Digimon Adventure and Guardian Belief

Chapter 8

Tooth, as the Guardian of Memories, remembered every child that had ever believed in her, and the teeth she had collected from them.

She knew Casey had most of her baby teeth lost in playground brawls, and Bee’s first had been forcibly knocked out a little earlier than planned.

Kim had lost the first few in martial arts tournaments, and Faye knocked her own out while skateboarding or climbing trees.

Rocky lost hers from falling a lot as a child-though that did nothing to slow her down-, and Ally had…lost most of hers before she was eight.

Ma had always been so good about brushing and flossing, and lost all of her baby teeth naturally, each like a sharp little pearl.

While no mortal could have teeth as white as Jack’s, Ma had been the closest, and so Tooth found herself immediately taking a liking to the girl.

And if she found herself harboring a little crush, well…

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time.

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Within a couple hours of breakfast, Ma was fairly certain she had met all of the mini-fairies that collected the Eastern Hemisphere’s teeth.

Biyomon seemed to like them, flying around with the swarm in whatever games they managed to think up.

One of the fairies, smaller than her sisters, had taken to following Ma around instead.

The teenager found she hardly minded, and listened to the little fairy chirp away, pink eyes bright with joy. Ma recognized the behavior for what it was-as Ally had been-, and found herself offering friendship.

“Do you mind if I call you Sweet Tooth?”

The fairy was surprised by the offer, overwhelmed into tears.

They were so often lumped together, always ‘the fairies’, so to have a name, your very own name, like Jack Frost had given Baby Tooth…

It was an amazing gift.

Ma sputtered and giggled as the newly-dubbed ‘Sweet Tooth’ nuzzled her face, squeaking happily in acceptance as the girl‘s hands cupped her small body.

“I’ll take that as a ‘yes’.”

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Tooth was so busy directing her fairies that she hardly noticed that most of them were chatting amongst themselves about something.

When she did listen in-during a lull in the loss of teeth-, the female spirit was curious.

A story?

Someone was reading the fairies a story?

Intrigued, Tooth flew over to one of the many sitting rooms in Santoff Claussen, peeking through the open doorway.

Ma was sitting in an armchair by the fireplace, legs crossed and Biyomon sitting comfortably on her lap, and holding a book open near her shins.

The mini-fairies fluttered quietly in front of her even as they rotated out, shushing the elves when their belled hats jingled.

Will watched, horrified. A thought was forming, an idea was lurking somewhere at the edge of his mind. He looked to one side, saw the flickering torch that Baron Arald had discarded. Fire. The one weapon that could defeat the Kalkara. But he was forty meters away...He whipped an arrow from his quiver, slipping from the saddle and running lightly to the flickering torch.

There was an animation to her face and a subtle draw in her voice that enraptured the female spirit, and she softly ordered her entourage to take care of the teeth for a while.

Fluttering silently to the back of the room, she smiled at the happy little squeaks of her fairies as they listened intently to the story as the boy defeated the evil Kalkara and earned the praise of his fellows for his bravery.

Will sat quietly for some minutes. Almost unthinkingly, his hand went to touch the bronze oak leaf symbol hanging at his throat. Faintly, the evening breeze carried the sounds of the Battleschool drill yard to him, and the nonstop hammering and clanking from the armory that had been going on, night and day, for the past week. They were the sounds of Castle Redmont preparing for the coming war. Yet strangely, for the first time in his life, he felt at peace.

Ma closed the paperback novel with a snap, smiling at her audience.

“And that’s the end.”

A chorus of unhappy squeaks rose up from the fairies, and even Biyomon whined.

“But that can’t be the end!” The pink bird Digimon insisted, big blue eyes pleading. “What about Morgarath? And the Wargals? Are Alice and Will going to end up together?”

Petting her Digimon’s head comfortingly, Ma laughed.

“I can’t just tell you! But the fairies have work to do, and I can’t keep them here any longer, can I?”

The fairies, while equally impatient for more of the story, sheepishly agreed.

Biyomon sighed, nodding, and Ma nuzzled her head comfortingly.

“But I’ll read the next one after we get settled in, okay?”

“Okay!” The Digimon approved, giggling.

Sweet Tooth zipped up, nodding quickly, and Ma smiled.

“Good! Now that that’s settled, you should all be heading out.”

As she gently shooed them out, careful of their delicate wings and mindful of the elves underfoot, Tooth fluttered up with a smile.

“That was a wonderful story.”

The teenager blushed as red as her dyed bangs, avoiding direct eye contact as her hand carded through the soft feathers on Biyomon’s head.

