The Greatest Power
Chapter 1 -- Before The Return

(Author's Note: This is a TK/Kari fic, but expect Tai/Sora and Matt/Mimi in there as well. It's definatly a romance fic, but it'll have plenty of action in there, too. This fanfic is set 4 years after the defeat of Apocalymon and writen before the second Digimon series came to America, so no characters or plots from that series are in this story. Also, so nobody has to fight to think of how they changed in looks, just imagine the TV characters taller and more mature looking, I wont make reference to their clothes so you can imagine them however you want, I thought that would make it easier on you.Last thing, all money in this fanfic is american, even if the storyline is based in japan, another attempt to make it easier on the readers.)

"Hey, Tai, what's taking so long?!" Kari shouted, pounding on the bathroom door. Tai had been in there for at least an hour getting ready for a date with Sora that wouldn't start for another 2 hours. "You aren't the only one who needs to get ready, you know!" Kari added.

"Hang on, Kari!" Tai shouted through the door. "I'm almost done, just gotta get my hair to stay put!" Kari knew that meant at least another half an hour, her brother's hair couldn't stay if you dropped a bomb on it. Kari decided to try and get ready as best she could in her room and started to walk down the hall to it. She was suppose to meet up with TK for one last trip to the local arcade before their big return to the Digiworld. The entire group had been away for almost two years now, ever since the oldest of them started entering high school hey haven't been able to go back. It used to be a monthly thing till the schoolwork got harder and everyone was in need of summer jobs.

Kari entered her room and immediatly picked up a hair brush sitting on a vanity mirror near the door. She stood in front of it and stroked her short length brown hair with it. She never seemed to like it any other way, no matter how many ways she tried to put it, it just never seemed right. Kari finished brushing out all the tangles and knots in her hair when she heard a loud crash in the bathroom. That usually meant Tai got so frustraited over his wild hair that he knocked over everything. Kari set the hairbrush down and walked out to the bathroom to watch what happened next.

The bathroom door opened and Tai fell out and onto the floor, his hair the exact same as when he went in, the way it had looked for as long as Kari could remember. "Your turn, sis..." Tai managed to get out before crawling back to his room in defeat. Kari laughed at the sight, then went into the bathroom to get ready. She went through the usual routine, washed face and hands, fixed hair, brushed teeth, until she felt ready. Kari was a lot faster in the bathroom than Tai, so soon she went back to her room to finish up. After spraying on a bit of perfume she got from TK on her last birthday, she looked over to the night stand near her bed and saw her tag and crest lying there. Kari walked over and picked it up, looking into the Crest of Light for a second before putting it on. It was just a replica of the original, since the real ones were destroyed, but it was still an importaint think to have for her. She couldn't help but wear it all the time, especially around TK since he always seemed to be wearing his crest, too. Almost as soon as the group had gotten back from beating Apocalymon, they all had replica crests made to remember the Digiworld with.

"Hey, Kari!" Tai shouted from his room. "You know what I did with my crest?" Tai wore his crest too, but usually only on dates with Sora, which were often enough anyway. Kari could hear the sounds of thrown clothes and moved stuff from Tai's searching.

"Um... have you tried around your neck?" Kari joked. She started to think of where Tai would lose his own crest when she realized the sound from his room suddenly stopped.

"Uh... Thanks, Kari..." Tai said in a meak voice. Kari couldn't believe it, her joke had been dead on. She could almost see the look on Tai's face when he realized he had been wearing it already and couldn't help but laugh again. Tai popped out of his room suddenly, sporting all his usual clothes, from his blue shirt to the goggles on his forehead. "So how do I look? Tai asked his sister. He struck one of those "Tell me I look good even if I don't" poses, which never worked anyway.

"Tai, you look the way you always do." Kari said. Tai looked down at himself and realized the same thing. "You spent all that time just to look like you do every day?" Kari said, laughing again.

"Well I want to make sure everything's perfect, this might be the last normal date me and Sora might be on in a while." Tai tugged at his gloves, then at his goggles, trying to fit everything just right. Tai and Sora had been dating for a solid year now and the two were definatly in love. Kari had tried that whole year to see what was so big about being in love.

