Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon
I will never understand people who review just to let me know that Taiora never happened. It's called fanfiction. When I release the "Official Guide to the Digimon Couples" book and I get it wrong, you have total permission to let me know. Until then, this is all I have to say on the matter.
'I Never …' Part Two
"So," Tai said.
"So," Sora said, shutting her bedroom door and flopping down on her bed.
"You're pissed," Tai pointed out.
"I'm not pissed," she lied, her voice betraying her.
Tai laughed sharply. "You're totally pissed."
"I am so not – okay. Fine, you win. I admit it. I'm pissed!" she exclaimed. She got up from her bed and began pacing the room. "I gave you the silent treatment for two weeks but maybe it wasn't enough, because I still don't forgive you."
"Do you realize that this is possibly the stupidest argument that two people have ever had in the history of … ever?" asked Tai. Sora scowled and looked at the floor. "I've shown up to every single tennis match you've ever had. Hell, I've even come early and helped you warm up to most of them! Can you say the same about my soccer games?"
Sora sighed. "No, I guess not."
"Can we stop this stupid fight, then?" he asked tentatively.
For a second, Tai thought Sora would agree. But then, she cried, "No, we cannot stop this fight! And it isn't stupid!"
"It's stupid to me," he said, dodging the stuffed bunny that Sora sent flying in his direction, "since you won't even explain why you're so mad. You just go off on this big rant and end up not capable of forming proper sentences."
"I'm mad," she explained slowly, avoiding Tai's eyes, "because … because you were with some other girl. And you weren't supposed to be with some other girl."
"Who, um, was I supposed to be with?"
"I don't know," she said quietly. But that was a lie. She knew who Tai was supposed to be with. She just didn't have the guts to say.
"Well …" said Tai.
"Well," said Sora.
"I don't really know what to say," he admitted.
"I don't, either."
"Okay," said Tai. "I don't really know if it matters, but I was telling the truth before. Nothing happened with that girl. I swear."
Sora shrugged. "It doesn't matter," she said, even though her insides were doing cartwheels. "You're twenty years old. You're allowed to do whatever you want."
"Yeah … but what do you think about that? You'd be annoyed if I went out and picked up some random girl off the street, wouldn't you?"
"Would you be mad if I got picked up by some guy?"
"Yes," Tai said instantly. 'But I … since when do you … I never thought that …" He didn't know what to say. "Does this have to do with what happened at graduation?"
"No," Sora said. "I mean … yes. I mean …" She sighed. "Maybe. We never really talked about what happened."
"Then let's talk," he said, sitting down on the bed and patting the spot beside him. Sora sat. "I'll start, but you'll need to help me out. I don't remember much about that day, except for a lot of drinking at the after party. But I remember that it was really, really hot in the auditorium, and those stupid black gowns that they made us wear weren't helping any. Matt kept complaining and running his hands through his hair, saying that it was going to go flat if we didn't start the ceremony soon. Izzy was a nervous wreck … kept saying that he just knew he was going to trip on stage. And then there was you. You had your hair and makeup done all nice and your cheeks were flushed – maybe from the heat, but probably from the excitement – and I remember thinking that you looked so beautiful. Even more than usual," he added, and Sora felt herself blush.
"You looked really good, too," she said. "Your hair was almost tamed that day, I remember."
"Yeah, Kari did something to it."
"It was nice." They were silent for a moment. "Keep talking," she urged.
"Right. After a while, things still hadn't started moving, so I said that I wanted to go for a walk and take a breather, because I was suffocating in that place. I asked if anyone wanted to come and you said you did. Izzy told us not to, said that we'd probably miss everything if we left, but we ignored him and went anyway."
"We walked around the entire school," Sora remembered. "It didn't seem real that we were graduating. I just kept thinking that it was the last time we'd all be together. It made me wonder if we'd all ever see each other again … if you and I would ever see each other again."
Tai laughed. "You actually had to wonder?"
"People change when they go away to college," said Sora. "That's what I'd heard, at least."
"We were going to the same one!"
"Well, I didn't know. Maybe the heat affected me," she reasoned. "And as we walked, I thought back over our time in the Digital World, and I just couldn't bear to think that it was the end of the line for us. I knew that we'd be together still, but I didn't know if we'd go off into separate groups and make separate friends. I didn't know if those friends would change us. I hated the thought that I might change … that you might change. I didn't want to be one of those people who gets up one day and doesn't recognize the person staring back at them in the mirror."
"Sounds a bit extreme," Tai said.
"I know," she agreed. "But I had no idea then that college would be no different than high school, for the most part. I had no idea that we'd stick together like we did."
