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No Girls Allowed (Digific, Ch. 11)

Title: No Girls Allowed
Author: Schnickledooger
Rating: T/PG-13
Genre: Romance/Humor
Summary: Jun keeps popping up in the most unexpected places. Tai is not pleased, especially when it gives his friends the wrong impression. AU Season 02 time-line and events.
Word Count: So far... 48,000+


Ch.1 Revenge

Ch.2 Backfired
Ch.3 The Way To A Man's Heart Is...
Ch.4 Love Is A Jealous Thing
Ch.5 Night Out
Ch.6 Eternal Darkness Of The Cluttered Mind
Ch.7 All The World's A Stage
Ch.8 Elementary, My Dear Jun
Ch.9 The Melancholy Of Taichi Kamiya
Ch. 10 All's Fair In Love And War

 

Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon. Toei Animation does.

A/N: Definition of Japanese terms below after chapter.

Ch. 11 So Much For My Happy Ending

The day for Matt's concert dawned bright and clear. There was a cool and crisp chill in the air that announced winter had arrived as much as the lights, red ribbons and holly wreaths decorating stores announced it was Christmastime.

The older Digidestined were gathered on the beach as they had been instructed to do by the younger members of the group who had been annoyingly secretive and silent for the last couple of days regarding the subject. They were obviously planning some sort of surprise. Tai could hardly stand the suspense. He was glad it would soon be over.

"Any idea of what's going on?" Matt asked him while they waited for the younger kids to arrive.

Tai shrugged, turning his back to him with his arms crossed over his chest as his lips twisted in a scowl.

"Oh, come on, are you still sore about those tickets I sent?" Matt laughed.

"You mean those three tickets you sent?" Tai growled shooting a poisoned glare at him.

"One for you, one for Kari and one for Jun," Matt counted on his fingers pretending to be confused. "Did I forget anyone?"

"You have an evil, evil mind, Matt," Tai hissed. "If you were feeling gracious enough to allow Jun into your concert then you could have just sent her ticket along with Davis'!"

"I thought it would be more natural to give it to you so her boyfriend could invite her along. A concert at Christmas is the perfect setting for date, don't you think?" Matt teased with a broad grin, his blue eyes flashing in wicked amusement.

Tai leaped at him hands at the ready to rip his hair from the scalp by its blond roots only to be caught and restrained by Izzy and Joe on either side of him.

"Augh, let me go! I've had about all I can take from these stupid girlfriend jokes!" Tai shouted kicking and struggling wildly.

"You know, it'd be easier for you to quit denying it. Confession is supposed good for the soul, after all," Matt said clearly not realizing when to back down.

"Frackin' pretty boy, banjo-strumming, goth-wannabe, goldilocks pop star freak!" Tai swore vehemently. "I'm gonna punch you so hard, it'll knock the gel out of your hair clean into next week!"

Matt's grin grew even wider, obviously getting a kick out of riling him. It wasn't often that anyone was able to unnerve Tai. It was a case of him enjoying kidding the kidder for once. He opened his mouth to say something else—and Sora beat him to it.

"Quit egging him on, Matt," she chided. "If you two have another one of your childish fights and ruin Christmas for the rest of us, I'll never forgive either of you!"

Matt looked like puppy whose backside had just been swatted with a rolled-up newspaper. "Sorry," he said, his shoulder slumping. If he had possessed ears, they would have been laid flat against his head in shame. He resembled every inch of the word "whipped".

"Tai," he said turning to him. "I just mailed Jun's ticket along with yours because I figured if I sent it with Davis' he'd just tear hers up and think he was doing me a favor. I mean, he would be, but like that would stop her. She'd find a way to break in anyway and possibly crash the concert. It's just easier this way. I know you're not really dating her."

Tai stopped trying to break free from Joe and Izzy long enough to see that Matt was serious. "Well, that's… all you… had to say," he said, his temper cooling off. "…jerk," he added for good measure.

Izzy cautiously relaxed his grip on him once Tai's body language had relaxed. "Honestly, sometimes you two remind me of a mongoose and a snake's relationship: mortal enemies trying to kill and eat each other."

"Who's the mongoose?" Tai inquired curiously.

"Izzy," Sora cut in. "For the love of god, don't answer that."

