A/N: Thank you to all to reviewed me, so far. I hope you enjoy this next chapter.
The team was stranded on an island, with no other signs of land. They waited for an opening to appear but none came. Soon, they became fed up with waiting and decided to search for another way off the island.
At first, they thought about building a boat and sailing off the island, but the current was much too strong, any vessel that dared enter those waters would be smashed by the tides. Then, they thought they could ask a Digimon for help, only to find out that the island was completely deserted. In the end, they were left with no other choice but to wait for the opening to appear.
While they waited, they decided to set up a camp, should they need to stay the night. They settled in one of the caves, near the beach. Kouichi, Junpei and their Digimon friends scavenged for food, while the rest of the human team were charged with gathering firewood.
All the while, Kouji was curious about his twin, he was curious about the things he was doing, wondering if Kouichi was thinking about him too. He was begging to understand the longing and fear his elder brother had felt, when he first learned the truth. Everyone else acted so comfortably around Kouichi, despite past circumstances, but Kouji still cringed at the very thought of talking to him. Despite his desire to learn more about his brother, he just didn't have the courage to freely express himself towards his brother.
He had remembered the incident at the hotel. Once the Soulmon's spell had worn off, everyone decided to search the hotel for any sign of the vandal Digimon, but what they found scared Kouji more than any Digimon ever could. He found his brother lying on the floor.
It was the most horrifying thing he had ever seen. Because even if he didn't know what had happened, he feared that Kouichi would never wake and he would spend the rest of his life filled with regret. Regret of never being able to learn about his twin first hand. Regret of never being able to be a true brother to Kouichi. Regret of losing him forever.
When he realized that Kouichi was only unconscious, Kouji personally insisted on carrying him back to his room himself. He wanted to spend every possible moment with his older brother, even if he wouldn't be able to remember some of the moments.
But even after the fright of that near-death experience, Kouji still couldn't muster the courage to even talk to his brother.
With all of the supplies gathered, they retreated back to their shelter, where they feasted on their rations, until sunset. With the feast over, Kouichi decided to take another walk around the island to look for the opening, while the others gathered around the campfire, waiting.
In the end, Kouji could no longer contain his curiosity and asked his teammates, "What is Kouichi like?" They all stared at him curiously, so he continued, "You've been able to talk to him…so…"
The team was relieved to find that Kouji was trying to open up to his twin as each member gladly answered him.
Takuya noted about his righteous nature, Tomoki told him about his incredible powers of observation and his kindness, and Izumi talked about his gentle spirit. Junpei, however, was the only member of the team to find him extremely peculiar.
"What do you mean?" Kouji asked, curious.
"I'm not saying that he's a selfish guy or anything but…"
Junpei and their Digimon companions were gathering fruit from the island's trees, Kouichi was doing the same in a different part of the woods, far away from the others. When the sun was beginning to set, Junpei decided to return to their shelter, so he went to find their remaining teammate while the others went ahead back to camp.
He found Kouichi sitting at the edge of a Cliffside, with a large pile of fruit at his side. The Warrior of Darkness was thoughtfully staring at the mixture of ocean and sky. Junpei wondered what was on his mind, no doubt he was thinking about his twin.
Junpei had always been suspicious of their newest arrival, but he quickly understood that his reserved nature was mostly likely created by a life of loneliness, in addition to the fact, that he grew up believing he was an only child for the most part of his life. So, he tried to be more open with Kouichi, even though a part was still somewhat unsure. Junpeir was never the best when it came to understanding others, but that didn't stop him from trying. And so he quietly approached the elder twin, taking care not to disturb his thoughts so abruptly, little did he know that Kouichi was fully aware of his presence.
"I'm sorry to make you wait," he said quietly.
Junpei was caught a bit off guard but he kindly waved off his unnecessary apology.
Despite his kind reassurance, Kouichi still carried a sorrowful expression on his face but hid it from Junpei. Curious, Junpei tried to subtly question him about his possible negative feelings, unfortunately for him, subtlety was not one of his strong suits.
"Hey, Kouichi," he called, "what's on your mind?"
