DISCLAIMER: Rikku and Rikku's family are MINE. Everything else belongs to rich people who aren't me.

SUMMARY: Killer soccer balls, weird monsters, and a psychopathic underclassman with a God-complex. And here I thought moving was supposed to be fun. .:Adventure 02 Rewrite, OC/?:.


WARNINGS: Swearing. No F-bombs, but lots and lots of swearing. Also, minors being chased by dinosaurs.

Chapter 3: Enter Flamedramon

When I was little, Mom and Daddy took me out to an amusement park. I was about seven at the time and the twins were only three (not that they were any nicer) so they couldn't ride some of the rides that I could. Being the bratty lil' tykes they were, Ryou and Ryuu pitched one giant fit about it for most of the trip. It…wasn't fun. At the very end of the day after having had grubby little hands try to throw hotdogs at me, tear my pigtails off my head, and steal all my prizes, I think Mom finally took pity on me and she left the twins with Daddy so we could go on a rollercoaster together.

It was a little sad that I was seven years old and had never ridden even the little kiddy rollercoasters before. I was a little nervous because this rollercoaster was for the bigger kids, but all the cotton candy I'd had was starting to kick in and I was way more hyper than scared. I just barely passed the height requirement and was allowed to get on the ride.

Background information: I am, was, and hopefully always will be a fairly skinny for my size and age. This held true even when I was seven years old and was probably why we had so many issues with that rollercoaster. I was so tiny that the safety belt was just loose enough for me to say…slip out to my death. Fortunately, the ride had one of those big over the shoulder bars too, so I was safe. Unfortunately, my seven-year-old brain only registered how much I was able to be thrown around inside the seat and I spent the entirety of the ride completely convinced I was going to fall out.

Going into the Digital World was a lot like that, only instead of having my Mom right there to hold my hand I had two possibly insane underclassmen and a third who was so deeply stupid that it made you wonder if he had been tossed out of a moving truck when he was a baby. Not the best company when you think you're about to die.

The terrifying feeling of falling to your death but not actually falling didn't last nearly as long as it felt like and in almost no time at all, the four of us were all standing upright in the middle of a forest, completely unharmed.

I quickly rectified that by tripping over gravity and onto my back, where I stayed and stared blankly at the sky for at least twenty seconds.

Oh my god.

Oh my god.

Had I just died? I must have. The digivice had turned into a Terminator and eaten me and this was obviously some sort of afterlife. Had I made it to Heaven?

"So this is the Digital World, huh?" I groaned and buried my face in my hands. No, I was definitely alive. That specific voice was far too annoying to even belong in Hell. Besides, I had fallen on top of a pebble or a stick or something and it was digging into my back rather painfully. Death wasn't supposed to hurt. I struggled up to my feet, pouting at the three in front of me. They all had looked around with varying expressions on their faces. TK looked like Christmas had come early and was grinning from ear to ear. Kari looked like she wanted she wanted to smile too, but the pressing issue of finding her brother kept her from rejoicing too much. Davis on the other hand had his mouth wide open and seemed like he was about to have a seizure.

I could empathize.

"Geez, guys. Way to help a girl up." I huffed out, brushing the dirt off my bone white dress. I looked around with wide, cautious eyes, taking in every shift of the surreally green leaves on the almost blue trees with-


…I was not wearing a dress when I went to school.

"Hey, Rikku, were you wearing that before?" Davis asked, also noticing my sudden change in apparel. I looked up at him to deny it, but stopped when I saw what he had on. Words wouldn't seem to come out of my mouth, so I just pointed at him silently. He looked down and jumped. "Whoa! Was I wearing this before?!" He turned in circles in an effort to see the entirety of his outfit, looking fairly pleased.

I took a moment to give myself a good look. My blue shirt had been replaced with a stark white mini dress with some sort of weird symbol on the front. It looked like someone had drawn a vertical line over an eight and then put two little dots on either side of it. I had a mini jacket on over the dress that was the same grey as my digivice and a pair of elbow length white gloves. There was a pair of grey tights under my dress (oh thank god) that were tucked into a pair of white boots. I had a small grey side pack strapped to my waist and I could vaguely feel the outline of the digivice against my hip.

Not even my hair had been spared. My curls had been tamed into a thick, vaguely wavy mass and were tied into a low ponytail. The clip I had mysteriously lost during the school day was back in my hair and holding my bangs aside, though a quick brush of my fingers over it made me realize that his one was different. My old one was just a plain blue clip, but this one was…thicker. Judging by the shape, it was probably a barrette. There was also some sort of swirly pattern engraved into it.

Overall, I was wearing a lot of white. Outdoors. Me.

It didn't take a genius to figure out that, what with my track record with keeping my balance, this outfit would inevitably end up brown by the end of the day.

"Would someone like to explain why I'm in different clothes?" I said dryly, looking at TK specifically. Kari looked a little…stressed out at the moment. TK shrugged at me, still wearing his yellow and green outfit. I mean seriously, even his hat was still there. Kari was still the same, as well. I was a bit creeped out.

I mean, technically I had just been stripped by the internet, right?

