Digimon is the property of Toei Entertainment. I don't own it. If I did, I'd have sued the Wonderswan gaming corporation for writing the Adventure crew OOC in their games.

I've had this idea for a while now, so I thought I'd go and actually do it. Hope you enjoy!

Summary: While he and Davis are captured by the Digimon Emperor, Veemon has a conversation with an old friend. Takes place during "The Digi-Team Complete."

Veemon slowly opened his eyes. Everything around him was pitch-black. He couldn't see a thing here in the dark.

How had he gotten here? Last thing he remembered, he, Davis, and the others had been attacked by a Snimon, Mojyamon, and Drimogemon under the control of the Digimon Emperor...never mind. He could guess where he probably was now.

"You're awake, I see," a voice said from the shadows. Veemon frowned. Something about that voice...it was so familiar...

"Who are you?!" shouted Veemon. "And where's Davis?" He needed to find his partner so that the two of them could get out of here.

"No need to worry, your little friend is all right," the voice said mockingly. "As for your first question, I am the Digimon Emperor." The self-proclaimed ruler of the Digital World suddenly stepped out of the shadows. "But I believe you, Veemon, know me by another name?"

Veemon gasped. The boy had sprouted up, and his eyes no longer had the kindness that had once shined in them, but any doubts of his identity were cast aside by the Wormmon at his side. "Ken?!"

Ken Ichijouji smirked evilly. "So he does remember me," the Emperor said sarcastically. "I wasn't so sure, considering how he seems to have forgotten his first partner so quickly."

"What are you talking about?" demanded Veemon. "How could I ever forget about Ryo? After what happened to him..."

"Don't play dumb with me!" interrupted Ken. "You've given up on him! You rejected him in favor of that Davis kid! I thought you of all Digimon would have believed in him and waited for his return! Instead you go and partner yourself with another human!" At this point Veemon thought he saw tears in his old friend's eyes and he felt a twinge of sympathy for his old friend. But then, a bigger realization hit him.

"Ken...you're the one who's done all this damage to the Digital World?" Veemon said shocked. "All those poor Digimon under the enslavement of the Dark Rings...why? Wormmon, you're actually going along with this?!" he suddenly asked the small green Digimon who was standing off to the side.

"Sorry, Veemon, but my loyalty is to my partner, so I must do whatever Ken tells me to, even if I don't personally like it," Wormmon explained. In spite of himself, Veemon smiled a little at the worm Digimon's continued immense loyalty to his partner. But then...

"What have I told you?! Never call me that! You are to call me 'Master' and nothing else!" Ken shouted.

"Sorry, Master. I'll try to remember," apologized Wormmon pleadingly. Veemon gasped again. In all the time he and Ryo had known Ken, he'd never seen Ken act that way towards his partner.

"Ken..." said Veemon stunned, "what's gotten into you?"

"What's gotten into me?" Ken sneered. "WHAT'S GOTTEN INTO ME?" he suddenly shouted like a madman. "You don't want to know what's gotten me!" he said darkly to the small Digimon, and for a moment, Veemon thought he saw Millenniummon in those eyes.

However, just as quickly as the moment came, it went, and Ken soon was back to normal. "However, I'm not the one on trial here, you are!" he proclaimed.

"What are you talking about?" asked Veemon confused.

"Veemon, for the crime of betraying the memory of Ryo Akiyama, your fate will be no different than that of the rest of the Digimon under my rule: complete enslavement under the power of my Dark Rings." At this, Ken suddenly held up one of the Dark Rings, their black surface shining in the darkness. Veemon closed his eyes and waited for the inevitable...

It never came. Veemon opened his eyes to see Ken just a millimeter away from placing the Ring around his neck. "Go on, do it!" challenged Veemon. "Ryo's gone, and the Ken I knew is dead, so this is the only way you'll be able to keep my friendship with you!"

Ken suddenly lowered the ring. "No," the Emperor said.

Veemon suddenly grinned. "I knew it! There's some part of you that won't allow you to perform any harm to your own friend's partner! A part of you that knows what you're doing to the Digital World isn't right!"

At this, Ken snickered. "No, but thanks for giving me the best laugh I've had in years!" he chortled. He then went back to his business tone as he continued. "What I meant was that your new partner deserves some punishment for his part in the crime of stealing you from Ryo, so for his penalty, he'll have to watch you being enslaved first-hand!" At this, Ken turned away and walked back into the shadows, laughing evilly, followed closely by Wormmon.

As Veemon watched Ken walk away, he suddenly came to a realization: until the Digimon Emperor was stopped in his goal of conquering the Digital World, the Ken Ichijouji that he and Ryo once knew truly was dead, and should not be called as such.