Author's Note: Okay first of all I'm very sorry for not having updated this in… well over one year.
Second: This story is not abandoned, but it is put to stop for an incalculable period. I'm currently writing mostly for the Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's fandom and in my opinion this story will only profit from that experience. My editing has improved and I'm experimenting with different writing styles and PoVs.
Third: This is only the first half of the fourth chapter. The second half is yet to be written, but considering how large the first half already is, I probably would have split the chapter anyway.
Warnings: a bit AU and OOC, crossover with Zero Two, Frontier and a bit Tamers
Pairings: Taiora, Takari, Kenyako, Takumi and Mimato (other Pairings will be introduced later on)
Last time: Tai, Matt, Sora and Izzy meet on Odaiba's playground, discussing the events of the night before, however instead of finding answers only more mysteries appear.
At the same time Yamaki has summoned Riley and Tally, trying to prepare for the possibility of a new digital threat and Tally finds herself stuck with an undercover job at Shibuya High in order to observe Izzy.
On the Frontier-end, Takuya puts a stop to Zoe's investigation. However after having a talk with Mimi, Zoe realises that she might not be that wrong in her suspicions.
The next morning, while preparing to meet the others, Matt suddenly finds himself in Digital World, but the reunion with Tsunomon doesn't exactly run as he imagined it would.
And evil proofs not to sleep as Puppetmon is send out with order to capture Matt…
Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon.
"…" – Speaking
'…' – Thinking
--- … --- – Scene-change
--- Guardian of the Spirit ---
Chapter 04: Shining Friendship PART 01
--- 14. 10. 2011 ---
--- Digital World ---
"Who are you?" the In-Training Level asked curiously. "Are you human? You must be! I remember meeting humans but they were much smaller and they looked kind of different…"
While the small Digimon kept rambling happily, Matt continued to star at it in shock. Finally he found his ability to talk again. "What do you mean, who am I? Don't you remember me, Tsunomon?"
But Tsunomon just moved in a way that suggested that he was rather clueless about him.
"Nope I definitely don't know you." he said with a nod, but added quickly, as he saw Matt's crestfallen expression. "At least I can't remember you. Maybe you are mixing me up with some other Tsunomon."
Although Matt was rather sure that this Tsunomon was his partner, he nodded in agreement, deciding that it was better to reorient himself in this new Digiworld. Maybe he would find out just what had happened to his Digipartner that had made him lose his memory.
"Alright…" he said, taking a deep breath. "My name is Yamato Ishida and you were right, I am a human. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance Tsunomon."
Tsunomon nodded und giggled in excitement. "It's nice to meet you too." he replied.
Then the small Digimon turned around and hopped a few steps down the path in the field. Curious about what the In-Training was planning, Matt asked: "What's the matter?"
Tsunomon turned to him and grinned: "I need to find the others. I want to introduce them to you. They will be excited too. It has been sooooo long since we last saw a human. You want to come?"
Matt smiled at that, nodded, got up and, although he still felt a bit wobbly on his feet, followed Tsunomon.
"And where are those others?" he asked in his need to satisfy his curiosity.
Tsunomon grinned and hopped a few steps further. "At the Digimonschool of course."
--- Sora's place, Odaiba, Real World ---
While Matt was following his amnesiac Digimon-partner through the fields Mimi was walking up the stairs of the apartment house, Sora was living in. Not without curiosity she took the last few steps to reach the second-floor apartment.
The calls she had received in the last two days had held a certain kind of urgency, one of the kind that Mimi had last seen at the day of the Shibuya-incident. And although Mimi told herself not to keep her hopes to high, to often she had been disappointed in the last seven years. But still, there was the chance…
Slightly nervous she ringed the bell to Sora's, hearing faint voices argue and approaching steps as she waited. Said owner opened the door looking slightly exhausted but her expression brightened as she saw the woman in front of her.
"Mimi, finally! We have been waiting." Sora called grinning, pulling the Chosen of Sincerity into the warmth. "You've got to save me. Those guys are driving me crazy!"
The orange haired chosen whispered quickly, throwing wary glances in the direction of her living room, where Mimi as could hear a heated discussion seemed to be running.
