Davis was standing with arms folded, tapping his foot and ostentatiously looking at his watch as TK and Kari ran into the computer club room. Patamon giggled and flew onto TK's head.
"Is your watch broken, Davis?" enquired TK pleasantly. Kari snickered.
"Noooo, TS," snapped Davis, "maybe it's escaped your attention that you're, like, totally LATE? I've been waiting here and all! Am I the only one who cares about defeating the Digimon Emporer?!"
"There's no need to get so high-and-mighty about it," said Kari.
"And who was it that kept us waiting for an hour last Monday?" added TK, annoyed.
"That was so not my fault, TJ, that witch-teacher has it in for me for totally no reason!"
"Didn't you throw a waterbomb into the ceiling fan?"
"That wasn't my fault, the stupid guy behind me bumped my arm!"
"And just what were you doing with a waterbomb in class anyway?"
Davis folded his arms and turned away. "Look, we don't have time to waste on this dumb conversation, we've got a digital world to save! Where's Yolei and Cody?"
"Where'sh Cody, where'sh Cody?!"
On hearing his partner's name mentioned, Upamon jumped out of a cupboard, bouncing up and down.
"Upamon, what were you doing in there?" asked TK.
"Someone spilled a strawberry milkshake in the back of the cupboard, I couldn't let it go to waste!"
"I think I'm going to be sick," announced Gatomon, also jumping out of the cupboard.
"And what were YOU doing in there, Gatomon?" asked Kari, picking her up.
"Trying to persuade Piggymon here not to drink something so disgusting."
"Is dat why you have pink milk on your whiskers?" asked Poromon, fluttering out of the cupboard.
"Hush up," sulked Gatomon, rubbing her face self-consciously. Kari giggled.
"Looks like the whole gang's here," said TK, smiling at the little Digimon.
"Hey, you didn't answer my question!" said Davis, "Yolei and Cody are late as usual, where are they?"
"Yolei went home early," said Kari, looking a little worried, "she wasn't feeling very well. I think she was coming down with a cold."
Poromon's face fell. "She left without telling me?"
"Huh!" said Davis, "typical Yolei, anything to get out of going to the digital world!"
Before the others could speak up in her defense, Cody came running into the computer room. A Cody who looked a little out of sorts and was wearing a mask over his mouth and nose.
"Cody, what's with the mask?" asked Davis, "you look like a sergeant or something!"
"You mean a surgeon," corrected Kari, rolling her eyes.
"CODYYYY!" shrieked Upamon, hurtling through the air and cannonballing into Cody's stomach. The small boy was bowled over and fell to the ground, winded.
"Cody? Cody? CODY!" squeaked Upamon, worried. "SPEAK TO MEEE!"
"I can't breathe," wheezed Cody, clutching his stomach.
Upamon bounced up and down in circles around his partner, still talking a mile a minute. "Cody, are you alright? I'm sorryyy!! You look terrible, have you been taking your vitamins lately, your face is all weird, Cody please get up, are you okay, Codyyyyyy!"
Davis offered Cody his hand. "Here, I know how you feel. DemiVeemon tackles worse than I do in soccer!"
DemiVeemon beamed, proud.
Cody didn't take the procured hand. He sniffed, and rubbed at his eyes with the back of one hand. "You'd better not get too close to me, Davis. I'm sorry I was late, I got held up at the nurse's office. I think I caught Yolei's cold."
Davis immediately took about ten steps back, successfully tripping over DemiVeemon and landing on his butt.
"Don't infect ME! I got soccer semi-finals next week!"
"What'sh a cold, Cody?" asked Upamon, "can't we get you a hot? Then you'll feel better! I'll turn on the radiator!"
"Poor Cody," said Kari, "you do look a little flushed."
"Well, I'm ready to go to the digital world now, anyway," said Cody, standing up.
"No way," said Kari, "that's out of the question!"
"Kari's right, you should go home and get some rest," said TK.
"Yeah, we don't want your germs messin' up the digital world!" said Davis, "the digital world has enough viruses already! Hahah, geddit!"
Everyone else sighed.
"I'm coming and that's final," said Cody firmly, "you guys - aah - might need - aachoo! - my help, especially if Yolei can't make it today." He sniffed again.
"But Cody, you really don't sound too good -" began Kari.
"I'm FINE," he said firmly - as firmly as a 9-year-old with bloodshot eyes and a white mask can - "you guys can count on me. Ahh... achoo!"
Kari, TK and Davis glanced at Cody and then at each other. They nodded.
"Hey Cody," said Davis, "can I see your D3 for a moment?"
Cody took it out, a little surprised, and held it out to him.
