Love or Death
A Digimon Fanfiction
By: Lady Ava


Tai place his hand over his eyes, trying to shield the digital sun's rays. As he stood atop a cliff over looking a digital valley, a light breeze ran through his already messy hair. He sighed as he watched as the sun began to set into the horizon. 'We have been here for...for...well, I guess I don't know how long we've been here. But that's beside the point. We have been here long enough. I wanna defeat this enemy person or Digimon or whatever and just get out of here!' Tai hung his head as the sun continued to set. 'But I guess I should be happy. I don't have to do homework while I'm here. And besides, at least I have Sora, Matt, Izzy, Mimi, Joe, and T.K here with me. Plus I have Agumon and all the other Digimon.'

As Tai let out a long sigh, a hand came down onto his shoulder, causing him to jump. "Tai, you have been lost in your thoughts up here for hours! Don't you realize what time it is?" Tai turned to see Sora staring him right in the face. Her eyes were looking directly into his, causing him to blush.

'Wow, she has really nice eyes.' He thought as she continued to blab on and on.

He smiled as soon as she finished. "What? What is so funny Tai? We were worried about you! You never think that much. And whenever you try, you give up ten minutes later and give us some lame excuse about your head hurting." Sora yelled angrily.

Tai continued to smile. He always thought it was funny when she freaked out about something. "Relax, Sora. It's not that late."

Sora eyes widened. "What are you saying?! You came up here when the sun was at noon. And now the moon is at Midnight!"

"Oh..." Tai hung his head. He must have looked really weird just standing there, staring out into space for 12 hours.

"My god, Tai." Sora stated, causing Tai to left his head. "You really looked like you were in deep thought up here. What were you thinking about the whole time, anyways?"

Tai looked out at the darkened scenery of the valley below. His eyes narrowed into a tiered sort of way. Sora looked at him and smiled, 'He looks so cute when he does that.' She thought, blushing.

"Nothing important. Just random stuff." Tai answered. Sora shook her head, trying to keep her face from turning any redder that it was already. Tai raised an eyebrow then shrugged, "Come on, let's go back to camp. I'm tired, anyways."

Then they walked back to the site in absolute silence.

When they arrived back at their forest surrounded camp; both Sora and Tai were bombarded by questions and greetings from the rest of their party. "Hey Tai! Long time, no see!" T.K said happily as he ran and threw his arms around Tai's waist.

"Nice to see you to, kid." Tai answered a broad smile on his face. As he looked up, he came eye to eye with Matt. "Uh...H-Hey Matt." He said, his smile becoming a bit nervous looking. As T.K let go of Tai, a thought crossed his mind. 'Great. Just what I want to have to deal with. Matt will just yell saying that why wasn't I helping set up camp and stuff like that. Just peachy.'

Matt looked long and hard at Tai then smiled. "Hey, Tai. What's up?"

Tai thought his mouth would fall open in shock. "N-nothing." That was all Tai could say. When he looked past Matt, Tai saw the others sitting around in the camp. "Hey, Mimi!" Tai yelled over to the redheaded girl.

"Hey Tai! You missed a great dinner." She said, winking.

"Hey Joe. Hey Izzy." Tai said, moving to sit on the ground near the fire. "Where are our fine Digi-friends?"

"They're around somewhere. I think they went to get some food." Joe answered a smile across his face.

Izzy looked up from his laptop. His expression was a bit different from the others. He was extremely serious looking, as if his pet had just died or something. "Tai, can I have a word with you? Alone."

"Uh, Sure. No problem." Tai answered, his answer sounded softer than how he would usually. Standing from the ground, he and Izzy moved to a far end of the camp, so that they were out of hearing range. "What's up, Izzy?"

"Tai, I have to ask you and tell you a few things." Izzy said calmly. His expression still didn't change. It was still very cold looking and business like.

"Okay, Shoot." Tai stated, sitting onto the dusty ground.

Izzy sat opposite of Tai. Then, quickly typing some excess information into the laptop, he sat it down in front of Tai, so that the screen was facing him. "Okay. First off, I guess you know our present situation with the this new evil Digimon." Tai shook his head and got a glazed look of confusion on his face. Izzy hung his head as he pulled a set of headphones from his pack. "While I was surfing the net, I received an e-mail from one of the evil Digimon's henchmen. Here, I'll play it for you."

