Kindness Won't Get You Anywhere
Part 3 - The Midnight Hour
by Meimi


Standard disclaimers apply.

SHONEN AI WARNING: This is a shonen ai fic and contains within it romantic themes and hints of an intimate relationship between two male characters. If this disturbs you in any way PLEASE do not continue reading. And yes, I am sick and twisted, thanks for asking.


"I don't think this is a very good idea," Ken said blandly as he reluctantly joined Takeru in the elevator. He had literally fallen asleep in Takeru's arms the night before and had thankfully had no more nightmares. But when morning had come, Takeru had still been quite adamant about going to see Yagami. He hadn't been able to really argue all that much either. He didn't want to go see her, then again he didn't want to see any of the other children period. But he was growing so weary of those damnable dreams that anything was worth trying at this point.

Ken suppressed a slight shudder when Takeru's fingers brushed up against his own before gently clasping them. Any other day he wouldn't have minded the touch, would have even appreciated it most likely. Today was different though. Ever since waking up everything had felt unnaturally hot to him. Even Takeru's touch, meant to be reassuring he was certain, made his skin tingle uncomfortably and he was hard pressed to not yank his hand free. But that would hurt Takeru's feelings and he didn't feel like trying to explain something quite so inexplicable, especially when he didn't understand it himself.

He gritted his teeth and slid his hand out of Takeru's when the elevator came to a stop and the doors opened. He walked forward quickly, as if to make it look like he would rather get this over with than as if he were deliberately avoiding any sort of contact. And he would rather get this over with, but for the most part he didn't want to be touched. It hurt. His skin tingled from where Takeru had gripped it, almost feeling like needles were being driven through the fragile tissue and to the very bones themselves. And it just seemed to be getting worse.

Takeru indicated that they were at the Yagami apartment and he stopped, abruptly turning towards the balcony and gazing out at the city. Wearily, he leaned up against the concrete railing and sighed soundlessly. He paid scant attention to Takeru, otherwise he would have known that his odd withdrawal had not gone unnoticed, and instead immersed himself in his own growing misery.

Surely this was just an exercise in futility. Yagami wouldn't be able to help. No one would. He was the only one who could help himself. The Devimon's words had only served to confirm that. He just didn't know how to help himself, or even if he wanted too. His false bravado in the face of the unknown had been just that, false. Hadn't it? Deep down he knew he deserved whatever he got. Wasn't just fading away into nothingness a fitting end to himself and what he had ended up creating?

Takeru frowned worriedly, easily masking the hurt he felt at Ken brushing him off with the concern he was also feeling. This was perhaps the first time Ken had ever acted so standoffish since everything had started with them. He didn't know what to make of it, but he did know one thing. It scared him. Badly.

Shaking his head helplessly, Takeru turned around and rang the doorbell to the Yagami's apartment. Sighing, he steeled himself for what was about to happen. This was not going to be pretty. But one way or another he wasn't going to let Ken vanish to that hellish beach like Hikari had done.

Taichi was the one who finally opened the door, blinking blearily down at Takeru and not really looking at anything else. The older boy's eyes widened slightly in surprise at the unexpected visitor before his lips quirked up into a half smile. "Hey Takeru. Almost didn't recognize you, you've been such a stranger lately."

"Taichi," Takeru said as a simple greeting before he asked, "Is Hikari home?"

"Of course, it's... er, what time is it?" Taichi asked vaguely as he looked back into the apartment. Shrugging after a moment, he looked back and grinned. "Well, doesn't matter. It's some time in the morning when I'd probably be sleeping during first period if it wasn't the weekend. Anyway," he continued as he leaned to the side and waved for Takeru to come on in, "Patamon spent the night didn't he? You here to pick him up?"

"Not exactly," Takeru murmured sourly and didn't budge. "Are your parents home?"

"No," Taichi trailed off in confusion, finally starting to realize that something was off with Yamato's little brother. "They went out to the grocery. Why?" He frowned suspiciously when Takeru seemed relieved at the news. What was wrong with his parents being at home? Takeru was just there to visit and pick Patamon up wasn't he?

"Good." Takeru stated flatly as he turned around and latched onto Ken's right wrist. Scowling, he hastily dragged the listless boy into the apartment after him.

Taichi's eyes widened in complete shock as he instantly recognized the boy that Takeru was bringing into his apartment. After several seconds spent sputtering in both surprise and growing anger, Taichi pointed an accusatory finger at Ken as he heatedly asked, "What is he doing here?"

