There was a quiet calm around Seiko Hata all the time that Renamon admired. Rika and Rumiko were very open with their emotions, but almost nothing could break Seiko's absolute serenity. When the other two might panic, Seiko was always able to remind them to have faith in themselves. So on days when Rika was at school and Seiko was the only one left home, Renamon didn't mind staying with the matriarch until Rika needed her.
Seiko was in the garden, practicing a tai chi form. She'd recently taken up classes under Henry's sensei, as all of the families and family friends of the Tamers had gotten much closer after the D-Reaper's attack; Rumiko and Shizue Katou were especially good friends, and Seiko occasionally had visits from the Wongs, whether it was to talk computers with Janyu or to lend a sympathetic ear to Mayumi.
"Rika can never understand how anyone can stand something so slow," Renamon said. Seiko smiled and continued her form, moving fluidly and gently. "I doubt she's realized that Henry's faster martial arts are still the same type."
"That's Rika for you," Seiko agreed. "Patience has never been one of her virtues. Rumiko was the same way at that age."
"It is strange how alike they are," Renamon agreed. "Even though they're on opposite ends of the spectrum, their basic traits and habits are the same: a lack of patience, overt emotions…"
Seiko nodded and finished her form. "You're right. Neither one of them could ever manage tai chi, and neither of them believes me when I insist it's doing me good."
"Yes," Renamon answered. "To Rika, activity must be dynamic."
"Rika's always been a dynamic girl," Seiko replied. "Even as a little girl, she preferred sports over playing dress-up, and that eventually became card games and fighting Digimon. But I was referring more to what it's been doing for my mind. It helps me relax, it helps me concentrate—it's like meditation."
"Another thing I don't think they could understand," Renamon said. "For Rika, her passion must shine through in everything she does, leading her to be somewhat of a perfectionist and, when she can't achieve perfection, hold grudges. Even when we biomerge, there is a burst of emotion, though this time positive ones. Letting go of all emotions—good and bad—is something she'd never allow herself to do. Rumiko seems to be the same way."
"That she is," Seiko agreed with a smile.
They wandered into the kitchen, where Seiko set up a light breakfast for them. Renamon usually ate at the same time as Rika, but she agreed to eat just a little bit, just for the sake of being polite. It was mostly tea and bread from the Matsuki bakery, anyway. They always insisted on giving the Tamers' families and allies discounts, so just about everyone who lived close enough to the bakery had a kitchen well-stocked with their bread.
They ate in silence, but it was a comfortable one. Birdsong drifted in on breezes through the open windows, adding to the peaceful atmosphere. Spring was well into bloom. This was a day when no Digimon attacks could happen. Surely, even the Wild Ones, as Hypnos officially designated them still, could see that the tranquility was too beautiful to shatter.
"It's funny, now that I think of it," Seiko murmured, "but I suppose we get along so well because there is something similar between us, regarding our relationship with time."
Renamon gave her a slightly puzzled look. "How so?"
"We both live between times. The world around us is either moving toward the future or clinging to the past. Rumiko is always looking toward the future, and Rika is too to some extent, but she also has a wariness and distrust for things that seem too new. You and I embrace both sides of time, living in the future and the past at once."
Now, it was starting to make sense, and Renamon nodded. "You never shy away from new technology and discoveries, yet you follow tradition and enjoy them."
"And you embody the two ends of time," Seiko agreed. "Your forms draw from myth and Shinto and Buddhist tradition, but as a Digimon, you're also a product of ever-advancing technology." She finished the last of her bread and added, "I suppose that's why I enjoy tai chi so much, and why I knew you'd understand how important it is to slow down and let go of everything. For however long you keep going at it, you're outside of time, not even noticing it pass you by. Every schedule, every deadline is forgotten, and nothing matters anymore—not even the moment you're in. It's like the waves of time are washing over you without you ever feeling them."
"Especially helpful in this world," Renamon noted. "In the Digital World, it would be a liability to let go of yourself—you must remain aware at all times. But this world, while not always safer, can afford that."
"More than that, I think our world needs to let go every once in a while," Seiko added, as she washed the dishes. "I don't know how Rika and her friends handle it, constantly facing Digimon battles and their normal lives without thinking to stop and let it all pass them by. They have vacations, of course, but I always notice that edge in Rika, always expecting something to happen."
"Relaxing vacations usually wind up being anything but," Renamon explained. "We've had far too many trips interrupted by a Digimon attack, whether it's something as small as a Numemon invasion or a Deva attack."
"I know that fighting is an important part of your lives, but promise me that you'll try and remind the others that they need to relax too," Seiko said. "I have no doubts about you, but remind Rika every once in a while. It just might help her and her friends to stop trying to approach their problems from only one angle."
"Of course," Renamon promised.
It was several hours later when Rika arrived home to see Renamon sitting with her eyes closed in the garden. She tried to tiptoe past her, but Renamon opened her eyes anyway.
"Were you sleeping?" Rika asked.
"No, I was meditating."
Rika gave her a skeptical look. "Okay, then."
As Rika headed to her room to change and seek out more chaos for her life, Renamon smiled slightly. At least if one of them could let things wash over her, it would probably be okay.
Digimon is the property of Toei Entertainment and is distributed by Disney. This piece is an entry in the LiveJournal Digimon Friendship Challenge.