POV stands for Point Of View, of course. ^_^. This fic is a sequel to "Moving On" but the Intro covers the basics from that fic, so there are spoilers for that fic, in other words. ^_^.
And please don't be put off by the existence of New Characters. The bulk of the fic won't centre around them. I also swap between past and present tense sometimes, although I try not to in the same section. I don't know why I do that, I just can't seem to help it. ^_^;; It's a lot easier to write in present tense for character POVs, for example.
Chapter one - New generation
I'm Joe Kido. I was once one of the digidestined who saved the world, but that was a long time ago. Now I'm studying medicine in London while my friends are in Japan. I haven't been to the digital world much; only once in the last year, when TK and Kari came on a European holiday and opened the gate for me.
I would like to see Gomamon more often but sometimes I think I've outgrown him; Digimon don't age, and it's almost like Gomamon was designed to be the partner of the 12-year-old me... when I last saw him, we were kind of awkward with each other. Maybe if we saw each other more often, it wouldn't be a problem.
All of us have grown up a lot. Cody's in his last year of high school, Yolei and Sora both study at university and work part-time at Sora's mother's flower shop. Tai is some sort of businessman and he's recently become engaged to his girlfriend Terri. Mimi's a botanist (she goes to digiworld, picks up unusual plant specimens, and then gets famous in the real world because nobody else has ever seen them before - typical Mimi!) who still lives in America, now with Michael. Apparently she's expecting her first child soon.
Matt is doing a computer course at the same university as Sora. Izzy - or Koushiro, I'm supposed to call him now; he and TK abandoned their childhood nicknames, but I can never think of them as anything but - goes to a different college, further away from the others, but he also lives in the digital world part-time. Ken also studies but lives in the digiworld. It's kind of strange. All the other digidestined visit the digiworld quite often but Izzy, Ken and Davis actually live there for more time than they spend in the real world.
I write to Sora pretty regularly, and that is how I get the latest digidestined news, but it's kind of sad that I don't really stay in touch with anyone else. We lose connection so easily...
But apparently, strange things have been happening lately. A week ago, there was a huge worldwide storm. It reminded me of the weather freakouts caused by Digimon in the real world, and then yesterday I got another letter from Sora.
The digital gate has *closed*. Nobody can get through any more, for the first time in years. Ken and Izzy were both at lectures or something at the time, but Davis was *in* digiworld and nobody has been able to get through to him. Nobody knows if he is alright. Everyone is very worried that they'll never see Davis or their Digimon again.
But, for once, I'm not the one out of the loop - I've just seen something quite incredible...
A young man with a briefcase steps through the doors of the train and looks for a seat. He stops, a usually calm face suddenly registering shock. He is looking at three children who sit, slumped in their seats, with toy monsters on their laps.
Very *familiar* toys. The man finds a seat, positioning himself to keep watch on the children. The oldest, a redheaded girl, cradles a large toy in the shape of a flower-creature. The second oldest is a boy with dark features, and he is holding a small, oddly shaped creature, difficult to liken to any real animal or plant. The youngest is a blonde, a girl with a large tadpole-like toy on her lap.
As the young man watches these toys, he is certain he sees the flower move on its own - just a little - but definitely a twitch not caused by the movement of the train. He did not need any convincing though; the other toys were proof enough on their own, he recognises them.
They are Digimon.
The man smiles slightly. The children look tired, and their Digimon are convincingly still, for the most part - odd-looking dolls, but not anything that would arouse suspicion. He recognises that disguise as one he used himself once.
He forgets his own tiredness and decides that returning to his home can wait a little longer. When the children get off at a station a little further along the line, Joe follows them.
What a day! We don't even know who or what we're looking for, it's so stupid. I guess we just have to keep trying. We're never gonna beat our enemies otherwise, and there's nothing more important than beating those scum.
It still feels weird being in the real world again after so long. I thought we were in digiworld for, like, a couple of months, but when we came back, it was like only a few hours had passed! Tooooo weird.
We've been walking around all day, and I'm so glad that we just got the chance to sit down. But now we have to walk home. It sucks. If we didn't have to keep our Digimon secret, Mom could be driving us around, but I'd rather have the freedom to talk to our Digimon.
I don't know why we can't let people know we have Digimon anyway but Nate said it's not a good idea, and he's usually right. Anyway, 'cos there are only three of us - Nathan, me, and an annoying little sister - anyone's opinion is made pretty important.
