Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon.

Tamers Requiem: A Knight's Heart

A Valentine Digimon Tamers story by Crazyeight

Violet eyes stared angrily at the sidewalk as a solitary, steel-toed shoe tapped impatiently upon its surface. A pair of slim, pale arms were folded over a white T-shirt with aqua-blue sleeves and a violet-colored heart symbol emblazoned upon their owner's breasts. A finger, once unmoving, now joined its cousin in appendages, drumming a soft beat that only the flesh heard.

"This is stupid," the girl muttered under her breath. "How did I get involved in this?"

A yellow-furred, bipedal fox with icy-blue eyes and purple arm guards materialized out of thin air next to her. The red-headed girl did not react with surprise, as one might expect—and indeed, as several passer-bys did—and instead shifted her gaze to the creature. Her expression of irritation did not shift in the least bit.

"I do believe it was your idea, Rika," the vulpine creature—a digimon, so called by creatures like her and by humans—said, folding her arms beneath the tuff of fur on her chest.

"Don't remind me," Rika snorted, turning her face away. Her bangs blew slightly as she huffed. "Seemed like a good idea at the time, but…well…" She shifted uncomfortably. "It looks too much like we're dating."

The vulpine tilted her head to one side, as if confused. "Aren't you?"

Bright red colored the girl's features and she tapped her finger on her arm that much harder.

"Very funny, Renamon. You know what I mean."

"I'm…afraid I don't."

Rika's eyes flashed. "I see that grin. I know you too well."

"I suppose you do," Renamon replied, a wistful sound to her voice as she turned her head away. Her tail whipped at the air. "However, it is your idea. You can hardly back out of it now."

"I wasn't planning too." Rika glared down at the ground, trying not to look flustered. Impatiently, and looking for something to do, she pulled out her cell phone and checked for messages.

Renamon chuckled. You'd almost think she wants a readymade excuse to call the whole thing off.

"I heard that," Rika stated flatly. She glanced up. "Don't think you'll get away with me forgiving you this time."

This time, Renamon's smile became much more obvious, albeit still subtle.

"Then I suppose I'll have to work on your forgiveness. In the meantime, Rika…" Renamon paused and Rika looked over at her, a single, elegant eyebrow raised.

"Renamon?"

"…enjoy your date."

"Renamon!"

But she was too late. With that parting line, the vulpine digimon vanished into thin air, leaving the poor girl spouting and fuming over her fate before one confused boy with mop-like, light-brown hair and a blue hoodie came to a stop next to her.

"Did I miss something?" he asked in complete confusion.

Renamon lighted atop a roof directly across the street and turned to see how her human partner and Tamer was doing with the situation she had been left with. Even from this distance, she could see that the girl's face was now as bright red as her hair.

Humans at fourteen are so…unusual, she thought, flicking her tail in amused curiosity. Then again, that's no different from how Rika's always been. That same subtle, amused smile reappeared on her muzzle as she remembered another time that the girl had looked so embarrassed.

"…Aren't you going to say that this shirt looks good on me?"

"I…I can?"

Renamon chuckled under her breath again. "Take care around her, Takato," she said under her breath as below the pair finally started moving. Satisfied that they were underway, the vulpine digimon turned to take off, eager to deny the temptation to spy on them, when the sight of something sparkling in the sun directly across from her caught her attention. Narrowing her icy blue eyes, Renamon zeroed in on it a split second before it pulled…well, a Renamon, and disappeared in a flash of pink and gold light. Renamon cocked an eyebrow, taken aback by this.

Crusadermon? What were you…?

Wind brushed over Renamon's fur and she shook her head.

Well, it's not my business.

With that, the golden-furred kitsune took to the air, eager to leave her companions to their own devices.

Bright pink armor of elegant, sharp curves, four golden sashes, a yellow pile-bunker shield, and a curved, hooked helm that completely hid the features beneath flashed beneath the sun. The figure, like a knight out of some fairy-tale flew over the city of Shinjuku, Tokyo. For those that dwelt below, she was at once a recognizable sight, a protector and silent—if destructive—guardian of its citizenry. Always standing vigil, never faultering.

Except for today; this day of all days.

There was a time where Crusadermon had been known by the title of 'the Indifferent Warrior'. Of course, this was a title shared by many other Crusadermon of her species in the past, be they in the service of a higher power or not. It took a special kind of mindset to be a Crusadermon, just as it took a special mindset to be any other knight that made up the order of the Royal Knights, a group that she once belonged to.

