Disclaimer: I don't own digimon. I also do not own Evanescence, considering it was that group's music that kind of ended up inspiring me to write this entire story.

A/N: In August of 2004, I heard Evanescence's album "Fallen" for the first time. Being the musical and visual person I am, it started inspiring images... mostly concerning all the angst and hardships people have to go through. Of course, I'd already had some ideas of it when I first saw Digimon years ago, and they kind of sprung back up...

So, in a large document containing all the digimon story ideas I've ever thought up, I would jot down random scenes based off of what I had visualized with Evanescence in the background. This story is the compilation of a lot of those, that ended up working very well together.

It's actually very dark for me, considering how much of the stuff I write tends to be fluffy, happy things. I guess one can't always have their mind stuck on what's fun - they have to return to reality sometimes.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the beginning of this story...

The Survival of Hope


He hated the darkness. Ever since he had been young, it had haunted him constantly, though none but his own brother knew how deeply it dug into his soul. It had always caused the pain and suffering of those he cared about most, and the deaths of friends. But lately, it had come to be the focus of his nightmares.

And here he was, in another one of them. Somehow, he inwardly knew he was physically asleep, and safe, but still the darkness haunted his dreams. He wandered aimlessly through heavy clouds of black mist, as he heard hard laughter behind him. He let his head whip around, trying to pinpoint the source, but he could see nothing. Blackness flooded his vision, deeming him practically blind; only the barest shapes came through.

He felt the mist cling to him, almost like static wool. The scent of both salt and iron blood came to him, and he shuddered, as he continued forward, his feet plodding down hard on what sounded to be pavement. His heavy steps echoed, almost ringing throughout whatever area it was that he was traveling through, and he stopped. Somehow, his own steps sounded like death knells of a bell.

The cold senses of the mist slowly began to wrap around him, and irritably, he brushed his hands around, trying to dispel the sensation. Instead, he felt something more solid curl around both arms, though still barely touching his skin. Involuntarily shuddering, he tried to move forward again, hopefully away from the almost tangible mist still clinging to his body.

He could barely move his feet from where they stood. His heart racing, he again tried to move from his position, and found himself unable to. He felt his breath leave him in pants and shuddering gasps, and he realized it was hard to inhale. The atmosphere had become musty and humid, the air sticking to his skin and leaving him feeling drenched. Again, he tried to leave his place, to awake himself from this nightmare.

What had curled around his arms became tighter, and more solid. Of it, he could only feel the semblances of something cold, that chilled his blood and made his heart pound stronger in fear.

Slowly, he began to hear groans, as though there were beings dying around him. He let his head twitch and turn sharply towards each moan, as he continued to try to inhale the suffocating air. The atmosphere pressed down upon him from all sides, and his body wavered from side to side as he tried to keep upright.

Then an icy hand grasped his leg, sending chills up his skin. He automatically tried to pull his leg away, but the hand held it firmly. He tried to glance down, to let his gaze pierce through the black veil of the fog that let him view only darkness. He could barely make out a shape of something... almost inhuman. He could see a humanoid figure, though with longer arms and legs, sprawled upon the ground, holding his leg tightly. Somehow, he registered that he had seen it before.

The groans grew louder. More of the creatures appeared, some crawling, others staggering, all moving towards him. He felt energy being drawn from him as the creatures came closer, and again, in vain, he attempted to run. He could now hear the gasping breaths the creatures made as they groaned, and he recoiled from their figures.

The creatures in turn grasped his legs and body, and he struggled as many icy hands reached for his arms, his legs, his neck. He let a cry of distress escape his lips, knowing it was for naught. But somehow, he still had a hope that someone would hear, and he would awaken from the nightmare that was too real.

Then it came, the roar of waves crashing against the shore. The sound made his blood run cold, and he found himself suddenly more fearful than before. The darkness, and the ocean, placed together, created the scope of where he was. The creatures groaning around him and the atmosphere confirmed it.

He suddenly felt freezing water rush over his feet, rising and falling like waves. The wet sensation numbed his body, making the icy cold of the ocean's creatures seem to fade away, though they continued to stay, clasping hard onto him. He felt a roar of frustration and anger escape from him, as he struggled against the grip of the any creatures, the dark mist still clinging to him, and the ocean's cold grasp. The water began to rise, and he felt it come up higher, letting chills creep up his body.

As it rose towards his waist, the dark mist that had held onto his arms for so long suddenly became completely solid. He cried out when he felt the hard clasp of cold metallic bonds holding him still, as sharp pain ran down his arms, branching out down to tingles of static in his fingers. Something wet trickled from his wrist, and again, he could only wait helplessly as darkness clouded his senses completely, manifested as both pressing, choking mist and gripping water of the Dark Ocean.

Then something like a whiplash of air collided with his head.

At once, there was complete and utter darkness, but instead of the cold sounds of the ocean, there was a peaceful quiet, save for the noise of cars driving by and the flapping of wings. There was no more chill of mist, numbness of the ocean, or metal bonds around his arms.


He opened his eyes, feeling thankful for the warmth of his blanket. The air felt clean again, and he inhaled deeply. He found he needed to breathe heavily, and he did so, feeling relief come over him. Then he turned his eyes from the relative dark of the room up towards the flying figure above him.

"It happened again," the figure stated plaintively.

TK nodded as he sat up in his bed. His heart still pounded, and he breathed deeply to try and calm himself. "Yeah. It did. Thank you for the Boom Bubble."

Patamon sighed as he landed on his customary place on TK's head. Then he winced distastefully. "TK, you're all sweaty."

TK took the moment to wipe his forehead. He laughed weakly when he saw that Patamon was right. "Yeah. That too."

Patamon shook his head. "TK, this isn't normal. Tell me what happened this time."

"It was just the same as all the other times, but... I know where it's happening now," TK answered, though he was almost afraid to continue. "It's... the Dark Ocean."

Patamon gasped, leaving an uncomfortable pause. "TK, that's bad," he finally said.

TK again laughed weakly. "Yeah, that it is."

"No, I mean really bad," Patamon poked TK in the forehead to make his point. "You're having dreams about the Dark Ocean! And this has happened for a while now! Don't you think something could happen!"

TK closed his eyes. He was fully aware of what might happen. He remembered when Kari had been taken to the Dark Ocean the first time – she had had dreams about it. And she had become distant, started fading away in class, felt feverish, and in the end she had wandered in the world of Darkness.

With a sigh, he picked up Patamon and held him closely. The two sat for a few moments, upright in TK's bed while the normal sounds of the street floated up through his window. He felt comfort in his partner's warmth, in that he was not alone.

Slowly, he lay back down again, casting a furtive glance at the clock that read "3:52 AM" in an almost teasing manner. He glared at the offending clock as though it were mocking him. Then he pulled the cover up over both himself and Patamon.

Patamon sighed lightly as he snuggled in closer to his partner. "Don't worry, TK. I'm here with you."

TK nodded as he hugged Patamon. But still he was worried. Along moment of silence passed before TK spoke about whatmade him most apprehensive.

"Patamon... do you... think that the Dark Ocean could be after me?"

Patamon didn't answer.

TK knew that both of them were afraid.