Takato and Henry chat online. Rika decides to visit her father.
Takato Mstsuki sat across the table from Barbara Gordon in the park as they continued playing the Digimon Card Game. They had imported the card game from Japan and had translated the names of the Digimon to English. He liked that the names were similar to his native tongue but disliked that they had changed the names of the attacks to be more "Americanized". Still, they were very close to the original so he decided not to complain about it.
"Wormmon, Digivolve to Stingmon," Barbara said, placing her card down.
"Nice, but I've beaten you already. Greymon warp-digivolve to Wargreymon. I win."
"Gee Takato, you're really good," she smiled at him.
He had to laugh. "I'm not that good. My friend Kazu always beats me."
"Well Takato, it looks like Alfred's here to pick you up," Barbara said, glancing up at the limousine pulling up to the curb.
"Bye Barbara, see you tomorrow!" Takato said, he got in the back of the limousine and buckled his seatbelt.
"First homework Master Takato, then training," Alfred said. "Those are Master Bruce's instructions."
"All right!" he said, pumping his fist. He was eager to continue his training. Not so much on the homework, but he'd do it. It was a small obstacle to get around if it meant he would fight at Batman's side. That was the most important thing. That was the only thing that mattered.
Henry Wong checked his instant messenger to discover he had received a message from a user with the screen name/ GoggleHazard./ It was Takato! After six months he'd managed to find a way to contact him. He'd been worrying about his friend after a while when he stopped receiving phone calls.
GoggleHazard: Hi Henry.
Tai-ChiMachine/: Takato. WHERE'VE YOU BEEN?
GoggleHazard: Surviving Gotham City. Believe me; you DON'T want to know how.
Tai-ChiMachine: I see.
GoggleHazard: Tell Kazu, Kenta and Guilmon "Hi" for me, and tell Rika "Sorry for not keeping in touch." I'll be able to IM you and stuff now that I have my own computer.
Tai-ChiMachine: How do you have your own computer?
GoggleHazard: Mr. Wayne found me in an orphanage and he was nice enough to take me in. He even bought me a computer. Probably so I wouldn't use his. LOL.
Tai-ChiMachine: Mr. Wayne? Who's Mr. Wayne?
GoggleHazard: Mr. Bruce Wayne of Gotham City.
Tai-ChiMachine: BRUCE WAYNE?! The rich billionaire?! Why'd he do all that for you? How'd you meet him?
GoggleHazard: I guess he felt sorry for me because of what happened to my parents. I gotta go. I got homework. Please don't tell Rika, she wouldn't understand, and she'd probably be mad. Just tell her a nice guy found me and took me in.
Tai-ChiMachine: Okay, but she'll be really ticked if she ever learns the truth about all this.
GoggleHazard: I'll tell her…eventually.
Tai-ChiMachine: Better you than me.
GoggleHazard: Yeah, for you, maybe. /I'm the one who has to tell her. I have homework to do so I gotta go./
Tai-ChiMachine: Okay. Goodbye Takato.
Henry saw Takato log off his screen name. He turned his attention back to his report on Edgar Allen Poe's /The Bells /that was due in three days. Studying American poetry was giving him a headache.
He continued writing his 10 page double-spaced report, knowing he'd print it off and have to plaster it in corrections before retyping and reprinting again. He just concentrated on finishing it because he didn't want to have to worry about cramming it the night before it was due.
Henry smiled as he watched the pages fly out of the printer. He knew that if Takato was still living in Shinjuku he would have been cramming his report too. At least he knew that his friend was safe and had a good life in America. He also wished that Takato would come back to Japan to see all the Tamers.Terriermon hopped up on Henry's shoulder from his place on the bed. "That was Takato huh? How's he doing?"
"He's doing just fine; in fact, he's gone to living with a rich man named Bruce Wayne."
"Who's Bruce Wayne? I've never heard of him," Terriermon said.
