The Fires of Passion
Night hung over the city in a blanket blacker than coal, with tiny pinpricks of light from stars shimmering in their lofty heights. The moon, with its usual effervescent gleam, swayed low in the sky, waiting patiently to be certain the sun had indeed set. The sparkle of headlights shine like fireflies as commuters make their long trips home, and the whir of the subways is always present. The city was called Odaiba, and normality was highly overrated within its boundaries.
In an apartment not far from a junior high, a light burned brightly. No big deal, you think. It's a light; it's dark out so everybody has their lights on. This light is special, though. The light belongs to a girl called Lia, who sat in front of her computer, typing feverishly.
This is my story, she wrote. The story of love's first flames, and love's eternal glow.
Hot tears burned the pale skin of a fair-haired boy as he darted among the shining leaves of the emerald forests. His sapphire eyes sparkled effervescently as he threw himself under the drooping branches of the closest tree. He slid to his knees and wept bitterly, not bothering to wipe the crystalline drops of water from his face with the back of his gloved hand. Pain blinded him; his heart ached with the anguish of loneliness. Never before in his life had he felt so helpless, so frightened.
The soft whisper of fur against leaves was inaudible to the boy as he sobbed, his face becoming blotched and ruddy.
"Matt?" came a soft call. The boy sniffled, his throat stung too much to answer.
"I know you're upset, but you don't have to take it out on me. I'm here to help you."
The boy, who was called Matt, coughed. His breath came in ragged gasps as his body still shook with sobs.
"Oh, so there you are. I've been looking everywhere for…"
"Please stop following me, Gabumon. I want to be alone for a while."
"Look, I get the picture. You're upset over the whole Tai incident, but I'm your guardian and I go where you go, end of story."
"Not this time. I'm going off on my own for a while, and I'll come find you when I'm ready."
Gabumon was unable to finish his sentence, as Matt walked off once again. This time, he did not follow the boy. Matt was a stubborn young man, and Gabumon knew better to invoke his wrath.
"Oh Matt, why are you being like this?" he murmured, watching the Digidestined disappear into the verdant forest.
Matt bit his lip. He didn't want to hurt Gabumon, but he felt as though every time he got close to someone, something awful happened. The most recent was just hours ago, when he nearly killed his best friend, Tai, and the rest of the Digidestined, including his own brother, T.K. At first, Matt could think of only one person to blame, the Dark Master Puppetmon. But now he realized Puppetmon wasn't the culprit of the event, but it was his own fault.
"Nobody understands me. I just keep pushing everyone away. I have no purpose, I'm worthless, and I don't belong here," he thought aloud, thrusting his hands in his pockets as usual. Something suddenly shot him out of his cloud of self-pity. A scream, very near, and feminine at that, had pierced the air like a bullet. Matt spun on his heels, trying to pinpoint where the shriek had come from, but was unable to.
"Dammit," he muttered. "Gabumon!"
His guardian digimon appeared almost instantly.
"You followed me!"
"Well, not exactly. I just happened to be going the same way as you."
"Sure, whatever. Did you just hear that scream?"
Gabumon nodded. "Doesn't sound like Sora or the other girls. I say we check it out."
After a few moments of frantic searching, Matt and Gabumon found one of the Dark Masters' lesser henchmen, a Nightmare Soldier, harassing someone.
"Blue blaster!" Gabumon shouted. The Nightmare Soldier, more stunned than anything, instantly took off, most likely to tattle to his boss. Matt parted the bushes, and came upon a still figure on the ground. He breathed a low gasp; it was a girl his age, and a very pretty one at that. Her long, dark hair had pooled around her, and her eyes were shut in unconscious repose. A silver crescent necklace hung limply around her neck.
"Is…is she dead?" Matt questioned, speaking softly. Gabumon shrugged and glanced around. Matt, meanwhile, knelt beside the girl. Gently caressing her flushed cheeks, he cradled her still form in his arms.
"We should find Joe or somebody. I think she's been wounded," Gabumon pointed out. Matt was completely ignoring his digimon. He brushed the cascade of dark hair away from her face, studying her features with a critical eye. She was beautiful, almost an angel, and even in her deathly pale and limp state, Matt had fallen hopelessly in love with her.
"As shadows cross the silver moon, and darkness paints the land in night's hues, so we two shall fly on the wings of angels," he murmured, sliding a hand from its glove and tenderly touching her lips with trembling fingertips.
"I…I think I'm going to go find Joe now," Gabumon stammered, backing away from boy and corpse. Matt sighed, praying for a divine miracle to breath life back into the girl in his arms. Her body was so cold, so unmoving. He pressed her frigid flesh to his, hoping to pour some of his own warmth into her. Suddenly, Matt heard a shallow, raspy breath. His heart rose into his throat; the girl was alive. He leaned over, tipped her head back and kissed her gently, warm, tender love melting the ice of his soul. She gasped softly, and her eyelids fluttered open to reveal a pair of amber-brown eyes that shone like stars, and instantly they widened in fear.
"Oh no," she murmured in the slightest whisper. "This can't be. I have to go, fulfill my quest, seek those who need my faith."
"Shhh, lie still. You're too weak to go anywhere," Matt replied in equally soft tones.
"You don't understand. I shouldn't be lying here, I have to find him before it's too late."
"I…I don't understand. Please, tell me what you're doing here."
