Summary: Sora Takenouchi wasn't a girl who spent her time fantasizing about love. She's smart, pretty, independent, and completely clueless when love itself takes the seat beside hers in science class. Known for being unaffectionate and sometimes even a little cold, will she be too blind to see Yamato Ishida for who he really is?
Disclaimer: Digimon is not mine.
The Way We Came
An auburn headed girl cursed at the piece of paper lying on her desk before she began to fill it the blanks. "Name… Sora Takenouchi… period… five… subject… environmental science… teacher… Dr. Bricks… date… February first—"
Sora stopped and raised a brow at her best friend's ruffled hiss. She looked at him, forehead propped on a hand, trying to keep his bushy chocolate hair under control all the while concentrating like his life depended on it. She stifled a giggle and received a light shove in response. Best friends since the age of five, Sora had never seen Taichi Yagami so focused on a piece of paper before. Then again, his grades in science were almost as bad as hers. A senior in high school, Sora took up the infamous Environmental Science class after failing chemistry both terms last year. "You're a smart girl, you do well in all your other classes, I just don't understand why you keep failing science…" her advisor had mused.
Sighing gravely, Sora followed Taichi's example and began answering the multiple-choice questions. Rather, she stared at the words dumbly and admitted defeat. It's really not my fault this class is so boring I can't stay awake…she defended irrationally while circling all the answers that sounded familiar. Question one…A, two…A, three…C, four…A, A, D, A, A, A…and let's throw in a B for fun.
As the students passed their papers forward, Sora glanced at her best friend's test paper and realized that all his answers were in a neat little row. "You got A for everything?" she said, sure that no one would hear them over the rustling of papers.
"Yup," said Taichi with an air of confidence.
"You don't think that it's a little odd?"
"I would, but I read last night's homework so I, unlike some people, know my stuff."
Sora gave an unladylike huff. "You've been hanging out with Koushiro too much."
He rolled his eyes and reached into his book bag to retrieve a binder. "We're both in here as a last resort, one of us wants to pass, that's all."
Dr. Bricks, an extremely petite blonde woman with thick glasses that magnified her hazel eyes tenfold, pulled down the projector screen in the front of the class. The old device gave off a sickening screech.
Sora winced, wishing she hadn't taken a seat in the first row. The seat did have its perks though. Being so close to the front of the room, Dr. Bricks never caught her sleeping since she always stood by the projector, all the way in the back of the room. Yawning, she slumped forward onto the table, not even bothering to take out a piece of paper to pretend she was taking notes. Soon, the lights would go off and she'd be able to catch up on her much needed sleep.
"Wake me up when class is over, Tai," she mumbled to her right.
"Sora, maybe you should take notes for once."
"Aw… but copying from you is much nicer." A year ago, Taichi was the last person in the world she'd say that to, but once senior year had started, it was like some invisible force took hold of his conscience and he had surprised them all by keeping up with his schoolwork. Sora on the other hand, never got along with any science besides earth science.
"I suggest you take notes for yourself, Miss Takenouchi."
In a flash, she shot up in her chair with the kind of spring a slinky would've been jealous of. Sora could see her Dr. Brick's small frame before her and out of embarrassment, refused to meet her eyes. Her heart tripled its pace and sent the blood straight to her cheeks, burning them up in record time. She hated it when teachers did that, what was it with them and calling students by their last name anyways?
Sora nodded, knowing that everyone's eyes were on her and her best friend was no doubt bursting with laughter. Why did teachers have to single people out in front of a full class? It was like some tacit pact they had all agreed on, hell, they probably learned it in Teaching 101, when a student—
"Taichi, please switch seats with…" the teacher paused to glance around the room, looking to pick on another student whom she wanted moved. Killing two birds with one stone, another Teaching 101 guideline. Sora frowned, just why was it that Tai could be called by his first name and she— "Mr. Ishida."
Well, at least I'm not the only one she calls by the last name, Sora thought before her mind comprehended the teacher's words. Did she say Ishida? As in I-can-get-any-girl-in-the-school, overconfident, stuck up jerk, Ishida? She spun around and scanned the back of the room with her cinnamon gold eyes until they fell on a handsome blond boy. She hadn't even noticed he was in the class until now.
