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the grey ocean

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This story contains a good bit of suggestive content. Reader discretion advised. Best if you read the cold wind first.

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the grey ocean

by Sameshima Shuzumi

To tell you the truth, the first time I met him, I wanted to break him.

Feelings like that should be scary to your average fourteen year old boy, but Iíve lived with Cyberdramon. When your worst enemy lurks inside your digimon partner, very few things frighten you.

I saw him watching me. It was like hot sunlight on my neck, warming my bandana. He didnít want me to know, but you canít get that kind of thing past me. Even if you did, Cyberdramon would notice. I only turn my back on those too weak to harm me.

I ignored it at first. Takato-kun was asking all sorts of questions, and frankly I was reluctant to give him answers. Whatever dimension youíre in, tangling with the Holy Beasts isnít for amateurs. I wanted to make sure they got out all right.

Then Cyberdramon leaned down and shot the thought into my mind. /He was looking./

I replayed the scene and realized that he had been. Lee, heíd given as his name. Jenrya, heíd added, cool grey eyes holding a touch of nerves.

Nerves. Hah. I heard him, just as I fell asleep, speaking to the others about me. Even in my exhausted state, I heard the admiration in his voice. The concern.

And thatís when it really hit me. Something about the intelligence in his eyes, the way the wind ruffled his hair, the smoothness of his gait which hinted at athleticism. It was a shadow of a memory, but more clear to me was what he stood for. This boy had not known war. He smelled of family, home, duty. Everything I wanted and loathed. My only home is the Digital World. My only duty is to protect it.

So, yes, it was with a touch of hatred that I considered the ways to break that docility. It was a good thing Iíd spent some time with the other two boys, unaccustomed as I was to dealing with other human beings. I go through the motions of being pleasant fairly well. Putting on a game face is as important as putting on my gauntlets. And donít get me wrong, my concern for their safety is real. Anything in the Digital World is under my protection. Anything innocent, that is.

That was the other part of the equation. Thereís a recklessness in the girl, Ruki, which Iíve seen in those who are going to get killed. Takato-kun is also too easily lead by his heart. The others even less sure of themselves. But Lee... he sees the bigger picture. He understands that this is shaping into a war. Yet he does not want to fight.

I even called him on it, when we were alone in the mansion. He was a little startled that Iíd noticed. Soon enough, his grey eyes calmed and his voice turned thoughtful and quiet as he answered my questions. His only concession to his interest was the way he stood close, like a moth leaning into a flame. I ruffled his hair and said something complimentary, just to draw him in. He kept his cool and just stepped closer, unintimidated.

Of all the kids, I think he would stand the best chance of surviving this world with just himself and his digimon.

Thatís why heís so frightened.

Oh, I see it. The waters are placid on the surface, but his gaze is everywhere, calculating, weighing, pondering the import of their little adventure. Itís why Cyberdramon warned me. /He was looking./

Which means he saw through me.

For that alone I wanted to break him. Open him up and make him feel. Hold him down and make him admit he knew, admit he saw, admit he wanted me.

...why not? Digimon are foggy mirrors of their partners. Doesnít it strike you as odd that my digimon partner is Cyberdramon?

That was before I kissed him.

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I had not yet decided if I would accompany the others on the Ark. After all, the Digital World was in danger. I would have betrayed so many to leave them to their fight. So when he looked at me again with all that care and concern, asking about the gauntlet I had lost to the D-Reaper, the deep well of resentment bubbled up into a boil. With Cyberdramon to shield me, I touched him. I pressed my lips to his...

And...

There is a saying. A sword will always lose to the ocean.

I pulled away before I could devour, I loosened my grip before I could squeeze. He was dazed, and willing, and yes, I could have broken him right there, if not in body then in spirit. But I realized then, that his fear didnít make him a coward. Perhaps... he was stronger than me. It takes more strength to submit, than to continuously fight.

Confused, I murmured a promise to see him again. I wanted to know if it was true, if there was a chance for me to renew myself.

I ended up going with them. One does not argue with Holy Beasts.

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Iíve spent hours by the ocean, as Monodramon plays in the dunes. Thereís not many isolated beaches left on this side of the island, but with my digimon no place is inaccessible. Iíve felt the rumblings from my adopted world, and I know the time for battle is drawing near once more.

For now, I stare at the sea. I watch its faces change with the wind and the sun. I think of grey eyes, and I wonder what they see.


OWARI


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