I'm still a tamer. I have my pride!

Seen 1 Day Ago
Posted November 24th, 2016
3,079 posts
10.6 Years
2 part chapter once again everybody. Enjoy.

Chapter 23.1: Vivid Recollection

Matt remained dumbstruck as he stared at his father. “D-Dad?” he asked hesitantly. TK saw and went to his brother’s side.

“Dad, what are you doing here… with…” the blond boy trailed off at the sight of the Digimon at his parent’s side.

"Matt, T.K," their father nodded politely at them and the rest of the Digi-Destined.

"Dad, why do you have Digimon?" Matt had recovered speech much faster than his brother. "You can't be a Digidestined too, can you?"

"I am. We are," Hiroaki answered, motioning to himself, Teela, Joshua and Miranda. "We came before even Sinead's group."

"Why... didn't you say anything?" TK looked torn between confusion and betrayal.

"I actually gave Matt a hint five years ago," Hiroaki replied cryptically. "Remember I told you to stay put with Gabumon when Myotismon took over the TV station?"

"A hint is not the same as the complete truth," Matt muttered coldly but at the same time he did understand.

"Stupid bozo," DemiDevimon snipped. He started to cackle, but Joshua glared at him.

Gabumon and Matt both bristled but TK gave him a warning look. Another Digi-Destined fight would not end well.

"I thought after all these years, you'd have learned to rein in that outrageous personality of yours," Joshua stared at DemiDevimon. "Did being deleted by VenomMyotismon do nothing to change that?"

"Nope not a bit," The Rookie cackled.

Gatomon spat at the ground; there was a bad aftertaste in her mouth for some reason. All that time she'd worked for Myotismon, she'd been with a Digi-Destined's Digimon and she didn't even know it. Stupid bat! She grumbled.

DemiDevimon took a guess at her thoughts and snickered. "Now you get it. Stupid furball. Should've figured it out earlier."

"Just try me," she growled, arching her claws. "Bowling ball with wings!"

"Okay okay!" Kari said hurriedly. "Don't fight now! We don't have time for this!"

Gatomon stood down instantly, but DemiDevimon was another story. The scarred Gazimon actually had to use his special attack, Electric Stun Blast, to knock the roguish Rookie unconscious.

"Um..." was all Kari could manage, looking a mixture of confused and vaguely irritated.

The Gazimon laughed, the sound a raspy noise. "Don't worry," he replied. "Little punk's used to it." She looked only slightly reassured.

"So why did you decide to reveal yourselves now?" Jonathan asked. It seemed awfully out of the blue.

"We believed it was the right time," was the quiet reply. "Even if our fight is done, it was best that you knew.” Matt looked away from his father, his stare icy. He couldn't believe his father hadn't told him the truth, wouldn't have told the truth if it hadn't of been for Leviamon. Mr. Ishida wore a guilty expression and didn't continue.

"Matt, you must understand," Hiroaki's Gabumon began in a husky tone. "It was very hard for your father to keep this hidden for so long. He was going to tell you after Myotismon was defeated, but he came back too quickly."

"You had three years!" he exclaimed. "Four now! That's no excuse!"

Five years, the Gazimon thought but did not add on.

"I'm sorry, Matt," his father attempted to apologize.

"You act like it's so easy to forgive," the teenager spat. He never took well to what he considered betrayal. From his father, of all people, it was much worse.

"Like the Child of Light has already said," Teela interrupted. "This isn't the time for fighting. Just agree to disagree for the time being and we'll go from here." Teela was the mediator of the original team and she hoped this would settle the two down. Matt huffed and turned away.

"Matt, come on, please...?" T.K. pleaded with his older brother.

"I'm not stopping anyone," Matt said quietly. "I just have nothing to say."

Blair stared at Hiroaki’s team. "You knew this would drive Matt away emotionally, didn't you?"

"Sometimes this sort of thing is necessary," the man replied solemnly. "I don't like it, but you needed to know." A few of the Digi-Destined glanced at Matt, who had turned his back towards his father.

"The truth hurts," Kari whispered softly. She knew that now, now more than ever, but she also knew how needed it was. Gatomon nodded, before quickly glancing at DemiDevimon, who was starting to come to.

"Ah man, what can I do to get to sleep the normal way?" complained the Rookie as woke.

"Can it, DemiDevimon," the Gazimon huffed slightly. "Or I'll do it again."

"You're so cruel Gazimon," he whined at Teela's partner.

"Have to be cruel to be kind," the purplish-grey rabbit snorted.

"Yeah that's your excuse."

"Ya wanna face off against me, then?" Gazimon challenged. "You know as well as I do, my Mega level will cream yours!"

"Oh not this again," TK groaned.

"I wouldn't worry about it," Hiroaki's Gabumon piped up. "They do this all of the time; DemiDevimon always backs down, though, so it'll be fine." True to word, the little Rookie subsided, grumbling all the while.

"You can all reach the Mega level?" Gatomon queried.

DemiDevimon smirked. "It's a staple of a fair few Digidestined," he said loftily. "Every team before you can."

"Except for Bhadra's partner. He can only reach the Ultimate level," Gazimon added.

TK whistled appreciatively. "Wow."

"Before your Imperialdramon existed, there was another. Sinead's partner was the first Imperialdramon," Miranda's Hawkmon stated.

"I feel like a Xerox," Tai couldn't help but comment.

"Hmm...? What's that?" Hawkmon questioned.

Tai shrugged. "Davis."

"What's a Xerox got to do with a Digi-Destined?" Gazimon looked quite befuddled.

Tai sighed. "Forget it. You wouldn't get the reference."

