Tamer Tamed: The journey
Part 3
by Christian "Sid" Lang

"Oh Ruuuuukiiiiiii..." she can hear her mother's voice.
Ruki yawns and blinks. She sits up and does her usual quick check to see if-
"Holy... Renamon! Renamon!" she hisses and shakes the Digimon lying next to her.
She agreed that Renamon should be allowed to sleep in here, being her Digimon and all.
But she only did so because Renamon has vowed to stay alert.
The last thing she needs is her mother finding Renamon in her room.
So far, Renamon has always disappeared when her mother called.
This time however, the vulpine warrior doesn't even wake up.
"Renamon! Darn..." Ruki curses, trying to figure out an emergency plan.
She'd have to hide the sleeping Renamon somehow...

Yamaki stretches his arms and yawns. Home is one of the few places where he can relax a bit.
And breakfast is one of the few times he is left undisturbed. Most of the times at least.
Using more swear words than necessary, Yamaki drops his sandwich and grabs the receiver.
"If you're not Reika, pray that it's urgent." he snarls before realizing how that must sound.
That sounded so sweet... Reika giggles and Yamaki sighs quietly.
"What is it, Reika?" he asks, sounding much more relaxed again.
With one hand he picks up his sandwich and takes a bite.
Errmmm... well... I just wanted to tell you that you have an appointment today.
"Hm?" Yamaki asks, chewing busily.
With... the Doc. He wanted-
Yamaki doesn't hear the last part of the sentence because he is busy coughing up his sandwich again.
"The Doc? WHY?" he finally shouts, still rubbing his neck.
Well, you may be surprised to hear it, but there are people who care about your health.
"I am feeling fine, Reika!"
Your appointment's at eight. See you later then!
"B-But I'm- Hello? Reika? HELLO?"
This just isn't my day. Yamaki thinks, watching the receiver sail towards the next wall.

"Good morning, Ruki-chan!"
"Good morning!" Ruki says, giving her mother her best faked smile she can muster.
"Ruki? What are all your clothes doing on the floor?"
Her mother steps inside, looking at the enormous pile of clothing.
"I'm... well... sorting some things out!" Ruki lies.
The young Tamer gasps when her mother suddenly hugs her.
"I'm so proud of you! You finally want to get rid of some of your tomboy things!"
Renamon, you will pay for this.
"Errr... Yeah... sort of... we'll talk about it, okay?" she answers.
"Sure thing, honey... See you in the kitchen!"

When her mother has danced out of the room, Ruki sighs and shakes her head.
Then she shoves away the clothes that kept Renamon hidden so far.
Ruki growls when she sees that Renamon smiles, using the clothes like a blanket.
A sharp slap across the muzzle makes the sleeping Digimon yelp.
"Who? What? Ruki?" Renamon asks, looking up at her angry Tamer.
Ruki is about to deliver the speech of the century when she sees her Digimon's face.
My God... She looks as if she hasn't had any sleep tonight...
"Are you... all right, Renamon?" she whispers, stroking the fox's head.
"I've been worrying about you... you cried in your sleep..."
Before Ruki can answer anything, Renamon holds up one paw.
"Just go... I'll be with you once I've had some sleep..."
Ruki nods and strokes Renamon's head a last time before leaving.

"So you made it?" Guilmon asks and smiles.
"Well, I think so..." Beelzebumon answers and shrugs.
"Then let's-" Guilmon starts to cheer, but Renamon holds up her paw.
"Wait. You think so? What's that supposed to mean?" she hisses.
The huge Digimon scientist shrugs again and points at the huge machine.
"Well... inter-dimensional travel isn't really a subject you find books about."
Renamon gives him a skeptic look, and Beelzebumon groans.
"Okay. I have no clue if this thing brings you to that kid or not." he finally admits.
Before Renamon can laugh, he holds up his enormous hand.
"I've done what I can. If you want to chicken out, there's the door." he tells her.
Ruki sighs, knowing that Renamon's pride will triumph over her doubts.

