I know a few people have done this idea so hopefully this fic won't resemble anyone else's *too* closely... if it does, it's unintentional, I've only read a coupla them.

I can't believe I actually finished this fic. I've started some other fics, like the rest of Virus, a fic about Joe after 01, and one about June finding Davis is a digidestined. If anyone wants me to post them, despite them not being finished (I doubt I'll ever finish them, frankly ^^;), please ask. ^_^.

The title of this fic is taken from an excerpt from L.M. Montgomery's Anne of the Island, the idea of which is sort of echoed in this fic:
'She had had her secret dreams of the first time some one should ask her the great question. And it had, in those dreams, always been very romantic and beautiful. . .
And now, this thrilling experience had turned out to be merely grotesque. Billy Andrews had got his sister to propose for him because his father had given him the upper form; and if Anne wouldn't "have him" Nettie Blewett would. There was romance for you, with a vengeance!'

Romance, with a vengeance
by Leto

Kari landed heavily, but Davis more so, crunching into the ground on his arm, claw marks on his back, blood starting to appear through the jacket.

Kari was on her feet in an instant, clutching at Davis with a worried look.

"Davis! Oh Davis, are you alright?"

He looked up at her and grinned - a little pained, but with typical Davis bravado.

"Me? Of course I'm alright! Hahaha, no weak flunky of the Emporer can get the better of ME!"

She helped him up, and despite the scratches on his back, he seemed in reasonable condition, although he did clutch his wrist with a grimace.

"Davis!" called Fladramon, worried, and with one great effort, fire rocketed the enemy's dark ring into oblivion. Cody smiled at Armadillomon, and then turned to look at Kari and Davis with quiet concern.

"Davis," said Kari, looking at him with sudden respect, "you saved my life!"

He grinned again, and to her horror, she found herself continuing with the line that everyone on TV seemed to use - "how can I ever repay you?"

With no hesitation at all, he blurted, "you could go out on a date with me, Kari, that'd make me the luckiest guy on the face of the earth!"

She mentally scolded herself for allowing herself to get into this predicament, but nodded resignedly. "Sure Davis, I'll go out with you this once, but please don't get any ideas..."

"AlRIGHT!" shouted Davis. Fladramon dedigivolved and Davis grabbed one of Veemon's arms with his good one and started dancing him around. "Kari's going out with me, Kari's going out with me, Kari's going out with me! This is the happiest day of my life!!!!"

"Davis, you're bleeding all over the ground," said Cody.

"Who cares?!" snapped Davis, continuing his little dance until he realised that his wrist was injured. His dance turned into an impassioned version of the chicken dance as he jumped around clutching at his arm and yelping.

"Gee Davish, can you teach me how to do that?" asked Veemon. Davis gave him a dirty look, and Gatomon smirked, relieved that no real harm had been done.

"The others are coming back," said Cody calmly, pointing into the sky, "they must have destroyed the control spire."

"Yes!" cheered Davis, "take THAT, Digimon Emporer! We rule! HEY! TJ!! I'M GOING ON A DATE WITH KARI!!!!"

"In your dreams, maybe," called Yolei, descending on Halsemon.

"Another destroyed spire accounted for," called TK, "very little resistence this time, too. You three staying here to keep back the monsters helped, I think."

"Hey! TF! Don't ignore me, didn't you hear me? I said I'm going out with Kari, and you're not!"

TK still gave no indication of having heard, as Pegasusmon gracefully clicked his hooves onto the ground, and dedigivolved into Patamon.

"Are we ready to call it a day, then?" asked TK of the group in general.

"I sure am," said Yolei, "I'm supposed to - waaugh! My shift at the convenience store starts in five minutes! Come on, what are we waiting for?"

Cody nodded seriously. "It is getting a little late."

As a group, they walked off to exit the digital world (well, Yolei flew ahead on Halsemon, babbling panickedly about parents killing her), Davis walking right next to TK and chanting "Kari's going out with me, Kari's going out with me, Kari's going out with me, Kari's going out with me..."

Kari massaged her temple.

***

"So you're going out with Davis?"

Kari and TK were walking back out of the school grounds together.

"Gee, TK," said Kari sarcastically, "how did you EVER work that out? Davis didn't tell you, did he?"

"Are you in a bad mood or something? Why on EARTH would you go out with DAVIS?"

She shrugged, evasively. "The theory of Chinese water torture?"

He didn't accept that. "Seriously, Kari..."

"Oh, I don't know, TK... I guess it wouldn't kill me to be nice to him for once, it does make him so happy... did you see that he was injured?"

"Yeah? It didn't look that serious, what was he doing, trying to do his own thing again?"

"He saved my life, TK."

"He got hurt protecting you?"

"Yeah."