Davis had finally seen all of his new wardrobe that there was to see and looked at Kari expectantly.

"So, Kari. This forest is pretty big, huh? You wouldn't happen to need a big, strong guy like myself to-"

"It's over this way!" Ooh, burn. Kari had pulled out her tamagotchi-digivice and started walking, following what looked like a little red blip on its screen. Was it like a GPS or something? I tugged my own out of my side pack and flipped it over a few times while trailing behind her. There were two black buttons by the screen and one large D-pad at the bottom. I pressed one of the black buttons and the screen flickered to life, showing me the same image that Kari was getting. There was a small cluster of three red dots and one white one, which I assumed was supposed to represent me. Off near the top of the screen where we were headed was a lone blinking red light. But what was that there, a little to the side of the red light…?

"Hey, um, Kari? Are you picking up the same reading that I am?" I quickened my pace until we were next to each other and I held out my digivice for her to see. She glanced between mine and her own, a frown slowly coming over her face.

"That's odd. That light over there in the corner…" I nodded and looked at her digivice. The cluster of four dots was the same, and so was the lone blinking dot in the distance. However, mine was the only one that showed another little white light, just off to the right of the flashing light we were headed towards. TK came up to join us, sticking his digivice out for comparison as well.

"I'm not picking it up either."

"What do you guys think it is?" I asked. They traded confused glances with each other and TK rubbed the back of his head.

"I honestly don't know. We'll have to check it out after we find Tai." The mention of her brother seemed to refocus Kari and she nodded, overtaking us once again in an effort to move faster. I fell back to the rear of the group, alternating between looking at the dot and glancing around at the scenery. I wasn't exactly thrilled at being at the back of the group, but my latent big-sister instincts weren't about to let three kids a year younger than me walk around with their backs exposed. Maybe I'd read one too many adventure books, but that was usually never a good idea.

"You know, this place really isn't that scary. The way Tai described it, I thought there'd be monsters all over the place," Davis mused, looking around in awe. I hummed lowly, casting a glance over my shoulder.

"As far as we know, there are." Davis tugged at his gloves, a cheeky grin on his face.

"I guess you could be right, but- Hey! Check it out!" Completely in awe of Davis's utter lack of attention span, I turned to look at what he was gaping at. A little further ahead, TK and Kari paused to look back as well. There, sitting innocently in the middle of a large bush was a…vending machine?

"The fudge?" This was not normal. There was no way. Vending machines required power sources, right? …We were in the middle of a forest. What.

"…I am a little thirsty," Davis tilted his head to the side before approaching the vending machine cautiously. I frantically tugged him back by his fluffy white collar and had to resist the urge to slap him upside the head.

"Don't you think that's a little suspicious, Davis?! You know, a vending machine in the middle of the forest?!" As if to prove my point, the soft pink machine gave a slight groan and then began rumbling uncontrollably. I took a few steps back, dragging Davis along with me.

That was not normal. None of this was normal.

Suddenly, a neon green…thing exploded out of the dispenser and was soon followed by teams of its brethren. I gave an ear-piercing shriek as they barreled into my ankles and knocked me over, Davis not far behind. The green slug-like things bum rushed out of the vending machine, parting around us like we were the weird ones and disappearing off into the trees. Davis yelled and tried to scoot out of the mass of slugs, only to realize that we were surrounded. I on the other hand jumped back to my feet and squealed like a little girl, trying my best to both avoid stepping on one and get out of the mess as quickly as possible. They were weird, green, stinky, and had tongues. Big, fat, lolling tongues that were dripping with drool.


Off to the side, TK and Kari were having a grand old time laughing their butts off at us. The rush of weirdness finally ended and I stood frozen, somewhat traumatized.

"Ha ha, very funny," Davis pouted and pushed himself back up to his feet, storming past me to rejoin the remainder of the giggling group. I stayed still for a moment longer, making sure that the green things were really gone before catching back up to the group. Ew. Ew, ew, ew.

"S-so what were those things? I guess they weren't dangerous since you guys just laughed the whole time," I deadpanned, much more alert to my surroundings now. The white blip on the map could wait if things around here were as freaky as that.

"Numemon can be pretty nasty sometimes, but these were just scared. There's lots of other monsters around here too, and most of them are a lot cuter than those," Kari informed, her struggle to keep a straight face evident from her tone of voice. I picked up on this and was not amused. Fine then. The next time she got flashmobbed by something gross and drooly, I sure as hell wasn't going to help out.

"There are some a lot scarier, too!" TK added happily. I gave the back of his head a very strange look. 'Joy' was not the proper emotion to convey when talking about big, scary, dangerous monsters that could eat you in one bite. His constant cheerfulness was beginning to freak me out again.

"Do they all come out of vending machines?"

I facepalmed.

"Yes, Davis. Yes they do." Kari said solemnly before sighing and shaking her head, clearly somewhat annoyed. I could feel her pain. The sarcasm seemed to go right over Davis's head, however, and he grinned widely.


"Davis, she wasn't being serious." And even if she had, it would not be cool. Was this some sort of guy thing? Obfuscating stupidity in the face of terror? Davis's shoulders deflated and he looked a bit put out.


