DISCLAIMER: I don't own Digimon, but I do own the OCs introduced in this story and later stories (except where stated).

Now for the Sixth Book, which'll lead on from where Book Five ended, and cover the time span of several months.

Just to note, in the previous book, I changed the coordinates that Ryder gives Ivy in Chapter 24. I realised they were the wrong ones, so they're now fixed to the correct ones. Sorry about that.

And so, on with the tale, after an age update (the same ages as Demons, of course):

Kari, TK, Yolei – 15

Takato, Rika, Kazu, Davis, Henry, Kazu, Ryo, Jeri, Ken – 16

Mimi – 18

Tai, Sora, Matt, Izzy, Joe – 19

Ai and Mako – 5

Suzie – 10

Cody, Kristy – 11





The Trick To Dealing With Consequences


Shinjuku General Hospital

06:12 JST

5th July 2010

Aches can come in many forms. They can be physical aches, the aches of broken bones and tired legs. They can be mental aches, chief among which is the headache, either caused by ice-cream, mental stress or sometimes coming completely randomly. But of course, the ones that ache the most are the emotional aches. Aches on a heart. Aches that you made a mistake, that you should've done something different.

Ryder Stevens was dealing with all three of these types of ache simultaneously.

"Um…Doctor…is it a bad thing if I can't feel my arm?" he asked, glancing to his left arm worriedly as he felt it go numb.

Dr Imai sighed, looking to the boy. Every minute since Mari had left had been silence until the boy broke it. Dr Imai had been occupied with checking the equipment (still out of curiosity for how he survived death twice) and updating his chart. She glanced up from his chart, prepared to answer his question.

"Hmm…" she pondered, glancing at the heart rate machine, and various other readouts. "I can't see any particular problems, may just be numbness from injuries."

Ryder nodded, glancing to the door as Dr Imai returned to checking his chart. He frowned as he watched the occasional person walk past.'She's not coming back…' he thought, as Dr Imai caught his attention again.

"Ryder, I have to attend to other patients, is there anything you need?" she asked, as Ryder looked back to her.

'Mari for one thing…' "No thank you" he answered, she nodding in response and leaving, as Ryder watched the door, before looking down to the bed sadly.

He had done it again. He'd managed to lose everything once again, and this time it was his own fault.

'What the hell was I thinking when I told Mari about kissing Ivy? More to the point, what was I thinking when I kissed Ivy in the first place?'

Ryder sighed, looking to the door in the vain hope that Mari had returned by now. She naturally, had not.

'I wish MiniDonmon were here…someone to talk to at least…where is he anyway? I hope he's okay…' he thought, glancing to his D-Vice and carefully moving his other arm, thankfully the one what was significantly numbed, to it's screen. He carefully flicked through the screens, thankful to see that MiniDonmon was intact and healthy.

He sighed, leaning back down on the pillow, thankful that it was soft. Being more uncomfortable than he was didn't seem like a good idea.

"I hate hospitals" he commented. "Operations mainly…" he added, speaking to no-one in particular as he closed his eyes.

Did anyone even know he was awake? Was Mari ever going to come back for him? He wouldn't have been surprised if she didn't…but…he just couldn't see her doing something like that. He just hoped that Mari would at least listen to him long enough for him to explain what happened.

He pressed his arms down, trying to push himself up, before collapsing back on the bed in pain.

'Great…' he thought sarcastically. 'So I have no entertainment, no-one to talk to, and I'm in pain…well, my life has taken a turn for the worse."

He glanced to the side, at the heart rate monitor, displaying his heart rate for all to see. He breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn't displaying a big fat zero. He shook his head, rolling his eyes at himself. Of course it wasn't zero, if it was zero, he'd not only be unconscious, but dead too.

But, by the sounds of it, death wasn't as terminal as he thought it would be. How on earth had he managed to survive death? No, it wasn't surviving. He'd died, and then came back.

So much told him that that was impossible. His whole life he'd accepted as fact that when he died, he'd be dead. But here he was, having conclusively died twice and somehow come back to life again. It was definitely a turn up for the books.

Was it because he was an Angel? Was it something else entirely? Was it because of…that?

Ryder frowned; he didn't like to think of that much. It made everything seem so insignificant. It was like…seeing a picture of some galaxies, and being told that the Earth is not even visible on it. So much empty space, so much insignificance.

And yet, this was far more than that. Ryder couldn't even understand it himself. It just made absolutely no sense.

But why would that make him survive? Clearly, if the universe hadn't collapsed upon his arrival here, then he wasn't that important in the grand scheme of things for it.

He contemplated the light he had seen on both of the occasions of dying. It had saved him from death. It had thrown him out of the dark space, the nothingness that was beyond life, the universe and everything. Ryder winced at the thought; it was something he really didn't want to contemplate. But what was that light? It was like an explosion, a huge vortex erupting and saving him.

Ryder groaned. Everything had gotten just that much more confusing. He'd died, then survived, then visited his world again in ghost form and physically affected it, learnt that he'd left behind a feather, and then died and came back again.

