Summary: Motomiya Daisuke is hallucinating because of a terrible illness. It is up to a strange group of people lead by Ichijouji Ken to find a cure before its too late. Daisuke, Ken, Hikari, and Takeru are 18, Iori is 17, Miyako is 19, Mimi and Koushiro are 20, Taichi, Yamato, and Sora are 21, and Jyou is 22. AU. Shounen ai. Shoujo ai. Disclaimers: I do not own Digimon Adventures or the characters. But this plot is mine. In Sickness and In Health Chapter 1 - Footsteps

The glassy water reflected the full moon and surrounding forested canyon perfectly. A soft wind blew through his long blue hair. Violet eyes glared down into the glassy water below. The boy released his grip and majestically flew down into the ice-cold liquid below. It took was seemed like eternity to the boy. The wind rushed through his soft gray cloak and loose gray pants and shirt. Finally the young blue haired youth touched the water headfirst. His neck was instantly broke after the 180-foot drop. A lifeless, blank-eyed boy floated in the shallow river with water slowly washing over him and cleansing him of his own blood.

Motomiya Daisuke was plagued with these hideous hallucinations and dreams. He had been for the past six days. Each day dedicated to another one of his friends' deaths. Today just happened to be Ichijouji Ken's lucky day to jump off a bridge in Daisuke's mind. Daisuke's body steadily dripped salty liquids from the pours. There was another stream of this salty liquid, but these were of tears.

Inoue Miyako rewetted the cloth and placed it back on her mahogany-haired friend's forehead. Checking the thermometer, she noticed Daisuke's temperature was up more than normal today. It read 103(F). It was much hotter than the last five day where it had been a steady 99(F). She wondered if today was a worse day for Daisuke's hallucinations or if his illness was just getting worse.

No one knew what was happening but when Taichi was going to the Motomiya shrine at the top of the hill on the Northern side of Syldell City, he found his young friend lying on his back underneath the Sakura trees. He was screaming, thrashing about and crying out for help. He said he needed help to save Miyako from the bad man with the knife down in the Inoue shop in Syldell City's Market Square.

When Taichi found out how incredibly sick Daisuke was, he called upon the city's medicine man, Kido Jyou. Jyou immediately concluded that Daisuke was either possessed or insane. Taichi, knowing what would happen if his friend was pronounced insane, called upon Spiritualist from the neighboring kingdom of Valangard. When neither Takenouchi Sora nor Tachikawa Mimi could find no demons inside of Daisuke or any sign of possession, everyone was at a loss. The only option left was insane.

Daisuke's 'close friend,' Ichijouji Ken absolutely refused to believe for a second that his Daisuke[1] was insane. Ken performed a series of tests upon Daisuke. The results showed that a new virus was attacking Daisuke's body. After that revelation, priest-in-training Ichijouji Ken never set foot outside the shrine's storage room. The head miko, Motomiya Jun brought in food and drink on occasion. Ken barely kept off his research to find a cure for his mentor's ailment to notice the time of day or what was going on around him.

Today it just got worse for Motomiya Daisuke. Miyako swept loose bangs from Daisuke's pale forehead. The 18 year old boy whimpered and half-moaned, half-screamed out Ken's name. As if on cue, the blue-haired young man peered out from the slightly cracked wooden door. He jumped out the door, ran to the main building, swung the wood and paper door open and shouted at everyone in the room.

"I found a cure!"

"Shh," Hida Iori hissed, "Daisuke's worse today for some reason. Either his sickness is taking over or the dreams and hallucinations are getting worse. He finally settled down a bit, so try to be a bit more quiet."

"Oh, sorry," Ken blushed, "But you see, I know how to make him better. There is only one problem. The ingredients for the medicine are a long journey away and it can only be put together by a well-trained mage. I am not that and I need a traveling companion or two," the bluenette inhaled, "Also, I have found a temporary cure, and it will wear out in approximately two weeks. And this disease he has contracted will build up a resistance to it and not be affective again."

"Well for Heaven's sake! Give it to him now," Izumi Koushiro shouted from one corner.

"That would not be wise, I want to get everything ready to leave Syldell before giving it to him. He is coming with me, it will take too long to get the ingredients and bring it back. I need some of you to join me on this journey."

"You said you needed a sorcerer? Well, you know I am Syldell's Royal Mage and I have the highest skill level in this kingdom. I will have to ask Prince Yamato's permission to leave, mind you. But I don't think he will miss me for this short journey."

Ken nodded at Yagami Taichi. It was true, he was the best in Syldell. It would get more complicated than this. He would need a medicine man for this journey, a martial arts expert, an expert on weaponry, maybe a spiritualist, and one who could guide them all. Ken looked around the room and realized all he needed was right in front of him. All except the guide. He knew exactly where he could fine one, though, he did not know if she would agree.

