A fanfiction by Velkyn Karma

Summary: (Digimon Savers/Digimon Data Squad) Sometimes, there are consequences to punching out giant monsters with big teeth and claws. Features Masaru, Tohma, and some Yoshino. Friendship only; no pairings.

Note: Written because there's a depressing lack of Savers fics, and even less of them are adventure-y goodness, so I wanted to do the poor season a little justice. Also written because, much as I like watching Masaru punch out fifty-foot-tall monsters, you'd think it'd eventually backfire on him.

I'm using Japanese names and terminology because that's the version I watched (Ex. Adult vs. Champion). However Japanese vocabulary has been replaced with its English equivalent (ex. switching Agumon's use of 'aniki' to 'boss').

Warnings: Rated T for some language and mildly graphic descriptions of injuries. Also takes place pre-Mercurymon and pre-Piyo/Biyomon, some place between episodes 11 and 12, but contains mild spoilers for Tohma's backstory.

Disclaimer: I do not own, or pretend to own, Digimon Savers or any of its subsequent characters, plots or other ideas. That right belongs solely to Bandai and Toei Animation. The only thing that belongs to me here is the concept for the story.

Tohma felt his boots touch down on springy, artificial grass, and slowly opened his eyes. He kept his expression neutral, businesslike, but inwardly he gave himself a quiet job well done at the sight before him. His calculations and altercations on the Dive equipment since his last visit had been one hundred percent correct. They were now in the Digital World.

He glanced around briefly, and was rewarded with the knowledge that his capacity calculations had been correct as well; the others were with him, just like'd programmed. Gaomon stood faithfully at his side as always, and Masaru, Yoshino, and their digimon stood only a few paces apart. Yoshino looked a bit dazed—acceptable enough, Tohma decided, since this was her first visit to the world—but they both looked safe and all in one piece, which was the important thing. Portal calculations could be extremely dangerous, and the slightest error in the equations and coding could mean that not all of a person was downloaded when they were converted to data and transferred to the Digital World.

Not that Tohma doubted his calculations. He was touted as a genius, after all, and he was absolutely certain that he hadn't made a mistake with the numbers. But still, it was nice to have a little reassurance, especially when Digital Diving already had enough hazards as it was.

"Right," Masaru said. "Let's find this guy already! A man shouldn't run away from his fights, and we've gotta teach him that the hard way."

"You got it, Boss!" Agumon cheered enthusiastically. He darted after his human partner as Masaru bolted across the field they'd entered at for the forest beyond.

"Masaru, wait for us!" Yoshino shouted after him, finally recovering from her shock of seeing the Digital World for the first time. She hefted the small supplies bag that had been shoved at her just before the Dive more firmly over her shoulder, and ran after DATS' most spontaneous member, with Lalamon floating protectively after.

"That idiot," Tohma said with a sigh. "I bet he doesn't even know what direction our target went in." He shook his head as he pulled his palmtop free, already beginning to run searches based off of the creature's energy and data signals that they'd discovered in the human world. Then he ordered, "Gaomon, first we catch up to the others before Masaru can take us any further in the wrong direction. Then we begin legitimately tracking, so be on the alert for any threats."

"Yes, Master!" his digimon acknowledged, as they charged after the others.

Truth be told, for all of Masaru's impatience, he was right in one regard: haste was of the essence. That was why they had risked taking another Digital Dive in the first place, although Captain Satsuma had been reluctant to allow it at first, with all the associated dangers. But as Tohma had effectively argued, the risk of allowing this digimon to run free had outweighed any potential risk factors of taking the Dive at all, and eventually even the captain had been forced to relent.

Not that any of them had expected to take a Digital Dive so suddenly at all. Originally everything had worked out the same as it always did at DATS. Headquarters had identified an angry Adult-level digimon on a rampage downtown at eight PM, and had immediately dispatched their three active field agents to take care of the matter. Tohma, Yoshino, Masaru, and their digimon had successfully tracked down and identified the attacker as Devidramon, and immediately recognized the danger of this particular digimon. It wasn't simply satisfied with destroying a few buildings or encouraging a human's darker emotions. It was a bloodthirsty, cunning brute, and appeared to feed on a human's fear, not just their greed or malice. It was targeting civilians and almost gleefully tearing into their flesh with its large talons and sharp teeth, learning very quickly that pain generated the emotions it enjoyed most.

