Human, Digimon, or...?
Part IV
by Christian "Sid" Lang

Sanjay is wandering through the streets of the part of the town Ruki is living in.
He realizes that he has to find some kind of shelter.
The forest had proven to be a bad staying place since humans seemed to be there whenever they wished to be.
His worries and thoughts are interrupted when his nose picks up an interesting scent.
And although none of the passing humans can see it, he is smiling under his hood.
Smells like my old place. he thinks, being reminded of the various herbs and potions he kept there.
His nose leads him to some kind of shop selling herbs and tea.
Being curious, he slowly enters the shop.
There is an old lady reading a book behind the counter and two other customers.
When he enters, the lady looks at him with wide eyes.
Strange. My hood should hide my face. Still, she looks as if she actually had seen me.
Thankfully, the lady relaxes again.
"Welcome. I don't think I have seen you before." she greets him.
"I've just arrived here yesterday." Sanjay explains.
"Let me guess. You're not from around here, right?"
If I didn't know better, I'd say she has seen who and what I am.
"You could say so." he slowly answers.
Thankfully, Sanjay hears another customer enter.
"Good morning, Lady Kioko!" a young boy greets the lady.
He has blue hair and is carrying a stuffed animal in his arms.
No. Not stuffed. This one... smells alive... he corrects himself.
But he pretends not to notice, still remembering the last first encounter with another species.
While the young boy talks to the lady, another boy enters the shop.
"Lee? Hey, what a coincidence!" he says as he comes in.
It is now obvious that the boys are friends.
One of the customers leaves the shop again, giving Sanjay some space.
While Sanjay tries to focus on some of the herbs on the shelves, two more people come in.
I bet this lady knows a lot of people if the shop is always this full.
"All right, everybody down to the floor! Now!" one of the new customer suddenly shouts.
Behind his back, he can hear the boys gasp.
Now what is that about? he wonders as he slowly turns around.
He can see that the two new customers have small knives in their hands.
One of them obviously tries to impress the customers while the other one talks to the lady.
Both of the boys and the other customer are lying on the floor.
"I don't have much money, you thief." the woman tells them calmly.
"Then just give us what you've got!" the young man standing next to him yells.
The man at the counter, who is obviously in charge, stares at Sanjay.
"Why is that one still standing?" the boss shouts.
The man next to Sanjay gives him a surprised look.
Sanjay just looks at the woman and the woman gives him a nod, smiling grimly.
Sighing, he grabs the man's hand which is holding the knive and yanks it upwards.
Even as the man is yelling in surprise, Sanjay delivers a punch into his stomach, sending the man onto the floor.
The boss looks at him in surprise.
Then he shifts into an improvised fighting position, keeping the knive moving.
"I've seen bigger toothpicks." Sanjay states calmly.
The boss just laughs.
His laugh fades when Sanjay is suddenly in front of him, one hand at his throat.
Again the boys gasp after having seen such a display of speed and strength.
"Out." he simply orders the boss.
The man even forgets that he is still holding a knive and just nods.
Seconds later, both of them are out of the shop.
Lady Kioko sighs and smiles at him.
Sanjay simply continues brwosing through the shelves.
Soon, he is alone with the woman.

"Lee!" Terriermon urgently whispers once they are outside.
But Lee is talking with Takato.
"Boy, this man had reflexes!" Takato wonders.
"Yeah. Strange guy." Lee says, nodding.
"Lee! That man! He... he... it... wasn't human!" Terriermon suddenly shouts.
Both boys freeze.
"What are you talking about?" Lee asks his Digimon.
"It... smelled strange..." Terriermon whispers.
"Are you serious about this?" Takato asks, wondering if this was some kind of joke.
"But I'm not completely sure. Maybe we should ask an expert." Terriermon advises them.
Takato and Lee look at each other with blank expressions.
"And who would this expert be?" Lee asks skeptically.
"Well, Ruki's house isn't that far away." the Digimon proposes.
Sighing, Takato and Lee start moving in Ruki's direction.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Ruki is in the city, said something about dueling..." her grandmother tells them.
"Right. She is the Digimon Queen after all." Lee says sarcastically.
Ruki's grandmother just smiles at the remark.
When they start to move away again, Terriermon suddenly breaks out of Lee's grip.
"Renamon is here! I can smell her!" the little Digimon shouts out.
"I fear I know where this is heading..." Takato mutters.
Just as he expected, Terriermon starts to float over the walls and towards Ruki's room.
The boys wait on the street, shaking their heads.

