Covered in Darkness
Chapter 7: Painful Realizations
by Quatre's Girl
edited by Aria, Ryze, and my Mom (for the title)

I think this is the quickest I've ever written a chapter. ^_^ I hope you like it, and don't kill me too badly when you reach the end! ^_^;;; Oh, and I had an idea! When I finish CID, I'm going to make a "Behind the scenes" story with outtakes, the original copy from my laptop, MAYBE scanned pictures, typical conversations, a BIG thank-you page, and alternate titles for chapters! ^_^ Think it's a good idea? Well, enjoy the fic! I'll work on part 8... soon... ^_^


Slowly, ever so slowly, I groped my way back to consciousness. The first sensation to greet me upon awakening was pain, a dull throbbing coursing throughout my body. I whimpered in agony as I forced my eyes to open. Everything seemed meshed together in a blur of indistinct shapes and colors, and even the dim light was too bright for my eyes. I half-closed them and waited for them to focus and adjust.

It took some time, but the cell gradually came into focus. I was lying face down on the mattress again, which was slightly less painful to my aching body than the floor. The whip and chains had been removed from the cell, which I was thankful for; they reminded me too much of the horrid pain I had to endure. It was still too dark for me to see anything clearly. Suddenly, I felt an icy cold breath of wind, from what source I didn't know, and shivered. I realized that my shirt had been removed, but my torso had bandages wound around it. I heard clicking across the stone floor and instantly tensed. Someone else was in the room with me.

I shut my eyes in preparation for a blow from Archnemon and was surprised when I felt someone press something smooth against my lips instead. I opened my eyes a little and saw a cup being held to my mouth. A voice spoke.

"Drink it. It isn't poison, just water," whoever it was said. It was true that I hadn't had anything to eat or drink since I had been kidnapped and I didn't even know how much time had passed since then. I lifted my head up slightly and opened my mouth, allowing the cup to be tipped and the cold water to flow down my throat, numbing the rawness that was a result of screaming. Never had anything felt so soothing to me.

I finished drinking and the cup was removed and set aside. I stared up at whoever had given me the water and gasped in shock. The small green body and deep blue eyes were impossible to mistake. It was Wormmon.

All of my pain was momentarily forgotten as relief and joy washed over me. I could feel my extinguished hopes begin to rekindle as Wormmon examined the bandages around my back. My Digimon had come to help me! Archnemon was wrong; I was actually cared about! I felt joyful tears fall freely from my eyes. I shakily reached an arm around my Digimon and gently pulled him into a hug. I was so happy that I didn't know whether to smile or cry.

"Wormmon, I-I'm so happy you're here. Thank you for believing in me and coming to help me," I whispered as I held him close. I felt him wriggle a little bit.

"Ken," he said, warningly. I loosened my hold enough for him to shift around and face me. His eyes were cold.

"What is it, Wormmon?" I asked, confused.

"Let go of me," he replied icily. Bewildered, and trying to fight a growing fear that was beginning to spark in me, I released him. He hopped out of my arms and crawled away from me.

"Wormmon... I... what's the matter?" I asked, fear building in strength. He turned around to glare at me.

"What's the matter? You abuse me my entire life, cause me unbearable amounts of suffering, and don't care at all what happens to me, and you have the nerve to ask 'what's the matter'?" he yelled at me. My eyes widened.

"W-what? Wormmon, I-I'm so sorry about what I did to you and you know I've been trying to make up for it. Of course I care what happens to you! It almost killed me when you died!" I exclaimed, my voice faltering at the end. Wormmon's glower was still there, and seemed to intensify.

"What made you think I wanted any of it? That I actually wanted to be your friend? You're a pathetic excuse for a partner. The only thing you've ever brought me is suffering. Just think of your bandages as the last thing I ever do for you." New tears began falling from my eyes, only these were different. These were painful, sorrowful.

"W-Wormmon... I-I'm sorry..." I whispered. That was the only thing I could say. After I had gotten Wormmon back from Primary Village, that was the only thing I could say to him. I had been trying so hard to make it up to him, to become everything he ever wanted in a partner.

Wormmon merely discarded my apology and began stalking off, heading towards the door. I tried to push myself up, to reach him, but my muscles were so weak that I couldn't support my own weight. I held a hand out to his retreating form.

"W-Wormmon, p-please don't leave me!" I called out to him. It was happening again. It was all happening again. He glanced over his shoulder to glare at me contemptuously again.

