This was written for SoraTakenouchii, for the activity to celebrate the one year anniversary of "Topic Sorato".
We were supposed to grab a headcanon and write something about it, or something, but I was too lazy to look for one of hers. Though, I know of what she loves enough to manage this oneshot.
So, Chii, I hope you like it.
"Another Step; Forward"
"She looks like Sora."
There's a pause, a second passes and another, longer; and then Yamato laughs softly.
The baby—the little girl in question looks, in fact, very much like her father: golden-haired and most likely blue-eyed. Though Sora says it's still too early to tell, that some babies have blue-colored eyes at birth but later change. Time will tell, but if anything, Taichi knows it to be true. Her eyes will be blue.
So saying she looks like her mother is a bit of a stretch, but Yamato gets it—he sees it too, probably saw it the very moment the nurse placed her in his arms, red-faced and screaming and squirming. Obviously, Yamato sees it—he knows her, knows Sora, better than anyone else now. Every detail, every nuance. So Taichi's glad he's not imagining things.
"I mean, yeah, overall she looks like you and that's so…" Taichi pauses, blinks, and laughs—softly, always softly. "I'd never thought I'd see the day, never—a female version of you!"
Yamato shoves him away but cannot hide the slight tilt of his lips, the gentleness as he gazes at his daughter; he says, "Shut up."
Taichi simply lets the amusement roll of his tongue. "Please oh please, by all that is holy, let her be like Sora."
"Don't be an idiot, Taichi."
Yamato lets out another soft laugh, a chuckle really, and shoves him away; surprisingly, still, how those come easier and easier with each passing day (but always among friends, family; among those he holds dear).
"She has Sora's nose," says Yamato, low, as if sharing a secret; he traces said feature gently and continues to name each little thing that screams Sora in his child, "her ears, her little toes and her smile—"
A pause; Taichi grins.
"—she has Sora's smile. The way her lips curve, that little tug at the corners right before widening across her face…"
"It is a very unique smile."
The clock ticks, and ticks and ticks; softly, always softly now. From the kitchen, Sora can be heard preparing a quick lunch—background noise, it's all background noise.
"She has her stubbornness, too, and her grumpiness when she's awakened before her time."
Unbidden, it comes; he doesn't really mean it, of course, but Taichi laughs—booming and true. And then he's choking because Yamato elbows him in the stomach, trying to hush him because, and suddenly they're both freezing. Haruko (and hey, what a fitting name, that is) squirms in her bassinette—furrowed brows and working up a fuzz—and looks like she'll really wake and start crying and Taichi prays it's not so; Sora just put her to sleep and he just know she'll murder them—
A second, two, and nothing happens; a soft sighs escapes her, and then silence reigns again in the nursery.
"She's going to have a stubborn streak a mile wide," he says, reconsiders, and then adds, "Perhaps more, she'll get that from you both."
"I'm not stubborn," says Yamato, almost a protest.
"You jest," Taichi deadpans, almost a dare.
He gets a look, one Taichi's seen plenty but this is one thing he'll not budge; Yamato is as stubborn as a mule, he can't possibly deny that.
"Of course, he jests."
And, ah, salvation. A blessing, it is, her arrival. Sora's words comes quick enough that Yamato has no time to deny any claim. She grins, wholly amused, as she loops her arms around her husband—who looks anything but amused—and angles their position enough that she, too, can look upon her child.
"Yamato is long past the stage of denying his flaws," she grins wider, cheekier, tilts her head back and waits for him to acknowledge her statement. "Isn't that right, dear?"
Her answer is a look—not quite reproachful yet not too soft. A sort of in-between Taichi guesses has been perfected over the years; but he can see Yamato wants to grin back—in the way his eyes twitch and jaw tightens and the slight raising of his eyebrows—yet holds onto his not-quite-frown. It is sheer stubbornness.
«And he tried to deny it.»
Then there's a shift, and Taichi marvels.
Yamato lets go of whatever pretenses he holds; his expression softens, his lips twitch and there—no overt gesture but the shift is clear to those who know what to look for—it is the glint in his eyes. Sora's always been more expressive yet it's not as obvious right now; her grins melts away to a serene look, a barely there smile that indents her cheeks and that's that. The intimacy of that look is undeniable and Taichi feels as he's always felt whenever this happened.
