Episode 15: Rising Moon

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Tom raced up the stairs, dashing past familiar doors and surroundings of the apartment building. Eva was a few flights below him with Irbimon. Poemon was following behind them. Tom was eager to get to their apartment. The door was approaching quickly; he fished around his back pocket for his keys and unlocked the door in a rush.

“Wait for me!” Eva called; she had an armful of mail that had arrived for them over the past few weeks and piled up downstairs in their pigeon hole. Tom imagined most of it was junk, but had been too excited to sort through it in the lobby as he normally would have. He held the door open for Eva.

“Home. Home! Home!” She was chanting as she dashed through the door and promptly flew onto their sofa, throwing the mail across the floor as her arms flailed. Irbimon careered through the door, into the side of the sofa and then continued to pounce and run around the apartment familiarizing himself once more with everything. Poemon found a safe perch. She was happy to be home too – but not quite as vocal about it as the others.

Tom closed the door loudly and kicked his shoes off to one side, depositing his jacket on the floor along with them.

Eva was laughing wildly into a cushion.

“We’re home!” She hugged the item to her chest. “Can you believe it? I have never been so happy to see this place!” She sat up and began to pull off her boots. Tom gathered up the discarded mail, setting it on the coffee table. “We should probably sort through the stuff in the fridge.” Eva commented.

Tom cast her a sidelong glance; she was removing her other shoe barely paying him any attention. He thought a moment before scooping up Poemon and Irbimon in his arms, ignoring their cries of protest. He quickly and efficiently placed them in the bathroom and closed the door.

“OH COME ON!” Irbimon shouted from the other side. Tom ignored him again, kicking the wooden frame with his heel. He heard Irbimon swear on the other side and smirked.

Eva was staring at him carefully. “What-?”

The blond’s smirk increased, he grabbed Eva’s hand and pulled her to her feet. “I think checking anything we left behind can wait. Don’t you?” His eyebrows were raised suggestively; his free hand had descended to the small of Eva’s back.

“Oh,” Eva trailed giggling, understanding what he meant. “I see.” Tom led the way to their bedroom area, the bed unmade and the pillows and covers thrown in random ways, exactly as they had left them.

-----------------------------

Eva let the Digimon out of the bathroom when she and Tom had regained their composure and rested for a short while. Tom sat on the couch topless, with his jeans on, examining the mail and dividing it up into named piles. Eva was scurrying around in an oversized shirt; she was going through the fridge, getting rid of any food that had turned sour while they’d been away.


“You two are disgusting.” Irbimon commented as he passed his partner and went to settle on a cushion. He glared at Tom behind his paws. Poemon was less judgmental, following the snow leopard Digimon and rustling her feathers, sitting on the floor beside the television. In the kitchenette, the kettle boiled happily on the stove.

Eva made a face at her Digimon as she trotted across the room and took the kettle from the stove, pouring herself and Tom cups of tea.

“Looks like we’ve been gone about two weeks, like Ryudamon said.” Tom explained. He was opening an official looking envelope, his face grim. He skimmed the letter, “and our landlord wants to come by to check on the place.”

“Well at least he didn’t turn up while we were gone. That would have been awkward.” Eva said, passing Tom a mug and settling beside him on the sofa. “I’ve taken everything that’s gone off out of the fridge. We should toss it later.” She indicated to small collection of packaged goods. It was a surprisingly small amount of food, which was good.

“Hey look, here’s a letter from your mom.” He recognized the handwriting of Eva’s mother and passed it to her. Eva tore the top of the envelope. Poemon tapped the play button on their answering machine, noticing the flashing.

“You have seven new messages.” The automated voice spoke clearly and concisely. Tom groaned and leaned back on the sofa to listen to the messages. Four of the seven were cold callers, two automated messages stating they had won a prize and they had to call a pay-per-minute number to claim in – a scam. The other two simply cut off when the answering machine had started taking the call.

“Next new message:” the machine paused, another more natural voice came through the speaker,”Hi Eva? It’s Helen; you didn’t turn up for your shift today, are you okay? Call me.”

Eva frowned. The next message was another from Helen sounding worried. And the third one from her tutor at the college asking why she hadn’t turned up to her class. Eva was quickly on the phone, calling the bakery.

“Helen! Hi!” Eva sat back on the sofa, relaxing. Tom sipped his tea.

It was funny to think they had been away for two weeks; and yet in the Digital World it had felt like so much longer. He was glad, in a way, that the attack from the two ultimate Digimon that had resulted in them going to the Digital World had been powerful enough to cause a change in the time difference. Had they returned and found they had been gone much longer than they anticipated? He hated to think what that would have done to all of them.

“Okay, sure... yeah – I’ll be in tomorrow.” Eva said into the receiver before placing it back on its holder. She breathed out deeply, smoothing her hands over her hair. Tom leaned against the back of the sofa, stretching and spreading his arm so it lay atop the back of the sofa behind Eva.

