Hello again everyone. Anyway, needed a break, stuck in class with too much revision at once and no notes or computer again, and this is the result. Enjoy. See note at the end for additional information.
And definitely no more updates till my Arabic exams this Friday. But I should have a bit more time after that. After I catch up on all the work I'm going to miss out on of course.
Disclaimer: I own what I own, and whatever I don't, I don't. Simple as that.
What's a future without a past...this is what Kouichi thinks as he sees his own past slip through his fingers in a form most would not see the significance of...especially when his future is likely one he abhors...and will always abhor...
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." – George Sanatayana
He was perched precariously on the steel railing, a black sketchbook balanced on his lap as he watched leaves and debris be swept away by the water currents dashing far beneath him, in their desperate attempts to leave the small confines of the narrow river that stretched beneath him, twisting and turning around buildings and roads, and eventually, as all rivers, leading to the more open waters.
The water was deep, and at this time of the year, icy cold. Ice was starting to form at the very edges, thin crystals attaching to the blades of grass that littered the sharply sloping banks. The bridge, whose railing he was currently perched on, stretched over the river, connecting the two opposing banks with its rickety, wooden structure.
The two banks were about two metres apart, narrowing down to less than a metre a few kilometres east, and splitting into two smaller streams a bit further west. To one side, the bank was quite rocky and sharp, jagged edges cut by the raging water, and algae attaching themselves and thriving on the grey surface. Tufts of grass grew around the rocks, digging their fragile roots into the moist soil held in place by the stone surrounding it. The other bank was smoother, and slightly lower, large _ trees digging their roots into the nutrient rich soil. Ferns curled around the trunks, growing out at slight angles, leaning to where sunlight was generally more prominent. Though the sunlight was becoming more and more scarce with the approaching winter.
He carefully opened the sketchbook on his lap, midnight blue eyes tracing the fading lines in the light of the setting sun. It was the work of an amateur artist, a young hand, inexperienced, yet homing natural talent, a dark pencil imprinting its message upon the page. Time had caused the markings to fade, but it could still be observed in reasonable clarity, clumsy slips of the pencil smudged over by wear.
The image showed a young boy in the arms of an older woman. The edges were slightly fuzzy and indistinct, but the sadness was still apparent in her gaze, and lines of age and stress were apparent on her otherwise youthful face. The boy in her arms looked five or six at most, the childish innocence still apparent in his features, trying to clutch something that wasn't there.
He remembered that...trying to reach and gain the unattainable. Trying to clutch the colourful light that formed rainbows, the little flakes of snow that melted at skin contact, or simply envisioning a future they had no prospect of.
He turned the page, an image of an unidentifiable man blinking up at him. His face was blurred and indistinct, even more so than its preceding image, but not from age; rather, it was blurred from lack of knowledge. Back when he had wandered about his father, but too young to retain any memories of him, or understand the nature of a divorce...
He flicked through the pages, skipping through various images before stopping at a particular one. This one was more recent, where he had been following his brother in the real world. The scarce rays f sunlight shone on the page, illuminating a boy whose features were nearly identical to the boy who held it in his hands, only the hair was longer and tied back in a ponytail covered by a bandana, smiling at the German Sheppard at his heels. An older man and woman were also there, a short way behind and holding hands. There was an air of sadness in the drawing, something that he had failed to notice till much later on. But he had still unconsciously drawn what he had remembered to have seen.
He flipped through the rest, carefully to prevent the loose pages from falling, and stopped at the last image he had drawn. This particular drawing was more abstract than the others, only because of what he had been trying to depict in it. A boy, an angel, a devil, and other faceless creatures could be discerned from the grey toned impression of darkness...but it was impossible to distinguish one from the other, impossible to know where one ended and the other began...and all of them melding into the darkened foreground.
He snapped the book shut hurriedly, not wanting to remember but knowing he must all the same. Tying a navy blue ribbon carefully around it to keep the loose pages inside, he hopped gently onto the wooden boards of the bridge and began the solitary trek home as the last rays of sunlight disappeared.
