by Splash

TITLE: Epitome
AUTHOR: Splash
EMAIL: guyminalhotmail.com
ARCHIVE: Yes (email)
DISCLAIMER: Digimon is not mine. Digimon belongs to Toei.
WARNINGS: Shounen-ai Taito
A/N: I got the idea for this fic one random night after midnight, simply thinking about the loveliness of Taito. And it wouldn't leave my mind, so I scribbled it down in one of my school notebooks. I put my notebook down, turned the lights back off, then settled back into bed. Then I thought of another bit, and I turned the lights back on to write it down. This cycle happened 4 times before I got a page of random Taito fic scribbles to elaborate later. It was fun. XD

I wrote this in a couple sit-downs during school classes. Short and to-the-point for your reading pleasure...?

It's good to take a break from all of the huge, long series fics. And WHOA. I wrote something that's only rated PG. SHOCK. o.o;;;;

Hope you like it. =3

edit May 19, 2004: PIFFLE. XD Why don't I figure these things out earlier? Thanks kietu for correcting my stupid error. I just slapped a title on last second without giving it another consideration, I guess this is what I get. I have a lot of typos/spelling errors in my fics to correct... just waiting for FF.N to correct their lousy Document Manager bugs that are screwing with anything I upload now. -.-


It's been a while since Taichi and I had a sleepover. The last time was maybe... a year ago? We're so busy with school and everything else that goes on.. Anyway, I was finally endowed with a free weekend without a concert, without a date with Sora, without any "favors" from my father, without ANYTHING that the world wanted me to do... so I invited Taichi over for the night. My father was working overnight at the television station, so we had the whole place to ourselves.

Don't get me wrong... Taichi and I still hang out on a regular basis... Occasionally, I come to play soccer with him and Daisuke's friends. They're all such nice people... and I'm teaching Taichi how to play the guitar. He's having a lot of fun with it... it's great. We've been friends for so long, it's amazing. I almost thought that once high school started, we'd go our separate ways. I mean, soccer and music don't naturally go together. But here we were, getting ready for bed and still being comfortable in the other's presence.

Taichi has always been a spirited person like that... makes people want to be around him. I don't know how he does it. The smiles? The laughs? The cheerful, hyper moods? Aie...

To be honest, I have always been envious of those qualities in him. I came to realize it in the Digital World, and even though I made amends with Taichi over the subject not long after, I always knew that subject would come up again... especially now that we were winding down towards the end of the school year. A lot of us get time to reflect...

" Your toothpaste tastes nice," he started as he watched me put my night shirt on. The sun had set long ago, and the only light on in the room was the lamp next to my bed.

I gave him a funny look.

" That's the first compliment you've given all day."

He gave me a funny look back. " Am I supposed to give a certain amount of compliments every day?"

" No... I mean, I don't think I've given one today," I searched around him for a moment, " Your hair looks better than it usually does."

" Yeah, I brushed it especially for today. Hahah," he replied, putting his hands on his hips. " Don't I look sexy?"

I didn't answer at first. Mainly because... in all honesty, he DID look sexy. But I tried not to think much of it. I had a girlfriend. Finally, I said-- very seriously, " Get over yourself."

He frowned. " Just joking..."

I hmphed, then I changed through the rest of my clothes in silence, Taichi just sitting around in the sleeping bag next to my bed.

" You know..." I went to the space between the sleeping bag and my bed. I took one, long look at him. " ... Nevermind."

" I know what you want to say," he grumbled. He brought his knees up and rest his arms on them. How casual he could be even during such moments... his tank top didn't help. " Just like when we were in the Digital World... can't you ever be happy with your life, or even ACT like it? There's always 'something' screwing up your life, even when there shouldn't be something. You're such a drama queen."

" I am NOT a drama queen," I snapped. He just kept his firm expression plastered on his face. It pissed me off. " What makes you think you're so righteous?"

" Righteous?!? I never said I was," he remarked, " I'm only saying that you have a lot to be grateful for, yet you have such a sour attitude all the time. A successful band, a nice girlfriend, the honor of saving the world... your future is set. What's there to complain about?"

Maybe Taichi was right. I'm a drama queen sometimes... but never without reason. " Well... sorry if I have gripes if life isn't perfect."

Taichi smirked. " We can't all be perfect. A bit selfish, are we?" God, why did he have to say those kind of things... it pissed me off... royally. Mainly because it was true... but I wasn't in the mood to back down. I get stress, too.

I pulled him up from his sitting position, breaking his casual stance. " Watch your mouth, Taichi."

He kept a serious face. " Gotta take risks sometimes."

" I don't HAVE to... only if I want to."

