AUTHOR'S AND EDITOR'S NOTE: MERRY CHRISTMAS, REIJI! And a joyful New Year! - Zi Jian\Ori and Taiki Matsuki


Coulrophobia


A year had passed since their adventure in the Digital World. The eight Chosen Children were celebrating that one year anniversary of that fateful day at camp.

The circus was in town, Taichi, Jyou and Koushiro pooled their money together and bought tickets for everyone. They were in the big top, watching a high wire act! Before then, a lion tamer and his lions! And a sword swallower before that! It was amazing!

"...And now, ladies and gentlemen, our star sword Juggler, Chuckles the Clown!" Announced the ring leader. A spotlight shined in the center ring, a clown took a bow and held up four swords. He began to juggle...

In the audience, the Chosen Children sat together and watched in awe...

...All...except one...

Hikari Yagami stared at Chuckles the Clown, eyes wide and tears starting to well as he juggled his sword...All she could hear in her mind was a voice from her nightmares...

...trump sword...

...Trump Sword...

...Trump Sword!

...TRUMP SWORD!

TRUMP SWORD!

She finally couldn't take it anymore, she started screaming, "N-NO! TRUMP SWORD! NO! NO! NOOOOOOOOO!" She screeched, ducking under her seat and covering her head. "DON'T LET HIM GET ME! HEEEEEELP! NO MORE! NO MORE!"

Taichi quickly looked over to his sister. "H-Hikari! C-Calm down! W-We gotta be-" A loud SLICE and a scream told Taichi that Hikari's screams broke Chuckles' concentration...

"...That's gonna hurt in the morning..." Yamato said, wincing.

"...Jyou, I don't care if you're lying, please...Tell me that's ketchup..." Koushiro said, looking away, disgusted. "...Poor Chuckles..."

"That's...a lot of ketchup, Koushiro. ...Now that you mention it, wanna grab a hot dog?"

"...No..." Koushiro shook his head. Jyou, being a future med-student, was unfazed by that sort of thing at this point.

The Chosen Children quickly ducked out of the big top as Chuckles was treated for, thankfully, a relatively minor wound...provided they find his big toe in time. Taichi had to carry Hikari the entire time. She was still in hysterics, crying and screaming.

Hikari was crying in a seat by a cotton candy vendor, Taichi was buying her whatever candy he could think of to make her feel better, while the others discussed what had happened.

"She...just...Freaked. Out." Yamato said. "I-I mean, I heard this whimper, I looked to her and...Then she just... I've never seen her like that!"

"What could have done that?" Koushiro looked over to Hikari, Taichi was trying to calm her down by giving her some cotton candy and carmel corn. "...Actually...Did you hear what she shouted?"

"No, once she screamed I covered my ears," Yamato said, shaking his head.

"Trump sword," Koushiro said.

"...Oh..." Jyou nodded, taking a bite out of a hot dog...with extra ketchup. "Yeah, I heard that, too."

"...You're actually eating that? You?" Koushiro said, looking to Jyou. "With extra ketchup?"

"I was kinda hungry when you mentioned ketchup," Jyou shrugged. "And I don't like mustard."

"Guys, focus," Sora said. "Hikari freaked out... ...Because she was reminded of Piemon?"

"Now that you mention it," Mimi said. "Seeing a clown juggling swords like that did kind of creep me out. I mean, Piemon was a clown and his attack was, well, Trump Sword."

"Poor Hikari..." Takeru looked over to Hikari. She was...still crying. Taichi was doing everything he could to cheer her up, he was currently dancing around like an idiot to try to make her laugh. "...Yeah, Piemon was scary. You guys were keychains for most of it, she and I were...really scared he was going to get us, too. That...was the scariest thing we did in the Digital World, I think."

"...So, Hikari's got a fear of clowns... Guess we picked the worst place to take her," Jyou shrugged, finishing his hot dog.

Taichi finally approached the others. "C-Can someone else try to calm her down? I'm all out of ideas!"

Takeru and Sora nodded, going to Hikari's side.