"Tai, you look fine." Kari said, trying to reassure her brother. "Sora won't think any less of you if you went in my clothes." She was also trying to lighten him up a bit, something she was usually good at. Tai couldn't help but giggle a little.

"Maybe you're right, I have been acting silly." Tai smiled. "Maybe next time I should just go in normal clothes and stop hogging the bathroom from now on." Kari was about to respond when both her and Tai heard their mom call from the fromt room.

"Tai! Kari is due at TK's house in a little while, you'll need to take her down there soon." Tai and Kari exchanged glances before walking towards the door. On their way out, their mom handed Kari a ten dollar bill. "Now you behave at TK's house and don't stay at the arcade too long, you've got a big day tomorrow." Kari took the ten and put it in her pocket, then hugged her mom goodbye. The parents of the Digidestined knew about the Digital World now and knew their kids were in good hands there, so they didn't mind them visiting there, even for a long period of time. Tai headed out the door with Kari in tow. Since Tai couldn't drive by himself yet the two had to walk from their apartment to TK's house.

Once the two got down to the street and were heading towards TK's house, Kari was tempted to ask a few things to Tai and after thinking about it, decided why not. "Hey Tai, can I ask you something?" Kari asked, looking up at her brother.

"Sure, anything." Tai responded. "What's up?"

"Well..." Kari started. She was unsure of how to ask at first. "Why have you and Sora been going out for so long? It seems like you two have a date every weekend." Tai was, to say the least, surprised by the question.

"Well, um, I..." Tai wasn't sure what to say. *Is Kari interested in dating?* he kept thinking to himself. "Me and Sora are in love, Kari, we like spending a lot of time together. It's something older kids go through eventually." Tai couldn't help but think of Kari as a little kid, even if she was 12 now, older than when he first got his crush on Sora. "Why do you ask?" Tai couldn't help but see if Kari really was thinking about dating someone.

"No reason, I guess." Kari answered. "It just seemed strange you spend so much time with her, that's all. It seemed kind of silly to me, I guess." This was a big relief for Tai. When he first dated Sora he was 14 and his mom argued about dating so young, he couldn't imagine how their mom would react to Kari dating. "C'mon, Tai!" Kari suddenly said, now ahead of Tai. "Gotta pick up the pace or we'll be late!" Kari was now at a slow running pace toward TK's house.

"Kari, wait up!" Tai shouted, running to catch up with his little sister, now already a good distance ahead of him.


At that same time, Izzy was sitting on a park bench, typing away on his familiar yellow labtop. Ever since their adventures in the Digital World came to an end, he seemed to work on his computer better outside and in the open. Izzy was busy with something he had started since the first days they were in the Digiworld. Namely, the letters on the inside wall of the Digivice's shrine where they met Centarumon. Even after all this time he still couldn't get it translated for some reason.

"Hey, Izzy!" Izzy suddenly heard behind him, startling him. He looked behind him to see Joe and Mimi, staring at him like they had been watching him work for hours.

"Hi Joe, hi Mimi!" Izzy said, still stunned a little. Joe was still wearing his old glasses since he complained about contacts itching him too much. Izzy was surprised to notice Mimi still hadn't gotten a replacement for the hat that fell off her head when they left the Digiworld, but the rest of her outfit didn't change, still pink from head to toe. Izzy noticed something else, as well. "Hey Mimi, where's Matt? I thought he'd be with you." Mimi suddenly got an angry look across her face.

"Why would I be with that jerk?" Mimi replied harshly. "We got into a fight after he gave me that attitude of his! I just wanted to browse through a dress shop we passed as we were walking to the movie theater and he blew up!" Izzy and Joe felt like they had heard this story before, and actually they had. Mimi and Matt had been dating about 6 months now, but they were constantly getting into fights over one thing or another. If they were together and not fighting, though, you could easily tell how in love the two were.

"Izzy, if you dont mind, I heard this story a few times too many today." Joe said. Mimi gave him an annoyed look before shaking it off and taking a seat on the bench Izzy was sitting on. "So what were you working on before you noticed us?" He asked Izzy, who was back to typing on his computer.

"I'm trying to translate the characters and letters I discovered in the Digivice's temple." Izzy explained. "I believe it holds a secret we need to know about, especially if we're going back tomorrow." Izzy returned to his task quickly.

