A blanket of snow met Viximon as she made her way outside the dorms. It had taken her a lot of effort to get this far, especially opening the various doors in the way, but she had her reasons. She was in the process of leaving for the Digital world without her partner, a decision she had made early that morning when she woke up beside him. She’d slept beside him the previous night like she had since their ordeal with the black cloud, but this morning had been… different. She’d been in a bit of a slump ever since their fight the previous day, and her long-awaited Digivolution to the Champion level. Except when it had happened, her Champion form wasn’t what anyone had been expecting. She and Greg had been going around for months explaining how she would digivolve to Kyuubimon, but they’d been wrong, and she felt embarrassed by that fact. Instead of the large yellow fox everyone had been told so much about, Viximon had become something else entirely. Apparently in her Champion form she was some purple-blue monster called Youkomon, and she wasn’t sure if she liked it. Greg’s face when he saw her had been the kicker; he’d been in complete shock when he saw her, and she couldn’t shake the feeling that Greg wasn’t as impressed as he should have been with her latest form. In fact, he almost looked disappointed, but that couldn’t be right… could it?
More brooding nagged the tiny fox’s steps as she plodded through the snow towards the gate room. It was true, Greg hadn’t actually said anything to her during or after the fight, but for all she knew, that was because he’d had nothing good to say to her. No words of praise, no congratulations, nothing. It was just home and right to bed. A couple of tears fell from her eyes as that thought hit home; if everyone else thought she was weird as a Youkomon, she could live with that, but if Greg was the same way, that was unbearable. The boy was her best friend in the entire world; he’d taken her in when she’d had nowhere to go, been her friend when she had no one else, and they’d been through a lot together, even though it hadn’t quite been three years yet. She wiped her face with a snowy paw, the cold stinging slightly as it touched her face, and she decided against trying again, since it had just left her eyes wetter than they had been. She made it to just outside the gate room, and was about to continue on when she heard a small voice beside her.
“Hey, what’s the matter with you?” said the voice sadly, and Viximon turned around to face its source. There in front of her was a small white Digimon with wings. “Yeah, you!” it said happily. “You seem kinda glum. Has something got you upset?” He flew closer to the yellow In-training and landed beside her in the snow. “It’s alright, you can tell me if something’s wrong, my name’s Cupimon, and I can help! My friends and I are here to help everyone feel better, humans and Digimon!”
“I-it’s n-nothing,” Viximon said quickly, trying to hide her face. “I’ll be alright, I’m just on my way back to the Digital World, I was visiting friends here…” It was a blatant lie, and her voice was shaking as she said it, which only made it easier for Cupimon to spot.
“Oh, come on now, you’re obviously sad about something,” Cupimon said, floating back in front of Viximon’s face. “You were crying, weren’t you?” he continued, frowning a little. “What’s your name? What’s got you so down in the dumps?” The flying Digimon was almost sickeningly sweet, but Viximon couldn’t help but open up, at least a little.
“Well,” Viximon said, not really sure how to begin. “I wasn’t really just visiting friends,” she started, as Cupimon nodded to indicate that he knew that had been false. “I’ve got a tamer, his name’s Greg and we’re in the Astra, but…” She paused for a moment to reflect on what she was about to say before she said it.
“But…” Cupimon prompted, frowning a little more and gesturing for Viximon to continue. “But what? Did something happen to Greg? Did he get in a fight? Is he alright? Do you need to save him from a bad human? Or worse, do you have to save him from a bad Digimon?” He watched as Viximon shook her head slowly. “Well, what is it then? Why are you so sad?”
“I… think Greg doesn’t want me as a partner anymore,” said Viximon, hanging her head in shame.
“What?!” Cupimon said in total shock. “What do you mean?! Partners are forever! Did you have a fight?” The digimon started flying around randomly, panicking as he did. “But even if it was a fight, that’s no reason to stop being partners!” Finally, he landed back in front of Viximon. “Alright,” he said, gathering his composure a little better, “What actually happened?” He waited expectantly as Viximon took a deep breath and began.
