A/N: Well, I couldn't not write a Valentine Takari story for Valentine's Day, right?? So here you go, the oneshot that I worked on and edited for days, and I really really hope you approve of it. *crawls into hole, where she hides* And remember that in Japan, on February 14 only the girls give gifts to the guys, and then the guys return the favor on White Day a month later, so ya.
And of course, I do not own anyone from Digimon.
"Oh shit, tomorrow's Valentine's Day? Seriously?"
Hikari felt her tingly cold cheeks warm with a sigh. Her brother could be so oblivious sometimes.
"Yes, Taichi, tomorrow is Valentine's Day, though I'm not quite sure why that really concerns you," Hikari muttered candidly as she carefully began to spread out her purchases from their crinkly brown shopping baggage, each one producing a delicate 'plunt' as it hit the countertop. "Have you honestly not seen any of the red and pink hearts that have been dangling in every store for the past three weeks? I'm surprised you haven't tore some down with that wild hair of yours…"
Ignoring her brother's contemptuous snort, Hikari rested her hands on her hips, their boney accents acting as a nice pedestal as they jutted out from her skinny waist. The recipe she was about to carry out had to be executed with a flawless perfection, baked with a culinary refinement possessed by few, and end up tasting like homemade royalty when put up against the plastic tasting store-bought crap that invaded the stores like an army of sparkly pink. Baking wasn't something that Hikari usually took so seriously, but this one time her outcome had to be perfect. She was determined to mix that loving light of hers into the recipe, no matter how draining it might be.
After analyzing the first step Hikari went sifting through the kitchen cupboards, her eyes partaking on a meticulous safari for a baking sheet, mixing bowl, sifter, and saucepan of decent looking usability and cleanliness. The mecca of pots and pans gave a metallic groan as she weaved her desired items out of their chaotic mess, and she released a grunt as she carried them to her work station and set them down in a neatly arranged formation.
Her apparent disturbance of the pots had awoken both Taichi and his insatiable curiosity.
"Are you making cookies?" he questioned boldly, a teasing smirk inching across his face. Apparently his comprehension level had improved since ten seconds ago.
Hikari purposely ripped off a piece of parchment paper with unnecessary venom, placing it on her baking sheet with a flimsy hiss. "No, it's homemade chocolate, actually."
"Who's the special guy?" Taichi purposely stretched out his words in mocking elongation; he continued his immature charade by batting his eyelashes and puckering his lips in overly dramatic exaggeration, something that was only inflaming the growing irritation inside of Hikari. With a murderous twirl she flicked the stove on with a vicious snap, trying to make blaringly obvious the fact that this topic was not open for discussion.
"Oh, c'mon Hikari, you don't just make chocolate for any—"
"I'm just being nice, that's all," Hikari gave the democratic response of safety to her brother. "Maybe if you shut up about it I'll let you be the taste tester."
The gentle searing of vegetable shortening hitting the hot saucepan blotted out Taichi's most likely cynical response, and Hikari was extremely grateful for the auditory death of his pestering.
After the sweltering pot passed Hikari's ocular assessment she spun back around and began fidgeting with the openings to numerous ingredients, barely outsmarting their skillfully sealed packaging before hurrying over to the utensil drawers. They opened to reveal a treasure trove of utensils, and Hikari eagerly collected a few of the measuring cups and spoons before adding them to her own cooking tool assortment. With timid accuracy she measured just the right amounts of icing sugar, cocoa, powdered milk, and salt into her sifter, and she gave it a few controlled pats as the powdery ingredients snowed down into the base of her mixing bowl. She instantly flew back to check on the progress of her melting shortening, and was pleased to find it nearing its completion of morphology.
Just as she was pouring the glistening contents of her saucepan into her mixing bowl, a phone was forced in front of her face, its techno green screen blinking with growing impatience.
"Phone," Taichi mouthed beside her, shaking it irritatingly until she snatched it from his hands. With an awkward clatter Hikari dropped her saucepan and placed the phone against her ear, making sure to throw a warning glare at Taichi before he left as a subtle reminder that he still wasn't welcome in the kitchen.
"Hikari!" a high pitched voice squealed through the receiver. "How's it going?"
"Oh, hi Miyako," Hikari converted smoothly to a cheerful voice that suggested she had nothing better to do then chat away on the phone all evening. "Are you all prepared for tomorrow?"
