Author's Note: Done for the Live Journal Overlooked Characters community. Ten one shots revolving around Suzie's life post D-Reaper, how the loss of Lopmon affects her, and her interactions with her family now that so much has changed.
Theme One: Exposed
Maybe people just thought she was stupid.
She felt their eyes on her wherever she went now. People who knew her seemed to be constantly asking her if she was alright nowadays. She had changed. Part of it was conscious effort, but most of it was just the involuntary change that came with losing a dear friend. There was something about knowing she was truly alone that made everything change. The one person who really saw her for who she was and appreciated it was gone. The one being who enjoyed being with her, wanted to be her friend, was trapped in another dimension and nothing was going to change that. Suzie carried herself differently. She walked with her head held high because she was a Tamer and she would never cry again like a little girl. Suzie hadn't tried to grow up. She'd been thrust into it. Now she was just trying to keep her head above the water, so to speak. Not everything had been solved by her adventures in the Digital World. In fact, some problems had been made far worse. Some things were slowly being brought to the surface once again, and this time she wasn't going to just stand there and be bossed around by everyone.
There was no escaping the fact that Henry thought of her as a baby still. He didn't want her to so much as go for a walk by herself. He thought she was fragile, a delicate doll that could be broken by the slightest bump. She had to reign in her anger tightly. She was trying not to be a baby anymore, but no matter how much she changed she would never be his equal in his eyes. She would never be good enough. Suzie was his baby sister, emphasis on baby, helpless and weak, no matter what she said or did to contest that opinion. Once she might've cried over it. Once when she had someone to run to she would have sobbed because it cut like a knife to be thought of as an idiot eternally. Now she knew she couldn't do that or he'd rub her face it. He'd point to her and say that this was exactly what he was talking about.
A simple solution to the bickering was to leave the house. She had to become a better Tamer, a more grown up one. So she had invested in the card game with every spare cent she had and could often be found trading cards with the kids at school. Suzie would figure it all out and come up with strategies to make Lopmon a good fighter. After how nice the digimon had been to her, it would be a good gift in return, Suzie figured. She wanted her partner to know she loved her dearly and hadn't forgotten her. What better way to show that than to be a good Tamer, to have all the right cards and know them like the back of her hand? The little girl in her was determined to be a good friend. The overlooked sister within her wanted to show Henry just what she was made of. She wanted to be just as good as the big kids so that no one would ever pick on her again. She'd had it with the constant complaining and doubting her brother did. It grated on her and she just didn't have the patience for it.
Hence the exiting the building or, when that was not possible, locking her door. She was still a fuming child, but she could at least keep her mouth shut now. She'd show them, she'd show them all just how good of a hero she really was. Her dolls and stuffer animals gathered dust until she put them in boxes to make room for the growing amounts of digimon merchandise in her room. There were books on car game strategies and boxes of assorted cards scattered everywhere. She didn't know when, but she'd managed to acquire a less little girly hairstyle. The dual buns and long strands of hair framing her face made her look like Yuehon from the World Tour episodes of the TV show, or so she told herself when she needed a confidence boost. No matter what she said or did, somewhere underneath it all she was still a little girl playing dress up and imagining herself to be a grand and intimidating Tamer. Perhaps these flights of fantasy were necessary for dealing with her obnoxious older brother. Maybe she wasn't as grown up as she thought. Either way, sometimes when she was alone in the park she would imagine herself older and stronger and a real hero. She told herself she looked like Rika and was super tough like her.
In the end, though, she wasn't. Late at night, under the safe covers of her blanket, she still felt the longing for her partner. She wanted to cry until she was sick. She wanted to voice the incredible void her partner's absence had left in her. Suzie missed Lopmon more than she had words to say. But to do that would expose to the world that she wasn't as tough as she tried to be, that she was no hero, just a crying little girl, and she couldn't let that happen. If everything that was her were revealed and known people would see the lonely kid she really was. They would go back to treating her like she was an idiot. She had to channel her incredible imagination and energy into different outlets now or they'd all stop caring about her. Jaarin and Rinchei had only just begun treating her like they weren't sick of her presence. Kids at school had stopped picking on her after she had begun standing up for herself and acting like she wasn't perpetually stuck in kindergarten. Somewhere inside her there might always be a part of her that was hurt, sad and alone. Maybe she couldn't fix that. Even her idol, the Digimon Queen Rika, still had her problems at the end of the day. Suzie knew she couldn't be perfect.
But she could keep her problems from being exposed.