You can feel free to skip this sob-story intro paragraph of how this fic was spawned.
This fic came in a very strange way. Basically, I lost my voice due to allergy-invoked laryngitis, and had to write down on paper what I wanted to say during school. Now, that drew a lot of comments since I couldn't voice my opinion, and I got a lot of people who thought that it would be fun to say whatever they wanted to me because I couldn't retaliate back, or try to get me to talk. It made me angry because it felt that since I couldn't talk, they assumed that I couldn't hear, either. So, I guess Ken takes the fall for my anger and frustration, as I show that not being able to talk is NOT a pleasant thing, especially when so many people were just waiting for this opportunity to happen.
And…oh, yea. I don't own Digimon.
Uh...slight Kenyako. When I re-read it, I realized Daisuke might be a little OOC, but someone had to be the "bully", and he fit the bill since he does dislike the Kaiser...
Other notes...in Japan, the number for emergency services (like the police or ambulance) is "110", not "911". Timeline in this fic is after they discover Ken's identity, but before he moves into the digital world.
Words in bold are what Ken is saying when he types on the computer or writes on the whiteboard.
Fic was fixed and edited; 1/05/10
Heard But Not Spoken
Miyako grumbled to herself as they walked back from Odaiba Elementary.
Another tumble with the Digimon Kaiser, a.k.a, Ken Ichijouji.
Another loss for him.
Another gray hair for Miyako.
"Now I'm going to have gray hair before I'm thirty!" Miyako wailed, causing a few people to look up and stare at her, not to mention Poromon.
Takeru and Iori had gone on ahead of her, leaving her to go home herself. She grumbled about that, too.
"Man, someone seems to be in a bad mood today," Poromon stated when they were walking along a back-street that didn't have many people around to see the digimon.
Miyako sighed. "It's nothing. I just wish that Ken would get with the program and see that you have feelings!"
Poromon looked up at Miyako. "Why are you wondering that?"
"Well, despite that he's mean and cruel…" Miyako sighed. "…he's just a kid like us…" She trailed off when she heard something. A few shouts that came from not too far away. A few angry shouts.
"That doesn't sound good…let's go!" Miyako started to run.
"Like I have a choice…!" Poromon shouted as Miyako carried him.
Miyako skidded to a halt when she saw the problem. Five guys were ganging up on a very familiar person who happened to be walking through Odaiba for a special computer class. Miyako hid behind a tree and watched as the five young men ganged up on Ken Ichijouji. He seemed to be fending them off fine.
"Isn't that Ken?" Poromon whispered.
"Yea." Miyako gritted her teeth, and turned to walk away. "Let's go. There's nothing to see here. Ken will beat them up, like he does in his Judo class from what I hear."
Poromon watched from Miyako's pack as one attacker hit the dust, followed by another. The third one got a nice right hook in on Ken's jaw, and then the fourth one punched him in the gut. The fifth one hit him over the head.
Ken fell down, but got back up as they were about to kick him, tripping half of them and making the other half go stumbling. Poromon was amazed that he was able to hold off so many. But, then again, he was the Digimon Kaiser…Poromon watched as the assailants tried again, and this time, met with some success.
One of them kneed Ken hard in the gut, making him double over as one of them did an elbow thrust that was supposed to land on his ribs, but since he was doubled over, it hit him in the neck. Ken made a strangled noise, coughed up blood, and dropped to the ground gasping for breath. The five guys, knowing that they may have accidentally killed him, fled. Ken still lay there, not moving.
"Miyako!" Poromon saw it as they started to head out of view.
"Ken got badly hurt!" Poromon stated.
"Good for him." Miyako grunted.
Poromon glanced at the boy who was still unconscious, obviously still struggling to breathe. "But, Miyako, he isn't moving!"
Miyako stopped at that, and turned around and saw the boy on the ground. There was some blood around him, especially his mouth. There was some trickling down his chin as well. He looked so frail and innocent laying there.
Miyako ran back up to him and bent down over him. "Oh…shit"
She looked him over and made sure he was still breathing, then pulled out a cell-phone from her bag and dialed '110'. As soon as she said that it was 'Ken Ichijouji' that was injured, they got right on it. Her next step was calling his parents.
Poromon asked how she knew the number, and she replied that 'no girl in the entire city doesn't know Ken Ichijouji's number'.