"We're here to see Hikari," Takeru answered as he dragged Ken further in the Yagami's apartment, sounding as if it was a rather obvious fact and that Taichi should have figured that out in the first place. He stopped when he reached the living room and turned around to give Taichi a rather reproachful glare.

Taichi stood stock still for moment and blinked as he digested this little tidbit of information along with everything else that was starting to figure into things. Takeru hadn't been around a lot lately. Yamato had been reluctant to talk about his little brother. Hikari had been reluctant to talk about her best friend. And now Takeru was here to see Hikari with Ken. Things were starting to add up, somewhat. Frowning darkly, he slammed the front door shut and stalked angrily towards the pair. "We?"

"Yes Taichi, we. More than me," Takeru shot back snappishly. He didn't want to have to do this again. He just wanted to take care of Ken. Why did everybody have to argue with him about it?

"Uhuh. And why are you with him?" Taichi asked scathingly as he finally took a real good look at the former Kaiser. He was taken aback by what he saw. He had already known what Ichijouji looked like without the Kaiser's makeover. Thus, he wasn't surprised by the fact that Ichijouji looked like any other kid. He had also figured from the other kids' accounts that the Kaiser's fall from grace had probably broken the boy more than he had already been. So he wasn't surprised by the shadows under the eyes or the listless expression. But the glassy-eyed gaze, almost as if the boy wasn't really even there, was really quite disconcerting. It was somehow familiar, but he couldn't quite figure out why.

Taichi was so caught up in trying to figure out why Ichijouji's empty gaze seemed so familiar that he missed whatever it was that Takeru had answered him with. Instead, he waved his left hand in front of the raven-haired boy's face in hope that it might get his attention.

Ken blinked dazedly, his mind shying back from where it had been pondering the hollow sound of those unending gray waves as something odd intruded upon his senses. It took him only a single moment to figure out what it had been before he turned a cold, amethyst glare upon the one-time leader of the Chosen Children.

Taichi grimaced and drew back away from the boy. The look was still there, though not quite as pronounced as it had been a few moments before. Still, something was obviously wrong. As much as he disliked it, something deep down was telling him to help fix this no matter how much of a sadistic little jerk he might think Ichijouji is. Sighing in defeat at himself if nothing else, Taichi waved down the hallway towards Hikari's room and ground out, "Fine. We will all go see Hikari."

Takeru stared at Taichi suspiciously. That had been far too easy. It should have taken much longer for Taichi to cool down and listen to reason, not that he would have waited but anyway. "All right," he shrugged and dragged Ken down the hallway after him. He could figure out Taichi's reaction later, Ken needed some help now.

Takeru gave a brief knock on the bedroom door, pushing it open when a muffled "Come in." drifted out. Hikari looked up from where she sat at the desk and just stared in abject shock at the three boys who shuffled into her room. "Takeru... Ken... Taichi..." she stuttered after a moment spent just staring at them. "What's going on?"

"Takeru!" Patamon crowed cheerfully, halting any forthcoming explanations. He winged up from the bed and hovered happily over both Takeru and Ken. This did not go unnoticed by Taichi who frowned in confusion at it. Tailmon stretched up from where she had been snoozing in the middle of the bed and padded over to perch herself on the edge of the mattress.

Hikari resisted the urge to shiver as she looked beyond the trio and saw that boy again leaning up against the doorjamb. He was glowing again too. It was very disconcerting. She looked away quickly when he caught her eyes with his own for a brief moment. Why was he here? Why was Ken here with Takeru for that matter? And why was Taichi acting so calm around Ken? Hikari frowned as she looked back at the boys and froze again when she looked directly at Ken. In the light that boy was putting off a dead, gray fog glittered around Ken. Her skin crawled in horror as she remembered the last time she had seen something of the sort. The beach.

Takeru watched Hikari's reactions to everything, finally speaking when a look of horror crossed her features, "I think you know why we're here now. Don't you?"

Hikari nodded jerkily before shakily climbing to her feet. She slowly walked towards Ken, her steps getting steadier the further she went. She held his gaze the entire time and what she saw made her insides go cold. The gray lurked so close to the surface in his eyes, she could almost see the darkness reflected there, almost hear it he was so close to it. She stopped in front of him, hesitantly reaching up to touch his cheek. He felt so cold to her. Too cold. "You're not really here anymore are you?" she asked helplessly.

