Oh, man, I'm so sorry this update's so late. It's long, and yes, I do have comments on it, so head on over to my profile for a link to the things I feel are necessary to say about it. But, srsly? I kind of loved writing it.

DISCLAIMER: I don't own Digimon.

chapter six


"Your heart is my piñata."

-Chuck Palahniuk


The sun was setting. He had half an hour before his date, and all he was doing was laying on the bottom bunk of the bed he used to share with his kid sister tossing a tennis ball up into the air and catching it over and over and over and…

The next best thing…

Was he that stupid?

Could he really be fooling himself that much?

A small crush would never overcome a great love. All he was doing was putting Mimi on what could develop into a harmful and addictive drug known as Ecstaicy. All arrogant thoughts aside, he was afraid she'd come to depend on him. Worse was that he was afraid he'd come to depend on her. Maybe he should have listened to her the five billion times she told him no.

But there was the fact that after Sora, he found Mimi somewhat endearing. But if he could have Sora, he decided he'd have her back in a heartbeat. Only he liked Mimi, and he would miss her.

He sighed. All this drama would seriously screw up all his friendships with everyone.

His mind wandered off to Sora again, and the tennis ball seemed to sense this and dropped in midair onto his eye, which was too late to close.

"Mimi's wonderful!"

"So is Sora," he told the ball.

"Oh, I'm sure she says the same about you," the ball returned sarcastically.

"Look, it's not like we're serious. Mimi knows this is just exploring an old… thing. She wouldn't take it that far. She wouldn't torture me like that." Taichi shook his head.

"Have you made that clear, Romeo? Romeo was kind of a jerk, in case you didn't catch that."

"No, he wasn't."

"Yes, he was. 'Oh, I am fortune's fool'? What is he saying about Juliet then? That she makes him a fool? She was the best thing that happened to him. Rosaline was no good, I tell you."

"Um, I believe that was the one of the more shallow points of the play…"

"Right, well, anyway, my point is that one of your current dilemmas is Juliet and the other is Rosaline. Figure out which is which before you kill someone." The ball let out a snicker. Taichi snapped. A snicker? Oh, wow. He was going crazy.

"WHY AM I TALKING TO A TENNIS BALL?" he shouted at the top of his lungs.

"I don't know, honey, but Mimi's on the phone for you. Sorry, I didn't put it on mute," Mrs. Yagami said softly as she stood in the doorway of his room. His face reddened.

"Gee, thanks, Mom," he asked somewhat facetiously.

"Anytime, sweetie." She handed him the phone with a smile. He grabbed it and waited till she was out the door before speaking into it.

Mimi was laughing uncontrollably on the other end.

"Hi, Meems," Taichi tried his best to interrupt her.

"I'm sorry, it's just… Taichi… a tennis ball? What do you do… in your spare time?" she wheezed.

"Nothing. What's up?"

There was a rustling on the other side, like cloth on the mouthpiece. He imagined she was playing the cord or fidgeting with the phone in her hand. "Um," he heard her breathe through her nose briefly, "do you mind if we just did this some other night?"

"Sure. Is something wrong?"

"No, no. Uh… my parents… that is, they wanted to do the family dinner thing. I… I'll talk to you in school tomorrow… right?"

"Yeah. Mimi if there's something wrong…" An idea struck him. 'Maybe she feels the same way. This might have been a bad idea. Maybe she thinks this was a bad idea,' he thought as a stream of relief and hope passed through his mind.

"Meems, if you don't feel right about all this, it's okay. We'll stop. We don't have to do this."

"Are you kidding, Taichi? Of course there's nothing wrong. I'm okay with this. Really." He could see her nodding reassuringly, which made him inwardly cringe. "Look, I've gotta go. 'Night, Taichi."

"Goodnight, Mimi." After he heard a click on the other end, he hung up as well.

"I hate tennis balls," he murmured, throwing the ball out the balcony to the street below.

"Okay. You made me cancel my date. This better be good, Yamato," Mimi said, fixing a notepad and pen next to the phone. She didn't want to look at him. His face only served to upset her.

"You're sure nothing's wrong with your little arrangement there? You seem a little more fidgety and uncomfortable. I hope for your sake, Mimi, that deception isn't something you'll give into," he commented coolly.

"Right… you… you would know about deception wouldn't you?" She went to fixing the doily and vase of fake flowers that went along with the phone, notepad, and pen on a table against a wall.