The two reached the end of the street where they split up to go their separate ways. They stopped at the curb, and TK looked at the shorter girl for a moment before smiling a little.

"Well... if he's willing to protect you, I guess he's not the worst person in the whole world you could go out with."

Kari giggled, but she was pleased at the concession, especially as she knew TK didn't like Davis very much. TK gave her a half-wave and began to walk away.

"Hey, TK!" she called after him, and he turned his head. "You're not JEALOUS, are you?" She couldn't resist teasing a little. He looked at her, a little baffled.

"Jealous? Why? We're still friends, aren't we?"

Kari sweatdropped. "Of course! Never mind!" She turned away, a little embarassed. Gatomon, sitting on her head, smiled.

"Kari, you have to remember that men are just clueless," she said, "some wouldn't know flirting if you scratched them across the face with it."

"Scratched them across the face?" repeated Kari, "you're weird."

"Then again, there are those guys who interpret the word 'hello' as a confession of undying love."

"Like Davis," they both said in unison.

***

"You're going out with DAVIS?!"

Davis had proudly informed the entire school of his 'victory', and Kari had been asked this question by more people than she would have liked (then, even one person would have been more than she would have liked). She had hoped to get some reprieve upon coming home, but was met with the question before she could even take her shoes off.

Then, at least the question was a little different coming from Tai - "urr gonn oufi NYAVISH?!" a better interpretation, as he was in the process of consuming (or inhaling) a truly impressively-sized sandwich.

Kari sighed and shuffled into the house, slipping off her shoes and edging past the big brother blocking her path.

"YES," she said in a voice that plainly said 'I don't want to talk about it don't ask me about it I'm sick of explaining and if I have to expound upon this one more time I may well bite someone'.

Tai, however, was an older brother, and older brothers - even the nicer ones - are never deterred by such warnings. He grinned and nudged her in the side.

"Hey, no need to sound like that," he said cheerfully, "you didn't think I would mind, did you? I think it's great! So you finally recognised your true feelings for him, huh?"

Gatomon made a strange choking sound that could have been a laugh. Kari closed her eyes and mentally counted to ten.

"You're thinking about him, right? It's the goggles, isn't it? Every guy looks extra cool with goggles, especially mine!"

Gatomon laughed openly at this, and after a few teeth-gritted moments, Kari joined in - figuring that the way she was feeling, she could either laugh her head off, or explode. The two fell about the place laughing, and Tai stared at them in bewilderment.

"Geez, did *I* act this goofy when *I* was in love?"

Gatomon went off into another peal of laughter - and there are few things quite so funny as a hysterical Gatomon - but Kari got a hold of herself and smirked at her brother.

"When yoooou were in love?" she repeated, and fluttered her eyelashes, "was my very own big brother hit by Cupid's arrow at one time? Do tell!"

Tai went red. "My only love is so- uh, soccer!"

"Ooooooh!" said Kari, in full annoying-sister mode now, "could it be that Tai was really going to say Sora? What a romantic turn of events! You two have been friends for so long, it -"

"Just like you and TK, right?" said Tai.

Kari opened and closed her mouth a few times, and Gatomon couldn't stop laughing at the expression on her face. Kari huffed, picked up the squeaking Gatomon by the tail and retreated to her room, slamming the door.

Five seconds later, the door opened again and she peeked out.

"Uh... Tai?" she asked, "could you help me get ready for the date?"

Tai nodded agreeably, and Kari rolled her eyes as she heard Gatomon laughing again.

***

"Davis, get out the bathroom already!" bellowed June, pounding on the door with both fists.

"I caaaaaan't," he called back.

"And just why is that?!" she snapped, "you've been in there half an hour already!"

"Just give me a couple more minutes!" he called.

June lost patience and wrenched the door open. She stared at what she saw.

Davis was standing in a pool of shaving cream, his whole arm submerged in the sink while he used his other arm and hand to hold toilet paper against his face. On the floor were several large piles of toilet paper, some with shaving cream and some red-stained. Davis' little blue stuffed toy fell off the bathroom shelf when she came in.

"What on EARTH are you DOING?!" shrieked June. Davis turned bright red when he realised he wasn't alone, and tried to affect a nonchalance, instead slipping and falling on his butt on the slippery bathroom floor.

"I was just tryin' to shave..." he mumbled.

June started laughing very hard.

Davis scowled and flicked shaving cream at her.

"Don't laugh," he snapped, "a guy's gotta look his best for his first date with his dream girl!"

June's eyes sparkled. "Ohh, you mean that poor girl Kari you've been drooling over all year has FINALLY caved in? That's too cool! Congratulations little bro, you're learning the Motomiya way of getting a date! Hey, hey, let me help you."

"Help me?"

