Date Started: May 17th, 2009
Date Finished: June 19th, 2009
Summary: Mimi's visiting in Japan, the Chosen are graduating, and what's this going on that involves Taichi's button?
Daisuke had met him this morning with a very awkward question. He had stood in front of the apartment building apparently waiting for the moment when Taichi would walk through the front doors. Chibimon sat on one shoulder, whispering something in his ear. Daisuke waved him off to shush as Taichi exited the apartment building and the little Digimon exploded into a burst of giggles. As soon as Taichi had neared, Daisuke wasted no time in running up to him with his query.
"Taichi-senpai, may I have your button?"
And of course Taichi stared at him dully, trying to make sense of this request. Today was set to be the final day he would be a junior high student. He would be graduating along with Sora and Yamato. This also meant that he would no longer be needing his current school uniform – and as tradition per told for all school boys retiring their uniforms, they would be expected to give their buttons to the girl of their liking in order to properly confess their feelings and hopefully land a girlfriend before entering high school.
Knowing this did not help Taichi solve matters. He still wondered exactly why Daisuke wanted his button – it wasn't just any button. It was the second button down from the top, the one closest to the boy's heart. Boys weren't the only ones looking forward to this day; many girls were also hoping to be on the receiving end of love confessions before the day was over.
"Are you confessing to me?" Taichi finally asked.
"What?" Daisuke's jaw dropped; cue another fit of giggles from his partner. He quickly replaced his dumbfounded expression with a smile, "No, of course not, Taichi-san! I just wanted to give a button to Hikari-chan today."
"And you're asking for mine?" Taichi raised a brow in amusement. "Hikari's my sister, you know?"
Daisuke considered a short while before replying. "Well, see, I was thinking of asking Yamato instead, but he's probably going to be giving his to Sora-san. So I figure I'd just ask you instead."
"Oh, I get it," Taichi declared, "So you're not going to bug Yamato because he's got a girlfriend already, but poor ole' Taichi-san has no girl in his life to give his button to, is that it?"
Daisuke winced, "It's not like that at all, really."
Taichi rolled his eyes, "Then what is it like, then?"
"Well, Hikari-chan was just telling me yesterday," Daisuke began, "About how she was hoping a junior high boy would confess to her today. You know, just so she could have a button to show off. And I figured she wouldn't accept one from you, so I thought I might give it to her instead."
Taichi blinked, "Hikari wants an older boy to tell her he likes her?"
"Uh, yeah, I suppose that's how it is."
"Tell me right now, Daisuke. Who's the guy she's been eyeing?"
In turn, Daisuke raised his hands up in defense, "Whoa, whoa! That's not what I meant. There's no specific guy, really! All she wanted was the button."
"Oh. I see." At that Taichi relaxed. He scratched his head in contemplation for a moment, and finally spoke again, "Well, I suppose you're as good a guy as any to give her one. Sure, why not?"
Daisuke smiled eagerly as Taichi tore his button from his shirt and presented it to the younger boy.
"Thanks so much, Taichi-san!"
Taichi didn't think much of his decision that morning. It didn't bother him that he wouldn't get the chance to confess to anyone today. It wasn't that big of a deal, he decided; at least others would be able to look at him and see his button missing. He would be the envy of girls that wished it could have been theirs, and the envy of boys that wished they could share his courage and give their own to the girls of their dreams.
In a way, it was good. He enjoyed the looks he was getting throughout the day along with the gossiping whispers that followed him wherever he went. Everyone wondered which girl his button had gone to.
It wasn't until he had gotten home at the end of the school day that his mood turned sour and he finally regretted his decision.
Hikari was there waited for him in the living room with Tailmon purring in her sleep next to her. His sister rested on the sofa, twirling a button in her fingers. It was without a doubt the same one he had given Daisuke earlier in the day.
The closing of the door announced his presence, and Hikari turned to face him.
"Oniichan!" She exclaimed, "Welcome home, can you believe it? I got a button today…" Her voice trailed off when her eyes traced him up and down. She let out a gasp, "Oh, no, tell me you didn't!"
Taichi blinked. He could feel the sweat running down his forehead. No – he quickly told himself – there was no way she could have figured out that it was his button in her hands. He spoke nervously, "What do you mean?"
She lifted herself off the couch, and pointed accusingly at him, "You gave your button away!"
He tried to shrug it off. "Yeah, so? There were so many girls begging me for it, I couldn't just let them down."
Hikari frowned. "Have you completely forgotten that Mimi arrived today?"
Taichi thought for a moment. "Yeah, I remember. She's here for her cousin's baby shower, right?"
Hikari nodded. "And don't you remember how disappointed she was that her parents didn't let her visit last year when Jyou-san was graduating?"
"Oh, yeah," Taichi chuckled. "She made Jyou promise to give his button to her, but she never managed to come by and pick it up."
