This isn't an actual story per say. It's set in the Desperation universe, and is more of a reflection from Izumi's POV.
Alright, this does contain spoilers for Desperation, but it's not a big deal since most of what it spoils is already spoilt if you've watched Frontier, though the take is slightly different, or else has already been mentioned. Most of which that is neither isn't really a major plot point, either something to nudge the plot in the right direction or something random I threw in. I wasn't even planning on writing this till Desperation got up to speed, but...ya know, usual story.
And if you haven't read Desperation, note that Kouichi is a girl in there.
Should be short. Emphasis on the short there, last time I said that, turned out to be ten chapters long and I still haven't finished.
Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon or any of its characters. I do own the Desperation universe though.
Knot Too Strong
Side story to Desperation. What do you do when you find out your best friend is your worst enemy? Even worse, she's trying to kill you. How can you say she's not the person she used to be, or if there's any humanity left? Izumi's POV
Izumi O/Zoe & Kouichi K/Koichi
When I first met her, it was like I was drawn to her somehow. Perhaps her unique personality in retrospect to the other girls I knew from Jingumae with their snobbish attitudes and the quick rejection should they find someone not on the same step as them. She was different; she certainly was not as outspoken as them, seeing as her voice was particularly soft, so much so that it either had to be pin drop silent, or your hearing had to be quite sharp, to be able to hear her if she spoke anything less than a normal speaking tone.
She certainly didn't seem to mind my own personality, or my ancestry. In fact, she told me once that she admired me for them both. She stuck up for me, even when others had formed the preconception that she would be either too shy or too scared to interfere. It simply showed how easily they misunderstood her, unable to see the strength and power which lay behind those dark eyes and the grace of her movement.
Quiet and shy are two different things, though the words are commonly used in conjunction with one another. As such, some people have the habit of assuming that a naturally quiet person is shy as well, and shyness is almost always, especially with the more outspoken people, taken to be a sign of weakness.
Kouichi is probably a living contradiction to that assumption.
She was reluctant at first, and I was confused at that, since she had made it quite clear it wasn't because of me. Till I stumbled upon the problem.
But a friend is still a friend, and that mutual connection is all that is needed. So eventually we bypassed the barrier, and for a time, remained inseparable.
But then things started changing again.
It began with her grandmother's death. Then she just started acting a bit...odd. Now, I had only known her for less than a month, but time is pretty much irrelevant in a true friendship, so I knew her behaviour wasn't normal, even if the changes were too subtle for anyone else to pick up. She used to skip lunch quite often, but afterwards, it had become a strange occurrence to see her during the break. But the thing that worried me the most was the fact that she always bottled up her emotions, and looked as though she was soon reaching breaking point.
I wondered about that, till I went to her apartment one day and met her mother. Then I gained an atom more of understanding; she didn't want to be a burden. I remembered the kids that crowded around her, the ones that saw her like an older sister; she was the stem that had to stay straight to support the leaves and flower. Not exactly the best analogy, but then again, that's her strong point, not mine. Regardless, she listened when they needed to talk, helped when they needed it, but for the most part remained indiscreet to her surroundings, blending in to them rather than standing out.
Eventually, I got an answer out of her, and it was lucky I caught the opportunity, or else she would have been roadkill.
It was a shock to be sure, that Kouji was her brother, and her twin at that. And not only that, that the father that left her and her mother, the one she had given up yearning and searching for after her mother's tears, and to some extent, harboured negativity for, was that close. I can't say I understood, it was more something out of a movie than reality, but she had the proof. Not that she needed it, I trusted her without it.
But that made things rather difficult for her. It wasn't like she could go straight up to the guy and tell them: "Hi, I'm your twin sister that you didn't know you had." That wouldn't work out too well, especially seeing as Kouji then was an extremely suspicious person by nature.
And then, there was something more she wasn't telling me.
I got the call for the Digital World later that same day, within twenty minutes in fact, and soon after, I joined the team and obtained the Spirits of Wind. They made me feel important, like my uniqueness was a strength as opposed to a weakness, just as Kouichi had said. I made new friends, albeit all boys, but in her absence, something was still missing.
