A twelve year old boy wandered through a wasteland, the heat had forced him to abandon his black jean-jacket. That is, if you considered throwing it over his shoulder, eager for even the slightest of breezes, 'abandoned'.
He wore a green tank-top, baggy blue jeans (which did not show off his underwear, thank-you-very-much) partly hid his mountain-boots. He grasped a small overnight bag, which held, among other things, two changes of clothes (both used), food (mostly gone), water (half the canteen was left- he didn't think it'd last another day), and money ( which was, in his opinion, absolutely useless here, wherever 'here' was…).
He was naturally pale, only a little 'softer' then most boys his age; due mainly to the fact his parent (read: Mother) refused to allow him to cut (the tangles! the nightmares! the girl-ness of it!) his auburn (no, brown, dang it!) hair (which fell to his lower waist, and he had luckily learned to braid, because a pony tail just didn't cut it). His eyes were a rare honey-gold, almost amber in direct sunlight; he liked to refer to them as tawny- it sounded more manly.
His name was Serif; he was an American exchange-student to Japan. He had tried to run away; and ended up somewhere…else…because Japan just did not have wastelands. Oddities of both current, and primitive, technology jumped out in strange places, keeping him on guard.
Despite his situation Serif had a certain, if (now very) frayed, calmness about him.
--Two Days Ago--
He found himself running, officials of the American government had called just hours ago. His house had blown-up, burned down, and was gone- forever. Everything he had ever known was gone.
It didn't seem real; couldn't be real- but it was. His mom was presumed dead, and his twin brother Stagi …missing, but also presumed dead.
He couldn't live like this; he didn't want to live like this.
Being alone was his worst fear; it was Stagi who was brave; who knew what to do in a crises, who had promised everything would be alright at home if Serif went to Japan for the year.
His cell-phone flared with light, half blinding him, he found himself lost underground, at a train-station. He blacked out, and dreamed; of children like himself, becoming monsters… needing…him?
He woke up him the wasteland…
Serif had had plenty of time to think since then; he decided it was all too real to be a dream. It wasn't heaven; he hadn't ruled out limbo, and there wasn't enough fire or anyone else here be 'hell'; …So it had to be the most ironic twist in fate in the world.
Note to self; next time you have the slightest need to 'take a walk'; at night- while running away- run when you next see a colorful, light at the end of the dark tunnel… Serif thought, his chapped lips twisted in grim humor, it hadn't actually happened like that, he had known the lights were trains…He just hadn't thought he'd collapse.
Serif found himself lost in thought, and only came to his senses when he smelled rich pine and sap of a …forest? He blinked when he saw a forest ahead- then looked at his…not-so phone-ish 'cell-phone' which had turned something else. He stared at it (as he refused to blink; it was too girly to do twice in the space of moments) there were seven dots on the screen of his not-cell-phone- and one looked like was a short distance away from the others.
Mentally shrugging if off (for now) he continued walking; he glanced at the screen (only once…twice…okay! a few dozen…) it didn't take long for him to notice that the far away dot was walking away from the others. He then, in a astounding leap of logic that teens are prone to, (only…this one just happened to be right) saw that dot moving away from the other dots, was him….so the other dots… might mean other people!
This meant… (Remember; 'astounding leaps of logic'- not always right)… civilization! Fresh water- indoor plumbing… adults! Who could tell him where he was; and then take him to America! He was already planning what he was going to say while walking in the direction the other dots were at guided by his trusty not cell-phone…thingy…
By dusk Serif had reached the other 'dots'- but he had warn him self out, so after spying on the other dots (that turned out to be children) he climbed a tree and watched them… there were six of them. Two who looked like twins, with black hair, a blonde girl, the youngest was a kid, a brown haired boy, and a larger brown haired boy.
Serif, slightly (try monumentally) disappointed, took his pack and used it for a makeshift pillow, and fell asleep planning to introduce him self in the morning. Serif found himself awakening at every odd noise; and wondering if he should join the other children prematurely.
They seemed nice enough at a glance, but who knew how they would treat someone new? Serif jumped at the sound of a branch breaking above him and decided he'd wake them up if he had to; he was not sleeping out in the forest alone, in a tree of all places! He made a hasty grab for his pack and jumped down from the tree.
…And came face to face with six huge…things…
Not good. Serif found himself frozen, yet somehow, he knew they were the children from yesterday. Somehow he just knew (the lesser known of the intuitions; male, witness and be in awe) Serif slowly backed away (…or not). They had relaxed when he had jumped down, reaching for his not-cell-phone (to check and see if they were the other children) only find that it was no longer there, he paled.
Serif gulped and put his hands up in the universal sign of surrender.
"Who are you?" A human-looking, red, fire-like, thing… with blue eyes asked.
"Why were you spying on us?" A butterfly-winged fairy, who the obviously the girl in the group, grumbled.
"What are you doing here?" A small cub demanded.
"Where did you come from?" A black-armored warrior inquired almost… politely?!
"How did you get here?" A white-armored human-like muttered almost to himself.
"Like I'm going to tell you anything while you all got weapons and I'm defenseless." Serif muttered thinking they wouldn't be able to hear him. The beetle-creature seemed to be laughing (if silently) at him. The fire one nodded, as if he hadn't considered this, and they all dropped their transformations turning into children again- Serif feeling a little braver, smiled at them.
"Hi? It's nice to meet you? I'm Serif… I was watching you, not spying… I was just… making sure you weren't going to kill me on sight. Err… I don't know where I am, I was just following my …cell phone… dot thing." Serif explained self-cautiously, the other children had partly surrounded him.
"I come from America, but I'm an exchange student/runaway… Um I'm not too sure on the how- but I ended up here, I assume by a train, and it… changed somehow…..Anyway who are you people?" Serif finally asked, edging his way to where he had jumped from the tree- hoping to catch a glimpse of the metallic paint of his not-cell-phone. He couldn't see anything in the forage of the trees. He glanced at them and saw that they hadn't noticed him looking for it. The brown haired boy smiled at him, it was a nice smile.
"I'm Takuya Kanbara, it's…nice to meet you. These are my friends, Kouji Minamoto, and his twin brother Kouichi. The little one is Tomoki, that's Izumi, and he's Junpei." Serif nodded then glanced at the twins, they were interesting, to say the least. Stagi, god, I miss you… He closed his eyes, his pain obvious in expression for a few moments; Serif shook his head and put on his 'mask'. The other children had noticed though…
"Hey Serif did you lose something?" Tomoki asked, in an effort to distract the older boy. Serif glanced at him, and his eyes widened, the boy was holding his not-cell-phone…thingy! Serif nodded, his eyes locked on it.
"If I give this to you do you promise to show me your transformation?" Tomoki asked, knowing what it was, and curious, Serif blinked at him, not understanding. The others stared at him in silent disbelief.
