Odaiba Memorial Day- 20 Years Later

Chapter Eleven- TK

Kari… I need you.

"Kari?" And there she was, running out the door. It was now official, his life couldn’t get any worse. Kari had become TK’s sole reason for living, his sole reason for trying to succeed, and his sole inspiration whenever he didn’t think he could continue. All he wanted in return was for her to be there when he needed her. And somehow, he just drove her away. He was too exhausted and too depressed to chase after her. Was she coming back? Just like everything else in his future, he didn’t know.

It could have been an hour, it could have been a millennium. The time just dragged on, and TK seriously began to doubt that she would return. It was already close to the worst day in his life; losing Kari would be the icing on the cake. No bad memories from the Digital World, not even the fire that all but destroyed his previous residence, nothing compared to this day. Losing his job, losing Kari… no amount of hope would keep him together.

It’s over. It’s all over. I’ve lost everything. Waiter- check please!

Life had been harsh towards TK and Kari after the marriage. It was difficult to make ends meet, and there were times when nothing went right for them. And for all this time, TK had dismissed them as mere trials- the thick of the forest he would have to pass through to reach the finish line. He had always hoped that one day things would begin to turn around. Oddly enough, that was part of the reasons why they moved to Nerima in the first place. It was a brand new start for them. TK thought that moving would take them out of the forest. If it did, it merely moved him into an open field… in the middle of a violent thunderstorm.

Hope. His trademark, his crest, the greatest weapon in TK’s arsenal, second only to Kari. But Kari was gone. And without Kari, he had no reason to hope for a better life. It wasn’t possible. There wouldn’t be a reason to continue living. TK needed Kari. And he had always wanted Kari to need him. That they were powerless apart, but that together, nothing could get in the way of happiness. Deep down, TK knew that was a lie. Kari was a strong woman, and she could take care of herself if she needed to. Deep down, TK also knew that he could theoretically survive without Kari. But he wouldn’t be happy. But could Kari be happy without TK?

Am I replaceable? Is she so strong that she can run away from me, and still find happiness?

He was sitting on the couch, quietly praying that this nightmare of a day would end. She slipped in silently, but not silent enough, as TK immediately saw Kari entering. He didn’t know what to think. Was she back for good?

"Kari?" It was in the same tone as the last time. She quietly sat next to him on the couch, not sure exactly what she should do. Finally, she came to a decision and hugged him. Any doubts TK had about the future of his marriage were gone as soon as he felt this embrace. Finally, Kari opened her mouth.

"I still love you." Four little words. Yet it was enough to tear TK’s brave exterior open. He didn’t have to be brave anymore. He was in the presence of his soulmate and he was free to open up his feelings and his fears, and she would understand. And for the first time in almost twenty years, he didn’t feel ashamed to cry.

After explaining how scared he was of almost losing her, he started to talk about losing his job. Before he could fully let everything out, Kari put a finger to his lips, instantly silencing him. She shook her head.

"Please. Tonight it’s just about you and me. We’ll deal with the rest of the world tomorrow. For now- Davis, Miss Bekomi, and everybody else will just have to wait." TK smiled. That didn’t sound like a bad idea. For once, he could forget about the outside world and be with his wife. Nothing out there mattered, and it was exactly what TK needed. Kari could sense that, and TK loved her even more for it.

 

Unfortunately, as refreshing as the night was, the next days forced TK back into reality. He was still jobless. But at least he could go a little farther knowing that Kari was still by his side. TK’s dismissal was at a very bad time, as good work was quite hard to come by. After a couple weeks of searching, he did manage to secure some work. It was actually two part-time jobs for two separate companies. He’d work at one on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and another on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. They didn’t pay much, but it was enough to get by. Of course, he didn’t plan on staying at these jobs for an extended period of time; this was only temporary until he could find a full-time job that suited TK well.

