'Chaos' was too polite a word to describe what was happening in and around Professor Oak's lab in Pallet Town. It had only been a few hours since Mewtwo had tapped into the power of the Primary Village Destiny Stone to transport every Digimon in the Digital World to this reality.

Still, it was a bit odd. During the transport, Mewtwo had felt what could only be described as...'dead spots' where Digimon had a hard time surviving. He and Azulongmon had managed to retrieve those few Digimon that had wound up in those areas, mainly in the Houen region, and transported them here.

He pushed it aside. Fix the digital world first, and then look into the dead zones. Maybe some of the digidestined who had pokemon for partners could look into it. Later. Now there were plans to make, and wounds to heal.

--
Digimon Digicross FINAL ACT -'Digital Paladin'
--

The Japanese digidestined, except for Davis, Kari, and Izzy, crowded outside a door to one of Oak's guest rooms. Davis was inside, talking to Kyle and June, who were still recovering. Kari and Izzy were with Scizor, checking on Lady Devimon, who wasn't expected to survive. Their Digimon were nearby, resting and recovering; they had taken the brunt of the injuries during the battle.

Yolei leaned back from the small window. "I wonder what they're saying?"

Ken winced as he saw June start crying, both Davis and Kyle moving to console her. "We shouldn't be here."

"Davis wanted us here," Sora said. "I don't think it'd do much good to leave them alone, you know?"

"Yeah. I know Davis has grown up a lot, but ow!" Tai winced as Sora elbowed him. Sora glanced at him, smiled slightly, and looked back through the window. "If I know June, she'll be getting mad about it anytime now."

"Yeah. Bit like me," Matt mused, then flinched as Mimi glared at him.

"I hope she'll be alright." Cody looked a bit downcast. Yolei smiled, bent down, and patted the boy's head.

"She'll be fine," Tai insisted. "Just watch."

--

Lady Devimon was inside one of the larger observation rooms. Every now and then, she shuddered, feeling some of her life-energy leave her. "So, this is how it ends," she muttered. "Come to gloat?"

A few feet away, Gatomon shook her head. "No."

"Pity, then?"

"Believe it or not," Scizor sighed, still clad in his golden armour, "we really wish that this hadn't happened. Whatever it was."

"Demon took the Dark Spore out of me, obviously," Lady Devimon snarled. "Fitting, considering what I did to your friend. Still regret this?"

"Yes," Gatomon said quietly. "Just...why? Why did you help Demon?"

"I guess all that loyalty garbage was still there. I was loyal to Arukenimon and, in a way, to Demon. Oh, I bought all his talk about only the strong surviving. I guess I wasn't as strong as I thought I was."

"You know that kind of talk is just-" Gatomon started to say.

"Ha," Lady Devimon croaked. "Still preaching, eh?" She shuddered again as a series of coughs shook her. Gatomon and Scizor watched as Lady Devimon's body shrunk; it wasn't reverting to a lower level form, she was just a smaller Lady Devimon now, barely taller than an average human. "I chose my side, and I won't leave it and join with you. I'll have my last laugh."

Outside, Izzy stared at one of the monitors. "She's losing a lot of energy. I think her digicore is...rejecting her pokemon half."

Kari blinked. "How?"

"When a Digimon...dies," Izzy frowned, not comfortable with the concept, "its body becomes a digiegg and returns to Primary Village. But Sneasel...well, Eevee and Growlithe evolved into digital pokemon. I think Sneasel had it forced on her. Now her body's disintegrating."

"One...one last joke on you, and on Demon," Lady Devimon said, becoming ghostly and shrinking even more. "A little chaos. A legacy. I just wish I could...see...your...faaaaa..."

"Lady Devimon!" Gatomon stepped forward, horrified, as she watched Lady Devimon discorporate. Most of her body vanished. All that was left was a small black cloud of particles, which hovered over the bed for a second, then came together, leaving a small oval object. It was mainly jet black, with a small patch of silver on the top.

"A digiegg..." Gatomon whispered.

Scizor strode over, eyeing the digiegg. Behind his visor, his eyes widened. "Hey. You two lovebirds seeing what I'm seeing?"

--

Everyone had been invited into the room, and were all trying to crowd around the bed where June was now sitting up, looking a lot happier than she had been a half-hour ago. She was still ticked about having been used by Demon to take over the Digital World, which everyone had deemed a healthy enough response to what had happened to her.

Kari, Izzy, and all the Digimon walked in, carrying a black digiegg. "Lady Devimon's...gone." Kari said quietly.

Kyle looked downcast. "Is that her digiegg?"

"Yes and no," Scizor said. "I think it's closer to a normal pokemon egg. It should hatch into a digital pokemon, but it won't be the Sneasel we knew." Kyle shivered a bit. Sensing his discomfort, June put a hand on his arm. "There's more." Scizor tilted the egg forward, revealing a black outline of a starburst on the top of the egg.

Yolei was the first to recognize it. "That's...Kari's crest of Light?"

"Yeah," Izzy nodded. "Probably Lady Devimon's idea of a joke."

Davis nodded. "So let's save the digital world and put it in Primary Village."

"Just like that," Ken asked, startled by Davis' statement.

"Sure." To Davis, it was that simple. Like his next plan. "Alright, here's the plan: we get everyone together, and take down Skull Demon."

No one spoke for a moment. Then, June smiled. "I like it."

--Infinity Mountain

War Devidramon looked down from the peak of the mountain at the small golden dome covering Primary Village. The last speck of light preventing the Dark Ocean from completely overtaking the Digital World.

Standing behind him was the massive figure of Skull Demon, his power boosted by the addition of a Dark Spore, cultivated in the body of June Motomiya, then harvested from Lady Devimon after that creature had taken it from her. War Devidramon was fairly certain that taking the Dark Spore from him would be nigh impossible in his current form. Somehow, his ruler had managed to transcend the normal limits of Digimon and achieve a level higher than Mega.

Currently, the demonic digimon's power was being hurled against the protective dome created by Scizor. And repelled. "That insectile fool may have slowed me, but no matter. I will break down the protective shield over Primary Village, and complete my conquest. At least, this phase of it. What of my troops?"

War Devidramon did not look back. "They continue to multiply, Skull Demon. And they die as fast when they hurl themselves against Primary Village's shield."

"And hurl themselves they shall continue to do, War Devidramon. That is the last piece of the Digital World to be claimed. Once I have it, my rule over this world will be unopposed."

"And the humans and their Digimon partners?"

Skull Demon shrugged. "Irrelevant. I'll leave that to you to handle. You CAN handle it, yes? Because I'd hate to lose both my lieutenants in one day, War Devidramon. Especially if it were by my own hand. I did invest a lot of time in your development."

"I will not fail you," War Devidramon growled.

"No. No, you won't."

--

The small spider squirmed helplessly in the undead digimon's hand. He leered at the small arachnid, still not quite satisfied. "One more piece to go, my love."

--

Tai sighed as he watched the younger generation of digidestined get ready to go into battle. "This bites. We should be going with them."

"Not an option," Matt sighed. "Face it, our Digimon have been put through the wringer. We'll just have to content ourselves with being the B-team, this time."

"Yeah."

Matt smirked. "Tai, Kari'll be OK. She's a big girl now."

Tai stifled a chuckle. "How's Izzy doing?"

"Switching between checking the progress of the Dark Ocean in the Digital World and worrying himself sick over Kari, just like you."

A few feet away, Joe leaned back, trying to relax. "I thought I was too old for this saving the world nonsense."

"Ahh, you're never too old," Gomamon sighed. "Well, maybe Elecmon is..."

"Don't let him here you say that," Joe reprimanded. "How is he? Any word?"

"Mad now, according to Eevee."

Joe nodded. A few yards away, there was a shout, and Davis came running into view, June chasing him. "Davis Motomiya, you get back here THIS INSTANT!"

"...were we ever like that?" Joe asked.

Gomamon took the cue. "Well, there was that two week period where you had that huge crush on Sora...OW! What happened to that Hippocratic Oath?"

"Ask me after I take it." Joe answered, massaging his knuckles.

--

Kyle watched June take off after Davis, feeling an odd mix of relief at things being somewhat back to normal, and annoyance. It was just a small kiss...

"Everything OK in here?" Cody asked, walking over to the pokemon trainer.

"Yeah, just Davis being Davis." Cody nodded. "How are you doing?"

"OK. I just feel...weird about Lady Devimon...I though Digimon could come back."

