I have returned from the dark and torturous depths known as first semester of college! /shot/ I have survived the deathly journey known as studying for finals and taking them! Now, I have about a month of break to do stuff I've been wanting to do since summer vacation but never got done because I'm a big procrastinator!

Takuya: ….Just get on with the story already. No one cares about your college adventures.

Me: You're just saying that because this chapter focuses on you instead of the main characters.

Takuya: Wait…I'm not a main character?

Me: -sigh-The story is called Kaze ni Hikari. Wind into Light. 風に光。According to the original Digimon Frontier series, your element is fire. Hi. 火。

Takuya: Okay, okay, I get it! You don't have to show off your Kanji skills on here! As if you had any since you've only been taking Japanese for a semester and—

Me: Time for the disclaimer!

Disclaimer: Digimon does not belong to me or its canon characters. Only the OCs belong to me, unfortunately.

Takuya: …I deserve more screen time. Or writing time. Whatever it's called.

Chapter 21: Just Floating By


"Shonen Jump. I got me some Shonen Jump. Da dee da dee dah…" Takuya Kanbara strolled along the sidewalk carrying a thick manga magazine in his right arm. In his left, he held two bags of groceries that swung back and forth in rhythm to his steps.

He stopped at an intersection and struggled to glance at the time on his left hand while balancing the weight of the groceries at the same time.

"Ten-fifteen. Hmm…plenty enough time to catch up on Gintama and Sket Danceand then I have the whole day to myself." A grin spread across Takuya's face as he brainstormed how he would spend his Saturday.

The brunette took a moment to check for any passing cars and then he crossed the street to the next sidewalk that would eventually lead him home. He began whistling a familiar anime opening as he passed through his neighborhood.

"…oretachi no roo—what the hell?" Takuya stopped dead in his steps.

His arms fell to his side and he dropped the bags of groceries along with the Shonen Jump magazine on the sidewalk. Then, he rushed over to the figure sprawled a few feet ahead of him on the ground.

Takuya noted the purple-black bruises and bloodstains all over the girl's body. He also took notice of the bleached blonde locks that covered her face.

Wait a momentI've seen her beforeshit..

He grimaced as he turned over the limp body of Hanazono Hinata to her back.

"Oh God, what if she's dead?" Takuya paused for a moment and then leaned in closer to the yankii girl's face. It was there. He heard it barely, but her faint breathing was there.

The brunette sighed in relief and was thinking of what to do when a familiar voice interrupted his thoughts.

"What the…where am I? Who…get away from me!"

Takuya felt his breath being knocked out of him as he was kicked backwards to the ground.

When he stood up, he was met by a dark glare coming from the girl's umber brown eyes.

"You!" Hanazono Hinata snarled in surprise as she recognized him.

"Is that how you greet someone who's trying to help you?" Takuya met her glare with a look of apathy, although he felt otherwise.

"Tch. Is that what you were trying to do? I wouldn't know; I've never been helped before." The yankii girl spit onto the sidewalk, ignoring Takuya's look of disgust.

"Seriously? There had to be—"

"None. Now how 'bout you pick up your crap and leave me alone?"

Takuya felt his jaw open slightly but then closed it immediately.

"You look like you've been hit by a truck. Like hell I'm leaving you here by yourself." He reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone.

He scrolled through his contacts, trying to figure out who he could call when she cried out to him.

"Don't call anyone! I'm serious. What happened is no one's business but my own."

Takuya caught the desperate look in her eyes.

"So…what did happen?"

"Didn't you just hear what I said?" A scowl broke on her face.

"Yeah, loud and clear. I'm just trying to help."

"You and your help. I don't need it."

Takuya shook his head and sighed and then began looking at his phone again.

"All right. All right! I'll tell you. Just don't call anyone. And…you mind helping me get up?"

"So you do need help." He snapped shut his phone and slipped it into his pocket.

Hanazono Hinata growled in response as Takuya approached and wrapped his arms around her torso. He paused for a moment, feeling a strange warmth spread inside him.

Wait. What I am getting all nervous for? This isn't a big deal.

"Hey, are you daydreaming or something? Having some perverted fantasy?"

"Like hell I am! You're as heavy as a statue!"

Once again, Takuya felt the wind being knocked out of him and he fell back with Hanazono Hinata falling on top of him.

