Tai found himself awake before the sun had the chance to reveal itself on the horizon. Though normally he would be dead with sleep at such an early hour, he found himself wide awake. Humming cheerily to himself, he began packing his things. He looked down at his sister who was still in the land of slumber. The urge to suddenly wake her up took hold of him but he stopped himself, knowing full well that an angry, sleep deprived Kari wasn't good at all. Although, he did find himself rather envious that she'd packed all her things the night before, which meant she got to sleep in until they had to leave. Shrugging, he knew that even if he did pack up like he was supposed to, he still would have gotten up early. He was too excited to sleep.
An hour later he found himself sitting on the sofa, channel surfing. They had all planned to meet at the Izumi residence in two hours, which meant that Tai had a lot of time to kill before he had to wake up Kari and head over to Izzy's. He was on his second round of channel surfing, a bag of chips in his lap when the doorbell rang. He glanced at the clock. Only an hour had passed. Shrugging, he walked over to the door, surprised to see Matt and TK standing there with their things.
"You're early," Tai stepped aside to let them in. They left their bags by the door before going over to the living room.
"Well, I couldn't sleep, so I figured I'd come and disturb you. Too bad, you weren't sleeping," Matt grinned.
Tai turned to TK who looked half dead. He turned to Matt with a frown. "Is he going to be okay?"
"Hmm?" Matt looked at his brother, quickly grabbing him by the collar as he leaned forward dangerously. "Oh yeah, don't worry about him."
The two older boys stared down at the now passed out blonde in the hall. Sighing, Tai grabbed TK's arms while Matt grabbed a hold of his legs. With much difficulty, they maneuvered the young man's body to the living room where they plopped him down onto the sofa. He stayed there for a moment before rolling off.
"Heavy sleeper?" Tai asked.
"Clearly," Matt nodded.
Soon the two older boys found themselves sitting on the sofa, munching on chips. They'd settled for early Saturday cartoons. It wasn't until the door to Tai and Kari's bedroom opened that they pulled their attention from the moving pictures. Kari stood in the doorway, rubbing at her eyes as she stifled a yawn. She was still in her pajamas, her hair slightly messy. But their attention didn't stay on the young girl too long because the heavy sleeper on the floor suddenly shot up, his hair surprisingly neat. Though he looked groggy, he found himself being able to focus on the girl in the doorway.
"G'morning Matt, TK," she said automatically. It wasn't until a moment later that she stopped rubbing her eyes. She stared at the three of them, eyes the size of saucers before quickly shutting the door.
"What's with her," Tai asked as he turned his head back to look at the TV.
"Good morning," TK yawned, "Kari." And fell back to sleep on the floor.
"Is it just me or are those two just frustrating?" Matt shook his head.
"It isn't just you, believe me." Tai sighed.
A moment later the four of them were making their way to the Izumi household. They were a few blocks away from the apartment building when they ran into Sora and Mimi. While Mimi looked absolutely dazzling for someone who just woke up, Sora looked a mess. Her eyes were halfway closed; body slumped from lack of energy. She only perked up when she heard Tai's voice and had mustered enough energy to run over. Almost immediately she fell into his arms, using him as her crutch and guide to Izzy's house. Behind them Mimi chattered idly with Matt while behind them Kari and TK lagged, dragging their feet, yawning.
"I don't understand why we had to get up so early," TK rubbed at his eyes. "I mean, we're going to the digital world. You get there by digi port. It isn't like we had to travel by car."
Though still tired, Kari turned to him, giggling. She stopped immediately when she noticed something different. It took her a while to realize that he wasn't wearing a hat. She gasped, stealing the boys' attention.
"Your hat!" she exclaimed.
He frowned. "I'm not wearing one."
"Exactly! Why aren't you? I thought you never left home without that hat," she asked.
"Eh, I figured it's too damn hot to be wearing a hat in this weather," he shrugged as he turned away to hide his slightly crimson cheeks.
"Well, I'm glad you took my advice," she teased. "You look much better without it," now it was her turn to look away.
He laughed nervously, his hand behind his neck as he grinned at her. "Thanks."
They had become so engrossed to their own conversation that they didn't notice the rest of the crew had stopped, turned and were now watching them closely with knowing smiles upon their faces. Sora, though still half asleep couldn't help but giggle.
"They're so adorable," she mumbled against Tai's shoulder.
Tai turned away, sniffling. "She's growing up so fast."
"Oh, don't get so sentimental," Sora rolled her eyes. But couldn't help but gawk when she saw that Matt, too, had moist eyes. She glanced over at Mimi and they both suddenly burst into laughter.
