DR: The fifth and final story………never thought I'd get this far. I'm lucky I have readers like you people. Definitely.

Terriermon: Oh, come on, stop the crap and let go to the big stuff! I want to kick some booty!

DR: Be patient, Terriermon. I promise you'll have more……booty than you could possibly imagine. But first, some point I need to make clear. First, I have the whole story pictured in my mind, so I should be able to write it without many delays. Yeah, even the incredible, amazing, tear-jerking ending that will leave with an irresistible urge to chop my head off the rest of my body. However, now that I'm back to College, my writing time gets considerably reduced, so don't expect the speed I had during the writing of "Theory of Chaos". Second, this time the Interlude will be an integral part of the story, not like with the other stories, when the Interlude was a "post-ending" chapter. This is because now that Takeru and the Tamers get reunited, there's no sense in making an extra chapter just for the Lord of Humans.

Terriermon: So……are you done?

DR: ……I guess.

Terriermon: I can't believe it……when this fic is done………then what?

DR: *smiles* don't worry, you'll find out what's bound to come from Daneel Rush right after this series is over. That won't take long, as this story is actually rather short. Anyway, I don't own Digimon……crap, I still have to talk to DC…….oh, well……on to chapter one, where many revelations are already made. Laugh, frown and amuse at the couplings here! (Just to warn you, there are one-sided Joe/Jun, one-sided Takari and TK/Pauline references here. No, I don't know what I drank today.) Enjoy the beginning of the end!

SILENT SORROW

Chapter 1

The Calling

"I'm bored, I'm bored, I'm bored, I'm bored, I'M BORED, I'M BORED, I'M BORED, I'M BORED, I'M BORED, I'M SO VERY BORED!!!"

Chaos paced around Takato's mind, having absolutely nothing else to do. Ruki would be in the exact same situation if she weren't nursing Takato back to health.

(A/N: I'll mix the names of Takato and Asmodeus without warning. It's up to you to realize when I'm talking about Asmodeus and when I'm talking about the body itself or the eventual 'merged' form of Chaos and Asmodeus. It shouldn't be that confusing……and you must remember only the Triad and Gennai know of the name 'Asmodeus' for now. That will change very soon, though.)

However, the term 'nursing' was a little incorrect, as there was no progress in Asmodeus' mental health. He was simply……gone. But Ruki wouldn't give up, so she stayed on the floor, with Asmodeus' head on her lap, slowly caressing his hair with her hands and giving him an occasional kiss on the forehead or the cheeks. It was the best she could do, anyway. Chaos finally stopped and looked at the two other residents of that mind.

"Gosh, I need a drink."

As if on cue, a glass of fine whisky showed up in front of him, the dark (dark, not evil!) Takato taking it and drinking it too fast to be healthy. Of course, it wasn't 'real' whisky, so it shouldn't be much of a problem……and it's Chaos, so there wasn't much of a problem for a seemingly twelve-year-old boy to drink alcohol. He walked closer to Ruki and Asmodeus.

"I think he could use one of these, too." He said jokingly, showing the female the empty glass of liquor. Ruki looked at Chaos for a second and immediately looked away. "If you're not helping then don't interfere."

Chaos smirked in response. "Gee, what's your problem!? What happened with your sense of humor!?"

"It left with him."

Chaos had no response to that. He knew he was the cause of what was going on to his other self, but he considered that the way Ruki was treating him was unfair. "I just wanted to help, you know?"

"Then next time just don't do a thing!" Ruki looked down at Takato and finished the sentence grimly. "……if there's a next time."

Chaos looked away. "He's a fighter. He won't go down without a fight."

"But after what you did to him, he's on the losing side."

"For God's sake, What's your problem!? You say you want him to return and you're the only one here with no hope left!"

Ruki looked down at Takato, avoiding Chaos' glare, but the boy was able to notice a glimmering tear falling down her left cheek. Chaos turned his body, showing his back to her.