Ken tilted his head curiously at her question, a shadow falling across his eyes, blocking out the light. He could hear the waves now, quiet and dead and unending. "What do you mean?" he asked her in a hollow voice, going through the motions but not really caring anymore. It was too cold now. He was too cold now.

"You're already there," Hikari whispered, feeling only the ghost that remained beneath her fingers. Between the time of one heartbeat and the next, she blinked and he was gone. Gone, as if he had never been there to begin with. She let her hand drop then through the empty air. She wouldn't have been able to do anything, it was inevitable for the ocean to take what it had claimed. But that didn't mean that what it takes can't be taken back.

There was a wounded breath of air to her left. Takeru. He must feel horrible not being able to do anything, only able to simply stand off to the side as someone he cared about vanished before his very eyes. It hurt her to hear it, but not so much as it might have. Ken needed her, their help right now. He wouldn't be able to get back on his own.

"Well that was weird," Taichi murmured. He stared blankly at where Ichijouji had been just a second ago. It was just too strange. His throat ached, almost as if he were going to cry any minute now. Why did he feel like crying over Ichijouji of all people though? He couldn't explain it. "What just happened?"

"The dark ocean," Hikari answered flatly as she turned her attention to Takeru. He was staring blindly at where Ken had been. He looked haggard. Sighing, she reached up and gently turned his head until he was looking at her. "Takeru, there was nothing you could have done. You can't stop someone from going there once it has them. But that doesn't mean we can't go get him. Just like you did with me." She shook him slightly to get him to focus more on what she was saying before she added, "So let's go get him back."

Takeru blinked, then nodded resolutely in understanding. He didn't trust his voice at the moment, didn't trust himself to not break down if he did try to say something. He couldn't allow himself the luxury of giving in to the maelstrom of emotions swirling around inside of him right now.

"Uh... question," Taichi said as Hikari walked over to the desk to retrieve her D3. He waited until she looked over at him to continue, "How are we going to do that?"

Hikari curved an eyebrow up at the we part of her brother's question. Now that was interesting. She glanced briefly at the doorway, noting that the strange boy was already walking away. They needed to hurry. "We go down to the beach and open up a portal, Taichi," she answered as she grabbed Takeru's arm and pushed her brother ahead of her towards the door. Tailmon hopped silently off of the bed and followed behind while Patamon settled himself down on his usual perch on Takeru's head.

"And we're going to do that how?" Taichi asked curiously as he fell into step with his little sister. He didn't actually doubt that Hikari could figure out how to do what she was saying. There had been many times during their past adventures where she had pulled off some really bizarre stuff. But while he had never had the time to wonder about how she did it back then, things were a bit different now and he was a bit curious as to how she would go about doing this.

"You'll see," Hikari answered vaguely. In truth, she didn't know how they were going to do it, but somewhere deep down she knew that between them and that boy, they'd figure out a way to do it.


Darkness. He was floating in ice-cold, unending darkness. He wasn't sure how long he had been here, just that sometime in the past he had been speaking to Hikari about something and then suddenly, he hadn't been there anymore.

The air here was heavy in the blackness. Too heavy, in fact. Not air, water. He was floating in water. That certainly explained why it was so cold. He could feel his lungs starting to burn now from where his subconscious had instinctively stopped him from breathing in the icy liquid. He needed air though and soon. He released a fraction of breath, hoping that he would be able to feel which way the bubbles went even if he couldn't see them. He shivered as a faint touch of warmth slid across his cheeks. Ignoring the panic that was starting to set in, Ken rolled over in the water and discovered that there was light here after all.

An enormous expanse of scintillating grayish light stretched above him. The light was weak and dull, but it was there. It must be the surface of the ocean, it had to be. Kicking up towards the surface, he fought against the need for air. He was almost there, just a little further and then he could breathe again.

Time seemed to stretch again as he fought his way to the surface. Somehow he knew he shouldn't have been able to make it considering how long it seemed to take. He should have drowned. He should have... something... and yet, he did get to the surface. Once there, he gasped in a breath of prickly cold air as he floated on the gray surf.

Something wasn't right.

