A Touch of Kindness

A Touch of Kindness

Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon.  And I still think Izzy and Yolei look better together!  Hey, all you Kouyako fans, this is the sequel to "Just Now Realized!" You said you wanted me to write one, didn't you?  Well, here it is!  But there isn't really a lot of Kouyako.  Ken meets a girl that suffered just as much as he did.  (slaps hand over mouth)  Ooops, said too much!

Ken was happy for Izzy.  He became the new student body president in eleventh grade.  Izzy said only the nicest things about Yolei.  Ken thought he would have Jun on his tail after that dance when the new dance club opened up.  But she started to have a thing for Jim.  Ken was so happy and he owed it all to his new friends.

If only Sam could see me now, Ken thought to himself as he looked at the photo of his lost brother.

"Earth to Ken!" Izzy cried in his ear, "We have a meeting to get to."

"Yeah, I know," Ken replied and shut his locker quickly.  "I'm surprised you even remembered considering how much time you spend with Yolei now."

Izzy grinned.  "Let's get going.  Paul came up with a really cool idea."

"Hey, Izzy," Yolei screeched, "waitforme!" She ran up behind him and threw her arms around his chest, nearly making him drop his books.

Ken burst out laughing.

"There you are," Izzy said and turned around to take her hand.

"Hi, Ken," Yolei said pleasantly.  "Come on Izzy, before they run out of chocolate milk."

They went in and got their lunches. 

"Look, Izzy, the last chocolate milk!" Ken cried, "I'll get it for you--" he reached for it and a girl with short black spiky hair and green eyes took it.  "Um, excuse me, I was…"

"You need to be a little faster," she said, rolling her eyes and grabbed a tray.

Izzy and Ken exchanged glances.

"Hey, are you new here?" Yolei asked.  She picked up a skim milk.  There was always plenty of at least skim milk.

"What's it to you?" she demanded coldly.  From the looks of it, the girl looked like a girl with absolutely no class. She wore blue jeans with worn out knees and a purple halter-top.  There was green glitter on her hair and her face had a lot of makeup on it.  She had a nose ring and a belly button ring and three holes in her right ear and two in her left.  "Well, I'm Yolei, and this is," Yolei went on.

She ignored her and paid for her lunch. She sat at a vacant table. When a guy wanted to sit there, she screamed at him and he ran away.

"Guess I know where not to sit," Yolei mumbled.  She took a tuna sandwich and Izzy paid her for her lunch.  "Have a nice time at your meeting, guys.  Let me know what happens."

"Thanks, Yolei," Izzy said and patted her back as she went to go sit with Kari at another table.

"Whatever you do, Kari, do not talk to that new girl over there!" Yolei warned, "She's not nice!"

As Ken and Izzy began to walk out of the lunchroom, the new girl stood up right in front of them to get some ketchup and she bumped into Ken.  He nearly dropped his tray.

"Watch it!" she snarled.

"You could at least say excuse me," he muttered.  He felt his anger rise.  He hadn't been this anger since he was the digimon emperor.  "If I knew you were going to stand up and block our way I could have gone somewhere else!"

"Ken, we'd better go to our meeting now," Izzy said with a grin, "we can't be late."

"Next time I'll put chocolate cake down your shirt!" the new girl shouted after them.

"Man," Ken groaned as they walked to their meeting, "and I thought Jessica had no class."

"She's way worse than Jessica," Izzy agreed, "way worse."

They got to their meeting.  Paul wasn't there.  "Anyone seen Paul?" The treasurer asked.

Paul came in gasping.  He had ink or something sprayed all over his shirt.

"I see you met the new girl," Izzy mumbled.

"That girl," Paul moaned, "is crazy!  I only said hi to her and she took a fountain pen and broke it on my shirt!  Then she shoved me into my locker!  I had to wait for the janitor to let me out!"

Everyone started laughing, "it's not funny!" Paul cried, "She's scary!"

After school that day, everyone went over to the new 'Hot Spot' club. 

"Did you meet the new girl?" Ken asked.

"She's in my math class," Kari groaned, "her name's Penelope Otika."

"Penelope?" Davis cracked.

"Penelope, huh," Ken mumbled.

