I'm back with the seventh chapter!

Tai: Joy oh joy, woopdee do.

You could at least pretend to me happy.

Tai: Give me one good reason why, seeing as you intend on making our lives as hellish as possible.

Er . . . . . Anyway, on with the story.

Disclaimer: First chapter.

The Crests Within. Chapter Seven.

            After Leomon and Ogremon had sent the In-Training digimon on their way, they had set off. The group had spent the time catching up, though Tk and Ken hadn't spoken of their powers, and were now sitting down around a campfire, eating. They had now been filled in on the disappearances and why the groups had dropped in the middle of nowhere. Supper had been a nice meal, for once no one caring that they were eating plants, just enjoying their time with each other. It was after they had all settled down to sleep and Leomon on guard, that Tk rolled over and looked at Ken.

'Ken.'

'Yeah Tk?'

'That's what it was! The feelings that I felt outside the digital world were Matt and Tai's. It was good and bad because they were getting hurt but good because their powers had come into play.'

'But what's so good about our powers?'

'I haven't a clue but it's to do with something important. Very important.'

'True. They accepted Tai and Matt do you think they'll do the same for us?'

'I'm sure they will, shall we tell them in the morning?' Ken nodded sleepily at Tk before closing his eyes, tiredly. 'Go to sleep now you stupid blonde.' Tk's laughter filled Ken's mind as he drifted off to sleep.

            A roar broke the silence of early morning. Tk sat bolt upright to see Leomon crouched down, sword gripped tightly in his hands. The blonde could tell that something was coming by the tense look on the digimon's face. Jumping to his feet he bolted over to Matt, shaking his brother awake then jumping backwards. He knew what Matt was like in the mornings and didn't fancy getting punched. His brother's fist struck out at thin air before dropping back beside its owner.

"Whadya want Tk?" The boy was the only one who could get away from him quick enough, it had to be him. "Something's coming. We need to wake everyone up." Surprisingly enough Matt jumped up, wide awake in seconds. Darting around the two brothers proceeded to wake everyone up. In a matter of minutes all twelve digidestined were awake and ready for battle. Or as ready as you can be when you are a fourth of the size of a huge digimon that is about to come and crush you. The roar came again and Kari shivered, the sound was dark and haunting. As if declaring something that they didn't understand to the whole world. A huge creature burst through the trees, his mouth open with a snarl. It appeared to be a huge tiger, grey stripes crossing it body. It's bright red eyes swept over the digidestined, taking in where all of them were. It's huge tail thumped against the ground. Daring someone to try and attack him. Leomon took that challenge; he jumped forward swinging his sword through the air. The tiger crouched, the light reflecting of his armoured shoulders and back, before it pounced. The two huge cats slammed into each other, claws embedding in fur as they rolled over the ground, snarling and scratching. Leomon roared, a terrifying sound, and brought his sword down. The tiger stretched one paw up, halted the weapon's decent before it ripped the sword from Leomon's hands. Ogremon took a step forward about to go and get Leomon's sword for him when Mimi screamed. A fox like digimon had one set of claws in Mimi's shoulder, pinning her to the ground. The other paw was raised, claws extended, about to sink it into her heart. Crying out Ogremon charged, slamming the digimon off the girl with his club.

"No one attacks Mimi!" Apparently the digimon wasn't the only one that thought that, Matt was seething. His fists clenched tightly by his side as he glared at the foul digimon that dared to hurt his friend. More digimon, black and grey in colour like the fox and tiger, slinked out the forest.

"Oh dear." Sora whispered, right before a digimon turned and attacked her.

            Sora cried out, relief flooding her when she realised that Tai had sent it back with a fireball. She scrambled over and stood, shaking, behind him. "It's okay, they won't get you." Sora nodded and looked round, trying to find a way out. Behind them was a ravine, a huge river slowly making it's way through it. That way was blocked, to the east there was more forest and a few digimiles to the west was a mountain and in front of them was blocked by the group of a mad digimon.

