REFLECTIONS authors note: This is an old, old story. I wrote it around 8 years ago, and it's been offline for several years. However, every now and then someone writes to me asking me to bring it back, and now I think I am ready to republish it. This will not be an automatic process, because I intend to edit the chapters as I put them up, and not all of the edits will be minor. The basic jist of the story will of course remain unchanged, but I want to give it a little polish while allowing it to still retain some of the raw character that exposes this to be the first real fanfic I ever wrote. I hope that new and old readers alike will enjoy it.

standard disclaimer: I don't own Digimon. Neither the series nor the characters. Nothing can stop me from liking them though.

+Touch+

The Digital World, a mirror to our own, is also a mirror of the contentment of its denizens. Sometimes it is bizarre, a starry sky shaken with translucent thunderheads. Other times, it is wonderful: green-purple auroras sheeting around a triumphant sun. On this day the weather was mild and uncertain, misty and grey.

"Hey, Hikari, want to go to the dance with me?" Daisuke, for the 5th (or perhaps 50th) time.

Hikari sighed. Gatomon snorted. "I thought we had agreed that we would all go together, Daisuke. As a group."

Daisuke indicated his scorn with that concept with a put-upon shrug and a wounded expression. "But it's a *dance*."

"I'll save you a dance," Hikari said, taking the barrette out of her hair and pushing the freed locks behind her ear. "A private, personal dance just for you." She sounded mildly aggrieved. "Isn't that fine?"

Miyako winked at Daisuke. "This way you'll get to dance with two beautiful ladies, not just one!"

Daisuke looked at Miyako warily. Her cuteness was definitely overshadowed by her rapaciousness, in his mind. "Um, yeah. Thanks. But it won't count as a date if I go with both of you."

"And me!" TK called cheerfully from his position in the large tree from which he was scouting the area. "Daisuke, tell you what. I'll be your date!"

A groan erupted from Daisuke. "No."

"Oh come on." TK dropped out of the tree down into the path, brushing off his knees and deploying a disturbing grin. "I'll wear my best suit. It'll be hot."

"No."

Hikari stepped over to where TK was, mirroring his smile with one of her own. "No fair," she said, poking TK lightly in the chest. "You promised you'd save all of your dances for me."

"Why are you making promises like that?" Daisuke asked abruptly, having followed Hikari so that he could quickly position himself between his Beloved and The Annoying One. He moved Hikari's hand out of the way so he could start poking at TK himself. But he hadn't gotten more than three pokes in before Hikari grabbed his hand back, holding it tight and preventing him from continuing. Daisuke flushed, his heart skipping a beat, and turned to stammer some nonsensical confession when...

"Stop it," Hikari said firmly, looking Daisuke straight in the eye. "You're being obnoxious."

"Y-you should tell him not to make promises like that!" Daisuke said, strengthened and encouraged by the hand holding his own. "Besides, I asked first!"

Hikari relented, loosening her grip on Daisuke's intruding hand. Her expression softened. "Yeah. But he has dibs."

"Dibs?"

"Well, of course," Hikari said, shrugging but with a friendly gleam in her eyes. "I'm his girl."

It began to rain.

. + .

"I see, it's a fait accompli" Ken offered, unhelpfully.

It had been a truly awful afternoon in the digital world. Hikari had never really comprehended the seriousness of Daisuke' affections. Her "understanding" with TK was so ingrained in her psyche that she had assumed that Daisuke had known about it, and had been goofing with her the whole time, perhaps in an attempt to make Miyako jealous.

It was natural for Hikari to be a little bit short-sighted. Her nature was Light, and as she stood in the center of that light, she sometimes failed to notice the light that reflected back at her. But after her off-hand comment, he had fallen into a black funk that even she noticed.

Of course, she had felt terribly guilty, and had been astonishingly sympathetic. It didn't bear thinking about. And so Daisuke returned to the real world early, to grieve and to plot. And naturally, his mind turned to Ken Ichijuoji, long-time friend and erstwhile Digital Kaiser. Ever since Ken had begun his loose association with the Digidestined, Daisuke had formed a surprising bond with the slim genius, and it seemed natural to turn to him in a time of crisis.

"The hell? What's that fat thing?" Daisuke was curled up in a fetal position on Ken's floor. Ken was sitting at his computer, but his chair was turned towards Daisuke and he was staring at him intently. It had taken Daisuke forever to relate his tale of woe, considering that he was moaning with some frequency. Ken had listened to the tale in silence so far.

"It's French. It means 'accomplished fact.'"

Daisuke rolled over onto his back, stretching listlessly. "Oh. Does that mean that I was the only one not to notice this relationship between her and TK?"

Ken narrowed his eyes, but did not comment.

Daisuke continued to stare at Ken's ceiling. "I want to think that she was just playing with me, so that I could hate her or whatever. But she's not like that." He sighed vigorously, putting extra energy into it because he'd been sighing all evening and wanted this one to be special. "I can't believe this happened. With TK there and everything! I've been totally humiliated!"

The sunlight flooded Ken's bedroom with light, and Davis' prone form was suffused with the rose warmth of sunset. Ken leaned forward, catching Daisuke's eye. "I'm not sure I can do anything about your heartbreak. But I do know a thing or two about eliminating shame."

Daisuke looked up at Ken worriedly. "I don't want to hurt Hikari, Ken."

Ken shook his head and bit his lip slightly. "That's not what I meant. I just think you need to restore your confidence, that's all."

Daisuke rocked into an upright position. "So what's your idea?"

"You mentioned a dance?"

. + .

Odaiba Elementary had a dance every year, called "Kiss and Tell," by administrators who liked the way the English phrase sounded, and who found it sweet and innocent in a way that American parents would only boggle at. Only the older students were permitted to attend, and exclusive dating and fancy dress were strongly discouraged. "Kiss and Tell 2001: Friendly Greetings To You" was the official theme. Miyako had been on the committee that decided the theme, and it was decided that the schoolchildren would be permitted to bring guests from other schools, as a way of expanding horizons and increasing juvenile civility. Each child would be allowed to bring one guest, so long as that person had been cleared with the school beforehand.

Naturally, when Daisuke submitted Ken's name, he didn't even need to be vetted. His name was instantly recognized by the teacher's liaison who was coordinating the whole affair, and soon the whole school was abuzz with the fact that the famous Ken Ichijuoji was condescending to attend the humble event. Miyako was one of the first to find out, naturally, and so she called up Daisuke immediately to thank...er, congratulate him for such a good idea.

"I'm glad that you are still coming," she said. "I thought that you might try to avoid the whole thing after--" She coughed. "Well, you know."

Daisuke smiled into the receiver. "It's not a big deal, really." Ken's advice had been to put on a brave face, to show the world that Daisuke Motomiya was not to be stopped by such insignificant things as one girl's rejection. "Actually I'm feeling pretty popular right now. First TK, then Ken..." He laughed, a bit thinnly. "Okay. I know that's pathetic."

"Will you still be coming with all of us?" Miyako twirled the phone cord around one index finger.

"Of course." This was all a part of Ken's plan. Hikari would see Daisuke unbowed and unbroken, holding court with the famous Ken Ichijouji, and would realize what she was missing out on. Ken had argued that this would make him feel better. Ken had promised that it would help him save face. Ken had pointed out that it would be fun, perhaps, to let Hikari get a little sense of what she had lost.

Daisuke secretly believed it would make Hikari see him in a new light.

Miyako brightened at Daisuke's reply, leaning back to settle in for a juicy and hopefully informative call. "So.... Ken. Do you know what he'll be wearing?"