Into Darkness Shall I Fall
Part 4 - Requiem for the Gods
by Meimi


Standard disclaimers apply.

SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers for 02 (that's season 2 for the uninitiated) up to and including the episodes involving the first appearance of the Crest of Kindness.

SHONEN AI WARNING: This is a shonen ai fic and contains within it romantic themes and hints of an intimate relationship between two male characters. If this disturbs you in any way PLEASE do not continue reading. And yes, I am sick and twisted, thanks for asking.


The Digital World: a wild, primitive world made entirely out of code. But wasn't all reality based upon one code or another, be it genetic, molecular or digital? There really was no difference, a fact he should have seen sooner. It would have been his vast Empire of Folly and he, its Kaiser of Death... or at least, that had been the plan. Events had just simply transpired against him, something he was quite thankful for now.

He had wanted, no, had needed to own it completely. And once he had had it, he would have held it all in the palm of his hand and wrung out every single drop of blood that he knew lurked just beneath the sand, within the ground and the water and even the very air itself. He could smell the stomach churning odor of it even now, could taste the faint metallic tang in the back of his throat.

He had wanted this corrupt world, the product of a freak twist in reality that had been born from that creation of humankind known as the computer. How could it not be corrupt? Everything humans touched was corrupted in one manner or another.

Then again, maybe he was just too cynical and twisted for his own good, or anyone else's for that matter. Well, either that or he really was psychotic, and wouldn't that be fun.

Didn't he have these very same thoughts recently though? Perhaps not with the exact same wording, but with the same intent. It was the same bitter regard that had sent him into madness in the first place. So why did he keep coming back to this point? He knew better, yet inevitably he would return nonetheless. When had his life becomes such an inescapable circle of despair? He just didn't know.

He was in that place again, dreaming again. That was assuming it was just a dream. It could be something else, though he had no clue what. Everything had always been strange since he had received the digivice, he could never quite figure out what was real and what wasn't until it was usually too late.

This felt real, but that didn't tell him much. Many things had felt real before and had turned out to be mere illusions. It was hot, sweltering. He could feel the sun beating down on him, as if it were a living thing bent on burning everything to ash. A breeze brushed against his cheek, but did nothing to relieve him from the heat. He could smell the dead, cracked earth below and the dust that arose from it.

It was the desert again, he knew without even having to open his eyes. He had known even before he could identify the sensations he felt. He knew it was the same desert from before and that's why he didn't want to look. He knew someone else was waiting for him. All he had to do was open his eyes and then he would see who it was. And it scared him, because he knew it was someone who shouldn't be there. It was someone who was dead.

"Don't you hate it here sometimes?"

The voice sent a shiver up his spine. It was one he hadn't heard in a long time, but one he had missed terribly all the same, even if he hadn't remembered who it belonged to at times. The tone was casual, making the question seem as if it wasn't quite so bitter. Ken knew better than that though, he had always had a way of making deadly serious situations seem like a walk in the park. He had always hated it when Ken worried.

Ken opened his eyes slowly, feeling a little thrill of happiness as he focused on the teenage boy sitting at the edge of the cliff with his back to him. Ryo. It had been so long since Ken had seen him, but yet at the same time it felt as if time hadn't passed at all. Or perhaps, it had simply passed him by without his noticing. It still felt... good to see him.

Ryo looked the same as he always had. Though that was no surprise, Kageko had looked the same too. He knew they were both dead, but his mind refused to acknowledge it. He wanted the illusion, or whatever it was, for the little time he could have it. It was worth it just to see Ryo wearing that silly looking military style shirt and those old cargo pants again. His hair was just as messy as it had always been, though it had never been as wild as- ... well, it had always been more contained than certain others'.

Ryo shifted as Ken watched, drawing his right leg up and resting his chin on his knee. He didn't turn to look back at Ken, didn't give any indication that he knew he was there other than the question from before. Then, Ryo asked again, "Don't you?"

