Notes: The end! Okay, I kind of suck at endings, but the main thing here is that TK is all better. Now that I'm done, I'm taking a break from writing. I need more ideas to push forward another story idea I have.


~DAISUKE~

I sat at the desk with a pencil in my hand. I stared at the weekend's math assignment that I had failed to do. I stared at the wall clock and felt bored. The homework was going nowhere. I knew how to do it, but I didn't have the drive to complete it.

I turned to look at TK. "You're lucky you don't have to do this right now." I frowned. That wasn't helping him recover. "Sorry, TK." I looked back at my homework and decided to do it later.

I stood up and stretched. I left the room to get some fresh air. I shut the door behind me and looked at the quiet living room. I smirked as I remembered yesterday's video game tournament.

We were playing a melee game that held four players at once. Our tournament consisted of Taichi, Yamato, me, Sora, Koushiro, Hikari, Miyako, and Ken. First we did team matches and Ken and I had won. When we did free-for-all, Sora managed to kill me without breaking a sweat. She won ultimate victory over Taichi and Yamato. The two were too intent on killing each other that's why.

I went into the kitchen to make myself a snack. I found an orange and peeled it carefully with a knife. I cleaned the knife and walked back into the room with the citrus. Poyomon came in after me and I gave him small piece.

I sat back in my chair and leaned back. "You know, Poyomon," I began with a bit of the fruit in my mouth. "TK is really a great partner. You're pretty great yourself. I admit that you two are stronger, but Veemon and I are a strong team too." TK stirred and I turned around to look at him.

Poyomon finished his piece and I carried him to TK. "There you are. Yeah, TK, I admitted it. But it's okay. Veemon and I will just try harder! That's what makes the two of us rivals. One day, we'll decide who the ultimate victor is. Until then, I'll just settle things with small competitions." I suddenly had an idea. "A video game tournament! I need to have a rematch against Sora anyways. How about that, TK? Sound good?" TK's face had a small smile on it. I didn't know how to take it.

Poyomon looked up at me and I smiled. I left the room to wash my hands. I stared at the digi-eggs that lay on the living room table. I checked to make sure that they were okay. I lifted up Veemon's dark blue egg. "Here's the plan, Veemon. I vow on these goggles that one day we'll match TK's heart."


~IORI~

I did the work that was to be assigned today. It was a good thing I got the assignments beforehand. I didn't really want to fall behind on my classes. The work was straightforward enough. I only had a review math sheet and a book to read.

I closed the book that I was reading to Poyomon. The baby digimon fell asleep on TK. I smiled and looked at my DNA partner. His peaceful face made me feel guilty for thinking he was truly dark. "I'm sorry, TK. I should have known better than to doubt you. But, you were really intense. You wanted to destroy the Darkness without knowing it was us you were trying to fight."

I picked up the book I had been reading. It was written in English and it reminded me of why I had thought that way. The story was about a confused boy who had turned his back on everything. He wanted to do what was right, but the way he did it contradicted his beliefs. But that wasn't TK. TK didn't know. He was tricked into hurting us.

Poyomon stirred slightly but stayed asleep. I petted his head. "You two aren't dark. If any of us were to be dark, it wouldn't be the two of you. You're Hope." I thought about it a little bit deeper. "But then Hope comes from Darkness. Hope gives Light. That's a bit contradicting. Maybe we all are dark, but we don't act upon it. That seems fairer. We're all dark, but you want to be Hope so we don't have to fall into the Darkness." My head was starting to hurt and I was confusing myself.

Poyomon woke up and blinked. "Oh, sorry, Poyomon. I was just thinking. Do you think everyone has a dark heart? Not evil, just darkness that is controlled by hope."

The small digimon shook his head. He looked at TK and looked back at me. "You think everyone has a light heart?" He nodded vigorously. "But where does that light come from? It comes from Hope that comes from Darkness, right?"

Poyomon frowned and crawled onto TK. He stopped right where TK's heart should be. "You choose with your heart?" Poyomon nodded slowly. "But how do you know which side to choose?" Poyomon faced TK's Crest. I understood only a bit. "Okay, I'll just stop thinking about it. These things get too confusing in the end, right?" Poyomon looked at me, confused. I guess he thought so too.