"He's the owner of a large corporation called Wayne Enterprises. They make all kinds of stuff, electronics, cosmetics, military equipment. You name it. They even have a branch in Shinjuku."
"How'd Takato meet him?"
"He met Mr. Wayne in an orphanage, at least that's what he tells me."
"Do you think he'll come back to see us?" Terriermon asked.
"Of course he will, you can count on that," Henry told him. "I still can't believe he's living with Bruce Wayne of all people. Guess he just got lucky."
"Yeah," Terriermon laughed. "Does that mean he's all rich and stuff now?"
"I don't know, maybe Mr. Wayne give him an allowance," Henry grinned. "I wonder how Rika's doing. She took it pretty hard when Takato left. She didn't say as much but I knew she didn't expect him to just up and leave like that."
"Nobody expected him to do that, but what I don't get is why he waited so long to contact you. It's not like there aren't phones in America."
"True, but maybe he was too busy," Henry continued scanning his first rough draft of his report. He began marking things that he would change before his next printout.
"For six months, people don't just up and move and not call their friends to let them know how they're doing."
"Sure they do, not everybody likes to talk on the phone."
"But Takato didn't even explain why he needed to leave, he just took off."
"He's trying to find himself. He didn't think he could do it here."
"I think it's that he couldn't cope with his loss so he ran away," Terriermon scowled. Henry gave the Digimon a hard look.
"Rika said it, and I agree with her," Terriermon retorted.
"She did take it harder than I thought. I suppose she thinks that he's just like her dad. He left when she was little and I think that's why she acts the way she does. I guess she thinks he won't come back."
"It's just so boring without him here; at least I can go play with Guilmon. Renamon isn't exactly a playful Digimon and MarineAngemon and Guardromon are either too small or not interested. I mean, there hasn't even been a bio-emerged Digimon for weeks now and there's nothing to do," Terriermon sighed. "I'm getting sick of it."
"I know how you feel; at least I've got homework." Henry laughed. He went back to typing his report.
Rika Nonaka sat down at the table in the living room, staring at her Digimon Cards with interest. The Digimon Grand Prix was coming up soon and she was bound and determined to win. She would beat Ryo Akiyama this time for sure. She stopped sorting through her cards and looked up at the small photograph of her family taken a long time ago.
She started thinking about her father and what he was doing right now. She'd heard from her mother that he had moved to America to a place called Gotham City. He was working for some company named Wayne Industries. Rika didn't really care, but a part of her wondered if she should go visit him some day, after all, he was her father.
"He probably wouldn't care if I came to visit him," she scowled. "He'd probably think I'm a nuisance. He'd probably come up with excuses so he'd get me out of the way."
Still, it might be fun going to this Gotham City. She'd heard rumors about a man the press called "Batman". They said he fought criminals and was a vigilante. He didn't appear in the Japanese papers often, unless he was capturing the maniac known as the Joker, or Mr. Freeze. These costumed types were interesting but she was kind of disappointed that nothing of the vigilante, crime fighting nature ever happened around Shinjuku. Stopping a bio-emerged Digimon was hardly called crime fighting.
Though being recognized as "the girl who had defeated the D-Reaper", by children who played the card game was in a way, satisfying. But deep down Rika just wished that she could do more with herself.
"I am so bored," Rika groaned. Renamon faded into view from the shadows, being different from other Digimon; she could disappear at will, something which few Digimon could accomplish. She also had a telepathic connection with her Tamer and could speak to Rika's mind, also a rare trait among the Digimon kind.
They didn't seem bothered by their strange bond, although it mystified the other Tamers.
"What's wrong, Rika?" Renamon asked. Her Tamer had been acting restless recently. Something was bothering her, and it didn't have to do with stopping evil Digimon from running rampant in the street or arguing with her mother about a career choice. Rumiko wanted Rika to follow in her footsteps and become a model while Rika wanted to either a photographer or a manga artist. She couldn't decide which.
