"There's some sort of battle going on up ahead." Flurmon called out to Cody and his digimon who were at her side. The sounds of war cried and screams were echoing perfectly in her highly sensitive ears, the sounds making her want to turn around and run rather then face the digimon making those noises. But she hadn't survived the D-Reaper only to go yellow now. She was no coward and besides that she knew somehow that her friends were there. So she didn't have a say in the matter. "And I think our friends are in the middle of it!"
"Then lets get in there and lend a hand." Cody called out and soon the two were leaping into the fray, no time for reunions or welcome backs for the time being. The air was heavy with deleted data and the particles were everywhere, obstructing the vision and making it hard to breath. Every time you tried there was date to choke on or absorb as Sakuyamon, Flurmon and Justinmon did in a frantic attempt to strengthen their unstable data. Unlike the digidestined who were pretty much forced to watch from the sidelines the tamers didn't have that option. Nor would they have wanted it. Fighters to the end they were in their element and they'd die before they'd give up until the very last opponent.
When the battle was over everyone moved away from the fight, many dragging badly damaged friends from the carnage even though there were no bodies left behind. But there was something about that place now that would forever speak silently of the battle fought there. The digidestined and the tamers stood off to the side together with their digimon, all wiped out and wanting nothing more then to collapse to the ground in a heap.
"Ryo! Rika!" Suzi called out as she stumbled over to them, Lopmon clutched tightly in her arms as the girl threw herself into Ryo's waiting arms, Rika laying a hand on the girl's shoulder. "Are you guys okay?"
"We've been better." Ryo said as he hugged her tight, glad to see that she was safe and in one data piece. "Glad to have you back."
"Where's Alice and Jaarin? They're okay right?" Suzi wanted to know as she drew away to look from Ryo and Rika, "She's here, isn't she? Is Jaarin nearby? Where's my sister?"
"She's with Alice and some others nearby." Rika assured the girl, mentally thinking that she had no idea what kind of shape any of the people they'd left behind might be in. She could only pray they'd managed to stay out of sight and unnoticed. "Calumon's there too." Rika added with a weak smile as she absently ran a grimy hand through her loose and tangled hair.
"How the hell did he get dragged into this?" Suzi wanted to know having no recollection of the little guy being anywhere nearby when she'd transported. "Did he hop in after Jaarin?"
"He was in her backpack when she went with you. She's been out of her mind with worry about you and I don't even want to think about what your parents and Henry are going to say about all this." Rika said with a wince. Odds were somehow this was going to come back to slap at her too since she and Alice were kinda responsible for Suzi getting it into her head to come in the first place.
"I haven't felt this ill since that stupid little white blob and I had a contest to see who could eat the most cream puffs." Impmon muttered from Rika's right shoulder where he lay like a sack of flour.
"Everyone okay over there?" Ken called over as he and Yolie came over carrying their digimon. Everyone was carrying their rookie or lower leveled digimon. Everyone looked the worse for wear and Rika, Ryo and Suzi all had cuts and bruises all over their bodies. Their data was intact though and that was all that really mattered in this world.
"Yeah but we should hustle back to the others." Ryo said as he draped a supporting arm around Suzi's shoulder. "They might need us and I'm not going to celebrate till I know we all made it through this."
Finding T.K. took a while since the last thing Gatomon remembered was seeing T.K. charge one of the digimon only to get backhanded away, crashing into the forest brush and never appearing again. Searching everywhere Mikey finally found him and yelling for help kneeled down beside the older boy, taking T.K.'s fading hand in his while he waited for the others to come.
"Oh damn." Jaarin said as she and Kari appeared, staring down at horror at the sight before them. Patamon had apparently gone looking for his partner because he lay beside the still T.K., not even moving and completely see through so that he looked like a gray Patamon ghost.
