Okay, okay…I know I should be working on Future's Course…I know Diamond in the Rough is long over-do for a new chapter…I know a dozen people are waiting for me to finish Grass is Greener…I know, I know, I know…But I just really had to do this fic, offa one of those weird ideas I get all the time. So just live with me…Er, PG-13 for a little language and violence.
Disclaimer:I don't own Digimon, and I'm not a part of a gang. But the Angels, the Rivets, and Mia are property of me and me alone.
Of Rivets and Angels
Chapter One: Rescue
"Oh, T.K., you know I care about you too…"
T.K. sighed. She wasn't getting it. "That's not what I mean, Kari!" he urged, but then his courage failed and he started to stutter. "What I said was…What I mean…"
Kari gave him a strange look, then laughed. "Oh, T.K., you're so funny!" she giggled. "You always make me laugh…"
T.K.'s face fell. For a moment, Kari had second thoughts about what she'd said, but she didn't have time to take it back. Her best friend took to his heels and ran from the dance, calling "I'll see you tomorrow!" half-heartedly.
The next day, it was spread that Davis and Kari had been caught slow-dancing that evening. T.K. was crushed when he heard they were going steady…
T.K. shook his head. Why was that memory coming back, after all these years?
He put his leg up on the ledge of the apartment roof and leaned over so he could see the whole neighborhood, moving slowly below him in the late twilight. It was just this area, he reasoned, where they'd tracked the Rivets. It looked much to much like 'home'…
"See anything yet?" Mia asked, leaning over the side next to him. She tossed her black pony tail over her shoulder and gazed out with bottle green eyes.
T.K. grinned. Amelia Hameraki Tisatsu, or Mia, as she insisted on being called, was a very good friend of his. She wore a short black leather jacket that ended just under her ribs, a tight-fitting purple T-Shirt, black jeans, a silver chain-line belt, and black leather boots. The back of her jacket was embroidered with small white wings, and there was a small silver chain around her neck that a grateful old man had once given her. On her face were purple tinted, silver-rimmed sun glasses that made her eyes almost violet.
T.K.'s outfit was quite the same, with a few differences. His shirt was white with a spread collar and tight cuffs like the cool guys in Shoujo comic. His jacket was full-length, with a silver chain hanging from the pocket, and the same wings insignia on the back. Instead of boots, he wore black tennis shoes with black laces and white socks, as well as black, fingerless gloves on his hands. His sunglasses were pure black and hid his eyes entirely.
"Not really." he said, brushing his hair back out of his eyes. "You sure the Rivets moved into this area?"
"Positive." Mia whispered. She was smart and kind and had a brain that didn't deserve to be on the streets. She always said her dream was to be a secret agent for the FBI, so she could use her smarts to protect people, the way she loved to. "You been around here before?"
T.K. gazed over the neighborhood again. "Nope." he said. "Not that I know of…It does look sortta familiar, though…"
Mia grinned at him. "Maybe it's your neighborhood." she snickered.
T.K. glared at her. It'd been three years, but those memories were still open wounds in his mind. Mia's eyes dropped. "Okay, okay…I won't mention it again."
They were silent for a moment. T.K. pulled his jacket around himself for a little wind protection, and his eyes glazed over in thought…
"Hey, T.K.?" Mia looked at her partner. "If we ever did find your neighborhood… would you go visit your mother?"
T.K. was silent. Three years on the streets had worn on the kind boy, he was seventeen, and thoughts of his family or friends always put him in this kind of mood. But Mia had gone through enough with him to understand.
"Yeah…" she sighed. "Me either. Mama wouldn't be too proud to see her baby, all grown up to become a gangster, huh?"
They laughed. Yeah, the Angels were gangsters, but not like the Rivets. They didn't go around shooting people for no reason or robbing stores or selling drugs. They were a different type, more of a Robin-Hood-and-the-Merry-Men type gang.
There was a sudden screech from the streets below. Both Angels sprinted to the other side and gazed over into the back alley.
Three punks, one with blonde hair, one with red, and one with brown, all in buzz cuts with black leather jackets filled with large holes, were rounding in on a young woman about their age. She had shoulder-length brown hair and was dressed in pink leggings, a white shirt, and yellow vest.
"Rivets at six o'clock." Mia nodded.
"Looks like a regular D.I.D." T.K. muttered. D.I.D. was their own code, from an American movie they'd seen once. It meant, quite simply 'Damsel In Distress'.
Mia grinned at him. "Maybe you'll get a nice reward this time, Romeo." she teased.
T.K. turned red. "Let's just help her…" he muttered.
