XROS WARS AU CH 58

We Open Chapter 58 on the request that you CATCH UP TO CURRENT IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO ALREADY! I’ll be discussing MAJOR Spoilers for the remainder of this first half of the hunter’s story line in this one! So PLEASE make sure you’re caught up to current before reading this! Otherwise yer’ gonna get spoiled!

Spoilers, Sweetie.

Ahhem

EARTH_ _ _| JAPAN_ _ _| A RANDOM SUB SHOP ON “$6 Sub Sunday”_ _ _|

You guys know the place. Really, Who doesn’t by now?

“Aaannnnd…” A young girl missing quite a few teeth took a deep breath as she prepared to finish up her order, “I want the Super Jumbo Slushy Drink! CHERRY THIS TIME! Aaaaaaannnnddd…” she held up a bag of potato chips. “These chips!”

You guys know this kid. The one who’s missing a few teeth and is grinning like an idiot showing them off and is just so breathy as they talk and go on and on and ON. And somehow despite it being annoying, they come off as charmingly cute!

Kids.

The man behind the counter just smiled, “Heh, sure thing kiddo,” he turned to the girl’s mother and asked, “Will that be cash or credit?”

“Cash,” the woman smiled apologetically and someone sadly, “its her birthday and we’ve been shopping all day, I’m afraid I’ve maxed out my card by now.”

Oh! It’s the little girl’s Bday! How about that! Well, it’s kind of sad when you think about it. The Girl’s got no party today. Hm, maybe she’s having it on another day?

“Haha, Is that so?” The man grinned at the girl, who was hugging the bag of chips against her My Little Pony shirt, “Well happy birthday, little filly! So who’s your favorite?”

Yes- you all know this little birthday girl. The one who’s wearing the Merchandised Brands T-Shirts, in this case My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Airu knows this type to.

Meanwhile, half way across the sub shop store, Airu slurped at her soda as she watched the little girl practically scream out the name of some random pony, Maplehoof or something like that. “Is it really worth it?” she asked finally.

Maplehoof is Homestuck’s sort-of-kind-of shout out to MLP in general. It’s only fair that it goes full circle here.

Next to her, Chou looked up from the book she’d been reading. “Eh?” she blinked her golden eyes. “Come again?”

“What we do, with Digi-Quartz and the hunting,” Airu clarified, “is it really worth it if the whole world’s just going to colapse in a few years?”

“Well,” The other girl adjusted her glasses as she thought on her cousin’s words, “we don’t know for sure that Digi-Quartz is the future, it could just be mirroring the damage and exaggerating it, for all we know…”

Airu is *Smart,* I want to put this out here. Even though she’s got her memories all muddled up, she’s SMART.

As such, she’s wondering about the SHOCKING REVELATIONS that Digi-Quartz is EARTH THAT WAS.

“But is it worth it?” Airu asked again, “doing all of that just to ‘help’ digimon who are stuck there? Ryouma’s clearly not in it for the kudos, and as for Ren…?”

“We could always join Xros Heart?” Chou offered after a moment, “Defect and forget about working with those two?”

Chou is trying to subtly nudge Airu in the direction of Tagiru/Akashi~kun.

“Maybe…” Airu crossed her arms, “but I’ve never really been one to conform, ya know…”

“YEAH!” Came the whiny voice of her brother as he and her mother walked back from the line, having just exited behind the woman and her sub-loving daughter, “You’re always breakin’ the rules!”

Airu rolled her eyes, “Whatever you say, brat.”

“BYEEH!” The boy stuck his tongue out as he hopped up into the chair next to her.

“So what were you talking about?” Sera, Airu’s mother and Chou’s aunt, asked with a smile as she sat down next to her niece.

Some insight into Airu and Chou’s immediate family. Unlike Canon Hunters, Airu’s mom gets a name here! I’m not sure why I went with “Sera” as a name, but…let’s just go with it was a Skyrim shout out and a corrupted form of “Serana” for now.  (twas a joke)

“School clubs!” Chou said with a smile, “Airu was thinking about joining one with me!”

“Oh?” The woman raised an eyebrow, “Even after you graduated college at s-“

“I’ve heard enough about that!” Airu cut her mother off, having heard the stock phrase for one thousand twenty five times now.

Stock Phrase + Memory Blocking trigger. Airu *cant* think about that time without remembering. It’s a sort of self-coping mechanism.

“Heehe” her brother laughed, “I bet you have!” and with that, he tore open the bag of chips he’d gotten for his lunch.

Screams broke out across the sub-shop as he and the birthday girl were suddenly lifted into the air by a green colored static aura.

“WAHHH! Put me Down!” The girl screamed as Airu and Chou shared shocked and worried glances with each other. “It’s my birthdayyyy!”

Aaaand he opened a bag of trouble- that he did!

DIGI-QUARTZ_ _ _|

Across the Time Barrier, Airu and Chou leaped across from the past and into the future.

Inside the future version of the sub-shop, there was a Jagamon, using her vines to reach across a time storm and into various points of the past.

The first two vines of which had connected to Airu’s brother and that poor, pony loving girl, and was attempting to drag them into the future through the storms.

“Hey!” Airu snarled at the Potato Monster, “What the hell are you doing?!”

The Jagamon snarled back, “I’m getting revenge for all my slain brethren! May they rest in potato-ey goodness…!”

…Yeah…this Jagamon…

Chou face-palmed, “Is she serious?”

“I think she is,” Airu frowned as she held up her Xros Loader slightly. “Should I go with Candle..?”

“No. I’ve got this…” Chou cut her off, and took a few steps forward, starting to glow slightly as a determined fire sparked behind her glasses.

“Eh?” The Jagamon raised an eyebrow, “Who’re you?”

“Well…” Chou said as a slight lisp started to over take her voice, “My name is…” With a burst of light and the sound of a popping balloon, Chou switched from her Human form to her Digimon form. “Opposumon!”

Jagamon’s eyes widened as the angry, balloon wielding mouse floated towards her. “Uh oh…!”

“And you!” Opposumon growled slightly, “You’ve just messed with the wrong girl’s YOUNGER COUSIN!”

And so we find out that Opposumon is *QUITE* the fighter when it comes to people she cares about.

Airu pulled a nail file out of her skirt pocket as Opposumon began raging against the poor Jagamon, who really had no clue who she had messed with.

“GAH! No! Put that Sign down!” Jagamon’s screams went unheard to Airu as she began filing at her nails.

WHUNK.

“OW! No! NOT ON MEEEE!”

WHAM!

Airu whistled slightly as she inspected the color on one of her fingers. “I need to paint these again,” she remarked quietly.

“HEEELLLPPPPP!”

SLAM! CRACK!

“eeeeeee!”

…This is one of those offscreen moments of awesome. 😛

AHHEM. And while this is going on, I got distracted by an uploading video that FAILED to work properly. Damn Youtube.

Airu turned from her filing process to look at the nearby posters, which were instead advertising “Amazing Organic Potato Snacks!” with a picture of Jagamon on it, wearing one of Airu’s pink collars. “Ahha!” she clapped her hands, “so that’s what set you off!” she spun on her heels to look at Jagamon, then frowned slightly, “though we really need to get you fixed up first.”

“I…surrender…!” Jagamon’s voice came weakly from off screen.

And with that, Opposumon floated back over to Airu, dusting her hands off as she shifted back into her human form, “And that’s why you don’t mess with anyone with the name Hinomoto.”

“Hah,” Airu laughed slightly, “and to think your side of the family shares a name with the queen of the Digital World! They really should learn, don’t cha think?”

Airu has no idea how spot on she is.

*Cue How to go (TV Edit) by School Food Punishment*

Annnd here we go.

So, Going into Hunters, one of the changes I wanted to make was a distinction between two sides of the story. Which sides? I’m not sure exactly of anymore. I think it was “Main Characters VS. Side Characters.” Don’t quote me on that though.

