Disclaimer: Digimon is copyrighted by Akiyoshi Hongo and produced by Toei Animation, Bandai, and Disney. The plot and fancharacters are all I own here, and no profit is being distributed in any way through this story.
Author's Note: This was written for the Digimon Pairings Challenge.
Fanfiction Timeline: This takes place about one week following the episode, "Family Picnic."
Is This Goodbye?
A beautiful spring wind floated softly across the face of twelve-year-old Yolei Inuoe while walking down a sidewalk. The area was lined with skyscrapers, none of them shorter than 100 feet tall. Concrete slabs broke up the buildings in stories, its windows tainted so no one could see them from outside. Early morning crowds bustled around her, making her walk occasionally difficult. Sometimes, it got to the point where people literally pushed her out of the way so they could arrive to work on time.
"If only they said 'excuse me,'" she thought with a grumble after being lightly shoved aside for the umpteenth time, "then I wouldn't have that much of a problem with them as they rush." Of course, there were those who courteously bustled by or apologized if they accidentally bumped into her. That did not bother her. Merely the "rude" ones who passed her annoyed her the most.
Then again, this was the usual for a Saturday like today. Warm, but crisp, soft air was the norm during this month. Yet, these people ran by her like a racecar whooshing past awing spectators, and she was certain that one of them went "nee-ooowwwmmm" while zooming away.
"If that was the case, then I'd be hallucinating," she murmured to herself.
Maybe, what she said was true. After all, no human being – not with a (really) sane conscience – could make such a buzz like a speeding car."Perhaps, it was merely my imagination."
Pretty much that was the case, or maybe there was a speeding car racing by, and she did not know about it. If the truth was the latter, then she could scapegoat the crowd for missing the action.
Ah, whatever. She could think about it later. Right now, she could just focus on experience the feeling of being able to explore Japan… on a Saturday, no less.
No school on a Saturday – that felt very unusual. Prior to the beginning of the school year, many Japanese schools were starting to give the Saturdays off. The Odaiba Elementary and Junior High School complex were one of the very few that still had half-days on Saturdays. Whenever she was at the school table and watched the giddy children walk by, a ping of jealousy ran through her.
"If only I could be just like them on a Saturday," she had thought one November Saturday.
"Ms. Inuoe," called a female teacher from the front of the class.
Yolei looked up. "Sorry," she replied and was soon like the other students: facing the teacher while she lectured them. Nevertheless, she would occasionally glance out the window, waiting and hoping that she could also explore the streets of a busy, yet free Saturday.
The first Friday of the new school year began with a shock.
A tall teacher with short black hair, gray eyes, and matching black blazer and pants entered the "6-3" classroom at exactly 8:30 in the morning.
"Good morning, class," he announced politely.
"Good morning, Mr. Matsuzaka!" replied the class with a polite bow.
Mr. Akiya Matsuzaka smiled satisfactorily and walked to his desk. One by one, he began checking off those who were attending today's class. He did not announce Yolei's name, however, but he did not have to. Memorization of names was key to him, even though he sometimes had a bit of difficulty remembering a few people. Hopefully, by the end of the trimester, he would recall everyone without announcing them all.
"Good. Everyone's here." The teacher put down his attendance book and faced at the audience. "First off, thank you for coming to class everyday for the first week of this trimester. It must've been very hard for all of you to follow a lot of boring and dreadful school and homework already."
The standing class chuckled, even though what he said was almost true.
Mr. Matsuzaka maintained his smile, trying his best to keep his composure.
"After class ended Wednesday, the whole department was sent to the main office, where the Prime Minister was supposed to deliver a private announcement that night." He took a seat behind his desk, and the class followed along. "I'll admit I wasn't expecting the Prime Minister to deliver an announcement so… unannounced."
Quiet chuckling from the students scattered throughout the room.
"He told us to deliver the news on Friday morning," he went on, "and since today's Friday, I'll thereby deliver it now."
