Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon Tamers.
Author's Note: Another little pet project of mine. Do they even have Valentine's Day in Japan? I feel so dumb. This takes place a few months after the Tamers went to the Digital World. I hope you like it! ^_^*
Translations: I used Japanese names for this story:
Rika = Ruki
Henry = Jenrya
Guilmon = Gillmon
D-Power = D-Ark
Susie = Shiuchon
Dedication: This is dedicated to Silver, who's been bugging me to write a happy fic. He also beta read it for me. Dude, you need to write some Tamers fics! I know it's not Daikari, but I think it's better than any Daikari I could ever write. I hope you enjoy reading it! ^^Random Hearts By DaisukeFire
Hearts. She hated, despised and absolutely loathed them. Just seeing one of those bloated circles in any size, color or form made her stomach churn. This was the day that those hearts bred and multiplied in one massive epidemic of putrid affection. In every window, on every piece of paper, and on everyone's goofy faces. It is these hearts on this day that drives millions of hopeless lovers hurtling off cliffs into the ocean of failed marriage and irresponsibility, like lemmings diving to their twisted deaths in the ruthless waves below. What were they, nuts? Not the lemmings, those are just stupid rodents. The people. She could not understand how these so-called lovers, consumed by an instant of passion, or whatever, could become so obsessed with something so trivial, and in her opinion, worthless.
Her mother was one of those people. But then again, everyday was Valentine's Day for Ruki's mother. Ruki frowned. It made no sense to that there should be a special day reserved for being with someone special. If the person was that special, then shouldn't every day be like that? Either way, her mother spent different parts of the day with many different, special people, and Ruki wasn't one of them.
A young couple, not much older than herself, passed by, they were holding hands and staring naively into each other's eyes. Ruki heard the boy say something about how he couldn't wait until they were married. She wanted to spin around and laugh at them. They would hate each other's guts in a few weeks when they broke up, if they managed to last that long. In a few months they would be nothing more than a statistic.
She planned to gladly tear up all the little Valentine's Day cards she'd gotten in class, and then spend the rest of the Day with Renamon. She would have trashed the cards right then in class, but she figured it wasn't worth a lecture from her teacher. It's not like any of the other girls had given her a card because they liked her, it had been a class requirement to bring a card for everyone. Not that she liked anyone in her class as it was. Ruki wished she could have put what she really thought about each girl on the cards she gave them, but that too would result in a lecture. She had said very nice and lovely comments about all the other girls in her class on their cards, but she had to have her grandma help her do that, of course. Complements were not very abundant in Ruki's mind. Why should she complement someone when they didn't deserve as much?
Ruki closed her eyes and let the soft, afternoon breeze float through her hair. Why were people so obsessed with love? All it ever did was cause people pain. Sure, it felt good when everything was working out in the relationship, but when people broke up, or if one of the two died, like her father, then there was nothing but heartache. Wouldn't it just be better to never love at all? She shrugged. She did love Renamon, but that was in a platonic way. Besides, her relationship with Renamon was much more stable than a romantic relationship. She and Renamon were warriors, partners and friends. Why couldn't all relationships be as simple as that?
She took a turn and headed into the park. Immediately she bit her tongue, realizing this had been a mistake. The park had an even larger population of young lovers than the streets. All of the lovers were basking in the warmth of Valentine's Day euphoria. There were couples sitting on the park benches, some holding hands, others furiously kissing. Other couples were lying down in the grass and looking dreamily at the sky. Ruki had to resist the urge to gag.
The gray school uniform she wore made her frown even more, she couldn't wait to get home and put on the shirt with the comforting broken heart on it. That would make her feel better. The shirt described her attitude perfectly; she didn't need or want love.
"Hey, I bet you'd like me to be your Valentine!" A dark haired boy, at least three years her senior, strutted up to her.
Ruki smirked and stared into his eyes, "Really? You want to be my Valentine?"
The boy nodded, and suavely pulled back his greasy hair. "Yeah, you're lucky, all the girls want me. But you're one of the cutest one's I've seen, so I'm choosing you."
"Wow," Ruki leaned in close to him, staring into his eyes; then she drove her fist into his gut. The boy's eyes widened and he fell wheezing to the ground. He looked at her, gasping for air, and moved his lips as if to say, "how," and "why"? She leaned over him and growled, "Valentine's Day is for losers just like you." Then she walked away, leaving the boy behind in a crumpled heap.