"W-What happened back there? I've never seen her so scared, not since Pie...mon... ...Oh, CRAP..." Taichi sighed. "Is it what I think it is?"

"We think she has Coulrophobia," Jyou said.

"...Jyou... ...What the hell is that? I-Is it treatable? How long does she have?" Taichi shouted, eyes wide.

"It means 'fear of clowns,' Taichi," Jyou rolled his eyes.

"Oh, that's...what I thought she had, too," Taichi scratched the back of his head, glancing away. "We...gotta do something about this! I mean, I've never seen her like that! I can't let my sister go on being afraid of clowns of all things!"

"...Taichi, after Piemon, I'm amazed all of us didn't have the same reaction," Koushiro said.

"But...CLOWNS!" Taichi shouted.

"She did scream 'Trump Sword' and, well, the clowns before didn't have the same reaction as the sword juggler," Yamato said. "...So, yeah, I think this is sort of Piemon's revenge or something."

"...Great, even now the Dark Masters are giving us trouble," Taichi sighed. "We gotta...fix this! Let her know clowns aren't scary!"

"Taichi, coulrophobia isn't that uncommon," Jyou said, he looked to Hikari. "Granted, she's more upset than most..."

"Dude, clowns? Seriously? It's not uncommon for people to be afraid of CLOWNS? People dedicated to making us laugh?" Taichi asked.

"Yeah, Piemon was a really funny guy," Yamato says.

"...Psychotic virus type Digimon excluded." Taichi rolled his eyes.

"Wanna know how I got these scars?" Yamato replied with a wide grin. "Here's how I got these scars! My Father, you see..." He trailed off.

"The Joker, too!" Taichi groaned. "Come on, Yamato, this isn't funny!"

"All right, all right...We'll...I dunno, show her clowns are meant to be funny or something..." Yamato shrugged.

"Okay, everyone...try to figure out a way to do that and meet me at my place tomorrow...I-I can't let my sister go through life afraid of clowns! Or at least, not that afraid!" He looked to Hikari...she was still crying. Sora was giving her a hug, while Takeru was trying to tell her a joke.

The Chosen Children nodded in agreement. When Hikari finally calmed down, Taichi took her home while the others finished their day at the circus and discussed plans to make Hikari get over her fear...


The next morning, Takeru was the first to arrive at the Yagami apartment with two movie tickets in his pocket. He also had Patamon with him, the little Digimon was sitting on his head like a stuffed toy.

Hikari was more like her usual self, she was eating cereal in the kitchen. Taichi had hidden the box of Count Chocula, in case Vamdemon caused any similar psychological trauma. The Lucky Charms, too, just to be safe...

Takeru showed Taichi the tickets. "I looked up 'fear of clowns' online," he said. "They said this movie is great for anyone who's afraid of clowns!"

"Really?" Taichi asked, looking at the tickets.

Takeru nodded. "It's based on a book an American Author...Something...Um...Stewart Queen or something...I-I dunno, I forgot. But EVERYONE said it's the best movie to see if you're afraid of clowns! It starts in about an hour, I'll take her."

Taichi nodded. "Great...Why's Patamon with you?"

"He said he's heard of it and helped me make the final decision. I asked him for help with ideas earlier," Takeru said.

"I wanna see the movie!" Patamon said. "...Takeru, what's a movie?"

"Um, you'll...see it when we get there," Takeru said, wondering how Patamon could hear about a movie but not know what a movie was. Then again, this was a common topic with their Digimon during any visits to Earth. Ever since the Digital World reconfigured itself and synchronized its time with Earth, their Digimon would have the occasional visit and vice-versa!

...Though, some really weird black tower-things were starting to pop up here and there in the Digital World, but they figured it was nothing to worry about.

Taichi nodded. He turned to the kitchen. "HIKARI! Takeru came by with movie tickets! You're gonna see...something really funny! Get your coat when you're done eating, starts in a couple hours!"

Hikari called from the kitchen. "Thanks, Takeru! What movie?"

"(IT!)" Takeru called back, with the English title.