She struck a pose. "I am the expert on love! I send men fluttering to my feet with a mere glance! The modern Japanese version of Aphrodite! Ohohohoho!"

"Now I'm scared," said Davis.

"Seriously," said June, moving closer to him, "the fact is, I don't have a date tonight myself... so I don't mind playing Cupid!"

"Now I'm really scared."

"Don't be stupid!" she snapped, "now, first thing's first. You don't need to shave. You're eleven year's old for pity's sake. Go get some bandaids or something for those cuts on your face and I'll clean up the bathroom."

"Wow, you ARE serious!" said Davis happily, and ran (slipped, really) out of the bathroom. DemiVeemon unconsciously, automatically leapt onto his shoulder as he left. June blinked and shook her head.

"That toy is so weird," she muttered, and went to find a mop.

***

Kari threw her clip onto the bed and started brushing her hair out, thinking about Davis.

The only one who's ever been so dedicated to me was my brother, she thought, he's kind of like Tai... so I guess Tai's a good person to ask for advice.

"Tai," she said, "how can I make this evening really nice for Davis without making him think I'm... y'know, *interested* in him?"

"That's not an easy question to answer!" said Tai, pawing through Kari's wardrobe. "No matter how you approach it, Davis is pretty thick-skinned..."

"And thick-skulled!" piped up Gatomon cheerfully from Kari's side.

Tai grinned. "That too. Anyway, what I'm getting at is, however you approach it, he's probably going to drool all over you the whole night."

"What a thought," groaned Kari, pulling part of her hair back. She gestured to Gatomon, who obligingly held it in place while she rifled through various hair accessories.

"You sound less than enthusiastic about this whole thing," said Tai observantly, "if you didn't go out with him, why didn't you just say so in the first place?"

"I did," sighed Kari, "and again and again and again... but you know, Davis has been trying really hard lately, I just thought it wouldn't be so bad to give the guy a break for once."

"It's a noble self-sacrifice," said Gatomon solemnly.

"Hey, what's wrong with Davis anyway? You know, the two of us have a lot in common. It'd be just like dating me!"

Kari made a weird face. "Dating my brother... oh great, thanks a lot Tai, now I'm *really* going to enjoy my evening... I thought you were trying to encourage me?"

"C'mon, Kari," said Tai, "don't you think any girl who went out with me would be totally lucky?"

"Tell it to Sora, not me," sighed Kari.

***

After the chaos was cleared, Davis stared into June's mirror with dismay, touching the red marks on his face.

"My face is totally ruined! Kari's gonna hate me! Just wait'll she sees me, she's gonna dump me on the spot!"

"Trust me, kid," said June, "any girl who's goin' out with you is NOT in it for your looks."

Davis got a weird look on his face. "And just what's THAT s'posed ta mean?!"

"Cold hard truth," she said simply, "that's what big sisters are here for... you could always wear a paper bag over your head if you're worried about it."

"Real funny."

"Now, Davis! Have you given any thought to where you were planning to go tonight?"

"Well, I dunno really..."

"You want something special! Not tooo romantic and expensive 'cos it's only your first date - and your allowance won't cover it - but you still want something special. What do you two have in common?"

"Well... we both kinda like soccer, I guess..."

"Oh yeah, that's REALLY romantic... do you two have anything SPECIAL in common? Like a song you both like, or a type of food you both love, or a place that has a special significance for both of you?"

"That's IT!" shouted Davis, excited.

"What?"

"Digiworld! We'll go to digiworld!! That's our special place, it's like practically noone else can go there!"

"Where on earth is digiworld? It sounds like an arcade... that's not quite what we're going for here, Davis."

"No, it's not an arcade," he said, then remembered he wasn't supposed to talk about digiworld, "it's just... I 'unno... it should be kinda cool at night, with the stars and all the trees and flowers and stuff... just the two of us... no TH... hahahahaaaa!"

"Yes, atmosphere! It sounds fine. Now just what were you planning to wear to this 'digiworld'?"

"I don't think I'm tall enough to fit into Dad's tux yet."

She sweatdropped. "Davis, I repeat: you're eleven years old. It's not like you're going to propose to her or anything... you're not, are you?! ARE YOU?! Yeah, you should just wear normal clothes... well, maybe not TOO normal, *your* outfits *could* use a *little* help..."

"I don't know if I wanna be takin' fashion advice from YOU..."

"Let's look for something that doesn't clash!"

"Just so long as you don't make me lose the goggles..."

"You're determined to wear them every waking hour, huh? Were you planning to wear them with the tux, too?"

"Well..."

***

"Here Kari, what about this outfit?"

"Are you kidding, Tai? I haven't worn that since I was nine!"

"Well, you ASKED me to help you pick an outfit, if you don't want my help that's fine."

