his school bag in his hand, making sure his package was still in his bag. I can't lose it now—especially not today.
"Actually, I spent the night at my friend's house who lives close by, and I just thought that I could walk to school with you today," Takeru explained, his blue eyes twinkling happily. "Ryouga-kun doesn't wake up until thirty minutes before school starts. Since I wanted a walking partner, I knew you'd wake up earlier than him and thought that I could just walk with you. And don't worry about Ryouga-kun, Hikari-chan. He won't mind."
Will she believe me?
Hikari simply giggled at Takeru's reasoning. "That's really sweet of you to walk me to school. Onii-chan will be happy to know that you're being such a good friend."
Good friend? Is that all she thinks of me, even now? Not missing a beat in the conversation, Takeru exclaimed, "Oh yeah, Taichi-san moved back from Hokkaido and is staying with you while your parents gone. How has he been lately? He's happy and healthy still?"
"You saw him two weeks ago in Hokkaido!" Hikari laughed. "Honestly, you make it sound like he would've become a different person, Takeru-kun. I'm pretty sure he's still the same since when you came with me on my last visit."
Blushing, Takaishi put a hand behind his head and laughed along with her. "Heh, was it only two weeks ago? I'm sorry, Hikari-chan, I forgot about that visit. Lately, it just seems I never see him. It's weird not seeing Taichi-san every day like in the past." Hikari only nodded in agreement, a sad smile on her face. Damn it, you know how she gets when you talk about her brother like that. She was sad enough when Taichi-san moved to Hokkaido for work. Don't be an idiot and remind her that the brother she loves so much isn't around anymore.
Deciding on a necessary change in topic, the young man then added, "Anyway, like Onii-san always says to me, 'You never know when you're with Tai-kun.' And he's right: Taichi-san can be all right one minute and then be sick another. He's rather unpredictable."
Hikari giggled at the sound of Yamato's advice. "Yeah, you're right about that. But Onii-chan always tells me, 'Don't you ever listen to Yama-kun when he has a grin on his face! He's like a wolf, and he'll gobble you right up if you follow him.' Heh, sometimes I wonder how 'nii-chan and Yamato-san get along at all," she sighed hopelessly.
"Me too," came a laugh. "Yes, that sounds exactly like Taichi-san. Well, Onii-san will be slightly depressed that you're not allowed to date him at all; he mentioned once that you were a cute girl, and he wouldn't mind going out with you." Blues eyes watched the young lady carefully, gaging her reaction to the revelation. Will she be happy, excited, or maybe embarrassed? Does she want Onii-san to notice her?
Hikari laughed as she teasingly tapped Takeru's nose with her index finger. "Are you sure the one who said that was Yamato-san and not you, Takeru-kun?" He blushed a deep crimson, only making the Yagami girl laugh even more. "I was just teasing, Takeru-kun. No need to be embarrassed," she smiled while walking on ahead.
"Oh," he chuckled nervously with his blush constantly growing, "yeah, I knew that." Fighting down his awkward feelings, he calmed his nerves and ran to catch up with his best friend.
"Hikari-chan, Takeru-kun!" Miyako waved excitedly. The older plum-haired girl laughed and smiled from the school gate, always being the first one to school. "Good morning, you two lovebirds!"
"Good morning Miyako-chan," Hikari and Takeru greeted together, ignoring Miyako's nickname for them. They had become immune to it over the years, especially since their relationship was nothing like that—well, at least for now.
"Oi, that's 'Miyako-senpai' to you!" she scolded smartly when Hikari and Takeru stood right beside her. She adjusted her glasses and fixed her hair, keeping a clean, orderly image. "Now that we're in high school, status is everything. High school is very different from junior high, remember that."
The two underclassmen gave each other looks, the two laughing inside at some secret. "We're sorry, Miyako-senpai," they apologized playfully. "We'll never do it again." After their laughter, the pair also greeted an animated Daisuke when he speedily joined the group at the gate. His face was red, and his breathing was heavy and labored.