"I'm through talking anymore," Gatomon spat. Kari nodded. "Stingmon, can't you reach the Ultimate level naturally?" she added, staring at Ken's partner.

"If Ken activated his Crest yes," replied the insect.

"Get him to try. We're not doing that great, ya know!" she hissed.

"Jealousy will get you nowhere," Luca mumbled, his blue eyes watching the cat amusedly.

"Who said I was jealous?" Gatomon asked.

"Why do you people always think you say something? You were strong enough for your fight. The Crest will activate when it needs to."

Ken stiffened, praying that his friends would be all right, praying that they would be able to win despite the odds against them. His Crest started glowing, as did Stingmon.

Luca sighed. "Or you can force it to activate. Show off and piss your friend off more." He rolled his eyes. "Morons." I can feel it. The corruption is growing. Why are these people so dumb?

"Stingmon digivolve to... JewelBeemon!" It looked like Singmon with bright green and red armor, except more like a preying mantis. It held a spear tipped red.

"From the depths of Kindness I come. I am JewelBeemon, the Ultimate form of Stingmon!"

Leviamon couldn't help but smirk. "See Davis," he crooned. "They really don't think they need you at all. They can win without you. They lied. But they're wrong. You're stronger than they are. You can defeat them." BlackGrowlmon again attacked with his Exhaust Flame move, driving off more of the Digimon. JewelBeemon had a hard time getting anywhere near the corrupted dinosaur.

"Thunder of Kings!" Liamon's roar sent lightning pulsing through the air and sent shocks through the Champion.

"There, an opening," Luca commented. "Happy?"

"Spiking Strike!"

"Tail Hammer!"

"Hand of Fate!"

BlackGrowlmon roared and fell back. He got back up again incredibly quickly for someone hit as hard as he was. For the first time, Davis' expression flickered. It faded into dullness just as fast however and Leviamon smiled. "Excellent."

"Let's try again!" Stingmon rallied the other Digimon. "We almost had him."

"Tail Hammer!"

"Static Force!"

"Electro Shocker!"

"Nova Flame!"

"Enough," Davis uttered quietly and something stirred, the light from his Digivice turning pitch-black. BlackGrowlmon let out a final roar and swept his Plasma Blade into the attacks. They were negated easily and a shockwave ripped though, slashing into all of the Digimon at once. He looked at all of the fallen Digimon and almost seemed to smirk. "You lose."

The respective Digi-Destined - Cody, Blair, Izzy and Tai - rushed over to their partners who were now back at the In Training level. "What are we gonna do?" Blair moaned.

"Lose," the corrupted gogglehead repeated indifferently. "Die. Give up. Does it matter? You're useless."

"Oh shut up," Luca snarled, annoyed. "People like you are a pain. Liamon!"

"Critical Strike!" The claws slashed into BlackGrowmon's stomach and an agonized howl ripped through the air.

"Exhaust Flame!" The blaze struck the beast and he devolved, Luca catching his partner. He did not look dismayed. Rather he looked angry. A snarl began to rumble in his throat, finishing with a roar as he ran at Davis. He vanished for a moment before reappearing and slamming into the human's partner, knocking the large dragon over again.

"Come and fight me then!" The beastling child roared another feral cry.

BlackGrowlmon snapped his teeth fiercely, picking up Luca with one oversized clawed hand. "You were saying...?" The corrupted dinosaur rumbled out a noise that sounded like mocking laughter.

The boy smiled cruelly. "I'm supposed to be scared? You don't know anything about power." Violet light covered the child. "But I do. It's mine. And you and your worthless human," The words were from the voice of an animal. "Can envy it until you die!" It pulsed, forcing BlackGrowlmon to let go. Luca leapt and slashed the creature's belly open. He laughed. "Come and fight me, little pet." He glanced at Davis. "Maybe it's your turn."

"He lets his partner do the fighting, kid," Leviamon spoke condescendingly to Luca.

Luca glanced at Leviamon and gave a derisive snort. "And I give a **** because...why? Why waste time with this game anyway? All of us know what you're really after." I know what you don’t.

"And what's that?" The Demon Lord asked, knowing full well what he had in mind, but was simply testing the waters.

Luca giggled. "If I say it you'll kill me. You need me to pull it off too. I do actually know the full extent of your goals." He took Frimon and placed him on his head.

"Why would he want you?" Jonathan demanded. "You weren't corrupted like Davis was..."

"Yes he was," Kari said quietly. "I've felt it for ages. He fell into the Dark Ocean."

"Why didn't you tell us then?" Matt snapped.

Tai glared. "Back off Matt. Don't take your anger at your dad out on her."

Luca smirked. "I love how quickly you guys turn on each other." I love more how you assume that’s the only way I’m corrupted.

"You need to be quiet," Matt growled.

"Or what? It's a fact." Luca was still smiling as he turned back to the Demon Lord of Envy."That's not the reason either, is it Leviamon? I know, you can say it if you want."

"It is a mighty force to contend with," was all Leviamon said.

Luca laughed again. "To you I suppose it is." The violet light pulsed again. "Get out of here," he commanded. "Before I use it on you and end your stupid game." BlackGrowlmon appeared menacingly behind Luca again. The energy stabbed into the Champion. "Don't even try it," Luca snarled darkly. "I'm not the one with any qualms about killing you. Or for that matter, your human." His aura moved to hover just by Davis. "Want to try?"

"Don't move," Leviamon ordered his victim.

