Ken: DigimonDragonLady does not own Digimon so don't sue.
Dragon Lady: All right, finally, a new Kenyako story!
Ken: Wow, I thought you must have completely lost all interest in Kenyako after all the Kensuke's you've been writing.
Dragon Lady: Well, inspiration was a long time in coming *glares at Ken-chan* but I finally turned out another one.
Ken: *shrinking back from glaring author nervously* This makes what…you're third?
Dragon Lady: Yeah. I might have another one out soon too…
Dragon Lady: After giving me so many Kensuke stories Ken I'd say you prefer that pairing of you to Kenyako.
Ken: Um…for the sake of all the people reading the Kenyako I'll say no to that.
Dragon Lady: Right…
Ken: Well what about you? You're the one writing all the Kensuke stories lately! Which do you prefer?
Dragon Lady: ^_^' I've read stories of you paired with all kinds of people Ken, as long as the authors make the stories sound good I don't care who they pair you with. Daisuke, Miyako, Yamato, Takeru…
Dragon Lady: I've seen like one or two with you and Jyou and some of you and Iori…
Ken: *blinks again*
Dragon Lady: o.O Okay I think I've scared him or something… Seriously though I'm much more a Ken fan than I am a digimon fan. I don't hate any digimon character, including Jun (she's just so cute, how could anyone hate her?). But this story is Kenyako…sorry Kensuke fans, unless you happen to like both pairings…
"Miyako please, this is not safe!" Miyako gave a half irritated sigh and stopped walking, turning around to face her digimon partner. "You shouldn't just go walking around the Digital World alone and unprotected! That's just foolish!"
Miyako rolled her eyes and laughed good naturedly. "I'm not alone or unprotected if I've got you now am I?"
"That's not what I meant and you know it!" the feathered bird digimon accused her. "I was referring to the absence of the other Chosen. You know…birds of a feather should flock together…safety in numbers…that sort of things."
"Oh Hawkmon, I just need some time alone that's all. The other Chosen are like a second family to me, but sometimes a girl needs her own space. Besides…everyone was busy today."
"What if the Kaizer shows up Miyako-san?"
"You can armor digivolve Hawkmon…"
"But he might take advantage of your being on your own!" Hawkmon replied in exasperation. "There's only so much I can do against oh say…ten Tyranomon!"
Miyako gave a sigh and sank down beneath the shade of a tall oak tree with Hawkmon beside her. She knew that he was right and that that was just the sort of thing that Ken would do, but she really needed this time to herself. "Lets not spoil this by talking about the Kaizer please," she pleaded. "Just enjoy the day."
In reality all she wanted to do was to think about Ken. a.k.a the Digimon Kaizer. Her head spun with thoughts of him. She had always been drawn to him, since the first time she saw him, and that scared her. So when she saw Ichijouji Ken and felt the same way she was relieved. She focused all her attention on him and tried to block out thoughts of the Kaizer. She had been enormously pleased with this easy escape but when she found out that the Kaizer and Ken were one in the same it broke her heart.
'What's wrong with me anyway?' she silently berated herself. 'I'm a Chosen Child, I should be completely good and pure and all those things…I should not be drawn by evil!'
She felt like crying. 'Why…why do I have to like Ken? Can't I just call it a stupid school girl crush and move on? No…I can't, because…Oh I don't know why! But its not fair! This can't be love, because I'm not old enough to know what love feels like…'
Miyako had no idea how long she had been sitting there staring into space. For her it seemed like only a few agonizing minutes. She had lost all contact with the outside world, which was moving much faster than her thoughts. A cold voice brought her back to reality.
"My what a deep thinker you are. Would you care to rejoin the small, insignificant world outside of your own mind?"
She looked up in surprise to see none other than Ken Ichijouji, Digimon Kaizer and object of her affections standing just a few feet away from her. 'I have to be dreaming…or hallucinating…' her eyes widened in shock. Behind Ken hovered the familiar Airdramon and also a Snimon that was holding a struggling Hawkmon.
She met her digimon's frantic eyes, then she knew it was not real. She scrambled up quickly and tried to back away from the Kaizer, but she had forgotten about the tree behind her. Ken had her swiftly pinned to it with one arm, while his other hand was reaching into his pocket. He pulled out of it a folded white cloth and Miyako's eyes widened as he pressed it over her nose and mouth, taking her in his strong arms.
Miyako, correctly guessing that the cloth was drugged with something, tried to keep herself from breathing any of it in. She struggled frantically against him but the Kaizer's hold on her remained firm. "Just breath in deeply and you'll have nothing more to worry about," he assured her in a tempting whisper.
Miyako couldn't help herself. She did breathe in. The Kaizer's hold had not been released through her efforts and it was hard to hold your breath that long. Not to mention the fact that his soft voice sounded so soothing and gentle that she wanted to do just what he said. Kaizer…sounded gentle and soothing to her? She must really be loosing her mind.
The world around Miyako grew fuzzy as her vision became blurred by substance induced sleep and she wobbled unsteadily on her feet. She was dimly aware of Ken catching her as she fell. The Kaizer looked down at the unconscious girl tenderly, he slowly gathered her in his arms and moved with her unto the Airdramon.
"Let her go! What are you going to do with Miyako-san?!" Ken spun around as Hawkmon shouted at him. He surveyed the furious digimon with something akin to surprise.
"I'm not going to do anything with her," he frowned.
"Liar!" Hawkmon snarled. "If you hurt her…If you lay just one slimy hand on her I'll…I'll…" he was apparently too angry to accurately convey to Ken exactly what would befall him if Miyako should Miyako be harmed.
"I'm not going to touch her," Ken assured him stonily. "She will serve her purpose and if the other Chosen respond the way that I want she will eventually go free. Until that time she will be safe with me."
"Why? Why do you want Miyako?"
"That is none of your concern."
"It is all of my concern!"
"She will be safe. No harm will come to her while she is with me. I will leave you here to inform the other Chosen that I have your partner. I trust that when they desire her back they will find a way to contact me. Then…we will negotiate."
He climbed carefully up the back of Airdramon while all the time being careful not to jar Miyako roughly or hurt her with any ungraceful movement on his part. He snapped his fingers and Airdramon lifted off once more. Snimon remained holding Hawkmon, who watched as the Kaizer's transport flew off into the sun. As soon as they were out of sight he was indeed released.
"Oh Miyako!" he cried pitifully. "I knew this wasn't a good idea. What am I going to tell the others?" But somehow, after watching the Kaizer with his partner, he did not doubt that she would be well taken care of. He shook his head to clear the thought. How bizarre that he should feel that Miyako would actually be safer with the Kaizer than anywhere else, but it had to be exactly the opposite of that…didn't it?
* * *
Miyako moaned, things were spinning too much and it hurt to open her eyes. It was so hot. She tried for a brief moment to bring herself to get up until she felt a cool hand on her forehead and heard a soft voice telling her to simply sleep. She did so very willingly, letting herself drift effortlessly off into the dark dreamland she had been in only moments before.
Much later when she woke fully and the throbbing, pulsing pain in her head was gone she was confused. She was lying comfortably on a large double bed, she was still in her Digital World clothing but her glasses and her helmet had been removed. She reached out blindly to her side until her hand came in contact with a wooden table and found her glasses. She put them on slowly. 'Just where am I?' she wondered.
"Oh good, your awake." A nearby voice made Miyako's blood run cold and sent icy shivers up and down her spine.
"Kaizer," she gasped. Normally she would call him Ken, just to annoy him, but now when she was at his mercy did not seem like the best time for aggravating him. Ken stepped forward out of the shadows he had been standing in and Miyako trembled.
"The one and only," he answered as he seated himself in a chair close to the bed. "There's no need to be alarmed."
"What am I doing here?" Miyako demanded shrinking farther away from him, though he remained motionless, and back into the pillows of the bed. She drew her knees up to her body.
Ken laughed. How could she be so demanding and harsh sounding while being visibly terrified of his presence? That she was scared of him hurt him slightly, but Ken shook the feeling off. Didn't he want the Chosen Children to be afraid of him? "Well, I did think you'd be more comfortable here than in a prison cell."
She glared at him. "Fine then, why am I here?"
He shrugged. "That's for me to know and you to find out, when I feel like telling you that is."
"What did you do to me?" she asked.
"That was merely a bad reaction your body had to the chemical that I used. Its best to just sleep off the effects."
"Oh," she sat there in silence.
