Just The Way I Am
"Hirokazu-kun, um...There's something I want to tell you." ...What the hell was I thinking?
"What is it?"
"W-Well, um...I-I...I want to tell you this because...I'm really tired of hiding, I...I want to be able to be myself-"
"Wh-Whoah, whoah... ...K-Kenta, is this...going where...I think it's going?" ...Just the look on his face to me he...wasn't going to approve. At all. I-I should have tried to come up with something else to say, but...I-I couldn't...I just froze. "...Kenta...? S-Say something...Please."
"...I'm gay, Hirokazu-kun."
"...No," Hirokazu...just...stood up, shaking his head. "K-Kenta, please...Tell me that's a bad joke or something...You're...telling me...You're...?"
...Surprisingly, I-I wasn't crying or...even close to that. I...I was sad, but...I-I felt more numb. Like...I-I didn't want to believe Hirokazu was really reacting like this...We'd been friends our entire lives...And this was enough for him...to end it? "...I'm sorry, Hirokazu-kun. I-I'm...I'm not joking."
"...I...I'm outta here...Kenta, I-I...I can't deal with this...I just can't...Just... L-Leave me alone, all right? ...I-I can't believe this!" And with that...Hirokazu was gone. I was left alone in our usual spot in the cafeteria...
...That was when I cried. I-I didn't think he'd be thrilled about this, especially given how he reacts whenever Ruki pulls out one of her gay jokes about us but... ...Hirokazu has been my friend for my entire life. We argue but...We've never even been mad enough to stop speaking... ...And now...
...This is too much for him... I'm such an idiot for thinking he'd be okay with this. I'm mad at myself more than Hirokazu... I-I just wanted to tell him so I could...be more open and, maybe...find someone.
I'm walking home from school, alone, for the first time...Ever. Hirokazu and I always walk together, aside from days one of us is sick or days he ditches without me (and even on those days, he tries to meet me half-way home). ..I'm taking my time, I just...I don't want to see anyone, not even my parents...They'll know I'm upset, they'll ask what's wrong, I'll come up with some lame excuse they won't buy and...I'd rather not run the risk of them grilling me to say "I'm gay and Hirokazu hates me."
"Pepa..." I hear a little voice from my book bag. "...Pepa?" Oh, crap! I forgot about him...!
I unzip the bag, MarineAngemon pokes his head out...He knows I've been upset since lunch. He tried cheering me up by floating around my head until final class, then he went back into his spot in my book bag. He floats up, giving me a smile. "...Hey, MarineAngemon. Sorry I forgot you were in there..."
"PEPA!" The little pink angelic digimon gives me a smile, floating around my head as I walk...I think he's trying to cheer me up.
It's been five years since D-Reaper...Yamaki-san managed to get our partners back after three years. MarineAngemon follows me everywhere, I set up a little pocket in my book bag for him whenever I go to school...He's let out before and after classes, as well as lunch...Most of the time, unless he's floating, he's mistaken for a plush toy.
Jen, Shiuchon and I are the only Tamers who bring our partners to school...Well, Takato does, too, but not because Guilmon can be easily mistaken for a stuffed toy. It's because Guilmon follows him and the faculty doesn't want to argue with a red, fire-breathing digital dinosaur...He is good about keeping quiet, he usually waits outside of the classroom for Takato (sometimes I let MarineAngemon out to play with him).
...Takato and I spend a lot of time together these days. MarineAngemon and Guilmon love to play together and... ...I like being around Takato. Hirokazu, I think, was getting a little jealous... ...Well, not anymore... ...I'm sure, after he left, he may have figured out why I'm spending so much time with Takato...
...And...suddenly...I'm worried Hirokazu might feel the need to warn Takato that there's a freak who likes him...I-I don't think Hirokazu's the kind of person to do that but... ...I also thought he'd never abandon me over...Anything.
As hard as MarineAngemon is trying, he's...not really helping me feel any better, but I appreciate the effort...I really just...want to be happy for a few minutes. Is that too much, Universe? Five minutes of happiness before I go home and dwell on the fact the best friend I've ever had won't speak to me anymore?
"...Pepa! Papipupupepa!" I feel MarineAngemon tug on my hair, I look in the direction he's tugging...
