Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon.
A/N: I'm back again with a new story, and yes it is an FTFOD oneshot, though it's a little different than any other FTFOD oneshot (whether it was written by me or another writer on this site) than any that all of you have seen so far. This story actually takes place ten years after FTFOD, and it features some of the FTFOD characters in the future.
Now, this story does not give away any FTFOD spoilers, unless you count the fact that you will know whether or not FTFOD ended with a victory for the humans or with a victory for Vampiramon, but really, if you know anything about my writing you should already know the answer to that question! Everything in this story is new stuff that will not be in FTFOD and it is stuff you would otherwise have no way of knowing if I hadn't written this oneshot, simply because it takes place quite far into the future. There is only one thing in this fic that does affect FTFOD and it's something I was able to cleverly add without giving it away.
But, I am placing a spoiler warning here just in case for those of you who might want to play it safe. Again, you do not actually have to read FTFOD to enjoy this story, but I would be very happy if you did, of course! If everyone likes this fic, I may consider doing more like it in the future.
Next week I will be posting a new FTFOD chapter. This is to make up for the wait!
Lounging comfortably on top of an old picnic table at the park located right next to the elementary school, her chin resting gently in her hands and her pink and white roller blades cutting into the already scarred surface of the front bench bolted to the picnic table, though both benches were in pretty bad shape, sixteen year old Yurina Takaishi smiled warmly at a group of young kids playing with a soccer ball near the swings, one child in particular catching her attention.
With honey-coloured hair and big blue eyes, the young elementary school student waved to her, shouting her name, and laughing she called out, "Hey, kiddo, what are you doing here?"
"Mom and Dad said I could play at the park with my friends until it was time to go to your house for dinner tonight. Oh wait! I wasn't supposed to tell you that!"
Shaking her head, Rina smiled in amusement, and shrugging her shoulders she shouted back, "Don't worry about it! I already know what's going on! Matty spilled the beans to me earlier. Accidentally, of course. At least, he says it was an accident. You know Matty, he can't keep anything a secret. He's worse than Mickey!"
"As long as you don't tell everyone it was me!"
"Only if you promise not to tell everyone I know! Even Mickey and my parents don't know Matty told me, so it'll be our little secret!"
"And be careful, would you? You're going to sprain your ankle doing stuff like that."
"Now you're starting to sound like my big brother. If being old means you have to be stuffy then I want to stay a kid forever!"
Crossing her arms over her chest, Rina glared indignantly at the blue-eyed child, whose tongue was sticking out at her, and waving her bag threateningly in the air she shouted, "Hey, who are you calling old? Come over here and say that to my face!"
"No way! I'm not that stupid!" her small companion gleefully shouted across the field to her, taking a few steps back for emphasis. "You should see your face, Rina. It's all red! I'm just kidding, you know."
"Sure you are. Go on, get out of here. Your friends look like they're getting impatient. I'll see you back at the house, okay?"
"Only if there's lots of food!"
"You already eat enough to feed three people! Go, play with your friends. I don't want them getting on my case for holding up your game."
"Yeah, I have to be home by dinner," a young boy with black hair complained.
"Me too!" a girl with curly-blond hair piped up, hopping up and down to get her blue-eyed friend's attention.
"I know! Just give me a minute, would you? Well, I guess this means I'll talk to you later, Rina. Happy Birthday!"
Rina waved in acknowledgement, indicating she had gotten the message, and watching the group of young children resume their game of soccer, she proceeded to gaze thoughtfully at the bright blue sky looming over the busy streets of Odaiba.
With her mother's medium-length dark brown hair and her father's sparkling blue eyes, Rina was well aware of the fact that she didn't really look her age, but despite her young appearance, today was in fact her sixteenth birthday, and thanks to Matty, she knew her family, her friends, all of the Digidestined, young and old, and their families were currently planning a surprise party back at her house right at that very moment, and the reason she was hanging out at the park was because she had promised her long time friend and secret crush, seventeen year old Nao Ichijouji, that she would meet him there after school, much to what had been obvious relief on his part.
Clearly Nao had asked her to meet him at the park that afternoon because he had agreed to take on the role of distracting her long enough for her family to get the surprise party up and running, and although she felt sorry for him for being stuck with such a difficult task, since she wasn't the type to get distracted easily, she still couldn't help feeling mildly amused by his current predicament. After all, he did not yet know she was aware of the surprise party being held in her honour, which meant she had a little surprise of her own.
