For Meggles, as a Christmas/New Year pressie, because she friggin' RULZ! It gets kinda limey towards the end but it ain't a full-blown lemon (don't even make that joke, that was a completely innocent metaphor/description/thing). Fluff, angst, Taito/Yamachi, and maybe a little OOC-ness in the younger characters but hey, artistic licence. Inspired by a little cassette-tape I found in my drawer a while back. This is my answer to my own angst, see. Past comes back to haunt you? Write a Taito about it! It makes you feel loads better, I guarantee it!

Home Recording

"Are you sure you'll be all right, Tai-kun?" Yamato looked flustered. "Gomen, it's stupid to invite you to stay over and then leave you alone for a couple of hours, and I really did think it would be no problem for you to sit in on practice, but Kanoko-kun has this bug up his ass these days . . ."

Taichi wrapped his arms around Yamato's neck and kissed him soundly, which effectively shut the blond up. "I -" Kiss. "Will -" Kiss. "Be -" Kiss. "Fine." He smiled affectionately at his boyfriend, who still had his eyes closed and was leaning back in for more. Taichi tapped his nose playfully and pulled away. "Stop fretting, and get over to band practice before you're late. Then Kanoko really will have something to have a bug up his ass about, ne?"

"Whatever." Yamato pulled Taichi back to him and kissed him again, nibbling gently on his lower lip. Taichi seemed to wilt against him slightly. "I'll see you in a couple of hours, then," Yamato said reluctantly. "Try not to wreck the place while I'm gone, Otousan would kill me. And then I'd have to kill you."

"Like hell you would," Taichi said, slightly breathless. "Go on, get lost."

"Fine," said Yamato in mock-offence, "I will!" And he crushed his lips to Taichi's one more time before sweeping out the door and slamming it theatrically behind him.

Taichi smiled, and made a big show (to no audience) of looking at his watch. "Three, two, one . . ." he murmured.

Knock, knock.

Taichi picked up Yamato's guitar case from where it leaned against the wall, and answered the door. "Forget something, did we?" he asked sweetly. "All those distracting hormones rushing around . . ."

"Shut up, baka." Yamato was looking slightly flushed. "Give me the guitar."

Taichi handed it over, grinning broadly. "Hurry back," he called after his boyfriend, as said boyfriend clattered hurriedly away down the stairs, by now very late indeed.

* * * * *

Yamato let himself in with his key and stumbled tiredly into the hall. First Kanoko-kun had bitched him out for being late (only by five minutes, he had run most of the way). Then he had put the entire band through almost two hours of gruelling practice until they had everything perfect. He was such a slave-driver. Sometimes that could be a good thing, but not tonight, Yamato thought grumpily. Not when he had a Taichi waiting for him at home and he was half an hour late.

"Gomen, Tai-kun!" he called, kicking off his shoes. "Kanoko-kun was being an absolute bast-"

"It's all right." Taichi's head popped out of Yamato's bedroom, grinning ferally. "You have cassette tapes," he informed the tired blond. "Of you. Singing." And the head vanished again. Yamato stared.

"Oh, iie you don't!" He rushed down the hall and into his room, where Taichi was sliding an audio cassette into the tape deck. "Don't, Tai!"

Taichi gave him a look of pure innocence. "Whyever not, Yama-chan?"

Yamato made to snatch the tape away, but Taichi was too fast. "They're not recent," Yamato said, making a distasteful face. "I was about thirteen or fourteen, and it's strictly amateur home-recording. I sound awful."

"Aww, is Yama-chan embarrassed?" Taichi teased. Yamato scowled fiercely.

"Yagami Taichi, don't you dare -"

"Oh, come off it, Yama. It's not like I haven't already listened to two whole tapes while you were out."

Yamato winced.

"One more -" Kiss. "Won't hurt."

"But . . ."

"Onegai?" Taichi turned pleading puppy-eyes on his boyfriend. At seventeen he was far too old for it to work as it should, but the comic effect was still endearing. "For me?"

Yamato sighed. "I hate you."

"Arigato!" Taichi bounced over to the tape deck and inserted the cassette marked Negai Kanaeru Kagi // Mix. Yamato crawled onto the bed and buried his head under the pillow, face-down.

"Someone shoot me now," his muffled voice pleaded. Taichi shook his head at him with an affectionate smile, and curled up beside him, an arm wrapped around Yamato's waist.

"I think they're pretty good," he said encouragingly.

Yamato's face reappeared, wearing something that looked like despair. "No offence, Tai-kun, but you like Two Mix!"

Taichi was about to make a retort in Two Mix's defence, but then the first strains of guitar chords wafted across the room, so he contented himself with merely smirking as Yamato groaned and pushed his head back under the pillow.

Sorezore aruiteku michi no tochuu de oretachi deata

Minna chigau mono wo mune ni idaiterun da . . .

"Oh Kami," moaned Yamato. Taichi patted his shoulder supportively. The song was several keys higher than he was used to hearing, because Yamato's voice hadn't yet broken when it had been recorded. Other than that, and the faint but steady background static that was characteristic of all home-recorded tapes, it really was quite good.

"Come on out, Yama-chan," Taichi said persuasively. Yamato remained stubbornly still, so he plucked up the pillow covering his head and threw it across the room before Yamato had time to react. By luck more than aim, it thankfully didn't break anything en route to the corner. Yamato put his arms over his head. Taichi shrugged, and pulled Yamato's top up far enough to run one finger delicately down his side. The blond yelped and squirmed away, drawing his knees up and wrapping his arms around himself. He scowled fiercely. Taichi laughed. "Lighten up!"

"But it's awful . . ."

"Rubbish," said Taichi firmly.

"Hai! Rubbish! That's exactly what it is."

Taichi gave up and just kissed him instead, slipping his hand back underneath Yamato's top. Yamato didn't seem to mind so much this time; he was murmuring something appreciative into Taichi's mouth, and allowing the occasional contented sigh to escape him. Taichi wrapped his spare arm around his boyfriend and held him close, enjoying the feeling of proximity in the dimly-lit room: the light was off, but the door to the illuminated hall was open.

"Ai shiteru," Yamato whispered, resting one hand on Taichi's waist and tracing patterns on his cheek with the other. Taichi leaned into the touch, eyes closed. "Did I mention that?"

"Mm . . . Hai. Lots," said Taichi happily. "Ai shiteru, Yama-chan." He backed his proclamation up with a fiery kiss, as if wanting to prove his words. "And I wish . . ."

