Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon. Stop asking me if you can have joint custody!

A/N - This takes place during the summer before Taichi, Yamato, and Sora go to college. It's a scary little fic about Hikari trying to commit suicide. Don't read this if this topic offends you. Well, offends you a lot at least. Um, it was just something off the top of my head, but I didn't do that badly. Please R&R.

Ages:

Jyou - 19

Taichi, Yamato, Sora - 18

Koushiro, Mimi - 17

Miyako, Ken - 15

Takeru, Hikari, Daisuke - 14

Iori - 11

Not all these characters are in the fic.

PLAYING HERO

By: Softball Chicks

(Nozoru-Sakka)

Takeru looked at the small frame of his girlfriend, lying asleep in his arms. He closed his eyes, letting himself relax for the first time in nearly a week. 'What if she wasn't all right?' he thought weakly, hugging her a little closer. 'What if I hadn't gotten there in time?' He shivered, the thought of losing her too realistic to ponder the what ifs. But the thoughts remained in his memory. And hers.

* * * * * *

"Hey, Hikari, what's up?" A cheerful, blond boy caught up to his best friend.

Hikari Kamiya snapped out of her trance. "Oh, hi, Takeru."

'She doesn't look right,' Takeru immediately realized. "What's wrong?" he asked, stopping the girl before she could go any farther.

"Nothing," she lied nervously. 'I'm just madly in love with you, but I can't ever tell you because my stupid brother forbids it,' she thought grimly. 'And I tried to slit my wrists yesterday. That's why I'm wearing long sleeves, so no one can see the scars.' What Hikari didn't realize was that her sleeves were pushed up just enough for her best friend to see marks.

"What the—" Takeru pulled up her shirt sleeve to reveal long gashes on the soft part on her arm. "Hikari, what……… what happened?"

Hikari gulped nervously. "Would you believe I had an accident with a butter knife?"

"Butcher knife is more like it," Takeru spat. "You tried to slit your wrists?"

The tears started to come again, burning just as much as last time. "So what if I did?" she demanded, wrenching her arms away from the boy. "It's no one's business but my own. You don't understand."

"Then make me," he ordered, putting his hand on her shoulder. "I wouldn't let evil digimon take you without a fight, and I'm not going to let you take your own life without a fight. Why are you doing this?"

"I can't……… I can't tell you. Just trust me on this. It's not my fault." With that, Hikari jerked out of his grasp and tore off.

"What's the matter with her?" Takeru wondered aloud.

A small brunette watched his friend run away, tears pouring down her cheeks. His heart broke for her. If anything, he knew exactly what was going on. For this little boy could read her mind.

* * * * * *

"Takeru, we need to talk." Iori Hida paced around the Takaishi's apartment, looking extremely serious, so serious that Takeru had to listen.

"What's the matter, kid?" the older boy asked, putting down his latest attempt at poetry.

"Takeru, there's something you need to know about me. I can read your mind. And Hikari's. I know what's wrong with her."

Takeru dropped his pencil. "What, Iori?"

The younger child looked pained. "I can't tell you, Takeru. You need to figure it out. But you'd better keep a close eye on her tonight. If I were you, I'd look for her someplace where she could, um, kill herself."

"What are you talking about, Cody?" the blond demanded, inadvertently calling the small boy by his baby name.

Iori looked pained. "Takeru, I'm not Cody anymore. You know it brings back bad memories. I'm only telling you to go to the bridge. And I know you know what bridge to go to."

Takeru stared at his friend for mere moments before kissing him atop the head and running out of the house, into the pouring rain. "You're the best, Iori!" he called over his shoulder.

Iori looked woefully after the boy. "I hope you get her, Takeru. I hope you're happy." He picked up the pieces of his broken heart and left Takeru's apartment.

* * * * * *

Takeru was blinded by rain as he raced to the bridge. 'I only hope I'm not too late,' he silently prayed. Suddenly he froze upon seeing the thin frame of a girl sitting on the bridge. The thing is, it wasn't really a bridge. It was more like a metal plank stretching across a river. It was called Suicide Bridge amongst the teens because that was what happened on it. It was supposed to be a walking bridge, but it didn't work as one. It was too thin.

"Hikari! Oh, God, get off there."

Hikari turned to face him, her eyes narrowed dangerously. "Don't stop me, Takeru. Don't even try. It's my decision."

But Takeru was already climbing up the bridge to her. "Hikari, Kari, come on, stay here."

"I'm not Kari anymore, no more than you're TK."

"Maybe it'll help. Please, Kari, you can call me TK. Just please don't jump."

"Too late." With that, she leaned forward, pitching towards the black river.

* * * * * *

Iori's head snapped up. "Oh, Takeru, you'd better save her. I can't bear to see you hurt." His body quivered with internal sobs. He knew exactly what was going on. Why didn't he speak up when he had the chance? 'If I love him so much, why won't I help him? Oh, Takeru, I love you. Please save her. You can't be hurt again.' The little boy began to cry. "Please don't let her die," he prayed aloud, his body shaking vigorously. His forehead was burning up; this pressure was making him sick. 'Don't let her die,' he repeated silently before fainting dead away.

