A/N: Okay, so here it is. This is my favorite episode, so I hope that you'll understand why I made it all about Tommy. I would like to thank Pana-sule, kojiluvr, Crystal-Wolf-Guardain-967, Digidestined Ninja of Sunshine, AllSpark Princess, and theradioactivephoenix for reviewing chapter 24.
Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon. I only own Jade…that sounds weird to own a person, doesn't it? Knowing Jade's character, if she was real, she would kick my butt for even thinking that.
The Warrior of Hope
The Bully Pulpit
We pulled up in a Trailmon station and exited the Trailmon. We had ditched the rocket as soon as we were back on the Digital World, but Zoe convinced the Trailmon to take us to the next station.
"Thanks for the lift." Takuya said.
"I'm just glad I didn't mess it up." The Trailmon replied before easing its way out of the station.
"Have a safe trip!"
"Watch out for the Royal Knights!"
Our goodbyes echoed through the station as we watched the Trailmon leave. We began walking out of the station into the shiny city.
"Where are we, anyway?" Takuya asked.
"Steel Town. The whole town is made of steel." Bokomon replied.
"Gee, never would have guessed that from the name." J.P. said.
Koji looked at me, raising his eyebrows, "What? No comment?"
I shrugged, "J.P. seems to have gotten the gist of what I was about to say."
"Wow, it's all so shiny and bright!" Tommy said happily.
"Yeah, bright is right! Some of those buildings are reflecting right in my eyes!" Zoe put her hand over her eyes to shield them from the reflections.
"I bet you guys wish you had a cool pair of goggles right about now." Takuya said.
Koichi and Koji shared a look as they scoffed, "Yeah, right. All the cool kids wear goggles." Koji rolled his eyes at the goggle-head.
We laughed and Takuya hurried to defend himself, "Well, they will!"
We continued walking until we came upon a ditch in-between the shiny buildings.
"Let's walk in there. After all, not all of us have "a cool pair of goggles"." Zoe said, smirking at Takuya.
"Whatever, you're just jealous." Takuya said, taking the lead.
I rolled my eyes, "Just keep believing that, Taky."
"It's not so shiny and clean here." Tommy noticed as we continued walking.
Dust appeared along the ditch, indicating that someone was coming. I was slightly curious as to who it might be when I heard an idiotic laugh along with it and decided that I didn't care.
"What is that?" Tommy asked as a Digimon appeared from out of the dust. It looked like a blue centaur with red and black armor.
"Sagittarimon, half-man, half-horse, and all mean. His judgment arrow attack is three prongs of pain." Bokomon informed us.
Sagittarimon stomped his foot, "Stop right there, humans! While I have nothing against you personally, I must demand that you hand over all of your obsessions!"
I looked at my friends, "Is he for real?"
Zoe grinned at me, "Of course. He wants you're obsessions. So, you better hand Koji over."
I felt my face heat up as my blush crept across my face, "I don't know what you're talking about!"
Koji chuckled, "You're face is red."
"Fine, if you don't want to hand over Koji, then Koji is just going to have to hand you over." Zoe said with a wink.
Koji's face grew red, "Even if she was my obsession, which she's not, I wouldn't hand Jade over to anyone."
My blush grew even deeper and I looked at my feet, "Um, thanks…I think."
"Don't mention it." He said and I peeked up to see that he was looking at his own feet.
"Ugh! That is not what I meant! I mean your possessions. I should have just said stuff like I usually do. I never should have bought that thesaurus." Sagittarimon said angrily.
"So you have nothing better to do than rob us?" Tommy asked.
"That's right. Now if you don't wanna get hurt, hand over your obsessions." Sagittarimon demanded.
"Go on, Jade." Zoe teased.
I rolled my eyes.
"I can't believe we're being robbed by someone this dumb!" J.P. exclaimed. "You mean possessions, right?"
"Yeah, that's what I said, isn't it?" Sagittarimon asked.
"Alright, just give us a second." Takuya said.
We gathered in a circle in order to discuss what to do next.
"There's no way he's with the Royal Knights." Koichi said.
"Yeah, let's just get rid of him and be on our way." J.P. said.
"I second that statement." I said.
"What's wrong? Just hand it over." Sagittarimon said.
"I'm afraid we're gonna have to say no to that." Koji said as we turned toward Sagittarimon.
"What?" Sagittarimon asked.
"Look, we don't have time for this so why don't you just leave before you get hurt?" Takuya offered.
"Trust me, you're the one who's gonna be hurtin'!" Sagittarimon looked like he was going to sting an arrow through his bow.
"Stop!" A voice echoed through the ditch.
"What now?" Sagittarimon looked up.
We looked up to see four kids standing at the edge of the ditch, looking down at Sagittarimon.
I gasped in surprise, could these be the other children that the angel boy was talking about? Did the angel not know that they stayed in the Digital World as well?
"Who's that?" Takuya asked.
"Human kids, but how?" Koji asked.
"Well, perhaps other humans are working to save the Digital World too." Bokomon suggested.
I looked at everyone and noticed that Tommy looked shocked.
"Hey, you! Are you the no-good Digimon who's been stealing from everybody around here?" The tallest boy in the group asked.
"So what if I am?" Sagittarimon asked.
"Well, then you're gonna get it!" The boy with glasses exclaimed.
I smiled, were they going to use their spirits to evolve?
"From who? You guys? A bunch of puny little kids? I could take you, easy. Even if you teamed up with these guys over here." Sagittarimon bragged.
"Yeah, but we're not the ones you should be worrying about." The tallest boy said.
From behind him, an Angemon flew up and down into the ditch.
"Who's that?" Koichi asked.
"Whoever he is, he sure is impressive." Zoe said.
"His name is Angemon." I said.
The others looked at me in surprise, but I just continued looking at the angel Digimon.
