Author's Note: I am a huge Takari fan. So you can imagine how unsatisfied I was with the ending of Adventure 02. They left so many plot holes and plot lines just wide open by the end and to top it all off, they never say that Takeru and Hikari get together. Also, I really didn't like the fact that everyone in the world ended up with a Digimon. What's the point of being Digidestined then? So, you'll find that in my story, I'll be ignoring that part of the ending (along with some other things) and the whole epilogue thing that they did.

Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon.

Yamato Ishida watched with mild interest as his younger brother, Takeru Takaishi, finished getting ready for school. He had been more than just a little surprised when his father had called him about a week ago and asked if he could pick Takeru up at the airport since he was busy at work. Truth be told, he had been downright shocked. He had agreed, of course, and had driven to the airport immediately. He hadn't even known his brother was coming back to Japan. His younger brother had left with their mother to go live in France over four years ago, about a year after the younger generation had defeated MaloMyotismon. Less than a year later, Takeru had stopped talking to him, and, from what he had learned, the rest of the Digidestined as well. Yamato had tried to keep contacting him for a while, but eventually gave up when Takeru never replied. He had wanted to ask his mom if anything was wrong, but had never gotten around to it. His band had kept him busy through high school and living with Taichi had kept him busy for the last two years of college. As he had driven to the airport, he had started to blame himself again. He kept telling himself he should have kept trying to contact Takeru or that he should have talked to his mother. But the overdriving thought came that he just had to get to the airport and find his brother. His brother needed him, and he wasn't going to let him down.

He had arrived at the airport and had been shocked when he saw Takeru. His younger brother had certainly grown in the last four years that he had lived in France. Takeru had been sitting near the entrance, reading a book, when Yamato first caught sight of him in the airport. His blond hair was sticking out under another one of those hats (this year's model seemed to be a white beanie) Takeru seemed to love so much. He had looked so much more mature. He could tell that Takeru was tall and lean as he lounged in the chair reading. He was just so much older than the thirteen year old he had left as.

Yamato had called out his name and Takeru had looked up at him in surprise. Then he had smiled and laughed and instantly was just once again, Takeru, his younger brother.

"Let me guess," Takeru had said. "Dad's busy with work."

"Yeah," Yamato said standing in front of him. He half-smiled. "How long have you been waiting?"

Takeru laughed. "I told myself when I got off the plane that I would give him two hours and then I would just find my own way home." He held up the book. "Why do you think I brought this? Anyway, I was just going to finish the chapter I was on and go ahead home, when you called my name."

He had stood then and Yamato had been surprised to find his brother just slightly taller than himself. They had embraced and Yamato asked, "What are you doing here?"

It had been Takeru's turn to look surprised. "Dad didn't tell you?"

Yamato sort of half-frowned, half-smiled. "I live with Taichi near the university now," he said. "I doubt Dad remembers I'm alive half the time."

Takeru laughed. "I guess you have a point," he said. "Well, I'm here to stay. It took me the better part of a year, but I managed to convince Mom to let me live with Dad for at least my last year in high school."

Yamato raised an eyebrow. "However did you manage that?"

"With a lot of persistence and a lot of hope," Takeru said.

They walked to the car and a sort of silence fell upon them. Yamato almost didn't know what to say to this new older version of his brother. When Takeru left, he had been a fun-loving happy boy, hopeful that all things would turn out right in the end. Yamato didn't know if he would find the same boy in the young man that sat beside him.

Eventually, it was Takeru who had broken the ice. "So, what's Taichi doing now these days? Still playing soccer?"

Yamato smiled at the thought of his roommate and best friend. "Yeah," he had answered. "He now coaches a kids' team for his job with Daisuke as his assistant. We're going to the local university, so we're not really that far away from everybody. Daisuke is going to the same high school we did, but Hikari and Ken are going to a more private school." Everyone had been kind of surprised that Ken didn't go to some elitist school somewhere, but he explained that he would rather be closer to the other Digidestined.