Hikari scowled. It was highly uncharacteristic of her and she looked rather unfamiliar to Taichi with it on. She spoke angrily, "Exactly! So why did you give yours away? You should have saved it for Mimi!"
"Hold on a second there," Taichi backed up from her glare. "I didn't know anything about this; besides, why can't we just get Yamato to give her his?"
"Yamato-san already gave his to Sora," Hikari explained matter-of-factly. "And we were all expecting you to give yours to Mimi!"
Taichi bit his lip to keep himself from shouting out that Daisuke certainly didn't seem to have been expecting that. He frowned at his sister, "Alright, I get the picture. I'll think of something."
"You better," Hikari said. "Even if you have to get your button back from the girl you gave it to!"
"Don't you think that's going a bit far?" Taichi asked. "She could just wait for next year when Koushiro graduates."
"And if she can't come by again?" Hikari responded. "And besides, for a girl to be getting that second button from the guy she admires… it's the most wonderful thing in the world!"
Taichi rolled his eyes. "Funny you should say that when from the guy's point of view we're all nervous wrecks when trying to give them out."
"Takeru-kun certainly wasn't when he gave me this one."
"Yeah, well aren't you special," Taichi mocked. Then the words hit him cold, "Wait – what? Takeru-kun?"
Hikari nodded. "He said one of Yamato-san's band-mates let him have it just so he could give it to me. Isn't that sweet?"
But Taichi wasn't paying her any attention. In his mind he was quickly putting together the pieces of information that ended up pointing him to one final revelation: Daisuke still had his button.
"Oniichan, are you listening to me at all? You better be thinking of how to solve this mess you made because I won't forgive you if Mimi goes back home without a button!"
"Alright, alright," Taichi tried to calm her down. "I'll do what I can."
He sighed and left the apartment. He headed towards the Motomiya residence, all the while muttering to himself amusing ways of murdering Daisuke for the situation the younger boy had placed him in.
He paused shortly just outside his own building as Hikari's earlier words finally registered. From the guy she admires…
Taichi shrugged. She had probably been addressing herself in regards to Takeru. It couldn't have possibly been about Mimi.
"What do you mean he's not here?" Taichi nearly shouted into the open doorway.
Jun shrugged from her place inside the apartment, "He hasn't arrived home yet. I think he's out with the rest of the soccer club. They were supposed to be having one last get together before parting ways."
Taichi frowned, downcast. In all the excitement he had nearly forgotten he wasn't the only one graduating today. Daisuke, Takeru, and Hikari were also graduating from elementary school and would be leaving behind many friends. It wasn't uncommon for clubs to meet one last time before the school year officially ended. He looked back up to Jun. He needed to find Daisuke as soon as possible, "Do you know where they are?"
She shook her head, "Sorry, I don't have a clue. First place to check out would probably be the soccer field, though."
Taichi nodded. It was still early spring, but he supposed the weather was at least warm enough to allow a few outdoor activities. "Right, I'll check there first."
He turned to leave, but Jun called after him. She spoke to him with a grin, taking note of the missing button from his uniform, "So, Taichi-kun, who's the lucky girl?"
The soccer field proved to be empty. The Motomiya siblings were going to be the end of him today if this kept up. Taichi kicked at the dirt in annoyance. He wanted to know where Daisuke was, and he wanted to know now. He flipped open his D-Terminal and was just about ready to chew out his fellow Chosen.
"Hey, Taichi-san!" A frighteningly familiar voice called out to him. He followed the source and found Mimi looking down at him from an open window on the top floor of the elementary school building. She waved down at him cheerfully, her smile wide and genuinely happy to see him.
He felt himself unable to smile back. He lifted a hand half-heartedly in order to try and cover up his collar as he waved back. He couldn't let her see his button was missing.
"I was just taking a look at the old school again," Mimi shouted down to him. "I met up with some old friends here, too. Why don't you come up and join us?"
Taichi chuckled nervously at the offer. He quickly decided that he could not, under any circumstance, come any closer to her without a button in his hands. "Um, I'm actually looking for Daisuke, have you seen him?"
She lifted her arms with palms flat upwards and even with her shoulders to emphasize her shrug. "Sorry, Taichi. I haven't seen any of the others yet."
Taichi shifted his legs. He needed a way to get out of here. "Well, I suppose give me a minute to e-mail Daisuke and I'll meet you up there right after."
Mimi smiled and cheerfully waved him off, "Oh no worries, take your time! We'll be up here for a while, my friends are chatting up an old teacher of ours. Why don't you go find Daisuke and bring him back here with you? I'd love to see him, too!"
Taichi shouted inwardly in glee. "Alright, we'll see you in a bit, then."
With an enthusiastic nod, Mimi disappeared back into the school building, and Taichi turned back to his D-Terminal. He now only hoped that Daisuke would instantly reply back.
And much to his relief, that's exactly what Daisuke did. Taichi immediately sped off towards him.