"I know he'll be back……..on the other side, if I don't get out of this hospital I'll be the one who gets killed……by boredom."

"Well, that would be a blessing."

"That's it!"

"Do you want me dead so badly, Ruki!?"

"Yes, and I'm sure Takato shares my opinion!"

"Well, I think you're wrong about that! He is the only one who actually respects me!"

Ruki didn't respond, allowing Chaos to realize what he had just said. He lowered his head and muttered some words.

"He's been……the only one who………has treated me correctly."

Chaos finally decided to walk away, leaving Ruki alone with the unconscious Asmodeus. As Chaos walked, he couldn't help but consider the future.

"What now?"

With his other side in such a weak state, he could easily finish the job and obtain total control, just like he had done in his previous incarnations. It would be as easy as those other times.

"Then……why don't I feel like doing it?"

*****School*****

"Now, considering the procedures to handle fractions, let's do the next operations……"

Rika's hand rapidly copied what Ms. Asagi wrote on the blackboard and watched how the teacher began to explain how to solve the exercise. However, the girl's ears were turned off, just like pretty much the rest of her body. Her right hand was the only working part of her body. The rest, including her brain, was completely out of the classroom.

So……bored………

It was funny how her desk had become the only one occupied by one student. The other pairs were complete and they were all paying close attention to the teacher. Rika looked at the empty seat to her right and sighed as an expression of her absolute boredom. Now's when the Gogglehead always did something moronic and everyone laughed at him……damn, I miss that……

"Oooh, someone misses someone!"

Ignoring the voice from her subconscious, Rika looked down at her annotations.

1/3 + 7/4 = Now's when the Gogglehead did something moronic and everyone laughed at him……damn, I miss that…….

Rika hurriedly erased the words and proceeded to work on the simple operation. Sighing once more, she lowered her head to the point of almost touching the desk. Yes, it would be one of those boring days………

*****Eastern Quadrant. Odaiba. A Hospital*****

"Finally! Now I'm going straight to the bed, that's for sure!"

"I'm with you there, Sasami. I'm exhausted!"

"I'd be surprised if you weren't, Jun!"

Jun Motomiya stretched her arms and legs before releasing a loud yawn. Night shift at the hospital was over, and it was time for her to go home. She didn't really like night shift, but she had her best friends there. However, it was hard for them to find any free time, as they were too tired during the day to go out together. Being a nurse is tough.

Thirty-year-old Jun and twenty-six-year-old Sasami walked together to the exit. Sasami had curly black hair that went down to shoulder-length. Her green eyes usually had a cheerful sparkle, but she was too tired in that precise moment. Jun, who was older, taller, and whose body was definitely better-looking, smiled at the sight of her exhausted friend. "I'd invite you to a drink, but I don't think you'd accept, Sasami."

"Sorry, too tired to go anywhere but my bedroom."

They had just left the hospital when they were forced to stop. A car was coming out of the parking lot and they were pretty much in the way. Both women moved aside, but the car didn't move an inch. An impatient and tired Jun was about to complain when the driver's window opened.

"Are you on your way home, Miss Motomiya?"

Jun smiled in response. The driver was none other than thirty-one-year-old Joe Kido. Dr. Joe Kido, to be precise. "Want a ride?"

Jun doubted for a second, and then gave an apologetic expression to her friend. "Sorry, girl. See ya!"

"Hey!" Sasami complained, but Jun was already on the passenger's seat and the car sped up, leaving her talking to the air. "Well, how's that for a best friend!?"

Anyway, while Sasami gets lost in the most hidden parts of our memory, Joe and Jun began a conversation of their own.

"Thanks for the ride, Joe."

Joe twitched a little bit. He wasn't used to such straightforwardness. Very few people called him by his first name at that stage of his life. But, much to his surprise, he didn't really care.

"No problem. After all, I owe you one."

"Really?"

"Yeah. For a moment I thought I was by myself on that birth."