Ken stood and walked towards her several paces until he was standing right beside her. She glanced up at him warily, narrowing her eyes in suspicion. "Give me your arm," he instructed. When she didn't move he sighed. "I will not hurt you Miyako, you have my word, now please do as I say."
She hesitated and then held out her right arm. He took it gently in a grip just below her wrist and pulled a small metal band out of his pocket. Miyako's eyes widened in horror when she saw it and she tried desperately to pull herself away. 'Oh sure, he's not going to hurt me, he's just going to turn me into another one of his mindless drones! Why did I trust him?!' Ken kept his grip on her firm as he lowered the band to her wrist. She flinched as she felt the cold metal hit her skin and heard it snap in place. At any second she fully expected to know nothing but what it felt to be one of the Kaizer's slaves. But nothing had changed…
"You can open your eyes now," Ken rolled his eyes. Miyako hesitated and found herself obeying, but only because she wanted to. She looked curiously down at the piece of metal encircling her arm, which she had wrongly perceived to be a dark ring.
"What is it?" she asked.
"Something that will not allow you to leave my castle property," Ken responded. "I would not suggest trying it out to find out the consequences….However, you are free to go anywhere else that you like. Only, don't go pushing any strange buttons or anything."
"Why?" she asked.
Ken frowned. "Why what?"
"I'm not sure," Miyako shook her head in apparent confusion. "Why give me this room and allow me to wander around your castle and…" her voice trailed off. 'And why be so nice to me?'
Ken was deeply amused. "Well, if you don't like this room I could give you a dungeon cell, and if you don't want your freedom I could always chain you up…Is that what you want me to do Miyako?"
"I don't want you to do that," Miyako said quickly, until she realized that this was the Kaizer's own droll version of humor. She shrugged. "I more like…expect it I guess."
Ken raised an elegant eyebrow at this. "The way I see it you're not my prisoner, you're an honored guest."
"What a nice way to look at the situation," Miyako replied in a sickeningly sweet, mock sarcastic tone.
Ken didn't bother to respond to her obvious bit of sarcasm. He glanced down at his watch. "I have work to do now," he stood and turned to walk out the door but was stopped by Miyako.
He turned back towards her and Miyako swung her legs off the side of the bed into a sitting position.
"What?" Ken asked with only a little bite of impatience in his voice. Miyako hesitated and bit her lip, shrinking back a little. "What is Miyako?" Ken asked a second time, this time more gently, letting her know that she should ask him whatever she wanted to.
"You said I was free to go anywhere…"
Ken nodded and then thought about that for a second. "Erm…within reason."
"Can I come with you then?" she asked. Ken blinked and stared at her for a long while without saying anything at all. That had been unexpected. He'd never thought she'd actually want to be in his company. Miyako flushed red under his intent gaze.
"…Why?" he asked in obvious disbelief that she had just asked him such a thing. "Why would you want to come with me?"
"I just want to," she said quietly. She added silently to herself. 'Because believe it or not Ken I really enjoy your company. You can't be such a bad person…everyone has some good in them. Maybe, just maybe I can find yours…'
"I don't need or truly desire human companionship if that's what you're thinking," he warned her. "And I'm definitely going to be working so don't expect me to be any sort of conversationalist."
"I don't mind if you ignore me the whole time I'm in there. You may not require a human presence but I do. I won't say a single thing if you don't want me to. I'll be quiet as a mouse."
Ken made a "hmph" noise. "You really should be resting you know. You had a real bad reaction to the drug I used on you. You were running a fever earlier…" Ken frowned and crossed the room putting a hand on her forehead. Miyako was startled. "You seem to have lost it now, it would be best if you just stayed in bed…But on the other hand I suppose if I told you no you'd only find somewhere else to wander so suit yourself."
Miyako smiled and hummed contentedly to herself as she walked down the halls behind Ken. 'Why do I want to go with Ken?' she kept asking herself. 'Why do I feel so happy in being with him?! And he wasn't kidding when he said he wasn't a conversationalist! I'm going to go crazy in this place! What with no one to talk to…I hope Ken doesn't decide to have me executed for excessive chatter or something, on second thought, that would be harming me wouldn't it, and he promised he wouldn't do that…but he's got to have something planned…what could it be? Is he only using me as bait for the other Chosen?'
Ken glanced sideways at the usually vibrant girl. She was thinking again and Ken was tempted to laugh; the way Miyako thought she must get lost inside her own mind. When he turned into an open doorway and she would have gone on he grabbed her by the shoulders and hauled her inside. "If you're not careful you can really get lost in here…"
She smiled. "Sorry, I wasn't paying attention to where we were going."
"That was kind of obvious," he smirked at her discomfort.
Miyako blushed, she didn't get mad with him the way should would have at Daisuke. "Yeah I tend to state the obvious a lot."
Ken made another one of his hmph noises and sat down in a chair it the front of the room. It was the only chair in there and Miyako hesitated before sitting in a cross legged position on the floor where she could watch him work. She shivered, the floor was freezing; Ken's whole castle was like ice, Miyako wondered how he could stand it.
She glanced around at the new surroundings, taking it all in. This must be Ken's control room. There were about four or five huge monitors all around. He appeared to have a very elaborately set up spy network. Miyako smiled, she should have guessed. So that's how he was forever showing up exactly where the Chosen Children were without having to spend too much time hunting for them. She was content to sit back and watch as his nimble fingers danced across the computer keys, sometimes pausing for a moment from his work to lean back in the chair and sigh softly before resuming his busy typing.
* * *
Miyako gradually became aware of another presence in the room. She half turned around from where she was sitting and saw a small, green caterpillar digimon. She watched him curiously as he entered the room cautiously approaching the Kaizer's chair. Her interest was piqued when upon scanning his body she saw no dark ring or spiral. Didn't Ken need the rings to control digimon?
The caterpillar continued forward but stopped a good five or six feet away from Ken. He cleared his tiny throat experimentally. "Um…K…Master?" From his tone and the way his eyes constantly watched Ken Miyako could tell that this digimon had experienced pain by the Kaizer before. "Master…" he tried again; raising his voice slightly higher so that it was more audible.
Ken spun around in his chair quickly; he hated having his thoughts interrupted by that pathetic excuse for a digimon. "What is it? It had better be important!" The digimon cowered backward from Ken and closed his eyes as if expecting something more than shouting.
When whatever it was didn't come he slowly opened first one eye and then the other. Miyako noticed how his gaze was drawn to the whip which was still secured to Ken's belt; she felt pity for him. Did Ken beat him often?
Ken rolled his eyes and gave an irritated sigh, the useless creature…
"Well…I asked you a question you fool!"
"I'm sorry Master…I just wanted to know if you wanted your dinner now…"
Ken frowned and glanced down at his watch. 'He looks so incredibly cute that way,' Miyako thought suddenly. His hair falling over his face at just that angle… 'No! Down girl down!' she scolded herself furiously. 'I can't keep thinking about the enemy this way! It only hurts me, and it definitely doesn't help the other Chosen! But he's been awfully nice to me…and you have to admit that even though he's an evil genius Digimon Kaizer bent on conquering the Digital World he still looks cute…'
"Is it that time already?" Ken asked himself out loud. "Really…where does my day go so quickly?" He looked up. "I'm not hungry, but you may take Miyako to get something to eat."
"…Yes Master," the caterpillar digimon turned to Miyako. "If you'll follow me," he instructed. Miyako stood but hesitated taking half a step after the digimon's retreating back but turning around and looking back at Ken. The Kaizer had already lost himself in his computer again.
She hurried out the door after the digimon. Maybe he could answer some of her questions…
* * *
He led her to a small dinning room whit a one person, meant to be two person, dinning table. The caterpillar looked at her and gestured to the chair and she had a seat. "Now, what would you like?"
"First, could I ask you some questions…um…"
"Wormmon," the digimon supplied. "My name is Wormmon."
"Wormmon then; could I ask you some questions?"
"You could try, I don't know if I'll be able to answer them or not.'
"Are you under Ken's control?"
He blinked. "No. Of course not."
"Then…why are you here?" she asked curiously.
"I'm here because Ken needs me. He's my master…my friend and I love him. I would never leave! Not for a minute!"
"You…love him?" Miyako was surprised. "But…doesn't he hurt you?"
Wormmon flinched. "He doesn't mean to…I know he doesn't!" he defended.
"Didn't you want any dinner?" he interrupted firmly.
