Bits and pieces, part 1 Bits and pieces, part 1
by Leto

I don't like to waste my time... there are a number of fics I never got around to finishing... maybe I didn't have enough time, or I ran out of inspiration, or I got stuck, or I just couldn't be bothered. At any rate, here are those fics. Some are close to finished, some are only a coupla paragraphs... In bold italics are the intended outcomes or backgrounds of those fics, had I bothered to write them.

So, here we go. ^_^.

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"I can't stand anyone who talks badly about their brother or sister!"

He thought about her words, so loaded with meaning, long after she had said them. After the adventures of the day were over, he lay on his bed, staring at the ceiling, replaying them in his head.

Matt had gone with them into the digital world that day. Davis didn't like him much. Those eyes and that attitude, just like TK's, but more aggressive, more cold. But they were both jerks.

And they both had something he wanted.

He was the only digidestined with a sibling he didn't like. He didn't get how Kari and TK and Joe all had big brothers who looked out for them and tried to help them. NORMAL families weren't like that, were they? Maybe it was because his older sibling was a girl. Girls were usually more annoying.

Except Kari...

Maybe he should talk to Joe. He was the only one who had a big brother that wasn't a digidestined. But then, he didn't even know Joe, had just heard about him. He had met his older brother, briefly, when he broke his ankle last year and Jim was doing his first year of supervised practise.

How were siblings SUPPOSED to act?

He thought back to that very morning. June had been in the bathroom for, oh, about two hours, and he needed to clean his teeth. She said she would only be a minute. He was still waiting twenty minutes later. He started pounding on the door and she screamed at him to be patient, and the two had bellowed insults at each other for five minutes until she finally emerged in a huge cloud of steam. And when he finally got in, she had put leg wax on his toothbrush, which was just disgusting. He ended up 'cleaning' his teeth with his finger and surreptitiously scraping her toothbrush inside the toilet bowl for revenge.

The two had gone to breakfast. June said she was going to be vegetarian that day because one of her potential boyfriends was into animal rights. Davis kindly volunteered to eat the meat on her plate, and she called him a barbarian, and he threw the milk at her, and she called him an immature creep and stormed out the house without eating, saying that she could lose weight if she didn't eat. He'd shouted after her that she needed to lose a lot more weight than that, and she threw her school satchel right at his head.

But Kari and TK... you got the impression they didn't ever fight with their big brothers. They almost seemed like... friends. Maybe it did help to be digidestined together. Kari had told him about some of their adventures in the digital world, and spoke fondly of how brave her brother was, and how he tried to protect her. Davis had sworn that he'd take her brother's place and she'd laughed, not very nicely.

He remembered something that had happened a few years ago. Their class was going on a field trip and some people from other classes had come too. He'd had a little crush on Kari back then and tripped her so she fell into pigpen (because face it, boys of that age think that teasing is a great expression of love).

Most people didn't see her trip, but saw her in the pigpen and everyone started laughing. Davis didn't mean to make her upset but before he could do anything, Tai, who had been walking around with his little sister, had jumped in shouting that it was a great idea to play in the mud. Soon, half the class had joined them, to the bewilderment of the pigs, and the consternation of the teachers who started shouting and trying to herd them out.

Davis knew his sister wouldn't have done anything like that. In fact, she would have probably been the one to push him in. But that had happened before the original digidestined even went to the digital world.

Gah. He shook his head, frustrated. All this thinking was getting to him. If he had questions, he should get answers. And he was sick of being in an empty house. His parents had gone out for dinner and June had another date. None of them were meant to be home for two or three hours. He got up, waded through all the rubbish in his room, snatched up his bus pass and ran out.

***

He got to the hospital to be told that Jim Kido had just gone off duty and he had missed him by about ten minutes. Davis fumed and vented his frustration until a nurse told him that if he didn't stop kicking the hospital trolley she would forcibly remove him from the hospital.

He phoned Kari to ask for Jim's number. She didn't know it but said that Matt would have Joe's number so he should ring him. Davis grimaced. He had only met Matt that day - although he had heard his sister yammering incessantly about him and writing his name on her pencil case before - and even if he was a fellow digidestined... he just didn't like him.

But Davis was too stubborn to give up, even if it was only on a whim he wasn't too inspired to follow in the first place. So he sighed and dialed Matt's number.