Jun grinned. "Oh, that! After the mess that little bastard did with my uniform, I should have left you alone!"

Jun laughed loudly while Joe simply smiled in response. "It would have been really tough all by myself. Really, thanks."

"Oh, you don't have to be so courteous!"

Joe remained silent.

"But if you really want to show me your appreciation, you can always take me out for dinner."

Joe stared at her in disbelief. Was she actually asking him out!? Jun, meanwhile, remained silent for a few seconds in which Joe's tension increased until she finally burst out laughing. "I'm joking, silly!"

Joe's grimace changed to a dumb look and a faked laugh. "Oh…sure…of course…a joke……hahaha……"

If Jun hadn't been so busy laughing she might have been able to notice Joe's sigh.

As Joe drove through the busy streets of Odaiba, they both talked about the only thing they had in common besides their job: Davis. Going into details about that conversation would take me an extra twenty pages, as Davis always gives a lot to talk about. But because of the length of the conversation (and because I just don't give a damn about Davis' social life), we'll just skip it. The thing is, they eventually arrived to the apartment building where Jun lives.

"Well, we're here."

"Thanks for the ride again."

"It was my pleasure. See you tonight at the night shift."

"You just had to remind me of that…"

Joe and Jun shared one last laugh. Alright, go for it, Joe!

Joe looked up front, at the road ahead. "Umm, Jun, well………I was wondering………ahem, you know how great we work together and everything, so………so I was wondering………what I mean is, well………are you busy on Saturday night?"

No response. Joe looked to his right and sweatdropped. Jun was already walking through the building's main entrance. She hadn't listened to a word. The doctor sighed and proceeded to drive his way home.

Oh, well, there's always tomorrow………

(A/N: This is not a filler scene! I never write things that won't alter the plot somehow!)

*****The Answer to a Question Not Yet Answered……and one of the reasons for this story's title*****

It happened on an autumn day. It was a little warmer than the usual, but it was definitely during autumn. Storm clouds were slowly gathering, signaling the incoming rain during the night or maybe earlier. Regardless of the weather, fourteen-year-old Takeru Takaishi ran though the crowded streets of Odaiba, evading other people with a skill product of years of experience. He was sad, immensely sad, but the illusion of meeting his best friend, Hikari Kamiya hid the deep sorrow his mother had just caused him. He tightened his grip on the small package he carried with him. It was carefully wrapped, with the little red lace and everything. His mother had drastically changed his plans for the future.

Takeru, I got the job! We're going to try our luck in New York City!

It wasn't the idea of moving to the States, it was what he was leaving behind what worried him. He was about to leave his father, his brother, his friends, the Digi-Destined……and of course, his love interest, the light of his life, the reason of his existence, his destiny, his life, his everything. It had been all so sudden, but he knew there was no way around it.

He was angry at his mother for not taking him into account when making such an important decision, of course, but he also knew he couldn't argue with her. It was a unique opportunity, and forcing her mother to decline would be incorrect. He loved his mother, and watching the joyous face she had when she gave him the 'good news' was more than enough to convince him: they would go to the United States, and that's it.

He stopped in the middle of the sidewalk to catch his breath. He had been running for much longer than he was used to. But it was necessary. He couldn't leave without telling her. She had to know, or he would regret it for the rest of his life.

"I like you as more than a friend. Hikari Kamiya, I love you."

Yes, that sounded perfect. He especially like the emphasis he gave to the word 'love'. It made him look very determined. And it was precisely that determination what gave him the strength he needed to run the rest of the way to the building where the Kamiyas lived. Yes, he couldn't be more prepared.

He was prepared to reveal Kari his true feelings for her, but he definitely wasn't ready for what he witnessed when he arrived to his destination.

It was Hikari………and another guy. And it wasn't Davis, or Tai, or Ken, Matt, Joe, Izzy……heck, not even Cody! It was someone else! Unacceptable!