Tai placed the headphones onto his ears and gave Izzy the thumbs up to go. Izzy typed in some codes to open the program. As Tai watched the screen, a young woman about his age appeared on the monitor. She had long black hair that was hung over one of her shoulders. She had red fancy eye make-up on and her Chinese dress was tight around her neck. As both guys watched and listened, They heard the message:
Lord Myotismon:
All is going according to plan. I am on the verge of capturing the crest of courage for you, master. The one they call Tai is the keeper of this crest. He is easily tricked, but he is still very cunning. I have the perfect plan to capture the crest and destroy him. I will not tell you all the details of my plan, for the fear that this message might fall into the wrong hands. All I will say is this; his little friends will miss him once he's gone.
Transmission end: Lady Aboshi

Tai sat frozen as the screen turned into a snowstorm of static. He couldn't believe what he just heard. He felt the headphones slide off his ears and hit the ground. He wanted to pick them up, but he was too shocked to move. He placed his hand onto his chest, then reached into his shirt and withdrew the crest. "The...Crest...Of...Courage?" Tai mumbled under his breath. 'Why would Myotismon want my crest so badly? What is so special about this that he would kill to get it?'

Suddenly, he felt Izzy shaking his shoulder. "Tai? Are you alright? You look really pale." Tai looked up at his friend.

Izzy's eyes widened to see that Tai was trembling and his fist with his crest in it was slowly becoming whiter and whiter. "You should go get some rest. Don't think about the message. Just get some good, old fashioned bed rest." Izzy suggested, but Tai remained still in his shocked position on the ground. "Hey, Tai. What's wrong? Don't worry about the whole death threat thing. We can handle it, no problems."

"I don't get it. Why me?" Tai shaky voice stated quietly. He looked down at the crest in his fist. "Why me?" He repeated over and over again.

"Don't worry, buddy. Agumon won't let anything happen to you. Besides, they wouldn't try anything when we're all together. They aren't that dumb."

"I guess you're right. But still-"

"No buts Tai. To bed with you. Go on now. Go!" Izzy demanded.

Still a bit worried about his friend, Izzy helped the fearful Tai back towards the rest of the group. As they entered where the rest of the group was, Tai seemed to become less tense, but not by much. "Hey Izz-" Matt started, but seeing Tai's shocked expression, he remained silent.

The whole camp remained silent until they saw Tai lay down for the night. When they knew he was asleep, the conversation resumed. "Izzy, What's wrong with Tai?" Sora asked quickly.

Izzy played the message from Lady Aboshi to the rest of the members of the Digidestined group. As soon as the tape finished, T.K immediately began to tear. "Is Tai going to be safe with us? I mean, What can we do?"

Sora stood from her spot on the ground. "You guys saw how he was after the clip was shown to him." She looked over to where he was sleeping and blushed. "We need to protect him and the crest of courage. We just have too."

Mimi looked up at Sora. She began to giggle uncontrollably. "What is so funny Mimi?" Joe asked.

The giggling girl looked up at the young man and said, "I think Sora might have a crush on Tai..."

Sora spun around and shouted as softly as she could, "I do not, Mimi!"

Matt began to smile as well, "So then, why are you blushing, Sora?" He coolly stated.

The next morning, Sora was the first up and moving around. She cleaned up the ashes from the fire and threw away any excess food that was out since the night before. "Good morning, Sora." Matt said, stretching his arms above his head.

One by one, every member of the group joined in the clean-up session of the grounds. "Hey, shouldn't one of us wake Tai?" T.K asked, rubbing his eyes.

"Why don't you go wake him up, Sora?" Mimi stated slyly.

Sora spun around so that she was right in Mimi's face. "Why don't you?!" She screamed

"Sora and Tai sittin' in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G..." Mimi chanted, a huge smile across her face. Sora began to tremble with anger.

"Cut it out, Mimi. We have more important things to worry about than Sora and Tai at the moment." Izzy stated in a very mature manner. "Matt, go wake up Tai. We're leaving as soon as he gets his stuff together."

Matt nodded and headed over to Tai. When he bent down next to Tai, he saw that all his stuff was already together. "Hey Tai. Wake up. Come on, Tai. It's time to leave."

Suddenly, Matt heard a muffled voice coming from under Tai's blanket. "I know we're leaving." Tai voice started.

The pile of blankets that was in front of Matt sat up and fell off to reveal a scary sight. Matt's eyes were met with a pair of blood-shot red eyes. "Oh my god, Tai! What wrong with you?" Matt shouted, grabbing the attention of the others.