He opened a drawer with his right hand and brought out several white envelopes. "In each envelope is a copy of the announcement at hand. Each student will be handed with one of them, and I will be passing them along as we go along."
With that, he began handing out the envelope, one by one, to every student in his class."
Yolei did not seem to be all too happy with what was inside the envelope, to be honest, as she scowled deeply.
"If only that Saturday was the first time we had that day off, then I'd be fully happy with it," she grumbled under her breath. Apparently, weekends meant the time to relax and not study until their brains cramped. "Still, I was very glad we began having Saturdays off the week after."
"My friends and I could've taken full advantage in the Digital World last week," she continued, this time in thought, "and with Mimi coming over to visit for a week, it'd be a very nice, quiet Saturday. Unfortunately, Mimi and I got trapped in the Night Forest and had to battle some of the Digimon Emperor's slaves…" a shiver ran down her spine, "especially the Roachmon brothers." She cried out with a gag. Roaches were never that disgusting before bumping into them last week.
"And, now…" she looked up into the crystal blue sky, "…I can take full advantage of being out on a Saturday. No battle against the Emperor, and no patrol in the Digital World." A sigh. "Better late than never, I suppose."
She leveled her head and continued down the sidewalk. Wanting to feel the soft breeze blow by her, she raised her right hand and took off her bandana. With it finally off her head, her violet hair was no longer restrained. Now, her long locks could float and wave as freely as waves in the middle of an ocean. Perhaps, she should keep her bandana off more in the future instead of keeping it on and not feel the effects of the soft spring breeze.
Her long walk continued as she reached the intersection of a really busy district. Before her were numerous skyscrapers and a very confusing intersection. The buildings were about 150 to 200 feet high, made out of steel, and the glass tinted black. There were about four different roads, and with the gigantic center, it gave the impression of eight different paths.
Yolei dreaded this. "Sometimes, I wonder why I arrive at this area," she sulked and was bumped lightly by another unaware passerby. "Hey, watch it!"
"Sorry," a man in a brown trench coat and fedora replied and soon vanished in the bustling crowd.
Once the lights turned red, the DigiDestined of the DigiEgg of Love grew really cross: Twitching of her eyebrows behind her round eyeglasses signaled "upcoming danger" to anyone. "The next time anyone bumps me will get an earful," she thought impatiently and looked up at the street sign in front of her. "But I must first concentrate on crossing the right roads instead of blowing my top again."
The light switched green a minute later, and she quickly made her pace down the crossroads. She was forced to stop in between when the traffic lights flashed red, but resumed her trek to the other side when the green light flickered once more.
Once she touched down on the other side of the busy intersection, she looked up at a metal pole located on her right.
"Good, I'm walking the right direction," she thought straightforwardly (despite wanting to smile small), and looked ahead. "Time to continue walking… and see Mimi again."
Uh… what did she just say again?
Hopefully, she would soon realize that now was not the time to daydream.
Eh… not likely, to be honest.
For some reason, Mimi Tachikawa, a member of the older DigiDestined and now living in the United States of America, was now clouding her mind. Wherever she walked, this DigiDestined floated. Just Mimi this and Mimi that… It was quite strange to see this from Yolei.
What caused her to become this suddenly?
Perhaps, daydreaming was an even sillier idea when walking among a huge crowd. Unaware where she was going, she collided with someone, causing her to trip on the sidewalk and fall on her backside.
"Oohhh, that DOES IT!"
Uh-oh. Yolei's temper was now losing control. To those around her: watch out.
The young Inuoe's state altered quicker than a light: Her temper was back in control, anger and frustration virtually disappearing. Calm and confusion was her current expression and composure. This voice was oddly familiar, as if she had heard it before.
The meeting turned out to be very unexpected, indeed.
"Poromon, what the devil are you doing here?" she exclaimed in a whisper after racing into a quiet alley nearby.