Those days were over though. Done and gone. Just living in this world, the human world, as one of its inhabitants, and becoming the partner to a human of all creatures, was proof enough of that.

Oh how the mighty have fallen, she thought with some amusement as the city beneath her blurring beneath her. Idly, as she neared the house that was her 'home-away-from-home', for lack of another place, she wondered if that was what the other digimon partners thought of her.

Terriermon… she thought, seeing the face of a long-eared creature resembling a rabbit. …most likely does. He has that mind for it. A slew of other faces came to mind, all human and digimon of different species, and she paused on one in particular. In her digital heart, she felt something warm swim within her, and her armor tingled—something that had been occurring more often of late, these past few months. She dismissed them all though. She had come to know from experience that such things as titles and power had no allure to those that she fought beside.

All that mattered to the group simply known as 'Tamers' was that they all watch each other's back, and protect the world that meant so much to them.

Times sure change, she thought, reaching up to touch the breast of her armor, still feeling that tingle. As the world around her began to become visible once more, she sighed despondently and shaking her head she touched down on the front lawn of her home, its front door emblazoned by one name: Itou.

"Hey Crusadermon!" shouted a young boy as a gang of children raced by her. She nodded to them in greeting, but said nothing, instead making her way towards the house. The children didn't mind. They had long grown accustomed to her presence and personality.

Once upon a time, they would have had fear in their eyes at the very sight of me. She glanced over her shoulder to see the children disappear down an alley. Her hand came to rest on the front door and she paused. Times do change indeed. She turned the knob and pushed the door open where she stepped inside.

"Stupid…annoying…idiotic… Rrrrgh!"

If Crusadermon had eyebrows on the outside of her helm, she would have raised it, but as a consequence of its absence, she could only feel a twinge of curiosity. Following the source of the irritated growl, she entered the kitchen, where she found a coppery-haired girl wearing a red and orange-striped T-shirt standing at the kitchen table. A burnt smell hung faintly in the air, pots and pans were shoved in the sink, covered from top to bottom with something black that looked as though it had overflowed. The kitchen table was stained with similar degrees of disorder, only this time the dark spots were intermingled with white, floury powder. The girl herself was in no better shaped. Indeed, she looked as though someone had dragged her through a field. Her hair was in disarray, and her shirt was dotted here and there with small burn holes. Presently, she was glaring at a pan containing something that shared the black, burnt substance that covered the pots over in the sink; glaring, as if she could order it to behave itself, all the while cursing it for its unruly nature.

If looks could kill…

"What Wild One started the war?" Crusadermon asked, folding her arms over her chest. The girl—Ayaka Itou—looked up, eyes flashing with an emotion that was decidedly not amusement.

"Where have you been?" she asked heatedly. Crusadermon's fingers clicked as they twitched reflexively at the girl's tone.

"Out and about," the former Royal Knight replied, cautiously making her way around the table. She drew one finger across its surface, scooping up something that was half liquid and unburnt, bringing it up to her helm and sniffing at it. "Making chocolate?"

Ayaka scowled down at the pan that held her 'creation', crossing her arms beneath her breasts.

"Well, it is Valentine's day…" she grumbled. "Not that it would mean anything to you."

I'll take that as a 'yes'.

"For Kenta?"

"Who else?" the girl snorted. "I kissed him under the mistletoe, remember?"

"I haven't forgotten." Crusadermon picked up a napkin and wiped her finger with it. "Although I'll never understand what it is you see in him. I could understand it if it was just this 'Giri'—obligation chocolate—that you said humans give out this time of year…" She glanced at the pan with its ruined brownie cake. "…but that's not the case here."

"That's because as you've told me over and over that you're the 'Indifferent Warrior'." Ayaka made quotation marks with her fingers as she said that. "Since when do you understand things like emotion?"

Crusadermon sighed. Ayaka was angry, most likely due to her frustration over her failure with the chocolate, and as a result she was taking it out on her. It was a little unfair of her, but…

I can't say that it's entirely undeserved.

"Why don't I get you some more chocolate?" she suggested. "And you get yourself cleaned up. You're running behind schedule, and I'm sure Kenta would rather have a clean, not-agitated Ayaka when she meets him at the time and place she…" Crusadermon paused, choosing her words carefully. "…negotiated him to go to."