He sighed. "I don't know what it was that went through my head."

"Well, maybe you can figure it out and explain it to me because for the past week and a half, I haven't been able to put my finger on it either." She briskly crossed the room to the coffee table and began to stack magazines.

"You've been counting the days?"

"Since I first found out, yes. I've never felt more upset in my life. You sure know how to get under a girl's skin. Not that I ever doubted you or your skills as far as all that goes… just never thought I'd be on the receiving end of your… issues." She was tired of cleaning and sat on the couch. He stared at the back of her head from the bar.

"So, tell me… you said you would… what happened? Where did the great infallible Ishida Yamato go wrong?" she said in bitter cheer. She was mocking him, and he didn't like it.

"Look, Mimi. I came here to apologize, but you seem to not want that, so I'll just leave so you and Yagami can do your little date thing. Whatever," he said, moving towards the door.

She looked over her shoulder and jumped up when she saw what he was doing. She was much faster than him and managed to press herself against the door, a steely glint in her eye. "Oh, no, no, no. You're not going anywhere. You're going to tell me right now, what happened. I deserve to know, dammit," she told him rather adamantly. He was slightly taken aback.

"You haven't changed all that much…" He smiled.

"You'd be surprised at how much I have."

"Nah, I really think it's just your hair."


He sighed before continuing, "Go sit down. Where's your tea?"

"How 'bout I get that? You're a guest, and the sooner I get your stupid tea, the sooner I get my answer, and that's all I want, Yamato. Nothing more. You and I aren't friends, asshole." She pushed him towards the sofa then stormed into the kitchen banging cupboard doors in search of tea. She wasn't sure if her parents had unpacked it yet. Sure enough they had. Quickly, she poured water in kettle and waited for it to heat. Once it was warm enough, she mixed it with tea and brought out a tray with two cups and the kettle.

"Here's your tea, so start. Now." She glared at him.

He laughed, purposely sipping his tea slowly, relishing in her annoyance. He wiped his mouth, and then the story finally came out.

It was cold outside. Even so late into winter, the sky was still dark at around six thirty, which was around when Taichi and Sora arrived on his doorstep. Yamato rubbed his eyes furiously before lagging over with a curved back to the door, the doorbell sounding above his head.

"Yo," he said lazily. His two friends gawked at him.

"What happened, Yama?" Sora asked as she put a small container of food on his counter in the kitchen. Taichi placed a hand on Yamato's back and looked at him, pure concern written obviously on his face.

Yamato laughed bitterly. As if they didn't very well know what happened. "I haven't eaten in three days," he said matter of factly.

"Moron. We brought you food. I'll go heat it up." Taichi went into the kitchen while Sora came back out to hug the shirtless blonde. He returned it, noticing how warm she was, and how her very fragrance fit that warmth perfectly. He imagined she was Mimi. This was exactly how Mimi felt in his arms, only with a different scent and with a much sweeter warmth. But Sora was comforting, nonetheless. It was a friendly warmth. The kind one needed to get through the day. He breathed deeply into her shoulder.

"It's not healthy to starve yourself, Yamato. Mimi would want you to be healthy." She smiled apologetically, rubbing the coarse material of her pink gloves on his shoulder. She shook her head and went to turn up the thermostat.

"Here, now eat," Taichi said, pushing a hot plate at Yamato.

A thought flew through his head, and he realized exactly what he wanted to do. He grabbed the plate, and faking pain and shock dropped it all over the floor. "Ouch!" he exclaimed, waving his hand to cool it.

Taichi looked at him quizzically then with vexation, a look that one would give a clumsy young child.

"I'll be right back," he said to Sora.

"Where are you going?" she asked him from the spot where she was fiddling with the controls of the heater.

"To get Yamato more food."

"Thanks, Taichi," Yamato told his friend before Taichi walked out. He was busy cleaning up the mess on the floor with a rag.

"No problem." The door shut.

There was silence with the exception of the soft scrapes of the rag against the food ridden carpet and the soft ticking of knobs.

"There we go," Sora said, happy at the air that could be heard coming through various vents in the house.

"Thanks, Sor." Yamato bowed his head to her as he walked by with the rag wrapped tightly around itself. He tossed it into the trash.

"Don't mention it." She began taking off her gloves and tan colored jacket, neatly placing them on the head of the couch. She was wearing a dark blue long sleeved thermal that hugged her body and went quite well with her dark washed jeans. She decided to take a seat on the couch and stare out at the balcony. Yamato took a seat next to her and passed her a cup of hot chocolate.