Tai covered his ears. "Please don't shout. I have a headache."

T.K was the first to see Tai. "Whoa, Tai. What happened?" As the others saw Tai's appearance, there were gasps of shock.

Placing his goggles over his eyes, Tai answered softly, "I was awake the entire night. I didn't fall asleep at all."

"Tai, you know that's not good for you. I mean, it's unhealthy to do that." Joe stated, playing the Digidestined doctor.

"Yea, I know. But I just couldn't sleep. I just kept thinking about what Lady Aboshi said about getting my crest and my life. I hate to admit it, but I'm really afraid." Tai whispered. Tai's hands slowly began to tremble.

Sora stepped forward and bent down next to Tai, pushing Matt out of the way. Slowly, so not to surprise Tai, she picked up one of his trembling hands. Tai looked down at his hand in hers then up at Sora's face. "Don't worry about that dumb old Lady whatever. What is important now is to keep you safe and find a way to defeat Lord Mono or whatever.

"But Sora..." Tai started but was silenced by a finger to his lips.

Lifting up his goggles, Sora smiled, "Don't worry. We're all here for you. I'm here for you." Before both Tai and any other of the Digidestined knew it, Sora leaned over and gave Tai a little kiss on the cheek. Tai felt his face began to grow extremely warm and he knew he was blushing like a mad man.

"Hey, Matt. Why is Tai's face glowing the same color as his red eyes?" T.K asked his brother.

"Quite T.K." Matt said harshly.

That night, the group found themselves at the base of a giant mountain. They would have been farther along except they kept having minor holdups. For example, Tai kept falling asleep on the trail and Mimi kept telling how cute Sora and Tai looked after she had given him that little kiss.

"Hey Tai, can you do something for me?" Matt asked. As he stood over the warm fire.

"Sure. What do ya need?" Tai asked, running over to Matt like an eager puppy. While they were traveling, Joe gave Tai a huge cup of coffee to wake him up. It worked very well.

Matt shook his head and stated, "Could you go and get some fish and a pail of water for me? We might need it."

Agreeing, Tai grabbed the bucket and headed off towards the stream near camp. As he hiked towards the stream, a young woman was watching through the branches of the treetops. "All is going according to plan. Soon the Crest of Courage will soon be in my position."
**
Meanwhile, back at camp, Mimi won't shut up to Sora about the kiss. "That was so cute, though. I knew you two would be a perfect couple."

"A couple of what we don't know yet." Izzy stated from his place on the ground, his eyes still fixed upon his screen.

Mimi glared at Izzy, "What do you know about love anyway, Izzy? All I have ever seen you show affection towards is your computer. Never a human."

"Hey Matt. Where's Tai?" Joe asked, not wanting to get involved in the fight in the background.

Matt looked up from the soup he was cooking. "He went to get me some water and some fish."

"But what about that whole thing about the Evil Digimon's henchmen and his crest?" Joe asked.

"Don't worry, Joe. I didn't forget about that. He gave me his crest to hold onto until he gets back. See?" Matt held up his crest along with Tai's. "To tell ya the truth, I was in shock. Tai never thinks ahead."

***
While the others joked on at camp, Tai was gathering water at the river. "Why do I have to do this? I hate haling water." Suddenly, Tai heard something moving in the bushes. Tai became stiff and silent. As the noise increased, so did his silence.

"Well, I do declare. If it an't a gentleman caller come a courting. I feel so honored." Tai looked over into bushes from where the voice came. As he watched he saw a young teenage girl his age step out from behide the brush. Her long, blond hair blew lightly as a breeze from the water rushed around. Her light blue eyes seemed to reflect the stars like the water did. She wore a light pink sundress, high-heeled shoes, and held a matching pink parasol in her white-gloved hands.

Tai felt his face grow warm. First he looked to the left, then to the right, and then to back. When he faced the girl again, he pointed at himself and asked, "Who? Me?"

The blond haired girl just giggled. "Why of course, silly. Who did ya think I was talkin' 'bout?"

Tai placed his hand behide his head. "I don't know. I thought my friend Matt was behide me or something."

The girl laughed again, "I seen your friend Matt. In my opinion, he looks like a yellow haired porcupine." She started over towards Tai. She walked very adult like for someone her age. But only taking a few steps, she fell to the ground. "Ow! My ankle! I think I hurt my ankle."

