This is what I personally call a Fragment fiction. I.e.: it's just one scene from what could be part of an entire, much bigger story, but makes sense in and of itself . I've heard these kinds of fic's called O-Makes by other writers.


Similarity.

The first thing he hears after the fugue lifts is someone yelling at him:

'TK, get a grip!'

The comment is so sharp and comes from such an unexpected direction that, for a moment, TK does just that –he gets a grip. Or at least, enough of one so that he can remember who he is and where he is and why freaking out right here and now is a really bad idea. Enough that he realises he can hear his own heartbeat thudding in his ears and that the left side of his face is stinging.

'Man, you hit him!'

'Davis, please, shh!'

'Sorry, but that was a big one, Ken, what were you trying to do, knock his head off?'

Davis sounds a little freaked out, TK realises, and he's not sure whether it's because of what Ken did or because of TK's... apparent episode. Because... yeah, when the resident headcase is telling you to get a grip, then you know that things are bad and that you're probably scaring a lot of people. He's on his knees; the floor is cold and rocky. Ken is clutching TK's shoulders far too tightly for comfort; his brain feels as if it's been wrapped in gauze and...

And what the hell just...

TK blinks. It feels as if he hasn't done so in far too long, and he tells himself that that's the reason his eyes are watering. 'My head...'

'It's okay, the same thing happened to me a few minutes ago. Take deep breaths and don't... think about being angry. It'll pass.'

TK does what he's told, mostly to give himself something to focus on which isn't the dull sensation of shock and bewilderment and... Anger. Yeah, he recognizes it now. A dull, choking sensation trembling in his throat. After about ten breaths, the gauzy sensation in his head begins to clear a little and Ken lets go of his shoulders. It feels as if he's coming back to his body, even though he isn't sure where he went in the first place. An image flickers in his mind. Somebody smiling at him... no, not smiling, sneering; cold and angry and insane...

'So can anybody tell me what the hell that was about?' Davis asks, with a kind of firmness that makes him sound too much like Tai and too little like Motomiya. TK tries to answer, and is annoyed that his voice only comes out as a croak.

'It was... a Digimon, it... I saw... I...'

'TK found the source of the problem,' Ken says, voice clipped at first, then softening. 'The hard way, from the looks of it. Just like I did. I guess now we know what's been driving the Digimon down here crazy.'

A name forms in the back of TK's mind as if it had been planted there. 'Z...Zelamon. It's called Zelamon.'

'That's it. You remember it? It took a few minutes to come back to me. She's a... well; Izzy says she's an empathic Digimon, champion level. She draws on your feelings and uses them against you. You remember now?'

TK nods slowly. Now that he remembers feeling the emotions he can recall why he felt them. He can remember Ken and Davis entering the Digital world and being sent down into the caves. He can remember being on the team that went out to find them when they didn't come back. He remembers the confrontation; the Digimon sucked away into the blackness of the tunnels by... whatever force it had been, the anger, the fury... He can remember his actions from one second to the next, he can...

'Your arm...' TK whispers. Only he's not directing his gaze at Ken anymore, because there's a tear in Davis's sleeve and blood is showing through the material.

Davis glimpses at it and shrugs. 'Oh... yeah. Totally an accident man, no big. Didn't know you had it in ya.'

TK feels nauseous. The stinging in his jaw is slowly mutating into a throbbing ache, reminding him all too painfully of the fact that Ken knows at least one martial art.

'Hey, TK don't worry about it, it's not your fault.' Davis says. 'It was that Digimon, she –it was a she, right?– She messes with your brain or something. Just like Malomyotismon did, remember?

Yeah TK remembers. Far more than he wants to. It's only now that he's starting to get a grip of his body again that he realises what is missing.

'The... the Digimon,' he says, and privately thinks Our Digimon. 'She was... hurting them. Why was she...?'

'Because she knew that's what would get to you. Well, to all of us, but mostly you. She already tried it with me.' Ken says, simply. But how could it really be that simple? TK can hardly conceive of it. A creature causing pain simply for the sake of causing pain? Hurting for the sake of hurting?

And now where were they? The absence of Patamon hurts almost as much as the pain in his jaw. 'Where'd they go?'

'They... went down that way.' Davis points down the dark passageway ahead. 'I mean Veemon and Stingmon, they took after her and...'

'Angemon...'

'Uh, yeah um, he went that way too, he... I think he freaked out a little too.' Davis hesitates, and TK lurches in panic. The only reason he doesn't stand is because Ken takes a hold of him again and hangs on tightly.

'TK, wait. Don't freak out.'

'T-That's easy for you to say, he—!'