“Oh, well…Thanks. I didn’t write the book or anything, but they seemed to enjoy it…”

“Would you mind if I sat in next time?” Tooth wondered, somewhat shy.

Warm brown eyes met vibrant purple, and the fairy’s heart went all aflutter as Ma smiled.

“I’d…really like that.”

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The kitchen was bustling with yeti baking cookies and mixing hot chocolate, fruitcakes sitting on the counters to cool while being firmly defended from greedy elfin fingers.

Ma watched them with interest, petting Biyomon’s head as the Digimon happily munched on cookies, a mug of cream-laden coffee cooling on the table next to her.

“Oh, you should have seen it! Bunny was all sorts of colors-Bei Jing, twenty-three lateral incisors and nine bicuspids-and Jack couldn’t fly straight he was laughing so hard! I felt bad, but-Denver, fourteen premolars and eleven canines-he was bright pink and I couldn’t help myself!” Tooth chattered, wings buzzing though she was sitting down.

Giggling at the image of a bright pink Easter Bunny, the teenager smiled.

Faye had much worse habits-changing topics in the middle of sentences, forgetting the point of the conversation, getting distracted by shiny objects-, so Ma found herself adjusting easily.

There were so many stories to share; of failed pranks and creative retribution, of trials and victories, that she had no idea where to start.

So Ma let Tooth go on, recounting whatever stories came to mind amidst her work, and relaxed as Biyomon finished her cookies to snuggle up like a large feathered cat.

If this was how things would be from now on…

Ma didn’t mind so much, in that case.

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Ma was very much used to being the adult in most situations.

Faye, the oldest, was also the most immature, and while Casey had good intentions, she often let her emotions get the best of her.

Kim was the most serious and no-nonsense of the group, but she only interfered in the most serious cases, leaving everything else for Ma to handle.

Apparently, ‘snowball/elf wars’ fell under Ma’s jurisdiction.

Faced with the war zone-melting snow on the furniture, dizzy elves stumbling across the wet floor, icy patches tripping the little creatures-and two suddenly sheepish teenagers, she let out an exasperated breath as Tooth giggled.

I should be paid for this.

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Biyomon had never felt such warmth in her entire existence, like being comfortably wrapped up in a fluffy blanket with some yummy hot chocolate all the time.

Her life Before-before Ma, before the Guardians-was a vacuum in comparison.

While the Digimon had been together since they hatched-had looked out for each other, had saved each other-, there was no denying the emptiness they had all felt.

How could any Digimon live without a partner for longer than they had?

While most seemed to live rather happily until they reached the Champion level, Biyomon doubted she could have lasted.

Ma is such a wonderful partner, reading her stories and letting her eat sweets and watching her play with the fairies, that Biyomon could not ever imagine finding the will to Digivolve without her.

Even now, settled in the nest of blankets Ma had created, the little bird Digimon felt whole and happy like she never had before.

Resting her head on the teenager’s hip, listening to the even, soft breaths of sleep, Biyomon smiled.

There was no way she could ever repay her.

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Ma was exhausted.

Packing away Ally and Faye’s things were difficult tasks in and of themselves, but together, they were massive.

It took hours to gather all of Ally’s shirts, blouses, pants, shorts, skirts, jackets, purses and shoes, even with the help of Tooth and her mini-fairies, not to mention the large collection of guitars that were apparently paramount for the girl’s continued existence.

Faye had an impressive assortment of books, from thick tomes to comics and graphic novels, and Ma carefully packed them away in cardboard boxes for safe travel.

Tooth was glad for the three Snow Globes given to her by North, which made sending the bags and boxes back to Santoff Claussen much easier than if they had to carry them.

Night was falling by the time they were done, and Tooth was growing busier as the Western Hemisphere went to sleep with teeth under their pillows.

Holding Biyomon to her chest like one would a sleepy toddler, Ma led the rambling fairy through deserted back streets towards her home across town.

Sweet Tooth flitted around the teenager’s head, chirping as she pointed out different things to the curious Digimon, only half-listening to her sisters.

The brunette slowed as they began to pass the local kindergarten, all bright colors and jungle gyms even in the growing dark, and it brought a smile to her face.

“Prema?”

Jogged from good memories, the girl blinked up at Tooth in mild confusion.

She hadn’t realized she had stopped walking until then.

“Sorry, I was just…thinking.”

Curious, the fairy flitted closer, her little helpers quieting.

“About what?”

Ma hesitated, but only for a moment.

What was the harm?

“This is where me, Kim and Casey met.” She explained, a smile blooming across her face. “Casey was so eager to make friends, and Kim was always smiling…We became really close.”

A giggle escaped her, and Tooth almost burst at the good memories she could see in the girl’s eyes.

