A/N: Before continuing, for those of you being introduced to this fic for the first time, it's important that you read the previous books in this series (Hazard's Sorrow, A Time to Heal, Less than Human, and Twists of Fate: Prelude to Revival) in order to know what's going on, and what's being referenced. With that said, I present to you the latest story in the Tamers Requiem series.

Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon.

"Well? What do you think?"

Steel shone in the light of day as a metallic, reptilian tail swished through the air.

"Think of what?"

A hand, this one completely human gestured out in front of its owner, sweeping out over the vast expanse of the city that lay before the pair. Its owner didn't look behind him at his partner to provide an answer to his question, and instead allowed the motion of his hand to speak meaningfully for him instead. The steel dragon looked away from the human and out over the city. Crimson glowed in his eyes briefly before he snorted.

"Hardly impressive."

"No?" The human brought his hand to rest on his knee as he leaned back. "Well, you've seen many strange things, so I suppose that's inured you to sights like these. 'You've seen one wonder, you've seen them all.'"

The dragon looked at the human incredulously. As though sensing his surprise, the human chortled.

"I often wonder what humans think about their gods. All the information I've acquired, they see them as being large and grossly powerful…always on a completely different level than they themselves are. Workings of vast, powerful forces, or the generators themselves of those very forces. Suppose they come across a god and discover that they're no different?"

"Their many myths describe them as being as human," said the steel dragon. "Powerful, sometimes immortal, but with appetites like they do."

"Yes. So the stories say," said the human dismissively. "But I'm talking about actually meeting one in the flesh and having it documented. Not some story that can be passed down."

"What does any of this have to do with what I think about this city, Prometheus?" The steel dragon narrowed his eyes at his partner.

"Maelstrom, Maelstrom, Maelstrom…" Prometheus said, shaking his head at the metallic dragon. "I was looking at it from the point of view from you digimon. I've traveled the length of the digital world, and whenever I hear you talk about humans or the real world, it's always reverently. Well, except for the Southern Sovereign, but he's no longer capable of voicing his opinion on the matter. Yggdrasil's vaunted Project-X saw to that. But I digress. You've crossed claws with the lance of humans. You've seen what they are like on the inside. Can you honestly tell me that they are worth the veneration that you digimon heap on them?"

"I have never done so before. Nor has my master."

"Perhaps I'm asking the wrong person then," said Prometheus. "I forgot that you are merely the projection of a digimon's will given solid form. For that matter, the digimon you were birthed from is an existence far greater than the typical digimon. Angel types are like that. Perhaps GranDracmon even more so. After all, did he not discover the Death-X evolution long before Yggdrasil…?"


"Hmmm…yes. Sorry. I do go on, don't I?" Prometheus rubbed the back of his head, all the while laughing at himself. "But this is what I find amazing about humans." His expression softened as his laughter pattered off. He looked out over the city thoughtfully. "They are nothing at all like us."

"No," said Maelstrom. "They are not. They are weak."

"And they fight everyday against their weaknesses. Some fail. Some," Prometheus gestured towards the city once more with a flick of his finger, "build cities like these in open defiance. A modern day Babylon that stretches towards the heavens. It's not immortality by any means, but they do go under screaming and clawing, for good or ill. One road or another, they can be so much more."

Maelstrom's eyes gleamed as Prometheus got to his feet and stretched. Knuckling his back, he made satisfied sounds as his bones popped.

"But that's why we're here," Prometheus continued, rotating one arm. "Crossroad time. A chance meeting of ships in the night, and suddenly the whole game changes. Time to throw the monkey wrench into the works and shake things up because like it or not, things need to change."

"Are you done with your self-monologue?" asked Maelstrom, flexing his claws in annoyance.

"Yep," Prometheus nodded. "Time to get back to work."

Violet, flame patterns crossed his arms, and with a flick of his wrist, the duo disappeared as the sun finished rising over the mountainous buildings of Shinjuku, Japan.

