Author's Note: Today is the day! Yes that is the full title that I'm not putting up for reasons. I almost put it up yesterday but my brain was smart and decided against it. Good thing too, since I have something important that I need to start that is rather disturbing

Well this is my attempt at altering it only with elements of the canon and some issues of fanon, as well as, of course, the crossover. So yeah, if you've been reading Mutual Benefit, any of the Calamity oneshots, or anything else I have written or will write, particularly something coming in March that someone I know is salivating over; it's not the same. That also goes for the other stories that will pop up eventually They're weird like that. So if you prefer the superpower, overly shounen goodness, you may want to bypass this one. It's not as emphasized. I'm kind of wishing the Slice of Life genre existed on here but eh. Work with what you've got.

Also… for that guy, yes Sgt Shock, I mean you, I know you like my severe lack of thirty thousand chapters. However, I don't know the set length of this, but I have the suspicion of more than thirty chapters, possibly more than fifty. Please bear with me.

WARNING: This is anime style. Therefore, these chapters are the equivalent of at least 1-3 chapters if this was in WSJ (Weekly Shonen Jump) or one anime episode. That means at some point, as I improve, there will be drawings of various scenes and characters. That includes the cover, which will be replaced at some point. That also means by extension that these will seem very weird and anime physics related.

Don't worry by the way: Other people can submit art, side-fics, and other items of general awesome. The forum is still open for debate too! :)

Finally, because I want to see people's opinions: who likes Lopmon? What's your favorite level for it to evolve into? That means any level.

With that, I leave with you the prologue. Enjoy, leave a remark, and please inform me of where I went wrong, particularly this prologue as for some reason my first chapters of stories are NEVER betaed lol.


Deviation-The Ripples of a Butterfly's Wings

Prologue: A Brave New World

(If only I could be that way…)

"Throw away your Xros Loader or I'll kill the both of them!"

It was a cliché line, the pretend ultimatum in every villain hostage situation known to movies and man. To the boy hidden behind a building, however, it was horrifying. It was spoken by the samurai, now about the size of a skyscraper, to another male and the creature beside him. They weren't frightened, only angry. The human below clutched a red device in his hand tightly; presumably the Xros Loader that creature had been talking about as the other struggled to his feet.

The boy watched in fear, not understanding the creature's desperation to have the device. If he wanted, couldn't he just destroy them? Or was it… was there some special power within it? He didn't know, the fear had paralyzed his brain. The dragon creature glowered up, defiance in his eyes. "You bastard…" The boy couldn't help but agree with him. It was a low tactic… and it never really worked.

"Hurry up," the creature insisted and he felt his chest tighten. Why? So he could continue crushing their city like a toy? So he could bring more of those like him to destroy the world? Don't give it to him, he prayed desperately to the currently unnamed boy with the goggles. Don't let him get us all… He knew it was cowardly not to run forward and attack the guy himself but what… could he do exactly?

Apparently the other two shared his sentiments, or at least his prayers. "Don't listen to him Taiki!" The redhead who spoke struggled in the soldier's grip as her friend clutched something in his hand, raising a defiant fist.

"That's right!" he agreed, eyes flaring with determination. "Fight Kudo Taiki!" He commanded the boy and the dragon with the ferocity of a drill sergeant, refusing to let his spirits fall. "We're a part of Xros Heart too, so we can handle it!"

A part of… Xros Heart… The boy found his eyes glued to the battle yet on the inside he shrank away from them. These people were brave. They were willing to die for this, for Xros Heart, for Kudo Taiki… the goggled boy. He let his gaze travel over that person, his heart squeezing at the sight of the raw dismay on that face. Then inexplicably, he felt his tension ease. With that one look, the boy knew where that resolve came from. Taiki, whoever he was, was genuine, every bit of concern as natural as breathing. They believed he could do something, and would. Envy bubbled in his chest. To be a part of something… something that you were willing to risk everything for… what was that like?

He was broken from his thoughts by a sudden shining light, the two hostages beginning to glow orange and blue. "What is this? It burns!" The large man sounded surprised now, almost frightened as the glow set the two down on the ground and poured into Taiki's… Xros Loader. The words were stiff in his head, like a bump on his tongue.

Resolve burns stronger than fire, the boy thought to himself as the red dragon began to shine; enshrouded in the golden sheen. It let out a frenzied cry, searing itself into his brain. Taiki raised his Xros Loader to the air. "Shoutmon," he commanded. "Evolve!" The responding roar sent a shudder into the hidden boy's heart. That wordless feral shout seemed to say: "Don't worry, I'll kick his ass." He found himself believing it.

"OmegaShoutmon!"

