Chapter 13 - Tan'itsusei
Me: If I have ever claimed to own Digimon or Lord Of The Rings, may I be struck down
from above by lightning!
Ken: That's a disclaimer?
Takeru: I wouldn't tempt fate if I were you.
"Takeru my boy," Gandalf said, "you've really done it this time."
Takeru sighed. "Believe me, I know."
"In the future, you should be more careful."
"Listen to me, lad, for I am serious. Much danger lies ahead of you, for you and for Ken."
"Ken?" The blond frowned, "I feel....like there's something...."
"He has been taken, Child of Hope, by the enemy."
"What?!" Takeru yelped, then stared, "by 'taken', you mean-"
Gandalf nodded gravely, "not turned to their side, but taken to Isengard. To Saruman."
"Not turned to their side?"
"Though surely that is Saruman's intent."
"Takeru," laying a hand on the boy's shoulder, the Wizard looked at him severely. "Though
darkness' hold on Ken is no longer strong, he still carries a part of it inside of himself. Something he
can never be rid of."
Takeru frowned, "the Dark Spore?"
"Perhaps." Gandalf agreed, "though inactive, it still has much power. The power to turn
good hearts to the shadows. This is what Saruman wants from Ken."
"But the Spore can't be removed!"
"This will not stop him. He will take it in any way he can."
At the tone in Gandalf's voice, Takeru shook his head, "he wouldn't-"
"A single life is of no consequence to Saruman, lad." His voice took on a sad note, "be it
Ken's or yours, or any other besides his own. You must stop him before he can carry through with
Silence, then, "Gandalf...."
Gandalf regarded him wisely, with a half-smile on his face.
"Gandalf, you're supposed to be-"
"Go now, Takeru." The Wizard interrupted, "find Ken, and be safe. Aa' menealle nauva
calen ar' malta."
<May your ways be green and golden...? Wait. I don't speak->
Takeru woke slowly, his eyes opening to the blinding light of the sun through a window. He
had been dreaming about....Gandalf? Shutting his eyes again, he tried to remember what the Wizard
had said....about Ken....
Sitting up, he groaned when pain flared from his side. <Okay, ow.>
The girl was sitting in a chair near the bedside, arms crossed and eyes closed. A bandage was
wrapped around her upper arm, and various cuts and scrapes marred her skin. She opened her eyes
as he looked at her and regarded him flatly. "If you're feeling up to it, you should get dressed. The
others are worried about you."
"....dressed?" Glancing down, he realized he was wearing only his boxer shorts and fought
down the flush of red that attempted to rise in his face. "Ruki, who undressed me?"
Ruki raised an eyebrow. "Aragorn, if you must know. He had to for Jou to treat you."
"Just get dressed. We'll explain everything later."
<She sounds....there's something....> Scrambling up, Takeru managed to catch her arm just before
she vanished out of the door. "Ruki! Where's Ken?"
She hesitated, then pulled her arm from his grasp and gave him a glare, snapping, "just get
Taken aback, but not really surprised, the blond glanced to the side, following Ruki's gaze. A
pile of clothing in various hues of green, grey and brown had been thrown over a chair next to the
door. Takeru blinked when he picked the top layer up, recognizing it as Elvish-style and very similar
in make to the outfit Legolas had been wearing.
It was only then that he happened to notice that Ruki was wearing basically the same thing,
because of the months he had spent with her in Middle Earth, he was used to the Elvish clothing.
He had completely forgotten that she wasn't supposed to be wearing it, despite being an Elf again.
"So...." his eyebrows went up and he nodded in her direction, "where'd these come from?"
Ruki gave an annoyed snort. "You and I were pretty messed up when we got here. We were
probably the only ones who fought worth a damn besides Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas, so it was to
be expected. Anyway, when we got here the friendly neighborhood Floramon and Yokomon
decided we needed new clothing."
"So they made up Elf clothes? Why?"
Her eyes rolled. "Because we're Elves?"
"But how did they-"
"You are such a dumbass!" The Tamer threw her hands into the air, "they patterned it after
Legolas' outfit because he's an Elf, too." She said this as if it were terribly obvious and Takeru
sighed as she continued, "they figured that's what we'd want to wear."
