Takato sighed. He had subconsciously found his way over to the old hideout again. "Guilmon…" he whispered. I'm sorry, buddy… He could feel his eyes welling up. He shook it away and continued walking.
Suddenly, he heard a sound behind him. He turned. If he didn't know better, he'd say that sounded much like a digignome. He stared for awhile at the hideout. Something told him he should go inside.
There was no more hesitation. He ran up the stairs and into the gate. He peered deep into the tunnel that his best friend had dug. His eyes lit up as he smiled. For right there, before his eyes, was a portal to the digital world.
He headed for the portal, then stopped short. His friends don't even know that this portal was here. "I have to tell the others," he started to turn back, then stopped. Henry will no doubt advise against this… I mean, last time, it took an ark created by the Monster Makers to get us out! And I can just picture Rika's response… "Are you crazy, goggle-head?" he imitated. "Don't you remember how dangerous that place is?"
He turned back to the portal. "Hm…" He wanted to see Guilmon again, against all possible better judgment. So, he tightened his fists and dove into the digital world.
On this particular summer afternoon, Henry was at the park with Suzie, lost in thought as she played and pretended on the playground. He sighed. It was easy for her to imagine she was still in the digital world, climbing on the digimon and riding Lopmon's Deva form, Antylamon. She was very young. But what Henry feared more than anything was that he would one day forget Terriermon.
He didn't have the art skills of Takato, so he couldn't draw him everywhere like Takato did for Guilmon. He felt his eyes welling up again. There was not a day that went by where he didn't cry for his lost friend. He figured, perhaps, that was a good thing. That meant that Terriermon was still in his heart.
"Moumantai, Hen-dree…" Suzie sat down next to him.
"Ah! Suzie!" he wiped his eyes with his arm. "I'm fine." That word meant more than 'take it easy' to him now, though. Now, it was a word filled with sadness, and regret that he would never see his friend again. Deep down, he was angry, angry that his father had kept it from them, angry that he never really got to say goodbye because of that, angry… that the last thing they did was battle.
Rika scowled as she ate her lunch. Ever since Renamon left, she had felt that she could never be so well understood. Personally, she blamed a lot of people for all this. If Tamaki never attacked the digital world, they would not have had to go. If Janyu Wong had told them of his plan, they could have refused and found a new one. There were so many ways to rationalize different things that could have happened. But there was no way to make it happen.
She poked at a rice ball and sighed. She thought briefly of the others: Takato, Henry… Ryo. She dug in her pocket and pulled out her phone. Maybe… I can call them… She knew she could, and she wanted to, but she couldn't bring herself to talk on the phone with anyone.
"Maybe I'll take a walk… and run into someone…" she grabbed the rice ball and headed out the door.
Takato looked around him. The digital world was in better shape than the last time he was here. The Digimon Sovereign must have fixed this place up nice after they all got rid of the D-Reaper. "Well, better go find Guilmon," he determined. "Guilmon! Guilmon!" He continued to walk through as he called out for his friend. "Guilmon!"
"Takato-mon?" a squeaky voice.
Takato turned. What he saw was not Guilmon, but a tiny, four-legged reptile with a big tail and ears like Guilmon's. "Guilmon?"
"Takato!" the little monster jumped into his arms. "Technically, I'm Gigimon, but I guess you can still call me Guilmon."
"Gigimon…" Takato hugged him tight. "I'm so glad I can see you again!"
"But of course, Takato… You promised, after all."
Takato sniffed. He did promise, but he never dreamed that he would be able to keep it.
"Takato… can we go back to your world now?"
"Yeah," Takato nodded. "We have to show the others!" He looked around. "But, um… how do we get out? I mean… last time, we had to use Grani… but…" I should have listened to my inner Henry's logic… How will we ever get out of here?
Suddenly, in front of them, Takato's old digivice appeared. This time, however, it seemed to have more details.
"You came back! You came back! Hooray! Hooray! We can play!" that voice and energy could only belong to Calumon.
"Calumon… did you make me this?"
"Well, all the Sovereign have been waiting for you, Takato! And I helped them make new digivices and a portal. With this digivice, you can go through the portal and move freely between the worlds!"
"No way!" Takato beamed. "Yes! I've got to get the others!"
"Rika and Jeri? And Henry? And Kenta and Kazu?"
"All of them, Calumon! Want to come along?"
"Hen-dree! The angry boy is coming!" Suzie yelled from the playground area.
"Okay…" Henry mumbled. His eyes were closed as he was sprawled out on the grass.
"Hey, Henry!" Takato hovered over him.
"What's up, Takato?" Henry still had his eyes shut.
"You look relaxed."
