Me: Okay, everybody-today…
BlackTerriermon: The 1st of November, 2002, mind you. (lol)
Me: (glares at BlackTerriermon) …What he said. This day marked the 1-year anniversary of Digimon Tamers showing up on weekdays back when Fox was running things. I don't own either Digimon or Hoobastank's song Running Away, by the way.
Rika: Thank goodness! If you did, I would have to take drastic measures.
Me: (narrows eyes and glares at Rika, who glares back) Funny. Real funny.
Rika: I'll show you funny…
Takato: (laughs loudly; separates both of us) Okay, guys! Let's get to the story before you both end up in the hospital, right?
BlackTerriermon: (to Takato) I'd take that as a yes if I were you, Takato.
Takato: How else am I supposed to take it? (sighs)
Digimon Tamers: The Runaway Tamer
"Embrace the future I offer you!" –IceDevimon, The Icemon Cometh
"Rika, are you okay?"
"…I hate 'em."
"Well, he's gone now…"
"Not him…I hate Digimon-all of them!"
"Rika, you don't mean that…Kyubimon, wait a minute-where are you going? Hey, what's wrong with you? Aren't you guys supposed to be friends?!"
(The Biggest Dreamer plays in background)
Takato Matsuki couldn't believe what had just happened. Only minutes after the battle against IceDevimon had ended, Rika Nonaka, the Digimon Queen, had declared her hatred of Digimon entirely and had run off! The only ones left were himself, his own partner Guilmon, Henry Wong, his partner Terriermon and Calumon, the little Digimon who helped their Digimon to Digivolve. Rika's former partner, Renamon, or Kyubimon in her Champion form, had departed opposite the direction Rika had gone.
"This can't end like this-not now, when we were just starting to become a team! I'm gonna go and find her!" Takato growled angrily, starting forward at that second.
"Hold on a minute, Takato-what makes you so sure Rika's going to listen to you in the first place? She could just as easily drop-kick you within a second, at least!"
"True, but she had that chance a couple of nights ago, and she didn't do it then. I've got to make her see that not all Digimon are gonna be like IceDevimon, certainly not her own partner."
That said, Takato started forward in the same direction Rika had just gone in, hearing Guilmon call out, "Takatomon, what should the rest of us do?"
"Hmm…Calumon should come with me-that way, if Rika does try to beat me up, she'll have to tend with him. The rest of you should hunt down Renamon. We'll meet at Shinjuku Park!"
As Calumon went to join up with Takato, Terriermon yelled out, "If Rika does try to kill you, let us know by screaming, and we'll be there in time to pick up the pieces!"
I don't want you to give it all up and leave your own life collecting dust, and I don't want you to feel sorry for me-you never gave us a chance to be!
And I don't need you to be by my side and tell me that everything's all right!
I just wanted you to tell me the truth-you know I'd do that for you…!
"Rika! Hey, Rika-where are you?" Takato screamed while running through most of Shinjuku Park later on that evening. That was the only place where she could've gone since she'd run from the other Tamers earlier.
"Gee, Takato, maybe Rika already ran through the park." Calumon noted grimly. Takato shook his head at that statement.
"No way! It's after midnight, and she would've stopped somewhere to rest up for the night. It's gotta be here-I know it! Come on out, Rika!" Takato yelled frantically while continuing his run through the park.
Eventually, Takato's search took him and Calumon to a bench underneath a streetlamp and that bench contained a sleeping Rika Nonaka, who was shivering slightly because of the cold air.
"Rika! Are…are you okay?" Takato stammered worriedly as he raced forward and shook her awake at that second, the little In-Training Digimon at his heels.
"…What are you doing here, Gogglehead?" Rika moaned irritably while pushing Takato backward and moving into a sitting position.
"Nothing! I just, uh…wanted to see how you were doing, you know? It's after midnight and it's not safe for y-us to be out this late at night."
"Uh-huh. Sure you are."
Takato had a feeling that Rika wasn't buying a word of what he was saying, so he figured it would be a good time to take the subtle approach.