How had he managed to go to another world, even when unconscious? At first he thought it was only his memories he was seeing, but he was seeing something he knew was real. It just was real. He knew it was. Feeling her warm hand, her blonde hair, feeling her lips touch his so gently and soft…

"Stupid mind…" Ryder muttered under his breath. His mind had a habit of wandering like this, no matter how much he tried to avoid it. In fact, attempting to avoid it normally provoked whatever he was trying to avoid thinking about. Be it a kiss in another world, or a murder he had committed of a Demon, his attempts to get it off his mind would simply bring it on with resounding force to dominate his thoughts.

He tried to pull his mind away from the kiss, thinking about the feather that had appeared. When he'd been holding it, it had felt warm, fiery even, and incredibly soft. It was also beautiful in the way that the equally fiery colours ran along it, perfectly formed without a single imperfection beyond where Ivy's gentle hands had held it mere seconds before, turning it over and peering at it with her wide brown eyes, the…

"STOP IT!" he exclaimed, before noticing that he had yelled that out a bit too loud, as a passing doctor peeped his head into the room.

"Um…are you okay?" the doctor asked, Ryder looking up and nodding, scratching the back of his head in embarrassment.

"Oh…yeah, yeah, I'm fine."

"Okay…" the man replied, walking away muttering something about a "mental patient". Ryder sighed, settling his head back down again, as he stared at the ceiling, feeling his mind drift again, this time to Mari, thankfully for him. He wasn't sure how much he could take of his tangential mind in the state he had found himself in upon waking up.

He remembered how he'd woken up, and she was there, looking over him, her beautiful brown hair creased with worry for him. She really cared about him; she'd been by his side even when he was unconscious and worse. In his minds eye, he saw MegaDonnermon and Youkomon avenging the Mammothmon's actions and blowing both it and the Bakamon to smithereens, while Mari ran over to him. Her hair ruffled by the wind as she stared down at his injuries, eyes fraught with worry as she watched the ambulance arrive, the phone call to provoke it being but a distant memory as she stared on at his form, unknowing as to whether he'd ever recover.

Ryder chuckled. His mind definitely had a way of describing things with dramatics as well. It had served him well for explaining and describing things both in and out of battle in the past, and no doubt would serve him well in the future.

"Hmm…" Ryder pondered, recalling Mari's appearance from earlier. He'd been far too dazed to take much notice, but thinking back, she'd changed it. The main thing he'd noticed is that she looked a lot more mature. That's not to say that her old haircut hadn't looked mature, nor that she wasn't mature in the first place (well, most of the time at least), but the new one seemed to give a look of wisdom to her eyes. 'Could be because of the Angel thing though…I mean, she has only been an Angel for…' Ryder paused, looking to his D-Vice carefully so as to minimize the pain. He found it amusing that he had no idea what day it was. He was thankful that he hadn't lost too much time; it was only the day after the accident. '…two days…' he finished, frowning. So much had happened in two days, and so much he'd managed to do wrong.

He closed his eyes again, sighing as he relaxed down, but pausing as he felt something strange.

"Huh?" he pondered, opening his eyes again. 'Is that the flow of time?' he asked, noting a familiar yet strangely different feeling. He'd never been that sensitive to the flow, it took something pretty major normally to register in his mind. But now, it not only seemed like he could sense a far weaker range of the effects of time, but also he could sense longer distances, beyond the few metres he used to be able to feel. 'That's strange…' he thought, pondering what could've caused such a drastic change in his powers as an Angel. Was it dying? Was it the coma? Or was it his inter-dimensional trip? Whatever it was, it had definitely changed something.

A tingling feeling ran through the time stream, getting closer and closer as Ryder concentrated on it, concerned as to what it could be. It felt like a disruption in the flow of time, but what could it possibly be?

"Ryder?!" asked a familiar voice, as Ryder smiled.

'Make that, who could it possibly be…' he corrected, pushing himself up the pillow slightly (and slightly painfully as well) with his elbows, and looking at the new figure at the door.

"You're alive!" cheered a girl with red hair flowing free (and yet strangely in straight lines) to just below shoulder height. Ryder was always slightly puzzled as to why her hair was somehow a brighter red (albeit still not bright red) than Rika's. Then again, that was the way genetics (and Angels) worked. She looked extremely cheerful to see him alive as she paced over to his bed, Ryder noticing Realmon standing on her shoulder with her tails fanned out, smiling her equivalent of a smile.

And on her head…no…wait…make that now, Ryder's bed, sat an ecstatic MiniDonmon, as he tumbled along the sheet for a bit (inadvertently landing on Ryder's injured side and making him wince) before coming to a stop on the sheets above Ryder's chest, a look of concern replacing his happiness as he saw his Tamer's pained expression, before cursing himself for not remembering the fact that Ryder had sustained serious injuries.

"Oh…sorry…" he apologised, Ryder moving into a smile as the pain subsided.

"Don't worry" he answered, merely glad to see his partner as they simply smiled to each other. They hadn't been separated for this long since they'd first met.

"When did you wake up?" Rey asked, smiling at the happy scene.

"About half an hour ago…Mari told me I died in the process…again…"

"Well Ryder, I have to hand it to you, you are one stubborn boy…" Rey joked.

