Author's notes: This is a collaboration of unrelated stories about the relationships between Hikari and Takeru. However, since the two are frequently surrounded by friends or other Chosen, I decided not to exclude the people that are a part of their daily lives. I think it makes it cuter, seeing the little moments that occur when other people are around in comparison to when they're all alone. Things are different.
I'm not sure I really like the ending to this, the idea was better than what came out in my opinion. But hey, my avid readers, why don't you tell me yours? And give me an idea for the next drabble, I like prompts.
Watching The Clouds Go By
Six teenage children lay on their backs, surrounded as far as their eyes could see by gently rolling hills of pinks, purples, and greens. Occasionally, a small tree had sprouted up, but they were few and far between and did little to disturb the scenery. The sky was bright robin's egg blue, spotted with fluffy white clouds that were lazily drifting across the digital sky.
"It's a bunny," came Miyako's voice from beside Iori. Ken was on her other side, though over a yard away. Then came Daisuke and Hikari. Takeru completed the oddly spaced circle. Their respective digital partners were playing together a small way away, their laughter carrying to the Chosen Children on the wind.
""How the heck do you get a stupid rabbit," Daisuke demanded, propping himself up on his elbow in order to get a better look at her. Someone groaned. It had been two years since they had traveled to the digital world to fight, since their home away from home had been saved by the combined efforts of Oikawa and the world's children. But just because time had passed, didn't mean things had changed.
"Well then, what do you think it is, Gogglehead," Miyako snapped, her old temper flaring. Takeru turned his head to grin at Hikari, who had sighed loudly.
"I thought it was getting a bit quiet," he said just quietly enough for only her to hear. Daisuke, on her other side, was bickering too loudly with Miyako to notice the exchange. Hikari giggled, although a little reluctantly. So much for that relaxing afternoon in the digital world.
"It's a greymon, obviously," Daisuke retorted, rolling his eyes as though this were obvious. Takeru laughed outright, though Hikari merely bit her lip and sat up. The others quickly followed suit, watching the debate like a tennis match with vague interest. Back and forth and back and forth went the volley of comments between Miyako and Daisuke. They'd been getting kind of bored with the whole 'staring at the sky for an hour' idea anyways.
"A greymon." Miyako clearly wasn't convinced. She was sitting, cross-legged and facing the dark-haired boy with her eyebrows raised and her expression skeptical. Iori was watching her warily, as though afraid she'd suddenly get bored of this argument and just chuck something at Daisuke. Ken seemed to be thinking the same thing, but it was clear from the confused expression on his face that he didn't know how to rectify the situation either. Restrain the best friend, or the girlfriend? Either way, he'd catch crap for it and they all knew it. Hence why no one else had interfered yet either. Hikari was watching silently, frowning as her eyes flickered from one friend to the other. This was so usual for them, she didn't think it was worth interfering. They'd just be resentful and bicker even more later. Taichi always told her to let them get it out of their systems and only get involved if it gets violent. But that proved to be a lot easier said than done, in her opinion.
A tap on her shoulder made her jump. Takeru, on hands and knees, had silently crawled over to where she sat while she wasn't paying attention. He smiled at her before jerking his head in the direction of where the digimon were playing. Her eyes followed his nod, confused, and then returned to his face. She cocked her head slightly to one side, questioning. She'd never been good at guessing games, which he knew only too well. He couldn't hold back a snicker before sighing, half-grinning at her. Which, by the way, completely baffled her considering she didn't really think the situation was smirk-worthy. Miyako had just shouted something about Daisuke being an unobservant squirrel with the brain of a tennis ball. Uh-oh.
"I asked Tentomon to guard the food," he confessed quietly. She allowed herself a small smile. He was offering her an escape from the banter, which was increasing in volume and decreasing in maturity by the second. He looked very proud of himself too, eyes gleaming with his little secret.
"I am not an idiot! Just because you're blind, you four-eyed..."
"I am getting hungry," Hikari said quietly, and Takeru chuckled as he helped her climb to her feet. And then they proceeded to wander towards their digital companions, abandoning the fight in favor for some quieter left chaperoning the argument to Ken and Iori, who could more-or-less hold Daisuke and Miyako back if things got...well, physical. She glanced quickly over her shoulder, her expression skeptical, before facing forward again. "Are you sure they'll be okay?"
