Just In | Directory | Columns | Ad Blocker | Dictionary     [ Find ]    Log In | Register

Fanfic » Anime » Digimon » Shades Of Grey font size: (+) : (-)
Author: logan
R - English - Romance/Drama - Reviews: 46 - Publish date: 06-06-01 - Updated: 06-06-01 storyid: 307877

Disclaimer. I don't own the show or the characters. I do own the fic and the plot so I'm planning on an early retirement from all the cash I will be raking in from this one... -_-' ok that would be sarcasm to the twenty-fifth power. Well I tried writing something with a little bit of a different style. But you can't fight your true nature for long so the 'Sapmaster' will most likely be back soon. ^_^ Ok. This fic is written in a darker style and I think it earns it's R rating. I hope I don't get too graphic with some of the fight scenes. Also this is a lot like the novel interview with a vampire. I don't own that either so Ann Rice will have to be content with her millions and not try to choke that hole buck fifty I own out of me. ^_^ well I hope you like it.

Mail me at: logan91235@aol.com







Shades Of Grey

by Logan







"My story began so long ago that I would forget it if it were not for my.... nature. You see I have lived a long life. A life of many experiences, joys, and sorrows. I have seen so much that I doubt I could truly convey it in words to you. But it is a story worth sharing. And that is why I have chosen to chronicle my origins for you.

Where to begin...... That perhaps is the hardest part of this story. I could begin by telling you about a place I went once. A magical world where there is more beauty then you could ever dream, yet also more savagery and death then you could produce in an eternity of nightmares. It was in this world that I grew up. In this world that I first got a taste of what I now am. You see me and some of my friends were once at summer camp and we... No. that would be redundant. You know that story already. I'm writing to tell a story you have yet to hear. My story. No, check that, our story.

It begins in the peace that followed the second digital war. I shall begin the story as all good love stories should begin. Oh, I forgot to mention that. This is, in part, a love story. And like any good love story it should begin with the two lovers.

It was so long ago that it happened.... so very long... but even after all these years I could describe that morning to you as though I lived it yesterday. The sun was so warm... so bright... but even that brilliant orb dulled away to a smokey grey when held in comparison to her. My god she was beautiful that day.. Her eyes glowed with a smile so bright that heaven was reflected in her gaze. She wore the sunlight like a halo upon her crimson hair. It's strange how that image of my Sora can effect me still. How I can touch upon that image of her as she stood before me, and in that visage be standing in the sun again. my story begins with her... I can think of no better beginning.

Sora had broken my heart once. It's amazing how fragile the heart is. How it can be crushed like brittle bread. But amazingly my heart was granted a reprieve. You see Sora chose my friend as a second choice. I was at my worst one night, I drank more then I had ever drank before. Alcohol, god I do not miss that. It robs you of certain inhibitions. Poisons your judgement.

That night I had come to Sora's house in a complete daze. She opened the door to me only to find herself pulled into my arms and passionately kissed. I still remember the face she made when the poor girl got a mouth full of second hand tequila. She kneed me in the groin and told me to go to hell. I stumbled home that night, but when I woke up to my horrible hangover I found her in my room. Her eyes were red with tears as she looked into mine. That night I had made it clear I was never a friend. I was a lousy drunk, but I was not just a friend.

She told me that she had told matt it was over. That she couldn't be in a relationship with him if she was in love with someone else. He called her a heartless bitch and hung up on her. she came to me. I forget exactly what happened that morning due to the hangover. But, after that day we were officially a couple. That began the chapter of my life I treasured most. A period lived in utterly limitless bliss. I lived it as though I were floating upon the waters of some lake composed of joy instead of water. God that was an amazing two years. But everything has an end. If you hear differently then you are being lied to. My swim in the waters of happiness were coming to a drowning end. I suppose that is where I should begin the story. It begins when we both were eighteen and living together. The last days of our innocence. And the first of our nightmare.

Now lets see....it was a autumn morning and the sun was shining......"





************************





Tai was sitting on the sofa reading a chapter from a history textbook. He was clad only in his sleepwear which consisted of pajama pants. The day was well underway already, though he still favored the comfort offered by his sleepwear while lounging about the house. The apartment was a modest one, all they could afford on the combined incomes brought in by two seniors in highschool. It wasn't a bad little place, far from it. Though it was small, it was perfectly fine for only two occupants. They had moved in together after they had began sleeping together.

By sheer bad luck Taichi's mother had found out about this development. She attempted to forbid them from seeing each other only to find that the two were willing to move out from their respective homes rather then give each other up. Sora continued working in her mother's shop while tai got a job at a Gloria-jean's coffee shop. The two were planning to move out for college, so this turn of events was only a year in advance.

They rented from an elderly woman who upon meeting her fell in love with Sora. The two girls got along well and soon they found themselves fast friends. Tai liked the lady, though his rapport was considerably less then that of his girlfriend's. Soon Sora had managed to coax the roses out in front of the building to life. She had a gift for flowers and put that gift to use over the property. Tai on the other hand became a makeshift handyman for the older woman. The friendship Sora and tai forged was enough to make the woman look past the fact two teenagers were now living together. Soon she was giving them a considerable break on the rent under the assumption that Sora would act as a gardener and tai would keep the property maintained. The two teens were happy with the deal. Truth be told they would have done it for free if the woman, Lillian, had asked them.

The window produced a golden radiance from the sun outside as he read over the events that lead to the American war for independence. He found it easier to study here then in any library. Perhaps it was the comfort of the place. The gentle smell of cut flowers and cooking that wafted together in a faint and yet utterly contentful aroma. He yawned as he leaned back on the soft and vibrantly colored sofa. The kitchen was neat and tidy even though he had been cooking only moments ago. Sora rubbed off on him he guessed. She was a neat and orderly person, though not to an extent that it made her compulsive or irritating about it. Tai reached over to the coffee-table where he lifted up a plate filled with amber yellow scrambled eggs in a toast sandwich. He took a large bite full of egg and chewed happily as he continued milling over the endless dates of world history.

The moment was broken by the gentle creek of the door. He turned to find Sora and Lillian carrying groceries into the kitchen. Sora smiled sweetly to him while Lillian offered a quick hello and waved. Taichi smiled to her and waved as she made her exit- complaining about the new tenant's room smelling conspicuously of pot. Tai chuckled.

"If you need any help strong-arming them out let me know."



"Thank you dear, but there is no tenant on this planet who will be more then Lillian homes can handle. But maybe later do you think you could try your hand at tightening a pipe under my kitchen sink? Darn thing has been leaking all week."



"Sure thing Lil, should have told me sooner. Can't have our favorite landlord floating away." he laughed.



"Sora dear, you better watch out for this guy. A sweet boy like him who can fix a sink is a rare find. Some girl is likely to swoop in and spirit him away if you aren't careful." she smiled.



"I'm not too worried, those girls have never tried sharing a bathroom with him. With all that hair he takes longer to get ready then I do!" she chuckled. Lillian laughed deeply as she waved goodbye before letting herself out. Sora turned to tai with a soft smile on her pink lips. She walked over to him slowly and then threw her arms around his neck and nibbled his ear.



"H-HEY... that tickles!" he giggled.



"All the better to steal your sandwich my dear." before he could respond she had already plucked the egg-sandwich from the plate and taken a big bite. She grinned cutely at him as she stuck her tongue out at him which was covered in partly chewed egg.



"Ewwww.... where did you learn table manners. The alligator pen at the zoo?" he smirked as she leaned in and kissed his cheek.



"What of it?"



"I might just have to try a trick from that Australian guy on tv." he smirked.



"Oh? And what would that be?" he leaned in and kissed her deeply. Sora responded happily as she allowed his tongue to play with her own. it was a moment later that they separated. Breathlessly she murmured to him. "And when exactly did Steve Erwin do that to a crocodile?"



"He didn't, but all the better to steal back my sandwich." he plucked the last bit of the egg sandwich from her hand as she smiled in mock annoyance. He finished it off with one huge bite - grinning all the while. Sora rolled her eyes as she slipped beside him on the sofa.



"So what did you do while you were out?"



"Nothing much, went shopping, swung by my mom's, saw matt...." she grew darker on the last note as tai's mood seemed to do as well.



"Yeah? He still mr wonderful?"

"I tried saying hi, he told me to go to hell."

"Can I beat him up yet?"

"No, we deserve some of it. You were the one to kiss me, then I was the one to break it off with him. We betrayed him. So I guess we deserve it."

"We may, but that doesn't give him the right to treat you like that. If he wants to be a creep to me, fine. But you were the innocent one in all this. Breaking up isn't a crime." he hugged her softly.





"Yeah, yeah, I know. I just can't help feeling guilty."



"One of the reasons you are so great Sor. It doesn't matter if it's your fault. You take the weight of the world on your shoulders. But enough about matt. You looking forward to your dad's party?" her mood lightened.



"Oh yeah, this will be the first time he will have been in town for his birthday. Much less want to celebrate it. And I know just what to get him." she smiled.



"Yeah? What is it?"



"You know how the museum has had him on assignment to find this old relic? The medieval cross? Well I think I know where it is."



"And how would you know that?" he questioned.



" simple, I have seen it before. When he was showing me the pictures of it, it just kinda clicked in me. I know where it is. God he will have a fit when I give it to him. He'll hit the roof." she smiled.



"The museum will pay top dollar for it, and if he gets that kinda cash he'll be able to spend some time here with us. God tai, do you know how cool it will be actually having him around for more then a weekend? I'll be able to spend some real time with him. And... I'll get to introduce him to you."



"He does know me Sora...."



"Not as my boyfriend though. And the best part is when he gets the cross of Lestat, he'll be so happy we can tell him we're living together and he'll still be too elated to get mad." she smiled happily.



"You sure about that? As far as I know most fathers are not happy to find out their baby girls are having sex on a daily basis with their boyfriends." he gulped.



"Trust me goggle-head. He wouldn't care if I was ten and eight-months pregnant. Part of the mixed blessing of having my father. He'll handle it much better then mama did. He won't even throw some pruning sheers at you like she did." Sora chuckled.



"Ok... but remember you won't be able to pay the rent on this place if I am killed by your deranged father. Hey, you said you know where this cross of Lestat is? How is that possible? From what you told me about it that thing has been missing for eight hundred years. How could you just find it? And where?" he questioned.



"I'll tell you the same time as I tell him when we give it to him. A girl has to have a few secrets." she smiled and batted her eyes mysteriously at him. He sighed in defeat before he suddenly threw his arms around her and hoisted her into the air despite the giggling fit. She blushed furiously as he carried her to their bedroom.



" you keep your secrets Sora, but you are just going to have to find some way to pass the time with me so I won't be racked by mysteries. It's only fair." he smiled cutely.



"Well.... fair is fair I suppose..." she grinned as he lay her on the mattress.



************************





" I suppose that if I were really thinking that night I would have pressed further. Maybe if I had I could have spared us all this. But sadly I was too naive to think to ask. I was so young then... so innocent. I didn't think to question her about how she knew. Or where the cross was. You understand that I was still a child then. I thought as a child then. I was thoroughly convinced that nothing could take the joy I now felt away. I was wrong.

God that was a happy time though. I made love to her every night and woke up with her every morning. I couldn't have asked for anything more. Still couldn't. If only I could be that boy again. If only I could live that life again.