As she tried to stand, Tai ran over to her side. "Hey, if you're injured, don't try to stand." He said. As Tai examined the injury, he saw the girl's face wince in pain. "Okay. Here, let me carry you." He said as he lifted her off the ground. "Where's you're house? I'll take you home."

"I don't live around here." The girl stated.

Tai smiled, "Okay. I'll take you back to camp with me. My friend Joe can take a look at your ankle and give you something for the pain."

The girl reached into one of her gloves and pulled out a needle. "Thank you. Your too kind." With one might thrust, the girl stabbed the needle into Tai's back, causing him to cry out in a loud shout of pain.

As he fell to the ground, the girl leapt for his arms and onto ground. "He really is sweet. Too bad I have to kill him. But Lady Aboshi always sees her missions to the very end. No matter what." With a close of her parasol, the young girl transformed into the deadly woman in the message. "Now, to find that crest."

As she searched for the crest, she heard cries off in the distance. "Tai! Where are you? Tai!" Sora's voice echoed. "Hey Tai! Answer us!" Joe voice yelled.

"Blast! His friends are close. And the crest isn't here." Angrily, Aboshi stood abruptly. "Guess I have to hold off on my search. But are his friends in for a surprise when they get here. Hehehehe!" And with that last laugh, she vanished.

Tai felt as if his head was hit repeatedly with a mad trunk. "What...happened? No, don't think. Just...sleep..." He whispered.

***
On the edge of the clearing, the others continued their search. "Tai! Where are you? Please answer me, Tai!" Sora yelled.

"Hey, I see him!" T.K shouted, grabbing the others attentions.

They all ran into the clearing and saw him lying face down out the ground. "Tai!" They all shouted in unison. Matt and Sora were the first to reach their friend's side. Matt flipped Tai over to reveal his pale complexion. "Tai! Hey Tai! Come one, you gotta wake up. Please!" Matt pleaded.

Sora was on the verge on tears when she placed Tai's head on her lap. "Please, Tai. Please wake up."

Izzy bent down on the opposite side of Matt. As he looked at Tai, he saw the needle in his friend's shoulder. "Hey, What's this?" Izzy asked.

With everyone's eyes on him, Izzy reached down and gently pulled it out. As the needle came out of his flesh, Tai cried out in pain once again. As Izzy examined the medical instrument, the others watched. "What is it, Izzy?" Mimi asked.

"I'm not quite sure. I'll run a test on it as soon as we get back to camp." Izzy answered, placing the needle into a plastic bag and then into his backpack.

Joe stepped forward to Matt. "Hey, let's get Tai back to camp. Just in case there is anymore of the henchmen around." Matt nodded and stood. He seemed to be at a lose for words. "Good. You grab his feet and I'll get his arms."

Before either one of them could grab him, Tai's eyes shot opened and he flung forward. His breath was heavy and his eyes were wide. Grabbing his head, Tai whispered under his breath, "No...No, don't leave me..." His hands were shaking madly and sweat ran down the side of his face.

"Tai, are you alright?" Sora asked, becoming even more concerned.

Tai looked back where Sora was kneeling. His vision began to play tricks on him, for when he looked at Sora, he saw his little sister looking back at him. "K...Kari?" Tai asked. He reached out to touch Sora's face, but instead, fainted.
***
"Tai...Tai...Tai..." A faint voice called to him.

Tai reached out into the white space towards the voice. "I'm here. Who's calling me?"

"Come play with me, Tai. Come into the garden and play with me." The voice called.

"Where...Where is the garden?" Tai called.

"Hey I think he's coming around. Hey Tai, can you hear me?" Matt's voice asked. His voice seemed a lot closer than the girl's voice.

"Goodbye, Tai." The girl's voice said.

Tai reached out towards the direction of the girl's voice. "No wait! Please. Don't leave...please don't leave..."

***
"Hey Tai. Wake up." Matt stated, leaning over his friend.

Tai's eyes slowly opened to find himself back in the campgrounds. He was covered up by his blanket and was lying on top of his sleeping bag. "Where...where am I?" He whispered. Tai felt like he was dying. He was sweating all over and yet he was freezing cold. He tried to stand up, but a light touch pushed him back down. When he looked up, he saw Sora and Matt hovering over him. "Where...where am I?"

Sora smiled and answered in a whisper, "You're back in our camp. Joe and Matt carried you back after you fainted."

"I...fainted...?" Tai asked, his voice sounding hoarse.

