Rating: PG -> PG-13
Warnings: [violence] [language] [het] [shounen-ai]
Pairings: Takeru/Ken & Ruki/Legolas (later on...)
Notes: So... I'm gonna dedicate some upcoming chapters to the people who've been the most supportive since I first started posting "Company". ^_^ I just like the idea.
Dedication: Ann007! Thank you for reviewing so much and being so enthusiastic!
Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon (01, 02, Tamers or Frontier) or Lord Of The Rings. (Characters, situations, anything else....) I'm just using them for a while; I'll give them back unscathed. ^_^ Ja for now!
Chapter Six: Journey
"Do you really think this is a good idea?"
"Seriously, do you?"
"Shit! Ken! Pay attention, would you?!"
The blue-haired boy turned his attention from his gauntlets; they had been equipped with new clothing, including gauntlets and boots to match, as soon as things had been decided during the last of the council meeting. "Look, Takeru," Ken sighed, looking up at his slightly-annoyed friend; "whether it's a good idea or not, it's something we have to do. We're in this with the others now, right? So let's just make the best of it."
"Make the-?!" Takeru gaped; "make the-?! Make the best of it?! Are you kidding me? Ken, we're going to travel for something like two months with a bunch of people we only met two days ago! Besides that, most of them aren't human!"
Ken cleared his throat. "Takeru, we aren't human."
"Oh sure," the blonde threw his hands into the air in exasperation and flopped onto his back on the nearest ledge. "Bring logic into the equation."
Ken smiled softly, and then looked down. "You know, you really don't have to come with me. Just knowing that I'm helping them do something important is enough for me; having Wormmon there is great, but I hate to think that you're coming along just because you think you have to."
Takeru snorted. "Are you kidding? Hikari and Daisuke'd kill me if I just left you to do this on your own. Besides," he added with a wink; "I'd do this for any of my friends. Well... maybe not Daisuke himself. He's a pain. Although he is good for a laugh. I guess maybe I would do it for him, but just for the off-chance he shot himself in the foot with an arrow. That," he laughed, returning his head to the stone and clasping his hands behind his head, "would be amusing."
The bluenette shook his head, "you're as nuts as Dai is."
"Now, now, no need for insults. And at least I'm not like Taichi... he's where Daisuke gets his inspiration. I don't know how Hikari can stand living in the same house as her brother..."
"Yeah." Ken chuckled and went back to tightening his gauntlets. "Takeru... can I ask you something?"
"Hm?" Takeru raised his head to look at his friend, "sure, I guess."
"What happened with you and Hikari?"
"We..." A half-shrug and he sat up, thinking; "...I guess things just changed. No big deal, really -- we're still good friends. To tell you the truth, it's kind of a relief. It's no fun having a best friend that you have a crush on. The 'best friend' things that you're supposed to be able to do... hanging out and just crashing at their place, and other stuff like that... it just isn't the same. Things are -- I dunno' -- stiffer?"
"But what happened to make things change?"
"Huh," Takeru watched for a moment as Ken straightened the straps that were holding his bow and quiver to his back, and started to tighten the laces on the front of his tunic. "Hey, you know I think you're overdoing this preparation thing -- and why do you want to know about me and Hikari, anyway?"
Ken shrugged, still looking down. "Just curious."
"...oh." A frown, "...well, honestly? I think she liked Daisuke more than she wanted to admit. Who knows what might have happened if Dai and you and the others hadn't ended up Chosen? We might have been together in the end, but... I'm still kind of relieved. It might be hard to believe..."
"No, it's alright." The bluenette shook his head and stood, then wandered to the window. The two of them had been given a room- sort of- that overlooked the river. The walls seemed to be made of white marble and silver, and there were several large windows. Now, standing next to one of them, Ken inspected the trim on the walls. "I understand... can I ask you another question?"
Takeru regarded his friend with some confusion. <Alright, so he's acting strange -- even for being in Rivendell. What's going on?> He nodded, "sure, what?"
"Since Hikari... has there been anyone you... you know, liked?"
A blink. "Um... I don't know... sorry-"
"No, no!" Ken spun around, smiling, "it's fine, I was just wondering. Hey, if you're ready we should get moving. The others will be waiting for us by now; I told Wormmon and Patamon that we'd meet them once we were good to go."
"Sure." Takeru agreed, "let me grab my bow." Reaching down to where he had set his bow, and the quiver that went with it, he picked it up and quickly strapped both onto his back. "Alright," he waved his hand toward the door, "let's go."
"Yeah." The blue-haired boy turned and practically dashed out the door.