"It's called a D-Tector. All you've got to do is say 'Spirit'." Tomoki added, oblivious to the older children's bafflement. Serif smiled, deciding to humor him, and when Tomoki handed him the D-Tector he threw it into the air, caught it, closed his eyes, and relaxed- and said that one word that would change his life…forever.
"Sprit" It wasn't yelled- or whispered, it simply...was.
The shadows came alive, and wrapped around Serif, when it receded… He was like a black fox. His braided auburn hair had grown from lower waist, so that it went down to his thighs- and it was silver. He sported short black fur, amber eyes, delicate and defenseless looking, stared up at them from his silver hair.
He had shadow-metal covering his wrists, and upper arms; it also made up his knee-high boots. His chest was slim, and had muscles; he had raven-colored wings that glistened with the darker spectrum of the colors of amethyst, indigo, and emerald. Behind him trailed a silky fox-like tail. His face was elf-like, and his ears ended in points.
Serif didn't really understand what had happened…but it felt right…he felt, at peace. He smiled serenely at them, holding a long wooden staff inscribed with ruins and stones.
"I am… Alatusvulpesmon." The voice was soft and harmonious. Upon seeing his change they began herding him to their camp fire, so they could question him, and he them, and be more comfortable while doing it.
When they got there, Bokoman had some questions; and Neemon, well, he was asleep.
Not quite sure what was happening (but aware that something had) Serif/ Alatusvulpesmon found himself seated on a log (which was short- so he had to squat more then sit) in front of a fire- facing two harmless, if odd, looking creatures.
One (that looking like a rabbit- wearing clothes) was asleep- the other (kind of looked like a panda-bear, or something with a pouch) ….had a big book.
Vaguely uncomfortable at the fact that he was now much taller then the other children (whereas he had been normal-sized before) he fidgeted. The creature that was awake (and eyeing him strangely) cleared his throat.
"I am Bokoman, and you are…" He trailed off, glanced at his book- then sighed. "Alatusvulpesmon, his human name is Serif…is that your last or first name?" One of the twins (Kouichi) volunteered- then asked Serif a question in turn.
Alatusvulpesmon shifted, and nearly fell- his wings waving around franticly to keep his balance. The other children learned to get out of the wings way quickly when one of them (Takuya) was knocked over.
Until then Alatusvulpesmon/ Serif had been aware that he had changed- somehow, not that he had wings… Raised to be a polite child (unlike most American teens…) Alatusvulpesmon/ Serif immediately apologized to Takuya.
Aware that somehow the teen landing on the ground was his fault. Then the reason Takuya had been knocked over seemed to dawn on him- only after he saw said wings (he had never claimed to be bright –cough-).
The reaction was…amusing.
A single too-girly shriek and an awe-struck look, he gently, almost reverently, reached out to touch his ebony-black wings, which obediently tucked around his body- surrounding him. The feathers glinted hypnotically with brilliant amethyst, indigo shades and emerald highlights.
He carefully plucked a few feathers that felt 'loose'; unaware that he was- for lack of a better term, grooming his wings. It felt right, and calmed his nerves (finding out you have wings, while often a pleasant experience is hardly… calming) and the grooming made him feel relaxed…and unaware of it, he started humming.
Takuya chuckled, and Izumi nudged him in the stomach- making him winch, Izumi's elbows were sharp. Tomoki giggled at Takuya and Izumi, Junpei hushed him, aware that this was a special moment for Serif.
He and the rest remembered how it felt to become a Digimon, the inner calm of something that had been empty being filled, and the pleasant newness of sensations, of enhanced senses, if only for a few moments before a battle.
Kouji and his twin Kouichi recognized something about Serif. Call it twin-intuition, but from the pain on Serif's expression when he saw them together, they knew he had, or had had a twin.
They knew what that kind of pain might drive someone to do, and had determined, unspoken, to watch him. Bokoman cleared his throat again, and Alatusvulpesmon/ Serif came back to him self- and turned crimson with embarrassment (which was quite interesting to see on black fur…).
"Uh, sorry..." The elfin ears tilted back, and Izumi repressed the urge to screech 'cute' and hug him.
"Yes, well, as you are a Chosen One, and newly discovered- it is quite alright." Bokoman assured him, despite his reservations about not knowing Alatusvulpesmon's name.
"… Chosen One?" Alatusvulpesmon murmured, confused. Bokomon sighed, it had been hard enough explaining this to the current six, it would be even more trying to explain it. To his surprise the children took over…
"It means you're like us, with a D-Tector and a Spirit, one of these," Kouji showed him his Lobomon and KendoGarurumon spirits.
"You can turn into a Digimon." Kouichi finished. He looked doubtful, but the others looked earnest- and had no reasons to try to trick him.
"How do you turn back?" He asked, the group shared a look, and Tomoki giggled again.
"Usually we have problems keeping ourselves from changing back during a fight, it's all but impossible to keep it up when you're unconscious..." Junpei told him to keep him from becoming upset at a lack of information- or explanation.
"You seem to have the opposite problem…" Izumi mused.
"How did I get mine in the first place?" He asked, fill of questions.
"You must have gotten it- and not been aware of it. We usually have to look for them, so you're just lucky I guess." Kouichi said, Alatusvulpesmon groaned.
"You mean I have to fight one of you?" Izumi shook her head,
"No I'm sure it'll ware off when you fall asleep." Kouji tilted his head to the side eyeing Alatusvulpesmon.
"Though it would be interesting to see how well you fight, just to see if you can hold your own." At Kouji's words he felt a chill go down his spine, and at the children's startled looks- looked down to see his normal hands- with the exception of the feathers still tucked in his hands.
"Well I guess that settles that." Takuya said with a laugh. Serif flushed, and Bokoman cleared his throat again.
"It is strange, however, that there has never been a record of any Alatusvulpesmon, so I shall look foreword to studying you." Bokoman said eagerly, Serif looked uncomfortable at the subject, and Takuya decided to change the subject.
"It's best if we get to sleep now; I'll take first watch." Takuya volunteered. It was soon settled that Kouichi and Kouji would take later watches. It seemed to hit Serif then how tired he suddenly was, and settled around the fire the six not on watch dozed, and finally fell asleep. The rest of the night (aside from Takuya being slapped by a sleepy Kouichi) was uneventful.
Smoke curled and swirled and clouded the air, yet he could breathe it. A chill of fear ran down his spine, and Serif thought –vaguely, he knew this place.
A charred ruin of itself, burnt to the ground. Serif swallowed down his fear, uncertain in the alien place- yet knowing this was his home, even as a shadow emerged in front of him.
A scrambled step backward sent him sprawled on the ground.
Even so Serif tried- franticly, to get back on his feet- to run, to flee- a coward again. Yet the ground seemed to attempt to swallow him- bit by bit, stilling him. The fear-fueled, fanatic jerks and tugs at the ground that did nothing.
The shadow loomed closer and Serif struggled franticly, sure that at any minute he would see his mother's charred body- or his twins. No matter how hard Serif struggled- he couldn't get free, and he felt wetness on his cheeks, and knew…
Serif opened his mouth to scream, air filling his lungs…
"Serif! Wake up!"