"Positive," Takeru replied confidently. They spoke in normal volumes now that they weren't in danger of the yelling being redirected towards them. They lapsed into a comfortable silence, walking side by side with little space between them. Hikari really wasn't much of a talker, despite her willingness to talk if approached with a conversation. And Takeru never pressed that unless he really had something to say. However, he did let out a shout and wave when the digimon were in sight. Hikari giggled and did the same, laughing as Tailmon ran up to her and leaped into her waiting arms. Patamon flew to Takeru, who caught the orange-and-tan digimon with a grin and nuzzled his face into his side.
"So where's that food," Hikari asked, feeling suddenly ravenous. Food had been the farthest thing from her mind while the group had been in easy silence, watching the digital sky in peace. But now, she felt as if she'd never eaten in all her life and would implode if she didn't get substance soon. She couldn't help but smile. It was so hard to be really serious around their digimon friends, especially now that they weren't battle companions. They were just friends. Very rambunctious, energetic, and seemingly care-free friends. Takeru looked at Tentomon expectantly, who responded with an affronted tone. Hikari wondered if the question offended him, as though it implied he had not done as he had promised Takeru.
"It's right where you left it. I didn't let them so much as lay a single finger on the basket," he said, sounding ruffled. Hikari bit her lip to stop herself from giggling, though Tailmon mumbled something about being a goodie two shoes (she suspected that was for Tentomon.). Hikari merely grinned to herself, failing miserably at hiding it from Tailmon. She had a feeling she knew who "they" were, and that Tailmon had just possibly been their ring leader. It wouldn't be the first time, anyway.
"Thanks Tentomon," Takeru said cheerfully, as though he was completely unaware of the offense the digimon had taken. Sometimes it was easier than trying to rectify every little offense they took. Especially Tentomon, who's pride was easily threatened. Grinning broadly in a way that reminded her of a giddy school boy, Takeru began leading the way to where he had stashed his sweets and drinks. That was Takeru, Hikari supposed. She, too, thanked Koushiro's partner before following after and peering over Takeru's shoulder curiously at the basket's contents.
"When did you find time to make this," she asked, eyebrows raised in surprise. He had had a paper to write the previous evening, she remembered, because she'd been texting him for a good hour before he had insisted he needed to concentrate if he wanted to sleep at all that night. But here she saw sushi rolls, California rolls (for Hawkmon, who'd developed a strange fondness for the things), ohagi and rice balls. She stared at him in wonder, but he only laughed and handed her a rice ball. She took it without complaint, but stared at the thing cupped in her hands.
"I didn't poison it," he teased her, sitting himself down next to the basket. She did the same, so the wicker basket was between the two. Fearing she had offended him, she nibbled on the top. She had to admit, it was very good. She felt bad for being skeptical about eating it. Still, her next bite was another small one as though she felt like the taste might change if she ate too much at once. He laughed at her bemused expression, eating his own in large bites.
"You didn't have a paper," she said suddenly, looking up at him. It wasn't a question, but a simple statement of fact. She used the same tone one would use to discuss the weather. The corners of his mouth twitched upward, but he kept eating and Hikari frowned. She wasn't going to get an answer, she realized. And she didn't try to press for one, knowing it wouldn't happen. But that didn't mean she didn't bother pretending she wasn't a little put off as she finished her rice ball in silence, grabbing a can of cola from the basket to wash it down with.
"Are you angry," he asked after a few minutes, looking at the brunette with a small frown. Hikari shook her head, but she was frowning too. A thoughtful frown that Takeru didn't like. He grabbed the basket handle, as though to move it, but seemed to reconsider and extracted another rice ball instead. Hikari pretended not to notice.
"I didn't call you because I was worried I'd disturb you," she said slowly before sinking her teeth into a California roll. She drew out the process, taking much more time to bite and chew and swallow than normally would have been necessary for such a small food. And when she had swallowed, she waited another long moment before speaking again. "I wanted to wish you luck on your paper, but I wished for it before bed instead." Her voice was quiet, even for she who was always soft spoken when speaking her thoughts.
"I'm sorry," Takeru murmured, and he leaned over the basket to place a hand on her shoulder. Hikari blinked and raised her head so she was looking into his eyes. Bright, intelligent blue eyes. She blinked again. She'd never noticed there was a hint of silver around their edges before, and wondered why she noticed it now. "I didn't think anything of it. I just wanted this to be a surprise," he explained. His voice was pleading softly with her, asking her forgiveness without directly expressing the wish. Hikari remained silent. "I didn't think anyone would question it. We are in junior high, papers are normal... I'm really sorry, Hikari-chan."
