Well, hey everybody. For those of you who read Every Leader Shall Fall, this is the sequel. Well, this isn't happy, I am going to say this. Somebody dies either way. Please don't kill me for this. It's my first attempt at a very serious attempt.

Warnings: Character death *cries* and some Taito. Some supernatural stuff too.

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I stepped over edge, breathing my last breath. I felt the cold night air flow over my body as I fell. Yet, there was a sudden halt. I was no longer falling, but hanging from midair. I looked up and saw my hand intertwined with Matt's. He struggled for a bit, pulling me back up, inch by inch. I hadn't fallen very far before he grabbed my hand, so it wasn't long until we both fell on the ground. He was panting and holding his side, while I once again just stared. He lifted his eyes and stared into mine.

"Why?" I asked him quietly, breaking contact and looking at the floor once more.

"Um, because you're my best friend and I don't want the next time I see you to be when we have to scrape you off of the sidewalk." He gave me a small smile. I shook my head and rose to my feet.

"Matt, you should of just let me die." I told him, watching him struggle to his own feet. I helped him up and I set him down on a nearby rock.

"Why would I do that, Tai?" he asked me, patting the spot next to him to sit. I walked over and gingerly sat down.

"Because of what happened, that's why." I replied bitterly.

"Tai, it was a mistake. And we were all scared, so we couldn't react at once." He reasoned.

"Yea, tell that to the others."

"They blame you?"

"Yup." I sighed and closed my eyes.

"I'm not a good leader, am I?" I asked him.

"You are a very good leader, Tai. Think of all the times that you helped us through our rough spots." I opened my eyes and looked into his sky blue ones.

"Tell me something, Yama. Would a good leader let someone else get hurt, other then himself?"

"If there was nothing he could do about it." Matt replied, lying on his back now. I let out a shaky breath and rolled my eyes toward heaven, hoping that my tears would leave me.

"I was afraid. I shouldn't have let my own fear get in the way of your guys' safety. I was too scared to do anything." I choked out, as the tears finally fell. Matt did the unexpected: he hugged me. Now Matt isn't real big on touching other males in any way shape or form, besides TK that is. So when he did hug me, all of my barriers broke that I had built up over the last week.

"Shh. Tai, it's ok." He whispered as I sobbed like I had wanted to for the past week.

"I was so scared Matt. About Kari. I was afraid that she would get killed." I spoke, my voice muffled by the strings of bandages on his arm.

"I know. It's all right. Kari's alive and so am I." He said, smiling gently as he brushed my bangs from my brown eyes.

"Yea, but look at you. You're so...damaged." I blinked away the tears.

"But at least I'm alive." He reminded me.

"It should be me." I mumbled. He then surprised me again, and slapped me across the face with his good hand. My sorrow changed to anger.

"What was that about?" I hissed.

"Get a grip, Tai. None of this was your fault, ok? It's not like you caused the attack!" he said exasperatedly. I ran a hand through my hair, a habit of mine when I get frustrated.

"But still.." I trailed off. He leaned in towards me, lightly pressing his lips onto mine, catching me off-guard.

"What was that for?" I asked him. He sighed and gave me a hesitant smile.

"Look, Tai. I know you blame yourself, but I don't. And you know why?" he asked me.

"I don't know."

"Because I love you. Have for a while now." He replied. The world once again stopped.

"But Matt, I-"

"Don't worry about it. Forget I said anything." He turned away. I grabbed his chin and gently tilted his head towards me once again. This time, I kissed him. It was a kiss of passion and sorrow, joy and sadness, and life and death. We broke apart slowly.

"I love you too, Yamato." I used his full name. He smiled softly at me. We rose from the rock and headed back towards the cave.

"But still, I can't help but be guilty." I said once more.

"Not your fault. You just have to learn from your mistakes. That's how we grow." He said kindly. I slowly nodded.

"Am I still able to be a leader though? What if the others have lost their faith in me? What if I can't go back to being the way I was? Out of fear, and my own misery." I said, contemplating it all.

"I still have faith in you." Matt whispered softly. I smiled a bit, gently squeezing his hand.

"Thank you, Matt. For believing in me." I said. He nodded, and yawned. We reached the cave and I laid him down, running a hand through his golden blonde hair.