"It was not fun being in the household without you around, Yolei," the squeaky voice replied. He was cupped in his partner's hands, and a black wig and brown fedora covered the top and back of his pink, feathery head. "I was forced to being stuck in your room while your parents and siblings remained in the household. I was missing you."
Yolei grew sad. "I apologize for leaving you unannounced today. It's just that I wanted to experience a free Saturday without being forced to stay half of the morning in school."
"And are you enjoying it so far?" queried Poromon.
"A little bit," said Yolei frankly and furrowed her eyebrows. "While it is pleasant being outside today, all the congestion's becoming very bothersome." She turned to the right and noticed the traffic on the sidewalk had really dwindled; no more than at most ten people had since walked by. "Several times this morning, I was tossed around like a salad."
"Including twice by me," interrupted Poromon.
"Yes, that inclu— Wait a sec!" Yolei's eyes widened, turned away from the sidewalk, and back to her partner. "Did you say 'twice'?"
Poromon nodded lightly with a hum. "Earlier today, I accidentally swiped by you at a busy intersection, and I apologized to you before disappearing."
Yolei gasped; she remembered that before. While approaching the crosswalk, a brown trench coat had lightly nudged her shirt. She called him out, and he apologized in a deep voice and soon vanished in the crowd.
"So, you were the one who bumped me there," she finally answered back.
Poromon chuckled humorously. "I'll admit bumping into you then gave me an ironic shock," he said.
"Indeed," said Yolei and added in thought, "Now that I know who did it." More wonderment soon entered her mind. "Pardon me by saying this, but where did you get that coat and hat, and how were you able to talk very deeply?"
Poromon smiled. "Regarding the voice, while you slept, I overheard you brother Mantarou talk to a puppet and speak in a relatively low voice. I decided to try talking that way while being stuck in your locker, and it turned out I could do it." He laughed quietly. "It took a bit of practice, but I did it.
"As for the coat, after I escaped your house about an hour ago, I saw the coat, wig, and fedora lying in a dumpster. When I saw no one around, I put my disguise on and explored the city." His smile broadened. "I received quite a few stares and mutters, making it very tough for me from laughing in my usual In-Training voice."
"If I was you, I might've reacted the same way," she replied and looked down at her right arm. Hanging there was the coat the Digimon wore as his disguise.
Poromon noticed her gaze, but ignored it. He had something else in mind. "By the way, Yolei, why are you out here, and far away from home, no less?"
Yolei looked towards the sidewalk, then deep in the depths of the alley. The coast was clear, she had thought. And if there was someone there, they were not bound to pay much attention to the two. Well, most of it would be on Poromon. Hey, a talking toy would be millions, possibly billions, of Yen. But how much of a shock would it be when a shower of powerful bubbles would force them back.
But she could think about later. She had to answer to her partner now.
"To be honest, Poromon, the main reason I'm here is associated with Mimi," she replied.
"Mimi?" he wondered.
"Mm-hmm," nodded Yolei and told her the story.
It was yesterday afternoon at the Odaiba School Complex. The clock struck "3:00," signaling the dismissal of class for today. With the new regulations in effect, Saturday was permanently an off day for all students, so they did not have to return until the following Monday.
Joy rang in the students' minds. No school for Saturday for the second consecutive week. Was this a miracle the Prime Minister and school departments delivered to the whole Japanese school system? Or was it something else? They only prayed that this change would be permanent and that it would not return to what it once was.
Everyone was gone, except for Yolei, who was packing every book carefully. Once she finished, she walked to the lockers near the entrance of the school and took out an empty shopping bag located in the back. "Poromon's gonna be starving once I return," she thought and wondered what how he would act once noticing a pile of food before him. "Something tells me he'd eat 'til his beak fell out," she concluded with a chuckle.
She closed the locker and resumed walking out of the school. At the entrance, she noticed that almost everyone had left. A group of kids, no more than fifteen people and no older than thirteen years old, had just parted ways for today and disappeared behind the gates.