“So?” he prompted.

Eva glanced at him, “Good news? I still have my job.”

“That’s good.” Tom replied.

“Yeah...” Eva trailed, rubbing her hands over her face and groaned behind them. She leaned into Tom’s chest, curling up against him. “Bad news is I have to come up with a story for the reason I didn’t turn up for the past two weeks.”

“Oh.” Tom wrapped his arms around Eva’s small shoulders. “Well... can you lie?”

“Helen sees right through me.” Eva murmured.

Tom sighed, “You could bend the truth. Say you were called away on an emergency unexpectedly.”

“And didn’t call her?” Eva reminded him. “Everywhere and everyone has phones.”

“Why not make out like someone died?” Irbimon suggested, clambering up onto the arm of the couch. He curled up beside Eva, beginning to purr as she ran her fingers over his head.

“I can’t do that. Knowing me, it’d be a jinx and someone would have died.”

Tom pursed his lips. “We’ll figure something out.” He sighed and relaxed, the apartment drifting into a comfortable silence. Poemon was sleeping on a cushion, nestled up in her feathers. Irbimon purred softly beside Eva and he too was soon fast asleep against her. Eva remained curled up against Tom, breathing lightly with her eyes closed. She wasn’t sleeping, just dozing. Tom kept awake, relishing the sounds and smells of everything he recognized, which only continued to confirm that they were home.

It was still hard to believe. He hoped the others had returned to find things as they had left them too.

-----------------------------

Piper settled in her armchair. The gas fire was on in the living room and she had a CD of classical music playing from the speakers around the room. She was curled up, going through the mail that had been delivered while she’d been away. Caesarmon rolled on the floor, relishing the bowl of clams and oysters Piper had set out for him as a ‘yay we’re home’ offering.

She had been annoyed to come home and find the entire kitchen and living room a state. In fact annoyed had been an understatement. Her brother had been by while she’d been away obviously. The house had stunk of weed where he had left the windows closed; there had also been beer bottles left around the house. The house had been trashed; so instead of having a nice relaxing time coming home, she had resolved to tidy up first. She couldn’t concentrate with mess around.

As she had expected, there were bills addressed to her parents – which they paid – a lot of junk mail, restaurant menus and all the other things Piper immediately put to one side to be shredded when she went upstairs to go to bed.

Worryingly, she had three letters from the college. One with the dates of her final exams. Another informing her that she had missed one of the exams, and the other notifying her of the dates of retakes – and that she would have to advise the reason she was unable to attend the first date originally.

“At least you can retake.” Caesarmon said, he was gnawing on a clam shell, trying to break into it.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to-“

“No!” Caesarmon replied. “I can do it.”


Piper smiled and nodded. “Okay.” She went back to the letters. The retake was two days away. She had to be there otherwise she would have to repeat the year. And considering the amount of work she had put into this year, and how much time she had been forced to make up since all these things had started happening with the Digimon.

Picking up a mug from the floor, Piper shifted her position to allow her legs to dangle over the arm of her chair. She clicked on the television, flicking to the news, she wanted to catch up on everything she had missed during the short time they had been gone. It was shorter than she had anticipated they had been gone, and she was pleased for that. Her parents hadn’t seemed to have noticed her absence. Her mother had called once from Cairo, and her dad twice. Once from Puerto Rico and once more from Scotland. Neither call had been very important, just details about money. Money had been wired to Piper’s account to pay for the upcoming heating bills, and she had some additional money left over for food.

Settling back into her chair, Piper sighed, letting a feeling of contentment wash over her. It was nice to be home. She wanted to relax – at least for a little while – before she had to hit the books again.

-----------------------------

Reyez walked in through the doors and tossed his keys on the glass top coffee table as he passed by. Ailurmon shut the door behind him, grabbing the stepping stool by the door and using it to re-lock the locks.

“I’m home, does anybody care?” Reyez said barely audible, a mere mumble. He walked through the living room, into the hallway and towards the far door on the left that indicated his room. Before he could fully walk into it and lock himself in; the door from down the hall opened.

Emerging from the room was a woman, shorter than Reyez but maybe a few years older. She was definitely in her late twenties. Her hair was curly and down almost covering her left eye completely. She folded her arms and leaned against the frame of the door.

Pursing her lips, her stare stopped Reyez in his tracks causing him to turn and look at her.

“I know you don’t like to stay home when he’s here…but leaving for two weeks without a trace is kind of pushing it, Rey.” Her tone shook with worry. Nicole was one of Reyez’s older sisters, the one he lived with. Her green hazel eyes scanned Reyez up and down.

“You already know I don’t like for you being out like that. You could’ve called and at least told me you were alive. Hell a text or something. Mom is worried sick; I think Kristine may have tried to call? And… god Rey, you just don’t know how to--- ugh! You’re impossible! I swear.” Nicole rolled her eyes and walked back into the bedroom, shutting the door behind her.

