Part 1 - A New Home

Takato and I had been riding through the digital world on Grani's back for some time before it hit me.

"Um, Takato?"

"Yeah Rika?"

"Why don't you just use those Green cards of yours to get us to the eastern quadrant?"

He looked a little sheepish.

"I want to get an update about the… thing… Azulongmon wanted me to check out."

I narrowed my eyes.

"Isn't Azulongmon in the eastern quadrant?"

"No. He's talking to Zhuqiamon actually."

"Didn't Zhuqiamon try to kill us?"

"That was a while ago Rika. Try not to let it influence your opinions."

I sighed. Takato brightened after a moment though.

"That reminds me. We'll need to talk to both of them anyways if we want them to set up an identity for you in the eastern quadrant."

"I suppose so."

There was a long rumbling noise off to our side. Takato looked down, then panicked.

"Uh, Rika?"

"What?"

"Can I ask you to control your instincts for a moment? There's someone I have to talk to down there…"

I looked down. Below us, riding on a motorcycle to match our speed, was Beezlemon.

"Why should I?"

"He's a friend?"

"Oh really."

"He's changed?"

I looked at Takato carefully. I sighed in defeat. He wanted this, I could tell.

"Fine. I won't slaughter the little imp."

He grinned.

"Thanks Rika! Grani, take us down please."

Grani banked a little, then began to spiral down slowly as Beezlemon came to a halt, dismissed Behemoth, and dedigivolved.

Wow. Impmon dedigivolving for someone without even being asked… maybe he really has changed.

"And here I thought we were friends Takato. You didn't come see me once!"

Takato groaned.

"Aww, come on Impmon, I didn't even know where to find you! How was I supposed to track you down? I had enough on my plate as it was."

Impmon chuckled.

"I know, I know. The twins and I were out of the country on their vacation for a while there. I was only around to catch that last battle a month ago. That gave me the creeps, man."

Takato's face was expressionless.

"It was necessary."

Impmon held up his hands in his own defense.

"Hey, I didn't say it wasn't, I just said it creeped me out."

Takato rubbed the back of his head as he laughed nervously.

"Hey, look, we've got a schedule to keep here. Can you use a computer without blowing it up yet?"

"Whadda ya take me for? Course I can."

"Great. There's a website set up that crosses the quadrants. Go see Henry and get the site from him. We can talk more online if you want."

"Sure Takato. I'll leave you and Rika alone."

Why that little…

"YOU!"

"AHHH!"

I jumped forward aiming at his neck, only to find Takato holding me back.

"I'd run Impmon, I can only hold her back so long…"

Impmon was out of sight pretty fast. I whipped around ant turned on Takato.

"Why'd you do that?"

"Uhh…"

He backed up as I closed on him. He tripped over his own feet and landed on his butt. I stood over him and tapped my foot angrily.

"I'm waiting."

"Uhh… to give him a sporting chance?"

I sighed and helped him up.

"You haven't heard the last of this Takato."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Grani flew us over and down, landing just outside the gorge at Zhuqiamon's castle.

"So, Gogglehead, where's the bridge?"

I grinned and chuckled under my breath as she shouted in confusion when the pinkish bubble enveloped the four of us. I was just glad she couldn't hear me.

"What's so funny Takatomon?"

Why me?

Rika turned on me.

"You knew this was going to happen?!"

"Um, yes?"

"GOGGLEHEAD!"

Uh oh…

Her hands latched around my neck and she began choking me. I was beginning to turn blue in the face when the bubble reached the end of the line and burst, causing us all to fall down, breaking Rika's grip.

"BlackGuilmon, remember what I said about talking in public?"

"But Rika and Renamon already know about digimon Takato…"

I groaned.

What a day for BlackGuilmon to gain a glimmer of intelligence…

We got to our feet and entered the castle. BlackGuilmon once more led us to Zhuqiamon's chambers. The viral sovereign was deep in conversation with Azulongmon when we walked in.

"I still don't see how one could have simply vanished like that, much less two of them. It doesn't seem possible…"

"I know Zhuqiamon, but none the less, it is happening."

I cleared my throat. The turned to look. Azulongmon smiled.

"Ah, Takato, we were just discussing the mission we were going to send you…"

His eyes glided over to Rika.

"What is she doing here Takato?"

I answered before Rika could take offense to the way Zhuqiamon said 'she'.

"She wants to come back with me."

Catching on, Azulongmon winked at me and stepped in before Zhuqiamon could splutter a denial.

"Of course, it won't be any trouble at all, will it Zhuqiamon?"

Zhuqiamon's eyes narrowed.

"No, of course not Azulongmon, but remember that Takato has to leave on his new mission immediately.

I understood instantly. My leaving that instant, probably without Rika, was Zhuqiamon's price for the transfer. I nodded.

"Of course."

I turned to Rika and lowered my voice.

"This'll give you a chance to settle in while I check this out. It shouldn't take any more than a few days."

"Takato…"

"It's this or not coming at all. He's not bluffing."

She sighed.

"Fine. I'll find a place to stay for a few days before we go to your place…"

I scratched the back of my head nervously.

"About that…"

Her eyes narrowed.

"You don't have a place do you?"