Matt smiled down at him. "Yea. You must have still been out of if when you woke up. You called Sora your little sister's name." Matt sat down onto the ground completely so that Tai could only see Sora looking at him.

Sora's face was very flushed and her eyes were all red from crying. Tai looked up at her, "Where...where you...crying?" He asked, his voice disappearing before he could finish the sentence.

"Yea...Yea I was, Tai. I was really worried about you. You...scared me." She answered, trying to hold back sobs.

Tai's eyes started to become heavy again, "Why?" He asked softly.

"I thought you were..." She started to sob before she could finish the sentence.

Tai knew what she meant. As he opened his mouth to say something, a rush of pain swept over his shoulder, causing him to scream. His eyes shut tightly and they began to water. "Tai!" He heard Sora shout.
He felt someone grab his arms, trying to calm him down. But before he could hear anymore voices, he became surrounded in an endless sea of black sleep.

"Well, I think he's okay for now." Matt said, letting go of Tai's arms. He sat down on the ground and wiped off his forehead. "At least he's back to sleep."

Sora drew her knees up to her chest and rested her head on her knees. "Why him? Of all people? Why did this happen to him?" She placed her head in her hands and began to cry once again. Matt stood from the ground and walked over to Sora. He placed his arms around her shoulders, trying to comfort her. As they sat there, he heard her mumble something under her breath. As he listened even closer, he heard what she said, "Tai, please don't leave me...I...love...you."

Matt held her even closer. Although he wanted to say it was going to be all right, he knew he couldn't make that promise to her. He couldn't make a promise that he knew he couldn't keep.

"Hey guys. I finished my testing on that needle I found." Izzy said, drawing everyone's attention. As the members of the group listened, Izzy began his conclusion. "After running at least 20 tests, I have found the answer to what this is." Izzy reached down and picked up the bag with the needle inside. "This instrument was filled with a liquid that is what I have named, 'Halationsim Syrup.' It is an extremely powerful drug that when injected into a living organism, causes the subject to hallucinate, or to see or hear things that aren't really there. That is why Tai probably called Sora 'Kari.' He might have been seeing his sister instead of Sora."

The others looked at him in shock, Sora the most. "So, what are some of the symptoms of this drug?" Joe asked.

Izzy cleared his throat and continued, "Well, judging by what I have seen so far, I say..." He paused as he looked through his notes. Everyone waited on baited breath for his answer. Finally, he found the correct page. "The symptoms include, dizziness, fever, sweating, calling out in his or her sleep, and that's all I can figure out right now. But there is a problem." Izzy stated, flipping through his papers again.

"And what's the problem?" Mimi asked.

"As I ran the tests," Izzy began, "I found something else mixed in with the drug. I found a few drops of venom. This venom is extremely deadly, but because it is mixed in with another substance the poison isn't spreading as fast as it would have if it were by itself." As he looked up, he saw Sora had begun crying again, and even harder than before. Izzy bit his lip. He didn't want to say want had to be said next. But, swallowing his compassion, he whispered, "Unless we find a cure soon, he could die."

***
Meanwhile, Tai was surrounded by nothing but light. His goggles and gloves were gone and he didn't have his digivice. He was dressed all in black and his hair had been straightened up, but not by much. As he stood there, he heard a muffled cry. "Who's there?" Tai called, his voice echoed.

He started to walk forward towards the sound. It seemed to get louder as he walked. "Where is the crying coming from?" Tai asked to no one.

Suddenly, an image appeared from within the light in front of him. As he moved in, he saw the outline of a young girl, crying over a young boy's body. "Why did you try to save me?" The little girl sobbed.

"Kari?" Tai spoke.

Kari seemed to have heard his voice for she flung her head up. "Who's there? Who are you?" She cried out. As Tai watched, another person appeared through the fog of light. Kari stood from the boy and yelled, "It's you. That mean lady who hurt my brother!"

Tai felt as if he saw just shot through the heart. That boy lying on the ground in the pool of blood was him. It was...him? Tai ran into the scene yelling, "Kari! Hang on. I'm coming."

As Tai ran forward, the vision in front of him faded into a swirl of colors. When everything became clear again, he was standing in front of two large, rusted, metal gates. He was in his normal clothes again but his goggles were still missing. As he peered past the metal bars, Tai saw a large garden filled with many different types of flowers, although most of them were roses of all shades. As he pushed the gates opened, Tai found a small brick path in front of him. "I wonder where this leads." He said aloud.

As he walked down the pathway, he heard a woman's voice. "Come on, Tai!" She shouted.

