Digital
Chapter 17 - Yoake
by Senashenta

Notes: Would you believe there are none? 0.0;; *dies* lol

Disclaimer: The Gods don't see fit to bestow the rights to Digimon or Lord Of The Rings upon me, and I don't feel I have the right to question them.

~Digital~
~Chapter Seventeen~

 

Shadow and flame...

"You shall not pass!"

Shadow and flame...

Gandalf, falling into the abyss.

Shadow and flame...

"Guilmon Matrix Shinka!"

Shadow and flame...

Dukemon's neck snapping sharply.

Shadow and flame...

"Renamon! Now!"

Shadow and flame...

Herself, slamming into the ground.

Shadow and flame...

The Balrog reaching downward.

Shadow and flame...

Herself again.

Shadow and flame...

Crumbling into dust under the demon's grip...

Ruki woke with a start, jerking upright and gasping for air. It took her a moment to calm herself as the disjointed images of her nightmare continued to whirl through her head. They faded slowly, only to be replaced by confusion as she attempted to figure out where she was. She didn't recognize the bedroom room at all...

<So where the hell..?>

Her entire being ached, almost as if her soul had taken the same beating her body had. Forcing the Matrix Evolution with Renamon, obviously, had not been the smartest thing she had ever done.

But... she had already seen two of the visions from Galadriel's mirror come true, and had not despite what she may say about them been prepared to watch Takato and Guilmon die.

The entire fight had become a blur of dust and fire in her mind. It had the same detached feeling as a dream... or the nightmare she had just woken up from, only she had the pain to prove it had actually happened.

"Shit..."

Movement in the corner of her eye and the door opened as Legolas stepped through, carrying a bundle of cloth in one hand and a bowl in the other. He shut the door behind himself quietly, then walked over and seated himself in a chair next to the bed, setting the bowl and cloth on the bedside table.

He regarded her thoughtfully. "How do you feel?"

Ruki snorted, wincing. "Crappy, thanks."

A half-smile graced Legolas' features, and he reached to pick up a piece of cloth. After carefully dipping it into whatever liquid the bowl contained, he turned toward her once again. "Wormmon tells us that this is a cure for pain." He told her, "he and Patamon mixed it from a plant that is native to this World."

Her voice took on a semi-suspicious tone. "What does it do?"

"If you will allow me..." he seemed unsure, but continued anyway, "this will dull the pain of your wounds, and dissuade bruising. I will help you apply it, if you would let me."

Ruki hesitated, unsure, but the screaming pain that seemed to originate from everywhere made her decide. "Fine."

Both she and Legolas were silent for a time, as the Elf gently bathed her various wounds in the slightly purplish and sweet-smelling concoction. Oddly enough, Ruki found herself feeling nervous.

A frown. <I'm delusional.>

"Tell me," Legolas said finally, without glancing up from her arm, "why did you do that?"

"What?"

"Your attack on the Balrog." The Elf clarified. "It was not an intelligent thing to do. You could have been killed."

The concern in his voice made Ruki scowl. "I had to."

"Why is that?"

"Takato would have..." sighing angrily, she trailed off and jerked her arm back from him to cross it with the other. "What does it matter? It's done, and it was stupid, but I can't change it now."

Legolas regarded her silently, then reached out and grasped her arm, pulling it gently but forcefully back out. As he continued to wash the bruises she was continuing to develop, he asked, "what is wrong?"

Ruki rolled her eyes. "Nothing, okay?"

"You have been acting strangely," he continued, "ever since Daisuke was lost. What is troubling you?"

"None of your business." Again, she pulled her arm back, this time swinging her legs over the edge of the bed and standing. Hissing painfully, she held her side when agony flared from what seemed to be a particularly bad wound.

"Lie down." Legolas' voice was low, but commanding, and Ruki was surprised to hear so much force behind it. Of course, she was less than pleased to be ordered around, so...

"No."

She started for the door and behind her she could hear the Elf rise and follow. After only a few steps, a hand caught her shoulder, stopping her from going any farther. Turning, she glared angrily at Legolas.

"You are injured. Please return to your bed."

"I don't want to."

She knew how childish she sounded, and didn't care.

Legolas sighed. "Ruki, please."

"Why do you care?"

"Because I am worried about you."

"Why?"

A pause, then, "just return to your bed, and allow me to finish cleaning your wounds. Then I will leave you be."

