DR: Henry and Terriermon left to spend the New Year with their families, so I get to be alone. Yay! Anyway, this is the second interlude, probably longer than the first one, and much more interesting. To make things short, as I have a long work ahead of me, I don't own Digimon…neither season!

"TAMERS FOREVER"

SECOND INTERLUDE

The Call of the Reaper

"Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Gosh, I'm so stupid!"

"No matter how much you repeat, the truth won't change. You are stupid, and that's it."

"Oh, shut up, you!"

But you really shouldn't treat yourself like that…

"Did somebody ask you!?"

Oh, sorry……I'm really sorry……

Takeru stopped to look at his Omnivice for a second. The way she had apologized……I totally screwed up………Pauline?

………………

Oh, Pauline, not the silent treatment! I'm sorry, I shouldn't have shouted at you like that, it's just………can you forgive me?

………give me a good reason to forgive you, Takaishi.

Because……my life would be meaningless without you?

………go on.

I can't believe this……

What was that?

Nothing! Err…well……you know I need you, Pauline……besides you're my only friend……besides Patamon, and well……I'd miss you.

…………you are the sweetest guy in the whole world. Did you know that?

Yes…….and I hate it. Does that mean I'm forgiven?

Of course, silly!

Score, baby!

What?

Nothing!

Once he was done with Pauline, he continued pounding himself. "Stupid, stupid, stupid!!!!!!"

"Hitting yourself won't change this, you know?" Patamon said.

I agree with the flying guinea pig.

Pauline…… Takeru sighed. The only good thing he had done that day was his little dialogue with Rika during the battle against the Nightmare. "But I guess you're right. The problem is, I don't know how this will affect the actual course of events."

"Why would it affect it?" Patamon questioned. "All the stuff is happening in the Southern Quadrant, anyway."

"You have a point there, but……" TK explained. "They saw me leaving to the Digital World. It's obvious they'll look for me, and this time they won't give up that easily."

But they won't find you no matter how long they look for you. No human can reach Infinity.

"Yeah, that's true, but…"

"What did the machine say?"

"Pauline said they wouldn't find if I stay in Infinity."

"The piece of junk has a point."

"Patamon! Have some respect! Anyway, the thing is, I just can't stay in Infinity forever. I have to go scouting, gathering info. I'll eventually have to return to the Eastern Quadrant."

"You know, you're not the only member of the Triad. Why don't we switch places?"

"Huh?"

"I scout the Eastern Zone for you, and you check the Northern Quadrant instead. I'll miss chatting with Zeromaru, but I guess I'll cope with it."

"It's not such a bad idea. Thanks, Patamon. But what if they find you?"

"Oh, come on! There are like, thousands of Patamon in the Eastern Quadrant."

"Good point."

So the bat-pig proposed a good idea for a change…

Pauline! Why do you keep looking for nicknames for Patamon?

Hey, it's my only hobby!

Takeru sighed. "What will I do with you, Pauline……?"

"What did she say? She's mocking me, isn't she? Well, let me tell her a few things…"

"Patamon! Stop it, for God's sake! I should keep you in your Mega form, so you could be a little more polite."

"What!? Seraphimon all day? Bo-ring!"

Takeru sighed again. I'm a member of the Triad, guardian of the dimensions, Lord of Humans! Why do I have to bear with this!?

"Can we please move to a different topic, please?"

"Okay……what are doing with the laptop?"

"Now that's a good question. Check this……"

Patamon looked at the screen, where a bunch of weird characters was being displayed. The data Digimon recognized it as Digi-Characters, but that didn't mean he could read it. However, the translation was right under the original.

Six will be the enlightened ones,

Three from the light,

Three from the darkness.

One who creates, one who rules…

One who controls, one who travels…

One who destroys……and one who brings balance.

When the dark hour comes,

An hour will become an eternity.

The paladin and the beast will fight to the end

Even if such an end never arrives…

Only the blood of the paladin will cleanse the beast

And bring upon eternal balance…

And when the time of the paladin reaches its end,

A savior will come to give him his trophy.

"These are the four first paragraphs of the Ultimate Prophecy. They pretty much resume the whole thing." Takeru explained.

"Then what are the other hundred pages for?"