"Sure, why did you want to look at it?"
TK leaned out, grabbed the D3 from his hands.
"Sorry, Cody, but you're NOT coming to the digital world today!" he said, "digi-port, open!"
"Hey!" shouted Cody, outraged, "you cheated! That's not honest!"
TK, Kari and Davis were sucked into the computer, along with their Digimon. As the light faded, Upamon and Poromon looked at each other and then at Cody. He was standing glowering at the ground, arms folded.
"They're always treating me like a little kid," he muttered, "I could *sniff* I could help if they'd let me. Come on, let's go."
He sniffed again, picked up the two Digimon, and left the computer room.
"There's the control spire!"
The three of them saw it at the same time, a dark tower peeking out over trees.
"Right," said Davis, punching his fist into his palm, "we're gonna stop that Digimon Emporer once and for all!"
"You say that every time," muttered TK.
"You got something to say, TS?!"
"Let's just destroy the spire," sighed Gatomon, "we should try to destroy as many as possible today."
"Gatomon's right," said Patamon, "the Digimon Emporer's been taking over so many areas lately, we should work faster to destroy them!"
"I agree," said Kari, "digi-armour, energise!"
"Gatomon, armour digivolve to... Nefertimon, the angel of light!"
The kids, Veemon and Patamon clambered onto Nefertimon's back.
"Ohh, what have you been eating, rocks?" complained Nefertimon.
Davis sat looking decidedly grouchy behind TK, who had his arms around Kari's waist for balance.
"I should be behind Kari," muttered Davis. Nefertimon took a few steps back to prepare for take-off.
"Davis, are you going to hold on or not?" asked TK, who knew exactly what Davis was thinking and was trying not to laugh.
"You should keep your hands off her," muttered Davis. Then, aloud: "I'd rather fall off than hold on to YOU, TS!"
"Oh brother," sighed Kari. Nefertimon started running and flapping her wings, taking off neatly. Soon the white feline was gliding steadily toward the spire.
Cody pressed the buzzer and waited patiently, carrying Poromon in his arms and Upamon on his head.
"Miiike, can you get that?" came a voice from inside - Yolei's oldest sister, Cody recognised.
"Why can't you get it, you've got legs!"
"But I'm an invalid! I'm on death's door!"
"Hey, I'm sick too and you don't hear me complaining!"
"Oh yes we do!"
Then, in unison - "YOLEI, GET THE DOOR!"
Cody had a small sweatdrop as he heard stomping sweatdrops and Yolei's voice, rather stuffy, muttering grumpily about unreasonable siblings and the injustice of living with such a family and -
"Cody!" she said. Cody facefaulted.
Yolei was standing there in a bathrobe, despectacled, hair mussed, large fuzzy slippers on her feet and a box of tissues in one hand.
"Yolei, you look, uh..."
She went red, to match her nose. "Well, I didn't wadda answer the door like, but did I have a choice? Huh! But den..." - she raised her voice so her siblings could hear - "-my brother and sister look even worse dad I do!"
"Like that's even POSSIBLE!" came a bellow from behind her brother's door.
Yolei made a face, then looked back at Cody, noticing him properly.
Poromon pouted, as much as a creature with no discernable mouth can. "You left me behind!"
"I'm sorry, Poromon," said Yolei, and blew her nose, "I was sick and I wasn't thinkig clearly. Also, I didn't want you to catch my cold... but Cody, you dod look so good yourself."
Cody was not vain but he was thinking that he certainly didn't want to look anywhere near as bad as Yolei did just then.
"I think I caught your cold," said Cody.
"Did you cub to brig Poromon around?" asked Yolei, sniffing, "thags a lot, Cody."
"There's another reason too," said Cody, "could I come in?"
"Sure," said Yolei, motioning him in, "dey say misery loves company, at least I don't have to worry about infectig you..."
The two children both sneezed in unison.
Upamon glanced at Poromon. "Humans are weird."
Poromon nodded nervously, hoping that Digimon couldn't catch human afflictions.
Nefertimon swooped down for a landing near the control spire. What would have been a beautiful and graceful sight was somewhat affected by Davis screaming his head off as he clutched Nefertimon's tail for dear life. When the armour Digimon landed, he was flung off onto the ground.
"Davis, are you alright?" asked TK, sweetly, "did you hurt yourself when you fell? I guess you weren't holding on tightly enough!"
Davis coughed, lying on the ground. "I hate you..."
Veemon jumped off Nefertimon's back and ran to him. "Davish! You okay? You want me to do CPR? The Heimlich Manouevre?"
"Get away from me..." muttered Davis, pulling himself up painfully.
