Title: Anywhere but Home

Genre: Adventure/Friendship

Story Format: Multi-Chaptered

Rating: T (cursing and whatnot, mild violence will come about later on)

Universe: AU Digimon Tamers

Characters: Ai, Mako, Beelzebumon

Warnings: Cursing, and like I said some violence is on the way.

Summary: I can't tell who's the bigger idiot; him for bringing up the idea of running away from the foster home, or me for listening to him in the first place. Either way, we're screwed.

Chapter Playlist: "All Downhill from Here," by Newfound Glory; "Sunshine in a Shot Glass" by 500 Miles to Memphis, "Someday" by Nickelback

Chapter One: Abandon Ship

"Let's get out of this dump," he said. "We'd be better off on our own," he said. At this point, I can't tell who's the bigger idiot; him for bringing up the idea of running away from the foster home, or me for listening to him in the first place.

Either way, we're screwed. We've been gone for two days now, and I can imagine that grouchy old bitch that ran the place climbing up the walls wondering where the heck we are. But hey, if she hadn't treated us like we were crap stuck to the bottom of her shoe, maybe we wouldn't be here now. That, and the fact that we'd been in that hellhole for years now and not one family considered taking us in, which didn't make sense at all! There were kids we had to deal with that were ten times the punks we could ever hope to be, and they were picked up in a matter of days while we were putting on our best 'little angel' act. Ironic my ass, that's downright wrong.

So, yea, the more I thought about it, the more Mako's idea started to seem more like a good one.

"Okay," he started to say, his chocolate brown eyes that we both share narrowed at the map in his hands, "we should head this way, and wind up…oh, hang on, wrong way," I watched as he flipped the paper over, "and come on through Tokyo, and—er…ah, crap!" He lowered the map and started to look around, scratching at his mess of brown hair awkwardly before glancing at me. Sheepishly he declared, "I don't know where we are."

In that case, scratch that. This idea was a bad one from the start. Newfound Glory wasn't helping much either with Jordan Pundik telling me that it's all going downhill from here through my headphones.

"You're serious," I say incredulously. Of course I should've seen this one coming. Leave it to my brother to hog the map the whole trip to wherever the hell we are, and not even know which way we're headed. Thanks for passing down the goofball genes and leaving me to put up with it, dad! I appreciate it. Bastard.

"Well," he says, scratching the brown mess of hair as he looked around again. "We're walking down the same train tracks, still headed south, and…did I mention we're on train tracks?"

He's right, more or less. Basically all we've done is follow the same track for two days, headed to god knows where. After pulling the headphones off and letting them hang around my neck, I turn to him and say, "Lemme see it, dodo."

He scowls at the name-calling but hands me the map anyway. Not like he's got much of a choice. I was born seven minutes ahead of him, after all.

"Your south is actually north," I say, and, of course, he has to object. That's usually the way it goes: I point out something he's screwed up, he tries to defend himself, I prove I'm right, he eventually admits defeat, and I do my little victory dance just to rub it in a wee bit.

"No it's not!"

Yep, here we go.

"Yea, it is. Look, never," I point in the direction we're headed, "eat," towards the spot where the sun rises, "soggy," to our backs, "waffles," towards the point where the sun will set in a few hours or so.

He double checks me for a second before saying, "…Oh. You're right."

See? What'd I tell ya? Too bad I'm not in the mood for dancing right now.

At this point all I want to do is head towards a town with a motel so we don't wind up sleeping in an abandoned warehouse again. I swear, even in pitch black darkness, the floor fucking moved with so many rats going in and out! Disgusting wasn't even close to describing that hellhole.

I start to shudder at the thought, but my discomfort is shortly replaced with relief as I scanned the map briefly and found an area somewhere up ahead from our position that we could crash at. Hopefully it wasn't as expensive as I expected, since the only money we had on us was the three twenties Mako had stashed in his pocket and the two tens, one five, and six ones in mine. You do the math. That should be enough to support two sixteen year old runaways for a while before we finally get our plans straight, right?

Man, I hope so. To be honest, nothing's ever been right since the accident. But really, who'd expect the lives of two kids to be straight and all fine and dandy when their parents are dead? No point in looking back on the past and wishing things were different now, though. All we can do is move on, and hang on for as long as we can. And if possible have a little fun every now and again while we're doing it, but that's only optional and pretty rare if you think about the circumstances of our situation.

Letting out a quick breath as I turned to stuff the map back in Mako's bag, I said, "Alright, let's get a move on if we wanna make it before the hobos start rolling out."

As you can probably guess, we never made it to the motel. No, it's not because that freaky demon thing off of Jeepers Creepers snatched us up. No, it's not because we got munched on by the Jersey Devil or the Chupacabra or some shit like that. No, it's not because we went walking through a bigass corn field and got bludgeoned to death by a bunch of crazy kids. And there was no way we got kidnapped and/or murdered.

