Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon.
A Digimon Tamers story by: Crazyeight
Chapter: 1/ From the Beginning and the Middle…Comes the End.
In the light of the rising morning, a young twelve-year old boy with light brown hair woke up. Slowly, carefully, and with great reluctance, he cracked his eyes open, only to shut them against the bright light that filtered through the glass, sliding door of his bedroom. He turned over onto the other side and buried himself in his blankets, determined to get as much rest as his crusty-feeling eyes desired.
"Takato Matsuki!" called the voice of his mother from downstairs. "You'd better be getting up! I'm not going to have you sleep the whole day away just because it's summer vacation!"
"I'm up! I'm up!"
Takato rose with a start, throwing off his blankets in the process. He rubbed at his eyes, yawning.
"Man. Why does she have to yell?" he muttered to himself as he collected his bearings. "Maybe she minored in it at school or something."
Takato was quick to berate himself for saying such a thing about his mother. He hated that. After all, she did a lot for him.
Sighing heavily, he swung his legs out onto the ladder of his bed and climbed down. Upon reaching the floor, he went over to his dresser and pulled out some clothes—a blue hoody, a white t-shirt to go underneath, alongside some tan shorts—and put them on. After he was done tugging on the hoody, he found his hand reaching up towards his hair, scratching around at it absently. Takato frowned.
Am I missing something?
He held the thought for a moment before shrugging his shoulders. He couldn't afford to dilly-dally around for too long.
I'll bet Mom wants me to run some errands, he thought. That's probably why she wants me up at… he checked the time. …Eleven O'clock in the morning? Sheesh. Did I oversleep or what?
Deciding that his mother was justified in her yelling, he raced towards the door, yanked it open and headed out. The door slammed shut behind him, leaving the room silent and empty.
Silent and empty, that is, save for a lone, drawing of a crimson dinosaur with a white stomach, crudely colored in, falling to the floor, just outside a spot of sun.
It looked as though it was going to be a nice day in the city of Shinjuku, Japan, Land of the Rising Sun.
"Sorry I'm up late," Takato called out apologetically upon reaching the first floor of his family's home. As he threw on his shoes, the smell of warm, freshly baked bread, the lifeblood of the family business (such as it was) reached his nose. He smiled, feeling greatly comforted by it.
"You'd better be," came the voice of his mother, Mei Matsuki, poking her head in from out of the kitchen. "I don't remember raising you to sleep in this late." She scowled at him to show how disappointed she was in him. Folding her arms over her chest she stepped into the room. "You must get it from your father. I want you waking up early from now on. There's no sense in having you getting up late when you go back to school in a few weeks. I know school only just let out, but it'll be good for you. Besides, you've been late to class enough times as it is."
"Don't worry, Mom," Takato smiled. "I won't be showing up late to class anymore. I've learned my lesson."
…from standing outside the classroom one too many times, he finished in his head.
"So, what's going on?" he asked, putting the finishing touches on his shoelaces.
"Not too much. You missed the morning rush because you were being such a sleepyhead, so we're having a bit of a quiet moment. Your father's manning the cash register and I'm getting some more bread ready."
"Oh." Takato tilted his head to one side, somewhat confused. I thought she needed…
"But I do have some things that I'd like for you to take care of for me," she added. Takato felt his shoulders sag slightly.
Yep. I thought that was coming…
Mei indicated that he was to follow her as she turned and entered the kitchen. Takato did as he had been bid. Upon reaching the counter, Mei picked up an envelope and handed it to the boy.
"I've called in a list of supplies that I need you to pick up for me. Mr. Sato will have it ready for you when you get to his store. And when you get back, I need you to make a delivery for me, since it'll be ready then. After that, you can go play with your friends, but I'd like for you to be back for the afternoon to help out."
"Sure thing, Mom," Takato nodded, accepting the envelope.
Takato grunted as he lugged the pair of grocery bags down the streets. It was a warm day out, perfect weather for hanging out with Kazu and Kenta at the playground or the park.
If they're still there that is, Takato mused with a dry chuckle. They never wait for me on anything.