Yes, the world had to continue to turn. For a second, he thought that things were going to be different. That things would magically start to go his way. That the night where it was just he and Kari was the night that changed everything. But no- nothing had changed. It didn’t take long before TK found yet another note on the kitchen counter. By now, he didn’t even have to read it. He knew exactly what it said. The same thing that was on every note since the day after they moved in. Perhaps he was still hoping that things were going to be better. Perhaps this note meant something different. Hope hadn’t completely run dry. There was always the chance. Maybe she was at a job interview, and was on the road to success herself. With two incomes, nothing could stop TK and Kari. So with that in mind, he walked up to the counter and read the note. And TK immediately dispelled any notion that things were headed towards a change.

"Downstairs with Davis- stop by when you get home. Love, Kari"

It wasn’t that he didn’t care about Davis. Davis was still a friend to both TK and Kari. And his well-being was very important. But even so, TK slowly grew to dislike the idea of Kari tending to Davis when he was ill. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Kari… or Davis for that matter. He also knew that if he was ill, Kari would do the same thing for him. But it still made him uncomfortable. And yet, all he could do was sigh, then go down to greet her. Because he couldn’t come across as jealous. Or selfish. Or anything else that he would be labeled as if he made a fuss about it.

It’s just… unfair.

And with that, he headed down to Davis’s pad.

--

Was TK really jealous? Was TK really selfish? In reality, TK’s apparent selfishness actually stemmed from his jealousy. But not jealousy because his wife was tending to another man. If he and Davis were equals, TK wouldn’t think twice if he saw Kari helping out Davis. It’s common courtesy to help people when they’re down. When it comes to kindness, it’s hard to top Kari. But again, that only would be the case if he and Davis were equals. And they most certainly were not.

TK was never one to hold a grudge. But when he first got a look at Davis’s apartment, he couldn’t help but be a bit envious. It was done up very well. Efficient, spacious, and tasteful. Davis disappears for almost ten years, and reemerges in a very comfortable lifestyle, while TK and Kari were barely making ends meet. He heard of all the accomplishments, all the success, and all the joys in Davis’s life. Any time TK came close to any of those, he was struck down somehow. And he was left to wonder why. It wasn’t that TK wanted to be living Davis’s life. He simply wondered why they both couldn’t be at the same level of happiness. Davis was clearly farther ahead in life than TK. Davis had almost everything he wanted, while TK had almost nothing.

But "almost" was a big word. There was of course the one thing that TK did have. And the one thing that Davis had always wanted and didn’t have. But Kari didn’t cancel everything out. She was far from an equalizer. Davis was still living a better life. And as much as Kari meant to TK, and as much as he couldn’t last without her, he was not happy. The more life’s harsh realities beat down on TK, the more he needed Kari by his side. She was the only thing that kept him going. TK had virtually nothing except Kari. Davis had virtually everything except Kari. TK didn’t approve of Kari caring for Davis, but not because he was jealous… he was scared.

Kari had always been faithful to TK, and for the longest time TK was certain that they’d be together through thick and thin. That no matter how bad it got, they’d always have each other. Davis was a potential threat to it all. Kari never showed an interest in Davis before… but Yolei had never shown an interest in Izzy either. TK learned how Yolei "left" Ken for Izzy. The thought was chilling. Ken and Yolei were so close to TK and Kari; they’d double dated on several occasions in high school. It seemed to be going so well… and it just came crashing down. TK wasn’t out to make the same mistakes Ken did, obviously, but with her caring for Davis on a weekly basis, Kari could end up having so much sympathy for Davis that it could turn into something more. For TK, it was far too real a possibility. And if it did indeed happen, what would TK be left with?

--

TK always had a strange habit when preparing to enter Davis’s apartment. He always waited in front of the door, and listened in on what was going on between Davis and Kari inside. He never could hear much, but it always helped him prepare for walking in to greet Kari (after the first such walk-in, he wanted to avoid any future tensions). But this time, there was no question of what TK was hearing. It was laughter. He leaned next to the door, trying to pick up the conversation.

"You seem to be doing a lot better today."

"Actually, it’s excruciating right now. But it’s not as excruciating as it is sometimes. I’m just starting to get used to it. Still… I think I’m going to take a few pills quick."

"No… it’s too soon. You can’t take them too often, you know. They aren’t candy."

