Chapter 10 - When It's Over

(about 5 seconds before Shinigamimon's attack hits Shinkagemon)

"Are you sure this will work?"

"I don't know. All we can do now is trust in Qinglongmon's words."

(flashback)

"Before you leave Daisuke, take this with you also." Qinglongmon handed Daisuke a small black pendant.

"What's this?"

"If and when the battle against Shinigamimon gets desperate and you have no other options, stand next to Shinkagemon. But take heed of this warning, only use it when you believe there are no ther options left."

"OK...so what happens when I decide to use it?"

"I'm not sure. All I know is that it grants the holder the ability to fuse with his/her digimon, and with that, it unleashes a great power. The origin of this stone is unknown."

"So why are you giving it to us?"

"Because I have a feeling that this was meant to be given to you."

"...OK..."

(end flashback)

"Well, looks like we're going to find out!"

"The attack hit Shinkagemon at full force. An explosion of cosmic proportions engulfed Shinkagemon and the surrounding area.

"Daisuke!!!" Everyone said in unison.

"The whole area was engulfed by a cloud of dust and debris after the explosion subsided. The digidestined assumed the worst.

"No way..."

"Is he really..."

"Daisuke..."

"Hah! It's over! I must admit, you were a worthy opponent, but the stronger...What the!?!?"

"A huge burst of wind blew away all of the dust in the surrounding vicinity, and lo and behold, there stood Shinkagemon, floating in mid-air above a giant crater. He looked relatively unharmed, as a matter of fact, he looked fresh and ready to fight like at the beginning of the battle.

"No...it can't be...this cannot be!!!" Shinigamimon said in horror.

"I told you, I am not going down until you are destroyed." He summoned his sword. "This will finish it." He held his massive sword parallel to his body, and then rotated the sword so that the blade faced him and Shinigamimon. He began to emanate a blinding white light. Do you think you can withstand my onslaught?!?! Prepare yourself! Alpha Breaker!!!"

Shinkagemon charged at Shinigamimon with god-like agility, and slashed Shinigamimon up into the air. He then warped up to his stunned opponent and began a series of vicious slashes from all directions. About 15 seconds and 30 slashes later, Shinkagemon jumped high into the air, and brought down his sword upon his foe with tremendous force, and sent Shinigamimon hurtling towards the ground. Upon making contact with the ground, a gigantic crater was formed.

"It's over." Shinkagemon said with a tone of indifference.

"How...is...this...possible..." Shinigamimon said with the last of his energy. He slumped to the ground and was deleted shortly afterwards. Soon after that, Shinkagemon fell to the ground and landed with a crash.

"Daisuke!" Hikari yelled. The digidestined ran over to their fallen comrade to find Demiveemon and Daisuke laying on the ground.

"He actually did it?" Hikari said in disbelief.

"Let's get him out of here. I think he needs plenty of rest now." Taichi said.

Just as they were about to pick him up, Daisuke cracked one eye open and began to speak.

"Just leave me here for a while. I need some time alone." Daisuke said with a cough.

"But you need medical attention." Ken said while Yamato and Taichi helped him to his feet. He looked severely tired, and probably could have slept long enough to make Rip Van Winkle's nap look like a mere 5 second doze-off. He had bruises and burns all over his body, his clothing was tattered and torn, and his skin was paler than usual.

"No. I still have one thing to do, before I can make peace with myself." The others looked at him with curious faces.

"Uhh...nevermind that. Forget that you even heard that line. Besides, don't worry, I'll be fine, I promise."

"But..." Hikari tried to interject.

"No...I must. Please, just let me be."

The group looked at Daisuke, some with unbelieving faces, some filled with concern, and some with sympathy in their eyes. But they all knew how stubborn Daisuke was, and that he wouldn't be convinced to go with them to the hospital. All they could do was let Daisuke be, and hope that whatever he was going to do wouldn't kill himself. Reluctantly, the group began to disperse, to go back to the real world, until Ken, Hikari, and Takeru were left. Daisuke began to speak.

"Takeru, do you mind if I speak with you?"

"Me?" Takeru said, slightly shocked that is was he who was called on, not Ken or Hikari.

"Yes. Ken, Hikari, could you please leave? I have to speak with him in private."

"OK..." Hikari said a little bit unsure as to why he wanted to talk with Takeru.

"You sure?" Ken said, just as unsure as Hikari.

"Yes." Ken and Hikari began to walk away.

"So what is it you wanted to talk to me about?"

"Take good care of her, Takeru."

"Huh?"

"You know what I'm talking about." Daisuke flashed one of his trademark goofy grins.

"Oh, you mean..." Takeru thought for a split second. "WHAT!?!? How the hell do you know? We haven't told anyone!"

