Digimon Adventure and Guardian Belief

Chapter 9

Bee had been the first to realize something was wrong that day.

While the others had gone about having fun, distracting themselves from the absence of their original trio, she sat in a corner with her laptop to check the newsfeeds.

She wanted to be sure no other Digimon made themselves known anywhere in the world, worried at the odds they would have without their three strongest fighters.

While all of them knew how to fight-except Evie, who was too sick for that kind of exertion most of the time-, it was no secret that Casey, Kim and Ma were the most skilled.

So, when the first short video hit the web, Bee noticed immediately.

It was Casey.

Tentomon buzzed at the sudden shock of panic through the Bond, turning to his partner at the clear surprise in her violet eyes.

“Bea?”

“Th-They’re in trouble…” She managed to choke out.

Snapping into action, the brunette scrambled to her feet, laptop held close as she took off into the busy Workshop with Tentomon buzzing behind her.

Dodging between bustling yeti and crowded worktables, she looked around for someone, anyone, to convey this critical news to.

“Careful!”

Bee squeaked as she was bodily lifted from behind, instinctively curling into a ball as a herd of elves stampeded below with a miniature Christmas tree and a box of ornaments.

Setting the young teenager down safely on her own two feet, North smiled as Tentomon fussed over his girl in concern.

“Must be careful. Elves are always under-boot.”

Noticing her upset, the jolly man frowned in budding worry.

“Something wrong, little one?”

Bee tried to talk, she really did, but her throat closed up-he’s going to get mad and say I’m just being annoying and tell me to shut up-and the words stuck there like hot barbs, refusing to be voiced.

The longer she was unable to speak, the worse her anxiety became-now he’s going to be upset I’m wasting his time and why can’t I just say it?-, until the girl was in the midst of a snowballing panic attack the likes of which she had not felt for years.

“Whoa there!”

Faye skidded between the two, Gomamon clinging to her hair like a rider might while riding a wild horse bareback.

“Back up a little, big guy! You’re making her all nervous!”

North took a step back, guilty that he had made her nervous and not realized, as the multi-colored teenager turned to her younger friend.

With the ease of someone who had dealt with this sort of thing before, she took Bee’s face in her hands to force eye contact.

“It’s alright, Bumblebee.” Faye soothed, voice low and soft. “No one’s mad at you. Just breathe for me, okay? Breathe.”

Dark purple eyes locked on the older girl’s silver pair, Bee took in a deep, shuddering breath to stabilize her haywire system.

As her anxiety decreased, the breaths came in smoother, until Faye decided she was ready to answer questions.

“Now, what’s got your hardware in a twist, Bumblebee?”

The words came this time, if a bit roughly.

“I-It’s Casey! Sh-She’s in tr-trouble!”

Straightening up in surprise, Faye searched the younger girl’s face for clues as to what had happened.

“What? But-They just-How?”

Bee presented her laptop screen in explanation, and North shuffled over to get a better view.

“Oh fudgesicles…”

Chyort voz’mi…”

At that moment, a rabbit hole opened a few feet away, and Bunny leapt out, weighed down by two human girls and their Digimon partners.

Bee paled at the sight of Casey in the Pooka‘s arms, mind racing with all of the possibilities.

The redhead was nothing if not stubborn; she had refused help after many a serious injury, from broken bones to dislocated joints, and often dragged herself to the hospital without assistance.

The only time Bee could remember her ever accepting help was after a rough brawl with five older boys, all football players, who had tried to ‘persuade’ her into some ‘fun’, and even then she had grumbled the whole way.

True, the boys had not been able to walk away from the encounter either, but that did not stop Bee’s returning panic attack.

What happened?

Was she badly hurt?

Was she dying?

Closing her eyes, she started to recite a familiar sequence to calm her racing heart.

“Three point one four one five nine two six five three five eight nine seven nine three two three eight…”

The words were mouthed at best, barely a whisper of a voice, but they helped slow the whirlwind of horrible thoughts and allowed logic to reassert itself.

