Ally was a lot of things, but stupid was
not one of them.
Sure, she was not as mature or book-smart as the others, but
she knew as well as anyone the kind of danger they were in.
Dwelling on that
would do no good, so the blonde went about as she normally did, aware of the
threat and dutifully ignoring it.
After all, she was in Santa’s Workshop!
was no time to worry when there were so many things to explore!
Humming a happy
little tune, skipping along to the beat and smiling as Palmon followed her lead
with a giggle, Ally was in search of some sweets.
The elves always seemed to
get there first, and while she enjoyed watching them get into mischief,
touching their saliva was not on her To Do list.
Peeking into the kitchen to
see if there were any fresh cookies left, she lit up at the sight of a familiar
spirit trying to swipe some more eggnog from the grumbling yeti.
dream-weaver turned at the call of his name, smiling as he realized who it was
and abandoning his quest to ask-after a fashion-what she was up to.
just looking for some cookies.” Ally replied cheerily, hopping inside in a
flutter of skirts.
It had felt like a sunny day, so she had worn a long,
grass-colored skirt with a darker wrap edged in gold disks that sang against
each other as she moved.
Matched with a white blouse, gold bangles,
flower-patterned flats and a wide sunhat, Ally looked more ready for a nice
spring afternoon than a day at the North Pole.
“Cookies!” Palmon squealed,
rushing over to a platter of the confections left unattended on the counter
before an elf could get there first.
Squeaking in joy, Ally hopped over to take
one for herself, happily nibbling on the edge.
Laughing silently at her antics,
Sandy floated over with a softer smile on his face, pictures appearing over his
head in dream-sand.
“I’m having lots of fun!” Ally assured him, beaming.
“But I’ve missed you! I know you have to go and give dreams, but I love talking
with you when you’re here.”
Sandy would not deny the happy little flutter in his chest at her words, and easily swiped some eggnog before silently asking if she had time now.
Oh, how she lit up with unadulterated joy
at the thought, the feeling so strong it filled Palmon to the brim.
I do!” The blonde gushed.
Grabbing his free hand, she began towing the golden
spirit along, Palmon toddling behind while still munching on cookies.
Content to be led, Sandy sipped on his eggnog to hide the far-too-pleased smile on his face.
The two had met long before Ally had first
Bonded with her Digimon.
Sandy had been on his usual rounds, spreading good
dreams, when he had noticed one child was having nightmares more often than was
Concerned that Pitch was to blame, and possibly making another move
against the Guardians, he had gone to check.
He had not expected a
little girl, wide awake and trembling in her bed, when he arrived.
had been hazy, without a spark of life and laughter, and so very empty it
frightened the dream-giver.
No child should ever look like that.
against every guideline and barrier that had ever been made amongst the
Guardians, Sandy went inside.
When she saw him, her eyes clearing into
the bright green he comes to know, his heart fluttered.
There are never any regrets.
If there is one thing Ally loves to do, it’s
She hums and whistles and sings as she goes, skipping to the beat of
whatever song is caught in her head until it’s gone.
Palmon enjoys those times
when her voice rises up over the hustle and bustle of the yeti, soft and high
and clear, with sweet notes and often sweeter words.
The music swells through
the Bond, waves of joy and love and deep understanding that have the plant-like
Digimon humming along in return.
Stretched beside her partner, soaking in her
warmth like a flower would sunlight, Palmon smiled at the soft words that
slipped past Ally’s lips as she dozed.
“If everything comes down to love, then
just what am I afraid of? When I call out your name, something inside awakes in
my soul…How quickly I forget I'm yours.”
The feelings were almost a tangible
thing, pure and sweet, and Palmon curled into her Warrior’s side with a content
sigh as she continued.
“I'm not on my own…I've been carried by you all my
Ally yawned as golden sand twined around her head, the verses slowing as
they left her mouth.