"Go," the human said softly. "I'm tired of fighting you. It's uninteresting. Sean would be a better person to fight, since you might be able to try and control him."He allowed the aura to swirl into a vortex around him, looking utterly indifferent. Leviamon frowned to himself. This is odd. Belphemon should have taken this child over a long time ago. Even his power wouldn’t stop it, so why…? Is it because of that girl? I wonder… or is it perhaps…? “But I think you’re too weak for that. And he doesn’t let himself by ruled by anyone. Not anyone like you.”

"But I'm far from done!" Leviamon declared. Without anyone seeing, the Demon Lord spared a bit of energy and sent it towards BlackGrowlmon, making him increase in size.

Luca sighed. "You never learn. Relena could you…"

"Overwrite. Gate open." The light glowed and a gate tore open in the ground. "Whoops," muttered the blonde derisively, Triesta smirking. Half of the gathered Digi-Destined stared with their mouths partially open, while the other half brazenly swore at the sight. "Close your mouths. There are flies. Now then…” Relena couldn’t hold back a snicker. “See ya Leviamon."

Automatically, the Digi-Destined who had had their mouths open shut them. "Wait, where are you going?" Jonathan called out.

"Me? Nowhere. But these guys..." she smirked. "Are gone." The hole brightened and began to drag the demon lord and captive down. Luca leapt away just in time.

"Well, where are they going then?" Sora asked.

"Where they came from. You'll see them soon I bet." We wish you didn’t have to.

"Where did they come from?" Tai muttered.

"The remnants. You'll get it later." The Digi-Destined stared wide-eyed as Leviamon, Davis and BlackGrowlmon vanished into the hole.

“Bye" Luca chirped, allowing the light to fade.

"We'll find a way to free you, Davis," Kari murmured. Relena sighed tiredly and left. Triesta was annoyed. It always gave her a headache. Luca followed, not waving goodbye.

Cody looked over. “Our team is in danger without a leader,” he noted.

Kari nodded and looked at her childhood friend. “TK should take over.”

The blond flushed slightly. “Me? Are you sure?”

“Definitely,” she replied and Cody nodded. Yolei silently consented, lavender eyes still puffy from tears.

She watched the other, noticing her indistinct form. Triesta sighed, feeling that oh-so-familiar pain in her chest. She wasn’t sure if it was from memories, guilt, or simply the knowledge of what was.

“What’s the matter Triesta?” She flinched. Siara had never been so formal with her back then.

“Nothing,” she replied automatically. This one in front of her was not the little girl who had followed her with a smile. This was simply mist, a shadow of herself. She did not enjoy speaking with her like this, not at all.

“You’re lying. You’ve changed. Even though you always showed disrespect for Gennai and the Sovereign, you’ve never been so openly human before. What’s happened to you?” Siara’s monotone was making her ill.

Triesta sighed. “You’re wrong Si. I haven’t changed all that much. I’m still the Raven’s Shade.”

Siara seemed to look at her critically. “That name isn’t in the databanks.”

Triesta shrugged. “It wouldn’t be. It’s not the name they look for.”

“What do you mean?”

“If you were you, I wouldn’t have to tell you. You’d understand everything without a word, just like before.” Triesta looked at her hand, at the pulsing symbol on it. “But that’s not how it is now. So really, there’s no point to this conversation. Goodbye Siara.” She turned away, intent to return to Relena’s body.

“Sean said you were worried about me,” Siara stated suddenly. “Is that true? Why?”

Triesta paused. “The darkness naturally feels a kinship to the light. Besides,” she turned back and gave a bitter, broken smile. “It’s only natural I worry about you. After all, you’re my partner.” And my cousin.

She vanished and returned to Relena’s side. The girl glanced at her ghost-like form. Her room was dimly lit. She was on the phone while her free hand was scrawling in her workbook. As always, she smiled at the sight of her, warming her heart ever so slightly. Relena spoke.

“Yeah Cassie, she’s here now. I’ll tell her don’t worry. Ahaha… did Marc just break something again? Oh yeah you should probably go get that. I can’t wait to see your new baby. Ruthie right… yeah, I’m sure Terry’s really frustrated with you right now. He’s so…”

Triesta smiled softly. That’s right, you wouldn’t think because of how little she talks about it but her family is so nice. I have a feeling if they had the money, Kiri and the others would visit all the time.

Relena laughed. “Well, tell Puroromon to keep an eye on Elian for me. He can’t exactly cry out when he hits a wall. And make sure when your daughter’s Digimon hatches it remembers not to kill Marc.” She giggled helplessly. “I’m just making sure you remember with all your hormones everywhere.” A gentle smile passed her lips. “I’m sure it’ll be fine Cassie. I love you too. Say hi to Koemon for me. Bye.” She hung up and closed her cell phone.

“Things going well?”

“Yeah. They miss me, especially Elian.” She sighed. “He really needs to make more friends.”

“You practically raised him, considering your parents worked so hard to make sure he could stay alive. It makes sense he loves you so much.”

“I remember how touch and go it was back then. Even now I still get worried. But…” She leaned back in the revolving chair, gaze locked on her. “How’d it go?”

“As well as always. She’s not remembering much. I don’t like talking to her like this.”

Relena spun around in the chair. “Aren’t you happy? She has a second chance without nearly as many problems as before.”

“I am but… I wish she could remember, just once, what she did for me. I mean, she was the first person to accept me being a…”

“Lesbian?” Relena finished, causing the other to nod. “You said yourself you weren’t sure.”

“I can’t exactly confirm it now can I?”

“True. Anyway, I’m glad you’re saying this to me.”

“Saying what?”