"Oh no, not all that again!" Mimi complained, looking at the computer screen. She never let Izzy down for that incident in the temple maze 4 years back. "All this time and you still can't get that dumb wall figured out?!"

"Mimi, calm down!" Izzy said nervously. "Outside the Digiworld, my computer doesn't know the characters as well, it takes a much longer time to..." Izzy stopped his explination when noticed he had just recieved an e-mail. A quick click on it and the familiar animation of Gennai walking across the bottom of his screen appeared.

"Greetings, Digidestined!" Gennai said. Izzy realized an e-mail couldn't tell only three of them were present. "Since only three of you are there I'll make this brief." Izzy forgot Gennai's e-mails had a way of predicting situations. "I have found all of your Digimon companions and they will be on File Island, still with no knowledge of your return visit. The doorway to the Digital World that opens tomorrow should set you down right beside them, so be prepaired." Izzy, as well as Mimi and Joe, was surprised at how well Gennai was prepairing for their return. "I'll let you go now, the pizza guy just came by and I don't want the pizzas to get cold, farewell." The Gennai on the screen faded out as he said those last words.

*Typical Gennai* Izzy thought to himself, shutting down his computer.

"I can't wait to see Palmon again!" Mimi said suddenly. "I wonder if she's still got that hat I lose when we left..." Last time they were in the Digiworld Palmon had found the hat that fell off Mimi's head when they left four years ago. She was wearing it for shade last time she saw Mimi.

"Well you'll find out tomorrow." Izzy said, getting up from the bench. "Just make sure you bring your Digivices and Crests, just in case. We've been gone a long time, there's no telling what's happened since we left." Joe suddenly looked nervous from Izzy's words.

"Izzy, if you dont mind, this trip's get me on edge as it is." Joe said. "It's been years since I've even thought about an evil Digimon, now I might see or fight one?" Izzy dropped his head. He knew Joe would do something like that.

"Relax, Joe!" Mimi said before Izzy could. "Even if we do, we'll have our Digimon with us, we're going to drop in right beside them, right Izzy?" Izzy quickly nodded in agreement, then looked down at his wristwatch.

"Whoa, I forgot about the time!" Izzy said with a slightly scared tone in his voice. "I was suppose to home an hour ago, I've gotta go!" Izzy was about to run off when Mimi got up from the bench.

"So we're suppose to meet in the center of the park at noon, right?" Mimi asked, expecting an answer from either Joe or Izzy.

"Yeah, but it'll probably be delayed for a while, depending on how late Tai is." Joe said. Mimi and Izzy couldn't even tell if he was serious or joking, but either way they knew he was probably right, Tai was rarely on time for these meetings.

"Oh, I just remembered, I don't have a thing to wear for the trip!" Mimi said suddenly, running off. "I gotta hit the mall, guys, see you tomorrow!" Both Joe and Izzy watch her run off towards the mall until she was out of sight.

"I'll bet anything she comes tomorrow wearing exactly what she's wearing now..." Joe said silently, turning toward Izzy, but he wasn't as his side anymore. Joe looked behind him to see Izzy running off towards his house, apparently with no time to say goodbye to Joe. "Why do I suddenly have a sinking feeling about this trip?" Joe was worried about meeeting up with any evil Digimon, but also happy he'd be seeing Gomamon again. Joe started back for his house to get ready for tomorrow, more worried about it than when he first came into the park.


Tai and Kari were now just a block from TK's house. Luckily it was close to Tai and Kari's appartment, but Kari didn't like it that her mom didn't trust her to go by herself. She was 12 years old now, nearly an official teenager, and a lot more mature from her trials in the Digiworld, she hated being treated like she was still 6 years old. To her mom, though, walking to TK's house was more dangerous than the Dark Masters.

They were just a house or two away now and Tai suddenly noticed Kari looked nervous somehow. *She would't be nervous about seeing TK, would she?* Tai wondered. Ever since she asked Tai about Sora and him, he couldn't help but keep thinking it was possible. *She was mature for her age, sure, but still...* The more Tai thought about it, the more confused he became. He thought about asking her directly, but she could just as easily deny it, too...

