They were halfway across the desert when Impmon and Terriermon had begun to quarrel. It surprised nobody; neither could stand the other, and it was hot, and they were tired- and they missed their tamers. So when it finally got violent between them, Renamon was the only one to intervene. And when the sky turned dark, and Lopmon suggested that they call it a day and rest, no one argued otherwise.

They piled up behind a stone pillar, and soon Guilmon's snuffling was the only sound heard. Renamon had chosen to stay up and keep watch. Impmon stayed up too, since he was nocturnal by nature and that wasn't about to change anytime soon.

They sat beside each other with their backs to their sleeping comrades, they're bodies faintly illuminated by the light of the Earth. It was Impmon who spoke to her first.

"I didn't handle that too well, did I?"

"You could have done better."

"I wish he hadn't brought that up."

"If I recall, you brought up the diaper first."

"But can I help it if he looked so pathetic?" He grinned up at her, and it fell immediately when he saw her expression. "No, you're right. That was rude. I was rude."

He leaned back into her bushy tail. He could hear Terriermon breathing softly on the other side of it.

"I wish we could just go home already."

"So do I."

When he looked at her again, she didn't seem so aloof or untouchable anymore. She was homesick, just like the rest of them. He thought of all the times she'd tried to reach out to him in the past- compassion that he had sorely mistaken for some kind of cruel mockery. When, faced with certain death in her face, she had tried appealing to him to reconsider his choices.

He felt sick thinking about it. He stared down at his hands.

Red gloves. Like blood. He wrung them together and shut his eyes.

"You're trembling, Impmon."

Of course she could tell. He was using her tail as a damn beanbag.

"I tried to kill you." He couldn't keep the tremor out of his voice.

Then he realized- that if it hadn't been him. Then it would've been her. The thought made him hate himself more than usual.

"I tried to kill you."

Renamon closed her eyes. "And?"

"That wasn't polite." It sounded like he was trying to be humorous, but she caught him swallowing a sob.

"I'm sorry, Renamon." He sniffed. He refused to look her in the face. "If I could go back and change every second of it, I'd do it in a heartbeat."

"You don't need to dwell on that."

"Why not?" He said, a bit too loud. He turned to face her, his eyes glossy. "Every horrible thing that happened could have been avoided if I hadn't... If I'd just hadn't been-"


"Such an asswipe!"

A grunt resounded from behind him.

"Pipe down, asswipe. Some of us aren't nocturnal."

His shoulders still trembled against her tail and- he didn't know if he imagined it or not- it seemed to coil tighter around him.

"I used to kill." She said to him. "And I would load their data too."

"You never killed anyone who mattered."

"I don't know. Maybe I did." She looked at him. "I think about that, sometimes."

There were never any stars in the sky of the digital world. Only the Earth, glowing blue above (below?) them. It occurred to him that he missed the moonlight. He missed the world of the humans, with all its imperfections.

"I hate it here."

Impmon hadn't said it. He glanced at her.

"Me too."

"When you're here for too long... You forget that your worth isn't dictated by how powerful you can become." She opened her eyes. "I used to think that was all I could hope to achieve. But she..." Her voice trailed off.



There wasn't much more to be said between either of them. After that there was only her hand holding his, and his breath slowing down, and his cheek falling to rest on her lap.