Legal Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon. Toei Entertainment is their legal owner.
Title: Cup of Tea
Focus: Hikari and Takeru friendship.
Note: This is set some years after the defeat of BelialVamdemon. It may or may not acknowledge the 02 epilogue. It depends on what you want to think. I'm not very picky either way.

It was a cup of tea. Hot, sweetened with sugar and with just a tang of lemon to it. Takeru sipped it carefully, then smiled. "Your mom still knows how to make the best tea ever, Hikari."

"I know, I wish I could do it." The Child of Light looked over her own cup of tea with a faint air of distaste. "And I wish I could tell her that I hate lemon in my tea."

Her friend chuckled. "That's a mom for you. They listen when they want to listen. And I hear they think the same thing about us kids."

"Yeah, I think they do." Hikari set her cup down and leaned back into the comforting embrace of the couch. "How long has it really been since we talked?"

The Child of Hope shrugged. "A long time. Three years, really. E-mails and two hour visits don't count." It was rather amazing to think that all that time had passed. "What have you been doing?"

"A little of everything. You know how college is." Hikari sipped her tea a little more. "I'm glad to have a few days off, though. I hate having to get up at six in the morning for classes sometimes."

"You knew what it was going to be like when you decided to go to film school." Takeru warned her with a grin. "Just imagine, one day when you're making major motion pictures, I can say I knew you when." He chuckled a little. "Any chance you could find a job for a potential writer?"

Hikari shrugged. "I don't know, but if you're serious, I could maybe try someday. If I get the chance, I could flunk out and wind up flipping burgers."

"Don't knock the burger flipping!" Takeru waved a finger at her. "That's how some people earn their way through college." He adjusted the McDonald's shirt he was wearing and tried very hard not to blush.

"I don't suppose it's all that bad, but I wouldn't want to do it for the rest of my life." Hikari toyed a bit with her own shirt, courtesy of the one hour film developing store she worked at. "I know I don't wanna work at Speedy Film for the rest of my life either."

Takeru patted her hand comfortingly. "Don't think like that. You're going to be a great director someday. You know you always get down on yourself when grades come in. Just cause Taichi's making the kinds of marks he is doesn't mean you're not doing just fine yourself. What matters is you being happy, not scoring a certain percentage, no matter what everyone else is going to tell you."

Hikari had to laugh. "You spent too much time in America, Takeru."

The blonde shrugged. "Just because they think differently doesn't mean it's wrong. You know what the suicide rates are like here in Japan, Hikari."

She shuddered; one of the girls she'd went to school with back when they'd been active Chosen Children had killed herself over not getting into the school she'd wanted to. "You're right. I know things are starting to change, but I still can't help but compare myself to Taichi a lot. He's my big brother." She looked over at her friend. "And you can't tell me you don't wish you were Yamato, or had his fame, sometimes."

"Well..." Takeru hesitated, staring down into his cup. "I sort of do. But then when I see all those phonies around him who just want a piece of his fame, and who don't care anything about him as a person, I just want to grab the biggest stick I can and tell them to back off. Plus, to be honest, even if I could sing a lick, I wouldn't want to be a musician."

Hikari looked at him; she'd never heard him say anything like that before. "Why not?"

"Because I could never be certain if people liked my music for me or because I'm his brother. I've seen siblings and relatives get into music at the same time, and it's always "So and so, brother of this guy" or "The third generation of this family in this". I love my family, and I respect it," Takeru's voice was quiet and firm. "But I'm going to make my own name my own way. It's going to be bad enough trying to get things sold when I'm one of the Chosen Children."

Hikari nodded; doors opened for them that could remain closed for anyone else. They were famous all over the world, and they could almost literally do anything that they wanted. Who was going to tell them they couldn't? None of them really liked it that much, at least not the ones Hikari had talked to, but there wasn't much they could do about it. Some schools even taught classes about them.