Ayaka's face warred with frustration and surprise for a moment before she finally gave up and simply gave an exhausted sigh.

"Thanks Crusadermon," she said, running a tired hand over her forehead. "I'll get you some money."

Crusadermon nodded.

A young boy with dark hair and storm-grey eyes, wearing a grey hoodie, made his way down the streets, eyeing the people around him with a touch of caution. On his back, his clothes shifted, as though something were hidden beneath.

So far so good, he thought, feeling his heart, originally pounding painfully hard, begin to calm down.

No sooner did the thought make itself known that a number of pedestrians look up in his direction with surprise and shock written on their faces. The boy's eyes widened as fear suddenly took hold of him.

I knew it! Noriko's idea was stupid! I knew sooner or later someone was going to look at me and…

A shadow fell over him, and Crusadermon's pink-armored hand fell on his shoulder. The boy let out a loud, humiliating scream.

"Well, well, well," came the Royal Knight's teasing voice as she hoisted the boy into the air and spun him around so that they were now face to face. "Does the angel fear to tread amongst the mortals?"

"Huh-wha-? Crusadermon?" the boy stammered, trying to catch his heart while it was in his throat.

"In the armor."

"What are you…?"

"Enough of that now, Lumemon. I…"

"Don't call me that here!" The boy looked around frantically, grey eyes wide with horror. So many people were around them, watching them. "Noriko…" he continued in a lower voice.

"Then let's take this to a more private place," Crusadermon suggested, taking to the sky. Lumemon gave a surprised yelp as the streets shrank beneath his feet.

"Hey! Let me go! I can fly on my own, Crusadermon!"

The Royal Knight chuckled. "All right then," she said, releasing her grasp on her charge. Lumemon let out another strangled cry as he started to drop beneath her. It didn't last long though as bird-like wings materialized from out of his back and spread outward. Catching a powerful gust of wind, he drew upward and upon stabilizing he turned a fearsome glare at Crusadermon. She simply laughed lightly and clapped her hands together.

"Bravo. Well done, little one."

"Crusadermon…"

"Oh? Am I Terriermon now? I thought I was a knight."

"You're not acting like one right now."

"Of course. I beg your forgiveness." Crusadermon gave a sarcastic bow. "Now, I was wondering if you had a free moment to spare…"

Lumemon stood in front of the cashier, waiting for the dark-haired girl to finish checking out the monster amount of chocolate that he and Crusadermon had piled in front of her. Every now and then, the girl would take a peek at Lumemon from behind her dark hair and flash him a quick smile before returning to her work. Crusadermon, noted the rather oblivious expression on Lumemon's face and snorted mentally.

How very much like the Tamer he came from…

"You didn't have to come with me, you know," Lumemon said, glancing over at Crusadermon as the ringing up continued.

"I wanted to." Crusadermon reached out and tapped one of the valentine cards sitting on display. It was a rather childish-looking one, containing a simple, silly-looking dinosaur with wings. It was supposed to be a digimon of some sort, though such a creature had never actually existed…at least to Crusadermon's knowledge. "Besides," she continued, "I wanted to talk to you."

"To me," Lumemon said flatly. The girl across from them paused in her ringing to look at the two curiously. "Why?"
"I wanted to discuss the topic of love with you."

"Ehhh…?" Lumemon tilted his head to one side, completely baffled now. "I…" He hesitated to look at the girl. "Um…" he coughed. "I'm…I'm not…"

"What does Noriko see in Henry?" Crusadermon said, ignoring his stammers.

"H-Henry?" Lumemon's eyebrow tilted in the opposite direction of his head. "Um…I don't know. Wait…they're together?"

Crusadermon simply stared at him while the girl stared back and forth between the pair, eyes full of curiosity.

"I believe Terriermon would have something to say about 'reading the mood'…"

"And I, like everyone else, would just say 'Terriermon'." Lumemon shook his head in exasperation. "I thought you were just getting chocolates for Ayaka."

"I am, but I'm curious as to what she sees in Kenta. I thought you would know something since Noriko seems obviously besotted with Henry."

Lumemon shook his head again. This conversation was decidedly not his forte, especially with the audience they had. I'm trying to keep a low profile, he wanted to tell Crusadermon.

"You could always ask Henry…"

"Terriermon."