At school. Lunchtime to be more specific. Kouji and Takuya arguing about some irrelevant little detail blown out of proportion once again, Junpei rolling his eyes at the bickering friends, having long ago given up any peacemaking attempts.
And Kouichi...he was simply looking at his brother and brother's best friend arguing like four year olds with an amused look on his face, a piece of fish clutched between chopsticks, and his sketchbook resting on his lap, the navy blue ribbon tying it closed, his free hand resting on top.
'It's amusing, ne?' Izumi smiled at the elder twin, slipping into the vacant seat beside him.
Kouichi nodded, blue eyes darting between the bickering pair, before turning to the blonde's green orbs. 'Their opposites, Takuya-kun and Kouji,' he sighed. 'And yet they're compatible. But their differences lead them to disagree on many things.'
Izumi laughed in agreement. 'You know,' she mentioned off-hand, when Kouji and Takuya's argument showed no signs of letting up. 'You hardly say more than a few sentences at a time. You ought to talk more.'
Kouichi turned a light pink at that remark, but didn't comment, simply turning his attention back to his food. He was, however, spared any further embarrassment at the arrival of their youngest member.
'Ohayou,' Tomoki cheered, in an especially good mood, thrusting something into Takuya's hands and effectively cutting off the argument.
'What's this?' Takuya asked, turning his attention to the certificate now in his hands.
'Highest achiever.' Tomoki grinned, obviously proud of his accomplishment. Takuya mimicked the grin, ruffling the smaller brunette's hair, and the other four gave their congratulations as well, Kouji rounding the table to reclaim his seat on Kouichi's other side. Takuya and Tomoki sat opposite the twins, Tomoki between his Takuya-nii and Junpei.
They talked about school and other trivial matters, most not really worth mentioning, and conversed only for the sake of communicating and passing time. Or rather, five of them communicated, Kouichi simply listening and eating slowly.
'Hey, Kouichi.' Said boy looked up at Takuya, the brunette having exhausted their previous topic of conversation and now searching for a new one.
'Why do you always carry that sketchbook around? You're getting almost as bad as Kouji and his bandana.'
Five pairs of eyes moved to the book in question, while the sixth pair retreated behind black bangs which appeared almost blue in the artificial light of the cafeteria, a light pink tinge once again appearing on his cheeks from the attention suddenly diverted onto him.
'Or as bad as you and those goggles of yours,' Kouji interjected, relieving Kouichi of some of the attention as he stretched across the table to seize the said goggles.
'Hey!' Takuya exclaimed, rising up in defence, his question forgotten in the ensuring squabble as a partly shy, partly amused smile danced across Kouichi's face while the others doubled up with laughter.
On his way to his sixth period class, he suddenly looked up to find his way blocked by a group of five burly seventh graders. The tallest, presumably the leader, stepped forward, pointing at the black sketchbook carefully on top of the required books for his remaining classes for the day.
'Hey Kimura,' he greeted in a falsely cheerful voice. 'How's it going?'
'Ishikawa-san...' Kouichi breathed, backing up a few paces. This was bad. This group weren't bad to the criminal level, but they still had a reputation for being the school delinquents, barring any criminal or immoral behaviour. But they weren't above picking on others when their desire arose, and it appeared as though this was one of those times.
The other boy, Ishikawa Kuro, simply continued, unperturbed by Kouichi's reply, or rather, lack thereof. 'Mind if I have a look at that book of yours kid?'
Kouichi would have backed up further, had two of Ishikawa's 'friends' not blocked his path. As it was, he was closer to then than he was comfortable with, but as the only other option was to move forward, considering the class he needed to get to was behind the black haired leader, he was forced to remain where he was.
'What book?' he whispered quietly, clutching them all closer to his chest, though he was quite aware which one.
'Oh, you know.' The elder boy's voice had taken on the sickening honey-like tone. 'The one you never go anywhere without.'
Now, that wasn't strictly true, but that didn't mean he felt safe leaving it where it was exposed to everybody.
