This is pathetic, goggle-head!

Chapter four: Venture into the Past

By: Flamegaruru

Yes, I know this chapter took forever, but with another complete Earth revolution for me and music, I haven't had much time to get this story done! After all, it is improv… Anyway, thank you everyone who reviewed! This is the ~FINAL~ and I mean final chapter of this Rukato series! All that I've worked so hard and strived for has finally paid off! Take the venture into the Tamer's past lives and relive the love…

Disclaimer: I know, part of the plot is similar to Sailor Moon, but not in entirety. Other than that, the plot is mine, and I own a Black War Greymon figure, Metal Garurumon, movie CD, an old digivice, and Rika's sunglasses. That is all I own of Digimon; not the characters, plot…etc. Now, let the Rukato tale unfold…

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Takato stretched his long, spider-like limbs out on the cool grass of the night. Swiveling his amber eyes to his right sat his girlfriend. Feeling childish, Takato blushed as he stared silently at her, taking in her inner and outer beauty. Tearing his eyes away from his secret love for the past six years- an inward sigh of annoyance passed through his body- Takato moved his head full of shaggy chocolate brown hair to his left, and sighed. His partner and best friend, Guilmon, a dinosaur type Digimon- digital monster- greedily hoarded peanut butter and bread into his mouth. Well, Takato thought as he rolled his eyes up to his yellow goggles, at least some things never change.

Rika tried in vain to stifle her yawn. Slowly blinking her vast violet eyes, Rika scanned the terrain until her eyes finally locked on a certain chocolate haired boy sitting next to her. He was gently reprimanding his friend, Guilmon, for eating the peanut butter and bread to quickly and thus, getting his dinosaurian jaws clamped shut. Rika grinned broadly as she watched Takato gripping the Digimon's jaws and pulling with all his strength and falling flat on his butt. That goggle-headed oaf…Rika shook her reddish-brown hair slightly, a soft look in her eyes.

Rika turned to her left and saw the yellow fox-like Digimon, Renamon, sitting mildly fascinated by Guilmon hopping around like some possessed maniac, waving his arms every which way and flailing his legs, making muffled noises with his stuck together jaw. Rika smiled. How many times had her partner saved her? Rika had lost count some time ago.

Right in front of Rika, a nice, quaint, little quarrel was taking place. As always with those two, Rika grinned wryly, a fight broke out over trivial matters. Terriermon, a little fluff ball with oversized ears as Rika affectionately (A/N: *cough*) called him, was hovering in air, his ears puffed out and his legs crossed as was now his new habit of mocking Henry, his Tamer. Terriermon would mock Henry by floating in the air like an egotistical genie gone straight; obeying his Tamer's every command with sarcasm. Henry himself, the tall tan boy with blue hair, was practicing Yoga breathing while every once in awhile Rika could catch an eye twitch.

Takato glared at Guilmon's wired shut jaw with spunk. Breathing heavily, Takato rubbed his hands together slowly and got a vise-grip on his friend's jaws.

" Now, Guilmon, when I start pulling, I want you to try and pull apart your jaws, okay?"

" Othay, Thamatho," Guilmon stuck his claw up in the thumb's up sign and eagerly swished his red tail.

" One…two…three!" Takato cried as he and Guilmon both started pulling.

" Eeeeerrrrrggg!" Takato grunted as Guilmon's jaw flew open sending him hurtling backwards.

Takato moaned as he reluctantly opened one tightly scrunched eye. Guilmon was rotating his jaw every which way and he smiled as he saw Takato looking at him. Takato felt Rika's gaze for some odd reason and leaned over to stare back.

" You are pathetic, goggle-head," Rika smiled.

" Oh, so now I get pity, eh?" Takato winked.

" Truly depressing, goggles," Rika said as she leaned towards him…and was knocked backwards by a flying…

" Calumon!" Rika's exasperated shout rattled the loose gravel in the nearby park. "Must you always do this?" She snapped, irked as Calumon nuzzled fervently under her chin.

" Yep!" The ever-jovial Digimon snickered as he cuddled under Rika's chin, with his purple-white ears stretched out to the max.

" If you please, Calumon, let us hasten to tell our story for I'm sure our young friends are eagerly anticipating it," War Greymon laughed gently as he and his brother, Black War Greymon, strode up to them.

