Author's Notes

Another three-shot. I've actually had this story planned for ages, as well the first few paragraphs written, so I just thought I'd finish it.

This is actually based on a true story, just things are changed slightly as to respect the anonymity of the people involved, as well as to set it into context with Digimon Frontier, and is written in honour of a friendship between two people that now still stands strong after we reached a compromise after all our disagreements, and of course the person stuck between us and the other friends affected with our conflicts.

BTW, this is written in Kouichi's point of view. Though it is the first time (in my frontier based stories) he's not one of the main characters. He's sort of an outsider looking in.

In terms of couples, there is a bit of Takumi (Takuya and Izumi) and I suppose you could interpret it as one-sided Kouzumi (Kouji and Izumi) as well, but not necessarily. That just depends on how you interpret it.

Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon.


Silver Lining

They always fought. Always bickered. But they never meant to hurt their best friends. Or go that one step too far. But at least they found their silver lining...a resolution.

Kouji M & Takuya K

Genre: Drama/Friendship

Rating: T


Chapter 1

It was Saturday, and so we took advantage of the beautiful weather and the afternoon free from school to meet up at Shibuya Park, 'we' of course being the ex-legendary warriors; Kanbara Takuya, Minamoto Kouji, Himi Tomoki, Orimoto Izumi, Shibiyama Junpei and me, Kimura Kouichi.

Takuya and Kouji were already waiting under the Sakura tree we had unofficially claimed as our meeting spot when I arrived, their school only being a few blocks away. The rest of us went to schools further away; in fact, my school was clear in another district, in Shinjuku, and that usually resulted in me arriving last for our monthly get-togethers.

Though I was only slightly surprised to find the other three currently absent. 'Ohayou Takuya-san, Kouji-' I greeted, hurriedly cutting myself off before I added the suffix onto my brother's name from force of habit; God knows how many times he has told me not to.

Come to think of it...

'Kouichi,' Takuya chided me, shaking his head. 'How many times have I told you to knock off the suffix?'

I shrugged a bit helplessly, and the brunette turned back to my brother as I took a seat under the shade of the branches. I listened for a moment, but soon enough, the conversation shifted to a mild argument, and I tuned out their raised voices.

Takuya and Kouji...it was remarkable how the two had managed to stay the best of friends after all their disagreements. Their personalities were, and still are, largely contrasting, but at that point, neither were willing to compromise when a difference in opinion arouse, and as a result, many full blown arguments stemmed from small disagreements which could have easily been resolved without all the dramatics.

And a few minutes later, it would be as if they had not disagreed at all.

I think, out of the six of us, it is those two who share the closest bond. The others most likely disagree, but the bond between light and darkness is incomparable to the others; it was fashioned at birth after all, unbroken, although perhaps stretched, despite how much hostility, enmity or even friendship exist between us. It is not a bond fashioned by the trials and tribulations of friendship.

Fire and light...the two elements had a rather interesting relationship. Fire was a source of light, the flames glowing with predominantly a mix of red, orange and yellow like a beacon that attracts those seeking a path of light. But light too could give fire; shining rays through clear glass at the right angle directed to something flammable, like dry grass or flakes of paper could start a fire.

Light and darkness are opposites, and yet they go hand in hand. Same with fire and light, but their relationship is slightly different. While Kouji and I balance each other out. Takuya and Kouji continuously push each other past their natural limitations. Now, most of the time, that's a good thing...but not always.

Especially when they argued because of it.

Like they were doing now.

'Like you could do better, bandana-boy.'

'At least I didn't mess up like you.'

'That's because you haven't even tried.'

A pause.

'What's the matter? Chicken?'

'Idiot.'

I sighed. Having missed the first part of the conversation, I had no idea what they were arguing about. Their voices were rising again, and I blotted them out to the best of my ability, trying to stem the migraine I felt coming on.

I guess I had done a pretty good job, because I suddenly jumped at a hand descending on my shoulder. My eyes flew open and a startled gasp escaped my lips as I found Junpei's face inches from my own. I felt my cheeks heat up and I jerked back slightly at the close proximity; an average reaction, it was rather uncomfortable having someone in your face when zoning back in.