She did not pay much attention to them, however. First, she had to concentrate on both buying the food and arriving back home before sunset. The late trips home were taking a toll on her parents; she still felt cross at them for placing a harsh warning on her.
"They should know that I can take care of myself," she huffed. "I don't need them on my tail day and night."
Perhaps, she did not need them to watch her, but what about thinking in her parents' views, for a change?
"Eh, what am I thinking?" she improvised. "Parents still think of their kids as 'their babies.' Maybe, I'll think the same way whenever I have a child…" she resisted a snicker, "if I do indeed want one."
We would see about that.
Now that her frustration was out of the way, she could concentrate on shopping. So, she started walking again, planning to once more disappear beyond the school's gates and perhaps have some fun tomorrow. Maybe, she could go to the park tomorrow and explore the wilderness. Or she could watch Davis practice soccer—
The DigiDestined of the DigiEgg of Love stopped at the entrance upon hearing a cheery voice. She turned to her left and noticed Mimi in her short T-shirt, white skirt, pink-dyed hair, and sandals. In other words, she sported the usual attire.
"Mimi!" she exclaimed, surprised, and turned to her. "What are you doing here?"
"I came by again to see what was going on," replied the DigiDestined of Sincerity and glanced at the school with her right eye. "Specifically, I came to see… you."
Yolei blinked confusingly. "Me?"
"Yes. You." Mimi's reply was firm, but soft. "I felt this was the perfect time to bump into you, as you're usually one of the last to leave."
"Oh." Yolei was rendered speechless, but her mind buzzed. "How did she know I'm usually one of the last to leave school?"
Mimi seemed to detect it. "I'll tell you why another time," she said and returned to subject. "I came to tell you that I'll be flying back to New York Sunday morning."
Yolei refrained from gasping; her friend did not have to leave so soon… right? "Sunday morning?"
Mimi nodded. "Spring Break'll be over for me, and my ticket has a deadline for my flight."
She reached into a pocket in her skirt, took out a white pamphlet, and handed it to Yolei. On the ticket was this: "Sunday departure – 8:00 P.M."
The new DigiDestined of Love looked at the print and reached out, telling Mimi that she read it.
"Have you told the others about it?"
Mimi shook her head and received the offer. "Not yet," she replied and put the ticket securely away. "Tonight I will."
Yolei grew puzzled. "Why did you plan to tell me before the others?"
Mimi looked down at the ground, as if in thought, then returned her attention to the confused Yolei. "The reason is because I want to tell you something."
"You do?" said Yolei.
"Yes," replied Mimi with a nod, "but not today, and not here, either."
Mimi reached into the other skirt pocket, took out what looked like a white piece of paper, and handed it to Yolei, who accepted it.
Yolei examined the writing, which was in Japanese Kanji. "No offense, but what is that you wrote on here?" she asked, looking up at her.
Mimi wrapped her arms behind her back. "It's the location of the Hiashi Hotel and the room I'm in," she replied.
Yolei grew even more bewildered. "May I ask why you wrote the location and your room?" she asked again, hoping not to offend her friend.
Again, Mimi seemed to notice it and, like before, did not take exception. "It's because I want to see you there tomorrow afternoon," she said and blinked. "One o'clock, perhaps?"
If the Inuoe had any words to say, she lost them; all that came out of her mouth was mere babbling. But she was able to (somewhat) regain herself and said the words, "Yes, I'll be there by one."
Mimi smiled. "Good." She turned around and waved meekly. "See ya tomorrow." With that, she walked away, leaving Yolei to wonder about things.
"Wow," gasped Poromon after the story ended. "Mimi invited you to her hotel room today?"
"Mm-hmm," replied Yolei. "Hearing that was a big surprise." She closed her eyes briefly before opening them again. "Any ideas why she'd do that?"
"Not so sure, Yolei," said Poromon. "What are planning to do once you arrive at the room?"
"I don't really know, Poromon; I'm still recovering from the shock from this." She eyed the sidewalk, which turned nearly barren. "But what I want to give her is a good-bye present before she returns to the U.S. tomorrow night."