“Well, I don’t know if you know much about Viximon like me, but I digivolve into Renamon,” she said, starting her explanation. “And from there, Renamon’s supposed to digivolve to an even bigger fox called Kyuubimon! And she’s really neat, and… I don’t digivolve into Kyuubimon after Renamon,” she continued, her face showing clear disappointment. Cupimon looked puzzled, asking her without words what the alternative was. “I turn into some weird freak called Youkomon!” she yelled at the other Digimon. “It’s not what Renamon are supposed to turn into! I’m not like other Renamon, there must be something wrong with me!” She tried to sniff back tears, but with little success. “I’m a freak, and that makes me a disappointment to Greg. So I’m leaving now, he’ll be able to find a new partner when I’m gone,” she continued, tears streaming down her face and getting trapped in her fur. “He’ll find a better partner, one that isn’t such a weirdo.” She took several determined steps towards the door of the gate room and made it in through the front door.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Cupimon said, following Viximon and putting himself back into her path to block her from proceeding. “Have you even tried talking to him about it?” The little angel digimon seemed almost close to tears himself. “That can’t be the case, it just can’t!” He stared into Viximon’s eyes, pleading with her to stay.
“I just don’t know!” Viximon spat, sitting down on the ground. “I didn’t talk to him about it, it was too embarrassing!” she cried, not even sure of why she left anymore. “And what if he’d lied and said everything was alright? Or worse, what if he’d told me himself to go?” Her heart almost broke in two at the thought of Greg actually telling her she wasn’t wanted anymore.
Cupimon hugged Viximon tightly, and patted her on the back. “Hey now, I think you’re just misunderstanding things a little,” he said soothingly. “I haven’t heard of any humans who would just abandon their partner, especially not ones from around here.” He gestured back to the dorms, as Viximon’s footprints traced a faint path back there. “He’s probably worried sick right now about you, too, especially if you just left without saying anything. Why don’t we both go back and talk things out? I’m sure this is all just a giant mixup.”
Cupimon’s mention of Greg worrying had hit Viximon like a punch to the gut. “Oh, no!” she said, a change of heart apparent from the tone in her voice. “We have to go back! He’s gonna be so mad!” She turned to dash out the door and back to the dorms, but only made it down the front steps to the gate room before she crashed into someone’s foot and tripped over it. She tumbled and rolled through the snow a very short distance and looked up at who she’d just run into. The face that met hers was full of concern, but looked overjoyed to have found her.
“Big brother! I found her!” called out Eva Forest, as she quickly picked up Viximon. “We’ve been looking everywhere for ya! Nyaro didn’t think you’d come here, but I had a feeling!” The younger girl squeezed the little digimon tightly and didn’t loosen up for several moments. “What did ya run away for?” She asked, looking at Viximon. She noticed Cupimon next. “Oh, and who’s this? A new friend?” she skipped over to the other digimon and grinned. “Hiya, I’m Eva, what’s your name? Are you a friend of Vixi?”
“You could say that,” Cupimon said, smiling at Viximon and the girl currently carrying her. “You know Viximon?” He laughed; seeing the way she was acting with Viximon let him answer his own question. “I guess that’s a silly thing to ask. Where’s Greg? Did he come with you?”
“Big brother should be here really soon with Nyaro,” Eva said, gesturing behind her. “I ran ahead because they’re slowpokes.” Eva had been the first person Greg had come to for help because the four of them were family, and the fact that Eva’s room was closest out of everyone Greg knew was also a huge help, as he’d recognized he only had time to get one person. Eva, to her credit, had leapt at the opportunity to help even though Greg had woken her up, forgetting her coat as she raced out the door to find her friend.
“Well…” Viximon started, embarrassed, “It’s kind of a long story.” She didn’t get to continue, though, because they were joined by another pair of voices.
