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Digimon: A Seraphic Tale, Chapter 3

Here's chapter 3!

Title: Digimon: A Seraphic Tale
Chapter #: 3
Rating: G
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Friendship

EPISODE 3: People and Digimon

Yun, Minako, Lopmon, Salamon, and Terriermon were frozen in place as they locked eyes with the young girl and the tiny pink fairy. The little girl looked to be no more than 7 or 8 years old. She has very short, very boyish looking black hair and brown eyes, matching her very tan skin. She looked as if she had basked underneath the sun's golden effulgence for a very, very long time. She wore nothing but a sleeveless light beige shirt, dark blue jean shorts, white socks, and purple shoes. Above her is the fairy small pink fairy, with a gold collar, a red heart on it's chest, green eyes, and sproingy looking hands, antennae, and a tail. They were all so surprised, nobody said a word. A very awkward pause consumed them.

Thankfully, it was broken by a rather sweet voice.

"Hello!" said the small pink fairy.

Yun finally couldn't contain herself.

"Soooo cute!!" Yun exclaimed as she took the funny little fairy into her hand. Hand because the fairy is no bigger than Yun's palm. The pink fairy did not seem to mind.

"Yu-Yun!" Minako pulled Yun away and released the pink fairy, who returned to the little girl's side.

"W-We're so sorry for bumping into you like this! We--" Minako said as she got Yun to calm down a bit.

But the little girl didn't seem to mind them being there. In fact, she cocked her head a few times as she gazed upon them. She looked more curious and interested than annoyed and irritated. She approached Lopmon, Terriermon, and Salamon and observed them very closely.

"You have Digimon too? That's so cool!" The little girl said in a voice just as sweet as the fairy's, if not sounding a bit more taciturn and
timid.

Lopmon stood before the little girl in a polite posture.

"Hello there. We're sorry to disturb you and your friend. My name is Lopmon. It's very nice to meet you," Lopmon said very politely as she bowed before the little girl. Yun, seeing Lopmon's impeccable introduction and display of politeness, decided to follow suit.

"I'm Yun. Wakamiya Yun," She said a little shyly.

"I'm Omori Minako, but call me Mina," Minako said.

"I'm Terriermon!" Terriermon exclaimed with a smile.

"And I'm Salamon! Your Digimon's cute!" Salamon said sweetly.

"Oh, no. I'm not cute at all! Oh! I'm MarineAngemon! Nice to meet you all!" The tiny pink fairy, MarineAngemon, piped in sweetly.

"My name's Yukino Aria," The little girl, Aria, told them in her small voice.

But just the mentioning of Aria's name seem to make Yun awestruck.

"Aria? Aria!? Your name's Aria!? Like the anime, Aria(1)!? I love that anime!" Yun exclaimed, feeling quite excited and exuberant.

"Yeah. Strange, right?" Aria asked.

"Oh! No no no! Not at all! I think Aria's a wonderful name! It's not strange at all! I've heard my share of strange names! And I love that anime!" Yun told her a little timidly.

"Let's sit down, shall we?" Minako said as she saw an untouched bench near the torn down trees.

"Hey Mina-chan! Can we play with MarineAngemon, please?" Salamon asked.

"You can play," Aria replied.

"Yay! Let's play!" Salamon yelped excitedly as she decided to chase MarineAngemon around.

"Hey! Wait for me!" Terriermon followed them.

"Perhaps I will engage in play too," Lopmon whispered as she decided to join them.

Aria, Yun, and Minako sat on the bench as they watched the small Digimon happily jump around and run and play amongst each other. They looked as though they were having a great deal of fun. Yun couldn't help but smile as she saw her new friends playing. But she did notice that Aria kept looking down at her folded hands with a sort of dejected look on her face.

"What's wrong?" Yun asked.

"Wha? Oh...nothing," Aria replied softly and a little timidly.

"Umm...I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but wouldn't it be best for you to go home? I mean, there was a bad Digimon here that caused a lot of damage, and I think the police might make this place off limits once they see what's been done," Yun explained with concern in her voice.

"But...I don't wanna go home. Papa and my big sister are very angry," Aria replied.

"Are they fighting?"

"Yes."

"So you came here to get away from them?"

"Yes. Until they stop."

"I know how you feel. I wouldn't like being stuck with people who are fighting and yelling at each other. I don't like it when people yell or fight. It hurts my ears."

"Me too."

"Why'd you come to the park?"