" Black War Greymon!" Calumon cheerfully cried but was cut short when Black War Greymon bared his intensely long claws at him.

" Don't even think it," Black War Greymon snarled as he sat down across from Rika while Henry, Terriermon, and War Greymon sat down by him, making a circle.

Rika sniggered while everyone got settled. " So, what is this spooky tale that debialating Digimon kept talking about?" Rika asked, referring to Karusimon.

War Greymon blinked. " Yours," he answered simply.

" Excuse me?" Henry skeptically quipped. " I for one, was not aware of an ominous vampirish Digimon following us around and making a documentary."

" This story is of your past lives; the one where we knew you well," Black War Greymon said.

" How is this possible?" Takato scratched his mop of hair.

" Well, I suppose I could tell you…" Calumon shuffled his feet.

" Then come on!" Rika demanded. " Spill it!"

" Okay, well, your tale begins over a millennia ago on the Earth…"

" I hope so," Takato rolled his eyes.

" Anyway, this took place in the world with eight continents…"

Rika coughed. " You mean Antarctica was livable then?"

Calumon snorted. " Would you just let me talk!" " So this is about a prince and a princess…"

" Hold on!" Rika sweatdropped. " Prince and Princess? This is sounding insanely like a Disney fairytale."

" Whoa! Karusimon said Prince and Princess to Rika and I; are we them? How is that possible?" Takato exclaimed.

" Listen and ye shall find out, friend of bwana-sahib," Terriermon closed his eyes.

" At the end!" Calumon screamed. " Questions and comments at the end!" He sat, heaving his little chest up and down in rapid succession.

Everyone blinked.

" This sounds awfully like a guided tour," Takato whispered to Rika.

" Fine. I'll hold me tongue until the end. But then you're ears will never be the same," Rika raised an eyebrow.

" Here goes…" Calumon took a deep breath and began his tale…

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ The story ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Once upon a time (A/N: Imagine Rika's derisive snort), land was prosperous on the planet called Earth. Now, Earth in this timeline was different as we now know it. Back then, there were no continents as the land was all connected.

Yet, the planet of Earth was a strange place for there were two kinds of creatures in charge; the ones called Homo sapiens and the others called Digimon. These Digimon, as they preferred to be called, had extraordinary powers; some with the power to totally annihilate a city.

Since these Digimon were strange, different, and powerful, the Homo sapiens or humans- were afraid of them, of their power. Slowly, this fear turned into hatred towards all Digimon, for there were the roguish Digimon who picked on the humans and often did terrible things to them.

Humans and Digimon alike picked on the small, innocent ones of the opposite nature. This vicious cycle continued for many years.

One day, though, new, foreign Digimon with powers even more extreme than the others already inhabiting Earth, came to the planet. These new Digimon had a lust for power and were determined to take over the world. Naturally, the citizens of Earth, including the Digimon, were not, ecstatic about the new Digimon's ideas.

Humans and Digimon of different natures, different powers, and different ideas went up against the new menaces that invaded earth, but they all failed. Neither one alone could defeat these malevolent terrors.

Then, the miraculous happened. Eight different children of the eight different kingdoms on Earth arrived one day to the palace of the evil Digimon. What was the strange and miraculous thing, you ask? Well, these eight children each bore an eccentric object that they called a Digivice. Each of them wore a crest, which symbolized their respective kingdom.

The vile Digimon laughed. What good could these eight children do where so many others failed? Those evil Digimon demanded why they were there. One particular boy, the leader the bad Digimon surmised, stepped forward and said that they were there to stop the malicious Digimon's tyranny over Earth. The corrupt Digimon laughed. What good could they do? They snickered and laughed at the foolish leader's attire, what with his digivice, his crest, and his goggles. That's when the miracle started.

Slaves of the powerful Digimon stopped and watched. Each of the humans suddenly called out a name; a name of a Digimon. These Digimon stepped out of the shadows. The dark Digimon stared. What were these humans doing, working together with Digimon?