"Sometimes, though it's more me than it," Ken answered finally as he mulled over the significance of the subject. The Digital World had been one of the very few things they had had in common, but sometimes it hadn't been a fun place to be. At times, it had been far more dangerous than he had wanted to admit. Ryo and Kageko had been there for him though, so it hadn't been too bad. It had been very different afterwards... very lonely.

"Everything about yourself that you hate the Digital World did to you," Ryo said blandly as he picked a rock up off of the ground and tossed it out to fall to the ground far below.

Ken frowned and walked over to his old friend, settling himself gingerly down on the edge of the cliff. If he ever wanted to try flying, or dying, this would be the perfect place to do it. The empty desert stretched to the horizon, a vast expanse of familiar nothing. "Not everything," he said at last, wincing at the memories of the vicious jealousy that had burned within him whenever his parents had ignored him in favor of Osamu.

Ryo simply grunted in response and tossed another rock out, watching it fall for the scant few seconds before it faded from view. "I hate it here," he said rather forcefully after a moment's pause. He flicked his gaze over at Ken for a second before looking back out at the desert of nothing below.

Ken blinked in surprise at that. Ryo had always seemed to like the Digital World. Whenever he was here-... there, he had always been less concerned about appearing to be a dork to other people, his own words, and had just enjoyed being himself for a change. It had seemed so much better there than it had been for them in the real world. It was a freedom, of sorts, that they couldn't find anywhere else. So what had happened to alter that? What had changed? "Why?" Ken asked curiously.

Ryo answered him with a defeated sigh, "There's no choice left. It takes everything away and gives you nothing in return."

"Oh, I don't know," Ken murmured as he drew his right leg up and rest his chin upon his knee, unconsciously mimicking Ryo's position. He squinted his eyes as he gazed out across the barren desert and towards the horizon. Back then he used to wonder what lay beyond it and all the things that he would see if he just journeyed far enough. In that not so distant past, the Ken who had existed hadn't been ruled by fear, had in fact been curious about the wonderful new world they had been brought to. Funny how things can change, how people can change so swiftly. That Ken was long gone, gone to dust, with only a fool of a monster to take his place.

"You don't know?" Ryo looked at Ken as if he had gone mad, an apt word to describe his actions since they had last parted. Well, the ones that he could remember at the very least. "What's there not to know?"

"Is the Digital World really the sole thing responsible from our 'fall from grace'?" Ken asked conversationally as he flicked his gaze from his friend to the desert and back again. "Isn't it what we wanted really? To escape from the misery that was our lives back home even if for just a little while?"

Ryo snorted derisively. "That's your idea of an escape? Two of us dead here, another casualty in the real world, and then, of course, there was you, Ken." Ryo eyes turned cold and dead as he continued, "You went insane from what Millenniumon did to you. You lost yourself thanks to this damned place. And you're even more lost now than you were before."

Ken frowned as he tried to figure out what Ryo meant in regards to what Millenniumon had done to him. There had been the many, many battles and the fear that they might not survive through to the next, but that didn't seem to be dire enough to drive him to 'insanity'. Actually, now that he thought about it, nothing he could remember seemed to fit into an equation involving Millenniumon and his own insanity. "What do you mean when you say what Millenniumon did to me? What did he do to me?" Ken asked suspiciously.

"You don't remember," Ryo said evenly, making it sound more like a fact that he already had knowledge of than a possible question. "Hmm, maybe that's for the best then."

"There are a lot of things that I don't remember," Ken ground out. He certainly liked seeing Ryo again, but he did not like having his chain yanked yet again over these ever elusive memories that he had no recollection of. "And you know what? I'm starting to get the impression that not remembering at this point is a bad thing."

Ryo laughed outright at Ken's change of mood. "You sound just like Osamu now. He always hated it when people hedged around things that he really wanted to know. He was very impatient in that regard."

