Ori's Note: Happy Turtle Week, everyone!

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Only ORI would actually translate a title into ACCURATE MARINEANGEMONESE! And I thought Turtle Week was insane! –Taiki Matsuki]


Popu Po Papopa Po Papape!
(Boku No Partner Wo Sagase!)
(Searching For My Partner!)

My alarm didn't go off this morning. This is a first ever since I got it. It's a really neat alarm, too. It's digital, it's loud, it never fails to wake me up, it doesn't need to be reset and it floats around my head making happy noises and chanting "Good morning, Kenta! Good morning, Kenta!" In its own weird little language…

…Where is MarineAngemon? I let him outside last night and my window is still open for him. He goes out all the time, too, so it's not like he got lost.

Maybe my Mom's making pancakes. If there's one thing that gets his attention, it's my Mom's pancakes.

I put on my glasses, getting out of bed and walking to the kitchen…

…Nope, my parents are gone and left a note. Maybe they took him with him:

Kenta,

Running errands all day,
be sure MarineAngemon
doesn't turn off our DVRs
again.

Love,
Mom & Dad

Yeah, um, MarineAngemon doesn't get the whole "DVR timer" thing – If it changes the channel while he's watching television and he'll switch it back. I lost a couple episodes of Xros Wars that way, too, but Hirokazu has 'em all saved and Jen downloads them, so all's forgiven (with me, at least, my Mom really doesn't like missing her soap operas but no-one can stay mad at MarineAngemon – Not even Ruki, she just gets mad at me instead).

I look around the house. "MarineAngemon! Where are you? Come on out! This isn't funny anymore!"

…No sign of him. And, usually, when I say that he gets all apologetic and hurries over to me. Not that I'm ever really mad at him, he's awesome! Ever since Yamaki-san got him and the others back for us a few months after D-Reaper...

…I wonder where he is. I-I mean, he can't get lost can he? I-I don't know what he does when he's out playing at night, I-I mean…Gods, what kind of Tamer am I? Letting my Digimon run wild at night unsupervised! He…He could be get into all kinds of trouble!

What…What if…What if he got into a fight with a Wild One? Th-They've been appearing again lately…

Oh, Gods! Wh-What if it was a bunch of Wild Ones? MEGA LEVEL Wild Ones! THE DARK MASTERS! Wh-What if my little partner is being held captive by Piemon? Gods, what horrible things could Piemon be doing to him? PIEMON, YOU BASTARD! I'LL SAVE MY PARTNER—Wait…Wait…Calm down…Calm down…

…Most Wild Ones are Champions. At best. Sometimes an Ultimate but never have we encountered a mega level wild one…He's okay, it…It couldn't be a Wild One. Nothing he couldn't handle if he had to fight…With the power of love. I mean, crap, he's also more of a pacifist than Jen was!

…But Humans are different…Wh-What if someone kidnapped him? A biker gang! Gods, no! They went after him because he's an adorable little pink creature of absolute cuteness! They hate that sort of thing! ...I think… Bu-But, still, what if they went after him? Bats, knives, chains, nunchaku and boards with nails in their clenched fists as they ride after him, screaming "IT'S CUTE AND PINK! KILL IT! SEND IT TO HELL!" And MarineAngemon running away, terrified for his life! Gods, why? Why must people hate cute pink things like MarineAngemon? What kind of sick person hates something that's pink?

…Wait, no, no…He'd…He'd be okay…MarineAngemon is a an adorable little pink creature of absolute cuteness that fights with the power of love. Sort of like, um, ya know Ma-Ti from Captain Planet? A useful version of him! MarineAngemon just has to use his attack and they'd drop their weapons, their hearts lifted by a mysterious feeling none of them had felt in so long…Love! They'd turn to each other, hug, cry, get in touch with their emotions, one or two of 'em would come out of the closet probably and be accepted by his peers because love is all that matters and they'd go to the nearest bar and drink to their newfound appreciation for love as MarineAngemon flies into the night having successfully spread the meaning of Love to a gang of dangerous bikers…

…Yeah, he's got nothing to worry about from a biker gang. Unless…

GODS NO!

WHAT IF HE JOINED THE BIKER GANG? I-I can see it now…The bikers don't chase him, they recruit him! And he thinks they're playing, they dress him up to look bad ass with, like, a little biker hat and jacket and maybe an eyepatch...Gods…I see it now. MarineAngemon's so nice and innocent and never wants to disappoint anyone…He's the perfect target for peer pressure! "Hey, little pink buddy, come on! Let's go 'borrow' money from that old lady!" "Hey, little pink buddy, back me up here! Break that beer bottle! Don't worry! It's a drinking game called slice 'n stab!" "Hey, little pink buddy, got a light? Heh, here, try one, they're good for ya!"

BASTARDS! HOW DARE YOU MAKE MY DIGIMON SMOKE! How low can you get, making MarineAngemon rob old ladies and smoking?

…But, no…No…MarineAngemon's not stupid. He knows the difference between right and wrong. Plus, um, dressing him up as a Biker'd him look more like a mascot for The Village People Reunion Tour...If anything, it's kind of adorable to imagine, I so know what he's going to be for Halloween this year!

But…Focus, Kenta, focus…Where could he be? I-I really hope he didn't get into any trouble…But, if he did, it's probably really minor compared to what the other Digimon could do…

…What if he's the one who's been raiding the Matsuda's dumpster for bread? Then again, that's most likely Beelzebumon. Evidenced by the fact that, when someone 'caught' the dumpster thief red handed (and with a mouthful of three-day old dumpster bread, ugh!), the Matsudas woke up to the sound of THE LOUDEST FREAKIN' MOTORCYCLE ON EARTH! Which happens to be in the possession of Beelzebumon…Behemoth. Takato almost broke a leg tripping out of bed to get to his balcony and see what the noise was! "I thought the bakery was gonna collapse!"

…I still wouldn't put it past Beelzebumon to get him to go along with it, though…

Okay, he…He probably just got lost…Or distracted. I mean, he's MarineAngemon! He loves playing games and stuff like that, he probably started playing with someone and lost track of time...

I look to the clock on the microwave as I walk back to the kitchen.

FOR TWELVE HOURS? Gods, it's almost ten in the morning! I-I slept in, I thought it was, like, SEVEN! MARINEANGEMON WHERE ARE YOU?

I run to my room for my cell phone, I know the first person to call…

*Ring* Come on…

*Ring* Where are you…?

*Ring* Pick up, pick up, pick up…!

*Ring* THIS IS LIFE OR DEATH! ANSWER YOUR PHONE!

*Ri—*"Hello?"

"Takato, where the hell were you? This is an emergency!" I shout. Five rings when my partner is missing is unacceptable!

"E-Emergency? Kenta-kun, what's wrong?"

"MarineAngemon's gone missing! H-He's gone! I can't find him anywhere and…BIKERS!"

"…Bikers?"

"…Nevermind…Sorry, it's early…Brain. Not working."

"It's…almost ten."

"My alarm disappeared on me."

"Someone stole your alarm?"

"No, MarineAngemon is my alarm—Oh, GODS! What if he was stolen? Wh-What if someone kidnapped him, Takato? Someone kidnapped MarineAngemon! And it's all because I let him out to play last night! I'm a horrible parent, Takato!" I wipe my eyes. "Letting him run around like that all night…What was I thinking?"

"Kenta, you're talking to the guy who let his Digimon live in a tiny stone structure in the middle of a public park and let him walk around without any sort of disguise during the day when we were supposed to keep Digimon a secret. You're not a horrible Tamer."