Anyway, right now I'm a little worried, I swear this Asian guy is following us. I mean, he doesn't look like a sleaze or something but I think it's a bit *too much* of a coincidence that he got off at the same stop as us, followed us out of the station, walked down this street and down this little side lane after us. I came down here to try to shake him off, but there he is, still behind us. All my mother's warnings, beware of strange men, they're flashing in my head. But I have Floramon with me, so I'm not *too* scared.
"You think he's following us?" whispers Nate, in his slightly brusque accent.
"Walk a little faster," I hiss to the others.
"I don't like this," wails Amy. I swear, my sister has no discretion at all. But there's nobody else around now, just us and this creepy guy. He sees us hesitate and hears what Amy says, and seems to come to some sorta conclusion. He speeds up, he's coming to talk to us. Floramon stiffens in my arms.
"Excuse me," said Joe, "I know you know I've been following you, and I'm sorry if I scared you. The thing is, I recognised that you were carrying Digimon, and I wanted to talk to you."
Adrienne, who had relaxed slightly at his polite tone, stiffened at the mention of Digimon.
"D-Digimon?" said Amy, a little too loudly, "what are Digimon?"
"Yeah, what are Digimon?" asked the Digimon who was riding on her head - an Otamamon - "we're defuntly not Digimon!"
Nathan rolled his eyes and Adrienne slapped her forehead with one hand.
"Relax," said Joe, smiling a little, "I know all about Digimon. I was one of the original digidestined."
Adrienne's face brightened. "Really?! Is your name Joe?"
"It sure is. How did you know about me?"
Adrienne and Nathan gave each other huge grins, and Amy bounced up and down.
"It's him! It's him!" said Adrienne happily, "we didn't even have to look for him, he found us!"
"We were LOOKING for you!" said Amy accusingly, "where WERE you?!"
Joe sweatdropped. "I'm sorry, I didn't realise you were looking for me. To be honest, I didn't even know you existed until about twenty minutes ago! Would you care to tell me a little about yourselves?"
"Okay," said Adrienne, "we're all Londoners, well, Nate was born some place else but he's ALMOST got the British accent down."
"There is nothing wrong with my accent."
"Anyways, I'm Adrienne Forrester, 13 years old, and this is my totally annoying sister Amy. She's 9 but she acts about 5."
"I do NOT, you shut up Adrienne or I'm telling!"
"Stop saying that. You even said it in digiworld, when there was nobody to tell."
"And this is Nathan - he's 11. He goes to Amy's school, so that's how we know each other. About a week ago, there'd been this hugeous storm all day long, so I went to pick up Ames from school about a week ago, and Nate was waiting by the gate and then when we were all in the same vicinity, a huge thunderclap came down and zapped us into digiworld!"
"Could you help us, please?" asked Nathan, "The Great Enlightened One told us you could help us."
"Woah, woah, back up a little," said Joe, "I'd be happy to help you if I can. What is it you want me to do? And who is this 'Great Enlightened One'?"
"He is the guardian of the digital world," said Adrienne, in a respectful tone, "he knows a great deal about Digimon and he has been helping us."
"Is he - is his name Gennai? Is he an old, short guy with squinty eyes?"
"No, he's a tall young man with spiky burgundy hair and brown hair," said Nathan.
"And a cape, and goggles!" added Amy.
"And he's reaaaally cute," finished Adrienne.
Goggles? thought Joe. No doubt about it... "Does he have a Digimon partner named Veemon?"
"Yeah, that's right!"
"Veemon's really cool!"
"He can digivolve into DIFFERENT Digimon using the Magical Orbs of Digital Armour!"
"That's part of the Great Enlightened One's power!"
It took a lot of effort to keep from laughing, although the thought of Davis wearing a cape, or of ANYONE thinking of that goggle head as some mystical source of guidance, brought Joe very close to it.
"Okay kids," he said, "let's sit down on this bench and you can tell me just what's going on."
"I'm no kid," protested Amy, but was happy to sit down.
"Joe, I'd like to introduce you to our Digimon," said Nathan, "this is Pagumon, in-training Digimon. His Rookie is Spritemon, his Champion is Feathermon, his Ultimate is Garnetmon."
"Yes, I've met Pagumon before," said Joe drily, "it wasn't the most enjoyable experience of my life."
Pagumon stuck his tongue out. "Well, who cares what you think!"
"Pagumon!" hissed Nathan, covering his Digimon's mouth, "don't be so impolite!"