Quickly Mimi got rid of her cloak and her boots, curious what, or better who, had made Sora flee from her own living room. She opened up the door, only to see Miyako "Yolei" Inoue stand right in the middle of the room, hands on her hips and glaring at her fiancé, who was sitting on the sofa before her, hands up to his defence.
"So you think that I'm blind to the looks that you give to that blond airhead!"
Mimi, sensing that something was definitely amiss, looked around in the room. Beside the arguing couple there where three more persons to account. In the corner of the same sofa as Ken was Davis, his head hidden in his hands, apparently in defeat.
From time to time Mimi saw him shooting looks of pity to his best friend, who hadn't given up his case yet. Hiding in the corner, trying their best to stay invisible were Izzy and Joe.
Ken sighed as he replied to his fiancé's previous comment, "Yolei, please stop to be ridiculous. Yuri-san is merely a colleague and just happens to be made my partner. That's nothing that she or me had influence on and I'm not giving her any looks. Beside she is a really nice and intelligent…"
"Nicer and more intelligent than me you mean!" the purple haired woman bit back.
"That's not what I said!"
Tipp-toeing through the room, Mimi quickly crouched down, pocked Davis into the shoulder and "Hey… How long has this been going on?"
"Huh?" it took the young ramen-cook-apprentice a moment to place Mimi in his memory as it seemed but then he groaned as he answered, "You really don't want to know. It's nice to see you by the way Mimi. It has been a while."
As if hit by a bolt Yolei spun around at the sound the older DigiDestined's name, her mood changing suddenly from angry to joyous. "Mimi!" she cried as she saw the older woman crouching in front of her.
"It's been to long!" The younger woman pulled Mimi, who was as stunned as the rest of the present about the sudden change in attitude, quickly up and into a hug. "Listen, you just got to help me! Men, I swear…"
"Later perhaps Yolei." Izzy interrupted her in his now-children-let's-concentrate-on-today's-lesson-voice as he stood up to walk into the centre of the room.
Mimi and Yolei automatically backed off and set down on the sofa beside Ken, Mimi carefully making sure to sit between them in order to prevent another argument, while Izzy continued. "Now that all of as are here…"
Not true, Mimi realised as she looked around. Tai, Matt and Cody were missing. Davis voiced that thought.
Izzy simply sighed. "I'll tell Cody the stuff we discuss here on Monday since he can't come for the known reasons and Tai and Matt already know what's going on and are going to be here for the discussion afterwards."
Sora entered the room at that time, her face changing into a slightly sheepish expression. "I forgot to tell you… Tai called just a few minutes ago. He said that he was at their place and is on the way here."
Izzy nodded at that and then turned to face the other DigiDestined. Mimi could feel her pulse quicken, as she realised that this meeting wasn't just a get-together. This could be only about one thing…
"So it's Digimon." she heard Ken state beside her and a quick look at the expression of the rest of younger ones confirmed that they all had reached the same conclusion as her. Izzy nodded but quickly added: "But don't get excited too soon!"
That instantly stopped the euphoria that had almost overwhelmed Mimi. Concerned she leaned forward. "What happened?" she asked.
"You said that Tai and Matt already know what's going on and Sora seems to be on it too, aren't you? Is that what you wanted to talk about yesterday?" Sora nodded and Mimi could see the apology in her eyes.
Izzy went on and told them everything. About Tai's short visit to the other world, his reunion with Agumon, battle with Etemon and pact with Agunimon, as well as about the happenings of that night concerning Izzy's very own computer system, the hacker attack and showed them the strange crest-like sign. When he was finished silence reigned through the whole room.
"So…" Joe sighed, finally breaking the heavy quiet around them. "We've got those strange spirit things that might or might not give us a call in order to reactivate our Digivices and might not even effect all of us; we must not forget about T.K. and Kari after all. You said there were ten of them?"
Izzy nodded. "That's at least what Koromon told us."
"And we can't forget about those lords who could be very well human." Yolei added quietly, all anger with her fiancé forgotten. "The more I think about it, it kind of seems like the Digimon Emperor all over again."