"Look, I was wondering…why'd you run off from us like that? I thought you'd asked Renamon to forgive you for…whatever you'd done-"
"Don't you even think about bringing her up! I told you that I don't care about Digimon anymore, and nothing you say will change my mind!" Rika snapped impatiently, stepping forward while Takato backed away a few feet.
"But, you're the Digimon Queen! Don't you have a reputation to maintain, at least?"
"The next tournament isn't even coming here until sometime near the end of the year, so they'll just find some weak kid who has some skill and name him or her the hottest thing on ice! So, Takato, just leave…me…alone!"
Takato grimaced at that second, tears starting to well up in his eyes. Yet, these weren't tears of sadness. They were more like tears of anger, truth be told.
"Please! I give you one suggestion and you start crying about it? And, I thought you had some promise as a Tamer-"
"At least I didn't quit and give up on my partner like you did, your Majesty!" Takato growled angrily as he pointed directly at Rika, which caused her to step back in surprise, Calumon to extend his ears in amazement.
Chorus: So, why are you running away?
Why are you running away?
"Ever since we met, you've always stepped on me like I was your 'stepping stone' in life and I just wanted you to be my friend, someone I could confide in on what it was like to be a Tamer, but you've repeatedly spat on me over and over! I tried to save you tonight-in fact, I did save your life, and how do you repay me? By yelling at me and telling me to get out of your face! I was glad when you came to help out to save Guilmon back under those tunnels, because I thought you were letting me-me and Henry-in a little bit, not much, but a little bit. Instead, I find myself wrong as usual! I didn't understand it when you tried to delete my partner the day we 'physically' met, nor did I understand the dream I had about you when I first saw you, but I thought we could talk about it…but, the Digimon Queen has no time for people who are beneath her!" Throughout most of Takato's explanation, Rika had partially flinched back, as if hurt by his comments, but soon enough, the two of them had started yelling at each other.
"What do you know? You have two loving parents who probably think the world of you, who care about you every day, who worry about you, and who probably wipes your cuts when you get jumped by bullies!"
"And you're the daughter of a model, as rich as can be and goes to a private school! You probably have a list of every single Digimon you've ever erased since you became a Tamer! I can see why Ryo was good enough to beat you-he didn't let his emotions get in the way of everything-"
WHAP!!! In a fit of anger, Rika opened up her palm and smacked Takato across the face-hard! And, without thinking, Takato roared indignantly while balling up his fist and punched Rika in the stomach!
Time stopped at that second…Takato, realizing what he'd just done to someone who he cared about, even if he didn't know it at the moment…Rika, in shock at what she'd done, and amazed that he would have the courage to stand up to her…no one had ever done that before…
"Rika…I didn't mean it…I wasn't thinking…"
Takato went to pull Rika into a hug, but she stepped back, then turned around, looked at him once, then ran off. Worried even more so now than before, Takato picked Calumon up before racing after her.
"Rika! Come back! I didn't mean it!"
"Yeah, Rika-he didn't mean it! Please come back!"
I did enough to show you that I was willing to give and sacrifice, and I was the one who was lifting you up when you thought your life had had enough…
When I get close, you turn away; there's nothing that I can do or say!
Now I need you to tell me the truth-you know I'd do that for you…!
"Just stay away from me, Takato! I mean it!"
"Forget it, Rika! I'm not gonna let you be forgotten this easily…!"
Takato panted lightly as he miraculously kept up with Rika during their jog through the rest of the park, allowing Calumon to fly above their heads.
"Why do you care? Answer me that! What could I possibly mean to you?"
"I'll answer that…if you answer my question!" Takato grunted lightly as he jumped forward and pinned Rika to the ground, remaining on top of her until she turned over, which turned out to be a mistake, because he caught a faint pinkish hue on her cheeks. Realizing the position he'd accidentally put themselves in, he blushed a heavy shade of red while getting up and helping her up, Calumon laughing lightly while landing in between the two of them.
Trying to hide the tiny tinge of pink on her face, Rika turned around, but didn't run off. "You'd better listen carefully, Takato, 'cause I'm not about to repeat this again…"
Chorus: So, why are you running away?
Why are you running away?