"Mama took me and big sister here a lot. It's our favorite place."

"That must be wonderful! So where's your mother now?"

Upon seeing the girl's face become more dejected, Yun realized that she had asked a rather rude and inappropriate question. She wished she hadn't asked the question.

"Oh! I'm sorry! If you don't want to tell me, that's fine. It's none of my--" Yun tried to not give the girl the wrong idea or irritate her in any way, but it seemed Aria responded anyway.

"She's...in heaven," she murmured sadly.

"I-I'm sorry..." Yun said.

Yun noticed that the girl's face developed a somewhat pinched look to them, like she's holding back tears or trying to hide anger.

"She's...she's gone! She's gone and she's never coming back! She'll never come back, even if I wish and pray and beg!" Aria exclaimed rather loudly.

"O-O-Okay. I...get it..." Yun told her as she held her hands up.

"Sorry. Papa's always yelling that at me. I don't...wanna be reminded of that anymore. I know Mama's gone forever. He doesn't have to tell me that every single time I talk about her."

"You love your mom, don't you?"

"Yes. She was nice and warm and gentle. She never got angry at me or big sister. She was always nice and smily. She always made me happy whenever I had a bad day at school or when kids were being mean. But now she's gone. Now MarineAngemon's here and...she makes me happy."

"I'm glad. About you and MarineAngemon, I mean. She's certainly cute!"

"Thank you."

"When and how did you find her?"

"Well..." Aria decided to tell the story of how she met MarineAngemon. "I remember it was around yesterday, I think it was. Big sister and I didn't go to their wedding. I was in my backyard playing on my swing when I found her. She was all hurt and beat up like some animal had tried to eat her. Big sister and I took good care of her. She got better and now we're friends, but I gotta keep her a secret from Papa and his new wife. Big sister's the only one who knows. And now you know too!"

"That's true. What's your new mother like?" Yun asked.

"I dunno. Papa married her yesterday. Papa says she's my stepmother. She doesn't look like Cinderella's evil stepmother, but I don't know what she's like yet. I'm afraid she's not like my real Mama. I didn't see her today either. I heard Papa say she got a job and has to work during the day," Aria explained calmly.

This time, Minako decided to jump into the conversation.

"Well, it is only the first day, so I don't think you should think of her as a bad person just yet. Try and get to know her a little better. Who knows? Maybe she'll be a nice person. You never know until you try," Minako explained calmly.

Aria looked down and ruminated for a bit, then looked up and smiled sweetly.

"Okay. I'll talk with my new step-mama and see what she's like," Aria replied.

"Heeeey Aria-chan! Lookit meeee!" MarineAngemon called out.

The three girls looked up and saw MarineAngemon on top of Salamon's head, and Salamon on top of Terriermon's head. Lopmon was standing by and watching, though with a very worried expression on her face.

"Lookie! We're a Digimon tower!" Terriermon exclaimed as he tried to balance Salamon and MarineAngemon.

"Please be careful, Terriermon! You wouldn't want to get hurt, would you?" Lopmon advised, trying to be by their side in case they were to suddenly topple and fall all over the place.

"Don't worry so much, Lopmon! We're just fine!" Terriermon replied happily. The three girls laughed at them, but Yun suddenly remembered something important.

"Oh! Aria-chan...do you have something like this?" Yun asked as she pulled out her Digivice from her pocket. Aria examined it closely and gasped a little.

"Yeah! I have one! But mine's pink. And it's at home. Sorry," Aria replied.

"It's alright. But I don't really get why mine's--" Yun was about to wonder why her digivice is two different colors when suddenly...

"WHAT!? OH MY GOD!!" Minako screamed very loudly, so much that her echoing voice made Terriermon, Salamon, and MarineAngemon topple and fall onto the grass! Lopmon caught MarineAngemon, but Salamon and Terriermon fell down. Thankfully they weren't hurt, thanks to the thickness and softness of the emerald green grass, so it was all good. But Minako's scream certainly scared Aria and Yun. Yun had to cover her ears.

"Mina-chan! Why did you just--" Yun was about to ask, but Minako pulled her closer toward her purple digivice.

It was showing information about MarineAngemon.

"Look at this!" Minako showed Yun the glowing orb of light that showed MarineAngemon's information. One part of it left Yun shocked to the bone.

"She's a MEGA level!?" She yelped.

"Yeah! Mega's the highest digivolution stage! And the strongest too!" Minako yelped. Aria heard all of it, and so did MarineAngemon, who happily returned to Yun's side.