"Details, Patamon. Metaphores and rhymes which explain the events of the next decade with incredible detail. Or at least what's most likely to happen in that period. They are, of course, bound to changing."

"So……what's this entire thing all about?"

"Well, the first two paragraphs speak of the Enlightened Ones. You remember the Enlightened Ones, right?"

"Yeah, yeah……six granted with the powers of the Digital World. Created by the Digital World to protect it and rule it, right?"

"Yes…what else?"

"…oh, yeah! They're supposed to be unique! There is only one of each one of them. There aren't spread through the dimensions, like common humans, right?"

"Bingo! For example, there's a Koushiro Izumi in almost each dimension, but we only know the one from the realm connected to the Eastern Quadrant. On the other side, there is only one Takato Matsuki."

"I see…now I get it. So Takato is an Enlightened One."

"Exactly. In fact, I know the identities of five of the six enlightened ones."

"Really?"

"Yes. It wasn't that hard. The second paragraph talks about one who creates, one who rules, etcetera, etcetera….after further examination of the full text, I discovered it talk about six new crests."

"Crests!?"

"Yes, Patamon, crests. Three crests of light and three crests of darkness. The Crest of Life, the Crest of Justice, the Crest of Patience, the Crest of Power, the Crest of Destruction……and the Crest of Chaos."

"Let me guess…"

"Don't say it, we all know it. Anyway, I had no idea where to start looking until one of my agents proposed an interesting idea. Check this out."

The laptop's screen displayed new info, which we already know, but Patamon was watching for the first time.

SUBJECT                  DATA PERCENTAGE

Akiyama, Ryo                    21%

Katou, Jeri                                    15%

Kitagawa, Kenta                           12%

Matsuki, Takato                            47%

Nonaka, Rika                                20%

Shiota, Hirokazu                            12%

Wong, Henry                                 19%

Wong, Suzie                                  14%

"What's this?" Patamon asked. Takeru smiled.

"Everyone somehow related to Digimon has a certain percentage of data patterns in his or her DNA." The blonde explained. "At fist we thought it was a consequence of traveling to the Digital World, but then I got this."

SUBJECT                  DATA PERCENTAGE

Hida, Cody                                 11%

Ichijouji, Ken                               27%

Inoue, Yolei                                 13%

Ishida, Matt                                 16%

Izumi, Koushiro                           15%

Kamiya, Taichi                 25%

Kamiya, Hikari                 34%

Kido, Joe                                    11%

Motomiya, Davis                         15%

Tachikawa, Mimi                         12%

Takaishi, Takeru                          32%

Takenouchi, Sora                         16%

"The other Digi-Destined from other parts of the world and the Mr. Shibumi have data percentages below 10%, so I discarded them immediately." Takeru finished.

"Where did you get all this…?"

"Don't ask. The thing is, if these percentages were a consequence of traveling to the Digital World, people like Cody and Yolei should have much higher values than, let's say, Kazu, Kenta or Suzie. No, these values are inherent to each person. They were born like this."

"So you mean the people with the highest values are the Enlightened Ones we are looking for?"

"Yes. Now that we look at it, it's quite obvious, isn't it?" Takeru said.

"Kari's contact with the higher entity; your bearing of the supposedly strongest Crest, the Crest of Hope, which protects life in the Digital World; Ken's past as the Digimon Emperor and his battles with Millenniumon, just like Ryo, just that Ryo has already met its three forms. Takato, well……he's Takato, enough said. But, who's the sixth one?" Patamon said, checking both charts. "Tai?"

"Impossible." Takeru replied immediately. "Taichi lacks the basic element the other five have: uniqueness."

"Oh, yeah……" Patamon noticed. "So, the next one in the list is Rika…"

"Her percentage is not high enough."

"But the difference with Ryo is just…"

"I know, but Rika plays a different role in the prophecy."

"I guess so……so….who?"

"I don't know Patamon, I don't know."

"So what do we do now?"

"The four Enlightened Ones we know will be okay until they are forced to meet. Takato, on the other side……we'll have to keep an eye on him."

"Okay………and what about this 'Savior' the prophecy mentions?"

"Oh, don't worry about that. I already know who it is."

"You do? Spit it out."

"Not even for a million dollars."