They had wasted no time engaging it, but it was more difficult than it seemed. Devidramon could fly, meaning Masaru couldn't even reach it to punch the creature and activate his Digisoul (for the hundredth time Tohma cursed his coworker's inability to simply charge a Digisoul by conventional means). It meant GeoGreymon couldn't help with the battle, and while Gaogamon was just as strong he was also just as grounded as Masaru was. But despite the difficulties of the fight they had been winning—until the creature let out a cackling hiss, and unexpectedly whirled, disappearing into a Digital Gate in the air that hadn't been there thirty seconds previously.

They tried to stop it, but there was nothing they could do. Only Sunflowmon was capable of reaching the Gate at all, but the Devidramon had disappeared into it too quickly, and by the time she'd reached the space in the air it was already gone. Masaru cursed and challenged the creature repeatedly, but it didn't return, and that was when Tohma realized they had a problem.

Because Devidramon was far too dangerous to let go, even without the DATS regulations of reducing all digimon to eggs before returning them to their own world. The creature was too bloodthirsty and vicious, and already had a taste for human flesh and human fear. It knew what humans were and weren't capable of now, and if left to its own devices, it would eventually return for more—and when it did, the damage, and the casualties, would be enormous.

That was why Tohma had argued for an immediate Digital Dive, and why the captain had eventually granted the request. Devidramon had to be dealt with on their terms, not its own, and certainly before it brought news of its conquest back to its allies in the Digital World. There was no other way, even if the Dive itself was dangerous.

Not that they were going into the Digital World completely unprepared. There hadn't been time to prepare advanced equipment for tracking, or organizing the generation of a new Gate based on their coordinates. But Captain Satsuma had insisted they take a few supplies with them, and Megumi had gotten up from her console long enough to shove a small backpack into Yoshino's hands, containing a communicator, a pre-packed first aid kit, canteens of water, and some snacks to keep the energy of the digimon up. With such a dangerous digimon, the captain had insisted, it was better to remain prepared. He also informed them that they would have one night to search for and defeat the Devidramon, but that at five AM sharp they must return to their entry point into the Digital World. At that time a new gate would be generated for them to return, regardless of whether or not the creature was defeated.

All things considered, it was a sound plan—as prepared as they could be, given the rushed circumstances. Now, Tohma thought, all they had to do was find the digimon, and beat it within the allotted time frame.

But such a thing was easier said than done, and Devidramon was apparently far more clever than it had initially let on. Tohma wasn't sure what had tipped the creature off (although he'd be willing to bet it had something to do with Masaru's challenging shouts, he thought irritably), but it was soon clear the digimon was well aware of the fact that it was being tracked. And with that knowledge it began leading them on a wild goose chase, zigging and zagging, doubling back, looping around, taking the DATS agents and their partners in circles again and again as it toyed with them and waited for them to exhaust themselves. They travelled for hours while following the creature, and Agumon began complaining bitterly about his feet hurting and being hungry. Yet when Tohma checked his palmtop and the map he'd been logging, they really hadn't travelled very far at all from their entry point.

Something about that unsettled him. The creature was playing with them, and that stank of a trap, but there was nothing they could do about it but be on their guards. He cautioned Gaomon and the others, and even Masaru accepted the warning, though he complained angrily about how real fighters wouldn't even bother with traps and tricks.

The warning served them all well, though. When the Devidramon finally tired of toying with them around one in the morning, and finally appeared before them in a wide clearing in the forest, it was soon obvious that they had indeed sprung a trap. Because the creature had brought friends, two more Devidramon, smaller than their original quarry but no less dangerous for it. All three bristled with hungry anticipation, the claws on their long arms flexing and gleaming, their whip tails lashing, and their enormous jaws opened wide as they slavered and flapped their torn wings in excitement.

"Damn," Tohma muttered under his breath. One Devidramon alone had been difficult to fight; three were serious trouble, especially in such an enclosed location like the forest clearing. Nothing about the situation was favorable for them.