Ahead of us, TK paused for a moment, a strange look on his face. About half a second later, a tan flying...pig-bat thing burst out of the bushes and into his chest.

"TK!" The impact pushed him back a few steps and he looked a bit confused for a moment before his brain caught up with the situation. Instead of flipping out and running away like a sane person, he gave the brightest grin I'd ever seen (well, other than Mr. Meiseki's literally blinding one) and clutched the bat-thing to his chest in a monstrous bear hug. Next to me, Davis was doing the sane person thing and freaking way the fudge out, pointing and gaping.

I was about a second away from dropping all my crap and escaping the crazy people when a tall guy with goggles (was this some sort of trend I didn't know about?), Kari's face, and seriously massive hair came bounding up. Behind him were what looked like a miniature yellow dinosaur and an oddly colored tabby cat with gloves. I edged a little closer to Davis, eying the cat's claws with some trepidation. Mom had a cat. Claws hurt.

"I- what- oh forget it." I gave up. I decided that this entire situation was just destined to be absolutely insane and I would save myself tons of grief by pretending to be crazy too. It seemed to work for TK and Kari just fine.

"TAI! I told those guys you'd be alright!" Davis exclaimed, no small amount of hero worship in his eyes. Tai glanced at him and then took a double take, eyes wide.

"Davis? What are you doing here? And who're you?" He looked at me, and then at the digivice still clutched in my hand. I waved, smiling with exaggerated cheer. I considered adding some unhinged laughter, but that seemed a bit much.

"Rikku Osai. I'm new and possibly having a heartattack." Tai looked at me like he was doubting my sanity (hahaha) and I waved him off. "Ignore me. I'm going through a temporary bout of insanity right now."

"…Right. Well, now that you guys are here, I've got something to show you. Follow me!"

I leaned against the wall of the giant cave that Tai had led us into, arms crossed and eyebrows furrowed. Usually if a strange man with large hair appeared out of the trees and told me to follow him into a cave, I would have pepper sprayed his ass and then maybe have run to go get my ass kicking younger brothers (not that I'll ever call them that to their evil little faces). This was a bit of a special case however, so I had bit my tongue and held back the ocean of sarcastic and probably rude comments I was desperate to make. Life-changing and highly dangerous and general messed up events tend to make me a wee bit pissy.

At the moment, Kari's cat Digimon thing- Gatomon, was it?- was telling us about how she had lost her 'tail ring', which apparently was a bit more significant than it sounded. According to her, a 'Unimon' (Tai had explained to Davis and I that Unimon were sort of like smartass unicorns with wings- only in a much nicer way, of course) that was being possessed had attack her and she had just barely escaped with her life, never mind her ring. She explained that it hadn't really been the Unimon's fault and that it was being controlled by something.

"One day this bossy human appeared and began making Digimon into his slaves. He said 'I am the Digimon Emperor!' I think we're all gonna have to punch a time-clock, too…" Gatomon's ears drooped and I fought the ear to 'Aw'. For a freaky talking cat with claws roughly the size of my fingers, she was surprisingly adorable. She also seemed to be the only thing with a fully functioning brain that I'd met since I'd ended up in the Digital World. I liked her.

"Another human? Are you sure?" TK asked, frowning in worry. Gatomon just looked at him like he was an idiot. TK seemed to realize that yes, Gatomon knew what a human looked like and rubbed the back of his head. "Well, there goes the neighborhood…" he muttered.

"Yeah, and he's got this strange new dark digivice that makes us unable to digivolve!" Wait, digi-what? It sounded suspiciously like evolve.

…These things could get weirder?!

Tai elbowed me lightly in the side to get my attention.

"Show her yours," he ordered. I was slightly miffed at the command, but I realized that he probably knew best in this situation. I pulled away from the wall and knelt down to Gatomon's level, holding out my digivice to her cautiously. The giant claws were still a bit off-putting.

"Did it look anything like this one?" The cat Digimon took one look at my Terminator and leapt back, hissing up a storm. Her flipping out made me flip out and jump back into Davis's legs, who completed the chain by thinking he was under attack and stumbling backwards. The only thing that saved him from falling over was Tai, who caught him by the shoulder and steadied him.

"That's it! You work for the Digimon Emperor!" Gatomon's tail whipped from side to side. I had seen Mom's cat do the same thing when baby Ryuu had gotten it into his budding criminal mind that cats probably gave good piggyback rides. Cheshire had slapped him so hard that I could hear it from the other room. For a moment, I seriously thought that Gatomon was going to do the same thing to me and held my hands up in defense, panicking.

Ches had been declawed. Gatomon most definitely had not. Rikku-kabobs, anyone?

"W-wait! I'm not working for anybody! I just got here, dammit! Seriously, the computer lab just barfed this thing into my face- literally! It tried to kill me! I'm innocent, I swear- and look, mine's not even dark! It's freaking white!" I flailed, scrambling to my feet. Gatomon's ears pricked up and she stared at me hard. Mind whirling, I latched on to Davis's hand, which was clamped around his digivice, and shoved it in her direction.