The attack ended as quickly as it started. The humans and Digimon were friends, as was passed on later. They tamed these Digimon and became their friends, using their Digivices and crests to help them gain a new form of power. These children destroyed the evil Digimon with their newfound teamwork

The leader proposed that the humans and Digimon work together; be partners. Slowly, bit by bit, all the inhabitants of Earth accepted the differences and flourished with them. Of course, there was the occasional discriminate, but there were so few, they were hardly noticed. There were Digimon and human partners who also planned to take control of the world, but the leaders of the eight countries were always there to stop them.

Those eight kingdoms always kept in close relations with each other. These eight kingdoms were called, respectively: Courage, Love, Friendship, Sincerity, Knowledge, Reliability, Hope, and Light.

The leader of the kingdom of Knowledge suggested that the world classify the Digimon, as it would be easier to understands them. Many researchers gathered numerous amounts of data and continued doing so for the rest of…Anyway, they collected data and classified the Digimon into different classes. Data, Virus, and Vaccine were the types. Baby, In-training, rookie, champion, armor, ultimate, DNA, and mega were the level types. The kind of Digimon varies so much, it took three years to get all the kinds written down and they still discovered more…

So, whatever happened to all of the rest of the nefarious Digimon that tried to rule Earth? Well, the Digi-destined- as the people referred to the eight children- vanquished them all. Or so they thought…

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All of the eight kingdoms were very close with each other; the kingdoms of Courage and Light being family, as with Friendship and Hope. But, there was something different with the kingdoms of Courage and Love.

The leader of the country of Courage, Taichi Yagami, was always close with the leader of the land of Love, Sora Takenuchi, for they grew up together. Yet, it was quite evident as they matured, that Taichi and Sora had fallen in love.

Now there was nothing wrong with those two kingdoms falling in love; no, none at all. Except for one. Back when Sora was just a baby, her father, the ruling king of the land of Love, had already agreed to wed Sora off with another prince; the prince of the domain of Friendship.

Naturally, poor Taichi and Sora didn't take this too well for they had no idea that Sora was to wed another. Heartbroken, Sora set off to marry Yamato Ishida of the domain of Friendship, while the grief-stricken Taichi stayed in the country of Courage.

Overcome by his despair, Taichi reigned over his country, with the loss of love. He declared that the ruler of each kingdom; in this case, the original Digi-destined, must choose a heir to the throne in the case that the leaders do not have children. Then that new child must become the leader of their sovereignty and become the new Digi-destined with a Digimon of their own. Each of the Digi-destined would pass their crest on to the new chosen one when the time was right. Taichi also declared that the eight kingdoms were not allowed to marry outside of their own land. They must marry within their own country.

Taichi made the last rule for he had lost his only love within the neighboring land of Love. He did not want this same tragedy to happen to the next ruler. Taichi and the others all agreed on these rules and another. The last rule was that the leaders of the countries were not to meet until the new heirs were chosen at the age of sixteen.

For many years, the original Digi-destined ruled over their countries and they all prospered greatly. One day, though, another notorious Digimon invaded earth. Everyone was shocked for they all thought the evil Digimon were vanquished. This Digimon, called Myostismon, spread his terror rapidly across all the countries.

The original Digi-destined called a meeting and decided that they should go off and destroy Myotismon. They were just about to leave when the leader of the kingdom of Knowledge, Koushiro Izumi, spoke up. What if they didn't make it back alive? The Digi-destined solemnly agreed. They had to choose their heirs to the throne in case they didn't return. The adults now chose their successors and set off to battle Myotismon.

It was a great many days before a messenger, the new heir to the country of Courage, Daisuke Motomiya, returned. He was pale faced and carried with him a box. The people and Digimon of Earth stood in revered silence as he spoke, his voice quavering.

" They're all gone."

The creatures of Earth stood aghast. Myotismon was destroyed, but so were their leaders! The ones that brought them together, held them together, ruled kindly; were gone forever! All that was left of the original Digi-destined were their crests and Digivices, including Taichi's goggles, which were left to Daisuke.

New Digi-destined, with new Digivices, continued to rule the planet, getting stronger Digimon and different methods to power up their Digimon. And so continued for many years to come until that fateful day, thousands of years later when three children were born: Takato Matsuki, Ruki Makino, and Jenrya Lee. Little did their parents know that these three would be the most important children since the Digi-destined.

