Chapter 15

The digidestined just stood in awe.

"No! How dare you die on me, you stupid digimon!" Ken yelled at nothing. "Who did this? Who's been controlling me? Tell me."

Ken was about to say more, but the control that Vexilmon had had on him let up and his legs buckled under him. Luckily, Davis still had a firm grip on him

"Whoa. I've got you." Davis assured Ken as his arms, which had been wrapped around the Kaiser's arms and chest, kept Ken from fallen head first on the floor. Yolei suddenly shook her head and blinked multiple times as she looked at her restrainer.

"T-TK?" Yolei said before fainting.

"Hey, I've got a question. What ever happened to Hawkmon." Kari asked, watching TK lift Yolei up. "He just seemed to disappear."

"I'll find him." Lilymon said and zipped off.

"So... I guess this means we won." Davis said. Ken shook off Davis's grip and tried to stand up, but the side effects of Vexilmon's control made him unable to, so Stingmon scooped his partner up in his hand.

"Yeah, that's right! We've got to celebrate." Tai said happily and with that he grabbed Sora's hand and twirled her around. Then he attempted to dance with her.

"No, no, no. You're doing it all wrong." Matt said playfully. "This is how you do a victory dance."

"I can't believe we did it." Ken said from Stingmon's arms as he watched Matt shove Tai out of the way and start doing some weird version of the Tango with Sora. Sora was giving him a very annoyed look.

"Well, just because you never win doesn't mean we can't, oh great Kaiser." TK joked as he handed Yolei to Ex-Veemon to carry. "Admit it, you enjoyed working with us."

Ken looked down and gave TK as skeptical look. He opened his mouth to give a witty comeback, but Lilymon buzzed back with Hawkmon, bound by rope.

"Found him tied and gagged about half a mile from here. Vexilmon definitely did not want him to interfere." Lilymon said as she landed. The celebration came an abrupt stop. Tai patted his pockets until he found what he was looking for and pulled out a pocketknife.

"Is Yolei all right?" Hawkmon said as soon as the gag was off.

"She's going to be just fine. However, I'm not if we don't get out of here soon. This place gives me the creeps." Joe said. "Umm... Just how are we going to get out of here?"

"Good question. The way we went through was a one way entrance. So the answer to that question is I don't know." Izzy said sheepishly.

"There's got to be a way out! We can't be stuck here." Cody said.

"There you are Hawkmon. All done." Tai said as the last of the rope was cut away.

"Thank you." Hawkmon said, stretching.

Suddenly the was a rumble and ground started to shake and crack.

"What's happening?" Mimi yelled.

"Vexilmon probably created this dimension. Without him, the realm is becoming unstable. It's collapsing." Ken said, quickly coming up with a theory.

"Look there!" Davis said, pointing. What he was pointing at was a small hole in the air.

"Stingmon, widen that hole." Ken commanded. Stingmon took out one of his stingers and jammed it into the hole and created a doorway. The larger digimon digivolved while the others who could fit ran out with their partners. As soon as they were out, the ultimate digimon dedigivolved, unable to maintain their forms and Ken's clothes returned to being Davis's old gym clothes. The only digivolved digimon there were Stingmon and Ex-Veemon.

"Aww. It sucks that we can't keep our ultimate forms in the digital world." Patamon complained, realizing where they were.

"What are you complaining about? At least you have armor digivolutions. We've only got champion forms, and we usually can't access them." Biyomon said.

"Oh, stop bickering. I'm too tired for this." TK said. He looked at his D-terminal. "Wow. We're almost eight miles from the nearest television."

"Great. Let's get moving." Matt said flatly. "Now that Vexilmon is gone, we shouldn't have anymore trouble."

"Don't count on it. I swear, we wear neon signs that say 'We're digidestined, come kill us.'" Davis said skeptically. Everyone laughed.

With that they started walking. The energy from the victory crackled in the air. It lasted for a few minutes. Then a question formed in Davis's mind and he looked at Tai, who was walking next to him.

"So... what are we going to do with Ken?"

The question made Tai stiffen and he almost walked into a tree. He hadn't even thought of what they were going to do with their worst enemy! Granted, Ken had saved their lives, but wasn't he still their enemy?