Miyako blushed. "Sorry, that was personal and pretty rude of me to ask."
"Ken's a good person too. He just got sidetracked, but I know he'll come back around one day. And I wouldn't abandon him anymore than your digimon would abandon you."
Miyako blinked. "You're…you're Ken's digimon. Ken has a digimon partner?"
"Ken is a Chosen too! But he bears a terrible burden…he doesn't remember his own destiny. His vision is clouded by guilt and a deep anger at the world…"
"Guilt? For what?"
Wormmon shook his head. "That is Ken's business."
"Sorry," Miyako said again.
"So…what would you like to eat?" he questioned.
"I don't suppose you do cheeseburgers do you?" she asked.
Wormmon frowned. "Um…I don't think Ken's ever asked me for that…What is it? How do you go about making it?"
Miyako only laughed and stood up from the chair. "So Ken doesn't eat American foods huh? We'll have to fix that. I'll make dinner for Ken and myself Wormmon, you can just watch. Come on…let's go!" The pair started off into the kitchen through a side door in the dinning room.
* * *
Ken was still busily tapping away on whatever program he was working on when Miyako entered the room for the second time that day. She sighed, the boy was a workaholic. "Ken…" she touched him softly on the shoulder. He spun around and glared at her.
"What?!" he snarled.
Miyako could easily match his tone. "Your dinner's ready," she growled back.
"I said I wasn't hungry," Ken crossed his arms, pouting slightly and Miyako was attempted to laugh; he looked so much like a little kid at that moment. Fine, if he was going to act younger than his age…
"And I say you're eating right now, so get up," she instructed sternly.
Ken rose at the order, much to Miyako's surprise, but grumbling never the less. "I came to the Digital World to get away from my mother, not to find myself a new one…"
Miyako only laughed. "Its your own fault for acting so childishly Kaizer, and I shouldn't have to act like your mother! You should know better by now!"
He narrowed his eyes dangerously but Miyako only laughed again, his bark was worse than his bite. "Don't give me that look, come eat your dinner." She pulled Ken down the hallway and into the dinning room, pushing him down into a second chair that had been added to the table when she got him there.
Ken looked at the meal she had made suspiciously and then looked across the table at her. "What is it?" he asked skeptically.
"Come on Ken, I know you've got to have eaten American foods!"
Ken shrugged. "Some things…so this would be…?"
"A traditional, junk food, classic cheeseburger."
He raised an eyebrow. "Its beautiful Miyako, really….but how do you eat it?"
"With your hands of course!" Miyako picked her own burger up. "See, like this. You eat it all together. Eating without all the utensils makes it more fun." She bit into her own meal, chewed delicately and swallowed. "So I made them with lettuce tomato, mayonnaise, ketchup, and just a tiny bit of mustard."
Ken nodded and awkwardly picked up his own meal, attempting to eat it as gracefully as he could figure out how but failing miserably. Miyako giggled helplessly. "What?" Ken asked.
"Nothing," she chuckled. "But you look so funny."
For a second Ken looked angry, but then he gave a small half smile and laughed softly in agreement. "Yeah I guess I do…"he admitted. Miyako blinked. Had Ken just laughed…actually laughed? Without that famous Kaizer dark undertone to it?
Ken looked at the peculiar expression on her face. 'Did I say something wrong?' he wondered. "Miyako…are you okay? I didn't do something wrong did I?"
"What?" Miyako looked at him and blinked again. "Oh…no, of course you didn't! Everything's fine."
"I was just thinking…"
"Again?" Ken asked in amusement. "You do that a lot, don't you?"
"Don't you?" Miyako countered.
"Well…yes, but that's just me."
"You don't like talking to people, you're definitely not the extrovert that the press and everyone makes you out to be…are you?"
Ken opened his mouth to respond but then closed it quickly. He gave Miyako a searching look that seemed to take in everything about her and for a second Miyako had the weirdest feeling that he could somehow read her mind. "How did you manage to flip the conversation like that so easily? Wasn't I the one asking you a question?"
Miyako shrugged. "It's a natural talent."
"Sure, I think about all kinds of things. All the time," she smiled. "That's the answer to your question…now what about mine? Or are you going to refuse an answer based on the grounds that you are the almighty Digimon Kaizer and I'm only your lowly prisoner who has no right to be speaking to you anyway?"
"Not prisoner…guest," Ken corrected her. "It sounds much better that way."
Miyako nodded. "Much more polite," she agreed, but did not allow herself to be sidetracked. "So…?" she pressed.
Ken sighed. "You just don't give up do you? I'm not a natural extrovert no," he shrugged. "People bother me."
"You don't open up or confide in people either. You're the sort of person who prefers to bottle all your feelings and emotions…That's not good for you, you know."
Ken stiffened and bristled. Were he a dog his hackles would have been up. "What would you care? People are untrustworthy, put your faith in them and they'll only let you down. And I have no need for feelings and emotions, they only cloud the matter at hand…make things more difficult than they have to be."
"How can you say that people are untrustworthy?" Miyako was shocked.
"Well…not necessarily untrustworthy, but if you care for someone you're only setting yourself up for pain."
"Pain?" she echoed. "How is caring for a person painful? Isn't it supposed to make you happy?"
"Whoever you care about will eventually leave you one day…and when they do it only hurts, there's nothing happy about it then," Ken muttered and Miyako thought she caught a bitter sounding edge to his voice.
"Did you loose someone Ken?" she asked quietly.
His head snapped up. "What makes you think that?" he asked sharply.
"I was just…you sounded sad and angry…and I thought…"
"Well its none of your business!"
There was total silence in the room. Miyako stood up. "I'm going to take a shower and go to bed now." Ken nodded, refusing to look at her. "This thing is rust and waterproof isn't it?" she asked, pointing to her metal bracelet.
"Of course," Ken responded, knowing what she was referring to without even glancing up. He sounded dull and lifeless.
"All right then…" Miyako made her way to the door and was almost all the way out before she turned back. "Ken?" he actually lifted his head and met her gaze. "I…I'm sorry."
"Yeah," he whispered. "So am I."
Neither of them was sure exactly who they were apologizing to or for what reason, but they both knew that it needed to be said.
* * *
Miyako awoke with a start late, late that night. She looked around her in confusion. Just what had woken her? Then she heard a faint moaning and crying sound. Ken?
She didn't pause, didn't hesitate for a second. She made her way quickly down the hall and stopped in front of another pair of double bedroom doors. Softly she pushed it open and slipped silently into the room.
Miyako was surprised at how different Ken looked lying there asleep. So innocent and fragile with the tears flowing down his pale cheeks. Gone was the famous Kaizer regalia and his tyrant sunglasses. His hair which was wild and spiked as the Kaizer was now tamed and falling in smooth black locks across his sweat drenched brow. This was the real Ichijouji Ken, not the arrogant Digimon Kaizer, or the lost Chosen Child, or the media boy genius, but the true Ken. He looked so…vulnerable as he tossed restlessly on the bed.
"No 'Samu please don't go! I didn't mean it…I didn't mean it…" Miyako felt a wave of sympathy wash over her as the tears streamed silently down his face. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry Osamu! Please come back. No Sam!" He jerked awake and sat trembling, crying…weeping uncontrollably.
Miyako moved to him and immediately and wrapped her arms around him. She smoothed down his hair and held him closely to her. "Sshh, Ken. It's okay…it's okay…"
He pulled away. "Miyako? What are you doing in here?" She could clearly see his bright indigo eyes staring into her own, with no dark sunglasses to break the contact.
"Don't worry about that now," she pulled a chair that was sitting against the wall up close to his bed. She lay him back gently against the pillows on the bed. He shivered and she pulled the sheets up farther around him. "Everything's going to be all right," she soothed.
"You shouldn't be here Miyako…" he began.
"Hush Ken, I can be anywhere I want, remember?" She put a finger to his lips to quiet him. He stopped talking immediately and trembled slightly.
"You could tell me about it, if you want…" she offered.
"It hurts so much," Ken almost whimpered.
"I know Ken…I know," she murmured.
"I guess I've been thinking a lot about our dinner conversation," he sighed softly. Miyako nodded in understanding. Ken didn't say any more and Miyako knew better than to try and pressure him.
"You can just go back to sleep Ken; everything is going to be all right."
"I'll be fine I know, I can deal with it. You can leave Miyako."
