Disclaimer: If you got any smarts, then you'll know what doesn't need to be said. Btw, this is my first Takari fic, so please go easy on me if you don't like it.

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Kari's Missing Hope - Chapter 1

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The sun had rose a couple hours ago, spreading light and warmth through the country of Japan, specifically through Odaiba. People began to go about their businesses, and life in the city proceeded like it did every day. Including kids who were heading off for school.

Yolei Inoue awoke and went about her business. She got dressed, ate her breakfast, packed up her schoolbooks (and Poromon), and set out for school, but not before bumping into her younger friend, Cody Hida.

"Hey, Yolei!" greeted Cody cheerfully.

"Morning, Cody!" Yolei replied.

"Ready to go?"

"Um, shouldn't we stop by T.K.'s place?"

"I don't know...T.K. hasn't shown himself for a couple of days! You think we should?"

"The curiosity is eating me up inside! C'mon!"

It was true. For the last few days, T.K. had been missing, and the other Digidestined had become very worried. Whenever the others came to visit him, his mother would politely turn them away. Yolei wasn't confident that today would be any different, but she and Cody had to try. It didn't take very long to reach T.K.'s apartment, since the three of them lived in the same building. Yolei casually knocked on the door. Within five seconds, it opened. Yolei and Cody were disappointed to see Ms. Takaishi again at the door. Physically, she looked okay, but mentally, it as if she had quite a bit on her mind. To make matters worse, she barely opened the door a little more than a crack, so they couldn't even see if T.K. was in there.

"Oh, hello again, Yolei..." Ms. Takaishi said in the best and friendliest voice she could make.

"Umm...hey, Ms. Takaishi," Yolei replied, with some hesitation in her voice. "Is T.K. around? We were hoping to walk to school with him today like we usually do."

"I'm sorry, Yolei. But T.K. still isn't available today. He has a lot of things that he needs to take care of. But thank you for stopping by. I'll tell him that you said hello."

"Well...thanks, anyway. See ya later."

"Goodbye Yolei, Cody."

"Ma'am," Cody politely bowed before leaving to catch up with Yolei, who was halfway to the elevator.

While riding the elevator down, Yolei really let the predicament get to her.

"GRRRR!!! What's going on with T.K.?!? I swear if don't find out what's going on, I'm gonna kick their door in, and beat the information outta that kid!!!" Yolei almost yelled with her fists clenched, kicking the wall of the elevator.

"What's the matter with Yolei?" asked Upamon, from inside Cody's bookbag, with nothing but curiosity in its voice. "She's acting so crazy!"

"Don't mind Yolei, she's throwing one of her crazy tantrums," assured Cody. "If anybody asks, we don't know her."


Meanwhile another pair of kids (a boy and a girl) were on their way to school.

"It's so weird!" said a twelve year-old girl, who ran a hand through her short brown hair and straightened out her pink and white shirt. "I mean, he's never gone out of touch like this before."

This girl's was known as Kari Kamiya, and she knew T.K. longer than any of the others. At least, ever since their first adventures in the Digital World. Her other friend, Davis Motimiya, tried to make light of the situation.

"Hey, Kari?" Davis asked.

"Yeah?"

"Don't worry so much! Maybe he's just really sick or something!"

Davis had been known to be T.K.'s rival in many things, especially when it came to anything regarding Kari. But somehow over time, Davis and T.K. had become friends. Kari briefly thought about shouting at him, but she could tell in his voice that he was trying to be nice and sincere.

"I don't know, Davis" she said, shaking her head.

Davis didn't want to admit it, but he was getting worried too. After all, him, Kari, T.K., Yolei, and Cody weren't just any group of friends. They were a team! They were the Digidestined!

Kari mood improved slightly as she laid eyes on her other two friends, Cody and Yolei. Yolei waved over to them, and Kari gave a small smile.

"Hi, Kari!" Yolei said, somewhat cheerfully.

"Hey, guys!" Davis said. "What's up?"

"Oh, Yolei's just going totally ballistic over T.K.'s absence...that's all," Cody noted.

"Hey, I thought you said we weren't supposed to know Yolei!" complained Upamon. "Make up your mind!"

Cody giggled briefly.

"Well, why don't we all head over to your apartment after school?" asked Davis. "Maybe if we all come and ask nicely, T.K.'s mom'll let us in."

"I suppose it's worth a shot..." sighed Yolei. "...but I'm not sure if it'll work. That Ms. Takaishi is being tight-lipped about everything."

"We can at least try. Besides the Digimon Emperor's been pretty quiet the past few days," noted Cody.

"I don't know, can we really risk it? There's always a chance someone might need our help in the Digital World," added Kari.

"Well, then how about we'll go over to T.K.'s after school, and you and Gatomon can quickly scope things in Digiworld," Yolei suggested.

But Davis was genuinely worried.

"I dunno, is that really safe? I mean that leaves just one person to fight if ol' Ken decides to attack."

"Hey...I'm a big girl, Davis. I can take care of myself," Kari said in a friendly voice, putting a reassuring hand on his shoulder.

Davis blushed a bit as he lightly felt his shoulder where Kari touched it. "Ahhhhh, I'm never gonna wash this shoulder again..." he sighed.

Kari, Yolei and Cody laughed heartily.


"Please, Ms. Takaishi, can't we just-"

"I'm truly sorry, Yolei...but T.K. isn't available right now."

"Well, what's keeping him from hanging with us?" Davis demanded.

"For starters, he isn't even here right now..."

"What? Well, where is he then?" Cody gently asked.

"He's at the school...I think."

"Oh, okay. Thank you," Yolei said, before the door was closed once again.