Poromon smiled small. "That's sweet of you to think of that," he said. "What kind of present do you plan to give her?"
Instantly, Yolei knew what to give her. "I've passed the Hiashi Hotel a month ago and noticed a tiny flower shop about two blocks from there. And from what I've heard, Mimi loves flowers, so I plan to give her a bouquet as a good-bye present."
Poromon fluttered his wings. "That's a nice present, I believe."
"Yeah, I thought so, too," said Yolei and subsequently looked confused again. "But there's something else that has been wandering within my mind, too. It's been that way since I saw her last night, and it keeps reoccurring more and more with each passing hour." She closed her eyes. "I really don't know why this is happening, either."
"Maybe, you'll be able to figure this out later today," sympathized Poromon.
"Maybe so." The DigiDestined eyed the watch on her left wrist shortly before turning back to the Digimon. "Let's get going, Poromon. We don't wanna be late."
"Right." Poromon prepared to flap his wings.
"But not until you put on your disguise," the human finished and stared at the trench coat.
Poromon groaned, but obliged to his partner's command.
With the crowd now dissipated, Poromon's disguise was recognized even more than before. Wherever he went, there went the pairs of eyes, most of them staring blankly and the rest blinking out of surprise. Questions from little children rang in the silence, for they wondered who this person was, but alas, their parents were unable to coherently answer.
Unfortunately, Yolei was forced to take part of the gawking, too. Wherever she walked, that "muscular man" with the brown hat and tight coat walked alongside. It was like he was following her for something, a few speculated. Others thought he was her bodyguard, something that one familiar camerawoman from a rather infamous 1990s manga occasionally brought, literally.
And while Poromon enjoyed the attention, Yolei was very nervous.
"Sometimes, I wish I could create some spell to drown out everything and give both of us some privacy," she thought and groaned. Even a sparse crowd was apparently "too much" for her to handle.
Alas, she had to ignore them and continue forward to the flower shop she previously mentioned.
And by noon, she had arrived.
The shop looked quite minute in size, something similar to a corner store underneath a 100-year-old brownstone. In front were rows of flowers, all of them clumped, separated by name, soaked in clear vases full of water, and lined horizontally on a wooden pedestal three-and-a-half feet from the ground. Behind were glass windows, tinted yellow, and might be absorbing a lot of sunlight. In the center was a door, (again) transparent, but without any tint of color on it.
"'Flowers by the Block,'" read Yolei, looking up at the sign right of the door. It hung on two support chains outside, and the name of the shop was in the traditional Japanese Kanji.
"That's an odd name for a store, Yolei," interjected Poromon in a deep voice.
"There are a lot weirder names for stores than this," she told him, still looking up at the sign. "WAY weirder."
Yes, she was telling the truth. There were even more colorful names than this one, but that was another story.
"Now," the DigiDestined resume, this time looking at Poromon, "wait outside as I buy some flowers."
Poromon wanted to ask why, but nodded anyway, indicating acceptance.
"Good. Be out in a few."
Yolei walked to the door, pulled it open, and entered, leaving Poromon temporarily.
Although he loved wearing this disguise, it took a bit of a toll. Despite the occasional cool breeze, it was sweltering hot within this coat. Drops of sweat perspired from the top of his furry head and sometimes hung like morning dew on his tiny beak. His wings, which supported the sleeves, were losing strength; they cramped up and tired out, but he kept them flapping in order to maintain his, uh, "camouflage" within the confused human world.
Thankfully, he soon sighed in relief for two reasons. Firstly, despite people passing, no one paid any attention. Apparently, no one seemed to notice the trench coat floating feet from the door. Possibly, they were off to take care of business more important than gawking at a weird coat-wearer.
"Next time I enter the flower shop, I'll do so when there's a working air conditioner."
And, yes, that murmur was the other reason; Yolei had just exited the shop, her right arm carrying a bouquet of flowers wrapped in white paper.