"Thank you." She smiled kindly and moved her attention back to the balcony. "It's so pretty outside tonight."

"Yup," Yamato agreed, sipping from his own mug. A welcomed heat surged through his body, and his stomach growled, Yamato imagined furiously, from negligence.

"Taichi and I were giving names to all the stars we saw on our way here." She chuckled. "He's such a dork sometimes."

He raised an eyebrow at her. "You were helping him."

"Oh, but that's different. I'm a girl. Girls do dreamy things like that."

"He only acts that way because of you, and he'll only show that side of himself to you. You know that?"

She stayed quiet, thoughtful, before nodding. "Yeah."

Yamato put his arm around her and shook her shoulders in a friendly way.

"You miss her?" Sora asked him. She leaned a little away from him.

"More than you can imagine. But time will pass, and I'll be okay again." He leaned a little towards her face. "Who knows? Maybe I'll meet someone who'll catch my eye." He took his arm off her and made a clear impression of his space when he leaned back and looked outside as well.

He saw Sora shudder ever so lightly, almost invisibly, and glance at him for a millisecond before giving a single shake of her hair.

"How can you be so sure of yourself, Yama? Mimi is your everything. She misses you so much."

Yamato nodded. He stared into his mug. He missed her so much too, but she was in America. There were so many people there, especially in New York City. So many guys that would most likely try to take her away. He'd heard of the allure of white men. He couldn't shake off the notion that he was going to lose her, and when he did, there would be nothing left of him but a bitter spirit. A person who was, who used to be, and would never be again. He had to prevent that. He had to stop the pain from happening and consuming him.

"I miss her too, but she's gone, Sor. I need to move on," he said softly and gave her a deep, concentrated look. Sora frowned and lightly touched his face, her fingers grazing the tired lines and the purple bags beneath his eyes.

It was at this time that Yamato decided to drink from his cup, and once it was drained, he poured more back in. He noticed Mimi staring at him intently.

"What?" he asked her sad eyes.

"You're an idiot," she answered, wiping at the tears that were threatening to unleash. She was intent on not showing her weakness.

"I'm human," he retorted bitterly. She searched his body for any sign at all that he was reluctant, that maybe he'd made some awful decisions regarding their relationship, but there was nothing. Just regular Yamato, swishing his tea around so as to mix the flavors appropriately. Just regular Yamato, avoiding her piercing gaze and deciding his tea leaves were far more interesting.

"You're not Yamato," she breathed.

"Mimi, don't be a moron. Of course I'm Yamato, just not the way you remember. You know why?" he asked her, leaning back on the sofa coolly.

She leaned onto the coffee table more, her legs tucked underneath her bottom.

"Why?" she asked sweetly.

"Because I'm not kissing you or hugging you anymore."

Mimi began to concentrate on her own tea a little more as he continued with his story.

Yamato placed his hand over Sora's and leaned into her touch, his eyes closed in a blissful reverie. In his mind, Mimi was touching him, skin kissing him.

"Yamato," she whispered warningly, and Yamato opened his eyes widely.

Sora was not Mimi, and he almost lost it when he realized the truth.

'No, no, this is some nightmare. This girl next to me… she's the one I want… she's-' and Yamato, so wrapped in his thoughts of his beloved, stared off into the space of his apartment before whispering, "I love you."

He blinked rapidly and looked at Sora, who was blushing madly and staring at him.

"God, I hope Taichi gets here soon. The lack of food has been doing something to your brain," she commented, moving a little away from him.

"No," he said forcefully. He was not crazy. He was not talking out of his ass. He felt this way. He knew it.

But he ignored the little voice in the back of his head that told him that he really loved Mimi, and he only said that because he was thinking of her. He was truly going mad, and he didn't stop it. He didn't even want to. This was exactly how he was going to live without Mimi. He was going to cling onto a girl that could touch him and the only thought that would pass through his mind while she did was his lost girlfriend.

No, that little voice was pure blasphemy in this mind that was slowly taking over. This mindset that only told him one thing- get what you want however you want it

He smirked at Sora before crawling on top of her, and she was still looking at him as if something terribly disgusting was crawling out of his nose. He leaned down close, but he didn't dare touch her. His arms steadily supported him; the only thing felt between them was pure body heat, only it wasn't the sweet, passionate kind.