Finally, all the phone calls were done, and Miyako started to put the cell-phone away when she noticed that Ken was watching her, his eyes only half open. He opened his mouth to say something, but then winced in pain and was unable to say it. He didn't look to happy seeing Miyako. What perplexed him the most was the bouncing pink thing next to her. He tried to ask what it was, as he had never seen Poromon before, only Hawkmon and Halsemon, but nothing came out but a hoarse grunt. He tried again and failed. Miyako frowned.
"I think he's trying to say something, Miyako," Poromon stated, startling Ken as the boy tried to sit up, but failed, and fell back down to the ground.
"Don't move around," Miyako said curtly.
Ken glared at her.
"Yea? Glare somewhere else, jerk," Miyako challenged him.
Ken opened his mouth to respond, but again, nothing came out.
"You think you're so high and mighty because you're the great 'Digimon Kaiser'. I guess you're too good for me. I guess you're too good for Poromon. And I suppose that you're too good to even pay attention to what I am saying, or to Wormmon, your digimon who cares a lot about you, and has feelings!"
Miyako was ranting out in frustration, and hell be to anyone to get in her way.
"That's right…digimon have feelings you self-centered twit! Maybe if you'd step out of your arrogance for two seconds you'd begin to understand that! You're the genius! You figure it out!"
Miyako crossed her arms and glared at Ken, who seemed to falter. Something flickered in his eyes, and he tried to sit up again, but failed once more.
"Will you just lay still you moron?!" Miyako shouted at him. "Did that guy make you unable to hear or something?! I said, stay down!" She roughly pushed him back down to the ground, making him wince. She could hear the sirens of the ambulance coming.
Ken tried to say something again, but again, he couldn't.
"You're damn lucky." Miyako growled at him. "Even if you can't understand me. You are the most pitiful bastard I've ever seen, and you can't even accept anyone's help when you need it. If Poromon didn't see you go down and tell me that you weren't moving, then I would never have stopped. Hell, I don't even know why I cared enough to call the ambulance and your parents to tell them what happened!"
Rant session number two was underway.
"You owe me big, pal. But I don't want anything you have to offer. Why would I want to be a stuck-up, snot-nosed, egotistical bastard like you? You'd better watch the way you treat some people, or they won't be so eager to help you next time. I don't think I would save your life if I had to again the way you're treating me now."
Ken felt a pang in his heart and tried to tell her that he was sorry, but he couldn't make out the sounds. It sounded like croaking, and caused his throat a lot of pain when he tried. To his relief, the ambulance came and loaded him up.
To add to Miyako's stress, they asked her to come down and tell them what she saw, meaning she would have to ride in the same ambulance with Ken. She grunted and complied.
It was a long trip, it seemed. Well, at least for Ken.
"Hmm…damaged throat," the medic stated, "He won't be able to talk for a while, that much I can say now. Who'd have known that the great Ken Ichijouji would befall this fate of not being able to speak…"
Ken winced, hearing every word the guy said. I don't want your pity…! He tried to scream out, but nothing came out of his mouth when he opened it.
"I don't feel one bit sorry for him." Miyako waved her hand when Ken closed his eyes. "He's such a jerk!"
"Seriously?" the EMT questioned. "But he's so smart and a good athlete…"
"But he lacks in the 'friends' department because he's too cold to people." Miyako snorted.
"Huh. I'd never have guessed that." the guy shook his head. "Such a tragedy. A fine young man being an outcast because he lacks social grace and such. I wasn't popular when I was young."
The guy nodded. "It was horrible. But, I kept on trying."
"Well." Miyako pointed down at Ken. "This guy doesn't."
The medic glanced at Ken. "I guess everyone's different. It's a good thing that there are people like you, who care for even cold people like this character here."
Miyako turned red. "Th-thank you."
The man smiled. "Well, I'm glad that you called us. Even if this guy isn't all he's cracked up to be."
"Sometimes I wish he'd just drop dead." Miyako sighed.
"That isn't a very nice thing to say."
"If you knew this guy like I do, then you'd wish it, too," Miyako mumbled.
"He's that bad…? Wait, you know him?" The guy blinked.
Miyako nodded. "Yes to both questions. He's just so mean…I almost wished that he did die during the fight."
Ken felt pain crawling through his heart. Where had he heard that before…? Those words…? Then, it struck him. He said it. About his brother, Osamu.