"…okay, fair point," Lumemon corrected. "Look, I don't pretend to know anything about hu—er, about love."

"Of course not, you're just a child."

"…yeah."

"Even though," Crusadermon's voice dropped to a whisper and she leaned towards his ear. "you evolved from Cupimon."

Lumemon felt his face flush angrily, and he pushed Crusadermon away. Across from them, the girl hurried with her scanning, but her eyes continued to flash up to Lumemon's face inquiringly.

"That…that doesn't count," he grumbled.

"Of course not. You're not him anymore after all."

"Your chocolate's ready," the girl chirped, placing it all in a bag. "Your price is…8000 yen."

"Huh-wha…?" Lumemon looked flummoxed. "Eight thou…? No chocolate is worth that much!"

"Uh…" the girl checked her machine and an embarrassed blush crossed her face. "Whoops. S-Sorry. I…uh…made a mistake. I'll…um…"

Crusadermon chuckled. "And here I thought it was just really good chocolate."

"Admit it," Crusadermon teased. "She likes you."

"I admit no such thing," Lumemon scowled. "And this has nothing to do with your question."

"I'd say it has plenty. What could she see in you?"

"Nothing! I don't know why Noriko likes Henry, or why anyone likes anyone." Lumemon took a deep breath and let it out. "Understand; I don't remember all that much about my last life. If I did, I could probably tell you something. About…Ophanimon, and the love she had for the digital world. But it's like I'm, well, a child all over again." He tapped the side of his head for emphasis. "I'm the wrong person to ask for this sort of thing. It's too complicated."

"I see." Crusadermon was disappointed. "Well then. I'm sorry to bother you."

"If I had to make a guess though," cut in Lumemon, "I'd say it has to do with knowing someone."

Crusadermon tilted her head to one side. "I know all the Tamers. I don't love them any more than I do Ayaka."

"That's a different kind of knowing. Maybe you and I just haven't been around long enough for that sort of thing to sink in." He furrowed his brow. "You said you didn't love any of the Tamers any more than you do Ayaka. What about…their partners?"

Crusadermon felt something in her heart skip a beat.

"I am…the Indifferent Warrior. That hasn't changed."

Lumemon grinned slightly. "I heard a pause."

"That is not your concern."

"Of course not," Lumemon laughed lightly. "What do I know anyway, right? Like I said. I'm just…"

"…a child," Crusadermon finished for him. "With no memories. Nothing more."

"Right." Lumemon nodded. "You'd have better luck talking to Guilmon, and he acts more like a kid than me." He glanced around to make sure no one was around and watching before causing his angelic wings to rematerialize behind his back. "Ah well. Sorry I can't help you. I'll see you around, only next time…don't abduct me or drop me. Please."

With a tap of his foot, Lumemon took to the air, and flew off. Crusadermon watched him go for a moment before turning away, contemplating his words.

"You'd have better luck talking to Guilmon…"

Guilmon…

"This is so stupid…"

Crusadermon hadn't meant to arrive here, at the cold, concrete hut that Guilmon was presently staying the day at so as to not be in his partner's way while he was on his 'date' with Rika. She meant to go straight home and deliver the chocolates to Ayaka for her to use. Instead she was…here. The Royal Knight unconsciously clutched the bag of chocolate in her hand as she hovered in the air hesitantly.

Hesitantly.

Hesitation of any sort was not something she was used to. She never did when she had been in the service of Yggdrasil. She simply did, unless ordered otherwise. Lately however, her life had taken a dramatically different direction, and she now moved to the order of a human and fought alongside a weaker human's partner. That bothered her a little. Not so much that she was ordered around by a human. That particular sting hurt once before all too often, but not so much now. But she accepted Kenta as a…a what? A 'mate'? The concept was a little alien to her. To most digimon for that matter. Most did not marry, though a few occasionally did. It occurred more often in the odd digital world that allowed for replication between pairs, but it was a rare occurrence by and large. That wasn't the point though. What was, was simply the fact that Ayaka actually allowed for a relationship to occur between herself and a boy that she admitted to seeing as weak and indecisive. The other Tamer, Rika, was much in the same boat, or so Ayaka claimed.

Takato isn't much, but he has his own kind of courage. The same for Guilmon as well. A pause. Especially Guilmon.

The bag crinkled as her grip on it tightened.