"Well, see, that's why I called you," Miyako stated, a note of urgency now strangling her previous excitement. "You know how I wanted to give something totally cute and memorable yet simplistic and most definitely not flashy in any way to Ken on Valentine's Day?"
Hikari dazedly hummed her acknowledgment as she concentrated on balancing the phone against her ear and stirring the quickly thickening glop inside her bowl at the same time. "Well, I need to ask your opinion, because—"
Miyako's mile a minute chattering was cut short as the phone plummeted into the swirly brown chocolate batter right below Hikari's gaze, bits of it's mushy mixture now infecting the phone's complexion. With a startled shriek Hikari pulled it out of the sticky landing spot and wiped it thoughtlessly clean on the front of her ballet pink shirt, scars of clumpy batter now tattooing its pastel exterior. With a frown she placed the phone back against her ear.
"—and that's when I totally figured, Ken is so a mint chocolate kinda guy, am I right, Hikari? Doesn't he just seem like the mint chocolate kinda guy to you too?"
"Uh, yeah, mint chocolate, sure Miyako," Hikari gave a strained laugh, her eyes quickly assessing the damage to her cooking creation before she decided it was okay to continue using it. Absently she glanced over at the instructions, her finger skating along its worded surface until she found the section she was looking for. "Smooth and thick…"
"Oh sorry, what was that, Hikari? You think Ken would prefer—"
"Oh, no no no," Hikari stumbled over her words, "I accidentally started reading my recipe, sorry Miyako."
The phone vibrated violently as Miyako cooed an ear-splitting 'aww' into the receiver. Hikari shuddered. "What?"
"You're making chocolate for someone, aren't you?" Miyako gushed like a fangirl who had just been presented a box of chocolates from her chosen eye candy. "Who is it, Hikari? Who is it who is it who is it?"
Hikari bit her lip as she mentally kicked herself for not only prolonging the conversation, but also focusing the topic around one she did not want to gossip about. "It's, um… uh… you'll see," she stammered dumbly; she grimaced at her terrible cover-up.
"Seriously, you're gonna make me guess?" Miyako purred deviously, an evil giggle sliding through the receiver. "Okay, let's see, does he happen to have bl—"
"Miyako, no!" Hikari shouted desperately, her face flushing profusely as an image of the guy popped into her mind. "I'll tell you all about it tomorrow, okay? Right now I really gotta get this chocolate finished."
"Psh, whatever… but I know who it is, Hikari!"
"Okay, good-bye, Miyako," Hikari spoke with her last shreds of self-restraint, and was more than thankful when Miyako bid her adieu and hung up. With her mind now 100% focused back on the recipe, Hikari realized that what had started out as a clumpy mess of powder and shortening now resembled a smooth hunk of delectable looking chocolate brown velvet; efficiently she lifted the bowl and began spooning it's tantalizing contents onto her prepared baking sheet, leveling it off with a graceful flick of the wrist. As she turned around in search of a clean knife, a forest of spiky brown hair cut her off.
"Are you trying to burn the house down?" Taichi stated mischievously as he flicked off the stove Hikari had just realized she'd left on. She performed a tired look of innocent apology.
Taichi copied her rather poorly. "Can I try some chocolate now, my oh so sweet little sister?"
Hikari playfully rolled her eyes as she turned and sliced a tiny sliver of the chocolate for Taichi to taste test. "Tell me how it tastes."
Without hesitating Taichi popped the chocolate into his mouth and chewed obediently. "It's kinda soft."
"Ugh, that's cause it still has to set moron, now hurry up and tell me!"
She watched as he began to slink his way out of the kitchen, a smirk plastered across his face. "It's good, Hikari."
Not wanting to know why he was looking so cheeky, Hikari grabbed her knife on the opposite counter and got right to work slicing her perfectly leveled chocolate.
* ~ *
Butterflies tickled Hikari's insides until she swore they were releasing a sort of lethal poison that was causing her arms to tremble and her legs to feel like a stack of rubbery jelly cubes. She clutched with despairing vigor at her backpack's straps, the weight of that one specially wrapped box of homemade chocolate nearly causing her knees to buckle as it seemed to escalate with each passing second. Why in hell she thought this would be a good idea was beyond her comprehension. Normally she'd pass out her chocolates with relaxed ease, but this time was much different. She took a baby step forward, and instantly felt the world sway around her as if she had been thrown into a giant washing machine.