"What are you talking about?" Kouichi's voice hinted his fear, but only slightly.
"You have a bit of a peculiar face, so…"
Kouichi turned to face Junpei, his eyes filled with remorse. "It's all right if you just tell me the truth."
The Warrior of Lightning was genuinely confused. He didn't understand Kouichi's statement at all.
Sensing his confusion, Kouichi continued, "I can tell from the way you look at me. You think I'm a burden."
Junpei was stunned at his accusation. While it might be true that he was suspicious of the newest member of their team, he never believed Kouichi to be a burden. In fact, from the day he joined their team he had been nothing but reliable.
"It's fine if I am," Kouichi pressed on, "I already know how to take care of myself. Just tell me you think I'm a bother and I'll leave."
While the others slept, Kouji was left to tend to the fire. He was deeply buried in thought, disturbed by what Junpei had told him. He didn't want his twin to be sad but there was little he could do to console him. After all, they had still only just met, meaning that they didn't know each other well enough.
Every time Kouji looked at his brother, he thought he could see a vulnerable, lonely kid looking for love and acceptance. And Kouji wanted nothing more than to give Kouichi the very thing he thought he could never obtain.
Hours had passed and his twin still hadn't returned from his search. Kouji became worried and decided to go out and look for his brother. He didn't expect to be gone too long so he didn't telling the others, and with the fire already dying there was no need to alert them. Besides, he wanted to try to confront his brother on his own…he needed to.
The island's forest was dense, so finding him was a difficult task to be sure, but Kouji somehow managed to track him all the way to the Cliffside that Junpei had talked about. Kouichi just sat at the edge, kicking his legs and staring thoughtfully at the star-spangled sky.
Junpei might have been right about Kouichi being peculiar, but Kouji didn't believe that it made his brother a bad person.
Kouji quietly climbed out of the bushes from which he was hiding and carefully approached his twin.
"Um…" he started, "did you find anything?"
Suddenly aware of another presence Kouichi turned his head to find Kouji standing right behind him. Kouji didn't look him directly in the eye, in fear of upsetting his twin. In response to his question, he simply shook his head and mumbled some sort of apology.
As it was getting late the two quietly agreed to return to camp, but what was actually a short journey felt like decades worth of walking to the twins. And the silence that accompanied their trek became tiresome to the point where Kouji thought it was a perfect opportunity to finally confront his brother.
But the moment he called his twin's name, a thunderstorm quickly cut him off, and a heavy shower soon followed. The two boys retreated into the nearest cave, only a few feet away from their original encampment. They had no choice but to wait out the storm, the lightening and heavy winds were making the conditions too dangerous to continue walking.
So they waited for the storm to pass, but as they waited, they heard a strange growling noise echoing from the back of the cave. Curious, the two boys headed for the source of the mysterious sound only to find themselves at a dead end. They were about to head back, when the strange growl reoccurred. They turned their heads to find two tiny, glowing orbs floating towards them. Each brother grabbed one and then suddenly, a bright light surged from the gaps of their palms, temporarily blinding the two.
When the blindness finally wore off, they found themselves not in the cave from which they took shelter but a small backyard playground fit for a toddler. It was an ordinary playground, a little swing set, a slide, a teeter-totter and a sandbox. And at the center of the sandbox sat two black haired, blue eyed boy toddlers happily playing together, the toddlers' faces were exactly the same, so the only way to distinguish the two was by their clothing. At the side of the sandbox sat a young black haired, fair skinned woman, who watched the two little boys playing.
The toddler dressed in blue was filling a bucket with sand so messily that he hit his playmate dressed in green. Some of the sand hit the green clothed toddler's eyes, causing tears to fall out. The woman picked up the crying child, trying to wash out the sand with a water bottle, while simultaneously scorning the other.
"Kouji," she scolded, "you shouldn't throw sand around like that look what you did to your brother."
While the infant didn't seem old to understand the woman's reprimanding voice, he sat up walked towards the other toddler and gave him, what appeared to be an apologetic stroke on the arm.