"H-hey! What are you-?!"

"See, look! Davis has one too, and it's not dark either! Do you really think this Digimon Emperor guy would hire him?" Gatomon thought about this for a moment and then nodded, fur flattening again. Her tail stopped twitching in agitation and she licked at her paw, eyes wary and trained unblinkingly on my digivice. I sighed in relief and released Davis's arm, only to step behind him slightly and use him as a human shield against the still irate kitty. His hair was big enough to hide me almost totally from view.

"What's that supposed to mean?!" Davis huffed indignantly, pouting. I just gave a somewhat shaky laugh and reached up to ruffle his afro.

"Nothing, kiddo. Don't sweat it."

"I'm not a kid!" I decided the conversation was over and turned away from him, which sent him into another tantrum. Messing with him was actually a lot of fun. My attention returned to Gatomon, who was looking more and more frustrated.

"That dark digivice is draining all of our power and making us weak as newborn kittens," Gatomon frowned, paws balled into fists at her side. This seemed to strike some sort of cord with Tai, who turned to look at his giant dinosaur friend. Oh god- listen to me. I was thinking giant dinosaur friend like it was the most normal thing in the freaking world. I was going to need therapy after this.

"So that's why you couldn't digivolve earlier!" Tai's tone was almost accusing and the dinosaur faltered, looking away with an angry pout. Well, I assumed it was a pout. Dinosaur faces weren't really made for that, you know- What the hell was wrong with me.

"Yeah, but if I could digivolve that guy would be toast!" He huffed defensively.

"The Digimon Emperor uses these powerful dark rings to control you," Gatomon began, shifting from foot to foot nervously. The flying bat-pig nodded, joining in from on top of TK's hat. To his credit, the blonde boy didn't look like he was terribly bothered by the extra five to ten pounds squatting on his head and straining his neck.

"Yeah, and once the ring captures you…" The bat-pig's voice lowered as if he was telling a scary story around a campfire. "You're his slave for life." I couldn't help the involuntary shiver that went up my spine.

"Sounds creepy," I mumbled, rubbing my arm slightly to erase the goosebumps. Kari took a much more aggressive approach and gritted her teeth, glowering at the wall.

"'Digimon Emperor!'" she huffed. "I'm gonna slap a dark ring on him, see how he likes it…"

"As fun as that would be to see, that's not why I brought you all here. Come on, it's over this way." Tai motioned for us to follow him deeper into the caves. We followed single file, Tai leading us and me rounding out the back. Left in relative silence, my mind started to wander.

Digimon Emperor, huh? He sounded like a prick. What kind of person does that? I mean, if I'd just randomly popped up in a weird world- and I had- I don't think the first thing on my mind would be conquering it- and it wasn't. All I'd wanted to do since getting here was get the frig out. Still though, this guy must have been pretty powerful. From what I'd seen so far, these Digimon things weren't exactly pushovers. And what did he tell people? I mean, someone had to notice that he randomly disappeared for hours at a time, right? Did the Gate-things open from places other than the school computer? Could he maybe get in from his house? Or maybe he was some sort of psychopathic hobo who mooched off the library's free internet. So many questions… Either way, this guy was obviously bad-

My foot caught on a bump on the uneven path and I faceplanted. I waited for a moment, both to let my brain unscramble and to see if anyone was decent enough to help me back up. When nothing happened after a full five seconds, I sighed angrily through my smushed nose and hauled myself back to my feet.

"Gee, thanks for the concern guys. You've really warmed my…heart?" I looked around. No one. My breath caught in my throat. "…Guys? You didn't…you didn't leave, did you?!" A spark of annoyance lit up in my chest and I grabbed onto for all I was worth. Being pissed was infinitely better than the alternative, which was being absolutely terrified out of my mind.

Grumbling, I yanked my digivice out of my side pack and fiddled with the buttons until the GPS screen popped up again. Sure enough, a little cluster of dots was making its way farther and farther up my screen, while my lone white one was left behind. I frowned, looking closer. It looked like…they had taken a turn a ways back. I turned around and sure enough, the tunnel branched off to the left a few yards behind me.

Facepalming and feeling thoroughly ridiculous, I started to make my way back to the group, but something stopped me. There, a little to left on my screen… that second red blinking light that I'd seen in the forest. The one that only showed up on my screen. I hesitated, looking down that the long tunnel that would take me straight to it.

Common sense said that I should rejoin the group and see what Tai wanted us to see. I was in a strange world and there was safety in numbers. But…there was just something about that dot. I felt like it was pulling me in through the tunnels. There was a little voice in the back of my head urging me to go find out what the dot symbolized, and now before it disappeared.

I glanced back at the turn and the cluster of dots on my screen before turning sharply and sprinting back down the tunnel towards the blinking red beacon.

I had never been the smart child, anyways.

Ten minutes later, I was violently cursing my stupidity to the depths of hell. Whatever part of me that thought this was a good idea was a moron. After wandering around the tunnels for what seemed like hours, I had finally found the dot. In fact, according to the stupid map on my stupid digivice, I was standing right on top of the damn thing. I cursed violently under my breath, turning in a full circle to try and find anything that may have set my digivice off.