"Taichi-sempai, guys, hey!" yelled a familiar voice. They turned to see Davis and the younger kids headed towards them up the shoreline towing three large tote bags tied with a gigantic red bow around it between the five of them.

"Wow!" Mimi exclaimed. "Did they stop by the post office and collect Matt's fan mail?"

"If they called us out here to read pages and pages of love-sick soliloquies from obsessed females gushing about their idol, I'm leaving." Tai declared tersely. "I get enough of that from Jun every single day—oh shut up!" he shouted at smirks on his friends' faces.

"Merry Christmas! We brought presents!" Yolei sung when they finally had reached them.

Tai didn't even have time to begin speculating what was in them for Davis called out a loud "Now!" and then suddenly he found his arms full of an orange dinosaur who had sprung out of one of the tote bags.

"Surprise!" Agumon shouted, his lips stretched back to reveal a mouthful of glistening teeth in a reptilian smile.

"Whoa, Agumon? No way!" Tai cried, as he staggered under the crushing weight of his partner.

Around him, he heard the startled exclamations of the rest of the Digidestined as they were reunited with their partners.

"Well, were you surprised?" Agumon asked, nuzzling his broad snout into Tai's chest. "Davis promised us you would be."

"You bet. Best present ever!" Tai laughed hugging him. "You little sneaks!" he said directing a mock glower at the younger kids. Now he knew what all their secrecy had been about.

Kari giggled delightedly.

"What a wonderful Christmas present!" Mimi managed to sob out, Palmon's Poison Ivy vines wrapped tightly about her as the two clutched each other and cried tears of happiness.

"Oh, speaking of Christmas, Ken invited us to a party at his place tonight so about Matt's concert—well, we were kind of wondering if…" Davis trailed off looking unsure.

"I won't get mad if you guys decide not to come, don't worry about it," Matt said. "Go and enjoy your party. There'll be other concerts."

"Thanks, Matt!" T.K. beamed waving good-bye as the younger team set off.

One by one Digidestined and Digimon dispersed, each to do a little catching up with each other before Matt's concert until Tai and Agumon were the only ones remaining on the bare stretch of beach.

They sat in the sand for several minutes in silence, listening to the faint sound of the seagulls crying overhead and the roar of the crashing waves in the distance.

"So I heard you had a talk with BlackWarGreymon," Tai said, his words slicing through the air with a ring of displeasure to them he had failed to mask.

"You mad at me?" Agumon asked.

"No," Tai sighed, absent-mindedly scooping up a pile of sand in his hand and letting it filter through his fingers. "Just worried. You should know better than to go talking to strange Digimon, especially Mega-level Virus ones. He could have destroyed you."

"But he didn't," Agumon said.

Tai didn't reply and stared down at the tide that was gently lapping around their feet.

"I know he attacked Kari and the others and destroyed the Destiny Stones, but he's not bad," Agumon stated with conviction. "I have a sixth sense about these things. Even Azulongmon said BlackWarGreymon had a purpose to serve."

Azulongmon, Tai thought, the Digimon Sovereign of the Eastern Hemisphere, one of the four guardians of the Digital World. Finally the reason as to why the Digidestined had to give up their Crests had come to light. Give up their Crests to free the guardians so they protect the Digital World from megalomaniac Digimon like the Dark Masters from appearing again. They weren't doing a very good job so far.

"Yeah, well Gollum had a purpose to serve too and he got melted for it," Tai said placing his hands behind his head and lying back.

"Gollum, who's that?" Agumon questioned confused. "Is that a Digimon you guys met?"

"Just be more careful, alright? I don't want to lose you."

Tai felt a weight press down on his chest as the small dinosaur Digimon laid his head across it. "You won't lose me, Tai," Agumon promised. "I'll be here whenever you need me.

Tai lifted a hand to rub his partner's smooth orange head fondly. "Even when I'm old and grey?"

"Always and forever."

oOo

It was late afternoon by the time they arrived at Matt's concert. The stage had been set up within a large striped circus tent outside the Fuji TV station and already there was a large crowd lining up.

"Humans seem to enjoy listening to people sing," Agumon commented.

"Yep," Tai said wondering is he should go mull around someplace else for awhile and come back when everyone was inside. He already had tickets.

"It's funny because Digimon don't seem to have the same appreciation for it. Last time I tried, I got chased for ten minutes by an angry Tortomon."