"You must've been crazy to ever think that I'd let you go," said Tai, and there was something about his tone of voice that made Sora's breath catch.
"Maybe," she said after a moment. "We walked to the cafeteria and down past the principal's office and we kept talking about the good old days. You remembered things that I'd forgotten all about and I remembered things that you'd forgotten. It was nice. I was feeling sentimental. I didn't want to go back to the auditorium, so we could graduate and leave all of our memories behind. I liked our memories."
"So you kissed me?"
"I kissed you?" she said. "You kissed me.'
Tai shrugged. "Yeah, probably. But you were the one who pulled me into the girls' bathroom."
"It was our last day at Odaiba High," Sora justified. "I didn't think it would be right for you to leave without seeing the inside of the girls' bathroom."
Tai grinned. "Oh, trust me; I'd seen it before then."
Sora laughed and shook her head. "Never tell me that story, please."
"It wasn't nearly as fun as the time I went in it with you."
"That makes me feel so warm and fuzzy on the inside," Sora said dryly.
"Relax," said Tai, putting an arm around her. "I was with Matt the first time."
Sora laughed again. "Tai," she said. "I had no idea that you –"
"Oh, shut it," he said.
"So," she said after a long silence. "I told you what was going through my mind. Tell me about what was going through yours. Tell me why you let me pull you into that bathroom."
Tai shifted uncomfortably.
Sora cleared her throat and looked at him expectantly.
"I … I let you pull me into that bathroom because …"
"Because … ?"
"Because I was in love with you."
As soon as everyone got off the couch and began splitting up, Kari headed for the kitchen. Not because she was hungry or thirsty, but because she figured nobody would disturb her if she looked as though she was on a mission.
Unfortunately, T.K. had always been able to read her like a book. That, or he just really didn't care that she would rather be anywhere but at his side at the current moment.
She felt his fingers wrap around her wrist and she threw a glance at him over her shoulder.
"Can we talk?" he asked.
She wanted to say no. She really did. But she had never been good at resisting T.K. – especially when he made those stupid puppy dog eyes. Davis wanted to know why she'd kissed him? She should have T.K. give him the eyes. Then he'd understand. He'd probably do the same thing she'd done.
Ew. The image of Davis and T.K. kissing caused her to make a face. T.K. must've thought that it was directed at him, because he frowned and let go of her wrist.
Sighing, she said, "Let's talk out here." She led him out the door and into the hallway. Once they were alone out there, they both looked at each other expectantly.
"Well?" they both said at the same time.
"Well, what?" said Kari. "You wanted to talk. You should at least start."
"Oh," T.K. said, as if this hadn't occurred to him. "Well, uh, the thing is … I don't really know what I'm supposed to say."
Kari folded her arms. "The words I'm sorry would fit in here nicely."
T.K. raised his eyebrows. "What am I supposed to be sorry for?"
"You told everyone about our kiss!" she said, as if it was the most obvious thing in the entire world. "We agreed that it was a mistake, and that there was no point in telling anyone. And then the minute we all get together for this thing, you blurt it out to everyone!"
"They asked me," he said defensively. "I couldn't just lie."
"Yes, you could have," she said.
"Well, I wasn't going to." He sighed. "I'm sorry that kissing me makes you so ashamed that you'd be willing to lie to your friends."
"You're putting words in my mouth," she said. "But … God, T.K., we've discussed this a million times."
"Let's do it one more, then," he said. "Because I have this thing where – where I tell myself that nothing is ever going to happen between us, and – and it only makes me want you even more."
Shit. Not this again. Kari didn't want to talk about this with him. Or with anyone. Why didn't T.K. get that their friendship was way too important to risk?
"I haven't stopped thinking about you since that kiss," he admitted. "Actually, I wasn't able to stop thinking about you before it, either. But it's twice as bad now." He took a step toward her and she took a step back, but she collided with the wall, and when he took another step forward, she had nowhere to go. "You can't honestly look me in the eye and say that you feel nothing, Kar. I know you."
She said nothing.
"Look, I don't know what this is between us, but I know that I'm not the only one who feels it."
His lips were so close to hers now, and they looked so nice. If she closed her eyes and concentrated really hard, she would be able to recall how it felt to have them pressed up against hers.
"Tell me you want this," he said, and he was looking at her in a way that made it impossible for her not to want it.
"Kari? Are you out here?"
She and T.K. sprang apart, and she cursed in her mind. So close. But wait – it was a good thing that they were interrupted. She didn't want to kiss T.K.! He was her best friend! No, it was just her hormones talking. Yes, that was it. He was attractive and nice and funny and standing in front of her, saying all these nice things that all but turned her into a puddle of goo. It was only natural that her first instinct was to press herself flush against him and attack his mouth with hers. Right?