Well, asides from the obvious. Shivering as the cold finally settled completely into his bones, Ken looked out across the water. The ocean stretched out as far as the eye could see, gray and dull in the unchanging light of the overcast sky. Scowling, he squinted and slowly turned around in the water, searching for the shore. He couldn't see it. He was too far out. No, a sliver of yet another color of gray lay off on the horizon. It was so far away though, too far to swim.

Darkness dwells here.

Ken jerked around, the water spraying lightly against his face as a rogue wind whipped up the waves surrounding him. Who had said that? It had sounded almost like...

I belong to Darkness now.

... himself. Impossible. Ken blinked as another image superimposed itself over the waves in his mind. It was an image of a younger version of himself standing upon that gray beach. Everything was gray, always gray, except when Darkness came. The younger Ken bent down and placed his digivice in the water as the ocean had turned black as pitch. Once submerged it had changed into the black D3 he carried to this day. It had been... a present...

Ken screamed then, covering his face with wet hands as another image came upon the tail end of the last. A vision that shimmered and glittered with something other than light. Something terrifying. A dead-black tower that rose above a small island, spearing so far up into the sky that the top couldn't be seen. Something was sleeping there. Something he knew very well. Something that knew him very well. Something that made his mind ache terribly from the knowledge of it.

... Darkness ...

He didn't know that something had wrapped around his right ankle until he was yanked beneath the waves. The shock combined with the fact that he had ended up swallowing a good bit of water going down instantly pushed the visions of before to the very back of his mind. He gripped his throat against the incredible burning sensation searing along it and down into his lungs as he looked down at what had grabbed him.

A digimon. A Marine Devimon to be exact. And that was as far as he got on his assessment of the situation before a swarm of what looked to be black and gold bats swirled around him and down at his captor. The pressure on his ankle let up immediately and he felt something grab onto the back collar of his jacket before he was hauled up out of the water completely.

"You do have a way of getting into trouble don't you?" Lady Devimon asked conversationally as Ken dangled from her grasp. She frowned when his only answer at the moment was a hacking cough. Shrugging, she headed back to shore with her rather unusual catch.


Takeru fidgeted as he watched Hikari fiddling with her D3. They were at the local beach now, Hikari with her back to the bay and so close to the water that her heels got wet with every wave that washed up onto shore. He and Taichi were both standing a bit further up on dry sand, watching her and waiting. He didn't know what she was doing and he was pretty sure that Taichi didn't know either, but he hoped that whatever she was doing would work. His mind refused to think of anything else, shying away from both the unpleasant possibilities that could happen and what he felt about what had happened earlier.

He couldn't do that right now. He couldn't think about any of that right now. After he, they had gotten Ken back, then he would think about it. But right now, he would just wait for Hikari to open up the way to the dark ocean so that he could go get Ken. He didn't doubt that she would succeed, failure was not an option.

Hikari sighed soundlessly as the boy pointed out another string of numbers for her to input into her D3. He was getting impatient with her. He didn't speak to her, most likely couldn't, but somehow he was making his thoughts known to her. This helped somewhat in him guiding her through programming her D3 so that it would open up a portal to the dark world, but for some of what he was trying to show her she just had to guess. Unfortunately, this ended up making it take longer than either of them thought it would. She was getting impatient with herself. He was getting impatient with both of them. And the minutes ticking by in the growing silence made her want to scream in frustration at the entire situation.

She blinked in annoyance when he passed his hand through her D3 to get her attention. Scowling at the interruption, she looked up at him questioningly. He shook his head and smiled before pointing back down at her D3. Looking back down at it, she blinked again as she finally noticed that something was running on the monitor. The program was finished? Was it going to work? He nodded at her in assurance when she looked back up at him again. He waved his hand at her D3, indicating that she should execute the program now and then vanished.

Shaking her head in bemusement at this, Hikari looked up at Takeru and her brother and said, "Okay, I think we're ready to try this now." They both perked up at the news, the bleak look on Takeru's face retreating back into his eyes. This was going to work. This had to work. She didn't want him looking like that ever again.

"So how are we going to do this?" Taichi asked, confident now that something was going to happen and hoping that he could finally be useful for whatever it was they were going to do to get Ichijouji back. He had been thinking about certain things while Hikari had been busy doing whatever she had been doing. But those thoughts were better left to later, now was the time for action.

