Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon

Song of the Setting Sun

A Digimon Tamers Fic by Crazyeight

The golden shine of the setting sun illuminated the city of Shinjuku, giving the buildings a soft glow as the day wore down, signifying to all that the end of the day had arrived and that the time to go home has come. For the majority of the adult population, this prospect was met with a sigh of relief as they left work to return to the warmth of their homes and relax. For the majority of the child population however, they held the opposite conviction with a fierce stubbornness that bordered on fanaticism, and as such they would stay out as long as they were capable which, sadly, wasn't as long as they had hoped. Soon enough, good-byes were made and paths parted as longtime friends made their way to their respective dwellings where dinner was no doubt waiting for them at the kitchen table. Some would take their time getting home though, as was the case with one red haired girl as she strode through the park that, for nearly a year, had been her regular haunt, as a place where she could go to relax and escape from the pressures of daily life.

To think that this girl shouldn't have any worries at a time like this would be the understatement of the year. True, she lived in a home that belonged to a renowned model (who was known as Makino in her public life, Rumiko Nonaka in her private), and she attended one of the finest schools in the city. Complaints of the choice of school uniform aside, this girl had advantages that most kids her age didn't have, and yet she walked through the world with an expression that could be described as either cold or indifferent, and sometimes even anger. She had been closed off to the world at one point, but recent experiences had forced her to wake up to the world that surrounded her, to open up to it. Though it did make her happier, a fact that can be attested by those who know her best, she was not without her own worries and issues. Some of which transcended beyond just the normal worries of a young, teenage girl.

To the untutored eye, this girl, who wore a blue-sleeved t-shirt with a purple heart on its chest, a pair of jeans with a belt wrapped around one leg, and another around her waist with a card box and a strange, arc-shaped device with blue trim, attached to it. She also had red hair tied back into a ponytail, and violet eyes that looked out over the playground that she stood across from with a detached, but almost curious look held within their depths. From the way that she dressed, most people would assume that she was a tomboy, and they would be correct in that assumption, but she was much more then that. If the device that was hooked to her waist belt was any indication, she was what people referred to as a Digimon Tamer, and she was part of a group of such Tamers; children called on by means of destiny and desire to serve as the link and defense between the world of humans, and that strange other world known only as the digital world. A responsibility that even adults didn't have to contend with, and she was just a child. Or was she? In so many ways she was more than just a child, and at the same time still one. Older than some adults, yet younger.

She was Rika Nonaka, daughter of the famous Rumiko Nonaka, Digimon Tamer, Digimon Queen (as she had been called after winning a card tournament of a game with the same name as the creatures that she battled and fought alongside by), and partner to the kitsune digimon known only as Renamon. At least when in her rookie form, but that's a whole different story.

No sound was made by the elegant fox named Renamon, but Rika could tell that she was curious as to why they had stopped here of all places when they should be heading home. She knew this through the link that they shared; the link that had been formed the day that they had become partners. This link had many advantages, particularly where it allowed them to communicate without the use of words, and because of this, Renamon didn't feel the need to ask her partner and friend what was going through her mind. The emotions that flowed through their connection was answer enough.

Rika looked around the playground, as though checking the area for any hostiles before stepping into it, a soft smile illuminating her face. The children that had inhabited the playground were long gone, so Rika didn't have to worry about any prying eyes. Walking over to the swing sets, Rika stood in front of them for a moment, looking at them with a small frown on her face, as though she were contemplating something. Finally, with one last look around, Rika turned around and sat down on the swing. It was a little small, as it had been designed for a child much younger, and smaller, than she was, but at the moment she didn't care. An unconscious memory came to her as she looked out at the setting sun, and she nudged the swing into motion with her feet, not enough to gain any serious movement, but it was enough to grant a squeak from the chains that held the swing. Rika smiled at the sound, and with it came the memory of a more innocent time, and she could almost imagine an older man standing next to her, with a soft smile on his face. Then the girl's face became slightly downcast, as she remembered that those times were long gone now.

Like it matters, Rika thought. My parents made their choice. And besides, it's not like I haven't been down this road before, thinking about what could have been. I've already accepted what had happened…

All true. Rika had accepted what had happened. That her parents had a divorce, and that she hadn't seen or spoken to her father since he had left her life. In some ways it had made her a much stronger person. Maybe it didn't change her for the better, but she was stronger and she wouldn't change how she had turned out for anything, not after everything that she had been through; all the things that she had experienced because of how she was. But ever since that battle with the Parasimon army about a month ago, she had recently come to think more on the past. The reasons for this was because during the fight, she had been possessed by one such creature, and it had manipulated her by using memories of her father, leading her along with false promises and because of it she had nearly killed a close friend of hers.

She used to think that she was over her parents divorce. Accepted yes, but over?

The question certainly begged, didn't it?