"I'm gonna be like him!" Patamon exclaimed.
"Okay." Sagittarimon readied his bow. "Judgment Arrow!"
Angemon used his staff to block the attack and continued toward Sagittarimon. Angemon knocked the bow out of the surprised Sagittarimon's hands and held his staff to Sagittarimon's neck, "Time for you to go. Go on, get out of here!"
"I'll remember this!" Sagittarimon yelled as he ran away.
I stepped forward, "Angemon?"
The angel Digimon turned toward me, "Princess, I-"
I held my hand up to cut him off, "You shall call me Jade. I do not wish for these children to know about us unless necessary."
"Good job, Angemon!" The tall boy shouted.
"Are you kids okay?" The boy with glasses asked.
I frowned, "Who is he calling a kid?"
Koji chuckled and grinned at me.
"Wait a second!" The tall boy said.
"Hey, look, it's Tommy!" The bespectacled boy exclaimed.
"Looks like more friends for Tommy!" Bokomon said.
While everyone stared at the kids, I looked down at Tommy. He was looking at the ground, obviously troubled over something. I frowned, was he mad that they were here? Or was he worried about their safety?
"Come on, we'll take you back to where we're staying." The tall boy said.
We followed them to a tall orange building in the middle of town. They led us inside to a room where we could all sit down and face each other.
"So, who are you kids and how did you get here?" Koji asked.
"Well, my name is Katsuharu, and we got here just like all the other kids, on the trains." The tall boy said.
"I'm Teppei." The boy with glasses said.
"I'm Teruo." The shortest boy said.
"And I'm Chiaki." The girl said.
"So, wait, are you telling me that you guys have been in the Digital World the whole time that we have?" Takuya asked. "You came on the trains too?"
"Yep." Katsuharu replied. "After we got on the train we ended up at the Forest Terminal with a bunch of other confused kids. I mean, we weren't confused like them, but, well, you know what I mean. Anyway, we started talking to some other kids and that's how we met Teruo and Chiaki. Then this chick told us all to get back on board and go home, but we were like, forget that! This place rocks! We wanna stick around and see what happens next. So, that's what we did. Pretty soon we met Angemon and we've been travelling around ever since. You know, like having adventures, fighting injustices, that kind of stuff."
"It's just like TV only we're in it. And sure it's been dangerous, but we have Angemon with us." Teppei said.
Katsuharu looked at Tommy, finally noticing his discomfort. "Hey, Tommy? We're sorry about picking on you."
Tommy scoffed but didn't look up. I frowned, these kids picked on Tommy?
"It's not safe here. You guys really should have gotten on that train if Ophanimon told you to do it." Koji said.
"Ophanimon? Oh, is she the one that's been sending us those e-mails on our cell phones?" Teruo asked.
"Yeah, we used to get messages all the time when we first got here. But we haven't received any for a while now." Chiaki said.
I frowned, so they weren't the kids that the angel boy had been talking about? I sighed, looks like I still didn't belong.
"You're phones? Why's that? Did you guys have your D-Tectors stolen from you or something?" J.P. asked.
"What's a D-Tector?" Teppei asked.
We looked at each other, obviously not sure whether we should tell them or not. I shrugged, I didn't think that they needed to know any more than necessary.
"Alright, we get to ask some questions now. Like, what are you doing here?" Katsuharu asked.
"Actually, we're trying to restore peace to the entire Digital World." J.P. said.
I snorted, he almost sounded cool right there.
"Huh? World peace?" Katsuharu asked before they all burst out laughing.
"Totally groovy." Teppei said.
"How are you guys gonna save the entire world by yourselves?" Teruo asked.
"Yeah, look what you have for Digimon!" Katsuharu said as they looked at Bokomon, Neemon, and Patamon. "They couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag."
I rolled my eyes, these kids were definitely too ignorant to belong in the Digital World.
"Yeah, it looks like the most those things could do to save the world is volunteer to pick up the trash!" Teppei said and they all laughed.
I nodded slightly, it was true, but Bokomon had helped us with his brains and Patamon had once been Seraphimon and Neemon…well, Neemon was comic relief.
"Oh, yeah? Well we have the spirits of the 10 Legendary Warriors, so there!" Takuya said, acting childish, as usual.
Koji held his hand up and shot Takuya a look, stopping him from continuing.
"But we do…" Takuya said.
Koji shook his head.
Luckily, the kids were too busy laughing to pay attention to what Takuya had been saying. "They'd probably get hurt even doing that!" Teruo said.
"Listen! You should go home. You're just gonna get hurt if you stick around here." Koichi said.
"Huh?" The kids looked shocked.
"Come on, you guys don't even know what you're doing. You've been lucky so far, but sooner or later you're going to run into something you won't be able to handle." Koichi said.
"What do you know?" Katsuharu asked, glaring at Koichi.
"We know there's some real dangerous stuff here, like the Royal Knights." Koji said, sticking up for his brother.
"Yeah, they're the reason why pieces of this world keep disappearing." Zoe said.
"They wanna destroy the whole place and don't care who goes with it." Takuya said. "And you guys could be next."
"And if we couldn't handle them, then there is no way that you guys could." I said.
"Hey, you guys can't tell us what to do. You're not our fathers!" Teppei complained.
"Yeah! We've been doing just fine so far! Maybe you're the little babies who need to run home to mama! We're out of here!" Katsuharu said as they walked away.
"And you know what, Tommy? I'm not sorry for picking on you!" Katsuharu said.
I sighed, "Spoken like true children."
"Good riddance to bad rubbish, that's what I say. Anyway, it's all out of our hands now." J.P. said.
Takuya, Koichi, Koji, Bokomon, Neemon, and Patamon all started for the entrance to the building, obviously done talking about it.
