The first time I posted this, it came out all screwed up.  The spacing was all weird and I had originally had all the character's thoughts italicized but apparently, when I converted this to a text file, all the text was set back to the default.  So hopefully this will make more sense now that I fixed it.  Expect chapter 2 soon.

Disclaimer- I do not own Digimon, Playstation, the game Tony Hawk 2 Proskater (which is an awesome game therefore, yes, I am shamelessly plugging it) or any other products mentioned in my story, they belong to their respective owners.  So please don't sue.  I have no money.  So you would just be wasting your time.  And if this story resembles anyone else's, its purely coincidental.

            This fanfic is a kind of mushy takari (t.k. x kari), with a hint of taiora (tai x sora), mimato (mimi x matt), and kenyako (ken x yolei).  (Be kind, it's my first digific)  It's R for mature themes (masochism-which I in no way support nor encourage), violence in later chapters, and language.  I got the idea for this when I asked myself a simple question.  Why does Kari wear those long-sleeved gloves all the time?



Darkness in Light

~by  The Silversage

Part I:  Secrets Revealed

Monday 2:27A.M.

          Kari woke with a start to find the room she shared with her brother swimming in grey mist.  She fought down the usual panic;  she could feel the darkness rising around her, threatening to swallow her again.  "Not again!", she whispered as she scrambled down from the top bunk and raced to the bathroom locking the door behind her.  "No!  I'm not going back," she cried into the ever-thickening mist while digging through a drawer.  "Where is it?!" she cried frantically pulling the drawer from the counter and dumping the contents on the floor.  It was growing stronger, the darkness inside her.  Her hand finally closed around the shiny metal rectangle.  She stood over the sink and pulled the sleeve of her left arm up.  With two careful movements, two red lines appeared on her arm.  She sighed with relief as she watched the red liquid run down her arm and drip into the sink.  As before, the grey mist around her slowly faded.  She could feel the anger and frustration of the darkness around her as it was forced to retreat.

          Satisfied the darkness was gone, Kari turned on the faucet and held her arm under the cool water.  She reached out with her right arm to the medicine cabinet and pulled out the small bottle of Midol where she stashed her vitamin K pills.  Tai never pokes around that stuff, she thought to herself swallowing a pill.  Once the bleeding had stopped, she gently dried her arm, pulled her sleeve down over the pattern of lines crisscrossing her arm, and set herself to picking up the mess on the floor.  She tucked the razor in the medicine cabinet next to the 'Midol'.

          Leaving the bathroom, Kari quietly made her way through the dark bedroom to the ladder of the bunk bed.  She was silently thankful that Gatomon, Augumon, and Tai were all sleeping soundly...or so she thought. "Kari?"  She froze, wide-eyed, halfway up the ladder.  She looked down slowly to see Tai leaning out from the lower bunk, a worried expression on his face.  "It's 3:00A.M.  What are you doing up?  Are you feeling ok?"

          "O-of course, Tai.  I-I just went for a glass of water," Kari stammered, not daring to meet his worried eyes.  "Stop worrying and go back to sleep Tai," she said with a fake smile, "or you'll fall asleep in class."

          Tai nodded and watched her climb the rest of the way to her bunk before lying back down.  He couldn't help but feel that something was 'off'.  "Kari?  Are y-"

          "I'm fine!" she muttered through gritted teeth.  Her whole body was tense, hoping Tai would just drop the matter  After a long pause, she finally heard him roll over in the sheets and murmur 'Goodnight'.  She breathed a sigh of relief, letting out the breath she'd been holding.  Kari lay on her back staring at the ceiling.  She hated lying to her brother.  She hated lying in general;  she was a terrible liar.  "But there's just no other way,"  she told herself, "He wouldn't understand."  And with that final thought, she drifted off to sleep cradling her now sore left arm.

Tuesday 12:35P.M.

          "Hey, mind if I join you?"  T.K. asked, walking up to Kari and Yolei's lunch table.

          "Nope," Kari said with a smile.

          "Go right ahead," Yolei smiled, noticing how Kari blushed ever so faintly when T.K. slid into the bench next to her.

          "What were you two laughing about a minute ago?" he asked, oblivious of Kari's blush.

          "Oh, I was telling Kari how Poromon got into my stash of pixie stix Sunday.  He was tearing around my room for three hours with the mother of all sugar highs," Yolei muttered, rolling her eyes.

          T.K. smiled at the image that created in his head.  "So," he began turning to Kari, "we still on for today?"

          "Yeah.  Your place or mine?" she asked with a smile.

          "Yours.  Tai's coming over to study for a test with Matt...,"he started.

          "You mean play Playstation."

          "...Yeah, and they're too loud."  T.K. finished.

          "You two have a hot date or something?" Yolei asked with a sly smile as she watched her two friends look up at her, each turning on interesting shade of red.

          "Yolei!?" Kari exclaimed, thoroughly embarrassed, "We're just studying for an exam."

          "Sure you are," she replied, her voice dripping with over-exaggerated sweetness.  Yolei laughed inwardly watching them squirm.