“Everything rides on hope now…Everything rides on faith
somehow…When the world has broken me down…”
Vision clouding with sleep, Palmon
blinked as Sandman floated up to the couch, smiling as the last words were
breathed out before two little humanoid figures appeared over Ally’s head in an
“Your love sets me free…”
The thing Sandy loves most about Ally-and he
was not shy about admitting that fact, even when his fellow Guardians tried to
tease-was that she was never anything but herself.
There were no attempts
to hide her emotions, or change them; they were what they were, and she was
alright with that.
Yanking his cup of eggnog away from a sneaky elf,
the dream-giver smiled as Ally approached, wearing a pair of jean shorts and a
green t-shirt with a cartoon honeybee that said ‘Don’t Worry, BEE Happy’ on the
Clearly excited, she hopped up and pulled him into a hug, which Sandy
was quite happy with.
After all, pressing into his crush’s soft bosom was
“It’s been so boring here without you!” Ally
complained, pouting cutely. “What took so long?”
Sandy had never been so happy
to be mute, as he did not have to lift his face from between her soft breasts
Giggling at the little pictures that appeared, dream-sand tickling
her chin from the close proximity, Ally twirled around as Palmon ran up in
Still extremely distracted, the golden spirit
“Hey, Sandy! Having fun?” Jack teased, chuckling at the rather rude
symbols that answered him.
Rocky looked up at the apparently-smothered dream
spirit with mild concern and great curiosity.
“Can he breathe?”
breathing has gone down on his priority list for the moment.” Kim noted,
eyebrow rising when Ally, suddenly realizing that breathing might be difficult
between her breasts, squeaked as she pulled Sandy free and looked him over in
“Oh my God, are you alright? I didn’t suffocate you, did I?
I’m so sorry!”
While sad to have been suddenly vacated from his spot, Sandy
smiled and assured the poor girl that he was fine.
“Not so great now though,
huh?” Jack pointed out, smirking.
Even Rocky knew some of those symbols were
rather bad, and Patamon covered her eyes with his front legs while covering his
own with bat-like wings.
Jack only laughed as Kim shook her head at his
immaturity, pinching his ear between thumb and forefinger.
spirit flailed comically as he was yanked down by the abused cartilage, and now
it was Sandy’s turn to laugh.
“Behave yourself.” She chided, pulling the
white-haired spirit behind her as she turned to leave.
“Ow ow ow!” Jack
whined, bent into an awkward position to avoid getting his ear ripped off.
“Okay, I’m sorry! OW! Just let go!”
Feeling vindicated-and already
planning ways to get back at Jack anyway-, Sandy turned back to Ally with a
Now if only he could get another hug…
Shifting nervously from side to side, Ally
peered up through her lashes and bit softly on her lower lip.
soundlessly, naughty thoughts creeping into his mind at the sight.
thought, maybe…if you didn’t mind…Me and Pal could go with you? Watch you
It took a few moments for Sandy to shake off his fantasies enough to
process her words, but he agreed enthusiastically all the same.
Her eyes lit
up, that bright green he loved so much, and the dream-giver was pulled into
another animated hug.
Snuggling into the soft flesh, he sighed happily.
Totally worth it.
Dream-sand seems almost weightless, grains of
gold suspended in the air like smoke, but when Ally pressed her hand down on
the cloud, it held, giving in slightly like a soft cushion.
excited, she scrambled on like a young child might scale a plush armchair,
settling Indian-style in the middle.
Palmon hopped, the pink petals on her head
barely becoming visible over the edge, and Ally giggled.
Leaning over, she
caught the Digimon around the middle and hefted her up, falling back at the
sudden loss of equilibrium as both squealed in surprise.
Sandy floated up to join them, symbols appearing over his head warning them to
hold on tight as the cloud rose up from the ground.
Righting herself, with Palmon on her lap, Ally watched the scenery pass by in awe.
