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Post by ricochet9-Kima on Oct 19, 2021 21:57:25 GMT
"Sounds like your father has heard these words from others before." Jijimon said with a chuckle at the outspoken sarcasm of Marigold. This was something from when Takoda was younger that he missed. Though Takoda was still honest he was less sarcastic then he used to be.
Kima smiled at the cuteness of Marigold's movements as she waddled along the floor only to be picked up by Zack and set on his lap. "At least Marigold is small and cute enough to easily pass as a plushie without any questions from other people other than your interesting choice of clothing."
She's gorgeous and perfect exactly how she is. Those words were similar to what her parents would say to her when she came home in tears after a rough day at school facing the bullies that still bothered her relentlessly. Without realizing it those memories had caused some tears to appear in her eyes.
"Kima, what's wrong?" Takoda asked looking at her with a look of worry in his green eyes as she had seemed happy just a short time ago since she was smiling and even laughing.
Jijimon leaned forward as if getting a better look at the distressed teen who, while she had heard her partner, hadn't responded other than the tears beginning to intensify. "It seems, Zack, isn't the only one who suffers from mental trauma." Jijimon stated as it seemed the wise old digimon had seen through to the heart of the manner. Though the cause of the trauma was unclear it was sad to see her like that.
"Most humans do, if you look down deep enough and look a little harder. I'm not a psychologist but maybe I can help." He said, Marigold now fully dozing against his lap. He scooped her up in one hand and placed her in the open zipper pocket of his jacket, an arrangement she laid in like a hammock, evidently not a set up that bothered her all that much. Zack stepped up, striking the shape of a hero in the way that was more important than spreading fear in the hearts of the superstitious and cowardly lot. He walked over to her, squatting down in front of her. "Kima? Kima can you look at me for a second?" He said in a tone that was impossibly gentle and hushed. Not attempting to be unheard but not wanting to startle or confront her with a harshness she wasn't yet ready for.
When she looked into his eyes she would see the kindness that rested there. As far as he was concerned there was nothing else in the world between the two of them in that moment. She was someone in trouble, the victim of a villain that he couldn't roundhouse but he was ready to vanquish it all the same. It would be only six words that would hang in the air for a long moment after they were spoken, coming straight from the heart as he said something to her that he knew he often needed to hear when the worst parts of his mind and his thoughts threatened to swallow him whole.
Post by ricochet9-Kima on Oct 20, 2021 4:56:43 GMT
By the time Kima had entered her distressed state Marigold had fallen asleep in her father's lap. Before Zack got up he gently lifted her up and put the little bee larvae in his jacket pocket and she was not bothered one bit by the shift in her sleeping cost. He then walked over to Kima squatting down in front of her though the girl didn't notice at first. Another thing she didn't notice was that Takoda had moved closer to her resting his head gently in her lap much like an oversized housecat as he didn't know what else to do.
Zack's voice caught her attention and she looked at him with teary eyes and at this point she was also aware of the weight of Takoda's head resting in her lap. As she saw the look he was giving her she had begun subconsciously stroking Takoda's head as she was trying to calm down. After awhile she, with words so quiet at first they were barely above a whisper, said "I know it's just.." She then took a deep breath before she, with a more normal speaking voice, continued "I was just thinking back to the kids at school that still bully me. They do nothing but spend time trying to cut down any trace of self confidence and worth I have and it started years ago because of something as stupid as me being different from everyone else. I'm sure you noticed their aren't that many people of Native American decent regardless of tribe in Japan." Kima then shook while she sobbed from a mix of sadness and frustration. Sadness due to having almost no friends and frustration at being to broken to stand up to the bullies who tormented her.
"Darling there aren't many people other than Japanese folks in Japan. It's one of the most ethnically homogenous nations on the planet." he said. Though he promptly realized that a political geography lesson was not exactly helpful in that exact moment. he pressed his hand to his face, rubbing it as he tried to think of something actually useful to say.
Marigold started awake and knew EXACTLY what to do in that moment. She buzzed out of her spot in his pockets and reached down to where Kima had set the handmade handkerchief that Marigold had made of her, buzzing like a little cherub up to Kima's face she began to dab at her eyes and cheeks with the surface of the cloth, humming and smiling. She was just being happy through Kima's pain, giving her some comfort and a smile and three words that she hoped would help make it ok.
