Days of Yore

Disclaimer: Trust me, if I owned Digimon 01/02, I would not be here.

A/N: my contribution to keeping this fandom alive. Though I seldom write for the series, it will forever remain the closest to my heart (much like Taichi himself). Anyway, much love to any and everyone who still reads/writes in this fandom and reviews are very much appreciated.

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They watch you from the corner of their eyes, every move you make.

You pass the tests. They approve. Oftentimes, you fail to impress. And carefully, they make note of this too.

Plans are made without your knowledge.

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You may be a leader to some, a king to others, a brother, a lover, a friend, sooner or later, to others and others, but for now, you are merely a pawn in the larger scheme being assembled.

All this is decided while you stare through your pocket telescope at the summer sky, lying on the grass, dreaming of large fields, the winning goal, the cheering crowd, and a smile.

Yagami Taichi, you are still young.

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You are thrown worlds away to another place with six others handpicked for your aid, and when you open your eyes to new and familiar faces, some things are finally starting to fit.

This is an adventure, you think, so alive at first, so idealistic. The blond scoffs at you. The redhead looks at you with concern. Someone else worries about breaking a nail, getting eaten alive, getting lost in the woods. Irrational fears, you think, perhaps because you do not know what fear means just yet, nor do you realize that you will learn, and far, far sooner than you might think.

For now, regardless of the heat, the hunger, the soreness, the itch, you have not lost the spring in your step. No, not yet, but that will also change in time.

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You never quite know what to think of the blond, the older one. He is always so cold to the touch with eyes filled more with fear than hate. And he is alone, so, so alone, and so insistent upon remaining that way. At first, this irks you some because that's not at all the way things are supposed to be. In soccer, important lessons were taught, and one look in those frosty blue eyes and you think wryly how he must never have played the sport. However, as in all areas of your life, you learn in time, and as something bursts in your chest, you realize that never before in your life have you felt such a burning need to befriend someone. With all your eleven-year-old cockiness aside, you want to tell him that there is no I in team, that there should never be.

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Your eyes. Where the fire once resided, burning, dancing, it is now fading. She calls you upon it, the red-haired girl, and you close your eyes, wanting to memorize the look in hers.

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You did not have any of this in mind. You were never the kind of child to awe at the sight of two worlds burning down and you were never the kind to tolerate failure.

And here, you are reminded of your childhood fear of fire, having burned your fingers a few too many times by mistake. Here, you are reminded that you are afraid and you begin to wonder where the courage has gone.

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Part of you wanted to scream when you realized what her being the eighth child truly meant. And yes, of course, the onii-chanin you wanted to shelter and protect but a larger part feared the fact that she would also fight and taste the hate and power and loss of innocence that came with battle.

Our war game.Not just your own.

And so, you had no choice but to let her go and let her grow.

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And home will never be the same again.

You cannot stare at a computer screen without letting your mind wander and chase thoughts of your reptilian friend who stood by your side while you stood your ground. You cannot forget the taste of ash against the back of your throat, or the salt of the sea, or their hands in yours as you said goodbye even though you did not believe in goodbyes. In time, you learned you were right not to.

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The second time around, this time around, you do not fight the battles but you watch from the sidelines, mentoring here and there and covering for the new team.

And sometimes it is so hard to not dive in and want to change things yourself because you know that world better than any before you ever could and any after you ever would. Still, you have faith. They have their courage too, and he shines bright, though not as bright as you, it is said, but you wave it of in modesty. You tell them to give him time.

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Sometimes you watch her, your kid sister, who is no longer a kid in her own eyes but will forever remain that way in yours. You watch her as she struggles with darkness, casts her light, and holds the hands of hope to save the world a second time. You are proud.

And sometimes, she astounds you with the calm rationale you never possessed. Other times, it seems, she may as well have been you, because she is making the same mistakes and yes, it hurts to watch but it hurts more to not interfere.

It is necessary, you are told. And in time, you understand. How can you not?

After all, you too were young once.

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At the end of it all, you think, you would not change a single thing. Hope and Light went hand in hand, Love and Friendship too. Over time, you recover from the latter blow just as you knew you one day would.

You look at the second goggle boy and you know he too will suffer in life and love for that is the price the courageous must pay.

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To your face, your friends may make noise and complain, about your habits and about your hair, but behind your back, the truth remains. They could not be prouder to have been led by you.

Standing in the sun, you become the sun. Despite the immortality that has latched itself to your name, you accept the fact that everything will end one day, taking you with it, or maybe the other way around.

Still, you smile, and gravity prevails.

Perhaps they were right in choosing you.

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end