"You wouldn't know what it's like, not having a father in your life, because your parents stayed together, and opened up a shop or something like that…I didn't have that luxury in my life. I stood by and watched as my father divorced my mother, and she didn't do a single thing to stop it from happening. If she'd been a little more stronger, instead of always keeping her head at that modeling business, and telling me how I've got to grow up and keep up this fine tradition, she could've maintained both, run the stupid company and kept our family together, but no!"
Takato gasped lightly, the redness on his cheeks not going away anytime soon, especially after Rika had pulled him into a tight hug and didn't relinquish her grip on him.
"…..Turns out she was as weak as everyone else I've met, except for my grandmother, Renamon, and on some level or another…you."
Takato was left astonished after this comment had been made, not believing his ears for a second!
"But, what about you saying you hated all Digimon, Rika? Where does that fit in?"
Is it me? (Is it me?) Is it you? (Is it you?)
Nothing that…(Nothing that…) I can do…(I can do…)
To make you…(To make you…) Change your mind…?
(Why…?) Is it me? (You…?) Is it you?
(Indistinct words) Nothing that I can do?
(Why…?) Is it a…(You…?) waste of time…?
Is it me? Is it you?
Nothing that I can do to make you change your mind, oh, ohh…!
Struggling to keep her tears hidden, Rika just held onto Takato tighter while explaining the missing piece of the puzzle. "I didn't mean it…I was…I was…"
"What, Rika? Come on, you can tell me. We're friends, aren't we?"
Rika smiled faintly at that statement. "Friends don't give each other bruises across the cheek, nor do they punch them in the stomach."
Takato had to laugh after she'd said that. "Sure they do-the good ones do, anyway."
Unbeknownst to either Takato or Rika, Henry, Guilmon, Renamon and Terriermon were approaching them as silently as could be, Calumon the only one who'd noticed they were here.
"I guess I could tell you, but don't you dare mention this to Henry! He'd go and tell that dog-rabbit Digimon of his, and he'd chop it all up and it wouldn't be close to the truth." After getting his solemn vow on this remaining between the two of them, Rika cleared her throat and stared deep into Takato's brown chocolate-like irises. "The real reason why I said that I hated Digimon was because I was…I was…I was scared. I was scared that if I'd made Renamon Digivolve, she would end up like IceDevimon, and she nearly got deleted because of me!"
"But, she didn't get deleted, Rika, and it was because you cared about her and asked her to forgive you. So, that's why you left us, huh?"
Rika grinned and nodded. "Now, you have something you need to tell me. Why am I worth all the trouble to end up with a bruise on the cheek?"
"Isn't it obvious? Guys like me go to great lengths for the people they have feelings for…"
Takato gulped as he envisioned his death would come quickly and swiftly seconds after he'd said those words. The one thing he hadn't expected was to be enveloped into another hug by Rika, or to feel tears over his face!
Chorus: So, why are you running away?
Why are you running away?
(What is it I have to say…?)
So, why are you running away?
(…To make you admit your afraid?)
Why are you running away? (Song fades out on guitar riff)
Takato wiped away the tears that were still trickling down Rika's face, and some that had gotten onto his own face before leaning forward a bit, Rika doing the same thing, with their eyes closed, until…
"Way to go, Takatomon! Is she one of us again?"
Turning around swiftly, Rika was about to attack Terriermon, but stopped when she saw Renamon appearing by her side.
"You came back…but, why?"
"Guilmon suggested I try and help you figure out why you 'hated' Digimon. Interesting notion, coming from him and not his Tamer."
Rika nodded once and, turning around, blew Takato a kiss.
"Thanks…both of you. Now…who's idea was it to spy on me and Takato?"
Screaming loudly, Terriermon shot off like a light, with Rika hot on his tail, Takato, Henry and Calumon laughing at that moment, while Guilmon had a confused look on his face.
"So, Takato, you did the impossible-you got Rika to open up."
"Not all the way, Henry, but just give it time, and she may admit one day that we're her friends."
"And, that she likes you as more than a friend, huh?"
"Do you want to get some exercise, like your partner?"
"Not at all."