Disclaimer: I don't own the show Digimon, the creatures Digimon that are found on the show Digimon or the Digidestined, that hang out with the creatures Digimon on the show Digimon.
To Be Sincere and Kind
"Let's go, Ken!"
"Yolei," Kari admonished, "we're here to root for Davis!"
"You're here to root for Davis," Yolei countered with a grin. "Leafmon, Poromon and I are rooting for Ken." She gestured to the two pastel colored blobs squished together on her lap, whom to most of the world appeared to be stuffed toys.
"But Ken doesn't need anyone to root for him, his team never loses," Kari reasoned. "Davis needs support."
"Oh, shouting his name won't really make a difference," Yolei said. "But it'll just feel nice to know we're rooting for him. I bet Ken doesn't have friends here besides us."
"So why don't we all root for both?" T.K. asked from his seat on Kari's other side.
"No way," Yolei said, "if we root for both, then we can't brag when our guy's team wins."
"Bragging rights are very important," Gatomon agreed from her hiding place behind Kari.
It wasn't until after we got home from the soccer match that Leafmon told me about the conversation. He was proud of me, I think, that I had become someone worthy of having a friend be gung-ho about rooting for me. Yolei was right, of course, it did just feel nice to know someone was on my side. People backing you up because they honestly like you is something I was pretty sure I'd never experience a few months ago.
Anyway, after the match, but before I home with Leafmon, Davis and I met up in the locker room to change back into our street clothes and meet everyone, that is, Kari, T.K., Yolei, Cody, all of our In-Training level Digimon, and Davis's older sister June, for celebratory hamburgers. I had no idea what we were celebrating, I suppose Davis just thought it sounded good. June was only coming because she heard T.K.'s older brother Matt was going also, but once he heard that June was, he bailed. No one bothered to tell June.
"Good game," Davis said. "I didn't fall on my face this time!" He clapped me on the shoulder just as we exited, and we heard the unmistakable sound of Kari click a picture with her digital camera.
"That's gonna be a great picture," she said, waving the camera.
I ducked away from Davis's hand and strided over to Yolei to retrieve Leafmon. She handed him over and adjusted her hold on Poromon simultaneously.
"I knew your team would win, Ken," she said, smiling. "I was rooting for you the whole time. Not that it would make a difference since you're such a great soccer player." She was on the verge of babbling, but I didn't point it out. I'm still kind of awed whenever any of the Digidestined treat me like a real friend. I know I'm one of them, but somehow it seems like they shouldn't have been able to get past my being the former Digimon Kaiser.
"Hey!" Davis shouted, "Are we going to get burgers or what?" His shout, as usual, inspired a bit of laughter from most of the group, everyone but June and I, really.
"We should wait for Matt," she insisted. "Where is he, anyway?"
"Something came up," T.K. quickly covered up, not very well, I might add.
"Like what?" June asked suspiciously.
"He needed to help my brother with the, uh, the--" Kari butted in, trying to help out T.K. She snapped her fingers, making a show of trying to remember.
"Dinosaurs." T.K. finally said. "Matt's helping Tai on a school project about dinosaurs."
"In high school? That's more of an elementary project," June said.
"It's really more like dinosaur fossils," I said. I was a little iffy about it, but I guess being part of their team means giving them a hand tricking June as well as giving them a hand in defeating evil Digimon. "It's for Earth Science," I concluded.
"Oh. I know about dirt! I could help them!" June exclaimed. "I'll go to Tai's right now!" She took off at a run in the direction of Taichi's and Kari's apartment.
"Uh-oh," Yolei breathed. "What happens when she finds out that Matt's not at Tai's place?"
"Tai is at Sora's," Kari said, "no one's home to answer the doorbell at all since our parents are out running some errands."
"And Matt's at band practice," T.K. piped up, "we can just tell June that they must have gone to library."
"Can we get some food now?" Davis whined.
"Yeah!" DemiVeemon exclaimed. "I'm starving!" The other Digimon agreed, allowed to express themselves now that only Digidestined were near.
Thus, we all trouped down to the local fast-food restaurant. I was really trying to allow myself to be a member of their circle at all times, not just when they needed Stingmon or his and Exveemon's DNA Digi-evolution, but once again I felt like a complete outsider. I normally only eat Japanese fare and had never been to one of these places before.
"What are you going to get?" Yolei asked from her place in line behind me.
"I-I'm not sure yet. What about you?"
"I almost always get a cheeseburger. The chicken sandwiches here are good too, sometimes I get one of those. Just stay away from the fish."
"What do you want, Leafmon?" I asked my ever-hungry Digimon. As Wormmon, he had a very small appetite, but Leafmon could eat more than any human I'd ever seen.
"I want what Upamon's having, Ken," Leafmon said around his pacifier.
"All right." I looked around. Cody had been first on line because he was the youngest and just got his order. It looked like he got a double cheeseburger for Upamon and a chicken sandwich for himself.
"Two number three's," I said when it was my turn to order. I figured I would have what Leafmon wanted as well, if it was good enough for my Digimon, it was good enough for me. Leafmon nudged me, just slightly. "Could you super-size one of them?"
"Sure," said the teen-ager behind the counter. "For here or to go?" I looked around, the building was small, and looked like it was filling up quickly. Cody, Davis, Kari and T.K. had managed to get a table, but it was a small one. I didn't want to impose.
"To go," I sighed. A few minutes later, I had Leafmon under my arm and a bag of cheap food in my other hand. I walked out of the restaurant after paying and stood.
"Well, where do you want to go, Leafmon? Right or left?"
Before Leafmon could push his pacifier into the corner of his mouth enough so that he could answer, Yolei ran out of the restaurant and stopped short before knocking into to me.
"Come on, Ken," she said. "I know where there are some benches in the park around the block. We can eat there and then catch up with the rest of the gang."
She ran off and I had no choice but to follow her. When we got to the park, we sat across from each other at a picnic table with our digimon next to us. Yolei did most of the talking; I just nodded and held on to Leafmon's pacifier while he stuffed his little round blob. When he finished, I gave his binky back to him and tried my burger. It was pretty good.
Yolei tried to drag me into the conversation, but I've always been on the quiet side. Except when devising evil plans, but she doesn't need to know that. When the four of us were finished eating, Yolei suggested that we go find Davis and the others, but I told her I had to go home.
"Okay. See you around, Ken. You, too, Leafmon."
"Bye!" Poromon called.
When we got home, Leafmon told me about the conversation Yolei and Kari had. I felt pretty bad about running off like that. Not the 'I-was-an-absolute-monster' bad that I had been feeling lately, but an 'I-ditched-my-friend' bad, which, believe it or not, was worse.