Hello! Oh God, where has the year gone? I am SOOOO sorry that I have failed to update in all that time. But hey! Bright side! Today marks 15 years of Digimon (anime) from 1999-2014! YAY! And you know what that's always meant! SUPER MASSIVE DIGIMON FAN FIC UPDATE! So I hope you can forgive me for the year long hiatus and enjoy new chapters for Ultimate Gathering, Parent Worries, and Drowning Memories! Ok, enough of that, you've waited a YEAR, so go ahead and read! Enjoy and review!


Updated: 01/07/15

Chapter 14: Leveling Up

Tamer Digital World: Location: Level 1 ½ - Stairs to Level 2

Kai huffed as they continued to climb up the never-ending staircase that supposedly led to the second level of the Digital World. He was so sick of stairs at this point. He wasn't sure how long they'd spent going onwards and upwards, but it felt like an eternity to him. Everything was the same; same looking stretch of spiral staircase, same green low lighting, and the same round about conversations about what to expect on the next level and where to go to look for the next lock.

He could appreciate Alice's steadfast and determined focus, and Minami's optimistic outlook on their mission, but come on! They were in the Digital World for crying out loud! Kai was more interested in exploring, so if it took a little longer to find that second lock, he wasn't going to complain. Especially if they had to climb more stairs. The next level was supposed to be a forest jungle or something. That could be fun. Better then the desert that made up the first level. Then again, the first level hadn't been that bad. He'd met Gotsumon there after all.

Speaking of the rock Digimon, Gotsumon was rolling his eyes as Alice and Minami once again began discussing what to do once they reached Level 2.

"Are they going to talk about anything else?" the Digimon groused in his gravelly voice.

"I wish they would," Kai sighed. "There's no real point in planning anything until we actually get there and get a better idea of what we're dealing with."

"So you humans can have sense," Gotsumon chuckled.

"Still," Kai said, wanting to be supportive of his two lovely companions, "it doesn't hurt to be prepared. Alice likes to have an objective, and I'm sure Minami feels a lot better having an idea of what we're going to do next."

"What more is there to plan at this point?" Gotsumon huffed. "We get to the next level, we observe our surroundings, hopefully find a Digimon that can point out a landmark or special location where the lock to Level 3 might be, go to said location, and check for a lock. If it's not there, fine, we find another location. If it is there, great, we move on and start all over again. Rinse and repeat."

Kai snickered at the rock Digimon's snarky but accurate outlook on their quest.

"You're all right, Gotsumon."

"You're not so bad yourself. You know, for a human," Gatsumon said back.

"Hey!" Minami suddenly shouted. "I see a light up ahead!"

Kai and Gatsumon looked up and sure enough, there was a growing patch of white light along the walls overlaying the dim green that had been lighting their way for so long. Excited, everyone started to run up the stairs and were almost overwhelmed by the light when they suddenly found themselves outside. Even though it was twilight on this level too, the natural light was so much brighter than that of the dim green glow that had illuminated the walls of the staircase.

Once he recovered, Kai stood blinking, trying to take in their new surroundings. A gentle breeze wafted into the clearing they found themselves in, but on all sides there was a dense wall of trees ranging from forest spruce, to tropical palm trees. Everything was so…green. Looking behind him, Kai noticed a humongous moss covered rock that had an opening leading back down the stairs they'd just come up.

"So…what now?" Minami asked, looking to Alice.

"We should probably camp out here for now," Alice answered. "It's been a long climb. We can decide what to do once everyone's well rested."

"Now there's a plan I can get behind," Gotsumon yawned. "Night all!"

Kai just stared in bewilderment as the Digimon plopped down where he'd been standing and curled up on himself, looking like nothing more than a pile of rocks.

Some of the other Digimon accompanying them shrugged and did likewise.

Kai decided to join Alice and Minami, helping them gather firewood and setting up camp and a watch.

"Jijimon? Babamon? Have either of you been to this level before?" Alice asked the only two Digimon that hadn't gone to sleep yet.

"Of course!" Jijimon scoffed. "We've been to every level there is, that was and will be!"

"Quit exaggeratin'!" Babamon scolded. "We've been ta every level, sure, but we've never stayed at every one. Just passed through."

Before the two could get into another bickering match, Alice cut in again.

"Have you ever stayed in this one?" she asked.

"This one? No," Babamon shook her head.

"Why?" Minami asked.

"Because it's humid! And hot! And sticky! And there's a whole bunch of noisy Digimon about!" Jijimon complained.

"I don't hear any noisy Digimon," Kai said, looking towards the thick forest surrounding them.

