Disclaimer-I don't own Digimon.
Summary-(Season Four) (One-shot) A full year has passed. And yet, there's something they can't get off their minds...
Once more, it was time. Adrenaline rushed through Takuya as he raced towards the ball, kicking it with his instep. It flew through the air, sailing to hit the top bar of the goal before falling down. Takuya sucked in his breath through gritted teeth, eyes widening as the goalie's hands fumbled with the ball above his head before it slipped back out of his hands to hit the ground behind him.
A flood of happiness coursed through Takuya as he jumped up, screaming and cheering. "We did it!" he yelled, racing up to his team and jumping up. The others of his team cheered and Takuya suddenly stopped. There was a familiar breeze that ran through the air. It greatly reminded him of that day. Perhaps because it was the anniversary of that day
That day...so long ago...
Takuya ran, picking up his soccer bag along the way. His thoughts floated to his parents. They would need help for setting up Shinya's birthday party. Takuya wondered if Shinya's friends had come back from their 'perilous journey to the park of many wonders,' as Shinya had termed it.
Journeys...wonders...it reminded him. Had it just been a year ago?
Gotta hurry. He picked up his pace, getting an item out of his bag with some difficulty. Takuya slung his bag on his shoulder and quickly fastened his goggles on his head, feeling the adrenaline rush back. Yes, a year ago...
It was time.
Kouji shuffled into the flower shop, red-faced. He glanced back at his brother, who, in turn, waved an impatient hand. Lacking enthusiasm, Kouji walked up to the counter and cleared his throat. The girl at the counter stared at him for a minutes straight with expectant eyes, awaiting his order.
Finally getting over the awkwardness of the moment, Kouji mumbled, "Uh...d-do you have any...uh...any-"
"Let me guess...anniversary? Your girlfriend? Parents? Parents. Haven't I seen you before? Is that your twin? Let's see, would you like carnations? Roses, maybe?" the girl asked him, continuing to babble on. "It is your parents' anniversary, right?" Helplessly, Kouji looked over his shoulder. Come on, Kouichi, he thought pleadingly, some help would be nice.
Kouichi, noticing his brother's desperate look, leaned against the wall and pulled his cap down further over his eyes. Hurry up, Kouji. You wanted this.
Kouji whimpered silently to himself before looking back at the girl. "T-two bouquets. Um...one...one of pink...yeah, pink carnations..." He looked back at his older twin before continuing, "The second bouquet I want of red roses."
The choice was an awkward one to make. Kouji knew nothing of flowers. What was worse was every time he had attempted to buy flowers before, he would run out of the shop for one reason or another. Only once had he succeeded in ordering flowers and walking out with them, and that had been extremely awkward.
Kouji was suddenly reminded of Takuya's grinning face. I still remember he teased me about that, the boy thought. He followed the girl as she got the flowers and placed them in the bouquet.
He whirled around and gazed at his brother. Both boys stared outside, ignoring the babbling of the girl as she continued her job. It was back.
"Let's go," Kouji muttered, breaking into a run. It seemed that this time wouldn't be any different from the others.
The girl, who had finished collecting the flowers with great care, turned around and found Kouji racing off. "Hey! You forgot your flowers! Again!" she cried.
Kouichi raced after his brother, yelling, "We'll pick it up later, thanks!"
She sighed and stared at the bouquets, then up at the brothers as they ran off. "Weird."
He whirled around and gazed at his brother.
"Welcome to the Great Junpei's show! Please be seated and we'll start immediately!" Junpei beamed at his audience. "For my first act, I'll need a volunteer! Who will it be...? Hmm...who to pick...?"
The entire front row, composed of first graders and younger children, jumped to their feet, sticking up their hands eagerly. A few of the older children did as well, some less enthusiastic and more self-conscious than others.
Junpei thought hard as his eyes swept through the unorganized crowd. "How about...you!" He pointed to a young boy in a yellow jacket who was shaking. He was in the very front row, but Junpei guessed him to be slightly older than those he sat by. Maybe third grade, he thought, smiling brightly at the boy and motioning to him. "Here, come on up!"
