A/N: Ah, look, this is the other fic for this week. I don't dislike it at all. This story takes place in the same time frame as Happenstance, beginning a little earlier an carrying on until just before. This is OC centric with cameos from other stories and Happenstance itself. Please enjoy.
Sophia is a very odd character to begin with but the others will clear everything up fairly soon.
Also, rated T for violence, cursing, death, and romance.
-dialogue- Sign language
Sophia and Olivia: Unknown
This place was painful.
That was the only word she could think of right now, now that her eyes were open and she was aware. I'm not home anymore. Home was familiar, crayon-covered walls and the smell of books and vanilla candles. It was a soft bed and bad dreams, and careful hands brushing red hair. This was darkness, an evening in a forest she had never been to and a sky of stars that she had never seen. This was some ancient thing called pain that she didn't experience anymore, full of glass shards and screams and something -possibly lots of things- dying.
She wasn't frightened, wasn't even disturbed by these moments. She had expected this, experienced them in her mind. Things here did hurt and even as she was, she could not grasp the reasoning. Grasping things, understanding, that was never her, never to be her. That was sometimes all right. Except... now she was alone. Well, almost alone.
A hiccuping noise came from beside her and she smiled a little from where she lay in grass and surrounded by trees. She could not get up just yet. Her legs ached again, as they sometimes did. Never too much to debilitate, which was a minor shame. She struggled to rise, red locks falling down her face and into her mouth. She didn't spit. Ladies did not spit. Like it or not, she was a lady. With a soft sigh, she managed to sit up, face pale.
Fayte... where are you?
The sobbing fell quiet for a second. Then it began again, a little quieter, a little more timid.
You're going to have to cry better than that, she signed to herself, checking to see that her hands were okay. There are scarier things than me.I just don't remember what they are. It was the worst, forgetting. She never wanted to forget anything else.
"I'm going to eat you someday, little thing. You will taste mighty good too."
The young woman shuddered, slowly placing her fingers at the sides of her head and rubbing her temples. Nightmares didn't have a place in the real world. She knew that. Fayte always said that, always.
Then again, just because Fayte said it, that didn't mean it was any closer to the truth. She had figured that out a long time ago.
"Eh-Excuse me?" Sophia turned her head to the side, now noticing the near-silence. The other person, for it had to be a person as far as she was concerned, was turning to look at her. "Do you... do you need help standing up?" Looking closer at her, Sophia saw she was looking at a pretty girl. Sophia could appreciate pretty. His wife had been rather pretty, like this girl. Big green eyes peered out of waves of blonde hair. Shakily, she stepped closer to Sophia, each step stilted and slow. Is she scared I'll bite? A rather odd fear, though perhaps in this place, no fears were odd. Slowly, Sophia nodded, raising her hands. The girl reached out to grab them but then Sophia moved her hands.
-Thank you,- she said. -I'm glad you noticed.-
For a moment, the other girl stared. Then a watery smile broke out onto her face. You too? She signed. Sophia nodded. Can you hear? At the next nod, the girl smiled a little wider, a little easier. Her face began to relax. That brought her relief, in some way. If one less person was scared, then it would work. Whatever it was that haunted her, it would go away.
It wouldn't be gone for long, however. Nothing ever was.
"What... should I do?" Her puffy eyes were slowly widening. "D-Do I need to carry you?" As Sophia prepared to shake her head, the girl crouched and took her arms. "H-Hold on. I can still... do at least this." She pulled Sophia, who was quite confused, to rest upon her back. Then a pair of small hands wrapped around the bottom of her skirt and she twitched, alarmed.
The girl, who hadn't even said her name, slowly pulled herself to a standing position, beginning to walk, carrying Sophia with her. "Um... you're a little heavy," she commented shyly. Sophia struggled to snort. She couldn't really answer like this. It wasn't like this girl was much bigger than she was. She felt a little lighter, even... "My name is Olivia," the girl finally said softly. "I... I don't know about where we are, but... I didn't want to sit there crying any more. That was probably silly of me..."
Sophia didn't think it was silly at all, now that she was here. She kind of wanted to cry too. But... She placed her head to rest against the other's neck. Olivia was strong, hadn't made another peep since. They continued to walk, though where they were going was impossible to guess in this darkness. Sophia looked around, rather thoughtful.
Nothing like the dreams.
This place was so quiet, so peaceful. Or maybe it was just a lull, just a pause before something happened. That was not... not good at all. What would come next? What would come now?
