This is the other auction fic, for Megori. My 02 episodes were recorded on VHS and are on the other side of the country, sadly. Set in 02 sometime vaguely after Ken's joined up but probably before BlackWarGreymon. I did watch a few things for reference, but I have this morbid fear it's entirely OOC. Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Izzy does kind of make me think 'younger Gennai.' Even though Kari and TK are more in tune with it, I'd say he's the one who's thought more about the various power flows and their implications.

Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon, 02 or otherwise. No infringement intended or money made.

If anyone had asked Izzy, he would have shrugged and reminded them that, "That's not really my area of expertise. Still, I'm sure of one thing, though."

Then, after they'd said, "What's that, Izzy?"

He'd have answered, "That no matter what happens, we're all still going to be friends, of course."

To be honest, it was kind of weird that it was an 'of course.' He'd been the nerdy kid: he never would have imagined becoming such close friends with Tai, Sora and Matt, who were good at sports. And Mimi was, well, Mimi. Maybe Joe, though. Joe had been buried in his books the way Izzy still was in his computers half the time – like now- and he was even-tempered and generally, well, reliable. Sure, he'd been a spaz sometimes when he got stressed, but that was just because it was important to him. That no one got hurt, that they all got home okay.

They'd all driven each other insane the first few weeks, and then without Tai there holding them together they'd repelled each other. Not like magnets, because magnets of opposite polarities attracted.

Judging from their crests, one would have theorized that Matt, with the crest of friendship, would have been the one to form bonds with all of them and remind them that they needed to work as a team, but Matt didn't make friends easily, or take any sort of commitment lightly. He'd had a little brother to look after, after all, and they'd been a bunch of strangers. Some of them really strange.

Davis seemed to combine Matt's level of commitment with Tai's willingness to charge headlong into those commitments. They'd all followed Tai because he'd had this aura of knowing what he was doing, even if what he was doing was just finding some way to get them home. And he'd kept at it, undaunted by the setbacks, until he'd managed it.

That was what real courage was all about. Izzy was sure that Tai was the most courageous person he knew, and in this group that was saying something.

From what research he had done, this was inevitable, really. They'd all grown very close: it had thrown them together, and Sora had the crest of love. Tai and Matt both loved Sora, and she loved them. Well, they'd all grown to care about each other, even if Izzy didn't think of her that way. Kari was Tai's little sister, and thus obviously off limits, even if she hadn't given off that peculiar feeling.

One of these days, he had to get a straight answer out of Gennai about the crests of hope and light. Not to mention kindness. Still, TK was the only one that understood Kari. No one quite understood Ken. Well, Davis, but Davis was his own subtype.

Not that any of them were normal.

Normal people didn't have soulmates. Normal people hadn't been forced into circumstances that forced their hearts to grow and siphoned that power off to protect two worlds. There was a power of the heart: he'd experienced it, flowing from him into Tentamon, watching the others lend their power to their partners. Combining his power with the others. Was it any wonder that they still weren't quite separate?

Compared to that bond, the normal awkwardness of dating that the three of them were trying to work through felt so messy, from Izzy's perspective. If he'd ever dated a girl, actually, it would have been Mimi, who could be counted on to say what she felt instead of making him guess at it. Still, Mimi was so open, so sincere, that it got a little overwhelming, and he needed his space, which was why he was behind a computer screen even though most of the old digidestined team and all of the new one were here.

It was great to just sit here and soak up the camaraderie without being dragged into things. He was still paying attention, of course, and making the occasional comment, but the conversation about soccer wasn't exactly his kind of thing.

"So, Izzy, how's the project going?"

Izzy wondered if it was a crest of courage thing to come up behind people and drape yourself over them to look at what they were doing. Davis currently was leaning against Ken's back, with his arms over Ken's shoulders. Izzy wondered if he'd copied the pose from Tai or being so casually confident about contact was a courage thing. Izzy would have felt nervous about invading someone's personal space like that, even Tai's, even knowing it would be welcome. "Well…"

Normally, when he started talking about technical stuff like this, normal people got bored and drifted away. Not that he would talk about the digital world in front of normal people: he had to concede that this was far more interesting. Soon enough he had Matt looking over one shoulder, and Yolei over the other, and Davis up on the table and leaning forward, looking at the computer screen of his laptop upside-down, as though that would help.

