~X:::::::::X~ Change of scene

~:-:~ End of chapter

A/N: Thanks Starowner, Hikari no Destany, darkhaseo90, RazenX, and Immortal Fallen Radiance for reviewing. Well, it's been a decent amount of time since I last updated. XD God, Minoru can be such a dick. Okay, so, anyway, on to the chapter!

Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon Frontier at all. I do own any and all OCs in this story.

Digimon Frontier 02: The Fallen World

Episode 8

The group sat in silence around the fire, Shinya sitting a few feet away from everyone, keeping his eyes down. Tommy, who was next to him, poked the fire with a stick. He had forced Shinya to sit with the group in hopes that he wouldn't mope. Despite Tommy's comforting, it did his friend no good, as he stayed quiet and still even after his pep talk.

On the other side of the fire, Sayuri and Minoru were treating Sam's burned face. The boy's tears had stopped flowing but his wound still stung too much to talk. He kept a wet cloth close to his face, advised by Minoru. After examining the wound, it was found that the wound started from the corner of his eye and went down to the bottom of his chin and followed the curve of his cheek. They also had given him a small dose of pain reliever from Tommy's bag to ease the pain, as Sam didn't do so well under it compared to most of them.

Shinya glanced at Minoru and caught—from what he could tell—a glare from the Warrior of Darkness. A few seconds later, it was gone. "So…how are you doing Sam?" Tommy asked, finally breaking (what it felt like to him) the nerve-wrecking silence.

"Good," Sam answered before he winced and clutched the side of his face with both hands. "Ow."

"Tommy, try to keep Sam's talking to a minimum," Minoru stated, glancing over at the addressed teen. Tommy raised an eyebrow. It sounded like Minoru wanted to keep the silence.

"Fine. Sorry about that, Sam," Tommy reluctantly apologized.

"S-so am I," added Shinya quietly.

The four looked at Shinya in surprised. "Can't you apologize and look someone in the face?" asked Minoru rather harshly.

Tommy looked at him, almost outraged. Almost; Tommy understood why Minoru was displaying such anger towards Shinya. He had hurt Sam, though it was unintentional. It was also partly Minoru's fault too. The Warrior of Wood remembered that it was Minoru's outburst that caused Shinya, as Didicasmon, to burn Sam. For a second, he shivered at the piercing scream that came after. He shook his head. Of course, Tommy was still angered by Minoru's harshness.

Shinya timidly looked up and winced at the dark haired teen's hard look before he looked over at Sayuri. She turned her gaze away quickly, biting her lip. Finally, his gaze fell on Sam, who looked at him with sadness. Seeing the cloth hiding the horrible burn made him feel even worse, as if he was being crushed to death by his guilt.

He was almost frozen, too scared to say anything but a prompt "well" from Minoru forced him to speak. "I-I'm sorry, Sam," he repeated so softly that it was almost inaudible.

"We can't hear you," Minoru continued, his anger becoming more apparent in his voice with each passing word.

This injustice was what finally made Tommy snap. He stood up, glaring at the two. "Who can't hear him, Minoru? Sam? Or you? He's not here on trial! And my god, it was an accident! Stop trying to put him down. You're just as much at fault as he is!"

"Really?" Minoru argued, standing up as well, turning his glare towards the Warrior of Wood. "If I remember correctly, it was Shinya who lost control of the Beast Spirit, not me!"

"Yeah but it was you that scared Shinya when he was calm! You overreacted like you are now! Besides, it was all an accident!" shouted Tommy, his voice growing louder.

"An accident that could have been evaded if he hadn't used that stupid Beast Spirit!" retorted Minoru.

"Have you ever thought about looking at it from Shinya's point of view?"

"Ever thought of looking at what he did to Sam?"

"You're so closed-minded!"

"Oh, I'm the closed-minded one? I'm thinking about Sam here!"

"Really? It sounds more like you're using Sam to blame Shinya!" Sam flinched.

"BOYS!" roared Sayuri, raising and getting in between both of them. "Stop this! You're both being stupid. Ever thought how Sam is taking this! Or Shinya for that matter?"

"Oh, like you're the one to talk, Sayuri! You are ashamed of what happened! I saw how you looked away-!" Tommy began but Shinya interrupted him.

"Minoru, I won't use the Beast Spirit ever again," Shinya promised softly.

Minoru looked at the brown haired boy. "That's a little late," he stated vivaciously.

"Minoru, stop it!" warned Sayuri. "We shouldn't be doing this! Tommy said it was an accident and-!"

"You're taking his side? You saw Sam's wound!" Minoru shouted.

For several more minutes, the fight continued. Sam watched desperately, his eyes flickering between Shinya's hurt and guilty face and the shouting figures. Their words grew so loud that they melded into each other. He pressed his hands on his ears, hoping it would go away but the swarming words wormed passed the cover of his hands. Please, just stop, he thought desperately. Please, Tommy-nii. Minoru…Sayuri…Shinya-nii…why are you arguing like this. We're supposed to be a team… Tears began forming in his eyes. Please…please… He hated this; hated all of it. Couldn't they get along?