"Hey, Tai! Where are you going?" Kari suddenly said. Tai snapped out of his trance of thought and looked behind him. Kari was standing in front of a walkway to the door of TK's house, looking at Tai like his head was on fire.

"Whoops..." Tai said, scratching the back of his head. "Sorry, Kari, guess I lost track of things for a sec." Tai quickly walked back to where Kari was before the two walked to the door. Kari reached for the doorbell, but she looked hesitant to push the button. *She's definatly nervous...* Tai thought, watching her hand shaking a little. *She's never acted like this before... not this much, at least, but she seems... I don't know... it's weird...* Tai reached for the doorbell and rang it for Kari, who was still shaking a bit. The siblings waited about half a minute, which Kari mainly used calming down, before the door opened. Tai's jaw nearly fell open when he saw who had answered the door.

"Surprised to see me here, Tai?" Matt said with a cocky grin on his face. Tai was, too, so was Kari for that matter.

"Hey, Matt!" Tai said to his friend. "What are you doing over at TK's house? I thought you didn't get to visit very often?" Tai quickly took notice that Matt looked a lot happier and relaxed than usual.

"That might not be the case much longer." Matt replied, walking back into the house. "Come on in and I'll explain things a bit better." Tai and Kari followed him into the front room of the house where TK was sitting. As soon as he saw Kari, TK got up and ran over to his best friend. The two gave eacch other a friendly hug to say hello before Matt walked over to a doorway leading to the kitchen. "Take a look for yourself, Tai." Matt was leaning against the side of the doorway, looking in on whatever was happening in there. Puzzled, Tai made his way over to Matt and looked into the kitchen. This was the biggest surprise yet. There was TK and Matt's parents, smiling and talking to each other. Tai also noticed they were holding hands.

*Great, as if I wasn't confused with everything else as it is...* Tai thought to himself. "What's going on?" Tai asked Matt, still looking at the sight.

"Remember when we fought with Apocalymon?" Matt asked, looking back at Tai. Tai turned his head and gave Matt a strange look as if to say 'Did you even have to ask?'. "Okay, stupid question..." Matt admitted, continuing. "As it turns out, my parents were watching me and TK fight and they were holding hands the entire time. Somehow seeing us fight together made them realize a few things. They started dating all over again and now they're actually talking about getting married again." Tai could tell how happy this made Matt, he'd be able to live with his little brother and mom again.

"So why isn't Mimi here to hear such good news?" Kari suddenly said from behind Tai and Matt. Matt's expression suddenly changed from a happy one to an annoyed one like Kari had just said something to insult Matt.

"Why would she be here?" Matt replied, now with a cold tone in his voice. "All she ever does is drag me to dress shops and shoe stores, I can't stand how vein she is!" TK, Kari and Tai all rolled their eyes, remembering those same words from about 3 weeks ago, the last time Matt and Mimi got into a fight. Every time this happened, Matt had the exact same reasons in mind.

"Hey, Kari." TK said, eyeing the wall clock. "Maybe we should get going, any later and we won't have enough time to have any fun!" Kari considered any time with TK fun, but since she did want to have plenty of time, and get away from Matt before he started one of his famous Mimi rantings, she nodded and followed TK to the door.

"TK, be careful!" Matt called to his brother, shaking off his mood for a moment. Matt was always as protective of TK as Tai was of Kari.

"No problem, Matt!" TK called back, opening the door for Kari. "The arcade's right down the street, you know!" With that TK followed Kari out the door, shutting it behind him. Matt couldn't help but wonder why Kari would be concerned about his so called girlfriend. It didn't matter, though, like every time Matt and Mimi got into a fight, Matt was positive this was the end of him and Mimi... much to his regret...

"Well, I'd love to stay and see how this works out between your parents." Tai said, looking at the clock himself. "But I've gotta get to Sora's house, if I'm late for another one of our dates she's going to strangle me!" Tai was joking, but he had a gut feeling it was true, too.

"Alright..." Matt said, kind of depressed at the moment. "Just try to be on time tomorrow, We've been waiting a long time to get back to the Digiworld and I'd rather not wait for you this time." Matt was bringing up the last time they went back, two summers ago. Tai was nearly an hour late and they almost went without him. Matt's never eased off of him about it since.