"Hello, Ishida residence."

"TG, that you?"

"Davis! Why're you calling here?"

"Do you have Jim's phone number?"

"Jim? Jim who?"

"Joe's brother."

"Why do you want to talk to him? Never mind, I don't think I want to know. Well, if he still lives with Joe, I'm sure Matt has his number somewhere... give me a minute."

"Uh huh."

There was a pause and then TK came back on the phone.

"Yeah, here's the number." He recited it, Davis growled a reluctant thanks and hung up.

He dialed the number.

"You've reached the Kido residence, hello, this is Joe speaking, how may I help you?"

"Hey, is Jim there?"

"Jim? He moved out a few months ago, he doesn't live here any more. How did you get this number? May I ask who's calling?"

"TZ gave me your number. This is Davis, one of the new digidestined."

"Oh, of course. TZ? Don't you mean TK? Well, I can give you his new number."

Davis rolled his eyes. This was becoming tedious. All he wanted was to ask a couple of questions about sibling relationships. He got Jim's number, wrote it down and looked through the phone book until he found his address. Not convenient. It would take a couple of hours to get there.

He still wanted to know what those three groups of siblings had that he and June didn't, and then the front door slammed.

"You've got new names on your shirt," said Davis, "you found a couple of new poor victims who would never go out with you in a million years?"

She scowled at him. "For your information *I* got the signature of the almighty Matt Ishida!"

"Big deal," said Davis, "I spent half the day with him."

"REALLY?!" June's eyes lit up, although she was thinking she shouldn't give her brother that satisfaction. "Did he say anything about me? What did he do? Isn't he cute!"

"You've got - TK's - signature there too? TK? I thought his name was TA... or was it TJ... I forget."

"Oh yeah, TK's a cutie, but what about Matt?"

"Oh yeah, he was around..."

"And?! Well?! Did he say anything? How come YOU were hanging out with him? Did you tell him about me? Did he say he met me?"

Davis shrugged and very casually took a few slow sips of his soda.

The two fight for a while and then June storms off in a huff... Davis finds her crying in her room (the reason she was home early was because something bad happened on her date) and ends up kinda comforting her or something and they end up having an ALMOST mushy moment but then start bickering good-naturedly instead, and Davis realises the relationship he has with his sister is pretty good after all - that the fighting isn't a bad thing, necessarily - and finds he doesn't need to get sibling advice from anyone 'cos he can work out the answers himself or something equally corny. ^_^.

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A kid's version of Who Wants To Be A Millionare. Hosted by Eddie McGuire 'cos he's the Aussie host of the real show.

"So let's introduce our contestants for fastest finger first! Sora Takenouchi!"

Sora waves and smiles.

"Koushirou "Izzy" Izumi!"

Izzy gives a sullen wave and mutters something about age discrimination and how he should be on real Who Wants To Be A Millionare.

"Yolei Inoue!"

Yolei waves and gives a thumbs-up.

"Yamato "Matt" Ishida!"

Matt raises one eyebrow and smirks, trying to look cool for the camera. The effect is spoiled by Tai throwing a spitball at him. Matt whirls and starts shouting something that is bleeped out. The camera moves to the next person.

"Davis Motomiya!"

Davis pumps a fist in the air and grins viciously.

"Mimi Tachikawa!"

Mimi winks and blows a kiss. Another spitball flies past her and a shout is heard from Matt's direction.

"Takeru "TK" Takaishi!"

TK jumps up and down waving his arms in the air.

"Joe Kido!"

Joe waves self-consciously. The attention is taken off him by Matt running across the screen in front of him, with his arms outstretched.

"Hikari "Kari" Kamiya!"

Kari blows her whistle and gives a peace sign.

"Taichi "Tai" Kamiya!"

Tai is not in his contestant seat. Instead, he is on the ground underneath with Matt sitting on his chest, bashing his face in. Tai hurls him off, whacks him across the face and flings him back into a camera.

The camera moves back to Eddie McGuire, who has a large sweatdrop.

"Well, er, let's play fastest finger first to find out who will be our first lucky contestant to play for one million dollars!"

The dramatic music starts up and the first question is asked.

"Okay! What kind of animal is an eagle? Is it a) a cat, b) a bird, c) a frog or d) a dinosaur?"