This is stupid. He's…he's immature, and he acts like an idiot half the time.

An image of a great white-armored knight with red trim, a shining shield and a lance flashed through her mind—Gallantmon. His armor looked battered, his cape, flowing behind him was frayed and torn, but his golden eyes never lost that look of determination in them. They were indomitable in the face of their enemies. Not even the threat of Gehenmon, or the swarm of DexDoruGreymon had fazed him.

From what I understand, he fought until the very end. She believed it too, and not just because Guilmon and Takato became a Royal Knight when they merged. She had seen enough evidence in the past year to know.

Know…

The thought trickled down through her mind, and she tilted her head to one side thoughtfully, trying to place a name to the strange feeling that she felt flowing through her chest.

Pride, she decided. He's not the Gallantmon I knew, but he gives justice to his seat. There is much…honor in that.

Honor. Now there was a word she never thought she'd use before. Cursing herself for such futile thoughts, she flew down to the front of the hut and came to a soft landing.

"Hello?" Guilmon's questing voice came the front door—the only door, barring the cave that he dug into the place, wherever its end finished up.

Knowing him, most likely the digital world, Crusadermon thought in amusement.

"Guilmon," she nodded.

"Hi, Crusadermon," the crimson dinosaur chirped as he came into view. "You were up in the sky for a long time. I almost thought you were lost."

"I'm not lost," she replied a little stiffly.

"Oh." Guilmon sniffed the air, and his bat-like ears stood up. "Why do I smell chocolate?" he wondered, his golden eyes finding their way to her bag. Crusadermon tightened her grip again and pulled it out of his view.

"Ayaka's. I was on my way back to her place. She's making Giri for Kenta."

"That's great!" Guilmon laughed. "She really, really likes him. So I'm sure she'll make something really good."

Not if you saw her earlier attempts, Crusadermon thought, but chose not to comment on the subject. "Guilmon… I was wondering if you could answer a question for me."

"Ah…kay?" Guilmon cocked an ear.

Is he apprehensive? Crusadermon wondered. It was difficult to tell with him. They had fought in the past, but he had readily accepted her as his ally when she became partnered with Ayaka rather easily. At times though, she couldn't help but wonder if, just if…he resented her at all for her past actions.

Why would that matter to me? she wondered, and she cursed the fluttery feeling in her chest. Why around this one? Why him?

He's immature, and he acts like an idiot half the time. He might as well be Calumon.

The fluttery feeling pulsed angrily now, as if berating her for the thought. Crusadermon sighed mentally, deciding to do something other than just stand there with Guilmon staring at her, wondering what her question was.

"What does Rika…?" she began, only to pause.

"What about Rika?" Guilmon asked, furrowing his eyebrows. Crusadermon sighed aloud this time and shook her head.

"Never mind. It was a pointless question anyway." Halfheartedly she dug into her bag and produced the valentine card from the store, along with a wrapped chocolate bar. "These are for you."

Guilmon's ears perked up immediately. "Hah? Really? For me?"

"Yes," Crusadermon said tersely. This is becoming annoying.

"But I thought you said the chocolate was for Ayaka…"

"These are for you," Crusadermon cut in. "Take them." A pause. "Please," she added in a softer voice. "It's…it's Giri."

Guilmon looked at her, golden eyes wide and round before he reached out and took the chocolates and card with his claws.

"Thank you," he said solemnly. A pout then crossed his face. "I…I don't have anything to give you…"

Crusadermon felt a moment of surprise flash through her digital heart, and then she found herself, quite to her surprise, chuckling softly. "Silly creature," she chided. "You have until White Day to find something." She turned and stepped down a stair, pausing for a moment. "Have a…happy Valentine's Day, Guilmon."

"See you on White Day!" Guilmon called out as Crusadermon leapt back into the sky.

A/N: It has been quite a long time since I last wrote anything digimon related. Initially I wasn't planning anything for today either, but as I thought about it, the seed of an idea sprouted in my head, and this is the result you see. Hope everyone is having a great day today and I hope to do something more in the future. I can't promise anything though, as an Internship I've recently started now takes up a lot of my time, and my original fiction has been a bit of an uphill battle for me. I've gotten so used to fanfiction that I've had to unlearn a lot of things to put up something reasonably postable, and even then I find myself making some goofs. Still, it's a fun ride all the same.

Until next time.

-Crazyeight

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