A/N: Well, this will be the tenth and last chapter, I believe. Reasons? I have a few, but those can wait for the end of this chapter. My ending A/N will basically be a bunch of notes on my writing and stories, so if you don't really care then you can skip them. Yes, I know you've all gotten after me for not updating in a long time, but you won't have to worry about that after this because there will be no more of this fic. Well, I'm going to leave my ranting for the end, so you can read the chapter you've been waiting for.
Taichi carefully sat down next to Yamato, taking care not to look at his face and lowering his gaze to the ground. Yamato looked up at Taichi and smiled to himself when he saw Taichi was blushing slightly. He looked forward again to give his friend privacy. Taichi lifted his head a little.
"Sorry for being an insensitive jerk."
Yamato laughed. "No, I'm sorry for calling you one. I know people have taken to giving you that nickname, but...I don't think anyone really means it. You aren't a jerk, Taichi, and you certainly aren't insensitive. You just forget things and mess up occasionally, but no one can really blame you for that."
Taichi looked up at him and Yamato smiled when their eyes met. Taichi found it hard not to smile back at him.
"I guess you're right. Well, you're always right. One more thing to say, though, and I want you to stick around and listen during the whole time I'm saying it, okay?"
Yamato looked a little nervous all of a sudden. "Okay," he said, steeling himself for anything that was about to be said.
Taichi took a deep breath and looked up into Yamato's clear, blue eyes. He decided to rest his hand over Yamato's hand for a little added effect.
"Yamato," he began, "I've got something to confess. Back there, at the grocery store, I was being a complete idiot by not saying anything to you. I wanted to, but I needed to do a little more thinking about what you had said...or implied, rather. Now, I have had time to think about it, and I think I'm ready to answer you. I like you too. Not in the just-friends way, either. I like you in the way you like me. I was scared before, because I'd never thought of another guy like that in my whole life...besides this little thing where I thought Daisuke was cute, but I thought that was just an odd thought and it didn't mean anything. I've come to accept it, though, and if you're the person I'm supposed to have a crush on and maybe even someday come to love, then so be it."
Meanwhile, Yamato was having trouble closing his mouth. When Taichi stopped talking and gave Yamato a searching look, the blonde was sure that he was done and made an effort to make his jaw work again.
"Really?" he blurted out.
"Yeah," Taichi said a little breathlessly, since he had said most of his mini-speech in one breath.
Yamato sat in awed shock for a little while more, and then he shook himself. "Well, I hadn't been expecting that."
"What had you been expecting?" Taichi asked, smiling and sounding more light-hearted now that he had sorted his feelings out and told Yamato about them.
"I was expecting you to reject me, to tell you the truth."
"How could anyone reject you?" Taichi asked, sounding honestly surprised.
Yamato blushed at that and smiled, looking down at where Taichi had laced his fingers with Yamato's.
"I still can't believe you like me."
"How anyone as beautiful as you can have such a low self-esteem, I'll never understand."
Yamato lightly slapped Taichi's arm. "Shut up."
"Are you sleeping over tonight?"
Yamato grinned. "He's my little brother. He'd be hurt if I didn't."
"I'm sleeping here, too," Taichi said, smirking and seeming more like himself.
Yamato raised an eyebrow. "Are you insinuating something?"
"Like what?" Taichi asked, lowering his voice to a purr.
Yamato shoved Taichi's shoulder. "Taichi!"
Taichi laughed and smiled at Yamato. "Will you sleep with me?"
"As in sleep next to you, or...?"
"Sleep next to me, of course. What do you take me for, a pervert?"
Yamato rolled his eyes and Taichi laughed again.
"Maybe," Yamato answered, looking up at the sky.
"Maybe I'm a pervert, or maybe you'll want to sleep next to me?"
"Maybe I'll want to sleep next to you tonight," Yamato confirmed.
Taichi grinned and looked at Yamato, who turned to look back at him. They gazed into each other's eyes for a little while, both starting to blush, and Yamato slowly leant forward to close his eyes and kiss Taichi. Taichi kissed back, sliding his hands into Yamato's hair the way he had before in his dreams.
Their kiss was broken when car headlights suddenly illuminated them. They turned to stare through squinted eyes at the car driving into the paved driveway. Yamato recognized it as his father's car and his eyes widened.
He leapt to his feet and walked towards it, Taichi following him carefully. His father rolled his window down and Yamato walked to stand in front of it.
"Hey, dad," Yamato said uneasily. He was pretty sure his father had seen that kiss and wasn't sure what his dad's opinion would be.
His father handed him a backpack of his clothes and smirked at him. "There, you're all set for the sleepover." He turned to look at Taichi. "Hello, Taichi."
"Er, hey Mr. Ishida."
Yamato smiled nervously as his father shifted his gaze back to his son.
"You stay out of trouble, okay? Don't stay up too late."
He turned to look at Taichi again. "Don't hurt my son's feelings, you hear? Heh, you two look good together."
He waved goodbye to them both and proceeded to back out of the driveway, leaving the two boys staring after him. They were both stunned by the easy reaction.
