Digimon Tamers: Nonaka Struggles (Ch 2 Up 01/01/2021)

Digimon Tamers: Nonaka Struggles

Hey all, finally posting a story about my favorite Digi-Girl Rika. I’ve struggled with a story for her not because of a lack of ideas, but because as my favorite I really wanted to do her character justice as well; I wanted a story where people could look at Rika from beginning to end of the Tamer series, and believe this scenario could have happened had events in the series gone a different way.

Here’s hoping you all enjoy, and here’s hoping I did her justice.

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A wave of heat swept over her body before she felt the explosion’s shockwave. Stumbling with a yell, she quickly got back to her feet and ran through the parking garage as fast as she could. Despite the volume of exploding cars around her, Rika’s ears rang with gleeful laughter, causing her heart to beat all the harder in her chest.

Rika’s breath caught in her throat as she caught a glimpse of green and white ahead of her. Veering to the side, she barely lost any momentum as she fled through a row cars. A shout behind her was followed with a volley of green bullets piercing the cars around her. Rika dived forward, a scream of fright ripping itself from her throat despite her efforts to remain silent.

Head swerving side to side Rika searched for the exit, desperate to escape the bullet happy bunny pursuing her. Her eyes lit up as she spotted it, sunlight streaming into the parking garage through it. Pushing herself to her feet, Rika bolted towards the exit, weaving through cars as bullets chased her.

Reaching the exit her shoes skid on loose grave as she shifted her body and momentum, before launching herself into the bright day light. Trying to shield her eyes from the light, several seconds passed before Rika realized something was wrong; she’d dived out the exit but had yet to hit the ground. A cry of surprise and fear escaped her lips as she fell, a brief feeling of vertigo disorienting her further

The sunset shades of yellow and orange shifted to pale moonlight and a dark blue sky as Rika fell. Spinning in the air, she let out a gasp as her back came in contact with…something rubbery? Plastic? Whatever she’d landed on seemed to stretch around and cling to her. Rika blindly reached out, trying to grab something she could use for leverage and pull herself up. She managed to grip whatever she’d fallen into with her left hand, only to find the material incredibly sticky.

A loud ‘snap’ was the only warning she’d had before she was falling again. Another yell escaped her lips as she tumbled in the air. The sticky material she’d fallen on stuck to her as she fell, and despite her efforts to try removing it, Rika found herself getting tangled in it.

Rika’s momentum came to a sudden stop as she landed belly down on what felt like the same material. Her head bobbing forward, she felt material cover her mouth and forehead with the force a slap. She instinctively cried out, only to let out a muffled sound, her lips sealed together by what she’d landed on.

The bright moonlight began to dim, allowing Rika’s sight to return. As she managed to get her first glimpse of where she’d fallen, she immediately wished she hadn’t. About two stories off the ground, Rika laid at the center of a giant spider web. Looking down her body, she found a second smaller web, sticking to her clothes and arms.

An evil cackle rang through the air, causing the color to drain from Rika’s face. Vibrations ran through the giant web’s thread, and she could feel something of great weight begin to creep slowly downwards. Fear overwhelming her, Rika struggled to free herself from the webbing around her, only for it to hold firm. She tried to scream, in fear and for help, only for the webbing over her mouth to muffle it.

Eyes clenched shut Rika continued her desperate struggle, trashing against the webbing holding her, but there was no give to it. As she was about to yell again she felt an odd sensation on the left side of her stomach. What started as a weird numbing sensation changed to a burning pain, one that quickly grew in intensity and began to spread throughout her body. Tears escaped her eyes as she continued to struggle, but she found her strength leaving her as the pain increased. Feeling the pain begin to overwhelm her, Rika inhaled through her nose before letting out the loudest scream she coul-

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“Rika! Wake up!”

The teen’s eyes shot open, purple irises full of fear. A shuddered gasp emitted from behind a gloved paw, one wrapped carefully but firmly across her mouth and jaw. Instinctively the teen’s hands had flown to the paw gripping her jaw, but as the fog of sleep slowly began to lift her own grip began to soften.

“That’s it Rika, you’re okay, you’re safe. Just breath through your nose, in and out.”

Rika did as instructed, tension slowly leaving her body as she began to calm, her heart hammering not quite as hard in her chest. Feeling furred fingers running through her hair, Rika’s eyes slid closed as she almost instinctively leaned back into the comforting motion. Several seconds passed before the paw over her mouth was lifted, allowing Rika to take a long, shuddering breath.

Feeling her head beginning to be elevated, Rika placed her palms down on both sides of her and pushed herself upright. Once she was nearly vertical, Rika felt the furry body of her partner press against her from behind, an arm wrap itself across her torso. Both of Rika’s hands shakily grasped the offered paw in front of her, getting a comforting squeeze from it and giving one in return.

“…Feeling better?” Renamon asked softly.

“Yes…and no.” Rika answered with a heavy sigh. “Why am I having these nightmares? Why won’t they stop? And why am I so scared of Terriermon? Of all people!”

“It’s not him as a person you fear.” Renamon stated softly. “It’s what he did in his Champion form, Gargomon that scares you. Just as what Dokugumon nearly-”

“Don’t say its name.” Rika whimpered softly. “Please…”

Renamon said nothing in response, only continued to stroke her partner’s head in a comforting manner. Rika’s fists, which had balled up at the spider Digimon’s name, slowly relaxed and opened as she continued her breathing exercises. Were one to look closely at her finger tips however, they’d see them tense and pressing into the futon beneath it.

Just a month ago Rika could never had imagined herself as she was now; scared out of her wits by events that had happened. Even more incredulous to the girl she’d been just a month ago was how open she was being with her partner Renamon, actively seeking and accepting comfort from her. She could imagine her past self scoffing in disgust and calling her weak, but Rika couldn’t find it in herself to care about that; with what had happened and what she was dealing with, it really wasn’t something worth dwelling on.

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Nightmares had hounded her since the battle with Dokugumon, many of the close calls she’s had over the past year and a half all coming back to her as she slept, all determined to scare her with the worst possible outcome her imagination could come up with. Restful sleep seemed a distant memory to the Digimon Queen.

While watching Renamon nearly dissolve into pixels of data and knowing her own demise would shortly follow were big factors to her current state, Rika knew the true tipping point had come just after the battle. The newly Digivolved Kyubimon had explained to her that what finally allowed her to Digivolve was Rika finally being able to show she cared about her, openly and genuinely like a true friend. Rika’s response to that:

Do me a favor…don’t tell anyone.

It happened in an instant; had Rika not been looking Kyubimon in her eyes when she’d made her request she would have missed it. Pain, sorrow, agony, and even betrayal had flashed through Kyubimon’s eyes. It had only been there for a moment, and her partner was quick to mask it, but having seen the affect her words had on Kyubimon cut Rika to the bone.

Like a dam breaking, years of suppressed emotions and memories had spilled out of Rika. Wrapping Kyubimon’s head in a hug Rika had cried, apologized, and even begged Kyubimon’s forgiveness. The sudden and drastic change in her partner had alarmed Kyubimon and left her briefly flat footed. After several minutes, Kyubimon had managed to talk Rika into climbing on her back, and taken to the roof tops. Instead of going directly home however, Kyubimon had stopped atop one of buildings next to the residential area they lived in, and the pair had had their first real heart to heart.

Rika had admitted that she was a loner by choice, but the reason why had startled Kyubimon; it was so others couldn’t keep hurting her, especially her family. She’d been quick to assure Kyubimon it wasn’t physical pain, and that she wasn’t being abused out of her partner’s sight. No, it was constantly being let down and misunderstood that hurt her the most.

Rika’s Mother, Rumiko, seemed incapable of doing anything with Rika that didn’t involve dressing up or fashion. In her younger days Rika had actually tried to go along with it, all in an effort to spend time with her Mother and have a relationship with her. That quickly soured however, when all their time together was just about clothes to wear, poses to make, and even competing against other kids in pageants and for photo shoot positions. Rumiko had hardly ever seemed interested in what Rika liked and wanted, and as she grew Rika had felt more like a doll to the woman than her daughter.

With the woman seemingly more in love with fashion and modelling than caring for her own daughter, and exposed to a lot of negativity from competitors, Rika had finally pulled out and completely stopped all activities with her Mother. It had baffled Rumiko, Rika’s sudden lack of interest in all the things they’d done together, and Rika’s inability to explain her feelings at the time had led to several shouting matches that made her heart ache just thinking about it. Even to this day Rumiko would try to get her to do some modeling, but to Rika it was just a path to more pain.

Rika’s Grandmother, Seiko, had been the best of the family in Rika’s eyes. Until she had been corrected, Rika had thought that Seiko had been her real Mother, for all the time she raised her and Rumiko had been working. A part of Rika actually wished Seiko was her birth Mother, she’d certainly cared for her and given her affection when needed.