Tai had to stifle a laugh. "Well, some people are just more musically gifted than others, Agumon. Tortomon was probably jealous because he couldn't sing as good as you."

"Yeah?" Agumon tried to puff out his chest but all he succeeded was jutting out his chubby tummy instead.

"Yeah, I mean look at the injustice done to me. I'm limited to only singing in the shower because if I do it around other people, they feel inferior to my talent," Tai shared. "Do you know how many songs Matt has stolen off my creative genius?"

"Wow!" Agumon was amazed. "And you don't mind that he's taking all the credit?"

"Nah, someone has to be the poster-boy and deal with the press. I can't handle all that publicity."

"You're a good friend, Tai. I'm proud of you!"

Tai hid a smile in the corner of his mouth. Sometimes his partner was really too gullible.

"Tai, yoo-hoo!" someone called.

Tai froze. He would recognize that voice anywhere. He was vaguely aware of Agumon taking cover behind a trash disposable. Spinning around, he came face-to-face with a beaming Jun Motomiya wearing a green festival robe over her yellow and white Teenage Wolves fan clothes.

"Are you ready for the concert?" she cried, quivering all over in tiny, miniscule tremors.

"Are you cold?" Tai asked. She only had on a thin long-sleeved t-shirt and shorts underneath that robe. That outfit was meant for summer not the harshness of winter.

"I'm so excited!" Jun squealed. "These are shivers of love! I've worked up my courage! I'm going to confess to Matt today! Heehee!"

A chill that did not belong to the outside weather swept over him, making his blood run cold. Tai knew, he knew of course that his and Jun's relationship was not what it appeared to be to everyone else, that Jun was only using him as a prop to get closer to Matt and yet…

She looked so happy. Her face was glowing, her cheeks flushed pink and brown eyes were sparkling.

You were right about me avoiding Jun all the time. I'm going to tell her the truth how feel about her next time she corners me.

Her hopes and dreams were going to be utterly crushed.

"Are you sure you should do it now?" Tai asked.

"What do you mean? A concert at Christmas is the perfect setting for date, don't you think?" Jun laughed, ironically echoing Matt's words from before. "It will be a memory to remember!"

It would. Just not the way she thought.

Jun held up a thermal pail in one hand. "I've made Matt a treat to soften his heart as well! Wish me luck!" she said striking off in the backstage direction.

"Security won't let you past!" Tai shouted after her, attempting one final time to stop her, spare her the heartbreak at least for one more day.

"VIP pass!" Jun yelled back, waving the ticket he had given her at school a few days earlier over her shoulder at him.

"Who was that?" Agumon asked emerging from behind the trash disposable and coming to stand beside him to watch the girl flash her ticket at the security guards and be allowed through the checkpoint.

"My ex-girlfriend," Tai replied.

oOo

The late afternoon sun was sinking in the sky dipping below the horizon setting everything ablaze in an orange-red glory. Tai chewed the end of his straw, the soda not doing anything to calm his nervous stomach. How long had it been since Jun had gone to confess to Matt now? Five minutes? Ten? Maybe more? Exactly how long did it take to get shot down anyway?

"You seem troubled, Tai," Agumon said. "Is something bothering you?"

"It's nothing, I just gotta see Matt about something," Tai said getting up from the bench he had been sitting on. "Wait here, I'll be back."

He walked as fast as it was possible without breaking into a run to the security checkpoint… and bumped into Sora just as she got there.

"Oh, Tai!" Sora gasped startled by his sudden appearance. Her face flared red in embarrassment as she tried to hide a red and green wrapped box behind her back.

"Sora… is that for Matt?" Tai asked and Sora bit her lip hesitating, appearing a little afraid to answer.

"Hey, in or out, kids," one of the security guards spoke up impatiently.

They showed them their tickets and were let through the gates. The silence was deafening as they walked alongside each other, tension brewing overhead like a thundercloud waiting to burst. Sora refused to meet his gaze and was looking at the ground as if it was the most fascinating thing on earth she had ever seen. Tai wasn't stupid. He had witnessed enough incidents at school to recognize a girl about to confess to a guy when he saw one. He wasn't blind either. He had known this was coming for awhile now ever since Sora and Matt had started their disgustingly mushy, twitter-pated flirting. He just hadn't thought it would come to a head to this soon. And why did Sora decide to confess to Matt today of all days?