This kind of heat was the dark, alluring kind, and he could very well see the torture in her mind to give in to a serious romantic event. He figured Taichi had never tried anything foolish with her. It was very like him to be so responsible.

"No, Sora, I'm perfectly sane," he whispered huskily by her ear.

"Yamato, I love Taichi. I've given him everything: my heart, my soul, and… and…"

So perhaps Taichi wasn't so innocent after all.

"Shh," he hushed. "It doesn't matter to me. Help me. Please. I need you." And he backed away to look at her face, the face a girl in a horrible position of temptation. She was afraid.

That little voice rang in again, "How could you? How could you do this to one of your oldest and best friends? She's in pain because of you. You know she had a crush on you all those years before, and all you're doing is fanning the flames."

"It's Mimi's fault for leaving, it's Taichi's fault for trusting me, and it's Sora's fault for not pushing me away," he fought back.

"And it's your fault you're letting this all get to you. Why don't you get it? Mimi's not going away for real. She'll come back for college. She'll come back for you, and all you're thinking about is screwing her best friend because you're depressed." The voice was adamant, and fighting as hard as it could to reason with this callous version of Yamato, but it was to no avail, because at that moment the doorbell rang. Yamato gave into a few seconds of staring at her before arising to open the door for Taichi. Sora's eyes had been so piercing, and she looked as if she was ready to tear him to shreds behind a layer of self induced mental mutilation. Of course, he was seducing her when all she truly wanted was the dorky but caring boy who was currently shoving a bag full of fast food in Yamato's face.

"Now, eat, and call Mimi when you get the chance," he said, shoving a piece of paper with chicken scratch numbers scrawled on it.

Taichi walked over to a very quiet and almost tearful Sora, and cheerfully plopped beside her. He opened another bag and passed her some food. Yamato did not fail to notice the unsure look she gave her boyfriend as he chomped into a burger. He did not fail to notice the fact that she carefully leaned into him comfortable, and he most certainly did not fail to notice the scared, perplexed, and very, very cold look she gave him. He stared down at his bag, and walked back to his room.

"Hey, where ya goin'?" Taichi asked Yamato, who didn't stop.

"To my room. Don't come in. I'll be out later. The remote's on top of the TV if it's entertainment you want," he called out in explanation.

Another pause and Yamato looked expectantly at Mimi, waiting for some insult at his completely improper behavior. She said nothing and continued to stare into her tea.

"So, nothing then? You're not gonna call me an asshole?" he asked, pouring a third cup of tea. The kettle was close to being empty.

"I think you know very well what you are, Ishida Yamato. I would be utterly shocked and disappointed in you if you didn't. Even the most awful human being on the planet recognizes when he's gone completely over the edge." She gently placed her cup on the table but did not look up.

He gave her a soft hn and got up to stretch. Slowly but surely, he made his way over to her on the other side and picked up her chin so she was forced to look at him. Her eyes were very watery, and in an attempt to hide it, she moved to wipe the moisture away. He swat her hand away, and in response, she moved her eyes to look away from him.

"Listen to me, Mimi, and listen well. I love you. I love you with all of my heart, and losing you once almost made me go crazy. It's bad enough I hurt three of the most important people in my entire life, but I'm here to make things better with you. I need us to be friends again." He stared desperately into her eyes.

"You can't break up with Sora."

"And I won't. I made my bed, so I'll lie in it, dammit. No matter how long it takes things to fix-"

"You won't ever break up with Sora."

He looked away and let her chin go. "I don't know about that, Mimi."

"No, you won't. You ruined a great love she had, so you will make it up to her, do you hear me? You will give her everything, and you will treat her as a human being who matters to you. She may have been the next best thing for you then, but right now, she's the only thing for you because she's the only person who may be able to look at you without getting sick. How could you do that? How could you hurt so many innocent people?"

"I'm sorry! God, Mimi, I never meant to hurt anyone, I just didn't know what to do."

"Oh, Yamato." She stood and grabbed his face in both of her hands, staring at him hard. She looked at him, and he felt every emotion she was feeling. She wanted to fix this, to fix him, but she couldn't fix a person who was so broken. He was so messed up in the head now, and it pained her more than she could imagine seeing this person- this person who'd touched her heart like no other- so irreparable.

"How could you hurt yourself like this? How could you be such an idiot?" She gulped and let his face go, walking over to the door to open it. "I'm sorry, Yamato, but you really need to go right now. We'll finish this later."