"Yes, mother!" Kari laughed again. TK continued to listen, and it didn’t take long for his name to show up in the conversation, when Kari brought up that he would be home "any second." As good as any time to make his entrance. This was why he listened in.

"Hi Kari!" Kari smiled and greeted him, and turned to Davis soon afterwards.

"See, told ya!" Davis smiled and rubbed his forehead. Kari dropped the smile, "Are you just pretending that you’re not in unbelievable pain?"

"Is that a problem?" Davis replied.

"Seriously, you going to be okay?" Davis nodded slowly.

"Yeah, Mitzy said she might be over later tonight." Davis was no longer smiling, and was now seemed weak.

"Ohhh…" But Kari didn’t "ohhh" in understanding. It was more… suggestive.

"I know what you’re thinking so just stop." But Kari couldn’t help herself. TK meanwhile, just tried to tune out of the conversation, as he always did when she was brought up.

"Seriously Davis, have you considered the possibilities that you and…"

"Kari! I’m serious."

"I can tell- you’re blushing." Kari was obviously getting a kick out of this. Davis tried to hide it, but the evidence was undeniable.

"You know, my headache’s getting worse!" But Kari was enjoying it too much to stop.

"I’m sorry, too much blood to the head?"

"Kari, please… besides it’s against company policy."

"Oh yeah, and technically you’re not supposed to make out during school hours. Right TK?" Kari playfully nudged TK, probably trying to get him on her side or something. TK was not enjoying this moment. He just wanted to get out and drop the subject of Miss Bekomi. He mumbled incoherently.

"Kari! You’re supposed to be helping me! Just leave before you do any more damage!" Davis seemed to be in pain, but was still blushing heavily, and trying to hide some embarrassment.

"Okay, okay. Sorry… we’d better go TK." Kari, still smiling, started to head out. TK silently followed.

She must have heard him sigh, or maybe it was the bond between husband and wife, but she immediately sensed something wrong, and raised the issue as soon as they got back to the apartment.

"Rough day at work? You don’t seem to be in a good mood."

"No, it’s fine. At least that woman is out of my hair." TK hoped that by bringing up Miss Bekomi in the negative light that she deserved, Kari would realize what part of his problem was.

"You still seem to be in a bad mood. What’s wrong?" Since that didn’t work, he decided to bring up just that part. He didn’t want to create an incident. Kari obviously did care deeply for Davis, and didn’t want to create the impression that he didn’t care at all. He had to be diplomatic.

"Well… you might say that that woman isn’t out of my hair completely. I don’t care how much you think she and Davis should be together, she is the person that fired me." Kari nodded.

"Right. I’m sorry. But those two are good friends, and…"

"Whatever. If Davis wants to be friends with her, that’s his business. I’d rather not have anything to do with it. You can joke about it all you want, but just remember what she did to me." Kari nodded again, this time silently. She seemed to understand. TK hoped she would just drop the issue altogether. Especially with Davis involved the way he was, it was a very uncomfortable topic in the household. Kari turned away and headed into the kitchen. TK sat down. The conversation was over, and TK sighed. Whenever the issue came up, the tension could be cut with a knife. And between a husband and wife, that’s not how it should be.

TK had so many things he wanted so say about the entire situation. But he couldn’t. Not to Kari. Last time he did, he almost lost her. His still stood by almost everything he said to Kari that night he got fired. About Davis allowing TK’s dismissal. About Kari constantly defending Davis’s actions. And yes- there were even times when TK wondered if Davis was simply faking this illness to cause trouble. Even if he wasn’t, Davis’s illness had a few rare effects- according to some of the pamphlets Kari’s doctor sent, these headaches had caused a few people to attack the significant others of those they were infatuated with. TK tried dismissing that, knowing that Davis wouldn’t do such a thing, but the possibility was still there. And he did worry about it somewhat. But he couldn’t say all this to Kari. And when TK looked at Kari, he could tell that she was lost as well. She had something she wanted to say as well. Whether it be words of comfort, words of criticism, or simply wanting to have a better understanding over everything. Kari wanted to say something as well, and it looked like she couldn’t either. It was difficult to live with.

