DR: Finals are over, but I just can't work in "The Last Sorcerer" yet. I've got a horrible case of writer's block, but I'll deal with it next week, yeah, next week. Anyway, I noticed that "Card-O-Rama!" was a success, so I'm ready for a new Tamers story. It's weird that I've got the inspiration to write this, in the middle of finals, but who am I to defy destiny?
Rika: Yeah, whatever. Can we go on with the story?
DR: Ok, ok…this fic is mostly about Takato, and his relationship with Digimon. Not only Guilmon, but the others, too!
Terriermon: Mainly me!
DR: And Renamon, too. By the way, where's our vulpine friend, Rika?
Rika: Beats me. I lost Renamon and Takato after "Card-O-Rama!" was over. And before you say anything else, this moronic author with me doesn't own Digimon, and we all thank God for it. Now, let's go to the story. NOW!
DR: Okay, okay! Geez…
A Letter and a Plan
"Okay, now, that's not fair!"
"Shut up, Goggles, and let me enjoy my victory."
"Like you have enjoyed the last twenty, right?"
"You got it, Gogglehead. Then why are you so darn slow when it comes to cards?"
"Beats me. Maybe it's just not my stuff. Find another D-Reaper, and then I'll show you what I'm good at."
"Shut up, Queenie."
"Oh, yeah? Bite me."
"That can be done."
Takato didn't bother to hold the laughter as he noticed the pink flush in Rika's cheeks. After a week of visiting her everyday, he was somehow allowed to take such risks. Several months ago, calling her "Queenie" would have easily cost him a black eye or something like that. However, getting to know Rika also meant getting to know the limits. And at the moment he knew it was time to shut up. He was no match against an angry Rika, and he didn't want her to punch him like the week before. He had to make up the most unbelievable explanation to his parents, and he was sure they wouldn't believe something like that again. Even though, Takato, being the young boy in love he was, enjoyed every single moment he spent with Rika. Since the moment he arrived soon after breakfast, and Rika opened the door, ready to humiliate him (continuously) in the Card Game. He had a moment to rest when Rika's grandmother called them both for lunch, and he noticed since the first day that Rika's mother always stared at him when he walked with Rika inside the dining room. However, every time he looked back, she only smiled sweetly and resumed her meal. After lunch, Rika dragged him back to her room before anyone could say anything and they played over and over again, until sunset, when Takato finally left, with the promise to return the next day, only to be beaten again. But Takato didn't care at all about losing. It had been long since when Takato last felt hurt after a defeat. After all, he was a Tamer, and everybody knew what he was capable of doing. Besides, there was no way he could get mad at Rika. He liked her, after all. He liked her a lot. But…there was a little something…the Card Game…it was getting kind of boring after a week.
"Oh, so you took the risk of talking to me. Don't I scare you anymore?"
"How could I be scared of a friend?"
A word with a meaning still unknown to her, Rika remembered every single moment of the last week, and to her surprise, she remembered all of it! A time ago, she would have thought it was useless time lost, fooling around with the Gogglehead. However, she had reached a conclusion, even if it had taken her almost a week to realize it: she liked fooling around with the Gogglehead.
When I'm with Goggles…I can be myself…I can…be free…
Being a rejected student in a school where everyone hated –a situation that didn't change at all after the whole D-Reaper incident–, Rika didn't find any comfort during her school days. During summer holidays, she spent most of the time wandering around Shinjuku, playing the Card Game every now and then, just to be away of her grandmother, and of course, away of her mother, who would probably send her to as many photo sessions as possible. But now, for the first time in her entire life, she had a routine, with someone who didn't care about her attitude, and she enjoyed every second of it.
"So, what do you want, Goggles?"
"Erm…ahem…I was wondering if…hmm…"
"Oh, spit it out, Gogglehead!"
"I was wondering if you'd like to, you know…go for a walk…"
"Oh…" Rika let go a small chuckle. "…tired of losing?"
"No, tired of playing."
Rika looked at her colleague in front of her. The look on his eyes showed pure sincerity, and how he looked down showed he was afraid of her answer. Rika couldn't help but feel delighted at the sight in front of her. So nice, yet so naïve and submissive. Actually, I guess he looks kind of…
Yeah, yeah, calm down…I wasn't gonna say it, after all…
"You better don't!"
"Sure. I guess my legs will thank me for it."
"Sure. Let's go, goggles."
Before Takato could say something, they were already leaving the house.
"Mom! We're leaving!"
"Young man, don't take Rika away for too long, okay?" It was Rika's mother.