“You don’t like to be alone.” Triesta looked away from her, turning a deep red. Relena smiled and held out her hand. Still blushing, the Entity took it and vanished, returning to Relena’s heart. Relena sighed exhaustedly.

Something is coming. The past is catching up and is ready to pull the curtains back from the window.

Meanwhile, in a hotel room, Willis and the other two International Digi-Destined were in a hotel room. Catherine and Anna both laughed as Willis’ mother yelled at him over the phone.

On the other side of Odaiba, a lavender-haired girl slept alone. As she slept a Digi-Egg fell through her window to rest on her computer chair.

Perhaps there was kindness in them after all.

A day passed. The group was at the park. The five sat there in the grass. Tomoe was asleep, curled up with Kudamon next to Luca. Luca was twitchy, looking around occasionally. Sean and Relena were in deep conversation with the last person. Jonathan flinched. That was Kiri. There was a lot of gauze on her arms and legs. One of her eyes was yellow from bruising and a scratch bled on her cheek. She glanced up at them, causing the others to turn.

Her grin was weak. “It was worse yesterday. My chest still feels like I got hit by a semi-truck though.” Sean tensed at the sight of them. His expression flickered into hostility before settling.

"What happened, Kiri?" Jonathan asked, looking very concerned.

"Why does he think he has the right to do that to you?" Kari mumbled. All of the Digimon nodded in agreement and the other Destined were stunned into silence.

"Mr. Ryutori does what he wants. If he wishes to punish me then that's what he will do. Always."

"Always," Luca echoed darkly. The other two nodded.

"But... he's your father. Why?" Sora shook her head in sadness and disgust.

Kiri shrugged. "That's just how Mr.Ryutori is. It's likely how Mrs. Reiko died as well. He overworked her with no regard to her state of health. That's usually how it works."

"You're so emotionless Kiri," Sean commented. I’m one to talk though.

Luca sighed. "I don't get what's so surprising. Mr. Ryutori doesn't care about people. He's selfish. In his eyes Kiri and Akira get in his way. I saw him smile when he heard about Akira-nii being gone." He clenched a fist. "Now everyone's out of his way."

"Luca you've never met your parents," Sean pointed out. "You wouldn't get it."

"I'm a bit relieved," the boy admitted, looking down.

Sean sighed. “That wasn’t what we were here to talk about. Anyway Kiri, you were saying about the Core Awakeners? Something about a limiter?”

“What limiter?” Blair asked.

"Tomoe-chan discovered it," the other girl said proudly, gently stroking the child’s hair. Sean watched with a sad sort of pride. You’re practically her mother and it shows. Tomoe stirred, eyes opening slightly.

"What does this limiter do?" Jonathan wondered.

The older girl looked at the waking one. "Why don't you tell them?" Tomoe shook her head. "Why, modest?"

"No," Tomoe said faintly. "They won't understand. It's complicated. It's purpose is simple but how to break it is..."

"Yes?" Wormmon timidly queried.

Her eyes flickered toward him. "It is hampering the future evolution," she stated solemnly. Not for the first time, Jonathan and Blair noticed how little she sounded like a seven year old. "It will prevent any movement past the Ultimate level."

"You mean we won't be able to reach the Mega level?" That was Jonathan.

Tomoe lowered her eyes. "I don't know. The programs created by the Sovereign are hard to understand. Even with my powers, it's really, really hard. If I could decode more of Papa’s files…" She bowed her head. "I'm sorry."

"There's nothing to be sorry about, Tomoe," Jonathan convinced gently. "There'll be a way, there has to be."

“Yes there is," she mumbled to herself, but dropped it. Luca stiffened suddenly and turned to the right. The Digi-Destined wondered what was happening, before they too looked to the right.

Luca smiled. "Aria-san!" It was that woman from at the Ferros. She was standing there silently, observing them.

"Come over," Sean exclaimed, waving at her. She stepped down toward them, something clenched in her fingers.

"Does she know we're missing one?" Jonathan whispered to Blair, who shrugged.

Aria paused to watch him. She turned and held something up away from his vision. Relena gasped. "Oh wow Aria, that's great! I can't believe you found it." Aria nodded dully. Not a sound came from her. She was like a ghost.

Luca glanced at her. "Aria-san, did it call you?" Aria nodded again, tossing it lightly. Luca caught it easily and nodded. "I'm sorry," he apologized sadly. "I didn't mean to get you involved in this fight again." The woman shrugged, glanced at them all again, turned, and left. Jonathan and the other Destined glanced at each other, confused.

"Sorry about that," Relena explained. "Aria got attacked by a BlackGatomon six years back. It tore up her vocal cords." Luca held up a familiar chip for them to see.

"Ah," was all Jonathan could say. He felt pity for Aria. Everyone gathered around to see Luca's Core Awakener.

"Didn't change much," Luca said quietly. "She didn't like talking anyway. He clutched the golden chip close to his chest, smiling sadly. "I feel it Kiri," he mumbled. "The Earth's power. I can feel it." The warm feeling… it’s growing stronger. Where are you?

Kiri smiled. "I'm glad."

"Way to go, Luca." Jonathan and Blair congratulated him. All the boy did was nod.

The five stood up, Kiri wincing. Sean moved to help but she waved him off. “I’ll be fine. Come on we’ll be late.” Sean sighed and waved goodbye, running ahead.

“Wait,” Sora cautioned the girl, who was starting to follow. “You shouldn’t run around in that condition.”

Kiri gave her an understanding smile. “Yeah I shouldn’t but I will. Because I won’t lose, not even to myself.”

Jonathan sighed. I swear she hasn’t changed at all, defiant as always. He paused. She said she wasn’t scared to die. Why not? He put it out of his head. He had something important to do.