"Well, yeah, but…Takato, Guilmon isn't exactly like MarineAngemon—Wait, he breathes fire and you left him unsupervised in a public park…If Yamaki-san had his way and we had licenses for these things, you'd so have lost yours for that." Though, in Takato's defense, there's no real guideline for Digimon Taming, it's all…Hit and miss. And Takato's not a bad Tamer, especially since Guilmon lives at the bakery now.

Takato laughs, "Exactly."

Of course, with Guilmon, the Matsudas had a little bit of an issue with the health inspector at one point (reptiles + kitchen = not good for health), but Takato pointed out: The bakery isn't zoned for animals, which are carbon-based life forms. Guilmon is a data-based lifeform and, thus, the zoning law doesn't apply (Jen was there and even added: "You can't transmit a computer virus through bread."). Of course, they still don't let Guilmon in the kitchen…Just anywhere else he wants to go, really. Guilmon's like a big, scaly, fire-breathing housecat! And Takato couldn't be happier.

"I'm still worried, Takato. He's never done this before. I had my window open all night for him, too and…I-I miss him, Takato! I-I want my partner back!"

"Okay, okay, calm down…You call Hirokazu and Ruki, I'll call Jen, Juri and Ryou. We'll meet at the park and figure out what to do, okay?"

"Thanks, Takato-kun. I-I'll call them and head over to the usual meeting spot. Thank you."

"Any time, Kenta-kun. Just calm down, he's mega, remember? I don't think he's got any natural or unnatural predators."

"Ye-Yeah, I know but…"

"…I know, if it were Guilmon I'd be just as scared," Takato says. "Meet you soon."

"Meet you soon," I say, hanging up. I first call Hirokazu.

"…Yo!" Hirokazu answers on the second ring.

"Hirokazu-kun…"

"Kenta? Dude, what's wrong? You sound upset…"

"MarineAngemon's gone missing since I let him out. Takato and I want to meet everyone at the park to look for him. Can you help?"

"'Course but…Missing? Dude, he's MarineAngemon, he's probably out having a blast! You know him!" Hirokazu says. "Seriously, he just lost track of time. I betcha anything he's out playing with Culumon or some kids at the park, splashing around in the pond or riding on the hood of a car on the freeway—" DOING WHAT ON THE WHAT OF A WHAT ON THE WHERE?

"WHAT?" And cue the horrifying mental image of my partner flat against a windshield…

I DON'T NEED TO IMAGINE MY PARTNER GETTING OSAMUED!

"What? Impmon's done it! Tons of times! My Dad was once driving the car he was riding on! Just sits and enjoys the ride! I was in the front seat, too, he just laid back all casual and crap 'til he got a bug in his mouth." Impmon has a tendency to switch between his rookie and mega forms, the reason usually relating to him asking himself 'how should I have fun today?'

"...Impmon's got a deathwish." …Hirokazu, you have a problem when it comes to comforting your friends: You start out okay but then you say something like that and take at least a year off our lives.

"Yeah, but…I kinda wish I could try it sometime…" …Of course, Hirokazu, of course you would. But that's not a surprise in the slightest. Hirokazu, I have to say, and you know how much I love you and all (well, maybe not the full extent), but, well, I just think you should hear this…

…YOU'RE AN IDIOT!

"Please don't and say you did."

"Dude, my Dad said the exact same thing!" Of course he did! "Anyway, I'll meet ya at the park in a couple minutes. We'll find him, Kenta!"

"Thank you, Hirokazu," I say. I end the call and dial Ruki's number.

Third ring. "What is it, Kitagawa?"

"Ruki, um…I'm sorry to bother you—"

"Just spill it, Kenta."

"MarineAngemon went missing and we're meeting in the park to talk about looking for him. Can you—"

"When did you last see him?"

"Um…Last night, around nine or nine-thirty—"

"He doesn't count as missing for another thirty-six hours. You're on your own."

"Ruki…!" I sniff. "Please, I-I'm really worried about him, he's never done this before and…Wh-What would you do if it were Renamon?"

"Renamon can take care of herself…And she's not mega level."

"Renamon also doesn't fight exclusively with the power of love and can handle herself in a fight very well."

Ruki lets out an annoyed sigh. "Fine, I'll help you find your precious little pink floating tea cup poodle."

"He's not a tea cup poodle."

"Kenta, if you could turn gay into a physical substance, MarineAngemon would collapse in on himself turn into a black hole," Ruki says. "Granted, you would also collapse in on yourself and create a super massive black hole but you're not the one we're looking for…Have you checked the University's particle accelerator?"

"He's not gay, Ruki." I roll my eyes. "Nor can gay have any mass."

"Can't argue that he looks the part, though…" Ruki trails off. "And gay does have mass, as I recall you said that one extra green tea ice cream would go 'straight to your thighs,'" Well, it would! And I meant that as a joke! …Granted, it does sound gayer than usual for me in retrospect…Damn it… "Ergo, gay has mass. Anyway, meet you at the park, but don't expect me to help."

"I won't," I say. The fact Ruki's going means she will help. Ruki just hates admitting to liking us as anything more than 'those idiots I get stuck with sometimes.'

I put my phone on my nightstand and go to my closet to change out of my t-shirt and shorts.

Please be okay, MarineAngemon…Pleasebe okay…


I get to the park just after Takato, Jen and Hirokazu. I have my book bag with me, I let MarineAngemon use it to sleep or hide in. I brought it in hopes of, well, letting him sleep or hide in it within the next hour (or less, preferably less!).

"I got ahold of Ruki, too," I say as I approach. "What about Juri and Ryou?"

Takato shrugs. "I got Ryou, he says he's too busy to help but wishes us luck. And Juri wasn't answering her phone. I don't know where she is."

I nod. "Well, that's okay…I-I'm sure she's busy and we can find him just as easy with two less people…" I-I'm actually not 100% sure on that. I want an entire army out looking for him! Especially if he is hanging out with those bikers! Or being held hostage by Piemon!

Piemon, you won't get away with this…!

"So, when did you last see him?" Jen asks.

"He likes to go out at night, so I leave my window open for him. He always comes back, though," I say. "Usually before I go to sleep!"

"He probably didn't get lost," Jen says. "If Terriermon chasing an ice cream truck for about five miles and finding his way home is any sign of it, Digimon have a good sense of direction…And no qualms with raiding their partner's wallets for ice cream money."

"Guilmon once chased after a rival bakery's bread truck," Takato says. "It was after the owner's kid made a crack about how Guilmon bread 'tasted like Guilmon Crap.' He took offense and chased after them, I lost track of him after a few blocks." …Okay, Terrierimon chasing after a vehicle sounds plausible, 'cause that's what a Terrier would do (granted, he looks nothing like a Terrier but…He's a Terrier…mon!) but…Guilmon chasing cars, too? "He came back to the bakery an hour later with a huge chunk of tire in his mouth." …Again, if Yamaki had his way and Digimon Tamers needed licenses, Takato's would have been revoked before he was even born.

"Your Digimon chase cars? Do they fetch and bring you your slippers?" I knew Ruki would get here in the middle of this… "Do you give them treats when they're good and don't pee on the carpet?"

"…Guilmon only did that once," Takato rolls his eyes as Ruki walks up to us. "And we're just saying, Terriermon and Guilmon have amazing senses of direction so we don't think MarineAngemon got lost."

"Renamon doesn't chase cars – And if she did, she'd just ask herself 'What would Tommy Vercetti do?'" …I would actually pay good money to see that.

…But for now…

"Can we please focus on finding MarineAngemon? He's never done anything like this before, he's never even been late coming home!" I say.

"Right, right, sorry," Jen nods. "I say we just split up and check any place MarineAngemon would hang out in and then meet back here if no-one finds him."

"Kenta, do you have anything with his scent?" Takato asks, looking to me. "I just realized, I could use Guilmon to track him."

