Chapter 9: The Coming Storm

Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon.

During the weeks after the Americans left, things started to slowly get back to normal. There were no bio-emergences to deal with, since the digital world was still pretty depopulated and their lives seemed to move on.

That was until the incident with Locomon and Parasimon. Still, that went easier than expected. Guardromon didn't even need to digivolve for it, although Hirokazu and Kenta found out during that battle that they couldn't biomerge, much to their chagrin.

Still, at least during that battle, Takato discovered that he could achieve Crimson Mode again, though he couldn't exactly control when he activated it.

Later that day, at the party, Takato noticed Ruki leave the main group after being asked to sing. Seeing that, the goggle-headed boy walked over to talk to her, before being stopped by Renamon.

The next day, they had a meeting at Hypnos about the future of their jobs as Tamers. "It turns out we're hiring you," Yamaki said, handing out paperwork. "Apparently the US organization Echelon decided to hire the three tamers you met in the digital world a few weeks ago and so my superiors decided to do the same."

"A job, huh?" Hirokazu inquired. "That's so cool. How much will we get paid?"
"You will get paid on a digimon-by-digimon basis. Your rate of pay will also depend on the level of the digimon as well as whether you managed to negotiate with it or delete it. If you manage to negotiate so as to ensure that it lives in our world peacefully, you'll get paid more than if you delete it." Ironically, Echelon had the opposite policy. Yamaki worried that the tamers over there would exercise bloodlust and see this as a game.

"So, when do we start?" Kenta asked. "And how will the pay work?"

"You will start working for us immediately once you fill out this paperwork."

Ruki wasn't sure about all that. In fact, there was a part of her that wanted to run away right then and there. She obliged, filling out the paperwork to the best of her ability.

Yamaki then spoke some more. "Now, you will each receive cell-phones and we will call whenever there's a bio-emergence. There is also the case of another trio of Tamers that need to be investigated. Takato, Ruki, would you like to do that?" Ruki looked over at the brown-haired tamer uneasily while he smiled back.

"Okay, I'll do it," the red-head said.

"Yeah, me too," Takato confirmed.

A few minutes later, the two Tamers were out of the building with their partners. Ruki seemed rather quiet, though she was actually talking with Renamon. I can't believe it, she thought to her partner.

What's wrong?

I'm stuck with that goggle-headed moron. You know, after that trip to the digital world, I know he likes me.

I thought the two of you were friends. The quartet went through the subway station and went on an eastbound train headed for Koto. They had the addresses of the three tamers that lived there, named Ryouma, Airu and Ren, but they didn't know anything other than that except for the identities of their partners.

"So, how's it going?" Ruki almost didn't hear Takato say that. The boy looked at her a bit sheepishly, waiting for an answer.

"Things have been… good. You?" Ugh! You didn't!

"I'm doing alright. I haven't seen you since your party. Is there anything wrong?"

The girl sat there, thinking. She didn't know what to do. "No, nothing's wrong. It's just… between going to the digital world and dealing with the Parasimon… I don't know."

Takato looked down on the ground. How was he going to say it? "Listen, I know this may seem a bit abrupt, but… I don't know. I kind of…"

The girl looked at him. "Just say it Takato!"

"I kind of like you. I was hoping we could get to know each other a little bit better and… would you like to go out sometime?"

The girl gazed into his crimson eyes. She didn't know what to do. She liked him, she really did, but she was afraid. Afraid that she would end up like her mother. That she would end up in that situation. And that Takato would leave.

She didn't want that.

"I'm sorry, Takato… I'm not ready." She got up and left, crying. And she ran, she ran off the subway and far away until she couldn't run any more. Renamon prevented the girl from collapsing. It seemed they were in the middle of Odaiba.

Takato just sat there, speechless. He figured that was how it was going to turn out. But he carried on with the mission and went on to meet the three Tamers of Koto and give them an offer to work for Hypnos in dealing with Bioemergence. Tokyo would need all the help they could get to deal with any realized digimon that appeared since the barriers around the city were so weak and there would be many digimon born in the coming months, not all of them peaceful.

