Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN DIGIMON... damn

"There is no Hope without light and Light can't shine without Hope" - Azulongmon
"The Light inside of our hearts is called Hope." - Takeru

Age 8

The first time she had seen him, that small blonde haired boy, her heart had skipped a beat. With his messed up golden hair and deep, cheerful blue eyes there was no denying that he was handsome. But there was more to it than that, Hikari had seen plenty of handsome boys before and not been particularly bothered, but he was different.

"Hey Yamato! Takeru! Over here," Taichi, her big brother, shouted to the boy and his older brother. He walked over to them pulling Hikari along too. Koromon followed.

"Tai, where have you been?" Yamato, the older boy, asked in frustration, "me and Teeks have been waiting for you for ages." Then the two boys noticed Hikari, Takeru smiled at her shyly and she looked away feeling her cheeks turn red. "And who's this?" Yamato pointed to her waiting for an explanation from their leader.

"She's my sister Hikari, and I've got good reason for being late Yamato, I think she may be the eighth digidestined child."

Koromon nodded and everyone; Yamato, Takeru, Gabumon and Patamon stared at her with wide eyes. Hikari squirmed.

Then Yamato began to laugh and hit Taichi on the shoulder. "You moron Tai, are you telling me that we've spent days looking for the eighth child and all along it was your own little sister?!"

Taichi hit him back playfully, "Well how was I suppose to know? It's not like she was hiding a digimon around the house or anything. We only just found out and then we got here as fast as we could." Then he became serious "Look, Gatomon is her digimon but Myotismon has kidnapped her, so we need to get her back and fast!"

"Gatomon?" Takeru asked nervously, "but she's an evil digimon..."

Hikari clenched her fists slightly, "No she's not, she's my digimon and she just got taken by that vampire because of me. Please oniisan, get her back." She looked up at her big brother and grabbed a hold of his hand, her eyes imploring him to fix things, like he always did.

He squeezed it gently and nodded, "We'll get her back, don't worry 'Kar."

Takeru looked at her and felt a need to apologise for calling her digimon evil, but he was too embarrassed. Besides, there was no time for apologies or any other kind of talk as the two younger children were whisked away by their older brothers, with their digimon following close behind. There was no time to loose, there never was. They were always in a hurry, Takeru sighed.

Then after a minute he smiled as it dawned on him that he finally had someone his own age to hang out with.

Hikari, who was being dragged ahead by a determined Taichi, looked back briefly at Takeru as they ran through alleyways and saw him smiling at her. She felt her heart skip another beat and her cheeks began to burn up yet again and she smiled warmly back at him. She could tell they were going to be good friends.

Night before leaving the digital world...

Hikari had grown up so much during her adventures in the digital world, all of the chosen children had.

She was the digidestined of light; Takeru was the digidestined of hope. She thought that they were a good team. The best of friends.

She squirmed slightly where she lay and looked at the boy next to her as he slept peacefully, holding Patamon close. It was night time, their last day in the digital world and she couldn't sleep. She didn't want to leave the digital world behind, couldn't imagine returning to normality. Was it even possible to return to everyday life; school, homework, chores, curfews after having spent the last few months here saving the world? Could she leave the friendships that she had made in the digital world behind? Wizardmon, whose egg might soon be found, Leomon, Andromon, Ogremon - bless him! All of the digidestined digimon; Agumon, Gabumon, Palmon, Biyomon, Gommamon, Tentomon, Patamon and... and worst of all... Gatomon!

Hikari felt a hot tear slide down her cheek at the very thought. Gatomon was her best friend and she never wanted to leave her. Never! But tomorrow she would wave good bye and they all knew there was a huge chance she would never see them again. Hikari just couldn't bear it, her heart would break if she had to be torn apart from her digimon, it just wasn't fair. Another tear slid down her cheek but she didn't notice now as she became so wrapped up in her thoughts.

Takeru woke up to see her crying, she had not made a sound but he had just known that she was upset. He could sense it, such was the bond between hope and light. He sat up slowly and she looked into his eyes, revealing to him her heart break. He reached out shyly and took her hand in his, squeezing gently.

"I know 'Kar," he whispered into the night, "I never wanna leave either..."

She snuggled closer to him and laid her head on his shoulder, careful not to disrupt Patamon "Why can't we stay?"

"Because... We have to go, we need to go back home."

"But- But why?"

