The omnipotent monster. The all-powerful monster. A near deity.
I stare up at him in awe. I don't remember what he looked like as he merged between our partners. His is the only Digivolution I ever look away from. It's so bright that it's terrifying. All I ever see is the result.
He's a knight in shining armor in the most literal of senses. His armor covers a surprisingly thin body, but one that holds an incredible power. From his neck flows a long white cape, it's inner lineing blood red. His left arm bears a gauntlet that is reminiscent of Greymon, though orange chrome-digizoid instead of flesh and bone – more Greymon's Mega level WarGreymon. His right is Garurumon in a shiny blue/purple shell made of the same metal – MetalGarurumon, glimmering in the morning sun. He is awesome to look at, and fearsome to behold.
It isn't often we see Omnimon – or need him. Most threats can be handled by Greymon or Garurumon, or a team of champions and ultimate's together. But this isn't just some threat. This is a living computer virus capable of shutting down the entire digital world. One that's been unplugged from his brain. If we ever needed a hero now we've got him.
"So, what are you thinking?" I ask, my hand still firmly holding to Matt's.
I feel him look up beside me. "We have to disconnect this thing from the Digiworld. Sever the trunk and the tree dies."
I nod, facing our joint partner. "Alright, you heard him Omnimon! We're counting on you"
Without a sound, our white knight is off, his crimson white cape flowing in the air as he shoots ahead at incredible speed towards our foe. His speed is incredible, and there are few Digimon in existence that can even compare. He races off towards our enemy, a white blur against the golden sands of Server.
The monster before us shrieks and cackles, black wires shooting towards its prey. Omnimon does not waver, but presses onwards, through the attack. The first wires completely miss him, giving him time to raise his right arm forward. The MetalGarurumon shaped gauntlet opens and extends from its maw a huge black cannon from within Omnimon's arm.
The cannon blasts through the attack with ease, balls of blue energy splintering wires this way and that, burning through the monster like nothing before. It's a good hit. The creature moans in pain, firing off even more wires in an attempt to stop us.
Omnimon's left gauntlet unsheathes a magnificent blade from the mouth of WarGreymon. The digikana engraved on the chrome digizoid weapon shimmers with the morning sun. With a flick of his armored wrist he sends the blade slicing through each of the oncoming wires, sending their data into oblivion.
"Omnimon, you have to cut him off, now!" I hear Matt shout out, and I share the sentiment.
If Omnimon hears us he doesn't show it. He fires his cannon three more times. Two of the beams strike the pyramid abomination in the arms, knocking both them and the wires attached to them back. The final blast rocks the monsters base, knocking it's armor of steel and stone backwards and exposing what we've been looking for.
"He's on the ropes!" Matt shouts out to me.
I nod. "Then let's end this now Omnimon!"
The white knight brings the sword out from his body, his mismatched eyes focusing on his target, a thick braid of wires coiled beneath the monsters base. The creature tries to bring its massive arms down in a desperate bid to protect itself, but it's far too late. With a great swing of his sword, Omnimon slices through the monster.
Everything goes silent for a moment.
And then black wires pour from the monsters midsection and overwhelm Omnimon. He manages to slash away the first two attempts but finds himself quickly wrapped in the darkwires that burst from the midsection of the cancer spreading through the digital world.
"What the hell!?" I shout as I turn to Matt.
"The black wires…" He groans to me, his blue eyes wide with fear. "They're repairing too fast. All the damage we're doing is just being healed before we can stop him."
I grit my teeth and turn back to Omnimon. Our white knight struggles against the wires that confine him, but his efforts appear to be in vain. Both armored arms are far beneath the coils of this GAIA thing, held tight against Omnimon's will. There I a cackling sound from the gut of the monster, and then a sudden bolt of black electricity courses up to our partner, sending a painful shockwave through the armor of Omnimon.
I flinch and turn back to Matt. "We have to do something!"
"I'm thinking!" Matt bites back.
I flinch as another arc of black energy courses through Omnimon, arcing up his body from the wires in torturous fashion. Our monster doesn't scream, but I can feel his pain from our place in the sand dune.
"I've got it!" I hear Matt shout from beside me. I turn to find him fishing through his pockets searching for something.
