Digimon Fan Fiction / Pokemon Fan Fiction / Pokemon Fan Fiction / Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Tenchi Muyo Fan Fiction ❯ Kouseki no Izou ❯ So What Happens Now? ( Chapter 3 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
3: So What Happens Now?
Koushiro's eyes slowly opened, and he found himself staring into Hikari's worry-stricken face. "Nani?" he muttered weakly. "Hikari-chan?"
She sighed, relieved, and straightened. "You're finally awake."
"Uhh... hai, I guess," Koushiro said, sitting up. He cocked his head and stared at her. "You were there the whole time?"
"Hai." Hikari shivered. "You were acting... very strange..."
Koushiro stared at the ground, analyzing the situation. A storm was raging overhead, and he was sitting in a dark Tokyo alley, soaking wet and covered in mud, with no real idea of where he was. He had just woken up from an extremely frightening dream to find that his shin'yuu's imoutochan waiting for him. In all, this had been the strangest night of his life. "Hikari-chan," he said in a hoarse voice, "Do you think we're getting into something again?"
Hikari sighed. "Hai. I bet we are."
Koushiro bit his lip. "Do you know where Tai-kun and Yama-kun are?"
Hikari hesitated. "Well... last I knew, they were still at the apartment..." She didn't want to add that they might be out looking for them.
Koushiro nodded slowly, still trying to figure things out, when an intense wave of nausea swept him, and a pain burned brightly in his chest. "Itai," he hissed. "Kusokusokuso..."
"Nani?" Hikari stared at him. "Koushiro-kun, what's the matter?"
"I- dunno- hurts-"
"Hello," A voice said softly in his ear. Koushiro jumped, and winced. A little girl, not more than twelve years old, sat to his right, staring at him inquisitively. She had enormous green eyes that were, in short, very frightening. "Who're you?" He asked quietly.
"Kobayashi Washu," she answered, just as quietly. "We've come for you, Koushiro-san." She tensed, and a confused look came over her face.
Koushiro stared her in the eye. "How do you know my name?"
"I... I don't know..." A voice, like a deep part of her past she had forgotten long ago, came back to her... Koushiro... so young, yet her held so much pain... that was what had drawn her to him first, her pity...
"Washu-san?" Kasumi laid her hand on Washu's shoulder. The scientist jerked, then turned to smile distractedly at her. "Hai, Kasumi-san?"
"I... do you know what's wrong with Satoshi-kun?"
Washu frowned and glanced over her shoulder. Hikari, who was, by now, quite used to odd things happening on intervals, looked around her to follow her gaze. A sixteen-year-old boy, hidden by shadows, stood by the entrance to the alley, staring blindly into the rain-soaked streets.
"It had something to do with that girl, didn't it?" the girl named Kasumi continued worriedly.
"Hotaru?" Hikari gasped, and whirled around. A blonde with a red bow in her mud-streaked hair was crouched right next to her. She wasn't looking at Hikari, though; more at the red-haired girl. Kasumi nodded. "Hai..."
Satoshi glanced back at them, then turned back to the empty streets, his eyes narrowing. Hotaru...
"Why are you here?" asked Hotaru softly. Satoshi pulled her to her feet, and said, slowly, "I... don't know. It should have happened before, though..."
"Two years ago," Hotaru said, nodding. A frown twisted her face, and she gazed into his eyes. "What has happened to you, though?"
He couldn't describe the feeling he had felt when he saw her for the first time. It was like seeing someone he hadn't seen for years... but, somehow, he knew he had never seen her before. He sighed, and turned around, right before stopping dead at the sight of Koushiro. Oh, great. Not again.
Koushiro stared back, almost coolly, studying the other boy. Satoshi trudged over to the rest of them, his eyes still on Koushiro. "Washu-san... is there anywhere else we need to go on this insane rendezvous?"
"My thoughts exactly," Minako said, rubbing her eyes. "I need sleep. And food. And warm clothes."
"So do we all," Washu said cheerfully. "And if we all develop pneumonia and die, then blame it on me." She thought for a moment, then said, "Hai, there's one more stop. And we can drop Hikari off there as well..."
