Matt had spent another summer at his grandmother's house, and since she had no computer and long distance phone calls were so expensive, he and Tai had written each other nearly every day. In Matt's final letter before leaving, he had told Tai he was desperate to see him again, and couldn't wait for their first kiss upon his return.
Tai kicked at a soda can lying on the concrete for what seemed like forever, until the train Matt and TK were riding began to pull up. Tai stood on tiptoes to see over the crowd and saw TK emerge from one of the passenger cars... followed by some blonde man that looked extraordinarily like Matt. When they got closer, however, much to Tai's surprise, he realized the man by TK's side was Matt, only not quite the same as he had remembered!
While Tai stood and gawked, the brothers waved to him and pushed through the crowd of people in his direction. Before he knew what was going on, he was being lifted up off the ground and kissed all over his face.
"You have no idea how much I've missed you!" Matt said, setting him back down. Tai swallowed and looked up at the face that had been even with his own three months earlier, but now towered over him by at least 5 inches.
"You've...grown," Tai said.
Matt blushed and brushed his hair behind his ear. His face was longer and more angular, his blue eyes more slanted and almond shaped, and his shoulders and chest were much wider than they had been. Tai could also make out very faint razor stubble on his pale cheeks.
"I sort of had a growth spurt over the summer..." He said.
"He looks a lot like dad, doesn't he?" TK asked, apparently quite proud of his more manly looking big brother.
"A lot prettier if you ask me," Tai said, still looking him over.
"I'll be sure to tell him that," Matt said, laughing softly. He kissed Tai on the forehead and hugged him tightly. Instead of being held in the skinny arms of his boyfriend, though, he felt like he was being crushed in a bear hug by his father.
"Matt, you're squashing me!" He squeaked.
"Oops!" Matt let go immediately and rubbed Tai's arms gently. "Sorry about that."
"It's ok..." Tai mumbled.
During the bus ride home, TK had seen some friends who were beginning seventh grade with him that year, and left Matt and Tai alone in the back seat. Matt had one arm around the brunette and was playing with his hair, when the smaller boy sighed for what had to have been the fifth time since they sat down.
"Is something wrong?" He asked, placing a finger under Tai's chin and tipping his head up. Two chocolate eyes looked up at him sadly.
"You don't seem very happy to see me," Matt said, suddenly worried that he had been away too long and his boyfriend had secretly found someone else over the summer.
"I am!" Tai said quickly. "I just..."
"Are you upset just because I've grown?" The blonde asked.
"I just feel funny..." He said. "When you left you were completely different."
"It's not like I can help it," Matt said, narrowing his eyes a bit. "You're not thinking of breaking up with me just because of that, are you?"
"No!" Tai cried, causing a few people to turn around and look at them. "I'd never break up with you..."
"I hope not over something stupid like me getting taller, at least," Matt grumbled. Tai winced, knowing he was about to slip into one of his psycho-bitch moods and needed to be cheered up right away. He pursed his lips and thought quickly.
"Yami, look over there!" He said, pointing out the window at nothing in particular.
"What?" Matt turned to see what was so exciting but practically screamed a few seconds later and swung his head around back at Tai. The brown eyed boy grinned mischievously, having just poked Matt several times directly below his bellybutton, in his most ticklish spot.
"You little brat!" Matt said, as his lips curled into a huge smile. He placed his hands on Tai's shoulders and they came together for a kiss.
"I guess he hasn't changed that much..." Tai thought happily.
Later, when night had fallen, the two sat together on Matt's bed, heavily involved with each other. Mr. Ishida would not be home until Monday, and as the day was Friday, the two had the entire weekend to themselves.
Matt had one arm around Tai, running his fingers through the bushy brown hair as they kissed. His shirt had been tossed aside some time ago, and Tai rubbed his now broad chest, exploring every inch with his fingers. The blonde's other hand ran up and down Tai's back, stopping every so often to give his bottom a gentle squeeze. He let his lips trail away from the brunette's mouth and nibbled gently on his ear, knowing that was the easiest way to drive Tai absolutely crazy. He moaned loudly feeling his boyfriend's tongue touching his earlobe and let his hand wander lower on the taller boy's body. He slid his fingers slowly under the waistband of Matt's underwear, until...
