Disclaimer-I don't own Digimon. In fact, I don't own a lot of things.
Those Who Find
"This…this is ridiculous," Kouichi whispered. His heartbeat was almost nonexistent, his breathing shallow. This is ludicrous. "What kind of place is this?"
Kouichi whirled around, startled by the voice. "Who –"
Silence met him, accompanied by a gentle breeze. The scent of watermelon filled Kouichi's nostrils as he looked back up at the ceiling. A vent…? Somewhere. "You know, whoever you are, that's not true," he found himself whispering. For a brief moment, Kouichi hesitated. His voice…it felt as it had been replaced. There was so much fear…anxiety within it that it couldn't possibly be his own. Opening his mouth again, Kouichi found himself saying in that same voice, "I am not the master of darkness or time. I'm just a master of lies."
Lies, Kouichi thought to himself. Lies. "I am…the…Master of Lies," he whispered again.
"Master of Lies."
At least his voice was back. Why?
His gaze fell back on the neatly polished oak desk in the middle of the room, reminding Kouichi of a stump in a meadow of green (the carpets). The only difference being the peach walls, the giant portrait of himself on the ceiling, and the large bookshelves that towered the left side of the room. It even reminded Kouichi of a small library – it was big enough to be one. On the far right of the room sat a small table that reached at the most two feet into the air, surrounded by folded blankets and large cushions and pillows. Upon the table sat two cups, both face up, as if they had been used recently.
But Kouichi's attention didn't waver there. It was focused solely on the lone desk in the middle of the room. It was small, smaller than the desk beside his bed (in the mansion). His eyes focused on the golden knob of the drawer of the desk.
Breathing still shallow, but heart now hammering in his chest, begging to be free. His legs were moving of their own accord, towards the desk. His right hand was outstretched, prepared to pull the drawer open.
"Huh. I thought I said too much. I guess I really didn't say enough."
Kouichi froze, immobilized with fear. That voice…from before! I remember it now. That's the voice I heard…
"Didn't anyone tell you it isn't polite to enter someone's room without permission? Really, Kouichi, I'm disappointed in you. Do try sticking to the rules from now on, will you? Good boy…"
"For –" He was ready to retort, letting go of the knob as he turned around over his left shoulder to look behind him. "Wha –"
"Were you thinking of objecting? My, you really must need to review the rules…"
Damn! "Where –" Kouichi turned again. "Who the hell are you?" he demanded angrily, voice rising with each word.
"Hades doesn't appreciate that comment. I'm sorry you're making me do this. Seasarmon, hold him down."
"N-no!" Needless to say, Kouichi found himself under the paws of the digimon, who was baring his fangs at the boy.
"Now listen, Kouichi. You won't be getting out of here in a long while if you act like this…"
"Where are you?" Kouichi tried yelling. The words came, but in a breathless gasp. And why does he sound like…
"Hm…I especially hate to do this, but…Wormmon, be a good digimon and cover his eyes."
"What? No!" Kouichi hollered aloud, trying to lift his arms from under the powerful paws of Seasermon to push away the worm that was making its way up to his face.
The worm whimpered as Kouichi wriggled around. "Sorry, Master," Wormmon apologized.
If only his eyes could open, Kouichi's eyes would have been wider than possible. For a second, he wasn't sure whether his ears had betrayed him. He could have sworn Wormmon was talking to him…
There was a sigh of annoyance. "Wormmon…"
"Sorry, Master," Wormmon apologized again, whimpering slightly as he did.
"I'll forgive you this time. Now, Kouichi…I assume you might find this a bit…familiar…"
"I don't know what –" He cringed. It was familiar all right. The same pain…the darkness threatening to overcome him…it was too familiar. "Itsuma," the boy managed to whisper out weakly, remembering their first encounter. Fight it, Kouichi. Who is this guy? Acting like this is…
"Don't fight it." The man's voice sighed in disapproval. "Well, you always were…contrary."
Stop talking like you know me! Kouichi gnashed his teeth together. "Damn worm…get off…!" He gasped, using a free hand to pry aside the digimon covering his eyes. The weight of Seasarmon disappeared, it had seemed, during the last few seconds. All he had to deal with was the worm. "Damn," the boy cursed, finding it more challenging than he originally believed to get rid of Wormmon as he rose to his feet.
There was a cheery laugh. "Language!" the voice sang.
Already, his vision was blurring with black spots when he threw Wormmon aside. Please…help me. Who is this…? A hand fell forward on the desk, another on the knob of the drawer. No one…someone…help me…please! He turned around, back resting on the desk. "Dusk," he whispered, scanning the room. This guy…who is he? His eyelids were getting heavy. His muscles wouldn't move. Acting like everything is a…Dusk, Kouichi thought. "…mon."