"Nani?" Hikari blinked. "Oh- hai-"
"Everyone hold on," Washu said grimly. "This might make you slightly nauseous..."
Kasumi raised an eyebrow. "And that would mean-"
She got no chance to finish, as the ground had suddenly opened and swallowed all of them up in one gulp.
"Feeling better, Takeru-kun?" Iori took the bowl that had previously been filled with soup from his friend, and returned to his spot next to him on the couch.
The flaxen-haired boy nodded, and sighed. "I think all I needed was warmth and food." Takeru didn't look so washed out now that he had mostly dried, although he was still rather pale.
They were both silent for a moment, then Iori said, in a small voice, "I wonder how Daisuke-kun's doing..."
Takeru bit his lip. "I don't know... damn, this is all my fault! If he weren't trying to help me he wouldn't be so sick!"
"It's not your fault," Iori said shortly. "It's this baka storm." He stared out of the window. It was one in the morning, and his mother would have had a fit, had she been home (a/n: the hell, the parents are all so annoying so I'm kicking them out of the story). But, somehow, he was wide awake. There was something about this storm that was just... electrifying. He couldn't think of a word that described it better, although he had always been rather eloquent for his age. "It all goes back to this storm."
"I'm hungry," Daisuke murmured. He was sitting up in Miyako's bed, clothed in some overlarge items Miyako had retrieved from her brother's closet. His trademark goggles, which he still wore despite the fact that the trips to the Digital World had ended, were folded on a bedside table. The said girl, seated cross-legged on the edge of the bed, sighed. "Daisuke-kun, you can't eat anything. You'll just throw it up."
Daisuke smiled weakly. "I know. But the pain goes away... for a while." He yawned, and coughed. "Am I allowed to sleep?"
She nodded. "Hai, sleep is the best thing."
"Good." He was suddenly overcome by a fit of coughing. Miyako took him gently by the shoulders (much to his surprise) and pushed him down onto the bed (excuse me while I slit the hentais' throats). "Sleep. Now. You're feverish, and you need sleep."
"Who are you, my mother?" Daisuke smiled sleepily at her.
"Iie, I'm Miyako. I'm going now." She opened the door. "Don't you DARE move from this room, all right?"
"I won't, I promise," Daisuke said, curling into a ball. After she had gone, he smiled to himself and whispered, "Really, I won't," before drifting off into a deep sleep.
Yamato sighed as Taichi crossed the room yet another time, muttering under his breath. Agumon shook his head and glanced at Gabumon, who shrugged.
"Tai-kun, quit pacing like that!" Yamato said sharply. Instead of making an equally sharp remark, Taichi collapsed in a chair and held his head in his hands. "Gomen nasai, Yama-kun, but I can't help it." He looked up at his shin'yuu despairingly. "Yamato, one of my best friends and my imoutochan are out in this storm." His voice cracked. "What am I supposed to do?"
"Just relax," Agumon said softly, patting his partner's arm with a claw, "and hope for the best."
"I wish Hikari-chan would come back," Tailmon said sadly, and almost immediately the said 14-year-old girl fell from the ceiling- directly on top of Tentomon.
"AAAHHHHHH!!!!" The insectoid Digimon squirmed wildly, and Hikari sat up groggily. "Uhhh... nauseous..."
"Told you," Washu said smugly. She was the only one who had managed to stay on her feet.
Taichi blinked, and realized there was a girl on top of him. Blushing violently, he shoved her off, and took a better look at her. She was pretty- beautiful, actually- with long blonde hair held back by an orange bow and brilliant blue eyes. She shook her head slowly, and looked at him with bleary eyes. "Who're you?"
He blinked. "I'm-"
"ONNICHAN!!!" He was cut off by Hikari, who had suddenly launched herself at him and wrapped her arms around him.
Taichi smiled weakly. "Oh, 'lo, Hikari-chan... I can't really breathe that well..." A sudden pain slammed him in the chest, without warning, and his face twisted horribly. Hikari frowned, and released him. "Tai-kun? Taichi? Are you-"
"He's fine," Washu said, walking over to stand in front of them. Hikari gave the twelve-year-old an odd look, and blinked. "How do you know...?"
"Because the exact same thing happened to us," Minako explained.