Returning home for the American team went surprisingly well, though Steven and Jacob's mother didn't know how to react to her sons bringing home partner digimon. Kyle's family was okay with it, unexpectedly. His parents and sister seemed to accept ViElecmon as a pet at first, until he learned more and gained intelligence. At that point, the digimon became part of the family.

For some strange reason, though, the more the digimon learned to speak, the more sarcastic he became. Still, he was a smart little rabbit and he learned how to read English pretty quickly.

Getting Lucemon to fit in was pretty easy, though he didn't go to school with the others. However, after learning how to read, he started to pick up large amounts of information from the encyclopedias that were available in libraries. Strangely enough, the digimon started to mature quite a bit, along with his partner. He seemed to gain his partner's innocence while Jacob gained Lucemon's awareness of the world around him.

Ryudamon and his partner's bonds deepened immensely. Over the next two years, the two of them did pretty close to everything together. Steven even snuck the digimon to school sometimes, though he kept him in his In-training form when he went.

Steven continued to grow. His voice became smoother and he lost a lot of weight while growing taller. He became a better tamer, despite already having reached the level cap of Ultimate and not having a way to biomerge in the real world. Still, he accepted that predicament and used Ryudamon's higher forms to his advantage.

Kyle, on the other hand, let his fear govern his methods of dealing with his partner. For one thing, he didn't allow his partner to digivolve into his normal champion form out of fear that his partner would become Duskmon again. Because of this, he stuck to his partner's armor forms, though he only had three Digimental cards: Courage, Friendship and Light. He did discover, however, that he could use two to armor digivolve his partner to a stronger form. Unfortunately, it seemed that two was the limit.

The trio was glad to have Marcus and Goblimon on their team and the tamer's partner reached his higher forms of Ogremon and Mummymon. The four worked for Echelon and got paid a pretty nice amount of money, which Kyle and Marcus's parents made them save while Jacob and Steven's mother made them use to help the family out.

In time, many digimon emerged, some good, many hostile. Many of the good ones became partner digimon for various children and teenagers in the greater Denver metropolitan area. This meant that in the end, Kyle's team only had to take care of the suburb in which they lived. Many of them became friends and allies while a few others became rivals for the jobs they did.


During the two years since the D-Reaper invasion, the number of tamers multiplied across the world. Now there were tamers in many areas of each city across the world, though their freedoms varied drastically from country to country. Still, the Japanese team from Shinjuku was the strongest, especially since they were the only ones that could achieve the Mega level. Still, there would be tamers that weren't happy with that situation and that wanted to be more than what they were.

Unfortunately, because of this, there would be Tamers that didn't work for righteous reasons. Three of them eventually contacted each other and schemed towards an unknown end.

Still, despite all this, the Tamers had strong ties with each other from around the world. Takato even managed to practice his English by using the Digital Union website, which, unbeknownst to him, was set up by Koji Minamoto, Osamu Ichijouji and Kentaro Takaishi.

Three human figures and three digimon gathered in a park. One of the figures was on a swing, his gloved hands holding onto the chains. Another figure, a skinnier one, was leaning against a lamppost, his partner digimon floating around him. And another figure, a tall, fat one, was simply standing nearby, his partner standing next to him.

"It's about time we met," the figure on the swings said. He was ready to get his plans going, even going as far as running away from home to do so.

"Okay, what do you want?" the standing figure asked in a crackly voice. He just wanted to get this over with. It was cold outside. This was Fort Collins, Colorado in February, so temperatures were bound to be low, really low.

"That's what I'm asking," the leaning figure said. He had traveled across the country to get here on Garmmon and didn't want his time wasted.