The other toddler seemed to smile as he pointed at his blue clothed counterpart and said, "Kou…ji."
The woman cuddled the green dressed child. "That's right Kouichi that's Kouji, your younger twin brother." She was about to place little Kouichi back into the sandbox when a man called them inside. So she took the two boys by the hand and led them into the house, with the older versions of the children following suite.
It was a fairly modest house, nothing too fancy and just spacious enough to raise a family. The twin toddlers started to rub their eyes and yawning, so the young woman carried both boys and placed them in an empty playpen, where the children drifted to sleep.
The woman watched the two as they fell asleep, with a sad face. Then, the man walked into the scene with a solemn expression. The man was tall, had a medium build and wore glasses, both the man and the woman had dark hair and while he didn't share the gentle features that the woman had, there was something soft about his face.
"I don't feel right about this," said the woman.
"Don't argue. Things weren't working out even before they were born."
"I'm not arguing about that. I just don't think we should separate them like this, they're always at their happiest, when their together."
"We have no choice. It's for the best. I'm sure neither of them would be too happy, if they saw that their parents never get along." He looked at the sleeping twins sadly. "We'll have the divorce papers finalized next week and go our separate ways." He approached the pen, reached down for the toddlers and stroked their hair. Little Kouichi wriggled slightly at the touch, while little Kouji rolled on one side, then their hands met and they ceased all movement.
The man looked at them sorrowfully. "It's for the best," he whispered more to himself than anyone else.
The older twins stared at their parents sad faces, their father was right, they didn't want to see their parents unhappy, but they had felt betrayed by all the lies. And now, the two brothers have finally met and their parents were completely unaware of it. With this in mind, the twins silently wondered how they would react at the sight of the reunited brothers after years of separation.
The image of their sad parents melted away into a small apartment building, the size of it suggested that it wasn't built to house more than one person. And yet there stood two woman, an elderly and a younger one, they had similar features but they were differentiated by their age.
The younger woman was thoroughly scanning a newspaper while the older woman inspected the open suitcases that lay before her.
"You don't have to unpack them," said the younger, "we won't be here for too long."
"Even if you find a job," the older retorted firmly, "it will be a while before you make enough money for your own house."
"I know, but I have to learn to support him on my own."
She turned her attention to the toddler dressed in green, who was attempting to stand up and walk on his own. The child, successful in his feat, wobbly marched towards the young woman, gripping her clothes when he arrived. The child was staring right at her as if he knew something was wrong.
"Mama," the young one called, his voice sounding somewhat like a whisper.
"That's right Kouichi," the woman replied cheerfully, "I'm your mother," She lightly kissed her child's cheek, "and I'm going to take good care of you."
The older version of the toddler watched as the scene unraveled, completely dumbstruck. It hurt him so much to watch, for he had remembered the years that his mother struggled to raise Kouichi on her own. She had managed well enough, but there were times where she needed his grandmother's help, even when she didn't like to admit it. Unfortunately, even with the extra help, she had to work herself sick.
If she had kept both twins, Kouichi couldn't imagine how much harder his mother would have to struggle just to make ends meet.
Kouji watched as his birth mother was coddling his twin. There seemed to be a sad expression on her face, but it was expertly hidden by a gentle smile. It was clear enough to see that the two would live a hard life for years to come.
He had remembered the apartment from his dream in the cave, it wasn't identical to the one they were standing in, but it was just as small. It became clear to Kouji that she had worked herself to the bone to even afford the apartment, and with responsibility of raising one child she had to work even harder. Kouji knew that if she could their mother would've taken both of them in a heartbeat, but if she had Kouji would've regretted it for the rest of his life. Raising Kouichi alone was alread tough on both of them so raising another child might cause her to collapse into a coma.
When Kouichi was Duskmon, Kouji had thought he had seen his brother's inner turmoil, when they fought. He thought he had felt his twin's sadness and fear…The fear and sadness that stemmed from his love for his mother. Kouichi had admitted to being envious of his brother and now he understood why.
He had a father who could actually afford to spend time with him and a mother who cared about him, but never needed to struggle to the point of exhaustion.