Her mother told her that neither of those professions would make her wealthy or famous, and that was just fine with Rika, she didn't /want /to be famous like her mother, to have men following her around, fawning over her, or trying to get dates with her just because she was a model, which happened to her mother more frequently than Rika would like. Rika just wished they would all go away.
Rika Nonaka was a tomboy through and through, her father seemed to understand, even when she was a small child, she always played with the boys' toys and trucks and stayed far, far away from dolls and dress up.
Sometimes, when Rumiko's photo shoots ran longer than usual, Rika and her father, Chiaki Nonaka would go to the park and play games like hide-and-seek, or kick the soccer ball back and forth. But most of the time, father and daughter liked to sit on the swings and sing songs. If there was one thing Rika enjoyed most with her father, it was singing songs with him. She rarely did it now. It made her think of him, and that brought back all the bitter emotions she had felt when her parents had gotten divorced.
Still, she missed him sometimes. Rika recalled a certain song her father had taught her. It was called, "Promise of the Setting Sun". Chiaki's mother had taught it to him when he was a little boy, before she died. It was one of his favorite songs because it reminded him of her. And now, the song reminded Rika of her father.
Rika subconsciously began humming the tune, raising her eyes to the photo of her family. She couldn't help but wonder if she could persuade her mother to let her go to America to visit her father over the summer. It wouldn't hurt to see him for a little bit.
Even thought she felt very bitter towards him when it came to his relationship with her mother, she still could go see him whenever she wanted. Rika tried to ignore the thought of visiting the man who had abandoned her, but she just couldn't put it out of her mind.
Getting up, she began looking through her mother's desk, searching for where she kept her father's address. Her father had sent her mother his current address recently. She finally spotted it under a stack of bills.
"Aha!" she exclaimed.
"What is it Rika?" Renamon inquired.
"My father's address. I don't know why, but I feel like I need to go see him for some reason. I don't know when I'd go, maybe over Christmas or something. I mean, Mom makes tons of money modeling, so she could pay for my flight over there, she'd probably pitch a fit though, it's ¥ 257,117, for a round trip plane ticket over there."
She examined the piece of paper. The address said 1313 Mockingbird Ln. Gotham City, 10781. Little did she know that this was one of the most coveted addresses in Gotham City, if not America, it wasn't every day that multibillionaire Bruce Wayne sent you his home address, although, she didn't know the truth about her father's true identity any more than her mother did. He hadn't told Rumiko the truth either. Bruce was afraid he'd endanger them if any of his rogues' gallery ever discovered his secret identity. It was better that they not know the truth; they would be safer that way.
Rika started making plans. Maybe she could go in the winter, during Christmas Break. Of course, she'd have to get the request past her mother first, no small feat.
Rumiko Nonaka walked into the room and Rika looked up as she called her name.
"What mom?" Rika dared asked, she desperately hoped that her mother wouldn't go into another long speech about how people loved and adored her at work and how she should become a model like her.
"I was just going to ask you about something, I wanted to know if you'd come with me on one of my photo shoots," Rumiko said. Rika desperately fought the urge to cringe, or puke, or both.
"You know I don't like that kind of thing mom, I'm not going to let some goofball with a camera take pictures of me."
"Oh, it's not for you Rika, I'm going to Gotham City for a month and I want you to come so you could go see your father. He lives there you know."
"Yeah, I know," Rika said, surprised. She'd never dreamed that her mother would go anywhere near her father after the nasty divorced they had.
"I wouldn't see him, but I think you should see him, at least once, so he can't say he never gets to see you. I've already given him a call; he said you could stay with him."
"But who's paying for my plane ticket?" she asked.
"He is, apparently, he has a lot of money over there and he said he'd buy your ticket if you come."
"What about school?" Rika wondered how she could miss an entire month of private school.
"I've talked to your teachers and they gave me a month's worth of homework in advance. I expect you to finish it you know."
"Don't worry I will," Rika promised. School had never been hard for her; in fact, she was the best academic student in her class. Nobody could say that Rika Nonaka was just the best at the Digimon card game; she had other strengths as well.