"Well, I'm trying anyway. What's up?"
"Aren't you going to open your eyes?"
"Are you going to answer my question?"
"Open your eyes and you'll see what's up!"
Henry opened an eye. He saw Takato as he expected, but he also saw something he didn't quite expect. "What is that?" He sat up and stared at Gigimon.
"This, Henry, is Gigimon."
"Gigi…mon? A digimon? How… where…"
Takato held up his digivice. "I found a portal to the digital world! I went in, got this digivice, and was able to come right out."
"You found a portal?" Henry looked at Gigimon. "And this is Guilmon's in-training form…" Henry clenched his teeth and tightened his fists. "And you didn't tell me there was a way back?!"
"Huh?" Takato was taken aback. "Oh… well… I mean, I was going to… but then I figured—"
"Then you figured, why waste time?! Then you figured, who cares that the digital world has reopened to us?! It's not like Henry and Rika and Kenta and Kazu and Suzie have anything to go back for?! Why bother us, we're just moping around ever since the D-Reaper?! …ever since my dad…" Henry bit his lip. He stood up, wiped off his pants, and called to Suzie. "Come on! We're going home."
"Henry… wait… that's not what I meant!" Takato tried. "Please, Henry, don't be mad." He looked down at Gigimon, who looked at him with concern in his eyes. "Moumantai, Henry."
But that was the worst possible thing he could have said.
"Henry's fists tightened at his sides as Suzie came over to him. "Don't… EVER… say that… to me… Takato." And with that, he and his little sister left.
"Darn it, Gigimon… What'd I do?" He sighed. "I guess in retrospect I should have told them about the portal… but… I mean… I thought… ugh." He looked at his friend. "Now what, buddy?"
"Wow…" Suzie gaped. "Pwetty…"
"Suzie… I want you to stay close to me, okay? Don't even let go of my hand," Henry told her.
"Pwincess Pwetty Pants! Pwincess Pwetty Pants! Whewe aw you?"
"Terriermon?" Henry called. "You there?"
The two of them stepped slowly across the digital field. Henry was hesitant. Against his better judgment, he had brought Suzie along. He could have just returned with both of their digimon. That way, his younger sister wouldn't be in any danger.
"Gigimon! Calumon! Where did you go?!" a small voice called
"Digimon!" Suzie pointed. Indeed, there before them, was a small, ghost-like digimon with a familiar horn on his head.
"Henry?" it gasped. "Henry!"
"T-Terriermon?" Henry let go of Suzie's hand and reached out for his old friend. "Terriermon!"
Just then, his digivice appeared. "It's good to see you again, Henry! But my name's Gummymon in this form!"
"I don't care what to call you!" Henry said, smiling and crying at the same time. "I'm just glad I can see you again!"
Henry held on to Gummymon in his arms and looked down at where Suzie was no longer standing. "Oh no! Suzie!" His heart dropped. "I told her to stay close! I shouldn't have let go of her!"
"Moumantai, Henry. We'll find her! All of us digimon stuck together since we were pulled back. I went out looking for Gigimon, Guilmon's in-training form."
"He's already in the human world…" Henry explained.
"What?! Takato came by? That must be what got him so excited all of a sudden."
"Like Tamer like digimon I suppose… he didn't even let you know that access to the human world was possible before running off."
"Did you get Henry's text?" Ryo asked.
"Of course," Rika replied, annoyed. "That's why I'm here."
"Alright, alright, don't get annoyed, princess."
The two of them began to call for their digimon.
Ryo stopped for a moment, "You know, Rika… I'm beginning to wonder what this means…"
"What what means?" Rika asked.
"Being able to come back here… I mean… Is it a good thing… or does it just mean danger is right around the corner again?"
"Hm… good point."
"Rika!" a tiny fox-like creature bounded up to her, with a brown blob with purple ears close behind.
"Renamon?" Rika asked.
"Not quite… my name is Viximon."
"Same difference!" Rika hugged her friend as her new digivice appeared. "And who's this."
"Name's Yaamon, kiddie!" the in-training digimon sneered.
"Sounds a lot like Impmon to me. Good to see you again."
"Rika!" Henry and his digimon ran toward them. "I see you made it here alright."
"Yeah, thanks for the text."
"It's what any good friend would do…"
Rika and Ryo looked at each other. They weren't used to seeing Henry so angry. Rika shook her head. All of his emotions have been piling up since the digimon were sent back to the digital world. Just like mine were… I'm sure he blames his dad as much as I did…
"Everything okay, Henry?" Ryo asked.
"Have you seen my sister? She didn't stay close! I told her to stay close!"
"Hen-dree!" right on cue.
