Disclaimer: If I owned Digimon...whoa...that's a scary thought...almost as scary as what would happen if my brother took over Nintendo...all right, maybe not that scary.
Chapter One: Angels
Takeru was dreaming. This wasn't too strange in itself. However, the fact that he knew he was dreaming was just odd. He looked around him: darkness. He could barely see his hand in front of his face.
"Well, this is weird." In his dream state, he couldn't be afraid of the darkness and what it represented for him—at least, not in this dream, apparently. All he felt was a mild curiousness and the confidence of knowing he was actually safe in bed. He scratched his dream-head with a dream-hand bemusedly. "Uh...could I get some light in here? I can't see a—Aack!"
His crest flashed brightly enough to blind him. He threw an arm over his eyes, reminding himself to be careful what he wished for because, in this dream, he would get it.
After a moment he half-opened one azure eye. Either he had adjusted to the sudden light or it had died down a little, because he could see his light blue pajamas without going blind. He decided that his second theory was right as the Crest of Hope flickered apologetically at him.
Well, at least the golden glow lit up the darkness enough for him to see his surroundings. He stood at the peak of a tall, rocky precipice overlooking...something. His crest could only illuminate so much, and the ground below was too far away for the light to reach. Takeru wasn't sure whether or not that was a good thing, but it didn't really matter. This was a dream, after all.
He glanced up. Clear and bright, the stars winked back at him. He didn't understand why he could see them now but not earlier, but the sight reassured him. He started to smile and took a closer look.
He didn't know these constellations. They weren't Earth's, but they weren't the Digital World's, either—he'd spent enough time in both places to know that.
He shivered slightly and rubbed his arms. Somehow, seeing those alien stars disturbed him more than the suffocating darkness.
Without warning, the light of his crest wavered and dimmed. Ravenous shadows closed in, patiently stalking their prey. Takeru found himself rethinking his previous opinion that the strange stars bothered him more than the darkness. Just as it was about to swallow him whole, a pure, gentle light shone, banishing the unborn nightmare.
Closer the light came; Takeru had a vague impression of white- feathered wings and a beautiful, angelic face. He almost caught a glimpse of the being when a strange, dreamlike feeling crept over him like sunlight through mist. Something soft and golden enveloped him, and he felt a sense of security he hadn't felt in ages.
Never give up hope, and don't lose sight of the light!
And Takeru knew he never would.
Takeru slowly opened his eyes, reluctant to leave the dream. He looked at the clock, groaned quietly, and rolled over. It was barely past one in the morning, and he had school tomorrow! He would take forever to get back to sleep.
He sighed and tried to sort out his fuzzy thoughts. What had his dream been about? All he could recall were half-formed images of wings and shadows and stars. Someone had whispered a message, but he couldn't make out the words any more, just the kind, serene voice.
His heavy-lidded eyes closed of their own will, the memory of the voice stirring feelings of warmth and safety within him. In moments he was fast asleep.
Fifteen-year-old Hikari tucked a strand of hair behind her ear as she doodled in her notebook, pretending to listen to the teacher. They had already been over this lesson five times. Hikari privately thought he was stalling so that he could get to the weekend without having to grade papers.
She glanced at the seat next to her. Takeru wasn't paying much attention, either, from the bored way he was staring out the window.
She noticed the way his blond hair glinted in the sunlight; each individual hair seemed to shine with a golden glimmer all of its own. Now, if he would only turn away from the window...
Hikari realized with a start that class was over. Everyone was putting away their books and getting out their lunches. She glanced down at her notebook.
Without realizing it, she had drawn a picture of her best friend staring out the window. She looked it over critically. She had managed to capture the light in his hair pretty well, and the balance of the picture was all right, but something seemed to be missing...
Takeru covered a yawn and turned. For a split second, the sunlight hit his shoulders and bounced into Hikari's eyes, dazzling her. She blinked, but the afterimage stayed with her.
Later that day, she drew him a pair of angel wings and signed it with her crest.
"Hikari-chan!" Hikari couldn't help but giggle at Takeru's teasing imitation of Daisuke's voice, even though she'd heard it so many times before. He used it to get her attention in the hallway and during lunch. Sometimes he even said it in unison with Daisuke when the goggle-head caught sight of Hikari.
She waited for him at the school gate. "Honestly, Takeru-kun, I'd think you'd have grown out of that by now."
He grinned as he caught up to her, pulling on a dark green baseball cap. "Aw, but, Hikari-chan, it's so much fun!"
In reply she reached up, pulled the cap over his eyes, and ran off, ignoring his laughing protest of "Hey!" He pushed it back up, his blue eyes dancing. "Get back here, you!"
"Catch me if you can!" she taunted back over her shoulder.
He set off after her, quickly gaining. "Shouldn't we wait for Daisuke-kun?"
"He has soccer practice. So does oniichan."
"What about Yamato-san?"
"He's...busy," Takeru answered evasively, fully caught up with Hikari. He didn't think his brother would appreciate making his private life public knowledge.
Hikari smiled knowingly. "Ah, so he's with Sora-san." She laughed out loud at the surprised expression on his face. "Takeru-kun, everyone knows about them!"
"Yeah, everyone but kaasan."
"Well, he's eighteen. He can make his own choices now, especially when it comes to love."
He laughed. "I don't think he's ever not made his own choices. He's like that, never following the crowd." Hikari looked at him then and saw more than a slight resemblance between the two brothers.
"How's—" Takeru was abruptly cut off by an inhuman, shrill screech. He gasped and pressed his hands over his ears in an attempt to block out it out, but it didn't even soften the sound. It was like microphone feedback crossed with the squeal of nails on a chalkboard.
Hikari fell to her knees, a scream locked in her throat, unable to escape. Louder the noise grew, drowning out her thoughts.
Just as she thought that she couldn't stand any more, something else happened to make her blood run cold. Over the metallic shriek came the sound of waves, slowly washing against a silent shore, where yellow-eyed shadows waited to take her away...
She pulled herself away from the vision, shivering uncontrollably. She saw Takeru uncover his ears out of the corner of her eye; his hands were shaking. She then realized that the noise had stopped.
"Is...Is it over?" she asked weakly, getting unsteadily to her feet.
"Uh...I don't think so..." His voice sounded strange. Hikari glanced at him sharply then followed his gaze to the sky.
Twinkling bright against the cloudless blue sky were millions of tiny, white stars. Hikari stared at them in wonder; yeah, that would probably make her voice sound strange, too. What was going on here?
Takeru's eyes were filled with the light of the stars. "Never give..." he whispered, trying to remember something.
"Ta—?" She didn't have time to finish her question before she felt a plummeting feeling, as if the ground had dropped away from under her feet. Instead of dropping through, though, the stars seemed to loom closer.
They were falling up.
Suddenly, gravity decided to reinstate itself, and they were plunging helplessly to the ground. Twisted treetops were rising to meet them, their leaves indistinguishable in an arboreal sea. Their street was gone, as well as their school and all the buildings and cars. But those stars were still there, shining coldly in a black sky over a dark land.
Endnotes:I use the Japanese names. I'm special like that. :-P
Hikari and Takeru are fifteen now. This means four years have passed since the ending of Digimon Adventure 02. They go to Taichi's school—you know, the one with the green uniforms?
-kun, -chan, -san – These are suffixes attached to names to indicate familiarity, respect, whatever the case may be. I think Takeru actually does add a -chan to Hikari's name in the real Japanese show, but I'm not really sure. Can someone get back to me on that?