I had gotten the idea from ESPN radio last year listening to Doug and Wolf. The one thing that made me giggle was when they brought up the question to Diane (jokingly, I don't remember how it came up) "Where do you live?" From that, I suddenly got a very funny image and thought this up. And it wouldn't really work unless they were reporters. And because of that, some information about the reporter's job and even the news station will be off, somewhat. I took a tour at EVIT and they had a class for reporters and I saw a sneak peek at what people do behind-the-scenes, so that helped a little. But still, I know I got some things wrong, so forgive me and correct me when needed.
All the Digimon have Japanese names (and I don't have the heart to change the names), and live somewhat human lives. Please put up with me, since this is actually a year old and the idea never/won't change.
Disclaimer: Digimon is copyrighted to Akiyoshi Hongo, and some street/building names have come from the Escaflowne series/movie, produced by Sunrise Studios and directed by Kazuki Akane.
Chapter One: Kohana's Theft
Lunchtime was a busy part of Gaea Station. All of the staff, save for the owner and his co-workers, gathered together in the reporter's resting room and chatted with their partners and eat together. It wasn't used all day, but workers who arrived early report there until the others arrive. But for Hidoi Honda, lunch was a time to study and memorize the reports for that evening. So he sat at the table, head in his hand as he thoroughly looked over his papers. He barely touched his lunch, and he never did look up.
With the exception of her.
Kohana Kinomoto. She was the prettiest womon of petite size who worked at the Station. Her hair of vines was skillfully put in any style she felt comfortable in that day. She never liked it over her shoulders, she had once said, but preferred it pulled back in the styles she learned in college from the cosmetologists she had as roommates. Nearly all of her dresses were hand-made, her eyes shone beautifully from her pale pink face and she usually flew from room to room gracefully as a pixie should. All of the mons had their eyes on her, but he knew her best, after having been study companions in college. He found himself to like her, maybe even love her. But never had he dared ask her out to a date, shame on him.
Speaking of Kohana, she finally turned to him, taking a peek at the papers. "Studying again, huh?" she asked sweetly.
"Yup." He didn't look up. Now wasn't the time.
She gave a slow sigh, scooping up some of his ramen and stuffing it into her mouth. He didn't care or seem to notice. "You were always the nerd in the class, having studied day in and day out. No wonder all the girls avoided you." She smirked. "Your nerdiness scared them off."
Ah, one of their own inside-jokes. How it ticked him off. "No," he grumbled. "I wasn't a jock, so of course they avoided me."
Kohana poked his cheek with the plastic fork. "Lighten up, will ya? I've seen nerds go on dates before."
"Aw, leave him alone, Ko," Ryuu Tanaka said, sipping his milk. The XV-mon kept his scarlet eyes on her, not bothering to participate in other of the conversations. He was one of the single mons who had his heart set out towards her, though she saw him as a friend. "He's trying to memorize."
Kohana waved it away. "He's used to me teasing him like this." She poked him again though he was starting to get irritated from feeling plastic jabbing into his skin. "Aren't you, Hidoi?"
With his angel wings fluttering, Junjo Sakamoto laughed, seeing his look on his face. "You really aren't are you?" he pointed out, shaking his head.
The Lillymon stopped and peered at him. His green eyes slightly glanced up to look at her before turning back to his papers. She frowned. "You okay?"
He nodded slowly.
"Are you mad because I'm eating your lunch?"
"No, go ahead," he grumbled. "I'm not hungry."
Ryuu made a whistling sound as he dipped his hand downward. "Hear that? That's your metabolism falling."
The Angemon smacked him against the head to shut him up.
Shrugging, Kohana silently ate the rest of his lunch with ease, only nodding when people were talking to her and asked if she agreed with them on a certain situation. When she finished, she stretched and got up from her chair. "I have to go do some errands," she said to her friends surrounding her. "I'll be back before the evening news."
They all called out a good-bye (except the Wizardmon) and with a wave, she fluttered out the door. All eyes of the single mons followed her until she was out of sight. Groaning, Hidoi barely missed slamming his head on the table when his hand slipped.