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A pair of gleaming fuschia eyes blinked in the dark night. The humanoid figure sat on a throne of sorts and impatiently drummed his spindly fingers. A door creaked open in the distance and the figure heard the soft flutter of wings heading in his direction. Soon enough, an enormous bat-like creature emerged from the right. This creature was white and his gigantic wings spanned over twelve feet. The creature bowed and, smiling, brought his head up to see eye to eye with the humanoid on the throne.

" I take it you destroyed the leader?" The one with fuschia eyes asked in a somewhat bored tone.

" Yes, my master," the creature with blood-red eyes replied. His voice held back high ecstasy.

" Good. Now there are only three left," the leader hissed, his fangs reflected in the pale moonlight from a nearby window. " Go and dispense of them," he ordered.

" Yes, my master," the bat-like creature bowed and quickly set off.

The creature on the throne smiled to himself. Soon, he would rule this world. He had waited many years, and with the Digi-destined out of his way, no one could even fathom to destroy him…

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Six years later ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Up in the cool shadows of the large oak tree, a little boy pouted his lip out. This boy with messy, chocolate hair and amber eyes, gave an almost inaudible whine as he swung his little legs back and forth from the branch he was sitting on.

" You are not getting out of the palace grounds, my Prince," a mammoth creature with a mellow voice called up to the little boy.

" Awwwww…War Greymon!" The boy whined back down to the mega level dragon Digimon decked out in golden armor.

" Psssttt…Takato…" a hushed voice called to the boy in the tree.

Takato turned to his left. Up in the trees sat two of his best friends. Juri, a little girl Takato's age, sat staring idly at him, swishing her little legs back and forth. The other was a red dinosaur, Takato's partner; Guilmon- a Digimon.

" Hey guys," Takato happily whispered. " Where're the others?"

" I don't know," Juri frowned, trying to think of where two of their other friends could be. " They should've arrived by now…"

" Listen, Juri-chan…" Takato fervently whispered. " I have got to get outta this prison! Guilmon and I have been stuck in here for ages! Can you distract War Greymon for me?"

" Sure, Taka-chan!" Juri merrily replied, giving Takato a slight blush.

Juri quietly stole down the trees and into the garden, where War Greymon was sitting. Juri started talking to him, whining that she got lost. War Greymon obviously didn't believe this story one bit and started asking her what she wanted.

Using the diversion wisely, Takato and Guilmon climbed tree after tree until the got to the edge of the wall surrounding the palace that Takato and Guilmon called home. Reaching into his casual pants, Takato pulled out a red digivice. He quietly slashed a card from another pocket and Guilmon grew wings. Hopping onto his best friend's back, Takato and Guilmon flew over the edge of the wall and into the vast sky, heading east…

~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^

A little while later, Guilmon was huffing and puffing and finally landed on solid ground. Leaping off the weary Digimon's back, Takato enthusiastically started hopping around.

" Free!" were his joyous cries.

Takato was so glad to be out of that palace! He hadn't been able to leave for so long, he could hardly remember what the world was like outside of the palace. Closing his eyes and sticking out his arms, Takato started running all out. He was in an open field that was so beautiful with clear skies, and the intoxicating smell of fresh Earth full of life. Takato was so engrossed in his daydreams and hardly noticed when he smacked right into someone…

" Ow!" A feminine voice cried out in indignation as she and Takato both fell to the ground.

Oh no! I've hit a lady! What'll Mom and dad say? Takato worriedly thought as his eyes shot open. And he was taken aback and gasped so loudly, the girl got upset.

" What are you staring at, goggle-head?" The little girl snapped, indicating to the yellow goggles sitting atop Takato's mess of hair.

Takato realized a few seconds later that he was gaping at the girl. " Pardon me, milady," he humbly bowed his head, thus covering up his blush.

Never before had Takato seen a girl so…different. He had always seen Juri-chan and still thought of girls as gross and impossible to figure out as boys of his age tended to do. But this girl…Takato tried not to think of her fathomless violet eyes boring into him.