"Hm." Takeru made an agreeing noise and began to pull the tunic over his head, wincing
because of his ribs. Without a word, Ruki turned and left, the door slamming shut behind her. <She's
the same as ever.>
It took him longer to get dressed then than it ever had in his entire life, including, he was
sure, before he could dress himself. Of course, it was also the first time in his life that he'd been so
badly hurt, as the bandages that were currently wrapped in several layers around his chest, ribs and
side attested to.
Still, he didn't feel truly DRESSED until he'd strapped his bow and quiver to his back, and
buckled his scabbard around his waist. Once the sword was weighing in his hip, he felt ready to face
Naturally, because of how long he had taken, he got a sarcastic retort from Ruki (who had
been waiting for him outside) when he finally stepped out, shutting the door behind himself with a
much softer sound than she had. Fortunately, he was too busy squinting from the oh-so-wonderfully-bright sunlight to reply.
"How long was I out?"
There was a long pause before Ruki responded, and Takeru began to doubt that she would.
"A while." She told him finally, "nearly a week."
"A WEEK?" The blond asked incredulously, "I must have been worse than I thought."
Ruki said nothing, and simply continued to walk, Takeru regarded Primary Village with
concern. Everywhere he looked, there were digimon. Floramon and Yokomon seemed to be the
most common, besides the various newly-hatched ones, but he saw many others as well. It was
strange, as the only adult digimon that normally resided in Primary Village (to his knowledge) was
<Centarumon. Unimon. Snimon. Kuwagamon. Allomon. Tyranomon. Airdramon. Meramon. Half of
them are virus-types. Why would they be here?> Blinking, he had to take a second look when he saw an all-too-familiar flash of black leather. <LadyDevimon?! What the hell?!>
"You've noticed." Ruki stated.
"Of course I NOTICED!" Takeru snapped, jerking his eyes to Ruki when the LadyDevimon
he had been staring at blankly noticed him and winked in his direction. "What the fucking hell is
going on here?"
"They have gathered for war."
Takeru turned, looking at Aragorn when the Ranger's voice sounded from the side.
Aragorn smiled slightly and reached out to clasp Takeru's arm. "You look much better."
"Somehow I doubt that." The Child of Hope replied dryly, "Aragorn, what WAR?"
They were approaching the center of Primary Village, and as they did the number of
digimon....there were less of them, but more of them were familiar. The digimon that belonged to
the other Chosen Children....and Guilmon, playing with the baby Botamon and a dragon-ish
digimon he didn't recognize. Terriermon, napping under a tree, leaning against Hyouga's side. The
Warg had a supremely contented look about him, which Takeru found almost disconcerting.
Nearby, seated on the strangely balloon-y ground that the Village was known for (or leaning
against the huge blocks that adorned the place as well), were the others. Chosen and Tamers alike, as
well as those from the Fellowship. Minus Gandalf, of course, and Boromir, and....
"Patamon, hang on, you've got to-" a moment later he grimaced when his partner happily
collided with his chest. "Okay, okay! Ow! Patamon, watch the ribs already-"
Patamon grinned sheepishly, "sorry. I forgot."
"Uh-huh." The blond gave him a flat look and plucked him up. Setting the digimon on his
head, he waited for Patamon to settle into the familiar position (granted, he hadn't used Takeru's
head as a pillow for quite some time) before crossing his arms. "So? Isn't anyone happy to see me?"
Silence, then, "what are you? A fucking idiot or something?"
Takeru blinked, turning to his brother in surprise. "What?"
Yamato pushed off of the block he had been leaning against, glaring. "Are you fucking
stupid?" He snapped, nearly repeating his previous words. "Aragorn told us how you got hurt,
Takeru! You're a Goddamn moron! Next time, fucking run!"
Staring, Takeru frowned for a moment, then suddenly smirked, chuckling.
"What the hell is so funny?"
Clearing his throat, the blond nodded in Hyouga's direction. "You try outrunning him,
Yamato, and then say that again."
Yamato scowled, then sighed. "You're still an idiot."
"That," Takeru agreed quite readily, "I WILL admit. And ow." Wincing again, he rubbed his
side gingerly, glancing at Jou. "Thanks for patching me up, but I feel like I've been hooked into a
An odd association, but strangely accurate.
"Eighty six stitches, Takeru." The older boy said.
"Well, shit."A sigh. "And just when we're going to war. Which reminds me-"
"Hm," Aragorn met his gaze severely, and Ruki made a worried noise as she paced over to
lean against a block next to Renamon. "That is why, I am told, so many digimon of so many types
have gathered in this Village."
