Disclaimer. I don't own digimon. Or any of its' characters. Well I'm back ^_^ thank god for summer. Now that it's break I'll have more time to get all the stuff I wana do done. That includes writing. This fic is nothing special, just a taiora fluff based one. I have had this idea since genesis chapter 2. Sadly it wasn't as good as I would have hoped. But it could have been worse.
Ok this fic has a few dedications.
First I would like to dedicate it in part to the best daughter I could ask for. "You make my life considerably more fun whit, glad to hear you are going to keep that up." (No she is not really my biological daughter. If she was her grandmas would have put me to death long before now. *gulp*)
Second I would like to dedicate this to one of the most diehard taiora fans I know. (She got me into the show in the first place) Rose. I hope you like how I wrote you in that little part in here. Sorry I didn't get to use all your requests. But I am now a fan of dairose also now. ^_^
hope you like what you read.
E-mail me at: email@example.com
Taichi sighed contentedly as he stretched out over the wooden park bench. It was a lazy afternoon with billowy white clouds and small golden fingers of light which beamed downward from the breaks in the canopy of branches and leaves. The air was sweet with the flavor of freshly mowed grass and blooming jasmine. The aromas congealed together to form a pleasant perfume that accompanied the soft gusts of the wind and distant laughter of children.
The park had been a favorite place for the child Taichi to explore and invent adventures inside the darkened canopy of old and twisted trees. Taichi had loved playing here because it left him a seemingly endless avenue to create adventures where he could storm the castle that was brilliantly disguised as a jungle gym and rescue the damsel in distress that was begrudgingly played by a child Sora. Taichi loved the game, but it seemed to be way too much work getting Sora to switch sides from a knight to a damsel. They had played in this park when they were children, yet now as the friendship had changed to romance they were once again been drawn to the dense groves of trees and fragrant blooming cherry-blossom trees.
The romance of Taichi and Sora had rocky beginnings, but it had weathered every storm that threatened it. Now they were four years into it with no sign of boredom or discontentment. Tai loved her in a way he had never known himself capable of loving someone. Sora was everything he had ever wanted. Would ever want. He felt a sly grin creep upon his features as he thought of the girl who had so completely stolen his heart. As if on cue he saw her appear from a bend in the tree-line. He rose to greet her.
Sora's hair had grown out more over the years and now hung at the base of her shoulders with long and wispy tendrils of golden hair that caught the aspect of a distant flame. She was dressed in a light blue shirt accompanied by light cream pants. She was dressed casually, but on a girl like Sora the most mundane of trappings could be augmented to the finest of gowns. Taichi felt his lips moisten as he took her in. The light blue shirt seemed too small for her in more ways then one. It lifted off just enough to show the girl's thin tan waist and slightly upturned navel that tai had delighted in learning was quite ticklish. Sora's breasts were more then enough to make tai want to drool, though not so outrageous as to cause other males to ogle her. she was well perportuned to her slim and athletic body with long and lean legs and a gentle curve to her as she walked.
Tai was attracted to her far less for her breasts or legs then he was to her smile. That was Sora's greatest gift. A smile so soft and loving that it passed through you and left a strange warmth within. She was beautiful enough to be conceited, yet never once did she consider herself anything extraordinary. Sora was most attractive in the mannerisms that characterized her. she was kind and warm and gentle and for all these reasons Taichi Kamiya had learned that he was so hopelessly devoted to her that he would never be able to even attempt existing without her.
They met under a cherry-blossom tree in a tender embrace. Tai smiled softly as he tasted her lips. They tasted of sweet coffee and chocolate shavings. Sora's lips were seasoned with a mocha drink that she must have gotten on rout to the park. She was always so ready to accept the simple pleasures in life and milk them for all they were worth. Taichi kissed her bottom lip again as he sampled more of her flavor. She returned the gesture with a gentle slowness that implied their relationship had long since passed the lustfulness of youth. They were still young mind you. 17 and 18. Though their relationship seemed to have transcended youth to the golden years of life.
"Well that was certainly a nice hello." Sora smiled as tai led her to the bench. She smiled affectionately as she brushed some of tai's hair from his eyes in a tender manner.
"What can I tell you, I do love that coffee stand." he grinned back as she slapped him playfully.
"Well if that's how you wana be I'm going to have to start insisting on you taking me to nicer places."
"The park is nice."
"Also cheap." she grinned.
"Hey... just because you don't have a romantic mind doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the park. I'll have you know the park is one of the most romantic places in the world." he smirked.
"Well sure it is.. I could have whisked you away to Rome or Paris but that would be too dull. Here we get a sandbox!" he broke a grin as Sora laughed cutely.
"Taichi Kamiya... you have the romantic brain of a second-grader."
"That reminds me... I am going to need to schedule an inoculation for cooties." he pulled her to his lips and kissed her fully. The two still played like children at times with a endless bout of verbal jabs and clever sarcastic punches. But basically that was their unique way of dating. It was not some all-consuming passion that would eventually burn itself out. What they had was special, and would last. Taichi began kissing her with more passion as he allowed his lips to nibble upon her neck. She replied to the action by arcing her head to give him more access to her soft throat. She mewed softly with pleasure as his warm lips traveled over her with a mixture of nips and kisses that quickened her pulse to a slow and rhythmic throb.
It's a common fact in life that as soon as you are busy doing something you want to do something will come along that you don't want to do. Life has a wicked sense of irony when it comes to call, and sadly, it always comes to call.
The moment of peace was shattered by a sudden flash of silver lightning that screamed through the still air with a banshee scream. Taichi and Sora lurched backwards as flash after flash of silver lightning pulsed from their belts. Tai was first to rip the digivice from his side. It sparked at his side with gale lightning. He threw it moments before Sora did the same. The two stricken teens were wide-eyed as the two devices danced violently on the grassy earth as more streams of electricity sparked outward. Tai pulled Sora behind him as the two devices began to glow with a strange heat. The air changed. It seemed to grow heavier with a strange pressure as the molecules of the cool day air danced in a frenzy. It changed in appearance also, becoming more like water which glowed with false lightning contained within swirling tides of silver flame.
Taichi was in a fighting pose as he watched the pool of lightning begin to ripple. From the center of the pool a figure exploded outward with a stumbling few steps he was dressed in a long tan trench coat and cocked hat that had an ambiance of a old Bogart film. The cloths were too large for the figure making it appear more like the strange garments of a troll doll who was dressed to a past decade. The figure was walking drunkenly as he clutched a bulge to his chest with the same steadfast determination one might use to hold a priceless vase without dropping it despite unsure footing. The figure was clutched over in a posture that betrayed great age despite his child size. He regained his balance as the lightning tide swept away and the two digivices fell silent upon the ground. He continued to clutch the bulge in his coat with a gentleness that seemed odd. The figure scanned the surroundings with a sudden sense of fear as to his setting. He froze as his eyes came upon Taichi and then Sora. He peered at them through the shadowy slit created by scarf and hat.
"You..." he muttered with a softness tempered with astonishment.
"Yeah me.. Who are you!? Are you from the digital world!? Are you a friend or an enemy!?" Taichi snarled as he regarded the short figure clad in the cheesy detective getup"
"Oh my.. It worked... what a ride!" he replied with a sudden jubilance that caused tai to advance even closer. Sora took position at his side and offered her hand to calm him.
"Listen whoever you are, we need answers here or else my boyfriend is going to kill you." Sora conveyed with no hint of compassion to the traveler's well-being but more a cold hard factualness.
"Oh forgive me Sora." he uttered in a cheery tone that caught her off guard. That shock was compounded by the revelation that he had called her by name. Taichi was about to speak when the stranger used his free hand to remove the scarf and cast up the hat. His face was old with familiar wrinkles. Tai nearly let his jaw fall to the ground as he recognized the face of a smiling Gennai.