Unfortunately, TK discovered that the conversation wasn’t over, as Kari had apparently decided to walk back into the room and continue further.

"TK… are you still mad at Davis for letting Mitzy fire you?" TK looked back at her. He wasn’t sure how to answer the question. He didn’t want to lie and say everything was all right. But again, he didn’t want to say something upsetting. He didn’t hate Davis or anything, but he couldn’t deny that he wasn’t bitter about it. He also didn’t like Kari calling her "Mitzy" as if she was one of her friends.

"I don’t know. I’m not sure what to think. I guess I am still a little mad."

"Well, don’t you think you should straighten things out with him? He’s feeling just as bad about all this as you are."

"You sure?"

"Yes. I’m sure. I want you to talk to him. Tonight if possible. You two used to be such good friends; I don’t want this to break you apart." Unfortunately, she was right. She always was with this kind of stuff. It was something he ought to talk through with Davis. There was no doubt about it.

"I suppose."

He knew he had to do it. Most of the things that troubled him- the jealousy towards Davis’s success, the disdain for his wife tending to Davis, and his bitterness surrounding the loss of his job- he knew that they were somewhat harsh. That Davis wasn’t responsible for any of it. But after receiving so few breaks in life, TK wasn’t pleased to see Davis getting all of them. He knew that he should be proud of Davis for accomplishing so much. But it just wasn’t there.

Once again, he stood outside Davis’s door. He figured that an open conversation with Davis himself would do him good. This time, instead of preparing himself for how he’d enter to greet Kari, he was preparing exactly what he wanted to say to Davis. Of course, he never could avoid the habit of listening in… just a little bit. Whereas the afternoon brought Kari’s laughter, he heard something very different. It was almost as if someone was crying inside. He slowly entered, but tried not to disturb whatever was going on. The room was very dimly lit, and TK was able to keep his presence hidden.

"You’re usually the one saying it, but… are you okay?" Davis seemed concerned.

"I’m sorry… I can’t take this anymore. I hate seeing you like this." TK recognized the voice immediately. After the initial shock, he did slowly realize that Davis did say she’d be there that night. But still- hearing Mitsune in such a weakened state was really new for TK.

"Sorry to make you worry like this. Really, I’ll be fine."

"You keep saying that. Every day I see you like this I lose hope. It’s like… it’s like you’re getting worse. Is there anything I can do to help?"

TK started down, but as soon as he saw the scene- Mitsune crying, while Davis tried to comfort her and hold his head at the same time- he knew better than to interrupt the moment. He just remained quiet until he could find a better time to step in. Of course, regardless of how sad she looked, TK and Mitsune despised each other. TK was trapped, and a confrontation was unavoidable.

Yes, TK knew that in regards to most of the things he had problems with, had no serious justification to be upset over them. Mitsune was the exception. He knew he was right about her. Since day one, it seemed like Mitsune was out to get TK. How he got hired was anyone’s guess. But she would be on him daily, picking out his every mistake, and complaining about it. It made him frustrated, it made him nervous. As a result, he made more mistakes, and she complained more. And it seemed that Mitsune started to take pleasure in TK’s misfortune. TK despised her, and hated the idea that Davis and Mitsune were such close friends. And with Kari warming up to Mitsune as well, things were even worse. Now even his wife wasn’t completely on TK’s side.

So TK knew he was right that Mitsune unfairly singled him out, leading to him getting terminated. TK was the good guy, Mitsune was the bad guy, end of story. But here was her royal evilness herself- crying her eyes out over Davis’s situation. Davis was comforting her the best he could, and TK couldn’t help but be moved by the scene.

Whenever you dislike somebody, so often you portray that person as the embodiment of evil. But no matter how much I hate this woman, she looks so sad. Davis’s problem is really upsetting her. She cares a lot, maybe even more than Kari. And I think this answers the question of whether or not Davis is faking it. Man… I’m starting to feel sorry for them. Both of them.

TK wasn’t a master stealth, so eventually, Mitsune did see a figure standing in the doorway. She tried brushing away a few tears and stood up, trying to look brave.

"Who’s there?" It caught TK by surprise, and he slowly stepped out, and began trying to explain his presence.