Hours later, Kohana had not yet returned. There was a near twenty minutes before broadcast, and Hidoi spent this time looking over his papers one last time. Next to him sat the weatherman and sports reporter, having talked about certain things from that day now had changed topics to a complain about dating problems Ryuu had. "I don't know what I did wrong," he blabbed on. "All I did was get fresh on her."
The Angemon wasn't very interested in the topic and was trying hard not to fall asleep. "I think I found your problem," Junjo muttered, mouth almost obscured from his hand.
The dragon was oblivious and continued to yap on. "It stinks. I can never find a girl who would want to stay near me longer than a week. They all slap me after the date. Maybe I'm losing my touch—"
"How were your high school dates like?"
Ryuu gave a smirk. "I was a jock in school," he replied. "All the girls loved me. I mean, who wouldn't love football players, I mean really? I had lines at my locker, an infinite amount of phone calls, and a crowd of girls just crying and begging me to take them out on a date." He laughed a dry and short-lived laugh. "Now-a-days no one seems to get near me anymore. I've always wondered why. Do I offend somehow?" Quickly he took a whiff from under his arms. "Nope, that's not it."
Thankfully, Kohana arrived before Hidoi could leap up and strangle the XV-mon. But her entrance wasn't fluent and graceful like it usually was. She came into the studio all skittish and jumpy, her eyes darting this way and that and fingers twitching. It concerned him to see her like this. Normally she was carefree and filled with joy. The Wizardmon reached out and touched her arm, making her squeak with fright and turn to his direction sharply. "Are you okay? You look like someone attacked you along the way."
"WHAT!" Ryuu suddenly exclaimed loudly, surprising all occupants in the room. "WHO ATTACKED YOU, KOHANA?! Tell me their names! I'll knock them senseless!"
She gave a nervous, high-pitched laugh. "I'm flattered you'd do that, Ryuu, but I wasn't attacked," she corrected him. "It's a pretty windy day out today. I almost hit a tree branch, so I'm still a bit cautious."
"Oh, good, I thought you were hurt."
Hidoi rolled his eyes and let his head drop. He didn't catch it in time and his forehead slammed against the counter top, making the three jump out of their skins. That was when the co-worker floated into the room, and all chatting stopped when a strange presence filled the atmosphere. Myou Kazamoto had a strange, unexplainable talent for silencing a noisy room just by showing up. No one's so sure why, though his scarlet hood covering his icy eyes and his golden scythe hanging from an arm gave them theories he was the Grim Reaper. They were short-lived once he found out about the rumors. The wizard sat up straighter and tensed up when the Phantomon levitated to their counter.
His eyes scanned between the four, glaring at each one. Finally his eerie, ghoulish voice sounded from the black abyss of his hood. "Is there something wrong here? I heard someone yell, particularly you, Mr. Tanaka."
Ryuu stood erect. "Sir, it wasn't me!" he reported like he was in the Army. "Kohana had just came and surprised us both! We're sorry to have trick—startled you like that!"
Myou only glared and turned to the others. "Is there anything else out of place? Mr. Sakamoto?"
He only shook his head. "Nothing to report."
"Honda? Got anything to say?"
"Nothing as well," he answered.
Nodding slowly, but suspiciously, he turned to Kohana. He noticed she was sitting up straighter than usual; her mouth was a straight line, and her gaze was over his head and focused. His eyes narrowed. "Is there anything wrong, Miss Kinomoto?" he asked calmly.
Her head shook vigorously. "No, no! Nothing, Mr. Kazamoto, sir, no!"
He gave a sharp nod, then turned to leave. "Five minutes," he called out before disappearing out the door. Once he left, the strange feeling was lifted, and the people were more comfortable to talk.
Junjo shook his head slowly. "I hate that guy," he muttered darkly. "There's something evil about him."
"Said the angel," Ryuu coughed, quickly ducking to get to his station he could swing a punch.