Err... I digress. Don't get the impression I am not happy with my life now. I am happy with it. I simply look back over my youth as you may someday. To pay respect to the ghosts of the pasts that haunt your mind. I have a lot of ghosts. But many of them are pleasant. It is these ghosts that give me my memory of a time before all this. Before I lost my innocence, a time long passed where I could walk hand in hand with my Sora during a bright sunny morning. I have a lot of memories like that. Memories I treasure. You can love the past, but you can't live in it.



Allow me to continue. Lets see... ah yes. That night. The night before a party, yet a night that would change me forever. Change my world forever. It was a stary night, a night of great beauty in its darkness combined with diamond jewels of stars. But beyond the mask of nightly beauty there was a face of night bound evils."





************************





"Taichi slept soundly that night. He lay there naked and entangled in the blankets like a cocoon. His sleep was filled with gentle images of contentment that was mirrored thought his entire body. His muscles were loose having been tested earlier this night. His breathing was slow and deep as he remained in that euphoric bliss that followed making love to Sora. If he did dream they were pleasant dreams for there was nothing but the soft warmth that always filled him after uniting with Sora.

While Taichi slept on their bed, Sora dressed. The temptation to lay there in his arms was truly great. But she was on a schedule. She slipped into her pants and one of tai's black shirts. God she wanted to lay there with him. Feel his warm arms and chest close over her. Sora had never suspected how incredible that would feel. She knew before tai, from health class, that sex felt good. But that textbook didn't begin to tell her how good it felt afterwards. In that brief twilight state that is shared between only two who love one anouther. in all her eighteen years of life she had never felt more safe then when held inside his arms. That was her favorite way to fall asleep, held in his arms as he murmured how happy she made him and how much he loved her.



"Sora?" he murmured half asleep.



"Shhh sweetie... I'll be back in half an hour. Go back to bed." She whispered lovingly as his head sank back to the pillow. It was clear he was only part awake. Far too little to truly grasp what she said. He whimpered softly in his sleep as she slipped on her sneakers. She reached over and stroked his forehead reassuringly. "Don't worry lover, I'll be back before you wake up."

Without another word she made her way to their computer which glowed faintly with a aquamarine light. Taichi had uploaded his portal opening program into Sora's digivice thus she was able to form the portal without his help. With a soft hum of electricity her body was converted to data and uploaded. The room grew darker as the portal faded away to the regular system wallpaper. A picture of Sora and tai with biyomon and augumon.



Taichi slept less soundly until Sora returned to him. He was drifting on the edge of waking up when he saw the soft flash of light that preceded a gateway opening. He sat up in bed as he watched the image of Sora materialize from the glowing light. He wiped the sleep from his eyes as he took her in. She was soaked with sweat and smeared with dirt as she clutched a large object which was covered in tarp. She put the relic down on the table as she cursed lightly. Tai sat up more strait as he took her in. Her face was painted with dry mud and black dirt that was now caked to her cheek and chin. She had sweat running down her face as she wiped the sweat soaked hair from her eyes. As she did so she winced in pain.



"Sora, what's wrong?! He questioned with a hint of panic in his voice. He sat up and threw off the covers completely oblivious to his nudity. Sora blushed as she felt him make his way to her and begin a examination of her. he took her face in his hands and rubbed the pads of his calloused thumbs against her dirt stained cheeks. She smiled at the touch. But when his inspection came to her right hand the smile faded.

Taichi gasped in horror as he opened her cupped hand to reveal a gaping gas that trailed from her fleshy palm to the base of her index finger. She whimpered softly as he looked at the cut in horror the wound bled freely as Taichi opened that hand.

"Oh shit!" he gasped as he quickly grabbed her by the arm and dragged her to the kitchen sink. He turned on the water and pulled her hand under the stream. Sora hissed in pain as the water washed the dirt from the wound.



"Oh god Sora, what the hell did you do tonight?!? this is almost bad enough to need stitches!" he growled in a panicked voice. He left her there for a moment as he sprinted to the bathroom where he returned carrying a medical kit. He looked at Sora for only a moment as he fished out a bottle of peroxide. "Sora... this is going to sting like hell. You ready?" she nodded as her teeth clamped down. He poured the fluid over her wound and grimaced as the liquid hissed angrily as it bubbled. Sora didn't cry out in pain though she did grab tai's hand with her free hand. She squeezed tightly as she bore the pain. He reached into the kit and withdrew several cotton balls which he used to dab away the standing pools of bloody peroxide. Sora looked to him as he lowered his lips to her wound and blew gently on the cut. She felt somewhat like a child as tai bandaged her wound with more tenderness and care then she was sure he had ever shown anyone else.



"Sora what the hell were you doing tonight!?" he barked as he finished the final bandage.



"Tai.. I'm really tired. Please let me go to bed before you give me twenty questions."



"Sora..."



"Please tai." he sighed in defeat. "But don't think you're getting out of explaining this! Get into bed." he growled as he reached over and touched her hurt. "I guess I should take a shower first. I am filthy." she motioned to her dirt streaked face.



"Oh forget the damn sheets. I'll do a wash later. Come on Sora." he flipped off the kitchen light and began making his way to the bedroom. Half way through, he hit his foot on a chair and cursed loudly as he cried out in pain while clutching his big toe.



"What happened tai? Didn't you see it?" she questioned as he danced with pain.



"No! It's pitch black in here! Dammit, we are moving that chair tomorrow!" he growled as he limped the rest of the way.



"That's funny, I could see it clear as day." she shrugged as she followed the limping tai.





************************



"When humans are young they dream about growing old. Often they will act out life as they make mock imitations of what they see the future to be. Playing house. That's what those years remind me most of. They were to me a child's game made real. The game ended that night."





************************



The Takenouchi apartment was with commotion as Sora's father laughed and made conversation with all the parents of the digidestined. Mr Takenouchi smiled broadly as he greeted each and every one of the chosen children. He had always been the one most ready to accept their station in life as defenders, partly because they were living proof that his life's work was not a wasted ghost hunt but a factual research gathering quest. It was by his insistence that they all came. Much to Sora's shock even matt came to the party after accidentally intercepting his call. He couldn't make up an excuse fast or good enough to spare him the party. He came begrudgingly with TK only to find tai and Sora helping with the festivities. They stared at him in shock for a good two minutes before he cast them an evil eye and went off to greet mr. Takenouchi.



"Ok... this is going to be an interesting night. I was sure he wouldn't come." tai stated blankly as Sora wrapped her arms around his waist. "Don't let him get to you tai. Maybe we'll even be able to patch this up tonight." she offered with a smile.



"I doubt it Sora, but oh well... this is your dad's big night. Lets not let ex-boyfriends ruin that for both him and us. How's your hand? Still hurt?" he questioned as he turned her hand over in his own. He was gentle as he peeled back the bandages ever so slightly so that he would be able to see the wound. He was shocked to see that the cut had already scabbed over and was now nearly half its previous size just last night. Sora pumped her hand lightly as she tested it for pain. There was none.



"Guess it wasn't as bad as we thought last night?" she offered at a loss for words.

"Umm... yeah... I guess that makes sense. It was pretty late when you got back. I guess it is possible we were both too tired, and saw it as worse then it was. Where did you go off to in the Digiworld anyway?" he questioned. But found that by the time his words had left his lips she was already half way across the room greeting Kari who was dressed in a fluffy pink sweater. Tai looked to her for a time in deliberation to her motives for all the cloak and dagger. He knew that there was something she didn't want him to know. Or at least didn't want to bring into a conversation easily. He sighed in defeat as he went off in search of Mr Takenouchi to wish him a happy birthday.



The evening went by fast as matt remained at a good distance from tai and Sora. They ate the sweet cheesecake that had been chosen as the birthday cake. Tai and Sora shared a piece of the cake because Sora wasn't feeling that well. Tai questioned if she should go to her old room to lay down but was quickly shot down as she remained adamant about not missing a moment of her father's birthday. The strawberry cheesecake vanished quickly as the evening grew darker. Sora smiled happily as her dad began opening present after present. He was a child in many aspects of the word. He always was funny and fun to be around, that was perhaps why his absence always hurt Sora so much. She felt she was missing out on something she needed desperately. A father she had longed to have since she was a little girl growing up in a warring house without a father. He escaped the fighting, but also escaped the daughter who wanted so dearly to be a part of his life. Sora took great pleasure in having him there. Perhaps more pleasure then she should have since the man would most likely be leaving once more, though possibly later then sooner.

He opened several ties and several more shirts. Sora hid her oddly wrapped present in the far corner of the room as he finished the last of the presents- a red leather briefcase- which Sora's mother had given him. He was about to get up when Sora stepped in with a smile she could no longer suppress.



"Daddy, there's one more present from Taichi and I still have our present to give you." she motioned to tai who padded across the room to the corner where he lifted up the wrapped cross. It was hosed with wrapping paper that was covered in birthday cakes and party hats. There was a large red bow on the center with a neatly written tag on it. He looked at the wrapping with question as to what it is. Sora smiled as she sat next to him on the arm of the sofa.



"Be careful, it has a really sharp edge on the sides." she warned as his look of confusion deepened. Taichi stared at her with slight concern. She hadn't been feeling well earlier, but now she was beginning to sweat harder. Her expression was a hint more pale then it had been before. He was sure that no one else noticed such a gradual change, though to him it was growing more obvious with each coming second. He felt a knot grow in the pit of his stomach as he watched her draw in breath after deep breath. Something was troubling him more and more with each soft rise and rhythmic fall of her chest. It was swelling in him now that something was wrong. Something so gradual that it almost advertised stealthy approach. Something like he felt in the digital world when they were about to be ambushed. He felt his heart begin beating faster. The slow rhythmic pulse became more thunderous with each moment he observed the two. She was talking to her father though the words came to him as a muffled run on sentence. Something was wrong with her. something was happening. Something was really really wrong here.

Sora's father tore into the wrapping carefully due to his daughter's cryptic warning. He pulled away the paper with a sudden trepidation as the room got colder. Just the air conditioning he was sure. The paper fell away to join the red ribbon on the floor. He felt his jaw suddenly drop open as he found himself holding the relic. It was made of tarnished metal. Almost black. The construction was intricate as the black cross loomed before him. The center was dominated by a red jewel that seemed black in the apartment's light. It seemed beautiful and yet horrible all at once as he held the cross carefully. It cast no shadow in the lit room, just hung there ominously like a spectral visage of some defiled church-top spire. The metal was cold to the touch. Cold like ice given form to steel. His gave fixed over the bottom of the cross which seemed more like a spear then a religious symbol. The edges gleamed with a wicked light as their razor fringe glistened like the killing edge of a executioner's axe.

"Sora.... t-the cross of darkness?!?" he uttered in a breathless tone born of awe and shock and something else that tai could bear no recognizance. The cross was a thing of art, but also a thing of ominous dread in the room. Sora's mother shrank back from the relic as though it were a coiled serpent that seemed to bubble up from a crack in the floorboards that tunneled down strait to hell.

"You e-mailed me the picture of that artifact the museum was paying you to look for. I remembered that I saw it somewhere. This is it right?" she asked. He turned the cross over in his hand with slight inspection to it. The cross bore the demonic visage of knights on crusade with swords held high and bloodied by gory battle. Their eyes seemed darker then night as they held high the impaled remains of men on large spears. Each pictorial man wore a broad smile as the blood from the killed rained down over them red. TK withdrew farther away from the cross as he cast his eyes away. He didn't want to see it. Didn't want to stare into the crusaders' gleeful smiles as they opened their mouths to the hellish rain.