Kyle sighed. "Well, Lady Devimon's not...wasn't a Digimon. She was a hybrid. And we don't know what will come out of that egg she left behind. But it looks like it won't be her, If Mewtwo read it right."

Cody shuddered a bit. "I don't think I can imagine what would happen if I lost Armadillomon. Does that mean..."

Kyle sighed. "I don't know about Growlithe or Eevee. But they still want to fight, no matter what." Kyle looked up at the sky. It was getting a bit late now; the moon was starting to come out. "It's definitely not like the battles I had before coming to the Digital World. And this one...well, I hope it's the last one for a long while."

"'A long while'?" Cody blinked, puzzled. "This will keep happening?"

"Probably. The Dark Ocean we know about. Who knows what else is out there? But if we don't fight, we could lose everything." He glanced back down the path, seeing a very satisfied June Motomiya approaching. "And I kind of like what I have now."

Cody blushed slightly. "Maybe I should leave..."

"Relax. Geez, Hawkmon was right, you do have a filthy mind."

--

"So, you'll be staying in New York?"

Mimi nodded, a bit sadly. "I'm afraid so, Yolei. Mom and dad are too settled now to move back to Japan. I'll probably get grounded until I'm 21 for being here."

"Not that that could stop you. What about you, Kari?"

Kari sighed. "Well, mom and dad wanted it to be a surprise, but...we found a place here in Stone Town."

"No way," Mimi gasped. "I'm so jealous!"

"Same here! I mean, Hawkmon's always whining about wanting to come here. Why?"

Kari glanced at where Hawkmon was flying around Kyle's Pidgeot. "I think I know..."

Yolei stared at Kari, then at Hawkmon, then back at Kari. "Whuu...WHAT? HAWKMON, GET OVER HERE!" She stormed off.

--

"Easy, Stu," Monodramon said. "It'll be fine."

"Fine? Of course it'll be fine." Stuart glanced at his partner, not quite hyperventilating. "Why shouldn't it be fine? I mean, I'm just a high school student who's been asked to save the world. Easy, really!"

Monodramon shuddered a bit as Stuart was about to cross over into full hyperventilation mode.

"Stuart?" Stuart forced himself to stand up. Mimi was there, looking worried. "Are you alright?"

"S...sure..." Stuart wheezed.

"Ohh," Mimi cooed, "you poor thing. You know, it takes a really brave person to admit he's scared." Stuart was still on the edge of hyperventilating, but for entirely different reasons now.

A few feet away, Matt turned away, trying, and failing, to keep a straight face. Mimi's performance was so over the top, he knew there was no danger of Stuart taking it seriously. Really. No fear at all.

Could Gabumon still reach his Mega level?

--

"Deja vu?" Ken nodded. Ryo shrugged. "Well, can't be helped. We were, after all, the first and the best."

Ken looked at his feet. "Some best. I got mind controlled and tried to take over the Digital World."

"Could be worse. You could have been good at it."

"Whaaa...?" Ken stared at Ryo, caught between shock and outrage. Then, he recovered. "Funny. Where's Caryl?"

"Oh, off bugging Professor Oak. She's gonna be scary when she gets her license. Loreli made a big impression on her. I'll have to start training again."

"You're going back to pokemon battling?"

"Yeah. Hey, family tradition and all that. Why don't you give it a shot, Ken? I hear the new league rules are gonna cover digivolutions. You'd be good."

"We'll see. I have a lot of lost time to make up. I was a jerk for a long time after Sam..."

Ryo nodded. "Well, think about it, alright? We're still DNA partners, no matter what that goggle-brained wannabe says."

There was a slight pause. Then, Ken asked "so, how good is Caryl now?"

"Whipped me twice last week. Her and Renamon..."

"Scary," both chorused.

--

Finally, it was time to go. Everyone stood near the gateway, their Digimon ready to digivolve and charge into battle. Sitting at an advanced computer, Izzy glanced at the first wave going in. "The shield around Primary Village is still holding, but I can't tell for how much longer; the number of spider-creatures in continuing to increase."

"Spiders? Eww!" Yolei shuddered, sticking her tongue out.

"You leave the bug swatting to us," Casey declared. "As long as he," she glanced at Kyle Evanick, "pulls his weight."

Kyle rolled his eyes, ignoring Tsukaimon's snickering. "Better than pulling your weight, baseball freak."

"WHAT WAS THAT?"

"Children, please," Seth said, trying to calm the two down, as Wizardmon felt a migrane starting up. "We're about to go save the world. Wanna put the poorly-disguised romantic overtures aside until after?"

Kyle went white. "Poorly..."

"Disguised...," Casey stammered. Tsukaimon and Kunemon were both rolling on the ground, laughing.

"As I was about to say," Davis interrupted, cutting off Casey's ear-blistering comeback, "Let's GO!"

"Patamon, digivolve to...Angemon!"

"Armadillomon, digivolve to...Ankylomon!"

"Angemon...Ankylomon...DNA Digivolve to...Shakkouomon!"

"Hawkmon, digivolve to...Aquillamon!"

"Aquillamon...Gatomon...DNA Digivolve to...Sylphimon!"

"Renamon, digivolve to...Kyuubimon!"

"Charmeleon, digivolve to...Charizard!"

"Kyuubimon...Charizard...DNA Digivolve to...Agnimon!"

"Tsukaimon, digivolve to...Wizardmon!"

"Kunemon, digivolve to...Yanmamon!"

"Wizardmon...Yanmamon...DNA Digivolve to...Wolfmon!"

"Eevee, digivolve to...Espeon!"

"Veemon, digivolve to...Depthmon!"

"Espeon...Depthmon...DNA Digivolve to...Shiryumon!"

"So, Palmon, after this is over-"

"MONODRAMON!" Stuart yelled, bouncing a stray Pineco off of his partner's head.

"OW! I was just-" Glares all around, and Stuart started reaching for another Pineco. "Fine. Monodramon, digivolve to...Strikedramon!"

"Wizardmon...Strikedramon...DNA Digivolve to...Cyberdramon!"

"Veemon, digivolve to...ExVeemon!"

"Wormmon, digivolve to...Stingmon!"

"ExVeemon...Stingmon...DNA Digivolve to...Paildramon!"

"Elecmon, digivolve to...Leomon!"

"Growlithe, digivolve to...Arcanine!"

"Arcanine...Leomon...DNA digivolve to...Komainumon!"

"Komainumon...Paildramon...Mega Jogress Digivolve to...Imperialdramon!"

"Alright!" Yolei shouted. "Digiport OPEN!"

There was a huge flare of light, and when it passed, the first generation of digidestined were left behind with a small army of confused pokemon trainers. Matt turned around first. "Alright everyone, listen up!"

--

War Devidramon narrowed his eyes. "They're coming."

:They will come in force: Skull Demon sent telepathically. :Do as I showed you. And do not fail me.:

:Understood.: War Devidramon broke the link, focusing his concentration, letting the energy in his body reach out to the crawling spider monsters below. "Come. Come and join with me. Add your power to mine!"

Below him, the corrupted ground trembled, several dozen creatures gathering together. then they floated upwards, merging into War Devidramon's body. Pieces of armor appeared, covering more and more of War Devidramon's body.

"Now, digidestined...Now come and face me! I will crush you all!"

--

The digiport flared in the center of the ruined Primary Village, disgorging a whole horde of Digimon and digidestined.

Davis looked around. "So, think we still have the element of surprise?"

"Somehow, I doubt it." TK pointed to the outside of the barrier, where the spider-creatures waited expectantly. "Times like this I wish we hadn't gone over spiders just before the Christmas break." Kari nodded.

Davis glanced at TK. "Huh? I was asleep, what about spiders?"

"Later!" Imperialdramon surged forward. "POSITRON LASER!" The bright bluish-white beam stabbed out, vaporizing hordes of monsters; the dragon Digimon tracked the beam back and forth, clearing away as many targets as he could, allowing the other Digimon to fly out and start attacking.

They did; All the Digimon save for Imperialdramon charged out and engaged the forces that were trying to approach the shield. The massive dragon Digimon waited, eyes fixed on War Devidramon as he drew closer.

As expected, War Devidramon paid no attention to the DNA Digimon as he advanced; his score with Imperialdramon took precedence. Both sides had realized this, and had planned accordingly. Thus the DNA Digimon were kept busy with the spider beasts, and vice versa. "So, you've finally crawled out from hiding for a return match. I promise you, this will be different. Assume your Fighter mode and face me, Imperialdramon."