Takeru patted him on the back hardily. "What's wrong, Motomiya? You look like you were running for your life—and I don't see why you would be doing that other than in the Digital World." The taller blonde boy laughed in good humor, helping his friend stand erect.
"Feh, if I told you why," Daisuke huffed, his cheeks still red, "you would wet your pants from fear." Actually, if Motomiya had told Takaishi and the others why he had been running for his life, they would have either not believed him or laughed at him for his misfortune. Lined along his way to school, Daisuke had to escape the deadly gauntlet of junior high and elementary girls who all had crushes on him and wanted to give him Valentine's Day chocolate. As much as he wanted to brag about his enormous fan club, he knew the others would think him silly. Especially since in the past he had falsely proclaimed about being immensely popular, his friends knew better than to take him seriously on this point. Thus, the young man kept the story to himself. Catching a breath, Daisuke straightened his shirt and tie and put his jacket back on. After that, he adjusted his goggles on his head.
"Oh, come on, Daisuke-kun. You know me. Just try me," Takeru challenged with a playful smile.
The raspberry-haired teen glared at his long-time rival while resisting his infamous charms; Takeru was known to get everything to anything out of anyone with his charismatic speech and handsome features. And even though Daisuke was a guy, he and other members of the male population were not completely immune to Takeru's fearsome powers. "I'm telling you, you don't want to know."
Sensing his friend about to crack, the blond man pushed further, "I don't want to know or you're too embarrassed to tell me, eh?"
Egged on by Takeru's words, Daisuke was about to continue, however, Hikari and Miyako called them from the school's doorway. "Takeru-kun, Daisuke-kun!" Miyako shouted loudly as she and Hikari headed towards their separate classes. "You two are going to be late for school if you don't get your butts in here right now!"
Hearing the school bell ring, the two high school students put themselves into high gear and raced inside. They tossed their shoes and other belongings into their proper lockers and started dashing through the hallways. While sprinting towards their class, since they were in the same class, Daisuke asked Takeru, "So, did Hikari-chan give you anything yet?"
"Huh?" The blond boy gave the raspberry-haired one a curious glance. "What do you mean? Why would Hikari-chan give me something?"
Shaking his head while still running, Daisuke muttered hopelessly, "You're so clueless, Takaishi. It's no wonder why you and Hikari-chan never get anywhere." He rolled his eyes in exasperation. "And the group says I'm slow."
Takeru would have questioned his friend more about what he was talking about, but unfortunately for him, the two had made it to their class. As soon as they stepped inside the classroom, they had to take their seats and get ready for their first lesson.
"Ah—What's this for?" Takeru quizzically asked as a redhead girl handed him a shiny blue package. Lunchtime had just started, and when it had, dozens of girls in Takeru's class had surrounded him standing by his desk. All of the clustering sheep had oddly shaped packages in their hands.
Meanwhile, Motomiya escaped the oppression of giggles and strong perfume by standing near the doorway. There, his friends and he chatted about the possibilities of receiving chocolate from certain girls and what they would do for White Day; they also talked about when they could play football after school and clubs. "Hikari-chan," Daisuke smiled when he spotted his friend walking towards his classroom over his friends' heads, "what are you doing here? Shouldn't you be taking your history test? I heard that it was really hard and extra long." He met her one step out of the classroom, showing Hikari just how truly happy he felt on seeing her.
"I finished a little early and was allowed to leave the class. Is Takeru-kun in the room?" Hikari asked tentatively, her cheeks tinted pink.
Daisuke raised a brow in curiosity, the young man wondering why Hikari was suddenly so shy. When he noticed a lovely pink present in her hands, he realized the reason for her sudden shyness and the reason why she was there. A small, knowing smile lit his face. "Yeah, Takeru-kun is at his desk right now. You should hurry and give him your chocolates, Hikari-chan. I'm sure he wants to hear how you truly feel about him."
Blushing further, Hikari quickly whispered, "Thank you, Daisuke-kun," and rushed into the room.
"Hey, isn't that Yagami-san?" one of Daisuke's friends asked as the boys watched her walk in.