"Oh my god Sora.... yeah, this is the fabled dark cross. How in the world were you able to find it? It's been lost for four hundred years. Sora... no one has been able to find it. Honey, how do you have it?" he asked in an obvious stupor. Tai turned his attention back to Sora as she fidgeted under the question. "Well after I saw the cross in that picture you sent me, I got to thinking. I knew I had seen it before but I didn't know where. Then it hit me. I had seen it before, but not here on earth... in the Digiworld." Taichi's eyes widened more as he had a thought. It was a brief flash of nervousness that took its form in the image of a idea. An idea he felt colder for having thought.



"Why do they call it the dark cross? It really doesn't look very holy." Kari questioned without taking her eyes of the demonic pictures displayed on the thing's surface.



"The cross was created during the final days of the fifth crusade and the beginning of the sixth. The emperor of Germany, Frederick II, had hoped to participate in the crusades, but due to a rebellion in his lands he wasn't able to raise a substantial force, or attend it personally. He had however sworn to the crusader's pledge, and thus was honor bound to participate. With this commitment he sent a small force of his own knights. The poor souls never had a chance against the Turks. The entire force was massacred, impaled through the heart by the opposing forces. It was said that with the last breath the last of the crusaders cursed god and all humanity. He sold his soul to Satan for the power to avenge his betrayal by his king and his god.

It was said that he rose up from the spear, with a new heart of blackness where his old had been impaled. He came to them as a demon and drank the bloods of his dead comrades and the men who killed him. It was said that the demon knight waged a bloody massacre over the lands as he made his way aimlessly across the lands. It was said he carved out a river of blood from the innocent men, women and....." he looked over to find everyone staring at him with wide eyes and some with pale or green complections. He chuckled nervously as he looked to his wife who was making motions over her neck to tell him to cut it out.

"Sorry... the cross was made by the knight at some point during those first few years as he rampaged. Against them. he took a priest's cross and sharpened the edges to a sword. Then he carved in all the...err.... artwork into it. He turned it into a sword.

The knight vanished some time later without a trace. His escapades were recorded as the first documented case of a vampire. Supposedly he was the first of those mythical creatures. But that doesn't explain how it made its way into the digital world. Don't you need a computer to do that?" he asked his daughter.

"We didn't have one in the beginning, we were all just sucked up from summer camp. I guess it's possible that another human could get there like we did at first..." Taichi replied darkly.

Sora looked at the cross a little fearfully, then to her cut hand which was now far less hurt.



"Dad, you can sell it to the museum right? They'll pay you for it?"



"Oh yes they will! This relic has a amazingly high price tag even for museum standards. Once I give this to them we will have some serious income." he replied with a sudden brightness that was mirrored by the pale Sora.



"I'm so glad you like it. Does this mean you'll be able to stay in town for a bit longer this time?" she replied with a happy smile. Tai walked over to her with a genuine smile that she was finally getting some of the much deserved attention from her father. They linked hands yet tai's smile faded as he looked over to find professor Takenouchi on his cellular talking to the museum. He was talking enthusiastically as he agreed to a seemingly endless line of questioning. The smile was completely gone as he agreed to let them swing by to pick it up with his money. It was starting to look as though he would not be staying in town. Sora looked disheartened as he hung up the phone and began making notation over the cross's specifics.



"Dad?" she offered hopefully.

"In a minute baby" he replied without even looking up. She stared at him for a moment before she decided to continue despite his preoccupation.

"Dad, there's something I wanted to tell you about Taichi and myself, you see we're..."

"Please Sora! I have to make notes over the specifics of the artifact. The museum is sending some men to come pick it up. I should make notes over it before they get here. This is an important archeological artifact. It must be handled as such!" he snapped. Her eyes filled with anger as she stepped forward in protest. Tai tried to put his arms around her, but found he was too slow.



He froze as he looked at her again. Her hair was soaked with sweat and her features looked contorted and in pain. It was as though her skin was made of wax. He noted that the others were now also aware of it. He felt that ping of fear as it trailed through his spine and from there to every nerve in his body. Just as her mother was getting up to intercept her she stumbled and fell.

Taichi ran to her as she collapsed onto the ground in a convulsion of pain. Mr Takenouchi looked up in sudden shock as his daughter writhed on the floor. Tai threw his arms around her as he attempted to hold her through the seizure. Joe was fast to come to her aid but suddenly backed away in horror. "Oh my god..."

Sora cried out in pain from her seizures yet as she opened her mouth in a agonized cry her incisors came to clear view. They were malformed to huge canines which glistened wickedly in the light of the apartment. Tai saw them and gasped in horror though he still continued holding her and pleading with her. The others moved off as they saw the razor fangs of Sora Takenouchi glistening hatefully in the light. Her transformation was becoming clear as they watched her thrash while crying in pain. It was suddenly clear what she was now. What was invading her like a disease. It was as clear to them now as was the function of her killing fangs.

And as they watched, the dark cross cast its shadow over her.



************************

After she got sick we took her to her old bedroom where she slipped away into a dark sleep. I remember touching her while she lay there in that deathlike sleep. She lay there still and my heart ached for her. She fought the change, fighting it makes it worse, more painful. But I couldn't expect anything less from her, she was a fighter. Though fighting the impossible is an exercise in futility.

I remember the way she looked as she lay there. Her face seemed painted in shadows. As she sat there in the darkness of her room. I was so afraid she would die there. I would have given my soul for her. I would have gladly taken her place there in that bed. Gladly allowed myself to lose all humanity and be whatever she was becoming.

As I watched her I found much to my shock that she was no less beautiful as a demon. Her body and face seemed slightly different, but they were still the body and face of Sora. Her lips were still the same soft shade of pink. Her hair still hung like woven silk. And this strange darkness about her was in a way alluring. I wanted to kiss her and tell her I would love her in whatever form she was taking. I sat by her bedside as joe checked her vitals and izzy hypothesized solutions though I knew there was none. I sat there and held her hand. In her sleep she occasionally murmured my name. And as she did those fangs came to view. From what I could tell they were retractable, like a cat's claws can be withdrawn. I think I took the news remarkably well. Aside from the nausea that is.

Sora's father came in and told us the rest of the legend. Told us how the knight blended a little of his blood to the cross so he would be able to reproduce his kind if he died. I suspected who the knight was now. He was most likely myotismon, and when Sora went to the Digiworld to bring back the cross, she had gotten it from the ruins of his castle. And now she was becoming one of his kind. A vampire.

Try to imagine loving something more then anything you have ever loved. Caring about someone so much that your heart aches in their absence. Then imagine that person going through what Sora went through. Imagine loving them with all your heart and having to sit at their side as they change into a monster. Sometimes I think destiny chose me as a punching bag.

forgive me, I tend to be a bit melodramatic at times. My narrative is just a small part of this story. I will attempt to not get emotional as I recall that night. It is to me an old wound that I have survived, but still can ache at times as old wounds often do.

I never in my life have felt so helpless as when I sat beside her in that room. I held her hand as she faded away slowly. I was losing her not to death but to evil. It scared me. This new Sora scared me, not because I knew what her kind do, but because I wasn't a part of her life anymore. The dark cross was giving life to my most hellish nightmare. I had been cut out of her life when matt was a part of it, now I was going to be left alone again. Though I would deny it to them if they asked I knew that if she offered me the choice I would become like her. I would turn into something evil for Sora. That thought both troubled me deeply and gave me a profound sense of comfort in our love being capable of transcending good and evil. I wasn't yet sure if thinking like that was evil or normal, but I was thinking like that.



************************

Sora lay there in perfect stillness, a welcome change from the thrashing convulsions that had previously shown her changing form. the room was darkened for fear the light may hurt her sensitive eyes if she awoke. The shadows pooled within the hollow of her neck and the slope of her cheek. The depression of her eye sockets seemed exaggerated under the strange lighting of her room. It was cool and still as she lay there in the dreamless sleep. As Taichi remained sentinel to her at her side he looked at her. she seemed more at home in darkness now. He pulled open the window and as he did the room was bathed in moonlight. Sora's skin glistened like ivory under the moon's gentle kiss. She seemed more beautiful in the night then the day now. He found himself touching her cheek softly with a renewed passion for her. she was his addiction in life and even though she was now a world apart he found himself longing for her.



"How long were you planning on watching me before you said something?" her soft voice broke him from his trance. He looked up to find the crimson eyes he loved so dearly shining to him in the moonlight. She smiled weakly. He returned the grin with similar enthusiasm.



"I was just enjoying being around you without you yapping at me for a change." He smiled as he touched her again. He found he was doing that a lot more recently. As though he wanted confirmation that she was really here.

"You have a lousy bedside manner, Kamiya" she grinned weakly.



"How are you feeling? When you get the flu you get the flue." he lied.



"Lying isn't a strong-point of yours tai. I know what's happening to me..."



"Regardless, how are you?"



"The pain is much less, I just feel really weak right now." she took his hand.



They sat there for a time in silence. It was as though the union of their two hands were far more capable of speaking what they felt then their lips. Perhaps this was true. He felt her warm hand as it gently caressed his own. he smiled in spite of himself as he savored that touch of hers. A touch capable of so much passion and so much tenderness. He needed that latter now more then ever.



"We are going to find a cure Sora. Izzy's working on it right now!" his words broke from him like a floodgate. She smiled sadly.



"It won't work."

"Yes it will."

"I'm a vampire, not stupid." she replied bitterly. He shook his head in disapproval.



"So? That doesn't mean that much. We can still be together. just develop more of a nightlife and I'll start making very rare hamburgers." he chuckled bitterly "it can still work with us though."



"Oh tai... I wish it could. But you know what I am turning into. What I'll due when the change wins in the end." she traced his lips with the tip of her index finger. "Tai.. I want you to make sure that doesn't happen. I don't want to be another myotismon." she implored.



"you better not be implying what I think you are!" he growled.



"When I change... I want you to kill me."



"No."



"Tai I am dangerous. A vampire combined with a digidestined would be a powerful hybrid. We were able to fight Satan-myotismon to a standstill. He was a mega digimon... what chance is there of anyone stopping a digidestined with their power combined to his. If I change... I must be stopped."



"No, Sora... I would rather watch this world burn to the ground then do that to you. I can't let someone do that to you, much less me." he replied adamantly.



"tai you are an idiot." he replied with no trace of humor.



"That's not in question, but it won't come down to this. Izzy will cure you."



"Taichi, I'm not going to last that long. I want you to know that I lov-" she was cut off.

"What do you mean by last that long? He's working on it now!" she sighed in defeat.



"My body isn't able to support the change. With my fighting it and not having done this the natural way."



"How do you know this?"



"When I got cut by that cross a bit of myotismon's blood got inside me. I just kinda know a bit about what I am now. It's like genetic memory I guess. You see when a vampire makes another vampire he feeds off them first, then lets them feed off of him. They take a lot more of his blood then I got."



"So?"



"Well since I just got a tiny bit of his blood from the cross there wasn't enough to make the change easier. Normally I would be sustained longer by his blood while my body changed. But since I am not able to feed my body is eating itself. The metabolism is running out of control without enough fuel. Taichi, I am dying. I just wanted you to know that I have no regrets with you. I love you so much and am so happy for the time I got with you." her eyes filled with tears.