"AUGH!" Tai yanked his hand away and tumbled off the bed.
"Tai!" Matt slid across the mattress and onto the floor to help him up. "What happened, are you ok?"
"That wasn't there before..." He said.
"What are you talking about?"
"That... Just... All that down there!" He stuttered, motioning towards Matt's crotch.
"Uh..." The blonde raised his eyebrows and wondered if Tai was going to elaborate.
"All that... hair," he mumbled.
"Are you talking about my pubic hair?" He asked, making a face that appeared to be half amused and half puzzled.
"Tai... That was there before I went away this summer, it's not like you don't have any."
"Not that much!" The brunette cried. He collapsed onto the bed and buried his face in Matt's pillow.
"Tai-chan..." Matt lied down next to him and rubbed his shoulders gently. "What are you freaking out over?"
"You're so different..." He said, mostly into the pillow, but loudly enough that Matt could understand.
"I'm still the same person. Don't worry about it, you'll catch up soon." He played with the other boy's hair as he talked and tickled the back of his ears.
"I feel so weird next to you now," Tai whined, rolling onto his side and facing Matt.
Matt kissed the tip of his nose and pulled him into a hug, being careful not to squeeze too hard this time. Tai snuggled against his body and suddenly felt very small and insignificant.
"Taichi I still love you, that's never going to change. I don't care if you don't grow a single inch."
"Why?" He asked, looking down into Tai's huge brown eyes, which he thought were absolutely beautiful.
"What if you meet somebody tall and handsome and I get left behind...? I feel like I'm not good enough anymore."
"This is only temporary," Matt reassured. "Before you know it, you'll probably be taller than I am and I'll be sitting in your lap."
Tai imagined Matt trying to sit in his lap the way they were now and giggled slightly. Matt smiled, his boyfriend always looked best with a grin on his face.
"Are you done worrying now?" He asked.
Tai nodded, "I've never been very good at worrying."
They kissed again, more deeply than before.
"I'll never leave you," Matt said. "It doesn't matter what you look like."
"I love you, Yami," Tai whispered.
"I love you too," he whispered back, pulling Tai as close to him as possible. They laid silently in each others arms until both had fallen asleep.
The next day, the two went to the mall together for lunch and to catch a movie. As they approached the food court, a group of boys that Tai did not know called out and waved to Matt. They must have been from another school, he had never seen them before.
"Hey Ishida!" One said when they were at the table.
"Matt, I thought your little brother had blonde hair," another said, looking at Tai. His brown eyes opened wider and was about to utter a few choice words and punch the idiot in the face, but Matt had already said,
"He's my boyfriend," and wrapped his arm around Tai's shoulder.
"Are you a pedophile or something, Ishida?" one said, and all four of them laughed.
"Stop being assholes, you guys," Matt said. The laughter died down slowly and Tai could feel his face practically on fire from blushing. "Tai, these guys have their own band in Shibuya, we've played together before."
"Right..." He mumbled. Matt and the other four band members talked for a few minutes until they had to go, and Tai held back from hitting them over the head with chairs the entire time. He felt smaller than ever once they had gone, he had shrunk down against Matt's side, trying to somehow hide from view.
"I'm sorry about that," Matt whispered when they were out of sight.
"It's ok..." Tai said, even though he did not feel very ok at all.
After lunch, Matt held his hand tightly on the way to the movie theater, Tai assumed to show everyone they were together, but he felt more like he was in kindergarten and being helped across the street.
They bought their tickets to a comedy that was playing and were heading into theater four when an usher stopped Tai at the door.
"Hey, kid, this movie is PG-13," he said, glaring down at him.
"Yeah, and I'm fifteen!" Tai said haughtily.
The usher rolled his eyes, "You're not allowed in without an adult if you're under thirteen..." He sighed.