Serif was jerked awake, literally, as he felt Takuya shove into his shoulder. Serif's indrawn breath, between the waking world and his nightmare seemed to stretch an eternity. His pained and fear fled, leaving him quaking and sweat-drenched in their wake.
"You were having a nightmare..." Takuya muttered, and helped Serif to sit up, Serif noted then that Junpei and Tomoki had disappeared, and was glad for it. Izumi hovered nearby, with a concerned looking Kouichi, and a stoic Kouji.
"S-sorry…" Serif stammered, feeling awkward, and trying desperately to keep the fear from his voice. What boy my age would be scared of a nightmare? Serif's mind cruelly teased him, and much to his disgust he found the wetness on his cheeks was tears…
Izumi, recognizing what was about to happen, hurriedly shooed the three other boys away. Or as much as could be expected, Serif looked up at her, and shuddered, visibly letting his emotions go.
Izumi feeling very mature, let him cry, settling down to lean against his shoulder, occasionally rubbing his back, knowing without knowing that he needed the comfort of her touch; the comfort that comes from another human being- just by being there in a time of toil.
A little later, Serif rubbed his reddened eyes, and the look he gave Izumi – was one of embarrassed- gratitude? Izumi smiled her understanding. Serif noted that the dawn was just braking over the horizon, and realized he must have woken everyone up- and resolved to make it up to them…somehow.
Izumi led him to the near-by creek. "You'll get to wash up here, that plants root will wash your clothes- and you. Don't worry about time- today we won't be going anywhere." Izumi told him, Serif looked doubtful, but was willing to give it a try. Izumi seeing this left him – supposedly to see the others and ensure them he was going to live.
Serif eyed the fast moving water (to bathe- or not to bathe- that is the stinky question…) and boldly put the tips of his fingers into the water- and found it…freezing. Serif shuddered at the mere thought of putting himself into the freezing water- for any length of time; yet he longed to smell not so – sweaty… or dusty.
Serif compromised- striping to his boxers, (no bad thoughts!) he then took the plant, and using the roots, (repeat above!) and took it to his clothes. After five minutes he realized why his ancestors had invented washers and dryers. It was hard work. Using the flat rock as a scrubber proved a poor idea.
The rock scrapped and bashed at his knuckles- making them sourer- though not bleeding, and the root seemed determined to slip from his grip- or dig painfully underneath his nails.
After going at one shirt- and his undergarments (including socks) - in this manner, the freezing water was starting to look inviting. It was hard and hot work, even as he was sitting under a shaded tree, his back and shoulders- and thighs started to become uncomfortable.
He thought he finished washing his clothes in good time, and hoped the others didn't plan to do anything for a few days- because the muscles he had used (and never known existed) were protesting (and were hurting, sore, and painful).
By then he, thought the water- whatever temperature, was preferable to the sun and pain of muscles ill-used. After washing his own clothes (for a change…) he decided to soak a while.
He wondered at how he felt, emotionally drained- yet…healing, almost- and he wondered that reason teens had so much pint up energy, and were so caught up in it, was because they didn't know how to use that energy and emotion.
Physical work for his own benefit- had worked for him…but that didn't mean it would work for everyone.
His tasks done for the day, and feeling somewhat better, Serif went to the camp- his clothing gathered under one arm. He was surprised to see Kouichi and Junpei cooking!? Well they are certainly boiling something, Serif noted to himself- seeing the steam from a pot.
Kouichi, perhaps sensing he was being observed, glanced up, and smiled at him. "Have a nice time?" Kouichi asked amusement plain on his voice. Serif flushed and scratched at the back of his head. "I didn't take that long did I?" He wondered, having not paid attention to the time- seeing as he didn't have a watch.
Kouichi and Junpei glanced at one another. "You've been gone since morning- it's about two hours after noon now." Junpei stated dryly, gesturing to a stick in the mud, with a circle and twelve lines around it. Serif blinked in shock, otherwise silent. "No wonder my back hurts." He muttered, sending both boys to hysterics.
"Where is everyone?" Serif asked hurriedly, wanting the topic changed. "Well, Kouichi and I are boiling fruit- and other unnamed –but edible things, Izumi is keeping Tomoki entertained by washing our wooden dishes- and trying to make more of them. Takuya and Kouji are with Bokoman in some ruins near-by searching for a mention of Alatusvulpesmon- as for Neemon, well, he went with them to 'help'." Kouichi explained even as he set the clay pot off the fire, and using a fork-looking metal, picked the fruit out and set it aside to cool in a wooden bowl.
"Oh, will they be back soon?" Serif asked, folding his dried clothes into his bag. Kouichi shrugged, apparently unconcerned. "They knew to be back before dark- even if they have to drag Bokoman away from an important find." Junpei's tone indicated that such a thing had happened before.
"So what were you dreaming about?" Junpei asked absently as he pealed something that looked like an apple with a pocket knife, Kouichi visibly tensed. Serif thought that the other boys had told them it was a nightmare, apparently not…
Serif glanced to the side, thinking quickly of how best to say what needed to be said. "Well I told you I was a runaway…My mother- and twin brother, stayed in America, and we live- lived, near a forest, it gets dry in the summer time…There was a lighting storm a few nights ago- in the real world, and…and…I don't think my mom made it." Serif finished in a half-choked whisper, not daring to meet their eyes…and see their pity.
"Your brother…?" Kouji's voice had echoed as he entered the clearing of the camp. Serif jerked, and looked up to see the two boys- and the concerned looking Digimon. All of them having heard him tell …everything.
"Missing…" Serif said briskly, standing quickly and striding from the clearing- unable to be among them as they judged him.
He brushed past a smiling Izumi and a waving Tomoki without seeing them. Izumi frowned- knowing that this had something to do with the others.
"What's wrong with him?" Tomoki asked in a hurt tone, Izumi quickly reassured him. "That's what I'll find out, okay?"
"'Kay…" Tomoki said, taking Izumi's hand, his other occupied with half the cleaned bowls- Izumi having the other ones.
When the boys had finished telling Izumi what they had learned- she was less then pleased. "I told you not to push him!" She snarled, Junpei gulped and faced her- the others not daring to. When it grew dark, and they had finished their food, Izumi told them she'd have first watch, and ordered them to bed.
They were surprisingly fast to obey.
The hardened soles of his mountain boots pounded into the soft earth, imprinting his passage for a time (say for a week- if it didn't rain). Tree branches and leaves seemed to reach out to try to stop him.
If he had been thinking- he would have stopped, this place was utterly unfamiliar- but he didn't want to think (obviously…). The roots and tangle bushes were no obstacle as Serif, with half instinct - and half natural ability- and knowledge gained of running in mountains since toddler hood, bypassed or smoothly avoided them.