All four 'voices' of Imperialdramon spoke as one. "We don't need to transform to fight you! POSITRON LASER!" The blast was narrower this time, though no less impressive. War Devidramon, somewhat foolishly, raised an arm to block as he dodged to one side. The blast tore his arm off. "Told ya. Now give...uh oh."

War Devidramon cackled as his arm grew back, armour and all. "So, still think that you won't need all your power to face me? BURNING MISSILE!" The missiles shot out from War Devidramon, slamming into the golden shield, which shuddered under the attack. It shuddered again as the monstrous Digimon struck with several War Claw attacks. An ominous cracking noise could be heard through Primary Village as the digieggs generating the field started to give.

"Stay here," Imperialdramon said to the humans. "It'll be safer. Imperialdramon, mode chage to...FIGHTER MODE!" Now humanoid, Imperialdramon flew out, tackling War Devidramon and forcing him away from the dome.

"Thought that would get your attention," War Devidramon mocked. "Now we can settle this without any more interruptions, save one. NOW, TUNNELERS RISE!"

Imperialdramon was baffled. How could tunnelers help when they were both fighting in mid-air? Then, it hit him. "No!"

"Ah-ah, Imperialdramon Fighter mode. We will continue our dance, while the underground Digimon attack those humans you thought were safe. WAR CLAW!"

In Primary Village, everyone scattered as several Digimon erupted from the ground. "Kill!" one shouted, aiming his drill-like horn at Kari and Yolei. Stuck in the fight, Sylphimon was unable to get back to them; the distraction allowed several spider-monsters to sink their teeth into the aerial Digimon.

The Drimogemon tried to lunge at the two defenseless targets. This proved hard as something large and sharp sliced him in to. The control spire Digimon disintegrated, leaving a large metallic angel that Kari recognized.

"Sorry we're late," Josh grinned. As he spoke, Cougmon sprinted behind him, blurred and changed to Cheetahmon and picked off a second attacker. "Missed a bus."

"Glad you could make it!" Davis yelled. "Who's your friend?"

"Yes, who?" A small ball with a chainsaw in one hand and a bomb in the other challenged Josh and his partner. "I'd like to know so I can report my victory to Skull DeAWK!"

The angel stepped back, sword having just cleaved Giromon in two, nodding to Josh. "Sigmunmon."

--

"Looks like your plan failed." Imperialdramon snarled, punching War Devidramon in the face. As he spoke, more digidestined and Digimon joined the ones in the sphere. "Oh, by the way? Look down."

"What are you-"

"HARPOON TORPEDO!" Several dozen missiles erupted from the ground and struck War Devidramon. Ikkakumon rose from the ground and started adding his attacks to the others, pushing the spidery hordes back further. Togemon and Kabuterimon joined in seconds later.

We're missing a few, War Devidramon thought, looking around

"Supreme Cannon!"

"Starlight Explosion!"

The demon Digimon landed in a heap on the ground, wounds regenerating a bit more slowly this time. "How much of your masters power will you be allowed to tap," Omnimon asked.

"Here in the Digital World, we can hold our Mega forms for a lot longer," Phoenixmon added, flames building up for a second attack.

"I...will not TOLERATE THIS! HAMMERS OF DARKNESS, I SUMMON THEE!" With a mighty roar, War Devidramon slammed his hands into the ground. Dozens of Control Spires burst out, then merged together, creating four Digimon Omnimon and Phoenixmon recognized all to well.

--

TK ran to the edge of the dome, shocked to the core of his being. Puppetmon, mallet in hand, strode towards some of the DNA Digimon. Metal Seadramon snaked up to join War Devidramon. Machinedramon and Piedmon advanced towards the dome.

"It's not them!" Izzy called. "They're just replicas of the Dark Masters we fought before!" Blades and blasts began to hammer the dome. "They're mega-level Digimon!" Sigmunmon and Cougmon stepped forward. "You can't hope to beat them!"

"We can," Sigmunmon growled.

"We will," Cougmon snarled.

"No one's going to push us around anymore!" both yelled, charging for the edge of the barrier. Kirsten, Jacob, and Gail's digivices lit up. "Cougmon, digivolve to...SKULLCHEETAHMON!" The massive skeletal cat's claws tore through one of the connectors on Machinedramon's torso, cutting power to one of his cannons.

Kyle took a pokeball out of his belt. "Showtime, Eevee!"

Eevee appeared, also making a beeline for the barrier. "Eevee, digivolve to...Flareon! Flareon, digivolve to...Pyroangemon!" While Skullcheetahmon battled with Machinedramon, the two angelic Digimon double-teamed the Piedmon replica

"Nice to see another angel," Pyroangemon said between strikes. "Weren't you a big red dinosaur before?"

"Long story! One sec while I finish this guy..." Sigmunmon produced a second blade similar to his first one and butted the two together. "DESTINY BLADE!" The blade shot out, decapitating Piedmon and shattering the covering, revealing a headless ebony statue.

"ATOM FORCE!" Pyroangemon shouted, driving his own blade into the statue, shattering it. As he did, SkullCheetahmon roared, large chunk of Spire in his teeth disintegrating, followed by Machinedramon.

The Japanese digidestined were stunned. "I thought..." Tai stammered. "But...they were..."

"Don't. Get us going. Right?" Jacob glanced at the rest of his family.

"Too right." As he spoke, two more digimon, Ultimates both, charged the dome, one of the few remaining actual digimon in Skull Demon's service. "And let me introduce my friends. Skull Satamon, this is Gladimon on my left..." An armoured digimon brandished a sword, slicing the Skull Satamon in half. "And on my right, Witchmon." The other digimon, dressed like the mystical figure she was named for, waved a wand. Devidramon slammed into an invisible wall and slid down to the ground, unconcious.

--

The undead Digimon picked up a seemingly random piece of soil, then removed a small chunk from a recently erected control spire. "This should do nicely. A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and my love returned to me. Now, to begin the ceremony." A staff appeared in his hand, and the objects he had taken floated a few feet away from him. A large circle appeared with a series of geometric figures inside it. Words impossible to pronounce by any human were uttered.

The land shifted.

--

From his throne, Skull Demon watched the battle. Then he felt it. A subtle change in the flow of energy.

"No. Not now, you fool."

--

War Devidramon abandoned his plans and went back to his first instinct: attack with no quarter. His claws dug into Imperialdramon's torso, long tail making swipes at both Phoenixmon and Omnimon. "Even if I fall, I'll take you with me, Imperialdramon!"

"Not on the agenda! RRRRAHHH!" Yelling, Imperialdramon's head swung forward, head butting War Devidramon. He repeated the move twice more, forcing the devil Digimon to release him. "HIT HIM NOW!"

"SUPREME CANNON!"

"STARLIGHT EXPLOSION!"

"POSITRON CANNON!" The three attacks bored into War Devidramon, vaporizing his armor and a good bit of himself as well. Seconds later, Magnatar fell to the ground, barely aware of what had just happened.

"Power...where is..."

:Serve me, and live.: Magnatar blinked. That wasn't Skull Demon's voice in his head. It did have the effect of clearing his mind, though. Quickly, he sized up the situation: he was knocked back to his champion level, and was facing three very angry Mega Digimon, as well as several Ultimate Level DNA Digimon when they could spare the time. :I am the one who took your power. Serve me, and you will have it again.:

"I'm out of here." Magnatar snarled, teleporting away.

"How'd he do that?" Imperialdramon wondered.

--

Skull Demon shot to his feet. "Fine," he thundered. "I shall end this farce myself. Then I shall find that interfering corpse Murmuxmon and tear him apart one rotted bone at a time!"

--

Magnatar reappeared outside the circle. "You."

"Shh. I am almost done." As Magnatar watched, the three items in the centre of the circle merged, and formed into a humanoid shape. One that Magnatar recognized immediately. "And now, for the closing act," Murmuxmon cackled, producing one more item and throwing it into the circle.

--

"Well, that was anticlimactic." Still, Izzy felt a sense of foreboding. As soon as War Devidramon had fallen, the spider creatures had also vanished. He winced as the darkness started to recede a bit, leaving ruined land where it had touched. Hearing a gasp, he moved to Kari's side, taking her hand in his. "It'll get better," he promised.

Kari nodded. Intellectually, she knew that the battle would have a drastic effect on the digital world. But part of her hoped that, just once, it could go back to normal without having to continually fight evil Digimon.

"Don't relax yet," Kyle cautioned.

"We still have Skull Demon to defeat." Ken frowned. "But where is he?"