"Well, I think that we should try and convince Chiaki and Teruo. It seemed like they were just following along with what Katsuharu and Teppei were saying." Zoe said.
"I'll go with you!" J.P. said, standing up.
Zoe looked at me, "Are you coming?"
I looked at Tommy, "Nah, I'm gonna stay here for a while."
She shrugged, "Alright."
They left and I was left alone with Tommy.
"Hey, are you okay?" I asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine." He replied, refusing to look at me.
"You know, you can talk to me, or anyone else, for that matter. Everyone needs someone to talk to every once in a while. We won't think that you're childish for it." I said.
He looked up at me and smiled, "Thanks, Jade, but I kind of want to be alone right now."
I stood, "Do you want me to leave?"
He shook his head, "I'll go. I wanted to look around this place anyway." He stood up and ran down the hall, waving as he went.
I smiled as I watched him go.
"Jade, is everything okay?" I looked up to see Angemon standing before me.
I nodded, "I'm just worried about some things. You know, the rise of Lucemon and such."
He nodded, "Yes, that is something to worry about."
"So, why are you protecting those kids?" I asked. "Not that I disapprove, I'm just curious."
"Ophanimon ordered me to watch over them. I left them for a short while when I gave you your Beast Spirit, but other than that, I've been with them this whole time." He said.
I looked down, "I see."
"Is something else troubling you?" Angemon asked.
I nodded and looked at the angel Digimon, "I was wondering, am I the only human that can turn into a Digimon that isn't actually a Legendary Warrior?"
Angemon frowned, "Why would you ask such a thing?"
I raised my eyebrows, "So, I take it that there are others?"
"Yes, there are others, but they are not capable of transforming at the moment. They, like you, are not represented by elements, but abstract ideas. They are represented by courage, friendship, knowledge, reliability, sincerity, love, and kindness." Angemon said.
"So, why am I the only one out of these that is here?" I asked.
"I'm sorry, I do not know. It could be because you have unlocked the hope within you, whereas they are far from unlocking the potential inside of them. Actually, their spirits are kept within the Gatomon Village as well as the Patamon Village, waiting for the day when their spirits will be unlocked. As soon as they are ready, their spirits will be presented to them, should the need arise." Angemon explained.
I frowned, "I see. So, it wasn't expected that I would be able to wield the power of Hope, but it was sort of like a bonus that I could?"
He frowned, "I suppose."
I sighed, "I will think on this matter. If you think of anything else, please let me know."
He gave me a short bow, "Of course, Jade."
I left, heading the direction that Tommy had gone. I heard voices coming from a room up ahead and darted into a doorway across the hall. It sounded like Tommy and Teppei.
"So, Tommy." Teppei said.
"What?" Tommy asked. I could hear how uncertain he sounded.
My hands balled into fists, he better not try to hurt Tommy. I shook my head and took a deep breath, letting my hands relax. Tommy wasn't a kid anymore, he could handle himself.
"Well, I guess you think that you're all big and tough now that you've found some older friends to protect you, huh?" Teppei asked. "So tough you want the world to yourself."
I frowned, what was up with this kid? Was he that selfish and just plain stupid?
"So tough that you think you can boss us around, but know what I think? We're staying, and you and you're friends are leaving!" Teppei continued and I heard a struggle.
"That's why you're gonna tell them that you wanna go home!" Teppei said.
"What?" Tommy gasped.
I frowned; Tommy would never disappoint us like that, even if he did want to go home.
"I know how goody-two-shoes like them work. Cry hard enough, and they'll have you home faster than you can yell, "Mama!" and with them gone, we can be the heroes that save the world. Now are you gonna tell them, or am I gonna have to get rough with you?" Teppei threatened.
I was just about to step out and help Tommy when a voice cut me off, "Hey!"
"Katsuharu!" Teppei exclaimed.
"Let him go, Teppei. You're not gonna beat anybody up unless I say so, got it?" Katsuharu said.
I frowned, what was he? Some sort of mafia boss?
"Yeah." Teppei replied.
I heard Tommy cough as he got his breath back.
"What were you hoping to do, Teppei? Start a fight with those guys? There are more of them than us, remember?" Katsuharu said.
Well, at least Katsuharu had the brains not to pick a fight with us.
"I know, b-but I was just thinking that-" Teppei started, but Katsuharu interrupted him.
"Well, don't! I mean, you are right about him. He's just hiding behind stronger kids, but then, that's what weaklings like him always do. And it would be stupid to expect him to do anything different." Katsuharu said.
I almost laughed when I imagined these idiotic kids going up against any one of Tommy's spirits.
"This world is for the strong, Tommy. Little weaklings like you shouldn't be here!" Katsuharu said.
"You're wrong." Tommy's voice came, small but unwavering.
"What?" Katsuharu asked.
"I'm strong. You're the one who's weak!" Tommy exclaimed.
I grinned as Katsuharu gasped.
"You're hiding behind Angemon!" Tommy said.
There was a crash from outside and I felt the building shake a little. I heard the boys rush out of the room and I quickly followed behind. Tommy looked back at me in surprise, "Did you hear all that?"
I nodded, "And you're right."
He smiled slightly before we picked up the pace. We finally made it outside to see that everyone else was already there.
"What happened?" Katsuharu asked.
"Our friend is back." Takuya replied.
I looked to see that Sagittarimon was, indeed, back, along with some other Digimon that also resembled centaurs.
"That's right! You're friend is back, but this time he brought a few friends of his own! You little brats are in for it now!" Sagittarimon said.
I sighed, "I thought that we were done with this idiot."
"Centarumon isn't too big on brains, but he's huge on brawn. And his Solar Ray attack won't brighten up your day." Bokomon explained.
"It's like a whole army." Tommy said, but he was still very calm, whereas Teppei and Katsuharu looked shocked.