Unfortunately, recent years had seen Seiko taking the role of mediator in the home. Rumiko’s drive to get Rika a successful and well-paying career as a model clashed against the Rika’s complete disinterest and at times outright hostility toward the idea, and lead to many arguments. It always came down to one question however; if not modeling, what career did she want to pursue. Rika could never give an appropriate answer to it, which always exasperate her Mother and Grandmother.

She’d once loved singing and writing songs, but it had been about her hopes and dreams. All the clashes she’d had with her family, as well as kids her own age who wanted to stick their noses where they didn’t belong, had just about extinguished any enthusiasm Rika had had for that path, as well as any desire to be in a spotlight. Playing the Digimon trading card game professionally had been argued but was quickly shot down, Rukimo and Seiko agreeing the series wouldn’t last many more years and therefore wouldn’t provide for Rika into adulthood.

While Rika now had the answer of being the best Tamer, she couldn’t very well say it without leaving her family horribly worried for her safety. As frustrated as she was with them Rika still loved both her Mother and Grandmother, to varying degrees, and thus with no acceptable answer to give, Seiko would often take Rumiko’s side in the arguments. That same love also held her tongue in expressing her true feelings about Rumiko and her career; now older, she could put words to her feelings, but saying them would most likely destroy all chance of having a positive relationship with her Mother, and likely damage the one she had with her Grandmother, and Rika didn’t want to imagine either of them out of her life forever.

Rika then surprised Kyubimon by talking about another member of her family, her Father. Rika barely needed both hands to count the number of times she’d spoken with the man, and she’d seen him in person even fewer times then that! The most she could say about her Father, Hisoka Mitsurah, was that he was a man of good intentions. He wanted to be a part of her life, but there were factors keeping him from her, and no one would explain what they were or why to her.

For all the good intentions the people she called family had for her, it felt like none of them were really there to support or care for her. At times it was the opposite in fact, and it hurt more than words could really describe for Rika. If these were the people she was supposed to be able to rely on for her wellbeing, what would happen if she tried to trust or care about people who had no family relation to her?

It had been fear that kept Rika from connecting with her partner, despite how long and how closely they’d worked together. Fear of being hurt on an emotional level like she had time and again by her family. Only in the face of losing her partner forever did Rika find the courage to admit and express she cared about Renamon as more than just Tamer and Digimon.

Rika had then come to a horrifying revelation; the way she’d treated her partner was little different to how her family had treated her! If anything it was worse since she was risking her partner’s life every time they went to battle, and every time she refused to use a modify card to help her! This had sent the usually proud girl into another fit of tears and apologizes; in her Champion form, Kyubimon could only nuzzle her head against Rika to comfort her.

That had been all Rika could take for the night, so Kyubimon had taken her back to their home once she’d settled down. Kyubimon would then spend the night exploring the boundaries of her Champion form; her Digivolution line allowed her the rare ability to blend into or even travel through shadows within a certain distance, which allowed her to always remain relatively close to Rika even in public places. She had been happy to find her shadow abilities had grown, even if the energy required to use them had as well.

The next morning had brought an unexpected surprise to the Nonaka household; Rika had awoken screaming from a nightmare. Kyubimon had watched from the shadows as Rika’s Mother and Grandmother tried to help her Tamer, but once calmed enough Rika’s pride caused her to push them both away before retreating to take a shower. Rumiko and Seiko would spend several minutes in Rika’s room discussing the incident, expressing their frustrations and concerns respectively, before leaving to make breakfast.

Rika’s mood would not improve any over the course of the day, it would in fact worsen anytime her Mother or Grandmother tried to bring up her nightmare. Kyubimon had tried to communicate with Rika telepathically over the course of the day, an ability neither understood how it had formed other then along with their initial bonding as Tamer and Digimon, but that skill seemed to be blocked while the Digimon was in her Champion form. In it’s place something equally peculiar had formed, however.

Where once Kyubimon could communicate with Rika, she could now sense what her Tamer felt emotionally, and over the course of the day Rika had gone through a gauntlet of them; terror, fear, shame, anger, pride, and sadness. In that one day Kyubimon had both witnessed and felt more reactions and emotions from Rika then at any other time since their bonding. Rika’s emotions also seemed to have an effect on Kyubimon’s form and power as well; shame and sadness seemed to zap her strength while fear or anger would send a surge of power through her, almost encouraging the Champion level Digimon to spring out and attack what was causing her Tamer to feel such things.

Unfortunately, these surges of power kept Kyubimon energized and thus unable to return to her Rookie level form. This had the side effect of leaving her unable to communicate with Rika nor approach her; Rika’s alarming emotional state and behavior had led her to being restricted to the house for the rest of the day and the one after, and Kyubimon dared not risk revealing her larger Champion form with both adults keeping such a close eye on her Tamer.

Rika was none to happy about her restrictions either. A second nightmare the following morning had led to another early morning wake up of screams, followed again by a torrent of emotions, rash actions, and a first hand view for Kyubimon of the type of arguments Rika had described nights prior. The constant fluctuation of energy flowing through Kyubimon had left her feeling quite drained, yet still unable to DeDigivolve. In an act of desperation, Kyubimon pushed her shadow blending abilities to the limit in an effort to drain her energy.

It would be just after dawn the next morning that the exercise worked, and Kyubimon reverted to her Rookie form Renamon. Not wasting any time, Renamon had phased into Rika’s room and carefully woke her partner, who appeared to be on the cusp of yet another nightmare. Rika was none to happy at being caught in such a state for the third time in such a short span of time, nor with the length of her partner’s absence. Renamon had been direct when she spoke to Rika.

“Our bond changed when I Digivolved; I could not communicate with you over it but I could feel every emotion you felt Rika. It was painful, my power and energy surging in ways I’ve never felt before, I came to you the moment I managed to return to this form. Rika, is this truly what you feel every day?”

Hearing the pain in her partner’s voice sent a wave of worry and concern through Rika, then shock upon seeing Renamon fall from her crouching position onto her bottom without any of her usual grace. Realization rang through Rika that her partner was not exaggerating the affects her emotions had on her, causing Rika to hug and apologize to her partner yet again. Rika tried to explain what she was feeling for Renamon’s sake, and while she did so, slowly, the pair felt their mental bond begin to shift, falling back to telepathy and less on the direct emotional connection.

When Rika had opened up to her partner those nights ago, everything little negative thought, feeling, and memory she’d bottle up over the years seemed to have come flying out, like confetti from a party popper after pulling the string. Not unlike real confetti, it was hard to clean up after and organize, and the frequent interruptions of the people she had those issues with made it all the more challenging to deal with

When Rika was done and their bond stabilized, Renamon asked Rika for a favor, the very first every in Rika’s recollection.

“We are both proud of our strength and ability to stand strong alone. But we are no longer alone, and denying our connection now hurts me on a physical level as well as a mental and emotional one. I ask that you confide with me your fears, your worries, and concerns so that I may still be able to serve as your partner. In return, I swear to you Rika I shall do my best not only in battle, but to help you find peace and balance so you do not have to suffer so much and maybe, finally, find some lasting happiness.”

Although a heartfelt and genuine plea, Rika was instinctively hesitant on being as open about herself as her partner was asking; the emotional pain she bore was made from trust and confidences broken. Still, she managed to voice this concern aloud for Renamon, who then reminded Rika that she had no one to break her confidence to. Neither cared much for the other Tamers or their Digimon, and both were smart enough not to tell secrets to Impmon or Calumon. With her biggest concern addressed, Rika hesitantly agreed to Renamon’s request.

It would take over a week of hard work and effort on both their sides, but Rika would slowly manage to reign her emotions and defensive reactions. It wasn’t easy nor without cost; Rika had to fake being sick in order to skip school for a few days, which had allowed her the time to go over many her issues with Renamon. Although she’d have a fair bit of school work to make up, and bore some guilt of worrying her family who were genuinely concerned about her health at this point, Rika managed to regain enough of a grip over her emotions to function normally during the daytime.

Nights and mornings, however, were something else altogether…

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“Are you still awake?”

Renamon’s voice drew Rika back from her reflection. “I am.” She answered softly. “I was just thinking of how much things have changed between us.”

“Do you regret trusting me?” Renamon asked.

“Regret isn’t the right word.” Rika sighed. “I hate these nightmares and what they’re doing to me, but having someone I can be open with about everything for the first time in forever…it feels really good.

“Even being held like this,” Rika continued, “While it makes me feel vulnerable and weak, it’s…it’s also comforting on so many levels. I never realized how much I missed being hugged or held before until you started doing them with me.”

“You’re trying to see if it balances out?” Renamon asked.

“No…Yes…I…GRAH!” Rika threw her arms up above her head in exasperation, now leaning fully against her partner. “Right now what I hate most of all is not being able to explain how I feel! None of the words I know fit!”

“Thinking out loud has helped you before.” Renamon suggested, giving her Tamer a reassuring squeeze.