THIS is where SPOILERS come in.

This opening sequence.

0:01-0:04: These first four beats would be, depending on the episode, a set of jumbled letters, much like the UN-GO opening has four characters that are there (although consistent)… There is no meaning to these letters at all other than to be random. This episode’s letters are E, V, O, L, to set up the pattern.

0:04-0:10: We have the OMNITRIX symbol spinning inside a time tunnel.

0:10-0:16- The text of the logo:

DIGIMON XROS WARS

THE YOUNG HUNTERS THAT LEAP THROUGH TIME.

Would write itself into existence, and then scatter.

0:16-0:28: We’ve got a shot of Tagiru walking through Digi-Quartz.

0:28-0:39: Same sort of shot, but this one’s of Gumdramon.

0:39-0:42: We’ve got 5 characters appearing briefly in the background before we see a shot of Airu: Those characters are Witchmon, Rina, Rock, Akari, and Chou going left to right.

0:43-0:46: Five shots going right to left this time, ending with Ren this time. Those characters are Haruki, Hideaki, Yuu, Shoutmon, and Dracmon.

0:47-0:50: Five descending shots, ending with Ryouma. These characters are, in descending order, The Watch Maker, Harpymon, FlameWizardmon, Quartzmon’s ominous face, and then Astamon. Ryouma then throws out a set of Digi-Quartz colored strings towards Taiki and Sally. Taiki looks over his left shoulder, and through his left eye we see Locomon coming at them.

0:51-0:58: On top of the Locomon, we see the PawnChessmon all fighting vague, unseen, shadowy opponents. Strider lands a glancing blow against something which creates an explosion.

0:58-1:03: Through the Explosion we get Volcdramon’s ugly mug roaring at TIMEAGLE, who is surfing over explosions of lava on a surf-board sort of like MailBirdramon’s wings before jumping into the air and launching the POCKET NET attack.

1:04-1:13: We have Rei Ayanami dancing around the RedMonitamon, the Accel World Expies, and, finally, Taichi, Takato, and Rika.

1:13-1:16: some quick shots of the Frontier gang and Marcus.

1:16-1:21: We see the whole group of Ren, Airu, Tagiru, Hideaki, Rina, and Haruki plus their main Digimon partners walking walking down the streets of some normal street on earth.

1:21-1:25: Rei runs up to join them, followed shortly behind by Aradia the Monitamon.

1:26: Tagiru reaches for the sky and the camera pans back quickly. Careful viewers pausing it would see Mami standing in the background hiding behind a pillar.

The Song ends with a burst of static and a shot of this symbol:

DOT DOT DOT.

*cue Title Theme*

“Cuteness Hunter! Airu the Mechanical Master!”

For an episode staring Airu…she doesn’t actually get much positive development.

I can see why some people were thinking I had a grudge against her in these early chapters.

“P-PLEASE SIR!” The Jagamon was bowing to the shop owner, while looking no worse for ware than having a rather large bandage on her head and a pink colar around her neck. “PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR MY TRANSGRESSIONS!”

The sub shop owner just stared on in bafflement at the potato monster that was bowing for forgiveness. Then he looked to Airu and asked, “Is she serious?”

The blond haired, pink eyed girl simply nodded in agreement while her brother protested, “But that was so much FUN!”

Airu’s Pink collars are meant to remind viewer’s of the pink collar on Mugendramon in Sand Zone.

SUZAKI RESIDENCE_ _ _| SOME TIME LATER_ _ _|

“Oh Opposu~mou~n!”

Chou paled slightly as Airu sang her name. “Yes?” she asked faintly, trying to keep her eyes on her laptop as much as possible.

“What cha do~in?” Came Airu’s question as she practically hovered over her cousin’s shoulder.

Airu’s Isabella-ing it up.

“Nothing,” Chou said with a frown, reaching to do the key stroke to back away a page or two.

“Really?” Airu asked as she stealthily reached to stop Chou from hitting that key stroke, “Cause it looks to me like you’re watching footage from the battle last week!”

‘Dang it!’ Indeed, she was. She’d been hoping to get a few peeks of Tagiru from what little footage there surely was of him being there- out of pure curiosity, of course! Nothing to do with any crushes, no sir- But there didn’t seem to be anything of him! Not a single frame of Arresterdramon, either. “So what if I am? You can’t go two steps anywhere today without seeing something referring to it.”

Chou’s trying to keep her crush a secret, even from herself at this point. But this just won’t do!

“Really…?” Airu frowned as something caught her eye, and she reached to pause the video immediately. “Look!”

“Eh?” Chou leaned in to look at the frozen picture. “Yeah…?”

“It’s a Cutemon!” Airu pointed at the laptop’s screen, nearly touching it.

“Oh, so it is.” Chou frowned, “What about it?”

“It can do that time-y thing! I’ve gotta figure out how!” Airu grinned, “Come on! It’s Sunday! I bet we can find him easily!”

“I’ve got homework, Airu,” Chou declined, “you can go if you want to.”

“Fii~iine!” Airu sang as she skipped over to the door and opened it, “But you’ll be missing out on all the fun!”

Unlike Canon, Airu’s after Cutemon not for the cuteness, but for the TIME BURST ability.

A few hours later…

SLAM.

“Back so soon?” Chou asked silently from her bed, where she was reading a book, as Airu stormed from the door over to where she kept a large pile of mechanical items in a box.

“Couldn’t find ’em,” was the grumbled reply. “I searched all over town and I couldn’t find them.”

Xros Heart’s members can be a slippery bunch.

“So much for finding them easy, then?” Chou put her book down to look at Airu, who was now carrying the box of stuff over to the desk.

“I’ll just make a cuteness detector!” Airu huffed as she put the box down on the desk, “And it’ll be a swordsman detector too! And maybe a metal detector!”

Airu’s really pulling out the Phineas and Ferb ref’s today, isn’t she?

“You’ll set off half the alarms in the city if you do that,” Chou said as she returned to her book, “remember last time?”

“Of COURSE I remember the last time!”

“Ah, I see.”

“…”

“You don’t remember. Do you?”

“SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!”

Ouch, Irony, thou art as subtle as a brick.

I’d actually written this line before I’d settled on the memory gambit plot for Airu, and when I *DID* settle on it…well… I’d forgotten about this exchange entirely.

AMANO RESIDENCE_ _ _|

Yuu stared at the ruined camera in his hands in abstract horror, “You shot it!”

“‘Course I did,” Sally said with a satisfied nod, “it’s revenge at myself for trapping myself in a ‘Blink‘ episode.”

Taiki just sighed, “It’s not like any of us could help it.”

“Aaaanyways,” Kaiyumi coughed as she finished saving the recorded data off of the computer onto a flash drive, “with that loop finished up, the next step is sealing Breakdramon away in the past-past, so we can kill him in the future-past, so none of us end up paradoxically doomed.”

Tagiru, who had watched them recording the whole video from start to finish, simply stared at them all as if he had no clue what was happening. Gumdramon, who was munching on some popcorn nearby, simply looked amused.

“Hey, it’s better than the news,” he protested whenever someone looked at him oddly.

One more part of the Breakdramon loop closed.

Taigru simply had no clue what to make of the Amano apartment- it was easily ten times as big as his own house! Plus, it was on the top floor of a high-rise! How did Yuu’s family get such a place?

What really drew his attention everywhere though were the pictures of Nene and Kotone. They all seemed to be taken within the last year, in various places that didn’t seem to have any real reason to have been there. Also adding to Tagiru’s confusion were clothes Nene was wearing in a good half of those pictures- tan and green robes with a glowing wavy symbol on the chest. According to some news reports, those were the same clothes that one of the Digital World’s “Denizens” wore.