Osamu…I wish…I wish you'd disappear!
The words of the eight year old he had once been circled through his head, making him dizzy. Why was he thinking of this now…?
He wished Osamu to disappear…and he did. Gone. No more Osamu.
But his parents…they were…crying? Sad?
I made them so sad.
It was a little voice in his head that said that, the little eight-year old. Sorrow…Pain…Ken knew them well.
Right now, his heart was aching with the words they said. Usually, he wouldn't care. But for some strange reason, all of the comments hurt. He tried to shout out that he could hear them, but nothing came out again. He felt tears coming to his face.
He was ready to admit it. He was scared.
The verbal abuse continued until he wished that he was invisible again. Again…?
Mom and dad don't pay any attention to me! I wish Osamu would disappear!
The words of the little kid echoed through him, and he felt tears sting his eyes again. Why were their words affecting him so much…? He thought about it even as they brought him in.
When Ken woke up, he looked around and saw that he was in the hospital. The room he was in was really nice. Ken looked around some more, taking in his surroundings.
Ken looked to the side and saw his mother. He tired to say something, but again, nothing came out.
"Oh, dear, don't try to talk." His mother saw pain flash across his face. "The doctor said that your larynx has been damaged, and that it will take a couple of weeks to heal, if it ever does."
Fear flashed across Ken's eyes. Never be able to talk again…? That meant that the digidestined and everyone who ever had a grudge against him could say whatever they wanted whenever they wanted and he couldn't reply.
Ken blinked. Why am I thinking of that worthless digimon. Worthless…? Sort of like how I am now.
Ken closed his eyes against the pain that welled up in his heart again, then opened them and looked at his mother, who had tears coming down her face.
His father had tears in his own eyes.
They're crying…for me? Why would they want to do that…? I've been nothing but a horrible son to them ever since I became the Digimon Kaiser. Why would they cry for me? Could it be that they…they love me…? Ken felt tears come to his own eyes, and his eyes flickered again, starting to loose the cool, small gray that they had and return to their large, violet color.
His mother stayed with him as long as the allowed visitors. She said all sorts of things to him.
"Ken-chan," his mother was saying now, "I know that you can't talk, but I still love you. I just want you to know that I will always be here for you. I know that what you're going through right now is tough, but you can pull through it. You're very strong."
Maybe I'm too strong, Ken's mind screamed. The power of the Digimon Kaiser…the kid who never feared anything or let any kind of pain get to him…it's not human, is it? It can't be.
He remembered all the cruel things Miyako said to him before, and flinched. I deserve those words. Ken blinked, not knowing where that voice came from again. What I'm doing is wrong.
Ken closed his eyes, suddenly feeling depressed, and there was a dull ache in his heart. He wanted to apologize to everyone for making them worry. Just like how I made them sad when Osamu died. Tears rolled down Ken's face, and his eyes returned to their normal colors instead of the creepy circles they had been when he was the Digimon Kaiser.
"Ken? Are you in pain?" His mother's voice cut through his thoughts.
Ken shook his head 'no'.
His mother squeezed his hands. "Don't cry, dear. Everything will work out."
Ken looked up at his mother, and noticed that she was crying.
Mama…He desperately tried to call to her, but no sound came out. I need your help! I need someone's help!
He tried to say it.
But again, nothing came out. He felt like screaming in frustration, but didn't make a sound. Instead, his throat started to hurt. He closed his eyes, feeling the pain in his heart again increase. Who knew what everyone would have to say about him having to be quiet…?
He was released from the hospital in three days. As soon as he got home, he threw his bag across the room in anger. He had tried so hard during rehabilitation to talk, but couldn't even say 'yes' or 'no'. He had to go to rehabilitation everyday after school.
Suddenly, he missed Wormmon. His parents were talking about his condition, and after he caught a few words like 'maybe forever…' and 'what if we lost Ken, too', he turned and wiped the tears coming down his face and went to the digital world.
He just wanted to see Wormmon. Not to kick him around, but he needed a friend.
A real friend.
Seeing Poromon made him realize that the digimon did have feelings, especially when he heard the little thing talking. Most of all, he wanted to apologize to Miyako. He opened the digiport and went into the digital world, knowing that he was supposed to be resting in bed, but just…needed…Wormmon there all of a sudden.