It was something of a thrill to run past these things that would have stalled a city-born boy. Unfortunately weather devised to interrupt his run, and forced to seek out shelter or be soaked- Serif chose a cave too small for a bear. Although he hoped, for a second, a skunk didn't den there- then he remembered that he hadn't seen a normal animal since the wasteland.
Serif settled down into a half-couch – half-squat only teens and cats can manage to dignify. Being as he was alone, and there was nothing else to do (unless you considered drawing in the dirt- but he wasn't quite that bored…yet), he began to think on what he had done.
So it was stupid to run off after answering a relatively harmless question…
So it was very stupid to run off without anything but the clothes on his back.
Serif groaned, and rubbed the bridge of his nose- then tugged his braid foreword to worry (not play) at it. I don't even know where I am! He thought, though the rules of physics might apply here too, so the sun rising in the east -and setting in the west, might apply.
Then again… that required early rising, and Serif felt entirely too lazy here…
Stagi – lanky and cool, with his shoulder-length curly hair, the same shade as Serif's –but on Stagi it worked- and no one would ever mistake him as a girl. In Serif's eyes Stagi had been everything he couldn't find it in himself to be.
Stagi was talented at everything he did, a true prodigy, but his passion- and Serif's clearest memory of him, was of him tuning his electric guitar 'Red Moon'; thumbing along to a melody only he could hear.
Serif shook himself, and tried to think of something else- anything, even Math. I didn't work, and part of him knew that- still it hurt when the memories overwhelmed him. Serif had been downstairs, lost to another world, of gods, and myths- and Stagi had come in, his usual way, without a knock or care.
"Serif; Earth calling Luna Base 2, come in Ser." Stagi said, just to be annoying- because he knew Serif had known he was there from the minute he had entered. Serif snorted and turned the page in his What Life Was Like; On the Banks of the Nile.
Stagi rolled his eyes. "Might try to be interested, Ser, you got that trip you wanted." Stagi told him as he spun around the room in an exasperated fashion. Bookshelves lined the walls, and they weren't for show, they were warn- and a good portion were fantasy or science fiction, the others ancient history, and mythology. Sometimes Stagi was amazed at how much information his twin could pack into his skull.
Serif finally resolved to mark his page and put the book down- and Stagi knew the look he was getting. The 'this better be good- or something is going to happen to your video games brother-dear'. Stagi shuddered, and passed him the letter from school- addressed to their mother, but she'd sent him down to give it to Serif.
"Serious?" Serif muttered- he hadn't touched the letter yet.
"Seriously, you should go too. Mom and I will manage without you." Stagi teased, shoving him playfully in the shoulder- knowing his brother would need the self confidence.
"Yeah- managed just fine, didn't you Stagi?" Serif muttered into the silence of the cavern, finding it in him self to be both embittered and depressed. Serif glanced at the cave entrance and wondered at what would happen to him when he got back to the 'States.
If I go back…Serif blinked at the stray thought, and caught it. He knew that after a short legal trial (if that), he'd be sent into a State-Funded Orphanage. Which would mean moving from 'home' to 'home'; being as he was over ten years old- he knew he wouldn't get adopted. Or if he did get adopted, he'd be no better off.
I could stay here…He thought, glancing between the entrance - and further into the cavern, even if his thoughts didn't mean to stay in the cave, exactly.
I could stay where-ever here is, though. It has possibilities, but…the Digital World itself? It's a bit strange for a permanent residence…but- why not? It's not as if I've got anywhere better to go…Serif felt as if his mind were already made up, and decided to let the matter go- and to rest, at least until the rain stopped.
Meanwhile, in the 'Real' World…
Stagi dialed his aunt's number. His mothers-sister had a permanent residence in Japan, close to where his twin was living. He knew she would be the one to eventually gain custody of them, and needed to tell her what had happened before anyone told Serif- or tried to get him out of Japan- and 'lost' him in America.
He knew what his twin would do…
It rang once…twice…come on! Stagi urged her.
"Aunt Paris? This is Stagi- Cici's son, something's happened…"
Serif shivered awake, he blinked in the sight of the cave- and remembered the other day- and the thoughts he had had that night. 'Well if I'm going to stay here- I might as well get back to the others, safety and others and all that…' The thought as he crept cautiously out of the cave, then scolded him self for being silly. Nothing here had tried to hurt him- so far.
He saw faint signs of his trampling through the forest- no matter how quickly he had gotten away, a keen eye could track him by the wreck of the vegetation he had left behind. He wondered why the others hadn't gone after him, but then shook his head as he walked trough the trampled vegetation- they had probably thought he needed his space.
The sun seemed hotter then the day before- but he attributed it to the glare of the sun on someone moving- rather in shade and sitting. He fingered his cell-phone turned 'D-Tector' as he walked, it was an odd thing. It could change him into a 'Digimon' –which felt strange and powerful and whole all at once. He had thought he'd lost feeling 'whole' with the loss of Stagi, but the D-Tecter proved him wrong.
Serif flipped his heavy braid over his shoulder as he walked, playing with the ends- he had re-braided it this morning- but the tangles would have to wait. He shuddered at the thought of working through tangles that had had a day and night to sit.
It couldn't be helped though, and he felt oddly hollow from last night. He hadn't realized he had cried that night- till he'd woken with crust in his eyes. He assured himself it was from a nightmare he didn't remember…or just morning eye gunk.
As he had set out at dawn he had expected to get to the camp before noon- when it nearly was he considered the thought that he might have gotten lost- that the trail was wrong. He didn't remember running so far from camp- but he reminded himself sternly that most of that run had been a blur.
As his thoughts ran - he didn't know he was being watched.
Izumi was getting worried, Serif had been gone for far too long in his opinion, and she wasted to search for him. But after a breakfast of mushrooms and potato-things no one wanted to move around too much and so the others sure that an evening and night away weren't very hard to manage alone, had devised to wait for him to return- but he hadn't.
When mid-morning approached- they found themselves being reluctantly enlisted to track down the missing boy. Junpei was to stay with Tomoki at the camp incase Serif came back, while the other four split in pairs.
Izumi with Kouichi, who she wouldn't rant at to much -and Takuya with Kouji for they worked best together. It was agreed they would contact each other if they found anything- or every two and a half hours.
Takuya had thought this a waste of time, but he didn't want to get on Izumi's bad side- so he had said nothing. That did not stop his tongue when he and Kouji were out of sight from complaining.
"First she's ordering us about- next she'll want to be leader." He whined to Kouji who grunted- half amused by the brunette's complaints. "Its not like that guy couldn't take care of himself, I mean we only spend a day with him and she's already mothering him…" Takuya muttered, somewhat jealous by her immediate motherly reaction to him.
"Takuya." The boy turned to see what Kouji was looking at- it was unmistakable, Petaldramon was near…The two rushed off to camp transforming into Agunimon and Lobomon as they went, racing each other back to the camp, knowing the other two would be there.
After getting the other two they headed for where Kouji had seen Petaldramon's tracks.
