A/N:Hello. The early bird gets the worm I suppose. Welcome. This took a little while but the first in the Bound by the Record portion of this collection, Happenstance is ready and raring to go. This will be rated T for death, violence, and rare but occasional otherworld cursing.
Things of note: Hikari is four and Taichi is eight as of this prologue. I've tried to makes sure they act like the children they are. This is based on the movie short they were in. Or this part is anyway. After that is strictly AU territory. In the Japanese dub, they only knew him as Koromon while the dub refers to him as Greymon at one point.
Welcome to Happenstance everybody. Enjoy the ride~
Prologue: Into the Void
That was what it was.
No, what wasn't the word. The word was how. Yes, that was right. That was how it was. She had to get the words just right. It was hard right now. It was hard to even think. Her hands were clenched in her big brother's fists and Hikari was afraid. She didn't know anything could be so scary at the age of four. Four was the age when things were dreams. This wasn't a dream anymore. There was something wrong.
Koromon wasn't getting up.
Koromon, who was so strong that he had broken her bed, was now very still and fallen to the ground. It was the bird that was making the noise. It was screaming, a shrill noise like her whistle at its loudest. Her ears ached like she was crying. She tried not to cry. The screaming... was it angry? Maybe it was pain. A part of her, the part that was able to know when things were right or wrong, that could accept Koromon, told her the answer. It was happiness, a wrongly happy cry that did make the tears rise to her eyes.
Koromon was hurt. His eyes were squeezed shut and he was not moving. This was bad; this was very, very bad. What was happy about it? What was good about it? He wasn't dead; he couldn't be. She had to believe , she began to tug at the yellow scales near her tiny hands. "Koromon... wake up. You gotta... we've gotta go home. Please... Koromon." Her vision wavered suddenly, fear closing her throat and making her cough. "Koromon..."
Why was the bird happy?
Because he's won. And he knows.
Yeah. It had beaten Koromon. Koromon had protected them, like Onii-chan always protected her. He looked up at her Onii-chan's face, at his eyes, to see if they would be okay. He was pale, sweaty. Her mind searched for the right word to say to him, to call his attention and see what she should do at this moment. The words never came and she turned toward a crackling sound, her vision filling with a white-blue light.
Hikari didn't need to be a big girl to know what to do at that moment.
She curled under Agumon's fallen body and reached out to beat her tiny fists on his white belly. Tears began to dribble down her face. "Wake... up! You're going to get hurt, Koromon! Wake... up!" Her brother's hands were distant claws to her as she watched, hoping, desperately hoping. Yet the little dinosaur, who had grown from something so small and cute, remained motionless under the rubble of the bridge. Could he even hear her? Had he really listened since he became that yellow monster? He had almost blown up that bus, no matter how much she had said no.
Was he even their Koromon anymore?
But... he had to be. He was still keeping her safe, still caring for her. He was probably scared, just like she was. "Koromon... please get up. I'm not mad; I promise. Don't stay asleep. Please don't..."
"Come on Hikari!" Her brother's hands wrapped around her hood. "This is dangerous! We gotta go!"
"But Koromon," she whimpered, trying to pull away.
Her brother's grip was harder than it meant to be, almost ripping her shirt. "Koromon will be fine. He can do this! Come on!"
"Onii-chan!" She started crying again and hated it, coughing beginning to wheeze from her mouth. Her chest rattled and gasped, knees shaking. Black spots dotted her eyes and she gasped. "I... onii-chan... I... can't... br-look out!" The night sky turned blue out of the corner of her eye and a strange zapping noise filled the air. The parrot cawed with delight as something beautiful and really scary shivered through the air. Taichi tried to hide her as they both went flying into a pile of the rubble.
Hikarigaoka glowed... and she trembled.
She could only watch... only watch and cough as the attack struck Koromon. The scales slowly turned ashy gray, stray little shocks jumping about. Her brother's grip on her shoulder abruptly tightened, staring over her head at what she couldn't see. The bird began to caw once more, full of triumph, and she cringed. A part of her just wanted to hide in her Onii-chan's arms for the rest of the time. But... no, she couldn't do that. She had to... try... again. If she kept calling out, maybe once, just once, he would hear her voice. "Koro...mon...?" Her brother's arms were very still. It was almost like he wasn't breathing. Then a wave of panic rushed up her spine.