Whimpering, the boy stood up and stumbled over to Junpei after tripping over a small rock. Junpei straightened the boy and pulled a deck of cards out of his pocket. Holding the deck in front of the boy, Junpei instructed, "Pick a card!"
"It's okay kid. Smile. Be brave. No one'll hurt you, okay?" Junpei murmured with a smile that he hoped would reassure the kid.
The boy drew a card reluctantly and Junpei gave him a set of verbal instructions. "Memorize it?" The boy nodded. "Good. Put it on the top of the deck." As he was instructed, the boy placed the card on the top of the deck. Turning to the audience, Junpei began to shuffle the cards. Everything was going as he had imagined. It was all perfect.
A shock ran through Junpei. Sparks flew from his hands, igniting the cards. Surprised, Junpei dropped the cards onto the cement ground, stomping the flame out with his shoes. He looked up to see a reaction.
The audience stared intently as if it was part of the trick. Flustered, Junpei cleared his throat and announced, "You'll have to excuse me, but there's been some...difficulty in the system. Uh..." Murmurs ran through the crowd.
Placing a hand on the boy's shoulder, Junpei mumbled, "Some people just can't get their dreams. You will. Go for it, kid." Junpei turned around and raced off, tears streaming down the sides of his face quickly as a sharp wind blew his way. It made sense. After all...
They had changed, hadn't they? This past year...since that day...
It was coming back to him.
"I can't do this," Izumi whispered. I don't want to go.
Her mother gave her a reassuring massage on her shoulders. "Come on, honey. You'll be fine, believe me."
Her friends. Could she really leave them behind? It wasn't what she wanted. She wanted to see them again. Of course she thought this was important but so were her friends. There needed to be a proper good-bye at least. How long had it been?
No! Another voice flew through her head, raging angrily. You can't! A good-bye will just make leaving harder!
Either way, tonight was the flight. There wasn't much she could do.
Go to them.
No! Your friends! What about them?
I'm losing it, Izumi realized, jumping to her feet and shutting her eyes. Outside, a violent breeze blew, breaking a weak branch off a tree.
She didn't want that tree to be their friendship. She didn't want a weak relationship to cause her to break away from them. She wanted their friendship to be the wind. She wanted them to get through any obstacle. Starting with this one.
Why hadn't she realized before?
Eyes wide, Izumi ran for the door.
Yes, it all made sense now. She was going. It was time.
"Yutaka! Aw, come on!" Tomoki insisted. "You promised we'd go out together! You promised!" The little boy gazed up defiantly at his brother.
Yutaka let out a sigh. "I'm sorry...something just...came up."
"You're a bad liar, big brother." Tomoki crossed his arms and glared. The apologetic smile on his brother's face won out and the younger boy scowled, "But I'll let you go."
"Tch. You aren't as annoying as I thought you were after all. Hey, if I have time, I promise I'll take you there tonight," Yutaka swore, racing to his room and quickly getting ready.
Tomoki sighed and looked down, taking a seat. It was so hard to get used to this life. Talking to his brother had become slightly easy, but increasingly annoying. Every time they planned to go anywhere together, something always came up with the older boy and won out.
The phone rang. Tomoki stood up, ready to reach for it. Instead, his brother came out, buttoning up his shirt. "I got it," he told Tomoki, answering the phone. "Hello?"
A smile formed on Tomoki's face. Part of him didn't mind at all. It was simply the fact that his brother wanted to spend time with him that mattered.
Yutaka chuckled. "Yeah...? Is that so. He'll be happy to hear that. Yeah," he nodded as he continued his conversation with a crooked smile.
Tomoki sat back down on the chair and slipped his eyes shut. Why was this happening...? Everything began slipping into place. Opening his eyes, Tomoki realized what was happening.
It was that time. That day, so long ago...
Since that day, he had promised to change. He couldn't be everything his brother wanted him to be. Of course he was still a bit selfish. But even with the adults, Tomoki noticed that everyone was slightly selfish. Yutaka wanted his alone time, Junpei wanted everyone to like him, Kouji and Kouichi wanted their families to come back together without a problem...even the person he had looked up to as a brother that day was selfish. It was human nature.