When Taichi didn't finish the sentence, Yamato opened his eyes properly. "Tai-chan?" He only called him Tai-chan at close moments such as these, and it always made Taichi smile to hear him being affectionate. "What do you wish?"

Taichi snuggled down with his head on Yamato's chest, and Yamato let his arm wander across his shoulders. "Sounds dumb… I just wish 'ai shiteru' hadn't already been said by billions of people. Anyone can say it, you know? But I mean it. I really do. I'm crap with words, but I wish I could say something special, that would be just for you . . ."

Yamato's hold on Taichi tightened. "You just did."

Aratana sekai wo hiraku no sa!

The song crashed to a halt with none of the guitar sequence which followed the official version. After a slight pause, a loud staticky click signalled the end of the recording, and a pop song that Taichi didn't recognise immediately blared from the stereo. Taichi raised his eyebrows.

"Is this American music? I thought you hated American music!"

Yamato swatted at his head. "It's from the British charts, actually. I must have recorded this off the radio ages ago. Before the Negai Kanaeru Kagi recording, even. Remember how I used to do that all the time, so I could play it back on my walkman? Kami, I haven't heard this in ages! I wonder what others are on here?"

"Kami," groaned Taichi. "What is this?"

"It's If I Let You Go, by Westlife. They're Irish."

"I can't believe you remember that from when we were thirteen. Maybe even twelve. What are they singing about?"

Yamato shrugged. "I dunno. I just like the music."

Taichi sighed, and resigned himself to suffering the rest of the tape - as Yamato sharply reminded him, it had been he who had insisted on listening to the cassette in the first place. He sat through Geri Halliwell's Mi Chico Latino and Lou Bega's Mambo No. 5, and was just beginning to think his head might soon implode when U2's The Sweetest Thing cut out mid-introduction, and gave way to a babble of voices and giggling. Taichi recognised his own voice immediately; he just caught the end of an unintelligible sentence. Yamato's voice promptly squealed "Get off my feet!"

"My feet," Taichi's voice replied, possessive mischief evident in his voice.

The two boys on the bed blinked and stared at each other. Taichi reached across and paused the tape. "What in the hell is that?" he demanded.

Yamato looked equally baffled. "Search me. We must have recorded it - Kami, we sound so young!"

"We sound chibified." Taichi grimaced. "You sound especially funny, squealing like that you sound just like a girl . . ."

"Shut up!" Yamato felt around for his pillow so he could hit Taichi with it, then remembered it had been thrown across the room, and thwapped him on the arm instead. "My voice broke when we were fourteen, but yours broke the year before that - we must be twelve, or just thirteen at the oldest."

Taichi looked at him. "Before we got together, then?"


Taichi considered for a moment. Then, "Okay, let's listen to it!"



"It'll be really embarrassing . . ."

Taichi shrugged. "I won't tell if you won't. Oh come on, Yama-chan . . ."

Yamato sighed. "All right. But tomorrow I'm going to burn this tape."

Taichi released the pause button, and the cassette ran on. There were brief sounds of scuffling, and another "Get off my feet!" from chibi Yamato.

"Tai-kun," called a young Sora's voice. "It's your turn on the computer." In the background, small evil yippee! sounds could be heard. Taichi and Yamato turned to look at each other, and grinned.

"Dungeon Keeper!" they said simultaneously. "Kami," Taichi added, "we used to play that game so much . . ."

"Your turn, Tai-kun," chibi Sora repeated.

"Hai, I know," chibi Taichi answered. "I'm just gonna kill these things as well, hang on." Present day Taichi and Yamato frowned as they tried to understand the invisible conversation. It was surprisingly difficult to comprehend what they were talking about without visual aids.

Sounds from the computer as chibi Taichi presumably played Dungeon Keeper continued - imps were dropped, doors hacked down, spells cast. Giggles from all three chibi digidestined could be heard. "Eurgh, iie!" Taichi exclaimed, amid more giggles.

Your creatures are under attack, the computer informed them. Your creatures are falling in battle.

"Anyone want a sock?" chibi Sora asked cheerfully. "Nobody? Okay, I'm just gonna throw this out the window . . ."

"Iie, you're not," chibi Taichi replied distantly; he sounded as though he was concentrating on the game.

"I am."

"You wouldn't."

"I would." Chibi Sora was giggling.

Seventeen-year-old Yamato raised his eyebrows. "This is embarrassing," he murmured. "I don't recall us being that immature . . ."

"Relax." Taichi slipped an arm around Yamato's waist and leaned his head on the other boy's shoulder. "We were just kids, after all, having a good laugh. Though it's hard to imagine Sora threatening to throw my sock out the window, now, for fun." He snorted slightly with quiet laughter.

On the tape, there was more scuffling and rapid footsteps. "You bitch," chibi Taichi said, not sounding unamused. The sock had evidently gone out of the window.

"Ow!" cried chibi Sora, but she too was laughing. Chibi Taichi began humming off-key in an innocent manner as ambiguous-sounding squeals began to pour from chibi Sora, presumably at the hands of the brunette: they could either have been of mock pain or mock sexual enjoyment. Yamato sincerely hoped it was the former.

"Oh, that sounds disgusting!" cried chibi Taichi, obviously noticing the ambiguity of chibi Sora's squeals himself. Chibi Yamato burst out laughing.

"Gomen, Sora-chan," said chibi Taichi, while still actually chuckling.

Chibi Yamato chimed in. "She's sat there like, 'Ah! Ah!'" He mimicked Sora's cries with passion, leaving no doubt as to their implications. Older Yamato buried his red face in his hands as his boyfriend snickered uncontrollably beside him.

"Ew!" said chibi Taichi suddenly, just as chibi Yamato said, "Get your foot out of my crotch!" More giggling ensued. "I'm keeping you at leg's length away from me," chibi Yamato warned, "and I'm keeping my legs crossed!" Amusement rippled through every word. He certainly didn't sound angry or upset.

More sound effects from the computer, followed by more choked laughter at something the older boys couldn't see. A brief period of quiet. "I'm P'd off. And I'm hungry," chibi Yamato muttered quietly. Then suddenly, "Tai-kun, what time are you going to be back from visiting your obaasan tomorrow?"

"I have no idea," chibi Taichi replied. Chibi Sora was laughing at something again. There were a couple of loud thumps.

"Sora-chan, stop it, you're going to break its strings off in a minute," said chibi Yamato.

Your creatures are falling in battle, the computer intoned.

There was a sharp intake of breath. "Now she's trying to pinch my thighs," chibi Taichi complained. "Sora-chan!"