"Good idea!" I nod, passing Takato my book bag. "He sleeps in this, it should definitely have his scent on the tissues I use for his bedding."

"Thanks," Takato takes the book bag.

"Pass me a couple of those tissues, Takato," Ruki says. Takato obliges.

"You're going to ask Renamon to find him, too? Thanks Ru—" I groan as Ruki proceeds to blow her nose on one of the tissues, but she has the others in her hand.

"Sorry, allergies," Ruki replies. "And why do you let him sleep on lavender scented tissues?"

"I-I don't," I say.

Takato smells the book bag. "…Wow, it…really does reek of lavender."

Jen and Hirokazu both smell the book bag. "Yeah, that's…I dunno if it's lavender but there's some sorta flower in there." Hirokazu says.

"That might throw off Guilmon if you make MarineAngemon's bedding smell like lavender, Kenta-kun," Takato says.

"But, I don't add any scent to his bedding," I say. This explains why, every now and then, I get a whiff of something flowery. "I-I'm serious!"

"…Maybe it's MarineAngemon," Hirokazu says. "Guardromon kinda smells like burnt oil sometimes."

"Like, what? W-We're smelling MarineAngemon's body odor or something?" Jen asks.

I shrug. "That's possible."

"….Kenta, are you trying to tell me MarineAngemon's BO smells like lavender?" Ruki asks.

"Yes and…Go ahead, I know you want to," I sigh. Here it comes.

"No, I won't make the gay joke here, Kenta, lavender-scented BO is just too damned easy to make fun of," Ruki groans. "But I will say this: There is nothing—NOTHING—remotely 'hetero' about MarineAngemon or his Tamer! Especially in light of this!"

"MarineAngemon isn't gay!" I shout, I notice Hirokazu is standing behind me, sniffing me. "What are you doing?"

"Just…Uh…Curious 'bout something…" Hirokazu steps away, laughing nervously.

…You weren't, Hirokazu…You WEREN'T…!

Everyone's eyes are on Hirokazu.

"…Strawberries…" He finally says.

"THAT'S MY SHAMPOO!" I shout.

"Again, the joke is too easy," Ruki says.

"Hey, I use strawberry shampoo…" Takato trails off.

"I rest my case, Matsuda." Ruki turns with a wave. "I'll go get Renamon and we'll start our search. Five hundred yen says we find him faster than you guys!"

"You're on!" Hirokazu shouts. "I'll go look around places I've seen him when he's out at night."

"You've seen him while he's out? What's he do?" I ask.

"Just plays in the park or does cute things for free food…Once got into a fight with Culumon over 'cute begging' territory…Culumon could hold his own pretty well for, um, Culumon!" Hirokazu says with a shrug. I am so glad Ruki wasn't near by to hear that. "I'll call you guys if I find him." He jogs off with a wave.

"If he does cute things for food, I'll check Terriermon's favorite hang outs," Jen says. "If anyone knows where to get free food, it's him." He goes off, saying, "Good luck!"

"Want to head with me to the bakery to get Guilmon?" Takato asks.

"Sure, hopefully we'll find him there, begging for bread," I say. All Digimon like Matsuda bread. In fact, you know that bread we lost when we went to The Digital World? About a quarter of the Wild Ones we deal with are Digimon that found that bread…The Matsuda Bakery is a hot spot for Wild Ones and Mr. and Mrs. Matsuda are not happy about that fact (it's part of why they actually insist on Guilmon living at the bakery instead of his old spot in the park)…

…But Guilmon, Culumon, Impmon (or Beelzebumon), Terriermon and this one Agumon that escaped Hypnos Labs (long story – He just shows up to help out now and then, either as Agumon or freakin' GREYMON! Se-Seriously, we mistook him for a Wild One until he told us he was 'A Hypnos Sanctioned Digital Sentry for the Shinjuku District' …Really, his exact words) – They all do a prettygood job at protecting the place with minimal structural damage. Especially after most home-owners insurance policies in Tokyo now cover "Acts of Digital Creatures from another dimension."

I'm completely serious, Takato told us how thrilled his Dad was to hear any damage caused by Wild Ones (or Guilmon) was now covered by their home owner's insurance!

I get the strangest feeling Hypnos might've had something to do with that, though…Like I said: Out of all the Tamers, Takato is probably Yamaki-san's "least favorite" when it comes to "how to care for your Digital Abomination from another world." In fact, I think that "rogue Agumon" is more Tamed than Guilmon!

…Actually, I spoke to that Agumon after it helped us take out a wild one. It claims it has has a Tamer but wouldn't tell me who. I'm guessing Ai or Makoto: One officially got Impmon, the other got an Agumon. I dunno, can a Digimon have two Tamers? I know it didn't work when I tried to "tame" Guilmon in The Digital World when Takato and Jen went missing for a while.

Either way, it's…weird!

Takato and I head to the bakery, Guilmon's sleeping in his "usual spot," which is a bed in the front of the bakery, now that Health Inspectors finally believe the whole "non-carbon-based reptiles are not a health risk." We're not sure how true that is but…So far, so good! And Takato says the customers love him, especially little kids. They play with him or split their bread with him - Guilmon loves living at the bakery!

"Takato? Kenta?" Mr. Matsuda asks from the front of the bakery, he's at the register. "What's going on?"

"MarineAngemon went missing, I've got some of MarineAngemon's scent to see if he can help find him," Takato explains, holding up the tissues. "Guilmon!"

"Takato?" Guilmon perks up from his nap and walks over to Takato. "MarineAngemon?"

"Yeah, can you find him with this?" Takato holds up the…LAVENDER-scented tissues to Guilmon, he sniffs them. "Got the scent?"

Guilmon lets out his 'WILD ONE' howl and darts for the door.

"CRAP! Should've gotten a leash!" Takato takes off after Guilmon forces himself through the door (on the PULL side). "KENTA! I'll keep in touch with cell phones! Good luck finding MarineAngemon! GUILMON, SLOW DOWN—" Another howl…

…Sometimes it's fitting the way Takato treats Guilmon almost like a dog.

"Is that…normal for Guilmon?" I ask, looking to Mr. Matsuda.

Mr. Matsuda shrugs. "Whenever a Wild One shows up, we just let Takato deal with it while we make tea and call the insurance company in the other room. Occasionally something crashes through the wall and we get to see what's going on, though." …It's freaky how calmly he says that. "Usually Guilmon, followed by Takato shouting 'sorry, sorry, tough one! Sorry!'" He laughs. …That's unusually easy to picture, too.

"…They really cover…?"

"Thank. The. Gods. Yes!" Yeah, if insurance didn't offer 'Digimon Coverage' none of us would be able to afford a home. "So, what's going on?"

"MarineAngemon vanished on me," I say. "We're all out looking for him."

"Sorry to hear that, Kenta. What's his favorite bread? Maybe you can lure him with the scent." Mr. Matsuda suggests.

"That'd be great, Mr. Matsuda!" I say, smiling. "I think his favorite is custard-pan, he loves anything sweet!"

Mr. Matsuda grabs a pair of tongs and passes me a piece of custard-pan. "Here you go, good luck finding him!"

"Thanks! If Guilmon doesn't find him, this will definitely lure him out." I say, smiling as I take the custard-pan. I reach for my wallet.

"On the house," Mr. Matsuda says, quickly. "I know Takato'd be beside himself if Guilmon disappeared like that. Just let us know when you find him. I'll call Takato if he shows up here."

"Thanks!" I bow my head with a smile. "I'll let you know!" I turn to the door with a wave a hurry out, holding the custard-pan over my head. "MARINEANGEMON! CUSTARD-PAN! DELICIOUS! DELICIOUS! DELICIOUS CUSTARD-PAN!" I shout, hoping he might hear me.