'Come on, give it here!' He suddenly crossed the distance between them, reaching out to grab the sketchbook, only to be interrupted by Kouichi's sixth period teacher, who had stepped out of class to investigate the commotion.
'Ishikawa! Get to class!'
'Hai sensei,' he muttered, none too pleased, yet not about to talk back to the teacher and get into more trouble than necessary. 'Let's go,' he muttered to the other four.
'And don't think your teacher won't be hearing about this,' the teacher called after them, before turning his attention to his own student, taking in the boy's tense form and vice like grip on the black sketchbook which seemed to attract the attention of more people than he would like.
'In class Kimura-kun,' the teacher sighed, stepping back in himself, the black-haired teen following quietly behind, never relinquishing his grip.
'Why were you late to sixth period?' Kouji asked his brother as the two made their way to Kouichi's house after his kendo practice let out. The sun could still be seen at the edge of the horizon, approaching sunset. By which time their mother was expecting them both.
'Mmm?' Kouichi turned slightly and blinked at his brother. He had been so focused on the asphalt cement in front of him that he had failed to hear the first part of his brother's question.
Kouji sighed at his brother's inattentiveness, but repeated the question. 'I asked why you were late sixth period?'
'Oh,' he mumbled, looking at the ground again, bangs falling over his face and hiding his expression from the inquisitive eyes of his brother. 'I just got held up.'
'With what?' Kouji persisted. 'It must have something major for Sujiyama-sensei to step out of class.'
'Ishikawa?' Kouji's voice held a tone of incredulity. 'What the hell did he want?'
Kouichi didn't reply, simply clutching his sketchbook closer, the rest of his books in the backpack slung over one shoulder. Kouji raised an eyebrow at his twin, his own quirky way of showing concern, having got his answer from the small, reflective gesture. But the gesture had also drawn his attention to something else.
'That reminds me,' he said, ceasing his footsteps and shuffling around in his book bag, Kouichi stopping a few paces ahead to wait. Tongue between his teeth, he filtered through numerous papers, before he managed to extract a specific one, which he then straightened with and handed to his brother. It was a drawing of one of their fights with Lucemon, the one where all six had tried to save their world...the one where his data had been scanned.
Kouichi, after staring at the picture a moment, took it with a small smile of thanks and slid it into his sketchbook, slipping the navy blue ribbon off enough for the paper to fit in, before replacing it. Kouji eyed his movements, especially as his brother, while glancing at the picture, had avoided eyeing the one who in essence had been responsible for his 'death.'
'We never did get around to telling you how we managed to defeat Lucemon,' Kouji remembered, not looking at his brother's face. If he had been, he would have noticed the discomfort, but he had simply picked up his book bag and begun walking again, explaining the story his brother had apparently missed, expecting his brother to follow, which he did after a moment's pause.
Kouji continued talking, relating the Ancient Spirit Evolution which had resulted in the birth of Susanoomon, and Lucemon's ultimate defeat, only turning once he realised that his brother's footsteps were no longer following him.
'Kouichi?' he asked, cutting off in midsentence. Said twin's body, or what could be seen of it, had gone white as a sheet, the backpack sliding off his shoulder and hanging from one wrist as both hand desperately clutched the sketchbook in his hands. Tears pricked painfully at the edge of his vision, which he hurriedly blinked away before the younger twin could notice.
'What's wrong?' he asked the other softly. 'Look, I know it was hard for you, but that bastard got what he deserv-.'
'No-' Kouichi shook his head. 'Please...just don-'
He suddenly made to run, only Kouji's quick reflexes homed from kendo allowed him to catch his brother by the wrist, the backpack thudding painfully into his thigh. Looking into his brother's eyes, he saw something he couldn't quite define, and in that instance he stared entranced, Kouichi slipped out of his grip and vanished, the backpack falling onto the footpath Kouji now stood alone on.
'Ni-san! Kouichi!' he called, but he received no reply. Now, what was that about?