The girl impatiently tossed her reddish-brown hair back and growled. She fished around for a pocket in her blue cotton dress and put her hair up in a ponytail. Finally, that annoying hair was out of her eyes so she could see! Quickly scanning the new object in front of her, the girl felt a little, warm. He was like any other boy she had met, which she believed to be icky, with his lightly colored pants and white shirt and his loopy goggles snug around his head. Yet, there was something about him that made her bite her lip nervously much to her chagrin…

" Are you injured?" Takato asked as he finally wracked up the nerve to look at her again.

The girl looked down at herself. " Just a little cut on my knee," she replied.

" I'll help you!" Takato said, concerned. He edged over to the girl who gave him a look.

" Look, it's nothing big, goggles. I can handle myself," her voice rang with independence.

" It's my fault you got that cut," Takato replied with a tone that meant he was going to help her whether she like it or not.

The girl rolled her eyes. " Fine," she exasperatedly sighed.

" All right!" Takato grinned and fished around in his pockets and produced a handkerchief. He sat right next to the girl. "My name's Takato," he said as he started to bandage her knee.

The girl stared at him. After a slight pause she said, " I'm Ruki."

Takato finished the bandage and crouched next to her. " Pleased to meet you, Ruki-san," he said and took Ruki's hand and quickly pecked his lips against it, as was his custom.

" A pleasure to meet you too, Takato-kun," Ruki replied, blushing from the kiss for some odd reason and thus making Takato blush. " Just be sure not to call me Ruki-chan."

" Why not?" Takato's child-like curiosity returned and took away his blush.

" Because I said so!" Ruki snapped.

The two continued to stare at each other, not minding the silence. Suddenly, Guilmon came crashing out of the bushes.

" Hi, Takato-moooooooooonnn!" Guilmon's cry was diminished as a yellowish blur flew into him and pinned him to the ground.

" Guilmon!" Takato cried, abruptly standing up.

Ruki stared up at him. " That's your Digimon?" she inquired.

" Yes!" Takato cried. " Guilmon, are you okay?"

" I think so," Guilmon's reply was muffled. " But I can't move!" he whined.

" Renamon," Ruki called out and the yellow creature leapt off of Guilmon and bounded to Ruki's side.

Guilmon hopped over to Takato's side as his partner stared open-mouthed at the Digimon standing next to Ruki, who got up herself. The Digimon looked like a yellow fox with her bushy tail. She stood up on two powerfully built legs.

" Sorry about that," Ruki said. " We thought you were an enemy."

" Guess not!" Takato replied.

The quartet stood in silence when the sky started to darken. Ruki narrowed her eyes while Takato pouted.

" And it was such a beautiful day!" he complained.

As cumulonimbus- rain clouds- started to form, Renamon's eagle-like eyes quickly scanned the area and found a cave. They all started to run towards the cave when Ruki slipped. Takato quickly grabbed her arm and pulled her up. She was a bit taller than him, when standing tall.

" Thanks, goggle-head," Ruki whispered.

Takato nodded when he was suddenly thrown backwards by an unidentifiable force. He felt cold steel pressed against his neck as his pulse started beating fervently in his chest. He fearfully looked up into a pair of gleaming mustard yellow eyes.

" Black War Greymon! Let him go!" Ruki's voice called out.

The yellow eyes narrowed at Takato and the gargantuan creature got off of him. Takato gazed in awe as he saw the brother of his guardian, War Greymon. Black War Greymon was clad in black armor in the same fashion as his brother, but there was something missing…Out of Takato's chest, a tag engraved with a minute crest stuck out.

" The crest of Courage!" Black War Greymon breathed as the rest of the little group stared at him.

" Takato!" Takato turned to the source of the voice.

" Your highness," War Greymon breathed as his huge feet touched the ground. " The country of Courage and the land of Love have been attacked by a powerful menace! I'm sorry, but, your parents and your friends excluding Juri-chan, were killed…" War Greymon averted his gaze.

Takato's eyes felt very wet. His chest started to heave with wracking sobs as he cried out for his parents. Ruki looked at Takato, the sadness in her eyes. She placed one hand on his shoulder.

" It'll be all right," she softly said.

" They'll pay," Takato whispered silently as Ruki enveloped her new friend in an embrace. Faintly, Takato and Ruki's chests began to glow red and gold…

" It's time to go," War Greymon choked out as he and Black War Greymon quickly separated the two children. Both of the mega Digimon took off into the sky, with the children's partners in hot pursuit.