I go through the city a bit, places we usually hang out…So far, no good. Where could he be…?

As I pass through Nami street, I stop by the window of an ice cream parlor…

…Hirokazu is in there eating a sundae. I go inside, straight to his table. "…Hirokazu…" I begin, he looks up to me with an 'Oh CRAP' sort of expression.

"Er…Well…Um…MarineAngemon likes…ice cream, right? I-I thought I'd find him here or he'd show up, y'know?"

"…Hirokazu, you just wanted a sundae, didn't you?" I ask.

"…Want some…?" He trails off with a weak smile.

I sit down, sighing, "No thanks." I set my custard-pan aside.

"What's with the bread?"

"From Mr. Matsuda, Takato's got Guilmon on the hunt right now and he figured this might lure him out," I say, sighing. "I'm really getting worried, Hirokazu-kun, he's never been out this late…"

"Dude, he's mega level, you tellin' me you think he might be in trouble? Even if a Wild One showed up, I doubt he'd have any trouble."

"Yeah, but…" I shake my head. "I don't want to ever test MarineAngemon handling a Wild One alone." Even though I rarely need to slash a card when he fights, I still like being there to know the little guy's safe!

"He'll turn up! Seriously, I thought he might've been here begging for food. Even Guardromon likes ice cream!"

"…Guardromon…eats?" I ask.

Hirokazu shrugs. "Somethin's gotta power him!"

…Hirokazu, he's a robot—Granted, he's also made of data so maybe…Augh! Now's not the the time to figure out the biology of Digimon!

I just nod. "Right…"

"Dude, I bet he's having the time of his life! Seriously, he's more fun loving than Guilmon or Impmon! And gets in less trouble than either of them!"

"True…" He has a point, MarineAngemon is more of a "pet" than a "partner" at times. And that's without Ruki calling him a Digital Tea Cup Poodle.

…Though this 'lavender body odor' revelation…

I stick around with Hirokazu another couple of minutes before going back on my search, making sure Hirokazu promises to keep looking first before we leave. While we ate, though, he claimed he already had Guardromon flying over the city in search of him but…

…Considering I haven't seen any smoke trails…Then again, Guardromon might be trying to be more discreet since Yamaki-san chewed out Hirokazu for skywriting 'HERO'KAZU ROCKS over the city. No, really, he did that for fun once…WHILE RIDING GUARDROMON! SERIOUSLY!

My best friend is insane!

I walk out of the ice cream parlor with Hirokazu, saying, "Promise me you won't make any more 'stops' like this, okay?"

"Promise!" Hirokazu starts down the sidewalk with a wave. "Betcha he's at the arcade—"

"HIROKAZU!"

"—I-I mean…Um…THE ZOO! Ye-Yeah! Y'know, floatin' above the tiger habitat and teasin' em with Impmon—" WHAT DID YOU SAY? DID YOU REALLY JUST SAY THAT, HIROKAZU?

"WHAT?" I scream. HIROKAZU, THAT'S WORSE THAN YOU GOING AND GOOFING OFF AT THE ARCADE! A MILLION TIMES WORSE! SHUT UP AND GO TO THE ARCADE! I'LL PAY FOR IT MYSELF! JUST DON'T SAY ANOTHER WORD! PREFERABLY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE WHICH YOU HAVE JUST SUCCESSFULLY SHORTENED!

…Gods, there goes twenty years off my life…! Hiro-kun, be a dear and remind what the signs of a heart attack are, please? I'm pretty damned sure the mental image of my partner being mauled by TIGERS just gave me three at the same time!

Hirokazu turns back to me. "What? You've never seen him do that?"

"MarineAngemon teasing tigers? NO!" I shout.

"No, Impmon teasing tigers! Y'know how they're kept in kind of a pit-like-habitat-thing at the edge of the zoo? Impmon gets these huge steaks and," Impmon, what the hell is wrong with you? "He dangles 'em over their pit-cage-thing and pulls 'em just outta their reach each time! REALLY pisses 'em off!" Hirokazu, don't grin like that…!

"…I can imagine." When I get him back, I'm making this crystal clear to MarineAngemon: He's not allowed to play with Impmon. Ever.

Hirokazu and I split up, I'm pretty sure I'm the one going in the direction of said arcade. But unlike someone, I have a partner to find!

I go back out on my search, holding up my bread. I decide to double check the park…

…Huh, it's kinda foggy all of a sudden—Oh, CRAP!

If there's one thing I've learned about Digimon Taming…

…Sudden clouds of fog on an otherwise sunny day are a bad sign…

Sure enough, I'm in the middle of a digital field, it's forming around me. Little bits of data start to collect in the center, forming…

…A PicoDevimon…

…Crap…

"TAMER!" It shouts, spotting me instantly. "Is that Guilmon bread!"

"Th-This?" I ask, realizing I'm holding what is, essentially, Matsuda Brand DIGIMON BAIT in my hands. Crap! Crap! Crap! "N-No! It's…Anti-Digimon-Repellent! Very bad for Digimon! I was disposing of it!"

"LIAR! That's bread! I found some like that once! Gimme your bread!" The PicoDevimon shouts, floating above me. "GIMME! GIMME! GIMME!"

"HE-HERE! TAKE IT!" I throw the bread over to the PicoDevimon, it catches it in mid-air and wolfs it down in, like, two seconds.

"MORE!"

"Tha-That's all I have!"

"Liar! Humans have tons of bread! All the time! The first humans to come to the Digital World had a ton of it! Gimme all your bread!" …Takato, why did you have to be raised by bakers? Why not swordsmiths? Why weren't you born Takato Masamune instead of Matsuda? I think our trip to the Digital World have a gone a lot smoother if you were the descendant of Masamune!

…Oh, wait, given what happened to the bread, we'd just have a bunch of armed and even more dangerous digimon on our hands. Last thing any of us wanna deal with is Sephirothmon!

"I-I don't! REALLY! No bread here!" I open my coat, I pull out my pockets, I even go as far as showing him the inside of my wallet. "That was it!"

"LIAR! GIMME!" A syringe forms in the PicoDevimon's left claw…CRAP! Of all the days for MarineAngemon to go missing! "PICO DA—"

"BABY FLAME!" Huh?

A fireball hits the PicoDevimon, sending it flying to the side. Its attack misses me by a good five feet. I still duck and cover my head anyway but…

…I glance over to my right, that Agumon is standing there.

"Grrr…!" The PicoDevimon soars higher. "I got bread! You can't beat me!" Uh-oh…I think I know where this is going…

…Occasionally, a Wild One that shows up at the Matsuda Bakery can eat enough bread to…

PicoDevimon EVOLVE…

…Evolve…

Devimon!

…Crap. One piece of custard pan and you can evolve to DEVIMON? What do the Matsudas put in that stuff? Digi-steroids? AUGH! WHY ME? WHY TODAY? MARINEANGEMON HELP ME!

The Agumon stares down the Devimon before him, not moving.

"I'm here for bread, now get outta here so I can take his!" Devimon says.

"I DON'T HAVE ANYMORE BREAD!" I scream. If it wasn't for the fact Takato'd never forgive me, I'd give this Digimon directions to the Matsuda Bakery—Wait…

…I wonder if he'd mind if I gave Devimon directions to the place that made that 'Guilmon Crap' crack. Maybe he won't know the difference! Note to self: Get name and address of that place. Good Wild One distraction.

Ganted, I think they learned their lesson if GUILMON took out a chunk of one of their bread truck's tires but…DON'T INSULT THE DELICIOUSNESS THAT IS GUILMON BREAD! To a Digimn Tamer, that's a grave insult! Even Yamaki-san likes Guilmon bread! He shows up all the time and buys tons of it, Takato says!

