An AU set around the Tamer's episodes 48 and 49, it's just a oneshot right now, but I won't mind if someone takes this idea and runs with it- just let me know, okay?

Take My Hand

"Take his hand Jeri!" Takato's shout made her move forward, her body obeying the voice of her friend despite the painful memory the Beast King's attack brought up. Beelzemon's arms snatched her up and she felt Calumon grip her shoulder. Jeri closed her eyes and buried her face into Beelzemon's chest, shock making her shut down again . . . but this time, she could hear.

"I've got you, Jeri, that D-reaper scum is not going to get you again." Beelzemon's rough voice was actually soft and kind- not the power-crazed voice that had haunted her nightmares.

"Jeri, Jeri? Oh, no, not again! Please, don't shut us out, we love you!" Calumon's childish voice was worried. She could feel him hugging her tighter. "We want you back, Jeri . . ."

"You got her!" Takato's voice- now she was aware of battle sounds. "Is she alright?"

"She won't talk to us!" Calumon's voice was so full of worry. An explosion cut off Takato's voice.

"Get her out of here, it wants her back!"

"You got it!" They were moving again. "I'll protect you, Jeri . . . it's my fault you're in this mess." Beelzemon's voice was full of regret and pain. Jeri wanted to speak, she really did, but the words just wouldn't come. Instead, she just moved closer to him, burying her face into his chest. "Jeri, I know you can't possibly forgive me for what I've done, but I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking of anyone other than myself, and I hurt you . . ."

This is all my fault- I'm the one who wasn't strong enough. Why is he apologizing? Jeri couldn't say it, though, she could only tighten her grip on Beelzemon's jacket, suddenly aware that she was crying.

"Jeri, what's wrong, am I hurting you?" Beelzemon's grip shifted a bit, now his voice was uncertain, awkward . . . so unlike the voice she remembered. This voice was one she could trust.

"Oh, Jeri . . ." Calumon patted her head. "We love you."

"Jeri!" That was her dad's voice. She was somewhat aware of Beelzemon landing in a building.

Before, she would have been happy, to bury her face in his shoulder and cry. Now though, she didn't want to face anyone.


Mr. Yamaki watched as the humanoid digimon tried to hand the young girl- Jeri Katou- to her father. What happened next surprised everyone watching.

"Jeri, here's your father." Beelzemon loosened his grip, but the instant Mr. Katou touched his daughter, she gave out a loud cry and gripped tighter to Beelzemon.

"Wha?!" The digimon looked shocked. "Jeri, what's wrong?" Beelzemon glanced at the small girl he was carrying. "Jeri, you're safe, that D-reaper scum ain't gonna get you here."

"Yeah Jeri, your family is here! They really want to see you!" Calumon hopped on the larger digimon's shoulders. "Don't you want to see them?" His ears shrank as Jeri instead chose to bury her face into Beelzemon's shirt again and began to sob. "Oh, Jeri . . ." Calumon slipped down Beelzemon's arm and landed on the crying girl's shoulder. "What did that big meanie do to you?"

"Jeri? What's wrong with her?"

"Takato said that she didn't make it on the ark- the D-reaper kidnapped her before I messaged him, and replaced her with an agent that looked like her." Mr. Yamaki stepped forward. "Which means she's been in the D-reaper's kernel of consciousness for just under two weeks- that's a lot of time for a child to be alone."

"She's probably traumatized, the poor dear." Takato's mother came up with a blanket. "What's your name?"

"Me?" at her nod, the dark angel digimon glanced down. "Beelzemon."

"Alright, Beelzemon, Jeri's going to need to be kept warm and safe, do you think you can wrap this blanket around her?"

"Uh . . . sure, I guess . . ." He looked at the blanket for a moment, then back at the woman. The helplessness in the digimon's gaze made a couple of technicians chuckle. "Hey, I'm a fighter, not a caretaker." His wings went up defensively, and he absently cradled Jeri closer.

"Here, let me show you." Beelzemon watched as she picked up Calumon to demonstrate with. When she was done, she passed the blanket to the digimon. Most of the other technicians returned to their work, but the group of monster-makers and the adults whose children were tamers watched as the 'Hell's Angel' digimon awkwardly but gently wrapped Jeri in the blanket. The girl was still sobbing. "That's it. Now we just have to get Jeri to feel safe enough to try and talk." The digimon tilted his head, and looked down at the girl in his arms.

" . . ." I hope it's soon, I thought I'd just have to get her out of the D-reaper and she'd be fine again . . . This is my fault.

"It's amazing isn't it? How loyal they are to the children?" Dolphin remarked quietly to Yamaki and Henry's father.

"That's what we had in mind, remember?" Daisy had overheard him. "But you're forgetting something." She held up a card, with a similar digimon. "That Digimon that rescued Jeri is a virus type, not vaccine."

"Daisy, you collected the cards?"

"I wanted to keep track of what we created."

"What's your point?"

