When I said I'd get it done by March, I didn't mean this close to the end. When I first started writing this, I never expected it to take so long. So I'm really sorry for the wait, but here it finally is.
This story is a bit different than my others, in that each one-shot stands on its own, but can be interlinked to some extent to one another, and are thus not in any chronological order. The one-shots also involve references to Season 4 Digimon Frontier, (some) as well as my AU from Desperation and the AU from Kilarra's story Fate, which she gave me permission to use. It is advisable to read them first, but in my opinion not completely necessary. You'd probably be able to pick up what isn't from canon, but the main parts that deviate from canon are in italics anyway. Anything unrecognizable will most likely turn up later in Desperation, or is just something random I just put in.
Not all oneshots in this collection will run on this structure, however they will all follow the themes: What if..? That being said, this fic is also open to requests which don't necessarily have to be set in the Digimon Frontier Universe. However, if an AU setting is requested, please specify.
And on a completely not related to fanfiction note, my birthday's coming up. Yay!
Anyway...I hope you enjoy this oneshot. And please be kind enough to tell me what you think. Opinions and critiques are welcome. Flames...well, chances are I won't recognise one.
And now, I present the first oneshot of this collection: Blinded by my Light
The Aftermath, Reflective Accounts
Some things could have happened but never did, for better or worse. But you can still wander, what if...oneshot collection on Frontier and some AU's
Title: Blinded by my Light
Summary: Had I not been so blinded by my own light, all this could have been prevented, but would that have made things better...or worse?
Character POV: Kouji Minamoto
Warnings: can't think of any right now
Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon Frontier or Kilarra's story 'Fate'. I do own 'Desperation' though, and this one-shot.
Blinded by my Light
I suppose it's natural, that being the wielder of the spirits of light, I am sometimes blinded by my own. My greatest strength becomes my greatest weakness. After all, light, defined by its very goodness, kept the darkness at bay, but at the same time eluded me to his presence. The spirits of darkness...my brother, my twin.
He had been searching for me. I had been searching for something too, on some deeper subconscious level, but unlike him, I never knew what I was searching for until I found it. At first I didn't even realise it, accepting the gaping hole in my heart as my natural state. Back then, I had no love for darkness, and even strayed off the unbeaten path to stay in the light as much as possible, and the comfort it provided me.
It fact, it wasn't until he called my name at Shibuya station that I was finally alerted to his presence.
I had gotten into the elevator, hands stuffed in my pockets out of habit, and faced the doors as they closed. I never kept my back to doors; in a sense I wanted to be prepared for anything, and having your back to an opening is a good way of being caught unaware. I watched them close slowly, as they always did, till Takuya came flying through the small gap between the doors that remained by that time. Of course, I hadn't known Takuya by name then, although I had seen him just earlier on the tram. And just like I had been blind to my brother, on a slightly lower level, I was also blind to him.
Now, don't get me wrong, it wasn't as though I did not acknowledge his presence as he crashed into the back of the elevator, a small chime announcing the doors had closed completely. It was more the fact that my first impressions of him were completely off the mark.
Diving through almost closed elevator doors never was a very smart thing to do; if they closed with someone midway, the result would be disastrous. But the way he did, told, or rather showed, me one thing: he was reckless. Now that isn't necessarily a bad thing; I mean, if he wasn't so hot-headed, we probably wouldn't have even fought half the battles we won in the Digital World. But I didn't see it that way when we first met. There isn't any point in me regurgitating every little thought going through my head at the time; in fact, I probably wouldn't even be able to recall most of them now, but to sum it all up, I thought he was an idiot. And boy, was I wrong!
And then there was my brother.
I heard his voice you know, right before the elevator doors closed completely and began its downward journey, but by then, it was too late. The doors of fate had closed in his face; the light had disappeared, and all that was left for him was darkness.
Perhaps it was that that sealed my brother's fate as Cherubimon's pawn. Had I not been so short-sighted, so blinded by my own light that I was incapable of noticing those who extended their hands to me, would I have noticed him then, in the shadows? Or was it always him who was destined to take the initiative?
It wasn't until after I had met him in the digital world that I remembered times I had glimpsed him before, following me as I wandered through the neighbourhood, sometimes watching from around the corner of my house...watching and waiting in the shadows.
He was the one who had taken the initiative. He was the one who sought me out. Even as Duskmon, he sought me. He was drawn to my light, he said, even as it caused him agony. He went to the doors of death and back just so he could meet me, and yet I did not even acknowledge his presence until he was far lost in evil. We saved him in the end, Takuya and I, purifying the corrupted spirits of Darkness and freeing him from Cherubimon's control, but sometimes I cannot help but that it all happened because of me.
