It is some compensation for great evils that they enforce great lessons.

-John Christian Bovee

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"Ken, could you tell the class what the answer is?"

Ken despised school. For many years he had hated his ignorant classmates; the fools that clung to the coattails of his genius and his athletic ability. They would never be as amazing, stunning, perfect as Ichijouji Ken. He had hated his teachers for an even longer period of time. They thought they could profit from having him in their class; as if their brilliant teaching was what caused his genius! Fools, the lot of them, asking for his autograph or video game tips after hours. He was above them, better than them. To them, he was king, czar, lord, führer, caesar… Kaiser.

For a time he hated school because he was not placed on a pedestal high enough to satisfy his insatiable ego.

Now though, things had changed.

"Ken? Are you feeling well?"

Now, he was free of the dark spore and free of his loneliness, drive, and intelligence he had experienced after Sam's death. He was free of the darkness.

"I'm feeling fine Mr. Yukimura," He said, raising his dark eyes to meet the teacher's confused gaze, "But I don't know the answer."

"D-don't know the answer!" The man sputtered. Ken met his gaze evenly perhaps even coldly, sitting back in his desk and ignoring the way he could feel his classmate's eyes on him, hear the whispering that broke out in their ranks.

No matter how things had changed though, Ken still despised school. It was a terrible reminder that no matter how much he changed, the people around him never would see or acknowledge that change. They would never let go of the boy genius, the soccer star that was to be admired, respected, bathed with accolades. They didn't want to loose their idol. And if they couldn't accept his change, these humans that he had never (as far as they knew) wronged, how could anyone else?

He wanted, craved for the approval, the forgiveness of the digimon more than anything. He didn't want the memory of the Kaiser to incite fear in the hearts of digimon. He did not want them to flinch when they saw him (they reacted badly even when he was among the other digidestined.) He wanted them to think of change when they spoke of the emperor, to think of a boy that had finally found his way.

"Actually Mr. Yukimura," Ken said. "I'm not feeling well. May I be excused?"

The teacher looked almost relieved (Ken was ill! No wonder he wasn't at the top of his game.) and quickly wrote Ken a pass to the nurse's office. The nurse allowed him to go home, but Ken did not make it back to his apartment for hours. Instead he went to the park and hunched down on a sun soaked bench, trying to get the light to sink into his skin.

Ken despised school. He could never leave the building without reality lashing him stingingly in the face. He would never change enough to make up for what he had done and he could never escape the darkness that was ground into his soul by years of reveling in making others suffer. He could try to hide it, try to bask in the light from the other digidestined, but anyone who knew it was there could see the darkness inside him as plainly as deep, dark black ink splashed across the delicate wings of a white butterfly.

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an I've decided on making this a three-shot, so next chapter will be the final chapter. A very quick summary of what's coming up: an after noon in sunlight and an afternoon in darkness.

Chapter titles are from MacBeth (which I don't own) in case anyone cares.