Izumi had been right to trust her instincts - Serif was in danger.
Junpei was supposed to stay with Tomoki- who had wanted to go with the others; but as Izumi was in full 'mother hen' mood- and Takuya despite his mutterings, had also been worried about the strange kid who had showed up the other night- and disappeared that evening.
Bokomon was supposed to stay with them instead he had wandered off leaving Neemon sleeping by Tomoki- who was taking his noon nap.
Instead Junpei had followed Bokomon to the ruins he and the others had been investigating the day before.
"What are you doing Bokomon?" Junpei asked him, when he had paused in translating long enough for Junpei to ask. He knew Bokomon had stopped because he had stopped mumbling unintelligibly under his breath.
"The ruins warn of something interesting Junpei." Bokomon told him, apparently unimpressed by Junpei's appearance.
"Oh? A flood in the spring, maybe?" Junpei said sarcastically, Bokomon rolled his eyes. "No, it says the Wanderer will decide if we win or lose." The Digimon told him, Junpei narrowed his eyes.
"You think the Wanderer is Serif." Junpei stated, suspicious- because he had began to like Serif, but Bokomon only nodded needlessly
"Yes, all the signs point to him. It says our choice with him may determine if we win- or if they do." Bokomon continued defensively, as if his words could protect the ruins truth.
"Does it say what that choice ought to be?" Junpei asked eyeing the room. Bokomon shook his head.
"They do not."
"Then what good are they?" Junpei mused, Bokomon bristled.
"They warn he will fight a battle – for good or ill- that we can not interfere with." Bokomon stated, Junpei sighed. "Sounds like a bunch of rubbish to me." Bokomon stomped off to the camp, and Junpei -after glancing around at the ruins, sighed, and followed after him.
Even if it was rubbish Bokomon would 'warn' the others- and then it would only get out of hand. This, Junpei, knew- and couldn't let them get caught up in it. If it was true it would happen- and no matter how prepared they were- it would take them by surprise.
Junpei felt this was so in his very bones.
Serif froze with terror as he felt the soft hiss behind him- that, he knew, was no bird.
He found himself pinned by something large and lizard-like, it growled when he tried to struggle free and Serif felt its hot breath on his neck and froze- squeezing his eyes shut, and hoping for a quick end.
"Listen…" It hissed, and he felt the flick of its tongue against his ear.
"You are in great danger with the children, Wanderer…they will never trust you…" The Digimon growled, and Serif caught a glimpse of the things face- like a venus fly-trap- and shuddered- he had always hated bug-eating plants- it just wasn't natural.
"I don't see how you are any less dangerous!" Serif yelped, the Digimon hissed-and 'accidentally' stepped on the back of Serif's knee. Serif knew he couldn't get away quickly now, and pushed away from the Digimon, with tolerated his disgust and distrust.
As if the plant-trap head wasn't bad enough there were spikes like roots along its back- and its feet, though powerful, had leaf-like toes. Its tail was like a whip- and it was as covered in thorns- like a lizard might be in scales.
"What are you?" Serif whispered hoarsely, the Digimon snorted. "Petaldramon…" Seeing no reaction to its name, it silently thanked the Chosen –who had failed to inform the Wanderer of their enemies.
"And you…?" Asked Petaldramon, the others would be pleased if they learned the Wanderers name. Something about the Digimon made Serif itch to get his D-Tector and call out his spirit.
"None of your damned business." Serif snarled made brave (or stupid…) by the pain of his knee, Petaldramon mashed his jaws together in frustration (which was intimidating- but Serif didn't show he noticed it- much...)
It was then that Petaldramon heard the Chosen rushing to the 'rescue'; and he gave Serif one last bit of 'advice' before scampering off- after all he wasn't stupid enough to go up against four Chosen at once.
Petaldramon's words echoed in Serif's head as the others helped him back to the camp. If you need protection get into the woods- we'll find you…
Serif shook it off, unwilling to admit the Petaldramon had spooked him. The others thought his face was pale because of the pain. They wouldn't ask how it had happened…for now.
They were just glad to see Izumi calmed.
She didn't stay that way when Bokoman and Junpei sat them down and told them what they had found.
"Well, now we know we'll have to find you another Spirit…" Kouji muttered to Serif, who fidgeted.
Stagi was seated next to the window on a Bowing 7-47 destined to arrive in Tokyo, Japan in the unholy early morning hours.
The view was of stars, and most of the others were sleeping. One of the men two seats in front of him was snoring. The lady in front of him was reclined – and crushing his knees.
Funny thing was she was a tiny grandmotherly woman- not the type you'd be rude enough to interrupt from her nap- simply because her seat was too far back. So Stagi endured it.
Both of the men next to him were chatting in Japanese. Stagi wasn't the scholar his brother was- he had no idea what they were saying.
So the flight thus far had been spent watching some dull movie he had never heard of, and sipping 7-up.
He was very tempted to start hitting his head against the window. Every now and then he'd let himself think of Serif, and want to do something- but no he was helpless in that.
Aunt Paris had spent more then he wanted to think on to get him on this flight. So far the turbulence and engines had ensured he wasn't going to enjoy it.
He was just glad the twin girls ten chairs up- and across had been silent…so far.
Then they started screaming, and Stagi groaned.
Serif woke from a sound sleep, glanced up at the open night sky, and turned over rubbing his eyes and yawning sleepily. He was left with the feeling of vague annoyance, for no reason he could control.
The worst was that he was sleepless the rest of the night.
After nearly twenty-four hours of air time, and five plane terminals- Stagi had arrived in Tokyo.
Five years away from America hadn't changed Aunt Paris too much- she was still a kindly and short woman, with a purse that didn't look like it should be allowed.
With the way the airport security were eyeing the purse, Stagi knew he wasn't the only one to think so.
She wrapped him in a hug- and even though Stagi was supposed to be far too old and mature to get hugs - he let himself relax into this one, just this once.
"Sweetie, they can't find him." Aunt Paris whispered into his hair, and Stagi felt the nerves that had been twitching all along still- and the bottom of his stomach seemed to drop out, and something cold and unpleasant replaced it, crawled up his throat, and stung his eyes and chilled him to the core.
"W-what do you mean?" He whispered, glancing up into her eyes searching for reassurance- and finding none.
"Serif…is gone." It was Stagi's worst fear, after forging his ID – and faking his age, he arrived safely to find…Serif not here and not safe.
"Come on honey, I'd best get you to bed, you'll think better in the morning." Aunt Paris assured- though both of them knew it for a lie, as she lead him from the terminal- an arm he couldn't feel against the chill in his soul around his shoulders.
"Ready to find that Sprit?" Takuya shouted out in morning cheer. After his sleepless night it made Serif want to sock the over-excitable boy. Instead he groaned and rolled over, feeling utterly sick at heart.
"Are you alright Serif-kun?" Tomoki asked, titling his head cutely, even if the braided boy couldn't see it.