Tai ran towards the voice. "I know that voice." After what seemed to be an entirety, Tai reached a clearing. A small lily pad-scattered pond sat in the center and the stone path he walked on circled around it. There were empty metal benches circling the pound, all except for one. As Tai looked closer, he saw that a familiar woman sat on the bench watching a little toddler play. "That's my mom and me." Tai whispered.

Tai into the clearing so that he was right in his mother's line of sight. "Hey mom. It's me, Tai!" Tai said proudly. But the woman just ignored him. "Hey mom. Can't you hear me? Mom!" Tai yelled. He reached out and touched her shoulder. His hand went right through her. Tai quickly withdrew his hand. "What the...?" He asked. "I get it. They can't hear me or see me." He concluded.

"Tai. Be careful. You don't want to get hurt, now." This mother said, addressing the small child. But he didn't heed her warning. As Tai watched, he saw himself walk right up to the pond's edge and begin reaching for on of the lily pads.

"Hey mom. I'm gonna fall in if you don't grab me." Tai turned but to see his mother gone. "Mom! Where are you?" He shouted. As Tai turned around, he ran for the child. "Hey! Get away from there!" He yelled.

As reached down for the child, Tai suddenly found himself underwater. The water was freezing cold and he didn't know where he was this time. 'No. Let me out of hear! Sora! Matt! Izzy! Joe! Mimi! T.K.! Help me, please! Please!" And with that was thrown into darkness.

Tai sat up shouting. His body shook even more than before and he was drenched in ice-cold sweat. His eyes welled up with tears and when he blinked, they rushed from his eyes. He grabbed his head, which thudded in pain. All he could think of all the images he had seen, how they haunted him. "Why? What do they mean?" He whispered.

"What does what mean, Tai?" Sora's voice said. Tai quickly looked to his side to see Sora kneeling next to him. She smiled sweetly as if something wonderful had just happened. "You're finally awake. The others will be so happy." She said.

"What? Sora?" Tai said softly. His voice hurt a lot as if he had yelling. "What? Where?" He slurred, grabbing his head again.

Sora took his free hand in hers. "Do you know where you are, Tai?" She asked.

Tai paused for a moment. Was he in the real world? No. If he was in the real world than why would Sora be next to him. "Di...Di...Digital world?" He stammered, his thoughts becoming a huge swirl of nothing.

"Good. At least you know where you are. Hey guys, he's awake." She called softly to the others.

The others acted quickly, coming towards Tai and Sora. They had huge smiles on their faces, as if trying to boost Tai's spirits. "Hey Tai." Matt said, sitting down next to Sora.

T.K. sat down next to his brother and gave a huge sniffle. "I happy you're awake, Tai." He said softly.

The others gave a greeting to their friend as if he missing or something close to those lines. "How long...out?" He asked, skipping words all together now.

"Two days." Joe answered. "We haven't left the site since you got sick."

Tai wiped the sweat from his brow. "We need to...to start moving." Tai said as leader-like as possible, even though he was stumbling over every word.

"We're not moving until to get better." Izzy stated.

Tai tried to get to his feet, but fell to his knees. Joe reached over to help him, but Tai pushed him away. "No. We're leaving. I'm not gonna be the clause that slows us down..." Tai said. Once again, he climbed to his feet. This time he managed to get a foot hold on the ground.

"Tai, you need to rest. You're gonna get worse if you're up and walking around." Mimi shouted.

Tai turned to where his friends stood. "I...am...fine..." He stuttered out. Tai walked over towards the edge of the clearing. But as soon as he reached the first tree, he fell on it for support. "Oh god." Tai murmured, as his vision spun.

Suddenly, he felt someone grab him around the shoulders. Looking up through blurred vision, Tai managed to make out the familiar blond hair. "Tai. You okay?" Matt's voice asked.

"Matt, do me a favor, please?" Tai asked.

"Sure. What is it?" He wondered.

Tai smiled and stated, "Could all three of you please stop the world. I want to get off, now." And with that, collapsed into Matt's waiting arms.

"Matt, is he okay?" Izzy called as he and the other Digidestined rushed over to him.

Matt lunged Tai's body up, so that he held him across both of his arms. "Yeah. He's fine. But I think he's a bit dizzy. He asked 'all three of me to stop the world. He wanted to get off.' But I think he had a point."

"What do you mean, Matt?" Mimi asked, running up to him.