Didn't know Yamaki-san had such a taste for bread…I mean, he buys at least a dozen pieces at a time!

"Ju-Just run!" I shout to the Agumon. "Champion level! NOT GOOD!"

"I'll be okay!" The Agumon nods. "Just stand back! BABY FLAME!" Another attack, but the Devimon is unfazed, he more or less absorbs it!

Great, just great…Does this mean I'm right and Piemon really did kidnap MarineAngemon? I'm already on Adventure Arc one! DEVIMON!

"Hehehe, more bread and I'll be even more powerful…And your data will help me, too…" Devimon trails off. Oh, lovely! Arc one to ARC THREE! VAMDEMON! Does this mean we get to live through three megas destroying Odaiba, now? …Or has the act been moved to Shinjuku again? Haven't we had enough?

"Not so fast," I hear a very familiar yet very unexpected voice. And sound, the metal scraping against metal sound of a silver lighter. Only one person I know makes that sound wherever he goes…

I turn around, Yamaki-san steps out from behind a tree. "Ya-Yamaki-san?"

"We picked this one up on the scanner, I came by personally…" Yamaki-san says, flicking his lighter as usual. Seriously, for a guy who doesn't smoke, he's obsessed with that lighter. Though, he puts it away, staring down the Devimon. "I am Yamaki Mitsuo of Hypnos, you are a rogue Digimon. Surrender peacefully and we will integrate you into human society or help you return to The Digital World. If you fail to cooperate, you will be held in Hypnos Labs until you willingly do so. And should you resist violently, your data will be downloaded. Make your choice now." He has his hand in his other pocket, now.

"I WANT BREAD! DEATH CLAW!" Devimon makes a move for Yamaki-san, I scream and duck behind a bush. I look up to see that Yamaki managed to dodge the attack, his hands still in his pockets…

…Thank the Gods.

"If that is your choice..." Yamaki-san pulls something out of his pocket—Holy…Shit…

I hear words I never expected to hear from Yamaki-san…

"CARD SLASH! ANGEMON'S HEAVEN'S KNUCKLE!"

The Agumon to the side of Devimon performs the attack, leaping into the air and raising a fist. A beam of holy energy strikes Devimon, the mon doesn't even see it coming!

And his data is promptly downloaded by the Agumon. Naturally, anything from Angemon can take out a Devimon. I mean, the whole Angel versus Devil thing but…

…Holy shit…

I stand up from my hiding place, stammering. "Ya-Yama-Yamaki-san—"

"Good work, Taichi. Return to Hypnos."

"Yes, sir, Yamaki-san!" The Agumon salutes. "Can we have Guilmon bread when we get back?"

"Of course, for a job well done."

"Thanks, Yamaki-san!" The Agumon runs off.

Yamaki-san puts…his digivice…away, turning to me and pulling out his lighter, flicking it. "…You saw nothing, Kitagawa. Nothing. At. All." Ri-Right…But, seriously, Yamaki-san? I think this as believable as Ruki wearing jewelry. I could have videotaped this and all the others would shout 'FAKE!'

"…R-Right…" …Yamaki was that thing's Tamer? Yamaki?

…Maybe I'm still asleep.

"What were you doing without your partner?" Yamaki-san asks.

"Um, the field sorta…showed up outta nowhere, I didn't go after it on my own," I say. "I-I was looking for MarineAngemon. He, um, I-I let him play outside at night and he hasn't come home yet." I explain.

Yamaki-san sighs. "…Why don't we give you licenses? Especially Matsuda…" He groans. Just as I thought, Takato is Yamaki's favorite Tamer on Earth! "If it makes you feel better, our scanners have not picked up any 'deletions' in the city, so he should be safe and sound."

"Thank the Gods…" I bow my head. "Um…What about Wild Ones?"

"One or two last night, Hypnos handled them. Why?"

"Piemon wasn't one of them, was he?"

Yamaki-san gives me a long, blank stare, finally saying. "…Piemon?"

"…Er…Long paranoia induced story…" I mutter. "But, um…You have a partner?"

"…In the sense that we both work for Hypnos and Taichi aids me in keeping Wild Ones in check. Again, you saw nothing." Yamaki-san turns. "I'll alert you if I see your partner, at least. Good luck, Kitagawa."

"Tha-Thanks, Yamaki-san. Especially for the help back there!"

"It is my job," Yamaki-san walks off as the digital field dissipates, flicking a lighter. He does this sorta 'badass fading into the fog' sorta exit…Which is what he usually does, some form of "awesomely cool exit." Seriously, how do you do that, Yamaki-san? I swear, he does it on purpose half the time!

I sort of run the events of what just happened through my head—Wait…

Taichi?

Not only did Yamaki-san give his partner a proper name but…HE'S A DIGIMON ADVENTURE FAN?

…I wonder what he thinks of Taito…


My search ended without any results, Takato called me a couple times while on the hunt with Guilmon. Unfortunately, Guilmon ended up mostly at flower shops because of the 'scent' MarineAngemon left on his bedding. I asked if he told Ruki this, he said, "For your sake, no, I told her he just hasn't found him…Not spent an hour smelling every flower in each shop, shouting, 'Smells like MarineAngemon…But he's not here…'" …I'm going to just hope MarineAngemon went flower shopping last night or something. I can't believe he smells like flowers!

…Maybe Ruki is right, I should check Toudai's particle accelerator…

We all met back at the park. Jen and Hirokazu couldn't find him, either.

And, yes, Hirokazu checked the zoo…And almost called me with his condolences! Apparently the tigers got a bright pink chew toy…Thankfully, he realized it was plastic shaped like a monkey after one of them threw it closer to the crowd standing over their habitat, so he cancelled the call.

But as everyone reports in, all with a variation of "I haven't seen him at all" I-I…I can't take it anymore!

I'm really scared right now. My partner's…GONE! I-I can't find him, the others can't...

Even Ruki's lightened up on me since we met back up, I'm sitting on a bench trying not to break down. "I-I shouldn't have let him out…This is my fault…" I whisper.

Takato has a hand on my shoulder. "Kenta-kun, it'll be okay. He'll come home. Maybe he is back home."

I shake my head. "I called my parents, they're back home and haven't seen him. They said they'd call as soon as he showed up." My parents are both worried, too. It's almost sunset and there's been no sign of MarineAngemon anywhere.

I hear Jen on the phone with his mother, actually. He's standing off to the side of the group. "…Yeah, it's been a long day—Really? …Thanks, I'll tell them. We'll be by soon. Bye, Mom. Thanks again." He hangs up his cell. "Kenta-kun, everyone, um…My Mom's offering some baozi to cheer up Kenta and wanted to invite everyone else. She picked up a ton of ingredients on the way home from work after I told her about MarineAngemon earlier, so plenty for everyone."

I nod. "Thanks, Jen-kun. Manju sounds great." I say. Jen's Mom really does make the best manju. That'll...hopefully, at the very least, cheer me up. And, maybe, lure out MarineAngemon. He loves Jen's Mom's manju, too. Every Digimon loves Matsuda bread and Li manju, it's a fact of life.

"Anytime. Anyone else?" Jen asks. Takato and Ruki both nod, Hirokazu's practically cheering.

"By the way, where's Terriermon?" I ask. "You didn't have him with you this morning?"

"Xiaochun was 'borrowing' him," Jen replies. "I didn't think he'd be that big of a help in the search, so I didn't bother getting him." Yeah, Terriermon'd just do what Hirokazu did at the ice cream parlor. Ugh…I can't believe him. Actually, I can but…HIROKAZU! MY PARTNER IS MISSING! Can't ice cream wait a day? AUGH! I'd be more pissed if I found him at an arcade, though…

…Then again, MarineAngemon loves my RPG collection. He plays as himself in Digimon World all the time. I even gave him his own save file…Even though he sometimes saves over my games but I forgive him each time. I've learned to keep back ups, too, so I don't miss too much of my game.