Suzie ran toward them, with Kokomon, Lopmon's in-training form, in her arms and another in-training digimon behind her. The other digimon was Hopmon, Cyberdramon's in-training form, who ran to Ryo as his digivice appeared.
"Suzie! I told you to stay with me! You had me worried sick!"
"Henry…" Gummymon tried. But when he looked up at his tamer, he stopped. Tears were flowing from his eyes as he collapsed to his knees.
"Hen-dree?" Suzie walked up to him and wrapped her arms around his arm. "Hen-dree… are you okay?"
Ryo and Rika were right beside him. "What's going on with you, Henry?" Rika asked.
Ryo knelt down and put a hand on his shoulder, "You're not acting like yourself."
Henry sobbed, "It… It was so hard… It just… kept getting harder…" He sniffed. "My dad… he said it would get easier… I didn't believe him… but I didn't think it'd get worse… I… I didn't want to forget… everything. It's not fair… Takato… why didn't he tell us?"
"Wait… why didn't Takato tell us what?"
Takato, Kazu, and Kenta headed toward the hideout. "Yeah," Kazu was saying. "Henry texted us, but I thought it was a joke."
"I told you he didn't have a cruel sense of humor like you, Kazu!" Kenta retorted.
Takato was silent between them.
"Hey! Everyone loves my sense of humor!" Kazu defended.
"Yeah right," Kenta groaned.
"Don't you like my sense of humor, Takato?"
"Huh?" Takato looked up.
"Man, what's up with you? I'm feeling some seriously negative energy here!"
"Takato?" Gigimon said from in his arms. "Are you sad because of what Henry said?"
"No… It's not his fault… He was totally right. I was selfish. I may have thought I was thinking of perfectly practical reasons not to tell the others about the portal, but they were really just excuses… excuses for not running out and getting them… or even simply sending a text like Henry did."
"You were excited, Takato… he can't blame you for that…" Kazu shrugged. "I'da done the same thing."
"You wouldn't even tell me?" Kenta whimpered.
"Nope… I woulda gone in, then come out with my digimon, just like Takato did!"
"But I didn't know…" Takato started. "I didn't know there would be a way out."
"I didn't know that if I went into the digital world, I could come back out again!" He sighed. "Not only did I not tell them… but I left without a word to my parents… What if I was lost forever? My mom would break down! And I didn't even worry about all that…"
"Hindsight is 20/20," Kenta noted.
"Yeah… there's no way you would've thought all those things through even if you were Angemon!" Kazu added.
"You… don't think?" Takato asked.
"Nah," Kazu waved it off. "You were fine, Takato." By then, they had reached the hideout. "Last one to the digital world is a rotten digiegg!"
"I guess I'm just… looking for people to blame… to be mad at…" Henry sighed. "Takato didn't deserve the lashing I gave him… Suzie… I'm sorry… and… Gummymon… I…"
"Moumantai!" he smiled.
Rika nodded. "I understand… ever since you all returned to the digital world, there was always a piece of us… all of us… missing in the human world."
"You guys are right," Ryo added. "Sometimes I just didn't know what to do with myself… I mean… I spent so much time in the digital world, you know?"
Henry looked up at them, "I guess I have some more apologies to give then. I was angry at the fact we were separated. Honestly, I know my dad wished he could tell us, but he had the fate of the world to worry about. And Takato… he just gets over-excited sometimes."
"Sometimes?" Rika asked, laughing.
"Ha, ha! Alright, all the time!"
"H-Hey guys…" Takato came by, rubbing the back of his head.
"Hey, goggle-head, we were just talking about you," Rika stood.
The others stood up, and Henry approached him.
Takato stuttered, "Hey… Henry… I'm sorry…"
"No, Takato," Henry shook his head. "I'm sorry. I was just so angry… and I let it out on everyone… I'm just not used to being so angry…"
"Moumantai," Takato stated hesitantly. Henry smiled. "You won't ever have to be angry again! We can go back and forth from the digital world and bring our partners along with us!"
The others nodded, for MarineAngemon and Kapurimon reunited with Kenta and Kazu as well. They were all ready to return to their world.
"Hey, kiddies!" Yaamon shouted. "Can I come too? I got a place to be, ya know!" Just then, a digivice appeared above him.
"I guess we'll give this to Ai and Mako," Rika grabbed it.
"Alright! Let's go home!" Takato cheered.
"Good, I'm hungry!" Gigimon noted.
The children laughed and warped back home.
That's when things actually returned to the kind of normal they liked. All the tamers had their partners again, Jeri had Calumon, and they all often hung out in the hideout, eating, laughing, playing, and retelling the best stories from the digital world.