Yamato threw open the door to his young sons room, only to find it empty.
"Toshio!" He called into the darkness, but there was no answer.
A layer of sweat blanketed his skin as he frantically stumbled over to the tiny bed. The man ruffled the sheets and ran his shaking hands over the top of the mattress. The tiny lump, Toshio, was not there. Yamato grasped the sheets in both his hands and squeezed them together, trying to control his breathing. His eyes bulged wide out of his head and threatened to explode. With his chest heaving up and down, he let out a stifled moan, and just barely caught a glisten of light out of the corner of his eye.
Quickly, he turned around to face Toshio's open window. Yamato had closed it earlier that day. What could have opened it? The man stood up straight and peered out the window as beads of sweat dripped from his forehead and around the creases of his eyes. Something was out there, Yamato was sure. For a moment, a pair of blue eyes were visible in the distant night sky.
"Toshio!" The man ran to the window, only stopping because his legs hit against the wall. "Toshio!"
However, his calls were unanswered. Had he imagined the voice that had pierced his ears just moments before? The voice that had sounded so desperate, so helpless? The man felt his knuckles crack against the wood of the windowsill, and he slowly backed away. His knees began to go weak, as his mind tried to function. He had just gotten him back, and now he was gone. Yamato fell to his knees. His veins grew cold and his stomach churned as the man prepared to vomit.
"It's busy!" Takeru called across the kitchen to his wife.
"It's busy? What do you mean it's busy!" Hikari called back. "Try again!"
"Hikari it's been busy for ten minutes!"
Takeru dropped the phone to the floor the moment his wife collapsed over the counter.
"Get up!" He begged once he reached her. He placed a warm palm on her mid-back and rubbed it in circles. "Hikari, get up."
The woman didn't respond to his touch. "They're gone… they're gone.." She muttered over and over into the cool tiles on the surface.
"Shh.." Takeru tried to calm her. He wrapped his arms around Hikari's quivering body and rested his head on her upper back. "Hikari, we'll get them back."
Takeru let a sigh of relief escape from his tightly closed lips as Hikari stood up to face him. She did not look him in the eyes, but at a spot somewhere over his left shoulder. "How do you know that?"
Takeru placed a hand gently on her chin and had her face him. He looked her in the eyes for a moment, and the coating of tears almost killed him. He swallowed hard, trying to get himself to believe his own thoughts. "Because we're digidestined." He told her, "And so are our children. We always find a way."
Hikari finally lifted her head off the counter, but still stared blankly straight ahead. "That was a digimon that came, I know it, I felt it." Her voice crackled.
To this, Takeru said nothing. He simply kept his hand against her back, rubbing it in small circles. He could feel the goose bumps on her clammy skin. He wanted to say something to make her better, but he did not know what. In his own mind, he had trouble convincing himself that everything would be alright.
"Taichi, I can't keep up with you!" Sora cried as she followed behind her husband.
Taichi stopped running for a moment and looked behind him. Once his wife got close enough, he grabbed her hand and continued running.
"Where are we going?" The woman panted.
"The harbor." Was all Taichi said.
The two ran hand in hand, struggling to keep up with each other, until they reached the water's edge. The water's edge was really the end of the road, so they looked down into the water, and up into the dark night sky. There were barely any stars out- the sky was covered with a thick fog.
"Taichi, why are we here?" Sora asked, looking pleadingly into the man's eyes. She gripped his hand tight as they stood at the edge of the road. She felt uneasy being so close to the side, and when she looked down she felt lightheaded.
Taichi stared straight up into the sky with his eyes squinted. He seemed to be scanning for something. "This is where we went back to the digital world after defeating Myotismon. There used to be a portal here, and the monster headed this way."
"Are you sure it's a digimon?" Sora asked, digging her nails into Taichi's skin.
Taichi took his eyes off the midnight sky and looked at his wife. Her eyes looked hardened and a bit glazed over. "It has to be." He said, clenching his fists. He pounded one into the other and grunted, causing Sora to let out a small gasp of surprise. "And I'm going to find it, and I'm going to destroy it!"
"Taichi!" Sora exclaimed, throwing her hands out from her sides. "If it is a digimon, how are we getting to the digital world? Someone closed the gate, remember?"
