Episode 19: Fair,
Fat, and Wide

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His D-Touch buzzed again in his pants suit pockets, and again Reyez ignored it. He knew that whoever was trying to contact him would be either Frankie or one of his sisters and he didn’t much feel like communicating with any of them right now. If fact he didn’t feel like seeing or talking to anyone at this farcical display.

He had been forced – for lack of a better word – to attend the wedding of his sister, Nicole; and simply because she was his sister and he wasn’t completely heartless, Reyez had agreed to come and play nice with the guests, her friends, and also with his soon to be brother-in-law. Frankie was also in tow for the wedding party. Nicole and Frankie had met during the period where he and Frankie had dated. They had met and had hit it off, of course, and had kept in touch. So it was only normal to expect Frankie to be invited to this side show.

At least it meant Reyez had someone there who he didn’t totally despise. But still, he wasn’t especially pleased that Frankie had accepted the invite and come along. He hadn’t thought a wedding was the best place for her to make her first outing since Mrs. Lynn’s funeral. But she had insisted she would be fine, and so far had shown everyone that she was the typical, normal, bubbly Frankie - sashaying around, catching up with some of Reyez’s other sisters and joining in with the gossip where ever it was possible.

That’s what she had been up to for about an hour or so. Since then Reyez had ditched her and scuttled off to find a secluded spot where he could be alone, listen to some music and ignore everything and everyone. Even Ailurmon was in agreement. She didn’t understand weddings either, and she kept commenting as such while she peeked out through the gazebo tent, at the comings and goings on the lawn outside where guests were congregating.

The wedding was turning into quite the shin-dig. It was arranged outside in a large open space, a cordoned off area of a historical park, with massive herb gardens and ornate stone, and hedge decorations littering the place. On part of the lawn, chairs were set up to seat guests, along with a wedding arch adorned with ivy and other plants. There was a make-shift altar for the priest to read from, and the lines of chairs were decorated with flowers and ribbon. A short distance away, gazebos had been set up for the reception. An open bar in one, and the one Reyez currently hid away in was where the reception meal would take place after the wedding ceremony. The ceremony which was due to start in three hours.

Reyez hadn’t seen hide-nor-hair of the blushing bride-to-be, but had seen her fiancé more than enough for one lifetime. That was the main reason he hadn’t wanted to attend the wedding; he and the groom weren’t the best of friends. Reyez had made no effort to befriend the man, and he in turn, treated Reyez like a child. Nicole had done her best to find a common ground for the two of them, which had proved only to drive them further apart and create more disagreements and arguments. Because of this mutual hatred, Reyez had turned his room in the apartment they shared together into the only place he needed to ever be. He had everything necessary in there, his own little sanctuary.

“Oh, well that is just unfortunate.” Ailurmon murmured from where she stood. “Reyez, there’s a woman out there, she’s literally squeezed herself into this horrible bright pink monstrosity. She’s going to need to be cut out of that, I bet.” The panda Digimon giggled to herself and went back to watching.

Ailurmon had been making comments just audible over Reyez’s music since they had disappeared from the scene. Nicole had asked that Reyez didn’t bring Ailurmon to the ceremony, but with recent events still fresh in his mind and a constant worry he would have to protect everyone, he had declined to tell her Ailurmon was coming, whether Nicole liked it or not.

“Sir,” Reyez glanced up over his shades at a waiter who stood over him nervously. Ailurmon had hidden herself quickly behind a pile of chairs. “We’ll soon be making the tent ready for the reception dinner, you will be asked to leave.”

“Right.” Reyez sighed. The waiter went back to his work, and Reyez shifted, getting to his feet, stretching his muscles where they had seized up as he had been sitting for so long. He dusted himself off and rolled up the sleeves to his black dress shirt.

“Now what do we do?” Ailurmon asked. “I can’t go out there and make comments about people’s fashion sense.”

“We’ll find somewhere until the ceremony begins.” Reyez commented.

Ailurmon scoffed. “Why do you humans have weddings anyway? It’s such a stupid idea. Do you need a ring on your finger to tell everyone else you belong to someone? Seems kind of possessive to me.”

“Heh,” Reyez chuckled. “You don’t know the half of it. The way wedding rings came into existence? Way back in the Stone Age, women would be stolen from other tribes by men, and tied up to stop them running away. The longer it was beaten into them that they had a new ‘owner’ the less they tried to run, so the less they needed to be tied up, until they stopped altogether. Still, their new ‘owner’ would keep a single ring of rope around their left third finger, as a reminder that they were a possession.”