"No," Miyako shook her head. "I'm staying here with you until you fall asleep. You don't have to deal with this on your own you know." Ken looked like he was going to protest but Miyako shushed him again. "Don't argue with me Ken."
He only sighed. "Why do I put up with you?" he asked.
"Because its your own fault you kidnapped me and made me your "guest". And besides, what would you ever do without me?" she laughed.
"Don't you even want to know about my dream?" he asked.
"Not unless you want to tell me," she replied.
There was a long period of silence and Ken relaxed and closed his eyes. Miyako thought for a minute that he'd gone back to sleep and when he spoke he startled her. "I was dreaming about my brother."
"You have a brother?" Miyako asked. "I didn't know that."
"I had a brother."
"Oh…I'm sorry. You must have loved him very much."
"No," Ken shook his head. "I didn't." His eyes remained closed, maybe he found it easier to talk to Miyako about his feelings when he didn't have to look at her; especially when telling her this, something he had never shared with anybody and that he struggled against everyday.
"What…?" Miyako stammered. "I don't understand."
"I didn't love Sam…I hated him."
Ken hesitated, he couldn't tell what she was thinking by the sound of her voice. It was flat sounding and expressionless, as if she were determined to save any judgment she might make against him until after she heard the whole story. And her why wasn't an openly curious one, she simply thought that Ken needed a friendly ear. So he continued.
"Everybody liked Sam so much better than they liked me. I was always being pushed aside in favor of him. They liked him because he was so much smarter than me. I tried to be understanding…I tried not to mind, to act like it didn't mean anything…but it did."
"Of course it meant something Ken!"
"It hurt…knowing they loved Sam more."
"So Sam was…smarter than you?" there was a faint sense of shock, but nothing more than that.
"Osamu was the most intelligent person I have ever known, he was the real genius, more so than me. I'm just an inferior copy of the original. But I like to think that I was proud of him."
"You didn't hate your brother Ken…you were only jealous of him. I should know, I have three of my own siblings. Its easy to be jealous of somebody else."
"But I wished for him to disappear…and then he did." Ken was crying again. The tears were once more streaming down his face in salty rivers from behind closed lids.
Suddenly Miyako heard Wormmon's words echoing around in her head. "…he doesn't remember his own destiny. His vision is clouded by guilt and anger at the world…"
"So you feel guilty."
"He disappeared because of me…"
"It wasn't your fault Ken."
"I can't believe that."
"Well, you don't have to right now, we'll work on that."
"You sound like a psychiatrist Miyako," Ken told her, smiling slightly through his tears. "You are good with people."
"Well, I like people…including you Ken. There's something good in everyone and you're no exception."
Ken didn't answer and Miyako stood up and put her chair back up against the wall. She assumed that he had finally gone back to sleep and she leaned over him and kissed him lightly on the brow. "Good night Ken, sweet dreams young Kaizer."
Ken eyes opened after she was gone. 'She likes me…as a person right? She couldn't have meant anything else…'
* * *
When Miyako woke up the following morning she was surprised to find Wormmon perched cat-like on the edge of her bed starring at her intently. She blinked but gave him a tired smile. "Good morning," she yawned.
"Miyako…do you like Ken?" he asked seriously. "I mean really like him?"
"Getting a bit personal this morning aren't we?" she asked in good humor.
"Please…I need to know…"
She sighed and sat up, yawning again as she did so. "I think…I think I do. I like being with him…I'm not quite sure."
There was a triumphant gleam in Wormmon's eyes and she glanced at him curiously and with suspicion. "Wormmon I haven't known you for more than a few hours…but I'd swear that look meant you're up to no good…"
"Who me?" the digimon blinked up at her innocently.
"Yes you. What are you hiding?"
"It's just…a good sign. If you like Ken it means that he hasn't entirely slipped into the World of Darkness…you're his life line Miyako!"
"You can help save Ken…the real Ken, not the Kaizer."
"The real Ken? How do you know this Wormmon?"
"If your crest power is reacting to him it is because his is becoming more clear!"
"I still don't understand…"
Wormmon sighed. "All of the Chosen have crests Miyako, Ken is no exception. His crest and your power of Love are closely tied. If your crest is having this reaction to him he has not yet given up his own and you might have the ability to draw him back into the light."
"So…its my crest of Love and his crest of…"
"Kindness?!" Miyako nearly chocked on the word. "The Digimon Kaizer has the crest of Kindness?!! Isn't that like…more than a little ironic?"
"Kindness and the Kaizer were not meant to coexist…they were meant to be two separate entities, but…something went terribly wrong." Wormmon's antenna drooped.
"Ken's brother died," Miyako breathed. "That's it isn't it? Ken feels responsible for his brother's death so he…"
"Took his destiny," Wormmon agreed.
"How horrible!" she exclaimed.
"But some part of Ken realizes that it shouldn't be that way; some part of him, no matter how small, is fighting his decision. Will you…help me bring him back?"
"I…I…" Miyako stammered, not quite sure what she should say. The Kaizer was cruel and lashed out at the people around him, not caring about the pain and suffering that he caused. How could he represent Kindness? But part of Miyako loved him deeply and hated to think that he was suffering unjustly…
"I don't think that I can help Ken, Wormmon…"
"But…" the little digimon looked like he was on the verge of tears.
"But I can try."
"Oh thank you Miyako-san!" Miyako gathered the digimon up in her arms.
"You're so cute Wormmon…anything for you."
"How will you do it?" he asked.
"Slowly…" Miyako thought about that. "I'll need a lot of time," she frowned. "The other Chosen are going to be a nuisance in this! They definitely know I'm gone by now and are no doubt making all kinds of excuses for me…They'll be searching for me and they'll probably want to fight. Is that what Ken wants me here for…to be his bait for the rest of the Chosen Children?"
"No, Ken-chan grows tired of battling the Chosen, the thought it was great fun and terribly amusing at first…but he's realized your group is stronger than he originally thought and he grows tired of the constant cat and mouse games. So he'll agree to return you to them for the price of their digivices and D-terminals."
"…And without them we can't fight! We have to keep my friends away!" She looked at her DigiWorld clothing which was folded over a chair, she hadn't even bothered to go through her pockets for her D3...
Wormmon followed her gaze. "Ken's already taken yours."
She let out a frustrated sigh. "How else can I contact them?" She looked down at Wormmon. "Could you get them a message?"
"Me?!" he squeaked.
"Well, I can't leave now can I?" she waved her right arm. "And you are my co-conspirator…"
Wormmon nodded. "You're right, Ken won't notice if I leave for about an hour, I'll do it."
"Thank you, and if you would…ask Hikari what my homework is for today…"
"Anything for you Miyako…"
She laughed and hugged him closer. "You are cute Wormmon!"
* * *
To her surprise the door opened and Ken came in. "Well, I'm glad to see you two getting along," he sneered. "How touching."
Miyako wondered how he could be so moody. Nice one minute nasty again the next. "Not much of a morning person are you?" she shot back. "Your digimon's cute!"
Ken groaned and put a hand to his forehead. "Don't remind me!"
"And haven't you ever heard of knocking? How could you just come barging in here anyway? For all you knew I might not have been decent!"
"And for all you knew I could have slept with nothing on, but did that stop you from entering my room last night?"
Miyako felt the blood rush to her cheeks and she released Wormmon. "Oh what a thing to say Ken!" He snickered at her discomfort. "What do you want anyway?" she asked hotly.
"I wanted to know if you were up and awake and would like breakfast….is that a crime?"
"Well, yes I'm awake and I'll come now then."
"No need," Ken replied. "I'll have it brought to you."
"Oh breakfast in bed, how thoughtful of you…what is it, Mother's Day?"
"Ha ha, very funny," he replied.
She laughed. "Ken you sure are nasty in the morning. You should have slept in longer, especially after having been up in the middle of the night for as long as you were."
Ken sighed and relaxed slightly, he was being uptight. "I keep a strict schedule around here…with the exception of you," he frowned thoughtfully. Thoughts of Miyako had plagued his mind the previous night. He wasn't quite sure what he thought about her…how he felt about her. But he knew he felt more…human around her than at any other time.
"Should I be flattered?" she asked sarcastically.
"Hardly," he answered and she rolled her eyes in response to this statement. "If you're ready I'll go send for your breakfast," he exited, closing the door behind him.
Miyako blinked. "I'm not quite sure what to think about that…" she murmured.
Wormmon nodded agreeably. "Maybe its best not to think at all."
