A/N: So I went to start on the next chapter of this story, but before I could do that I felt it necessary to re-edit this one last time! So hopefully the quality is better now!
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Digimon. This story is written completely for fan-based purposes.
It was half past three in the morning when the sharp ringing roused her from sleep, murmuring irrelevant complaints about 'needing sleep' and 'if it's Yamato, I'll kill him'. Lord knows why her brother's boyfriend always managed to call at ungodly hours of the night. As expected, she heard her brother's voice answering the phone on the other side of the bedroom door. She didn't expect, however, the surprise in Taichi's voice or the name of the caller as he was revealed.
"Ishida-san?" There were several moments of silence, then some low speaking, then more silence. Finally the response was given,
"We'll be right there." She noted the rarity of the soft tone Tai was using. It was only a minute before the door creaked open and he crept in; even in the deep shadows she recognized the look of pure shock on his face. But it was when he called, "Hikari," that she realized how serious the situation was. Taichi never called her by her full name. Ever.
"What is it?" she asked lightly. He flinched a little, not expecting her to already be awake.
"Hikari," he repeated, this time voice thick with a suppressed sob. "There…there was an accident."
She flew through the revolving door attempting to keep up with Taichi's quick pace developed from years of soccer (and running from predators in the digital world, of course). They ran to the front desk, asked for directions, and started down the hall again before the nurse could argue against it. Heading to the first of the two room numbers, speed was pushed to a maximum. Upon reaching the room, Masaharu Ishida walked out into the hallway. For a moment, he simply stared blankly at the Yagami siblings. The common dark circles of exhaustion found under his eyes looked as if they were etched so deep they would never fade and his usual emotionless features could not mask the anxiety that seemed to strangle him inside.
"How are they?" Taichi asked, skipping right through hellos. Masaharu's eyes shifted slightly to meet the elder of the siblings, but it appeared as if he were looking through him, rather than at him.
"It's worse than we thought, Tai. Takeru's a mess. He has a broken arm and a severe concussion. The doctors…they…they say his condition isn't promising; he's lost a lot of blood..." With his last addition to the statement, he glanced sorrowfully at the door from where he'd just exited. Water began to leak from the stern man's eyes. Hikari went numb. She barely noticed the tears dripping down her own cheeks or the knot in her stomach that suddenly made it hard to breathe.
Taichi, who had been silent, inquired meekly, "And Yamato?" The man closed his dark eyes for a moment, exhaling deeply, and when he opened them again, Hikari nearly collapsed upon seeing the anguish that lied within them. Her best friend's father placed a hand on her brother's shoulder.
"Taichi, he hit his head pretty hard when the car flipped…Yamato's in a coma." Kari had never in her life seen her brother's chocolate eyes as big or glazed over as they were at that moment.
"A coma?" He squeaked, voice cracking with fear. The older man nodded once and lowered his gaze, the tile floor glaring the harsh, florescent light back at him. "You two will see Takeru for me, won't you? He's in this room right here. I need to go find Natsuko; I think she's with Yamato." And with that, he walked off.
Taichi turned to his sister, placing an unsteady hand on the door handle.
"Are you ready?" He questioned shakily. She gave a quick nod, wiped some tears with the back of her hand, and nodded again signaling she was as prepared as she would ever be. Her brother slowly pushed the heavy door open. Hikari forced herself to hold back a scream and felt a fresh wave of sorrow wash over when catching sight of the broken boy lying on the hospital bed. She stood frozen for a minute before Tai gave her a soft nudge to keep moving. Walking towards him was like wading through water: a slow process stripping her of energy. She reached his side, and collapsed in the chair, a fountain of tears dripping from ruby orbs all over again.
"Kari?" She glanced up from the ground to meet startled blue eyes watching her with confusion.
"Takeru…" she whispered, "H-How are you?"
"I'm all right. How about yourself?" She stared at him in doubt. Maybe it was the concussion talking. Then again, this was Takeru, child of hope. He always did manage to find something bright in all situations. But...this…should be different...
Kari silently inspected his injuries from her chair. His body was mangled, limb in a sling. His shirt had been removed and there was a noticeably thick bandage covering what must be a incredibly deep wound on his upper torso, judging by the way blood was still managing to seep through. His hat was also elsewhere, one side of his head heavily bandaged. He was so pale…
The monitor was unsteady…meaning he was unsteady…meaning soon…
No. She wasn't going to think like that. He'd be just fine. He'd get better, they'd get out of this place and everything would be the same as it always was. He'd be okay…wouldn't he?
"TK…" she pleaded, reverting back to his childhood nickname, "how can you say you're all right? Look at yourself." She reached out and gently took his hand in hers, ignoring the crimson liquid steadily dripping from his hand onto hers. The blonde simply flashed a small smile in response.
"Kari," he spoke softly, "I want you to promise you won't forget me. Do you understand?" She gaped at him in disbelief. And with the returned sad smile on his sweet face, she couldn't keep her mind from making the whole situation click into place. This was her best friend laying here. Something inside was still praying that it was a dream…that she'd wake up and he'd knock on her apartment door good as always, not hurting like he was now. But it was when she felt him gently squeeze her hand, and she saw the way his cerulean eyes were pleading with her, that she realized that it was real: this was real. Takeru was in pain.
He was dying.
That was what knocked the wind out of her. Takeru's life was rapidly fading away; Yamato was in a coma. She was incapable of doing anything to fix it.
"I understand," she finally assured him, voice quivering. "I could never forget you, I promise. Best friends always, right?"
He smiled so brightly; the dreary room seemed to light up. "Always."
Suddenly, the heart monitor began to beep out of control. The nurses that Hikari had failed to notice were in the room ran over at once, while Taichi joined her by the bedside. The heart monitor went crazy for a moment, and as quickly as it started, it slowed. The beeps came to far too spread apart to be normal, almost as if they were reluctant to come at all. The nurses and now some doctors were at the scene, trying to help him. But as Hikari later found, there was nothing they could've done to save him.
As the beeping continued to idle, Takeru glanced up at Taichi, "Tai, please, keep 'Nii-san safe for me. It's the least I can do after all he's done for me. Tell him… I love him, would you? Mom and Dad, too?" Tears filled Taichi's eyes as he nodded and placed his hand gently on the younger boys head. "Sure thing, kid; we'll miss you."
Takeru closed his eyes and smiled one last time, "Goodbye Kari. I'll be watching over you. Don't forget; you promised not to forget." Those were the last words that left Takeru Takaishi's lips. The monitor released one endless tone and the doctors looked at each other with expressions of sadness.
To Kari, time stood still. He couldn't be…couldn't be…She couldn't even say the word. She grasped his chilling hand like a lifeline; face soaked with tears that wouldn't stop coming. She stared for several moments at the boy in front of her. The angel with golden hair and ocean eyes who meant the world to her. What was it going to be like back at school without his smile to get her through the day? Who else would she talk to when she was feeling bad? Who else would keep her from trouble? With her brother weeping beside her, she let out a silent scream followed by sobs of misery.
How could the world survive without hope?
A/N: Please review!