“Sounds pretty primeval, if you ask me.” Ailurmon huffed. “Glad I don’t belong to anyone.”

“Ruining the romance of wedded bliss, huh?” Frankie’s voice stopped Reyez in his tracks. They had left the reception gazebo and were now just walking around the perimeter of the wedding. All other guests were milling around, near the chairs and the bar tent. Away from the crowds, Ailurmon could stay out in the open.

Reyez shrugged. “It’s true. Heard it on the Discovery Channel.”

“Ah,” Frankie laid her hands on her hips, “then it must be true.” She was being sarcastic, but Reyez made a small inclination of his head to signify a nod, and smirked at her, shuffling his hands into his pockets.

“You handling all this okay?”

Frankie shrugged a little, moved passed Reyez, her heels crunching on the gravel, and sat down on an ornate iron bench close by. She slipped her purse into her lap, and quickly swiped her hair all over one shoulder. It had grown a lot in recent months, and Frankie had changed the style somewhat, to have more of her hair dyed blonde than just the one small segment. “It’s a little... overwhelming. That’s why I came over here, to have five minutes to take a breather.”

“But then she saw you and...” Siberimon’s voice was cut off by the mechanical sound made whenever a Digimon manifested from the D-Touch, “..so no time for herself.”

“I forgot she brought you.” Reyez murmured. He ignored Siberimon’s glare as he sat down on the bench a short distance from Frankie. He leaned back and crossed his legs at the ankles. “You didn’t have to come.”

“I couldn’t stay in my apartment. It’s not healthy,” she paused. “Plus my mom was starting to drive me crazy.”

“Your mom’s here?”

Frankie nodded, opening her compact mirror and double checking her make-up. “Mhm-hmmm... she wanted to make sure I was okay. It’s been good to have her around, but now I feel like I can actually face the world a bit now; she’s just being a little on the smothering side.”

“She just cares.” Reyez said with a bored tone. He had his eyes on the goings-on of the guests. Out of the throng of people he could spot a couple of his other sisters, milling about.

“So, why aren’t you hanging out with your sister on her wedding day?” Frankie asked, closing the compact and slipping it back in her purse.


“Because I know she’s an emotional wreck right now and I can’t stand the jack-ass she’s about to commit herself to.” Reyez replied with a sarcastic smile. “Besides, all this shit. I don’t see a point.”

“I don’t think there is a point to it. Every bride wants a memorable wedding, with all eyes on them. A day all about them. You can’t begrudge Nicole that.”

“I’m not.” Reyez retorted. “I’ll go over and play the doting brother when I have to. I’ll say my lines, make pointless small talk but as soon as the toasts are over, I’m out of here.”

“You’re such a romantic, Rey.” Frankie laughed a tiny bit. She patted his leg and stood up. “I’ll go and mingle for you.”

Frankie had disappeared into the crowds a few moments later, after making Siberimon dissolve back into her D-Touch much to the tiger’s chagrin. Ailurmon took her seat. Reyez leaned back on the bench and Ailurmon mimicked him. He watched the movement with bored, lazy eyes behind his shades and shrugged to himself, answering a thought he hadn’t aired. Ailurmon leaned her head back.

“Weird how you’re asking after Frankie.” She commented with a short, side-glance at Reyez.

“Is it?”

“Yeah... normally you wouldn’t care, even a little bit.”

“Frankie and I have history.”

“True.” Ailurmon nodded very slowly. “Even so. You’ve changed.”

“You say that like it’s a bad thing.” Reyez side glanced the panda, his voice piquing with interest.

“Well...” Ailurmon shrugged. “I liked it when it was just you an’ me. I guess it’s just annoying that you have to be at the beck an’ call of everyone else, now. I miss the days where we could go somewhere on a whim, do... whatever, and come back whenever.”

“You were Tohuimon then.”

“Same difference.” Ailurmon sighed, looking down at her fuzzy feet. Reyez rolled his eyes, slipped his MP3 player from his jacket pocket and nestled the ear buds in his ears. He closed his eyes, and was engulfed in music.

-----------------------------

“Thanks for the frozen yoghurt, you guys... always cheers me up.” Piper licked her spoon, enjoying the cold vanilla substance and smiled awkwardly across the booth at Tom and Eva. “Sorry you had to see the display back at the clinic.”