"Sora... I love you too. But I am not letting you go yet. Your body needs fuel.. Fine. Here I am!" he pulled his shirt's first four buttons off- leaving his bare neck open to her. her eyes widened in horror. "TAI NO!!"



"Sora.. I refuse to keep living if you are gone. Here I am. Take some of my blood! You don't have to kill me, just take some of it. Enough to keep you alive." he paused as he lowered himself to her lips where he kissed her softly. "Sora, please... just take a little of me so you can life. I couldn't go on if you died." his eyes filled with tears as he kissed her again, then lowered his neck to her. Part of him was afraid as he waited for her. Her lips softly turned to his neck and kissed him there. He sighed as he felt her kissing the skin with her warm mouth. Her lips seemed to relieve his anxiety as she ran her fingers through his chestnut brown hair. The kissing continued for several more minutes before tai felt her bite down.

He drew in a sharp gasp as the fangs plunged deeply into his neck. He imagined it would hurt more then it did. There was pain, but also a strange pleasure to the bite as she began feeding. His mouth hung open in shallow breaths as he felt her draining him of his blood. The pain vanished in a moment's time as she continued to feed. The world seemed hazy as he felt a strange warmth flood through him. He was suddenly aware that there were tears running down his shoulder. He blinked to see if they were his, only to find that Sora was the one crying as she drank from him. He took his arms and wrapped one around her waist while the other went to her long hair. He stroked her hair lovingly as she fed from him. Sora closed her eyes sadly as she gently lifted her elongated canines from his neck. They retracted back within her mouth as she studied him. He gave a soft moan that sounded pleasurable as she withdrew from him. His neck was marred only by two small punctures that didn't bleed.



"Tai.. I'm, so sorry! Are you alright?"



"It's ok Sora, stop crying. I'm alright, didn't even hurt." he turned to face her with a weak smile. She studied his face for a moment before allowing herself to be pulled into his arms. He held her gently as he remained locked away in the gentle daze that the loss of blood had left him with. It felt strange to him. He was able to take some pleasure for the fact a part of him was now a part of her.



"I just proved that I do deserve to die. The real Sora wouldn't have done that. She would have died before doing that to the boy she loved. I fed from you with almost no debate." she hung her head.



"My choice Sor... I wanted you to live so I chose to give myself to you. And I hate to break it to you but I fully intend to do that again if the need arises." he replied without the slightest hint of questioning in his voice. The moment hung silent for a time before a sharp series of three knocks sounded at the apartment door.

"Guess that's the museum looking to collect that damn thing." he growled. They listened quietly as the new voices of two men rang clear. The one voice seemed to produce a fearful note in Taichi's mind. He listened intently to the voices with a silent dread. One was slightly greasy as you might expect the tone of a used car salesmen to sound. He seemed slick as he began talking about the cross to mr Takenouchi. The second voice was slow to appear and when it did it sent a ripple of fear through tai. It was cold and dark. Like a pit of ice which burrows down to the center of the arctic. It was a voice devoid of humor or even the greasy quality of the man called Jenkins. His was a tone of death given lips enough to speak. Tai felt the fear grow within him as lt the sting on his neck and the cold sweat on his back.



************************



"Good evening mr Takenouchi. I understand you have procured for us the artifact." the man spoke in a voice of ice that sent the older man several steps back as he fumbled for his words. The two men didn't ask to come in, they simply came.



The first was a man with short black hair and an excess of gel. He wore a black jacket that trailed to his legs as though it were a cape. It was buttoned so that it concealed most of his body within the black folds. His eyes were a dull brown that seemed as though they were reanimated corpse flesh. He smiled thinly to the older man as he made his way into the house.



"Where's the cross?" he spoke in a snakelike rasp.



"I'm sorry, but there has been an accident. The cross was-" he was cut off as the second man entered. Mr Takenouchi gasped in fear as he stared into the onyx-black eyes of the second man. He wore a matching black coat, though his was of better quality and better grooming then the first. His hair was platinum white and pulled back into a long ponytail. He was a formidable man with broad shoulders and a chiseled face. He had a dark grin as he turned to address mr Takenouchi.



"The cross is fine... I'm sorry sir, but we do have a deal." he chuckled darkly in his smirk.



"I'm very sorry mr..."



"Mr. Set..."



"I'm sorry mr. Set, but the cross had an accident in... getting here. It will be in in a few days. I'll be glad to call you when it does make it in though." he lied as the man smiled at him.



"Mr Takenouchi, I do not appreciate being lied too. The cross is here, but tell me... why the deception? You are making a substantial sum of money for the relic... so what I can't figure out is why you would try to stall us. Unless you were... protecting someone." his smile deepened as the fear swelled within mr Takenouchi. His eyes were mirroring more fear with each moment as this mr. Set drew a step closer. " tell me... did someone get injured by the artifact? A cut perhaps?" he was more terrifying then a man brandishing an assault rifle as he loomed before the man. His soulless eyes glistened hatefully in the light.



"Mr. Jenkins, the cross is in the apartment, also someone who has been infected. Be advised." he warned in a tone that was vaguely that of a militaristic fashion. The man turned and began making his way to the next room when Sora's father spun around and grabbed him by the shoulder. He was, for the first time, terrified for his daughter's well-being and from that fear he summoned strength enough to throw the mr. Jenkins against a wall in the foyer. The man yelped in pain as he collided with the wall and then crashed through a table lining the wall. Mr. Takenouchi turned to confront mr. Set, yet as his fist was about to crush into the man's chin it was flicked away by a snap of his forearm. The man's movements were startlingly quick. He threw his arms around Sora's father and while smiling slammed him into a wall with a thunderclap of flesh on stucco. Mr. Jenkins had been hit hard, but mr Takenouchi had been sent into the wall. He collapsed there in the crater with a snowy cap of broken plaster and dust. His mouth bled, but not fatally.



The man called Jenkins was hazily getting up as the hallway came alive with joe, matt, and izzy. They froze there in the doorway as they got a look at mr. Set and Jenkins who both turned to face them with two different looks. Jenkins looked surprised and even somewhat worried as the digidestined filed into the entryway. Set, however looked amused.



"My, this is convenient... we may be able to do all our shopping in one trip." he chuckled as he reached into his pocket and withdrew two items. The first was a cannister the size of a soda can that had a pin sticking up from the top. He motioned to Jenkins, who fished out a small mask from his pocket. The man held it to his nose and mouth as Set pulled the pin and tossed the cannister with a metal clang to the ground. It rolled for a moment before a thick greyish blue smoke erupted from it in a whoosh of gas. The last thing they saw before falling away to unconsciousness was set's smile before he dawned a mask.



"Brother Set, there are digidestined here?" Jenkins gaped as he studied the figures laying sprawled on the floor. Set pulled the his lips away from the mask and chuckled.



"Yes, be careful brother, the nature of the gas was to render them unconscious, but it has a short proximity, and is most likely very ineffective against a high level digidestined. Also it will be completely ineffective upon the divine one." he warned as he kicked over matt. "You look for the cross and see if you can locate the bearer of light or hope. They are very high-level digidestined, though they should be effected by the gas to some extent." he walked past the fallen with no concern to not stepping on them. Jenkins followed slowly behind and was considerably more cautious when stepping over the unconscious digidestined.



Set opened his coat to reveal the automatic weapon concealed within. As they stepped into the livingroom they saw the rest of the digidestined as they lay sprawled on the ground. He walked over Sora's mother as he made his way to where a piece of birthday cake sat un-ate. He reached over and ran his finger over it before drawing it to his lips where he sampled the frosting.

"It's not bad." he turned to find the figure of a blond boy staring at him with a look of fear and loathing. He recognized the boy's face from the pictures. And motioned to where his brother lay sprawled on the floor. TK's eyes filled with rage as he broke into a run tword him. Set mearly reached over to the table and took hold of a china plate. Before TK could react the plate had been thrown like a frisbee at him. It met him across his brow with a sickening crash followed by a thud. Jenkins smirked as he walked over to the boy while holding the cross carefully under one arm.



"Don't spill a drop of him, his blood is very valuable." he paused. "Good job on finding the cross, any sign of the Kamiyas?"



"No brother, Kari is nowhere to be found and Taichi is missing as well."



"The man's daughter isn't here either. Odds are one of them was infected. I suppose they would be in the girl's bedroom. The change would most likely leave the divine one very weak. And the other is most likely trying to protect the other."



He walked stealthily over to Sora's bedroom and paused at the door only for a moment before he kicked it inward. He walked in with three long strides and confronted the two who were both standing in the far corner of the room. Sora's eyes glowed amber in the dim light of the dark room. She growled at him in a manner that came more as a hiss then a canine sound. He drew up his assault riffle.



"STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM HER!" Taichi growled as he took an aggressive stance. Set cocked his head as he looked at him. Then turned his gaze to Sora. He lifted the weapon to her and squeezed the trigger. The weapon roared as a round of ammunition slung outward for her. She was frozen in place as she felt tai jump in the rout of the blast. He was caught in the lower abdomen by the hail of gunfire. The hot slugs aced as they burrowed deep into his gut

-shredding the organs found within- as they went. His eyes glossed over as he dropped to the floor in a pool of his own blood.



"Heros are always first to die." he muttered as Sora screamed tai's name and dropped to her knees before him. "But they are never the last." he aimed the weapon to the teary Sora as she looked up to him with a look of pleading. He knew what she was begging for. Death. But sadly that was something a gun could never grant her. the weapon roared again as several slugs burst into her chest. She slumped to the ground beside the dying tai.



Their eyes locked as Sora touched his blood soaked cheek. "Tai.. I'm so sorry for this."

as she spoke, the blood which had pooled in her mouth ran over and painted her lips red. Tai smiled weakly as he tried to lean in to her. "I couldn't ask for anything more, Sora." he gurgled. She used the last of her fading strength to kiss him passionately. The kiss lasted only a moment, for they both died in that kiss. She slumped over upon him and lay like that before Set pulled her lifeless body away from his. He looked down at tai's lifeless eyes and bloody lips. " Heros...." He uttered with contempt. With that he hefted Sora's body up and tossed her over his shoulder as though she were a bundle.

************************



"The little ironies of life are everywhere. They will come out of the woodwork and bite you when you are unaware. But if those little ironies weren't so damn painful you would see the bitter humor of them. I died the same way I was born.

You see my life began on those lips. The first time Sora Takenouchi kissed me I was born. The Taichi Kamiya who I became was directly responsible for that one kiss. You see in one kiss she showed me that there is always hope. That you can endure the greatest of pains and still find salvation for your labors. That kiss made my one dream a reality. The person I became was a person who was capable of fighting against any threat, because there always was hope of salvation. That person was devoted to Sora, belonged to her. My life began with that kiss.

Then, I suppose, it's only fitting that that life should end the same way. I died in that kiss. And frankly there is no other way I would want to die. I can recall that moment with the same crystal clarity as you can recall five minutes ago. Everything. The ache in my stomach, the rapidly advancing cold clashing with the warm pool of blood in which I lay. But all those vivid memories were nothing to the last kiss. Her lips had never tasted better. They were never so soft or inviting, or loving. There was the sweet sugary taste of the frosting from the cake, but that flavor mingled with the coppery flavor of her and my blood. I knew I was crying during that kiss. I knew she was too. And in that moment as our lips trespassed, and the blood upon our two lips mingled together I died.