Tai's fists were clenched by now.
"Uh, he's with me, sir!" Matt said, getting between the usher and Tai. The man was eye to eye with Matt. He looked him over for a few seconds and finally nodded his approval, accepting that the blonde was old enough.
Tai was on the verge of exploding when they got to their seats, did he really look that young? Everyone had changed over the summer, but he had never expected Matt to. He figured they would always be even, never like this. Sora had passed him in height months ago and was blossoming into a woman already, Izzy had grown at least three inches, even his little sister had started wearing bras and make-up. But there he was, looking like a 12 year old next to his 'adult' boyfriend, and close to tears.
He felt a hand on his thigh and a pair of lips touching his cheek. He turned to see Matt gazing at him worriedly. Tai's lower lip started to quiver when their eyes met and he finally started to cry just as the movie was beginning. Matt pulled him against his chest and rubbed his back as he sobbed.
"Don't worry about everything that's happened today, it's not important," Matt said quietly.
"But I look like a little kid next to you now," Tai choked, nuzzling against his boyfriend's shirt.
"I don't care what you look like." He leaned Tai back and ran his finger down the side of his tan face. "You're beautiful..."
"I'm stupid looking..." Tai said.
"Shut up," he placed his hands on Tai's cheeks, "or I'm going to punch you."
The brunette flung his arms around Matt and nearly made him topple into the next seat. The blue eyed boy held his little love close to him and kissed his neck delicately. Tai sat in his lap for the rest of the movie, leaning against his shoulder. Matt hoped that he would forget about his worries once school started the following week. Hoped... but doubted.
The next morning, Tai rose groggily from Matt's bed and yawned. He walked into the kitchen, expecting to see the blonde preparing breakfast, but the room was empty.
"Yami, where are you?" He called out.
"In the bathroom!" He heard Matt yell. Tai walked back down the hall to the bathroom and peeked in the open door.
"What are you doing?"
"Shaving," he replied. His lips were twisted off to the side as he pulled a razor down the side of his face, scraping away shaving cream. Tai pouted watching him, imagining Matt's once baby soft face covered with hair.
"The first time I tried I didn't have anybody to show me and I cut myself about 10 times," he laughed after rinsing his face off. He rubbed his cheeks to make sure they were perfectly smooth.
"That's really weird..." Tai said, glaring at the razor Matt had left on the counter.
"Everyone has to," Matt said. He wrapped his arms around Tai and kissed his forehead. "I'll show you how when you need to, don't worry."
"I always imagined us learning stuff like that together," he mumbled sadly.
"Tai, we're going to get our drivers licenses together, graduate together, go to college together, and get married," he looked fondly into Tai's eyes and hugged him tighter, "to each other, of course." Tai smiled.
"Don't worry about a dumb thing like shaving."
"I know it's dumb," the brunette said, "but everything is just all... crazy. I wasn't expecting it."
"Neither was I," Matt said. "How do you think I feel? My hormones are going nuts."
Tai raised his eyebrows and grinned widely. "Well, that's not so bad," he purred, sliding his hands down the back of Matt's pants. The taller boy felt a tight spot forming suddenly behind his zipper and bit his lip.
"Why don't we skip breakfast for now..." He said. Tai nodded and was dragging him back into the bedroom in an instant. The blonde pounced and pinned Tai to the bed, attacking the smaller boy's neck with his lips and tongue. Tai squirmed as Matt bit his earlobe gently and laced his long fingers through Tai's fluffy hair. They kissed, locking lips and their tongues did not leave each other's mouths the entire time Matt was removing both of their pants. Matt arched his back so their groins were rubbing against each other. When Tai reached down to touch his boyfriend's arousal, though, his hand was greeted with something much larger than it had been the last time they were together.
"Yami!" He moaned, wriggling out from under the other boy.
"What wrong now?" Matt asked, sitting up so his legs were folded under him, displaying everything in plain view. Tai's eyes nearly doubled in size.
"Look at you! You're big enough to be a porn star!"