"I just wanted to talk to Davis." Mitsune tried to look angry, but it was clear from the tears in her eyes that she couldn’t muster up anything.

"Look, you have no right to just barge in here and…"

"I’m sorry. I just have to talk to Davis. We have to straighten some stuff out."

"Well I’m here now, so you’re going to have to wait until…" She turned away, shaking her head. She was too upset to argue with TK. Since it was obvious to TK that Mitsune loved arguing with him, she was not happy. "Shit… just, just go away."

"Mitzy, give me a few minutes with TK." This time Davis jumped in. Mitsune turned to Davis.

"Why? He lives upstairs. I live a mile away." Mitsune just wanted to be with Davis, and didn’t want TK in her way. TK however, knew that he had to get this done with, else he’d probably never attempt it again.

"Mitsune. Please. Davis and I need to talk, and we need to talk now. Give me fifteen minutes, and he’s all yours. Got that?" TK was stern, and demanding. This was his chance to shine over her. It may have been kicking her while she was down, but after all that she put him through, it was only fair. She tried to hold her tears back for a second and looked TK in the face. TK held firm. He wasn’t about to lose this battle. And he didn’t. Mitsune turned away and headed out the door.

"I’ll just wait outside, okay Davis?"

"Okay. Hopefully, this won’t take too long." David replied. TK watched as Mitsune exited, but before she did, she took one last look at TK. And for just a second- she smiled. Before TK could elaborate further on that, Davis got down to business. He still looked pretty tired, "So where do we begin?"

"I guess… I guess I should apologize to you first." Davis was more than a little confused

"Why? I’m the one that got you fired. I should be the one to apologize."

"Well it’s just that I… I just haven’t been feeling as much pity for you as I probably should."

"Uh… what?" Davis didn’t quite get that.

"I mean… you’re going through all this and the only thing I can think about is myself. And how bad I’m doing and how good you’re doing, and for some reason I don’t care about your problem as much as I should. Kari’s doing so much to help you, and…"

"TK." Davis tried to interrupt. Unsuccessfully, it seemed, as TK continued to rant.

"…all I’m worried about is what you two are doing when I’m at work. It’s not that I don’t trust you and Kari, it’s just that…"

"TK?" Again, it fell on deaf ears.

"…it seems that she’s spending more time with you than she is with me. Of course, you really are sick, so why can’t I accept that, and let Kari try to help you get better. It just seems…"

"Hey! TO!" Davis was forced to raise his voice, which didn’t help his head much. It did, however, shut TK up.

"Is that TO as in ‘time out’ or TO as in screwing my name up again?"

"Both." Davis seemed more than a little annoyed, "Jeez, like I really care if you’re jealous or something."

"What, you don’t?"

"No! I don’t need your pity. I don’t deserve your pity."

"You… don’t?"

"Look, Kari’s helping me through this. Mitzy’s helping me through this. Unless you can afford someone to watch me twenty-four hours a day, there’s not much more you can do. Just as long as we’re still buds, think what you want." It wasn’t what TK expected, but it did make him feel a little better.

"Um. Sure. Thanks."

"Look, and as far as Kari’s concerned, it’s like I told her last week- the last thing I want to do is get in the way of you two." TK looked up at Davis. He was a tad surprised Davis said that to Kari. Meanwhile, Davis kept clutching his head. He looked like he was letting off some steam as well. "And what did you say to make her so upset anyway? She was really bad when I talked to her." TK was confused now.

"When was this?"

Davis headed into his kitchen, still clutching his head. It seemed like he didn’t care what he was saying. "You know, last week. That night you got fired. She was like… devastated. She wasn’t sure if she even wanted to go back to you or not. Wanna beer?"

"…yeah." TK was speechless, but this was important stuff, despite Davis’s attitude about it, "So what else did you say to her?"

"That was about it. Told her to go back to you. I figured you were just pissed that you got fired."

"Yeah…" TK was pissed because he got fired, but his feelings at the time were genuine. TK took the beer from Davis. TK continued as Davis sat down, "You really told her to go back to me?"

