Rating: PG -> PG-13
Warnings: [violence] [language] [het] [shounen-ai]
Pairings: Takeru/Ken, Ruki/Legolas, Daisuke/Juri, Lee/Takato, Ryo/Hikari & Iori/Shuichon
Notes: N/A, nyao nyao~! =^-^=
Disclaimer: Yup, yup... still don't own Digimon or Lord Of The Rings. What a bummer... >.< If I wasn't used to typing that by now it might really upset me. Boo hoo... hee, hee... just kidding. I don't cry. Okay, I DO, but not over silly things like this.
Takeru: *dryly* Really? Well I seem to recall-
Me: Ack! No commentary 'til the end! *clubs him and drags him away*
Chapter Five: Shinko (Friendship)
Ken glanced back at Takeru's exclamation, which had been followed by a string of muttered curses. The blonde was holding the arrow that had landed beside them -- he had stooped to pick it up, apparently, though Ken hadn't seen him do it -- and staring in shock at the man who was standing only a foot away from the bluenette.
The Ranger was staring just as openly at them. "What-" he began-
"Bloody hell!" Gimli interrupted loudly from behind him, "we thought you were dead!"
"We could say the same of you." Renamon commented.
The Child of Kindness found himself unable to come up with any particularly coherent words. <I think I'm in shock.> Glancing past Aragorn, his eyes skimmed over everyone. "Gimli... Legolas... Merry... Pippin... Frodo... Sam..." of course, Gandalf wasn't there, but where was Boromir? "Hey, where's-"
"Merry!" This time it was Legolas who interrupted, sounding more terribly shocked than they had ever heard him sound before. In the blink of an eye the Elf, as well as Aragorn and Gimli, had spun and were gaping at the four Hobbits. "Pippin! And Frodo and Sam!"
"You're all here!"
"We thought you were-"
"How did you-"
Ken, Takeru and Ruki watched blankly as the other members of their former company greeted each other excitedly. It was as if they hadn't seen each other in weeks and hadn't really expected to meet up again at all. What could possibly have happened?
Turning to Takeru, the Ranger frowned, "it's a long story."
"From the looks of the city," Ruki said dryly; "we have plenty of time."
"What happened after we were gone?" Ken wondered, watching the Hobbits share hugs and happy handshakes. "Where's Boromir?"
A grim silence settled on them, despite the happiness of being reunited, at the mention of Boromir's name. Blinking, the Child of Kindness tried to repress the sudden feeling of angst that washed over him. <Oh no...>
"Boromir's gone." Renamon's voice was soft and subdued, but she seemed sure of what she was saying. "He didn't make it from that final battle." Sharp eyes landed on Aragorn, surveying the Ranger's reaction to her statement. "Isn't that right?"
Instead of speaking, Aragorn nodded shortly.
"Well crap." Takeru scowled; behind the visage of anger, Ken could see that he was upset by the revelation. True, the Child of Hope had never particularly liked Boromir, but he certainly hadn't wished death upon the man, especially the kind of death that he would have received at the hands of the Orcs.
Casting Takeru a soft look, Ken blinked back almost-tears. "We'd hoped," he told those who had just arrived, "that you had all escaped from that battle with your lives... it was all we COULD do, considering our circumstances..."
"Unfortunately," Legolas said gravely, "we fear that he and Gandalf will not be the last casualties of the war for the One Ring."
<The Ring...> Takeru's eyes went to Frodo, searching for the thick chain that had once been around the Hobbit's neck. He couldn't see it, but that didn't mean anything... did it? The blonde frowned; "Frodo, about the Ring-"
"Oh?" The little one blinked, then seemed to understand and tugged the links of metal from beneath his tunic, holding the chain up so that the One Ring glimmered in the morning light. "I still have it," he assured them, then; "Sam and I didn't get very far before we... um, before we found ourselves here."
"Where is here, anyway?" Merry wondered out loud.
A snort from Ruki, making Ken almost-smile. "It's called Tokyo," the bluenette announced to them all, making a vague gesture to encompass the surrounding city. "It's our home city in our world... or, Takeru's and mine. Ruki and Renamon are from another version of Tokyo; another world. But you knew that."
Pippin looked around himself in awe. "We're not in Middle Earth anymore," he said pointlessly, only succeeding in gaining a smack from Merry. "Ow!" Rubbing his arm, the Hobbit scowled at his friend. "That hurt, you know!"
A few feet away, Ruki heaved an exasperated sigh. She was glad to see the rest of the Fellowship, though she wasn't about to show it. But she could already tell that her annoyance with Pippin and Merry was just going to come back all over again...
"Ruki?" Renamon's voice was flat as she turned to her Tamer.
