Notes: I was influenced to write this by episode 36. By the end of it I ended up feeling bad for both Juri-chan and Beelzebumon. This takes place right after episode 36 and the Tailmon belongs to me.

Disclaimer: Digimon is the property of Toei Animation and Bandai.

The Cost of Power

By Frozen Phoenix

In an arid, desolate region of the Digital World, a figure walked. He was clad in leather, and carried two guns, resembling the stereotypic image of the biker. But his mask, three red eyes, and fingers topped with long, razor sharp claws added a demonic feature to his visage. He was the Mega Digimon Beelzebumon and he was in a bad mood.

His gait was unrushed and unsteady, giving the appearance that he had no idea where he was going, and was in no rush to get there.

Around him, Digimon scurried in fear, intent upon seeking shelter. Several Jagamon raised and lowered their heads as he passed. But he paid them no mind.

His mind was on matters of more importance. Images of the previous battle replayed constantly in his head.

I was supposed to be invincible, he thought with a measure of bitterness. I'm one of the most powerful creatures in the Digital World, and yet here a human brat and his digi-slave beat me. It's unbelievable.

He stopped walking as something white caught his eye. Instinctively he reached for one of his weapons, and carefully watched the white creature move, ready in case it decided to be foolish enough to try and pose a threat.

Moving through the brush, it finally crawled clearly into his line of vision and jumped onto a nearby rock, allowing him to see it clearly. It was a Tailmon.

Beelzebumon dismissed the Tailmon immediately. Being only an Adult level Digimon, there was no reason for him to waste his attention on it. He began walking once again, ready to continue on his unknown trek to nowhere, when the Tailmon spoke.

"You can keep walking to the ends of the Digital World, but you will never be able to escape who you are, or what you have done." Her voice was mocking.

Beelzebumon turned to her; his eyes narrowed "Who I am or what I do isn't any of your business." He said to her coldly.

Tailmon stared at him, her blue eyes filled with open disgust. "It is not just my business," she said confidently, "But the business of my lord as well."

He threw his head back and laughed. "You just don't learn do you? You Devas think that just because you serve the "Sovereign," that you know me? You don't know anything about me!"

Beelzebumon remembered the times that the Devas had tried to tell him who he was. The horse Deva Indramon reminded him that he had had a partner, in between calling him pathetic and beating the crap out of him.

Chatsuramon had, before the Sovereign had granted him the power to evolve to Mega, returned him to his two humans Ai and Makoto, only to have them ignore him for some stupid bear.

The coward Makuramon had even made the mistake of calling pathetic, and regretted it when Beelzebumon had crushed his skull, deleting and then loading him.

And now an insignificant little Tailmon is trying to tell me who I am? He thought, I don't think so. He removed the gun strapped to his leg and pointed it at her.

"Listen pussy cat, I got things to do and places to be. If I were you, I'd get outta here real quickly and run back to your Sovereign, before I decide to use you for target practice." He smiled evilly.

Tailmon was unaffected. She narrowed her eyes displaying, if it was even possible, more disgust.

" Does picking on those weaker than you make you feel less pathetic than you actually are?" she asked.

Beelzebumon had had enough.

"Double Impact!" he yelled, firing bullets at her with rapid speed.

She jumped as a slew of bullets flew straight towards her, and most ended up missing her. Beelzebumon watched in annoyance as one of his bullets that would have gone right through her tail, was knocked away by her golden ring. Something isn't right here. He stopped firing at her.

Tailmon stopped moving, panting heavily. She had managed to use her cat like reflexes to dodge his bullets, but it had taken a lot out of her.

Beelzebumon replaced his gun in its holster and stared at the harried Tailmon intensely.

 "Well, well it looks the pussy cat's got some secrets of her own. Is your Sovereign protecting you? Because there's no way a weak Adult like you could have pulled a trick like that."

Tailmon gasped, still trying to get her bearings. "Unlike the Sovereign, my lord protects those that are weak who serve him. Besides," She stopped gasping. "Having power does not mean that you are strong." She replied assuredly.

Those words, Beelzebumon remembered Leomon saying the same thing to him before he deleted him. And he was wrong then. Beelzebumon thought angrily. To have power is to be strong. When he was Impmon, he had been powerless, allowing wimps like Indramon to beat him up, having to have Renamon rescue him and even staying with humans, until he had wised up and left.