Takeru remained completely silent, his feet frozen on the pavement below him. He almost expected Kari to realize his presence and ditch that 'someone else'. But that didn't happen. Even worse, they were walking away from him! And even worse, they were holding hands!

Shaking away the unacceptable thoughts of what the 'holding hands' thing could mean, he tried to call her. But he wasn't able to say a single word. And barely audible grunt was everything that came out. He tried again.

"Ka……Kari………"

It was far from a yell, but it was enough for Kari to turn around and notice him. She immediately ran closer to him, dragging the guy with her.

"Takeru! Hey, I wasn't expecting you!"

Takeru didn't respond. He had recognized the guy.

"Shoun………"

"Huh, hey, captain. What's up?" The so-called Shoun replied. Shoun was just as tall and athletic as Takeru, so he had easily gotten a place in the basketball team. Of course, the perfectly tanned skin, the growing muscles product of constant exercising and his rather exotic expression achieved thanks to his black eyes and hair made him a perfect chick magnet.

Just after Takeru thought a little about, he found the idea quite reasonable. Big, good-looking guy who is a top player at one of the school's teams hanging out with the girl everybody loves, who only gets the best grades and to top things, is a cheerleader. But he still was the team's captain! Why wasn't he the one holding hands with Kari?

"Uhh, it seems you got us in-fraganti, Takeru." Shoun said rather sheepishly. Kari blushed in response.

"Umm……TK, I guess I didn't tell you earlier………" Kari's shy smile soon turned into a joyous grin. "Shoun is my boyfriend, can you believe it!?"

"Yeah, man, like, I'm going out with Kari Kamiya! Isn't it great!? I……can hang out with Kari Kamiya, right, captain?"

TK didn't know what to say, how to react. Kari had just said the b-word, and not precisely the one with five letters. His heart shattered and the glass of the photo frame he held in his hand was close to shattering into pieces, too. TK's trembling hand made Kari notice the small gift.

"Oh, what is that, TK?"

It is still unknown how he managed to find the courage to raise his right arm, give the present to Kari and show his best smile without bursting into tears.

"This……this is a goodbye present, Kari. Have fun in your date. Goodbye."

Kari looked at the gift with a puzzled look. "A goodbye present? What's that supposed to……hey, TK!!!"

But TK was already running as fast as his already sore feet could go. Why stopping anyway? He had nowhere he actually wanted to go. If he stopped, only New York would be in front of him. And he felt he had nothing left in Odaiba. After all, life went on, and the others would get used to his absence. So, why stopping? Why not running until his body stopped working and his heart stopped pumping blood?"

However, his feet took him back to his apartment. It was empty, and TK knew his mother was probably doing something concerning their moving out of Odaiba……their moving out of Japan. Barely managing to hold the tears threatening to leave his eyes, he walked to his bedroom and slammed the door behind him, waking up his Digimon partner in the process.

"Huh……what's wrong, TK?" The sleepy Patamon asked, even if he wasn't really that curious about his partner's problems. He just wanted to know the reason he had been woken up.

Takeru didn't respond, and that really worried Patamon. The blonde boy grabbed his white hat, holding it tightly and finally throwing it with all his remaining strength. But it wasn't enough. Nothing could possibly help him against his sorrow. There was only one exit.

Not bothering to grab anything, he took his D-3 and placed it in front of the PC. Now that got Patamon really worried.

"Where are we going?"

That was actually a good question. Where to go? The pain would never leave, no matter how far away he went. But he still had the best answer.

"Anywhere but here."