...Michihiko's Cones. It's an old ice cream parlor from the sixties or seventies, Hirokazu and I go there all the time. They make their own ice cream and mochi, it's really good. "You want ice cream?" I ask. MarineAngemon shakes his head. "...You want me to have ice cream?" MarineAngemon nods repeatedly.
"Pepa wa papipupupepa po pupepi!" ...Ice cream will make me happy... ...I-I love the way this little guy thinks.
"...Okay," I nod. "Frozen prozac sounds good."
"...Popopapu pa?" MarineAngemon gives me an odd look.
"...It's an anti-depressant," I reply with a laugh. Okay, now he's making me feel a little better.
I go inside with MarineAngemon on my head, the bell over the door rings. The inside is pretty spacious, to the right of the door is a bunch of tables and chairs, while along the front window to the left is a series of booths going to the back wall.
I go to the front. "...One triple scoop of green tea in a waffle cup," I say, reaching for my wallet. I look up. "What do you want?"
"...They don't...have prozac flavor," I say with a laugh. I get an odd look from the cashier and it's not because of the pink digimon on my head (Hirokazu and I are regulars here, they know MarineAngemon - he's the only "pet" allowed inside).
"And one triple scoop vanilla in a waffle cup, too," I say. The cashier nods. I pay for the ice cream and take both waffle cups to the booth at the far back of the parlor. The window cuts off in the middle of the table, I sit at the back wall so no-one can see me from outside. I set MarineAngemon's cup to one side of the table, he floats to the waffle cup and and starts eating.
"Anytime," I smile. I stare down at my ice cream, poking at it with my spoon... I'm hoping I can bury my sorrows in ice cream, but... ...Well, empty calories tend to make Hirokazu and I feel better after a bad day...
...But... ...Now it's just me. ...And MarineAngemon, but... ...No more Hirokazu. ...If ice cream will make me feel better, I'm...going to need more than this cup...
I sit there for a while, finally eating a spoonful. MarineAngemon is almost half-done with his, taking a bite of his waffle cone bowl.
I hear the sound of someone sitting down across from me and setting a cup on the table. I glance up...I can't believe who's sitting across from me with a bowl of red bean ice cream. "...Ruki?"
Ruki looks to me with her usual 'annoyed' expression, giving me a light smirk. "...So, how're the boys? Cute as ever?" ...Wonderful, Ruki knows and she doesn't even go to my school...
...Hirokazu must be outting me. ...Hirokazu, I-I never knew you could do something like that... ...How could you do this to someone you used to be such good friends with? ...I-I can't believe him!
"...Who told you?" I sigh, I already know the answer...The jerk I used to be best friends with.
"Anonymous source," Ruki says. "And here I thought gay meant happy..."
"Pupi!" MarineAngemon gives Ruki a smile before going back to digging his head into his ice cream.
"...I see..." I sigh, looking back down at my ice cream.
"It would have been really juicy gossip if I didn't already know," Ruki says.
"Y-You...knew?" I look up in surprise. "You're kidding, right?"
"Kenta, you were drooling over Ryou at the beach last summer," Ruki rolls her eyes.
Er...W-Well, Ryou...Ryou's really hot...!
"Was it...that obvious?"
"Only to anyone with eyes. I almost gave you a towel to clean yourself up with," Ruki says before eating a spoonful of her ice cream.
"Oh..." I sigh. I know she's exaggerating, but...Great, I wonder if anyone else knows... "S-So, what are...you doing here? Want to be my fag hag or something?"
"Hmph, funny. I'd say I'd be leaving Hirokazu out of a job, but my anonymous source filled me in on that detail, too."
"Y-Yeah...I...I don't know why I thought telling him would...be a good idea." I really don't...I guess I wanted to tell him because...Well...I want to see someone. And if I do, then...It's better I tell him instead of him finding out...But...
...Who says I'd actually find someone I like? ...I like Takato, but I know he wouldn't like me back. Same with Ryou... ...Even if Ryou was gay, he would not go for someone like me.
"If it makes you feel better, there's an anonymous tipster out there who's really behind you," Ruki says.
"And what did...your anonymous tipster say, exactly?" I ask.