There was no white light, no image of myself seen from the vantage point of a specter. I was slightly disappointed that I didn't get to see some of those cliche statements made by the dying. I didn't see my grandmother offering to guide me to heaven or a demon waiting to drag me to hell. All there was, was black. An endless see of tarish waters on a blackened velvet sky. I felt the black waters as they churned around me. Felt myself drifting on the tides of darkness, yet not being taken anywhere specifically. It was then that I felt the realization of life's third irony.



First I was born on her lips. Then I died on them. now.. I was being resurrected through them. she had looked so sad when she kissed me. I had thought it because she blamed herself for me dying, or that she was sorry for getting cut, or even that she was apologizing for getting me involved in her life. But now I knew the truth. She was apologizing for the kiss. Her lips... their taste... her blood mingling within my own inside that kiss. The kiss was her act of damning me to her fate, or more to the point, blessing me with it.

"Sora would not have died from the gunshots.. Bullets are not known for killing a vampire. She gave a part of herself to me so that I may rise up again like her. She changed me. The realization that I was not dead was fast to come, and as it washed over me the black tides swirled and raged. I was walking the road between life and death, and I was ready to awaken. Good and evil were shadows to me now. I didn't apply anymore. Being what I now was probably damned me to hell in itself... why should I try when there was no chance. Plus.. Being good or evil just didn't appeal to me. But there was something that did.

Sora... the girl I loved as a boy, and continued to love as a vampire. The girl I treasured in life and in death. The girl who I would be one with in heaven or in hell. She was my destiny. My reason. The black waters had taste now. A metalic flavor that brought new sensation within me. I hungered for sustenance, but more so for Sora. She was my life.. My existence... and someone had hurt her. killed us both... New fire flared through me as I pictured the man's face. That sinister face with a snakelike grin.

He was responsible. He was the cause. He sent Sora's father out to get the cross. He came to the apartment. He shot us! He killed us! He was the one to pay... to suffer! He didn't comprehend the power he was playing with. The nature of what I now was. I would avenge my life with his. I would make him pay for ruining my world... for taking away my Sora. For damning me to a life of darkness. I felt the sea of black blood boil around me as life began rippling back into my corpse. It began slowly, but soon I was returning. My tortured frame was knitting itself back together. Twisting and pulling itself back into one form. my skin would be healed soon, my organs now pulsed with rejuvenation.

My mind returned from the blackness with new clarity. And as I opened my new eyes to the world I was bombarded by sensation. There was a sheet over me that smelled of my own blood. In the pitch blackness of the room I was able to see each fiber of the blanket. I could see in a way I could not begin to explain for it goes beyond all you could know. It would be like describing the colors of the world to a man born blind. The dark was no longer an issue to me, I could see like a cat, better then one.

I heard voices around me. I was not alone in the house. I was able to feel them as though by some new faculty. I smelled them on the air and I knew where and who they were. I listened for a time to not just the crying sister, or the attempts to console her made by Sora's mother. I could hear their hearts beating within them. In the air I could feel the steady hammering drum of their pulses. I would have stayed longer, but I was soon reminded by a pang of emotion that Sora was not in the room. I couldn't smell her or feel her nearby.

I wanted her... needed her... Wanted to make the bastard who hurt her pay in a way he would never be able to comprehend. But as my love for Sora and my hate for this Mr. Set blended I knew one thing clearly. The concepts of good and evil were much different to me now."





************************





Kari hugged her knees as she slowly rocked back and forth. Her eyes were a bright red that seemed to glisten like her cheeks in the dim light that filtered from the open doorway. She said nothing other then a soft mantra of "please god no." Sora's mother who was also possessed by the grief held her. she rocked the child as best she could in her trembling arms. They had both lost so much.

Kari had been the one to find Taichi's body. She had seen the glistening remains as they lay there on the floor of Sora's room. His bloody lips parted ever so slightly in a gasp. His eyes were fixed off into space. They no longer had the soft chocolate tent that she thought made him look like the sweetest guy in the world. They were simply a deep dull brown that looked more glossy for each moment she remained fixed in the gaze. Sora was taken... as was TK. It was as though her world had crumbled around her like the fragile walls of a sand castle. She had lost a brother whom she loved. Lost a sister in Sora. And finally she had lost the boy who she hoped to fall in love with some day. They were gone.. Whisked away to different places. It was possible they could rescue TK, maybe even Sora... but tai... he was dead. Gone without a goodbye.

They each handled it differently. Matt had taken the role of leader badly. He didn't speak, mearly sat and stared off into the blackness that seemed to close around him. No one spoke it, especially not him, but he had failed them. He had been so unable to forgive that he let his best friend and the girl he had loved die without making up. He covered Taichi's body and felt a strange sickness sweep through him. A sickness of his own words and actions. He had called tai cold-hearted, he had ignored the boy's feelings for Sora. He was the cold-hearted one and the betrayer of their friendship. Now he had let Tai die, and Sora be taken where she would probably be killed too without letting them know that they were his friends. That they were the two most important people to him in the world. That he forgave them and begged their forgiveness as well.

Izzy simply typed keys on his computer. Line of code. When he found out he was adopted he had hidden himself within his computer, submerged within a sea of technology where he could hide and be away from the annoying traces of humanity. Now he was there again. Hidden within the comfy nest of silicon and microprocessors.

Sora's father stared away into the void as he sat on the sofa. He didn't make any comment about how joe was tending his head wound or how his arm ached. He simply clutched the wad of hundred dollar bills that was tied neatly with one of Sora's hair ties. The money had been left on the kitchen table with a neatly folded card saying thanks for your hard work. The penmanship was very neat and almost cheery. It was written to remind him that these lives were destroyed because of him. That if he had just stayed home with them they could have spared themselves the agony of losing their daughter and her friend. Sora's mother had told him that tai was no longer just a friend, that he was in fact Sora's lover. That their strong friendship had turned to love. That he had missed it.



"We're going to have to call the authorities soon. We're going to have to figure out what to do about those guys... they have Takeru, and Sora. We have to stop them... to make them pay." Davis uttered with no hint of levity or cheer. His voice was black and cold.



"You.. Will do nothing!" he spoke with a voice of darkness and swelling strength. Their eyes flung to the doorway where Taichi stood. His eyes glistened in the lighting as though they were embers from a dying fire. He stared at them with a shadow over his features. He was shirtless, you could see his muscled abdomen twitch and pull as though it were clay being kneaded over holes. The bullets had turned to scar tissue and now the scar tissue was mending itself back to normal flesh. Their faces froze in the contortments of shock, horror, and disbelief.



"Tai!?!" Kari jumped to her feet but was stopped as matt threw his arm out to separate them. She paused at the barrier. Glanced to tai only to find him studying her with the glowing spheres of amber fire.



"That's not tai anymore." he warned. Davis jumped forward obviously afraid, yet propelled by his desire to protect them. He lifted his pocketknife as a weapon before the being that once was Taichi. The demon's eyes narrowed in displeasure as he made a sharp hand gesture. Davis' eyes widened in horror as his hand moved under some unseen force. He squeaked in terror as the blade of the knife touched his throat. It was clear that this demon was capable of considerable power. In that gesture tai demonstrated his ability to kill the boy without effort.



"I am not planning on killing any of you... yet... but if you want to try forcing me I could. I could very easily too." he released his control over Davis who dropped the knife to the ground. His eyes never once wavered from the figure who stared back at them. He stretched and as he did the muscular frame became more noted. He turned to Davis " I need cloths. Get some from the professor's closet."



"What are you?" matt gaped.



"I am Taichi, just not the one you knew. I'm not really a vampire. Vampires are the result of a demon to human hybrid. I am a digidestined... that makes me unique." he looked to them, and noted the fear on each of their faces. "Ok, look, you can all calm down. I'm not going to kill you unless you make me. All I want is Sora. Where is she?" he uttered in a somewhat more human tone. His eyes dulled back to a soft brown.



"T...taken..." Sora's father uttered as he looked over the darkened frame of the boy's features. He looked as though he were painted in shadow, but not normal shadow, this shadow seemed to flicker and move as though it were flame. His words sent a pang of guilt through tai as he loomed before them.



"Taken where?"



"I don't know.. I suppose they were from the museum. They must have been, but why would they steal the cross, kidnap the boy, and abduct my daughter."

"She was a vampire... it has to have something to do with that." Matt stated blankly as he stared at the resurrected form of Taichi.



"You aren't saying something.... there's something you aren't volunteering. Tell me." Taichi ordered to mr. Takenouchi who stared at him blankly. Tai growled low in a wolflike snarl that seemed vaguely that of a snake's enraged hiss. His eyes seemed to pierce the older man. All was silent for a moment's time. The air hung thick with nervousness until it was shattered by tai.

The speed was blinding as he exploded to the startled man. In one heartbeat he had cleared the distance and scooped the man up by his throat. His eyes glowed with rage as he burned into him. Matt had rushed to pull him off, only to be tossed aside by some invisible force. Taichi pulled back his lips in a snarl which illustrated the elongated fangs which glistened wickedly.



"I NEED HER!" he roared. "I swear that if I lose her I will make you prey for death! Sora is the only thing about me that's human! I need to know where she is... WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO TO HER!?!?" the man's eyes were panicked as he began to sputter out words. Taichi released him as he began to speak, though he remained close none the less.



"The cross is part of some ritual... it's all legend though, it can't be real." he uttered.



"Last time I checked vampires were fictional too... I can demonstrate why that's not the case...." he warned.



"The dark cross can change a person. Make a person a vampire. But that person is special. Their blood is the key to unlocking the gates of hell and letting someone out." he grew pale as he studied Taichi's glowing eyes. "Sora... her blood is like a potion that when drank by a human who has undergone the anointing, can resurrect a vampire. The human host will trade his soul for the soul of a certain vampire. Thus the vampire comes back in the body of the man and can live again." tai looked to matt with a knowing look. Matt's face widened in horror as the words impact set in.



"Oh god...." he uttered fearfully.



"These people are trying to resurrect myotismon...." tai uttered darkly.



"But... why take TK too?" Kari asked. Mr. Takenouchi thought of it for a time before turning his attention back to tai.



"It was hinted that they could do more then just resurrect the dark soul. That they could improve it. In the texts they mentioned a vampire who wished to resurrect his sire, or, creator who was killed. He used the cross on a young man, but after filling a chalice with his blood he mingled the blood of a holy man to it. The result was that when the vampire was resurrected he came back stronger then before..."



"But... why take TK? He isn't a priest or anything like that..." the silent Yolie uttered.



"No... he's a better choice....." tai spoke darkly. "His crest is hope.... that's pretty holy... my bet is they are going to mix his blood with Sora's to make a more powerful potion... make myotismon much stronger.. But... that gives me a bargaining chip." he smirked evilly.



"And what is that?" matt questioned.



"Tell me Kari... where were you when all this was happening?" she blinked in surprise by the question.



"I was in the bathroom... when I heard the fighting start... I hid... they didn't look for me in the bathroom." she uttered blankly.



"Good... they would want your blood too. With both hope and light mixed in the blood he would be a vampire god... it's like picturing venom myotismon plus the mega forms of angemon and angewomon. He'd be impossible to fight.... and I'm guessing if Kari shows up at their doorstep they will let her in and try to take her too."



"NO WAY! YOU AREN'T USING HER AS BAIT!!" matt yelled as he leap forward. Tai scowled at him as he felt the fangs lower in anticipation.