Don't worry. I'll definitely protect you.
A green eye looked at her and she hiccuped. "Koromon...?" There was a feeling, a rushing in her head like the voice. Then the green eye shifted ruby red and the rubble shook, the whistle on her neck with it. Underneath the rubble, Koromon was shaking, shifting, growing into some dark... thing. She didn't understand what was happening, but... that could be blamed on being young... not having the words to explain what her heart knew so well already.
Things were changing.
The thing moved again and concrete fell around them, knocking her back into her brother's lap with a whump. Now an orange dinosaur rose from the dust cloud, ruby eyes aglow. For a moment, the eyes stared at the children from below. Her brother tugged futilely at her pajama pants and there she remained. Hikari knew better than to move now. Then Koromon, who was even bigger now she realized, rose to his full height and roared. Voices screamed and the parrot faced his new opponent with a leer on its face. It wasn't afraid, like when her Onii-chan was on the soccer field.
"Onii-chan... do you think Koromon will be okay?
Her brother looked down at her, at the terrified look on her face. The reassuring words didn't come and he admitted. "I don't know, but he survived Meeko and the cat food war. Maybe, he'll be okay now."
"Then who will keep us safe?"
Taichi startled and inwardly winced. He wished his sister wasn't so gosh darn smart already. A slow, fake smile rose on his face and he patted her short brown hair. "Even if he can't, I will protect you." Always.
This did not reassure her, and it showed. "Then who will protect you and Koromon."
"Aw...you," He grinned. "I'll be okay. And I guess Koromon will-look out!" He threw himself and her to lie flat on the ground and Koromon charged, tackling the giant bird. They crashed into each other, claws and talons cutting into skin and large red droplets hitting the ground. There was a loud caw as the parrot's beak sank into the flesh of Koromon's arm. Her brother screamed in fear and Hikari looked to see more red, more red falling like scary rose petals.
Why was this happening? Why did they have to fight?
I don't want it to eat you.
There was a sudden, nauseous screech and Koromon was thrown backwards, crashing into what was left of the bridge. He flopped onto his belly, once more completely still.
Hikari wailed her new friend's name, the noise quickly falling into a heaving sob. She lunged out of her brother's grip and he couldn't even stop her for a moment. Then his hands caught her hood and she positively howled, her hood falling from her head and smacking him on the nose. She hit the sidewalk with a squeal. "Stop!" This time, she did listen, making his heart slow down about three beats.
She reached down and wrapped her fingers around the small, white whistle at her neck. Her safety net, her security blanket, the thing that never failed to get her Onii-chan's attention, to wake him up. Up until now, she had forgotten it... could it work on Koromon? It hadn't before... but, she had to try. Otherwise... she shuddered. They would get eaten... or something. Hikari tried to suck in air to whistle, but her lungs refused her. She tried again and only managed to spit, feeling her stomach heave like the angry ocean.
That was when her Onii-chan caught on. He took a deep breath and blew into her whistle. The loud screech of a sound hung in the air like a bad dream, making the air still and broken. Nothing could move.
Then Koromon's eyes snapped open and with one great howling cry, he blasted white fire at his opponent. It was blinding, blinding enough that she managed to lift her arms and hide her eyes.
Once more, she heard the voice, kind, sad.
I had fun today. Bye bye...
No...she thought blindly, opening her eyes. No... Me too... I want to go too...
You can't... it's not your place... it's not... what... what's happening?
She opened her eyes, wondering. Through the light she could see something. The ground was a lot further away than it had been a moment ago. Was she flying? "Onii-chan..." she called. "Onii-chan!"
She thought she heard him scream and wanted to look again. Yet, in only a second, she found there was nothing to look at. There was just darkness, nothing. Once she knew that, she was able to fall down.
Down she went.