"(It?)" Hikari asked.

"Yeah, weird title, I know," Takeru shrugged. "I couldn't find out what that word means in English online."

Taichi shrugged.

Patamon spoke up, "Probably means 'funny' or something. I mean, if it's for people who are afraid of clowns..."

Takeru nodded. "Good thinking, Patamon!"

Hikari and Takeru left shortly after. Jyou and Koushiro came by a little bit later.

"Hey, Taichi. Hikari here?" Jyou asked as he stepped inside, glancing around the apartment. He carried a travel bag with him.

"Nope, problem solved!" Taichi smiled.

Jyou and Koushiro exchanged glances. "Really? How?" Koushiro asked.

"Takeru's taken her to a movie for people afraid of clowns! It's based on a book by an American writer," Taichi said.

"Who's the writer?" Koushiro asked.

"Um, Takeru didn't remember his name...Stewart Queen or something, he said."

Jyou and Koushiro's eyes went wide, they exchanged worried glances.

"...Stephen King, Taichi?" Koushiro asked.

Taichi shrugged. "I dunno, the movie was called ('IT.')"

Jyou groaned, slapping his forehead. "Takeru's an IDIOT!"

"This...is not going to end well..." Koushiro sighed.

"...What's wrong?" Taichi asked as a feeling of dread came over him after seeing Jyou and Koushiro's reactions to the title.

"It's a great movie for people afraid of clowns, Taichi, because it's a horror movie!" Jyou shouted. "The villain is an evil clown!"

"...Oh...crap..." Taichi's eyes went wide. "Th-They left...a long time ago. I-I don't...know what movie theater..."

Jyou and Koushiro went to Taichi's couch and sat down, crossing their arms.

"...What are you guys doing?" Taichi asked.

Koushiro looked to Taichi. "No offense, Taichi, we love Hikari and all, but..."

"...We gotta see this." Jyou finished.

"...Thank you. Thank you so very much. You guys are such wonderful friends," Taichi groaned, resting his head in his palms. He let out another groan as Jyou called Yamato to invite him over for 'the show.'


"The show" took place about an hour and a half later...

There was a series of frantic knocks at Taichi's door.

Jyou, Yamato and Koushiro looked in anticipation from the living room as Taichi went to answer the door.

Takeru stood at the door, his head down. "...Taichi...I am so sorry..."

Patamon, atop Takeru's head, added, "Really, really, really sorry..."

"...Koushiro and Jyou told me what (IT) really is," Taichi said.

"I-I didn't know, I swear!" Takeru shouted. "And Patamon definitely had no idea! He didn't even know what a movie was! When we got there, he was upset it wasn't something edible!"

"...I thought it was something you could eat to make you less afraid of clowns," Patamon admitted. "Popcorn was good, though...Until Hikari threw it up in the air and screamed really loud. I-I couldn't take the screaming, I had to get out of there!"

"Sh-She was...really loud," Takeru said. "Good thing it was too dark for anyone to see Patamon fly off to the projection room."

"...Where's Hikari?" Taichi asked.

Takeru reached behind the door, he pulled on a little red wagon. Hikari lay on it in a fetal position, pale and shaking.

"...Hikari?"

Hikari looked up at Taichi. "...I hate clowns..." She said, eyes as wide as could be.

"...I know."

"...I really hate clowns..."

"...I am aware."

"...I really, really hate clowns..."

Taichi looked to Takeru, sighing, "Just...wheel her inside, we'll...figure something out..."

Takeru pulled Hikari into the apartment on the wagon.

"...Great going, Takeru," Yamato said.

"I-I didn't know! I swear!" Takeru shouted. "They said it was the perfect movie for someone afraid of clowns!"

"It all floats down here!" Koushiro said. Hikari screamed, Taichi glared. "C-Crap! Sorry, Hikari! I didn't know you got that far into the movie!"

Patamon flew off to parts unknown upon hearing the loud scream, shouting, "I'M SO SORRY, HIKARI!" He...was crying, feeling bad for taking her to the horror movie.