"I've been there." She said, just letting those three words speak for thousands and her smile speak for a thousand more. She let it soak for a long moment before she went on. "I used to be alone. I used to be as alone as someone can probably be. But I'm not alone anymore. And neither are you. Pick up your head, look around, and tell that dark part of your brain as many times as you need to before it gets the message. You. Are not. alone." She repeated. She meant it and she would repeat it against for as many times as the dark part of Kima's mind needed to hear it.
Zack could only glow in pride again at the young woman he had raised, stepping up to help someone in a very vulnerable way when no one else could or would.
Post by ricochet9-Kima on Oct 21, 2021 2:15:29 GMT
"That's what my mom said when I was much younger. She is Japanese." Kima said with a snort but not one of amusement. Yes she did appreciate that Zack was trying to help though he seemed lost.
Marigold had woken up and made her way out of Zack's pocket wings buzzing as she made her way to where Kima had set the hankerchief. She had forgotten about it since it had been sitting near her since she first sat down. Takoda watched as Marigold picked up the handkerchief seeing what she was up to as she flew toward Kima's face. Deciding on what he needed to do he snuggled his head into her belly and began gently purring which was soft at first catching Kima by surprise and she began scratching his ears without looking at him and the purring intensified until it reverberated around the cave.
While Marigold was wiping the tears from her face, Kima looked down at Takoda, who was still purring, and said "I know I'm not alone but at times it is hard to remember that. I guess you understand that as well, huh, Marigold? I'm just not used to such kindness from those I meet because due to the bullying I tend to avoid people whenever possible so opening up is not always easy either."
"Screw 'em" Zack said, finally finding something worthwhile to say. It was the kind of thing that would grab ears and pull people in to pay attention without fair. A little bit vulgar, more than a little bit harsh and pointed but maybe it was exactly what she needed to hear. "If those people didn't and still don't understand what's so amazing about you then the only thing they're doing is missing out and you don't need them anyway." He said, looking down a little bit, stewing and even simmering on what he was going to say next. he didn't like bullies. He liked them even less when they were responsible for this kind of outcome in their victims. "Look at yourself, Kima. Look at what you've just learned. You're the goddamn chosen one, what the hell does the word of a few student crap outs who have amounted and will amount to nothing mean to you anymore? You're such a lovely person that even the hand of fate itself pointed right at you and said "yep, that's the one." He said, lifting his pointed finger up to her.
"Yea and now you have a big kitty who can beat all those guys up and..." She paused, looking down to her father who was giving her a very unimpressed and searching look. As if daring her to finish that thought out loud. "Or uhh...yknow, the best revenge is a life well lived."
Post by ricochet9-Kima on Oct 21, 2021 2:54:52 GMT
To say Zack's words were an attention getter for Kima that would be an understatement as she stared at him in shock as if he grew a second head. What was said was bold and she found trouble finding her voice. The only ones who had ever mentioned to her how special she was before she woke up in the Digital World were here parents and various other family members she had met in person throughout her life but almost never someone who was practically a stranger like Zack. He seemed to have a dislike of bullies as strong as hers but only he seemed confident enough to do something about it. So was Takoda but the large feline came off as fairly gentle and she had only been around the Pumamon that had just become her partner for a short time. That and Jijimon felt like a grandparent figure who was kind and wise but seemed to have a sense of hidden strength to him as he was also humble and generous in his ways from what she had seen.
The best revenge is a life well lived, Those words made sense though not always easy for everyone to follow. "At some level I wonder how surprised those bullies would be if they knew what mission has been layed out for me by destiny. Though I don't know how to go about leading when I struggle to stand up for myself. I would be lying if I said I wasn't worried that the Digital World made some crazy mistake when there are other humans that would of been much better suited for this task."
Takoda stopped purring for the moment and said "Maybe you were chosen because there is more to this journey then regaining the ancient animal powers and dealing with the dark one. Though I'm sure it will reveal itself in time." Kima looked down at Takoda confused as the large cat started purring again.