“Looks like you had a rough day.” Eva commented. “A frozen dessert is the least we can do to try and get you grinning before the tournament starts up.”

“Oh right.” Piper moved across in her seat. The day had started so well, going to her placement at the veterinary clinic, and had positive prospects for the rest of the day too. The local arcade had organized a Dance Dance Revolution tournament that Tom was taking part in, and Eva was going along for support. Piper had been invited too, as had Reyez and Frankie and James. Reyez and Frankie had declined; as they were going to Reyez’s sister’s wedding. And no one had heard back from James about if he was coming or not.

Tom and Eva had gone to meet Piper when she finished at the clinic, only to walk in on a rather vehement confrontation out front between Piper and her brother, Jesse, who had left with a trio of friends as soon as Piper had given in. Neither Tom, nor Eva had inquired to the reason for the argument, it not being their place; now they were at their destination, Piper and Eva partook of sweet things, while Tom tried to remain calm.

“You all ready to bust some moves?” Piper asked, trying to make easy conversation. Tom smirked in her direction at the wording, and Eva nudged him.

“Something like that.” Tom grinned.

It was the first time Eva had really been out with anyone but him since the SkullSkadimon incident. He had thought having some other people around would be better for her, and it would get her out of the apartment and give her and Irbimon some time apart. The snow leopard Digimon had barely looked at Eva since the incident, and had taken to sleeping on a cushion down by the sofa, instead of on or near their bed as he usually did. It had made the apartment atmosphere more tense than usual, and the lack of contact from her Digimon was obviously taking its toll on Eva.

“Do you know who you’re up against first?”

“A kid called Callum... something. I don’t know him. So he’s probably a bit of a small timer. Should be fun though.” Tom grinned again, “I’m more in it for the fun than winning.”

“Though winning would be a great bonus.” Eva added with a light nudge into the blond’s side.

“What’s the top prize?” Piper queried.

“Five hundred dollars. The new dancing game on your selected console, and about two-fifty in credit to spend at some big name clothes shop that’s sponsoring the event. So it’s not exactly small time.” Eva explained, “I’m pretty sure Tom will have it in the bag though.” Another affectionate nudge, joined with a light nuzzle on Tom’s chin.

Tom laughed, a mixture of awkwardness and nerves mixed in, “I don’t want to be too confident. I don’t know half of the competitors... and I’ve been pretty out of the scene for a while so...” he trailed. “I’m just hoping I’ll manage okay.”

“You’ll do great, I’m sure.” Piper gave what she thought was her best ‘assuring’ smile and turned back to her dessert.

Conversation moved with ease between the three of them for the remaining time they stayed in their booth, until Tom ushered them out, indicating he needed to get to his places to warm up and get ready. He, along with all other contestants had been told to arrive and register at their places ten minutes before their first match up. Eva and Piper followed him, taking their spots at the front of the crowd.

Tom warmed up, stretching his arms and legs to get himself ready to start moving quickly and in time with the music. The outcome wasn’t going to be based on scores alone, but on style and fluidity of movement. For a sponsored contest, things were taken very seriously. He was half expecting to be taken for a blood and urine test afterwards to rule out the use of steroids.

Piper stood awkwardly beside Eva, who chatted to another girl beside her. This wasn’t exactly her scene, and despite the sweets she’d had, she still felt annoyed and upset, wanting to go home and pick up Caesarmon and go walking somewhere for a while to clear her head; but she’d made a promise and didn’t intend to go back on it.

Suddenly, a voice was hissing in her ear, and a warm hand slipped into hers. “Hey, I need to talk to you Blondie.” No prizes for guessing who it was, and with a quick glance at her companions who were both otherwise occupied (Tom’s opponent had now turned up and was doing his best to intimidate Tom with trash talk), Piper followed the light tug she felt.

Hunter led her to a small alcove between two shops that led to a ‘staff only’ area of the mall. It blocked out most of the noise, and was not in use like everywhere else.

“Are you following me?” Piper asked, as soon as Hunter had dropped her fingers.

“Please, don’t flatter yourself.” Hunter scoffed. “You’re cute, but I’m not about to turn stalker-boy for you.”

“Then what do you want?”

Hunter feigned a hurt expression. “After everything we’ve been through, I thought I’d at least get a hello.”