Nicole wasn’t much of an arguer, but Reyez got the point that she was trying to get at without starting any unnecessary drama. She was worried sick about him, that was obvious, but she had already assumed the reason he was gone for so long without him even explaining.

Reyez walked into his room, hitting the remote to his entertainment system, taking off his jacket and flopping on the bed with a defeated sigh. Nicole had cleaned his room and washed his sheets while he was away, he could actually see his carpet and the clothes in his closet were separated neatly. He rolled over onto his back and lit a cigarette, exhaling the smoke into the air.

Ailurmon walked by, going into the door at the other end of his room with a hand of fresh towels.

“I need a shower; my fur is so dingy…” She complained to herself, closing the door beside her.

Reyez closed his eyes, hearing the sound of the shower running mixed in with the music sounding from the speakers of his entertainment system.

-----------------------------

James grimaced immediately as he walked in the front door of his house. There was a terrible stench of burning food that accosted his senses as soon as he opened the door and he was greeted by the thrilled squealing of his younger sister Marie. She was filthy, covered in dirt and with dried food around her face and arms. Her hair was sticking to her skin; she looked like she hadn’t been washed in days.

“Jay-Jay!!” Marie squeaked, clinging to her brother’s leg as he walked in. “Where you been?” She pouted at him, averting her affections to Odocomon who grimaced slightly, her sensitive nose being greeted by the dirty stench covering the five year old.

“Away...” James murmured. Something didn’t feel right. The house was usually a mess – but this was completely stupid. It didn’t look like anything had been done for days. Washing up had piled up around the sink, some of the bowls, plates and cooking utensils were actually growing mold; some looked like they had been used more than once without being washed.

Trash had built up around the trash bin, and mail was thrown around the living room. James didn’t dare look in the downstairs bathroom. Marie continued to babble, unaware that James wasn’t listening as he wandered slowly through his house that now felt foreign.

“Where’s your father?” Odocomon asked the question James was wondering. Where was his dad? And his brothers for that matter. He turned to Marie and squatted, getting a better eye view with her.

“Ria-“ he started, Marie giggled, “where’s Elliot and Noah? And dad? Where’s daddy?”

“Oh...” Marie rocked back on her heels, clasping her hands behind her back.

“Lotte and Noah are at sch-school.” Marie explained. “Ms... Ms... Ms... Joanna has been taking them.”

“What about you? Who’s been taking you to school?” James asked urgently.

Marie shrugged and shook her head, “No one!”

James groaned, rubbing his face. “Right...” Odocomon was wandering through the rooms, smelling the air and checking for danger. “Who’s been cooking?”

“Noah!” Marie said, “But he cooks bad.” She placed her fingers to her lips, “Shh – don’t tell him I said so.”

James sighed and fell back on his heels. Noah was his fifteen year old brother who could barely take care of himself. At least once a week James had to drive to his school to drop something off that he’d forgotten. The idea of him cooking and taking care of the place was not one he wanted to entertain for long. But at least the house was still standing.

“Where’s dad?”

Marie shrugged again. “What does that mean Ria?” James asked urgently. He was trying to keep his patience in check while talking to the five-year-old. She was happy to see him, and had not expected to be barraged with questions of the whereabouts of her siblings.

“He gone!” Marie explained. She pointed to the front door which James had left open.


“Gone? Gone where?”

“Gone.” Marie explained simply.

James stood up; he was rubbing her face with his hands. He knew something like this would happen. His family would fall to pieces without him. He supposed the only good thing was that the house was still standing – but for how long, and that no one had died in his absence. Well – at least none of his siblings. James felt a tugging on his hoodie and dropped down to look at Marie.

“Ca-can you run a bath?” she asked, twisting her foot awkwardly.

“Sure.” James hoisted his sister into his arms and took the stairs two at a time.

He left Marie in a shallow bath to play with the toys after he had washed her hair for her keeping the suds out of her eyes. He then ventured down stairs, leaving Odocomon to keep an eye on Marie while she played.

He began to tidy quickly, trying to make heads and tails of what had gone one while he’d been away. Cleaning – washing up especially – helped clear James’ head and was something he did when he was stressed out.

He knew Noah and Elliott were okay, so that was something. He was extremely grateful to Ms. Joanna, who in actual fact was Joanna King, Elliott’s teacher. He would need to explain somehow where he had been and thank her properly, maybe get her a gift. For the moment all thoughts of whether he had a job or not were not the main focus of his attention. What was, was where his father was.

He had gone AWOL before, but Marie didn’t know the exact time when he had gone missing, so he could have gone anywhere. Before returning downstairs to tidy, James had checked his dad’s room. The curtains had been closed and his medication had been tossed all over the room. The drawers in his dresser had been pulled out and all the clothes discarded over the floor. Some had been torn. He had obviously had some kind of break down while James had been away – he knew the signs.