"Aww, nuts!"

*****West Shinjuku*****

"It's……beautiful………"

What's Takato looking at, you ask? Well, whatever it is, it must be awesome, as our Gogglehead is practically drooling on the glass case. The man in charge of the store smiled.

"Nice, huh? The one and only Sakuyamon Special Deluxe Gold Card. Like no other card you've ever seen."

"Check out those numbers……" Takato said in awe.

"750-750-710……I think that makes it the best Data Digimon card there is. To make it worst, it's one of a kind."

"You mean this is the only card there is?"

"Yep, you'll only find it here……unless someone buys it, of course."

"I MUST HAVE IT!"

"Cool down, Matsuki. I don't think you have the money to buy this card."

But Takato couldn't keep his eyes off the magnificence of that card. "Why can't I be a little richer?"

"Not even being a little richer would help you. You have to be disgustingly rich to be able to buy this beauty. You would have to be……young Sagara!"

"Jeez, you didn't have to be that specific…" Takato said before a hand was placed on his left shoulder.

"Good afternoon, Takato. We meet again."

Takato looked back to meet the smiling face of Ken Sagara, probably the richest kid in West Shinjuku. A few weeks before, Takato had discovered a plan devised by Ken's father to make his son win the Digimon Card Game Tournament, the same plan which had sent Takato's usual card dealer to jail, so now he was forced to go to a different store much farther away from home (Check "Card-O-Rama!" for details!).

"Uhh, hey, Ken, hello! What brings you here?"

"Well, what else? I'm here to buy new cards."

Takato could see the dollar sign on the card dealer's eyes, which is weird, because we all know they use Yen in there. Anyway, Ken kept his smile as he talked to Takato.

"I have to strengthen my deck. I have discovered my weaknesses after my card battle against Rika. I must win tournaments by myself, not thanks to my Dad."

"Does……that mean you're not mad at me?"

"Of course I'm not! I'm grateful! You have taught my dad that I can do things on my own, and money is not always the solution. In fact, to show you my gratitude, I'll buy you any card you want from this store."

Takato looked at the shop owner, who had the most immense smirk on his face, then at the Sakuyamon Special Deluxe Gold Card. "Nah, it would be asking for too much…" Takato muttered, still thinking about how powerful his deck would become with that card in it.

"No, please!" Ken replied. "I insist!"

After several minutes of consideration and dialogue (and money transferences), Takato Matsuki became the proud owner of the one and only Sakuyamon Special Deluxe Gold Card. After a million thanks from Takato to Ken, to which the little millionaire replied to with his usual smile, Takato carefully mixed the new card with his deck. I wish I had a rich friend.

Of course, Takato's smile wouldn't disappear just like that. Ken proceeded to discuss some card prices, when Rika Nonaka walked inside the store. The first thing she noticed was Takato's smile, which was goofier than the usual.

"Gee, Gogglehead, what's with the big smile? It's sickening……"

Ken was the one who talked.

"He just acquired the only Sa-hhmmmpphhh!!!!" But Takato covered Ken's mouth with his hands before he could finish.

"Nothing! I'm just in a very, very, VERY good mood."

"Oookay……" Rika replied. Only then she recognized Takato's company. "Hey, aren't you the kid who was cheating at the tournament?"

"Rika!" Takato complained, but Ken shook his head. "She is right, Takato, even if it was my father's fault." He then bowed humbly. "I apologize."

"Whatever." Rika replied. Takato slightly leaned towards Ken and whispered something to his ear. "That's her way to say 'Apology accepted'."

Ken nodded happily. Rika walked to the counter. "Hey……what happened to the Sakuyamon card?"

The shop owner, realizing that Takato didn't want her to know the truth, replied. "Someone else bought it."

"Damn." Rika replied. She immediately looked at Ken. "It wasn't you, by any chance, rich boy?"

Ken immediately shook his head. "I just arrived here!"

Of course, Rika didn't bother asking Takato. She just resigned and began talking with the shop owner.

"Okay, then I'll take…do you have DAR-2?"

"Whoa, that's a toughie…let me check……"

While the shop owner looked in his vast storage room, Rika looked at Takato. "So…you're only here to look at the cards, or what?"