As the swing rocked back and forth to the gentle pressure of Rika's feet, a soft hum could be heard emanating from the girl, a tune from her childhood and soon enough the words came forth in a soft whisper, rising slightly after a few seconds, and growing louder with each breath of confidence, but not quite reaching the pitch of an orchestra. Both words and tune suiting the scene of the sunset perfectly as the girl's voice played along the air.

"You promised the sunset we'd always, always be together I want to see you now, so please tell me how you feel"

Rika's voice sung upon the wind as a light breeze carried them through the park like a gentle whisper, as soft as the glow of the suns last rays.

"You came into my lonely heart so suddenly

You gently wrapped up the place that hurt

I've never felt this relaxed

I want to put that warmth in my pocket so I can walk around with it…"

Somewhere nearby, a bird chirped, adding its music to that of the young girl's.

Rika let it.

Takato Matsuki had been packing up his cards after he had bid his friends Kenta and Kazu good-bye. Next to him, Guilmon, his partner digimon and best friend, laughed childishly and nuzzled him, causing the boy to drop some of his cards and chuckle a bit as he pushed the crimson dino back.

"Guilmon…" the boy said with a false sound of irritation in his voice. Guilmon laughed again and looked at the brown haired boy who was his Tamer. He wore a blue hoody and tan pants, and on his forehead sat a yellow-rimmed object that had earned him the nickname from one of his fellow Tamers that had made him famous. Gogglehead.

"Do you have to go?" Asked Guilmon with a disappointed sound in his voice.

"You know that I have to Guilmon," said Takato as he dumped some more cards in his card box and stood up, a small smile on his face. "Mom will kill me if I show up late again. She might call the army and mount a search and rescue mission for me if I don't show up in time for dinner."

Guilmon's ears drooped.

"Why do you always make your mom sound scarier than D-Reaper Takato? Last I checked she wasn't made out of any red globs."

"Mothers are different," said Takato. "It's kind of hard to explain, but it's a lot like the relationship you and I have. You know, where we're friends and we don't want to do anything that would hurt each other, right?"

"Hmmmnn… I guess… but that doesn't explain why you make your mom so scary sounding. She's not any worse than anything that we've faced in the digital world."

"Well, that's debatable," said Takato with a laugh. "Trust me on this, Guilmon. There are few things in this world that you want angry at you than your mother."

"But I thought that I didn't have a mommy, Takato," said Guilmon as he cocked his head to one side in confusion. After a second he looked up at the ceiling of his dwelling and tapped his chin with his claw. "But then, you drew me so… doesn't that make you my mommy?"

Takato sweatdropped as he remembered the last time that they had a conversation like that, only Renamon had been there saying that he would have made a better mother than a Tamer with the way that he treated Guilmon. As he recalled, after Guilmon had made his Takato's my mommy comment, his exact response was 'Aw geez, Guilmon… don't call me that.'

Or something along the lines of that.

"Um… I don't think that it quite works that way…"

Guilmon just stared at Takato for a moment and then laughed once more, rubbing his head up against Takato's leg.

"You'd better hurry and get home, Takatomon," said Guilmon. Rubbing his friend's head, Takato bid Guilmon good-bye and closed the gate behind him as he left. As he descended the stairs that led up to Guilmon's stone hut, Takato rubbed the back of his head in confusion, wondering if Henry's partner, Terriermon, was filling Guilmon's head up with strange ideas again. Either that or it was Impmon, but the goggle-wearing Tamer highly doubted that Impmon would ever bring up a subject such as motherhood. Not even in jest. Shrugging the situation off, Takato picked up his pace and broke into a jog as he headed through the park, determined to cut some distance between Guilmon's home and his own, to at least make a show of an effort that he didn't try to get home late or anything. Chances were his mother was going to have a few choice words with him anyway. She didn't like it when he stayed out until the sun started setting. It seemed no matter how many times he saved the world or fought a wild digimon and won out she would always regard him as her baby. It did sort of get on his nerves, but it was something that he wouldn't trade for the world. After all, it was just her way of showing that she cared. Everyone had their own way of showing that they cared for someone. Even Rika…

Takato suddenly stopped as he heard a strange sound. Listening carefully he realized that it was… singing?

Takato almost shrugged it off. It's not like he hadn't heard anyone walking through the park singing before. Granted, it was a little strange, but then he was a kid with a digital dinosaur for a partner so who was he to argue? But there was something about this particular tune that caught his attention. It had a rather lovely melody to it that was both sad and happy at the same time, but there was something more. It sounded… familiar.

Curiosity leading him towards the source of the voice, like a moth to the flame, the words began to become more distinguishable as he drew nearer.