“I just…I’ve never had nightmares like this before.” Rika started. “Part me wonders if being this…open is causing them and this other…issue.”

Renamon didn’t need to see her Tamer’s face to know it was growing red. “You mean your wetting problem?” She asked, looking past Rika to her futon.

Rika grit her teeth as she looked down at her futon, glaring at the sizeable stains adorn it. “Yes.” She hissed out. “I don’t know what or how potty related stuff works for Digimon, nor do I want to,” she hastily added, “But for humans, anyone that has issues with it are seen as incompetent or immature if it happens without something being medically wrong with their body.”

“Well that explains some of the taunts you threw at Takato and Guilmon.” Renamon said idly. “But I can see how this would frustrate you…do you think this would have never happened if we weren’t trying so hard to be open with each other?”

Rika was silent for several seconds before exhaling shakily. “Renamon,” she started, “You’ve become more than just my Digimon or partner, you’re my friend. Having this now means more to me than I ever thought possible; I usually go out of my way to try to not feel things. I’m less likely to…to be hurt if I don’t feel things.

“Even if I tried going back to the way we were, I know how much that would hurt you and that hurts me even thinking about it. And we’ve no way of knowing if the dreams or my…accidents, would stop unless we tried and…as bad and humiliating as these are to me, I can’t bring myself to even try to trade them to feel better myself.”

“I am sorry you’re still suffering.” Renamon said softly. “But hearing how much our bond means to you…it means the world to me.”

“I’m glad to hear that.” Rika said, a smile briefly crossing her face. “All of this is just really stressing me out. I’m not used to feeling scared or embarrassed, and that’s what I’ve been feeling most of the time these days. I’m thirteen; I shouldn’t be wetting the bed or rushing to get to the bathroom!”

“Is there anything I can do to help your feel better?” Renamon asked.

“You’ve been amazing Renamon.” Rika answered, tilting her head back to meet her partner’s eyes. “Waking me quietly and calming me, running distractions when we’re out of the house, and even helping me with getting all this cleaned up every day. If anything, I feel like I’m just taking everything and being a burden, all while not giving back anything in return.

“While I appreciate your concern Rika, you’ve been helping me since we first became partners.” Renamon stated. “In loading so much data over the past year, I’ve reached the peak physical condition and ability my Rookie form is capable of; I cannot express just how rare a feat that is. Now that I’ve achieved my Champion form as well, I can reach even greater heights in both forms. It’s thanks to your care and efforts that I’ve reached this point Rika; if anything I feel I’ve not been doing nearly enough for you in return.”

“Probably because I was complaining you weren’t Digivolving.” Rika said with a sigh.

“That was part of it.” Renamon admitted. “But we’re past that point now.”

“That one yeah, but we both feel like we owe the other. How do we even this out? Make a list or something?”

“While a list may help numerically, I don’t think one could properly capture the depth or meaning behind each action we’ve taken.” Renamon answered. “If I may make a suggestion?”

“Go ahead.” Rika said.

“Let us focus on continuing to help one another the best we can and not worry about being indebted to each other.” Renamon suggested. “In one of your Grandmother’s books, there’s a line I feel fits what we’re trying to do.”

“What is it?”

“There is no debt between friends.” Renamon quoted.

“…I get what you mean with that.” Rika stated after turning it over in her mind a few times. “It’s easy to say, but I think it’ll be harder to actually do.”

“Maybe, but you have enough to stress and worry about without this on top of it.”

“True.” Rika sighed. “Do you know how much Mom and Grandma know about my…my accidents?”

“They know they’re happening.” Renamon answered. “They also know you’ve been having trouble during the day as well.”

“How did they find that out?!” Rika exclaimed in surprise.

Renamon gave her partner a comforting squeeze. “The stains in your underwear was what I heard. I would suggest doing laundry more to hide it but-”

“But the damage is done.” Rika stated, looking down. “I want this to stop, but I don’t know what I can do to stop it. If Mom and Grandma get involved, they’ll probably try to keep me home and some place where they’ll always be keeping an eye on me! I’d hate that and we’d end up fighting even more now!”

“Which wouldn’t help your relationships with them and could interfere with our ability to battle wild Digimon.” Renamon finished.

“Yes.” Rika said, biting her lip. “Mom has threatened to throw my cards away as a punishment before, and Grandma has grounded me knowing I hate being cooped up in one place for too long.”

“The card threat is easy enough to deal with. We can just put them in a bag and I can hold them so your Mother can’t find them.” Renamon replied. “But being kept here would prevent us from battling wild Digimon, and that could have more serious consequences.”

“They’re appearing more often now.” Rika agreed. “It’s either groups of weak ones or one really strong one these days. Destroying property is one thing, but given how people are mistaking digital fields for just freak fog banks, someone is going to get hurt!”

“We’re not alone in this.” Renamon reminded. “Takato and Guilmon are…rough around the edges, but they are stronger then they appear. It might be worth teaching them how to properly use card combinations to improve their efficiency in battles.”

“They’re willing to fight wild Digimon and they have strength, but they lack experience and we’d lack a place to show and train them.” Rika responded. “That other Tamer, Henry, is such a pacifist though, and with how Terriermon flies off the handle when he Digivolves, they could be worse than no help at all…No, we can’t rely on them to pick up our slack if I get stuck here.”

“It seems as though we may only have one option then if you do get grounded.”

“And that would be?”

“Tell your Mother and Grandmother about Digimon.” Renamon answered. “And introduce me.”

Rika shook her head. “That wouldn’t work. Mom hardly cares about what I want or think, just that I’m healthy and Grandma would get behind that part as well. If they knew how dangerous these battles are becoming, they’d probably try to get rid of you to keep me safe, saying you’re a bad influence on me or something. I…I don’t want it to come to that.”

“They wouldn’t be able to hurt me, much less keep us apart Rika.” Renamon stated.

“I know that.” Rika said softly. “What I’m…afraid of is having to actually choose between you and them. As much as they’ve hurt me and bothered me over the years a small, small part of me is hoping we can all be a happy family someday. If it comes down to making them happy by standing back and risk letting wild Digimon tear up the town…my hope will die.”

“You’re saying you’d chose Taming over your family?” Renamon questioned, surprised.

“It’s not an easy choice.” Rika started, holding her hand over her heart. “But when I think about how much more dangerous these battles are becoming…if I think of someone else in my place in my nightmares, a child or even a clueless adult…I, we have the ability to keep that from happening. I wouldn’t wish what happened with…with Dokugumon on anyone.

“Between how frustrating and strained things are between Mom and me, and how they’re growing so with Grandma now too, if it came down to them or stopping wild Digimon from hurting people…” Rika suddenly sniffled. Blinking a few times as her vision became blurry, she raised her free hand to wipe the tears from her eyes.

“I understand what you’re trying to say now Rika.” Renamon said, still rubbing her Tamer’s back soothingly. “I hope it doesn’t come to that, but for now let’s just focus on today, okay?”

“Yeah, okay.” Rika said, rubbing her eyes with her sleeve. “What time is it?”

“6:15.” Renamon answered, looking at the digital clock in the corner.

“It’s close enough that I can take a shower now.” Rika stated as she work her way up to her feet, Renamon helping her retain her balance all the while. “I hate to ask, but-”

“I’ll take care of your futon and pajamas once you’re in the shower.” Renamon interrupted. “And this time I’ll remember to leave you a change of clothes as well.”

Rika’s face flushed, recalling the incident. “Renamon!” She whined.

“I’m sorry Rika, I was trying to ‘lighten the mood’ with a joke.” Renamon explained as she started gathering up the soaked futon.

“We need to find you better books to read when you’re not fighting.” Rika grumbled softly.

“Something we can worry about later.” Renamon stated firmly as finished wrapping up the futon.

“Agreed.” Rika said as she walked to the door. She reached for the indention to pull the sliding door open when she paused before looking back at her partner. “I know I’ve said this already, but thank you Renamon. For everything.”

Renamon nodded her head once before seemingly sliding backwards into the room’s shadow and fading from view. “You are welcome Rika.”

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That’s it for chapter 1! Geeze does it feel good to finish and post something again! So I’ve put a lot of thought and work into this, and some readers have indicated they’d like to see my thought process going into this. So the next few paragraphs will be brief summary of just that; if it doesn’t interest you, well I hope you’ll at least leave a like and a review telling me what you thought of this chapter.

So I’ve rewatched about half of the Tamers season recently. The place in the timeline where this story happens is just after Renamon first Digivolves, at which point Rika had more of a “loner and harsh” personality as opposed to her more empathetic one near series end. I’ve studied Rika’s character but always wondered, “Why was Rika such a cold loner at the start of the series?” Beside the fact that it makes her seem cool of course.