Casey was not bleeding, or bruised, or nursing a twisted limb; from the way Bunny was holding her, there was no internal damage to ribs or the hips, which left no life-threatening ailments on the list of possibilities.

When she opened her eyes again, Faye was looking at her in concern as North loudly herded Bunny and his precious cargo towards what must have been a med bay of some sort.

“You alright, Bumblebee?”

Worry was reflected in Gomamon’s green eyes, and Tentomon leaned into her leg as support.

Taking in a fortifying breath, Bee nodded.

“Y-Yeah…” She whispered, regaining the fragile control over her nerves.

Honestly, Bee knew she was never ‘alright’.

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No one was allowed in the med bay for hours as the yeti ran test after test on the four girls and their Digimon, and Bee was growing nervous.

They were not badly hurt, surely?

Just exhausted, like they said.

So why was it taking so long?

In a bid to distract herself, she went over the blurry video and pictures that a child or reckless teenager had managed to take of the incidents, trying to find a pattern to explain the sudden leap from normal human and Rookie to superhuman and Champion.

A theory was beginning to form, an inkling of what might be the cause, but there was something she needed to know first.

“T-Tento…”

Looking up at the soft whisper of his nickname, the ladybug-like Digimon nuzzled into her side.

“What is it, Bea?”

“Th-The Bond…H-How does it w-work?”

Intrigued by the unexpected question, Tentomon sat up.

“Well, the Bond is a special connection between the souls of a Digimon and their Warrior. Through it, we can share emotions and thoughts, or even meld minds if the Bond is strong enough.” He explained. “Most Bonds are formed when Digimon are at the Rookie or Champion level, and deepen with time. When I asked Centarumon, he said that it is because of the understanding between Digimon and Warrior that we become stronger.”

Bee stayed silent for a moment, processing this new information and tailoring her theory, before speaking again.

“S-So we sh-share energy…Th-That’s how y-you Digivolved to R-Rookie, right T-Tento?”

“Exactly.” Tentomon commended, proud to have such a smart partner. “It is the Digimon’s job to protect the Warrior, and be taken care of in return. We must be in-tune with each other to do that.”

“In-tune…” She mouthed silently, mind racing to put all the pieces together.

Her eyes lit up in wonder as the answer came.

Maybe, just maybe

Everyone in the hallway, spirits and humans and Digimon alike, jumped in surprise when Bee suddenly leapt to her feet, practically vibrating in excitement.

“That’s it!” She exclaimed, turning to the congregated audience without her usual crippling shyness. “They Digivolve because of us!”

Blinking away her astonishment, Rocky sat up as Patamon clung to her shoulders like a koala cub.

“What do you mean, Bee?”

“The Bond is a link between us and the Digimon, a conduit for spiritual power.” Bee explained, clearly excited. “When we become one in a goal, protecting each other, we unlock the next stage! It’s the perfect defense mechanism!”

The four present Guardians shared a look, starting to understand…

“Sounds about right.”

All eyes turned to the now-open doorway they had been waiting in front of, and Casey rolled her eyes playfully.

“Gotta admit, it was kinda weird to feel Agu in my head like that, but it wasn’t a bad kind of weird.”

“It makes sense that we would need to be in agreement with our Digimon in order to fight together properly.” Kim noted, leaning on the doorframe in visible boredom.

“We fight pretty well together, and we rarely agree on anything.” Casey pointed out jokingly.

The other girl shrugged, noncommittal.

“Whatever.”

“Good thinking, Bee!” Ally praised, grinning.

Now that her excitement had ebbed into warm accomplishment, Bee’s anxiety reasserted itself, and she seemed to fold into herself self-consciously.

“W-Well, I-I j-j-just…”

“Yes, very good thinking!” North agreed, clapping a hand on her shoulder and nearly sending the brunette sprawling. “Very good!”

Bee squeaked, quickly becoming overwhelmed by all the attention and the sudden physical contact, and Tentomon buzzed nervously at the sudden spike in her anxiety.

“Could you be anymore hands-on?” Casey scolded, pulling the panicking girl out from underneath the Russian’s heavy hand. “She needs time to get used to you before you can manhandle her!”