"Yeah," Kari sighed, "she didn't do a thing the teacher said. I'd hate to see her in class every day.  She's so rude!"

"I hear she was kicked out of her old school for fighting," Courtney said.

Yolei shuddered, "maybe she's like that because she's new.  We can get to know her."

"I tried to," Kari said, "I wanted to take a picture of her and she broke my camera!"

"I saw her after school playing soccer," Lisa stated, "She's pretty good!  Except she almost broke people's legs when she played with them."

"You'd think she'd have bad grades," Davis said, "but she's smart.  She's taking a lot of smart classes."

"And how would you know, Davis?" TK demanded with a grin.  Kari giggled.

"Well, if she's in Kari's math class, she has to be smart!" Davis retorted.  "Besides, Lisa saw her go into the chemistry class."

"Just because she went there," Cody said, "Doesn't exactly mean she's taking chemistry class.  She could be planning to burn the school down!"

"Well, she's not in my class," Yolei said, "or Izzy's."

Ken was quiet while everyone talked about Penelope.  She was athletic and academic and angry.  It was the "triple 'a' syndrome".  Just like Ken acted as the digimon emperor.  But everyone liked him because of it.  They didn't know he was the digimon emperor until that time he revealed himself to the group.  No one could notice his anger.  So there was no way she had a dark spore.  AT least, he hoped that wasn't it.  He wouldn't be able to stand if another person was used as tool for darkness like he was.  No one had to go through what he had to go through.

"Hey, Ken, you alright?" Davis asked.

"I'm fine," he lied as he rose to his feet, "listen, I need to get home.  I'll see you all tomorrow, alright?"

"Bye Ken," Yolei said.  "Goodnight."

It wasn't a good night for Ken however.  He had a bad dream.  It was a number of them.  When he thought one bad dream was over another one started.  The first dream he had was when his parents paid more attention to Sam than him.  Then Sam was gone.  It was so vivid.  Ken relived each moment and saw Sam's accident over and over again.  He couldn't get that image of Sam lying on the ground out of his head.  The next dream followed with him going to the digital world and placing his digivice into the dark ocean.  Those crazy whispers and that evil grin that crept upon his face.  The cries from the digimon.  Why didn't he care?  He dreamed when Arukenimon and Mummymon used him only as a tool to imbalance the digital world.  Everything was just crazy.  The last dream ended with darkness floating around him and the faces of all the children...then Penelope's.

Ken sat up straight with his scream stuck in his throat.  He started shaking a bit.  'Get a grip Ken,' he thought to himself.  'You are not the digimon emperor anymore.'

His head fell back down to the pillow and he thought nothing more of it.

The next morning, Ken saw Penelope at her locker.  "Hi, Penelope!"

She slammed him against the next locker, "how do you know my name!" She wore a black gothic looking dress and a gold chain.  Her face was painted with white makeup and she had black diamonds on her cheeks.  Yesterday she looked like a motorcycle chick and today she looked like a witch.

"A-a friend told me," he stammered.

"Well, it's not Penelope…It's Penn." She let go of the collar of his jacket.




"Penn...well, Nell sounds alright." 

Ken smiled and peeked around her shoulder on the inside of her locker to see a portrait of a girl with long black hair and green eyes, resembling Penn. The girl wore a pair of glasses.  "Who's she?  Is that your sister?" he asked.  "She looks a lot like you."

Penn bit her lip and slammed the locker door closed, "I need to get to class."

"Was it something I said?" Ken mumbled as he watched her walk away.

"Hey Ken!" he heard Izzy shout behind him.

Ken turned around, "Hey, Izzy.  Hey, Yolei."

She smiled as she held onto Izzy's hand with her right and pulled her left onto his arm.  Though he would be used to it by now, Izzy blushed.  Yolei always hung onto him and even tighter when Ken was around.  She did it because she used to like Ken but Izzy was there.  She squeezed his hand to remind herself that Izzy was with her and wasn't going to split.

"Penelope's sure in a hurry," Yolei commented.

"Yeah."  Ken said.  "I think I upset her somehow, but I was only being nice."

"What happened?" Izzy asked.

"I'm not sure," Ken said, "but at least she only slammed me against a locker and not inside it!"

Izzy smiled, "Paul will be jealous."