Her fingers were itching to thread themselves in his hair.
She turned and saw Davis standing in the hallway. "Oh. You're out here with T.L."
"Yeah," Kari said. A part of her was begging him to stay, but a larger part of her was SCREAMING for him to get the hell back inside the apartment so she could finish her conversation with T.K.
They didn't even have to kiss. Well … not a lot.
Oh, no. She was in so deep now. Why did this have to happen to her?
"Davis, I –"
"How could you kiss him and not me?" Davis blurted.
The answer, of course, was that T.K. was sweet and kind and gentlemanly, while Davis was annoying and rude. She hated the way he objectified her and she really hated the way he couldn't get T.K.'s name right. But how could she say that without offending him?
"You're my friend," she said finally. "But I don't feel that way for you. Can't you understand that?"
"I guess," he muttered after a long moment. "But do you feel that way for him?"
Kari looked at T.K., who raised his eyebrows in question.
"I – I don't really know," she admitted. Well, maybe she did know. But it wasn't the answer she was looking for, so she denied it.
"Then why would you kiss him?"
"It's complicated," Kari said weakly. "I ... I don't know why."
Again, she really did know why.
"When you do know," he said, standing up a little taller, "I don't want to hear it. I'm tired of jumping through hoops for you, Kari."
He walked inside, slamming the door, and Kari sighed. "That went well," she said dryly.
"You had to say it," T.K. said. "I mean, he was never going to let up unless you made it clear that you had no interest in him."
Kari nodded, but didn't feel any better about it. She hated knowing that she had hurt someone's feelings, even if those feelings belonged to Davis.
"We still have stuff to talk about," T.K. said gently.
"What would that be?" Kari asked hesitantly. She knew, of course. But she wasn't sure if she had the energy to get into everything tonight. And she knew she didn't have the mind power to push him away if he got that close to her again.
"I really like you," he said. "And not just in the 'you're-my-best-friend' sort of way. I'm pretty sure you feel the same way. Hell, you kissed me. I might not be the smartest, but I think I know that when a girl kisses a guy, she has some romantic interest in him. So why do we keep dancing around each other?"
She sighed. "You're one of the most important things in my life," she said seriously. "If we tried the whole dating thing, and it didn't work out … I couldn't handle that. I couldn't handle losing you."
"What makes you think you'd lose me?" he asked. "I'd like to think our friendship can withstand a lot more than something stupid like a break up."
"But … this happens all the time," she said. "People date, and when they break up, they promise to be friends, but it's so awkward that they can barely hang out in the same room together. We have the same group of friends. We go to the same school. You – you're a huge part of my life. And I couldn't stand not having you at my side one day, just because we thought we should give this a shot."
"You could never lose me," he said.
Kari shifted uncomfortably under his gaze.
"I'll make you a deal," he said. "We try this for two weeks. And if it either of us doesn't think it feels right, then that will be that. We'll go right back to the way we are now. I'll never bother you again, and you'll never have to wonder if you should've taken me up on my offer. No expectations and no hard feelings. Okay?"
"You promise that it won't come between us?" she asked skeptically.
"Cross my heart," he said.
Kari knew he was lying, but maybe he was right. Maybe everything would be okay. Besides, it wasn't set in stone that they'd break up. Maybe they would stay together for years. Why wouldn't they? They got along great. And she had sure fallen hard for him.
"Okay," she said. She ignored the voice in her head that was screaming at her. "Now, I believe we were in the middle of something when Davis interrupted us."
He grinned and leaned forward to kiss her.
"Well, this is shaping up to be quite a night," Mimi sighed, plunking herself down on the couch beside Matt as the rest of their friends went their separate ways.
"Hey, it's not so bad," he said.
Mimi shrugged. "I guess I'm not going to get to tell everyone the big news tonight, huh?"
"Do you need to tell them?" he asked. "I mean, won't they notice after a while?"
"Well, yeah," she said. "But I'd like to tell them personally that I'm moving back to Japan." She paused for a moment. "I guess it would be sort of funny to just invite everyone over once I'm all moved in and say, Welcome to my new house."
Matt chuckled and poured her another drink.
"When should we tell them our other secret?" she asked.
Matt narrowed her eyes thoughtfully. "We have another secret?" he teased. Mimi rolled her eyes and then kissed him softly. "Mm … right, that secret."
"Yeah," Mimi said with a smile. "That one."
"I don't know. Not tonight," he said. "Everyone will make such a big deal … and my head can't take anymore yelling right now, even if it's happy yelling."