"Kari, I don't think that girls fashion is Tai's forte," said Gatomon, "You know Davis will think you're beautiful even if you wore a garbage bag, and you don't even like him, so I don't understand why you even care what you wear."

Kari smiled into the mirror and fluffed up her hair a little. "Well," she said, "even if it's Davis... it IS my first date..."

***

Some time later, after having escaped June's clutches, Davis and DemiVeemon were waiting outside someone's apartment; the door opened and Izzy stood looking at them with some surprise.

"Uhh, hey, Izzy."

"Hi, Davis. I certainly wasn't expecting to see you... what brings you here? Is something wrong? And is it TRUE you're finally going out with Kari?"

"Yeah, well, actually, that's what I came to talk to you about..."

Izzy sweatdropped. "I don't think I'm very qualified to offer advice on romance, Davis."

"I didn't mean that... but, uhh, are you busy right now? Could you come down to the elementary school and help me find a good place to take Kari on our date?"

Izzy facefaulted. "Davis, that's a pretty fickle use of the digital terminal."

"I dunno what fickle means but it's totally important and I don't know how to run the program by myself and I don't know how to scan areas to see what's in 'em, pleeeeeeease Izzy you gotta help me, it won't take long and I know you're totally smart and all!"

Izzy sighed. "You're really taking advantage of my good nature..."

"YES!!"

***

That evening...

"I promise you, Gatomon, I'll be alright without you for a couple of hours. It would just be weird to take a third person on a date. It's not like we're going any place dangerous."

"I dunno, you never know with Davis..."

"Anyway, it's not like Davis will be bringing his Digimon either..."

The doorbell rang. Kari LEAPT off the bed and ran to the door. Gatomon and Tai looked at each other.

"I don't get her..."

Kari opened the door and sweatdropped a little; Davis was standing there with DemiVeemon on his head.

"H-h-hi Kari!" he gulped, turning red, and procured a huge bouquet of flowers. "You look real nice, but then, you always do, so I guess that goes without saying, except that I just said it anyway, which I didn't really need to do, so I should -"

"Davis, you're babbling," said DemiVeemon.

Kari laughed and accepted the flowers. "Thanks Davis. You look nice too... but, uh, what happened to your face?"

"I... uh, I kinda... uhh, never mind!"

"So where are we going tonight, Davis? Were you, uh, planning to bring your Digimon along?"

A loud "hah" came from Kari's room.

"Well, I thought our Digimon could, like, hang out while we went out. See, I found this totally great spot in the digital world..."

"Oh, we're going to digiworld?" asked Kari, "are you sure that's safe?"

"Sure it's safe! Not a control spire in sight, and our Digimon can stay nearby."

"Hah, see Kari, he WANTS me to come!" crowed Gatomon triumphantly, running out into the hall.

DemiVeemon grinned slightly. Time alone with Gatomon! Davis was great!

"Have her back by ten!" called Tai, and then added, with an evil grin, "have fuuuuun!"

***

Kari sweatdropped at Davis' proposal.

"Davis, I am NOT climbing the gate of the school. It feels too much like breaking and entering, and besides, I'm wearing a skirt."

"I don't mind," said Davis, and got clocked upside the head.

"Well, the alternative is gettin' Flamedramon to blast down the fence," he said, "take your pick."

She sighed. "Okay, give me a boost."

Gatomon jumped onto the top of the wall as Davis tried to lift Kari.

"Are you steppin' on my face on purpose?"

Kari grunted and managed to get herself up. She knelt on the wall, breathing heavily. "This is not how I imagined my first date..."

"At least it's not *boring*," said Gatomon, whiskers twitching, watching as Davis ran at the wall, jumped, and ended up on the ground.

"I think he's concussed," said Gatomon.

"Ohhh," sighed Kari, and jumped down the other side of the wall to open the gate. She started to drag Davis' groaning form through into the school grounds, and suddenly a light shone on both of them.

"Hey? Who's that?! What're you kids playing at, huh?"

Davis jumped to his feet, and both he and Kari stood like cornered rabbits.

"M-mr Fujiyama!" gulped Kari, "what are you doing here?"

"That's a question I could easily ask you. I stayed late to supervise the third grade boy's basketball team. And why are you two here?"

Davis sidled up to his teacher and hissed in his ear, "look, Mr Fujiyama, I finally got Kari out on a date, pleeeeease let us in, we won't do any damage or anything, we just need to go get something."

"Well, tell me what it is and I'll get it for you."

Davis sighed. "Here, we'll go with you." And to Kari, "first chance we get, try to slip into the computer club room without him seein' us... we'll be gone before he can look for us!"

Kari sighed again - she had the feeling she was going to be sighing a lot that night - and nodded weakly.

The two picked up their Digimon and followed Mr Fujiyama into the school building.

