A/N: I really didn't know what I was doing when I wrote this. The words seemed to just flow. I do apologize if this is terribly out of character; I didn't plan it that way at all. This takes place after Tamers ends and is very angsty. I know how Tamers ended and the plot of the 6th movie (which are both connected) but I wrote this slightly AU with Takato reflecting on the changes one faces as they grow up and the loss of a friend. Once again I do apologize if this makes absolutely no sense. Oh and it does have some one sided Rukato (My first) I hope you enjoy my story. 

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

Bittersweet Remembrance

By Frozen Phoenix

Takato Matsuda walked home from school on a warm, balmy afternoon. After months home due to the mass destruction caused by the computer program D-Reaper, Takato was all too glad to return to some degree of normalcy.

Although his returning to school wasn't what he had expected. Many people, some he had never seen before and even people he knew kept congratulating him. The only thing bad about it was the fact that many of the girls either avoided his gaze or blushed when he looked at him. Could it be just a girl thing? He wondered.

Speaking of girls… I wonder how Juri's doing? Unlike Takato, Jenrya, Hirokazu, Kenta and Ruki, Juri had not returned to school with them. Takato frowned. But after what D-Reaper did to her, school should is probably the last thing on her mind.

He remembered rescuing her from within D-Reaper and how grateful she was just to be free. Takato felt a measure of bitterness rise within him. I've known Juri for so long, why didn't I realize what had happened? I knew something was wrong, but I still didn't pick up on it. What kind of friend am I?

Takato stopped walking and sighed. He had been on his way home, but now he felt like seeing Juri, to make sure she was doing well. He started on the way to her house, and then suddenly stopped. Wait; today's Tuesday, she's probably seeing her psychiatrist. He thought dismally. 

He knew that after everything that had happened to her, it was probably necessary, but the thought of telling someone a stranger about his private problems made him slightly uncomfortable. Maybe I can see her later.

Takato wondered what the other Tamers were doing. It seemed that without the Devas or Wild Digimon to fight, they had drifted apart somewhat. Jenrya was more focused on his studies, in order to make up for all the schoolwork he had missed while in the Digital World. Shiuchon was spending most of her time at home with her mother and rest of her family. And Jenrya had told him that now she liked to "act" like she was Lopmon and make her parents laugh, but occasionally had nightmares about D-Reaper and the "bad monkey."

Ryo had returned to his home and was "under close watch" by his parents. Though he said he could understand them. He had, after all disappeared to the Digital World for ten months without a word and then helped to defeat a computer program that planned upon deleting both the Real and Digital World. It was enough to make any good parent worried about their son. 

Hirokazu and Kenta were more into the Digimon Card Game then ever. "Who knows," Hirokazu had said confidently. "With enough practice, maybe I'll be even better than the Digimon Queen." "Yeah right," Kenta said unbelievingly. "And I'll be better than Ryo himself." They had continued arguing in class until Mrs. Asagi threatened them both with detention. 

"You may have saved the world, but remember you are in a class with rules that you must and will abide by." She had said severely, although her face had betrayed some small amusement.  "Geez," Hirokazu whispered. "Give me D-Reaper or Ruki any day."

Ruki. Takato hadn't seen her in quite awhile. After all, she did go to a completely different school and according to Juri, who she had visited as well; she had been spending more time with her mother, going out with her and such.  Takato began walking, a new destination in his mind. I wonder how Ruki's doing? She and Renamon were so close, without her and us Tamers; does she have any other friends?

He doubted that. A few months ago she was far more interested in having Renamon pound his Digimon Guilmon and just about any other digimon into data rather than trying to be his or anyone's friend. But she's changed so much. A voice inside him nagged. She hasn't been like that for a long time, she's somewhat nicer and…and what?

He had admitted feelings of affection to Juri, who had really been an ADR in disguise, in order to try and snap her out of the depression she was in. But now he knew he hadn't been talking the real Juri and after everything that had happened, wasn't completely sure of how he felt.

He saw Juri often, to cheer her up and make sure she was doing well, but he rarely saw Ruki and that upset him. He'd always admired, if not been slightly afraid of her. She always seemed so in control of every situation, even when they were times that caused him to break down.

But you never broke down. He thought. You're always so strong. When D-Reaper attacked us in the Digital World you weren't going to run away, you were willing to do whatever was necessary to help us. And her sacrifice had helped her and Renamon use Matrix Evolution to become Sakuyamon. Takato smiled at the memory. You asked me if I was okay and I was so overwhelmed that I could barely speak.

But now things are different. I can still go to your house and see you, but things are so different now. Were the digimon the only thing that kept us all together? Before creating Guilmon I barely even knew Jenrya and except for the dream that you threatened to beat me up over if I ever spoke about if again, I knew nothing about you. Now the only thing that really unites us is the fact that you don't have Renamon anymore and I don't have Guilmon either.

Takato clenched a fist. I don't want that to be the only thing between us. I still want you as my friend and…and what? The same question over again. How did he really feel about Ruki?

When I don't see her its like something's important is missing. It's different with Juri. I always feel like I should protect her, while you wouldn't need or let me protect you.

With a start, Takato stopped walking and stood in front of a small, familiar, closed off structure. He had been there so many times, and remnants of plastic bags from his parents' bakery still littered the floor along with heaps of dirt and small crumbs.

How many meetings did we have here? How many times did I say "Guilmon stay put!" and have him wander off? Takato could almost see himself feeding Guilmon bread or playing with him and Hirokazu, Kenta, and Juri. He saw Juri smile, something he hadn't seen in quite a while. 

It seems so long ago. And now his best friend, Guilmon was gone. It wasn't fair. We worked so hard to protect both worlds and you still had to leave me. I created you out of my wishes and dreams, but why couldn't I make you stay with them as well? 

There hadn't been a dry human eye when the Digimon had separated from their Tamers and returned to the Digital World. Even Jenrya and Shiuchon's father had stood with tears falling down his face as well.  Takato could feel his eyes begin to slightly well.

I lost Guilmon and I might lose Jenrya and Ruki too. Is that how things were supposed to be?

"You're growing up Takato." His mother had told him once. "Things are going to get a bit rougher for you and your friends. You're all going to go through changes that might make you sad or confuse you. But you have to remember who you are and not loose sight of yourself."

They hall all grown up since becoming Tamers, especially Juri. And when he had forced Guilmon to evolve to Megidramon, he had seen the darkness that hid in his soul come to light.

And for what? Both worlds were saved, but what had been gained? It wasn't merely Juri it was everyone. Jenrya was no longer a pacifist, Shiuchon had seen how power really corrupted a person and saw someone noble and good die. Hirokazu and Kenta seemed normal, but He could that they had grown up a little as well. And from Ice Devimon's attack Ruki found out that she wasn't as strong as she thought.

Everyone had changed, for better or for worse and according to his mother; they were going to change even more. And without Guilmon or solid knowledge that his friends would always be with him, Takato felt lost. And he stood in front of what he had affectionately dubbed "Guilmon's Home" and let the tears silently fall.

The End