"Sorry, I figured she'd run out as soon as Pennywise showed up," Koushiro said.

"...It...took a while to pry her off the chair," Takeru said. "It took three ushers and crowbar."

"Seriously?" Jyou asked. Takeru nodded. "...Holy crap, this is worse than I thought."

Taichi took Hikari to her room, he walked out with a sigh. "...This is...really bad..."

"Um, I was looking in a couple psychology books," Jyou spoke up. "Um, there's a therapy that, well, might work."

"Tell me," Taichi said.

"Well, basically, we need to have Hikari FACE her fear," Jyou explained. "In a setting she feels safe in and, well, once she realizes clowns are safe and funny...She's cured."

"Great! So, we just get a some clown costumes and do some jokes!" Taichi grinned.

"Um, it's not that simple," Jyou looked away. "D-Don't get mad at me for this, but...Well, she didn't freak out at clowns until she saw the sword juggler, so it's not so much Clowns that set her off, but..."

"...But?" Taichi asked.

Jyou reached into the travel bag he brought. He pulled out...

"...You're joking, right?" Taichi asked upon seeing what was in Jyou's bag. "Where did you even GET that?"

...A Piemon costume. Jyou held a rather well made Piemon costume in his hands.

"Um, my Mom has a sewing machine and...Well, I-I...It's not important!" Jyou said, turning red. Yamato burst into laughter. "Sh-Shut up, Ishida!"

"Oh, MAN! Y-You're telling me...You MADE that?"

"...Koushiro helped..." Jyou trailed off.

"...I only bought the materials..." Koushiro looked away. "And...made the trump-sword sheaths."

"You did a great job, especially making it collapsible like that for easy transport. Great thinking," Jyou commented.

"I-I...I might've made some...friends'...cosplay costumes in the past..." Koushiro glanced away.

"So...You're telling me...we dress someone up as Piemon...?" Taichi asked.

"Um...Actually, you dress up as Piemon. Being her brother, it adds...a level of familiarity to things. She'll be more at ease...In theory," Jyou shrugged. "It's...really convincing, actually! Koushiro tried it on, it was a little big for him but...He looked like Piemon!"

"...And this is really some sort of therapy?"

"If you're afraid of heights, get in a glass elevator," Jyou shrugged. "If you're afraid of spiders, pet a tarantula. If you're afraid of mad sword wielding clowns, cosplay as Piemon."

"...If this makes things worse..." Taichi warned. He took the costume and went in the bathroom to change.

"...Okay, anyone got a video camera?" Yamato said as Taichi was out of the room. "I mean...Come on, Taichi dressed up as Piemon?"

Jyou reached into his bag. "...Of course, Yamato. ...For the record, this is for medical research purposes..."

"Right," Yamato nodded.

"...And personal amusement," Jyou added, not-so-innocently.

"I thought as much," Yamato smirked.

Taichi came out of his bathroom after a couple minutes. It was really an amazing costume. Taichi really did look like Piemon! ...Shorter and much less menacing, but still Piemon!

"How do we do this?" Taichi asked.

"I'll let her know 'Piemon' is here, but doesn't want to hurt her. You act like Piemon and explain that you are not a funny clown, but a Dark Master. And then talk about how real clowns are funny and how you're not a real clown," Jyou said. "Just don't act too scary."

"...I'm dressed as a mad clown from Hell, you wanna rephrase that?" Taichi asked.

"...Good point."

Takeru spoke up. "I gotta warn you, I'm a little creeped out by the costume, too..."

As Jyou and Taichi went to Hikari's room, Yamato started filming. Takeru and Koushiro watched, Koushiro held a bag of microwaved popcorn between them.

Jyou knocked on Hikari's door. "Hikari, I'm coming in. I need to talk to you about something."

"C-Come...Come in..." Hikari whimpered.

Jyou opened the door, Taichi stood off to the side. "Hikari, there's someone here to see you...Piemon."

"P-PIEMON? NO! NO! HE'LL GET ME!" Hikari dove under her bed covers.