Takeru stared after him. <What the hell is his PROBLEM-?> With a final glance around the room to make sure they hadn't forgotten anything, he ran after Ken. Catching up, he walked beside his friend in silence. Ken watched the ground as they went, making the blonde frown again. <Something about Rivendell again? I could ask... but...> the slightly -- embarrassed? -- look on Ken's face made him pause. <Later, maybe... things are hard enough right now...>
:Ken! Takeru!: Wormmon's called, catching the attention of both boys. Looking up, they saw they had come to the clearing near Rivendell's waters where they were supposed to meet the others. The Fellowship, Elrond had called it. The green-furred wolf was standing near the edge of the clearing. :We were waiting for you. Everyone else is already here.:
"Yeah," Ken nodded, "sorry we took so long."
The others looked up when they appeared, inspecting them. Gandalf and Frodo were there, obviously, as were the other three Hobbits; Pippin and Merry, and Sam (whose name they had just learned). The sixth and seventh members of the Fellowship were Aragorn and the man who had argued with him at the council. His name, as it turned out, was Boromir. Then there was Legolas, the other Elf who had chosen to join in the quest, and Gimli, the smaller man who had attacked the Ring with his axe; he was a Dwarf, they knew now. Ruki was also there, sitting on a rock with her arms crossed and looking as ticked-off as ever. Renamon was perched in a tree overhead, surveying everyone with minimal interest.
Twelve all together; fifteen if you included Wormmon, Patamon and Renamon.
"Well," Aragorn said, tightening the buckles on his horse's saddle- technically, it was a pony, and they were only going to be taking two (Bill and Ben) with them on the quest- and then turning to look at Takeru and Ken, "now that we're all here, it's time we leave."
Gandalf, who had been overseeing Sam while the Hobbit cinched the saddle on the second pony, nodded gravely. "We have much traveling to do; the sooner we leave, the better."
"Right," Boromir picked up the pack that was sitting on the ground by his feet and began helping Sam to load it and the last of the supplies onto Ben. This man, Takeru felt, was one who should not join them on the quest.
Soon, they were on their way; Gandalf lead the way with Frodo alongside him. Legolas was next, followed by Gimli, then Aragorn (who was leading Bill) and Sam (who was leading Ben), then Pippin and Merry; after them, Takeru walked beside Ken, with Wormmon and Patamon close by. Ruki was a few feet behind them, and Renamon was nowhere to be seen. Takeru assumed the digimon was either in the front or behind- though from what he had seen, she could be anywhere. And Boromir took up the rear.
It was only a short while before they reached the outskirts of Rivendell, and Takeru noticed Ken glance back, bidding farewell to the Elven city, before they could no longer see it. The bluenette still felt a kinship with the Elves...
"Hm?" The blonde glanced to the side at his friend, "what?"
"I think I'm going to go and talk to Ruki for a minute."
"What-?!" Takeru blinked in shock, "shit, Ken, do you even see how antisocial she is-?"
"Yes," Ken looked back, "but there's a few things about her and her Earth that I'm curious about."
"...okay, I guess. Just watch that she doesn't sick Renamon on you -- or kick you herself..."
Ken chuckled, "I don't think she'll go that far."
<Don't bet on it.>
:If Ken is going to talk to Ruki,: Wormmon said, lifting his eyes to look at them; :then I think I'm going to go ahead and speak with Gandalf and Frodo. I'm rather curious about Middle Earth and the Ring, and I'm sure they're curious about digimon.:
"Alright then," Ken nodded, "it's settled." The blue-haired boy dropped back, and Wormmon trotted farther up (past several of the others) to talk with Gandalf, leaving Takeru and Patamon on their own.
This was fine with Takeru, who had a few things to work out... most of them about Ken...
"Hello," Ken greeted softly when he managed to maneuver his way into walking next to Ruki, "um, Ruki, right?"
The girl looked surprised that he was spoken to her, but covered it up quickly. "What do you want?"
Ken sighed, "I just wanted to talk to you about Renamon and your Earth," he told her, "so you don't have to snap at me. I'm Ken Ichijouji, but you know that. And you're Ruki, right? Sorry, I don't remember your last name."
"Oh, alright. Nice to meet you Ruki Makino."
Ruki only snorted in response.
"Um," Ken looked up for a second and then sighed, "is it true that we're TV characters where you're from?"
"Who told you that?"
"Well?" The blue-haired boy raised an eyebrow; "is it true?"
"I was just wondering. Are you the only one in your world with a digimon?"
"No. Just the only important one."
Ken wasn't surprised by her attitude. "Do you know any of the others?"
"Of course. Renamon and I have to battle, right?" Ruki asked it as if the answer were obvious.
<Is fighting all she thinks about?> Ken shrugged, "I used to think so, but I don't anymore. Fighting doesn't solve everything, contrary to what some people may try to tell you." He smiled, "I prefer talking, now."
