By Ryan Bodle
Digimon is property of Toei Inc.
"I really need your help on this one Izzy. Come on, think," Tai said for a fifth time. "You're better at this than me, who could have done it?"
In the confines of Koushiro Izumi's bedroom, both Tai and Izzy had been brainstorming the cause of Tai's dilemma. Izzy was only too glad to help Tai but now two hours into the problem, they still didn't have any answers and he wasn't starting to wish he hadn't agreed to help.
"I'm sorry Tai, but we barely have any evidence that could shed a light on the matter." The mousy haired young man replied. "We can only speculate a reason but any answer would be as unrealistic as the one before it."
"That's not really a big help," Tai grumbled.
"Maybe we just need to think on this for a while, taking time to step back and look at what we know could give a hint," Izzy mused.
"You want to back out?"
"Of course not, Tai. But being caged up in a single room just going through possibilities kind of gets my brain all clouded up, I just need a break from it all, let the information sink in. Even I get sick of studying."
Tai rubbed his eyes. "Yeah, I guess its starting to get to me too," he reasoned. "So recap, before I take off. What do we know?"
"One morning at school Sora finds out she's pregnant. Matt runs from school when he finds out," Izzy began to list. "Sora is taken to Councillor Kino's office and from what I can tell, spends to whole day there until you see her after school."
"At which she runs off," Tai added. "Damn, I was such an asshole."
"In between," Izzy continued. "We can only guess but we know that Sora and Matt made up at some point and are still together. Then, somebody calls Sora's parents and lets the news slip. Sora confronts you about this and you're not sure what she means. Its only after Yolei starts going head hunting does it clear up, somewhat." Izzy finished. "Anything after that is consequence really."
"I suppose I could just ask Sora's Dad, but the idea of running into Sora at the same time," Tai trailed away and didn't want to think about it. "I'd need her out of the house at the time."
Izzy considered doing it instead but despite being in the close circuit of friends, he hardly knew Mr and Mrs Takeuchi. It would like being asked the question by a complete stranger. He dismissed it.
"Well, how about I see at school tomorrow?" Tai suggested.
"Sure, I'll let you know if I think of anything," Izzy placed a hand on his friend's shoulder. Tai nodded back at him.
"Thanks man," he left the room.
Izzy waited for the sound of his front door the slam close and took that as confirmation that Tai had left. He turned on his seat to face his computer and opened his internet connection. He logged into the city library website and accessed the newspaper archive, a cold feeling running down his spine. He hoped he was wrong. He wanted to be sure before he revealed the epiphany he had whilst thinking about Tai's predicament. He started small, looking through daily broadsheets from five years back. Even so soon into his search, he found damning evidence that made him feel ill. He couldn't believe somebody would abuse their position so much.
"I thought you'd stay sleeping forever," Matt said softly as he watched Sora stir in his bed. The girl stretched from her sleep and a gratifying smile spread across her face. It felt like so long since she last smiled, wholly content. Matt was sat next to the bed.
"How long have you been sitting there?" She asked.
"Not long, I've been keeping busy making this place look respectable enough," he answered. "Haven't quite finished, but I'll get there eventually."
Sora sat up and rubbed her eyes. The sun was shining bright outside and it started to warm the room, the air was stuffy and unpleasant to breathe. Her mouth was dry and she tried to wake it up by yawning.
"Do you want something to drink?" Matt asked with a subtle smile on his face. Sora just sighed a yes. "Tea? I can't promise it'll be as good as the stuff at your place."
"I don't think I'll risk it," she replied. "Juice will be fine."
Matt stood up. "Sure thing, I think we got some still in date."
"Oh! Fine, I'll just have some water!" She resigned and threw a pillow his way as he ducked out of the room. She heard him laugh as he exited. "How long was I asleep?" She asked through the door.
"Almost half a day," he answered back. Sora slid herself round so she sat off the bed. She was wearing one of Matt's shirts, her clothes folded up on the bed-sit. She fingered the collar and smiled again. She couldn't tell why she was so happy. Shrugging she stood up and grabbed her jeans.
Matt ushered a couple of ice cubes into a glass tumbler and walked over to the sink. He let the water run for a few seconds and placed the glass under the tap, allowing it to fill. With a full glass, he picked up a plate with a selection of pastries he picked up earlier after a walk into town.
He stepped back inside his room. Sora was changing back into her own clothes. She slipped out of his shirt and let it fall onto the bed. She had her jeans on already but stood there with her back to him. Her skin was just as he remembered. Even from this distance he could it was soft to caress but it was still a firm athletic body. Such a light and delicate colour. She grabbed her top and slipped it on before he could think of it anymore. He snapped about to reality and coughed lightly. She looked over her shoulder and smiled softly at him. He felt his cheeks tighten as he smiled back.
"Thought you might be hungry too," he said showing the breakfast he brought her.
"Thank you," she sat back on the bed. He put the glass and plate down and sat the other side of her. She nuzzled her head on his shoulder. "For everything."