"Ah, isn't she the little sister of Yagami Taichi-san, the football captain that led our school to the championships?"
"Ne, Daisuke, what is she doing here?" a boy asked while leaning on said-person's shoulder. "Is she here to give chocolate to someone?"
"Would you guys shut up?" Daisuke snapped at his friends. "Be quiet, will you? I want to watch this." Following his directions, the other boys ceased their chatter and quietly watched Hikari approach the massive group of girls surrounding Takeru.
At the center of the group, Tenru Sonomi, the redhead girl who had reached Takeru first, smiled brightly at her crush. "What is this for? Why, this is for you, Takaishi-kun! They're chocolates for Valentine's Day of course!" she chirped, clinging onto the shocked boy's arm. "I'm hoping that you'll accept them, Takaishi-kun, along with my feelings."
Standing directly behind Takeru, Hikari watched him and Sonomi with terror and disgust. Hikari's hand trembled violently: Tenru Sonomi, the most popular girl of their grade, had beaten her to Takeru! There's no way he would reject her chocolate...she's pretty and athletic, and her body is so well developed. Hikari looked down at herself with a disheartening frown as she placed a hand on her flat chest. He wouldn't notice someone like me when there's someone like her by his side. Her cheeks reddened in shame at her underdeveloped body.
Unlike reddening Hikari, Takeru paled at the news he had just heard. He was blown away by the date. "W-w-what did you say, Tenru-san? Today? Today's V-Valentine's Day?"
"Mm, hm! Yes, Takaishi-kun!" Sonomi nodded, her smile still plastered on her face. "Don't tell me you forgot, Takaishi-kun."
Hikari, remembering where she stood, pushed through the crowd and walked up beside Takeru, whispering into his ear, "What's with you, Takeru-kun? This isn't like you at all. How could you forget a day like this? I thought you always remembered—"
"I was a little busy last night, so I forgot about today. I wish you could have warned me, Hikari-chan," Takeru whispered back coolly. It wasn't fair for her to expect him to be perfect all the time! Even he had days where he would forget the date. Especially when I've been focused on something else for the last few weeks, he sighed silently while thinking of the precious parcel in his bag.
Hikari looked to the ground, slightly sad. The voice he had used hurt her, and her inability to give her crush her own chocolates pained her as well. But of course he would be upset with her. How could she expect him to remember Valentine's Day when he had so much else to worry about? "I'm really sorry, Takeru-kun—you're right. I-I should have reminded you." With that, Hikari quietly walked away to her classes, leaving Takeru alone with Sonomi and the other female classmates waiting to give the blonde boy their candy and affections.
"Hikari-chan!" The brunette turned around to see Daisuke running towards her. She forced a smile onto her face to hide her inner turmoil. "Hey, Hikari-chan, are you all right?" Daisuke asked, putting a firm hand on her shoulder. The goggled boy, concern all over his face, worriedly looked at her as he took a seat beside her on the grass. "You looked a little sad when you left the classroom. Is everything all right?"
Avoiding her friend's earnest gaze, the young lady stared at her shoes in feint interest. "I'm all right, Daisuke-kun. I'm just a little tired from studying all last night."
He sighed in disappointment while stuffing his hands into his green jacket's pockets. "Hikari-chan, I know you're one of the top role-model students in our class, so please don't lie to me like that. It really hurts my feelings when you lie."
She snapped her head up and looked into his warm brown eyes. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to—"
"Don't worry about it," the young man grinned happily. He patted the girl on the back with warm assurance. "You're already forgiven." Glancing to the side, Daisuke spotted a familiar pink package beside Hikari. "Hey, weren't those for Takaishi?" he asked while pointing at the chocolates. Seeing the lovely wrapping was identical to the package that she had brought with her earlier, Daisuke concluded it was Takeru's Valentine's Day chocolate. At the mention of the sweets, Hikari looked to the ground again, unsure. "Hikari-chan, why didn't you give those to Takaishi earlier?"