She quickly threw Ken an apologizing glance. Mimi secretly smiled, glad that the digital trouble mended the couples differences.
"What's the matter with you guys?" Davis asked angrily all sudden, startling everyone else in the room.
"Why are you all so negative about this? We have been waiting for years for some kind of digital sign and it couldn't be clearer in my eyes. All we have to do is to go to Digiworld, find our partners and kick the bad guy's ass into the next millennia. As simple as that."
But Izzy just shook his head. "Unfortunately it isn't quite that simple. To be frank we already fail at the first point."
"What do you mean?" Joe asked quietly. Mimi knew that he was as anxious to see his Digimon-partner again as everyone else. The doctor-in-training just managed to hide it better.
Izzy continued, "We can't open the Digiport. Yesterday we tried at Tai and Matt's, however even with Tai's new Digivice it wasn't possible. As it is the gate stays firmly closed."
Disappointment was written all over their faces. Digiworld seemed so close yet never farther away from them.
"Well at least we finally got some news from there." Yolei said finally in an attempt to lighten the mood.
"By the way do Kari and T.K. know about the situation?" Sora was about to answer but was cut off by a voice coming from the entrance. "They don't!"
It was Tai, who now quietly entered the living room, greeting his girlfriend with a kiss on the cheek.
"Matt and I thought that it was the best not to tell them since we don't know much anyway. They would return from their honeymoon all for nothing." he continued.
Mimi heard a small giggle that seemed to come from the backpack that Tai had thrown over his right shoulder. The bag wiggled and a small pink ball that Mimi recognised as Koromon appeared. "Kari's going to be really angry with you about this, you know."
"I will deal with that when the time comes." Tai replied dryly. Only then Mimi realised that someone was still missing.
"Where is Matt?" she asked frowning while looking left and right. The blond singer was nowhere seen. Tai just sighed. "He won't be coming."
"What do you mean with he isn't coming. What the hell could be more important than this?" Davis asked, his temper flaring a bit in annoyance. But Joe saw through the statement the same moment Mimi did.
"He is in Digiworld, isn't he?" he asked quietly.
Tai nodded, his lips pressed to a firm line and his brown eyes hardening. "Yes he is. And as things are at the moment, there is nothing that we can do to help him."
--- Digimonschool, Digital World ---
Not that Matt would have had use for their help in that moment anyway. Tsunomon had led him out of the field, although the field had seemed more like a maze to him, they had went down the hill and had to cross a river before reaching the hut that was the Digimonschool.
It was a simple building, built out of wood and straw. When they had reached the school a Togemon who was apparently either teacher or headmaster had come out to meet them, greeting him warmly and scolding Tsunomon for strolling around again.
For a moment he had wondered if it could be Mimi's old Digimon-partner but as he concentrated he noticed that it didn't give him the right (for lack of better description) feeling to be one of the Digimon, he had fought alongside with so long ago.
Now he was in the middle of the classroom, unsure what to do with himself. Togemon had introduced him and had told him that it was a pleasure and honour for the Digimonschool to be host to a human. Still, he couldn't help it but feel a bit helpless when confronted with the class.
"Welcome at the Digimonschool, Yamato-san. It is very nice to meet you." seven Fresh and In-Training Digimon, who made up the class, greeted while executing their version of a formal bow. The inside of the school was as simple as the outside, with only a few makeshift seats, a blackboard and old-fashioned oven as furniture.
Matt studied them a bit astonished. Between the seven of them, there was only one kind of Digimon he recognized and that was a Datirimon (he couldn't say if it had any relation to Yukio Oikawa).
It seemed that there were quiet a bit more kind of Digimon than before, although Matt certainly didn't mind that as long as the majority of them was good-willed.
"It is nice to meet you too." he said after a moment of hesitation.
"Would you mind introducing us, Tsunomon?" The small In-Training hoped up and down a bit, saying: "Of course not, of course not!"
Then he hopped to the first Digimon, an In-Training with green fur and yellow cheeks that reminded Matt of Joe's partner Bukamon. Tsunomon called it Chapumon. It was followed by the feline Frimon. Next was Sunmon (who looked like a mix of a sun token and a candel), then the aluminium mice MetalKoromon, the fox-like Reremon and the red-eyed Popomon.
