Here we go. My first oneshot! This came about initially because there are virtually no fics out there about the corrupted Legendary Warriors. Especially about their history or relationships. So here's the first. (Oh, and it's set at the very beginning of the show. The corrupt Warriors have seen the digidestined, and Duskmon has joined the team, but the digidestined haven't fought the other Warriors yet.)
Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon. Also, I remember reading that in the show the corrupt Warriors were unknown digimon combined with the spirits, but in this case, just assume the Warriors are actually the spirits. (Like in my other fic "Old Demons" if you've read it.)
--(Digital World – Cave near Rose Morning Star – Present Day)--
Ranamon stood in the rain, letting the cool water run down her slim figure. She turned her face upward, eyes closed, and smiled. The drops hitting the rock ledge she stood on echoed in the cave behind her, and soft pit-pits met her ears from the forest below her. Several metallic tings sounded, moving up beside her moments Mercurymon spoke.
"Beautiful, is it not?"
"Ya got that right," she replied, not bothering to open her eyes.
Mercurymon sighed. "And yet it doth leave something to be desired."
At this, Ranamon opened her eyes, but still looked out, not sparing her companion a glance. The green leaves in this part of the forest were still lit by the faint gray glow that had made it through the storm clouds, but in the distance darkness gathered, casting a deep shadow over the forest.
"Sugar, I think you're brains're rustin'. What is else is there to be desired?"
"Thou knowest of what I speak. If thou wouldst merely face thine own inner self, thou wouldst not be so ignorant."
Ranamon whirled to face him, hands on her hips. "Listen, Mercurymon! I don't know what's got ya thinking you're so superior to me, but you'd better learn how to treat a lady!"
The Warrior of Steel quirked his lips into a sneer. "Perhaps thou hast forgotten the meaning of that word, Ranamon."
"You've got a lot of nerve, Mercurymon-"
"Nerve I have, my lady. Thou may, as well, but thou must first know thy self." He fully turned to face her for the first time, his mirrored torso reflecting her face. The soft firelight from inside the cave gleamed across Ranamon's wet cheeks, glistening on the black markings like a stream of tears. Mercurymon lowered his voice. "Thy heart is filled with sorrow, Ranamon."
Ranamon felt herself trembling and tried to turn her back on him, but she couldn't tear her eyes from her reflection. Sorrow…Yes, she felt sorrow. But she couldn't acknowledge it, couldn't let it interfere with her mission. She didn't want to see herself, so why was he forcing her to?
"Come on, Ranamon! We're late!"
Ranamon narrowed her eyes. She hadn't heard that voice in years. Who…? Why was she hurting? "What kinda trick are you playin', Mercurymon?" the Warrior of Water demanded.
"I am not a jester, Ranamon, nor am I a magician. That which thy hears is thine own memory."
"My…memory?" Her voice hardened. "What on earth are you talking about?"
"Thou shouldst ask that of thy self."
--(Digital Word – Great Angels' Castle – 15 years ago)--
"Come on, Ranamon! We're late!"
"Clam down, sugar! I'm comin'."
Kazemon stood in the doorway, arms crossed impatiently. Her wings fluttered frantically, lifting her a few feet off the ground. Ranamon finally turned to the other Warrior. Together the two dashed down the castle's stairs and out into the open. A white stone courtyard spread out before them, a figure standing at the far end.
"Come on, already! Sheesh! I've been waiting forever!" he cried.
Kazemon glanced at Ranamon and smirked. "I think we should teach him some manners, don't you?"
Ranamon smiled innocently back. "Drainin' Rain!" The figure looked up, alarmed at the miniature storm cloud that had suddenly appeared over his head. A torrent of water was released a second later, driving him to the ground. Laughing, the girls walked past him.
"Come on, Agunimon. Sheesh!" Kazemon teased. The Spirit of Fire glared at her as he stood up.
"Let's just go already. The others are waiting," Agunimon grumbled.
Not waiting for a reply, he walked on ahead. The female digimon beamed at each other as they followed. Girls had to stick together. Especially when they were surrounded by boys.
"Well, what do you know. They're actually here."
"Lobomon," Lowemon reprimanded. "Be nice."
The Spirit of Light rolled his crimson eyes. "Hey, it's not my fault they're late."
"Hey…Agunimon," Arbormon said. "You're all wet." Ranamon giggled, prompting a glare from Agunimon.
"That's because little Miss Drizzle over there decided to attack me."
"Surely not such a lady!" Mercurymon gasped, feigning shock. "Our lady comrades are far too lovely and refined to attack a friend." Ranamon blushed at his words, trying to hide her face before anyone noticed. She would have succeeded, too, if not for Kazemon.
Said fairy poked her side. "Is that a blush I see?"
"Shut up!" Ranamon hushed.
"Hey, girls," Beetlemon said. "What are you whispering about?"
"Nothin'," Ranamon replied firmly. "Nothin' at all."
Kazemon smiled. "Yeah…nothing."
"What is it with girls?"
"Me think you no one to talk, Lobomon. You and Lowemon be weirder than rest of us!"