"T.K.!" Kari screamed as she rushed over, dropping to her knees with tears running down her cheeks as she reached out a hand to cup T.K.'s cheek only to have her fingers slid through the data. As it was she could hardly stand without Jaarin's support so all she could do was slump there, tears falling as Gatomon watched from Mikey's arms.
"Stand back." Devisakuyamon said quietly as it came into the clearing, taking in everything in front of it with relative calm. Pulling out two long cards from thin air the digimon began to chant then pointed the stiff pieces of parchment in the direction of T.K. and Patamon. "Giver of Life!" The digimon called out and the two pieces flew from the digimon's hand to fly into the two fallen, the data suddenly brightening and solidifying so that the two were once again intact though unconscious. "They'll be all right now." Devisakuyamon informed Kari then began to shimmer and shine brightly, the transformation reversing so that instead of Devisakuyamon standing there it was Alice falling to her knees and Kurokitsunemon backing away from them, breathing hard with eyes reflecting fear and horror at what had happened. He'd combined his data with the human and it scared the hell out of him.
"Kurokitsunemon." Alice said weakly as she looked over at him with a weak smile though her eyes were shining as she held out a hand to him. "Thank you so-"
"No. No!" Kurokitsunemon said as he backed away, his front paws in front of him as though to ward off an attack. "I'm not a human's plaything. I'm not giving up my freedom to be some human's puppet!" He snarled then disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving Alice with her hand still outstretch towards him.
"Kurokitsunemon." Alice repeated again weakly then lowered her hand, turning her face away to hide the pain there. She'd lost another partner. Her eyes catching on something shining in the light Alice looked down to see a silver and gold D-Arc laying on the ground.
"T.K.!" Kari whispered hoarsely as she watched his eyes flutter open to half mast, confusion and fatigue swimming in those blue depths. "It's okay, everything's okay now." Kari whispered as she leaned forward to brush his hair away from his forehead. "But we have no idea where your hat is." She added with a weak smile, her tears still running down her face though they were tears of joy now. "I love you so much, T.K.. Don't ever scare me like that again."
"Ditto." T.K. said weakly then with a frantic look in his eyes tried to sit up. "Patamon?"
"Right beside you. Alice and Kurokitsunemon saved you two." Jaarin called out from where she stood, Calumon in one arm with her free hand resting on Mikey's shoulder. "Thanks to them we all got through this in one piece. Mostly anyway."
"Thank God." T.K. whispered as his lashes began to close once more, unbelievably tired. "The others?"
"They're on the way." Calumon called out, instinctively knowing that it was true. "It's over. This chapter of the Digital World is coming to a close."
A Week Later
"Well this was certainly one hell of a reunion you held, Ken. Next time try planning it with a little less action, okay?" Ryo said as he held out his hand to Ken who shook it warmly. He would miss his friend but he was definitely ready to head home for some much needed R and R. "In fact next time we'll host, just in case."
"Sounds like a plan to me." Ken said as he let go of Ryo's hand. "I'll look forward to it. I know Izzy will." he added with a smirk as he nodded his head over to the side where Izzy and Alice were saying their good byes. "It's a good thing those two figured out how to create a portal between our digital worlds or I think Izzy might have decided to come with you guys."
"He's got it bad all right." Yolie agreed from Ken's side.
"Thankfully Alice is equally ga ga or I think she'd be getting him to jump through quite a few hoops without him so much as murmuring a protest." Rika said with a smirk as she shook Ken's hand. "It's been...interesting."
"A nice way of putting it." Tai said with a shake of his head, a smirk on his face. "But with you guys gone I have a feeling it's going to seem a bit boring now. You'll all definitely have to drop in soon to keep things interesting. I know Davis is really going to miss Rika." He added, he and Rika sharing an amused look.
"No doubt he's mourning my departure at this moment while he's staring at the other lovebirds with envy and why couldn't that be me looks." Rika said as she nodded her head in the direction of Davis who was standing off to the side while T.K. and Kari talked to a bouncy Calumon about something. "Those two are practically joined at the hip now."
