a/n: I don't own Digimon.

Digimon used to be a huge part of my lifeā€¦ when I was around eleven and I still love it until now. Takari will always be one of my favorite ships, and this is my tribute (sort of) to how much I loved and still love them. :) This story is basically a chronological collection of events in their love story (according to me) that is mostly from Takeru's point of view. This also doubles as a Takeru coming-of-age story.

My writing tends to be choppy and jump from one scene to another so I apologize in advance. Also, there are references to episode 13 of 02 (His Master's Voice) in a scene found in this chapter :)

i. beginnings

He first met her when he was nine, and the first thing he thought was how she looked nothing like her brother. Yamato said that was a good thing, and he thought so too.

He picked out a flower and gave it to her that one time. It turned out it was more of a weed than a flower. They both laughed.

It was one of their earliest memories.

Looking back, it still made his ears turn red.

When he was eleven, he technically lived 3 miles from where she lived (he counted). Some days, they would talk on the phone. Some days, they wouldn't. Some days, he'd pass by the train terminal and check how much the route from Shibuya to Odaiba will cost. He was slowly filling up a piggy back for the cause.

He had heard that they were moving back to Odaiba around halfway through the completion of his collection. He was glad but didn't really know what to do with all the money he had saved up.

He thought he ought to get her something nice.

She says he grew taller when he sees her again. He blushes a little, runs his hand through his blonde hair, and thinks about how he couldn't really see the top of her head when they were kids.

He sees it now, and he likes the view.

He wants to say that she looks nice, that the years have treated her well, but he's not really sure it's appropriate. Also, there's this guy a few feet behind her that looks like he just might be fuming. He smiles instead, saying it's been a while.

He's missed her, a lot. (but he doesn't know how to really say that)

It was that morning he fell out of bed with his sheets snaked around his legs that probably changed everything. It was 4 am and the sun was barely peeking out from the gray swirl of clouds outside his window, but he was wide awake, beads of sweat trailing down the sides of his face.

He had a dream and it unsettled him. And that's odd, considering he's never really bothered with his dreams before. Because up until that morning, his dreams only had fading white feathers, video game controllers, and a snippet of a family life lost to him.

He never really dreamt about hazel hair before, about the sound of a camera clicking constantly a few feet from him, or about faint pink lips brushing against his. He thinks for a bit, about how Hikari would take knowing about this newfound development. He stops, because even he doesn't know what to make of it.

He thinks he likes her. He's not really sure what to do about that.

They've got a good thing going, the two of them. He likes the way she settles beside him most of the time and the way he can talk to her about anything with ease.

He thinks that's not necessarily how all the great love stories are, but he's pretty sure that's how the honest ones go. He's kind of optimistic like that.

When all of a sudden she acts funny, he doesn't really know what to do.

He wonders if this is how it is when you like someone, like your heart is jumping every second and your eyes are permanently glued to her back. He's the only one who notices that there's something different about her - how her eyes seem blank, its usual sparkle gone.

And when he confronts her by the schoolyard and the harsh words slip out of his tongue (because he cares about her, and saw something wrong with the picture he was seeing), he's a little heartbroken she walks away.

He was more than a little scared when he heard she was missing, afraid more than anything that she was gone because of something he said.

Soon, he finds himself along the riverbed, screaming her name as Patamon and Gatomon follow the suit. He doesn't really mind that he looks a little crazy, losing his breath over what seems to be something intangible. He's hanging on to a little hope that maybe, just maybe, there was this invisible string that connected them, and that it'd help.

Hoping. He was good at that.

Most of the time it paid off, and thankfully, this was one of those times.

It was just one of those moments - those moments he thought that there had to be something between the two of them for sure. Because at that time he shouted out her name, from another place far far away, she called out his.

He couldn't help but think of destiny as he darted through the mysterious gate that appeared before him. And he couldn't help but think that he would save her, because she called out his name the exact same moment he called out hers, and that meant something. Something so special to him he couldn't bear lose her. Not ever.

He spots her almost immediately, and she's the lone bright light in that bleak monochrome world. His heart swells with something he's not too familiar with - something called, well, you know?

(He doesn't exactly save her, but he'd like to think he helped.)

On the road back home, she thanks him and he flashes her a smile.

"I care, you know?" he says. It sort of just slips out, because it was a long day and now, it's over.

She seems a little taken aback, but then she too flashes him a wide smile, "I care too, a lot."

He smiles to himself when he hears that, making his way through the almost empty Odaiba streets with her on his left. It's quiet, but it's a comfortable silence.

This is nice, he thinks to himself as he buried his hands in his pockets.

His blue eyes catch a glimpse of her windblown hazel hair, and suddenly, his mind refers to her as the girl he loves. He thinks that's just about right.

One day in the middle of summer, she drags him off to a convenience store to buy some cold drinks.

Ever meticulous, he slouches down in front of the refrigerator and tries to choose among the countless cold fruit juices standing on the bottom rack. She bends over him, deliberating on which brand of canned coffee to take, and the ends of her shirt touches the back of his neck, making his skin crawl.

At that particular moment, even with the cool refrigerator air blowing against his face, he couldn't help but feel warm.

He didn't really think that she noticed. Surely, there was nothing odd about him impulsively grabbing a can of prune juice (by mistake!). There was definitely nothing wrong about him shooting past her to run towards the counter. And definitely, there was nothing weird about his ears being an odd shade of pink.