Biting her lip, Hikari quietly mumbled, "I thought—Oh, I don't know, Daisuke-kun. I thought that I could give these to him today, but I can't now." Her insides screamed at her cowardice. I can't give them to Takeru because he doesn't feel the same. I know already he doesn't love me, but if he ever told me, I wouldn't be the same. I couldn't be myself anymore.
Daisuke smiled curiously at her. "What are you so worried about, Hikari-chan? Are you worried about those other girls?" When she gave no answer, he only laughed at her insecurity and misconception. "Feh, they're nothing compared to you. Takaishi loves you—He loves you with all his heart, and I think he's feeling down right now because he thinks you don't love him back."
"He was angry with me more than in love with me the last time I saw him," Hikari murmured, not hearing all of Daisuke's words. She was close to tears now. "He seemed angry at me that today was Valentine's Day."
"No," Daisuke disagreed frantically, not wanting to see Hikari cry, "He couldn't be mad at you. Takaishi is never mad at you." He grew silent for a moment, trying to recollect a contradiction to his statement. "He never is mad at you: ever."
"No, I know him. He was mad," Hikari replied, slumping down to the ground. "I should know that he's busy and he had a lot to do. I should understand that he can't do everything...and I said something that I shouldn't have said. I expected something unreasonable from Takeru-kun, and he was mad that I would ever do something like that."
"Are you serious?"
"Takeru-kun sets high standards for himself, you know," Yagami answered through her tears. "But sometimes people use him to fulfill their own desires or set their expectations on him, like his fan club. He wants to please people, but he wants to do it on his own terms. He hates it when people think that he's perfect. The people that Takeru-kun likes the most are the ones that accept him despite his flaws...people like us."
"Huh, so he wants to be perfect but hates being expected to be perfect," Daisuke smirked, shaking his head. "Feh, and to think that no one at school believes me when I tell them how unprincely their Takaishi Takeru-kun is...Well, they're all idiots anyway if they can't see the real him."
The young lady bowed her head dejectedly. "And I'm one of those idiots."
Seeing Hikari's spirits were not brightening, Daisuke put an arm around her shoulder and shook her playfully. "Oh, don't worry about that, Hikari-chan. You're not like those other girls just because of this one little thing. You have to keep in mind what's more important right now!"
Wiping away some of her tears, Hikari demanded quietly, "What are you talking about, Daisuke-kun?"
"What am I talking about? What are you talking about?" the impish boy scolded. "Hikari-chan, you think he's is mad at you now? Think how upset he'll be when he receives all those chocolates from the other girls and gets nothing from you. How upset do you think Takaishi will be then?"
"But Daisuke-kun, I'm sure that Takeru-kun doesn't feel the same way."
The goggled-boy nearly collapsed to the ground from Hikari's doubtful words. "Where the hell are you getting this from, Hikari-chan? Have you been listening to me at all?"
"Daisuke-kun, he turns down every girl that asks him out; and I would know since I've had to help him a few times. And some of the nicest, prettiest girls have confessed to Takeru-kun," Hikari murmured despondently. "I can't possibly compete with them."
Glaring at the young lady, Daisuke promptly replied, "That's right, you can't." Hikari stared at him for a moment, surprised he had so readily agreed with her. But then again, why would he argue against something so apparently true? Sighing, she accepted her despondent fate.
"You can't compete with them because Takaishi won't let you. To him, no one comes even close comparing to you, Hikari-chan," Daisuke smiled, gently patting her on the back. The look in her surprised ruby eyes told him that he had her attention now. "For someone who supposedly knows him very well, you're not very aware of the special place that you hold. But that's not what's important. Right now, what's important is Takaishi's place in your heart. I mean isn't that the reason why you made him chocolates for Valentine's Day? You want to tell him where he stands, right?" Hikari nodded as she let Daisuke help her stand up. "Now, you better wipe those tears away and give him his sweets."
Nodding again and wiping away all her tears, Hikari smiled gratefully. "Thank you, Daisuke-kun. Thank you for cheering me up."
