Memory 02 - A Gift for You
by Midori Kou
What's this warm feeling embracing me?
Why do hold me so dear?
Do I mean something to you?
Or do you need me instead?
Do you suffer like I do? Do you feel lonely?
Are we the same - taking life by the same approach?
I want to know... I want to know what you think.
Tell me that I'm hallucinating...
Tell me that you are not like me.
With his bag dangling on his side, Takeru breathed heavily as his mind was filled with such random questions. The touch of the short boy's fingers gripping his loose shirt... It was so heartbreaking. These fingers shivered and couldn't hold on tightly to his clothing. These gentle fingers were able to show the fear that engulfed the Bearer of Kindness. He never knew such pain had existed in him. It did not relate to his past, for he knew Ken had overcome it. What could it be? What could trouble such a boy?
Closing his eyes, he sighed as he placed his tender hand over Ken's. Calmly, he caressed the tense fingers that had held him close to the short hair teenager. His fingers fluttered over his skin as they slid under the short hair boy's hand. The Bearerof Kindness gasped to his surprise by Takeru's response of his careless action. His eyes widen as the blond angel slowly slipped his hands off of his shirt.
Pulling himself away from the golden hair boy, Ken forcefully looked away from Takeru. His indigo starry eyes searched the ground to an excuse for his rude behavior. To act in such a senseless way was unlike him. He had unconsciously approached the boy in an absurd manner that he would not have thought he was capable of. Was he so desperately in need of company that he had sought a male companion to receive it? Not only that, he chose someone who he did not talked to as much as his best friend, Daisuke Motomiya. Why did he decide to talk to Takeru so suddenly? They never had an actual conversation as far as he knew. They have a mutual friendship and nothing more.
Confused about the situation, the short hair boy had uttered nothing in return as he stared at the back of the Bearer of Hope. The blond did not move nor mentioned what he did as of the moment. He just stood there, silent and calm. Has he found him disgusting to look at? Was he offended? Was he upset? Ken really didn't know what to expect from the teen, but as the short hair was about to ask him, he heard Takeru sighed restlessly.
"What's wrong, Ichijouji-kun?" he questioned in a flat tone. It was a voice he had never knew of. It was neither hateful nor caring, but neutral. Did he sympathize for him? Was there empathy in his voice?
"What?" Ken awoke from his thoughts. "What do you mean?"
At the corner of his eye, Takeru noticed how his body immediately became tensed by his quick reply. He raised his eyebrow and faced the short hair boy. At that moment, the Bearer of Kindness stiffened as he was well aware of the blond's expression across his face. His midnight cerulean eyes gazed at the Bearer of Kindness with little emotion in them and his soft lips tightened. The golden hair boy was expecting a response that he could accept. Ken could clearly see that. But what could he possibly say to him? What words could he use in this type of situation?
The Bearer of Hope rubbed his temple, trying to determine the meaning behind his immediate grasp. As his lips parted, he uttered, "You must be awfully stressed than I thought to pull a stunt like that," Takeru replied coldly.
"What do you mean?" he inquired innocently as he chuckled forcefully.
"I had read up in a psychology book that humans need physical needs like touch to allow them to have any indication of love... The hierarchy of needs, that's what it was called."
"Any indication of love? What do you mean by that?"
"Any type of love... Friendship love, motherly love, you know."
"Oh... Is that it?"
"But to grab onto me like that...? You must really lack your needs."
Was that it? Was it because he had a psychological problem that he did not know of? It did not occurred to him that it was quite likely he was suffering from acute depression or something of the matter. Now that the Bearer of Hope had mentioned it, Ken was flustered by this theory of his condition. If this teenager could easily conclude with this reasonable idea, why can't he accept it? Something his heart had urged him to reject it. If it was not depression, then what was it?
"Do you really think it's possible that I have acute depression?" Ken asked out loud. As he noticed that the words had escaped his mouth, Takeru's sapphire eyes widen.
"Acute depression?" The blond teen laughed freely.
The short hair boy blinked in response. It's peculiar to burst out laughing about a serious matter, Ken thought.