After a brief conversation, they resumed their walk to the Hiashi Hotel nearby.
At about 12:30 P.M., both of them had finally arrived. The building had not as many stories as usual high-rises, actually. There were only ten floors, compared to those as many as forty. The walls were painted white, its windows tinted black. The bottom floor contained two large clear windows on each side, and in the idle were two large doors that can be either pushed or pulled and a door that revolved counterclockwise.
"Now, all we need is to find Mimi's room," said Poromon in his usual squeaky voice.
Yolei scanned the slip Mimi gave her last night. "And I think I found it," she replied and put it back in her skirt pocket. "C'mon, Poromon."
"Right behind you," he finished, and they walked through the revolving doors.
"That clerk scared the daylights outta me," shivered Poromon as he and Yolei waited inside a slow elevator.
Yolei turned to her left and looked up, confused. "That man didn't seem to look suspicious to me."
"Are you kidding? While you asked for directions, he glowered at me in glances." Poromon looked left then right. "His suspicious behavior was enough to make me sweatier."
He proved it by eying the collar, which was drenched.
"Oh." Yolei blinked.
"Any reasons why he looked at me like that?" Poromon asked suddenly.
She was not so sure at first, but that quickly changed. "Maybe, it's because you looked so muscular and tall compared to me," she suggested. "Like you were my bodyguard."
He looked down and fluttered his right arm in a way that made the sleeve curl and caress the collar. "Perhaps that's it," he said, still puzzled, "but I think it may be something else."
A soft ding rang as the elevator reached the tenth and top floor.
"Again, ready to go?"
"Right behind you, Yolei."
With that, they walked (or, if you were Poromon, flew) out of the elevator. And if you looked and heard the conversation through the surveillance camera embedded in the upper-left-hand corner, you could notice some flapping of the coat, as if someone tossed it aside.
It turned out to be true, as Poromon now had clearance to dispose his disguise. From the silence surrounding them, either people were sleeping or there was no one in the rooms.
"Fresh air!" sighed Poromon, his fur drenched from salty sweat.
"Or air from an air conditioner," corrected Yolei while carrying the coat over her left shoulder.
The pink Digimon shrugged his wings. "Close enough."
A smile broke her lips and she took out the slip again.
The hallway looked and felt very tranquil. The ceiling was painted white, and every twenty feet hung a chandelier containing three sockets with flowers as its shells. The walls were white, and from the middle up was wallpaper with designs of several flowers like tulips, snapdragons, and roses. Doors cut of the wallpaper every forty feet, and each was painted teal. They contained a brass handle and a key card slot on the left side and a diamond representing the room number in the center. A mostly indigo carpet covered the floor of the entire hallway, ivy leaves being its respective design.
"The room should be nearby," she said and glanced at the room numbers.
"1007, 1006, 1005 … Here it is."
Both stopped at a door that had the number "1000" on the diamond.
"This must be her room," she murmured and put the paper away. A small cough followed, hoping it would calm her brief nerves, then knocked on the door.
"Coming!" called a faint female's voice, and moments later, the door opened, revealing a girl of thirteen years old at about the same height as Yolei. Pink-dyed hair hung down from the back of her hair, blending with her white skin and brown irises. Her attire was the same as yesterday and in the Digital World: a striped shirt with a yellow star on her chest, a white skirt, and white knee-high socks. The only difference was the sandals, which were missing.
"Hi, Mimi," said Yolei a bit nervously and bowed.
"Hi, Yolei," replied Mimi and gestured to the Digimon. "And hi, Poromon."
"Hello," Poromon said in his unusual deep voice.
Mimi blinked confusingly. "Excuse me?"
Poromon shook his head in slight frustration. "Sorry 'bout that. It's just that I was able to make my voice deeper to disguise myself."
He motioned to the coat, which Mimi caught notice.
"I see," she pondered and fiddled with a stand of hair. "With how well you can hide your voice, you could be a ventriloquist one day."