'If MarineAngemon's a mega level...then what's a little girl like Aria-chan doing with such a strong Digimon by her side?' Yun asked herself, still feeling very surprised. She turned toward the confused little girl.

"Aria-chan...did you find MarineAngemon as she is now, or as an egg?" Yun asked.

"The way she is now," Aria replied.

"We found our Digimon as Digi-eggs," Yun told her.

"Really? I wonder why MarineAngemon didn't come to me as an egg? And I thought eggs came from chickens!" Aria said.

"To be perfectly honest, I don't remember what happened to me or what made me come to Earth...but I do remember that I'm cursed!" The little pink fairy exclaimed.

"Huh? Cursed? How so?" Minako asked.

"Well...uhh...I don't remember how I got the curse, but I can't seem to turn into a rookie level or into my baby form. Even if I use up all my powers. As much as I like my form now, it takes a REALLY long while for me to regain all my energy and strength after I get into a big battle with another Digimon...or something like that," MarineAngemon explained.

"I didn't know Digimon could get cursed," Minako said.

"Me neither." Yun said. But before they could start thinking and ruminating, Yun felt a soft hand wrap around her own hand. It was Aria's, and Aria is looking up at her with bright eyes and a smile on her face.

"I...I like you, Yun-chan! Can we be friends?" Aria asked gently and sweetly.

Yun felt her chest go warm. And all the Digimon were watching them eagerly. She had never, not once in her whole entire life, had someone as young as Aria ask to be her friend. Yun always had an aversion toward very young children, especially babies and kids who cried a lot. But then again, anyone at any age never really bothered to ask to be her friend,and for a very long time at that! Yun was always a shy and socially awkward girl, and continued to be so now. She never really was any good at making friends. Even when new kids arrived she could never get the courage to talk to them. Aria seemed like the last person who would ever attempt, or even think, to offer her friendship to Yun. But hearing about her story and seeing the brightness in her eyes, shining like stars, she smiled and kneeled in front of the little girl.

"Of course we can be friends. In fact, how about I make you a member of the Digimon Brigade?" Yun replied.

"Really? Aria-chan be part of the Digimon Brigade?" Minako asked a little worriedly.

"Yeah!"

"But isn't she a little young? She don't want to drag her into any danger!"

"I think it's a great idea!" Salamon piped up.

"Me too! Plus MarineAngemon has to be REALLY strong!" Terriermon backed her up.

"While I do think they still have a lot to learn, I think it would be just lovely to have them join the Digimon Brigade as friends. Don't you think so, Yun?" Lopmon said kindly.

"I do too!" She then turned to Aria. "I don't think we'll have you fight big and scary Digimon just yet since you're still rather young and inexperienced. Inexperienced means you don't know much about something or haven't done something a whole lot yet. But you can learn! And I think we'll be great friends!"

"Really? Okay! I'll be in the Digimon Brigade! Thanks, Yun-chan and Mina-chan!" Aria said with a courageous face.

"Great!...wait! Where do you go to school?"

"Katsura Elementary School."

"Really!? That's where me and Mina-chan went when we were little, right Mina-chan?" Yun exclaimed happily.

"Yes, we did," Minako said.

"Starting today, my friends and I are going to hold meetings here after school to talk about Digimon and other things. Is that okay with you, Aria-chan?" Yun explained calmly and lucidly so Aria could understand.

"Yep!"

"Good!"

"Ummm...I think I'll go home now. Thanks for listening to me and being my friends. I promise I'll play with you later," Aria said as she decided to leave the park. MarineAngemon followed her.

"See you later, Aria-chan and MarineAngemon!" Yun said.

"Be careful on your way home!" Minako advised. Aria and MarineAngemon waved back at them and finally left.

Minako and Yun decided to leave the park too. Yun called her father and asked her to pick him up. Minako decided to walk home. Yun, Lopmon, and Terriermon finally came home. Yun hid them before anyone could notice. Yun ate her dinner, did her homework, and went back into her room to be with her floppy earred friends.

"Now this was a fun day!" Yun said as she flopped onto the bed with her floppy earred friends.

"It suuuuuure was!" Terriermon exclaimed happily.

"How dangerous it would've been if Ogremon turned out to be more powerful than he already was. We could've easily been killed and converted into data!" Lopmon said.

"Well, now that that's done and over with, what do you two wanna do?" Yun asked.