"So…where do you think I should start?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I've got to find some way to get Ken to trust me, and to open up more…do you know something I could do?"
"Ken likes soccer…"
"And I'm not much of a player…" she sighed. "I've watched Ken play before, he's really good and he might just kill me if I tried playing him with the skills I have."
"So don't try playing him," Wormmon shrugged.
"What do you mean? What else can I do?"
"Ken practices here sometimes…and he needs a…goalie. If he has to keep retrieving the ball after every shot he looses the adrenaline playing rush that he needs to score, he gets tired too fast. But if he had someone to send it back to him…"
"Got it," Miyako nodded. "I do that…play goalie for Daisuke sometimes…When is the best time to try and drag him away from his "work"?"
"Probably before he gets too into it…" Wormmon gave his version of a shrug.
"Then after I've eaten my breakfast I'll track Ken down."
"He keeps an extra ball and some equipment in a storage room he uses to play…practice in."
"All right then…doesn't sound like much of a plan," Miyako shrugged. "But hey, who knows?"
* * *
"Ken?" Miyako stuck her head in the doorway of he control room. Ken sighed, he hadn't really been doing anything…except for thinking, but he hated being interrupted.
"Yes?" he replied wearily.
"Come with me Ken, we have an activity."
"Activity?" Ken raised an eyebrow. "Since when?"
"Since I said so, are you coming or not?"
Ken frowned as she disappeared out the door, he didn't really feel like going anywhere, but his curiosity got the better of him and he got up and followed after her. She smiled when he joined her outside of the door. "What is our "activity"?" he asked suspiciously.
"Something I know you'll enjoy," she answered brightly. "You need to get away from all that "work" of yours once in a while." She laughed. "If you're not careful you'll end up getting screen sickness."
"Oh very funny," Ken rolled his eyes.
"Seriously though, I know you'll have fun."
She pulled him into a large looking warehouse that seemed terribly out of place; but then again, anything was possible in the Digital World, including large modern warehouses found inside old, medieval castles. Ken blinked. "What are we doing in here?"
Miyako kicked him a soccer ball and he trapped it with his foot. "You're going to practice and I'm going to be your goalie."
"What?" he asked, plainly shocked.
"I help Daisuke practice that way sometimes and you need a break," she shrugged.
"I can't play soccer now!"
"Why not, there's nothing stopping you…"
"Look at what I'm wearing," he gestured to the cape an Kaizer ensemble.
"So take off you cape and glasses and such. I know you've played here before, Wormmon said, so don't try and lie to me."
"You could get hurt Miyako…"
Miyako blinked. He was worried about her? He actually cared about what happened to her? She thought he was supposed to hate all of the Chosen Children. "I know you better than that Ken, you could never play that rough with someone who wasn't Daisuke. I trust you…"
"You trust me?" Ken was almost speechless.
"Of course I do."
"But I've given you no reason to…"
"You've given me every reason to," she shook her head. "Come on Ken, just have some fun. Forget about ruling the Digital World for a moment and just be a normal kid. I mean, how old are you anyway…twenty?"
"Thirteen," Ken smiled.
"My point exactly…so lighten up!"
"Fine then…goalie…lets see what you've got," he challenged.
Miyako rolled her eyes. "If you think that I'm going to try and get in the way of one of your shots "Rocket" you're out of your mind. I'm just here to help you keep up your "athletic high" by returning the ball."
Ken laughed. "Well, I suppose it will have to do."
* * *
An hour later they were both exhausted. Ken, from the constant drilling of the ball into their make shift goal and Miyako from keeping up with his grueling pace. She sighed and collapsed on the floor beside Ken. "Wow," she commented. "No wonder your team's at the top."
"That's only my practice speed Miyako," he smiled.
"Yeah I know. I was watching at your game against Daisuke."
Ken looked thoughtful. "Daisuke's a good player, but he goes for team strength…pack strength. The survival of all or none. He team mates are his downfall, his one weakness."
"Your team mates could become better players themselves if you learned to include them more."
"Possibly," he agreed.
Miyako sighed and leaned her head against Ken's shoulder and Ken froze like a dear in the headlights. What was she playing at? "Did you have fun?" she asked. Ken made an agreeable noise and Miyako chuckled.
"You can relax," she whispered. "I don't bite…much."
"Miyako…" Ken flushed.
She laughed again. "I'm only kidding Ken! Besides…I had to get you back for embarrassing me this morning!"
"That wasn't on purpose!" Ken protested. "I was being truthful!"
Miyako only laughed and she felt Ken relax beneath her. Ken turned his head and looked down into her chocolaty brown eyes. A state of total calm overcame him and Miyako's heart began to beat faster in anticipation of…something. She moved slightly closer to him…
'Damn.' Ken and Miyako both mentally cursed Wormmon's untimely interruption. They both turned to look at Wormmon. The digimon looked rather nervous about intruding upon them but Miyako gave him an encouraging smile.
"I…um, thought you might be thirsty after your game…practice I mean and I…brought you two drinks," he pushed a tray forward.
"Oh you're such a dear Wormmon, thank you…its just what I needed after that work out." 'Maybe I needed Ken more though…' she mentally smacked herself for that stray thought. She took the cool drink and sipped it slowly. "Oh lemonade," she smiled. "It's very good Wormmon." The digimon flushed with pleasure.
"I should be getting back now…" Ken climbed reluctantly to his feet. Miyako watched him pull back on his cape and gloves and glasses; reassembling the attire of the Kaizer before sweeping out of the room.
Wormmon looked at her. "How did it go?"
Wormmon pressed a tiny, folded piece of paper into her hands. "From Hikari," he whispered.
"You talked to them?"
"Hai," Wormmon affirmed. "Daisuke is upset, Iori is furious, Takeru is doing his best to be understanding and optimistic, and Hikari hopes that you know what you're getting yourself into. Despite difference of opinion on the matter they are all willing to leave you alone to do as you will and pretend to attack Ken elsewhere."
"That would be their reactions," she rolled her eyes as she unfolded the slip of paper.
"Thanks Wormmon, good job."
* * *
Later that evening Wormmon entered Ken's chambers. It was not often that Ken actually called for him and he was nervous. Did Ken know that he had spoken to the other Chosen Children? Had he found out about Wormmon and Miyako's plans?
"Yes Master…you wanted to see me?"
Ken was pacing quickly back and forth, so fast in fact that it was making Wormmon dizzy just watching him, and muttering things to himself under his breath. He appeared not to have seen or heard Wormmon, so the little digimon tried again.
Ken stopped his pacing and stared at him before taking a seat on the corner of his bed. "Wormmon, I know that you and Miyako talk a lot…" the digimon swallowed a lump of fear. "I…I want to do something for her."
Wormmon blinked. "Do something for her?" he repeated dumbly.
Ken turned the Kaizer glare on him. "Yes, you heard me. Don't make me repeat myself."
"Why do you want me then Master?"
"I want it to be something special and I…don't know what to do…I thought maybe you would know something…"
Wormmon smiled in a way that only a caterpillar can. This couldn't be working out any better! Ken wanted to do things for Miyako, meaning he must be returning at least some of her feelings! They were on their way! "Well Master, there's always chocolates or…promises you don't intend to keep. Of course if you want it to really be "special" then I may know just the thing. Here's what I'd do…"
* * *
Miyako laughed as she tried to find her way blindly down the corridor. Ken had taken her hands in his and was leading her slowly. She had a cloth blindfold over her eyes. "Ken, where are we going?"
"Sshh," he laughed at her impatience. "I told you it was a surprise!"
Miyako stumbled forward as the toe of her boot caught in an uneven stone set in the floor. She would have fallen forward unto the hard surface of the floor had Ken not caught her. She could feel herself blushing as she pulled away. "Thank you," she murmured.
"Come on, not much farther now," Ken assured her. "We're almost there."
They stopped at a door and Miyako felt as if they had walked through the entire castle to get to this one spot. Ken left her standing for a minute while he opened the door. Miyako felt a gentle wind brush over her skin and it was slightly warmer. Ken took her by the hands again and pulled her through the doorway. Even through the blindfold she could tell that the world around her had gotten much brighter.
'Am I outside?' she wondered.
Ken pulled the cloth of her eyes and Miyako blinked into the afternoon sun as her eyes grew slowly accustomed to it. When she could finally see well she gasped in wonder of the scenery before her. "Oh my…" All around her was the most beautiful flower garden she had ever seen.