The brown haired boy swallowed and licked his lips, trying to get the gummy feeling out of his mouth. His mouth always seemed to dry up when he was nervous. He wasn't sure why he was so nervous though; he knew exactly how everything was going to happen. His brain told him that what he was going to do was ridiculous and that it was just a waste of time, but his heart told him to go for it. Since he already knew what was going to happen, and he was prepared for the consequences, he decided that he had nothing to lose and that he should go for it. Now the time for action was rapidly approaching, and he either had to jump in head first, or risk running away.
He had never been very good at making friends, due to his shyness, so he didn't have many. She was one of them, but months after their adventure in the Digital World she was still distant towards him, and towards everyone else. She followed her own agenda, and didn't care about the opinions or feelings of other people. The boy smiled, she seemed to have an even tougher time making friends than he did. She was tough, smart, one of the best card players to ever live, and not to mention she was pretty cute too. He couldn't help but feel a little pride knowing that most guys his age would kill just to meet "The Digimon Queen," and he knew her well enough to call her a friend.
The move would be daring, dangerous even, but it was something he knew he had to do. Ever since before he had met her, he had felt something about her. He wasn't sure what it was, but when he saw her in that dream months ago, he had felt it. Maybe it was just the awe of seeing someone so powerful, or maybe it was because she was the first Tamer he had ever known.
This wasn't going to be the act of a hopeless romantic; she would never go for one of those. With that broken heart on her shirt, he was sure it would be a long time before she ever cared about romance. He had decided that he was too young for romance, but if that ever came, he wouldn't mind. But he did hope that this would at least bring the two of them a little closer, maybe even to the point that he could call her a good friend.
Her gray dress and red hair caught his eyes, and he could feel his heart begin to race; it was almost time to act. He hadn't expected her to come through the park; he had hoped to approach her at her home. Part of the reason he wanted to do that was to avoid the public humiliation of being slugged, if that was her reaction. He clenched his fist and felt the envelope in his pocket. Now was as good a time as any, he just hoped that his courage wouldn't fail.
"Tag, you're it Takato!" laughed another boy's voice as the brown haired boy felt a slap on his shoulder. Takato whipped around, yelping in surprise. The other boy laughed again, "You don't seem very focused on the game Takato. But I don't blame you, it took Gillmon forever to tag someone."
Takato chuckled nervously, "Yeah."
"Hey, isn't that Ruki? Think she'll want to play tag with us?"
The boy raised one of his arms to wave to her, but was interrupted by a hand clasping over his mouth before he could call her name. "Hirokazu, wait! I kinda need to talk to her first, and she doesn't look like she wants to play anyways."
"She never does, and you're right, she looks more angry than usual."
"Hey, what's the hold up?" laughed a brown haired girl with one pigtail as she ran up to the two.
"Awe, its nothing Juri," laughed Hirokazu, "I was just asking Takato if he thinks Ruki would want to play tag with us."
"Hmm, she looks like she's thinking about something. Otherwise I'm sure she would have noticed us by now. Besides, she would probably want to go home and change first."
"Yeah," interrupted Takato. "Hey, I gotta go talk to her about something for a minute, I'll be right back. Oh, and Juri, you're it!" Takato tagged the girl, who squealed in surprise and then sprinted after the fleeing Hirokazu.
Takato took a deep breath and adjusted the goggles on his head. Then he began jogging in Ruki's direction. Why was he so nervous? The only reason that he was doing this was to try and strengthen their friendship a little more at least. But if that was true, why had he gone to so much trouble to go through with this? He wondered, just for an instant, if he might have a crush on her. He quickly shook the thoughts out of his head; that would be ridiculous. He was sure that hundreds of guys had probably given her Valentines today. He just hoped she would take the time to read his.
"Ruki!" he cried out, trying poorly to sound casual. He was always shy around girls, even Juri, who was one of his best friends.
The girl turned and looked at him with a frown, "Hey goggle-head."
Takato smiled nervously, "Uh Happy Valentine's Day!"
Ruki rolled her eyes, "Yeah, it's the most wonderful day of the year."
"Did you get a lot of Valentines?"
"Yeah, our teacher required us to give everyone in our class a Valentine."
"Oh, we didn't do that at our school. The principle says its too distracting."
"I agree with him."
Takato anxiously fingered the envelope in his pocket, he wanted to give it to her and get out of there as fast as possible. "I uh-"
She interrupted him, "Did Juri and Jenrya get you a card?"