"So say the people who fell out of the ceiling," Tentomon said, one of his bulbous green eyes twitching.
Yamato shook his head. "If I say anything I'll end up jinxing it and end up with celery coming out of my ears."
Hikari stared at him for a moment, then, not unkindly, said, "Yamato-kun, perhaps it's best that you got some sleep."
Yamato sighed. "Hai, you're probably right." Hikari gently took him by the elbow, and they and the Digimon left the room.
Taichi shuddered. "So... nani? You said it happened to the rest of you?"
"Hai," Kasumi said, sighing. She felt about ready to drop, but somehow the complete insanity of the night's happenings kept her going. "First of all... you probably want to know our names. I'm Yawa Kasumi..."
"Tajiri Satoshi," Satoshi said quietly. He was sitting on the ground in a bedraggled sort of way, his eyes dull.
"I'm Aino Minako," Minako said, smiling. Taichi cast her a sidelong glance. Every time he looked at Minako, he felt a sort of jerk in the pit of his stomach, which he could very plainly recognize as a warning: something isn't right. Maybe she's an evil Digimon in disguise?
"Uhh..." Minako face-faulted, and waved a hand in Taichi's face. "Hello? You there?"
"Nani?" Taichi blinked. Iie, evil Digimon aren't that pretty... even though she annoys me... wait, where did that come from?
"I'm Kobayashi Washu," Washu said, yanking a spiky strand of his wild dark brown hair. Taichi came alive with a yelp. "I think you already know Koushiro-san here."
Koushiro waved. He had a twisted smirk on his face, which Taichi knew too well as meaning, "this is highly amusing but I refuse to laugh about it". The chocolate-haired teenager shot him an evil glare, and Koushiro shrugged.
"But- what does all of this mean?" Satoshi, who had been silent for a while now, said softly. "I mean, this is, without a doubt, the weirdest night of my life." he turned to Washu. "Washu-san, you seem to know a lot about what's going on. So..." he trailed off.
"So what happens now?" Kasumi asked.
Washu scratched her head. "Hmmm... well, let's see... it'll be kind of hard to explain everything here... so, I think we'll have to go back to my lab."
"Your lab," Taichi said faintly. "You have a lab?"
"Hai," Washu said promptly, cracking her knuckles. "Now, if you'll just hold on..."
They all had time to yell "IIE!" right before the floor opened under them once again and swallowed them all up.
"You're sure you two will be all right by yourselves?" Miyako asked worriedly.
Takeru laughed quietly. "Don't worry, Miyako-chan. We're only going to my apartment."
"We'd go to mine, but I really don't want to walk in this late- anou, this early," Iori said, shaking his head. "My mother'd go postal."
"My mother isn't even home, so we've got nothing to worry about," Takeru added. "If you really feel you need to, you can check up on us whenever you want."
Miyako nodded, and the two of them slipped out the door. She sighed, and wandered down the hall towards her bedroom. "I wonder how Daisuke's doing...?"
The door opened silently to complete darkness. Feeling slightly edgy, although it was her room, she stepped inside. "Daisuke-kun?"
"Miyako-chan?" A hoarse voice answered. Miyako pulled a flashlight from the top of her dresser and put it on. Daisuke was sitting in the middle of the bed, his face unusually pale. There were dark circles under his eyes.
Miyako frowned. "Daisuke-kun, are you okay?"
"Why wouldn't I be, Miyako?" he said, quite calmly, in the same hoarse voice. Miyako sighed, and approached him, sitting on the edge of her bed. "Daisuke-kun, you shouldn't hide things like this. How do you feel?"
Daisuke blinked. "I feel... I feel like... I don't know. Strange." His eyes flickered. "Like... empty." He shook his head. "I dunno..."
Miyako reached out and brushed her fingers against his forehead, then recoiled in shock. "Daisuke, you're burning up!"
"I am?" The fourteen-year-old boy un-crossed his legs and half-crawled, half-scooted to the side of the bed, and painstakingly stood up, leaning heavily against the wall.
"Daisuke-kun, I don't think you should be walking," Miyako said softly, standing up and walking around to face him, ready to react in case he did something baka. Daisuke ignored her and let go of the wall. His legs buckled immediately and he fell to the ground, looking utterly disgusted with himself. "Great. I can't even stand up, much less walk."
