Christmas Chocolates


It's been five years since D-Reaper, give or take a month or two. We still haven't seen our partners again. Yamaki promised us, he's working on it but...

...I'm more than a little skeptical at this point, let's just say.

The first Christmas after we lost them, Juri started our yearly tradition: A big Christmas Party. Every year we go to someone else's place and celebrate together. Jen, Takato, Hirokazu, Juri and I are the only ones who really kept in close contact...Ruki and Ryou sort of go off and do their own thing. Ruki even missed last year's party.

This year, we're at Juri's place again. We draw names out of a hat, her name came up. Last year it was at The Matsuda Bakery. As a surprise, Takato's parents made us bread and cookies shaped like our partners. MarineAngemon was a cookie with mint frosting...I...Kinda didn't want to eat it. I miss the little guy so much.

Takato sort of talked me into eating it anyway. I split it with him... We talked for a long time about how much we missed our partners, memories from The Digital World and the whole...D-Reaper thing. We were just off in a corner of the bakery while everyone was having fun. We did that for a while, actually, until Hirokazu and Jen told us everyone was going to exchange presents.

...I think that...might have been what started a problem I've been having lately, too.

It's about five days to Christmas. School's been out for two days. The party starts in an hour, I'm sort of taking my time to get there. I'm not really in the mood this year, but...Takato will be there. I haven't seen Takato in a while, I've sort of...been avoiding him. Because...

...Well...

...I-I think I might, well, like him. A little.

No, that's a lie. I know I like him. A lot.

And I don't really like that fact.

I-I'm not...Well...I guess I am 'that way.' I...just don't want to admit to it, I really don't. Looking back, I should have seen this coming.

Actually, I have a little bit of an analogy for it...

...I'm sort of Hirokazu's opposite. Hirokazu's the manly, outgoing, leap-before-you-look, loud mouthed type. I'm...Quieter than he is, but that's not hard to do. I'm sort of shy, less than Takato is, but... I also...wouldn't call myself the picture of manliness, I don't think so anyway. And I tend to think before I act. So, yeah, if I'm Hirokazu's exact opposite, the yin to his yang, then a girl chasing Hirokazu would mean...A boy chasing Kenta...

...Well, no, it would mean a boy avoiding Kenta. Like I said, I've been avoiding Takato for the past few months since I, well, realized I had a thing for him. I thought, "maybe it'll go away," "maybe it's just a phase." ...Then I read a couple "gay teen help" sites and found out it's NOT a choice or a phase. I was a little pissed to learn that. I sort of knew it before I went to the site but...I could hope, couldn't I?

Takato sent me an email a couple weeks ago...He asked if I was mad at him or something. Even through text he sounded really upset and asked what he did and how he could make up for it. I felt really bad for avoiding him after I read it, he said he'd do anything he could to make me forgive him...

...Takato, if you could tell me you've secretly been a girl for the past ten years I've known you then, well, I'd feel a hell of a lot better right now.

I sent him a reply, saying I wasn't mad, I've just been "sorting out some personal issues - Nothing to do with you, Takato-kun. We're still friends, don't worry." ...Biggest lie I've ever told, well, the part about it having nothing to do with him. I still want to be his friend, I don't hate Takato for liking him. I'm not that sort of self-denying gay guy. I told him I'd see him at the party. He replied, saying he wanted to talk to me at the party...

...I'm tempted to fake sick or something. But I can't do that since Hirokazu was by my place earlier, he'd know I was lying and tell everyone. So I'm stuck.

I've got everyone's gifts with me. For Hirokazu, I got him the new Digimon World game. He probably already has it, so I saved a gift receipt for him in case. For Juri...a pewter lion statue. Ever since Leomon, she's kinda had a thing for lions. I think they make her feel better. Everyone else, just stuff I thought they might like...

...And for Takato...

...I got him...Um...I feel so stupid because...I just know this is not going to end well...

A HUGE box of Christmas chocolates, like about a foot tall by five or six inches wide. I-I don't know why, but I thought of him when I saw the box. It was...a little pricey, even, but...It said "Takato" for some reason. I figure, either way, he'll like them, who doesn't like candy? They're some special holiday candy from Meiji. With... ...A confession letter on the bottom. I-I don't...I don't want to see his face when he finds out. I just...don't! I'd rather he found out as far from me as possible. So, I figure...a box of candy, he'll eat his way to the bottom, find the letter at home later and...