"Matt, relax!" Tai said, making his way to the door. "I want to go back as much as you, no way I'm going to be late for this!" Tai took another look at the wall clock and ran out the door, realizing he was almost late as it was. As soon as Tai was out the door, Matt took one last look at his parents before finding a spot on the living room couch to sit. Thoughts of Mimi, TK, his parents, it was like everything was pulling him in every direction at once. It was definatly Matt's turn to have too much to think about.


TK and Kari didn't have much trouble getting to the arcade. Like TK said, it was just down the street and only by a few blocks. It seemed like every time TK and Kari came here they found a new game, not that the place was that big, just they were the only arcade in town that kept the newest games in.

"So what looks good?" TK asked Kari as soon as they had entered. TK had a bit of impatience when it came to having fun, that's something about him Kari learned fast.

"Well..." Kari began. "Some of these new games seem kind of..." Kari's eyes fell on a white pod-like contraption. "...exotic." she finished. Both TK and Kari had read about this game, it was like a flight simulator, it rocked and spun you around wildly and the main objective was to get control of the pod. It was unique, but not up there ally, to say the least. The two rounded through the arcade, looking over all of the video games available. Everthing you'd expect to find was there, one on one basketball shooting, a row of classic games, even one of the new jet ski games. As it turns out, that one was right next to the white pod game.

"Well since that overgrown egg gives me the creeps," TK said, pointing over his shoulder at it. "wanna play the jet ski game?" Kari couldn't help but giggle a little, the game did look like a giant egg now that she thought about it.

"Sure, why not?" Kari said, smiling. She reached into her pocket to pull out some loose quarters, then looked at the price on the machine. "$2 a play? How do they get away with that?" Kari started to put her change away but TK grabbed her wrist gently, stopping her.

"Here, how about we split the cost?" TK offered. "I'll pay a dollar if you will." TK smiled at Kari, making it hard for her to refuse. She grabbed four quarters from her hand full of change and put them into one of the coin slots while TK put in four of his own quarters. The game made a chiming sound, meaning it was ready to play. Kari smiled at TK before walking to get on the jet ski. Before she could, though, a much bigger kid, easily a high school senior, stepped onto the game, knocking Kari out of the way.

"Thanks for the free game, kids!" The guy said, grinning viciously. He was wearing a blue t-shirt and baggy pants that were fastened low, letting the top of his boxers hang out. He also had a baseball cap on with the bill on backwards, letting a lock of spiked brown hair hang out of the hole in the cap.

"What do you think you're doing?!" Kari said, showing some anger, a rare thing from Kari. If it was at any other time, TK would have been surprised by the outburst.

"Well I think I'm going to play this video game on your two bucks, any problem with that?" The guy was starting to sound like a kid Matt told him about from his school. He was the biggest punk in the entire school, he thought he owned everyone and everything and didn't hesitate to show it.

"You bet I have a problem with that!!" Kari was really mad now, TK had never seen her like this before. "Me and my friend paid for that game, no way we're just going to let you take it!" The guy was obviously getting annoyed and stepped off the game, walking towards Kari, making her walk backwards some.

"Who, your 'boyfriend' over there?" He said, pointing at TK, who was beside the white pod game now, watching what was happening. "He hasn't lifted a finger to do anything about it, he's as pathetic as you." The kid started shoving Kari a little, pushing her back even more. The sight made something in TK's mind snap instantly, like an instinct he hadn't used in forever.

*I have to protect Kari!* He thought to himself, grabbing some change from his pocket. He pulled it out and dropped four quarters into the egg shaped game beside him. The door on the side slid open, which was facing Kari and the high schooler. Without even thinking about it, TK moved to a spot that put the high schooler between the pod and himself, then rushed forward, knocking the guy into the pod game. The door immediatly shut, locking him in until the ride was over, then the egg started shaking and turning, tossing and pitching the guy around in the machine. TK grabbed Kari by the wrist and the two ran for the door, needing to getting out of the arcade as soon as possible, if not because the pod only lasted a minute or two, but also because they knew the manager wouldn't be too happy about this.

