Kazu's Apartment

"Kazu? Are you home yet?"

"Yeah, just made it-- where are you?" Kazu pressed the phone against his head with his shoulder, and gently laid his computer to rest on the coffee table, taking extra care not to bump the attached PET.

"I'm almost there. Just checking to see if you wanted anything from the store before I pass by."

Kazu carefully relaxed his shoulder until the thin machine slipped out from under his ear and into his waiting hand, which promptly raised the reciever back to where it had come from. "I'm fine," said Kazu. "But hurry- we're going to be late for the NetSquare opening."

"I know I know I know I know I know." The first "I" was drawn out, but the rest of the syllables rolled together like a tounge-twister, recited at rapid-fire speeds. "I'm coming..."

Kazu smiled. "Don't rush," he said gently, standing up from the icebox to turn his head and devote his full attention to the phone. "I can wait for you."

All right... I love you.

"And I love you."

Kazu waited until he heard the telltale click of a phone being snapped shut, and then took a long swig of cola.
Sarah got home just in time to see Kazu sit down at his computer with an all-too-familiar look in his eyes. This was odd- Kazu used to be an avid NetBattler, but as far as she knew, he hadn't done anything too intense with his current Navi for-- she didn't even know. He didn't even notice when she closed the door behind her and locked it.

"Kazu?" She said cautiously as she approached him. "What's happening?"

"Trouble, a lot of it," was the hasty reply as Sarah's significant other showed the first signs of noticing her in the form of waving one hand wildly in the air for a few seconds, then gesturing for her to sit. "The party's under attack. I don't know what's happening; no one does. Maybe you--"

"Wha--- Oh, god..." Sarah's eyes widened, then quickly narrowed again, and she squinted intently at the screen for a few moments, trying to see what Kazu could not.

She saw nothing, and reached over to squeeze Kazu's hand.

After a long time, she spoke up. "Looks like the Net isn't going to let you go that easily," she said quietly. "This time, you'll have me to help you."
Sarah's words left an odd resonance in Kazu's head. The Net wasn't letting him go. It was true. He had tried to divorce himself from the world that he had tied his own destiny into so closely, and, as recent events had shown him, time and time again, it wasn't that easy. As he alerted his Navi of his temporary absence (as with so many things in the NetBattling world, he'd learned to do this from experience), Kazu felt himself falling back to where he had been back in his late teens.

Of course, there was one major difference.

Kazu kissed Sarah gently and waved goodbye as he slipped his shoes on and walked quickly down the stairs to where his car was parked, at the front of the apartment. His serious, militaristic expression softened when he looked over his shoulder and saw her smiling back at him, close behind.
Kazu didn't even remember to open the door for her, but considering the fact that he also didn't remember to close the door, stop the engine, or take his keys with him, Sarah forgave him.

Kazu took longer to prepare his "kit" than usual, but that was to be expected. For the second time in his life, the man was going out 'adventuring' for the first time.

His messenger sack was fuller than usual-- of course, the laptop-- as Sarah watched him rush down the stairs, taking one step at a time, very quickly, and always with the same foot. His little quirks made her smile. She didn't know why.

He nodded to her as he jumped back into the driver's seat with a thump. He gave her time to put her seatbelt back on, and then sped off for ACDC.
Kazuhiro locked the door and went to the firdge. It was going to be a long night.

The entire way, he thought about what was happening. History was repeating himself, and it hadn't even given him the span of a proper generation. He was being dragged back into his own history.

At first he was sad, but as he sat next to Sarah and continued to send his Navi the firepower that they wielded so well, he realized that it was worth it.