The clues had been right in front of me, since that first math class we shared together. Funny, the only thing I noticed then about his physical appearance was his eyes; everything else had been hidden by the shadows of the classroom. He obviously had noticed a lot more, having the added advantage of night vision and an affinity with darkness that I, being light, will never have.
Mathematics A1 was the only class we shared together, and in a class with such minimal interaction, we barely spoke...to each other or to our classmates. Especially since after that first lesson, there were at least five rows separating the two of us.
The first time I saw him was on that first day of sixth year, walking to class with Izumi. I had overheard his surname then, but didn't file it away to memory, assuming that if the name was important, I'd hear it again anyhow. That was true enough, as I've obviously heard his name more than once, but not being able to recognize the name in the digital world prevented me from accepting the truth, at least until the subject of our mother came up. Out of the mouth of my worst enemy, the name Kimura Kouichi had meant nothing to me at the time.
Our mother, the woman I thought to be dead most of my life was the only proof he had. The only basis of me believing him. Sure, I had been mad when those jerks snatched her photo and tore it (though why I took it to school in the first place is beyond me now), but would I have had only his words and my emotions to base a decision upon had she not been so kind as to replace it with another, newer one?
And if I hadn't believed him, what then? Would he have been drowned in evil forever, because I was too blind to see the truth? To keep an open mind, rather than remain stubbornly steadfast in false beliefs? If he had, who else was there to blame, but me?
I had been so close to denying the truth, to reject the words of my adversary and simply pound him into dust beneath my feet. But something held me back. Perhaps it was the prospect of meeting my mother, who I had thought to be dead for so long,...or perhaps it was because by subconscious yearning had finally yielded some fruit. Initially, my head denied his words, but my heart accepted them, and on whatever basis it did, that split second of hesitation in which my head debated with my heart, probably saved both of our lives.
But I hadn't believed him till much later on. And Cherubimon got there first, filling his mind with a whole lot of 'light is evil' crap, and I sure didn't help things by denying the truth of his words.
Do you ever get the feeling, when you are compelled to believe something that all (or almost all) logic denies? Some innate desire to accept some unbelievable thing as true? Well, at that moment when Kouichi finally revealed his story...that was pretty much how I felt.
I knew it was true, that he was really my twin...I knew it the first time I met him. I even told Takuya as much, when Velgemon had unceremonially shoved the two of us into a crater...when I had finally stopped denying the truth.
It is ironic really, that the wielder of the spirits of light, a symbol of freedom and truth...so open to new beliefs and possibilities, would be so partial in my own beliefs that I had restricted my own sight. And to think, I almost lost my brother of darkness because it...
Ni-san thinks it's his own fault; of course, he would think that. Kaa-san told me that even before the Digital World, Kouichi always tried to shoulder the burdens of others, always putting the wellbeing of others before his own. He thrives of helping people, always turning to others' problems to hide away his own. He even sacrificed his own spirit in order to save us, not knowing whether or not he would even survive the experience.
I'm glad he survived, and I'm sure he is too, although he never said as much, or otherwise. He is an immensely private person though, and it is in the nature of darkness to hide things from the light. Duskmon had mentioned something similar, when I followed him over the terrain of the continent of darkness...saying it was his destiny to hide from the light till he was ready to destroy it...
He still feels guilty though, after all these years. We, the other legendary warriors, forgave him a long time ago, but he still blames himself. I cannot begin to count the number of times I have tried to convince him otherwise, the others who had played their role in his descent: Lucemon, Cherubimon...me, but he always just smiles sadly at me and shakes his head, always denying. He keeps it all inside: the grief, the pain...he always suffers alone.
And I can never help him. Because I can never see the problem, or at least not until it is almost too late for me to do anything at all. If there was one thing I could change about Kouichi, it would be the way he conceals his problems from others, especially from me...and yet he can read me like an open book.
Even if he had stepped onto that elevator, I know Cherubimon would have still found him. We all saw his obsession; nothing short of his complete and utter destruction would have ever stopped him from pursuing my brother. He is one in a million after all, there is no denying that.
He had been close behind me; so close, that I could feel his body heat radiating from him, just as he could feel mine. He had said something...my name I think, though by the look on his face when I turned to him made me think he hadn't fully intended for me to hear him.
The close proximity had made me uncomfortable; after all, I had been so used to closing myself from any human contact that was not strictly necessary. So, almost by reflex, I snapped at him.
I regret it now, recalling the shame and embarrassment that had been apparent on his face. But then, I was simply annoyed at his lack of response, and tried to glare into his eyes. Only, he turned away from me, blushing bright red and trembling slightly.
I don't know whether he would have spoken or left if given the chance. With my brother, either one was probable. But he wasn't, as Takuya's reckless leap into the elevator put an end to either possibility playing out.
The elevator doors slammed shut, and we began our downward descent. It was awkward to say the least, being in the elevator alone with a boy who would soon become my best friend, as well as with a boy who I will soon discover to be my twin brother, and my worst enemy...to think, that these two people changed my life forever...