~MIYAKO~

I was getting bored out of my mind. I could try talking to the unconscious boy, but that would make me feel dumb. I couldn't bother Poyomon because he was sleeping. I should have brought more things with me to do. I flipped through my history textbook and grimaced at the contents. I didn't feel like studying.

I heard a noise outside and I decided to investigate. I opened the door leading out of the bedroom. The digi-eggs caught my eye. A light orange one was rocking and I decided to look closely at it. I reached it as it hatched into a Botamon. I smiled at him and noticed that the others were also hatching.

Gennai entered the room at that time and smiled at them all. "I guess we'll have to tell the rest of the Digidestined."

I nodded and e-mailed them the news. It was a little after noon and they wouldn't be able to see it until later. The digimon followed me back into TK's room. They looked at TK sadly.

"It's not your fault. It was his choice to save all of us. We should be thanking him, not feeling bad." Poyomon had gotten up when he saw us enter the room. I brought TK's partner gently to the ground and he was able to play with them.

I watched them to make sure they wouldn't get hurt. I laughed a little and saw TK twitch his fingers. "I wish you could see this, TK. They're all so adorable." I paused when the digimon stopped playing to see TK. "Come on, we can't all worry about him. He's doing fine."

Punimon and Poyomon looked at each other and frowned at me. "Okay, you can worry. But you can't let it bother you. He did his very best to protect you. Poyomon, you should understand. You helped TK save us, remember?"

The small digimon nodded and got a few of the others to play. Pururumon wanted to sit with me so I lifted up my partner and placed him on my lap. "We have to look at the bright side of things. That's what TK always does." I stared at the sleeping boy and smirked. "Remember? He said that he wanted all of us to have a little bit of his hope. We can't give it up just because the bearer of Hope is down. We'll use it to help bring him up!" Poyomon jumped up in agreement and I laughed again. The others agreed with me and got back into their small game that I didn't understand.


~KEN~

I placed the textbooks on the nightstand. "You'll have to make this all up, TK. Daisuke, Hikari, and I will help though. You have nothing to worry about at school." I sat down and lifted up Leafmon. "What do you think, Leafmon?"

My partner sort of smiled and looked at the other baby digimon. They all wanted to stay here so they could keep Poyomon company. The others thought it was a good idea since we couldn't exactly take care of all of them back home. Gennai was okay with watching them for us.

I checked the time and decided to make them food. "I think Gennai has rice. I can make something nice for you all."

In the kitchen, I checked the refrigerator for ingredients. The pantry was filled with a lot of foods and I found the rice. Leafmon followed me with Tsubumon and Pitimon. "Do you want to help?" They eagerly nodded.

I had them help with washing the rice grains, vegetables, and meat. I finally had the rice cooker set up. I turned it on and it began to cook the rice they finished washing. I checked the stove to make sure it was working fine. "Okay, I can handle the rest by myself. You guys can go back. Lunch will be ready soon."

I was able to cook quickly. The aroma was mouthwatering. I didn't know it spread to as far as TK's room. The digimon had rushed out to see if I was done. I was carrying the plates of food to the dining table. They jumped in anticipation and that surprised me. "Hey! Be careful. It's hot."

I set out twelve plates of food for them and they began to eat carefully. I didn't join them because I wanted to check on TK. The blonde wrapped himself in his blanket and slept on his side. He was breathing slowly as if savoring the food's aroma. "You can't be serious, TK. I would try to offer you some of my lunch, but I can't really feed you."

I sat down and looked out the door. "The digimon are happy. They stay here for Poyomon and you. You're a hero." I smiled. "It was weird to see you evil. You chose it without realizing. But you were able to understand it better than me. I did it selfishly." I frowned when I tried to compare him with the Digimon Emperor. "You called yourself the Protector while I made myself Emperor. You still are the Protector of the Digital World. I'm just one of the Digidestined." A few had finished eating and wanted more. I got up and decided I should enjoy lunch with them too.


~MIMI~

I felt bad seeing TK in bed. He moved every once in a while, but they were small and insignificant. Every time he stirred, Poyomon would look up expectantly. I had to calm him down a few times because he was getting restless over TK's recovery.