"Oh! Ah…okay, don't worry about it…" Takato answered, hiding the unavoidable blush after that.
"Did you HAVE to answer, Gogglehead?"
*****Shinjuku Park, an hour later, yeah! *****
Silence filled the small place that used to be Guilmon's house, as concentration was very important. Nothing had changed in that place since the day Guilmon moved back to the Digital World. Even the hole where they had found the gate was still there. Obviously, the gate was long closed. However, that wasn't the reason the tamers reunited in there. That place was a link to their past, a place where memories were clear as water and smiles covered their faces as they remembered their precious moments with Digimon. But then, Digimon were gone, and Guilmon's hut had become a place of gathering, where the ones who used to be Tamers spent some time together, discussing random topics, even if most of them circled around Digimon. That afternoon, we found the Tamers in the middle of a Card Game. The opponents? Henry Wong and Rika Nonaka. Even if everybody recognized Ryo and Rika's supremacy at the Digimon Card Game, Henry was never an easy opponent to beat. And the game they were watching was living proof of it. Takato could swear there was sweat on Rika's forehead.
"Nice move, Henry!" Hirokazu Shiota cheered with expectancy, much like everyone else in the room. They couldn't believe there was actually a chance for Henry to beat the Digimon Queen. However, Henry didn't show any expression, his eyes focused on the game before him, and the tranquil expression on Rika's face. Obviously, she still had an ace under her sleeve. Then, he looked at the others. Kazu and Kenta looked at the cards on the floor with excitement, trying to predict the next possible moves. Ryo Akiyama had a slight smirk on his face (as if that were surprising…), and looked at Rika with obvious interest. Was he thinking about Rika's next move, or about Rika herself? Killing those thoughts, Henry looked at the other person inside the place. Takato was leaning against the wall, right behind Rika, and his face showed a mixture of worry and expectancy, almost as if he knew what was about to happen. Henry considered the option. Was it actually possible that…? Henry knew that, if there was someone who could understand Rika Nonaka, besides her family, it was Takato Matsuki. But, after all, he was the biggest dreamer, wasn't he? Henry was sure that Takato had abilities he couldn't even imagine…
Suddenly, Rika took out the next card, with a huge smirk on her face. A smirk of victory. When Henry saw the card, he left out a silent sigh, and Kazu and Kenta behind him released a loud "Nooooo….."
It was the Aegis card.
"And this totally turns the tide against Henry, I guess…" Ryo said. Rika mentally agreed with Mr. Perfect, and also mentally, she thanked Takato for the best card he could have given her. Henry decided to give up, before the defeat became more humiliating, and the infamous duo began a round of compliments to the winner. Right after Rika got rid of Kazu and Kenta, Ryo (as always) made the question.
"But, Rika…I don't remember you using that card during the tournament. Where did you get it from?"
Damn you, Akiyama!
Which was the right answer? Not that she was afraid to say it was a gift from Takato, but if she said that, she knew exactly what the others would think. But, if she lied, then Takato…
"She bought it, of course! Geez, where else do you think she got it from?" Rika looked at the source of those words. It was Takato. What the…!?
"Alright, Takato, but…as far as I remember, Mr. Sato is still in jail, at least until he pays his fine." Ryo continued.
"And do you think his is the only store in the city, Ryo!? Of course not!" Takato explained. Noticing that Ryo had nothing else to say, Rika got up.
"I guess I'm leaving." She said, her eyes still focused on Takato, who checked his watch.
"Oh., and I have to go back home! I guess my mother will want me to make more bread…"
"Guilmon bread, Takato?" Kenta said, visibly joking, but Takato's expression didn't change.
"As a matter of fact, yes, Guilmon bread. Anyway, see ya." Everybody said their goodbyes to Takato, but he couldn't help but notice Rika's silence.
"Goodbye, Rika." For several seconds, their eyes met, each one trying to decipher the other's message, without success. Takato was disappointed that he wasn't able to spend some more time with Rika, but a duty is a duty. Rika was fighting the urge to ask him why he had lied about the card.
Some seconds later, Takato was gone. Rika looked at the others, and realized that Henry and Kazu seemed to be about to start another game. Rika knew this was her chance to get away. Without the Gogglehead, it just wasn't…interesting.
"Well, I guess I'll get going too."
"Oh, okay…oh, and Rika, I've got to tell you, that card makes an excellent addition to your deck." Henry said politely.