"Nah." he waved his hand dismissively. "I just didn't want him dead when Taichi-senpai finds out you cried today. I need Takaishi for our science project due next week." The goggled boy shivered as goose bumps prickled down his entire body. "Whew, just thinking about how mad your brother is going to be gives me the chills."
"What? 'Nii-chan wouldn't get mad at Takeru-kun!" the young lady protested with a hint of fear. She never wanted and could never imagine seeing a day Taichi and Takeru fighting. "He and Takeru-kun would never fight each other!"
"Taichi-senpai gets mad at anyone that makes you cry, Hikari-chan, even if he is 'Takeru-kun'," Daisuke responded bluntly, mindlessly pulling some hair and lint off of his jacket. The young man's expression was so bland and bored, as if his words were common knowledge. The sad thing: it was common knowledge amongst those who knew Yagami Taichi. "And you're right," Daisuke added lightly, "Taichi-senpai and Takaishi would never fight; Taichi-senpai would kill him before our blond friend had a chance."
"Daisuke-kun!" Hikari shouted.
"Oh, did you hear that?" Motomiya, jumping on his feet, started running back to his class. He tossed Hikari a saucy grin. "I think I heard someone call me. I'll talk to you later, Hikari-chan! Tell me how much Takaishi blushes when you give him chocolate!"
Seeing his obvious escape, she only smiled gratefully at his retreating figure while murmuring, "Bye, Daisuke-kun. Thank you."
All day during school Hikari could not give Takeru her chocolates. The young lady had several chances after Daisuke's pep talk, however, Hikari decided against giving Takeru her gift when she heard Daisuke and Takeru talking to one another.
"Hey, Takaishi, what's wrong with you?" Daisuke had teased, jabbing the blonde boy's side. "You look like you've been through hell."
"Ugh, you have no idea," Takeru had groaned. Hikari had been watching her two friends from around the corner, waiting for her perfect opportunity to confess her feelings to Takeru. She had already missed three earlier chances; and this time, Daisuke had decided to help her. All she had to do was wait for Daisuke's signal and—"I just think it's really silly how all the girls are giving me their chocolates. I mean, they could find a better way to express how they feel than by giving me candy. I don't think I can take any of these girls seriously, the way they're confessing to me." When Hikari had heard Takeru say so, she ran away with a broken heart.
I'm just like everyone else, just a silly girl to Takeru-kun.
Now, after school, she walked home alone with her chocolates still in her school bag. With a hopeless sigh, she thought, "Well, at least I can give them to 'nii-chan, although, he'll be disappointed that I didn't have enough courage to make my confession." Bowing her brunette head, Hikari fought back her tears. It already hurt to be unable to confess to Takeru today; it was worse that he did not return her feelings; and now thinking that her older brother would be disappointed in her destroyed her restraint. As hot tears trickled down her cheeks, she heard someone was coming up from behind her.
"Hikari-chan—Are you all right?" Takeru asked worriedly, grabbing Hikari's hand in his own. "Are you crying, Hikari-chan?"
Who hurt you like this?
Surprised that he had come her way, she pulled her hand away from his touch. She shook her head, unable to look Takeru in the eye. "No, I'm not crying—I'm just really tired. It's nothing to worry about, Takeru-kun, I'm all right," she replied with a shaky voice, wiping away evidence with her sleeve. Faking a yawn, she weakly assured him, "I just need a nap at home and I'll be fine."
The blond teen frowned, his blue eyes narrowing in concern. Since when did Hikari lie to him? "Did I—Did I hurt you in some way?" he stammered nervously, hoping his question was not the truth. "Daisuke-kun said earlier you were feeling bad about something and wouldn't tell me why or from what, and I thought—I thought that you were angry at me because you thought I was avoiding you or maybe because of what I said earlier—did I hurt you, Hikari-chan?"
Am I the idiot that made you cry?