I sat down hard and rubbed my temples. I was seriously considering just chucking this stupid handheld thing as far as I could and running in the opposite direction. The Digimon Emperor had one, right? What if I was right and these things were legitimately Terminators? What if the Emperor's digivice was the real mastermind behind all of this? Had it taken a hold of some poor soul's mind and twisted him into doing its bidding?

What if my digivice was a Terminator and had lured me down here so it could kill me where no one would ever find my body?!

I shrieked and lobbed my digivice at the nearest wall, jumping back on my feet and spinning back in the direction I had come. I caught myself before I could start running and ran a hand through my bangs, sighing. I was going off the deep end. My digivice was not, I repeat not trying to kill me. The red blip was probably just a malfunction and-

It occurred to me that I had never heard anything hit the floor or wall.

I froze and took a shuddering breath in. 'Okay, Rikku, calm. Deep breaths. You probably just weren't paying attention. Your digivice is not trying to kill you, it did not grow legs, and it most definitely is not preparing to eat you. Breathe.'

I took a cautious step in the direction I had thrown it. Without the light from its screen to light up my path, I could only see a couple of feet in front of me at best. One step turned to two and I found myself wandering through what I had previously thought was a particularly shady bit of wall, but was actually another tunnel. I used my feet to feel around on the floor for my digivice. There!

The Terminator had landed in a patch of soft grass, which explained why it hadn't made a sound. I picked it up, but paused to run my hands through the grass. Didn't grass need sun to live?

Now interested, I let the light of my digivice guide me while I walked deeper into the tunnel, which seemed to just go in a giant uphill corkscrew. After a while, it became bright enough that I didn't need to use my digivice anymore. I ran my hand along the wall- it was sort of plush and spongy like there was stuff growing there.

My journey ended when I broke through a curtain of plant life and entered the outdoors once again. I had to blink a few times to clear my vision, but when I could finally see I was blown away.

Everything was just so…glowy. Thousands upon thousands of pale flowers grew on every available surface. They seemed to almost shine in the light and…there were just so many of them. I wandered the perimeter, slack-jawed. This was the prettiest thing I'd seen since… well, ever. Something clicked in my head and I looked down to check my digivice. Sure enough, I was on top of the dot again. I must have been directly above where I was when I'd panicked and thrown my digivice.

"Okay…so what about this place made that dot…?" I muttered to myself, looking around. To my left, the flower field suddenly ended and I peered over the side. I immediately retracted my head and stumbled back into the relative safety of the clearing. I was on a freaking cliff. There was a two to three story drop to the ground. It would probably hurt if I fell off. Maybe. Just a bit.

In the middle of my stumbling, my foot caught on something again and I fell over it, landing hard on my butt with a yelp. I rubbed it sorely while I crawled forward to see what I'd fallen over.

I brushed away the layers of vines and flowers that covered it to reveal what looked like an egg. It was almost square and was bone white. Two lines of blue and pink crisscrossed across the front to make an X with the same weird figure eight that was on my shirt over the intersection. If it hadn't been for the four bunny ears poking out of the top, I could've mistaken it for someone's giant easter egg.

I reached over to pick it up. It took a bit of tugging, but it finally popped free. I turned it around in my hands a few times.

"Okay… so what's so special about this?" Suddenly it flashed in my hands and turned into a beam of light. I shrieked and let it go, scooting backwards. It didn't seem to care about my obviously submissive behavior and charged at me, flying straight into my digivice, which ate it. I stared at the grey and white device in my hand, gaping. "…What the hell, man."

"NYUUUUUUU~!" Something squealed out. A jet of grey light shot out like a geyser from the spot where the egg-thing had previously laid. I screamed for the billionth time that day as a white blob of…something exploded out and headed straight for my face.

Why was it always my face?

The blob attached, still making that weird noise. I reached up and pried it off, dropping it like a hot potato and scooting back until my back hit the cliff wall. Another scream was starting to build in my throat.

"I'm out! You let me out! Oh, thank you Miss!" The white thing, which I could now tell looked more like a rabbit, danced back and forth on invisible legs (if it had any, they were hidden by the bottom of its dress…torso…thing) in front of my feet, smiling brightly. It was incredibly adorable, what with its large pink eyes and its cute little paws. There were four things sticking out of its head- two up, two down- that almost resembled big bubbly rabbit ears with blue stripes. There was some sort of…white and blue antenna thing sticking out of its forehead that was swaying from side to side as the thing danced. Just underneath it on its forehead was a yellow crescent moon tattoo shaped like a 'U'.

That same crescent was around its neck, on both paws, and on its stomach area. It had a small grey medal around its neck, suspended by two thick pieces of pink ribbon. Its tiny claws didn't look very sharp, but something told me they could pack a punch if push ever came to shove.

All in all, it was cute. That really didn't making the whole 'dance around the traumatized teenager' thing any better, though.

"U-um…excuse me?"