"You better start packing, we're leaving this weekend."
"Okay," she said, she began packing her things. She might miss the Digimon Grand Prix but there was something much more interesting in Gotham City. She'd been reading the newspapers for some time now and they always paraded the exploits of the Justice League.
She knew from the papers that Batman lived somewhere in Gotham City. Rika wondered if a lot of people living in the city had seen Batman in person. The papers made him out to be a mythical figure, the man with no name, as it were. The Batman was a source of interest to her, perhaps because Batman reminded Rika of herself, driven and ambitious but determined to help people she cared about.
Rika decided that she was definitely going to pack her digital camera, maybe if she was lucky, she'd actually get a picture of the Batman himself to show off to her friends when she came home.
Rika smiled, this trip was going to be fun.
"You told her /WHAT?/" Bruce Wayne practically shouted at his elderly butler. "You told my ex-wife that Rika could stay here, while you were impersonating me?"
"Well sir you were out, and it was the only thing I could think of, besides, Ms. Rika is your daughter."
"There's a reason Rumiko and I got a divorce Alfred," Bruce's tone was frustrated. Takato was asleep, so he knew nothing of this. Bruce had no intention of telling him about his relationship to Rika Nonaka, knowing that his daughter was friends with his legal ward wouldn't make it any easier for him to deal with her. Bruce figured that if Takato knew about it he'd lecture Bruce about leaving Rika her mother in the first place.
"What would you have me say? That you're the Batman? That you don't have time to let your daughter come see you while her mother's working a photo shoot in your city? Or should I just tell a single mother that her ex-husband doesn't care at all about his family?"
Bruce sighed, "I left them so they could be safe, so they wouldn't have to live a life of secrets and have to carry my burdens. And now they're coming back into my life which is nothing but secrets."
"Consider it as fate showing you that perhaps both Bruce Wayne and Batman can coexist with some degree of happiness in their lives."
"You're suggesting I should remarry Rumiko." Bruce laughed. "It's not that easy Alfred, I can't just walk back into their lives and expect everything to be like it was seven years ago."
"I know that quite well, sir, but I expect you to be civil when you are with your ex-wife," Alfred gave him a hard stare.
"Don't worry Alfred," Bruce replied. Civility won't be a problem. When are they coming?"
"This weekend, Sir," Alfred replied.
Bruce turned to Alfred, "Rika will be here in a few days, actually, prepare several guest rooms; I have a business associate from Japan coming over to the States to discuss the Digimon online game that Takato used to play when he lived in Japan. I'm going to meet with him to see how Wayne Enterprises can acquire the rights to produce and market the game in the U.S."
"I am surprised you would let them stay here, Sir," Alfred commented.
"I want to see this Digimon game for myself. I want to understand what role it played in Takato's life and why it's still important to him. Don't forget to make sure everything is perfect for our guests."
"Very good, Sir," Alfred nodded and went upstairs to begin preparing the guest rooms.
"Hey, Henry, where are you, you little troublemaker?" Janyu Wong's voice called through the house.
"I'm in my room doing my homework," Henry replied.
"Good, I was hoping I'd find you. I'm going away on a business trip and I want you to come with me."
"Me?" Henry asked. "Why me?"
"I'm going to meet with the owner of a giant tech company. They want to acquire the rights to produce and market the Digimon online game in America. Seeing that you play the game I thought you could help me explain it to them. I've talked with my bosses and they agreed with me. They said since the game is for children someone with gaming experience should talk about with they liked about the game."
"They really said I could go with you! All right!" Henry was ecstatic. "What company is it?"
"Wayne Tech, part of Wayne Industries as a part of Wayne Enterprises."
Henry immediately dropped everything he was doing and started packing, even Terriermon was excited. He was going to see Takato again, maybe. Takato said that he was staying with Mister Wayne so there was a slim possibility he'd see his friend, and in his mind, a slim possibility was better than none at all.