Well, with more and more people getting Digimon partners, maybe the day would come when they were just faces in the crowds again, not standing out because they had someone with them who was eight feet tall and a booming voice of command. She knew she would like that. She wondered eternally if her acceptance into film school had come just because she was Yagami Hikari, partner to Angewomon, or because she was Yagami Hikari, hopeful director of movies with very good grades.

"Let's not think about that." She turned the direction of the conversation deftly. "Have you heard anything from any of the others recently?"

"I got an e-mail from Daisuke the other day." Takeru recalled. "He's doing very well in business school. You know...I've known about it for years, but somehow, I just can't get my mind wrapped around the concept of him as a noodle salesman."

Hikari laughed a little. "I know. I certainly wasn't expecting that. But everyone has their own dream that would be silly to someone else."

"Yeah, after all, didn't you want to be a teacher back then?" Takeru sipped his tea again, enjoying the taste of it. He didn't normally drink tea; his beverage of choice had always been soda when he had an option. It was a college guy type of thing.

"Yeah...crazy what you want when you're a kid sometimes." She put her tea to one side, and decided to tell her mom that she hadn't been in much of a tea mood that day. "I think I'm going to like being in film a lot more though. I like kids, but spending two summers working at Sora's day care was enough to knock that idea right out of me." She grinned. "Maybe I'll make children's movies."

Takeru chuckled. "Whatever you do, I know you'll be good at it. If you stop comparing yourself to your brother. Which I know you won't do. You've been doing it since as far back as I could remember, why should you stop now?"

She didn't care that she was twenty-three years old. She didn't care she was supposed to be a reserved, mature, responsible Japanese woman. That deserved only one truly appropriate response: Hikari stuck her tongue out at him.

"I should take a picture of that," Takeru teased her. "And show everyone just what you're like when we're alone together." He waggled his eyebrows at her, and she rolled her eyes.

"Yeah, sure, like anyone would care. Assuming you could even take a good picture." She teased. "I've seen those things you try to call 'travel photos' of your trips out of the country. I'm surprised we didn't wind up with two dozen pictures of your thumb!" Takeru blushed faintly, and Hikari couldn't help a triumphant grin. "Let me guess, you threw those away?" Her grin widened as his blush deepened. "I thought so!"

Takeru shook his head, forcing the red to fade, and glanced at his watch. "Oops! My time's up, I've got to get going. Catching the train back to school for another few months. Glad to have a chance to catch up with you, Hikari. Let's not make it three more years, okay?"

She grinned as she politely bowed to him. "It's a deal. I'll drop you a video letter the next chance I get. I'm supposed to be making one for one of my upcoming assignments, or so the rumors of those who have gone before me in my classes say."

"That should be interesting." Takeru pulled his sweater on over his shirt and looked outside. "Good thing it's not raining, I've got work this weekend, and this thing takes forever to get washed and dried and ironed properly."

Hikari laughed. "Are you sure you don't ask Noriko to do it for you?" She liked being able to bring a blush to her old friend's cheeks. It wasn't something he'd done too often when he was a kid, and it made him seem more real when he did. He and his brother, with their golden boy good looks, often appeared too ethereal to be real. It definitely hadn't hurt either of their romantic prospects, even if it really put her off dating either of them. Noriko and Takeru had been a solid item since they were thirteen, after all.

"Yeah, sure." Takeru gave as good as he got sometimes, though. "I have to do my laundry and hers, she's no good at it!" Noriko was a great girl, and he loved her a lot, but one thing she could not manage was the laundry. No matter how hard she tried, she just couldn't do it quite right. "What about you and Iori, is he a good househusband?"

Hikari rolled her eyes slightly. "We aren't married yet, Takeru. You would have been invited, for one thing." It had been a shock to her system to find herself falling for Hida Iori, but once she'd adjusted and realized his awesome qualities, she'd thanked herself a dozen times a night for not falling for any of the 'easy answers' she could have had, namely Takeru himself, or Daisuke.

"I know, I know." Takeru headed for the door. "I'll drop you an e-mail when I get back there. Take care of yourself, Hikari."

She waved as he went out the door and smiled to herself. Maybe it would be better if that cup of tea was just never seen again...

The End