"I'm sorry, Ruki." Renamon whispers, walking next to Ruki.
The Digimon is of course invisible, but Ruki knows she's there.
"No. You were worried about me. And..." she whispers, her voice trailing off.
She looks at the park where Renamon usually trains. It's also Guilmon's home.
Normally she would simply walk past it, but somehow she feels drawn to it today.
Am I freaking out again? she asks herself.
Then she notices Renamon's curious look. The Digimon is now visible and standing in a dark alley.
"Ruki? Is something wrong?" her vulpine guardian asks.
She hesitates, trying to find out why she wants to go to the park. Finally she sighs.
"We'll go into the park." she whispers and starts to walk.

"So... This is your home?" Terriermon asks, taking a look around.
"Less civilization than I expected." Renamon adds and smirks.
"It's a forest in a park, silly!" Takato laughs just before remembering who is laughing at.
Renamon snarls her disgust, but doesn't dare to threaten the boy more.
The boy had beaten up her Ruki and it had taken the girl a complete day to recover.
Renamon shudders when she imagines what such a killer could do with a Digimon.
Of course Ruki would protect her. It's her duty after all. Sort of...
"Terriermon, can we please visit our families? Pretty please?" Lee begs.
"Yeah, that'd be so nice, Guil!" Takato cheers.
"Heh... I guess you can go." Guilmon says and nods at Takato.
"We'll wait here and try to think of a plan." Terriermon adds.
Renamon sees Ruki look up at her and growls.
"Maybe. But first get us something edible. This travelling made me hungry." she whispers.
Ruki sighs, but nods. Shaking her head, the girl walks away, looking for something to eat.
"Wasn't that a bit harsh, Renamon?" Terriermon asks and frowns.
"Pah. What do you know about taming humans, hm?" Renamon snarls back.

Renamon is a skilled Digimon with more talents than her Tamer can imagine.
She can sing, she has artistic skills, she can even juggle and tap-dance.
But she never learned the fine art of... smalltalk.
On the other hand, she does a great job at staring mysteriously. And so she does.
Ruki is just sitting under a tree, looking at something Renamon can't see.
Maybe she is insane. What if she just snaps and runs amok?
Renamon's purpose here is to help Ruki. But she couldn't let her hurt anybody.
Could I? I mean... I kill Digimon... so she could... no no no! Don't even think about it!
The Digimon stands up and shakes her head, trying not to think of her dilemma.
"Renamon, is there a Digital field or something?" Ruki asks, looking up.
"No... I just... I'll get something to eat... You barely touched your breakfast."
Ruki blinks, then smiles and nods.

"Oh boy! This is gonna be great! Great!" Lee cheers while dancing around Takato.
"You say it! Too bad this is only a short visit..."
"So what? We'll enjoy it while we can!"
Takato smiles and shrugs as he is walking down the street with Lee orbiting around him.
"But I pity Ruki..." Takato suddenly whispers.
Lee stops dancing around and becomes serious again. Both boys are silent for some moments.
"I sometimes wonder how she would be without her cruel Tamer." Lee ponders.
"Beats me. Maybe she wouldn't act like a freak sometimes?" Takato asks and shrugs.
"Maybe. But I somehow doubt it..."
Takato frowns and looks at his friend. Lee only smirks and shrugs.
"Call it a feeling. Or a dream. But I think Ruki would still be a tomboy..."

"Those look tasty!" Renamon tries to convince herself.
She gives the apples a look. Then she sighs and snarls at the apple.
"I'm a carnivore! I don't eat stupid apples!" she hisses.
Still, she gathers more of them, knowing that Ruki likes them.
And the Tamer had told her not to hurt "Mother Natures tiny friends".
Okay, so that vole didn't look that tasty when Ruki had found it, but still...
So Renamon gathers apples, knowing how ridiculous she must lo-
"GOT YOU!" Ruki screams, flying out of a nearby bush.
The fox gasps in surprise. But not her Tamer's presence surprises her. At least... not that much.
Renamon blinks. She would rub her eyes if she had a free paw.
Ruki kneels on the ground, pinning down a squirrel with one hand.
The other hand is raised above her head, ready to deliver the final strike.
"Ruki...?" she asks, making the girl freeze.