"'Kenta's gay and sad, Hirokazu's an ass.' Exact words from his text message," Ruki replies. She eats another spoonful. "I thought you could use someone to vent to."
"...And...that person would be...?" ...Ruki? A-Are you...actually here to make me...feel better?
"...Don't make me break that gay little face of yours Kenta," Ruki rolls her eyes. "I'm feeling generous, it's my once-in-a-decade act of selflessness. Don't make me regret it."
I laugh, "S-Sorry, but...It's just unusual to see...You trying to make someone feel better."
"I can make you feel worse if that's what you want."
"N-No, I'd...I'd rather feel better," I laugh, nervously. Sh-She's...actually doing just that...Who is this? What has she done to Ruki? ...And would this impostor taking Ruki's place really be a bad thing? Or maybe I'm in Bizarro-Shinjuku's ice cream shop...
...I wonder if that means Bizzaro-Ice cream is good for you.
"Smart choice," Ruki smirks. "So, what gave you the bright idea to tell Mr. Manly Flying Spit that you liked what you saw in the locker room?"
"...I-I have no idea, really," I shrug. "I-I just...thought I should be honest with him or something."
"...So you were high on what at the time?"
"I know," I nod. "...I didn't expect him to...take it so hard, though."
"What'd he do?"
"He...just walked away, disgusted. He didn't want to hear or deal with it." I shrug. "That was it."
"Could just be shock, give him twenty-four hours, grab his ass and see what happens."
"He may still hate you, but at least you got to cop a feel," Ruki smirks. ...She has a point there, but I can't picture that scene ending without Hirokazu punching me. "How long have you known you liked what you saw in the locker room?"
"Err...A-About...three years now..." I-I can't...believe her wording. "...A-And I-I don't-"
"...Okay, maybe a little..." I roll my eyes. ...Takato, Jen and I shared a gym class last year. ...Best. Gym. Period. Ever.
"And how did you take to the idea?"
"It...It scared the hell out of me," I reply. "I mean...I-I always grew up thinking I'd have a wife and kids and then, boom, I wake up one day and realize Ryou's got a hot ass." ...A very hot ass.
"Does he, now?" ...Ruki, please don't grin like that.
"Err...That...could have been phrased better..."
"No, it could not have been," Ruki chuckles. "Why'd it scare the hell out of you?"
"Wh-What do you mean? I-I liked...guys, Ruki...It...It was not something I saw coming!"
"I saw it coming," Ruki smirks. I-I sort of...laugh at that. I don't know why, but I do.
"Er...W-Well, let me ask you: How would you feel if you woke up one morning and realized you liked girls?"
"...Who says I didn't?" ...Wh-What? D-Did...Ruki really...just say that?
I drop my spoon into my ice cream my jaw falls...Even MarineAngemon lifts his face out of his vanilla ice cream to stare at Ruki in shock. "R-Ruki...?"
"...Oh, right, I'm the gender where that sort of thing is hot, not gross! My mistake..." Ruki rolls her eyes. "...Don't look so shocked, Kitagawa."
"I-I don't think that's...possible..." I-I never suspected Ruki...At all.
"...This actually surprises you?"
I nod, so does MarineAngemon.
"...Seriously?" Ruki gives me a surprised expression. She's surprised by my, um...Surprise, I guess.
"Y-Yeah...Y-You...thought you were...obvious?" I ask.
"...I always figured I was as many butch lesbian stereotypes in one as you were limp-wristed fairy stereotypes," Ruki shrugs. "I figured this at least wouldn't be such a shock to you."
"...I'm 'limp wristed fairy' stereotypes?"
"...Kenta, in one word, describe the little creature next to you eating ice cream." Ruki says.
I glance to MarineAngemon...He's waiting on that word, too. I know Ruki expects 'gay,' but... "...Awesome." I say, MarineAngemon gives me a smile and goes back to eating.
"Wrong! Doesn't even start with the same letter," Ruki rolls her eyes.
"MarineAngemon isn't gay," I say. Granted, he's the Digimon Taming version of carrying around a tea cup poodle, but...
...I kinda see where she's going with this.
