Title: Don't Laugh at Me
Disclaimer: "Digimon" and other related characters are all properties of Saban Entertainment, Toei, Akiyoshi Hongo, and other related corporations. No infringement is intended. This story, such as it is, was written as a sign of respect and love for the characters, the show, and their creator. I claim no ownership of the aforementioned show and characters.
Summary: No matter who a person is, they don't like to be laughed at.
Inspiration: This story was written as a songfic, and its original version can be found on my personal fanfiction website. The song that inspired this story is Mark Wills' "Don't Laugh at Me."
Feedback: Comments and helpful criticisms are always appreciated.
Thirteen-year-old Koushiro Izumi nervously straightened his glasses as he walked down the hall of his school. He could hear some of the school bullies snidely making fun of him over by the lockers, and he wanted to avoid them if at all possible. His wish came to a quick end as several of them stepped in front of him. Laughing ruthlessly, they roughly pushed him towards the bathrooms -- one of the few places where the teachers never bothered to patrol.
Later that night, he slipped past his parents and into his bedroom. As he sat, typing one word over and over on his computer, a tear slowly slid from his black, swollen eye. With a quick flutter of his wings, Tentomon landed gently on the computer desk in front of his human partner. With a sympathetic look on his face, he slowly read what his human partner was typing.
"Geek. Geek. Geek."
Twelve-year-old Miyako Inoue looked at her reflection in the mirror once again. She gave a tentative smile, but it quickly faded as the bright pieces of metal in her mouth shined. She moaned slightly as she thought about what school would be like the next day. Why had she been forced to get braces?
She walked down the halls of her school the next day, carefully making sure not to smile or even speak. She turned, however, when she heard the voice of her best friend, Hikari, calling for her to wait up. With a nervous smile, she walked towards the Chosen Child of Light.
She stopped abruptly when she heard laughter coming from nearby. A group of the school's bullies were standing by a nearby water fountain, laughing mercilessly at their newest reason to tease the school geek. A few tears trickled down her face as she turned back towards her friend and walked off.
Eleven-year-old Mimi Tachikawa lay down on her bed, trying not to burst out into sobs. She had been happy in Japan -- she had friends, popularity... Why had her parents decided that it would be better for her to move to America? She didn't fit in even a tiny bit with the kids here.
She slowly let her mind drift back to her day at school. Like every day for the last few weeks, she had walked into her classroom nervously, trying her best to understand what was going on around her even though her English wasn't the best in the world. And as always, the other kids had picked on her without mercy.
A few tears streamed down her face as she slowly turned off the lights in her room and tried to sleep. She could still hear their laughter echoing in her ears. Her body shook with silent sobs as she curled up on her bed and remembered the good times she had once had in Japan.
Ten-year-old Jou Kido stood at the back of the group of kids he was in, trying to just blend into the background. He didn't know whose bright idea it was for all of the kids to play soccer during recess, but they had definitely never been a clumsy, friendless boy who was allergic to everything -- including, it seemed, sports.
The number of kids standing around him gradually grew smaller and smaller. Even though he didn't actually play sports, he started to feel a little upset. Soon, it was down to him and a scrawny, eight-year-old computer geek with bright red hair.
The team captains looked at each other and grinned. "Sorry, we've already got enough kids to play. Why don't you go and watch us play with your classmates?" They quickly motioned towards the stands at the edge of the field where most of the six year olds were sitting. Laughing merrily at their joke, the teams went out into the middle of the field.
The two boys stood at the edge of the field for a moment, equally dejected looks on both of their faces. Then, the younger one looked up for a moment. With a nervous look on his face, he slowly held out his hand. "Hi, I'm Koushiro."
Jou looked at the kid for a moment before he gave a weak smile and held out his hand. "I'm Jou," he said softly before turning and walking away. A sad look appeared on his face as he struggled to hold his emotions in check.
Seventeen-year-old Sakura Toyoma stood at a street corner, a young child held gently in her arms. She ignored the stares and whispers going on around her as she stood there waiting for her bus.
She felt deep pain in her heart as she heard the words that were being muttered around her. She wasn't any of those things. Why couldn't they just keep their opinions about her to themselves? They didn't know her, and they didn't know anything about her. She abruptly turned and started walking towards her apartment.
There were tears streaming down her face as she hurried towards her apartment. Who were they to judge her?
"They don't know anything about us," she whispered softly as she pulled her daughter, Katrina, closer to her.