Piper groaned and rubbed her hands over her face. “Hunter, please. I’m not in the mood. I’ve had a really tough day at the clinic. My brother and his friends have trashed the house. He came and shouted at me at work today and I just...” Piper paused, breathed slowly, and ran her hands back through her hair. “Please?”

Hunter’s expression softened a little, “I wanted to pass on some information to you. I thought you’d find it interesting. You remember Bondyemon?”

“Not exactly a face you forget.”

“He’s a General. Along with the other Digimon who as at that funeral, Taranimon.”

“Right.”

“I found out there’s a third one. Satyressmon. From what I read, they sound like they were three Generals who were-“

“Working alongside the Parasite when it first started the war! I’ve read about this!” Piper was suddenly excitedly digging through her bag, and produced a dark purple book with yellow pages. She flipped through several until she was scanning a page with her fingers. Hunter looked over her shoulder, trying to understand what had her so excited. “I knew it! I knew I had heard or read their names somewhere before.”


Piper whipped around and shoved the notebook at a bemused Hunter. “When the Parasite started the war in the Digital World one thousand years ago, it had a whole army behind him. Armies are big, they need generals, and the Parasite had three. Taranimon, Bondyemon and Satyressmon.”

“Wait-wait... how do you know about the war?”

“Ryudamon.” Piper explained, as if it was obvious. “He gave me some scrolls, the history of the Digital World, I’ve been reading them and making notes to refer to if it was necessary.”

“There’s a record of the history of the Digital World?”

“Uh-huh.” Piper nodded enthusiastically. “I appreciate you coming to tell me though.” A pause. “Why did you?”

Hunter’s mouth twisted a little to one side and he eyed Piper up and down, stared at the floor, at the ceiling, adjusted his ponytail and then settled for fiddling with his dog-tags. “I had a proposition for you... along with the information I thought would might find useful.”

“Which is?” Piper pressed, Hunter hesitated again. “I don’t have all day. Eva will wonder where I’ve gone and probably come looking. She’ll freak if she see’s us talking.”

“Give a guy a chance!” Hunter argued, “I’m not used to asking for things.” Hunter cleared his throat, he had a moment of nervousness, a clawing sensation at his stomach. He didn’t ask for things, not even things that really mattered, like this. He was even less used to rejection, which he knew was a definite possibility here. “I wanted to ask if... you... as in y’know, you and your little gang would maybe... want my help.” For a while Piper was speechless, letting the noise of the mall, of the music coming from the arcade wash over them while she stared at Hunter, not really saying or expressing anything. A couple of times her mouth moved, but no sound came out. Hunter handed her notebook back. “I thought it might be a good idea.”

“Why are you offering?” Piper asked finally, taking the notebook and holding it to her stomach. “Isn’t helping us going against your mother and your sister?”

“That’s not necessarily a bad thing.” Hunter mumbled, running his hand slowly through his hair.

Piper frowned and said seriously, “don’t use us for your personal crusade. If you have issues with your family that’s your problem. There are larger things at stake here.”

“It’s not about my mother, or my sister.” Hunter retorted quickly. He straightened, coming up to his full height. “It’s about wanting to be on the right side for a change.”

Piper pursed her lips. “I’m listening.”

“You guys... you do all this good stuff, the saving the city and that, off your own bats. I... it looks good. I’m sick of being on the wrong side. I’m not like my mother, or Rose. I don’t think I can even call them ‘family’. I don’t know them.” Hunter sighed, “I just mean it felt good helping you out in the museum. And that’s not a feeling I’m used to.”

“You’ll change sides.”

“I won’t.” Hunter replied quickly, maybe a bit too quickly. He could see Piper didn’t believe him and swallowed hard. “What will it take for you to trust me?”

Hunter played with his dog-tags again, twisting them in his fingers as a distraction, not noticing how they had caught Piper’s attention. She had never thought about it before, but they were always around his neck. She had never seen him without them. Even in magazine photos, candid shots, he had them on around his neck. She caught them in her fingers.

“Your dog tags are important to you.”

“A present from my dad.”

“You wear them a lot.”

“Always.” Hunter corrected.

“Hmm.” Piper’s finger rested on her lower lip for a moment while she thought in silence. “Okay. I have an idea. If you want to come over to our side you need to prove yourself. So... to do that I would like you to give me something important to you, to be returned when I  feel you’ve proven yourself.”

“Sounds fair.” Hunter nodded. “What about m-“

“Give me your dog-tags, and we have an accord.”