"N-No! He won't! He...can't use his attacks on Earth!"

"Vamdemon could!"

"...Vamdemon is just special that way." Jyou rolled his eyes. "He's not going to hurt you, I promise. Would I be crazy enough to let Piemon into Taichi's apartment if I wasn't completely sure it was safe?"

"Apparently so."

"...Just...give him a chance." Jyou opened the door again, Taichi entered.

"...Hikari Yagami," Taichi said, mimicking Piemon's voice as well as he could. "I am not a clown!"

"...What?" Hikari was still under her covers.

"I am a virus type Digimon, bent on taking over the Digital World! I am not a clown, clowns are funny! I am NOT! You should not be afraid of clowns!" Taichi was amazed by how well he could mimic Piemon's voice! If he didn't make as a soccer star, maybe he could be an anime voice actor...

Outside, Patamon came out of his hiding place after having a cry. He saw Takeru in the hallway, "Take-" He stopped, his eyes went wide...

...Piemon...H-He...He was back! How could he be back! A-And to make things worse...He had Jyou and Hikari hostage! Hikari had been through enough thanks to him, Patamon had to do whatever it took to put an end to Piemon once and for all!

Patamon felt a strong energy flowing through him, he screamed...

PATAMON!

WAAAAAAARP EVOLVE...!

HOLYANGEMON!

"H-HUH?" Yamato turned, HolyAngemon charged past him, Koushiro and Takeru. He burst into Hikari's room.

"YOU! PIEMON!" HolyAngemon shouted, pointing to Taichi.

"WH-WHAT THE HELL?" Taichi turned. Jyou fell to the ground, eyes wide.

"HEAVEN'S GATE!" HolyAngemon waved his sword, opening Heaven's Gate...It began to suck Taichi in.

"N-NO! I'M NOT PIEMON, YOU IDIOT! I'M TAAAIIICHIII...!" Taichi screamed as he was sucked into the gate, it closed and vanished.

"...Was he serious?" HolyAngemon asked in a tone that also said 'oh crap, I just killed Taichi.'

"Yes, you just sent away Taichi." Jyou nodded. "...Where does that thing go, anyway?"

HolyAngemon shrugged. "I dunno."


Taichi screamed as he was flew through a purple mist. It finally dispersed and he landed face first on a field of grass. "UGH!" He got up, looking around. "...Where am I?" He was...in a Japanese garden, surrounded by a wall but filled with beautiful and plentiful fruit trees.

"Taichi Yagami, I hope you realize that flattery will get you nowhere!"

Taichi froze...He knew that voice.

Taichi turned, he couldn't believe his eyes...Especially after what he saw...

...Piemon...

...The monster clown sitting at a table, drinking tea...

...With VAMDEMON!

"...Oh...crap..." Taichi let out a whimper. This was bad on so many levels... Also confusing on about the same number of levels, give or take.

"Oh, relax, our attacks are sealed here," Piemon rolled his eyes. "That doesn't explain your get up, however."

"...W-Wait...I-I thought you were dead!" Taichi shouted, then pointed to Vamdemon. "I thought you were dead, too! TWICE!"

"I am dead," Vamdemon replied. "I am merely allowed into Piemon's Heaven...For special reasons."

"I was sent to this Heavenly realm," Piemon said. "Honestly, an attack called 'Heaven's Gate?' Where do you THINK it went?"

"...We...sent you...to...HEAVEN?" Taichi shouted.

"Where did you expect me to go?"

"...Hell?" Taichi shrugged.

"Better luck next gate!" Piemon smirked. "Care to join us?"

"...Um... ...Okay..." Taichi approached the table, Piemon poured him tea. "Um...What's Vamdemon doing here, exactly? He didn't go through Heaven's Gate..."

"Well, this is MY Heaven..." Piemon trailed off with a chuckle, eying Vamdemon.

Taichi's eyes went wide, he looked to Piemon, then Vamdemon, then Piemon, then Vamdemon. "...Seriously?"

"This surprises you?" Piemon asked.