"PLEASE! STOP!" screamed Sam. His mind didn't register the pain of the stretching burn as he screamed, his mind was set on getting them to stop arguing. Salty tears rolled down his face, stinging his burn as they ran down his cheek. He dropped the cloth as he shook. "I don't want to see you fighting! I thought we were all friends! Friends don't fight like this!"

The four were left speechless as they watched the little boy run off to the tree line. They felt a shadow of guilt pass over them. Sayuri was the first to go after him a minute later, bound to apologize. Minoru and Tommy watched her go.

"I hope you're happy," Tommy huffed before walking over to his pack. "I'm going to go to bed now."

Minoru simply answered with an exhale of air before turning to the woods and deciding to get his own pack to get a blanket and climb up into a tree to sleep there for the night. Shinya watched both of them go, he rested his head on one of his knees and sighed ruefully. If only I didn't use the Beast Spirit, he thought sadly. If only I didn't have the Beast Spirit…

~X:::::::::X~

The next morning, Tommy was met with a violent shake. He jumped suddenly, expecting the worst and smacked whatever was shaking him in his mad flurry to get to his feet. In seconds he was standing in a slightly crouched position, looking around wildly for an enemy.

"Ow," groaned a familiar female voice. "Gez, watch where you're swinging your arms, will ya?"

Tommy looked down next to him to see a glaring Sayuri, rubbing her cheek which Tommy assumed that he had hit. "Well, then why are you shaking me awake for? I thought you were an enemy! If there was no use for waking me up so violently, you shouldn't have done that," Tommy stated, shoving his Dt2 into his pocket, aggravated.

"I don't want to start this early," she stated after biting back an acid reply. "Minoru and Sam are gone."

Tommy relaxed and rolled his eyes. "They could have gone out to get firewood or something, Sayuri," he grumbled. He walked past her and lay down. "If that's it, I'm going back to bed."

"Yeah, sure they'd leave their packs behind if they were going to get firewood," she retorted.

Tommy heard this and sat back up. "Wha?"

"They're packs are gone," she repeated, pointing to where Sam slept then over towards where Minoru had left his the night before. Surely enough, both were gone.

"You haven't had a chance to get a hold of them?" he asked, getting up and examining the spots.

"No," she answered. "Me and Shinya have tried but it was no good. Minoru won't answer his and we nearly got a hold of Sam but it suddenly cut off. I think they're in trouble."

"Where's Shinya?" Tommy asked. He hadn't seen him since getting up.

"He went to look for them, hopefully following the signal," Sayuri replied. "He only left a few minutes ago."

With that, Tommy rolled up his sleeping bag and put it away before grabbing his pack. Sayuri saw what he was doing and grabbed hers before they both took off in the direction in which Shinya had left.

~X:::::::::X~

Sam had stopped struggling against the older boy but instead tried asking him what he was doing. They had been walking for a good two hours before the three moons sank and the sun peaked up into the sky. Even with his questions, Minoru still remained silent and refused to look down at him.

Sam was starting to get worried. "Minoru, aren't the other's worrying about us?" he asked.

Again silence was his answer.

The little boy sighed, bored before deciding to at least understand the few statements he had been given when he was forced awake. Then he was groggy and only understood a few words. Something about a Trailmon and cake. Was it a Trailmon eating a cake? He silently giggled to himself before trying to decide what else he had heard. Finally, he got tired of that and just began to entertain himself again.

Minoru continued in silence, reflecting over the night before. "Maybe you should look at it from Shinya's point of view!" Minoru snorted bitterly. This action would definitely attract even more hate from Tommy. Truthfully, he didn't care. He was always a pariah but he was used to it. Being hated on was nothing new to him.

Right now, he was more worried by Sam's well-being. Because of the incident the night before, he had discovered just how dangerous this place was and it rekindled a internal worry, more for the youngest member than anyone else. He was only eight and he had been burned, figuratively and literally. Who knew what else that could lead to if anyone else had gotten a hold of their Beast Spirit. Those objects of immense power, he had developed an antipathy for it. Also, what would it mean if their enemies got a hold of their Beast Spirits? He'd rather not risk the death of such a young kid.

He then silently grumbled to himself as he looked for the closest village. He just hoped that he had enough distance between himself and the others.

~X:::::::::X~

However, that wasn't the case. Despite absconding hours earlier, Shinya, Sayuri, and Tommy had caught up to them in front of a Trailmon station. By the time they found them, Tommy was tired and irritated and he didn't care if offended Minoru at all. Minoru, too, was ready to fight back, verbally or physically, to see his job through.

As tempers flew, Sam watched in horror as the night before was repeated. He then learned why Minoru had taken him away: to send him back home. The two debated back and forth and Sam could only think of a single reaction. Can't I choose to stay?he thought bitterly. Sam wanted to stay, so why was Minoru trying to send him back?

"I don't want to leave!" However, his voice was drowned out by the shouting match of the two debaters and Shinya and Sayuri as they tried to separate the two before they could get any farther in their fight as their argument began deterring off topic. It almost looked ready to evolve into a fistfight.