"Really? I don't think so. I'd rather talk that get a black eye."
"So, what are their names?"
"What?" Ruki blinked, "who?"
"The other Tamers. Tell me about them."
"I'm nosy. Humor me."
Ruki made an exasperated noise, "fine! Takato's our 'leader'. Yeah right, some leader. He's a big doofus. Lee is the level-headed-I-won't-fight-unless-I-have-to guy, and he pesters me more than my conscience. Ryo is supposed to be some great holier-than-thou Tamer, and he tries to make it look like he this really nice guy, but I don't buy it for a second. Happy?"
"Is that all? Three?"
"No. There are others, but they don't even count as Tamers, really. They don't know what they're doing." She snorted, "not that Takato does, but... God, I have no idea how he got to be the leader!"
"What about their digimon?"
"Guilmon, Terriermon and Cyberdramon."
Ken paused to consider; Terriermon he knew well and Cyberdramon he'd at least heard of, but he didn't have any recollection of a digimon named Guilmon. "Guilmon?" He asked, "I've never heard of that digimon before."
"Hn. That's because he doesn't exist."
"Takato drew him, the dork. Somehow, his D-Power turned Guilmon from a drawing into a real digimon."
"Like a digivice, see?" Ruki pointed to her belt, and sure enough, next to the daggers that were strapped to her side, there was a device clipped to the leather. "That's my D-Power. It's what I scan cards through, and what I get information about digimon from."
"Our digimon need us to scan cards to gain power." She explained, before he could even ask the question. "We take the cards from the digimon card game and run them through the D-Power. Each card had a certain attribute that the digimon in question can use."
"Is that all?"
Ken shrugged, "I don't know. There's a lot more about the Earth you're from that I'm curious about, but if you don't want to talk-"
"That's right, I don't!" She snapped, "so why are you bothering me?"
"Curiosity, I told you."
"Well, get over it. Curiosity killed the cat."
"I'm not a cat."
"In your case, I think it'd make an exception."
<Talk about ANTISOCIAL. Takeru was right about her.> He shook his head but refused to leave, "how'd you get to Middle Earth?"
"How should I know?"
"You know what I mean."
"I woke up a week ago and I was in Rivendell. In the river. Happy now?"
"What about Renamon?"
"She was with me, only a wolf. Which is stupid, by the way."
"Yeah. A lot of things are stupid according to you."
Ken was silent, considering. He wasn't sure where he stood with Ruki; she didn't seem to be in any need on company. But still... he didn't like leaving her to walk on her own, especially for all the time they would be traveling. "Anyway..."
"Just go back and walk with Takeru, okay?"
Ken blinked, "um..."
"I'm a big girl; I can take care of myself."
The bluenette sighed, "alright. Thanks for answering my questions, anyway. If you want to know anything about where we're from, you can ask-"
"No, thank you."
"Alright. Uh, see you later." Ken shrugged and trotted up toward Takeru. Wormmon was nowhere in sight, so he assumed that the former-digimon was still talking with Gandalf. Patamon was still there, but had wandered farther away and was exploring a few feet from Takeru while they continued to walk. He slowed down when he reached Takeru's side and heaved a sigh, "hi."
Takeru looked at him, brought out of deep (and somewhat confusing, since it was all about Ken) thought by the sound of his friend's voice. "How'd it go?"
"Takeru, she is not at all like the girls I know from home."
"She shot you down, didn't she?"
"Huh?" Ken's head jerked up, "what? No! I wouldn't have... what are you... why would you... there's someone else that I..."
"Really?' Takeru grinned, "who?"
The blonde continued to grin, but for some reason he was disappointed....
Me: Another pointless chapter where nothing happened. (But I made up another pony -- Ben -- because I figured that with six more people they might need a bunch more provisions and stuff... I didn't think poor Bill could handle it all. ;_;) Other than that...
Ken: I talked to Ruki...
Ruki: *sarcastically* Yeah, thanks a lot for that one.
Takeru: *to Ruki* You are such a pain.
Ruki: Look who's talking, crushing-on-Ken-but-won't-admit-it-to-himself boy.
Shadow Trunks (my brother! ^_^): *looks at me* Um, you chose to work with these people?
Me: *sigh* Yeah
Shadow Trunks: They're nuts!
Me: I know...
Shadow Trunks: *under his breath* So are you...
Shadow Trunks: Nothing!
Me: Okay then! *grin* So, yeah. This chapter just had a lot of information and foreshadowing in it. Can you see how Takeru/Ken is coming along? (Don't tell them I said that!) Anyway, this chapter was pretty much to skip time; the next one will take place after they've been traveling for a while. I just thought that several chapters of walking might get boring. :p Ja!