They split to their classes.  Yolei was writing another love note to Izzy in advanced chemistry class.

Sweet Smart Izzykins,

Hi Izzy! Have I told you lately how wonderful you are?  Well, you are wonderful!  You're so good to me!  I don't think I tell you enough how special I think you are.  I'm in advanced chemistry class right now.  And I thought last year's chemistry class was tough. This is torture! Anyway, speaking of chemistry, I think there's a lot of chemistry between us.  Don't you think so?

"Yolei, is there something you'd like to share us?" the teacher asked.

"No sir!" she cried, "just some notes!"

"Notes or a note?" a guy snickered in the back.

Gotta go, the teacher is suspicious!

Love, Yolei

Yolei giggled while she jammed the note into her pocket.

Yolei wasn't the only girl writing love notes.  While in Home Economics, Kari and Lisa were writing love notes.


I'm in Home Ec right now.  We're learning how to bake cakes, so I'm going to save you a piece! I just wanted to say that you're awesome! Awesome, awesome, awesome!  Love Kari


You are the most awesome cool soccer player alive!  I'm in Home Economics learning how to make cakes so I'm going to make you the best cake in the world! You're so cute and cool and awesome and funny and

"What are you two girls up to?" the teacher demanded.

"Oh, well," Lisa mumbled and looked at Kari with the 'help me out' look on her face.

"We're just drawing diagrams, ma'am," Kari replied.

"Oh, okay."

Both Lisa and Kari breathed in sighs of relief.

TK and Davis were in PE class so they weren't able to write notes.  They weight lifting and Davis was the spotter for TK as TK started bench pressing.  Davis took the bar of the rests and handed it to TK….when TK was not ready.

"DAVIS!" TK screeched.

"Whoopsie," he mumbled

"You almost dropped the bar on my face!" TK cried.  "What were you thinking about?"

"The truth?" Davis asked, "well, Lisa!  I can't get her out of my head!"

"Well, at least you're not thinking about Kari," TK said.  "I'll spot you instead.  I don't trust you!"

"I guess girls and weight lifting don't really mix," Dais commented.

In her English class, Penelope was unable to concentrate on a word the teacher was saying and it wasn't' because she was being rebellious like her nature was, she kept thinking about Ken.  She spat at him without even asking his name.  Then she slammed her locker when he saw the picture of her sister.  Pam.  Pam was dead.  She frowned, 'I didn't have to be so rude,' she thought.  'Maybe if I told…no, I can't.  I can't tell anyone about Pam's death.  He just wouldn't understand.  Nobody would.'

Izzy was in his electronics class working in the lab creating something like a switchboard.  Yolei in his mind, he wasn't able to concentrate and he twirled two wires together, the wrong wires and he shocked himself.  Izzy fell down on the floor, blinking.

"Izzy, are you all right?" asked his lab partner in concern.

"Yeah," he replied, "I wasn't able to concentrate…. strange, that's…never happened to me before."

"You have a girlfriend, don't you?" he asked, helping him to his feet.

"Yes I do," Izzy said. 

"Thought so," he said with a grin.

Ken always thought that history was boring.  He also thought it as painful.  He couldn't concentrate at all. All he could think about was Penelope.  Why did she slam the locker when he asked about the picture in her locker?  He opened his notebook and pulled the cap of his pen and began writing a letter to Penelope. 


I'm sorry, I didn't get a chance to introduce myself.  My name's Ken Ichojoji.  I'd to give you a tour of the school or maybe the town if you're interested.  I understand if you feel kind of uneasy being new here.  Don't worry about fitting in.  I hope you and I can be friends.  Write me back if you'd like.


The bell rang as soon as Ken finished his note.  He went straight to Penelope's locker and began to slide the note inside.

"What are you doing?" she demanded.

"I just wanted to give you this," he handed her the note.

"I know what you're trying to do," she muttered, "and it's not working."

"What?" he asked, "I'm only being nice."

"Yeah, right," she said sarcastically, "You want to know if all the rumors about me are true.  You're just trying to get information about me and my old school and my family!"

"No I'm not," he said. 

"The cops told you, didn't they?" she questioned harshly.


"Oh, forget it," she sighed and began walking away.  He grabbed her by the wrist.