"Davis, move!" The maroon haired boy had two digimon advancing on him. Startled at Ken's sudden cry the two took their chance and leaped. Only to find that they were still hovering in mid-air. Ken's hand was out stretched and anger was written across his face. "Leave him alone." The boy declared before he threw his hand away, sending the two digimon crashing to the ground where they didn't move. Davis turned and gaped at Ken, who was standing up a look of pure fury on his face. The digimon seemed to sense that he was a threat and moved towards him. Growling, Ken's arms swung out and he began to battle. Tk could only watch as Ken, Tai and Matt dove into battle. Wincing slightly the blonde fought down his fears and pulled his gloves off. He watched as Izzy was suddenly thrown to the ground, pinned underneath another fox digimon. Darting forward his hands made contact with the digimon's fur, in a few seconds the digimon's emotions were travelling through Tk's hands and into his body. Concentrating, Tk quickly sent them back, perhaps it was the force of having one's emotions taken and then sent back so quickly but the digimon was thrown four feet into the air and landed with a sickening thump on the ground were it was deleted. Izzy stared up in shock at Tk but the boy was already moving on, ready to face the next threat.

            The battle continued but sadly six against thirty is not going to win you a fight. The four boys were tiring, Matt and Tai especially; there was no way they could win this. And sadly enough the digimon knew this too, a group of ten started to surround Tai, Sora, Izzy and Davis. Leomon glanced over and seeing Tai struggling against the four leapt away from his current battle to defend them. His claws swung back and forth wildly as he tried to keep the digimon at bay. But to no avail, the tiger from Leomon's earlier fight appeared and smirking at the lion raised his tail and brought it down. Hard. A sonic boom filled the air, and the ground started to shake. With a tremendous groan the ground started to part, the four digidestined and digimon were thrown around before all five tumbled down the great shaft in the ground. The tiger chuckled and turned round to see how all the others were faring. Matt and Ogremon were protecting an injured Mimi who was being tended to by Joe and Cody. Tk and Ken were slowly being backed up against the ravine edge with Yolei and Kari behind them. Smirking he turned his attention to the two boys, they seemed to be quite good fighters and the blonde one was looking rather weak. Sweat was pouring down his face as he once again brought his hands up to another digimon. It would be best to finish him off before he could recover, gesturing his digimon forward, the five turned and darted over. The sudden fierce onslaught caught Tk and Ken heavily, this fact was proven when one digimon managed to get past them and knock Yolei off the edge. She let out a strangled scream as Kari latched onto her wrist and tried to pull her up. But she discovered it was rather hard to do that when a digimon was about to chew your head off.

"Tk!" The blonde spun round and stretched his hands forward, the digimon was deleted in seconds. But the attacks were taking its toll on him and the boy slumped onto his knees unable to stand up and fight. A digimon snarled and pounced, Tk went tumbling off the cliff and into the water. Kari's eyes widened and feeling of complete and utter despair welled inside as she stared at the frigid waters, tossing and turning below her. Which was probably why she didn't noticed the ground below her falling away until her and Yolei fell down to join Tk in the waters. Noticing his fiends were now all gone and determined to help them, Ken dove in after them. The water swallowing him as well. The tiger looked over to where the other group was, to find the area empty. A few knocked out digimon littered the ground, while data filled the air. Growling the rest of his troops took after the group who were now running for their lives towards the mountain.

~*~

            Tai groaned and slowly opened his eyes, then closed them again. He was surrounded by darkness so what difference did it make if he opened them? He lay there in the comforting darkness at this point truly not caring how he had ended up here. But memories of the battle they had fought filled his mind. Growling the brunette sat up . . . . . . and banged his head against a rock.

"Ow!"

"Stupid Tai."

"Ya know its comments like that that I really hate."

"Well then, try being smart for once." Sora hissed as she crawled over to him and gently prodded his head. "Oh, go away." Tai groaned batting at her hands. "Not until I'm sure you're alright." Tai rolled his eyes (honestly girls) and allowed Sora to finish examining his head. Which was kind of difficult seeing as there was hardly, if not any, light at all.

"Sitting here in the dark will do us no good. Come, we must move." Tai looked to his right to see a vague outline of Leomon. The digimon was crouched low and had started moving forwards, with one paw resting against the wall so not to bump into anything. Prodding Izzy and Davis into action, the four followed Leomon through the underground tunnel. Everything seemed to be okay aside from the fact that they were wandering around in the dark. However not all seemed to take it so well. Especially seeing as said one had never been trapped in the digital world for months on end. So ten minutes later-

"I wanna light!"

"Well I want Agumon." Davis turned to stare confusedly in the direction he thought Tai was. "One, I'm to your left not right Two, I miss my old friend and Three, he would be able to form some sort of light for us."

"Oh."