Daisuke immediately noticed the foul mood on Taichi's face. He quickly tried to defend himself, "Ah, c'mon, Taichi-san, we were just out for some ramen. You could've just e-mailed me first instead of going all the way to the school yard."
"Don't lecture me, Daisuke," Taichi grumbled. "Just tell me you still have my button! 'Cause I need it back like right now."
Daisuke blinked. "Well, I can't… I mean, Hikari-chan has it already."
"Don't lie to me," Taichi accused. "Hikari told me Takeru was the one that gave her a button. She didn't say anything about you."
Daisuke flushed. He stuttered with his explanation, "Yeah, um, see, the thing was that Takeru won so he got to give it to her… I lost, so I had to ask you for it…"
Taichi rubbed at his forehead in annoyance, "You're telling me that I gave you my button so you could give it to Takeru so he could give it to Hikari?"
"That about sums it up, yeah."
"You're both cowards," Taichi declared. "How'd you decide which one of you would be doing what anyways?"
"We played rock, paper, scissors," Daisuke answered.
Taichi sighed. "So what am I supposed to do about Mimi-chan now?"
Daisuke thought for a moment, "Oh, yeah, Mimi-san's in town right now. Weren't you supposed to give her your button? Oh man, are you screwed."
Taichi grumbled. "Yeah, no thanks to you and Takeru; how convenient that neither of you two thought about that before asking me."
"Ah, don't worry too much about it, Taichi-san. I'm sure we'll think of something."
"Well we've got about five minutes before we get back to the school. Mimi's probably waiting for us out on the soccer field."
Suddenly Daisuke's face lit up, "That's it!"
Taichi looked at him quizzically.
"Don't you worry about a thing, Taichi-san! I've got the perfect plan! Let's make a quick stop by at your place."
Taichi sighed. "Daisuke, what are you thinking?"
"Relax, this will work perfectly. Plus, I saw it on TV."
As expected Mimi was waiting for him on the school grounds; she sat idly on a swing at the nearby playground, slowly and softly rocking herself back and forth and side to side. Taichi neared towards her, and she smiled brightly when she saw him. Her smile remained as he came into clear view, and she let out a cheerful laugh. "Why Taichi-kun," she began, "I certainly hope this isn't your idea of a first date."
"What?" He feigned innocence, "Are you suggesting it wouldn't be a fun time with me?"
She shrugged nonchalantly. "I suppose you're a pretty fun guy. It's just that soccer isn't really my thing."
Taichi placed a hand over his chest. "Oh, Mimi, I'm hurt. Don't you know how much soccer means to me?"
She stifled a giggle. "Oh, I do. I just don't understand why you're wearing your soccer uniform right now."
Taichi let out a grin. "Let's just say I spent more time wearing it than I did wearing my actual school uniform."
"I wouldn't doubt that for a minute," she laughed.
"You know," Taichi began. He took a seat on the swing next to hers before continuing, "I gave my button to someone else."
"Oh," Mimi simply said. Her smile faded.
"I gave it to Hikari," Taichi answered her unasked question.
She turned to look at him; her puzzled expression was clear on her face. "To your sister?"
"She means a lot to me," Taichi confirmed.
Mimi nodded, "I see."
Taichi suddenly grinned. "But as you know, my soccer uniform means a lot more to me than that green monstrosity I was forced to wear during class. And of course I'll be retiring this one when I enter high school, too. So I guess it looks like I currently have an extra button to give away."
Mimi's saddened expression left her, and her lip curled upwards into a smile. She decided to tease him. "And what exactly are you implying with that, Taichi-kun?"
Taichi raised his arm to his chest in response and tore the second button off his shirt. He stood from his seat, and moved to stand in front of Mimi. He lowered his hand and presented her with his open palm, the white circular object in clear view. "Mimi, would you accept my button?"
She smiled. "That has to be the strangest confession I've ever gotten."
"But it's still a good one, right?" Taichi grinned.
In reply she wrapped both arms around his neck as she pulled him down towards her in a fierce hug. He chuckled, "I'll take that as a yes."
A short ways further back, Daisuke spied on the pair. "Way to go, Taichi-san! Just like we planned, I knew you could do it!"
"My dear Daisuke-kun," the interruption to his thoughts sent a chill running down his spine. The new arrival continued, "What's this I hear about you getting Oniichan's button and then having Takeru give it to me?"
Daisuke instantly twirled around. A lump formed in his throat and he found himself unable to speak. His shout of surprise came out as a mere squeal. "Hikari-chan!"
- The school year in Japan ends in March, with the new school year beginning in April. This is to explain Taichi's comment about it currently being early spring.
- "I saw it on TV" – Daisuke speaks the truth; something similar was done in episode four of the Japanese live-action drama "Proposal Daisakusen."
- In Japan boys really do give their second buttons to girls upon graduation as a romantic gesture, just as described. The second button holds significance for being closest to the boy's heart.