Sam could only think of one thing: run. Run from all of this. Maybe they'd calm down if he wasn't there. Maybe the problem would just go away if he wasn't there. Even though it was a childish solution, the eight year old didn't dwell on it. His feet began carrying him away from the argument.

He raced as far as his feet could take him. He passed through streets of the village until he found himself lost. He finally collapsed on a tree trunk, worn out from his physical and emotional turmoil. Sam bit the inside of his cheeks as he rocked back and forth. "I wish Ichiro was here," he sighed to himself sadly. "I wish he came with us. Maybe things wouldn't have become like this."

He dipped his head lower. "I miss onii-chan and Mama and Papa," he whispered to himself. He was left to wander in his thoughts for a few seconds and sleep began to over come him. Since he had a lack of sleep compared to the others, he was ready to fall over right then and there. "Maybe I can lay down for a few minutes," he said to himself to fill the silence.

"Sleeping out here? Are you sure that's a good idea?" asked a voice from behind him. Sam looked back, startled and noted a strikingly familiar figure.

"Aren't you Minoru's brother?" he asked, scrambling to his feet and pulling out his Dt2. "You're here for my Spirit?"

The new Warrior of Light shook his head. "I couldn't," answered Kouki, sitting on the stump and gazing at the child. "You're a boy. I wouldn't fight you, even if I was told to. I don't believe in picking on the weak."

"But I'm not weak," Sam argued, raising his Dt2 as if to remind the twelve year old about his statace of being a Warrior.

"That's true you have a Spirit," Kouki admitted. "But, you're young."

Sam pouted and he looked down crestfallen. "That's what Minoru thinks," he said, dejectedly. "He was going to send me back home but I don't want to go. I want to stay and fight."

Kouki gave him a concerned frown. "That sounds like Minoru all right," stated Kouki with a begrudging yet respectful tone. "I guess you told him this?"

Sam nodded. "He didn't listen. Now, him and Tommy-nii are fighting. Shinya's sad. I hate it." The boy's head dropped lower.

Kouki turned his head upwards, unsure what to say. "Just…keep trying," he finally said. Sam looked at him in surprise. "Minoru is hardheaded at times but…he'll come around. You just have to talk to him with a lot of confidence, prove that you don't want to leave."

"That's what you do?" asked Sam curiously.

Kouki didn't answer. "I…better get going. I'm sure your friends will come and try to find you here." He rose but Sam went to stop him.

"Wait," he began, "why don't you come with us! You're far too nice to be with the bad guys."

"I can't," Kouki answered simply.

"Why not?" Sam asked, dejectedly.

"I have my reasons," he answered before ruffling the younger boy's hair. "Don't tell them I was here."

Sam wasn't able to answer before Kouki began leaving. The boy's hand wandered to the top of his head. "I have to prove…but how?" he wondered.

~X:::::::::X~

"Both of you! WON'T YOU JUST STOP!" screamed Sayuri. "Sam's missing and you two can't stop fighting!"

The two boys looked towards her, shocked by what she had said. "Sam's missing?" they repeated.

"Yes, he left while you two were fighting," Shinya answered.

"Well, that's just great," Minoru muttered, glaring over at Tommy. "If only you were paying attention, Himi."

"What, now it's my fault that we're stuck in this situation?" Tommy demanded angrily. "If I remember correctly, it was you who dragged Sam away in the first place."

"My GOD, can both of you shut up?" shouted Sayuri, putting her hands to her head as if to comfort a headache. "I honestly don't blame Sam from running away because you two idiots can't quit fighting and deciding what Sam should do! Pull your heads out of your butts and think! Sam was upset because we were all fighting last night and now he ran off, upset because you guys can't let it drop!"

"But-!"

"Tommy, Minoru, Sayuri's right!" Shinya stated. "You two just can't let it drop. I know it was caused by my mistake but that doesn't mean that we should take it out on each other. You two are really blowing it out to be a bigger deal than it really is."

Tommy was the first to fall silent. Shinya…he thought. He took in the words and looked down, shamefaced. "Yeah, you're both right…" he began. "We're both at fault."

Minoru was about to protest about his fault but a glare from Sayuri made him think twice. "Minoru," she said, "think about how Sam feels right now. He looks up to us all. How do you think he feels if we just started fighting over something so trivial? Something that's about him?"

Minoru clamped his mouth shut. "He'd feel at fault," Minoru answered. He looked towards Tommy. "Let's go find Sam."

"Right," Tommy agreed. The two began racing off. "What about an apology?"

"Sure, once you drop your pride to do so yourself."

"Ugh, you two are unbelievable!" Sayuri complained as she watched them go, agitatedly.

"Sam's more important, though," Shinya began, placing a hand on her shoulder. "They agreed to forget about it. That's enough for now."

Sayuri gave him a half pouting look. "Still," she insisted.

"Let's go." Shinya quickly raced off, leaving her behind. Sayuri sighed. At least things are getting better, she thought.

Chapter 8: End.

My God, it has been four months since my last update. I'm terribly sorry about that. I've been wrapped up in fishing ACD by the end of next month. I really need to give this fic some more love. This one isn't as good but I'm too lazy to expand it anymore. Next one should be better and the one after that will go to the other world then things start picking back up from there.