He nodded shamefully and hung his head as he walked past her and out the door. She heard him enter his apartment next door before closing and locking herself in her home. She felt so cold, so upset and shaken.

Who had Yamato become?

It was all her fault.

She hung her head in her hands as she walked back towards the sofa. She'd only stepped once before an urgent knock sounded at the front door.

"Mimi." It was Yamato. His muffled voice was panicked.

"What? I told you to go home. Why are you still here?" she asked, trying to keep all hints of regret out of her tone.

"I need to finish the story."

"I'm not opening the door."

"Then I'll tell you the rest of it through it, but I need you to hear. Even if we're not together, even if we may never be together again, I need you to forgive me."

"How do you forgive a monster?" He was silent.

"I don't know," came his whisper.

When Yamato finally left his room, it was nine o clock at night. His father would probably be sleeping at the office again. Nothing unusual.

Unless one counted the fact that for some reason Yagami Taichi was nowhere in sight but his girlfriend Takenouchi Sora was dozing off on the Ishida couch.

Yamato walked over and shook her awake. "Sora? Sora, wake up. It's getting late. Wake up."

"Mmmf," she mumbled, taking her sweet time lazily lifting one eyelid by two millimeters. "What?"

"Why are you still here? Where's Taichi?" Yamato bent down to her level.

"I told Taichi it was okay if he left me here. I want to take care of you and make sure you don't do anything stupid, seeing as how you almost starved yourself." She worked the saliva in her mouth by repeatedly opening and closing it, and then proceeded to curl herself up tighter and almost go back to sleep.

"C'mon. I'll take you home. You're mom must be worried." Yamato fixed one arm to go under her knees and the other under her shoulder blades. He slowly picked her up and moved toward the door.

"No! It's okay. She'll just think I'm spending the night at someone's house. I can call Miyako and get her to back me up, but I just don't feel right leaving you here. Please let me stay." She looked up at him with open yet still drowsy eyes. He looked into them and saw a hope and sincerity that he'd only ever seen in one other person, and he just couldn't let that get away again. With some reluctance, he put her on her legs, and she straightened out her shirt before smiling broadly at him.

"I knew you'd see it my way. Where might I find your phone?"

"On the wall over there," he pointed, "but don't you think your mom would have started calling people asking where you are already?"

"Hmm, I doubt it. She's been getting a little more patient with me lately, but you have a point. Better think of something or I'm toast!" she giggled and walked over towards the phone. Yamato waited patiently on the sofa.

Once she finally returned, he immediately asked, "So how did it go?"

"Called Miyako, and she said she's up for a little secret keeping-"

"Otherwise known as lying," he interrupted.

"Whatever, secret keeping, and then I called my mom, and she gave me the thumbs up for spending the night, so all is well."

"She didn't make a fuss?"

"Well, she was a little scared, but overall relieved that I finally called."

"That's good." Yamato picked up the remote. "Have a seat; my favorite show's going to be on."

She obliged and took a seat… on another chair, obviously avoiding the sofa, which he was sitting on. He smirked at her.

"You learn," he observed.

She chuckled nervously and kept her eyes fixed on the TV. He could tell she was trying very hard to keep the not so innocent atmosphere between them platonic. He also noted that she was failing.

They watched the show in an uncomfortable silence, though it truly only amused Yamato. Occasionally, he would catch her fidgeting in her chair, stealing a glance at his content expression. When she wasn't looking and trying desperately to get into the program on the television, he would shift his eyes and examine her. He would study her face, her body, and he knew all the while how awful he was being. He couldn't shake the notion that he was being a spoiled brat.

But for some stupid reason, he didn't care.

He clicked the TV off once the show was done and walked over to her, running a finger on the soft skin one found underneath another's chin. She pulled away from his touch carefully, he figured in hopes that she wouldn't offend or startle him. It only made him want to touch her more though.

"Hungry again?" he asked her calmly, as if nothing had happened.

"T-thirsty, sure." She nodded and followed him into the kitchen. He passed her a soda as he kept his head in the refrigerator, searching for a snack.

"Aren't you cold?" she pondered.

"Not really. It's warmer now that you turned on the heater."