Takato picked up his pace, eager to get things done as quickly as possible. He was almost home. Soon, he'd be able to…
Takato was brought out of his thoughts as something caught his eye. Turning, he saw a gray cloud floating through the air above him. Not directly so, but it was well within his line of sight.
Takato came to a stop and frowned.
Um…unless I'm mistaken, it kind of looks like it's coming towards me.
"Whoa," began someone behind him. "That's weird."
Takato glanced over his shoulder towards a blonde-haired teen with the scruffy beginnings of a beard raising his cell phone to take a picture of the cloud. He had a beautiful girl standing next to him, eyeing the cloud with an amazed expression.
"What do you think it is?" she asked in an almost lazy fashion.
"Beats me," the older boy said. "Pretty weird though."
Takato turned his gaze back to the cloud. It was still getting closer. Its shape was very definite, appearing disk-like in appearance; nothing at all like the usual, wispiness that all clouds shared. And its movement seemed oddly purposeful.
I'm just imagining things, Takato thought. Yeah. That's it. He chuckled and shifted the groceries in his hands. Mom's always saying how I watch too much TV anyway.
A few more people were looking up at the cloud in fascination. Here and there, someone would point it out, but for the most part, everyone went on with their business.
Well…clouds aren't really anything special, Takato thought.
He resumed walking, doing his best to ignore the cloud. However, his curiosity got the better of him, and soon enough his crimson eyes were drawn back up to the circular cloud.
It…really does look like it's coming towards me… Doesn't it?
As he watched, the cloud settled over him. Electrical sparks emerged from the cloud and two glowing somethings—eyes perhaps—emerged.
"Tamer…" a dark, menacing voice whispered from the cloud.
"Ah!" Takato jumped backward, raising the groceries up to protect himself, and he bumped into the older teen that was behind him. For a second, there was a sound of electrical pops and then…nothing.
"You okay, little dude?" asked the blond, looking at Takato with concern.
"Ah…um…the…thing…" Takato waved one grocery-laden arm as best as he could towards the sky while his words spilled out incomprehensibly. The blond scratched the stubble on his chin, trying to figure out what he was saying.
"The cloud!" Takato spat out finally. "Did you…?"
"Cloud?" The blond looked up in the direction that Takato was pointing at.
"He means the one you just took a picture of, honey," the girl at his side said sweetly.
"Oh! Right. That cloud. Yeah, I dunno little dude. It's gone now."
Takato blinked and looked up.
He's right. Nothing but blue sky greeted his vision.
"But…it was just there a second ago. And it was…sparking!"
"Must be all this digital technology," chuckled the teen as he and the girl moved on, already bored. "It must be messing with the air."
"Maybe it's global warming," laughed the girl.
Takato frowned at their backs before finally shaking his head.
This is nuts. I'm standing in the middle of the street talking about clouds. I'd better hurry up and get home. If I'm late making that delivery, Mom'll ground me for a week!
In the darkness of the room, a control panel glowed; its light occasionally shifting as a pair of hands moved across its surface, inputting commands.
"Bio-emergence has been blocked," said a female voice belonging to a long-haired, readheaded woman from behind a visor covering her eyes. Her chair, sitting on a pedestal, swiveled, and another woman with shorter, light brown hair sitting behind her typed in a set of commands.
"Gathering data now."
From beneath the two, someone chuckled.
"There you go. Problem solved."
A lighter flicked open and closed as a blond-haired man wearing a suit and sunglasses turned, a smirk on his face.
"They never learn, do they?" He turned his face up towards monitors that surrounded the room, showing various images and incoming data. "Tally. Make sure that you send me all logs on this latest incident. I want to analyze it personally."
"Yes sir," replied the brunette from her chair.
"What?" asked a voice from the shadows. The blond turned towards another man, youthful looking in appearance with light brown hair, wearing a suit. "No congratulations, Yamaki?"
The blond frowned at the other man, but said nothing. Instead, he turned towards the room's exit and left. The youth smirked.
"Genius goes unappreciated yet again," he muttered sarcastically under his breath.
"…and Guardromon warp-digivolves to HiAndromon," crowed a brown-haired boy wearing a black visor triumphantly as he slapped a card bearing the image of a powerful, sleek-looking android on the ground. "Snap!"