"Don't remind me. It's driving Matt and I nuts just thinking about it." Tai said with a good natured wince.
"Well we should be heading guys." Suzi said with regret on her face as she walked over, a slightly pink faced Cody beside her, his hand locked in hers in a tight grip. "As it is Henry and Daddy are likely both suffering from ulcers at the moment."
"And strokes if our grandmothers found out." Jaarin added with a chuckle as she brought up the rear. "I foresee a lot of yelling, hugging, grounding and spoiling in our future."
"Well then I guess we better send you guys on your way." Izzy said with a weak smile as he let go of Alice's hand reluctantly. "Your parents are gonna be that much more pissed at us the longer we keep you here."
"But we'll be back to visit whether they like it or not." Alice said as she leaned over to kiss Izzy on the cheek, knowing one on the mouth would embarrass the hell out of him. He was so cute that way. "So okay, everyone going to my world get in the circle." Alice said as she pointed to a circle that had been drawn into the digital soil with a stick. Soon everyone had finished saying their good byes and were in the circle, a tight squeeze. "Okay, let er rip, Izzy."
"Talk to you soon, Alice." Izzy called out then rapidly typing onto his lap top's keyboard soon had the program running. The circle around the tamers and co began to glow a bright sky blue that shot into the air, encircling the people within for two minutes and then faded away to reveal the empty circle once more.
"So then my mom threatened to destroy all my clothes and replace them with girlie dresses if I ever disappeared like that again. Plus if Cyberdramon wants to visit he has to ring the doorbell first." Rika said with a chuckle as she rolled her eyes at her fellow tamers, everyone gathered for a welcome back party. It was a week since they'd gotten back and Rika could only say it was good to be home.
"I still think it's weird how the leaders of people in the digital world always wear goggles. I mean what the hell is with that?" Kazu said as he looked at some of the pictures that had been taken in the digidestined's real world while they'd been waiting for Alice and Izzy to figure out how to get them home. "I mean why do all the leaders have to automatically look like idiots."
"Hey!" Takato said good naturedly as he swatted Kazu's hat off his head. 'That's no way to talk about your fearless leader."
"Fearless?" Jeri said as she sent her boyfriend a who are you talking about look that had Takato blushing a little. "And this Cody is really cute, Suzi."
"I don't like the look of him." Henry muttered, not reality surprised when all the girls gave him amused looks. Hey, he was an older brother, he wasn't supposed to like any guy his sister liked. It was in the big brother rule book.
"He sounds like Tai." Alice said with a laugh, her hands in her pockets as she sat beside Henry, elbowing him playfully.
"All big brothers sound like that when it comes to their sisters." Kenta said with a shake of his head, a small smirk on his face. He had younger siblings too so he knew and was glad his little sister wasn't old enough yet to put him in Henry's position. "Well I for one can't wait to go there and meet these guys."
"Yeah, imagine another "Real World". How damn freaky is that?" Kazu said with a delighted look. "Plus I want to get a load of this Mimi, she looks pretty damn hot."
"I look forward to her shooting you down with the ease of someone swatting a fly. After all you can't even get girls as bad looking as you are." Rika added sweetly before looking over at Alice who had taken something out of her pocket. She didn't have to be nearby to know it was Alice's D-Arc. The one that had appeared after she'd un-biomerged with Kurokitsunemon. Like losing Dobermon all over again. When you biomerged with a digimon it was like for that time you really were just one person, two halves of a whole. There was a bond that formed that had to be unbelievably painful when it was broken. Alice wouldn't talk about it though.
"So are you still going to see Izzy later this afternoon, Alice?" Jeri wanted to know with a teasing smile as she looked over in Alice's direction, having picked up on the look on Alice's face when she'd held that D-Arc. A sad and wistful look. "I mean you actually did something with your hair and if I'm not mistaken you're wearing lip gloss."