Mimi nodded. "Yeah," she agreed. "Everyone else's love lives are so screwed up. Maybe it's best if we just … lay low for a while."
"Sneaky," he said. "I like it."
"I knew you would."
"Uh … I'm sorry. You know. About, um, before."
"I am, too."
"So am I … I guess we all just got carried away."
"Yeah, that's what it was …"
Izzy, Cody, Joe and Ken were grateful for the loud bang of a door being slammed. Davis came into the kitchen looking dejected and angry.
"If I walk in on one more kissing couple tonight, I'm going to scream," he announced.
Joe took off his glasses and cleaned them with his shirt. "I take it things didn't go well with T.K. and Kari?"
"No," Davis said grumpily, folding his arms across himself. "I went out there and they looked like they were about to kiss! So I told them both off and came back in here."
"You told off Kari?" Cody said doubtfully.
Davis shrugged and went into the fridge, looking for food.
"Well," Ken said. "I guess it's just us five left. Oh, and Matt and Mimi."
"Nope," Davis said through a mouthful of food. "They're in the living room making out on the couch."
"No way," said Izzy.
Davis shrugged again. "I saw it," he said. "Go look for yourself."
Nobody moved. They all looked at each other, waiting for someone to get up. "Fine," Ken sighed. "I'll go. I need to use the washroom, anyway." He stood up and left.
"I wonder what Tai and Sora are doing," Izzy said after a moment.
"I'm sure I could think of a few things," Davis said, sitting down in Ken's seat.
"Yeah, I'm sure you could," Cody said.
As they waited for Ken to return, they ate the food that Davis had raided from Sora's fridge. After several minutes, Davis sighed. "Is he coming back, or what?"
"Maybe he's still in the washroom," Joe said with a small smile.
"That's it, I'm going to find him," Davis declared.
The three remaining boys watched as he left the kitchen and went down the hall. A second later, they heard his frustrated scream.
"Sorry!" Ken said, offering out his hand.
"Oh," Yolei said, taking his hand and getting up off the floor. "No problem. Just wasn't expecting someone to be standing outside the door."
"Right," Ken said. "I couldn't remember which door was for the washroom."
"Well, it's this one," she said. They looked at each other for a long moment. "I'll, um, go."
She moved out of the way and went to leave, but he called her name. "Yolei?"
"Thanks. For before," he said. "We all said some things we didn't mean but you defended me and … I just wanted to say thank you."
She blushed. "It was nothing," she said. "I just – what they said to you was really mean."
He laughed. "You weren't exactly the nicest tonight, either."
"I know," she said, putting her hand on her hip. "But I'm always like that."
"No, you're not."
"How do you figure?"
"You think you're so tough. Maybe you are. Everyone else sure thinks you are," he said. "But I don't see it. I think you're just afraid that people won't like you for who you actually are."
"Then you're delusional," she said, swallowing thickly.
"Maybe. But I think I'm right. Am I?"
"Does it matter?"
"And why is that?"
"Because," he said weakly, looking at his feet. Then, reminding himself that he was Ken Ichijouji, he said, "Because I sort of have feelings for you." He cleared his throat and forced himself to look up at her.
Her face held a rather satisfied smirk. "Only sort of?" she asked teasingly.
"I – fine, you win. God, you're right. You are mean."
Yolei rolled her eyes. "Shut it," she told him. "You aren't very romantic, you know."
"And you are? Ha!"
She narrowed her eyes. "You're an idiot."
"I'm not going to kiss you if you keep calling me names," he teased.
She raised her eyebrows. "You're going to kiss me?" she asked.
"I was thinking about it," he said.
"Oh. Well … hurry up and kiss me already."
She was bossy even when it came to this. He rolled his eyes at her words but kissed her anyway.
They completely missed the fact that Davis had just rounded the corner and saw the entire thing. And they chose to ignore the sound of his dramatics as he watched yet another couple kiss.
"What're you thinking?" Sora asked, pulling on her clothes.
"That you're amazing."
She smirked and kissed him. "Obviously," she said. "But what else?"
Tai grinned and fell back against her bed in exhaustion. "I'm thinking that you sure know how to throw a party."
Well, so ends another story. I just want you all to know that I stillhaven't forgotten about "Ever After". It's still happening, but as I've said before, not for quite a while. But every now and then, I get the inkling to write some EA. It's coming along rather nicely.
Oh, and if any of you readers out there are interested in Harry Potter, check out my profile. I've got a ton of one-shots up that I write between chapters for my HP fic "Just Going With It". (Oh, and check out JGWI if you haven't!)
Thanks for reading! Don't forget to review.