"I left my wallet in the cafeteria," said Davis.

"Okay, you two wait here, I'll just unlock the door," said Mr Fujiyama. He left the two standing near the computer club room, and went to open the cafeteria. Davis wasted no time; he dragged Kari into the room and had the digiport open in seconds.

"Here we go!"

A light shone; they were gone. A second later, Mr Fujiyama turned around, but it was too late.

***

"Great, Davis," said Kari, as the two found themselves ankle-deep in mud, "so far we've tried wall-climbing, probably convinced Mr Fujiyama that we're juvenile delinquents, and my shoes are ruined. Do you have any other fun ideas for tonight?"

Davis tramped along miserably. "It musta rained in the last couple of hours, it wasn't muddy here before. Hey, I can carry you if you want."

"No THANKS," said Kari quickly.

Davis looked down at Gatomon and Veemon. "Well, we're nearly there, so you two can go off, but stay within shouting distance, okay?"

"Sure, Davish!" said Veemon happily, and ran off with Gatomon skulking behind, muttering that it would take hours to clean her fur.

Kari walked along in the near-darkness, glumly. The two were in a field bordered by thick foliage, the sky was choked with purplish clouds, the mud squelched under their feet. It was cold, colder than in the human world. She mentally chewed Davis out for such a stupid idea.

Davis' thought process was something like Kari-is-right-next-to-you-there's-nobody-else-around-Kari-is-right-next-to-you-Kari-is-right-next-to-you.

A few moments later they reached the end of the field.

"Well Kari, here we are," he said finally, still a little nervous. Things hadn't been going quite as planned.

"Here we are WHERE?" she said, a little snappishly, still peevish.

He pushed a few hanging vines aside, holding them back so she could see through the foliage. Her eyes widened.

The area Davis had chosen looked like something out of a dream; it was an area of long, silver, feathery grass, willow trees, pools of water, huge clumps of brightly coloured flowers, subdued in the night light, and a waterfall - which, peculiarly, was standing in midair and did not seem to be connected to any sort of river or stream; the water cascaded down and disappeared into the air in a stunning burst of mist. The waterfall itself seemed to glow of its own accord and not from any reflected light; it almost seemed like a living thing. It did not thunder like most waterfalls, but almost - almost hummed, like music. The mist, even at night, produced stunning rainbow effects.

Hundreds of fireflies, each glowing a different colour, fluttered around, occasionally alighting on blades of grass. There were no clouds here - another quirk of the digital world - just a perfect full moon - and what a moon! Kari thought it almost seemed to change colour depending on the angle you looked at it; just like an illuminated opal in the sky.

The two children stood and looked at it for some time.

"Tentomon said this was called Rainbow Valley," he said, "the Digimon Emporer never bothered with this area 'cos there aren't many Digimon around here." He gestured to the rainbow fireflies.

"It's the most beautiful place I've ever seen," whispered Kari, her eyes very wide. Davis grinned.

"So y'wanna go in now or what?"

She smiled and stepped through into the valley. Davis led her to a a small cluster of rocks and looked behind it.

There was a red metal beetle asleep on a large cardboard box. Although his eyes did not close, it was not difficult to tell he was sleeping, from the volume of his snoring. Davis poked him; when that didn't work, he shoved him off the box.

Tentomon sputtered and coughed, but woke up. "Hey, what's the deal?! Oh, Davis? You finally came back!"

"You bet, thanks a lot for your help, Tentomon."

"You know, that box smells really delicious, and I got so hungry guarding it -"

"You better not have eaten ANYTHING in it, Tentomon!"

"I didn't, but if you wouldn't mind sharing it now..."

"You can have the leftovers."

Tentomon facefaulted. "But after YOU'VE finished with it there won't BE any leftovers!"

"Are you sayin' I eat too much?!"

Tentomon 'hmpfed' and flew into the air. "I'll be back later! You'd better leave me something!"

"Yeah, yeah..."

Davis picked up the huge box. He couldn't see over the top, and was struggling just to hang onto it. "So, Kari, where d'you wanna sit?"

"How about... ooh, let's sit over here!"

He tried to follow her voice without tripping over/running into something/being able to see. He was nearly successful.

Kari had found a small pool of water; she stood staring into it while waiting for Davis to catch up. It was a dark indigo, courtesy of the moonlight, but she thought she could see other colours swirling around inside bubbles that rose to the top of the water. As she watched, one bubble floated from the surface of the water, hovered in front of her face, and popped with a slight humming noise.

Davis plonked down the box and started rifling through it, throwing things out on the ground.

"Marshmallows, cookies, picnic basket... oh, Kari, you cold?"

"A little," she admitted.

"Coat," he said, throwing it at her, "matches, firewood, stereo, chairs, table, plates 'n stuff..."

