A/N: Sorry for the delay. No excuses, really. I hope you enjoy this chapter and review! I'm older now… I really don't care to continue if I don't get feedback, sorry.

Warnings for this chapter: Profanity, as always.

Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon.


Awake

Chapter 2:

Nasty Catalyst

By: CrimsonAnjel


"Alright, class," Mr. Werner began smartly. "I know some of you are struggling to win over a gym credit." He eyed a few of the fat kids. "And I know it's not always your… fault." Though his tone translated loud and clear, You're a bunch of fat, useless retards. "But if you try your hardest and hydrate often"—he never let us take a water break—"I know you'll succeed!"

A few grumbles followed his lame speech and, with a visible shrug and another obnoxious blow of his whistle, the coach ordered us to line up.

Cody—standing next to me intentionally—started the period off perfectly as soon as the coach was out of earshot. "So, fag," Eloquent as always, "you gonna play ball with the big boys today?"

I looked at his dumb face… and burst out laughing. It wasn't my choice—he looked like a lit pumpkin with a cut-out frown. Luckily a split second later Mr. Werner passed by and numbered me off, leaving Cody behind to sweat out his failed insult.

It was easy to ignore him—though the same couldn't be said for the tobacco-chew smell he perfumed across the room—until the game started. Then it was hell.

Following me around the court; touch-defending harder than Tai at his horniest; trashing talking in a language I couldn't understand; you name it, he did it to piss me off.

"What the hell's your problem?!" I yelled finally, stopping mid-court with the ball in hand. Someone protested and told me to pass the ball, but I stood there glaring at the only other ball in the room.

"Why'd you stop the game, faggot? You scared of playin' with a real baller or somethin'?"

"No," I scoffed, automatically balling a fist. "But I really have to wonder what kind ofball you're talking about since you keep fucking touching me when your team is on offense."

He flushed red like a balloon and puffed out his chest. I wondered, absently, hopefully, if a little helium wouldn't make him float away forever.

"Of course I couldn't play ball with a faggot without funny business goin' on!" he shot back gracelessly.

"No, see, that's why you're dumb. I was saying that you're the fag, if anyone."

By then everyone had given up basketball for a more enjoyable spectator sport. A few students already cheered on the fight before it happened; I only registered it when my whole vision was bombarded by two-hundred pounds of angry hick. For a quick, slow-motion second I saw the coach running at us from across the court, then Cody was on me faster than anyone his size should've been able to move.

My instincts caught up with the situation very willingly, and in the same split-second I saw him I heard a crunch; and felt a throbbing, electric pain shoot up my arm.

Then a pair of hands wrenched me off my feet entirely.

"WHAT THE HELL'S GOTTEN INTO YOU?" a voice bellowed, muffled by the adrenaline pumping through my eardrums.

I looked down unrecognizing at the large, blurrly outline of Cody… on the floor, clutching a bloody nose.

I got a punch across? Holy—

"Yamato!" the voice shouted again, "I said what the hell's gotten into you?"

I punched him. "I—"

My vision unveiled completely and the coach's low growl hit my ears again. "Well?!"

"He…" Is his nose broken? I looked closer. It probably was, which was good enough for me; I didn't have any urge to tell him about the fag comment anymore, not that I would've for pride alone. There's a lot to be said for pure satisfaction. "He ran at me. Self—self defense," I sputtered lamely.

"You call that self defense, boy?!" Mr. Werner yelled unsatisfied, jabbing a finger at Cody's pathetic form. "Someone better tell me what really just happened or both of you are getting suspended!" He glared harshly, eyes flitting between me and Cody dangerously. And we remained quiet, shocked. "So…whathappened?! You've got five seconds now—hurry up, speak!"

I would be suspended regardless—I knew it—so I kept my mouth shut.

But, ironically, Cody saved us from further damage. He shook his head fearfully and spoke around the injured nose. "D'othing, Coach. I'm fin'."