...Probably never speak to me again. At least I don't have to hear him shout, "Ew, you're sick, Kenta! I hate you!"

...Actually, running that through my head... I've seen Takato pissed (we all have - Megidramon ring a bell?) but...I can't imagine him flipping out on a friend like that. Even for something like this. I figure he'll just let out his disgust silently and avoid me. Either way, as long I don't see the aftermath, I'm happy.

...He might tell the others, and they'll... ...Have their reactions. I-I sort of...asked him to keep it a secret in the letter. I hope he still "likes" me enough to do me that favor. I told him I'd consider it a Christmas present.

"Kenta!"

...You've gotta be kidding me...

I turn, Takato's coming down the sidewalk, waving. ...Crap...

"T-Takato...Um...Wasn't expecting to see you here."

"Why not? Juri's place is down that way," Takato says. "Party starts in fifteen minutes."

"F-Fifteen minutes?" Crap, I used my computer clock to decide when to leave. It's off again...Damn you, Technology!

Takato nods. "Watch off?"

I nod. "Um, yeah...Kinda..." I see Takato has a bag of gifts at his side. "What'd you get everyone?"

"Oh, um...I got Jen a Digimon DS game. It had...um...Terriermon on the cover. I hope he likes it," Takato sighs. "And for Hirokazu...Some card packs, stuff like that."

I nod.

"Oh, and here..." He passes me a gift.

"T-Takato, it's...not time for the party."

"I know, but...You can have it early," Takato smiles. "I-I really want to know what you think of it. I guess I can't wait."

"Um...Thanks..." I...I think this is a bad idea, but...

...I reach into my bag and give him his gift. The Christmas candies. H-He can't eat all of them tonight! I'm safe!

Takato takes the gift with a nod. "Thanks, Kenta-kun." After a second or two, he asks, "Aren't you going to open yours?"

"O-Oh, right," I nod. It's box shaped, kinda small. I unwrap the green paper, sort of carefully. Inside is a white box...

...And in that box is a MarineAngemon plush doll. "W-Where did you...get this?" They don't make these, I've looked all over for one!

"Um, well... ...My mom got a new sewing machine and I...looked up some websites..." He's blushing a little.

"Y-You made this?"

Takato nods. "I did the best I could, it's sort of my first."

I look over the plush doll. It's not perfect (not even close) and his wings are uneven (really uneven) and his heart, the one on his chest, is on a little crooked but...

...It's great, I love it. Not just because it's MarineAngemon but because, well, Takato made it. He put a lot of work into it and it shows...

...And I just got him a stupid box of candy. That makes me feel like such an idiot. Takato put so much thought into mine...I owe him a really nice gift if he doesn't hate me.

"Th-Thank you, Takato." I say, looking into the eyes of the little doll. "I...I really miss him."

Takato nods. "We all miss our partners. I just...Well, they make some sort of toy or game with everyone else, even Guilmon now, but...I've tried looking, too, they just ignore MarineAngemon. I don't know why."

"Probably not that popular," I shrug. Guilmon actually took off in popularity after the D-Reaper incident. Takato was sort of honored to find out they were including his 'made up' Digimon in the next Digimon World game and future card decks. Everyone loves Guilmon. The company sends Takato everything related to Guilmon they make, sort of as payment, I guess. His room is...practically a Guilmon shrine at this point thanks to those packages. "Thank you, so much, Takato. Um, I feel sort of stupid, you're gift...isn't all that good. Sorry."

Takato opens his gift. A huge smile spreads across his face. "What are you talking about? This is...Wow! Thank you, Kenta-kun!"

"What?"

"These are my favorite!" Takato laughs, showing me the big box of Christmas chocolates. ...They are? "I ran out yesterday. They only make them at Christmas and, well, I'm sort of addicted."

...Oh, CRAP! Now I know why I thought 'Takato' when I saw those stupid things! Meiji Chocolate company's limited edition white chocolate-mint and milk cholocate-orange candies! Of course, they only release them at Christmas and...I remember last year Takato practically bought out the whole store! He doesn't have much of a sweet tooth, but those things are the one major exception!

