Digimon 02: The Road Not Taken

By Robster80

Episode Eight: When It's Love

Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon 02 or any of its characters. It is owned by Toei Animation, Saban (or whatever it's called now) and Jetix.

Previously: TK and his group formed a plan to get even with Davis. On Saturday, Ken made his presence known in the Digital World and that drew Davis and the new Digi-Destined to him, despite Izzy and Tai's warnings. When Davsi hit Ken, TK struck back riding Pegasusmon. During the battle that ensued, Tai and Greymon showed up and declared they were siding with TK even though he had been told not to get involved. His courage in standing up to his friends re-activated his crest and Greymon digivolved into Metal-Greymon. Also, TK was able to gather enough hope to reactivate his crest and let Angemon become Manga-Angemon. Davis and his team retreated, but not before he vowed to break TK, little knowing that TK would no longer be going to their school…

"I don't believe it," Davis cried out angrily in Izzy's room. He and his team had just gotten back from the Digital World after a fight with TK's group. To Davis, they had been forced to retreat and he did not take it very well. Worst of all, aside from TK's Digimn being able to go Ultimate and Tai's decision to side with TK, was that Kari was the first to run away. "How could we lose to TJ of all people!"

Izzy remained in his chair, a calm yet disapproving look on his face. "You were the one looking for a fight, Davis; and you got it."

"But this was TB! He wasn't supposed to fight back-!"

"Yet he did," Yolei said suddenly, "and he wouldn't have if you had originally left him alone."

"Butt out, Yolei! This is none of your-!"

Davis didn't finish his remark as Yolei had slapped him hard across the face. "TK's my friend! He used to be your friend, too, despite your stupid crush on Kari. Yes, Davis, I said your CRUSH on Kari."

"It's not a crush; it's love!"

"ENOUGH!" Izzy shouted. "You can take this fight outside on your way home. I want all of you out of here immediately! But not you, Kar-. Wait! Where is Kari?"

Everyone but Cody looked around the room; Kari wasn't there. "She left already," Cody stated. "I think she needed time alone to think."

"Not without her boyfriend, she doesn't!" Davis quickly grabbed Demi-Veemon and raced out of the room. "Kari, wait for me!"

Yolei put a hand to her forehead as if it were aching. Poromon turned to Izzy. "You got any aspirin, Izzy? I think Yolei's got another Davis-induced headache."

Using her towel to wipe the sweat form her face, Sora walked off the tennis courts over to the benches. She was glad her session was now over; now she could call up Tai and see if he wanted to do anything. When she took hold of her cellphone, however, it vibrated to signal an incoming call. She looked at the screen, which said "HOME."

"Yes, mom? I just finished, but I need to change… who? Yeah, I'll be right over. Put her in my room; we'll talk there. See you soon. Bye, mom."

Sora hit the call end button and slowly got off the bench. Well, I wonder what she wants to talk about, she thought sarcastically. Better get there quick before her boyfriend comes looking for her.

Kari took the glass of lemonade and ice from Sora. She sat in Sora's desk chair while the older girl was on her bed. "Thanks for seeing me, Sora."

"You're practically family," was Sora's response before she took a sip of her own glass. "Now, what's on your mind?"

Kari just held her glass. She didn't take a sip at all. "…I think you know."

Sora's head nodded slightly. This was, of course, about Kari's conflicting relationships with Davis and TK, and also about the fight earlier. Sora had called Tai earlier, to let him know where Kari was, and he explained what had happened. While Sora was glad TK was standing up to Davis, she felt upset because it had only made the tension between the three worse. "Kari, tell me how you really feel, honestly."

"…I don't know. There's so much going on in my heart. I care about Davis and TK so much, and yet I'm also angry at them for acting they way they've been. But I'm angrier at Davis than TK… and I'm angry at myself. Do you know what I found that TK threw out the day after I called him a crybaby?"

"What was that?"

Kari stared at the lemonade in her glass. The color reminded her of TK's hair and his one shirt he usually wore. "…Everything he owned that connected him with me. It was in a box he taped up before he put it in the dumpster by his building. I watched him do it; I wanted to try and apologize to him for what I had said, but… but I was too afraid. When I saw the box, I took it back to my place, but I didn't open it. It was a few days later that I did. There were pictures of us, and of me… books and CDs we both enjoyed, the shirts I had gotten him for his birthday over the years…"

When Kari stopped talking, Sora decided to take a guess at what else Kari had found in the box. "You also saw your old scarf. The one you used to bandage TK's cut that one time."