"Darkness, Pride, I need your help. There is a team currently being assembled in the Vegas area. I believe that Kyle Dibenko may soon be a part of it," the figure on the swings said. The code names, those of crests, indicate what crests they can activate using their digivices. While upgrading the digivices, Shibumi needed a way for tamers to reach the Ultimate level that didn't involve cards. So, inspired by the crests from the TV show, he created a program that would emulate the effects of the crests, and then left it up to the digignomes to decide what crests everyone got.

"Kyle Dibenko?" the standing figure asked.

"I want him eliminated and his partner deleted."

"I can do that. That idiot lives in Denver and he hasn't even digivolved his partner. He relies on Armor Digivolution."

"Still, he could be a threat if he manages to digivolve," the one on the swings said. "His partner's Champion form is strong enough to take on Ultimates. If my plans for the digital world are to succeed, then he needs to be removed."

"Then what's my part in the plan?" the one leaning against the light pole inquired.

"You'll have to win the National Championship tournament."

"I'm moving to a different country."

"Then win it there. I'll try to win it while I'm down in South America as well. If you don't win, just sneak into the house of the real winner and steal their ticket to the World Championship."

Akihiro Kurata was enjoying life. After getting past his initial apprehension regarding the Tamers and their partner digimon, he started to love his job. Then there was Megumi, who he had started dating shortly after Yamaki and Reika got married. That was despite being a bit older than her. He was no longer afraid of digimon and he didn't notice any sort of allergies regarding them either.

Still, something about tonight irked him. He knew it didn't involve the Tamers. As he rode on the subway, it felt as if someone was watching him. He looked around, noticed a few people, mostly in their twenties and thirties, and then focused on getting off when he needed to.

He didn't know why there was such a shiver going down his spine.

Upon getting off, he continued forward, looking around to try and figure out who was watching him. Shortly after getting a job at Hypnos, he cut his hair, partially at the request of Megumi, so he didn't look so much like a mad scientist anymore other than his labcoat. He didn't notice anyone around him, but he knew that whoever was following him was there. It was almost as if he could sense them.

He tried to put aside such notions, but he couldn't. There was this very real sense of something. Something wrong.

Finally, he made it to his apartment building and went up the elevator. He felt even worse. Maybe there wasn't someone following him. Maybe there was someone in his room. How would he know?

He felt a disturbing dread upon opening his door. Looking in, he saw his living room, a sparsely furnished one with a couch and a TV. The dread was coming from the bathroom.

The man decided to pull out his knife just in case. He only kept it on his person in case some mugger came out of the woodwork, but this was a special case. There was someone obviously here. His bedroom door was open. His cat was nowhere to be seen, implying that she must have gotten out. And there was water running in the bathroom.

He walked up to the door to see someone shaving. Someone with long, black hair and a pair of glasses. In other words, he was looking at a near-mirror image of himself. He was beyond surprised to see his double in front of him, causing him to drop his knife.

"I figured I'd run into you here, eventually," the double said, adjusting his glasses. "I was wondering why you moved here from Yokohama."

"I got a job."

"Yes, a job, involving those freaks of nature known as Digimon. It's thanks to them and that idiot Masaru that I'm trapped here."
Kurata had no idea what his double was talking about. Maybe his double came from some sort of alternate reality and had some sort of altercation with the Tamers there. He didn't know.

If that was the case, however, there was a possibility that being here was dangerous. After all, he did somehow sense his alternate counterpart. Who knows what else may happen.

But then the double reached out.

And Kurata felt the man's hands around his neck.

A mysterious blackout happened that night in Kurata's apartment building. Nobody knew what caused it, though there was a peculiar power surge coming from a certain Akihiro Kurata's apartment. However, nobody knew what caused that surge, nobody except for Kurata himself, who had a disturbing air around him ever since that day. He broke up with Megumi unexpectedly after that.

Sometime later, he received a job offering from Echelon. He took it. Yamaki at Hypnos appreciated his contributions and held a going away party for him. He didn't come.