"This is what you all get! It's payback for not handing over you're obsessions!" Sagittarimon said.
Zoe raised her eyebrows at me, "I told you-"
I took off my shoe and ran at her, "Would you stop saying that!"
Zoe laughed as she avoided my shoe.
"You're making fun of me, aren't you? Ready to attack, Centarumon?" Sagittarimon asked.
"Ready!" The Centarumon said together.
"Guys, get back! We'll take care of this guy!" Takuya and Katsuharu said, perfectly in sync.
"Look, just stay out of the way! You guys can't handle this!" Takuya ordered.
"We can't? Sure we can! Angemon will fight them!" Katsuharu said.
"I'll handle this. Katsuharu, you and the others find somewhere to hole up outside of harm's way." Angemon said.
"Do you really think that you can take us all on?" Sagittarimon asked.
"Anyone with a brain could take you on." I mumbled.
Zoe giggled, "Don't tell those kids that."
The Centarumon started charging at Sagittarimon's signal and Angemon flew toward them. "Judgment Arrow!" Sagittarimon fired at Angemon.
Angemon started to fight them all by himself.
"Should we do something?" Zoe asked.
"Well, I don't know! Should we Spirit Evolve?" Takuya asked.
I raised my eyebrows, "Oh, fearless leader, why are you getting so flustered? Angemon obviously needs help, so we should help."
"You just stand back and watch Angemon go." Katsuharu said.
"Yeah, he's a fighting machine, and there ain't no one in the whole world who can stand up to him!" Teppei said.
Angemon continued to fight, holding off the Centarumon.
"You see what we mean?" Chiaki asked.
"Yeah, go Angemon!" Teruo exclaimed.
I looked at Angemon, who was surrounded by Centarumon. I leaned closer to Zoe, "Are they watching the same fight as us?"
She shrugged, "I'm guessing not."
"Charge!" Another group of Centarumon was headed for Tommy, Katsuharu, and Teppei.
"It's a trap!" Takuya exclaimed.
"Yeah, and we fell right into it." Koichi said.
"Wow, who knew that these idiots could actually come up with a trap?" I wondered aloud.
"No!" Angemon exclaimed, turning back to look at Katsuharu and Teppei.
"Don't forget about little old me." Sagittarimon said as he resumed his attack on Angemon.
"What are you doing? Run!" J.P. exclaimed.
"Yeah!" Katsuharu and Teppei exclaimed.
"Solar Ray!" The lead Centarumon fired at the three boys.
Teppei tripped and fell.
Katsuharu looked back, "Teppei!"
Teppei reached out for Katsuharu, "Katsuharu, help me!"
Katsuharu stayed in that spot, obviously not willing to risk himself for his friend. He was muttering to himself, his fear showing on his face.
"Shoot!" I grabbed my D-Tector and made a move for them, but then I saw that Tommy was already on his way.
The Centarumon were charging up their Solar Ray attack and getting closer to Teppei.
"Get out of there!" Katsuharu yelled.
The beam was getting closer and closer, when Tommy dove toward Teppei, rolling as he did to get Teppei out of the way of the attack.
Tommy knelt next to Teppei, checking to see if he was alright. Tommy stood up, facing the Centarumon, "You're a bunch of bullies, but you're not gonna bother us anymore! Execute, Beast Spirit Evolution! Korikakumon!"
Teppei, Katsuharu, Chiaki, and Teruo all gasped as they watched Tommy transform into Korikakumon.
"Still wanna fight?" Korikakumon asked. He swung his hammers at the Centarumon, knocking them aside easily. "Not so tough now, huh?"
"Come on, let's help him out!" Takuya said.
"Right!" We said. "Execute, Spirit Evolution!"
"How about we start with a hot hoof? Pyro Punch!" Agunimon fired at a group of Centarumon.
"Shadow Lance!" We each took care of a group of Centarumon, finishing them off.
"No way! They all turned into Digimon!" Teppei exclaimed.
"They're so brave!" Katsuharu said.
Bokomon scoffed, "I'm surprised you know what courage looks like. Their bravery is why the spirits chose them."
"I had no idea these humans could evolve." Sagittarimon remarked.
"And don't forget about little old me." Angemon said. "I believe we have unfinished business." Angemon punched Sagittarimon, sending him flying.
"Alright, if you guys are smart, you'll turn around and run right out of here." Agunimon said.
"And you'll run fast." Lobomon said.
"Okay!" The Centarumon ran as fast as they could.
I laughed, "Well, I was wrong. They are actually pretty smart."
"Man, we are good!" Agunimon said.
Korikakumon pounded his chest.
We de-digivolved and grinned at each other.
"Sorry, for real." Katsuharu said, holding his hand out to Tommy. "I shouldn't have called you weak, cause you're braver than I've ever been."
"You saved my life." Teppei said.
Tommy smiled and took Katsuharu's hand.
"It would be an honor if you'd let me call you my friend." Katsuharu said.
"Sure, you bet." Tommy said.
"Well, guys, now it's our turn to be brave and do something that we don't really want to do. We've had a great time here, but these guys are right. It's too dangerous, so I think we should go home." Katsuharu said.
"Seriously?" Teruo asked.
"Yep." Katsuharu replied.
The three kids nodded at him, smiling as they did. A cold wind blew across us and I looked up to see two unwanted figures laughing.
"How moving!" Crusadermon said.
"The Royal Knights!" Koji said.
"But, it would have been even more moving if you were defeated." Crusadermon finished.
"I guess we'll just have to do that." Dynasmon said.
"Not so fast!" Angemon rushed at the two Royal Knights.
Dynasmon closed in quickly, slashing his claw at Angemon, leaving him as nothing but data.
"Angemon, no!" Katsuharu yelled.