"Well, that was easier than I'd expected," Yamato said, reaching a hand up to scratch his head.
"I always knew your dad was a rather tolerant guy."
"My dad?" Yamato asked, sounding surprised and turning to look at Taichi.
Taichi nodded. Yamato turned back to look at the retreating lights of the car driving off into the distance. He had been expecting his father to yell at him for making yet another mistake. He shook his head slowly and turned around.
"Let's go back inside."
Taichi watched as Yamato slowly turned to walk towards the front door. Taichi slowly followed him into the house, not really wanting to leave the nice, calm atmosphere outside.
~ ~ ~ ~
Meanwhile, inside the comfort of the house, everyone was falling asleep. The people who weren't sleeping over were getting ready to leave. They said goodbye to each of their friends as they left, and pretty soon only Takeru, Taichi, Yamato, Jyou, Koushirou, Daisuke, and Ken were in the house.
They began discussing who would sleep where.
"Jyou and Koushirou must sleep together in one room or something drastic will happen to the nice host," Koushirou announced.
"Okay, got that," Takeru said carefully. "You two can share the guest room. Try not to make too much noise, okay? There will be other people in the house, you know. I won't have you traumatizing my guests."
"Deal," Jyou said, and then the pair ran off to find said guest room.
Takeru sighed and turned to the rest. "I'm guessing you two want to room together, as well," he said to his brother and Taichi.
"Yes, we do," Yamato said, nodding.
"You can sleep here on the couches, then, because you are not getting my bed and my room," Takeru said, grinning. Taichi and Yamato looked at each other, their faces falling.
"And you two can sleep in my room with me, because I actually trust you not to rape me," Takeru told Daisuke and Ken. Takeru paused and gave Daisuke another look. "Or at least I hope you won't."
"You can't rape the willing," Daisuke shot back.
Takeru glared at him and turned to walk to his room. "I'm going to bed. Do not wake me up, because I'm not a morning person, and I never wake happily."
Daisuke and Ken turned to give each other looks, grinned, and walked after the blonde.
"It's as if he doesn't trust us," Ken said, sounding amused.
"I know, it's so unfair," Daisuke replied.
Taichi watched them close Takeru's door behind them and turned to smile at Yamato. Yamato was arranging the pillows on the couch he had chosen for himself. There wasn't much room for two people to sleep on one couch, so Taichi guessed he'd have to wait for another chance to sleep with Yamato, side-by-side.
He walked to the other couch and began fixing it up for him to sleep on. Yamato sat down on his and looked up to watch Taichi.
When Taichi had finished, he turned to see Yamato's smile. He smiled back and walked over to Yamato's couch. He sat down beside the blonde and slid his arms around the boy's waist, resting his head on his shoulder. Yamato wrapped his arms around Taichi and stroked the other boy's arm, closing his eyes.
"We could have done this sooner," Taichi said quietly, "if I wasn't so stupid."
Yamato opened his mouth to say he didn't think Taichi was stupid, but he realized how typical that action would have been, and decided to remain quiet and instead show Taichi that he disagreed.
He ran his fingers through Taichi's surprisingly soft hair and nuzzled Taichi's neck.
"Tai, no matter what we have to deal with, what we're put through, and what happens to us, I'll still have feelings for you. No matter what faults develop, what hidden problems are uncovered, or what mistakes we make, I'll still have feelings for you."
Taichi smiled sadly and laced his fingers through Yamato's.
"Don't make promises you aren't sure you can keep," he said softly.
Yamato tilted Taichi's face towards him and looked deep into his eyes. "I'll try my hardest to keep it."
Taichi's eyes held something like a knowing sadness and excitement for what was to come for them, but he decided that he'd risk it all just to stay with this boy.
The heartbreak, the tears, the conflicts, and the moments of blissful peace and happiness...they'd all be worth it.
Taichi slowly raised himself and walked to his own couch. He lay down and shifted around to become comfortable enough to drift off into sleep. Yamato did the same and stretched his arm out to the lamp on the table at one end of his couch.
"Goodnight, Taichi," he whispered.
"Goodnight, Yamato," Taichi whispered back.
Yamato turned the lamp off and settled down on the couch. In the darkness, he gazed at Taichi's still body. He smiled when Taichi shifted and the moonlight filtering in through the window bathed over his face. Yamato thought about Taichi's confusing feelings towards himself and wondered what the brunette really thought inside of his head. He seemed like he did have feelings for Yamato, but was reluctant to have an actual relationship with the blonde. Yamato wondered if Taichi had bad experiences with love, and decided to ask Taichi about it when he was in a more easygoing mood. He smiled and closed his eyes, nuzzling into his pillow.
He decided that he would make Taichi's insecurities go away and show him that love is supposed to be both beautiful and tragic, but well worth their time. He was pretty sure he'd be able to handle getting into a relationship that could be quite troubling in the beginning. He wanted to be with Taichi, and he'd take good care of the boy, and that was all that mattered. He would melt away any lingering doubts the brunette boy might have and help exterminate any inner demons that threatened to hurt the relationship. He had his own demons to take care of, but it shouldn't be too much trouble.
