A different kind of confusion
AN: Well, its here at last. The end of A Different Kind of Day. It's been a bumpy ride, filled with pot holes (spelling and grammar errors) twists and turns. We've seen some major development, and we've learned a bit more about what has happened since the Locomon incident. However, it's time for this to end so we can continue the journey into the future! (Come on people, this fic covers the events of one Saturday, not exactly a whole lot of room for development lol) I want to thank Nolaquen265, Pyro The Harbinger Of Chaos, co426e, rukatoitsumademo, roguespirit, Peach Wookiee, Crazyeight, Count Blah, Heatman 1991, and Ruki44 for their awesome reviews and helping me keep this thing going. I would also like to thank all of the readers that enjoyed this fic but didn't review. Just seeing that you continue reading it tells me I'm doing a half decent job lol. If I haven't responded to your reviews yet, I ask that you give me a little more time, I'm on a roll with ideas and don't want to lose the momentum while I got it. I'll reply by this weekend.
Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon or anything related to it other than a few videogames, cards and one DVD set, so Bandi Namco Entertainment, don't bother suing, you wont get anything out of it but court fees.
The rest of the day passed on as though nothing strange had ever happened. That in of itself however was strange considering the people in question. But no matter how she looked at it, Mie just couldn't see it that way.
She watched as her son and his young friend sat in the living room and played videogames, then cards, and then after just a few hours had passed, they simply sat there and talked, with Takato leaning against one side of the couch and Rika taking the other side for herself.
Had Mie not known any better, she would have sworn that the two were just everyday best friends, or maybe even roommates had they been older.
But they weren't.
She knew that it had been quite some time since the two had simply talked to one another this way, or even interacted this much with each other for this many hours at one time. But they way they spoke, the way they interacted was as normal as could be. There were no awkward silences, no drawn out pauses, not even a slip of the tongue.
They were just so natural; it was as if this was the way it had always been.
"How can two people become such close friends, then go for so long with so little contact, and then just pick back up right where they left off?" Mie wondered to herself.
She herself had friends she hadn't spoken to in quite some time, but every time she got together with them it always felt like they were out of sync.
But these two, these two were different.
It was as though they had always been there beside the other, like they had never stopped traveling the same path.
The memories of the day's events however made Mie shake her head.
"No, that's not it at all. It's not that they continued walking the same path. It's that she never left his side. She might have pulled away from him out of respect, but she never left his side."
In her mind, Mie Matsuki was able to see it play out with perfect clarity. The two had walked side by side since meeting, but when Jeri came into the picture, Rika only stepped off to the side a few paces, never falling behind as she kept her distance. Her son, despite not fully realizing this, had enacted on it without a second thought when he placed his arm around her earlier that day.
Mie smiled when she heard the two of them laughing. Her son had always been called the lucky one out of the Tamer's. Lucky to have the most powerful partner, lucky to have survived so many harrowing adventures, and lucky to have been chosen to lead a group of such powerful individuals.
Takato himself had said that he was just lucky to have made such good friends.
Shaking her head, Mie closed the cash register for the night.
"He doesn't realize just how lucky he really is," Mie thought with a slight frown.
"Takato! We're closing up; I think your friend needs to get back home soon!" Takehiro shouted as he flipped over the 'open' sign to 'closed' for the night.
"Oh shoot, its past eight already?!" Rika shouted before running up the stairs.
Noticing his son's mood suddenly dropping, Takehiro laughed.
"It's only Saturday Takato, you still have tomorrow that you can hang out with out friends," he said, being careful to say 'friends' instead of 'her'.
Takato laughed nervously before rubbing the back of his head.
"Yeah, I guess your right. I was just having a lot of fun, that's all."
Rika reappeared in the living room with one backpack on her shoulder and the other in hand. Renamon was standing off to her side, just slightly behind her.
"Well, it was fun Ta…Gogglehead," Rika said before turning and giving a polite bow to Mie and Takehiro. "I'm sorry if I caused you any trouble."
