There was really nothing to be done but wait. Persuasiveness was not one of Mummymon's strong suits, nor was listening one of Arukenimon's, so when she told him to stay behind, nothing he could say would cause her to retract the order. Oikawa had been a bit kinder about it; he'd phrased it in forms of Mummymon being a reserve, to be called upon in a moment of need so he could swoop in dramatically and save the day. That had been just enough to get him to stop complaining. However, it was not nearly enough to make him like the situation. It wasn't fair that Arukenimon was getting the first crack at the Digidestined. Though he would gladly admit that she was the cleverer of the two 'mons, he still resented being left behind. Still, there was nothing he could do about it, so he began to settle in for a wait.
At least he'd found a good place for it. The scenery here was one of dense, almost tropical trees, with plenty of cool shady places for a shady character to hide out for a while. He parked his jeep in an easily accessible location, then wandered off in search of a likely spot to relax a while. a brief search found a large, oak-like tree with lots of aerial roots to provide comfortable nooks at his base. Well enough; he could stay there. He was just about to sit down when he realized his chosen hiding place was occupied.
Sitting in a cozy spot at the juncture of two roots was a baby Digimon. As soon as it heard Mummymon's footsteps, it gave a squeak and turned to stare at him, and he stared back, dismayed. He did not want this little creature bothering him, but his nature wasn't sadistic enough to really enjoy the idea of killing off something that couldn't even try to defend itself. The idea of being chased away by a tiny hatchling was decidedly ignominious, but he didn't like any of the other options much, either.
"I'm sorry," he said. "I didn't know this tree was taken."
"That's all right," the baby replied. "There's room for both of us."
"Oh," he said. That had sounded a bit like an invitation. Silly hatchling - it had to be very new, to be saying things like that to an Ultimate Virus. Then again, since most Ultimate Virus types didn't usually do things like apologize, perhaps it was smarter than it looked. "All right."
Mummymon sat down a few roots away from the baby, so it couldn't see him, and settled in to wait. However, even though he couldn't see the creature anymore, he still knew it was there, and the knowledge was discomfitting.
"So," he said after a while, "what are you doing out here? Shouldn't you be with your village or something?"
"I don't have a village," the 'mon replied. "I'm alone. Do most Digimon have villages?"
"I think most of them do," Mummymon answered, after a bit of thought. "But I guess they don't all have to. I never had a village."
"So you're alone too, then?"
He scowled. "No, I'm not. Everyone else just isn't around right now. I'm waiting."
"Really?" the baby chirped. "I'm waiting, too."
"Who are you waiting for?"
"Well, that's specific. There are a lot of Digimon out there, you know."
"My friend isn't a Digimon. He's a human," answered the hatchling. "A little boy."
Mummymon sat up with a shock. He twisted around so he was peering around the trunk at the creature. Was this a Chosen Child's Digimon? He was fairly sure he knew what all of them looked like, and he had never seen anything that even resembled this creature before. Besides, none of those ever went lower than Rookie. But what other explanation was there for a Digimon waiting for a human?
"A human, hm?" he said, trying to sound casual. "I know a little about humans."
"Really?" asked the little Digimon. It hopped up on the nearest root to see him better. "Aren't they wonderful?"
"To be honest... no, not really," he answered. "At least, the ones I know aren't."
"That's too bad," said the baby, looking honestly sorry for him. "Maybe you just know the wrong humans. The ones I know are very nice."
"How many do you know?"
"Only two," the hatchling replied, "but they're still very nice children."
"Children," Mummymon repeated thoughtfully. "Maybe that's my problem. The only human I know is an adult."
"I'll bet that's it. I don't know any adults, but my friend told me about them. I'm not sure I'd like them," the baby said. "They sound a little scary to me."
"They aren't very agreeable," answered Mummymon. "At least, the one I work for isn't."
"What's your human like?"
"He's not my human. I'm his Digimon. "He tells me what to do, and I either do it or get shouted at."
"That's not very good. You need a human like mine," said the baby. "He's not like that at all. The first time I saw him, I was a little afraid, because I'd never seen anything like him before. But he was so quiet and gentle and kind, I just knew we were going to be friends..." His bright black eyes misted over as he was caught up in the memory.
"I guess I wouldn't mind knowing a human like that," said Mummymon.
"You wouldn't. My friend is - is the best human in the world!" the little Digimon asserted.
"Um. Well... when's he going to show up?"
The hatchling's face fell. "I don't know."
"You don't? Well, how long have you been waiting?"
"A long time. Years, I think."
"Years? You've been waiting here for years? Don't you think that's overdoing it a little?"
"I haven't been waiting here that long," answered the hatchling, as if Mummymon had just said something very stupid. "I'm just waiting. I'm always waiting."
"But if he hasn't come back in all that time, don't you think you should just give up?" he persisted.
"Because... because it will save you some disappointment," answered Mummymon.
"Why would I be disappointed?" the baby asked. "I know he's coming back. He has to. He's my friend. I know if I just wait long enough, he'll come."
Mummymon wanted to ask what would happen if his friend had given up on him, or had found other interests, or had died, but he couldn't quite bring himself to do it, not when the little creature was sitting there looking so perfectly certain.
He was saved from having to answer by the ringing of a phone. He fished in his pocket and took it out.
"Mummymon, what in blazes are you doing?" snapped the voice on the other end of the line.
"Just... you know, waiting."
"Well, quit waiting and get to work! Arukenimon's let herself walk into a trap, so if you want her back in one piece, you'd better get moving."
"I'm on my way."
He closed the phone and began getting up. The little Digimon watched him curiously.
"Who was that?" it asked.
"That was my boss, telling me to get to work," he replied.
"That's funny. He sounded familiar."
"I doubt it," answered Mummymon. "Anyway, nice talking to you. Hope you find your human... What was his name, anyway?"
"His name was Yukio," the hatchling.
"Yukio. All right, I'll remember that," Mummymon replied. "If I run into him, I'll let him know you're looking for him."
He trudged off to his vehicle, trying to prepare himself for his rescue. Maybe this would be the time that things would go right, and he'd get a little appreciation. It would be nice if Arukenimon would learn to appreciate him. He'd been waiting a long time for that. Years, really, but if you waited long enough... He shook his head. So much for the advice of hatchlings.
*I kind of hope he finds his friend, though,* he thought. *Sounded like a real nice kid... It's strange. I could have sworn I'd heard that name somewhere before...*
Meanwhile, alone again, Pipimon settled back down under his tree to wait.