""Fate" "Coincidence" "The heat of the moment" Whatever you want to call it it very rarely makes mistakes in the moment. No one is a hero when they wake up in the morning. No one. Especially no one is born that way." He said, taking a seat beside her, pulling his knees up to his chest and sighing, looking up at the ceiling. "Being a hero. No. even more than that being "the good guy" isn't something you are it's a choice that you make. It's a choice that you make when you get up in the morning and a choice you make every single time you see something that you KNOW isn't right." He said looking over to her, then to Takoda, then to Marigold. That was the nitty gritty, what it all boiled down to for him, moment by moment, heartbeat by heartbeat. "It's about standing up. Knowing what's right. Being there when no one else can or even more so when no one else WILL. And from the look of the journey you've got what it takes because you're here entertaining this fight in the first place. A lesser woman than you would have walked off and tossed this responsibility over her shoulder like a bad penny. So here you are. You're standing. You're not ready, no one ever is or even will be. But you're here. So be proud, goddammit." He said, giving her a playful clap on the back, maybe knocking the wind out of her a tiny bit. It was always shocking to remember in a moment of physical feedback that the man was stronger than he looked, certainly stronger than he carried himself.
"Say what you will about my father. You can't deny that he sometimes finds the right thing to say. I mean he always comes out with a whole novel so you have to image that he'd get it right eventually. Monkies on typewriters and such." She said, nearly falling out of the air laughing as he fixed her with a withering glare.
Post by ricochet9-Kima on Oct 21, 2021 3:35:04 GMT
Kima continued to look at Takoda as Zack began to speak again. True no one was born a hero but at times fate itself had a rather strange sense of humor which was why she was still struggling with processing why she was chosen. Was her sense of worth and self so shitty that she was honestly still not only listening to the words of her bullies but believing them as well. Perhaps so but maybe Zack had a point. If she was worthless she wouldn't of so much as made it to the Digital World to even meet Takoda in the first place, right? She sighed as she continued to absent mindedly pet Takoda as she thought about what she was being told.
"Knowing what's right and standing up for it isn't easy. I know that very well but if you and Takoda can do it, I guess I can try my best to do so as well. After all I'm not alone in this quest." Kima said with a faint smile before Zack caught her off guard by playfully clapping her on the back. Good thing she was sturdier than her frame suggested as she was in good shape having some muscle definition though far from gigantic body builder proportions. Then Marigold's words brought a laugh out of Kima that only got worse when Zack stared at his daughter with a withering glare.
"See now I know where I made my mistake, I let you watch too much of the Muppet Show and now you think Statler and Waldorf are the height of comedy." He said, reaching up and grabbing her out of the air in a single motion, pulling her to his chest and playfully wrestling with the girl, poking at her and tickling her something fierce, making a screaming, squealing laugh bounce from one wall to the other.
"Well if you wouldn't make yourself so much like Fozzie bear!" She said, the smile on her face stretching her chubby, golden colored cheeks inbetween gasping and screaming with laughter, her little nub hands and feet clawing at her father's fingers and kicking in mid air as she was tickled breathless before he set her on his shoulder. Turning back to Kima.
"No, you're right. It's not easy. In fact a lot of times it feels like the hardest thing you could ever do. Sometimes being the good sucks more than you could ever believe. But it's worth it in the end, and you are absoulutley not alone. You've got four folks in your corner already and the quest hasn't even started. You'll have four partners by your side, plus grandpa mon over here, plus me, and Marigold and whoever else out there is able to recognize how much you have going for you. Trust me, there are other Digimon and Tamers out there who can put up with ME, so you should be a social butterfly." He said, self deprication and a pun on her name in the same breath. He really was just trying to make her smile.
Post by ricochet9-Kima on Oct 22, 2021 0:04:21 GMT
As the exchange both verbal and physical happened with Zack and Marigold, Kima began to laugh with Takoda looking confused so she looked down at the puma digimon and softly said "I'll explain later." Takoda nodded in response not wanting to interupt the father and daughter playing with one another as it was rather cute to watch.
"Maybe I can do this." Kima said in regards to both being a xros general and the crazy mystical journey she and Takoda would soon begin. Then a thought came to mind before she asked "Be honest, Zack, if fate had dealt you the hand I was given, how would you handle it?" This 'what if' question was more brought on by curiosity than anything else. After all she could of been just a tamer like Zack and he could of been the xros general on the mystical journey. Life was funny like that with all of the crazy possibilities.
"As for being a social butterfly, not yet, but maybe with time. Who knows, right?" Kima said with a chuckle since even though her name meant butterfly it was more like she was still in her cocoon that she will hopefully one day emerge from.
Both Marigold and Zack gave her a bemused look at the question. it didn't even seem like either of them was very lost in thought when it came down to it. Instead they both looked at her, then down or up at each other, then back of her before Marigold was the one to explain.