"Thank you for introducing us, Tsunomon-senpai!", the seven chorused. Tsunomon just grinned cheekily and threw a quick look at Matt, who frowned as he felt trouble coming at him. Tsunomon's grin just widened as it announced: "Now you can start asking questions!"
Matt's eyes widened as well as the seven young Digimon rushed towards him eagerly (and for a moment he had a vision of a fan-girl-invasion). He involuntarily took a step backwards, stumbled and fell heavily on his bottom, hitting the huts wall with his back. A tide of words and questions came over him as all of the Digimon spoke at the same time.
"Oi, slow down a bit!" he said quickly while wildly waving his hands. "One after the other, please."
The seven young Digimon obediently backed of a bit and formed a half circle around him while he pulled into a more comfortable sitting position. Tsunomon also came into the circle, staring up to him in curiosity.
"So you are really human?", Chapumon asked leaning towards him curiously.
"W-well, yes I am. Why shouldn't I be?", Matt stammered. He wouldn't have thought that the first question would… well question his identity.
"You know, Togemon-sensei told us that human visited the Digimonschool before. But his description kind of doesn't fit with you. That's why we're asking…" Sunmon explained after a moment of silence.
Matt chuckled: "I guess that the human Tsunomon met were children."
"Children?" the Digimon around him repeated in chorus.
Matt nodded. "Yeah, children. You see, as human age they change from child to grown-up. That's me."
"So…" Reremon started, waving his tail uncertainly, "It's kind of like digivolution, isn't it? A human digivolves from child to grown-up. They just take longer than Digimon."
Matt couldn't help but sweat drop but he confirmed. "Yeah… it's somewhat like that."
He doubted that such young Digimon could really understand the difference between human and Digimon. Heck, even their partner-digimon had taken a while for that and they had been created in order to communicate with human.
"What do you do for work, Yamato-san?" the quiet, high voice of MetalKoromon called him out of his musings. He smiled. "I'm a musician."
"Musician?" the class chorused.
"Yeah a musician. That's someone who makes his living by making music." he explained to them, amused about their puzzlement and eagerness to find out more about him and human in general.
Suddenly their eyes were filled with excitement and for a moment he felt once again (rightfully) reminded of his fan girls. The tide of voices overwhelmed him a second time, only that this time the voices were saying one and the same.
"Can you play something for us, Yamato-san? Please!" they said.
And then a memory hit him, a memory of hills and peace and of Gabumon. Gabumon, who at this moment felt so close, yet had never been further away. He could hear his partners timed voice in his ear, requesting to hear him play the harmonica once more, a last time before they would be separated, possibly forever.
And then he was back in the classroom, looking at the ground beside him and unable to believe his eyes, for beside him lay his harmonica. When he searched his mind to come up with a reason for the instrument to be there and came up empty handed, but nevertheless he picked up the harmonica leading it to his mouth, playing a melody from so long ago.
Another memory came up, one of a dark night and a calm lake. He had just told Tai about his relation to T.K. and had just wanted to get away from all the company. Only Gabumon had come for him, even though he didn't really understand why. Why did that Digimon want to put up with him, the lone wolf? It was only later that he learned to understand…
He didn't notice how all of sudden the Digimon around him had fallen silent, all in awe as they listen to the beautiful yet sad music, nor did he notice the storming look in Tsunomon's eyes, the look of somebody who tried to remember something, yet couldn't.
Togemon had found them later that way, Matt in memories and the Digimon in awe and had decided to give Matt a break and call it lunch. Lunch as Matt discovered meant for Togemon to box rice balls to the hungry and he was rather glad to get his share beforehand. Had she tried her method of… feeding with him, the food would probably ended up on his clothes instead of his mouth.
Now the Digimon were enjoying break time, running around laughing. Matt was sitting on a large stone near them, keeping himself a bit apart in order to regain a clear head. He had noticed that Tsunomon too kept to himself a bit, although the other Digimon seemed more than comfortable to come to him for advice and similar.
"You knew him from before, didn't you?" a voice asked from behind him. His head spun around and then he saw Togemon. As lost as he had been in his thoughts he hadn't notice how she had neared.