"I'm not planning on making a trade... they'll open the front door for Kari... but that will leave them open for me too. I'm going to save Sora... and TK... and kill the bad guys." he chuckled.



"That's way too risky.... we won't let you use your own sister!" matt yelled.



"'Let me?' I think you are really over rating your choices here."



"Both of you stop!" they turned to look at Kari. "They took TK because I wasn't able to help him. I want to help with this.... I have to help..."



"Good... you can help Kari, I just hope your conscience can take the repercussions for it. " tai smiled wickedly as the fangs seemed to glisten brighter in the light. Kari looked at him blankly as she dreaded what that realization would look like.



************************



"I have never felt more uncomfortable then I did in that car as I drove us to the museum. My sister and I had always been close, but now there existed a chasm between us. One as wide as good and evil, and as infinite as the finality of death. We were an eternity apart.

Try to picture your life ripped apart and the corse you had been traveling since childhood now gone. The world in which you lived was now gone and you were cast into a new world. Kari was my sister, and amazingly I was still capable of loving her as a brother. But also... I knew that I could kill her with my bear hands and not be troubled by it. The thoughts terrified me that I could take the sister I loved and kill her.... there was a war being waged within me. Good and evil were battling ferociously and I failed to see both who was winning and where the line between the two lay. I don't know exactly where that line is, but I know that I have most likely crossed it.

They described becoming a vampire as this. 'Your human soul dies while a demon possesses you.' this is not really true. I am still Taichi Kamiya, but the change is real. There is a demon, though it quite possibly is myself and not some new entity. Perhaps the demon sleeps within us our whole lives and is only woken when the change occurs. It's hard to describe what that's like. But I am unsure if I am the demon or the boy who I once was.

There is one small measure of humanity though. A last lingering thread of the most true part of tai there ever was. Sora... thinking of her makes me feel more human. I know that vampires have mates, and that quite possibly the feelings I have for her are really the instinct of my kind. But can demons love? I still feel that for her... more then some vampiric instinct to have a mate. Love... most human of qualities is still in me.

It has some new adaptations though as I think of it. For one, I am vampire now, as is Sora. As I allow my mind to wander I see the two of us in a dark forest hunting. I could smell the dew on the grass as I run in a crouched position over leaves and wet earth. I can hear the wind as it gently floats by us as we run fast and yet completely silently. I can feel the sleekness of it all as we run between trees and through the skeletal limbs of small plants. I can feel the adrenaline as we close in on our prey.. Be it human or beast I long to hunt it and bring it down. To feed with Sora at my side.... these thoughts are both tender and arousing to me as I think over them. strange thoughts that seem both terrifying and appealing. I have never felt so different as when I am possessed by those thoughts.

But the cause of them alone reminds me of my humanity. I still could take pleasure in a walk down a starlit street with her at my side. To play human with other humans so close that I could taste them on the air. Yet to them, we are just two young lovers... not monsters in disguise, just teenagers happily enjoying a moonlit stroll. That's a great dream.. To walk arm in arm along a cobblestone sidewalk that shimmers with moonlight from a afternoon shower. I would never walk with her again in the sunshine, but... the moonlight is also so beautiful.

I held on to that dream hard as we rode to the museum in silence. As if that dream of a mock-normalcy could win back the life now gone. Kari was very quiet even as I briefed her on the simplicity of her role. She must have been thinking so many horrible things. How her brother was gone and the boy she had a crush on was possibly being bled as we drove. I didn't think about what they would be doing to Sora for this ritual. If I thought of that now the odds of me being able to keep to the plan would go to zero.

Kari surprised me as she suddenly began to speak. She asked if I was really gone. I didn't answer. I know it was cruel not to, but I couldn't tell her something I wasn't sure of myself. A few moments passed before she asked a second question that divulged she understood my silence for the first. She asked if I was proud of her back when I was alive. I thought back over the days before with scrutiny.



'More then words little sister.'



That was the last thing we said for the rest of the drive. As we neared the gothic structure of the museum I was filled with stereotypes of my kind. Euro-trash with gaudy medallions and bad accents, each owning black velvet capes and the tittle of vampire. This castle of a building didn't appeal to me. But I would enjoy showing them the irony of how a vampire would be waging a bloody massacre within this bad Bram Stoker's novel prop. My fangs lowered in anticipation of resistance. As we parked. I felt my stomach twist in hunger. It occurred to me that it had been several hours since turning and I had not yet fed. I pushed the thought aside as I slipped off into the shadows of the building's front entrance. Soon the hunger would be satiated... very soon."



************************



Kari stood at the doorway to the museum with a slight quiver in her breathing. She could feel the night's cold around her like a set of icy claws. She shivered more for the happenings of this night then she did from the icy breeze that seemed so out of season. The street glistened like glass from the rains earlier in the night. The rain normally had a cleansing effect on the city and its inhabitants. But even in the aftermath of the weather when the pavement shined like silver and the street lamps glowed a ivory light overhead, she felt filthy. The dirt was clinging to her soul in a way no rainstorm could cleanse. She was on the verge of a great sin that would mar her innocence forever. She pushed the thought aside as she drew closer to the front entrance.

Tai had warned her that they would be welcoming to her once they saw who she was. And it was true that as she knocked on the glass door the man who came to investigate seemed taken aback by her. she payed no attention as he called a second security officer. she didn't want to see their faces, didn't want to read their name tags. She just wanted to see them as evil men who were better off this way.

The museum was modeled after an old building with pillars and stone walls. It looked so much like a medieval castle that Kari found it out of place here in the real world. It sat next to factories and buildings made of shimmering glass and neon signs. The castle seemed more an urban collage then an actual building. The door opened slowly by the two men in security guard uniforms. They were not guards. Or were, but now had a far different code then that of the law.

They had their sidearms ready should the need arise to take Kari down, though as they looked at her with scrutiny to if she would run or fight they revealed their hesitance to fire upon someone as valuable as her. tai had told her what to do but the plan, though sound, was not a merciful one.



"What are you doing here child?"



"Why are you trying to bring back something as evil as myotismon?" she questioned as she avoided their gazes. They lead her into the entryway and paused as they began to speak. Kari felt the air grow colder as death was drawing nearer under cover of shadow.



"The dark lord is our god. He shall come forth and reward the faithful with immortality and he shall let loose the hellfire upon the unworthy. He shall be reborn as a dark god, and our brotherhood shall reign for all eternity at our lord's side." The first said with a vague hint of mindless loyalty held common from all cultists to their messiahs. Kari stared at them in willful disbelief to their devotion to such a demon. They were walking down the hallway when she felt a cold breeze rush by her.





"You are actually part of a cult that worships myotismon?" She asked as if to confirm their deserving this fate.



"Our dark lord is all powerful. He shall reign down over mankind for all eternity." the man gazed off into a horizon he could see only within his own mind. She studied the two men. They were in their late twenties and early thirties. Each was well built and handsome. She looked to her feet and made no further effort to meet their eyes.



"You should be honored child. Your blood shall mingle together to breath life into the holy one." the younger of the two said. She didn't look up.



"I'm sorry...." she muttered sadly as they looked to her questioningly.



The realization hit them far to slowly as the shadows of the hall came alive in the form of Taichi. His eyes were burning with golden amber as he plunged his clawed fist through the chest of the closer man. He squeaked in a feeble scream as the lung that had powered his scream was deflated by the impaling jab. His eyes were glossy as the blood flowed from his mouth. The clawed hand protruded outward the bubbling crimson wound. The fingernails had elongated to talons. And now flexed as they withdrew from the hollowed chest of the already dead man.

His partner backed up in horror as his eyes met Taichi's. He fumbled for his weapon and was able to withdraw it as tai's hand came free of the gushing chest. The weapon was drawn as Taichi's hand made a fast gesture that threw the revolver across the room with nothing but a soft 'clank' on the marble floor. His eyes were wide in terror as tai grinned toothily at him. The man was turning white as he stumbled backwards. Tai hissed at him as he began to playfully sway back and forth while walking closer. The man tried to scream, tai darted forward and seized his bottom jaw within his grip. He clenched down over the tongue as he forced the head to the right.



Kari closed her eyes tightly as she remained tuned out to what was going on.

"I'm so sorry." as the words left her mouth tai gave in to the lust to feed. He drew his lips to the man's throat and in one moment that seemed far more like poetry then anything tai had ever known he bit. He snarled into the man's jugular as he drank deeply. When Sora had fed from him he had found it pleasurable. She was gentle as she fed from the boy who she considered her mate. Now Taichi fed for the first time. It was different then anything he had ever known. The man was not finding this pleasurable. He was struggling weakly as tears leaked from his blue eyes. For each act to save himself and pull free of the bite Taichi bore down with his razor fangs. The feeding intensified as he felt vertebra crunch. He was draining ever ounce of blood from the now still man as he savored the meal. The blood tasted nothing like a human could taste it. As he fed he could taste the fear on the man's mind. The emotion itself now flooded into the lifeblood. And as he broke away he let loose a cry of abandon. There was no stealth as he roared into the halls of the museum.



Kari looked up at him now as he stood atop the broken frame of the man. He looked at her somberly as he checked his chin for blood. There was none. The two stared at each other for a time in a dark communion.

Kari recalled a stuffed animal she loved from her childhood. A lion with a soft fluffy mane and a smile on it's sewn lips. She recalled the later part of that year when she had watched the discovery channel and seen a live lion kill a gazelle. The image was scary to her. how could her stuffed animal be modeled after such a killer. Her mother had explained that was simply how a lion gets its food and that doesn't make it evil or bad. That it's just the nature of the animal. She looked at tai as she had forever since looked at the stuffed toy.



"Leave...." he uttered.



"I have to get TK out!"



"I'll get him!"

"No, I will get him out!" she yelled back. He growled low as he turned to the hallway. He muttered to her to stay back as he caught sight of a guard turning the corner. Weapon in hand. The man's eyes widened as they saw tai. He fired. The first two blasts of the handgun carved chunks of marble from the floor. The third and fourth met dead on in tai's chest. He hissed in pain as the slug punctured him, but it didn't slow him. He came at them part running and part flying. The man was still firing as tai flew to the wall and began running along that surface for several gravity defying steps before he landed on the first.



He howled in rage as he crushed the man's head against the floor. 'Snap.' he lunged up at the next and slashed with his retracted claws. The man's throat was shredded in a splash of blood and flesh. He toppled over onto the ground as another man fired several shots point blank into tai's chest. He was thrown backwards slightly by the impacts of the high-power slugs. The man was firing at him like crazy as he emptied a clip into the beaten form of tai. He paused to reloade as tai fumbled for the second guard's pistil. He grinned in triumph as he found it and was able to pull it forward fast enough to fire three shots into the man. The first two plugged him in the upper chest, but the third hollow-point exploded through the back of his scull. He slumped to the ground as his fluids drained from the gaping wound. Tai's body was almost healed as he stood to meat the next. The adrenaline was coursing through his vampiric form as he backhanded the younger cultist so hard that the gratifying sound of a breaking jaw reverberated through the hall.

The guards seemed to be flowing from the hallway like a nest of wasps. But each of them was being ripped apart with more savagery then ever known. He wasn't feeding now, simply reveling in what this body was made to do to kill and slaughter. The fangs in his mouth crunched through one man's windpipe like scissors, leaving him gurgling for air. Tai was roaring in rage as he continued one after the other.