Takato then remembered. "Oh, yeah! I need DA-4, CD-1, CD-3, DR-3 and WS-1!" Takato exclaimed. The shop owner, who had listened to Takato, let go a whistle.

"You have a liking for special cards, huh, Takato? I don't think I have the Millenniumon card you asked for."

"Awww…"

Rika looked at Takato again. "Millenniumon?"

"What? I like him, any problem?"

"No, it's just……forget it."

Ten minutes later, Takato, Rika and Ken left with brand new Digimon cards. Ken waved goodbye to them, and the two Tamers left together to the park. It was a miracle their parents have allowed them to go out that day, after they have been through a living hell explaining them why they hadn't gone to sleep the day before. Same thing with all the Tamers, actually. Of course, Takato and Rika used the usual excuse ("We were saving the world, mom."). Henry didn't have much trouble, as it was Janyuu who had to deal with an angry wife. Jeri's parents, who were much closer to their daughter, took Jeri's explanation very lightly. Jeri didn't complain, of course. Kazu and Kenta have their very own way to dealing with matter like that, but we won't discuss that today. Same with Ryo, who……well, he's Ryo Akiyama, and you all know his family.

Eventually, Rika and Takato reached the park (what's the thing with these kids and the park, anyway?). Sunset was soon to arrive, but Rika didn't mind to sit down under a tree. Takato stayed still for a second, looking at her, wondering if she wasn't thinking of returning home yet. Suddenly, Rika looked at him.

"Do I have to tell you to sit down?"

Takato immediately obeyed. He took a while to try to understand the look on Rika's face. He could sadness, great sadness as she looked at him. Takato could also see something else. It took him a while to find the word to describe it, but he found it. It was compassion.

"So, you know." Takato said softly. And Rika exploded.

"Why didn't you tell me-us!?"

Takato chuckled. "I don't know how to tell my parents……how could I possibly find the way to tell you?"

Rika thought that by 'you' he meant everyone, but Takato was speaking in singular. She would never know that.

"What…what are you gonna do?" Rika asked. Takato moved his body to be next to Rika, as close as he knew Rika would allow him to be. Only then he replied.

"Nothing."

"Nothing!?"

"What can I do, Rika? I'll just go on with my ordinary life……as ordinary as it might be, at least."

Rika then remembered what the voice had told her.

It's because of his efforts as a Tamer.

"You have to stop fighting like this, Gogglehead!"

Takato couldn't believe what he was hearing. "I……I never knew you were that worried about me, Rika."

Of course, Rika blushed fiercely. "It's…it's not like that! I……"

Takato shook his head. "I know, I know……but, stop fighting, no way!"

"What!? Takato, do you want to die!? And if you mention that I said your name, I'll shorten your lifespan to zero, okay!?"

Takato smiled. "Rika……becoming a Tamer is the best thing that has happened to me in my entire life. Isn't it the same with you?"

Rika lowered her head. Takato continued. "I can't give up on this." The same way I can't give up on you……

Aww, how touching…

Leave us alone, Ruki!

Takato got up again, Rika following him. "I'm not quitting, Rika, and that's it. Now we should really go to our homes. And not a word about this to the others, okay?"

Rika nodded. "With one condition."

"Huh?"

"If this……Chaos within you gets out of control, you have to stop. Promise me."

Takato nodded and sighed before responding. "Alright……I promise."

And for the first time since the day Renamon returned, Rika showed a broad smile. Takato wouldn't forget what happened next, and neither would Rika. Maybe it was Rika's cold heart desperately asking for some warmth, or maybe it was Takato's need for a shoulder to lie on. The thing is, Takato and Rika joined together in a hug, their bodies bathed by the sunset light, their nostrils trapped by the other's scent. Years of fighting and crying, and the threat of imminent death haunted them, but the hope of a new beginning was their comfort. That, and each other.

"You can't die, Takato. Life wouldn't be interesting without you, you know?" Rika whispered, not letting go of her friend.

"So that's who I am, your clown."

"Any problems with that?"

"Not at all……Rika………."

"What?"

"About the Digimon Battle I won……"

"Yeah?"

"You're a very bad loser."

*SQUEEZE!!!!!*

"Ouch, Rika, it hurts!!!! My ribs!"