I had momentarily forgotten him after that, but he still followed me, like a shadow, my shadow. And like a shadow, he slipped through my fingers; he was always there, whether as himself, in spirit, or even as Duskmon...he observed, but played no active role. As shadows do, till they are noticed.
He had been there, within my reach. I could have saved him from falling into the darkness...but I did not. Because I didn't acknowledge his presence till he was far gone in evil. I stood out like a beacon to him, and yet his presence was always able to elude me; even now, he could sneak up on me unawares.
Would he have lost heart had I not given him many a reason to? Would he have listened to the voices of his nightmares and his darkness if my blindness had not instilled that doubt in him, and then further enkindled it? If I hadn't taken so much from him without even knowing it?
But regardless, it happened. His doubts, his insecurity, his pain...they made him an easy target for Cherubimon. And he had used me; used his own brother to twist him for his own needs.
I had hated Cherubimon, for what he did to my brother...and to the Digital World. Until I realised he was just another pawn in destiny's game. Another thing I had failed to see. And despite the fact that Kouichi had far more reason to hate him, he never did. He could see, far better than I, the angel beneath his devil skin.
But then, I'd remember the atrocities he had done. His merciless rule; the digimon he enslaved and tortured simply to achieve his own means...I could not forgive him. I could forgive Kouichi, and yet not the monster who had made him, a simple pawn himself. And those wraths at Cherubimon's castle...my blood still turns cold at the memory of them. The test subjects for the spirits of darkness. If Ni-san had been any less than them, he would have been like that as well. Or perhaps worse, as he was human.
Eventually, I let go of that hatred; he was after all, one of the three rulers of the Digital World, and despite the darkness that had once turned him, a good digimon. But deep down, some part of me resented him...till I turned that hatred and blame upon myself.
But as much as I wish some of those things never happened, I know that none of us would even be where we are today if it hadn't been for all our adventures in the digital world. All, including the ones that we regret.
I know Takuya for one, wouldn't be half the leader he is now if Duskmon hadn't sliced my back open. And somehow I doubt that Kouichi and I would have been as close as we are today if we hadn't met on the battlefield as we did. Even if we grew up together...we would never have truly understood each other, never seen ourselves from the other side.
And would we have ever even met if Cherubimon hadn't drawn my brother's soul into the Digital World and given the spirits of darkness to him, while I, due to Ophanimon's guidance, held the spirits of light?
Sometimes, I also wander, whether Kouichi would have ever been truly whole had he not experienced the darker side of his personality. The Yami no Yami, literarily the darkness in darkness. A fitting name for Duskmon. And Lowemon, he was Hikari no Yami, the light in darkness. Two extremes...two sides of a whole, neither complete without each other. And without the wielder of their spirits; without Kouichi.
But then again, who am I to judge? It's not like I can predict the future or anything, or what would have happened if the strands of probability had been altered. Ultimately, I can't know what would have happened if I had been able to see the truth in front of me, if I hadn't been so judgemental that I was partially blind...it is not my place to have that knowledge. But that doesn't mean I cannot wander.
But it all comes back to the same answer.
I guess in the end there is no right or wrong.
There just is.
Sometimes, I'll just post up a random one-shot, but when I have more than one idea about a possible one-shot, like now, I'll post the options up and allow you guys to choose. First one with a two vote margin will be the next one I post up here. Don't know when though.
Here are the options:
Title: Half Life
Summary: I survived then, because it was not my time to die, but I awoke because of a miracle. But sometimes the repercussions...could it have been better to stay comatose till my death?
Character POV: Kouichi Kimura
Summary: Sure, I've done some fairly stupid things, rushing into trouble without thinking, but I sometimes wander, had I taken the time to think things through, would I even be where I am today...better off…or worse?
Character POV: Takuya Kanbara
Title: The Chains of Freedom
Summary: I had been so vain in regards to my own beauty, so jealous of Fairymon's and Shutumon's, but if it hadn't been for her, would I have been steeped in evil forever...or would I be free from the chains that bind me now?
Character POV: Ranamon
Title: By My Choice
Summary: Sometimes I regret choosing my younger son over my elder. Especially after seeing how they turned out before they met. Hearing their stories...sometimes it made me wander, what would have happened if I had chosen Kouichi instead?
Character POV: Kousei Minamoto
There's plenty of time, because I'm not touching this story (or collection of stories) again till I've finished my IB exams, and that's some time in November. Because this particular story was near impossible to finish along with revision and Internal Assessments, so I'd hate to think what would happen once my Arabic B Exam comes up in May, and the rest of my subjects in November. But hopefully, I'll pick it up again after my exams are over and done with. And one of the above four are not necessarily going to be the next update. But if not the next one, definitely the one after that.