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Contact

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Kari thinks it's a bit too cold to be playing soccer, but she's not going to be the one getting drenched and muddy out on the field, so she keeps her small complaints to herself. Really, it's only barely misting. She's just not as warm-blooded as everyone else. She has her coat buttoned, and an umbrella tipped against her shoulder. She sits halfway up the bleachers with Gatomon (who accompanied them only at the promise of shelter), and the rest of the Digidestined, flanked by Tai on her left and Yolie and Poromon on her right. DemiVeemon is in her lap, craning forward eagerly to get a better look at Davis, and Minomon is one row down, sitting with Upamon and Cody, and T.K. and Patamon.

This is the first time Ken and Davis' soccer teams have played against each other since Ken's Kaiser days. Everyone that could came to support them both, so, naturally, the heckling starts right away with Tai and T.K. leading the charge as soon as they see Davis sprint up the sideline to talk to Ken before the game. (Davis pretends not to hear them, but Kari can see that his ears are red. Ken smiles and waves at them, happy that his friends are here regardless of whether or not most of them are making fools of themselves.)

It comes as a small shock to all of them when, just before the start of the game, the Tamachi team captain steps out onto the field to shake hands with Davis - and it isn't Ken. It's a boy that's too big to be twelve years old. Davis is short as it is, and this boy completely towers over him, built more like an American football player than a soccer player. At the sight of him, Yolie sits upright, sticking her head out from under the umbrella and into the mist to voice her outrage, "Who's that guy? I thought Ken was the Tamachi captain!"

"Oh," Minomon pipes up, as though he forgot, "that's Mako. When Ken stepped down as team captain, he took Ken's place."

Davis doesn't miss a beat striding up to the boy, so Ken must have told him, at least. Kari hums in thought, asks, "Why did Ken step down, Minomon? He's still a good player."

"Yeah," Tai says, "You can't unmemorize a playbook when you've written four or five of them."

Cody supplies a fair guess, watching the coin-toss, "He probably thought he didn't deserve to lead the team after everything that's happened," and Minomon nods in agreement.

"He wanted to earn the position and the respect of his teammates," Minomon says, with admiration he's no doubt parroting directly from Ken, "Just like Davis has."

Kari smiles, dropping her gaze to DemiVeemon. The tiny dragon digimon beams like the sun is shining out of him - nothing makes him happier than someone singing Davis' praise.

-x-

Right out of the gate, the game has been a wild ride.

Davis is, of course, center midfield and Ken is defending, which means they end up clashing over the ball quite a bit - wide grins and quick movements. It's nothing like before, when Ken outstripped Davis (and everyone else) by miles. Being Jogress partners, and intimate friends, they know eachother too well. They're almost perfectly in sync. For some reason, when Mako notices this, he moves Ken to wing forward on the opposite side of the field. The look on Ken's face suggests he disapproves of this, but he refrains from saying anything and moves to his new position for the next play.

It quickly becomes clear that Mako isn't very interested in good sportsmanship. Tamachi's offense is brutal with him leading the team, more so than Ken - under the influence of a Dark Spore, no less - ever even considered. What Mako lacks in finesse and speed, he makes up for with sheer presence. He dominates the field, and he doesn't seem to care who he runs over in the process of trying to score a goal. More than once, he trips another player, or kicks the ball too hard at someone - Kari's sure it's on purpose, but there's so much going on that referee doesn't see it, even when Davis points it out to his coach and he calls it.

Mako gets a pass because he's tactful about it, and because he doesn't get a chance to actually make contact with anyone. Davis uses his position to stop him every time he tries, falling back to help his defense more often than he jumps forward to lead his offense. He's wearing himself out, but his team works well together to pick up the slack.

As the game wears on, Mako almost turns to bullying his own teammates, trying to push for better results than he's getting. When Ken approaches him about it while they've got a timeout, Mako doesn't seem to take what he says to heart. His aggressive body language when he's talking to Ken is what gets Davis' attention immediately, even from across the field. Kari has a bad feeling about this, but she tends to be very negative so she doesn't say anything, hoping she's just imagining things.

"That guy's more like a bulldozer than a soccer player," Tai says angrily.

T.K. cups his hand around his mouth to amplify his voice, "Just let that big oaf get a foul, Davis, the ref will take him out!"

"He doesn't want one of his teammates to get hurt," Yolie says, oddly invested and hitting her fists against her knees, "The dumb softie! That guy deserves to get taken out, he's not playing fair at all!"

Kari realizes she isn't the only one that noticed what Davis was doing the first time he completely left his position on the field to intercept one of Mako's more aggressive charges. Everyone says they're a lot alike, but Tai would have already lost his temper and gotten a red card for himself. Davis keeps his cool, and his confidence. He moves his team around, he communicates - Tai is a much better player than Davis is (ironic, given that off the field he's four times as clumsy), but this is something Davis has down on instinct that Tai is still working on.