"Well," Hikari trailed off in uncertainty. She didn't know what to make of her brother's willingness to help Ken of all people. But, oh well. Shrugging at her thoughts, she continued, "I'm going to open up a portal with my D3. It'll hurt when I do it. The program has to draw on a lot of power and the D3 can't actually handle it. Unfortunately, there's no other way to do it as the dark world can't be accessed through a computer. Anyway, Takeru's going to go through the portal, get Ken as fast as he can and get back as fast as he can." She smiled weakly up at Takeru as she waved Taichi to come over and stand beside her. "Taichi is going to stay here with me and make sure I don't pass out before you get back. So hurry. Okay?"

Takeru nodded his understanding of what she wasn't saying. It was strange hearing her talk almost like Koushirou. He wasn't quite sure what to make of that. But it was just one more thing to think about later. Now, he had something far more important to think about. Nodding at her again to show that he was ready to go, he waited for her to open up the portal.

Hikari smiled briefly up at Taichi as he gently grasped her left elbow to show that he was ready to give her whatever support she might need. She was going to need it, of that she had no doubt. Holding her breath, she hesitantly held her D3 out before her and activated the program.


Ken lay prone on the gray sand coughing up what seemed like an endless amount of water. He had collapsed the instant Lady Devimon had set him down on the beach and hadn't really spared one thought to her as his body had protested the presence of water within it where there shouldn't be any.

Shouldn't he have drowned with this much water down in his lungs? He thought bleakly before freezing at the hesitant touch of a hand on his back. The hand gently started to rub his back in a comforting manner. He looked up curiously to find Lady Devimon kneeling down beside him on the sand and gazing down at him with an odd expression.

She tilted her head to the side at the questioning look in his eyes. "Isn't this what humans do when another isn't feeling well?" she asked, almost as if what she was doing was something of a novelty. "Or is that something else?"

"No. No, that's fine," Ken answered after a moment spent staring up at her in bewilderment at her odd behavior. This was different. He had never seen a virus act on their strange observations about humans before. Then again, he'd never really been in a situation where a virus hadn't outright tried to kill him before. Shaking his head at the strangeness of it all, Ken wearily climbed to his feet.

"Are all humans as fragile as you are?" She asked curiously as she rose fluidly to stand beside him.

Ken cracked a half-smile, attempting to brush sand out of his hair as he answered her again, "Some more so than others."

"Really? It's a wonder your species survives at all then," Lady Devimon said matter-of-factly. She frowned lightly and reached up to help him get the sand out of his hair. She wasn't quite sure why she was doing this, why she had helped the little human in the first place. She assumed that it was just simply because she was incredibly bored and refused to delve any further into the matter.

Ken chuckled at her words. "I'm quite sure that many people have wondered about that throughout the ages." He stopped brushing the sand out, allowing her to continue on with it in his stead as he remembered those mysterious visions, memories, he had had just minutes ago. Staring out at the rolling gray waves, he whispered, "I've been here before."

"Well of course you've been here before. How else would we have met?" She asked him sarcastically as she ran her hands through his wet, raven-black hair, sliding the grains of sand out with each pass of her fingers.

"No," Ken shook his head slightly as he explained, "I mean before that. I was here before we met. I think, I was younger then." He frowned as the images flashed through his mind again. They didn't make sense, there were too many hole in his memories. But there had been something else happening then... something he shouldn't have any trouble remembering. And yet, he had to struggle against his own mind to try and find out what that was.

Lady Devimon's hands stopped in their task and instead dropped down to rest upon his shoulders as she asked, "What were you doing then that would make you come here?"

"I think," Ken trailed off, looking down as he strained to remember what had happened. He raised his arms, staring numbly at his wrists. There had been pain, a great deal of pain. There had also been blood, rivulets of blood that had streamed down his forearms and onto the sand below. "I think I tried to kill myself," he mumbled finally as he drew the sleeves of his shirt down to view unblemished skin. Why weren't there any scars?

She snorted and shook him briefly before growling out her next question, "Why would you do something that stupid?"

Ken shook his head at that and sighed, "I don't know." He didn't know. The memory of why he would do something like that eluded him. No matter how much he tried to remember it, it just kept slipping out of his grasp. What could have been so terrible to make him want to kill himself back then? The memory just wasn't there.

"Hmmph, humans are so strange," she said at last, releasing her hold on him. She stepped forward, standing beside him and glancing out at the ocean for a moment before turning her gaze skyward. "And speaking of which, it looks as if another human came searching for you."