" Bye," Ruki waved as she and Takato grew farther apart.

" I'll see you again," Takato promised, through his tears.

And with that, the two young Digi-destined flew off to their respective kingdoms, starting their new reign…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Ten years later ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Takato rolled his eyes as the excruciatingly long meeting droned on with the speaker's monotonous voice. He raised an eyebrow at Juri, who he was engaged to by his parents before they were killed. She gripped his arm impulsively. Takato sighed. He like Juri a lot, but, not in that way.

Next to him, his friend Guilmon, impatiently swished his red tail. Like his Tamer, Guilmon found it hard to keep still.

" So, tonight is the night where you meet the two other Digi-destined," the lead speaker finished. Takato nodded.

" As you know," the speaker addressed others in the room. " Sixteen years ago, a new menace named Apocalymon entered our domain and the Digi-destined had to choose their heirs quickly. Such a sad event, they all died. And even more tragic with the events ten years ago in which all the heirs but the ones of the country of Courage, land of Love, and kingdom of Knowledge were killed." The speaker shuddered involuntarily. " As with the death of the parents of the three remaining kingdoms. Now, it is time of the rest of the heirs to finally meet. The three guardians of our new Digi-destined, War Greymon, Black War Greymon, and Calumon have done a magnificent job of taking care of their charges and training them as with their Digimon to fight any foes in the possible future. I am pleased to say that the other two young ones will be arriving shortly!" Applause from the room.

Takato rolled his eyes again.

************************************************************************

The humanoid Digimon snarled at the white winged creature before him.

" You know I am still not pleased by your failure to obliviate all the heirs to the original Digi-destined," he said menacingly.

" Yes, my master," the frozen Digimon shuddered at painful memories.

" Tonight is their coming of age reception. Tonight is the night where Earth will become mine…" he hissed, white fangs glistening.

" As you wish," the icy Digimon bowed.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Takato inhaled the fresh air greatly in the beautiful garden outside of his palace. He had finally escaped Juri and got some peace and quiet to himself. He was grinning, admiring the flowers' beauty when he whammed into something bony…

" Hey! Watch where you're going, goggle-head!" A miffed voice replied from under him.

Takato's eyes immediately shot open. " Ruki-san!?"

Ruki's eyes opened in recognition. " Takato-kun?"

The two stared at each other, lost to the other for the past ten years.

" Uh, Takato-kun, would you mind getting off of me?" Ruki asked, a blush tingeing her cheeks.

" Pardon me, Milady!" Takato's face flushed as he got off Ruki and helped her to her feet.

Yet again, Takato found himself staring at her. Although this time, he was marveling at her beauty. Her bright violet eyes, the shine in her hair, the beautiful silk dress she wore, her intoxicating smell...Takato used all his self-control not to faint.

Ruki's eyes contracted as she gazed up at Takato. The last time she had seen him, he was a scrawny little boy, but now he had shot up and grew to a six-foot tall giant. He was wearing a tux on him, and Ruki had to admit he looked quite dashing in it. He still wore those silly goggles atop his chocolate covered head, but his amber eyes were smiling at her, and Ruki did her best not to fall.

Takato never noticed the close proximity that they were in until he heard Juri shout at him to come inside the palace.

Breaking out of his trance, Takato apologized to Ruki. " I am dreadfully sorry, Ruki-san for falling onto you…again."

Ruki giggled a bit and made Takato grin broadly. " Say, goggles, I'll see you tonight, okay?" She winked and rushed off into the opposite direction as Takato finally realized that she was also a Digi-destined.

" From the land of Love; bearer of the crest of Love," a deep voice said next to Takato. He turned and found himself face to face with a tan, blue-haired boy with a Terriermon on his shoulders.

" I'm Takato, heir to the throne of the country of Courage," he introduced himself. "Who are you?"

" I'm Jenrya Lee, of the kingdom of Knowledge. I am the remaining Digi-destined." The boys grinned at each other. " I see you and Ruki-san get along quite well."

Takato blushed. " She and I knew each other ten years ago," he answered. " Besides, I'm already engaged to someone else…" he sighed.

