Faster-faster-faster! His feet numbly make hard impacts on the ground in as large of leaps and bounds as his legs can manage. As he turns the corner his eyes dart rapidly, searching through dizzying adrenaline for something...something..! The phone booth! The brunette slams the buttons hard, trembling hands struggling to find their mark. The phone rings once.. His breathing is hard and uneven, it rings twice… hot face and tight chest, it rings three times… tears drip on the ground…
“Wong residence.” his friend’s wonderfully familiar voice crackles through the small speaker.
“Henry!…” he cries, unable to even grasp at any other words.
“Takato? What’s wrong?”
“I was- the old hideout- and there- digi- portal-” Takato’s voice cracks and his head is moving too fast to form a complete sentence.
“I’m on my way.” Henry near-shouts, his own excitement nearly getting the better of him, before hanging up.
Takato reminds himself to breathe and continues making calls, Rika, Kazu, Kenta, Jeri, Ryou. His sentences become more and more complete call-by-call and as soon as he’s dialed every number he hangs up the phone with a soft click. He takes a step back… and another.. And he turn and runs again, knocking whatever breath he’d gained right back out of him again as he races down the road right back where he came.
He leans against the cold, rusted gate, pressing his forehead to the cool metal in an attempt to calm the pounding heat erupting from his head.
“Yo Takato! Is this for real!?” Kazu’s voice rings through the surrounding trees, still a good distance away but clear as day. He comes to an abrupt halt, crashing into the gate next to Takato with a force that suggests he didn’t bother to slow down in the slightest.
Takato doesn’t breathe a word, just looks at his friend with teary eyes as Kazu catches his breath only to lose it again at the sight of the glowing pixelated portal before them.
“So do we just go through it or what?” Kenta chimes in, “By the way Kazu I would have appreciated you waiting for me.” He huffs, hands on his knees as he catches his breath as well.
“Sorry man, I’m just so hyped to see Guardromon and them again, you feel?”
“I feel you!” Jeri giggles breathlessly.
“Hey! Welcome to the party!” Takato cheers.
“So we’re just waiting on the others then?” Kenta states.
“Uuugh, those losers need to hurry up man!” Kazu groans.
“Give them a break, they live much further away.” Jeri leans against the small building and sinks down to rest on the ground. She holds her hands out in front of her and giggles, “I’m so excited I’m shaking so bad!”
“Yeah well it looks like Takato’s not much better!” Kazu jests.
Takato looks at his own trembling hands and giggles, “Looks that way…” He shakily eases himself to the ground, sitting next to Jeri.
The others arrive one by one, Ryou not breaking a sweat but certainly not lacking in enthusiasm, Henry walking hand in hand with Suzi as she bounces up and down, and lastly Rika, clearly making an effort to look less tearful and out of breath than she really is.
“So are we going to the digital world or what!” Ryou cheers, his electric enthusiasm sparking through the others.
“Wait!” Rika cries.
“Yeah, we need to be sure that there’s a way back this time and-”
“Actually that’s not why I wanted to wait.” Rika cutts Henry off before he can think too much, “We’re still waiting on-”
This time Rika is cut off by the sound of warping made by the digital portal. They all turn towards the source, dread sinking in Takato’s chest as he considers that the gate won’t stay around forever and may already be closing with little hope of finding again. Just then a very tiny and very familiar white and purple figure rolls through.
“CALUMON!” The tamers cry in various tones of disbelief and excitement.
“It’s you! It’s me! It’s everyone!” the mini digimon chirps, leaping towards the nearest tamer, Takato, and hugging directly around his face.
“Everyone? Does that mean-” As Takato pulls Calumon from his face his eyes catch a glimpse of red.
“Takato-mon!” Guilmon tackles his partner to the ground before he even has the chance to really see him.
“Guilmon! Oh Guilmon I missed you so much- I thought I’d never see you again!” Takato nuzzles his face against his partner’s.
“Well that’s silly!” He giggles, “We’ve always found each other before Takatomon, why would this be any different?”
Takato chuckles, choking back a sob, “I guess you’re right, that was a silly thing to think!”
“Isn’t this great!” Jeri beams, watching as everyone reunites with their digimon. “Every one’s back together…” There’s a certain hint of a lingering thought that was never completed.
“Well isn’t this just wonderful, a pile full a’ crying kids n’ digimon, sheesh what a mess!”
“Beelzemon!” Jeri moves to hug him but overthinks it and steps back, offering a friendly smile.
He chuckles and ruffles her hair as he walks behind her, “This whole place is a mess, but somthn’ tells me the big picture ain’t done yet.” He grins softly, crouching down and placing his hands on her shoulders to keep her facing the portal as she tries to turn around to look at him in confusion.
She finally looks in the direction she’s being positioned towards and her eyes widen. There, standing just a few feet away, is her partner, Leomon. They both stand frozen, completely shell shocked in disbelief. Beelzemon smirks and shoves her, a bit harsher than intended, towards him.
With that Jeri takes the space in leaps and bounds, Leomon breaking his own daze to meet her halfway, the both of them in tears even before they have the chance to embrace. At a loss for words they both just hold each other, taking in everything they can from the moment.
Beelzemon stands, dusts himself off, and turns to leave.
“Wait.” Rika calls out, halting him in his tracks. “Where do you think you’re going?”
“None of your business, why would I hang around here anyways?” he turns to face her.
“Because-” She hesitates, spotting exactly who she was hoping to see, “That’s why.” She states smugly.
“What is that supp-”
“Beelzemon!” Two voices cry out.
Before he can even turn around fully- he’s on his back on the ground as his tamers embrace him.
“We knew you’d come back…” Ai mumbles into his neck.
He sits up slowly, curling an arm around each of them to hold them close. “Of course I did, no force in existence could keep me away from you two.” His voice cracks as tears stream down his face.
“I assume that you had something to do with that?” Henry smirks at Rika, trying to dry his eyes and struggling to do so as terriermon softly attempts to slap his tears away.
“I may or may not have been the one to call them here.”
“Aww Rika you do have a heart!” Kazu teases, still attached to guardromon like a koala to a tree.
“Not enough to keep me from kicking your butt!” She calls back, one arm threateningly holding up a fist, the other still wrapped loosely around Renamon.
“Silly silly~” Marineangemon sings.
“Couldn’t have said it better myself lil buddy~”