When he got there, he looked around his base. Everything seemed to be alright despite his absence…albeit a few control spires knocked down. The control spires…
They're wrong! They hurt the digimon! How would you like it if someone slapped a dark ring on you and made you work tirelessly for them!? Well, that's what it is like!
Ken felt the burn of tears come to his eyes. He knew that the powers of darkness had lost their hold on him. In fact, he wasn't even wearing the 'Digimon Kaiser' garb. He was in his gray Tamachi Elementary uniform.
He walked around a bit, when he noticed Wormmon come in cautiously. Another glance at the digimon's face, and he could see the fear in the digimon's eyes of being so close to him, but courage to stick by his partner. When he saw Ken wearing the uniform instead of the Digimon Kaiser outfit, he ventured a little closer.
"Master…?" Wormmon tentatively called out.
Ken glanced down at the little digimon.
"Master…are you alright? You look different. Your eyes look more gentle now…" Wormmon peered up at Ken.
Ken tried to answer, but no sound came out. Frustration built inside of him.
"Master…? What's wrong?" Wormmon cautiously crawled over to Ken and grabbed his pant leg with his short arms as best as he could.
Ken growled in annoyance, and stormed off to the control board.
Ken started to type ferociously.
Wormmon read what was on the screen.
I can't talk because of an accident in the real world.
Wormmon stared up at the words. "Oh…I'm sorry, Master…"
Ken winced at the words. He didn't like being called 'master' anymore…his hands flew across the keyboard.
Wormmon, please do not call me 'master' anymore.
"Then what should I call you?" Wormmon asked.
Ken thought for a moment, then sighed and typed in his answer.
Anything you want that fits my selfish self.
Wormmon's eyes grew teary. "You aren't selfish. Especially now. You are being very kind to me."
The dams burst.
Tears flowed down Ken's cheeks, and he choked out a sob. Somehow, Wormmon heard it and crawled up onto the chair that Ken was sitting in and nuzzled him gently.
"Don't cry. Everything will be okay…"
No it won't.
"If you keep on telling yourself that," Wormmon said as he looked at his friend, "then things will never change. You want to change, don't you?"
Ken nodded as he wiped at his tears.
Wormmon brushed off a tear that Ken missed with his antennae. "Then you have to believe in yourself. I can help you, Ken-chan." He clamped his mouth shut after the last word, feeling he made a mistake when Ken's head snapped up to look at him. "I mean…that is…"
Ken smiled and picked up Wormmon, then gave him a hug. Wormmon wasn't the best at reading lips, but he was sure that Ken just mouthed 'Thank you, friend' to him.
Wormmon smiled and nuzzled his friend. "Your welcome, Ken-chan."
Ken pulled out his digivice and transported them back to the real world before his parents noticed he was gone. It would be hard for him to explain when he couldn't talk…suddenly, he had the idea of using the computer. Sure…he was a fast typer. He could write his responses on his laptop. The idea sounded good to him as he went back to the real world.
He got back just as his mother walked in the room.
"Oh, Ken!" His mother looked at him. "You're feeling well enough to get out of bed?"
Ken nodded and Wormmon quickly hid under the desk in Ken's room.
"I'm glad to see you up and moving around again." Mrs. Ichijouji smiled. "Do you think you can go to school tomorrow?"
Ken blinked. Now that he wasn't sure he was ready for. Now that he was over the 'Digimon Kaiser' thing, he wasn't as strong as before. That was one of the first things he noticed. Kind or strong…Ken chose Kindness. Besides, he had his laptop to write things on. How bad could it be?
Ken was out of school like a rocket as soon as the bell rang, fighting tears. That was the last time he said 'how bad could it be'. Everyone whispered behind his back. How the 'great' Ken Ichijouji couldn't talk, and this and that…it never stopped.
The last thing he wanted to do was go all the way over to Odaiba Hospital to go to rehab there. He stormed out of the school and down to the train station, where the guy giving tickets (who had heard that Ken Ichijouji couldn't speak) laughed and gave him a hard time.
Now almost in tears, Ken went to the train and rode it to Odaiba. He got out and tried to ignore all the whispering around him as he wiped angrily at his eyes. As if it couldn't get any worse, when he walked by the park to get to the hospital, he noticed the Chosen Children there. They were talking about something.
Ken quickened his pace, hoping that they wouldn't see him.
Apparently, this wasn't his lucky day.
