This is not Taito. Repeat, this is not Taito.

Gentle hands
by Leto

Matt, come on! Can't you feel it? My pain? Don't you know I can't hold on much longer?

Of course I can hold on longer... I can hold on as long as it takes... of course... I'm Tai... I'm strong...

You will come, right? You'll come if you know I need you, right? Of course you will! You were angry before, but you wouldn't let me down... you'll come... your courage and support... I need it, Matt... together, we can win, I just know... you have to come.

Pain!! This adventure had rarely hurt me to play in it. My partner had suffered, and he was a part of myself, but it wasn't the same. Now *I* was forced to feel the blows, to take them, to struggle to stand when it was hard to even breathe...

Have to do it... because my sister is there... and Izzy... and Mom, and Dad, and Agumon, and Matt, and the whole world, counting on me... stay on your feet, Tai... stay on your feet... have courage. Courage! Not discouragement. Most of all, you won't die. You can't, you're the leader!

Die?

Great, why'd you have to think of that?! Forget it! Draw from courage, not weakness! Keep standing! He's attacking again! Forget standing, flatten!

Hit ground heavily. Attack still slams against my skin, burning... oh MAN it hurts... Kari and Izzy still watching... still safe... hang in there WarGreymon... Matt, where ARE you?

Pain, flames... vision hot, red lines... is that... another attack? No, Izzy, don't come closer... I'm fine... I'm fine... he's not convinced... shut up, Izzy... you don't want to come out here... let me stay... can't you see I'm fine.

Then the pain hits me again, the attack that WarGreymon can't protect me from... won't let him... but I'm down now... the ground hurts... don't want to be here... let me up...

I can't get up. Have I... lost? No! No, I can't have... but without Matt... eyes hurt... have to close them... but there's a shout... a shout.

And now... gentle hands are holding me, and it feels good, better than that rough ground. Feels like they could take the pain away. And he looks at me, with an unguarded expression, and open, kind eyes... Matt, what happened to you? This is... this is friendship! I feel it from you!

"Tai, I just want you to know how much our friendship has meant to me," he says.

He knows! He understands! He feels the same...! The same hands that shoved me roughly, that grabbed my shirt, that pushed me to the ground, that slammed into my face... they're supporting me, and they're gentle...

The cool, comforting presence, it drives away the flames and his crest is glowing, giving me power. Giving me his friendship and letting me see him for the first time.

I knew he'd come...