Yamato had glanced at Takeru when he mentioned Taichi's little sister, gauging his reaction. A slight grimace graced Takeru's face, but he didn't react beyond that. Yamato almost wanted to sigh. Takeru and Hikari had been best friends before Takeru had moved, sort of thrust together first as the youngest of the group, then as the older and more experienced ones of the group, and Yamato had begun to think that perhaps there was more to the two of them than just friendship, not that he had ever mentioned that to Taichi. He wasn't really sure what Taichi's reaction would be.

"Yeah," Takeru just said. "What about the rest of the Digidestined?"

"Well, Iori is going to attend the same school as Hikari and Ken now. Hard to imagine the kid's already in high school."

Takeru had smiled at that. "What about the rest of the girls? I know Mimi moved back to Odaiba not long after I went to France."

Yamato had nodded. "Right. She, Sora, and Miyako all live together near Taichi and me. They're all going to the same university as we are."

"And Jyou and Koushiro?"

"Jyou is finally starting his first year of medical school and Koushiro is going to some technology university in Tokyo. Both of them aren't too far away so we see them often."

"I guess everything's the way it should be," Takeru said. "So I hear Ken and Miyako are dating? And you and Sora?"

Yamato looked at his brother in surprise. "How did you know?"

Takeru laughed, but didn't answer. Instead he asked, "How's it going for you guys?"

Yamato smiled at the thought of his girlfriend. "It's really great," he said. "Taichi has been surprisingly supportive from the beginning. We go out on most weekends and we've planned our school and work schedules enough so that we can spend time together."

After Yamato finished talking, Takeru said, hesitantly, "So, I'm guessing that since you just found out I'm back, Hi—the others don't know I'm back either."

"Not unless you told them," Yamato said. He had noticed Takeru's slip, but chose not to comment on it.

"Could you not tell them?"

"Why not?"

Takeru smiled and laughed. "It might be fun to surprise them."

Yamato shook his head out of the memory. Now it was a week later, and he hadn't told anyone. Sora, not surprisingly, and Taichi, surprisingly, had known something was wrong, but neither had pressed him to tell them.

It was the first day of the school year and Yamato had come to see his brother off. He didn't know how Takeru had known, but he was in the same school as Hikari and Ken.

"You didn't have to come see me off," Takeru said as he pulled on his blazer.

"I know," Yamato said. "But I wanted to let you know that we've been planning a Digidestined get-together for this Saturday. You're going to come, right?"

There was a distinct pause as Takeru picked up his D-3 from his desk. Yamato watched as his hand gripped the D-3 tighter, but he turned to Yamato with a smile. "Of course," he said. "It's not like I have any other plans. I've only been in Odaiba for a week, remember?"

Yamato nodded, wondering what exactly had bothered Takeru in that moment. "We'll be going to the Digital World so that the Digimon will be included. You'll get to see Patamon."

A shadow smile came across Takeru's face. "Yeah," he said. He put his D-3 and his D-Terminal in his bag and slung it over his shoulder. He walked toward the front door with Yamato following. "Lock the door when you leave," Takeru said as he left.

Yamato sighed after his brother left. Something was clearly wrong with Takeru, but somehow, Yamato just couldn't ask what it was. He wanted to know why his brother had stopped contacting them and coming to the Digital World. Yamato noticed that when Takeru had put his D-3 and D-Terminal in his bag it had been out of habit, so Yamato knew that he had probably kept both items with him all the time when he was in France. With a D-3, Takeru could open his own gate to the Digital World anytime that he wanted. He knew from Patamon that Takeru hadn't been to the Digital World in the four years that he was gone, or at least Patamon hadn't seen him.

It didn't really make any sense. Yamato knew that Takeru adored Patamon. He, more than the rest of them, understood the feeling of being separated from your Digimon partner. He speculated again about Takeru's slip at the airport. Yamato knew that Takeru had almost said 'Hikari' instead of 'the others'. He wondered if something had happened before Takeru had left for France. Hikari never mentioned anything. Neither had Taichi, though that wasn't exactly surprising.

The Crest of Hope and the Crest of Light. They had always had some sort of special bond that none of the rest of them had quite understood. Yamato thought again about how he had begun to wonder if they were more than just friends.

Yamato shrugged. Takeru would tell him when he felt ready to. Yamato would just have to wait until then.