"Maybe he chickened out and ran back to his ocean?" Davis shrugged. "Hey, I can hope, can't I?"

"No," June said, trembling a bit. "He's still out there. I can feel it."

Kyle glanced at June, and nodded. "Izzy, tell all the Digimon to pull back. This fight's about to get harder."

"NO. IT'S JUST GOING TO END. NOW! DEATH INFERNO!" Flames stabbed out, striking Omnimon and Phoenixmon, knocking both back to their rookie forms. Sigmunmon and Pyroangemon grabbed Biyomon, Agumon, and Gabumon, and hustled them back behind the dome. "Safe? Good," Skull Demon rumbled, appearing out of nowhere. "I'd like you to watch as I tear your precious Digimon partners apart. I'll save you for last."

"He took out two Mega Digimon with one attack," Joe gasped.

Davis closed his eyes, then opened them. "EVERYONE, HIT HIM HARD!"

"Giga Crusher!" The attack flew at Skull Demon, only to be intercepted by his skeletal staff. Other attacks came in rapid succession, all being absorbed.

"Fools. Ray...of...DEATH!" Multiple beams of energy lanced out, striking all the attacking Digimon. Inside the barrier, the digidestined watched helplessly as Skull Demon's attack took out their Digimon partners. "Now, to take care of the true source of your power. Oh, children..."

"G...get out of here..." Agnimon groaned, struggling to get up.

"We...can take him." Cyberdramon struggled to get up. "Just need a bigger stick..."

"Time to sweep away the trash. Watch closely children, and behold the power of the Dark Ocean." Skull Demon raised his staff up, then slammed it to the ground. Dark water flooded the area, slowly rising over the Digimon outside the field, and climbing up the barrier over Primary Village. "So, now you see the futility of opposing me, yes? You are facing the power of the Dark Ocean, and as that word's ruler, I can tap into its power directly, and focus it through the Dark Spore I have taken inside me. And that's inside, in case any of your digital friends might try to shoot it out of me." Imperialdramon struggled to get up, strength leaving him. "Don't bother getting up. Let the Dark Ocean's tides drain your strength and make you my servant."

"Pikachu, THUNDER ATTACK!" The lightning bolt did no damage, but it did stop Skull Demon's monologue.

Ash Ketchum, standing with Gary, Misty, and a small army of pokemon trainers come digidestined, glared at Skull Demon. "You're not going to hurt our friends or anyone else any more!" Two massive birds, one red, one silver, streaked overhead. Ho-oh and Lugia launched blasts of fire and wind.

:You may be powerful, but I too can command the sea.: Psychic voice still ringing in everyone's mind, Lugia dove into the blackened water. Demon grinned, thinking that the beast had sacrificed himself for nothing. Then...

Around Skull Demon, the water turned bright blue, and exploded in a massive vortex, with such power that the massive demonic Digimon was knocked backwards. "Impressive, you flying fool, but my power can surpass anything you could summon. OBSERVE!" Skull Demon forced the water back down, grinning as he felt the water punch through the barrier, flooding the remains of Primary Village.

"Hey. Aren't you forgetting something?"

The demon glanced at the cliff opposite to the one the pokemon trainers were on. Imperialdramon, surrounded by all the DNA Digimon, the children inside a shining white dome on his back, glared back. Above him, the four guardians hovered, daring Skull Demon to attack.

"You face the combined might of three worlds, Skull Demon. Yield." Mewtwo's aura flared, building power for an attack.

"I have come too far to back down now. DARK OCEAN VORTEX!"

"I can't see!" Davis yelled panicked. "What's happening?"

"I must thank you, Mewtwo! You have brought all my foes to one place. I shall destroy them all!"

--

Cody came to, unable to see anything. "TK? Shakkouomon? Anyone? Even Davis?" he shivered a bit as no one answered. He could feel the darkness closing in on him, freezing his blood.

My digivice, he realized. I can track everyone with it. He reached down...

And found it missing. "Where'd it go? I need it...Without it..." He trailed off, remembering a conversation he had when he was just starting with his kendo lessons...

--Flashback

"Cody. How important is the sword?"

"Absolutely," Cody answered his grandfather. "You can't fight without it."

"Humph. That is wrong, Cody. Anyone can swing a sword around. Grandson, the most important lesson I can teach you is this: The sword is merely an extension of your spirit, Cody. Without a focussed spirit behind it, the sword is just a piece of metal, useless to anyone. With an unfocussed spirit, it swings around with no control, harming that which it seeks to protect. But when the spirit is in unison with the blade..."

"So, is a sword even necessary," Cody asked.

Master Hida, clad in full kendo gear, frowned, eyes locked on Cody. Cody did not flinch and, after a few seconds, the elder Hida smiled. "No. But one must always be prepared for when it is necessary. And now you are ready to begin your lessons."

--

Cody calmed himself, closing his eyes, shutting out the darkness and cold. He smiled, and the fear left him. The darkness was still there when Cody again opened his eyes, but he no longer feared it. "I know you're out there, Armadillomon. I'll find you." He set off.

He took about five steps when his food brushed against something. He could just make out something yellow.

And furry?

--

"Pikachu? PIKACHU!" Ash yelled.

"Hello?" a voice called back. Ash tried to concentrate on the voice. It sounded young, younger than him. And familiar.

"Ash, right," Cody asked. "I remember you from when we met in the Johto area. I think this is yours?" Cody offered Pikachu to Ash.

"Pikachu!" Ash cried. The pokemon leaped up and onto Ash's shoulder. "How'd you find us? Did you use one of those digivice things?"

"No," Cody replied. "But I don't think we need it right now. Come on, let's find everyone else."

The two walked together for a few minutes. "Hey, Cody? Is there something...wrong with me?" Cody glanced at Ash. "I mean, I was brought here, but I don't have a digivice."

"I don't think you need a digivice. It helps a lot, and lets you open portals, but...the bond between me and Armadillomon, that's stronger than anything some object can replace. Am I making any sense?"

"I think so," Ash replied. "Hey, who's that up ahead?"

--

"How...?" Davis and Melody asked.

"I think..." June glanced at Kyle, then Davis. "Remember what Izzy told us? When he and the other digidestined faced Apocalymon?"

"Yeah," Davis replied. "They went in, Apocalymon wrecked their...wait, you mean we don't need-"

"No," Cody said, as the three followed him, Ash and Pikachu. "They were just focusses for us." He glanced ahead at Ash, who was following Pikachu's lead. "I think he already knows that, in a way. I heard him say it earlier; he never needed a digivice."

"But we do-" Davis protested.

"No we don't." June reiterated. "Just once, listen to your big sister?"

Sigh. "I hate it when you use that tone of voice. How's a little brother supposed to argue if you keep pulling that tone on me? Hey, Ken!" Ash led Ken over, who rejoined the group.

"I heard everything," Ken said. "We should be able to break Skull Demon's power. We just need something to focus on." On cue, Melody took out her ocarina, and started playing a haunting tune, calm and a bit sad. "That should do." Silently, Ken wondered if Yolei was any good at music. "We need Imperialdramon."

"No," Davis interrupted. "We need everyone. All the digidestined we met all over the Earth, and any that still haven't come from Kyle's world."

"Plus, we're right here." Imperialdramon's massive form came into view, followed by Shakkouomon, still hard to make out in the darkness.

"I'm glad you're alright," Shakkouomon said to Cody.

"Thank my grandpa," Cody replied. "Now we just need to do something about this darkness. We need a really big source of light that everyone can see."

"Leave that to us. Pikachu, we need the biggest thunderbolt you've ever created. Are you up for it?"

Pikachu glanced up at his trainer. "Pika!"

--

"Are you OK?" Crystal said, helping the redhead up. TK looked around, trying to spot someone else in all the murk.

"Yeah." Misty looked around. "Where's Golduck?"

"All of our partner Digimon are missing." TK explained. "And our digivices. This is getting old. Twice in a lifetime is too much."

Misty stared at TK. "You've done this BEFORE?"

The bolt of lightning cut everyone off. Misty saw it, shook her head, and sighed. "Ash."

"Davis too, probably. Don't tell me I owe him my life." TK was smiling as he said that, though. "Come on."

--

Skull Demon looked around. All around him was darkness, everything swallowed up and gradually being absorbed by the Dark Ocean. All was good. Good thing too; he didn't want to admit it, but that last stunt had taken a lot of his power.

Then the lightning bolt appeared. Going upwards.