Like everything is a game.
His eyes slipped shut, as they barely caught a flash of black, and his body crumpled to the floor, shoulder hitting the ground first to cushion his fall. The words never fully escaped his lips.
There was a sigh of relief.
"That was close. Wormmon, mind your mind next time. And we'd better hope there's no next time."
Looking slightly guilty, Wormmon crawled onto Kouichi, examining the visage of the comatose boy. "Sorry, Master. What now?"
"Now…" A chuckle. "Now, he forgets."
Heima pursed his lips; seeing Yumena pacing (as she was now) was never a good sign. "Yumena," he said slowly. "You did inform Baku of our little…accident, didn't you?"
His answer was the sound of Yume halting in her tracks.
"Yume?" her tutor said sharply. "Don't tell me…"
"I can deal with this, Heima. It's a day, and it looks fairly normal. All we have to do is wait for it to come home." Yumena exhaled slowly. "Baku doesn't need to worry about this. I mean…he's already been informed about the box being…relocated."
"Ah…true. But although I'm in charge of all the negative wings, as you call them, do keep in mind that even Baku has his own…personal spies," Heima reminded the girl quietly.
The girl froze. "O-of course," she whispered, paling. Like I could forget. His digimon…
"Yes," Heima said dryly. "Silence would be wise, as someone approaches."
Yumena turned her head to stare wide-eyed at the door. "A-ah…"
It was pushed open, and a hooded figure walked in. While Heima remained calm, Yumena began to panic. Her eyes slipped shut as she began to sputter. "I…I…I'm sorry!" Yume yelled, falling to her knees and burying her face in her hands. "It wasn't my fault, though, I –"
"Uh…Yumena…what are you doing?"
She looked up, immediately narrowing her eyes on the boy that stood a few feet away from her. "You…"
"Yeah, me," Itsuma returned, raising an eyebrow. What the…
How stupid did I look? Yumena quickly rose to her feet. "In that case," she spat, sending Heima a glare. "I'm not sorry."
And I'm not sorry that Kouichi gives you a hard time. "Right. I might be able to track the dog, but I don't exactly know where Dai is. Arata won't spill and Kimura…uh…well, Kouichi's out cold."
"R-really?" Yumena inquired, startled.
Heima suddenly rose to his feet and spoke for the first time since Itsuma's arrival. "It seems I have business to attend to. Why don't you two sit down and figure out how to catch that pest? And have Arata tell you where Daisuke is – it may aid us later."
What the…? Itsuma kept silent, waiting for Heima to leave before he plopped down onto the couch, shrugging when Yumena sent him a quizzical look. Heima's been acting pretty weird recently…not to mention everyone has. I wonder why…
"Is this…Kimura's fault?" Yumena whispered, looking around the room. "I wonder…"
Kimura's fault? No, Itsuma realized, a small smile forming on his lips. "That guy…he's one tough nut to crack."
Itsuma's eyes widened. "Wh – I wasn't –"
"Never mind that," the girl said quickly. "Um…w-what do you think of Baku?"
"Uh…" Baku? He's…so, Itsuma thought, frowning. Then, aloud, he found himself saying, "Familiar. Baku seems familiar."
Yume bit her lower lip. Then why is that…I'm thinking too hard. That's it. "Itsuma. I've decided."
"I want you to take me out to dinner."
Kouichi awoke with a start, flailing around for several straight minutes before he realized he was in his bed, in Baku's mansion, a plate of food resting on the table by his bed. What happened? A hand reached up, brushing the few stray hairs obscuring his view. Kouichi frowned, a felling of dread overcoming him. "That person," he whispered.
That moment flashed before his eyes. Twice, now. He was worried.
He wanted answers. It couldn't be coincidence.
His feet acted before anything else. It was mere seconds later that he found himself racing through the hall to reach the entrance. He wasn't sure why – he had to.
As he continued to run, Kouichi could only begin to wonder who the mysterious figure in black had been. Baku? Nah…he's gotta be some old geezer, no matter what anyone says. Definitely wasn't Heima. He looks and sounds like an old geezer. Seriously, he ought to dye his hair or something; it's disgusting to look at. And old geezers can't sound young or cause you to feel physical pain, can they? Kouichi stopped to throw the front door open. "Itsuma, stop!"
Kouichi found himself immobilized. It wasn't because Itsuma and Yumena were standing side by side in street clothes, staring at him; nor was it the fact that Doggymon rushed through the partly opened door and stopped in front of him. It was the possibility that what he had thought he had witnessed was a mere dream, a simple run of his overactive imagination.