"Nah, everyone suffers from acute depression and that's a fact."
"Did you read that in a book?" the Child of Kindness teased.
"Not really..." Takeru said and had left it at that. "Anyway, I gotta head home."
The blond teenager smiled gently to the short hair boy, a smile he truly could recognize and call normal. It was strange how this simple blond could confuse him so. Even as the Digimon Kaiser, he was unable to prove a valid explanation for his behavior. His mysterious curved lips... Were they suitable for a boy with another hidden personality? Were they appropriate for the elusive hateful demon buried deep in the Child of Hope?
As Takeru gradually left him standing alone in the night, Ken paused as he cleared his throat, audible for the golden haired boy to hear. The blond turned around once more, wondering why he is delaying his trip home. Takeru blinked as he awaited his voice to respond.
"Let me go with you," the short hair teenager replied softly. His shyness was quite obvious for the Bearer of Hope to notice. His amethyst eyes were shifty as he couldn't keep himself still. Fidgeting, Ken tried not to gaze at him directly.
"Why? It's pretty late. You should go home to get some rest," Takeru suggested, adjusting his gym bag so it would not feel uncomfortable.
"Well, I think I should walk home with you."
"Just because...," the short hair boy simply said.
"Just because of what?" The Bearer of Hope shot back blankly. His pestering questions were as persistent as a child's curiosity that will not stop until all one's attention was focused on him. Only then, the child would finally receive the answers they want.
Sighing, Ken felt frustrated about how to explain the situation without spilling the secret behind the situation. I can't just tell him that I want to follow him unless I told him about his surprised birthday party. I can't ruin his day, but I can't just leave my answer like this. It's so awkward! It's like I'm some obsessive stalker with the words I used. What have I gotten myself into?
"Well, just out of courtesy, you're welcome to do so," Takeru finally said. "Since you live further away and the train station near my father and brother's apartment anyway, then sure."
The Bearer of Kindness was filled with glee by the blond's false understanding. At that moment, this unknown feeling that dwelled in his heart arose again. What was it? Why couldn't he understand it? It was so abstract that he couldn't put it into words. It was strange. Why did he felt this way? Why only around to this angel? What made him different compared to everyone else? This alone he could not comprehend.
It was the same emotions that overwhelmed his mind when the Bearer of Hope was about leave. Was there more to him than he thought? Could it be possible that this boy is what he needed in his life?
Biting his lips, Ken ignored his curiosity about the blond and walked silently beside him. Just forget it... Just forget it for now, he told himself. Just put it in the back of your mind and figure it out later. There has to be some actual explanation. There has to be!
After a long, quiet stroll, the two teenage boys finally reached the apartment building of the Ishida residence. At the entrance door, Takeru stood silently as the dark hair boy was further away from the blond. The blond's ocean blue eyes stared at the short haired boy which felt like eternity. These eyes had focused on him and only him. The Bearer of Hope had ignored his surroundings and could only see this slim person standing before him.
His lips twitched as he realized that he was drawn in by this boy. Shaking his head, he managed to snap out of his trance. What was that just now? Was I staring at him for no apparent reason? What's going on with me? Why do I feel there is an invisible thread connecting me and Ichijouji-kun? What does it mean? What does it all mean? I don't understand... It's strange and disturbing. I wish it would just disappear...
Feeling his heart throb, Ken breathed deeply, releasing his tension he received from the blond. Those eyes of his made his body feel numb and paralyzed. For some reason, he did not want to escape them. They welcomed him, those warm, comforting eyes. Strange, how the Takeru's emotions contradicted the feeling the short haired boy indulged by seeing him. While Ken gained security, the Bearer of Hope received the exact opposite.
Looking away from the raven haired boy, the golden hair teen allowed his back to face the Bearer of Kindness once again. But the words that left the blond were surprising to Ken's ears. "Are you coming?" he uttered.
Is he inviting me? How come? Do I deserve to be there? Do you really want me there? But why? You acted so differently earlier. What kind of person are you? How many different personalities do you have? Which one is the true Takeru?
