A/N: It's really a mix of Supernatural, Tragedy, Angst, and Romance, but two was the most they would allow huh? I listened to the song many, many times in my runs of the Dark Side of the Moon and just felt like I had to put something to go with it, seeing how it has very little in the lyrics department. After much consideration, this is what came out. I hope you enjoy and any critique will be appreciated.
The Great Gig in the Sky
The thunderous clamor of bass, drums, guitars, and Matt's vocals began to die down, bringing their song to an end. The Teenage Wolves were finally hitting it big—a following was beginning to gather behind them and they were gaining steam in the Japanese music world. Of course, they still had to work their tails off, taking whatever jobs they could get at local clubs and bars. An uproarious cheer rose from the crowd, packed into the club like sardines to hear the Teenage Wolves and snag a few cold ones.
"Thank you! Thank you!" Matt half-heartedly tried to get the cheering fans to calm down, but he mostly wanted to let them cheer to their hearts content. Fame wasn't going to his head, but he certainly enjoyed it. Sora was right in front of the stage, cheering along with them. Matt and Sora had been going out for a while now—the Digital World had been saved, yet again, leaving the two with plenty of time to chase after each other again. Matt finally decided a minute was enough time and played a chord to get command of the audience. "Wow, thanks guys." The noise lowered to a dull roar. "Well, I was thinking that tonight, since we're back in our hometown..."
"Odaiba Rocks!!!" A rowdy fan in the back shouted and the crowd cheered in agreement. Matt just laughed.
"Nobody's even close to you guys when it comes to rocking." Mass applause and shouts of 'I love you Matt' from fanatical girls sounded off. "Anyway, I was thinking maybe we could take some requests? You name it, we play it. Any song you can think of, not just ours." There was some murmuring in the crowd and some suggestions were lackadaisically shouted, but were often drowned out by ruckus. Finally, the same rowdy fan from before stood up on a chair, cupping his hands together like a megaphone.
"Play Great Gig in the Sky, cause that's where you're headed—nowhere but up dawg!" The crowd erupted in support and Matt laughed again, obviously enjoying himself.
"Well, I'm sure we can get a piano going, but I don't have a vocal to match it..."
"Hey Sora, why don't you go up there? You've got an awesome voice!" One of Sora's friends from school nudged her and said it just loud enough to catch Matt's attention.
"What!? I don't know..." Matt reached down his hand to Sora to pull her up on stage as other girls tried to fight their way up to the front to take it themselves.
"Come on, it'll be fun!" Sora hesitated a moment and finally grabbed it, letting Matt swing her up. The crowd got louder as she blushed, walking over to the microphone where Matt had been singing a few minutes before. "Are ya ready?"
"I... I'll give it my best!"
"That's my girl!" Matt tapped his foot a few times and began to play a mellow tune on the piano that had been brought out from just behind the curtain."And I am not frightened of dying, any time will do,
I don't mind. Why should I be frightened of dying?
There's no reason for it, you've gotta go sometime.
I never said I was frightened of dying."
Matt mouthed off the lyrics in a somewhat quiet, deep, yet peaceful voice as Sora began to breathe deeply, preparing for her part. After a few moments, she began to sing to the notes she knew—her voice rising higher and higher. It seemed to fly out of the club itself, falling back down ever so gently. It graced the crowd, which seemed almost hypnotized to Sora's voice. It was like they rose and fell, swayed about with it. The song steadily calmed, slowed, and lowered, yet retained its power and beauty until ultimately, it ended. Sora took a deep breath and felt a little dizzy, stumbling back a step from the microphone. A handful of awkwardly silent seconds passed before the crowd let out a roar of such magnitude, that it sent feedback into the microphones and made people a block away run for cover, thinking a tsunami had hit.
"That was amazing Sora! I knew you had a great voice, but I didn't know you could do THAT!" Matt was ecstatic. "You're gonna have to come to my shows more often." Sora simply smiled and lipped her only request.
"I mean it Sora, you were really great tonight. It made things so much more fun having you there." Matt was driving Sora home in his car, the back seat piled with his guitar, amp, and random junk that had collected over time. The car passed under streetlights, allowing them to cast their glow through the windshield and windows.
"Awww, you're so sweet. What're you trying to do, cop a feel?" Matt looked at Sora in half shock, in quick glances between her and the road. She bowled over in laughter, nearly hitting her head on the dashboard. "I'm just kidding!" The shock faded from Matt's face for the most part and he laughed.