Guiltily, Takeru admitted to himself that he had been harsh to Hikari while in the classroom. He had no right to use that tone of voice with her. And it was his fault he had forgotten about Valentine's Day, not hers. As a man Takeru had failed, weakly depending on Hikari for every little thing and then taking his anger out on her when she did nothing wrong. Furthermore he had allowed his mistakes to go on unchecked until it reduced Hikari to tears.
He deserved the pain Taichi would dish out on him in the future.
"No, you didn't hurt me," Hikari sniffled, tears now streaming freely down her cheeks. She could no longer hold back her sadness, regardless of her desire to keep Takeru uninvolved. No, he can't see this! I don't want to make him feel guilty...It's not his fault...
At the sight of Hikari's tears, Takeru dropped his schoolbag and embraced her tightly within his arms. "Hikari-chan, I'm sorry. I am so sorry!" he urgently apologized. "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings. I never meant to hurt you."
Hikari gently but firmly pushed herself away from Takeru, her wet ruby eyes staring into his cerulean orbs. "You didn't do anything to hurt me, Takeru-kun—"
"No, you're lying," he argued with fire in his eyes. He held her smaller hands firmly in his larger ones, unwilling to let her escape. "Whatever is hurting you is completely my fault. I can see it in your face. I'm the reason for your pain."
Retrieving her chocolates from her school bag, Hikari shyly stared up at her childhood friend. "No, Takeru-kun. It's really not your fault. I—I-I wanted to give you these, but—when you said that you thought those girls were all so silly, I—I didn't want—"
The blond boy stared at neatly wrapped gift and felt guilt bombard him like a ton of bricks. "You felt bad because I said that?" he asked worriedly. So that means she...
"I'm such a stupid girl," Hikari replied, looking to the ground. "I really don't know how to tell you what I feel without using some silly thing to help me. I wish I could be brave like Onii-chan, but I don't have the courage. I wish I did..." Takeru's eyes saddened as he took the chocolates from her hand. He smiled gently as he opened the bag and ate a piece of the sweets.
Sniffling, Hikari looked up at Takeru with surprise. "Takeru-kun—"
"Hikari-chan, if there is anything that I can't stand in this world, I can't stand to see you cry." He picked up another piece and ate it thoughtfully.
Oh, no, I made him feel guilty, Hikari panicked. I made him feel bad—and now he's trying to make me feel better. I don't want it like this. I don't want his pity. Pulling free from Takeru, Hikari stepped away from him and gave him an apologetic bow. "I'm awfully sorry for making you mad—I-I-I have to go now!"
She turned to run home but felt herself restrained. "No, wait! Please wait." Holding her hand gently, Takeru pleaded again, "Please, don't cry."
When Hikari resisted and tried to reclaim her hand, Takeru pulled her into his embrace again and held onto her tightly. When she struggled against him, he only tightened his hold on her. "Hikari-chan, you have to know that I'll do anything in the world to make you happy!"
"Even if I have to accept that you don't feel the same way I do about you, then I'll do it. I just want you always happy," Takeru said with his arms still wrapped tightly around Hikari. Lowering his voice, he added tenderly in her ear, "Even if you don't love me in return, I won't allow sadness to ever be a part of you." That moment, Takeru pulled a small box from his jacket pocket and placed it in Hikari's hands. "This morning, I lied about spending the night at Ryouga's house. I actually went early to the store to pick this up before school."
"What is it?"
He could only give her small smile. "Look."
Tentatively opening the box, Hikari gasped. Taking her surprise as a positive reaction, Takeru murmured shyly, "For the longest time, Hikari-chan, I've really liked you. From our first battle together against Vandemon to meeting you again years later and having more adventures with you, I've always liked you. I wanted to tell you that our first time in the Digital World, but Onii-chan told me it wasn't a good idea."
Smiling sheepishly, he answered, "He said Taichi-san was already stressed enough leading everyone and keeping the group together to save the Digital World. Him worrying about you having a boyfriend would have only complicated things, even if we were only five then."
