By Wolf O'Donnell

WARNING! May contain Alternative Universe situations and out-of-character experiences. Upon reading this, you hereby agree that you forfeit all your rights to sue me and that I cannot be held liable for any psychological or physical damage caused by the fact that I use British English spelling and that this fanfic DOES NOT contain graphic depictions of a heterosexual nature. Digimon is copyrighted by Bandai and Toei Animation Ltd. Wolf O'Donnell is copyrighted by Nintendo Ltd, although that might have nothing to do with the fanfic. Digimon.EXE is based on Rockman.EXE, which is copyrighted by Capcom Ltd. Constructive criticism is very welcome.

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Session Epilogue: Renai no Jikuu

"Takato, I'm nearly finished with home page maintenance," announced Guilmon, as he stood in the middle of the terminal that represented Takato's personal homepage. He suddenly sneezed. The Digimon was suffering from a nasty bout of Flu.1160 virus that had somehow made him de-digivolve all the way back to Guilmon.
"Oh, yeah..." said Takato absent-mindedly.
A frown spread across Guilmon's face.
"I work and work and all you can say is 'yeah'?" he asked Takato. He found it rather unfair that he had to do Takato's home page maintenace. After all, he knew the computer had a keyboard. Why couldn't his Operator fix the homepage himself? "Say, Takato, isn't it nearly 10 a.m.?"

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"Oh shoot, you're right!" exclaimed Takato all of a sudden, as he sat upright. He quickly disconnected his D-Scanner from the computer and shoved it into his pockets. If a record was broken for fastest dash down the stairs to the front door, it was probably broken by now.
After all, Takato didn't want to be late. If he was to meet Ruki in front of the metro station at 10am, he would have to hurry.
"I'm leaving to meet Ruki now," he called out to his mum quickly, as he put his shoes on quickly and tied them in a rush. "See you later! Bye!" He rushed out quickly before his mother could get a word in. "Man, she's going to be peeved!" he exclaimed, as he ran through the streets.
The streets weren't crowded, as his parents' electronics shop was situated within a suburb. It wasn't even a very long trip, especially as he made a short-cut through the park. Takato took a look at his watch.
"Oh no!" he exclaimed in horror. "I'm going to be late!" He knew how Ruki hated it when he was late and dreaded what she would do. "Huh?" Takato suddenly skidded to a halt.
The most surprising sight greeted his two eyes. There was no one at the metro station. Takato looked around him and began to wonder.
"Guilmon, I haven't received any new messages, have I?" he asked his digital friend.
"Let me, see," murmured Guilmon, as he checked Takato's D-Scanner, "nope. No new messages."
That was strange.
"What about missed calls?" asked Takato in concern. Had Ruki become so fed up of waiting that she had gone ahead without him? He certainly hoped not.
"Nope, no missed calls," replied Guilmon. "Say, isn't that Ruki over there?"
Takato turned round and saw a girl walking up to them. 'Let's see... red hair tied back, T-shirt with broken heart on it, jeans... Yep, that's her,' thought Takato, as he inspected the approaching girl.
"You're late!" he cried angrily. He didn't like being put through all that just for her to be late.
"Sorry," apologised Ruki in a sincere, apologetic manner. "Sheesh, don't look so mad!"
"What, like you mean like you are very time I'm late?" retorted Takato.
Ruki sighed, rolling her eyes at that comment.
"Bygones," she commented about those events and before Takato could make another comment, she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. 'That should shut him up,' she thought, as she saw his cheeks go red. "So, shall we get going or what?"
"Yeah, sure," replied Takato sheepishly, as he became as red as his Digimon. "Yeah, let's get going."
It seemed to Ruki that she could get Takato to do anything. If she acted tough or if she acted nice, she would still get him to bend her way. Did he even have a backbone or was he so hopelessly in love her that he would do anything for her? She reached out and held Takato's hand.
"Come on, then," she said, noticing that he hadn't even moved. She tugged on his arm and he budged. She pulled him along with her and together they made their way down the stairs to the metro station.