"Yeah, I was about to say..." For an instant, time slowed for Matt—it does for all people facing what he was about to face—but it didn't slow for Sora. Matt could see her eyes grow enormous, bright light shining out of them. Her mouth opened to scream, but no sound ever came out—the world had gone mute. Matt whipped his head around, which seemed to take many minutes to him, and saw just in time as the speeding truck failed to stop at the red light, slamming right into his side of the car. The world went black, and he knew no more.
"..." Initially she could only hear the sound of her breathing. She could see nothing and for a moment she thought she had gone blind, but then realized that her eyes were just shut. She opened them and soft sounds rose to life. A dreary, soggy landscape flooded her senses—below her she could see a funeral taking place under a vinyl shelter just for such a rainy day as this one. However, the very idea of holding out the rain was pointless, since just as many tears flowed from below it to make up for every raindrop. "Oh no..." Sora looked at herself and could see through to an extent. Sora screamed aloud at the sight of her translucency, but being nothing but a specter in this world, nobody could hear her.
"I can't be dead! I just can't be!" She wanted to cry, but instead took a few deep breaths, doing what she could to keep her composure. "Okay... maybe I'm not dead... maybe I'm just dreaming. Yeah, that's it; this is just some sad, horrible dream." Sora lied to herself so convincingly that she half believed herself.
"God damnit! It isn't fair!"
"Tai, watch your mouth!" From below Sora could hear Tai suddenly swear aloud, and his mother's quick censure of it. She tried moving about and found that it was surprisingly easy to move in any direction. As she slowly descended to the vinyl shelter, Tai continued his sudden burst of rage.
"It isn't! You know it isn't! Why should they have to pay because the bastard was drunk!?" Sora passed through the vinyl as if it wasn't even there and landed on the ground, standing on it solidly. For a moment, she thought she might just pass through it too, but was thankful for hard ground. "Huh? TELL ME!!!" Tai picked up the metal folding chair and hurled it down the wide aisle between the seats. Sora went to shield herself, but the chair just passed through her and rattled. She opened her eyes back up in time to see Izzy and Joe escorting Tai away. Tai had quickly flipped from insane rage to a crushing outpour of sorrow and couldn't support himself any longer, so Izzy and Joe just carried him along, pulling his arms over their backs.
"What is this?" Sora scanned over the mourners and quickly noticed that all the Digidestined were sitting on the front row—including her. Sora let out a quick sigh of relief, sure now that she wasn't dead, but something was different about the Dream Sora. It only took a few seconds to hit Sora: she wasn't sitting in a folding chair, but a wheelchair. Sora felt her breath catch in her chest and hold there as she walked in front of the mourners to get a better view. Indeed, the Dream Sora was sitting in a wheelchair, head lowered, hands folded in her lap. Tears slowly, but steadily, ran down her cheeks and dropped to her lap, landing on her hands and legs. Sora wanted to sit with her Dream Self and figure out why she was in a wheelchair, but a more pressing matter called to her: who was in the coffin?
She walked up to the polished wood casket, looking away until her hands felt the icy brass rail that ran around the side. It was an open-casket ceremony, so all that there was left to do was to turn and look. She didn't find what she wanted. Lying in it, peacefully, was Matt Ishida. He was dressed in a black suit and tie, his hair fixed perfectly as he lied there... dead. She finally understood her father's complaints of acquaintance mourners: "I hate it when people say a dead man looks good. He doesn't look good, he's dead!" Matt's face was pale, it almost seemed gray. Sora turned away and gagged. She felt like she was going to throw up, her heart dropping and shattering at the sight.
"It's just a dream, it's just a dream, it's just a dream..." As Sora finally calmed back down and reminded herself over and over, she wondered why it was still a dream. People always woke up from nightmares at the worst possible point and she had just seen her boyfriend dead; why wasn't she awake? She looked over the Digidestined again for clues. They all looked the same, they were all crying, in one form or another... except for TK. He simply sat in his chair, slouched a little, his arms hanging down his sides. His face was expressionless. It was as if somebody had sucked the soul clear out of the young Ishida. As she watched him, he stood up and walked away, his hands in his pockets. Sora thought she could see him fumbling with something in his right pocket as he walked back towards the church, but wasn't sure.
"No..." Kari got up to follow him, but Ken held her back. "He wants to be alone right now... to think." Ken was only half confident in stopping her. He certainly knew what he wanted, but wasn't sure if it was what he needed. He had learned much about himself after the end of his Emperor days, but wasn't sure of how everybody else dealt with death. TK entered the front doors of the church and let them close behind him, allowing the silence to continue for the last time that day. Izzy and Joe returned with Tai, who had calmed, but looked like he had cried himself into lethargy—he looked exhausted. Sora could feel weariness pull at her, something she had never felt in a dream before and spectrally rubbed her eyes. As she did, she heard what was to take her from her dream.