Taichi had already packed up his books. He stood, slinging his schoolbag on with one strap and sent Sora a regretful look.
"B-but Dr. Bricks," she began, and stopped immediately when she caught the look Dr. Bricks had plastered on. It was one of those I'm-not-in-a-mood-to-be-trifled-with looks that you pick up in Teaching 101. Sora slumped back into her seat, "It's nothing."
Yamato Matthew Ishida, or "Mattie" to his fangirls, slammed his books down on the desk previously occupied by Taichi. Looking up to shoot him a displeased look, Sora was instead taken aback by the fierce displeasure he was giving her. What's he got shoved up—
"Take out your notebook, Miss Takenouchi," came her teacher's singsong voice.
Obediently, she pulled out her neatly organized binder and a red pen just as the lights went off. At least now I don't have to talk to him, she thought bitterly.
"—giving me this nasty look! I mean seriously, what's his problem?" Sora growled and attacked the questionable looking meal public schooling had provided them with. She ripped open the deformed "spring roll" and wrinkled her nose at the foul smelling mass that was revealed. "Just what kind of sh—"
"Well you did cause him to get his seat moved," said Taichi, gobbling down the discolored spring roll like there was no tomorrow.
Sora closed her eyes and tried to dismiss the image before she threw up in her mouth. "Still… he didn't have to give me such a dirty look. Talk about having no people skills—"
"Arhent uoo ike tha?" he said with a mouthful of school food.
She grimaced. "No, I am not like that," she defended, earning a dismissive shrug.
"I think you should go out with him."
"Mimi! Haven't you been listening to a word I've been saying?" Sora stared at another one of her best friends, this time a girl by the name of Mimi Tachikawa with light brown hair, pink highlights, and brown eyes (though now a bright hazel thanks to her contacts). Mimi was Sora's best girl friend, but no one could ever figure out why since the two were complete opposites. Then again, maybe that's why they got along so well.
"Of course I've been listening, it's Ishida gossip!"
"Look, I'm just saying when you have the hottest guy in school sitting right next to you, why not use it to your advantage?"
"Because I'm not interested him in the least. I don't care how hot he is, he's a damn asshole."
"Angry again, Sora?"
The redhead turned to see Koushiro "Izzy" Izumi, aka Boy Genius, join them at the lunch table. "Hey Izzy," she greeted glumly.
"Hey, were all the answers A, on the environmental quiz?" Taichi asked eagerly.
"Yup, I just helped Dr. Bricks grade them all. Congratulations, Tai." The boy turned to face the redhead, "Sora…"
"I know, I know," she waved her hand. "I passed at least—"
"He's totally your type, Sora," Mimi suddenly continued as if she hadn't been cut off in the first place.
"Meems," she groaned. When had lunch gotten so busy? Having three conversations at once was making her head hurt.
"Three letters, Sora, STD."
"Sexually Transmitted Disease? You've got to be kidding me."
"Smart, Talented, and Delicious!" said Mimi like it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Geez Sora, where have you been?"
She cracked a smile. "But STD could stand for your type too. Sexy, Tall, and Daring."
"This conversation has officially gotten awkward," Taichi interjected.
Before Mimi could carry on the conversation, a voice called out from behind the redhead.The entire table looked up simultaneously to see a boy with light brown hair and a nervous look upon his face.
"Can we talk after school?"
"Yeah, sure." Sora furrowed her brows; now this was her idea of an awkward conversation. "Where do you want to meet?"
"Your locker, sound good?"
"I'll see ya." They watched as Connor retreated to the table his friends were congregated at.
"I forgot about Connor," Sora said in a casual tone. "That's another reason why I'm not going to go out with Yamato Ishida." She paused to glare at Mimi, who was currently examining her neatly manicured nails. "Thanks to someone."
"Really Sora, just break it off with him, I can find you another guy."
"Mimi, that's not the point. I don't want a guy. Connor is nice and all, but I'm not interested in dating right now."
"You should have told me that before I set you up with him last month!"
"I only went out with him because you begged me to." Sora threw her lunch tray into a nearby trashcan and then added, "Like the last umpteen times. You need a new hobby, Mimi."