Mumbling an apology, North stepped back once more, and Bee was able to breathe again.

Ashamed of her involuntary reaction, she shifted awkwardly from one foot to the other, taking one of Tentomon’s claw-hands in both of hers.

“I-I-I…”

Swallowing the lump in her throat, Bee peeked up shyly through her lashes as her voice came out in a weak whisper.

“I-I’m s-s-sorry…I-I’ll tr-try h-h-harder…”

Understanding softened the Russian’s face, and he crouched down to her level, apparently oblivious to the shock of the other girls.

I am sorry, little one. Should not be so rough. We will both try harder, da?”

Her eyes brightened from a darker twilight shade to almost violet in wonder and joy, and North smiled as she nodded enthusiastically, too worked up to speak a second time.

Even after all these years, that was all he ever needed.

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Days passed without further incident, with no sudden appearance of Digimon or Pitch anywhere in the world.

Though Bee kept checking the newsfeeds and media sites just in case, she knew there would be nothing.

Pitch had failed three times in one day; he would plan much better before making a fourth attempt, of that she was sure.

Despite these worries, Bee was beginning to truly enjoy her time in Santoff Claussen.

Time had eased her anxiety around the Guardians, though to varying degrees.

They were kind and conscious of her shyness, and while they spent most of their time with others-Bunny spent an awful lot of his free time with Casey and Evie, and Jack with Kim and Rocky-, it was not to the detriment of anyone else.

Honestly, Bee found most of her days being spent with the yeti or North, who she had become most comfortable with.

In fact, she was in the middle of assembling toy airplanes-under Phil’s watchful eyes, of course-when Faye ran by in a fit of hysterical laughter.

Never a good sign.

“F-Faye?”

“Bumblebee!” The older girl squealed in joy, latching onto Bee’s wrist to tow her along. “Come on! I’ve got a great place to watch the action!”

“Wh-What? F-Faye, what did y-you-?”

Chaos broke out as the elves charged, armed with paint-filled water guns and balloons that were soon dyeing any unsuspecting yeti pastel.

“O-Oh dear…”

Gomamon cackled, spurring the little miscreants on as his partner dragged the other girl up onto the next level.

“Go, my minions! Show no mercy!”

Tentomon yelped when the multi-colored teenager was bodily lifted off the railing by the back of her anime t-shirt, hanging like a chastised puppy in front of a likely-unhappy North.

With a sheepish smile, Faye found only one thing to say.

“I surrender?”

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North was beyond frustrated.

His prototype of a flying eagle refused to work properly, and nothing he did so much as made the wings twitch.

After hours of futile attempts, the Russian had momentarily abandoned the stubborn toy to angrily munch on the cookies a yeti had brought in.

Unbeknownst to North, Bee had been watching the entire debacle silently from an armchair, a thick tome in hand and Tentomon sitting comfortably on her lap.

When he had turned away from the metal toy, clearly upset, the brunette frowned softly in thought.

Perking up at the sound of rustling behind him, North turned back to the table and nearly dropped his cookie in surprise because the damn eagle was working!

A shy little smile appeared on Bee’s face as she closed the chest compartment, Tentomon buzzing happily around her head in a show of delight.

“H-How i-is i-it?”

Grinning happily, North ruffled her hair, happy that she only smiled wider in response.

“Is best toy I have ever seen.” He assured her, proud. “Would you like to make more?”

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Tentomon loved his partner just as much as any other Digimon, perhaps more.

She was so sweet to him, and smarter than anyone could guess; every thought in her head was like a flash of lightning, and the result was a constant thunderstorm of activity that crackled pleasantly through the Bond.

They spent hours together talking, learning about each others worlds and sharing theories.

Even Tentomon did not know everything about the Digital World, just bits and pieces of bigger things, but he gladly shared them with Bee in order to puzzle out what they might be.

Bee had been most interested in the hieroglyphs he had explained, recreating them with painstaking care on large sheets of paper procured by the yeti Faye had stubbornly named Pookie.

Curled up next to his partner, lulled by the rhythmic clicking of keys on her laptop, Tentomon was glad to have her.