This reminded Tomoki of more. A year. It had been a year. Smiling he jumped to his feet again, eyes open and sparkling brightly.
"Yeah. Okay. Sure. Yeah, then tomorrow...? Alright, I'll see you then," Yutaka said, quickly saying a good-bye before hanging up. He turned to his brother and placed his hands on his hips. "Hey, little guy. It looks like we'll be able to go after all," he told his brother. Yutaka suddenly stopped, gazing at his smiling little brother.
"Sorry, Yutaka," Tomoki murmured, "but something came up for me. I...I hope you don't mind." The boy smiled apologetically, his gaze lowering to the ground. Forgive me, Yutaka.
Yutaka gazed at his brother, too surprised to say anything. Finally, he opened his mouth.
Too late. Tomoki turned around and raced out the door. "I'm sorry!" he yelled.
"Tomoki, wait!" Yutaka yelled, running towards the door and stopping there. A gentle smile formed on his face. Chuckling, he shook his head. So he's growing up after all.
Takuya raced inside the house quickly, dropping his bag at the front and heading for his room. He only stopped once to affectionately ruffle his brother's hair. "Hey, Shinya. Say 'hi' to your friends for me, would you?" he said quickly before running into his room.
I've only got a few minutes, Takuya realized, gazing at the clock. He had less than fifteen minutes. Just like that day. He changed out of his uniform quickly, slipping into his usual clothes before running out without a word.
There was a lot more running he had to do, but the goggle boy didn't mind at the least. He had managed it before, after all. And it was only a short time before he could rest on the shuttle.
Kouji leaned against the wall, glaring at his brother. Kouichi chuckled from the other side of the compartment. "You know, that isn't going to do much to me," he commented.
The two boys sighed as more passengers came on board.
"You two! Hey, how's it going?" Takuya shouted, jumping aboard.
Kouji pushed off in surprise, finding himself face to face with Takuya. He blinked slowly before repeating, "How's it going? You know what he did to me?" An accusing finger pointed in the direction of his smiling brother.
Kouichi waved to the goggle boy, a warm smile on his face. That was his greeting, and there wasn't more to be said about it.
Shaking his head, Takuya took a seat and sighed as the shuttle took off. "Kinda familiar, don't you think?"
"You felt it too?" Kouichi asked quietly. Takuya nodded. "Then the others will be coming, too."
Takuya nodded in agreement. "Yeah..." His voice trailed off as he shut his eyes. So long ago...
"It feels like forever," Kouji whispered. "Like a dream."
Forever...it hadn't been forever. But a dream...
At that, Takuya smiled. "Our own dream," he agreed. The three boys exchanged grins before Takuya cheered, "So let's make it the best!"
It was normal as the second they had come into it. No damage from the battle with Lucemon, no sign that they had ever been in the digital world. No trains running...
Tomoki sighed and took a seat on the steps that led to the elevator. To think it only had taken a train ride into another world to help him realize how to make his world better.
"You too?" came a soft whisper.
Brightening up, Tomoki turned to look over his shoulder, beaming up at Izumi. "Hey. I didn't think you'd come. But...you think..."
The girl took a seat beside him. With a sigh, she took his hand in her own and squeezed it tightly. "They'll come," Izumi confirmed to banish both their fears.
A shadow blocked the light that shone over them. The two looked around, dropping their hands. An annoyed Junpei snapped, "Hey, don't forget about me!" He sat on the other side of Izumi and asked, "Don't I get a reassuring hand squeeze?"
Tomoki laughed as Izumi stuck her tongue out in response. "Junpei, I thought you had your little performance today," the boy commented, clapping as Junpei offered Izumi a flower from his sleeve.
Looking down at the gray floor, Junpei shook his head. "I couldn't help it. There was that feeling..."
"The one...that reminded me of..."
"It must have come to us all," Izumi murmured, drawing her knees up and wrapping her hands around them. "I wonder...if the others will come."
Footsteps. They heard footsteps. "What others are there?" a voice grumbled.
"Hey, stop trying to push me down the stairs!"
"My bad. I don't want you ending up in a coma...again."