The old digimon was even more ancient then before. He still seemed capable of functioning as a independent force in the digital world though he now bore considerably more wrinkles and those he had were now deeper and more accentuated then before. The perpetually closed eyes were drooping as he approached tai and Sora with a simple smile as he studied them.
"my word it's strange seeing you again like this. But I'm afraid we have no time to chat. You see the fate of our twin worlds has once again fallen into jeopardy. You are needed." he replied with a sudden severity.
"Sora, quick, your cellular. Call the others so we can have them meet us...." he was cut off by Gennai as the miniature digimon spoke sharply.
"No Taichi, they will not be needed to undertake this mission. Only yourself and your mate shall be required."
"That is what you and Sora are correct? Mates?" he replied with a strange expression of question as Taichi began glowing a volcanic red.
"Ummm... yeah I guess you could call us that." Sora blushed.
"What mission is this anyway? We would be stronger as a team. I don't understand why you just want the two of us."
"What we need you to do isn't combat. Taichi, you and Sora have been chosen to protect a very important person who is in great danger."
"Gennai? Who are we..." Sora was cut off as Gennai opened his coat to reveal the tiny form of an infant clad in a light yellow blanket which wrapped around the sleeping form. she was small even for a newborn. She had a full head of thin wispy hair the color of ginger. Her nose was the essence of a button with a light upward turn that mirrored her lips which were held in a perpetual pout as she slept. Her skin was a soft creme that blushed ever so slightly on her round cherub cheeks. She yawned in her sleep with a faint 'coo' that was more dove-like then not.
"They came to us like a plague. The Arakations. A race of creatures that dwelled in one of the dark dimensions that runs parallel to earth and the digital world. They are a race born half of organic flesh and half energy. As far as we knew they existed entirely to destroy. To feed the fires of their dimension with ours. They came to the earth first. They were not ready to deal with what was waiting for them however."
"The digidestined...." Taichi spoke solemnly.
"The gates opened and the digital world joined yours in the battle. Combined with the human effort which was lead by the digidestined of that time, they were a formidable foe. The Arakations were not prepared for human and digimon hybrids, the digidestined. We fought them hard. Harder then they had ever expected. Since first contact we have fought them to a standstill. For two years neither side has been able to defeat the other."
"What are you talking about? If there was a war like this then, we would have known it. And what do you mean digidestine of that time?." Sora questioned with a growing suspicion in her voice as she held the child to her with light rocking motions.
"Isn't it obvious? That portal I came through. You know what a gate looks like, and that looked nothing like any of the gates you have ever seen right?"
"I am not the Gennai you have known. I am him years and years from now. In my time, when we are fighting the Arakations, we had a scientist who learned to use the digivice in a new way.
By combining several digivice codes we were able to create a rip through time like the digidestined can create a rip through dimensions. We never used it before now. We never needed it before.
The Arakations had a profit amongst them. A holy man. He was capable of foretelling the fate of his people. He saw the fall Arakation nation at the hands of a child. There would be born to their enemies a girl child. She would be the daughter of the two most powerful digidestined of that time, and their powers would be coupled within her. The child would be the one to topple the nation and extinguish their fires. It is her destiny." he motioned to the child in Sora's arms. The baby looked so innocent and peaceful as she slept there within the teenage girl's embrace. And to think that this infant would grow to be the most powerful of them all. The one capable of destroying an entire species of evil.
"All was going well in the war until the prophecy was initiated. Our second in command got pregnant. We had heard about the prophecy through surveillance. And thus were able to hide her condition through most of her pregnancy. They found out though. Sent assassins to kill the child and mother." he paused as he glanced at Sora and the baby.
"They almost killed them. but instead were killed themselves. The baby's father is our commander. A great warrior and a digidestined at that. He killed seven of them even after he was shot. The wound was bad, put him out of commission for a while. It was then that we realized there would be no way to keep the child safe until she becomes a digidestined. We decided to use the time gate technology as a way to keep the baby away from them until she is a digidestined. Once they miss their window of opportunity they will accept surrender instead of annihilation at the child's hands. That's why we sent her back here to be intrusted to two of the pasts most powerful digital humans. The two of you."
"But Gennai... we can't possibly raise her until she's around ten years old!" Taichi gaped.
"You were digidestined from birth. You were just summoned at that age because that was when we needed you. The digital power takes about a year or two to establish itself in a chosen. If the child dies before it is established the prophecy will be defeated.. Thus we depend on you to keep the child alive until we can call her back to us."
"Destiny is much like a chain. It is only as strong as its weakest link. If that link is broken then the entire chain of destiny cannot exist. They planned to break her destiny here, when she is vulnerable. If she lives to be a digidestined then their chance at severing the link is missed. We have chosen you to watch her to assure the chance is missed. Only with the help of a digidestined can someone bridge the time gate.. We will win."
"You drafted us... to babysit!??!" he snapped. The baby woke and began to cry loudly. Taichi winced under the wails as Sora shot him daggers before walking away with the baby in an attempt to lull her back to sleep.
"Why aren't her parents here to protect her. they could have came through too. They should be the ones to protect her until she is a digidestined."
"As I said... they are the leaders of our forces. They have to keep fighting despite the pain they feel for leaving her. Tai. This is the most important mission you have ever been given. If this child is lost both worlds will be lost. This world will have no future. Tai, this child is innocent. She didn't do anything to deserve to die. She will die if you don't protect her."
"Taichi... someday we will have children. Could you let this happen to our child if we were in there situation? Could you just let her die?" Sora stepped up behind him and motioned for him to look at the baby. She was awake and looking intently up at the boy. Their eyes met in an intent stare as he studied the continence of the infant. She was so small. Small and beautiful. She made a soft gurgling noise as she looked into his soul with those eyes that seemed to glow in the dim light. Sora smiled as she handed her to him. The child didn't fuss over the change of arms. She replied with a good natured series of gurgling baby noises. He smiled softly as he held her a little closer and turned to Sora with a look of tenderness.
"I think that means we'll be babysitting." Sora grinned.
"That's good to hear. There is one drawback. You must have no contact with the digital world until we have reclaimed the child. Navigating time is a difficult matter and thus we use your two digivices as a kind of beacon. If they are used to open a portal or to aid in digivolution or damaged we might lose the signal. If we lose the signal we lose a way to get her back. She'll be stranded here with you."
Sora looked to tai with a silent question if that was alright. She knew being a digidestined was important to him. It was one of the most important things in his life actually. She looked to him for an answer only to find him still locked into a stare over the innocent child's face. He had a soft smile on his lips as the baby squirmed to get closer to his warmth. There was something about the image of tai holding a baby that effected Sora in a strangely profound manner. He looked so at peace as he held a child that in some recess of her mind Sora saw as his. Would he look like this when he held a baby of his own? with this same look of tenderness? She had seen Taichi kill before, kill in cold blood with the same cold acceptance of himself as a murderer as one would accept the stars in the sky. He seemed equally ready to accept this role as a protector. She opened her mouth to voice the question but was cut off as he beat her to the answer.
"We won't use the digivices."he replied with a quick upward glance to the two of them.
"Once again the digital world and the earth owe you a great debt bearers of courage and love. I have faith that you shall defend the child well. I shall see you again when we sense the child has became a digidestined." as he spoke his hand traveled to a device at his side that mirrored a digivice. It was glowing brightly within his coat that had previously hid it. He pressed a button on its side which stopped the radiance in an instant.
"Wait! What's her name!?" Sora suddenly yelled. Her words vanished away into the noise of the silver pool of thick air which now swirled around him. There was a strange pressure that squeezed their chests as the air began to burn with the smell of ozone. He began to fade away into the pool of lightning leaving only a vague shadow that hung in the silvery air for a moment before it vanished away along with the glowing silver tides. With one final gust of warm air they were alone in the same park they had played in as children. Tai cast a quick glance around to see if anyone had seen the strange little man's sudden entrance and exit. It was deserted. The faint sounds of laughter fell upon them with the mist of distance on the happy notes. The air was now flavored with jasmine scented flowers and green grass. The sun was now beginning to grow more orange as it wafted slowly downward over the small island of vegetation and nature within the sea of suburbia.
