I am an evil individual, but I am not so evil to leave things in such a horrible cliffhanger for long. The next update may take a while.

Oh, and I've said it before in my other stories, but fight scenes are my weakness. So, please let me know what you think of them and the story in general.

"Lightning Joust!"

Striking Diaboromon, the knight prepared for his next attack. Rather than trying to align by type advantage, they ended up going against their same type. This meant the giants of the groups fought in the fading fog, the green and pink shapes distracting in the background. Sakuyamon currently dealt with Boltmon.

"Cable Crusher!" screamed the furious Diaboromon, smashing the Biomerged figure.

The golden shaman announced, "Spirit Strike!"

The colorful fox-shapes swept along and struck not only the green-skinned data type, but also the blue-armored virus. Fury burned from the fox-lady.

"How dare you come here, threatening and hurting our friends?" she snarled. "Impmon? Jeri? How dare you?"

"Tomahawk Crunch!" shouted Boltmon, swinging his weapon downwards. Sakuyamon brought her staff up to meet the descending ax. "You only bring this on yourself."

Rather than use their wide-spread attacks, both Magnadramon and MegaGargomon depended on wrestling and close-quarter blows. And watching a giant mechanical dog struggle with the serpentine body of dragon twined around his body was truly an impressive sight.

"Shield of the Just!" Gallantmon called.

This assault knocked the long-limbed virus back. In this moment of relative calm, the Biomerged knight shot a look at where he knew that Impmon was flung. There was no small rookie lying there helplessly. Either the purple creature found the strength to crawl away or…

Gallantmon lost his chance to consider it further as Diaboromon leapt at him once more.

"Come on, Impmon, don't give up," Jeri whispered frantically as the small virus flickered again. "You have your friends, your tamers. Don't leave Ai and Mako alone. Please don't do this to them."

She clutched the red-gloved hand of his good arm. Kneeling behind a tree, with only that single piece of vegetation separating her from the megas wanting to kill her, she was reduced to trying to talk a digimon into staying alive. She wasn't able to stop what happened to Leomon, she couldn't change what occurred between her and the D-reaper, and she couldn't help in the fight currently raging behind her. But she intended not to be useless. She needed to do something. So she kept hold of his hand and begged him to stay.

As his limp form flickered again, she squeezed his hand gently, "Don't do this. You're my friend. And you got hurt because of me. I don't want to lose someone else. Please hold on. MarineAngemon will be here soon. Just don't give up. You never give up. Even when I was trapped inside the D-reaper, you didn't quit trying to save me. But you got hurt then too. All because of me…"

Another explosion shook behind them. She leaned over the broken figure, shielding him in case they caught sight of the purple creature. Her green dress and brown hair made slightly better camouflage. The rookie didn't respond to the continued battle or her movement.

"Don't go. Stay with us. You're our friend, even after all that's happened," she begged. "Don't give in. Fight it, Impmon, fight it. Listen to me and stay here with us, your friends and you tamers. Ai and Mako love you and need you." She felt herself shaking with each frantic syllable. "It'll be alright. Just hang on a little longer. We don't want to lose you. Just hang in there."

Her words, whispered between slow tears and spoken with such strong hope, did little to slow the increasing episodes of flickering. Each one lasted longer than the one before as his overall stability weakened. As much as she wanted to deny it, he was getting worse. Soon, he would begin to dissolving for real if this continued.

He knew he was dreaming. Impmon could tell that right away. When else do you end up in some kind of gravity-free zone? He was floating in a vast emptiness. It was kind of a foggy grey that stretched in all directions: up, down, left, right, front, and back. Or at least, what felt like those directions. Without gravity, who could tell? All he knew was that he was lying on his back (sort of… the lack of gravity thing made it hard to know for sure) and he was alone. But there was something else in the emptiness with him. Two somethings, actually.

At one end, a bright and utterly familiar light glowed. The warmth of it seemed comforting, but it also hurt. Somehow, he knew that it would be painful to go there. That he would be in agony if he returned there (He'd been there? Is that where he came from before ending up in this weird place? He couldn't remember for sure…).

At the opposite end, a deep darkness waited. Everything about the blackness was opposite of the light. It was cool, endless, and calm. There seemed to be something soothing about it. The cold feeling eased away the pain the light caused and radiated peace, but he didn't think that he was supposed to go there. For all the serenity that it gave off, the darkness seemed to promise an end to everything: pain, suffering, struggle, worry, fear, sorrow, hardship, strife, adversity, and everything that made life hard to deal with. But without those things, as bad as they are, is life worth living? They made the world interesting in limited quantities, didn't they? The icy calm seemed too perfect. Did he want that timeless peace or would he rather deal with the agony that the light offered?

But the rookie felt too tired. All he wanted was to float there, unmoving. He didn't have the strength to try and move either way. Strangely, there was some kind of undertow in the emptiness, like a current in water. Slowly, Impmon found himself being drawn towards the soothing, numbing, cool darkness. And he didn't fight the gentle pull. The closer he came, the more the idea of just accepting the endless rest seemed not so bad. It was easier just to let everything go and just drift off.