"No, no, I do… it's just not meant for more than one person…"

Which was true. I had gotten my own place when I had gotten back to the eastern quadrant. It was just to small, that's all. It was enough trouble with me and BlackGuilmon in there. Rika smacked her forehead.

"Great. I'll go apartment hunting to occupy my time then. We'll have a long talk about it when you get back, dear."

I winced.

Great, I'm a dead man.

I turned back the two sovereigns, Zhuqiamon looking a little smug.

"Let's get down to business."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Someone will pay for this…

I had landed in an undignified heap on the floor of… somewhere. The digital field hadn't cleared enough for me to see where I was just yet. I saw the green card I had targeted sitting on a counter.

Well, at least I didn't hit my head in that…

"Renamon?"

"Here Rika."

Good.

The mist cleared somewhat, and I could see that I was inside a convenience store. I was hungry, but nothing looked too appetizing."

"Let's go Renamon."

"Of course Rika."

Renamon phased out behind me and I exited the store, looking for a restaurant. I didn't find a restaurant, but I did find a small café. I sat down at the bar and ordered. I was grumbling a bit at the wait when I felt a hand appear on my shoulder…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lunch was pleasant, despite the fact that Davis was with us. It was just supposed to be me, Kari, Tai, and Sora for lunch, but we ran into him on the way there. What can you do, right?

"Whoa."

Tai looked at Davis a little interested.

"What?"

"Tai, TK, look at the bar. This hot, and I mean Mimi hot girl just sat down."

Tai's head snapped around pretty fast, earning him a smack from Sora. I wisely kept my head firmly in place and concentrated on my cheeseburger. I was rewarded with Kari giving my hand a small squeeze. Davis on the other hand, whined.

"Come on TK, you're not even looking…"

Giving Kari an apologetic I'm-doing-this-to-shut-him-up look, I glanced towards the bar. I noticed that for once Davis wasn't over reacting to a girl's beauty. She had red hair, bound in a ninja-style ponytail, and was wearing a blue-sleeved shirt with a broken heart on it. I turned back to my burger and furrowed my brow in concentration.

"Well, don't you think she's hot?!"

"Sure, Davis… There's something… familiar about her though. I can't place my finger on it…"

Davis just smiled.

"Aw, don't sweat it man, I'm sure we just had a class in school with her or something. I'm gonna go put my moves on her."

After he got up, Tai smiled.

"Ten second rejection time."

I looked at Tai like he was nuts.

"Are you kidding? From someone who looks like she does? Five seconds, tops."

"You're on."

Kari groaned and rolled her eyes next to me, but Sora, who usually joined her, was instead watching intently.

"I don't know. I think I've seen her somewhere before too."

Tai grinned.

"Maybe it's one of the girls who used to chase after Takato…"

I put my burger down instantly, my eyes widening in shock.

If half the stories are true…

I got up to stop Davis, turning out of my chair, arm stretched out as if I could grab him right there.

"DAVIS! NO!"

But Davis had already placed a hand on her shoulder, and he was saying something.

Time seemed to slow.

The grin on Davis's face faltered as he watched the arm go back, preparing a fist.

I could only watch in horror as Davis realized his danger and began to back up.

Then time normalized itself again as her fist impacted with his face, sending him back about five feet before he hit the ground, bouncing once before stopping. Tai was up out of his chair in an instant. Sora grabbed him from behind and I stepped in front of him.

"Tai, no! You don't want anything to do with the situation. Sit down, please."

"Sora looked at me from where she had Tai's arms. You recognize her TK?"

I nodded.

"I think that's Rika."

Sora's eyes widened.

"Oh dear. Davis had better start running."

Tai looked at us a little funny.

"Who's Rika?"

"Takato's girl. She's a little… violent."

Tai smiled.

"So Takato's back then?"

I shrugged.

"Haven't seen him since a few days ago when he went back…"

I eyed Rika from where she stood over Davis.

"…and I'd wait for her to calm down before asking."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I almost expected to find bodies littering the streets when I stepped out of the alley into Odaiba. I heard a sudden scream to my left and saw Ken running in my direction.

Ooookay… What do you want to bet Rika's got something to do with this…

Ken spotted me and veered off course from where he was running. He grabbed me, ranting hysterically.

"Takato, you have to stop them!"

Them?

"Who Ken?"

"Rika corrupted Yolie and Sora! Tai and Davis are down and they're heading this way!!"

"What happened Ken?"

He calmed down a little.

"Rika and Sora and Yolie were talking about something, and Davis made some crack about a hen party. Tai and I laughed at it…"

He trailed off again.

Oh crap. This is bad.

I grabbed Ken and shook him.

"Fool! If there's one thing you should have realized, it's that you don't laugh at Rika! Ever! I can't think of anything that can piss her off faster than making fun of her!"

There was the ominous sound of knuckles cracking behind us and Ken's face went white.

"Drop him Goggles."

I knew that tone of voice.
"Sorry Ken."

I let go of him and back up, placing my back flat against the wall. I closed my eyes and looked away as Rika, Yolie, and Sora walked up to him. I heard grunts of pain as they closed on him.

"You can open your eyes now Gogglehead."

I opened up hesitantly to see Rika's beautiful violet orbs in front of mine.

"Am I dead?"

She smiled.

"No, your friends were king enough to let me work out that frustration on them."

That was good. For me anyways. I heaved a sigh of relief.

It's good to be home.