It would be harsh enough for Matt to tell Jun he couldn't return her feelings for her. It would be downright cruel for Matt to choose Sora right in front of her.

Maybe he should try stalling for time, long enough for Jun to vacant Matt's trailer and not see or be seen by anyone.

"So, um, Sora… are you going to the concert with anybody?" he asked in an effort to lead her away from the backstage area. "Not that it matters to me, just wondering." He winced at how lame he had sounded. God, Jun was right. He was faint-hearted when talking to girls!

"No," Sora said seeming to regain her voice. "I want to available in case Matt is free afterwards."

Okay, ouch. Apparently, getting shot down was rather quick… and painful.

So what in the Digital World was taking Jun so long?

"Oh, I see. Matt, huh. That's okay," Tai said laying a hand on her shoulder.

Sora lifted crimson-brown eyes from the ground to blink confused at him, like she had expected a bigger reaction. "You're not… mad at me, Tai?"

"No, of course not," Tai said wondering she suspected even the slightest bit of how he felt about her. She seemed to think that it would upset him if she mentioned she was waiting for Matt. Maybe she was afraid of damaging their friendship, of putting everyone's relationship in jeopardy—two Digidestined dating had never been done before. Obviously, Mimi had not told her about her and Joe's little expedition then. Hurt? Yes. Jealous? Definitely. Mad? No. "Should I be?"

Sora was saved from having to answer by a high-pitched voice calling her name and suddenly Biyomon had dropped from the sky and flown down next to her.

"Did you give him the cookies, Sora? Did you? Did you?" Biyomon chanted, hopping up and down in excitement, pink feathers ruffled every which way from the wind.

"Not… yet," Sora said glancing at Tai from the corner of her eyes. He got the impression she wanted to be alone when she confessed to Matt, which believe him, was totally fine since he certainly didn't want to stick around forced to listen to them utter sweet nothings in each others' ears, however, he couldn't just walk away now. Not until he knew what had happened to Jun.

"Is he in there? Did you knock yet? Remember, you're supposed to knock first like this!" Biyomon chirped rapping on the door with four swift pecks of her beak before either of them could stop her.

The door opened a crack and Gabumon stuck his head around and peered out looking very distressed.

"Gabumon! You don't look so good! Is something wrong?" Biyomon cried in concern.

"Oh, well…" Gabumon said darting a furtive glance behind him. "I'm only a Digimon and I don't really understand human interaction sometimes so I'm not sure what's going on, but—"

"Just tell me what you want and I'll change!"

The shriek was feminine and laced thickly with a desperate agony. Tai's heart twisted in his chest at the sound.

"Please… just go." Matt's voice. Resigned. Apologetic. Unyielding.

The door Gabumon was holding onto was ripped from his grasp as it burst open and Jun stood in the entrance breathing raggedly, her face flushed red in raw hurt and humiliation at having been rejected by the one she loved.

Jun's devastated facial expression morphed into one of shock as her brown eyes widened at the sight of the two people in front of her—as did Matt's from behind her and Tai realized he and Sora were standing close together… and he still had his hand on her shoulder.

He jerked away as if he had been burned, but not fast enough. Jun shoved past them with a strangled sob and raced off, her figure disappearing into the blue shadows that twilight was casting.

"Matt, if this is a bad time… we can go…" Sora said putting one foot back.

"No!" Matt exclaimed coming over to the door hurriedly. "No. It's fine. Please, come in."

Sora smiled and stepped over the threshold. Matt placed a hand on the small of her back and looked at Tai who was still standing outside. "You coming?" he asked. There was a gleam in his blue eyes, a calculating gleam as if he was sizing him up, as if he had seen something he hadn't noticed before.

"No," Tai said quietly. "No, I'm going."

oOo

Neon-colored lights were flashing brightly the walls of the tent vibrated wildly to the beat of the music. The sound of a bass guitar, electric piano, drums and cymbals mixed with the screams and cheers of the crowd pounded deafeningly in his ears, yet Tai felt like he was experiencing it all from behind a glass wall. He felt numb, overwhelmed, like he was sinking into a chasm of nothingness.

Sora was sitting beside him on the bleachers, an adoring expression imprinted on her countenance as she gazed at the blond onstage singing. Her own confession must have gone better than Jun's.