"Who dares-?" Skull Demon started to say, then stopped as Imperialdramon, back in his beast form, flew straight up, carrying four humans. "No..."

"Now guys," Imperialdramon shouted.

"DIGIPORT OPEN!" Kyle, June, Ken, and Davis called, opening portals to both the human and pokemon world.

A few more digidestined appeared out of the portal to the Pokemon world. Kyle could feel something odd, a wrongness in the portal, as if it weren't reaching part of his home dimension. His doubts cleared, however, when he saw what the portal to the Human world revealed. Hundreds of digidestined. Young, old, male, female, all types of Digimon imaginable, all of them came down, ready to help.

There was more. The light broadcast by them dispelled the darkness, freeing the digidestined caught up in Skull Demon's attack. He had about half a second to notice that the Japanese digidestineds' digivices reappeared.

Then everyone attacked. The next few minutes were an indescribable mess as every Digimon and pokemon there started launching all sorts of attacks, all with one goal in mind: take down Skull Demon.

Incredibly, the demonic Digimon started to give way under the combined attack. Weakened as he was, Skull Demon was unable to cope with the overwhelming number of attackers he was now facing. Above, three Sabirdramon did aerial attacks. But, by the time he had summoned the energy up to attack, Garurumon and four Greymon were attacking from behind. One memorable moment came when Seadramon, carrying a screaming Edward Silver, slalomed between the demon's ribs, firing ice spears all over. This was followed seconds later by five different legendary pokemon hitting Skull Demon with every element he knew of. And through it all, that blasted Shakkouomon kept absorbing any attacks he did manage to get off and sent them back at him, with interest.

At once, the attacks stopped. Imperialdramon stomped forward, aiming his cannon, and fired, knocking Skull Demon off his feet. "Had enough?"

Staff clutched in a death-grip, Skull Demon staggered to his feet. "Not hardly. I still have one last trump card to play." He roared, and summoned the Destiny Stones he had captured and corrupted. He wasn't able to harvest all of the potential energy inside the stones, but it was enough for at least a partial healing.

"This guy doesn't quit," Davis snarled.

"Everyone who doesn't have a DNA digivolved Digimon, help out someone who does! Channel your energy through your digivices!" Izzy held up his digivice; Kabuterimon changed back to Tentomon, and his energy was sent to Sylphimon.

"Do I have a DNA Digimon?" one child asked.

"You from Japan?" Matt replied.

"No."

"Is your Digimon currently combined with another Digimon?"

"No."

"Then he's not a DNA Digimon."

"Gazimon's a GIRL! Hrmph!" The girl stomped away, ignoring her partner's "I am NOT!" and sending an energy beam to Agnimon.

"I feel weird..." Cyberdramon looked around. "Anyone else feeling it?"

Hovering in midair, Shiryumon nodded. "Yes. I...we need to combine again."

"Again?" Wolfmon looked uncertain.

"Yes." Shakkouomon intoned, floating towards Imperialdramon. Sylphimon followed. One by one, the other DNA Digimon turned into spheres of energy, and merged with Imperialdramon.

"I won't give you a chance to power up! DEATH INFERNO!" The gout of fire flew at the humans nearest Imperialdramon, but it was blocked. Above, Azulongmon grinned behind his mask. It was nice, he realized, to know that he still had it.

The distraction gave Imperialdramon the time he needed. He could feel all of the Digimon, not just the ones who had fused with him, but the power of every Digimon or pokemon and their human partner who had lent him their energy.

"Imperialdramon, mode change to...PALADIN MODE!"

Skull Demon looked at the massive blue and silver Digimon, and nodded. "So, this is the final move. Very well." He tapped his staff on the ground. The top shattered, followed by the rest of the staff, revealing a massive sword, long, silvery, and almost rapier thin, as long as Skull Demon was tall. Imperialdramon readied his own sword, it appearing in his hand, an equally massive silver double-edged blade.

"INFERNAL DIVIDE!"

"OMEGA BLADE!"

It was over before anyone realized it. To Davis, it reminded him of that Zatoichi film he snuck out to see once, or those bootlegged episodes of Samurai Jack he'd 'borrowed' off of Izzy's computer. The two Digimon had charged, made a single attack, and that was it.

Imperialdramon stood up, massive gouge torn along his torso. He was otherwise unaffected. "It's finished, Skull Demon."

"So it is," Skull Demon admitted. His sword snapped in two, the blade falling to the ground. A second later, so did his skeletal left arm. "But there will be others." He toppled over, parts of him disintegrating. "In fact, I can feel one taking my seat right now. I must admit, I'm almost ann-" the rest of his body vanished. The Destiny Stones, drained of most of their power, floated to the ground, Skull Demon's influence over them having vanished.

Amidst the cheering and wild cries, Mewtwo finally smiled a bit. "And we will be waiting for them. Us," he glanced down, "and the true guardians of this Digital World."

---1 week later

Like anything Davis did, it went wildly out of control. Not just the party he had 'suggested' take place at Kyle's home, which then spilled out into the rest of Stone Town. Not that no one minded. Once word had gotten out about the Digital World, they were proud to have one of the heroes be a resident of the town. Suffice it to say, Kyle was tormented endlessly about it by everyone, especially June.

What really had gone haywire was Imperialdramon's dramatic opening of the digital gateway to the Human World. It had saved everyone, yes. The problem was that there was so much power that had gone into opening the portal that it was stuck open now. Humans and Digimon could travel relatively freely to the Digital World.

There was already one amusing story about how two radical animal rights activists had managed to sneak into the Pokemon World, by 'hitching' a ride with a digidestined. They then tried to 'liberate' some pokemon from their trainers. Ash had, naturally enough, mistaken them for members of Team Rocket, and treated them accordingly. They were doing fine now, but one of them was still a little edgy around the colour yellow and thunderstorms.

Still, it was quite a party...

--

TK looked up as the fireworks exploded. "I gotta say, Davis really went all out on this one."

"Yeah," Tai sighed. "I wish we had a party like this after we beat the Dark Masters. Well, it could be worse, I guess." TK nodded. At least, with the digiports remaining open, they wouldn't have to leave behind their Digimon friends again. "So, where's Crystal?"

"Over there; she's just meeting up with some of the other digidestined. I never knew that there were so many, or that we could fit them all into this town."

"It's not everyone." Tai looked around again. "Timezones and everything. Plus some weren't able to make it right now. They'll probably come later. Where is Davis, anyway?" there was some shouts from the stage, where Matt was still setting up.

Tai and TK watched in horror as Davis started singing.

--

"What was THAT?" Seth looked ill as the hideous screeching noise swept over the digidestined.

"It seems Davis has decided to try his hand at singing." Wizardmon felt another migraine coming on. "I'm surprised June didn't try to stop him."

"Where is she, anyway?" Stuart asked. "For that matter, where's Monodramon?"

"June, I haven't seen," Seth replied, not adding that he hadn't seen Kyle for some time either. "Monodramon..."

"What. What is he doing, Seth?" No response. "Seth? This ISN'T FUNNY. He's gone off after Palmon again, hasn't he? I swear..."

Monodramon took that opportunity to show up, leading two humans with him. "Yeah, he's right...HEY, STU!"

Stuart turned to face his partner, saw Mimi was with him, and registered...

Oh my.

Seth was busy trying not to laugh as Stuart's mind seized up.

"Oh, you must be Stuart," Catherine said, walking over to him. "I must say, you are every bit as brave and handsome as Mimi has told me." Catherine played up the French accent for all it was worth.

Mimi turned away, unable to stop giggling.

"I...I...Ahh...er...gahhhhhhh"

"And so eloquent too." Smiling, Catherine took Stuart's arm and guided him away, trying to glare at Monodramon, who gave him an encouraging thumbs up.

Shaking his head, Seth started to head over to one of the tables where some of the calmer digidestined were. As he moved, he spotted another girl, this one in a wheelchair. "So," he ventured. "First time here?"

Rei Saiba nodded. "One minute, I'm in France with Catherine, then I'm following everyone into the Digital World. It's been...different, to say the least. Oh, I'm Rei."

"Seth."

--

After about 5 seconds of struggle, Davis was dragged off the stage by several people and pokemon. Over the speakers: "I don't want to do this. I sound horrible!"

"No you don't!" a second voice insisted. "Come on, this is no time for cold feet, Sora."

"Yes I...Why am I hearing...MIMI!" Laughter rippled through the audience as Mimi and Melody dragged Sora onto the stage. Mimi waved at Matt, nodded to Izzy, then she and Melody started singing 'Dare Yori.' Sora, still flustered, joined in a few seconds later.