"Oh- I'm sure he's fine Tomoki, he's just being a lazy American." Izumi teased as she stirred something that smelled like rice and broth- it was tempting, but Serif was dead tired.
"Mhummm!" Serif protested at a low mumble.
Junpei snorted, amused at the one-sided teasing. After all, mumbling was hardly an answer.
Kouji and Kouichi traded a glance over Izumi's cooking.
"Aw, come one Serif, you got to get up!" Takuya whined, and Tomoki grinned, deciding to join his 'big brother' in waking Serif.
"Yeah, you're not going to let Izu' get away with calling you lazy- are yeah!?" Tomoki encouraged, yanking on the brunettes braid. Making Serif mumble something incoherently and pull the sleeping bag over his head. Junpei grinned broadly, watching the two act like children.
"Come on! You've got to get up- or …or…" Takuya began, and puzzled over what to say next. "Or we'll eat all the food!" Neemon exclaimed, and from the worried looks that passed over the other Chosen's faces- that was a very real threat.
"Alright- alright- alright! I'm up…" Serif grumbled and in a daze ate the soup-stuff Izumi passed to him, mumbling a sleepy thank-you…the others watched amused as Serif finished the soup and started chewing the ends of his braid without seeming to notice the difference.
Being as he was eating with his eyes closed…
Tomoki and Takuya couldn't help but giggle- with alerted Serif to the mischief.
Serif blinked and feeling the hair in his mouth spat it out- encouraging a 'ewww' from Tomoki and Izumi…as the hair had chewed bits of foot stuck at the end of some of the strands.
After a dunking in the river the children set out in the direction Serif's D-Tecter had started beeping at after breakfast.
Stagi didn't think he was "thinking" any better that morning, as his aunt had said he would. He woke to an uncomfortable bed; the fact that it was a twin only reminded him of his loss. Serif always took the top bunk – Stagi closed his eyes. He wished with all his heart he knew where Serif had run off to – knew he was safe.
Stagi sat up then, glancing to the blank computer screen. There might be a clue on his computer, Stagi couldn't help but hope – even a little, even if it was a false sort of hope. His aunt had somehow managed to convince the authorities to hand over his brothers belongings to her. He didn't know how she had done it, but he found himself grateful.
He sat up, trudging toward the computer – he'd worn both boxers and pants to bed, barely managing to slip his shirt off before falling into a sleep only the exhausted could manage. Feeling a little disappointed that – no matter how unreasonable it seemed, Stagi had come all this way only to find his twin missing.
It left him feeling a little cold – a little alone. Brushing those feelings aside in hopes of finding a clue he shook the mouse – his bothers desktop picture startled him. It was a vampire, effeminate though male – walking down a park sidewalk, he recognized his brothers drawing style. Though the vampire looked like them – a long face, tawny eyes – otherwise it was rather colorless.
In the background though, was a black fox outlined in white against the night.
Odd, Stagi thought looking at the vampires features, almost as if it's….me…us…why?
As if in answer, the computer screen flared to life, blinding him – he felt a sense of movement, then…nothing.
A knock sounded twice on the door.
"Stagi? I brought breakfast – are you hungry?" Aunt Paris spoke though the door, opening it a crack to peer into the room. When her eyes adjusted, the sound of glass shattering was the only sign she had seen an empty room. Shakily, she dialed the police, and told them she suspected kidnapping – for the room Stagi had slept in had no windows, and had he tried to run away the security system would have caught him.
Then, she could only sit on the couch and sob – for somehow, in the same sense she had known her sister was dead before being contacted, she knew she would never see Stagi or Serif again.
They'd been looking for it (it being the Beast-Spirit) all morning – and it was becoming noon. Serif sighed; he knew it was in this general location – just, well, he was becoming frustrated. He scowled down at his D-Techer, wondering if it was even working properly.
"Don't worry so Serif, I'm sure we'll find it soon." Izumi assured, trying to calm him and placing a hand on his shoulder. He gave her a smile, though it was filled with a false sort of hope. What if he wasn't meant to be here? What if it was all an accident?
"Hey, Serif – I think I found it!" Tomoki called out cheerfully, and Serif grinned, his worries, for the moment, laid to rest.
It turned out to look like a figurine of a vampire – Serif didn't question it as he picked it up, he spoke – and then there was blinding light, when he blinked it away – Stagi sprawled before him blinking lights from his own eyes. Making a sound that was almost a sob, he found himself hugging his twin before thinking of how this would look to the others.
He just didn't care; he had what was most precious to him back.
Junpei watched the scene unfold – finding the B-Spirit, Serif calling on it – and then, instead of a physical – visible – change, there was a boy. Both seemed stunned for a moment, as if a flashlight had flashed into their eyes – but in one moment they were blinking at one another, in the next hugging.
Junpei couldn't help but smile for the sake of his friend – at last, something was going right in the braided boy's life.
He pointedly ignored the glare Bokomon was giving his back, it made the skin between his shoulders itch – but, otherwise it was harmless. Just because Serif's twin had arrived didn't mean that he and Serif were going to fight.
Even if they did, Junpei didn't think it would result in who would win – good or evil. Besides mentioning the Wanderer, Junpei thought the Choice the Chosen were supposed to make – undefined as it was – should be made without such a dire warning hanging over them.
"Wait, I'm confused, you made it to Japan? How'd you get here?" Serif asked his brother, upon Stagi's appearance (and after the two had stopped hugging) there had been much exchanging of names and handshaking – Izumi had somehow managed to get them to the camp, and the two continued to talk and catch up. Serif had told his brother all about his adventure – meeting the group, meeting the "bad guys" and going out to find the B-Spirit only to find Stagi. Now, it was Stagi's turn…
"Hell if I know, one minute I'm looking at your computer desktop – you know, the one with the fox and the vampire – and the next there's this blinding light, and I show up at your feet." Stagi explained, grinning a little as Kouji and Kouichi looked at the braided boy with renewed interest – they hadn't known Serif could draw.
"This is most unexpected – may I see your D-Tector?" Bokomon interjected then, and Stagi shrugged, frowning, clearly not understanding.
"He means your cell phone." Serif stated, smiling a little at his brothers confusion. It was nice to be the one "in the know" rather on the outside looking in.
"I'd give it to you if I could little buddy, but it was destroyed in a fire." Stagi told him bluntly, and at those words, Serif felt himself shiver, cold – in the joy in seeing his brother, he had forgotten…forgotten their mother had….
"Is mom really…?" Serif found himself asking, and for a moment Stagi just looked at him, pained.
"Yeah, I tried to get her out Serif, you've got to believe me I really tried, but I just couldn't get past the smoke…I don't really remember how I got out myself…" Stagi answered his voice soft, it was becoming twilight – but he'd rather sit by the fireside and see his brother safe (if surrounded by strangers –and even stranger…"Digimon") then close his eyes and smell smoke.