It's always refreshing to see Davis in an environment where his big-headedness and attention-seeking isn't getting in his way.

-x-

Odaiba scores their first and last goal of the game - but Tamachi wins.

To be honest, they were outmatched, even without the bulldozer on the Tamachi team, but they did their best and they held their own a bit better than last time. They're in pretty high spirits even though they're shivering (and a little disheartened). This is mostly thanks to their superior team leadership. Davis' jersey is ruined from all the slides he took defending his team. Mako doesn't have so much as a grass stain.

And Davis still goes center field to shake hands with the big jerk.

Yolie sighs, her chin resting in her palm, hugging Poromon.

"He's too good for us," she says.

Kari laughs, "Sometimes."

"Hang on."

Tai's voice is surprisingly urgent. He rocks forward, and the others follow his gaze to the field where Davis and Mako are still standing. Davis is talking, gesturing to Mako's team. He's agitated - Kari can tell by the way he moves his hands, has his feet set apart. She can hear his voice over the drum of mist on her umbrella, but can't make out what he's saying.

Evidently it's something Mako doesn't like.

"Well, he held it in as long as he could, but now that big guy's gonna knock his teeth out," T.K. says, and it's not often that he's wrong about that sort of thing.

Kari touches Tai's arm, "Go stop him, please - before he says something stupid - "

Tai half-laughs, "Well, it's probably too late for that."

They're obviously arguing, now.

On the Tamachi side, Ken has noticed and is watching just as intently as the rest of the Digidestined. A few of Davis' teammates jog over to stand with him, not caring if they raise the alarm to the couches. They don't even get halfway across the field, though, before Davis spins on his heel and starts back. Collectively, the group sighs with relief and relaxes. Ken turns away, distracted by another of his teammates. Davis' teammates pause to wait for him.

And Mako, sneering, says something.

Davis freezes mid-stride, fists clenched at his sides.

"Oh, don't - " Cody despairs, covering his face with both his hands, "Davis, just walk away!"

Of course, Davis doesn't hear him.

He storms back. Davis raises his voice, clear through the light rain, "If you've got somethin' to say about me and Ken, then say it to my face!"

Frantically, Kari shakes her brother's arm, "Tai - !"

The rest of them it see it coming from a mile away, but - somehow - the last thing Davis is expecting is a blow to the face. Mako's huge fist makes contact with a sick smack that shudders in the air. The field erupts into noise: shouts as both teams and coaches rush onto the field, cries of surprise from the stands as the remaining spectators realize what happened. Cody and T.K. scoop digimon out of Tai's path as he plows in between them and goes thundering down the bleachers.

Davis staggers back, stunned by the blow. But without missing a beat, he digs his heel into the ground, throws all of his weight forward. He headbutts Mako square in the face. Blood bursts in between them. Yolie surges to her feet, sends Poromon tumbling indignantly from his seat in her lap and into Kari's. He falls on top of DemiVeemon, who leaps up from beneath him and bellows, in unison with Yolie, "GET 'IM, DAVIS!"

The umbrella goes sailing.

Mako drops like a stone in the wet grass, and doesn't move.

-x-

The red-and-white lights seem unusually bright among the greyscale of mist. Mako regained consciousness as they were putting him in the ambulance, but they went ahead and took him to the hospital, anyway. Davis' iron-thick skull didn't let him down - he hit Mako so hard, the Tamachi bulldozer lost two days of memory and was wondering why he was in his soccer uniform and not shopping at the mall for his sister's birthday. Davis is, miraculously, sitting up on his own in the back of the other ambulance, though he's completely out of it (the collaborative result of having violently concussed himself and a medic-administered painkiller).

His eyes keep losing focus, his head nodding forward. The paramedic that shines a small flashlight into Davis' eyes and asks him questions about what happened says the concussion might be his least concerning injury. Davis' nose is broken, his lip and the skin above his right eyebrow busted.

As a result, his entire face is currently a blood faucet.

They don't have to take him to the emergency room - he knows the date, and his name, where he is and what happened - they just have wait for the bleeding to stop and see if he needs stitches. Davis is holding someone's extra shirt to his face to staunch the bleeding, and Ken climbs into the ambulance with him, periodically lifting Davis' arm and applying to right amount of pressure because Davis' hands are shaking and he keeps dropping it without realizing.