Twelve-year-old Ken Ichijouji looked up at other Chosen Children standing around him. Tears of pain and sorrow streamed down his face as he looked down at the hands that had done so much. Those hands had been so cruel... Oh god, he had thought it was a game. Nothing more than a game.
Those hands had, until just a few moments before, held a Digimon. His Digimon. He looked around at the faces of the other children. In their eyes he could see a mixture of anger, bewilderment, pity, understanding...
He could see them looking at each other, not saying a word but still knowing what the others were thinking. They were friends... true friends. He had been given the chance to have friends, and he had wasted it. Sobs shook his chest as he stood up and ran, falling over his feet, into the vast expanse of the desert.
Seven-year-old Takeru Takaishi looked down at his feet as the older kids circled around him, laughing wildly at his gentle sobs. They found it hilarious that he no longer had his older brother to watch over him, and they were making sure that he understood clearly that they were no longer going to go easy on him.
He gave a quiet cry as they pounced -- punching him, grabbing at his lunch money, yanking his hair. After they left, he lay there crying on the ground for a moment before pulling himself up off of the ground. How had they found out about his parent's divorce so soon?
As he walked home later that day, he hunched his shoulders and tried to keep his bruised and cut face out of the bitter cold wind. When he heard the sound of footsteps behind him, he ducked quickly enough that the hand that was grabbing for his head missed by several inches. Looking up into the faces of the same bullies, he felt the tears start to stream down his face. This only made them laugh and badmouth him more.
The tears slowly trickled to a stop as he caught sight of a familiar blonde headed boy heading in his direction. The bullies didn't even see his half-brother, Yamato Ishida, until it was too late. After getting a few punches in the mouth and a couple of bloody noses, the group of bullies hurried away as Yamato stood over his brother threatening them with a much shorter lifespan if they touched the kid again.
Takeru barely noticed as his brother wrapped his arms around him and slowly picked him up off of the ground. He just kept himself curled up, muttering the same thing over and over. "Make the laughing stop, onii-san," he whispered. "Make the laughing stop."
Twenty-year-old Ryo Akiyama stood at a street corner, leaning heavily on his crutches as he stood beside a small cardboard sign that asked for money or food. He hated to be begging, but he was at his last straw. He looked down at the braces that helped to hold his weakened legs up. They might be part of the problem, but he probably would still be out on the streets even if he hadn't been crippled.
He looked around at the people who were walking past him, trying their best to ignore the young man standing there. From the looks on their faces, he could tell that they thought that would rather do anything that help him. He could see the ridicule in their eyes as they walked by him. One teardrop slid slowly down his face as he looked away from the crowds of people walking by.
Fifteen-year-old Wallace Jackson stood tall as he held up a small sign that read 'Will Work For Food.' Most people just walked by him, ignoring the young boy who stood there. A few looked at him with pity in their eyes and tossed a few coins into the small bowl laying at his feet.
They acted as if he had a choice in this. If he had enough food, he wouldn't be out here begging. But the fact was, he didn't have enough food. The orphanage that he had been in for the last several months didn't exactly spend a fortune on feeding the children unlucky enough to call it home.
A few tears streamed down his face as he thought of the car accident that had taken his mother's life just a few months earlier. She had been the only family he had ever known since his dad had walked off before either of them knew that he was even on the way.
God, what was going to happen to him?
Twenty-seven year-old Michael Phelps looked down as his soon to be ex-wife looked at him, tears brimming in her eyes. He could still feel her gaze on him, even though he couldn't stand to look her in the eyes. He looked up quickly, however, when he heard a small voice coming from the doorway of their bedroom. "Daddy?"
Looking over at his five-year-old son, Kyle, standing in the door, Michael let his eyes drop back down to the floor. Picking up the small suitcase that he had just finished packing, he started walking out of the room. He stopped for a moment when he heard Mimi's voice coming from behind him. "Why?"
He didn't answer as he turned around to look at her, their eyes still not meeting. Finally, he gave a weak smile. "My lawyer will be in touch in a few days... We'll work everything out then."
Then he turned and, without looking back, walked out of the small apartment.
Twenty-six year-old Iori Hida hurried to pick up the ringing phone before it woke up his daughter Ame. He was expecting a call from his wife, Kako, who had taken Soyo, their son, to the doctor earlier that day. There was a gentle smile on his face as he picked up the phone, but it faded as he listened to the person on the other end.