"Excuse me?" he asked confused in return.
"Tsunomon-kun I mean." The Championlevel chuckled.
"I can see the connection between you as clear as the day, although between you both only you seem to be aware of it." For a moment Matt seemed to think about denying, after all the reception of DigiDestined could have changed quite a bit over the years. However he decided against it (it probably would have been no use anyway) and nodded.
"We knew each other a long time ago." he said softly. He watched as the other Digimon invited Tsunomon into a ballgame that strongly reminded him of soccer.
Then he turned to Togemon, his eyes hardening seriously. "Do you know what happened to him?"
The cacti like Digimon sighed while looking at him sadly. "I don't know much, but I will tell you what I can, Yamato-san. Not just for your sake but for Tsunomon-kuns as well."
The Digimon took a deep breath; it's eyes drifting to the In-Training they spoke of. Matt turned his head as well, watching how his supposed Digimonpartner politely denied the invitation to play and how the other Digimon kept trying to convince it.
"Tsunomon came to the school six years ago. There was nothing really unusual about that. The Digimonschool, you must know, was build to take in Digimon that hatched outside a colony or Primary village. As I said, Tsunomon arrived six years ago. But he was different to his classmates from the beginning."
Matt looked up questioningly. "From the very beginning Tsunomon was always able to digivolve to his Rookielevel, Gabumon. Usually it takes a long time for a Digimon to digivolve on their own. The other Digimon were afraid and shunned Tsunomon for his ability."
Matts hands clenched to fists. In a way he was probably responsible for Tsunomons troubles. After all Genai had told them that their Digimon were specially synchronised with their respective partners in order to lower the probability of a corrupt digivolution (such as SkullGreymon).
"Did they come to accept him?" he asked quietly. "Eventually after those other human had visited us, Tsunomons peers started to like him for who he was. But Tsunomon had already discovered that he was different from other Digimon. After the Digiworld was restored from Lucemons second reign of insanity, he left the School. "
"He told me that he had always felt as if there was someone who was waiting for him and 'wanted to go and find him'." Togemon shot him a meaningful glance, making him wince slightly.
"He… was probably looking for me." Matt's eyes had wandered back to the In-Training in question.
"If what I heard correct is then was that event you spoke of about six years ago. Why is he back here?" Togemon just looked sadder, if that was even possible.
"Tsunomon-kun only returned a few weeks ago. But he was unable to remember much of his journey or even of his time here in the School. But the School was the only place he could remember clearly enough so he came back here. At least is that what he told me."
Matts throat went dry. The whole situation made him uneasy. He knew that somewhere there was an unknown factor that was responsible for Tsunomons memory problems.
"Thank you for telling me, Togemon." he said as he got up.
"What will you do now, Yamato-san?" It was a valid question. But Matt had no idea what to do with himself and told Togemon so. The Digimon had not been able to give him solutions, only more questions.
Matt didn't really want to force Tsunomon out of the small community. Tsunomon, for all his fighting spirit, loved peace (who didn't). If Matt took it with him, then all that followed would be battle. And he couldn't remember fighting site on site with Matt.
Their bond was weakened to a point of almost non-existence. The possibility of Tsunomon getting hurt, dieing even, was rather large. Could he really take the responsibility for that? Did he even want to?
Never in his life, not even when he had been swallowed up by his own hearts darkness, had Yamato Ishida felt so utterly lost.
Tsunomon didn't know what to make of the human that he had found in the field, but he couldn't shake the feeling that Yamato-san held importance for him. The way something in him stirred every time the humans name came up was more then enough proof for him (and somewhere in the back of his mind he was sure that he had known this human a long time ago).
But it wasn't just the name. When Yamato-san had played his instrument for them Tsunomon had seen short flashes of memories coming up, memories of silence and companionship and of the soft tune of the harmonica that he could listen to over and over again. But before he had been able to grasp onto them, the music had stopped and he had been left lost and confused.
He had brooded about it the whole lunchtime and even now he still tried to find what almost had been revealed to him. His kohai-tachi had noticed the change in him and were worried.
