School and final assignments/papers/tests have been ruling my life lately. Plus I've been story hopping, so instead of focusing on one story at a time I have a bunch with chapters that are half done… End of excuses.


"Hey, Iz," Matt muttered shortly as he entered the apartment. With barely a glance at anyone he took a seat at the kitchen table.

Izzy nodded as he closed the door. "Right then we're only waiting on Sora." He strolled back over to his seat on the couch. He passed Kari who could only stare at her hands for fear of looking up at TK in the chair opposite her across the coffee table.

Tai leaned on the arm of the couch while tapping his foot. He was already getting restless. They didn't have time to talk when they should be back in the Digital World and actually making progress.

Finally Sora entered with a smile that failed to disguise her slumped shoulders and heavy steps. Matt raised an eyebrow, but Tai was the first to speak. "Sora, what's wrong?"

Her fake smile fell a bit however she still fought to keep it up as she took her seat in between Tai and Izzy on the couch. "I… have some bad news."

Matt snorted, "Well things can't get much worse."

She was taken aback by his insensitive comment but chose to ignore as she continued solemnly, "Mimi decided to return to the US."

"…Now?" Tai asked incredulously, but before she had a chance to respond Izzy giggled earning him stares from everyone in the room.

There was still a trace of laughter laced through his words as he dismissed, "That just can't be correct, Sora. Mimi isn't ignorant to what we're up against, and she's well aware we need all the help we can get." 'Besides,' he thought, 'I'm finally doing what she wanted. She couldn't have left me.'

"Mimi's gone," she repeated, "But she left a letter on her bed that… that thanked you for telling the truth?"

"Oh…" That was the last thing she said to him? Thank you? He's about to explain everything, and she doesn't even stick around? Just thanks him?

The thought crossed everyone's mind, but no one dared to say it aloud. "So we're down to six."

Izzy took a deep breath, pushed his feelings to the back of his mind, and began to explain everything even though he didn't much see the point without Mimi. "Remember during the Memory Wipe before we were sent home Gennai asked to talk to me alone?"

Sora blinked, startled by the sudden topic change. "Not really…"

"Well he did, and I was given information that has been kept from the rest of you. You see there's a reason they left the eight of us with our memories intact."

"I thought it was because someone had to keep defending the Digital World," TK said.

"That's only partly true." Izzy paused and let his gaze fix on the coffee table in front of him. "As you all know, the eight of our crests contain a sizable amount of power, but that power doesn't come from the Digital World because the crests are inside of us. That means that the only way for the Digital World to use the power from our crests is through us."

"So no us, no power?" Tai clarified.

Izzy nodded. "The Sovereigns, the Digi-Gods, they feed off of the power and energy we contain and have become so dependent on it over the years that they needed to keep us around and coming back to the Digital World. That's why over the years there's been random attacks and such."

"Wait a minute," TK interrupted, "This whole time everything has just been to keep us going back, so we can be an energy source? What about our first adventure?"

The redhead paused. "Our first adventure was legitimate. That's how they discovered us. 02 on the other hand had more of a hidden agenda. It was an attempt to pass our crest powers along to younger kids because they believed we wouldn't keep returning. Obviously that didn't work considering the Sovereigns needed us to keep coming after the Memory Wipe and not them."

"That doesn't explain Lucemon or why digimon want to kill us if they need us as an energy source," Tai stated.

Izzy rubbed the back of his head. "Well um basically if we were to die in the Digital World our crest power would stay there, so they do want us to be killed there, but they would rather we keep coming back and defend them if there's a real threat like during our first adventure." Bitterly he continued, "Now that Gennai has informed them of my pill they are trying to kill us there before we leave for good."

"Wonderful," Matt muttered sarcastically before asking, "And if we leave now and don't ever return?"

"There's still Lucemon," Izzy answered, "He has to be an actual threat to the digimon because the Sovereigns would never work with a Demon Lord no matter how desperate they are to keep us around."

No one spoke as they all mulled over the new information. Finally TK rallied, "This doesn't change anything. We still have to get back in there and defeat Lucemon and maybe the Sovereigns too."

Tai cleared his throat. At least someone around here still had spirit. "TK's right. Come on, let's get a game plan and charge back in there."

"It's not that simple," Matt warned with what were his first words since the meeting began, "Why should going back now end any differently than going back before?"

"Because we know what we're dealing with."

"But we still don't know how to handle it!"

"Alright!" Sora interjected, "Let's figure out what we're going to do. We all have to stay calm and act like a team."

Matt leaned back in his chair and chuckled, "Some team we are…"

"What's that supposed to mean?" Tai challenged.

"You know what it means."

"No, I don't." Tai folded his arms. "Enlighten me."

Izzy cut in, "I agree with Tai. We need to get back to the Digital World as soon as possible."

"Whatever we do could we all just agree?" Sora asked hopelessly.

"Matt's the one being difficult," Tai breathed.

The aforementioned stood up. "Fine, let's say we do go there. What now? Walk around and try to find Lucemon again? Care to explain what happens when we find him, Tai?"