I don’t want Mimi to be in danger, I don’t want to be the threat, Jonathan thought. I know she likes me, but it’s more that I’m not sure how I feel about her. Regardless of his feelings, though, he had vowed to Kiri he would talk to Mimi to sort out his problem. He approached the Tachikawa residence and swallowed nervously, before pressing the bell. A brief pause and then a female called out to her parents that she’d answer it. The door opened and Mimi was standing in the entranceway. There was silence for at least three seconds, before the cerise-haired girl squealed in delight.

"Hi Jonathan," she greeted happily. "This is great! I didn't expect you to come all the way here! Come in!"

"... Mimi," Jonathan began. "We need to talk."

She tilted her head curiously, leaning against the doorframe. "About what? What's the matter? Can I help?"

Mimi moved to one side after that and Jonathan entered. "I was told I had to talk to you about your feelings for me. I was told if I didn't attempt to settle things down, you'd be in danger and I'd be the threat. Not that I want to be the threat..."

Mimi led him into the living room to sit down. "Your feelings for me? Does that mean you like me too?"

"I think I do, but I'm not sure."

She smiled warmly. "That's really great Jonathan if you think you do but..." The fifteen year old thought for a moment. "I get it. You're not sure..." Mimi paused again, evidently turning something over in her mind. "Why aren't you sure?"

Jonathan stared at the carpet for a few moments, hesitating. He then looked up at Mimi and said: "I've never had a girlfriend before, so I don't know what it's like. I'm sure the others find it easy, because they've been at it for a while. But when you started, it threw me off-guard quite a bit; I wasn't prepared for it."

Mimi's smile seemed to widen. "So you just... you want to take it slow right? That's perfectly fine."

"At any rate, Izzy seems to be recovering under Mina's guidance. Maybe you sure try apologizing again, I'm sure he'll forgive you this time. Thanks... for taking my unease into consideration, Mimi."

She nodded softly. "It's no problem. I'll talk to Izzy soon."

"Thanks again. Bye," he said, lingering at the door, before leaving.

Relena sighed and drummed her fingers against the keyboard. She was tired. The memories were receding but there were still a lot of nightmares. Not to mention daily life…

“Anxious?” Relena jumped and saw Kiri leaning on the doorframe.

“When’d you get here?”

“Just now.”

“Speak up next time.” Kiri laughed. Her long black hair was out of its ponytail and falling over her face, dripping wet. Clearly she had just come from the shower. She moved inside, shutting the door. Kiri perched on the edge of Relena’s unmade bed, looking amused. The bandages were gone, her having healed almost too quickly.

“Triesta’s really bothered by all this, isn’t she?”

Relena rolled her eyes playfully. “What gave it away; the hostility or the swearing?”

“Good point but I was referring to Gennai.”

Relena glanced at her. “Which one?”

“She forgave the first years ago. They all did. It’s Gennai who’s in hot water.”

“Some would say they’re one and the same.”

“Their crimes are, but they’re not.”

“Yeah…” The two sat in silence for a moment. “Kiri…”


Relena gripped her chest, not sure how to say this. “Do you think that… we can trust them? The Digi-Destined I mean.”

Kiri sighed. “Relena, you know my answer: I don’t know. They… they’re scared.”

“So are we,” the blond said stubbornly. “We’re all scared, but we aren’t backing down.”

“We don’t have a choice.” Kiri glanced her over. “Why are you guys all asking that lately? Luca’s been in doubt this entire time, Sean’s wavering, and now you. Why does it really matter?”

“Because they keep hating us for no reason,” Relena exclaimed. “All they want is respect and obedience and light and all this other crap. They accuse of things that aren't even possible for our kind! They say we don’t care about them, but when we try to explain, they say we’re nothing! And because we have some natural paranoia and a dislike of authority, they hate us. We’re different and they make sure we know it! The Sovereign already have said it enough, I don’t need to hear it from a bunch of greenhorns!” The outburst of energy faded quickly and she looked miserably at the floor.

Kiri smiled sadly. “This has really been eating away at you.” The blond nodded. Kiri sighed, looking much too old. “You want my true feelings on this?” Another agreement. “We don't have to trust them but we have to work with them.”

“Why do you say that?” Sean had opened the door now. Luca was behind him, looking agitated next to Tomoe. Kiri took one glance at her cousin and recognized the symptoms. He was being called again.

Relena sighed. “What is this; a party? Come in.” They obeyed, this time locking the door. She turned back to her friend. “So what do you mean?”

Kiri groaned. “I mean we don’t have to trust them to get **** done. If we can eventually, then whoop-de-doo, we’ll be a bunch of happy-go-lucky idiots together. If we can’t then, oh freaking well. Just means we don’t belong. We all have known that since the start. We aren’t Chosen,” she spat the word “after all.” The whole group shuddered in unison. That word always made them feel like scum. Their status didn’t help much after all.

Luca paused. “But Jonathan’s evened out hasn’t he?”

“Yeah, and that complicates things a bit.”

Sean shrugged. He was falling more and more into emotionless patterns these days. “So Jonathan can see grey. Great, nothing’s changed. He still doesn’t know about NEO or Norn-chan’s truth.”

“You declared me God. Not much else you need to say.” The comment was met with amused grins.

“Oh there’s plenty more than that,” Relena commented. “But he’s only one person. The other ones who fell pushed back the dark and called it evil and all that nonsense.”

“Well, they’ve never faced “good” enemies before,” Tomoe suddenly pointed out, not shy at all around them. “Remember Hououmon? They’ve never faced an “evil” bright Digimon before.”