So much for keeping it a secret. Sorry, kiddo, but this opportunity is just too good to pass up!
Which meant it was time to have a little fun.
Poor Nao. He always goes to so much trouble trying to help everyone and then it always seems to backfire on him. Maybe it's time he started looking after himself a little bit more. And if not then I'll just have to do it for him!
Despite the fact that the two of them had been best friends since before she could remember, they were complete opposites of each other, though in their case it seemed to work in their favour.
One thing they did have in common, though, was the fact that both of them were the youngest of three siblings.
As the third child born to Ken and Yolei Ichijouji, Nao was quite quiet and reserved, even more so than his older brother Sam, but despite his often serious nature, he had a beautiful smile and a wonderful talent for bringing out the best in everyone who crossed his path. He was neither athletic, nor was he a 'science nerd', despite having a genius for a father and an incredibly smart mother, but he did have a knack for taking care of animals, and he could play the clarinet and the violin like they were extensions of himself, instead of merely being musical instruments.
And it didn't even take him all that long to learn either instrument. He's like...some sort of musical genius.
Which Rina admired, since she herself couldn't play a musical instrument if her life depended on it.
Having had the opportunity to grow up with identical twin brothers, over the years she had become very much a tomboy, and instead of going to the mall to shop, she preferred riding on her bike or racing through the streets of Odaiba on her trusty pink roller blades. In the winter, her hockey skates were her best friends, and over the years her love for speed had already gotten her two concussions, much to her parents' dismay. Not only was she a daredevil, she was also the captain of the girls' basketball team at school, and its star player, and although neither of her brothers were very good at basketball, she herself was a pro, which made up for the fact that unlike Matty, she was a terrible soccer player.
At twenty-three years of age, her twin brothers, Makiya and Masato Takaishi, were both seven years older than her, but despite the age gap she was very close to them and they were very close to her. They were her idols and although they were the complete opposite of each other in every way, except perhaps within their hearts, she admired both of them equally, though her personality was much more like Matty's. It was true she had gotten her outgoing personality and most of her talents from her father, but in her heart she carried the same child-like innocence her brother Mickey wielded so effectively, which was something her mother never let her forget.
On top of being athletic, she was also an excellent painter, though she envied Mickey's talent for drawing and Matty's skill with a camera.
I guess all three of us are different, but in many ways we're so much alike. It's kind of funny, but it also makes me proud to be who I am.
And that, according to Mickey, was another one of her talents. She was very comfortable and confident in her own skin, which was quite remarkable at her age. Never cocky, never condescending, never judgemental of others, it was perhaps one of the few gifts she had received from her mother, the very same gift that had made Daichi Motomiya a legend among the Digidestined.
At least in her eyes.
Looking up in surprise, Rina spotted Nao coming towards her, his lavender hair gleaming in the sunshine and his deep blue eyes boring into her soul, and blushing a deep shade of red she said playfully, "Nao! There you are! I was beginning to think you weren't going to show up!"
"I'm really sorry about that. One of the teachers held me up in the hallway at school. I hope you weren't waiting too long."
Dressed in dark blue jeans, a long-sleeved navy shirt, and a striped white and blue polo shirt over top, Nao looked stunningly handsome in the sunshine, the bright rays of the sun gleaming off his lavender hair, and feeling suddenly shy Rina murmured, "Don't worry about it. So, I take it you're the decoy?"
Nao blinked in surprise, and sitting down next to her on the picnic table he said dryly, "I take it Matty spilled the beans?"
"Who else? I figured you'd be the one to distract me until it was time to get ready for the party. Matty told me I wasn't supposed to tell anyone he'd let slip the truth, but since it's his own fault for never being able to keep his mouth shut, I don't mind telling you!"
And my little runt of a cousin!
"Does Mickey know Matty told you?" Nao asked curiously, leaning back on his hands and giving her his trademark sweet smile.
"No, not yet, but he'll find out sooner or later. You're the only one who knows. Well, almost the only one."
"Huh? What do you mean?"
Rina waved her hand at the young blue-eyed child playing near the swings, and raising his eyebrows Nao said slowly, "Hey, isn't that Ryoko's little-"
"You mean my crazy cousin? It's like Aunt Mimi all over again! So really, you're the second person I've told."
"Speaking of Mickey and Matty, as soon as your parents finish setting up for the party, they're supposed to come and get us. I promised I'd keep you busy until then."