Going over her family history I came up with what I believe is a plausible history that lead to the development of Rika’s cold exterior. As little kids we can be blissfully ignorant to societal norms, and can also be cruel as well. As hard as it is to imagine Rika of all people getting bullied, she did experience it at the competitive events she went to in her youth, all gone to in an effort bond with Rumiko. Not receiving the positivity or connection with Rumiko she’d hoped for, Rika eventually bailed out of the whole scene.

The experience also soured Rika to being in the spotlight, even if it was to celebrate her own success. This is seen in the episode of her origin as a Tamer, where even though she’d won a tournament and trophy she was avoiding eye contact with everyone and just spoke a few words in an obvious effort to wrap things up. It’s also evident in the episode where Rumiko talks her into a modeling shoot; the photographer is nice at first but starts giving instructions as time goes on through the shoot, which could be perceived as demanding as well. Drawing closer to her, Rika appears to feel cornered and lashes out before running from the studio, even leaving the building without changing out of the dress she wore just to get out of there as quick as possible.

The mentions of Rika singing and of her Father come from the Runaway Locomon movie. We have a scene of Rika as a three year old at a playground, happy and singing what’s implied to be a song she made up. Her Father is never named, and little is confirmed about him but it’s implied Rika is disappointed in him both for not visiting more and not keeping a promise to her, what I’m assuming is being there for her birthday in the movie.

The drastic shift Rika’s character takes in this story is in part due to personal experience actually. In the past I’ve bottled up emotions and issues until they came bursting out all at once, and it would leave me off kilter for days to even weeks. This reaction is being applied to Rika’s revelations and struggle to have a more open relationship with Renamon, with emphasis on positive things such as being physically and emotionally comforted for the first time in years.

The last thing I’ll comment on here is the rate of encountering wild Digimon. In the series it was practically back to back days with an occasional break in which Calumon or Impmon shenanigans were had. Constant battles while juggling school, home and social lives, and interrupted sleep schedules would be a struggle in the best of circumstances, that amount of stress could potentially break a person. That is part of what you’re seeing at the end of the chapter, Rika struggling to prioritize what she’s beginning to view as responsibilities as a Tamer against her diminishing relationships with her family.

That’s all for now, got any questions leave it below in a comment/review, or even Note me. Till next time all!

Digimon Tamers: Nonaka Struggles

Hey all, first off thanks to everyone who reviewed last chapter, really meant a lot. I want to apologize for how long it’s taken for the next chapter to come out, my only explanation is unfortunately more of the same; health/medical issues and everything that comes with them.

While it’s taken me a while to get content down in text, my mind has been working non-stop
on the plot. While I originally intended for this story to be a short one, and then just a few chapters, I don’t think I’d be satisfied if I addressed only half the issues brought up ‘on screen,’ and the others in a flash back. What I’m trying to say is, this story may become one of my longer ones, like double digits number of chapters.

Anyways, here’s the chapter you’ve all been waiting for. I hope you enjoy!

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Chapter 2

Closing the door to the yard behind her, Rika let out a sigh of relief; another morning with minimal complications and no confrontations with either her Mother or Grandmother. Rika was not a morning person on the best of days, so to say the last couple of weeks had stressed her out was an understatement! If Renamon hadn’t stepped up and helped her with the added chore of laundry every morning, Rika just knew she would have already exploded at one of her family members; the fewer hours of sleep certainly weren’t helping her at all.

As she stared walking the several blocks trek to school, Rika opened her school bag and checked a pouch. It was an unfortunate necessity these days that Rika carried in it a plastic bag and a change of underwear; while she’d yet to have a full blown accident, she’d come close enough to leave numerous urine stains just big enough to be uncomfortable and warrant a change of them.

It was hard for Rika to accept things had gotten this far, and equally as hard that they weren’t getting better despite her best efforts. She’d become more conscious of the foods, beverages, and amounts of each she had and when, and had tried to go to the restroom more frequently to reduce the chance of accidents. However this neither seemed to help as much as she’d hoped, and came with it’s own set of problems.

Exhaling, Rika narrowed her eyes and steeled herself for what was to come. As rough as her mornings at home had become, they were at least without the threat of physical harm. Where she was going now was dangerous for her in physical sense, a mental sense, and an emotional sense. It was time…to go to school.

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While many kids her age disliked school, Rika’s reasons were different than most. The school work itself wasn’t a problem; even with the higher standards of the private girls school she attended Rika maintained a ninety percent average with minimal effort and difficulty. No, her issues were with the students and staff.

The student population was mostly from middle to upper class families, and from there fell into one of several categories; cheery, competitive, manipulative, and bullies. Some students fell into multiple categories and were ones Rika really had to keep an eye out for, while everyone else seemed to fade into the background. Those in the cheery category were the ones Rika could stomach the most easiest of the 4 groups, but she could never really click with them; they weren’t terrible, just overly positive or wanted to talk about boys, fashion, and their dreams, things Rika would rather avoid.

Competitive students were the next rung up from the bottom of school’s social ladder. They strived to be the best at their chosen subject, subjects, or sports, and unfortunately all but a fifth of that category tended to make trouble when someone else outdid them. Rika had seen students ‘accidentally’ rip up homework assignments when passing them up to the front of the class, or spill a beverage on them. Sport offenses were worst, ranging from extreme physical contact to equipment sabotage depending upon the event and how competitive the offended party felt. Harsh words or even outright harassment could and did also happen whenever a teacher, hall monitor, or other school staff member weren’t around.

Bullies were tougher to deal with in school as there was a high volume of proof required before the staff would intervene on a victim’s behalf. Physical bullying was rare but had happened; just last year two students had been expelled for beating a student so bad she had to go to a hospital, a fact the school tried to keep quiet from the public.

Verbal and mental bullying were the biggest and most common offenders of the genre; even if the person doing the bullying wasn’t particularly good at it, it was done so often that it would become a regular part of a victim’s day, a constant source of negative they would have to endure. Targeted subjects were usually financial groupings, academic, sports performance, appearances and/or actions. Anything that could be used to bring the victim down a peg would please the bully and usually result in them continuing the action in order to continue feeling good and accomplished. At least six students total had transferred out of school this quarter across all years because of this type of bullying.

Manipulators were the worst of the bunch, and often where financial classes played the biggest role. They would often pick a target and use whatever means they had at their disposal to break down, humiliate, and fire or expel said target. Sometimes it was for competitive reasons; outperforming a student from a family’s rival company, or in the case of staff members going through them till they got one they could pay and buy off. Others were chosen by some offense taken against them; sometimes it was just a simple power trip, or worse some sort of perverse pleasure gained from watching a target suffer and eventually cave.

For the upper year students, the teaching staff was like a revolving door, they’d come and be let go or quit as quickly as they came for one reason or another. The few seasoned teachers more often than not accepted private payments to either overlook a certain student’s bad behavior or change a failing grade. There was even one that Rika knew of who would accept money to change other student’s grades to less then what they were, often leading to said student’s distress and possibly problems with parents.

The rest of the school staff and management let those and other offenses take place, provided each individual or the school as a whole got a cut of the payment. Those that refused to be bought were quickly dismissed and discredited in their capabilities of the role they left and often had their character degraded in some form as well to avoid retaliation. So far it all worked as in the past few years Rika had attended, the school had won all lawsuits brought against them thanks to all the extra money used to afford the best lawyers.

The private school Rika attended was toxic, an environment few escaped unscathed, and she was no exception. Early in her school life Rika had discovered there were several students she had once competed against in pageants and for modeling positions, which unfortunately led to her being targeted despite no longer competing.

While Rika had been trying to connect with her Mother through her love of fashion, she had
also tried making friends with her competitors. Young and naïve, she hadn’t realized the dangers of such a move until it was far too late. Young Rika had made the mistake of introducing Seiko as her Mother to several of them before she was informed of her true parentage, and that mistake had become the focus of all kinds of verbal and mental abuse, with words like ‘stupid’ or ‘retard’ thrown around frequently.

With hindsight Rika could see there were more layers to her abuse back then; hyper competitive families would occasionally talk loudly near pageant judges or prospecting modeling agents about how young her Mother had to have been to have Rika, coloring their view of Rika before they even met her. Near the end of her young career Rika had received a number of pursed lips and narrowed eyes by the people she was supposed to be judged or hired by.

All of those factors combined with the lack of progress of connecting with her Mother had led to Rika leaving the fashion scene altogether, her Mother either oblivious to the extra reasons why or very good at hiding any frustrations she had for not being able to do anything about the actions taken against Rika. At most Rika had had maybe a two year reprieve before being reunited with her former competitors at her private school, and word had quickly spread about her.

Without the school’s staff support and what had been the beginning of her relationship with her Grandmother breaking down, Rika had been on her own trying to deal with the verbal and emotional abuse thrown at her. Eventually it had gotten to the point that she had stopped trying to make friends and started fighting back, both verbally and physically.