" Give her a chance," Jenrya patted Takato's arm and disappeared off into the vast depths of the garden leaving Takato there to himself, pondering Jenrya's words.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ That Night ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Takato adjusted the tie on his tuxedo as he and Guilmon waited outside the doors to the ballroom, eager to be introduced.

" Renamon is here," Guilmon said as War Greymon approached them, his armor shining.

" Indeed," the dragon-type Digimon said.

" So is Ruki," Takato whispered as the doors swung open and applause roared in his ears as the trio set off into the room, smiling at everyone.

Takato immediately spotted Ruki and smiled, who grinned in return. Jenrya winked at him as Takato passed and a faint heat rose in his cheeks.

"Come on, Taka-chan," Juri whispered excitedly and dragged him to the middle of the ballroom, starting to dance. " One dance, then there's a little break, and then we've got the masquerade!" She squealed gleefully.

" Hhmmmm…" Takato mumbled as he craned his neck, searching for Ruki. She was in the middle of the floor, dancing with a dark haired boy, about Jenrya's height. Takato felt the hairs on the back of his neck begin to rise and he unconsciously flexed his muscles.

Before Takato knew it, the dance was over and he stole off to the garden, pocketing his goggles and whipping out a red mask. He heard light footsteps join him. Takato looked down and was surprised to see Ruki, with a violet mask on.

" Hey, goggle-head," she softly greeted him as they stared up at the vast reaches of space.

" Greetings, milady," Takato replied.

Ruki grinned. " So where's that girl who was clinging to your arm?"

" Like a leech?" Takato sighed. " That was Juri-chan. She is one of my good friends and I love her dearly, but definitely not in the sense that she thinks. Who was that guy drooling at your heels?" Takato changed the subject, feeling his blood rise.

" Ryo," Ruki groaned. " I am sadly enough engaged to him. That sniveling, pompous…aw…but that is rude of me. He is not really like that, and I'm sure that Juri girl is not like a leech." Ruki grinned wryly. " I'm sure that they care very much for us and I guess I take back the things I said about Ryo. Just too bad I don't feel the same as he does."

" I concur," Takato replied. " I take back the things I said about Juri-chan, and I don't love her the way she wants me too, either."

The two cleared their throats and looked back up at the stars. Takato shuffled his feet nervously.

" Just out of curiosity, Ruki-san, who do you like?"

" Why?" Ruki replied, turning to look into his eyes. Takato felt himself get very warm and he pulled his collar.

" Ah, well, I should know because, after all, we all are Digi-destined and we should be able to share things like this with each other," Takato sheepishly grinned.

" I see." Ruki arched an eyebrow. " Well, come down here; it's a secret."

That should have tipped Takato off.

" Okay," he replied and bent down to Ruki's level.

Ruki tilted her head up slightly and turned her head towards Takato's ear so he could feel her warm breath and the intoxicating scent of her hair. "You," Ruki whispered.

Takato's eyes widened but, it really wasn't a shock to him. As if he knew all along… He looked into Ruki's eyes. There he saw the understanding and compassion as the time she hugged him ten years ago. He slowly leaned down.

Ruki remembered those wide, inquisitive amber eyes that were so full of concern when he bandaged her knee all those years ago. She felt the friendship, honesty, laughter, tears, and love; just from looking into those eyes. Her head rose slightly.

Their lips met, slowly at first, then enveloping into a more passionate kiss. Their arms wrapped around each other and they reveled in that bliss for several minutes, when they released, hearts thumping wildly in their chests.

" You know I love you, Ruki," Takato grinned.

" Obviously goggles," Ruki kidded.

" Ah, foolish humans…" a voice hissed from behind them, startling the pair.

" Who are you?" Takato demanded, the gold glowing hidden in his tux.

" And the beautiful Princess…you should rule with me. You are so powerful," the voice said, chilling the blood in the Digi-destined's veins.

" I don't think so, " Ruki defiantly shot back. " You see, I've already got a Prince Charming here," sarcasm dripping in her voice. Takato shook his head lightly.

" One last chance; rule with me."

" She said no, sleazeazoid, so why don't you crawl back to the sewer where you came from?" Takato yelled, his chest burning.