Sean shuddered. “I could’ve lived my entire damn life without hearing that stupid bird’s cries in my ears again. I can’t believe that thing was pure.”

Luca sighed, sitting on the floor. “Tomoe-chan brings up a good point; they assume the darkness is evil for one and that it’s only Digimon who screw up the balance for another. The Emperor was the creation of the Dark Spore but the feelings did have to be there to start with. Not to mention, that little incident after Tamaki…”

“You mean the Battle of Sacrifice?” Kiri asked. When the boy nodded she groaned. “Can’t believe I forgot that. Those were a bunch of little sociopaths right there. Ranks up there with Ogudomon on the level of *******s.”

“Anyway, we’re off topic,” Sean stated. And that was my fight. “Can we trust the Digi-Destined or should we just go and finish this fight now before there’s a long list for the coroner to gape at?”

“Let’s just work with them,” Kiri commanded. “Akira-nii had a reason to let them keep fighting. Let’s trust his instincts.”

Relena sighed. “We’re terrible aren’t we? We can’t even trust our friends.”

“Well,” Sean commented as he stood up again, opening the door. “They’re our enemies in truth. They must always be that way. It’s only natural we’re suspicious of them, considering our status. Though…” He took Kiri’s hand. “I don’t think I’m really considering them worthy opponents for the Demon Lords to actually worry about, not anymore. They’re just spoiled brats who cry when they don’t get what they want.”

“Shut up and go to bed hypocrite,” Relena commented. Kiri laughed and Sean rolled his eyes. The two walked back toward their rooms together, treading quietly.

“Kiri… I’m a bit worried.”

She sighed. “You’re always worried. But what is it this time?”

“I think… they’re going to find out. Wizardmon’s been poking around in my head again.” He shivered all over, mask dropping to a look of vulnerability. “I don’t want them to know. They’ll hate me Kiri; I know they will. I’m so sick of being hated.”

Kiri nodded, squeezing his hand. “They will hate you or at least, be afraid of you. But what do you expect? They pretty much do that for all of us right now. Not that we haven’t given them a good reason but…”

“But… I won’t be able to care anymore Kiri. And I worked so hard for this. I don’t want to go back to being… that. And I’m so close Kiri; I can feel myself going numb right now. I can hear him, so calm, so uncaring of almost everything, like ice. It…” He trailed off and shuddered.

“It hurts,” she finished for him. He nodded weakly, cursing his pathetic behavior. She gently patted him on the head, expression soft. “You’re trying hard,” she acknowledged. ”But if they learn the truth, they learn it. And I don’t think your hard work will have been for nothing.” The boy sighed. She was always so reassuring. She really was Akira’s sister.

“Neh, Kiri?”


“Do you think you made the right decision? Six years before I mean.”

She smiled sadly. “Yeah I do.”

“But they’re…”

“They’re living Joker.” Her eyes seemed to glow in the dark. “And they deserve to have that life as long as they can. All of you do.” She went into her room. “G’night.”

Sean remained outside for a moment, whispering to himself. “But Kiri… you do too.” Ignoring the tears at the corners of his eyes, he went to bed.

Two days passed with little effort. Most of the Digidestined were together and headed to, of all places, the community center to meet up.

“Hey Jonathan?” Tai asked randomly as they walked.

“What is it?”

“That little girl Tomoe… who is she?”

Jonathan shrugged slightly. “I’m not completely sure to be honest with you. She’s a Digi-Destined like us but there’s something different with her.”

“She’s a DigiDestined?” Sora was surprised. “Not even T.K and Kari were that young.”
“I’ve heard that there are younger than that,” Jonathan commented.

“Why don’t we ask them when they get there?” Tai reasoned. Blair snorted.

“Good luck. They don’t explain ****.”

Matt growled. “I remember that much.” He was still touchy.

To Jonathan’s surprise, Luca, Relena, and Tomoe were already there, the younger girl playing with the digimon silently. The digimon glanced at them before returning to occupying the girl. Tomoe peeked up before hiding her eyes, looking her usual shy self. Luca and Relena both looked up from their conversation. Luca gave a stiff nod and that familiar eerie smile blossomed on the girl’s face, focused politely on Jonathan. Kari winced silently.

“They’ll be back in a second,” Relena answered the unspoken question. “Sean got a phone call and Kiri went to go change her bandages.”

"So how is everyone?" Jonathan asked.

Luca shrugged and Relena elbowed him playfully. He pouted at her and she laughed. Tomoe took up the liberty of answering for them. "U-Um, we-we're all okay, except Lady Ferro was really harsh last night."

Luca grumbled softly. "I think my leg's still bleeding. Tomoe-chan, you shouldn't be allowed with knives, because you aim too well."

Relena giggled again. "Would you rather they were axes?"

"Don't scare me like that. She could throw them twenty feet. I’ve seen her." Tomoe giggled shyly, flushing red.

“I’m sorry Luca,” she said softly. “I didn’t mean to hurt you so badly.” Luca patted her on the head, indicating he wasn’t all that bothered.

Jonathan's eyes widened. "Why was she so harsh?" More importantly, why did she give a seven year old knives, let alone an axe?

Relena shrugged. "That was a merciful training session because Riku got the highest exam scores in his grade. On the bad days, we shouldn't be breathing but we are due of the fact that we still are needed for something."

All Jonathan could really do was nod. He couldn’t understand why they worked so hard with such a violent family all the time. Asking for help was one thing, but that was too far.