Miyako regarded him quietly for a moment, then took both of his hands in hers and pulled him to his feet. He stared, transfixed, into her amber eyes, reflected by the light from the flashlight, laying forgotten on the bed. "Listen, Dai-kun. I know you think you have to be strong for us all the time, and keep us out of trouble. Let me tell you, we would all be dead- or worse- if you hadn't stood up to BelialVamdemon. But you can't be strong all the time." A ghost of a smile flitted across her face. "Let me help you."
Daisuke lowered his eyes. An intense feeling of deja vu was coursing through him, but he didn't know where from... his head pounded, he was exhausted, and pressing himself for answers wasn't helping."I..."
"Dai, you're trembling," Miyako said softly. "Just relax." She wasn't sure where the next words came from; they just popped out of her mouth. "I'll take care of you."
Daisuke studied her face for a moment, for any signs of sarcasm or mocking. Finding none, his eyelids lowered and his consciousness left him. Miyako caught him, and gently lowered the immobile teenager onto the bed again, before taking the phone from her dresser and punching in the number for the college where she knew his oneechan Jun went.
Loud bangs and thumps were quite common in the cupboard under the stairs of the Masaki house, which was also situated as Washu's lab, due to some clever dimensional science on her part, but they always went on during the day. Never at night. Which was why an enormous thump and several shrieks and curses from beyond the doorway, just across the room from Ryoko's sleeping place on the couch, woke the said young woman from deep slumber.
Her face twisted in annoyance, the cyan-haired space pirate pulled herself off of the couch and floated over to the door. Thinking not of the sleeping people upstairs, she banged on the door and yelled, "Washu-chan, what're you doing in there?"
Washu, on the inside, groaned. "Medetashi."
The five others, sprawled on the hard floor in varying degrees of anger and pain, glanced at her- or glared, it really hard to tell. "Who's that?" Minako asked.
"Ryoko-chan," Washu said, looking very angry with herself. "She heard you..."
"WASHU!" Ryoko yelled form the other side. "Let me in, or I'll blast the door in!"
Washu glanced at them. "Don't say a WORD; just be quiet until you can see yourselves again."
Kasumi raised an eyebrow. "Nani...?"
She, however, was saying this to a completely empty room, except for Washu. The said scientist then pressed a button on a nearby console, and the door opened. A girl in her late teens, with spiky cyan-colored hair and flashing golden eyes, entered. "Washu-chan, what the hell's going on in here? What's with all the people yelling?" She glanced suspiciously around. "This is weird. I feel like there's someone watching me..."
"Just your imagination," Washu said simply, shooting a look behind her that said "make-a-sound-and-you're-dead-meat". "Maybe you were having a nightmare, Ryoko-chan."
"It's what woke me up," Ryoko snapped. Washu shook her head. "Nothing, then. You must have heard me tinkering with my inventions."
"An invention that swears?" Ryoko rolled her eyes. "Right. Very Washu. I... guess I'll see you in the morning, then." Taking another suspicious look around, Ryoko exited.
Washu breathed a sigh of relief, and they all reappeared. Koushiro raised an eyebrow. "What was that all about?"
Washu sighed. "It's best if my friends don't know that you're here until morning... I'll have a lot of explaining to do anyway." She cocked an eyebrow. "Now... I need a volunteer..."
"Why can't you do it yourself?" Taichi said hotly.
"I need to operate the device," Washu said simply, taking him by the arm. Taichi blanched, and yanked away from her. "OMAESAN!! Who said I would do it?"
"Me," Washu said firmly. "Come on, it's the only way to figure out what's going on here."
Taichi glowered for a moment, then shrugged. "Fine."
Washu took what looked like a flashlight and shined it on the seventeen-year-old boy, then, after a few seconds, flicked it off and took a sort of energy-computer from midair. The rest of them watched, speechless, as she inserted the "flashlight" into a pocket next to the computer that sprang out of midair. The screen came to life, and Taichi scrambled around behind her to gape at the diagrams that were flying across the screen. "That all came from... me?"