"I'm Floramon," said Floramon, as Adrienne opened her mouth to introduce her, "I have the su-perb attack Rain of Pollen! It's really useful, don't you think so? I digivolve into the fabulous Petalmon! It's really fun! I'm so glad I got to meet Adrienne! But we haven't figured out how to use her crest yet! Only Spritemon got to go Ultimate so far, that's unfair, don't you think so?"
"What -" began Joe.
"I love the feeling of digivolving! I want to do it again and again! Did you know that there are some Digimon throughout history who have even reached a level beyond Ultimate? Isn't that WEIRD? Do you think I could try it? I think I'd have to get Adrienne's crest to glow first."
"I bet I turn into something pretty, don't you think so? Adrienne has the crest of Authority so I bet if she's even MORE bossy she can make it work, don't you think so?"
Joe blinked. "Adrienne, you certainly must have had quite a task keeping her quiet in public."
Adrienne rolled her eyes and put her hands on her hips - a gesture that was to become familiar. "You're not kidding. She just has these annoying moments of verbal diarrhoea."
Floramon made a face. "You're saying I talk too much, aren't you? Well, it isn't true you know! I just have a lot to say, and isn't it better to say what's on your mind?"
"I guess it depends on whether you have a mind or not," said Pagumon, and Floramon smacked him on the head (or body).
"The crest of Authority, huh..." muttered Joe, "it's been a while since I heard anything about crests. What are the other two crests?"
"Mine's supposed to be Integrity," said Nathan, his dark face reddening a little, "I don't know how I got it to work. Luck, I guess."
"You're too modest," said Adrienne.
"Someone has to be," said Pagumon, "seein' how everyone else on this team seems to have a big head."
"You included, y'big head," said Floramon. "Yer nothing BUT a big head! Well, not THAT big, seeing as you're just an in-training..."
Otamamon cleared her throat shyly. "Excuse me, can I say something too? Nobody introduced ME."
"That's because Adrienne and her Digimon talk too much," frowned Amy.
"I know who you are," said Joe, smiling at Otamamon, "my friend Mimi once sang at a castle full of Otamamon and Gekomon."
"Ohhh!" squeaked Otamamon, "you mean you know PRINCESS MIMI, the beautiful singer who woke up Lord Shogungekomon?"
"I sure do. Were you there at the time? I visited the castle too, so maybe we've even met before."
"No, I was only hatched a little while ago, but EVERY Otamamon knows about PRINCESS MIMI. She's the savior of musical amphibi-mon-kind!"
Joe sweatdropped. "Kind of a strange thing to be famous for, but okay. So do you digivolve into Gekomon?"
"No..." said Otamamon, with a slightly confused look, "I dunno why, but because I digivolve with Amy's help, I seem to turn out different, and my Champion is called Webmon. If Amy's crest of Charity glows, maybe I can be a Shogungekomon too! Wouldn't that be just AMAZING?"
"All this talking is BORING," said Amy suddenly, standing up, "can't we just hurry up and finish things here so we can save digiworld and start living normal lives again? I have a ballet performance in two weeks."
"We KNOW, Amy," said Adrienne impatiently.
"You only talk about it every day," muttered Pagumon.
"Well, Mr Joe didn't know," said Amy defensively, crossing her arms.
"I bet he didn't want to know either," said Pagumon.
"I must apologise for Pagumon," said Nathan, "he's not as rude as this when he's in his Rookie form. Tell me Joe, is it normal for him to be only an in-training Digimon after reaching Ultimate?"
"Sure it's normal," said Joe, "digivolving to Ultimate level takes up a lot of energy the first couple of times. Our Digimon did it too. I'm sure he'll be Spritemon again soon, just make sure you feed him a lot."
"Hear that!" chirped Pagumon, "lots and lots and lots of food! I like this guy after all!"
It was growing dark; Nathan said his parents would worry if he wasn't home before dark, so they started to walk in what Nathan said was the direction of his house.
"I usually catch the train to university," said Joe, "but I have a car, perhaps I could drive you guys around so you wouldn't have to walk everywhere? I'd be glad to help you when I'm not studying or working... actually, that doesn't happen too often... what did you come to the real world to look for, anyway? Are there any bad Digimon around here?"
"We came to look for YOU," said Adrienne, "the Great Enlightened One said that we had to go find the old digidestined if we wanted to defeat our latest enemies. Even Garnetmon, who's an Ultimate, was no match for these new opponents. He told us how to open the gate back to this world, and he said to assemble you all and bring you back."
"How would Davis know something like that..." wondered Joe under his breath.
