Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon.

"I want a new drum set," Akira said, slurping the whipped cream off his mug of hot chocolate.

"I want an Xbox," Takashi chimed in, glancing around the mall crowded with Christmas shoppers, their bags bulging with all the latest techno gadgets.

"I want an IPod," Yutaka said, his own hot drink fogging his glasses as he drank.

"I want a camera," Matt said, watching a girl take pictures of her friends by the mall Christmas tree with a rather expensive looking digital, and realizing that he wanted one.

"Okay…I want a Lamborghini Diablo," Akira took their wishing game up a notch.

"I want stock in Hello Kitty," Takashi said, his face dead serious. The others tried to keep from falling into hysterics.

"I want my own private jet," Yutaka grinned.

"I want a condo in France—overlooking the Eiffel Tower," Matt said.

"I want to pass Geometry," Akira said, switching to more realistic wishes.

"I want a boy—I mean girlfriend," Takashi said. The other three didn't notice his blunder.

"I want contacts," Yutaka said hopefully.

"I want Gabumon to stop eating my guitar picks at practice," Matt said.

"Good luck with that," Akira laughed. "I want my nose pierced."

"I want a Chinchilla," Takashi said.

"I want to dye my hair purple," Yutaka sighed, knowing his mother would kill him if he did.

"I want to eat a hot fudge sundae without feeling guilty," Matt confessed.

"Says the one who ordered a double hot chocolate," Takashi snickered.

"I was low," Matt insisted.

"Oh, sorry," Takashi said sheepishly.

"But if you had ordered a hot fudge sundae, I would have wrestled it out of your hands and eaten the entire thing myself because we all know that amount of sugar isn't good for you," Akira spoke up saintly.

"You pig, share some with Yutaka and me!" Takashi exclaimed.

"And I'll sit here and laugh my a$$ off at the massive calories you're all consuming in this imaginary sundae, because I would have ordered all the toppings plus extra sprinkles," Matt grinned.

"Aww, man, you know I'm trying to watch my girlish figure!" Takashi insisted.

"Whatever, dude," Akira scoffed. Everyone laughed, and then fell into silence, fiddling with empty cocoa mugs and listening to the noisy mall around them, each hesitant to bring up the actual reason for their weekend outing.

"So Monday's the big day, huh?" Yutaka said finally.

"Yup," Matt said unenthusiastically.

"Hey, I thought you'd be excited about getting a new kidney, after all the fuss your parents made about waiting a year because they thought T.K. was too young," Takashi said, frowning.

"Thanks for summing up the last four months so eloquently, Takashi," Matt said sarcastically. "I know I should be happy, but surgery is surgery."

"But the operation means no more dialysis, right?" Takashi said. "That's definitely a positive."

"Come on, Takashi, we're not talking about getting a goldfish or something, this is serious $hit," Yutaka insisted.

"Yeah," Akira piped up. "Did you know that they don't take out your bad kidneys, they just put the new one in a different spot?"

"It's nice to see you two have done your homework," Matt said dryly.

"…Are you scared?" Takashi wondered.

""Of course I am," Matt insisted, gripping the handle of his mug so tightly that his knuckles turned white. "Not so much for me, but T.K.'s only thirteen…"

"That's bull," Takashi protested.

"What?" Matt asked.

"What Takashi's trying to say is, we think you're more scared for yourself than you're willing to admit, buddy," Yutaka said.

"I know," Matt sighed, his shoulders sagging in defeat. "But this isn't like saving the world from evil. I mean—the odds of fatality are pretty much the same, except this time it's just me and T.K. and a bunch of strangers with scalpels."

"It's normal to be afraid. I was scared when I had my tonsils taken out when I was eight," Yutaka said.

"I still remember the time I needed stitches after cracking my head open while skateboarding. I actually cried," Akira recalled.

"That was only two years ago," Takashi snickered. Akira threw a spoon at him.

"Besides…," Akira said, glaring at Takashi. "You've been cut open before, didn't you have your appendix out when you were eleven?"

"Don't remind me," Matt winced.

"Everything's going to be okay." Akira said reassuringly. "T.K.'s going to be fine, you're gonna be fine, and you'll be better and we can all go back to romancing the ladies."

Matt laughed.

"Don't worry about T.K., Matt," Takashi added. "He's tougher than he looks. If it weren't for him standing up to your parents, you'd be looking at a whole year on dialysis."

"Four months of it is hard enough…I mean, we love you and all that…but you've been kind of cranky," Akira admitted. "And tired, and not your usual 'get back to work or I'm gonna kick you're a$$' self."

"We've gotten used to your blood sugar mood swings, but this has been pretty brutal," Takashi piped up.

"Okay, you've made your point…but I'm glad you guys care," Matt grinned. "What would I do without you three weirdos?"

"Don't get mushy," Takashi joked. "But seriously—we're your friends, and even though we aren't Digidestined, and we don't go around saving the world, we'll still be here for you."

"Thanks…that means a lot," Matt said.

"You're our resident Blonde, we need you to stick around so we can get girls," Yutaka grinned.

Takashi suddenly got an idea. "Hey, if you're really worried, you can have this for good luck," he said, and reached into his jacket for a worn Hello Kitty guitar pick. "My little sister gave it to me when I first learned to play."

"Obviously," Akira snorted.

"Shut up, I've had this in my pocket during every concert, and never suffered any mishaps!" Takashi insisted.

"Um…where am I supposed to keep it, I don't think they allow good luck charms in operating rooms," Matt pointed out.

"Isn't your hair long enough for a ponytail?" Takashi wondered.

"Yeah, I think so…"

"Tie it in your hair," Takashi suggested, digging in his bag for a hole punch and string.

"You carry arts and crafts in your backpack?" Akira demanded with a grin.

"I'm taking art, stupid," Takashi snapped, making a hole in the guitar pick a nd threading the string through.

"He likes to delve into all of his artistic abilities," Yutaka said, helping Takashi fix Matt's hair into a ponytail.

"You guys are a bunch of girls," Matt laughed, although he couldn't be more grateful to have them as friends.