Kouichi leaned against the railing of the bridge, panting heavily from his run, one hand tightly gripping the sketchbook by his side as both he and the sketchbook were buffeted from the icy winds from an incoming storm. His hands were already going numb with cold, tears freezing into ice crystals staining his cheeks, but still he clutched the sketchbook as if it were his lifeline. And in a way, it was. The story of his past...and his tool for building his future-he remembered all too well the hatred that had laced his brother's voice, the vulgar language which was sure to have followed had he not cut him off-if he knew...
The storm was beginning to pick up, and he gripped the railing tightly with the other hand as the winds whistled loudly, blowing dust and debris around, and causing the river to churn below the thin sheet of ice covering it.
'Hey, Kimura!' a familiar, yet unwelcome voice yelled over the raging winds.
'Ishikawa-san...' Blue eyes widened, but the accompanying whisper was lost in the storm.
'Where in the world is he?' Kouji muttered irritably to himself half an hour later. He had searched all over his brother's neighbourhood, but had no luck in finding the older twin, nor was he any closer to deducing his reason for running off, though he felt it would be safer not to mention that final battle anytime soon.
The weather had worsened over the period of time he had spent searching, the cold upcoming winter had rapidly becoming a ferocious storm in the making, the wind and scattered dust making it rather difficult to see, as thus it was that he walked right past the bridge before noticing the figures standing on it.
'Ishikawa and co...' he hissed, seeing the gang on the bridge. His eyes then widened as he caught sight at the person behind them, whose back was facing him. 'Kouichi?'
Then he face-palmed his head in disbelief of having forgotten his brother's favourite sanctuary, the place he always went when something plagued his mind.
And this was, of course, one of those times.
He hurried over.
'Come on kid,' another seventh grader, Tanaka Arashi, demanded, though his tone was a bit more placid than his leaders. 'Hand it 'ver. All we want is a quick peak.'
He leaned over to snatch the book out of Kouichi's hands, but the sixth grader backed up, leaning heavily against the railings, clutching the scrapbook single handed with the other hand tightly gripping the metal furnish behind him.
The wooden boards creaked, but went unheard due to the raging winds, as Ishikawa attempted to grab the book, fighting against the wind which seemed determined to keep the five away from it. It seemed that they all wanted a shot at the book, five pairs of hands entangling in an attempt to seize it, the book clutched safely in Kouichi's grip as he was stuck flat against the railing. Or not so safely, as although no person was able to seize the attempted object, the wind easily tore it out of the fragile grip and tossed it over the railing.
Kouichi, with a cry, made a desperate grab for the book and missed, body half hanging over the railing in his attempt to reach it. The wooden boards gave another creak, louder this time, prompting the group of five to let up their play-time and prompt the shy boy back to safe ground. Only, the sketchbook was the only thing on Kouichi's mind, and he was yet to move as the foundations gave way, sending both the steel railing and the black-haired boy tumbling into the river, the force of the impact breaking through the ice. The railings dug themselves into the smoother bank, stopping about an inch into the surface, but Kouichi was not so lucky, a scream barely escaping his lips as he fell through the thin sheet and into the churning waters, the sketchbook hovering a moment, before falling through the hole and into the water as well.
'Kouichi!' the younger twin screamed, seeing his brother hit the water. The storm started to let up a bit, giving Kouji a safer path to the bank, where he hurriedly slipped down, ignoring the sharp rocks cutting into his clothing, and at some points, abrading into his skin. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the shortest of the five boys, Mori, run off the bridge and turning the corner, but he ignored it, his attention solely focused on reaching his brother.
He reached the bottom in a few minutes, landing lightly on the sheet of ice, hardened enough on the edges to support his weight. He made to move forward, only for someone to seize his upper arm and prevent him from moving.
He looked up into the masked face of a rescue worker, who in the precious time it had taken Kouji to get down the slope unaided, had been alerted of the situation. He started to struggle in protest, but the worker simply ignored him, grabbing the other arm and hauling him up, as others attempted to reach the boy under the water.
'Kouichi!' he screamed, still struggling, despite its futility, seeing the lapping water churn in the hole created. 'Ni-saaaan!'