Slowly Terriermon floats past Ruki's windows.
"Renamon! Renamon!" he whispers.
At the last window, he turns around.
"Renamon! Rena-URKS" he gasps as he is suddenly pulled inside by a yellow paw.
"Are you out of your mind!" the fox Digimon hisses, holding Terriermon in her grip.
Funny enough, she didn't say these words in a questioning tone.
"I'm sorry, Renamon." Terriermon just whispers.
The fox sighs and lets go of the smaller Digimon.
"It's just, we need your nose."
"Should I screw it off for you?" Renamon asks sarcastically.
There is a long pause as Terriermon actually seems to consider this.
"What do you need me for?" Renamon finally asks.
"Well, we saw that hooded guy in Lady Kioko's shop. A huge man. But it wasn't a-"
Terriermon's explanation is cut off by Renamon's paw.
"What did he look like?" she queries.
"Well, we didn't see much. Long robe, face hidden under a hood, fights like one of those guys from TV."
When Renamon doesn't answer, the smaller Digimon continues.
"He is really really quick, and he didn't smell like a human... So I wanted to-"
Again, Terriermon stops talking.
But this time he stops because Renamon is already gone.

"You've got some nice herbs here." Sanjay comments to cover the silence in the shop.
"Really nice."
There is a long pause.
"You know what I am." he suddenly states, facing her.
The woman smiles.
"I know that you're not human. I can pick up... I guess oyu would call it an aura." she starts.
"Yours is definately not human. But it's also unlike the one of Lee's small friend."
"I guessed that that this hasn't been a stuffed animal." Sanjay comments.
"So, what brings you here?" the woman asks.
Interesting. She doesn't even ask who or what I am.
"Where I come from, I am a healer. Herbs are my specialty."
Next to magical healings. he adds silently.
"Interesting. You knwo, I could use somebody like you." the woman suddenly offers.
"Pardon me?"
"I'm getting too old to collect herbs myself. And you did a good job protecting me and the shop."
"Well, I'm not too excited by the idea of working for a human." Sanjay carefully tells her.
"Is there really nothing I could bait you with?" the woman asks.
"Uh... well, I could use a place to live..."
"Excellent!" the woman yells, startling him.
"Just pick your room! I only use two rooms in this house!" she continues shouting.
After a quick tour through the house, Sanjay finally picks the cellar.
It reminds him of a cave and is large enough for his needs.
Lady Kioko wasn't pleased by his idea of having a fireplace, but she did grant him an electrical heater.
"So I help you out in the shop and you let me live here?" Sanjay finally asks.
The woman just shrugs.
"It's nice to have company." she just tells him.
Being deeply moved by her kindness, he decides to risk it.
Slowly he removes his hood.
The woman's smile widens when she sees his face.
"Better than any guard dog." she comments, grinning.

She suddenly stops grinning.
Slowly, she turns around as if looking for something in the cellar.
"Who is there?" she asks loudly.
Just when Sanjay wants to question her mental health, Renamon appears out of nowhere.
"You knew where I was. I'm impressed." she mutters.
Shrugging and smiling, the woman just climbs the ladder leading into the shop.
"How'd you find me?" Sanjay asks when Kioko is upstairs.
"Terriermon talked."
"The blue haired boy's pet?"
"I'd relly prefer if you didn't call Digimon pets."
"I just say what I see." Sanjay tells her, grinning.
"And I know where you live." Renamon answers, fuming.
"So do I." Sanjay assures her.
"You're bluffing." Renamon says, trying to laugh.
"How do you think did I find you yesterday?"
Narrowing her eyes, Renamon disappears again.
But she didn't vanish quickly enough so Sanjay noticed a faint smile on her lips.
He laughs, starting to inspect his new place.
Yep, a bunch of interesting characters indeed.

When Ruki returns from her trip to the yity, Renamon is already back.
She had thought about what Renamon told her last night.
"Renamon." she catches the Digimon's attention.
Renamon just looks at her lazily.
"We have to find this Sanjay. Who knows what troubles he gets into." she announces.
Renamon just shakes her head.
"What do you mean by that?" Ruki asks angrily.
"He's doing fine."
"Oh. And how can you be so sure about that?"
"He's living at Lady Kioko's shop, helping her out."
Seeing Ruki's jaw drop, Renamon decides that she actually likes this crazy wolf.

The End.
But watch out for other stories featuring Renamon and Sanjay!