And when he finally gained the power he wanted, it had made the pain he had suffered in the past meaningless. He had the power, and no one would defeat him. Or, that was how it was supposed to have been.

Beelzebumon snorted derisively. "And what would you know about power?"

"I know that power always comes with a cost. When the Sovereign gave you his power, you not only sacrificed your friendship with the humans, but your soul as well."

For once Beelzebumon was speechless. How could she know all that? He hadn't seen her anywhere near his battle with the Tamers, or with Chatsuramon when he had fallen into the lava and evolved.

"And it didn't just cost you did it?" She continued. "It cost the life of a heroic Digimon, who was merely protecting his friend from you. He lost his life trying to make you see the errors of the dangerous path you are on." Her voice hardened.

"But you don't care. All that matters to you is gaining as much power as you can, with no regard to anyone who tries to stop you. I thought you were pathetic before I met you, but now I know you are utterly despicable."

"Who are you to judge me?" Beelzebumon snarled at her. "You live in the Digital World, protected by your "lord." You never got knocked around by some horse faced Deva, or was two humans' idea of a pull toy. I did what I had to, and there's no one, especially not you that will convince me otherwise."

Tailmon's fur rose, in apprehension of a fight. "And what of the girl? Though I do not usually concern myself the affairs of humans, I watched the battle with my lord Qinglongmon, and saw the pain that the young human felt when you destroyed her companion."

"Although he does not like to interfere with the affairs of the Sovereign Zhuqiaomon, my lord went to confer with him, to prevent him from annihilating the rest of humans. You spoke of being abused by humans, was she one of them? Did she deserve the agony and loss that you saw fit to give her?"

Beelzebumon was without an answer. Ever since he had departed from the Tamers, he had done his best to put Juri out of his mind. He could still hear the scream she had given when he had impaled Leomon through the chest. She hadn't been as demonstrative with him like she had been to Culumon or Guilmon, and he hadn't cared. She was just a human after all, nothing but an annoying nuisance.

But she had never made fun of him either. She had just been there. He had found the Tamers, intending upon destroying them, but now, much like when Chatsuramon had told him the price of the power he would receive, he was having thoughts of guilt. Only this time they were much worse.

Tailmon saw the change in Beelzebumon, but continued, wanting to drive as much suffering as she could into him.

"And what I did not believe, was that she saved your life. You destroyed her companion, and yet she saw fit to keep Dukedom from impaling you with his lance and loading you ironically, like the way that you destroyed Leomon. All because she didn't want to see anyone, even her worst enemy, hurt or destroyed."

Beelzebumon clenched his fists, feeling his claws bite into his hands.

No matter how much I don't want to believe it, everything she said is true. He lowered his head. I've been trying to justify what I did, like blaming Leomon for his own deletion because he got in my way when I was thrashing Kyuubimon. And why should I have cared about the humans?

If Takato and that chump Guilmon hadn't evolved when they did, they'd both be dead now. That was what I supposed to do. Evolve and destroy the Tamers. Instead, all I did was kill Leomon, destroy a bike and get a ton of pain in return. All for power.

Tailmon watched Beelzebumon closely. Finally, what I have said is reaching him. She thought. She began moving away from him. She had many other tasks to perform; this had merely been one of them.

"Remember this Beelzebumon," Tailmon stated cryptically. "Zhuqiaomon is terribly powerful, and if he was willing to give you the power he did and you failed him, imagine what he is doing to the humans and their companions now, with all of his Devas destroyed. If anything were to happen to the girl before Qinglongmon arrived, because her digimon was not there to defend her, it would be on your head." And with those words, she scurried back into the brush.

Beelzebumon watched her leave out of the corner of his eye. She had obviously done what she needed to do. But what about me? He thought. He certainly couldn't go back to them, not after what he had done. And he didn't want to either. Going back would just make things worse for everyone, especially Juri. For the first time in quite a while, Beelzebumon was wracked with indecision. But it was only for a moment. Once again Beelzebumon began walking, fleeing a horrible past and moving towards an uncertain future.

~The End~