A golden mechanical dragon landed on the road. There was no mark where he stood around his metallic body was a colorless aura of majesty. Blue eyes glowered at the much larger creature. The soldier's voice didn't quaver but now the fear was palpable, filled with disbelief. Mom said… the boy thought soberly. A warrior is only able to die when his heart wavers. If his heart wavers, people will forget him. If his body gives out and his heart remains, he lives.

"He's going to lose…" the young boy whispered as the two former hostages went past his hiding place. He knew this yet his heart didn't swell with joy. One turned in his direction and he tried to step away. Oh darn it…

He had been too late and the girl's eyes met his, his fearful and hers calm albeit surprised. "Are…" he whispered, the panic instantly rising. It wasn't because she was a girl, a slightly older and more mature one no less; but because she was a person and he was just… he was just not good at this. Even my brain can only think of lame excuses. "A-Are you o-okay?" He quickly separated their gazes, looking past her as his body began to tremble. "I… I just…" He tried again and then his mouth snapped shut, embarrassed.

She examined him slowly and then smiled, as though she understood the depths of his terror. "Yeah," she told him proudly. "I am. And you're gonna be too. So when this is over, join us, okay?"

Before he could answer, she hurried away towards Taiki and the golden power. They all watched together as OmegaShoutmon and that man clashed, speaking of things he just couldn't hear over the roar of battle and the thumping of his own heart.

"BEAT SLASH!" This time the boy covered his eyes, the golden sheen of a large diamond of light meeting a violet blade of darkness. He peeked through his fingers to see a large hole in the creature's chest. It was fading, falling into the sky and soon, had completely vanished. As the storm began to fade, the demon man roared, leaving his speech to recover itself from sheer gibberish. The sky was suddenly a gentle, vivid blue once more, making the world seem as though nothing had happened.

"A-Amazing…" he finally whispered, the thrill in his chest fading into slow, gentle thrums. The golden giant then shrank and fell into the water, making a humorous splash.

Despite himself, he laughed. For the moment, it was over and everything was all right. He slumped against the wall he had been hiding behind, trembling with relief and feeling helpless tears slide from his eyes. He wasn't going to die. It was okay, it was all right.

Of course that was for about five minutes. Then the sky turned a heartless black and a hand reached down from the clouds, pressing skeletal fingers around the bridge, the bridge that connected them to another ward. The fact that it was a giant hand took a few seconds, almost too many, to process in his head. A violet energy wave pulsed from it and spread. Wherever that wave flowed, even on the water, the life forms turned to stone.

Naturally, the child bolted, desperately fleeing. If that thing hits… it's over isn't it? The panic spurred his legs ever onward, the survival instinct blurring his vision into grey and purple. Where is safe? Where?

Nowhere, whispered a voice in his mind. This is it, this is the end. You'll die here, alone, like the coward you are.

I… I don't want to die… not like this…

"So when this is over, join us, okay?"

I want to… I want to do that… Even from only a few minutes of observation, he wanted to be engulfed in it. He wanted… to get stronger… and not feel lonely on sunny days. It was one thing to make a friend; it was quite another to make a companion.

The boy tripped and skidded on the brick road. He forced himself up again, not realizing he was bleeding from the arm, not caring that his head was throbbing and that his fellow citizens were frozen in places of terror. All the boy cared about was getting out of there, getting his wish granted. He wanted to live.

Is that what you desire?

It was a voice, a voice in his head. It sounded like many ageless and genderless voices spinning to form these sounds of white noise. Yet he knew them somehow. The song, yes that was it a song, seemed to sigh. Do you desire to join those warriors? It takes courage and faith and to maintain an earnestness of the soul. Do you think you are able to do that?

He almost halted right then and there as the questions whirled in his mind. It felt as though time were stopping all around him, even as the wave roared and screams were silenced. The boy hesitated for a brief moment before nodding, almost to himself. The song hummed distantly. You wish to try… then come. Follow the light. A pale sheen erupted from the ground only feet away and he changed direction, jumping in as the wave washed over the land.

The sensation from that was like jumping from stairs. He opened his eyes to a golden space, a strange energy surrounding him where his feet rested. A screen floated in front of his eyes and without speaking, he knew what he would see would be either a new beginning or the world's last moments. He couldn't help but pray again because he feared what could appear next.

In a flash of light, children, three who he recognized, three he did not, appeared in a line. Two of the ones he recognized were holding up a blonde his own age, who seemed not only exhausted but hurt. The boy wondered… but then the war began… with words and monsters and a cold-blooded army led by a demonic man. That very man… monster, there was no denying it wasn't human, for more than just the skeletal hand. It was the smirk on his face, the twisted army marching on stone water. It was the crimson eyes which he swore could see him where he was. It didn't matter how safe this space was from the petrification. If they lost… nowhere was safe.