There is a pause, as the kids enter their various letters. "And the kids who got it right are..." The names "Sora", "Yolei", "Mimi" and "Kari" are lit up. "And it's looking good for the girls!"

This is probably because Izzy buried his head in his hands as soon as he heard the question, Joe, in his nervousness, hit the wrong key, TK got confused because he wasn't sure WHAT Garudamon was, Davis was trying to push his seat closer to Kari's and Matt and Tai were still wrestling on the ground.

"And the fastest was... Mimi Tachikawa!"

The spotlight shines on Mimi and she jumps up, squealing and looking happy. The other digidestined's faces are shown, looking distinctly unimpressed. Matt and Tai jump up and shout in unison "NO FAIR, WE WEREN'T READY!"

"You snooze you lose!" says Mimi and sticks out her tongue. She bounces up to the hot seat and beams at Eddie.

"Well done, Mimi! Now, it says you're an elementary school student from Odaiba, your hobbies include shopping, buying things and making purchases... Mimi, what would you do with one million dollars?"

"Spend it, of course!"

"Are you ready to play for... ONE MILLION DOLLARS?"

"Of course, that's what I'm here for! Heeheehee!"

"Then leeeet's geeeet staaaarted!"

~~~***~~~***~~~***~~~***~~~***~~~***~~~

Joe sighed and pushed his serving away. Hearing all the others talking about their favourite way of eating eggs was making him feel sick. Also, he didn't feel comfortable eating strange food. This whole world was strange, how could they know whether those eggs were safe for human consumption?

"Aren't you going to eat the rest of that, Joe?" asked Gomamon, "it's not good for you to go hungry."

"I'm not hungry," he muttered. Actually, his stomach was arguing that point, but he pressed one hand over it and ignored it.

"Well, if you really feel that way... can I have your helping?"

Joe sweatdropped. "How much can one Digimon eat?" But he pushed his dinner towards Gomamon who promptly began stuffing his face with relish.

Joe watched him seriously. He didn't understand his partner. Sometimes he got the impression Gomamon didn't like him much, that he was disappointed to be teamed up with Joe. That wouldn't be surprising. How did the two of them get stuck with each other, anyway? They were nothing alike, they couldn't get along. Gomamon didn't understand him, anyway.

Trust his luck to end up in this stupid world with a bunch of irresponsible kids who thought it was some big game, who were all having fun and ignored him while he tried to work out the best way to do things. His Digimon was the worst out of all of them. "Look on the bright side, Joe!" There were enough of them doing that already. If everyone looked on the bright side all the time, they'd never recognise the bad side and they'd all end up dead.

Despite being lost, having friends who didn't like him, feeling useless and unappreciated and scared, he didn't want to DIE.

The other kids and Digimon were finishing up their meals, mostly in silence for once. Joe watched them all critically.

Tai was playing frisbee with Agumon, using his bowl as the frisbee. When Agumon missed it, it smashed into a rock and broke. Undaunted, Tai grabbed the plate next to his - Matt's - and used that instead. Matt yelled that he hadn't finished with the plate yet and they started wrestling, fairly good-naturedly.

Sora was sitting and calmly watching the two boys. After a moment, she seemed to decide she couldn't watch any more, and dove in to join in. Tentomon, Biyomon and Patamon were playing some kind of bizarre aerial game, occasionally smacking into people. Gomamon and Palmon were playing leapfrog. Izzy was back on his computer, occasionally muttering or exclaiming to himself. TK was trying to walk with his bowl balanced on his head, Gabumon watching him curiously. Mimi was still eating daintily, trying to ignore everyone else.

He frowned slightly.

After a while, Matt, Sora and Tai lay on the ground, breathing heavily and laughing and calling a truce. TK had broken about three bowls, Mimi had finished her meal and was lying against a rock, and Izzy was still working at something. The Digimon all sat down, also breathing hard from the exertion.

Things were almost silent for a few long moments - something very rare with thirteen rambunctious kids and Digimon (and one Joe).

Gomamon broke the silence by groaning and waddling over to Joe, flopping his arms into his partner's lap.

"You don't feel well? Serves you right for jumping around like that just after eating so much!"

Gomamon didn't answer, just went a little limper, loosening his hold on Joe. That wasn't right... Gomamon, not jumping in with a quick, obnoxious retort?

"Hey, guys," said Joe, looking back out to the others, "I think Gomamon's actually sick."

"Am not," muttered Gomamon, without much spirit.