"I think we need to sit." Sora stated dumbly as she ushered tai and the child to the same bench they had been happily necking on only half an hour ago. They sat there with a strange silence for what seemed like hours before Taichi spoke.
"We're going to have to tell our parents. Gennai said we should handle this together. I think that means we'll need to be together more then just before curfew."
"Oh god Taichi... we are going to have to tell our parents.... as in... my mom too...." tai winced as though he had just received a booted kick to the mid-section.
"She almost killed me last time she found us 'studying' on the couch." tai neglected to mention that at the time studying had involved french kissing. "I somehow doubt she will be delighted to hear that we have a baby now... even if it isn't ours."
The two sat together for another period of silence as they watched the baby fall asleep again. Sora gently moved the baby to her arms as she looked down over the delicate infant. It was so tiny that it seemed a doll. Sora's maternal instinct jumped into gear as she lovingly touched the child's soft round cheeks. Tai wasn't looking at the baby anymore. He was instead looking at Sora. She fit the job perfectly. She was so good with children that tai knew it would be a crime against humanity if she never got the chance to be a real mother. He knew that in some ways she was going to truly relish this.
"What are we going to name her?" he asked blankly as his eyes met Sora's.
"Do you really think we should? It's not like we're her parents..."
"Well, that's true. But we are going to be taking care of her for at least a year. So I guess it's kinda fitting that we think of ourselves as parents.... and at very least we will need something to call her. so.... any ideas?" he smiled softly as he rubbed Sora's cheek for reassurance.
"I was thinking about Whitney. Sounds like kinda a nice name for a daughter. You like it?" he questioned as Sora looked up to face him. She smiled. "I do like that name tai, but I have one of my own that I think is a little more fitting. How about Faith? " she smiled softly as tai's eyes widened lightly at the mention of his grandmother's name.
"You... want to name her after grandma?" he choked with a soft trail of tears shimmering in his chocolate eyes. "She was like a grandmother for both of us Taichi... I miss her too. I think this is kinda a fitting way to honor her memory. Do you like it?" she asked with a grin.
"Sora.. if I didn't love you before, I do now. You're incredible."
"Well duh, I could have told you that much!" she smirked. Taichi grinned as he looked up to the sky of pinks and golds with soft and wispy white clouds vanishing into a deeper blue color that heralded the coming of night. He breathed in the scented jasmine as he spoke a name he would grow to love more then life.
They had chosen to tell both parents at once. It was a strategical tradeoff. one hand if they told them separately it may be more possible for them to overwhelm the enemy, though that would give the foe a chance to contact the second enemy. Thus warning them. That wasn't practical. For this mission to be achieved successfully they would need both foes defeated. Now they would deal with larger numbers but have the advantage of surprise. Tai was still amazed by the seemingly endless benefits the digital wars had left him with. Though also troubled by how often he could relate dealing with Sora's mom to planning a battle against the dark masters.
Sora held tai's hand while he filled them in on the situation. He felt bad for Kari and TK who had been caught in the crossfire of this 'discussion' which was the parent code word for a royal fit. Kari was smiling happily as she held the baby while TK was happily making baby conversation with her. Kari smiled broadly as she watched her boyfriend behave so easily with the baby. She smiled broadly as TK made a vast array of funny faces to keep the child amused.
"So that's where we stand.. We have to take care of this baby." tai said definitively as Sora glanced to the parents who appeared lost in thought. Sora's mother was the one to break the silence.
"You know... I think they should care for this child together. It does seem very important, Karen, Mitch." she replied to tai's parents who looked at her with question as to her decision. She turned to the shocked Taichi and cast him a heartfelt smile that made tai turn to Sora with a look of elated shock. "Sora! Your mom is on our side!" he spoke fast with excitement.
"Um, Taichi, can I offer you some info here? You see that smile she gave you? That usually precedes a death sentence. His smile faded.
"Debra... surely you can't be suggesting we allow our children to take responsibility for the welfare of a child and virtually move in together?"
"Oh that's exactly what I am thinking Mitch. I believe you will recall the sofa incident last month. It would seem our children our quite willing to progress their relationship to a more 'intimate' level. Thus I feel it would be a very good learning situation for them to get a consequence to what that kind of behavior leads to." she smirked darkly to Taichi who was squeezing Sora's hand tighter.
"Tell me Mitch... do you remember how romantic life was when Taichi or Kari was this young?" Michel smirked darkly as he looked Debra Takenouchi in the eyes. "It would seem Taichi didn't exaggerate about you... pure evil...." she laughed merrily. "With a sparing partner like Sora a mother learns how to become a strategist." Sora was now sweating lightly as she noted a dark grin on both parent's faces now.
"I have come to terms with the fact that you are some kind of warrior for this digital world of yours. I accept that you are called upon to help them. I'll even accept that you have to take care of this child. But Taichi I will not be letting your girlfriend stay over here or you stay over at her house. I'm sorry but there is no way I'm trusting you two to share a bedroom without doing anything. I would say you could stay in different rooms... but our guest room is not adequate for a long-term guest."
"Please miss Kamiya. I give you my word nothing will happen." Sora pleaded.
"Listen sweetie... you know I have always considered you a part of the family. And I do trust you. It's him I have my doubts about." she motioned to Taichi. "I love my son Sora. He's a good boy most of the time. But I think the two of you help each other lose inhibitions a little too easily. Sora, we have all respected your relationship with my son, so I ask you to respect our jobs as parents to try to stop the two of you from rushing into anything." she smiled softly to Sora who nodded sadly.
"You know... I might have a solution to this predicament. For a price." Kari piped in without casting an upward glance from faith.
"And what would that be Kari?" ms. Kamiya asked.
"Here's my price... you like the idea, TK gets longer visitation over here. His curfew is 11:00 mine is still 10:00. For an hour increase I'll solve the problem. And also... that doesn't give tai the right to frighten TK away at 10:00 either. Deal?"
"I'm living in a house of extortionists!" Mitch slumped back against the couch.
"Deal.. If the idea works.." she replied cautiously.
"Ok, cool. Now... Taichi and Sora want to be able to stay together at either house so they can take care of the baby. It makes sense since they were drafted to do this together.
You guys are worried that tai and Sora would take advantage of the situation by doing something that makes the 'couch' situation look innocent.... With good reason from a parental standpoint."
"Yeah...." Taichi replied impatiently.
"My idea is simple. Move the baby's crib in the bedroom with them. That way they can take care of the baby like they want. And I doubt even my brother's libido would be strong enough to get him to do anything other then just a chaste goodnight kiss in front of a little baby.
Even tai isn't that perverse." she replied matter of factly before noticing the slack jawed expressions of her family.
"What? He's not some kind of voyeur or anything like that, just another horny teenage guy! I mean god TK an I hav-" she felt TK's hands clamp over her face as the blond looked pale and panicked. "Kari sweetie. Please stop talking!" he replied in a hushed shriek of terror as he looked over their slackened expressions.
"TK and I have what exactly.....?" tai replied with a sudden dark and menacing tone. TK quickly took hold of faith and held her against him. "Can't kill me, I'm holding a baby!"
"Ummm... TK, Kari... why not go to the storage and dig out Taichi's old crib for the baby before tai... runs through some possible words that would fit in that sentence." Sora spoke with a grave severity as she looked at tai who was growing somewhat volcanic.
"Gone!" TK muttered as he handed the baby to mrs. Takenouchi. Kari sighed heavily as she rose up and causally walked off after her fleeing boyfriend. "He's such a little wuss" she muttered affectionately as she waved a tiny bye-bye to the child.