Jun… he couldn't forget that horrible broken-hearted look on her face. I should have warned her, Tai thought with a pang of regret.

"Excuse me," spoke up a new voice suddenly over the blare of the music and crowd.

Tai and the rest of the Digidestined looked up to see a girl with shoulder-length brown hair and thick black-rimmed glasses standing a few feet away. There was something familiar about her, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it.

"You're Taichi Kamiya, right?" the girl asked him.

Tai nodded. "Do I know you?"

"No, but our little sisters know each other," the girl said. "I'm Momoe Inoue."

Suddenly her face clicked into place. She looked just like Yolei, minus the lavender hair.

"I came with Jun," Momoe explained. "She had me save our seats and then she said she had something important to do, but never came back. I thought she might be with you."

"She's not," Tai said hoarsely, his mouth feeling dry.

"I'm worried about her. She loves the Teenage Wolves' concerts. She never misses one and always cheers them on," Momoe held up two fuchsia-pink pom-poms in her hands in demonstration. "She left these behind. She never does that. I think something might have happened to her."

Tai and Sora shared a glance between them before Sora looked away first. The act sparked a dull flame of anger in him that snapped him out of his numb state of mind. He was the Chosen Child of Courage and he was afraid to face a girl he had let down? He stood to his feet quickly, bringing Agumon up with him in his arms.

"You stay here," he told Momoe. "Enjoy the concert. I'll go look for Jun."

He took off ignoring the others calling his name out after him. He sucked in the cool night air with one big breath, relieved to have escaped from the large mass of body heat and noise.

"Agumon, do you think you can help me find someone?" he asked setting his partner down.

"Sure, Tai, but it would help me if I knew who I was looking for and what they smelled like," Agumon said.

"Well, Jun is Davis' sister. Does that help?" Tai asked.

"Hmmm," Agumon said lifting his snout into the air and sniffing. "I smell…"

"You smell…?"

"Something really good!" Agumon exclaimed as his stomach gave a gigantic rumble.

"This is no time to be thinking about food!" Tai yelled exasperated.

"Oh, and Jun is over there!" Agumon said pointing one claw a few yards away where a familiar spiky-haired silhouette was outlined under the dim lighting of a streetlamp.

"Jun!" Tai shouted rushing over to her. The girl's back was turned against him, her head bowed low. He reached out to touch her on her shoulder…

And Jun whirled around with a scream of rage and slapped him hard across the face for all she was worth.

He staggered backwards stars exploding before his eyes—and Jun slapped him again on the other side of his face.

Tai lifted a head to one of his rapidly reddening cheek and stared speechless at her. The girl wore a furious expression as she glared at him with brown eyes shining with nothing but contempt.

"Did you two have fun?" she spat viciously. "Did you two laugh while planning how to play with my emotions and humiliate me?"

"What—"

"You knew!" Jun screeched, her voice cracking in half. "You knew Matt didn't like me and you let me believe he—you're a lying monster!" She gave something at her feet a mighty kick and sent it spilling its contents all over the ground in a wave that pooled around Tai's shoes.

Stringy, pale-white noodles lying in a light-brown broth that was still steaming surrounded by chopped green onions and leeks with one now-overly cooked egg floating in the midst of it all.

Tsukimi udon.

"Matt doesn't like udon! He never eats udon! He told me so! Right before he turned me down!" Jun cried, her eyes glistening with unshed tears, but not a single drop of water slid out. "You made it up! It's you who likes it not him!"

Tai's throat tightened. He couldn't think of a single thing to say to explain his actions.

"You lied about everything! Matt, the udon, even the girl you like! It's not Shortcake at all, it's Psycho Sora! Well, tough luck! Because I've seen them at school too—her and him! She likes Matt not you! She chose Matt not you! You don't mean a thing to her! You're nothing to her! Nothing! Nothing! Nothing!" Jun shrieked hysterically raising her hand in a clenched fist to strike him again.

Tai grabbed her wrist tightly as it came down, her barbed words fanning the dull sparks of anger in him into a crackling fire. "Stop it!" he ordered, shaking her roughly. "You don't even know what you're saying!"

It took a moment for Jun to get control of herself. She stood there trembling from head to toe, her wrist still held in his grip, then she lifted her eyes up… her pupils dilating to pin-points in shock as they focused on something behind him.