Mie smiled while Takehiro chuckled.
"Rika, you were hardly any trouble at all. You eat less than Kazu and Kenta, and your partner is quite a bit…tamer than Henry's. Feel free to stop by if you're around," Takehiro said with a wave before going into the back.
Mie gave a gentle nod towards Rika, not having anything else left to say to her. Though a small part of her wanted to thank the girl, she knew it would only confuse both her and Takato if she did.
"Well, I guess this is goodbye, for now anyways," Takato said with a light chuckle.
Rika quirked an eyebrow before responding to him.
"We have practically every class together all week, what are you talking about?"
Takato just chuckled again nervously and waved it off.
"But…thanks…for everything," she said making a point to lower her 'mental' barriers if only for a second.
Had he blinked, Takato would have missed it, but he saw the flash of genuine appreciation in her eyes. There was something else there too, but he couldn't quite place it, other than he had seen it at least one other time.
"Well, it wasn't anything big. Don't worry about it, it's not like you owe me or anything," Takato said cheerfully.
"You got that right Gogglehead," Rika said dryly before leaving.
Turning to go back to his room, Takato saw that his mother was giving him an odd look, but it disappeared just as quickly as he noticed it.
"What was that? It looked like…she was expecting me to do something?"
Shrugging his shoulders, Takato headed to take a shower, and then count sheep. Sleeping on the couch was alright, but it just wasn't the same.
When she heard her son's door close, Mie sighed.
"That boy has no idea just how lucky he really is. Not many girls are as patient as that one."
"Now would you mind telling me just what made you change your mind about Takato's little friend?" Takehiro asked confused by his wife's sudden change of heart.
Looking at him for a moment, Mie tried to think of an easy way of explaining what she had figured out. But catching sight of the tiny ounce of smugness in his eyes, she realized something else.
With a sigh, she said three words.
"You were right."
While he wasn't quite sure what to expect, that had not been it.
Mie flashed him a smile as she handed him a dish towel and patted his shoulder.
"I said you were right, and as a reward, you get to wash the dishes," Mie said as she untied her apron and bandana before heading upstairs.
Takehiro blinked again.
"What just happened?"
Renamon looked down at her partner for a moment before shifting her gaze back to the sidewalk ahead of them.
"Such strange creature's humans are. Just when you think you've figured them out, something else comes along," she thought to herself.
To her, it seemed that the more she learned about them, the more she realized just how little she knew, and how much more there was left to learn.
Perhaps what surprised her more than anything however was just how much the mere presence of another could affect them. In just one short day, she had seen Rika's mood and demeanor shift from almost slipping back into her old self, to the way she had been up until she and Takato had drifted apart. Then she saw how in only a matter of moments, her normally composed Tamer could become enraged to a level rarely ever seen, and without her even being the target of the 'trigger' comment.
"How can two people hold such powerful influence over one another?"
Thinking back, she recalled the first time she digivolved into Kyubimon, then again when she first digivolved into Taomon. Both of those instances she had reacted without thinking, almost like it had been a reflex. Rika had been in danger, so she acted accordingly.
When she first biomerged with Rika to become Sakuyamon however, it had been different.
As always, she was willing to follow her Tamer no matter what. She would do whatever it took to protect Rika from anything, no matter whom or what it was. But unlike the other two times, this time she didn't sense fear of death from Rika.
Or at least, not for herself.
When their minds first touched, Renamon had been amazed by the sheer power of her Tamer's emotions. They flooded her senses, drowned her mind, the power could only be described as intoxicating. This experience was all the proof she needed that humans and digimon were indeed meant to work together. Digimon might be stronger and more durable, but their power was insignificant compared to that of human emotions.
So, it came as a complete shock to her when she discovered the source of this great power.
Rika had seen the look in the young boy's eyes; she knew that he was going to jump. In her minds eye, she had seen Takato and Guilmon engulfed by the red 'Chaos' and disappear forever.