The commotion from up ahead caused the other two to look up, finally coming out from their little world. Before they could ask, they were interrupted by a familiar voice.
TK smiled as he turned to see who was running over, knowing all too well who it already was. He watched as Davis ran over, immediately sticking himself beside Kari. TK had to commend him on being so loyal. He was like a little puppy, always following his master around. If it hadn't been so weird, TK would have thought it cute. He rolled his eyes, walking away to give the two of them privacy. He never really could win if Davis was around. He walked faster, trying to keep up with the rest of the group who had now resumed walking to the Izumi residence. Fifteen minutes later the twelve of were packed in Izzy's room.
"Did you guys have to bring so much stuff," Izzy asked as he protectively stood by his computer.
"I resent that comment," Sora rolled her eyes, looking over at Mimi.
Everyone seemed to be carrying at least one bag. Matt, Tai and Izzy of course provided the tents that were needed while everyone else had been expected to bring their own sleeping bags. They had been told to bring just the necessities and yet there was Mimi with at least four bags, bursting with stuff. One could only guess that it was bursting with girly cosmetic things probably accompanied by clothes. She looked at them all sheepishly.
"What? A girl needs more than just one bag when she goes camping. In case you've forgotten, I'm not very good at roughing it," she rolled her eyes.
"No kidding," Davis grinned before being hit by a bag. "OW!"
After sharing a small laugh, everyone quieted down. Getting in line, everyone got ready to enter the digi-port. One by one they fell through. Unfortunately they ended up falling upon each other, Tai completely being squashed by the other eleven digi-destined.
"Agh… Get off," Tai groaned. Almost immediately everyone scattered, getting the rather squashed looking brunette. Struggling to get up, he was glad to receive help from Sora. He stretched out his crushed limbs before letting out a sigh of relief.
"So, where should we set up camp," Izzy asked as he looked around in thought.
They were all gathered at the shore of the beach, familiar to the place the first digi-destined had wandered into way back then. It seemed the perfect place to camp out. They had access to water, they were close to trees with fruit and the tide seemed not to reach to where they were. Tai also looked around, hands behind his head as he surveyed the area.
"Hmm, this place seems good," he suddenly flopped down onto the sand, pulling Sora down with him. "What do you guys think?"
A murmur of approval went about the group and soon everyone was busy doing their own thing to help set up camp. Izzy and Joe were constructing a shower stall with wood and leaves with the help of Mimi and Sora. Matt and Tai were busy setting up one of their tents. They didn't seem to have much of a problem, knowing exactly just what they were doing. Cody, Yolei and Ken too were cruising through their tent building mission. Only one group seemed to be having difficulty setting up their part of the campsite.
Glaring each other down, with Kari rolling her eyes from behind them, were TK and Davis. In one hand TK held one pole while Davis held the other. They continued to glare at each other, no words being said but the death glares they were shooting each other were enough.
"It's a team effort, Davis, I'm supposed to help!" TK finally shouted.
"And I told you JD, I don't need your help. I can handle this just fine!" Davis shot back.
TK raised his eyebrow, leaning back as he crossed his arms smugly across his chest. "Really?" he gestured to the lump of tent on the ground.
"That's because you kept interfering! I'm telling you, I can do this JUST fine!"
"Well maybe if you didn't try so hard to impress Kari you wouldn't keep screwing up! The world doesn't revolve around you bubble head!"
"Don't worry Kari, he's just jealous 'cause you like me and not him."
"Yeah, like I'd really be jealous of a self-centered goggle boy." TK scoffed. But you are.
"Guys?" Kari stepped forward.
"Correction, a pretty good looking goggle boy!"
"Yeah, pretty enough to shove into a trash can!"
"Guys!" Kari finally shouted.
Everyone turned to see what the commotion was. Kari was standing next to a wonderfully built tent while TK and Davis gawked at her. Davis' couldn't seem to come up with words, his mouth opening and closing. He wanted to say something, anything but of course, TK beat him to it.
"That's great Kari, thanks," he said with a smile.
"Yeah," Davis agreed lamely.
Everyone turned to look at Tai who seemed to be stripping his clothes. For a moment they began to feel afraid.
"Whoa, whoa!" Matt exclaimed as he ran over with a towel, covering Tai up. "What are you doing?"
"I'm getting ready to enjoy my freedom!" Tai grinned from ear to ear, "And to enjoy the nice cool summer water!" he bolted out from behind the towel, running over to Sora and picking her up. Though she kicked and screamed, she couldn't stop herself from laughing with glee as he ran with her on his shoulder, treading into the water. She let out a yelp as he dropped her into the water, leaving everyone to watch as the happy couple frolicked.