The paramedic cleans him up and sets Davis' broken nose. Davis is too numb to even howl in pain, but he locks Ken's arm into a death-grip and slams his foot against the floor. Kari winces in sympathy, remembering the first time Tai broke his nose. After about twenty minutes, Davis becomes a bit more lucid and realizes they're all there, standing at the back of the ambulance and making noise at him. Once the paramedic makes sure the cut on Davis' forehead isn't too deep, he sticks a bandage on it and declares that Davis is fit to go home, provided someone keeps an eye on him and he gets plenty of rest over the next few days.

-x-

"Ah, jeez," Davis mutters thickly, burying his face in the clean towel the paramedic gave him to mop up the rest of the blood off his face. It doesn't really matter, the whole front of his uniform is soaked in red. "This's totally embarrassing..."

"Only if you're that other guy," Tai says, grinning.

He smacks Davis affectionately across the back, probably hard enough to make his entire face throb, and Kari digs her elbow into her brother's ribs, frowning at him. She elbows him out of the way so she can walk beside Davis and share her umbrella - really, he's been through enough, he doesn't need to be cold, too. She also takes the opportunity to pass him DemiVeemon, who is frantic to see the extent of the damage to Davis' face for himself. The dragon digimon gingerly touches Davis' jaw, crooning in sympathy.

He's going to be bruised beyond recognition tomorrow. DemiVeemon opts for honesty, smiling up at his partner, "Your technique could use some work."

Davis' face hurts too much for him to laugh.

"Y'think so?"

"It was still the most brutal thing I think I've ever seen," Gatomon comments, draped across Kari's shoulder, surprise and admiration sharing her tone as she looks at Davis.

T.K. is inclined to agree, "Yeah, Davis, what possessed you?"

"Yeah! What did that jerk say to make you snap like that?" Yolie asks the invasive question probably no one else was going to, still grinning wildly.

Her thirst for drama and violent justice can sometimes be a cause for concern, but Kari knows she's just proud of Davis for not letting someone run over him (and that she was there to bear witness, though she later bemoans the fact that Kari didn't catch a video). But Kari does think that maybe, in all the excitement, Yolie forgot - it was something about Ken that set Davis off. Half of Davis' face is hidden behind the towel. He lifts his eyes like he's trying to recall, glances at Ken, who's walking silently beside him, carrying his duffelbag and Minomon.

"Y'know, it made me so mad," Davis says, "I don't even remember!"

Yolie moans in disappointment.

"Maybe that's for the best," Cody says, "It wouldn't help to dwell on it. Besides, isn't it the team captain's job to break up fights? I hope you don't get suspended..."

"Yeah, me too..." Davis says, closing his eyes, "I set a bad example for my team…"

Kari doesn't see how he can think something like that when he spent the majority of the game doing to very opposite. Evidently, Tai won't stand for this sort of talk, either, because he shouts, "Don't be ridiculous! There's no way you're getting suspended for defending yourself!" He muscles his way in between her and Davis again before she gets the chance to be a bit more considerate about it. Tai throws his arm around Davis' shoulders and pulls him in against his chest, grinning that stupid big-brother grin of his.

"The captain doesn't have to be the best player on the team, Davis," Tai says, "he just has to be the best guy."

Kari rolls her eyes.

"Oh, please, you're just talking about yourself, now."

Tai laughs, jostling Davis, "I am not!"

It's hard to tell around the dried blood and blooming bruises, but Kari's positive Davis' face is red from this particular bit of wisdom. Probably to distract from it, he turns to Ken, "Well, if that's true, then you're a shoe in for captain, Ken. Since Mako started that fight, he's definitely suspended - why don't you say something to your coach? I'm sure he'd have you back."

"I don't know," Ken says modestly, but he's smiling.

Yolie interjects, "Ugh, enough!" with more enthusiasm than poor Poromon can handle. He's already been thrown once today, and, currently held tightly in Yolie's arms, he looks nervous and resigned all rolled into one. "Let's find somewhere to warm up - I'm permanently soaked! - and get something to eat! D'you think you can stomach some yakisoba, Davis?"

"I can stomach anything," Davis quips back. "It's getting it into my mouth that's going to be the problem."

He's in an infinitely better mood, now, and it makes Kari smile. Sometimes, she's glad he doesn't let anything negative stick to him - half an hour ago he was angry enough to smash someone in the face, and now he's ready to eat fried noodles until he passes out. (It's something she really admires, however silly that is.) Decided, Kari lifts her camera and snaps a picture to commemorate the occasion: Davis, with his damp hair sticking to his forehead and his face all bloodied, trying to hide a wide smile behind his towel.

-x-

(A/n) I wanted to do a rush-prompt from someone else's pov "davis doesn't start the fight but he does finish it". It turned into 2k+ and almost three days of work! In all honesty, I just wanted an excuse to write Davis headbutting someone in the face at a soccer match, and why not reason that it's because he's fiercely protective of Ken like plz.

-BobTAC