No, he thought angrily to himself, nodding as firmly as he dared. No don't think like that. If my wish… If I want to grant my wish I have to have faith. They'll win…

A voice floated into the space. "We'll place our hopes on you Taiki, just like we always have."

Yes… I'll do that… I'll believe in you too… Kudo-san…

As he thought these words a golden bullet shot straight into the opposing demon man's chest. There was no harm done but Taiki and that girl had gone missing. "That's… really reckless…" He couldn't help but say this aloud, almost sweatdropping at what he saw as utter insanity.

"Taiki's like that." The rough cheeriness of the voice made him jump and almost try to look around yet his body remained stationary. "Woah woah, sorry dude! Didn't think you'd jump that bad!"

"You…" He struggled to find his voice. "You, um… surprised me, whoever you are."

The voice laughed. "You sure freaked me out. Humans usually aren't here you know?"

"No um… no I don't," the boy admitted and the voice seemed forlorn. He could almost sense its sigh, feel the pitying eyes. It rather bothered him, but this time, the human felt he deserved it.

"Man kid you must be ten kinds of freaked out huh?" Before he could answer, the other continued, moving from sympathetic to encouraging. "Well, don't worry. Taiki's gonna get me and the others out of here and then you'll see something great! After that, I'll let you meet Taiki. I tell ya, there's not a guy like him. You'll be just fine with him. Trust me."

Trust me. It was the first time he had heard those words spoken so earnestly. The boy could only stare, at a loss, before smiling a little, a shy, tiny smile. "I… I can't wait."

He could envision a grin, fanged yet friendly. "Hehe, I think you're gonna be just fine. Well, I gotta go, time for being badass and all that. Nice talking at ya man." The air went quiet and the boy managed a shy laugh.

"Be careful…" But can you be careful in fighting through that?

The screen flickered and blue flame went tearing through both armies, an existence made for destruction. "That thing…" he murmured, wishing he could do more than recoil at the sight of thousands of creatures burning to death. It was disgusting, even from far away. He could hear them screaming and the boy wished his voice could shut them out. "He wants his own world, a world with his own reality. What do we want… do we want this world? Or do we want the same thing?"

That is an answer you will have to come to by yourself.

His gaze slipped upward as the flaming tornado was dispersed and a golden bullet shot from the creature's chest again, revealing Taiki, that creature, and his friend, along with a pink rabbit he hadn't noticed before. Something… whatever they had been waiting for… whatever they had been fighting for… it was about to begin.

"FINAL XROS!"

A swirl of energy rippled around him and the boy watched as rainbow light engulfed the screen, a familiar feral roar accompanying it. Power flowed over his fingertips and from his body and within him burned a beautiful euphoria. This is it… the end they wish for… the future… we want to grasp with our own power…The words dashing through his head didn't have the capability to explain the majesty of the moment, he didn't think words could. The glow faded to reveal a golden and white mechanical warrior, what appeared to be a microphone clenched in one fist. But the fallen angel didn't give. He grew to match his opponent and reached to blast his enemy to oblivion.

It was useless wasn't it? They hadn't given up so the future was…. It was granting them power. "Final Xros Blade!"

Battles end when the last enemy falls. It ended with a single stab. "N-No way… so fast…" That was power, power in the purest sense that was so strong and free that boundaries for it would just never happen. "They did it…" he whispered, the words slowly sinking in. "We're going to live… we… we're going to live!" As he spoke, the sky turned blue and the petrification disappeared like it never existed. "Everyone… everyone is…"

That's right… Now is the time… they have grabbed their future… now you must take yours.

Silently, he leaped toward the opening above his head, struggling to pull himself free. The boy managed to get out and watch the creatures rising into the air. "I… can't even thank them…" For some reason, that bothered him. The boy forced himself to run despite the sudden pain running through his muscles. He had to… had to say it… because if he said it now… they would understand… surely they would understand… because…

"When this is over, join us okay?"

He wasn't good at these things but they had saved him, if indirectly. He wanted… wanted…

"Excuse me!" The portal had closed, possibly forever. He was too late for them. But eyes fell upon him anyway, human eyes with expectations and confusion. They didn't understand, didn't recognize. That was okay. Neither did he. He looked down on them from where he stood on the sidewalk, face turning red with embarrassment and fear. His body shook and he licked his lips. "I… I…"

"What is it?" The taller blonde spoke, his voice sharp but not unkind. It made it worse, especially when the spiky brunette smiled, trying to take the sting. The red-haired girl knew him, he realized, remembering despite the moment, and that just made him shiver all the more. In desperate hope he bowed, hoping avoiding their eyes would make it easier.

"I… Thank you very much!"