"What're we gonna do now? I don't wanna run all the way back to the school!" Davis complained.

"I agree...wait, Kari's still there!" Yolei remembered.

"Yeah, so?" asked Cody.

"Didn't you hear what T.K.'s mom said? He was going to the school, so Kari might run into him."

"Maybe," Cody agreed. "So, what's next?"

"Why don't you two stay for dinner at my place?" Yolei asked. "We're gonna order pizza tonight!"

"All right!" the two boys exclaimed.


"See anything, Gatomon?" yelled Kari to her feline digimon.

"Nothing...nothing at all!" Gatomon yelled back from the top of a high tree.

"All right, c'mon back down."

Gatomon did as she was told, and hopped down from the lowest branch into Kari's arms. Gatomon was normally set for action, but Kari noticed that she had a contemplating look on her face.

"Something wrong?"

"No...I'm just really bored, I guess. Y'think this is the Emperor's master plan?"

"What do you mean?"

"Y'know, maybe he's just trying to bore us to death."

"Well, gee...come to think of it, if that's really his plan, he probably IS a genius," Kari answered, giggling.

"How do you figure?"

"Because I never would've thought something like that."

Gatomon broke off her own laughing, noticing the sun going down.

"Kari, I think we'd better get back, it's getting late."

"You're right, let's go."

And in a brilliant flash of light, the pair left the Digital World and ended up back in the school computer room on Earth.

"Ah, home sweet home, so to speak..." Kari noted. "Well, Gatomon, lemme get some books outta my locker and we can go."

"Sorry, Kari...but I'm real hungry. I'm gonna head back to the apartment, okay?"

"All right, Gatomon. See you at home. Go carefully."

Gatomon giggled and waved as she disappeared within a quick dash.

Kari mentally laughed at the digimon's never-ending need for food.

After taking two books out of her locker she grabbed her backpack, stuffing the books into it. Upon closing her locker, she couldn't help but keep thinking continuously about her conversation with Davis regarding her best friend, who had been scarce the last few days. T.K. was never like this before, he was always pretty open and honest with her. Kari had always felt very close to him. She always believed that she shared a special link with him that was stronger than the friendship she had with any of the other Digidestined. And she had a very special place in her heart all reserved for him. It was ready and waiting, but she was always too afraid to even try to get close (romantically speaking) to the one boy she loved so much.. She hadn't even anticipated what would've happened, though, if time ran out for her and-

"T.K.!!!"

Kari shot her head and eyes upward as she glanced into the window of her classroom door. Sure enough, there was T.K., who seemed to be emptying his desk. As Kari crept closer to the window, she saw that he had a sad and troubled look on his face. But why? It seemed as if the answers kept evading Kari and the others, but things would be different this time! She was determined to get a full explanation, no matter what. The door was half-open, so Kari carefully tiptoed in and hid behind the teacher's desk. Peering her eyes over the top of it, she continued spying on her friend. T.K. gathered up some loose papers and books, and put them into a medium-sized cardboard box. Turning to leave, he quickly jerked himself back, put down the box, and opened up his desk again. Kari noticed he seemed a little panicky as he searched for one more thing. And he found it!

"Couldn't forget this," he said with some relief in his voice.

Even from behind the desk, Kari immediately recognized what T.K. was holding in his hand. It was a small picture of Kari, taken a while ago. T.K. wanted a picture of Kari, so she allowed him to snap a shot of her using her own digital camera. Kari had no idea that he still had the picture, much less kept it privately inside his desk, until now. Kari smiled a little, extremely happy that he had kept it all this time. But her mind returned to the here and now, reminding herself why she was here. T.K. seemed to gaze (almost dreamily) at the photo. Giving off a deep sigh he carefully tucked the photograph into his pocket, picked up the box, looked around the classroom (possibly for the last time), and turned towards the door to leave. Unfortunately-

"AHEM!!!"

T.K. nearly jumped a foot in the air at the sound of Kari's voice, and it was a wonder that he didn't drop everything he was carrying. He slowly turned around, and his eyes confirmed his worst fears as he saw Kari standing directly behind him with a somewhat annoyed and angry look on her face, and her arms crossed. Whatever she was planning to say, T.K. was pretty sure that he wouldn't like it.

"Hey, T.K. Long time no see, huh?" she said with ample sarcasm.

"Oh...hey, there..." was about all he could get out.

"Eh, heh...'Hey there?' That's all you have to say for youself after dodging your friends for a few days? What are you hiding?"

"Uh, Kari...not now...I gotta go, okay?" he said, advancing towards the door.

However, Kari anticipated this, and quickly got between him and the door, spreading her arms out.

"Oh, no! You're not going ANYWHERE until I get a clear answer out of you, T.K.! Now what's happening???"

"Kari...you wouldn't believe me if I told you...now, please...just let me-"

"T.K., WHAT IS GOING ON WITH YOU?!?"

"..."

T.K. sighed again and carefully put down the box again. He had to admit, she deserved the entire truth. And if that's what she really wanted...then that was what she was going to get.


NEXT TIME...

Well, I can't really tell you what's gonna happen next time, 'cuz that would definitely spoil everything, wouldn't it? But it's safe to tell you this much...T.K.'s got some shocking news (sort of) to tell Kari, and she's doesn't quite know how to handle it! Not only that, he also does something else which makes her question the status and quality of their relationship! Umm...gee, how much can you read into that?!? Anyway, this is the start of another LONG fic and, umm...I sure hope you like Takari fics! Well, keep doing your thing, readers! So long!

(Oh, everybody wants to be a cat...)