"What if I let go of her right about now?" chibi Yamato said, amusement back in his voice. There was laughter and then a thump as someone hit the floor.

"Are you all right, Sora-chan?" chibi Taichi asked.

"Hai," chibi Sora replied. She was laughing too.

"Your hair is dangling in my dinner plate." That was chibi Yamato. Everything seemed to be so random and disconnected, his older counterpart mused. This had actually been considered conversation when they were young? Kami.

"I just thought I'd let you -" chibi Yamato began, but the recording cut out for a few seconds, interrupting whatever he'd thought. It came back on with chibi Sora saying, "Give up, Yama-kun! It's coming off!"

"Disgusting!" chibi Taichi said. "Sora-chan!"

"Get away from me, you filthy pervert!" laughed chibi Yamato. There were sounds of a struggle - yells, laughter and thumps.

Your creatures are falling in battle.

A feeble cry of pain came from a giggling chibi Sora. "You deserved it," said chibi Yamato with relish.

Your creatures are falling in battle. Your creatures are falling in battle.

Chibi Sora chuckled. In older Yamato's opinion, they were all giggling, chuckling and laughing far more than was healthy and normal. "Look at Tai-kun's face," chibi Sora said, "see the concentration!"

Your creatures are falling in battle. Your creatures are under attack. Your creatures are falling in battle. Your dungeon heart is being attacked! Your creatures are attacking the enemy. Your creatures are falling in battle. Your creatures are falling in battle.

"Who is it playing Dungeon Keeper?" older Yamato murmured to his boyfriend. "You?"

"I think so."

Yamato snickered. "You suck."

"You should know better than anyone, dear."

Yamato hit him on the arm again. "Crass bastard."

"Sora-chan!" protested chibi Yamato suddenly. "Stop, get off me!" A pause. Then, "Sorry, I thought I was going to throw up," said chibi Yamato, and cleared his throat. "Don't jump on me when I've just eaten."

Your creatures are falling in battle.

"Money money money!" cried chibi Sora enthusiastically.

"I'm more worried about killing the enemy creatures at the moment, Sora-chan," said chibi Taichi, sounding slightly harassed. "Before that poor dog dies."

Your creatures are falling in battle.

"Look at all that gold, though," chibi Sora said wistfully. Chibi Taichi laughed.

"I know!"

Your creatures are falling in battle. Your creatures are under attack. Your dungeon heart is being attacked! Your creatures are falling in battle.

"Oh, hai, Tai-kun!" cried chibi Sora suddenly. "Arigato!"

"I haven't finished it yet, I'm determined to kill the rest of the heroes," said chibi Taichi. A tap of a keyboard key. "Sora-chan! I wanted to finish them off!"

"You conquered my level for me," said chibi Sora, in shining my-hero tones. "Arigato!"

"I'll conquer the next one as well, if you like," chibi Taichi offered with bravado.

Off-tape, Yamato scowled. Taichi noticed, and kissed him. "Why've you gone so quiet?" he whispered, gesturing to the stereo. Yamato shrugged. "Sulking, because I'm talking to Sora-chan?" Taichi teased. Yamato's scowl deepened.

"I don't remember."

"Don't be so defensive. It's you I love. You know that."

Yamato relaxed visibly. "Hai, I know. I just remember being so pissed off at her, all the time . . ."

"She flirted just as much with you as she did with me, you know."

"She didn't!"

"She did, she was doing it on the tape! 'Give up, it's coming off' - Are you deaf? Not that I blame her, we're both pretty sexy. Now shush. We're missing it."

"Is - is that the same level again?" asked chibi Sora's voice, sounding confused.

"Iie," said chibi Yamato, speaking at last, "it's not this one, it's a different one." A pause. "Iie, it isn't. It's the same one."

"Look," said chibi Taichi suddenly, "that is so disgusting. Look."

Both chibi Taichi and chibi Yamato laughed. "Mm, a firm juicy pair of coconuts on that mistress," said chibi Yamato. "Tai-kun, feast your eyes on that!"

At this, older Taichi burst out laughing, while Yamato hid his face back in his hands. "Oh Kami, oh Kami oh Kami," he muttered despairingly. Taichi patted him on the back. Their cassette counterparts were laughing. Chibi Sora wasn't.

"Oh," said chibi Sora when the laughter had died down, "that's, um . . ."

"The horned reaper," chibi Taichi supplied.


"'Sexy woman, he's saying!" laughed chibi Taichi. "Hey hey hey!"

"He's taking the gem!" an excited chibi Sora said.

"Seen it all before," chibi Taichi said boredly. "Skip to the scoreboard. Whoo-hoo! See, I got you top, and I found you a bonus realm. That's mine!"

"Iie, it's mine, Tai-kun, it was my level," protested chibi Sora. Another tap of keyboard keys. "Oh, Tai-kun!"

"It's mine!"

"Oh, onegai, Tai-kun . . ."

Chibi Taichi laughed. "I've already saved it to my file."

"Sora-chan, stop playing with the guitar, you'll break it," said chibi Yamato.

Chibi Sora didn't reply. "I hate you, Tai-kun!" she said accusingly.

"I'm gonna do this level now. What do you have to do on this one, Yama-kun, this other bonus realm?"

"It's that one where you've got to possess the dragon," said chibi Yamato unenthusiastically.

"They're both here on the map again," chibi Taichi said, sounding put out.

"Maybe you can't get past them," suggested chibi Yamato. "Perhaps that's it, you've completed it, and there's nowhere else to go."

Chibi Sora chipped in. "Possess the dragon? Oh, that one, hai. Is that what you do?" She sounded surprised. "I thought you had to kill it. That's what I kept on doing . . ."

Chibi Taichi laughed at her. "Don't do that, Sora," said chibi Yamato again, "I'm trying to clear my mind."

"I'll clear it for you," chibi Sora offered, her voice mock-menacing. Chibi Yamato laughed.

Cranium internal, growled the computer, as chibi Taichi took over the dragon's mind.

"Where's the sucker I have to defeat?" demanded chibi Taichi.

"What do you have to do?" chibi Sora asked.

"Do something," replied chibi Taichi, relish evident in his voice, "that you shouldn't do with fire."

There was a total silence of over ten seconds before chibi Taichi suddenly said, "I'm flying. The dragon's flying."

"You are?" chibi Yamato said disbelievingly. "It is?"

Chibi Sora added her two cents: "There's a door, look. It's only a wooden one, though." Shortly followed by, "Wahey, we're through."

Your creatures are under attack.

"Party!" said chibi Taichi enthusiastically. "It's SO hot! Gonna fry you!"