At that moment, his vision was blocked by the setting sun reflecting off the white ice, signaling the day's end.
The stormy water swirled around him, trapping him in its grip. Somewhere above him was his precious sketchbook, or perhaps below; he couldn't be sure as his sense of direction had been warped as he was buffered by the raging cascades of water beneath the icy surface. The water itself wasn't much warmer than the ice, numbness having already seized the pale boy in its grip. Any movement he had the energy to do, as it involved pushing against the pressing forces of nature as well as telling his frozen limbs to move, resulted in little progress and more rapid loss of oxygen, and his vision, though good in the night sky, was hindered by the droplets and its accompanying debris burning under his eyelids.
He forced his eyes open, looking desperately for the black book, even as his head began spinning from the rapidly depleting oxygen. He caught sight of a speck of black, but even as he reached for it, using the last of his strength, it was swept upstream.
Water rushed into his mouth, restricting his airway, and he would have choked had there been sufficient air to allow him to do so. But any oxygen that he had been able to accumulate before his fall had already been transported by the blood, and the carbon dioxide released as a by-product had already been expelled via the stream of bubbles that had stemmed from his mouth.
His head swam, and his lungs ached for oxygen as darkness began clouding his vision. He could no longer move, his body limp with cold and depleted energy, coldness searing through his blood. But without an air source, nor a way to reach it, as the surface was blocked by a sheet of ice, there was nothing to be done, and so he simply surrendered himself to the inevitability of it all, and let his mind slip peacefully into a blissful unconsciousness.
Kouichi came to rather painfully, his lungs aching despite the oxygen mask covering his mouth and nose, and his head pounding rather insistently from fever. He blinked blurrily at the ceiling, one hand twitching weakly from where it rested on something warm, trying to grab...
'Kouichi-kun?' a familiar voice sounded, not exactly loud, but still painful to his ears.
He heard the sound of a chair scraping second later, and then Izumi's golden hair and worried green eyes hovered over him. 'You're awake,' she breathed, relieved and somewhat tired as she helped the other sit up, gently removing the oxygen mask so he could speak if he wished.
'We were all so worried, but Kouji was the most,' she continued, as Kouichi attempted to regain his bearings. 'The boys had to drag him home for a nap about two hours ago, the poor guy looked like he was going to fall asleep on his feet...and Ishikawa and his gang have stopped messing around as well, they're finally getting their priorities straight. They said to tell you sorry.'
Kouichi nodded absentmindedly, looking around the white hospital room. His backpack lay on the bedside cabinet, as did his clothes and a fresh bouquet of flowers, but his sketchbook...
'Izumi-chan? Where's my sketchbook?' he weakly asked, voice scratchy and throat raw. The brief speech unfortunately prompted a harsh round of coughing, and Izumi, instead of answering the question, rubbing soothing circles on his back till the coughs subsided, helping him drink some water to sooth the raw throat before saying what she know Kouichi would dread to hear, but regardless had to know.
'I'm sorry Kouichi,' she said sadly, replacing the empty glass next to the pitcher, knowing that the black book had been very important to him. 'No-one found it. It's gone.'
He diverted his gaze, before feeling fatigue overtake him again. This time, he didn't bother fighting it.
Izumi gazed remorsefully as the other's eyes slipped closed, before laying him down onto his pillow and pulling the covers over him. 'Guess I'd better ring the others,' she sighed, exiting the room and heading for the nearest payphone, fishing out the required change from her pocket along the way.
He was in the hospital for weeks afterwards, slowly but surely recovering from his ordeal. His friends and family were constantly visiting; indeed he was hard pressed for some time alone during, and sometimes even after, visiting hours, but the visits brought him little joy.
He had always had that sketchbook; it had been a gift from a friend of his mothers. It had been a record of his past...everything he wanted to remember had been recorded in there as images telling the story of his past. Without it, he felt lost. Already, the earlier memories were slipping from his mind, without a stimulus to recall them, or an anchor to retain them.
Of course, new memories were formed every day, but none were as adequate to fill the slowly accumulating blank pages. He was forgetting faster than was normal as well; due to his accident earlier that same year, his ability to retain memories without visual stimulus was greatly affected.