"Yeah," Takato began rubbing the hair on the back of his head, "we all got each other cards."
"That's nice. Renamon and I have some training to do, so I'll talk to you later." She began to turn and walk away.
"I… I got you a card too, if you want it." Takato raised the envelope and offered it too her. He was annoyed that it had gotten bent a little, but he hoped she would overlook it.
Ruki looked at him, almost suspiciously, for a moment. Then she reached out and took the envelope from him, "Sorry, I didn't get you anything."
Takato smiled, "That's alright, I'm sure you didn't expect to get one from me."
Ruki frowned apathetically, "Thanks. Have a good Valentine's Day."
"You too!" Takato watched as she tossed the envelope into her backpack and then walked away. He let out a sigh of relief. It had gone much better than he planned. He crossed his fingers and hoped that it would stand out from the other Valentines she had gotten.
He walked back to where the others were playing tag. He wasn't too sure if he could continue in the game, he felt exhausted.
"Hey, Takato's back! Newcomers are it!" cried Kenta when he saw Takato.
"I'm not a newcomer!" was Takato's rebuttal.
"You're still it, Kenta!" laughed Hirokazu. "You can't just make Takato be it because he left for a minute. Watch out Takato, he's gonna be aiming to tag you!"
"I think I'm gonna take a break guys, I feel kinda tired."
"Sure, but don't take too long!"
Takato slumped down against a tree, leaned his head back and closed his eyes. Just giving Ruki that card had taken more out of him than an entire game of tag would. He was wondering how she might react once she read it, if she did, when a voice caught his attention.
"So, was that a Valentine you gave Ruki?"
Takato opened his eyes and looked up to see Jenrya standing over him. Terriermon was perched on his shoulder, staring risibly at him. Takato grimaced, "Yeah, do you think it was a bad idea?"
"She's not gonna read it," the rabbit Digimon laughed. Takato frowned.
"Don't listen to him," Jenrya glared at the rabbit with disapproval. "I'm sure she'll read it."
"You think so?"
"Yeah, I'm sure she was thrilled to get one from you."
"She sure didn't seem too thrilled."
Jenrya sat down next to Takato and Terriermon jumped into his Tamer's lap. "That's just the way she is. She acts all icy, but I bet she was down because it's Valentine's Day and she didn't get many Valentines. I bet you made her day."
"Are you crazy? I bet that she got Valentines from a lot of other guys."
"I think we're the only guys she knows, and you're the only one who had the courage to give her one."
"Yeah, well it wasn't that important anyways."
"Sure, that's why you're blushing."
Takato smiled weakly, "I just hope that she likes it."
"Takatomon!" cried the high-pitched voice of Gillmon as he ran toward Takato and Jenrya, waving a red Valentine in his claws.
"Hey boy!" Takato laughed.
"I got another Valentine!" The dinosaur held the heart with white border lace up for his Tamer to see.
Takato smiled, "Just add it to your pile." He motioned to a large pile of envelopes and hearts. "I guess you got a Valentine from just about everyone in school."
"How come he's so popular?" Terriermon scowled. "I hardly got any Valentines."
"Don't worry, Terriermon. You haven't gotten Shiuchon's Valentine yet," said Jenrya.
Terriermon's ears flapped, "Well what are we waiting for? Let's go!"
"Alright Terriermon, momentai! Hey Takato, don't worry too much about how Ruki reacts. Even if she acts like she didn't like it, I'm sure you made her day! Gotta go, see ya tomorrow!"
"Right…" Takato muttered and smiled weakly.
Ruki threw her backpack to the ground and closed the door to her room. Then she ripped off the gray school dress and tossed it in a corner. As she pulled on the broken heart shirt she felt more complete than she had felt the entire day. This was her battle gear, and she felt naked wearing anything else. She grabbed her D-Ark and stared for an instant at its blue trimmings. Blue… ice… just like her. She clipped it to her belt.
"Renamon," she called.
In front of her, out of the darkness, the yellow kitsune materialized. "Ruki," it said, "I'm glad you're back."
"Thanks Renamon," Ruki smiled. "Are you ready for some training this afternoon?"
"Of course," Renamon smirked, "but first I wanted to give you something." The fox produced a card and handed it to Ruki.
Ruki smiled and looked at the card. It was made with heavy construction paper and was in the shape of a D-Ark that had the same blue coloring as the one Ruki wore at her belt. Ruki opened the card and read the text written in Renamon's sloppy handwriting:
Happy Valentine's Day! You're the best Tamer ever!