Tagiru personally had never seen Yuu’s other sister before, and nobody had any pictures of the Denizen Echidna herself. The news reports always went with sketches or ‘fan art.’ Could it be possible that Yuu’s sister Nene was the Denizen Echidna?

But how crazy would that be!

Tagiru still doesn’t know *ALL* of Xros Heart’s past. It’s slightly better if he doesn’t, but at the same time…he’s playing catchup.

Kotone, in all of her pictures, seemed about as normal as she ever did when he’d met her. There were a few pictures where she seemed really sad for some reason. It was odd, considering he’d never seen her like that during their brief meetings during the basketball games.

In a lot of other pictures were other members of the Xros Heart team, but typically when Nene or Kotone were in them… Except for this one blond haired boy in blue clothes that didn’t seem to be related to any of them. He was always alone in his pictures, and they seemed to be taken whenever he wasn’t noticing.

“That’s Kiriha,” Simon said suddenly, making Tagiru jump in surprise.

“Weh?” The goggle wearing boy blinked, “Who?”

Kiriha gets a reference here.

“His parents died years ago, but they were good friends with Nene’s parents,” the boy explained, “that’s why there are pictures of him here. Nene sends them.” The human form of that Cutemon opened his mouth slightly, as if trying to pick his words carefully, “They still didn’t really explain everything to you, did they?”

“No, not really,” Tagiru shook his head, “what was with that video?”

“I…” Simon glanced over to the kitchen, where Taiki and Sally were helping Yuu’s mother with cooking dinner, and Yuu and Corone were setting a table, “I think we should talk about that more outside?”

Cutemon realizes that Tagiru’s behind on the times, and so he offers to fill Tagiru in.

“So time travel?” Tagiru asked as a starting point as they walked around outside the building.

“Yup, that part’s pretty much a given,” Simon shrugged slightly, “though how bad it gets is all up to the ‘storm’ that’s coming.” He sighed. “Those things were really bad a year ago, but they’ve calmed down just a bit. We think that as we get closer to whatever causes it, the more calm it seems. Like the eye of a storm.”

“Okay, I guess that makes sense…”

“Tagiru, how much do you know about the Denizens?”

“Um…” Tagiru paused to think as they meandered towards a small playground nearby. “They’re the guardians of the Digital World, the ones who balance it.”

“How many?” It was a simple question, one with a bit of a staggering importance. “What are their names?”

“Uh…” And the answer, despite being simple, refused to come out. “Two? And…Echinda, and Typheus?”

“There were four, and they were Cetus and Hephaestus.” That was the correction, followed by another sigh, “Hephaestus is dead now, technically.”

“Hephaestus?” Tagiru asked, “Isn’t that what Gumdramon called Taiki once?”

“Yeah,” Simon lead them over to the swings, and sat down on one. “I’m probably going to tell you something I shouldn’t, but…” He sighed, “let’s forget the consequences for now.”

Cutemon is showing remarkable maturity here for someone of his age. He’s going about this much more calmly and collected than he would have a few years ago.

As Tagiru sat down next to the younger boy, he felt like instead he was being lectured by an elder… “Okay?”

“This world- this earth- It’s only twenty-some years old,” there was a gravity to those words Tagiru didn’t quite understand fully, even as the explanation continued. “A group of kids fled from a dying world, and they fought a demon in the Digital World. They used that beasts machine for the opposite purpose, and remade their home. This Earth: everything in it is only twenty years old, and anything that is ‘older’ than that is a fake.”

Tagiru stared at the younger boy- who had already gone through so much more than he himself had- with horror. “Every…thing?”

“I suppose it’d be more proper to say that it’s more of…Like a video game.”

“What!?”

This is the true nature of the world- spelled out- for those readers who hadn’t quite figured it out yet and also- for Tagiru, who has no clue about what’s going on.

It is VERY important that he understands this.

“Everything that was there ‘before’ the start was what the device programmed into it. Like an NPC, or a boss monster,” the boy started swinging a little, “But everything after the player enters the world…that’s when changes can be made. Those kids, they had the very souls of the Denizens entrusted to them before the fight against that beast- they were the players who started this world on a new track. Eventually, if things went the way they’d hoped, after a few generations the NPC’s would be gone, and only players would exist. Making the world their own place, and screwing it up if they chose to.”

This is essentially SBURB lore fluff about the Incipisphere and the Medium, tweaked to my own purposes.

“…” Tagiru stared at his feet. “So what happened?”

“They lived their lives, and had kids of their own,” Simon kicked back and started swinging a bit more heavily. “Hephaestus- Hosted by Kudo Taiki. Echidna- Hosted by Nene Amano. Cetus- Hosted by Kotone Amano. And Typheus- Hosted by Kiriha Aouma. All four of them were to return to the Digital World at some point, the Denizens would be reborn, and the kids would never know they’d been born as gods.”

“It didn’t work though?”

“Nope!” The Cutemon laughed. “Everything went pear shaped a couple years after the heroes left the Digital World. That temporary safeguard to balance the world in the Denizen’s absence got too much attention, and so it had to be destroyed. An empire rose up to put together the pieces…And yet they got hindered.”

Cutemon’s rather brutal with the facts.

“How?”

“Xros Heart.” Such a simple reply, but it struck a chord in Tagiru’s heart.

“You mean, when you guys formed up, right?” Somehow, Tagiru was expecting that answer to be…

“No.” And he was right. “Three future members of the team, thrown back in time. They ended up joining the Empire, and became it’s top lieutenants, all so they could hinder its progress.” Simon shrugged, “Was as necessary as it ever was, I suppose. The Bagura Empire had good intentions, but the emperor’s brother…he did things that corrupted it, and that drew in all the wrong people and they just made things worse.”

And this is where Cutemon reveals to Tagiru what his role in future events is going to be. The whole point of this scene is that it’s CUTEMON, the Simon (Gurren Lagann) like character, who is giving Tagiru all of the facts straight up. Shoutmon DOES eventually do this same thing later on, off screen, but it is rather telling to the audience HOW Tagiru is viewed at this stage by everyone from Xros Heart. It’s telling that the KID is the one who’s going to offer Tagiru The Choice of Free Will. (Gotta underline that key shit.)

“DarkKnightmon.” Even Tagiru knew that bastards name. It had echoed through everyone’s minds during that “Final Xros.”

“Yup.”

“So they held the empire back?”

“Until the heroes arrived, one by one.” Simon laughed, “Taiki was the last, and he was late by a couple of years. Nene, Kotone, Kiriha- they were all lost to the Digital World, but they lived, made friends, enemies, blah blah, the usual tropes.”

Cutemon’s summarizing everything rather well.

“So when Taiki showed up…?”

“That’s when Xros Heart really began, I guess, in a sense,” the boy shrugged, “It’s sort of paradoxically always existed. No beginning or end. But a couple of other members, they claimed to be Xros Heart’s founders. One had a kid, taught her all of the same ideals they probably learned from us…Then she got a partner, and friends, and a team.. We all set off to reclaim the Digital World as our own.”

“Am I one of those time travelers?” Tagiru asked with a worried look in his eyes. “Shoutmon said something about me being a dad before…”

“Did he now?” Simon chuckled, “But yeah, as far as I’ve heard, you end up being the father of it all, paradoxically.”

Tagiru puts the pieces together. Ironically, this scene WAS meant to explain all of the story to Tagiru, but…it just got off course.

“You guys aren’t going to just dump me in the past, are you?” Taigru’s voice had a lot of worry behind it.

“No way! We don’t turn our backs on anyone!”

“…Really?”

“It’s not how we roll,” there was a fire burning behind Cutemon’s eyes, “we don’t turn our backs on anyone. We won’t let things fall apart. And…We won’t let you get stranded if we can’t help it. There’s a lot that we can’t actually do in the past because it’d paradox us all to oblivion, but if it’s a voluntary mission to the past, we’re not going to let you stay stuck.”

