Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon Tamers
Juri could not believe it. Takato had given himself up for her. It was a sacrifice that the others could not comprehend.
"No," Juri muttered, "no! How dare you take Takato away from us! I was the one you wanted in the first place! I'll never forgive you!"
The monster inside Takato laughed. "This body…it's so strong! I will not leave!"
Takato's eyes glowed red and his body shifted into something less than human.
"We have to get out of here," Jenrya said.
"No, we cannot leave Takato behind!" Juri shouted.
"That's what Takato told us to do!"
"Something is happening!" Shuichon cried.
The possessed Takato waved his arm and created an illusion so real, that no one was immune to it. Each illusion was different for each individual. Ruki first saw her father.
"Ruki," he said.
"Father?" she asked. "Is it really you?"
"Yes, I've come back."
"I thought I'd never see you again!" she exclaimed.
"I'm here too, Ruki," said a familiar voice.
"Jaarin!" Ruki gasped. "My friend."
The illusion was quite peaceful to Ruki. She didn't want to believe anything else.
"I never died, Ruki," Jaarin said, "I'm still with you."
"I've missed you so much," Ruki said.
"Me too," Jaarin said. "We can still be together, just like old times. Remember?"
Ruki smiled. "Jaarin…Father!"
Jenrya saw his family, alive and well. Shuichon saw herself as a little girl with her big brother Jenrya. Ai and Makoto saw their parents. Hirokazu and Kenta saw their old home. Ryo saw himself back in the arena, fighting side by side with the woman he loved. All of their illusions were happy, except for Juri's. She saw Takato being pulled away farther and farther away from her. The closer she got to him, the farther away he was pulled away. He kept pleading for her to help him but there was nothing she could do. She never felt so helpless.
"Takato, come back to me please!" she yelled, clutching her head. "This cannot be happening. Takato!"
The demon had them right where he wanted them. They were lost in the little worlds he made for them. They were all under his control. But then his concentration was broken for a slight moment. Takato was trying to break free.
"Someone, help me," his voice rang out. "It's not real. He is tricking you."
"What?" Ruki looked at her father and Jaarin, "wait…. Jaarin, you're supposed to be dead! And this…this cannot be real. How can you be here?"
"It's not real, Ruki." Said a girl's voice.
"Who said that?"
"It's an illusion," A woman standing next to a giant dog appeared. "Remember what happened to Takato?"
"That…monster," Ruki whispered. "How dare he play my feelings using my father and friend like that!"
"Your friend Jaarin is still around," Alice said. "If you concentrate, you can bring her to you yourself."
"We can fight him together, Ruki," Jaarin's spirit said.
"You really are here now? I'm so confused." Ruki said. "I don't know what is real."
Jaarin settled her spirit into Ruki's body and tightened her hands around the sword. "We will fight him together. We can do it. I'll lend you my strength. I've come back, my friend."
"Demon Seekers," Alice's voice rang out, "the demon had possessed Takato's body. He is fooling you. The only way to stop him is to destroy him."
"What about Takato?" Juri asked. "He will die."
"It's the only way."
"What's this?" the demon demanded. "No! This cannot be!"
The demon seekers opened their eyes and their illusions disappeared. Alice had come to lend them her help. She stood defiantly next to her dog then pointed at the demon.
"Your reign of pain has ended." She muttered.
"Let's get him together, Ruki," Jaarin said within Ruki. "Now!" With Jaarin's strength behind her, Ruki pulled back her sword. "Time to die!" She plunged the sword into Takato's heart. Juri screamed.
"No! You'll kill him."
"Takato would've wanted it this way," Jenrya said.
Weakened, the monster stepped back. "Fools, you cannot defeat me that easily." The wound began to heal.
"If only I had a card," Juri mumbled.
"Card mage," Alice said.
"What?" Juri looked at her.
"Do you remember what Shibumi told you? About demons living off negative energy?"
"And it's positive energy that can destroy them?"
"Focus on that energy. Focus on your positive, good feelings and you will destroy him. Then Takato will be freed."
"But I haven't a holy card. It's impossible.
"You don't need the card now," Alice insisted. "Use the feelings alone. I will help you." She held out her arm and restrained the monster with a spell. "Draw the evil spirit out and destroy him just by using your feelings for Takato."