Bunny had lent them
a tunnel to somewhere warmer, since Sandy had worried the subzero temperatures
outside of Santoff Claussen would harm Ally and her plant-like Digimon, and
Miami disappeared before her eyes to be replaced by open sky.
Once the cloud
reached an appropriate height, Sandy slowed to a gentle stop, smiling at the
wonder on her face as both Warrior and Digimon took in the sight.
tendrils of dream-sand were coaxed into the open air, twisting and turning as
they descended to earth.
Fingertips brushed one as it twirled by, and golden
flowers bloomed with beautiful bell tones, shining light on the girl’s face.
Bright green meets darker orange, as if every dream in the whole world suddenly
Sandy nods, just as awed by her as she is by his
Tipping up the brim of her cowgirl hat, the worn leather familiar
against his skin, he took in her features for a long moment before starting to
Palmon was still, the Bond thrumming with disbelief and joy and please don’t be a dream, please be real, please please please…
shattered with the angry brays of Nightmares.
Caught by surprise, the two
jerked apart, looking down to see a few of the dark creatures spreading through
the city in search of dreams to corrupt.
Suddenly serious, Sandy motioned for
her to stay before taking off after the rogue Nightmares, intent on purifying
Peering over the edge as he disappeared from sight, Ally shared a
glance with Palmon, the same worry shining in her eyes.
What were Nightmares
Pitch had been keeping low, not even sending out his Nightmares
where they could be easily found, and now this?
There was an unease in the
atmosphere now, like the children’s disturbed dreams were vibrating a cry
through the air, and it made Ally’s heart tremble.
Palmon felt the shudder
through the Bond, and leaned into her in a show of support.
“Little child, be
Ally’s voice floated through the air, breaking through the troubled aura created by the Nightmares.
“Though rain pounds harshly against the glass
like an unwanted stranger, there is no danger, I am here tonight…”
dream-sand pulsed, sensing the worry and comfort.
“Little child, be not
afraid…Though thunder explodes and lightning flash illuminates your
tear-stained face, I am here tonight.”
Sandy paused once the last Nightmare had
been dealt with, a tingling spreading through him from his connection to the
“And someday you’ll know that nature is so. The same rain that
draws you near me falls on rivers and lands, on forests and sands, makes the
beautiful world that you’ll see in the morning…”
Floating skyward, the
dream-giver watched the tendrils pulse, sending waves of comfort and care to the
children still troubled by the remnants of nightmares.
“Little child, be not
afraid, though storm clouds mask your beloved moon and its candlelight beams,
still keep pleasant dreams…I am here tonight…”
The dreams had settled into
their normal patterns by the time Sandy returned, listening with rapt attention
as her eyes locked on him.
“But I’ll still be here in the morning…”
The rest of the Western Hemisphere went by
smoothly, free of Nightmares and shadows with hell-fire eyes.
Ally tried to
stay awake and enjoy it, but the dream-sand lulled her to sleep somewhere over
Once he had finished, and night began it’s journey over the ocean, Sandy
went in search of a rabbit hole to return the pair to Santoff Claussen.
Blinking some of the golden grains from her lashes, Ally rolled onto one side,
holding Palmon to her chest like a teddy bear as the Digimon fought wakefulness
and tried to drag her partner back under.
“Sandy?” She mumbled, eyelids already
growing heavy and threatening to fall.
The cloud shifted beneath her body,
forming a soft bed that any hard-working soul would have killed for, and the
girl sighed as her entire body relaxed.
“But I’m not sleepy…” Ally
argued, words slurring from her heavy tongue.
Chuckling silently at the blatant
lie, the dream-giver lowered the cloud into Bunny’s tunnels, aiming for North’s
Workshop as he weaved through the twisting passageways.
As they neared the North
Pole, however, Palmon stirred, a sense of danger pricking at her instincts.
Ally jerked at the sudden shift from forceful sleep to alertness, eyes clearing
as Palmon sat up, gaze narrowed straight ahead.