"No, but you being the Tamer of an adorable pink creature that fighs with the power of love makes you the single gayest man in Shinjuku, possibly all of Japan." Ruki replies, smirking...MarineAngemon perks up at being described as 'adorable.' He...likes it when girls compliment him like they do Culumon (I honestly think the two have a rivalry over which one is cuter...I vote MarineAngemon for obvious reasons).
"I doubt I'm the gayest guy in Japan," I reply, laughing a little...Ruki is...being Ruki, but she's making me feel better. I-I can't believe it.
"But you admit you're the gayest guy in Shinjuku?"
I laugh, "C-Come on, you have to have seen someone gayer than I am." I might not be all that subtle, but I am not flaming.
"Fine, Akiyama, but you're a close second," Ruki replies.
"Please don't get my hopes up like that, Ruki... Please don't get my hopes up like that."I laugh, then stop.. ...Did I...really just say that? ...I-I've never...talked about guys before and...Now...
...That was actually kinda fun to say.
"...So you do have a thing for Ryou?" Ruki smirks. "Anyone else?"
"Um...Y-You first, I mean...You know I like Ryou..."
"And...Hirokazu...?" Ruki smirks. "He was your first kiss...You're welcome for that, by the way." The Digital World kiss...Ruki will never let Hirokazu forget that (he hates being reminded of it)... I-I counted it as my first, but... ...I-I don't like Hirokazu that way.
I shake my head. "N-No...As much as you like to joke about it, I don't...like him more than a friend. But...Thanks for getting me my first kiss." I smile.
I look down to MarineAngemon, he's covered in Vanilla ice cream and just finished his waffle bowl...My green tea ice cream is melting faster than I can eat it. "...Here, you can have this." I smile, passing my bowl to my partner.
"Papipapo!" MarineAngemon smiles, digging into my ice cream...I'm going to have to give him a bath when I get home. He always gets covered in ice cream when we eat here...And loves to sit in my hair afterward.
"...So, um...Anyone...you like?" I look to Ruki.
"...Jen's older sister, Jaarin, has a nice rack," Ruki says with a smirk. ...I-I still can't believe she just said that. "Your turn."
...Should I...tell her about Takato? "Er...W-Well..."
"Judging by that shade of red, this is gonna be good," Ruki says, taking a bite of her ice cream. "Spill it, Kitagawa."
"Wh-What about Juri?" I ask. ...I can't...I-I mean, Ryou is one thing...Everyone thinks Ryou's hot (well, everyone attracted to guys, at least).
"Don't try to change the subject," Ruki frowns.
"...Juri's cute, but she's too goody-goody for me," Ruki says. "And do not say opposites attract." ...I-I can't believe I'm talking about girls right now...Granted, with a girl, but...Wow... "Come on, Kenta..."
"You can't still be this closeted..." Ruki sighs. "Say it in the gayest way you can."
"Say it flaming, that way when you talk about who you like for real, it'll be less embarrassing. 'Cause you've already made an idiot of yourself." Ruki says. ...I-I sort of...see her logic there...But, something tells me she mostly wants to have fun with this...
"...A-All right..." She's...helped me feel better so far, maybe this will help. I clear my throat and say, quietly but...Amazingly confidently and definitely a lot more 'flaming' than I normally would. "...Takato is just so ADORABLE sometimes, I just wanna squeeze him! And he's so dreamy in those goggles of his, I so wish I could pull of that look just half as well as he can!"
...I-I can't believe I said all that... Ruki is practically rolling with laughter. I glance to MarineAngemon, even the little pink (and now green) mega is giving me this look like I'm insane.
And...Takato is really cute when he has his goggles on. He doesn't wear them as often as he used to, but... ...I don't know how, but he can pull off that look so well. Hirokazu once tried it, we thought he looked goofy.
Ruki finally calms down, saying, "Thank you, Kenta, that made my decade...Thank you..." She's wiping her eyes.
"J-Just...don't tell Takato, okay?" I say, nervously. "I-If...he found out...Just from how Hirokazu reacted..."
"Trust me, Takato would love hearing that," Ruki says. "He knows people think he's cute and, as much as he'll deny it, he loves to hear it. He's an Akiyama in denial."
"R-Really?" I laugh.