"Just you wait," Jijimon huffed. "Loud, the lot of them, those Gekomon."

"Gekomon?" Minami mused. "Now why does that sound familiar?"

"Because it was while helping out a bunch of Gekomon that Kazu met Guardromon and afterwards they became partners," Alice mused. "At least that's what I remember reading from the files that my uncle and the others at Hypnos had compiled on Takato and the others' adventures when they were here last time."

"So Kazu got himself a Guardromon for a partna, huh?" Babamon mused.

"Could've done worse," Jijimon nodded. "Not as cool as me of course!"

"Or me!" Babamon added.

"No, me! I was the one he wanted to have as a partner."

"He liked me more!"

"No, your shrill voice annoyed him."

Kai, Minami and Alice sighed as the two married mega Digimon went at it, arguing which one Kazu had liked better. They went at it for quite a while. Kai wasn't sure how he managed it, but he was somehow able to fall asleep.

When he woke up everybody was on the move packing up their few meager supplies, and breakfast (a bowl of rice and some root vegetables) was being handed out. Kai ate his food with gusto – never one to turn down a meal no matter how little or plain it was, so long as it didn't taste too bad – and quickly joined in the discussion of where to go next.

"Any direction seems to be as good as the next," Minami was saying.

"I agree," Gotsumon nodded. "There is no path to follow, so lets just pick a direction and march on."

"I suppose we have no choice," Alice sighed.

And so they were off again in some random direction. Jijimon and Babamon led the way, knocking plant life out of the new makeshift path with their broom and staff. Gotsumon would climb a tree every now and then to see if they were headed towards anything, but according to the rock Digimon, there was nothing but treetops for as far as his eyes could see. A few hours into their journey Kai was beginning to miss the desert of level 1. At least the desert had been a dry heat. This forest was more like a jungle. Jijimon had been right when he'd been complaining that it was hot, humid and sticky.

Kai would have resorted to taking off his shirt if it weren't keeping his pack's straps from chafing his skin. He pulled his hair back into a high and firmer ponytail to keep the long locks off the back of his neck. Minami did the same to her hair for the same reasons. Kai and Minami weren't envious one bit of Alice's long thick golden locks that the blond actually had to resort to pinning up with clips. Needless to say the trek was miserable and they didn't seem to be getting anywhere.

Finally though, after hours upon endless hours of traveling, they managed to find a river. Feeling accomplished, they struck camp again and took turns washing and cooling off in the refreshing waters. Once everyone was well rested again, they followed the river's current and came to a large lake. In the middle of the lake was a shrine with a large bonfire like Kai had seen on TV for the Olympics. Surrounding the fire on the platform were strings and wreaths of flowers and offerings. It was obviously a tribute shrine to Takuya.

"I think we've found where this level's inhabitants reside," Alice sighed.

"Yeah," Kai nodded, looking along the shores. "Now all we have to do is find them."

"And hope they can point us in the right direction of this level's lock," Minami added.

Frontier Digital World: Location: Breezy Village

That morning Yutaka and Shinya woke up bright and early and left Bokomon and Neemon behind while they were still asleep so that they could have a look around Breezy Village before they had to leave for Flame Terminal. For the first time since arriving in the Digital World Yutaka allowed himself to relax. Breezy Village reminded him of a small town in Hokkaido that he and his family had visited once. Flowers were everywhere and everything seemed so serine and peaceful. If he used his imagination and pretended that Shinya was Tommy, then he could relive the mornings of that trip where he and Tommy had snuck out to take walks around town while their parents slept in. Granted, the Digimon creatures that were there in place of humans made that fantasy hard to pull off, but this early in the morning, his brain allowed him this small moment of peace. If Shinya's silence and dazed expression was any indication, then the kid was playing out his own memories.

The two of them were content to tour the village in silence, each pretending that the other was their brother in memories that only they were privy to. Yutaka held Shinya's hand as they walked down streets, passed shops only just opening their doors, and nodded at the occasional passers-by. Shinya leaned into Yutaka's side whenever they stopped whether it was to let Digimon by on a narrow path, or to look at merchandise and sample some food. The tranquility of the fantasy couldn't last forever though.

Half an hour before Worm was scheduled to leave, Bokomon and Neemon finally found them. The tiny white bear Digimon was all in a huff about being left behind. Neemon had been flustered, but didn't appear to have a care in the world once they were all together again. Yutaka and Shinya traded amused smirks with each other as they allowed Bokomon to herd them towards the Trailmon station and aboard the car.