James felt awash with guilt. He had hoped for his siblings to never really see their dad at his worst... being away – they must have seen something.

The sound of the front door opening caught James’ attention and he quickly wiped his hands clean. His brothers were walking into the house, followed by Ms. King and James’ grandmother, Matilda.

“Oh, thank God!” James breathed; he dashed forward grabbing his two brothers and hugging them.

“James!”

“James Christopher Parker!” Matilda snapped. James winced. He looked up, meeting his grandmother’s stern gaze. “Wher-“

“I can explain everything.” James interrupted her, “but first I need to know where dad is.”

“You don’t know?” Joanna asked, she was older than James, in her thirties, but had become a family friend when James had started attending parents’ evenings, instead of his dad, Henry. James shook his head. Joanna’s expression was grave; he was beginning to fear the worst.

“Where’s Marie?” Matilda asked.

“In the bath.” James replied, “With... her friend.” He referred to Odocomon as ‘friend’ when anyone who did not know about the existence of Digimon was around. Matilda understood, her mouth was drawn into a tight line; he was going to get an earful later that was for sure.

“Right, Joanna, if you could fill James in; boys,” Matilda ushered Elliott and Noah towards the stairs, “Homework.”

Once the trio were upstairs and out of ear shot, James went to the kitchen with Joanna, he leaned against the counter. Joanna looked uncomfortable, lines marring her face. James pinched the bridge of his nose. “Out with it – what’s he done this time?” He had heard and seen so much of his father’s escapades when he had an episode, nearly nothing fazed him any longer. The last time he had been taken into police custody for walking into a children’s playground in the nude. Another time it had been hospital for chasing people in a supermarket with a shopping cart.

“He...” Joanna sighed uneasily, “James where have you been? Your family really needed you! It’s not like you to disappear.”

“It wasn’t by choice, I assure you.” James said softly. “But I can’t get into it.”

“Why-“

James implored, “Please tell me what happened this time, I need to know.”

Joanna took a slow intake of breath, “He broke a mirror, tried to kill himself with the children in the house.” James breathed out uneasily. He felt the color draining from his face; this was what he had been frightened of.

-----------------------------

“Yes… Yessss mother I’m fine.” Frankie shut the taxi door with her hips. Siberimon followed closely behind her with the grocery bags as they approached the entrance to the apartment building. 

Frankie kept the phone close to her ear with her shoulder as she pranced in, passing through the lobby and waving at the security guard at the front desk. Both her and Siberimon stepped into the elevator, with her sorting through her mail.

“If you want to visit that’s fine, I don’t care. No- No mom, me and Reyez don’t date anymore. That was only one time! --I’m dating someone new now-- No I’m not a stripper, Mom! Where are you getting these things from? Ok. Ok. I’ll call you later-- Mom I have to go, I’ll call you later!” Frankie removed her phone from her shoulder and pressed ‘End’. She sighed as she leaned against the wall of the elevator.

Siberimon looked up at her, his ear twitching. “She only worries, ya’know.”


Frankie sighed, “She’s so nosy. She asked like three million questions. She’ll be in town by tonight anyways; at least we’ll have something to talk about outside of ‘Why do you wear that?’ ‘How can you walk in those?’ ‘Cover up!’” Frankie rolled her eyes at the thought.

The bell to the elevator was a familiar sound, the doors opened swiftly. Frankie and Siberimon stepped out, walking down the hall towards their apartment door. The hall was extremely quiet, too quiet for a floor that housed over ten different people, another set of college students and a family.

The silence was eerie. Frankie could even hear her heels on the soft carpet, the bags in Siberimon’s paws rattling with food and her key chains jingling off the belt loop of her hips. Just, utter silence.

“I guess…no one’s home?” She said, looking around. Once they had reached their door, Frankie took a quick glance to notice the small flower wreath on Ms.Lynn’s door, obviously something for the holidays.

“Let’s get this stuff in and check on her.”

Siberimon nodded, his ear continuing to twitch.

Once groceries were away, Frankie had slipped into something a bit more comfortable and relaxed after her shower. She had bought some cheesecake at the store, and since Siberimon wasn’t too fond of it, she’d share it with Ms. Lynn.

Frankie left her apartment and knocked on Ms. Lynn’s door, waiting patiently for the older woman to answer. She looked down at Siberimon, “What’s wrong with your ears?”

“I don’t know, they just keep twitchin’.” Siberimon rubbed his paws against them.

Frankie smiled and quickly turned her attention to the sound of the door unlocking and opening. “Ms. Lynnnnnn I---” She paused. “Eric!” She said surprised.

Before her stood Eric, Ms. Lynn’s only son. He towered over Frankie, about 6’3. He leaned against the door frame with his arm and rubbed the bridge of his nose. His hair looked a mess, normally he kept it slicked back, and he hadn’t shaved in what appeared to be a couple of days. He opened his light brown eyes, Frankie could see his pupils getting use to the light.