So now I'm pretty sure you're wondering what happened to us. Really, you wouldn't believe me if I told you. Seriously.

But there's no harm in telling you anyway, right?

Mako and I were headed down the street going straight towards the motel I'd spotted on the tourist map we picked up earlier in the day. We were exhausted after going nearly four hours of walking with nothing in our bellies but bottled water and a few crackers, so we were tired. Damn tired. So tired that we didn't realize the space of concrete in front of us was shimmering, like it was wet. Except it was bone dry. That, and it rippled lightly, like it wasn't solid to begin with.

So, we stepped right into it, and fell.

It was all a blur, but I remember screaming until my throat was on fire and clinging to Mako the whole time. At one point all I could see was blue…it just surrounded us, and the whole time I couldn't tell which way was up and which way was down. We fell for what felt like a good ten minutes before we slammed into the ground.

My last thought before getting knocked out was How the hell did we get in so much freaking trouble?

I know this is going to be a shocker, but, we didn't die. Nope, and I knew that for a fact since I woke upon something hard and grainy, and when I opened my eyes I realized that I was lying on my stomach on the ground somewhere outside, my cheek aching from the little rock that was impaling my face.

I groaned loudly as I sat up, my head throbbing from the knot that was starting to form from the fall. Small chunks of rock bit into my palms as I pushed myself off the ground and stood up shakily.

Suddenly I realized something. We weren't in the city anymore. The buildings we were usually surrounded by had been replaced with huge slabs of rock jutting up at the sky, oddly shaped like satellite dishes. Other than that, there wasn't anything around us except for the occasional tumbleweed that tumbled on through. Heat shimmers hung above the ground and distorted the horizon line around us as the sun beat down on us and the surrounding area.

We were in the middle of a fucking desert.

I glanced up at the sky, and time stopped for a good two seconds.

"Holy shit!" I yell loudly, which stirs my brother from his semi-conscious state. He scrambles on his feet, groaning twice as loud and twice as long as me, notices how I'm frozen with my mouth wide open and eyes just as wide, and glances up.

Without any hesitation he shrieks, "What in the hell?!"

The sky is like a psychedelic nightmare. Everything is moving, with large beams of white light shooting out from it and down onto the desert floor a mile or so away from us. To be honest it's kinda hard to tell how far away anything is…I've never been in a desert before, so I don't have any ground to judge. The sky was mostly blue, but a dark electric blue instead of the baby azure color I'm used to seeing, though if you look hard enough you could tell that there were other colors tangled up inside of it. Simply put, it was something you'd see if you had gotten your hands on a joint and was high as a damn kite.

I screwed my eyes shut and opened them back up again three times, just to make sure I was really seeing what I was seeing. And, unfortunately, no matter how many times I tried to wake up, it was no use. We were both still standing here underneath an insane psychedelic laser light show where the normal sky should be, and we were both still standing in a freaking desert of all things.

Mako gulps before saying, "Uh…I kinda doubt we're on Earth now."

Sarcastically I reply, "Oh really, genius? What gave you that idea? The fact we were in a city one second and a desert the next, or maybe the laser light show for a sky?" Even I was surprised that I was able to keep a straight face while I said all of this. I wanted to raise my voice, get hysterical, or something to prove that yea, I was scared at the moment, but I stayed as calm as I possibly could on the outside. The bad part is Mako can tell it's all just a cover to hide my worry about the whole situation.

For once he doesn't get pissed off with me being a smartass, but instead looks around us with a worry wart expression. The same look that mom used to have when something bugged her. This isn't a good sign. It means he's too scared and shocked to think up of something to bite back at me with. No no, not good.

"What're we supposed to do, Ai?" he asks, and I instinctively place a hand on his shoulder because of the helpless way he said it.

"I dunno." I answer honestly, unable to lie to him and tell him everything would be okay. Reassuringly I smile and add, "But we've gotta keep our cool, okay? Panicking isn't gonna get us anywhere."

Damn, I can be such a hypocrite.

With a small grin he says, "Who said I was panicking?"

I shrug with a grin of my own. "No one, yet. But since this whole mess was your stupid idea and therefore your fault, you've gotta come up with a plan to get us outta here."


Author's Note: People! What's up? First of all, thanks for reading, and second, yea, I know this isn't the third chapter of TWYG, I'm sorry for that, BUT, this fic wouldn't leave me alone and I had to write it, okay? I tried to fight it but I lost miserably but I'm not complaining. I like how it's turning out. Now I want to hear your opinions on this sucker! Good? Bad? Terrible? Freaking amazing? A load of shit? Let me know!