He smiled at me apologetically, albeit it was slightly strained, and I returned it, standing up as the elder boy straightened from his crouch and Izumi and Tomoki joined us. No words were exchanged as we turned back to Takuya and Kouji, so immersed in their bickering that they were yet to acknowledge, or even, realise the arrival of the other four.

We waited silently for a few minutes, the embarrassed blush fading away and waiting for the argument to cease as it normally did. And surely enough, Takuya turned eventually and noticed the late additions, his squabble with Kouji instantly forgotten.

'Hey guys,' he called, forgoing the more traditional Japanese for English slang. Both languages were taught at school, so we of course had no trouble understanding him, though the heavy accent may make it harder for those who were naturally English speaking. 'You're late,' he continued, slightly accusing.

'Gomen,' Izumi muttered, eyeing me out of the corner of her eyes, making it clear to anyone watching that the apology had been aimed at me alone. I nodded in her direction, then she turned away, pointedly avoiding eye contact with Kouji as he came over to stand by my side. I guess she was reaching the limit of her patience with those two. I assumed Junpei and Tomoki were as well, what with Junpei's increasing 'academic' responsibilities and Tomoki having to hurry home more often than not, though that could have had more to do with his brother's engagement. I knew I was reaching the end of my own patience as well, but I could not get away with an excuse, unfortunately, as I wound up being dragged along by Kouji in the end anyway.

Though I get to at least partially pay him back by letting 'Kaa-san drag him shopping.

Marginally...as she isn't quite as bad as most girls when it comes to that.

The tense silence was growing, though surprisingly, both Takuya and Kouji were oblivious to it.

'Can we just go already?' Izumi snapped suddenly, as Kouji opened his mouth, presumably to pick up the previously abandoned conversation with Takuya, seizing Tomoki's wrist and dragging the boy off in a random direction, Junpei hurriedly following after.

Izumi was more tense than usual, and I wondered whether she had been more directly involved in this particular argument; her body language was certainly validating that assumption. I wasn't, however, given sufficient time to dwell on that before Kouji was calling me to hurry up, before hurrying himself to catch up with his rival.

I hurried, all the while wondering how much this particular string of elastic could stretch before it snapped.


Everything managed to fall back into its original pattern by lunch, though there was still a sense of underlining tension. As per usual, we spread ourselves out on the lush grass, bento boxes open on our laps, talking about rather general things. Or rather, the others talked while I listened; I was more of a listener.

The discussion turned, inevitably, to the topic of the Digital World.

'It's so hard to believe that it's already been a year,' Izumi mused, almost wistfully, the earlier tension almost forgotten. Key word: almost. 'I hope we see them again. The spirits, the three Angels, Bokomon and Neemon...'

'I am Neemon, keeper of my pants!' Tomoki laughed, remembering he anticas of the tag-along digimon, provoking laughter from the rest of us as well. For a moment, that's all we did: laugh, letting go of any worries and tensions that plagued us. But as always, the laughter would have to stop, and the veil of reality would have to descend upon us once more.

'Remember when we were on the moon?' Junpei asked, once the laughter died down.

We all nodded, indicating for him to continue.

'That was like one of the few times where we didn't have to fight for our lives, or somebody else's...' Izumi sighed, letting her voice trail off, before a playful smirk graced her face. 'Remember all the crazy stuff we done to get off?'

Tomoki laughed at the memory. 'Like making a giant slingshot? And how Junpei loaded Takuya into his cannon and tried to blast him into space?'

We, except the two addressed, burst into another fit of laughter at the memory of Agnimon's indignation after the first failed attempt.

'Come on,' Junpei cried. 'You guys didn't even give it a chance.'

'It wouldn't have worked,' I said softly, surprising even myself with the assertion, but continuing anyway. 'You're calculations were wrong.'

Five heads snapped towards me and I felt my face heat up again at the attention.

'Huh?' Junpei blinked. 'What was wrong with them?'

I looked down, a bit embarrassed, and mumbled my answer. 'You didn't account for the amount of force your cannon exhibits.' The power behind it wouldn't have been strong enough alone. You needed a secondary source of power.'

'And you didn't mention this before...why?' he asked.

My face got hotter and I didn't answer. Thankfully, Izumi noticed and diverted the conversation. Unfortunately, she unintentionally sent it into dangerous waters.