" If I can't have her, you won't either," the voice dripped with menace and out of the shadows, the figure stepped out. He was clad in a black suit and a flowing cape with a mask with wings on the tips. He snarled and showed his vampire fangs.

" I am Karusimon and I am here to rule Earth."

" Not if I can help it!" Black War Greymon charged out of the shadows. Karusimon simply raised a gloved hand and sent Black War Greymon flying into the arms of Ice Devimon who knocked him out.

" Guilmon!"

" Renamon!"

The digidestined's partners came leaping out of the shadows, snarling at Karusimon. Out of his hands shot a red bolt stabbing each of the Digimon and the chest, killing them.

" NO!" Ruki and Takato both cried, tears streaming down their faces as they rushed towards their friends. Karusimon uttered a curse and sent both of them flying into the palace walls.

" I think it's time for you to die," Karusimon said menacingly. " Scarlet blaze!" A huge red bolt of dark energy seethed towards the pair of humans.

" War Greymon!" Takato frantically yelled as the mega Digimon hurtled himself in front of them, thus taking full force of the blast. His data completely obliterated, it vanished into thin air.

Takato and Ruki held onto each other, weeping for the lost of their loved ones.

" Now, it is time for you to die," Karusimon said slightly annoyed that this was taking so long.

" Now, Calumon!" Jenrya yelled.

Karusimon, Takato, and Ruki both turned to Jenrya, Terriermon, and Calumon, a minute Digimon, holding eight foreign looking devices and his red triangle atop his head glowing brightly. The eight devices started to glow a brilliant white light and out of them shot sixteen figures; half of them human, the other half Digimon.

Takato stared in wonder. " The original Digi-destined…" he gasped. The original digidestined, Taichi Yagami, Sora Takenuchi, Hikari Yagami, Takeru Takaishi, Yamato Ishida, Jyou Kido, Koushiro Izumi, and Mimi Tachikawa stared determinedly at Karusimon with their mega level Digimon at bay.

The eight combined attacks hit Karusimon full force and he screamed magnificently as he disappeared in a veil of smoke as with Ice Devimon and Black War Greymon who were taken out by the blast. The Digi-destined disappeared, but Taichi stayed, lingering, talking to Jenrya, who was on the ground.

" What's wrong, Jenrya?" Takato asked fearfully as he and Ruki rushed over.

" Bringing the original digidestined's spirits back from their Digivices took all my energy as with Terriermon's. " Jenrya choked out. " I'm going to die."

" No! There can't be any more deaths!" Takato cried, tears brimming his eyes.

" But there will be! Scarlet blaze!" Karusimon screeched and sent two bolts of red energy towards them before finally dissipating into thin air.

Takato and Ruki never had a chance to run. Their eyes contracted as they felt the overwhelming pain enter their bodies. They impulsively gripped each other's hands and giving a weak smile before dying.

Taichi Yagami stood, silent tears running down his face, Calumon whimpering at his side. He picked up his digivice and the Digivices of the younger digidestined and closed his eyes.

" Calumon, I must ask you one more favor," he quietly said.

" Yes?"

" Send their spirits to Earth. In a different universe. There is nothing left for them here. Their lives were tragically cut short and these two," he motioned to Ruki and Takato. " Had just realized their love. I must give them one more chance, for old times…" his eyes clouded over.

" Yeah," Calumon whispered as he gathered their spirits in his triangle and gathered the Digivices in his small paws, glowing brightly. He was then teleported to the Earth in a different galaxy.

Taichi looked to the stars. I hope they will all have the chance to live and love again…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Past is done ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Takato and Henry were biting their lips, Rika was blinking rapidly and the Digimon were heaving their chests heavily.

" What a Sailor Moon rip-off," Rika croaked.

" One thing is for certain," Calumon said. " We all have the chance to live again, to experience life to its fullest."

" And I for one am going to cherish it," Takato smiled and took Rika's hand who smiled back.

" Darn you, goggle-head. Even in a different universe, you can still make me cry. How pathetic, goggle-head. How pathetic."

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DONE! It took forever and into the late hours of the night, but it is FINISHED! I hope you have enjoyed! Perhaps this summer I will revise this story, but *sniff* say good-bye to this Rukato story! Reviews are greatly appreciated and no flames!

~Flamegaruru~