Digimon Fan Fiction ❯ νόστος ❯ Chapter 1

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

She’d sooner die than admit it, but right now, more than anything Ruki was terrified of how Renamon would react to finally coming face to face again. After all, she should never have stayed behind in the first place. Ruki Makino, who would throw away her life in an instant if it meant her beloved could survive, had been too paralyzed by disbelief to even do so much as say goodbye, so much as tell her how much she meant to her.

Months had already passed before Takato found the Gate (that's what Director Yamaki insisted on calling it; in Ruki's opinion, "gap" or "transit layer" would have made more sense, but officially it was the West Shinjuku Digital Gate), and in that time the emptiness in her heart had long since filled with a longing to be hated as much as she felt she deserved. She'd failed. An existence like her, who couldn't even protect the girl she cared about, shouldn't be taking up space — shouldn't be burdening anyone else. Not as long as she was still Ruki Makino.

Until she was someone else, someone who would never fail again, she surely didn't deserve her beloved's gaze.

But she wasn't. She was a pathetic loser who regularly got blackout drunk in a vain effort to stop thinking.

She was still herself.

Even still, as much as she craved loathing, she knew that if her partner were to look at her like that, what was left of her soul would surely collapse into nothing.

And so here she was, walking alone through an endless wasteland without so much as a data stream, following the light of her Arc and dreading what awaited her when she arrived.

Every muscle in her body felt like it was burning up and her breathing was heavy, but that didn't matter to her. She couldn't let herself stop moving.

Even as the edges of her vision threatened to fade to black.


Ruki's eyelids opened with a small neutron star's worth of effort.

The sky was the same as it always was, but she could hear the rushing of water (a river?) on her left, and a light breeze cooled her arms and waist.

Right. She'd nearly died of heatstroke.

Gathering up her strength, she pushed her upper body off the ground, immediately regretting the resulting lightheadedness.

"Don't strain yourself, Ruki!"

Ruki abruptly stopped as she processed what was happening. That voice. That was her voice.

Renamon rushed to her side, and Ruki offered no resistance as her partner gently pushed her back to the ground. Renamon held out a bowl of what was presumably saltwater given the circumstances; she reached up to grasp it and drank.

"Ruki, you have to be more conscious of your limits..." She set the now-empty bowl down on the grass(?) next to them. "You're human, after all."

"I'm not human." Ruki's voice was barely able to go above a whisper without cracking. "Dobermon's blessing, remember?"

"You know that only takes effect outside!" Renamon paused for a second, and when she spoke again the panic had mostly left her voice. "Please, don't hurt yourself like this for my sake."

"You deserve better... someone as perfect as you," she murmured. "Someone who isn't a fuckup..."

"Ruki. Ruki!"

Ruki stopped talking and looked up at her with a dazed expression.

"You're still you. You're the Ruki Makino I fell in love with... that's enough."

Then Renamon brought their lips together, and Ruki's world ground to a halt.

This wasn't a dream. This was reality. This was the present world. Renamon actually loved her the same way she loved Renamon. Renamon still loved her despite how little she deserved it.

Tears rolled down Ruki's face, staining her girlfriend's soft fur. Renamon briefly pulled back, concern written in her blue eyes. Ruki wrapped her arms around her beloved's shoulders in response, closed the distance between them, and tuned out everything that wasn't their love.