Koushiro, offered his weapons from his shop in Market Square and advanced skills. Jyou, even though timidly, volunteered to accompany the team saying that he would have his two apprentices watch over the city's people. Sora and Mimi were reluctant at first but then thought of what a grand adventure it would be to learn about customs and maybe meet a new demon or two. Miyako offered them all any supplies they needed from her shop for free as long as she could come. Iori began teaching everyone the basic Jujitsu stances and movements from his dojo's curriculum. There was only the guide left.

Miyako had a plan. Her older sister, Inoue Momoe, knew the wild lands better than any one in the kingdoms. An added benefit of bringing Momoe along was that she was completely in tune with nature and a psychic. The problem was, Momoe was too timid to do much of anything. The only was she would go is if someone could convince her to see all the greatness of going along. There was only one person that could do that, Momoe swooned over this person to extremes. And this person was none other than, Motomiya Jun.[2] They must travel to Valangard to join with Momoe and see if she will actually agree.

Everyone parted their ways to get ready for this adventure ahead of them. Ken stay at the shrine of coarse because that is where he lived. Ken packed Daisuke's needs and his own. Checking back in on Daisuke, he was pleased to notice how peaceful he was as his older sister put a clean cloth back on his forehead. Ken silently shut the door and made his way to the bottom of the steps to await everyone's arrival. He sighed thinking about what lied ahead. He was anxious to leave, yet nervous. He adjusted his soft gray outfit and sat on a large boulder at the base of the white stairs.

Everything was prepared perfectly to set off. They had gotten everything ready in record time. To everyone's surprise, Taichi was allowed to go on one condition, the prince of Syldell Kingdom himself wanted to tag along. Prince Yamato showed up in a dark green cloak to hide his features from the general public. Taichi came in a purple silk robe with gold and dark blue trimmings. He did not forget his staff of pure jade either. Miyako came back to the shrine next. She wore her usual white cotton, ankle length skirt and red lace up girdle. She wasn't the most proper of women in the kingdoms but she was very strong, brave, and determined. The next to arrive was Iori; his pale jujitsu uniform blew in the winds. Koushiro arrived along side Iori, clad in chain mail, black leather[3] and carrying swords, daggers, bows, arrows, and other various items in a large sack over his shoulder. Mimi came skipping up next with her long pink hair and black dress, dragging the like-clad Sora behind her. They each had a good-sized leather bag full of their profession's special tools. Jyou showed up in a white cloak and a large canvas bag slung around his neck and over his shoulder.

Ken noticed that everyone that was going was there except Daisuke and Jun. Ken turned around to get Daisuke to bring him down that stairs but noticed that he was already carried there by Jun. Jun also had a small vile attached with a leather strap to her wrist. He nodded to her and took Daisuke from her arms. Daisuke was much more calmer than usual yet his temperature was still very hot. Ken propped the smaller boy up against a sacred tree and brushed a few strands of stray hair out of his mentor's face. Ken then proceeded to tilt Daisuke's head back and open his mouth. The gray-clad young man opened the vile of emerald green liquid and poured it into the red-clad boys mouth. Ken rubbed up to down on Daisuke's neck to get him to swallow it. Daisuke shuddered for a second before opening his eyes. The chocolate pools met a pair of violet ones and both boys smiled wider than they ever had before. Daisuke's arms clamped themselves around Ken's neck and did not let for a minute or two.

"It's time to leave now, Daisuke. How are you feeling?"

"I... I knew you would save me... my Ken. I knew that I would open my eyes to find you with me. And just because of this, I feel like I could conquer all of the kingdoms and take on any demons or monsters."

"My dear Daisuke... you don't know how close to the truth you are in saying that is what we are off to do."

Ken held Daisuke tightly in his arms. Ken went on to tell about what they were going to do. And what their mission was. The group of 10 young men and women stood up and made a sharp left which was the boundary of Syldell City. Ken and Daisuke were in the lead followed closely by the four women who were chattering amongst each other. Jyou, Iori and Koushiro brought up the rear. Together they entered the vast forest of darkness.

The forest grew darker and darker as they pressed forward. Ken sensed the foul smell of demon around them. He did not wish to worry the others who could not sense it for it was not going to harm any of them if it wanted to live. It was a small lesser demon that's only goal was trickery. Inside Daisuke's mind he knew things would get worse and worse, including the demons. Their steps were quick and sure as they purged deep into Torugorn Forest. And with his right hand on his sword's hilt and the other holding Daisuke's the continued toward the kingdom of Valangard.

[1] Yes! HIS! *pouts* So, I am not allowed to give couple hint in the first chapter? That's how it usually is with me but hey! Everyone has to change a little bit every now and then.

[2] Could it be? Another couple hit?

[3] How many of you Kou-lovers are either REALLY surprised of drooling and swooning immensely?

Pluto's Pronunciations: Syldell - Seel' Dell; Valangard - Vall on' guard; Torugorn - Tow rew gorn'