A third person laughed, "It'd be the perfect time, too. Perfectly marking the anniversary of the previous one."
The second boy sighed. "Takuya, I don't plan in getting in a coma every year at this time," he murmured.
"Just something to think about!"
Tomoki rose to his feet and turned around, finding Kouji, Kouichi and Takuya at the elevator, stepping out. "Takuya!" he yelled, racing up the steps and giving the goggle boy a hug.
Takuya nearly fell back. "Woah...! Hey, Tomoki, long time no see! What are you three doing here?" he asked with a smile.
Rolling his eyes, Kouji elbowed Takuya. "Don't play dumb," he snapped, "you'll make them upset."
"It's been a year, hasn't it?" Kouichi asked in a quiet voice, walking down the steps and looking around. "It's so empty." For the first time, Kouichi caught sight of where his friends had gone. It was no wonder they had all been so confused at the start. He smiled to himself, taking in everything. He wouldn't forget it. He couldn't forget it. If I hadn't fallen down the steps that day...would I have been here, looking at this? The thought slightly amused him, but the half-smile on his lips slowly faded as he was reminded of what he had gone through instead.
A small sigh was emitted from the older twin, startling Kouji. Of course, he thought to himself, shutting his eyes, then opening it as he tilted his head up to stare at the seemingly endless space above them. It's his first time here, really. I wonder...what it's like. Memories flooded back to him, causing a smile to appear on Kouji's face. The first time...he hadn't been expecting anything. And then a whole new world just opened up to me. If we could experience it again...
The silence felt like dead weight dragging Izumi to the bottom of a lake. Just like my fight with Ranamon, she realized. Izumi, just tell them! They'll find out in the end! She opened her mouth and stopped. A smile formed on Izumi's lips as she shut her mouth. Her fight with Ranamon...it brought back the cheering of the Honeybeemon.
A year ago. Had it really been that long?
He had always thought of making friends through tricks and bribes. In the end, Junpei found they left him anyway. That day had changed him. From bribing the Pabumon with chocolate to pulling flowers out of thin air so Tomoki would feel better. If he was going to use his magic tricks for anything, he wanted to use them to make people laugh. There was a small sniffling noise that snapped Junpei out of his reverie.
Tomoki wiped his eyes quickly, hoping no one heard him or saw him. He had promised himself over and over again to never cry. I'm brave now, he told himself whenever he felt down, I can get through anything. But the feelings that flooded back hurt. "I...I wanna go back," he mumbled, rising to his feet. Back to the place where he had made his friends, where he had learned that his brother was really only looking out for him. Back to the place that had made him change.
There was a small frown that made its way on Takuya's face. 'I wanna go back,' Tomoki had said. If there was one thing true, it was that Takuya wanted to go back, too. He had considered it a game at the start but found it was much more. If it's a game, it's a vicious one, he thought with a smile. Which train did I take...? Quietly, the goggle boy walked up to the boarding area of the train that he had taken. In the distance, a soft rumble echoed.
"Do you guys hear it...?" he asked softly, cupping his ear in order to hear better.
The others shot him a confused look, slowly walking up to him and falling silent.
It was there.
That sound, that feeling, that time...it was all there. It was waiting for them.
The Digital World was waiting for them.
There was a loud sound that filled the room, echoing loudly and startling the six. "ALL ABOARD!" came the yell as a train pulled up.
Eyes filled with delight and tears.
All this time...the entire year that had passed...the time that they had spent, working so hard to get back into their normal routine...
All of it failed.
"Let's go!" Takuya shouted, turning to his friends. Filled with excitement, fear, anticipation, hope, and happiness, they boarded the Trailmon, taking a seat and beginning to talk excitedly of the hopes of seeing old friends again.
They were going back. It was time.
Another adventure, another year, another memory to make.
Even if it was for a day, it was all they needed for their hearts to know that they would never be forgotten, even by each other. And they would never forget the world that had brought them together
Mmmm...it's iffy and it isn't long. I liked how I started it out, but suddenly, halfway through, I think I messed up. Reviews would be good. Tell me what to improve on, please. Also, thank you to Evide for pointing out several things that allowed me to semi-improve the story.
Review or Flame.