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There was a theory taking shape in the back of Bee’s mind, piecing itself together from the bits she was learning from Tentomon, and just the prospect of it made her giddy with excitement.

If the basic building blocks of her world were protons and neutrons and electrons, maybe…

Maybe it was different in the other.

Bee spent hours copying the hieroglyphs and scanning them into her computer, fine-tuning a program to run them.

It took a week, the complexity causing minor tangles every now and then, before she was ready to run the program for the first time.

Placing her laptop on the desk, Bee started the set-up as Tentomon buzzed around the empty sitting room to be sure they were truly alone.

When he found no elves hiding in the furniture, the bug Digimon landed next to his partner on the thick rug.

“All clear.”

Nodding, Bee took a deep breath…

And started the program.

For a moment, the screen was being filled with lines of code, completely normal…

Bee startled when the lines began to drift out of place, twisting around each other like vines, as the background began to give off a faint glow.

Something crackled through the Bond, like a jolt of electricity straight to the heart, and she gasped at the rush of adrenaline as the glow brightened.

It took a moment for her to realize some of the light was coming from the device attached to her shirt collar.

Violet eyes widened in wonder as a grid appeared through the screen’s brightness, taking the shape of an island and zooming out to show a massive continent, an endless ocean…

An entire world.

The whole concept was breathtaking.

It felt like flying.

“Ah! Hot! Hot hot hot!”

Snapped out of her trance, Bee whipped around, startled to see white light and steam pouring out of the cracks in Tentomon’s exoskeleton.

“T-Tento?!”

“Turn it off! Turn it off!”

With only a second to mourn the loss of so much untapped knowledge, the brunette shut down the program and was left staring at the desktop once more.

Plucking the device from her shirt, and finding the screen blank, she felt dizzy with the implications.

Did we almost…?

A sharp beeping sound distracted her then, and it took a moment before Bee realized what it was.

The alarm.

Running up to her main computer, a massive set-up of multiple screens and terminals, she brought up the search details.

She had whipped up a program to search the video and newsfeeds earlier that week to monitor any possible Digimon activity, and it seemed to have paid off.

A blurry image filled one screen, and with a few adjustments, she could make out two figures.

“It’s Andromon!” Tentomon realized, buzzing up to her shoulder.

Said Digimon was massive, at least seven feet tall and covered almost completely in metallic armor, towering over his reptilian partner.

The Warrior was still rather tall, maybe six feet, and completely covered in green scales, with a spiked crocodile tail and long snout, a jagged club hanging off his shoulder.

Bee noted some bits of mechanical devices attached to the chest and head, like an advanced pacemaker and computer respectively, that made the two match.

“They’re a very peaceful pair.” Tentomon informed. “Strong, but they only fight when threatened.”

A video came up, slightly grainy but visible, where the two demolished what seemed like a small building.

Bee squeaked in fright, covering her mouth to muffle the sound.

“…It’s been a while.” Tentomon admitted, clearly intimidated.

The door slammed open behind them, and the pair whirled around to see the original trio stumble in with their Digimon and an assortment of yeti.

“What was that?” Casey shouted, Agumon growling at her side and light flickering from the device at her hip.

“Did something happen?” Kim questioned, scanning the room with sharp eyes as Gabumon bristled nervously beside her.

“Bee!” Ma called, rushing forward and pulling the startled brunette into a hug. “Are you alright? What was that sound?”

As the older girl fretted over her like a mother hen, Biyomon hovering over her shoulders in concern, the Guardians filled the doorway.

“What is going on?” North demanded, cutting through the cacophony of the room with his booming voice.

Finally, Bee could be heard over the noise.

“A-A Digimon! A-A Digimon and h-his partner a-are attacking Chicago!”

Tensions in the room mounted, and Sandman turned to usher the other girls down the hall as Casey straightened, taking command.

“What do we know?”

“It’s Andromon and Tokage.” Tentomon informed them, wings buzzing nervously. “It’s so strange…They are normally peaceful.”

The video looped, and the new audience cringed at the violent destruction of an innocent automobile.

