Hey readers! Long time no see! No, I'm not "back" officially yet, but today is August 1st and marks the 12th year anniversary for our beloved DIGIMON series. To celebrate this wondrous day I've decided to post my the first chapter (technically it's a lengthy prologue) of UGotD's side story Parent Worries early! This chapter also takes place on August 1st before the events of chapter 1: August First of UGotD (hence why this is technically a prologue and not a "chapter").
NOTE: I used the names given in the japanese version if I couldn't find their names used in the English dub (Ex: Henry and Suzie's brother and sister.)
I hope you enjoy the start of this new twist of my story, that you take time to celebrate Digimon's 12th anniversary and look back fondly on the characters that taught us how to have courage, to love, to be a good friend, to be sincere, to be reliable, that knowledge is power, to never give up hope, to allow the light inside us to shine, that kindness is really a virtue, and to believe in miracles! (yes i include ken and davis's crests of kindness and miracles).
Again, enjoy the start of this new story and please, please, please, please review!
I DO NOT OWN DIGIMON ADVENTURE 02, TAMERS, FRONTIER OR ANY OF ITS CHARACTERS!
Prologue: The Calm Before the Storm
Adventure DigiDestined World: Location: The Ishida Apartment
The apartment was small, but it was a cozy two-bedroom flat. It's only residents were Hiroaki Ishida and his oldest son, Yamato "Matt" Ishida. It had been just the two of them ever since the divorce when Hiroaki had taken his oldest son after the separation and his ex, Natsuko "Nancy" Takaishi, had taken their other son Takeru, or "TK" as he'd been called ever since he'd turned three and Matt had given him a hat with those same two letters sewn on it for his birthday. The nickname had stuck and ever since that day all those years ago Hiroaki couldn't recall a time he'd seen TK without a hat.
At the moment Hiroaki Ishida was getting ready for work as usual. He had worked overtime late last night and had come home only for a new change of clothes and four hours of sleep before he needed to leave again.
'Matt won't approve,' he mused sadly to himself as he popped a piece of toast into the toaster and poked his head into his son's bedroom.
Matt was still dozing peacefully in bed as the morning's first rays of sun poked their way in through the half drawn blinds. His hair was disheveled and in complete disarray without the hair gel it needed to hold it in place. Hiroaki was probably the only one that ever saw his son's hair in such a state. Not even Nancy, or TK had seen Matt like this. Maybe Matt's best friend Tai Kamiya had seen this spectacle once or twice during one of their sleepovers, but Hiroaki doubted it. Matt always liked to look his best around his friends, mother, and little brother. These days it was mostly for Matt's girlfriend Sora Takenouchi.
Hiroaki slipped back out of his son's bedroom to retrieve his now toasted piece of toast. As he finished buttering his toast he looked at the time. It was 6:43. He didn't need to be at work until 8:00.
"Looks like I could have had a few more minutes of sleep," Hiroaki muttered to himself as he took a bite of his toast.
Hiroaki started, coughing as he tried to clear his airways from the toast he had just failed to swallow in his surprise. He then took a couple of deep breaths before facing Matt who was leaning against the kitchen door with his hair still in complete disarray yet managing to look like the rock star he was trying to become. He looked a little alarmed, but that was probably because Hiroaki had nearly choked on his toast. Hiroaki realized that he must have woken Matt up when he left the bedroom. Maybe he'd closed the door too loudly or something.
"You ok?" Matt asked.
Hiroaki sighed, running a hand through his hair. It felt a little grimy and that made him grimace. He needed a shower. When was the last time he'd taken one?
"I'm fine, Matt," Hiroaki finally sighed. "You're up early."
"How much sleep have you had?"
Hiroaki groaned internally. His weak attempt to change the subject had failed. It was just his luck that Matt had grown up to be as perceptive and as stubborn as his mother.
"A few hours," he muttered. No use lying. The kid was practically a human lie detector and could tell when he was fibbing.
Matt's frown grew more pronounced.
"You're going to work yourself to death you know," he stated, disapproval coloring his tone.
"So I've been told," Hiroaki smiled sadly.
Matt let out a loud huff before helping himself to some of the coffee Hiroaki had made earlier. Now it was Hiroaki's turn to frown. He didn't approve of his son drinking coffee when he was only in his teens, but he made no comment. He had no desire to have a repeat argument with Matt over a stupid cup of coffee. According to Matt everyone else his age drank coffee. Kids these days. They were trying to grow up too fast. Hiroaki remembered a time where you didn't start drinking coffee until you were in college and needed the energy boost during a study session or after working for long hours.
