Act I, Scene II
by Ajora Fravashi

*Disclaimer - I don't own Digimon. Toei/Bandai does. I don't own Quake either.
*Warning: Guess what kids, it's love triangle time! Now be honest, who did not see this coming since Codewalker?


Technically he should consider this place home, but home was located elsewhere. The darkness he should have embraced as a vaccine would the light. Logically he should be working for those he spied on, but he was just too loyal to Ryo. Why, he could never figure out, but that was just the way things were. Besides, Ryo was his plaything and Savali liked to keep his toys willing to play along when he felt like it. Otherwise he wouldn't have anyone to play with.

Savali practically swaggered as he entered the enemy's domain. After all, he was a digimon without a human partner, he could be proud of this fact. No one in the Demon Corps liked those that bonded with humans anyway, which allowed him to fit in perfectly. They didn't know of Ryo, however, and he definitely was not going to so much as utter one word about his plaything. There also seemed to be a couple of rookie virii guarding the gates which suited his purposes well enough. Ryo forbade him from evolving past his champion level, so if he ran into anything higher than his current rookie level that didn't believe his dedication to Demon was sincere, he would be in big trouble. But he was Savali, trickster extraordinaire. Who needed brute force when they had his wits?

The goblimon sniffed at him curiously while its otamamon buddy spared him an indifferent glance. Once they were satisfied that he was safe, they allowed him passage into the fortress of the Demon Corps.

Finding where it was hadn't been difficult. He just followed the hints left by any rookie digimon in the Corps whose lips were loosened by bribes of food and a breath or two of intoxicating purple fog. It was far too easy. Getting in hadn't been that much harder. A few honeyed words here and there, a bit of coercion and being friendly with a few of the higher-ups, and his acceptance had been flawless.

Really, it was enough to make him laugh.

The tsukaimon flapped lazily down shadowed halls, watching for anyone who looked like they might know something worth his time. He already talked to several of them, but those few had served their purpose and did not have anything else to tell him. So here he was looking for new information concerning Demon's plans. He hovered primarily around gathering places where digimon were most likely to loosen their tongues around their companions, and so far it had worked. He winged even now towards a cafeteria of sorts, making himself as inconspicuous as possible as he flitted from one group of chatters to another.

There didn't seem to be anything unusual, much to his ire. Nothing seemed to be going on at all. Oh, there were complaints from the lazier digimon about their training and snide comments made about vaccines and humans, but those were to be ignored. Internally he sighed as he started to make small talk with a chuumon who seemed to be babbling something about the nanimon trainer. He didn't want to, but this kind of interaction was necessary if he wished to keep up his facade for awhile longer. Savali's ears perked as the chuumon whined about the increasing workloads. It hadn't been that way the last time he was here.

After having left the chuumon's company, he sidled over to a group of various vegetable-type digimon who seemed to be talking amongst themselves about rumors that were going around concerning Demon's sudden reactivation of the military training regime. This was certainly interesting.

With an amused glint in the tsukaimon's large gold eyes, he drew closer to learn more.


It was so cold, even in the summer heat. He curled into an even tighter ball under his covers, wishing that the chill would go away. He was alone here, sick when he was needed most. But then that was the question: did Ryo ever really need him or was he just the useless third wheel tolerated only because Kageko and Osamu were dead now?

He reached up to rub at the back of his neck, which felt a bit stiff since he and Ryo defeated Millenniumon. It had been... odd, to say the least. He seemed to remember being sent back to Earth, and Ryo dropping by for a visit. He seemed to remember being sad because Ryo only rarely visited him lately, and saying something about not being permitted to talk to him unless it was necessary. Then there was that notice from the Holy Beasts themselves requesting Ryo's participation in something known as the D-1 Tournament. Then, right before his eyes, the shadow of a great red bird emerged from his computer's monitor to envelop his only living friend. Then Ryo was snatched away from him before he could gather his wits enough to protest.

