It was a lazy summer day, and nobody was around. Izumi had a school project to take care of, Tomoki had other plans, and Kouji and Kouichi had their father's birthday. Thus, to avoid being bored out of their minds, the last two members of their group decided to meet at the park and waste the day away being bored out of their minds there. And so, that was why Takuya was bouncing a soccer ball from one knee to the other while Junpei made up elaborate plans for a boat to sail across the lake.
"There is no way that's going to float," Takuya said finally, not once breaking the rhythm of the ball bouncing.
Junpei took another look at his plans, groaned, and crumpled them up. "You're right."
Takuya gave him a surprised look before bouncing the ball up once last time—just high enough that he could catch it in his hands. "Huh, that's a first. You usually don't give up on these things so easily."
"Well, you used to not give up on your plans so easily either," Junpei pointed out. "Remember how stubborn you used to be about it?"
Takuya frowned. "Yeah. I learned that one the hard way." Finally, he sighed and sat down heavily on the park bench. "You know, I don't think I've ever been this bored."
"It isn't that bad," Junpei insisted.
"No, I mean, ever since we got back from the Digital World, it's easier to get bored," he explained. "We used to be doing something all the time or constantly on high alert, just waiting for an attack. Now that we're not fighting for our lives, it's hard to get back into the swing of things. I used to worry about math tests before the Digital World. I'm back home, and after all that, I'm supposed to try and be worried about something that small again?"
"You should have worried about it a little more," Junpei reminded him. "Didn't you only just pass your last one?"
"Yeah," Takuya admitted with a groan, "and Mom grounded me for a week for it. But you get what I mean, right? How am I supposed to care about it on the same level I used to? It's not the same as worrying everyday that one little screw-up could get all of us killed and let the worlds get destroyed. You know what I mean?"
"More or less," Junpei admitted. "But the rest of us usually wound up sitting on the sidelines while you and Kouji fought, feeling kind of useless in the middle of it all."
"Oh," Takuya realized. He'd never thought of it that way—he and Kouji had always been in the middle of things, and especially with their Hyper Spirit Evolutions; they'd never realized how they completely alienated their friends. "Sorry."
"Not your fault," Junpei answered. "It's just kind of hard to feel the way you do, since we got knocked out early."
The assurances weren't helping Takuya feel too much better, though, and he was slumping in his seat. "How do the others feel?"
"We're not bitter about it or anything," Junpei insisted. "Honestly, I think it's Kouichi who feels it most because he was fighting on Cherubimon's side for so long and didn't get much of a chance to make up for it, but even he doesn't hold it against you guys."
Takuya sighed. It just wasn't fair. They were kids. They weren't supposed to understand such abstract concepts as "redemption." They weren't supposed to know what it felt like to be completely useless in battle. They weren't supposed to be responsible for saving the world. Their only responsibilities were supposed to be homework, chores, and not being mean to their little brothers. Much.
"You know, we need to go back to it," he said at long last.
"What? The Digital World?"
"Not that—well, actually, yeah, that would be nice. But I mean back to the way we were."
Junpei gave him a cynical glance. "You really want to go back to being the kid that you were before you became the Warrior of Fire? I don't think any of us want to do that."
"Not exactly," Takuya explained. "But there was something about our lives before the Digital World… It's just so hard adjusting back to them, you know? Yeah, we're stronger, but it's not doing us a whole lot of good if we can't get ourselves to fit in with this world. I mean, we had to fit in with the Digital World in order to do much of anything, right?"
"Yeah," Junpei admitted.
"That's what I mean. We need to remember how to live in the human world. We need to remember what it's like to not have to worry about danger around every corner, not have to wake up at the crack of dawn because we're not so beat up and exhausted that we're sleeping past noon, and all that other stuff we've gotten used to in the Digital World. We're done. That's it. We've saved both worlds. We need to remember how to relax and enjoy it. And we need to remember how to be human, not just Digimon."
"I see your point," Junpei said after a pause. "It is kind of hard getting used to things again. When's the last time we just hung out? We always had to have something planned, and that's why you and I are so bored today."
"Well, maybe it's not too bad that we plan things," Takuya admitted. "I mean, we don't all live in the same district, so it's easier to get everyone together if we have an idea of where to go and what to do."
"Yeah, but hanging out is kind of nice too," Junpei added.
"That's it," Takuya decided. "Let's call everyone and just hang out here. We can do whatever—and we don't have to worry about someone not liking something or another. We can figure things out as we go."
"Just one little problem with that," Junpei reminded him. "Tomoki's out of town, Izumi's project is due tomorrow, and Kouji said not to call him or Kouichi unless it's an emergency."
"Oh, right," Takuya remembered, frowning. "Guess we'll have to try again next week."
"There's still us, you know," Junpei said, getting a grin out of him. "So, got any ideas what to do now?"
Takuya's grin took a mischievous edge. "Thought you said we were just going to hang out—no special plans or anything."
"Hey, we've hung out enough. I think it's time we actually do something."
"No argument here," Takuya agreed, tossing his soccer ball to Junpei. He caught it with a grin before chasing after his friend.
Digimon is the property of Toei Entertainment, distributed by Disney. This piece was written for the Frontier round of the Livejournal Digimon Friendship Challenge. The title comes from Chihiro Onitsuka's song "Bokura Bara-iro no Hibi," which roughly translates to "Our Rose-Colored Days."