Rating: PG -> PG-13
Warnings: [violence] [language] [het] [shounen-ai]
Pairings: Takeru/Ken, Legolas/Ruki, Daisuke/Juri, Lee/Takato, Ryo/Hikari & Iori/Shuichon
Notes: And now it's time for a little break to see how everyone at Primary Village is fairing!
Notes (for DracoStarbo again!): So you know, I feel that every story needs someone who doesn't think before acting. And without Dai-chan around I figured that Takeru would probably be the most impulsive (of the 02 Chosen, anyway.) :p lol.
Disclaimer: Anything I own don't. Wait, that didn't make any sense...
Chapter Nineteen: Senso (War)
Hikari sighed softly and leaned back against the tree trunk, closing her eyes for a second. She was tired. As one of the more frail of the Chosen she always had trouble keeping up with the others -- now the rest of her friends, new and old alike, continued to scurry around as she rested.
She felt guilty, really. They were preparing for war, after all, and she should be helping them... in fact, the only reason she wasn't still pushing herself to work was because her brother had insisted that she stop, at least for the time being. The others were worried, too, but Taichi was the only one who would say anything. Well, Taichi and Takeru, and since Takeru wasn't around...
"Are you alright?"
Her eyes opened and she focused on Ryo, smiling. "Yes, just a bit tired."
The boy nodded. "It's good that you're taking a break, then."
She shook her head, looking down. "I should still be working, but Tai insisted."
"Hm. Don't push yourself. It can't be good for you, and we need everyone for when the fighting starts."
Hikari giggled, "so I'm just another pair of fists?"
A grin. "Actually, it's more about your digimon than you, but you get the idea."
Her eyes went to Tailmon, who was overseeing the construction of a makeshift wall that would, they hoped, surround Primary Village before the oncoming army arrived. Monodramon and Gomamon seemed to be half-helping but actually getting in the way, which Tailmon, apparently, found both aggravating and amusing. A few feet away, Hyouga was watching with an ironic look on his face.
He gave her a questioning look. "Yeah?"
"Is it true that you used to know Ken?"
Ryo's lips pursed as he considered, and he stuck his hands in his pockets as he leaned back to prop himself against one of the colorful blocks that adorned the Village. "I used to." He told her, "but he's changed a lot since back then."
"And you missed his Kaiser phase."
"Partially," Ryo agreed, "but when I was in the other dimension -- my home dimension, I guess -- I saw most of it on the television. That was before I went to the Digital World because of Cyberdramon's somewhat... erratic... behavior."
Hikari stretched her arms out in front of her and then let them drop back to her sides. "What was Ken like when he was little?"
He chuckled, "he was a tough little tyke. He'd already been through a lot, with loosing Osamu and everything. It was kind of like having a little brother, which was fun because I was an only child." A sigh, "but he doesn't remember me, I'm sure. And if he did, he didn't say anything. Though he looked at me strangely when I first showed up."
"He's not the kind of person to forget a friend." Hikari assured him, then; "Ken's still a pretty tough guy, even if he's a bit soft spoken. The thing with the Kaiser really changed him, I guess. Also," she laughed, "you don't even want to see him use a whip. Scary stuff there."
Ryo shook his head, and the conversation trailed off for a moment. Hikari looked over to Tailmon, and giggled when Monodramon tripped over nothing and sent both himself, Tailmon, Gomamon, and the gaggle of Geckomon that had been helping with the construction into a messy heap on the pillow-y ground. Hyouga snorted (was that the Warg equivalent of a laugh?) and got up. Pacing over, he sat down at Hikari's feet and settled himself after she patted his head.
Hyouga's recovery was almost complete, and he was as mobile as ever with the exception of a slight and barely noticeable limp. He seemed to be irritated, though, and through what little empathy she possessed, Hikari could tell that he was annoyed with himself for not being able to help more with the Village preparations.
She knew how he felt.
"Are you worried about Takeru?"
The Child of Light glanced up, her attention focusing on Ryo again. "He's way too stubborn to stay behind, so I didn't even try to stop him from going." She said, "but I wanted to. I guess I wanted to stop everyone from going... but somebody had to find Ken, so..."
Ryo looked sympathetic. "If it makes you feel any better, Takato and Guilmon will do everything they can to keep them safe." He paused, then added sheepishly, "though I have to admit I'm a little worried about them myself."
"You're worried about Ruki."
"What makes you say that?"
"It's obvious. You either have a thing for her now, or you used to. Either way you're not quite over it."
The boy chuckled uncomfortably. "Used to, yes, and it wasn't really mutual. She, ah, couldn't stand me. But I can't help worrying about her."
