A chance meeting under the August skies leads to Izumi having a conversation with Kouji and Kouichi. (gen)
It was getting dark, the band of gold in the west fading into blue, and the shadows from the houses in the distance fell over the park, but Izumi was still sure she recognized the two boys in front of her. "Kouji? Kouichi? Is that you?"
The two of them turned. "Izumi? What are the odds?" Kouichi said.
"What are you doing out here?" Kouji added.
"Probably the same thing you two are," she said. "Mom and Dad and I wanted to get out of the city to watch the meteor shower. Are you two with any one?"
Kouichi nodded. "My mother," he said. "She was feeling well enough to come outside with us. The two of us wanted to do something together, and Mom came along, since she didn't want me out after dark."
"Oh... am I interrupting family time?" Izumi frowned. "We can find another part of the park, you know."
Kouji looked like he was about to say something, but Kouichi, with a look to his twin, said, "It's all right, Izumi. You can sit with us, if you like."
"/Bene!/" Izumi said. She looked back over her shoulder, to see her parents trying to catch up with her. "Mom! Dad! Is it okay if we sit with some friends of mine?"
"Well, all right," Izumi's mother said. "I don't think I've met these friends of yours, though."
"Oh," Izumi gestured to them. "Mom, Dad, these are Minamoto Kouji and Kimura Kouichi. We met at a special event for kids a couple of months ago. Kouji, Kouichi, these are my parents." Which wasn't a lie, just a liberal interpretation of Ophanimon's call into the Real World. Her parents were too polite to ask why two boys that looked like twins had different family names.
The two bowed -- Kouji just a tad shallower than his brother. "It's nice to meet you, Mister and Missus Orimoto," Kouichi said.
"The same," Kouji added.
They walked over to where Kouichi's mother was seated, wrapped in a blanket in a folding chair on the grass, and introductions were repeated. While Izumi's parents set up their own seats and spoke to Miss Kimura, Izumi grabbed the blanket she packed and spread it on the ground, within eyesight of their parents, but not quite in earshot. She motioned for the two boys to join her, and she lied back, staring up into the vault of the sky. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Kouichi take one side to her, with Kouji next to him.
"I don't know why we bothered to come out here," Kouji said. "The news said the best viewing would be in the early morning. Or once the moon set."
"Are you going to stay up for that?" Izumi asked.
"Can't. School." Kouji's words were quick, sharply punctuated.
Izumi nodded. She had asked about it, but her parents had put their foot down on the matter -- she couldn't miss school for this. She hadn't really expected to get permission, though. "There's one!" she pointed as a silent streak teared across the sky.
"Where?" Kouichi asked.
"You missed it." It had already vanished, leaving not a trace in the sky. She had expected smoke, like a rocket. Or at least some noise.
The three of them watched for some minutes more, but there were only the stars, and a crescent moon hanging over the horizon on Izumi's left. Izumi stared at them, trying to remember any of the constellations. Two of them were for Orihime and Hikoboshi, from the Tanabata legend, she knew from the festival last week, but she couldn't remember which stars. She focused, letting the ground fade away, and felt almost like things had turned upside down, like some of the unstable terrain from the Digital World. "Hey, guys?" Izumi said, breaking the contemplative silence.
"What?" both boys said, almost in unison.
"I was just thinking, the sky looks so deep, you could almost fall into it. I was wondering what it would be like to be Fairymon again, and to lift off into the air." She spread her arms out, as if they were wings, ready to send her off into the sky.
Kouichi nodded. Kouji paused. "/That's/ what you miss about the Digital World?"
"Well, it's one thing I miss. Flying was pretty amazing." Izumi sat up, crossing her arms and taking her eyes off the stars. "What about you?"
Kouji leaned back a bit. "You're probably thinking I miss having the Spirit of Light," Kouji said.
"Well, you do," Kouichi added. "I think we all miss the spirits. And the Digimon."
Kouji snorted. "But, if you must know," he continued, "I actually miss having you all around -- even Bokomon and Neemon. Even if all of you are crazy and drive me nuts."
"Even me?" Kouichi asked.
Kouji paused. "Well, you did take the last dumpling at dinner tonight." He playfully punched his brother in the arm, who swatted at him back.
"He really does likes us," Izumi beamed. "I know what you mean, though. I feel like I became a better person because of the Digital World. That I have friends now -- you guys, and some of the girls at school. That I can make friends now."
The two nodded. "I think it was the same for all of you," Kouichi said. "At least, what I saw. I didn't know you all before this happened, but Kouji says the same thing."
Izumi looked at Kouji, who was looking at his brother. She wondered what he was thinking. "We're here to look at meteors," he said. "Let's look at some meteors, then. See who can see the most?"
"A game?" Izumi asked.
"I guess so." He leaned back onto the blanket. "Look, you two already missed one right now. "
"We did not!" Izumi said. But she started scanning the sky, just to prove him wrong.
In the end, Kouichi won, which lead to jokes about the Warrior of Darkness's keen night vision that ended up confusing Takuya, Junpei and Tomoki when next they all spoke. But not where parents could overhear.