With that said, Taichi stopped fuming, and he looked at his wife, hurt. His eyes sunk back into his face and his hands fell to his sides. From the look Sora gave him, he could tell she instantly regretted what she said, but it still shot through him like a bullet.
"I'm sorry." Sora said quickly. "I'm just on edge." She buried her heads in her hands and began to silently cry. Her fingers curled around her frizzy bedhead, and they shook lightly. Teardrops began to slither down her cheeks and drop onto her pajama shirt, which she had not had time to change out of.
Taichi felt his stomach drop at the sight of her. Deciding to let her comment go, he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into a warm hug. His skin against hers was a good replacement for the cool night air, and it helped her body to stop shaking a bit.
"We'll get her back." Taichi said, pushing his lips against the top of her head. He kissed her, and moved one of her hands to caress the back of her neck. "I promise."
"Hey!" Their moment was interrupted by a voice coming from the distance. Taichi and Sora loostened their grips on each other and looked towards the direction it came from. "Guys!" The voice continued.
Slowly, as their eyes adjusted the two could make out a figure running towards them.
"Daisuke!" Taichi called back once he had figured out who it was. He put his hand in the air and waved. It settled him down a bit seeing a friend, but had the same thing happened to him?
Once Daisuke reached the couple, he could easily tell Sora was crying. Her head was pushed into Taichi's shoulder, and one of his tanned arms was around her waist.
"It happened to you too, didn't it?" Daisuke asked, his voice cold and hard.
Taichi simply nodded, and Sora lifted her head.
Daisuke put his hands on his knees and leaned over, catching his breath a bit. "That digimon wa-"
"Digimon?" Taichi interrupted. "You think it's a digimon too?"
Daisuke looked to to meet the man's interrogating eyes. They were hard, with a glimmer of hope in them. "Yeah.." Daisuke said slowly. "What else would it have been?"
Taichi let his head fall back as a cool breeze swept across his clammy skin. Besides everything that had just happened, the night was peaceful. It was misleadingly peaceful. There were barely any clouds in the sky, and the moon sat low, giving off the illusion that it was bigger than it really was. It was a crescent shape, and while the lighted part was especially light, the area that was blocked from the sun was especially dark. Taichi squinted his eyes at it before he spoke again.
"And that's why you came here.." Taichi whispered, more to himself. It settled him down a little bit to know someone else thought the monster was a digimon. However, that also raised many impossible questions. "Daisuke, if it was a digimon, how do you think it got to our world?"
The younger man raised his brows and put a hand behind his head. "You're asking the wrong person about that."
"Perhaps we should call Koushirou.." Sora began. Suddenly though, her thoughts changed track. "My god, do you think this happened to Koushirou? And Hikari? And everyone else?" Her eyes widened and fresh tears formed at the thought of her friends suffering as she was.
"Hikari!" Taichi exclaimed quietly. His whisper was harsh, and his eyes jolted open.
Wiping the tears from her face, Sora pulled together her most sensible thoughts and spoke. "If that thing really was a digimon, we need to get everyone together now. You may be right, maybe we can get to the digiworld somehow, but we need everyone. If Manami and the other kids are in the digiworld, our digimon must know, and we have to believe they're protecting them until we can get there."
Taichi grumbled and shifted his balance on his feet.
"Yeah.." Daisuke continued, putting a firm hand on Taichi's shoulder. "Veemon's there, and Agumon's there. So is Biyomon! They won't let anything happen to anyone until we can get there and set things straight. Who knows, maybe our kids turned out to be like us when we were that age. Maybe they're at the start of some crazy adventure."
Taichi formed his hands into fists, but let a small smile appear on the left corner of his mouth. "Maybe so," he said, punching one of his fists into the palm of his other hand, "but let's get them back."
About an hour later, Taichi, Sora, and Davis were back at Koushirou's apartment, where they had been only hours before. Koushirou had agreed to have everyone gather at his place. As the three found out, each digidestined who had children had them stolen that night. Mostly, everyone's eyes remained on the ground, however, every once in a while, someone would gather the courage to look up and examine the pained faces. Many people looked at Ken. His arm was bandaged, and some dried blood had seeped through to the outside. Everyone wanted to ask him what had happened, but since they already knew he was definitely trying to fend off the monster, no one asked.
