Chapter 23: The Touching Return
Daisuke, Miyako, Iori, Ken and Takeru were busy with their quest to destroy the Dark Towers. With the Digital World at peace, they could really take their time to take down the Dark Tower.
"Why are we doing this today?" Miyako complained while watching XV-mon and Stingmon working really hard to destroy the bunch of Dark Towers.
"You should be honoured that Ken and I even bothered to volunteer for today. XV-mon and Stingmon need to work hard. You saw how powerful Omegamon is. We can't lose to the seniors." Daisuke exclaimed in admiration.
"Omegamon is an Ultimate Level Digimon in the first place." Takeru could not help but to remind Daisuke. "Besides, that's only a one-time evolution for Gabumon to evolve into Ultimate just for this battle."
"Eh? That's a pity." Daisuke said in dismay. Which means they could only count on WarGreymon if they require an Ultimate Digimon for assistance.
"XV-mon! Stingmon! You must work hard and evolve into Ultimate. You hear me!" Daisuke ordered.
"That's not the problem, isn't it?" Ken remarked chuckling.
In the midst of their mission, a voice was heard.
"Takeru-kun, everyone!" Takeru turned to the direction where the voice came from. It was Hikari and Tailmon. That surprised everyone as they were told by Takeru that she had an important date today which was why Takeru and Iori volunteered to take her place.
"Hikari-chan, why are you here today? Miyako asked.
"I thought you should be meeting your parents today." Iori added.
"But I'm on duty today." Hikari trailed off. "I'm curious to hear about the battle against Diaboromon. Koushirou-san didn't want to tell me any detail."
Takeru remembered Yamato and Koushirou had informed everyone to keep mum about the details from Hikari and Sora. They planned to give Hikari and Sora a surprise.
"Patamon, tell me." Tailmon demanded. Patamon giggled. "XV-mon?" Tailmon glared at him.
"Sorry." XV-mon looked away. He was not going to spill the beans.
"By the way, do you guys have a meeting we don't know about?" Miyako spoke up suddenly. "Mimi-oneesama sent me an e-mail this morning requesting me to open up a portal for her so that she could come to Odaiba via the Digital World. She said Koushirou-san is going to kill her if she didn't show up"
"Come to think of it, they are acting weird. Koushirou-san and Jou-san are actually talking when I saw them today, as friends. Is there anything I miss out?" Iori mentioned. "I'm also curious about the battle with Diaboromon." Iori was not told anything either. He was at his Kendo practice when the battle against Diaboromon occurred. There was not even a trace of recording after that.
"It's Iori's hard work which allows them to reconcile with one another. You had inherited both their crests, remember." Daisuke stated. Before Iori could deny what he did not do, Ken interrupted him.
"Motomiya-kun, you must be implying that to yourself as well." Ken teased giving a pat on Daisuke's back. Takeru laughed when Daisuke blushed in embarrassment. Yes, he was the one who got the holder of Courage and Friendship to work together indirectly. Suddenly, he remembered something.
"He said the goggles looks cool on me and will like me to keep it." Daisuke boasted excitedly. Ken did a facepalm as he heard it countless times. He was told that the goggles he had was Taichi's. He had wanted to return it but was declined by Taichi who wanted to look forward. Moreover, Daisuke understood the weight of the goggles more than he could.
"Daisuke-kun, if it isn't for the event three days ago, I didn't know you have another Digimental in your possession. Make sure you tell us how you got it later." Takeru pointed out before turning to Hikari who was confused about their conversation.
"Hikari-chan, let's go. I'll accompany you to your parents." Takeru offered.
"I'm coming too." Daisuke said.
"No, Motomiya-kun will stay, I'll go instead." Ken stopped him. "Besides, I need to say "Hi" to Takenouchi-san."
"This is not fair." Daisuke pouted.
"We don't need a perfect level Digimon either so I can leave the rest to you, right?" Ken replied. He was able to feel more at ease when talking to Daisuke by now.
Mrs. Yagami was fidgeting in the restaurant. She could not believe it. After years of pinning and yearning, she was finally meeting her long-lost son.
"Dear." She could not hold back her tears. Mr. Yagami took her into his arms to comfort her. Mr. Yagami looked back at the time when the father of Hikari's good friend, Sora, Professor Takenouchi Haruhiko came to see him in the office he was working in.
They had lunch together. He almost choked on his food as he was eating really quickly when Professor Takenouchi showed him a photo of his foster son.
"Do you recognize the boy in the photo?" Professor Takenouchi asked.
"Ta…ichi?" Mr. Yagami noticed that the boy in the photo was a little older than he last saw him three years ago. Yes, Taichi would be 14 by now if he was still alive.
"But how?" He was told by Hikari and Taichi's friends that he had perished in the so-called Digital World. It was an extremely heavy blow to him and his wife that they became even more protective over Hikari. His wife had been pinning for Taichi since then lying to herself that Taichi ran away because they did not love him enough. It was only recently, things start to look up when she decided that she wanted to move on.