"Oh! That's right, I promised to meet up with Andy before the period was over." Mimi jumped to her feet and grabbed her baby blue book bag before anyone had the chance to object. "Sorry Sora, could you clean up for me? I'll love you forever!"
The girl arched a skeptic eyebrow at the mention of the favor but nonetheless began picking up the abandoned tray. "I've told her a thousand times not to set me up with any more guys," Sora mumbled.
"Why do you keep going on the dates?" Taichi asked while shooting a napkin into the trash expertly. Izzy seemed to have found something fascinating in his government textbook and was so concentrated that the others might as well not have been there.
Sora crossed her arms over her chest. "Because, it's Mimi. You know how she makes us go shopping with her, right?" She took Taichi's cringe as a yes. "Same thing, why do you go shopping every time?"
"Because I'll never hear the end of it if I don't. And that voice of hers. She really uses it to her full advantage."
Mimi had a voice that was loud, powerful, attention grabbing, and painfully piercing when she wanted it to be. It could also be pleasantly soothing when the time came up—but soothing never got anyone a designer dress. She wasn't spoiled; she just liked having fun and enjoying life. It was one of the reasons that made Mimi so likeable. Of course, she'd never force anyone to do anything absurd and completely against their will. As she put it, "If they gave in, then they didn't really not want to do it!"
"If she tries to set me up with that jerk, I'm going to have to say no." Even as the words were spoken, her eyes wandered to a table at the other side of the cafeteria. Yamato Ishida was currently fighting his friends for an apple and managed to land a hard punch on the other boy's face. Sora scoffed, unimpressed. It had obviously hurt, but his friend played it off as nothing to be bothered about. The girls around the table swooned.
"Just what do you hate so much about him anyway?" asked Taichi, following her line of vision. "Or… do you not hate him at all."
"I don't hate him, I just don't like him. He's a show off."
"I'd just rather not get to know him, that's all. From what I can tell, I don't think I'd like him much."
"You know Sora, they say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover," Izzy chimed in. He lifted his nose out of the textbook and gave a small smile. "Just look at me, the probability of you three becoming friends with someone like myself was minimal at best."
Her eyes softened immediately. "That's not true, Izzy." A playful smile broke over her features. "Look at Ishida there! If I judged him by the cover I'd probably be crazily attracted to him."
"I knew it," Taichi declared smugly.
"Shut up, Tai. I'd never like anyone like Yamato. He's just too full of himself."
"Twenty bucks says you're secretly in love with him."
She rolled her eyes. "I'm not betting on something as preposterous as that. I know how I feel."
Connor Addison waited by Sora's locker like a good boy after the dismissal bell had rang. He had his arms crossed, leaning against the cold metal, contemplating just what he would say and how to say it. Down the hall, he spotted Sora's distinctive coloring and felt his pulse quicken with anticipation.
Sora kept her eyes to the corridor floor as she walked with a rigid stiffness. Her mood was glum thanks to a certain blond. She had seen him in the halls more often than before and noticed him in the gym when she was practicing the previous period. She wasn't sure what brought on this sudden awareness of Yamato Ishida, but whatever it was, she didn't like it. Silently, she thanked God that she didn't share any more classes with him.
So caught up in her thoughts, Sora almost passed right by her locker if it wasn't for the arm that shot out to grip her shoulder. She looked up and met Connor's eyes. They were the loveliest tint of pale blue. Odd, how she didn't know the color of eyes the boy who was apparently her boyfriend had. She never considered them to be an item, but when the whole school thinks you are, it doesn't really matter what you claim anymore.
"Whoa there, you okay?" he said playfully.
Sora shook off his hand and tried to give him a smile. "I didn't get any sleep last night, that's all." Half a lie, she really did have trouble sleeping. She gripped the dial of her black Masterlock with nimble fingers and began inputting the combination. "What is it that you wanted to talk to me about?" she asked almost stoically. The combination lock slipped off and Sora reached into the locker to fish out a few books and her coat.
"Let me walk you home first," Connor replied, watching her don the outerwear. He shifted uncomfortably and grabbed the books. "I'll carry these."
Sora glanced up and stared for a moment before thanking him. She had noticed Connor's uncharacteristic uneasiness and dismissed it with a good idea of what he wanted to tell her. She had seen the look on all her "boyfriends". This one would be no different.