"Let's see...I would very much like to get a closer look at those flowers in the backyard," Lopmon said with a smile.

"My mom planted those. How about I show you tomorrow? I'm usually home by myself from around 6:00 to 8:40 PM since my parents both work so it'll be perfect!" Yun replied. The two of them smiled at each other happily.

It was during this small conversation that Terriermon just so happened to approach Yun's book shelf and notice a rather large book that stood out among the rest of them. He managed to pull it out of the shelf with his long, floppy ears, but it still felt rather heavy. He looked at the book intently, seeing the cover featuring a somber, dirty, poorly dressed, forlorn looking little girl standing in a puddle with a broom two feet taller than even her! Terriermon mostly had trouble reading, and pronouncing, the title. After a short while, Yun noticed him looking at the book with a confused face.

"Oh! I don't think you should read that right now. It's kinda big...and might be a little too somber for your tastes," Yun advised as she crawled next to him. Lopmon sat on the bed by herself.

"What does somber mean?" Lopmon asked curiously.

"Somber means gloomy and sad and depressing and serious," Yun replied.

"Wow! This book is HUGE! And it looks kinda 'somber' as you say it," Terriermon remarked, making air quotes around somber with his floppy ears. Yun couldn't help but chuckle at this gesture, seeing how it was done with his floppy ears, not with his small fingers.

"And how do you pronounce this? Less...miserable? Lays...mie-zer-a--" Terriermon attempted to pronounce the confusing title, but Yun helped him out.

"Lay mi-zer-ahb. Les Miserables. It's French for "the miserable ones" or "the poor ones". It sounds funny, I know," Yun said.

"How can something that means miserable and poor be funny?" Lopmon asked.

"I don't know!" Yun replied.

"So...what's this about?" Terriermon said. Around here, Lopmon stood by her side with a curious look.

Yun stood up in an erect stance, with her arms akimbo and legs straight as a floorboard.

"I'm GLAD you asked! The story of Les Miserables is actually quite a complex and awe-inspiring one, dating back to over 200 years ago! When it was first written, I mean. The story has five parts in general!"

The two floppy earred Digimon were unaware of the fact that they were going to be consumed by the tidal wave that is Yun's rambling about the things she loves with a passion.

"The first part is simple enough. A man named Jean Valjean gets released from prison after 19 years! It was supposed to be 5 years because he stole some bread. Why people got sentenced to 5 years for stealing bread, I don't know, but that was how it was like in the book because times were very harsh and cruel. Anyway, his sentence increased because he kept trying to escape from prison. He gets released and tries to look for a job and make money, but nobody accepts him because he's an ex-convict and they don't like ex-convicts. Then a kind church bishop named Myriel takes him into his home and gives him food and shelter for a while. This is where kindness is given to him for the first time in a very long time, as the prison was NOT kind to him. Not at all! But Monsieur Valjean repays him rather cruelly...by taking his expensive silver candles! He still had a cold heart then. But the police find him and try to arrest him. This is my favorite part! Myriel lies to the police by telling them that he gave the silver to him as a gift. I think he lied because he knew that Monsieur Valjean went through hard times and was desperate to get a little piece of happiness to ease his pain, even though bishops weren't supposed to condone wrongdoings. But he did it out of kindness, and allowed Valjean to be free. It's this kind act that inspires Valjean to change his life for the better and become a kind person, just like Myriel. I think the moral for this part of the book is that a small act of kindness can go a long way, no matter how small or insignificant it sounds, and that kindness is NEVER wasted. Sometimes one small act of kindness and charity can really impact a person, especially those who haven't experienced kindness. The second part is where he starts his own black glass factory. It's a place where they make glass out of various things. He's even the mayor of the town! But what he doesn't know is that the glass factory fires a woman named Fantine who's trying to raise money for her daughter, who she had to leave with some innkeepers, so she can buy her own house and start a new life with her. Fantine's fired because the workers found out she has a kid, and it wasn't legal to have a kid while working around then. I didn't quite understand that law myself. But what she doesn't know that the innkeepers, the Thenardiers, are cruel, wicked, and cold-hearted people who treat the little girl very badly! They made her into a slave! They make her clean the floors, carry heavy pails of coal, everything! Her name is Cosette. Fantine doesn't know this however. That she's being abused, I mean."