"What are you doing?"
He pulls out his D-Terminal, the screen glowing faint green with the words VIRUS BUSTER flashing on and off. "Uploading the vaccine to Omnimon!"
I blink. "Will that help?"
He gives me a look. "Let's hope."
We fall in silence. This is our last shot at this. If we fail here it's over. Whatever is keeping Davis and Ken from reaching us will also keep them from saving us. I hold tight to my digivice, lift it high, and say a little prayer. "Let's do it!"
Matt nods and raises his D-Terminal up high. "Right! Upload Vaccine Program V!"
We bring our devices together – his D-Terminal and my digivice, and then Matt presses enter. For a few seconds I wonder if we've made a mistake, for it seems like nothing has changed. And then I feel my own digivice rumble like no tomorrow; feel it burning into my pants and against the skin of my side. And then I look up.
Omnimon begins glowing, at first a faint grey, but soon it brightens into a pure white light that overpowers my eyes. The wires shriek away, steam billowing from those who had gotten too close to Omnimon. Our knight looks as though he is filled with renewed energy, his cape flowing in the desert wind, both his cannon and sword drawn and ready.
The creature moans, and I watch with horror as its giant left palm races from the sky with incredible speed, blotting the sun away from Omnimon. Omnimon doesn't move from his position, instead watching the attack come towards him. For a moment I worry.
For a moment.
In a second Omnimon raises his right arm. The creatures attack connects with the armored muzzle of Omnimon's MetalGarurumon gauntlet, and then suddenly stops in place. Omnimon's strength alone has halted the attack. The creature has only a second to whine in shock before Omnimon looks at his palm with murderous intent.
The beam does more than blast through the attack. It breaks apart the very lining that forms the creatures arm, literally ripping through the concrete and black wire; blowing chucks of data this way and that, and leaving nothing but a corrupted stump where the fist once was. The high whine of the remnant of Datamon signals shoots across the desert. And then Omnimon is up again.
His blade glows red for a moment before becoming white hot, smoke rising from the hilt and leaving a trail in the air as Omnimon speeds upwards. Before the monster has the time to react Omnimon's blade is through the right shoulder, slashing in a downwards arc out and through. I watch in awe as the arm literally falls to the ground , the wires failing to reconnect thanks to the vaccines effect.
All that's left is the monsters base.
I grin and turn to Matt. "You thinking-"
"-What I'm thinking?" He finishes, and we share a grin.
He squeezes my hand, and I feel our powers mixing together once again, flowing through us and into our Digivices, which rumble with the sheer overload of energy.
"Take this-" I shout.
"-Our joint attack!" Matt roars.
Omnimon floats into the air, his arms outstretched, and finishes for us both.
From the armored gauntlets of both WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon bursts forth deep orange and pure blue streams of concentrated fire, coursing towards one another at an amazing speed. The bolts of energy begin spiraling into eachother, their power burning through one final desperate wave of black wires attempting in vain to defeat Omnimon. Within moments the two join together – the burn of WarGreymon's flame and the chill of MetalGarurumon's frost meeting and becoming something more. A white stream is created from their joining, burning a path of holy destruction that heads right for the mindless monster.
It connects with the force of a hurricane.
The wind kicks up once more, and again I shield my eyes. I think I hear the abomination scream over the blast. A shrill, mechanical cry that sends shivers up my spine. But I don't budge, and I don't look away. Neither does Matt. We watch patiently as Omnimon's Double Torrent rends the last vestige of Datamon in two.
It's over. The monster is as good as dead.
Data begins spewing from the gaping hole in its cauterized chest. Omnimon's blast has disemboweled it, piercing through the armor and cutting through to the other side. The lights flicker in its monolithic head. The few wires that remain drop around it, data flying away like black ashes in the wind.
I blink. My lungs stop working. The sound is a moan from the melting fibers of the monster as it begins its slow dissolve into nothingness. I could have sworn it said…
I feel my hand tighten, and turn to Matt. He squeezes again. A small comfort. We stand together and watch as the last vestige of Datamon… the last vestige of Rei… fade into the sun of Server's deserts into nothingness.
It's over. Finally over.