"Are you in danger, Penelope?" he asked.

"It's Penn!" she snarled.

"Penn.  Well, are you?"

She didn't answer.

"What's the picture of in your locker?" Ken asked.  "That's your sister, isn't it?  Did something happen to her?"

"Pam's, dead, all right!" she cried.

"Dead?" he mumbled, "in an accident?"

"How dare you call my sister's death an accident!" she shouted, "Why should I tell you anyway?  You have no idea what it's like to lose a big brother or sister!  You don't know how I feel!" she shook her wrist out of his hand.

"Oh yes I do," Ken groaned, his voice close to breaking.

"Oh, do you?"

"Come with me," Ken said, "I want to show you something."  He grabbed her wrist again and led her to his locker. He opened it up and showed her the picture of Sam, "this is my brother, Sam.  He died in an accident about twelve years ago.  He was only ten years old."  {I can't really remember how old Sam was when he died.  I guess they don't say so I'm just guessing.)

"An accident," she said, "that's what the cops told you?"

"Of course it was an accident," Ken said, "I saw it."

She shook her head, "oh, you have no idea, don't you?"

"What are you talking about?"

"What's wrong with you? Don't you watch the news?" she demanded, "didn't you hear about all those kids that were murdered?"

"Murdered?" he mumbled. Suddenly Ken felt sick to his stomach.

"Oh yes, that's exactly what happened to Pam. Someone murdered her.  Somebody was murdering kids and making them look like accidents.  The same probably happened to your brother.  It was all happening the same time your brother died."

"It was an accident," Ken repeated, "It had to be.  I saw it.  No one would want to kill Sam.  He was too smart, everyone liked him…no, no, you're wrong!  Sam wasn't murdered!"

"Well Pam was," Penn said, "someone drowned her.  People thought she was just swimming but someone knocked her out and held her under water.  I mean, who would be swimming in the fall when it started to get cold and who would be swimming in street clothes in a bathing suit?  Someone killed my sister.  They thought it was an accident, maybe she was swimming or she probably fell but someone murdered her."

"Do the cops know who?" Ken asked.

"They don't," Penn said, "but I do."

"Who did?"

"Mr. Okinawa, the guy who kidnapped all those children 6 years ago."  {Is that his real name?  I don't know his first name.  Does anyone know his name?  Do you even know whom I'm talking about?}

Ken gasped, "No, I don't believe it."

"You calling me a liar?" she demanded.  "Because I was right there! I saw it happen! Mr. Okinawa hit my sister and held her under water in the lake!  I told the police but they wouldn't' believe me! Just because his friend was in the police force!"

"No, that's just not true," Ken mumbled, "It's not true he kidnapped those kids but he didn't kill anybody."

"Believe whatever you want," Penn snarled, keeping her tears back. She wiped her nose with the back of her hand and walked away.

Ken remembered he had to get to his next class and got there just before the bell rang.

There was no lunch meeting so the gang ate in the cafeteria.  Ken didn't touch his lunch.

"Ken, you alright?" Davis asked.  "If you don't' want your burger, I'll eat it!"

"I had a talk with Penn," Ken replied.


"Penelope Otika."

"Did she slam you into a locker again?" Izzy asked.

"No," Ken said, "but we had an argument.  She has a picture of her sister in her locker.  She died around the same time Sam died."

"How did she die?" Kari asked.

"Penn told me she was murdered," Ken said.  "By Mr. Okinawa."

Yolei covered her face with her hands, "that's terrible!" and began to sob.  Izzy patted her back nervously. 

"What?!" Cody cried.  "There's no way!  He couldn't have been that crazy!  My dad wouldn't have been friends with him if he was!"

"That's what I thought, Cody," Ken said, "but she said that she saw him kill her.  She told me that he probably have killed my brother.  But it doesn't make sense.  Why would he kill him then email me apologizing about the loss of my brother and why would he be at the funeral?"  He thought for a moment and a sick look came over his face, "but then again, it does make sense.  I didn't see the person who hit Sam but maybe it was Mr. Okinawa.  Maybe he did do it.  It could have been part of his plan to get me to build those spires."

"That was a long time ago, Ken," Izzy said, "and Mr. Okinawa's dead.  He was being used by MaloMyotismon."