Pain, the boy thought, staring steadily at his feet, is always real. Which means…this. His gaze turned slowly to his left shoulder, noticing the small tear in the cloth immediately. His right hand traveled up to his shoulder, applying pressure gently to the spot and trying not to wince. Pain is always real.
"I…want to…know…that day," Kouichi murmured. His voice rose, and his words became clear. "I want to know who taught you that technique you used on me!" His eyes locked with Itsuma's, and both boys began their stare down.
Itsuma's eyes shut.
Startled, Kouichi clenched his hands by his sides. "Don't run."
"I'm not," Itsuma cut in calmly. "I…learned it a while ago. A special…a special person taught it to me."
Special…? "Your…mom?" Kouichi guessed, not bothering to hide his confusion, his desperation. When Itsuma shook his head, Kouichi tried again. "Your dad? Dai –"
"No," Itsuma snapped, exasperated. "It was…" He bit his lip. When…?
"Itsuma, I'm hungry," Daisuke wailed, tugging on his brother's sleeve. "Pretty please, can we get something?"
Itsuma did his best to drown out his brother's pleas as he gazed at the map. "I told you not to come…"
Daisuke removed his hand. In a small voice, he mumbled, "But then they'd beat you up again, Itsuma. This time, I'll help you!"
He couldn't help but laugh at this declaration. The smile slowly faded from his face as he looked down at his brother. Daisuke…gotta get him somewhere else. "Alright, Daisuke. Lunch break, okay?" Itsuma suddenly said, leading his brother into a nearby shop. "Hey, Aki! Can you get Daisuke something to eat?" he called out as soon as he entered.
A boy slightly older than him frowned. "That again? Fine. Daisuke, get over here, buddy," Aki said, gesturing for the young boy to come over.
Obediently, Daisuke ran over to Aki. "Can I have ice cream?"
"I'll pay when I get back," Itsuma said, quickly turning around and breaking into a run. He continued down the street, turned left, and stopped in front of an abandoned warehouse.
They were there, ready with their knives. There were two men on either side of their leader, who stood in the middle, staring discontentedly at the watch on his right wrist. He didn't look up as he murmured, "You're late…"
The wind could have easily spoken his words. Itsuma was unable to speak. All he could do was shake. 'Screw this up,' his father had told him, 'and you're as good as dead.' Swallowing, he held out the packet in his hands. "I…uh…h-here…" Damn, a girl would be better off than me.
Dropping his hand to his side, the man looked up, a smirk on his face. "One…" One of the thugs stepped forward and grabbed the packet out of Itsuma's hand. "…too little. Your father promised two brats."
"He…" Itsuma found himself unable to speak. Daisuke! No…I have to lead them away, he realized, his foot digging into the gravel ground. "I…" Without warning, Itsuma whirled around and broke into a run. "Won't! I won't do anything for you guys anymore," he yelled, dashing madly down the road. I've got to –
Itsuma let out a cry as he fell back, having bumped into someone. A young man stood in front of him, scowling down at him. Shaking, Itsuma shut his eyes, bracing himself for the impact of a hit.
This is the end…
"Pathetic. Hardly a match," someone muttered.
Am I in heaven? Itsuma opened his eyes slowly, only to see the man he bumped into. But the man's eyes were elsewhere. Curiously, Itsuma stood up and looked behind him.
His pursuers lay on the ground, unconscious.
"Are they –"
"Knocked out," the man answered, his gaze focused on Itsuma now. "Although they would be better off dead. No matter, though. They officials will be here soon."
"Th-thank you, sir. And, um…sorry about running into you." Itsuma quickly bowed. He looked up at the man again to discover the man stood a good head taller. A blue cap covered messy black hair with fading blond tips, shadowing his face in the process. He looked young, but still looked a good deal older than Itsuma. "Uh…I'm Itsuma," he added, unsure of why he had given his name. For all he knew, the guy was just another one of those people.
Yet the man simply nodded and with several small steps, turned to his right. "I know," he said, almost dismissively. For several seconds, Itsuma waited for a name, but when nothing came, he gave up and waited for something else to happen.
But, because he wasn't sure of what that something else was, and he was most positive it wasn't happening, he gave up on that, too. Instead, he pointed past the man and mumbled, "My…brother…"
The man nodded once. "Let's go."
He followed the man in wide-eyed wonder. One thought in particular flew through his mind – the one that made him wonder if Daisuke felt the way he was feeling.
Small, insignificant, shadowed, useless. It was as if all the knowledge he had gained through the years had taken a vacation, one that would be over once that man left.
Then all the thoughts would crash against the walls of his mind, flooding his head mercilessly. Then everything would come to him.