Kari sweatdropped as Davis produced more things than she thought could possibly fit in a simple cardboard box. She slipped the coat on; June's, probably. It was nice and warm, that was all she really cared about.

She smiled to herself a little; like most girls, she had daydreamed about her first date - it would be with a handsome, tall guy with chilling blue eyes and a heart-warming smile, who would sweep her off her feet, shower her with roses and attention, hold doors open for her, take her for a romantic walk along the beach, a restaurant where she'd order the most expensive thing on the menu at his expense... lobster, maybe... Davis, with weird scratches on his face and goggles on his head, throwing a coat at her, bringing a little blue monster with him, encouraging her to break into the school and pushing her up onto a wall, dragging her into the computer club room, and now, ignoring her to wrestle with a large folding table, it didn't *quite* meet up with her expectations.

But that was just Davis; he wasn't exactly the most sensitive guy on the planet. To even remember that the digital world was colder than the human world and that her digiworld outfit wasn't very warm... despite everything, he wanted her to have a good time. And this place was certainly more beautiful than any beach.

Davis finally set things up; tables and chairs, a fancy tablecloth, expensive cutlery and crockery, and... a huge hole in the middle of the table?

"Wow, Davis," said Kari, "where did you get all that stuff?"

"I stole it out the kitchen when my parents weren't looking!"

She facefaulted. "They'll probably think you've had burgulars."

He grinned sheepishly and went under the table, arranging the firewood and trying to start a fire.

"What are you doing down there?"

"You'll see," he said, "keep your hands away from the hole in the table."

"Why DOES the table have a hole in it?"

"Well, I sorta *accidentally* took my dad's chainsaw to it."

"..."

"Flamedramon would be real useful right now," muttered Davis, and then - "WAAAUGH! Ow!"

He burned himself and then banged his head on the underside of the table.

"What? What?"

"Gahh," he muttered, coming up with his glove on fire. He banged it against the table a couple of times to extinguish it, and Kari sweatdropped. But after a moment, flames began to curl through the hole; and the surrounding table's wood blackened.

Kari, still with a sweatdrop, said: "I hope your family wasn't planning on using this table ever again."

Davis grinned sheepishly. "Well, it doesn't really matter, s'long as you're happy."

Her sweatdrop grew a little larger. "Sure... so why the fire?"

"Well, I didn't have any candles..."

She facefaulted.

"And I remembered you said you liked toasting marshmallows!"

He produced a big bag of them and she laughed in spite of herself.

***

After their meal - it was fortunate Kari knew Davis well enough not to be terrified by his table manners - the two sat looking rather awkwardly at each other.

Kari had been profoundly relieved that Davis hadn't been too romantic, saying sappy things, or trying to hold her hand. He had put his CD player on for a while but on Smash Mouth, not love songs - no danger of creating an atmosphere there! She hoped he wasn't going to start now - as it was, she was actually enjoying herself.

Davis, in fact, was too much in awe of the fact that he was *going out with Kari* to try anything at all.

"How did you find this place?" she asked finally, staring into the pool of water.

"Well, I figured out how to scan the digiworld - totally cool, huh? - and checked out some areas, and I thought this one looked neat, so I marked it on the d-terminal thing, and set the digiport to -"

"Izzy helped you, right?"

He sweatdropped. "Kinda..."

Suddenly the two started; the humming sound in the air changed; rose in pitch and volume. The waterfall froze, the bubbles in the pool of water started to rise faster.

"What's goin' on?!" asked Davis.

"How would I know?!"

The frozen waterfall glowed more brightly and the mist from it began to take form; a dozen or so tiny fairy-like creatures floated into the air.

"Wow, they're pretty!" whispered Kari.

"Yeah, but what are they?" whispered Davis, "and why're we whisperin'?"

For a moment, everything in the valley seemed eerily still; the willows stopped waving their branches in the breeze, the fairies sat motionless in the air, the only sound was that of bubbles bursting on the top of the water.

Then the spell was broken; each fairy darted off to different places in the valley; to the dark pools of water. One was right in front of them, hovering above the pool.

"Excuse me," whispered Kari, "are you a Digimon?"

The fairy did not answer, but put a small flute to its lips and started to play.

"Hey, great," said Davis, "now we got a live musical performance!"

"I don't know..." said Kari, feeling uncertain. The music was soft and slow, it gave her a creepy feeling.

At that moment, the pool of water seemed to almost *rise up out of the ground* and take shape; where it was, now stood a strange figure; the children couldn't make out what it looked like, but that it was vaguely misty, dark, and changing shape.

"Waaaaugh!" they both shrieked, and jumped backward. The figure looked at them.

"Third of the nighttime warriors!" trilled the fairy, "Tenmon!"

Kari and Davis looked each other.