"I know Stagi, I…I'm sorry I wasn't there." Serif found himself murmuring, shaking - he wasn't really cold, and Stagi didn't mention it – he understood, and knew all he could do was just "be there" no matter how lame it sounded for Serif.
"Don't be, if you had been, well I don't think it would have done any good and all of us might have died." Stagi told him them, trying not to be morbid, but he couldn't really help himself.
"I wonder…wonder if that would have been better." Serif's voice was faint, but Stagi heard him even so – and he narrowed his eyes on his brother, half snarling.
"Don't talk like that you idiot." Stagi found himself hissing, and Serif seemed surprised to hear him so angry.
"Sorry." He whispered it, and Stagi found himself regretting his harsh words to his twin.
"And stop saying sorry, none of it was your fault. You've suffered as much as I have." Stagi spoke then, worried that his brother might in some way blame himself for what had happened.
"Alright…" Serif said instead, and when Stagi gave him a small smile, he only responded in kind.
"How'd you get here anyway?" Stagi asked then, for it was the one part of the puzzle he had not fitted.
"With my D-Tector, sorry, my cell-phone." Serif explained, showing his twin the device, Stagi frowned over it, turning it over to examine. Everything about it had changed, there wasn't even a place to plug it in and charge, and he wondered how it was active for so long without electronic, it was a question he didn't voice. Some things were better off unquestioned.
"Damn, guess there's no way home. Do you think it's a bad thing I don't have one of those D-Tector things?" Stagi asked while handing it back, for the most part his brothers friends had left them alone (save for the little critter who'd asked about D-Tectors) it was nice here - safe, Stagi supposed.
"Probably." Serif told him, tone casting doubts.
"Be assured it is a very dire thing, this world is dangerous, and without a way to transform –" The little critter began to speak, and Stagi found himself watching out of the corner of his eye – a little wary.
"Transform?" Stagi questioned, and the little boy who had seemed attached to the girl and the big guy suddenly brightened and sprung up to stand near them.
"I'll show you!" He exclaimed excitedly, Stagi raised an eyebrow and exchanged a look with his twin, who grinned mysteriously.
"Kumamon!" The boy exclaimed, having been transformed by light (which reminded Stagi of the light that brought him to this world) into a little white bear that stood upright on two legs and wore a green headband.
"Right, as I was saying without the ability to transform, you will be in danger." Bokomon went on warningly.
"I'll make sure nothing happens to him." Serif told the digimon defensively, feeling as if he was being lectured on something he hadn't purposefully done.
"I will take you at your word, Serif." Bokomon stated solemnly before leaving, as the brothers had chosen to sit away from the fire. After his nightmare, Serif didn't want to risk another – and Stagi, well, he didn't like fire all that much.
"Bit bossy, isn't he?" Stagi commented teasingly as Serif was drifting off.
"Stagi…" Serif whined a bit, and Stagi snorted.
"Whatever, night Serif." Stagi told him at last closing his eyes – he wasn't really tired, seeing as he'd been asleep only a few hours ago – but he let himself close his eyes, if only to pretend for the sake of the others.
"Night." Serif muttered, not too long after, Stagi heard his twins breathing deepen, signaling he was asleep.
Serif and the others woke to screams – flinching wake, he saw something that horrified him – his brother was disappearing into little flicks of light. He was quick to crawl to his brother's side, cradling him in his arms as the others woke and surrounded him becoming aware. Takuya and Izumi kept Tomoki's eyes adverted, it was horrifying enough for them, they would have nightmares after this – they didn't want Tomoki to have worse.
"What the hell's happening?" Kouji demanded kneeling beside the prone teens, Serif only shook his head, hating to admit he didn't know…
"Something…something bit me!" Stagi snarled past the pain, Kouichi stepped forward, looking wary.
"Did it look like a bat?" He asked then, and when Stagi nodded biting his lip to keep from groaning in pain. Hot sparks danced under his skin – it felt as if they were tearing him apart – and his hand was already disappearing before his eyes so he supposed they did that.
"What is it?" Junpei demanded to know. The dark holder shook his dead.
"It's feeding off him – it will take his energy. It's…I don't think there is a way to stop it." Kouichi answered softly, and Serif didn't look to them, only looking at his brother's struggle between life and death, and then made a single demand. He had not gained his brother just to loose him again.
"Go away." It was a command, begging - Junpei bit his tongue – like it or not, Serif was one of them, but this was a Choice. Was it the Choice? Would it be right to leave Serif with his brother – to let them have their last moments together and comfort him after? How long would Stagi have?
When Takuya met Stagi's eyes – and saw the pleading there – he nodded, and Junpei knew the Choice had been made.
"C'mon guys…" Takuya pulled Tomoki away, keeping Stagi from sight the entire time. The others had little choice but to follow him, in soft tones Izumi and Kouichi whispered of possible "cures" or something to slow it – if only Stagi was a Chosen, then he could Spirit Evolve and then he'd be alright.
But he couldn't…at least…not alone.
"Stagi…I- I have an idea." Serif spoke so softly Stagi had to stain to hear, he wasn't surprised – Serif always had something in mind.
"What's on your mind?" Stagi growled out, wishing he could be softer-toned for he knew it hurt Serif, it could not be helped – he was in too much pain to soften his words.
"If I …if I spirit evolve with you. It might save you." Serif murmured softly – he had heard Izumi and Kouichi, and though he shook at the thought of what might go wrong, he was desperate. It was his only Choice. He would not lose his brother when he had the power to save him.
Stagi was silent – hadn't spoken, Serif looked own – his brother, he thought, was dead – cold, limp – no, no, no….it wasn't supposed to end like this…
As the darkness engulfed them, they realized they had made a mistake. It was too late to turn back, so they endured the pain – their bodies ripped apart as their souls clung together, shoved rudely into a form neither of them recognized. It was a digimon – but one no one had ever seen the like of.
It panted on hands and knees for breath – lips a color alike purple, for though they didn't know it, it was the color the lips gained in the pallor of death. The skin was pale, the eyes opened wide – there was no heart beat, no sign of life from the body the two twin souls inhabited.
"Am I – are we – are you, alright?" The lips formed to words – there was no way to tell which soul had spoken.
"What have you done to us, Serif?" It was a plea – a demand, and their breath hitched in an almost sob.
"We…we share the same body Stagi, we are a …a…digimon - it was…it was the only way I could save you. I can't loose you…forgive me?" A deep groan emitted from their throat, as they collapsed, laying on their side.
"Course I forgive you, you idiot – what digimon are we?" They wondered at this for some time, pondered it – and in the midst of it they looked at their features, Serif found he could control their body – and Stagi wondered at their likeness to Serif's drawing.
"We might be a vampire." Lips pressed together. They needed something reflective. As if in response, Stagi found he could expand their senses – impressed, they barely heard the soft trickle of a slow moving stream nearby.
Crawling on hands and knees, they came to the streams edge, and looked in – because of the moon above them, and the paleness of their features, Serif knew Stagi to be right. There was a red bandana across their eyes – and they were dressed in blue, almost like a suit – there were bats, it was the prevailing thyme.