"That does sound plausible." mrs. Kamiya said with a look of debate on her features. "Sora would be welcome to try it out tonight. I suppose we'll see if they are able to actually pull it off. That reminds me Taichi, what is the baby's name anyway?"
"Well Gennai left before we could find out, so we named her faith." he grinned. As his mother's mouth hung open in pleasant shock. "You named her after your grandmother?"
"No... I didn't. It was Sora's idea." Sora smiled softly as she felt tai's mother take her free hand in her own. Sora squeezed back happily. Sora had never been more happy to feel like a Kamiya.
Sora and tai looked at each other with a nervousness that was never known to them. their gazes fell upon the soft bed with dark blue sheets and comforters. They had slept together before in the literal sense. Curled together on a sofa or inched just close enough to not attract attention in the digital world. But never had they slept together like this. They would be together... in a bed... Taichi sat slowly as Sora joined him with the same uncertainty. The nervousness hung heavily in the air as they slowly linked arms. Tai smiled as he looked at her. There was a subtle intimacy to this. Sora's hair hung against her shoulders and fell over the white fabric of her long T-shirt with a large yellow smiley face in wavy tendrils. The shirt was long enough on her to act as a nightgown. Tai chuckled as he playfully made mock attempts to pull up the him of the shirt up, resulting in a swift and equally playful slap.
Tai wore pajama pants without a shirt. Sora smiled as she noted his bashfulness at first. Then after a slight torrent of tickling got him to loosen up. They took their time getting ready as mrs. Kamiya took the baby. It was clear the parents would have to help. Tai's father was a lawyer, thus money was not a problem for them. but though it was summer now they would still have faith when school started. Thus a babysitter would be required. The day had been spent receiving lessons on childcare that ranged from diapers to feeding. Both of which where far from easy. The night was now late as faith lay asleep within her crib. They were quiet as they listened to her soft and gentle breathing. They slowly sank into the bed and wrapped themselves within the covers and each other's arms. It felt right somehow. Tai felt Sora as she snuggled up closer to him so she was happily wedged within his arms and softly drifting away to a deep sleep. He leaned in to kiss her as he gently brushed several strands of her soft hair from her brow.
The moment was shattered as though it were glass being pelted with stones. The little baby shrieked in a loud and monstrous wail as she cried bitter tears. Taichi leapt from the bed as though he had been propelled from it by a slingshot. The timing of the child's cries were so well placed that it was clear this kid did not like any romance and was intent on ruining the moment. He glanced to Sora with unsureness. His mother had told him what to do with a fussy baby, but he felt unready to actually do it. Unsureness aside he gingerly lifted faith from her crib.
He was careful as he held her under each arm. She was so small that it seemed impossible to grip her gently enough. Her mouth was open wide in a bitter wail as tears fell from her squeezed shut eyes. She was completely engulfed with the act of crying. He repositioned his hands so that one was against the base of her back while the other remained lower to support her. He gingerly checked her diaper, only to find she was not wet. He remembered that sometimes when his sister couldn't sleep his mother had rocked her it seemed plausible thus he began to gently sway with the crying infant. He found the action strangely natural as he slipped out the door into the empty hall where he could continue without disturbing Sora. They were both warned that getting sleep would be nearly impossible with a child faith's age. Thus he tried to give Sora a chance before it was her turn. He walked down the darkened hallway while rocking the baby. She was warm in his arms as she continued to sob against his shoulder.
He had loved his sister more then many older brothers would. Yet as he held the baby in his arms it affected him in a way he had never felt before. The helpless baby crying against his shoulder caused a strange warm rush that filled him from the pit of his stomach to the surface of his skin. He held her a little tighter as he gently began rocking her. The wailing cries became more shallow as he began swaying in a motion that resembled more a slow dance then a means to calm a angry baby. Faith grew silent as her piercing wail turned more to an occasional sleepy 'coo.' He felt her gentle breath as it fell over his naked shoulder in soft and delicate puffs of warm air that was sweetened by the aroma of milk. He rubbed the soft brown hair on her fragile skull with the delicate gestures of someone in love with their child. That was the realization to him. In a manner of thinking this was his baby. He would live with this child for over a year and possibly much more. He would be seen as a father to her. That thought didn't bother him.
"Shhhh Faithy. It's alright. Daddy's got you. It's time to go to sleep little one. That's it..." the words came to him with an almost troubling ease. The baby gently drifted off into a relatively deep sleep fairly quickly. Tai continued to rock her softly as he returned to his room where he gently deposited her on the cushioned floor of the honey colored wood crib. Sora looked up to him with a grin as he waved it off before crawling into bed at her side. They remained fully awake for a time. Face to face they looked into each other's eyes while they listened to the gentle sounds of the baby in her crib. Things changed for them in that moment alone as they lay there side by side engulfed in the act of listening to the newborn's soft and whimpering sleep noises. It was no longer just a piece of proof that they were mature enough to do this. It was no longer even a means to help the Digiworld. For that solitary moment suspended in the silent tapestries of a dark and endless night they had a brief glimpse at a destiny that was more empowering then one of war-heros and more forfilling then that of prosperity. The life they were permitted to sample was the destiny of many 'normal' people. People without the burden of worlds on their shoulders or the threat of death at their heels. The world they were given a brief and yet ever inspiring glimpse into was the world that belongs only to those who could be content to making and then nurturing life.
As they listened to the gentle gurgles of the infant's breath they were both amazed and terrified. They had already began to love this squirming little thing that spent all its time crying and making messes of various levels of grossness. They knew the happiness that love could bring. Love had given them a road both away from and later back to one another. Love was important to them. And love lost could kill. They knew that this child could be the beginning of a new peace to the world she hailed from, but they knew as well that the child could usher in a painful loss to the lives of her 'babysitters.' they slept deeply that night between intervals of wailing feedings and diaper changes. They endured the dark thoughts of what they would eventually give up by focusing on the love they had for one another and for the child. But still the darkness loomed.
"Good morning son! My it is shaping up to be a nice day!" Mitch Kamiya beamed as he lazily yawned before plucking a pastry with a generous coating of snowy powdered sugar. He studied the chocolate filled croissant as though it were far more interesting then the news paper that lay in a neat fold at his left on the kitchen table. The sugary pastry was soon seized within his teeth and ripped asunder in one great heaving bite that took nearly a quarter off the thing in his mouth. He made a soft sound of approval as he proceeded to grind the sweet breakfast food in and over his tongue as he savored the flavoring of the powdery sugar that had dusted his lips. He took a sip from the crystal glass filled with freshly squeezed orange juice. He took a deep swig of the juice before truly observing his son who remained in a zombie daze. He raised an eyeball to his son's tower of hair that remained hung at a gravity defying ark which far surpassed its previous disarray. Taichi cast a glance from father to the bubbling pot of tar black coffee that scented the air in a way best described in a Folgers commercial. He cast a glance back to father and then back to coffee. Then back to father then made several stiffened steps over to the pot. He fished a mug from the cabinet with a clumsy grip as he begin pouring himself a full glass.
"It'll stunt your growth...." he warned.
"Dad, I spent all last night getting into bed then getting out of bed. Rocking the baby, then changing the baby. I got around two hours of sleep last night.... even with Sora and I alternating turns we got only two hours... and not at the same time... I don't care if I become a balding midget with an ulcer... I want coffee...."
Taichi snarled in a half dead growl as he took a deep sip of the scalding and bitter beverage without the slightest hint of discomfort. He made no effort to join his father at the table, simply elected to stand there in a slow and slumped over posture with the porcelain mug clutched tightly in his grip. Mr Kamiya turned to the doorway to find the second of the walking dead lumbering over to the pot in a similar manner. Tai turned to his girlfriend briefly before he turned his attention back to the black pot.
"Let me guess Sora, you want coffee too."
"Is vodka an option?"
"I'm going to assume that was a joke...."