In the audience, Ryo stifled a snort as he saw Tai was watching, entranced. Beside him, Caryl looked uncharacteristically depressed. "What's wrong?"

"I'm just sad it's over. I have to go back to school."

"That's never stopped you before," Ryo said, smiling gently. Nearby, Renamon rolled her eyes. True enough, Caryl was trying to find any excuse to get to the Pokemon world. Not for the reasons Ryo thought, though.

"Yeah, but Mom's going to be clamping down, and even Renamon's taking her side. I'll never make it into the Elite 4."

"...whaaa...HUH?"

Caryl grinned impishly. "Loreli's promised to train me to take over when she retires."

Ryo smiled again. "That's great. Of course, you'll have to put up with me too. I'l be training with Drake."

"Really? Cool, he's nice."

"Yeah, he...You've met Drake?" Ryo was having trouble keeping up. "Great. Aunt Loreli likes you more than her own nephew."

"Well, of course." Caryl glanced at the stage, where the three female digidestined were still singing. "I wish I sounded that nice when I sang."

"You do." Ryo mumbled, fumbling with something.

"Huh? Hey, what's that?" Caryl snatched the item out of Ryo's hand. She saw that it was a minidisc, with a felt-pen inscribed date on it.

"I...uh...I had Izzy make me a copy of that song you did."

"You have a bootleg copy of my first performance? That's sweet! Illegal, but sweet."

Loreli watched all this from a short distance away. Beside her, Charmeleon sighed. "So, she's taking over for you?"

Loreli nodded. "She has potential. And...well, I like her. We need people in the ELite 4 who know how to have fun."

"And you want to annoy Agatha," Charmeleon countered, referring to the psychic specialist.

"Maybe."

--

Cody hated crowds. He wandered around, a little lost. He exchanged a few hellos with some of the other digidestined. That one boy from Vancouver was nice, though he was busy keeping the redhead from trying to challenge someone else to a Digimon battle.

Armadillomon glanced up. "You OK, Cody?"

"Yeah. Just a little overwhelmed. I wonder where Grandpa is?"

"He and mom should be along in a while. Well, hello there."

"Pika? Pika-CHU!" The electric mouse greeted Armadillomon, then motioned for him and Cody to follow.

"Hey, Cody!" Ash yelled, waving. "How're you doing?"

"F...fine, thanks."

"Cody, there you are!" Noriko ran over, followed by Misty. "I was looking all over for you!"

"You were?"

Noriko frowned, and put her fists on her hips. "That's right, mister 'knight in shining armour'. Imagine, leaving a poor girl like me all alone and unescorted. Who knows what kind of weirdos are here?" A few feet away, Brock pranced by, eyes latched onto Kei, from Vancouver. "See?" Noriko insisted. Her facade broke when Brock ran in the opposite direction, pursued by an enraged Kei and Deputymon.

"So, does this sort of thing happen often? The world coming to an end?" Misty looked a bit concerned.

"It's only the second time. Or is it the third? I've lost count. But I think we have a few years of safety." Cody looked down.

"Enough of that negative stuff! Come on, you're taking me to the nearest buffet table. Farfetch'd here is starving!" With that, Noriko dragged Cody off, Armadillomon racing to keep up.

Misty watched the two heading off, suddenly feeling a bit envious. "So, you're going back to school?"

"Yeah," Ash admitted. "That last battle at the Johto League was too close. I only won 'cause I was lucky. Come to think of it, I've been winning a lot of my battles through luck. I...I don't want to keep fighting that way."

"That's not like you." Misty leaned closer. "Are you sure you haven't been possessed by a Haunter or something?"

"No!" Ash took a second, realizing that had come out a bit more forcefully than he had intended. "Sorry. It's...I want to take another shot at the Indigo League. I just want to make up for what happened last time. I have a lot of pokemon now, I'll just train the ones I have. Just wait, next time, I'll take the championship!"

"Don't count on it!" Caryl shouted from across the field, having heard Ash.

--

"Ah, Joe? Joe?"

Joe glanced down, seeing Wormmon. "What's up? Lose track of Ken?"

"No, he's with Yolei making business plans. It's Gomamon..."

"MARCHING MAGIKARP!"

It took about three minutes to clear away the small horde of Magikarp that came out of the water. Gomamon, on the other hand, was caged up at the far end of one of the buffet tables in under 30 seconds, forced to watch as everyone else got food, a giant 'Do not feed' poster mounted on top of the cage.

--

"It'll be the best, Ken! We'll be on the cutting edge of computer consultants. I've got it all worked out!"

Ken nodded, a bit uneasily. "But...I'm not a genius anymore."

"WHAT WAS THAT?"

"N..nothing!"

"Good. I've got no room for negativity at Eagle Eye Computer Consultants, Inc. Anyway, we both have to finish school first, so you'll have time to practice."

"I like the name." Hawkmon glanced at the notes Yolei had scribbled down. "You've put a lot of thought into this."

"Hey, we spent most of the last four months inside a computer. We might as well get something out of it aside from a lot of exercise, right?"

"Uhh...right," Ken agreed, trying not to stare as Yolei stretched her arms. "Where...where will we be working?"

"Huh? Why, here, after we get m..." Yolei stopped, face crimson. "We'll work that out later." she mumbled.

"Oh." Awkward silence. "Seth! He's good with computers. We should see if he's interested too!"

"Huh? Yeah, good idea. And some of the other digidestined too." Yolei got up.

Ken came to a decision. "Maybe," he took her hand, "Maybe later, after everything's calmed down a bit?"

Yolei stared at Ken, gulped, and nervously adjusted her glasses. "Uhh...sure."

--

Kari tried to pull Josh along. "Come on, enjoy yourself for once!" Agumon insisted.

Josh smiled, waving off everyone else. "Alright, I'll try. It's just...he's still out there, I know it."

"So what," Kari asked. "If he comes back, we can take care of him."

"My d-"

Gail cut him off. "I promise. If we need help, we will call." She glanced at her son. "Josh, we don't have to run anymore. We don't have to be afraid. So relax."

"Yeah!" Jacob said. "I think we've earned it. Besides, me and Socramon are going to do a little cruising."

"Forget it!" Kristen insisted. "He's coming with me!"

"Children." Gail said in her Mother voice. "Please behave yourselves, we are in public. Besides..." Jacob and Kristen glanced at their mother, confused. "He's coming with me." She snatched up the small Digimon and took off, Jacob and Kristen in pursuit.

Josh watched the rest of his family, a little mystified by the transition from perpetually afraid to being happy.

"I mean it," Kari said. "If you need us, for anything, please call us?"

"Sure. As long as Izzy comes along too. Wouldn't want him to think you were trying to pull something on him."

"Whaa...I'd never go behind Izzy's back. He..." Kari's eyes narrowed. "He's standing right behind me, isn't he?"

"Please, continue," Izzy said, enjoying the rare sight of catching Kari off guard.

--Johto region

"Come on, they've already started!"

"I don't know why I'm bothering." Kyle Evanick stepped out of Casey's father's bedroom, having just changed out of his usual clothes into something 'a bit nicer' as Casey had said. "I shouldn't have come."

"Please?" Casey's voice was barely a whisper. "It'd mean a lot to me." Off to one side, Tsukaimon made gagging motions. Kunemon sighed and nodded.

Kyle arched an eyebrow, then sighed. "Fine. Just no baseball, alright?"

"Alright."

"And leave that stupid megaphone here, alright?"

Casey opened her mouth, then realized that she had, purely out of reflex, picked up her baseball bat-shaped megaphone. "Right. One second, I have to get ready too."

Kyle waited in the hallway for a few minutes, trying not to think of anything. Then Casey stepped out of her room. "It's about..." He trailed off. She had swapped out her usual baseball-themed uniform for a more traditional blouse and skirt. It still kept with Casey's Electabuzz fanaticism, being a mix of black and yellow.

"I'm ready to go," Casey said brightly.

Kyle recovered. "Finally. Not bad, but you look like a bumblebee."

"You take that back!"

Tsukaimon leaned over to Yanmamon. "I don't suppose-"

"Don't ask. Just don't," Yanmamon replied firmly.

--

Mimi slumped down in a chair, exhausted. Her initial plan for a quick opening number with Melody and Sora had spun out of control, the audience demanding first one, then a second song from the trio. Still, she was happy things had gone so well. "That went better than expected!"