Matt looked down at Tai. His face had suddenly become a lot whiter and he was covered in ice-cold sweat. His breath was heavy and he was shaking from the cold feeling on his skin. "See for yourself, Mimi." Matt said to the girl. As the others gathered around, they all could see what Tai was becoming...worse. "Look, Tai is getting weaker. If we stay here, then that Aboshi woman will fine us sooner of later. She won't give up until she gets his crest."

"Where is his crest?" Izzy asked.

"I'm wearing it around my neck." Matt confirmed.

Izzy walked around in back of Matt. "I want to see something. May I?" He asked. Nodding, Matt kneeled onto the ground so that Izzy could get the crest off. As soon as he removed the crest, Izzy withdrew is own from inside his shirt. As the others watched, Izzy looked at both of them carefully. "Oh no. I thought this might happen." He stated.

"What? What is it?" Sora demanded.

Izzy held up his crest. "Look at the symbol inside my crest. Nice and clear, right?" Everyone nodded in agreement. Then he held up Tai's crest. "Now look at Tai's crest. The symbol in his is slowly becoming unclear. Soon there won't be anything left. That leaves it opened for evil forces to enter and control it."

"But why?" T.K. asked.

Izzy face turned grim. "We are attached to the crest. It's like our sole in the Digiworld. If something happens to the crest, than something will happen to us and visa versa."

"So what you're saying..." Sora choked, "Is that if the symbol fads, then Tai's sole is gone...for good?"

Izzy nodded. "But, If we can find a way to make him better, than he'll be okay. So I'm with Matt. Let's get moving. I saw an old abandoned shack a few miles in a southeastern direction. We can go there."

"Good. Then it's settled. Everyone pack up their stuff and let's head for the cabin!" Matt declared.

***

It took the Digidestined a good two hours to reach the cabin, and with Matt carrying Tai, it seemed a lot longer. But when they arrived there, it was a sight for soar eyes and feet. The cabin looked like something you would see in a travel guide. It looked nice and steady as if it had been just built for them.

When they entered their new home away from home, a fire in the fireplace and a hot meal greeted them on the table. "Wow! This place is like a dream come true!" Mimi yelled happily as she threw her stuff onto the floor.

"Yea. This is great." Joe said happily. "Look, there's a kitchen, a shower, and even a phone jack for your computer, Izzy."

Izzy wasted no time. He rushed past Joe and plugged his computer right into the wall. "There. Perfect. Now it should be able to charge." He said with a big smile.

Matt's eyes roamed around the cabin. Over in the corner, He saw another room off to the side. Adjusting his grip on Tai's body, he walked over to the doorway. Sora followed him closely. As he peered inside, He saw seven beds lined up against the walls. Each bed had a small end table next to it. "Hey, we even get beds." Matt proclaimed.

Everyone seemed trilled by the fact that they had soft beds to sleep in with fresh linings and sheets. All of them had been sleeping on the ground so long, that they had forgotten what real comfort felt like. Matt, stepped into the room first, then the rest of them filed in. All of them seemed to be in shock at the sight of the beds. Sora looked over at Matt and softly told him, "I'll want to have the bed next to Tai's. Just in case something happens during the night."

Matt nodded in agreement. "Good thinking, Sora. I'll take the other one next to him. So that I can help you, if you need it."

Both Sora and Matt were the only two who wasn't going insane at the site of all this nice stuff. In silence, they walked away from the group to the back corner. Sora took the bed closest to the wall. Matt gently placed Tai onto the bed next to Sora, then sat on the bed next to him. The others looked at them in silence. "I guess I almost forgot about our predicament. We need to fine a way to help Tai." Joe stated, grimly.

Matt looked back at the others and smiled, "Hey, why don't you guys go into the kitchen and I'll make something for dinner, okay?"

Everyone, except Sora, agreed and filed out into the other room again. "This is great, Sora. We have a place where we can keep Tai safe from Aboshi. And now that we moved inside, it's gonna take them a while to realize we're here." Matt said, hoping to raise Sora's spirits. But as he looked at her face, he knew that it didn't work.

"Matt, when you go into the kitchen, would you please ask Izzy to bring me a bowl with cold water in it and a towel of some sort." She asked, her eyes still looking at Tai.

Matt nodded in agreement then stood. As he turned towards the door, he looked back at Sora. "He's gonna be fine. I know he will." He said gently.