"Coffee is fine" she replied in a similar drab tone. She took the cup to her lips and began to take smaller sips where as Taichi had already swallowed his first cup and was now filling a second. They were vaguely are as Mitch rose up from the chair and walked out of the kitchen. Sora drew closer to tai and tenderly lay her head against his still naked chest. He sighed softly as he felt her soft hair and warm breath on his skin. The night's exhaustion was still upon him as he encircled her within his arms. He murmured a soft sound that was clear not for it's linguistics as it was for it's tone.
"I love you too tai" she smiled.
"Think we could manage to catch a few more hour's sleep?" he questioned
" I doubt it tai, but a hot shower is plausible...." she smiled
"I'll get the soap, you get the towels?" he smirked
"Keep dreaming goggle-head." she looked at him in bewilderment as he burst into a soft chorus of laughter. Tai was always agreeable when she said no, though he never had once seemed to find it funny.
"What?" she questioned.
"It just occurred to me that I am probably the only teenage father on the planet who is a virgin." he smirked as he turned to Sora with a grin to his own joke. Sora's face turned from an expression of bewilderment to a happy chuckle. She ruffled his hair playfully as she sauntered to tai's bathroom where a shower beaconed her. She wiggled lightly with each step to further entice the stairs that were being cast at her slim figure as she vanished behind the door. Tai was about to turn just as her head peeked out with a playful grin.
"Keep dreaming goggle-head. Maybe if you're really good I'll make that dream come true some day" she winked as her head disappeared behind the threshold once more. Tai listened as the air was filled with the sounds of the shower. He dared not let his mind linger on that for the images that would be summoned would surely overpower the thread of self restraint that held him in place. He instead took one final gulp of the blackened coffee before he trotted off to check on faith. As he turned the corner to his room he found Kari perched over the crib staring down intently to the baby's gentle features. Tai listened to the soft sounds she was making, not sleep sounds. Kari was startled as she felt his presence. She spun around to find tai chuckling at her.
"You better not have waken her up squirt. That kid is a lot harder to put to sleep then she is to wake up."
"Humph... she was wide awake when I got here. I just wanted to see how my niece was doing." Kari replied with obvious disdain for the nickname Taichi had given her as a child and still brandished today.
"She's technically not your niece, and since she's up and you are so ready to bond I guess you can be put to work." he lifted the very awake faith from her crib. The baby drooled happily on his arm with a simple innocence to her actions. Taichi didn't seem bothered by it as he lifted her to his arms where he gave her a soft morning hug and wished her a good morning in a cute sing-song voice.
"Come on kar, I have a feeling your niece is in need of a new diaper." he grimaced as he checked her. Kari made a face as she trailed Taichi to the baby station their father had dredged up during the last night. Kari was thankful he didn't ask her to participate in the act of cleaning her. She was fascinated by tai as he went through the actions of tending to her like a father.
"So, how did the big night go? Glad to see Sora didn't smother you with a pillow to stop the snoring." she joked. Tai sunk lightly as he chuckled nervously.
"She really must love me..."
"what makes you say that goggle-head?" she chuckled.
"Hey, watch it. Only Sora can call me that. Heh, not only did I snore but apparently I also drooled on her in my sleep." he blushed as Kari suddenly burst into a fit of hysterical laughter. "You...." laughter " Drooled on her!?!" she collapsed onto the ground as she clutched her sides with laughter.
"Hey! I didn't drool much!" he defended meagerly. She ignored his pathetic comeback as she continued to belly-laugh. He sighed in defeat. "Faithy, looks like you and your daddy have something in common now. You both are droolers!" even the baby seemed to giggle.
"Kari... shut up or this used diaper is doubling as a gag."
"Ok, ok... geez.... so Sora didn't get grossed out huh?"
"No... just vowed that she would make fun of me for the rest of my natural life over it." Kari grinned as tai lifted faith before handing her to Kari. Kari's eyes went wide as she accepted the bundle with an awkward grip. Tai responded with a gentleness that shocked her as he took her hands and guided them to her in a protective manner. He positioned her arms to support the baby who was now studying Kari intently with her breathtakingly beautiful saucer-like eyes. The baby was a very well behaved child as she accepted the newer and more inept hands as her support. She reached out and seized one of Kari's bangs with her chubby fingers. Kari was caught between pain and awe at the baby's actions.
"She's just saying hi." he translated the gesture to Kari.
"Hi Faithy." she whispered.
"So what would you say to a feeding while Sora abuses the last of the hot water. I'll feed her, but you can keep me company and hold her while I make a delicious breakfast of milk-like formula for our guest here." he shifted his attention from sibling to baby. "How about it faith? You wana try some of dada's gourmet baby formula? If you close your eyes and think real hard I bet it'll taste like milk." he smiled as he offered faith a finger to grip which she readily accepted with a tight baby squeeze. They made the trek to the kitchen where Kari held faith and tai went about preparing the formula. He had been rigorously grilled by his mother on the correct way to prepare the formula, and from that intense training he handled the bottle effortlessly. He was careful to test the temperature as he licked the milk from his arm. The flavoring wasn't unpleasant, simply sweeter then normal milk - like cantaloupe juice. Kari watched tai in a state of disbelief at how easily he fit the role as a parent. This was the guy who had played house with her as a child (though he would never admit it) was now feeding a little baby that for all intents and purposes was now his own. he touched her with a gentleness that caught Kari off guard. Tai had the highest kill count of all the digidestined and here he was using those hands to support a life more fragile then glass. She studied his face as he handled faith. His serious expression of concentration would lighten for a moment as he listened to her gurgle happily while suckling upon the nipple of the formula filled bottle.
"We made a mistake." Mitch replied softly from his hiding place at the corner of the doorway. He studied his son's secret smile as the boy wiped a small bead of milky saliva from the child's lips.
"Yeah, we really did. Sora seems to be responding this way too. God Mitch, what did we just allow to happen?" his wife uttered softly as she linked hands with her husband before peering out the doorway. It doesn't look like faith is teaching them anything about how it isn't worth it just for sex. If they get the idea that all babies are this easy they'll be almost certain to sleep together."
"That's not what I'm worried about Karen..."
"I know it isn't, but there is no helping that. They knew what they were getting into when they chose to take care of faith. We can't protect them from the inevitable. Everyone will have to say goodbye sooner or later. The sad part here is when it's time for them to say goodbye it will probably kill them both"
Time flies when spent in happiness. Thus by the same concept it would soar when spent in bliss. The days flew like seconds to Taichi and Sora as they became more and more like parents to the baby. She grew much during those first months. The last of the school year faded away to summer, then summer begin to darken as its twilight drew ever closer. They didn't miss the digital world now. Didn't long for the thrill and adventure of it. They simply were content to the new roles they began to play more and more enthusiastically as parents. Faith was growing at a staggering pace and as she met each new milestone the next came faster.
The first achievement came to them as she smiled for the first time. And by god it was a beautiful smile. A smile blended with a laugh framed within her soft pink lips and toothy grin. Tai took the most pleasure from this. He began to dedicate himself to the job of making faith smile as much as possible.
He noted daily that the baby was beginning to look more like Sora then ever. Even though it wasn't genetically possible they did begin to grow more similar in expression and temperaments to her two adopted parents. Faith possessed a daunting sense of adventure that seemed to shadow a child Taichi. This was augmented by the recent capacity to crawl. She would require constant supervision for the childlike curiosity to the world caused her to make a beeline to the nearest object of curiosity be it purse or puppy.
To say they had grown to love her was to say the obvious. They did love her. as indefinitely as a set of biological parents to their offspring. The days did fly and the two young lovers found a growing fear spread through them with each new day they embarked on. She would be taken from them. ripped away from them by Gennai when he came through the doorway. They clung to the moments as though each new day would be the day she would be wrenched from their arms and pulled back to her own destiny.