Love Renamon and Grandma
Ruki looked at Renamon happily. "This is the best Valentine's Day Card I've ever gotten. Thanks Renamon."
"I'm glad you like it. Grandma helped me make it. Sorry if it's a little sloppy, my claws are for fighting, not arts and crafts."
"It's great Renamon! I'll thank Grandma after we get done training. But first, you made me remember to do something." Ruki grabbed her backpack off the floor and opened it. She furiously ripped out all the Valentines she'd gotten that day, and placed them in a stack. Picking up the pile, she looked at the card on top. It was the one from Takato. She looked at it for a moment, and then tossed all the Valentines into the trash. She turned back to Renamon, "Your Valentine is the only one worth keeping. Now let's go!"
Ruki rushed to the door, opened it, and ran out into the yard, Renamon followed at her rear. As she was running to the gate exiting her yard, Ruki's Grandma called to her from one of the house's windows, "Ruki, where are you going?"
"Off training. Be back in a couple hours, thanks for the Valentine!" Ruki yelled back. Then she dashed out of the yard. She and Renamon jogged side by side down the street, neither of them growing short of breath.
Renamon looked to Ruki, "What are the plans for today's training?"
"We're just going to do some running and that's it."
"Don't you think that that's taking it a little too easy?"
"I'd kinda like to spend some more time with you and Grandma today. I've also got a lot on my mind."
"What's the matter Ruki?"
"I hate Valentine's Day."
"I understand," the fox smiled to her, "way too many un-broken hearts for you."
"Exactly. Broken hearts come a few days later. People are all lovey-dovey today, but in a few days they won't even remember how good they felt today because there will be so many problems in their relationships. I say that Valentine's Day shouldn't even be considered a holiday, but I liked getting a card from you."
"Were all those other envelopes you threw away Valentines?"
"Yeah, but our teacher made us give one to everybody in class, so any of the ones I got just have lies from the other girls about how they like me when they really don't."
"How do you know that none of them are being sincere?"
Ruki smirked, "Easy, all the comments I put on the one's I gave out are insincere. I don't like any of them, and none of them like me."
"Oh… did any of the other Tamers give you a Valentine?"
"No," Ruki frowned, "I think they're all afraid of me. Well wait, Takato did give me one."
"Really? What did he say?"
"Yeah, I was pretty surprised too. I don't know what it said; I didn't read it. Its probably unimportant anyways, something about how he's glad to be my friend or something."
"Maybe you should read it."
"Truck!" Ruki shouted.
"Huh?" Renamon asked as she turned her head just in time to see a truck speeding toward her. She gasped and somersaulted into the air and over the truck, landing right back on her feet and keeping pace with Ruki, who had jetted to the side of the truck. Renamon scowled at her, "You could have told me sooner!"
Ruki laughed, "Just doing some training for your reaction time, we can't have you getting slow Renamon!"
Renamon shook her head, "So why don't you read Takato's Valentine? He is your friend after all."
"Have you seen the new Imperialdramon Paladin Mode card, Renamon?
"No, and you're changing the subject!"
"I saw it at the card store the other day. I could make a killer deck if I had that card. I almost have enough money to buy it. I'd love to see Hirokazu's face when I blew him away with it. Ha!"
"Renamon," Ruki frowned, "I appreciate your concern, but I don't really care what Takato said in his Valentine. Besides it's the thought that counts isn't it?"
"So since he got me a Valentine, I know that he was at least concerned. So maybe I'll be a little nicer to him, maybe I'll even let him come over sometime. But I don't need to read his card, how different from the ones I got from the girls at school could it be?"
"I still think you should read it," Renamon replied, a hint of annoyance gleaming in her eyes. Ruki did not reply, she continued to frown and stare at the pavement as she ran.
"Well, I think that's all of them!" Takato smiled, admiring the part of his wall that was entirely covered with Gillmon's Valentines. They had read every single Valentine, and then taped them all up. Gillmon stood by his wall of Valentines and snickered with pride. Takato had gotten a few cards from his close friends like Juri and Jenrya, but Gillmon had gotten a card from practically everyone at school, and many others from the park.
"Takatomon, let's hang yours up too!"
When the two had finished hanging Takato's Valentines, which were far fewer than Gillmon's, they admired their wall. As Takato gazed at the wall, he couldn't help but wish there was a Valentine from Ruki hanging up there with the others.