"Look who it is."
Ken turned and saw Daisuke approaching him, angrily.
"If it isn't the mighty Digimon Kaiser, a.k.a, Ken Ichijouji!" Daisuke growled.
Ken stepped back, not wanting to get into any arguments.
"I heard you can't talk." Daisuke frowned. "That means that we can say whatever we want now."
Ken shook his head. Great. Just what he needed. He tried to turn around and walk away, but Daisuke jumped in front of him.
Ken glared at the boy. Leave me alone, Daisuke! Unfortunately, Daisuke couldn't hear thoughts.
"So, you haven't been in the digital world because you were in the hospital," Daisuke stated. "Frankly, I don't know why Miyako even bothered to save your life. All you do is cause trouble in the digital world and hurt the digimon. Beyond me."
"What are you doing here, anyway?" Iori's voice was stern and harsh.
Ken shook his head and tried to get around Daisuke, but the boy blocked him.
"So. You think you're too good for us, is that it?" Daisuke snarled. "You think you're superior or something?!"
Ken shook his head wildly. No! Tears formed in his eyes. He did not need this right now.
"Daisuke, leave him be."
Both Ken and Daisuke turned and looked at Miyako, who was staring right back at them.
At first, Ken thought that Miyako was actually helping him, and he tried to thank her. But before he could give his smile (which these days, meant 'thank you' or 'please'), Miyako shattered his feelings.
"He's not worth our time," Miyako stated, without looking at them. "He thinks he's the best, so he can just roam around here in Odaiba and show off to us even when he's not torturing the digital world and Wormmon. He's not worth it. Just leave him alone, or else we'd be stooping down to his level."
Ken couldn't even describe (if he got the chance) how much those words stung. He turned and ran past Daisuke, feeling hot tears run down his face for the umpteenth time. He heard a few of the Chosen Children laugh and call out names, as well as some mutterings about rudeness from people who were on the street that he bumped into in his rush to get away.
But Ken ignored them, even if every comment went straight to his heart. Couldn't they accept that I have changed now? Can't they see it? Ken sobbed as he ran down the street, ignoring some shouts and curses along the way. He was extremely thankful when he finally arrived at Odaiba Hospital.
The nurse took one look at him, and smiled sympathetically, then motioned him to follow her.
"Ichijouji Ken, right?" the nurse questioned softly.
Ken wiped his eyes and nodded.
The nurse smiled at him. "The doctor is waiting. I hope that your session goes better this time. I lost my voice once. It took me two weeks to get it back, so I understand what you're going through."
Ken's head snapped up. Someone else understood…?
The nurse smiled back down at him. "Just ignore what other people say. They don't realize that it hurts you. I'll give you a whiteboard before you leave. You can write down what you would usually say on that, then erase it to write something else. It's what I did when I didn't have a voice. It won't be that bad."
Ken found himself almost smiling.
The nurse smiled down at him. "There, now. Well, here we are. Stop by the front desk and I'll give you a whiteboard before you go. How is a blue marker? Is blue alright?"
Ken nodded and mouthed 'thank you'.
The nurse winked. "You're welcome."
Ken's jaw dropped open, them mouthed: 'You can read lips?'
The nurse grinned and nodded. "It's just a little skill I picked up."
Ken wiped his eyes and smiled.
The nurse gave him a reassuring smile in return and motioned him to go in. "Go ahead. Good luck." She closed the door behind him.
Ken wished he could have stayed with the nurse. Rehab went horrible, and ended with him throwing a fit. He barely remembered to get the whiteboard from the nurse, bowing in thanks. She could tell that he was upset, so didn't take the fact that he ran out as fast as he could personally.
The doctor came up and watched the child leave. "That boy is really amazing. He tries so hard."
The nurse nodded. "Yea. He'll get it one of these days, won't he?"
The doctor sighed. "I don't know. He should. But it still may be too early. It hasn't even been a week since the accident happened. He needs time, but he doesn't want to wait because it is hurting him."
The nurse agreed. "He has lonely eyes."
The doctor glanced down at the nurse and then to where Ken had left. "Yea."
Ken ran past everything so fast, tears blurring his vision, and the whiteboard and marker tucked away in his bag. Finally, he couldn't run anymore, and slowed to a stop. He ducked into one of the back-streets, and leaned up against a building. A moment later, he sunk down to his knees, in tears.