Though he was grateful to still be alive. The doctors had told him repeatedly that it had been a very close call; most others would not have been able to hold out long enough to survive the harsh bitterness of the freezing water, nor the force of the fall. His skull had been slightly fractured by the blow, but he luckily had received no brain damage, and the fracture had mostly healed. His right arm had also been broken, and he had sustained some internal injuries with his ribcage caving slightly inward by the force of the ice, while although thin, was quite strong, but they had almost healed, and only a harsh bout of coughing would now strain his still hurting lungs.
The cold had quickly spread to his lungs, bringing about a severe case of pneumonia, though luckily the antibiotics had begun to take effect before his heart collapsed from the strain. He hadn't been so lucky in regards to his lungs though, he had been told that his breathing had stopped twice before the symptoms began to disappear.
The fever was gone, and the coughing had lessened in intensity, being the only symptoms that seemed adamant in staying. And the lack of energy, though it was a result of a mix of the pneumonia, the physical strain, his recovering body, and the loss of something so important to him.
But at least he was alive, and recovering, though however slowly. That was something, and his sketchbook, though lost, was not necessarily lost forever.
A paper balanced carefully on his lap, pencil dancing across the page. The drawing had already taken shape, lines of various tone coming together to form images that came to life as finer details were added. As absorbed as he was in his work, he didn't notice the other's presence in the room until he cleared his throat.
Kouichi jumped, pencil slipping from his loose grip and clattering to the floor. Kouji smirked good-naturedly at his brother's scare, but it was short lived, and slipped off after receiving no soft, gentle smile in return.
He came over to his brother, peering at the drawing on his lap.
'It's beautiful Ni-san,' he complimented.
'It's empty,' was the reply.
He looked again at the drawing, at each individual line carefully drawn in varying shades, coming together under the care of an artistic hand to form an image so...revealing. It was still, but still somehow projected life: light...and darkness, melding together into varying tones of grey fashioned by the lead pencil used. It was far from empty.
'Why do you say that?'
The other turned the page over, revealing another image at the back, before gently fingering a lone figure in the centre. 'Look,' he said softly, drawing the younger twin's attention to the finer detail he would otherwise have not noticed. 'See here...' he indicated the figure: a person whose form was split into a trinity, an image which Kouji found familiar, and yet not at the same time. 'This is the past...' he pointed at the left, 'and the future...' he pointed at the right.
'Then the centre, the main outline, is...the present?' Kouji asked, having pierced together enough information to figure out the rest for himself.
Kouichi nodded, before turning the page once more to the image he had been working on, before the other had arrived. The two images had carried many similarities; in fact, the only thing that appeared different after as thorough an inspection as one with considerably less artistic flair than the one whose hand had fashioned the drawing, could carry out, was...
'The figure,' Kouji whispered. 'There's no trinity here. No past, no future. Why?'
'He lost it,' the elder twin replied dully.
He was silent for a moment.
'What's a future without a past?' he asked eventually.
'The past is the past,' Kouji replied, looking a bit confused with his brother's logic. 'It doesn't have to be concrete to exist.'
'...no,' Kouichi responded. 'It doesn't...but it does to be retained...to be remembered...' his voice trailed off.
Kouji frowned at the reminiscing tone in his voice, and the sadness laced in it. 'Kouichi?' he asked, when his brother made no effort to continue the conversation. 'Why do you draw?'
He was silent, hiding his eyes under the bangs. Kouji waited, knowing that he would answer eventually...and eventually, he did.
'In memory of my past,' he whispered, his voice so soft that the words had barely carried to Kouji's ears.
'Then your sketchbook..?'
'It had every drawing I've ever drawn of my life since I was old enough to know how...' he responded quietly, letting his head sink gently into the pillow it rested on. 'Without it...I'll forget...I am forgetting...'
'Some things are better forgotten,' Kouji reminded.