"Who told you that?"
"But who told HIM?"
"I did." Another familiar voice, this one low and booming, and everyone turned to look at
he who had spoken. 'Mixed' was the best word to describe the reactions of those present as the
speaker continued. "I am also the one who spread the word, calling for the digimon and telling them
to meet here."
Mimi's voice rose, calling happily, "Leomon!"
Of course. Leomon. He had always been the one to keep an eye on the Digital World, and
he was the one to whom most digimon would listen. He also, Takeru mused, would probably get
along quite well with Aragorn and Gimli. Ogremon, however, who was standing next to Leomon,
would be another story. He was far too similar-looking to an Orc for his own good.
It was strange that he was such good friends with Leomon. Not that either one would admit
<Gee, that sounds like someone else I know.> Takeru thought with a sarcastic look toward Ruki
and Legolas, who, though standing next to each other and so close they were practically touching,
continued to pretend to ignore each other. <I hope they get around to it some time this century. It's starting to
get- hey....> about that time, he noticed the expression on the orange-haired Tamer's face.
"Ruki, what is it?" Legolas wondered.
She pushed from the brick, catapulting herself forward, and glared toward Taichi, "why the
hell didn't you TELL us that there was a Leomon here?!"
Taichi blinked, "I....didn't think....why?"
Ruki growled under her breath and her gaze flicked toward Juri. The girl was standing, her
eyes wide and her hands shaking, staring at Leomon, who was staring back at her with a calm but
slightly confused look.
"We should have guessed...." Lee said quietly, "that they would have a Leomon as well...."
Takeru watched, concerned, as Juri's eyes filled with tears and she clutched her D-Power
tightly, the screen dark and silent. The feeling of grief and despair that radiated from her and all the
other Tamers was terrible, and at the same time....
A whisper. "There's a feeling of hope as well."
Being the Chosen Child of Hope, Takeru was especially sensitive to it.
Silently, Juri released her D-Power, leaving it to fall back to her side where it had been
clipped before. She took a deep breath, closing her eyes, and then swallowed thickly before sitting
back down where she had been, her head down and her eyes on the ground.
"Juri...." Hikari reached out and laid a tentative hand on the other girl's shoulder, "do you
want to talk about it?"
Juri shook her head, "not now."
"All right." The brunette looked reluctant to let the subject drop.
"After all!" Suddenly far-too-happy, Juri looked back up to give Hikari an obviously forced
smile. "There's more important things to talk about, right?"
Takeru turned back to Ruki, concerned by the reaction she'd had to Leomon's appearance,
something was obviously wrong, as she had been even more distraught than Juri. Now, she stared at
the ground, clenching her hands into fists, before kicking backward violently, her foot connecting
with the brick. She then slammed herself backward, crossing her arms.
Beside her, Legolas murmured something, to which she snapped, "no!"
<Whatever the hell is wrong with her, it must be serious.> Still, Takeru chose to change the subject
as opposed to pursuing it as he wanted to. "Leomon," he called, catching the digimon's attention
and ignoring the suspicious looks Gimli was shooting at Ogremon, "what is happening in the
"A war is brewing, Takeru."
"That," Leomon said, "is what we are unsure of. We digimon know not but the danger that
has come to our world and yours- something that does not belong in EITHER world. The force
that we have gathered to fight is beyond the boundaries of good and evil, and must be stopped."
"How do you know this?" Gimli demanded.
"All the digimon know," Agumon spoke up, "so we're all coming here to help out!"
Takeru, who was beginning to tire again, sat down on a lower brick, asking, "why here?"
"This is the last place we can go." Palmon explained, "nearly all of the Digi-World has been
taken by the White Human!"
"Saruman." Aragorn stated darkly.
"He has set out to conquer." Leomon told them, directing his words toward Aragorn, "and
even as we are gathering here, his forces are marching toward us from Mount Infinite." His eyes
hardened, "the white tower appeared there a few days ago, and since then the Digital World has
fallen into disarray."
"You plan to fight?" Takato asked, sounding shocked, "HERE?"
"Primary Village is all we have left," Tailmon stated. "All we have left to protect."
<So any digimon who are still alive are coming here, to fight.> Takeru looked down, studying the
ground intently as he thought. <I can't see any of them backing down. Vaccine types....data types....even virus
types. They'll all fight together, this one time. They have to, and I can't see any of them backing down. They have
something even more important than age-old rivalries, now.>
This much was proven by the lack of fighting going on between Leomon and Ogremon.