"I have no idea." Tai stated. He looked over to see if the Kaiser could hear the conversation, but it looked like Ken was asleep

"Well, I was thinking, maybe Ken should join our group. I mean, we do work well together. And with what the miniature version of Ken said, he's given some of his most valued secrets about the base and spirals to us." Davis said hopefully.

"Maybe... but I don't trust him. And I'm sure that everyone else will agree with me. I still think that the only reason he fought with us is because he had to." Tai said

"Or he'd be killed. Yeah, I know. That's what Ken said to. He said he was in a trapped position, but I still think he fought by choice and we should trust him."

"You know," Matt joined in the conversation. "I would usually give a person the benefit of the doubt and give the person a chance. But I have to agree with Tai on this one. In my mind, he hasn't earned our trust."

Davis seemed disappointed.

"You know what I think?" Ken said, making all three of the digidestined jump out of their skins. "I think you should stop talking about me behind my back. It's getting very annoying."

All three of the conversers looked at the subject of their discussion. Ken's eyes were closed and he was in a relaxed position. He turned his head and opened his eyes too look down at his former enemies from Stingmon's arms. Ken raised an eyebrow at them.

"You were awake!?" Tai said, staring is utter shock at his adversary.

"No, I was meditating. But you people talk louder than a bunch of Monochromon and I already have a headache. So shut up." Ken said angrily. He went back into his resting position and closed his eyes. The three boys looked at each other and shrugged. They went back to walking in silence when a soft groan came from Ex-Veemon's arms. Yolei sat up and rubbed her eyes.

"Oh man, I've got a major headache." Yolei said, stretching her arms. She looked at her friends, who were staring at her. "What's going on? Last thing I remember was being in that creepy dimension." Yolei looked around. "We're back in the digital world? Did I miss something?"

"You could say that." Kari said. "You don't remember anything?"

Yolei shook her head.

"No. What did I do? Was it really bad?" Yolei said nervously.

"Oh, you know, the usual. Vexilmon takes control of you, you try to beat us to a bloody pile of mucus, we hold you down, and I save the day. Same old, same old." Davis joked.

"You forgot to mention the part where she kissed me." Ken said, raising an eyebrow. Davis stiffened and glared daggers at Ken. Ken just smirked.

"I... kissed... Ken?" Yolei said. Everyone nodded. "EWWW!"

"Oh come now. Half the girls in Tamachi would break their arm to do what you did. Besides, you did have a crush on me." Ken said slyly. Yolei, in response, grabbed a few cherries from a low laying tree and pelted them at Davis.

"How dare you tell him about my fantasies." Yolei said angrily.

"Well, I guess that means our digidestined of love and sincerity is back." Matt said with a laugh. Davis was grinning like a Cheshire cat and trying to shield himself from the incoming fruit but failing miserably. Just then, there was a rustling from the trees above and a large digimon dropped. It stood on two legs and was covered in black fire.

"What! I thought Vexilmon's minions were freed after his deletion." TK said.

"I don't know who Vexilmon is, but I have orders and-" The digimon said.

"Darklizamon! Stop." Ken said, sitting up and glared intensely at the digimon. Darklizamon instantly dropped to one knee and bowed.

"Master. I did not realize you were with these... uh, digidestined fools." Darklizamon said respectively.

"This is one of YOURS!" Joe said, flabbergasted.

"Not exactly." Stingmon answered as Ken dropped from his hand. Ken walked over and stood in front of the group he had been with for the last three days. Darklizamon stood up and towered above the young Kaiser

"Sir, what are you doing with these pests. Aren't they your enemies?" Darklizamon said, indicating the digidestined.

"I'm not in the mood to discuss it." Ken said smoothly.

"Shall I dispose of them?" The digimon said, the fire on its body quivered in anticipation. This time, Ken was at a loss for words.

"Oh great. Just great. Ken knows we're not strong enough for our digimon to digivolve. He's going to attack us while he has the chance." Tai thought desperately.

"Don't do this Ken" Davis thought. "Prove everyone wrong."

Ken opened his mouth to answer, but Darklizamon is a very impatient digimon and he shot his attack, ignoring the Kaiser.

"Dredge Fire!" Darklizamon said and shot straight at the nearest person next to Ken, which happened to be Sora. Ken instantly snapped his fingers and Stingmon acted on it, blocking the fire from reaching the digidestined of love. Darklizamon narrowed his eyes.