"So, I thought if we were to meet each other again in the future, I would tell you how I felt. And when I moved back to Odaiba and saw you in my class, I was afraid that my feelings had changed and that we would be different. But we were the same. I still felt strongly for you just as I had the first time I met you." Blushing and staring at the ground, Takeru continued, "And as we grew closer as time passed, I cared for you more and more. With all we've been through, you can imagine how much you mean to me now. That's why I got this for you, to help me say how much I love you, Hikari-chan. So...you're not the only one who isn't very brave. I needed the ring's help to tell you what I feel."
Hikari stared at the silver ring glittering from the box. Tentatively she pulled it from the satin folds and admired its setting and brilliance. "Will you put it on for me?"
Gulping and blushing at the same time, the young man nodded and gently slipped the cool silver band onto her left ring finger. Without warning or a word, he then kissed her on the cheek and quickly ran in the direction towards his older brother's apartment. Hikari placed a hand where his lips touched her and smiled while she watched him disappear.
"What are you doing back here, Hikari?" Taichi questioned as he hung his coat in the hall closet and put away his shoes. The older Yagami had just returned from work, and apparently, his little sister had come and stayed home after school. As he put down his belongings, he walked towards her and called out, "I thought you would be out with Takeru-kun for Valentine's Day."
With teary eyes Hikari gazed sadly at her older brother from her place on the couch. "Why did you make those chocolates for me?"
"Huh?" Taichi was taken aback, not expecting Hikari's question in place of an answer nor the sullen expression on her face. He stood by her seated position and said to her, "Why did I make them? I made them because you couldn't, and I know that you wanted to make some for Takeru-kun. You did give him your chocolates, right?"
Did you finally tell him how you feel?
"I did," Hikari nodded, "but why did you go through all that trouble, 'nii-chan?"
"We went through this already this morning, remember? I'm not going to explain again that I made those chocolates because I love you so much." Sighing and collapsing by his baby sister on the couch, being tired from a busy day, Taichi grumbled, "Now why aren't you on a date with Takeru-kun? Isn't that what high school kids do on Valentine's Day nowadays? Did he cheap out and run away?"
Hikari shook her head. "No."
While she did so, Taichi noticed her already puffy eyes and reddened face. She must have been crying for over an hour, he thought with a vein popping on his forehead. She must have been crying over Takeru. There's no one else she would cry over like this... "He made you cry, didn't he, Hikari? The bastard," the older brother growled at the thought and punched a fist into his hand. "Does your onii-chan have to beat him up?"
Seeing little sister immediately come to Takeru's defense, Taichi wrapped an arm around her shoulders and laughed while patting her fondly on the head. "Okay, Hikari, I won't beat up Takeru-kun." When his sister shot him a look of doubt, he raised his hands up defensively and assured her that nothing would happen to Takeru by his hands. "I promise I won't hurt a hair on his head, so stop looking at me like that. But tell me why you guys aren't out right now, together?"
And then without warning the younger Yagami started crying again, causing Taichi to panic. But through her tears, Hikari smiled. "Takeru-kun ran to visit Yamato-san because he felt sorry and embarrassed. But he took the chocolates and promised to eat all of them."
"That's it?" The older brother felt thoroughly frustrated. "Gr, doesn't Takeru-kun know any etiquette?"
"He told me he loved me," Hikari blushed, her tears pouring anew. "He told me he loved me since we met each other again during elementary school and junior high. Takeru-kun said he felt the same way I did. And he gave me this ring."
Taichi glanced at her extended ring finger and nearly had cardiac arrest. If he did not know any better, he would think that Takeru's gift was an engagement ring! "What the hell? He proposed to you?" Rising from his seat, the young man tried to get to the door. "Hikari, I'm going to kill Takeru-kun for this one."
Ignoring Taichi's empty threat and embracing her brother to keep him seated, she giggled, "I was so happy, I cried all the way home."
Now understanding the reason for Hikari's tears, Taichi shook his head, collapsed back onto the couch, and hugged his sister back. "I hope you're happy with him. No one deserves each other more than you and Takeru-kun."
Snuggling into her brother's embrace, she whispered, "Thank you."