"Yeah, whatever…thanks, anyway, I guess…" For a moment, the others tried to figure out if Rika had actually thanked Henry for complimenting her, but then they realized she had actually changed. Just a little, but hey, it was something.
"May I walk you home, Rika?" Ryo asked jokingly.
"Are you insane!? What if someone saw us together!? Geez…"
"Oh, I see…" Ryo said, obviously enjoying the moment. "…so you don't care being spotted with Takato, but you do care if someone sees you with me? Interesting…" (Rika's Note: What a bastard, don't you think? A/N: Shut up, I'm typing!)
Damn you again, Akiyama! She thought when she noticed now everyone was looking at her. Ryo just walked to the door, offered one last smile at Rika, and left. As for the others, any curiosity they had for Rika's answer disappeared when she showed them one of her trademark death glares. A minute later, Rika furiously walked to her home, thinking about everything. Ryo's thoughts had touched her somehow, and Takato's saving when she was asked about the card also confused.
Why did he have to help me? I still remember he got mad when I said I was practicing by myself for the contest…
As Rika walked home, infuriated, she realized she had no answers to the doubts that consumed her. She could only make one thought, one so common in her mind that she almost considered a tradition.
******A while later, Matsuki residence******
"I'm hoooooome!!!!!!" Takato shouted as he walked through the bakery's back entrance.
"Shhh, Takato! We've got clients here, you know!" Mr. Matsuki said while he worked on some soon-to-be-bread. Takato just walked past his father and look at the counter, where his mother was attending the customers.
"Takato! If you're gonna be here then get an apron and start working!" Takato was already on his way to join his father when her mother spoke again.
"No, wait! You've got mail." She said as she handed him a small pink envelope. Takato could easily tell it was from a girl, but that's everything he could know about the one who sent it. Who could possibly…? However, it didn't took him long to recognize the handwriting. Feminine and elegant, it was obviously from Jeri Katou. Before his mother could tell him anything, he jumped up the stairs and locked himself in his bedroom. Then he jumped on the bed and carelessly opened the envelope. A pink piece of paper came out of it and fell on Takato's lap. Immediately, Takato unfolded it and began to read it.
How are you? I sincerely hope you're okay. Me? I couldn't be any better, and I'll tell you why. My parents said we're moving back to Shinjuku! It seems like my psychiatrist said it'll be okay, and my parents never liked this place, after all. They had better clients back there. That's means we'll be seeing each other very soon! Isn't that great? We'll have fun, just like the old times! I don't know exactly when are we moving but I'll make sure you know when the day comes, okay?
A big hug from your friend,
P.D: I also sent letters to Kazu and Kenta. I hope Henry, Rika and Ryo are okay. Do you miss Guilmon, Takato? I'm sure the others miss their partners. At least I'm sure Rika misses Renamon…she was her only friend, after all…
Takato saved the letter inside one of his drawers, and thought about Jeri's words. Jeri moving back…that was great! He promised the moment he saw her, he would tell her about Rika. Maybe Jeri could give him some advice…nah…she'll probably…
"Give her some flowers, woof! Or maybe a gift! Every girl loves gifts, woof!"
Takato let go a soft sigh. That sock puppet…he sure hoped she had gotten over it, although he didn't think so…wait a minute!
Takato suddenly started linking ideas. He rushed to read the letter again, and mix it with thoughts of his own.
"…Every girl loves gifts, woof!"
"At least I'm sure Rika misses Renamon…"
"…Every girl loves gifts, woof!"
"At least I'm sure Rika misses Renamon…"
"…Every girl loves gifts, woof!"
(Well, I guess you get the idea…)
That's it! I'm a genius!
DR: That's all for chapter 1! I promise the next chapters will be longer!
Rika: I sure hope so…
DR: So…Takato has a plan! And it will probably lead to madness!
Rika: What a surprise…
DR: Oh, Rika! Why can't you be nicer to your boyfriend?
Rika: Boy…boyfriend? *blushes* we're just friends!
DR: Yeah, and I own the Statue of Liberty. Anyway, stay close, the next chapter could be here very soon!
Rika: You should know, you write them…
Next Chapter: Now Takato wants to go to the Digital World. The first step, of course, is looking for a gate! And, of course, Henry Wong is always there to lend a hand. Watch Henry try to convince Takato that going to the Digiworld is a VERY BAD idea!!! (Like most of Takato's plans. Amazingly, they still work!) Don't miss the next chapter of OmniTamer: An Amazing Trip, Not Exactly First Class…
Note: To the readers of the "Chosen" series, I promise I'll work on "The Last Sorcerer" now! I promise!