That single thought invoked more raw power than Renamon had ever felt in her life. The only thing comparable to it was the Sovereign's, but they only had more power, Rika's was by far, much more potent.
"Something wrong Renamon?"
Shifting her gaze back down to her Tamer, Renamon saw that Rika was looking up at her in confusion.
"No Rika, why do you ask?"
"You just had this really far away look in your eyes. I thought that something was bothering you," Rika responded without stopping.
"I could ask her…but should I?"
It was one thing to have matters of which to ponder, Renamon was used to that, but this went just a little bit deeper.
"I should speak with Seiko about this, or perhaps Henry. I doubt Rika's good mood would survive such a question."
"It is nothing Rika. I was just thinking…and remembering," Renamon said with a ghost of a smile.
Seeing that her Tamer was satisfied with that answer, Renamon continued walking side by side with her partner, friend, and sister, enjoying the contented aura she was giving off.
Pushing the door open slightly, Mie peeked her head into her son's room. Normally he was still up at this hour, and she did want to speak with him, but she was surprised to see that he was sound asleep and snoring softly.
"He's had enough excitement for today. I'll talk to him tomorrow," she thought as she closed the door.
While normally Takato slept flat on his back and sprawled out like a pancake, tonight he was curled up and had his face buried deep into his pillow. There was something different about it, but he couldn't figure out what it was. He had been trying to remember where he had seen that look in Rika's eyes before, but something was filling his senses, clouding his mind. His last thoughts before drifting off to the world of dreams had been that his pillow smelled faintly of cinnamon.
His dreams that night, despite being centered around one of the most frightening moments of his life, caused the young boy to smile.
In his dream, he was laying flat on the roof of a speeding train, trying desperately to save his friends life. For one brief moment, he could see the look in her eyes change. For one brief moment, every ounce of fear was gone, and every trace of weakness banished.
For that one brief moment, Rika's violet orbs held something he had never seen before.
They were exactly the same as they had been right before she left his home that night. And though he still wasn't exactly sure what it was, he knew that it was something he wanted to see again.
Seiko sat alone in the living room, calmly drinking her tea. Today had been quite eventful, of that she was certain. Despite not having been there herself, there had been enough evidence to tell her that much. She knew that her daughter only had Rika's best interests at heart, but there were several key factors that her daughter was still unaware of that made her efforts in vain.
Rika had become much more open over the years, but there were some things that little girls just didn't tell their mothers, or anyone else for that matter. Rumiko was a good mother, but she was still away more often than not, and as a result, she missed out on a few things.
She was not present when her daughter brought someone into their home for the first time, a boy no less. She had missed seeing her daughter make her first friend, and she had missed seeing her daughter's associating with that one boy open her up so that she could gain even more friends. It was like watching a cherry blossom bloom. Beautiful, natural, and unfortunately, very fast for a flower.
Yes, Rumiko had missed out on many of Rika's firsts, but Seiko had not. She had watched from the sidelines as an observer, supporter, and occasional cheerleader for her young granddaughter.
"That boy did more in two weeks than either of us was able to do in two years," Seiko thought with a smile.
She had many memories that she had become fond of over the years, but perhaps her fondest, outside of seeing her daughter and granddaughter reconcile, was the night after her turning thirteen. Checking on her granddaughter before turning in for the night herself, she heard a single name pass from her granddaughter's smiling lips.
Right now however, her current thoughts revolved around another matter.
"Did I do the right thing?"
It might not have seemed like much, but she knew from past experience that tiny actions could have massive consequences.
"Would he have done the same thing if I hadn't warned him?"
She had wrestled with herself all night and into the morning over that note. She was no fool; she knew that Jupi was going to seek out Rika, everyone who had been present at that night's dinner did.
It had been exactly what she had been waiting for, but now that the deed was done, she felt conflicted.
"Everything was already set, the pieces were already there. They just needed a little push."
Seiko tried to envision what would have happened today had she not passed that warning message to Takato this morning. Various scenarios played out in her mind, some good, others bad, but none of them were quite the same as what could she could see happening with the addition of the warning.