Poking Nao playfully in the stomach, she said teasingly, "Is that going to be a problem?"
"No, actually...offering to be the decoy wasn't really the only reason I wanted you to meet me at the park this afternoon," Nao said quietly, his deep blue eyes growing suddenly dark and serious.
Though the way Nao was acting at the moment wasn't really all that much out of character for him, something about the tone of his voice made Rina's heart start to beat a little faster, and wrapping her arms around herself she said hesitantly, "What's wrong, Nao?"
I haven't done anything to upset him, have I? I don't think I have...
Oh no! I must have done something, but what could it have been? This is terrible! Now he's never going to fall in love with me...
"Rina? Rina, are you okay?" Nao suddenly asked quietly, as if sensing her thoughts.
Plastering a fake smile on her face, Rina quickly blurted, "I'm fine. Sorry, you were saying?"
"Well...I know everyone is going to be giving you your presents this afternoon, but if you don't mind I'd like to give you mine early, if that's okay with you."
Wait...he's not mad at me?
When she didn't respond, Nao's pale cheeks turned a deep shade of red, and lowering his sapphire eyes to the ground he mumbled hastily, "Don't worry about it. I mean, it can wait. I'm sorry if..."
Startled, Nao looked up at her in surprise, and reaching out to give his fingers a quick squeeze she said softly, "I'd be honoured to accept your present. If it's important to you then it's important to me, too."
Squeezing her fingers in return, Nao quickly pulled something out of his backpack, and handing her a small box covered in silver paper he said shyly, "Go on, open it."
Although the box was small, to Rina it appeared to be almost larger than life in her hands, and smiling at the small pink bow located on the top left hand corner of the box, which had obviously been placed there with great love and care, she had to admire Nao's sense of taste and attention to detail.
For one thing, the gift was wrapped up in her favorite colours, pink and silver to be exact, and not only that, it matched her outfit, as well. At the moment, she was wearing light blue jeans, her roller blades, a pink t-shirt with the word 'angel' scrawled across it in silver letters, a small silver halo circling the top of the 'L' in angel, and a white tank top underneath, its lacy bottom poking out the bottom of her t-shirt. On her arms, she wore pink, fingerless gauntlets that came up to her elbows, and when she wasn't wearing her roller blades she was normally wearing pink and gray running shoes.
Yes, Nao definitely had good taste, and he knew her so well, she was surprised he hadn't already figured out just how much she had come to care for him over the years.
I wonder what he'd say if I suddenly told him right now that I'm madly in love with him...
"It isn't going to open itself, you know," Nao prodded gently, smiling in amusement.
Rina felt her cheeks turn a deep shade of red, something that seemed to be happening an awful lot lately when she was around Nao, and carefully unwrapping the gift her friend had given her, she found herself gazing at a plain white box. Taking extra care to be gentle, she carefully pulled the lid off, and spotting the contents within she let out a soft gasp of surprise, her heart leaping into her throat.
It was a necklace made of real gold, and hanging from its short chain was a charm set with small pink and silver stones.
A word, to be more exact.
The small pink and silver gems set in their gold base spelled the word 'angel.'
It was a word that held so much meaning to her. A word that spoke of the celestial digimon of the past and the ones who were still to come. Digimon whose lives had impacted the lives of all those who had crossed their paths.
Lucemon, Luciamon, DarkAngelicmon...Angemon, Angewomon, Angelicmon, Gabrielmon...Angellamon...
"If you don't like it, I can always get you something else," Nao said hastily, avoiding her eyes.
Holding the necklace up so it caught the light, Rina whispered, "Nao...it's beautiful. I love it."
Gazing directly into Nao's beautiful blue eyes, she said quietly, "Of course, but...Nao, you've never given me something like this before. I...don't understand. Why would you..."
"Because, it's who you are," Nao said simply, his deep blue eyes shining with emotion. "I know first hand you're always getting yourself into trouble, you're a lot like Dai and Matty in that sense, but I don't care about any of that. You might not be perfect, but you're still my angel, and that's all that matters to me."
Rina felt her eyes start to sting with sudden tears, and flinging her arms around Nao's neck she buried her face against his shoulder, trying unsuccessfully to hide the sudden emotion sparkling in her blue gaze. It was true she was a bit of a black sheep, much like Matty, and more often than not she could be found sitting in detention, much to her parents' exasperation, but despite her often outrageous behaviour, Nao had never once held any of her crazy antics against her, despite the fact that more than once she had ended up dragging him into detention with her. His loyalty truly was remarkable, especially since she was coming dangerously close to breaking Daichi's record for the greatest number of detentions served in one school year, which was something only Nao's cousin Renmi Igawa had ever been able to achieve, though not by much.