Hunter’s mouth dropped open. “No. No way…”

“It’s that or you stay in limbo between two fighting factions.”

“You have no idea how important these are!” Hunter argued.

“I have a good idea.” Piper retorted. “You don’t trust me, you think I’ll lose them or something?”

“No, not that. These are...” Hunter growled, fisting a handful of his hair. To Hunter they were more than an accessory, more than a memento of his father. They were important for an entirely different reason. There were meant to be two sets, one for him and one for Rose, but in the end, Russell had only given a set to Hunter. And even Russell had told him never to take them off unless under the most dire circumstances. And here he had an infuriating blonde requesting them like they were nothing.

“Time is running out Hunter.” Piper almost cooed, she held her hand out, like she expected him to hand them over, and then he was. He hadn’t even realized he had taken them off from around his neck, but they were in her hands and the tags were jingling against her collar bone as they settled there after she had fastened the chain.

Hunter felt odd. Like he had given a part of himself away.

“I’ll keep them on. Promise.”

Hunter stared at the tags with unease clear on his face. “Be sure you do.”

“Hunter.” Piper prompted, “I promise they’ll be safe with me. You’ll have them back in no time if you mean what you say.”

“Piper~! Piper! Where’d you go~!?” Eva’s voice was loudest over the noise of the crowds. Piper grabbed her bag from the floor, and Hunter made a quick dash behind the ‘staff only’ door. Moments later, Eva was in front of Piper with her hands on her hips. “You’re missing it! Tom’s already through to the third round!”

“That’s great!” Piper agreed, trying not to seem flustered.

“He smeared the other kids he’s been up against! Some of his best scores to date! It’s so exciting!” Eva was moving the blonde back towards the arcade. “How come you were over here?”

“I... thought I saw someone I knew.” Piper explained slowly. “It’s fine though.”

Eva took her explanation without question, and grinned, “let’s get back to supporting Tom before he starts another match. I don’t want to miss anything else!”

-----------------------------

It was difficult to ignore that feeling. That funny, annoying, nagging feeling in his stomach that somehow Ailurmon was right. That he had changed. Reyez knew he had changed, he was aware of himself enough to know that through the last few months he had begun to let more people in and care a little more. But he didn’t truly think he was as different as Ailurmon made him out to be. Then again, the panda Digimon knew him better than anyone, so she would be the main one to notice if his changes had been for the better or the worse.

Though, the way she had made mention of it, it seemed like it was for the worse.

She sat beside him on the bench, sharing one of the ear buds and staring out at the milling people. The main wedding ceremony was a mere forty-five minutes away. Reyez would need to start moving and making an appearance soon. Ailurmon didn’t pull punches, she never didn’t tell things like they were or at least how she saw them; but in this case, he wondered if maybe she was holding back. Obviously the changes had bothered her.

Hell, even the idea of him changing was bothering him now. He didn’t like thinking about it so much. Before, it had always been him and Ailurmon in whatever form. Occasionally he would worry about his sisters and their situations, but for the most part he looked out for himself and only for himself.

In recent times, he supposed that had changed drastically.

He had made the effort to visit Frankie when she had become a hermit. To talk to her, to make sure she was still a functioning, breathing, eating human being and not a shell of her former self. He felt like those visits had been appreciated, even if they only involved sitting a distance away on the sofa watching TV and talking shit.

He cared now that maybe there were unresolved issues with Eva and Irbimon. He hoped they would work out, and had sometimes found himself wondering if he should take Tom out for a drink so he could vent. He doubted Tom was having that much fun either, with the two of them. And then there was the whole situation with James. Despite their recent fisticuffs; Reyez did feel concern for the other boy, now mainly because no one, not even Frankie, had heard from him. The area James’ house had been in, had now been cordoned off and turned into a mass building site.

“Fuck.” Reyez exhaled and got to his feet, pulling the ear bud from Ailurmon’s ear. She looked at him lazily. “Have I really changed, that much?”


For a second Ailurmon looked confused and a little dazed, then she recalled their earlier conversation and slid off the bench onto her feet. “You care more. I don’t know if that’s really you.”

“Meaning?” Reyez pressed.

“Before all... this,” Ailurmon made a gesture with her paws, “it was just you and me. We did what we wanted, no one else to think about. We could do whatever we wanted and you didn’t give a crap. But now... with all this lame-ass team stuff, it’s always about everyone else. You have to take everyone else’s feelings and what they want to do, into consideration…you never used to do that.”