"Stop it! All of you!" Kari begged, "Look at yourselves, you're acting like kids! One of your best friends just… Joe's gone. We can't be fighting right now."

The air in the room stiffened at the mention of his name. Matt sat back down slowly, but Kari stood up. "Please tell me when we're all friends again." She walked out of the room, and the others couldn't find the words to speak.

After a few seconds TK stood up and said unsurely, "I'm uh going to go find her." With a quick glance to Tai who simply nodded, he exited leaving the older kids to silently dare one another to speak first.

This actually proved quite the challenge since the four left in the room proved to be particularly stubborn. Finally Tai rolled his eyes and remarked, "You know guys, it's a sad day when I have to be the mature one, so who wants to talk first? What happens next?"

Izzy readjusted himself. "Joe's funeral's tomorrow."

"Who told you that?" Sora asked quietly.

"His parents told my parents."

Tai suddenly became very interested in his twiddling thumbs. "D-do they know abou-"

"I have no idea," the redhead interrupted, "I don't know what the police told them, and I don't know why all of you haven't been taken under custody."

"We didn't do anything," Matt muttered.

"That's not how they see it," Sora said darkly, "We were there, and we don't exactly have a believable alibi."

That sunk in for a moment. They were just kids— no, young adults now— caught at the scene of a murder. Besides their spotless police records (Save Mori's little escapade), they didn't have anything to back them up.

Tai leaned back into the couch. "So, everyone, do we stay away or go to the funeral?"

Izzy shrugged. "It doesn't matter much either way. The police will come eventually."

Matt didn't sound too happy about it as he voiced, "We have to go to the funeral."

There was a nod in response from both Tai and Sora. This was Joe after all.

Tai clasped his hands together. "Right so we'll deal with our problems in the Real World while trying to figure out how to save the Digital World!… whoa, déjà vu. "

TK pushed the front door shut and turned quickly ready to rush down the hallway only to be stopped by the sight of Kari sitting on the floor with her knees up to her chest.

Before he could even ask she murmured, "I knew you would come after me. You always do."

"Is that a bad thing?"

"…No." She patted a spot on the wood floor next to her, and he sat down. She turned, so the side of her head rested on her knees. "You know how I said all that stuff about being friends?"

"Yeah," he confirmed.

"I haven't been a very good friend."

"No, you've just been… conflicted."

Despite herself, she chuckled. He continued, "I haven't been any better, probably worse. All of us..." He stopped upon seeing her sullen look.

"I can't believe they're fighting," Kari whispered.

"Haven't they been fighting for awhile?" he asked.

"It's different now," she insisted, "This isn't the time to push each other away. That pill is already doing a good enough job of that. We need to stick together."

"Speaking of sticking together I've been thinking… maybe we should try getting 02 to help us again."

She looked up startled. "You want to go back? A-and bring them?"

He sighed. "Kari, we have to go back. We can't leave the Digital World like it is now. With Lucemon and all those digimon fighting it'll only get worse." She didn't respond, so he urged, "Come on, while everyone else is arguing we're actually going to do something!" He caught the apprehensive look in her eye as she turned away, "…or at least I am."

"TK…" she trailed off unsure of where her words were headed, "It's not that I don't want to help. I just- I don't know what's right. I always thought we needed the Digital World, that we had to hold onto it but now… It doesn't seem like the magical wonderland it used to be."

He blinked and leaned closer to her. "Since when has running from monsters, being lost, and eating mushrooms been considered a wonderland?"

Kari tightened her fists and looked up to meet his eyes. "Stop, you love the Digiworld just as much as I do! It's not because of the mushrooms; it's because of the digimon— our friends! – and the places like Primary Village and things like phone booths on the beach! It's being in a world that's so strange and wonderful that you couldn't have thought of it in your wildest dreams!"

A short pause as they broke eye contact. TK whispered so as not to shatter the silence, "Then why not save a place like that?"

She bit her lip. "Because everyone was right. Before the Memory Wipe, they said those monsters were dangerous, and we were just like them, and now with Joe… It is dangerous. I don't want anyone else to get hurt."

He took in a heavy breath and let it out slowly to give himself time to think before replying. "I'm sure we'll all be more careful, and I know the others don't want to jump back into the Digital World so soon but… we need to bring Joe justice then we'll be out of there for good. No more danger and no more worries, alright?"

Kari looked into his hopeful eyes and already knew what he was thinking. "But we'll need 02 to do it."

He nodded almost reluctantly well aware of how much she didn't want to drag their old friends into this.

A moment of hesitation before a quiet, "Alright then."

TK blinked. "Really?"

She nodded. "Tomorrow, we'll find Davis."

Cool so tommorow (haha I'm listening to that song by Avril Lavigne right now) is going to be a lot more busy than today. Trust me. By the way, am I the only one who thinks those new, blue review buttons look cooler? I'm not trying to get you to review or anything. I've just been thinking that for awhile now...

Thanks for reading!