"I'm glad you like it," Nao said softly, his arms wrapping gently around her waist. "I was worried it might be a bit...too much."
Placing her lips close to Nao's ear, she whispered softly, "I'm never taking it off."
Pulling back and smiling directly into her friend's sapphire eyes she said seriously, "Nao, I...there's something I've been meaning to tell you..."
It's now or never. Only...we've been friends for so long. I hope this doesn't ruin our relationship. I mean, what if he doesn't feel the same way? What if...what if he does and it still ruins what we've had together all these years?
It was a scary thought, one that had often plagued her over the years, but if she didn't take the risk, there was no telling what she might be missing out on.
If I give up now, I'll never know what we could have had together. Same things are worth fighting for, and Nao is definitely one of those things. I didn't grow up with Mickey and Matty for nothing. They've taught me a lot over the years, especially when it comes to never giving up on something you care about.
"Rina, before you say anything, that was only part of my gift," Nao suddenly interrupted, his cheeks once again turning a handsome shade of pink.
Frowning in confusion, Rina said slowly, "What's the other part?"
Leaning towards her, Nao suddenly kissed her gently on the lips and pulling back slightly he whispered, "Happy Birthday, Rina."
For a moment, all Rina could do was blink in surprise, her fingers reaching up to touch her bottom lip, and then realizing all of a sudden what had happened, she flung herself at Nao and kissed him back, startling him so badly he almost tumbled backwards off the picnic table, taking her with him.
"Well, I guess that answers my next question," Nao said breathlessly, pulling back and nervously scratching the back of his lavender hair.
Rina giggled softly, and blushing a deep shade of red she said quietly, "Nao, why didn't you say anything a long time ago?"
"Why didn't you?"
Rina gently rested her head against Nao's shoulder, and lowering her eyes to the ground she murmured, "I think for the same reasons you kept quiet. I didn't want to ruin our friendship."
"Neither did I."
"I thought so."
"Rina, can I ask you something?" Nao mumbled, his arms once again slipping around her waist.
"Do you think this will ruin our friendship?"
"No, not anymore. Because no matter what happens, you'll always have a place in my heart. Always."
And at that moment, Rina knew everything would be okay. There were just some things that were meant to be, and she and Nao were one of those things.
I can't believe it! All this time...we've both known and I think my heart understood all along, it just took something a little extra special to make us realize the truth.
"Rina, I love you," Nao said softly into her hair, his heart beating frantically against her hand. "I always have."
Kissing him gently on the cheek she whispered, "I love you, too."
"Um...your brothers aren't going to kill me, are they?"
Laughing, Rina gave Nao's hand a reassuring squeeze and smiling mischievously she said, "Mickey will be very understanding, but I can't speak for Matty. Out of the two of them, he's the one who will most likely threaten you for putting the moves on me."
"Speaking of Mickey and Matty, have they finally set some dates for their weddings yet?"
"Mickey says the summer of next year. They've decided to have a double wedding, which their fiancees are all excited about. It was actually Matty's idea. He figured since they were both getting married there was no point in holding two weddings, which according to him would cost a lot more. If I remember correctly, he said they might as well get the whole thing over with at once."
"How romantic of him," Nao said dryly, shaking his head in amusement. "If it's anything like Dai's wedding was...I'm sure it will be a memorable day!"
"Well, what do you expect? Out of the two of them, Mickey's always been the more romantic one. My parents are really happy for them, which is the most important thing, and I already promised their fiancees I'd be a bridesmaid."
"Really?" Nao said thoughtfully, running his fingers gently over the palm of her hand. "I don't think I've ever seen you in a dress before. You'll look beautiful in dress."
Rina blushed, and shrugging her shoulders she said, "We'll see. It might be kimonos. You know, traditional Japanese style."
"You'll look beautiful either way."
At the sound of her name, Rina glanced curiously in the direction of the elementary school, and spotting her twin brothers and her cousin, twenty-three year old Ryoko Ishida, standing on the sidewalk near the entrance to the park, she quickly leaped to her feet, her lips twitching into a small smile. "I guess that's our cue."
