Another one that just popped into my head. It's a medieval fic, but it does have quite a bit of inspiration from the story of Aladdin. In ages? Well, T.K. and Kari are sixteen, but other than that, I have no idea 'cause they're all different. Tai's about 21, Cody's around 20, Ken and Yolei are at least 19……headache. Don't know exactly who else'll pop up along the way, but expect Tai, Cody, Sora, Matt, Ken, Yolei, just a bit of Izzy and maybe (serious maybe) Davis (I was gonna make him the evil, power-crazed villain, but then I thought, No, he's not smart enough). To make it sound more official, some of the 'names' are Japanese with English 'nicknames' and some are just the English names. Enjoy!

……………………………………………………Oh. I almost forgot. This:

Disclaimer: No. No. No. No! I don't own Digimon. If I did, Tamers/Frontier may never have existed, the 3rd/4th seasons would have been about things related to the other two, Kari and T.K. would not only have kissed, but gone out and gotten married, Ryo would've shown up in the second season, and 02 would have been a lot longer.

Diamond in the Rough

Chapter One

Kari Kamiya sighed as she looked at the produce. "Not a lot to choose from." she murmured.

"Aye, ya think so?" the salesmen hissed. "Well, maybe you should take yur business else where."

"No no!" she said hastily. "This is quite fine."

She brushed her long, brown hair back from her shoulders and plucked a small, faded red apple out of the pile. "This one'll do." she said.

The manager held out his hand. Kari dropped the last shilling she had into it and put the apple in her basket next to the loaf of bread, then hurried down the street towards her brother's inn.

About two streets over, she got caught in a crowd of people. The sixteen year old pushed her way forwards, keep close track of her basket. It would be all they got to eat today, most likely for the rest of the week.

She poked her head between the legs of the adults. Looking up, she saw a very lovely, Arabian-looking girl a bit older than her, with waist-length black hair and skin turned brown by the sun, riding on a beautiful white horse. Sitting behind her was a lovely wooden chest, obviously filled with gold and precious jewels.

"Here's another one." a man above Kari's head muttered.

"Another suitor for the Prince."

The girl rode on, towards the palace on the top of this hill. "He'll never choose." the first one muttered as the crowd departed. "The Prince Takaru says he is looking for 'something special'. He's too busy looking, if you ask me, and not spending enough time working on our well fair."

Kari turned and headed home, ideas and dreams of royalty floating through her mind.

~ * ~ * ~

The Princess of Sang-Hi came storming out of the room, slamming the door behind her. "He is absolutely impossible!" she shouted angrily at the Chief Advisor to the throne. "I gave him everything I could, and all he does is sit there and…and read! Well, you can forget him ever getting married!"

She began to storm out of the castle. "Please, your grace, stay. He is a very respectable once you get to…" the advisor began.

"I don't need your small talk!" she screeched. "I am LEAVING!"

The door slammed shut. Cody Hida, the advisor, sighed and shook his head. He brushed his dark hair back angrily. "That is the last straw." he muttered, and strode into the opposite room. "Prince! Prince Takaru!" he shouted at the boy crouched over a large book.

The boy looked up. "My dear Cody," he said calmly, sliding back a tuff of blonde hair from his crystal blue eyes. "We have known each other for years. Since I was a lad. You needn't call me Prince, nor Takaru. Call me T.K."

Cody was very flustered. "Prince!" he snapped. "That is the fourth suitor you have driven off this month!"

The prince shrugged. "She was too stuffy." he muttered. "Talked much too much about stuff she didn't understand."

"That is not the point!" Cody snapped testily. "Your father's will clearly states that you must marry by the time you accept the throne, next year! And the law states that only…

"Only a princess is fit for the occasion!" Takaru mocked him. "Yes, I know, and that's precisely why my brother left on his 'mad crusade'! And I have about half a mind to go after him!"

Cody grew extremely flustered. He'd run out of things to say. "Well then…maybe you should…" he finally groaned in defeat and stormed back out of the room, leaving the prince to his studies.

"Ooh…that boy!" Cody muttered as he stormed down the hall. "He just doesn't understand his…his responsibility!"

"Go easy on him, Advisor, he is only a boy." a long, hissing voice said behind him.