Your minions are winning the battle.

"Loser," chibi Taichi triumphantly said.

Older Yamato smiled affectionately at older Taichi. "You're so cute when you goof off," he murmured. Taichi grinned and kissed him.

"Another door," said chibi Sora, unwittingly interrupting the kiss. "Kami, there's men! Turn around, Tai-kun."

Your creatures are under attack.

"What's behind that door? It isn't a boulder, Yama-kun, is it?" chibi Taichi asked.

No reply.

"Yama-kun, which door do I have to go through?"

Still no reply. There was a smack of something inanimate on something else inanimate.

"Yamato-kun, what door is it?" demanded chibi Sora.

"Where are you?" chibi Yamato asked. He sounded tired. Older Taichi slipped an arm around his boyfriend and gently stroked his side. Chibi Taichi was less sympathetic.

"The dragon?" he reminded chibi Yamato, slightly agitated.

"Keep going, it's the last door you come to." Chibi Yamato's voice was practically devoid of life.

Your creatures are under attack.

"Which one now?" chibi Taichi wanted to know.

"That one."

"This one?"


"Tai-kun," said chibi Sora. There was no reply. "You're getting killed," she pointed out. And, shortly after that, "You're nearly dead, Tai-kun. One more hit and you'll have probably snuffed it."

Your creatures are falling in battle. You have been defeated.

A long pause. Then chibi Taichi's voice - "Dammit. Where's the dead dragon?" He gave a snorting laugh suddenly. "Whoa, speedimondando! Look at him go!"

"You can't bash down any more doors, Tai-kun," said chibi Sora.

"There's none left to bash down," chibi Taichi pointed out.

"Oh, hai."

"Son of a . . ." chibi Taichi muttered. "Let me in!"

About two minutes of silence followed, only broken by chibi Sora saying, "My dead dragon, 'cause it's my bonus realm," and "Save it."

"What you want to do, Tai-kun," chibi Yamato advised from out of the blue, "is, when you complete it, save it before you press -"

Game loaded.

"- space bar. Then you can go into that and look at the end sequence any time you want."

"This is your file, isn't it?" asked chibi Sora. "You've just gone into yours, haven't you?"

"Mmn . . ." chibi Taichi replied distractedly.



"Tai-kun! Is it your file?"

"Oh - iie, yours."

"So why is it all the way back here? I've done this bit. You did it for me."

"I'm getting out of it now. 'Cause you didn't save it to your file, remember?"

"Brilliant." A sigh. "Oh, now that means I've got to do it all over again."

Another long silence.

"Do you have to do that on my arm?" asked chibi Yamato suddenly. "I'm going to have to wash it all off later."

"Read it!" said chibi Taichi.

"I have read it - 'IY 4 TM'," chibi Yamato returned. His voice was still lacking emotion. "I've told you, I don't have a crush on Mimi. No offence to her."

"Aw, she'll be devastated," chibi Taichi teased.

"Tomorrow's the thirteenth," said chibi Yamato speculatively, seemingly out of the blue. "Oh, kuso!"


"I had something planned for tomorrow, and I didn't realise it was tomorrow, I thought it wasn't 'til Thursday."

"Well, do it anyway," chibi Taichi suggested practically.

"I am . . ."

"What are you doing, anyway?"

"Going to the funfair with the guys from the band," chibi Yamato mumbled.

"Wow!" exclaimed chibi Taichi. "Can I come? . . . Iie, I can't. I forgot, we're visiting Obaasan tomorrow."

"Hai, well, it's kind of a band-guys thing, anyway, you wouldn't really fit in." Chibi Yamato didn't say it nicely. "But I don't know if I want to go, at any rate."

"Why not, Yama-kun? Go. No one else is going to be here, I'll be at Obaasan's and Sora-chan will be helping Takenouchi-san at the flower shop. You might as well."

"I don't care, I can't be fucked." His voice was clear, but small and thin.

"You can't say you're going to go and then not turn up."

"I didn't say I definitely wasn't going," said chibi Yamato sulkily.

Chibi Taichi lost patience. "Well, go then, if that's your plans!"

"Well, it's not anymore, I don't want to."

"Yama-kun, you're going," chibi Taichi ordered.

"You can't make me, tubby."

A gasp of mock shock from chibi Taichi. Chibi Yamato giggled slightly despite himself, then squealed. "Uh oh . . ." There was a faint creak of bedsprings.

"Guess what I can do with this pen," chibi Taichi said menacingly. A pause. Chibi Yamato burst out laughing.

"I don't even want to know!"

Sarcasm dripped from chibi Taichi's voice. "I'm really laughing."

"You disgusting - "


"- you are laughing, Tai-kun, you are!" He was, too. More creaks, a thump or two. An "Ow!" escaped chibi Yamato, followed by more squeals.

"Shot," said chibi Taichi in satisfied tones. "Hold his hands, Sora-chan, I've gotta get to his face! Not his legs, his hands - oh iie, his feet, hai, go get his feet." A lot of scuffling ensued, followed by a loud thump.

"Calm down," chibi Taichi said mildly.

"Kuso," said chibi Yamato, "Sora-chan, are you all right?"


"Oh, okay." Three loud bangs were suddenly heard. "Otousan's not, though," chibi Yamato noted. "Quiet down a bit, or he'll come in here and have a go."

"Kami, you can't . . ." Frustration was evident in chibi Taichi's voice as the scuffle continued on a lower scale. "Be calm! I'm just gonna draw on your face, I'm gonna add some nice features." Here an evil laugh. "That's it, Sora-chan, get his arm. Give it here."

"Ahh!-" A protest of pain from chibi Yamato, which seemed to be ignored. Then, when he had recovered his breath; "You've got no chance of beating me." It was a pure challenge that was obviously meant to be taken up. Chibi Taichi obliged.

"You wanna bet?"

More giggles and other odd noises. Chibi Sora said something that wasn't quite discernible on the tape.


"What the hell did Sora-chan just say?" chibi Taichi demanded.

"Nani?" said chibi Yamato. Chibi Taichi choked slightly.

"She said, 'Touch him'."

"She said torture him!"

"Oh right, I thought she said touch him." Embarrassed laughter.

"Ew, yuck," chibi Yamato giggled, not quite managing to sound disgusted. "Not fair - no, Sora-chan, no!"

"No, Sora-chan, no!" chibi Taichi mimicked in a high-pitched voice. "No what?" There was a crash. "Oops." The bed was creaking hard by this point, and the whole thing was beginning to sound extremely dodgy. "No need for violence, little boy!" chibi Taichi admonished, and chibi Yamato immediately shrieked like a girl.