Tears streaked down Kari's face, one falling into her glass. "He never… her never washed the blood off. That day, it meant so much to him before… before I…" Kari suddenly dropped her glass, spilling the contents all over the floor as she buried her face in her hands. Her body shook as she sobbed. "Oh TK, I'm so sorry! I'm such a horrible person."

Calmly putting her own glass aside, and ignoring the stain on her bedroom floor, Sora moved to gently hug Kari. "No one is perfect, Kari. Not even a Digi-destined."

"What's happening to me, Sora? How could I have hurt TK so much like that?"

"Kari… why do you love Davis?"

Kari slowly looked up at Sora. "W-what?"

"Tell me why you love Davis."

Quickly wiping the tears form her eyes, Kari tried to think. "He's brave, athletic… he's willing to do anything for me, and… and he's a lot like Tai."

"And how do you really feel about TK?"

At this question, Kari was stumped. She didn't know how to explain that his absence left her empty, and that her bitter words to him broke her heart as well as his. "I… I don't know. Seeing him now, being so cold and distant… I know I deserve it, but… it makes me feel like I lost a part of myself. But I don't understand why. I thought we were just friends."

Sora returned to her bed before she said anything else. "I think you only have a crush on Davis; you're not in love with him." Seeing the puzzled look on Kari's face, Sora continued. "I can't think of any reason why I'm in love with your brother, Kari. But still, I do love him; even with all his faults. Love is something that can't be explained at all."

"But Davis can name a lot of reasons why he loves me-."

"Then he's mistaking his crush on you for love," Sora said, smiling sadly at Kari. "I'm sure if I asked TK before all this had happened, he wouldn't be able to explain why he loved… why he loves you."

"…You really think he still loves me, after all this?"

"He let you go, Kari. He could have fought for you or tried to persuade you to reconsider dating Davis, but he didn't. His love for you was strong enough that he wanted you to be happy even if it meant sacrificing his own. And while he'll deny it, I know him well enough to see that he secretly hopes you'll come around."

Sora then moved to pick up Kari's fallen glass. "Why don't you go home and think about our conversation? I'll clean this up for you. Just take your time and think it through."

Kari said nothing, but got out of the chair and made for the door. She paused, her hand on the doorknob. "…Thanks, Sora."

"Whatever your decision, Kari, I'll do what I can to at least get you and TK to be friends again. And if he's home, tell that brother of yours I'm up for a movie before school resumes on Monday."

By Monday morning, Kari was still unsure about her true feelings. She and Tai walked down the streets together, Tai making good on his promise that he'd escort her to and from school from now on. Davis trailed behind them fuming at Tai all the while.

Sora's words still haunted Kari's mind, especially about how she and Davis weren't really in love. If that were true, then she and TK had severed their ties for nothing. Suddenly, she recalled the day after she told Davis her feelings. She had tried to call TK and tell him about her and Davis being together, even though she had promised Davis she would keep it a secret. And even after that, when Davis had set a trap for TK and Ken, she tried to warn him about it.

If I really did love Davis… I wouldn't have tried to talk to TK about it. When you're in love, you can't stop thinking about your love and nothing else matters. So why did I keep thinking about TK since I kissed Davis and told him I loved him? Did his friendship mean more to me than my love? Or maybe… maybe…

Before Kari even realized it, she and Davis were in their homeroom and the teacher was taking roster. However, she noticed that the teacher had skipped TK's name before finishing with roll call. "Excuse me," she said, standing up suddenly. "But you forgot about TK Takaishi."

The teacher and the rest of the class looked at her. But it was the teacher's look that gave Kari a bad feeling. "I didn't forget, Miss Yagami. Mr. Takaishi is no longer attending school here for the rest of the semester."

The class was surprised by then, even Davis. But no one was more surprised than Kari. "What!"

"I said Mr. Takaishi is no longer attending school here. Now, please take your seat and we'll begin the lesson."

Kari slid back into her seat, but she felt numb. TK wasn't coming to school anymore. Did this mean his mom found him another school… or was he moving away again? If he was, and she didn't even apologize to him, he might hate her forever… and she couldn't bear it.

The day dragged on before lunch time came. Kari sat alone at a table; Davis was at the principal's office for slugging one of TK's friends who tried to talk to Kari about why he wasn't in school. She just stared at her tray, not eating a bite.

"I take it you heard TK's gone."

Kari looked to see Cody sit down across from her. "Saturday, before I joined up with you and the others at Izzy's, I went to talk to TK. But he and his mom were on their way here to get his things."