I wonder where Renamon went. Ruki muses, wandering through the small forest.
She decided that a short trip through the forest would help her relax.
The young Tamer smiles when she hears familiar voices from a clearing nearby.
It's Renamon. And it looks as if she has found Guilmon and Terriermon, too!
Of course Ruki doesn't really see the other two Digimon as friends or something like this.
But they might make her think of something besides her own problems.
Allowing herself a brief smile, she enters the clearing and raises her hand.
"Hey, guys! How are you?" she greets the three Digimon.
She freezes when she sees Renamon's grim look. The Digimon seems to be looking for something.
"You... FORGOT IT?" the fox suddenly shouts, making Ruki jump.
What the...? Renamon seems to be angry... And those two idiotic Digimon are watching!
Before she can answer anything, Renamon walks over to her, looking very angry.
"Has this place distracted you THAT MUCH?" the Digimon snaps.
"Renamon, what are-" Ruki manages to say before Renamon's paw sends her down.
It has only been a weak and light slap, but it told Ruki more than necessary.
That DOES IT! she thinks, rubbing her burning cheek.

"R-Renamon?" Ruki whispers, and Renamon can see that her Tamer is surprised and... afraid?
The vulpine Digimon is not sure what to say. In fact, she is fighting an inner battle herself.
One part of her wants to teach Ruki to respect the smaller and weaker animals.
Another part however wants to offer the girl a fair 50/50 bargain.
It's not that much, but I'll take what I can- Oh boy... What am I thinking?
Renamon blinks and tries to smile while approaching the cowering girl.
"Ruki... why don't you just... let the squirrel go?" she asks.
"Oh... Isn't it good enough for you?" Ruki asks, holding the struggling squirrel up.
The fox can feel her mouth water in anticipation. It would be so easy... so... wrong.
"Oh, it's... nice. Well... Why don't we just trade?" Renamon offers.
"You get these apples and I take the squirrel, okay?" she continues when Ruki cocks her head.
"I... I... thanks, Renamon... this is so kind..." Ruki stammers and takes the apples.
Renamon is surprised when she witnesses Ruki's agility.
The girl manages to take all the apples while still holding the squirrel in one hand.
Maybe mentally unstable persons are more skilled than others... she muses.
"Thanks, Renamon! I always knew you are a nice Digimon!" Ruki whispers and runs away.
Renamon frowns, watching her Tamer leave. Then she looks down at the squirrel.
"Today must be your lucky day." she mutters and lets the little animal go.

"Stand up, you lazy girl." Renamon sneers at the cursing Ruki.
Is that how she thanks me for being nice? Ruki asks herself, standing up slowly.
Well, time to remind her who is the boss then!
With a furious scream, Ruki turns to face Renamon. Then she rams her knee into the fox's stomach.
Renamon grunts in surprise... and collapses.
Now what? She can take harder hits without going down!
The vulpine Digimon coughs wildly, holding her stomach.
"See? That happens to everybody who treats me like that!" Ruki shouts.
"Wait! You good-for-nothing, treacherous-" Renamon starts to snarl.
However, a kick into the Digimon's side takes quick care of the verbal assault.
"This isn't over!" Ruki shouts as she marches away from the clearing.
I'll make her pay! This has just been the beginning! Ruki silently vows.

In another part of the city, an enthusiastic blue-haired boy smiles.
"I'm... home..." he whispers and looks at the tall building in front of him.

Inside the building, another blue-haired boy lazily watches TV.
"I wonder if your dream has been a vision of some kind..." he tells his partner.
"Dunno. You worry too much!" his partner cheers.