Hidoi turned towards his companion, brow furrowed in suspicion. She still seemed jumpy. A near-miss with the tree branch wouldn't have done it. He was tempted to read her mind, but knew better. She'd get very upset with him. Softly, he reached over to touch her arm, but Kohana jerkily pulled it back from impulse. "You sure you're okay?" he asked once more.
"Yes, yes!" she nearly shouted, turning to him angrily. "Now please, lay off it!"
He bowed his head and turned to face the cameras. The cameramen signaled the start, and the people in the audio played the introduction of the news. Finally, he spoke on cue. "Good evening, Server. I'm Hidoi Honda."
Kohana barely missed her intro. "And I'm Kohana Kinomoto," she said squeakily, then cleared her throat. "Sorry. First on Gaea, dozens are dead, more mortally injured when a school shooting at—"
He listened closely, not because of the news, but from the way her voice wavered in and out of focus. She still kept her facial expressions on, and yet it couldn't hide the fact she was nervous and unable to control it. It really confused him. Maybe she was worried about an up-coming news story? He quickly looked through his papers. Nope. Nothing that would cause her to freak. Unless...
After several more news have gone back and forth and it was commercial, he tried again. "Kohana, are you worried about something?"
"Why would you ask that?" she snapped.
"Well, I thought maybe... one of the news frightened you."
"No, you know they're all the same. Kidnappings here and there, robberies left and right, violence everywhere you go. Rapes have even shot up in the last month."
Hidoi had to agree. They lived in a godforsaken time and place where nothing was safe. He was always confined inside after school like other children, and parents worried about school if that one day was the last day of their children's lives. Everyday, he and his little sister were bombarded by hugs and kisses from their mother before being released for school. And of course, they came home safe and she'd babble on about a shooting and worried it was their school. And more children disappeared between lunch hours, before and after school, and during recess than any place in the town. Only a few of those students were found alive.
By the time the second commercial break came around, Nohara Tatsuya vaporized from thin air right in front of Hidoi. He was confused at the Piximon's sudden appearance. "What's this?" he wondered, taking the paper and looking it over. Looking back up, he noticed her watery eyes told him something was wrong.
"Just recently came in," she whispered sadly. Then she evaporated with a small "poof".
Kohana looked over. "What's the news?"
Looking back over the update, he said, "There was a robbery not too far from here."
"Oh, my. I hope he's caught." Her tone was monotone, but he didn't take it seriously.
The cameras then turned back on, but this time it was for the weather report. From across the room, Ryuu happily greeted the audience in Server and got around to forecasting the weather. It was typical early spring weather, being in mild temperatures and cool breezes coming in from the east. And of course, spring meant the snowbirds would finally leave. How he hated the snowbirds, almost always over-populating the area. The rains might help chase them out.
"`Kay, back to you guys," he announced at the end, clicking his tongue and pointing at them.
Hidoi took note to strangle him later. "Thank you, Ryuu. A robbery had taken place this afternoon at the local strip mall down at the intersection of Gaea and Alseides. We were told it was another common theft, but what happened is leaving the store in complete surprise. We have the footage of the robbery in the recording studio to show you. Kimi, what's so unusual about this one that makes this robbery different?"
The screen turned on behind the cameramen, and the Garudamon came into view. Her sharp, azure eyes seemed to look at him, without seeing him physically. It creeped him out whenever she did that, or anyone else in that matter. It was like the boss made the screens like that on purpose. But the gaze in her eyes were sad and regretful. Other workers in the background were silent. Not a good sign. "According to the tape, the theft was related to the typical price-tag switch, only it was torn off to make it seem like it was her own bag. I-it's a bit difficult to even talk, let alone think about this, Hidoi," she said timidly.
"Why? Was there something disturbing about the tape?" he asked.
"Not really. It's the thief that has us puzzled and asking..." She gave a sigh and shook her head, golden hair-tails flopping to the sides. "'Why?'."