Some old guy, one of the original Tamers in disguise if he wasn't mistaken, later summoned him back to the Digital World. He had spent so long bound to his bed and only capably of helping Ryo through the use of a program on his computer that he welcomed the change. Despite his illness, he set up a small reunion party in their cottage that doubled as a celebration in congratulations to Ryo for winning the D-1 Tournament.

When it was time for him to go to bed, he was unable to sleep even after lying with his eyes closed for hours on end. Exasperated, he rose from his bed, left a sleepy Leafmon with reassurances that he was going to come back, and exited his room. The darkness of night that draped over the cottage was comforting in its own way. He always did like the darkness. Aimless wandering ended up bringing him to the closed door of Ryo's study, where two voices engaged in conversation. Curiosity got the better of him, and he leaned in to catch what was being said.

"You shouldn't have won," the unfamiliar male voice stated, causing Ken to blink in confusion. What was wrong with winning? "It was too easy. You knew it was just the Holy Beast testing you."

"He already has me anyway," was the derisive reply from a very familiar voice. "Give him time and a little creativity and he'll probably have me on a collar and leash soon enough."

This elicited a pause which was only broken after a minute of silence. Then the unfamiliar voice spoke once again, this time obviously distressed. "I can't take this anymore! I have to retire before I go nuts. I suppose Sanctuary Lake and the Gennai persona are yours now. There's no other Tamer left to carry on."

Ken paled as he heard Ryo swear for the first time. "Well, shit." Another awkward pause fell again before Ryo continued. "Have fun trying to piece your life on Earth back together."

"Now's not the time for sarcasm, Akiyama."

"Do you think, maybe, that I can petition Ken's designation to be changed to a real Tamer instead of a Chosen? I've been training him for so long now..."

"It's impossible, you know this as well as I," the other voice uttered almost chidingly. "Don't give yourself false hope. Besides, once they have you do whatever it is they really called you and Ken in for, they'll have you wipe or lock away his memories. It's best if you try to distance yourself from him as much as possible. We can't afford personal involvements with the kind of job we have."

He wasn't even aware that he had held his breath until he let out a startled gasp. Ryo wouldn't do something like that to him, right? Was it even possible?

"Yeah, whatever. It's not too hard to figure out what they want anyway. Is there anything else, Akira?"

The person he now identified as Akira gave a disapproving grunt. "No, since you don't seem to be listening to me. Just remember that they don't care whether their warriors die off or not. They can always find new Chosen."

"And the only reason they're keeping the Tamers around is because we're too valuable. After all, says Oshiro, not every kid in the real world can cram as much knowledge in their heads as we've been trained to nor can they work with any digimon they come across. I remember. Why the hell did you think I was trying to train Ken for so long?"

"He's disposable. You aren't. How much would it take to beat that in your head?"

"Don't ask. I think Osamu beat me across the head with a book once too often," Ryo countered lightly. "And never once did he manage to drive a point into me."

"Somehow that doesn't surprise me. Farewell then, Akiyama."

Ken slumped back behind a corner as he heard the telltale clapping of hiking shoes against wooden floors which were followed shortly by the subdued scruff of Ryo's sneakers. The footsteps exited Ryo's study and faded as the two Tamers walked to the front door. His chest ached terribly with the weight of that which he had overheard. Disposable. He didn't want to be disposable, he wanted to be important. He didn't want to forget anything either. He just wanted to matter to someone and remember everything.

Just wanted to matter. Was that so much to ask?

The tears came then, followed by sobs he tried his best to muffle. He never meant anything to anyone. Osamu had always gotten the attention he longed for, and even after Osamu's death their parents bemoaned the fact that he was no replacement for his brother. He was simply a lowly little boy with a lowly little bug as a partner. How fitting it was that he had bonded with a Wormmon.

How long he had been sitting and crying over his knees he couldn't tell, but eventually he looked up when he realized that another human had knelt before him. Ryo gazed back at him with blue eyes filled with regret.