Taking a page from her tormentor’s book, Rika had started studying her bullies and their families, searching for subjects she could attack and ultimately use to retaliate against them. On school grounds gym class had become a place of physical retaliation that could be more or less easily excused, as long as she was careful.

Outside of school was where Rika had made her stand and ultimately convinced people she was not worth trying to torment. Spending allowance money on a camcorder, she had set it up hidden in bushes at the park and sat in plain view of it while her biggest tormentor dug into her. For twenty minutes Rika used her words and remained passive, the camcorder recording every word said and every action displayed. Then unable to hold back anymore Rika had stood and roundhouse kicker her tormentor across the jaw, actually chipping a tooth.

Law enforcement were brought in, but with multiple copies of the tape made so a coverup would not be possible, Rika was ultimately let go with a warning while the school expelled the tormentor in an effort to avoid investigation. While that had been it with the law and school, it had led to one of the biggest argument between the family members, ending with Rika grounded for a month and with much less faith in their abilities to do anything for her and less hope in gaining or maintaining a positive relationship with them respectively.

While the actions had covered her through the rest of that school year, Rika would find herself ‘probed’ every now and again when school had resumed the next year. She quickly realized she would have constantly be on guard and never faulter, always show that attacking her or going against her desires would be more trouble than it was worth.

While Rika had managed fairly well over the years, she knew she was vulnerable now. Between her visible struggle to maintain control over her emotions, as well as her frequent bathroom trips to avoid an accident, she was displaying weakness in all sorts of forms. Now it was only a question of when, not if, someone would make a move against her.

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Passing through the metal detectors in the school’s lobby, Rika made her way to her classroom, her face masked as expressionless as she could make it. It wasn’t nearly as good as she once could manage, but some of that was due to what would be her first period class; Literature. An assignment from the week prior was due today, and its content had revealed some long suspected facts that hurt Rika more then she expected or wanted to admit.

Entering the classroom, Rika made her way to her desk and sat down. Taking a glance around the room, she noted several other classmate looking as uncomfortable as she felt; one girl at her desk had her head bowed and looked ready to cry. On the other side of the room two students both wore angry expressions, one having snapped her pencil in half while the other had her fists balled up in her lap.

As more students entered the room, Rika reflected upon what she knew of each; who would have done the assignment honestly, who wouldn’t follow the instructions, and who was likely to make a fuss if the teacher called on them to read their assignment aloud. Including herself, Rika counted at least five other students who would raise a stink if asked to read aloud, given what she knew of the others and their backgrounds. It was a shame really, her teacher, Mrs. Kuro, was a nice woman that seemed to view the world through rose colored glasses, yet this assignment would likely result in her firing.

For a brief moment, Rika was envious of her teacher’s view of the world.

“Is Rika alright?” A voice a few seats in front of her asked. Rika made no indication of hearing it, but now that she was mentioned she was going to pay close attention to what was being said.

“When is the bitch ever?” A snide voice replied with a laugh. “Probably still embarrassed about how her Mommy ducked out of Parent’s day halfway through.”

“Oh my god, I’d forgotten about that!” The first voice exclaimed. “I was thinking she was stressed over the results of the assignment Mrs. Kuru gave us.”

The second voice let out a louder laugh. “That’s probably true too! How much you wanna bet there are zero’s on both parts of hers?”

“That’s a sucker’s bet!”

As both students laughed ahead of her, Rika’s hands clenched into fists at her sides. That the two classmates in front of her were openly taunting meant that her reputation was severely compromised, and that if she didn’t do something drastic to correct that view, she was liable to become a target herself. With everything else in her life pushing her to the edge as it was, Rika knew she wouldn’t be able to handle such treatment now.

What was scarier to the teen was that she didn’t know how she’d react if she was pushed over the edge; these weren’t wild Digimon that she could fight with Renamon, but cruel human girls with resources that could easily effect multiple aspects of her life. Rika’s mind raced over the actions she’d seen bullies and manipulators inflict on their victims over the years, and couldn’t stop seeing herself in those victim’s shoes.

Letting out a small grumble, Rika raised a hand to her head, massaging her temples as she felt a headache coming on. She so did not need this right now, but if she delayed doing anything today she might as well wave a huge flag that said “Target me,” on it outside the front of the school.

Damage control was needed now! Today was a gym day, so later on she could ensure the pair in front of her left with some bruises. Then there was Mrs. Kuro’s assignment, it was sure to rub enough people the wrong way to get her fired. If Rika was the one to pull the trigger it would certainly give any bully or manipulators cause to reevaluate her status; getting a teacher fired was a big warning sign their kind watched out for…

Rika’s stomach suddenly dropped as her mind came to an unsettling realization; Once again she was emulating actions she detested! She hated the bullies, manipulators, extreme competitors and all that they did, but she had done things no better then or even worse than they did over the years. Although on the low end of the category spectrum now, Rika herself did qualify for several categories, and now she was planning to do more of the same.

She had vowed to do better by her partner after realizing her treatment of Renamon emulated her own treatment from her Mother, and had followed through with that to the best of her abilities. But this situation was different, so much was outside of her ability to influence, and the few routes she did have involved behaving in a manner that she was growing increasingly uncomfortable with. Rika didn’t like or enjoy threatening people, much less following through with them if pushed, but it was the only way she could be left alone!

While the years of being stuck in such a hostile environment had aided her in some ways, such as keeping her cool in the face of a dangerous Digimon, the cons outweighed the pros by far. If it were up to Rika, she would prefer not to be around people as much as possible; she hated being the center of attention in any form, a side effect from her years of modeling, pageants, and being judged by others. Being alone was safe in her mind; no one was there to hurt you or even attempt to. If people would just ignored her, Rika was sure her default facial expression would not be a frown, but something more neutral.

As long as the school kept its current public appearance up, however, Rumiko and Seiko believed it was the best place for her to be educated from, an excellent source to list on her resume years down the road. She had no faith that they would remove her if she sat them down and listed every underhanded, dirty deed committed at the school she knew of since she’d been enrolled. Even if they did she had limited options; public schools were filled with more immature kids she doubted she’s be able to tolerate very well, and any efforts she’d made in the past for private tutoring had come with strings of modeling gigs to help pay for them, something she viewed nearly as bad for herself on a personal level as staying where she currently was.

“Alright students, please settle down and take your seats.”

Rika’s focus shifted back to the classroom at the teacher’s voice. Mrs. Kuro had black hair that rested at shoulder length and rose red colored eyes. Dressed in a grey two piece dress suit with the school’s logo over her heart, Mrs. Kuro set her own bag on her desk as the students moved to their seats. Rika reached down into her own school bag and pulled out her pencil box and a folder designated for this class, feeling an uneasy tension growing in the room.

“Thank you for settling so promptly.” Mrs. Kuro announced a minute later. “Today we’ll be going over the assignment from last Monday, an easy grade for you all. You can all put away your writing utensils, we will be spending today and tomorrow’s class reading your assignments out loud.”

The tension in the room seemed to double at that announcement, several students letting out noises of either approval or discomfort. Rika could not stop herself from biting her bottom lip, a nervous habit that was growing more and more common. Looking up, her eyes met her teacher’s.

“Miss. Nonaka, we’ll start with you.”

Adrenaline shot through Rika’s veins as she felt all eyes in the classroom shift to her. This was it, the moment in which she would be judged by others; her action in response would determine if it was open season on her or if she was still more trouble than it was worth. The weight in her stomach seemed to grow heavier, the beginning of tears to form in her eyes that she fought desperately to hide.

“I didn’t do it.”

Her voice was soft but firm in spite of her facial expression, her words seeming to echo through the classroom.

“Excuse me?” Mrs. Kuro asked, blinking in surprise.

“I did not do the assignment.” Rika repeated, strength growing in her voice.

“What do you-why not?” Mrs. Kuro asked, confusion and befuddlement clear on her face.

“Your assignment goes against several school policies, so I did not do it.” Rika answered. “It could actually be a fire-able offense, so I suggest you just give everyone credit for it and move onto Wednesday’s class schedule.”

“I-you-fire!” Mrs. Kuro sputtered before recomposing herself. “That has to be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! This assignment is absolutely not against school policy, and shame on you for claiming so!”
“We can settle this right now by seeing Principle Mardicia.” Rika challenged, moving her supplies to the corner of her desk. “If you do, you’ll probably be fired. Fair warning.”

Anger swept across Mrs. Kuro’s face. “I do believe a meeting with the Principle is in order, about YOUR bad attitude. Gather your things Mrs. Nonaka, you won’t be returning to class this period!”

“Your career.” Rika replied with a shrug, before putting her supplies into her school bag.

Standing, Rika made her way to the front of the class before moving towards the door. Just as she was leaving, Rika noticed out of the corner of her eye the two girls who had spoken ill of her just minutes prior; one looked surprised while the other looked concerned, causing a smirk to slip across Rika’s face.