"He's now 14, an 8th Grade student in Nagaoka Middle School. He became the Student Council President in his freshman year and he assists me in my research at times. Capable isn't it? I adopted him around two years ago. I didn't know he's your son back then. He is suffering from amnesia and is unable to remember his past. It's also due to the nature of my job; I can't go home quite often. If not, I'll probably have heard of him from Sora." Professor Takenouchi explained. But yet, if it was not for that, he might not have met Taichi at Tamachi Elementary in the first place.
"If that's the case, I shall arrange for him to reunite with you and your family." Professor Takenouchi offered to be taken aback when he saw Mr. Yagami choking on his tears.
"H-How can I ever thank you?" He was overwhelmed with his tears of happiness.
Mr. Yagami took the rest of the day off and headed home immediately. Mrs. Yagami was surprised that her husband was home earlier than usual.
"Did you just get fired?" She asked as she saw her daughter's dad sweating and panting all over.
"I have found him." He blurted out. Mrs. Yagami was confused.
"I have found our son. He's now grown up and healthy." He showed her the photo from Professor Takenouchi. Mrs. Yagami gasped unable to believe what she had seen and heard. She had dropped her broom.
Tachikawa Mimi was pacing around in Odaiba Railway Station. She was waiting for the guest-of-honour for the day to arrive.
"That Yamato-san, what is he doing? What time is it now?" She was muttering by herself when someone poked her on her shoulder. She turned to her back to realise that it was the guy she was muttering about with an annoyed face. He had heard everything. Taichi was following behind trying to hide his nervousness.
"Mimi, he is…"
"Taichi-san! It's really you!" Mimi threw her arms over a bewildered Taichi before Yamato could introduce them to each other as he would do for new friends so that Taichi would not feel so awkward. "I'm so glad it isn't my imagination." Mimi cried with teary eyes.
"Um…" Taichi remembered her as the pink-haired girl in his dream. No, that was not a dream was what he was told by Izumi Koushirou who was practically glaring daggers at Shu's younger brother, Jou while explaining to him. Her hair was dyed brown now. It was winter holidays and everybody was in their winter outfit.
Mimi realized that she had hugged Taichi too tightly that he could not breathe.
"I'm sorry." She said sticking her tongue out. "Tachikawa Mimi." She extended her hands to Taichi who was trying to catch his breath.
"Ta-Takenouchi Taichi." Taichi paused before took her hand for a handshake. Yamato nodded. He could understand that Taichi would not be able to accept that he had another family, his real family, the Yagami family yet. He had been using "Takenouchi" as his family name for the past few years after all. It would take time for him to adjust.
In fact, Taichi did not want to reveal his existence to his real family when they talked about it when he was recuperating at the hospital. He confessed that he had seen his parents before but he actually felt resentment towards them back then as he was led by Diaboromon to believe that he was abandoned. He felt really ashamed now when he thought about it. He wondered how he should act before them now.
"Be yourself, Taichi. You will be fine. We'll be with you." Yamato placed his hand on his shoulder to reassure him. Taichi smiled at him and Mimi who gave him a sweet smile. Yes, Taichi just needed to be himself. He did not have to be the reckless Taichi he used to know. Since he had given up his past, so the more he should look forward to future. Agumon even sent him a message of support. Taichi felt warmth when he read Agumon's message from the D-Terminal sent by Koushirou. He was really his friend.
If it was not that his foster father had counseled him, he probably would not have come. He was able to show his confidence to companies or schools when he negotiated for opportunities for his schoolmates but certainly not towards the people related to him yet he could not feel close to. That was why he had never met Sora, his foster sister and Mrs. Takenouchi.
Sora was feeling perplexed. Koushirou and Jou who were not on speaking term for three years were actually chatting heartily right before her. They claimed to be waiting for her to head to the meeting place together for the debrief of the Battle with Diaboromon she had missed that day.
Sora was really glad that Yamato managed to do a great job even though he and Gabumon was the only one who would have the best chance of defeating Diaboromon. Sora only got to know him three years ago and had become great friends since then. As time flies by, she felt that she felt more towards him. Sora blushed and was noticed by Jou.
Jou had noticed that Sora had a crush with Yamato but he did not want to say anything. Even so, he would whisper to Koushirou since they had reconciled and promised to share secrets at times. Koushirou almost choked on his saliva. So, it was not just him who noticed it.
"Hey, you two. What are you laughing about?" Sora had her hands on her hips.
"No, nothing. It's fine, Sora-san." Koushirou replied. Her mobile beeped all the sudden. It was her mother. Oh yeah, she almost forgotten that she and her mother were going to meet her father and his so-called foster son.
"Guys, I need to meet my mother first, you guys go ahead." Sora yelled at the boys in front of her.
"Yup, we know. We are just tagging along." Jou replied and Sora got even more suspicious now. What the hell were they up to? Sora found herself tearing up in happiness. Since when she saw Koushirou and Jou being so close together like this. Their bonds could have been stronger if it was not that they had lost their leader. Perhaps, Yamato's effort in the battle in Diaboromon had paid off, pulling them back together, closer than ever.