Hidoi raised a brow, but when the screen switched to the video clip and explanation, his eyes went wide with shock. Across the room, Ryuu fell out of his seat with a yell, and Junjo's jaw had dropped. The cameramen turned around to look as well, and one caught himself from swearing. The Wizardmon only kept shaking his head, gaping in disbelief.
In clear colors, as Kimi narrated Kohana Kinomoto nervously looked around the aisle, and swiped off a leather purse. She ripped off the price tag and stuffed it in another purse, quickly flitting away. The employer of the store was shown, only to respond how disappointed and unexpected the robbery turned out to be.
At last she appeared again, only to be on the verge of tears. "I-I had... n-no idea this would happen," she choked. "I mean... why would she do this? Ko..."
The wizard knew the cameras were back on him, but he turned to Kohana slowly. She was sitting in her seat, head down and face red from holding in her emotions. Finally, he breathed out, "Why, Kohana?"
She only wept.
Kohana was fired that night, and she returned the purse to the mall before turning herself in. She was told, from what everyone learned from Myou, that she was a disgrace to Gaea Station. Everyone quickly had gathered around her before she could leave to say farewell. Hidoi wasn't among the crowd. He stood off to the side, and stared helplessly as his friend, companion, and secret love walked out the door in handcuffs. The whole staff was excused early for the night, and the womons cried along the way. He did as well, but only his heart made the sound.
The next morning, he had grown sick and called in for a replacement. All day, with the blinds closed and radio still on, he sat in darkness, not eating and unmoving. It was a shock to his mind, and it refused to believe she did a crime. Having cried himself dry, Hidoi could only stare and let his body cry it out. His heart was the only one left that continued to weep for her. For the old Kohana he knew. But alas, she could never come. He cursed himself for not saying anything, and blamed it on his shyness.
Along with it, he made a mental vow to never, for as long as he lived, fall in love again. His heart locked up at the agreement and the tears stopped flowing. But the pain still lingered.
Within the next month, he was cold as winter itself, never smiling anymore even for a little bit, and couldn't help but glare at all who spoke to him. He kept his serious tone while reporting, but the icy stare frightened his temporary companions who said they'd rather replace him when he was gone, or take the morning and/or afternoon shifts. It was getting harder for the boss to find other staff members who'd stay for at least a week, and had sent Myou to scold Hidoi.
He didn't take heed.
Later one day, he sat alone in the meeting room after lunch after everyone was gone—or left earlier than usual—until Junjo and Ryuu remained. They felt they needed to comfort him, even if he was to reject all of their help. "Hidoi, everything will be okay," the Angemon kept saying. "Things will get better."
"Or worse," the XV-mon piped up. At the warning glare, he quickly added, "Then it'll get better."
The magician only waved them off, not wanting to talk. Sighing, Junjo tried again. "There are plenty of womons out there who are perfect for you." Quickly he shut up the weatherman before he could say anything else.
"I vowed never to love again," Hidoi mumbled. "Now go away."
The two only stood there staring at him sadly until Ryuu made a few swipes on his up-turned wrist. The angel raised a brow. "What are you doing?"
"He's gone emo," the dragon mouthed.
"He's gone what?"
Slapping his head, he shouted, "I'm saying he's emotional! I bet he cuts himself! Look, here's proof!" He reached for Hidoi's arm, but his hand was slapped away.
"You're so naïve, Ryuu," he grumbled, glaring over at him. "Adults don't cut themselves. They deal with the pain and try to solve it their own way."
"Hidoi, this isn't healthy. You'll get sick again—"
"Shut it," he snapped at Junjo. "I don't care anymore. Now get the hell out of my face. And you, don't you have a date?"
"I was dumped, but thanks for remembering," the Champion said, walking out the door.
The Angemon stood at the doorway for a while, gazing down at his friend sadly. He wished he could do more to help this stubborn mon, but knew he wouldn't cooperate. "You're in my thoughts and prayers, Hidoi," he whispered quietly before closing the door shut behind him.
Out of earshot from anybody, he cried.
Gatomon will appear in the next chapter, I'm just introducing basically a good majority of the news crew and setting up the plot.