DemiVeemon held the tiny digimon back. "It'll be okay, Poyomon! TK will be up in a week."

I picked up TK's partner and smiled at him. "We all know how TK can be. He won't give up. He's already making progress in getting better. Gennai said so himself."

I looked at the blonde boy. He gripped the blanket tightly. He was probably imagining it to be his partner. I laughed nervously because if that really were Poyomon, he would have been squished. "He's doing okay. We just need to make sure he will be strong enough when he wakes up."

It was already afternoon and a few of the others decided to visit. "Mimi! How are TK and the digimon?" Taichi entered the room and saw Koromon.

Jou and Sora came in afterwards. "Don't you think he'll cook himself under those covers?" Jou made his way to the bed and checked TK's temperature. He tried wrenching the blanket from TK's grip but failed. "Hey, I'm trying to help you!"

TK responded by getting himself lost under the blankets. We were only able to see his messy hair sticking out in the end. Sora and I laughed. Sora knelt down beside the mix of Fresh and In-Training digimon. "You guys are being good, right? We can't have you all bothering TK. He's already weakened by the darkness he hates."

Jou sat next to his Pitimon. "Yeah, but he doesn't let it get to him most of the time." He paused and turned to me. "Why did you think we couldn't do anything to help him?"

I frowned at the doctor's assistant. "Apocalymon wanted him destroyed. Our digimon were reverted back into eggs. What could we do but let TK fight alone? We cheered him on and that was enough for TK." Sora nodded in agreement.

"He'll always be our source of hope. If he's gone, we'll have to carry it on."


~JOU~

I had spent most of the morning trying to get TK out of that mess of blankets. Bukamon just laughed at my attempts. "Jou! Just leave him!"

"He might overheat! I'm trying to save his life."

"Just leave him alone. He'll be fine. If he gets hot, he'll be able to take off the blankets himself."

I sat down, exasperated. "Fine, but I won't take the blame when Yamato freaks out over his brother's health."

The other In-Training digimon gathered around me. Tokomon jumped up. "Aren't the others going to come? It's Saturday!"

I nodded. "They'll be over around three. They have things to do before they can arrive." I leaned back in my chair and opened up a medical book. "I have to study too."

Bukamon forced me to close my book. "Let's just talk and have fun, Jou!"

"About what?" I answered with a smile.

"Well, why did TK do what he did for us? He could have just given up his Hope, but he went head on against Apocalymon."

Tanemon answered him first. "TK is just as reliable as Jou! He couldn't have all of us try to fight off the digimon when he knew we couldn't protect our partners."

The majority agreed with Tanemon. I looked at all of them. "He is just as reliable as me. He's just too nice sometimes. We all know how his life has been. He was the youngest and smallest out of all of us in the beginning. Now he's one of the strongest and kind-hearted."

Tokomon jumped up. "Without TK, we'd be lost and without a guide."

I smiled because that was exactly right. "We all need Hope to guide us. If we all fall into despair, we can't activate our Crest powers because we wouldn't know how to. Hope is something you have to have to make it through anything and everything."

TK let go of the blankets and I helped him cool down a little. His face had a small smile. I guess he understood these things better than us.


~KOUSHIRO~

It was Sunday and that meant that TK would almost be up. Just a few more days and he'll be the same as before. The digimon were getting restless, especially Tokomon. "Is he up yet?"

I had to take him off the bed so TK would have room on the bed. The digimon had been bouncing around everywhere he could.

"He'll be up when he's ready. You can't rush a recovery. It's not good for anyone's health."

Motimon smiled at the white digimon. "Don't worry, Tokomon. We all want to see TK get better."

Yamato rushed into the room when he arrived. "Is he awake yet?" The older boy carried his guitar case and set it down.

"No, Yamato. Calm down; you're just as bad as Tokomon."

Tsunomon bounded over to his partner. "Koushiro says that TK will be up soon."

I laughed nervously. "Soon being a few days, Tsunomon. Gennai said about two weeks." I glanced at the bedridden blonde. "He will be alright, that's not a doubt, but we still have to wait."

Yamato took a seat. "How is your research coming along?"

I shrugged. "Pretty good, but TK would know more about that stuff. Jou said so too. TK knows a lot about the Darkness because he comes from there."