They were reunited with Lillymon and Rosemon after Worm pulled out of the station. The two flower Digimon informed them that they had come aboard with a large shipment of flowers the Floramon had prepared for them for Takuya's Fire Warrior Shrine that was going up in Flame Terminal. The two went into great detail describing flowers that were both familiar to them from Earth, and unique to the Digital World alone. The two humans even allowed themselves to be taken back to the storage car to see these flowers. Yutaka didn't really pay much attention to what the Digimon were saying, however. The flowers were nice, yeah, but didn't really capture his attention. He'd never been much of a nature guy.

Thankfully Breezy Village was only a six-hour trip via Trailmon to Flame Terminal and Worm pulled them into the station in the early hours of the afternoon. Yutaka wasn't, however, expecting the huge reception waiting for their little party.

There were flocks of pink bird Digimon – Biyomon, like that Sora girl's partner – and tall grey rabbit looking Digimon that Bokomon called Gazimon and all these little grey Digimon called Pagumon that had floppy ears and were only big heads. There were also some pink heads called Koromon, the pink and blue octopus-radish-looking Digimon – Yokomon, and a whole bunch of other Digimon that Yutaka couldn't be bothered with to remember the names of. There were just so many of them all bowing and welcoming them to Flame Terminal.

Yutaka wasn't sure how he did it, but Bokomon managed to break them away from the large crowd and brought them to a hut near the terminal. It was small and cramped for Yutaka, but for short Digimon like Bokomon and Neemon, Yutaka supposed that it was pretty big by their standards as well as the standards of most of the Digimon in Flame Terminal. The hut next door was apparently Bokomon's home.

"This is where you two will be staying while we're here at Flame Terminal," Bokomon informed them. "I know it's small by human standards, but there's not much else available at the moment. As you saw, Flame Terminal is full of Digimon, many of which have traveled all this way to honor Takuya."

"Do you know where the shrine is going to be?" Shinya asked.

"Of course!" Bokomon exclaimed looking slightly scandalized, as if just asking were an insult to his knowledge. "The Shrine is being erected where Takuya first accepted Agunimon as his Digimon Spirit and became the Warrior of Flame. It's in what used to be the industrial zone, but since the Digital World reformed after the defeat of Lucemon, Flame Terminal has cleaned the area up. There was already a shrine to the Warrior of Flame there, but now they'll be adding on to it in honor of Takuya."

"Can we go see it?" Shinya asked.

"Not yet," Bokomon shook his head. "It isn't complete yet, but I've been assured by the builders that we'll be the first to see it before it's grand opening to the public."

"So what are we going to do in the meantime?" Yutaka asked.

"Right now, we need to get you two started on working on your Spirit Evolutions. You have the Spirits of Wood and Metal, but according to Lady Ophanimon you have yet to execute the transformations on your own. Fortunately, unlike Takuya and the others, you won't have to learn on the fly in the midst of battle like they had to. Here we have proper and controlled training conditions available to us."

"What, like a gym?" Yutaka frowned.

"What's a gym?" Neemon asked.

"Apparently not," Shinya snickered.

"What I mean, is that we have a space and volunteer sparing partners willing to help you both work on your transformations and fighting capabilities," Bokomon sighed. "Since the shrine won't be done for another couple of days at least, we'll get started on your training first thing tomorrow."

"Why not now?" Yutaka asked. "We could still work in a couple of hours of training in before night fall. Isn't it better for us to get started sooner, rather than later?"

"Yeah," Shinya nodded in agreement.

"Well…" Bokomon said with a frown. "I suppose you are right. The sooner you two have a handle on your human spirits, the sooner we can move on to find the two other humans for the Spirits of Water and Earth, as well as your Beast Spirits."

"Sweet," Shinya grinned.

"Well what are we waiting for?" Neemon said, clapping his hands together. "Lets go!"

Ten minutes later, Yutaka and Shinya found themselves outside Flame Terminal's more populated sections and in a clearing in the woods with Bokomon, Neemon, and a Digimon that looked like a human wizard, pointy hat and all, but with an ice theme. The Digimon introduced himself as Sorcermon, and turned out to be a devoted servant of Lord Seraphimon.

"But if you work for Seraphimon, why are you here and not at the palace?" Yutaka asked.

"When our world was sealed off from yours and all other parallel worlds, he asked me to come here to see if I could find a way to open a portal back to at least our corresponding human world," the Digimon informed them. "So far I've had minimal success, but with your presence here, I may make some headway to at least establish a temporary portal."

"Really?" Shinya asked. "We may be able to go home?"

"Yes. Hopefully long enough for you two to find the other two Spirit Warrior hosts at any rate," Sorcermon nodded.