* * * * * *

"Kari!" Takeru yelled, reaching down and managing to grab her shirt just before he lost her to the icy depths.

"Takeru, let me go. You're going to kill yourself trying to save me," she screamed, as he began to slip off the bridge, grasping the cold, slippery railing.

"I'm not letting you fall," he protested, rain pelting down on him, causing his grip to falter.

"Takeru, I'm losing my shirt." The blond started to blush, just at the sheer embarrassment of that comment.

"I'm not going to let go, Kari," he insisted, spitting out rain water as he spoke. Suddenly her shirt slid off. For a brief second, she seemed to hang in mid-air. Takeru dropped the shirt and grabbed her arm, trying not to look at her, for fear his discomfort would cause him to lose hold of the girl.

Hikari tried in vain to catch her shirt, but failed. "Takeru, don't drop me," she whispered, her voice barely heard over the roaring winds.

The boy's face broke into a smile. "I won't, Kari. I won't." Without even realizing it, he kept calling her by her childhood name. She hadn't been called Kari since their adventures in the digital world.

Gathering all his strength, Takeru swung his legs around to sit back on the metal plank, his only lifeline. But he slid around. Now he was just holding on by his legs, upside-down, his and Hikari's lives riding on his lower body strength.

Luckily he had been working out. "Kari, climb up me," he ordered. "You need to get up there and pull me up."

The small girl nodded bravely. She tried fruitlessly, and Takeru nearly lost his grip. "Help," she begged. It was that simple word that gave him just a little extra strength.

The young man collected his energy one last time to boost his friend up an extra few inches, giving her the height she needed to pull herself up. Reaching down, she clutched Takeru's hand and yanked hard, hard enough for him to swing back around. Breathless and panting, they began to slide across the bar until the reached the end, where they climbed down.

Takeru pulled his jacket off and wrapped it around his young friend. Hugging to herself gratefully, she looked up at him with admiration. "You didn't have to do that, Takeru," she reminded him.

"Yes, I did. You're my best friend, Kari. You should have told me something was wrong. I could have helped you. You didn't have to resort to this." He instinctively brushed some loose bangs out of her eyes.

"Takeru, why'd you really do it?"

Suddenly, the boy became very nervous. "Aw, Hikari, why do you think?" he demanded coarsely. "Kari, I… I love you. I've loved you for years."

Hikari's breath caught in her throat. "Takeru, I… don't know what to say. I've loved you since I met you. But Taichi's completely forbidden it."

"Does he have to know?"

She looked like she was pondering that for a minute. Takeru took advantage of the moment to lean in and kiss her lightly on the lips. She was so shocked that she pulled back immediately and slapped him. His eyes widened, and he brought his hand to his cheek. "And that was for…?" he prompted.

Instead of answering, she grabbed his shirt collar and pulled his face close to hers. Pressing her lips against his, she noticed the way his eyes nearly doubled in size, then closed dreamily. "Sorry," she whispered as they separated.

"No harm done," the boy remarked.

"I guess Taichi doesn't really have to know."

"But Iori does," commented a tiny voice from the shadows.

Both teens spun around to see the young boy smirking at them, with a rather far-off look on his boyish face. "Guess you deserve to know," Takeru admitted. "Thanks, Cody," he added, calling the brunette by his baby name again.

"Don't mention it. And Takeru?"

"Yeah?"

"Don't call me Cody. I'm Iori."

"Got it."

"Later, guys." With that, he sauntered away, the rain plastering his hair to his forehead.

Hikari looked at her new boyfriend shyly for a moment. "Thanks… TK."

Takeru smiled at the sound of his kid name. "No problem, Kari." He kissed her again to see that she was relishing every second of it.

"Maybe I'll tell Taichi when he goes to college," she decided.

"Sounds like a plan," her friend remarked.

He walked her home, making sure she wouldn't run off and do something stupid. "See you tomorrow, TK," Hikari said dejectedly.

"Okay. Bye." He pecked her on the cheek quickly, careful not to get caught by her brother, and strolled off. The rain had lessened, and the mist was sparkling in the moonlight. 'What a night,' he thought, exhausted. 'Guess I finally got to play hero.'

* * * * * *

'Oh, Hikari, I don't know what I would have done without you,' he mused silently, twirling his girlfriend's hair around his fingers as he cradled her gently in his arms. 'I love you so much.'

Hikari raised her head at his thoughts and planted a kiss on his waiting lips. "Thanks, TK," she murmured. "I'm glad you saved my life."

"Don't mention it. I'm just glad I got there in time."

"I'm sorry." It was the first time she'd apologized for her suicide attempt.

"Don't worry, kid. I still love you."

"And I you."

A/N - Wow, I can't believe that turned out the way it did. I get the worst ideas sometimes. Well, please review. Criticism appreciated, flames allowed, and compliments worshipped. Thanks.