New Addiction 8

Oh Partner, where art thou?

Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon Tamers

Ai sat in her cell throughout the night, thinking of what she did.  How could she get so messed up and take drugs?  What was her reason for taking them? She knew they were wrong.  And why did Perry take them too? He seemed like the guy who had everything.  Now he was dead.  She tried to deny it.  He couldn't be dead.  Perry was her friend.  Perry was just a kid.  He was someone she saw at school and now, she'd never see him ever again.  That wasn't something she'd wish on anybody.  It wasn't supposed to happen to someone she knew. 

And Impmon…why did he leave?  Would she ever see him again?  Maybe he just left so she wouldn't be scared and now he was at home, waiting for her.  That had to be it.  Ai was going to stop.  She'd do whatever it took to bring her partner back.

Early in the morning, the guard came for her. "You have a visitor."

"Who?" she asked. "MY parents?"

"No," he said. "Your trial wont' be until late this afternoon."

He opened the door and led her to the meeting room. Behind the glass, she saw Suzie. 
"Suzie!" she shouted and sat down in the seat and grabbed the phone.  Suzie picked up the other phone.  "Suzie, thank you for coming. How are you?"

"You're just pretending to be this cheerful, aren't you?" Suzie asked grimly.

"I'm just happy to see a familiar face," Ai said. "I want to go home. Did you hear about Perry?"

"What?"

"He's dead," she said. "Mako told me yesterday. Didn't he tell you?"

"He's not speaking to me right now," Suzie muttered.

"Why?"

"Because I told him that I knew," Suzie said, "He got so angry."

"He'll get over it," Ai insisted, "My brother really feels for you.  I shouldn't have told you not to tell anyone.  I was just scared."

"I thought you'd quit."

"I was," Ai said, "but then Perry called me and talked me into going to the party. He wouldn't' take no for an answer and I wanted to see him again.  Now…he's gone…I just can't believe it.  I'm still in shock."

Suzie didn't comment.

"Aren't you?" Ai questioned.

"Drugs kill people, Ai," Suzie said. "It was just a matter of time."

Ai gasped, "Suzie! How could you say something like that?  Perry was my friend!"

"Perry was a drug user," Suzie said, "If it wasn't going to be a car, it would've been an overdose or something else."

"I know that Perry might have not been the most perfect guy in the world," Ai said, "but please try to have some respect.  Someone in our school has died from drugs.  How could you be so emotionless?"

"I'm not!" Suzie hissed.  "I feel bad.  It's going to be so weird not seeing someone at school anymore."

"Perry was my friend," Ai said, "and maybe he would've quit."

"NO he wouldn't.  He was addicted."

"If he got some help."  She sighed. "Oh, I don't want to talk about this.  You obviously don't' care about anyone but yourself."

"That's not true, Ai."

"I just hope I get out of here soon enough for his funeral," Ai said.  "Have you seen Beelzemon?"

"No."

"You heard, though, right?"

"Yes, I'm sorry," Suzie said. 

"Suzie, I need you to do me a favor," Ai said.

"What is it?"

"Find Beelzemon for me."

"How?" she asked.

"You've got a digimon," Ai reminded, "take Lopmon out to look for him. It was because of me he left in the first place and now he's left again.  I want my partner back.  Please, Suzie, I'm begging you. Find Beelzemon.  You've got to find him. He's out there somewhere and he's all alone!"

"He could be anywhere," Suzie said, "and if he doesn't have enough energy he might have de-digivolved to Impmon."

"Get your brother and his friends to help," Ai pleaded.  "You've got to find him."

"All right," Suzie nodded. "I'll go get Lopmon. She's kind of upset, because, well, she kind of likes him.  I bet she misses him almost as much as you do."

Ai chuckled. Suzie smiled. Ai became serious again.

"Please find my partner," she said. 

"I'll do my best, Ai," Suzie promised. "Just hang in there, all right?"

Ai nodded and put her hand on the glass. Suzie put her hand over hers. 

"You're the best, Suzie."

They hung up and the guard took Ai back. Ai waved sadly as Suzie left the seat. She'll beg for Mako's forgiveness later.  She had to find Impmon.  She told her brother to call all his friends to bring them to the park to meet. Though she didn't have a digimon partner, Jeri came anyway, with a little bag in her hand.

"What's that for?" Guilimon asked, "It sure smells good!"

"Guilmon," Takato said, "you just ate."

"It's for Impmon," Jeri said.  "I bet he's hungry."

"Didn't we do this once before?" Rika questioned.

"Come on, Rika," Terriermon said, "what could be more fun than a search and rescue mission?"

Ruki moaned. 

"We might find Impmon sooner if we split up," Henry suggested. "Let's go."

"Right!"

The tamers all split up in different directions to search for Impmon.  Suzie made Lopmon digivolve to Antillamon and she sat on her shoulder as a look out.

"Maybe he's on the rooftops," Suzie said. 