We all head for Jen's apartment, Jen's Mom greets us at the door. "Welcome. I'm sorry about your partner, Kenta. I hope he turns up soon, I know how important Lopmon and Terriermon are to Xiaochun and Jianliang."

"Thanks, Mrs. Li," I smile a little. "I-I'm sure he's okay, he's just…out having fun."

"Too bad we couldn't get Juri and Ryou's help," Hirokazu says. Yeah, Ryou was busy and Juri was unreachable.

"Juri? She's been here," Mrs. Li says, giving us a confused look.

"What?" I ask. "Juri's been here?"

"Xiaochun invited her over sometime earlier," Mrs. Li shrugs. "I didn't know she was here until Xiaochun got a drink for both of them. They're in Xiaochun's room."

"We could fill Juri in on what happened, at least," Takato says. "Maybe she and Ryou can help out tomorrow. I promise, Kenta-kun, I won't stop helping you until we get him back, at least."

"Same here!" Hirokazu says.

"I won't either," Jen nods. "Actually, this probably explains why we couldn't reach Juri's cell," Jen adds. "Our apartment building is really old, the design messes with cell signals sometimes. Lianjie has trouble with wireless controllers on cloudy days, even."

We all take our shoes off and go down to the hall to the bedrooms. Jen knocks on Shiuchon's door. "Xiaochun? You in there?"

"Yeah!"

"Is Juri?"

"Hey, Jen-kun!" Juri says through the door.

"Juri, what are you doing here? Not complaining but…We tried to call you earlier," Jen says.

"Oh, Shiuchon wanted to play dress up with her Digimon, I couldn't say 'no!' They look sooo adorable! Especially MarineAngemon!" …Especially…WHO?

"MARINEANGEMON?" I scream, opening the door. I know, it's rude to open a girl's door without asking but…MY PARTNER IS IN THERE! POLITENESS BE DAMNED TO HELL!

Sure enough, MarineAngemon is sitting in the middle of Shiuchon's room, dressed in a little spring green dress and little, doll-sized plastic ruby pendant. Lopmon is in a similar get up while Terriermon is…The baby, as usual.

Terriermon spits a pacifier out of his mouth, whining, "Jen…Save me…!" He's in a diaper and baby blue bonnet. But that's not my biggest concern right now (though Ruki and Hirokazu and almost on the floor laughing at him and, probably, Lopmon and MarineAngemon), it's the fact MarineAngemon has been here this whole time!

Thank you, GODS! …And, please, tell me Shiuchon wasn't as…Shiuchon-ish as she normally is with Digimon. Please! He gets enough crap from Ruki as it is!

I stammer, looking to my partner as he stares back up at me from the middle of the room, smiling as always. "Ma-Mari-MarineAngemon…?"

"PEPA!" The little pink mega floats up to me, I grab him and hug him tight, almost crying. "PEPA! PEPA!" He's shouting my name…I missed you, too…!I was so worried, don't ever do this again! Thank the Gods he was Shiuchon and not Piemon or a gang of evil bikers! I don't care if you're in a dress, YOU'RE OKAY!

"I was so worried about you!" I shout, my eyes already stinging with tears. "I was afraid you were gone forever! What happened? I-I…I…" I almost break down, wiping my eyes as MarineAngemon floats out of my arms and over everyone's heads...

…And, I know Ruki's gonna have a field day with this but he does look kinda cute in that dress. EXCEPT HE'S A MALE, SHIUCHON! Don't you have any KEN DOLLS he can borrow clothes from?

"Doesn't he look pretty?" Shiuchon smiles. "Juri-chan picked out the dress!"

"…That is the gayest thing I have ever seen," Ruki speaks up. "Seriously…MarineAngemon in drag? Like I said, Kenta: BLACK. HOLE. In this case: SUPER MASSIVE BLACK HOLE! Seriously, I'm afraid Earth is doomed now, we should evacuate to the Digital World and pray the effects of the black hole don't reach it!"

"MarineAngemon isn't gay, Ruki!" I groan. MarineAngemon sits on my head, letting out a happy purring-like noise. I was a afraid I'd never hear that sound again.

"I-I can't believe it…" Takato says. "Shiuchon, how long has he been here?"

"Since last night, he came in through my window," Shiuchon says. "But it got drafty so I closed it. I would've let him out but the window was stuck, so we spent the night playing!"

Jen goes to Shiuchon's window, trying to open it. "…Yeah, it's…this one's always been trouble but…You didn't tell anyone?"

"You didn't know?" I ask, looking to Jen.

"She had her door closed and I was in a hurry to help you, I just knocked to check and make sure she had Terriermon," Jen says. "I-I really had no idea she had MarineAngemon! Sorry, Kenta-kun."

"It's okay, as long as he was here the whole time," I say. And not in the clutches of Piemon…Or Bikers! …Though, I see a black "leather" vest and hat in a pile of clothes next to Shiuchon's bed, so maybe he might have that cute Halloween costume after all! Hope she'll let me borrow it!

"I would just like to say I wish she didn't involve me in this sort of game…" Lopmon trails off. He's wearing a dark red dress.

"Jen, why didn't you take me with you? NOT MOUMANTAI! NOT MOUMANTAI AT ALL!" Terriermon shouts. He looks really pissed at Jen right now. Even to this day Shiuchon treats him like a doll…And probably any Digimon! Seriously, they're more like living stuffed toys than partners to her, I guess…

…Why am I reminded of that Elmyra girl from Tiny Toons all of a sudden? Seriously, I can just see Shiuchon grabbing Terriermon by the ear, shouting, "I'm gonna hug you, and squeeze you, and dress you up and never let you go!" …It's…freakishly easy to picture. Same clothes, even.

"Ah…Sorry…" Jen looks to Shiuchon and Juri. "Seriously, next time tell us, Xiaochun! Kenta's been worried sick about MarineAngemon all day!"

"Sorry, Kenta-kun," Shiuchon bows her head.

"I-I'm just happy to know MarineAngemon is safe and sound…" I say, smiling and glancing upwards to the little pink angelic seal in my hair.

"Sorry, Kenta-kun, I didn't know you guys were looking for him," Juri says. "We just spent the day playing with them. Either dress up or some games. MarineAngemon had a ton of fun!"

"Did you?" I look up to MarineAngemon.

"Papi!" 'Yes.' I thought so, he's exactly the kind of partner Shiuchon would like to have, anyway. I mean, a bright pink little being of absolute cuteness? Ruki's made a million jokes about how Shiuchon and I 'got our partners mixed up.' …Hell, even my digivice is PINK! Well, more pearl, but…Ruki refuses to call it anything but pink! Not that I have a problem with a pink digivice!

Though we all agree: Takato's lucky to get a gold Digivice! Seriously, Takato? Where do you get all that luck when it comes to Taming? Especially the fact Yamaki-san actually let you have Guilmon back…

…I still can't believe he named his partnerOR SLASHED A CARD! Where'd he even get the digivice? I think it was black, looking back but…Either way: YAMAKI-SAN IS A TAMER!

"Ugh, a day playing dress up…" Ruki shudders. "Seriously, Jen, I feel for your partner sometimes. I really do." Yeah, we all know with Ruki: Her Mother is Shiuchon, Ruki is Terriermon when it comes to dresses...And Ruki and and Terriermon have just as much fun dressing up each time!

"Jen, Ruki just said she feels sorry for me," Terriermon speaks up. "CAN YOU PLEASE TAKE THIAT AS A SIGN I HATE THIS?"