Sora nodded and smiled, "I know he will. He just has to be..." Matt turned to leave again, but couldn't help looking behide him once again. As he watched in silence, Sora picked up Tai's hands and carefully removed his gloves. Then slowly, he raised his head up a bit and removed his goggles. She gently rested them onto the nightstand next to his bed. Then she went back and placed her hand in his and just stared at him, hoping to see his eyes open.

Matt resumed walking. When he reached the door, he stepped over the framework, turned and began to shut the door. "Matt, Isn't Sora coming?" T.K. asked his brother.

The others watched as Matt glanced back into the room then shut the door completely. "I think Sora needs some time with Tai right now." He looked up at the older members of the group. "I think...from what I've seen, he's getting a lot worse."

***

Finally, after what seemed to be forever, nighttime finally set in. The children decided that it would be safer not to keep the fire lit and the lights on, for the fear of being spotted was to great among them. So, they decided that they would let the older kids use candles and the younger ones would use flashlights to get around.

Since they had arrived at the cabin, Tai's symptoms had become ten times worse. His fever was increasing by the hour and yet his skin was cold and clammy. His competition was so pale and he continued to thrash around in his sleep, yelling and pleading with some unknown figure. The other Digidestined tried as hard as they could to keep him under control, so that he wouldn't hurt himself or them.

To make it easier on for each other, they voted that they would each take shifts to watch over Tai. The shifts would extend for as long as they could stay awake, then the next person would step in.

"Hey Joe. You can get some sleep. It's my turn." Matt said quietly, tapping Joe's shoulder.

Joe jumped off the chair next to Tai's bed and stretched his arms. "Thanks Matt."

"How is he?" Matt asked. He had been asleep for some time, so he didn't what was happening.

Joe looked back at Tai. He was covered with as many blankets as they could fine, and yet he was still shivering. "Not good. Last time I did a check to see how much his crest's symbol was left, I could barely see it. Matt, we need to find an antidote to whatever he has and soon."

Matt hung his head. "It's all my fault. I asked him to go out to get the water and that's when she struck. It's all my fault that he might die." Matt said through clenched teeth. He made a fist, which began to shake with rage at himself.

"Matt, don't say that. That woman would have attacked away, even if you told him to leave or not." Joe said with a small smile.

Looking over at his friend, Matt sighed, "I guess your right. But still..." He looked down at the end table. He saw Tai crest lying on the table, the symbol fading ever so slowly. He hung his head, the looked back at his friend. "Go get some sleep, Joe. After all, it is two in the morning. Everyone else is sleeping, so be careful not to wake them, Okay?"

Nodding, Joe walked over to his bed and instantly fell asleep. Matt sat down next to his friend and propped his feet up onto the end table. As he looked over, he saw Tai beginning to stir. 'Hang in there, buddy. Don't give up. You've got to fight this thing, Tai.' Matt thought.

Suddenly, he heard Tai yell, bringing him out of his thoughts. Matt jumped to his feet and saw his friend shouting, thrashing about in his bed. Reaching over towards the other side of the bed, Matt grabbed both of Tai's arms and held them down tightly. His screaming had woken up the others. "What wrong?" Izzy yelled, jumping out of his bed.

"What all the noise about?" Mimi yelled, running over as well.

Sora sat up and swung her legs around to the ground. "Oh god, Tai! Wake up!" She shouted. She reached over and helped Matt hold Tai's arms down.

"Tai! Wake up!" Matt shouted.

As he continued to move about, Tai's eyes flew opened. "Tai!" Sora said, happily.

Joe looked past Sora and saw Tai's eyes opened. "Sora, get away. He's delusional. Tai thinks that we're the visions that he's seeing in front of his eyes. He doesn't know that we're his friends." Joe yelled. He grabbed Sora's waist and pulled her away.

Matt still held onto Tai with all his might. As the other's watched and listened, they heard Tai yell, "Myotismon, you must DIE!!!" He shouted angrily. Then, with one mighty thrust of power, Tai freed himself of Matt's hold and threw a harsh punch to Matt's stomach.

Matt grabbed his stomach in shock of the blow. He gasped for air and then was thrown off Tai's bed and onto the floor. "Matt! Are you alright?" Mimi and T.K. shouted as they ran to his side.

Matt sat up and rubbed his stomach, "Yea, but one's thing for sure. Tai can really throw a punch." He laughed.

As the other's watched, Tai suddenly stopped and fell limp once again. "Is it over?" T.K. asked cautiously.

"Yea...Yea it's over." Matt said.