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After reaching the main office, it was only a few minutes before Rika and Mrs. Kuro were told to enter. The principal’s office was only a quarter of the size of a classroom, but the walls were covered with awards and photos with important or famous people. Three leather covered chairs were in front of the desk, a fourth behind it. A top of the line computer and keyboard, mouse and pad, writing mat, and pen holder decorated the top of the desk.

Seated behind the desk was Principle Mardicia. The man was in his mid-fifties, his brown hair showing signs of beginning to grey, had brown eyes and wore a dark colored two piece suit with the school’s logo over his heart. With a gesture, Rika and Mrs. Kuro took a seat before him.

“What seems to be the issue here?” Principle Mardicia inquired, hands folded in front of him.

“Mrs. Nonaka refused to do an assignment I gave to my first period literature class.” Mrs. Kuro started. “ She disrespected me in front of the entire class, making outrageous claims, and threatened to get me fired if I didn’t give her a passing grade!”

“Mrs. Nonaka?” Principle Mardicia asked.

“Mrs. Kuro left out a few critical pieces of information.” Rika began as she opened her school bag. “I never ordered her to do anything for one, I suggested she just give everyone who was given the assignment a passing grade and move on with the curriculum. The ‘outrageous claim’ I believe she’s speaking of is the fact that the assignment she had us do was against several school policies and would get her in trouble, possibly fired.”

Removing a small packet from her literature folder, she placed it on the desk. “I did not threaten to get Mrs. Kuro fired, I warned her that it was a likely outcome if she tried to push this up the ranks. That packet is my completed assignment, I’m sure Mrs. Kuro can give you a blank one if you need it.”

As Principle Mardicia pulled out a pair of black framed glasses to look at the packet, Mrs. Kuro looked to Rika is surprise. “You said you didn’t complete the assignment!” She accused.

“I wish I hadn’t.” Rika replied. “I wasn’t going to stand and read the results to everyone, it’s none of their business and it’s none of yours. I only did the assignment because I wanted to know the truth and I…I had thought you’d have been reported already before it was due and would cancel the whole thing.”

“There’s nothing wrong with this assignment.” Mrs. Kuro argued. “It was meant to be an fun and easy little assignment to help bring everyone’s grades up. There is nothing offensive about it.”

“That’s not your decision to make.” Principle Mardicia stated, clicking the mouse a few times as he turned from his computer. “You may have this back Mrs. Nonaka.”

Rika accepted the packet back as Mrs. Kuro looked on in surprise. “Principle Mardic-”

“Mrs. Kuro, this assignment does in fact go against several school policies.” Principle Mardicia said, causing the teacher’s eyes to widen. “Quite frankly I don’t know how you got this assignment pass the censors, but it crosses a line this school does not cross.”

“What is wrong with this assignment!?”

“It’s personal.” Principle Mardicia answered firmly. “It’s content is also what I’d expect from a public school kindergarten class, not this establishment!”

“I’ve been hounded to get the grades up in my classes, but half the students aren’t turning in any homework assignments!” Mrs. Kuro exclaimed. “The most I can do is get everyone to participate in class, but even that is a struggle! I made this becaus-”

“If this is the best you can do to raise the grades of your students, I don’t think we’ll have need of your services any longer Mrs. Kuro.”

The woman’s jaw dropped. “B-But Principle Mardicia, I-”

“I don’t think you need to be here any longer Mrs. Nonaka.” Principle Mardicia interrupted. Writing up a hall pass, he handed it to the teen. “Please inform your classmates that the rest of this class time will be a free study period.”

“I’ll do that.” Rika said with a nod, accepting the pass. “Can I hit the restroom first?”

“Of course. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.”

Rika stood and made her way out of the office. Closing the door behind her, she briskly walked out of the main office, vaguely noting the raised voices coming from behind her.

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Up until the night Renamon had Digivolved for the first time, Rika had rarely felt shame or had reason too. Yet for the past month it had been almost a constant companion; the realization of emulating her Mother in how she treated her partner, her sudden difficulty with controlling her emotions, the frequent nightmares, and her sudden wetting issues both in her sleep and near misses during the day.

Seated and doubled over on a toilet, Rika was struggling to determine what was causing her the most shame now. With her earlier revelation of again emulating behavior she disliked, this time the various malicious actions of student, actions that had once been signed off as a necessary evil were now hitting her hard on an emotional level. Rika had acted against both students and staff alike to protect herself over the years, but this was the first time she’d gotten someone she’d considered a good person removed from the school. A teacher fired.

Looking down at herself, Rika stared at her other cause for shame. Gone was her school skirt, yet her white panties still adored her waist, the front and bottom darkened with a hint of yellow hue. The only close call this time had been getting her skirt off in time; for the first time since toddlerhood, Rika Nonaka had wet herself while fully awake.

Over the years Rika had taken to do many things for herself in an effort to avoid being used or let down by others, family and ‘friends’ alike. She was proud of her ability to be more independent then most people her age, able to take care of herself and her needs. So to struggle and fail at what she had considered a step long ago taken and mastered in growing up, being able to hold her bladder, was wreaking havoc on her pride.

Rika had been able to somewhat accept her night time accidents over the weeks, even if she wasn’t happy about them. She was unconscious when they happened; how often was one held responsible for something when the person wasn’t conscious? But this? This…juvenile display of immaturity, it was beyond the pale.

Rika, are you alone?

The teen blinked as she heard Renamon’s voice in her mind. ‘Yes.’ Rika thought back. ‘But now isn’t a great time to talk Renamon.

Our link seems to be evolving.’ Renamon stated. ‘While I am not getting the charge I did in my Champion form, I am beginning to feel your emotional state over our link. I can sense you are…distressed.

Rika exhaled aloud before responding. ‘Renamon, I didn’t make it in time.’ Rika admitted. ‘My skirt is fine but this is……and I realized earlier today I’m not as decent a person as I thought I was! I want to change like how I’ve done with treating you better, but this place will eat me alive if I try being nicer to people. So much is out of my control Renamon, I can’t think straight and I’m just-

Then stop thinking.’ Renamon interrupted. ‘While processing your feelings and new information is important, if it causes you to become unable to operate then you should try to stop doing so until you have enough time for it.

Easier said than done.’ Rika grumbled. ‘My stomach is hurting as well, but I feel like I…I got everything out, so I don’t know what’s causing this pain.

Stomach pain.’ Renamon repeated. Rika waited for her to continue, but after a couple seconds of silence, it was broken from a sound in the real world. Looking at the space beneath the bathroom stall door, Rika now saw a bag she vaguely recalled seeing around the house. Reaching out for it, she pulled it to her and opened it, finding a water bottle and several bottles of over the counter meds inside.

When we spoke about precautions for your modify cards, I began to wonder why we should stop there?’ Renamon continued over their bond. ‘I looked through the cabinets in the kitchen and grabbed several bottles that seemed relevant to the issues you’ve been facing lately. I had planned to speak with you later tonight so we could go through and properly organize what we’d need in the event of injury or other unforeseen circumstances.

Even with a pained grimace on her face, Rika felt her eye twitching madly as she eyed a bottle of laxatives in the bag. ‘…Yeah, we will go through them properly tonight.’ She grumbled. Rummaging through the bag, she finally found something that would help her stomach.

Opening the bottle, she took a pill in hand and tossed it into her mouth. Closing the pill bottle, she grabbed the water bottle and after opening it, took a big swig as she swallowed the pill. Letting out a sigh, she repacked the bag and placed it back under the stall door.

You can take it back now.’ Rika informed her partner. Taking time to try and compose herself, Rika watched as the bag was snatched out of her sight. ‘I’m…I’m scared Renamon; the day is just getting started and I feel like I’m at my limit. I feel like I’m going to flip out and I don’t know what that’s like and that makes me even more scared and-

Is running an option now?’ Renamon asked.

Not really.’ Rika answered. ‘If I skipped the rest of the day now, everyone would see it as a sign of weakness and it would be open season on me come Tuesday. All that not including what Grandma or Rumiko would do to me when they found out I skipped.

Calling her by her name and not title?’ Renamon asked curiously.

I don’t think I can call her Mother anymore. Not and mean it, and not out loud without…growling or something. She’s the one connected to all but a few of my problems and is keeping me stuck in them, all because she believes it’ll help me in the future and anything I’m complaining about I’m blowing out of proportions! She…She’s hurting me Renamon, when she’s supposed to be taking care of me and helping me. I just can’t give her the respect of that title anymore, and Grandma is quickly reaching that point as well!

You’ve been thinking about this a lot, haven’t you?’ Renamon questioned softly. ‘Well, dwelling on that won’t help your current issue, so let’s focus on the situation here and now. For now the best way forward I see is taking the rest of your day one class at a time. If you really feel you’re going to flip, skipping later in the day may reduce some consequences you face in the future if explaining fails.

Rika sighed aloud. ‘That sounds like the best move going forward. Do me a favor?