Juri closed her eyes. Could she do it without the card? She had to try. She opened them. "Monster, you have used our feelings against us. You fed off our greed, hate and fear. Our emotions are powerful, even our good feelings. It is time you learned the power love, kindness, courage and faith!" Juri's amulet floated up as she spoke. "I will not let you inhabit Takato's body anymore. It was our hate, anger, fear, and guilt that brought you to life, but we will use our love, happiness, courage and innocence to destroy you and this dark planet! With our positive, good emotions, we will see you all perish!" She held out her arm and without the holy card to aid her, began to draw the spirit out of Takato's body. The spirit didn't want to leave and gave off a pretty good fight to stay. Juri groaned in frustration. "Takato, come back to me! Try to force the evil spirit from you!"
"I can't just watch this," Hirokazu dropped his crossbow, "she needs her help!" Hirokazu walked up beside her and put his hand around her wrist. "You get out of Takato's body, you filth!" He shouted at the monster. "Takato is our friend!"
One by one, the demon seekers walked to Juri to encourage her to try harder or to embrace Takato. Beads of sweat coursed over Juri's forehead. Shuichon and Ai had her arms around Takato.
"Please," Shuichon said, "You must fight--you're the glue that keeps us together!"
"Takato, come back to us!" Ai cried.
Their amulets were glowing brightly and raising up around their necks. They focused hard on their pleasant feelings and tried not to think about fear or hate. They just kept happiness in their heart and the joy they looked forward to when this was all over.
"I think it's working!" Hirokazu shouted.
Juri cried out in frustration. "I'm getting weak! Can't…hold on…"
"Just a little more," Jenrya urged. "You can do it!"
Juri closed her eyes and concentrated hard on the good times she had with Takato when they were younger. They were the best of friends. He was always so good to her. She played over and over the image of him mouthing "I love you," to her. She hoped that she would be able to say the same to him and they can have more good times together. She could not fail. She wouldn't allow it. Finding new strength, she opened her eyes and shouted with all her voice, "TAKATO, I LOVE YOU!"
The demon spirit screamed in frustration as it was ripped away from its host like a Band-Aid to a wound. Takato winced and collapsed, with Ai and Juri still holding him. The demon started to call upon the other dark spirits to aid him and as more dark energies came, Alice used her magical powers to destroy him with one mighty blow.
Juri gasped and fell to her knees.
"We did it!" Kenta exclaimed. "Juri, see! You did it."
"I'm not done yet," she said weakly, pressing her hands to the floor. "The demon and evil sprits might be gone but this world still exists. I'm going to make sure nothing inhabits this dark world again!" Focusing again on pure thoughts, the dark, cold black stone floor began to change from Juri's hands, cleaning way the dirt and filth. It was sparklingly white and clean, from the floors, to the walls, to the ceilings, down the stairs and outside the tower and onto the ground it touched, bringing grass, flowers and trees from the barren stone ground.
Shuichon took a deep breath. "The smell is different. It's not like death anymore! It smells--wonderful!" She ran to the window and called everyone around her, as Juri concentrated on changing the world.
Birds and butterflies were flying around the once dark world. It looked like Earth almost. The sky cleared up to blue, making a rainbow.
The demon seekers were breath taken. They couldn't' believe it.
"We've done it," Jenrya said in awe.
"This must be what it used to be like," Ai said.
"Well done, demon seekers," Alice said. "I knew you could do it. Now Earth will be saved too. This place will be called the World of Dreams."
"Takato. Wake up."
Takato felt like he was ripped from the inside out and yet, he also felt as if he was floating. Slowly, he opened his eyes and saw a pair of beautiful brown eyes looking down at him. He was lying down in Juri's lap right outside Shubumi's home. The Earth was rejuvenated again. Juri smiled.
"Takato, are you all right?" she asked.
"I believe so," He moaned. "Did we…succeed?"
"Of course we did," she said. "See? We did it, Takato. The demon's world has changed to the World of Dreams. Now nothing can harm it or Earth again."
"Where are we?" he asked.
"We are at Shibumi's home," she answered, "for the celebration. Do you want to come inside?"
"In a moment," he sighed, "I feel so dizzy."
"You'll be all right," Juri insisted.
"How did I get here?" he asked. "I was…."