"Oi! What did you do that for?" He suddenly noticed how close she was to him and his face contorted into a strange expression..

"You mind getting off of me? You're kind of—"

"Didn't anyone ever tell you it's rude to call a girl heavy? You're one of those guys with zero sensitivity, aren't you?" Hanazono Hinata slapped his face before rolling over to her back.

"Ow! Are you some violent gorilla girl or something?" Takuya jumped back as she quickly sat up and gave him a deathly stare. Then, she winced in pain and lay back down again.

"Just…just forget it. There's no point in talking to an idiot like you. There's no point in talking to anyone…" She sighed and stared at the vast cerulean sky above her.

She flinched when she felt movement beside her. Then, her eyes widened in surprise when Takuya lay beside her.

"Then, don't talk to me. Talk to the sky. I'm not here. I'm just like that cloud up there, just floating by." Takuya raised his arm and pointed to a small white cloud drifting through the blue expanse.

Hanazono Hinata replied with silence. She stared at the cloud with her hands folded across her bandaged chest and simply sighed.

"I was beat to a pulp by the new Sakura gang's leader. Or should I say, the Rose gang's empress. She's the daughter of a famous yakuza and bought off my followers with her money. I underestimated her and ended up facing her head to head in front of everyone. Yeah, she's a spoiled bitch. But, she was also taught to fight from birth in her family. It was like facing a wild grizzly bear. I had no chance and I'm lucky I'm still alive."

Out of the corner of her eye, Hanazono Hinata saw Takuya nod for her to continue.

"But, that's just not it. I never had a chance the moment I thought I could change myself. I heard that my mom came back from who knows where and she was looking for me. She wanted to see me, the old me. I guess my plans were obvious to my gang. They knew I wanted to stop being a yankii…so maybe in some way they were being considerate by joining the Rose gang. Or maybe they didn't want to follow a weak leader and decided to let someone stronger than them finish me off. "

"So, you were heading off to your mom's place after losing that fight?"

"I didn't know the sky could talk." Takuya didn't miss the sarcastic tone in Hanazono Hinata's voice. When he didn't reply, she continued to speak.

"Are you kidding me? Head to her place like this? She wouldn't even recognize me, —especially after a year since she left."

Takuya's voice softened.

"Then, where were you going off looking like the living dead?"

"I don't know…" Her voice trailed off and she became silent again.

At that moment, Takuya sat up and jumped to his feet. Once again, he pulled out his cell phone from his pocket. However, this time, he knew who to call.

"H-hey! I thought I told you not to call anyone!"

"I can't leave you here by yourself in that condition. Unfortunately, I can't take you anywhere either since I have that to take care of" Takuya pointed to the bags of groceries and his ShonenJump magazine. "My mom might ask a lot of questions but I'll just make something up or not say anything."

"Ugh…why did I have to be saved by a guy like you? Why couldn't it have been your friend, Kouji?" Hanazono Hinata covered her face with the palm of her right hand.

"Well, sorry I'm not him. Actually, no, I'm not. You'd be luckier if it was Kouichi, his brother. Then again…"

"Just call your mom already!"

Takuya placed the phone to his ear and heard ringing on the line. Then, a click.

"Hey, mom? Yeah, I have your groceries. Um…there's something else too…"

Hanazono Hinata looked at the sky and noticed more clouds had appeared. For some time, they had surrounded the first cloud she had spotted and almost seemed to merge together into a larger, greyer cloud.

She felt drops drip onto her face and trail down her cheeks.

"Aw man! Is it starting to rain? I thought it was supposed to be clear the entire day!" Takuya cursed, unaware he was still talking to his mom. He heard a scolding tone from the other line and quickly apologized as he scrambled to pick up his things from the sidewalk.

"Yeah…so did I." Hanazono Hinata mumbled to herself as more drops spilled on her face. She tasted their salty flavor. It reminded her of another time she tasted salty drops.

That time…she had been more naïve than she was now. It was another story to tell at another time.

~Kaze Ni Hikari~

Yay for subplots! They help this writer get the main plot moving….yeah. For those of those who want to know (or if you don't want to know but I'm going to tell you anyway) the anime opening Takuya sings is the Sket Dance opening by Gackt. Go listen to it. While you all are at it, go watch Sket Dance, the anime or read the manga. Go watch Gintama and read the manga too. They're both awesome.