“Did I wake you? I’m sorry!” Frankie apologized. Her eyes leered down at Eric’s half naked form, mentally admiring his toned physique and half buttoned jeans.

He groaned, “I’m fine…where have you been?” He leaned a little closer to her, and on closer inspection, his eyes were glossy and a bit red. As if he had been smoking a pile of weed going neck and neck with Reyez in some kind of competition.

“I went on a little vacation, why does that matter?” Frankie smiled, pushing past him. She walked into the apartment and placed the cheesecake down on the table.

Eric pushed himself from the door frame; he closed the door behind him and leaned against it.

It was that silence again, Frankie looked through the cabinets, grabbing some plates. “Do you want some cheesecake? It’s store bought if that’s ok.”

Eric remained silent, crossing his arms.

Frankie grabbed four plates and a knife; she looked up at Eric puzzled. “What? I thought you liked cheesecake?”

Eric parted his lips, taking in a sharp breath, “Frank…” His lips continued to move but the sound seemed to have been muted out.

The words leaving his lips hit Frankie immediately. She felt sick, weak. She shook her head in denial and fast paced herself to the back of the apartment, opening the door to Ms. Lynn’s room. The room was empty, clean. The bed made neatly. The room was filled with Ms. Lynn’s favorite fragrance. Frankie felt herself breaking down and dropped to her knees. Eric rushed to her to pick her up, trying to keep her steady. Tears no longer threatened to come from Frankie’s eyes; they flowed freely as she flailed, as if she was trying to control her body. She screamed loudly trying to pry herself away from Eric’s grip. He held her tightly, trying to calm her down as her screams and cries were getting louder and louder.

“Frankie, Frankie. Shhh…” He said, hugging her closely. Frankie calmed down, pushing her face into Eric’s chest, digging her nails into his arm.

Eric rubbed his hands down her back, trying to remain strong though the sight of her breaking down was eating him alive.

Siberimon stood in the middle of the room, struck with disbelief. Never had he experienced the loss of someone he cared about, this feeling was new. It was impossible. He dropped to the floor, lowering his head in defeat.

“We should’ve been here…”

-----------------------------

The sounds of the pastor reading from the book in his hand were the only thing heard amongst the whimpers and silent sobs of those attending the funeral.

The gathering at the grave site was small, only the closest of Ms. Lynn’s family members and friends attended, with Frankie and Eric placed in front. Frankie tried her best to keep her composure but found herself sobbing uncontrollably from time to time with James and Eva there to comfort her.

The Digimon themselves were kept in the D-Touches, not wanting to draw any public attention to themselves, and felt right now it would be best. For once, they didn’t urge to come out, feeling affected by the loss as well.

“--Ashes to ashes…dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life...--”

The casket began to lower into the ground.

Eric took in a deep breath, trying to keep himself together, standing there with his hands behind his back in a military stance. While the casket was descending, others began to leave back into their cars. Some came to give Eric, and even Frankie, their condolences before leaving.

Once the last few people left and the casket had been buried in the earth, only the group and Eric were at the site.

Eric took in another sigh before placing his hand over his eyes, massaging them before walking closer to the descending casket.

“I need to get home…you want a ride?” James asked.

Frankie shook her head, “I’ll walk…”

“You sure? I mean, that’s a long walk--”

“I…really need time to myself.” She cut him off.


James wrapped his hand around her waist from the side, pulling himself closer to her. Frankie rested her head on his shoulder. “If you change your mind just call me, ok?” He said in a low voice. Frankie nodded; he planted a kiss on the side of her temple, giving her fingers a soft squeeze.

Piper and Eva walked over to give Frankie another group hug before parting as well.

James, Eva and Tom made their way towards James’ truck whilst Piper and Reyez were making their way to Reyez’s car.

From her purse, Frankie’s D-Touch glowed unnoticed and at her side, Siberimon manifested. Both stared at the grave before Frankie released the tears she had been holding back for quite some time now.

Eric took in another sharp breath, suddenly hearing his phone beeping.

“Not now…” Eric muttered, pulling his phone from his pocket. He rubbed his eyes with his thumb and fore finger of his left hand, while tapping buttons to unlock his phone as it continued to beep. He looked at the screen which showed no incoming call or messages, just black and white static.

Siberimon’s ears twitched and twisted, his fur was beginning to stand on end as he felt a strange sensation ripple over the cemetery, over him. He appeared to have been the only one who had noticed. Frankie was crying, and Eric was trying to restart his phone though it continued to blare, the bleeping getting louder. Siberimon noticed Frankie’s hands clenched at her sides. He willed his feelings to be wrong – not today. Any day but today.

It was unavoidable though. The sensation only grew; Siberimon growled and his hackles were up as he scanned the area for the impending danger. Eric’s phone was now on a near constant high pitched whine. He was pushing buttons in frustration, his knuckles had turned white and his face was contorted with irritation.