"But you're still not wearing a shirt. That can't be comfortable. Let me go get you-"

He popped his head put and looked at her inquiringly. "Are you sure you should be assuming that I'm the one who's uncomfortable here? I dunno, but you look like you might be ready to burst from anxiety or something. Now why would that be, Sora?" He lifted his eyebrows for a quick millisecond and went back to digging through his fridge before pulling out a half eaten box of cookies. He offered her some, but she shook her head. He only shrugged and ate them as if they were perfectly fresh.

"What's wrong?" he asked her, as she was transfixed with a spot on the wall next to him.

"Nothing," she said after a moment, grinning.

"Maybe I'd believe you more if your smile wasn't so telling, now," he chided. She winced at the loud crunch he produced eating his snack. She took a drink before once again adjusting in her seat.

"I just wish you'd stop teasing me. If I'd known you'd take the move this hard, I would've begged Mimi to stay. I would've kissed her parents' shoes clean if they would have let her stay!"

He was thoughtful for a moment before deciding on what to say. "Okay then. Talk to me. You're just sitting there, quiet, and I really don't know how to get you to open up. I guess my bad mood just has me taking out my... frustrations on you," he lied, but he was good at it, so she nodded and began a conversation.

They talked for hours upon hours. Monopolization of the other's ears moved between the two peacefully, almost unnoticeably. Yamato was enjoying himself, basking in the warmth of another's presence. It made him a little angry to realize that the only reason he was missing out on so much fun with a girl like Sora was because he'd been moping over Mimi for the past three days.

"You had every right to feel upset about Mimi leaving. You love her. How could you blame her for any of this?" the little voice chimed in again.

"God, don't you ever go away?" Yamato asked it in annoyance.

"It's your fault, Yamato. You could have coped in other ways. She would have wanted you to stop thinking about her for a little while and pick up the pieces. And maybe when you got home, you'd give her a long distance ring and talk about how things are going. If anyone could hold a long distance relationship, it would've been you two, but you're just not getting it at all." He swiped at his hair as if a fly were perched on a strand innocently, but he was surely thinking that beating at his head would cure the viral pestilence that voice presented every time it decided to reverberate in his brain.

"You're an idiot. Mimi isn't everything the world has to offer. There's Sora, right here, right in front of me. No need to care about a girl who lives an ocean away," he argued.

"And are you sure the girl whose heart you never wanted to pain will understand your pathetic reasoning here and back off without shedding a tear? Who are you fooling, Ishida?"

"There's no one to fool. I genuinely want to get over Mimi, and the best person to get over her with is sitting right in front of me. She's always been there, and I've always been wasting my time with an emotional sap who's in love with the color pink!"

"Oh, you're really dumb, aren't you? Mimi would do anything for you. The fact that she puts all of herself into her emotions is what you love about her, and now you're going to turn around and decide it's a god awful trait to possess? You don't deserve her or Sora. You deserve to rot in an alleyway with nothing but a bottle of alcohol to accompany you. How could you possibly talk like this? What's happened to you? Sora was right; the lack of sustenance has surely lowered your intelligence. I hope she turns you down and-"

And boy was Yamato sick and tired of that voice, so he decided to shut it up the only way he knew how. In the middle of her sentence, Sora's voice was cut off by Yamato's hungry lips. He held her head firmly against his own, and he wouldn't let her go. Not even for a second. He felt her struggle a bit, to get away, and he could just imagine her eyes were wide in a scandalized mix of feelings and the horrors a loss of innocence could bring, for he'd granted her no choice. She was going to cheat on her boyfriend whether she liked it or not.

And for some reason, this felt so right to him. Why his best friend didn't matter to him at that moment, he'd never know.

"Be with me," he said suddenly once he pulled away. They were out of breath, and Sora's eyes were still glued shut, little creases on her lids and at the corners of eyes.

"I-I don't know. What… what did you just do?" she asked nervously. She dared not reveal her eyes to him still. "What did I just do?"

He didn't think he was supposed to answer that, but like a few hours before, he picked up her chin and studied her features. "Open your eyes, Sora. Look at me," he said gently to her. Slowly, and what looked to be painfully, she raised her eyelids and stared at him. She was confused, it seemed. He moved his arms around her slowly and vigorously pulled her into him, the embrace so completely warm to him. The voice had silenced, and his heart was ramming into his rib cage with an excited passion.

He liked Sora, and he was going to make sure that she couldn't escape him or his lips ever again.

"And then what happened?" Mimi asked after Yamato had quieted for a moment. The story seemed to be done, but this was no ordinary story, because from what she knew, it was still going on with this moment, with this recollection of events that changed them all.