It wasn't a long trip to the centre of the city and because he was a student, it was free! Ah, Takato loved the perks of being a young student. He emerged from the metro line and breathed in the fresh city air. Then he choked, as a dilapidated car chugged past, spraying thick black smoke into the air.
"Hey!" shouted Takato, shaking a fist angrily at the driver. "Get your exhaust checked!"
"You okay, Takato?" asked Guilmon worriedly.
The youth nodded, although why he did so, he wasn't sure. After all, Guilmon couldn't see him nod, could he?
"Yeah, I'm fine, Guilmon," replied Takato. He turned round to face Ruki whom was unaffected, having only just emerged from the metro line staircase. "So, what had you in mind for Alice's birthday present?" he asked Ruki.
"You know how she's started to collect antiques? Well, I thought we could get her something like that," replied Ruki calmly. She delved into her pockets and brought out her D-Scanner, flipping the lid open. "Renamon, can you find an antique shop for us?" she asked her Digimon.
"Yes, Ruki," replied Renamon with a nod of her digital head. Takato and Ruki waited, but it wasn't long before a holographic map appeared over the Ruki's D-Scanner. "There's one quite nearby," announced the furry Digimon. There was a small blinking symbol shaped like a fox's head on the map and another symbol displaying their current position. "All you have to do is go straight on, take the first left, the second right and its on your right."
"Thanks, Renamon," thanked Ruki, as she put her D-Scanner away. "Come on, let's..." began Ruki, only to trail off. She saw something out of the corner of her eye and turned round. She couldn't believe it. Yes, she did hate shopping, but this was a sale! She could get clothes at a discount. "Let's go shop for some clothes first," she corrected herself.
Takato looked incredibly surprised.
"What?" he exclaimed. This wasn't like Ruki at all. What had got into her? "Shopping for clothes? Are you feeling all right?"
"Come on!" cried Ruki, as she grabbed him and pulled him along with her. It was one of those trendy clothes shops, but Ruki didn't care about that. All she wanted was to get some cheap clothes at a discount, as long as they didn't make her look too feminine. She hated that and she hated spending too much money on something she was going to wear. "Don't worry," she said, upon looking at the expression on his face. "I'm not going to be anything like that girl in your class. I won't take long."
"Won't take long? Yeah, right," muttered Takato under his breathe, ten minutes later, as he waited outside the changing rooms. They were actually more like cubicles set against the wall and the youth couldn't imagine them being very private. Still, that was where they were. "You know, Guilmon, I always thought Ruki was a bit of a tomboy... but this!" He sighed and shook his head. "All the things she picked were so tomboyish. I swear, she probably even wears boy's underwear."
"Or maybe even swimwear," suggested Guilmon.
Takato's pupils widened at the sound of those words.
"Are you nuts, Guilmon?" he asked his Digimon. "A girl can't wear boy's swimwear. That would just be... rude." That was when he thought about it. Ruki wearing boy's swimwear. His cheeks flushed so red he looked more like a tomato with hair. The fact that he was in the swimwear section didn't help matters. He tripped and fell.
The door's hinge broke and he fell down to the floor. Takato looked up. It was lucky for Ruki that the cubicle was large enough for her to avoid being flattened.
"Hi," he said nervously, with a sheepish smile across his face. The look on her face soon wiped that smile off his face, as he realised what she was about to do. "Ruki, I'm so sorry," he apologised, as he quickly leapt to his feet. "I didn't mean it. I just tripped and fell and you see..."
"Okay, so I guess I deserved that," said Takato, as he rubbed his sore cheek.
"Yeah, you did," agreed Ruki with her arms crossed for a very obvious reasons. "Now get a shop assistant, quick!"