The room was covered with light, and both Digi-Destined and Digimon left that bedroom to never return. The sky's tears began to fall as they left………

*****///////*****

From light to darkness, to the endless mystery of a man's mind. Inside there, Takeru Takaishi, or at least his mental image grimly looked down, grieving over the long lost love. The memories of that day still flooded his mind every once in a while, even if he was already over it. Yes, fourteen years later, Takeru was proud to say he was over Hikari Kamiya. Besides, he had more important things to think about, anyway. He was the Lord of Humans, and the weight of the Ultimate Prophecy was enough for Takeru not to really worry about finding a woman. That is, unless you count………

The girl was tall like Takeru, and just as blonde. Her hair barely went a little below her shoulders and it was rather curly at the tip (A/N: For a reason I can't stop thinking of Fuu from Magic Knight Rayearth when I type this……just without the glasses). Her white tank top and her green miniskirt almost looked like a cheerleader uniform, and the green tiara she wore was a really nice accessory on her. She tiptoed closer to Takeru.

"Well, that was an……interesting trip down memory lane."

Takeru remained silent. "And I was right………"

"Huh?"

"They eventually learned to live without me. They returned to their usual routines, only interrupted by Tai's disappearance several months later. Kari's relationship with Shoun only grew stronger. They were to prom night together, they went to the same college and they got married before they even finished it. After all, my 'death' wasn't that important."

"Oh, come on, Takeru! Don't you remember the rest of the story? That jerk dumped her for a girl who had just finished high-school! Now she's all by herself, raising a child who'll never meet his father!"

"She's strong. She'll manage."

"Yeah, but that doesn't mean you have to be grieving over what happened."

"But if I had told her sooner……if I had shown her my feelings………she wouldn't be going through it………"

"Takeru, what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. This experience will make Kari a better woman, and everything that has happened has definitely made you stronger!" The girl shouted, but her expression soon changed to a seductive look. "Just check out those biceps………" she said while squeezing TK's right arm.

"Pauline………"

"What? I'm only saying Kari had no idea what she's missing."

"Pauline!"

"What!? Anyway, the point is, Kari and the others now have THEIR lives and you have YOUR life, which is no longer attached to theirs."

Takeru smiled.

"Now you're only attached to me."

"Pauline!"

"It's true!"

Takeru gently smiled as he caressed Pauline's right cheek. It was hard to think Pauline was nothing more than a machine, given her fantastic appearance in his mind. "You know, I feel a lot better now. Thank you."

"Well, you're wel-"

Pauline never got to finish her sentence as Takeru gently pressed his lips against hers. It was cute, it was short……and it was his first.

"Do you realize you just kissed an algorithmic entity product of a secondary program of your Digivice, which only lives in your mind?"

"Yeah." Takeru replied with a smile.

"Don't wonder what your friends would say if they found out?"

"They don't have to know."

"But don't you find it awkward, strange, bizarre……just plain freaky!?"

"………maybe, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it."

Pauline chuckled as she eyed Takeru once more. Takeru couldn't help but enjoy the "algorithm" and her magnificent features as he held her.

"I made you the perfect woman for me, Pauline." Takeru said while shaking his head in unsure regret. Pauline chuckled.

"That's your mistake, not mine. Now you better take me now or you'll regret it."

Takeru tilted his head. "Now how's that supposed to work? As far as I know we're still mental images in my brain."

Pauline showed a devious grin. "Maybe, but mark my words when I say it will feel VERY real."

"This is so insane………" Takeru muttered, but the look on Pauline's face was just too much to be resisted. "I guess you're in charge."

Pauline smiled in triumph and inched closer, and closer, and closer………

*****Somewhere in the Southern Quadrant of the Digital World*****

Takeru suddenly opened his eyes. The loud beeping of his laptop had forced him to stop his resting, and I say resting because he never fell asleep. The Emerald Omnivice was the first to complain.

Oh, come on!!!

Hmm……what?

For God's sake, what's your problem!? You first entice me to no end and now you say 'what?'

Takeru gulped. You mean that wasn't a really fucked-up dream?

YOU NEVER FELL ASLEEP, TAKAISHI! NOW COME HERE AND FINISH THE JOB!!!

Uhh……I don't think so. We've got work to do. The computer is displaying an alarm.

To hell with the computer, I'm horny!

YOU'RE A MACHINE!