Th-This can't be...too bad, though, I got the biggest box they got. The thing is HUGE! Like two gross of the damn things! My note is at the bottom, even with they way he eats them it'd take him a couple days. I'm...I'm still safe.

"Oh, right...N-No wonder I thought of you when I saw them," I laugh. "Glad I did get you something good after all."

Takato's already opening the box, he takes out a handful of the wrapped chocolates and hands them to me. "Here. Tell me when you want more. I-I have plenty to spare, obviously." He laughs again, he's...really happy to have those chocolates. I can't believe I forgot he likes those so much.

"Th-Thanks," I sort of blush. I hope he doesn't see it. I put my plush in my bag with the torn paper and box, then pocket the chocolates.

We walk together to the party. Juri's dad owns a restaurant, they're closing early today for us and making us a huge dinner with, well, all kinds of desserts and stuff she said. Juri's dad...sort of goes overboard for her. Especially after D-Reaper. She's not spoiled or anything (she's the nicest person on Earth as far as I know, well, next to Takato), but her dad does whatever he can to make her happy, especially when he heard about Leomon.

We get to the restaurant in about five minutes...Takato's held off on eating the chocolates so far, but as soon as we get there he opens a couple mint chocolates and pops them in his mouth.

Juri comes to greet us. "Takato! Kenta!" We're the first ones here. "Welcome." She says with a bow. I wave with a smile.

"Hey, Juri," Takato says, swallowing his chocolates. He reaches into the box and passes her... ...Oh GOD, TAKATO! NO! WRONG!

...He gives her a huge handful of chocolates. I mean, HUGE! "Merry Christmas!" He says, smiling.

"Meiji's Christmas chocolates?" Juri gives a short laugh. "Did you buy these just now?"

Takato shakes his head. "Gift from Kenta. I thought it'd be nice to share them at the party, the box is huge." He smiles to me. "Thanks again, Kenta."

"A-Anytime..." I say.

...Takato, sharing chocolate is the greatest of sins! You can't share! Sharing is bad! NEVER SHARE WITH ANYONE EVER AGAIN! SHARING MEANS DEATH!

...I'm screwed...

"We'll put them by the desserts, then," Juri smiles. "I...I kinda got you the same thing, not as big of a box, but..." She looks to me, smiling. "Great minds think alike, don't they, Kenta?"

I nod, slowly... ...Crap...

Takato sets the box over by the table of desserts. It's a big booth at the far end of the dining area. There's cookies, cake, a huge bowl of egg nog on ice, all kinds of stuff. That's...good. Only Takato will eat the chocolates. A-And they're for Takato, everyone will know that, they wouldn't eat his entire gift!

...And maybe I can get that letter. I'll...do that right now. Juri's chatting up Takato. Now's my chance!

"KENTA!" I'm grabbed from behind by... ...Yang, who else?

"H-Hirokazu?"

"Merry Christmas, Kenta!" Hirokazu goes a bit overboard at Christmas, it's like he's on happy pills. And then some. He's got me in sort of a bear hug.

"H-Hey, Hirokazu," I turn when he lets me go. He's got a huge bag of gifts and he's wearing a Santa hat.

"It's almost Christmas, man! I can't wait! Can you?"

I nod. "Y-Yeah. Magical time of year, isn't it?"

"Hell yeah! I kinda went overboard this year, but...Hey, five years since we saved the world from D-Reaper, it's a milestone year! I got a bunch of stuff for everyone."

"R-Really?"

"Yeah, hope you like your gift," Hirokazu says. "It took me a while to figure out what you might like. Well, I did that for everyone, kinda...Jen's was the hardest, but only because I don't know crap about computers like he does."

"Oh, yeah..." Hirokazu, I need to go dig through a box of chocolates right now. I really don't care about what you got Jen!

"And for Shiuchon...Think she's too old for stuffed toys? She's twelve now, but...I dunno, I found a Lopmon, they finally make Lopmon plushes!"

I nod. "Uh-huh..."

"Hey...Is that...?" He looks in my bag, he reaches for it and grabs the MarineAngemon plush Takato gave me.

"H-Hey..."

"Whoah...Sort of a...factory reject or something?"

"T-Takato made it!"

"Oh, in that case...Wow..." Hirokazu studies the pink plush doll. "Actually, for Takato he did a great job..."