Ever since D-Reaper and the news reports afterward...Takato, Jen and Ruki are well known as "Real Digimon Tamers." The rest of us, not as much but...They actually get the occasional fan letter. And ever since Guilmon became an official Digimon in the game and animes, Takato's been receiving Guilmon's fan mail.
Thankfully, they aren't hounded by fans or anything, but now and then Takato signs an autograph from a Digimon fan...A lot more now since Guilmon's back (and Guilmon loves the attention he gets from girls and little kids who want to play with him). I've...gotten a couple letters, but both of them were from people whose favorite digimon was MarineAngemon... ...One of them didn't even spell my name right. I still liked the letters and keep them both in a scrapbook. MarineAngemon...didn't quite understand the concept of "having fans," but he liked that people thought he was cute.
"Really," Ruki rolls her eyes, shaking her head. "Jen's the only one who gets embarrassed when a girl goes on about how 'cute' he is...But, Takato? Loves it."
"He's...a close second to Ryou in my book."
"Kenta, you have the worst taste in guys...But he'll love you just based on that little ranking." Ruki smirks.
"So, why Goggle Boy? I mean, Mr. Manly Flying Spit strikes me as the one you'd love the most..." Ruki trails off.
"W-Well, back in The Digital World, I really admired how brave he was...I mean, even before he was Dukemon, the fact he was willing to charge in against the Devas... ...I-I don't think I could have done that. And now... ...He's really nice and always smiling, he'll do anything for his friends... ...I-I just really like that about him."
"And the fact he's so huggable is just a bonus?" Ruki laughs. ...I-I really can't believe I said he was adorable... ...But he is. I mean, Takato's... ...You want to hug him sometimes, you really, really do. And, yes, I have fought back that urge on numerous occasions...And it is very, very hard to hold back sometimes.
I look down, blushing. "...Y-Yeah..." I nod.
"Pepa... Papapo pa pipi po papupopi!" MarineAngemon, as always, decides to take up residence in my hair after finishing his ice cream.
"Th-Thanks, MarineAngemon..." I smile at what he said. Ruki laughs, but only because he's making a bed for himself... ...in my hair. We both need a bath, now. I just feel all the melted ice cream against my scalp.
"So, feeling better?"
"Y-Yeah...Thank you so much, Ruki. I-I owe you," I say.
"No, someone else owes me," Ruki smirks.
"Nothing..." Ruki trails off.
"By the way...Where's Renamon?" I ask. Usually she's...off in the shadows but, she'd have made an appearance by now.
"She's on patrol for me," Ruki replies.
"She has a job today, a very important job," Ruki says. "Doesn't your partner do anything besides look cute and eat ice cream?"
"Um...He gives me more reasons to take baths," I reply.
"Papipapu Papapi!" I hear my partner chirp.
"...And he's pretty good at RPGs," I add. Can't forget that! Thanks for the reminder. He got hooked when he saw me playing against Hirokazu in Digimon World 7...I was MarineAngemon and Hirokazu was HiAndromon, MarineAngemon wanted to play...Since then, he loves my video game collection almost as much as ice cream.
"...Renamon's not bad at fighting games, actually," Ruki says, glancing away.
"Never accuse her of button mashing. She will make you pay."
"Noted," I nod with a laugh. "You found that out the hard way, I take it?"
"No, Akiyama did." Ruki chuckles. "He spent a lot of money at the arcade that time, it was one of those types of fighters where people could watch on a big screen overhead. There was a huge crowd of people watching."
"...People saw Ryou Akiyama getting his ass kicked by...Renamon?" I...I can't help but laugh at the image.
"I'd never been more proud of her, Akiyama was so humiliated...I treated her to ice cream," Ruki smirks.
I glance up at MarineAngemon...I-I can only imagine how bad my hair looks. "...Too bad they don't have two player versus RPGs...I think MarineAngemon could do the same."
"Papipapo!" I feel MarineAngemon roll over on my head-OW! OW! OW! ...He's...got hair stuck to him and he's pulling on my hair...Ow...
"Y-You're welcome." I wince. I-I'm a little worried he's going to give me a bald spot. Ruki has a laugh. "How...bad does my hair look?"
"...Like you've got a bright pink top knot," Ruki laughs. "And, no, you don't have a bald spot. Not until someone yanks him off your head...Can I do the honors?"