Then she joined us, and I was thrilled. Till I realised this wasn't the same person I knew.
It was hard to tell, especially since the others knew nothing about her. But two things tipped me off. The first was the fact that she seemed far more at ease around Kouji than she had in the real world, though I had assumed she was simply getting over the shock seeing as though she still kept her distance as far as was politely possible. But the other reason was far more profound, and by far warranted a sense of concern.
She had kept them hidden for quite awhile, never exactly looking at us straight in the eye. Takuya, being the only other to whom she seemed remotely familiar, Kouji having forgotten their one and only meeting, simply took that as shyness, but knowing her not to be so, I wondered.
Then, almost unexpectedly, I saw her eyes, or rather, a reflection of them. I don't think she had noticed; we were after all flying at the time, but we had passed over a body of water when I caught sight of her reflection, and the eyes almost black with the darkness that tainted it.
I didn't react visibly, which turned out later to be extremely fortunate. Had I blown her cover in mid air, god knows what would have happened to the two of us, despite her being unable to fly.
I wondered every moment I could, but it seemed with entering the Continent of Darkness, we had run into problem after problem, and not all of them digimon related. Even then, as we dealt with each new obstacle, none of us ever considered we had walked straight into a trap. That is, till it was sprung.
We then finally understood why we had only seen nine of the ten legendary warriors. Why the warrior of darkness had been strangely absent. Why our group seemed to be tearing apart even as it came closer together.
My best friend was my worst enemy.
The others saw her as a traitor or a spy; they had no emotional connection to her, or her to them. Me on the other hand, I had both. And Kouji had one of the two as well, which served to complicate matters as far as Kouichi was concerned. Because whatever had caused her to change, I refused to called the Warrior of Darkness named Duskmon the human name of my first, and best, friend.
Even as the fighting broke out. Even as we were horribly outmatched against that power, despite as we fought back, utilising every opportunity we could, combining our attacks and our strength while she remained alone.
We fought back, the others simply because she was an enemy which needed to be taken down. But for me, it was different, she was a friend drowning in the sea of darkness I saw beyond her eyes. She was a friend that needed saving.
We lost, miserably. But she hadn't won either. She had fought us, and had beaten us. But for herself, she had gained nothing. The emotionless expression, the coldness that masked confusion, it all led me to think that there was far more going on that met the eye.
It had seemed that within the span of five minutes, she had forgotten every event which had transpired for weeks before. Like each memory had passed through the black hole, never to be seen again. The facade of the human girl turned pawn of darkness had gone, and with it, whatever resemblance this...I can't call her a monster, despite how much I wished it. She was, and still is, my best friend, even when I had almost lost sight of her, for good.
The others were angered; naturally enough, she had betrayed our trust. But she hadn't, because I refused to believe them to be the same: Kouichi and Duskmon, or at least until far later.
Regardless, that fight was unlike any I had ever seen, and probably unlike anything I would ever see again. Five against one, and we were still clearly outmatched, even as it seemed Duskmon was simply playing with us. Like we were flies caught in his web, with her the spider. Our teamwork was easily dismantled, though that could have been already weakened due to the strain which had steadily accumulated. The tension was at breaking point by then, so it was only a matter of time till the string snapped.
It was only later that I realised the same thing had happened to her. When Kouji told us of their second encounter, where it seemed the memories, as well as the emotions which accompanied them, swam up to the surface only to be pushed down by an onslaught of darkness and the will of the puppeteer to whom she was bound. The raw emotion that burst forth, contrary to the controlled, and often manipulated so that no-one else was affected, display which was more common with her in the human world.
But the truth was still hidden. She couldn't say, and he didn't know. I was the only one who could tell him, tell Kouji the truth, in the hopes that he could save her while I could not.
But I couldn't. Because I had promised her I wouldn't. And she was, despite all, yet to betray my trust.
After all, I had known she would one day snap. I just hadn't imagined it would be like this.