Forty minutes later, Sora stood before the gates of a gorgeous three story house, waiting for Connor to speak. The walk home had been long and uneventful; they had barely spoken. While he shuffled his feet, so obviously searching for the right words to break up, her eyes gazed over at an empty house across the street. The beauty of that house rivaled hers; it was tall, sturdy, and as proud looking as a house could be. Expensive bricks were neatly stacked to form its walls as French style windows and doors adorned the building face. Unlike her house, there was no window installed above the double doors that revealed a graceful crystal chandelier, but what it did have, Sora would have traded a hundred crystal chandeliers for. Aged ivy climbed around one of the large marble Doric columns and a lush garden surrounded the base of the house. There was no abundant garden in front of her home, just pavement and stone.
Connor's voice pulled Sora away from her thoughts. She blinked, trying to make sense of his words. "I'm sorry Con, what were you saying?"
He gave a vexed sigh and focused on his Nike sneakers. He didn't want to do this, but she gave him no choice. "This is what I mean," he started abruptly, "You just don't seem to be able to hear me. Even now, I'm standing right in front of you and you still can't hear me."
Sora's brows quirked, the subtlest hint of confusion.
He turned away, knowing that she didn't understand his meaning. "I think… we should break up. We're better off as friends."
"Oh." Her voice was soft; she looked down at the slate slabs that made up the sidewalk.
Connor watched as her features contorted in concentration and unwillingly, his breaths became shallow. She was searching for the right emotion and that knowledge stung. It had been no secret that he liked her; those feelings never changed, but it was all too obvious that she did not reciprocate in the slightest. "Sora," said Connor in a low whisper. "Stop. I know that Mimi asked you to go out with me," he ignored her startled looked—the first bit of emotion he'd seen from her in a long time—and continued, "I thought maybe I could be the one to…" his voice trailed off.
She had no trouble comprehending what he meant and nodded. It was widely known that Sora Takenouchi was an ice queen, but that had only made Mimi more determined to find her best friend a companion.
"I really wanted… but…" Connor released another aggravated sigh and ran a hand through his ash brown hair. When he spoke again, his voice was louder, fueled by an unknown determination. "Did you even feel anything for me at all?"
Sora's eyes met his for a mere moment, all the confirmation he needed.
Connor's shoulders slumped forward and he took a step back. "It hurts, you know. I know it sounds cheesy, but the truth… really hurts." He looked up, blue eyes glossy. "Sorry to have wasted your time. Bye Sora."
Sora stayed glued to her spot as she watched him return from the way they came, struck dumb by his bold and painfully honest words. Filled with remorse, she pushed open the gates of her house, passed the driveway, and walked up the marble steps with a last fleeting glance at the barren house across the street. Once in the foyer, she raced up the grand stairs and into her room, closing the door soundly behind her. Finally, she slumped down against the sturdy wood and buried her face in her knees, daring to let loose the tears she had been so careful to conceal.
The sobs shook through her body with a kind of rhythmic pulsing before they eventually reduced to soft hiccups. She cried, not due to any loss she might have felt, but for the pain she had caused. Sora felt no anguish for the eventual break-up, but because of what he said was true. At the moment, she hated herself for bringing him so much pain, for being stupidly selfish, knowing that though she felt nothing for him, that Connor had truly liked her. He deserved so much better.
"Sora? Sweetie, are you okay?"
At the sound of her stepmother's voice calling through from the corridor, Sora swallowed a sharp gasp of air and wiped her eyes instinctively. She reached up with her left hand, feeling for the thumbturn above the doorknob and twisted the lock into place. Her reply came out in a raspy strain. "I'm fine."
"Are you sure?"
"I'm fine. Just go away."
Author's Note: Love it? Hate it? Comments? Suggestions?
I finally started this fic, as I had said I would last summer. What do you guys think? Good first chapter? Bad? I love hearing from you guys and always try to take everything into consideration. I don't remember why I started this fic, but I can guess that it had something to do with all the fluffy ideas I had in my mind and all the "what if…" questions that kept popping up.
I really hope you guys enjoy this fic and will continue reading as I update!
Please review, I'm always eager to hear what you guys have to say. Don't be afraid to tell me I did something stupid, but also please keep an open mind.