"See, my logic is best." Sora snorted, a smile playing across her lips though it was hidden in the darkness. "Keep moving I'm sure we'll find a way out soon. Just keep moving."

~*~

            "If we . . . keep running . . . do you think . . . they'll . . . stop?" Joe managed to pant out as they ran. The sound of crashing came from behind them, signalling that they were still being followed. "Don't . . . think so." Matt managed to get out, his breath was slightly wheezy and sweat coated his forehead. Mimi was thrown over one of his shoulders, seeing as she had managed to get her leg hurt as well as her arm. Joe winced and looked over at Cody who was running just as determinately as the others. He no longer had to prove that being the youngest didn't mean he was the weakest but he still kept it up. He was just as strong as the rest of them and would be fine, Matt however . . . .

The blonde wasn't looking too good and carrying Mimi as well couldn't have helped. Joe clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth. Matt wouldn't put Mimi down nor would he let anyone else carry her. Sometimes he was just as stubborn as Tai. Matt was going to tire quickly, Joe knew this, he hadn't studied medical school for nothing. He needed a rest, somewhere where they could hide.

"Ogremon, do you know of any places we could hide from them?" The digimon slowed down slightly as he thought the question through. "By the mountainside there's a cave, we could hide in there and hope they pass us by."

"How far?"

"We'll we've run about a digimiles and a half, I'd say another one and a half and we'll be there." Joe nodded and looked over at Matt who looked slightly relieved to know they were going to stop even if it was quite a while away. Joe was sure they could make it, they had to.

~*~

            Tk coughed violently, water spraying out of his mouth as he did so. Note to self, he thought, never stand by the edge of cliff when digimon are attacking.

'I might second that.' Startled Tk looked over to the right to see Ken sprawled out across the muddy river bank.

'Did I think it that loudly?'

'Just a little.' Ken replied with a smirk, rolling his eyes at his friend Tk hauled himself out of the water.

"Where'd the others go?" He didn't have a very good memory of what happened. He remembered being knocked off the edge and having to delete the digimon to stop it from pulling him under the water. The feeling of the frosty waters pulling him along where vivid in his memory but nothing else. What was Ken doing here? The violet haired boy either read his thoughts or read his emotions on his face because he answered the unspoken question.

"Kari and Yolei fell in after you."

"Right, where are they?" His friend didn't answer, Tk winced and looked out at the rapid water. A number of possibilities ran though his mind aside from the obvious, drowning, what if they had got out and had been attacked by a digimon? What if they were still going down the stream trying to keep afloat? What if-

"Shall we go and see if we can find them?"

"Yeah, that might be a good idea."

"Might?"

"Okay a very good idea but get that ego of yours back under control." Tk turned and smiled, "Or I might have to make you keep it under control."

"Am I supposed to be scared? You're not very terrifying Tk."

"Oh shut up! I'm a lot scarier than you are!" The two continued to banter as they wandered down stream, their eyes looking out for their friends. Who they found quarter of an hour later washed up against the rocks.

            "Ow ow ow ow ow OW!" Tk rolled his eyes as Ken continued to bandage Yolei's arm, which had a long gash down it from where she had hit it on a rock.

"Yolei, do you ever stop complaining?" Kari asked, the small smile on her face taking the bite out of her words. Her friend looked over and glared at the brunette. Kari just smiled and stuck her tongue out at Yolei. Turning round she noticed Tk sitting to the side, a smile on his face as he listened in on the conversation. She found herself smiling aswell and standing up she walked over to sit before him. The boy was fiddling with a fingerless glove, his fingers running over a tear that had been patched up. He didn't notice Kari until she reached out to grab his hand. Startled the blonde pulled backwards, falling off the rock he was sitting on and landing on his behind. A hurt look flickered across Kari but it was nothing compared to the torn expression on Tk's face.

"Tk?" Her voice was subdued, frightened that perhaps one of the people she cared about most was angry at her.

"I'm sorry it's just that you can't touch my hands." He whispered as he quickly tugged on his glove. "Why not?"

"If you do I absorb your emotions and doing so is like taking someone's soul. If I don't get rid of it, I end up being like whoever I absorb and if I take to much I kill you . . . I think." Kari chewed her lip, a habit she did when she was worried, before throwing her arms round Tk in a hug. "Even if you could hurt someone I know you won't." The words were murmured into his hair and a soft smile played across his lips. She pulled away and smiled at him; in return he wrapped on arm round her shoulders and started to walk. (In any direction, it didn't matter, they were in the digital world after all and you usually ended up in the right place after getting lost a few times.)