Hikari laughed and gestured toward the far end of the Village, where Miyako was hanging off of Lee's arm. Terriermon seemed to be saying something, which was probably rude, as the glint in Miyako's eyes suggested. Lee was looking around for someone -- anyone -- to rescue him, and after a moment Yamato rolled his eyes and left what he was working on to do just that.
"One-sided attraction is something we get a lot of here." She told Ryo.
He was snickering under his breath, and she tilted her head to the side quizzically in a silent question. After a moment, during which Yamato forcibly dragged Miyako off to work on something with him, he sighed and shook his head.
"Try as she might, she's never going to persuade him to like her. Not in that way, anyway."
"Well, you know Takato?"
Hikari blinked. "Yes."
Ryo pointed vaguely toward Lee, who had continued with whatever work he had been doing before Miyako's interruption. "Lee and Takato have officially been together for almost four months now. Unofficially it's been longer, but they won't admit it."
"Oh." She nodded, accepting it without any hesitation. "They're like Takeru and Ken, then-" she broke off, thinking, and then suddenly broke into hysterical giggles. Beside her, Hyouga looked up at the noise, and Ryo seemed more than a little surprise at the outburst. "Sorry," she managed, once her laughter had subsided enough that she could speak, "it's just that... when Miyako finds out..."
"She won't take it well?"
"She won't mind," Hikari clarified, "but... she used to have a huge crush on Ken, and now Lee..." another pause, and she reached up to wipe the tears from her eyes, still giggling softly. "See, both of the guys that she's obsessed over have turned out to... you know... prefer the company of other guys..."
There was a moment of silence, and then Ryo began to laugh as well.
He shook his head, "who do you think will be the first to crack the "you drove them to it" jokes?"
The girl thought about it, and her mood shifted almost immediately when she realized it would most likely be -- have been -- Daisuke. She said as much to Ryo and his laughter stopped as well.
"I'm sorry about Daisuke."
"It's not your fault." She shrugged, "you tried your best."
"Hm." Ryo agreed softly. "It's strange, but I feel as if I know him. Probably because I watched the television show for all those years... but you've known him since you were eleven and I know it's not even close to the same..."
Hikari reached up to brush her hair back, her eyes glistening. When they had been younger she had found Daisuke and all of his enthusiasm and protectiveness, as well as his crush on her, terribly embarrassing. It had been annoying at times. But she had appreciated his attempts to make light of any and every situation. And as time went on she had grown to enjoy his still-childish quirks.
"Daisuke... he kept us all in good spirits," she vocalized, in an attempt to explain it to both herself and Ryo, "with all of his joking and energy. It's not a word that's normally used to describe boys, but he was perky. And we all needed someone like that to keep up going."
He was quiet, sensing that she would say more.
"I especially needed a friend like him... despite his advances on me." A half-giggle. "He only gave that up a little while ago, actually... and he still does it sometimes. But... when we were younger..."
She trailed off, and Ryo tilted his head to the side. "You always had a lot of trouble, didn't you? You and Ken both needed someone like Daisuke. To keep the two of you from losing yourselves to that Dark Ocean dimension..."
Her eyes flicked to him.
<The television show, Hikari.> She reminded herself. <He's seen it all.>
Tailmon continued to oversee the Geckomon in construction of the wall.
Across the way, Yamato was forcing Miyako to help him work on whatever job Leomon had given him, despite her objections. Loud objections. Her shouting could be heard clearly even from such a long distance.
Lee looked guilty, and Hikari thought he would probably be giving Yamato a heart felt thanks and apologies as soon as humanly possible. Terriermon, on the other hand, seemed pleased that she was gone.
Ryo was studying her seriously.
"Dai was one of the things that kept Ken and I from giving in to that other dimension," she agreed finally, "he was just to adamant that we were a team... and he wasn't about to let even one of us get away." She sighed and smiled at the thought. "So stubborn... the others helped, too... Takeru and Iori and Miyako... but I think in the end Daisuke was the deciding factor."
"I think Takeru had a lot to do with it as well."
"Well, he's your best friend, ne?"
"And apparently he and Ken have a connection as well." Ryo shrugged. "He was the one who went into the Dark Ocean world after you and brought you back, and he was the first one besides Daisuke to really accept Ken as one of the Chosen Children, right?"
"Iori wasn't sure about Ken for a long time," Hikari nodded, "and I guess I wasn't really sure either. Miyako... thought he was cute and was always gushing about how she wanted to marry him, but I don't know if she actually trusted him at first."
Ryo shrugged. "But Daisuke thought everyone deserved a second chance."
"And Takeru was the first to agree."