“Yeah, real peaceful.” Jack noted sarcastically, knuckles bleached on his staff.

“Pitch is likely the cause.” Kim suggested, expression blank but eyes frigid. “He could have found a way to manipulate their minds, and turn them from their pacifist ways.”

“Either way, this is gonna be a rough fight.” Casey grumbled. “They’re both pretty big, and probably have lots of experience fighting as a pair.”

“Not to mention they’re likely a lot smarter than Kuwagamon and his partner.” Ma agreed, a frown tugging at her mouth in worry.

“This is Pitch we’re talkin’ about.” Bunny reminded them, arms crossed tightly. “Can’t take anything at face value with ‘im.”

Bee watched as ideas flickered across Casey’s bright gold eyes, weighing options and judgments.

She may not have been a genius, but there was no one else better suited to something like this.

“Ma, you stay here in case of a surprise attack.” The redhead decided. “Me and Kim will go take care of this.”

“I-I’ll go w-with y-you.”

All eyes turned to the shy teenager, laptop hugged to her chest and some sort of wireless adaptors clutched in one hand.

“It’s too dangerous for you.” Tooth fussed, wings buzzing in clear anxiety. “You and Tentomon…”

North agreed whole-heartedly, though he said nothing in opposition.

“I-I have a-an idea.” Bee insisted, big purple eyes pleading. “Please.”

The three other teenagers were silent, sharing a glance, before Casey sighed.

“Alright, alright…But you stay clear of the fighting! I don’t care what your plan is!”

Nodding quickly in agreement, Bee took hold of her Digimon’s claw-hand and followed everyone out, heart pumping madly with adrenaline.

Taking a Snow Globe from his jacket pocket, North held both sabers in one hand as he herded Casey, Kim, Bee, Bunny and Jack to the Globe Room for a space to open the portal.

“Come, come! There is no time to waste!” He urged, shaking the glass sphere to agitate the magic inside.

Bee watched as it shattered on the wooden floor, opening a vortex of color in the air, wishing she had more time to properly study it before leaping through.

The city beyond was chaos.

Cars had been forcefully overturned onto the sidewalks, and streetlamps were twisted out of form by the impact of debris to hang dangerously over the asphalt streets like the branches of a weeping willow.

Gouges were ripped out of the roads like claw marks, and craters filled with sharp scraps of metal dotted the edges like a giant’s footsteps.

Covering her mouth to stifle a gasp at the destruction, Bee tightened her grip on Tentomon’s claw-hand as Casey whistled lowly.

Yeah, this is bad…”

“Ah, so you have finally decided to join us.”

The Guardians were immediately on-guard, weapons raised, as Pitch Black appeared before the group with an air of complete ease.

Clearly, he was not at all intimidated.

“Aren’t you missing someone?”

“If we had brought Ma, she would have ripped your throat out by now.” Kim noted, a spark of aggression in her eyes.

“And I’d rather knock all your teeth out myself.” Casey admitted, grin sharp. “I have a lot to get even for.”

Pitch’s smile was dark, satisfied.

“I don’t think you’ll have time to try, my dear.”

There was a moment of confusion before something crashed behind them.

“Lightning Blade!”

The smaller Digimon reacted quickly, tackling their partners to the ground as the Guardians jumped to either side to avoid the blade of energy that would have sliced them in half.

“Right, forgot about them…” Casey muttered, sitting up with Agumon in her lap. “Kim?”

“We’re fine.” The black-haired girl replied crisply, steadying Gabumon beside her.

Tokage growled, baring his sharp blade-like teeth as Andromon lowered his arm now that the attack was done.

“You should be careful.” Pitch mock-warned, clearly pleased with himself. “They are a rather violent pair.”

Andromon’s chest compartments opened as if on command.

“Gatling Attack!”

The two missiles took to the air with a screech of rockets, but they were not aimed at Casey or Kim.

They were aimed at the groups of innocents hiding behind the nearby debris.

With a curse, silent or spoken, Casey and Kim leapt to their feet as light flooded from the devices at their hips.

“Agu!”

“Gabumon!”