"Get some rest buddy. I'll see you in the morning." I said, kissing him on the forehead. He nodded again and whispered good night. I gave him one more reassuring smile, and went back to my spot to sleep.

*~*~*~*~*~*~ That following morning, Matt slipped into a coma. He died shortly after, 3 days later. I was completely devastated. We found out it was from over- exertion. Immediately, my mind flashed to that night, when he used all of his strength to pull me back up, to stop me from killing myself. I ran away from the group, drowning in sorrow, crying forever. I felt so selfish at the time. I caused Matt to use his strength up. For me. I couldn't believe it. When I did finally come back one afternoon, they decided to have Matt's funeral. I had never seen everyone look so serious before. We had laid him on the ground for all to see him one last time. As soon as I saw Matt's face again, I broke down. Everything came rushing back as tears dripped down my face at a rapid speed. Sora had to drag me away.

At the funeral, everyone was full of sorrow and grief. TK was almost as bad off as I was, poor kid. And what more, the other chosen children had asked me to speak at the funeral, since I was Matt's best friend. We wanted it to be as real as possible. When the time came, I took a deep breath, and walked up to the stand.

"Ok, so where do I start? I was asked to speak today of a great boy we all knew and loved very much. His name was Yamato Ishida, but he insisted we always called him Matt. He was my best friend for years, since we were at least 10. Anyone who knew Matt knew how loyal and loving he was to all or his friends and family. Even though they didn't live together, he loved his little brother TK so much, and was willing to do anything for him. How ironic that he was injured from saving my little sister." I paused, glancing at the others. It was then I spotted it. Behind us, standing next to a tree was a silhouette of some sort. It blended in to the forest, none of the others paying much attention. I examined the figure closer. Spiky hair, slender figure, and stunning blue eyes. I blinked in surprise, not believing it. There before me stood the spirit of my former best friend, watching me closely, a small smile playing on his lips. I smiled weakly and continue on.

"Then one night, almost a week ago, something came up. At the time, I had, issues. So that same night, I tried committing suicide. Matt stopped me though, and literally pulled me back up and onto that ledge. That's why his energy level dropped. Why he became over-exerted. That is why he slipped into a coma that morning." I ranted on, feeling the tears form again as I watched the spirit.

"He and I talked for a long time after that night, about many a thing. He helped me realize that it wasn't all my fault. And that it's ok to make mistakes. He helped me realize that every leader will fall once, but will always have his friends to help him back up." I gave them all a watery smile.

"So may God accept this wonderful boy into heaven and relieve him of his pain. Rest in peace Yamato." I broke off and briskly walked off. I ran away from the funeral. I'm not sure where I ran to, but I wandered around the forest for a while. I eventually found myself in the same spot as we had been. I looked around, examinging the area closely. I finally came across a small cross, no doubt made by Kari and TK. Marking Matt's resting place, which had been placed there earlier that day. I knelt down next to it and cried. It hurt so much to let him go. I felt some energy again and looked up. Sitting on top of his own tomb was the spirit again.

"What do you want of me?" I asked him. He merely blinked and brought his hand to my cheek. I gasped at the cold impact. He ran a thumb over my tears.

"I can't let you go. It's too hard." I whimpered. He shook his head and smiled. I wiped my eyes and stood up again. I reached into my pocket, and found his beloved crest of friendship. He wanted me to hold on to it while he was healing. I offered it to the spirit. The spirit shook his head. I sniffed and put it back in my pocket.

"Ok. I think I'm ready." I said. The spirit stood up and leaned in towards me, gently kissing me one last time. I heard a voice run through my head as the icy impact was made on my lips.

"I'll always be with you, Tai. I still have faith in you, and I shall love you forever." It spoke to me. I blinked once, and then, the spirit was gone.

Even to this day, I think of Matt often, and I remember his sacrifice. I am forever grateful. They say every leader shall fall, and every spirit shall rise. I have fallen, but gotten up again. He has died, but his spirit has risen. And I shall never forget it. Thank you, Yamato. Rest is peace, buddy.

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Well, that's it guys. I KILLED MATT! *cries like there's no tomorrow* Please review. I swear I will never write something so serious. Bai guys.