"We need to get back to the others." The girl said, crossing her arms, "Daisuke's been back for a while, I'm sure, and the big mouth is probably telling everyone and their brother that the three of us have got some kind of a killer attitude problem..." her eyebrow raised in contempt and she started walking back to the school, not waiting for anyone else to follow her. "He's such a jackass..."
Ken couldn't help it. He giggled, making everyone stare at him in surprise -- even Ruki paused in her stalking toward the cafeteria to glance back at him after his outburst. <Oh man... I shouldn't be laughing at Dai's expense anyway, and now they all think I'm insane...> Clearing his throat embarrassedly, he waved them off and hurried after the orange-haired girl and her digimon.
It was only a short distance to the school entrance, and all three 'Chosen' -- Ken, Takeru and Ruki -- as well as Renamon, walked it in relative silence, listening to the excited chatter between the rest of their former-fellowship. Most of the excitement seemed to be coming from the Hobbits, but the others were joining in as well-
Or, everyone except Aragorn was. He was quiet and contemplative as he surveyed the school area and scanned what he could see of the buildings beyond. There was nothing to say that he was surprised by what he was seeing -- <but,> Ken thought with a glance back, <who wouldn't be surprised if they came from a medieval world to this one? He's just good at keeping his feelings a secret.>
"Hm?" Turning toward Takeru, Ken raised his eyebrows questioningly. "Sorry, what?"
The blonde sighed, shifting the bundle of arrows he was carrying. "What do we do now?" He said, "that's what I was asking. Anyway, I'm just thinking that there's got to be something serious going on, right? The whole city's deserted except for us, Orcs are running rampant, and now we've got them-" he nodded back toward the others, "-here."
Ken nodded, "there's definitely something going on-"
"Duh." Ruki snorted from ahead of them, making them both shake their heads.
"-but," the bluenette continued, "how are we supposed to figure out what it is?"
"...if Koushirou was with us, he could figure it out, I'm sure." Takeru paused, considering, "I wonder if there's any way we can contact him..."
"Perhaps there is," Renamon said softly, catching their attention. Again, they were surprised when she spoke, and so they listened carefully to what she had to say. "But even if we can't contact your friend, Lee could probably help. He's quite intelligent-"
"-unlike some goggled-idiots." Ruki interrupted.
"Would you give it a rest already?!" Takeru demanded angrily, "I mean shit-"
"You know," Ken said, changing the subject before they could begin to argue yet again, "Miyako's good with the analytical stuff, too, right? Maybe if she and Lee worked together they could at least start to figure things out for us?"
"Maybe." Takeru agreed, looking somewhat reluctant. "We could give it a shot."
Silence once more. Even the Hobbits had calmed down, probably as they neared the school itself. Certainly they were more curious than chatty as Ruki shoved the doors to the cafeteria building open and lead the way down to where their friends were- supposed to be- waiting.
"You think Miyako and Lee will agree to help?"
"Sure, why not?"
Ken grimaced, "Takeru, did you see the way Miyako was looking at Lee when-"
"I know, I know. I feel bad for him, I really do."
"...we should warn him."
"Yeah. Remind me some time when Miyako's not around, ne?"
"Okay." Nodding, the bluenette could only feel bad for the Tamer -- whom Miyako seemed to have decided was cute, or whatever other words her mind could come up with. <I'll have to remember to give him a heads up. God knows that I've already experienced Miyako's -- uh -- stalking, so-> his thoughts broke off suddenly, as Ruki stopped walking, making him -- in his introverted state -- bump into her back before he realized. "Ruki?"
"Man," the girl shook her head in disgust, "will you look at this?"
Curious despite himself, Ken peered past Ruki and into the main room of the cafeteria, his eyes flitting around. Takeru was leaning over his shoulder, in turn, and snickered softly. "Well it looks like they've settled in."
'Settled in' was an understatement, to say the least.
Across from them, seated at one of the tables, Hikari and Juri were chatting -- there was much laughter and smiling; they were getting along well. Nearby, Miyako was latched on to Lee's arm while Terriermon glared at her from the opposite shoulder and Hirokazu cracked 'why don't you run away with me' jokes; Lee was bearing it all with an exasperated but tolerant smile. Iori and Shuichon were talking in hushed tones about what it was like to be the youngest -- did the others listen to their suggestions? Were they taken seriously, despite their age? -- and seemed to be doing fine. Finally, Taichi and Daisuke had a captive audience as they related the story of when Agumon had been kidnaped by the digimon Kaiser -- "I mean, we don't hold it against Ken or anything! He's a great guy! He was just a little messed up for a while..." -- while Takato, Kenta and Guilmon listened in what could be taken as absolute rapture.