Bee was nearly blinded as she watched the transformation unfold for the first time.

“Agumon, Digivolve to…Greymon!”

“Gabumon, Digivolve to…Garurumon!”

With a mighty swing of his tail, Greymon smacked one of the explosives off-course, crouching over the terrified humans as it blew up overhead instead.

“Howling Blaster!”

The blue flames caused a premature explosion, Garurumon’s steel-furred body shielding the crying children and parents from the force of it.

“Is that all you’ve got?” Casey challenged, fire sparking to life between her clenched fingers. “Bring it on, you overgrown tin can!”

Tokage slammed into her in a footballer’s tackle, and the two bounced across the street with enough force to crack the asphalt.

Pinned under a clearly-upset crocodile man, Casey wheezed a breath into her compressed lungs.

“Okay, you definitely brought it…”

Water wrapped around Tokage’s throat like a whip, yanking him off the winded redhead and sending him flying with a roar.

“What have I told you about antagonizing your opponents?” Kim chided, clear liquid hovering around her shoulders as Casey struggled to stand.

“To make sure I can punch their face in first?”

“Exactly.”

Bee fumbled with the wireless adaptors in her hand as Bunny and Jack went after Pitch, heart racing as Andromon threw a thrashing Greymon into a small building.

“K-Kim!”

The blue-eyed teenager turned slightly, gaze assessing before she held out a hand to catch the little gadgets.

With the adaptors firmly in her grasp, she faced Tokage, calculating.

Crouching low to avoid a swing from the larger Warrior’s club, Kim used the extended arm to flip up over his head one-handed, bringing her other hand down on his head to twist and land on his back feet-first.

With a deft flick of the wrist, one of the plugs was firmly placed in the open circuitry of his head before Kim was forced to retreat from razor-sharp claws.

A fireball distracted the massive crocodile-man from his swifter prey, allowing her to plan her next move against Andromon.

Garurumon snarled as he was grabbed around the throat mid-lunge, claws sparking against unscathed metal as Andromon easily lifted him up and slammed him down onto a car.

Phantom pain spread across Kim’s back, and the faint whimper her partner let out had the teenager leaping up to click the USB-like device into an opening in the android’s armor plating at the neck.

Andromon reached up to forcibly remove her, but Garurumon would not allow harm to his partner and clamped down on the offending arm with strong jaws.

With those two tag-teaming Andromon, Greymon joined his own partner against Tokage, roaring as he brought down all of his considerable weight on the crocodile Warrior before those teeth could close around Casey’s neck.

With a connection established, Bee opened her laptop and sat down cross-legged, trusting her friends to keep the battle far away as she worked.

“What are you doing, little one?” North questioned, sabers raised defensively in case Pitch somehow escaped the other Guardians.

There was a certainty in her bright purple eyes that was new, like every mystery in the universe was unraveling behind them.

“I’m winning.”

Ducking and weaving in a traditional boxer’s stance, Casey growled as she hammered the heavily-scaled torso with fire-encrusted fists, frustrated that her blows barely scuffed the surface.

Go down, you son of a-”

Tokage snarled, kicking her hard in the gut, and whipped around to grab Greymon’s nose-horn as the dinosaur Digimon bore down on him in protective rage.

“Lightning Blade!”

Kim cursed softly as she dropped into the splits and back, just avoiding the deadly blade of light, before spinning her feet up in a hurricane kick that shot out water.

The android did not flinch as the dense blades struck his armor and exposed flesh, completely relentless.

“Howling Blast-!”

Before Garurumon could even properly aim, Greymon was thrown into his side, canceling the attack prematurely as both Digimon tumbled through a nearby building.

Shoving herself off the cracked asphalt, Casey glared up at Tokage defiantly as blood trickled down her chin.

“Okay…Let’s try this again…”

The club was raised, spikes deadly-sharp and lethally long, and she raised both arms in a defensive cross-

When he froze.

Not literally, but the large Warrior went still, like he had looked into Medusa’s face and been turned to stone.

Blinking slowly, Casey turned to see Andromon was the same, his foot still poised to crush Kim’s ribcage as she rolled away.