Tamers Requiem, Book 4: Revival

A Digimon Tamers story by Crazyeight

Chapter: 1- Shuffling the Deck


Takato Matsuki rubbed the small of his back as he rolled onto his knees. In front of him, a red-haired girl of approximately sixteen years of age stretched, patiently waiting for him to get back onto his feet.

"You know," said Takato as he stood up. "You don't have to be so rough about this." The pain in his back was easing off now. He took a moment to note that after all this time the landings had finally started to get less painful.

I'm not sure if that's just because I'm used to it, or she's trying to be easier about it…

The girl looked up, and the corners of her mouth tugged at her lips, trying to force them into a smile. She resisted, but mostly failed. This was perhaps one of the very few defeats that she ever allowed life to get out of her.

"Tough," Rika replied, violet eyes sparkling as she leaned to the side to stretch her right leg. "If you didn't want to be kissing dirt so much, then you shouldn't have taken me up on my offer. Besides, it's not my fault that you have problems with fighting girls."

Takato sighed and hung his head. She did have a point, as much as he hated to admit it. He was just not fond of being rough with girls, even if he was sparring with them for practice. He just didn't seem to have it in him, no matter how many times his back hit ground or a mat. When he was younger, he had less difficulty with it despite his many qualms about it from the start, but as he grew he became increasingly self-conscious about it in ways that went beyond just simple personal morals.

Takato's crimson eyes brushed over Rika's figure. Her black sweat pants and white and turquoise sleeved T-shirt framed her quite nicely, showing just how much she had 'filled out' over the course of the three and a half years from when they first met. His eyes paused on her chest, and automatically he froze.

'Bread dou…' Takato thought before he could stop himself. …Doh! Terriermon!

Stiffening sharply, his face blushed bright red and he quickly scrambled to his feet, taking great care to not look at Rika. As he dusted himself off, muttering to himself all the while, Rika raised an elegant eyebrow before chuckling, quickly catching what was going through his mind.

"I still need to bury that weenie rabbit for that," she said in amusement. "He made you even worse just because of that one comment."

"Sorry," Takato replied, fidgeting. Rika sighed and shook her head, amazed, and not for the first time, at how quickly Takato could devolve into a babbling idiot whenever he became embarrassed.

At least he's not as bad as he used to be when he was a kid, smiled Rika. Though I have to say, that was one of his more charming qualities back then. Cute too.

Dismissing her rather girly thought, Rika relaxed her muscles and fell into a loose stance, signaling that she was ready to begin again. Takato quickly got the message and did likewise, though his movements were still a little bit stiff compared to hers. Well, that suited her just fine. She'd take any excuse to beat his aversion towards fighting girls out of him. They both knew that their lives might depend on it someday.

"Takaaatooo…" called a familiar voice from off to the side, causing Takato's head to turn in its direction. Seizing the opportunity, Rika dashed forward and approximately two seconds later, Takato was again on his back, coughing as the air all but left his lungs from the impact.

"Don't take your eyes off your opponent, Gogglehead," Rika chastised as she helped him up to his feet. "I thought Henry's teacher would have drilled that into your head by now."

"Well…he did say something like that…but maybe I just wasn't listening."

Shrugging, Rika walked over to her gym bag and dug out a pair of towels, tossing one to Takato and draping the other around her neck.

"Guess practice is over for the day. Same time tomorrow?"

Takato nodded. "Sure."

"Good. See you then." With that, Rika took off at a brisk pace, slinging her bag over her shoulder. Takato watched her go for a second, his eyes just barely catching the flickering figure of a golden furred, kitsune following closely from behind.

"Takato?" asked a crimson-scaled reptile drawing up next to him.

"Hey, Guilmon," said the teenager, turning towards his partner and closest friend in two worlds, a smile drawing on his face. "Don't tell me…you're hungry."

Guilmon shook his head exuberantly.