"I was able to free you," Juri explained, "with everyone's help. Now, I am a real mage. I don't' need the cards anymore."
Takato smiled weakly. "I'm glad you're all right."
A tear fell from Juri's eye. "I was so worried that I'd never see you again. I thought…we failed…when you…sacrificed yourself for me."
"I couldn't bear to see you go through that," Takato said. "I love you."
Juri's mouth twitched. "Takato…I love you too." She lowered her head and Takato pushed himself up. Their lips met in a lover's sweet kiss.
Ruki, however, didn't feel much like celebrating. After having a bite to eat and collecting her reward form Shibumi, she started to leave Shibumi's house. Jenrya followed her.
"Leaving so soon?" he asked.
"Why are you following me?" she demanded.
"We're a team," he said.
"I cannot stay," Ruki sighed. "There are some things I must do. Things…that cannot wait."
Ruki smiled. "Thank you. I'm glad that it's finally over."
"Don't you at least want to say goodbye to everyone?" Jenrya asked.
"I've already talked to Ryo. He said I should go." Ruki said, "and, I'm not much good at saying goodbye."
"I see," Jenrya said. "Farewell, Ruki and good luck."
"Thank you." Ruki replied. Jenrya took her hand, smiled and kissed her cheek, making her blush a little. "Ah…yes, goodbye. Please do say goodbye to Shuichon for me."
Ruki smiled and turned around to take her journey.
Hirokazu felt somewhat bored after the quest. "Now I don't know what to do," He muttered to Kenta. "How are we supposed to be bounty hunters in a perfect world? It's so dull…"
"It won't always be like this, you know," Shibumi said. "There will still be outlaws for you to catch."
"I hope so," Hirokazu said.
"Hirokazu, we already have enough money," Kenta said.
"It's not about money anymore," Hirokazu said, "It's the thrill. Thrill of doing something good. That's the real reward."
Days passed and though there was much peace, there was an outlaw to capture here and there, so Kenta and Hirokazu kept busy. When there wasn't a robber, they did good whichever way they could, like giving part of their money to the poor or playing with youngsters. Ryo went back to the arena to fight. Jenrya and Shuichon returned to their village, taking Ai and Makoto with them. Takato stayed with Juri at her tavern. As for Ruki, she returned home. She knocked on the door of her childhood home, wondering if her mother was there and if she did, would she remember her? Would she let her in? Ruki wondered if she should search for her father but with all the men she killed, she might have killed him and never knew.
The door opened finally and she saw a middle aged woman with graying hair. "Yes?" It was her mother, but she didn't recognize her. "Can I help you?"
Ruki's mouth trembled.
Her mother gasped. "Ruki?"
Tears streamed down Ruki's face. "Mother!"
They embraced each other and cried. As her mother kept saying she wondered if she would ever see her again, Ruki kept apologizing over and over for running away. She told her all about trying to survive in the wilderness, becoming a warrior in a gladiator arena, leaving the arena and becoming Midnight Fox and later being a Demon Seeker who saved the world.
"I have something to show you," her mother said, wiping her eyes. She took out a box and pushed it to Ruki.
Ruki opened the box, finding letters to her, from her father. Ruki gasped. "Father's…alive?"
"Yes." she said. "I'm sorry I never told you, Ruki. You were just a child. I planned on telling you when you were older. Your father didn't love me anymore and he left. But he still loved you and he even said goodbye to you while you slept. He wrote you almost every week, but you were gone. I held on to these, hoping you'd someday come back."
Ruki ripped open the many letters and read them. They were all pretty much the same, her father telling her he missed her and loved her.
"I want to see him," Ruki said.
"Then write back to him," her mother said, "and you can meet with him."
Ruki smiled and wrote back to her father. She sent it off quickly and waited for his reply. They were to meet the next day at her favorite spot by the lake. There, she waited patiently for her father to come back. When she heard the neigh of a horse, she turned sharply.
A man dismounted from his steed and walked to Ruki. "My little girl…"
"Father!" Ruki ran to her father and fell at his feet. He bent down and took her in his arms. "I missed you so much!"
It was the happiest day of Ruki's life. There wasn't another sad day for any of the demon seekers, because they knew the result of bad feelings and they didn't want anything like that to happen again.