She shook herself out of her reverie, which she blamed on the sudden discovery of silver mixed with blue, and smiled softly. She shook her head quickly, and pulled out another cola to toss to him. He caught it, looking baffled. And then he understood. She meant there had been no harm done, all was forgiven. "Don't worry about it," she said with an indifferent shrug. The initial shock of her understanding had worn off, and she now accepted it as no big deal. Well, sort of. She was touched, and couldn't help but smile. Takeru wasn't exactly a cook, though he had learned a thing or two from Yamato. It must have taken him a lot of time to put this meal together for all of them. "I think it's sweet."
Popping his soda open with a snap of the top, Takeru grinned. Hikari couldn't help herself but let a giggle escape. It sounded girlish and a little strange coming from her, but Takeru's grin only widened at the sound of it. He looked like such an excited little kid when he smiled like that. Like her laughing had brightened his day unlike anything else... Living in the moment. She wondered how he could do that. She was forever looking back, with her 20/20 hindsight, and wondering "what if". And then Takeru came along, grinning and laughing about some stray dog that he'd seen on the way to school, and she wondered why she bothered.
The rest of their little picnic wasn't very eventful. The best friends traded stories about school, basketball practice, dance team, journalism, photography.... The conversation just flowed, like it was rehearsed. Hikari loved how natural it was, talking with Takeru. It was like talking to her brother, or Miyako. Few people could keep her talking for so long without her longing for a way to escape for a couple minutes or divert their attention elsewhere. She longed for it to last forever, but that would be unrealistic. Hikari was nothing if not realistic, however depressing it could be. So she clung to the last few moments of her one-on-one time with Takeru for as long as she could, taking mental snap shots so the memory would stay with her.
They could no longer hear the sounds of Miyako and Daisuke's bantering, which to them signaled that it was time to rejoin their know, make sure no blood was drawn, the usual. Actually, the silence disturbed her, and she made a point to bring it up. "That's...Ha, very true," Takeru agreed with a weak laugh, running his hand through his messy blond hair. They started moving faster after that. As the Digimon had gotten a bit bored and returned to their games shortly after their arrival, Takeru collected their trash and tipped it into the basket before flipping the lid shut. A few hungry hopefuls peered over at them, pausing once again in the midst of their game, and Hikari laughed.
"Go ahead. We can just blame you if the others are hungry." They took Hikari's open invitation with gusto, tackling the basket and forcing the lid open before the baby digimon dived inside to explore its contents. She and Takeru exchanged glances before bursting out in laughter.
"Daisuke will be mad that we wandered off together," Takeru felt the need to point out as they began making their way back to the group. Hikari shrugged and nodded. She wasn't sure if the thought amused her, or annoyed her. She didn't like how Daisuke always picked fights with Takeru, despite the fact that he had openly admitted Takeru was one of his best friends. She sighed. Maybe it was a guy thing. She was beginning to give up hoping to understand them, after Taichi's several failed attempts to get her to see the world through their eyes. It was like thinking like a dog...You know, that could talk and eat chili fries.
"If he noticed. Those two can argue for a long time," she pointed out. Takeru nodded. That was true, too. He turned his head and fixed her with a long look, a smirk slowly spreading across his face. She blinked, returning the look with suspicion. That look was one she rarely saw on anyone besides Yamato and Taichi, and it never exactly boded well. "What?"
Takeru laughed, grabbing her hand. She blinked again in surprise before she was yanked along. She stumbled before catching her balance, a laugh escaping her lips as she ran to keep up and to keep from falling again. "Let's go!"
"I'm going, I'm going," she laughed, only a few steps behind him. They didn't slow to a walk till they were maybe five or so yards from their friends. The old argument was still going, but with less enthusiasm than when they left. Iori rolled his eyes when he caught their eyes, and sighed. Ken had returned his focus to the clouds above.
" Where'd you two disappear to," Miyako demanded when she spotted them, cutting off whatever Daisuke had been about to say. He twisted around, cocking his head at Takeru and Hikari.
"We just went to check on the digimon," Takeru shrugged, as though that were obvious. Hikari dimly noted he didn't mention the food. He probably suspected there would be none left for the others by the time their digimon were satisfied, and it was a theory she was prepared to agree with.
"Oh really," Daisuke asked skeptically, raising his eyebrows doubtfully. Hikari nodded silently, confused. What was that look about? But then she realized where all four sets of eyes were looking, and followed their gaze herself. Her eyes widened slightly in surprise as understanding replaced confusion. Now she understood the smirk on Miyako's face, the knowing smiles on Ken's and Iori's, and the suspicious hurt on Daisuke's.
Takeru's fingers were still entwined with hers.