"So then he was like 'evolve to Ultimate' and 'cause of the Spiral thing, Agumon totally had to! But, see, something went wrong and he couldn't evolve the right way and he ended up as a Dark digimon instead, see-"
Ruki rolled her eyes at Daisuke's rambling. "Children, all of them!" She groaned sarcastically, "hell, we know about all this already! We watched the damn thing happen on the television!"
"Come on Ruki," Ken chided, "let them have their fun."
"It's so stupid!"
"You don't have to listen." The bluenette pointed out with a sigh, "and besides, at least it keeps them out of trouble-" he paused then, blinking when Daisuke's stomach growled loudly and the redheaded boy grinned sheepishly. "Uh oh."
Behind them, Pippin was tugging at their clothing, trying to get them to move out of the way for him to see as well. "What? What is it? Aw, come on! What's going on? This is so unfair, you guys are way taller than me!"
"Pippin!" Takeru snapped, jerking his shirt out of the Hobbit's grasp, "give us a second here!"
"You did say 'uh oh'." Legolas pointed out, "so I suppose I can see why he's curious."
"It's just that..." Ken trailed off, shaking his head. "I was just saying they were keeping out of trouble... but if Dai's hungry, things are going to get crazy if we don't feed him soon. He's got a food thing, what can I say?"
"I see." The Elf raised an eyebrow.
"Sounds like someone else I know." Frodo commented with a glance toward Merry and Pippin, and making Sam snicker at the indignant looks on their faces.
"Hey! Ken! Takeru!" Miyako's voice called, making them all look back into the room, "Ruki! What're you guys doing over there? Who're you talking to? I thought there was no one else around here-"
"Yeah, well..." Ken chuckled nervously. "See..."
"Oh just come on!" Grabbing Ken's arm, Ruki dragged him bodily into the room with Takeru following right behind. Renamon's eyes flicked toward them before she vanished again, leaving to do God-knows-what.
"So..." 'Kazu smirked, looking half-amused and half-confused. "What's goin' on?"
"Um," taking his arm back from Ruki, Ken gestured toward the door. "You guys can come in now... so... here's the thing. We were coming from the Archery room and ran into a Digital Field..."
"A Field?" Terriermon asked curiously, "really? Here?"
"But the Digital Fields are gone!" Guilmon piped up. "Right?"
Ruki snorted again and sat down heavily at one of the many long tables, crossing her arms and regarding Guilmon with a slightly disgusted look. "Obviously not." Her eyes flicked to Takato, "listen, Doofus, can you please get your digimon to keep quiet while we introduce everyone?"
Juri looked shocked. "Ruki, that was mean!"
Guilmon, for his part, seemed hurt. "Takatomon..."
"...s'okay, Guilmon." The goggled-boy shook his head. "Just ignore her, okay? But try to be quiet while Ruki and the others are talking."
Ken felt a moment of pity for the dinosaur-digimon, who obviously had the sweet temperament of a puppy. Now he was sitting, slumped slightly and with his eyes downcast -- until Takato patted his head. Then he brightened, grinned, and focused his attention back on them.
"So, we were saying," Takeru motioned for the rest of the now-broken fellowship to come into the room, and had to grin when Pippin was the first to bounce in, followed quickly by Merry, who was attempting to swat him out of his enthusiasm. "There's some people you should meet."
"What the fuck!" Daisuke was on his feet in an instant, gaping as the Hobbits, then Gimli and Legolas, and finally Aragorn, strode into the room. "Th-there's -- I -- there's another Elf and -- and what -- what are the rest of them-?!"
The expression on everyone's face was priceless, and Ken found himself stifling another giggle.
"It's a long story, I fear." Aragorn spoke up, glancing at Takeru, "shall I tell it, or will you?"
Me: ...okay, first off, I know that some people don't read the opening shpiel, so here it is again. Gomen nasai for taking so long with this chapter! ^.^;; I had a slight crisis and... well, yeah. Sorry. I had to take a bit of a break with everything recently, though...
Guilmon: *sniffle* Everyone was upset with me!
Takato: No, no, not everyone!
Juri: Poor thing! It was just Ruki!
Guilmon: She was mean...
Guilmon: Hey! *sniffles again*
Me: Come on, guys, get along... Guilmon, just ignore her, okay? Ruki's always like that with everyone, right? You should know that by now.
Me: *pats his head* Look, I promise a little fun in the next chapter, alright?
Takato: See? Everything'll be fine! *peace sign*
Juri: Here! I'll get things going! *slaps a smiley-face sticker on Guilmon's nose* See? That's fun, isn't it?