"What, don't you like tight hugs, Gogglehead?"

"You're not hugging me; you're squeezing me to death!" *hack* *cough* *wheeze*

"Aww, poor Gogglehead is in pain……"

"Rika! Ouch, dammit!"

"You'll have to eat those words, Goggles!"

"I can't eat anything with you squeezing me like this!" *crack* "See? There goes my back!"

"Don't exaggerate!"

"Rika! It really hurts!"

"'Rika Nonaka is the best Digimon Tamer in the whole world, and I'm nothing but a stupid Gogglehead'. Say it!"

"Oh, come on…"

"SAY IT!"

"Ouch! Okay…how was it? OUCH!"

When it seemed like Takato's humiliation couldn't be greater, his savior arrived…well, not really.

"Whoa, hot stuff!"

Rika reacted like a spring, letting go of Takato and retreating like……18 feet away in a second.

"Terriermon! Let them be!"

"What's that supposed to mean, Brainiac!?"

"Well, you seemed to be hugging him…what do you want me to think?" Henry replied.

"She wasn't hugging me, she was killing me!"

"Oh, I see…" Terriermon said. "……is there a difference?"

"That's it! You're going flying to the moon, rabbitmon, and there's no way back!"

While Rika chased Terriermon around the park, Henry sat down with Takato. "So……how are you?"

"My head still hurts after releasing the Hazard, my whole body aches; Rika just broke like 10 of my ribs and I've been through a very humiliating moment……I couldn't feel any better."

"Well, look at it from the good side."

"Which good side?"

"It's not happening to me."

"Thanks for the support, buddy."

"That's what best friends are for."

*****An apartment*****

"So this is your cave, huh? Ooh, nice couch!"

"Don't get too comfy. You're leaving, remember?"

"Oh, yeah……"

Daneel walked to the kitchen while BlackTerriermon moved around the sofa, looking for maximum comfort. "So…what do you want? I have orange juice, sodas, wine…"

"Wine!"

"I don't think so."

"Oh, come on!" BlackTerriermon complained before catching a soda can Daneel had thrown at him. The young man soon joined him in the couch.

"So…what do you think of this place?"

"Well, I had kind of a stormy welcome, but it was fun."

"I'd love to see your Tamer's face when you tell him what you were doing."

"Hey, you're right! That will be fun…"

Both human and Digimon remained silent for a while. "A toast to our lord, I guess?" Daneel proposed.

"Alright! To Takeru Takaishi, Lord of Humans! Cheers!"

"Cheers."

More silence. "So…what now?" BlackTerriermon asked.

"You are going back to your Tamer, and life a normal life……whatever that is. I and the other agents will watch over Takato and Ryo, don't worry."

"Okay……it will be tough, living a normal life when I know what's happening in another dimension."

"Knowing you, it won't be that tough."

"Heh, you got me there."

Silence. The sound of a human and a Digimon finishing their sodas. BlackTerriermon made another question.

"So…how am I supposed to go back? Do I have to ask Takato to open a Gate?"

"Not really. I'll do it."

"Can you do that?"

"Sort of."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Just trust me."

"As long as you don't throw somewhere else, it's ok."

"You know, I'd be doing a favor to the world if I did that."

"Oh, shut up!"

*****Odaiba……Eastern Quadrant*****

"That's he's WHAT!?"

Koushiro Izumi checked his ears to make sure he had heard the right words. Matt Ishida simply nodded.

"He's alive. We saw him."

"But…but that's impossible!" Yolei continued. "The police looked for him for like years! Are you sure it wasn't just someone like him?"

Kari shook her head. "No! Patamon was with him, too! And he responded to the name…it was him, we are sure!"

Yolei and Ken looked at each other, still finding it hard to believe. Matt shook his head in disappointment.

"I know it's hard to believe, but it was really him! We think he's been hiding in the DigiWorld all this time."

"Hmm, Matt…"

Everyone turned to look at Davis Motomiya, who had stayed silent for the entire conversation.

"Don't you remember? We looked fro him in the Digital World even longer than the policemen looked for him here. We checked under every stone, inside every cave, heck, we even asked for the Digimon's help!"