"...You, not in the slightest! Him, YES!"

"Oh, just for that, you don't get a tea cake!" Piemon joked. He still passed Taichi a tea cake.

"Um...Thanks..." Taichi sipped his tea.

"How are things since you defeated me?" Piemon asked.

"Um...Not bad...Y-You kinda...did a number on my sister psychologically, though. She's afraid of clowns. She cost Chuckles the Sword Juggling Clown a big toe!" ...Taichi felt like he owed that poor clown a 'get well' card, but he couldn't figure out a good way to word 'my sister screamed her lungs out during your act because we once fought a crazed clown-like Digimon that threw swords at us' in a way that didn't also say 'commit me to a mental institution and throw away the key.'

"My apologies." Piemon said, sipping his tea. "That's the reason for your little costume?"

"Uh, yeah... We were doing this, um, face your fear-type thing, Patamon saw me and...thought I was you."

"Tell Patamon he needs glasses, then. Desperately."

"Trust me, I'll mention it...Among other things..." Taichi rolled his eyes. Takeru's Angelic Digimon was going to have HELL to pay if he ever got out of this place...

Suddenly, the sound of a digital watch beeping was heard.

"...Sorry, I must get back," Vamdemon said. "He's waking up from his nap."

"Oh, such a pity, Vamde-chan," Piemon pouted.

"Sorry, I'll be back when Yukio goes to back to sleep," Vamdemon stood up, bowing. "I promise."

"...Get back?" Taichi asked. "What are you...talking about?"

"...You'll see in a couple years," Vamdemon said with a smile as he vanished, turning into a cloud of mist.

"...O-kay..." Taichi trailed off. He looked to Piemon. "What was that about?"

"Oh, I don't want to spoil the surprise!" Piemon said. "How are you for karaoke?"

"Um...Sure..."


"Th-That was...Taichi?" Hikari asked. She looked to HolyAngemon with a frown. "How could you do that to my brother?"

"I thought he was Piemon!" HolyAngemon shouted.

"I really should take this as a compliment on my costume making skills..." Jyou trailed off.

"Now's not the time, Jyou..." Yamato muttered.

"W-We gotta get him back!" Hikari shouted. "What if he runs into the REAL Piemon!"

Yamato spoke up, "We don't even know if he survi-" Jyou elbowed him in the stomach. "I mean...It goes to Heaven, what the hell do we have to worry about?"

"Interesting choice of words," Koushiro commented. "...Well, one way to do this, I say HolyAngemon re-open Heaven's Gate, we tie a rope around ourselves, go in, pull him out!"

"That could work," HolyAngemon said. "...I think." That was not encouraging to Yamato in the slightest.

"Are you SURE that thing leads to Heaven? I...I just can't believe we sent our greatest enemy to ETERNAL PARADISE!" Yamato shouted.

"...Yamato, we're about to go there, do you really want it to lead to the other place?" Koushiro asked.

"...Oh, I hope Piemon's happy in Heaven, singing among the other Angels and strumming his angelic harp as he sits on the fluffiest of Heaven's clouds!" Yamato said, quickly. Koushiro had a point, last thing he wanted to do was look for Taichi in the ninth circle of Hell.

Jyou got a rope and tied it around himself, Yamato and Koushiro. HolyAngemon opened Heaven's Gate once more, they went in...

Hikari leapt off her bed and charged at the gate. "WAIT! I wanna save my brother, too!"

"HIKARI, NO!" HolyAngemon shouted. Too late, Hikari had dove in after the others. "...I'm really bad at this Angel thing today..." He sighed.

"We all have our off days," Takeru said, patting HolyAngemon on the back.


Jyou, Yamato and Koushiro fell through the purple mist, they landed in the soft grass of a Japanese garden with a shout.

"That...landing was better than I expect-AUGH!" Jyou shouted as Hikari landed ontop of him. "H-Hikari?"

"I wanted to save Taichi," Hikari said, she got off of Jyou.

All three stood up, looking at the garden before them. "...Wow...Heaven's nice..."

