Title: What's In A Name
Characters: Ken, Wormmon
Chapters: One||Words: 1,207||Total: 1,207
Genre: Drama, Friendship||Rated: G
Challenges: Diversity Writing, Digimon Adventure 02, alternate/divergent canon: H10, 6+ chapters; Digimon Partners Boot Camp, Ken & Wormmon, #36, absolution; Include The Word Boot Camp,#26, alike; Character Diversity Boot Camp, #21, regret (Ken)
Notes: This is a bit of a rewrite/behind the scenes concerning Ken & Wormmon's reunion and Wormmon's first evolution to Stingmon.
Summary: Ken's no longer the Kaiser. It's a new beginning, for him and for Wormmon.

Ken stared down at the keyboard. Or more accurately, he stared at the device and the little thing next to it. In the back of his head, he knew what at least one of them was. The other one he wasn't sure about, but both of them belonged to him.

Didn't they?

He slowly extended one hand and brushed the tips of his fingers against the device – it was black and touching it brought flickers of thoughts that terrified him. Rage colored most of them, a rage that didn't feel like a part of him.

Or maybe it did. He wasn't sure. It felt right and wrong all at the same time and he wasn't sure of what to think about it. The rage was more of a memory instead of something he felt. He remembered being furious about so much, hating everyone that he saw, and yet he couldn't remember why. Why had he hated them? Why had he always been so angry?

Slowly his fingers slipped around the device, while he picked the rectangular object up and stared at it. It was pink and there was a design on it that he thought he should recognize and yet he didn't.

A stranger in his own skin. A visitor in his own home. He knew that he belonged here; this was where he lived with his parents. But he didn't feel like he belonged here. None of this felt right.

He'd been somewhere. He'd picked up that much from his parents – he'd run away or gone somewhere and they hadn't known where he was for months. They'd tried to ask, with gentle voices, where he'd gone, and apologized so much for what they'd done before. But he couldn't be angry with them. He was too tired.

Not the exhaustion that kept him asleep those days after he returned from where he'd been before, wherever that was. But something else altogether. He didn't think he'd be angry with anyone else ever again. Being angry took up so much energy and he didn't have that anymore.

I wish I could tell them where I've been. I wish I knew where I'd been. He turned the two items over in his hands. They had to mean something to him. Only right now, he didn't have the faintest idea on what.

The device began to glow. Ken jerked back, eyes widening and mouth opening. At the same moment, his computer turned itself on. He glanced toward the screen, confused, but he only had time enough to realize there was some sort of strange program starting up before the light enveloped him and he couldn't see anything else.

Movement. He moved, without wanting to. He gripped both device and item hard in his hands. They were all that he had, even if he didn't know why he had them, and he wasn't going to give them up.

When the light cleared and he could see again, he hadn't the faintest idea of where he was. It looked as if he were inside. There were walls a distance away – the room was, or had been, pretty large. A chair was in front of him, but it had been thrown to one side. He slowly turned around and blinked when he saw a setup of monitors there. They were all cracked and broken, and when he looked harder, one of them had fallen to the floor.

In the very depths of his soul, where the ashes of that rage glowed and burned, something hissed. This had been his. It was what he'd had that was his and only his and someone had destroyed it.

But he could not bring himself to do anything other than stare at it, because just the memories of that rage made him want to sink to his knees and scream. Wherever this place was, it wasn't where he wanted to be.

So he started to walk. There was an exit in one of the walls and he made his way there, carefully peering outward. The whole area was unnaturally quiet. It didn't feel right. Images too vague and disconnected to be called memories told him that there should have been other noises. But what made those noises?

He didn't know. Would he ever know? Would he ever get back the memories of where he'd been all this time?

Carefully he made his way through the halls he found outside, his feet taking him without asking or needing directions from his brain. In due course – perhaps half an hour or so – he found himself outside. A desert stretched in all directions and when he looked behind himself, he could see that he'd emerged from what looked to be a crashed ship of some kind.

The fortress, a passing thought murmured, falling away to be momentarily replaced by, my fortress. It faded as fast as the first one had, and Ken hurried away. He wanted his memories back. This place held some of them – memories that he wanted nothing at all to do with.

He spied a flash of green in the distance and headed that way. He wasn't sure of why. It just seemed better to go there than to wander off into the desert without any water.

Ken wasn't sure if he wanted to go home. Not just yet, anyway. Going back wouldn't return any of his memories. He'd spent a couple of days with his parents and he was fairly sure he liked them. They seemed like good people. He vaguely recalled what it had been like before. He remembered Osamu and the fact that his brother had -

That he flinched away from. He knew it. He couldn't have not known it. But he didn't want to think about it. So instead he looked around and tried to figure out where he was.

This was where he'd been. He could not have explained how he knew, but it could only be true. A place different from any other. A place that conjured up faint memories of riding through it on some kind of fierce creature, its fierceness tamed to his will somehow.

Another image flickered – a simple ring with circuit lines on it. Then, a more complex image: a spiral. Both were crafted of the same metal. Ken shuddered merely at the thought and wished he could wipe those memories away.

Some things, he determined, should not be remembered.

Above him rose the trees, tall and green – and sometimes other colors, such as purple and blue and shades of red and orange – with leaves of varying size and shapes covering the area. He could spy a few things that he thought were fruits but he didn't reach for them. One, he thought, would be poisonous. Another didn't taste good, not to him.

How did he know those things? He must have learned it when he was here before.

Perhaps he'd have another flicker of a thought? Another faint image that he might not fully understand?

Only he didn't. Nothing at all. Only the slow realization of the existence of a deep hole in the center of himself, a hole that swallowed every emotion except unending confusion and a sorrow that he feared learning the reason for.

To Be Continued

Notes: I wrote this as a late gift for KrazieKat/healingmichiko. Also, the story is finished and so I will update it regularly every week.