'But most is not,' the elder twin countered. 'Without the memories of the past to fill that empty page of my life, and the experiences which I've learned valuable lessons from...the future could very well become-' his hand jerked. 'Never mind.'
'Too late now Ni-san.' Kouji frowned. 'Come on, tell me. You know I'll find out anyway.'
There was truth in that. Kouji always did have an uncanny ability to wheedle out any necessary information when it came to issues concerning his brother.
'Well? What could the future become?' he insisted.
'...something that will always be hated...' Kouichi answered softly after the silence stretched to an uncomfortable level.
'You don't need to ask Kouji. You already know.'
Kouji frowned worriedly again. 'Has this got anything to do with Lucemon? Or Duskmon?'
Kouichi flinched at the names, but made no move to answer, confirming his brother's suspicions. But before he could question further, the door opened.
'Sorry to interrupt,' Doctor Yagami said politely, stepping into the room, holding her clipboard in one hand, her other clutching something behind her back in an excited air. 'But this was found washed up on a shore in Nerima. Needed to be dried, but miraculously, none of the papers were lost, and it seems to be in a good condition...'
Kouichi's eyes lit up as she produced his sketchbook, each page still held in its place by the navy blue ribbon tied carefully around it. The sketchbook that held his memories...that he had thought was lost forever.
The younger twin smiled at the joy in his brother's eyes, and the childish impatience in which he stretched his hands out for the book of his past. The doctor, smiling herself, handed it to him, laughing a little as he clutched it close to his heart, looking as though it would be awhile before he let go of it again.
He chose to leave the matter...if it became an issue, Kouichi would tell him in the end anyway. He always did. But for now, he would let him have his happiness; there was, after all, no need to wipe that joy off his face.
'Could you pass me the pencil?'
His smile widened as he bent down and retrieved the said item, handing it to his brother as he watched the lead once more dance across an empty page. Watching his brother absorbed in his work, he chose to leave, grin still on his face.
Kouichi looked up as his brother left the room, pencil tip touching the paper. Rough sketches already littered the centre, but not pronounced enough to identify any distinguishing traits. For the moment, the marks were just that...marks. But they would soon be fashioned into an image of his past as the future appears around the corner.
Only, the thought sadly, looking at the sketchy, half drawn wings. I know it's a future filled with abhorrence...
...after all, I am a part of the one person who I still bear hatred for...for all the pain and suffering he caused...
He sighed sadly, lifting the pencil again as the Doctor too, left the room. But then again...without that...I wouldn't have had a future at all...
Tomoki is in fourth grade, Takuya, Izumi and the twins in sixth, and Junpei is in seventh. The four in sixth grade are not always in the same class, but it just so happened that Kouji and Kouichi were in the same period six class. And it's a K-12 school (or year 1 to year 13/form 7 in some countries), that being the only way I could get them all together at lunchtime without aging them up too much. And this story takes place a few months after the events of frontier, and is pretty close to winter. And I've taken and different interpretation of Kouichi's character, so we'll see how that works.
By the way, Doctor Yagami is not Yagami Hikari/Kari Kamiya from Digimon Adventure and Digimon Zero Two. I just used the same surname.
And that's the end of this story. Now there are two options regarding that. One is to obviously take this as the "be all and end all" (piggybacking off my temporary psychology teacher's phrase for the lack of anything more eloquent) and that's that. The other is this:
I'm planning another story, called Immortal, which deals with the bit regarding Kouichi and Lucemon in more detail. Anyone who wants more information on that, it might be an interesting read. But right now, all I've got is a small summary:
He wasn't alive. Not truly. Some part of him had died that day. But the others didn't know. But they can tell something's wrong, and they won't stop till they find the answer. But sometimes, it's better off not knowing...
I've got other stories planned before this, so who knows when this will be up. But if anyone's dissatisfied with the ending and wants more details from that aspect, you can consider this one-shot as a prequel, and I'll try and plan Immortal out and start writing as soon as possible. Probably be another one-shot, though if it gets too much longer than this, I'll do it multi-chaptered. Just tell me if you want this story posted, 'kay?
And that's it for now.