"He's moving, isn't he?"

"You shouldn't jump to conclusions, Kari. That's one of Davis's bad habits. TK's mom heard about everything last week, so she pulled TK out to be home-schooled by Sora's dad. She was worried things would get taken too far."

Cody's words brought very little relief to Kari. "How long will TK be having home school?"

"…Unless Davis changes his attitude, maybe… maybe he won't come back. …Kari, I'm thinking of leaving the group."

The sudden change in the subject caught Kari off guard. "You're leaving, too?"

"I've been thinking about it. I'm not sure if I can trust Ken, but… I am tired of Davis's attitude. Also, I miss TK."

You're not the only one. "What about Yolei?"

"I haven't talked to her yet, but Upamon thinks going to join TK's group would be good. Maybe we can finally get some actual work done fixing up the Digital World instead of fighting with each other. Kari, I won't ask you to do the same, but would you at least consider this option? While Davis is your boyfriend, only you can decide what you can or can't do."

The final bell rang and school was done for the day. Kari knew she hadn't much time before Tai came to walk her home; she gathered her things and headed for the detention room where she would find Davis. He was going to be in that room for the week after school for hitting a fellow student.

After talking with Cody at lunch, Kari thought hard about what Sora had told her, and she decided to finally do something. She reached the detention room just in time as Davis showed up just after her. "I appreciate you seeing me here before I start my detention, Kari."

"Davis, I've been thinking about us these last few days. I think… no, I know I made a mistake. I'm sorry, but… we shouldn't be together anymore."

"Kari, stop kidding around-."

"I'm dead serious, Davis. I've realized now that I just had a crush on you, and that crush cost me the best friends I ever had."

"It's not a crush, Kari. It's true love-."

"I could name the reasons why I liked you, Davis, and you could do the same. That's not love; love is unexplainable. Also, I don't like how you've treated TK lately."

Davis suddenly frowned. "Oh, so that's what this is about. Tai and the others have been working on you, too, have they? Kari, they're trying to split us apart. Don't listen to them-."

"Just like you didn't listen to me when I asked you to leave TK alone?"

"Hey, you were the one who said he was nothing but a crybaby-."

"And I wish with every breath I take that I had never said that! I couldn't sleep after that day, Davis! I couldn't forgive myself for saying such a terrible thing, and I can't forgive you anymore for your mispronouncing his name or your abuse towards him."

Davis suddenly took ahold of Kari's arm. "You listen to me, Hikari Yagami: you're MY girl, so you will respect me-!"

But Kari yanked her arm away and slapped Davis's face hard. "I'm NOT your girl! I never was, and now more than ever I never will be! Sora was right; you don't love me at all, and I lost my friendship with TK for nothing. But I also blame myself for that."

"Kari, please. I do love you."

For a brief instant, Kari almost believed Davis's words. But then, he said, "And I promise we'll beat TK and the others together."

That was it; the final proof that Kari had given her heart to the wrong person. Tears in her eyes, she said, "Goodbye, Davis. We were never meant to be after all." She quickly turned and rushed down the hallway, leaving Davis standing alone.

It wasn't love after all; it was exactly as Sora had told Kari, a crush. And now, Kari might not regain her friendship with Gatomon, or especially TK. Rushing out into the open school grounds, Kari almost past Tai as she made for the gate.

"Kari, wait! Where are you going?"

She didn't look back, but kept on going, turning at the gate in the direction of TK's apartment building. Her tears didn't stop flowing down her face as it adopted a look of determination.

I'm going to TK's home, and I'm going to apologize to him… for everything.

Suddenly, her D-Terminal beeped; she had mail. Checking it, she saw that it was from Izzy. Her eyes widened at the message, which had been sent to all the Digi-Destined.

The new enemy, Aruikenimon, was attacking the Primary Village.

To be continued…

Closing notes: Originally, I was going to end it without the last few lines above with the email and Aruikenimon. However, I feel now it is time to get back into the action of this series, and this also gives me the perfect opportunity to have Kari, Yolei, and Cody start working together with TK and Ken.

A word of caution, though; don't expect Kari to quickly regain TK and Gatomon's trust. From experience, I know that friendships take time to mend after fights. Also, while Tk shows signs of wanting Kari back, the head does conflict with the heart on matters such as these. Think of it as like the chasm between Usagi/Serena and Mamoru/Darien in Sailor Moon R (That's Season 2 to those who don't know).

Read and review, please! -Robster80