When they were finally out the store, she suddenly bursts out laughing and he feels his ears go from that odd shade of pink to scarlet red. And as if the summer wasn't hot enough, now, he was scorching.

She's eyeing him funny but he doesn't really notice (and if he did, he'd see there was a mischievous glint in her eye).

Out of the blue, she kisses him.

It was quick, chaste, and the kind of kiss those little kindergarten sweethearts would give each other. It was so fleeting that it could have even been yet another side effect of the blazing sun (but it wasn't).

On that hot summer day, outside a 24 hour convenience store, with a plastic bag of canned juices and coffee in his grasp, something was beginning.

(and little did they know how it would end, or if it would.)

There's this phase he goes through where he keeps on writing her name on his notebook. He's kind of embarrassed to admit it but it might have included tiny hearts, his name to accompany hers, and some badly composed poems about his love for her.

He tells his brother about this and he laughs for two straight minutes before he gasps to catch his breath. Yamato tells him how much of an innocent lovestruck kid he still was. He denied it, but didn't really convince Yamato (and the cheesy poems didn't really help).

It was even worse when she tried to borrow his notes.

He swore she caught a glimpse of it. That knowing smirk accompanied by the batting of her eyelashes had to mean something.

They're officially going out a bit after the whole digital world mess is over. They tell everyone over some celebratory dinner in some noodle shop Davis likes so much.

She nudges him to just say it, and he fumbles with the words a little but manages to spill the beans anyway. They're both beaming.

They're met with a warm reception of hugs and wolf whistles (even by Davis! he's shocked by this, she's not), but most of them said it was expected. Patamon, who was comfortably settled on the top of his head, chuckled and was about to reveal some embarrassing secret of his before he cut the Digimon off.

They held hands almost the entire night, and while he still wasn't all that used to it, he thought it was pleasant. He didn't really like the feeling of people looking, but he did like holding her hand in his.

(He apologized to her via text message about his sweaty palms after the whole thing was over.

She called him that night, just to laugh at him.)

He thought it was kind of ludicrous when his mother suggested that he should start writing. You've gone through a lot of things, have known a side of a story no one's ever known, and at the age of 14 has gotten more excitement in life than most men at 40. I'd write a book about that, she said, albeit jokingly.

Still, ridiculous as the idea was, it didn't stop him from lying awake at night with only his desk lamp on as a light source, thinking maybe he should.

There were a lot of things to tell, and these moments were still fresh in his mind. After all, who else could be more honest about something than a boy at 14?

He starts writing more as an experiment than a goal, and surprisingly, the words come more quickly that he thought it would. It's actually rather refreshing to get some thoughts on paper. That is why on most of his free nights, he starts to sit in front of his computer screen as some words just spill out, and a fragment of his personal history is recorded.

Some things he would like to write about are harder. He's always been a little more reserved than the average guy and things that involved his emotions were a difficult ground to tackle. He doesn't know how to describe Angemon's death, the fact that he never really knew his father, or the anger he feels whenever there evil things try to tip the balance.

He's sure he would like to write a chapter about her one day (he's not ready yet - it'd probably turn out a like bad cheesy romance novel). It's probably one that would never be critically acclaimed for the lack of realism and over the top romantic luster. Probably.

But he'd probably like it anyway.

She gets him this book he's always wanted (in first edition too!) for their seventh month-sary. It totally beats his gift (a cd she mentioned she wanted in passing), and he has mixed feelings about it.

He wanted to be the one that wowed her.

For this said month-sary, they're eating in this new restaurant on the shopping district. It's never quiet in the shopping district (far from romantic) but he read that they had both good food and service. Thankfully, the restaurant had just the right romantic ambiance with its old-fashioned tunes and warm color palette. He immediately likes the place and he can tell Hikari does too, so he's kind of glad he actually leafed through that dating guide Yamato left lying around in his room.

"Do you want dessert?" he asks with his trademark boyish smile as he held up the menu of the restaurant pointing at some picture of pudding, just fancified.

"Do you even need to ask?" she says with a wink then points to another image of yet another fanciful sweet treat, "We totally have to share that one."

After he orders, he lays the menu down on their table, and then meets his eyes with hers. She goes a little pink because those blue eyes of his are staring at her quite intensely - but then again Takeru's gaze was often intense. Always honest, often serious. She's always liked that about him.

"Thanks for the book. It's perfect." he says. You're perfect, he wants to say.

"This is perfect." she whispers shyly, because it was an incredibly cheesy and embarrassing thing to say, boyfriend or not.

He catches it though, and wonders how she manages to say the right things all of the time.

Their dessert arrives after a short while, served on a fancy ceramic plate that kind of gleamed. The two of them just stare at it for a while, seemingly unable to touch it (because it looked too pretty to be eaten, and it sparkled!). The moment they do though, their forks meet with a resounding clang.

They both look up at this, and then start laughing.

In that new restaurant, in the middle of the bustling shopping district, during their seventh month-sary, with their forks bumping against another with a resounding clang, everything was perfect.

(It didn't even really matter that she totally upstaged him with her anniversary gift, not really.)

He's written a little about her, descriptions and snippets here and there, but he always clicks backspace in the end.

He doesn't think he does her justice.

(It's kind of sad because he's both her best friend and her boyfriend, but he's pretty sure he doesn't really understand her all that well. But he wants to, he really does.)

To be continued.