Gillmon noticed Takato's far off look, "What's the matter Takato?"
Takato sighed, "Gillmon, have you ever liked anyone?"
"I like you!"
Takato smiled, "Thanks, I like you too! But I mean, have you ever liked anyone other than me?"
"I like Jenrya and Terriermon."
"I still don't think you quite get it. How about Renamon, do you like her?"
"Of course. Am I not supposed to?"
Takato raised his hands and waved them, "No, that's great that you like her. I mean do you like her in a weird way, different from the way you like all the others?"
Gillmon smiled and closed his eyes, "I like her the same way I like bread."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"I don't know. I guess Renamon's kinda different from the others, she's kinda special. At times she seems kinda lonely, like she wants to play with us more, but I think she's afraid."
"Why do you think she's afraid?"
"Maybe she's afraid that she'll look weak if she plays with us."
"Wow, I never really thought of it that way. Maybe Ruki's the same way. How do you think Renamon would react if you asked her to play with you more?"
"She'd probably laugh at me."
"That would be mean."
"Not really, that would just be her way of saying that she wants to play, but she's afraid to."
"So why don't you ask her to play with you sometime?"
"Maybe I will," Gillmon chirped. "But maybe she'll just join us on her own someday."
"You mean she'll come play when she's ready?"
"Takato, Gillmon," Takato's mother called from the kitchen, "dinner's ready!"
"Food!" cried Gillmon as he jumped around Takato and crashed down the stairs as fast as his wiry legs would carry him.
Takato laughed and looked at the Valentine covered wall. If giving Ruki the Valentine had been only about friendship, then why was it troubling him so much? Maybe he did have a crush on her. He sighed, and then made his way down the stairs.
Ruki flopped down on her bed and let out a sigh. She had just gotten done playing some board games with Renamon and her Grandma. It was starting to get late, and Renamon was still in another room talking with her Grandma. Her mother was still out, of course. Ruki would be lucky if her mom even came home that night to say happy Valentine's Day to her.
She turned her head and yawned. When she had closed her mouth, the trashcan caught her eye. Curiosity overtook her, and she got up from her bed.
She reached into the can and pulled out a random card. It was one from the girl who sat next to her in class. This girl was Ruki's exact opposite, and a huge fan of Ruki's mom. Her peer was always bragging about all the boyfriends she had, and about how she wished their school didn't have a dress code so she could wear all the expensive cloths that her parents bought her. Ruki thought for a moment, trying to predict what the card would say. Something like, "I want to be just like your mom" was Ruki's guess. She tore open the envelope with little consideration. The words were hastily written and the girl's true feelings easily bled through the kind, but false, words:
Ruki, I want to be just like your mom! Happy Valentine's Day!
Ruki noticed something was scribbled at the bottom of the card:
P.S. I do hope you realize that stupid fox you're always doodling in class isn't real.
Growling, Ruki ripped up the card. She wasn't going to let anyone get away with insulting her best friend like that. Ruki smirked. A good punch to the face should shatter all the girl's hopes and dreams of ever becoming a model. She chuckled. She'd get in trouble, probably suspended, but it would be worth it.
Sighing, she figured she might as well read another; she needed something to entertain her. She pulled out another card, and read whom it was from. It was from Takato. She tossed it back in the trash. Ruki was determined to prove to Renamon that she didn't need or want to read it. But as she stood there, looking down at the crumpled paper of Takato's envelope, she realized that she was curious to see what Takato had said. Whatever he had said probably wasn't a lie like the ones from her classmates. She was curious to see what he honestly thought of her.
Ruki quickly looked around the room. Renamon wasn't there, so she could open it, read it quickly and put it back on the bottom of the trash. Renamon would never be the wiser, and neither would Takato. She could do it without jeopardizing her tough image. Besides, she convinced herself, she wanted to see how big of a fool Takato had made himself sound on the paper.
She snatched the envelope from the trash and ripped it open. Her jaw dropped when she saw the Valentine. It was a hand-made, blue heart with a white crack down the middle, exactly how the one on her shirt looked. Ruki bit her lip; that had surprised her. She had expected it to be the normal, red heart that everyone else gave her.
Shaking the surprise out of her mind, she began to open the card. As she did so, something fell out of the card. Ruki picked it up and gazed at it. Her frown lightened. It was the Imperialdramon Paladin Mode Card she had been looking at! She couldn't believe that Takato would spend that much money on a card for her. Her frown returned; that would be his loss. The next time she played cards with him, she would make sure to annihilate him with the card he had given her.