"So Ken what did you do to those digimon?"

~*~

            The mountain was now not that far away from Joe and the others but the digimon were catching up with them every second. Apparently digital monsters have better stamina then a bunch of teenagers. Matt faltered, his legs nearly giving out from beneath him. Breathing heavily the blonde adjusted his hold on Mimi and continued to run. Though the term 'run' perhaps isn't the best way to describe the staggering half walk half pathetic jog that Matt was doing now. A frown was evident on Joe's face; out of all of them here he could run the fastest at the moment. Cody, though determined, was still quite young, Ogremon never was the fittest in the world and Matt . . . . Matt was going to pass out soon. The bluenette boy stopped, Matt glanced over his shoulder at his friend. "Joe what the hell are you doing?"

"Keep going." He said in a determined whisper as he turned to face on coming digimon.

"Joe are you mad?! You can't beat them."

"That's true but I might be able to hold them off until you get to the cave. Don't worry I can run fast. Now go." Instead of running Matt took a step towards his friend only to be pulled back by Ogremon. The digimon could see the determined look on the other boy's face and knew he meant business, nothing was going to stop him from protecting his friends. "He knows what he's doing, come on." The digimon then dragged the other three away, the lot of them breaking into a run seconds later as the thumping of feet grew louder. Joe's eyes narrowed as seven digimon darted out from the bushes, charging towards him. They skidded to a halt however when an earth shaking roar split the air. The tiger slowly made his way across the ground, to stand before Joe. He threw his head back and laughed. The sound sent fear running up and down his spine but he stayed.

"What do you think you are doing, little human?"

"Stopping you from hurting my friends." The grey and white face shook from side to side, his quiet chuckles the only thing to be heard. "I will kill you then your friends." Joe straitened himself out, looking down at the mighty tiger digimon before him. "Oh really and tell me who is going to be my murder?"

"Why I, of course: Torafumon."

A smile flickered across Joe's face, surprisingly determined for the boy that had been considered a scaredy cat when first arriving here. "Hear me now, I'm not called reliable for no reason. Maybe I shall die by your hands but I will not let you get to my friends." Growling Torafumon leapt into the air, intending to impale Joe on his claws.

It might be a reflexive action to throw your hands out in an attempt to stop a tiger from squashing you or not but that's exactly what Joe did. He hadn't, however, been expecting a gallon of water to shoot out of his hands and send the digimon backwards. Soaking wet and thoroughly humiliated at being beaten by a mere human. Torafumon staggered to his feet and glared at the boy.

"Sekigunmon attack!"

Confusion still lingered in Joe's mind but he didn't think it over at this point. His instincts were telling him what to do and your instincts were something you came to rely on when in the digital world.

They call me reliable for a reason, I will stand up to that name.

His jaw set and eyes determined, Joe's arms flung up and the sky seemed to cry.

            Matt looked over his shoulder and blinked once, twice and one more time again. In the distance he could see Joe's figure surrounded by a silver haze, his hands were thrown up and . . .

And water was spraying from them, hitting the digimon and sending them backwards. A smile spread across Matt's face. "Ogremon!" The digimon turned round to look at him and the blonde dumped Mimi in his hands before taking off at a run. His ability was ice and ice is frozen water. So technically if a digimon was covered in water he could freeze them. Sprinting across the ground with a new found hope he reached Joe and stretched his hands out. The soaking wet Sekigunmon that had been soaring through the air towards his friend, froze. Ice crept along it's legs then chest before the whole digimon was frozen in a block of ice. It fell to the ground like a stone, landing with a thump on the churned up grass. Matt smiled at Joe and the two turned to face the remaining digimon which all joined their comrade's fate except one. Neither boy could see any trace of Torafumon. He was gone for the time being and hopefully wouldn't be back soon.

To Be Continued . . .

Oh and Torafumon belongs to me! I know it's a weird name but Torafu means Tiger Stripes in Japanese. So I thought hey add an mon on the end and it would be a good name for him!  :)

Tai: Please ignore her, she's in a weird mood.

No I'm mad, or did you by chance not notice the name? But that's not the point, the Sekigunmon are also mine. But I ain't gonna to explain their names to you just yet! That comes up later in the story!