That was when Yamaki remembered his back-up plan in case Akihiro Kurata didn't work out at Hypnos. Out of fury of Kurata's rudeness in not attending his own going away party, he had Shibumi call his Chilean friend to see if the man was still interested in taking a job at Hypnos, despite not knowing very much Japanese. The man had completely forgotten about the offer, but he accepted, though it would be a while before they met face-to-face.

Koji Minamoto couldn't believe it. He was in charge of the World Championship tournament. His last transmission from Jacob McCloskey in the future also figured out the source of the Unification. Koji decided to use this in accordance with the World Championship. For some reason, the two seemed to line up really well. He just needed to make sure that the catalyst ended up at the World Championship Tournament and that it was heavily guarded.

He just needed to figure out where to have it. Looking over the information on his computer about various places, he found one that would suffice, a place called Ember Island. It would be far enough away that whoever desired the catalyst wouldn't be able to get it and anyone who happened to get there wouldn't be able to tell where they were using a GPS.

Still, there was the question of how to get there. He did have a number of programs at his disposal, including one that created a digital field and used a vortex to transport something to specified cooridinates. There was also Solarmon's mega form.

The black-haired man just wanted to get everything over with. He hoped that maybe he could delay the Unification after finding out about its catalyst. He just didn't want to resort to illegal means to do it.

It was a hot, July day when the Shinjuku Tournament was held. Takato got up early to make sure his deck was top notch for it before heading off to take part in it. He ran into all his friends when he got there and they compared notes and registered.

One person Takato saw when he got there was Ruki. She was standing across the room talking to a silver-haired tamer he recognized as Ryouma from Koto. He didn't know the silver-haired boy well and their relationship seemed more like a friendly rivalry than anything as far as taming was concerned, but he saw the guy every so often at Hypnos meetings.

Still, it had been awhile since he saw Ruki. Every time he thought he got over her, he'd see her again and those feelings he had for her would come up again. He didn't even know how they got so strong in the first place. Still, he wanted to at least be friends again. It seemed like every tamer that he knew at least had a working relationship with her, Juri being one of her best friends along with Miki and Ayaka, two new Tamers from school. It was from them that he found out that Juri was dating someone.

The boy clenched his fists, grabbing hold of his deck. It was his best deck yet and he hoped that he could win this tournament. For her.

No, he didn't hope that he could win it. He would win it. He would make sure of it. Even if he had to defeat every other tamer in the championship to get to Ruki, he would do it just to be able to talk to her again.

He hoped that he could do that. He wanted to so badly.

It was now or never. He sat down at his assigned seat for the first round and faced his opponent, putting his heart into his deck so that he could defeat everyone he came across.

He had no idea what the future would bring, but he was sure that she would be back in it.

Next: Digimon Tamers: World Tournament Chapter 1: Tamers of Japan

A/N: Yeah, that's the end of this first story. Hope it wasn't too depressing for you. The Rukato part of the story will really pick up in the sequel which is hopefully far longer. Also, the sequel will be longer and more character-driven. There are a lot of characters in that one, too, though hopefully they'll be deeper (the first couple of chapters only have a couple of OCs in them, though there are minor background characters from the show that have been given partners). And then there's the plot, which is better, despite ripping off Yu-gi-oh… kidding. No, there won't be Millennium Items in the fic.

I guess I'll give you guys a preview. The first chapter is already written.

It's been two-and-a-half years since the D-Reaper and the Tamers are at peace. Their ranks have increased and their forces are stronger than ever.

Unfortunately, Ruki Makino has distanced herself from the others and is about to go to the biggest Digimon Card Game tournament ever held. Takato finds an opportunity to see her again there, and takes it, even though he and Hirokazu have to work as security for one of the contestants, a boy who may be the key to the worlds' unification.

The stakes have never been higher as the Tamers are forced to deal with a plot to remove Takato and Ruki from the game. A pair of enemy Tamers want to even out the competition, and they are willing to go to whatever lengths to do so. Meanwhile, another Tamer has to face his past and the realization that getting things back to how they were isn't as easy as it seems.