Sora awoke slowly as she felt the golden rays of the sun dance over her features. The bed was still warm of both daylight and the lingering traces of their united body heat which was trapped within the covers. Sora smiled silently as she allowed herself to partake in the rare moment of indulgence. A morning of slow awakening was rare. Thus she wasn't quick to relinquish it. But the curiosity eventually defeater her laziness as she waited for the cry from faith. She was capable of limited speech now. It was decidedly the most heartbreaking sound Sora had ever heard when the baby bawled out a tear soaked 'mama.' she rose up to find the crib empty.
She noted that Taichi was not in the bed either. Apparently a pillow and his scent had been enough to convince Sora that the one in her arms was tai. She was broken from her sleepy revelations by a sharp baby-giggle from across the hall in the master bathroom. The sound was mirrored by a deeper giggle that she knew to belong to Taichi. As she rounded the corner to the master bath she found the door slightly ajar. As she stepped through the threshold she caught sight of tai and faith. Faith was sitting in the sink surrounded by a small pillar of bubbles. She was babbling happily with simple words spoken in the jargon of baby talk. As she looked to tai she saw that he was chatting right back to her in an imitation of the baby voice. Sora remained at the doorway so she wouldn't disturb them.
Faith was grinning cutely as she swatted at the bubbles and splashing tai with the bath-water. He laughed deeply as he brushed some of the bubble-bath off his chest. He was wearing a t-shirt that was now dripping.
"Hey Faithy, mama is going to be so shocked when she see's you're actually clean. I bet she won't even recognize you."he chirped to her as he tickled her belly. She giggled happily as she tried splashing him again. Faith looked up from her father's antics to where Sora stood. The girl waved to the child who turned back to her father. "Mama" she gurgled.
Tai turned to the doorway to find Sora already walking tword him. She was grinning softly as she linked arms with him. They kissed briefly as Sora stepped back to look at him.
"And what is going on here?" she smirked
"Just a bath."
"Who's giving it to who though? Taichi you are completely drenched." he chuckled.
"Well originally I was giving it to Faithy, but half way through I think she decided splashing was more fun then getting clean."
"I see... well ms. Faith I would appreciate it if you would be so good as to not splash daddy too much. I wouldn't want you to drown him before the reunion. Ok honey?" she poked faith in the stomach where the child was very ticklish. Faith replied with a series of giggles.
"What's our time frame like Sora?"
"We'll make it, just probably should get moving. It takes longer to get places with faith." Sora smiled softly as she looked down over the baby who had her arms out to be held. Tai smiled as he stepped aside so Sora could take her. he grabbed a soft white towel from the cubbard and aided Sora in drying the baby who was as common to her personality not the least bit fussy. That always seemed strange to tai about faith. She was so well behaved and rarely cried or threw tantrums. It just seemed to whisper that there was a strange power locked within this infant that was slowly awakening. The digidestined had split off during the summer. Tai, Sora, TK, and Kari had stayed while Davis, Yolie, Cody, and the others went off to various vacations or summer programs. This was a kind of reunion for them. it would also be the very first time most of them meet faith. They had e-mailed izzy about it casually, but the majority of the digidestined were unreachable. He smiled at the idea of how Mimi would react to the news that tai and Sora now had a baby.
"Come on Sora, I don't wana be late for this. It's going to be fun." he chuckled.
The air was crisp and clean as the gentle winds blew across the lake. The grassy hillside terminated at the banks of the deep and glassy waters of the lake. There were willow trees which overhung the waters in a great canopy of blackish branches and healthy green leaves. Several purple flowers darted up from the grassy landscape. The sky was a rich sapphire that seemed to stretch forever beyond the horizon. The water was polished glass with a onyx glaze caused by the midday sun. the water was painted in golden sunlight which danced against the translucent surface which was dotted with lillypads. Each pad had a single white flower that opened to the heavens like hands opened to the sky. The soft call of birds filled the sky in a blessed chorus of peace. And in all this beauty Taichi Kamiya waited arm in arm with Sora Takenouchi and faith Kamiya.
The digidestined arrived in droves. First came TK and Kari. They smiled as they took place next to tai and Sora. Kari and Sora began playing with faith while TK and tai made idol Smalltalk. Soon though, they all were there. Each was greeted with the same elation as one might great a relative not seen for years. They were shocked to find faith in tai and Sora's arms. After the explanations tai suddenly became the object of joking as they each pretended to pay up to a wager as to when tai would become a teenage father.
"Geez tai... you work fast.... we leave you alone for one summer and next thing we know you and Sora are parents." matt snickered as he elbowed tai in the ribs.
"Oh shove it gel boy." he grinned back
"Hey guys sorry I'm late
Davis had matured considerably during the years since the battle to save earth. He was now taller and more lean. Though his fashion sense had changed considerably. He now was dressed more punkish with a green t-shirt over a long sleeve navy blue shirt. He wore huge baggy pants and a black choker which accompanied several necklaces.. His hair was spiked differently too. Even though he was dressed strangely he couldn't hide the basic countenance of a handsome face and attractive build. He looked more gothic now, though he was still the same good-hearted Davis they had befriended. At school they were considered an interesting group of friends. TK was the all-star basketball jock, Cody was the disciplined martial artist. Yolie was the computer nut, and Davis was the punkish soccer junkie. Even stranger still was that each of these teens were close friends to some of the most popular high-schoolers who were also composed of different people. That is what made them all special. Each of them was so different, and yet so similar on a basic level.
"Hey man, you just disappeared this summer. How was soccer camp?" TK asked with a friendly smile as he took Davis' hand in a friendly squeeze
"Sorry about that but I was busy doing stuff" he blushed.
"What kinda stuff?" Kari added shyly as she noted the crimson blush on the young man's cheeks which reddened even more as she mentioned what he had been doing while away for the summer.
"Ummm funny you should ask... cause... Ummm..."
he blushed deeper as he turned to the car where he motioned to the figure behind the wheel. The car door opened to reveal a young woman with strawberry blond hair and emerald green eyes. She smiled at Davis as she went to join them. her face was a soft one with a good complection and a strange sweetness. She had soft pink lips that curved up in a wholehearted smile as she linked hands with the blushing Davis. She wore a spaghetti strap shirt and a pair of tight bellbottoms. She was unquestioningly attractive. She looked at each of the slack jawed expressions with question as Davis chuckled.
"Ok guys, this is Rose. My... err... girlfriend." he blushed
"Oh my... Kari... can it be!?!" TK broke the trancelike silence.
"Yes... I think it is... our little Davis is growing up!" Kari piped up as she wiped imaginary tears from her eyes.
"Hey look Sora, she isn't even wearing a spiked dog collar. Davis is actually dating within his species!" tai said as he broke into a fit of laughter. As Sora punched him in the arm.
"You're one to talk goggle head. Hello Rose, I'm Sora and this moron over here is my boyfriend tai. Don't let him get to you, he is just envious cause he can't pull off the spiked collar look."she smiled in a friendly way to the young girl who smiled back though obviously somewhat intimidated by the crowd of friends she had just been immersed in. She was somewhat shocked by the sheer variety of these people. She hadn't been prepared to be thrust into such a wide circle of friends. And amazingly the nicest one of them was the apparent teenage mother who was holding a squirming child on her hip. Sora glanced to her with a sudden realization as to the girl's slightly nervous look. She also noted that the same look was mirrored in several of the other faces. She glanced at tai with a silent request. He heeded it and took faith into his arms.
"Da.." she murmured contentedly as her father straitened her white dress which was emblazoned with little hearts on it. She had a matching white headband with a smiling sun emblazoned on it. Davis seemed to jump back as he- for the first time- caught sight of the baby.