The young woman was cornered, clutching her groceries close. The three big guys were closing in on her, cracking their knuckles and grinning. "Com'on, little lady." one of them laughed. "Just give us yer money."
She stepped back, against the wall. "Come on, pretty girl." the red head growled, grabbing her by the wrist. "Give it!"
Next thing anyone knew, a black booted foot connected with the side of the guy's head, sending him sprawling. "What the…?" the girl gasped, staring.
Two kids, one boy, one girl, both her age and dressed in black, were facing the mini-gang.
Mia brushed her hair back. "And there's more where that came from, Rivets."
"Damn you." growled the blonde gang member. "Damn Angels…"
Without warning, he lunged at Mia. She ducked, and T.K. countered with a swift punch/stroke over her back, getting the guy in the stomach. What followed was a wild volley of kicks, punches, and a bit of teamwork.
Finally, the guys with the holes in their jackets scrambled off. "Let's get outta here!" one of them called.
"We'll get you for this, Angels!" the brown haired one shout, cursed loudly, and ran.
"That'll be the day, Rivet-holes!" T.K. called after them.
"Bawk-bawk-bawk!" Mia waved her arms as wings, then fell back laughing.
They turned back to the girl. She was still pressed up against the wall, shaking, and gazing at them nervously. Her bag of groceries were on the ground, and a few oranges were scattered out.
Mia picked the oranges up, put them back in the bag, and handed it to her kindly. "It's okay." she smiled. "We're the good guys here."
T.K. held out his hand to help her up. As she lifted to her feet, his eyes, although still hidden behind the sun glasses, locked into hers.
T.K. froze, and his hand immediately flew to his breast pocket. Oh god…It's her…It's her…
Kari Kamiya brushed herself off, then smiled at the two kids. "Thank you." she sighed. "You saved me…"
"All in a day's work." Mia winked, then she clapped T.K. on the back. "Now then…Why don't you walk the lady home, Romeo?"
She grinned. T.K. turned a deep red. Even though she was his partner, Mia was always poking fun at his dreamer's view at life. If only she knew…
"It's quite alright." Kari whispered. "I can get home on my own."
"Nonsense!" Mia insisted, pushing T.K. over and giving him instructions. "You take the girl home, just to make sure those Rivet-heads don't jump 'er again. I'll go on after 'em, and maybe they'll lead me down you-know-where."
Before either of the others could object, Mia had clambered up the fire escape and disappeared after the Rivets.
T.K. glanced at Kari out of the corner of his eye. Does she know it's me? Does she know it's me? No…No, she couldn't…Not after this long. She probably doesn't even remember ol' T.K.…
Kari nervously started out of the alley with her groceries. T.K. followed after about a step behind. After a moment, Kari looked back.
"Who are you guys, anyway?"
He turned a moment and pointed to the wings on his jacket. "We're…well, I guess you could call us a gang…" he said, hoping she wouldn't recognize his voice. He didn't know if he could stand confrontation, not now. "But we're a good gang. We're the Angels."
"And those other guys?" Kari continued. "The ones with the bullet holes?"
"They're called the Rivets." T.K. continued. "And those aren't bullet holes, they're rivet holes. This…" he pulled up his jack to show her a hole in the cloth. It was smaller and torn a bit more than the ones on the others. "This is a bullet hole."
Kari looked horrified. "Were you shot?" she gasped.
"A couple of times." T.K. said coolly. "Shot, stabbed, strangled…you name it, 'cept bein' hung. We've had run-ins with the Rivets before, they play pretty dirty. Gang up on ya five to one, them armed, you not. Mean folks."
"I see…" Kari muttered. "Is it just…the two of you?"
"Nah." T.K. shook his head. "There're tons of us, all over town. The two of us are just a team."
Kari smiled, then stopped. "Here we are." she said, nodding towards the tall, gray building. "You wanna come in? Have something to drink?"
T.K. shook his head and began to sweat nervously. If he went inside, someone would recognize him for sure! "Really…That's alright…I've got to get going…"
"Oh, come on." she gave him a gentle smile she used on everyone, but had particularly won T.K. over when they'd been together. "It'll just be for a moment."
T.K. gulped nervously. Don't give in…Don't give in…Don't give in…
The girl turned. Her brother was running towards them, home from college. There was a look of fire in his eyes, about his little sister talking to some stranger in black leather.
T.K. took advantage of that to make a dash for it, and before Kari could stop him, he was half-way down the street. "Wait a sec!" Kari called, but he was around the corner and gone.
"Who was that?!" Tai demanded, coming up behind her.
She turned on him angrily. "You ran him off!" she accused, then stared back off where the boy had disappeared. "I never even got to ask his name…"