"Ventriloquist?" Poromon wondered.
"We'll discuss it later," Yolei interrupted and turned to Mimi. "While arriving, we went to the flower shop about two blocks away from here…" she paused to prevent herself from stuttering and reached her right hand out, "…and this bouquet of roses are for you."
Mimi eyed the beautiful flowers with awe and accepted the offering. "Thank you, Yolei."
"You're welcome," smiled the twelve-year-old. "Mind if we can come right in?"
Mimi shook her head. "No. Be my guest," she replied and backed up to give them some room to enter the room.
Despite the low height, the luxury never diminished. Across the large room were the wall-to-wall windows. Draped in maroon and stretching from the ceiling to more than halfway down, the low trimmings flapped from the cold wind produced by the air conditioner. A white carpet with a vine decoration covered the entire floor (except the bathroom located on the right). Located on the left was a king-size bed, which was covered with a thick dark blue quilt. On the right near the door was the entrance to the bathroom, but the door was shut, so there was no way to tell what the bathroom was like. Around the corner was a square wooden table with two four-legged chairs, one on each side.
"Such a nice place you're temporarily living in, Mimi," gasped Poromon as his eyes examined the main room.
"Thanks, Poromon," replied Mimi sweetly and lightly sniffed the flowers.
She turned to Yolei, who eyed the room with awe.
"You seem to really like this place, don't ya?" she asked.
Yolei nodded. "'Tis a shame that I don't have the same luxury as you do." A pout. "You're making me jealous."
Mimi looked down and sniffed her flowers again. "Please don't be jealous," she replied and looked up to see Yolei's sulk. "Or in fact, please do," she thought, hiding a chuckle, "because I love seeing such a cute face like yours retained."
"I'll try not to be envious," replied Yolei, her pout deepening, "but why did you have to reside in such a beautiful place?"
Mimi finally could not hold back her grin, yet had just enough internal will to resist laughing. "It's still not compared to my homes, though."
Poromon caught the extra "s."
"Homes?" he wondered.
The DigiDestined of Sincerity nodded and sat on the bed. "Here, the U.S., and the Digital World."
Yolei, who was eyeing around the room and placed the bag on the table a little earlier, looked back. "That's what I feel about the Digital World, too," she replied. "It feels like another home to me."
Mimi looked down. "And now, the Digimon Emperor is making that peaceful place to one where he controls everything and makes every Digimon around him helpless."
There was a long, morbid silence.
"But we can beat him," spoke Poromon, who was flying above Yolei.
Everybody looked at him.
"Look at the last battle against the Roachmon Brothers," he observed. "We were able to fight them off long enough for us to destroy the Control Spire and free all the slaves in the Night Forest."
"Yeah, I forgot about that," said Yolei and put her right hand on her chin. "And I bet we made the rest of his weekend really dreadful."
Mimi chuckled. "I think 'dreadful' doesn't completely describe what his reaction possibly was."
Yolei turned to her. "It doesn't?" she asked.
"No." Mimi shook her head, a big smile reappearing on her face. "More like dreadful and wasted, to be exact."
For some reason, the words struck Yolei differently. "I wonder what he's doing now to vent his frustration on his losing," she said sadly as she and Poromon approached Mimi by a few feet.
"I'm not so sure," replied the pink Digimon and soon caught Yolei's tone, "but he might be capturing more Digimon in response."
Mimi's beam diminished and turned to a frown. "Makes sense," she said and grunted loudly in frustration. "How are we gonna beat this bully?!"
Poromon's mind was blank on this. "Not certain what to do," he replied, "other than destroying as many Control Spires as possible and capturing the Digimon Emperor."
"But there's gotta be something better than just capturing the Emperor," retorted Mimi and looked at the flowers on her lap.
Poromon shook his head. "I don't know, Mimi," he interjected quietly.