"Takato? He reacts without giving anything a second thought. He just acts."
That one line description Rika had given of the boy was what she had hedged all of her bets on. Based on what she had seen for herself, and what others had told her, Takato rarely, if ever thought things through. But at the same time, he never acted without something to go on.
"Stay close to her."
That was all the message had said, four little words, and it could have been taken to mean so many different things.
But, if the white handprint on Jupi's formally crisp black dress shirt had been any indication, it had been the one she wanted. Conscious or not, the message had passed through Takato's thinking process when Jupi entered the picture, and caused the desired effect.
"I didn't think he would go quite so far as to actually hit the boy though. Takato's a lot more…"
Tap tap tap
Seiko smiled. This too was something that she had expected.
Seiko watched as Renamon hesitantly entered the room and sat down in front of her.
"Even if they are going in the right direction now, there is still a lot of work left to do," Seiko thought exasperatedly to herself when she remembered just which two teens it was they were dealing with.
Rika tossed and turned in her bed. She was tired, exhausted, and drained, but it seemed that sleep wanted to play around with her tonight. The image of Calumon passed across her mind, almost as some kind of cruel joke. She had managed to evade her mother and grandmothers questions for the night, but she knew that come morning, she had a lot of explaining to do.
Deciding that she was too hot, she kicked off the covers of her futon. For a few minutes she was comfortable, but she still couldn't sleep. A few more minutes passed and she could feel herself getting cold.
"UGH! What is wrong with me!? I just want to sleep!" Rika screamed mentally as she pulled the covers back up around her neck. Feeling warm and cozy, she was just about to fall asleep when she felt herself getting hot again.
"This is ridiculous! I've slept in this bed for so many years it isn't funny, why can't I fall asleep!"
Growling, she stuck one leg outside the covers and pulled herself into a tight ball, hoping that the mixture of hot and cold was what she needed.
Staring at her clock, she watched the minutes pass by in irritation.
Lifting her head, she pulled down her top pillow and hugged it to her like it was another person. It was something she usually reserved for when she had woken up from nightmares, but it always worked.
Another ten minutes passed, and sleep still escaped her.
"Why can't I sleep!? I feel like….UHG! What do I feel like? It's like…something's wrong….or missing." Running down a quick checklist, she confirmed that she had done everything she normally did, and that there had been nothing left out of her usual nightly routine.
Burying her head into her pillows, Rika screamed in frustration.
"I'm so tired, I just want to sleep! What's wrong with me!?"
Taking a deep breath, Rika smelt the same familiar spicy cinnamon scent she always had.
"Not always," a voice that sounded suspiciously like Jeri's cooed from the back of her mind, making Rika groan.
"Oh great, I spend one night at Takato's and I caught his imagination like some kind of cold. Like I needed anything else wrong with my head," Rika thought with a sigh.
Thinking about Takato however made her remember last night. More specifically, given her current dilemma, how quickly she had fallen asleep.
"I remember…seeing the pictures on the wall…and…then…" The rest was a blank. She couldn't figure out why, but as soon as her head had hit the pillow, she was out like a light.
"The only other thing I remember was dreaming about…bread…" Biting her lip, Rika looked over at her closet, to where she had hidden a certain new 'addition' to her wardrobe.
"No way! Nu uh, not happening. Nooo!"
Clutching her pillow tightly, Rika stared in defiance at her closet door as if it were her mortal enemy.
"I wont give in….I wont give in…I wont give in!" Rika chanted mentally gnashing her teeth.
Feeling her nails digging tightly into her pillow casing, Rika narrowed her eyes into a glare.
"I will not give in to something that stupid! It probably wouldn't do anything anyways," Rika thought to herself.
After several more minutes passed however, Rika could feel her resolve weakening.
"I won't give in! I don't need his help just to fall asleep! That's ridiculous!"
Rika could feel her pride bolstering her will.
"Is it really that bad of a thing?"
"Shut up Jeri," Rika whispered to herself.