“Eva!” Greg said through laboured breaths as he jogged up to the three of them carrying Eva’s jacket, BlackNyaromon hopping disdainfully through the snow some distance after him, still lagging behind. “It’s bad enough that we had to worry about Viximon, but you need to remember your jacket.” He handed it to his cousin as Viximon leapt out of Eva’s arms and into his. “Viximon!” he said in shock, hugging his partner even tighter than Eva had. “Where have you been? I was so worried, I had no idea where to even start looking for you. What’d you run away for?”
“Because you were disappointed in me, Greg!” Viximon said, burying her face into her tamer’s jacket and crying again. “You were expecting me to digivolve into Kyuubimon, everyone was! But I didn’t, I turned into Youkomon.” She looked up into the boy’s eyes. “I thought you’d think I was a failure, that you wouldn’t want me anymore as a partner.”
“…What the fuck are ya talkin’ about, Viximon?” came BlackNyaromon’s voice as she finally joined the group. She glared at Greg. “Ya coulda helped me get here faster this one time, y’know,” she said to him, smacking his leg with her tail. “Dumbass. The fuckin’ snow’s almost higher than me!” The boy winced and rolled his eyes; there was just no pleasing the cat head. Nyaromon hopped over to Eva and nudged her with her tail. “C’mon, Eva, these two need ta talk to each other,” she said. Eva nodded and picked up her partner, and the two made their way back to the girl’s dorm room to get some more sleep – it was still fairly early, Viximon had left just as the sun was rising.
“Actually, I’m gonna get going too,” Cupimon said, seeing that his job was pretty much over. “Good luck, Viximon, hope everything goes alright!” And with that, the small white angel digimon flew off to go help someone else.
“Uh, bye!” Greg said to Cupimon, slightly confused as the digimon left. He looked back down at Viximon. “Why would you ever think I was disappointed in you?” he asked, his mouth a huge frown. He shivered a little. “Here, we’ll talk when we get back to where it’s warm,” he said. Viximon nodded and the two quickly ran back to Greg’s room. “Alright,” Greg said, sitting down on his bed with his partner beside him. “Now spill. What made you think that?”
“I don’t know!” Viximon said sheepishly, not making eye contact with the boy. “You just looked really surprised and you were so excited about me turning into Kyuubimon and so was I, but then I didn’t! It was really embarrassing and I thought you’d be mad!” She looked back up at her partner. “I’m sorry,” she said sincerely.
“Well, you know what they said about assumptions…” Greg said, though his partner’s puzzled expression told him that she had no idea what he was talking about. “Well, nevermind that then,” he continued, laughing a little. “You should have said something,” he said, frowning at his partner. “I didn’t realize it was something you were self-conscious about.” He smiled at his partner. “It doesn’t have to be a bad thing, so what if you’re different from other Renamon? It’s just a part of what makes you who you are, right? The same as my hat sets me apart from other Gregs, and Salamon is black instead of cream like every other Salamon.” He scratched Viximon’s head. “It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and even if it were something bad, it wouldn’t matter. You’re my best friend and partner, and nothing’s going to change that, not now, not ever. You’re perfect just the way you are.”
“R-really?” Viximon asked, her eyes lighting up and several tears of joy falling from her face onto the mattress below. Greg nodded, and the small yellow fox tackled him with all of her might. Greg rolled onto his back as he caught her, and gave her the biggest hug ever, squeezing her almost hard enough that she couldn’t breathe. Viximon didn’t mind; she was back with Greg, and as long as he was around, she knew that everything would be okay. She’d forgotten that in her apprehension about being different, and she’d nearly thrown everything she had away as a result. Silently, she thanked Cupimon - wherever he was, and vowed to never hide something from Greg again, no matter how she thought he’d feel about it. Cupimon smiled; he’d been watching as he floated just outside Greg’s window, and as he flew off, he congratulated himself on a job well done.