"Oh...I have my ways. Now go man, I heed to spend some time alone. They probably think that we've ripped each to shred by now." Daisuke began to chuckle.

"Yeah, I think you're right." Takeru also began to chuckle.

"Oh, and Takeru?" He extended his hand towards Takeru. "Friends?"

"We were always friends, man. It just never seemed like it, that's all." He smiled and shook his hand.

"I'll see you around then."

"See ya." Takeru walked away.

"Daisuke." Qinglongmon said to Daisuke telepathically.

"So, I guess it's time then..." Daisuke sighed. "Can I have at least 30 mintues to sort things out in my mind?"

Alright. e can spare you 30 mintues." Qinglongmon said.

"Thank you."

(about 25 minutes later)

"Hikari, I think it's time we go home now." Taichi said to his younger sibling.

"Ummm...you go ahead. I'll be come home later."

"...OK." Taichi left Hikari alone inside the computer lab.

"What's taking him so long?" She thought to herself. "I hope he doesn't mind. Digiport open!" Hikari jumped back into the digital world.

Hikari landed in the digital world and traveled to back to the area where Shinkagemon and Shinigamimon had their final duel. No signs of Daisuke were in the vicinity. "Where could he be..." She thought. For no paricular reason, she decided to look inside the crater that Shinigamimon formed, and there was Daisuke, just standing there.

Daisuke looked up, to see that Hikari was staring at him. He wondered how ong she had been there, then decided to ask her. "How long have you been there?"

Startled a bit by Daisuke noticing that she was there, she recomposed herself. "I just got here, so not too long. I was just wondering why you've been in her for a while, so I decided to look for you." She slid down into the crater, right to where Diasuke was standing.

"Damn, this is going to make it even harder for me to leave." Daisuke thought to himself.

"So, are you alright?" Hikari asked, breaking Daisuke's thought.

"Daisuke?"

"I'm sorry."

"What?"

"I should explain something to you. Something I should have explained a long time ago." Daisuke took a deep breath.

He began to recount all of the events that happened since the day he shielded Hikari from Abyssmons' attack. The events while he was "dead", why he was granted one more chance at life, and basically everything that happened until now.

"...and that's the story."

Hikari stood there, stunned by what he had just told her. She couldn't, no she wouldn't believe it.

"Lies..."

"I'm sorry, I guess I should've been honest with you guys."

"I won't believe it!!!" She ran straight for Daisuke expecting to come in contact with him.

"Hikari, stop!"

She ran right through him.

"No..." Hikari thought to herself, before she stopped in her tracks.

The two of them stood in absolute silence, neither knowing what to say to one another. Hikari was dumbfounded. She couldn't believe that he was actually gone, or at least, going to be gone in a few minutes. She wanted to say something to break the silence, but she found that she couldn't bring herself to speak. Daisuke, on the other hand, knowing all to well that his time was practically over, decided to speak up. "Heh, maybe I shouldn't have asked for those extra 30 minutes." He said to himself mentally.

"Hikari..."

She could not bear to look at him.

"Hikari, please, don't be sad."

She once again tried to open her mouth, but could not say anything.

"I know my time is just about up, but can you let me do one more thing?" Daisuke said to Qinglongmon telepathically.

"I understand."

"Thanks."

Daisuke began to walk over to Hikari, and stopped right in front of her. "Man, if Takeru was here, he'd probably beat me senseless for this one. Probably worse. Oh well, here goes nothing." He thought to himself.

He wrapped his arms around Hikari, in a gentle embrace. Hikari was shocked, to say the least, that Daisuke was holding her, especially since she had just ran through him a few moments ago. Tears began to run down her cheeks. She looked up at Daisuke to see if this was actually happening, and was greeted with not his usual goofy smile, but a more tender, caring smile that she had never seen before.

"Thank you, for everything." He tilted his head slightly forward and gave Hikari a small, but meaningful kiss on the lips. Hikari froze.

"You and the others will be fine without me. I promise." Daisuke broke the embrace. He stepped back a few feet. "OK Qinglongmon, I'm ready."

Daisuke began to disappear right in front of Hikari. Before he fully disappeared, he flashed her his trademark goofy grin one last time.

She knew where her heart belonged now.

"Goodbye, Hikari."

With that, he was gone.

Yeah, I'm finished with the story. I'm done. To be honest, I kind of thought this was a crappy chapter, but I guess that's waht happens when you try creating a story during school, especially in classes like Us History AP or Chemistry AP. Thanks goes out to all the people who reviewed my story, I appreciate them. That's right, even the flames, because I needed something to keep my hands warm. I was considering doing and epilogue perhaps, to show what happened to the gang, but don't count on one. Well yeah, R & R people and until next time, see ya.