For a moment, they had no idea what just happened.

The next, both turned to Bee, wide-eyed and smiling and oh so relieved, laptop balanced on her crossed legs and Tentomon buzzing next to her in joy.

North laughed uproariously, clearly impressed, and Casey felt a smile grow on her face.

That’s our genius.”

A tired smile drifted across Kim’s mouth, a shadow of relief.

“What do we have here? A little mouse?”

Bee startled, holding her laptop close as Pitch’s shadow fell over her, North’s sabers rising in defense.

Those sickly amber eyes seemed to pierce straight through her, frowning at the setback to his plans.

“I’m afraid I can’t allow you to live.”

Something on the screen shifted, and wide violet eyes locked on the lines of code as something else broke through from the inside to take over control.

And there was nothing she could do to stop it.

BLUEY!”

There was no time for the redhead to react before Tokage smacked her into a lamppost, Andromon wasting no time in literally punting Kim through a storefront window.

KAY!”

Nightmares rose up like smoke, and though some fell to North’s blades, the Russian was forced away from the girl he had been trying to protect despite all his efforts.

Scrambling to her feet, laptop pressed protectively to her chest, Bee shrunk in the face of the angry equine-shaped beasts.

“Super Shocker!”

The nearest Nightmare disintegrated under the blast, and Tentomon buzzed angrily around his partner in warning.

“You leave Bea alone! Super Shocker!”

The beasts retreated a few steps, now wary of the electricity building between the Digimon’s fast-beating wings.

Bee’s heart beat a tattoo against her ribs, and she could almost feel Tentomon’s do the same-can’t give up, there’s a way out of this, I know there is-and realized what was happening.

They were synchronizing.

Without looking, the brunette brought up the program on her laptop, breathing a prayer as it started up.

Crying out as he barely dodged the club aimed for his head, Tentomon jerked back into his partner as Tokage righted himself, eyes cold and distant.

There was nowhere left to run or hide; Casey and Kim were down, their Digimon likely worse for wear, and while the Guardians would try, they were no match for the android and his crocodile Warrior.

But there’s a solution to every problem, and Bee was going to find it.

Energy was already crackling across the Bond, and light grew beneath Tentomon’s exoskeleton in pulsing waves.

All Bee could feel was I won’t let anyone hurt you trust me I know we can do this

And she believed it.

Light erupted around them, and Pitch very nearly face-palmed in frustration.

Every single time

“Tentomon, Digivolve to…Kabuterimon!”

Tokage was thrown back by the massive bug Digimon’s take-off, tumbling head-over-heels and skidding to a halt beside his own partner a few meters away.

With a deep breath, Bee looked up, a darker purple glowing in her eyes as various damaged vehicles lifted up from the ground without physical effort.

“Stop.”

With a roar, the crocodile-man charged, weapon pulled back for a heavy stroke-

The club was stopped in midair with a thought, and Bee tossed her attacker away with another.

Telekinesis.

It was as fitting as Casey’s flames or Ma’s control over the air.

“Lightning Blade!”

Kabuterimon evaded the attack deftly, swooping down in a dive that very nearly crushed Andromon had the smaller Digimon not diverted it.

Seeing this, Bee floated up into the air to avoid most of the Nightmares, mind racing.

Something had reconfigured their programming from the inside

Sparks, like from damaged wiring, flared to life around Andromon’s organic leg.

It was their only chance.

“Kabuterimon!”

There was no need for explanation as he regained altitude, taking aim at the exposed flesh as Bee caught Tokage mid-lunge.

“Electro Shocker!”

The massive ball of electricity seemed to be absorbed into Andromon’s leg, and the assembled group watched in amazement as a large black gear phased out the other side, shattering into atoms on contact with the ground.

Almost immediately, Andromon and his partner shut down.

“It seems I‘ll have to take care of you myself.”

Bee whipped around at the sound of disembodied hoof beats, spinning away to avoid being rammed into by a charging Nightmare.

Catching herself scant feet from the ground-and a wickedly sharp pile of debris-, the brunette turned to face Pitch with a frown.