Programmed by you to have feelings! I'm more human than some people we've met!

Well, I can't say no to you about that one………

Don't change the topic! Now close your eyes, release your frickin' mind and do me hard!

"PAULINE!!!!" Takeru shouted out loud this time, a nosebleed really close from happening. A startled Patamon suddenly got up.

"Could you please stop it, you two!? There are Digimon trying to sleep here."

"Huh? Oh, yeah, sorry, Patamon. The laptop displayed an alarm."

Takeru finally managed to get up and study what the computer's screen displayed. "Area 0………what was that again?"

……………

"Not the silent treatment again, Pauline!"

Patamon chuckled. "Silent treatment? What did you do this time?"

"I think it's more about what I didn't do, Patamon."

"Okay, what didn't you do?

Her……… "Forget it. I'm just wondering what this Area 0 thing……is…massive data accumulation? Where's this place anyway? Pauline? Care to join us?"

………………………

Takeru sighed. "I'll take that as a no. Patamon, any ideas?"

"I hope I'm wrong, but………wasn't that the Dark Ocean?"

Takeru's body froze. Suddenly, he began to type as fast as possible. "Holy Guacamole………" he finally muttered.

"What's going on?" Patamon asked.

"Something the Event Matrix could have never predicted………I'm such an idiot!"

………of course. Only an idiot would ignore a total cutie like me………

Oh, get over it! We have stuff to do! The Tamers must be prepared! I'm sorry I disappointed you, okay?

………it won't be that easy. But we've really got work to do………damn…………when I find out who caused this interruption, I swear there will be heads rolling!

Takeru gulped. Women are crazy………

I HEARD THAT!!!

"Anyway, let's go!"

Takeru stood up……and froze right on his tracks, as Gate materialized right in front of him. "What the heck!?" Patamon shouted very loudly. But what really worried the small Digimon was what came out of the Gate.

Now this is trouble…/Now this is trouble.../"Now this is trouble…." Takeru/Pauline/Patamon said right before Daemon and his troops stepped out of the portal.

*****Inside Takato*****

Ruki's eyes stared at the one boy sleeping on her lap. Takato Matsuki's original mind pattern, 'Asmodeus', lied unconscious, completely dead to the world. At that rate, it would soon be just Chaos and Ruki. Well, not really.

Ruki was doing the best she could to stay awake, but it was getting harder every minute. She lived from his energy, and with 'Asmodeus' out of commission, she was steadily running out of energy. She was dying.

"Damn it, Gogglehead, I can't believe you're doing this to me………" she said as the exhaustion forced her to lay down on the 'floor', next to Takato's limp 'body'. "I feel so cold………" she muttered, cuddling against Takato for some extra warmth, but Takato was in the same state as her, so he wasn't of much help.

"So this is how it feels to die. It's weird, considering that I'm a machine……." Ruki said as she hugged Takato tighter and cuddling even closer. "I'd never do this in a normal situation, so don't get ideas." Ruki joked to no one, as Takato couldn't listen to her and Chaos wasn't around.

"……but now that I'm here, it's not that bad………" Ruki said as she smiled, closing her eyes to drift away to sleep, even if she knew she might not wake up again………

*****The Tamers*****

"So………what are we doing here?" Hirokazu said sheepishly. He was obviously not comfortable.

"What is it, Visor-dude? Don't you like my house?"

Hirokazu gulped. "Oh, no, no! Of course I like your house, Rika, it's lovely!"

Rika's frown became more notorious and Kazu truly feared for his health. "Umm………what's best for me to do now?"

"Shut up." Renamon replied.

"Okay."

Now you might be wondering what were the Tamers doing at Rika's, right? Well, it was her mother's idea. You could call it a "strategy meeting", even if there was nothing to strategize. To make things short, it was a way to make Rika take her friends to her house for a change. After all, the only youngster the Nonakas had received at their how on a regular basis was Takato. And soon enough, Rika's grandmother showed up with lemonade and cookies. Of course, Rika groaned. It was enough with Takato's constant complimenting of her grandma's cookies, and now four people with their Digimon? Jeez………

The true conversation began when Rika's mother and grandmother joined the Tamers to chat.