She placed the Imperialdramon Card at her side and opened the Valentine. There was about a paragraph of writing, and Takato had signed it. Ruki began reading quietly to herself:
I know we don't seem very close at times, but I wanted to let you know that I care about you. I like you for who you are, and I hope that you never change. At first I thought I'd like it if you smiled more, but since you're always frowning, a smile is a rare treat, and that makes it much more special. You always try to act like you don't care about the rest of us, but I know we can count on you whenever we need help. And that heart on your shirt makes everyone think you hate love. But I don't think you hate it, I think you just hate the standard view of it. I hope you like the Digimon card I got for you, and I hope you use it against me the next time we play cards. I'll be ready for it! Happy Valentine's Day!
P.S. Ruki, will you be my Valentine?
Ruki set the Valentine down next to the Digimon card, and stared. She hadn't expected that, not from Takato. What was all of that supposed to mean? He liked her for who she was. She had always thought her tough, cool attitude would drive any guy away. It was like her way of ensuring that she didn't end up like her mother. But Takato liked her that way? He had to be crazy, that was the only explanation.
"I knew you'd read it."
Ruki jumped in surprise, and looked up to see Renamon gazing at her from the other side of the room. She laughed, "Well it's a good thing I did, there was a great Digimon card in it that would have gotten thrown away." Ruki picked up the Valentine and tossed it back into the trash.
"Well Takato must have said something that surprised you, it was obvious when you read the card."
"Oh, he was just his usual, goggle-head self. He said something about how he likes me for who I am. You like me for who I am, so it's not like he said anything special. I'll thank him for the Digimon card, and that will be all there is to it."
"Why are you so afraid to admit that you like him?"
"Like him how? As a friend, sure he's all right. But if you mean like him as in like him, then you're as crazy as he is. You of all people should know that I don't like love, I hate it!"
"Then why are you blushing?"
Ruki growled, "Then let's go." She shot up from the bed and dashed towards the door leading to the yard.
"Go where, Ruki?"
"Over to the goggle-head's house so I can tell him to his face that I don't like him at all, that way I can prove to you that I don't feel anything for him."
"You don't need to do that! I'll believe you if you want, you don't need to prove it to me. There's no point in hurting Takato's feelings."
Ruki glared at Renamon, "Like I care about hurting his feelings. If he's not tough enough to handle the truth, then it's not my problem. I don't want him thinking he has a chance with me when never will." Ruki opened the door and stepped into the yard. She stopped and shook her head, and then she turned back to Renamon, who was following, "I'm sorry for yelling at you, Renamon. You were just getting on my nerves with your nagging me about Takato. I'm just gonna go tell him as nicely as I can that I don't like him like that, only as a friend."
Renamon smiled, "Right." Renamon held out her arms and Ruki hopped into them. The fox leapt into the air and onto a telephone pole. She leapt to the next pole and so on, the silhouette of the Tamer and Digimon crossing the moon many times.
Takato lay warm and relaxed under the covers of his bed, staring at the ceiling. The rhythmic snoring of Gillmon echoed in his ears. Takato let out a sigh, as tired as he was, and as much as he wanted to sleep, he couldn't. He kept fantasizing about how Ruki might have reacted to his card. The fantasies were both good and bad. One version portrayed Ruki opening the card and her eyes glazing over with joyous tears, and the next day she would thank him and tell him she felt the same way about him. The other one, the one that he thought about most, was of Ruki opening the Valentine, taking the Digimon card, then laughing as she tossed the Valentine and his feelings in the trash. He was sure that that's what she had done. Well, it had been worth a shot.
"Takatomon digivolve to…" the Digimon snorted sleepily.
Takato chuckled and rolled over to his side, wrapping his arm around the sleeping Gillmon. No matter how she reacted, Takato would still be her friend. The more he thought about it, the more he realized that the reason he had put so much effort into her Valentine was because he wanted her to be more than just a distant friend. He even admitted to himself that he liked her.
Through Gillmon's snoring, Takato thought he heard something. It sounded like tapping on glass. He listened carefully for a moment, and then figured that the sound was just his imagination. He closed his eyes and tried to fall asleep, but then he heard the tapping again. This time he was sure that it wasn't his imagination and he rolled over and looked at the door to his balcony. He could see two shadows on the other side of the curtains, one of which look like Renamon.