"If my father was where you are now, he'd be doing the exact same things that he's already done. Maybe you can say it's in his blood but being a hero was all he's ever wanted. Sure he'd go out there, complete the quest, beat the bad guy. But between all of that the only functional difference is that he'd be in a Puma costume instead of a Bee suit." She said, gesturing with her nubby little hands at the helmet that was laying to one side of the room as she explained her father's one track mind.
"I've always known who I am. Or at least I've known since I was very, very small. I wanted to be the kind of person who would protect others no matter what. And I am. The introduction of all of this...insanity really was the last straw holding back my better instincts from doing something absurd. And something absurd I did indeed."
Post by ricochet9-Kima on Oct 22, 2021 3:33:21 GMT
As Marigold mentioned that he would probably of been wearing a suit more similar to a puma instead of a bee she smirked at the thought but then the thought of what would of happened to Marigold came to mind. "Since it seems, Marigold, that you were meant to be partnered with a human even if it wasn't Zack. I wonder how things would of played out if I was a tamer and partnered with you for example instead of Takoda."
"I'm beginning to understand why Jijimon said we are alike. Even if I never met Kima today I would of been trying to protect those in need willing to sacrifice myself to do so. One way we are different it seems is that if I can think of a non violent solution to a problem I'll often go with that first." Takoda said laughing at the thought of Zack's outfit resembling a puma as well. "Sometimes we all do things some think of as absurd when trying to do the right thing, Zack. Look at me for example, I dashed recklessly after Gazimon to retrieve Kima's necklace not thinking of being wary of an ambush. At least I've learned my lesson and will be more careful next time."
"I don't know about you all here but I don't think I'll be willing to attack a digimon head on, like Zack. Such a thing is not my way of handling things if digimon are much stronger than humans." Kima said letting out a sigh.
Marigold's eyes widened at the idea of being partnered with anyone except her father, reaching out and clutching onto his sleeve. He reached down wrapping his hand around her, petting down her back. It seemed the normally bubbly and animated bug had one real weak spot, any thought that she might be stolen away from her father.
"Shh, shh, it's alright Marigold. it's alright." He said the sound of his voice seeming to lessen some of the tension in her body. "Sorry about that. She had her own PTSD and even thinking in that general direction can sometimes be a trigger for her. Especially recently after I got myself fucked up pretty bad." He said, lifting the lower hem of his shirt to reveal a massive scar covering up at least the bottom right fifth of his torso, a scar over a punched hole with spindly, branching limbs going out in at least a half a dozen directions, looking like a black brittle star. "As for you Takoda, I think you misunderstand me. I try my best to avoid violence when and where I can too. But sometimes high ideals of peace and honor need to be put away for long enough to make sure that no one ends up dead in the short term." He said, one of the very few points where he was pragmatic rather than idealistic. Non violence was all well and good before it put someone in a coffin. "Kima, I'll be honest. I think maybe you SHOULD learn to fight. I'd be happy to teach you. You've entered a new kind of world, one that isn't as kind as any of us would like. I'm sure Takoda would agree with me in saying that learning how to throw your weight around, at least a little, would do you more than a little good."
Post by ricochet9-Kima on Oct 22, 2021 4:16:32 GMT
When Marigold began to get upset Kima was shocked and when Zack explained the reason while trying to calm the little one down, Kima said "I'm sorry, Marigold. I didn't mean for our discussion to upset you." Then when Zack pulled up his shirt revealing a large scar, Kima went dead silent with her eyes bugging out before she asked "Zack, what happened to cause a scar like that and how did you survive?"
Takoda took in Zack's words as he slowly sat up before he said "Forgive me for my misunderstanding of you then but you do have a point. Ideals are all well in good but serve little use if you are dead."
Then at the suggestion of learning how to fight Kima stiffened her uncertainty clear in her body language alone. "Me learn to fight? I know what you're saying makes sense but no, no I don't think I'm comfortable with that. I'm sorry."
Takoda gently rested a paw on Kima's leg as she gradually eased her body's posture. It seemed learning how to fight was something she was not comfortable with. "Kima, while I agree with Zack on at least knowing how to defend yourself. I can also respect if this is something you aren't ready for yet. Don't worry. No one is forcing you into this."
Kima looked over at Marigold who was clinging to her father and asked "Are you okay, Marigold?"
Meanwhile Jijimon had stepped out of the room to retrieve some things but could still hear what was going on if he was needed.