For years, Kouji thought about his mother, and how she had supposedly died. He loved her even if he didn't know her, and, from the looks of things, she loved him too, but his love for her was nothing compared to the affection his brother had for her. Kouichi must've felt like he needed to support himself as well as his mother all on his own.
When Kouji was trapped inside Sefirotmon, he had told Karatenmon that he didn't need friends or family. And deep down, he still believed it. He could live without them, but before him stood someone he wanted to consider both friend and family. Part of him needed Kouichi, but after seeing everything his twin had done for his mother, he realized that he needed Kouji even more.
Kouichi's reserved nature was a means of protection not for himself but for his loved ones. While Kouji acted aloof in order to protect himself. Kouichi always hid his true feelings while Kouji was always straightforward, however harsh his words were. And Kouichi was willing to accept his family's situation no matter how miserable he was, while Kouji rejected it from the moment his father brought home his future stepmother.
In a word, they were different, but they shared some sort of loneliness in their hearts. Kouji's was born from the constant changes in his life, changes he protected himself against. While Kouichi's was born from the pain of watching others carry a burden that he should carry.
Kouji could live without friends or family…but he didn't want to anymore.
Kouichi wanted to the support of those around him, but couldn't afford it.
As the images of their past faded away, the twins the storm raged on with new ferocity. It was a surprise that any of the plants still remained so firmly rooted to the ground. With the tempest becoming more and more unyielding, the twins were forced to spend the rest of the night in their cavern. So, without a word, Kouichi lay down on the cold cave floor and closed his eyes with his twin quietly watching him.
The silence was not only awkward for Kouji, it was unbearable. He couldn't sleep, all he could think about was his twin, who was sleeping adjacently from him. Even in his sleep Kouichi looked pained, Kouji wondered what he was feeling now.
Was he still jealous of Kouji's more luxurious lifestyle or did he feel anger at their father for leaving the rest of his family to start a new one.
Kouji couldn't blame his brother for having such feelings. Their father practically abandons his first wife and one of his two sons and acted as though they're dead or don't exist. Not to mention the fact that he remarried without even notifying his whole family.
Kouji had promised that he would give his new mother the flowers and accept her into his family, but, by doing so, would he abandon Kouichi the same as his father had. For the first time Kouji had thought long and hard about the mother he grew up with. He never hated her, but he never wanted someone to replace the mother he never even knew. Try as he might he just couldn't bring himself to love her, it had hurt so much not being able to know his birth mother. He loved her but he never knew her and suddenly another woman walks into his life trying to take her place.
He didn't want someone to replace the woman he never had a chance to love, but in truth he was more afraid of growing so attached to this new mother figure that he would forget the old one or worse, losing her and living with twice the grief. For as long as he could remember he couldn't grow attached to anyone lest he'd have to part with them and live with the possibility of never seeing them again. But now, looking at his brother, he wanted nothing than to grow attached and love him as any brother would.
Kouichi was just as much Darkness as Kouji was Light, the younger twin accepted and understood that. Kouji was always straightforward and always knew to hold his own, and while he had a caring spirit he never bothered to reinforce it with any gentle gestures. Kouichi, on the other hand, hid his entire world from everyone, he hid his fears and misery for the sake of those he loved and tried his hardest to support his own, even to his breaking point. His Darkness stemmed not from hatred and jealousy but from a need to protect. He protected his mother from any further suffering by hiding the fact that he knew of his twin, he even protected the family he never knew by concealing himself from them. He didn't want to be a burden so he filled all of his negative emotions with his Darkness as a means to hide them. He even hid his anger and hatred with his gentle smile.
Kouji was surrounded by so many loving people that he pushed away to create an empty world free from pain and sadness. Kouichi was also surrounded by loving people but they suffered because they loved him and those he wanted to love seemed to have abandoned him, creating an empty world that filled his heart with anger and fear.
Kouji realized that Kouichi was not who he believed he was. He was lonely but not vulnerable. He had the strength to do what Kouji could not, accept the harsh reality and try to live his life as best he could.