"Laser Lattice!" Crusadermon shot a golden net out of her hand, capturing Katsuharu, Teppei, Chiaki, and Teruo. "Now, now! Not everyone is lucky enough to be captured by someone as beautiful as me."
"Come on!" Dynasmon took hold of the net.
Tommy ran after them and grabbed the bottom of the net.
"Tommy!" We yelled, running forward.
"Hey, you ugly tin can, come back here!" Takuya exclaimed.
Dynasmon looked back at us, but Crusadermon waved him away, "Fret not, Dynasmon. Allow me the pleasure of handling these knaves."
Crusadermon landed right in front of us and took out a rose, "Ah, the sweet smell of defeat. Even if you're not worth the effort. Scarlet Tempest!" The rose petals flew at us, circling us and trapping us. "It is so unsatisfying to fight weaklings!" Crusadermon took off after Dynasmon.
We finally broke free of the whirlwind of rose petals and started running again, but they were too far away. "That's just great!" Takuya said.
"They're gone!" Neemon said happily.
"We can all see that." Bokomon said.
"Let's move!" Takuya said.
"I wouldn't do that." A voice came from behind us, along with the squealing of a Trailmon on the tracks.
We turned to see all the different kinds of Trailmon coming from all directions.
"Yeah, tracking them down might be dangerous, even." One of the Trailmon said.
"Hey, Trailmon!" Takuya said, running up to his partner from the race.
"You might as well just forget them." His old partner informed him.
"But they're our friends." Takuya said.
"They'll probably send you a postcard…someday." Another Trailmon said.
"What?" Takuya asked.
"They're headed toward Beanstalk Village." A Trailmon informed us.
"Beanstalk Village?" Takuya asked.
"Bingo! What would you call a village with a giant beanstalk growing out of the middle of it? Bean Town?" Takuya's partner asked.
"That's a beanstalk? Is there a mean giant too?" J.P. asked.
"Oh, J.P.! It goes into the clouds." Zoe said.
"Wow!" Neemon said.
"It's tall." Patamon said.
"Alright, Trailmon. Who wants to be the lucky one to take us to Beanstalk Village?" Takuya asked.
"Um, I've got to go!"
"Yeah, I'm busy, too!"
"I've got to do laundry."
"I'm not going there!" The Trailmon fled, each going their separate ways.
"Come on, help us out!" Takuya begged.
"That's just great." Zoe said. "Now what?"
We heard snoring and all turned to look at the last Trailmon, who happened to be sleeping.
"Sounds like he's counting some sheep." J.P. said.
"Or buffalo." Zoe said.
"Well, whatever he's counting, he's our last chance." Takuya said.
"Rise and shine! All aboard for Beanstalk Village!" J.P. shouted at the Trailmon, but he didn't stir.
Takuya ran forward and began tickling the Trailmon, causing him to sneeze both Takuya and J.P. out of the way. "Hey! What was that about? Wake up? I'm trying to get some shut-eye, here." The Trailmon complained.
Zoe ran over and winked at the Trailmon, "I just love that you're so outspoken. You think a big, strong Trailmon could help me out?"
I rolled my eyes, was she trying to flirt with this massive Digimon?
I blinked when Trailmon blushed, "Why, sure! You can just call me Wormy!"
J.P. was drooling, "Zoe…"
"Actually, we all could use your help. We need a ride to Beanstalk Village." Koji said. I was happy to see that he wasn't the least bit affected by Zoe's attempt at flirting.
"No! You practically scare my wheels off yelling at me, and now you expect me to give you a lift?" The Trailmon prepared to leave.
"Well, that sure would be nice of you." Takuya said.
"Listen, I've never been there, and besides, I need more rest." The Trailmon got comfortable in order to get back to sleep.
"A moment, Mr. Worm. You're plate says otherwise." Bokomon said.
We read the plate, "You're the Beanstalk Village express." Takuya said. "My guess is that you were still a little sleepy and just forgot where you were going, right?"
The Trailmon shook his body, making the plate come off.
"What a giver." Zoe said flatly.
"He's all heart." Takuya matched her tone.
I sighed, "We're getting nowhere with this."
"Well, it's not like we have any other choices. All the other Trailmon left." Koji pointed out.
"I know. It just makes me so frustrated that we have to rely on this Trailmon while Tommy could be in real danger." I said, clenching my hands into fists.
Koji put his hands on my shoulders, "Hey, everything will be alright. We'll get to Tommy in time. In the meantime, Tommy is a smart kid. He'll find a way to keep himself and the others safe."
"Hey, I have an idea!" J.P. exclaimed. He ran to the other side of the station where a bucket of water and a washcloth sat. "Everybody needs a relaxing scrub now and then, and you Mr. Worm, are no exception." J.P. began wiping down the Trailmon with the water.
We all joined in, each scrubbing a different part of Trailmon. "Bet you've never had anyone fully detail you. You look great!" Takuya assured the Trailmon.
"You're looking so shiny, we might need sunglasses." Zoe remarked.
"Think of all the compliments you'll get in Beanstalk Village!" Takuya said.
"Here, are you hungry? I've got a chocolate bar we can split." I heard J.P. say from the front of the Trailmon. "I'm betting that chocolate bar seals the deal for our ride, right?"
"You're wrong." Trailmon replied.
"What? How come?" J.P. demanded.
"It's too far." Trailmon said.
"Why, you lazy train!" J.P. grumbled.
"That's it! I'm out of here!" Trailmon started moving down the tracks.
We hurried to jump out of the way, but Takuya was still stuck on top. "Come on you guys, get on!" Takuya said.
Koji opened the side door and leapt on. He then reached back to help Koichi up. "Jade, grab my hand." He said.
I leapt onto the train, using Koji and Koichi to keep my balance. From the other side of the Trailmon, Zoe had just been tackled by J.P. in an attempt to get J.P. on the train.