"So………how is he?"

"The same, mom. No progresses at all." Rika answered matter-of-factly. The Twenty-eight-year-old woman bit her lower lip and looked down. Rika appreciated her mother's concern about Takato, but she would never say that in public, of course. What she ignored was that the former Ms. Nonaka had other reasons to be worried about the young Gogglehead………reasons concerning Rika's sentimental life, of course………hehehe………

"And how's Guilmon?" Jeri questioned, facing Renamon as she spoke.

"Impmon and Calumon are with him. No progresses either."

Jeri sighed. She felt so helpless, as she had felt before she was able to bio-merge. Her eyes met Rika's, and both girls looked away. It was already uncomfortable knowing more than the other did, and it only got worse when they looked at each other. Why can't I just tell the others!?

But Jeri knew the answer. She had promised Takeru………even if she was starting to wonder if that was real. But the fact that Rika had experienced it proved that she hadn't been hallucinating. She decided to listen to the others' opinion and share her thoughts with them. Takeru asked her to keep the truth a secret, but he never said anything against guiding them through the way to the truth……

"I just don't understand him." Kenta commented. "One moment he's the little guy we all know and love……huh?"

Jeri and Renamon smirked while Rika choked on her lemonade. "That……frickin' lemonade!"

Renamon shook her head, while Jeri had some thoughts of her own. I highly doubt it was the lemonade………

"……anyway……" Kenta continued. "……one moment he's goody-goody-two-shoes, and next he becomes some sort of crazed psycho!"

"And it's not the first time it happens……" Hirokazu added. "I feel as if I can't trust in him anymore."

Guadromon continuously nodded in agreement, causing everyone else to sweatdrop. Terriermon eyed his Tamer. "What do you think, Henry?"

Jeri looked at Henry with great interest. Now his was an opinion she really cared about. "Do you still trust in Takato, Henry?" she asked.

"To Takato………I'd entrust him my life, Jeri."  Henry replied with a gentle smile, and Jeri couldn't help but love him even more. A part of her knew that Takato's and Henry's friendship was much more than that………….it was a brotherhood. Jeri looked at Rika for a second and smiled. The redhead was barely holding the smile on her face. What Henry didn't know was that those few words he had just said had helped him earn Rika's respect.

Jeri opened her mouth to say something when a loud knock interrupted her. Rika's mother immediately got up. "Did you expect any more visitors?"

The puzzled Tamers shook their heads in denial. As if on cue, a rather high-pitched voice shouted from behind the main entrance.

"Hey, Rika!!!! Guess who!?"

Rika groaned and lowered her head in shame while the Tamers and most of the Digimon giggled in response. "GET LOST, AKIYAMA!!!"

Ryo replied from behind the door, unseen to the Tamers. "Hey, hey, I brought a friend with me! At least show him some manners!"

"And now who might that be!?" Rika shouted back.

"He says he knows you!" Ryo replied. "He's tall, he's blond, and he's got the Crest of Hope! Hey, that rhymed!"

Rika and Jeri looked at each. "Do you think it's……"

"Well, there's only one person I know who fits that description, Rika………"

Before the others could even wonder what was going on, the two girls ran to the door.

*****A few minutes earlier*****

"Are you okay, TK?"

"I'm okay, Patamon, don't worry about me."

"But that's a nasty wound you've got on your face……"

"I'll live, Patamon. But we really have to hurry."

"Well, you're the one slowing the two of us down."

"Oh, shut up!"

"TK, are you sure you will be okay?"

Takeru finally lost his patience. "I'll be fine! Just don't ask me to bio-merge with you for a while……a decade, maybe."

Patamon looked down. "He's too strong. We barely managed to escape as SlashAngemon……"

Takeru muttered something unaudible.