"Sure. Don’t even have to thank me. Remember how you got fired. I’d say we’re even now." TK nodded. If Davis was telling the truth, TK owed him a lot. And of course TK wouldn’t know about it- since that night was his and Kari’s night without the outside world.

"Thanks. You almost destroy my life and save me at the last second. Sounds fair." TK smiled. Kari was right- this was what he and Davis both needed.

"Well, it’s good to get this out of the way. But I don’t want to keep Mitzy waiting too long. My pills are kicking in and I’m in a good mood. Considering how she was before, she needs to see me like this." TK quietly nodded and stood up.

"Sure. See ya." He could deal with Mitzy later. Right now- he was just satisfied with how this evening turned out. He began to head out, when Davis stopped him, his hand holding his head.

"Wait… one more thing. I gotta ask- how are you and Kari doing? Like… money-wise?"

"Uh… we’ve, uh… been better." Not really, TK and Kari had been pretty down since they got married, but the phrase worked for the moment. Davis sighed.

"You know, I think there has been too many close calls. I seriously don’t want to get in between you two."

"Seriously?"

"Well, if you two screw up on your own, I’d gladly take her in. But I know you two, so I also know the odds of that happening aren’t good. I don’t want to be responsible for anything, so I’m thinking maybe Kari should try to get a job. I guess I could try to get by on my own."

Whoa, this day’s turning out really good. But wait… what about him? I can’t possibly just leave him.

Davis seemed to agree, and was getting more down by the minute. Davis continued before TK could say anything, "But there is one thing I ask- if she does get a job, and your incomes are enough to keep you going… well I do kinda want to find a shrink to help me with this. But they’re expensive, and I don’t have that much…"

"Don’t mention it. We’d be glad to." TK smiled, "It’s only fair." Davis returned the smile.

"Thanks. Now get out of here or Mitzy would have left by now." Sure TK despised the woman, but he was in too good a mood to let a comment pass by.

"Oh yeah… can’t get jisted out of some good Mitzy lovin’!" Davis blushed once again, and TK started to laugh.

"We’re not like that! Get out of here! I’d expect that from Kari, but you…" TK relented and walked out. The day was very good for him, and it ended on a high note as well. Not only that- but he got a free beer for his troubles! Not even close to as bad as TK expected.

As soon as he walked out, he saw Mitsune waiting outside. For some reason, she hadn’t gotten much better. She was still crying. Again, TK hated her, but why she’d still be crying (it had been almost ten minutes) was beyond him. He figured he might as well let her know Davis was hers again. He fought back the urge to laugh at the whole "Davis & Mitzy sitting in a tree" concept again and quietly got her attention.

"Miss Bekomi. Davis is all yours." He tried not to start anything. But she didn’t move. "Um. Mitsune?"

"Just… leave me alone." TK had no reason not to oblige, and headed to the stairs. But he managed to hear Mitsune talking to herself, and stopped to listen. "Why can’t I say it? Davis I can’t stand it when you’re like this. I’m so scared that you won’t get better. I’m so scared that… I won’t get to say how much I love you." Mitsune was dead serious, and was scared half to death when Davis popped a head in the door, clutching his head as usual.

"Did you say something Mitzy?" Mitsune panicked for a second, and cast an quick glare at TK, before returning her attention to Davis.

"Me? No, nothing! I didn’t say anything." As Mitsune headed back into the room, TK walked upstairs.

Whatever… it’s none of my business anyway.

 

The months went by pretty fast. The reunion invitations came, and all three were happy to receive them. TK also told Kari that Davis would prefer that Kari get a job to help the household out. Kari tried, but couldn’t land an interview until the day before the reunion. But she did, and TK felt a sense of pride when he and his wife walked out of the door together that morning- TK to a job, Kari to secure one. It looked like things were finally going to go right for them. Kari would bring an extra income to the table, which would be used to pick themselves out of the gutter, and give Davis the help he needed. Things were looking good, and TK was in a great mood when he arrived home from work.