“I...”

“You didn’t, Rey. And you know it.”

“So you think I-“

“She thinks exactly what you know.” Reyez whirled on one foot, gritting his teeth against the sound of the female voice. A few feet away, standing in the archway that led to a herb garden, her hair black and tied back was Rose Divine. Prim and perfect looking as ever, with Hatimon at her side.

“The fuck you want?” Reyez demanded. Not now. He didn’t need her here right now. Didn’t need a Digimon attack, didn’t want anything like that to happen. This was his sister’s wedding day. He may not have wanted to be there, but he didn’t want the day to be ruined for her. No one deserved that.

“Temper, temper.” Rose taunted. She turned on her heel and quickly ran into the herb garden through the arch way. Hatimon’s tail left a vaporous trail behind her.

Reyez paused, and considered going after her. This could easily have been, and was undoubtedly, a trap of some kind. It was far too convenient for Rose to turn up at his sister’s wedding, she must have known somehow. He was already resolved not to let her ruin his sister’s day, so he followed Rose into the herb garden at a leisurely pace, Ailurmon in tow. He paused only to glance back at the wedding guests and debate whether to inform Frankie. She probably didn’t want the bother, so he didn’t consider it for long.

The herb garden was huge, it was the reason why his sister chose the wedding there. However, since she couldn’t get married in the actual garden, she decided to have the wedding close to it and use it as a backdrop.

Reyez stopped walking when he noticed Rose standing on the far end facing him. “Don’t worry, I have no plans of ruining your sisters big day…” She giggled. “It’s you that I want.”

Reyez pulled a cigarette from his pocket. “You’re wasting my time.”

Rose had a strand of hair from her ponytail around her finger, “I’ll make a deal. You work with me… and I’ll spare you and your Digimon’s life”

“Shitty.” Ailurmon placed her paws on her hips.

“You two really don’t like to make things simple do you?”

The ground shook, almost causing Reyez and Ailurmon to lose their balance. A deep laugh bellowed from the trees behind Rose. She stood there calmly, as whatever it was came closer.

The first thing Reyez saw made his jaw hang slightly.

A silver orb pushed through the trees, that seemed to be attached to a round pot of some sort…no wait… that was a… stomach?

A fourteen foot, girth stricken Digimon pushed the two of the final trees aside with ease as it made its way through, obviously a female. The Digimon stopped behind Rose and placed its large fist on its hips, laughing. Her voice sounded deep, but superior and cocky. Her metal armor and gold trinkets reflected the sun in such a way that it was almost blinding to look at her, like sunlight directly in a mirror.

“This is Satyressmon, she’ll be your co-host this evening. I guess we’ll keep you occupied until the wedding begins and maybe by then you’ll agree to my terms.” Rose giggled.

Reyez pulled out his lighter and lit up his cigarette. “Ah, threesome you say?”

Ailurmon removed her paws from her hips and began walking forward and in a flash of blue light, she appeared as Bambusmon. With a smirk, she flipped her hair from her shoulder, “Girl on Girl action… sounds fun.”

Hatimon met the champions’ walking pace, appearing as Remamon. “You know what they say, every girl has a PHASE!“ Remamon growled, launching at Bambusmon with a quick punch. Bambusmon blocked it with her own fist, sending the wolf sliding back a few feet. The two clashed again, this time with sequenced kicks of opposite legs, followed by punches that cancelled each other.

The two jumped away before launching and clashing towards one another again.


“Tundra Claws!” Remamon called out, picking up speed while wailing her fists and kicks at Bambusmon. Bambusmon barely dodged, but was hit by a main attack to the gut sending her flying back.

“Foliage Domination!” Bambusmon flipped to her feet, “Get over here!” Bambusmon threw out a vine from her palm, wrapping it around Remamon’s neck and slamming the werewolf Digimon into the ground. Bambusmon leaped into the air, picking up Remamon in the process and slung the champion to the far side of Garden.

“My turn!” Bellowed a voice from behind.

Puzzled, Bambusmon turned around only to be stricken down with a heavy fist. A cry out of pain, the force was enough to bounce Bambusmon off the ground as soon as she hit. Satyressmon charged forth, striking the Digimon again with her bulk.

“Woah! Woah! Calm down, you big bitch!” Reyez shouted, watching Bambusmon get tossed around like a rag doll.