Tagiru will later take that catchphrase as his own. “That’s how we roll!” Cutemon’s unintentionally given it to the boy.

After a few moments of silent swinging between the two of them, Tagiru finally spoke up…

“So…that girl you mentioned before, she’s not the Digital World’s queen, is she?”

“Foreknowledge is a dangerous thing,” Simon lamented as he kicked his foot out to stop his forward swing. “Do you really want to know everything?”

This break- I’ll say it now- I stopped here and asked my friends what they thought of this scene. I asked them the same question.

Their answer was the same that I’d had set for Tagiru, and so I stuck with it.

Dinner was a delicious lasagna dish, accompanied by a large salad bowl and many dinner rolls.

“So I heard from Nene-chan last night,” Yuu’s mother, Kuroyuki-san, smiled at her son in between sips of water.

“Really?” Yuu asked. “What’d she have to say?”

“Kotone-chan will be coming back in on train seventy-six tomorrow,” the woman smiled, “apparently they found who she was looking for.”

“Eh?” Sally looked up at that, “Really?”

“Yup! Kotone and Cetus are bringing him back with them.”

“Ah, it’ll be good to see that guy again,” Taiki said with a smile.

Japanese language- i love how beautifully “Vague” it can be. Words can be translated as simply “That guy” and yet people know who you’re talking about.

Except for when they don’t.

Tagiru would be annoyed if he weren’t otherwise distracted.

Tagiru, who was still struggling with the decision he’d made earlier, simply tried to put this all behind him. ‘So what do I do now…?’ he wondered silently.

Gumdramon looked over at his partner and frowned. ‘What’s gotten him all worked up?’

“So how about we get the team together tomorrow after they get back?” Kaiyumi suggested.

“Ah, that’d be fine, but maybe we should put it off for a day so they can get settled?” Sally offered instead, “Besides, I’ve got stuff from today I’ll need to get done tomorrow. I don’t know if I’d be able to make it or not.”

“I’ll come help you then…” Taiki began…

It was around here that Tagiru began to zone out again.

“Hey, since it’ll be just the few of us then,” Yuu said after some indeterminate amount of time had passed, “Why don’t we just meet up at the park outside tomorrow, and you two can meet the guy who saved Kotonee-san’s life!”

“Eh?” Tagiru blinked as soon as he realized the comment was directed at him and Gumdramon.

Yuu’s offering Tagiru to meet this mysterious person- who by now you all should realize is Tsuwamon.

THE NEXT DAY_ _ _| OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL BUILDING_ _ _|

Airu grinned as she watched Chou walk out of the school building. She waved energetically. “HEY!”

Chou sighed, and started on her way over to her cousin. “Airu, what are you doing here?” was the question once she got within speaking distance.

“We’re going hunting today!” The blond grinned, “We’ll wait for one of Xros Heart’s members to go alone and we’ll follow ’em until we can ask ’em if we can have the Time Jump Thingy!”

Airu is REALLY screwed in the head here, it should be obvious now. The Memory Gambit Quartzmon pulled is making her really determined on this.

“You gave up on the cuteness detector then?” Chou asked, before scowling, “And I really doubt you’re just going to ask ’em.”

“Now come on,” Airu reached over to drag her cousin into the nearby bushes, “I got a surprise for ya in the Xros Loader!”

“A surprise?” Chou’s scowl turned into a full out frown. “I hope it’s not anything ridiculous like last time.”

“No No! Nothing like that!”

“Because I’m not wearing any costumes if that’s what it is.”

“It’s not a costume! It’s a new weapon!”

“Airu…”

“And some armor!”

“…Eh?”

Armor? Yeah, no…it’s a costume.

THE PARK’S MINIATURE BASKETBALL COURT_ _ _| SOMETIME LATER_ _ _|

It was a small group of Tagiru, Gumdramon, Yuu, Corone, and Shoutmon that were welcoming back Kotone and her travel companion- a boy just a head shorter than Kotone, with sort of dirty brown hair all messed up, and blue eyes that seemed clouded over somewhat- unofficially before some sort of big party was going down the next day.

“Yo, it’s good to see you two again!” Shoutmon was saying to them both.

This new boy’s clothes looked like they’d been stolen out of Yuu’s closet (And probably had been) due to them being just slightly too big for the boy, but the backpack he had on looked like it came straight out of some kind of bicyclists shop. The creepy part though was the stitched up mouse doll looking over the boy’s shoulder from inside the backpack’s opened top.

It was alive.

Tagiru didn’t know whether to be creeped out or surprised.

With ChuChumon, who can say?

“Hello,” the boy held his hand out to Tagiru, “I’m Tsuwabuki, you must be Tagiru?”

Formal, very formal.

“Uh, yeah,” Tagiru shook the boy’s hand and shook it. “I’m Akashi, Tagiru.”

“Kotone’s told me all about how you pulled off that double shot at that last basketball game,” The boy smiled. “Quite a shot you made there! I’m impressed!”

Yuu sent Kotone a wry look, who shrugged and replied, “It was a long train ride. We had to talk about something!”

“Anyways,” Yuu rolled his eyes, “I say we go walk around town for a bit! Get Tsuwa-san acquainted with the city, and all that.”

Note that she said “train ride.” At this stage, the MAIN way of getting from one world to the other is by LOCOMOTIVE.

From the top of a tree where she was watching them through a set of binoculars, Airu grinned. “Oh wow! So many of them just sitting there!”

Opposumon huffed from her seat on a branch next to her, saying nothing beyond what the body language of having crossed arms implied.

“Oh come on, you’re not mad at me, are you?” Airu put down her binoculars to look at Opposumon.

“I have homework to do, Airu! And adding onto that you made me put on some stupid costume-!”

“It’s armor! Not a pretty costume!”

“STUPID. Not Silly! Not Pretty! Stupid!” Opposumon protested. “It’s stupid and ugly and there’s no way I can even fight in it like you want me to!”

Airu is coming off as VERY selfish here, and it’s this shoddy writing that made me want to settle in on the memory gambit. There was no other way to get her personality on track towards becoming Lilithmon otherwise.

“But your new weapon…!” Airu frowned slightly.

“I can’t use it! It’s too heavy!” Opposumon turned to look away from her, instead focusing her look down on Tagiru. ‘And if Akashi-kun saw me…! Oh that’d just be horrible!’

“…You’re sure this isn’t about me taking your pretend-glasses so you could put on the costume?” Airu didn’t seem to get the point.

Opposumon’s tiny fists trembled as she fought back the urge to shout at her cousin. ‘But they’re NOT pretend!’

I originally wrote this scene with the intent that Airu just DID NOT understand her cousin at all. And at this stage, it holds true….But even so. You’d THINK Airu would know better, right?

Right?

“Anyways,” Airu changed the subject, “they’re moving! Let’s go ask them now!” and then before Opposumon could protest, Airu slid down out of the branches towards the ground below- not even really caring that she was wearing a skirt.

Opposumon sighed, and then jumped down after her.

And there she goes.

“HEY!”

Taigru paled when he heard that voice; Gumdramon (in cat form on his shoulder) froze up entirely and fell to the ground in shock, where the then bounced around a few times like a super ball.

Gumdramon is still very much wanting to avoid Airu.

The others looked confused slightly.

“Xros Heart!” Airu was running towards them, a stupidly insane grin on her face.

“Do we know her?” Shoutmon asked.

“Not really,” Yuu shook his head.

“I want something!” Airu pulled out her Xros Loader, just as Opposumon floated up behind her.

“Yeah?” Shoutmon tensed a little- getting an odd vibe off of that Xros Loader. Was she challenging them to a fight?

“Give me your younger-older time jumpy thing!” Opposumon then elbowed Airu in the shoulder, forcing her to add on a “Please!”

“She means the Time Burst thing, right?” Tsuwabuki asked.