Kari was backed against a wall as she felt her stomach twist in nausea. She watched the horror with an ever growing realization of how tai was far less the boy he was and more something else. He was fast and poetic as each movement his body made brought another to the ground. There were no reprieves as each fell to the earth dead. The ground was pooling with blood and corpses as he snarled more ferally. She heard him mutter something as each man was shredded by the dark claws. It was one name repeated over in a dark mantra. He uttered Sora's name over and over again as though it were an incantation capable of some great magic for him. Perhaps it was magic enough to hold him to sanity as the demon was allowed to flex its claws.

She watched as tai tore through one after the other in horror, she watched him in a macabre trance that was only broken as a strong hand closed over her mouth. She squirmed frantically but was silenced as the barrel of the bereta pressed to her temple.

"Listen bitch, we need your blood for the ritual.. But we could get just as much blood from your corpse. Now keep quiet and come with me..." the whispering voice hissed with a snake's loathing to a mouse. Kari closed her eyes sadly as she allowed herself to be led away. Tai was engorged in the fight, and thus didn't see the man called Jenkins lead his sister away.





************************



The room was massive. It was deep within the bowls of the museum that were once storage, yet had been restored and converted to act as a temple for this dark ritual. The floor was swept neatly and a cold skull grey hue. The room was dominated by an alter of stone carved during the crusades. Upon that alter there sat a dagger which gleamed wickedly in the dim lighting. Beside the dagger there stood a chalice of pewter that was ornately carved. At the walls stood men in white robes that were chanting softly in Latin. Some were armed with shotguns that glistened menacingly in the dim lighting of the touches.

The touches painted the room with flickering light and darks that danced in a demonic ballet over the folds of each of the hooded cultists. The lights were reds and oranges that seemed more the light of hellfire then normal flame. Sora watched them all with loathing as the fiery light played to her tan skin. She didn't try to fight the chains that held her. they were strong bonds that held her arms apart and her legs firmly to the ground in a posture that hinted crucifixion though no nails or crosses were employed. She could feel the desire to bite through these men. To crunch their arms off in her jaws and feed. The vampiric nature was now flowing through her as it was through Taichi. Her only solace was that she knew he would come. His change would be faster for he would not fight it as she had.

"Sora?" came TK's meek and pained voice. She turned to where he was chained at her side. She shook the hair from her eyes as she studied him. He had been unconscious for most of the night. The bruise upon his forehead was bad. It now glowed a purplish black on his pale forehead. Sora feared he would have a concussion. But thankfully he was conscious again. She didn't know why she still cared. He wasn't her kind anymore.. But there was enough humanity left inside to facilitate her worrying.



"You alright TK?" she questioned as she pulled back her fangs to make her more comforting to the boy.



"My head is killing me, but, I'll live.... maybe." he motioned to the dagger on the alter.



"You will... Tai is coming...." she assured him



"But Sora... what can he do against these guys? They have some serious firepower and outnumber us twenty to one." he looked to meet her glowing eyes sadly. She seemed so different now.



"The odds are.... pretty balanced... tai's not human anymore." his eyes widened at the implications of the words. They looked at each other solemnly. He wanted to say so much to her. he wanted to thank her for protecting him all those years in the digital world, but in the end all he could do was look off into the bleakness that loomed around them.



The man called Set knelt before the alter. His long white hair was now hanging on his shoulders. His shirt was off as two cloaked figures preformed chants and used a smoldering quill to burn symbols into his well muscled body. He didn't flinch as the runes were carved into him. Mearly stared off into the fire of the nearest torch. He was chosen to become the vessel for myotismon's resurrection. Upon his chest the symbol of the virus cast was carved. Upon each powerful enemy in the Digiworld the mark of the virus was present. Now Ezekial Set was anointed with the unholy mark. He rose up to his feet.



As he rose to his feet the door burst open to reveal mr. Jenkins with Kari at gunpoint. TK cried out in horror as Kari's eyes met his own. she looked apologetic as she was taken by two cultists and chained beside Sora. She avoided the girl's gaze as she breathed out an apology in a soft whisper.



"Brother! I have brought the child of light, but there is a problem! The girl's brother... the chosen's mate... he is resurrected as one of the divine. He is a vampire! And he's making his way here! Brother, we must proceed before he reaches us!" Jenkins shouted.



"Very well brother Jenkins. Please, collect the blood." he motioned to the two priests who took hold of the dagger and chalice. They first went to Kari and with no deliberation cut a gouge from her wrist. She yelped in pain as the cup was put to the wound. It was allowed to fill a quarter of the cup before they moved to TK and did the same. He gritted his teeth as they filled the chalice with his blood. As they came to Sora she smiled darkly. "You are going to die today..."



"And behold through the blood of the holy shall the wicked be baptized. From the river Styx shall the fallen claim new flesh. From the gateway of hell shall death take wing. All light shall shudder at the coming of the dark god and he shall march his armies to the gate of heaven....

AND BURN IT DOWN!!!!" Set howled into the chamber and as he did his voice boomed back in a endless chorus of echos challenging god and mankind to a battle for dominion. Sora snarled with rage as her blood mingled together with TK's and Kari's. She stared hatefully to set who took hold of the chalice in his hands. The chanting of the cultists rose to a roar of dark lyrics to a song that heralded the fall of heaven. The dark cross glowed with unholy light as the sky above blackened with dark clouds. Thunder clapped as the night came alive with the dark and retched chanting.



"Treasure this moment... it shall be the last for your kind." he paused as the chanting stopped abruptly. He turned to them to find them frozen and swaying back and forth in a dark trance. He turned to the priests. "Is this supposed to happen?" he was greeted by their blank expressions and the soft swaying movements.



The dagger dropped to the ground with a metalic clang. Jenkins looked to Set with growing anxiety. He turned to the priests only to find they had reached into their cloaks and withdrawn their sidearms. They were haunted by that same dark look of powerlessness as they each pulled the gun to the side of their head.



"NOOOO" his cry was drowned out by the explosion of skull fragments and grey matter, the bodies fell to the floor with a thud and a splash of various fluids. The two men turned their eyes to Sora, Kari, and TK. TK and Kari looked appalled while Sora was smiling. Her wrist had healed already and she was chuckling. TK and Kari's arms were still bleeding badly but the pain had been drowned out by the grizzly shock of what they had just seen. They too were turned to the smiling Sora.



"I told them they were going to die... and guess what... so are you." she chuckled as the night came alive around them. with a flash of shadow the chains that bound them fell to the floor. They were cut strait through by some dark force. TK and Kari clutched their wrists tightly as Sora's fangs lowered in anticipation. The night around them rippled out like black water as it gave birth to the darkened figure of Taichi. His hair was flowing on currents of air as he gleamed at the two men through his dark gaze.



"A cult that worships vampires? My god you are idiots...." he chuckled.



"You want to understand us? To know what we are like?" Sora chimed in as she walked to tai. As she did she whispered to Kari and TK: "Be ready to run..." she stood by her mate's side with a smirk on her pink lips. The cultists who had been chanting were now clutching their heads in seeming agony. From the corners of their eyes blood began to flow and from that small stream they collapsed.



"Mr. Jenkins... hold them at bay! The ritual must be completed!" Set took hold of the goblet and drank. He swallowed gulp after gulp of the coppery blood before dumping the rest over his head in a dark baptism of blood. He cried out in agony as he clutched his chest. The scream was hellish as it pierced the heavens. There suddenly came a flash of blood-red lightning that exploded from him into the building's roof. It screamed as it punched through the ceiling and upper levels with a force similar to cannon blast. The building was impaled to the sky by the bolt of burning lightning. TK and Kari bolted for the stairwell as the building continued to quake with fear as the sky became more clear.



Jenkins broke from his trance and pulled the machine gun from his side. As the first round erupted the two figures leapt to either side with a speed that was fearful to witness. Jenkins followed with his hand held tight on the trigger. Though as he managed to plug Taichi in the leg, thus hobbling him, Sora was already behind him. He turned to find her snarling and as he drew up his weapon and tried to put a round in her head. She seized the gun in her hand and wrenched it away. She tossed the weapon aside without care as to it's ability to kill Jenkins. She didn't need guns for that. She smiled cutely to him as she advanced on him. He backed up frantically as she advanced ever closer. Suddenly he reached into his cloak and without a moment's dely slashed her with a knife he had concealed. The cut trailed over her cheek and bled freely as she yelped in pain. He was prepared to slash again, yet felt his hand seized within the vice grip of Taichi. The boy hissed lightly as he crushed the man's hand in his grip. The bones popped and crunched. In his hand as he squeezed tight that the knife's handle bent within the crushing grip. Jenkins shrieked in pain as Taichi allowed him to drop the knife with his broken hand. The man was whimpering in agony as he clutched his broken hand. Sora's cheek had already healed as she and tai smiled to each other. In unison they grabbed hold of the terrified man and together latched on to either side of his neck. He shrieked in horror before Sora covered his mouth with her hand. Taichi slipped his hand over hers in a affectionate gesture as they fed. The dreamlike hunt through the woods was so close now. They could feel it. The thrill of the kill and the comradery and passion as they fed together. he stopped squirming as they continued to drink of him. Slowly he faded away into death and only then did they allow him to fall.

Taichi looked at his Sora in a new light. Her fangs glistened softly in the light of the fires and her skin was aflame with golden radiance. The shadows danced over her cheekbones as he slipped his hands over her waist. Her eyes glowed faintly of lust as they drew nearer and kissed. Taichi moaned happily into her mouth as their tongues caressed the sharpened edge of their vampiric fangs. the kiss was breathtaking to him as he tasted the coppery liquid in her mouth and she in his. Her eyes slipped shut as he ran his fingers through her silken hair. The passion washed over the two like a tidal wave of emotion. Senses blurred together in one great mass of pleasure and love and lust and hunger. Every sensation blurred into that kiss. They were not human anymore... they were creatures of an eternal night though they bore one bond to all that is truly human. They did love. That one drop of purity could maintain itself even in the darkness that was now their home. They had hunted together.. Killed together.... fed together.. They were bound to the other in a way that transcended good and evil together.

'In heaven or in hell,

in paradise or in purgatory,

we will be together.'



Set lay there on the ground in the pool of the three bloods. His long white hair lay around him like a cobra's hood as he slowly rose to a kneeling position. His face was smeared in blood but that wasn't close to what made him look evil. The eyes were now pure red the color of the blood on his brow. He groaned and as he did the massive fangs in his mouth lowered like the canines of an animal. He stretched out his massively misshapen hands only to find they were now huge talons with wickedly hooked claws. His body seemed bigger then it had previously been. Stronger also, as though his muscles were no longer perportuned to the massive force behind his control. There now was a strange cold fire within him. As though he were both frozen and burning all at once. The thoughts of Set were gone now. Replaced by the vampire god.

He pulled to his feet slowly, and as he did his body crackled with the frigid inferno. His eyes could see the entire room clearly though they were closed slightly. He could feel the room. Feel the world around him. It was shuddering in terror. He longed for death.. Longed to crunch skulls in his massively oversized jaws. The thought appealed to him more then ever. Blood... blood and marrow from the bones of those he would kill. He would devour them.. Shred them. his jaws were huge. Far bigger then the jaws of a man. His teeth were longer too, not just the massive incisors but each tooth a razor tipped killing bite in itself.