Takato looked around the dust-covered shop. It seemed that nobody had come to buy anything for years. It had been a doddle to find the shop. It had, however, been much more difficult apologising to Ruki.
"So, Jen, you got any ideas?" asked Takato, as he held his D-Scanner up to his head like a phone.
"Yeah," replied Jenrya on the other end of the connection. "Why don't you get her something really, really nice? I'm sure she'll be impressed enough to forgive you."
"You think?" asked Takato.
"Takato? Where are you?" shouted Ruki all of a sudden.
The shock of Ruki's shouting nearly made Takato drop the D-Scanner.
"I'll speak to you later, bye!" he said quickly, before switching the phone feature off and placing his D-Scanner back into his pocket. "I'm over here, Ruki!" he called out to the auburn-haired girl. He saw her make her way past all the old grandfather clocks and straight towards him.
There was an angry look on Ruki's face, as she approached him.
"What do you think you're doing back here?" she asked him. "We can't get her a grandfather clock!"
"How about a Granddaughter clock?" joked Takato nervously, as he glanced around him as best as he could. He didn't move his head though, just his eyes, as he scanned the area all around him to find something. "You know, I only just remembered that I have to go get my grandfather a present," he lied quickly. "Why don't you go look for something for Alice and I'll go look for something for him."
"Okay," she sighed, before storming off.
Takato heard someone whispering to get his attention. He turned round and saw an old man with a moustache and a single pony-tail of white hair on his otherwise bald head.
"Oh, hi," he greeted the old man.
"I couldn't help but overhear your conversation with that nice young girl," said the old man, as he hobbled over towards Takato. "She sounded pretty angry with you. Did you do something wrong?" Takato nodded and told the man everything. The old man listened carefully, nodding stiffly every now and then. "I see your problem," he stated in a preoccupied tone of voice, as if he was thinking up of a solution. "Ah, yes! I have just the thing. You wait right here." With that, he shuffled away extremely slowly.
Every step the old man took seemed to last half a minute and five minutes seemed to pass without the old man getting very far. Yet Takato still waited. If this old man had a solution, he might as well wait and wait he did. To Takato, it seemed like a day had passed before the old man came back.
The old man had a smile on his face, as he raised a hand. From his hand dangled a wonderful, circular gold pendant on a gold chain. Carved into the front was a sun design that was more like a circle surrounded by triangles to make a sun pattern.
"The symbol on the front is the Crest of Courage, as worn by the famous Yagami Taichi, the first President of Phyle," announced the old man. "On the back is the symbol of the Crest of Friendship, as worn by the founder of the Orbital Space Ring, Ishida Yamato." His worn, withered old hands then opened the pendant open to reveal that it was in actual fact a locket. "And in here, you can place some photographs."
"I'll take it," announced Takato. "Thanks, Mr..."
"Izumi," said the old man with a smile on his face.

"Well, I found that present, didn't I?" exclaimed Takato, as the waiter placed down one large ice cream soda, for two.
Ruki still had her arms crossed and her eyes closed. That Takato had some nerve. Picking out a present for Alice that she didn't like and then ordering an ice cream for two.
"Look, bandana-boy, I think that we should stop seeing each other," she told him. "We're just too different."
"Psst... Takato, the locket," whispered Guilmon.
"Oh, yeah!" exclaimed Takato in sudden realisation, as he delved into his pockets. He had gotten into an argument with Ruki soon after leaving the antique shop and it was so engrossing, he had forgotten about the present he had gotten her. "Ruki, while I was in the antique shop, I also got you a little something." He pulled it out of his pocket and let it dangle in front of him.
Due to the artificial light within the Orbital Space Ring, the locket didn't glitter as it would have down on Earth. Yet, it still shone bright enough to catch Ruki's eyes. She turned round and looked at it. The thing wasn't girly and seemed unisex in nature.
"You got that, just for me?" she asked, as she pointed at the locket. "How much did it cost?"
"Quite a bit," replied Takato. "I had to go to a pawn broker's and sell most of my favourite DigiModify Advances." He had worked hard for those DigiModify Advances, especially the CyberPrism ones. They were incredibly rare due to the fact the viruses occurred only in the DarkNet. "Go on, put it on," he told her.
Gingerly, Ruki took the locket from Takato and placed it around her neck. She opened it up and looked inside.
"What's with the lack of photos?" asked Ruki curiously.
"I didn't have any with me right now, so I decided to keep it empty, so you could put whatever you wanted in it," replied Takato.
Ruki smiled.
"Thank you, Takato," she thanked him, before leaning over to kiss him on the cheek. She loved it whenever he went red enough to enrage a bull. "I should have known better to think you were a jerk," she said, before taking up a spoon. "You're a klutz, but definitely not a jerk."
"Uh... thanks... I guess," said Takato nervously, before taking up a spoon. He took one look at Ruki before taking a look at the ice cream in front of him. School would be starting again in three day's time. He couldn't wait. Ruki was transferring to his school and that made it even more enticing. He thought of the fun they would have together and hoped that she would end up in the same class as him. That would make things even better. Yes, it certainly would...

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Next time on Digimon.EXE:

Takato and friends go back to school. You would think that means boring classes, especially with Hypnos gone. Huh, fat chance of that. Takato gets a new model of the D-Scanner, a D-Tector, and someone within the school tries to hypnotise the school kids into joining the Blue Dragon Crime Syndicate. Who is it? What is the Dragon Syndicate up to? Find out next time in this fanfic's sequel, Digimon(2).EXE!

To be continued...