Once the two were far enough away, they found a bench to sit on and catch their breathes. The two were exausted from running all the way from the arcade, neither one had run much since they left the Digiworld last, butt running from a crazed virus type Digimon was safer than running from a mean high schooler. Once the two weren't so exausted, Kari looked back at what just happened and wondered about something.

"Hey, TK..." Kari said, still panting a little. "Why did you do that? I've never seen you hit anyone, let alone shove them like that." TK was still panting a bit, too, not used to running so fast. He knew this question was coming, too, what he did was totally against his nature.

"Well, um..." TK started, unsure of how to explain himself. "It's, well... I remembered what happened 4 years ago when Piedmon was after us. When everone was trying to get us away from Piedmon, I promised I would protect you no matter what... I never forgot that promise." Kari couldn't help but be flattered by TK's words.

"TK, that was a whole 4 years ago." Kari said. "Piedmon's been gone a long time, you don't need to keep that kind of promise anymore." Kari smiled at TK, hoping to convince him of what she was saying.

"It's not that simple." TK said, looking down at the ground. "A promise is a promise, no matter how long ago I made it. Besides, I don't want to see you get hurt, when I saw that guy start shoving you, I just snapped, I couldn't help it..." TK was blushing from admitting this, but with his head down he was sure Kari couldn't see it. This also made it hard to see Kari was blushing, too, now very flattered by what TK was telling her.

"Thanks, TK..." Kari said, giving him a light hug. He hugged back, but it broke when Kari suddenly stood up. "So what now?" She said. "We've still got a whole day and we can't go back to the arcade."

"No problem!" TK said, now standing and sounding like his usual self. "I know of another arcade near Sora's home, it's not as good but you'd never see any guys like that one in it."

"Sounds perfect!" Kari said. *Perfect as long as you're there...* She thought out of thin air. Kari shook her head a bit. *Where did that come from? I sounded like a love sick romantic for a second...* She looked back at TK, who looked like he was trying to remember which way the second arcade was, and had the urge to think the same thing again. *Okay, Kari, get ahold of yourself... he's your best friend, you shouldn't have crush on him!*

"Hey Kari!" She suddenly heard. Kari looked over her head and saw TK starting to walk off, apparently sure of where that arcade was. "You coming or are you just going to space out all day?" TK smiled and started to walk back towards Kari until she walked to him instead.

"Sorry, I kind of got lost in thought for a second." She said, dismissing her thoughts of TK. The two started walking, with TK slightly ahead to lead, heading for the second arcade. Kari hoped he knew where he was going, but for some reason, she definatly trusted him. As they walked, Kari's mind kept slipping back to the thought that had popped into her head. It seemed like a natural thought, nothing made her think it, but it felt strange all the same... not a bad feeling, just... strange...

About halfway there, Kari was still trying to sort through things and it was now driving her crazy. One incident in an arcade and she didn't even know how she felt about her best friend anymore. *This is redicules...* Kari thought to herself. *This should be so easy, all I want to know is how one thought popped into my head, so why is it confusing me so much...* Kari looked over at TK, who as if on que, looked over at her and smiled. Kari smiled back and looked ahead again. *...and why do I want to have that thought again...* Kari knew she had to get things in order before she went insane. "Hey, TK?" Kari said, hoping to sneak a few answers out of TK.

"Yeah, Kari?" He replied in his usual cheery voice. Kari suddenly felt a tight, tingling feeling in her gut.

"I was just thinking about Tai and Sora..." Kari lied, trying to get a few helpful words from TK without him knowing it. "They always seem like the perfect couple and they can't ever get enough of each other." TK nodded in agreeance.

"You should see Matt and Mimi." TK said, going the direction Kari was hoping. "One second those two are the perfect pair, the next they're at each other's throats. I can't tell anything about those two anymore!" TK started laughing a little, making Kari laugh with him.

"I asked Tai about why he and Sora spend so much time together." Kari said, hoping this would work. "He told me they were in love... He seemed really sure of it, too, like it came naturally." Kari wished she had thought of a better line, but it might still work.

"Matt says he loves Mimi, even when the two are fighting." TK was shaking his head like he was trying to figure out something. Kari thought for a second and decided this wasn't working out so well. TK was a month or two older than she was, but Kari was still more mature. She bit her bottom lip and thought about going a bit more directly.