I shut the side door and sat down on the bench.
"Well, that worked out." J.P. said.
"Sure did. We got lucky." Zoe said.
"I call it skill." J.P. said.
I snorted and muttered, "What skill?"
Takuya entered through the door to the next cart, "Did everyone make it?"
"Yup. Amazing considering how fast Worm took off." Koji said.
"At least now he's calmed down." Takuya said.
The Trailmon stopped, sending us all to the floor of the cart. I knocked heads with Koichi as I went flying.
I rubbed my head, "Sorry Koichi. Why did we stop?"
Koichi rubbed his head as well, "I don't know."
"Let's go find out." Takuya said, leading the way off the Trailmon. Takuya groaned as he looked down the tracks.
"What?" I asked as I stepped down into the dirt. I looked toward the front of the Trailmon and saw that the tracks were broken over a deep chasm.
"Oh, man." Zoe said, looking down into the chasm.
"I'm kind of tired. Sleepy-bye nappy time." Trailmon said, closing his eyes.
"Well, I'm tired of your attitude, Worm boy!" J.P. snapped.
"Attitude, shmattitude. If there was tracks, I'd be more than happy to take you across." Trailmon said.
I scoffed, "Yeah, right."
"Hey guys, I think I have an idea." Takuya said.
"Great. Another one of your fabulous ideas. I can't wait to hear what you've come up with this time." I said.
"Stop being such a downer. So, what's the plan?" Zoe asked.
"We're going to tear up the rails from behind us and fix the rails in front of us and make a ramp." Takuya said.
I blinked, "That's actually a pretty good plan."
Koji nodded, "This could actually work."
"Plus, Trailmon won't have a chance to escape." J.P. said.
"Alright, let's do it!" Zoe said.
We headed for the tracks behind Trailmon and the boys began unscrewing the rails. Zoe and I watched, knowing that we didn't have enough muscle power to pull it off.
"Hold up! If you tear up that rail, how am I gonna get back where I belong?" Trailmon demanded.
"We need this to repair the track ahead." Takuya explained as they carried the first rail toward the chasm.
"And now you can't run away." J.P. said smugly.
"Sit tight." Koji said.
"This will just take a second." Zoe said.
The boys began securing the rail to the broken one with a rope. I went back behind the Trailmon and pulled up one of the planks of wood.
"Need some help?" Koji asked, standing behind me.
I nodded, "Sure."
"I'll help too. Maybe you should go and help Zoe with the rope." Koichi suggested.
"Right, useless girl over here. Let's just send her someplace where she can't get in the way." I muttered.
Koji looked back and forth between us, "Is there something the matter?"
I shook my head, "It's nothing. I'm going to go help Zoe with the rope."
I walked up toward the front of the Trailmon and saw that Neemon had rope tied around him and that Patamon was frantically trying to get it off. I sighed, "Here, let me help." I set myself on the task of untangling Neemon.
I let myself zone out, just focusing on the knots in front of me. Once I had everything untangled, I grinned at Neemon, "You should probably stay away from the rope."
I looked up and saw that everyone seemed to be having a standoff with Trailmon.
"What a useless cause," Trailmon was saying, "you can't fight that. Sooner or later those Royal Knights will turn everything into data. Stuff's disappearing every day. The land I run on is starting to look like Swiss cheese. My friends, I tell you my boiler starts burning whenever I think of all my buddies that have gone down for the count. Let's face it; your friends have probably already been scanned. You might as well just pack it in."
Everyone was starting to let Trailmon's words get to them. It was obvious in the uncertainty in their faces. I frowned, this wasn't like my friends. They were usually so optimistic and happy that it was hard to be around them.
I watched as Takuya began working again, the fire still in his eyes. I smiled, no matter what kinds of doubts we faced, Takuya would always keep working. He would never let us lose hope.
"Huh? Takuya?" Zoe asked, looking at the goggle-head.
"Hey, didn't you hear me? Give it up!" Trailmon said.
"I'm not ever going to give up! Tommy, Katsuharu, and the others are waiting for us to rescue them. I'm not going to let them down! If we just keep believing in ourselves and going forward, we will win! We'll do whatever it takes to save this world, right?" Takuya asked.
Zoe nodded, "Uh huh!"
"Yeah, you bet." J.P. said.
We gathered around Takuya, letting him know that we believed in his words.
"That's right!" Zoe said.
"I mean, let's face it. The Digital World is kind of like our second home." Takuya pointed out.
"Yeah." Everyone agreed.
"You call this place home? And you guys really believe you can save it? You humans got a lot of moxy, but how can you save this place?" Trailmon asked.
"I don't have a set plan, but if we humans join up with all you digimon, I know we can do it! And before you know it, you'll be back to racing around a Digital World that's in one piece again!" Takuya said.
"When you put it that way, well that sounds kind of great! Guess we'd better make tracks." Trailmon said.
"You're going to take us all the way?" Zoe asked.
"How about shining me up before we head out?" Trailmon asked.
"Not likely." J.P. said, his irritation obvious on his face.
Everyone laughed. "Alright, you kids better get on board before I change my mind!" Trailmon said.
We hurried to get on Trailmon. "Do you really think this will work?" I asked.
"Let's hope so." Koji said, grabbing my hand.
I smiled at Koji, but noticed that Koichi was looking somewhat annoyed. I pulled away, "Um, I'm going to watch from that side of the train." I walked over to the other side of the train and looked out the window.
Trailmon began moving and suddenly we were flying over the chasm, just like Takuya thought we would. We landed with a jolt and I sat back in my seat, wondering if we had wasted too much time.
"Now Worm's on our side! That will make this ride smooth." Takuya said.
We went over a bump and we all flew out of our seats. The ride became even bumpier as we went through a series of loop-de-loops and curves.