“Yeah,” Kotone nodded, looking at her own Xros Loader, which had been fully upgraded in the year since she switched sides. “I think she does.”

“Look,” Shoutmon sighed, “we can’t just hand that out to anyone, kid.”

“WHO ARE YOU CALLING A KID!?” Airu shouted at him, “I’m just as old as you are!”

…She’s sort of got a point there.

“It’s on a need-to-have basis,” Shoutmon continued, “it’d be very, very bad if certain people got their hands on it!”

“Then I challenge you guys to a fight!” Airu pointed at them dramatically. “My Opposumon versus any one of your Digimon!”

“AIRU!” Opposumon squealed in surprise, “No Way! I’m not doing that!”

Even with the lisp, Tagiru still found that voice of hers familiar. Why, he hadn’t been able to figure out yet.

“Look, Kid…” Shoutmon tried to begin, only to be cut off by Kotone.

“I’ll do it!”

Yuu, Corone, and Shoutmon each did a double take, looking at her in surprise with a unified “What!?”

“If you guys beat me and Tsuwa-kun, then we’ll give you the program!” Kotone said with a grin, “If we win, you guys go back to do some more training and then you can try again sometime later!”

“Sounds fair to me!” Airu grinned back.

“How about a two on two!” Kotone threw her Xros Loader up in the air before catching it, “Me and you spar it out while our Digimon battle it out on their own! First side to knock out both wins!”

Airu hesitated for a moment, before shouting a slightly stuttered “DEAL!”

Wow that escalated quickly. Kotone is pretty sure she can win this despite not knowing Airu’s skills.

“Wh-AIRUUUU!” Opposumon squealed in horror, “We can’t do thaaaat!”

(Tagiru blinked, that line especially struck him as familiar.)

“Tsuwa-kun!” Kotone grinned, “Let’s go!”

Chou is Opposumon- so of course Tagiru would recognize her speech patterns.

“Right!” The boy nodded…and then vanished in a puff of smoke.

Airu did a double take, wondering briefly where he’d gone, when…

“HIIIYAH!” Kotone ran forward, leaping towards her with an opening tackle.

Airu gulped.


Opposumon stared at the shape that had replaced the boy: a small little mechanical pile of junk. “What are you?”

“I’m Damemon!” Damemon waved at her innocently. “Dame Dame!”

“…What…?” Opposumon blinked, and that was all the opening Damemon needed.

“Too Slow, Dame Dame!” Suddenly, The little pile of trash metal was BEHIND her!

“Gak!” She flew upwards in surprise. “How the-?!” Okay. So he was something different from what she was expecting. Opposumon narrowed her eyes and flared her nose out, “MAD BALOON BOMB!” She took one of her many balloons and threw it at Damemon, whose little eyes narrowed in return.

BLAM!

With a flash, Damemon side-steped the exploding balloon. ‘That was close!’ he thought with a little sweat falling down the side of his face. ‘I almost didn’t get out of there!’

Despite being a ninja, Damemon barely got out of there.

Opposumon is fast!

EYE CATCH!

The camera zooms in on Kotone standing on one side of a clock face with Tsuwabuki standing on the other side.

The camera pans out, and the clock spins over, revealing golden colored in outlines of Damemon and Tsuwamon.

EYE CATCH!

Yay! Kotone gets an eyecatch!

Yuu and Corone just stared on in horror as Shoutmon held them back from fighting.

“These two,” was his only explanation, “I need to see their skills.”

Tagiru and Gumdramon were simply just staring on, watching the fight go on. Neither of them daring to say a single thing.

Damemon was simply dodging Opposumon’s many thrown exploding balloons. The little guy seemed a bit too focused on dodging- he couldn’t really get an attack in.

Kotone and Airu were in a similar predicament. Airu was dodging, with Kotone throwing quite a few physical attacks.

Shoutmon didn’t get why she wasn’t using any of Cetus’ powers, but that probably made the playing field even.

Even so, Shoutmon’s eyes keyed in on the way Airu was jumping away, and his ears listened to her voice as she did said jumping.

It was familiar to him, and he knew where it fit exactly.

Shoutmon’s recognizing Airu’s style from their fight with Lilithmon in Sand Zone. 

After a minute of this nonsense, both sides were worn down, panting heavily.

“What d’ya say we take this up a level?” Airu taunted, even though she was clearly in no position to do such.

“What’d you have in mind?” Kotone asked with a slight frown.

“We each unseal our partners HIDDEN POWERS!”

Opposumon paled at that, immediately turning towards Airu and shrieking; “I’M NOT WEARING THAT COSTUME!”

“Your Opposumon has another form huh?” Kotone’s frown turned into a smirk, “Well it just so happens that my Damemon has another form as well!”

Both girls pulled out their Xros Loaders.

“TIME BURST!” Kotone called out.

“CHOU~ SHINKAAA!” Airu ordered.

“DAMEMON CHOU SHINKA!” Instantly, Damemon was encased in a sphere of golden light that grew a bit, and then exploded- Revealing the Ninja Digimon: “TSUWAMON!”

Opposumon…did nothing but cross her arms. “Da. Me.” she repeated Damemon’s catchphrase.

Chou doesn’t want to wear the pig costume.

“Opposu~moooon!” Airu whined, “Please!”

“No!”

“PLEASE?!”

“I won’t!”

“Do it and I’ll upgrade your computer!”

“Tempting: but the answer is still NO!”

“Do it and I won’t ever ask you to do it ever again!” Airu was pleading with her cousin now: “If we win this then you’ll have access to your future form and we won’t have to go through any more silly things like this ever again!”

This is a rather bizarre scene. Is it not?

“…” Opposumon looked Airu over for a few moments… Then… “Promise?”

“Eh?”

“Promise me you won’t ever ask me to wear any stupid costumes ever again, and I’ll do it!”

“I PROMISE!”

“Fine…” With a sigh, Opposumon glowed…and shifted into her human form.

Of course, she wasn’t dressed up in her normal clothes- It was Airu’s weird “Costume.”

She’s now Cho-Hakkaimon. Subtly, you’ll notice that I named Chou after this form. 

Mainly, poor Chou was wearing a blue gymnastics leotard, and on her arms and legs were massive armor like pieces of pink metal that were apparently shaped like Pig’s feet. Over her head was a really large ‘helmet’ of metallic cloth that looked like it barely would protect anything given how big and absurd it looked. There was rope- lots and lots of rope- that seemed to have no other purpose other than to keep the ‘helmet’ tied down onto the leg armor pieces; all of it was tied up in a rather large bow on her back. Her glasses were gone, instead replaced by a small, black mask that did little to hide her identity.

Double subtly, take note of the initials. “Chou Hinomoto” vs. “Cho-Hakkaimon.”

See the theme?

“Opposumon Mode Change into Cho-Hakkaimon,” she said flatly as she reached out for a rather large metallic hammer that appeared to have rockets attached to the side.

Shoutmon, Yuu, Corone, and Kotone stared at her in abstract confusion.

“What the hell is she wearing?” Corone muttered after a few moments.

Corone- formerly DEADLYAXMON, formerly a CRONA EXPY- is the one who makes such a comment. You know this has to look odd.

Of course, Tagiru was staring at her for a completely different reason- He recognized her. ‘Chou-chan!?’ his eyes met hers, saying this.

‘Please. Don’t look at me, Akashi-kun,’ Chou glanced away, embarassed.

“Well,” Airu coughed, ending the awkward break in events, “Shall we continue?”

“Fine,” Chou grabbed the rocket rake thing and tried to balance it with the massive armored gloves she’d been given to wear. “Whatever.”

Tagiru recognizes Chou- he’s suddenly realizing why Opposumon didn’t tell on him that first day in Digi-Quartz.

The ‘battle’ resumed.