"Hey TK..." Kari began, once again feeling the tight tingle in her gut. "What do you think love is?" TK looked at Kari strangely like he had no clue what she was talking about.

"I never really thought about it before." TK said. "I guess it's when you care about someone more than anyone else. I asked Matt about it and he said it was impossible to describe, you had to experience it." Kari suddenly felt like TK was the more mature one of them. "He once told me he always got this feeling in his stomache like it was being squeezed and tickled or something like that." Kari suddenly tried to ignore the tight tingle in her midsection, getting more nervous.

"Did he say anything else?" Kari asked.

"Yeah." TK said. "He told me to stop thinking about love till I was older. He never even had a crush till he was 13 and I shouldn't be able to fall in love." This kind of relieved Kari, but hurt in a way, too. She decided to try one last time, this time deciding it was too late to not go all the way.

"Well..." Kari started, nervous of the upcoming reaction and responce. "Do you think you've ever been in love, TK?" Hearing this, TK stumbled a bit, taken by surprise by the question. Kari was expecting worse than that, so she didn't complain, looking at TK with a nervous look on her face.

"Nah, I think Matt was right when he said I'm too young for that kind of thing." TK's head dropped just a little after he said this. Kari didn't know if this made her relieved or upset, too many thoughts were going through her at the same time. "Besides, what girl would ever fall in love with someone like me?" TK said with a joking smile on his face.

*He's right...* Kari thought to herself. *It is kind of silly for a 12 year old to be in love. I've never even had a real crush...* Kari alwys had a slight crush on TK, it took her a while to realize it herself though. It was the kind of crush any girl had on her best male friend, though, so she mainly dismissed it without thinking about it. "So how much longer until we get to this arcade?" Kari said, the last conversation half forgotten.

"Not too far." He said, looking around. "I think I see it over there." TK was pointing to a small building on the other side of the road. The windows displayed a few pinball machines, one even had a kid their age playing it. TK was right, though, it wasn't nearly as big as the one they had intended on going to. TK looked down the street one way, then back up the other. The road had been barren all day, it was a friday and most people were at work. Tk started walking across the street to the arcade with Kari close behind. Somewhere in the back of her head that thought she had still haunted her mind, but she was sure a few games and she would forget all about it.


The sun was starting to set when TK and Kari walked out of the arcade. TK had a small yo-yo tied to his finger and Kari was carrying a small stuffed panda bear. TK had won both out of the crane game the arcade had, one of the few games the newer arcade no longer kept. He was really good at the crane game and got a lot more than that, but most of it he gave to some of the younger kids that couldn't play it well. Kari always admired that sweet, kind side of TK that he often showed.

As Kari and TK were walking back to TK's house, they noticed a small restaurant to the side with a lot of outdoor tables. The whole outdoor dining area was surrounded by a fence of bushes except for the side that faced the restaurant. As they walked by it, TK and Kari looked at all of the empty tables, some with plates and glasses still waiting to be picked up, but they only saw one table occupied, near the far side of the area. It was a young couple eating alone, obviously on a date, but Kari couldn't help but think she knew one of the ones at the table. As they walked, they got a slightly better view and TK now thought he recognised them, too. It was too dark to really tell, most of the light was shaded out excpet for one lamp post narby. Kari saw the male figure toss his head back like he was laughing, a mass of brown hair falling into the light of the lamp post behind him. Kari suddenly pulled TK down behind the bushes, startling him.

"Hey!" TK said, almost yelling. "Why did..." TK was cut off by Kari's hand over his mouth, trying to keep him quiet.

"That's my brother!" Kari said, almost whispering. "He's still on his date with Sora." Kari dropped her hand from TK's mouth so he could respond.

"Why is your brother always out with Sora anyway?" TK asked, looking between the bushes at Tai and Sora, still eating. "Matt doesn't date Mimi nearly as much as Tai dates Sora... They're usually fighting too much for it."

"Tai told me he loved Sora." Kari said, also looking at her brother and his date. "I know Matt loves Mimi, though, when they aren't arguing..."