Dream-sand appeared over
Sandy’s head as he turned to them, asking what was wrong.
right…” The Digimon admitted, the flower on her head spreading it’s petals as
if to absorb more information.
The cloud slowed, and Ally fidgeted at the sense
of foreboding trickling in through the Bond.
Orange eyes studied the tense
Digimon for a few moments, and Sandy frowned.
Digimon had a heightened sense of
danger-likely from the precarious lives they lived in the Digital World-,
and ignoring such a clear sign of unease would be foolish.
Signaling the pair
to stay down, the former wishing star brought them to the entrance more slowly,
dimming the light of his dream-sand to keep from being easily spotted.
echoed down the tunnel, and the eerie silence put Ally on-edge, heart beginning
Had something happened at the Workshop?
Were the others alright?
if something had happened to them?
Oh, if any of them were hurt-
Palmon’s grip on her waist tightened, anchoring her back in reality before hyperventilation could set in as they rose up in one of the Workshop’s back rooms.
Sliding carefully onto the hardwood floor, the
slight heels of her leather cowgirl boots clicked softly as she set Palmon
Brushing remnants of sand from her jeans and green blouse, Ally
straightened her old cowgirl hat out of habit as Sandy floated up to the door,
ear pressing against the wood.
Normally, the hustle and bustle of the yeti-and
the mischievous pranks of the elves-were clear through every door and wall
of the fortress, a constant hum of activity that quickly became background
It’s absence was jarring for Ally, who took hold of Palmon’s hand as
they inched closer.
Silence had rarely meant anything good in her life.
“Sandy?” She whispered, the foreboding blooming into dread.
the dream spirit motioned for them to stay close as he slowly opened the door.
The hallway was empty, tables overturned and toys scattered haphazardly about,
with only the Globe still turning in the center.
Where was everyone?
Stepping out carefully, Ally looked around, a frown pulling on her mouth for
the first time as the silence began to spread fear through her veins.
Palmon tackled her from behind, both hitting the ground seconds before
a Nightmare lunged, missing them by scant inches.
A whip snapped out,
shattering the equine construct and purifying the tainted grains within
Heart sputtering with adrenaline, Ally levered herself up with a gasp.
Hanging from the vaulted ceiling were three cages made of nightmare-sand; one
held the seven other girls, half-asleep and dazed, and another four-rather
The last likely held the Digimon, as well as Andromon
and Tokage, though no one could have been able to tell from the outside, since
the walls were solid instead of bars.
“And who is this? A straggler?”
With a yelp, Ally whipped around, back slamming into the railing as Palmon
leapt to her defense.
Pitch smirked, clearly amused, before smoothly
side-stepping to avoid the painful crack of Sandy’s whips.
“No need to be so
hostile, Sandman.” The shade chided. “I was only wondering.”
The little gold
man scowled threateningly as he moved between the pair and Pitch, not taking
Given half an opportunity, the Nightmare King would not
hesitate to get rid of her.
Regaining control of her nerves-and becoming
too angry to be scared-, Ally straightened, hands on her hips in feminine
“You let my friends go right now!” She ordered, unaware that
her rising spirits were bolstering Palmon as well.
Pitch laughed, not at all
After all, Ally was not a very threatening person; while she was
taller than Casey, she had none of the fierceness, or the build of someone
trained to fight.
Pitch seemed to have forgotten that Ma hadn’t, either.
“And what will you do if I don’t?” He challenged, at ease. “Throw a tantrum?”
Casey groaned, already shifting to cover Evie’s ears as Kim muttered in
“You shouldn’t have said that…”
Palmon puffed up at the insult, whatever fear
that had trickled through the Bond being overwhelmed by a firm determination.
“You want a tantrum?” Ally voiced, completely serious. “Then I’ll give you a
To all the spirits’ surprise, it was Palmon who lashed out instead of
Jumping to avoid the six dangerous vines, Pitch very
nearly lost his head from the full-body kick Ally struck with a moment after.