Yamato frowned. "TK isn't dark."

Tokomon agreed too. "TK loves the light!"

I nervously tried to explain. "We know he isn't dark. But he isn't light either. He's in between. Anyone can have hope; it just depends on what for though. TK uses it to help everyone he cares about."

Yamato calmed down a little. "That's why they tried to take him over."

I nodded. "If we didn't have Hope, we would have lost. But TK still wanted to believe in the best for us. He didn't really want to fight us."

Yamato glanced at his little brother and smiled. "That's TK for you."


~TAICHI~

I sighed in relief. I got to skip school today. It was a good thing too. I didn't study for a test we were having today. Yamato will have to take it though.

I watched Agumon play with Tokomon. The two were wrestling and the rest of the digimon cheered them on. "Come on, Tokomon!"

I sided with Tokomon because I wanted the others to get strong too. "Don't leave anything open, Tokomon."

Agumon fell backwards and rubbed his head. "That was a nice headbutt!"

Tokomon helped up my partner. "That was fun! Who's going next?"

Biyomon offered to help the In-Training digimon. "You're going to have to try to catch me, Tokomon." Biyomon flew up and dive-bombed the digimon.

Tokomon dove out of the way and I encouraged him to try harder. "Don't back away, Tokomon! Face it with courage burning in your heart!"

"Like TK?"

I looked over at the mentioned boy. He had on determined grin and I nodded. "Yeah!"

Tokomon jumped up and pounced on Biyomon. "I did it!" He helped Biyomon up and looked up at his sleeping partner. "I wish you could watch us, TK. I'm getting stronger!" He looked at all of us. "We all are!"

I smiled and laughed. "We just need to have courage to face the dangers. You did just that, TK. I thank you for that. If you didn't fight for us, we all could have died."

TK shifted and covered his face with the blanket. "Being modest? I'm just kidding, TK. I wish you can hear me. All of us really want to thank you for your sacrifice."

Agumon climbed up. "It was the bravest thing we have ever seen. I can see why Taichi is relieved knowing Hikari is safe with you instead of himself."

I was taken aback. "Agumon!" The others laughed. "But it's true. You're a great kid, TK. Yamato and I trust you completely."


~SORA~

I toyed with my tennis racquet and stared at the small Ping-Pong table Gennai brought in here for the digimon. They were having fun with playing the game without paddles. I was being referee.

"Point to Hawkmon!"

The bird jumped up in triumph. "Right! Miyako would be proud."

Tentomon tried to get him to calm down. "It just isn't fair that you're sort of flying."

"You can fly, too, Tentomon," Biyomon pointed out.

"Hey, calm down," I said. "Who's playing next?"

Veemon jumped up and down. "I want to try! I want to impress Gatomon!"

Gatomon frowned. "I'll play so I can convince the sorry digimon that I'm not interested."

"Why?" Veemon began to get teary-eyed. He became determined again. "If I win, you'll have to kiss me!"

Tokomon laughed. "I want to watch! There is no way Gatomon will lose."

Gatomon sighed. "I guess I'll play. If you lose though, you leave me alone!"

The match began and Gatomon moved quickly. She didn't give Veemon a chance to relax. The ball always went back to Veemon's side as soon as it reached her.

Veemon was exhausted and he stopped. "Too tired!" He collapsed and fell asleep.

I looked at TK to see if he was alright. He had a huge smile on his face. "Don't laugh, TK. That's how Daisuke was about Hikari, remember? You're still keeping that promise you made to me all those years ago? You really must love her a lot." The digimon laughed at that.

"TK likes everyone!" Tokomon said. "Especially Hikari!"

Gatomon snickered. "Hikari likes him a lot too!" We all laughed quietly.


~YAMATO~

It was my turn today. I was dreading it, but now I'm okay with it. It was just going to be me and my little brother. And all of the digimon, of course.

They were crowded around me and my guitar. "Play another song, Yamato!"

I looked at Palmon and nodded. "Okay." I began to strum a few notes on my guitar. They all relaxed and enjoyed the music as I concentrated on the rhythm.

I stopped after a while and looked at TK. "You had us worried, TK."