"You promised the sunset we'd always, always be together

Though I feel like giving up, I embrace the beautiful orange glow…"

Takato frowned. Yes, he knew that song, but for the life of him he couldn't remember where he had heard it. And the voice… the voice was familiar too. And… beautiful. It had a lovely sound to it that made him feel as though it were in harmony with the world, as well as striving against it. It enlivened his spirit and made him want to cry all at once. Maybe if he found out who the voice belonged to he could… he didn't know what he'd do really. Listen maybe. Offer applause? Probably not. After all, the person probably wanted a moment alone. Best to take a quick look and be on his merry way. After all, if he didn't get a move on soon he'd end up being late getting home, and then he'd really hear it from his mom. And that was the last thing that he wanted today…

Takato approached the playground and halted, taking a look around him. It sounded like this was where the song was coming from, but the question was where exactly…?

Takato's eyes came to rest on a lone figure sitting on a swing set, and after a quick scrutiny his eyes widened in surprise. Now he knew why the song sounded so familiar. After all, he had heard part of it from the person who was sitting on that very swing, her back turned to him.


He realized that he probably shouldn't be there. This was something that he rarely saw, and if she saw him she'd… well, the mind shudders. Of course, Rika wouldn't really hurt him (unless he did something especially irritating and/or rage worthy, and he had yet to pull that feat off), but he was in a way intruding on her private moment. He wanted to move, but his feet were stuck to the ground. So enwrapped in the song that the fiery haired Tamer was singing that he had forgotten just what motor functions it took to get his legs moving. So he just stood there, listening while Rika sung her song.

Briefly, he wondered where Renamon was.

"The sunset taught me that it would surely, surely be all right

If I just believe, my feelings will get through.

"You promised the sunset we'd always, always be together

Though far away, we feel the same orange glow

It will surely, surely be all right, and because the sunset connects us

Don't cry, our love lights up our hearts

Our love lights up our hearts…"

As Rika's song tapered off, Takato found himself wondering about the song that she had sung. The last time he had heard it was on Locomon during that whole Parasimon business a month ago. He hadn't really thought much about it at the time, aside from the fact that it was strange that, while the Parasimon had possessed her, she had maintained a desire to sing, and attacked everything around her as though it were a threat to her singing. He hadn't asked her about it, though he had occasionally wondered about it. Past experience had shown that whatever it was, it wasn't something that she would readily talk about when asked. She was too prideful for that. When she wanted to talk about it, she would. Nothing to it, though with Rika, nothing to it, tended to be anything but.

Realizing that now was perhaps the best time for him to slip away, Takato took one last look at Rika's back and prepared to walk off.

And then, like one of those last-minute rescues that the Legendary Tamer, Ryo Akiyama, had made famous, a voice broke the silence of the dusk, sending a bird into flight and causing Takato to freeze in his spot as, on the swings, Rika's face swiveled around to see the cause of the commotion. Like she needed a visual confirmation to go with the clue that was now being offered like a prophecy of doom.

"TAAAAH-KA-TOOOOE! WAIT UP!" Called out a voice that could only belong to one Guilmon. Turning his head quickly he saw the red dinosaur running towards him with something held carefully between his claws. They looked like digimon cards. He must've left some behind before he left. Just his luck…

Heh. Heh. Heh. I am so dead… Takato thought, immediately resigning himself to his fate. He could already feel Rika's eyes on him, threatening to bore a hole in his head. Blushing lightly from embarrassment, Takato turned towards Guilmon as the red dino approached him.

"You forgot these, Takato," said Guilmon as he handed the boy the cards that he had accidentally left behind. Sweatdropping, Takato accepted the cards carefully, feeling his heart speed up nervously as he heard the swings chains rattle as Rika got up from it. The sound of her shoes hitting the ground as she approached him sounded literally like the footsteps of doom to him.

Guilmon noticed the cool look on Rika's face and he began to wonder if he, or maybe it was Takato, who had done something wrong.

Uh, oh, thought the crimson saurian. Rika sure looks angry… Smells it too…

Takato rubbed the back of his head as fear began to set in. Rika, the herald of that fear was approaching him with a look that could kill. What was a boy to do? Run? Fight? Stand his ground and hope for the best? With Rika, any of these options had the possibility to end badly. Well, he dug the grave, might as well lie in it…

So it was that Takato did what he did in most situations of this nature. He swallowed nervously as his heart was pounding away at his chest like a medieval battering ram and then gave Rika a wide, cheesy grin.

"So… uh… hi Rika. W-what're you doing here?"

Under the orange glow of the setting sun, Rika's expression remained unchanged, though Takato fancied that she at least looked slightly amused.

At least, that's what he hoped…

A/N: I got this idea a couple days ago, more as an image in my mind then anything else and it took me a while to figure out a way to express it. I'm not sure where I'm going to go with it though. Just a little short fic to play with while I plan the next arc of my 'Four Seasons' storyline. Don't know if I should complete this or not, though I'm sure that if I don't there are going to be people who would start calling for my head I don't. Meh, we'll see where this goes, and what the reactions going to be. Let me know what you think. Later.