          "Who's got a hot date?" a familiar voice asked.  T.K. stifled a groan as Davis sat down on Kari's other side.

          "Kari and T.K.," Yolei answered sweetly, ignoring Kari's silent pleas to keep quiet.

          "What?!  What are you going out with T.C. for?" Davis exclaimed.

          "It's T.K.," T.K. corrected half-heartedly.  Geez, how hard is it to remember two letters?

          "It's not a date," Kari muttered rubbing her sore arm through her long-sleeved gloves absently.  "We're just going to study for a test."

          "Oh," Davis said feeling better.  "Can I come?"

          "You don't even have that class," she cried exasperated.  I am so going to get Yolei back for this.

          "What's wrong with your arm?" T.K. asked, who had been watching her closely.

          "Huh?" she asked, her concentration broken from a multitude of revenge fantasies.

          "Your arm," he said motioning to her left arm, "Did you hurt it?"

          "," Kari dropped her arms to her sides nervously, "It's nothing...I'm just...cold."  She tried to keep her expression neutral even though her insides were twisting with guilt from lying to her friends.

          T.K. frowned when he noted the way Kari seemed to just 'shut down' after he asked about her arm.  Something was definitely off.  I don't think she was telling me the truth.  He sighed as he listened to Davis trying to convince Kari to go out with him.  I'll let it slide...for now.

Tuesday 3:58 P.M.

          "Hey T.K.," Kari said opening the front door, "Come on in."  She backed away from the door to let him in.  "Where's Patamon?"

          "Back at home," he said rolling his eyes good naturedly, "Matt got him hooked on the Playstation.  There's no prying him away from that thing."

          "It's just as well," Kari said with a small grin, "Gatomon's not here either.  She went with Sora to find a birthday present for Tai."

          T.K. froze.  "Damn, I forgot about that.  It's week after next, right?"

          "Yeah.  On Friday," she smiled, raising an eyebrow in amusement.

          T.K. sighed and ran his fingers through his hair.  "Well, I guess we'd better get started."

          T.K. glanced up from his textbook to find Kari rubbing her arm again.  He frowned again, She can't possibly be cold.  We're sitting in the sunlight!  It's HOT!

          Kari rubbed her arm, careful to keep her expression blank.  Sitting in the sunlight was making her arms perspire under the gloves and the cuts were stinging...badly.  God!  I wish I could take these off!

          "Still cold?" T.K. asked casually, sitting on the floor across the coffee table from her.

          "Huh?", she asked, looking up with a start.  ", a little," she answered with a weak smile.  "I'm gonna get something to drink," she said a little quickly as she stood, eager to avoid any more questions.

          T.K. frowned again.  He felt...hurt...and a little angry.  She's lying.  That was an outright lie, he fumed.  Kari's NEVER lied to me!  I want answers.  NOW.  In one lightning quick move, he grabbed her wrist as she passed him on the way to the kitchen, holding tight to keep her from pulling away.  Warning bells rang in his head when he saw Kari pale and stare at him wide-eyed.  She looked scared.

          No! No! No! No! No!, her mind was screaming when she felt T.K. grab her arm.  "What are you doing?!" she asked in a rush, an ice cold wave washed through her body coiling in her stomach.  No!  Not T.K.!  Anyone but T.K.!  Please T.K., No!  Some part of her mind still thinking logically told her to pull away, get away, before he could see what she had done.  But she couldn't.  Full on panic rooted her to her spot.  T.K. was reaching for the top of her glove;  she closed her eyes tight and waited for the ax to fall.

          T.K.'s frown deepened when he saw the fear, the pleading in her eyes.  She was trembling.  The worry he previously felt solidified into cold fear and he had a feeling he wasn't going to like what he found.  He reached for the top of her glove with his free hand.  He turned her wrist so the inside of her arm was facing him and tugged her sleeve down...and all rational thought fled.

          He stared wide-eyed at the mess of white and pink scar lines on her arm with two angry red lines, obviously fresh.  He clenched his jaw as first a wave of cold fear washed through him only to be replaced by...anger...rational thought returned.  He jumped up and grabbed her by the shoulders.  "What the HELL do you think you're doing!!!", he yelled, punctuating each word with a few well placed shakes.

          Kari opened tear filled eyes to look at him.  Anger.  Pain.  Fear.  She had done this to him.  She had hurt him.  Her best friend.  She hadn't meant to.  Kari let out a choked sob, pulling away from T.K., and ran for the relative safety of her room, slamming the door behind her, locking it.  She leaned back against the door and burst into tears, sinking to the floor.

          T.K. ran after her when she pulled away, only to be confronted by her closed door.  "Kari?", he asked trying the door.  His anger had drained out of him at the sight of her tears.  She was crying now;  he could hear her.  He hated it when she cried.  "Kari?" he tried again, "Please, open the door."  Again no response.  He leaned his forehead against the door and sighed.  Don't shut me out, Kari.  "I'm not leaving until you talk to me."  Still no response.  "Please talk to me, Kari."