"Ignore Akira, he's such a sourpuss," the Tamer offered reassuringly as he brought out a handkerchief and wiped away the tears. "I think his goggles are too tight or something."

The boy sniffled as he attempted to put a rein on his weakness. He was nine years old, he wasn't supposed to cry. Crying was pointless and did nothing constructive. He rose unsteadily to his feet as his Jogress partner pulled away, yet his emotional state betrayed the logic his mind fought to bring to the fore and Ryo lifted him before his knees gave way.

At some point between the moment Ryo picked him up and when he had finally gone to bed, the Tamer did everything possible to reassure him. He took Ryo's words to heart, embraced them as if they were all that could save him.

"You're all that matters to me now," the Tamer whispered into his ear.

I'm all that matters.

"You're perfect, Ken. You deserve so much more."

I'm perfect. I deserve so much more.

"You're the only one I care about now..."

I'm the only one...


Ken blinked in surprise as he heard the noise of someone moving around in his room. Technically this shouldn't be unusual and shouldn't have awakened him, but the only creature that would be moving around at this hour of the morning was currently in the Digital World.

Oh yes, now he remembered. He had invited Takeru to sleep over, and on a school night at that. This of course meant that Takeru had to wake a couple of hours earlier than usual to catch the train to Odaiba. Well, it was his fault that the blond had to forfeit a few hours of sleep so he was doomed to suffer for it too. Not that he minded it, really, for it gave him the time to think about the memories that had surfaced in his dreams.

Why didn't he remember D-1 until now? Did Ryo really lock away his memories? What was it about their quest that required such a drastic measure? The raven-haired boy sighed as these questions were followed by half-formed thoughts and other questions, wishing as he always seemed to that he had Daisuke's ability to refrain from worrying too deeply about things. Ah, the blessings of being so simple.

Since he wasn't going to be able to go back to sleep, Ken climbed down from his bunk and joined the blond that was currently folding the old futon mattress so that it could be stuffed back into storage. Takeru had already dressed, and the spare pajamas laid neatly folded and draped over the back of his desk chair. Once done, the Child of Hope straightened and glanced at him curiously.

"Did I wake you? I'm sorry," Takeru offered nervously as he gave a sheepish grin. He certainly hadn't intended to wake Ken, but then again Ken was very cute with dark hair tousled and looking half asleep. Then he went completely still as that thought darted again like a gleefully oblivious sparrow through his mind. Cute. Oh man...

"Don't worry about it," the raven-haired boy murmured, wondering at the guarded expression on Takeru's face. He would have asked about it, but this was hardly the time of day to be thinking much of anything. "Heading off soon?"

Takeru covered up a huge yawn with his hand before nodding. Well, now he knew for certain that he was going to be sleeping in class. "Yeah. Take care at school, okay?"

Ken uttered his acknowledgement and followed the blond towards the front door, juggling with multiple other thoughts all the while. It wasn't until Takeru was halfway out the door, however, that Ken spoke again.

"I'm going over to Ryo's after school. There's something I need to talk to him about," he started in an almost timid manner. Takeru's presence alone was doing odd things to him that no one else's did, it disturbed him and was likely to continue doing so until he figured out what was going on. "Would you mind coming with me? I could use the company."

The blond paused in surprise. This was something Ken would be asking Daisuke, not him. Right? It was all very confusing. "Ah, not at all. Any place in particular you want to meet up before flying over there?"

"I'll send you an e-mail on the D-terminal when I think of something," Ken suggested, annoyed with himself for being too sleepy to come up with a location immediately. Takeru didn't seem to notice his lapse in intelligence and only gave a farewell and a quick wave before heading off.

The Child of Kindness let out a yawn as he closed the door and faintly wondered if his parents would reprimand him if he brewed some coffee to keep himself awake. It was after all going to be a very long day.