"I guess so." Melody admitted. "I hope someone's keeping an eye on Davis. Where is he, anyway?"

"Right here!" Davis called, running over. "You guys were great. You ever think about going professional?"

"Huh?" Sora gasped. "Us?"

"You know, he might have something," Melody said thoughtfully. "Maybe we should talk to Matt once he's done?"

"You two go ahead," Sora replied, getting up from where she was sitting. "I'm parched. And I want to know where Tai got to." She looked around. "For that matter, has anyone seen June? Or Kyle?"

"No, now that you mention it." Melody glanced at Davis. "Davis?"

Davis opened his mouth, closed it, opened it again, and stayed like that, eyes slowly widening.

Veemon and V-mon glanced at Davis. "I think his urge to kill is rising," Veemon sighed. "I don't know why, what's wrong if Kyle and June are alone together somewhere?"

"Not helping." Palmon sighed. "So not helping."

Davis marched off, purpose clear. "I'd better go with him," Melody sighed, getting up.

Sora smiled at her. "Good luck with him." She glanced as there was more noises coming from the stage. "Kami, please, not Tai, he's worse than Davis..."

"It's not." Mimi looked surprised. "This ought to be good..."

-
To anyone who knew the duo, the scene was familiar. Monodramon was bouncing like a maniac, and Stuart was just holding his head. The reason, however, was slightly different. Catherine, trailing behind the two, was only barely keeping her self from laughing out loud.

"C'mon already! You lost the bet!"

"But...you..."

"You remember, right? I bet you that I could find you a nice girl, and I did! And you didn't believe me. Ha. We Dragon-type Digimon are MASTER matchmakers!"

"...like you're master battlers, Mister KO-ed by Sleep Spore?"

"Shaddup. I won the bet, so you have to do one thing...and that's..."

"...I don't like that grin, Monodramon."

"...get up on stage and sing something! BWAHAHAHA!"

Stuart sighed. "Figures. Just figures that I have a blackmailing maniac for a Digimon partner. I'm holding you responsible for any lynchings, you know."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever, get up there!" So saying, Monodramon shoved Stuart on-stage.

"Great, just great. Uh, hi, my partner's making me sing something. Anything, I think." He quickly skimmed over the list of songs. One popped out - The War of 1812, by "Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie."

"Hm. Actually, I think I'll make this a filk song, as I just got an idea..." Certain geekier members of the audience took note of this, though many were just puzzled regarding the term. Monodramon ran over to Matt and whispered something. Matt threw his head back, laughed, and got ready to play, calling some instructions to the rest of the Wolves. The music started playing, and Stuart took up the microphone...

(To the tune of War of 1812, AKA The White House Burned.)

"Ohhhhh...come back, Digidestined...to before Davis's party"
"No respite from the Dark Ocean! There was no lunch for free..."

Certain someones - Monodramon, Gomamon, and other gluttonous Rookies interjected with the appropriate "Oh my GOD!" Stuart continued.

"In Twenty-aught-two, Demon was mad! He was a Virus-type, you know"
"He thought he'd tell the Guardians...where they ought to go"
"He THOUGHT he'd rule the multiverse! He thought that he was tough"
"Instead, we faced his dark armyyyyyyyy"
"...aaaaaand trashed Skull Demon's stuff!"

A few cheers at this, though most were looking on in awe - or horror - at the proceedings. The music picked up as the chorus went into full swing.

"And his armies burned, burned, burned! As well as other elements..."

Cheers from fire-using Digimon, and a few good-natured glares from some of the others.

"Everything we'd learned, learned, learned...was put to use that fight"
"The tide of battle turned, turned, turned! When we all woke the Digital Paladin"
"And that big bad super-Mega Skull Demon...folded like a poker hand! In the War of Twenty-oh-Two!"

And so...

--

June, part way up Evolution Mountain, stared down at the town square, smiling wistfully. Stuart's debut performance, piped through several speakers, drifted up the mountain.

"I was wondering where you got to." Kyle came forward, Growlithe and Eevee with him. "Are you OK?"

"Yeah. I just needed to get away for a while, you know?"

Kyle nodded. He sat down beside her, and the two watched the party go on, catching Mimi, Sora, and Melody's impromptu performance. After a few more minutes, she went on. "I just want to have a few months where the world isn't hanging in the balance, or I'm not being..." June trailed off, leaning forward a bit. Kyle put an arm around her. She turned towards him, then put her head on his shoulder, sobbing. Kyle said nothing, simply stroking the back of June's head, letting her get the built up emotions out of her. He did notice a large red object leaning against a nearby outcropping of rock.

Finally, June regained control of her emotions. "Thanks," she whispered.

"Anytime," Kyle replied. "So, are you going somewhere?"

June smiled, getting up and pulling Kyle to his feet. "No. But we are going on a pokemon adventure." She held out a pokedex, opening it up and pressing a button.

"Hello," the pokedex chirped, "I am Dexter, a pokedex registered to June Motomiya. If found, please return to the nearest Pokemon center."

(Song: Ready GO! - Pokemon 5th opening)

"Mom said it'd be alright if I took the rest of the year off. And I want to see more of this world. With you."

Kyle kissed her. "Then we should get going, shouldn't we? Are..."

"Yeah," Elecmon growled. "You're stuck with a chaperone, kid, so no funny business."

"Two," Growlithe added.

Eevee nodded. "Three."

Kyle and June smiled. "It won't be easy." Kyle said seriously.

"I know."

"You'll have to sleep outside a lot."

"I'm ready for it."

"And you'll have to take care of any pokemon you catch. I won't do it all for you."

"If I can handle a little brother like Davis, I can handle anything."

"Well, that's my last objection taken care of. You realize that Davis will have a heart attack."

"He'll be fine. But I think he's going to be looking for us by now."

"Then we'd better get going. Growlithe?" Kyle took out his digivice.

"Growlithe, digivolve to...ARCANINE!" Kyle hopped up on the pokemon's back, reached down, and helped June up. As she settled in, she saw that Kyle had a backpack as well.

"You were going too?"

"The Indigo League's not too long away. And the rest of my pokemon need training. Arcanine? Bring it on home!"

--

The roar stopped everyone. Half of the digidestined reached for digivices, convinced that another evil Digimon was about to attack.

Ryo smiled. "That was an Arcanine."

Sora smiled. "They're not...Those two aren't..."

"ELLISON! YOU COME BACK HERE WITH MY SISTER RIGHT NOW! VEEMON, DIGIVOLVE!"

"Veemon, armour digivolve to...Raidramon, the storm of Friendship!" Davis leaped on Raidramon's back, and tore off in the direction of the howl.

"You come back here THIS INSTANT, Davis Motomiya!" Melody chased after Raidramon, the blue and black Digimon slowing down to allow Melody a chance to catch up and get on behind Davis. Both vanished into the twilight.

Epilogue 01

--Dark Ocean.

Magnatar kneeled in front of the throne, now the only one of Demon's attendants remaining.

On the throne, Murmuxmon sat. From one finger dangled a long silvery chain with a black and white sphere at the end. Incredibly, he was content. The Digital World was still free, and the digidestined ran unchecked over three worlds.

Fine. He had everything he wanted for now. The rest of the worlds cold wait.

"Who's laughing now, Arukenimon. My love."

Epilogue 02

--Indigo League, 1 year later.

"I can't believe I lost in the first round," June moaned.

"It happens. I got knocked out in the semis. We'll do better next time, right?"

June nodded. "Yeah. At least we were beaten by the same person. I blame myself; I forgot that they were allowing Digimon in this time around. So, you got the transfer done?"

"Yup. I'll be finishing school in Stone Town. And the interview?"

"Nurse Joy thinks I might have what it takes to be a pokemon doctor after all. I hear that's where Joe headed. Hope I run into him, I miss him. And I want to hear about that Feebas incident." Both he and June snickered, recalling the newspaper articles. "It's incredible. After only one year of practise at this, to come this far..."

Down on the field, Ash Ketchum sighed. "Well, third place is a lot better than 16th." he admitted. Pikachu, perched on his shoulder, nodded. He glanced up at the stands, spotting a familiar face waving at him. Ash smiled back at Misty, waving back at her.

A little higher up, Ryo sighed. "I should have stayed in the solos division."

"Grow up, you baby," Charmeleon chided him. "Even the great ones lose the odd match. Keeps us humble."

"You're still mad over that kick she pulled off."

"Just one more second. If that Wing Attack had connected..."

"Now who's being the baby?"

