"Shhh... it'll be okay." Sora calmly whispered to Kari as she began to recede from a particularly violent coughing fit. A cool, moist washcloth was folded and placed on her forehead, the covers pulled up and tight nearly to the point of cutting off circulation. She let out a weak moan of discomfort, squinting for a moment. Her face relaxed as the pain stopped.

Tai stood looking out the window. Sora's first thought was how he could possibly just stand there while his sister was getting worse by the minute. Just before she assailed him, she gave it a second thought.

"I'm... I messed up again?" Tai slowly clenched his fist while Sora just watched his movements closely.


"Kari's sick and it's entirely my fault... again. She's gonna die—all because of me." Tai's arm slowly began shaking as he raised it to about shoulder height. "Why do I keep screwing up? I'm the leader—I can't screw up. If I do, then we all die. Not just us, everybody. The Dark Masters will win and everybody will die, starting with Kari." The thoughts were beginning to build on themselves. Thoughts repeated and stumbled over themselves.

"NO!" Tai punched the wall, leaving a dent in it. His hand throbbed with anger and pain, but it didn't really bother him. He was preoccupied with the escalating number of responsibilities that he could never accomplish. He slowly dropped to his knees, his fist sliding down the wall.

"Tai? What's wrong?" Sora stood behind him, hesitant to get any closer to the explosive Chosen of Courage.

"I can't do anything right!" Tai wasn't directly answering Sora, but shouting his thoughts aloud now. "Kari's sick and it's my fault and there's no way I can help her and she's gonna die and it's my fault!!! How could I!? I'm supposed to be her big brother!!! I'm supposed to keep this from happening!!! I..."

"Shhh..." Tai stopped screaming. He blinked a few times. His heart, pumping and pounding against his ribcage was gradually slowing back down. The thoughts that had been exploding into a chain reaction ceased to be altogether. The blood that had seemed to be boiling from within cooled, but not all the way. His mind clear, his senses began to sharpen again.

"Shhh..." From behind him he could feel Sora hugging him. He thought he could feel her heart beating against his back, but he wasn't exactly sure. "Kari's going to be alright. We just have to stay strong and calm." Tai felt the most peculiar mix of joy and comfort, confusing him. "Besides," Sora let go and stood up behind him, Tai slowly doing the same, "you've done everything anybody could possibly do to help her. None of this is your fault." Tai turned around and stared a Sora for a moment, then at Kari.

"Um..." Tai stuttered, not exactly sure how to react.

"But that doesn't mean to just stand there! Come on, go find her some medicine!" Sora's voice changed from the soothing whisper to a rather commanding tone.

"Uh... right!" Tai took off out into the hall, where Izzy was running up to the room to find him.