Anything Rika.

Watch my back for me.’ Rika instructed. ‘There’s a chance someone might try and attack me physically before the day is done. If you see something suspicious, tell me immediately and if you can, intervene if you can’t warn me in time.

Consider it done Rika.

Good. Thank you Renamon.’ Rika said over their link. ‘I need a few minutes to change and then I should be able to go.

I will be ready, Rika.

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Renamon’s advice to take the rest of the day one class at a time turned out to be sound. Returning to her first class she relayed the Principle’s message as well as mentioning the argument that had broken out before she left. Looking at the pair who had mocked her earlier, Rika had been pleased to see both with looks of fear on their faces; it meant they were less likely to cause her trouble in the future.

By the start of her third class the pain medication Rika had taken for her stomach had kicked in, and by the fourth class she was able to move around with minimal discomfort. This helped as between classes Rika would head to the bathroom, not wanting to risk another accident now that she no longer had a change of underwear. The reduction in pain, and luckily a lack of difficult class work for the day also, allowed Rika the time she needed to rally and steel herself mentally for what she had to do next, despite how distasteful it now was to her.

Gym class was currently in a tennis unit, where students would teamed up to play doubles for the majority of the class period. While many students would assume Rika wasn’t very athletic, given her public image as a card player and a ‘supposed’ future supermodel, the truth was quite the opposite. Sure, she may not be the best at the actual games, however the plus twelve months of running around the city to fight wild Digimon and a healthy diet granted Rika above average stamina and reflexes compared to most of her classmates.

It was little trouble for Rika to get one of the better players to partner up with her, and then get the pair that had taunted her earlier as their opponents. For the first few vollies Rika did nothing, both having a silent struggle with herself about following through with attacking the pair, and the surprising realization of enjoying watching them squirm; sure, Rika loved watching opponents in card tournaments squirm, but she could feel a significant difference now as it was in fear of physical harm rather than defeat.

Ultimately though, Rika knew she had to pull the trigger and attack; she couldn’t escape the school for good short of running away from home, and that was a step that she was under-prepared for. She had already struck earlier against Mrs. Kuro, if she did not follow through now it would all have been for nothing. If Rika wanted to be left alone at school, for the near future at least, she had to show that no transgression would pass without retribution.

Rika finally struck, slamming her racket into the ball to maintain high velocity even after striking the ground once. The ball went through the opponent’s guard and struck her hard in the cheek, earning a cry of pain as she dropped her racket. As eyes turned to the wounded girl, Rika backed away and palmed a second tennis ball. While she still had the nerve, Rika tossed the ball up before striking it, this time aimed at the second girl dead on.

The second ball struck the girl, who had turned at the sound of it hitting the racket, squarely in the nose. The blow knocked her off her feet with a louder cry of pain then her partner not a minute prior. Rika kept her face a mask void of emotions, though inside she was dealing with turmoil. Guilt was hitting her hard, especially as she saw the second girl’s nose begin to bleed.

There was a brief sound before pain exploded from the back of Rika’s head. Unable to stop herself, Rika had cried out as she tumbled forward to the ground, clutching her head. Large black spots filled her vision, and it had been a struggle to try to even blink them away at that point. Both Rika and her victim had been escorted to the nurse’s office, Rika given an ice pack for her head once it was determined she didn’t need a trip to the hospital. The next half hour became a blur for Rika, and it was only with Renamon’s retelling that she knew what happened.

Rika had been struck from behind by a tennis ball from the court next to hers, the culprit being a student Rika knew to accept payment to injure others during competitive play; in other words, a hired gun. What was more disturbing to Rika was that she wasn’t the only one to attack her, a second girl from the other court had also sent a ball at her. Renamon had been able to intercept that one with a concentrated burst of her diamond storm from a nearby shadow, almost cutting the ball in half and making it appear to have broken from striking the racket wrong.

Once Rika had recovered enough, she snuck out of the nurse’s office and made her way back to the locker room to change back into her uniform. After that though she didn’t go to her next class, she took her bag and walked out of the building.

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Sitting in a daze on the ground outside the school gate, Rika had pulled her knees to her stomach. One hand held the back of her still aching head, her hair out of its usual ponytail, while the other wrapped around her legs. On the ground next to her was her school bag, all the while her mind was a million miles away.

The reason for it was simple; Rika had reached her limit.

It had been one thing to openly taunt her in class, and quite another to have hit girls paid to attack her. She had little doubt it had been the girls that taunted her that paid the pair, but now their fear made sense on another level; the last time a situation like this had happened, the student that had paid for a hit had been sent to the hospital and had an arm cast for the rest of the year. Now in spite of having attacked the taunting duo already, Rika would be expected to retaliate in as severe a manner as to hospitalize one of them at the least…

Except she couldn’t. Rika was at her limit now; attacking the pair on the court had been more taxing then expected, but she’d managed to rationalize it as a necessity to protect herself in the long run. But now it didn’t matter, and neither did her actions earlier of getting Mrs. Kuro fired; you were only as threatening as your last retaliation in this school.

Rika was tired, no exhausted, and quite frankly more than a bit scared. She could imagine what she needed to do in order to get people to back off, could picture it in her mind…but if she went that far, she would lose it completely, and Rika didn’t know if she could come back from…from whatever she would become. She didn’t think she could stop just at the pair, nor the hit girls; she could see herself going after Rumiko and her Grandmother as well! Anybody and everyone who ever hurt her, stabbed her in the back, or let her down, all would be fair game!

And even if she could somehow, unrealistically justify lashing out like that, what would it do to Renamon?! Between their telepathic link and now an emotional bond affecting the kitsune Digimon’s energy levels, what would being in that state of mind do her partner? Dark Digivolution immediately sprung to mind, and if it was half as bad as the show had made it out to be, Rika wouldn’t wish it on any Tamer’s partner much less Renamon herself!

Rika didn’t know what to do. If she stayed, she’d lose herself, she could feel it. But she also knew running away wouldn’t do much for her either; sure she could take care of herself better then most kids her age, but even if she ran from everything hurting her she knew she’d have to steal, become a thief to get by even with Renamon’s help. She didn’t want to make Renamon a thief, or become one herself as she knew stealing would hurt other people, and all the more recently hurting others was becoming unbearable.

She couldn’t rely on the school staff, she couldn’t rely on Rumiko, and she couldn’t rely on Grandma Seiko to help her out of this mess. Even if she threw her pride away and begged and pleaded with them to help, she had no faith any of them would help. More than likely they’d say she was exaggerating the whole thing and to stop being such a drama queen.

While Rika knew Renamon would be at her side no matter what, her partner couldn’t help her in these aspects of her life. Even if she revealed Renamon to her family it wouldn’t help any, it would probably make things worse as they’d try to get rid of her partner so she wouldn’t go running into dangerous battles, not even considering the fact she was one of the only people able to stop wild Digimon from hurting innocent people. No, in this part of her life, Rika was on her own and all alone…

Rika jumped as a sudden ringing sounded from her bag, snapped out from her thoughts. Wincing at what the motion did to her head, she clumsily reached into her school bag and pulled out the almost comically large portable phone her Grandmother had given her. Letting a sigh, she pressed the button and held the receiver to her ear.

“Hello?”

“Looks like you’re having a tough day Songbird.”

Rika blinked several times; it was a man’s voice on the phone, and that name, she hadn’t heard it in years! Only one person had ever called her that before!

“P-Papa? Is that y-you?”

“It is Rika. How about you look to your right at the parking lot and tell me what you see?”

Blinking again, Rika did as instructed. Her eyes widened and she felt her heart skip a beat; a man was waving to her, a phone held to his ear in his other hand. Could it be?

Rika hung up the phone, swung her bag over her shoulder and stumbled to her feet. Wincing as the world shifted around her, she pushed forward, first a light jog that quickly grew into a full on sprint. As she neared the man she could make out more of his features; short brown hair with a few streaks of red smattered throughout, blue eyes, a white collared shirt, and a pair of tan colored pants. Even though it had been years since she’d seen him last, there was no mistaking it so close now!

“PAPA!”

Rika dove into the man’s outstretched arms, wrapping her arms tightly around him. Tears streamed freely down her face as she lost all emotional control, the weight of the day’s events and the sudden joy at her Father’s appearance being to much to contain. Sobs of joy and sorrow came from Rika’s mouth but she couldn’t find it in her to care about her pride or appearance, she just melted into the warm embrace the man held her in.

She didn’t know how long she cried into her Father’s shirt, it certainly felt like a while, but eventually her sobs subsided and she simply swayed with the man as he held her. After a time she felt an arm leave her back, and in a moment of panic she reached out, grasping his wrist
tightly.

“Don’t go!” Rika pleaded, her voice raw with emotion.

“I’m not trying to Rika.” Hisoka said to his daughter softly, tears in his eyes as well. “Just thought you might want a handkerchief to clean your face with. I got a spare in my back pocket.”