"Well, I don't care!" Matt insisted. "I saw him! I talked to him before he entered that……portal. Patamon was with him, too, and he also had that green thing around his wrist."

"Green thing?" Koushiro asked. Matt nodded.

"It was some sort of device. It had a black screen and lots of buttons. It was all the way from his wrist to his elbow."

Koushiro remained silent for a minute, and the others found it obvious that Matt's description rang a bell in Izzy's mind. Finally, the redhead laughed happily, unable to contain his surprise.

"I can't believe it! He finished it!"

"What?" Joe Kido asked his friend. Izzy opened his briefcase and took out a very old piece of paper. "Now I know why I always kept it with me…gee, I never thought he would actually finish it."

"What!?" Mimi Tachikawa insisted. Everyone was getting tired of Izzy's way to take the longest time possible doing everything.

"Matt, did by any chance Takeru's artifact look like this?"

Matt examined the paper Izzy had given him and nodded. "Yes, it looked a lot like it. Not exactly, but they're very similar. What is this anyway?"

Koushiro smiled. "It's a Digivice."

"What!?" Davis exclaimed while he looked at Izzy's paper. Izzy's smile grew wider.

"It's a design I made when I was…seventeen years old, yes…a few months before Takeru…well, disappeared. He went to my house one day, you know, just to hang around for a while. We talked a lot, and the topic of the Digivice eventually arrived. We wondered how were Digivices made, after all, it was one of the biggest question I had always wanted to ask Gennai, but never had the chance to. Then, TK and I began to design a Digivice, just for the hell of it. We made some sort of Ultimate Digivice, with capabilities no known Digivice had. Of course, it was just for fun, but it seems like TK took it quite seriously."

"What…kind of capabilities are you talking about?" Ken wondered.

"Interaction. Our Digivices are nothing but artifacts which help us make our partners digivolve. This new Digivice would be able to interact with his owner, thanks to the miracle of AI."

"AI?" Mimi asked.

"Artificial Intelligence. It would allow machines to develop personality traits or their own."

"Wild stuff…" Davis commented.

"But that's not it." Izzy continued. "When we were children, we only helped our partners digivolve, and then we stood aside and let them do the dirty work. We couldn't help him. This new Digivice would allow the user to play a more important role in the battle strategy."

"Well, that would have been helpful!" Gomamon commented, making him the first Digimon to speak in the meeting.

"How was it supposed to work?"

"TK and I proposed a way to boost the Digimon's agility with different types of upgrades, like increasing their speed, resistance, stamina, offensive power, and etcetera. I realized that, being the Digimon made of data, it would be relatively easy to alter their data patterns, even if it were just for a short while. I thought of a method using microchips, which could be connected to the Digivice at the needed moment, allowing the user to change their Digimon's abilities at will."

"I didn't understand half of that, but it sounds cool." Davis said. "Why didn't you continue developing that idea?"

"Davis has a point." Yolei continued. "You were young then, but you could have talked to Gennai, or maybe wait a few years, who knows?"

"Well, there was the problem of transmitting the information from the Digivice to the Digimon with a wireless method." Izzy explained. "However, TK proposed the solution to that problem that same day."

"He did?" Joe asked.

"He said that the proper code could be sent using Electromagnetic Waves. Coming from a thirteen-year-old, it surprised me quite a bit. However, we didn't know enough about Energy Transmission using EW to develop a proper theory. We didn't even know much about the structure of Digimon. Besides, we were just wasting time; we were never serious about this thing."

Everyone remained silent, but Izzy had something else to say. "Heh, it seems like he has been quite busy during this past twelve years. I'd love to talk to him, maybe he'd tell me how he finished it."

But Kari didn't really care about TK's and Izzy's Digivice. "So, what are we going to do?"

Cody Hida finally found his turn to speak. "Absolutely nothing."

"What!?" Everybody shouted at him, but Cody remained emotionless.

"He must have had a very strong reason to disappear on purpose. He obviously doesn't want anything with us anymore, so why should we insist?"

"Well, I want to find my brother, you know!?"

Cody shook his head. "I don't think we'll be able to find him. If he could remain hidden for twelve years, now that he's been sighted he'll be much more cautious. I think we should forget about it and go on with our lives, like we've done until now."