"We'd better hurry. Out of the three of them, Mickey's the only one with any kind of patience!"
Taking Nao's hand, Rina quickly hurried over to the three young men waiting for her at the entrance to the park, their golden hair and their warm smiles causing the heads of a group of young ladies walking by on the sidewalk to turn, and smiling Rina flung herself at Matty, her arms going around his waist in a tight hug.
"Hey, little sis! Happy Birthday!" Matty said cheerfully, giving her a big hug and ruffling her dark brown hair. "I can't believe you're already sixteen. I'm starting to feel kind of old."
"I think it's a little too early for that," Nao said dryly, shaking his head in amusement.
Laughing, Rina turned to fling her arms around Mickey, and giving her a warm squeeze he said softly, "Happy Birthday, Rina."
Seeing as how she was still wearing her roller blades, and they weren't really made for walking on the grass, Rina had to hang onto Matty in order to reach her cousin, and slipping an arm around the golden-haired Digidestined's waist she said happily, "Hey, Ryoko! What are you doing here?"
"I came to wish you a happy birthday, of course. Well, that and I came to pick up the runt," Ryoko replied, smiling fondly in the direction of his young sibling.
Hearing Ryoko's voice, the blue-eyed child quickly ran over to their small group, and latching onto the golden-haired Digidestined's arm, the young Ishida said cheerfully, "Hi, big brother! Did Mom make you come and get me?"
"Who else? You're filthy, by the way."
"Who cares? I just want some cake. Can we go to Rina's house now?"
"You're worse than Dai!" Ryoko grumbled, smiling slightly and ruffling his little sibling's honey-coloured hair. "Honestly, if you keep on like that you're going to ruin the surprise."
Raising her eyebrows, Rina said playfully, "I think it's a little too late for that."
"Matty, did you tell Rina we were going to hold a surprise party for her?" Mickey asked slowly, glancing suspiciously at his twin.
"It was an accident, I swear! I never meant to say anything. It just kind of slipped out!"
"Matty, are you ever going to learn how to keep your mouth shut?" Ryoko groaned, slapping a hand against his forehead. "Kara's never going to let you hear the end of this. It took her, Ami, and Miya forever to decorate the house and now you've gone and ruined the surprise!"
Giving her brother a sympathetic pat on the arm Rina said, "Don't worry about it, Matty. It's the thought that counts."
"I thought you said it was going to be our little secret!" her small cousin complained, giving her a dirty look. "You know, that we'd be the only ones who'd know Matty told you!"
"Oh! Sorry, kiddo, but I just couldn't resist saying something!"
"You could have at least pretended to act surprised," Nao teased, once again taking her hand and giving it a tight squeeze.
Picking up instantly on Nao's gesture of affection, Matty said suspiciously, "Hey, are you hitting on my baby sister?"
Nao blushed, and avoiding Matty's eyes he mumbled, "Um...well..."
"Is that the present Nao gave you?" Mickey asked curiously, pointing to the angel pendant she had hastily slipped around her neck before leaping off the picnic table.
"Yes, do you like it?"
Mickey nodded, and pulling her close he said softly in her ear, "It's perfect for you."
"I knew it!" Matty shouted triumphantly, glaring indignantly at Nao, "You are hitting on my baby sister! You could have at least said something to me first! And by the way, I'll have you know, if you ever even think about hurt-"
"Leave him alone, Matty," Mickey scolded, coming to Nao's defence. "If he makes Rina happy, that's all I care about."
"Mickey, you totally just ruined by big brother rant!" Matty groaned, elbowing his twin in the stomach.
"Thank goodness for that!" Ryoko snorted, frowning at the younger twin. "And you say I'm bad!"
"Thanks, Mickey," Nao mumbled, beaming at the older twin.
Mickey slipped an arm around Nao's shoulders and smiling he said, "Shall we get going?"
"The first one there gets to eat the most cake!" Ryoko's little sibling cheered, racing off down the street.
Wrapping her arm around Nao's waist, Rina followed her little cousin at a slower pace, and upon reaching the house she had to smile.
With a wonderful family and great friends, she had already known her birthday was going to be a big event, but to have Nao confess his feelings for her, there was no denying that this year her birthday was extra special, and she knew it was a day she would never forget.
But really, how could it not be a day to remember when the first person she met coming through the front door of her home was Daichi Motomiya, and his first words were, "Matty, you dummy! You ruined the surprise!"