“RRREAAAAHHHH!” Chou leaped towards Tsuwamon with a mechanically enhanced speed- the armor actually serving some purpose (for once).

“HUH!” Tsuwamon easily dodged as she swung the hammer rake at him awkwardly.

She snarled slightly, and spun around again for a counter attack.

Tsuwamon, once again, easily avoided it, despite still being in the air. ‘Odd,’ he observed.

This process continued- with her swinging that rather awkward weapon in even more awkward clothing, and him dodging easily.

Easily being the key word this time.

‘Her attacks are going wide by a far margin,’ Tsuwamon narrowed his eyes slightly, ‘Even if she’s new to this kind of weapon, that powered armor should more than make up for it.’

‘Damn it!’ Chou grit her teeth as another of her attacks missed, ‘I can’t see him!’

‘What’s going on here?’ Tsuwamon frowned mentally as he thought, ‘Before her attacks were hitting too close for comfort. Now she’s not even getting anywhere close to me.’

Chou’s practically blind without her glasses- something that Airu has on her at this very moment.

“COME ON CHO-HAKKAIMON!” Airu shouted, being the one who came up with that ridiculous name in the first place, “HIT HIM! HIT HIM!”

Tsuwamon hadn’t even broken out his weapons yet, and he didn’t think he’d need to ever. ‘She’s attacking wildly here, like something’s changed.’ He jumped back well out of her range this time, to observe her.

“RAAARH! Stop moving!” Chou shouted as she pushed forward, throwing the hammer/rake forward like it was a spear.

Half way to it’s target, the weapon fell flat on its head and, as if powered by a spring inside of it, suddenly sprung up into the air with a SPROING.

It’s not just a ROCKET Hammer…

IT”S A ROCKET POGO HAMMER!!!

“Wha…” Chou stared up at it as it flew up into the air like a…well…Like a rocket.

“Your depth perception is off,” Tsuwamon finally declared aloud. “Your human form has worse depth perception than your digimon form. That’s why your attacks kept missing.”

“Stop lying!” Airu shouted in protest. “She only wears those glasses to look smart!”

Airu’s brain is rather confused here. 

Tagiru and Chou both face palmed- the latter to much discomfort due to the armor.

Ouch.

“Gyah…!” She stumbled back a bit…

BELL!

And then the hammer-rake thing fell down on the top of her armored head, where it then bounced off into the sky yet again.

Double ouch.

Much LIKE a bell, however, the pig head shaped helmet didn’t deform from the impact, and began vibrating with a loud tone, further hurting the poor girl’s pride along with giving her a headache.

She fell backwards onto the ground.

So yeah, it’s a bell.

It’s kind of awkwardly funny when you look at it.

“Chou-chan!” Tagiru called out in horror and began running towards her.

“HEY!” Airu held up her Xros Loader and went to reload another Digimon in vengeance for him interfering when…

“GRAH!”

Gumdramon jumped on her, biting down and then yanking out at a piece of her hair, causing Airu to shriek in surprise and drop her Pink Loader.

“It’s over,” Shoutmon ordained, signaling Tsuwamon to revert back into his more normal form.

And so Gumdra<>Airu begins! Moirails!

“Chou-chan, are you okay?” Tagiru was asking the dazed girl as he helped her up.

“Y…yeah, I guess so…?” Chou groaned as she reached up to rub at her head, only to be stopped by both the helmet and her arm armor, “I got a headache…”

“Yeah, I’ll bet…” Tagiru smiled at her. “It’ll pass…” Then he frowned, and looked up at Airu, who was struggling to get Gumdramon off of her head. “Oi, you can let go of her now!”

“Ryeah?” Gumdramon looked up with a mouthful of hair, “Yure vure mout bat, Takeru?” Tagiru nodded, and Gumdramon spat out his current mouthful of hair before leaping off of Airu with a disgusted remark of: “You taste awful!”

“Really? You sure about that, Tagiru?” he said.

By the way- it’s sort of ironic in a way that Tagiru’s got all these cat like characters around him, isn’t it?

Airu glared at the little rubber dragon, and was about to protest when Tagiru spoke up:

“WHAT THE HELL.”

Okay, it was more of a “roar” than a “spoke up.”

Airu turned towards him, “Hah?”

“What the hell!” Tagiru repeated, “Chou-chan’s pretty much BLIND without her glasses!” he got up from the dazed Chou, and marched over towards Airu. “Don’t you know your own partner better than that!?”

“Chou-chan?” Airu repeated, confusion clouding her mind over to the point that she didn’t even process his question. “You know her!?”

And it’s HERE that Tagiru gets to show what kind of a person he is.

“Don’t change the damned subject!” Tagiru spat, and Yuu did a double take. Tagiru was Not one to curse so freely. “You give her all this stupid armor and weapons and expect her to fight without her Glasses!?” Tagiru continued to rant as he approached Airu, holding a hand out expectantly. “Hand them over. Give. Me. Back. Chou-chan’s. Glasses!”

“Akashi-kun…” Chou whispered from where she was sitting, staring over at him.

And then it clicked in Airu’s brain.

“You…” She covered her mouth in surprise. “You’re the kid she’s been tutoring!?”

“Her glasses.” Tagiru repeated with a certain punctuation. “Now.”

Tagiru *Really* Cares for Chou, and this is where he shows it.

Originally when I was first planing the Hunters arc when it was first airing, before I decided on Chou and Tagiru knowing each other first. The Hunters arc In my head was rather similar to the main episode, what I latter dubbed internally as a “B.E.T.” that had the same episode placement as the Canon series. In this episode, Tagiru was going to rather suddenly kiss Cho-Hakkaimon at the end, with her and Airu tied up by Tsuwamon, as revenge for Airu kissing him in the first episode. He was going to say something similar to this, insisting to Chou that: “I don’t think you’re ugly, or just cute, or even ugly cute. You’re HOT!” and sort of implied that he wanted to go out sometime.  

Of course- that was when the Hunters Story arc wasn’t anywhere near complete to the finalized plan I came up with before writing the arc. But it was definitely that moment that made me decide that I wanted Chou to be Akari’s mother. So, while the story-line changed vastly, as this kind of story is known to do as it’s being written chapter by chapter, I still wanted Tagiru to have that “Screw You!” moment towards Airu, who hadn’t even been decided as Lilithmon at that early stage of planning. 

Hence the Glasses.

AMANO APARTMENT_ _ _| AN HOUR LATER_ _ _|

Chou, now in a fresh change of Kotone’s clothes, sighed as she looked at her broken, and then repaired, glasses. Airu had been so reckless as to shove them into her skirt pocket, and during that duel with Kotone, the nose-bridge had snapped.

Thankfully, the glass parts themselves had remained relatively intact- save a few hairline cracks near the bridge itself- and all that needed to be done was a quick bit of scotch tape around the bridge to repair them.

“I’ll need to get them replaced,” Chou said glumly as she put them on, “but they’ll work until then…” She let her eyes focus in on the boy across from her. “You’re not mad at me?”

“‘Course not,” Tagiru smiled at her as he reached across the table to hold her hands. “I didn’t tell you I got my Xros Loader, so…We’re sort of even, I guess!”

“But I…” Chou tried to change the subject, “I fell like I was being a stinky, smelly spy!”

“Nah!” Tagiru shook his head, “There’s no harm done! Well…” his smile faltered a little as he looked at her glasses, “nothing that can’t be fixed anyways.”

That said- I like this version of the episode a lot better than what I originally had planned. Especially since I needed to move the episode earlier along so that I could get this entire early arc out of the way so Chou and Tagiru could have some more screen time building their relationship.

Across the room, Shoutmon looked at the two of them as he listened to Sally yelling at him over the Wrister.

“-And not to mention the fact that we have to pay for the craters, but we’ve also got a randomly hopping POGO STICK OF DOOMcausing havoc all over the city!” Sally was ranting, “What the hell is that thing anyways!? Every time it hits something it just BOUNCES away! We can’t catch it!”