Her heavy boots struck a Nightmare full in the chest instead, and the beast
shattered on impact, the grains turning gold at the touch of her skin.
to regain her footing, she struck out with both legs at the Nightmares that
charged, destroying them with the pent-up momentum.
Sandy watched in amazement.
Damn, she was flexible…
Nightmares flooded the hallway, and though he
would have liked to watch more, Sandy knew it was time to fight.
Lashing out with both whips, the dream spirit whirled around to make sure Palmon was alright-
And ducked under the spray of a destroyed Nightmare.
He figured she was just fine.
Ally was spinning and rolling and dancing
through the angry Nightmares, the built-up momentum in her kicks enough to
shatter heads and legs with ease.
It was Faye that noticed the approaching
danger first, her hyperactive energy finally proving useful as she shot up.
“Al! Giant teddy bear incoming!”
The blonde paused, nose scrunching up in
“Giant teddy bear?”
She yelped as red laser beams exploded on
the floor inches from her head, twisting away and landing in a three-point
Standing a few yards down the curved hallway was a giant yellow teddy
bear with glowing red eyes, a hulking man with claws like a bear and the teeth
to match growling at his side.
“Oh…That giant teddy bear…”
Monzaemon and Kuma!“ Palmon realized, jumping to her partner’s side. “What are
they doing here?”
Monzaemon’s eyes glowed red, and Ally squeaked, hauling her Digimon away before the red lasers exploded on the wooden floorboards they had been standing on.
“Who cares? Run!”
Kuma roared, giving
chase at a much slower pace than Ally was currently capable of, but steadily
Yelping as she pushed off a wall, barely avoiding a sharp set of
claws, the blonde rolled as she hit the floor with Palmon tucked safely against
Skidding on her back, Ally forced herself to roll away before a massive
foot caved her head in.
Growling at the vines that wrapped
around his arm, Kuma tugged harshly, swinging Palmon over his head and almost
clear over the railing.
The blonde gasped as she was slammed into
a wall, a forearm pressing against her throat and cutting off any possible air.
Choking on whatever sound was trying to escape, the teenager tried to pull the
arm away, growing desperate the longer she went without oxygen.
shrieked, running to her partner’s aid before Monzaemon’s foot knocked her over
and held her down. “Ally!”
Mind darkening, the blonde felt her heartbeat
slow in her ears, like a half-forgotten drumbeat.
The world seemed so far away; the vibrant pink of Palmon‘s flower, the gold of dream-sand, the black abyss of Kuma’s eyes…
A tear slipped down her cheek, mixing with the dream-sand lingering
All she wanted was to protect them.
That one thought
echoed loudly through the Bond, answering tears sprouting in Palmon‘s eyes as
she reached back.
She just wanted to protect Ally.
As if reacting
to their deepest wishes, the Digivice glowed and enveloped both in white light,
blinding the dream-spirit who had been trying in vain to remove the bear-man
from her throat.
“Palmon, Digivolve to…Togemon!”
Monzaemon was thrown
clear off his feet from the sudden size-change of his opponent, and the massive
cactus-Digimon rose to her feet with a shrug.
Kuma’s eyes widened as roots
wrapped around his arms, shoving him back and whipping him into the floor with
a deafening crash.
A vibrant shade of green overlaid the usual shade as Ally stood, catching her breath as the wood behind her creaked, returning to life and growing thick branches.
Everyone just stared in surprise, their
desperate attempts at escape halted at this new turn of events, as Ally stared
down her opponent with intense green-on-green eyes.
“I may be a lady, but
I’m not a pushover.”
Well, if Sandy had not been totally
head-over-heels before, he sure was now.
Monzaemon growled as he stood, facing
Togemon with a scowl on his would-be-adorable face.
“You wanna dance with me?”
Togemon challenged, slamming her boxing gloves together in an aggressive
manner. “Bring it on, big boy!”