'Remember all the crazy stuff that we did?' she said out of the blue. Had she thought it through a little more, I doubt she would have said what she did next. 'Like Takuya and those Candlemon?'

'Hey!' Takuya protested, sitting upright. 'How was I supposed to know that wouldn't work? And it's not like you guys had spirits then.'

'Lucky I found mine,' Tomoki mused happily, content with his memories of Chakkmon.

I personally was more than a little confused, and it didn't seem like Kouji was faring much better. 'When was this?' he asked, voicing both our confusions.

'About after he pushed you into that hole.' Junpei replied.

Hole? When was this?

'You mean that never-ending one in which I found my spirit?'

'Yep.'

He sighed. 'Takuya, you should have known better than to try lighting a candle with a flame.'

'You weren't even there,' he shot back. 'So don't talk like you know everything.'

Uh-oh. Izumi and Junpei exchanged glances, Tomoki own green orbs flickering between them. Izumi for one looked like she regretted bringing the topic up.

Though I suppose it was bound to happen sooner or later. And if it wasn't one thing, it would have been another.

'Like you forgot to put on the brakes when tearing around as Garrmon?'

I looked up, realising that I once again had managed to blot out a part of the conversation/argument.

Funny, how sometimes it happens unintentionally, and naturally, while at other times, despite one's best efforts, they are forced to endure.

I guess this was one of those lucky times.

'You couldn't control your own beast-spirit better,' Kouji shot back, irritated by the blow to his pride. 'Attacking your own friends...'

I winced. That was one particular story I heard once, and never wanted to hear again. It reminded me too much of-well, you know.

But to be fair, that was a seriously low blow on Kouji's part. So I couldn't blame him for retaliating in a split second blinded by a rash anger which quickly dispersed once the realisation of what he said dawned on him.

'I wasn't the only one you know,' he raged. 'What about Dus-'

I flinched at the half-finished reminder, and Takuya immediately cut himself off. He told me later that the others nearly bore holes through him with their glares, and that he, for one, was extremely grateful that looks could not kill, else he would have died ten times over in those few seconds of silence that passed. Though of course with my head down, I did not notice at the time.

'I'm sorry,' Takuya muttered eventually. 'I didn't mean-'

I waved my hand in reply. 'Don't worry,' I said, forcing a smile on my face. 'You got angry and carried away. It happens.'

I could see Kouji examining me out of the corner of my eye. Sometimes, it's not always the best thing having a twin who could read you like a children's comic book, but times like this always made me wonder how he could be so perceptive when it came to some people and yet so blind when it came to others.

They both brought up valid points, they always did, but the past was past; there was no use dwelling over old mistakes.

But they always seemed to blow such miniscule things out of proportion.

The silence that followed was awkward, and extremely tense, to say the least, so much so that everybody was shifting discreetly, yet restlessly, for a diversion. Takuya, being the one least capable of sitting still in silence, eventually broke it, in his usual boisterous way, although I could still hear a slight trace of guilt beneath it.

'Hey! Let's play-'

'No!' we, save Kouji and of course, Takuya, hurriedly exclaimed. Any sort of friendly competition between those two in this sort of tension would no doubt escalate. And nobody was in the mood to deal with it, save perhaps the two involved.

Another awkward silence followed, quickly followed by Tomoki stammering something about having to go home and heading there soon after.

Izumi and Junpei stood too, the latter saying he had to return to his assignments while the former's words were lost to me before the two headed in separate directions.

Kouji and Takuya stood too, and I followed suit, a bit uneasily, watching the other three members of our group hurry out of sight.

'I guess we'd better head home too,' Kouji sighed, turning to me.

I shrugged, before following him as he crossed the path after bidding Takuya a farewell as he ran off in the opposite direction.

The meeting ended on an awkward note, and that was a serious understatement.


'They left rather hurriedly, didn't they?' Kouji commented as we walked the path to his house. I was staying over the night, as we normally alternated weekends; one weekend, I'd sleep over at his house, while the following weekend, he'd sleep over at mine. Our parents were fine with it; in fact, they suggested it in the first place. I got the feeling Okaa-san and Otou-san felt guilty about keeping us apart and secret to one another.

'Yeah...' I mumbled in reply. Oh Kouji, how can you be so blind to this?