With a sort of graceful caution Hikari seemed to float towards her locker, it's reflective chrome surface beckoning her as if it represented a safe haven that would neutralize her out of control nerves. Each of her movements sent an icy cold spasm trickling through her muscles, making the process of selecting the morning's necessary textbooks a rather demanding one. She dropped her backpack and unzipped its interlocked jaws, giving a jarring halt as the red gift box played a game of peek-a-boo with her. Practicing extreme vigilance Hikari stuffed her backpack full of textbooks while making sure not to damage the gift she had spent hours creating and perfecting; she zipped it back up again with a glazed stare.
"Need some help there, Hikari?" a honey smooth voice questioned from behind her, and Hikari poked her head around daringly as she glanced up at a beaming Takeru. His hand was extended towards her, and Hikari followed its path right up towards his sparkling sea-blue eyes, eyes that could wash her away like the tranquil waves of the sea itself if she stared for too long. Taking Takeru's hand she lifted herself to her feet, all sense of balance now equalized and back to normal thanks to his genuine touch, and they began to walk side by side to their first class.
The hallway seemed to be choking in strobe lights as Hikari's movements rested on clouds of time, her extremely sluggish pace causing great friction between her world and the bustling world around her. She glanced shyly in Takeru's direction.
Now would be a good time. The present that was tucked deep within her backpack seemed to awake from hibernation as it too realized its receiver was so nearby, walking next to Hikari with oblivious, worry-free strides. The thought pulsed through Hikari's mind, slammed against her skull as if trying to tell her that if she didn't do it now, her mission would be a complete failure. She could picture the pristinely wrapped box of chocolates, its smooth red wrapping accented with a flowy red bow that she had re-tied at least ten times before it had looped into a recognizable bow shape of aesthetic distinction. She had glowered over the cute little package similar to how a little girl would swoon over a fluffy white kitten; now she felt as if the innocent red package had unleashed the heat of about a hundred cinnamon hearts into her blood.
"Something wrong?" Takeru asked innocently enough, his uncanny ability to read Hikari's normally puzzling emotions obviously kicking in.
"I, uh…" Hikari felt her face blush madly for no particular reason. Takeru was analyzing her with those photographic eyes of his again, snapping all her movements into a film of complex understanding. Her mind turned to liquid. "I-I just have this gift—"
Her first attempt had been slaughtered as Daisuke popped up at her side. She could already feel the air's crackling static rebuke as he walked up to them, hands propped against the back of his prickly brown hair like he was some kind of all-star.
"Happy Valentine's Day, cutey!"
Daisuke had gone ahead and stated the unmentionable. The words that Hikari had not wanted to speak of in front of Takeru until she was mentally ready. Minus, of course, the cheek reddening adjective 'cutey'.
"Yeah, you too, Daisuke…" Hikari cast her gaze down to her green flats, the rim of her pleated uniform skirt dancing randomly into view as her face became bathed in red-hot shame. He had probably been up in bed all night, praying to every God his tiny brain could think of that Hikari would bring him a gift for Valentine's Day. Then she thought of Takeru. Sweet, kind Takeru.
"I have to, err, go now," Hikari stuttered lamely, and without waiting for a reply she hurried off in the opposite direction of the two very confused guys and her first class.
* ~ *
The morning had inched by at a monotonously slow pace, and Hikari's erratic mood had not gotten any better. She ended up arriving late to her first class, something that had earned her a good number of disbelieving stares from her classmates as she sat herself uncomfortably at the very back corner of the classroom. She had also failed to complete any of her school work, allotting herself a plenitude of homework that she really could've done without, and when she'd clumsily dropped her Hello Kitty pen during math class, Takeru had picked it up for her with one of those sweet, signature smiles of his spread cockily across his face. Hikari tried to convince herself that he was simply smiling at the fact that she still used that stupid Hello Kitty pen he had given her for her birthday almost two years ago, but somehow her mind would not conspire with her false logic. Gym class had ended in disaster also; Hikari was performing every movement with such stiff lifelessness that she had been sent to the nurse's office immediately, and she had had to turn down both Takeru and Daisuke's offers to escort her there about five times before she could stumble out of sight.