“You’ve already lost.” She pointed out quietly, voice firm in certainty. “You’re outmatched.”

“Outnumbered, perhaps.” He consented, frowning at the assembled Guardians. “But never outmatched.”

A spear of dark sand tore through the air-

Straight at North.

“NO!”

The projectile shattered against Kabuterimon’s tough exoskeleton, and Pitch gasped as he was telekinetically lifted off the ground and thrown against a nearby building.

The purple glow in Bee’s eyes was much brighter now, and debris began to float off the ground all along the street.

Pitch scowled.

You should never piss off the quiet ones.

“Next time, then.”

He disappeared into the nearby shadows before a boomerang could take his head off, and Bunny cursed as he caught the weapon on it’s way back.

When no attack came for a minute after, Bee allowed herself to relax, the fierceness on her face smoothing into concern.

“C-Casey? K-Kim?”

“I’m okay…” Casey assured, shoving the lamppost off her chest with some effort.

“No real harm done.” Kim agreed, brushing glass shards off her shoulder even as she stumbled back onto the sidewalk.

With a concentrated thought, the brick and metal covering their Digimon was lifted up, allowing Greymon and Garurumon to stumble onto clear ground with groans of pain.

“You alright, big guy?” Casey wondered, patting one of her partner’s sturdy legs.

“I’ll live.” He grumbled back, shaking dust from his horned helmet.

Garurumon growled happily as Kim scratched behind his ear, expression softening in what might have been relief as he collapsed into a sprawl that made Jack laugh aloud.

A happy little smile took root on Bee’s face, and she pat Kabuterimon’s helmeted head with a breathless giggle.

“W-We did it.” She whispered, voice shaking with adrenaline.

“Never doubted it for a moment.” The large bug Digimon assured, nudging her palm gently.

“Holy-!”

It seemed Andromon and Tokage were waking up, or rebooting more likely, and Casey was already on the defensive, fire bursting to life around her fists.

“W-Wait!” Bee pleaded, dropping down between her battle-ready friends and the still-disoriented crocodile warrior on the pavement. “I-It was th-that gear that m-made them violent! I-I’m sure they’re f-fine n-now!”

While the two Warriors slowly lowered their elemental weapons, North was not so easily convinced, sabers raised defensively as he warily approached.

“A-Are you alright now?” Bee wondered, voice soft.

“We are…fully functional.” He replied haltingly, gears whirring audibly to catch up.

“Did we cause all of this?” Andromon wondered, levering himself up with some difficulty.

“Yes.” Kim answered, eyeing the pair for signs of deceit as Jack stepped to her side, staff held tightly in one hand.

“We did not…” Tokage started, scanning the area with sorrow obvious in his eyes. “We are deeply sorry. That Black Gear…It overrode our programming, and we could not stop ourselves.”

Relaxing as the pair made no sign of aggression, North grinned.

“Is fine, now that gear is out!”

“Is there anyway to get back to the Digital World?” Tokage wondered, standing.

“W-We don’t kn-know of one.” Bee answered apologetically, Kabuterimon a warm, safe presence through the Bond.

“We will find one, then.” Andromon stated, rolling his shoulders to make sure the joints were undamaged.

The thought that they would be stranded in a strange world, all alone, until they could return made Bee feel guilty, and she turned to North with a beseeching look.

Despite Bunny and Jack gesturing wildly behind her, clearly not liking the thought, North could not say no to those big purple eyes when they pleaded with him so.

“There is plenty of space at North Pole!” The Russian assured, patting Tokage on the back hard enough to make him stumble. “You are welcome to stay! I insist!”

“Well…” The crocodile-man started, sharing a look with his Digimon. “If you insist.”

Bee smiled, pleased, as the evolution slowly reversed and she fell back on her rump with a tired sigh.

Tentomon landed against her side, obviously exhausted, and she leaned into him as North scooped both up.

It had been a good day after all.

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The Man in the Moon smiled as he heard the news, moonbeams dancing through the streets in laughter.

Pitch had surely thought he would win, but he had once again underestimated the girls chosen.

After all, Knowledge is a powerful thing.

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