“I remember showing them how to change diapers, and how to potty train…We made such a mess! And watching all five little ones…Oh, it was chaos!”

“Five?” Tooth voiced, momentarily confused.

“I have triplet brothers: Tab, Tob and Tib.” Ma explained, smile soft with motherly affection. “The boys are only a little younger than Rocky, actually. Little troublemakers, always into one thing or another…”

Tooth hovered for a moment, putting the pieces together in her mind.

“But you were so young…Where were your parents?”

Suddenly, the warm spark of good memories dimmed, something sad darkening her expression.

“They’re…busy. Casey’s dad is gone for months at a time, and so is Kim’s. Sometimes Casey’s aunt has time to watch them, but not often.”

The fairy frowned, not liking the sound of that at all, and Sweet Tooth chirped in agreement, feathers puffed up in agitation.

But she was not ready to drop her guard-maybe she never would be-, so Ma diverted the conversation smoothly despite the flash of upset she felt from Biyomon.

“It’s getting late. We should keep going.”

Though Tooth wanted to know, to understand, she let the conversation fall away for the moment.

Biyomon looked up at her partner with big worried eyes, sensing the anger and guilt and sadness flaring through the Bond, but found nothing to say.

Sweet Tooth twittered softly, landing on the teenager’s shoulder and nuzzling into her neck.

Tooth hovered in place for a moment, conflicted, before she realized something was wrong.

“Prema…”

Ma barely paused, half-turning to the female spirit in confusion, and the fairy gasped as shadows reared up behind the girl like spears.

Prema!”

The shadows came down, and-

“Spiral Twister!”

Flinching back as the green flames exploded against dark sand, Ma stumbled as Sweet Tooth squeaked in fright.

Biyomon landed on the ground, standing protectively in front of her partner while scanning the darkness for danger.

“You should be more careful.”

The bird Digimon jumped into the air, turning to face the man standing off to their right, half-hidden by shadows and showing a dangerous shark’s grin.

“You never know what sorts of monsters are going bump in the night.”

“Pitch!” Tooth growled, flying in-between them and bristling in protective fury. “What are you doing here?”

“Getting rid of a threat.” He replied easily, circling them like prey. “Why would I let you and the Guardians keep such weapons when they can be used against me? Best to strike now, while they’re still vulnerable.”

Placing a hand on Sweet Tooth to soothe the little fairy, Ma’s heart squeeze in dread.

“The others…”

Pitch’s smile was all sharp edges and dark secrets.

The implication alone-no, they can’t be gone, not Casey and Kim, not them-was enough to trigger the brunette’s maternal instincts for the others.

Casey and Kim might have been trained, might have more experience, but she would be damned if he won now and went after the others.

You won’t have time to regret hurting my friends.” Ma growled, sounding very much like the mother bear her friends nicknamed her after.

Pitch was not at all threatened, not like he had been with the others, who visibly had the skills and strength to back up their claims.

He honestly should have known better.

His nightmare-sand rose up as Nightmares, pawing the ground and ready to charge-

“Spiral Twister!”

Evading the green spiral of flames as one of the mares disintegrated, the Nightmare King was rather startled by the killer intent radiating from the little pink bird.

Biyomon would not stand to have anyone hurt her partner.

“Spiral Twister! Spiral Twister!”

Tooth flew through the air like a bullet, her wings slicing through the threat like tissue paper, as her mini-fairies flew up out of harm’s way.

All but Sweet Tooth.

The little fairy hid in the shadow of Ma’s hair as the brunette leapt into action, years of gymnastics and Kim’s instruction coming into play.

Building up momentum, she kicked a Nightmare’s head into dust, spinning into a crouch to avoid another biting her arm off before thrusting up with both legs.

With a whinny, it was gone, and Ma twisted into a standing position as Biyomon circled her protectively.

But Pitch had learned his lesson twice before, and he wasted no time.

“Meramon!”

The three girls were stunned as a large, humanoid ball of fire dropped out of the sky.

“You have got to be kidding me…”

Apparently not, since Meramon was still there when she blinked.

Crap.”

“Fireball!”

Ma yelped as she dove out of the way, shielding Sweet Tooth with both hands as a fiery fist broke through the concrete she had been standing on only moments before.

“Leave her alone!” Biyomon shouted. “Spiral Twister!”

The green spiral dissipated on contact, and Tooth gasped as Meramon only grew larger as a result.

“Biyo-”

“Spiral Twister! Spiral Twister! Spiral Twister!”

Biyo!”

The bird Digimon stopped her assault, finally realizing the effects of her flames, and wilted sheepishly.