“Oh.” Was Rika’s response. Although she released his wrist, her arm wrapped back around his back, as if afraid he’d disappear if she wasn’t holding him.

Hisoka seemed to sense this as he pulled out the handkerchief. “Can you look at me Songbird?” he asked.

Rika smiled at the nickname and did so. Hisoka smiled back as he carefully wiped Rika’s face clear of tears. He paused when Rika’s nose began to twitch, then quickly moved the handkerchief to it as she suddenly sneezed. Adjusting the handkerchief to a clean space, he held it to her nose.

“Blow.” He instructed.

Rika did so without hesitation. It was loud and hard, and the force behind it caused the pain in the back of her head to flare up. Wincing, she removed an arm so she could rub the back of her head as Hisoka gave her face one more cleaning.

“Rough day?” Hisoka asked.

Rika couldn’t help but laugh at that. “Day? Try months…but yeah, today has been especially rough.”

“Well it’s a good thing you’ve got a three day weekend to decompress.” Hisoka said with a smile.

“Maybe.” Rika doubted her situation would get any better after those three days; they were basically a countdown at this point. “Papa?”

“Yes sweetie?”

“Not that I’m complaining but, why are you here?” Rika asked. Even exhausted and slightly impaired from the shot to her head, her Father’s sudden appearance struck her as odd.

“I managed to get a transfer from my company to a place in the area.” Hisoka explained. “I would have called to tell you sooner, but I didn’t get the approval until a few days ago and communicating with you by phone hasn’t been working very well.”

“You’ve been trying to call me?” Rika asked in surprise.

“Around your birthday for the past few years.” Hisoka answered. “I couldn’t be around or contact you before that for…reasons, but my situation has changed and it’s safe now. If the option is on the table Rika, I’d really like to get to know you and be a part of your life if you’d let me, but I understand if yo-”

“I’d like that.” Rika interrupted. She meant it too, except…

“I’m sensing a ‘but’ coming.” Hisoka stated.

“Papa, I…” Rika struggled to find the words. “My life’s a mess right now. I-I’m struggling with so many things right now, and Grandma and Rumiko aren’t helping, they’re just making it worse because they think they know best or I don’t have proof or-I, I can’t handle any more of that right now; I’m so close to losing it right now as it is, I can’t have any more of that or I’ll-”

“Shhh.” Hisoka said softly, tightening his hold on Rika with one arm and pulling her head to his chest with his other hand. “I can feel how tense you are just from holding you Rika, and I imagine your rough day isn’t helping you explain things any better right now either.”

“Y-Yeah.” Rika said with a wince.

Hisoka noticed. “Are you hurt Rika? Physically I mean?”

“Took a tennis ball to the head.” Rika admitted.

“An accident?” Rika didn’t respond. “Did you get checked out by the nurse at least.”

“She gave me an ice pack.” Rika answered. “I couldn’t stay there though, it felt like I was trapped or something. I needed air, so when I recovered enough I snuck out.”

“I see.” Hisoka said before letting out a sigh. “Can you look at me for a minute Rika?” As the girl looked up at him, he continued.

“Here’s what we’ll do; you can rest in the back seat of my car while I go sign you out of school for the rest of the day. My apartment is about thirty minutes from here, we can talk about some positive subjects if you’re up for it along the way. When we get there, and if you’re feeling up to it, you can tell me everything, even the things you don’t have proof for. I’d like to be a good Father for you, but to do that I’ll need to know everything I’m getting into or else I might make things worse, something you’re worried might happen if I understand you right?”

“Yeah.” Rika said with a small nod. “That’s what worries me right now.”

“Well I do care about your safety and your feelings Rika, I want to be clear about that.” Hisoka stated. “Does this sound like a plan, or do you think you need something like a day’s rest or a visit to the hospital for your head?”

“Rest sounds good right now but I doubt I can at the moment.” Rika answered “I don’t think I need to visit a hospital for my head either…can we go with your first plan and make changes if needed?”

“We can do that.” Hisoka affirmed. Sliding out of her grip, he led Rika several feet to a car that was stuffed to the brim. “Can you tell me if your head gets any worse? Head injuries can be dangerous; it’s important to stay on top of those.”

“I can do that.” Rika said as she slid into the back seat of the car. Setting her school bag on the floor in front of her, she sat down on a large tarp that seemed to be spread across the entire back of the car. “Is this everything you own?”

“Work supplies actually.” Hisoka answered. “Was able to get the weekend off if I brought some stuff down to the office.”

“Sweet.” Rika replied as she leaned back with a sigh and closed her eyes. They opened as she felt something rub against her, and saw Hisoka fastening her seatbelt for her. “Papa?”

“Just don’t want to forget it.” He said, gesturing to the seatbelt. Rika only response was to shrug. “I’m going to head into the office to sign you out now.”

“Are you even allowed to do that?” Rika asked, not sure of the man’s status with her.

“I’ve paid child support for years, you bet I can!” Hisoka said with a smile. “Try to rest up for now sweetie, I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

“Sure Papa.”

As Hisoka closed the car door and started towards the school, Rika let out a heavy sigh as she let her body go limp. She was spent, physically and emotionally exhausted, but right now the only thing she could think of was a dream she’d had forever; she was finally going to get to know the man that was her Father.

She silently prayed that dream wouldn’t turn into a nightmare.

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A/N: Chapter end! Wow, that was longer than I expected it to be.

This chapter was meant to show how and why Rika became the hostile and aggressive girl we meet at the start of the show, rather than simply withdrawing into herself and being like a hermit. It’s also meant to show Rika reaching the end of her rope, which opens the door for possibilities she normally wouldn’t consider.

One thing I haven’t seen in regards to Rika is exploration of her Father; aside from the movie he’s barely given a mention. With such a blank cannon slate, I decided to take advantage of that in this story.

Sorry there hasn’t been anything in the way of TB/DL content yet, I promise that will change next chapter.

Think that’s about it, please leave a review and let me know what you liked or even disliked; feedback means I can improve and shows people care enough about my work to comment on it which is a huge motivator for me. Thank you and here’s to a new year everyone!

Welcome back to the forum i haven’t seen you around in quite awhile… As to the story I’m not so sure that ab/dl and digimon fandoms should ever be crossed. But you’re a good enough writer to where i don’t want to dismiss it outright. I’ll have a more substantive comment sometime after the third chapter

Nice to see you writing again, friend!

As far as fetishes go, it’s the least bad combo to be honest. And there is a lot of AB/DL fanart out there (a disturbing amount involving Rika (Ruki, if you prefer her Japanese name) and Renamon, usually with the former in diapers and the latter as her mommy.

IDK - I’ve always thought that My Neighbor Totoro would be a great ABDL fanfic, if for no other reason than Mei literally looks like she’s in diapers already…

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I meant that as least bad fetish combined with Digimon. I’ve seen far worse combinations of fetishes and Digimon.

As far as sources for fanfics go, I’d steer clear of such wholesome works like My Neighbor Totoro and other Stuido Ghibli films, other others along those lines–Mirai is a personal favorite of mine. One reason being that they’re already chock full of nostalgia and child-like escapism. The other reason being that I fear it’d kind of taint the source. There are very very few truly wholesome ABDL stories out there, and My Neighbor Totoro is one of the most wholesome films I’ve ever seen.

I know there’s rule 34 for porn, so I’m sure there’s some similar rule about ABDL fan material–if it exists, someone will put diapers on it. :stuck_out_tongue:
That said, I’m not sure such a thing should exist.

Not impossible, but damn near it if someone were going to be true to the source, and for something I respect as much as the film in question, I wouldn’t want anything less.

Just a thought there, not trying to derail. Will return with comments on the story at a later occasion.

You need not fear. I have never written fanfics, and I have no intention of starting now.

I appreciate the complement, not dismissing the story outright. My mindset for this story is to remove the plot armor the characters have from the show and inject realism into the series; realistic actions and reactions based on the characters canon actions and personalities. I try to stay true to the canon lore as much as possible, but I’ll also exploit anything that’s not clearly defined in the series either, like Rika’s past or her Father.

I don’t intend for this story to be sexual in nature, so the TB/DL-ism will come from an appeal to the lifestyle or possible needs Rika develops over time.

Hope this helps reassure some of your concerns moving forward. Thanks again for reviewing!

I’m trying not to go with a sexual aspect for the TB/DL elements in this story, for the record. I’ve seen some bad combinations as well, and they won’t be making any appearances in this story.

As for Mommy Renamon, that won’t happen here. I do however have a few unique ideas for Renamon in this story I haven’t seen done in fanfiction before, so that should be something to look forward to.

Thanks for commenting, I appreciate people taking time out of their day to say something about my work, good or critique.

Happy to be writing again! Thanks for commenting!

This story is awesome. Always a treat to consume your material!