"Kari! How did it go?" TK saw that the apartment was empty, and saw the note on the counter. He no longer minded that Kari was downstairs with Davis. Perhaps it was the last time it would happen. Either way, it didn’t bother him in the least. He headed down to Davis’s apartment and knocked on the door. He also no longer listened in to the conversation first. He just knocked, and opened the door… or not.

It was locked. For the first time since he could remember, the door was locked. Kari never locked the door when she was in there. TK continued to knock, but there was no answer. It was just puzzling.

"Kari? Davis? Anybody home?" He couldn’t hear anything inside. He took that as a no. But where would they be? Maybe for once the note on the counter read something different. TK rushed back upstairs to read it. Maybe they were out celebrating Kari and her new job. It was certainly a possibility… but it wasn’t the reality. The reality, as it has always been for TK, was much worse than expected. It was scribbled quickly by Kari, but it said everything important.

"At hospital w/ Davis. Check answering machine. Kari."

TK was confused, but he had instructions, and followed them, checking the answering machine immediately. Sure enough, she was on it, "TK, this is Kari, I’m sure you read the note- I’m at the hospital with Davis. When I got home they were putting him into an ambulance so I didn’t have time to write a detailed note. Anyway, they said it wasn’t anything they couldn’t take care of, but come down here anyway. I’ll explain the rest when you get here. Thanks, bye." She seemed to be a little tense, but not worried by any means. Of course, she didn’t say exactly what was wrong. But it didn’t matter, as TK ran out the door immediately and headed for the hospital.

When he arrived, he saw Kari in the waiting room. Again, she wasn’t worried. She was thinking.

"Kari? Is everything okay?" TK met Kari with a hug and sat down next to her.

"It’s all my fault." TK looked at her. He knew instantly that she was blaming herself for something she didn’t do. She did that a lot. TK decided to lighten the mood.

"What, did you try to kill him or something?" Kari couldn’t help but let out a short laugh.

"No silly, I… wasn’t there. I guess he was sick today and… I told him those pills weren’t candy." TK nodded as she continued, "They said it wasn’t enough to kill him, but I just wish I could have been there today. When his headaches are really bad, he’s liable to do some really stupid things. My job is to make sure he doesn’t." TK silently agreed. He lost a job because of Davis’s headaches. Davis himself almost lost his life. But could Kari really say it was her job to keep him level and not over-exert himself?

A nurse told them that they could see Davis. When they walked in, Davis had his eyes closed, and was shaking his head. He was more disappointed with himself than in pain.

"Why did I do that…?"

"Hey, when you’re sick like that, it’s hard to think straight. Right?" TK was the first to try to cheer him up. It seemed to be all he needed at the time.

"I guess so. But still…"

"Don’t worry about it. Everyone has their moments." Kari seemed a little bit better. That, or she was just acting it for Davis’s sake.

"Yeah. So did you get your job?" Kari frowned.

"I don’t know. I haven’t worked in awhile, and it seemed like they were focusing a lot on that. It looks doubtful." TK put an arm around her shoulder. They’d worry about that later. Right now, there was more than enough depression in the room. Any more would leave a mess in the hallway.

"Well, Davis, don’t dwell on this too much. You’ll recover. Just take it easy for a few days and… oh shit, the reunion. When do you get out of here?" TK had to raise the issue. A digi-destined reunion would not be complete without Davis. Fortunately, a doctor happened to walk by and provided the answer.

"We’re planning on keeping him overnight just to be safe. But I heard about those headaches Davis kept getting. If he happens to have one of those tomorrow, we may have a neurologist take a look at them. We don’t have one employed full-time, but we could have one come in tomorrow. If he seems fine tomorrow, we’d release him, but he’d definitely have to take it easy for a few days." And "Dr. Answers" left as soon as he arrived.

"Well, I just better hope to God I don’t have a headache tomorrow." Davis cracked half a smile, "There’s no way I’m missing that reunion. If they keep me here I’ll just have to sneak out!" TK smiled, but Kari seemed to have a straight face.

"You know maybe you should have somebody look at you while you’re in here. As much as I try, I’m not a certified nurse." Kari seemed to be thinking logically.