"Holy shit! You knocked Sora up!" he yelled a little too loud. He was hushed quickly by a decisive elbow to the ribs by Rose. Sora chuckled nervously as she began to relate the circumstances that led to the arrival of faith. Much to her lack of surprise Davis had already told rose everything about the digidestined and digimon and their role as heros and of corse his role as fearless leader. She didn't contradict his version of it, though she did find it cute that he was trying to impress her. Davis seemed slightly disappointed to hear that his mentor wasn't a god to the teenage males. The day progressed slowly as a blessing. They learned that Davis had met rose during soccer camp as he had said. They also however learned that Davis had skipped most of soccer camp to visit the skate park across the lake where he had met rose. She was a tomboy to every extent. A soccer fan, a basketball junkie, and a skate boarder who knew no male equal.
"So basically he spent most of the summer hanging on the sidelines cheering for me in the competition. Davis makes a really great cheerleader don't you think?" she smiled
"So Davis, does this mean that crush you have on Kari is-" TK was cut off by a nod and smile from Davis as he squeezed rose's hand. " don't worry TJ, you don't need to worry that I'll swoop her up. I can see of corse how you would be worried that someone as talented and devastatingly handsome as me would steal away your girlfriend. But don't worry about it. I am just fine with rose thank you." He smiled.
"I appreciate your charity." TK chuckled as Kari kissed his neck softly.
"I'm really glad you found someone Davis. You always were a really sweet guy..." she cut off as she caught tai and Sora's expressions. Pale with wide eyes. They hung their in frozen shock as the eyes of the other digidestined turned to focus on them.
"What is it tai?" Kari asked as she looked around for the source of the grave expression.
He pulled his t-shirt up slightly over his hip where upon his belt the digivice glowed. It hummed softly with a low and mournful sound. He cast a quick glimpse to Sora who tightened her grip on faith. She glanced to her own digivice with trepidation, only to discover that it too was glowing a soft silver. Her eyes went wide as she studied the glowing device. The soft black screen of the device was flooding with jade green ones and zeros. The digits danced softly in the velvety black pool that was the monitor. Somehow the basic element of all data was readable to the two. It made sense in some strange manner. And what it translated to terrified them. A countdown.
"Sora....?" TK asked with growing concern.
"They're coming to take faith back." she replied with a sadness that was flowing through her like a tide of ocean water. Kari began to speak yet was cut off with the answer by Sora. "They're early" she said as tears began to leak from her soft crimson eyes. The other's watched her as she held the child that she wanted as her own. faith was strangely quiet as she realized her mother was sad for some reason. She didn't comprehend why she was sad, didn't comprehend what had happened to make her mommy cry, didn't even comprehend that this girl wasn't her mother. She simply comprehended sadness. Her child hand reached out and patted Sora's red cheek with a pathetic utterance: "mama cwy." Sora looked up to faith with sad eyes as she forced a smile and kissed her fleshy hand. "It's ok baby, it's just almost time for you to go home." she whimpered.
Before anyone could say another word it was tai who took fast action. he swooped down over Sora and in one quick motion, ripped the digivice from her belt. She let out a soft gasp of shock as the glowing tool was pulled away with a snap. She barley had time to get her eyes to his before he bolted from the park headed north. All it took was a moment for Sora to understand his intents. The other's were still dumbstruck even as Sora had gotten to her feet.
"Quick! Get faith to the northernmost part of the park. The part next to the big willow. You have less then an hour!" she was frantic as she deposited faith in Kari's open arms.
"What's going on!?" TK frantically jumped up as he watched tai bolt.
"I think he just decided to keep faith." Kari stated blankly as she watched Sora break into a run after him. They suddenly became aware of the urgency to Sora's voice. They had to get to the park, presumably the same place they had first been given faith. Rose was the one to take command as she quickly ushered them to her car. Faith was strangely quiet. The day had turned frantic as the skies grew ominously dark. The door was on the verge of opening.
Sora had never felt herself running like this. Tai was the better athlete between them, but by some miracle of adrenaline she was able to keep up. He was still ahead of her, but she was too close to be easily lost. She felt her sides throb as she ducked lower and drew her pumping arms closer to her side. She was running faster and harder then ever before and she was now gaining on him. All the pain that was welling within was now bubbling within her. she used the force of that pain to propel herself outward. They had stopped running over uneven hill and had now made it to paved road. The buildings of the city loomed before them as they engaged in a more intricate chase. Soon he was weaving between pedestrians one after another with a grace that seemed unnatural. She matched it. It seemed as though she would never be able to catch him, yet just as she was on the verge of giving up she saw him duck down an alleyway.
Sora made the turn to the alley with the hope that it was a dead end. It was not. But thankfully tai had stopped running and now knelt in the center of the alley. His hands were drawn up over his head, clutching a brick. He turned his attention up to Sora without lowering the tool. She saw the two digivices that lay beside one another on the ground before him.
"Tai, what are you doing!?" she panted out.
"I don't want to lose her, don't want to see you lose her." he replied softly through his huffing breath.
"Taichi, we knew this was going to happen. I want to keep her too but I can't justify that to damning a world and her parents." she said as she drew nearer.
"Fuck the world!" he snapped. "They can fight without her, and her parents don't deserve her. They abandon her for Christ's sake! Sora, I love her. we may not be blood but we are her parents. How can you just give her up?!" he snarled as tears ran down his cheeks.
"You think it's easy for me!? You think I want to get rid of something that calls me mama!?! something I love!?! god Taichi, do you know me at all!?" she yelled as her tears shimmered upon her eyes.
"Tai, I love faith. I'm not fond of her, I love her. and the only thing that has kept me from destroying the digivices before was the knowledge that her parents must love her like we do. They must love her. and all this pain we are feeling now is amplified because they are her real parents. I will not be selfish enough to keep them in this kind of agony." she was now knelt at his side as she put her hands to his, where he still clutched the brick.
"Come on goggle-head, this isn't you. You have always been a hero, someone I am proud of. I know that you want to keep her, but I also know you don't want to be happy if someone else is miserable. Tai... I love you for that side of yourself. That's the part of you that makes you so far beyond everyone else. Why I could never love someone like Matt or anyone else. They are good guys, but they could never be you."
"I love you Sora......"
"I love you too goggle-head."
"I'm not ready to say goodbye to her." he replied sadly as he lowered the brick to the ground beneath. She kissed his forehead tenderly. "No one is ever really ready to say goodbye to someone they love. But it is time..."
The air hung thick and ominously silent as they waited in the spot Sora had told them. It was dark and cold. Strangely they too were possessed by the ominous silence, none of them would speak. Faith was sitting in Kari's arms. The girl had a strange sense of sorrow as she gently touched her niece's pouting lips. The baby looked at her intently without speaking a single word. She simply allowed herself to be touched as though it were her only way to provide comfort to them.
"Well... at least she's not crying." TK said softly as he hung at Kari's side. The other digidestined knew to stay back. This was a family affair and though Kari was not family, and TK was even farther away from it, they were in a way family now. And they too were in no hurry to say goodbye to their niece.
"Yeah, I have a feeling that if she were crying I would be too."
"Do you think Sora will get tai to give her up?"
"See for yourself" Kari whispered as she motioned to the hillside where the two figures were slowly walking tword them. neither looked happy about the situation, but they were coming. In each of their hands a shimmering device glowed silver in the rapidly darkening day. The air was like a tomb now, no wind, just a dead stillness. They each bore sorrow like a mask upon their faces. Tai walked over to Kari and opened his hands to take faith. She relinquished the baby without deliberation as she backed away to join the others. She felt TK squeeze her hand more tightly as she watched tai and Sora. Tai kissed the top of faith's head gently as the baby made a few chirps as she began talking about 'dada.' tai smiled as he listened to his child babbling happily about how he had ran. It was spoken in the broken language of a happy sounds mixed with what was becoming recognizable language. He glanced up to Sora who smiled sadly at him.
