There are no words to decribe how sorry I am that I didn't update sooner! Sorry guys! It's just that I've had tons of projects and I only have one brain and two arms! But I will try to post regularily. As always, best for you all!


VII. - Stormy Skies

Takeru was feeling nauseated. He had been taking medicines for a week and so far, he's been feeling as if someone had hit him with a baseball bat. He had felt numb, unable to feel anything with his heart. The doctor said it would be normal, and that he would get accustomed to that. The most important thing was to keep Phoenix at bay, and so far the alter-ego hadn't done anything to provoke the boy.

But the nightmares were still there, and Takeru was starting to believe those dreams were more than just dreams and that those nightmares weren't Phoenix's doing. He just hoped they would fade away with time, and that the drugs were able to tame those bad visions he had.

"Good morning, starshine!" exclaimed his older brother, Matt, as he entered his room with breakfast. "I made you French toast, perfect way to start a new day, huh?"

Takeru grimaced. "I'm not that hungry, brother. I just want to sleep forever."

Matt frowned. "You need to eat and go out. You have to make your life as you normally should. We will all help you; we haven't seen Phoenix act up in a week. That's a good sign."

"I guess so," said Takeru weakly. "But I don't feel like doing anything."

Patamon jumped in. "T.K, you should do as Matt says, after all. You can get used to living your life if you try."

Takeru, however, was skeptical. He looked at his digimon partner and then at his brother. He knew it would be nice if he could move forward, but it was hard. He hated being so down, feeling so drugged that it was like having lost his soul. If only they knew what it is to deal with a dark side and drugs that destroy my inner light.

Matt walked up to him. He grabbed his arm. "Come one, we're going out and I'm not taking a "no" for an answer. I'll do you good, little brother."

Sighing, Takeru nodded and stood up. "Fine, I'll go change. Or do you want me to go out in my pajamas?"

The young man laughed. "I'll be waiting in the living room. Come on, Patamon, let's go. We don't want to stop the beautification of my little brother."

Patamon looked at his partner for a moment before nodding. "We'll be waiting."

Takeru nodded and walked towards the bathroom as they left the room.

He walked in and stared at himself in the mirror. Despite being drugged, he didn't have that bad of a look. Takeru had always been extremely handsome, so even in his bad state he didn't look that damaged. His blond hair was messy and his skin was paler than usual, but despite that, he had killer looks.

He gazed at himself in the mirror, knowing that deep within his mind there was a monster, a creature lurking inside of him. He sighed; worried that one day the medicines wouldn't be enough to tame the beast that dwelled inside of him.

The young man banged his head against the mirror, closing his eyes. He felt so smothered; he knew there was a darkness inside him that would take a lot to be excised. But he had to carry on and hope that the medicines were enough to tame the beast. He didn't want to be drugged the whole time, but he had to do what the psychiatrist had said. He had to move on.

Without thinking further, he started to undress. He would gain nothing by pondering about his situation. He had to live with the hope that he would be better as time passed by. Hope, it was his Crest and he had to make sure it still shone. He needed to keep moving forward.

He put on some jeans and a white T-Shirt. He wasn't in the mood to impose fashion, unlike what Mimi would say.

Finally, he opened the faucet and started to wash his face.

"You won't get rid of me that easily," said the voice of Phoenix inside his mind.

He closed his eyes, and made a face. Please, let me go. I want to live a normal life, please leave me alone. I swear I'll do anything but stop hurting me and my friends.

There was no reply.

Natsuko Takaishi looked at her older son with a faint smile, yet with a look that said that nothing was right. She had been briefed about the situation with her younger son, Takeru, and so far she hadn't taken the news well. Wasn't it enough that they had to go save the world every fifteen minutes? Now they had to take care of one of their own, and that one was her son.

It broke her heart.

"How is he?" asked Natsuko to Matt as she approached him with one sad look. She hadn't spoken to Takeru on the whole day; she had been busy with her work as a journalist. The true reason behind her silence towards her son was, however, that she didn't want to make him feel uncomfortable.

Matt seemed to understand him better, and was doing an excellent job acting as a brother and parent.

She knew her son needed her, but she didn't know how so.

"He's fine, a little bit drowsy because of the medicine. But he's a strong boy, he can take it," said Matt with a smile as he walked towards his mother. "Don't worry about him, mom, he'll be fine. We'll take care of him."

Natsuko sighed. "I just wish I was the one who could take care of him. I feel like a lousy parent."

"You're not a lousy parent, don't be like that," said Matt and touched his mother's hands. "You're doing a great job, he'll be fine. I'll take care of him, as always."

The blond woman smiled and touched her son's cheek. "You've grown up to be a fine young man, Yamato. I'm glad you're so caring and protective on your brother."

Matt nodded and looked down. "Someone has to be there for him."

Patamon then smiled as he looked at them. "We're all there for him."

They day had gone smoothly so far.

Takeru met with his friends, the younger gang, and their partners. They were at the park, having a nice chat and having Davis and Veemon play soccer against Ken and Wormmon, who had trained a lot so he didn't have that much trouble running with the ball. Even with his worm complexion.

All of them had been briefed about Takeru's current condition, and they were all more than supportive. However, sometimes they were akward towards him. Not in a mean way, they just didn't know how to deal with that. They had dealt with the most powerful forces of the Universe, but this was new.

Takeru sighed, looking at his friends dance with the ball.

"How are you?" whispered Kari to his ear as she watched Yolei and Hawkmon scream to Ken as if they were his personal team of cheerleaders. Cody and Armadillomon were more reserved, watching them play with smiles on their faces.

Takeru wished he could smiles as well.

"I'm…sleepy…" said Takeru as he yawned, he knew she knew. That he wasn't ok, that being drugged wasn't something nice, that being possessed by a monster was no sweet ride. He knew she knew he was being smothered.

Kari patted his shoulder and half hugged him, trying to be discreet in front of the others for no apparent reason. "You know, if you feel uncomfortable…just tell us and we can go to another place."

"I wish I could go to another time, when Phoenix wasn't around," said Takeru with a defeated tone of voice.

Kari sighed knowing full well her best friend wasn't feeling good.

Then, Yolei's cell phone started to ring. She picked up. "Yes?"

There was a moment of silence, everyone just watching the football match as Yolei talked in the phone. "Oh come on Izzy, you can't be serious…ok, we'll be there as soon as we can."

"Something happened?" asked Gatomon as she saw the look of Yolei, it was one of those uncomfortable looks. "You look like you just received bad news."

"I did," said the purple haired girl. "Izzy said Gennai wants to speak to us. He's gathering ALL of us, and I don't think it's going to go smoothly."

Davis walked towards them. "Well, then let's go."

Takeru and Kari exchanged glances for a moment, unsure of what was going to happen. They were worried. The peace they had enjoyed for so long was slowly being disrupted by chaos, but mental and real.

They had no choice but to comply.