I laugh. "N-No, I'll...try peanut butter or something... That works for gum. Gum's pink, so is he..."
Ruki chuckles. "Hey, is that...Akiyama...?" She points off to the side.
"Huh?" I look around the parlor. "...I don't see Ry-" I hear a 'click' sound. I turn, Ruki's got her cell phone out, the 'click' was the sound effect it uses for taking a picture. "...Ruki..."
"Sorry, Kenta...But if it makes you feel better, whenever I'm feeling a little sad, I'll look at this picture and laugh my ass off."
We both laugh. ...I-I can't...believe Ruki Makino, of all people, is the one who...made me feel so much better after what happened...
...I-I really appreciate it, Ruki. I'd give you a hug to thank you, but... ...I know you'd hit me for it.
I hear the bell over the ice cream parlor door open, I look up. ...I can't believe who just walked in. "H-Hirokazu..." I whisper, looking down again.
"Hey, Otoko Shibuki! Get your ass over here!" Ruki shouts. ...R-Ruki...I-I don't...want to be reminded... I let out a sad sigh as I hear Hirokazu approach. "...What the hell happened to you?" Ruki asks.
I look up...Wow...
...Hirokazu's got a black eye. A huge black eye... "...Kenta, um... ...Hey..." He says, quietly. "I...I'm sorry about earlier, okay? ...I was being an ass and... ...I-I don't have a problem with it."
"...You don't?" I whisper.
"Not anymore...Someone, um...Knocked some sense into me." He motions to his eye. "...Sorry again, Kenta. What I did...wasn't cool. E-Especially to my best friend... Forgive me?"
I nod. "Of course..." ...Just like the fact Ruki spent time trying to make me feel better, I can't believe this...I-I thought Hirokazu wouldn't speak to me again...
Ruki slides closer to the window and lets Hirokazu sit down. "...So, what made you change your mind?"
"W-Well...After Kenta...told me his secret, um, I ran into Takato and Jen and they asked what was wrong and..." Hirokazu sighs. "...Words were said, let's say and...They didn't like what I said. At all."
"...Jen punched you?" I ask.
"No, Takato punched me," Hirokazu says. ...Wow... T-Takato? ...He doesn't hit people unless...thoroughly provoked. "He...L-Look, let's just say he explained things to me and... ...I'm sorry, Kenta. I-I really, really am. I've been looking for you since they let me go after school ended. They...sort of yelled at me during the rest of lunch and wouldn't let me leave after school. I-I got my ass handed to me...verbally and sort of physically."
"...Thank you for...still being my friend, Hirokazu," I say.
"D-Dude, no...You...Don't thank me, I was being an idiot...Thank you for still being my friend," Hirokazu sighs. "...Takato and Jen were really pissed at me, let's say. They kept me for a while and told me...Just how much of an idiot I was."
"Obviously," Ruki chuckles. There's a tap on the window next to her. She turns, Renamon is standing outside, motioning down the sidewalk. Ruki gives her a nod, getting up. "Shiota, I'd hate to end this little reunion between gay and ambiguously straight friends, but...After talking to Kenta about guys, I wanna 'compare some notes' with you over at the park."
"...Ruki," Hirokazu sighs. "I-I know you love to joke about it, but... ...I'm not gay or bi. I'm not gonna chat guys with you."
"I know, stupid," Ruki says. W-Wow... Th-Then again, she's...probably testing Hirokazu for me. Making sure he's sincere.
Hirokazu looks to Ruki. "...Really? You're...gonna talk girls with me?"
Ruki nods, rolling her eyes with an annoyed sigh, "I take it you're surprised, too?"
"...Ruki, I know I'm gonna pay for this, but...After the millions upon millions of gay jokes you've made about me and Kenta... I''ve got to say this: You like girls? Well, duh!" It...was nice knowing you, Hirokazu-kun. I-I hold back my laugh at that because, um...I-I'm not ready to die yet.
Ruki chuckles. "...I'm still in a good mood, so you'll live after that. Just answer one question...Scale of one to ten, how hot is Jen's older sister?"
"Jaarin? ...Solid eight," Hirokazu replies as he gets up.