"Do you like it?" Ken asked.
"I…I love it!" She smiled. "It's so beautiful!"
She watched a little garden brook trickle around the outer flower beds and sighed as a breeze blew through the flowering cherry trees, perfuming the air with their delicate scent. There was a sparkling fountain in a huge grassy clearing, right in the middle of it all, running with crystal water. Miyako ran up to it and stood staring down. Ken came up slowly behind her. They sat down together of the broad fountain edge.
"I didn't know you had a place such as this…"
"I like my garden," Ken admitted. "I've always loved this place, spending some time in it when I'm tired or bored or…lonely always makes me feel better. I like walking the many paths, the whole layout was designed by me and lots of the flowers and trees in here I have planted myself."
"Really?" Miyako smiled. It was hard to image the Kaizer doing any such thing as planting flowers. She could just picture him with his sunglasses and cape down in the dirt…She resisted the urge to start giggling. "Why are you showing it to me?"
"Wormmon thought that you might like it…"
Miyako remembered having told Wormmon how much she loved flowers when he had brought a beautiful bunch into her room to brighten up all the dark green and black shades. Everything in the castle was rather dreary and he had wanted to bring her a little cheer in the morbid atmosphere.
She put her hand down to touch the cool surface of the sparkling water. Ken watched with a small smile playing on the corner of his lips. Noticed as her delicate fingertips dance along dipping down occasionally until they almost felt the water but darting back up before they became wet and then continuing the playful pattern again. He was surprise when her hand dove quickly beneath the surface and brought up a spray of water unto him.
The Kaizer blinked in shock. Suddenly he brought his own hand down into the water, regardless of the gloves he was wearing, and splashed her back. Miyako gave a pretty screech as she toppled backwards into the pool and she reached out and dragged Ken in with her.
They broke the surface and Ken coughed and spluttered in indignation while Miyako only laughed. Her laughter sounded like the gentle peal of sweet, silvery bells and Ken couldn't help but laugh along with her. "Do you have any idea how long its going to take me to get this cape dry?" he asked in mock seriousness, but not really caring one bit.
"You're going to be wet for hours Ken," she continued laughing. "Might as well enjoy it now," she pulled him down under the water again.
When they came up for the second time they were thoroughly soaked, Miyako's hair had turned a darker shade of lavender and Ken's hair had fallen back down into its usual real world style, returning it to its natural raven color rather than the blue it was as the Kaizer. He smiled as he stared deep into Miyako's chocolaty brown eyes. The girl was so full of love while at the same time possessing a bright, fiery spirit that made her all the more beautiful to him.
"Do you realize how completely childish this is?" he asked. His arms were around her and hers around him. That intense feeling had overcome him again. The one where he couldn't think straight, could barely even breathe.
Miyako only smiled. "I like being childish…don't you?"
"Only when I'm around you Miyako," he replied, only a little breathlessly.
"Should I take that as an insult, or a compliment?"
"Which ever you prefer." He met her eyes again. He loved the way she laughed and how she talked to him, not as if he were an enemy, merely someone with a difference of opinion. Ken loved everything about her, but she made him so nervous. He could almost completely loose himself when he was with her. He almost forgot all about being a genius and his plans for conquering a world. He could almost forget that he was holding her here against her will and using her to end this little game that he played with the Chosen. Almost…
"We should probably go now," he sighed, shivering slightly in the cool water.
"I guess so…" she admitted reluctantly, tearing her eyes away from his. For a minute she felt like she had been drowning in a field of violets.
Ken stood and helped her out of the fountain. "It doesn't really matter if we get anything wet," Ken told her. "Wormmon can find you a towel and I'm sure he can come up with a suitable change of clothes while your others dry. I…" he stopped, unsure of what to say.
"What is it Ken?" Miyako probed gently.
"Well I told Wormmon…since you seemed to like American fast foods perhaps you might like to sample the formal ways that I am used to it and see what a fancy dinner might look like. Its just and idea though…"
"I'd love that." Miyako smiled and Ken blushed slightly.
"Great." he looked down. "Well…I'll see you later this evening then."
"I'm looking forward to it Ken," she whispered.
* * *
Ken paced his chambers restlessly. "Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all," he muttered.
"Master, calm down," Wormmon advised him.
"I can't!" Ken threw his hands up in the air as he continued his pacing. "I don't know if I can do this after all." He sat down on the bed looking exceptionally pale and drained of color. "I feel sick."
"You can't back out of it now!" Wormmon cried in exasperation. He had been going back and forth between Miyako and Ken all afternoon attempting to plan the evening, fix clothing and attempting to calm shattered nerves. Every two minutes the other one would need him, it was a good thing Miyako and Ken's rooms weren't too far apart or he'd have dropped dead from exhaustion.
Ken made a strangled noise and buried his head helplessly in his hands. Wormmon looked at him in intense concern. "I just…oh God I can't do this!"
"Ken, its all right, you'll be fine," Wormmon encouraged him. He had taken the liberty of using his partners first name and Ken didn't seem to mind…or maybe he hadn't noticed. Wormmon had never seen the Kaizer act this way. This was the most human Wormmon had seen Ken since…he didn't know when.
"I can't! I can't!" Ken lifted his head and looked at his digimon frantically as he panicked.
"Okay Ken, just take a deep breath," Wormmon instructed and the Kaizer obeyed the order without question. His body began to relax and the knotted muscles unwound themselves. "That's it, just keep taking those nice deep breaths."
"Wormmon!" a faint voice echoed down the hallway. Miyako could definitely make herself be heard. Wormmon sighed. Back to the other one again. He hoped Miyako would be okay by herself after this time because right that second it looked as if Ken needed him a whole lot more. And while Wormmon liked the lavender haired Chosen Child and valued her as a friend and was profoundly grateful to her, his loyalty would always lay with his partner.
"Keep breathing Ken, I'll be right back. It will only take a minute, I promise."
Ken only moaned and put his face back in his hands. Wormmon scurried out quickly, deciding that he'd better take a lot less than a minute.
* * *
"Miyako? What's wrong Miyako-san?" Wormmon called as he entered her room.
The girl was still in the dressing room. "What do you think Wormmon?" the girl asked as she stepped out. Wormmon gave her an appraising glance over.
"You're beautiful Miyako," he told her and she flushed happily.
"You think so?" she asked. She felt like she was living in a dream. The old fashioned ball dress that Wormmon had found for her was indeed beautiful. The skirts fell completely to the floor and they were loose and flowing. The dress was in shades of pink and ivory, the sleeves puffed slightly and the it was low cut without being too revealing. She had tiny pearl earrings and a delicate circlet tiara of gold with a tear drop pearl that hung down her forehead. She had spent hours on her hair, braiding and twisting and tucking and curling unit it looked to her liking. Soft, wispy curls framed her face and she had arranged soft pink rose buds in her hair as well, the color contrasting nicely with her lavender hair color. Her make-up had been done very meticulously to look so natural that it seemed she was almost wearing naught but a little lipstick and the tiniest bit of blush and eye shadow. Her glasses she had traded for a pair of contacts that she carried with her in her bag at all times but wore only on emergencies or special occasions, preferring the more comfortable and easier dealt with glasses.
"Mmhm," the digimon nodded. "Ken will be absolutely stunned by such a vision of loveliness. If I can get him out of his room…" he added the last part softly under his breath, more to himself than to Miyako.
"What?" she asked. "What do you mean if you can get him out of his room?"
"I've never seen him this way before Miyako, he's being so self conscious and very stressed and I'd swear if I didn't know him better that he was on his way to a nervous break down."
"Well is he all right? I could go talk to him…"
"I think seeing you right now would only make the situation worse Miyako," Wormmon said gently. "It the evening you two have planned that's making him nervous. I know he really, really likes you."
"Oh." she blinked, but smiled to think that Ken actually returned some, if not all of her own feelings towards him. Couldn't he tell that she was crazy about him? And she hoped that if he could he didn't think that it was just some fan girl type craze that he usually got. She loved everything about him, not just his looks or his intelligence, but the gentle, caring person he really was inside as well.
"Don't you worry yourself, I know he'll be just fine. Just leave everything to me Miyako."
"Are you sure?"
"Absolutely." He looked at her again and smiled in that strange, bizarre way with his eyes more than his mouth, that only he could do. "You really do look lovely."
She examined herself in a full length mirror, twisting and turning to examine everything about herself. "I hope so. I want everything to be perfect."