"Why don't you stay home and catch a few Zs?" Matt suggested softly after a few minutes of silence, but there was little hope behind it. He already knew the answer.
Hiroaki shook his head.
"Can't," he said simply.
Matt sighed before taking another sip of coffee. It was silent once more between them until he wrinkled his nose suddenly.
"Could you at least take a shower?"
"I suppose," Hiroaki chuckled before putting the last bit of his toast in his mouth. "I actually have the time this morning."
Matt cracked a smile as well before taking another sip of coffee.
Half an hour later Hiroaki was feeling refreshed as he finished redressing and hurried out of the bathroom. Matt was on the couch, hair gelled and stylized now, when Hiroaki bolted past him and into the kitchen to fill a thermos full of coffee. Hiroaki looked at the clock again. 7:21. He wasn't late yet, but he knew he had to get going soon if he was going to beat the traffic.
"So what are you up to today Matt?" Hiroaki asked as he gathered his things.
"I've got band practice at 11:00 at Satoshi's," Matt mused. "And then I'm meeting up with Tai and the others at Odaiba Park for the afternoon. Mimi's flying in today so everybody's going to be there."
Hiroaki paused on his way out the door.
"It's that time of year again huh?" he sighed.
How could he forget? Today was August 1st. It was this day four years ago that his sons, Matt and TK, had first gone to the Digital World with five others. They were seven of eight special children that had been chosen to become the Digital World's DigiDestined who were paired up with a partner Digimon in order to save both the Digital and Human Worlds from evil Digimon. Hiroaki had never asked either of his sons to go into detail about their adventures in the Digital World but he knew enough to know that it was important that every year for the past three years that his sons meet up with the other DigiDestined to remember old allies and look back on their adventures as well as share them with the new group of DigiDestined that had joined them just a little over a year ago.
Out of all the parents with DigiDestined children Hiroaki was probably the most understanding and most knowledgeable about Digimon and what his sons and the other DigiDestined were up to in the Digital World. In fact, he had been the only one that hadn't questioned their existence. In truth, there is a reason why Hiroaki has such wisdom and understanding about Digimon and his sons' roles as DigiDestined, but that's a secret that Hiroaki has only ever shared with four others.
"Yeah," Matt nodded absently, bringing his father out of his thoughts.
"Will you all be taking a trip to the Digital World?" Hiroaki asked his son. "You haven't seen Gabumon in a long time, haven't you?"
Gabumon was Matt's Digimon partner.
"No Dad," Matt sighed. "We haven't been able to find a usable portal recently. Izzi's been trying to get in touch with Gennai to see what's up, but hasn't been able to reach him for some reason. So today's just a human get together. It'd be nice if we could see the Digimon though. Ever since the defeat of MaloMyotismon, traveling to and from the Digital World has been hard for us and the Digimon can't even come to our world anymore."
Hiroaki nodded, then got a look at the time.
"Damn!" he cried. "I gotta go Matt. Say hi to TK for me, will ya?"
"Sure thing Dad," Matt nodded.
"Oh! And take the car today," Hiroaki added with a smile. He hardly ever let Matt drive the car, but he felt that today his son needed a little pick-me-up. He also knew that Matt was a safe driver. It was TK he was worried about when it came to being behind the wheel.
"What?" Matt gasped. "Are you serious?"
"Sure," Hiroaki shrugged. "I'm taking the van anyway since I need the equipment inside. Just be sure to bring it back in one piece."
Matt stared at him for a moment before a wide grin broke out across his face.
"No problem Matt," Hiroaki nodded. "Now I really got to go. I'll see you tonight."
"'K," Matt said with awe as he bobbed of his head absently.
Hiroaki allowed himself a small smile before hurrying out the door.
Digimon Tamers World: Location: The Wong Family Apartment
Janyu Wong's day was off to a late start. He'd overslept and now he was rushing to gather his things so that he could make it to work on time. He ran into his wife, Mayumi, in the hall. She gave him a loving and knowing smile before handing him his briefcase that she'd just finished putting together while he slept. Janyu sighed with relief when he found that his wife had put everything he needed inside. She then gestured for him to join her for a quick breakfast at the table with their older son and daughter, Rinchei and Jaarin.
"Where are Henry and Suzie?" Janyu asked after greeting his two eldest.
"They've already eaten," Jaarin shrugged before helping herself to some rice.
Rinchei nodded his head in agreement, his mouth too full to speak.