"Exactly what is that supposed to mean?" Takato speaks up behind him. He's not really upset, he's just smiling with his arms crossed.

"Oh, sorry, I just...Dude, you used a sewing machine for this, right? I-I can't picture you using one of those!" Hirokazu shouts. "No offense, I think you did a great job and all..."

Takato laughs. "I-I almost broke the thing trying to use it, actually...And almost stitched my fingers into it." He holds up his hand...Crap, I can't believe I didn't notice before. His index, middle finger and thumb are covered with bandages. "Long story, let's just say I should have read the instructions." Crap, Takato bled for me! Actually, given the number of bandages, it looks like he almost lost a hand for me...

"Are you all right?" I ask. I feel sort of bad. "I mean..."

"Yeah, it looked worse than it was," Takato laughs. "I just got poked a bunch of times with the needle, no thread or anything."

I nod. "S-Sorry..."

"I know what'll make me feel better," Takato grins. "Hirokazu, look at what Kenta got me."

...Takato, what did I say about sharing being punishable by death?

I pale as Takato leads Hirokazu to the dessert table. "Whoah! The big one! Kenta, those are pretty pricey! You must love Takato!"

"Y-Yeah...Love..." I laugh, nervously. ...Hirokazu, since when did you have gaydar?

"Have some," Takato again, reaches into the box and gives Hirokazu a handful of chocolates.

"Thanks, Takato." Hirokazu stuffs them into his coat pocket. "These are the one's you're, like, addicted to, right?" He pulls out and unwraps three mint flavored chocolates, popping them in his mouth.

Takato nods, turning to me with a smile. "Kenta knows what I like." ...Unfortunately...

Hirokazu and Takato are chatting it up by the dessert table, Hirokazu's eating the chocolates Takato gave him pretty quickly, too...No chance for me to get the letter without one of them noticing. Great, I'll just...keep an eye on the box and wait until it's alone.

Some Christmas music starts up on the restaurant's speakers. Juri brings out some more food.

The door opens, in comes Jen and Shiuchon. Jen's carrying a huge box of presents, while Shiuchon has food with her. Mostly candy...

...Thank you, Shiuchon, you're my Christmas angel. More candy means less people grabbing at Takato's chocolates!

I help Jen with his box. Takato and Hirokazu help with the food. "Merry Christmas, Jen-kun!" Takato says.

"Merry Christmas, Takato-kun," Jen smiles. "I can't believe it's so close already. December seemed to fly by for me."

"I know what you mean," Takato says.

...The chocolates are alone. Now's my chance...

"Kenta?"

...Why is walking across the room so impossible today?

"Y-Yeah?" I turn, Juri's facing me with a smile.

"Could you help me with the tree? So we can put all the presents under it?" Juri asks.

Not now! Damn it! Not now! I-I...

...I can't say no... Not to Juri. Anyone else, sure, but...Not Juri. Or Takato. Or Shiuchon. Or Ruki...But only because saying "no" to Ruki is bad for your health.

"Sure," I nod. We can do this quick. We'll get the tree out here, I'll get the letter and Takato can share to his heart's content without giving me a heart attack! Perfect plan!

Juri leads me into one of the back rooms. There's a fake tree, not decorated, she picks up the tree, motioning to the boxes behind it. "I'll help you with the boxes in a second, just grab what you can, please."

I nod.

"Thanks, Kenta!"

...Why me?

The boxes are actually a little heavier than they look. Not a problem for me to lift but it takes me a little longer than the quick run into the other room I was planning on. I carry two boxes of ornaments, Juri passes me and gets the tree stand and another box. I go back for the last one and help her set up the tree in the middle of the room.

Just as we get the tree up, the door opens again.

"...Hey." Ah, the holly-jolliest of us all has arrived...

"Ruki, you made it!" Juri runs over to Ruki and gives her a hug...Ruki just doesn't move. She...took losing Renamon harder than everyone else did with their partners. She's...kinda bitchy again. And I mean that in...the best way possible. She's actually really nice, just...You know how every rose has its thorns? Ruki's more of a rose crossed with a porcupine, let's say.

"We're about to start decorating, want to help out?" Juri asks.

Ruki shakes her head. "I'm not one for decorating."

Juri nods. "No problem. When we're done, you can put presents under it."