"My point is, Virus types were made to be sort of the villains of the world- they fight first, ask questions later. Most prefer power over company. I talked to Takato, and he said he created Guilmon himself, and he made Guilmon a virus type." Dolphin and Janyu blinked in surprise. "At this point, the digimon have evolved to the point that it doesn't matter what type they are, they can choose their own path." Daisy shook her head. "It's amazing, that they've evolved like that."

Jeri rested against Beelzemon, listening to the voices all around her. She had heard Daisy talking to the others. She shifted, remembering something that she was holding.

"Hey, she's moving! Look!" Calumon's ears popped out again.

"Will you hush, Cream-puff?" Beelzemon shot the small digimon a small glare. Jeri absently pulled out her D-arc. Both digimon went still, Calumon's ears drooping.

"Oh, Jeri . . ." Calumon hopped so he could touch the d-arc too. "I wish you would smile again."

" . . . Jeri, c'mon kid, don't you remember what your partner said? You're stronger than that lying-heap of jello . . ."

"Partner? Jeri has a partner?" Janyu looked surprised.

"Had-"

" . . . Leomon . . ." Beelzemon and Calumon looked at the girl in surprise. "Leomon . . . Mom . . ."

"Where's her partner?" Beelzemon surprised them by looking away, guilt in his expression. "Oh . . . Mr. Katou, Jeri's asking for her mom-"

"She's asking for my first wife then." He looked at his daughter. "She hasn't acknowledged her stepmother yet."

"Oh . . . I see." Janyuu studied them. "Beelzemon, could you tell me if a tamer could have more than one partner?"

"I dunno. I got two kids- twins- that I'd like to be my tamers. They just learned to share their things." Beelzemon glanced down at Jeri. "You'd like them, Jeri, they're sweet- even though they're annoying." Jeri listened to his voice. "Course, I think they'd need training, they don't know much about the cards- I know I don't have the right to ask, but I'd appreciate it if you'd help them." Janyuu had a feeling Beelzemon was trying to do his best. Jeri shifted, curling closer to him. "Aw, he-ck. I'm no good at this . . ." Calumon looked at him.

"I think you're doing fine." Beelzemon looked at Calumon, before a thought struck him.

"Hey, Calumon, you like Jeri, right?"

"Of course!" Calumon huffed, ears expanding. "Jeri feeds me cream-puffs, and she plays with me!"

"Think you could be her partner, then?" Calumon paused, ears shrinking back down as he looked at Jeri. "I can't, I got a promise to the twins to keep . . . but you're a digimon, right? So you ought to have a partner, too." Calumon studied Jeri, memories of their first encounter playing in his mind. Leomon and him had both wound up drawn to her. Jeri's hands had tightened on the digivice.

"Jeri?" Calumon hopped down so he was on her lap, just in front of her hands. "Would you mind if I did become your partner? You asked me first, and it didn't go so well- but that was before I chose to be a digimon for real. I . . . I don't want to replace Leomon! I know I couldn't, but . . . we're friends, right? Friends protect and help each other." Calumon met Jeri's tear-filled eyes. "I . . . I want to be your partner, Jeri! I don't want the big meanie to take you away again! I love you." Calumon gently put his tiny paws on her hands. "I want to stay with you!" His eyes began to fill. "I want to protect you and make you smile again. But, do you want me?" Beelzemon glanced away, as if to give the two settled on his lap privacy. "It's your choice, but I don't want anyone else to be my tamer."

" . . . Calu . . . mon . . ." Jeri's soft voice made everyone stare- she didn't notice it, though, her focus was on Calumon. "I . . . I . . . Yes." The tears fell again. "I wou-would love . . . to be your partner." The D-arc glowed, and in the next moment, the white part near the bottom had the same mark that was on Calumon's head. "Th-thank you . . ." her eyes closed, and both Calumon and Beelzemon almost freaked out as she went limp.

"It's okay, she's just sleeping. Poor dear, must be exhausted beyond belief." Takato's mom reassured the about-to-panic digimon. "She'll feel better, but I'm afraid you two shouldn't leave until she wakes up- she'll panic, otherwise."

"You never told me you were a nurse." Mrs. Katou looked at her.

"I wasn't, my mother was- she made sure I knew everything about first aid and what to do in an emergency that she could teach me." Beelzemon tuned out the rest of the conversation, and focused on the child in his arms. He wasn't the nurturing type, he didn't know what to do with tears (he'd prefer running away and acting like he never saw them) and he certainly didn't know what to do if someone was injured (other than pound the crap out of whoever hurt them in the first place) but he'd have two partners that he would have to look after, and even if they did learn to share, there were always going to be times when they fought or argued, or got hurt while playing (He'd seen them run, overbalance, and get skinned up by the sidewalk twice) and it would be his job to look after them.

"Hey, uh, Lady who's Takato's mom."

"My name's Yoshie Matsuki."

"Oh, uh, Matsuki-san, would you . . . uh, could you teach me first aid?" Somewhere behind the two, Daisy was looking at Curly with an opened mouth expression. A virus Digimon created to be one of the most powerful, was not only willing to help children, but learn how to take care of them?

This went beyond simple evolution. And maybe, maybe this was a clue.

Like I said, one shot. Just something my mind came up with when I saw the episodes, and it didn't leave.