This place has too many memories, Ryo thought uneasily as he waited at the statue of Hachiko in Shibuya for a certain hacker to show up. Long ago he had met Osamu outside of the internet for the first time here. Then Osamu would bring Ken along. Soon enough Kageko joined the act and teased him and Osamu mercilessly for being so close. The weekend outings to Tokyo's trendsetter district had variety, but more or less there was one element that remained the same. This was Shibuya, where fashions and trends were born, and they were the outsiders looking in on the mindless activity of those that spurned them. For the moment they were the sane ones, sane enough not to buy whatever was thrust into their faces. For the time they were together, they were family.

To think it all started when he cracked into Osamu's computer out of boredom after a Quake session. In his defense, he had to admit that Osamu royally kicked his ass in that game and he was a sore loser.

A smirk quirked at Ryo's lips. Osamu had noticed the crack attempt and followed his trail. In time Ryo found himself being haunted by the boy for no other reason than as retaliation and an attempt to completely unsettle him. Eventually he confronted Osamu about it in some other online game and, somehow, a friendship was born from the fiasco.

He hadn't even known that the persona of AugustusKaiser was none other than the famed Ichijouji Osamu until they met for the first time here in Shibuya. Just like he hadn't known that Osamu even had a brother until he met Ken for the first time in the Digital World. The universe has a very twisted sense of humor.

Well, it had to. After all, some joker out there deigned it necessary to bestow him with the Crest of Loyalty. He could still feel the tag that held it, the metal warm with his body's heat under the black turtleneck shirt he wore. Loyalty he didn't deserve, not when he was too distraught to attend Osamu's funeral. Not when he failed to do anything as the Kaiser rose to power. The Kaiser looked too much like Osamu, he didn't think he would be able to handle a confrontation without completely losing it. And, idiot that he was, he failed to recognize Osamu's advances for what they were and instead flirted with Kageko for awhile. Savali was right, he was such an idiot. It was far too late to do anything.

And then there was Ken, again. For the longest time he had only ever seen Ken as the little brother he begged his parents for but could never have. He had been so lonely growing up without siblings or pets, and even when he befriended Osamu there was still a void in his being. Ken had filled that, and he adored the boy for it. Ken had always been his little brother.

At least until the recent event concerning the clone the Kaiser created of himself. A clone that went so far as to rape the boy it was copied from. The Kaiser was a part of Ken's psyche, a personality created to protect Ken from being hurt. If the Kaiser was capable of sexuality, then it suggested that Ken was too. This knowledge, combined with Ryo's aching loneliness, forced him to veiw Ken as more than a brother. The universe had a twisted sense of humor, for he was begining to think that maybe he might have another chance to fall in love. Fall in love with Osamu's little brother, who had grown up to be quite beautiful. Shit.

The sound of a throat being cleared alerted him to Koushiro's presence and gave him welcome distraction from the direction his thoughts were taking. He threw on the cheerful mask and ushered the boy over to a more isolated place, weaving past merchants as fast as possible in hopes that they could avoid being poisoned with that toxic gas known as perfume that seemed to be popular among Tokyo teens of any year.

Koushiro had asked the night before for Kageko's medical files and anything else that may refer to the Dark Seed in general. Digging them up wasn't difficult, and now they were tucked under the Tamer's arm. Ryo handed them to the red-haired boy, who flipped through the folders with interest. After a while Koushiro's eyes caught upon a familiar name and widened in recognition.

"'Case #DS-001. Subject: Sakimoto Kageko. Project overseen by Oikawa Yukio. Project sponsored by...'" Koushiro looked up, disturbed by both the evidence in his hands and the pained expression in the Tamer's face. "Oikawa was funded? I didn't think he had medical knowledge or qualifications necessary."

"He had fanaticism going for him, which was what they needed in the long run," Ryo offered uncomfortably. The memory of staring down at Oikawa while the man laid dying came by unbidden. He longed to strangle Oikawa after learning about Kageko's death, and that longing stayed with him. It took every bit of willpower he had just to stand by the side and merely watch as Oikawa's spirit became part of the protective spheres of the Digital World. Kageko must have been rolling in her grave that day. "He also had Vandemon's spirit guiding him along."