The problem was that Kouichi was surrounded by so much darkness that he had buried himself so deep that no light could reach him. Kouichi was darkness, Kouji accepted it, but that didn't mean he needed conceal himself completely.
Light and Darkness came hand in hand. They're always together. Darkness exists because of the Light, if the two were supposed to exist together then they should at least exist within each other's grasp.
Kouichi was stirring slightly in his sleep. Kouji looked down at him, worried. His twin seemed to be shivering whether or not it was caused by cold or fear the younger twin would never know. Concerned for his brother's well-being, Kouji removed his jacket and draped it over his shaking twin. That seemed to calm him down a bit, Kouichi still seemed roused, so Kouji tried the one thing he wanted to do from the moment the two came in contact…he talked to him.
It was a pitiful, he knew it, he was talking to someone who wouldn't even remember a word, but at least he would have his chance to open himself to his brother.
"I know you've been through a lot," he started nervously, "and I wouldn't expect you to accept it, but… I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you two had to live alone. I'm sorry that he abandoned her…abandoned you. It must've been so painful to find out like that." At that moment he wasn't sure whether or not he should hate his father for lying to him and leaving behind his first wife and first born son. From what he had seen, they were both kind-hearted people who would've done anything for those they care about.
Then there was his stepmother, she was probably just as oblivious to her husband's secret as he was, but that didn't stop Kouji from feeling betrayed. His birth mother was alive but his father told him she was dead, and then he remarried, wanting his son to accept this woman as his new mother. How could he forgive him? How could Kouichi forgive them? Maybe the woman in the picture would never love him like she did his brother, but maybe things would've been different if he had known. Maybe he would've learned to accept his new mother more easily maybe Kouichi wouldn't have to feel so burdened and alone.
"I'm sure you must hate us for abandoning you, and I don't blame you," he continued, "but I really do want us to be a family. I want to help our mother…help you be happy like when we were little. I want to be your brother." He reached out for Kouichi but quickly withdrew himself. "I know what happened to you was unforgivable, when we fought I felt all that anger and fear inside of you, and I don't hate you one bit for attacking me the way you did. I try to make myself feel better by saying it was Cherubimon's fault for toying with you, but I think it's more my fault. If I had sensed who you were earlier you wouldn't have to feel so secluded. From the moment I met you I felt a strange connection, but I always shrugged it off. I think deep down I always knew about you but I was so afraid of getting too attached." He felt the strength of his voice failing him, but he needed to finish, he needed to tell him his feelings. "A pitiful excuse, I know, and I'd understand if you didn't want anything to do with me, but I promise if you give me a chance I'll talk to dad the second we return to the human world. I'll tell him I know about our mother-about you- and demand he let us see each other. With or without his permission, I'll go see our mother and help her in any way I can. And I'll thank her for giving life to both of us. I'll thank her for giving life to you. You can even come over if you want, you haven't met my-" He was about to call her mom but quickly decided against it. "…dad's new wife, but she's really nice. She always tries her hardest to take care of me and I'm sure she'd love to meet you. I won't say that I always wanted a sibling because the idea never really struck me, but now that I've met you I want the chance to be the brother I never was. I really am happy to have met you…big brother…Kouichi…and I promise that you'll never have to carry your burden alone for as long as I live."
Kouichi shifted as tears slowly began to form from his eyes. He was shaking violently and whimpering so softly that Kouji had to strain his ears to hear it. Frightened by his twin's behaviour, Kouji tried to find a way to calm him, but he was completely unfamiliar with this kind of situation. In his efforts to quell his twin's trembling, Kouji's hand accidently brushed Kouichi's, calming him slightly.
Wanting to soothe his brother completely, Kouji slowly reached out his hand towards him, his heart beat was out of control. He was afraid… Afraid of what might happen to his brother should he fail, just as he was afraid the moment he realized the truth about Duskmon. He didn't doubt that Kouichi had an incredible amount of strength but in any one person strength was limited. And Kouichi always seemed to push himself past his limits no matter how difficult the challenge.