A noise caught Siberimon’s attention, like electricity overloading something. Above them a power line flashed and sizzled and beyond that was the danger.

Looming over them, making large strides into the cemetery was a giant Digimon of yellow color. He didn’t seem solid, in fact his body seemed to move and twitch constantly. His body held armor in places, on his shoulders, lower arms, hips and around his ribs. Bright blue eyes shone out from beneath metal armored eyebrows.

Siberimon hissed and snarled. Eric noticed his presence finally, glanced in the same direction and promptly dropped his phone.

“What… is that?”

“Taranimon.” Siberimon answered promptly, yowling like a cat. “He’s an elemental Digimon… and no prizes for guessing what element.”

Eric grabbed his phone from the ground quickly, “Oh…” he trailed and grabbed Frankie’s hand. “Frankie! We have to go. Now.” The giant was so close, another long stride and he would be on top of them. Frankie snatched her hand away and crumbled to her knees. “Frank!”

“No.” She said plainly, her voice appeared to lack any emotion. Siberimon growled angrily, he was ready to protect her. He was engulfed with orange light, his form changing before Frankie and Eric until he towered above them both. Hurakamon roared, catching the other Digimon’s attention as one giant foot crushed a grave stone underneath it. The giant tiger launched himself forward.

-----------------------------

Piper glanced into the rear view mirror, “…what the-!” The large electrical tyrant marched through the cemetery.

With a simple swing of his backhand, Hurakamon was sent flying through a few of the tombstones.

“Fuck!” Reyez shouted from the car, looking back. Reyez turned the steering wheel quickly, drifting the car into a complete 180, racing back to the cemetery. Piper grabbed the dashboard to keep in place.

Frankie sat on the ground with Taranimon hovering over her. Hurakamon growled, trying to get himself up, shaking off the stone from the crypt he had slammed against. His body rippled with static, melding over his muscles and making some fur stand on end.

Taranimon leaned down towards her, even bending and squatting he was huge, and towered over almost everything else, Frankie especially – though she had not yet lifted her eyes to see the titan Digimon. “You seem distraught…” Taranimon said calmly.

Frankie didn’t look up at the Digimon, her eyes shadowed by her even bangs. “Why today?” She mumbled. “Why today out of all days, in this place? Here. Why here?” She brought her hands up to her eyes, rubbing her tears away. The balls of her hands were stained with makeup and mascara.

Her voice was incoherent to Taranimon’s ears, he proceeded closer to her.

Taranimon’s face was puzzled. “Such a beautiful creature shouldn’t be so upset. Death is only natural.” His electric claws loomed over Frankie, interested in her disposition. He looked at her curiously, as if he was seeing someone in a low mood for the first time. He didn’t look like he wanted to attack her, if anything his expression was an inquisitive one.

“Frank--Frankie!” Hurakamon struggled to get up. “Get AWAY!” Hurakamon released a strong gust of wind to catch Taranimon’s attention.

“Pain Geyser!”

“Grand Cannon!”


Taranimon looked up from Frankie, staring at the champions rushing towards him. Bambusmon bounced off Vespasmon’s back into the air. Behind them Reyez and Piper were running over the grass to Frankie and Eric.

“Hmmm…” Taranimon stepped away from Frankie. She gripped the end of her dress, tears flowing down her face.

Piper grabbed Frankie’s shoulders upon reaching her. “Frankie-! Frankie-! Come on!”

“No.” Frankie argued.

“Frankie!” Piper shook her shoulders. “This is dangerous!”

“Foliage Domination!” Bambusmon flung herself at Taranimon, vines wrapping around one wrist. She yanked on the vines pulling him to one side.

Vespasmon bellowed from behind Taranimon, “Typhoon Sphere!” The electric Digimon was hit on the right shoulder with a massive scalding ball of water. At the same time, he fought off five Hurakamon mimics, each one attaching itself to a different place of his body.

Drawing his claws back, Taranimon roared, “Spark Ripper!” and sliced through one of the wind formed Hurakamon’s. The remaining ones all came together, back into the main Hurakamon.

“Shouldn’t we be-“ Eric started.

“DOWN!” Reyez shoved him behind a family crypt as Hurakamon came flying overhead and smashed a tombstone as he landed.

Vespasmon growled as he struggled, keeping Taranimon’s hand down to his side, biting the vines that Bambusmon had wrapped around his wrist in the first place within his jaws. Bambusmon had another set of vines around Taranimon’s free hand and was trying to knot the two sets of vines together, fastening Taranimon’s hands behind his back.

Taranimon growled and struggled against his binds.

Hurakamon charged. “Gale Meditation!” He bellowed – his eyes closed, the wind blanket on his back picked up and the tiger was replaced by a tornado which engulfed Taranimon. Bambusmon braced herself on a large tree; Vespasmon dug his claws into the ground.