Guilmon checked his little hideout, "well, he's not here," Guilmon told Takato, sniffing.  "And the portal to the digiworld is closed."

"He couldn't have gone back, could he?" Takato asked.

"I don't' think so," Guilmon said.

Renamon jumped around, phased from place to place but she sensed no presence of Impmon anywhere.

"Where could he be?" Rika muttered under her breath.

None of the tamers had luck.  Jeri walked around, checking dumpsters and calling for Impmon.  Remembering Leomon's death, she sighed.  He had something to her that she didn't quite understand at that moment. 

"Part of me will always be with you."

That's what she heard when her mother died.  Jeri felt so alone without Leomon.  She wished Beelzemon didn't kill him. She wished she had done something to stop it before things got ugly.  Now, she realized what Leomon meant when he said part of him would always be with her.  After he was deleted, his data faded up and Beelzemon took it.  Then when Juri was trapped inside the D-Reaper, she thought she saw Leomon, but it was actually Beelzemon trying to save her.  Beelzemon had Leomon's data inside him.  Beelzemon did his Leomon's special attack to save her.  It made sense now.  The data was the part of him that Leomon talked about.  He probably didn't mean for Beelzemon to take his data, maybe some other digimon, but now, Beelzemon had his data.  It was the closest she got to have Leomon back.  If she found Beelzemon, she'd find Leomon too.

"I've just got to find him," Juri said, running down into a subway, "If he's gone, then Leomon's gone."

She searched everywhere, the tracks, the garbage bags, everything. She walked all around the subway.  Feeling hopeless, she stopped.

"Oh, we'll never find him," she muttered.  She turned to go back out of the subway when she heard talking inside the wall.  "Huh?"  She put her ear to the wall and walked deeper down the subway. She found an empty pipe, got on her knees and crawled inside. "Hello? Anyone in here?  Ew…yuck…"

She crawled closer to the sound. "Impmon? Are you in here?"

Up ahead, she found a small purple digimon.

"Impmon! We've been so worried about you!"

"What are you doing here?" he asked. "How'd you find me?"

"Ai asked us to help look for you," she said.

"Where is she?" he asked.

"She's in jail."

"The slammer?"

"That's one way of putting it. Why don't' you come with us to see her? She'll be getting out today?"

"I don't know," Impmon said. "She was so afraid of me."

"Only because she didn't recognize you, Impmon," Jeri explained.

Impmon sniffed, "hey, what's in the bag? Is that for me?"

"Mmm-hmm," Juri opened the bag and took out a milkshake and fries.  "I thought you'd be hungry."

"Oh, gimmie, gimmie!" he cried.  Jeri laughed as he sucked on the milkshake and pushed fries into his mouth.  "I lost the energy to digivolve."

"Impmon, you want to go home? Mako and Ai are worried about you."

"I'll be all right." He said.

"Will you be coming back?"

Impmon shook his head.  "If I go back, something might happen to cause me to leave again."

"Impmon, Ai was high on LSD."

"Huh?"

"It's a hallucinogen."

"Halli-wha?"

"A drug that makes you see things that aren't real. So instead of seeing you, Ai saw something else.  Something scary."

"I know I look kind of scary as Beelzemon," he mumbled.  "But I'm not that bad--well, I was when I---"

"You don't need to talk about that anymore, Impmon.  It's over.  Look, you've got Leomon's data, so you're like my partner too."

"Really?" he asked before eating a fry.

"Yes. Leomon was my partner and before he died he said a part of him will be with me.  You came to save me and you used his Fist of the Beast King attack to get me.  That's why I thought you were Leomon at first and I didn't understand why you were trying to save me.  I understand because when you absorbed Leomon's data, you became like him.  He wanted to protect me and be my partner, so naturally, you did too when I was inside the D-Reaper."

"I never thought of it that way," Impmon said.

"You're not planning on staying ehre, do you?" Jeri asked. "Not as good as home."

"Jeri, I cant' leave now," Impmon said, "but maybe I'll go back soon.  I don't wanna see Ai behind bars."

"Okay. She makes bail today.  You can wait for her at home. That will be the best welcome home present!"

"I need a bit of time, though," Impmon said.  "Don't tell the others where you found me.  When I come back, I want it to be a surprise."

"You want me to lie?"

"No. Just tell them I'm all right if they ask." He said. "And thanks for the milskahke and fries."

"You're welcome, Impmon."  Jeri scooted out of the drainpipe. "Goodbye."

About an hour later, the tamers met again in the park.  None of them had any luck. 

"Hey, did you find him, Jeri?" Takato asked.

"What?"

"The bag's gone," he said.  "Did you find Impmon?"

"Yes," she replied, "but he didn't want to come back yet. He wanted to surprise Ai."

"Is he okay?" Suzie asked.

"I think so," Jeri said.

"What should we tell, Ai?" Jenrya asked.