"We're right next to the spire," said Kari, "looks like no sign of resistance so far."
"Right!" said Nefertimon, waiting just a moment for the last of them to descend from her back, and then soared back into the air.
"Rosetta STONE!" she shouted, and a few well-aimed tablets slammed into the spire, sending cracks spidering all through it. Seconds later, the tower fell apart, crashing to the ground.
Davis rubbed his head, still grouchy. "Why did we have to come if Nefertimon's gonna do it all by herself?!"
"A little back-up never hurts," said Nefertimon primly, "now are we ready to go to the next area and destroy another spire?"
"Nuh uh, no way, I got my own Digimon to ride on and HE *doesn't* try to throw me off!" said Davis, "digi-armour energise!"
"Veemon, armour digivolve to... Raidramon, the storm of friendship!"
"C'mon, Raidramon," said Davis, eagerly climbing onto his friend's back, "let's go destroy some spires of our own!"
"Are you sure it's a good idea to split up?" asked Kari, uncertainly, "what if something goes wrong? If you're all on your own, there'll be nobody to give you back-up..."
"Nothing could go wrong with Davis around!" said Raidramon.
"I don't know about that..." muttered Nefertimon.
"I think it's safer for you if you stick with us," said Kari.
"Sorry, Kari, but I'm burnin' for some action!" said Davis.
TK glanced at Kari and saw she was worried. He turned back to Davis.
"Well, it's nice to see you've finally gotten over your stupid jealousy," he said smoothly, "leaving us two alone together and all..."
Davis started. "What are you talkin' about, TW? You better not be makin' any moves on my girl while I'm gone! Fine, I'll stay, but only to keep an eye on Kari!"
TK smirked, satisfied, and Kari rolled her eyes to cover up that she was really rather pleased.
"Are you crazy?!" shouted Yolei, "you cag go to the digital world while you're sick, it's nod safe!"
"I'm FINE!" said Cody, and sneezed three times in a row.
Yolei folded her arms. "You're so stubborn! If you go, I'm comig wid you to keeb an eye on you!"
"No you're not!" snapped Cody, "you're sick, you can't go to the digital world!"
"Does that sound familiar to you?!"
Cody scowled at being tricked like that, and then folded his arms to glare up at Yolei. "I'm going and that's final! PLEASE loan me your D3, Yolei! They said they were going to try to *sniff* destroy lots of spires today, and the more manpower they have, the better! I can't stand to think of that Digimon Emporer taking over more and more of the digital world while I sit here taking cold medicine and watching daytime soap operas!"
Yolei blinked. "Uhh..." His eyes looked at her steadily. "Ohh, fine! Take the stupid thig! But at least take Poromon with you for extra backup!"
Poromon looked surprised. "I don't want to go to the digital world without YOU, Yolei..."
"Orrr, you could stay here and watch The Bold and the Beautiful with me! In today's episode, Rick finally confronts -"
Poromon was on Cody's head in an instant. "Don't worry Yolei, I'll look after him!"
TV monitors showed one spire after another being felled by determined armour Digimon, their partners calling out encouragement.
"Master," said Wormmon, looking up at his partner curiously, "aren't you going to stop them?"
The Digimon Emporer didn't even bother to look down at Wormmon, impassively watching as his spires were demolished.
"Master? Did you hear -"
"Shut up, Wormmon!"
Wormmon subsided, sat still for a moment, and then crept closer again.
"But Master, they're destroying all -"
"I said shut up!"
The little Digimon meekly obeyed, watching the monitors in silence. A small smile crept over the Emporer's face.
"It doesn't matter how many spires they destroy, I can always build new ones. No, let them think they've won this one... hahahah... bwaaahahahahahahahaha!"
"You have such a good evil laugh, Master!"
"This is almost strange," commented Kari, "we've never been able to destroy this many spires in one day before. Usually we're attacked by dozens of Ken's Digi-slaves."
"So, Ken's just realised how much better we are!" boasted Davis, "he knows there's no point in resisting us any more, we're too powerful!"
"Yeah, I'm sure that's the reason..." said TK.
"Another black square area was just north of here, I think. Let's keep heading in this direction."
"Shouldn't be much further, guys!"
"There's the spire!"
"There it goes..."
"Another one bites the dust!"
"Hahah, this is almost too easy!"
They landed in a sort of marsh, Cody up to his knees in swampy mud. Hawkmon flew above his head, looking at the terrain in distaste. Armadillomon tapped the TV screen they had just exited from.
"Wonder what the reception's like here," he said.
"Cody, I don't mean to sound presumptuous, but do you have any idea where we are going?" asked Hawkmon.