"No wonder you were so curious about love earlier." TK said, giggling. Kari gave him a gentle shove, then started to move down the sidewalk, doing her best to stay below the top of the bush. "What are you doing?" TK said, following Kari in the same way without really realizing it.

"They stopped eating." Kari said. TK took a quick look and saw that they did stop and were now talking. "I wanna hear what they're saying." Kari continued, rounding the corner of the bush. TK thought it was kind of strange for Kari to act like this, but followed her anyway for some reason. After another minute of this half crawling, half walking movement, TK and Kari found themselves practically right beside Tai and Sora, with nothing between them but the bush.

"I dont know why you always insist on coming here, Tai." Sora said in her usual happy tone of voice. She was still finishing up her plate of food, but TK and Kari were too low to tell what she was eating.

"Well this was where we had our first date." Tai said, looking around a bit. "Besides, the food's good and it isn't a bad view." Tai's eyes passed the spot Kari and TK were hiding, panicing the two for a second before they realize he didn't see them. "We could always go somewhere else if you want."

"Maybe next time..." Sora said, pushing her plate away from her. "It's getting dark, maybe we should call it a day. Besides, dont you need to pick up Kari from TK's house?" Kari's eyes widened as she remembered they should have been back at TK's place hours ago. She was mentally kicking herself for forgetting.

"I'm sure she'll be fine at TK's for a while." Tai said, obviously not wanting the date to end so quickly. "Besides, it would do her some good. She was asking about why we go out so often, I was worried she wanted to start dating herself." Kari started blushing out of embarrassment. She couldn't believe Tai would say that to anybody. "I talked to her about it for a while and I don't think she's interested in that kind of thing yet." Sora started laughing a little.

*Boy, does he have it wrong...* TK and Kari thought at the same time.

"Yeah, but those two will make a cute couple when they're old enough." Sora said. Now both TK and Kari were blushing incredibly.

"That's the part that worries me." Tai said, now sounding more serious. "Thanks to all that happened in the Digiworld they matured a lot faster than most kids their age... They might know a lot more about love than we give them credit for..." Tai took out a wallet and sorted a small stack of money from it. He laid it down on the table and stood up.

"You might be right..." Sora said, standing up with him. "Still, they would make a good couple someday..." Tai wrapped his arms around Sora's waist, surprising her a bit, but then she put her arms around his neck.

"Better than us?" Tai said, smiling. Before Sora could answer, Tai leaned his hean towards hers and pressed his lips to hers, giving her a passionate kiss which Sora quickly returned. TK and Kari quickly turned away, their eyes both shut tight. Tai and Sora had kissed in front of the two before, so had Matt and Mimi, but never like that. The sight, to them, was just gross. It was another minute before the two broke their kiss.

"How about a quick movie before we call it a night? We might just make it for the next movie that's playing." Tai was still smiling and still holding Sora in his arms. Sora was still a bit taken back from the kiss.

"Sure..." She replied. "Sounds great..." Tai took her by the hand and walked with her into the restaurant since the only exit was through there. TK and Kari stood up, there legs a little shakey from being in a crouching position so long.

"Why did they kiss like that?!" TK said, almost yelling, obviously thankful he didn't have to keep so quiet anymore. Kari started laughing a bit, mostly from TK's outburst.

"Don't worry about it, at least it ended fast enough." Kari joked. "Come on, we should get to your house, thry're probablly worried sick by now." TK nodded in agreeance.

"Yeah, Matt's probably going insane by now." TK said, laughing a little, even though he knew he was right. "Besides, we'll be back in the Digiworld tomorrow, we shouldn't be up all night anyway." Kari smiled, glad she'd finally see Gatomon again. She still felt bad that she wasn't there the first time so Gatomon didn't have to be alone for so long. Kari still thought she had to make up for it somehow.

"I wonder if our Digimon have gotten along okay..." TK said, remembering Patamon. "Two years is a long time to be away from them." Kari nodded this time.

"Well at least they dont act like my brother and Sora." Kari said, laughing. TK started laughing with her.

"It would be ever worse if they were acting like Matt and Mimi." TK said, jokingly. "We'd never be able to get along if that was happening." TK and Kari both laughed, but something in the back of their heads had a bad feeling they just might be right...

To Be Continued...

Next: Chapter 2 -- Digiworld Disaster