Cody stopped. "Lord Regent Daricon." he growled in distaste. "I do not remember asking for your opinion."

"You should hold your tongue." the greasy-black haired man with his fiery green eyes like emeralds, hissed as he crossed into view. "I am Lord Regent. You are no more than a common servant."

Cody drew himself up. "I am the Prince's Royal Advisor!" he snapped.

"Royal Jester is more like it." Daricon muttered.

Cody grew more and more flustered, and finally stormed off down the hall.

Daricon smiled evilly. He knew how it would go. He spun on his heals, sending his violet cape flying out behind him, and strode away from the room of the Crown Prince. He rubbed his hands together excitedly.

"This is going just as I planned!" he muttered to himself, laughing as he strode away from the room of the Crown Prince. "That brat will not rule much longer…"

~ * ~ * ~

Kari came into the small inn. "I'm home!" she called.

Her brother looked up from where he sat, crouched over his books and huddled in a scratchy, ratty blanket. "Ah. There you are, Kari." he said gently. "Where have you been? I sent you out shopping hours ago."

Kari put the basket on the table. "Well, first I wound up telling some stories to the kids." she explained. "Then I stopped to watch that new Princess come in."

"Ah." Tai said, setting his record book down and coming to the table. "Yes, I've heard of her. The Princess of Sang-Hi. She was supposed to be betrothed to the Crown Prince, but obviously it didn't work out." He grinned laughingly. "She went storming out the gates this afternoon."

"Too bad." Kari said, sitting in her chair.

"For them at least." Tai set the tin cup, filled with dirty, murky water, next to her. "So, what'd you get with our money?"

"Not much." Kari sighed. "Unless we get another visitor soon, we may go hungry for a while."

"So what else is new?" Tai joked, then broke into a fit of coughing.

His sister pulled out the loaf of bread. "Do you think we could make this last a week?"

"We'll have to try." Tai sighed as he slowly stopped coughing. He peered again into the basket. "Why now, what is this?"

Kari pulled out the tiny, red apple. "I got this for you." she said, holding it out. "I know they're your favorite."

"And yours too." Tai said, pushing it away with a wheeze. "You must have saved your pocket money for months, you eat it."

"No no." Kari pushed it to him. "You need to keep your strength up. You eat it."

Tai picked the apple up. It was small really. He looked at his sister. "We'll share it." he said, rising from the table. He took his only blade, a small, old dagger that had belonged to their father before the plague, from the belt that hung untouched on the hook by the door.

He picked the apple off the table and, after aiming a bit, threw it up. Two perfectly equal halfs landed on the table. Kari smiled. Even though he was sick and forced to stay indoors almost all the time, Tai was still the best with a blade of anyone she'd ever known.

He held one out to his sister. Kari took it and quietly bit into the crispy, but juicy, white flesh of the apple. She felt the juice run down the edges of her lips. She wanted to savor every single bite of this, so she wouldn't miss a taste.

The two sat there in silence for a bit, each munching on their halves. This is certainly some world. Tai thought to himself. When an apple seams like the greatest treat man has known…

Kari sighed and put down her half. She leaned on one hand and stared at the wall, lost in a day dream. "Tai?" she said. "Have you ever seen the Prince?"

"Prince Takaru?" Tai asked, swallowing a small bite of apple. "No. Never. No one ever has. The assistants in the palace either keep him locked up in there all the time, or he's just some recluse…"

"Are you sure, Tai?" Kari said, almost desperately. "No one has ever see him?"

Tai took another bit of apple, chewed it thoughtfully for a minute, then swallowed. "Actually, now that I think about it, he did come down the village once…"

"What?" Kari cried. "He what? When?"

Tai washed down a bite of apple with a swig of water. "It was a couple of years ago." he said thoughtfully, thinking back. "Before the plague came. That was…how long ago?"

"Eight years ago." Kari said sadly. "That's when mother and father died."

Tai nodded. "It was before that, so we were busy. I believe you were visiting our family in Greeneville. That was when this town thrived, back when we were once a great kingdom." he licked his lips. "One day, the royal family came through the town to observe and mingle. There was of course the King and Queen, then the original Crown Prince, Yamoto. But then, everyone called him by a nick name. Matt.

