A/N: A very belated happy 11th anniversary to Digimon! My very first fanfic was a Takari. And that was what, eight years ago? Read it and laugh at my crappy writing skills. XD IMHO, Digimon-wise, Takari is the way to go. OTP love! But I have other couples I like. I have yet to write a Sorato (canon but very unpopular. Why, minna? Why? lol), a Michi that I can actually finish (sorry!), and a… Kouyako! *ducks flying vegetables from Kenyako fans* It seems my preferred couplings are a healthy mix of canon, almost-canon, and uh… almost-crack. Okay, I'm rambling. Just read the fic, 'kay?
Disclaimer: Digimon and its characters do not belong to me.
'Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever. It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.' - Aaron Siskind
Bright, blue eyes were narrowed in deep concentration. Golden hair shone in the streaks of sunlight that seeped through the windows of the school gym. His jump pushed him off the ground – far above his unprepared defender. Outstretched arms tensed with energy, wrist curled toward the ring a few feet away, his fingers having just released the ball with practiced ease. It was eerie how one photo captured each physical feature so accurately and artistically.
The next one showed him laughing at something probably Daisuke or Miyako had said. His eyes were closed, nose crinkled, mouth open wide, left dimple showing. Another was of him staring at a distance, maybe the sky. His blue eyes were brighter that usual, soft with emotion. His mouth was quirked on one side – a habit Hikari insisted his brother also had.
There were more – one of him napping on his brother's shoulder, another with his head bent down on homework, more of him playing basketball.
His companion lazily opened one eye to peer at him.
He repeatedly pushed the buttons on her digital camera only to reveal more pictures of himself. "Why do you have so many pictures of me?"
He felt the bed creak as she moved closer to him.
"I mean, I get it that the school paper would want some after our big win against Seishu, but there's a really a lot of me in here."
The boy's last remark made her giggle into her hand. "It's because we spend a lot of time together, Keru-kun. You know how much I like taking pictures of people. It just so happens you're always with me."
He sighed while staring at a rare photo of him looking very annoyed. It was during a picnic with Miyako, Daisuke and Iori at the Digital World. He and Daisuke were arguing over the last onigiri when the Taichi-clone accidentally splashed sticky orange juice all over him. He resisted the sudden urge to delete the picture. Anger did not suit him at all. Maybe Yamato who did serious and intense well. The younger Ishida was more of laughter and sunny smiles.
"I guess that makes sense."
She carefully placed her head against his shoulder. "Besides, you're a cute subject. I only have two blue-eyed, blond-haired friends. And you know how your brother hates being photographed. I have no choice but to settle for the slightly less attractive brother," she concluded with a dramatic sigh.
He rolled his eyes at her, as his hand reached out to pinch her nose. "Thanks a lot."
With a sharp cry, she leapt at him. Limbs tangled in sheets, pillows and with each other as the two wrestled. Wild giggling filled his ears.
"Let's go to the beach!" he managed to gasp between her fingers, while her other hand tugged at his cheek.
That made her stop. Her face rearranged into a questioning look that strangely resembled her elder brother's – only cuter. "Why there?"
"It's summer and we're here in your room. I'm bored."
"Wrestling with me bores you?"
He tried to ignore the fluttering in his stomach. "Don't you want to go for a swim?"
She thought for a minute. "Sounds like fun," she finally said. "I'll go get Gatomon and Patamon."
"Takeru-kuuuuuuuuuuuuuuun! The water's good! Come on!"
"Hai hai! Come on, Takeru!"
Patamon squealed as the blue-eyed boy smeared sunblock on its stomach. "In a minute!" he called. He playfully tickled the digimon, smiling at his partner's delighted laughing. "Alright, you have more than enough sunblock. Let's go."
Takeru loved the beach. He loved how the wet sand stuck to his feet, calves and neck. He loved how with each breath, salty air of the sea filled his lungs. He loved how the sun blinded his eyes with its brightness. Beside him, his and Hikari's partner digimons lay in a heap, snoring in exhaustion from an afternoon of frolicking in the sun.
The bright flash of a camera called his attention to the girl next to him. She giggled at his startled expression.
Another photo to add to her already gigantic collection.
"You have way too many pictures of me," he whined. He blinked as another flash temporarily blinded him.
"I do," she agreed. Her eyes had become unexpectedly soft as she stared at the camera's viewfinder. "But never enough."
He looked at her strangely, but she kept silent. Confused, he faced the sea that, he noticed, had turned a peculiar shade of orange and pink – a lot like her eyes.
"You know why I take lot of pictures of you?" she finally asked after a few minutes.
"Because I look like my matinee-idol-of-a-brother?"
It was enough to break the tension between them. They both burst into easy laughter. "Be careful. You're beginning to sound as arrogant as Yamato-san," she warned with a shaking finger.
He shrugged, feigning nonchalance. "You said I look like him." He carelessly ran his fingers through his hair in a manner not unlike his brother to prove his point.
"Nope." She stuck her tongue out at the fair-haired boy. "I said you're a less attractive version of him," she corrected him.
"Aaah!" he cried with false hurt. Takeru put both hands on the space above his heart. "You wound me, Hikari-chan! Shall I call Sora-san and warn her there is yet another rival for 'Niisan's love?"
Breathless laughter erupted from the two teens. The child of light playfully pinched his arm in retaliation. "No need, Keru-kun," she reassured him smilingly. "You know I prefer you."
It was words like those coming from her that made his traitorous heart leap. The fluttering in his stomach returned.
"You were my first friend, Keru-kun," she continued, a soft smile on her lips. "I was really shy when I was small. I usually kept to myself. Of course I had Oniisan and Sora-san, but you were the first friend I made all on my own. Despite all the horrible things we went through in the Digital World, I had more happy memories because of you, Gatomon, and everyone. But after that summer, we went home and I never saw you again."
She inched closer to him until their shoulders touched. "When I saw you walk into our classroom four years ago, I was so happy. I found you again."
He smiled softly. "I was happy that day too. I missed you a lot."
"Demo," she frowned. "It could happen again. Circumstances could take you far away from me. You could move to another city, like before. I take pictures of you – smiling, frowning, sleeping, laughing, doing everything. So no matter where you go, I have a piece of you with me."
She wrapped her arms around him and buried her face in his neck. "Because you're my first friend, Takeru-kun."
His heart fluttered within his chest. "And you're mine, Hikari-chan."
Because of all the people he met, and of all the friends he made, he was only truly himself with Hikari. She understood him completely. And he understood her.
Her breath tickled his ear as he absently played with her fingers.
"Takeru-kun," she murmured against his skin.
"Nani?" He slipped her hand into his, fingers tightly woven.
"We'll always be friends, ne?"
An eight-year-old Hikari looked at him with wide-eyed innocence. "We'll always be friends, ne?" she asked him. He had answered her with a confident "Of course!" while smiling joyfully. The little girl then taught him how to make a 'pinky swear,' which she, with all seriousness that an eight-year-old could muster, insisted was an important ritual. She curled her pinky around his in a solemn promise – a promise he almost did not keep if not for the sheer coincidence of his mother being transferred to Odaiba.
He would not lose her. Not this time.
"Always," he promised with his heart. Then, in a move that surprised neither him nor her, only because it was the most natural thing, he kissed her.
A/N:L-O-V-E! Lovely lovely Takari! Review and make me happy, yo!