"Yes, Miss? What do you need? I'll get it for you, whatever it is!" Now that I was thinking a little more clearly, I could tell the high pitched voice was clearly female. Her politeness was a bit unnerving, but it was a nice change. You have to realize, most of my social interaction lately has come from the two devil-spawn who claimed to be my little brothers and a kid with an afro who tried to cave my head in with a soccerball. At this point, everyone was looking polite.

"Um…what are you, exactly?" The rabbit thing paused in her dancing, looking surprised and then embarrassed.

"Oh! I forgot to introduce myself, didn't I? How rude of me. Please accept my apologies, Miss! My name is Lunamon! I enjoy dancing, afternoon naps, and making the Miss happy. How may I help you today?" Lunamon pressed her paws together and leaned towards me, looking happily expectant. I leaned back, blue eyes wide.

"Um." I said eloquently. "My name is Rikku. You, uh- you don't have to call me 'Miss'."

"But Miss Rikku is a lady and should be addressed as such! Besides, you set me free! You're the only one able to move the Digi-Egg of Dreams, so I'm forever in your debt!"

Lunamon's enthusiasm was…alright, frankly it was adorable and kind of fed my ego, but that wasn't the important thing. Now that I had successfully satisfied my curiosity and gained a bunny-butler, it was time to go find the others. They were probably wondering just where I'd-

The ground shook violently underneath my feet and something gave a massive roar.

Yelping, I huddled into a ball and pressed back into the stone wall even harder. Lunamon snapped to attention and stood so close in front of me that her giant ears nearly smacked me whenever she turned her head to search for the source of the noise.

I would have been grateful and maybe a little flattered had the flowery cliff not chosen that moment to not only completely crumble but also catch fire and then fall on top of a goddamn Triceratops.

If I survived this, I was going to ask Dad to homeschool me because public school wasn't worth this shit.

"Lop-ear Ripple!" Lunamon cried, and suddenly I wasn't falling to my death anymore. I looked up sharply and promptly curled up into a ball again at what I saw. Millions upon millions of bubbles surrounded me in a whirlwind of white and blue. Somehow, these bubbles were defying gravity hard enough to lift me into the air (I was beginning to realize that the laws of physics didn't necessarily apply when you were pretty much inside the internet) and, judging by my lack of death-via-falling-rocks, were also flinging the debris a safe distance away.

My bubble vortex ride ended with a sharp and sudden collision into something fluffy and large. The whirlwind dissipated just in time for me to get an eyeful of Davis's brown afro before the momentum of the crash sent us both over the edge of another cliff. Thankfully, this one was closer to the ground and we managed to tumble down the steep drop without actually breaking anything.

Facedown in the dirt (a position I was becoming more and more familiar with) with Davis sprawled over my back and Lunamon resting on the back of my head, I groaned loudly and resisted the urge to cry. Low or not, falling off a cliff still hurt. And Davis was really, really heavy.

"You control the Digi-egg of Courage, Davis! You've got to use your courage an open it up!" An unfamiliar lisping voice urged from somewhere around my thigh. Davis shifted on top of me and from the way all of his weight was suddenly concentrated on the small of my back I guessed he was sitting up.

"Get. Off." I hissed, though it sounded much more like a displeased grunt seeing as how my face was still pressed into the dirt. Realizing this, both Davis and Lunamon rolled off my person.

"Oh my- Miss, are you alright?! I'm so sorry, Miss Rikku! I'm still not very good at aiming that attack, you see, so I accidentally crashed us into this boy- but that's no excuse! I'm sorry, so sorry! So, so, so-" Lunamon cut herself off with a wail and attached herself to my face, bawling apologetically. Caught somewhere between sympathy (there was a crying bunny rabbit on my face) and terror (there was a crying bunny rabbit on my face), I gingerly patted her back.

"R-rikku! Is that another digimon?" Davis asked. From around Lunamon's massive ears, I could see a bizarre looking egg (…there was a spike in it) similar to the one my digivice had eaten clutched in his right hand. Next to him, an unfamiliar blue dinosaur was peering at my new digimon, curiosity plastered all over his face plain as day. I tried to explain, but Lunamon's

"There you are! Come on, you two! You have to get up, it's not safe!" Tai's voice called, rapidly drawing closer. Biting back several scathing retorts, I pried Lunamon off my face and clambered to my feet, shifting her around in my arms so I was clutching her like a baby. It was really more for my sake than hers. The fear was starting to come back.

When the crazy people that were buddy-buddy with blue and yellow dinosaurs thought it was dangerous, then serious shit was probably about to go down.

"I can digivolve if you open the egg, but you have to have courage to do it!" The blue dinosaur with small yellow 'V's all over his body insisted, tugging on Davis's sleeve. Tai nodded seriously in agreement and opened his mouth to agree, but was cut off by a frantic looking TK nearly steamrolling him. His lack of smile only confirmed that we were all very, very likely to become dino chew-toys very, very soon.

"Guys, come on! We have to get out of here!" The same loud roar that had preceded the cliff collapsing rang out, only this time it was quickly followed by the giant dinosaur I thought the cliff rubble had crushed. Taking Davis by the afro and me by the jacket, TK practically threw us at the ground as the giant black creature leapt over our heads. It landed with an earth-shaking thud and charged towards some unknown point.