Ruki was silent, and after a second he began to steer her back the way they had come. Ruki allowed him to do so, turn between anger and another, much less familiar, emotion.

There were a few tense moments as Legolas continued his work and she stared to the side, trying not to look as vulnerable as the felt (and was curing herself for feeling). Finally, when he was finished with the potion that Wormmon and Patamon had mixed up, the Elf set the cloth and bowl to the side and looked at her.

"Renamon is recovering well," he told her. "She was hurt badly when you first separated from her, but she will be all right. She wanted to come and check on you, but Aragorn told her to wait until you were awake." He stood. "I will send her in."

She watched him turn to go, an internal battle raging, and he was almost out the door before she found the strength of will to speak.

"Legolas."

He paused, turning his head to glance back at her. "Yes?"

"I saw Dukemon die."

He looked confused, as well he should have. "I... am not sure I understand you."

Ruki turned her eyes downward. "When we were in Lothlorien, Galadriel... has me look into her Mirror, and I saw three things in it."

Frowning, Legolas hesitantly walked back toward her. "What did you see?"

A shaky breath, and Ruki forced herself to calm. Weakness, especially on her part, was not an option at this point, "I saw Daisuke. I saw him die. At the time, I didn't recognize him, but when I first met him I knew who he was..."

The Elf lowered himself into the chair once more, watching her intently. "You witnessed his death?"

Ruki nodded shortly. "And I saw Leomon... alive... in our World, he died a long time ago. He was a good friend, and was Juri's partner." Legolas nodded, as some things he had seen were now beginning to make sense. Ruki, who's hands had begun to shake ever-so-slightly, clenched them into fists to keep them still. "And I saw Dukemon, fighting the Balrog... and loosing."

Silence.

Carefully, "why did you not tell us?"

Ruki shrugged off his concern. "I asked Galadriel... if there was anything I could do to change the future, and she said that it was always changing. That what I saw might not come true..."

"You should not have kept this from us. You hurt yourself in doing so. Had you told us... I could have helped..."

Neither of them noticed that he had slipped from we to I, and Ruki blinked harshly, as if tears were stinging her eyes. Though of course, there were none. "I didn't believe her... all that death and violence... it couldn't have been true." She laughed harshly, "and then Daisuke died. And I still thought I could do something to change it..."

"Is that why you attacked the Balrog?"

"I saw what happened to Daisuke, and then Leomon... I couldn't do nothing! Dukemon was going to lose! He had fallen, and the Balrog... I... did the only thing that I could."

Legolas nodded understandingly.

"There was nothing I could do, and I just... snapped."

"But you did do something." He insisted, "and you saved Takato and Guilmon from certain death by doing it." A pause, and he added sadly, "but I still wish you had told me."

"Why..?"

"You need not have suffered alone."

Another moment of silence, and, much to Legolas' surprise, Ruki smiled back. Heartened, the Elf brushed his fingers against her cheek, tucking a loose strand of hair behind her newly-pointed ear, and then trailed them down to her shoulder. Leaning forward, he touched his forehead to hers, then, his lips brushing her ear, whispered, "do not keep such things from me in the future."

Surprising even herself, Ruki nodded. "Okay."

"I am glad, then." Standing again, Legolas turned to leave. "I will tell the others that you are all right. Some of them will wish to see you."

"Renamon?"

The Elf smiled when she asked about her closest friend. "I will tell her first."

"...thanks..."

He didn't say anything more, and instead vanished into the hallway that lay beyond, Ruki caught a glimpse of what could have possibly been picture frames on the walls. Walls that had a familiar oriental look about them. She sighed, suddenly realizing just how badly her body ached, and leaned back against the headboard.

<We can't have gone back to the Real World, can we? So where the hell are we? Last time I checked we were in a cave. A bigass cave. One with a resident Balrog.> Snorting, Ruki crossed her arms, despite the complaints of her muscles. <This bites.>

She wasn't one to just sit back and do nothing, and being bedridden was something she was especially displeased with. Though, she considered, she wasn't actually bedridden. The only reason she had returned to the bed was because Legolas had told her to...

She got up.