Lobomon glared at the diminutive Warrior of Earth. "What's that supposed to mean?" he growled.
Clapping his friend on the shoulder, Agunimon smiled. "I think I'm gonna hafta agree with Grumblemon on this one, buddy. You two are just plain strange!"
Lobomon scowled and punched Agunimon in the ribs. As Lowemon reprimanded Lobomon, exasperation evident in his voice, Kazemon nudged Ranamon. "You want to get away for a few minutes?"
"Away? Whadda ya mean?" Ranamon asked, slightly interested.
"I'll show you." Kazemon stepped behind Ranamon and grabbed her under her arms. Ranamon felt her muscles tense as the fairy flexed her wings and lifted off the ground. The marine digimon would have screamed had the fear not trapped her breath in her throat. "Sheesh. Relax, Ranamon. We're barely two feet off the ground!"
"Water's supposed to stay on the ground!" Ranamon wailed. "Put me down!"
Kazemon laughed and flew higher. "Water can't be on the ground all the time! Where do you think rain comes from?"
"It falls to the ground, though!" She squeezed her eyes shut. "Kazemon, I swear. If y'all don't put me down right now, I'll tell Lowemon you like him."
"What are we, Rookies?"
"Kazemon!" Ranamon suddenly felt something solid under her feet. She opened her eyes warily and immediately wished she hadn't. Kazemon had set her down on the roof of one of the castle's towers, letting go of her to perch on the peak of its steeple. Heart pounding, Ranamon instinctively wrapped her arm around the thick base of the steeple. A hundred feet below her, the white courtyard spread out, glistening in the sun like a stained glass window. The rainbow reflections took her breath away.
"It's beautiful from up here, isn't it?" Kazemon asked, looking out to where the forest embraced the horizon. "Lobomon and Agunimon look like a couple of In-Trainings fighting over a toy."
Ranamon laughed, consciously relaxing. "Honey, they always do!" Kazemon smiled back at her. "I thought y'all were in a hurry to see them."
"I figured we'd have to escape once Agunimon picked a fight with someone. But I knew you'd want to get a chance to see Mercurymon."
Ranamon blushed, but the color faded as she realized what Kazemon was saying. Just the day before, the Legendary Warriors had been called to an audience with the three Great Angels. Trouble was brewing; factions were forming. Digimon were accusing the Angels of unequal power. The human-types thought Cherubimon had too much power, and the beast-types found it unfair that there were two human-type Angels. The Warriors therefore had to be divided into two groups, each specifically serving the human- or beast-type Angels. Soon, they would find out who was on whose team, so they had met today for one last afternoon together.
"D'ya think we'll end up together?" Ranamon asked, glancing up to see a pained expression on her friend's face.
"I don't know." Kazemon sighed. "I hope so, but…" She sighed.
Ranamon frowned. "No matter what, we're gonna miss someone."
"Just as long as Agunimon doesn't end up with Lobomon."
"Or Grumblemon!" the Warrior of Water added. "Come to think of it, maybe Agunimon shouldn't be with any of y'all!"
"Oh, and he'd be just fine on a team with you?"
"Heavens, no, sugar! What, are you crazy?" Kazemon smirked and shook her head. Ranamon let the topic drop and turned to study the landscape. She glanced down at the minute figures of the other Warriors. Agunimon and Lobomon still argued, apparently with Grumblemon and Beetlemon piping up from time to time. Lowemon kept dragging Lobomon away, only to have him lunge back towards the argument. Kumamon and Arbormon were laughing to the side, and Mercurymon seemed to have developed a headache. Ranamon raised her eyebrows at Kazemon, realizing this may well be the last of these semi-friendly arguments.
"I guess we should go down there and break them up, huh?" Kazemon murmured.
Ranamon sighed. "I guess."
Years passed. Days after that argument she had observed from the rooftop, Ranamon found out she was to be separated from her best friend. Kazemon, Kumamon, Beetlemon, Lobomon, and Agunimon were assigned to serve Seraphimon and Ophanimon. The other five now served Cherubimon. Ranamon never felt sorry for herself; she still had Mercurymon, even if he was on edge more than before, and she had Lowemon. Those two were the only real gentlemen in the group. Kazemon, though... Kazemon she pitied. Not only did the Warrior of Wind have to deal with Lobomon and Agunimon; she rarely got to see Lowemon. And even if they shared nothing more than a friendship, they were undeniably close.
Within the first week, Cherubimon had sent his Warriors out on various missions. Ranamon was sent as an ambassador to a village of beast-type digimon. In those weeks, she began thinking things that had never crossed her mind before. She began wondering why she was chosen to serve the beast-types. In the village, she saw digimon and, for the first time, thought they were ugly. Was that why? Had the Angels thought Kazemon was prettier than she was? Beauty had never mattered to her before. She and Kazemon had been called beautiful before, but they never dwelled on it. Ranamon now compared herself to her friend, almost obsessively questioning who was more beautiful.
When she returned to the castle, the other Warriors were gone. She needed desperately to talk to Kazemon but couldn't. So she turned to Mercurymon.