"What?" Ken looked up blankly as she pointed up at a golden speck in the gray, overcast sky. He focused his gaze upon the speck as it soon resolved itself into the form of Pegasumon, and perched up on Pegasumon's back was Takeru. Ken couldn't help but smile at the relief that welled up within him at the sight. If Takeru was here, then there had to be a way home. Once he was home he could get dry and warm again and maybe things would make more sense. At least, he hoped they would.

A few seconds later, Pegasumon landed a couple of feet away. Takeru hastily slid off his partner's back and walked towards Ken, eyeing the Devimon warily. What was a virus of her level doing here with Ken? She hadn't done anything to Ken had she? He looked Ken up and down appraising, relieved that he was still in one piece but confused by the drenched state the boy was in. "What happened? Are you okay?"

Ken smiled weakly and answered, "I appeared out in the water. She was kind enough to fish me out." He waved towards Lady Devimon in conclusion. She smirked and waggled her fingers at the blonde human and his cute little digimon.

"Uh... okay," Takeru mumbled and blinked in abject confusion. A virus? Being helpful? Now that was just too weird for words. Shaking his head to clear it, he set his mind back on track to the more immediate problems. "We need to get going. Hikari won't be able to hold the portal open for much longer."

"Oh, I see," Ken said as he nodded his understanding. Why did he suddenly feel so reluctant to go now? He would have to leave her alone again. That bothered him for some reason. Turning towards her, he smiled shyly and tried to put some of his feelings into words, "Thank you."

Tilting her head to the side, she shrugged lightly and explained, "I was just doing it because I was bored."

"Still, thank you all the same. I would have been lost if you hadn't found me in the beginning," his smile widened as he tried to put as much sincerity as he could manage into his words. He did mean them, a great deal. Giving her one last look, he turned and let Takeru draw him away to Pegasumon. Why did he feel like crying now? He was going home after all.

Lady Devimon silently watched them mount the little golden digimon. She watched the little winged horse rise into the gray sky with its burden. Sighing as they grew smaller and smaller in the sky, she reached up and drew the black leather hood back off of her face. She closed her glittering red eyes as a cool wind brushed up against her cheeks. She wasn't happy. She hadn't been for a long time now.

"Are you lonely?" she asked at last. Perhaps the question was directed at the dull, gray surf. Perhaps it was directed at the cold, dead wind. And perhaps it was directed at herself. She wasn't sure completely who she was asking, she just knew the answer had somehow become very important to her in the span of a few minutes.

Opening her eyes, she shook her head and chuckled at her own foolishness, "An interesting question, isn't it?" Shrugging in bemusement, she rose above the sand and followed after the little golden speck speeding along further up the beach. She wanted to know the answer.


Hikari bit her bottom lip to keep from crying out at the constant pain sizzling up her nerves. Her D3 glowed steadily in her hands, keeping the portal shimmering a few feet before her open. Taichi was practically having to hold her up by her waist now. She just didn't have the energy left to support her own weight. Everything she had was going into keeping the pain at bay.

"Just a little longer, sis," Taichi murmured as he shifted, lifting Hikari up a little further in his grasp as he leaned back to settle the weight more easily.

"I know," she croaked out and tilted her head back against his chest, looking up at him as she smiled. "I'll be all right. I just wish they were back already," she frowned worriedly as she finished, a shadow falling across her eyes.

"Ken-" Taichi squinted his eyes as he hesitated. He looked up at the portal in thought before looking back down at Hikari to continue with what he wanted to ask, "Ken's the reason Takeru hasn't been around lately. Isn't he?"

Hikari looked down at the sand, her answer uneasy on her lips as she replied with a simple, "Yes."

Taichi grunted gently to acknowledge her answer. Silence stretched between them as Taichi mulled something over in his mind and Hikari worried about what her brother might be thinking about Takeru and Ken and the type of relationship the two boys might have. Sighing unhappily at something, Taichi asked carefully, "We all make stupid mistakes don't we?"

Hikari looked back up at her brother in surprise. She wasn't quite sure what he meant by asking her something like that, but he didn't sound angry about anything. "Yes. Yes, we do," she murmured and smiled weakly up at him.


"You came through that?" Ken asked in disbelief as he pointed at the shimmering pinkish-gray oval of energy pulsing about a foot above the beach. It was just barely beyond the edge of the surf as the gray waves rolled up onto shore. It didn't look all that stable to him.