The room was a good size, though not huge. Besides the bed, which was large enough for three people and sported a carved headboard, there was also a dresser and a desk, as well as a handful of chairs scattered around. A large window, with yellow curtains pulled across it took up half of one wall. And besides the wallpaper, which was a hideous mix of pink, purple and blue flowers on a yellow background (Ruki was almost disgusted there might as well have been cartoon puppies singing "It's A Small World"), the entire décor was very classy. Whoever lived there obviously had good taste... except when it came to wallpaper, apparently.

Walking to the window, she pushed the curtains aside to look out, hoping to get some sort of clue as to where she was. A dry riverbed met her gaze, and in the distance were mountains. Those weren't what caught her attention, though. Her eyes immediately trained on the spike of white marble that rose into the sky, the base of which was only, at the most, half a mile away from where she was currently standing.

"Isengard..?"

"Yes."

Ruki felt the familiar presence of her partner and didn't even turn when Renamon paced forward to stand beside her. The digimon stared seriously at the spire of white, and Ruki echoed her silently.

"Renamon, where are we?"

At that, Renamon turned to look at her. "We are in the residence of one of the Digital Guardians of this dimension."

"Meaning?"

"Gennai's house."

"Hn." She pursed her lips. "Didn't Patamon say that the lake where Gennai used to live was gone?"

"Yes, but he was mistaken." The digimon gestured to the dry lakebed which Ruki had mistakenly thought was a riverbed with one paw. "The lake is still there. What you are seeing through the window is what outside viewers would see. Gennai used a barrier program of some kind to create the illusion that both the lake and his home had vanished."

"And... we got here, how?"

"The others brought us. After the battle with the Balrog, we were both unable to travel-"

"We were unconscious."

"-and so they carried us. I'm told that Gennai was waiting for us when we emerged from the mountain caves. He brought us here, and set about treating the both of us. I believe, had it not been for him, you and I may not have survived."

"Then we owe him one."

"Yes."

A pause, and Ruki's eyes were once again drawn to the tower. "I'm not sure I feel safe, being this close to Saruman... and at the same time, Ken is right there. We should go in and get him now."

Renamon chuckled, "that's what Takeru had been saying ever since we arrived."

"Yeah?"

"Aragorn refuses to let him storm Isengard outright. More than that, he is insisting that Takeru stay here when we go in to get Ken."

"He's hurt that badly, and still wants to attack Saruman himself? What a fucking idiot."

"Aragorn said much the same thing, only in different words."

"I can imagine." Turning from the window, Ruki wandered to the nearest chair and sat down heavily. Standing for even that short of a time had made her lightheaded, and despite how she hated to admit it, she needed the rest. "Renamon, about what happened... back in the caves..."

Renamon was silent, frowning.

"I... I'm sorry about that. It was stupid of me."

"It's done. You don't have to apologize."

Still, though Renamon insisted she need not have said so, Ruki felt substantially better for it. Wincing, she rubbed her right shoulder, trying to massage away some of the ache. Her memories of their time as Tenshisilmon were vague and fragmented, but she could remember the impact of slamming into the ground... more than once. She suspected that the pain in her shoulder was due to one of those times, but couldn't be sure. Renamon, now that she really looked, seemed to have some out of it better than she had. A few scrapes, some of them stitched, marred the digimon, but other than that...

<But she's got fur, so I probably just can't see all her injuries.>

"Renamon?"

"Yes?"

"Let's never do that again."

"...my thoughts, exactly."

~*~*~*~*~*~

Me: Um, apparently I write a good fight scene? ^^;; I never knew. Seriously, when I read my own writing I always find any fight scenes or romance scenes to be way too corny. I it's true that you're your own toughest critic. ?_?;; Meh. I'm not sure how I feel about the Ruki/Legolas scene in this chapter it's cute, but... well, you know how I just said I find my romance-y scenes corny? This one is no exception. :p I guess it's okay, though. ^-^

Ken: ...is there even such a thing as a good fight?

Me: That was a while ago, Ken...

Takeru: She said fight scene...

Me: ^.~

Ken: ...'cause it kind of sucked for Ruki...

Ruki: Hn.

Renamon: It was less than pleasant for me, as well.

Me: ^^;; Ehe. Gomen, gomen! I love Tenshisilmon! *huggles* Well, I promise there will be more than talking in the next chappy. ^-^;; But this one had a bit of an explanation and whatnot, so... wow. I'm getting chapter out fast lately. Three in a week is a record for "Digital"...

 

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