Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon.

We still have nightmares.

All of us do. Doesn't matter if we're rich, if we're poor, if we're only in the middle class. Doesn't matter how strong we are, or if we've finally found happiness. The nightmares come all the same.

They come when you least expect it, when you think you're finally safe, when life can't smash you like a bug. That's when they come, and they tear you to shreds. They leave you shaken for days.

We all go through it.

But even so…we're trying. We're trying to live our lives as best as we can, we're trying to live in honor of our lost loved ones, and we're trying…for our children.

Chosen Empire:

Twenty years later

Romainu laughed as she flipped through the pictures in the album. "Look," she said, and showed one in particular to Alaois. He shifted their sleeping daughter to his other arm and reached out to take it.

His eyebrows went up. "Big family," he said and Romainu laughed again. Alaois placed the photo on his knee and pointed at three boys lined up in the middle. "Are these...?"

"Rinchei, Rinchei, and Rinchei," Romainu said, smiling. She bent over to study the photo and pointed at them one by one. "Rinchei Lee"—the one with messy blue hair and gray eyes, the image of his father—"Rinchei Ichinose"—closed-cropped black hair and glasses, the son of Jaarin Lee and her husband—"and Rinchei Saitou."

"Masahiro and Shuichon's love child," Alaois said, frowning down at the boy with floppy purple hair and brown eyes. Romainu pinched him. "Ow! What was that for?"

"Shhh, you'll wake Aoife," Romainu said instead.

Alaois grumbled under his breath. "Whatever happened to your brother and Shuichon, anyway? You never told me."

"You never asked, for one thing," Romainu said as she leaned against his shoulder. "It was something about them being too alike. I don't know, I can't remember for sure. They started fighting a lot towards the end."

"Well they're both settled down now," Alaois said. "So I suppose it doesn't matter."

"No, not at all," Romainu said. She flipped through the album some more before showing Alaois another picture, pointing to the fair-headed boy and the dark-haired girl. "Fion and Ai's son and Makoto and Chiyoko's daughter."

"They look like they're getting along well," Alaois said, looking over. Both of the children were crying in the picture. "Are they going to be here too? Fion and Ai, I mean. They live inFinlandnow, don't they?"

"I think they're planning on moving back, actually," Romainu said absentmindedly. "But for the big reunion? Everyone's coming." She sighed, closed the album, and looked up at the ceiling. "I wonder how everyone else is doing..."

Alaois leaned back in his chair. "I'm sure they're doing fine," he said, thinking of the war twenty years ago that had taken place in a different world. Faces flashed in his mind; some were slightly blurry and unfocused. He let out a long breath.

Silently, their hands touched and intertwined, squeezing tightly. For a while they sat there. Romainu's face suddenly lit up. "Here they are," she said.

They stood up as Masahiro, Shuichon, and their four children made their way over. "Sorry we're late," Shuichon said when they reached them, sounding a little out of breath. "We got stuck in traffic. Shuichi says he's sorry he couldn't pick you up either. How was the plane ride?"

"Don't worry about it," Romainu said. "And it wasn't bad at all." Her eyes passed over the Saitou triplets and she smiled. "They've all gotten so tall."

"You know us?" Nasagi said uncertainly.

"We saw you when you were babies," Romainu said. "You cried a lot, I remember."

Rinchei and Riiko snickered and Nasagi scowled. Out of the three of them, Nasagi was the only one with blue hair, the spitting image of his father. "Well I don't cry now," he muttered to himself.

"No, you don't," Masahiro agreed. "You just tease your brothers and sisters. And this," he added to Romainu and Alaois, bouncing the little girl in his arms up and down, "is Risako."

While Romainu cooed over her, Alaois hefted up his own daughter. "Aoife," he said to Masahiro and Shuichon. Slowly, his face spread into a smile. "It's been awhile, hasn't it?"

"It really has," Shuichon agreed. "Where's Kunemon?"

"At home," Alaois said. "He doesn't like airplanes. Where are Terriermon and Lopmon?"

"At home," Masahiro said, laughing. "They hate car rides, especially with traffic. Come on, our car's outside." He passed Risako to Shuichon and helped Alaois with their luggage. With her free hand Shuichon slung one of Romainu's bags over her other shoulder and reached out to take Rinchei's hand but he complained so she let go.

Together, they headed for the parking lot, Nasagi and Rinchei chatting to themselves. But Riiko remained glued to her mother's side. Romainu glanced down at her. "Hi," she said. Riiko shied away, clutching to her mother's shirt.

Shuichon gently removed it. "No, it's okay," she said. "You remember Romainu, don't you? She took care of you when you were a baby. And do you know what she said about you?"

Riiko shook her head.

"I said you were my favorite," Romainu said, smiling down at her. "It must be strange now, seeing me. How about this? We can start over." She offered her hand to the little girl. "Nice to meet you," she said.

Riiko looked up at her uncertainly and slowly put her hand into Romainu's. "Nice to meet you," she said softly, and smiled.