For now, though, he was helpless.
Itsuma entered the store, shaking from head to toe. What…would have happened to Daisuke if I failed? What if they'd killed me…? He swallowed, walking up to his brother, who was happily eating an ice cream cone without a care in the world. "Daisuke…"
"Oh, you're done?" Daisuke asked in a disappointed voice. "Are we going home?"
"No," Itsuma suddenly snapped. "Come on. We're leaving, Aki. Put it on my tab. It'll be a while before I can pay you back."
"Whaaa…?" Daisuke and Aki shared looks of confusion as they gaped at Itsuma.
"We'll run away or something. You're a great actor, Daisuke. It'll be perfect. And then we'll live off that money," Itsuma decided, mainly muttering to himself.
The youngest boy dropped his cone.
"Don't be ridiculous."
The soft voice caused both boys to jump. Itsuma turned around and stared at the man. How could I have forgotten…? "Um…"
"Did you know it's quite easy to knock your enemy out once you have them pinned down, simply by pressing one of their pressure points. Shall I show you an example…?"
Itsuma remembered a smile.
And then I was here with Daisuke, Itsuma remembered. That person…I never saw him again, but…
"It was just a special person," Itsuma said finally. "Just…a special person. A second family member." He murmured the last part to himself. "You know, you remind me a lot of him. A human conundrum…" Itsuma quickly took note of the impatient tapping sound coming from Yumena's foot. "Ah…but…I have to go now. Promised Yume – uh…Yumena dinner. We'll talk when I get back," Itsuma promised. He turned, ready to get going.
He stopped. Again.
"But…before I go…do you mind if I steal Daisuke back again?"
"It's time, huh? All right, I'll talk to Takuya about it," Kouichi agreed.
"Thanks, Kouichi," Itsuma said gratefully, disappearing into the distance with Yumena beside him.
Kouichi gazed at the digimon in front of him thoughtfully as he shut the door. "I wonder who it was. So, Doggymon…where've you been? You know, I'm so hungry I could eat my finger. Only that's disgusting, kind of like the fact that Itsuma's taking Yumena out. Well, come on. Dinner time." Boy motioned to dog before turning around to head towards the hall door.
All of the sudden, Kouichi stopped. "Waaait…Itsuma's taking Yumena out?"
"I can't go to sleep," Kouichi groaned, peeking his head out into the hallway. "Yo! Arata, get over here," he snapped, seeing the said boy wandering down the hallway, a book in one hand and a sandwich in the other.
Arata froze on the spot. "Um…Kouichi…"
Opening his door a bit wider, Kouichi declared, "I need tutoring."
SUPER SPECIAL #1 – Interview with Itsuma
In which the Author (A) asks Itsuma (I) the questions you want to ask.
A: So, what exactly were you delivering?
I: A new videogame my dad designed.
A: Uh...what does your dad do?
I: He works for a videogame company.
A: And those guys...?
I: They're from a rival company!
I: Yep. The videogame industry is REAAAALLY competitive.
A: And why did they want you and Daisuke?
I: They had a lack videogame testers! Daisuke and I are real pros, even if we don't look it.
A: Comes with having a videogame designer as a dad, huh? Then...why would they have killed you?
I: It adds to the drama, doesn't it?
K: WAIT WAIT! I HAVE A QUESTION!
I: What, Kouichi?
K: I THOUGHT THERE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE MORE OF ME IN HERE! I ONLY GOT THE FIRST TWO AND A HALF PAGES.
A: ...yeah, um...about that...(You got the last few scenes too!)
K: .:not listening:. I don't even get PAID!
A: LIKE I DO?
K: Yeah, well no one ASKED you to write. You could be doing your homework instead so you actually have a chance to PASS school next year.
A: I'll kill you in the next chapter.
K: Yeah, yeah, keep writing!
Alas, Kouichi spoke the truth (slightly exaggerated, though). Summer ends in less than a month and I've been goofing off all this time. I have four books to read – three have to be annotated – and I have three chapters to take notes on. And I have to take notes on the Constitution! All this means that the next chapter of CG will come sometime in late August. I've got 27 days to finish. I shall finish the three chapters today (as well as the Constitution)! (Although I think I said that last week and nothing happened).
Not to mention I've been working with my club (Voice Actors), so there's been some stuff going on there. AAAAAH, WE'RE SUCH SLACKERS!!! I was hoping we'd have finished with our second demo by now….:bangs head on desk:.
So…thank you to everyone who's been reading! But I'm in dire need of this break (this also means Misconceptions will be put off, too). Thank you: TrialAndError123456, CrestOfHealing, agroxneko
Review or PM or flame and I'll get back to you as soon as possible!