Okay, it's finally ready!
I've had this story on the drawing board for a long time now. It follows the same continuity as my previous story, Dark Waters. I guess you could call it a sequel...though it really isn't a plot-driven story. Personally, it's just a creative outlet featuring the "adventure-of-the-week (or however long there is between updates)" while I get back into fanfiction mood.
Before you dive in, I recommend you read the aforementioned story Dark Waters. Enjoy!
If You Want Me To
"TK…what's the matter?"
The sudden question was almost lost in the silence, nearly unheard by the boy lying splayed out on the couch. He was on his back, one arm resting upon his forehead, the other hanging off the edge of the cushions. He was staring at the ceiling in that moment; images of crowded streets and flashing signs were the only things he saw. Hundreds of people were walking and talking, but he couldn't hear what they said. The words of the thousands of signs and banners and screens were all foreign.
He was daydreaming again, TK realized. The words his companion, Patamon, uttered filtered through his mind and finally registered.
"It's nothing, really," he replied softly.
"Really? Last time you said that, we… Well…yeah." The digimon frowned at himself. His words triggered another set of images to run across the boy's vision, these ones far more unpleasant and even more so foreign. More foreign…and yet, more familiar. The boy's face changed ever so slightly as an old ache began to spread through his chest. He shut his eyes in an attempt to rid himself of the images. There is no need to feel such pain at the moment. TK shot his partner a reassuring smile.
"I mean it this time. It's nothing. I'm just nervous about going to America."
"What's there to be nervous about?" Patamon replied. "It's just another country you get to brag about going to, ya know? First France, now America!"
"I guess so. But I don't know much about the place other than some English words."
"You probably didn't know any more about France when you went," the digimon countered. "Come on. It'll be fun! You're going to New York. You can catch up with Mimi and maybe even Willis. He knows Japanese, right?"
"Sure he does, but New York City's a big place. I doubt we'll just run into them."
Patamon frowned again, and fluttered up so that he could look his partner in the eye. "You need to loosen up. You're not going for another year, ya know. Come on," the digimon said, flapping over to the door to the apartment. "Let's go for a walk."
The blond boy shifted again to take a glance out the window. He smirked and gave an audible chuckle. "Patamon, it's raining. I'm not going out in that."
"Oh. Well…do you have your D-3?"
TK's hand instinctively felt his belt for the digivice, even though he remembered he had set it on the table next to the couch. "Yeah, I do."
"Is the computer working?"
It was obvious what the digimon was hinting at, but the boy, feeling too lazy in his current position to get up, decided to mess with Patamon for an extra moment. He only gave a short reply. "Yeah."
"What are we waiting for then?"
Patamon huffed in reply. "Aw, don't be like that."
TK smiled and relented, lifting his head off the armrest of the couch. "Oh, alright."
He scooped his digivice up on the way to his room, followed by an eager Patamon.
"You know how long it's been since we've visited the DigiWorld?"
"Yeah," TK replied again, and then added sarcastically. "A whole two days."
"Exactly," Patamon continued unfazed. "Hurry up with the digiport!"
"Okay, okay, calm down," the boy said with a laugh as he held up his D3. "Digiport open."
In the next instant, they were through, and paused in an attempt to get their bearings. The gate had dropped them in a beautiful meadow bordered by a lush forest. A clear, sparkling stream ran through it all.
Taking a deep breath of the fresh air, TK glanced up at Patamon. "Where to, buddy?"
Hovering nearby, the digimon pointed toward the creek. "How about following that a ways?"
"Fine by me," the boy said, walking after Patamon as he flew over towards the creek. The silence was soothing to them, and they revelled in the peace and quiet as they walked on. Patamon began to gain a lead on TK, hovering on ahead.
The boy's attention eventually fell upon the bright, running waters of the stream, watching the little waves and ripples as he walked along the bank. They were in a mountainous region, telling from the dark, stony landscape where the grass and trees were lacking, such as the riverbed. The rocks looked like obsidian at first glance, being they were so black. TK stared long at the water, long enough that the colour of the bedrock began to meld with the texture of the liquid. In a second, all he could see was a swimming black mass. Dark waters.
Old, unwelcome memories flood his mind, his heart quickened its beating, and a feeling of discomfort spread through his body. TK tore his gaze away from the stream and forced himself to focus on the meadow and its verdant colour. It was hard not to think about the Dark World, but at the same time, even thinking about it at all brought pain. TK felt another twinge in his chest, and he stretched his arms to try and bring relief. Ahead, Patamon continued his happy fluttering, oblivious to his partner's discomfort. The boy grabbed his left shoulder with his right hand, and let all the weight of his arm fall on it. The manoeuvre consistently eased the sting, though there was always a small ache still remaining. TK's face held a grimace as he gazed across the meadow.
The blond realized Patamon had called to him from ahead. Neither boy nor digimon had known how far TK had fallen behind. Patamon flew back to the boy with a concerned look on his small round face.