"Yes," Takeru answered absentmindedly as he watched Pegasumon devolve back into Patamon. Snatching Patamon up into his arms, he hugged his partner comfortingly and gestured for Ken to go on through the flickering energy portal.

"Are you sure?" Ken queried and crossed his arms, unconvinced. "It doesn't look all that safe to me."

"It's fine Ken," Takeru scowled in annoyance at Ken's obvious reluctance. "Hikari's holding it open on the other side. So just go already." Why was Ken being so difficult about this? Didn't he want to go home?

"I don't-" An ear-splitting roar cut off anything else Ken might have said about the matter. Whirling around, his eyes widened in shock as the Marine Devimon from before towered up out of the brackish surf. It must have followed them back to shore.

Takeru took one look at the rather obvious threat looming over them and whipped around, yelling "Go!" before roughly shoving Ken ahead of him and through the portal. He swiftly followed a half-second later on his friend's heels.

The Marine Devimon growled down at the little pulsating portal that had allowed his prey to escape. Reaching down with his tentacles, he attempted to stretch the portal open wide enough so that he could get through. He chuckled as he felt himself being dragged through by the energy in the portal. It seemed it didn't matter whether the object was in all appearances too big for the entrance, it would transfer anything that touched it anyway.

Lady Devimon dropped down to the sand in front of the now crackling pinkish-gray portal. She had watched the humans flee the other virus and she had watched the fool follow after them. She wanted to follow too, but for another reason altogether. She was tired of being alone and that boy had been kind to her. Why, she wasn't sure, but she did want to know. It was something worth pursuing. Giving the dark ocean one last glance, she turned her back on it and hopped through the portal to another world.

"Goodbye, Lord Piemon."


The portal flashed, the only warning Hikari or Taichi got before Ken and then Takeru tumbled out of it. They crashed into the sand, looking back after a moment spent gathering their wits. Their eyes held something almost akin to fear as the portal began to crackle with more and more energy. Takeru urged Ken further up the beach, not liking what he was seeing one little bit. Why wasn't Hikari shutting it down already?

Hikari screamed as the power in her D3 spiked, sending pure agony up her arms. Her fingers convulsively gripped the device. She couldn't drop it. Something huge materialized out of the portal as Taichi reached forward, intent on knocking the damned D3 out of her hands. Something much smaller darted up and out of the portal before he succeeded. Hikari collapsed against her brother in relief as the pain finally stopped.

Humans and digimon alike stared up in horror as the Marine Devimon roared down at them. Takeru blinked numbly up at the virus as Patamon wiggled out of his arms. Once free, the batpig instantly evolved into Angemon in response to the threat to his partner.

Taichi unceremoniously hauled his sister up and over his shoulder, grabbing her sparking D3 up off of the sand before beating a hasty retreat. He winced as the sparks burned his skin but held onto the little device despite the pain. Judging that they were far enough away from the immediate threat, he stopped finally and set Hikari back down on her feet. She instantly collapsed down to her knees. "I think it's shorted out," he offered as he kneeled down and handed the device over to his sister.

Hikari stared down hopelessly at it. "I think you're right. I'm sorry," she added looking down apologetically at a rather antsy Tailmon.

"What are we going to do? Angemon needs help now," Tailmon glanced back worriedly at the battle. She didn't like not being able to help her friend, but she was useless in this form without her tail ring. And if she couldn't evolve...

"I don't know," Hikari murmured wearily as she looked back up towards the battle. Angemon was a powerful adult, but it was an equal match with a Devimon virus. And by the looks of it, this one was most likely a perfect.

Angemon was having a good bit of trouble. The Devimon had too many tentacles to attack with. He'd defend against two of them and get slapped by another pair an instant later. He couldn't get free long enough to fire off a Heaven's Knuckle. He didn't know what to do.

"Darkness Wave!"

The yell rose above the roar of the ongoing battle. Both opponents had only a fraction of a second to process what the sound meant before a swarm of black and gold bats converged upon them. Strangely enough, the energy bats didn't attack Angemon, instead they focused their ire upon the virus.

All present looked up at the source of both the bats and the yell. Lady Devimon smiled and waved cheerfully down at the other perfect as she let her bats fade away into nothingness. "Play nice," she called out before dropping down to face him. "Or not at all," she added as if in afterthought, following it up with a powerful kick to the fool's face. The force of the blow threw the other virus out into the water.