"Kari might be right. And if I remember the company’s health plan right, your whole stay here is covered, isn’t it?" TK only threw it in to support Kari’s argument. He didn’t know what side he was really on. He’d hate to have Davis miss the reunion. Of course, what TK said also made him realize something. Something that had to be done…

"Well yeah but- I don’t want to miss seeing all my friends. And I know that everybody wants to see me." Davis was serious as well, and both he and Kari had good points. But TK was concerned about something else.

"Hey, I’m going to make a phone call. I’ll be right back." As TK started out, Kari continued the conversation.

"Well, it’s up to you. I’m not going to force you to do something you don’t want to."

After borrowing a phone book, TK dialed the number. He wasn’t quite sure what he wanted to say, or how he was going to say it... but he knew her feelings and couldn’t leave her in the dark about Davis.

"Hello?" TK practically jumped after hearing Mitsune’s voice.

"Um, uh… hello Mitsune."

"Who the hell is this?"

"It’s um… TK Takaishi."

"Takaishi? How’d you get this number, what’s this all about?"

"It’s about Davis. He’s in the hospital. I, uh… just thought you should know."

"Oh my God, is he okay?"

"Yeah, he’ll be fine."

"I’ll be right over. Um… thanks." Mitsune hung up immediately. TK sighed in relief. He had to do it, and managed to get through it in one piece.

Back in the room, the mood was even more somber when TK got back.

"Who did you call?" Kari asked.

"Um… Mitsune. Just figured she should know what was going on. She’ll be over soon." TK didn’t add any emotion to the statement, positive or negative. Still, Davis must have known what the action really signified, and nodded.

"Thanks. I’m really going to hear it from her."

"Yeah, it’s hard to get away with anything remotely stupid when Miss Bekomi is around."

"It’s okay, though. We’ll just have to play it by ear and hope for the best." Kari tried to lift everyone’s spirits up, with some success. It wasn’t an extremely mind-blowing event, just a depressing one. Really, even if Davis couldn’t attend the reunion, it would at least mean that he may be able to be analyzed by somebody who knows what they’re doing. And TK and Kari both knew that the others would forgive Davis’s absence if it was due to a serious emergency (TK and Kari also knew that they’d have to work hard to convince the others that it was for real, but they would). Kari continued, "Look, whatever happens, you’ll be fine. Hopefully you can remember not to do something like this again." Davis turned to Kari.

"I know. But I don’t know if I can. You’ve told me tons of times about not doing this. And really, I know what can happen. But I did it anyway. That’s what I can’t believe. That I couldn’t think straight and I did something stupid like this. I can’t even be alone and sick without nearly killing myself. I just wish that I could get better soon."

"You will Davis. Someday." Kari’s words of encouragement caused TK to nod, but Davis’s follow-up was unexpected.

"Yeah, but until then, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do without you. I can’t expect Mitzy to be here for me when I need somebody to make sure I don’t do something stupid." TK wasn’t ready for it, and when Davis said it, it was like a light flashing in TK’s eyes. And at that moment, it seemed that all the ups and downs of this whole escapade disappeared, and that they were back to square one.

"Kari… I need you."

 

Author’s Notes
Just a little bit of poetic "weaponry" in this chapter, if you caught it. It certainly describes what’s going on here. I had to pull something for this closer, since it’s the only plotline which doesn’t involve a major separation; all the major characters are still associating with each other. So I had to do something a bit different, yet it still shakes things up before the reunion itself. If, that is, Davis can attend. You’ll just have to wait and find out.

Huh. Besides Mitzy, there are absolutely no other characters in this thing, besides "Dr. Answers," which may or may not be his real name, and may or may not be a reference to Dr. Inez of Nadesico. Well, to be honest- "may not" applies to both. Sorry!

Jeez, for such a long chapter, there’s not that much to explain. Oh well- next!
Chapter Twelve- Sora
Why did she think for a minute that she was going to be able to forget about it? That the brief affair with Tai was just going to vanish from everybody’s memory, and that she, Tareshi, and their son Chi would just be able to live life like nothing happened. But after nine years of denial, Sora is forced to deal with the reality of it again. But is there anybody she can turn to that will understand?