"Gokigen na chou ni natte..." Jyou, Koushiro, Yamato and Hikari heard singing behind them...Taichi's voice.

"...Kirameku kaze ni notte!" ...Then...a voice from their darkest nightmares...

"Ima sugu kimi ni ai ni yukou!" Then both Taichi's and that nightmarish voice.

All four turned...To see Taichi and Piemon, arm in arm... Singing next to a karaoke machine.

"...You have got to be kidding me!" Yamato said, eyes wide.

"Oh! More visitors!" Piemon waved with a welcoming smile. That alone was scarier to the other Chosen Children than when he was a Dark Master.

Hikari leapt behind Jyou, cowering. "N-No...It-It's...It's...him!"

"Um...Would you mind, um...Fixing that?" Taichi asked, turning to Piemon and motioning to Hikari.

"Hm...Well, I supposed I should do one good deed, just to be able to stick around here," Piemon shrugged. He went to his tea table and sat down. "Come! Have some tea, um...Hikari, right? All of you, tea time!"

"...Taichi, is this safe? Blink twice if it's not!" Jyou shouted.

"...I heard that, you know," Piemon rolled his eyes. "My attacks are sealed in this world, I am effectively neutralized as a threat! ...Well, actually, I could punch you around a bit, but that would rather rude, now, wouldn't it?"

"He's actually really nice once you get to know him," Taichi shrugged, though he couldn't believe he had just uttered such a phrase about Piemon of all Digimon.

"...Why not? I've had a good run." Yamato said. He and the others approached the table, dragging Hikari along with them.

Hikari sat as far from Piemon as possible. She didn't even take the tea he offered. Or the cake, which Koushiro was happy to take.

"...Hikari, I am sorry," Piemon said. "I was a very naughty clown, I should not have done such terrible things to you all. Please accept my most sincere apologies!" He bowed his head beneath the table.

Taichi, who sat next to Piemon, looked to him. He was truly shocked that their greatest rival would ever APOLOGIZE for his actions...Then Piemon turned his head to Tacihi ever so slightly and winked, confirming that he was actually lying through his teeth. That made perfect sense. Still, if it made Hikari feel better...Taichi accepted the fake apology as if it were real.

"...Y-You are...?" Hikari asked.

Piemon raised his head. "I truly am! Please, do not use my actions to judge my fellow harlequins! I am the bad apple of the bunch."

"...Okay," Hikari bowed her head. "Thank you, Piemon."

"...Now, who's up for tea and cake?" Piemon smiled, clasping his hands together.

Suddenly, a dark mist appeared off to the side of the table, swirling around and getting thicker and ticker as it appeared to take a shape. "Yukio's taking another power nap. Is Taichi still here?" The mist finally took the form of Vamdemon.

Hikari screamed at the top of her lungs, running away in terror.

"Oh, greetings, Eighth Child!" Vamdemon said with a wave. "Been a while, hasn't it?" Like Piemon, Vamdemon being genuinely friendly brought about a new level of terror.

"...Vamdemon?" Yamato asked. ''...Okay, I get Piemon being here, he was sent through Heaven's Gate... BUT HOW THE HELL DID WE SEND VAMDEMON TO HEAVEN? ...Just...What do you have to do to go to Hell, exactly? I mean, if you two didn't pull it off..."

"...They're an item." Taichi said. "That's why he's here."

Jyou, Koushiro and Yamato exchanged looks. "...Seriously?"

"It is Piemon's Heaven..." Vamdemon trailed off with a smile.

Hikari continued running through the garden screaming.

"...Aren't you...going to want to fix that?" Piemon asked.

"Eh...I figure it's...normal to be afraid of Vampires..." Taichi trailed off. He looked to Vamdemon. "No offense."

"I consider the ability to strike such fear into people a compliment, Taichi," Vamdemon sat at the table. "Anyone up for karaoke?"

"Oh, you HAVE to hear Taichi sing! He's actually quite good." Piemon said.

"...I can't believe you sang karaoke with Piemon." Yamato looked to Taichi.