Blinking in surprised at Ryo's comment on his behavior, Ken searched quickly for a response that he didn't consider loaded, "Yes... yes, he was. Though, it wasn't just people that annoyed him as far as that was concerned. He was just as annoyed when my digivice showed up as when you two first tried to discuss the Digital World without getting into another hours long argument. Which you failed to avoid, I might add."

"We were always arguing about one thing or another," Ryo smiled sadly as he spoke of what they both considered happier memories. "If we weren't arguing about something, we were getting ready to argue. I think the only times we actively avoided trying to set each other off was whenever Kageko was around. There are only so many times the male ego can stand being called a complete and utter idiot by the same girl."

"She never called me an idiot," Ken sniffed haughtily as he attempted to push the nastier emotions from before into the background. This brief moment wouldn't last forever. He knew that. He shouldn't spoil what little time they had left together.

"That's because you were a cute, little kid who could do no wrong in her eyes," Ryo said teasingly as he nudged playfully at Ken with his elbow. "And don't tell me you didn't use that to your advantage. I was there. I saw it all."

"Now now, you weren't there for everything," Ken blurted out before his mind caught up with his tongue. He winced at the shadows of pain his words caused to appear in the depths of Ryo's eyes. Ryo always did have this effect on him, causing him to forget to think carefully before opening his mouth. He had forgotten. "I'm sorry, that didn't come out the way I meant it to."

"No need to apologize. It is the truth after all." Ryo turned his gaze back out to the wastelands below, as if by doing so he could distance himself from all the past mistakes and hurt feelings that still weighed heavily on both of their souls. "I wasn't always there for you or Kageko or even Osamu. And we all died because of it."

"Not all of us," Ken said quietly in rebuttal, "I'm still here."

"Why is that?" Ryo asked as he climbed to his feet, uncaring of how precarious his perch had been. He scowled slightly down at his pants as he attempted to brush off some of the dusty dirt that had accumulated on them during their conversation. It was obviously a question he didn't expect Ken to have the answer to as he asked another more specific one a moment later, "Do you really want to stay here?"

However, Ken found both questions to be equally baffling. "I don't understand," he muttered, feeling almost as if he were a little kid again who just couldn't understand the big people no matter how hard he tried. "What are you trying to get at?"

"You don't have to stay here Ken," Ryo explained as he offered his hand to the best friend he had unwittingly left behind years ago. "You don't have to be alone anymore. You can come join us."

Ken's eyes widened in shocked horror as it all clicked into place and he truly understood what Ryo was offering him. It was the same as it had been with Kageko, and yet somehow completely different. He supposed it was because they had never gone about doing things the same way. "I-I can't," he said, grasping for the words even as he tried his best not to stumble over them as he spoke, "I have responsibilities."

"So did I," Ryo smiled kindly as he took his hand back, physically retracting his offer as he spoke, "You'd be surprised at how insignificant those supposed responsibilities become when it's time to go." Turning slightly, he lost his smile as he looked out across the land below. "It's like nothing you've ever experienced before. It's a freeing of everything, a freedom we could never find in this life and one this world would never let us have."

"I don't want that," Ken murmured, shying his emotions away as best he could from the actual subject they were discussing. "I don't deserve it either."

"Don't be ridiculous. You deserve a lot more than you'll give yourself credit for," Ryo argued, waving his left hand in the air as if to brush the thought of what Ken did and did not deserve out of existence. "And I know you're lying about not wanting it. You've tried before."

Ken scowled, it was true in a sense but he doubted it had been that simple. "I don't even remember the majority of that, much less anything else from around that time. I don't even have scars to show that it did happen. But that's beside the point, you and I both know that it had to be something much more serious than just me wanting to die to get to that point."

"All right, you win on that point." Ryo chuckled and smiled again as he looked back down at Ken. "I'm afraid it's almost time to go now. Since you don't want to come with me I guess all I can do is give you this," Ryo said sadly as he searched around in the many pockets of his cargo pants. After a few moments of fishing, he pulled a violet tinged crystal out of one of the bigger pockets. "Here we go. This is yours. You should have it back now." With that, Ryo reached over and deposited the crystal into Ken's right hand before he could come up with a suitable argument.