"Well, he's not the only one," said Sora, touching her stomach gently, "I don't think those eggs agreed with me."

"Matt, I don't feel so good," said TK.

"My tummy hurts," groaned Agumon.

"Well, that's what you get when you clown around right after stuffing your faces," said Joe, "I was about the only sensible one and I feel fine... well, except for my hayfever, and -"

"Excuse me, but I didn't 'clown around' at all, and I suddenly feel simply awful!" said Mimi.

"Make that both of us," said Izzy weakly, actually putting his computer down.

Joe picked up Gomamon and stood, looking at everyone with narrowed eyes, scrutinising them. All of them were starting to look a little out of it.

"Those eggs!" he exclaimed, "I TOLD you we shouldn't eat them, I TOLD you they might not be fit for human consumption, and now look at the fix we're in! We don't have a doctor, we don't have any medicine... Isn't this exactly what I said would happen, Tai?!"

Tai looked at him, a little blankly. His face was rather white.

"Stop gloating," mumbled Matt, and threw up. The cave began to smell bad and made everyone else feel worse, thus starting a horrible sort of chain reaction, with most of the others throwing up too.

Joe twitched, feeling like throwing up himself. "Who do you think is going to clean all this up?! Okay everyone, out of the cave! You'll just feel worse if you stay in here!"

They looked at him blearily. Tai tried to stand up - Joe thought, ironically, that it seemed he was finally being listened to - but thought better of it and slumped against the wall.

Joe sighed, but settled his glasses firmly on his nose, thinking. If he was the only one who wasn't sick, he had the responsibility to look after everyone else. And he couldn't shirk responsibility, no matter how unpleasant.

So, he set to work, cleaning the cave. All of the Digimon were asleep, seeming to be affected a little differently by the food. Most of the kids watched him blankly, not really registering what he was doing.

Basically, all the kids and Digimon were sick for a few days and Joe got stuck having to look after them and he didn't have any food and if bad Digimon came he'd have to get rid of them by himself... heheh...

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When the kids all leave the digital world, before they go off to their own home, Joe invites them to his place the next morning.

"I'll make pancakes for everyone," said Joe.

"Goody, I love pancakes!" shouted TK.

Matt looked dubious. "I don't know, TK, I've worked in a kitchen with him before and I don't know if you'd want to eat anything cooked by Joe..."

Joe sweatdropped. "Well, pancakes don't take much culinary skill! Just leave it to me!"

later...

Matt raised one eyebrow. "Well, what do you know, Joe CAN make pancakes."

Sora laughed and pointed at the rubbish bin; a pancake mix packet was sticking out of the top. Joe sweatdropped and pushed the packet down so it couldn't be seen any more.

Fic is generally good-natured, the kids just hanging out, getting used to the idea of being without their Digimon, and then promising to be friends for life, awwww. ^_^.

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~Sora~

Ughh! That guy gets on my nerves! Here we all are, yeah, we're in a bit of a fix but who knows how things work here? Maybe we can't die, maybe time stands still while we're here, maybe this is all a big dream, maybe it won't matter.

I guess it matters less for me. For me, this is great. My friends are here, and I've suddenly got the best friend of my life. I can make decisions and people take me seriously. And all I'm missing back home is some summer vacation and sports - and I'm getting a lot of great exercise here! (Well, if the others weren't slowing us down it'd be better, but nothing's perfect.) My mother... well, she's my mother. I bet she wouldn't even care if I'm gone.

So I'm not missing much. The others though... some of them left their hearts back home, and miss their families or other friends. No problem here; Tai's my best friend, or was until Biyomon came, and this is a real adventure. Kind of frightening sometimes, kind of boring sometimes, but what can you do.

But him! Gah! He never sees it that way. He's bringing the rest of us down. Everything is the worst-case scenario with him, You'd never know he was supposed to be the oldest of us. He's all, if only we could go home, we should go hide somewhere, let's not fight or show any guts, we're all going to die anyway, oh look there's something good, it must be a trap, oh, the sun's out and I'm getting sunburnt, now it's gone and I'm so cold, and I think I'm allergic to walking.