It became much, much less unknown when Kari started screaming.

I caught a glimpse of her collapsed on the ground with her foot at an odd angle before the charging dinosaur completely blocked my view. My breath caught in my throat. Davis screamed.


I wasn't going to make it. Kari was too far away, the dinosaur was too fast, I was still on the ground. It didn't stop me from wrestling myself out of TK's grip, dropping Lunamon, and bolting towards Kari as fast as I could. All I could think about was her screaming and Davis screaming and how close the digimon was getting and how in the hell was Tai going to tell his parents that his little sister was crushed by a frigging dinosaur and oh god what if it was one of the twins instead of Kari and holy shit holy shit holy shit I was stupid.

And then suddenly something big and blue and on fire plowed into the dinosaur's side and knocked it over. The resulting shockwave was enough to make me stumble and narrowly avoid faceplanting for the billionth time that day. I caught myself just in time and skirted around the tall blue armored figure that had just head-butted the glowy-eyed dinosaur with extreme prejudice. I slid the last few feet on my knees in my rush to get to Kari. I could feel my skinned knees prickling, but I fell so much that it was a normal sensation and I brushed it aside.

"Can you stand?" I asked, eyes straying towards her ankle and then back to her face. Her eyes were screwed up slightly in pain, but she nodded hesitantly. I slung her arm over my shoulder and with Gatomon's help, we eventually managed to stand and then hobble slowly back towards the group.

The dinosaur (Kari informed me with a tight voice that it was called a 'Monochromon') tried to charge us once, but the blue thing in armor showed up again, stopped it dead in its tracks, and then flipped it over its shoulder. Both Kari and I paused in our wobbling to openly gape. We stayed that way until Monochromon started breathing fire, at which point we remembered the original goal and continued limping back. Had I not been so short and weak, I would have put her on my back and ran like hell because holy shit fire.

Tai met us halfway, eyes flitting back and forth between his sister and the curbstomp battle going on just behind us. He took one look at her limp ankle and turned around, scooping her up by the knees and bumping her up onto his back. He turned back to face me, brown eyes set in a serious look. I had a gut feeling of wrongness that said he was the sort of person who should be smiling, so I offered up a weak smile of my own, feeling a little awkward under his intense gaze. Also, terrified. Definitely terrified.

"Thank you."

I shrank a little. Tai wasn't blinking. At all. It was seriously starting to freak me out. Well, more so than I already was.

"Y-you're welcome?"

"No, I mean it. You-" I was saved the pain of hearing Tai make me feel even more embarrassed by two things.

First: A wailing Lunamon who couldn't seem to decide if she was frantically worried or incredibly pissed off ("How could you do something so stupid. You could have been killed! Oh goodness Miss, are you alright?! You didn't hurt yourself, did you? Are you insane?!") launched herself at my head, climbed up my face, and made herself comfortable on my scalp where she alternated between pulling my hair and patting me down for head wounds. I let her with little fuss because I had just done something completely retarded that really should have ended with me as a little red splat on the wall. I didn't regret a thing, though. About saving Kari, I mean. I was seriously regretting coming to school earlier though.

Second: The blue armored guy ("Flamedramon", Tai whispered in awe) leapt about two stories into the air, caught fire, and starting hurtling headfirst towards the Monochromon. Gatomon cupped her paws around her mouth and yelled up at him as loud as she could.

"Aim for the Dark Ring!" My head snapped around to look at the dinosaur. Sure enough, there was a big black band wrapped so tightly around it's midsection that its soft underbelly was slightly red and irritated where the ring pinched it. Flamedramon adjusted his flight path so that the large spike protruding out of his head hit the black ring dead on. It shattered on impact and the Monochromon dropped like a rock. Flamedramon bounced away and landed in a graceful crouch, flames slowly dying out.

"…Is it over?" I asked hesitantly, taking a few cautious steps back until I was slightly behind Tai. My question was answered when the Monochromon blearily raised its head and with a blink of normal, not glowy eyes, groaned.

"Whazzat?" He slurred. Satisfied, Flamedramon glowed a soft orange color before a beam of light very similar to the one my digivice had eaten on the flowery cliff shot out of his chest and was absorbed by Davis's own digivice. Flamedramon rapidly shrank down until the glow dissipated and revealed a slightly winded looking Veemon.

It was about that time that I realized my knees were shaking dangerously. Laughing almost hysterically, I sank down slowly before my legs completely gave out on me and breathed in a few times through my nose. Noticing the movement, Lunamon went into full mother hen mode and started circling me, both reprimanding and apologizing at a rate that made me dizzy. Smiling awkwardly, I reached out to pluck her up (her circling was somewhat nauseating) and set her down on my lap.

"I'm fine, Lunamon. Chill." She didn't seem convinced, but settled down anyways and made herself comfortable. I took a deep breath in and looked around, taking inventory.