"Tai, we've got trouble!" he heard Agumon shout.

He turned around and was greeted with the sight of a tall, obsidian obelisk rising from ground pulsing red around its edges.

A Control Spire, here in the real world? He thought wildly. How is that possible?

Digimon exploded from the portal beneath the Control Spire's base. It happened so fast, Tai only caught glimpses. He thought he saw Kuwagamon and Snimon as well as Monazemon, but he couldn't be too sure because Bakemon filled his line of vision like a swarm of bees.

But even their sheer numbers couldn't hide the bulk of black hide of red stripes and green spikes down its back and tail: DarkTyrannomon.

The black T-Rex unleashed an enormous roar turning its head in the direction of Matt's concert where faint sounds of music blasted from the opening in the tent. The earth shook mightily as the Digimon stomped one gigantic clawed foot after the other getting closer and closer baring wicked-curved teeth as he growled his displeasure.

Jun tensed in his grip, opening her mouth to release a terrified scream. Tai had the sense enough to clap his other hand over her lips to muffle the sound. "Stay still and be quiet!" he hissed. "Don't draw his attention to us!"

Jun obeyed, not moving a muscle as she clutched at his coat as if seeking protection.

DarkTyrannomon gave another enormous roar as he tore through the lining of the tent along with several Bakemon and put new meaning on the term "party-crashers". Screams erupted from within and people began streaming out trying frantically to escape.

"Wow, I guess DarkTyrannomon really hates Rock," Tai stated as he watched the chaos unfold.

"Tai, look out!" Agumon cried out a warning as he raced towards them.

A posse of Bakemon had them surrounded and spun about their prey in dizzing circles. This time, Tai let Jun scream as loud as she wanted.

"Keep 'em distracted for me!" he yelled at her dialing a number on his cell phone.

"Aaaaaaah—who the heck could you possibly be calling at a time like this? Ghostbusters?" Jun shrieked her fear momentarily replaced with livid astonishment.

"Hello, Ichijouji residence," said a soft female voice on the other line.

"This is Tai! I need to talk to Kari!"

"You're selling ties?"

"No, my name is Tai!" Tai exclaimed livid. God, was everybody a total idiot or something? Was he going to be subjected to that awful pun his whole life?

The Bakemon advanced, closing their circle smaller and smaller.

His whole life which was looking pretty short.

"I need to talk to Kari! I'm her brother! It's an emergency!"

"Okay, hold on, please," the woman said.

"Are these more of your monster friends?" Jun demanded as the Bakemon cornered them around the streetlight. "Aren't these the same little creeps who took everyone hostage five years ago?"

"These are not and never will be our friends!" Tai proclaimed.

"Tai?" Kari's voice sounded in his ear. "What's going on?"

"Kari! Come quick! Matt's concert is being attacked by—ack!" he was cut off by a decaying clawed hand that shot out from underneath a Bakemon's cloak and wrapped itself around his throat in a cold grip. The phone tumbled out of his hands to the ground where Kari's voice drifted out calling his name in concern.

His lungs convulsed as his air supply was shut off. The world around him was growing fuzzy, he was feeling light-headed…

"Let him go, you overgrown Kirby rejects!" Jun screamed. He heard a hollow whacking sound and suddenly he could breathe again.

He collapsed to his knees choking and gasping and looked up blearily to see Jun fending off and bashing baffled Bakemon's heads in with the empty thermal pail that the tsukimi udon had been held in.

"Power up! Power up! Yeah!" she cried appearing totally into the game now that she had a weapon.

She was mad.

Insane.

Tai cracked a grin. She was awesome.

"Tai, I'm here! Don't worry!" Agumon called leaping into the fray.

Whack!

The small, orange dinosaur went down under the mighty wonder that was made up of Jun Motomiya… and her soup bucket.

"Hey, he's on our side!" Tai exclaimed flinging his arms around his partner before Jun could finish him off with another blow.

"Oops," she said not pausing in between swinging right and left to look at the damage she had dealt; she couldn't afford to be distracted.

"Tai!"

Tai searched through the sea of swirling Bakemon trying to see who had called his name. It was Izzy. He and the rest of the Digidestined were huddled together in a small group in front of the now-destroyed tent and concert, gazing his direction in trepidation.