The bell cackled irkingly to signify lunch, yet Hikari continued staring up at the eggshell white ceiling of the nurse's office with vacant potency. Her mind was reeling, still performing cartwheels as images of Takeru popped up repeatedly, running laps and doing push-ups in his loosely fitting gym clothes. She could still picture the way he would skillfully shoot the basketball into the hoop, how it would whisk through the limp fabric goal with barely a shimmy of the net, and how he, amid his hollering teammates, would always smile at her. Hikari Yagami. As if he had aced the shot solely to gain her approval. Takeru Takaishi undoubtedly possessed an athletic sort of grace that was enough to make any girl drool, but Hikari would never admit to experiencing these sorts of fantasies herself. Her mind was simply playing tricks on her, attempting to force feed her typical girly girl behavior that most teen girls her age would just devour like a fat-free ice cream sundae.
But somehow, she knew that that box of chocolates fashioned in pretty red wrapping was not a sign of her friendship. All the love and thought that had gone into preparing it, the nervous motivation behind it all, had not been for the intention of strengthening her friendship with Takeru Takaishi. It had been to prove to not only him, but mainly herself, that maybe the blonde haired boy meant more to her now then the simple cliché excuse, 'just friends'.
"I'm going to go eat lunch now," Hikari whispered the words as if relaying a secret, and as she got up the nurse's worrisome queries didn't seem to register at all as she headed for the door.
The sound of relentless chattering diffused into Hikari's ears as she entered the cafeteria, and unconsciously she found herself searching for Takeru's head of messy blonde hair. She found him at a distant table, and felt a strange plunging feeling in her gut when she saw a female classmate of hers approach him in a sickeningly giddy manner, her charcoal colored pigtails flouncing around sporadically as her body heaved in a fit of nervous giggles. Hikari continued to gape as the girl thrust a massive pink box into Takeru's possession, it's blindingly reflective wrapping entwined masterfully by a sparkly pink bow the size of a mutant butterfly. Hikari knew, after years of attending his many Power Ranger themed birthday parties as a little girl, that he would never inwardly approve of such flashy flattery. But being the kind teen he was Takeru accepted the gift with hitchless gratitude, a heart melting smile spread across his face that made the girl giggle in bashful ecstasy. A sudden sense of isolation seemed to numb Hikari to the spot, and for once in her life even she didn't know what she was feeling as she watched Takeru thank the girl and analyze the chocolates with his thoughtful eyes.
She absently let her backpack slide off her shoulders, eyes still glued to Takeru with a magnetic wideness about them that made her cherry wood irises pop. She had expected other girls to present gifts to him. Every year he'd usually split his chocolate-y earnings with Hikari because he would get so damn many given to him. But never had it affected her this severely, never had it made her stomach go bungee jumping into a pit of selfish jealousy like this. As she knelt to the ground and unzipped her backpack, a rush of sugary adrenaline sent her heart thundering against her ribs, its sporadic beating causing her to fumble pitifully as she tried to clutch the red gift box in her petite hands. Get a hold of yourself, Hikari.
"Hey, Hikari-chan!" the unmistakable voice of Daisuke rang above her, and she felt her grip solidify. "Did you wanna sit with me?"
The immediate answer popped into Hikari's head without delay, but she had enough decency about her to hold it all in and render up a sickeningly sweet smile that always seemed to trick Daisuke into believing that she was happy to oblige with him. Her hands released their grip on Takeru's gift.
Suddenly Daisuke let out a gasp, startling Hikari out of her cute charade. "Did you get me something for Valentine's Day?" he sang the words in a dazed vexation, and Hikari could've sworn she saw a collage of stars pop up in his swooning eyes.
But luckily, she had come prepared. "Well, you are a good friend of mine, Daisuke, so of course I got you something." She smiled cutely as she rummaged through her backpack and found the tiny bag full of individually wrapped chocolates she'd bought while shopping for her ingredients. "Happy Valentine's Day!"
A look of pure euphoric bliss spread across Daisuke's face as he accepted Hikari's tiny gift, cradling it in his hands as if it were a precious gemstone worth millions. "Thank you, Hikari-chan, thank you thank you thank you! I'll cherish it forever!" he blundered, and Hikari couldn't help but giggle at his insane and totally ridiculous reaction.