A half hour later found them sitting back to back with the door between them with their knees drawn to their chests.  "Why, Kari?" T.K. asked, breaking the silence.

          "You wouldn't understand," she whispered, leaning her head back against the door.

          "I want to," he answered.

          "It keeps the darkness from reaching me."

          "...," T.K. wasn't sure how to react to that one.  "You're right.  I don't understand."

          "The dark mist.  It keeps coming back," she elaborated.  It suddenly seemed very important that he understand.  "It won't leave me alone."

          "The dark ocean again?" he asked suddenly very alert.  He remembered that day vividly.  When she had nearly phased out in the middle of class;  when she had disappeared without a trace.  He still had nightmares about that.  He had thought he'd lost her.

          "Yeah," she replied softly.  "It feels like it's inside of me.  Keeps trying to drag me back."  She felt near tears again.

          "So why the arm?" T.K. asked, trying to process this new information, "Why did"

          "Cut my arm?" she finished.  "I'm not sure why, but it helps."

          "...," he paused for a moment to think that one over.  "How?"

          "I don't know," she confessed.  "It makes the mist go away.  I think it weakens it," she said hazarding a guess.

          "Hurt you to hurt it?" he asked.

          "Something like that," she answered softly.

          "Isn't that a little extreme?"

          "I don't know what else to do," she sobbed, crying again.  "I don't want to go back there.  I just know something horrible will happen if I let myself get pulled back there."

          T.K. was silent for a moment;  he had never seen Kari frightened of anything.  She had always been the 'stable' one, the anchor for the group.  Now, she seemed on the verge of shattering completely.  "Kari?" he started, hesitantly, "No matter what happens...I'll always be here."

          She almost gasped in shock.  He knew.  He knew the horrible secret she'd been keeping for months.  And he didn't hate her.  She opened the door so suddenly, T.K. nearly fell in.  He righted himself quickly enough to find Kari standing before him looking even more like the angel he knew her to be with sunlight illuminating her from behind giving her hair a gentle halo.  Before his mind could form a coherent thought, she flung herself against him locking her arms around his waist, sobbing full force.  For a moment, T.K. was at a loss at what to do before his arms came up around her shoulders of their own accord.  Kari buried herself closer against his chest feeling somewhat comforted by his tight embrace.  He kept quiet, letting her cry while she spilled out every detail of the last terrifying few months.

          "T.K.?" she whispered when her tears finally subsided.


          "Thank you."

          "For what?" he asked, somewhat bewildered.

          For not hurting me...For trying to understand...For not leaving me alone... "For...being you," she finally managed.  He answered with a gentle squeeze to her shoulders.  She allowed him to navigate the both back to the living room, reluctant to release him. 

T.K. steered the two of them back to the living room settling himself at one end of the couch with an arm around Kari's shoulders with her leaning against him, semi-stretched out.  She still hadn't let go.  Not that he minded.  He blushed lightly, somewhat glad that she didn't have a good view of his face at the moment.  Her breathing sounded slow and even.  She must be falling asleep, he mused.  He carefully reached forward and pulled his history book from the coffee table to his lap, not wanting to wake her.


He froze for a second, afraid he had woken her.

          "T.K.?  Please don't tell Tai," she pleaded with a whisper.

          T.K. tensed, looking down to meet her dark eyes, silently begging him.  He closed his eyes and sighed.  "Okay.."

Kari let out a breath she didn't remember holding.

"On one condition," he amended, "Don't do this again."

She nodded.  "Okay."

"Promise me, Kari," he pressed.

"I promise," she whispered.

          Somewhat satisfied, he let her drift to sleep.  He tried desperately to concentrate on the textbook in front of him but found he just couldn't.  His eyes kept drifting back to her sleeping form against him.  His best friend.  His love.  Who had gone through such agony alone for the past few months.  All because she would_ not_ let anyone know she was having a problem.  She had always been like that.  Sometimes Kari, you really scare me.

Tuesday 8:30 P.M.

          "I can't believe we didn't do a lick of studying," Tai muttered, fishing through his backpack for his apartment key.

          "You're the one who rented Tony Hawk  2," Matt pointed out watching his friend open the door.

          "Oh yeah," Tai said with a sheepish laugh, "I forgot."

          Matt rolled his eyes and walked in after Tai opened the door.  He walked to the end of the foyer only to come to a dead halt at the living room entrance.

          "Hey!  What's the deal?!" Tai exclaimed, having just walked into Matt.  Matt only stared wide-eyed ahead of him and pointed.  Tai followed his gaze...and felt his mouth drop open in utter shock.  There, fast asleep on the couch, were Kari and T.K., arms still around each other.  Kari asleep on his shoulder and T.K. with his cheek resting on the top of Kari's head.  "Whoa.  Did I miss something here?" Tai asked turning to Matt frowning, "I think I'm seriously gonna have a talk with your brother about this."

          "Forget that, man," Matt laughed, "Where's your camera?"

          Tai slowly grinned with an evil gleam in his eyes.