A/N: I can't believe I finally got around to writing this... Actually, I can't believe I got the honor to writing this. This is based off of Gemini Star01's "The Last" which, by the way, if you haven't read i, go read it now. I have to thank Gemini Star01 for beta-ing this for me too. I was actually really happy to see all of the coloring in the editing version when it was emailed back to me. My goal is to decrease that coloring by the final chapter, but that way be a while.
I, like many people, am a college student, so I will not declare a writing schedule nor a posting schedule. I already have to deal with the school editor for a satire paper on that one. I won't even say summer may bring more chapters because that's probably not true with my plans for summer classes. So, either way, enjoy the chapter and enjoy the story!
Warnings: Kouichi will be a little OOC angsty but that's mostly because of events from "The Last" and events that will happen in the story.
Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon at all nor do I own "The Last". All I own is my lack of sanity. And my laptop, my precious.
The Trailmon compartment was just as quiet, silent and depressing as that first lonely ride. The train was empty except for him. Leaning his head against the cool window, Kouichi stared out through the glass and glared at the scenery as it zoomed by. Everything outside was bright, sunny and joyful. Kouichi felt the exact opposite.
Turning from the window, Kouichi stared at the photo album in his lap. It was open to the first page – the picture that had revealed the truth to Kouichi, after the 40 nightmarish years he suffered after his precious twin brother and mother died in the fire that should have taken his life. But that fire didn't, just like the rat poison, wrist slitting and other suicide methods did not.
The picture in his lap pictured himself, his twin brother – Kouji – and the fourth best friends anybody could ever have. The picture was taken just after the groups return from their first trip to the Digital World, and after Kouichi was released from the hospital. Takuya has his arms wrapped around Kouji and Tomoki's shoulders. Junpei was standing behind Tomoki and Izumi behind Takuya, with her arms around his shoulders. Kouichi was standing next to his brother, laughing at Kouji as he was losing his balance with Takuya on him. The group was on a picnic or something. Kouichi couldn't remember the occasion any more.
Kouichi currently spent his days in the Digital World, but he was going back on request of the Three Angels. He was going back because they needed him too.
"What?" Kouichi shouted, stunned. Before him were the three Celestial Angels of the Digital World. They had called Kouichi to the crystalline room of the Rose Morning Star Castle, saying it was to ask him a few questions and just talk; it was obviously not going how Kouichi expected.
Ophanimon gazed upon Kouichi's form. "Yes, there are reports of several Digimon breaking through the barrier between our world and the Human World. The Digital are frequently attacking innocent people and the humans are having trouble defending themselves. "
Kouichi looked surprised, "Why can't you just fix the barrier? That should be easy enough for you guys." He watched the forms of the celestial Digimon. They all studied him carefully, Cherubimon looking apprehensive but the other two seemed neutral. "That is what you're doing right? You just decided to tell me because you think I still have a connection to that world."
Seraphimon shook his head, "No. Unfortunately, we cannot just fix the barrier as we would like, as much as we wish we could. As it is, we are working on repairs and strengthening the barrier between the two worlds. But in the meantime, the humans are suffering far too much to be ignored."
"So…?" Kouichi asked, quickly becoming annoyed at the angels and their obvious attempts at trying to beat around the bush. Even at the mention of people being hurt, he was numb and couldn't feel pity for them.
Cherubimon waited for his companions to answer for a moment before saying, "We're sending the Legendary Warriors across the barrier to protect the humans while we continue repairs. Unfortunately, though, they will not have enough energy to take form after crossing the barrier and would be vulnerable. Therefore, they are going to need to be bonded with human children to be effective."
Kouichi suddenly snapped at the thought, 'No! The spirits aren't theirs to give away! They belong to Kouji and Takuya and everyone else!'
He glared at the angels. "Why are you telling me this?"
Cherubimon picked up again, before the other two could put their feet in their mouths, "Because, Kouichi -," he paused and waved his hand. Wizardmon walked into the room and handed Kouichi a small hard cover notebook before Cherubimon continued, "We have prepared a list of children who are compatible with the Warrior spirits. If you would look through, you can see that the list is quite short, and continues to shorten as the children proven incompatible with the powers of the Legendary Warriors. Especially for the Spirit of…"
"Darkness," Kouichi guessed as he flipped through the pages, "Which is why that list is absent?"
Ophanimon nodded. "Yes. And, of course … the children who bond with the spirits will need a … tutor or mentor of sorts, someone from the Digital World to show them the ropes." She paused, hesitating to continue.