Terriermon and Lopmon found themselves very absorbed by Yun's abridged version of the famous tale and couldn't help but be curious and interested in regards to what happened next. Yun mostly told them because she assumed that they probably wouldn't like reading such a huge book, which to Terriermon would be full of boring words and things he didn't understand. But even though the two floppy eared Digimon were curious and interested and starry-eyed and entranced by Yun's take on the tale, they were also confused at the same time.

"So basically this Fantine woman had to leave her kid with evil innkeepers and didn't know it? Didn't she have a cell phone or an e-mail? She could talk to Cosette that way!" Terriermon inquired.

"Back in those days, cell phones and e-mails didn't exist back then! Nobody created them yet! The story begins in the year 1815, and they didn't have awesome and high-rez technology back then. It was hard to pretty much do just about anything back then! Nobody had computers or washing machines or phones or e-mails or anything!" Yun explained lucidly.

"Wow. I'll bet it must have been REALLY hard," Terriermon said.

But Lopmon wasn't feeling dejected at all. In fact, she kept gazing at Yun with a smile as bright as a sunflower and with eyes as bright as dew on the grass on a beautiful summer morning.

"Yun! Please tell me more! I want to know if Cosette is saved from the wicked innkeepers!" Lopmon inquired very merrily. Yun cradled her into her arms.

"The rest of the story is in the book, but it's rather depressing and disheartening. Plus I don't think you two have gotten the hang of reading just yet. How about I start you off on something small and happy and easy to read," Yun said. Terriermon clutched onto her leg and looked up at her.

"Sounds great!" Terriermon said. Yun decided to walk up to her giant book shelf as she put the big book back.

"Let's see...how about...Oh! Here's a nice one!" Yun said as she put Les Miserables back and pulled out Pollyanna(2). Terriermon could see the book's red title, even though he was so far from the top of the book shelf.

"Pollyanna? That's a funny sounding name," Terriermon said.

"Lots of kids have funny sounding names. It depends on the country you're living in. We live in Japan right now, and to people who live in America or Spain our names would sound funny to them, and theirs sound funny to us. Anyway, I think you two will love Pollyanna! It's about a little girl who spends most of her life trying to help people and find things in life to be happy about, even in hard times. But not to worry. It's not somber and depressing like Les Miserables is," Yun said as she put her floppy earred friends back onto the bed and handed Lopmon the book.

"Humans are very interesting. They can write books and paint pictures and make music too. Just like us Digimon!" Lopmon said as she opened the book.

"Do you have those things in your world too?" Yun asked.

"I believe so, as far as I remember. I don't remember much about the Digital World, but I remember doing a lot of things just like this...and that I love stories with characters going through hardship and achieving happiness in the end," Lopmon said as she approached the first page.

"Oh! Just like me!" Yun said.

"Really? How neat!" Lopmon exclaimed.

"Hey! Can I see?" Terriermon peered over Lopmon's ear, wanting to read a little bit of the book also.

Yun, Lopmon, and Terriermon happily played together all through the evening.

But what were the other kids doing with their Digimon?

Well firstly, Minako returned home with Salamon by her side, which both of her parents noticed.

"Minako? Why is there a dog following you?" Minako's mother asked.

"Mother, father...can I keep this dog?" Minako asked back.

This left her parents shocked.

"What!? You want a dog?" Both of them asked in unison.

"Yes. I found this little one wandering around, and I gave her some food. But then she started following me. I don't think she'll like being left out on the streets. She wants a home. Mother, father...can I take care of her?" Minako tried to persuade them politely, but it seemed the two of them were still rather doubtful.

"Well, I don't really see why not, but you ARE going to take care of it, right?" Minako's mother asked.

"Of course I will!" Minako replied.

Minako's father smiled.

"I think we should let her keep the dog, honey," Minako's father told his wife, who nodded rather reluctantly in response.

"Alright, Mina-chan. We'll let you keep the dog," Minako's father said.

"Hooray!" Minako jumped into the air. Salamon leaped into Minako's arms. "Thank you both! I'll be sure to take good care of Salamon!"

"What? You gave her a name already?" Minako's mother asked again.

"Yep! Salamon!" Minako said as she ran to her room with Salamon by her side.

Salamon was quite awestruck by Minako's room.

Minako's wallpaper is a very light lavendar color with smaller darker purple flower patterns on it. Her bedspread is light purple and embroidered with violets, along with having a white pillow and a purple one. Minako's desk and dresser are white, the rug beneath them is beige and cobalt blue, Minako's two bookshelves are full of books. On Minako's desk is a little yellow lamp with pink flowers on the shade, along with little toy figures surrounding it. On Minako's bed are some stuffed animals.