Ruki shrugs and gives a nod.

"Come on, Ruki, smile a little!" I hear Hirokazu shout. "It's Christmas!"

"...Bah humbug." ...I've actually tried saying that when I'm pissed at Christmas and...It's impossible to do it with a straight face. How Ruki can manage that is beyond me. I guess she really is the Grinch...

"Here, Ruki, this might make you feel better..." Takato...Goes across the room and...

...GUESS! JUST GUESS WHAT HE DOES! AUGH! BAH HUMBUG!

He comes back with a handful of chocolates, offering them to Ruki. Ruki actually takes them with a half-smile. "Meiji?" She asks.

"Kenta got me the biggest box they make," Takato says...He...really appreciates my gift. I mean, every time someone gets a chocolate, Takato tells them it's from me. I-I guess he's being polite, credit where credit is due and all that but...

...I'm glad I got him something he really liked. Even if he is giving it away to everyone else.

...Oh, crap... I just noticed Jen and Shiuchon with those chocolates, too... They're eating them by the tree.

...There...Can't be much left...

I need to get that letter, now!

I go over to the box of chocolates. I reach inside, feeling around the bottom...

...Wh-Where...Where the hell is it?

I-I put it on the bottom, in an envelope! There's...There's...no envelope! DAMN IT! NO! Takato...Takato has it...He must have felt it when he gave Jen and Shiuchon chocolates. I'm screwed!

...It's Christmas, right? Santa, if you're up there. I have but one, simple Christmas wish. Could you please grant it for me? I've been good all year and, well, I've never asked you for much. Maybe a couple Digimon toys or cards now and then, but I never gave you a mile long list like Hirokazu. And right now...I really, really need just one thing for Christmas. Santa, can you please give me my one Christmas wish? I just want one little thing for Christmas. Please, Santa Claus, please...

...KILL ME! KILL ME NOW!

Takato...Has the envelope. H-He might read it at the party, he might tell everyone here and now that I'm some freak! There's a gay among the normals! What was I thinking when I came up with this whole 'leave him a confession letter in Chocolates' idea? ...I apparently wasn't thinking. That's my life in a nutshell: When I don't think, I really don't think!

"Kenta?"

T-Takato...

I turn, Takato's standing with Ryou, he must have just arrived. "Something wrong?"

I shake my head. I step aside, letting him give Ryou a big handful of chocolates. "Take as many as you want, Kenta got these for me. Biggest box they make!" he says as he gives them to Ryou. He smiles at me, saying, "Can't thank you enough, Kenta-kun."

"Wow, I've seen this box in the stores..." Ryou says. "Can't wait to see what you got me, Kenta." He laughs.

I nod with a forced laugh.

M-Maybe he didn't open it yet. I-I'll just...ask for it back.

"Um...Takato..." I say. "Um, that envelope...I-I sort of put in the wrong card. Can I have it back?"

"...Envelope?" Takato asks.

"I-In the chocolates."

Takato shrugs. "Sorry, Kenta...I didn't find an envelope."

...Santa, why do you hate me? It's because I'm gay, isn't it? I thought you were better than that, Claus!

I quickly go back to the chocolate box, I pour out the contents onto the table. ...No, there is no envelope. No sign of it at all. Just chocolate. A ton of flavored white and milk chocolates.

...Someone else has it.

I scoop up the chocolates from the table and put them back in the box, Takato's giving me a confused look.

"S-Sorry, just...Had to check..." I laugh nervously.

Maybe I just forgot to put it in. That's gotta be it!

...No, because I distinctly remember carefully opening the box so it wouldn't look tampered with. I emptied out the chocolates, put the envelope on the bottom and put them back in. I did it just before I wrapped it last night. There's no way it wasn't in there. Unless Santa's real and he took it with Christmas magic. But I seriously doubt the universe likes me that much. Or at all.

...Well...Whoever has it...Why the hell would you steal someone else's Christmas card? That's rude! Very, very RUDE! Not to mention not good for my health or sanity...

Juri invites everyone to decorate the tree, Ruki's just sitting at a table and watching. Hirokazu is trying to get her to smile. I think she's holding back the urge to punch him.

I sort of scan everyone for signs of having the letter on them. I even looked over the gift bags.