Davis was the first to stop asking questions, the first to notice that the conversation was making Ken uncomfortable. Before, he'd been a genius, and now he couldn't think the way he used to. Despite everything he'd done under the influence, Izzy did feel sorry for him. Izzy couldn't imagine losing some of his intelligence like that. Knowing that he ought to be able to solve some problem and feeling that the answer was hanging there just out of reach was frustrating enough when he just needed a bit of inspiration, or to come at it from a different angle. He hadn't spent years tutoring Tai without realizing that some of the things that came to him as easily as breathing were as hard for other people to wrap their heads around as why Mimi's hat went with her purse was for him. It wasn't that Tai was stupid, school just wasn't his strong area.

He had courage, Izzy had wisdom. No, he'd lost his brain once already: he didn't want to go through that again. Tentomon had managed to get through to him eventually: Wormmon had a much rougher time of it.

"Well, that's enough for today," he told Yolei, wondering why she hadn't noticed how Ken felt. Love and sincerity: she was so open about her feelings, maybe she didn't understand that other people tried to hide them, especially when they were ashamed or afraid they'd be rejected? Mimi had sometimes been amazingly oblivious, too. It was their day off, he reminded her when she started to object, since this was important. "You kids have fun."

Even after the others had dispersed, Tai's arms were still folded on top of Izzy's head. It might have been annoying if Tai had actually been resting much of his weight there, if he'd been pushing Izzy down instead of just being there like an especially warm, solid hat.

Sora and Matt were almost on opposite sides of the clearing, Matt with TK and Sora with Yolei. Izzy could understand why: it was hard not to feel a connection to the new kids that shared the same crests. That feeling that they had something in common, even if Izzy's theory that the digieggs had been created with the energy from their crests. Energy that had come from them.

"So, how's the party?" Was what Tai asked him. Tai hadn't been paying more attention to Matt and Sora than usual the whole evening, which was reassuring, even though Izzy knew it would take more than that to break all of them up. They knew what happened when they avoided each other for silly reasons like that.

"I'm just glad your mom was too busy to cook." At least saving the world on an empty stomach had been good training for saving the world with an upset stomach. After foraging in the digital world he'd thought he could handle anything. Well, Tai had warned him.

"I can't believe I missed her cooking while we were in the digital world."

Izzy's usual headpet had joined Leafmon on Ken's lap. They'd had a rough day yesterday: Davis' Digimon was making another assault on the buffet table, along with Davis. Being able to commute to the digital world, coming back each day for regular meals: they had no idea how lucky they were. "I feel like telling them, in our day…"

"We had to digivolve the real way." According to TK, and Kari agreed, armor digivolution took less energy. That was probably because they didn't become quite as powerful as a champion. "Twice, in the snow?"

If they could digivolve at all. Digimon couldn't unless they had enough physical energy, so they'd had to go hungry to feed their Digimon often enough, unless they wanted to be defenseless the next time an enemy attacked.

Izzy laughed, "You know, Tai?"

"What?" Tai asked obligingly.

Izzy opened his mouth to reply, only to realize that everything he'd wanted to say about this day (fun), this feeling (good), how things were going to turn out (ok), Tai already knew. "Oh, nothing."

"Nothing? Now you've got me curious." Tai leaned over him the way Davis had the screen. "Come on, spill."

Izzy just chuckled and called up his data again as Kari took photos of Cody's partner's in-training kendo outfit to send to Mimi and Tai jokingly demanded an answer.

The request was Tai/Izzy: I added in a bunch of general team fluff as well, because that's how the original digidestined roll. I find myself liking the 'old married couple,' kind of comfortable familiarity love more than crushes and nervous passion. That works with raising the next generation of heroes quite well. I wanted to convey that closeness and that lack of jealousy. Even though I tend to think that Tai/Sora didn't really have a chance of happening (they liked each other, but I tend to wonder if the reason she didn't end up with either of them was because that would have meant choosing one or the other and she didn't feel right doing that to them), Izzy knows that's not going to come between them.