"Mm-mm. I was bored and I just wanted to see how you were doing. Renamon says that it's almost time for you to go to school anyway." Guilmon looked the boy over. "She beat you again, didn't she?"

"Am I that dirty?" laughed Takato. Guilmon laughed back.

"Not as much as you've been before. That's good, right?"

"Well, my teacher's won't give me as much trouble for coming to school disheveled…or at least as disheveled. Did you have fun playing with Renamon?"

"She's very good at hiding. I only found her once today. And then I got stuck in a bush and had a bird's nest fall on my head…"

While Takato listened to his best friend regale him about his tales of happy-fun time the two set course towards home.

Rika made it back to her home in record time. She still had plenty of time before she had to report to her school, but she didn't want to waste a single second. As much as she enjoyed her early morning exercises with Takato, they had the tendency of nearly causing them both to run late as they became too caught up in it to notice time go by. As Rika quickly took off her clothes and switched into her school uniform, another smile tugged faintly at her lips. There used to be a time when Takato ran consistently late to everything and she was the one always early.

"Something on your mind?" asked Renamon, phasing into view behind the young girl. Rika chuckled.

"Just thinking about how much Gogglehead and I seem to have switched places. How am I doing on time?"

"You have more than enough, as always. In spite of what you think, you are never late to class."

"Later than I'd like," replied Rika as she fixed her uniform and gave it a once over. She pursed her lips together, but she nodded in satisfaction all the same. Quickly locating her bag, she made sure that she had everything she needed and slung it over her shoulder.

"At least Takato has learned to keep up with you and get up on time," noted Renamon, her tone amused. Rika smirked.

"Henry said that was one of the benefits of training. I believe him on that." Exiting her room Rika wandered into the kitchen, her eyes staying sharply on the clock as she fixed herself some toast. She scowled a little as she always did in the mornings now. In spite of all the benefits that her training with Takato had given her, the loss of time to have some miso soup sometimes seemed too high of a cost for her.

At least Takato makes up for it over the weekends…even if it is embarrassing when he does…

Rika brushed the thought aside as the now warm, crisp bread popped out of the toaster. Buttering it up, she choked it down and brushed herself off to make sure that she didn't get any crumbs on her uniform.

Class president will give me hell if I don't keep this thing clean…

Not for the first time did Rika wonder about the pros and cons of uniforms, but as always she pushed it to the side, considering it not worth her time with the life that she led.

"Morning, Rika," came the voice of her mother, Rumiko as she sauntered into the kitchen, a tired expression on her face. "Up early, as always I see."

Rumiko offered her daughter a smile, and Rika returned it.

"Kicked Takato's butt again," she said devilishly. Rumiko laughed.

"That boy… Just when are the two of you going to get together? It's been three years…"

"Not this again," replied Rika, rolling her eyes in exasperation.

"Sorry," laughed Rumiko as she opened the fridge and began rummaging around for something to eat. "I only ask because you're my daughter. I do worry sometimes, and the two of you have been quite close for a while now."

Rika walked over to a cupboard and took out her mother's coffee. Rumiko gave her a grateful smile.

"Whether or not I get together with Takato is my choice, and I'll pick the time and place when we're both…ready for that step."

"Still hard?"

Rika felt a blush rise on her cheeks and she turned back towards the cupboard, looking for some of her grandmother's tea.

"You don't know how hard," Rika admitted. "I've told about our link…"

"Yes. Very romantic," Rumiko teased. Rika felt a bit irritated as her blush deepened in its intensity.

"More like embarrassing," Rika muttered under her breath. Not to mention amazing that we were able to keep our friendship through it, especially after that weird dream that we…no!

Once Rika was sure that she had her blushing under control, she turned around and let go a sigh.

"Let's just say that it can be difficult dealing with two sets of thoughts at the same time."

"Don't you have a link with Renamon?"