"We're going to have a fun talk," Ruki smirks, she gets up, taking her cup. "Kenta, stick around...Trust me."
"Wh-Why?" I ask.
"Just trust me, have I done anything bad to you today?" Ruki asks. I shake my head. "Then stick around." ...That could be taken either way, Ruki... ...But I'll trust you.
"...Hold it, lemme do one thing..." Hirokazu goes to the front. He comes back about a minute later with three cups of ice cream: One triple scoop green tea, one triple scoop vanilla and one triple scoop strawberry. "...Just...another apology." He sets all three on the table in front of me.
"Th-Thanks...Why three?" I ask. ...This is...confusing...
"...Let's just say I know what Renamon was signaling," Hirokazu says, smiling. He and Ruki wave and walk off.
I set the vanilla cup in the center of the table...I feel my partner jump out of my hair, taking some hair with him as he digs into his vanilla ice cream. ...I'm amazed he's this small after all he's eaten today...
...Green tea is my favorite, Hirokazu knows that...MarineAngemon always gets vanilla, unless he wants to try something new...And strawberry is...
"Takato?" I look to the other side of the booth, Takato is standing by the seat. "...H-hey...Um... Wh-What brings you...here?" ...Strawberry is Takato's favorite...
Takato sits down. "Um...I-I heard about...what happened..." He...has a smile on his face. It's sort of a weird grin.
I nod. "H-Here..." I pass the cup of strawberry ice cream to Takato.
"H-Huh? Th-Thank you...K-Kenta-kun..." Takato gives me a surprised look, but...looks away after a second, that smile coming back. ...What the...?
"Hirokazu...apologized with ice cream but...Bought that one, too... ...Did he and Ruki know you were coming?"
Takato nods, glancing away. "Um...Y-Yeah. They did...I-I sent Ruki a text after, um...Hirokazu stopped ranting during lunch. She said she'd...try to find you and make you feel better. I-I know what Hirokazu did would upset you. I-I felt...really bad that he did that to you. It wasn't right." ...Wow...
...Thank you, Takato-kun.
"I-I heard that you were the one who...shut him up while he was ranting," I say.
Takato nods. "I-I...didn't really mean to, but...I-I sort of...l-lost control..." He holds back a laugh...What's...going on?
"I know...Thank you, Takato-kun," I say. "Especially for...explaining things to Hirokazu. I-I was...so afraid I lost a friend."
Takato looks out the window, saying, "Hirokazu almost lost three, but...We explained 'some things' to him and...Well, Renamon came by and told us where you and Ruki were. We sent Hirokazu ahead to apologize while Jen and Terriermon took Guilmon to the park because...I wanted to meet with you."
"Y-Yeah, because..." Takato turns to face me, then...starts laughing. "S-Sorry, K-Kenta-kun, I-I...I'm trying to be...serious here, but..."
"Wh-What happened...to your hair?" Takato asks, finally losing control and laughing. ...Oh, CRAP! "I-I mean...It's...All over the place on your head and sticking up...S-Sorry, it's..." He laughs a little harder.
"Er...M-Marine Angemon, um...See how he eats?" I motion to my little pink partner, he's almost sitting in his ice cream as he eats it. He's close to finishing it, too. "...After a couple cups, he um...'nested' in my hair and... ...Rolled around a little. Then, um, he jumped down for another cup when Hirokazu bought some apology ice cream." I bow my head, pointing. "Um...Just wondering, did he leave a bald spot or anything? He...took some hair with him when he jumped down just down."
"N-No, I don't see anything...Your hair is still...mostly intact." Takato chuckles. "Um...I-I should tell you an embarrassing story to...make up for laughing...Like the time Guilmon caught a cold and, um...Lit my pants on fire with a sneeze at the park."
"Y-You don't have to...I-I don't mind. Ask Ruki to see the picture she took while he was still in my hair." I say, though hearing a story about Takato losing his pants...is tempting to hear. "Why did you want to meet me, though?"
A smile spread across Takato's face, and it's not because he's laughing anymore. "...You just want to squeeze me sometimes?" ...Oh...shit...
I freeze. I can feel the color draining from my face as a stare at Takato with my jaw down and eyes bulging out of my head.
H-How did he...know about that...? I-I'd have seen Ruki call or text him...But...