Bambusmon dodged another of Satyressmon’s punches, she jumped into the air, throwing her foot into the Digimon’s face. Satyressmon grabbed Bambusmon by her dainty ankles, slamming her frail body into the ground. “You’re beauty does not accommodate for your strength! Beauty Hammer!” Satyressmon pulled a large metal hammer from behind her back, raising it up and slamming it down into the small crater that Bambusmon created when she was throw down.

Bambusmon yelped, rolling out of the way just in time and flipping to her feet. “Grand Cannon!” She summoned. The attack hit Satyressmon right inside of her silver, mirror-like orb, only for the orb to glow and reflect the attack back onto Bambusmon. Bambusmon yelped once again, being hit dead on by her own attack. 

Remamon gained her composure, leaping back into the fight. Bambusmon found herself being double-teamed; like a tennis ball on a court going back and forth. Try as she did to retaliate, it was impossible as the hits kept coming and were becoming too much to take.

“Ohhh… not so cool and collected now are you?” Rose taunted, walking towards Reyez. Reyez was obviously to engrossed in the battle to care of her presence, even behind the shades the look of worry painted his face and an aching pain shot through his spine with every hit he watched his Digimon take.

Rose placed her delicate hands on Reyez‘s shoulder, sliding the other along his back as she walked around him. “You have changed, there’s no doubt about it. You’re not the heartless bastard you once were. You’ve become weak and emotion-driven… now, you can feel pain. You know what it’s like to hurt and it’s all because of your friends.” She made her way in front of Reyez sliding off his shades to see the look of worry on his face, smirking as if she had gotten through to him. “Your friends, they helped to build you into what you are now…and all things built, can be broken.”

Bambusmon hit the ground and released a final cry, a high pitched beeping called from Reyez’s pocket.

A pause.

Reyez grunted and in quick reflex, grabbed Rose by her throat. Rose gasped by the sudden action and felt her small body lift off the ground as Reyez’s grip tightened around her neck. He held her above him, his eyes glaring as the smoke from his cigarette exhaled from his nose like a cartoon raging bull.

“RELEASE HER!” Remamon shouted, she launched towards the couple before being yanked back violently by Bambusmon’s vine. Bambusmon, with the last of her energy, used Remamon as an oncoming shield. Satyressmon attack hit them both, sending the champions flying into the bushes of the garden.

Rose tried to gasp for air, her eyes watering as she grabbed Reyez’ wrist. She could notice this veins in his arms, how tight he was holding her…the anger in his eyes.

“I am so… sick… of you and Atlas Corps and all the shit you’ve put me through. I just want to snap your fucking neck and watch you stare into space as your eyes fade. I want to see your lips dry as your mouth slowly shuts.” His voice had become darker, deeper. He squeezed harder.

“R-ROSE!” Remamon tried to stand up, but her energy as well was almost drained.

Rose’s eyes widened, in a quick flash of black ‘light’ from her D-Touch, Reyez tossed her a few feet away from him. Rose hit the ground with a light thump, gasping for air.

Reyez walked slowly to her. “Some of us are just trying to get through the day without falling apart…” He took a drag of his cigarette.

Rose tried to scramble away from him as quickly as possible while he kept a steady slow pace towards her. He exhaled the smoke from the corner of his mouth, his eyes staring directly into Rose's.

“Your problem is, you underestimate me… You think… that telling me that me, caring about others is my problem. That it’s the reason why my life is falling apart but ya’know, the stress is what’s keeping me alive. I’m not like Frankie or Eva… I’m not James, and I don‘t have the compassion that Tom or Piper have. Your little tricks and words don’t bother me… You, your brother and your mother can rot in the money ya’ll produce out of your asses…”

Rose became almost uneasy by Reyez’ change in behavior, once again his calmness was alarming.

“I don't know what I want in life. I don't know what I want right now. All I know is that I'm hurting so much inside that it's eating me, and one day, there won't be any of me left… but, that’s my own personal problem and no one else’s. I’ll figure it out, I always do and maybe, with the help of these people that have somehow, grounded themselves into my life… I just may find the answers I’m seeking. But it’s not for you to decide, and it’s damn sure not your place to advise me on what I need to do.”

A blue light enveloped Reyez as he took another drag. Bambusmon’s body started to sink into the bushes, becoming wrapped in vines as flowers all over the garden began to glow and bloom rapidly.

Reyez stopped walking towards Rose. 