"You've gone traitorous on us, sir." Darklizamon accused.

"A lot's happened in the few days I've been gone, Darklizamon" Ken said in almost a whisper. "Things that I don't understand, and that I have to sort out. And believe me, your presence is not helping."

"Traitors must be destroyed. Especially allies." Darklizamon growled. Then he jumped at Ken. But Stingmon was quicker and pierced Darklizamon with his spiking strike. Darklizamon disappeared in front of Ken.

"Who the hell was THAT!" Matt said, enraged. Ken didn't answer right away, so Stingmon answered for him.

"Do you really think that we could have started the empire on our own? That was Darklizamon. He was one of our top allies." Stingmon said.

"You had allies?" Kari asked, unsure of what to think.

"Yeah." Ken said, turning around. "But it doesn't matter." Ken paused. "Look, I don't need to accompany you on walk back to the real world. I don't understand what's going on or what Vexilmon meant. And I surely don't know what that thing in the back of my head is. I'm going so don't follow me. It's annoying."

With that he walked away. He snapped his fingers again and like a trained dog, Stingmon dedigivolved and followed. Everyone else stared at him as he walked away.

"Well now... that was interesting." Tai broke the silence.

"Guys. He just saved our lives! I think he deserves our trust by now!" Davis said

"He said not to follow. Let him go." Izzy said. Davis looked thoroughly confused and disappointed.

"Tai? Remember what happened to me when I left." Matt said.

"Yeah. But you didn't try to destroy us in the beginning. Only after." Tai protested. Matt raised an eyebrow.

"Mm hm." Matt said. Tai seemed to get the message.

"Fine. I'll talk to him. But if I get blasted by either Tyrannomon or Airdramon slaves, someone is going to suffer." Tai said as he went after his former enemy. It wasn't long before Tai was able to catch up with the Kaiser.

"Ken!" Tai called. "Wait."

"Kamiya, what in the digiworld are you doing. I told you not to follow me." Ken said angrily.

"I know, I know. But I deserve to be heard out." Tai sighed, jamming his hands into his pockets

"I'm listening."

"I think you should join us." Tai said quickly. Ken was taken aback by the sudden spurt of friendship.

"What!" Ken practically sputtered.

"Look, I'll be brutally honest with you. I don't like you, and I'm sure you don't like me. But after what has happened, I can't go back to fighting you. You've saved our lives more than once and I don't have the heart to battle someone whom I'm indebted to. Not to mention that the others feel the same way. Now I know this hard for you to accept, but you're one of the digidestined. And whatever Vexilmon meant by the stronger being of darkness, I sure don't want to face it and you. So join us." Tai stated.

"You really mean that, don't you?" Ken inquired.

"Yeah. And whoever this evil is, we'll figure out a way to defeat him." Tai said. "Being in your mind was quite an experience, you know. I think we have more in common than you can imagine. What do you say?"

Ken looked at Tai's hand as he held it out.

"You know, considering how you tried beat me into the next dimension after I'd just saved your life the first time, you sure change your attitude quickly." Ken said

"I think impulsive would be the better word. Of course, it's not as bad as it was when I was your age."

Ken gave one of his half smiles.

"You peculiar, Kamiya." Ken said with a slight laugh. With that he walked toward the direction of the digidestined. Tai looked in shock and Ken stopped. "Well? You digidestined are very strange. I would assume that you would be celebrating the end of a war, but instead you stand there catching flies. I don't have any desire to be controlled by anyone or anything. And obviously, being the digimon Kaiser isn't helping. Until I figure out what's going on, I'm done with this madness."

Tai smiled and walked toward his former adversary. He was still smiling even as Davis said the two words that would bring them home: "Digi-port open." There was a brief flash and almost everyone landed in one big tangled pile.

"Ow. Do we have to go through the Digi-port this way every time?" Yolei complained.

"You people ought to work on your balance. It might help." Ken said. Everyone looked up to see Ken standing on the ground, holding Minomon and smirking at them.

"How'd you get untangled so quickly?" Sora said.

"I never got tangled. I've gone through the port so many times that I learned how to land on my feet. Unlike you, who seem to prefer the human pretzel way of coming through the portal."