Good grief. Why can't he see there's so much NOT to complain about. He's got this great Digimon partner, Gomamon, who's the best thing for him if only he'd bother to realise it, a chance to make something of himself and be a hero but he'd rather stick his head in the ground, and some people who would be his friends if he'd let them...

It's a beautiful sunny day and he's complaining about how he's getting sand in his shoe and the sun is too hot on his head and we're all going to get heatstroke and then he'll have to look after us and we should take more responsibility. Him, look after us? I'd like to see that. He's the baby of the group. Even TK can walk longer than him.

If he was going on summer camp anyway he should be prepared to spend a couple of weeks away from his family. But he complains about missing home than any of the rest of us do and he's supposed to be the oldest.

I just... he gets on my nerves. I can't help speaking sharply to him sometimes. He's never mean or unkind but weak people push my patience.

Anyway, listen to me. I sound like him, complaining all the time. Everyone's walking in silence at the moment, except Joe who's hopping along trying to walk on one foot while tipping sand out of his shoe. Predictably, he trips and since I'm the nearest, I kind of turn to catch him, but my foot catches Biyomon and the three of us fall clumsily and heavily.

And painfully.

Gomamon's claws click on the ground as he lollops up to Joe, trying not to laugh. Most of the others don't have the same restraint (Gomamon showing restraint? never thought I'd say THAT!) and are laughing very hard. Yeah, very funny.

"Sorry, Sora," says Joe, looking kind of red. He pushes himself off the ground - and off me - and dusts himself down. I gotta say I'm kind of surprised he'd apologise instead of say how the fall hurt and how he was even dirtier now and how the grass pricked into his arms.

Actually, I've landed awkwardly, one leg folded under me and my back arched back. Biyomon squeezes herself out from under my back and I fall flat. I was trying to catch my balance even while falling but ended up with - woah.

---

Their current environment was a plain, dusty with dry brown grass that cruched underfoot. But with the bizarre structure of the digital world, they might find themselves climbing snow-tipped mountains or trekking through a rainforest by the end of the day.

These plains seemed fairly uninhabited. Once they had passed through a small group of Meemon playing, but the Digimon paid them no mind. A few skeleton trees dotted the landscape, but other than that there was little variety. They passed the wrecked frames of a fleet of Mercedes, and a long row of fire hydrants that dripped purple slime when opened.

After a lot of squabbling and general complaining, everyone fell to silence. Most were feeling irritated at each other or at their surroundings. It was one of those hot, dry, boring days and for the digidestined, there was nothing to do but walk endlessly with the prickly grass scratching the legs of those not wearing jeans.

Gomamon was not enjoying this, either the attitude of the group of the environment. He was sure his fur was going to permanently dry out and leech all the life out of him. His flippers were itching to push against the cool, yielding water. Instead, they flopped through dry grass and dirt, getting dusty and scratched. Gomamon, being the shortest member of the group, was finding it hard going. He was tired and frustrated and he could barely see over the grass, let alone swim through it.

He was actually close to asking Joe to carry him when his partner suddenly pulled off his shoe and started hopping so as not to hold up the group, while shaking his shoe up and down. Gomamon - having never worn shoes before - had no idea what this strange behaviour was supposed to signify and worried that his friend had lost his mind.

"Joe -" began Gomamon, moving to stand in front of his friend. Joe, already off balance, tried to swerve around him, ended up stumbling, tripping and landing on Sora and Biyomon.

A great cloud of dust flew up where they landed and Gomamon sneezed.

"Can't wait 'til we get out of here," muttered Gomamon but he had to admit it had looked quite funny. Still, he was a little worried, and quickly propelled himself over to his charge.

Joe was fine. He and Biyomon quickly got up and Sora was about to do the same when she suddenly stiffened and grabbed at her leg.

"Man," she said, and then paused, wincing. "I think my foot's hurt."

"You THINK it's hurt?" said Izzy.

"If it's your foot that hurts, why are you holding your leg?" asked Matt drily.

"Because if I grab my foot I'll hurt it more!" snapped Sora.

"Okay, let's calm down everybody," said Tai easily, "Sora, can you get up?"

"No," she said, sounding angry. Uncharacteristic, but pain can make people short-tempered. And the last thing Sora wanted to do was be a burden to anyone. Although generally good-natured, she had her pride and strength was important to her.