I groaned, "What is this? A rollercoaster?"
I grabbed hold of the seat and closed my eyes, ignoring the sounds of my friends. I tried to breathe evenly as I fought against nausea.
I imagined a nice, peaceful beach. The waves were rolling in and the sun was beating down. The sounds of the waves rolling onto the shore were very gentle.
A hand grabbed my shoulder and I opened my eyes to see Koji's concerned blue orbs looking back at me, "Jade, are you okay? Trailmon says that we just have to make it through this tunnel and then we'll be in Beanstalk Village."
I hugged him, "I'm fine. Thanks."
He hummed as he wrapped his arms around me, "Maybe we should do that again."
I rolled my eyes, but relaxed into his arms, "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Well, you've been acting kind of strange lately, so I was really worried." Koji said. "I'm just glad that you're not mad at me."
"Of course I'm not mad at you." I said immediately.
"Then what's the matter?" He asked.
"Guys, get ready. We're just about to pull in to Beanstalk Village." Trailmon said.
Koji frowned, "Really?"
"Later." I promised, giving him a quick peck on the lips before I pulled away.
We stood up together and got our D-Tectors out. I noticed that everyone was staring at us and I blushed, choosing to look out the window instead. I blinked as the walls of the tunnel were replaced by open air.
Trailmon screeched to a stop and Takuya was the first out the door, "Katsuharu! Tommy!"
"We're all okay!" Tommy replied.
We all got off the train and I looked around at the situation. Tommy was tied up and on the ground. There were little grey digimon surrounding the other kids. I watched as one of the grey digimon used its attack to untie Tommy.
"Tommy are you okay?" Zoe asked.
"Yup." He replied.
I sighed in relief, "We made it."
Crusadermon shot a ribbon toward us while everyone was fussing over Tommy, but Trailmon countered with a shot of fire.
"Takuya, Koji, you've got to do it!" J.P. said.
The two boys nodded.
"I'm going to help." I said. Koichi shot me a look, but I ignored it. "I can't just sit back and watch you two fight for all of us."
Koji nodded, "I don't expect you to."
We all held up our D-Tectors.
"Ice into flame!"
"Thunder into light!"
"Wind into flame!"
"Darkness into light!"
"Unity Execute, Unified Spirit Evolution! EmperorGreymon!"
"Unity Execute, Unified Spirit Evolution! MagnaGarurumon!"
"Execute, Fusion Evolution! LadyBlackGatowomon!"
"How amusing. You insist on being thrashed by us again!" Dynasmon said.
"This time your impudence shall be rewarded more appropriately. We will not show you any mercy." Crusadermon said.
EmperorGreymon stuck his sword into the ground, "Pyro Dragons!" Dragons made of fire came from the cracks in the earth.
"Dragon's Roar!" Dynasmon countered with the beam from his hands.
The two attacks collided, showing equal strength.
"Magna Rockets!" MagnaGarurumon fired his rockets at Crusadermon.
Crusadermon just spun around and laughed.
"Wicked Claws!" I combined my attack with MagnaGarurumon's.
Crusadermon just kept spinning, her ribbons rendering our attacks useless. "Spiral Masquerade!" Crusadermon focused her attack on MagnaGarurumon.
I got behind Crusadermon, "Demonic Shock!" I sent a ball filled with dark energy at Crusadermon.
The attack hit Crusadermon in the back, "Why, you little! Laser Lattice!" Crusadermon sent an energy net at me.
"Darkness Noose!" I used my chain belt to hit the net out of the way.
While I was focused on the net, Crusadermon used one of her ribbons to pick up Koichi. "And check, you pathetic pawn."
"Koichi!" MagnaGarurumon shouted.
"No! Let him go!" Zoe exclaimed.
"Stop! Don't you hurt him!" MagnaGarurumon growled.
"What? I see! You can't attack because you wish to protect this human." Crusadermon tightened her ribbon around Koichi making him scream.
"Koichi!" MagnaGarurumon yelled. "Release him, you witch!"
I felt myself shaking, was there nothing that I could do?
"How dare you?" Crusadermon began attacking him with her ribbons.
I snuck up behind Crusadermon, "Poison Fang!" I bit into her neck, causing her to drop Koichi.
I hurried to grab him before he hit the ground, "Are you okay?" I leapt away from the angry Crusadermon.
Koichi looked at me with surprise, "You saved me."
I rolled my eyes, "Did you want me to just let Crusadermon push Koji around?"
"No, but…um, thank you." He said, a light blush covering his face.
I set him down, "Alright, go help the others and try not to get captured again."
He nodded, "Right."
"Enough dawdling! We can't keep Lord Lucemon waiting!" Crusadermon said, though she struggled to get up from my attack.
"Then let's finish this." Dynasmon said.
"Fist of Athena!"
Crusadermon attack MagnaGarurumon and Dynasmon attacked EmperorGreymon. My two friends fell back near the base of the beanstalk.
"The time has come." Dynasmon said.
"Your demise shall be glorious." Crusadermon said.
"Wicked Claws!" My attack hit both the Royal Knights. "You didn't forget about little old me, did you?"
"I have no time for a child such as you. Scarlet Tempest!" Crusadermon attacked.
I flew into the air, avoiding the attack, "Demonic Shock!" I sent a ball of dark energy at Crusadermon, hitting her in the chest and sending her flying.
"Dragon Thrower!" I gasped as the attack hit me in the back, sending me down to the earth.
I turned toward Dynasmon as I fell, "Darkness Noose!" I sent my chain flying at Dynasmon. It wrapped around Dynasmon and began squeezing.
"Enough!" Dynasmon broke through my chain, "Dragon Thrower!" This time it hit me directly.
I fell to the ground in front of EmperorGreymon and MagnaGarurumon before I de-digivolved into a human. "Sorry guys, I couldn't beat them."