The red-haired hacker merely nodded as he resumed looking through the files, many of which were chock full of medical jargon that was beyond him. However, he did have a friend who should know these terms. "If you don't mind, Akiyama," he began apologetically. "I want to bring Jou in on this. He's in medical training now and would be better able to figure these out."

"I don't see why not. More the merrier. Just don't expect me to start paying wages," the Tamer quipped, relieved at the confidence that surfaced on the boy's face. Maybe they had a chance after all.

"Of course not," Koushiro responded before sparing a glance at the large clock that acted as decoration on one of the many buildings in the area. "I have to catch the train back to Odaiba. I'll let you know if either Jou or I find anything that might be useful."

"Thanks for the help."

Amusement sparkled in the hacker's dark eyes at this. "No, thank you for the puzzle. It's been awhile since I've had anything this challenging to solve."

Ryo let a whimsical smile dance across his face as the Child of Knowledge trotted back towards Shibuya station. He had been wise to go to Koushiro after all. Now for him to head back home.


The cottage was invisible to all unless one knew what to look for, or if one was a Chosen Child seeking sanctuary in times of trouble. But for those it was built specifically to accommodate it was always visible. Finding it with Ken's help hadn't been difficult, thankfully, and soon enough the boys entered what was once Ken's home away from home.

Patamon and Leafmon went off to a play room especially designed for partner digimon of the rookie level and anything below that, which left Takeru alone in the living room as Ken looked around the house for signs of his first Jogress partner. Once he noticed that there was no hint of Ryo's presence the boy returned to join Takeru.

He thought his nervousness around the Child of Hope was just the product of a tired mind, but he was still going through it and it was becoming quite frustrating. He liked Takeru a lot but this was getting to be ridiculous and he still hadn't figured out what was wrong with him and why he was acting this way.

Takeru had never hurt him save for that little fight back when he was the Kaiser, and he did deserve getting pummeled into the ground for what he had done. Takeru was every bit the gentleman to him afterwards, of course, and he liked that kind of attention. It was so subtle that, were he not as sharp as he liked to think he was, he would have missed noticing it completely. Finally, Takeru was there when he needed him as silent support.

The blond stood like a silent sentinel as he settled into his chair, making him wonder if Takeru was waiting for something or another. "Ryo isn't here right now, I guess we should wait. Take a seat if you like."

Takeru pulled off his hat and fidgeted with it for a bit. He had spent a good part of the day thinking exclusively about what he was feeling for Ken. In the beginning he was just trying to be a friend despite Daisuke's monopoly of the raven-haired boy's time, though he could never seem to get Ken alone for a moment until that unpleasant event in the desert of the Digital World. Then, as he and Ken discovered mutual grounds on which to build a friendship, they grew close despite the fact that they rarely talked. Everything had been based on tiny actions and silent understanding. At least, it was for awhile. Then he had to go and think dirty thoughts triggered by having Ken in his arms. Just great. He seemed to have developed some perverse desire to want to protect and heal Ken too, if his actions all throughout their time together patching Ken up in Ryo's cottage were anything to judge by.

After clearing his throat, the Child of Hope knelt before Ken, who was currently comfortably seated in an overstuffed chair. At the boy's questioning gaze, Takeru felt an embarrassing heat rise to his cheeks. Well, hopefully he would be able to pull this off before he made too much of an idiot of himself.

"Uhm, Ken... I think I... ah," the blond began, the heat in his face becoming more and more uncomfortable with each passing moment. How does one confess to an emotion that was more likely than naught to be unrequited? Oh well, he figured he probably already looked enough like a stammering fool anyway. "I think I like you."

Ken stared at the boy that was only younger than him by a few months, and it wasn't until he connected Takeru's blushing to the boy's words that the full weight of what Takeru meant registered in his mind. But there was something... "What about Hikari?"