"Well that's something at least," Yutaka sighed. "But to get back to the point of our being here presently…"

"Ah, yes. Your Spirit Evolutions. You have your D-Tectors, I trust?" Sorcermon asked.

"You mean these things?" Shinya asked, pulling out what had once been his cellphone. Yutaka did the same with his.

Sorcermon spent the next few minutes showing them how to work the devices (though how he knew how to work them as well as he did was anybody's guess but he'd apparently had an opportunity to examine Tommy's for a short time way back then) and how to pull up their Human Spirits so that they could transform. After that, the two began the mentally draining process of trying to find the motivation to call up the data ring that was supposed to appear on the hand opposite to the one they held the D-Tector in so that they could scan it and transform. How Takuya, Tommy and the others were able to instinctively do this and transform during a battle was beyond Yutaka, who struggled to summon his in comparison to Shinya who got it on the fifth try.

"You're over thinking it," Sorcermon told him after Yutaka's tenth failed attempt. "You're trying to apply logic where there is none. This has nothing to do with your human physics and natural laws. In the Digital World, a Digimon digivolves as a result of a strong will and of it's fighting spirit, hence why these transformations care called "Spirit Evolutions." Now try again, but this time close your eyes and try to feel it inside your spirit, not summon it with your mind, and ask yourself…why are you here? Why are you doing this?"

Yutaka huffed, thinking that the advice sounded like some new-age hippy bullshit, but closed his eyes anyway and relaxed his body, trying to feel whatever it was he was supposed to feel. He just had to remind himself why he was doing this in the first place. He was doing this for Tommy, so that he could find his little brother again, and he was doing this for Shinya, so that he could protect the little brother of the kid who had looked after his own.

That's when he felt it. A thrumming in his veins. A rush of feeling that was both cold as steel, and as hot as fire in a forge. His element… His Spirit Partner.

"I knew you could do this…"


"You did it, Yutaka!"

Yutaka opened his eyes and saw Shinya standing in front of him beaming. He glanced down at his hand and saw the ring of data he'd been trying to summon for the last hour.

"Oh, well done, my boy!" Bokomon cried. "See, Neemon? I told you he could do it! I never doubted him for a second."

"But weren't you just saying that the Spirits might have made a mistake in choosing someone older?" Neemon asked, only to get his pants snapped in retaliation.

"I said nothing of the sort!" Bokomon protested.

"But you did!"


"Well I think we've made a lot of progress today," Sorcermon said, ignoring the two bickering Digimon. "We'll continue tomorrow."

"But we haven't even transformed yet," Shinya frowned.

"Perhaps, but you two have made a lot of progress. It might not feel like it, but to be able to summon the ring in order to transform at will is a lot more than the others had been able to do when they first started. It took them many battles to be able to get this far. They needed a purpose for transforming and often did it in the heat of the moment."

"…I guess," Shinya frowned.

"We'll see you tomorrow then," Yutaka sighed. "Thanks for today."

"It's been a pleasure. I'll see you in the morning," Sorcermon bowed before taking his leave.

The Adventure Digital World: Location: A forest at the base of Infinity Mountain

"Aren't we there yet?" Keisuke groaned.

"Please don't start," Yumi huffed.

"We should be there in another hour or so if we don't stop again," one of the Palmon informed the group.

"I have noticed that the trees have begun to thin out," Haru mused.

"Good for you," Saito sighed. "Well, gang? Shall we?"

"I suppose," Yumi grunted as she allowed her husband to heft her back onto her feet so that they could set out again.

The day had been long and the trek had been hard on them. Hiroaki found himself realizing for the um-teenth time that they weren't as young as they used to be. Their stamina was depleted and they ended up taking more frequent and longer breaks, but thankfully, like the Palmon promised, they found themselves entering Primary Village an hour later just after sundown. Elecmon was waiting for them.

"Welcome! Gennai sent word ahead that you guys were on your way here. I don't know if I'll be of any help, but I can certainly try," the spiky furred Digimon said. "Come! You must be hungry. You'll have to be quiet though, I just got all the babies to go to sleep."

The travel-weary group followed Elecmon through a field of Digimon baby cradles before coming to a building where they were able to sit on comfortable chairs and cushions. Elecmon served them fish and rice, allowing them to recover before discussing any business. He knew why they were there and hoped the he could at least point them in the right direction. He'd been raising babies for as long as he could remember, and knew everything there was to know about Digimon rebirth. Not many remembered their past lives, most often due to dying traumatically, and didn't want to remember. Few passed away peacefully, made up of obsolete and old data that needed to be reconfigured, and all Digimon weren't always reborn in the same areas they'd lived their previous lives in. The Digimon partners for the original DigiDestined could be anywhere in this world. He told them all this after they'd eaten and rested some.