"I can't believe you…" Kari said softly. "……I……just can't forget him, you know!?" She shouted on the verge of tears.

Davis looked at his second best friend (the first being Ken, of course). Why was she so desperate to find him, after she had gotten over his loss so easily? Davis soon realized it was because of her divorce. The only reason she hadn't dwelled too much over Takeru's disappearance was because she had a boyfriend who had helped here through it. Now that she was alone again, was she thinking of Takeru as her second chance at love? Davis himself had gotten over his crush for Kari a long time ago…yes, money can do that.

Kari…are you that desperate? However……I don't think Takeru wants anything with you……not anymore.

David had to change the topic, fast. "Hmm, where's Sora?"

Matt, being Sora's husband, was the one to reply. "She told me she couldn't come, that she had something to do. I guess I'll tell her about Takeru tonight. I wonder what could be so important."

Mimi shook her head in disgust. "So you all already forgot, huh?"

It took a few seconds for everyone to understand. "So it was a day like today……" Izzy muttered. He couldn't help but look at Kari.

That was the worst year of our lives……first Takeru, then………

*****You don't want to know where, really!*****

Sora Takenouchi walked slowly through the stoned path, a flower on her right hand, a piece of paper on her left hand. Her short hair reacted to the warm wind of a nice summer afternoon. Biyomon was waiting at the entrance; Sora didn't want to have company at the moment. It was her moment to be alone, the moment to dwell on her deepest, darkest secret. She tightened her hands, squeezing the piece of paper. It was old and creased, stained by the many times Sora had held it, damped by the many tears that had fallen on him, all of them out of Sora's eyes.

Her feet automatically stopped. They already knew the way, they had walked it dozens of times. Yet the same thing always happened when she arrived. Her whole body became weak and numb, and her right hand released the flower, which fell on the grassy ground in front of the thirty-year-old woman.

Her memories brought upon her the images of that horrible day, the only day she'd rather forget. She couldn't believe it when Mrs. Kamiya had told her. Tai, of all people? But the notes said everything. Everyone swallowed the bitter words and blindly believed them, but not her. The reason he wrote on those notes were the lamest she had ever heard. Not even clumsy Tai would have done something like what he did for such stupid reason. She knew there was something more, there HAD to be something more. And she knew.

Only she knew. The true reason Taichi Kamiya had done what he done. And that was her sin……and her atonement. It was Tai's blessing and curse on her, and she would have to live with it for the rest of her life. She would have been completely happy without it, as she had a loving husband, a steady job and lots of friends who cared for her. But things wouldn't change. She knew the truth, and she loved it and hated it at the same time.

A tear went down her cheeks. She didn't stop it. What for, if other tears would eventually follow the first one? She read the headstone for the millionth time in her life, even if she knew what it said. It was marked in her mind as a horrible monument to one of Odaiba's heroes.

Taichi Kamiya

1988-             

Valiant warrior,

Loving friend.

The flame within you shall never die…    

Then, she took out the piece of paper and unfolded it. She already knew what it said; she had read it hundreds of times. It was Tai's suicide note for her, just for her. It had no goodbyes, explanations or excuses. It had the only thing he needed to tell her, and the only thing she needed to know.

I will always love you, Sora.

THE END

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DR: I have no time, so thank you everyone, please be nice and review, in case of flames I'll just give Rika a Millennium Item and send Yami Rika to you, so there…did I just insert a Yu-Gi-Oh! Joke in here? Anyway, I wish you all a Happy New Year! See you soon with a new Digimon Tamers story!

Next on Tamers Forever: When we all thought the only strange one in Shinjuku was Takato, the rest of the Tamers began acting…well, strangely. Now Takato is the only normal one in town, and he'll have to find out by himself why the others are being so…weird. Of course, it won't be that easy, considering that Rika has begun to be…abnormally affectionate towards Takato for no reason at all! We'll give Takato a rest of all the battling and stuff, in a comedy where insanity is every day's bread! Pure humor, bad jokes, Terriermon-style pranks and insanity in the next Rukato story for my "Tamers Forever" series: Theory of Chaos! Being loved is always good, but what happens when you're just TOO loved by someone? Wait for it very soon!

Daneel Rush (daneel_ff@hotmail.com)