Date Started: January 28, 2013
Date Finished: January 28, 2013

Summary: Takeru Takaishi. Eight years old. He's quite the stud.

Love's First Blush

At eight years old and in the second grade, Takaishi Takeru comes home one day and announces to his mother that he is seeking permission to get married.

"Yuzu-chan asked me to marry her," Takeru explains only after his mother's startled gasps are over and done with.

"Who is this Yuzu-chan?" his mother finally asks, and her voice spikes a high note since she has never heard this name before.

"She's my girlfriend," Takeru says, beaming, his childlike answer not really revealing anything.

"You never mentioned any Yuzu-chan," his mother tries again. Both her expression and tone betray her uncertainty.

"Oh, that's right," Takeru nods, as if suddenly remembering. "I only just found out about it today. But she's liked me for a really long time, she says."

His mother calms at last, and she kneels down to his level and smiles at her boy. "That's very sweet of her to say. How long has she had a crush on you?"

Takeru shrugs his little shoulders as he sets down his schoolbag. From the shrug his overly large winter cap falls over his eyes and he pauses for a moment to readjust it on his head before he properly replies. "I'm not really sure," he says at last. His tiny arms cross over his chest and his eyes close as he makes a face of deep concentration.

A soft laugh is the only thing his comical expression receives. "Is she from your class?" his mother asks, trying to help. "What did you last speak to her about before today?"

Takeru's eyes open and he smiles brightly at being asked a question he's able to answer. "Yes, she is from my class!" he confirms, and then continues. "But the only time we ever spoke," he adds extra emphasis on the ever, "was today."

"Today?" his mother blinks.

"That's right!" Takeru says and his voice carries his excitement as he continues his tale. "This morning Yuzu-chan said she was feeling a little dizzy, and Sensei asked me to take her to the nurse, and so I did."

"How responsible of you," his mother compliments him. Then she asks, "The nurse? Was she feeling alright?"

"She told me she was a little hungry," Takeru says. And then because he knows another compliment will follow, "So at lunch I shared my bento with her."

And despite the uneasy feeling in her gut that she just can't seem to place, suddenly it all makes sense to her. To share a lunchbox would be seen as a very romantic gesture. She smiles and decides to play along. "You did a very wonderful thing, Takeru. It's no wonder she likes you so much."

Takeru nods. "Then after lunch she told me that she was my girlfriend and that she wanted to marry me."

The sides of her lips twitch as she tries to keep the oncoming smile from forming. "And what did you tell her?"

Takeru says simply, "I told her I needed to get permission first."

And then her attempts at not smiling simply break away but she doesn't really know what to tell her young boy.

He continues then without waiting for her answer, "She made me promise I'd ask, and then wanted me to seal it with a kiss. But Sensei wouldn't let us; she said only my mommy is allowed to kiss me."

There is a definite lack of finality in his words which causes her to try and get proper confirmation. "So you didn't kiss her?"

"Of course not," Takeru exclaims, as if insulted that his mother implied he wouldn't seal the promise when requested. "We just did it when Sensei wasn't looking."

End Notes:
- Once again, Yuzu-chan is inspired by the little 5-year old of the same name in the manga "Aishiteruze Baby." I've used this name for a character in "The Company of Chosen," as well.
- Sharing a bento (lunchbox) is indeed a very romantic gesture in Japan.
- The setting of this story is meant to be the winter/early spring before the summer that kicks off the original Digimon Adventure. I thought about making mention of the coming camping trip in the story itself, but felt that it really wouldn't fit the situation.