"Shield of the Just!"

Boltmon crashed to the ground and stayed there this time. While the fight between megas never would be easy, Beelzemon did wear them down some first. And now the Biomerged digimon were making real progress. Sakuyamon swiftly swooped in on the green-skinned data type.

"Amethyst Mandala!" she cried, trapping the digimon in a ring of golden energy.

"Cable Crusher!" snarled Diaboromon, aiming for the armored shaman.

Gallantmon interrupted with his own cry of "Lightning Joust!"

Smiling her thanks at the knight, she asked quickly, "You doing okay, Goggles?"

"So far," he answered. "Just need to deal with the crazy creep."

"Glad you're worried about me," remarked Terriermon's voice sarcastically. "After all, I'm the one wrestling a huge dragon. Shouldn't be that hard."

"Die!" screeched Diaboromon, tackling Gallantmon to the ground. "Die! You and your monstrous friend deserve to die!"

The Biomerged mega held back the snarling creature. Apparently, the fury directed at Impmon had grown to include anyone close to the rookie. Also, the psycho virus seemed to be completely insane now. He clawed at the knight's face.

Gallantmon muttered, "Why did I get the scary one?"

"Web Wrecker!" screamed the long-limbed monster, firing at close range on the knight.

Jeri hugged the weak rookie close to her chest, crying softly as his body lost focus again. It hurt to see this happening. It reminded her of when she lost Leomon and, once more, she was powerless to stop it. She learned to live with the past, but she didn't want to repeat it.

She relaxed her grip slightly as he stabilized again. It wouldn't last long, she knew. The girl didn't know what to do. She wasn't even a real tamer anymore. She hadn't been since Beelzemon…

A tiny ray of hope, a small spark of an idea, appeared before her. The impossibility of it refused to register. If she tried to think it through, to realize how crazy it seemed to even consider this option, she'd lose her nerve. And since it was all that she knew to try, she needed to make the attempt.

"Leomon," she whispered softly. "I know you're in there. Inside Impmon. And I know you don't have any real reason to help him." She closed her eyes so she wouldn't have to keep watching the purple creature flicker again, but she could feel the buzzing. "But he's changed. He isn't the same heartless monster who killed you. Honest."

The girl jerked as another explosion went off on the other side of the tree. This one went off closer, but she forced herself back to her desperate plea.

"He's hurt because of me. And he's truly sorry for what he's done. He's my friend now," explained Jeri. "I want to help him, to save him. But I can't… I can't do anything for him. Just like I couldn't help you. I can't help anyone." She sobbed softly as the buzzing sensation on her arms meant Impmon flickered once again. That he was coming closer to dying. "But maybe, you can? Please, Leomon, if you can hear me inside him, please try and help save him. He doesn't deserve to die. I'll understand if… you can't help him. Some things can't be stopped or changed. But, can you please try?"

Inside her pocket, unheard and unseen, a static-filled screen briefly cleared and a soft beep escaped from the girl's D-arc.

As he drifted towards the cool darkness, something abruptly halted his progress. Impmon briefly wondered what happened. It felt like a pair of strong arms suddenly took him carefully out of the current. Something or someone now supported him against a muscular chest, like how the twins' parents would rock his tamers after a nightmare. Rather than complain about this sort of treatment, the virus found it somehow comforting and safe. He wearily opened his emerald eyes.

The figure seemed hard to make out through the foggy grayness of the area and he'd floated so near the darkness, it hid most details anyway. The unknown someone held him facing the now-distant light, and the rays that reached even this far stung his tired eyes. The features of the figure were too hard to make out. It seemed familiar to the purple creature though.

"Who…?" he whispered even as his eyelids tried to close once more.

A deep, still-familiar voice soothed, "Rest, small one. You will slip no farther away."

"Why…?" the rookie asked, struggling to see the figure. Was that a mane…? He couldn't tell. "I… don't..."

"A mutual friend wanted it. She asked me to help you if I could. She told how you tried to protect her," explained the voice. "I can no longer do that, but I can do this much for her. I can keep you from drifting farther away as long as you are not harmed anymore."

Impmon closed his eyes. He didn't feel like deciphering the mystery of who he was speaking to or what was happening. He could still feel the tug of the current around him, but the strong arms held him fast. The small purple creature wondered if it was possible to fall asleep in an apparent dream. Still, he was too tired to care. Sleep claimed him.

Leomon glanced down at the resting figure in his arms; his onetime murder and traitor to the children he now fought beside. The leonine digimon knew that Impmon was no longer the same digmon who once killed him. He was far less selfish and more caring. He had his own partners and still felt the desire to guard Jeri as well. The virus really made use of his second chance.

"I've done what I can for him, Jeri," he whispered. "I've saved his spirit from being lost. Now you need to take care of his physical body."

Let me know what you think so far. I'll try to update soon as I can.