Henry sat in Guilmon's den and watched the digi-portal. He was numb from the cold and hungry from skipping lunch but he didn't notice, too busy wishing for Takato to step back through in to the real world. Terriermon dozed at Henry's side, ears flopped over his eyes. They'd been coming here any moment they could for days. Ever since Kenta had coming running in a panic, yelling that Kazu had gone.
At least Kazu had left Kenta a note explaining where he'd disappeared to; back through the portal to the digital world in search of Guardromon. That was more than Takato, or Rika for that matter, had done for Henry. Ryo, now him Henry expected to go haring off without warning. He'd credited the others with more sense though; had thought they'd have learned by now not to go running off without him, especially partner-less.
Soon after Takato had found the digi-portal, while they were still bickering about how they could safely use it to get their digimon back, five of said digimon had come tumbling head first through it. Terriermon told him later about how they'd all been split up on their return to the digital world. Terriermon and Lopmon had only managed to stay together by grabbing hold of each other during transit and refusing to let go.
Impmon had found them soon after. It wasn't until they'd made their way back to where the flag had been planted, across a scarred and burning digital plane, that they'd met up with Calumon.
MarineAngemon had apparently pulled his plummeting head first into his own personal crater trick again but almost as soon as they'd pulled him out a digi-portal had opened. It had sucked them through before they could even try to go searching for the others.
On the other side of the portal the Tamers waited day after day hoping the rest of the digimon would make it through, but after week Henry had noticed Takato starting to crack. Apparently Kazu, Rika and Ryo had cracked too because now they'd all been gone for five days.
Henry glanced across the den to where Kenta was sitting, his legs folded up in front of him and his forehead resting on his knees. As far as Henry could tell Kenta had spent more time here waiting than even Henry had and he could tell MarineAngemon was getting seriously worried. The little digimon had even stopped his anxious flitting. Now just staring at Kenta with mournful eyes.
The low grade hum that the digi-portal emitted changed in pitch slightly, dragging Henry's attention back in its direction. Kazu came stumbling through, only just catching his balance before he fell flat on his face.
Guardromon stepped out behind him, immediately moving to the side so his bulk wasn't blocking the surface of the portal. As glad as Henry was to see Kazu safe he really hoped that that meant Guardromon was expecting others to be following him through.
Kenta's head shot up at Kazu's second step into the room. He launched himself straight at Kazu from his seat on the floor, not bothering to waste time on standing up first. A startled Kazu ended up sprawled on the mud-packed floor with Kenta practically in his lap.
Kenta hit him upside the head, hard and yelled, “Don't do that to me!” Kazu just raised his eyebrows in amusement, obviously too happy for the smack to have knocked any of his good humour out of him.
“I'm less likely to hit you if you don't hit me first, Chumley.” Henry vaguely heard Kazu reply but most of his attention was now on the person who'd just tumbled head first out the portal and landed in a heap, his digimon partner at his side. Terriermon, woken up by all the commotion, flung himself at Guilmon with a whoop and proceeded to try to hug the stuffing out of him with his ears.
“Kazu,” Kenta wailed, “You know what I meant.” The irritation didn't quite cover up the relief in his voice. He let go of the façade completely a moment later, flinging his arms around Kazu and hugging just as hard as Terriermon was.
Henry held out a hand to help Takato up. He wished that he could hug Takato the way Terriermon was hugging Guilmon, but Henry was weak at the knees with relief and knew that if he tried it he'd end up giving away more than he wanted to.
“What were you guys thinking?” Henry let his fear morph into anger as Takato took his hand and allowed himself to be hauled to his feet. “Going in there without back up like that, you could have been killed.” He felt wretched a moment later, on the receiving end of Takato's stricken look. Before he could make it right though, the surface of the portal warped again.
Rika and Ryo stepped out smoothly side by side, Monodramon in Ryo's arms and Renamon close on Rika's heels like a golden shadow.
Rika looked around the hideout with interest. She quirked one eyebrow slightly at the sight of Guilmon; still as half-upside down as he'd been when he landed, trying to talk even though Terriermon was hugging his face.
Rika's gaze swept across them, then both eyebrows went up as she found Kenta still sitting in Kazu's lap clinging to him, Kenta's berating muffled by the fact his face was buried in Kazu's shoulder. Kazu, oblivious to the sudden attention, was grinning down at Kenta, sheepish amusement and pleasure fighting for control of his face as he hugged Kenta back just as fiercely. Guardromon and MarineAngemon were equally oblivious, MarineAngemon peeping excitedly and butting against Guardromon's face like a happy cat as he was held up in Guardromon's cupped hands.
Rika turned her attention back to Takato and Henry with an amused grin that Henry had learnt to fear and then smiled even wider when she glanced down. “Well, isn't this friendly.”
Henry followed her look downwards and realised he was still holding Takato's hand. Letting go quickly earned him a startled, somewhat hurt, look from Takato and unfortunately, a knowing one from Rika. On the other side of the room Kenta seemed to finally pull himself together, pushing himself away from Kazu and using the momentum to roll off him and onto his feet.
As he stood he yanked on Kazu's visor, pulling it down over his eyes. Kazu paused in his own attempt at getting up to flail wildly.
“Gah, hey! Who turned out the sun?”
Takato sniggered. Rika rolled her eyes but Henry could see she was smiling slightly as she started to walk out into the fresh air of the park. Ryo and Renamon followed her, of course but Takato had finally noticed Terriermon's seeming attempt to suffocate Guilmon. He crouched down next to them grinning.
“Momentai, Terriermon.” Takato reached out and ruffled Terriermon's ears as he looked up. “You can hug him more later, now it's time to go eat.” Guilmon scrambled to his feet, so fast Terriermon had to make a flying leap into Henry's arms rather than end up dropped on his head.
“Bread?” Guilmon asked happily.
“Yeah, Boy. Bread.” Takato answered with a smile.
“Maybe!” Takato bounced happily out of the hideout, Guilmon at his heels. “I asked Dad to make some for when we got back.”
Henry stepped out after him and watched as they ran down the steps.
“Momentai.” Henry looked down into Terriermon's unusually serious face. “He'll get it eventually, you know. Takato's just a bit slow when it comes to the lists of love.”
“Terriermon.” Henry hissed the reprimand, glancing back at Kazu and Kenta worriedly. What he saw caught his melancholy mood again. Kazu had an arm slung around Kenta's shoulders as he regaled him with highly embroidered tales of his second trip to the digital world. Kenta crowded in close, smirking fondly at him and making comments in all the right places.
Henry frowned. If two people as obviously far gone over each other as Kazu and Kenta hadn't got together, what hope was there for Henry to get Takato's attention?