She reached to his belt and withdrew the digivice that was now only a minute from zero. She tossed it gently to the earth, soon followed by hers - several feet away. After moving the digivices to position Sora went to join him. She wrapped her arms around both tai and their daughter who was now chatting to Sora as well. She smiled lovingly to her as she stroked the baby's face. Faith cooed happily at her mother's touch as she continued to babble happily. She had no idea she was on the verge of being taken away from the two she knew as her mother and father forever. Perhaps it was better that she didn't. Tai wanted to treasure this memory. He had photos of faith, practically an album thanks to Kari's camera. But he wanted to remember everything about her. wanted to recall the smell of her shampooed head and the little sounds she would make when happy. She didn't cry as often as other babies, but when she did it was the most heartbreaking sound ever to be heard. Tai's heart ached as he recalled those tears. How he would be willing to do anything to stop them from falling.
The digivices began to glow brighter. Soon they trembled upon the ground. That trembling became violent spasms that soon gave way to bolts of silver lightning.
He didn't want to forget what Sora looked like as a mother. She was amazing. She looked so natural when she held faith. She would be a great mom, in fact she already was one. Not in the biological sense, but in the very essence of what a mother was. They were barley aware of the blinding light that soon gave way to a shadowy figure that belonged to Gennai. He was dressed once again in the cheap detective getup. They would have made a joke about it, but instead were consumed by the pain of goodbye. They held faith even tighter as they both began whispering teary goodbyes.
"Greetings digidestined. I'm glad to see you were able to protect the child."
"You're early." tai replied bitterly, without relinquishing his grip on faith or Sora.
"We have monitored the child from our time. She developed at a considerable rate. in fact I would wager her power has grown considerably mearly by exposure to the two of you. She is now a digidestined. And from what I can tell, the Arakations were right. She is devastatingly powerful. I would think you would be relieved that the pressure on the two of you is now over."
"You would think that...." Sora replied through a half whispered growl.
"I'm sorry. I forgot what it's like to lose a child. If it is of any comfort I have been given a message for you from the baby's father. Would you like to hear it?" he questioned.
"Yeah, sure I guess." tai replied despondently. Gennai nodded solemnly as he reached into his coat. He withdrew from a fold a crest. The symbol on that crest was obscured by Gennai's grip as he pressed it. The result was a flash of silver that turned to a strange mist of the same coloration. Upon the mist the partial image of a man's face came to view. It cut off on all but his eyes which seemed to focus on the two.
"You'll have to forgive the picture... our technology was not made to time travel. The result on the image was partial deletion, but the audio appears to be intact." he pressed the crest once more. The voice that followed was a kind one. Deep and yet gentle. It had a strange darkness to it as he spoke. An impression it carried that the eyes on the monitor perpetuated. He had seen and done some bad things. Things that had scared him deep within. The voice was not smooth and rich, but instead more scratchy and deep. It was the voice of a man who was no older then thirty yet had somehow aged centuries beyond that. The voice was, despite that, a kind one.
"Greetings Taichi, Sora, I am the child's father. I must thank you for the sacrifices you have made to protect my daughter. She is the most precious thing in all the world, though not because of her destiny. She is precious to me as any father would regard their daughter.
I know what you must think of us for abandoning her. Trust me that there hasn't been a day spent where we didn't do it to ourselves. Try to understand that what we did was for love. Not of this world but of this girl. You took her in and loved her in our absence, for that I will never be able to thank you enough.
I understand the pain you must now feel. It killed me to give her up, so I can comprehend what you now feel. I wish I could find some way to spare you that, but sadly there is none. My only advice to you is to take solace in one another. You each have a great destiny ahead of you, and that destiny has nothing to do with being a digidestined. Sora, Tai, rely in each other to alleviate the pain you feel inside.
Thank you for your gift to us. Know that Faith shall always love you. Farewell." the message faded away as the mist dispersed into the wind as a ghost in the night.
"I guess this means it's really time." tai looked to Sora with a sad smile as he lifted the baby from her arms. He walked slowly to where Gennai waited and without casting a final glance to faith put her in the elderly digimon's arms. He was careful not to look at the baby for fear he would rip her out of Gennai's arms. He simply stared out over into the darkness that seemed to loom around them. his breath came in shallow gasps as he felt the hot kiss of tears on the verge of leaving his eyes and burning their way down his cheeks. He was on the verge of breaking apart when he felt the warm hand close over his. He didn't look up for he knew what he would see. He knew her touch better then he knew his own breath. As he stood there wallowing in the pain of a life touched, but not lived, she touched not just his hand but his soul.
"Farewell digidestined. And thank you." Gennai uttered as he turned to the gateway of lightning which flickered beyond them with a hypnotizing beauty. Tai found strength enough to look at her as she began to fade away into the perfect white. Her gentle hands opened outward to him in a plea to be held. The tears came in a sudden frenzied explosion of loss and pain. The last words that fell upon them were those of faith. They came in the simplicity of a child yet the impact of the words carried a hidden depth and meaning. In those childish words she was able to say she loved them, she understood why this was happening, and she promised to remember them.
"Bye-bye " and with those words she was gone. Out of their lives and forever in their hearts. The lightning gate of time faded away as though time were scabbing over and healing. As though time and space were a part of some great being who ate breathed and when cut could heal. It was hard to imagine that truth, faith, tai, Sora, could they all be so small in some great tapestry of existence. Could this one event of such monumental importance in their lives be nothing more then a single string in a single thread that was lost within the tapestry. Whether it was true or wether it wasn't didn't matter. It sure as hell felt true. Tai cried into her arms as she stroked his hair while he sobbed. She had never loved him more then she did that moment.
"Taichi. I want you to know something. Someday we will have a child together. that child will be ours, no one else's. And you know what tai? I have never felt more sure that our baby will have the best father anyone ever could." she kissed his hair.
"Sora... I'm looking forward to that day." he smiled against her.
The air smelled faintly of smoke and ozone. As Gennai made his way through the corridors of the military complex. Soldiers were standing guard, yet even the most rigid of marine turned his gaze downward to the child destined to bring them peace. The walls were a cool grey stucco over concrete. His footfalls reverberated over the cool linoleum floor as he made his way to a large steel door that was guarded by two Special opts who wore black berets. The men studied Gennai and faith with a critical gaze for a moment before lowering the assault rifles.
"Welcome back sir." one uttered politely as he opened the door. Gennai smiled to the man as he passed the threshold and closed the door behind. He was met by the arms of a woman in her late twenties with long flowing hair and a wide smile. She uttered a almost squeak of shock and joy. Gennai relinquished faith to her arms as she closed the child tightly in her embrace. Tears of joy ran down her cheeks as she spun the child two times like a dancer. Faith giggled in the woman's arms. "Mama" she chirped happily. She was wearing a tight black shirt accompanied by baggy camouflage pants. Her red hair hung on the small of her back and in little tendrils which framed her face. She smiled widely with her soft pink lips. She glowed with radiance as she stroked her daughter tenderly.
She was enveloped within a pair of strong arms. She turned blindly and kissed the lips of the young man. He grinned broadly against her lips as he embraced both faith and the woman within his strong and tan arms. He was dressed in similar attire to the woman. Though he wore a muscle shirt and dog-tags. His eyes were smiling as he stared into her own. Gennai coughed softly to get her attention. He turned to face the elderly digimon without loosening his grip on both mother and child.
"Sir. Taichi suspected nothing."
"No Gennai, he knew. I gave him a hint." he smirked to Gennai who looked at him with question. "I told him faith would always love him. You never told them her name. It was Sora who named her.
I know it's kinda against the rules izzy gave us for this kinda thing. But... I was really in a bad place then. It was important that I knew the baby was really mine. That I knew we would see Faithy again."
"I knew you couldn't resist spoiling the surprise goggle-head." the woman smirked.
"Are you ever going to quit calling me that?"
"Sorry, it looks like it's here to stay. So I recommend learning to live with it." she kissed him softly on the lips. "Come on Taichi, lets take our daughter home, at last."
"It's about time..." he smirked.
In this life, we go our way.
On this moment we cannot stay.
In the end our debt must be paid.
In the end all must fade.
All we are shall burn to embers.
But it all will be worth it if one remembers.