Matt blushed deeply and covered himself up with a pillow.
"I can't help it..." He said softly.
"Well... try!" Tai sputtered, realizing this was totally impossible but said it anyway.
"There's nothing I can do about it!" Matt shouted. "I'm sorry everything is so awkward, ok? You're blaming me more something I can't change...."
"Sorry," Tai grumbled, folding his arms across his chest and pouting. "It's not fair...."
Matt began giggling softly and when met by a glare from Tai, he laughed even harder.
"What's so funny!" Tai squeaked.
"You look so cute sitting there naked and pouting like a toddler," he said, smiling.
Tai forgot about being angry very quickly and crawled over to Matt, kissing him on the tip of the nose.
"We're not very good at being mad at each other, are we?" He said.
Matt shook his head and gathered Tai up into his lap.
"We never have been, we always get pissed off and fight and then make up about five seconds later."
"Or make out," Tai added.
They cuddled, the excitement from a few minutes ago gone, replaced by love and comfort. Matt rocked the brunette slowly and he rested his head on the musician's shoulder.
"Once school starts, you won't have time to notice our differences," Matt said.
"School and soccer," he responded.
"Do you want breakfast now?" Matt asked, hoping Tai wouldn't start going on about soccer for hours while he had to sit and listen.
"Yeah," he said, his love for food apparently winning out. "But I only want it if you make it in just your apron and nothing else," he continued, hopping out of Matt's lap and off the bed.
"Whatever you want," Matt said, blushing slightly and getting up. Tai slipped his underwear back on and skipped out to the kitchen.
"How come you get to wear something?" Matt asked when he had pulled his apron on and tied it in the back.
"Because I said so," he answered, grabbing random things out of the refrigerator and heaping them on the counter.
"What are you expecting me to make with all this...?"
Tai pulled a bottle of sake out of the fridge and waved it back and forth with a ridiculous grin on his face.
"Put my dad's booze away," Matt said, placing the bottle and other useless ingredients Tai had selected back in the fridge. "And get out of the kitchen before you hurt yourself."
"You're so mean, Yami." Tai stepped back and hopped up onto the counter to watch Matt work his magic.
"Your house is always so messy," he said, looking around while Matt cooked.
"Tell me about it."
"Why don't you clean it?"
"Why don't you clean it?" He said, glancing at Tai on the countertop.
"It might end up worse than it is now," Tai giggled.
Just then the front door opened and a tall brown haired man stepped in, dropping a suitcase on the floor and taking his shoes off.
"Dad!" Matt said, turning so his rear end was against the counter, hoping his father wouldn't notice he had nothing on.
"Uuuuhh, Hi Mr. Ishida," Tai said nervously, as he himself was only in his underwear.
"Be thankful we don't have a dress code," he said, grabbing a can of soda out of the refrigerator for himself.
"I thought you weren't going to be home until tomorrow," Matt stuttered, trying to cover himself up with his apron.
"I caught an early flight," he said, taking a swig of soda and stepping over to his son, who he was now eye to eye with. "Your mother told me you'd grown, but I didn't realize how much."
"Well, I'm going to go catch a quick nap, I'm exhausted," he said, striding out of the kitchen. "And put some pants on."
Matt sighed with relief when he heard his father's bedroom door close.
"Your dad doesn't let much bother him, does he?" Tai asked, getting down off the counter.
"He's too busy being bothered with work," Matt said. "And could you go grab me a pair of boxers?"
Tai wrapped his arms around Matt's waist and pinched his butt instead.
"You look fine just the way you are," he said, winking.
Matt just groaned and rolled his eyes, and turned around to finish breakfast. Tai ate his food quickly and happily when it was done, as usual. The blue eyed boy watched and thought thankfully that his boyfriend was not easily depressed.
As the week progressed, Tai became more accustomed to the change between them. On Sunday night, they both fell asleep, sadly, in their separate apartments and anticipated the new day of school that would follow. Unfortunately, though, an unwelcome surprise awaited Tai the next morning.