"YES! Finally I can get my driver's license!" shouted Tai, pumping one fist in the air, "now I just gotta find someone to teach me how to drive! My parents take the subway everywhere, they don't even know how to drive. Sooo, I need someone else to help me out..."
Matt glared at him. "If you're suggesting ME, I value my life too highly, thanks Tai."
"Oh, but come on Matt! Only the digidestined are brave enough to teach me how to drive and the others are younger than me!"
"You could ask Joe," suggested Matt, evilly, "he's always been reliable, I bet he'd be a good driving instructor."
Joe checked his answer with the one in the back of the book. "Yes!" he said, and scribbled in an extra note with red pen. The phone rang beside him, and he pushed away his study notes to answer it.
"Hello, Kido residence, this is Joe speaking."
"Hey, man, this is Tai."
"Oh, hi, Tai."
"Say, Joe," said Tai, "you place a lot of importance on letting other people count on you, right?"
"Sure," said Joe, "that's how I got my crest. It's always important to be there for other people."
"I'm glad you feel that way! Joe, if I was facing a life-or-death situation, would you help me out of it?"
"Of course," said Joe, a little bewildered.
"Thanks a lot, Joe! I'm sure you'll be great at teaching me how to drive! I'll see you tomorrow just after lunch, okay? Bye!"
Joe heard the dial tone. He stared at the phone and blinked.
"What just happened? Did I just agree to teach TAI how to drive? When he said life-or-death situation, I didn't realise he meant MY death..."
Joe tried to call Tai back a few times, but the other boy was conveniently away from the phone each time. So, as Tai expected him to be there, he felt obliged to turn up.
"Hey, Joe, right on time!" said Tai, and ran out to Joe's car. Joe hadn't anticipated this.
"Wait a minute," he said, "you're not going to practise in MY car, are you?!"
"Well, I sure don't have a car," said Tai, "so I don't see any alternatives!"
"But this car is my pride and joy! And it's not insured against accident-prone people!"
"Relax, Joe! We'll be fine!"
Kari jumped into the back seat. "I really have to see this!" she said.
Tai looked a bit nervous. "Uhh, Kari, you know I've always looked out for you and tried to protect you, and I think it would be in your best interests to stay home in case I crash or something..."
"Oh, sure," said Joe, "protect Kari, but who cares if Joe gets killed, huh?"
"Yeah, well, YOU'VE got life insurance."
Joe put a hand to his forehead and groaned. "Remind me how I got talked into this one..."
"Well, I know you're a really good driver and I reeeeally need help and if I can't get my driver's license I'll never be able to impress the chicks... uhh, I mean, umm, drive to visit my dear sick grandmother, yeah..."
"I'm coming anyway," said Kari, "I haven't had a good adventure since we last went into the digital world!"
"Alright, alright. Just make sure you fasten your seatbelt properly and stay away from the windows and try not to scream in case it puts me off."
Joe sighed again. "Well, with all that said, I guess the first place we'll drive to is the hospital. I know the route and it's not too difficult for you to get to, and it'll be useful to be as close to emergency care as possible."
"Sometimes I think you have no faith in me, Joe!"
"Not when you talk about life insurance and screaming and adventures..."
"Don't be a wimp! Let's go already!"
Joe climbed into the passenger seat and sighed.
"You're certainly sighing a lot, Joe," observed Kari, "he hasn't even started up the engine yet."
"Well Tai, you might as well," said Joe, resignedly handing him the keys, "die all, die merrily."
Tai accepted the keys with a rather wild grin, and pumped his fist in the air. "Alright! READY TO GO! AHAHAHAHAHA!... umm, where does the key go?"
Joe and Kari would have facefaulted but they were (very securely) seatbelted in. It took five minutes for Tai to start up the engine and begin to drive. Unfortunately, he put the gear into 'drive' rather than 'reverse' and immediately plowed into a wall.
"TAAAAAAI!" screamed Joe, "WE WEREN'T EVEN OUT OF THE PARKING LOT YET!!!!"
"We weren't going very fast, at least," said Kari.
"Just a little setback," sweatdropped Tai, moved into reverse and started zooming the car around the carpark in reverse, swerving madly.
"Tai! You're going too fast! TAI! Change gears! TAAAAAAI!"
"I'M DRIVIIING!" shouted Tai excitedly, taking his hands daringly off the steering wheel to wave them in the air.
Joe lunged over, grabbed the steering wheel and desperately tried to manoeuvre the car while it was going in reverse far too fast.
"TAI, HIT THE BRAAAAAAAAAKES!"
Tai slammed his foot on the brakes, the tyres screeching as the car banged to a stop, jerking everyone forwards.
Kari laughed. "This is fun!"
Joe buried his head in his hands. "Tell me when it's over, I can't bear to look..."
Matt was waiting for them when they came back, leaning against the parking lot's fence. He noticed that Joe was behind the wheel.
"Only four casualties!" chirped Tai, climbing out of a dented, scratched and otherwise sorry-looking excuse for a car. The bumper bar was missing, and both rear-vision mirrors. One of the windows was broken. "You should see the other guys! Hahahaha! They didn't stand a chance against me!"
"So, how did it go?" asked Matt of Joe.
"Got anything to drink, preferably something STRONG?"
"That good, huh."
"He crashed into a wall, almost ran down three people, stalled the engine, side-swiped a fence, broke about twelve road rules, damaged the brakes and hit a curb at forty kilometres an hour. The speed limit was ten kilometres an hour. This was all before we even left the carpark. It sort of went downhill from there..."
Kari climbed out of the back seat, looking rather shellshocked. "I think when I learn to drive, I won't be asking Tai to teach me..."
"Very wise of you," said Joe, and looked at his damaged car, shaking his head.
"I have a friend who's a mechanic," said Matt, feeling a little bad, although he thought it was rather funny (namely because he hadn't been in the car), "if you like I could get him to fix your car for nothing, Joe."
Tai mumbled something very quickly under his breath.
"Sure, thanks, that'd be great," said Joe, "and what did you just say, Tai?"
Tai grinned brightly. "I said, 'same time next week, Joe?', and you said sure, that'd be great! So, I'll see you then! Thanks, man!"
Joe opened his mouth in disbelief as Tai ran off. Then he groaned and slumped against the fence.
"Let's go get that drink," said Matt.
Joe nodded weakly.