The phone dropped to the floor as Iori took a few deep gasps of air. His face had turned so pale that it almost seemed transparent, and his eyes were wide with shock. He stared at the phone for a moment, looking as if his world had just came to an end. Then, he slowly placed the phone where it belonged and walked towards the room that his five-year-old twins shared.
Ame was sitting up on her bed, obviously just woken up by the ringing of the telephone, when he walked in. When she saw him a wide grin came to her face. It slowly faded, however, as the pain in his eyes became clear to her.
"Daddy?" she asked curiously. "What's wrong?"
He gently sat down beside her, pulling her close to him. A tear threatened to fall down his face as he looked the young child in the eyes. She looked right back at him, an expression on her face that much to old for a child of her age. "What's wrong?" she repeated.
He took a deep breath as he looked at her. She was so much like him at that age... "Ame, honey... Your mommy and brother were in a car wreck. A drunk driver hit them head on..." He trailed off as understanding appeared in her eyes. "They didn't make it, sweetie."
Twenty-four year-old Hikari Mikomi stood tall, tears flowing freely down her face as she held her son, Haru's, hand. When she felt her brother place his hand on her shoulder, she almost burst into sobs though. Handing her son to Taichi, she turned and practically dashed from his apartment.
Before she even realized what was happening, she found herself standing in front of her husband's grave. Dropping to her knees, she traced the name Genki Mikomi on the gravestone. When she felt someone wrap their arms around her, she started quietly and turned.
"Takeru?" she whispered weakly when she saw who was standing behind her. Her face crumbled as she began sobbing, and she didn't resist as her friend wrapped his arms around her.
Eighteen-year-old Yamato Ishida looked around him at the crowd of people hurrying past him. Their minds were anywhere but on the young man standing at the edge of the crowd. He couldn't blame them though… just a few weeks ago, he would have been doing the exact same thing.
Of course, a few weeks ago he had been the lead singer in a semi-popular band… not a jobless, eighteen-year-old high school dropout with nowhere to go and nobody to turn to.
He ran his fingers through his spiked hair, wondering exactly what he needed to do now. Damn, if he had known that the band was going to break up, he might not have been so hasty to drop out of school or move out of his dad's apartment. He was now broke, jobless... and pretty much friendless.
Yamato sighed as he picked up his guitar case and started to walk towards the park. If nothing else, he might be able to pick up a bit of cash.
Twenty-eight year-old Sora Takenouchi hugged her children goodbye as she let them off at their father's home for the weekend. A stray tear trickled down her face as she drove off. Who would have expected that she would end up just like her parents? Divorced, but still pretending to be friends for her kids' sake. She had sworn that she would never do that to her own kids…
When she and Yamato had decided to divorce, he had laughed bitterly for just a moment. She knew that he had made himself the same promise… except he had added to it that the kids would never be separated. In a way, he hadn't broken his promise to himself nearly as much as she had. They had made sure that the children hadn't had to go through that.
For all four of their sakes.
Twenty-three year-old Daisuke Motomiya looked at his reflection in the mirror. He had just heard the news that his older sister had just killed her husband… with the very gun he had given her for protection in the rough neighborhood that she lived in.
God, how could she it? Everyone knew that Li, her late husband, had been bad news… but how could she have killed him? What could he have done to push her to that? It couldn't just be the fact that he was cheating on her.
The cops had to have been wrong about that… they had to have been.
A tear trickled down his face as he pictured Jun at her wedding just two years earlier. She had been so happy… so full of life and joy. According to the detective he had just spoken to, however, it was as if she had now given up on life completely. The man had even mentioned that they were watching her closely in order to make sure she didn't commit suicide.
Jun was nothing more than an empty shell of the girl he had once loved.
Thirty-nine year-old Taichi Yagami stood at the top of the small embankment he had just climbed up, his gave moving over the Digital World. He slowly turned around and looked at his fellow Chosen Children -- a name they still used, even though they were children no longer -- and their children who were standing behind him. It had been years since the first time he had ever seen Digimon, and so much had changed by then.
A sigh escaped his lips as he caught sight of the darkness that was slowly spreading in the horizon. Gennai had, as usual, been correct. Evil was returning to the Digital World, and it was time for a new generation of Chosen Children to once again save the world.
His mind flickered back to all of the laughter and ridicule they had faced right after the secret of Digimon had been released on the world. Kids had always been so cruel when they were jealous. He looked at their kids, who were standing around them with shocked looks on their faces.
"Damn," Taichi mutter softly, "why do they have to be involved with this?