Word Count: chapter: 3,098||story: 67,823
I can’t keep my eyes off of the calendar. There’s so much else I should be doing to get ready, but it’s finally here! Saturday night! My date with Hikari! If I were any happier, I’d think this was some kind of a dream or something. The really great kind that you just don’t want to wake up from, no matter what.
But it’s all so real. Everything that’s gone on this week has just made it more real. And tonight’s the night at last.
I got everything settled with Yamato for the dinner last night. It’s going to be great. Everything she likes and a lot of things that I like too. And the spot we picked out for it is just fantastic. It’s going to be so beautiful. The e-mail I got from Mimi earlier said that Palmon would be there too, so V-mon won’t have to sit there and be bored. I’m not sure what Tailmon’s going to do but I’m sure Hikari can take care of it.
So, it’s time to get ready. I give another look at the calendar. I’ve had today circled ever since she agreed to go out with me, and I marked off each day as it passed, or as soon as I could, anyway. I pinch myself just a little. Nope, not a dream. Just had to make sure.
Off to the shower, first of all. A good hot one, better than what I did this morning. That was just to get ready for a regular day, one that Ken and I spent kicking around a soccer ball and talking about Mimi and Hikari and stuff like that. This is a pre-date shower. This is a pre-first date with Hikari shower.
I’m in there twenty minutes getting every little bit of me clean. I think I hear my mom and dad laughing about something. Must be something they’re watching on television. I didn’t think the nightly news was all that funny, but sometimes it can come up with a good joke.
I don’t want to really dress up too much for this date. We are going to be in the Digital World, after all, and that has a way of sometimes getting us a lot dirtier than we expect. So I’m not going to wreck my really good clothes. So I just get on a good pair of slacks and my best sweater, the one that Mom gave me for my last birthday. It’s this neat burgundy color that kind of matches my hair. That’s what Mimi said when she saw it anyway.
I brush my hair and check my reflection at least once or twice. I’ve got to look my best for her, right? Everything looks like it’s in order, and I’ve still got time to get over to her place.
“You look great, Daisuke,” Mom tells me once I head for the door. V-mon’s right with me, of course, and she smiles at him. He’s wearing a neat little black bow-tie. I guess that’s his version of dressing up. He wouldn’t really look right in a suit, even if they made them in his size.
“Thanks, mom,” I try not to blush. It’s my mom! But it does feel good to know that I look decent. For Hikari’s sake. She deserves only the best. Guess that’ll have to be me.
“Don’t be out too late,” Dad tells me. Funny, I thought the dad of thegirl was supposed to say that. But given some of the other things that have happened while I’ve been out, I guess he has a right to be worried. I’m pretty patched up, and the headaches have mostly stopped, but he’s a parent.
“I won’t be.” I bet this’ll be worse when I get over to Hikari’s. I just hope Taichi isn’t there. He’d be worse than a parent. He’s abrother. Though Hikari did mention that he had a date with Chizuru tonight. That’s good to know. Taichi’s the coolest guy ever and all, but I don’t want to be out on a date with him and Hikari at the same time.
V-mon and I are out the door before they can put on too many don’ts and dos and anything else they want to try telling me. Parents can be so weird sometimes when it comes to first dates.
“So, looking forward to spending some time with Palmon tonight?” I ask V-mon as we start towards Hikari’s apartment. He grins up at me, and he just looks so completely happy. I wonder if that’s kind of how I look when I’m thinking about this date. It does sort of look about how I feel.
“You got it!” V-mon bounces up and down. “There’s a neat little stream that comes down not that far from where you’re going to be. Lots of fish there, and some fruit trees, and a really great view of the stars!”
I don’t think I could’ve planned a better spot for a date myself. V-mon certainly knows what he’s doing. Or at least that’s what I think until he says something else.
“Palmon picked it out. She said it reminds her a lot of this one place where the first seven Digimon partners used to hang out, waiting for the others to show up.”
Oh. Well, Palmon knows what she’s doing, then. Still, nothing wrong with that. “Well, I hope you guys have as much fun as me and Hikari are going to!”
Or at least as much fun as I hope we’re going to. I don’t want anything to go wrong tonight. I don’t want anything to go wrong any night, but tonight more than any of them.
I’m pretty sure it’s nothing to do with the accident Monday, but it’s almost like no time at all passes and we’re there. The Yagami apartment. I try hard not to gulp and be visibly nervous, but I have a feeling I’m not all that successful. This is it. This isn’t a quick visit days before the date. This is the date.
I wasn’t this nervous against BelialVamdemon. He was a cakewalk. These are parents. This is her Digimon. This is her.
I’m not going to be sick. Really!