He was about to make full contact, when suddenly an ear-piecing cries echoed throughout the cave, snapping Kouichi from his frantic slumber. Shocked from the sounds, the elder twin hadn't noticed Kouji's jacket slipping off him as he stood up.
"What's going on?" Kouichi asked.
"I don't know. I think it came from outside."
Kouji quickly grabbed his jacket and the twins rushed out to find the source of the screams and saw their friends in danger. They were all being massacred by the unforgiving tides whose power increased harmoniously with the rage of the storm. The force of the tide was too strong to attempt an evolution, as the gang could only cling to nearby rocks whose height just barely surpassed that of the ferocious sea. And as the team held on for dear life, powerful whirlpools awaited them amidst the crashing tides.
The twins watched as they stood on a ledge just above them. The waters were rising at an incredible rate, but luckily they were just within each other's reach. The twins extended their arms to their sinking comrades. First, they hauled out their Digimon companions, since they were closest, then, headed out for other Inheritors' of the Warriors' Spirits.
They started with Takuya and Izumi since they were the closest and gripping the same rock. Each twin grabbed one of their friends and quickly pulled them out. Exhausted from their combat with the ocean the rescued welcomed their arrival on land by allowing themselves to fall face first on the wet ground.
After that, they turned their attention to the eldest and youngest members of the team. Tomoki and Junpei were fighting both the elements and their space. The rock they shared was relatively small, it was a wonder how both of them were still embracing it with all their might. They were too far to reach from the ledge they stood on, so the twins had to get much closer. They used the other rocks as stepping stones, carefully leaping toward each one so not to slip and fall into the treacherous waters.
Once they were in reach of their friends, they crouched down carefully and extended their hands.
The two each reached for a twin but a powerful wave overcame them and swept Tomoki away. Junpei was able to grab him just in time. Unfortunately, his hands were now too occupied to reach for the twins. With one hand gripping the rock and the other gripping to his young friend, followed by the powerful current, Junpei couldn't even move lest the water carry them both beyond anyone's reach.
Time was of the essence, Junpei's grip on the rock was weakening by the second, the waves were pulling him away. Kouji was about to evolve and see if he could find a way to reach the two, when all of a sudden, Kouichi dove in without warning. Somehow he managed to overcome the powerful tide enough to reach the same rock that Junpei was holding with one arm and used the other one to grip Tomoki's free hand.
The two boys pulled Tomoki towards Kouji, who managed to pull the young one out of the water before any more damage could be done.
Once Tomoki was safe, the younger twin turned his attention towards those who were still caught in the rush of water. Kouichi insisted that Junpei be first, with no time for an argument, he had to comply. The eldest member reached for the younger twin, who also successfully pulled him out.
Once that was accomplished, Junpei evolved into Blitzmon so that he could fly and exhausted Tomoki back to shore.
Kouji moved closer and closer, Kouichi just inches from his reach. But, as their fingertips were about to touch, Kouichi was pulled under.
The wrath of the sea was unyielding, tossing and turning everything it touched taking away Kouichi's breathe as it did so, there was no escape…
The water was murky and the sky was no clearer, but Kouji knew that his brother, his twin was still somewhere below his feet. Kouji was one of the more rational team members, so he knew what might happen if he jumped in, even if he evolved he wouldn't be strong enough to match the current. But he didn't care. He had promised that he would never let Kouichi sink so deep into the darkness that no light could ever reach him and he had no intention on breaking it.
With his Digivice at the ready, Kouji attempted to evolve only to be stopped by the sight of three high speed flying, familiar figures, Blitzmon, Shutumon and Aldamon. Chakmon joined shortly after by jumping across the rocks.
The Warrior of Fire lifted the Warrior of Ice just a few feet above the water. The Warrior of Wind spun her body at high speed in mid-air, dispersing the water as she moved. Shutumon continued to disperse the water as she moved, when she found an unconscious Kouichi, lying unconscious on the ocean floor. As the Warrior of Wind maintained her position, Aldamon flew down with Chakmon in hand, the Warrior of Ice used his icy breath to shore up the water by coating it with thick ice. Unfortunately, the ice was cracking fast, so Blitzmon rushed in and grabbed the unconscious boy before the ice wall had completely collapsed.