A gunshot rang out from the church and the world flashed away from her view.
"TK!!!" Sora sat up quickly, but was quickly restrained by her awkward position. She was upside down, held fast by a seat belt. "Oh... just a dream... just a dream..." Sora breathed heavily and fast as her senses returned to her. "The wreck... Matt!" Sora turned and shook Matt, but he was incapacitated. He looked badly beaten up—blood ran from his head and many parts of his body just seemed outright crumpled. Sora released her seat belt and climbed out of the wreckage of the car; it had rolled over when the other car had hit. She crawled out through the window, now open and shattered across the pavement. Miraculously she didn't cut herself and she climbed to her feet outside the car, quickly realizing she felt no pain. "Why doesn't... oh no... not again..." Sora was strapped, unconscious, inside the car, but she could see herself from standing outside.
"This must be another dream." In the distance, Sora could hear sirens quickly approaching... a lot of sirens. A few good Samaritans rushed over to the wreckage, calling out to Sora, Matt, and the unconscious man in the truck that had ran the red light. The smell of booze emanated from the truck and the woman trying to revive him had a sick look of disgust on her face.
"Hey! Can you two hear me? Are you okay!?" A young man, maybe just a little older than Matt, was looking in the driver's side window, shouting at Sora and Matt. He finally gave up and carefully rose to his feet, making sure not to cut himself on any of the glass. "We have to get them out of there!"
"No, they might have some serious injuries. Who knows what might happen if we try to move them?" An older woman stopped the teenager from going down into the car. "The paramedics are already on their way, let's just make sure that nobody else comes rushing down the road and runs into us." The few people around agreed and took up post waving down traffic, turning them around. The wreck was blocking the entire intersection, but some spots looked like they could almost fit a car, so the Samaritans made sure to get people to turn around and go another way. A few minutes later the ambulance arrived with a pair of police cars. Sora watched as the paramedics pulled a stretcher out of the ambulance and ran over to the car. One crouched down and reached into the driver's side window, feeling Matt's neck for a pulse. He waited for a few moments, moving his fingers around, but after many tries, glanced at his watch and shook his head to his partner.
"She's still got a pulse, but it's not much. We gotta get her out of here!" The paramedics rushed to remove Sora from the car, abandoning Matt. Sora wanted to scream at them to try again, but knew it was no use. As she watched, the sound and color drained away from the scene, becoming like a black and white video without sound.
"Why?" Sora dropped to her knees as she watched the paramedics pull her out of the car. "What's with this dream?" As she began to sob to herself, her emotions finally, but slowly, spiraling out of her control. "What are you trying to tell me!?" She screamed at the sky, aware that no one could hear her, much like outer space. However, she got an unexpected answer. In the distance, a few blocks from the wreck, she could hear music playing—a piano. She quickly jumped to her feet and ran towards the sound.
"Maybe it's Matt, maybe he's okay and this is all just some stupid nightmare. It has to be..." As Sora caught sight of the club Matt had played at, the source of the music, she recognized the song as the one that they had played that night. She rounded the corner, ran through the doors and stopped in her tracks as she went inside. Up on stage was Matt, playing the piano since there were no guitars in the song, but there were others on stage as well. Manning the other instruments were angels, a bright light shining from them. Their brilliance illuminated the empty club, casting away the shadows in every corner. Matt looked up, saw Sora, and stopped playing, as did the angels. They lowered their heads as Matt took a few slow steps off stage. Sora ran up to him and threw her arms around him, hugging him tightly. They shared a loving kiss, locking lips for a few seconds before Matt gently pulled away.
"Matt, what's going on?" She buried her face into his shoulder and tried to let the tears come, but none did. She didn't like crying, she wasn't the type of person to cry or whine, but right then that was what she wanted to do more than anything else. She couldn't explain why, it just was. "I'm so scared, I keep seeing you dead and I can't wake up!"
"Sora... shhh... it'll... it'll be okay." There was hesitation in Matt's voice. "This... this isn't a dream Sora." Sora looked up at him.
"This isn't a dream... this is real." Matt took a deep breath and sat down on stage. An angel walked up to him and put a hand on his shoulder, calming Matt and reassuring him without saying a word. The angel walked back to where he had been standing and resumed his position. "This is... this is goodbye Sora." Sora's glance darted from the angels to Matt, to and fro.
"No... please no... this is..."
"Sora, I'm sorry you had to see this, but you had to. I need you to help me Sora; I need you to help me now more than ever... please..."
"Absolutely! I'll do whatever I can Matt, what is it!?"
"Don't let TK go." Sora's eyes widened. "Sora, today you've seen the way things happened, the way things are, and the way things will be if time should be left to itself."