"What makes you think I could stand to be in your presence another minute? You're a spoiled brat who cares only about himself. You were worthless when I first met you and you'll be worthless until you die. I can't believe I spent my life protecting you because, frankly, it wouldn't be a loss to anyone if you died," he spat. His words hurt, more than anything Archnemon had done to me with the whip, and I felt my slowly reconstructed hopes shatter. I had never heard Wormmon utter one word against me, not even when I was the Kaiser. But if that was what he truly felt about me... then I really was alone. I had never felt this alone since Wormmon had died.

A cry was wrenched from my throat, like that of a wounded animal, before I fell into my arms, sobbing.

*      *      *

I lay there for a long time, crying until my eyes felt raw. I hurt so much. Without any hope inside of me the pain from my wounds found me again and burned all over my body. I couldn't move without something hurting. The pain was so much that I felt like giving up and succumbing to it.

However, it wasn't nearly as horrible as the pain in my heart. Wormmon's revelations had hurt me more than anything I had ever felt before. The thought of my best friend hating me like he said he did felt like he had brutally ripped out my heart. I had always depended on him to help me through the difficult times in my life, thought he would be there to protect and reassure me. I knew I was being selfish, but I needed him to help me through life. If he wasn't there, then I...

Suddenly, my thoughts were interrupted by the large door being heaved open. I whipped my tear-stained face around to see who was coming in. A very small part of me believed it to be the Chosen Children, who would come in and envelop me in their friendship and love. I would be safe and cared for. This hope was soon crushed as Archnemon entered the room, carrying a small candle. I stiffened in fear as she walked over to me, the candle illuminating her sadistic smirk. She smirked.

"It's good to see that you're awake," she said, an indecipherable tone in her voice. She cocked her head slightly as she gazed into my face.

"Have you been crying?" she asked. Her voice sounded almost gentle, but I wasn't about to trust her and looked away. She crouched down to stroke the back of my head in a gesture that was tender until she clenched a fist around my hair and pulled back sharply. My head was yanked up, forcing me to look into her face. She looked, enraged, at me, her eyes narrowed dangerously.

"You will look at me when I talk to you," she hissed. I tried to struggle out of her grasp but her grip on my hair was strong and painful, and I had to grit my teeth to keep from crying out as it tightened. She pulled my face inches apart from hers.

"Well? Do you understand?" she asked menacingly. I averted my eyes, staying mute. This only seemed to infuriate her further.

"Answer me, you little brat!" she yelled. When I still didn't say anything, Archnemon stood, pulling me up slightly, drew back, and slapped me. It whipped my head to the side and I inadvertently cried out in pain. She released my hair and let me fall back onto the mattress, holding my cheek. She put a hand on her hip as she looked down at me.

"You know, you weren't this resistant before. I think my hold over you may be weakening," she commented. My eyes widened in confusion.

"W-weakening? But... you aren't controlling me..." I murmured. She smiled cruelly.

"Oh, is that what you think? That I lost my hold over you the second your Kaiser costume disappeared?" My mind was foggy with confusion. What was she talking about? She had lost her control of me once I stopped being the Kaiser. All of my decisions were my own to make. I wasn't going to be controlled by anyone.

"What do you mean?" I whispered. Archnemon laughed wickedly.

"You idiot. Did you think that I would lose my power that easily? I had been controlling you for years. Did you honestly believe I gave up when your pathetic bug died?" she asked. But she had! Hadn't she...?

"But you lost your control. I made my own decisions!" I exclaimed, my head swimming with puzzlement.

"You're more gullible than I thought. We've been controlling you all this time. Nothing you've done has been you; you're just a puppet for me to play with as I choose." No... no!! I wasn't a puppet! My life wasn't something she could play around with! What about my friends?

"But I joined up with the other Chosen Children! I-I helped them fight against you!" Archnemon smiled viciously.

"What makes you think that wasn't part of our plan?" I gasped. My body began trembling in fear and confusion. My hands reached up to cover my ears. I had to block it out, block all of it out. I shut my eyes tightly.

"No... it isn't... you're wrong... you're lying... no... NO!!!" I cried, tears coursing down my face. I couldn't stop shaking. I wasn't being controlled... wasn't being used for her own purposes. I was no one's pawn!

I felt a hand upon my cheek, lifting my face up. Archnemon smiled down at me.

"I'm going to leave you now, my little puppet. Maybe you'll be easier to break when you've had time to think. Oh, and I almost forgot. I can't have you in the dark this whole time." She reached over on one of the walls and took something down, an unlit torch. She held the blazing flame of her candle to the top of the torch and it caught on the dry straw. The bright orange flame was just enough to illuminate the stone walls.

I screamed.


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