And, at the first place position...

"Woo-HOO! THANK YOU, EVERYONE!" Caryl jumped up and down, waving to everyone in the stadium. It had been one of the most remarkable winning streaks in the Indigo league's long history, and one of the most dramatic battles. The 'net was already overloading with people swapping video clips of the battle between Renamon and Charizard. Some people were already wondering if Caryl might aim at the Elite 4 next. "I'll be back next year!"

Ash and Ryo traded looks of horror. "I think it might be safer in the Johto region," Ash whispered.

"Where do you think she's headed next?" Ryo sagged. "Right now, Aunt Loreli is just laughing herself silly, I just know it."

The end

Credits:
Digimon was created and owned by Bandai, who's got a slice of, like, EVERYTHING these days. Pokemon was created by Satoshi Tajiri, and currently exists under the tyrannical rule of Nintendo and Game Freak.
War Devidramon and Metal Devidramon created by NinetalesUK and used with permission Socramon, Cheetahmon, Cougmon, and SkullCheetahmon created by Terratamer Gladimon and Witchmon created by Alan Wilkinson. No hard feelings?
Dakarimon created by Trey Miller

The Authordestined are:
Crystal Melin and Kurt(Espeon)
Caryl Kyashi and Renamon
Joshua Johhanesen and Agumon
Seth Turtle and Wizardmon
Stuart and Monodramon
Scott Evans and Black Agumon (See Tales of the Digidestined)
Kyle Evanick and Tsukaimon
NinetalesUK as Edward Silver and Penguinmon
Trey Miller and Dakarimon
Alan Wilkinson and Gladimon

The author would like to thank:
DigifansAnon, where this fic got started,
The Digicross Mailing List, where most of the typos were deleted for hosting the fics
Megchan, for creating the best Digimon Encyclopedia ever
the best Pokemon resource on the net
Wikipedia, when I needed some random tidbit
Encyclopedia Mythica, for extra ideas
Bandai, for creating Digimon (And Sony for the PSX that ran DW3)
Satoshi Tajiri for creating Pokemon
CLAMP Studios for too many anime to list (WE WANT TSUBASA)
Namco, for much 'Tales of...' goodness (Arche-chann! BRING ME TALES OF PHANTASIA)
Doctor Osamu Tezuka, for creating Astro Boy
And...LIGHTNING ROUND! Rumiko Takahashi, Bandai (for the kewl Gundam model kits), Spider Robinson (For the boss SF stories), Theodore Sturgeon (For even more boss SF stories), Mongoose Publishing, makers of the Lone Wolf RPG and Resource book, Guardians of Order, for the creation of the Tri-Stat system and all the worlds that go with it, Beat the Geeks, Ben Stein, Freakazoid, Naoko Takeuchi, Linkin Park, Seal, Luca Turilli, R. Talsorian, Hero System, Silver Age Sentinels, Excel Saga, Hayao Miyazaki, J.M. Straczynski, Hamtaro (twitch), Aaron Williams and the class of 2005 of PS 238, Steve Jobs for creating a practical Graphic User Interface System, Bill Gates for running with something approaching the idea, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart...

And, as always, June Motomiya.

To everyone who is reading this, sorry I took so long.
Respectfully,
Patrick O'Shea

The future:
Note: I realize that a lot of people weren't too enamored with the '25 years later' bit at the end of Digimon 02. Neither was I, but, with the writing of Digicross Tamers and Frontier, I feel a bit safer about doing this. So...

Tai became a diplomat, handling relations between the Human World and the Digital World. He retired soon after the infamous 'Pocky Incident' though. Sora, his wife, helped him deal with a lot of stress, and prevented him from killing Davis. Sora got pulled back into the limelight when she, Mimi, and Melody formed 'Three Seasons', a musical group that Mimi insisted wasn't a J-Pop group. When not singing, she's a fashion designer with her own label. Her tagline is 'Stuff you actually WOULD wear outside the house.' They have three children, Yamato, Sakura, and Mimi.

Matt briefly considered a career as an astronaut, then thought better of it, having finally married Mimi. He had some success with his band, but eventually went into business, starting a record label, then taking over the television company his father had spent so many years at. When not on tour, Mimi hosts a cooking show there. No one's complained, at least, as long as Gabumon's been in charge of the complaints department. After a close call, their daughter Yohko took up kendo, and their son Taichi became his mom's assistant.

Joe finally graduated a doctor, and moved to Olivine City, where he spends part of his time at the Digimon Center in Primary Village. He married a pokemon trainer named Lisa, and is generally glad that he doesn't have to save the world anymore. Keeping track of Hikaru, his daughter, is enough work for him.

TK and Seth co-wrote a novel based on their adventures, and made a small fortune. TK still writes, focusing on adventure and science fiction stories. He and his wife Crystal live in Cerulean City, and have one daughter, Asuka.

Seth joined Ken and Yolei Inoue as one of the consultants for Eagle Eye Computers as an on-call consultant. When not there, he and Rei Saiba are enjoying life together, as a self-styled wandering guru and freelance writer. Rei, who's getting around quite well thanks to some advances in regenerative medicine, couldn't be happier.

Ken and Yolei have their hands full with their business, the occasional dive into voice acting, and three children, Samuel, Michael, and Mimi. They have a large and dedicated staff that's always telling Yolei to slow down, Ken to stop being so miserable, and 18 month old Mimi not to eat mom's office supplies.

Izzy and Kari married and lived in Stone Town for a long time. Then they moved to New Bark Town, Izzy taking over from the retiring Professor Birch, Kari accepting a teaching position at an elementary school. They have three children, Kyoko and Ryoko, twins, and Emiko.

What didn't Davis do? Failed diplomat who barely avoided getting jailed for copyright infringement during the infamous 'Pocky Incident', thanks to a lot of wrangling by Tai, who used the 'He didn't mean it, he's just an idiot' defense. Semi-successful restaurateur. Headed an animation studio briefly, and came up with the idea for the hit anime 'Angel Defense Force', based loosely on TK, Kari, and Kyle (who he eventually forgave for marrying June) and their partner monsters. Still a kid in a lot of ways. Melody somehow puts up with him. Despite being named after his godfather, Takeru Motomiya still takes far too much after his dad.

Cody continued to be Noriko's knight in shining armour, even after he walked her down the aisle and married her. Continuing his grandfather's kendo school(Kogen Itto-ryu), he moved it to the Pokemon world and incorporated his own moves into the style. Yukio Oikawa spent some time with Cody, helping to finish construction of the first school before passing away. Hiroki is their only son, and has already been declared 'utterly adorable' by the other digidestined.

It should be noted that Noriko, while not as skilled as Cody, still swings a mean naginata. As Takeru can attest to.

Kyle Evanick finally married Casey. He still hates baseball. Besides, he's too busy, keeping Kate, their daughter, from strangling Tobias, their son. Yusuke, the youngest son, just rolls his eyes and watches the chaos.

Caryl, as predicted, went on to join the Elite 4, capping a long and successful career as a pokemon trainer. She also allowed Ryo to marry her, after one of the oddest courtships anyone had seen. They have one adopted daughter, Akira, who's just as energetic as Caryl still is.

Much to Stuart's surprise, Catherine turned out to be a bit of a gamer geek, specifically one that Stuart had already chatted with online a few times previously. What followed was a bit of a headtrip involving the role-playing game In Nomine, numerous Munchkin rematches, and the development of the 'Duel Anime' CCG, which earned the two a lot of money. And a nice little place in the Orange Archipelago.

Edward Silver still is in the Orange Archipelago, watching over the young Lugia entrusted to him. Or chasing after him, depending on the pokemon's mood. Penmon never gets tired of swimming after him, fortunately. And he's only had to fight off various pokemon thieves four times.

After many more adventures, Josh eventually found a home for himself in Houen with a charming young lady named Dori, who wishes that he'd stop working so much and relax. Chris and Cassie, thier children, tend to agree with Dori.

After a lot of time together, Kyle and June married and moved into the family home in Stone Town. June took over the Pokemon Gym there, and Kyle works at the pokemon center, where he regularly chides his wife about 'being too hard' on all the pokemon trainers that come through. Both utterly love and cherish their one daughter, Hitomi, and laugh themselves silly every time Hiroki comes over.

Punctuated by another threat to the world and an overly hasty black eye given to Kyle by TK, Mikhail Ellison and Natsuko 'Nancy' Takashi married 3 years after Demon was defeated. Mr. Ishida seemed pleased.
But that a tale for another time...