"They just left," Mayumi informed her husband. "Henry said something about going to the park."
Janyu nodded absently as he ate. Once he finished eating he wished his son and daughter a good day and gave his wife a quick kiss before darting out the door. He hurried to work, walking through Hypnos' doors with only seconds to spar. When he went to clock in he ran into an old friend, Gorou "Shibumi" Mizuno. Shibumi was a rather unusual character. He was the only one Janyu knew that could walk into a government building wearing only jeans, a T-shirt, a jean jacket and worn sneakers, and not get fired. From the look of Shibumi's attire alongside his usual pale pallor, slightly dark sunken small eyes, and receding hairline, a person who didn't work for or was new to Hypnos would find it hard to believe that this man was the new head of Hypnos after the previous head of office, Mitsuo Yamaki had been promoted to Company Director after the D-Reaper incident came to a conclusion. He was a genius and one of the few employees that couldn't be replaced by some upstart MIT grad. Shibumi was invaluable.
"Hello Tao," the blond man smiled, using Janyu's nickname from their Monster Maker days back in the 80s at Palo Alto University.
"Shibumi," Janyu nodded as he punched in his card.
"You're later than usual," his friend noted. "Usually you're here much earlier than this."
It was true. After the D-Reaper incident, Janyu quite his job at the University and had taken up the Head of Digital Research position that Shibumi had occupied for the short time he'd been with Hypnos before succeeding Yamaki. Janyu loved his new job because it meant that he got to work with old friends from his college days and continue work and research on what had evolved from their Monster Makers project that resulted in the creation of the Digital World and the Digimon that inhabited it. He was never late and often worked over time, much to Mayumi's dismay. …Although the hefty salary more than made up for it.
Janyu let out a nervous laugh before the two of them boarded the elevator that would take him to Level Five and Shibumi all the way to the top floor where Yamaki awaited him.
"At least I don't cut it close everyday like you do," Janyu grinned at his friend.
"That's certainly true, but I have never been late," Shibumi shrugged. "I am always perfectly on time. Not a minute early or a minute late. I arrive precisely when I'm expected to be in."
"Whatever you say Shibumi," Janyu laughed as they reached the fifth floor. "See you later."
"See ya," Shibumi chuckled just before the elevator doors close behind Janyu.
Janyu walked down the hall and into his own personal office at the end. It had two access doors: one from the main hall and one from the research lab that took up most of the fifth floor with all it's rows and banks of computers as well as cubicles for those who worked under him.
"Hey Janyu," a blond woman with shortly cropped hair called out to Janyu as she walked in from the laboratory. This was another colleague of his from his Monster Maker days.
"Morning Daisy," Janyu smiled. "How are things this morning?"
The blonde's smile faded.
"I'm not particularly sure yet," she admitted. "We've started to receive some unusual readings in the Digital World's make-up on the lowest level."
"Have you tried to reach the Digimon Sovereign?" he asked.
"Yes," Daisy sighed, "but we can't reach them. Usually Azulongmon answers, but now we can't even reach any of the other three digital deities."
About three weeks ago, Janyu and his department had managed to come into contact with the Digimon Sovereign while researching the various levels that made up the Digital World. Shibumi had a growing theory that these four powerful Digimon were the first four Digimon to come into existence after he and the other Monster Makers had succeeded in creating the virtual digital life forms. Janyu didn't care so much about how the Sovereign had come to exist. He was much more interested in their purpose in the Digital World as it's protectors. Seeing this as a way to further their understanding of the Digital World and Digimon, Janyu had formed a kind of pact or treaty with the higher plain Digimon and helped Daisy create a program that allowed Hypnos to communicate with the Digimon Sovereign. Azulongmon was their primary contact within the Sovereign and Shibumi was made Hypnos' official spokes man and "delegate" or "ambassador" for the Human World in general since he had the most experience and knowledge of the Digital World.
"Most unusual," Janyu frowned, after Daisy pulled up the readings on his computer. "Has Curly come in yet?"
"Present!" a woman said brightly in a thick Indian accent as she entered the office. Rai "Curly" Aishuwarya was another member of the Monster Makers who had come to Palo Alto University from India as a transfer student. Like Janyu, Curly had quite her old job and joined Hypnos as part of the Digital Research team.
"Still no progress on getting a communiqué through to Azulongmon," a balding redhead reported as he entered the office with papers in hand. "Oh! Morning Janyu."
"Morning Dolphin," Janyu said absently, taking the papers from the man.