"Ooh," she cooed as he roared at her. "Did I hurt your pretty face?" Glancing back, she winked knowingly at Angemon before looking back at the idiot digimon thrashing out in the water. "Well don't worry honey. We'll make it all better."

Smirking, she twirled around, releasing another volley of bats at the Marine Devimon. "Heaven's Knuckle!" was yelled somewhere behind her, instantly followed by a incandescent beam of energy that converged along with her bats on the hapless virus. The explosion they created upon meeting was quite blinding, and certainly more than enough to get rid of the nuisance.

Resisting the urge to giggle at the sight of the now empty water, Lady Devimon turned around and lazily floated down towards the little human that interested her a great deal. That had been fun. She couldn't quite remember the last time she had had some fun. It had to have been before the dark ocean. That place had been more boring than hell.

Takeru blinked numbly, not sure what to make of what had happened. He automatically caught Patamon when his partner devolved out of the Angemon form and dropped down into his arms. He edged slightly in front of Ken as Lady Devimon landed in front of them. What did she want with them?

"Hello again," she said cheerfully, noting the protective gesture the other human was making. Now that was interesting. She glanced over at the other humans as they made their way over towards the others. Oh, the cute little Tailmon was here. This should prove entertaining. Before she could continue though, a rain of salt water fell out of the sky drenching them all. "Oh dear," she murmured distastefully. Perhaps she shouldn't have been quite so exuberant in her attack. This type of aftershock from an explosion wasn't exactly pleasant.

"Oh yuck," Hikari complained as Taichi half-carried her over towards Takeru and Ken. She looked curiously over at Lady Devimon as Tailmon stalked warily between her and the virus.

"Why?" Ken asked finally, shaking his head at his confused feelings. He didn't know why he was happy she was here, but he did know he was. But why had she followed them? Why had she helped them? What was going on? He didn't understand anything anymore.

"I followed you obviously," she answered, smiling winningly down at Tailmon which elicited an almost imperceptible growl from the little adult. How amusing.

"Why?" Ken asked again. Her answer only succeeded in making him even more confused. Why would she follow him here?

"Because I felt like it?" she asked vaguely in return. Shrugging, she continued as if trying to explain something she didn't understand herself, "A thank you every now and then is a bit refreshing. Though, always unexpected."

"Oh," Ken blushed slightly. She had followed him because he had been kind to her, or at least, that's what she seemed to be saying. He didn't know how to respond to that.

"Well then, let's go shall we? Don't you need to get dry? You humans do get sick rather easily you know." She pointed up the beach and towards the city. The others just stared at her, not really comprehending what was going on. Sighing, she put her hands on her hips and asked sarcastically, "I'm here because you're here. Where else am I going to go but with you?"

The others continued to stare at her until finally Taichi spoke up, "Uhm, you do... sorta... kinda, stand out."

Chuckling deep in her throat, she waved down at her leather-clad body and asked sweetly, "You don't like this form?"

Even Hikari turned an interesting shade of red at Lady Devimon's oh so innocent question. Gathering his wits first, Ken tugged on the collar of his shirt and coughed, "You do sort of stand out."

"Fine fine," she murmured, tilting her head to the side and resting her chin in the palm of her hand as she thought on this new little problem. Shrugging at last, she began to glow with a grayish light. "Well, I guess there's no helping it." The glow expanded, engulfing her completely before it began to shrink. After a moment, it winked out altogether, leaving behind a ball of tan fur and black feathers.

Stretching her black, feathered wings out behind her, the little ferret-looking digimon shook her fur out experimentally. "I haven't worn this form in ages," she piped out as she flapped up off of the sand. "You should feel honored to even see it."

Ken blinked in surprise at this turn of events. How utterly strange. Stretching his arms out when she indicated where she wanted to go, he smiled weakly as she settled down into his embrace. "Uhm..."

"Call me Koimon when I'm in this form," she said absently as she folded her wings up and snuggled down to get comfortable. Finally content with her position, she looked up and announced, "So let's go home."


Haha, isn't she adorable? *_* And yes, I know that's not an actual digimon. I wanted to make up something special for an obviously special digimon. Hope you liked it. I have an epilogue planned for this fic. All those 'laters' that got mentioned in this part are actually going to happen, though there won't be many forthcoming answers. I still have two more major stories planned out for this plotline. It's going to be awhile yet before everything gets answered and settled down.