This was just an idea which was spinning around in my head. Personally, I love the way this came out. Better than what I had originally hoped for. Like a bunch of little snippets threaded together to form a story.
Each segment represents a single time frame. The time that passes between one and the next becomes smaller and smaller as the story progresses. Goes from over two months to two minutes. Bold and Italics is a phone message, italics is a flashback, basically something someone's said before that's relevant to what's happening in context.
Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon. If I did, I wouldn't have to count bubbles for a biology prac.
Anyway, have fun and tell me what you think of it.
He gave his life for them, and never regretted it. Ever since he was revived, his life force is slowly leaving him...all that's left now is to say goodbye.
His eyes were closed, but the rest of his senses were well aware, even as he lay in the hospital bed waiting for sleep to grasp him. The others had left for now, full of happiness and relief now that he had survived the ordeal and things could finally begin to come together again.
But what they weren't aware of was that refashioning a broken thread weakens it severely. They didn't know what would happen...well, one would suppose they did, subconsciously, but they weren't aware of the fact that it could happen so soon.
Or would...though he never regretted it. He had known the consequences of his actions when he acted, and while the course of fate can change, a choice as profound and solid as that would not.
'I have no regrets...'
'What's wrong Kouichi?'
'Well, that "nothing" has been around for awhile now.'
Kouichi laughed at his brother's overprotective tone. 'It's just a common cold,' he stated afterwards, though the effect was somewhat nullified by the bout of coughing that followed immediately afterwards.
'It's always so ironic how you say one thing and your own body contradicts you. I guess most of the time the body's right. We just say elsewise just to fool others, or sometimes ourselves...'
'You don't sound fine.'
A shrug. 'It's the flu season. It'll pass.'
'If you're sure...'
'I thought you said it would pass?' Kouji's panic was amplified by the slight echo that resulted in phone conversations. 'It's been more than a month.'
'It did pass,' Kouichi replied wearily.
'So you're sick again? So soon?'
'Yea-' a fit of coughing interrupted him. 'Don't like colds,' he added as an afterthought, his throat raw from the constant coughing.
'Can't see why you would,' Kouji sighed, sounding less panicked but increasingly worried. 'They're always keeping you down.'
It was true. Since their return from the Digital World (seeing as they hadn't known the other before that and there couldn't speak regarding that period) it seemed that Kouichi's varying level of health kept him from participating in much. When the six gathered to play soccer, basketball or go skating at the ring, rarely did he actually participate, for the most part simply sitting out. And the scarce times he did, he always seemed exhausted afterwards, as if his energy had been entirely expended within the time span of a half hour.
Kouichi said it was because of his weak immune system. Being sick frequently stopped him from being able to build his strength and endurance. Though that didn't stop the younger twin from worrying.
'Not always. They're just getting more frequent lately...'
'It's been awhile since we've been together like this.'
'It sure has. Something always comes up.'
'There comes a time where even as you try to stay together, you can't, even as you're so tightly bound together that you cannot drift apart...'
A sigh. 'I've missed this. While I see Taki-kun nearly every day, I barely see the rest of you, especially you Kouichi.'
Takuya aimed a good-natured swat at Izumi, the speaker, who leaned back slightly to avoid his hand, before turning to the elder twin.
'She's got a point,' he said. 'I haven't seen you much either.'
He shrugged helplessly, a little red as everybody turned their attention to him. 'Gomen. I've been sick,' he mumbled, before changing the subject. 'Aren't we still missing someone?'
Indeed they were. While the three involved in the conversation had been conversing, Junpei had been teaching their youngest member a new magic trick. That however still left...
'Now you realise?' his brother's amused voice reached his ear.
Kouichi jumped slightly, startled, as Takuya craned his neck back so fast it hurt. 'Wha-Kouji! When did you get here?'
'Oh, just at the "aren't we still missing someone" part,' he replied, taking a seat next to his brother, said brother thanking the stars he had not heard what came before that.