"Wow! Your room is so neat, Mina-chan!" Salamon exclaimed cutely as she hopped onto the bed and sat on it. Minako pulled a book out from the shelf.

"I'm glad you like it. But I should probably tell you...when my parents are around, you've got to be silent and be like a real dog, okay? I don't want to cause them any trouble," Minako told her as she sat on the bed with Salamon with the book in her hand.

"Okay! I promise I'll be super duper careful! Wan!" Salamon said as she decided to rub against Minako's leg. Minako pet her gently on the pale yellow head of her new puppy-like Digimon friend.

"Why are so many of your things purple?" Salamon asked.

"Purple's my favorite color," Minako replied.

"You're hardcore!"

"I know. I've been told that a lot."

"But that's okay! I like it the way it is. It looks so peaceful and flowery."

"My room's my special place. It's where I'm at peace."

"I see! I wouldn't like really loud places either. Wan!"

"Me too. In fact, my friend Yun absolutely hates loud places and noises."

"Like what?"

"Motorcycles, people yelling and screaming, loud rap music, children and babies crying, all that stuff. But that's because her ears are hypersensitive."

"How do you know?"

"We've been friends for a very long time."

"Ohhhh! How wonderful! But...today you didn't look as though you were in a very talky-talky mood. Wan! Why is that?"

Minako looked down at her book.

"Well...there's been a lot going on in my life in the past month or so, and...it's kinda drained out my interest in being with my friends. That and a lot of other things."

"Wanna talk about it?"

"Not right now."

Salamon felt a little sad upon being rejected, but she decided that she didn't want to pry anymore.

"Wan! Okay. I'll stop talking about it. But if you ever wanna talk to someone I'm here for you! After all, I'm your Digimon friend, aren't I? That's what Digimon friends are for!" Salamon said sweetly.

Minako picked her little puppy friend up and held her close.

"Thank you, Salamon. You're really sweet," Minako said. After a short while, she decided to let Salamon go.

"If you want, you can look around the house," Minako told her.

"Yay! Wan! Thank you! I'll be careful not to do anything weird!" Salamon said and happily darted out of Minako's room, leaving Minako alone in her room with her book.

Salamon went exploring. She walked into every single room and quietly inspected and gazed at everything around her with wonder and curiosity in her big violet eyes. Salamon didn't remember much about her life in the Digital World, but she did remember that she was always the curious type who is always looking for adventure and for something new to see. She was careful not to talk and to knock anything over, especially not her parents' things. As much as she liked a little exploring and adventure, she knew for a fact that even in this world there are rules to be followed, and that there would be great repercussions if something were to go wrong. After a while, she decided to stop in the living room and look at the beautiful forsythias sitting in a baby blue vase on a little mahogany table next to the couch. She sniffed them lovingly.

"Wow! These smell nice! I wonder if there are more flowers? Mina-chan says there's a garden patch in her backyard. Maybe I'll look there next. Wan," Salamon whispered softly but happily so she wouldn't catch the attention of Minako's parents, who were ironically enough in the kitchen right now. Salamon could see Minako's dad from where she was.

"Tatsuha...do you really think this is a good idea? Letting Minako keep a pet?" Minako's mother asked. Minako's father, Tatsuha, turned to his wife with a straight but optimistic look on his face.

"Yes. I do. In fact, I think it might be a good thing for her," Tatsuha told her.

"How so?"

"Well...I think that little puppy there might help Minako get over...y'know."

"Oh...I see."

"Of course she'd want a little something to fill the void, wouldn't she? And besides, do you remember the work she did at the pet shop once? She's shown she's very good at taking care of animals. I don't think a little puppy would cause much harm. Plus, with all the stuff she's been through, she's gonna need some healing."

"That's true. She has changed a lot since he...okay, the dog can stay."

"Thanks a bunch, Minagi. I'll make dinner tonight so you can have a break."

"Thanks, Tatsuha."

They had no idea that Salamon had listened to their conversation. Unknowingly, of course. Salamon didn't mean to eavesdrop, but they wouldn't suspect a thing since they would think she's nothing but a normal puppy. But their conversation made Salamon's curiosity and thirst for knowledge a little stronger than before.

"What does Mina-chan need to get over?" Salamon asked herself as she wandered into the kitchen.