"We'll just tell her we couldn't find him," Suzie said.  "Impmon will come back on his own."

***

When Suzie told Ai she couldn't' find Impmon, she found it hard to believe.  But Shinguku was a big city. He could be anywhere. After her trial, she was sent back home, with 24 hours of community service. 

"Are you glad to be coming back home, sis?" Mako asked in the car.

"Yeah," she replied sadly, 'but what's the point if Impmon won't be there to welcome me?'

"Tomorrow is Perry's funeral," Mako informed. "If you don't wanna go--"

"I want to go," she said, "Perry was my friend."

They got to their home and Ai looked over the living room. Impmon was nowhere to be found. The place was so empty without him. "I'm tired," Ai yawned.  "I think I'll take a nap."

"Okay," her mom said.

Ai walked down the hall to her room and opened the door.   Before she fell on her bed, she saw something there.   It was Impmon, holding one flower, which he might have gotten from someone's flower patch.

"Welcome home, Ai." He said.

Ai gasped.  "Impmon!  You're here!"

"Ah, you know I can't stay away from this place," he said.  "The food's good here."

Ai laughed and picked her partner up in a big hug.  "When my friends said the couldn't find you, I thought you were gone for good!"

"I just wanted to surprise ya," he said.

"Please never leave again," she sobbed.

"Now whatever gave you that idea?"

"I'm so sorry I made you leave." She said.  "I'll stop drugs for good. I promise!"

"And I promise I'll never go away again," he said.  "No matter how scary I get!"

***

The family went to Perry's funeral. There weren't a lot of people there.  She was surprised to see Chip there.

"Chip, what are you doing here?" Ai asked.

"Well, the guy was my friend too," Chip admitted, "before he got all messed up. He played a good game of soccer."

"Whatever made him start?"

"I don't know," Chip replied.

"Chip, I owe you an apology," she said.

"Hey, you don't owe me anything."

"Yeah I do.  You tried to get me to quit and I didn't listen to you.  I'm sorry."  Ai said. 

"Apology accepted," he said, "but you really didn't have to apologize."

She smiled and walked over to pay her respects at Perry's casket.  Suzie and Mako were nearby talking.

"I know I should've said something," Suzie said, "I'm sorry, Mako. Are you still mad at me."
"You? No. I was mad at what you did," Mako said.  "But I'm glad she's all right."

"Yeah, me too," Suzie said.

"I didn't mean to get angry," Mako said.  "I'm sorry too."

The two embraced.  Mako sad Chip about to leave.  "Wait a minute…" Mako said.
"What?" Suzie asked.

"I got a call from someone who know here to find Ai," he said, "his voice sounded kind of familiar.  Hey--Honda!"

Chip flinched.  'Oh man, why does everyone want a piece of me?' he thought.  "Yeah?" he turned around and Mako hurried to him.

"It was you," Mako said.

"What?"

"You were the one who made the call," Mako said.  "At that old factory place. You knew where Ai was.  It was you, wasn't it?"

Chip put his hands in his pockets, "Yeah.  That was me.  I knew she went to the party that other time and I tried to stop her.  I called your home and when you said she wasn't there, I knew where she was."

"That was you?"

"Yeah. So I went to the party to stop her.  Got there before the cops did so she didn't' get caught."

"Wow," Suzie said, "you saved my best friend's life, Chip! Thank you!"

Chip blushed. "Yeah…well, I didn't want to see her get in trouble."

"You really are a nice guy," Suzie said.

"I am now," Chip said.  "Because of you."

Suzie almost fell for Chip all over again.  She smiled and pecked his cheek.  "You have no idea how much I'd wanted to do that."

Chip put his hand to his cheek and smiled.  "Sorry for the trouble I've caused."

"Hey, don't' worry about that." She said. "I'll get you some cookies to make up for the ones I didn't get the chance to give you."

"Thanks."

****

After walking away from Perry's graveside service, Ai let the tears fall.  'At least he's not taking them anymore. I just wish…there was a different way.' She wiped the tears away, hoping no one was watching her.  But someone did.  She saw a familiar shadow on the ground and looked up to see Beelzemon flying.

"Beelzemon," she whispered.

Beelzemon landed and opened his arms and wings out to her.  "I'm still here, Ai."

Ai cried all the harder as she ran to her partner.  "Beelzemon!"  In a moment not too soon, she was cradled in his arms and his wings folded around her. 

"I'm always here," Beelzemon said.  "And don't ya forget it!"

"Never," she whispered between sobs, crying onto his chest. 

Perry might be gone, but she knew that Beelzemon would always be there.  He left because he loved her, and returned for the same reason and it was love that was going to keep him from leaving again.

The End

::taking out a tissue:: oh that's sweet!  I didn't mean to make this so emotional for ya, but I made it a happy ending after all the angst.  I wish I had a partner like Beelzemon.  He's such a stud. Anyway, this fanfic is dedicated to anyone who had a drug problem or knew someone with one.

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