For a while the happy couple's laughter filled the air. After a while, Mimi, in a two piece swim suit (they had been too surprised to notice her run into the tent to change) sped off towards the water, laughing joyfully. And then things returned to normal. Davis and TK were ignoring each other while Kari hung out with Ken and Yolei. Cody, Izzy and Joe were crowded over Izzy's laptop, fascinated by whatever they were looking at and Matt decided to join Tai, Mimi and Sora. Tai looked like he could use some help, seeing as his head was being held under water by the two giggling girls.
They had planned to search for their Digimon later on but they were pleasantly surprised when their Digimon came to them instead. Of course, adding twelve more carefree creatures just made the whole thing more fun, stirring up the way things were. Agumon joined his friend while Biyomon sat with Palmon on the shore looking on. Gabumon, Patamon, Gatomon and Veemon were busy playing go-fish. Wormon, Tentomon along with Hawkmon were building sandcastles while Gomamon and Armadillomon were… Well, sun-tanning.
Everyone was having a grand old time. With the night coming by fast, Tai, Sora, Mimi and Matt finally got out of the water, but not after discussing what to do. They had decided to make it like summer camp, separating everyone into groups. Each day of the week, one group would cook and clean, and then the next day the next group would take over and so on and so forth. They had also decided that the tents in the group would be used for the cleaning and cooking.
Since it had been Tai and Matt's idea to go camping, they had decided to take the first day of cooking and cleaning. Once again everyone was gathered around the two with a small fire in the middle (thanks to Agumon, of course). Ken and Yolei leaned against the log TK, Kari and Davis occupied but they could have cared less about the tension between the love triangle. With arms wrapped around each other tight, the couple looked on, listening to their older friends.
"So, we've decided to split us all up into teams for tent sharing," Matt was explaining.
"Each tent fits four, but we have four tents so, guess what guys," Tai turned to their Digimon partners. "You get to occupy one tent for yourselves!"
Like they were going to complain.
"Don't even get any funny ideas, Davis," Tai warned the boy sitting next to his sister whose face fell at the mention of, "No co-ed tents!"
"So, groups are… Tent one," Matt pointed to the furthest to the right, "Myself, Tai, TK and Davis."
Everyone chuckled as Davis emitted a loud disappointed groan.
"Tent two," Tai pointed to the middle tent. "Girls only!" he put extra emphasis on the only part.
"Tent three would be, Cody, Izzy, Joe and Ken."
"Oh, cool, the nerd tent," Davis cracked. A moment he fell over and off the log into the sand, thanks to Yolei.
They explained quickly how the cooking and cleaning rotation coincided with the tent groups, seeing that everyone was growing listless. Recruiting the rest of their group members, the four young men got to work on making dinner. While everyone else was busy doing their own thing, Izzy sat near the fire, playing with his laptop as usual. The only difference was he was wearing headphones. If anyone had looked, they would have noticed the long glances he kept shooting towards the young girl with the plant digimon.
Even if he didn't want to be staring at her, Izzy found that he couldn't help himself. Sometimes it was as though his eyes were doing it all on their own. Every time he seemed to become aware of his surroundings, he was staring at Mimi. The thing that confused him the most was that whenever he looked at her, his heart's rhythm seemed to change. He found himself breathless, his body tingling all over. When it had first started, he had brushed it off because it had been so mild. He only seemed to become a klutz when she was around, he couldn't stop smiling when she looked his way and he always, always wanted to be near her. That was after she got back from New York. He thought it was only because he missed her that he was like that, but as time wore on, he began to worry and his heart had began to get affected. What did it mean?
Another downside was that he seemed to get lost in his own thoughts as he watched her, which proved to be a problem because he would become unaware of his surroundings. He was so engrossed in his own thoughts that he hadn't realized Tentomon had come over. It wasn't until the digimon poked him that Izzy snapped out of his thoughts.
"Oh, Tentomon," Izzy sighed with relief, "it's just you."
"What are you looking at, Izzy?" Tentomon asked the now blushing young man who stared at his screen, really, really hard.
"Nothing." He lied.
Just then, the object of his subconscious affection sprinted over. She leaned down, hands folded against her knees, smiling at him.
"Izzy, it's dinnertime! Come on!" and she held out her hands for him. Reluctantly, Izzy took off his headphones, setting them aside before closing his laptop. He took her hands, letting her pull him up and lead him to the eating area.
As he was eating his dinner, a thought struck him. He liked it. He liked it that Mimi held his hands and now that her hands weren't holding his, he couldn't help but think his hands felt as lonely as he did.