"So they might not even be on File Island? Where do we even start to look, then?" Yumi asked.

"I would start right here on the island," Elecmon said. "You said your partner was a Biyomon, correct?"

"Yes," she nodded.

"Then I suggest you start your search at the Yokomon village. Most Yokomon on File Island live there. It's where Sora's partner lived for a time before she felt the call of the digivice and set out to find her human partner."

"I see," Yumi mused.

"What about the rest of us?" Saito asked.

"The whereabouts of the other partners might be harder destinations to figure out. I know that on Server Continent there is a village of Koromon where Tai found his Crest of Courage, so that's a possibility, but that's off island. And finding your friend's Patamon and Tentomon will be a bit trickier. Patamon and Tentomon are forest dwelling Digimon, but they travel a lot too, living in nomadic groups. The best guess I can think of off the top of my head here on File Island is the Forest of Signs. Insect Digimon like the mountainous area, so finding a swarm of Tentomon could be likely. Patamon are harder to figure out, but I'd look in higher elevations for them. They are particularly fond of rivers and streams. Tokomon like splashing about."

"So what should we do?" Haru asked, looking to Hiroaki and Saito who were looking over the map that Gennai had given them.

"I think we should check out the Forest of Signs for Keisuke's partner first," Saito mused.

Hiroaki nodded. "We have to pass through the forest anyway because a part of it lies between Primary Village and the Yokomon Village."

"Sounds good to me," Yumi smiled.

"Are there any particular areas of interest in the forest where Digimon like to gather, Elecmon?" Keisuke asked.

"Most forest communities like along the river," Elecmon said, pointing a paw at said river on the map. "But for insect Digimon, I'd look in the thick of the forest here in the more tropical jungle parts. They like the humidity. Although…"

"What?" Hiroaki asked.

"Well… Izzi's partner is a Tentomon as well…" Elecmon mused. "You might want to check out the Temple of the Digivice. The temple is a place that has more of a connection to Izzi than his partner, but if I'm reading you right, Keisuke, you and Izzi are a lot alike. Even if your partner doesn't remember you, he might be drawn there. And even if he's not there, you can at least consult with Centarumon. He protects the place and knows the forest a lot better than I do, so he might be able to help narrow your search area down a bit."

"Sounds like a plan," Saito nodded, marking the location of the temple on the map.

"I only hope that Centarumon is there when we arrive," Hiroaki mused. "He was part of the party that climbed Infinity Mountain and might have gone back to base with Gennai."

"Well let's hope not," Yumi sighed.

"If not, we can head to Yokomon Village first and then come back through later on our way to the mountainous region of the Island to try to find Patamon," Haru spoke up.

"Unimon would be able to help you out in that area," Elecmon mused. "If you'd like, I can send word out that you guys are looking for your partners. It might take a while since I kind of live in a secluded area of the Island for the safety of the babies I raise, but once word spreads I'm sure you'll find yourselves getting a lot of help."

"We'd appreciate that, thank you," Hiroaki smiled.

"Well!" Saito said, clapping his hands together. "We've got a plan! Now why don't we hit the hay and get some rest, people? It sounds like we've got a lot more traveling to do tomorrow."

And with that, the group settled down for the night.

Looks like the three groups are finally getting somewhere. Kai, Alice and Minami have made it to level 2 and seem to have located an area where the level's inhabitants might live. Yutaka and Shinya have arrived in Flame Terminal and begin learning how to use their spirits. And Hiroaki and his friends seem to have a game plan on how to find their partners. I can only hope everything turns out to be as easy as it sounds. I guess we'll find out for sure next time on Digimon: Digital Monsters!

Oh God, I can't believe I let things sit for a year! Whaa! SO SORRY! I promise to do better this year. Can't promise that I won't get distracted by other projects for other fandoms that my sister has gotten me hooked on (namely Supernatural and Attack on Titan), but I'll try to at least post 1 chapter for Parent Worries and/or Drowning Memories each month.

Oh! I've gotten a Tumblr account now (I'm digidetective-shararaizel and my page is called Fandom Crossover Mania) and it's F***ing addictive! Feel free to follow me, though I gotta warn you that half the crap I reblog is Supernatural, and 1/4 is Marvel's Avengers and things, but when i do complete my artworks for any of my fics, I post them there. I'm reposting a whole bunch of my digimon stuff today, so go check it out! :)

Thanks for reading! Please review! :)