"Ha ha. Very funny." Yolei said sarcastically. She was about to say another comeback, but the Digi-port opened and out came Davis, crushing everyone who was tangled.

"Sorry. I just transported Mimi back to New York. She said you should see her some time. Plus she gave me her cell phone so that you can call Mr. Ishida." Davis explained. Matt groaned when he heard his fathers' name.

"Oh man. He's going to kill me when he finds out that he went twenty miles out of the city just to end up picking us up at Odiba elementary." Matt said, trying to pick himself up.

"Actually, I'm just glad to be home." Izzy commented. The all twisted out of their positions and stood up.

"Right." Tai said. Davis handed him the cell phone. "I guess I'll call your dad, Matt. Hey Ken, do you want to call..." Tai looked up, but Ken was nowhere in sight. "home. Sheesh, he left pretty quickly. Maybe we should go after him."

"Nah, he'll show up when he wants to." Matt said. They all nodded in understanding. Then Davis realized something.

"Hey, he's got my gym clothes!"

*A few day's later*

"The young Tamachi genius, Ken Ichijouji, mysteriously reappeared after being gone for over two month's. How he was able to get into his house, since it was locked and the window unreachable, is unconfirmed. And the short term amnesia in which the boy seems to be unable to remember anything from the past couple of months, is not help the police." The reporter said from the TV. "However, his parents are glad he's home and are strictly forbidding interrogation until further notice. Back to you, Sara."

TK shut off the television that was programmed onto the computer. He sighed, then looked at Davis, Kari, Yolei and Cody, the only ones in the computer lab with him. It had been only a few day's since the battles with Vexilmon and now it was time to start taking down spires. However, with the warning they had gotten from Vexilmon, none of the digidestined were to enthusiastic about going to the digital world.

"Well, at least we have the digimon Kaiser off our backs." TK finally said. Kari gave a short laugh.

"Yeah. Except now we have to worry about an even larger enemy." Kari said.

Oh, come on. Don't be such a downer." Davis said.

"How can you be so happy?" Yolei said. "It like you're always on a sugar high!"

"Hey, I wrote the book on how to be happy. And in my professional opinion, I think you should lighten up." Davis said, practically bubbling.

"Professional opinion!? Why you little-" Yolei started to say but the door suddenly slid open.

"Look's like the digidestined have a lot of spare time now that their enemy is gone." The person standing in the door said.

"Ken!"

"I was in the neighborhood and decided to drop off an item. Here you go." Ken said and dropped a plastic bag into Davis's arms.

"You brought back my gym clothes. Thanks."

"Well, see you." Ken said and started to walk away.

"Wait Ken. Why don't you come with us to the digital world? It would be nice to have an extra hand in knocking down the spires." Davis said. Ken turned on his heel. "Besides, we're having a free trial membership this week."

"Trial membership, huh." Ken said, a small smile forming on his usually serious face. "Now how could I pass up a chance like that?"

"Cool! Let's go! Digi-port open" Davis cried.

Once in the digital world, Yolei decided to have a private conversation with her former enemy.

"So how have you been? Your parents seemed to like that you're home." Yolei said.

"Yeah, though my mother wasn't too happy about the fact that I was bleeding in more than one spot, but she'll live."

Yolei laughed. But then she seemed a bit worried about something.

"I can't believe that there's a piece of Vexilmon in my brain. If it's activated again, I could kill you." Yolei said darkly.

"Yeah. But Vexilmon's gone. I wouldn't worry about it." Ken reassured.

"Not worry? What about you? You've got some weird gadget in your brain too. Aren't you scared or confused?"

"A little. But what can I do? I talked to Izumi and we believe, based on the information we have, that it's some type of device that fed off of my emotions and probably led me to becoming the Kaiser. As far as we can tell, it deactivated when Vexilmon tried to make me his slave. And, like your situation, there's nothing we can do about it. You know how TK and Kari say that a digidestined carries a piece of the digital world with them, always. Well, I guess we will really have a piece of the digital world." Ken said, joking on the last part. Yolei laughed.

"You know what, Ichijouji. You're alright." Yolei said kindly. "Welcome to the team."

The End

Authors note: Well, what did you think? I may do a sequel, but I'd have to think of a way to bring Vexilmon back from the dead. Please review and thank you for reading.