"And you want me to do it," Kouichi deadpanned, fingering through the list for the warriors of water and wood.
Seraphimon remarked, "If you did, they wouldn't need to know anything about you. We can create a new life for you in the Human World so they don't even have to know your true name."
Kouichi's eyes snapped upward to glare at the angel. "So, you basically want to give me a fake life to make new connections to people that will die too young?"
The angels gawked at Kouichi, taken aback by the harshness in his voice. Kouichi looked away from the angels and back to the list in his hands. Flipping the page, he continued scanning through the list.
It was the list for the potential warriors of Light, one of the shorter lists in the collection. Disgust overwhelmed him and he almost threw the notebook away from him when his eyes fell on one name at the bottom of the list. Kouichi stopped mid throw and looked closer at the name.
'Kouji Kimura. No, it couldn't be Otouto.' But after seeing that name, Kouichi couldn't throw the list away anymore. It was like the suddenly became glued to his hand. 'No, it's not Kouji. It's not him. He's be dead for too long. It's NOT him.' But still, his hand would not listen.
The Angels all looks down on Kouichi, knowing what page he had just looked at. The angels probably had pulled a really dirty trick on the poor boy, but they may have not really known what was on the page that the boy was looking at.
Either way, Kouichi turned away from the Angels, tightened his grip on the notebook and muttered, "I'll think about it." But Kouichi knew that he was going to go with the Legendary Warriors. He walked away and went to find Lowemon and to figure out what was happening in his head.
Out on one of the balconies of the Rose Morning Star Castle, Kouichi and Lowemon stood staring up into the red and black sky of the Dark Continent. The rose pattern of the lights in the sky was extremely bright that day. The balcony they stood on was one of the many on the upper levels of the tower like castle.
Lowemon simply said to him, "What does your heart say?"
Kouichi paused and then replied, "It's confused. I feel like I should go with the Warriors."
The Spirit of Darkness nodded, "Then I guess I will be your partner for a while more." Kouichi could hear the smile in his voice. "Come. We probably shouldn't keep them waiting. They probably want to get you going before much more time goes by."
Nodding, Kouichi followed him back from their perch back to the Angels. The other warriors were already gathered to hear Kouichi's decision. When he appeared and nodded to the unspoken question, the Angels seemed to relax in relief. Kouichi added quickly, "But!" The Angels looked alarmed for a second and the warriors wondered what the "but" could mean. "I'm only going till their all ready to defend themselves. I'm coming back as soon as the danger passes and the barrier is completely fixed."
The Angels all nodded in understanding, "Of course. We really couldn't expect you to stay in the Human World for much longer than that." They turned to the warriors, "So, now with Kouichi going with you, the chance of you being taken in spirit form but someone for intent to harm won't at all probable. You will be hiding in the forms of something far less noticeable."
Confused, Kouichi asked, "What will they be hiding as? Cell phones?"
Seraphimon and Ophanimon just gazed at Kouichi while Cherubimon mumbled, "Well, the warriors of Water, Steel, Wood and Earth will be copying more normal objects, but the other warriors already have objects that they can channel themselves into…"
Kouichi realized what he was talking about. He looked scandalized and growled to himself. "They're using their treasures!?" The warriors looked solemn at Kouichi's outburst. Before anyone could speak, Kouichi calmed himself down and nodded to the Angels, growling, "Never mind. It's fine. I understand. Continue."
Kouichi was quiet then and Lowemon put a hand on his shoulder and handed him a backpack. The backpack was a beaten up and tattered green and black backpack, a gift from Lowemon when he first arrived. It was similar to one Kouichi had used when he had gone to elementary school and was a hand me down from his mother.
Cherubimon nodded to himself. "Let's just get going and get all of you too the human world as soon as possible. Kouichi," He turned to look at the boy. "When you arrive to the human world, there will be an apartment available for you to live in and an alias set up for you to attend school," Kouichi went to protest but Cherubimon cut him off, "Yes, you need to go to school. Most of the potential children attend the school you will be attending, so this will give you a better connection with them when it comes time to find the correct child."
Kouichi just nodded and said, "Just finish up and I'll go."
Ophanimon turned from the boy. The Warriors nodded and turned to Kouichi. The Warriors of Steel, Water, Wood and Earth all stood in front of him first. They all nodded to the boy and started to glow and shrink, down to the size of human world trinkets and objects. The Spirits of Steel took the form of a small compact mirror, the casing green with red etchings and lines and it was cold to the touch and extremely reflective. The Warrior of Water became a beautiful hair clip, decorated with the whole blue spectrum and possessed a blue lily like flower. The Wood Warrior formed fingerless leather gloves, red-ish brown in color and had padding over the knuckles. The Earth Spirit was the shape of a small mallet with a stone handle and had a very beat up appearance. He took them all in his arms and carefully hid them inside his backpack.