"Royal Knights, stop! The key you seek is at the top of the beanstalk. It is a golden pod. When you take it from there, the luck will be undone." An old-looking grey digimon said.
"Elder one!" Zoe gasped.
Dynasmon flew up toward the top of the beanstalk.
"Once the key has been found, the land will once again sleep peacefully." The old digimon said.
We watched as the beanstalk turned into data.
"Wondrous! The data has been colored by the beauty of friendship!" Crusadermon said.
Zoe pulled me onto the train and shut the door behind us, "Go now, quickly!"
Trailmon started speeding away.
Everyone was looking out the windows as the land turned to data and the Royal Knights collected it, but I couldn't bear to watch.
I sighed, "Useless again."
"What are you talking about? You saved me, didn't you?" Koichi said.
I shrugged, "I'm sure Koji could have saved you by himself."
He sighed, "Listen, I was wrong before. When you risked yourself for me, you actually thought about what you were doing. You work really hard and I'm glad that you're here."
I looked at me feet, "Thanks."
He grabbed my hand and I looked at him in surprise, "You're here for a reason. Always remember that."
Trailmon stopped and everyone else was getting off the train. I quickly pulled away and followed after them, leaving Koichi on the train.
We looked out at the newest hole in the Digital World. "It's completely gone." Takuya said.
"The beanstalk and your village too." Tommy said.
"It's sad. Katsuharu, now you and your friends must leave this world." The old digimon said.
"Not without taking you Mamemon! We'll find you a place to live!" Katsuharu insisted.
"We will not leave the Digital World. This place is our home. Our village was destroyed, but we can always find another place to build, but if we were to lose dear friends like you that would truly be a tragedy. We can always plant another bean and nurture its possibilities. Who knows? This one might even grow as big as the one you planted for us, Katsuharu." The old Mamemon said, looking at a glowing golden bean in his hand.
"Alright. We'll go. You guys take care." Katsuharu said.
I looked away as the other kids were saying their goodbyes to the Mamemon. I wondered if this was the chance to leave that the angel boy had been talking about. I told him that I would take the first chance I got to get out of here.
"What's wrong?" Koji asked me.
"Nothing." I lied.
"Jade, you can tell me." He said, grabbing my hand.
I was reminded of when Koichi had grabbed my hand. I frowned, why did he do that? I looked into Koji's concerned eyes, "Don't worry. I'm just thinking about something."
"Do you want to tell me what you're thinking about?" He asked.
I looked around, "Not here. I'll tell you once we're back on Trailmon and headed for Steel City."
He nodded, "Alright."
"Okay, let's get going. Trailmon, could you take us back to Steel City and then take these guys back to the human world?" Takuya asked.
"Sure. Just hop aboard." Trailmon replied.
We all boarded the Trailmon and everyone sat down. Koji and I sat away from everybody else.
"So, what's going on?" Koji asked.
"Well…" I told Koji about my dream with the angel boy and then my discussion with Angemon. "So, I've been thinking about going home. I mean, I've sort of been a burden since I got here. You guys would be better off if I left."
Koji frowned, "Jade, how can you even trust what that little angel boy said?"
I shrugged, "It wasn't just him who brought it up. It was also pointed out that I worry you too much. You could be so much freer if I wasn't here to bring you down."
"Who told you that?" Koji asked.
I shook my head, "It doesn't matter. The point is that it's the truth. I don't belong here with the rest of you."
"Well, I can't exactly tell you what to do, but I want you to know that I don't want you to go. You aren't a burden. You're strong. You keep me strong. It's your decision, but I hope that you'll choose to stay with me." He said, giving me a quick kiss on the cheek before standing up.
I realized with a shock that we were already at the station. I swallowed as I got off the train with everyone else.
"Why are all of you staying here?" Chiaki asked.
"We've still got a lot of stuff that we need to take care of." Takuya said.
"Hey Tommy, why don't you come back with us?" Teppei asked.
Tommy shook his head, "I want to stay right here to help save this place. We have lots of digimon friends just like you do and we can't let them down."
"We're counting on you." Katsuharu said.
"Thanks." Tommy said.
"Well, good luck." Teppei said.
Koji looked at me, "Well?"
"What?" Everyone looked at me.
I bit my lip, but then I remembered Koichi's words. I shook my head, "I'm going to stay here," I looked at Koichi, "After all, I'm here for a reason."
Koji smiled and took my hand, "I'm glad."
"Wait, what's all that about?" Zoe demanded.
"Nothing, Z. It's really not important anymore." I said.
"Anyway, we'll get out of your guys' way." Katsuharu said. "Yeah, we're going back home!" He pushed the others onto the Trailmon. "Be careful, you guys, and Tommy," He looked back at Tommy, "your turn. Give me a shove this time." He grinned.
Tommy pushed Katsuharu into the train before laughing.
J.P. shut the door.
Trailmon blew his whistle, "The earth-bound express is hitting the rails!"
We waved goodbye as Trailmon pulled out of the station. Everyone else was running forward with the train, saying their goodbyes, but I held back.
Koji stayed with me.
I looked at him, "Well, there went your last chance to get rid of me."
He smiled, "Good. Now you can't talk about leaving me."
I giggled, "Don't worry; I would never leave you in that way."
His eyes turned serious, "I would never leave you either. I love you."
I blushed as the words that had plagued my mind for so long were so easily said by Koji. I hugged him, "Me too. I love you."
He pulled away slightly so he could look in my eyes. His joy was so clearly displayed on his face that I wanted to look away, but instead I leaned forward to press my lips to his. He kissed me back. Even though there were so many things to worry about, in that moment all I thought about was Koji.
A/N: Well, there you have it. I hope that I didn't slaughter these episodes too much. Anyway, tell me what you think in a review. Thanks. :)