The blond raised his eyebrow as he expected the short haired boy to enter the apartment structure. Pushing the door open, he stood in between the doorway as the Bearer of Kindness did not waver from his position. His violet eyes were full of shock. The golden haired teen awaited him, holding the door for the dark haired boy. Which Takeru is offering me his kindness? Which Takeru smiles out of happiness instead of hiding pain? I want to know... I want to know about you, Takeru-kun. Forget about what I'm feeling... I want to find out the Takeru that exists in my life!
Slowly, his feet nudged and walked passed the mysterious teenage boy, his hair fluttering in the air. The dark haired boy's scent passed Takeru as he gracefully walked ahead of him. The pleasant smell of his hair stayed with him as they entered the elevator. For some apparent reason, it soothed his body and soul, releasing him of the days of stress he carried deep within him. Strange how this boy allow him find sanctuary from his life's trouble. Just Ken being here beside him... It had lightened his mood.
With school and extracurricular activities, he had rarely had any time to himself...Time to think. Although he was able to spend some quality time with Daisuke and Hikari at school, it was unfulfilling. He was the third wheel who hanged around a couple of lovebirds. Being with them reminded how lonely he was. At school, everyone noticed his existence, but not enough to talk to him and wonder how he was doing. They just leave him be and mind their own business. Even so, they expect great things from him and yet they know nothing about his life. Being at home was far worse since he had no one to talk to. It made him feel isolated from the world like unwanted trash. He felt lost in this world that God created. It was a punishment to live...
Ken was just a reminder of his corrupted livelihood. Sure, people noticed him when he disappeared years back. His parents were truly caring for they wanted him back. Now that he was, this Chosen Child was able to live happily with his mother and father, something that Takeru lacked indefinitely. Although he has parents, he rarely sees both of them because of their occupations and the divorce. Divorce... That word in itself make his heart grew cold. To separate... To lose a partner in life... How could they easily accept it? How can they simply want to break apart a family? How come they couldn't settle their differences? How come they got married in the first place? Why was I born if they were not willing to commit?
Remembering this made his heart turn. It was not only his social life and school life, but also his life at home that influenced him to lose hope in humanity. People rejected him and yet still used him for other means. Either it was to improve the school's image or appear as a good friend or to portray how wonderful this woman who he called 'mother' was. He hated it. He hated living such a life in which people forced him into these types of situations.
Sighing, Takeru leaned against the cold, hard plated wall of the elevator. He did not want to appear weak to the dark haired boy beside him. The Bearer of Kindness had endured more things than him and had lived to tell it. If this boy who lost his brother and had scrutinized innocent Digimon can change his ways, why can't he? If only he knew how? If only he knew what emotions possess him to feel such things -- to feel this way about people? What exists in the crevice of his heart?
"Takeru-kun?" Ken abruptly asked, breaking the silence between them.
"It's your birthday, isn't it?"
"Yeah... Pretty much."
"What are you hoping to get today?"
The blond's sapphire blue eyes searched the metal floor, hoping to find his answer. Closing his eyes, his lips curved to the thought that developed in his mind. "I don't want anything."
The short hair boy observed his complexion, questioning his answer. He wanted to ask but didn't want to offend him. Does he really want nothing? Nothing from anyone...? Is he perfectly contempt with his life that expects nothing from his friends despite their efforts? Is he really a happy-go-lucky guy like everyone says? Then what about back there at the beach? How could he have been so dull and cold? Was he depressed? Was he sad? Trying understanding you, Takeru just gives me more questions that boggles my mind.
At last, the elevator had stopped on Yamato's floor. The two of them stepped out as the door closed behind them. Casually, Takeru pulled out his key to his father and brother's apartment from his right pocket and slid it in delicately. Turning the doorknob, he gently pushed opened the door as Ken curiously looked in the room over his shoulder.
As the blond reached for the light switch, a flare of white blinded his vision as the volume of noises increased more decibels than could be calculated. Rubbing his eyes, he noticed the large crowd of people before him, holding party favors and wearing the traditional party hats. All of these people he had knew by heart for they shared a fragment of his life. They were his closest friends. They were family.