"We came back home 'cos we wanted to see our parents, but also 'cos the Great Enlightened One told us that a digidestined named Joe Kido lived in London, so we've been looking for you for the last three days!"
"Why did you want to find me first?"
"Well," admitted Nathan, "none of us know how to speak Japanese, so we didn't know how we'd be able to even find our way around in Japan, let alone find people..."
"We wouldn't even know how to ask someone their name!" said Amy.
"But isn't Da- uhh, the 'Great Enlightened One', isn't he Japanese too?"
"Yeah, but he spoke English to us," said Adrienne.
"Not very well though," added Floramon.
"Don't say disrespectful things of him," said Adrienne, poking her. JOe rolled his eyes; it sounded like Davis had been filling these kids' heads with nonsense.
"So you want me to take you to Japan?" asked Joe, "do you really think your parents would be happy for you to go to another country with a strange man? Do you have enough money for the air fares? And I have another field work session tomorrow, not to mention a test next week..."
Adrienne rolled her eyes. "No, silly, I didn't mean we fly to a totally different country. That would mean we had to tell our parents!"
"So what did you have in mind, just *magically* transport us to Japan in a second?"
"Nathy's Ultimate Digimon is reaaaally cool," said Amy happily, "even if Pagumon is reaaaally annoying!"
"Bite me," said Pagumon.
"Garnetmon has power over space," said Nathan, "he can teleport us all to Japan, we could find the digidestined, and be in the digital world before tea-time!"
Adrienne put her hands on her hips. "You said you're working at a hospital tomorrow? In that case, tell us when you finish so we can meet you there and leave ASAP!"
"Uhh, are you sure about that? I finish my shift at 2am."
Adrienne, still with her hands on her hips, tossed her head. "So, do you care about the digital world at all? You might get the chance to see your Digimon and your old friends again! And if they're in trouble, wouldn't you want to help them? The Great Enlightened One said you had the crest of Reliability, well, it sure doesn't look that way to me!"
Joe put up his hands defensively. "Hey, I didn't mean I'm not planning to help you guys, I'm just pointing out that it might be difficult for you to come meet me at 2am!"
"Can't you get OFF your shift early?"
"I suppose I could take a sickie and just do a single shift. I'd be off by five thirty then."
"Perfect, we'll see you then! Pagumon, hurry up and get eating so you can be ready to digivolve to Ultimate!"
"That's the sort of order I like!"
Joe sweatdropped. "Wait a second, we have to think about this. If it's 5:30pm here, then it's... uh... ohh, I was never a math person, I wish Izzy were here... umm... GMT plus 9, isn't it? That's... two thirty in the morning in Japan."
Adrienne sweatdropped. "Your double shift sounds fine, 2am it is. Good thing we're on school holidays. We'll just have to sleep during the day and climb out the window at night or something."
"Thanks for asking the rest of us what we wanted to do, Adrienne," said Amy sarcastically, "you're so bossy."
"If you have a better idea, I'd like to hear it."
I just can't seem to sleep. I had another weird dream which reminds me of that *really* weird one I had a week ago. I can't help thinking about that dream a lot. TK said I've seemed distracted lately. Well, I can't help that - it felt so REAL, and I'm worried about Gatomon.
The digital gate wouldn't close suddenly unless something went wrong, and if the digiworld's in some kind of trouble, and Gatomon's trapped in there without me... she's only a Champion...
But in my dream, I was in digiworld, and I saw the symbol of the crest of light, a glowing pink symbol hovering in the air in front of me. I took a step toward it and it moved forward - so I followed it.
It took me right to Davis, who was sitting, looking kind of small and alone, in a big, deserted area. Veemon sat beside him, the two with identical glum expressions.
"Hey, Davis," I said, but somehow it wasn't *me* talking, it was the crest of light.
"Kari!" he said, jumping up, happy to see me, "how did you get here? Is the gate open again? Do you have any idea what happened? Where's Gatomon?"
"Davis, you're the only one who can help the three chosen ones," I said, but again, it wasn't really me talking.
"Three chosen ones?" he repeated, "what are you talkin' about, Kari?"
"Authority, Integrity and Charity," I said, "When Integrity's coat of arms reacts, they can open the gate to this world on the point of what used to be Spiral Mountain's peak. Davis, they need back-up. Tell them about us. Tell them how to find us."
"Kari, I still don't know what you're talkin' about. Can'tcha talk clearly?"
"Please guide the three children," I insisted, with the same strange feeling that it wasn't *me* talking, "Davis, help them and tell them to get us."