"It was only our destiny to save the digi-world. We can't stay here, we belong in our own world" he said sadly, as much to convince himself as her. Hikari looked up at him and knew it must be even more painful for him to leave this world. He had been here longer, over a year longer actually, made even more digi-friends and besides, in the digital world he was with Yamato, his older brother, all the time. No separation.

"It's too hard 'Keru, its too hard to leave."

He nodded sadly, "Whoever said it was easy being a digidestined?"

After all that they had gone through, how ironic was it that the hardest thing would be going home. Hikari would take Piedmon on any day and she wasn't the only one. Everyone was hurting.

They fell into silence, curled up to each other, holding hands and comforting each other. Sharing their pain.

Neither of them wanted to go home, to say goodbye to the digimon and each other. Would they stay a team? Would the digidestined children keep in touch? Or would they all go their separate ways, a childhood adventure put behind them. A distant memory of distant friends. A photograph to keep on the bedside table and lament as it faded from colour to sepia, the vividness ghosting away like the memories it held.

They had all grouped together so well during their adventure in the digi-world, they had done so much together, overcome so much, helped each other and come through it all harder, better and stronger. They were a team here in the digital world, the children and their digimon, and Hikari and Takeru could not imagine not being a part of that team any more.

Not having Mimi and Sora around to chat to and to be cared for by, not having Jou around to rely on and tell you everything would be okay - even if he never believed it himself - and not having Koushiro around to give you the exact probability that it actually would be okay. Not having Yamato around to protect and not having Taichi around to lead, and care, and give pick-me-up talks.

How could they function without each other? Yamato had already tried, Sora had given it a shot too, they had been split up before and look at what had happened. Chaos, defeat, weakness. They truly were a team, and they needed each other to succeed.

Hikari and Takeru both cried themselves to sleep that night, as did, I'm sure, a large number of the other digidestined, and the digimon.

Goodbyes are never easy, and endings are never happy.

Age 9

It was the first anniversary of the day that the digidestined defeated Apocalymon and Hikari was excited.

"They'll all be there?" she quizzed Taichi anxiously for the ninth time that morning, "All of them? Everyone? They're all gonna be there?"

Taichi gave a distracted grunt and nodded, fastening the buttons of his shirt as his nine year old sister danced around him madly, clapping her hands and occasionally hinting to him that he should hurry up. But today he was taking his time, taking care of his appearance, suddenly concious of what he looked like. Sora would be there and though he saw her every day at school today Yamato would be around too, vying for her attention, and he wanted to outshine even the handsome blonde. He wanted to impress her.

His Sora. The girl he had grown up with, played soccer with, climbed trees and scraped knees with, braved the digital world alongside and grown to admire and, recently, to adore. He knew her ways inside out, could see her smile as he closed his eyes and felt her presence light up a room as she entered. His Sora, his first crush.

"Come on Oniisan..." Hikari eventually lost her patience and dragged him away from the mirror where he had been closely examining himself, "We're gonna be late!"

"Okay, okay, geez 'Kar. Errr, how do I look?" He asked his sister self consciously as they walked out of the house together.

She beamed up at him with pride, "You look great bro, really great!"

He smiled back down at her, "Thanks 'Kar." Then he reached out to hold her hand as they crossed the main road and she clung onto him long after they'd crossed.

They were just outside the park when she saw him, Takeru, her best friend, and her heart began pounding away at her chest. Bang. Bang. Bang.

What was this feeling? Was she blushing? Her face certainly felt red. Bang. Bang. Bang.

He just looked so handsome, so wonderful with the suns rays reflecting off his hair, his eyes shining as they picked her out.

He smiled at her, her stomach flipped. Bang. Bang. Bang.

Then Takeru started towards them and in seconds he was running with a broad smile plastered on his face. Hikari suddenly wasn't sure if he was running to her or not, though, he might be running to Taichi. Taichi was like a big brother to him too. What if he wasn't as excited to see her as she was to see him, what if he wanted to hang out with Taichi instead, keep away from girls like some of the boys in her class. What if that smile, the shining eyes and the hasty run weren't for her at all? It had been weeks since she last saw him, and weeks was a lifetime at nine he could easily have forgotten her.

But he ignored Taichi, he only saw Hikari; e had only ever really seen Hikari, she was his best friend in the whole wide world and always would be. He embraced her at a run, sweeping her off her feet in a hug and holding her close. She threw her arms around his neck and buried her face into his shoulder, noticing her had gotten slightly taller since they last saw each other. Since they last hugged.