Oh, if the Chosen Children saw him now, he'd be laughed at for the rest of his life. The great Ken Ichijouji…sitting in an ally-way and crying his heart out of frustration and hurt.
He didn't want to go back on the train and go through more hell from the ticket-guy. Just his luck the automatic machines were all malfunctioning. He also couldn't call his parents and ask them to bring him home because he couldn't talk…
"Are you alright?"
Ken recognized the voice. Miyako. He looked up to find the girl staring at him. He looked to the side, trying to stop the tears, to no avail.
Miyako crouched down next to him.
"Um…I'm sorry," Miyako apologized. "For saying what I said in the park earlier. I know it was uncalled for and mean. But it was what was on my mind at the time. I just couldn't accept that you had changed, even though I saw it in your eyes. I'm sorry."
Ken shook his head and pointed at himself.
Miyako blinked, then questioned, "You're sorry?"
Ken nodded, the tears coming down even faster and harder. He couldn't stop them no matter how hard he tried. He felt hurt and vulnerable right then, regardless of who was there to see it.
"Why are you sorry?" Miyako asked, then placed a hesitant hand on his shoulder. "Besides the obvious, I mean. Being the Digimon Kaiser…" She stopped when she saw him flinch from the words. "Sorry."
Ken shook his head and wiped his eyes again.
"But why aren't you going home now?" Miyako asked. "I heard you have rehab here in Odaiba, but why aren't you going home? Your parents must be worried."
Ken sniffled and pulled out the white board, then wrote his message.
I can't take the guy making fun of me.
Miyako blinked, then she realized what he was talking about. She nodded and watched as he erased that message and wrote another one.
I can't call my parents to pick me up because I can't talk.
Miyako softened up, realizing just how hard it had been for Ken these past few days. Not being able to talk at all and have to deal with what people said as if he was deaf, too…she realized that she was guilty of that. "I'm sorry, Ken."
Ken gave her a questioning look.
Miyako looked at the question mark on the white board, then cleared her throat and continued, "I mean, I'm sorry for not respecting your feelings and talking about you like you were deaf. You have feelings, too. And…you seemed to have stopped coming down on the digital world. I can see it in your eyes, Ken. You look different. You know…"
She gave a small laugh. "These sort of things are funny. They make us realize just what we have in our lives that is so important."
Miyako laughed again, even though tears of her own were coming down her face. "And that the things that are important today weren't yesterday. The world seems to have turned upside down in such a short time." She wiped her eyes and smiled through the tears. "It's funny…I'm crying, but I'm not sad. I want to stop, but I can't." She sobbed again, and put her hands up to cover her eyes.
Ken watched, concerned. What could he do? He couldn't say anything…he trembled a bit as he put his arms around her in a hug. Everything will be okay, Miyako. Your words did hurt, but you didn't understand then. I understand that you wouldn't forgive me so easily for what I've done. I don't know if I've forgiven myself quite yet. But I'm just glad that you understand me now.
Miyako blinked when he hugged her. She sniffled and then cried into his shoulder. She liked his embrace…it felt warm. She still didn't know why she was crying…guilt? Fear? Compassion for Ken? That nothing made sense anymore?
Maybe a combination of it…either way, she just stayed in his arms until her sobbing subsided, and then some.
He rubbed a hand up and down her back to comfort her, and she held him back.
Miyako almost smiled, I guess…we both need some comfort now. Especially Ken. He must feel awful about everything, and he can't apologize or anything. And…as soon as he saw my crying, he stopped crying to comfort me. To help me. He forgot about his own pain when he saw someone else in pain. I guess…he really has changed. If he hadn't, then he wouldn't be sitting here now, trying to comfort me.
Miyako gently broke out of the hug. She wiped her eyes. "Thank you, Ken." She smiled at him. "I needed that."
Ken smiled back. So did I.
Miyako sniffled and smiled again, giving him a hand up. "I know! I'll walk with you to the train station! He can't give both of us a hard time!"
Ken blinked and looked at her, questioningly. Are you sure…?
Miyako smiled at him and nodded as if she could read the question in his eyes. "Come on! I'll walk you home, too! It must be no fun walking home by yourself."
Ken shouldered the strap of the whiteboard and pulled out the marker.
Wormmon is waiting at home.
"But he's not with you now, is he?" Miyako giggled at Ken's stunned expression. "So I'll walk you home!"