There was a tense moment's silence… and then Mr. Werner finally shoved me away, uttering something unkind under his breath. "Fine, just… get out of my gym. You can feed me that crap, but the principal's not gonna fall for it, got it?" He shooed the crowd back to their positions in the game and eyed us again as if he was surprised we were still standing there. "Are you waiting for fucking invitation?! Out of my gym—now! Principal's office!"

I complied and ran away before he could changed his mind.

--

"One week's suspension?!" Tai slapped his forehead incredulously. "What the fuck did you do in one gym class to get that?"

I sighed heavily, not really interested in talking about my day more than I needed too. "It's… nothing. Cody just said some shit and I hit him."

"You hit him?" He paused for a moment and smiled. "Wait—that's fucking awesome! You hit him?!" He laughed and slammed his locker shut, indicating with his head that we should leave. "Well… god. What'd he say, Yama?"

"The usual…"

"Called you a fag?" I nodded. "Gee, how creative. Have you told him that he's just calling you a cigarette? It's kinda weird, huh!"

"Tai…" Despite myself, I cracked a smile. "We're not in England."

He laughed again and pulled me into a one-arm hug. "You're cute when you take jokes seriously." Kissing me on the temple with a smack, he then exclaimed, "Come on, lover, let's blow this popsicle stand… and then maybe you can blow me?"

"You're fucking disgusting; you know that, right?"

Nodding enthusiastically, he donned his famous grin. And I smiled, wishing it would come out as the frown I had intended… just this once.

--

TK grabbed an apple from the kitchen table, took a bite, and pointed at me with a sticky finger. "What the hell were you thinking, Matt? Mom's going to kill you for sure!"

"I know, idiot," I replied irritably as I turned to page 54 of my worn History textbook. "That's why she's never gonna know." I glared meaningfully. "Right?"

"You must be joking!" He took another bite and dropped his loaded backpack on the ground. "She's gonna know, Matt; the school always calls your parents when they suspend you. Or did you forget that when you punched that annoying kid in the face?"

"Like you've ever been suspended before, TK. Just shut up and help me make sure they don't tell her." I tapped the edge of the ancient tome thoughtfully and searched the page for an answer—not that I was particularly superstitious. It can't hurt, right? I thought helplessly..

My eyes immediately caught the name Alexander Graham Bell.

He invented the telephone… So I should call the school? Does that even make sense?

I glanced back at TK who was now busying himself with yesterday's comics page and the rest of his apple.

"I can feel your eyes on me, you know." TK set the apple on the table and wiped his hand on his pant leg. "Wherever you're going with that look, go somewhere else. I'm not helping you with this crap. And that's final." Wrestling the newspaper to the next page, he managed a professional look. "Seriously."

"TK." I grabbed his chin from across the table and leveled gazes. "You know how people always say you sound like mom? And then you glare at them or punch them or whatever it is stuck up bastards do?"

"Your point please." He snatched back his page and kept reading.

"My point?!" I grabbed the page and tore it out.

"Hey…"

"Come on, Takeru! I think you know what I'm getting at! Just… stand by the phone and when the school calls do your best impression, ok?"

"…Didn't I just say no very clearly?"

"Uh, Please?"

Before he could reply, or yell, or walk away, the phone rang. The phone was on the hook and I rushed like a madman to check the caller ID before mom could. And almost had a heart attack. "TK, shit!" I whispered desperately. Mom was in the next room curled up with a book—this was my only chance. "I'll pay you—something—I promise!"

"And what are you going to do all week when mom thinks you're at school?"

"Just shut up and answer the fucking phone!"

He rolled his eyes and grabbed the receiver, pressing the Talk button. "Hello, Ishida residence. May I ask who is calling?" It was a flawless imitation. "Yes? Oh, yes, I'm Yamato's mother…" Quickly, he ducked into the bathroom so she wouldn't hear.

From the next room: "Yamato, Takeru! Who is it?"

"Just a telemarket, mother!" I called back nervously.

"Oh… all right then."

Not a minute later TK reemerged with an evil smirk on his features. "So… how much are you going to pay me?"

Count on the shrewd little bastard to never forget a promise.


I'll update as soon as I can. I enjoy writing this fic; it's great for dialogue practice. Teenage boys make for the best conversations, don't you think? --CA