There was a sudden snap of a twig and Olivia let out an "eep", barely managing to keep hold of Sophia. She was almost tempted to make the girl put her down so at least one of them could run. Then a yellow fox made its way out of the trees and made a strange, if not strained, smile.
"There you are, milady," she said, amusement lilting a deep voice full of concern. "I see you have been busy. I thought you had run off."
For some reason, Olivia's face turned pink and she looked down. "S-Sorry Renamon." She glanced back at Sophia, still not asking her name, and gave a minute, encouraging smile. "This, well, is Renamon. She's a..." Her expression twisted with confusion.
"A Digimon," the fox supplied, or at least it appeared to be a fox. She couldn't be sure. Olivia was looking at her, waiting for her to do... something. What exactly? She couldn't move away or scream or something. Olivia recognized that and smiled. "We're in the Digital World, Miss," the fox added helpfully once the awkward silence had passed. "I can't tell you much more than that, I'm afraid. We're out in the open."
Taking a risk, Sophia moved her hands and signed a question. The creature- Renamon, apparently the creatures had names of a sort- raised a questioning eyebrow. Olivia frowned. "What will happen while we're out here?" Sophia gave a breath of a sigh. That wasn't exactly what her question had been, but for the sake of them continuing to walk, that would have to do.
Renamon smiled, a smile that didn't seem right to her, though she had no idea why. "Remember the rules about strangers your brother told you, miss?" Olivia nodded and with that, picked up her pace a little. "Do you want me to carry her?"
"Nope!" Olivia replied, small, if fake smile blossoming on her face. Yes, that was the right word. Olivia reminded her of a flower, a somewhat delicate flower. "I'm fine! You need to be able to do that... bright, shiny thing you do!" Renamon let out a soft, exasperated laugh.
"If that is what you desire."
She wasn't okay; Sophia could feel it in the way her shoulders trembled. She was trying to be okay, which for her position, Sophia considered nice of her. Or... maybe she didn't know any better. What a strange thing to not know.
Fayte would probably understand it. Fayte didn't grasp very much sometimes He was too busy avoiding things. He would get her though; she was sure. He did that sometimes, when he actually listened.
She wondered where he was in this place.
He was probably worried about her..
Mentally, she chuckled. He always worried. Until today, she had thought it silly. Their world wasn't scary. She didn't have nightmares about it or anything. Now he was somewhere he wasn't sure about, and alone. Fayte did badly when he was alone.
"Renamon?" Olivia's very quiet voice startled her from her thoughts. "Why are we here?" Sophia perked. Yes, that was a good question. She squeezed Olivia's shoulder in praise. Huh, that wasn't a very curvy shoulder. Regardless, those were questions that the dreams never answered: what or why.
Renamon was very quiet for a few moments. Sophia wondered if she would answer. She clicked her tongue and Olivia winced, about to take the question back. Then she answered in a slow, careful voice. "Because the world's inhabitants, we Digimon, wish for you to be here. To be specific, enough of us do. We cannot stop this ourselves. None of us can stop these grandiose events alone. We... we need more time than we have."
Olivia's eyes blinked. "What?"
The tongue clicked again. "It is hard for me to explain, my lady. I did not believe I would have to. I did not believe I would be this intricately involved. And now... now that I am, this gets difficult... and you need to run, milady."
The blond paused, her expression twisting with dismay. "But..."
"You promised me, milady, that you would listen. And you have to get her out of here as well. Now, go!"
With those words, she spun on one white hind paw and threw shining leaves into a spot in the trees. There was a hiss, like that of a forest snake, and a strange, metal star flew towards them. Olivia almost screamed and began to move, running into the trees with her eyes closed. Sophia bounced as the other girl ran. Should they not stay? Wouldn't it be safer if they did so? Or would it be safer to abandon their protector and run?
Then again, she doubted Olivia was thinking of anything past getting them out of there.
Once again, Sophia wished she could walk. Or talk.
But wishes didn't save anyone, did they?
Olivia was whispering as she ran. "Oh Renamon, you made me swear to run, but you could die! I didn't heal you just to see you go! Why?"
-She wants you to be safe.-
"But I don't want her to die either, especially because I left her!"
Olivia didn't look at her, even as she continued to stumble through dark brush and trees. "Our world is turning into a place that has to leave people, to leave them to their own sadness so you personally can be happy. I don't... everyone has been so kind to me."
'Everyone?' Who was 'everyone'? Was 'everyone' like Fayte, who learned how to be kind to her? Was it like the many people in the books who told her stories and showed her dreams? What was everyone?
