Okay, here goes. This is the eighth ! chapter of this fic. Originally, I thought I'd only get about three, possibly four... How wrong I was.

Anyway. I'm listening to Silverchair's Diorama right now, and if you haven't heard it, you are one of the millions of unenlightened. PS, A line of dialog in here refers to the lyrics of the song My Favourite Thing, but I'm not telling which one... Buy the album! That was a small plug that has NOTHING to do with the story. Perhaps I'm leading into telling you about the songs from THIS fic... Yeees...

I'm putting them up on my website so you can listen while you read. A soundtrack! Anyway, there IS a disclaimer, since I'm not big into lawsuits that says you've gotta delete them after 24 hours because YOU don't own them. There.

On with THIS chapter however. The song is The Spiral by Godsmack, so we've gone and come round full circle from where we started. I do NOT own Godsmack's songs, Silverchair's songs, nor any of the characters in Digimon, but I use them like I do. Don't sue!

And, to everyone who's been reviewing this piece of shit, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Reviews and Vitamin C and protein and sunshine... Rose Silverstein, evil little person, and Blondie, you guys are the best!

Sometimes we only live for the here and now.
Sometimes we're lonely.
Sometimes we feel we need a place to be grounded.
Or fly away again.

I will fly away again.
No, I will fly away again.

He had nothing to cover his eyes now. Even the air between them parted, allowing her to see every tear as it appeared and fell. He didn't know what to think, just the overwhelming nag in the back of his mind that wanted to raise his hands and hide behind them. Raise his hands to cover his eyes or to hit her until she closed hers.

Just something.

I feel rain pouring down.

Just anything to stop this awkward moment in mid-stride. What was he now? Nothing. Not a God, not his goal, nothing. He wasn't wearing his royal robes, he'd torn those off - offending and tight and memory soaked. He'd quickly written up a different outfit, something new, something that he hadn't worn before and couldn't contain any ties to past regrets. The shirt wasn't anything special, just a black long-sleeved zip; the pants comfortable and baggy and such a dark blue they were nearly black as well. His hair was limp like in the real world, his feet bare and unshod. Black along with limp and pathetic: mirror on his mood. He dropped his head, cutting off the connection between their eyes. His hair - yes - would serve to hide his face now.

"Ichijouji?" He could hear the hesitancy in her voice, unsure of what to call him. He snickered humorlessly. Good route, Miya-chan.
"What?" It was said in complete monotone, waiting for her to show emotion. He was doing enough of that, exceeding his quota and deciding to show her nothing but stone and pensiveness.
"Are you okay?" Oh, that was so like Miyako. Wondering, wishing for his sanity. But he knew he wasn't okay. Wishing wasn't going to change that. He'd wholly lost his grip on himself and - in doing so - his kingdom. How was he supposed to rule and conquer and continue when he lacked direction, focus?


I wait to ride away,
live again,
here forever,
the spiral never ends.
Never ends.

"Where has it gone?" He mumbled it to the wind, hoping for an answer on the next gust.
"Nothing, Miya." Something seemed strange all of a sudden as the words left his mouth. Miya? Wait - not only was she speaking to him - he was using one of her many private pet names in broad daylight like nothing was wrong. Like it was everyday, and just in bed, just talking about nothing. Just carousing and lounging and nothing at all. "Miya." He brushed the bangs out of his blurred view, looking up to catch her still there, still concerned eyes. Child-like and naïvely weak he whispered, "Where did it go?"

His jaw clenched, and Ken sobbed as streams of fluid tears traced down his porcelain cheeks. Where did it go? Had it just left? Had his pride and self-assurance betrayed him too? Miya, beautiful Miyako stepped across the air between them, holding him tightly. Letting him bow his head into the crook of her neck and quake and shake and cry into her shoulder. "Oniisan." Between his teeth, it was both a mute cry and an embittered warning. As if the spirits of the dead would hear him and fear him. "Miya..." His short nails, perfectly cut and filed, dug at her shirt, holding her close so she'd hold him closer.

Why are we feeling something's familiar around us?
Are we just dreaming?

Miyako brushed his wind driven hair from his cowed neck with her nose, placing small deliberate kisses across his skin.

"Ken-chan. Ken, it's okay-" She corrected herself-"it'll BE okay. I'm here, and it's going to be okay." Her kisses calmed him some, but underneath the warm mellow feeling that was only the skin on the monster, he wanted to pull away.

Always we search for the answers, nothing is found.
I will fly away again.

And he did, after pushing her gently towards the door from which she came, still standing open. She didn't understand how alone he now felt, how desperate and stranded and utterly powerless and lonely. How it felt to have your backbone slip through your grip like grains of sand. Or molecules of air in the wind.

"I feel like letting go."

He backed up again, his heels hanging off the edge, balancing on the wisp of breath of his bare toes.

No, I will fly away again.

It was like she was in front of a television set, watching a movie and staring, popcorn halfway to her gawking jaw, frozen immobile.
"Osamu-san." That was it, his brother and himself. Two perfect beings who could betray and lie and deceive and tear apart his mind and heart. They had both failed. And then there was Takeru, new blood on his hands. HE had caused it. HIM. So much pain lived inside his heart in the real world - escaping here, there was the pain of Miyako. Now of Takeru. And always his heart, beating blood through his numb, decaying, dying body.

