Digimon Fan Fiction / Pokemon Fan Fiction / Pokemon Fan Fiction / Sailor Moon Fan Fiction / Tenchi Muyo Fan Fiction ❯ Kouseki no Izou ❯ Begin Journey (The Girl in the Alley) ( Chapter 5 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
5: Begin Journey (The Girl in the Alley)
Sunlight streamed through the window, making light flicker on the otherwise dark walls of the Takaishi apartment. The eleven-year-old boy sprawled on the couch- Hida Iori- groaned in the way that only sleepy idiots can. "Ahhh... turn off the sun..."
Iori blinked, realizing what he had just said, and sat straight up. "Wait- SUN?" He jumped off of the couch and leaned over the windowsill, olive eyes wide with amazement. "No- no way-" An uncharacteristically huge grin spread over his face. "It's over!"
"Takeru-kun? What's the matter?"
"Nothing, Patamon-kun. Go back to sleep."
The small Digimon, which Takeru had dubbed "pig-type" when he was eight years old, flapped over to his human partner, who was leaning against his bedroom wall, looking particularly preoccupied. "What is it this time?"
Takeru shrugged. "I'm not sure... but..." he looked at his partner curiously. "Did you ever get the feeling that something should have happened, but didn't?"
Patamon cocked his head, utterly confused. Takeru had acted like this on many occasions, so it certainly wasn't new, but the reason was an entirely new one. "What do you mean?"
"It's hard to explain... last night, something should have happened. But it... didn't. And now, everything's different."
"Takeru-kun!" Iori slammed open the door, making both boy and Digimon jump. Takeru blinked. "Anou... Iori-kun, what the-?"
"The rain's stopped!" Iori exclaimed, running over to the window and pulling the curtains open. Light streamed into the room.
Takeru gaped at the window. It may have been midmorning, but Odaiba was still as busy as ever. "But... but it's..."
"I know, it's weird," Iori said, shaking his head. "But-"
An abrupt ringing came from the hall: the phone. The three glanced at each other, and Iori and Patamon followed the 14-year-old-boy as he bounded outside and picked it up. "Moshi moshi?"
"Konnichi wa, Takeru-kun," a voice said hurriedly. "This is really urgent; I need you to come over right now."
"Nani- Hikari-chan?" The voice was definitely Hikari's, but she sounded anxious and strained, two things that Hikari usually wasn't.
"Hai," Hikari answered. "Listen, some really strange happened last night, and I have no idea how to explain it. Could you just come over? Miyako and Iori live there, too, right?"
"Hai, of course they do. Iori's with me right now." Takeru frowned. Wait- Miyako?
"Here, Iori, take the phone," Takeru said the the younger boy. "It's Hikari."
"But- where are you going?" Iori asked as his former jogress partner ran over to the apartment door and opened it.
"I'm going to see how Daisuke-kun is," Takeru yelled over his shoulder, as her slammed the door behind him with a bang.
"Moshi moshi? Takeru-kun?" Hikari said tentatively.
"Iie, it's me, Iori." Iori answered, his eyes still on the door. "Takeru had to run. He'll be back soon."
When Takeru reached the Inoue apartment and saw the door open, he more or less panicked. Trying to harness his thumping heart, he stepped inside the apartment, his eyes flickering from one side of the room to the other. "Mi-Miyako-chan? Poromon? Daisuke-kun?"
"I could get you arrested for trespassing, you know," a voice said quietly from behind him. Takeru blanched, and Miyako laughed softly, taking his wrist. "You scare too easily."
"Gomen nasai," the boy offered, a slight red tint staining his cheeks. "I thought- with the door open, and no one inside-" He suddenly noticed that the purple-haired girl had Chibimon, Daisuke's Digimon, on her head- a spot he usually reserved for Daisuke. The Baby Digimon looked half asleep, half horribly nervous. "Nani... Chibimon?"
"Hai?" Chibimon asked anxiously, suppressing a yawn, and Miyako grinned up at him. "I brought Chibimon to look after Daisuke, and to make him feel better." The grin dropped from her face, and Takeru felt a slight sense of foreboding. "How is he?" he asked softly.
"Not good." Miyako sighed, and shook her head. "I mean- it's weird. It seems like his mind hasn't been affected at all. He even seems a little more intelligent than he usually is- big surprise there. But, he seems to be wasting away. He must have lost at least five pounds just last night."
"Can I talk to Dai-kun?" Chibimon asked, looking down at Miyako. She smiled. "Of course. He might still be asleep, but I'm sure he'd be glad to see you."
"WAI!" Chibimon cried, jumping to the ground and dashing down the hallway to Miyako's room.
Miyako sighed, and shook her head. "Gomen nasai, it was stupid that I left the door open... I'm just really tired. I must have forgotten."
Takeru grinned weakly. "You were up all night." It wasn't a question.