This Pogo Stick of Doom is going to be something of a problem, isn’t it? Something of a perpetual motion machine, I guess. 

“Well…” Shoutmon rolled his eyes, “you can blame one Suzuaki, Airu, for that one.” He paused for a moment, “A.K.A.: Lilithmon.”

“And it’s-Wait, WHAT?!” Sally shouted in surprise.

“Her dodging style matches that time we fought in Sand Zone, not to mention that she fits the description Taiki and Kiriha gave us of that Dream Girl in Honey Land who told them to wake up,” Shoutmon sighed, “Plus, remember how that Mugendramon had a pink collar? Chou-san here told us that Airu puts those on her Digimon team to ‘rehabilitate’ them.”

“So that’s, what? Three down?”

“Two to go.”

“Damn. We’re making good time on finding them,” Sally paused, no doubt rolling her eyes on the other end, “I mean, given that it’s taken us a year to get this far already.”

“Time works in mysterious ways, Sally Sparrow,” Shoutmon said sagely, “you of all people should know that.”

“…Don’t remind me.” There was a grumble on the other end of the line as the Wrister changed owners.

Sally’s upset because of all the time loops in her life- especially the ones that are blatant shoutouts to Doctor Who.

DIGITAL WORLD IMMIGRATION STATION #76_ _ _|

“Shoutmon,” Taiki said into th Wrister, “you did good here today.”

“I did?” Shoutmon sounded surprised. “How’s that?”

“I don’t think I would have caught the dodging style thing,” Taiki said as he glanced out the window of Sally’s office, through which he could see several Digimon and Humans passing across a large floor, similar to an airport terminal. “And that you let things play out too…This moment’s probably what gets Akari’s parents together. I can feel it, somehow: we’ve just narrowly adverted a paradox.”

“You and your powers,” Sally rolled her eyes as she reached to grab the Wrister back. “He’s right, Shoutmon. Today was probably a fixed point, not interfering was probably the best thing you can do.” She waited a moment for that to sink in, but Shoutmon didn’t reply, so she continued on, “And tell Chou-san that we’ll also pay for her replacement glasses. They’re as much collateral as the park is, so I can sneak the check in when nobody’s looking.”

Shoutmon chuckled at that, “For once I can say: thank goodness for Red Tape!”

Shoutmon proves why he’s King here- Taiki, despite all his powers, would NOT have caught the fighting style. It’s something he never encountered up close.

THE STREETS_ _ _|

Ryouma frowned as he watched the emergency news broadcast going on:

“What began as a simple weapons test quickly turned into a dangerous event that left the Park near a residential apartment complex riddled with craters!” The newscaster was saying, “Apparently, resident genius Suzuaki, Airu, was testing what she claims to be a…” the newscaster checked her notes as if to double check what she was reading off of the teleprompter, “Spring Loaded Rocket Rake,” she shook her head at the name, “that went rogue during the initial calibration testing! As she and several passerby’s, two of whom are Xros Heart Members who happened to live in the nearby apartment complex, struggled to contain the rogue device, it eventually leaped out of their reach and flew out into the city! We’re broadcasting this as a warning to anyone in the local area: Please be on the lookout for this rogue weapon! It’s internally powered spring is in perpetual motion! If you see it, please, seek shelter immediately, and wait for it to pass by!”

Ryouma scowled and turned away from the TV. “Reckless Idiot,” he labeled Airu on the spot.

Of Course, continuing on with the plot of Hunters showing the real world reactions to things- Airu’s dangerous stunt that TORE UP MAJOR PARTS of a PLAYGROUND should NEVER have gone unnoticed!! However, the official story has been SPUN to indicate that it was merely an ACCIDENT and not Airu doing something dangerous!

Ryouma, being the ever so “Caring” friend, brands her as an Idiot for that move. 

SUZAKI RESIDENCE_ _ _| TWO HOURS LATER_ _ _|

“Just what were you thinking testing such a dangerous device in public like that?!” Airu’s father was yelling at her. “Your cousin doesn’t even want to come home after that stunt of yours!”

“I’m sorry…” Airu sniffed a little.

“Sorry doesn’t cut it!” Her father gave her a slap across the cheek, “You’ve set something dangerous and reckless into the city, and nobody’s able to stop it!”

“But I-“

Another slap- this time the other cheek.

“Just be glad that the Akashi kid Chou’s been tutoring lives near here, or else you’d be in even worse trouble than you are!”

“…sniff…Yes father.” Airu stared down at her feet.

Airu’s parents don’t even know the REAL story- all they know is what’s been spun up to cover this mess up. Airu doesn’t even know WHY Xros Heart’s had it spun in this way. 

All that she’s focused on at this point is that she ROYALLY Screwed up with her cousin (Who doesn’t even want to stay in the same HOUSE because of this), and everyone PROBABLY hates her for all eternity…

Good grief, writing it out like that REALLY makes me realize why everyone thought I hated Airu in these early chapters.

I don’t think I can say that enough!

AKASHI RESIDENCE_ _ _|

“Welcome to my home,” Tagiru smiled at Chou as he opened the door to let her in, “Small as it is, it’s cozy enough…”

Tagiru says that every time she comes over.

“What if your parents come home?” Chou asked as she kicked off her shoes and put on the slippers near the door, “I don’t really think they’d like it if I’m staying over for the night…”

“Ah, forget them!” Tagiru waved it off as he closed the door, “They’re always off working late at night this time of the year. I’ve only seen ’em once or twice since the month started.”

Some news on Tagiru’s parents- although for him it’s something he doesn’t want to think about. They ARE, after all, older than 20.

Chou giggled, “That sounds so sad, if it weren’t for the way you’re always telling me that whenever I come over.”

“It’s true though,” Gumdramon said from his seat on Tagiru’s shoulder, “I haven’t seen ’em once since I started living here.”

Gumdramon says it like it is. Tagiru’s parents are almost like ghosts.

Almost.

A short while later, Tagiru was cooking dinner up for all three of them, leaving Chou and Gumdramon alone to talk.

“So…” Gumdramon, who was curled up like a cat next to her, purred, “you know, today’s the first time I’ve ever seen him act like that.”

“Really…?” Chou looked at him through her cracked glasses, which made the golden glint off of his tail-bracelet reflect oddly. “I always thought he was a bit energetic, to be honest…”

“Yeah, he’s in over his head sometimes, but…” Gumdramon looked at her as he scratched at the back of his head, “I’ve never seen him get so mad before! It was like he was focused in on one thing and only one thing!”

Gumdramon’s really seen a brand new side to Tagiru here- and it’s one he LIKES. He’s made the right choice in siding with Tagiru as a “Sponsor” of sorts.

“That’s true…” Chou closed her eyes and thought back on it, “he’s always unfocused when it comes to homework though…I don’t think I’ve ever seen him act like that either…”

Gumdramon chuckled a little, “ya know, if I didn’t know any better, I’d say he plays dumb just so he can hang out with you.”

“What?” Chou opened her eyes in surprise, “Really?”

“Every time he talks about you, it’s like he’s got this distant look in his eyes…” Gumdramon sighed, “I saw that once with the King and Queen of the Digital World, back before they were actually King and Queen.” Chou’s mouth opened a bit, but said nothing, prompting him to continue. “It was in Sword Zone, where I was born and raised…”

And so we get some backstory on Gumdramon- tying back into that one day I skilled in the Code Crown arc.

FLASH BACK_ _ _| ONE YEAR EARLIER_ _ _| SWORD ZONE_ _ _|

“It was on the evening before the last battle, and I was up late because I was hungry and looking for something to eat…”

A younger Gumdramon yawned as he wandered down the halls of the palace the Zone natives and Xros Heart had been hunkered into during the night, all in preparation of the final push against Bagura in the morning.