"I'm fine!" he shouted at them. "Go help the other people!"

People were being chased by rampaging monsters all over the place. A cluster of Numemon here, a Snimon and Kuwagamon there, herding people like frightened sheep. It was like a scene straight out of one of those old Godzilla movies only much less cheesy.

"No, Tai! Up there! Look out!" Izzy cried pointing upwards.

A shadow passed in front of the moon. A shadow with wings and twin metal gun-claws for arms.

Megadramon let out a roar of victory as it fired off countless missiles from his arms in a Dark Side Attack that rained down upon the earth with destructive force, sending up sheets of debris and slabs of concrete. Even the Bakemon were wise enough to get out of the way.

Unfortunately, that just made Tai and Jun better targets.

"Move!" Tai yelled, grabbing her by the arm and hauling her along. With a stunned Agumon tucked under his other arm, it was a rather slow process. So, in the end he just threw them all face forward into the ground barely leaping free as an explosion rocked behind them covering them in a fine sheet of dust and rubble.

"Thunder Blast!"

"Rock Crackin'!"

The twin attack cries were like music to his ears. Heavenly, angelic music. None of that electric bass guitar stuff Matt loved so much.

The Control Spire toppled over on its side with a dull thunk!

"Never fear! The cavalry is here!" Davis sung out riding on Raidramon's back with Ken behind him.

Tai would have remarked that they cut it just a little too close for comfort, but he was too busy hacking the dust out of his lungs and spitting grit out of his mouth.

Next to him Agumon stirred and opened dazed green eyes.

"Agumon, are you alright?" Tai coughed out. "Can you hear me?"

"Mmm-mmm," Agumon mumbled shaking his head slightly as if to clear away the dizziness.

Tai raised his head cautiously and looked about. The older Digidestined's Digimon had all digivolved into Champion as a result of the Control Spire being destroyed. They were busy rounding up the evil Digimon towards Nefertimon and Pegasusmon who looped a golden noose around the bunch as slung them towards Izzy and Joe who were holding a laptop computer out towards them, a portal to the Digital World open and waiting to take its stray inhabitants back home. Meanwhile, Paildramon was engaged in fighting Megadramon and Monazemon at the same time, but he seemed to be handling it pretty efficiently, especially when the rest of the younger team's Digimon DNA-digivolved into their Ultimate forms to help out.

Everything seemed to be going fine without his and Agumon's assistance. Perhaps they should just lie low on this one. Agumon was still recovering from Jun's whack-job on him.

Wait a moment. Tai sat up abruptly as he noticed her conspicuous absence. Just where was she anyway?

He received his answer from the girl's shrill scream when Numemon that the others had missed popped out in front of her and got her squarely in the chest with his Sludge Attack.

"Ew!" Jun shrieked, her complexion turning green as she stared at the pink gunk smeared over her shirt. "Ew! Ew! Ew! Grooooss! You're gonna pay for that, you disgusting, green amoeba!"

Picking up a reasonably-sized rock with both hands, she lifted it over her head and took aim, ready to make a green pancake out of the Digimon, but it was already scurrying away as fast as it could go.

"That's right, you better run!" Jun screeched after it, grim satisfaction plastered across her face along with smudged of dirt, scratches and bruises.

The Numemon hadn't been running from her though.

A familiar roaring cry split the air sending chills down Tai's spine and numbing him to the core. DarkTyrannomon appeared through the swirling clouds of dust behind the girl having found his newest victim by following the sound of all the racket she had made. The black T-Rex's thick tail was already uncurling in preparation…

A wad of saliva that dripped out of the corner of the dinosaur's mouth and splattered on the ground by her feet was the only warning Jun got. She didn't even have time to turn around and look…

Tai was barely aware of himself springing up and throwing himself arms around her. There was no time left. He couldn't push her forward; he couldn't pull her back out of harm's way. The only thing he could do was provide his body as a shield and protect her from the brunt of the Digimon's attack.

DarkTyrannomon's tail lashed out like a whip, like a sleek black snake striking its prey in high speed. It swatted the two puny humans aside as if they were nothing but annoying gnats.