"So they rode through, on their tall white horses, with banners flying and trumpets playing like Gabriel's horn. The whole town went out to see them, and it was the most wonderful thing you'd ever seen. especially the Princes themselves. Let's see…Yamoto was twelve, so Prince Takaru must have been…eight."

"So was I!" cried Kari, almost in surprise.

"Yes." Tai smiled at his sister. "Those were happy times indeed. Then the plague struck…" he closed his eyes as they remembered that painful time. "And you know what happened. The city fell into ruin. Plague swept over, killing hundreds. Including mother, father, and the royal parents."

Tai sighed. "Well, about five years after that, the plague left the town in ruins. We were as we are now. And I think Prince Yamoto just couldn't take it anymore. Just before his father died, he denounced his claim to the throne and went off on his own to find some sort of his own inner pleasure. And I can't say I blame him." he bit the apple again and shrugged. "So, that's the whole story. Yamoto ran off and stuck Takaru with the clean up. Their father's will clearly states that he has to marry by his time to accept the throne, his 17th birthday, or he denounces his claim and the throne is handed over the that awful Lord Regent, Daricon."

Tai stood and looked out the window. "I think all that pressure finally cracked under the poor kid's head." he muttered. "Because Takaru withdrew from society all together, and, as he is too young now to accept the throne, Daricon is still in control, and so we lie in ruin."

Kari watched as her brother stared out the cracked and broken window, at the high and mighty castle, as the wind rushed by his face, ending the story.

~ * ~ * ~

The clock town in the town church rang steadily. One…Two…Three…Four… Five…Six…Seven…Eight…Nine…Ten…Eleven…Twelve.

As the bells fell silent, a single sheet, knots tied in it along the way, draped out of a window in the castle.

The Crown Prince Takaru checked the tight knot around his bedpost. He had slid the bed closer to the window so he'd have longer to go before he had to jump. "This is the oldest trick in the book." he muttered to himself. "But I've got to get out of here."

He gripped the edge of the rope and began to climb down the wall. At the end, he leapt down to the grass and steadied himself.

He held his breath as he crept to the outer wall. He glanced around the corner, saw no one, then gripped the ivy climbing the bricks, and scaled it. Dropping off to the other side, he looked behind him one more time, then pulled off his shiny red and purple silk clothes and pulled on an earth-colored tunic, leggings, shoes, and a brown hood. "Here we go." he sighed. "The end of one life, and the beginning of another."

~ * ~ * ~

It was the late morning, almost noon. Kari was staring out the window from her and her brother's private room. It had a full view of the castle. "I wonder what it's like up there…" she muttered.

There was a knock at the lower door. She heard it open, and an unfamiliar voice say. "Hello. I'm looking for a job…"

Tai looked the stranger up and down. "I'm sorry, but we have no openings here." he said. "We can hardly afford to eat, let alone hire extra help."

"I don't need to be paid." the young man said. "All I need is a place to stay, then I'll be happy to help you with anything you need."

"Well, I don't know…"

"Who is it, Tai?"

The young man was startled by the girl's sudden, silent entrance at the foot of the stairs. And he was even more startled by the calm, quiet beauty of her looks.

He was awed by her sweet face and her beautiful, deep auburn-brown eyes. She had skin paler than the finest porcelain and long, brown hair that reached past her shoulders. Even in the dirt-brown dress and dust-covered apron she wore, she was a princess.

Kari, too, was taken aback by the young man that stood before her. His eyes were bluer than a summer sky, his hair as golden as the fall wheat fields, his looks all around, were as though one of the archangels had appeared before her, shining through his earth-colored tunic and dark brown hood.

"Ah. Kari." Tai said, not noticing either reaction. "This young man says he would like to work for us, and the only pay he wants is room and board. You do most of the house work around here, do you think he will come in use?"

"What?" Kari snapped out of it. "Oh. Yes. Yes, of course. He'll be fine."

"Well, then, it's all settled." Tai clapped his hands together. "If you don't mind being under a woman…"

"Oh no, of course not." the boy said calmly.

"…then you're all set." Tai sighed. "Now, if you'd like to get to work right away Mr.…um, what did you say your name was?"

"T.K." the young man said, looking at Kari. "My name is T.K."

Uh…what else can I say? Review!!!