"VEEMOOOOON!" shouted Davis at the same time Kari shouted: "GATOMOOOOON!"

"Ten-o-clock shadow!" came a low voice from the weird creature, and the kids were thrown back against the table. Davis landed in the fire and instantly jumped up, slapping the flames out, furious.

"You jerk, just whadda think you're doing?"

"The nighttime warriors surround Rainbow Valley all through the night!" snapped the fairy, "you're the ones who don't belong here!"

"Run, Kari," said Davis, grabbing one of the burning sticks from the fire. He waved it at Tenmon, who promptly twisted his form around it and left nothing but a sizzling ember.

"There's nowhere TO run," she said, scared. It was true; other shadowy Digimon were coming from around the valley toward them. "Davis, I wish you'd researched this valley more before coming here!"

Davis gritted his teeth and didn't answer. He just took a step back, standing protectively in front of Kari. The fairies twittered and flew back to the waterfall, which started moving and glowing again when they dove back into the mist.

"Guess that's what lit the thing up," said Davis. Kari didn't answer; she was standing, paralysed with fear. Kari was not normally fearful, but it had suddenly occured to her that these things vaguely resembled the Scubamon that had been plaguing her nightmares.

The twelve monsters flew into the air, colliding with each other in a horrible sound like a clogged vacuum cleaner.

"What are they DOIN'?"

They had their answer; the twelve Digimon had combined into a single, huge black shadow that leered down at them through red eyes.

"It's their undersea master!" shrieked Kari. Davis stared at her, surprised.

"What're you talkin' about, Kari?"

"Let's get out of here!"

"I don't think sssso," hissed the dark Digimon, "have you come to threaten my reign over the night?"

"What are you talkin' about?!"

"The light," he hissed, "I don't want the light..."

"So go away and bury yourself or somethin'!" snapped Davis, "don't even try to scare Kari!"

He glared at the monster and wondered frantically *where* was Veemon?!

"C'mon, Kari," he said, and grabbed her arm, pulling her along with him.

The monster glared, his eyes bulging. "Don't escape! Nightmare Shadow!"

Davis whirled, trying to see the attack coming so he could protect Kari, but instead he found himself in a kind of dark fog.

"What the -" he began, but he couldn't hear his own voice. "Hey, where am I? K-Kari? Where are you? KARI?!"

His head started to hurt; it seemed like the darkness was grabbing at him... what happened? Was this... was this an attack?

"VEEMON!" he shouted, but he still couldn't hear himself.

He fell to his knees, the pressure in his head growing. He was beginning to feel strange... but, he couldn't just let this thing knock him out... he had to stay on his feet... he had to find Kari... he had to...

Davis groaned in pain, and tried to get to his feet again. Something he couldn't see slammed him back down. He started to feel a little scared, and the pain was growing intense, and then -

A pink light penetrated the darkness; it disappeared as if it was nothing, and all he could see was the light.

Now he found he was back on the grass of Rainbow Valley, and Kari was standing nearby, her whole body glowing pink.

"Davis!" she called in relief, running to him, "are you alright? That thing swallowed you up!"

He stared at her in awe. "What... Kari, you're glowing. H-how're you doin' that?! That light's what saved me!"

"Yeah," she said, a little embarassed, "there's something weird about the crest of light..."

"You saved my life," he said again.

"Then I guess we're even!"

The pink light around her faded, and Kari shivered a little.

"It's colder than it was before," she said, "and the fire's dead."

"You... you wanna go back now?"

"If that's okay with you."

Davis nodded, and sighed. Kari had agreed to go out with him to repay him for saving her life; now she'd repaid the favour another way, so it looked like their night was over. He wished he'd been able to protect her instead.

At that moment, Veemon and Gatomon ran up to them.

"Hey!" called Gatomon, "are you guys okay?"

"So nice of you two to finally show up!" said Davis, "what WERE you doin' anyway?!"

"Oh, nothing much," said Gatomon primly, and licked one of her paws. Veemon sighed, and cat claw marks could clearly be seen on his face.

"Veemon, could you help me lug this stuff back to the digiport?"

"What're friends for..."

Davis sighed. "What else could go wrong?"

On cue, it promptly began to snow. Everyone stared at each other.

"You just HAD to say that, Davis," muttered Gatomon, and all four of them broke into a run.

***

Kari and Davis stood at the entrance to the school. They looked at the locked door, and then at each other, in dismay.

"Guess Mr Fujiyama got tired of lookin' for us..." said Davis.

Kari groaned. "Don't tell me we're locked in..."

Davis grabbed the bar on the door and rattled it hard, as if that would help. It didn't budge.

"Maybe we could find another way out?" suggested Davis.

"What do you suggest, climbing through the ventilation ducts?" said Gatomon sarcastically.