As that was happening, Kosuke and Patamon got inside their house through the window, which seemed to pique Patamon's curiosity.

"Why are we going in through the window?" Patamon asked innocently as he followed Kosuke into his room.

"I don't like going into the living room anymore. It's depressing to see the same things there and smell the same smells. It's so dismal in there," Kosuke replied as he got out his books and decided to do his homework.

Patamon looked very closely at Kosuke's room. The walls are perfectly neat and clean, with pale orange paint the color of the sunset, and everything else was perfectly neat and clean as well. The brown dresser looked very classy with it's drawers and all of Kosuke's neatly folded and arranged clothes inside of them. Kosuke's shoes sat next to his bed, which is short and covered with nothing but a dark orange bedspread and pillows. Kosuke sat at a big light brown desk which has a small lamp, a shiny black laptop, some school books and notebooks on the small shelves, and some picture frames. Most of the picture frames contained pictures of him and his parents together, only Kosuke was small...and happy. Now, Kosuke is tall and prudent, but his expression looked rather somnolent as if he were in a constant quandary. He focused solely on his homework at the moment, and nothing else.

Out of pure curiosity, and out of consideration on Kosuke's part, Patamon decided to trot out of Kosuke's bedroom and see what was so bad about the living room. He walked quietly down the hall and turned right upon reaching a bend in the hall. This was where his nostrils, supposing he even had nostrils at all, were brutally assaulted by the horrid, dreadful smell of rum and cigarette smoke. The sight he saw in front of him made him see why Kosuke hated going inside his house through there.

Burying it's head in a very small table, sitting in the middle of the tiny living room, is a woman. She has very short but very shaggy and tangled light brown hair that looked as if it hadn't been washed or done in months. Ends and curls stuck up and out like a VERY sore thumb, indeed. The woman wore nothing but a worn and tattered light blue bath robe with a few small dirty spots here and there. Patamon couldn't see her face because it was buried in her arms. Surrounding the woman were totally empty, maroon alcohol bottles with gold and jade green labels on them. Only one bottle was half empty, and it was right in front of the woman's hand, along with an ash tray literally FULL of used
cigarettes and one that's being lit right now. Not only that, the little table she's laying on is in front of a big TV, and the TV is off! The couches and the windows looked perfectly clean, but other than that, the living room looked absolutely dismal to Patamon.

But even so, Patamon couldn't help but want to get the woman's attention. Not because he wanted to draw attention to himself and have people who are afraid of Digimon come after him, but because he was curious to know if she was alive or breathing with the way she's laying on the little table like a dead person who did too much drugs. Patamon didn't know much about alcohol or cigarettes as far as he knew, but upon seeing the woman dormant in the living room with bottles and an ash tray surrounding her, it was certainly easy for him to see that these things were NOT good at all. Nonetheless, he decided to sit on the table in front of the woman, who, much to Patamon's relief, is only sleeping. He could see her nose and back rising and falling slowly.

"I wonder if she's sad?" Patamon asked himself very quietly, in nothing short of a tiny whisper, so he wouldn't wake her up. But what struck him the most is that he recognized the woman. She's the one in the picture Kosuke has on his desk, the one with Kosuke as a small boy smiling happily while being held up in the air by this woman, his mother. But the mother in the picture looked very happy, joyful, and jubliant. Now she's laying dormantly and abjectly on a little table surrounded by empty bottles of rum.

Another thought ran through Patamon's head:

'Where's the father?'

"Talking to her's like talking to a wall," It was Kosuke who pulled Patamon out of his reverie.

"Oh. You're finished already?" Patamon asked.

"Yep. Better to get homework done and over with than to leave it hanging and get a bad grade. I have some games in my desk if you want to play them. I wouldn't recommend playing them in here though," Kosuke told him solemnly.

"Wanna play with me?" Patamon asked.

"Not right now. I've gotta work on dinner. Later, okay?" Kosuke replied.

"You cook?"

"I'm not all that good, but it's better than nothing. Mom's too busy wallowing in her own self-pity to care about her own kid, let alone make dinner or cook at all, so I've gotta do everything around the house."

"Oh. I'm sorry," Patamon murmured, looking very dejected and feeling quite bad for Kosuke. Kosuke approached him with a somewhat sad smile and gently stroke Patamon's orange head.

