Partner no more?
Part I
by Christian "Sid" Lang

I don't own Digimon etc. etc. etc.
If you want to know more about Sanjay, I suggest you read "Human, Digimon, or...?" first.

Life is good. Ruki decides.
She even allows herself a smile.
Sitting in a tree in the park, Ruki watches other people passing by without noticing her.
The sun is shining, the air feels warm, and she has just on another tournament.
Renamon is sitting next to her, her eyes fixed on some distant spot.
Ruki shifts her weight on the branch and watches her Digimon.
The Digimon looks frustrated, which surprises Ruki.
"No Digimon recently." Renamon says, sensing the girl's look.
"Oh don't worry. I bet there-" Ruki starts to answer.
She interrupts herself when the yellow fox suddenly grins.
Althought Ruki knows exactly what the Digimon is looking at, she turns her head.
Sure enough, there is a Digital Field, maybe fifty meters away.
She turns her head back again and sees that Renamon is already gone.
Sighing, she quickly climbs down the tree and starts running.

Can't believe my luck! Renamon happily thinks, running towards the Digital Field.
Ruki would arrive soon, but Renamon decides not to wait.
She walks into the mist and takes a look around.
Renamon is startled when she hears a Digimon scream in horror.
It's dead already? Oh no. Please don't tell me that this oversized lizard did the job!
Angrily, she starts to plunge deeper into the fading mist.
But she doesn't find Guilmon. Instead she sees a man carrying a sword.
"Sorry, got here sooner." he tells her, smiling friendly.
And although Renamon is furious, she finds herself smiling back at the man.
"Oh well." she just answers.
What am I saying? That is a human! A stranger! And he probably took care of the Digimon!
Still, Renamon is unable to dislike the man.
Trying to hide her confusion, Renamon fades out of the normal world.

Although she needed only some seconds, Ruki realizes that she is too late.
The Digital Field is already gone.
Looks like somebody was really eager to fight. she supposes, smiling.
Quickly she climbs into another tree to have a place to talk.
As expected, Renamon instantly appears next to her after she has sit down on a branch.
But the Digimon isn't smiling.
At least, she isn't wearing that 'Just finished a Digimon'-smile.
No, this is something else. Ruki notices.
"What happened?" she finally asks.
"A man took care of the Digimon." Renamon simply answers.
Ruki raises her eyebrows.
"A human fought the Digimon?"
"I guess so. He had a sword."
And before Ruki can ask another question, Renamon is gone.
Lost in her own thoughts, Ruki doesn't call her back.

The next day, Ruki has to go to school again.
And while she is sitting in class, Renamon scouts through the city.
After some hours, she is lucky and sees another Digital Field.
Almost as expected, it starts to fade when she arrives.
Her heart beats faster when she sees the man emerge from it, carrying his sword.
"Hello, Renamon." he greets her.
He knows my name? she thinks, trying to hide her surprise.
"Uhhh... hello." she shyly greets back.
For a while, they are just standing in front of each other.
Suddenly, he seems to be aware that the Digital Field is no longer hiding them.
He quickly waves her towards a van.
What am I doing? Renamon asks herself as she climbs into it.
He climbs in after her and closes the door.
The back of the van is windowless, so Renamon feels somewhat safe.
The stranger is sitting in fron of her, smiling friendly.
Then he shakes his head, laughing.
"I'm sorry, I totally forgot to introduce myself." he tells her.
Renamon laughs, too, since she didn't even notice that.
"Daniel Gallagher, pleasure to meet you." he says, extracting his hand.
"The pleasure's all mine." Renamon answers before thinking about it.
What? I'm talking to a stranger here! But... he's so friendly.
Then she notices that he is still holding her paw.
It actually felt good and Renamon wonders about the last time Ruki has held her like that.
After a while she realizes that there hasn't been a last time.
"You know, I was really hoping to see you here." Daniel finally admits.
"Oh really? Why?" she whispers, not wanting to disturb the mood.
"You're the most fascinating Digimon I've ever seen." Daniel answers.
Renamon feels that she is actually blushing!
That guy's flirting! her mind yells.
But she doesn't care about it. She simply enjoys the warm feeling.
"Renamon." another voice calls her.
Oh please, not now! she silently begs.
She is lost in Daniels blue eyes. Minutes silently pass.
Renamon finally sighs in defeat.
"I've got to go." she whispers, brushing Daniel's cheek.
Daniel just nods.
"Until next time." he whispers back as Renamon vanishes.

Still smiling, Renamon appears next to Ruki.
The girl is standing in a small corridor in her school.
"Took you long enough." she simply mutters instead of a greeting.
Renamon feels the warm feeling inside her instantly vanish.
And somehow, she misses it.
"Did you learn anything about the man with the sword?" Ruki asks when she receives no answer.
Renamon gasps.
"You called me away just to ask THAT?" she yells, startling Ruki.
Ruki stares at her Digimon and Renamon can tell that the girl is angry.
Still, she refuses to apologize.
Ruki wouldn't understand. She doesn't want to see that Digimon have feelings, too.
They stand in the corridor some seconds longer.
Finally Renamon disappears again. Again, Ruki doesn't call her back.