The moment came to a mind-bending standstill, however, as Takeru walked past them. Hikari quickly looked down at her backpack, wishing frantically that she was tiny enough to hide inside its shadowy depths of softness as she felt his baby blue eyes rest on her. She peeked at him through the stringy bits of hair that cascaded in front of her face, their short brown tips like a jungle of discrete camouflage between her eyes and his.
"Hey, Takeru!" Daisuke chanted at an obnoxiously high volume. "Look what Hikari-chan gave me! Who's Mr. Hot Shot now, huh?"
A fan of redness etched itself across Hikari's face as she watched the innocent boy's face turn to a victimized expression of confusion. Her stupidity smacked her continuously as she watched Daisuke parade around with his coveted gift, the look on Takeru's face quickly morphing into one of badly concealed hurt as the gravity of the news eclipsed across his face. Could something as trivial as a tasteless little chocolate really cause such potent feelings? Then Hikari noticed the monstrosity of a gift tucked within his own arms, the one that must've cost at least five times more than her crappy excuse for a gift; she felt as if she was stuck beneath a hammering waterfall of ice.
After years of practice at masking her emotions, Hikari removed herself from the floor, grabbed her backpack, and strode off towards the nearest escape route with merely the shyest of sniffles, all built-up emotions barricaded safely within her frail frame as she staggered out of sight. She didn't know where she was going. She didn't care where she was going. All Hikari wanted to do at that very moment was purge herself of all intoxicating feelings of affection and re-set everything back to its normal setting of finely tuned equilibrium.
The retaliating echo of her lonesome footsteps was amplified by the deserted hallway she was journeying through, and the never ending progression of lockers mirrored her confusion in ways she wished could be kept hidden in the diary of her heart. She could feel it pounding with reprimanding force, making her body vibrate till everything became a distorted, fuzzed blur. And then, the inevitable happened.
The bitterness of the situation stung Hikari's senses, and right then she would have done anything not to have heard Takeru's voice calling her from the other end of the hallway. Subconsciously she knew he would find her, knew he would seek her out and try and make her feel better, but her senses had not recuperated enough from their previous shock for her to talk to him just yet.
"Hikari, wait up!"
Her feet stopped their goalless chase. She just stood there, rooted to the ground like a charily positioned mannequin, waiting for his familiar smell to cushion her aura and soothe her hyped nerves. It came with unexpected pleasure.
Like a stiff ballerina Hikari pulled the carefully prepared box out of her backpack, it's elegant red bow slightly crumpled from being cooped up all day. Then, taking a deep, cleansing breath she spun around and presented her gift to Takeru, her face lifelessly willing him to take it from her possession and rid her of it's emotionally draining properties.
"I'm sorry, Takeru," Hikari's face trembled gently as tears petitioned to escape. "I wanted it to be special, but… but…"
"It's just a red box," she spat lividly, hot tears now ringing her eyes like watery halos. "It's nothing special, nothing big, nothing fancy like you deserve."
"Please let me say something—"
"No!" Hikari's voice reached a point of rare emotional climax as her eyes became coated in sparkling hot tears. "I just… I just… " she swallowed painfully before releasing a shivering sigh. "Happy Valentine's day, Takeru."
Viciously she whipped herself away from the blonde boy's gaze, but almost immediately Takeru grabbed her wrist and pulled her back around close to his body, a fierce look of concern clouding his stormy blue gaze. Hikari could do nothing but stare. Stare hungrily into his starry eyes of azure. Feel his body lightly press against hers every few seconds. Marvel at the shadows that contoured his beautifully carved face. Relish the fact that his hand was wrapped around her wrist like an unwritten promise of protection. Soon, the wordless conversation between their bodies became too much for Hikari; her breathing broken up by snivels, she wrenched her hand from Takeru's grasp and took an uncertain step back.
Hikari knew what the warning signs were when she couldn't conceal her feelings any longer. She could feel the salty tears evacuating from her eyes at an uncontrollable velocity, feel her angular cheekbones puffing up in red hot shame, and feel her heart hammering against her chest as if reminding her that it still existed and deserved to be heard. Gripping her eyes shut Hikari flung herself away from the boy her heart wept for, and instantly made a dash for the set of doors in front of her that were traced in glowing sunlight.