"Our link is similar," replied Renamon for Rika, appearing by the doorway. "However, Takato lacks not only discipline, but also the ability to control his own thoughts."

"He's better now though," admitted Rika quickly. "He picked up on it fast. His dreams aren't as wild as they used to be."

"Really?" asked Rumiko in an offhand manner as she prepared her coffee pot. "Well, boys will be boys I suppose…"

Rika felt her blush revive itself on her face.

"That's not what I meant!"

"Oh?" asked Rumiko, raising a curious eyebrow at her daughter. "My…I never expected that from Takato. And here I thought it was something a little more innocent. Boys will indeed be boys I suppose…"

Rika stammered, realizing she had inadvertently stepped into an unexpected trap. Cursing quietly, she turned towards the clock to distract herself.

"Aw…nuts!" she growled, all but dropping her grandmother's tea. "Renamon! We've got to go! See you when I get home, Mom. Say hi to Grandma for me."

"Will do," said Rumiko, waving goodbye to her daughter as she and her partner disappeared into thin air. She glanced over at the clock, noting that her daughter still had plenty of time to get to school.

Having Renamon transport her seems a little…excessive. Rumiko chuckled as her coffee pot signaled that it had finished its job. But considering the conversation I suppose I can't blame her for wanting a quick escape. Ah…young love. I almost feel old…

"A little abrupt weren't you?" asked Renamon as she and Rika phased into view back in the confines of the park, a short distance away from where she and Takato had been training earlier. Rika shrugged.

"Any longer and I would have gone insane from all the pestering. I'm just glad that she's not as bad as I thought she'd be when she first found out and things started to settle down. She's not going on about how she was 'already dating when she was my age.'"

Renamon tilted one ear to the side as she listened to her partner's rather sarcastic tone, but chose not to comment on it. Puberty…it was such a strange thing to see, even after three and a half years of observing it. Even though the digivolution aspect of digimon life was an extreme form of growth, making the human change from childhood to adulthood a paltry thing by comparison, it was still surprising to see how much her partner and the other Tamers change over the course of the years while remaining, in some respects, the same.

And not just physically, thought Renamon, though that plays its role as well…

Renamon sighed and shook her head mentally. "Well, she does worry about you, as you well know. I think part of that is because you've refused her offer to transfer schools to be with your friends."

Rika shrugged. "I care a lot about the others. But sometimes I need a place to be me. Kind of hard to believe that school has been that place for me, but there's no getting around it now. I can't always depend on the others to make new friends you know."

Renamon nodded approvingly, but before she could say anything else, the sound of Rika's blue-trimmed D-Arc emanating its electronic warning from her bag filled the air. Cursing under her breath, Rika dug her digivice out of her bag and activated the tracking program. Her eyes narrowed as the compass function swiveled around before finally settling on a direction.

"Looks like it's a big one. Perfect timing…"

"For you to blow off some steam, or for making you late for once?"

Rika rolled her eyes as she laughed. "Did anyone tell you that you're getting better at making jokes?"

Pink armor glinted in the sunlight as Crusadermon touched down on the porch of her partner, Ayaka Ito's home and slid the glass slide door that led into her bedroom open. Stepping inside, ducking her head to make sure that she didn't accidently hit the doorframe, the Royal Knight took in the sleeping form of her partner. Coppery hair lay lazily over her bedcovers, a content smile on her face as sunlight, now partially obscured by Crusadermon's form, fell over her. Crusadermon watched her for a moment before checking the time and walked on over. Reaching out, she promptly tore the girl's covers off, eliciting a squawk of surprise as she was jolted to full wakefulness.

"Hey! Wha—? Crusadermon!"

"It is time for you to go to school," the Royal Knight intoned dispassionately as she neatly folded up the covers and placed them on the edge of the bed. Ayaka sat up in her light purple pajamas, blinking blearily and covered her face with one arm to ward off the sunlight. She glanced over at the clock.