"But you're baby Terriermon to Mommy MarineAngemon!" Shiuchon speaks up, giving Terriermon a death-grip hug!

"A-A-Augh…! Ca-Can't…breathe…! Save me…Jen…! If not…last words are…Mou…man…tai…!" Terriermon gasps, Shiuchon releases him, he takes a few deep breathes. For a little kid, Shiuchon doesn't know her own strength when it comes to hugs…

"…If MarineAngemon is 'Mommy' then may I ask what my role in this make believe family is?" Lopmon asks.

"Big sister Lopmon!"

"…I am male." Lopmon says, bluntly.

"That hasn't stopped her before, Lopmon," Terriermon says. "Ever."

"Pipupopu, popo pipopu pa pupupupi!" MarineAngemon speaks up, floating off my head.

"What's he want?" Hirokazu speaks up, looking to me.

"Um...He wants to try on the red bow on Shiuchon's dresser," I say. "He thinks he'll look pretty in it."

"Wa-Wait," Ruki's eyes go wide, her jaw drops. "Are you saying he's really enjoying this?"

"Papi!"MarineAngemon answers.

"He said 'yes.'"

"…Again, the jokes are too easy, Kenta,I need a challenge, not…YOU TWO!"

"Again, Ruki, MarineAngemon is NOT gay!" I groan.

"And notice how Kenta never defends himself from the accusation,…" Ruki trails off.

Hirokazu speaks up. "Hey, she's kinda got a point—"

"Hirokazu, keep this topic going and I'm gonna let Ruki tell everyone about a certain incident before Jijimon and Babamon's place," I say, looking to Hirokazu. Do not go there, Hirokazu-kun…Granted, I'm sure Ruki's got everyone at least suspicious at this point. About me and, probably, Takato and Hirokazu, too. But mostly me.

Hirokazu's expression goes blank for a moment or two before he turns to Ruki. "RUKI! Not cool! Kenta's totally hetero!" Yeah, Ruki promised to let me use that incident as blackmail for Hirokazu, the time we accidentally kissed after she kicked him on top of me…

…Granted, since I got MarineAngemon, I doubt Hirokazu's defense is going to sway any opinions. Doesn't matter, though, as long as I have my partner!

"Riiight," Ruki rolls her eyes as Shiuchon gets MarineAngemon the bow, putting it on his head. He lets out a happy little bunch of sounds, looking at himself in the mirror on her dresser. He even shouts 'PRETTY!' In his own language.

"Pa pi pipi po po pipi! Pa pi pipi po pipi po pe!"…MarineAngemon is actually singing 'I Feel Pretty' and floating around the room. Juri's having one of those 'AW! So cute~!' Moments with Shiuchon while every male in the room (and Ruki) is trying to figure a way to escape from the cute-fest. Seriously, even I am! And MY PARTNER is, like, the living incarnation of CUTE!

Shiuchon, why must you make MarineAngemon almost deadly cute? Seriously, I take back what I said about those bikers turning all lovey-dovey: One look at him right now and they'd drop dead from a cuteness attack! I'm sorta worried that's gonna happen to Ruki any second now! Actually…

…If Culumon were here, too, we'd all be dead!

"…Kenta, seriously, you gotta do something to make that thing at least a little hetero!" Ruki says as MarineAngemon floats around still singing.

"Like what?"

"Give it an eye patch or something! Hell, dye him…ANYTHING BUT PINK!"

"I don't think I can dye MarineAngemon, Ruki."

"Could you try?"

"…No."

"Papa pipi po po pipi! Pa pi po pipi po pipi po pe~!" …And he pities any girl that isn't him! Tra la la la la la la, la la la la!

Normally, I'd be glad I'm the only one who can understand him but…All of us know that tune.

"Aw! He's so cute~!" Shiuchon gives MarineAngemon a huge hug, which the little guy actually appreciates!

Lopmon speaks up, standing up on Shiuchon's bed. "Um, Kenta-san, in light of the fact that MarineAngemon-san seems to…greatly enjoy playing with Shiuchon, could I perhaps suggest an arrangement?"

"An arrangement?" I ask.

"Simply put, could you and Shiuchion trade partners for a length of time? Maybe a month? Or a week? …Even a day perhaps? Maybe? Please?" Lopmon puts his paws together and bows low.

"ME, TOO! TAKE ME! TAKE ME!" Terriermon shouts, jumping on the bed next to Lopmon, bouncing up and down, screaming. Lopmon almost loses his balance as Terriermon keeps jumping, giving Jen an annoyed look.

"…Terriermon, you're my partner, not—"

"JEN! I'M IN A DIAPER, DOES THAT REALLY MATTER?" Terrirmon screams."I. NEED. A. VACATION!"

"…Okay, um, Kenta, wanna have two partners for a while?" Jen looks to me, laughing a little.

"…Um…I'll…think about it…" I trail off. I think I'll keep my current partner, though I don't think we'd have the same problem with Lopmon and the DVR as we do MarineAngemon but…

…I like my little pink mega of love!


Jen's Mom was relieved when we came out of Shiuchon's room with MarineAngemon, she even made him his own plate of manju. Actually, um, she used a little bit of red food coloring and made all of our manju pink in honor of finding him…

…Ruki tolerated it, saying, "I don't judge food by its color, as long as it tastes this damn good."

But everyone else had a laugh. And MarineAngemon ate his weight in delicious Chinese steamed buns with meat filling. Shiuchon apologized again for 'stealing' him but…I forgave her, my partner is safe and sound. That's all I care about! And promised to call me if he ever got stuck in her room again, I really appreciate that! Juri, too, since she says MarineAngemon likes to 'do cute things' at her Dad's restaurant for food…

…Apparently, Mr. Katou is using MarineAngemon as night time entertainment, actually. He entertains customers by floating around and doing 'cute things,' he gets all the desserts he wants in exchange. I never knew this, Juri, why can't I get a share of these desserts? Hm?

Well, as long as he makes people happy.

…I just wish he took off the dress before dinner. Well, at least Shiuchon took it off him by the time we had ice cream for dessert, she knows Digimon well enough to know: That would cost her one spring green doll dress. Except Lopmon…He's more like Renamon: He uses chopsticks and eating utensils. Terriermon? Paws, even ice cream. Gods, the Lis' living room couch has seen better days before he stopped playing 'stuffed toy,' let's just say that…

I brought my partner home and made up his bed with fresh tissues, non-scented…I'll…see what they smell like in a week or so but…That can't be

…Then again…

It's time for bed, I'm in a t-shirt and shorts, MarineAngemon is floating around my room.

"Pepa…?" He looks to the closed window. "Pepa…?" Oh, don't give me that look…! I can never say no to it! Not even RUKI can! And she's TRIED!

"…Promise you'll come back…?" I ask, looking to MarineAngemon. "I was worried sick today, I don't wanna ever lose you again!"

"Papupopu!" MarineAngemon nods, saying 'promise!' That's good enough for me.

"All right…And if Yamaki-san asks, tell him you're on Wild One patrol for me, 'kay?" …Like Yamaki-san'd even understand him. Not even the other Digimon do!

"Papi!" MarineAngemon floats off outside my window and into the city for his usual nighttime antics…

…I wonder what he'll be up to tonight. Just as long as it doesn't involve Piemon or bikers or rogue Digimon in search of bread, I'll be happy! And I don't care if it's three AM when he wakes me, I want my little pink alarm clock back!