* * *
"Come on Ken, you can do this now," Wormmon reassured him. "Every detail has been planned to the finest point. You'll have a good time."
"If I don't die from nervousness." The little butterflies just refused to leave him. Ken growled and tugged at the collar which seemed so tight around his neck. Wormmon had not had much trouble in persuading him that the Kaizer get up was not the thing to wear to dinner with Miyako.
So Ken was dressed instead in a rich pair of dark gray colored pants with a lighter gray shirt which was underneath a vest of crimson red. His wild hair style had been allowed to return to its usual raven black color and was hanging once again at chin level.
"You wont," Wormmon told him. "And for heavens sake don't tug at that collar!"
Ken ceased immediately. "Okay, its time…what do I do now?!"
"First just relax, Miyako is almost ready. When she is you will of course compliment her, escort her down to the table in the grand dinning room, seat her properly, make polite conversation…need I go on? Come on Ken, I know that you've done this before, seen it done. At least you've learned it…!"
"But…its like its all gone out of my head now! Miyako makes me feel so…well, different."
Wormmon smiled to himself. "Don't panic, just be yourself Ken, you don't have to try to impress her. Miyako thinks you're fine just the way you are."
"Maybe I don't…" Ken muttered to himself. Wormmon caught every word.
"All right, go now," he nudged Ken gently in the direction of Miyako's room. He nodded to the boy encouragingly when Ken raised his hand and knocked hesitantly on the door. I was opened almost immediately.
Ken swallowed and took a deep breath. "Would you join me for dinner now?" He mentally kicked himself. How stupid did that just sound? Regardless he offered her his arm on instinct and Miyako excepted him graciously.
He looked at her curiously. "You aren't wearing your glasses…"
"No, I switched them for my contacts…which I don't wear often; only when I want to look nice."
"You do look nice…lovely, resplendent, charming, elegant, beautiful," he stammered blushing.
Miyako blushed as well. "Thank you. You look very nice yourself."
Ken made a face. "I just don't feel normal wearing this. Its always been the Tamachi uniform, soccer outfit or Kaizer clothing. This is just too…different."
"I don't feel normal in my outfit either!" Miyako laughed lightly.
"Yeah well…" Ken laughed too, this was getting easier, falling back into the normal pattern with the two, that carefree and fun feeling.
After descending the show, main staircase they came to a pair of grand doors which opened on their own as they came to them. Miyako gasped in wonder. The dinning room was elegantly set and decorated in a brilliant gold. This was by far the brightest room in Ken's castle, by way of color and light. Adjoining the dinning room was a huge ball room.
"What do you think Lady, does it meet your standards?" Ken teased as he led her to a chair and seated her.
"Yes of course it does! Its gorgeous."
"I'm glad you approve," he smiled.
* * *
The pair had a very enjoyable dinner, which Wormmon monitored carefully without letting them know he was there. He loved seeing Ken happy and laughing, it had been so long since he'd been that way. A low music had been playing and to push the evening along Wormmon increased the volume just the tiniest bit.
Ken took the hint and stood, offering Miyako his hand. She accepted his invitation to dance and he twirled her expertly unto the floor. "I guess none of the other couples like this song," Ken commented jokingly, as they were the only ones on the floor.
Miyako laughed at the joke. She blushed happily to hear Ken call them a couple. "I guess not," she agreed. "Where in the world did you learn to dance so wonderfully?" she asked. There was no denying his natural grace and fluid movements, Ken was perfection itself.
Ken only smiled. "I'm not sure, maybe under pressure."
"That must be it."
Ken was relaxed now, dancing with Miyako in his arms just felt so natural. They somehow managed to loose themselves in the music. 'She's so beautiful,' Ken marveled. 'Why can't I stop thinking that I could never do enough for her?'
'Now I know that Ken really is a good person. Over the past few days I've come to see sides to him that he's never shown to anyone else. And it's because he let me see those sides and because he wanted me to know that he's not all bad…' Miyako smiled inwardly.
The Chosen had only been able to fight the Kaizer by somehow convincing themselves that he was less than human, that he had no feelings of his own but deep inside they had all known better; now Ken had shown Miyako how truly wrong they had been.
Somehow they had ended up outside the ballroom on a stone balcony. Miyako sat on a bench set against the railing and Ken sat beside her. He had his arm around her waist and she was resting her head on his shoulder. "Miyako?" he spoke softly and she looked up at him. "Are you…happy here?"
"Well…yes," she nodded. "I love being here with you. Except that…I really should be with my family…"
"You miss them…"
"Yes of course I do, and Hawkmon and my friends, and the other Chosen."
"I'm sorry," he apologized quietly.
"Don't be," she told him softly.
"Sshh," Miyako put her finger to his lips and he stopped speaking. "You don't have to say anything. I love being here with you because I love you."
Their lips were drawn together and brushed one another's gently in a soft, almost magnetic touch, but not one lacking in passion. From there things went much faster and Miyako found herself wondering how she could even breathe. But eventually they did break apart and she blinked in awkward confusion.
Ken shivered and she smiled at him and brushed a stray strand of hair out of his face. 'What does it matter where he learned to dance…where did he learn to kiss like that?' A thrill of excitement traveled down her spine.
"Go Miyako," he whispered. He took her right arm and did something that Miyako could not see to release the piece of metal around her wrist. "Go home…"
"I…what?" she asked.
"You heard me, now go!"
"No!" Ken looked at her in shock. "I don't want to leave you!"
"Don't be so foolish. You don't want to be here with me, I'm horrible, I am a monster. You've got your freedom now. Return to your family…your friends…"
Miyako shook her head. "You're my friend too Ken…you're more than a friend to me! And right now you need me a lot more than they do…"
"I need no one!" Ken interrupted angrily.
"But you do Ken!" she yelled. "When are you going to see that? You're not who you pretend to be at all! Underneath this cold exterior you've built for yourself there's a loving, caring, wonderful person! You're better than all of this!"
"Miyako please, you're not making this any easier on me…"
"Good! You deserve to have some things not go your way."
"Well I was trying to do this nicely!" Ken snapped. "But if that's the way you want it to be then that's just fine with me! I'm not giving you a choice here; I'm telling you to leave! And if you won't do it your way, then you'll do it mine!"
Miyako felt a remarkable sense of déjà vu as he grabbed her tightly and brought a white cloth out of his vest pocket. Miyako chocked when she saw it. "What do you do, just carry those things around so you can drug people whenever you feel like it?!"
But her words were slightly muffled by the cloth as he held it up to her face. This time Miyako didn't fight. "This is for your own good Miyako," he told her. She felt the familiar darkness slipping over her.
"Don't Ken," she murmured before the world went black.
* * *
Ken sighed as he gazed down at the unconscious girl in his arms. "K…Master you don't have to do this," Wormmon told him.
"Yes I do, I only want her to be happy."
"And she wasn't lying when she told you that she was happy with you!"
"She wasn't being truthful either."
"But she was!"
"Not completely. I held her prisoner, she had to make herself be happy with me or otherwise be completely miserable. She shouldn't have had to try."
It was early Sunday morning and Ken and Wormmon were out riding on Airdramon. They were searching for the other Chosen Children. Ken was watching his digivice carefully as four small, different colored dots appeared on the screen. "Show time," he said grimly.
As the Airdramon approached the children Ken slipped Miyako's digivice and D-terminal into her bag, along with her Digital World clothing, complete with helmet and glasses. The Chosen Children stopped dead as Ken jumped carefully down off of Airdramon, holding the unconscious Miyako in his arms.
"What is it you want Kaizer?" Daisuke sneered.
"Merely returning your friend; unless you don't want her that is…" he made as if to turn away.
"NO! Leave her here!" Iori shouted. Ken smirked. He knew that would work.
"We aren't giving you our D3's but we'll take Miyako back!" Daisuke yelled.
"Did I ask for them?" Ken scowled. "Well…?" he asked.
Daisuke blinked and held out his arms and Ken deposited the sleeping Miyako in them. "Why is she dressed that way?" Takeru asked curiously. He thought Miyako looked radiant but he was confused as to what was going on.
Ken cocked an eyebrow. He had of course changed himself back into the Kaizer outfit, but had left Miyako in the ball dress as she had been the previous night. "Because she wanted to be," he answered. "Ask her yourself when she wakes up."