The course of true love never did run smooth.
Yamato was willing to stick through the bumpy ride. He opened his eyes to take in Taichi's sleeping figure one last time before he drifted off to sleep.
"Come what may," he whispered to himself.
Luckily, the guest bedroom's atmosphere was relatively calm and no noise pierced through the air. Takeru's bedroom held slightly more activity, but that was because the three boys within couldn't settle on who got to sleep in Takeru's bed and who had to sleep on the floor, for only two fit in the bed. In the end, Takeru slept on the floor and Daisuke and Ken slept soundly in the bed, though both were a little put out because the whole idea of fighting for the bed was to see who got to sleep next to Takeru.
A few minutes later, Takeru's mother entered the house, carrying the bags she had taken on her little "business trip". She was a little surprised at finding the two boys sleeping on the couch, but then remembered Takeru's little party had been a sleepover as well. She set her bags down on the floor and slowly moved towards where Yamato lay on his couch.
She gazed down at her son and frowned as she remembered their earlier argument. She knew Yamato had not meant what he had said, but it had still hurt her feelings. She missed Yamato so much more than she let on, and she couldn't help but worry about how he was being treated back at home. It wasn't that she didn't trust her ex-husband, but she knew that he could be a little cold towards people, and she suspected that Yamato was somewhat ignored in his home.
Yamato opened his eyes and gave his mother a confused look. "Mom...what are you doing?"
She smiled a bit and reached a hand out to rest on her son's head. Yamato moved his head away from her touch and winced slightly. She bit her lip and pulled her hand back, hanging her head slightly.
"You know, Yamato, I still love you as my son," she said quietly.
Yamato hid his face from view and sighed deeply.
"I love you too, Mom."
She nodded quickly, even though he couldn't see her, and she quickly walked back to the door to pick up her bags.
"Well, I'm going to sleep. I'll see you tomorrow morning. Sweet dreams, Yamato."
"See you, Mom."
She walked to her room and closed the door behind her. She left her bags at the door and walked to her bed, arms spread. "Oh, my own bed..."
She threw herself across the bed and lay still for a while, breathing in the familiar scent. She smiled. She'd thought that Taichi was the one Yamato had a crush on, and seeing the way he'd glanced at Taichi while she was talking to him had confirmed it for her.
She settled down to sleep, getting lost in her dreams, the way everyone else in the house now was.
That night, Yamato dreamt about nicer things than he'd been dreaming about lately, and Taichi's dreams seemed a lot more realistic than they had before, now that he knew the things in his dreams could actually happen in reality.
Yamato did not know what would happen to him, Taichi, or any of his friends in the future, but one thing was known for sure: He would never give up on Taichi, and he would never let him go.
~ ~ ~ ~
A/N: And here is where my crying begins. Skip this and go right to the review box if you don't care about my writing and why this fic has become such a burden to me. It's a rather long author's note, but I'd like it if someone responded to some of the things I bring up, because I do need some opinions on some things. Now then...
How could I write this horribly?! What the hell happened to me?! Ikky, where are you, you miserable little...gah, don't do this to me. -_-' Right, let me explain now...this chapter was done incredibly horribly and revoltingly because my motivation for writing this fic is down in the negative numbers somewhere. Uh...I can't write this anymore. Ikky's pissed off at me because I've rewritten this chapter around five times and never was satisfied so he went on "strike" and I don't know where the hell he's gone off to. My sudden lack of reviews got me sad about my writing and now I just wish my own muse wasn't also abandoning me. Blah. At least the story's over! Yes! I can move on to another one now, hopefully one that works with me much better. Geez, I've never before written a story I totally wanted to just stop writing. Anyways, we can all just forget this and move on, after I say a few things regarding my plans for now.
I want to write a Kenkeru. I don't know, I just really do. This couple has suddenly become so appealing to me, and I know it's weird because Daisuke is my favorite person to pair with people, but I just do want to have an actual fic with the main pairing as Kenkeru. I don't know if I should make it a one-shot or a chaptered fic, but I'm not sure if I know the couple enough to write them successfully in a chaptered fic.
I'm also planning a humor/fluff fic, which I think I should make a Daiken, in which they've just gotten into a relationship and are trying to explore the things that couples do, while everyone else is insisting on "helping" them.
I've been wanting to use Wallace in a fic, too. I don't know why, but I think it would be cute. Eh, why not?
Ah, a thing that has been bugging me very much: Why has no one reviewed my Takori? O.o' Do I write Takori that badly? I thought I had written it rather well! And I wrote it for someone special to me, too. x.x' I figured maybe no one had seen it when it got uploaded...so I'm going to do a little shameless plugging here and ask you all (if you're still here and reading this) to please read and review my Takori, Come Out On The Streets And Dance With Me (yes, a very long title).
And my last little note (thank God): I am scrapping my two not-yet-uploaded Yamasukes. Yeah, even the one with the Nirvana songs. I can't get into it anymore. I need to start something new. They will never see the light of day. (Which isn't too bad...because they weren't that good, except as angst-beasts.)
Now that I'm done ranting and raving, I'll leave you to your peace.