Whenever Kenta played RPGs of any kind, a general rule of thumb that most of the people he played with – or against – followed was to take out your enemy’s healer first. All very good strategy and he saw nothing at all wrong with it.
Until he wasn’t fighting an RPG, but actual Digimon that wanted to shred them into tiny pieces of quivering meat and he was the healer they had in their sights.
Still good strategy, but he saw a lot wrong with it now.
Especially since their target of choice on him was something he would very much prefer didn’t get shredded: his wings.
He dodged behind the nearest trashcan, tucking himself down as much as he could, hoping this would provide enough cover so he didn’t have to worry about his wings.
He didn’t even know what these Digimon were called. He hadn’t had enough time to check his Digivice, not with all the time that he spent keeping them from making it pointless. What he did know was that they were big, they were powerful, and they had large claws like scissors that made his wings itch in a very bad way.
“MarineAngemon?” he murmured, hoping his partner was around somewhere. He’d lost sight of the little guy in all the commotion. For that matter, he’d lost sight of just about everyone in all of this. He could hear battle cries and sounds of attacks and the air was thick with smoke, so he knew they were around somewhere. He just didn’t know where.
He didn’t get an answer. That worried him; he knew his partner was technically the strongest of them all, since he was the only one who came as an Ultimate instead of needing to evolve to it, but MarineAngemon was just so tiny and cute and his major purpose on a battlefield was to tidy up afterward, putting everyone back together.
He’s probably just hiding somewhere. There were lots of places someone that size could tuck down into and not worry about the enemy finding them.
That didn’t mean Kenta wasn’t going to worry about him, of course.
He closed his eyes, wanting a brief rest, and not sure if he could get it. He wasn’t going to nap; no one survived seven years as a Digimon Tamer and napped while they were fighting. But he wanted just to not see all of this carnage for a few minutes.
Kenta regretted closing his eyes just a handful of seconds later. He might not have seen the approaching Digimon if he’d kept them open, since it crept up from behind him, but … well, the point was that he didn’t see the Digimon.
Nor did he see their scissor claws rising upward and striking downward across his shoulders.
He felt it, though. There wasn’t any way that he could’ve missed that. The blow sent him stumbling across the alleyway, crashing against the far wall, with a streak of burning agony all through his wings, and feathers in shades of green – his feathers! - scattered now. He tried to get up, only to find that his legs didn’t want to work, and he figured out why almost at once, when another stripe of pain made itself known, this time across his knees.
Wings and knees. The quickest way to make a Flier unable to escape. Wings to keep them out of the air, knees to keep them from just running away from you.
These Digimon did their research. If it didn’t hurt so much he might’ve been mildly impressed. As well as if their research didn’t mean they were trying to kill him.
He hoped Ruki and Juri were all right. Juri didn’t often come out to the battlefield, but she was there now, hidden somewhere, waiting until someone needed a card she could get to them. Ruki and Renamon – he didn’t know where they were, but he expected them to be tearing through the enemy with their usual powerful teamwork.
Which was all well and good but it didn’t help him at all as he wriggled around to try to at least look his death in the eyes. He wondered what would happen to MarineAngemon, as the Digimon drew closer to him. They knew a human could carry on if their Digimon partner passed, but they’d never had it happen the other way around.
He didn’t really want it to be him. He didn’t want it to be any of them.
The Digimon started to drop their arm, aimed right for his throat, and Kenta kept on staring.
Pink bubbles obscured the view between him and it, and the agony in his wings and knees vanished almost at once. MarineAngemon hovered within his reach, trilling at him. Kenta blinked, starting to get to his feet mostly by instinct.
“Yeah, I’m all right. Thanks to you!”
Another trill and Kenta nodded, spreading his wings wide and leaping up into the air, mere seconds before the Digimon finished the strike momentarily halted by MarineAngemon's unexpected arrival. Kenta spun in a circle, looking for a place free of deathly Digimon, and spied Antiramon striding closer.
“This way!” He waved until Shuichon, perched on her partner’s shoulder, caught sight of him. “There’s one over here!”
He zipped toward a good hiding place as Antiramon came to finish his attacker off. He could panic about his near-death after the fight ended. His job on the battlefield was to keep out of sight until someone told him they or someone else needed help, so he spent a lot of time darting from place to place, trying to stay close to everyone and out of the way at the same time. Having wings helped with that. Once he had another hiding hole, he reached up to give MarineAngemon a grateful caress.
“You saved my life, partner. Thanks.” He didn’t know what he’d do without his tiny healer friend, and all things considered, he didn’t ever want to find out.