She felt herself smash against their warmth sucking frame, and with a hard squeal the doors parted to reveal a day where the sun lazily radiated rays of warmth-poor heat. The icy cold tears lining her face seemed to shiver as Hikari knelt down on the bone tingling concrete steps, her mocha brown hair dancing across her face as it partnered with the breeze. She hated crying in public. Her mortification over her own weakness was so intensely numbing that no amount of self-restraint could stop the tears from free-falling now. And the pathetic thing was, Hikari didn't even know why she was crying.
The screaming of the doors as their frozen hinges swung open didn't even affect Hikari, and she remained motionless and unreceptive as an achingly familiar body of warmth seated itself next to her quivering figure. It took a few ephemeral moments before the silence was disturbed.
"You know," Takeru began quietly, "I've only ever seen you cry twice my entire life, and I've known you for a pretty long time,"his voice was stolen by the breeze, it's icy fingers pulling at his words like a strand of toffee. Hikari's only response was a tepid snivel.
"It's okay to cry, Hikari." He whispered the words so gently, so delicately, that Hikari could feel her heart palpitating at lightning speed. And then, as if her feelings weren't already going through enough strain trying to control themselves, she felt his warm hand rest softly atop her own. The compelling urge to tuck it safely within her lap was crushed by a powerful yearning to dive deep into the unknown, a feeling that had only just recently started to manifest within her. But somehow, just knowing that Takeru was there by her side comforting her, was enough to snuff out the flame of frightened wariness scorching her most sacred feelings.
Butterflies began tickling away at her insides, and Hikari's mouth slapped shut.
As if on command both teens turned their heads to look at each other, Takeru's eyes of sparkling sapphire locked deeply with Hikari's water-lined chestnut browns. The deliberately slow inclination, the sleepy closing of the eyelids, all of it had wrapped around Hikari in a spell-binding awareness that she had no idea she even possessed, until finally, the moment she had secretly craved in the deepest ditches of her tightly sealed heart unfolded. Even time seemed to watch in prolonged wonderment as Hikari Yagami lost her lip virginity to Takeru Takaishi. It was, simply put, terrifying bliss, and as she felt her body being gently directed against the concrete wall of the stairs, it was enough to put Hikari's heart into a temporary state of neurotic paralysis as she kissed back with unknown familiarity. Slowly she began to savour the moment, moving her hand to rest in gentle apprehension against Takeru's face as his traveled shyly down her back; it was a moment of timid experiment between the blooming couple, a romantic hypothesis interpreted by their desire.
They separated too soon yet not soon enough, and all Hikari could do was remove her eyes from Takeru's hypnotic blue gaze and passionately blush till her cheeks crinkled in fuzzy rebellion. She leaned with dazed stiffness into the solid concrete support behind her, not really sure whether she should just run away or get swept away by the rapturous look of pleasure in Takeru's eyes that she didn't dare focus on right then. Instead, she felt her newly massaged lips curl into a sweet smile and a fresh new stream of tears trickle down her cheeks as they gushed at her marred purity.
Takeru removed his cream colored hat from his head, careful not to mess up his already perfectly messed blonde locks, and placed it carefully on top of Hikari's smooth auburn bob, it's curvy rim casting a concealing shadow right over top of her drizzling eyes. She felt her smile turn to a lopsided smirk, it's asymmetrical extension causing her tears to detour snugly around the corner of her lips. She'd always wanted to try on his hat.
"Thanks, Takeru," Hikari whispered softly, her tears free flowing in shadowy secrecy down the pale path of her cheeks. How he knew her so well was mysteriously reassuring to Hikari, because she had never liked people to see her teary eyes in public. But now, her hot tears of euphoric pleasure were the only way she could release the burning desire that had been flicked on within her, and she was glad Takeru was there to wipe them all up.
A/N: *crawls out of hole where she was hiding* Well Happy Valentine's Day people, and I really hope you liked my Takari oneshot! I had a lot of ups and downs while writing this, so I am so nervous to hear what you guys think! Reviews and everything are greatly appreciated! :)
Special thanks and Valentine chocolates go to Light-of-Hope-07, & MacyL-kun for their invaluable support and reviews, seriously you guys rock the digital world! 3