There was a low hiss and then a crackling sound. “Electric Field!” Before them, Taranimon appeared to sink into the ground as his form disappeared, shortened and shortened until all that remained on the surface was his armor.

Hurakamon returned to his natural form and stared at the others. Reyez stared at the remaining parts of the Digimon.

“Is that it?” Eric asked, glancing out from behind the tombstone.

“Shh!” Reyez scolded. Eric went silent again.

The Digimon looked as confused as the humans, until there was a loud thunderous crackle and a yellow strip of lightning flew across the ground, rising up Bambusmon’s leg and engulfing her.

“SHIT!” Reyez yelled, watching his partner Digimon jerk and contort unnaturally. The ground was wet from Vespasmon’s attacks, and the electricity moved along the water, into Vespasmon, rooting him to the spot.

Another flash of lightning shot through the ground at Hurakamon, which he nimbly dodged. This was followed by several more, all directed at Hurakamon, aimed where he landed, giving him mere seconds to jump away from the on-coming attack.

It was possible to hear Taranimon growl as he reappeared from under the ground, his armor slotting back into its allocated places as he reappeared and towered over the other Digimon. Hurakamon charged him.

“Wind Wrecker!” He yelled, shifting into five of the same form, each one attacking Taranimon’s limbs, biting down.

Reyez glanced across to where Vespasmon and Bambusmon recovered slowly. Then at Piper and Frankie. The blonde was still struggling with the other girl who didn’t seem to have moved an inch. In fact she looked like she was petrified, stuck in one spot. She didn’t even appear to to have looked up.

“Frankie, we have to move! We have to get to safety.” Piper ordered.


Frankie was shaking, “Why? What’s the point? Why attack here? Now? Couldn’t they have waited? Couldn’t they ha-“

“Digimon don’t work that way!” Piper shouted at her, her frustration growing. “They don’t respect things like funerals! I know you’re sad, but you can’t just stand here!”

“Bu-“

“What would Ms. Lynn say?!” Reyez shouted. Frankie raised her head and stared at the other boy fiercely.

“Don’t you dare!” Frankie warned. “Don’t you FUCKING dare!

“There’ll be time for mourning later.” Reyez growled, it appeared being frank and harsh was the only way to get through to Frankie in this stupor. “Now is not the time, Frankie. Not while we’re in danger here!”

Piper grabbed Frankie’s hand and gave it a sharp tug, “Let’s-“

“Look out!!” Bambusmon’s cry came across the cemetery. The two girls looked up simultaneously; above them was an enormous foot, crackling with electricity.

Hurakamon struggled to his feet, a few metres away. “F-Frankie…”

With the sound of a mere gasp, the grave yard rippled as if everything was an alternate reality, not real, something out of a broken TV set. The surroundings fizzled in and out like TV ‘snow’.

An orange light appeared underneath Frankie and began to extend through the entire area, transforming everything it touched into a new, beautiful place. The tombstones disintegrated and were replaced by tall beautiful trees releasing cherry blossoms. The sunlight changed into moonlight; that was brighter than usual, giving the illusion that it was directly over the area and the trees continued to extend. The wind picked up, soon littering the ground with the pink blossoms.

Both girls screamed as the foot came down above them. From a short distance away, Hurakamon roared, bounded forward and shoved them both away moments before the foot landed, pinning Hurakamon to the ground. Piper and Frankie were both knocked to the ground, and now it appeared she was out of her stupor, Frankie was on her knees a moment later.

“NO! Let him up!”

Taranimon was laughing, his face drawn into a demented smile as he bent at the waist and peered down at the struggling tiger Digimon, increasing the pressure on him. The ground caved underneath the immense force. Hurakamon growled, clawing at the larger limb.

“Such a pathetic creature…” Taranimon murmured almost thoughtfully, while staring at Hurakamon and occasionally changing his eyes to Frankie. “It must be hard to face the knowledge you cannot do the one thing you were meant for.”

Hurakamon snarled, “At least I have a purpose.” He hissed. Taranimon pressed further down. Hurakamon gargled.

“STOP IT!”

“My purpose is to destroy you…” Taranimon murmured.

“You’re doing a bad job- Wind WRECKER!!” Hurakamon bellowed. Taranimon stepped back as the tiger Digimon was swallowed by the tornado on his back. His foot was pushed back by the sheer force of the wind and thrown slightly off balance. The tornado swarmed around him for a moment, circling like a vulture before coming to settle on the ground and reappearing as Hurakamon.

Hurakamon stood protectively in front of Frankie, growling and slightly twitching as he stood on guard.

“I will protect you, no matter what happens. Not because it’s my job, but because I love you.” He said matter-of-factly, tensing as he waiting for Taranimon to make a move. “You’ve been through so much and I know I’m strict on you, sometimes, but you must understand it’s because I don’t want to lose you and I don‘t ever want to leave your side for any reason. Even when you get married, grow old and share your love with someone you really care for… I will still be there.”