They had only just returned from their search for the pieces of the Digimental of Kindness when Gennai had pulled Kageko off to the side and started discussing something with her in a hushed tone. Ken would have been hurt by getting left out in the lurch yet again had Kageko not insisted on stopping by Nanomon's Server to see if any digimon of note had shown up before heading back to Gennai's house. Strangely enough, Nanomon had been more than agreeable to foisting a Tokomon off on them. Ken certainly wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth since Kageko had handed it to him with the excuse that she and vaccines just didn't get along all that well.

He knew that her real reasons were more along the lines of wanting him to have better protection than just Wormmon, but he was too thrilled by her giving him a digimon to tame to be concerned by them. Wormmon didn't seem to be bothered by it too much, he was Ken's real partner after all. Besides, the Tokomon had already given him something of an acknowledging sniff already and was now happily trundling around Ken's feet in what seemed to be contentment.

"All right, it shouldn't be too hard to do."

Ken perked up as Kageko's voice finally broke over the hushed conversation. They had apparently come to some sort of agreement because Gennai shuffled off muttering about needing to get some supplies from the shops in town. Kageko shook her head in bemusement at him before joining Ken.

"Gennai want me to help him build something he's calling a Reload Machine," she explained as she knelt down and scratched his new Tokomon behind the ears. "We should be able to use it to get in contact with Ryo, but it's going to take most of the night to build. Will you be okay on your own for that long?"

"Sure," Ken chirped, pleased that Kageko's thoughts on his ability to take care of himself seemed to be shifting. "You don't need any help do you?"

"Nah, I'm sure it'll be fine. Though, I'll probably end up getting a massive headache from the wiring," she admitted ruefully. "I'd much rather deal with the prissiness of a rose bush than the asinine way most computers around here are wired."

"Oh, okay," Ken blinked in curiosity at her words. Sometimes Kageko used the strangest terms to describe stuff. "We'll be fine."

"Well," Kageko began as Libra popped out from behind her and strolled over towards the living room couch, "Libra's tired so she's going take a nap in here. Just wake her up and tell her to sniff me out if you need anything."

"Are you sure that's a good idea?" Ken asked warily, not sounding too thrilled at the possibility of waking up a sleeping adult digimon who had just a week ago smacked Ryo but good for blocking the sunlight in her favorite snooze spot. Ryo really should have known better than to put yet another piece of old computer hardware that he planned to tinker with in that particular spot.

"She won't take your head off. Promise. Right dear?" Libra's only reply was an almost inaudible grumble as she curled up on the couch. Kageko chuckled, and said reassuringly as she stood up, "Don't worry Ken, she wouldn't hurt you. You're not anywhere near as annoying as she thinks Ryo is."

"Gennai said Nanimon will bring dinner by for us later, so you don't need to worry about that either," Kageko informed him as she stretched. Her muscles would be stiff enough soon from having to hunch over while putting together Gennai's machine. She didn't need to start off the project with any kinks.

"'kay." Ken smiled cheerfully as Kageko reached over and ruffled his hair before heading off into one of the back rooms. He waited several minutes to make sure she wouldn't come back before he looked over at the couch and asked, "Libra, are you still awake?"

Not even twitching a whisker in acknowledgment, she answered simply, "Yes."

"Is it true Kageko doesn't really get along well with vaccines?" Ken asked carefully, hoping Libra wouldn't take any offense at his questioning of Kageko's reason for not wanting to take care of the Tokomon.

"She already told you that, but yes, she would much rather prefer to tame a virus or a data," Libra grumbled, one golden eye opening to a mere slit to glare balefully at him.

"Why doesn't she like them?" Ken asked curiously as he bent down and scratched his Tokomon behind the ear in the same place Kageko had.