"I'm trying to draw something!" said chibi Taichi. "If you keep moving, I can't!"

"You think I'm going to just sit still and let you draw all over me?" chibi Yamato said incredulously.

More creaks, followed by a muted thud and a groan of pain from chibi Taichi. "Okay, now we draw on him more. Sora-chan, grab his hands, grab his hands! I've got his hands! Get him, Sora-chan - ah, not me, not me!"

"Right, that's it," said chibi Yamato, "Sora-chan and Tai-kun, you go over there to the top of the bed and do your stuff, since you obviously want to get it on so much."

"Eurgh!" cried chibi Sora. Chibi Yamato began shrieking again, the onslaught obviously having been renewed.

Older Taichi kissed the side of older Yamato's neck lingeringly. "You ought to shriek like that more often," he whispered. "It's cute."

"Get off!" Yamato shoved him away, but he was suppressing a smile.

"Get his feet," chibi Taichi was ordering. "I want to write something, and I can't when he's kicking me." Relative quiet for a few seconds, then a mock gasp. "Sora-chan! You shouldn't write that on people's arms! Do you know what she's written?"

Chibi Yamato didn't reply.

"IY 4 TM, I think it is. Now apologise for writing what you did on his elbow!"

"Gomen." Chibi Sora was still laughing.

"You hypocrite, Tai-kun!" cried chibi Yamato. "You wrote the exact same thing on my other arm not ten minutes ago!"

Evil laughter from chibi Taichi. "Sora-chan, grab his hand . . . Now get his head. Write on his face!"

"I can't, it's in the pillow; he won't turn onto his back."

"I've got an idea . . . butt pinching time!" Chibi Yamato suddenly shrieked loudly, and all three laughed. "That got him straight over!" chibi Taichi said victoriously.

A loud thump was heard. "Sora-chan, Tai-kun, Otousan's going to kill us," chibi Yamato warned.

"It's not my fault if you keep pushing her off the bed!" chibi Taichi protested.

Chibi Sora's voice was indignant. "Tai-kun, you were the one who dragged me down!"

"Agh, my butt!" chibi Yamato yelled.

A chuckle. "Well, it turns you onto your back, doesn't it?" chibi Taichi pointed out. Then, prissily, "Stop holding my hand!" He began to hum carelessly. Then he chuckled again and said, "Whoops . . ."

"Sora-chan," said chibi Yamato, sounding sulky and irritable, "what are you . . ."

"Get him!" Chibi Taichi sounded ready to strike again, but chibi Yamato had fallen silent. There was a pause. "We'd better leave him alone," murmured chibi Taichi.

"You do that," said chibi Yamato angrily.

Chibi Taichi's voice was sarcastically polite. "Should we be going?"

"Hm? What?"

"Should we go?" chibi Taichi demanded.

Chibi Yamato seemed caught off guard. "Why?"

"Well, because you're getting in a smeg."

"Iie . . ."

"You. Are. Getting. In. A. Smeg!" chibi Taichi insisted.

"Iie, I'm not.." Chibi Yamato's second protest sounded more convincing, but not by much. Then his voice came to life again. "If I just shut up and you don't get any reaction out of me, then you quit your damned doodling, so what do you expect me to do? It's the logical response!"

Chibi Taichi was laughing again. "I had nothing to do with what she wrote on your elbow!" Then he began to speak slowly, as if writing something. "I . . . Y . . . wants . . . to . . . have . . . it . . . with . . . T . . . M - oops, he rolled over!" Feral chuckles. "I know what'll get him back . . ."

Another yelp from chibi Yamato, followed by a cry of "Help! He's got an obsession with my ass!"

"Iie . . ."

"I'm really starting to worry about you, Tai-kun."

"Iie, I'm not obsessed! It turns you over, so Sora-chan can draw on your face. That's all."

"Hai, whatever - get off me, you queer git!" yelled chibi Yamato. The two older listeners raised their eyebrows at each other, and their lips twitched in amusement. Their younger counterparts were giggling and making struggling noises.

"See what I mean?" chibi Taichi said. "It works! Aw, you're no fun . . . That's cheating."

"It's defence." Chibi Yamato's voice sounded muffled.

"No fair hiding under your quilt, dude."

"Don't care."

More giggles. Chibi Yamato squealed, and there was the sound of what might have been a slap. "Squish him!" yelled chibi Taichi, there was an enthusiastic war-cry from chibi Sora, and then only various squeaks, creaks, coughing gasps and wheezes could be heard. "Sora-chan, sit on his legs," chibi Taichi instructed, "grab his legs! We'll teach him to hide under his duvet - we won't let him out. And then . . ."

The rest was drowned out by chibi Yamato's cries of "Iie! Iiiiiiiiiiiieeee! Oh, my head . . ."

A victory whoop from chibi Taichi. "Yama, Yama, Yama," he said reprovingly.

"Got him!" chibi Sora reported.

There was a pause, in which chibi Yamato's ragged breathing was clearly audible. "We'll give him a couple of seconds to get his breath," chibi Taichi said, in what sounded as though it was meant to be a charitable voice. "Then we'll - pounce!"

Deeply muffled squeals could be heard, which quickly rose in pitch to become screams as the bed creaked hard and banged against the wall for about ten seconds in total. "He can't do anything, I've got his legs," chibi Taichi said cheerfully, and in the next breath uttered a groan of pain. "Yama-kun! That's it . . ." Then the creaks and bangs fell silent, and suddenly chibi Yamato's rattling gasps for breath could be heard again. "Having trouble there?" chibi Taichi asked sweetly.

"That wasn't funny. I couldn't breathe under there, Tai-kun," chibi Yamato said sulkily, but in the next moment they were both laughing again.

"Sora-chan, get him - not me, him!" chibi Taichi yelled. "Sit on his legs." More sounds of struggle ensued. Then there was a thump, a crash, and a moment of silence.

"There goes the lamp," commented chibi Taichi. "Sora-chan, get off the bed - "

But he was interrupted by the mother of all ungodly shrieks from chibi Yamato. "Get out of my apartment!" he screamed at what was evidently the top of his lungs, voice strained and scratching in his throat. "Out, Sora, get out!"

"I'll go as well," chibi Taichi said quickly, while actually still giggling. "Come on, Sora-chan."

"Get! Out!"

"Tai-kun . . ." chibi Sora began uncertainly, sounding nervous.

"NOW!" chibi Yamato roared. "And consider yourself lucky I don't plan on telling your okaasan what you just did!" A few steadying breaths. "Kami . . ."