I feel all the stress of the day rush through me at once, and my head starts to spin. I start to fall to one knee, but Matt is there to catch me, to balance me. For that I thank him. We both look up a moment more to Omnimon. The Mega level digimon watches us both: Gabumon's cunning and Agumon's fury burning through his mismatched eyes. Their loyalty to us apparent through this one digital form. I begin to think of all the things we put them through this week. How terrifying a responsibility it is to be a digidestined. How awesome the result.
Omnimon glows again, and the energy from his de-digivolution forms a shell around him. I let go of Matt's hands to shield my eyes as the brightness overtakes the morning sun. There is a popping sound a few seconds later, and Koromon and Tsunomon – our partners in-training forms – begin falling from the sky.
Instinctively I fall to the ground, catching Koromon with my good arm. He's a tiny thing now, the size of a soccer ball, with short white fur and two long rabbit ears and not much else aside from his big eyes and even bigger mouth. It's hard to believe this little ball of fuzz in my arm was once a great dragon.
"D-did we do good Tai?" He asks, his voice the squeak of a little kid.
"Yeah buddy. You did real good…"
"Yeah?" He asks. And then he grins, and I see each and every razor sharp tooth shine white in the sun. "That's niiiice…."
The next sound out of his mouth is a snore. Nice and loud. I smile down at the little guy. After all that's happened in the last twenty-four hours he deserves a nice long rest.
I look to my side to find Matt cradling a similarly exhausted Tsunomon. The orange-fured monster's horn faces away from his partners injured chest, the dark black bone reflecting the light of the sun. Matt is smiling, a big relaxed grin. He looks up to me. "How is Koromon?"
I look down at my partner. The round fluff ball with two rabbit ears eyes are closed, and his mouth is wide open, showing me each and every one of his dragon teeth as he snores. "I think he's fallen asleep already," I grin back.
Matt nods. "Good for him."
"Tsunomon?" I ask.
"The same." He answers. "Poor things tuckered out."
"We owe them a lot." I grin.
It gets quiet for a moment, the desert wind blowing a cool breeze across my face. I settle down with Koromon and yawn, because I can do little else right now. Across from us lies a gaping hole where a pyramid used to be, smoke still billowing from the damage we just caused to the Digiworld. Around us the desert is a patchwork of scorched earth and glass.
"Matt?" I ask.
"Did we win?"
He turns to me and scoffs. "We're alive aren't we?"
I blink, and then nod. "Hmm…"
I settle into the sand and close my eyes. The sun is fully up now, and the heat is beginning to rise very quickly. But for now I don't feel like shielding myself. I just want the light to wash over me and Koromon, bringing with it rays of healing. I could stay like that forever.
I would. But I can't. There's something else that I have to do.
With a groan I lean up again and clear my throat. It's now or never. "Matt?"
"The elephant in the room…"
He looks to me, blue eyes flashing in the sun. "Yeah?"
Matt doesn't move for a long time, his golden-blonde bangs hiding his eye from me for a moment. His voice is low when he speaks next. "…You've said that before."
"Yeah. I know. But this is for real… The elephant… What I feel for Sora…"
His frown deepens. "Tai, are we really having this talk right now?"
"Nn…Might as well. We've been holding off. Right?"
His expression is hard to read – somewhere between annoyance and pity I take it. But he doesn't harden like I think it will, he simply leans up in the sand and faces me. "…Alright."
I take a deep breath. "I have feelings for your girlfriend."
It feels better to say out loud than it sounds I think, because Mat's eyebrows furrow. "…Okay."
"I thought they'd go away as I got older but they haven't. That's my fault. I haven't been letting go."
"…Okay." He repeats, the same tone as before.
"And so… I'm sorry."
Matt sits quietly, chewing his bottom lip, eyes furrowed. He looks up at me and sighs. "…I've known for a while."
He nods. "Kinda obvious Tai. You're not much for subtleties."
I laugh in spite of myself. "So I've been told."
Matt doesn't laugh with me, instead glaring into the sand between us. "I don't like it," he tells me. "I don't like it at all. I get it. I don't like it."
I nod. "I know."
"So what are you going to do?"
I blink. "Me?"