Then I knock, my hand apparently moving somewhat by itself, and I know I’m going to go through with this. I want to, more than anything, no matter how nervous I am.
“Daisuke!” It’s her mom. She waves me on inside, and I go, V-mon pattering behind me. “Hikari’s almost ready to go. Would you like to sit down for a few minutes?”
“Yes, please,” I reply, and take a seat, trying not to feel as if I want to just get up and run away as quickly as possible. This is just sosilly. But I guess everyone feels like that on a first date. I don’t want to ask any of my friends, though. Just in case it’s just me.
I get lucky, and her parents don’t ask me too many questions about what we’ve got planned tonight. They do want to be sure that I’m not just going to keel over or anything, and I do what I can to reassure them. I think I’m reassuring myself at the same time. Everything’s been fine for a couple of days now. But you just don’t get thrown into a building and totally walk it off, not even if you’re me.
Though I can do it better than most people I know.
“Daisuke!” There’s Hikari, with Tailmon beside her. I don’t stare that much. But she does look sopretty, with her hair brushed back, and her cheeks so cutely red, and is that a new dress? I don’t remember seeing it before, and I thought I could recognize most of her outfits.
“You look…great…” That’s all that I can manage to say. V-mon sort of nudges me some, but nothing else wants to come out of my mouth, at least not about how she looks. There’s no way I’m going to get through this without making a total fool of myself.
Though I am kind of used to it by now, so I shouldn’t be that surprised. She’s used to it too, and she still said yes, so the only thing we can do is to do this.
“Are you ready to go?” she asks, and tugs her own D-3 out as soon as I reach for mine. “Koushirou said he programmed the co ordinates that you gave him into the gate, so we’ll come out at the right spot.”
And I’m pretty sure that Yamato has everything set up there already. I don’t know if he’ll actually be there when we get there or not. He didn’t say if he would or wouldn’t be. But no matter what, it’s finally time to go. I’ve been looking forward to this for six days. No backing out now.
Her family’s computer is set up, and she has to gateway program up there just a few seconds later. V-mon hops up into the curl of my arm, and I hold out the D-3. “Digital Gate, open!”
This time, I actually manage to land on my feet. Mostly. I do stumble some. But at least it’s a better landing than the last one I had. Hikari lands perfectly, as always. We’re not that far from where everything’s set up for our dinner. Shouldn’t take us more than a few minutes to walk there. I wish that there’d been a gateway a bit closer, but this will do.
“Well, Palmon’s waiting for me,” V-mon adjusts his tie a little and waves. “I’ll see you later! Have fun.”
“We will!” Hikari grins and waves, just like I do, as V-mon moves off down to where his girlfriend…girlfriendmon? Monfriend? Whatever. To where Palmon’s waiting for him. Tailmon glances up at Hikari some.
“Take care of yourselves,” is all she says before heading off as well. Hikari watches her go, and I think she looks a little concerned.
“Everything all right?”
Hikari nods, perhaps a little too quickly. “I think she just wants to be alone for a little while.”
That’s a bit weird. But if it’s what she wants, who am I to stop her? Sometimes being alone is just what you need anyway. “Dinner should be this way,” I tell her, and we start off down the pathway. The closer we get, the more I can hear someone moving around up ahead, and when the path widens out to show the lake and the shore of the lake, there’s Yamato there, putting the last finishing touches on the table and everything spread out there.
“Oh, there you are,” he turns towards us, and nods politely. Gabumon is there too, and he waves at us. “Glad you made it.” He motions towards the table. “I hope you enjoy everything.”
I take one look at everything he’s made, and I know that I made the right choice asking him to help us with this. Everything just looks and smells perfect, and I bet it’ll taste that way, too.
“Wow, Yamato, this all looks great!” Hikari says just what I’m thinking about, and I nod.
“Thanks a lot!” I wish there were something else I could do to thank him. Just saying it doesn’t seem to be enough. “If there’s anything I can do for you…”
“Don’t worry about it,” Yamato shakes his head and checks over everything one last time. “The dessert’s over there,” he motions to a little table a few feet away under a tree. “And I’ll get everything cleaned up once you’re done. Have fun!”
He and Gabumon don’t wait around for anything else, just head off into the trees. I don’t know what they’ve got planned to do for the rest of tonight, but it’s time to really get this date started. We head over to the table, and I hold the chair out for her some. I remember my dad saying that was something nice to do for a lady.
“Thank you,” Hikari smiles, and I know I’m going to mush inside. I couldn’t be anything but mush with that smile around. Somehow, the mushy me makes it over to my chair and I sit down. “This really does look great. Yamato could be a great chef if he wanted to be.”