The words struck familiar to Frankie. Ms. Lynn’s story about the Princess and the Guard, as a matter of fact. Frankie looked up to Hurakamon and slowly stood to her feet.

Piper blinked and noticed the cherry blossoms that littered the ground were now flowing about around Frankie with each step she made towards Hurakamon. Frankie made her way in front of Hurakamon and rested her hands underneath his chin. She leaned forward and planted a kiss on his forehead.

“Oh hush…you will always be my prince and my guardian, you silly old tiger.”

The lipstick mark on Hurakamon’s forehead began to glow, the golden light enveloped Hurakamon and Frankie both.

Frankie’s D-Touch began to vibrate as if it was receiving hundreds of calls at once. A light immersed from it that took the form of the many Digimon that Hurakamon had defeated in the past. The light swarmed around the two, howling like a strong wind.

Frankie smiled as her eyes started to glow along with Hurakamon’s. The wind and light started to pick up around them before bursting into a tornado. Hurakamon roared loudly, causing the ground beneath everyone to shake.

Taranimon released a curious groan.

“Hurakamon, proxy evolve to…” His form changed, as he grew up onto his hind legs, they became more humanoid with massive clawed paws, each paw decorated with a gold ring. Black pants appeared around his legs, decorated with gold markings and tied to his waist with a large red rope. His chest became muscular, each muscle well defined, bound tightly with bandages across his torso. His shoulders broadened and the tornado storm on his back grew. In one hand the hilt of a sword manifested, stretching from it was a blade that was encased with wind. With a swift swing and a pose, his golden eyes glared as he roared loudly. “Byakkomon!!

The tornado around the two figures died down, revealing Frankie in the arms of the new form that Hurakamon had taken. She smiled as he gently placed her on the ground.

Taranimon took a defensive stance, “I see…”

Byakkomon took no time for conversation and sprinted towards the massive Digimon, unsheathing the sword at his side.

“Spark Ripper!” Taranimon launched forward, extending his claws towards the new ultimate.

“Sudden Gale!” Byakkomon crouched down, leaping to the side to dodge Taranimon’s massive claw then slashing his katana upward. The slash released a strong cutting wind, knocking Taranimon off balance.

Byakkomon leaped high into the air, above Taranimon’s head, his sword raised high into the air.

“Full Moon Divide!” He called down; the visible wind around his sword grew more intense. Byakkomon slashed down. The sharp Chrome Digizoid of his blade made contact with Taranimon, slashing down the middle.

Taranimon roared and dispersed into energy, his metal binding hitting the ground before Byakkomon’s blade could come in contact with them.

Byakkomon growled, landing on the ground and taking a new stance.

Taranimon reformed a few feet away.

“This is not over…far from over!” The Digimon showed irritation.

Byakkomon raised his sword, “You will be a stain on my blade!”

Taranimon released a final roar before once again bursting into energy, this time it was more like a teleport than an attack.

Byakkomon growled, “Coward.” sheathing his sword.

The area around the group vanished in a flash of light and they soon found themselves back in the cemetery. The silence amongst them was mutual, a bit stunned but relieved at the same time.

Frankie sighed, tucking loose strands of her growing hair behind her ear before turning around and watching as the others walked towards her.

Piper held Caesarmon in her arms, as Reyez did the same to Ailurmon. Eric rubbed his hands through his hair, groaning slightly.

“I guess, things are about to get worse, huh?” Piper grimaced.

Frankie shook her head, “Ryudamon was training us for some reason, I guess this is it.”

Reyez had found comfort in a cigarette, removing it from his lips and exhaling the smoke. “New forms too.”

“I’ll inform the others on what happened…” Piper said. She made a mental note to start going through the scrolls Ryudamon had given her too.

“Want me to take you home?” Eric asked to Frankie.

Frankie shook her head, “It’s ok. I just kind of…want to be alone.”

Taking in a moment of silence, Reyez slowly turned around walking towards his car. Eric followed, then Piper. Frankie felt herself slipping into her stupor again, watching as they got into their respective cars and drove off.

Byakkomon reverted to Hurakamon and nuzzled himself against his partner. Frankie allowed a single tear to slide down her face. The giant tiger kneeled down, allowing Frankie to climb onto his back. She made herself comfortable in the soft current of wind before Hurakamon leaped off into the city.

Night time had officially fallen, the city was busy as always and the night life was bustling.

Frankie released another tear as she nuzzled herself into Hurakamon’s fur. Hurakamon opened his eyes slightly, looking up into the sky as the full moon hovered above. The roof of the apartment building was a perfect place for peace and quiet and it was obviously what the both needed. Hurakamon turned his head slightly to notice Frankie had fallen asleep in the mist of crying. He adjusted himself and curled inward to keep her warm, using his back legs to push her closer.


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