"Not really," admitted Cody, "but this was - aachoo! - it was supposed to be a dark area, so let's just look for the nearest spire and tear it down."
"Right you are, Cody," said Armadillomon encouragingly. "If you get tired, just say the word and you can ride on my back! This armour-plated shell is useful for more than just a checkerboard!"
"Thanks, Armadillomon," said Cody firmly, "but I'm just fine, I'm not tired at all."
He wiped his forehead with the back of his hand and sighed slightly, before beginning to trudge along, sloshing through the swampy ground. Armadillomon waded through comfortably, the ground Digimon being quite happy with the idea of mud. Cody didn't complain, but occasionally had to grab onto Armadillomon's shell to stop from slipping.
They sloshed along for quite a way.
"This swamp seems to be pretty big," said Armadillomon uncertainly. He was a little worried by his partner's heavy breathing, although Cody still hadn't voiced a word of complaint. The water was getting deeper and was now up to the boy's waist. Armadillomon found himself having to swim.
Hawkmon flapped his wings and flew circles in the sky, before swooping back down to made a report.
"I think there's some clear land, but it's quite a way ahead, we might be better off going back home."
"No," said Cody, "we're - *sniff* - we're going to find that spire. Digi-armour energise!"
"Do either of you have the time?" asked Kari.
Davis glanced at his watch. "Yeah, it's quarter past five."
"A quarter past five?" she repeated, "I've got to get going, my mom will be making dinner soon, and she's really eager for me to try her latest experiments with the 'three ms'."
"Three ms?" repeated Davis.
"Mustard, mayonnaise, and mildew."
TK made a face. "Are you sure you wouldn't rather miss that?!"
Kari laughed. "It's alright, TK, I have a strong stomach. It comes from years of eating my mom's cooking. So you guys can drop me off at the nearest TV monitor."
"That's a shame," said Davis, "my parents are going out to dinner tonight so I could have stayed as long as I liked... there are still tons of spires nearby."
"I don't have to be home early tonight either," said TK cautiously, "my mom's got one of her evening classes."
Kari giggled. "That's great then! You two can stay and keep wrecking those spires together!"
Nefertimon saw a TV monitor and began to fly down toward it. Kari waved back at the boys.
"Bye guys! Don't kill each other while I'm gone! See you tomorrow at school!"
She was sucked back into her world, and TK and Davis stared across at each other from the backs of their respective Digimon.
"Work..." began TK.
"Together?" squeaked Davis.
"The sacrifices I make to defend the digital world..." they both sighed in unison.
"She trusted you!" bawled Yolei, "she trusted you wid her heart and you let her doooown! How could you be so insensitive?"
Her older brother, Mike, walked past her into the kitchen, tapping aspirin into his mouth.
"Yolei, how can you possibly watch that drivel?" he asked.
"It's not drivel! It's romaaaantig!" she sniffled, "can you believe he cheated on her just after she went against her mudda's will to be with him, and her sister recovered from the coma and -"
"I don't wanna know," he muttered. "By the way, who was at the door?"
"Oh!" she said, remembering with a start, "dat was... Cody. He was just droppig off subthig I left at school."
"Lucky for you it was someone you knew, so what did Short Stuff say when he saw you looking like the Abominable Freak-man?"
"Freak WOMAN, thank you very mudge," snapped Yolei, "and you know it annoys Cody whed you call him Short Stuff."
"Well, he's not here to hear me say it, so I don't know what your problem is!"
"WHYYYY do you always have to drig straight from da milk carton! That's probably how we caught your stupid cold in da first place!"
"Hey, real families share things!"
"I don't want to share your diseases, how about you share my fist!"
"My, we ARE huffy today, aren't we Yolei? Too bad it wasn't larengitis, huh!"
"Yeah, maybe den I wouldn't have to listen to your annoyig voice all de tibe!"
"Ooh, temper temper! So unladylike!"
"You want unladylig?! Try your girlfreng!"
"Hey, leave Sophie out of this! At least my girlfriend isn't twice as tall as I am!"
"I am NOT goig out with Short Stu- I mean, Cody!!"
"Aww, but you make such a CUTE couple! Are you sure it's legal though, I mean it seems kind of like cradle-snatching to me..."
She hurled a cushion at him, and he threw the milk carton at her. She stared at him, unimpressed, as milk dripped down her hair and face.
"YOU!" she shrieked, "DIIIIE!!"
Their older sister shuffled out of her own room to use the bathroom, and saw her siblings in a big, scuffling, fist-flying pile on the lounge room floor. She sweatdropped.
"I thought you two were supposed to be invalids..."
To be continued! Yes, I have actually written more, but this file was too big for Notepad to handle. ^_^;;