Chibi Taichi was still unable to smother his laughs. "Where did she tickle?"

There was no verbal reply from chibi Yamato, but chibi Taichi suddenly burst into uproarious laughter. "Sora-chan!" he berated her, sounding shocked, but also sounding further away, as if he were out in the hall. "Okay, we'll be leaving now before we get mashed to pieces . . . Could you do me a favour?" he asked, now sounding even further away. "Could you get my sock from round the back, outside?"

"Could I do you a favour?" chibi Yamato repeated incredulously.

"Could you? I mean, you owe me a favour from the other day anyway . . ."

"You know," said chibi Yamato, suddenly sounding deadly serious, "every time you do something mean to me, I strike one off the mental 'favours I owe Taichi' list?" There was a brief, resentful silence. Then he laughed, as if to take back the seriousness in what he'd just said. "I guess I still owe you some anyway . . ."

Footsteps. Voices could faintly be heard from somewhere at the other end of the apartment, and chibi Taichi indignantly bellowed "You shut up!" at one point. Nothing but static was heard for about another fifteen seconds, and then the voices began to come closer again.

"Be quiet," chibi Yamato said, "Otousan's probably trying to work."

"Hai, he is," Masaharu's voice suddenly agreed. "What are you up to?"

"Nothing, Ishida-san," chibi Taichi replied meekly.

Masaharu sounded skeptical. "You must be up to something, if you needed to be reminded not to let it disturb me."

"We're not up to anything, Ishida-san!" chibi Taichi protested. "Right, Yama-kun?" The front door squeaked open.

"Hey, wait a minute," protested chibi Yamato.

And that was right when Masaharu demanded, "Yamato, what have you got all over your arms?"

The front door closed. A single set of footsteps could be heard thumping back towards the bedroom. "Don't ask," chibi Yamato growled.

"I just did."

"Well, just don't ask anyway."

"You have inky scribbles all up your arms and - Kami, some on your face too! You're going to wash that off before dinner," Masaharu ordered, "because I am not looking at that sight while I eat."

"So I'll wear a sweater to the table!" chibi Yamato snapped. "And a balaclava too if it makes you happy!" His bedroom door slammed shut.

Silence, bar static.

"They just turned around, and they walked straight out," chibi Yamato eventually muttered to himself, disbelievingly. A few mouse-clicks and keyboard-taps floated from the stereo's speakers, followed by a swift series of beeps as the computer shut down. A faint creak of bedsprings was heard, then nothing more.

"Is that it?" seventeen-year-old Taichi whispered.

Yamato shrugged uncomfortably. "Guess I'm probably reading, or something . . ."

"You seem to have forgotten all about the tape."

"I think we all did."


Taichi pulled his arms, already wrapped around his boyfriend, tighter. "Gomen if I upset you, that day," he said quietly. "There were a lot of things I said and did that really made me think, 'ouch', listening."

Yamato shook his head before resting it on Taichi's shoulder. "It was years ago, Tai-chan, forget about it. I don't even remember most of it now."

"So you do remember some?"

". . . I think so," Yamato said, screwing his eyebrows up into a frown of concentration. "I remember being stuck under my quilt and not being able to breathe because you and Sora-chan were holding me down, and I remember Sora-chan throwing your sock out the window. I didn't realise they happened on the same day, though."

"Mmn." Taichi nodded. "I remember the sock incident, too. And I remember drawing on your arms. Sorry for what I wrote, though." He chuckled. "I guess I liked to hear you insist that you didn't like Mimi. Hey, did Sora actually . . . you know, touch you? There?"

"I don't know. I don't remember that, actually," Yamato said.

"Me neither. Maybe we repressed it because it was so traumatic."

"Oi, she's all right really." A contemplative quiet settled between them. Then, "You know," said Yamato slowly, "I didn't realise, until I listened to that, just how much I used to sulk. I spent ninety percent of that recording sulking."

"Oh, I remember that, all right," said Taichi, rolling his eyes. "Sulk was your middle name. I hated it. It made me want to just smack you in the mouth and say, 'Hey, it's a world out there! Go live in it!' . . . But that would have just made you sulk more, no doubt."

"Gomen . . . I'm not still like that, am I?"

Taichi hesitated. "Well - not often, but sometimes," he admitted. Yamato winced.

"I've got to snap out of that."

"You do indeed," Taichi agreed.

Yamato joined his hands around Taichi's waist and brought his feet up onto the bed, tucking them beneath him. "I think sulking was a perfectly justified action in one case, though," he asserted. "Like when you told me to stop holding your hand, in that stupid prissy voice - and right after you'd had the cheek to be pinching my ass, too. You're a cocktease, Yagami Taichi."

"Well," Taichi began to excuse himself guiltily, "I mean, Sora-chan was right there, and I wasn't even sure if you liked me yet, and . . ." He trailed off. "If I could do things again, you know, but I can't," he finished lamely.

"It's all right." Yamato kissed his cheek. "I mean, if it had hurt that bad, I'd still remember it, right?"

"I guess so . . ."

A forlorn sniff.

Yamato froze. "Taichi . . ."


". . . Daijoubu desu ka?"

"Hai, daijoubu. Why?"

Sniff, sniff.

"I thought you were . . ." began Yamato. He paused. "Is that you, Tai-chan? That sniffing?"

"No, it's the . . ."

The two boys looked at each other, and fell silent. Yamato closed his eyes and seemed to visibly shrink as he realised.

It was the tape.

Chibi Yamato sniffed again, gulped, and uttered a suppressed sob. Older Yamato shook his head, wincing.

"Taichi, I don't want to listen to this. Onegai, let's turn it off, ne?" he begged.

"Yama-chan . . ."

"Just turn it off!" Alarmed at the slightly hysterical note in the blond's voice, Taichi leaned across and pressed the pause button.

"Oi," he said, drawing Yamato back against him. "Chill, okay? It's just a bit of sniffing, after all."

Yamato shook his head. "It always started like that. It'll get worse, believe me. I don't want to listen to it." Vehemence underlined his words. There was a pause.

"Always?" Taichi asked quietly. "You cried a lot?"

"Of course I fucking cried a lot!" Yamato burst out. "I loved you more than anything else in the whole damn world, and I didn't have a fucking clue what to do about it! I think I was entitled to be a little upset!"

Taichi found himself once again wishing he was an articulate person, because he couldn't think of a single thing to say in reply to this. Yamato was already apologising, though.

"Gomen . . . didn't mean to shout . . ."