Hikari was walking quietly between the two boys who were "escorting" her to where her parents were meeting her. Hikari felt uneasy that Takeru who usually would not keep secret from her was really secretive today. Not even Tailmon could get anything out from Patamon. Patamon was still unable to believe that he had met Taichi before the incident with Diaboromon.
"Ichijouji-kun, something must have happened to Takeru-kun during the battle with Diaboromon? Can you tell me?" Hikari whispered.
"Something did happen?" Ken answered hesitantly. Minomon, on his arms was not going to say anything.
"I'm just surprised, Hikari-chan. Maybe if I've known earlier, I'll have talked to you before this." Ken actually referred to the fact that Taichi and Hikari were actually siblings. He was really surprised when he heard from the seniors when Ken explained his relationship with Taichi in detail while Daisuke was keeping Taichi who was still unconscious company. He did not realise that Hikari like him had suffered loss of their brothers. The difference was her brother was still alive. To think Taichi had played an elder brother role to him for the past few years.
Takeru who walked in front with their Digimon stopped all the sudden. Hikari and Ken wondered what was going on.
Right before him, were Yamato and Mimi who brought Taichi along turning his head over, he called out to Hikari.
"Hikari-chan, see who is here today?" Takeru stepped aback pulling Tailmon along. Tailmon's face was pale when she was pulled to face Hikari. She had saw him.
"Go ahead." Ken whispered. Hikari stopped for a moment. Her facial expression was unreadable. She took a step forward.
"Taichi, she's your younger sister, Hikari." Yamato whispered behind him urging him to step forward.
Hikari took bigger steps. Right before her was someone really important, someone she thought he had lost and missed a lot.
"O-Oniichan!" Hikari ran towards the bewildered Taichi and gave him a hug. She could not believe it. Her precious brother was well and alive before her. Tears fell uncontrollably down her cheek as she buried her face on his shoulder. She had missed him so much.
"H-Hikari…" Taichi tried to get her name out. The sensation felt awfully familiar to him. He relented and rubbed her back gently.
Across the street, Sora who witnessed the reunion of a pair of siblings dropped her bag. She could not believe it either. That was her best friend who was thought to be dead.
"Taichi…" She blurted out.
"Sora-san." Mimi greeted cheerfully noticing her arrival. Taichi and Hikari pulled away from their hugs.
"Sora?" Taichi finally got to meet his foster sister. So, that was his foster father's daughter.
"Taichi, you idiot!" She came over to slap him much to everybody's astonishment. Tears began to flow down her cheek when she pulled Taichi into a hug.
"I'm glad. I'm really glad." Sora finally knew what made the few boys who were always at odds reconciled with one another. She would have never expected it. Only Taichi had such power to bring them back together.
Together, the Chosen Children led Taichi to his parents who had been waiting and they had a teary reunion.
Mrs. Takenouchi were consoled for the fact that her husband had contributed to this reunion. Not just for Taichi and his family and also the Chosen Children who had regained something they thought they had lost. They were all teary when they witnessed Mr. and Mrs. Yagami pulled their son into their arms.
Taichi just about wondered something that day. Just how many times he was hugged when he found himself in his mother's arms? Tears welled up his eyes. Even if he could not remember, his body could have remembered. He felt warmth from his mother's temperature.
"O-Okaasan." He whispered in tears.
"Welcome back, Taichi." His father said ruffling his son's hair.
"I'm home." Taichi replied sobbing.
"Welcome!" Taichi was overwhelmed when he saw Daisuke, Miyako and Iori setting up a welcome party for him at the Yagami's residence. Hikari realized in horror that it was all planned. Daisuke and the rest knew.
"We were just told by this idiot to come here and set up. Miyako kicked Daisuke in his butt.
"Miyako-san, you will do anything for your idol, isn't it?" Iori asked teasingly. Miyako glared at him in response.
Miyako and Iori were only told that there was some accident and Taichi lost his memories after he went missing." Iori was too shocked to say anything after hearing about the battle against Diaboromon and about Takenouchi Taichi's real identity. Miyako was especially bewildered to hear that Takenouchi Taichi was actually the elder brother of Hikari, she had been curious about. The world is really small.
Taichi was really touched by all the gestures from his friends, new or old.
"Thank you." Taichi was grateful.
"Osamu, I think I can move on now. I feel that maybe I can create all kinds of futures with them and I will create new memories with them, with my friends!"
With Taichi rejoining the Chosen Children, the time for the evil Qinglongmon had mentioned to show himself was close.
Taichi found himself running away from a certain monster upon waking up in the campground not knowing head and tail of what was going on. He could sense malice when the monster appeared before him. He reeked of darkness which forced him up on his feet and run.
"Koushirou, Sora, where are you?" Both of them were nowhere to be seen. "Jou-senpai, Yamato?" He tried looking for his new friends from the camp while he ran from the shadow.
But he could not outrun the monster who grabbed him up on his throat forcing air out of him.
"For the sake of our plan, we can't have you alive with your Digivice as a threat. Don't worry; it will be painless for you. All will be over soon."
Taichi woke up in sweat feeling for his throat while gasping for breath. It was the same dream which had been plaguing him for some time since he returned to Odaiba. He wondered if that was a clue to his past related to Digimon.