He glanced down on the floor, following the scent of blood and flesh. There he saw two figures laying there dead. Their sculls were blown out by a gunshot. From those gooey corpses he longed to feed. The smell of their congealing fluids tempted his blood lust. He scooped one of the men up with his massive claw. As an animal he bit down on it and tore it in two with one bite down the middle. His jaws crushed through bone and flesh as he fed.



Sora looked over with terror as she realized set had been resurrected. But not as a vampire... whatever this thing was it was far from some divine creature. It was pestilence and evil putrefied to the form of man. The differences were subtle at times, then obvious at others. Much as a vampire's fangs can descend or ascend to normal teeth so too could this creature change. Though he seemed to change from vampire to demon. He dropped the corpse as he sniffed the air. Then uttered a low snarl.



"Digidestined....." he hissed. As he turned to face them tai's eyes grew wider. The thing that was part myotismon now was changing evermore. His elongated fingers grew even more till they looked capable of seizing a single human in one fist and cover his entire form. The jaws pushed forward into a massive snout that accommodated even more fangs. His misshapen cranium sat precariously on the spine as a whiplike tale protruded from his tattered black pants. The painful black boots split open as his four clawed feet spread out and illustrated is back jointed legs.



"THAT IS NOT MYOTISMON!!!" Sora cried as she leaped several feet back. The thing hissed at her in a raspy chuckle. It bobbed its head like a bird as it stretched out in a very non human posture. The human similarities seemed far off now.



"Vampires are human demon hybrids.... what if what they brought back was the pure strain?" tai uttered as he eyed the creature.



"Look... after so long apart, I find my way back you. How comforting it is to see the digidestined still alive, so that I may kill you." he growled in myotismon's voice.



"What are you?" Sora whispered as she stood by tai at a safe distance.



"Hell... do you know what that's like?!? I WAS A DIGIMON!!! we aren't supposed to go to hell!! I should have been reborn in the digital world.. But I was sent to hell instead!" he snarled as his blood eyes pierced Taichi. "I wasn't supposed to go there... but... in the demon world I was restored to my kind's original form. I learned where I come from.. Where you now come from." he growled to them as he caught sight of what they now were as well. He chuckled darkly through his malformed jaws.



"You two shall be most satisfying..." he suddenly lunged forward to them with his massive jaws snapping wildly for them. They were able to dodge, though he caught tai in the back with a swipe from his massive claws. Tai cried out in pain as the impact threw him across the room.

Myotismon smirked as he broke into a startlingly fast run for the wounded vampire. Tai rolled on the ground in pain as he saw the rapidly changing myotismon advancing. He was looking more like a dragon then a human now as he charged. From his snoutlike appendage he drooled blood. Tai shrieked in horror as he saw the thing in mid gallop for him. He rolled to the left where one of the dead cultists lay. He pulled the shotgun from his cold hand and was just able to bring the muzzle forward when the myotismon-thing was on top of him. The barrel of the gun by sheer luck landed in the creature's mouth. More from fear then conscious action tai pulled the trigger and the powerful gun exploded within the thing's jaws. He shrieked in pain as he was pushed back slightly. Before tai could think the act he had already pumped the weapon and fired again into the creature's shattered skull. This blast threw him backwards to the ground with only half of his bottom jaw protruding. He was gushing blood and bone fragment as Taichi pulled himself up and hobbled away. The thing's tongue which had been lolling from the side of the bloody stump was now pulled back into the gaping hole which was alive with action as the thing's fragmented vertebra twisted out into a new skull.

"Holy shit!" he uttered as his back closed up.



The demon suddenly spun around to stare eye to eye with Taichi. His skull was almost closed over the re-forming brain and even now was the flesh slithering over the ivory bone. He growled at Taichi as his eyes formed within the hollow sockets. It seemed to chuckle as it hissed at him



"Decapitation should kill a vampire!?!" he cried as he fired at the thing again, this time blowing a huge chunk of shoulder off. It healed rapidly without deliberation. Tai tried to fire again only to find that the gun was jammed. He tossed it aside as he made an effort to put some distance between the thing and himself. It leapt onto him with a crushing thud. Tai hissed with rage as he slashed at the demon's body with his smaller claws. He was obviously ill equipped as he dodged a decapitating bite.

Myotismon suddenly roared in pain and reared back as his chest exploded with a metal pole. Sora clung to the thing's back as she forced the spear made from one of the candle holders through its heart. The weapon had impaled it, though now it was far from dead. The creature bucked and shook with rage as Sora clung for dear life. Tai rose to his feet and slashed heard at the creature's throat, he slashed four times, one after the other. By the third stroke he had cut to the spine yet by the fourth the regeneration had begun. He seized Sora by the leg and threw her. she cried in pain as the stone wall broke five of her ribs upon collision. He slapped tai away with such force that tai felt two ribs splinter also. He landed on the ground and coughed blood upon the stone. Sora remained on the edge of unconsciousness as myotismon ripped the weapon from his chest.



"Don't you get it!? I AM A VAMPIRE GOD!! Stakes through the heart won't do it! Sunlight won't be enough now! THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO SAVE THIS WORLD!! IT BELONGS TO ME NOW!!!!!" he roared as he broke into a run for them.



Tai looked off into space in the same position his head lay. There sat the dark cross gloomily towering over him as a reminder that it was the cause of all this. Myotismon's footsteps were thundering on the earth like a gallop where each footfall was a earthquake. Tai felt it in his chest. As the thing was soon in jumping distance. He glanced up to him only to see a blinding light explode upon him. He shrieked in rage and pain as the pillar of light blasted him back. He gripped the floor with his talons, but under the potent beam of light was pushed back. His claws dug a deep series of gashes in the concrete floor underfoot. He howled in agony as the beam burned him horribly. He roared as he struggled against the blast. Taichi glanced up through the haze to find TK and Kari standing together on the edge of the destroyed rook. The light was radiating from them and from their joined hands the bolt raged. It crackled like lightning yet looked like white and silver sunlight. Myotismon began pushing forward against the beam, though it was obviously hard. The light crackled out from the two children as they bore down harder on the beam. It pushed him back another step.



Tai was slow to claw his way to his feet but as he did the images assaulted him. The cross lay there before him in a pool of black blood. But the blood was different. It was tarish. Not like the blood of a human, but instead the blood of a demon. He saw the cross glimmer softly in the light Kari and TK were creating. In that sparkle of light it changed. Just for a moment as the light flashed around it. As it was washed in silver light the demonic pictures were washed away. Leaving only the silver surface to gleam in his eyes.

The revelation hit him hard as he suddenly understood. The Cross was made for religious practices. But the first vampire molested it to evil. But still it shimmered with the core of light. A trace of good in a black sea of evil. He snarled hatefully as he ran for the cross. It was big, yet as he held it in his hand he felt the understanding come. It was a sword... that's why the two bottom edges were razor edges. It was a sword.. A blade of good and evil united in steel. A tool that existed both for good and for evil to use as they willed it so.

He screamed out one word at the top of his lungs over and over as he sprinted to the pillar of light that was being pushed back by the demon. He cried out the name over and over as though the magic of the name could summon the good in the cross and its operator. It burned in his hands as the silver glowed white hot. Still even as he felt the blisters on his hands form he cried out the name. He smelled his own burning flesh as he ran into the beam and felt it envelop him in white fire that burned his vampiric skin. And then as he drew back he called out the name as loud as he could. So loud that it would reach god in heaven and beg his support. He screamed that name as he plunged the massive burning cross into the heart of myotismon.





"SORA!!!"





The demon shrieked in agony as the weapon of burning silver plunged into his heart. The fires of hope and light swirled around them like an inferno of white fire. It burned tai just as bad as myotismon, but he kept screaming the name of the girl that he loved. The name that kept him human. The name that made him real. The name of the most precious thing in either of his lives. The name that to him meant everything good and a sanctuary from evil. He sang out that name as he continued pushing the cross. Myotismon was screaming in rage as he swiped at tai with his long claws. Tears burned on Taichi's cheeks as he continued to bear down on the cross. To do one last good thing in his life. He looked over to find he was not alone in the inferno of holy flame. Sora was at his side bearing down on the cross also. She was screaming his name into the heavens as he cried out her own. And then as myotismon struggled and writhed his body began to turn to ash. He gave out one final shriek of agony as the cross itself melted to liquid silver in their hands. And still they pushed myotismon back to hell. Perhaps with them to drag him there. Their bodies collided as he crumbled away into a charred black skeleton and as he died the light engulfed the two in white fire and they disappeared into the inferno.



As the silver flame died off to embers all that remained of Taichi, Sora, myotismon, and the dark cross was a pile of ash that whisked away in the nightly wind. Kari and TK stood for a time in silence as they looked upon the vacant room that was now purged of evil. TK turned from the hollow to Kari and as he looked at her he saw a faint tear shimmer upon her cheek. He softly stroked her cheek and as he did she turned to him. Her soft eyes glowed with both sorrow and pride as she met the sapphire blue eyes of Takeru.



"Kari.. I want you to know that I love yo-" she put her lips to his softly to silence him.



"Some things, some things you don't need to say Takeru." she whispered.



"I know Kari... but some things you should say. And some.. You should just know." he whispered back. They softly linked arms and TK pressed her to him. She didn't cry as he had imagined she might. She simply held him as he held her. their two hearts beating as one.



"Do me a favor Takeru?" she offered



"Anything.."



"Take me home.. And... don't leave after I get there..." she smiled softly.



"As you wish... Kari Kamiya..." he smiled.







************************



"And that was how it ended. It seems so far away from us now as I think back over it all. It was hard to watch my sister leave. It was harder still to let them all believe Sora and I died with myotismon. Some things are better like that.



When I think back over the events I am filled with mixed emotions. I am Taichi Kamiya. I have lived for over a hundred of years as a vampire. I have fed and hunted yet that brief moment Sora and I touched the cross in the final battle against myotismon... it changed us.



The change is a subtle one.. And frankly I couldn't tell you what it's changing us into. Maybe human once more? Maybe something new? But the cross changed our hearts.



Maybe it was the lesson it taught us that had the magic. That an evil weapon could be an instrument of good once again. That evil could change and find a new world for nothing more then the effort of trying. I am a vampire, yet perhaps Sora and I are like the cross now. Maybe there is a chance at redemption for us out there.



Maybe all it took to be really human again was that one glimmer of love. That the single ember of the most true and pure human quality could rekindle the life we shared. The humanity within us.



This is my story. I can't tell you if it will have a happy ending or if it won't. I can tell you that Sora and I still cling to that love we shared. That even now.. So many years after we still are as much in love. Maybe the happy ending could be that? That I was able to get exactly what I wanted. Eternal life with eternal love.

I began my story with lovers.. And that's how I will end it. For I could think of no better ending then a beginning. And no better beginning then a beginning with Sora....



I stood before her in the velvety black of night. The moon shined down over us from above. I smiled into the night and she was there.. Her eyes glowed with a smile so bright that heaven was reflected in her gaze. She wore the starlight like a halo upon her crimson hair....."





You can learn a lot about life through art.

You can learn that composition and balance are the keys to success in either a painting or life.

But one of the most important artistic lessons are lights and darks.

Much like life.

If all you have is light then you see no depth or texture.

If all you have is dark then you lose the luster and elegance.

But if you have both..

You can truly appreciate the beauty.

Life is colored by the shades of grey.