I've had this half completed on my hard drive for awhile, so I figured I might as well complete it. Not getting under 20 stories in progress, am I? Always find something else to do...
Anywho, you probably don't want to be bored of that. This collection of um...grouped drabbles was inspired by the keys to the kingdom by Garth Nix. Namely, the morrow days which represent each of the Seven Deadly Sins in Christianity and the associated Virtues that were personified in the seven parts of the will. I've paired each sin with its corresponding virtue, so a total of 14 chapters. It is also inspired by the homunculi in Fullmetal Alchemist, both the 2003 anime and Brotherhood.
And keep in mind that they are drabbles, so they don't talk about everything. I've mainly picked one or two situations and just gone with that. Easier than trying to explain everything.
Sins and Virtue
Each person accuses themselves of at least one deadly sin. But to each sin, there is a virtue. Frontier-verse
It was common belief that all humans are accused of at least one of the seven deadly sins, and for him, it was envy. Perhaps justly so, but he, at times, could not help but notice what he and his mother were deprived of, watching classmates discuss the newest video game or exchange the newest trading cards. But it was okay most of the time, because money, and what it could buy, was largely superficial if joy did not exist in independence. And they were happy, the two of them, with his grandmother, her mother...and they had what they needed to survive.
Contention and happiness are two different things, though they tend to be misused. He was content, sure, but he wasn't happy, and it was only when his grandmother died and left behind the secret she could not take to her grave that he discovered the missing factor of the equation.
Then he saw his brother, and his life. And the ugly green monster made itself known.
Before, it didn't really matter to him what others had, because they were different, apart. His brother, on the other hand, and his father...they mattered. Because it could so easily have been him. He saw the luxury they had, the complete family, the ease...and perhaps that blinded him to other factors, because he failed to note their own lack of happiness when drew parallel to his own family.
It saddened him, to an extent, because he could see his mother wishing she could give him what their father could have. He didn't know the details; that was a topic both women avoided like the plague, but he couldn't help but wonder many a time after his grandmother's death, that his mother regretted something. Either him...or his brother. Or both, in a pair.
He wanted to know the truth, but at the same time, feared it. And so his quest led him to many near encounters, that would end one way or another in failure. But each failure brings one closer to success, so he kept trying, stilling the frantic beating of his heart as he raced against time –
– then a small, awkward twist of his ankle left him lying sprawled on the landing of Shibuya station, consciousness fading as he felt the irresistible pull of darkness.
And then there was anger, hatred, evil...all stemmed from that envy.
And then love, friendship, family...those that followed after.
He couldn't say envy was his cardinal sin, but at the same time, he couldn't deny it. Perhaps that had a trigger in all his relationships...in the past anyway. It certainly played its role with his brother, though the stubborn part of him had always denied that he was jealous of that attention. A part of him had though always wanted to shine, to stand out, and the turning of the light had always caused his eyesight to follow.
He had never paused to consider that those on the receiving end felt the same.
The Digital World...the same thing. He was the leader, but Kouji's shots were always more logical, more safe than his own. Sometimes, his own shots would go through regardless, and then the idiocy of his plans would be put on proud display, while the other's rationale sparkled even brighter as it came into the fore-light.
And he couldn't even lie and say he envied that. Because he had found an antithesis, a rival, within him.
So in the end, there was friendship. Friendship borne from a two-way road of envy.
Because there was no denying it went both ways.
Envy, when one thinks about it, is a rather interesting sin. The forms it takes, the paths it leads others down...he'd gotten a fair glimpse at that in the Duskmon saga, and the knowledge of how close he himself had been to falling onto the same path was rather frightening...not that he would admit that out loud.
Others would wonder what he could possibly have envied; he had quite a bit more than the average Japanese child after all. Two things mostly: a real mother, and friends, though the second was rather his own fault.
'I don't need friends. Or family.' That was what he had said. But he had been lying. Always repeating the same lie.
It was after all easier when one did that.
He lost his mother at age two, growing up with his father for seven years before he finally remarried. By that age, they had moved from district to district, school to school, community to community, far too often to be able to settle anywhere. He had tried at the beginning, but eventually he gave up on trying to form friendships, gave up on trying to fit people into his life when they were going to be lost in the end anyway.
The same reason he didn't want his stepmother. He had already lost his real one.
It was easier, but it was impossible. The Digital World saw to that. And once the fortress he built began to shatter, he could see how the jealousy he had unconsciously harboured, about the things he denied himself...and those traits that he admired but never had, because it simply wasn't him.
Funny thing was, Takuya envied him for the same reasons.
But as it made them stronger, it wasn't a bad thing.
It was only natural that there was at least one trait on the face of the universe that was to be envied. As for him, he always envied the boisterous, leader type of guy...namely because he was anything but. And if luck would have it, he was stuck with a guy who perfectly fit the bill.
So, of course, he envied him. And not just for that, but for his strength and power too.
It did different things to different people. It made him not the most sociable person on the new planet, but while salt burnt open wounds, honey soothed them.
It's easier to see faults when searching for them, but harder to see in avoidance.
But learning friendship showed that this particular sin at least was rather ill-defined.
After all, it was a sin that they had all felt, perhaps stronger in some relationships than others, but it had made them all stronger.
She had a rather interesting story to tell, torn between being the envious one and being the one that was envied. She chose her own seclusion, deciding to remain who she was rather than change and fit in, remaining secure in insecurity than securing an insecure place for herself. But others, who seemed to fit, who seemed to belong...she could still envy them.
Funnily enough, when she came to the Digital World, that didn't matter anymore. But at the same time, a new kind of jealousy arose, one regarding strength.
She had Fairymon's spirit. She had that power. But it was worst when she suddenly lost it, and any usefulness she could see. Being a simple liability needing to be protected...she couldn't help but envy the others with power.
But then the tables turned. Twofold.
She was the one with the power, while the others powerless. And she could understand, because she had been in their position.
But from experience, one learns. So it wasn't an experience to waste. In fact, it was the contrary.
Of course, there was Ranamon too. But that's another story.
Envy, he found, was something rather difficult to see until it is thrown into the open. He always thought he envied his brother, back when he didn't understand the significance of the other's actions. Somewhere, along the way in the digital world, he saw that changing...or perhaps he simply came into a realisation. His brother wasn't the envious one; he was.
He noted it was the same reason he admired Takuya. Funny how the same strength can cause a rift in one relationship and a bridge in another.
But as he travelled further in the new world and discovered more about himself, and others too, he realised he was wrong again.
That was the funny thing about envy. It had a way of muddling lines.