"I'm sorry, TK. Are you up to this?"
TK didn't want to ruin this outing for his digimon, and shook out the dark memories from his mind once more. "I'm good. Just spaced out for a bit."
Patamon looked at him in scepticism and disbelief, but before he could voice his concerns, a new voice interjected.
The speaker was on the opposite side of the shallow brook. It was a friendly Elecmon, greeting them with a beaming face. TK smiled in return, remembering his first encounter with the old digimon.
"Elecmon!" The boy called to him. "Long time no see."
"Likewise," the rookie replied. "You're just the two I wanted to see, actually."
"What's up?" Patamon asked casually as they made their way across the brook towards Elecmon.
"Well, it's quite strange, but there's something I want to show you."
He turned and led the two off towards the forest. TK ventured a question. "Anything to do with Primary Village?"
"Yes, now that you mention it. I know you already have a partner, TK, but that makes this all the stranger. Come and see."
There wasn't a problem apparently, telling from the coolness of Elecmon's attitude. Maybe there was a Poyomon in need of finding his partner. TK wondered how it could all tie in with Patamon and himself. They followed the old digimon out of pure curiosity. Shortly, a clearing opened up before them where the village was built. Nap time for the babies had probably just ended, for the whole of Primary Village was filled with hyper, fresh digimon.
"This way, boys." Elecmon came to say. The boy and his partner continued after him as he walked into the main nursery building. He explained the situation as he looked around. "So, normally digimon of this type are the troublemakers. Mischievous little Pagumon. But this one fella, wherever he is, asked for you by name, TK." Elecmon called out loud for the digimon in question, "Pagumon! I've found TK!"
That's all that was needed. The boy heard a happy shout come from one of the rooms down a nearby hallway. They followed it, the D-3 on TK's belt beginning to vibrate as they did so. The boy glanced down at it quickly. A glowing aura had surrounded it, and at the same moment, a light shone out from one of the rooms ahead.
"Pagumon digivolve to…Tsukaimon!"
TK let out a gasp. Tsukaimon! Did he hear that right? He hurried down the hall to the room where the light had come from. The boy's hand had no sooner caught the doorjamb than out came barrelling the purple digimon. He laughed at the ecstasy of the digimon, surprised at this new behaviour. He had never imagined Tsukaimon could look so happy.
"You did it again! You did it, Takeru! I digivolved again!"
Chuckling again, TK reached out and quickly grabbed him out of the air in a short embrace. The digimon squirmed away and continued his excited flapping about the hall.
"Maybe it really is true then," Tsukaimon said, elated to the point of thinking out loud. "You know what this means, Takeru?"
"TK," the boy corrected him with a smile, which seemed to surprise him.
"I can call you that?" Tsukaimon asked.
TK laughed again. "Why not? I know what you're thinking, and I agree. We're partners."
No one spoke for a moment as Tsukaimon paused to let the statement sink in. All he managed to give was a short smile.
"So now what?" Tsukaimon asked.
"Well… I could take you to my place."
"In the Real World? The Human World?" Tsukaimon exclaimed as his face lit up. TK realized the purple digimon must have never been there before. It was obvious he was more than excited about the idea.
"Yeah, why not? Patamon stays with me."
"But I'm not Patamon," the rookie stated, sobering. "I don't deserve to get what he does."
"I don't care if you deserve it or not," TK replied brightly. "I want to have you around."
Patamon ventured, "Me too."
The simple remark caught his virus counterpart completely off guard. Tsukaimon stared at the orange digimon incredulously. "You do?"
"You sacrificed yourself for TK. How can we not be friends, at least?"
There was no further discussion, and, after thanking old Elecmon, the threesome began the short journey back home.
"You glad we came now, TK?" Patamon asked in an attempt to strike up conversation.
The boy chuckled, "Sure am. I can't tell you how great this is, Tsukaimon."
"What made you come in the first place?" The purple rookie slowly asked.
"We were bored," Patamon plainly stated. "It's raining in the human world and we wanted to get away."
"In other words," TK inserted. "Patamon needed some exercise."
The orange digimon's face darkened into a scowl. "Did not! You were the one lazing away on the couch, remember?"
"I was just kidding," the boy said with a bright laugh. He turned to look at the other rookie, and his face took on a more serious expression. "So, Tsukaimon... Are you okay?"
"TK," the purple digimon replied, equally solemn. "I have you to thank for my rebirth. When you asked me that day if I would return, I didn't have time to tell you.
"I came back because you wanted me to."
Time froze as the boy registered that last phrase. A child's wish had so much influence on the lives of digimon. It would never fail to prove to him that miracles will never grow old.
TK replied with a beaming smile, "You are more than welcome to come back."
Tsukaimon gave a small grin, and let out a satisfied sigh as the trio finally reached the TV gate. As he held up his D3 to open the portal, TK shot his new partner a final glance. "Brace yourself, buddy."
And so it begins...
Feedback appreciated, as always!