Kumamon stepped up to Kouichi next. It was just a second before the ice bear swept Kouichi into a literal bear bug. He whispered into Kouichi's ear, "Be careful, alright?" Kouichi nodded and Kumamon smiled began to glow. The Ice Warrior pulled Tomoki's toy bear from his belt and held it out to Kouichi. Kouichi took the bear and Kumamon disappeared into the bear, the data flickering as it bonded with the treasure.
Kazemon then grabbed Kouichi in a hug from behind, whispering her own, "Don't worry. We'll all be back here soon." She slipped Izumi's ribbon into Kouichi's fingers and vanished similar to the others.
"Do you want another hug?" Kouichi shook his head and the Thunder Warrior chuckled, "I didn't think so. See ya on the other side." He winked as best as he could and joined with Junpei's jacket and Kouichi folded it up neatly and placed it in the backpack with the other treasures.
Agunimon was next. Takuya's partner pulled the goggled from around his neck and held them in one hand. He looked at them and then at Kouichi. Kouichi blurted out, "Don't worry. I'll make sure nothing happens to them."
Agunimon smirked and finally handed them over. "I know." The Warrior of Fire vanished, and the goggles followed the jacket, ribbon and bear into the bag.
Kouichi couldn't look up at the next one. He just couldn't. The white coated hand just appeared on his shoulder and he stopped. Lobomon muttered, "I told you that it's your treasure. I'll make a copy" Kouichi couldn't reply before the wolf Digimon vanished into light and appeared in his hand as beige stripped bandana with a dark blue background, just like the one tied to Kouichi's arm. The second one was quickly moved to the backpack without any more words.
Lowemon looked to the Angels. "I'll walk him to the station."
Seraphimon nodded a thank you to him and swiftly left. Ophanimon presented Kouichi a copy of Bokomon's finished manuscript. Kouichi nodded in thanks and tucked it away. She followed Seraphimon after that. Cherubimon was the last to go. He spoke, "Kouichi, be careful."
Kouichi nodded, and replied, "Thank you for your help so far."
"I can't help but feel your pain is entirely my fault." Cherubimon was able to look guilty enough and his ears drooped, reminding Kouichi of a sad puppy.
Kouichi smiled, "No, Cherubimon, don't worry about it. Thanks to you, I got to meet Kouji in the first place. If we hadn't met while I was here in spirit, I may have died that day, without ever meeting him."
Cherubimon seemed to perk up at that comment. He patted Kouichi on the head with his large hand, wishing the boy a final good luck before following the other angels from the room.
Kouichi turned to Lowemon and muttered, "Let's go." The lion nodded and followed Kouichi down from the crystal room and to the train station of the Rose Morning Star. The pair stepped aboard the Trailmon sitting there without a word. When the doors shut, they departed the station.
Kouichi looked at Lowemon, asking, "Are you going to be taking a form of some object too?"
"Yes. I was actually planning on doing that soon. Do you have a preference?"
Gazing out at the Dark Continent as they flew along the rail tracks, "A wrist band. It's something that is easy to wear and I won't get yelled at for wearing with my school uniform."
Lowemon nodded and crossed to stand above Kouichi. He went to one knee to look into the eyes of his partner. "We'll get this over with quickly and we'll be back before you know it." Kouichi nodded to the lion. The Warrior of Darkness smiled with his eyes and began to glow. Before his form was gone, he muttered, "Just call me whenever you want to talk. I'll always be here for you."
Kouichi nodded again and Lowemon was gone and a black and silver wrist band appeared around his wrist. When he looked closer, he noticed a small Yin-Yang symbol stitched into the underside if the wrist band. The Trailmon entered one of the tunnels off of the Dark Continent and to the brighter parts of the Digital World to connect to the tracks leading to the Human World.
The Trailmon was stopping. Kouichi looked up from his memories and saw he was in the terminal under the basement of the Shibuya station. Stepping off the Trailmon, he thanked him and started to the abandoned waiting elevators. He paused as he pulled the straps of the backpack further up on his shoulders and took a deep breath. Finally, he stepped onto the waiting elevator and braced himself to return to the Human World. He muttered to himself, thinking back to the notebook list of names, "Here I come, Kouji. Wait up for me."