"Oh mannn…" across from the visor-wearing child, a bespectacled boy slumped in defeat.
"Man Kenta," the visor-wearing boy said, grinning. "You are just so bad at this game. Have you had even one win against me?"
"You're just a lousy winner," grumbled Kenta, gathering up his pile of cards.
"Hey, that's what it takes if you want to duke it out with the pros. And with the way you're going, you'll be out by the first round. Unlike me, who'll be going straight to the top!"
The boy struck a triumphant pose, but Kenta still glowered at him, sharing none of the enjoyment that his friend had.
"Well, even with that HiAndromon card, the Digimon Queen will still beat you."
The boy lost his pose and frowned at his friend. "And like I've been telling you, she's just never met her match. And you know what? I'm the one who's going to do it."
"You're all talk, Kazu…"
"What did you sa—?"
Both boys turned at the voice to find Takato Matsuki entering the hut they were playing in and hoist himself up.
"Hey Chumley," grinned Kazu. "How's it hangin'?"
"About the usual," Takato replied with a nervous chuckle as he slung the backpack he was carrying onto the floor. "Sorry I'm late. I had to take care of some chores at home."
"That's what you get for having a family that owns a bakery. So, are you up for a match? I'm bored beating Kenta around."
Takato nodded, still smiling. "Sure. But I won't go down easily."
Kazu rubbed a finger across his upper lip, hiding a smirk.
"Just because you found that combo doesn't mean that you'll beat me. I've got some new stuff I've been waiting to try on you ever since the last time." He glanced sharply at Kenta. "And don't you say anything!"
Kenta shrugged, smiling. "I wasn't gonna. I want to see you wipe that smirk off his face too."
Takato's face fell at his friends words. "Hey, c'mon you guys. It was just dumb luck…"
"Yeah, but you've been lording it over us like you're better than us or something." Kazu crossed his arms over his chest. "I think it's time you've been rumbled."
Kenta raised an eyebrow. "Don't you mean 'humbled'?"
"Eh. Same difference. So, are we going to go, or what?"
"Sure," said Takato, pulling out a shoebox from his bag. "Just let me get my deck."
As he popped open the box, he thought, for a moment, that he saw something blue shine from within the box. Takato frowned as he lifted the lid and paused, confused. Kazu watched him with a bit of impatience.
"Hey, are you growing roots or something? Hurry up already!"
"Huh?" Takato blinked and looked up first at Kazu and then back at the shoebox. There was nothing blue inside save for the borders of the cards marked 'Digimon', and not a single one of them shone. "Oh, right. Sorry."
"Man," Kazu remarked as Takato pulled out cards and began to shuffle them together. "You've been pretty weird lately, Chumley. And I mean more than the usual. There's no way you'll be able to win the tournament if you keep losing yourself like this. Not that you stood a chance to begin with…"
Takato felt a light blush crawl across his face, but he forced a smile on his face.
"Hey, if you want to hear about weird, you should have seen the cloud I saw today."
"Clouds?" Kazu rolled his eyes and looked at Kenta. "This guy's crazier than you are, Kenta."
"At least he wins better than you," Kenta scowled.
"But he's still crazier." Kazu turned back towards Takato. "So? What's so 'weird' about this cloud you saw?"
Neither Kazu or Kenta looked impressed.
"All clouds do that, Dumbley. Try again?"
"Hey! I mean it! It was…well…" A light bulb flickered on inside his head as Takato realized some clarification was required. "I mean, it was 'moving' towards me, like it was seeking me out. Also, it had weird electrical sparks coming out of it, and it had large, glowing eyes and…and it spoke!"
"What?" Kazu looked at his friend disbelievingly. "Okay, you are definitely getting to be too much, Chumley. First you tell us about this bizarre dream you had about your girlfriend…"
Takato's face burned as the blood rushed to his face.
"I do not have a girlfriend!" he protested. Kazu rolled his eyes.
"Right. 'Dream girl' then. Whatever. And then you showed up that one day wearing goggles…"
Takato's hand shot up to his forehead. That's what I forgot! he realized, but he could not dwell upon the revelation for very long.
"Hey, c'mon. That was just a very realistic dream, okay?"