You don't have to.
Miyako held up her index finger. "Uh-uh. I want to, Ken. I'm not doing it just to be nice. I'm doing it because I care about you…" Miyako gasped as she realized what she said. She clamped a hand over her mouth as she felt her cheeks heat up.
Ken smiled, his own cheeks a bit red, and realized something. He pulled out the marker, and seemed to blush even more.
I think I care a lot about you, too, Miyako.
Miyako turned red.
Ken turned red.
Miyako started to laugh, and Ken broke into a smile, then laughed as well. It was sort of strange at first. Ken's mouth was open in a laugh, but nothing came out.
That is, for a second.
Just then, Miyako wasn't the only one laughing. She heard it…Ken's laughter. At first, she wondered if she was hearing things. Then, she realized that he was laughing and giggling just like she was. They were so embarrassed that the situation was funny to them.
"Ken! You're laughing!" Miyako exclaimed through her laugher.
Ken just giggled, though he nodded in joy when he realized it.
Miyako could see the joy in Ken's face that he had started to find his voice again. "I'll help you!" Miyako suggested. "I can help you get your voice back!"
Ken glanced at her as the laughter died down and they started walking towards the train station. Really…?
You'd do that for me?
Miyako nodded. "Sure! I mean, we are friends now, right?" She held out her hand.
Ken blinked and hesitated, then smiled and took it with a nod. I have a friend now!!
Over the next week, Miyako came over Ken's house every day and she and Wormmon worked with him on getting his voice back. Sometimes, Ken would get depressed and a bit angry because of his frustration at not being able to talk, but after the initial two days, they were starting to show progress.
Mrs. Ichijouji felt tears running down her face when she heard the sounds and words coming out of Ken's mouth. She was also happy that he had a friend. Mr. Ichijouji was just as relieved, and enjoyed it as much as his wife.
Miyako stood up after another week. "Okay. I think that's enough. Great job, Ken!"
Ken smiled, and replied a bit hoarsely, "Thank you…"
Miyako grinned and gave him a quick hug. No, they weren't just friends. They were quickly becoming something else. But neither of them could say it. "I think you'll be able to have your voice back within the next two days!"
Ken looked at her. "R-really…?"
Miyako nodded, "Sure!"
"You're doing great, Ken-chan." Wormmon smiled.
Part of the rehabilitation, on encouragement of both Miyako and Wormmon, was to spend half an hour in the digital world, making amends and cleaning up. In today's venture, when they got rid of Ken's old base, Miyako found the crest of kindness, which went over to Ken.
It shocked him at first so much that Miyako thought he lost his voice again, but then he smiled and Wormmon was beaming proudly at his partner. Miyako had already talked to the other digidestined. In fact, sometimes during their trips to the digital world they ran into one or two of them, and Ken got an opportunity to apologize.
Everyone seemed to finally accept the change. Even Iori and Daisuke. All of the alumni digidestined also accepted the change, even Tai.
In Ken's mind, there was one thing left to do. He mustered all his courage as Miyako gathered her things. "M-Miyako?"
Miyako looked at him, "Yea?"
Ken signaled towards the balcony. "The stars at night are really nice to look at. Would you…like to see them?"
Miyako blinked, then nodded. "Sure!" She took Ken's hand as he led her outside, and Miyako gasped when she looked up at the stars. "You're right, Ken! It is beautiful!" She looked back at him, and saw him looking at her. "But that's not the only reason why you brought me out here, is it?"
Ken sighed. "Nothing gets past you, does it?" He took a deep breath, again summoning his courage. "Um…thank you for all your help…and…"
Miyako smiled as she listened. "No problem!"
Ken smiled, a flush on his face. "And I know that I am…and you are…a little young right now, but I…" Ken looked back up at the stars, then at Miyako. "Miyako, I really like you."
Miyako gasped. Then, she blinked. She couldn't believe what she heard. "Ken…wow. I…I agree that we're a little young for that. But…I feel the same way, too."
Miyako smiled as they embraced each other for a long time, then drew apart.
"It's funny," Ken quoted at Miyako, "How fate works."
Miyako looked at him and slid her hand into his with a grin.
Ken smiled back at her, then looked up at the stars. "It's true perfection."
Miyako smiled at him and they stood there, watching the stars. She looked at Ken, who smiled back at her.