"It's not a question of whether she likes them personally or not. It's rather their basic nature that annoys her," Libra explained as her eyelid slid closed once again. "They share the same nature as viruses. They're just named differently and have a different stated purpose. It really is much the same though and so it's more like a half-truth than anything else and you know how she gets about the truth."

"Oh." That made sense, sort of. He knew that in the real world vaccines were simply made from the viruses they were meant to prevent, so it was probably the same way with computer viruses, or something similar at least. And Kageko tended to like stating things the way they really were instead of hiding behind silly pretenses, as she had put it on several occasions. Thus, she'd most likely prefer actual viruses to something that was pretty much the same thing with just a different name tagged onto it.


The trek through Millenniumon's floating continent had seemed like an unending battle. Every time they thought they'd have a chance to rest there would be yet another group of enemy digimon right around the corner to fight. It was almost over now, though. The path through the last server had spiraled ever inward as they had fought their way through until there was only one possible place left to go: the center.

There was a door barring their path, just one single metal door, dark and forbidding. Once he might have found it frightening, but that was before Millenniumon's war against the Digital World had bled the fear out of him until all that was left was pure exhaustion. He was so tired. All that he wanted to do was go back to Gennai's house and collapse for a week or two, but he couldn't. There was still one battle left to fight.

Kageko leaned tiredly against her Devidramon, Loki, one of the twin Pagumon she had rescued from Millenniumon's army. They had hooked their D-3s together to scan the door for any possible booby traps. The process took some time, but it had to be done. They couldn't afford any more injuries before the final battle. As it was, Libra and Wormmon were the only digimon that didn't sport any injuries. Ken hadn't allowed Wormmon to even fight because he still couldn't evolve. Libra, on the other hand, had avoided injury because her speed was phenomenal in her Valkyramon evolution.

Ken's Holy Angemon and Angewomon had specifically been targeted by a Piemon and a Vamdemon respectively once they had reached the final server. They hadn't come out of that unscathed, but at least they had made it through the fights without getting deleted. Loki and Savali, Kageko's Devidramon and Tekkamon, had suffered a similar type of attack when they had come up against a Metal Seadramon and a Pinocchimon, but they had managed to survive as well. They were tired and injured, but they knew that none of them could stop just yet.

Deciding that that train of thought needed to be derailed, Ken fought back a yawn and asked, "Do you think he's here?"

Kageko didn't even open her eyes as she answered, "It doesn't really matter, either he's in here in our half of the Digital World or he's in Ryo's. And where ever he is, we still have to fight the master of this continent to free our half."

"I guess," Ken muttered, more to himself than anybody else. He smiled when his Angewomon reached down and gave him a reassuring pat on the shoulder. She and his Holy Angemon cared about him, he knew, even if they weren't his permanent partner like Wormmon. Before he had ever come to the Digital World, no one had really cared much about how he felt, but since then he had found Kageko, Ryo and their digimon and even his own. They all cared a great deal about him, and as horrible as the fight against Millenniumon had gotten, part of him wished it didn't have to end. Once it was over, he'd have to go home and leave his digimon behind and that was just something he wasn't sure he could do.

I really need to think about something else, Ken thought as he shook his head. "Do you think Ryo's okay?" he asked, once again trying to derail his thought processes.

"I'm sure he's fine. He's probably made it to the same place by now. There's certainly been enough time for him to fight his way through," Kageko said through a yawn as she reached up to scratched Loki on the snout. During their last talk with Ryo through the Reload Machine they had decided that twin assaults on the floating continent in both halves of the Digital World would be best. If Millenniumon could shift himself between both halves then at least there would be someone in both places to fight him. It wasn't the greatest plan they had ever come up with, but it had seemed like the best course of action at the time. They were all more than tired of beating back Millenniumon's army again and again.

It was time to finish it.