I feel rain pouring down.
I wait to ride away,
live again,
here forever,
the spiral never ends.

He couldn't speak. He didn't have anything left to say.

"KEN!!" He saw her lunge, arm outstretched, trying to defy its structure and reach to him. But it couldn't. Nothing could ever reach him. He bunched up his toes and pushed back in one small movement, closing his eyes to the sun and wind and letting his stiff body dip backwards into the great crevasse of nothing that separated him from the ground some fifty stories below.

Ride away,
live again,
here forever,
the spiral never ends.

"KEN!!" The second scream came from behind Miyako, the green caterpillar emerging from the shadows he sat in, watching. "NO!!" No, Ken had disappeared from sight but Wormmon knew exactly where he was. Falling. His partner, his frail white little human body falling to be broken. No. He squeezed his eyes shut and the tears out as a bright pink light hovered around his body. Why couldn't he protect him now when he needed him most?!

I will fly away again.

That last thought, that selfless love that he had always harbored was the catalyst of his hidden potential. Ken. His new, still wet wings spread and reached where Miyako's arm, now flailing over the edge of the balcony could not. He followed their soundless, frenzied direction, tucking himself into an insect bullet and diving over the edge.

I feel rain pouring down.

If only. If only Ken would fall slower with his arms outstretched, bobbing in the wind. If only. If only he could wish himself sleeker, quicker, and find the boy in his arms. Ah, the power of a wish in this world.

I wait to ride away,
live again,
here forever,
the spiral never ends.

Miyako watched the insectoid digimon helplessly, felt her heart stop beating as the shy, delicate little boy she loved fell closer to the death he wanted. Only a second lay between them, and Stingmon reached over time with his metal-clad fingers, wrapping them tightly around his body and flexing his untested wings out to catch the dry gusts of air and pull them back from the jaws of destruction.

"Ken..." The words caught in his throat, his partner was speaking as he held him close to his chest with both arms. That beautiful soft voice that was so close to almost being gone. The rough, rocky ground sped away from them as they arced upward to the balcony. Safety.

"KEN!! Her heart began beating again and she screamed his name as he and Stingmon landed on the surface of his base. She ran over, away from that infamous edge, to join the safe, warm embrace they shared. "Ken... why? Don't... don't do that!" Ken was breathless, but aware enough to be angry.
"Why?! Why the hell can't I!? He tried to push away from the muscular grip of his digimon that held him in place. "Don't I have the right to stop this pain?! Life is pain for me, now more than ever. Neither of you have the right to stop me!"

Life was so not like the movies. Perfection was a hopeless and futile task. But he WAS perfect. For his entire life, he'd put up the facade of flawlessness. "I can't live like this! I can't live with these thoughts in my head and these things that I've done!"

"Just because you can't be perfect, doesn't mean you can't be happy!" Miyako tried to reason with him as she could and was crying now too. Even the featureless digimon's eyes watered at the edges. His human in so much pain? Sure, HE knew pain - mostly at Ken's hands - but the thought that Ken hated himself? No. It was too much for his mind. "And even if you can't be happy, that doesn't stop you from living!"
"Why? Why can't it? If I'm not perfect, then I don't need to worry about blowing my perfect streak with a smudge and a mar like suicide." Now was the time. To hell with vain thoughts of self-esteem.
"I need you Ken, don't you know that? Didn't you know you were throwing me to my death too, because even though I shouldn't, I love you!"

He stopped struggling in the inhuman hold, hair falling in his eyes, hiding the fact that her last words were echoing in his mind. Love? How could she? 'even though I shouldn't...' Of course she shouldn't. She didn't! He had done so many evil things to her, put her mind and body through so much agony. He lifted his head, hair gone from his eyes, to her face.

Miya, I love YOU. THAT at least, was true - as true as it had been since the first day he saw her. Perhaps it wasn't a pure or righteous kind of love then, something black and twisted that little boys - no matter how perfect - hide in their closets and under their beds. But it was love, always had been, and now... Now it was something so elemental to his being that it hurt, something so close he didn't give it thought, one more guilt that pushed him off the edge.
"No, you can't." I'm evil! "I'm the Kaiser... I-"
"Sshhh..." She put her fingers to his lips, but he shook his head violently away.
"No! You can't love me. Don't you dare! I'm selfish and evil and I'm the one who gets to love you!"
"What?..." But she didn't need to ask or do anything at all. His eyes - it was always his eyes - gave it away. It was the truth. When the Kaiser lied, you knew it. When the Kaiser was mad, you knew it. When the Kaiser told the truth that had been burning away at his flesh...

And Miyako Inoue finally had her shy, delicate little boy to love.

I will fly away again.

EH: Just a small note this time, folks.
Stingmon: I digivolved!
EH: Yeah, I felt so bad for you, cause you hardly ever do...
Anyway, send any flames/odes to my greatness to aquamala@juno.com
Ken: Fin