"...Like I said, he's really nice once you get to know him..." Taichi smiled weakly.


After a bit of time, Hikari calmed down...She, Taichi and the others went back to Earth, pulled out by Takeru and HolyAngemon after a couple tugs on their rope. Piemon and Vamdemon waved goodbye. Something about all that had just happened...did not sit right with any of them, but they didn't voice it. That would be rude to their hosts.

Once they were all out, HolyAngemon closed Heaven's Gate. "So, what happened?" Takeru asked.

"...We learned a very shocking revelation about Vamdemon and one, not-so-shocking revelation about Piemon," Yamato said. "...And, yeah, we sent Piemon to Heaven." He rolled his eyes. "Go us. Saving the greatest of evils from eternal damnation one psycho at a time." He said, flatly.

"Hikari...How do you feel about clowns now?" Taichi asked.

"...Not so scary." Hikari said, much to everyone's relief. "But, um...Taichi?"

"Yeah?"

"...Could you...PLEASE...get rid of that costume?"

"...Sure," Taichi nodded. He went off to change.

And with that, Hikari had lost her fear of clowns...

...Vampires? Well, we'll leave that story to a man by the name of Yukio Oikawa...

~Owari~


Original Author's (AKA Ori's) Notes:
This is a Chirstmas gift for a friend of mine named Reiji. I saw he put up a picture of two printed copies of my old fics in his DeviantArt Scrapbook...

...One was "A Little Conversation," which was about the 01 Villains ranting to each other about taking over the Digital World. It's what I (kinda) turned into "The Meeting of The Goggle Boys" because the original...wasn't all that salvagable, I thought.

The other was "The Fear of Clowns," which was...About Hikari being afraid of clowns. And this is a completely rewritten version of that fic. Hell, it's almost three times as long as the original! I wasn't even planning on leting Taiki try to salvage it (let alone REWRITE it!) until I saw the picture and Reiji's comment that The Fear of Clowns really made him laugh...So, I wanted to surprise him with a rewritten version as a Christmas gift.

Merry Christmas, Reiji!

I'm actually pretty happy with how this turned out.

Oh, and...about Piemon and Vamdemon...Um...Yeah, that was in the original and I didn't want to get rid of it. A LOT of my old fics contained these two as an item (especially comedies, I mean, think about it for a minute!) and...I didn't think it would be a good thing to remove it from the new version, as much as I try to avoid my old "slash in EVERYTHING" habit, this fic is the exception to the rule.

The rewrite fixed a lot of...randomness. Originally, HolyAngemon just appeared out of nowhere and Vamdemon being in Heaven's Gate, too, sort of conflicted with 02 (I decided to let him be able to go between the two places, Piemon can't do it since he's, technically, still alive...Vamdemon's not). And that was just the least of the things I had to fix. Though, on Vamdemon, I'm pretty sure the original was written while the Digimon Kaiser arc was still being aired in Japan, so we had no idea about BelialVamdemon at the time.

On that note, it may seem (VERY) out of character for those two to be so nice to the Chosen Children, but keep in mind: They both know exactly what Vamdemon's up to on Earth in Yukio Oikawa's head...Think about that for a minute. Of the thirty-six stratagems, they pulled off number ten: Hide A Dagger With A Smile. Kinda changes the tone to those parts, doesn't it? Hehehe...

Like I've said: The Thirty-Six Stratagems are my Bible. Along with Sun Zi Bing Fa and Zhuge Liang's surviving writings...

Hope you enjoyed it!

Merry Christmas, everyone! Especially you, Reiji! May you all have a grand Feast of Red Cliff as well!


Taiki's Notes:

I did NOT expect to see this fic ever again! Reiji, first you get him to bring back Akogare and now this! Thank you! Happy Christmas!

If you haven't seen the original (and most of you probably have not) trust me when I say this is a much improved and funnier version! I especially enjoyed Taichi's reaction to Piemon and Vamdemon as a couple.

Happy Christmas, everyone! And a PieVamde filled New Year to you all!
-Taiki Matsuki