A small ring of trees had been completely leveled. The entrance to the cave system behind us had been almost totally destroyed. My dress was more dusty brown than it was white. In front of me, TK and Davis were slowly helping Kari off her brother's back and watching with baited breath as she tested her ankle gingerly. Scooping Lunamon back up, I rose slowly back to my feet and walked forward with steps that no longer shook, much to my relief. I was enough of a safety hazard with steady legs, thanks.

"You okay?" I took up a spot just behind the strangely goggle-less Davis. While I had managed to calm myself down a bit (or I had gone into shock- I couldn't tell), the fact remained that there were still giant freaky monsters all over the place. Davis had a friendly blue dinosaur that got bigger and caught fire. I was sticking close to him.

Kari stayed quiet for a long moment as she carefully hobbled around in a circle. Seemingly satisfied with her mobility, she turned a bright grin in my direction.

"Yeah! I think I must've just twisted it. Thanks for helping me out back there." I merely shrugged in acceptance, though my chest was glowing with warm fuzzies. Next to me, Davis puffed out his chest and gave a cheeky grin.

"I was pretty awesome too, y'know! We should go on a date to celebrate my victory!"

"In your dreams, Davis."

"Wasn't it Veemon who won the fight? Maybe she should go with him instead."

"…Miss, what is this 'date' concept that you speak of?"

"Whoa, Rikku! Since when did you have a digimon?"

"…Davis, we've been over this."

By the end of the hour, the no longer psycho-crazy-evil Monochromon had given his apologies and his farewells. While TK and Kari waved to his back and Tai and Davis had some sort of male bonding ritual, I leaned on a tree and just watched everyone else with a not-quite-frown on my face.

I really couldn't just walk away from all this, could I?

Had you asked me an hour ago, I would have sworn up and down that all I wanted to do was go home and pretend like none of this had ever happened, but now that the danger was over I felt almost…content?

While we had managed to both cause serious damage to the surroundings and nearly get ourselves killed, we had also helped out someone (or something, anyways) that needed it. What would have happened if TK, Kari, Davis, and I hadn't come here today? Would the Monochromon have killed someone else? Were there other digimon with those gross black rings on? What were they doing while we were just standing here? Was-

My questioning was cut off by a sudden weight falling from above and landing on my head. I nearly fell, but managed to use the tree trunk to steady myself in time. Tiny paws came down to grip the sides of my face and my vision was partially obscured by four ridiculously large bunny ears.

"…Lunamon. Why are you on my head?"

"Your hair is very soft, Miss Rikku. I can also see the sky better from up here!" Sensing she had more to say, I tilted my head slightly and stared at what I could see at her face hard. She giggled in surrender. "Miss Rikku is also short enough that if I fall, it won't hurt." She added, a somewhat mischievous smile on her face and in her voice.

"Oh. A short joke. Hilarious." I sighed, no real venom in my tone. I was used to it. I was the size of your average sixth grader and hardly anyone ever passed up the opportunity to point this out. My deep thinking on hold for the moment, I moved to join the rest of the group at the top of the hill just outside the forest.

"Hey, look! The sun's going down!" TK's flying bat-pig thing (I would have to remember to get his name later) cheered, staring out at the sunset. "Now we can relax!"

I blinked. Weren't evil, creepy things actually more likely to attack people when it got dark out? TK seemed to follow my train of thought and looked at his bat-pig inquisitively.

"Why's that?"

"The Digimon Emperor never appears at night." Gatomon answered, tail whipping back and forth in a relaxed manner. I looked out at the sunset, only to be forced to move a few feet to the right to get a good view. Tai's hair was so big it actually blocked out the sun.

"So even the 'Digimon Emperor' has a bedtime, huh?" I snorted. Then I paused.



Oh, shit.

"We should really head home now, too. It's getting kind of late." Tai noted. Without missing a beat, he whirled around to stare Davis hard in the face. "Never stay out too late!"

Caught off guard, Davis (who was now wearing Tai's goggles- when had that happened?) squeaked and nodded furiously. I had to giggle a little- Tai and Davis reminded me of a dad scolding his carbon-copy son. My laughter quickly died out when the glow of the sun reminded me of the problem at hand.

It was sunset. I was supposed to have been home hours ago. My dad was going to throw a fit. Hell, he'd probably even called the police. I was so beyond dead it wasn't even funny.

"You know where the gate is, right?" I demanded of Tai, who looked a little taken aback. He nodded. "Great then let's go."

"I- Hey! You're going the wrong way!"


To make up for the (ridiculously, unreasonably) long wait, this chapter was super extra long. I'm a terrible person, I know. Feel free to like, throw rocks and stuff at my head.

ALSO: I am aware that Monochromon is not actually modeled off of a triceratops. I'm fairly certain your average 8th grade girl doesn't know what a Monoclonius is, though, so whatevs.

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Magiccatprincess for the review, The-Gray-Ninja and Xagi for the favorite, and Xagi AGAIN for the story alert.

SUPER SPECIAL THANKS TO: Something Dictionary Related for pointing out my geography error. OH GOD HOW DID I MISS THAT I'M SORRY I FAIL GEOGRAPHY FOREVER. I went back through and changed everything so Rikku now comes from Nagoya, not Tokyo. Still a big city, but a reasonable distance away.