Takeru was happy to have Hikari back in his arms where he knew she would be safe, where he could protect her and be there for her. Just like when they faced Piedmon or any of those other nasty digimon. Where he could smell the soothing smell of her hair, and know that she relied on him and trusted him. With Hikari he was the protector, not the protected. And that felt good.

Then the other digidestined greeted each other, catching up on gossip big and small, times they had missed over the last few days or weeks since seeing one another and times they had shared. As always it felt so natural to be together, the eight of them, the chosen children who had saved the world as a team. None of them would admit it, there was no need, but they all missed each other painfully during times of separation, and just being in each other's company was enough to bring a fragment of the sense of belonging they had experienced in the digital world.

And although none of them could really feel perfectly happy without their best friends the digimon, this was as close as they ever got to perfect happiness and they each enjoyed their full group reunion completely. Mimi was crying sentimentally as memories were revived, clinging tightly onto the nearest digidestined - Jou and Koushiro - as if worried they might disappear. Taichi and Yamato were both smiling at Sora as she told them about her new interest in tennis. Takeru and Hikari were idly lying on the grass in the park holding hands, perfectly at ease now they were together once more.

"'Kar," Takeru whispered quietly, "I-I just wanna tell you, that well... you are my best friend in the whole world. And you always will be. Ever since I first saw you I knew you were the nicest person ever and I really," he looked sideways at her, gazing into her eyes, blushing slightly, "really like you."

She looked away and blushed too, "I really like you too 'Keru, and you've always been my best friend. Always."

He sat up and smiled happily, an idea forming. "Hey, why don't we make a best friends forever pact then? I did this with Patamon, only then it was a partners forever pact, and it just means that we'll be together forever and best friends always. No matter what. D'you wanna? Please 'Kar?" He took her hands in his as she sat up, she was smiling too.

"Yeah, great! I never wanna loose you 'Keru, and this way I never will." She beamed at him happily.

He rolled his eyes, "You never could anyway."

They beamed happily at each other for a moment and then made the 'pact'.

"So... how do we do this?" Hikari asked giggling slightly.

He nudged her playfully, "Well, for starters its a very serious thing Hikari, so no giggling!"

He smirked and pushed her over as she pulled a 'solemn' face.

She pushed him back playfully, licking her tongue out instead and then sitting up straight and pulling an even more exaggerated solemn face before he could tell her off.

"Good," he nodded, smiling, "now we have to say our vows-"

Hikari wrinkled up her nose, "Vows?! Sounds like we're getting married!"

He blushed, "N-no, 'course not. But like I said, we say our vows - not marriage vows Hikari - as we hold hands, and then to seal it we have to... Erm..."

"Kiss?" asked Hikari smirking, "'you may now kiss the bride...'" she said, mimicking a priest.

"Noooo! We're not getting married silly. Besides kissing is sooo gross. Eww!" Takeru screwed up his face in disgust.

"Yeah," she agreed, sticking out her tongue, "its the most yucky thing in the whole wide world."

"In the whole universe."

"In the whole... wait what's after universe?"

"Erm... dunno. But its the worst thing in that too." Takeru decided.

"Yeah, I'm never gonna kiss a boy, ever." Hikari said determinedly.

"Me either. Never in a million years."

"Back to the pact though, we'd better hurry up cause we're going to have lunch soon." Hikari nudged him and he smiled.

"Okay, grab hold of my hands," he said and she did, "now repeat after me, but say your name instead of mine, okay?"

She nodded.

"I Takeru Takaishi, do promise to be best friends with Hikari Kimiya for the rest of my life-"

"I Hikari Kimiya, do promise to be best friends with Takeru Takaishi for the rest of my life."

"I will always be there for her when she needs me, and I will always take care of her even when she doesn't need me-"

"I will always be there for him when he needs me, and I will always take care of him even when he doesn't need me."

"I will put her needs above my own and I will never forget her, even if I don't see her very much. I will always care about her more than anyone else, because she will always be my best friend."

Kari blushed and looked deep into his beautiful blue eyes as she said the last bit, "I will put his needs above my own and I will never forget him, even if I don't see him very much. I will always care about him more than anyone else, because he will always be my best friend."

They sat there, holding hands and gazing into each others eyes, until Taichi and Yamato called them for lunch.

AN~ Just doing a bit of a rewrite with this story, see how it goes when its brought up to the standard of my writing today since I started it when I was fourteen. From the reception it had I guess there's potential here and I wanted to explore that so...here goes! :D