Matt looks up, an eyebrow raised. "You're the one with the problem Tai."
I sigh, stroking the fur of my sleeping Koromon. "I know. I don't know what'll happen next. But…"
"She's your girlfriend. And you love her. And she loves you. So you've got to know that I would never do anything to come between you. Ever. I love you both too much."
Matt's lips bend to one side, his eyebrows remaining furrowed, but his eyes themselves have softened at least. "…I see."
"I've been lying to myself and it's time that stopped… I'm sorry I dragged you into this mess. I'm sorry for not being honest with you. And… I'm sorry I held on so long. But I'm going to do everything in my power to change. I can promise you that."
"…Promises can be hard to keep." Matt tells me.
I nod. "I'm trying."
"…I know. Can we…" He looks upwards, as if searching for how to respond to me. "Let's talk more when my chest doesn't feel like a Monochromon sat on it."
I nod. "…Alright. Sorry for making things awkward."
"Things were always awkward." Matt shoots me a look. "It's just now you've admitted it's your fault."
I blink in shock, and then realize too late that he's teasing me when the side of his lip curls into a cheeky grin. "Jerk." I halfheartedly throw sand his way.
"First step in fixing a problem is admitting you have one," he nods sagely.
We laugh, and this feels good somehow. Like a moment of healing long overdue.
The moment is interrupted however by a light ping of a digital device from Matt's side of the dune. Matt crosses Tsunomon to one arm and fishes his D-Terminal out of his pocket again. I can see from my spot in the sand that a light is flashing red at the top. Matt scrolls through before looking up at me. I can tell from his tone that it's good news.
"D-Terminals are working again. Davis and Ken are coming with Imperialdramon. Apparently they got held up defending Neo-Delhi from those things."
"Are they okay?"
"They seem fine. We'll ask how the settlement is when they pick us up."
"And the science team?" I ask.
Matt blushes. "Ah, I totally forgot about them! I'll send them their coordinates."
I laugh. "We'll just tell them when they get here. No need to rush."
"Suit yourself." Matt shrugs. He types out a final note to Davis and Ken before tossing the D-Terminal in the sand beside him and lying back with Tsunomon. "What a terrible weekend."
I shrug. "At least Datamon's dead."
It's like a quiet whisper of dread. I feel a shiver up my spine. "Yeah."
"That's gonna be a problem." Matt says, almost absently.
I nod again. "…Yeah."
We let that sit for a minute.
"Meh… We'll deal with him later."
I blink and look down. Koromon's eyes are still closed, but that was definitely his voice. I smile and pat him on the head and he snuggles closer to me. "You got it buddy."
I look over to see Matt smiling at us, stroking the fur around Tsunomon's horn as the little orange puff ball wriggles around trying to snuggle deeper into his partners arm. Whatever this NEO thing is will be a problem. But we'll worry about that tomorrow. Today we defeated Datamon. Today we saved the Digital world.
Today I finally came clean.
"Matt?" I say softly.
"About that elephant…" I face him, and flash the biggest smile I can muster considering. It's big, wide, and completely honest. "It will never be bigger than you and me."
He blinks, then smiles back. "…I know."
"I love you." I tell him.
He laughs. "Me too, you raging psychopath."
And with that it feels like everything between us returns to normal (or as normal as the two of us can be anyway) and I can afford a sigh of relief. I close my eyes and lean back into the sand, knowing that no matter what happens from this point on, everything will work out alright.
I love Matt Ishida. Honestly. He's my best friend. My rival. My XO. The guy who keeps me honest. No matter what I feel for his girlfriend, those things will never change. Never. So you can throw all the look-a-likes, all the lies, all the missed opportunities at me that you want. So long as he's there by my side I can let it all go. If nothing else, today has shown me just how strong we are together. We may bend. We won't break.
My ears pick up the sound of Imperialdramon as he drops out of the speed of sound about a kilometer away, but I stay where I am, eyes shut, letting the sun wash over me. This thing between Matt and I isn't going to go away easily. But for now we are content. It's going to take a long time to fix everything, but at least we've started. And guess what? We just killed off one of our most annoying enemies, rendered the dark network useless, and saved the Digiworld. We won. And how do I know that?
Because we're still alive.