A/N: Another one shot that I felt compelled to do. Actually I had this one on my mind for a while now, but due to some OOCness at the end I was hesitant to put it up, as I needed a reason for it to occur. Anyway, there is some background to this short story. This fic takes place between the stories 'Hazard's Sorrow' and 'A Time to Heal'. As things stand right now, Guilmon is still presumed dead, Takato is still grieving, and a friend who has grown closer to him during the events of 'Hazard's Sorrow' reaches out to comfort him. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon.
A Digimon Tamer's story by Crazyeight
Takato rolled over in his bed and lifted one hand across his face, obscuring the light of the full moon that shone through his bedroom window. Over on his desk, the screen of his gold trimmed digivice glowed lightly and Takato looked at it, biting his lower lip as he did so. The digivice had ceased blaring its alarm of a Wild One's emergence into the real world some time ago, no doubt when the other Tamers, his friends and comrades, had gone to investigate. Not him though. He had tried to join them, but his parents had intercepted him, perhaps anticipating that he would try to dash off to battle when his digivice had gone off…a pointless venture he knew for certain, as without Guilmon…
Takato closed his eyes as tears welled up and blurred his vision, memories from the past week playing through his mind as he turned his head away from the still glowing digivice, one of his last reminders that he had been a Tamer before the untimely event that took his partner away from him. It never would be again. Fate in the form of an angel named Lucemon had seen to that. There was no strange digital field in the tunnel that he could go into to rescue his wayward partner, no portal that he could enter to retrieve him from the digital world. Guilmon had died…been killed to be more precise at the hands of a digimon who had thought that he had been doing the right thing. All because of what had happened back in the digital world, when Megidramon had been unleashed. Takato tried not to blame himself for what had happened, and he didn't want Impmon and Jeri to hold themselves responsible either for that fateful day. The situation had simply been beyond their control. There were many reasons for why things went the way that they did, but Takato didn't want to waste time and energy dwelling on them. He hoped that Jeri and Impmon didn't, but somehow he had the feeling that they did, especially Impmon for the part that he had played in Megidramon's creation.
One mistake…thought Takato as he tried to reign in his emotions and failed. One mistake. That was all it took. And now…my best friend is gone…and Impmon feels as though he's responsible for it.
Takato gasped as pain welled up in his heart, threatening to overwhelm him. He kept quiet as best as he could, so as to not alert his parents who were just downstairs, keeping watch so as to make sure that he didn't try to slip out again. He didn't want them to worry over him again, even though that was precisely what they were doing. He could still remember the conversation…well, more like the argument that he had with them when they stopped him from leaving their home. They didn't see why he was heading towards the battle in the first place. Couldn't see why. He was no longer a Tamer. He no longer had Guilmon by his side to help him. In a battle against a digimon there was very little that he could do to help his friends, and his father had been the one to point out that he would have been more of a hindrance if his friends had to worry about protecting him when they were supposed to fight at their full strength against whatever opponent they were up against. Takato knew that his parents were right, but the fact still stood; he wanted to help his friends. Be that as it may, his desire to stand by his friends didn't change the fact that he would have been little more then another target, and a vulnerable one at that. Had Terriermon been there and seen Takato's attempt to leave his home, he would have, rather pointedly asked if he was trying to commit suicide. As far as Takato knew, the answer that he would have given the little dog-bunny was no, but the notion when contrasted against his actions would have made him shiver.
Not for the first time did Takato remember how Jeri had been when Leomon had died, and he recognized how dangerously close to the brink he was. This realization was made even more apparent by the fact that, not all that long ago he had tried rescanning the drawings that he had made for his friend and partner. The result of his emotional turmoil, when coupled with the power of his digivice and the digignomes that gave Guilmon life had been disastrous to say the least, culminating in the creation of ChaosGallantmon of which the aftereffects of that event were still felt, and in more ways then one. But each of his friends was there for him, trying in their own way to help him get through his grief. Especially Jeri, as she had the most experience with loss and was in the same boat that he was in now. She always strove to do her best to make the pain more bearable, and for his part Takato did his best so that she wouldn't have to try too hard. He was always amazed by how hard she pushed herself to make him feel better, though in some ways, as much as he appreciated the gestures, her actions tended to make him feel guilty as they reminded him of what she had lost. It was silly thinking like that. He had tried to help her after their first adventure in the digital world had ended, especially after the D-Reaper invasion had concluded and she had been freed from the program's clutches. It was the sort of thing that people who cared about each other would do. Briefly Takato wondered if perhaps things were better this way. At least now his parents, his friends, and Jeri didn't have to worry so much about his safety. Life could be more…normal…
But in his heart, Takato knew that that line of thinking wasn't right. Normalcy wasn't worth the life of his closest friend, especially after everything that they had been through together. Once more, for perhaps the thousandth time since his best friend had been killed in that battle with Lucemon, Takato's mind went back over all the memories that he had of his friend, and he remembered them with a clarity that only made the pain in his heart worse. Guilmon's golden eyes shone in the sun that traced its path in the skies of Shinuku; his goofy smile shining just as brightly if not more as he ate the prized bread that had been named after him. He would never forget the first time Guilmon called him Takatomon when he had been brought home, confused as he was about the differences between humans and digimon. It had taken some time to break him of that particular habit, and every so often Guilmon would revert back to it in times of excitement or whenever he was just feeling silly, and how could he ever forget the day that the two of them had combined as Gallantmon? The sensations that he felt when they merged seemed to be everything he had ever hoped and dreamed for, and never at any other time had he felt closer to Guilmon.