I'm calmer after the gifts are under the decorated tree. Food was brought out, we make our plates and everyone's sitting at a table and chatting...

...I'm sitting alone like Ruki. Well, not alone. I have my MarineAngemon doll with me. A gift from Takato...I-I really like that part about the plush. Takato actually made me a plush of my partner. He almost sacrificed a hand for me, too.

I'm relieved that I got him those chocolates he liked. He's actually eaten quite a few of them, too, since the party started. I've seen him with plenty of empty wrappers... There's a waste basket full of them, too, and most them are his or Hirokazu's.

...I just realized that ever since I sat down I've been staring either at Takato or the plush doll. I...I don't even know why I like Takato so much. I guess it's because he's so nice, I mean...Take tonight for example, everyone got a big handful of his favorite candy on Earth, even though he probably could eat the whole box in a couple sittings. There's so much more candy he could have saved for himself later if he just left the box for people to grab one or two from. With everything else there, they'd probably be ignored in favor of the cakes and stuff... But no, he gave everyone chocolate. He gave everyone a lot of chocolate...

...And told everyone it was his gift from me. He...really appreciated it. I-I feel sort of stupid for not realizing it was something Takato really liked, even telling him so. I'm glad my subconscious remembered, at least.

I reach into my pocket for the handful he gave me earlier. I think he only gave me a small one because we had our hands full at the time and my coat doesn't have big pockets. Takato tends to notice little things like that, it's another one of the things I like about him. And he told me to ask for more, though I wouldn't...They're his, after all. I unwrap the mint and pop it in my mouth, letting it melt. You can really taste the mint, but it's not overpowering at all. Meiji makes the best chocolates.

I also just realized how big of a mistake telling him would have been. If he didn't approve of my feelings... ...I would miss him. I'd feel terrible knowing he hated me, that I probably wouldn't even get to be his friend again. I-I should be...relieved but...I don't know who got the damn thing!

A song called "Itsuka No Merry Christmas" is playing right now over the speakers. It's by B'z, you hear it all the time at Christmas. Everyone gets sick of it, too...But this time...

...I'm listening to it and enjoying it while I'm watching Takato laugh with Jen and Juri while they eat. I can sort of hear them, they're talking about an anime we used to watch as kids. Not Digimon, we're...More than a little old for Digimon but, well, after what we went through? We're fans for life. We love Digimon and we...miss our Digimon Partners so much.

I look to MarineAngemon, it's...not the same, not even close but... I feel better. I don't miss him less, but I'm glad to look at the little stitched face in front of me. The fact it's from Takato, too...

I feel better about liking Takato after all this. I don't know why, but...I just do because of this little plush doll. It's from Takato...

...Thank you, Takato. Thank you so, so very much. Merry Christmas...Takato-chan.

I-I can't...believe I just thought of him as...Takato-chan. Ha ha ha! I-I guess...I really am accepting this. I've sort of...hated it, but now...

...I'm gay, so what? I'm gay and I love Takato Matsuda! ...I just...hope he doesn't hate me for it.

I might as well enjoy the last few hours I'll ever be with him, since I'm sure whoever has the letter will read it, then tell Takato. Or everyone else.

"Remember the episode where Yamazaki talks about...What color mailbox was it?" Juri asks. "Green?"

"I think...Blue? Or Yellow, maybe?" Takato shrugs. "But, yeah, you mail a letter to someone you love and they'll love you back."

"And they actually FIND that kind of mailbox! They fight over sending letters to Yukito..." Juri laughs.

"Oh, that reminds me..." Jen speaks up, reaching into his pocket.

...Oh...shit... Jen, please don't tell me you were the letter thief... I'm shocked and appalled, Jenrya Li! Very shocked and appalled!

"Jen-kun?" Takato asks.

"I found this in Kenta's chocolates," Jen says. "I didn't want it to get damaged, Hirokazu was sort of digging around violently. Even tore it, kinda..." He holds up my envelope...

...It's torn, not opened. Hirokazu must've been a little too enthusiastic for chocolate. That's Hirokazu for you, I shouldn't be surprised in the slightest.

"Yeah, sorry about that, I didn't know it was in there." Hirokazu said. "Hope I didn't do much damage."

Takato takes the letter. "Thanks. I'll be back in a couple minutes." He gets up and walks over to me. "Here, Kenta. You said you wanted it back, right?"