Luca stiffened and Relena sighed. "What is that hothead mad about now?" she muttered tiredly. "We'll be back. Tomoe-chan, stay here with Kudamon." The little girl nodded, placing her partner on her head to look at the other Digi-Destined. The other two exited, Luca limping slightly. Tomoe was clutching her Digivice and turning it over in her fingers.

"What's happened?" Blair asked.

"Tomoe, do you know something?" Jonathan inquired.

Tomoe shrugged, her fingers brushing against the back of the plastic. "Sean's heart is troubled again. He worries and I think his fear has come true." Her eyes were focused somewhere else and her head was cocked slightly, as though listening.

Wizardmon spoke the question his partner wouldn't. "It wouldn't be to do with Davis, would it?"

Again Tomoe shrugged, grey eyes looking chillingly at Wizardmon. "If so that person will die. Sean does not forgive those crimes. He never has."

Wizardmon remained silent as the rest of the Digi-Destined, but eventually Cody decided to speak. "Davis is under Leviamon's control, it's not his fault," the boy argued defensively.

Kudamon scowled. "Your friend Ken could arguably have been under the control of the Dark Spore as the Digimon Emperor and you didn't forgive him so easily did you?" Matt glared. He already didn’t like that digimon, arrogant little…

"What does it really matter, guys? We shouldn't be arguing," Gatomon pleaded. "What we need to be doing is thinking of a plan to free Davis."

“Hmph. You assume he won’t have a knife in his throat before you can.” The remark came from Sean, whose voice came from the entryway. As they walked in, Blair glimpsed Kiri holding Sean’s hand casually. Again the jealousy burned and she swallowed it, noticing something incredibly different about the male. Sean’s gaze was nothing like before, as though he had moved past fury and into a darker emotion, the green orbs flat disks. His free hand was clenched around his D-Core tightly, etching itself into the skin.

"What happened, Sean?" Jonathan quietly asked.

Sean looked at him impassively and did not reply for a moment. Then he found his words, iciness in each syllable. "Let me put it this way: I'm going ahead to the Digital World and you might want to catch up fast. Because if I find a single bit of Melissa injured in any way, you won't have anybody to help." He smiled and this one was new, one that sent chills down spines. "Because I will have burned him to ashes." Because he is a traitor and my duty is to rip off their heads.

"Very well, we'll follow," Jonathan responded. He then looked at Blair, Tai, Matt and T.K. His expression said it all.

"No you won't," Sean countered smoothly, glancing at Kiri. Tomoe rose elegantly from the floor and took Kiri's hand. "Last time I said you weren't cannon fodder. I'm sorry to say you've been downgraded back to such."

"You will be too flashy," Kiri remarked. "Digital Gates opening are easily tracked. I am not."

"Just wait a minute!" Matt exclaimed.

"You don't even know where he's taken her..." Gabumon trailed off.

"We will," Sean chirped cruelly and pointed at Tomoe. “Go on now, you can use it.”

"Opening Data Interface," muttered the girl and a transparent screen appeared in front of her now blank eyes. A new voice came from her lips, the monotone voice of a computer. "Tracking Digivice signature. Target: Davis Motomiya." She didn't blink as more screens flickered around her. "Target signature located. Uploading to server." Kiri's Digivice beeped a second later. "Upload complete. Warning: Digital Signature heavily corrupted. Possible threat level: Mega. Power levels cannot be determined at this time. All Users proceed with caution."

"Mega?" Kari whispered hoarsely. "There's no way, no time... he couldn't reach Mega this quickly."

Tomoe gave her the cold stare of a machine. "Possibility of target reaching Mega from outside interference is 87%. Possibility of combination of outside forces and willpower is 97%. Users have forgotten the power of the Digital World, known as Miracles. It lends strength to all who wish for a future it is stated. The target has been given strength with this power multiple times." Kari couldn’t help but shudder. Children don't sound like this... do they? She knew that fact, had seen it herself.

"But it should've worn off... right?" Gatomon muttered.

"Incorrect." The flatness from the child was disturbing. "Just as the power of the Digi-Eggs lingers, so too does miracles. One of the sources of the Digital Worlds' power cannot fade away into nothing; otherwise the programming would have terminated itself fifty years prior to now. Miracles are fueled by hope and by extension light as well. The powers containing them have been returned to the Digital World. Miracles are one essence of the program."

"I see," was all Joe could say.

"New data received." She paused for a moment. "Target's digital signature has warped further. Corruption level is at 73%. Likelihood of returning to previous state of balance is 25% and rapidly decreasing."

Jonathan looked very alarmed. "That's not good," he muttered.

Kiri glanced at Tomoe and for a moment her voice sounded just like the girl's. "Deactivating Interface." The screen vanished and Tomoe shuddered back to herself. Kudamon wrapped around her neck now. The teen glanced at Sean. "Ready?" Sean nodded curtly and glanced at Luca and Relena from the other side of the doorway.

Relena simply smiled. "We'll take them there."

Blair stepped forward. "I'm coming whether you like it or not."

Sean turned his dark stare to her. "And make me take care of a useless burden?” He snorted at her. “I need someone who can make a difference, not someone who will chain me like I'm a dog. Kiri." The girl stepped back, causing the three to disappear.

"Hey!" Blair snapped, but it was too late. "When he gets back, he's gonna pay big time..." she added, growling.

"Don't be mad at him," Luca said quietly.

"Why not?" Blair said. He keeps treating me like ****. Why the hell not?

Relena shook her head. "If you went with, you would see who Sean really is. And he doesn't want any of you to see that. You're already afraid of him as it is."

"..." Blair couldn't say anything; Relena was correct.