He looked down at her. 'How can she still that after everything?' he thought to himself. What did it matter? He still had her and that was all that seemed to matter to him. It was as simple as that. "I spoke to my Dad last night."
"About us?" She asked timidly.
"Yeah," Matt sighed. "He was really understanding. He even said there may be a job at the TV station for me. I can study sound engineering at the same time."
"That's great!" Sora exclaimed. She suddenly clasped her hands over her mouth. "I mean, if that's what you want?"
Matt chuckled slightly and grinned. "Yeah, it's probably best I find a job as soon as I can and sound engineering would definitely be something I could get into." He took a breath and sobered himself for what he was about to say next. "He also said we'd have to discuss this with your parents. All of us together."
Sora looked to the ground. "Yeah," she murmured. He put her arm around her and pulled her into a hug.
"It'll be ok," he told her. "I'll be there. We'll get through this, you'll see." He wrapped his arms about her chest and rested his head on her shoulder. She held onto his forearms with both hands. At the time feeling so safe and yet so uncomfortably hot.
Tai closed the door to the apartment and strayed towards his room. He kicked a path through the clothes that littered the floor as he reached for his bed. Then with no energy left, he fell backwards and lay there. He never felt more exhausted than when he had spent half a day thinking things through. It was even more exhausting than two games of football back to back. Applying his mind to conundrums sapped his concentration. He felt his muscles urging him to do something but his mind wasn't in it and so he lazed there on his bed.
"Hey, Kari," he yawned.
"Are you ok?"
"I saw Yolei today."
"Oh that," He turned his head to face the door where his sister stood. "Its nothing, I'm working things out."
"I figured you would," she replied. "So, do you know who did it?"
"Called Sora's house?" Kari nodded. "Not yet. Izzy said he'd help me out. He said he needed some time to let all the information stew in his mind a little."
"Think he'll figure it out?"
"I think he already has," he answered. "But you know Izzy, he wants to be sure before he says anything. So he pretended to not have a clue."
"Have you told Matt and Sora yet?"
"I spoke to Matt last night and smoothed things over. I asked him to talk to Sora first. I don't think I'd get far with her right now. She's pretty upset." He noticed Kari watching him with a blank expression but it was almost as if she were studying him. "What?"
"Why do you do this?" She asked.
"Kari, someone went behind Sora's back and hurt her. I can't just sit by and let that go unnoticed."
Tai looked back up at the ceiling in his room. He shrugged. "It's just," he paused. "Wrong."
She lingered in his arms feeling totally at peace. She felt everything was right, as it should be. As if she had nothing in the world to fear. She had no explanation as to why she felt like this. She just did. She wanted to stay in his arms as long as she could. She felt his lips lower to her head and kiss it gently. His hand carried on stroking her hair. She purred.
"Matt?" She murmured softly.
"Can I ask you something?"
He paused. "Sure."
"Its kind of embarrassing," she warned him.
"Ok," he said cautiously.
"When did you first know you liked me?" She heard him laugh slightly.
"Odd question, why do you want to know?"
She pressed her head further into his embrace, as if to find a more comfortable spot on his chest. "I just do."
"I can't say I really remember," he told her. "It was like one minute you were someone who came to the digital world and the next you were all I thought about."
She smiled and blushed.
"What about you?" He asked her.
"When we were in the digital world," she answered in a dreamy voice.
"Silly isn't it?"
"No really, I'm flattered if I'm honest," he bragged. "How much of our life together have you planned out already?"
She made a half hearted attempt to punch in the ribs and made him laugh. "I'm being serious," she whined in a mocking way.
"OK," he replied shaking off the last of his laughter. "So when about in the digital world?"
"Remember when we in that cave? When that dark thing took over us? And you and Joe helped me out."
"Yeah, I went through the same terrible experience," Matt shuddered on the inside at the memory.
"Not even Biyomon could get through to me then. But you did, and I know Joe was there too but deep down, it felt like the only person who could reach me was you. It was you reached out to me," she felt his grip tighten just a little bit around her. "I think it was from then I felt closer to you than any of the others. Even Tai."
"Tai," Matt echoed.
"Don't worry about him," she said. "We're friends, nobody could-."
"It's not that," he stopped her. "It's about last night, when he came round here."
"What did he say?"
"Sora, Tai never told your Dad about what happened between us."
"Oh," she said meekly.
"Oh?" Matt repeated. Sora sat silent for a while and he kept waiting for an answer.
"I don't why I blamed him," she sobbed and gripped his shirt tighter. "There was a part of me saying it could never have been Tai. He'd never do that. But I didn't listen." She sniffled back tears but it was in vein. "Oh Matt!" She cried into his chest. "He's bee such a good friend to me and I treated him like this, what am I?"
"Shhh," he whispered to her. He began to caress her soothingly. "It's ok. He understands. We'll go talk to him tomorrow, ok?"
"OK," she whimpered.
"Don't cry," he whispered. "It'll be ok. You'll see."