"I still have a whole 'nother hour!" she said, exasperatedly. "Ten more minutes! Ten!"

"During which it would become fifteen, then twenty, then thirty," Crusadermon replied as she routed through Ayaka's closet. Pulling out her school uniform, Crusadermon tossed it onto the bed. "Dress."

Ayaka was not quite so ready to surrender just yet.

"Five more minutes." She held up one hand with all four fingers plus one thumb stretched out on display. "Five."

"I've heard it said that it's usually better to get up early. Stretching it out does not change your body chemistry. You'll be awake soon enough, Ayaka. And then you can start complaining about Kenta making you late."

"Ugh." Ayaka threw up her hands in disgust and got out of bed. "You're heartless."

"Of course I am. My title was the Indifferent Warrior after all. Or did you forget that?"

"Kind of hard to," grumbled Ayaka. "I need a shower…"

"Your father is in there now."

"Huh? Aren't you just getting in?" Ayaka threw a glance over the open slide door. Crusadermon tapped the side of her helm.

"I could hear him singing all the way from the park. There is only one place where he does that. I have had enough time to pick up on his habits."

Ayaka groaned, but she had to admit that her partner was right. Three and a half years of partnership…someone would be bound to pick up on that sort of thing.

"Great… All the hot water's going to be used up so that means no shower. And on top of that I'm woken up by a drill sergeant digimon who used to be employed by a digital god… Definitely not the way I wanted to start my day."

"Then perhaps you should get up sooner to avoid the pain."

"Completely missing my point, Crusadermon," said Ayaka as she decided to forgo sprucing herself up in any special way and quickly dressed in her high school uniform, a green trimmed version of the standard sailor uniform common to Japanese high schools. As soon as she finished sliding on her skirt, she went over to her nightstand and picked up a hair tie, wrapping it around her hair to form a simple, loose ponytail. She went over to her mirror to look herself over. Gone were the days of simple shorts, striped t-shirts, and pigtails.

Not too fond of the skirt, she thought, picking at that particular article of clothing. Not sure how this ponytail frames my face either…it just sort of disappears. Ugh…well, Kenta seemed to like it when I first wore it for gym class…

Ayaka tilted her head to one side, watching her hair swish in that direction, not sure at all what her boyfriend of three years saw in it. Then again, this was Kenta she was talking about, and no one could figure out what she saw in him either. It had taken her a while as well, even after their 'first kiss' moment that Crusadermon herself had incidentally brought about.


Glancing away from her mirror, Ayaka's face bloomed into a smile as she saw MarineAngemon floating outside her balcony.

"Hey there, little guy," she said, rushing over to greet the tiny fairy. "How're you doing?"

"Puhpuhpuh," MarineAngemon replied, doing a cartwheel in the air. Ayaka smiled.

"That's good. Kenta got up early, I see. Is he…?"

"Puh." MarineAngemon nodded, smiling all the while.

"All right. Tell him I'll be down in a minute, and have him tell Mom not to pester him. Or better yet, you do it. He freaks out whenever she starts talking to him."

MarineAngemon nodded and flapping his tiny wings quickly flew down to join his partner. Ayaka watched him go, waving cutely at him as he went.

"You do realize," said Crusadermon after a moment, "that your mother has no capability of talking to him."

"I know. But I figure she'll be too caught up in him to bother with Kenta. The last thing that guy needs is something like a marriage question being brought up to give him a heart attack. Seriously, ever since he and I got together she's been itching to marry me off."

"I see…" Crusadermon paused as she thought something over. "…How do you understand what MarineAngemon is saying, by the way?"

Ayaka laughed, blushed lightly, and stuck her tongue out at her partner.

"Not telling."

It was at that moment that Ayaka's pink and yellow colored digivice cried out in alarm.

"I've said it before, and I'll say it again," said Henry as he ran down the streets of Shinjuku. "Never a dull day around here."