Jyou was the only person to not look worried for himself. If anyone looked around at the others, it was him. He took in their pain and tried to relate to it, but he couldn't help but feel as though he didn't completely understand. With each scared face he saw, his heart dropped a bit more in his chest.
Finally, Koushirou stood up, his laptop in hand. His eyes were bloodshot and his hands were shaking. "M-most of us are here, so we might as well begin.."
Takeru looked to an empty spot on the couch. It would probably be where his brother would sit, if he decided to show up. The only other missing digidestined was Mimi, who of course, couldn't make it. It was still quite dark outside, but a small ring of light could be seen coming over the horizon. With each minute that passed, it grew, sending more golden sunshine over the grass. Takeru stared out the window and wondered how the day could go on when something so awful had happened. Hikari had her hand in his, and she moved her pointer finger back and forth across his palm.
"And where do we begin?" Ken asked, being careful not to move too much. Miyako, who sat next to him, didn't move either. She kept her hands in her lap and her eyes on the carpet.
The room remained silent for a few moments, but Taichi spoke up. He cleared his throat and straightened himself so he sat with his back flat against the back of the sofa. "We've got to get to the digital world."
"That's a little rash, isn't it Taichi?" Jyou asked from across the room. "How can you be sure these things were digimon? All the portals are closed, after all."
Taichi, against his will, became quite defensive. "Jyou, you didn't even see the monster!"
At this, Jyou bit his lip. He slumped back down in his seat and placed his hands on his knees. Tracing the designs on his shoes with his eyes, he waited for the conversation to start again- for someone else to take on Taichi's view. However, Daisuke spoke next.
"No, Taichi's right. It has to be a digimon. When Taichi and I met up near the harbor before, we both said we heard it mumble an attack. Giant monsters, the ability to talk, and specialized attacks all add up to a digimon to me."
"But what if we do find a way to go to the digital world?" Hikari asked, taking her eyes off the floor. "It's so dangerous now, and if our kids aren't there, there's no way we'll be able to save them."
"But what if they are?" Taichi asked, facing his sister. He completely understood what she was feeling. He'd grown up with her after all, and he knew exactly what to say. "This could be a sign. We might be able to not only save our kids, but do something for the digital world." He swallowed hard and prepared for what he was about to say. "Listen guys, if you all don't want to find a way to go, I'll understand. I'll go. I was the one who decided to close the digiport. I did it for all of us. I let Gennai close it.. I need to go. I need to set things straight. I know our kids are there, I know it. I'll go. I'll do this for all of us."
Taichi clenched his fists as he tried to hide the tears swelling in his eyes. He couldn't let everyone see him cry, not in a moment like this. He needed to hold the group together. After all, that was always his job.
The room remained silent for a little bit. Everyone was contemplating what Taichi had said, and no one really wanted to be the first to speak up. However, Koushirou soon broke the silence.
"I'll go with you, Taichi." He said, closing his laptop and standing up. He walked over to Taichi and put a firm hand on his shoulder. Koushirou was still a bit shorter than his friend, but he reached him easily, and their eyes almost met. Taichi smiled and nodded, putting his own hand out on Koushirou's shoulder. He squeezed it tightly, and pulled the boy into a great embrace.
"Thank you, Koushirou." He muttered.
After they released each other, they noticed that their friends began to stand up as well.
"I'll go with you too."
"Count me in!"
One by one, they all walked over, placing a hand on Taichi's shoulder. The man was almost weighed down by it, but he felt more support than anything else.
"Guys.." He started, almost letting the tears fall from his eyes.
But before he could finish, Koushirou interrupted him. "We'll get our kids back Taichi, together, no matter what."
"Alright." Taichi clenched his fists again, and the others backed away from him. "Koushirou, get your laptop. Everyone else, get your digivices. Let's meet at the harbor, and let's go to the digital world!" He threw a hand in the air and got everyone else excited, just as he used to. Suddenly though, a bright light blew out of Koushirou's closed laptop and knocked it off the couch, onto the floor.
"DIGIDESTINED!" A voice cried, and the machine began to smoke.