"Happy birthday, Takeru!" they cheered as the blond blinked in return.
"This is..." his voiced trailed as he was amazed by the turn out of people. Hikari jumped in front of him, pointing her finger onto his nose.
"This is my surprise to you, see?" the chestnut hair girl teased in a kiddy voice.
"Well, you really got the 'surprise' thing down absolutely!" he answered excitedly. His face softened as he smiled cheerfully, for this Ken took to consideration. He was happy, truly happy. He certainly saw this - this was the real Takeru laughing and smiling. He was not forcing himself to show these expressions of liveliness. He was carefree as to before in the past.
I guess this party did the trick. Whatever that was on Takeru-kun's mind, he seemed to have forgotten about it. If this is the case, he's better off being like this... Being happy. Ken settled himself at the dining table in the living room. Picking up a Styrofoam cup filled with Coca-Cola, the dark hair boy took gradual sips of the icy cold soft drink. Noticing the Bearer of Kindness sitting alone, Daisuke joined the boy, sitting across from him.
"Hey, Ken!" The spiky hair boy exclaimed. "It's great of you to come. I thought that you wouldn't have made it since I hadn't seen you around lately."
"Yeah, but you know how it is."
"Yeah, studying frenzy for you. If I was in your shoes, I wouldn't know how to handle it. I would probably have a breakdown or something like other kids out there."
"You would?" Ken asked curiously with concern.
"Yeah, maybe..." The goggle boy uttered. "I never endured much stress or problems in life, so I don't have any experience something as great as learning the most advance math and literature like you."
"Like me? I possess nothing like that."
"Don't be so modest about yourself. You underestimate what you are capable, Ken. You went through more things than I ever had. I believe you have more courage than you think."
"Do you really think so? Do you really think that I'm strong enough to pull through?"
Daisuke shook his head, but smiled in return. "I don't think. I know. I know you are strong. I can tell you a million times, but your mind has a stronger hold of your heart than my words. Whether you believe it or not, it's up to you."
"I wouldn't be so sure about that..."
"What do you mean?" The spiked hair boy blinked, confused by his use of words. What could he possibly think that could stop him from believing he can progress in life despite what would happen to him? Was he so doubtful about his strength that he cannot see beyond his errors?
"Let's say outside forces also determine what I believe in...," he said subtly as he drank his soda. Daisuke followed the dark haired teenager's eyes as they were purposely staring at the blond sixteen-year-old.
Is Takaishi somehow involved in this? What could he possibly have done to disturb Ken so much? As much as I knew Takaishi, he doesn't seem like the type to go around putting down people to the point that they are down in the dumps. What the hell is going on here? I miss out on hanging out with Ken and when I finally do, there's something wrong. Damn it! How can I fix this? Maybe I should talk to Takaishi since he's more truthful about these kinds of manners.
The spiky hair boy pushed his chair back as he placed his hands flat of the table. Forcing himself up, he said, "Excuse me while I greet the birthday boy." Ken nodded, allowing him to do so and once again he was by his lonesome.
The Bearer of Courage and Friendship squeezed through the crowded room in the direction where Takeru was standing beside his brother against the hallway walls. The body heat around him grew as the voices could not be distinct. Groaning as he tried to pass through, Daisuke noticed his girlfriend, Hikari somehow found a way through this flood of people and met up with the blond teen. At least she was able to pass through...
"Yamato-san...!" The Bearer of Light happily exclaimed. "Can I borrow Takeru-kun for a moment?
The older blond softly chuckled although to her perspective, she could not hear his voice due to loudness. As he brushed back his bangs in a suave motion, The Bearer of Friendship nodded in return as he walked away, joining her brother, Taichi and the former Chosen Children.
Standing opposite of Takeru, Hikari's lips curved when they finally received a moment's peace. "So how are you enjoying your birthday?" she innocently asked.
"It's awesome! I never would have thought this many people would come...!"