"Hai," Washu said, her eyes flicking from right to left, taking in everything that came to her. "Let's see... ah, here it is... unfamiliar..." She blinked. "What the- I can't process that!"
"Nani?" Taichi said, apprehensive.
"It's been formatted into some really strange code, which is not helping," Washu said fervently.
"Waaaaaassssssssshhhhhhhhhhuuuuuuu..." A metallic voice whined. Washu frowned, confused, then it clicked, and she turned around to face an enormous machine. "Ughhh... I left the computer on."
"I'll say!" the computer said hotly. "I've been counting sheep! For two hours! I just got to three-thousand fifty-six-"
"Gomen, gomen," Washu said excitedly, waving its complaints away. "I promise I'll turn you off as long as you examine this one thing for me!"
The computer was silent for a moment, then said, "Fine. What is it?"
Washu took the "flashlight" out of her energy computer (it disappeared) and jammed it into the real one. "This. Look for the information that's been formatted into a really odd code."
"Hai," the computer whirred, beginning its work zealously. The six waited anxiously for its answer, and all of them jumped when it said, "Washu-san, I've got something."
"Tell," Washu demanded, then added "Please," for good measure. The computer cleard its throat (or made the sound of which- it took them a few seconds to realize that it had not a throat). "This signal- for that's what it is; you were right- means that you must recover something you've lost."
Kasumi blinked. "Something we've lost?"
"Hai. You haven't needed it until now, so now you must go out and search for it."
All six of them took this in, slowly. Suddenly, a spark of understanding came into Satoshi's eyes, and he groaned, hitting himself in the head. "Medetashi... if this has anything to do with us wandering around Japan like good little wayfarers, then I'll..."
"I suppose that's what we'll have to do," Washu muttered, looking like she'd rather not and say she did. "Unless... this BRILLIANT computer can put a track on these... whatever-they-ares?"
"Flattery will get you nowhere," the computer said bluntly, and shook its head (which is odd, as computers don't have heads either). "Gomen, minna-san, but I can't do that unless I know what the whatever-they-ares are."
"If we don't know what or where they are, then how the hell are we going to find them?" Minako exploded.
"I think they'd probably react to something-or-other, right?" Taichi inquired of the computer. It looked thoughtful for a moment ( and Washu had to wonder how it could look ANYTHING, as it didn't have a face), then said, quite slowly, "I suppose, using logic, you would think that if a signal was sent out when it became time to collect the whatever-they-ares, there would be another signal when you became close to them."
"Hai," Koushiro, who had been silent for a while, said suddenly. "It's like when we found our crests. Remember, Taichi-kun?"
"Hai," Taichi nodded, and cocked his head, remembering...
...some very bad news. A very sick expression developed on his face. "Omaesan, Koushiro-kun?"
"Remember how our crests were all spread out? As in, not all in one spot?"
Koushiro's face twitched. "You don't think-"
"COMPUTER!" Kasumi snapped. "Compute THAT!"
The computer sniffed (yet another mystery, as it had no nose or way of creating tears). "Now you're just being mean. Only if you ask nicely."
"Gomen nasai, minna," Washu said apologetically. "It's very sensitive." She turned to the computer. "Umaku, what's your opinion?"
"Arigatou," it said stiffly, sticking its tongue out at Kasumi (I won't say a WORD). "I believe that assumption is correct, especially if you received the signal at different times."
All six of them groaned, and Kasumi shrugged. "Ah, umaku. At least Satoshi and I are used to walking..."
"I think spending that time in the Digital World might help us out, as well," Taichi said to Koushiro, who nodded, rolling his eyes.
Minako and Washu glanced at each other, and sighed. "I guess we'll be the sticks in the mud for THIS adventure," Minako muttered.
"Hai, I guess so," Washu replied. She got to her feet. "Umaku... we should probably leave tomorrow. You can stay here for the rest of the nigh- morning," she amended quickly, remembering what time it was (around two). "If you want, of course."
They all agreed to stay- their parents were in varying degrees of absence from their homes. "I have one more question," Minako said, right before they turned in for the morning (that sounds strange... ::shrugs:: oh well).
"Blare 'way," Washu said.
Minako grinned. "Can we take pets?"