"If a person is strong on their own, then how much stronger would they be with help from another?"
"I don't need help, especially from him," Rika said, trying to block out the annoying little voice that she decided was to blame for her not being able to sleep.
"Not needing something is not the same as not wanting something," the voice said before disappearing.
After a few more minutes passed, Rika groaned.
"This isn't fair! I was fine on my own; I never needed anything from anyone before! Why does that have to change now!?" Rika thought as she looked over the various trophies and medals adorning her room. The indisputable proof that she was indeed strong on her own, and did not need help from others.
Her eyes then saw something else, something small and seemingly out of place.
It had been taken a few summers ago, but she remembered it very well. A battle with a wild one had accidently resulted in the destruction of a transformer station, which caused most of the area to lose power. No power, meant no air conditioning. So, to keep from baking in the hot summer sun, the Tamer's had a met up at the park with several coolers full of water, water guns, and water balloons. Everyone divided up into teams of two, digimon versus humans free for all, but Rika and Takato had been the last ones standing, leaving them as teammates.
In the picture, both herself and Takato were seen trying to shield the other from an onslaught of water balloons coming from every direction. Though they were both soaked to the bone, they were also smiling.
That last line 'Jeri' had said rung through her mind.
"Not needing something is not the same as not wanting something."
Sighing, she crawled out from her futon, and softly stepped over to her door. Peeking outside, she was able to see that Renamon was talking to her grandmother in the living room, and that the light in her mother's room was out, meaning she was asleep.
Walking to her closet, she opened it, and reached into the very, very, very back, to the corner where she kept her boxes of modifier cards. Feeling around the edge of the bottom box, she reached behind it and pulled out a white shirt and a pair of dark blue shorts.
She didn't know why, but she felt both oddly comforted, and at the same time, saddened.
Quickly unbuttoning her normal night shirt and shucking her cotton pajama bottoms, she replaced them with the gym uniform she had worn the night before.
With her head hung low, Rika crawled back into her futon, and pulled the covers up around her neck.
She could feel her body warming up, but not like it normally did from being under her covers, no this was a different kind of warmth. Taking a few deep breaths, her nose was filled with the scent of baked bread, and just a hint of something else she couldn't quite place.
Blinking, she felt herself being torn. A part of her was disgusted that now she apparently couldn't even get to sleep without his help, but another part of her was almost giddy at the feel of the plain cotton gym uniform across her skin. Clutching her sides, Rika blinked again as she felt a tear slide down her cheek, followed by another, and another.
"What is wrong with me?"
It was rare for her to cry, and it always made her angry whenever she did, but this time, it didn't. She didn't feel anger or pain; the only thing she felt was confusion.
"Takato, what did you do to me?" Rika asked softly before feeling her eyes close, and the strange warmth embrace her like a trusted friend.
End Chapter 4
AN: Yeah, I am an evil sod aint I? Not everything by me ends on a happy note, but at the same time, this one didn't exactly end on a sad note. From my personal analysis (which could be and most likely is wrong) Rika is quite a bit emotionally underdeveloped. She has emotions, but she spent a good deal of her life suppressing them or ignoring them. What you saw here was Takato 'freeing the Genie from the bottle' and her not knowing how to deal with it. Emotions can be a scary thing for anyone, but I think this degree of emotional confusion would be especially frightening for someone like Rika. This was the first time in her life where something came up that was able to match her pride as far as strength, and what frightens her is that she doesn't know what it is, yet.
So, loved it? Hated it? Let me know! This bit might be over, but the real story has just begun! We're almost caught up to current time. Remember, this fic and 'That Night Through My Eye's' occur before the ending of 'A Valentines Day to Remember'. The next fic will be what Rika was doing the day Takato was telling Henry about the cross Biomerging incident. Don't have a title for it yet, but I can tell you who the two main characters will be.
And appearing for the second time in my work.
That's right folks, the long awaited moment is at hand. You'll finally get to find out what the heck happened between Jeri and Takato!
So, till next time, Ja Ne!