“I know.” I’m not really sure what he plans to be, but a top notch chef should at least be something he’s considering. I stare at the food for a moment, then get started eating.
Just like I thought, it tastes absolutely wonderful. Hikari thinks the same thing, at least if the way she’s eating has anything to say about it. I wonder if I could get Yamato to teach me how to make some of this stuff so I can make it for her next time. That’s something to think about.
“I still can’t believe Ken and Mimi are dating,” Hikari says. “I just wouldn’t have thought about it myself.”
“I don’t know if I would either.” In fact, I know I wouldn’t, because I didn’t. “But I guess they’re happy.” At least from the time or two I’ve seen them together since then they are. It’s weird, but if they’re making it work, then all the best of luck to them.
Hikari laughs some. “Mimi was just about the first person I told about this when you asked me. I e-mailed her about it. It just feels a little weird to think that she knew about you asking me, but I had no idea that she and Ken were seeing each other.”
“Yeah, I know how you feel. I told Ken about it too. He said something about seeing someone then, but I didn’t guess it was her.” That conversation feels like it was forever and a month ago, instead of just a few days.
“I hope Miyako and Takeru hit it off. They’re out tonight too,” Hikari sips some of her drink and nibbles a bit on a dumpling. “Takeru tried to ask me out after you did, you know.”
I blink a few times. “No, I didn’t know.” I’m not even sure what to think about it. I mean, I sort of thought they liked each other a while back, but even if they did, it’s pretty obvious nothing happened. So why did he suddenly ask her out?
She nods some. “I told him I already had a date for tonight, though.” She smiles, and I’m just all that warm goo again. “And I suggested that he ask Miyako instead. He took me up on it, obviously.”
It’s a good thing that goo can still talk. Or that I can while I’m goo inside. Whichever way you want to say it. The trouble is, I’m not sure what to say. Sure, a couple of years ago I would have been all pissed off because of Takeru trying to ask her out, but it doesn’t feel like it matters that much anymore, especially because she turned him down in favor of me. And because he didn’t keep on trying to ask her. There are some guys who are like that, and I’m glad Takeru’s not one of them.
“Yeah, I hope they hit it off too.” That does manage to make it out. I knew that they were going out tonight, I remember they mentioned that when they were visiting me at the hospital, but I didn’t know that it was Hikari’s idea. Or if I did know, I forgot about it. Keeping up with my love life is hard enough. I don’t need to try to keep up with everyone else’s.
I eat a little more, and realize somewhere along the way that we’re having a really good time. We talk about a lot of things. Some of our friends, Ken’s concert, how peaceful everything is in the Digital World tonight, our Digimon, other Digimon, our plans for the future.
“I’m not sure if I want to be a teacher or a photographer more,” Hikari says, stirring a little bit of sauce that remains on her plate. “Teaching is important, and I’ve wanted to be one for a long time, but photography could be a lot of fun, too. I’ve seen some magazines offering a lot of money for pictures of the Digital World. And some for us, too. And our Digimon.” She laughs some, in a sparkling, happy kind of way. “Did you know that I could get almost a hundred thousand yen just for a good picture of you and XV-mon?”
Whoa. Who’d want to pay that kind of money for us? “Well, if you want, we could pose or something tomorrow.”
She smiles some. “If you really want to.” Wow. All that money just for a picture. People can be weird. But there are some movie stars I’d pay that much, if I had it, for a picture of.
“Sure! Why not?” I don’t even really want to ask for a cut of it. I mean, the money would be nice, sure, but it just feels a little silly.
“We can split the money, then,” Hikari tells me firmly, finishing off the last of her drink. I just nod at that. At least if it’s going to feel silly, it’ll be the kind that spends? I’m pretty sure that doesn’t make any kind of sense whatsoever, but who cares? Not me.
Trying to cover up feeling a bit silly about that picture thing, I go and get our desserts. There’s even another couple of drinks there, and I’d bet that they weren’t there when Yamato pointed them out to us. So I bet he’s lurking around somewhere. That’s cool, and really nice of him too.
“This has been a lot of fun,” Hikari tells me. I nibble at the dessert and nod. It wasn’t the kind of disaster that part of me was terrified it might be. It wasn’t even the bland, not really clicking kind of thing that I’d been even more terrified it might be. It’s felt right all along, and I hope she feels the same way. But she’s having fun, so that means she does, right?
Once I’ve got my mouth empty again, I tell her, “I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself. I am too.” That sounds so stupid. Why can’t I sound to her like I do in my head?
Wait, that might not be the best thing either. Guess I’ll just wing it. So far so good, though.
Can’t wait to see how the rest of this goes.
To Be Continued