"But still, why would he do it?" Ken asked, "Nobody hated Sam, everyone loved him.  He was so smart.  I just don't understand."  He looked over at Penelope who was eating lunch by herself.  Ken picked up his tray and stood across from her.  "Can I sit here?"

"Do what you want," she muttered.

Ken sat down in front of her, "I'm sorry, Penn.  About your sister."

"I'm sorry about your brother," she said.  "I read your note, Thanks Kenny."

"It's Ken," he corrected.


"It's Ken!"

Davis smiled, "at least he didn't tell her to call him the digimon emperor!"

"The digimon who?" Lisa mumbled.

"You don't know what digimon are?" he asked.  "Oh, I guess I never told you, huh?"

Everyone at the table groaned.

"Okay, Ken," she smiled and Ken blushed.  It was the first time he saw her smile.  It was beautiful. 

"Can you, tell me what your sister was like?" Ken asked.

"I can't," she said, "it's . . . too painful."

"Penn, I need to know," Ken said, "It might answer some questions I have to why someone would kill my brother. If they were the same maybe it would make sense."  He picked up his hand and laid it over hers. "Please?"

"Oh," she sighed, staring at his hand.  Her eyelids drooped down and her eyes began to brim with tears.  Ken's hand felt so gentle.  She sniffed, "Why are you being so kind to me?"

"It's just the way I am," he replied.  "If I told you about Sam, perhaps you could tell me about your sister Pam?"

She nodded, "sure."

"Sam was a very smart person," Ken started, "everyone told my mother how great it must have been to have a son like that.  My parents paid more attention to him than me.  There were a lot of times where I wished Sam would just disappear.  Then he did."

"I'm sorry, Ken," Penn murmured, "That's pretty much the same what happened with Pam.  Pam was the smartest girl in school.  She was also talented with video games and sports.  Everyone told my parents how wonderful it was to have a little lady like Pam. They wouldn't say anything about me."  She wanted to stop talking but she couldn't.  Ken got the impression she was holding this inside for years.  Did she tell anyone her feelings before she told him?  "I also wished Pam would disappear then she did.  My parents were so upset so I tried to be like Pam but it didn't' work.  I even dyed my hair black so it would look like hers.  I was too much myself to be someone else.  I don't know how I got caught up in this.  Everything was so simple and fun, like blowing bubbles and now, all the bubbles have burst."

Blowing bubbles? Ken thought.  "I'm sorry, Penn," Ken said, giving her hand a squeeze.  "That does make sense.  If Mr. Okinawa really did kill my brother and those children, he was after smart ones like Sam and Pam."

A tear slid down Penn's cheek. Embarrassed, she wiped it away, "I need to go, sorry."

"Penn, are you okay?" he asked, rising to his feet.

She stood up and walked away.

"Penn, wait!"

"What happened?" Izzy asked.

"I'm not sure," Ken replied.

Kari talked to Penn in her math class.  "Ken told me that your sister was killed."

"I really don't want to talk about it," Penn said.

"Didn't he tell you about his brother?" she asked.

"Yes, he did."

"Ken used to be a celebrity.  I'm surprised you haven't heard of him," Kari said, "He's a genius and a great athlete."

"I'm from another town," Penn said.  "Where are you getting at?"

"Ken is a very kind and gentle person," Kari said, "but he wasn't always very kind.  He did some horrible things at one time."

"What kind of things?" Penn demanded.

"It's kind of hard to explain," Kari mumbled.

"What did Ken do?"

"You wouldn't understand," Kari said.

"Tell me!" she hissed.

"Well, have you ever heard about the digital world?" Kari asked uneasily. 


"I don't mean to confuse you," Kari explained, "but there's a place called Digiworld.  There are a lot of creatures called digimon and they can be your best friends in the world.  I'm a digi-destined.  That means I'm a person with a digimon and I can go to the digital world and I'm supposed to save it.  Ken was there and he called himself the digimon emperor.  He changed good digimon into bad digimon.  You'd understand if you were in our digi-destined group."

"Digiworld," she mumbled, "wait a second here, when I was 8 I remember it got really foggy one time.  I was away from the fog but I still remembered it.  The when I looked at the sky I saw something like trees.  Was that the digital world?"