The girl sighed, reaching up and placing a hand on Matt's cheek. "My name is Lia, and I am one of many Chosen Children, sent here to purge the world of darkness. Each one of us bears a symbol, a crest to guide us on our paths, mine is Faith. I was brought here with a greater purpose than that of any other child."
"Another Digidestined? But…why are you here alone? Where is your guardian digimon?" Matt questioned in disbelief.
"I…I don't have one. My guardian was killed in a terrible battle, protecting the Child of Light. He would be reborn in the place called Primary Village, but I have been there. The Primary Village has been burnt to the ground, the land poisoned and the caretakers fled. There is nothing left!" Lia whispered, choking back warm tears.
"So you wander around alone?"
"Yes, it's part of my quest. I have to find my guardian, Wizardmon."
"And the other part?"
Lia smiled and blushed prettily. "I've been told by many a digimon that I have great healing powers, the abilities to mend broken hearts and ease troubled minds. The other reason I am here is to heal one of the other Children."
Matt was still confused. "How would you have to heal this child?"
"I have to first fall in love with him."
Matt looked crushed. There were four Digidestined old enough to love this girl, and there would be no way he could compete with Tai, Izzy, or Joe. Lia's face contorted as she forced herself to keep her tears at bay.
"But…but I don't think I can do it. I won't be able to love this Child, because I fear I've already fallen in love with you."
"Well, let's just get it over with. Which of the Digidestined are you supposed to heal?"
Lia blushed again, scarlet painting her cheeks. "Yamato Ishida, the Child of Friendship."
Relief washed over Matt in waves. He grinned at her, the motion feeling awkward. "I suppose I haven't introduced myself yet. I'm Matt…"
Lia looked crestfallen.
"…short for Yamato. My full name is Yamato Ishida, and I am the one you've been searching for."
The girl gasped, trying to sit up. Her head suddenly spun and she fell backwards, Matt catching her before her head hit the ground. Lia gazed at Matt in reverence.
"It's some kind of sign, a good one, I know it. Matt, I can heal you, and I can love you, but you have to promise that you'll never leave me."
"I promise you, Lia. I'll never let you go."
"Then let the healing begin," she whispered, dropping her hand to her side. Closing her eyes, Lia took a deep breath. "Crest of Faith, be my guide."
Pulling herself upwards again, Lia drew her arms around Matt, holding him close to her body.
"Tell me, love, why is it you hurt so much?"
"I…I…" he stammered, fearing the answer. He sighed heavily, and spoke. "I've become so cold and alone. I keep hurting those I love. I feel like I've been turned to stone, and no matter how loud I shout or how hard I cry I just keep the same cold expression and nobody cares enough to help me."
Lia noticed by now he was near tears. "But I care." She sat up again, her head clearing, and wrapped her arms around Matt's trembling frame. She kissed his cheek, then went limp in a faint.
Gabumon returned at that moment. "I couldn't find Joe, or anyone else for that…Matt! What's wrong?"
"Huh? Oh, it's nothing. Lia just fainted again."
"So now you've named your dead body?"
"Gabumon, she's not a dead body, she's a real girl and she's trying to help."
"Uh-huh, and what exactly is this girl doing to help you?"
"She…promised me she could heal my heart. And she loves me, Gabumon."
"Ri-ight. Your cadaver said all this?"
"She's not dead! Why can't you believe me?"
"Hmmm, let's see…she's gray, she's limp, and she's been in the same position for three hours. Let's go, we have to get back to Tai and the others."
"I won't go without Lia! I promised her!"
"Matt, you've lost your mind! You can't do this, she's not alive!"
"She is, I swear she is! Lia, please, please wake up!"
"Matt, let's go!"
"No, no Gabumon, I won't leave her! She was sent here to be with me. Not to fight some war with Tai, not to babysit T.K. and Kari, but she was brought to the Digiworld so I wouldn't have to be alone anymore!"
"You're making no sense, and if we stay here much longer the Dark Masters will find us!"
"Can't we wait until she wakes up?"
"Matt, she's dead, she'll never wake up! Now come on, we have to save this world or else everyone and everything in it is doomed!"
"You're right. Goodbye, my Lia. I couldn't keep my promise, but I broke it so I could save you. Ai shigeru," he whispered, being half-dragged away by Gabumon.
I had heard him utter his parting words as he disappeared, yet was unable to voice my own. It would be another three and a half years before I was able to find my guardian, Wizardmon, and another six and a half months before Matt and I found each other again. He still loves me with an ardent passion, and his heart no longer aches. This is only the beginning of my story.
Lia stopped, saved her piece, then turned off the computer. As she crept to the light, her fingers resting on the switch, a soft rap was barely audible from the front door. Puzzled at who could be stopping by at such an ungodly hour, Lia hesitated. She slipped over to the door cautiously, and slowly undid the latch. Opening the door with trembling fingers, a tall figure in a long hooded cloak stepped in, sweeping Lia off her feet. She threw back the hood covering his face and gasped in delight as she gazed into the sparkling sapphire eyes of her loved one.
"Did I scare you?" he asked playfully.
"Matt, you almost gave me a heart attack you moron."
"Will this make up for it?" he leaned in and kissed her passionately. She completely surrendered herself to him, kissing back just as hungrily. He dropped onto the couch, not even considering releasing her just yet. His strong arms wrapped around her slender frame and held her.
The fires of passion burn as brightly as they did when we first met. Friendship and Faith, one flame burning brightly.