He could tell that by the way they tried to involve him into one of their games. Yet he kept refusing them, feeling that he had to cling onto this trail to get his memory back.
His memory… He didn't know what had happened, only that there were to many holes in it to be comfortable with. He had fought that the Digimon School, the place that he could remember the clearest would help him to regain what had been lost but nothing had come to him, not until Yamato-san had appeared…
It was strange, even in the field he had run into the right direction straight into Yamato-san, the whole time haunted by a strange feeling that someone had come, someone he hadn't seen for to long…
Tsunomon violently shook himself, slightly startling the younger Digimon, who had gathered around him to make sure that he was alright. Reassuring the younger Digimon that he was alright and that they should just go back to their game, he saw in the corner of his eye how Togemon-sensei, who apparently had talked with their guest from the other world, left Yamato-san behind on the boulder that he was sitting on. For a moment the humans eyes met is and again Tsunomon felt his mind stir as memories threatened to come yet still were blocked.
Making up his mind Tsunomon hopped to the so familiar seeming human, desperately wanting answers and knowing that the human just might be the one who could reveal them.
He reached the boulder and had jumped onto it and was about to ask straight away as the music reached his ears again. The human, who seemed lost in memories just like he had been, had started to play the sad melody on his harmonica again and now with just the two of them Tsunomon was assaulted by colours and sounds, by memories forgotten so long ago…A lake, raging with the force of nature…
A small human, even smaller than himself, pleading him to save somebody… (oh, if he could just remember who)
A gigantic Digimon towering over him, long with green skin and fins… (Seadramon?)
He cried a name (it was laying on the top of his tongue, he almost had it, almost…) and a voice cried out for him, in pain but in hope, knowing that he wouldn't let be down…
White light around him, inside and outside alike, empowering him, giving him the strength to do what he hadn't been able to do before…
Tsunomons eyes snapped open as the music ended abruptly. He was panting and shivered in the wake of the intense memory. He had been so close, so close… So close to what? Oh if he only knew… He looked up and his eyes met Yamato-sans, confused amber meeting unreadable blue.
"What are you to me?" Tsunomon finally dared to ask. He knew now that he couldn't keep this of and determination started to burn in his eyes like fire. He wanted to know, needed to know. The human regarded him with silence, he seemed as uncertain as Tsunomon was himself.
Then hesitant, Yamato-san broke the silence between them. "Tsunomon, do you…"
But he didn't come any further as a shadow fell over them. "My, my… isn't this cute."
A voice announced itself drawling and apparently amused. "It seems that your fabled friendship hasn't managed to survive, has it? It is as I thought: friends are no use."
Tsunomon already wanted to snap at whoever dared to make such a statement, for what was a world without friends? But the words disappeared as he saw the Digimon who had spoken them. It was a Puppetdigimon with wooden skin and a hammer, that was thrown lax over it's shoulder, but despite its appearance Tsunomon knew (KNEW) that right now all of them needed to get away from that Digimon for it radiated dark power.
And again his memory stirred, but this time in terror as Yamato-san, who had gotten up and faced the Digimon somewhat defiantly, dared to say its name.
--- TBC… ---
Thanks to Philp Clark, Kuroy, Super garurumon, Twin Tails Speed, Marie Ravenclaw, Cyberbeta, Dragonelf 8 The World Drifter, albinochocobo, JapanManiac, FireFairy219, Courage Sun, Thy Nobel Reaper, digiwriter1392, HikariPachi, rmiller92, the-ice-cold-alchemist, x3AnimeLuver, grvest and 61wisampa for reviewing and to all of my LJ-friends, who's support strengths my confidence into my writing.
Things, I feel like explaining (a.k.a. w nymph's second Author's Note):
1. Tsunomon: I really hope you guys liked that twist, I've been wanting to write this one ever since I saw that Frontier episode. I don't know about English, Japanese or whatever language you watched Digimon but in the German-dub the voices of the two Tsunomon are actually really similar.
2. Revision: As the same time as this chapter I reposted the older chapters. That doesn't mean that you have to re-read the whole bunch. I simply corrected some typos and spellings and reedited everything. The plot hasn't changed, so don't worry.