'Why are we helping the beast-type digimon?'
'To be fair, my lady. Some Warriors must help the beast-types, and some must help the human-types.'
'But why us? Don't y'all wonder what the Angels saw in us that made us become a team?'
'Honor. Humans are deceitful and immoral. Beasts adhere to a code of honor.'
Honor? Could that be what had delegated the teams? Mercurymon's answer had caught Ranamon off guard. When she looked at the Warriors, she saw honor in them all. Mercurymon apparently didn't. Outraged, Ranamon had hated her comrade for degrading the integrity of the others.
Grumblemon thought it was their fighting style. The Warriors under Cherubimon tended to fight more ruthlessly, using any and all advantages as best they could, while the others favored a face-to-face duel. This, too, upset Ranamon, though not because of an outrage for her friends. Instead, she found herself not wanting to admit that she was ruthless.
And then again there was Arbormon's view: that they had been chosen at random. He was committed to Cherubimon, and he wouldn't sacrifice that loyalty for anything. Feeling that questioning the Angel's motives was both disrespectful and unnecessary, he gave up second guessing his orders. And yet again Ranamon was not satisfied with this answer. She always hated being inferior, so she wouldn't willingly give up her opinions.
That left beauty. Was there some imperfection? Some flaw she could not see? Ranamon found herself glued to every mirror she passed. Even when she was talking to Mercurymon, she often became distracted by her own appearance. At first it scared her, but slowly that faded. After ten years of serving Cherubimon, she had become complacent.
Then everything changed.
Seraphimon and Ophanimon conspired against the beast-types. Cherubimon, furious, attacked, mortally wounding Seraphimon. Just days later, Ranamon would have been able to see Kazemon for the first time in ten years. But that would not happen. As a last desperate precaution, Ophanimon had divided her Warriors into two pure spirits and hidden them throughout the Digital World. Ranamon's own Beast Spirit, always before locked from her access, was stripped from her and lost to secrecy.
Lowemon rebelled. Ranamon never found out why. But he had refused to fight for Cherubimon, so the Angel had been forced to find a host for his spirits. Lowemon had retained enough will to reject any host, leaving behind a formless shadow. Even after Cherubimon separated the Human and Beast Spirits, the would-be hosts were mercilessly thrown out.
Five more years passed, with Ranamon and her three comrades quelling rebellion wherever it sparked. Eventually Cherubimon found a host that was able to hold the Spirit of Darkness, becoming Duskmon. None of them were ever told who the host was. Ranamon stopped caring about the why's and who's. All that mattered was that she could still be proud of her beauty.
Then that brat came. The prissy little blonde digidestined girl. She thought her spirit was so beautiful. It disgusted Ranamon. But the worst part was that Kazemon just let the girl use her body and Spirit. Even Lowemon had put up a fight before a host was forced upon him. But Kazemon had just let herself be controlled! Didn't she care? Or was she just too weak to overpower a human? Ranamon hated that weakness. And that girl was the cause of that weakness. So she could not let her best friend's weakness endure. That was her mission.
--(Digital World – Cave near Rose Morning Star – Present Day)--
Ranamon blinked furiously, finally tearing her eyes away from her reflection. She was glad once more for the rain, this time because it masked her tears. Behind her, Mercurymon sighed.
"What're you sighing for?" she demanded venemously, whirling back around. "You're the one who said they don't have any honor!"
Mercurymon showed no sign of being even slightly put off by this comment. He retreated into the cave, pausing to speak one more time. "I knoweth why I am fighting for Lord Cherubimon. Thou dost not. It is only a matter of time now before we will face the digidestined. If thou dost not know why thy fights by then, how canst you fight?"
As he disappeared into the dimness of the cave, Ranamon pouted. True, she hated Kazemon for her weakness. But she also hated herself. She had changed in the last fifteen years, so much so that Kazemon wouldn't even know her if they were to meet today. What would Kazemon think of her? Would she think her vain? Selfish? Heartless?
That didn't matter now. She wouldn't be seeing Kazemon, now or for a very long while. Her opponent was the human girl. She had to be ready to fight, no matter how much she was reminded of her friend. Former friend. After all, it was Kazemon who had failed to be there when Ranamon most needed her. The Kazemon she had known was gone, as was the Ranamon she had been.
Turning to follow Mercurymon, she left the memories and ideals of that old Ranamon with the cool rain. As the moisture on her skin dried in the warm air, the Warrior of Water's resolution hardened. Mercurymon was right. She had to be ready to fight those children who had taken on the appearance of her former friends.
She would see to it personally that Zoe Orimoto was destroyed.
Wow…I didn't expect to have this much fun writing a oneshot!! I kinda like where this went (it turned out as more of a Kaze/Rana friendship fic than a Mercury/Rana romantic fic - like I originally planned - but it worked.) And I finished this at 1 in the morning! I haven't been up this late in a month! Whoo! Okay. Done now. I may do one or two more oneshots, but ATTWT is basically ready for launch.
Begin the countdown.
-Child of Healing
Word count: 2600