Olivia's voice softened but was no weaker, no less... truthful. "They could hate me, she could hate me, but... she doesn't. I just..." She shook her head. "I can't be okay with being like our world! That just... it isn't right!"
The earth shook where she walked... and something sang into Sophia's ears.
Her dreams awoke in her mind and she began to see.
Light so bright and warm it was a sun...
Fists, paws, blades, all blurring together...
Someone was calling her, calling her name.
"Endow me...gift me..."
"Hurry before it... eats you!"
I don't remember, she thought. I don't remember... I won't. I won't make it real... I can't.
Sophia opened her eyes, dimly aware that her nails were digging through the other's cream-colored sweater into her shoulders. Olivia was still running. It wasn't her voice that was speaking, however. Or... it was, but it was different. Not... right somehow.
Olivia smiled at her, a little weaker before, but this time dry-eyed. "Come on," she encouraged in that strange, not light voice. It was cracking in the wrong places. "We both can't panic, not in this place. We have to make it... somewhere." She nodded and loosened her grip. That was so. She would make it. To answer these half-formed dreams... to not get eaten... she would do it.
Sophia had survived fourteen years. She could survive a few more.
There was a sickening thunk and she flinched, noticing Olivia paid it no mind. Looking, she saw the glint of metal in the light of what must be a moon and tugged at Olivia's hair. "Don't," the other hissed and Sophia nodded. She couldn't look. If she got distracted, she would falter.
Renamon had made her promise to run. As another piece of sharp metal whizzed past her ear, Sophia truly grasped why.
If Olivia stopped, they would die.
Death was like being eaten.
That... that just couldn't happen!
Olivia screamed and was thrown backwards, scratches making blood run red down her face. She managed to turn her body to block Sophia from dozens of swirling, sharp leaves. From those leaves appeared a small, masked creature. It glowered at them, stepping forward with sword ready to draw. Sophia peeked out from under Olivia's outstretched arm and shuddered. Her head had begun to ache.
"Not be here," snarled the creature. Its skin was odd, a pale, milky blue. Its steps trembled, even as it unsheathed its blade. "You humans... why are you here?" It lumbered closer on small limbs and Olivia tried to move herself to kick. However, her legs screamed and she almost fell flat on her back. "I... we can take care of this... by ourselves! We don't need you... you monsters! This is... our world! Go..."
"Go back!" Sophia's mind screamed at her. Where was back?
There was no way to get an answer. The stranger lunged, unsheathing a sword. Olivia cringed, moving to keep Sophia from being hit...
The pain never struck, held back by a wing. "Are you all right, my lady?" The new being didn't glance at her, focusing a doll-like face on the other. The creature planted large red talons in the dirt. When Olivia didn't answer, it paused to glance back. "Olivia? Miss Jo- Olivia? Are you all right?" Blue eyes focused on her. "It's Renamon, my lady."
Olivia shook herself, feeling Sophia's hand tighten its grip on her wrist. "Re-Renamon? What... what happened to you?"
She swore the creature smiled. "You." She lifted the two girls into her wings like they were arms and pushed off, running on large, red talons. "Don't move, either of you. We need to hurry."
"To a safe zone. Away from infected, like that Igamon." She began to glide with one wing, pulling the two teenagers close to her.
"I-Infected?" Sophia watched Olivia's face contort with fear. "Infected with what?"
Though the new form of Renamon could make no expressions, Sophia felt like the creature was holding rage hostage in her eyes. "A virus. And we've chosen to beg your kind for help to get rid of it. These... they are desperate times... and we Digimon are a desperate race."
Olivia reached out and pulled Sophia to her chest. Sophia hugged her back, feeling Olivia beginning to shake horribly. She showed her hands. You protected me, even though you were scared.
Olivia gave her a weak smile. Why not?
What will happen to us now? It was a question her nightmares never answered. They simply always had ended. Every night, since that day, they always simply ended.
Olivia hesitated a moment, tears beginning to rise to her eyes. I don't know... I... just don't know.
"My lady, please do not fear." She looked up at her. "I... I will return you home. No matter what it takes, I will get you to your home... as you have returned me to mine. I swear it. And... little nameless one, with a strange heart." Sophia blinked. "You will find your answers here. I know you will. Have faith."
No one spoke again, but as howling began to echo from behind them, Sophia tensed.
Fayte... you weren't in my dreams. But you have to be here. I know you are. Because you follow me everywhere.
You are such a fool, Fayte.