They would just have to control the situation as best they could, then. Concentrating and snapping deftly, a procedure so familiar by now he could do it in his sleep, he summoned his Digisoul and transferred the energy to his digivice. He could see Yoshino doing the same only a few paces away. The extra energy was translated to data and passed to their digimon, causing them to grow exponentially, and within seconds Gaomon and Lalamon were gone, replaced by their much larger and more dangerous Adult forms.

The smaller two Devidramon seemed surprised by the unexpected evolution of their opponents, and shrank back a little. Tohma, recognizing a weakness when he saw it, ordered, "Gaogamon! The furthest to the right. Now!"

"Yes, Master!" came his digimon's much deeper, growling Adult voice, and he launched himself forward instantly. Yoshino and Sunflowmon, picking up on the strategy, immediately made for the other smaller Devidramon flanking their real quarry, hoping to take out the weaker links first before dealing with the real threat. Tohma nodded in satisfaction; they still had a reasonable chance in this battle.

Then he frowned, because as always Masaru was impossible to calculate for, and like always, he decided to do something completely unexpected and very, very stupid. "So you brought friends, so what!" the hot-blooded teen challenged their main target, cracking his knuckles. "That doesn't change anything. We've still got a fight to finish, and I'll definitely beat you no matter how many friends you brought!" And he launched himself forward, leaping stunningly high into the air for a human, drawing his fist back as he aimed directly for the ugly dark digimon's masked head.

Agumon cheered, and Tohma grudgingly had to admit that for all his unpredictability Masaru was a force to be reckoned with. He was utterly fearless as he hurled himself at the enormous dark dragon, and surprisingly quick, considering the creature he was up against. Not to mention powerful. Tohma had seen Masaru land punches on digimon before, and even now it still shocked him to see the enormous creatures recoil in surprise and genuine pain from the human so much smaller than they.

He fully expected to see the Devidramon shriek in surprise from that same quick, powerful force, which was why the hissing cackle that the digimon emitted as it laughed chilled him to the bone. Something wasn't right—

But before he could so much as open his mouth to shout a warning to Masaru, the creature reached out with one abnormally long arm, spread its claws wide, and slashed out at its attacker. Tohma heard a pained, gurgling yelp from Masaru, and unexpectedly the newest DATS agent was flung aside and smashed into the ground with a heavy sounding thud. Red liquid shivered through the air and dripped from one of the Devidramon's claws, and the thing cackled all the more cruelly as it flexed its hand. Masaru hadn't even gotten close enough to attack it.

Tohma was stunned.

For a long, frightening moment, Masaru didn't move, and his body huddled frightfully still and limp on the grass before the target Devidramon. Tohma could only stare in shock, almost certain the other teen had been killed, and that was just wrong—sure, Masaru could stand to take a lesson or two in caution, but that didn't mean he deserved to die

But then Agumon shrieked for his boss to get up, and threw himself in between his partner and the enemy digimon in a panic, claws spread wide. Masaru groaned and stirred, and Tohma breathed a sigh of relief without even realizing he'd been holding his breath, and heard Yoshino making an identical sigh of her own. Masaru had lived. Of course he had. That was just in his nature—

Then he saw, for the first time, the extent of the damage, and realized they were not out of danger yet.

The first thing he noticed was the blood. As Masaru slowly rolled onto his side and tried to lever himself up with one arm, Tohma became acutely aware that the springy, bright-green grass of the digital world was no longer bright or green where Masaru lay. Instead it was now a dingy, dull brownish-red, matted and sticky, from where blood was beginning to pool on the ground. Seconds later Masaru gasped and pressed his free hand to his stomach, and red liquid immediately began dripping over his fingers, indistinguishable from his torn red jumpsuit but all too obvious against his skin.

Tohma didn't need his medical degree to deduce what had happened. One of the Devidramon's claws had gashed Masaru's stomach open, and to judge by the amount of blood, not superficially. He couldn't tell how deep from here, but they could very well have already lost their coworker, if the wrong organs had been damaged. This was an exceedingly bad turn of events.