"Yes, it was," Kari said, "and something like that just 6 years ago," Kari said, "digi-destined all over the world helped save both the digital world and this one. "

The bell rang, "I have to get to my class."  She ran out and she bumped into Yolei. 

"Hi, Penn," Yolei said.

"I told her about Ken being the digimon emperor," Kari said.

"You did what?" Yolei demanded, "Kari, why'd you do that for!?"

"You knew too?" Penn asked.

"Yes," Yolei said, "Ken was more than just a genius and the best soccer player of all time, but he was also a very bad guy.  I had a very big crush on him and I was very upset when I learned the truth.  But he is very sorry about the bad things he did and Ken became our friend and a member of our group.  He is a very kind person."

"Ugh, you're all giving me a headache," Penn rubbed her head and walked to her next class.

Kari and Yolei sighed and exchanged glances.

Ken waited for Penn at her locker.

"Are you stalking me or something?" Penn demanded, though she was close to laughter. "I should press charges."

"I need to talk to you, Penn," Ken said.

"I know that you were the digimon emperor," she said, "I don't really want to hear anymore."

"What!" he turned red, "never mind that.  I'd like to invite you over."

"I'm sorry but I can't."

"It would mean a lot to me, Penn," Ken said. 

"Okay," she said.  "Why not?"

Ken smiled and blushed as he slipped his hand in hers and they walked out of the school.

"Izzy, look," Yolei stopped walking with him and nodded over to Ken and Penn.  "I think he's getting through to her."

"If anybody could," Izzy said, "it'd be Ken."

"Well, this is where I live," Ken said as he opened the door for Penn.

"Ken, is that you honey?" his mom called from inside the kitchen.

"Your mom's here?" Penn whispered.

Ken blushed, "Yes, Mom, it's me!  I brought a friend over."

"Bring Izzy right in," she said, unaware that there was a girl in the house, "I made some," she turned around and saw a Goth girl next to her son, "cookies??"

"I don't exactly look like Izzy, do I ma'am?" Penn asked.

"Mom, this is Penelope," Ken said, "she's new in school."

Penn rolled her eyes and elbowed him, "Ken…It's Penn."

"I mean, Penn."

"I'm going to leave for work now," his mom said, "but I need your help with something.  Could you come with me for a second, please?"

"Sure," he said.  "You can wait in the living room, Penn."

She nodded as Ken followed his mother in her room.

"Ken, what is that witch doing here?!" she demanded in a whisper.

"Shh, mom!" he hushed.  "She's not a witch."

"Well, she's dressed like one!" she hissed, "I want you to ask her to leave."

"Mom, her sister was murdered," Ken said, "around the same time Sam had his accident.  Maybe Sam was murdered too.  I invited her over to talk.  I know she looks kind of well, scary but she's a nice girl once you get to know her.  I felt sorry for her."

"Well, don't you get any ideas, young man," she said, "I'm leaving now."

"Have a nice day, Mom."

She walked by and looked at Penn.  Penn smiled and waved at her timidly.  She sighed and left.

"I don't think your mom likes me," Penn said.  "I probably should go."

"No, you don't," he walked to her and took her hand.  "I want to show you something.  Can you wait for me on the balcony?"

"What are you up to, Ken?" she asked.

"It's a surprise," Ken said, "go on, I'll be right out."

"I love surprises," she grinned and walked out on the balcony.

A few minutes later Ken walked out carrying a straw cut at the bottom and a cup with soapy water. 

"What is that?" she asked.

"We're going to blow bubbles," he replied.

"You invited me here to blow bubbles?" she demanded with a scream.

"Have you ever blown bubbles before?" he asked, stirring the solution.

"Yes, of course I have," she said and took the cup and straw.  She took a deep breath and blew hard, popping whatever bubbles she blew.  Ken laughed.

"If you think you could do any better, I'd like to see it!" she snarled and pushed the cup into his hand.

"Okay," he took the cup and stirred the straw.  He pulled the straw up to his lips and drew a stream of many bubbles.

"Show off," she muttered.

"The trick is, Penn," Ken said, "You have to blow them gently." He returned it to her.  She took a deep breath and her cheeks bulged.  Ken pushed his palms on them. "Not that way," he said.  "Less air is better.
She took a tiny breath and Ken nodded.  She blew gently on the straw and blew one bubble successfully as all the others popped.  "I blew one!"