Like he's intruding, interrupting something precious.
"You're doing it again, making this weird."
He reacts as he's always reacted, too.
"You need to stop ruining our moments," says Yamato, turning his gaze to the sleeping baby.
"You need to stop getting into those moments around me—around people," he rebukes, feeling offended and justly so; his interruption has been necessary. "My goddaughter is here now; you cannot get weird around her, you'll ruin her innocence."
Sora turns her head away, hiding her mirth, stifling her giggles against Yamato's back who is staring at him disapprovingly.
"There's no such thing as godparents here, in Japan, Taichi. We told you that."
"Well, I'm making it a thing, because there should be—"
"How very occidental of you," Yamato drawls, cutting off this sentence. "The new Mrs. Yagami has had quite the influence on you, it seems."
Taichi is not deterred, at all, and proceeds as if not a word has been spoken by his friend, "—IMAGINE if one day you two are—"
"Let's not!" Sora slaps his arms, successfully cutting him off; she looks to make sure Haruko has not been disturbed, and then slaps his arm again. "Can we not? I've only recently became a mother and I…"
And considering how very close it is to the birth of his son, it's better they don't go down that road.
"So how does it feel like," he says, after what feels like an eternity, "being parents?"
"Taichi," Sora blinks, surprised, "we've only been parents for two weeks, hardly enough time to know anything really—"
"Aside from sleepless nights and general panicking?"
"—or to give you an educated response," she says, attempting lamely to pinch Yamato's sides in retaliation for his rude interruption. She fails, and her hand ends up entwining fingers with those of her husband's. "You," Sora goes on, "should be asking the ones who have had a few years ahead of us—"
"Takeru might be of help," quips Yamato, and cringes because his hand is suffering for interrupting, again.
"—like the Ichijouji's, or Hikari," she pauses, "there's also Iori or Jou, maybe one of your colleagues?"
Taichi exhales—a little frustrated, a little desperate, because that's not… they've missed the point.
"Yeah but… this is…" he takes a deep breath, trying to make some sense of his scrambling thoughts, "it's you, both of you, and me and… we're different, you know? Like this, this and you and your daughter and—I mean, my son is due within the next few weeks and I…"
His words die on his tongue and Taichi sighs pathetically; just how desperate must he look now? Certainly as much as he thinks, sounds. Enough for them, because she reaches over to touch his arm, forcing his attention on them.
Ah, they understand now.
Yamato is the first to speak, his voice a low rumble echoing in the nursery. "As I said, there'll be plenty of sleepless nights and panicking."
"And most of the time you'll feel like you don't know what you're doing, and it's ok," says Sora, giving his arm a reassuring squeeze. "No one really does."
"But there is this instinct. So, you won't be going completely blind into this," he takes a moment to choose his next words carefully, with little success and it shows. "Some things… you'll just know."
"And remember, you're not alone. You're never going to be alone," with a final squeeze of his arm, Sora lets go.
It feels good to release all the tension that seemed to have clung to him these past several weeks, like coming up for air after being underwater for long, long minutes. Good, and liberating, at last.
Taichi's about to let the relief take over when he catches sight of Yamato's smirk and groans.
"And I guess, as godparents to your son, we'll be there."
"I thought you said there's no such thing."
"Yes, well, imagine—"
"Haha, funny. Very funny, but let's not—"
His cellphone rings; loud and obnoxious is the tone, his wife's choice certainly. It breaks the lull of the moment and echoes all around, startling Haruko; she screams and squirms, and there's no stopping the tears that come.
He expects glares and the scolding and overall frustration; gets none of that, for his friends' focus is solely on their distressed child.
Sora picks her daughter up gently, cradles her against her chest as she makes soothing noises and whispers soft reassurances; she's calm, certain in her capabilities to put an end to her daughter' distress. Her hand rubs circles on the baby's back, rocking slowing from side to side, with deliberate purpose. But then Taichi sees what Yamato meant by panicking; he sees it in the slight tension of his shoulders and the nervous twitching of his hands and the ambivalence—like he wants to smile but feels too pained to even try.
And there… there's the answer to his question; right there, unadulterated and glorious.
That's it. Hope I didn't screw up the characterization, because it felt like ages since I last wrote something.