Tai literally felt the air rush out of his lungs as he was slammed backwards into the remnants of what had once been a supporting column of a shopping center. Now it was broken. Broken like him. He heard something crack loudly in his body yet oddly felt no pain. Maybe he was paralyzed. He saw Death coming swiftly for him in the form of an enormous black dinosaur, he distantly heard people shouting over the wall of fire blazing so tall and fiercely, threatening to envelop and welcome him into its warmth, but he couldn't move, couldn't think. Jun was slumped over limply in his arms unmoving and nothing else mattered.

The ground beneath him shook and trembled as a heavy weight trampled across it and a dark shadow slid over him. His vision blurred for a few seconds and when it had cleared, the shadow was gone and so were the fires that had burned so brightly. Nothing but ash remained.

Not ash.

Miniscule, black particles… digital data.

DarkTyrannomon…?

The moon peaked from behind its cloud cover, shedding its rays of light upon the earth below, unveiling the large orange and blue-striped T-Rex with a horned helmet that had been his savior.

Greymon, Tai tried to say, but the words wouldn't form. His vocal cords felt as if they had been glued shut.

"Tai! Oh my god, Tai!" he heard someone yell his name in a panic, joined by several other voices.

Then there were figures of people all around him, their voices buzzing about his head making no sense whatsoever and too many hands reaching for him.

"Don't touch him!" the order was barked out clear and sharp.

The hands obeyed, backing off and letting the new voice through.

"Tai? Tai, can you hear me?" the voice asked in a soothing and calm tone. "Do you know who I am?"

Tai blinked several times. There was a patch of brown hanging over his right eye obstructing his view. He somehow dimly realized it was his bangs. He looked out of his left and tried to recall who the head of indigo-colored hair belonged to.

Ken?

Ken didn't wear glasses.

"J-Joe…" he slurred out through puffy, swelled lips.

Joe smiled at him relieved.

The air slowly returned into his lungs… and with it suddenly came the pain. Horrible, agonizing, crucifying pain. He felt like he had shattered every bone in his body.

He tried to scream, but all that came out was a dry cough and the taste of copper in his mouth.

"Joe," someone said from behind him—a girl's voice. "Joe, he's bleed—"

"Try and stay awake, Tai, okay?" Joe said smoothly combing over the others' words. Tai watched him motion someone over to where he squatted in front of him. "Call for an ambulance, Izzy," he whispered in low tone from behind his hand.

"How… bad… is it—" Tai managed to gasp out tilting his head at an angle trying to see the extent of his injuries.

Joe blocked his line of vision, placing the palm of his hand over his eyes.

Tai laughed weakly. "T-that… b-bad, huh?"

His vision was blurring again and with it came a different kind of darkness creeping up on him, beckoning him to succumb to its depths.

"Stay awake, Tai," Joe frowned.

"C-coach is gonna… k-kill me," Tai said.

Then his world turned black.

To Be Continued…

A/N: Whoa! So, um, who wants to lynch the author now?^^;; (ducks knives and tomatoes) Hey! If I get killed, guys won't get the next chapter! DX

This chapter took me quicker than expected! Okay, guys, I'm moving tomorrow and shall be without internet probably for a couple of weeks until I get the phone service settled out, so don't expect weekly updates anymore. I'll try and work on chapters at home and upload them at the library, but this will be much slower, alright?

Next chapter, I'm planning an interlude of what happened in this chapter starting from the fight scene from other Digidestined's perspectives. It will be shorter than usual, but there's something I want to show that I couldn't fit in this chapter since it was from Tai's POV. (Plus, re-reading what I wrote, dazed-injured!Tai is very confusing to see what happened). Then the chapter after that, will pick up where we left on this one.

Fun Facts: Go back and re-read the part where Tai goes looking for Jun after leaving the concert and listen to "My Happy Ending" by Avril Lavigne. (Yes, I shamelessly based the title of this chapter around the song). It's heart-wrenching! In fact, you could even start from where Matt rejects her. I always imagined Jun singing that song talking about Matt but telling all this to Tai. The lines in particular, starting from 2:23 to 2:44 are my favorites and really fits the slap-scene Jun gave Tai. I also listened to Jerk It Out by the Caesars during the Digi-battle. It was fun!

I hope you have enjoyed reading this! Please review and share your thoughts and favorite scenes. I love hearing what you liked best and it's the only reward a fanfic author gets. I like knowing what my readers think and feel. Thank you!^^

On to the Interlude

 

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