Following her quip, Yolei did nothing except watch the sad exchange. This adventure was already taking a mental toll on them already, and only three weeks had passed since Agumon's emergency! His actions in enslaving all those defenseless Digimon were really angering her friends, particularly Mimi, one of whom who had to endure a long adventure three years prior. From what some of Mimi's friends described, she had gained a lot of sensitivity for those around her. Way more compassion and nearly no selfishness – she carried this new trait since the last adventure.
"And this is why I admire her," thought Yolei and closed her eyes, "that is, if I admire her."
What? She doubted the fact that she wanted to be like Mimi?
"No, not that way. Something else." Her eyes reopened. "Maybe it's something different than admiration."
Well, what was it?
"And now… I think I know what it is."
She turned to Poromon. "Is it okay if we can have a little bit of privacy for now, please?"
He was unsure why, but he soon had a guess why and obliged.
"But where can I leave you two alone?" he whispered.
Yolei leaned towards him and spoke in the ear embedded within his fur. "The table, perhaps, where you can peak through the blinds so you can watch the outside world."
Poromon nodded and flew towards the table, where the blinds nearby were partially open.
Now that he was minding his business, she soon walked in slow steps to Mimi, who looked down at the flowers glumly, and sat on the bed.
"I understand what you're thinking, and I feel upset that the Digimon Emperor is enslaving everyone, too," she consoled and touched Mimi's left hand with her right one. "Rest assured, we will beat him and bring peace back to the Digital World, and nothing's gonna stop us."
Finally, Mimi turned to her. "You'll be like us in being resilient, if not more, against him?" she asked.
Yolei smiled. "Trust me, we'll be really strong," she replied lowly. "I guarantee it."
Leaning forward, she closed her eyes and kissed Mimi on the lips.
The DigiDestined of Sincerity internally jumped. One moment, she was talking frustratingly to Poromon, and now Yolei's lips were on hers. The whole scene seemed to be bizarre, particularly since it jumped from one to another. Yet… it made so much sense.
This feeling— It was tingly internally. Never had she experienced it. Sure, she wanted to know how kissing – or being kissed – was like; and now, she got that opportunity… And, boy, did she ever feel so happy than right now.
Soon, Yolei pulled away and stared into Mimi's brown eyes, a kind smile on her face.
Mimi was now speechless. This experience had now ended.
"This…" gasped the Japanese-American, but Yolei interrupted.
"Yes, Mimi, I now know why you invited me to your house yesterday," she said. "You were starting to have a crush on me, and you wanted to tell me personally today."
Mimi remained quiet for a few more moments. "Yes, Yolei, that's why I asked to come here today," she replied, no longer having too much air in her voice. "The day after you told me that you wanted to be like me, I started having feelings for you. That I was…" a small laugh, "…falling in love with you."
Yolei stilled some. "That was what I now know. I wasn't so sure why you invited me here at first, and it took me a while to realize it, but now I do." She reached out and caressed her hand on Mimi's right cheek. "And I don't regret it, either."
"And please feel proud of it, too," smiled Mimi, absentmindedly caressing the roses. "I don't like guilt too much."
"Trust me, I will," said Yolei and remembered something. "So, will this be a long 'good-bye'? You have to return to the United States tomorrow."
Mimi shook her head. "No, it won't be a long good-bye," she replied. "Because although I contact a lot of people, mostly via e-mail, I always come over and see those I care for in the near future."
Yolei blinked. "Always?"
Mimi nodded and put the flowers on the bed. "Always."
Yolei's eyes glistened. "So, we'll see each other very soon following tomorrow, right?"
"Mm-hmm. Because 'good-bye' is nothing more than another way of saying 'hello.'"
No more was said as they closed their eyes and kissed once more. This time, it was not only with a mutual passion, but with a close, tight embrace, too, indicating the beginning of what might likely be a very long relationship.
This privacy, however, would not quite last, for Poromon aimed what looked like a digital camera at the new couple.
"Say 'cheese'!" he thought happily and pressed the button.