The older girl nodded glumly, and opened her mouth to add to his statement when Iori ran around the corner, panting. "Moshi moshi, Miyako-chan," he said breathlessly, then turned to Takeru. "Takeru-kun, do you remember when Hikari called and told us something really strange had happened and we had to come over right away?"
"Hai..." Takeru said testily, as Miyako just gave him a blank look. To their complete surprise, the eleven-year-old boy's first move was to grab both of them by the wrist and start running, his destination the front door. "Come on! We have to leave right away!"
Tsukino Shingo sat up sharply and banged his head. Cursing under his breath, the twelve-year-old boy crawled out from under his bed and deposited the manga he had been reading on his bedside table. Rubbing his head where had hit it, he stuck his head outside the door and yelled, "Hai?"
His mother, Tsukino Ikuko, was standing at the bottom of the staircase, looking up at him. "Are your oneechan and ChibiUsa up yet?"
Shingo hesitated, choosing his answer carefully. "Anou... they're still asleep."
Ikuko sighed despairingly. "It's twelve-thirty in the afternoon! Lunch is almost ready!"
"They'll... probably be up soon," Shingo said hesitantly, glancing down the hall at the door to Usagi's room. Ikuko shrugged, and walked away toward the kitchen, waving her spatula around as she muttered to herself.
Shingo watched her leave, then slipped out of his room and down the hall. Opening the door to his sister's room, he stuck his head inside. "You awake yet?"
Usagi, head hidden under her pillow, gave a loud groan. ChibiUsa, sprawled on the ground (Usagi must have kicked her out), seemed a little more competent, although she still looked like she had been up all night. "We're awake. Kind of."
Shingo sighed and slid inside, shutting the door behind him. "Before anything else is said, you two are telling me WHY you were out in the that storm last night." He glared at ChibiUsa, then at the lump that was Usagi. "Now."
Usagi moaned. "Otoutochan..."
ChibiUsa interrupted her, casting a glare over her shoulder at her future mother. "We were out with our friends," she said quietly.
Shingo's face twisted unpleasantly. "Dear cousin," he said after a moment, unknowing that she was actually his niece. "I am two years older than you, yet Ikuko-mama does not yet let me even stay UP past eleven. You, ChibiUsa-chan, were still out and roaming about, in the middle of an enormous storm, at- what was it? Ah, hai, two in the morning."
"You were still up!" Usagi snapped from beneath the covers.
"Ikuko-mama fell asleep," Shingo retorted truthfully.
"And I was with Usagi-chan!" ChibiUsa said despairingly. "And Rei, and Mako, and Ami-"
At this girl's name, Shingo blushed slightly, but still shook his head. "That's no excuse. Besides, you still haven't told me why you were out in the first place."
Usagi giggled. "I think my otoutochan is getting smarter."
ChibiUsa blanched, then whirled around and hit the older girl where her head would have been, had it been visible. "BAKA!"
"I'm tired, hungry, tired, thirsty, tired, bored, tired, sweaty, tired, hot, and TIRED!" Aino Minako moaned and collapsed to the ground. "Isn't anyone else REMOTELY sick of WALKING?"
"I am," Washu, who was leaning against a tree with Ryo-oh-ki still on her head.
Minako sighed with relief. "Sugoi-"
"But, at least I've got the dignity not to whine about it," Washu finished, and the blonde girl facefaulted. Artemis, sweatdropping profoundly, offered a word of reassurance. "Oh, come on, Minako-chan... it isn't that bad-"
"This from the one I'M CARRYING!!!!" Minako snapped. "And I suppose it really isn't that bad, but I'm going to make the most of it, anyway."
This statement was met by silence, which held until Taichi crossed his arms over his chest and raised an eyebrow at her. "You're weird, you know that?"
Minako flicked him off, and sighed. "How much more do we have to walk for, anyway?"
Koushiro glanced at the sky. "Until it gets dark, I guess. Or until we find a place to stay." He felt slightly dizzy, and shivered, although it wasn't cold.
"Koushiro-san?" Washu glanced at him, wondering. It's strange... I swear I've met him somewhere before...
Taichi yanked Koushiro's arm, making him stumble. "Come on, Koushiro-kun! We have to catch up to Satoshi and Kasumi! Look, they're all the way up there on that hill already!"
"Nani...?" Koushiro blinked. Tentomon pulled on his other arm with a talon. "For once, Taichi's right!"
"I hate to be left behind, Koushiro-kun," the insectoid Digimon said in what he obviously thought was a jaunty, winning tone. Koushiro raised an eyebrow, wondering what they were making such a big deal out of. "O... kay..." He let himself be dragged along by teenager and Digimon, with Agumon trotting along behind, a strange mix of amusement and smugness on his face.
Minako and Washu glanced at each other, shrugged, and began to take up the rear, Minako's feet dragging dramatically.
"Wonder what's taking them so long?" Kasumi asked, looking down the hill at the eight others.
Satoshi shrugged, Pikachu on his shoulder. "I dunno. Should we wait for them?"