After the successful retrieval, the Warriors retreat back to land, where they gently lay Kouichi on the ground. Surprisingly, after being submerged for so long, he was still breathing. Kouji was relieved to see his brother safe and sound, but he was also angry at himself. He had made a promise and broke it all at once.
He had failed to save his twin.
He had failed to save him from sinking into the darkness.
Kouji's thoughts were immediately interrupted, when he heard Kouichi coughing.
"What happened?" the elder twin asked, slightly dazed. He attempted to stand up but was quickly stopped by Takuya.
"Don't push yourself," said the self-proclaimed leader.
Everyone gathered around the dazed twin, voicing their concern and relief. Kouji was the only one who remained silent. Not that, he wasn't relieved to see his brother conscious, but he hadn't the nerve to voice his concerns. Kouichi was only inches away from his hand and Kouji just let him slip, after he had promised him.
Kouji watched as his concerned friends gathered around his twin. He was jealous of how easily they could all talk to Kouichi. At that moment, Kouji was certain that he wanted nothing more than to say the very same words he had told his brother while he was asleep, until he heard Kouichi's apology.
"Everyone," the elder twin started, his staring directly at the ground, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to trouble you." He would've continued but Junpei interrupted.
"Enough with that," His voice was confident and resolute, "Stop thinking that you're a bother to this team." He gripped Kouichi's shoulders lightly. "You're one of the bravest, most selfless people I have ever met and you're extremely resourceful. You're an asset to this team."
Kouichi didn't seem to agree.
"I admit," the eldest of the team continued, "I had my suspicions about you, but I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you. You didn't have to save us, but you risked everything for us. I know you're smart enough to know that you couldn't have escaped the current in your human form any better than we could."
"He's right you didn't have to jump in and save me," Tomoki added, "Thank you." He bowed his head to the eldest twin with an eager smile.
Takuya and Izumi both nodded in agreement with the two.
Kouichi stared at all of them, curious. It was still hard for him to believe that they had forgiven him so easily or at all. But, for the first time he was surrounded by concerned faces, Kouichi always felt guilty when people fretted about him because, when they did, they hardly had any time to take care of themselves. And yet he felt a strange warm pleasant feeling from these people, these people who he hardly knew worried about him. Maybe it was because they were born with different privileges than he was so he never needed to worry as much or maybe it was something else. Nonetheless, Kouichi enjoyed the feeling and cherished it.
Kouji watched his brother as the others surrounded him. Kouichi had smiled. This smile was different from his other ones, it was real. He wasn't trying to mask his pain, he was genuinely happy. His usual tenderness was still present but it was his best smile yet. Kouji wished he could get his brother to smile like that all the time. From the moment they met, all Kouji could ever see was his twin's sorrow, making him wish that they were closer, so that he could relieve some of that sadness.
Kouji swallowed his fear and walked past his friends and towards his brother. As he walked closer, Kouichi's smile seemed to fade into a look of uncertainty. Kouji hated himself for making him worry, but he didn't want to spend his whole life fearing his twin.
As the twins stood face-to-face, the youngest of the two was about to speak, when they were abrubtly interrupted by Bokomon's voice.
The humans all turned their heads in the direction of the voice and saw that one of the whirlpools looked unusual. It was an opening.
"Don't tell me we have to go into the water," Izumi retorted, sourly.
Junpei sighed, annoyed. "We just can't seem to get a break."
The humans all evolved into their humanoid forms grabbed their Digimon companions and jumped off the ledge, aiming strictly for the one spot. The evolution protected them from the harsh winds as they rushed down toward their target.
Once they entered the opening the Warriors returned to their human forms, after landing on a hard stone floor. They were back in the cave system and at the end of the tunnel they saw stunned them all. It was an exit and outside their cave hideout was the castle under the Venus Rose. The gang cheered as their mission was coming to an end.
A/N: Well, this basically leads to episode 34. I'll leave the status "in progress" for now if you want me to continue. Until then, please review.