"Look," she said, trying to be calm, "I don't think my ankle's broken or anything. Maybe I twisted it or something."

"Or perhaps you've fractured it," said Izzy reassuringly, "in which case you won't be able to walk for some days."

"Thanks, Izzy," said Sora, still clutching white-knuckled at her leg.

"Soraaa," said Biyomon petulantly, "I'm sorry I got in your way! Are you okay?"

"I'm just fine," said Sora through gritted teeth, "don't worry about me. Hey, look guys, I bet if I sit here for a few minutes I'll get my strength back. Why don't you guys keep walking and I'll catch up later."

"I am definitely staying with you, Sora," said Biyomon.

"Not happening," said Tai firmly, "you couldn't catch up if you can't walk properly anyway."

"Why don't we ALL have a rest?" said Mimi.

"Good idea!" said TK, instantly plopping himself down into the grass. Patamon fluttered down into his lap and lay there, exhausted.

"I don't want to hold everyone back," said Sora.

"We're not going to just leave you here," said Joe, "who knows what evil Digimon might come, and there's not much food to be had around here. Biyomon might not be able to digivolve to protect you. And what if someone gets lost? Our situation's bad enough as it is, the last thing we need is to split up."

"That's right, Joe," said Matt, "look on the bright side..."

"Hey, I am just trying to be practical about this. It's in our best interests to stick together."

Gomamon sighed. "Does this mean we're going to have to stay in this place even longer?"

"Hey, I wouldn't complain if I were you," said Joe, about to tell him it was his fault but everyone else was snickering. "What?"

"You, saying you wouldn't complain," said Mimi.

"Hmpf."

"Well, we can't stay around here much longer," said Tai, "there's no food..."

"No water..." continued Gomamon miserably.

"And our Digimon can't digivolve without those things," finished Matt.

"Big deeeal," said Mimi, "I mean, it's not like there are any monsters around here now, are there? Let's just have a nice rest, in fact let's stay here for the night."

"Without food or water?" said Izzy sarcastically, "yeah, great idea, let's all remain here and die."

"We've been walking all day," said TK meekly.

"Well, we can't stay here longer than is absolutely necessary," said Tai firmly.

"Who died and made you boss?" said Matt, "if TK and some of the others are tired you shouldn't force them to go just because YOU think it's a good idea. Not that I'm tired myself, of course."

"Why don't you shut up, Matt," said Tai, "someone has to make decisions and I'm just trying to do the right thing by everyone."

"Yeah, that's so big of you," said Matt, "we all know you just like being bossy and making rules."

"Everyone's getting worked up," said Joe, "just stay calm and stop sniping at each other!"

"This was your fault in the first place, Joe!" said Sora, "if you hadn't run into me we wouldn't be in this mess!"

Joe blushed and said nothing. Gomamon immediately went to his defense. "It wasn't his fault, I'm the klutz who tripped him for once!"

"And I tripped you, I'm sorry Sora," said Biyomon.

"Everyone should stop blaming each other and start being more constructive," said Izzy.

"You're the one who was getting all huffy," said Mimi.

"That's because you're an idiot!" said Izzy.

"Mimi is NOT an idiot, you are!" shouted Palmon.

"Oh, really great comeback," said Izzy.

Matt and Tai were still engaged in their own little argument.

"I'm not saying we should stay here and STARVE, I'm just saying we should think about things and not blindly follow you just because you think you're lord and master of us all, Tai!"

"Well, if you've got any better suggestions I'd like to hear them, we've got to do SOMETHING."

Everyone was looking annoyed and frustrated and the volume of noise was building up, tensions rising and the whole group was being drawn into it.

"It's your fault!"

"Stop being so obnoxious!"

"I can't help it if you're a ditz!"

"I don't see why we can't try it my way!"

"Grow up!"

"EVERYONE STOP FIGHTING RIGHT NOWWWWWWWW!"

Silence.

Everyone turned and stared at TK, who was red in the face.

"That's better," he said.

Everyone simultaneously realised how stupid they were being and laughed, except for Sora and Joe, the two who had been speaking the least. Sora thought they were blowing it all out of proportion and was still in pain, and Joe felt bad.

Ends up with Joe carrying Sora, her getting a better opinion of him... ehh... I'm not sure what else was gonna happen, that's the main reason I stopped writing it... I just started writing it for a Jyoura contest, believe it or not, and I noticed it's usually Sora (or Tai) who makes little sharp comments to Joe, like they're annoyed at him.