It had not in fact been Millenniumon who had waited for them behind the great metal door, it had been a Mugen Dramon and an Apocalymon. Neither had felt the need to waste their breath on their foes and had simply attacked. All of their digimon had been hard pressed to keep from getting deleted. Angewomon had actually suffered what should have been a deathblow from Apocalymon when the battlefield became awash with the light of two evolution. When the light died down, a Freymon and Holy Dramon hovered where Libra and Angewomon had been.

It had still been an unfair fight, but an unfair fight they had somehow weathered. Apocalymon had eventually fallen to the combined efforts of Libra, Holy Angemon and Holy Dramon before they had turned their ire to Mugen Dramon. With all of their digimon attacking Mugen Dramon at the same time, Ken had thought it would be over quickly. It should have been.

Mugen Dramon had laughed as he carelessly swatted Loki away, sending the Devidramon tumbling back into Holy Dramon. "Do you really think you can win?"

"You understand nothing," he hissed then, backing away from the advancing Holy Angemon. "Breaking the Digital World in half separates everything into twos. Everything." Backing away even further, he dropped his metal jaw in what must have been his form of a grin as he continued, "It has been amusing watching you act in my grand play. And I must admit, you surpassed my wildest expectations getting here, both you and Ryo. Oh yes, Ryo, even now he battles against my other self. He would win, and so would you, if I were not who I am."

Ken could only stare in confusion as Kageko spat venomously, "You split yourself in half again, didn't you, you son of a bitch?"

"You always did catch on quick, my dear," Mugen Dramon laughed, "But yes, you are correct. Chimeramon in one half of the Digital World and Mugen Dramon in the other, both halves of the same whole. It was rather poetic, if I do say so myself."

"Get ready Ken," Kageko murmured. But get ready for what? Ken really wasn't sure what was going to happen now. He knew that Millenniumon was actually a jogress of a Chimeramon and Mugen Dramon, this one apparently. Were they going to join back together? How were they going to do that if they were in separate worlds?

"Yes, it's time to bring it all back together," Mugen Dramon said quietly as he began to glow with an unearthly light. "And how fitting to bring it all crashing down onto the desert of our beginning."

Ken covered his eyes as the light grew brighter and brighter until it was blinding, and still it continued to grow. And then, the floor began to shake and a deafening roar filled the air. He thought he could hear the walls cracking around them and the horrible rending sound of metal being torn apart, but he couldn't be sure as the roar grew louder and louder.

Arms wrapped around him then, pulling him up off of the quaking floor. A cool breath against his ear and Holy Angemon's voice brought an explanation of sorts. "We must fly. He is bringing the entire continent down."

There were many horrific things Ken had witnessed in the few times he had been to the Digital World, but they all seemed to pale in that instant. Nothing could quite compare in his mind to the awful sight of watching an entire continent shatter and fall and knowing that even with such devastation it was not over.

Maybe... it never would be over.


Well, that took, oh, almost a year to write. *facepalms* Okay, I will admit to being a lazy bitch at times, but I suppose nearly a year is a bit much. Apologies all around. I didn't mean for this particular plotbunny to languish so, but those were the results either way. Whoops!

Okay, what else... Oh! Ken's Holy Angemon and Angewomon are not Takeru and Hikari's. They're just a random Tokomon and Nyaromon that popped up for Ken to tame. Also, it's been asked before, but Libra, obviously at this point, is not the present Lady Devimon. Though, Koimon is a child and her adult form has not made an appearance yet.

Valkyramon and Freymon, Libra's perfect and ultimate forms, are actually original evolutions of my own making. I didn't get into describing either at this point as there will be other, better opportunities to do so later on in this particular fic universe. Assuming I can get off my ass to write the rest... *sighs*

I should also state that Vain is mostly to blame (again) for this part actually getting done. Though, *cough* I think she did mention the vampire fic first, but I didn't feel like writing vamp!Daisuke and *cough* certain other things from that fic. Maybe next time.