A gold one – the largest, on the collar, a red emblem of a bat on each shoulder – the arms were thin, but the hands large, gray gloves covered them – the bat on emblazed on them was white.
The boots were black, on one a skull – on the other a bat, it was clear enough what that meant – there were two souls in this body – it would only be a bit more ironic and twisted if those markings had been on the sole of the boots. As it was, they now had blond hair, short enough, though three long bangs hung into their face. Big pointed ears – almost comically large, as he thought an elf's might be.
"What were you before, Ser'?" Stagi asked noticing that when he "spoke" it was in thought – though when Serif spoke, words were heard.
"A fox – I had wings." The voice was sad, almost miserable. They had wings too, only they were folded like a cape against their back. It was black on the outside, red on the inside. It felt like leather.
"Hey, it's alright. Don't be like that – how do you suppose we go about getting back to our…normal bodies?" Stagi asked then, hoping his twin would have the answer.
"I do not know. I don't even know how to get home – to the Real World…" Serif told him, sighing and in frustration pulling on the blond strands. It didn't hurt – not really. They could see as well in the night as they had in the day – it was weird, but okay.
"The others can't see us like this – they might take us to be some bad digimon, or something – we certainly look the part." Stagi muttered – not that he was displeased by their looks, it would just make it harder to make friends.
"Well what do we call ourselves?" Serif asked softly, looking at the still reflection and the blue gleaming eyes. It was eerie – almost hypnotizing.
"Myotismon, the Undead King." Stagi purred, chilled, Serif shook it off with a roll of his eyes.
They found themselves walking – if shakily, and Stagi- annoyed, wished they could be as fast as the bats on their clothes. Suddenly they were – they flew, easily, each bat was them, and collectively they shared the same knowledge – it was fun.
It was fun that led them to the village of digimon, they stopped because there was a cool looking castle there, and stayed because the "lord" of the place was cruel; they defected him, no problem – it was easy - and they became the Lord of the beings gathered there. Serif insisted they stay, guide the digimon to find a better way of life – and Stagi went along with it.
They lost track of the time that passed, hundreds of years - and Stagi became aware that after almost a thousand years, Serif was becoming "faint" his presence seeming to slip away. He slept most of the time – and sometimes, didn't answer if Stagi called for him. As Serif faded more and more, Stagi gained more control of their body.
One day, he came to the decision that to preserve his twin's soul – to keep him from death – he had to put him "asleep". Alike with sleeping beauty, his twin would sleep, his soul "unaged" and Stagi would cling to that last bit – cling to it until he found a way home, to the Real World. Surely, surely there Serif would awaken, would be alright.
It was frustrating – and Stagi let the nature of the digimon, with no distraction to curb his temper, overwhelm him. He became cruel – desperate. He heard of a prophesy it told of his death – his death, meant his twin would die. He became outright devilish, anything to prevent Serif from dying. One day he walked his lands, making his presence known. It was one of his more dangerous days – if they wanted him dead, he thought – dared, come get me. Come try to kill me – to kill my twin.
It was how he met Gatomon, then Salamon – her eyes… her eyes were his twins. To see the creature so pitiful, with his brothers eyes – it made him wonder if his brother was truly alive anyone. He had been "asleep" so long, anytime he saw those eyes – he wondered, wondered if he could wake his brother. It made him doubt himself – doubt that he could get to the Real World, doubt that he was doing the right thing.
He hated that. So he punished her, but took her in, kept her – just in case he needed her. Stagi became so focused, he let the nature – the instinct – of the digimon rule his actions, the first time he hurt someone it had been a accident – then he found a certain release in it – a certain power, a certain bit of comfort in being in control. He for a moment in those times did not doubt he would find a way.
Then the Digi-Destined showed themselves – they reminded him of the Chosen, his brother had been a Chosen. Surely though, they were false-Chosen – a true Chosen could turn into a digimon. These could not. He'd kill them – just for making a mockery of what his brother once was.
Then he did it – he was in the Real World, and though the light hurt him, with every bit of human blood, he thought…thought that his brother grew in power – but, but perhaps it was only him. Then he'd shake the thought away – of course his brother survived, he only need awaken him when he felt his brother was powerful once more. First, first though he had to kill the 8th Digi-Destined who was supposed to be able to kill him.
Then he found the truth – Gatomon, his loyalist minion, was the Digi-Destined partner digimon. He had no doubt Wizardmon was in on this – the two had been close since their first meeting. It was with regret he watched Wizardmon die, and in fury (why did he have to loose someone else? Both betrayed him – and Serif…Serif could be…no, no he wasn't – couldn't be…) he attacked, and that was the mistake – for he found he faced Angewomon and Angemon – it would indeed be his doom, to face them alone.
As he felt himself dissolving into bits of data (a familiar sensation, one he knew the meaning of) he flung his mind out as a net – searching for someone who was as desperate as he was. It was Yukio Oikawa he found – with the offer (for there must be a offer, a suggestion – and it had to be accepted, and granted or he would be found out – sensed, and killed for sure) to see the Digital World, Myotismon hid away inside the human, gaining strength and sheltering – clinging – to the little bit of his brother that was left.
From the shell of the human, he plotted, manipulated – and put to work a way to get back to the Digital World, the answer to awaken his brother had to lay between the two worlds…lost in his madness, he did not know that it was power he clung to – not his brother.
"Wizardmon?" The timid voice of Gatomon called out, pleadingly, it was years later – and while she had looked in the Digital World for him, now she knew he might be here - a ghost in a tower.
"Hello, Gatomon." Wizardmon's voice was soft, like a whisper.
"Wizardmon! H-how can you still be here? Are you trapped?" She asked, he shook his head.
"No, Gatomon, I am where I am meant to be. I made a mistake, Gatomon. You must promise me you will do what you can to correct it." The digimon pleaded with her, and slowly – taking a shaky breath, she nodded her agreement.
"My mistake is with my past. I once shared a body with another soul – he was my twin, but I wanted to have the freedom of my own body – we had not been born in the same body and were not meant to share one. It was a slow process, gaining my own body – I lost my ability to speak mentally with him – for a time I forgot myself. Forgot that I was Serif, twin to Stagi. Then I saw you, and followed you – it was when I died I remembered who my twin was – Stagi is Myotismon." Wizardmon did not flinch to hear her gasp.
"You must kill him, Gatomon, he is…isn't who he was. He was a human soul pushed into the body of a digimon, overwhelmed by a digimons nature and instinct. Please, do this for me?" He begged and Gatomon blinked back tears, nodding.
"You will find him in time, and know him - but…be careful, and know that I will always watch over you…" Wizardmon – Serif – faded, when the end came – he did not know what would become of him, or of what was left of Stagi…
In the end, he smiled as he faded, he thought he saw a tear fall from Gatomon's eye and hoped she would be well, I am the Wanderer…