"You mean... I saw the future?" Matt nodded and Sora simply looked down. "So that means TK..."
"Yes." Sora felt like throwing up again. "Sora... you've got a long life ahead of you. It's going to be different than before, but I don't ever want you to give up. Please promise me that Sora, don't ever lose hope, don't ever give up, no matter how hard it gets." Sora nodded, tears finally, slowly, came.
"I promise." Matt smiled and tilted her head up.
"I love you."
"I love you, too." Matt waited for a moment trying to figure out how to finally say goodbye.
"Let's play... you know the song we played together earlier? Just once more, for old time's sake." Sora nodded and took Matt's waiting hand, just like before. The climbed on stage and Matt sat down behind the piano, Sora standing behind the microphone. Tears still flowed from her eyes, but she felt her heart beginning to strengthen again as Matt began to play the piano, and soon, the words..."And I am not frightened of dying, any time will do,
I don't mind. Why should I be frightened of dying?
There's no reason for it, you've gotta go sometime.
I never said I was frightened of dying."
Those words, right then, did more for Sora than anything else could have. She knew... she knew Matt was okay with dying, and if he was okay with his own death, then she could be too. Above them, the club's ceiling seemed to disappear, the city around them too. Above them there were only stars, and below only the stage. That night, beneath the heavens, Sora's voice soared higher than any angel could ever fly. It reached to the pearly gates themselves, the cries of resurfacing strength in Sora. Her singing rose and fell, as she knew her life would. As she lowered her voice for the last time, the world before her faded, and the visions ended, Matt whispering a few last words as he disappeared from her life forever.
"I love you, Sora. Good...b...y...e..."
A cold, ice-like rain fell from the sky, making the already sorrowful day even drearier. The Digidestined all sat on the front row, letting their emotions out, Sora included. She cried yes, but it was not of anger. She simply cried because she missed the best friend she had ever had... her love. The Digimon had stayed behind to keep Gabumon company. He had known the moment Matt's heart stopped beating and had nearly died right then. Only because he had been with Tai and Agumon was he still alive, devolved to Tsunomon yes, but still alive. The Digidestined had decided it would be best if he didn't come to the funeral; it wasn't to be mean, but nobody knew what to expect. It was a possibility that Tsunomon would die or perhaps go berserk, so the Digimon volunteered to keep him company.
Sora had soon realized after she awoke why she was sitting in the wheelchair, why Matt had stressed so hard on her to never give up. She was a paraplegic—her legs felt nothing. The doctors said she would never walk again, but she had shrugged it off... at least in relativity. Her seatbelt had saved her life, but the truck had hit with so much force that Matt had died almost instantly, and Sora was lucky that her neck hadn't broken from whiplash. As she sat there, in her wheelchair, staring at the coffin, she noticed Kari get up from beside her and Ken hold her back.
"No... he needs to be alone right now." Sora's eyes widened and she turned around to see TK, slowly walking across the graveyard towards the church.
"No Ken, he needs us. Come on Kari." Sora shot Ken a glare of both contempt and haste. Sora tugged on Kari's arm. "Hurry, catch up with him." She nodded and ran after the young Ishida.
"TK!" Kari called out to him, Sora rolling along as fast as she could push herself. "Wait!" He stopped walking and turned around to see her. His face was covered in tears now—he hadn't started crying until he had begun walking towards the church. He wiped his eyes with his sleeve and tried to hide his face from Kari.
"What?" He snapped a little, but Kari didn't back down.
"Do you want to talk?" Kari put her arm around TK and he pulled away.
"No, just leave me alone."
"TK, it's okay to be sad." TK looked up from the ground to see Sora in front of him. "You can't bottle it up, that'll kill you. Just let it out... it'll be okay." A few tears slipped through TK, a sign that he was weakening, or strengthening depending on how you look at the alternative.
"Yeah right, that's easy for you to say. You didn't lose a brother." Sora wanted to slap him for a moment, but realized what he was going through and restrained her anger.
"TK, you're not the only person who lost Matt." TK finally noticed how tear-stained Kari's face was as Sora talked. "We all lost him. He was our friend, and to me he was more than a friend, you know that." A few more tears slipped from TK's eyes, but this time he didn't bother to wipe them away.
"But he's gone... he's dead... forever. He'll never cook breakfast for us on Saturdays. He'll never be able to keep Tai's ego in check. He'll never play the guitar again..." Sora shook her head.
"No TK, you're wrong." TK looked at her like she was crazy, but the tears were flowing freely now without restraint and Sora could feel her heart lift. "He's still playing, just not around here anymore." Sora gave a tired smile. "Right now he's playing the great gig in the sky."