“Oops?”

With a laugh, Meramon swung his arm and smacked Biyomon into a brick wall with barely a passing glance.

It felt like being punched in the heart, and Ma gasped at the shock of it as Meramon turned to her with a smirk.

Sweet Tooth flew up in front of the teenager as if she could somehow fend the large Digimon off, puffed up and chirping loudly.

Laughing at the rather pathetic attempt, Meramon raised his foot as if to just stomp them into the ground.

Tooth, cut off from them by Nightmares, cried out in despair.

“NO!”

Then Biyomon was there, shielding them from the coming attack, and Ma could feel her through Bond, all of the worry and protectiveness and no, I won’t let you hurt her, not if I have a say in it

And realized that there was no giving up, not now.

Not when everyone she cared about was in danger.

Pitch cursed at the light that enveloped them.

“Biyomon, Digivolve to…Birdramon!”

Meramon was tossed back by the sudden size-change, and Birdramon spread her wings with an eagle’s shriek, flaming feathers lighting up the gloom.

The wind sang, mussing Ma’s hair as it circled her in a miniature tornado, sharpening into blades that cut through any Nightmares that tried to get close.

Honestly, Pitch was starting to feel like this was just not his day.

Sweet Tooth squeaked, hiding in Ma’s hair as the teenager regained her equilibrium, red shining through the chocolate of her eyes.

With a wave of her arm, the wind flew out and struck the surrounding Nightmares like a freight train as Birdramon took to the sky.

“Fireball!”

The projectile missed by scant inches, and the large phoenix Digimon took the opening.

“Meteor Wing!”

Meramon cried out as the multitude of fireballs struck him in the chest, sending the humanoid Digimon flying back.

Herding her mini-fairies away from the battle, Tooth watched in awe as the brunette tore through the nightmare-sand constructs like tissue paper.

Swiftly dodging another attempt to ground her, Birdramon dove, slamming into Meramon with such force that their combined force created a false earthquake.

Before Ma could jump to her Digimon’s aid, nightmare-sand wrapped around her legs and snapped back like a whip, flinging the girl high into the air with a cry.

MA!” Birdramon shrieked, sensing her partner’s panic but unable to break free from the tussle with Meramon to help.

Everything blurred as she twisted and flipped, lights and stars blending in a dizzy display, so Ma closed her eyes and reached inside for the Bond, where the power had come from, and-

Having been rushing up to catch the girl before she fell, Tooth gasped as the wind wrapped around her in a cyclone, practically slingshotting her back.

And right at Pitch.

The Nightmare King had only a few moments to realize this before she pounced, knocking them head-over-heels before slamming him into the ground.

Freeing her wings, Birdramon reared back.

Meteor Wing!”

Meramon’s death scream echoed off the bricks as he disintegrated into nothing, following in the path his predecessors had traveled only hours before.

Honestly, Pitch would have taken more notice if he was not being pinned by a very angry she-bear at the time.

“If you ever come near my family again, I’ll personally rip your throat out.” Ma promised, such steel in her voice that there was no doubt at all that she would do just that when the time came.

Escaping through his shadows, the shade attempted to look unruffled, cursing his own unease.

What was it about these girls that was so hard to destroy?

“It’s time I left, anyway.” He voiced, hiding his quick retreat with a casual air as he disappeared into the gloom.

Birdramon landed behind her partner, her fiery feathers lighting up the dark before the light flashed and they returned to normal.

Dizzy from the sudden energy flux, Ma fell to her knees with a groan, blinking slowly as a little feathered form buzzed up to her face.

“Sweet Tooth?” She slurred, smiling weakly when the little fairy nuzzled up to her face with a happy chirp in response.

“Prema!”

Tooth was a whirlwind of motion, beside herself with worry as she zipped between a bewildered Ma and exhausted Biyomon in search of injuries.

“Are you alright? Did Pitch hurt you? Or Meramon? What’s wrong?”

Bleary-eyed and horribly tired, it took a moment for her to catch up with the fairy’s rapid speech.

“I’m okay…Just really tired…”

“Oh, right!”

Holding up the last Snow Globe, Tooth gathered girl and Digimon into her arms, coddling the teenager when she yelped at the sudden location change.

“We need to go back to Santoff Claussen! I’ll pick up your stuff later!”

Not having the energy to argue, Ma nodded, nuzzling her face into the soft feathers of Tooth’s shoulder with a sigh as Biyomon curled into her side.

Just a little nap couldn’t hurt

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The Man in the Moon smiled from his place in the sky, watching three lights flare into new brightness.

Once again, Courage, Friendship and Love had thwarted Fear.

Everything was as it should be.

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