...H-He...He's giving it back?

I...I sort of stare at the letter. It's torn at the top, you can even see some of what I wrote...H-He didn't even glance at it. He didn't open it up...He just gave it back because I asked.

...I can't believe I'm about to do this, but...

"A-Actually...Takato...Um, I was wrong. Y-You can...keep it. It's...for you."

...I'm an idiot.

Takato nods. Instead of going to his table he does the unthinkable...

...He sits across from me and opens it.

Wh-What was I thinking? He's...reading it! He's going to find out...I like him, more than a friend! What was I thinking?

I was thinking...that Takato's...just so nice...

...Even if he doesn't like me back, I-I don't think he would hate me. He's Takato. He wouldn't turn one me. And if he did, he'd...at least be nice about it, I think.

Though, Santa, offer's still open for that Christmas wish. Please? Time's running out until he's done reading! And I've been so good this year, damn it!

Takato's reading the letter. I-I'm...studying his face, waiting for any sort of reaction. It's...sort of long.

I swear, I have the mind of a girl (don't say it!). Looking back, the whole thing reads like a confession letter out of Love Hina or something... Probably didn't help that the love letter in the Christmas special is what gave me the idea. Again, what was I thinking?

His eyes widen slightly, his jaw falls... My heart is still pounding. I'm amazed it hasn't broken out of my chest. And blood has gone from every other part of my body and straight to my cheeks, it's a wonder that I'm still conscious.

He's still reading. That's...probably a good thing. I-I sort of "come out" first in the letter, before I tell him I like him. If me being "that way" didn't make him upset then...

...We might still be friends at least. I-I don't want to lose him as a friend.

"...Kenta...?" He...got to the 'I love you, Takato' portion. He lifts his head up from the letter, looking to me. "...Is this...for real?"

"I-I'm sorry, Takato. I-I just...I thought you should know..."

Takato immediately reaches for MarineAngemon...He must be taking it back. I can't believe it! I was wrong, he hates me. I won't even have that little pink reminder of him.

...I'm such an idiot...

"...Here." Takato takes off MarineAngemon's heart, I hear the distinct sound of tearing velcro. I-It was...removable?

Takato passes me the heart, looking away. His face is kinda red.

On the opposite side, of the heart written with a gold fabric marker with a gold heart around it...

...I can't believe this...

"I love you..."

Th-That's...what it says... Takato wrote "I love you" on MarineAngemon's heart...

...I-I...I don't...I don't know what to say...

"...T-Takato?"

"...Um...For a while now," Takato's blushing and speaking quietly, probably so the others don't hear him. "I-I...I thought, well, it was the right place to put that. I didn't...think you'd notice it, actually. Either at the party or at all. A-And if you...were upset, I could just say it was an 'added touch' and not a confession. MarineAngemon's attacks are sort of love-based, right?"

I can't believe what I just heard. "You're...?" I trail off. We both know the word I was going to say. Starts with a 'G,' ends with an 'AY.'

Takato nods. "I-I was worried you suspected something when I didn't see you for so long. When you said you weren't mad, I...I-I don't know why but I decided it was time to tell you. But I was so afraid of how you'd react. I thought, well, I-I could avoid your reaction, maybe you wouldn't even find it. And, at least, you'd like the gift."

"Th-That was sort of what I was doing with the chocolates," I say. "I-I can't believe we thought of the same idea. Why me, though?" I...I never thought Takato would like me back. I can't believe this...

Takato shrugs. "We've been friends for a long time, Kenta. You, Hirokazu and I, we've known each other since we first started school. I just started to like you a lot more than I used to over the past couple years. I-I didn't realize what it was until last Summer...I was afraid you caught me staring at you or something, I was really worried you found out. I-I didn't want to lose your friendship but...I thought you at least wouldn't be upset."

I-I still don't know what to say... This was the last thing I thought would ever happen.

I just...sort of stare at him with my jaw down. "...Takato... ...I-I can't believe this..." A smile spreads across my face, I can't control it.

"...Thank you for telling me first, Kenta...um... ...Chan." He whispers the last word, blushing. M-My heart actually sort of skipped a beat at that...Kenta-chan...I-I like the sound of that.

"...Are you two going to kiss or what?"