"...Pepa?" MarineAngemon gives me a worried, vanilla ice cream covered look.
...I-I can't believe this...
"...Do you?" Takato asks with that same smile.
I stammer a bit before finally and so quietly saying, "Y-Yes."
"Kenta-kun, relax, okay?" Takato smiles. "I-I...want to tell you something..."
"...What is it...?" I-I look down at my ice cream. This is...so embarrassing. Why did I have to go with Ruki's 'confess flaming' thing? ...I-I'm an idiot...
"...Sometimes, I just want to hug you, too." ...Did...I hear that right? Did I hear that right...from Takato?
Takato blushes slightly, nodding. "Renamon told us where you and Ruki were...As well as, um, that detail. Jen and Ruki, um, know about me...And Hirokazu does, too, after what happened. So, when I heard about you, I asked Ruki if she could find out if you liked anyone for me...S-Sorry to spy, but the reason was that...I like you, too, Kenta-kun."
I-I can't believe this... Takato reaches his hand across the table, I take it. "...You're serious, Takato?"
Takato nods. "I've liked you for a while-"
"PAPAPO PAPIPUPI!" MarineAngemon screamed as he finishes his ice cream and... ...Oh, Gods, no...
"Er...K-Kenta-kun...?" Takato glances upward, MarineAngemon is in his hair...covered in ice cream and making himself at home. "Wh-What is...he...doing...?"
"...I-I think...MarineAngemon is saying he accepts you as my boyfriend..." I-I can't help but laugh as MarineAngemon makes a mess in Takato's hair.
"Pepa po Papapo po PAAAPIIIPUPI!" MarineAngemon shouts, giving me a smile...He knows how much I like Takato and...He's showing just how happy he is for me in his own... ...MarineAngemon sort of way.
"...Can our first date be, um, finding a place to wash our hair?" Takato laughs. "And him?"
I smile, nodding. "It's a date...Takato-chan."
Original Author's (AKA Ori's) Notes:
Eh...Not a big fan of anything past Hirokazu's appearance. I had a lot of trouble figuring out how to end this...
The title comes from Kenta's image song "Boku No Blue Card," the line stands out because he sings it in English. Fun fact: He mentions Hirokazu by name in his song, too.
Originally, I went with "No Partners" as usual but... ...I really wanted to try something with MarineAngemon, so I decided to give it a try. Also, I really wanted to do something featuring Ruki and Kenta in a "Kenta's sad and Ruki decides to have a heart" setting. I've got like twenty other drafts with similar situations, this one combines a lot of them. I really had fun with Ruki's dialogue in this, too.
Hm, I made Ruki like girls...Am I venturing into Shoujo-Ai now...? ...I dunno.
As for the pairing...I don't know why, but I like Takato and Kenta as an item, or at least I like to make Kenta have a thing for Takato (even though Takato usually ends up with Jianliang).
Hope you liked this one, but...Eh, this isn't one of my best, I admit it. I originally wanted to save this for Valentine's day along with a few other fics, but...I caught a bad cold at the end of last week that just does not want to go away. Writing (among other things) isn't something I can really do right now, so I (somehow) finished this over the weekend to send to Taiki. I wanted to at least try to get something out this month.
Sorry, everyone, I'll try to get some more fics out when my brain works again but that might be a while.
Curse my inadequate immune system...!
Oh, do feel better, Ori! Though, I'm sure you're already downing gallon after gallon of rooibos and green tea. Have some ice cream, too, just be sure wear a hat if MarineAngemon is nearby!
Ha ha ha, MarineAngemon certainly likes to be a head pet! Even when covered in ice cream. Oh, poor Kenta and Takato, I hope they find some place to wash their hair.
That is quite the first date, I admit. Dinner and a hair salon!
And while Jenkato will forever be my favorite pairing I still enjoy the occasional Kenta\Takato fic! If you like this pairing, too, check out "Christmas Chocolates" on my profile. It's one of Ori's (many) Christmas fics from last year and his first Kenta\Takato!
Also, speaking of Jenkato: Check out Ori's DeviantArt profile (homepage link in my profile), he put up his first ever Jenkato picture recently! Takato and Jen are proud parents, ha ha ha!