Rob "Dolphin" McCoy was, yet again, another Monster Maker, and had been the one to succeed in creating the artificial life program that made up all Digimon. He had been the one who was the most involved with Hypnos during the D-Reaper incident and had been the first of the Monster Makers to join the Digital Research team, but had been passed over for the job position that Janyu now held. Janyu had worried that his unexpected promotion to Head of Research would upset his friend, but had been relieved when Dolphin had confessed that he was glad that Yamaki had picked Janyu and not him for the job.
"Dolphin?" Daisy frowned when she noticed that the man looked preoccupied. "What's wrong? Is there a new development with the readings we received from the Digital World?"
Janyu looked up sharply.
"No," Dolphin was quick to reassure them. "It's not that. I'm just puzzled as to why we can't make contact with Azulongmon."
"We all are," Janyu sighed. "Could you and Curly try again?"
"Sure," Dolphin nodded, "but I don't see how much good it'll do."
"Not much," a newcomer sighed as he entered the full office.
Now all of the original Monster Makers (minus Shibumi) were present. This man was Bable, an African-American whose specialty was theoretical physics. He was the last one of the Monster Makers to take up a job with Hypnos, but was a welcomed addition to the research team his friends headed. The Monster Makers were a rather unlikely group of specialists, coming from different fields of work, countries, cultures and backgrounds, but the six of them were a team of unparalleled efficiency and skill. Yamaki had seen this proven over and over again during the D-Reaper incident and had wasted no time getting them to work for Hypnos.
"Well, all the same, I'd like you to try and get through to Azulongmon while Daisy shows me these strange readings that you've discovered.
They all nodded and filed out of Janyu's office and back out into the lab.
The Warrior DigiDestined's World: Location: Shibuya Medical Center
Yuriko Kanbara waited with her oldest son, Takuya, in the Doctor's office. Over the course of the last two weeks she'd been bringing Takuya to the clinic to run a series of medical tests that the doctors wanted to take concerning a chronic cough that Takuya had developed over the last few months. She had thought that it would only be a couple of tests and they'd give Takuya a prescription to take that would help ease the cough, but as the doctors found more tests they wanted to run along with a couple of x-rays and scans, Yuriko began to realize that her son's simple cough was turning out to be something more severe. Now here she was, a bundle of nerves, awaiting the results of all those tests.
She glanced at her son, noting how he kept bouncing his right knee as he started at the clock on the opposite wall. She took a breath, ready to try and calm her son, when the doctor finally entered the office. Yuriko felt as if her heart had stopped when she saw how grim the doctor looked. She felt Takuya stiffen beside her, his knee stilling it's bouncing as he too noted the doctor's expression.
"Well?" she asked breathlessly.
"I'm sorry ma'am," the doctor sighed. "Our tests came back positive. Your son has lung cancer and… I'm afraid it's terminal. If we had found out about it sooner something might have been done, but the tumor is just too large now and spread out. We can go ahead and give him chemotherapy and see if it helps, but I'm afraid that there isn't much hope."
Yuriko was shocked. Takuya had always been perfectly healthy up until a few months ago when he'd started complaining about having chest pains and some trouble breathing after playing soccer, but she'd never thought in a million years that it would have anything to do with cancer. It just didn't seem possible. How could her son have an advanced case of cancer when he'd shown no signs until recently?
"I don't care," she finally said gruffly after the shock wore off. "I'll take what I can. Little hope is better then no hope at all. What are the symptoms?"
The doctor sighed and began rattling off a list of conditions.
"Shortness of breath, chronic coughing, coughing up blood, wheezing, chest pain, weight loss, hoarse voice, and difficulty swallowing.
Yuriko pursed her lips. Takuya had shown many of those signs, but had yet to cough up blood – or at least as far as she knew. Takuya hadn't mentioned anything about it.
"How long?" she heard Takuya ask numbly from beside her. "You said it was terminal. How long do I have to live?"
Yuriko's heart ached. Takuya already had the horrible notion in his head that he wouldn't beat the cancer and was going to die. Not a good sign.
The doctor gave her son a long calculated glance.
"…At the rate your tumor has been growing? …Two years max. And that's without the chemo."
Takuya nodded stiffly. Yuriko was quick to grab his hand and give it a firm and – hopefully – reassuring squeeze before she returned her attention to the doctor.
"How soon can we begin the chemotherapy?" she demanded.
The doctor sighed before turning to the computer on his desk.