Hikari leaned her head back against the tree and lapsed into a companionable silence once more. Across from her, Ryo closed his eyes and crossed his arms, and she smiled when she realized that, already, she felt as if she'd known him for as long as she had known the Chosen Children of her own dimension.
There was just something about him...
She shrugged that thought away and turned her head to the side, her gaze resting on Juri. The girl was half-heartedly working on another section of the wall, a few yards away from where Tailmon and the others were. Taichi, as well as Kazu and Kenta were working with her, and, apparently, trying to keep her spirits up.
Despite their joking she didn't crack a smile.
She, with the exception of V-Mon, seemed to be taking Daisuke's death the hardest. Hikari couldn't really be sure as to why, but she assumed they had become close during the time their groups had been separated.
In fact, she was currently carrying Dai's D3, clipped to the belt-loop of her dress, along with her own D-Power. And, in a pocket (though Hikari didn't know it at the time), she was sporting his D-Terminal as well. She hadn't put them down since gathering them from the grass after Daisuke had been lost...
<Dai must have had an impact on her...>
She looked sad, and every few minutes she paused to glance down at the digivices.
There was something else, too, which Hikari wondered about -- Juri's reaction to Leomon, earlier. She suspected that it had something to do with the other girl's inactive D-Power, but hadn't wanted to intrude and thusly hadn't pressed for information.
As she watched, Juri sighed and slowed. She had been molding mud and clay into the gaps in the stone of the wall, but now she simply stared down at her own hands, thinking about...
<She could be thinking about anything...>
Finally, when he noticed Juri's condition, Taichi approached and gently suggested that she go and rest. The digimon would be more than happy to supply her with a bed and some privacy, after all.
Hikari suspected that her brother was, kindly, trying to get her out of the way so that he and the others could continue working.
Juri nodded without a word and stood, then walked, with her eyes on the ground, into a grove of trees that grew into the side of the Village, vanishing into the foliage. They were building the wall beyond it, so there was no worry of her being shut out. She probably just wanted to be alone.
Frowning, Hikari thought back. <V-Mon went in there, too.>
Right after Takeru and the others had left to rescue Ken, the little blue digimon had disappeared into the trees, and none of them had seen him since. He was just as distraught as Juri, though, at the death of his partner, so they had all decided to leave him be.
Now, she got the feeling, Juri heading in the same direction as V-Mon had was more than just a coincidence. Why she thought that she couldn't decide. She just... knew. Just as she had known about Hyouga, and just as she had instinctively known about other things in her life...
The shout rose up over the din of voices as everyone continued to prepare, and Ryo's eyes opened again as both he and Hikari turned to look back past the tree she had been leaning on. Hyouga's ears flicked and he raised his head a bit, snuffling, and then rested it on his paws to go back to sleep.
The tiny dot of pink resolved into Piximon quickly as the digimon flapped is butterfly wings frantically, waving his arms and shouting to catch everyone's attention; "it's coming! It's coming! The army! The wall must be finished, and quickly!"
Hikari's brows knit. "It's starting..."
She had never seen an all-out war before, despite the many battles she had been involved in, in the past, and all the fighting she had seen between digimon. What was coming now, she knew, would be completely different than all of that.
There would be death, for one. They had already lost Daisuke, but there was a good chance he wouldn't be the last, and none of them would be reborn at Primary Village as their digimon comrades would... assuming that Primary Village survived the coming battle at all...
A hand came down to rest on her shoulder.
"Everything will work out in the end." Ryo told her, "just trust that it will and you'll be fine."
"How do you know?"
A grin. "You've just got to believe."
The Child of Light looked down. "I want to." She admitted, "but I just don't know..."
"We'll pull through." He insisted, "and when we do, I'll take you out for dinner to celebrate."
She blinked. "What? Like a date?"
"Sure, why not?"
For a moment she was speechless. "Uh... okay."
"Great." He winked, "now let's get back to work on that wall so I can keep my promise."
Me: Yup. This chapter had nothing to do with anything, but I figured I should at least pop into Primary Village so everyone can see what's going on there. A few kawaii scenes, so at least it wasn't totally pointless. I'm also now a big advocate for Ryo/Hikari. Just because.
Hikari: Because why?
Me: *shrugness* I just think you and Ryo are cute together.
Ryo: You're an odd one, do you know that?
Me: Of course! ^.~ (I also decided that I was going to pick through the characters for the whole Digimon/LoTR thing and put together a few really unique couples. Just to be different. Because, as Ryo pointed out, I'm odd.)
Hikari: Hey, why is Juri going after V-Mon so important? I feel it, but I don't know...
Ryo: Empathy again?
Hikari: Maybe... but why?
Me: Tee hee! =^.^= I'll never tell!