But that day also carried its own darkness; darkness that now overshadowed the triumph of their biomerge, had in fact taken its own shape and name. A monster called Megidramon…
Takato mouthed his partner's name as he remembered the relief that he felt when Guilmon had returned to normal after his experience as Megidramon. He had looked so exhausted then…almost brutalized, and his condition had only made Takato regret even more that he had pushed Guilmon's digivolution to the Mega level. Something that he had come to regret even more when Lucemon had arrived in the real world, searching for the digimon that had caused the event that in the digital world had come to be known as The Digital Hazard.
Takato rolled away from the window, trying to fall asleep while knowing that he wasn't going to be able to do that. He had been afraid to sleep for days now. The nightmares came far less frequently then they used to, but they still came and nothing had been able to relieve him of them. In his dreams, he always saw Guilmon's smiling face, alive and full of light, and it would always disappear…fade away with the light of the rising sun. It was those dreams that came more regularly then the ones in which he witnessed Guilmon's death and reminded him the most that each and every day he woke up Guilmon was no longer there to greet him. Even though he still had his friends and family, he felt alone in a way that made him feel empty inside, hollow and without purpose or direction. When Guilmon was there he always felt confident that he would find an answer to anything that he put his mind too. Now he couldn't make sense of anything. They had promised that they would always be together, and now…now the promise was broken. Unintentionally of course, and even though he had that dream where Guilmon had comforted him, reminded him that even though he was gone physically he would always be there in spirit, there was little comfort to be had. He wanted to see Guilmon, to hold him and play with him like they used to. The world felt as if it had lost all color when the childish, red hued digimon had died. He wanted to believe that they would see each other again, wanted to believe it with every last fiber of his being, but there was a small part of him that cried out 'what if?'
Takato stared at the wall of his room with sad eyes as he pondered the question, knowing full well that he wouldn't arrive at an answer that was satisfactory to him. All he had was faith, and at the moment all the faith and confidence that he had before was gone. Gone with Guilmon…gone with his ability to dream…
While Takato continued to reminisce, a strange feeling of safety and warmth began to pervade his heart, and with it came a memory from not too long ago, in which a friend had visited him and comforted him. A soft humming sound accompanied by spoken words too low for him to identify, almost like the lullabies that his mother sang to him when he was little, could be heard on the air. At least he fancied that he did. He…couldn't be sure. He just felt…so tired all of a sudden. He felt as though something, a great weight perhaps, was being lifted from his heart. A tear of relief as well as sadness traced its way down his cheek as his eyes began to grow heavy and slide closed. The last thing he felt as he drifted off to dreamland, was the familiar feel of a pair of arms holding him close, offering solace for this one night in the warmth and embrace of friendship and love…
And in the light of the full moon, Takato gave a small smile as he drifted at last off to sleep.
The figure at the window placed her gloved hand gently on the window of Takato's room as the last of her song tapered off. Long, silver hair glimmered in the moonlight, matched by the glow of golden armor that covered her body, and that of the bronze vajra staff that she held in her right hand. She had sensed Takato's distress while making her way home, thanks in part to the powers that her Mega form gave her, and she had come to see what she could do to help him before turning in. She didn't doubt that Takato was in a great deal of pain and confusion. She had been there for most of it first hand…had even dreamed it as well. It had touched her deeply in much the same way that Jeri's pain had back when she had lost Leomon. Just as before, she did what she could to help her friend through his ordeal. Just like she had done when she had been there by his side when he had lost control of himself. She had been there to guide him back. It was the sort of thing that people who cared about each other would do.
Sakuyamon pushed lightly against the window, sending herself floating slowly away from her friends home, her gaze lingering on Takato for a moment as a small smile drew up on the corners of her mouth; a smile that was matched by the red haired girl who lay within the blue data sphere inside of the Mega level Shaman priestess.
"Good night, Takato," whispered Rika as her face softened. A moment later, she turned and began to make her way home.