Gatomon crossed her arms. "Not all of us."

Gabumon laughed nervously. "It was just you who was worried, Yamato."

I smirked. "Everyone was worried. You all were too when you couldn't do a thing to help him."

They looked away, ashamed. I apologized. "Sorry. I didn't mean it that way. I'm just relieved that my little brother is going to be all right." I sat back and played a song that I remembered as a kid. "This would sound nicer on my harmonica."

Gabumon shifted and handed it to me. "I still have it, Yamato."

I took the fragile instrument from him. "Wow, this is great. How about I play it for old time's sake, eh?" I placed it to my lips and blew a soothing melody throughout the room.

The digimon stared at me in awe. I glanced over at TK and he was sort of responding to the sound. His fingers twitched slightly and I played another tune.

I finished the song and looked at everyone. They chattered on about the beautiful melody. "That was great, Yamato!"

I chuckled lightly. "It's been a while since I played that. TK used to always love the sound of the harmonica."

Gabumon sat back down. "All of our friends did, Yamato."

Tokomon nodded in agreement. "It helped us during the night."


~HIKARI~

I was glad it was Thursday. That meant that tomorrow was Friday. TK would also wake up around that time.

I took out our homework and placed it with the other books and assignments. "You're going to need a lot of help to catch up, TK."

Gatomon climbed onto the chair I was sitting in. "I don't see the point of homework. You learn the stuff at school, don't you?"

I nodded and explained the concept to her. "Homework gives you extra practice with the subject, Gatomon. You learn it, but you also have to remember it."

"Like how TK practices basketball to get better and Taichi plays with that hacky sack for soccer?"

I nodded. Tokomon got up and climbed up the bed. "TK's going to wake up soon, right?"

"In a few days. Around tomorrow or Saturday, Tokomon," I reassured him. "It won't be long." I sat back and stared at TK's innocent smile. He was taking so long to recover.

I looked at the digimon and they wanted to go outside to play. Armadillomon found a soccer ball. "Let's go play!" They ran out with the ball and left me alone. Gennai saw them rush out the door and decided to follow them.

I sighed. "Well, TK. You're pretty special. You had all of the Digidestined watching you. The others can't wait to see you. I'm sorry I didn't visit you during the weekend or after school. I just didn't want to see you hurt, because you're my best friend, you know that. It made me feel like it was my fault." I leaned onto the bed and put my head down on the covers. I looked up at TK's sleeping face.

"You remind me a lot of an angel. Like our digimon. That seems odd to me, but you're just always there. Someone we all can count on." I laughed lightly. "I always see you behind me, watching me. Just because I'm Light you protect me from harm. Yamato thinks that you won't be the same as before. That can't be true. You'll always be TK to me." I sat back up. "The two of us are always Light and Hope. The ones necessary for the Digital World to exist."


~TAKERU~

I just floated in the same nothingness as before. The boy was still crying and I had to kneel down to see what was wrong. "He was supposed to come back!"

I frowned. "What's wrong?"

"You saved the world but my friend still didn't come back!"

I tried to think. "Who is your friend?"

"Takeru! I miss him!" The boy wiped his eyes.

"But you're TK. I'm TK, too."

The boy just began to cry again. He shook his head. "You're not TK! You're supposed to be Takeru. Takeru is smart and a hero. TK is just a kid."

I scowled. "You're not just a kid. You're Hope! Don't say that about yourself. I'm not Takeru!" I didn't mean to shout, but it was something I had to get across.

I looked at the small boy and he stopped sniveling. "But you can't be TK because I'm TK. You're smarter and stronger than me."

"No, we're the same."

"We can't be the same because you're older and know more. You know the truth of Hope. I'm just a kid that is trying to be Takeru."

"I'm not Takeru!" I stood up and looked down at my younger self. "What can I do to convince you that I'm still TK?" I looked around and saw a mirror. Our reflections shocked me.

I was comparing myself to the little boy. I was taller by a lot. My eyes had lost a little bit of its innocence because of how fast I had to grow up in the Digital World. My hair was as messy as ever. Our smiles were different. TK's was genuine while mines hid pain.

The little boy looked up at me. "See? You can't be TK anymore."