" Ah... that's true."

We stared at each other, my hand scrunching the top of his tank top. I knew what he was saying, what he meant under those fine lines... but... DAMN it irritated me.

" GRAH!" I pushed him onto the bed and pinned him by the hands, and suddenly that serious face dimmed to shock. I'm probably the only person who has ever truly shocked him. " You know I hate it when you say that."

He just smiled and looked up at me, my hands holding his over his head.

I sighed. " I'm trying... I really am," I said, " I don't know what's missing."

But Taichi remained silent... it took me a while to notice, but once I did, I wasn't sure what to do. What was Taichi up to?

The silence was killing me.

And then, I felt a grip on one of my hands. Not a painful grip, a gentle, caring grip, causing my own to loosen unconsciously. He brought his fingers between mine.

I was awestruck. What... was...

I caught his eye... and my world turned upside-down. I knew what I was seeing... I tried to say something, but nothing came out when my mouth opened. When he tried to retract his hand, my fingers went around his without my notice.

Suddenly, he looked down, avoiding eye contact. He seemed to be in great pain... great, internal pain...

What scared me more was that I could feel it, too. It felt like my heart was cringing, attempting to crumble to a million pieces and hide deeper within myself. It hurt so much...

I let go of him... I couldn't stand staying like that with the thoughts overflowing my mind at that moment. He brought his hands back to his side as I laid down next to him.

" I should get off," he said hastily, starting to roll away.

An impulse ran through me, and I tucked an arm under him and secured him onto the bed. " Taichi... I need some answers."

I heard him whine... a natural one, not forced. And man... when one hears a true whine... it's heartbreaking. It's not annoying at all... It just...

It got me thinking about him... about what we've been through together, all those times in the past. In the outside world, Taichi would never appear like this, so vulnerable and afraid... he did occasionally in the Digital World, but never afterwards. I had thought... that he never had such troubles anymore. All I saw were his leadership qualities... coaching Daisuke and the other boys in soccer, looking out for his little sister Hikari... always cheerful, always productive. That's why I was envious. And even now...

But I was so wrong... How could I be so ignorant?

I felt like a horrible person. I hadn't even considered his feelings... or even mine. I had always been lost, following a fake sense of justice.

I decided to ask. " Why?"

" You keep me sane, man..." he started, relaxing into my grip. I could tell he had thought about this question before... " I always knew you keep me sane. Nobody else does it like you do."

" ...What?"

" Saving me," he continued. I think I had lost him then. He was rambling. Probably a little traumatized. " You've done it so many times... I remember you kicked my senses back when I was afraid of going through the electric wires to save Sora... and when the Kaiser took Agumon... I'm kind of helpless sometimes, aren't I?"

I could feel him coming apart... he was shaking. " Taichi, Taichi," I repeated. Didn't want to lose him... God, why was I breaking, too?

My music band, my home life, Gabumon, Sora... what of my best friend who has never failed to be there for me? Trusted me unconditionally?

" I trust you," he said, as if reading my mind, " Even if I don't agree with you all the time."

Taichi... who keeps me in check...

" But... once you and Sora got together... I didn't want to intrude. I tried my best to be happy, and I just want you to be happy..."

The one who truly cares...

" Time you made yourself happy..." he moved closer, digging his face in my shoulder in defeat, " I wish I could help you, but the choice is yours..."

Choice... risk...

My possibilities... Sora... Taichi... emptiness...

But I didn't want to decide so flippantly... Sora's feelings... However, she has a strong will, a very admirable strong will. Does she complete me as much as Taichi does? I didn't want to break her heart, but what of Taichi's? ...And my own?

Choice... have to make choices to move on.

Risks... have to take risks to move on.

Taichi waited patiently as my mind wandered over millions of fragmented thoughts. And I came to a realization... I took one good look at him.

" Yama... I'm ashamed that I've kept this from you for so long, and that it's showing up when your life is so set... But I don't want to lose your trust, either. I... I couldn't help but fall in love with you. I'm sorry."

Something hurt. And it hurt for him.

In one movement, he moved back and smiled once more. " Well, you find what's missing, and I'll still be around if that's what you need. I'll be really glad for your happiness, Yamato."

He started to move away...

I grabbed him tightly and he displayed his shock again. I knew what I had to do, and nothing was going to stop me.

" Taichi, I'm going to have to tell someone some bad news... and they probably won't take it light... but I trust that they'll be strong enough to be courteous and move on, because that person has the power to do so. I know what's missing, and I'd like to seek it."

Taichi looked crushed... Cute. He could be such a simpleton at times. A sensible simpleton. Simply cute...

And then I kissed him.