Takeru shook his head at Ken's whispered words. "She's not interested in me. At least not romantically. I don't think she's interested in anyone that way."

"Oh." The raven-haired boy blinked at that revelation. Everything was so odd lately, and this was completely unexpected. But even more strange was that this discovery brought him relief from the tension that had been building up since... when? It had to have been after Takeru rescued him, since he couldn't remember ever really noticing the blond before then.

And then there was another factor. Himself. Takeru needed someone who wasn't tarnished by darkness, someone who wasn't going to incite that holy wrath that Takeru rarely exhibited. Not someone like him, who was capable of vile acts that would make any normal person flinch. "You know what I'm capable of, don't you?"

"Yeah," the blond voiced an affirmative as he repeated the question in his mind. He had thought about it many times before, but there really was no point in asking himself this again. "I've already thought about it, and it really doesn't matter to me. Besides, I'm hoping you're not going to revert to that personality again."

Despite himself, a small smile tugged at Ken's lips. "You're such a damn optimist."

Takeru grinned in response to the adorable little smile on Ken's face. "Yeah, I think it comes with the job description." The grin faded as he remembered something else he was thinking about when he really should have been concentrating in class instead. Reaching forward, he laced his fingers between Ken's, absently noting how slender the other boy's hands were in comparison to his. Ken gazed at him curiously as he rose and leaned in close.

"I- I want to try something, if you don't mind," Takeru started, face still hot with the excess blood. Faintly he wondered if it was possible for him to get any more red than he already was. "You w- won't mind me trying something, will you? Just something I'm thinking will help me figure out whether what I feel is real or not..."

Ken simply shook his head, so bewildered by what was going on that he was temporarily speechless. Takeru liking him like *that* was quite unexpected. However, it made returning the favor that much easier. He blinked in surprise as the blond leaned forward to kiss him. It was gentle at first, he almost didn't feel it. His lips parted as Takeru's became more insistent, allowing the blond to slip in a tongue to play with his.

Something within him tensed then, triggered by the memory of pain and being pressed down upon a stone plate, forced into a kiss after he had been violated...

But this was Takeru. Takeru wouldn't hurt him, right? This shouldn't be triggering that kind of response. Ken pushed the other boy away, thankful that the action distilled the terror that was starting to rise in him. He liked Takeru and starting a relationship with the blond might be a nice change of pace. Damned if he was going to let that memory screw things up.

Before Takeru could so much as question him, Ken grinned and shoved the Child of Hope onto the rug before the fireplace. It took more willpower than he thought to keep from giggling at the bewildered look in those wide azure eyes. So long as Takeru felt like it was the boy's duty to protect him, he would be alright. Smiling at that, he leaned down and took Takeru's lips into another kiss.

How long they had been lying in each other's arms and kissing, neither could tell. They were both too entranced in each other's attentions to notice when someone else entered the cottage sanctuary. And it wasn't until a pained whimper arose not far from the door that Ken pulled away and looked up at whomever it was that intruded.

There was only one word he could think of to describe the hurt look on his former Jogress partner's face: heartbroken.


Ajora: Oh boy, notations galore. Akira, though he may seem like an original character, is inspired by the boy in the Digimon World 2 PSX game. This character looks like the bastard love child of Taichi and Takeru, and wears a pair of goggles on top of his pirate-like kerchief. He's often considered to be a Tamer.

The statue of Hachiko has some minor symbolic meaning which shall be more evident later on. The statue was built in honor of the dog Hachiko, who was given to a Tokyo University professor in 1923. Day in and day out Hachiko would follow his master to the Shibuya train station when the professor went to work in the morning, and returned in the evenings to walk home with his master. In 1925 the professor died, but Hachiko continued to make his journeys and continued to wait for his master long after the streets were deserted. Hachiko is said to have done this every day of his life until his death in 1935. In honor of the dog's unusual loyalty, the people of Tokyo pooled their money together and had a bronze statue built where Hachiko once stood.


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