He didn't want the remaining time he spent with them to be riddled with despair and approaching death.
'You're not coming with us?'
Kouichi smiled tiredly. 'Me and strenuous exercise don't mix,' he said with a light laugh, even as he had to shake himself awake afterwards.
'True enough.' Takuya grinned, remembering all the times the elder twin had opted to sit out of their soccer matches, or else take a rain check after a short while. Though most of the time he had been either sick or recovering from a bout of illness.
They couldn't really know whether he had always been so prone to illnesses or it had been a new development, and the topic always drifted whenever it was brought up. Though the increasingly frequent (and increasingly prolonged) bouts of sickness were the main reason why his body was incapable of handling the planned intense regime for their week-long programme arranged by their school, being unable to even handle a short jog around the school oval before his legs refused to support him longer.
But as they, the illnesses that is, was never life threatening, and Kouichi seemed to know what he was doing, and saying for that matter, they generally let it go.
"They" of course, didn't include Kouji. But he was eventually persuaded by his brother to let it go too.
Kouji sighed, hanging up the phone. He and the others had returned a little earlier that evening, and the first thing he had done, after greeting his parents and putting their worries to rest, was to try and contact Kouichi. However, while he repeated the call more times than he cared to count, he never received an answer.
It was odd. Usually the elder twin was home at least, even while their mother worked, unless he was hanging out with the younger and their friends. That, he most certainly not have been doing, as having just returned, the other five were most probably still in the process of unpacking and settling back into their daily routine after the week-long intense camp regime they were forced to adhere to. And even if he was sick (as he had been sick for the last month and slowly worsening, though due to the absence, neither his friends nor his brother were aware of this fact, he having succeeded in hiding it from them), he would have picked up the phone, knowing it was most likely either his brother or mother, and knowing that both would worry if he did not.
And worried he was. He had no logical reason to be; Kouichi himself told him time and time again that we was simply too paranoid...even when his paranoia was well founded. He could have been out for some reason, or sleeping, or too busy to pick up the phone. There were many reasons why he had not; it didn't mean that something was wrong. But he worried. Because he knew that if there was something wrong, Kouichi would not tell him until it was too late.
'He'll never say something's wrong because he doesn't want us to worry. That's just the way he is...'
And so he worried all the same.
Giving it up for the time being, thinking (or trying to quell the increasing concern which was welling up within him) that perhaps his brother and mother were out, or simply busy, he turned to head upstairs. However, the moment his foot descended upon the first step, the phone rang.
And for some reason, it just felt like an ill omen...
His father had picked up the phone, so Kouji had received the message second hand. That didn't make the pain that such a message brought any less, as the end result was the same either way.
The two sat in the car, the grey silence stretching even as the dismal weather mimicked the despairing mood as it spread, along with the news. His mother undoubtedly knew, and his stepmother had promised to call the remaining four out of their team and inform them. After all, as close as they were, they deserved to know too...
'If it's important, call my cell phone 'kay? If I don't answer, just leave a message.'
He could hear his own voice, echoing through the time, though it wasn't all too long ago that he had uttered those words to his brother. It felt like forever though, perhaps because Kouichi had never felt the need to do so. But being inaccessible for the past week...
He extracted the phone from his pocket, the same one which had once been his D-scanner, housing the spirits of light and much else besides. He had carried it out of habit, despite it being switched off in accordance with the rules.
He didn't know why it mattered. But it did. He couldn't bear the fact that Kouichi had kept quiet to suffer alone. If had at least said something, left a message or whatever, just to show he wasn't just driving them out of existence...driving him out of existence...
The phone beeped, before turning on, displaying a previously unread message.
'I never did like the word goodbye. It feels too permanent, you know? As if death itself was driving two people apart. It's too lasting...I prefer:"till next time". That way there's something to look forward too.'
'And a full-stop?'
'Same. It gives too much a sense of finality. Once you've marked the end, you can't go back...so if you ever see me use both at the same time, then know that that's my last message to you...'