Takato squealed in fear, she's here! What was she doing here? "Gahh!" he cried out as he jumped out of bed and frantically tried to make himself look neat. There was no time to get dressed; he had to hope she didn't mind talking to him in his pajamas. He scrambled to try and find his goggles, but he couldn't remember where he put them. He heard the tapping again. He groaned stressfully. She might leave if he didn't answer soon. Facing her like he was now became his only option.
He walked to the door, stomach churning in anticipation, and took a deep breath, hoping that everything would go well. Takato slid open the curtains and glass door. He masked his anxiety with a face of surprise. Renamon, who was perched on the railing of his balcony behind Ruki, stared at him complacently. Takato felt as if his heart would burst out of his chest. Ruki was probably mad at him for the Valentine, that's why she had come here so late.
"Uh, Ruki, hi! Why are you here so late?"
She stared at him with fierce eyes, a frown painted on her face. "You know why I'm here."
Takato blushed and began rubbing the back of his head, "I'm sorry if my Valentine made you mad-"
"Thanks for the Imperialdramon card."
"Oh… uh… you're welcome!" Takato smiled.
Ruki continued to frown and looked into Takato's eyes. "I came here to tell you that… that…"
"That what, Ruki?"
"That I don't like you at all," she whispered.
"What did you say?" he asked. "I didn't hear you."
Ruki squinted and growled; then she turned away, "Your card was nice." She glanced up at Renamon who smiled triumphantly.
"You l-liked it?"
Ruki kept her back to Takato, "I didn't dislike it."
Takato smiled, "That's good enough for me!"
"You're the only one, besides Renamon, who gave me a Valentine because you wanted to."
"Really? I figured lots of guys would be giving you Valentines."
"No, if they did, they would get a black eye in return." Ruki giggled slightly.
Takato pointed at her and hooted, "You just giggled, I heard you!"
Ruki turned back to face him with a stern frown, "I was coughing."
"Takato, did you really mean what you said in that card?"
Takato's face became serious and he looked at Ruki, "Yeah, I meant every word of it."
"Well then you really are crazy. I would think that you would like a more typical girl, like Juri."
"Juri's just a friend. I don't know why I think you're so special, but when I compare you to other girls, they just seem so dull. You're exciting."
"You think I'm exciting?"
Takato grinned, "Yeah. I can figure most other girls out after spending a few hours with them. But with all the time I've known you, I still can't figure you out. You're the only girl I know who would rather get a Digimon card for Valentine's Day than flowers and candy."
Ruki smiled, "Of course, what are flowers good for? They just wilt away and die." Just like love. She looked at Takato, who was smiling mischievously. "What's so funny?"
"Nothing," Takato smirked, "you were smiling. Do you remember what I said about you smiling in my Valentine?"
Ruki immediately frowned again, "Smiles are superficial; people always smile when they aren't happy."
"That one wasn't superficial!"
"You're pushing your luck, goggle-head." Ruki turned away from Takato and began walking toward Renamon. "Thank you for the Valentine, Takato. But just because I liked it doesn't mean anything."
"If it didn't mean anything, then why didn't you punch me like you would other guys? And why'd you come over to tell me about it now instead of tomorrow?"
"Well," she looked at him, "you are my friend, and I have to at least act a little bit like a friend to you. Besides, maybe I did feel something when I read your Valentine."
"It was mostly the desire to beat
you up," Ruki smirked and made a fist and pointed it at Takato, "but I'd hate
to get your pajamas dirty." Takato
gulped. Ruki continued, "You know, I
like you for who you are too. But don't
think I'm gonna start acting like a stupid, ditzy girl or start being nice to
you. This doesn't change our
relationship at all. Love will only
make me weak. So don't expect anything
but us being friends. Night."
Takato nodded and then hung his head. He turned and headed back into his room. But then he felt something reach over his shoulder. He turned his head to see what it was, and as he did so, he felt her lips kiss his cheek. Then he heard her whisper, "I'll be your Valentine."
He turned to face her, only to see her jump off the railing of the balcony. Renamon caught her in mid-air. Takato watched as the Digimon bounded off the neighboring buildings. Ruki was looking at him, smiling.
Takato walked back into his room, and shut the door. He crawled into bed, pushing the snoring Gillmon over. He pulled the sheets over his body and sighed. She was so confusing, but he liked that. "Happy Valentine's Day," he whispered, "Ruki."