"Yeah, even death wasn't enough to hold you down" Realmon added.

Ryder chuckled, before his expression turned more serious. "Okay, joking aside, you're from the future, how on earth did I survive death?"

Rey shrugged. "No idea, haven't found out yet" she replied. "Maybe it's some kind of special power…maybe you're not of this earth…" she replied, making a ghostly noise. Ryder didn't smile, his mouth turning into a line.

"I already know I'm not of this Earth Rey…" he answered. "And I'm not human either, so who knows…" he added, pausing for thought.

"Me even less so…" she joked.

"Hey, maybe it's because I don't have a Destiny or a Fate or something?" he asked, cocking his head, his attention drawn to the downturn in Rey's expression upon mentioning Fate. What, did it have bad connotations in her mind? Did she prefer being called Destiny over Fate or what?

Her expression turned to a smile again, as she shook her head. "Nah, if you're outside Destiny, you can still die, Destiny just controls those within its clutches, it couldn't care less about anyone outside."

Ryder nodded, frowning. Whatever it was, this mystery wasn't going to be solved easily by any means.

Rey suddenly had a thought cross her expression, as she glanced around. "Hey, you said Mari was here earlier, where did she go?" she asked, cocking her head.

Ryder frowned. That was all the answer Rey needed, as she groaned.

"Oh for god's sake, what did you do this time?"

Ryder frowned. "Kissed another girl…" he replied, frowning.

Rey cocked an eyebrow. When on earth did he kiss another girl? He'd been unconscious for the past day, at what point did he somehow get up and kiss someone? And who did he kiss? Was it one of the other Tamers? Did he secretly harbour feelings about someone else in their group other than Mari?

Rey mentally shook her head; she was letting her mind wander way too much. 'It's not likely that any others will have the same situation, I mean, it's unlikely enough…' she thought. "So, who was it?"

"Uhh…" Ryder murmured, trying to figure out what to say. Rey frowned, walking up to him and putting her hand on his head, pulling off a remarkable impression of her own mother in her tone of voice and body language. Basically, it read, 'tell me the truth or you'll never recover from your injuries, got that?' Of course, she shortened it in the verbal form to a far more succinct reply.

"Spill it…" she said. "Who was it?" she asked.

"Ivy…" he answered, unease in his tone and expression as his gaze deviated from her. Rey stood up straight again, moving her hand away and pausing. She frowned as the realisation dawned on her as to what he was talking about. She frowned.

'Who else?' she thought, realising she should've guessed it beforehand. Or maybe not, how had he somehow gotten out of bed without anyone seeing him and gone to another universe, one he seemed to have no method of returning to? "How?" she asked, summing up her thoughts.

"It was like a dream…I had several dreams actually, but it was the most important one…I was able to move about my own house, and she was there…and then…then I was at my funeral…and I wanted to hug her so much, and then I grabbed her hand, and, all of a sudden, she can see me…and it was really real and everything…I think I somehow became real for a short amount of time…and then, we talked for a bit, and then I kissed her…"

"Well, I think Mari should see that as an honest mistake…"

"…three times…" he added nervously.

Rey frowned, sitting down on the edge of his hospital bed as all sympathy escaped her voice, to be replaced with exasperation. "Oh Ryder, how do you manage it? Again, and again, and again, and again, you somehow manage to cock everything up…" she groaned.

"I know, I've noticed that too…I mean, I was being honest with her, I told her what had happened when I woke up, and then she just walked out…I didn't even get a chance to properly explain everything…"

"The truth is not always the best thing" Rey quoted, looking back into his eyes.

"But I'm not going to get anywhere with her if I'm not honest so…so I decided to tell her…and look how it ended up…" Ryder replied, frowning. "She deserves to be with someone better than me, I can't even think straight when I'm awake, let alone in my dreams…" he answered, looking forlornly down at his partner, who frowned in response.

Rey walked forward, putting her hand on Ryder's cheek gently. "Ryder…" she said softly. "I'm sure that you two can work things out…you work so well together…"

"Yeah…thanks…" Ryder replied, looking into her eyes again. Rey paused, looking back into his eyes with her hand on his cheek for a short while, before Ryder gave her an odd look. She quickly turned away, deciding to change the subject and get away to clear her head for a while. Realmon grinned, looking to her partner's expression. Maybe this was what was bothering her…

"So, I'll call the others and get them to come…" she said, not looking back to face him as he watched her, cocking an eyebrow at her change in behaviour all of a sudden as she walked to the door, Realmon leaping onto her shoulder.

"Yeah, okay…" he replied. Rey took a single glance back, before proceeding through the doorway, leaving a confused Ryder in her wake.

'What was THAT about?' he thought, looking with a bewildered expression down to his partner.


And so, I'm back onto writing again, and here we go with a new fic. A lot of reflection in this chapter, but the action should resume soon.

Next time…

Will Mari come back to see Ryder? What will Renamon do with the egg? How did Ryder survive death itself?

Find out in 'The Trick To Escaping Renamon's Wrath Alive', Chapter Two of Dimensions Book Six: Tricks.