"Great idea!" enthused Davis, "d'you think I can pull this shaft open?"

Kari sighed. "Don't vandalise the school, Davis. I am NOT crawling through a ventilation duct. Let's just go to the nurse's office. There's a telephone in there, and some beds. It looks like we might have to spend the night here."

"But Kari, since we're locked into the school with NO ADULTS around, don't you think we should make the most of it? Raid the cafeteria, sneak into the teacher's lounge, maybe -"

"Come ON, Davis."

He nodded and trailed after her. He couldn't help grinning a little at the thought of having their date extended by about eight hours.

"Hey, Tai? Umm, we had a little accident. Davis and I went to digiworld and then when we came back we found the whole school had been locked and now we're trapped in here for the night... of COURSE we didn't plan it... oh, don't be ridiculous... yeah... no Tai, I am NOT climbing out of a window... yeah... could you make up something to tell Mom and Dad so they won't be too worried?... thanks, Tai. See you tomorrow morning."

She hung up the phone in the nurse's office and threw herself on one of the beds.

"As soon as the school's unlocked, I'm going home," said Kari, "I have to change my clothes, they're all dirty."

"Yeah, I gotta lug home all the stuff I brought before school starts tomorrow," agreed Davis.

The two lay on their respective beds, staring up at the ceiling.

"You okay there, Kari?" said Davis after a while, "you want anything? Want the picnic blanket? Want me to fluff your pillow? Want me to -"

"Want you to shut up," muttered Gatomon. Kari stifled a giggle and said she was fine.

***

The next morning, the children were woken by sunlight on their faces. Well, Kari was woken by the sunlight; Davis would have slept through a supernova. She groaned and sat up. Gatomon twitched and curled up tighter on the bed, enjoying the sun on her fur.

"Ugggh..." she said, wiping the sleep out of her eyes, "it's morning... hey. Hey, Davis, wake up."

He grunted something in his sleep and she scowled. Kari was not really a morning person herself, and she had slept badly, so she wasn't in a good mood.

"DAVIS!" she said loudly, and kicked him with her sock-clad foot. Clumsily, he clutched at the bedclothes but in vain; he slid right off the bed onto the floor.

DemiVeemon laughed. "I wish I wash big enough to wake him up like dat! It's nearly imposshible for me to wake Davish up!"

Davis was now awake, although barely coherant.

"Uhh... Kari... whassup..."

"You," she said, grabbing him by his jacket collar and pulling him to his feet.

"Oh... am I? Yeah..."

She sighed. "Come on Davis, the school will be open soon, we have to get out."

"Just five more minutes..."

"Come ON, Davis! It's bad enough you kept me awake half the night by snoring loud enough to wake the dead, but I don't want to get in any MORE trouble."

"Oh, right," he said, and started gathering his things together, while Kari looked into the mirror and tried to smooth her hair down.

After a moment he spoke up, his face a little red. "Kari... sorry about everything. I didn't mean for all that to happen last night, you're right, I should have put more thought into things. I know things woulda gone PERFECT if it was TK... but nothin' ever goes right for me, like I said, I'm real sorry, I shouldn't have made you come."

She didn't think she'd ever heard him apologise or admit he was wrong about something before. He looked pretty down.

Kari smiled. "Don't be sorry. None of it was your fault, really. And I did have a nice time... well, mostly... thanks for going to all that trouble."

She leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. His expression instantly changed to dopey-sheep-look.

"K-kari!" he began.

At that moment, Mr Fujiyama came bulldozing into the room. "THERE you two are!" he roared, "I looked for you for over an hour before I figured you must have gone home. Don't tell me you were here all night! Just what were you playing at, you two?! You're in big trouble now!"

"I'm sorry, Mr Fujiyama," began Kari, "you see, we were -"

"It's my fault," said Davis quickly, "really, Kari didn't want to have anything to do with it, so don't, like, punish her or anything. It was totally my fault!"

Mr Fujiyama looked between sweet, innocent, well-behaved Kari, and... Davis. He decided he could believe that...

***

June ran to the door, excitedly, as she heard someone come in.

"Wow, you've sure been gone ages!" she said, greeting her brother, "so, how did it go? I can't wait to hear the details!... uh...?"

She trailed off as she got a closer look at her brother; carrying a mangled box, his hair in disarray, shoes caked with dry mud, his glove and pants singed, a huge bruise on his face (from where he ran into the wall), his head bandaged, and his jacket in tatters.

"Long night," groaned Davis.

"W...where were you all night? Are you okay? And how did the date go?"

"The date? Oh yeah, the date..."

He thought for a minute. Having to sneak into the digiworld, Kari annoyed at him half the time, practically being killed, the prospect of two months' detention, the kiss...

He grinned hugely.

"It was the best night ever!"