"We talked more. She called Taichi in the morning. We had to deal with what we did-"

"Not that it was enjoyable or anything, right, Yamato?" Mimi sniped sarcastically.

"I wanted it, I know I did. It's complicated, Mimi. I missed you, and when I reached out to her, she was there, and I couldn't stop. I fell in love with her too."

"Well, you're too late to be forgiven. I can't believe you would be so selfish!" she cried.

"Hey, wait. That isn't fair, okay?" His fist lightly pounded on the door, and she jumped in fright at the sudden noise. "When a person panics, when a person is desperate, they try to find any way out of it. I did, Mimi. I found my way out of a lot of pain, and it looks like it wasn't the worst decision after all…"

"How wasn't this all a mistake? How do you justify hurting yourself and hurting other people?"

"I CAN'T! It's not justification I'm trying to give you. It's comfort in knowing that I didn't completely turn my back on you."

"All I got out of your sorry explanation was that in some twisted way this was my entire fault."

"I can't believe you're taking insult from this. I'm trying to apologize. I'm trying to make it up to you. I could've just… I might as well have not bothered with you at all."

"I'd rather you didn't. I'd rather you go home and never speak to me again! You're pitiful!" She clutched her face in her hands as salty tears fell down her face with a terrible force. Cries of agony threatened to sound from the back of her throat if she opened her mouth once more.

"Fine. Fine!" Yamato yelled at her. She heard his footsteps walk away and a door open and slam shut.

Curse the being, whoever they were, who decided to curse her. Some destinies should never be made.

'What am I doing out here?' Taichi asked himself, taking a hand to his head and ruffling his hair.

He was going on his date alright, but for some stupid reason, he was going it alone. His light jacket rippled in the breeze made by passing cars and hurried men and women itching to get home for dinner. How pathetic he felt to be walking around unaccompanied by anyone. He must have looked like some irresponsible teenager, some welfare child. His hair was messy; his blue jacket clashed with his dark green shirt and pressed khakis. Black shoes so nice and polished, but that damn jacket had an orange stain from spilt ketchup. He was so ready to take Mimi on a nice evening out, and hell, he even had the money for a nice restaurant he knew of across town for once. Mom had even gone so far as to let him have the car keys to keep his new girlfriend safe and off the night streets where creepy men prowled.

But she'd cancelled. Oh, how she'd cancelled on him. It was detestable. It was awful. It was little painful.

But mostly it was relieving.

He couldn't quite sort out his feelings about it all. He missed Sora so much, but he had Tachikawa Mimi. He couldn't deny that he was one lucky fool, most certainly proven by the approving glances and pats on the back the guys at school had given him. Her friends were always going up to him and offering their congratulations, their compliments about how the star soccer player definitely deserved the pink princess over anyone else.

And by anyone else, he knew they obviously meant Yamato.

Yamato was a brother to him. Perhaps they weren't best friends anymore, but they were still brothers. They were two of a kind. At some point, they'd forgive one another, he'd forgive Yamato, and maybe things would kind of be okay?

Oh, who the hell was he kidding? He missed the guy, but he was one hell of a backstabber. All he needed was one punch and then perhaps mundane conversations would be… possible between them.

But nothing like that awful confrontation at school the other day. Oh, gods, no. That was both awkward and annoying. Had it not been school, then maybe that's when that one good sucker punch would have come to be.

He'd been walking for a good forty five minutes by now, and he figured it would be wise to turn into the next restaurant he saw; only he saw something a little better.

Sora was balancing several paper grocery bags in both arms quite skillfully while she looked at the traffic passing by. He suddenly wished he hadn't worn his ketchup stained jacket. She was as beautiful as ever, and he was a ruffed up puppy.

At that point he wasn't thinking about anything anymore. Seeing her so calm and without Yamato gave him this warm feeling, like he was meeting up with her somewhere for a date that hadn't been cancelled. She was going to look at him and smile so lovingly, so adoringly that he would never be able to let her go, and as she got closer, she was about to experience yet another uncalled for impulse, the second one to pass in her life.

Another act that would once again change her relationship with a boy she couldn't break apart from.

Taichi grabbed Sora and startled her into dropping the food she was carrying, her eyes opening wide in horror. She stared at his face; he was so deep in concentration and focus, and she couldn't guess what he was thinking.

But she knew what she was thinking.

God, this was the best kiss she'd ever gotten.