Masaru was panting hard now, and gritting his teeth against what was clearly a groan of pain only his pride was refusing to let him emit. Still cradling his wounded stomach with one hand, he tried to push himself to his knees with the other, struggling to rise.

"No!" Tohma yelled at him angrily, "Don't get up, you'll make it worse—"

But Masaru wasn't the type to listen to common sense, or the orders of a medical professional apparently, because he continued trying to get up, clutching at his damaged stomach as rivulets of blood dripped over his hand to the grass below. He'd succeeded in making it to his knees, and now tried to force himself to his feet, although his limbs were shaking badly with the effort, and his entire body swayed dizzily.

Devidramon seemed to take this as a challenge, or perhaps as a source of entertainment. Hit emitted the same cold, hissing cackle as before, and its red-drenched claws stretched downward for the injured human. Agumon valiantly attempted to deflect the creature's attack with several hastily spat Baby Flames, but the attacks of a Child level digimon were mere beestings to an Adult, and the Devidramon was undeterred.

Masaru wouldn't live through a second attack; of that much Tohma was sure. "Gaogamon!" he ordered sharply, even as he started to dash forward himself, "Intervene, quickly!"

"Yes, Master!" the massive akita acknowledged immediately. He abandoned his current opponent and launched himself at the largest of the Devidramon, head-butting the reaching claws out of the way seconds before they would have reached their target. The blood-slick talons cut thick furrows in the digital earth. Tohma felt the ground tremble at the impact, and Masaru wobbled unsteadily and crashed back onto his side with a gasp of pain. Then the Devidramon recoiled to the air, circling above as it considered the new development.

No time to consider it. They were in danger now; they would have to take the defensive instead of offensive, but agent survival always took priority. "Do not allow further approach," he ordered his digimon quickly. "Defense is paramount. Conclude the fight in five minutes, but do not pursue or allow the enemy to close in. Following orders are to stand guard."

"Yes, Master!" Gaogamon acknowledged once again, and promptly crouched defensively in front of Agumon and the injured Masaru, keeping a wary eye on all three opponents. The target Devidramon kept its distance for the moment, circling above, but one of its fellows was not so clever, and encouraged by the scent of blood it darted forward. Gaogamon snapped at it and drove it back, then circled around to drive off the other smaller one as well, not unlike a sheepdog herding a flock. The two smaller Devidramon fell back, uncertain, and Gaogamon continued to trot back and forth, guarding the humans methodically.

Tohma didn't have much time to think about that, and he didn't need to either. Gaogamon would carry out his orders faithfully, and in the meantime, Tohma needed to look after Masaru. The other teen was struggling to get up again, but he was obviously in pain no matter how much he tried to shrug it off, and even standing was a monumental task.

"Stop that," he ordered sharply, and gripping Masaru's shoulders started to force him back down.

"What the hell are you—" Masaru began angrily, and tried to push Tohma's hands away. But his sentence cut off with a gasp and a groan, and he curled forward almost involuntarily, clutching harder at his stomach. Tohma used the opportunity to make him lay down again, and bent forward to examine the wound, wishing he had a pair of gloves.

"Here," said a voice next to him. Tohma turned and found Yoshino crouching beside him, holding out the backpack. She looked anxious, and was notably looking everywhere but the injury. "The first aid kit—"

Tohma tore the bag from her hands and pulled the kit free, rifling hastily through its contents as she spoke. "Sunflowmon's going to try and take down one of the Devidramon while Gaogamon guards, maybe we'll have more of a chance—"

Tohma nodded curtly and turned back to Masaru, who was (irritatingly enough) attempting to raise himself up on his elbows again, gritting his teeth. "What did I just tell you?" he snapped. "Stay still, you'll make it worse—"

"Don't see what you know about it," Masaru panted. "Gotta fight...thing needs a beat-down—"

Yoshino frowned. "You're in no condition to fight," she said, still sounding very, very worried. "Tohma's got a medical license, he knows what he's doing, and we'll take care of everything else—"

"No, I have to—"

"Agumon," Tohma ordered curtly—the digimon had been hovering nearby anxiously the whole time—"Hold his shoulders down. It's for his own good; he'll hurt himself more otherwise."