'No, it's not,' Ken interrupts, and... There's nothing TK can say to that, because the tiny part of his brain which is still thinking rationally knows that Ken is right. Ken knows exactly how hard it is to keep control of yourself sometimes. He knows what it's like to have your partner ripped away from you. That, at least, Ken understands.

'They're alright. They'll all be alright.' TK isn't sure if Ken is trying to reassure him or himself.

Yeah, they're 'Destined Digimon, remember? Davis smiles in a way he probably thinks is heartening. 'They've taken on bad guys twenty times Zelamon's level and made 'em cry. Angemon's probably kicking her butt even as we speak. By the time we catch up with them, they'll have all of this under control an' we can all go home and fight over the rest of that popcorn we had before this whole mess started. I'm sure Angemon is totally fine.'

Of course he is.

Of course he is. TK takes another few deep breaths and tells himself that a few more times. Davis is right. Freaky or not, Zelamon is still just a champion and Angemon knows just how to deal with creatures like her. The gauze-like feeling almost completely gone, but replaced with the dull throbbing that usually precludes a tension headache. It's okay. He can handle it.

'Ken, you... what did she show you?'

Ken smiles, but there's no humour in it whatsoever. 'Take a wild guess.'

Great. Ken faced up to the Emperor inside of him all over again and held it together, but TK had freaked out over a few six year old memories of an event he only just recalls? He isn't sure how much embarrassment is appropriate, and he doesn't quite dare to ask exactly what he did while Zelamon had a hold of him –Davis's arm is already more evidence than he needs– but he can still feel the anger pounding in his veins and wonders how much damage could've been done.

Being the Crest Keeper of Hope was not all it was cracked up to be. Every emotion, after all, has an opposite. As Kari might say: "The stronger the light, the deeper the darkness", so the stronger the hope...

'The deeper the chaos when it all goes to hell.' TK thinks. 'And... and you're still... I mean you didn't freak out?'

Ken continues smiling that thin and not-very-convincing smile. 'Who says I didn't? I had Davis.'

Of course he freaked out. He must have freaked out. Because TK knows Ken, and Ken knows TK whether either of them are prepared to fully admit to that fact.

Their reassurance amounts to nothing. TK knows that he did this. Zelamon may have stoked the first but all the kindling had already been there, just waiting for her to strike a match.

The less a person explodes on a regular basis, the worst the actual eruption is when it finally had enough reason to show itself. But it wasn't a question of the anger building up and stagnating inside of you over time. Anger, TK had discovered through a process of trial and error, doesn't always work like that. Sometimes it just comes and goes as easily as anything. More like a storm than a volcano.

TK can imagine that he and Ken responded very similarly to Zelamon's emotional onslaught, but also how they must've been different. TK's anger raged hot and uncontrollable, but Ken's anger was cool and precise – Ken used his anger, while TK's anger used him.

This did not, of course, make either of them necessarily more mentally stable than the other. Ken's ability to channel his anger into one concentrated burst of action was what had made the Digimon Emperor so dangerous. And TK's...

Well...

'Think you can handle it?' Ken asks quietly, and for just a moment, their eyes are looked in one of those strange, distorted seconds that occurs when two people look at each other and realise that they're thinking exactly the same thing, and neither of them is sure whether to be amused, bewildered, or terrified. Because deep, deep inside of both of them is a part of each other. And not a very good part, either. Normally, it's the kind of thing they can both ignore – the kind of thing they have ignored, for years. But occasionally...

It's always been like that between them.

TK nods. 'Sure. Sure, I think I've got it now.'

'Good, cause I do not wanna take another shot like that, seriously what've you been doin' in your spare time, TP, pressing iron at the gym? You guys really need to start telling me this stuff, I wanna warning next time you freak out. But it's cool.' Davis gets to his feet, brushes off his jeans and reaches out both hands. It takes TK a moment to realise that he's gesturing to both of them.

'Davis I...'

'Seriously, TK. We won't tell Kari.'

'I... thanks.' TK swallows, feeling more greatly for Davis's assurance than he probably should. It isn't until he's back on his feet that Ken lets go of his shoulders, as easily as if he were holding a gate open. TK staggers for a moment, and then finds his bearings. And then they're walking, and he's feeling calmer and... Things are almost but not quite normal again.

'Okay. Rule number one: do not get close enough to Zelomon for her to use the freaky mind waves on ya, capiche?'


Homages and Rip Offs:

"TK's angry raged hot and uncontrollable, but Ken's anger was cool and precise – Ken used his anger, while TK's anger used him." This following quote is borrowed from the famous science fiction novel Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card (Chap. 7): "Ender's anger was cold, and he could use it. Bonzo's was hot, so it used him."