"But Kari, I don't understand -"
"If you need answers, Gennai's old house - where Koushiro was staying - has a collection of old prophecies and collected data."
"Prophecies about what? Kari, what's going on? Kari, where's everyone else? Why're you tellin' this to me? Kari? KARI!"
I could feel myself being sucked back into the pink light of my crest, and suddenly I was myself again, and I was scared. I reached out my hand to him. "Davis! Help me!" I called, and he made a grab for my hand, but the last thing I saw was his brown eyes, full of confusion and concern, and then he disappeared completely.
I was floating in the pink light and I kept thinking I could see Gatomon out of the corner of my eye, but every time I turned, she wasn't there. Then I heard her say "Kari, you can't see me, your light has faded". And *then* I woke up, and there was just a *glimmer* of pink light in the room around me. When I blinked it was gone, so I might have imagined that part, but...
Weird things have happened to me often enough so that I'm not so sure that was just a dream. It was a pretty specific one if it was. And now I've just had another one; all our Rookie Digimon, and Gatomon, were standing in front of glass walls, and their partners, including me, were on the other side. Everyone was pounding on or attacking the glass, trying to get through to the other side. Then this huge dark cloud swept over us... and I woke up to hear TK in the next room, snoring loud enough to wake the dead.
And that's where I am now. I check the clock - 3:02am. Get a grip, Kari, I tell myself sternly, stranger things have happened, and you need your beauty sleep.
But I am worried about digiworld. Somehow I always felt so connected to it, even before I'd even been there. It doesn't feel right at all to be locked out. I remember at the end of our first adventure, with the eight of us fighting Apocalymon, I was so sure we were going to come back, because I just felt that connection to Digimon, and knew I couldn't be trapped out of it for long.
Now I don't feel any such confidence, and I just can't help remembering that awful dark cloud in the dream I just had...
Davis lay flat in the tall grass, heart pounding, hoping, *hoping* that he'd flattened himself quickly enough. He heard the tell-tale whistle overhead. Veemon, by his side, was breathing heavily. After a moment, the Digimon sat up uncertainly and looked all around.
"He'sh gone. I guesh he didn't see us this time."
"Yeah," said Davis, "I can't believe how quickly he snuck up on us like that."
"Their shurveillence is getting better, Davish," said Veemon, worried, "what are we gonna do?"
Davis sat back and groaned. "Ohhh, I dunno, Veemon. It's startin' to feel like every Digimon around here's an enemy. I HATE sittin' around here feelin' so useless, I should be out there tryin' to SAVE the digiworld!"
"It'll be better when your arm'sh better," said Veemon reassuringly, "I think it's starting to heal."
"Yeah... I know one thing, I'm not gonna try to take on Steeldramon single-handed again!"
"Good idea," agreed Veemon, wincing at the memory of *that* particular fight.
The two friends sat for a while, and Davis pounded the ground with his good hand, frustrated.
"This STINKS, Veemon!" he shouted, "why'd we have to get stuck here like this? What if we never see our friends again? All we have to go on is that weird encounter with Kari, and that was so long ago, I don't even know if it really happened!"
"The others will come, Davish," said Veemon, feeling rather helpless, "nobody eshpects you to save the digital world all on your own."
"Veemon, it's been MONTHS since those kids left!" said Davis, "I bet they forgot all about us and the digiworld. They've probably just decided to stay in their world with their families, when it's safe."
"Don't lose hope, Davish," said Veemon, "I'm sure they'll come through. You know they're not like that!"
Davis sighed. "I just wanna go HOME. This isn't any fun any more."
Veemon didn't say anything, just patted his knee.
"C'mon Davish," he said, "let's get up and try to find a safe place to spend the night."
"Not many safe places left," sighed Davis, but he got up. The two walked along in silence for a while, then Davis suddenly blurted: "I never even got to see my own nephew!"
"Nephew? What's a nephew?"
"June's kid, remember? I was gonna go visit her in the hospital on the day this stupid gate closed! How come those kids can go through but I can't?!"
"They do have different digivice-things."
"It's just not fair."
"My family must be really worried by now. They've probably given up hope of ever finding me. I wonder what the others told them."
"Maybe you haven't been gone all that long, really? What if there's another time difference between worlds?"
"That should be reassuring, but it's not really," said Davis, "makes me feel kinda like I don't really exist any more."
Veemon nodded, and the two walked side-by-side through the long grass, both keeping a close eye out for any sort of enemy.