“Feels good, doesn’t it? Realizing such power and potential in yourself? Feeling like you don‘t need anyone?” Rose lifted herself to her feet, an unsure tone in her voice as she slowly raised.

“Heh, I don’t feel a thing…” Reyez’s eyes erupted into blue light. Bambusmon gasped for air, reaching out as vines engulfed her entire body.

The high pitch squealing stopped and a blue light escaped Reyez’s pocket, circling around him before spreading through the entire garden. Satyressmon stepped back, taking in the surrounding change as Remamon tried to make her way towards Rose. 

“Bambusmon, proxy evolve to…” The vines and leaves that had engulfed Bambusmon’s body appeared translucent as the blindingly blue light tried to shine through. The silhouette of Bambusmon was visible; her svelte figure moving and changing in slow, alluring ways, almost like a slow burlesque dance. Her hair shrank down, becoming a shorter style, while petals sprouted from the back of her head. The vines that had engulfed Bambusmon now slid and caressed her skin, forming around her torso and legs, binding her arms behind her back. The leaves cracked, showing the newly transformed Bambusmon, completing her metamorphosis. A giant vine bow had erupted from her lower back, along with a beautiful flower, coloured in gradients of red, pink and blue. Small blue flowers burst from the vines on her legs, and elbows. Her vision was obscured by a black blinker, and red headphones from which a beat could be heard settled over her head. “Mistresmon!”

Mistresmon floated behind Reyez, moaning behind her mask as her body twisted and wiggled sensually as if she was overcome by pure ecstasy. Her head leaned back as she rubbed her thighs against one another, arching her back and moving her bound arms slightly.

Unexpectedly, a rush of vines exploded from the ground, rushing towards Rose, Remamon and Satyressmon, shooting past Reyez who tossed his cigarette and kept his hands in his pockets.

Rose yelped and attempted to cover her head, expecting to be hit violently by the attack only to feel it never come. She looked up from her arms, gasping in horror to see Remamon in front of her. Remamon couldn’t move, and the vines felt like they were trying to rip her in half.

Satyressmon was wrapped in vines as well, and found it hard to move. Remamon screamed as the vines began pulling in different directions.

“Stop it! STOP IT NOW!” Rose demanded.

Reyez only chuckled. “Isn’t this what you and your brother tried to do, except with Digimon? You tried to kill us and had you succeeded, our deaths would’ve been covered up as a mere accident. You’d sleep better at night. You’d win.”

The vines yanked and Remamon screamed, Rose felt tears form in the corner of her eyes, “I SAID STOP IT!!”

“But the tables have turned, and now we’re going to destroy her and then I’m going to destroy you and put an end to all the bullshit you’ve caused us. I’ll suffer the consequences later. Just as long as you no longer exist I‘ll SLEEP BETTER AT NIGHT!” 

Mistresmon moaned at the sound of Reyez’s yelling. More vines erupted from the ground, forming into a fist that punched Satyressmon into the trees. The sounds of bones cracking unnerved Rose, she tried her best to pull them away from Remamon.

“STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT!” She shouted at Reyez.

“Reyez! REYEZ, STOP!” A voice came from afar. Frankie and Hurakamon ran towards the battle.

Reyez’s glowing blue eyes turned towards Frankie.

“Not now, c’mon Rey. Just let it go for now…” Frankie pleaded. One more yank from the vines, causing Remamon to cry out and Reyez’s eyes stopped glowing.

Remamon dropped down to the ground, reverting to Hatimon, who instantly fell over. Rose picked up the drained rookie and glared at Reyez with tears streaming from her eyes. She turned and ran the opposite direction.

Satyressmon growled, “this is not the end!” She followed.

Mistresmon lightly touched the ground, crossing her legs as she kept herself close to Reyez. In a flash, Ailurmon stood in her place, very calm and slightly spaced out.

“…What…happened?” Frankie asked, coming closer to Reyez who only looked down, making sure his outfit wasn’t ruined as the wedding was starting soon.

Frankie knew this silence very well and didn’t even want to bother arguing it. She simply leaned forward and wiped a bit of dirt from his forehead. “C’mon, the ceremony is about to start.”

Reyez knew what he had done, he was fully aware and he was satisfied. He had given Rose a taste of her own medicine and he liked it. He had instilled the same fear in her heart that she had instilled in theirs a while a back, whether he wanted to admit it or not. Rose now knew that Reyez wasn’t really the prey, she was.


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