"That's because you made your own 'water bed'," Kazu snickered, elbowing Kenta. If Takato's face was not already flaming, it was surely setting forest fires by now.
"Would you guys just listen to me for a second? Hey!"
"All right, all right," Kazu relented. "So what's the big deal about this cloud. It's sparked. So what? Jeremy says he knows a kid who's obsessed with the number seven. That doesn't sound as weird, but it's definitely something that sounds real."
"I'm not making this up," grumbled Takato. "A guy took a picture of it with his girlfriend."
"Did he give you the picture?"
"Uh…" Takato froze. "…no?"
"Okay then." Kazu gave his friend a sympathetic smirk. "Maybe you should write this stuff down, Chumley. You'd make a good storyteller."
Takato threw his hands up in disappointment. "I don't know why I tell you guys stuff anymore. You never believe me."
"Hey," cried Kenta anxiously. "We believe you." He looked at their mutual, visor-wearing friend. "Don't we?"
Kazu shrugged. "Maybe if he gets proof…"
"Let's just play the game," Takato muttered irritably, shuffling his deck together and placing it on the floor. Kazu grinned and did likewise.
"Prepare to get stomped by the master," he crowed as they drew their first cards.
Takato trudged his way down the street, having said his goodbyes to his friends. He felt a little disappointed, having lost—and lost badly—to Kazu's HiAndromon.
Where'd he get the money to afford that card, Takato wondered absently, but his heart wasn't in solving the mystery. Kazu wasn't the richest or the luckiest, but sometimes he could get what he needed. He had the aggressive attitude for making successful trades for some fairly rare cards. All he needed was someone dumb enough to take him up on one.
Just like he himself was.
He wouldn't have stood a chance if I had Guilmon in my deck, he thought with a touch of pride, but he laughed at himself dismissively. Only…it's too bad Guilmon isn't a real card and is just a digimon I made up. But if I had him… Takato's smile grew to great lengths as he thought about the possibilities. Bull's Eye, baby!
Today was too short, he thought, peering around the city streets. But he knew that was what he got for sleeping in late.
And, he knew, if he didn't hurry up and get home, tomorrow would result in pretty much the same thing, only this time getting saddled with tons of chores rather than sleeping in.
Takato was about to pick up his pace when he heard the sound…a cry perhaps? Takato paused in mid-step and turned around, raising an eyebrow. There was nothing there however.
Well, except for the people, he thought, but a quick look over the passersby didn't show anyone making any odd noises or cries. Takato scratched the back of his head in bemusement before resuming his trek towards home. His gaze fell upon the sight of the Shinjuku government building, the twin towers at its top standing ominously.
He watched them for a moment as he walked, feeling strangely interested in them. The moment broke however as he bumped into someone.
"I'm sorry!" he quickly apologized, immediately backing up and bowing his head. "I wasn't watching where I was going and I…uh…huh?"
Takato looked up, surprised that he wasn't being yelled at for his clumsiness. Inwardly, he was already beating himself over the head for being too used to his teacher, Ms. Asagi's view of him.
The man that he had bumped into turned to look at him, but did no more than that. There was an odd look on his face that seemed, at first glance, almost empty, but was instead something else.
Is he lost? Takato wondered, tilting his head to one side questioningly. The man turned to face him fully, mimicking his movement. Takato felt just a tad bit creeped out. The way that the man was looking at him… It suddenly made every warning that his parents gave him about approaching strangers seem grounded.
Takato pulled his eyes away from the man's with great effort, not liking the way he was looking at him, and instead focused on the yellow jacket that he wore. It wasn't a good color, but at this point anything was preferable.
Takato blinked as the man turned and disappeared into the flow of the crowd. Breathing a sigh of relief, Takato decided to do likewise.
I think it's time that I went home now, he thought.
A/N: So I've made tremendous progress on my story and am now very close to finishing. As a result, I thought I'd relax a bit and post an idea that I've recently thought up. It won't eclipse Tamers Requiem when I get back to it, and for the time being updates will remain few and far between. The easy part of writing the story is almost done. The hard part of editing it is soon to start.
Questions about this story/chapter? Comments? Feel free to shoot them to me, though I can't guarantee that I'll be able to give a full response on account of spoilers. Until the next time. :P