Taichi found something to say and fixed on it. "I cried a lot, too."

"You did?" Yamato murmured. His head had pillowed itself against Taichi's chest, where he could feel his heartbeat beneath his ear, but now Yamato looked up. "You never said."

"Well, neither did you," Taichi pointed out. "And besides, you hate crying and stuff, so I figured you'd think I was a pansy if I told you." He laughed in embarrassment, then became serious again. "It wasn't fair, you know. You were right there, all the time, right in front of me and I couldn't have you. And then you'd sulk, and I'd think you hated me. It wasn't fair."

The sad look in Taichi's eyes - genuine puppy-eyes, this time, and he didn't even realise he was making them - was gut-wrenching. Yamato kissed him, hard, wanting to take it away, to erase the injustice and the tears it had caused. Taichi leaned back, wrapping his arms around Yamato, and they both fell back onto the bed, this time with Yamato on top. "I hate American music," Yamato whispered fiercely, moving his assault from Taichi's kiss-flushed mouth to his face and then his neck. "I hate the smell of candles after you blow them out." He began parting Taichi's shirt, undoing the buttons one by one, and moved unwaveringly downward. "And I hate pickles." He treated the area where Taichi's breastbone met his stomach to a series of faint butterfly kisses, and Taichi caught his breath as the skin rippled, trapped between giggling and sighing in response to the pleasant tickling sensation. "But I have never hated you, Tai-chan." And suddenly he was up at face level again, staring earnestly down into Taichi's eyes. "Ai shiteru, and you'd better believe it."

Taichi opened his mouth to fervently respond that hai, he did believe it, and said mouth was instantly ravaged. Mentally shrugging, he led back and enjoyed the experience, allowing his hands to crawl up and down Yamato's back at will. Yamato shivered, and murmured something into Taichi's mouth.

Taichi pulled back, smiling. "What was that?"

"Huh? Oh . . ." Yamato shook his head slightly. "Nothing that made it as far as being words. Stop talking and kiss me, dammit."

Taichi grinned. "Hai, Yamato-sama. Anything you say, Yamato-sama. If you want me to stop talking and kiss you, Yamato-sama, then that's precisely what I'm going to - mmmph . . ."

This time is was Yamato who pulled away first, eyes still closed. Very quickly, before he could change his mind, he said, "Wecanlistentotherestofthattapenowifyouwant."

Taichi blinked. "Domo?"

"I said," said Yamato, and took a deep breath, "we can listen to the rest of that tape now, if you want."

Taichi regarded him for a long time. Then he asked simply, "Why?"

Yamato squirmed. "Well, I guess we should find out how it all ended . . . and besides . . ." He sighed. "I'll only end up listening to it on my own, out of curiosity, and feeling just as uncomfortable anyway. And I think I'd rather have you here with me, to make me feel better again afterwards." Yamato rolled off onto the bed and put his hands over his face, turning to the wall. "Just don't ask me to come out of hiding."

Taichi's concern was evident. "We don't have to . . ."

"Hai." Yamato sighed. "I think we do." He turned to look at Taichi again. "We may have got along fine without digging through all this old emotional crap before, and maybe if we'd just let sleeping Gabumon lie, it wouldn't have been a problem. But we've opened this can of worms and if we don't see it through to the end, we'll wind up wondering, and thinking about it, and remembering old and crappy feelings, and that won't be good. I mean, it really won't be good. It could fuck us up. And I'm probably going to sound pretty miserable on that tape, and it'll probably upset you, but at least you won't be wondering how miserable I was anymore, and blowing it up all out of proportion. Right?"

Taichi nodded, a spark of admiration in his eyes. "You've gotten good at this emotions stuff over the years," he noted. Yamato shrugged.

"I guess I just understand myself a bit better now. Go on then. Let her roll," he said resignedly.

Taichi released the pause button and wrapped his arms around Yamato, who had curled up in a little ball on his side, with his hands back over his face. "Ai shiteru," he murmured into Yamato's hair. Yamato cringed closer to him in reply.

On the tape, chibi Yamato had begun to speak. It was a fairly steady stream of muttering, the words spoken too low to be made out above the static. Only the tone of it was clearly detectable; sometimes dark, resentful and angry, at others desperate and tilting on the edge of sobs.

"Talking to myself," said present-day Yamato from behind his hands, voice muffled. "I used to do that all the time. Still do, believe it or not."

Taichi didn't reply. He simply stroked his boyfriend's hair, and listened carefully to his younger counterpart on the tape.

At length, a sudden angry sound was loud enough to be discerned. "For fuck's sake, Yama," the chibi growled disgustedly, "get a grip." A sigh. A few moments later, a sniff. Later still, a weak sob. The older Yamato stiffened in Taichi's arms, now tensed to what Taichi thought must surely be breaking point. He was reminded of a hedgehog, curled up into a ball of pure instinct to ward other creatures off.

More sobs, half-coughed, coming faster now. "For fuck's sake!" chibi Yamato cursed again, but if it was intended to pull him together, it was unsuccessful. Taichi suddenly wanted to cry himself. He was out there, somewhere, probably with Sora. He was out having laughs with Sora-chan while Yama sat on his bed and cried. Why hadn't he been there? He should have been comforting his friend at the time, not five years later. It was too late to help now.

"You are a drip, you are," chibi Yamato chanted fiercely, his voice blurring with tears. "You're a f-fucking drip!" A long silence broken only by sobs ensued, followed by a heavy, final sigh and sounds of movement. "Get a life, Yama," the chibi said heavily. "The only advice I can give you is that. Get. A. Life. One of your own. Because he's never going to want you as part of his." A few more stifled sounds were heard, then a long, low, keening cry, muted as though his hands were pressed over his mouth in an effort to stop it escaping. Taichi realised that his boyfriend was shaking, ever so slightly. Then, from the stereo, in crazily wavering voice of sudden realisation, "Fuck me, the t-tape's still on . . ."

Rapid footsteps. A staticky click. Silence. The cassette ran on for maybe another ten or twelve seconds before it jerked to a halt at the end of the tape. Yamato let out a shuddery sigh, but said nothing.

"I should have been with you," Taichi whispered, his face pressed into Yamato's hair. "I should have been there, I should have told you then, I should have done anything but walk off and leave you . . ."

Yamato was shaking his head. "You didn't know," he said quietly, "and it doesn't matter. I don't even remember now."

"And why don't you remember?" Taichi demanded fiercely. "I'll tell you why. It's because it was nothing unusual, that's why! It's because you cried and called yourself names like that all the time, most likely every day, and I didn't even know! I didn't see! I should have realised, dammit . . ."