"Wow Henry," chuckled a long eared, white and green colored, rabbit-dog digimon with one horn on his head hanging on tightly to the back of the half-Chinese boy's head by his tiny paws. "You are the master of observation. Not to mention nostalgia. This is…what? The third time in two weeks? Gotta be a record. And this week is just getting started too…"

"Terriermon…" Henry rolled his eyes as his partner giggled. Henry couldn't help but smile.

"The more things change, the more they stay the same, isn't that right, Henry?" laughed a young girl racing next to him. She bore on her shoulders a digimon that was eerily similar to Terriermon, only with gray colored fur and three horns to his one. Henry scowled at her.

"Suzie…I thought I told you to go to school."

"Momentai, big brother," said Suzie cheerfully. A trickle of sweat rolled down her face as she strained to keep up with him. "Our…digivices say that it's a big one, so you'll need all the help that you can get, righ—whoa!" Suzie's pace tapered off a bit and she grabbed hold of her side.

"Are you all right, Suzie?" asked Henry, slowing to a stop next to her.

"Yeah, I'm fine…I just…got a cramp."

Henry frowned.

"Suzie…I think you should head to school. I'm in better shape then you are, and if you're caught out in the open and exhausted, you'll just end up getting yourself hurt. Just leave this to us, okay?"

"But Henry…"


Suzie bit the inside of her cheek as she pouted. She knew the tone that Henry was using all too well. He had used it often enough whenever she had driven him to the point of irritation, especially when they had been in the digital world the first time around. That had been hard on both of them, but it had been only recently that she realized how much harder it was for him. Still…she wanted to help!

No getting around it when he uses that tone, though.

"…Fine," Suzie conceded, and Henry's harsh expression eased.

"That's a good girl," he said, patting her head. "Don't worry. We'll be okay."

"As okay as we'll ever be," muttered a certain long-eared digimon.


"Don't worry Suzie. If you hear Henry screaming, you can swoop in and save the day!"

"You're really not helping," said Suzie unhappily. "All right. I'll go to school…but I want you to practice with me some more when you get home!"

"I…" Henry paused. He had a test in trigonometry tomorrow. Could he really spare the time? He was strapped for it as it was…

Oh, who am I kidding?

"Sure. Just for a bit."

"Good." With that, Suzie turned and began to head slowly off. Henry sighed.

She clearly intends to take her time…

The distant thud of an explosion reached his ears, and Henry pulled out his green trimmed D-Arc and a card from his pocket. The card quickly took on a blue sheen to it.

"Should have done this from the very start. Are you ready Terriermon?"

"It's about time!"

Sparks flew as Henry slashed the blue card through the slot of his digivice, invoking its power. Terriermon leapt into the air as an emerald sphere wrapped itself around him. Within it, his body broke apart and expanded, reconstructing itself as he spoke the words that completed his transformation.

"Terriermon! Matrix Digivolve tooo…Rapidmon!"

The sphere shattered, revealing the swift and powerful form of Terriermon's Ultimate level form. Landing on the ground, Rapidmon gestured towards his back.

"Hop on! We're going to cruise at warp speed and beat everyone to the fight! Then maybe I can finally get Renamon to sing me praises about how much I rock!"

"I wouldn't count on it," said Henry, clambering onto his partner's shoulder. With Rapidmon's help.

"Yeah, you're probably right. Knowing her, she'd just say I was just showing off. I don't care though. I've made it my life's mission to get her to compliment me at least once!"

"I thought it was your life's mission to make mine miserable."

"It is! This is just a rest stop along the way. Do you know how much you wear me out sometimes?"

Henry smirked. "A lot. By the way, that qualified as rude."

"Oooh…so you do have a personality. I was wondering what Noriko saw in you after all these years…"


"Yeah, yeah. Get to the fight. Hang on…"

With a quick jump, Rapidmon's jet engines kicked in, rocketing them into the sky.