Ruki quietly entered her room and shut the door. She turned and gasped as she realized her mother was sitting on her bed, looking at her. "Uh, Mom, I can explain."
Her mother smiled, "There's no need to apologize, Ruki. If anyone should be apologizing, it's me."
Ruki blinked, approached and sat down next to her mother. "You're home kind of early, don't you have anymore dates tonight?"
"No, I ditched my last date. He wasn't that important anyways."
"Why? You might have had fun."
Ruki's mother smiled, "Well, I realized that I should be spending Valentine's Day with the people that are most important to me, my mother and my daughter. I know that I realized it kind of late, but you know what they say, 'better late than never.'"
Ruki smiled, "I'm glad you came home early." She jumped up and ran over to her dresser. From one of the drawers she pulled a small envelope with the label 'Mom' on it. She sat back down next to her mother. "It's the same kind I gave all my classmates, but I didn't have to have Grandma help me with what I wrote."
Her mother took the envelope and looked at her daughter with surprise, "I don't really deserve a Valentine from you."
Ruki shrugged, "Sure you do. Just because we don't get along sometimes doesn't mean I don't love you."
Ruki's mother opened the envelope and began reading, "Dear Mom, I know we have our differences, but deep down we're really alike. I just hope that I can make you proud, as long as I don't have to become a model. I will always love you, no matter how many fights we have. Happy Valentine's Day! Love, Ruki." Her mother held the card to her face, and seemed to cry.
"I'm sorry Mom," Ruki tried to comfort her, "but I really don't want to be a model."
"It's not that," her mother chuckled tearfully, "it's just that no matter how bad a mother I am to you, you still continue to love me."
"You're not bad, Mom. Sure, you go on a lot of dates and stuff, but you're always here when I need you."
Her mother sniffled and then smiled, "Thank you, Ruki. I love you too. I got you something as well!"
"Yes," her mother said as she reached to her side and pulled up a shirt that looked exactly like the one Ruki always wore, except that the heart on it was whole, and not broken. Ruki stared at it with her mouth gaping in horror, and then she forced herself to smile. "You don't like it?"
"No, it's great." Ruki choked. "It's just that, well… hearts aren't exactly my thing."
"I know, but if I can change, you can change too. Look, I got one for myself too!" She showed Ruki a similar shirt except it had a red heart and red sleeves.
Ruki bit her lower lip and took the blue-sleeved shirt from her mother. She stared at it, the whole-heart making her stomach want to heave. She looked at her mother, who was smiling hopefully. Ruki gulped, "Well, I can give it a shot. I don't know whether I'll like it as much as my broken-heart shirt."
"Well, if you decide you can't wear it, then let me know and I'll go buy you one with a broken heart."
Ruki smiled, "Thanks Mom." The mother and daughter wrapped their arms around each other and tightly embraced.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Ruki!"
"Happy Valentine's Day, Mom!"
The hug ended, and Ruki's mother took the Valentine's card Ruki had given her. "Good night."
"Night Mom." Ruki's mother then left the room. Ruki rushed to the back door and opened it so Renamon could step in.
"So your mother came home early?" the fox said.
"Yeah. We had a small talk, and I think we're learning to accept each other more of for who we are."
"Today's been interesting for you, hasn't it?"
"Yeah, it's been a really weird day."
Renamon curled up next to Ruki's bed and yawned, "I'm glad today turned out to be better than you thought it would be, Ruki. Happy Valentine's Day."
Ruki smiled, "Happy Valentine's Day, Renamon." She took the shirt she had received and looked at it before she put it in her dresser. Could she give the unbroken heart a chance? Could she give love a chance?
She walked to the trashcan and pulled Takato's Valentine out. She set it and the Imperialdramon card on her dresser. She had given Takato a chance, and she had decided that she liked him, more than she used to at least. Maybe she would be nicer to him. Or maybe she would keep him in suspense and act like tonight had never even happened. She smirked. She wasn't about to let her bad girl image go down the drain.
Maybe Valentine's Day wasn't so bad. Her list of people she cared about had increased to four that day: Renamon, her grandma, her mother, and Takato. She jumped into bed and snuggled under the covers.
"Renamon," she asked sleepily.
Renamon's eyes glimmered at her through the darkness, "Yes Ruki?"
"Why don't you ever play with Gillmon? You might like him."
Renamon's eye's glared menacingly at her, "Don't start with me, Ruki."
Author's Note: Please review and let me know what you think. I hope I didn't make Ruki too soft. ^^