“Shouto…” Akari’s voice echoed from the small kitchen of the palace as Gumdramon approached it, “do you really think it’s going to ever end? The fighting?”

“Heh, come on, Akari,” Shoutmon’s voice came next, “we made a promise to each other, remember?”

Gumdramon leaned around the doorframe, looking into the kitchen itself.

“The war’s gotta end, or else that promise can’t come true, right?” Shoutmon was sitting on the counter, holding an arm wrapped around Akari, who was leaning against him, eyes closed, but with a smile on her face as he talked. “You and me, once we beat Bagura. We’re gonna go settle down somewhere, go on a couple thousand dates, and we’re just going to have fun!” There was a glimmer in his eyes as he talked.

This is showing Shoutmon and Akari at one of their highest points this early on in that part of the story.

“But what about the storms?” she asked. “If we beat Bagura and all, that’s fine, but those…rifts. That static. What if it keeps haunting us?”

Shoutmon just chuckled, “Then we’ll kick down whoever’s causing it and we’ll punch ’em in the nose until they bow down to our superior skills!”

“You’re picking up things from those two now, are you?” Akari opened her eyes, and golden light bet blue skies.

“Well, hey, you can’t blame me for that! We’ve been working together for so long now that we’re all bound to pick things up from one another, right?” Shoutmon smiled as he pulled her a bit closer for a full on hug.

“True…” Akari smiled and leaned in to…

“Blyeh!” Gumdramon spun around and quickly scurried back to bed as they began kissing.

The Irony is- Gumdramon is telling Chou about her daughter’s boyfriend saying something romantic.

Just think about that for a moment.

FLASH_FORWARD_ _ _|

“I…uh…” Gumdramon looked towards the clock on the wall nearby, “I lost my appetite after that.”

“Hehe…” Chou giggled a little.

Oddly, I’m just getting hungry. I don’t think I ate enough for dinner. 0_0;

Soon enough, dinner was ready, eaten, and digested. Gumdramon had hopped off to get some fresh air after eating a lot, coincidentally leaving Chou and Tagiru alone.

“Chou-chan,” Tagiru said suddenly as they worked on washing the dishes, “I…I wanted to say something to you earlier, but…It never felt like the right time.”

“What is it, Akashi-kun?” She asked, blinking at him through her cracked glasses.

“Well…I…” He took a breath, “I…I always thought you were cute and I wanted to get to know you so…I-” He gulped, “I was to scared to just come up and talk to you, so when I heard you were offering tutoring, I…uh…”

“You dropped your grades?” Chou deduced, not only from his actions so far, but also what Gumdramon had said before.

“Yeah.” He hung his head in shame, “Sorry I lied.”

Tagiru is actually pretty smart in his own way. He wanted to get to know someone better, but was too scared to do it, so he made an excuse up so that way he COULD talk to her.

Why?

She stared at him for a few moments. “You did all that just so you could get to know me?”

“I was scared to just talk- No. I suppose that’s a lie too. That one classmate of mine just kept bugging me and bugging me and I never could get away from her…I think I was scared of what she might do to you if I’d just gone up and talked to you straight out…” Tagiru looked at her, “so I…I just dropped my grades down so I’d have a good enough reason to talk to you.”

Mami- that’s why. That girl is much too ‘clingy’ for Tagiru’s own liking.

Chou dropped the cup she’d been washing into the soapy sink. “Wha…”

Tagiru took a breath, and continued on, “I mean, I was in the basketball club at the time, and me, just going to talk to a girl out of nowhere? I…I really was afraid of that classmate just spreading lies and causing more grief. Then I actually…I started to fall in love with you, I think. But I didn’t…I couldn’t change things. I was too scared. I didn’t want to change or things might get worse. So…So I lied to keep things simple.”

“Akashi…kun…” She whispered in a bit of silence.

“I guess that really didn’t work out…huh?” he finished, looking over at her to see what she might have been thinking.

A Thousand things are going through his mind right now. “Oh god she’s probably going to hate me! or sic her cousin on me or call the mafia or-“

A thousand things went through his mind in that moment. He even braced himself for a slap that he no doubt deserved…

Akashi, Tagiru, wasn’t expecting Hinomoto, Chou, to be crying with a smile on her face.

“You idio~t!” she leaped at him, wrapping her arms around him as she started to cry.

“Chou-chan?” he blinked in surprise as she pulled back just a bit and looked him eye to eye- golden yellow to golden yellow, “What…?”

“I love you too.”

And then she kissed him.

These two- both of them were hiding truths from the other that was keeping them back from acting on their own emotions… Then with one block removed, Tagiru pulls the other away. And we have…

LIFDOFF…

into the sky

…Erhm, yeah.

So there’s a LOT that can happen in possibility on this night. Boy and Girl alone in house (Practically), confirming their love for eachother…  It COULD and probably does just end with them Kissing, however it probably could go a lot further than that, and it’s a distinct possibility that they do go all the way….

I’d say it’s about 60/40 percent-ways that they just stop at kissing. But maybe it’s more like 55/45 turnways? IDK.

I’m not giving a Word of God on this particular moment at all. What these two do on their own time is all up to them.

That said, however, if they DID do…that…well…It wouldn’t be the most bad thing as far as time loops go.

Just ask Aradia.

TO BE CONTINUED.

 Ahhem. Moving on…

BEGIN: ACT 3 INTERMISSION 4.

The four girls of the PawnChessmonz took to the stage next.

Reena looked uneasy as she reviewed a sheet of paper with the lyrics on them. “You want me to sing this?”

“Sure sure!” Kroket nodded enthusiastically.

“But it’s so…!” Reena slapped at a corner of the paper, “Gibberish!”

“That’s kind of the point,” Flute spoke up, her eyes drawn upwards into upside down U’s, “It’s karaoke! So what if we’re just singing random nonsense? That’s what’s fun about it!”

“Besides!” Terezie cackled as she put an arm around Reena’s shoulder, “I’m the one who picked this song!”

Reena paled a bit. “You…what…?”

(Meanwhile, down below in the audience, Riska elbowed Gureimon’s (human form’s) shoulder. “I’m glad I’m not joining in on this one!”)

After a few moments of prepairation, the four of them stood shoulder to shoulder with their backs turned to the audience. Then Terezie shouted to Astamon: “HIT IT!”

I did do a lot of focus on the PawnChessmon, didn’t I?

But what song is it that they’re singing?

Over the speakers flowed out some oriental sounding melody, and the four girls began chanting a simple “YoOooooO!”

This one.

Two minutes and Thirty three seconds later…

The audience clapped and cheered at the conclusion of the song.

After the four PawnChessmon bowed, Reena turned to Terezie and said: “I am never singing that song again.”

“Suit yourself!” Terezie shrugged.

END: ACT 3 INTERMISSION 4.

NYA~!

NEXT TIME:

“My grades are too low!”

“Eh? Nani?”

“Don’t be an idiot, Piro-kun!”

“Who’s Piro?”

“Leave my Miho Alone!”

“I can’t leave you all alone for five minutes…!”

“Next time, Digimon Xros Wars: Classmate Miho Sudo in Trouble!”

“I’ll catch you for sure, BLOSSOMON!

Well- this is an interesting example of an episode changing from one day to the next.

Although- it could be a sign of a trolling creator…

It’s really just the first thing. 0_0;

ANYWAYS!

The original episode idea:

04Airu ‘Hunts’ Cutemon, Yuu + Corone Weapon Miester partnership. Taiki + Shoutmon Curbstomp Ren + Ryouma w/o ChoShinka or transforming powers. Kotone + Damemon return from Digital World. BDH Tsuwarmon appearance. Tagiru ❤ ChoHakkai begins.

EYYYUUUUP.

Completely different.

_DTC

 

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