………are you okay?

…………what happened to the silent treatement?

How can you possibly think about that right now!? Daemon almost killed us and you keep acting as if nothing had happened!

Well, what do you want me to do!? Fall to the ground and cry in pain while I shout 'We're going to die! We're going to die!'?

Well, no, but………can't you tell the magnitude of this problem!?

I do, and that's exactly why I'm acting like this. The Tamers are about to go to a losing battle. The best thing I can do for them is trying to cheer them up, and I'll never be able to do that if I can't stand a little pain. Besides, I have to be in top condition to fight again.

WHAT!? Takeru, don't tell me you're thinking of……

They will need as much help as possible…………

But, TK, your body can't resist bio-merging! There must be another way………we can call the Digi-Destined!

HELL NO! They must not get involved in this!

If the Tamers fail, they'll sure get involved in this………

That's why we can't fail……

Takeru finally stopped in front of Rika's house. "Well, here we are. Man, I could use some food and a rest."

"……And lots of band-aids."

"Patamon!"

Well, you do need them, sweetheart.

No, I don't need them……and don't call me sweetheart as if we were lovers of something!

First of all, you definitely need some treatment unless you want the wound to get infected. And second……we got really close together, TK……

Oh, dear lord, what did I do wrong when programming you!?

"Yo! I see it and I still can't believe it!"

Takeru smiled as he recognized the voice of the teenager behind him. "Ryo Akiyama, long time no see." He said as he turned around.

The difference was shocking, but both friends put aside the age difference and greeted each other the exact same way they did before Ryo left after the first battle against Millenniumon. It had been nineteen years since then, but it seemed to have been yesterday, considering that while Takeru had experienced the flow of those nineteen years, Ryo was still fifteen years old.

"It's really been a while. Look at you!" Ryo said cheerfully. Takeru nodded. Ryo shook his head. "I still can't believe you are the same little eight-year-old with the green outfit and the weird green cap. Same with you, Patamon, but unlike your partner, you haven't changed at all."

Patamon looked away. "Well, now I am a lot stronger! I could take down Millenniumon with just one hit."

Ryo smirked. "Of course, Patamon, of course."

Takeru looked at Monodramon. "And you must be Monodramon."

The dragon Digimon nodded politely. "Nice to meet you."

Takeru chuckled. "It's hard to believe you have ITS data."

Ryo nodded. "It gets more noticeable as he evolves. Anyway, how is it you're so far away from hometown? I guess it's somehow related to that nasty wound you've got on your face."

Takeru smiled, but that just made the pain worse. "Yeah……you and your Tamers friends are in trouble, and I'm here to help."

Ryo smiled. "Okay, whatever it is, I'll be glad to fight it if you're with me, Takaishi."

"It'll certainly be a pleasure to fight alongside the Legendary Tamer."

"Of course, it's a once-in-a-lifetime chance so you better enjoy it!"

Takeru chuckled. "Whatever…….just let me knock the door."

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End of chapter one………

DR: Well, that should answer some questions. Don't worry, as more mysteries will be revealed as the story continues. Anything else, Terriermon?

Terriermon: Not really………when do I get to kick booty!?

DR: …not again………….let's just go to the preview. Ryo, it's your turn!

(The Biggest Dreamer starts playing)

Ryo's Voice: Alright, next time, the expected reunion between Takeru and the Tamers! The former Digi-Destined of Hope will explain the threat of Daemon, and how this evil Digimon is after Chaos' powers! Henry, Kazu, Kenta and I listen to TK's explanation on Takato's situation, but does that really matter? It's time to fight! However, there's something that bothers me……how is it Takeru looks so old and I still am fifteen? What? Are you saying I have a Crest? And what does Millenniumon have to do with all of this!? The next chapter of "Silent Sorrow" is titled 'Singularities'. You don't want to miss it!

Daneel Rush (daneel_ff@hotmail.com)