He paused and watched for a minute while Daisuke laid her gently on the ground. Then he sat her Digital World gear on the ground beside her and began walking away, back towards his flying mount.
Miyako moaned as she came to, why did her head spin so? The world became less fuzzy. "Ken…?"
The Kaizer stopped in his tracks and turned to look at her. Miyako stood up and the Chosen Children and their digimon gathered close around her There were questions like, "Miyako are you okay?" and "He didn't hurt you did he?".
She ignored them; she had eyes only for Ken.
'Damn,' Ken silently cursed. That stupid drug was supposed to last longer than this. 'I'm not supposed to be in this situation for a second time!'
"Don't do this Ken, don't walk away from me."
"I'll do as I please," he snarled.
The other Chosen stepped back at his sudden show of temper, but Miyako held her ground. She wasn't fooled by his seemingly tough exterior. "Ken if you walk away from me you'll stay the Kaizer forever; I'm your last chance at redemption. Don't throw that away Ken, you are better than this." Ken softened slightly, after all that had happened in the past few days he realized how much he needed Miyako, how empty his life would be without her. It seemed to him that before she came he had forgotten what true happiness was.
Miyako could see the hesitation and was silently cheering. "You don't have to be the Kaizer Ken, its not fair to you. It was too much to ask…too much to place an extra destiny on your shoulders. I can remove it for you if you want, but if you don't give it up now its yours forever…"
Ken shuddered. The other Chosen Children looked around at each other in confusion. What was Miyako talking about? She was Ken's last chance…and extra destiny? It just didn't seem to make any sense.
"But it was my fault," Ken almost whimpered. Part of him hated how weak he sounded, but another little voice inside of him, growing slowly stronger, was telling him that this was how it had to be. That he should listen carefully to what Miyako was saying.
"It was not!"
"But it was…Osamu died because of me! Do you know how selfish I was? How stupid?"
The remaining Chosen Children were completely left out of this interesting interaction between the Bearer of Love/Sincerity and the Digimon Kaizer. They watched as Miyako moved towards him and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. "It was not selfish to want the attention of your parents Ken!"
"But it was! It was! Why couldn't I have just stepped back and let Sam have his way? And Sam was a good person! Do you know that he died to save me? It should have been me…if only he had known how cruel and heartless I was he could have just let that car hit me. And then look how sad I'd made my parents…they loved Osamu more than anything in the world! My parents would much rather have Sam back than have me…his death hurt them more than mine ever would have…"
"That's not true Ken! You're parents would have missed you just as much! And Sam was right in saving you! Maybe it was the way that he could cleanse his soul…his karma, by saving your life he made up for all the mistakes that he would have made in this life. But you didn't need to become your brother! To make his mistakes for him! That shouldn't have been an option!"
"But Osamu was supposed to be great…"
"You call this greatness?!!"
"He was gone and it was all my fault, didn't he deserve that chance to see his life lived?"
"Not if it hurt people! Not if it made you suffer! The Kaizer didn't deserve to exist!" Ken looked down. "And your body can't take the strain Ken, one of these destinies has to go. Will you let it be yours?" she locked her eyes unto his when he raised his head and looked at her pitifully.
* * *
"Which will it be Ken?"
"I don't know!"
"I can't decide for you," she told him, much more calmly than she felt.
"I don't know who I am…I've never been me…never really been myself."
"Then don't you think it would be worth finding out?"
"What if I don't like who I am?" he asked miserably. "I can't ever go back…"
"Do you honestly like who you are now Ken? And how will you know what you're really like if you don't try? I've seen the real you Ken, you can't be that bad."
"I'm not sure…"
"Is there anything you are sure about Ken?" she asked in sudden exasperation.
"…Maybe," he mumbled.
"And what would that be?" Miyako rolled her eyes, for a genius Ken could be pretty stupid at times.
A faint blush stained his cheeks. "I'm pretty sure I love you."
Miyako's heart missed a beat, or maybe two or three; in fact she was sure that it must have stopped all together. Things seemed to be moving in a hazy slow motion for her. "You really mean that?" she asked. Ken nodded.
"More than anything."
"I love you too."
The world around her seemed to erupt into a pink glow. The amazing light was all around the two, Chosen Child and Emperor. She stood there in awe, almost over powered by it. Being inside this light…it was so good. "Was it something I said?" she joked lightly.
Ken smiled. "Probably," he replied.
Then all the pink light engulfing them began to…gather itself up and it shrank smaller and smaller into the shape of something like a square tile. It became solid and floated downwards into Ken's outstretched hands. The other Chosen Children found their voices at last.
"That's one of the old crests!" Takeru exclaimed.
"You're right Takeru," Hikari nodded. "But I didn't think that anybody has a true crest anymore…"
"Ken-chan does!" a little voice rang out. Ken jumped in surprise and looked down to see Wormmon at his feet. In all honesty he had forgotten the digimon had even been there with him on the Airdramon. The Chosen looked at Wormmon as well.
"Oh, hello again," Hikari smiled at him.
"So why does Ken get…a whatever that thing is…a crest?" Daisuke asked.
"Because it belongs to him! Ken is Chosen too. He is the Chosen Child of Kindness!"
"Kindness?!" the all exclaimed in shock. Ken looked rather surprised as well.
"But Ken can't be Chosen…he doesn't even have a digimon! …Does he?" Iori and the other children traded confused glances.
"He does so!"
"I do so!"
Miyako and Ken interjected at the same time. Ken bent down and stroked Wormmon affectionately. The caterpillar digimon was almost purring with content. "Wormmon's my digimon!"
Miyako smiled at him as he stood up. "So if you're accepting Kindness then I guess that means you don't want to play Sam's part as Kaizer anymore…"
Ken looked stunned for a brief moment, but then he shrugged. "I guess so," he agreed.
Miyako's eyes twinkled mischievously. "I don't believe you."
"Wh…what?" Ken blinked in shock.
"I don't believe you…so convince me Kaizer."
"I won't be Kaizer anymore," he said seriously.
"Not good enough."
"I won't play my brother's destiny."
"Keep going…" Miyako teased him encouragingly.
"I don't have to be Sam," his voice increased a little in volume each time that he said something. Miyako only shook her head.
"Come on Ken, I know you can do better than that."
Ken suddenly picked her up by the waist, making her shriek in surprise, and swung her around in a circle. "I WON'T be Kaizer anymore!" he shouted happily while laughing. Miyako laughed to as he brought her gently down to solid ground again.
His Kaizer regalia and Imperial garb melted away before their very eyes into the simple Tamachi school uniform of Ken Ichijouji. "Now…I'm convinced," she whispered.
Then Ken caught her up in a passionate kiss. The two of them completely forgot everything else and the world around them faded away, leaving them in their own private version of paradise.
"Whoa ," Daisuke blinked.
Takeru stared at them too and without thinking reached out and covered Iori's eyes with his hands. Iori gave a small laugh. "I guess that means I should avert my virgin eyes, ne?"
"I guess that would be a good idea," Takeru agreed.
Hikari giggled as she looked at Daisuke and Takeru with their wide eyed gazes; their eyes being completely riveted to Miyako and the former Digimon Kaizer, who were of course oblivious to their presence, being totally wrapped up in each other. "Come on guys," she teased. She pushed Daisuke, Iori and Takeru around and headed them in the other direction. "Give 'em a little privacy huh?"
"What…oh right," Takeru and Daisuke blushed.
The Chosen Children, save Miyako and Ken, and their digimon started back the way they had originally come, over a small hill figuring that the other two would find them when they were good and ready. Hawkmon hesitated, not wanting to leave his partner after finding her again so soon, but shrugged and started off after them. Wormmon followed as well, but he hesitated at the top of the small hill and looked back.
He smiled. 'Thank you Miyako, you brought Ken back to me and to his true path when I thought that I had lost him forever. You are a true angel; now Ken can finally be free…'
Dragon Lady: Well…was it any good? I'm not sure I like it quite so much as my first one…
Ken: I thought it was sweet.
Dragon Lady: Sometimes I wonder how I can write all my stories about you Ken-chan and have you for a muse at the same time…
Dragon Lady: ^_^
Dragon Lady: Some people who read my Kenyako stories have asked me to do a sequel to
Ken: All right, read and review please.
Dragon Lady: Wow, this is one of the shortest ending rants we've ever done I think…
Ken: That's right, and lets keep it that way, we don't want to go wasting these poor people's time or they might decide not to review after all.
Dragon Lady: Right!