Our eye's widen, Ruki's standing off to the side of our table. H-How long as she been there?

"Th-This isn't what it looks like," I say, quickly. Takato nods quickly. Our facial expressions say otherwise.

"Yeah...It's Christmas, everyone passes those things around," she motions to my letter and Takato's heart. "Even between guys, apparently..." Ruki rolls her eyes. She walks over to another part of the restaurant, there's some mistletoe hanging near a door. She pulls it down and walks back to us. She walks past us to her table and tosses the dried up plant between us. "Here. Merry Christmas. ...Congratulations."

I look to the other table, everyone's still caught up talking, then back to Takato. Takato's bright red, I'm sure I am, too.

"...Um..." I pick up the mistletoe. I-I can't believe I'm about to do this. "...Meet me in the other room in a minute, okay?"

Takato's eyes widen, he blushes again but nods. "O-Okay..." He gives me a smile.

I smile back to Takato as I pick up MarineAngemon and put his heart back on. I take the mistletoe in my other hand and go to the room where Juri got the tree and decorations.

I wait with MarineAngemon in one hand and mistletoe in the other...

I look at MarineAngemon, I take off his heart again and put it on so it's more centered. This...is my favorite Christmas gift. Ever. Because Takato put a lot of love into it...In so many ways.

I look to the mistletoe in my hand. It's old and more than a little dried up...I still can't believe I'm going to do this, but...

...Hey, it's Christmas. And you gotta kiss whoever's under the mistletoe. I guess this would be my second favorite Christmas gift. From Ruki of all people...Ha ha ha!

...I have to see it again. Just so I know this is real. I take off the little pink digimon's heart again. "I love you," words...I never thought I'd get from Takato.

Thank you, Takato. I love you, too. This little pink plush doll is...the greatest gift I've ever gotten.

And I'm glad you liked your chocolates, too.

~Owari~


Original Author's (AKA Ori's) Notes:
Why Takato and Kenta?

...I have no idea. And I think Taiki's going to be pissed because this could have just as easily been Jianliang instead of Kenta. Actually, that's probably why I went with this pairing, I wanted to try something other than Takato and Jianliang. And Kenta's always fun for POV fics.

I don't know if this is one of my better ones, though...I dunno, probably because I'm not used to the pairing. And, given how Kenta's fared in fics so far when it comes to love, I owed him one where someone returns his feelings. This could probably be considered a Christmas present for Kenta, I guess.

Also, Meiji is a real brand of chocolate in Japan. I buy the bars all the time when I go to Little Tokyo and China Town. I'm hooked on their milk and white chocolate bars. I don't know if they have a chocolate mint candy but they do have an orange white chocolate. If you ever see them at an Asian market, give 'em a try!

Fun fact: In Japan, Christmas is treated more like Valentines Day. Lovers spend time together and buy each other gifts and things like that. Kids and Santa, of course, are still present - Can't have Christmas without Santa Claus! But the idea of being with your girlfriend\boyfriend is what teens\adults focus on. So a Christmas love letter is actually appropriate and probably why Kenta and Takato had the same idea.

Hope you liked the story! Merry Christmas!


Taiki's Notes:

I am NOT going to complain about the pairing, Ori! I'm happy you managed to write a fic where you didn't torture Takato or leave Kenta without someone!

Honestly, the more Ori likes a character the meaner he is to them. ChibiKamemon being the exception. It's good to see a Takato survive an Ori fic without crying and to see Kenta not end up being alone and hung up on a straight Hirokazu.

I did like Kenta's reaction every time Takato gave someone else candy. Ha ha! And I want a MarineAngemon plush, too.

Actually, I have to point out: This fic was supposed to go up sometime after tomorrow but I won't be able to be online as much as usual for the next few days or so. Ori said I could put this up a day or two early. Thank you, Ori!

Happy Christmas, everyone! We'll have more December uploads for you later!
-Taiki Matsuki

UPDATE: I forgot to mention that I have updated the profile with links to some of Ori's past Christmas works on his old account! You'll find them under "Other Holiday Works." These links will stay up until January First, after which they'll be removed until (probably) next Christmas (the fics themselves will stay up, of course, Ori won't take down any more fics, he promises).

Ori does request that you ignore the "really old and really craptacular Final Fantasy VIII fics."