"How could you have realised? You said yourself that you cried too, and I never realised 'til today. Should I put myself through the mill, too, for something that neither of us can change?" He found Taichi's hand, and linked their fingers. "It's done, Tai-chan. Let it be over now."

Yamato raised his head for the first time since the tape had resumed its playback, and planted his lips onto Taichi's - then jerked away at once. "You're salty! Tai-chan, don't cry . . . oh Kami, don't . . ."

Taichi bit his lip. "Do you think I'm a pansy?" he asked, voice slightly shaking.

Yamato made an exasperated noise of affection. "Only if you think I am, after that fabulous audio performance. Tai-chan, don't be a goof, okay, not like this. It isn't your fault. It just happened." He hugged him as tight as he dared. "You couldn't make me stop loving you if you tried, so I'm not going to get mad at you over a five-year-old mistake. All right?" he whispered.

Taichi nodded. "Can I record something on the end of the tape?" he asked.

Yamato looked at him guardedly. "Like what?"

"Trust me." Taichi wound the tape back a little, and hit play. It came on in the middle of chibi Yamato's muted keening cry, and Yamato turned his head away, closing his eyes.

"Tai . . ."

Fuck me, the t-tape's still on, said chibi Yamato.


Taichi stopped the tape and took Yamato's hand in his. Then he pressed the record button and said, deliberately and clearly, "Ai shiteru, Yama-chan. And you'd better believe it."

Before Yamato could reply, he was kissing him, slowly and gently. A breathy murmur slipped out of the blond as he sank into the kiss, squeezing his boyfriend's hand tight. It was like sliding into a hot bath and letting it soak away all the aches and pains of the day, revitalising him. All too soon, Taichi was pulling reluctantly away. The allotted ten-or-twelve seconds of recording time left on the cassette were almost up. He fumbled with the stereo controls, eyes still on Yamato, found the stop button, and poked it neatly.

"There," he said. "Don't know if you're ever going to listen to that again. But just in case you do, now it's got a happy ending, ne?"

"I do recall saying something about burning that tape," Yamato reminded him. "But, in light of the last few seconds of it, I might be persuaded not to, after all." He grinned. "It's late, baka, change into your pyjamas already. Or I'll tell Otousan you've been keeping me up."

The thought of explaining that little statement to Masaharu didn't appeal to Taichi in the slightest, and he began rummaging in his overnight bag while Yamato pulled his PJs out from down the side of the bed, where they had fallen at some point, and changed. Then the two boys sat together on the bed, cross-legged, and Yamato manoeuvred himself behind Taichi and began to gently kiss his neck and massage his shoulders. It had, through the years, become a sleepover tradition that the host would perform this little ritual. Taichi smiled, and relaxed into Yamato's attentions.

"So . . . what time's your otousan coming home, anyway?" he murmured, leaning his head back onto Yamato's shoulder.

Yamato unhooked himself from Taichi's exposed throat long enough to reply, "Not until four. Maybe later. He's working nights this week - take that ecchi grin off your face, Yagami Taichi," he reprimanded, and went back to his ministrations, smiling.

"I can feel you smiling, you know," Taichi said, which just made Yamato smile all the more. "And how can I help thinking hentai thoughts when you're doing - mmn - that?"

"Oh, gomen. I'll stop." Yamato sat back contritely, wicked humour flashing in his eyes.

"Oi!" Taichi twisted around and fized Yamato with a glare. "This from someone who has the sass to call me a cocktease? Get your ass back here! Or I'll - "

Taichi froze. A gleam came into his eye, and a dreamy smile began to slowly spread across his features. "I've just had the most fantastic idea."

"Really?" Yamato looked skeptical, guarded. "I don't trust you when you've got that look on your face, Tai-chan . . . What are you thinking?"

Taichi didn't reply. Instead he turned to Yamato and began to undo his pyjama shirt buttons with one hand, expertly exploring the familiar territory beneath with the other. Blue eyes fluttered closed, and a small, happy whimper drifted on the air, carried by Yamato's shallow breath. By the time Taichi began to kiss him, soft and teasing, he had all but forgotten about the 'fantastic idea'. Contented murmurs washed across the room. Taichi's teeth affixed themselves gently to Yamato's earlobe, and one hand began to slip downwards.

"Want to hear my idea?" he whispered.

Yamato nodded faintly, not bothering to open his eyes.

"I love the sounds you make when you're turned on . . ."

Several seconds passed before Yamato realised he was meant to be answering. "So?" he breathed. He was very aware of Taichi's hand, creeping past his navel.

". . . So, do you have any spare cassette tapes?"

That made Yamato open his eyes, all right. "Nani?"

Taichi only grinned. His hand wasn't moving anymore.

"You're kidding, right? Tell me you're kidding."

Oh Kami and everything holy, that hand was moving again, suddenly it was moving an awful lot; Yamato dug his fingers into Taichi's side and clamped his throat shut. "You know you want to," a voice whispered into his ear, and a tongue flicked against his earlobe. It tickled deliciously, and Yamato decided he didn't much care what Taichi did, just so long as he didn't stop.

"Whatever," he breathed.

"Great!" said Taichi enthusiastically. "Which one should I use?"

Yamato gritted his teeth and clamped a hand onto each of Taichi's arms. "Later, baka," he growled. Taichi laughed, not unkindly, and kissed him. It was intended to be gentle but Yamato returned it with fire, breath catching in his throat in small, nameless sounds, rising in pitch and urgency until a cry burst from him and he tensed, before wilting against Taichi and breathing in a series of gradually slowing sighs. Taichi, content for the meantime simply to indulge his boyfriend, stroked his back and waited patiently.

At length, Yamato pushed himself back up to a sitting position, still cross-legged, and regarded Taichi from beneath a drooping blond bang. "You're a pervert," he said accusingly. "Cassette-recording!"

"You already agreed. You're not backing out now."

"I was hardly in a position to argue!"

"Well, that was kind of the plan."

"One of these days I'm going to have to teach you some decency."

"Promises, promises . . ."

"Stop twisting my words!"

"Kami, not even a hand-job shuts you up for more than a few seconds, does it?"

Yamato flushed to the roots and spluttered, unable to think up a swift response. Taichi licked his finger and scored himself an invisible point in the air, grinning. Yamato shook his head, forced to smile.

"All right, all right, you win. Let's find a tape, then . . ."

* * * * *

Hope you like, Meggles! ^^; Sequel, anyone?

XD~! Kae Ti xx