Luca looked uncomfortable. "Sean... he's ...not like you. He could have been the Digimon Emperor's successor if he really tried, even with no Dark Spore. He still could." Especially if they told him to, but that wouldn’t exactly end well.

"Hmm..." Ken mumbled. He didn't like the sound of that, not one bit.

"Then again," Luca mumbled sadly. "Anybody could. But Sean won't." Now his past self would without any hesitation. Leith…Raphy… The Digi-Destined were silent, not knowing what to say. They also didn't see Jack slip away from their midst in the unbearable silence.

Luca felt irritation grow inside him. “Why don’t you say anything?” he asked, his voice rising a mere inch. “Why? Are you saying you can’t fall to evil and crazy too? Are you saying you’re perfect? Is it because you’re…” He trailed off and shivered. Relena caught his hidden words and sighed, remembering their discussion earlier. Liollmon did not growl, he just watched them with his blue stare, waiting for their reactions. He felt the pain in Luca’s heart. Even with how frayed and haphazard their bond was; he could feel it.

"We're not saying anything because we don't know what to say," Sora admitted.

Relena sighed. "Luca why would they know? They're just kids..." Just ordinary human children, they’re not…

Luca looked at her bitterly. "So were we. So were Sean and Melissa. What's the difference between us and them?" He glared at Sora. "Is it because you're in the light? I understand Apocalymon's pain then. You all laugh in the light and shun the dark. You could have done it you know. You could have ruled the Digital World like Ken once did."

Jonathan opened his mouth to say something, but shut it again, remembering he'd sworn not to tell the others. Unable to tell his friends about the darkness inside of him, he felt alone, he felt like he'd betrayed them. Wizardmon sensed something off about Jonathan and turned to look at him. But before he could use his mind-reading ability, which the teen still got the laughs from Luca's terminology of "mind rape", Jonathan shook his head. Wizardmon understood and turned back to Blair's side.

Relena glanced at him. "It's nothing to be ashamed of, the darkness." She was speaking to the room at large, yet he felt as though it was for him alone. "Evil and good are all based on opinion. Light and darkness are neutral entities, always have been. Siara and Triesta, they know that best of all. And Norn-chan would agree with that. The darkness is just the easiest to play with and strike fear with." Around her hands, power was playing. "But Sean, he used light. Just like... Melissa did."

Relena felt the power blossoming further against her fingers. She focused and let Luca continue. "Still nothing?" the boy asked quietly. "Still, you can't understand? But you're older than us. I was once told that you're better than us. If that's so, then why are you so ignorant?”

"Trust me, Luca," Jonathan began in a soft tone. "I'm not ignorant. I want to talk, but I feel like you lot have chained me to a wall because of my promise about 'it'."

Those who say they are not ignorant are bigger fools than the ones who know they are.Luca smiled brokenly. "We don't care if you tell about that. You just can't tell about the Betrayer. Not yet. He must tell himself. We told you because you asked so many times. We told you because you met her. And Kiri told me you met him as well."

Did she tell you she was dying?" So I can let them know about the darkness?" He mouthed.

He nodded. "Be proud of it."

"Alright," the sixteen-year-old answered. "I'll tell them, but not now."

"If not now when?" asked the eleven year old tiredly before turning to Relena. "How much more?"

"He's got time," replied the blonde, who had clasped her hands as if in prayer. "I only glanced at the coordinates. The Digi-Gates are hard to find close by that."

"I'd rather tell them in private, but if you would like, I'll tell them here..."

Luca shrugged sadly. "You might as well. I want to know if you met a certain someone."

"I had a dream in which I transitioned to the Dark Ocean," Jonathan began. "I ended up going to this other world..."

"It's called the Edge of Abyss," Luca supplied dully. "It is where the Dark Worlds all meet."

"I helped Rion by siphoning half of Jay's darkness into myself," he finished, feeling unsettled at the memory.

"What?" T.K exclaimed, surprise etched on to his face.

"How are you still okay?" Sora asked.

"What if he isn't?" Cody muttered with a flicker of suspicion. "Maybe he's just faking it."

Kari did not speak at first. Her heart stirred at the mention of Rion. "Who is Rion... and Jay... why do I feel pity for him?"

"I'm fine," the teen answered Sora and Cody's questions. "It just made me a little sick at the time. As for Rion and Jay, they are two members of an alternate original Digi-Destined."

The others gaped with wide eyes but Kari shook her head. "No, I feel like I know Rion and there's something about Jay's name, something that makes me feel like crying."

Luca nodded sadly. "It's only natural. Jay isn't like us." Not like many in truth. The stories we’ve heard…

Relena gave her a sympathetic look. "You'll understand soon," she said quietly.

"If Siara ever comes back anyway," Triesta muttered under her breath miserably.

"Where did she go?" Blair asked.

Triesta scowled. "The Sovereigns are law to her. She went back to them.”

"She's their student, as such?" Biyomon looked confused.

Triesta growled hatefully, "Don't you dare insult her like that."

"She didn't mean it like that," Sora came to Biyomon's defense.

Triesta scowled deeply. "Oh yes you did. You actually think the Sovereign are something important, something good." She paused. "Gate coordinates set." She turned away. "Gennai isn't the only reason you people piss me off but that's not important now. You want your idiot alive? Then come on." The room computer shined and she vanished.

Luca sighed. "You know, maybe Gennai would actually tell you guys something if she wasn't so hostile." Or if he wasn’t such a coward. He held up his digivice and vanished.

The Digi-Destined shared one glance before holding up their Digivices, D3s and D-Cores. They, too, were sucked in.
"Perhaps I misjudged you after all."