"This Saruman," Leomon continued, "is he not the same one who has taken Ken?"
"What-?!" Takeru shouted, his head snapping up. <That's what Gandalf said in my dream....>
"Takeru," Aragorn's voice broke through his frantically spinning thoughts. "It happened
while we were in battle against the Wolf-riders. Ken was taken by the Black Riders, and your friend
Daisuke....he's been killed."
"Killed?!" The blond was on his feet in an instant, despite the screaming of pain from
beneath his bandages, "what the hell do you mean?!" Glaring, he managed to grate out, "if I didn't
know you, Aragorn, I'd say this was a very FUCKING UNFUNNY JOKE!"
The look the Ranger gave him would have made anyone else wince, but Takeru ignored it in
favor of continuing to glare.
Taken by the Nazgul....
"We were waiting until you woke, lad," Gimli told him, "and then we were going to set out
Shocked silence, then, "Patamon Armor Shinka! Pegasmon!"
"Takeru," the armored digimon said, "let's go now!"
He nodded, and placed his hands on his partner's back, intending to vault onto his back.
Pain flared again and he winced, gritting his teeth. Taking a breath, he tried again- and a hand caught
his arm before he could push himself of Pegasmon's back.
"Takeru!" Yamato yanked him back, "what the hell do you think you're doing?!"
"Let go, Yamato!" Takeru ordered, a dangerous edge to his voice. Blue eyes glinted as he
regarded his brother coldly. "He's gone to far this time! The Digital World is in ruins, and he's
marching on the last of our FRIENDS! He's kidnaped Ken! Daisuke's DEAD, Yamato, because of
"You can't go like this! You'll be slaughtered!"
Takeru snarled, jerking his arm back, "I'm going to make sure the son of a bitch doesn't do
what he's set out to."
"Fuck you!" He snapped, "you stay here, Yamato! I'm going to fight." Tears had welled in
his eyes as he spoke, and he blinked them back angrily. "You should all stay anyway. Primary Village
can probably use all the help it can get."
With that, he turned quickly and, with Pegasmon's help, managed to get himself onto the
"I will go with you."
The blond paused, turning slowly to regard the Ranger. "Why?"
"We set out from Rivendell together, Takeru. We survived because we were together. We
were a Fellowship then, and I will continue to honor that." Aragorn met his eyes. "We are still
comrades, Ken included, and I will not leave him to Saruman."
"And I." Legolas interrupted. "I will go as well."
"You can count me in!" Gimli roared, already packing up his axe.
Takeru glanced around. <Why does this sound so familiar?> He thought sarcastically, then had
to give a surprised blink when Ruki pushed away from the wall to stand with Legolas and Gimli.
Renamon appeared in a blur of yellow to join her Tamer. The Hobbits....would have offered to go as
well, had Aragorn not taken them aside and firmly explained that Frodo should NOT travel to
Isengard while carrying the One Ring. He asked the others to remain behind and make sure Frodo
"What?" Ruki snapped, "Takato! You goggle-brain, you can't-"
"I can and I will." Takato stated firmly. "You guys are going off to fight this all-powerful
Wizard, right? You'll need all the help you can get, and I might not be good with a sword, but at
least with me around you'll have Guilmon." He looked at Takeru, "and you saw what he can do
when he evolves!"
Takeru had to give him that. Growmon could walk through a smaller Orc horde and
annihilate it on his own without trying.
"Fine." He nodded. "You can come."
"Takeru," Wormmon sounded as if he wasn't sure if he should say it, but was determined to
do so. "I....need to go with you."
Though Wormmon, without Ken, could not evolve, Takeru could see where the digimon
was coming from. He would have preferred that he stay behind, but he knew that Wormmon
wouldn't take 'no' for an answer. Not in this case.
A slow nod.
It was decided.
They would all go, and the others would stay behind to prepare Primary Village for war.
<This is....what Gandalf told me....>
And despite his better judgment, he allowed Pegasmon to de-evolve again, and waited for
the others to pack supplies and weapons before they headed out.
Me: I like this chapter!
Hikari: It was less violent than some, I suppose.
Kenta: A lot of swearing, though.
Ruki: The second thing I saw....in Galadriel's mirror....
Legolas: Do not despair. The future is always changing.