Takato wiped his brow in relief as Growlmon reverse digivolved back to his Rookie form. Next to him, Kazu laughed and Rapidmon was coming in for a landing, the rocket launchers that made up his arms smoking from the engine exhaust of their primary armament. Lying unconscious on the ground, body distorting from the beating it had taken, was a massive, yet unconscious black scaled MasterTyrannomon.

"Well…that's a first," Takato chuckled. "I didn't think we'd be able to take him down without deleting him."

"Shows what you know, Chumley," grinned Kazu, clapping his friend on the back. "We are just that good…"

"Or maybe just that lucky," said Rika tersely, brushing herself off.

"Ahhh…c'mon, Rika. You're just saying that because this is the first time we managed to take down a digimon without deleting it."

"Exactly." Rika glanced up at the unconscious Ultimate, her eyes set in a hard expression. "This is our first time. And it took us how many tries to work it out? I think we just got lucky, especially since Rapidmon caught him by surprise. We might not be so lucky the next time around."

"You really know how to spoil a mood," grumbled Kazu. "Can't you learn to relax and party once in a while? All we've got to do is wait for Yamaki and his bunch to activate their gateway gizmo and we can send this guy back to the digital world. I call it a win, and we even did it without breaking the streets too much."

"…Which you did last time, I might add."

"H-Hey! It's not my fault that Guardromon weighs nearly a metric ton! Besides, he was thrown, and last I checked, physics aren't exactly a fun thing to have around when you weigh that much and being thrown at the speed of a cruise missile."

"Wow. You're going Einstein on me? Will wonders never cease?"

Takato laughed as his friends continued their banter back and forth.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, he thought to himself, rubbing one hand through his hair. As always, the adventure continued, ebbing and flowing with the passing of the seasons. Glancing up at the sky, Takato saw the familiar blue colored halo outline that signaled the activation of Hypnos' digital gate. He had seen it so many times during its initial testings. Would they one day use it to travel to the digital world? Takato wasn't sure, especially since the climate concerning digimon seemed to always remain uncertain, even in the case of official recognition of Tamers as a policing force for digimon and relations between the real and digital worlds. He hoped that one day they would be able go there again though. As harsh as it was, the digital world was far too amazing and beautiful for it to remain unexplored and left only to the imagination. It was the stuff his dreams were made of.

The universe for its part moved forward, either responding to the wishes in the Dreamer's heart, or already anticipating it.

The adventure continued…as always.

A/N: Welcome back to the world of Crazyeight and the Tamers Requiem series. It's been…a while since I wrote 'Twists of Fate: Prelude to Revival' with its hints of this story starting up. My apologies for the wait. My focus has been on two other fics 'Four Seasons' and 'The Dreamer', and although I intended to finish them before starting on this work, I felt the need to start something fresh and get to updating at a more regular pace over the course of spring break. I've got some ideas for this fic that have been on the burner for a while, and now that they seem to be more or less in order I'm interested in seeing where they'll go.

A few notes here on this story. Concerning Takato and Rika, their relationship, such as it is, will continue to undergo its evolution (some of which has already been touched upon in this chapter, albeit slightly). I also wanted to take a slightly different direction detail wise. In a lot of Rukato fics, Rika tends to be transferred into the same school as the Tamers, which often helps with the romance comedy, but I wanted to break away from that and have Rika continue to go to a separate school for the reasons she's outlined herself in the dialogue. But don't worry. There's going to be plenty of opportunity for romantic comedy between them, as has already been hinted at in the dialogue. They are after all, growing up, and with the way things are between them it's likely to be more intense than it would otherwise be.

Other things that I'm going to be working with…some comments in the last story, Less than Human pairing wise have prompted me to experiment a bit in that area, and it will be a part of the overall plot in this story, and give me an opportunity to develop a character who I felt became grossly overshadowed by another. Hopefully this will make up for that.

'Till next chapter then. :P