"Iie. Let's let them catch up." The two grinned at each other, and continued on down the hill.
A young girl, about thirteen, sat in an alley somewhere in Tokyo, eyes downcast. She was extremely pale, and had long, wispy silver hair in a loose braid. Her eyes were of the same color, probing and disturbing. She was unnaturally skinny, as though she hadn't eaten for several days. At the sound of footsteps, she lifted her head and stared at the opposite wall. "He's coming."
Ichijouji Ken rounded the corner of the alley, hands in his pockets. I wish I lived in Odaiba, too... then it wouldn't be so hard to get to these meetings.
It was a few more seconds before he realized that the girl was there. He slowed to a stop as he came to stand it front of her, watching her curiously. They both were silent for a moment, until she painstakingly got to her feet and met his eyes. "You're a friend of Motomiya Daisuke?"
Ken's indigo eyes flashed, instantly suspicious. "Hai. What's it to you?"
She pulled something out of her pocket and handed it to him. "Here," she said in a soft voice. "Make sure he gets this, all right?"
Ken's eyes widened. It was some sort of pendant: a pure white stone intertwined with gold. "This- this is Daisuke-kun's?"
The girl averted her eyes, as though something were troubling her. "You- you will give it to him... won't you?"
Ken stared at her for another moment, then smiled lightly and said, "Of course." The girl had no reaction to this, so he simply walked away, slipping the pendant into his pocket. I really have to hurry. Hikari-chan said it was urgent.
The girl didn't move, just kept her eyes on the ground. From the darkest corners of her brain, a voice whispered...
"It's beginning to get dark," Kasumi said, fixing one of her special Kasumi lures onto a homemade fishing pole she had made in about five minutes.
Taichi glanced up at the rapidly darkening sky. "Hai... your point being?"
"Nothing, really." Kasumi threw the lure into the water.
The twelve of them had eventually found a nice place in the woods to set up camp. Minako and Artemis had immediately began to catch up on lost sleep, and had crashed in the girl's tent. Satoshi was off somewhere, probably talking to Pikachu and the rest of his Pokemon. He did that often, and Kasumi sometimes swore that he got along with Pokemon better than people. Koushiro had stayed in the boys' tent with Tentomon, to "further evaluate their situation", as he put it. Washu was probably doing the same, if not separately: she had gone off with Ryo-oh-ki to another part of the woods.
As for Kasumi, she had found the stream and the bridge that had been build over it. It was old, but still very sturdy; the perfect place to fish. After she had been sitting there for a few minutes, Taichi came along and sat beside her.
After a few minutes of talking to him, Kasumi realized what she had suspected all along: he was very similar to Satoshi.
Taichi hesitated, then said, "Koushiro was acting weird last night-"
Kasumi glanced at him curiously. "Really? So was Satoshi-kun." She shivered. "I mean, REALLY weird. He blacked out and starting muttering this really strange... I dunno what it was; it was just disturbing."
Taichi considered this for a minute, then shrugged. "I'm not sure if Koushiro did anything like that, although he might have... my imoutochan was the one that followed him."
"Into the storm."
Kasumi laughed bitterly. "I was wondering what he was doing in that alley. Then again, we found Minako the same way..."
Taichi stared into the water. "What, do you think she went all psycho, muttering about 'something is coming', and ran outside during a huge storm?"
"Does stuff like that bother you?"
Taichi laughed harshly. "Oh, of course not. I mean, weird stuff has been happening to me since I was seven years old. But it's all the same to me; my whole life is an adventure."
Kasumi said nothing. For a moment, she had glimpsed something of a different Taichi; very different from the person he let on he was. But the moment passed, and Kasumi felt a tug on her line. The fishing pole, being little more than a stick with a piece of string tied to it, had no return mechanism, so she began to pull up the line manually. Taichi cocked his head, watching her. "Why're you fishing, anyway?"
Kasumi yanked the last of the line out of the water before answering. The fish was of average size; nothing really grand. "I like to fish. It's relaxing. Besides, we need food, don't we?"
Taichi snickered. "You think Minako-san will eat that?"
Kasumi rolled her eyes, depositing the fish off to the side and casting the line again. "What have you got against her, anyway?"
Taichi shrugged. "Nothing, really." A few seconds later, his face twitched, and he groaned. "She's SO annoying!" Something occurred to him, and he asked, "Kasumi-san... do you know why Minako really WAS outside?"
Kasumi shrugged. "Well... Washu teleported me and Satoshi to a street in the middle of Tokyo, which was where she was. She wasn't the only one there; there were a lot of girls..." She tried to remember. "Ten, I think, including Minako. Satoshi seemed to know one of them."
"Iie, I was completely lost at this point." Kasumi sweatdropped. "It WAS about one in the morning!"
Taichi laughed, then froze abruptly. Kasumi blinked. "Nani?"
The seventeen-year-old boy shivered, then pointed at the sky.
Kasumi held out her hand, and a single drop of rain fell into the center of her palm.