"Shut up." Alice said as she stuck her tongue out at Jeri, slipping the D-Arc back into her pocket. "And yes I am as a matter of fact."
"Tell him to say hi to Cody for me." Suzi asked with a hopeful look. "He's been really busy lately so I haven't been able to talk to him much, especially since some males in my family who shall remain nameless have taken to breathing down my neck every time I'm online."
"Gee, I wonder who that could be." Takato said as everyone looked at Henry who had the good grace to look a little sorry since it was true. "And anyway I bet Gilmon could eat way more hot dogs then this Veemon."
"And I can still kick both your asses." Rika said sweetly, everyone having to agree with that whole heartedly.
A little while later Alice transported to her Digital World then finding a data stream easy enough used her computer to reconfigure it to drop her in Izzy's world. Arriving right on schedule, a little early even, Alice walked over to a nearby rock and sat down to wait. It was a nice day out with the sun shining brightly, always a good thing since the digital world was always unpredictable. Setting her lap top down beside her Alice amused herself by finding shapes in the clouds above her, something she hadn't done since she was a kid. Not having to wait long she soon heard her name being called and looking over saw Izzy walking towards her with a backpack slugged over his shoulder.
"Hey." Izzy called out as he waved, pleased when she waved back as she hopped off the rock to meet him half way. Boy did he ever have a surprise for her.
"Hey." Alice called back as she met him half way, pleased when he pulled her into his arms for a hug though he still had to blush about it. "How's it going?" Alice wanted to know as she pulled away with a smile. "And what's in the pack? Are you camping out here tonight? You shouldn't unless Tentamon is here with you ya know. Anything can happen."
"Actually the contents of this pack are for you." Izzy said with a grin as his eyes danced with amusement.
"For me?" Alice said in surprise, her eyes going wide. He'd gotten her a present, Alice thought with a slight blush of her own, un use to guys getting her anything, especially for no reason.
"Yup, this particular item was something I came across a couple of days ago." Izzy said as he took of the pack and unzipping the already slightly open bag reached in and pulled out a small, pure black fox with nine tails tipped with purple, it's golden eyes looking at her wearily before dropping to the ground. "Apparently he was looking for you."
"For me? But who?...Kurokitsunemon?" Alice said as the possibility suddenly struck her as she looked at the fox who seemed more interested in looking at the ground then at her.
"It's Vesmon in this form." The digimon muttered, the voice reminding Alice and Izzy of a worn out five year old who'd just finished having a tantrum and was tuckered out as a result. "That whole giver of life attack thing took a lot out of me. I still can't turn into my rookie form yet."
"You were...looking for me?" Alice said as she stared at the digimon who still wouldn't meet her eye. "But why?"
"I wasn't looking for you...exactly." Vesmon admitted after a slight shake from Izzy. Looking up he glared at the stupid human then went back to looking at the ground, still not ready to look Alice in the eye "I was just...use to you being around is all. I wanted to know where you were. This human said that you went home, that you weren't going to live here anymore."
"That's right. My friends and family all live in my Real World." Alice said carefully, wishing the digimon would look at her.
"But you're still coming back to this world sometimes right? To see this guy and the others right?" Vesmon wanted to know, trying not to sound like he cared overly. Biomerging with the human had scared him but it had also been comforting, nice to be a part of something, with someone. To not be alone. That had scared him too. It had been even scarier to find out that that one taste of fellowship had made him want it, need it almost. So much that he'd actually gone looking for the girl only to find her gone. And that had scared him too.
"Yes. And to see you maybe?" Alice asked carefully, rewarded when the digimon looked up finally to meet her gaze, surprise in his eyes before it was carefully masked behind blank indifference.
"Sure, if you want. Now put me down already will ya?" Vesmon demanded, squirming in Izzy's grasp until the human set him down on the ground. Not even bothering to say thank you he walked over on all fours to stand beside Alice, looking up at her while she looked down at him. They understood each other.