"It's not your fault. Stuff's been going on in my life and I've gotta make the best of it. After dinner I'll play with you, okay? I'll make us something good to eat tonight," Kosuke told him encouragingly as he went into the kitchen, threw on an old apron and got out some kitchen tools and recipes. Patamon watched quietly with curiosity and wonder as he watched Kosuke prepare fumble over what to make for dinner. He felt sorry for Kosuke.

'Poor Kosuke-kun! His friends must be able to play around and have fun all the time while he has to cook meals and maybe even clean the house like a parent does. I bet he must really want to be like them. I wonder if there's anything I can do to help?' Patamon thought sadly, his eyes shaking a bit.

He didn't know it then, but a flickering flame of light was being cultivated in his heart, born from a seed of courage.

While Kosuke was making dinner, Melody and Biyomon had just gone into their house and into Melody's room. Biyomon was quite surprised by Melody's room. The walls were white, but they were practically covered with rock and roll posters featuring famous musicians playing guitars on stages at rock concerts, most of which were black. Melody's bed spread is red, orange, and black, with a brown guitar and a black guitar case lying on it and in front of the pillows. Melody's desk had nothing but a big white computer on it, not a laptop like Kosuke's, along with some schoolbooks, notebooks, picture frames, and folders containing music sheets and manuscripts. Next to Melody's bed are tall black boots, a big black dresser, and a set of bongo drums.

Despite how badly the walls were being consumed by the myriad of posters, Biyomon was seriously loving Melody's room.

"Wow! This is great!" Biyomon exclaimed.

"Isn't it? I'm glad you like it," Melody said as she put some stuff down on her desk and in front of the computer.

"I must confess, Melody-san, I'm glad that you're my partner. It would be soooo dreadful if I was paired up with that naughty and wicked boy with the freckles! What was his name again?" Biyomon declared rather vainly. Melody couldn't help but chuckle.

"He has his faults, true. But he's also Yun's friend and he knows when to be kind and restrained. I have to respect that since we've been best friends since childhood, me and Yun," Melody explained softly in a low voice. Biyomon sat on the bed and looked at Melody's guitar.

"Your friend Yun is quite the nice girl. Kind and gentle enough, but I'm afraid not very bright," Biyomon said.

"Believe me, you haven't seen ANYTHING of her yet. Hey! Do you like music?" Melody declared as she sat next to her large, pink feathered bird friend and got her guitar out.

"Music? Yes, I do. I haven't decided what kind yet."

"Wanna hear me play a few tunes?"

"Sure."

"I can sing if you want. I write songs."

"Really? You do? I want to listen!"

Melody took out her guitar and a small red and black guitar pick, began playing it, and looked up at the ceiling with her eyes closed and sang.

'Is there anything you want to protect?'
She asks as she approaches her knight.
The tender tears streaming down her cheeks,
Show how weak her kind and gentle heart is.
Those tiny hands cannot hold onto such vast dreams.
Perhaps joyous and jubilant dreams of happiness and concord,
Can surely surpass the cold, hard-feeling reality.
'It is you who I want to protect!' He declares,
His blade shining under the golden sunbeams,
Like a warm light in the cold darkness.
The angel's white wings spread far and wide,
The small white feathers scatter over their heads,
The sky's the limit, and happiness,
Is meant to be cherished, not taken advantage of.
'I wonder if we can be happy together?' She asks,
Her heart filling with warmth,
From the happy memories they made together.


With a single flick of the guitar strings and a rather strange Beatles-esque pose, she finished part of her song. Biyomon, impressed beyond her feather-brained vanity, clapped and flapped for her partner.

"Amazing! Glorious! Wonderful! I loved it! The song is just beautiful!" Biyomon exclaimed as Melody put down her guitar.

"Thank you," Melody replied in English. "I love playing my guitar and writing songs. My dream is to become a great guitar player, great enough to play in the Carnegie Hall! Many famous musicians play there, and it goes way back in history. Of course, I'm not all that good just yet. There's still a lot I have to learn. I have some of my favorite songs on my iPod. They're sung by other people, but wanna have a listen?" Melody asked with a smile as she pulled out her green iPod.

"Sure! I'd love to!" Biyomon said as she and Melody listened to music all day.

No one knows what the future holds for these Digimon and their partners, but one thing's for sure: a very exciting and wonderful adventure is within their vicinity.

Footnotes:

1. Yun is referring to the anime Aria, which is based on the manga written by Kozue Amano. It is very popular and has three animated seasons.

2. Pollyanna is a book written by Eleanor T. Porter.
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