"Let's try this again," he stepped close to her and pulled her chin up.  She swallowed.

"Um, Ken, what're you doing?" she demanded.

He pressed on her shoulders, "Relax and keep your head straight.  Close your eyes. Are they closed?"

"Now, blow again," he said.

Penn blew a bunch of tiny bubbles and she opened her eyes in surprise, "oh wow!" she put the solution down and started grabbing for them.   Ken couldn't take his eyes off her. A bubble splashed on her white painted face, smearing the paint.

"Wait a second, Penn," Ken said.

"What is it?" she asked.

Ken unbuttoned his blue shirt, showing the white tank top he had underneath.  He picked up the cup and dipped the corner of his over shirt in it.  "Come here," he said softly.

She took a few steps forward and he slid his fingers underneath her chin.  "Ken, what are you doing?"

"Why do you keep this white makeup on?" he asked, sliding the corner of his shirt over one side of her face, "why do you keep your pretty face covered with this?"

"I don't know," she replied with closed eyes.  "I guess if I had it on so no one could see my pain."

"Well, it didn't work on me," Ken said.  "Hey, you're really pretty, Penn."

"Stop it." She blushed a little.

"I'm serious," he said.  "You shine up like a new penny, Penny."

"Don't call me Penny!" she snarled.

He ran his hand through her short spiky black hair, "you dyed your hair too?"

"Yeah," she said, "so I could look like my sister.  And I, just wanted my hair to be dark.  It used to be blond."

"You are not your sister," Ken said, "You're you.  So just be yourself."  He compared the two halves of her face and wiped the makeup from the other half.  "You're beautiful."

"Why are you being so kind to me, Ken?" she questioned, "I didn't ask for you to be kind to me.  Why won't you just leave me alone?"

"Because I can't," he answered, "I know about the darkness you carry inside of you and I don't want it to swallow you whole."

"That's sweet, Ken," she said, "but I don't need you to worry about me, okay?  Ouch!"

"What's wrong?" he asked.

She pulled her hand to her neck, "I have a pain in my neck…it's you."


"I'm kidding," she said with a smile, "sorry.  It was just a joke, but I really did feel a pain in my neck.  Like a pinch or something."

'Dear god, no,' Ken thought, remembering the black spore he had in his neck.  He turned her around and pushed her hair out of the way.  He ran his finger around her neck.  To Ken's relief, there was no spore.  He sighed, feeling just a small knot in her neck.  "It's just a knot.  From all stress you've had lately."

"Oh," she said, "I was afraid a bee stung me or something."

He rubbed his thumb gently over the knot, "does that feel any better."

"It does, thank you," Penn sighed.  She turned around and looked into his kind blue eyes.  "Ken, I want to thank you for being so kind to me."

"Hey, it's no problem," he said, "I didn't want you to feel left out or anything.  I just couldn't get you out of my mind since I saw you yesterday.  I really….like you, Penelope Otika."

"It's Penn…" she sighed.

"I know."

"And I like you too, Kenneth Ichijoji!"

"It's Ken!"



"Digimon Emperor!"

"I'm NOT the digimon emperor anymore!  I am a human being!"

They shared a few small laughs together and Ken reached for her hand again, placing it over his heart.  He hesitated for a while before doing so but leaned forward to kiss Penn gently on her lips.

At lunchtime, the gang was surprised to see a different looking Penn.  She washed the black dye out of her hair, revealing her natural golden hair.  Her face was washed away of the white paint and her gothic-motorcycle style wardrobe was different too. She wore a sweet-looking white blouse and a flower printed skirt with sandals.  Ken jumped up and joined her the empty table. 

"Alright if I sit here, Penn?" he asked.

"Of course, Ken," she replied with a smile.  She wore shiny lip-gloss.  He sat down across from her.

The others soon followed suit and sat with Penn.  Kari sat beside her and Yolei on the other side.  They started talking to her about anything and everything.

"Glad to have you part of our group, Penn," Kari said with a smile.

"Yeah," Yolei added and looked at Ken, "It's amazing what a touch of kindness can do."