"Then how come you're here?" the chestnut haired girl pointed out.
Takeru backed away, stunned by her question. She never knew about his views about people or social events. Although he was outgoing did not mean he always wanted to act upon whatever people think of him. Sure, he can put up a front, but after a while, it does get worn down. But Hikari proved a valid point. Why was he hiding in the corner? What was he afraid of? They're just people he knew most of his life. He had always talked to them and now, everything seemed different between him and them. What was stopping him to continue to be with them? How come he can't live like them? Was he more or less than who they are? What was it that separates him from the world?
Shaking his head, he gazed at the polished floor. "Personally...," the blond said audible enough for Hikari to listen to him. "With this much people here, how can I?"
"I would have to agree with you about that," she remarked. "Anyway, had you have a chance to open your presents?"
"No, not really," Takeru answered as he drank a can of sweetened green tea. "I think I'll open them when it's time to cut the birthday cake."
"Oh!" Hikari fidgeted as she searched her purse bag for a tiny box that was gift-wrapped with light metallic blue paper, topped with a spring green bow. Extending her hand to him, the Bearer of Light offered him her gift. "Here you go!"
Disappointed for some apparent reason, he carefully removed it from her possession and analyzing the gift. "What is it?" Takeru asked as he shook the box close to his ear.
"Open it!" she suggested energetically. Hesitating at first, the blond did not anticipate the chestnut haired girl to have given him more than a party, but then again, this was Hikari. He admired her heart and for this reason, they had both agree they were better off as friends than lovers.
Carefully, he ripped off tape on the wrapping paper that had covered his present. He dared not wanted to tear the beautiful light aqua blue paper; after all, he was a pack rat. As he cleared off the wrapping paper, there lying in his hand was a small velvet rectangular box. "Hikari-chan, you did have to-"
Immediately, the long hair girl raised her finger, swaying it back and forth. "Now, don't tell me that Oni-chan and I have to return your gift after the trouble we had gone through to get it. Either you wear it or stash it in your drawer for safekeeping."
"Okay, okay...," Takeru agreed as he lifted up the clamped top. Within the velvet box was a chained necklace with two rings, one of them with a white opal gem attached to it. "This is..."
"A gift for you and your future love. When you meet that special someone, just give her that other ring."
"Happy birthday, Takeru-kun..."
END OF CHAPTER TWO
Yeah, yeah... I had to make Takeru and Hikari former lovers for the heck of it. ^^; But nothing happened between them so they're just friends. Lots of self-questioning for Takeru and Ken as a way to show their character development and personally feelings. It was kinda influenced by the book, "Siddhartha" by Hermann Hesse - of course that book was about spiritual fulfillment. ^^; In case any of you are wondering, Takeru is the masculine boy in the relationship and Ken's the feminine guy. I figure that Ken's a mama's boy, trying to not hurt her feelings for he understands how she is feeling most of the time. As for his relationship with his father, it wasn't touched much in the anime series so I wouldn't know how they interact. It was mainly about his mother most of the time. Probably Ken has an Oedipus Rex complex. O_o Damn Sigmund Frued's theories. XD
Speaking of Frued, in the beginning of the chapter, I wrote Takeru talking about the hierarchy of needs. In case you have no knowledge about psychology, the hierarchy of needs is the theory about what basic essentials are needed for a human to live properly and gain happiness. Although absolute happiness cannot be achieve, it's better to have those needs than none. Anyway, below is how the hierarchy of needs is structured:
Self actualization (knowledge, understanding, goodness, beauty, justice, order)
Esteem needs (approval, recognition)
Belonging & Love needs (affiliation, acceptance, affection)
Safety needs (physical security, psychological safety)
Physiological needs (food, drink)
If the lower needs are not satisfied (IE: safety or belonging needs), one cannot gain higher needs (IE: esteem needs). Hope that makes sense, everybody since this would be a common theme throughout the series. But if you don't know it, it doesn't matter as long as you are able to enjoy the story. Well, until the next chapter and remember, more reviews mean more chapters in a short time period. ^_^