The poor digimon appeared quite frightened at the prospect. In some distant corner of Tohma's mind, he realized that it wasn't all that surprising. Agumon had never seen his human injured farther than a few bruises and a hurt pride, and probably considered Masaru invincible. This was a stunning new development that he didn't understand, one that threatened his partner, and that had to be terrifying. He looked anxious and undecided, but after a moment tentatively scooted over to sit at his partner's head, and with an apologetic, "Sorry, Boss," wrapped his claws over Masaru's shoulders and held him pinned to the digital earth.

Masaru did not seem happy with this development, but blood loss was already beginning to tell on him, and he seemed dazed. He tried to push one of Agumon's claws away, and glared in Tohma's general direction, but his attempts were weak and ineffectual.

Tohma ignored him and went to work. The first aid kit had a small package of sterile latex gloves, and he wasted no time pulling on a pair while issuing quick orders to Yoshino. "They gave us a communicator, right? Get in contact with Captain Satsuma immediately. We can't wait until they generate a Gateway for us at five. Masaru needs to get to a hospital now."

"Right," Yoshino said shakily. "I'll try to—"

She cut off as Tohma bent forward to examine the wound, prodding at it carefully as he tried to assess the damage. Bright red blood welled over his gloved fingers, and he heard Yoshino stumble away from them, followed seconds later by the sound of retching as she finally lost her dinner. Part of Tohma was sympathetic; he remembered his own unease when he'd first started studying for his medical license, and he'd been expecting it. Yoshino was brave and smart, both important qualities for a DATS agent, but their opponents didn't bleed like this when they attacked, just reduced to eggs. It was probably an unfortunate new experience for her.

But there wasn't time to think about that. Like Gaogamon, she'd do her job as soon as she'd recovered, especially with a fellow agent's life on the line. Tohma's job was to make sure Masaru had a life to keep on the line, long enough for them to get back to the real world, and real medical treatments.

So ignoring the sounds of battle all around him, he focused completely on the job at hand, examining the wound quickly and ignoring Masaru's pained groans and muted curses that were probably aimed in his general direction. The gash was approximately three inches across, and deep, though not as deep as Tohma had expected with the size of Devidramon's claws. It was bleeding badly, and more than just skin and muscle had been slashed; it looked like there was some intestinal damage as well. Not only that, but based on Masaru's breathing and the way he had landed, it seemed like at least a few ribs had been cracked or outright broken. A quick examination proved his suspicions to be true. It was definitely bad, and more than Tohma could treat effectively with just a standard first aid kit.

But for all that, Tohma realized, Masaru had been incredibly lucky. Intestinal damage and internal bleeding were dangerous, but survivable. If those claws had sliced only a few inches higher, or deeper, they could easily have punctured a major artery or more vital organs. Had that been the case, Masaru could very well have already been dead; there would have been nothing Tohma could do for him. At least he had a chance now—not a good one, but better than nothing. That was a start.

First things first, then—the bleeding had to be stopped, or at the very least slowed as much as possible. There was a thick roll of bandages in the first aid kit, and Tohma extracted them quickly, setting to work binding the injury as quickly and efficiently as possible. He enlisted Agumon's help with lifting Masaru just enough so that he could wind the bandages around tightly, eliciting an irritable but dazed complaint from Masaru, who didn't seem to see what all the damned fuss was about.

"Hush," Tohma told him, though not unkindly. It was a little easier to stay calm now that he'd identified the problem. "I told you, just stay still and take it easy."

Masaru muttered under his breath, but didn't seem able to find the strength to argue back, and eventually lapsed into a still silence as his digimon held him up. If only he could be this compliant without a potentially life-threatening injury...

Tohma was just finishing with the dressing, and carefully helping Agumon lay his partner back down on the stained grass, when Yoshino staggered back with Sunflowmon drifting after her. She looked pale, and looked away from Tohma's blood-drenched gloves hastily. Her voice was shaky as she said four words that made his blood run cold.

"The communicator's not working."

And there's the first part.

As always with my fanfiction, this story is already 100% written and will definitely be completed. So please just sit back and enjoy. :)