"At least a week. I'll make the arrangements for next weekend and you can bring Takuya to the main hospital here in Shibuya," he said, handing her the folder that held Takuya's records and test results.
"Thank you doctor," Yuriko smiled sadly, taking the folder and handing it to Takuya.
Takuya nodded his thanks before following her out of the hospital. When they got back to the car he grabbed his bag from the back seat, stuffed the medical folder in it and took off down the street.
"Takuya?" Yuriko called after him. "Where are you going?"
"To Tommy's birthday party!" he yelled over his shoulder. "I'm late!"
"Takuya! Please come back! We need to talk about your-!" Yuriko pleaded, but Takuya simply cut her off.
"I'll be fine Mom! See you later!" her oldest son yelled before rounding a corner and was gone from view.
Yuriko sent up a silent prayer that he would be careful on his way to Shibuya Park before she got into the car and drove home. Her husband Hiroki Kanbara was waiting for her in the living room seated in his recliner reading the morning's paper while they're youngest son Shinya could be heard playing video games upstairs in his room.
"So how'd it go?" Hiroki asked, looking up at his wife.
Yuriko hung her head as she sat down on the couch, unable to hold back the tears she'd wanted to shed the moment she heard about Takuya's cancer. It just didn't seem real. How could her twelve-year-old son have a severe case of lung cancer? She knew that Takuya didn't smoke, that he ate a relatively healthy diet, and was as fit as a horse. Just how was it possible for Takuya to suddenly have such a horrible case of cancer?
Hiroki, alarmed by his wife's sudden sobs, threw his paper aside and quickly joined her on the couch. He tried to sooth her, whispering soft renascences in her ear.
"Yuri, what's wrong?" he asked, rocking her gently in his embrace. "What happened? What did the Doctor have to say?"
It took a few minutes for Yuriko to calm down and stop her sobs, but she finally quieted and told her husband the results of Takuya's medical tests. Hiroki was shocked speechless and stared numbly at his wife. A single tear made it's way down his cheek when Yuriko informed him that the doctor believed that Takuya most likely had two years to live if he didn't have chemotherapy treatment. A sudden crashing sound made both of them jump and whirl around to face the staircase where Shinya was staring at them with tears in his eyes. The crash had been a game controller that he's been holding before he dropped it out of shock and let it clatter down the remaining steps.
"Takuya's… dying?" Shinya croaked, staring wide eyed at his parents.
Yuriko could only look down at her hands in her lap and Hiroki could only manage a small stiff nod as he stared numbly at his youngest son. Shinya let loose a river of his own tears before rushing over to join his parents on the couch.
"Where's Takuya now?" Hiroki asked as he held Shinya close.
"He's at Tommy's party," Yuriko sighed. "I'm not sure how he's taking this news. He left before we could even talk about it."
"I'm sure he'd coping in his own way," Hiroki assured her. "At the moment he needs the comfort of his friends. Takuya has always been a live-in-the-moment kid and at the moment one of his best friends is having a birthday party and he wishes to be a part of that moment."
"Gee Dad," Shinya hiccupped. "Do you think you could have fit another 'moment' in there?"
Both parents gave weak laughs, but the small smiles remained. The three Kanbaras snuggled up together on the couch whispering soft words of comfort to each other as they waited for Takuya to come home.
So now the calm of that morning comes to an end... how will the parents take the events that are about to unfold? Find out next time on Digimon Digital Monsters!
Happy anniversary readers! I hope you enjoyed this chapter/prologue that marks the start of my 3rd Digimon fan fic. I'm not sure when I'll begin posting again for any of my stories, but I'll definitely have something up before the end of the month is here. If you're a new reader, please feel free to read the DigiDestined's side of things in my main story The Ultimate Gathering of the DigiDestined!
I hope you all liked the interaction between Matt and Hiroaki. I had fun writing that third of the chapter. Speaking of Hiroaki, did you all know that Hiroaki is also Takuya's dad's name? I didn't until I wrote this chapter, so to prevent confusion I renamed him Hiroki. So now we've got Hiroaki (Matt's dad) and Hiroki (Takuya's dad).
I also liked bringing back the Monster Makers. I feel like those people have a lot to offer a story as epic as this. Between Hiroaki and the Monster Makers, this chapter was a breeze since since we've seen and met so many of those season's parent figures, where as Frontier is a little hard since we hardly see any of the parental figures. Sure that leaves me plenty of freedom when writing their characters, but it's hard to come up with ideas on how to incorporate them into the story more. So if you guys thought that the Frontier part of this chapter was a little weak, I apologize.