I get into bed and set my glasses on the nightstand, going to sleep with my window open for MarineAngemon…


"PEPA! PEPA! PEPA! PEPA! PEPA! PEEEPAAA!"Oh, how I missed this sound…

I hear MarineAngemon shouting my name and, likely, flying around my room. "He-Hey, MarineAngemon…Have fun last night?" I say, my eyes still closed. My alarm clock has been returned…I was afraid I'd never hear its sweet angelic voice again.

"Papi! Papi! Papi!" 'Yes! Yes! Yes!' Ha ha ha! From the sound of it, he had a ton of fun!

I yawn, my eyes still closed as I reach for my glasses on my nightstand…I also hear my cell phone let out a short beep, the 'reminder' beep. I missed a text message. Huh, must've gotten it while I was asleep.

I put my glasses on and open my eyes—WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO MY PARTNER?

MarineAngemon is dressed up in what I can only describe as a Beelzebumon cosplay outfit! Se-Seriously, this isn't "Village People Comeback Tour" cute, this is "CUTE FROM HELL!" H-He's even got…A miniature version of those old World War One German helmets with the spikes on top that bikers sometimes wear and a an eyepatch! And the little heart on his chest…? Gods, someone painted a fake tattoo DAGGER going through it!

…What…the…hell…?

"Wh-Wha-What the…? Did…Shiuchon dress you up like that?" JEN! IS YOUR LITTLE SISTER INSANE? Or going through some sort of early version of her teenage rebellious years?

"Pipipe!" No? Who else…?

I glance at my phone, I check the text message:

Ambiguously Gay Tamer #2:
Shiuchon gave Shiota and me some inspiration,
let's just say. But I don't care how "badass" Shiota says
he looks: I'm still worried your Digi-Tea Cup Poodle is
gonna collapse in on himself! I'll be in the Digital World
for the next few weeks, good luck with the inevitable black hole!

Hope you liked our attempt to man up your partner.
-Ruki

PS: You ain't foolin' no-one, either, by the way.

…Why am I not surprised at either part of that message?

"Pepa! Pepa! Pepa!" MarineAngemon floats around me, oblivious to how…Hellishly ridiculous he looks…

…Well, on the plus side: He came home, that's all I care about.

Suddenly my phone beeps again…What the…?

I don't know this number, and it's not someone in my contacts since no name is displayed…But it's another text message.

DIGIMON TAMER KENTA KITAGAWA:

This is an official message from Hypnos Department Head
Yamaki Mitsuo:

I spotted your partner, MarineAngemon, in the city late last night.
What the hell is WRONG with you Tamers? Please, treat your
partner with more dignity and respect in the future. That is the
strangest thing I have ever seen in all my years at Hypnos!

-Yamaki Mitsuo

Er…! Something tells me I might suddenly be competition with Takato as Yamaki-san's FAVORITE Tamer in the whole wide world! Thanks, Hirokazu and Ruki. Thanks!

…I still wonder what he thinks about Taito, though.

MarineAngemon keeps floating around my room as I sit up in bed, doing my best to wake up and recover from the shock of seeing my partner look like a MarineHell'sAngemon. And, amazingly…

"Pa pa pipi popo pipi! Pa pi pipi po pipi po pe~! Pa pa pipi papi pipu pu pipipi! Papapapa PA PA, papapapa!" …He's still singing "I Feel Pretty." Um…I-I won't judge his, um, sense of fashion or beauty, actually, he's…Still kinda…

...Hellraisingly adorable.

But, despite this…

…Next Halloween I still wanna have him dress up as a cute little pink biker!

~Owari~


Ori's Notes:

This one's been in the works for over a year! Seriously, I don't know why but…I just got stuck at the park scene but once I got to the bakery and gave Kenta a little more commentary, I started to have more fun and run with it. The "he was playing dress up with Xiaochun" ending was planned from the start, yes, complete with Ruki's usual gay jokes. I'm not sure if the ending really worked but I wanted to have fun with the idea of Ruki and Hirokazu trying to make MarineAngemon more "manly" for Kenta…But I think that's impossible, like Ruki said in her message.

Also, with Yamaki and the Agumon…Eh, I thought it'd be a fun gag to throw in. And there's another fic I've been working on that has a similar premise with Yamaki, but I ain't tellin' which one!

And to those wondering: Yes, Kenta's gay in this fic. He will always be gay in my fics. Because he's Kenta Kitagawa and I believe he is gay in Tamers canon. Why? I think that has been answered more than a dozen times by Ruki in this fic alone: MarineAngemon is his partner!

Not that I have any problem with an officially gay Digimon human character (I'd freakin' love it if Toei announced it officially!), Kenta's awesome because of it! And Kenta's even more awesome when paired with Takato or Hirokazu (I admit, my favorite of the two is the former but…Hirokazu's more or less his canon boyfriend, they're the only two human leads in any Digimon season to kiss on screen after all! If you don't believe me, watch the Japanese version of episode 26 AKA "Kazu and Kenta's Excellent Adventure" in the dub - It's pretty much their coming out party episode).

Also, as usual, I have too much time on my hands and the title really is accurate MarineAngemonese to Japanese to English. Even though I translated it at the start of the fic, here's a little more in-depth translation guide:

MarineAngemonese: Popu Po Papopa Po Papape!
Japanese: Boku No Paatonaa* Wo Sagase!
English: Searching For My Partner!

* = "Paatonaa" is the literal Japanese spelling for the English word "Partner," as it would be read in katakana (the alphabet used for foreign words). I usually don't go this literal with a katakana spelling (if I did, I'd be referring to the "Digital World" as the "Dejitaru Warudo") but with MarineAngemonese I have to due to how it's structured: Every non-vowel in a word is, obviously, replaced with a P (though his rendition of "I Feel Pretty" is just me making phonetic-ish sounds to the tune using his syntax). And, like I said before, the fact Kenta can understand MarineAngemon based entirely on the order of his vowels is freakin' amazing! Seriously, another reason Kenta's awesome! He's gotta be, like, Digimon Kaiser times Twelve Osamus smart to be able to do that!

Seriously, Kenta's in my top five favorite Digimon Human characters for all seasons, so I had to do a little comedy fic about him and his partner! In fact, I almost named my Lucky Co-Writing Tortoise "Kenta," but…I thought he looked more like a Takato, you know? Plus he loves playing with the goggles I gave him after I adopted him. If I ever get him a friend, though (which is possible), I'll probably name that tortoise "Kenta." Takato and Kenta! A lucky co-writing tortoise…

…And a lucky EDITING TORTOISE!

Just kidding, Taiki, I wouldn't replace you with a reptile. You're too good at editing my fics and running this account. Thanks for all the work you've done for Turtle Week, by the way! I owe you a soda!

Happy Turtle Week, Everyone! Hope you're having as much fun as we are!


Taiki's Notes:

Oh, poor Kenta! I'd have been worried sick if I were him, too! Even if MarineAngemon was mega level, I'd still be a little concerned, at least! And good for Yamaki, he's a Tamer now! And why does it actually make sense that Yamaki would give his partner a proper name instead of just calling it "Agumon?" Granted, I never suspected him as an Adventure fan.

Though, does he like Taito? You can tell me, Yamaki! I won't tell a soul!

And, Ori? Please don't tell me you may one day have two turtles giving you plot advice. Actually, now that I think about it, I see them working more as the little angel and little devil on your shoulder. One tells you to torment Takato and, well, knowing YOU, the other tells you to torment Takato even worse! I'm sure of it!

Or, perhaps, one would say "Torment Takato" while the other says "Torment Kenta!" And I'm sure both will say "Torment Taiki Matsuki by claiming we really talk to you!"

Actually, everyone got off with minimal torment in this fic, especially our dear Goggle Boy! Finally, a Takato-Torment-Free fic!

Happy Ori Lost His Mind And Talks To Turtles Week! Ha ha ha!

-Taiki Matsuki