Her fist slammed into the large teddy bear’s
face, causing him to stumble back from the force as Nightmares scrambled to
avoid being stepped on.
With a snarl, Monzaemon charged back into the fray,
trading thunderous blows that made the walls tremble.
Jack, watching the whole
thing from above, turned towards his fellow Guardians.
“I gotta admit, watching
a giant cactus with boxing gloves beat up a giant teddy bear is the weirdest
thing I’ve seen in a while.”
Well, no one could really argue with that…
floorboards cracked open, sprouting roots, spiraling around Ally’s body and
snapping out like tentacles to destroy any Nightmares that tried to charge.
Roaring, Kuma tore away from the dream-spirits grasp and bore down on the
defensive column of dangerous plant-life with raking claws.
A space formed between the sturdy roots-
And Ally’s foot shot out, slamming into the bear-man’s
nose with an audible CRACK that sent him stumbling back with a fresh spurt of
Pitch, cursing the fact that his plan was once again falling through-for
the fifth time in a row!-, created more Nightmares in a bid to overpower
Turning on the dark constructs with a new fury, Sandy’s whips lashed
out in all directions, sprays of sand in ebony and gold filling the air like
In a rage, blood dripping down his face, Kuma tore at the vegetation
constantly growing around the female spirit with wild abandon.
Oh, but the
trees that had been used to build Santoff Claussen were a sturdy tundra breed,
enchanted with magic to weather any storms the Arctic could conjure, and were
not to be thwarted.
Wrapping around the man’s ankle, a root snapped him into
the ceiling and slammed him back down, obviously winding him.
Just as he moved
to get up, the action was repeated, wood cracking under the force.
Togemon landed a wicked right-hook on Monzaemon’s face, readying herself for
the final blow.
“Take this! Needle Spray!”
The wickedly-sharp needles
penetrated his thin pelt by the dozens, embedding themselves into the floor or
pillars when missing their target.
Digimon and Warrior alike cried out as a
Black Gear tore through the zipper on Monzaemon’s back, shattering on the wood
like glass and dissolving into the air.
Both passed out, either from the pain or the gear’s removal no one could say, and the Nightmare King was about to pitch a fit.
He had been so close to victory, literally seconds away from being rid of the only threats to his rule…
With a happy little giggle, Ally skipped over to Togemon’s side, hopping
light as a leaf onto the railing.
“We did it!”
All of the girls let out sighs of relief, so very glad that she was alright and that this whole ordeal was over-
Ma’s heart caught in her throat as Pitch materialized behind the blonde
teenager, a dark scythe raised in preparation to strike.
Everyone’s voices rang
out at once.
Even Togemon jerked around, the needles covering her body rising like a cat’s hackles as Ally gasped, green eyes wide in surprise and terror-
A golden whip snapped around the dark spirit’s wrists,
yanking him back and sending the man flying down the hall into a wall.
had never been so angry, expression thunderous as the Nightmares were purified
by his aura alone.
Pitch would never strike her down like that if he had
anything to do about it.
Oh, but Pitch had learned his lesson, disappearing
from Santoff Claussen as quickly and soundlessly as he had entered an hour or
Huffing, the dream-giver crossed his arms, rage calming to a
simmering protectiveness now that the threat was gone.
The cages overhead
turned gold, slowly lowering to the ground with a thought as whatever
nightmares the Digimon had been caught in dispelled.
Smiling sweetly, Ally
planted a kiss on the unsuspected spirit’s cheek in thanks.
“My hero.” She
With a love-sick grin on his face, the dream-sand created little hearts around him without permission, but he thought...
A happy little giggle
escaped her, and her next kiss landed on Sandy’s mouth.
“I love you too, Sandy.”
The Man in the Moon laughed, shining brightly
as he looked down upon his Guardians and the girls chosen as the Earth’s
Fear had been pushed back by a Sincere desire to protect, and there was no stronger defense than that.