I stared at the two reflections. I was scared of my new self but why? Was it because I didn't want to be strong? Or was it because I loved the sheltered life TK had? What is it that I want now?

"TK, you're still me, right?"

The small boy nodded. "You're different from me though. You're strong enough to protect all of our friends. They care about you and miss you."

I knew that. I felt them speaking to me a few times. They needed me to be with them. I didn't want to go back as Takeru though. I didn't want to give up on little TK.

TK looked up at me. "You're not giving me up. You'll still have me in you. You just need to be strong, Takeru!"

I smiled wryly at him. "Okay, I guess I should get going. I'll see you, TK." Things began to materialize around me.

I sat up slowly in the fluffy bed. The others had fallen asleep in the chairs they sat in. I got the heavy covers off of me. I climbed down and tried to stand up. I stumbled a bit but was caught.

"Easy there, little brother. You haven't been walking in two weeks." Yamato smiled at me.

"Thank you." I leaned my weight on him as I got used to supporting myself. He let go of me for a while and I was able to take a few steps.

A few of them had woken up. They made no noise as I tried to make my way to the door. "Where's Seraphimon?" I looked around for my digimon.

Taichi rubbed his eyes and stretched. "Tokomon is outside asleep."

I held onto a chair as I shuffled forward. Jou and Iori got up to help me, but I refused to accept it. "I can do it."

Daisuke yawned loudly. "What gives? It's only three in the morning. And it's Saturday." He saw me trying to walk. "TK!" That woke up the rest of the group.

I shook my head. "Not TK anymore. I grew out of that."

Hikari frowned at me. "Okay, what do we call you?"

I smirked crookedly. "Takeru Takaishi!"

They looked at me oddly. Sora smiled at me. "You grew up a lot, Takeru."

I still tried to walk alone. Things were getting easier. "Yeah, I did."

"Are you sure you don't' need help, Takeru?" Koushiro was trying to hold himself back when I almost fell.

"I'm good. Thanks for asking though." I finally reached the door. I had one hand on the doorknob and another trying to support myself.

Miyako looked at me expectantly. "We can open the door for you, TK."

I shook my head and tried to put a little more weight on my legs. It was uncomfortable but I got used to it. I turned the doorknob and saw the living room. "Where am I?"

Mimi laughed a little. "We're in Gennai's house."

I walked out and examined the room. The dark was illuminated by a nightlight that was plugged into the wall. I blinked and my eyes adjusted to the lighting. I saw my digimon sleeping peacefully on the couch.

"Tokomon," I whispered. "Hey, buddy. Wake up."

Tokomon opened his eyes slowly. "Takeru?" He jumped up. "Takeru!"

I hugged my partner. "Yeah, I'm okay. Sorry for making you worry so much."

The rest of the Digidestined came out with their digimon. They laughed as I looked around, confused. I was missing something. My head felt extremely light. "What am I missing?"

Hikari tossed me a white fabric and I looked down. "Your hat, Takeru."

I stared at it and smiled. I quickly placed it where it belonged. Tokomon climbed up and spent the remainder of the time on my head. "That's better, Takeru!"

Daisuke got to the television set and had the video games ready. "All right! Let's do this! Another tournament! Free for all!"

Taichi and Yamato laughed. Sora came behind them and tapped on their heads. "You're all going to lose again."

I smiled. "You lost to Sora, big brother?"

Yamato frowned. "I was too busy fighting Taichi. Let's go!"

Everyone laughed and Koushiro drew up a map for each round. Round one was a survival match and four would be eliminated. Then another four will lose by a racing mode of the game. The remaining eight will be challenged to a speed mode. The final four will have a brawl to the finish.

I laughed nervously as Hikari handed me the controls. "Scared, Takeru?"

I shook my head. I was going first against Jou, Daisuke, and her. "Just excited to have my Hope back." The survival match started and we all cheered loudly.


Final Notes: Now that I've reached the end, it's time for the ultimate review! I have an idea to write up a story that combines the younger versions of the characters and the 02 group. Before that, I have to write a story that introduces one of my own characters. Heheh, so much work. I'll just see how the idea goes. It might not happen like I said before, but just throwing the thought out there. Okay, go ahead and tell me your final thoughts about this story!