A/N: Hiya everyone. :D As part of the Too Many Cooks Challenge on the Digimon Fanfiction Challenges Forum, The Light's Refrain (Light) and I are working on a drabble collection each that serves as a sequel to her fic "Preceeding Overwrite". While you don't need any prior knowledge of Preceeding Overwrite (since between us we'll explain everything in due course), but to get the full experience out of these drabbles you should read Light's "Commencing Overwrite" as well.
The Too Many Cooks Challenge is when two people share a plot and take turns writing drabbles that are compliant with each other using prompts from their partner until one of them gets written into a corner. This means that, while neither of our drabble collections are written in a continuous manner, they both exist in the same 'verse and have a solid overarching plot. She's covering the Tamers side of things; I'm covering the Frontier side. The 01/02 digidestined are also expected to crop up – though when depends on where our drabbles take us. Each drabble is engineered to tell a little more of the story – think of it as a massive jigsaw puzzle. :D Some will be tame and cutesy, others will be quite dramatic. Whatever pops up depends on whatever prompt Light gives me and whatever my muse plans to do with it.
Updates will be unpredictable, because we're taking turns writing drabbles. Light did the first one; this is the second. She'll do the third and so forth. So our updates depend on each other as much as they depend on ourselves this time. :D
"Data Fragment" as titling the drabbles is Light's idea, btw. All credit for that goes to her. :D
Data Fragment 1: Illness
Waiting times at Shibuya had grown even longer since their adventures in the Digital World, but Koichi had collected enough experience to know to bring a book along in wait. His mother usually just dropped him off as well, but Kousei was more tentative and had insisted on coming along.
That left him trying to keep pace with his son's reading speed, an impossible feat despite the practise he got from skimming research papers every other day. But he was an adult and had learnt patience, even in a waiting room that seemed more chaotic than he had imagined. The nurse behind the counter seemed the worst off, the poor woman almost in tears as her computer refused to cooperate for the second time – or the second time Kousei had seen anyway; he had seen her reboot it once already.
It became clear a little later – thanks to some cursing from impatient patients and apologetic explanations from a senior nurse who had come to assist – that the computer problem was an ongoing one.
'About seven weeks ago, the life-support equipment was going haywire,' Koichi said suddenly, having gotten distracted from his book. His eyes had narrowed somewhat; it was his way of showing sympathy, Kousei noted, although someone less familiar would probably mistake it for something else. 'They haven't changed much since then.'
'Who hasn't?' Kousei's eyes left the desk and focused upon his son. Koichi wore a contemplative expression: not one he'd ever seen on Koji's face, but he was starting to get used to seeing it on the elder twin. Subtle differences – that he had lost nine years in seeing. And some things he shouldn't have had to see at all, like the red scar where the other had hit his head on the unforgiving ground, and the too tired eyes.
'The doctors and nurses,' Koichi replied, before adding: 'I can't imagine how it would be to work in that sort of environment, when everything's against you and all you're trying to do is save someone.' A hand came up unconsciously to shield eyes from a non-existent glare.
'Is your head hurting?' Kousei asked, concerned.
'Hmm? Oh…no.' Koichi lowered his hand. 'Not really; just a little dizzy.'
'Shouldn't you lie down or something? Or – ' Kousei cut himself off as the other just leaned back in his chair. 'You're sure you're okay?'
'Mmm-hmm,' the other replied, blinking slowly at the ceiling, as though trying to decide something. 'It happens occasionally,' he said after a pregnant pause. 'Dizzy spells, I mean. It would be too much to hope for to do something –' He searched for a word and failed, running over it instead. ' – and come away with nothing.'
Listening to that made Kousei slightly uncomfortable, and not simply because he had missed so much of his elder son's life. But the hospital setting – with people still grumbling and the computer still slowing things down – invited no casual conversation. The only things that ran through his mind were those which had been said in that very room. Head injuries, sicknesses, computer viruses, equipment failure –
The thought struck him suddenly, and his heart skipped a beat. 'Seven weeks ago was when you –' he began.
The other's eyes froze mid-blink.
'You weren't – were you?' Kousei didn't know why his voice was shaking. His son was in no danger now, after all. But somehow, the idea of such a close shave made even finer chilled his blood.
'I don't know,' Koichi said, after a brief pause and sounding much the same as his father felt. 'I suppose Koji would.'
Kousei wondered if he wanted to ask his younger son. Whether he could.
'Though Koji would say "no" either way,' Koichi said. Which was the truth, but did nothing to abate either of their new worries – or the old as the Doctor, some hours late, finally called Koichi for his appointment.