Kali Notes: This fic will come from Yamato's POV. Why? Because it just turned out that way…and he's one of my favourite characters. shrugs Well, this came about because I've been back into a Digimon 01/02 mood lately, as well as the fact that I hate to see a good fandom die. Not that I can resurrect a fandom all on my own…but I'll contribute!
Warnings: Let me see…yaoi, adult language, adult situations, and probably a certain fluffy quality that may have to do with the amount of cotton candy the characters may be consuming in this fic.
Disclaimer: checks Nope. Still don't own it! Go jump in a swamp, lawyers.
Pairings: Taito! squeals And DaiKen, Takari, and mentioning of Joe/Mimi, Izzy/Miyako.
Summary: A trip to the amusement park and a little excursion to the fortune-teller are just the push Yamato needs to realize something he's felt for a very long time.
It started with a trip to the amusement park.
Well, that's not entirely accurate, I suppose. It probably all began a very long time ago, back when we original seven (and later Kari, too) Chosen Children were whisked away to the Digital World for the first time.
What 'it' am I talking about? Oh, just the little fact that I'm in love with my best friend – which means I'm at the very least bi-sexual. That part doesn't bother me one bit. It's just the part about Taichi that had been keeping me awake at nights, making me blush and stumble over my words whenever I was around him. Me! Ishida Yamato. How utterly pathetic and embarrassing it turned out to be.
Anyway, while I know now that I loved Tai even back in the wild days of our digital youth, I only gained realization and acceptance of that deep, abiding emotion a little over a month ago. It was spring break and all of us Digidestined were out of school. With our busy lives, we hardly got to spend as much time together as any of us would have liked. But this week off presented an opportunity, and we weren't going to waste it.
We gathered at Koushiro's place (otherwise known as 'Izzy' to us) after much negotiation before hand over D3s and email and a few phone conversations. There were twelve of us, after all, and coordinating twelve people's schedules is a delicate task. There, after being served snacks and drinks by Izzy's mom, we tossed around ideas for things we could do over the break together.
"Soccer!" Chirped the two goggle-headed leaders of our little circle immediately. Ken just smiled and stuffed a cookie in Daisuke's mouth, while everyone else groaned and protested.
"Not likely." I said to Taichi, throwing a pillow from Izzy's bed (where I sat) at his head. "Think up something else."
"What's wrong with soccer?" Daisuke complained after swallowing his cookie. He gave Ken a deep pout. "Come one! Back me up here!"
"Not everyone likes playing soccer as much as we do, Dai." The young, quiet genius responded, patting his cinnamon-haired boyfriend on the shoulder in consolation.
The pillow got thrown back at me and Taichi scowled at me playfully. "Aww…the great Ishida Yamato doesn't want to get his hair messy or his clothes dirty playing a friendly game of soccer?" He teased me in a mocking voice. I frowned at him and stuffed the pillow behind me as a back cushion.
"Yes and no." I retorted. "Yes, I would rather not get dirty over a soccer game – which, by the way, wouldn't stay 'friendly' very long with the twin terrors there…" I pointed at Ken and Daisuke then at Taichi. "…and you all playing." Tai just rolled his eyes at me and the others when they started laughing in agreement. "And no, because I wouldn't have a problem playing soccer with you – but not when I know I'll have to play referee instead."
"Alright fine." Izzy interrupted, turning the conversation back on track. "So what else can we do?"
"Well,…" Iori spoke up quietly. "Remember how we once had Tai, Matt, and Izzy pretend to go camping with us younger kids that one time, so that we could go to the Digital World for several days without our parents wondering where we were?" At our nods – minus Ken, since he was still the Digimon Kaiser at that point – he continued, "Why don't we all go camping for real? I've never actually done it before."
"Yeah! Iori's right!" Miyako clapped her hands in a decisive manner. "Staying over in the Digital World doesn't count. That was, like, work or something."
"Where would we go, though?" Joe wanted to know, pushing up his glasses on his nose. "And how would we get there? How do we pay for stuff, too?"
"Maybe we should save camping for summer or something instead." Sora suggested. "I know us older kids at least don't really have a lot of money at the moment. And I know my mom wouldn't like us going off by ourselves without supervision – not away from home, anyway."
Mimi flicked her pink-streaked hair out of her face. "We aren't children anymore, Sora. They can't keep us locked away forever."
"I know. But as long as we live under their roofs we have to live by their rules."
"What about the amusement park?" Takeru asked, cutting off Mimi's reply. "That's a safe, relatively inexpensive way to have some fun, right? Then maybe we could all just have a picnic at the beach some other day?"
"Oh!" Hikari smiled from her seat beside my baby brother on the floor in front of the bed. "I think that sounds like a wonderful idea, Takeru!"
Daisuke rolled his eyes. "Of course it does. You think all of Takeru's ideas are genius." He said it with sarcasm, but the wink he sent them with it dispelled the negativity of his tone. They just rolled their eyes back at him.
"Quit being a jerk, Dai." Ken admonished. Daisuke pouted.
"Actually, the amusement park sounds like fun." Taichi leaned back against the wall and crossed his arms over his chest. "The picnic idea sounds good, too."
"And that's your stomach talking, big brother." Hikari laughed at his sheepish expression.
"Okay, so it's agreed?" Izzy looked around at each of us, waiting for protests or concerns. "Great! Now…when do we want to go and where should we meet up before hand?"
"I think as soon as possible would be perfect." Joe sighed. "At least then I'd have all my procrastination out of the way and I can get back to being stressed out and overworked with my homework and studying."
Collective groaning came from the rest of us, then laughing and giggles. It was such a Joe comment, after all.
"Joe has a point, though." I spoke up. Everyone looked at me. "We have a few days left for spring break, but we should make the most of them."
"Well…" Sora glanced around at each of us. "Why don't we all go tomorrow then?"
"Tai? Will Mom let us go?" Hikari asked. Her older brother snorted indignantly.
"We don't ask, Kari. We just tell her, 'Mom, we're going to the amusement park with the gang. We'll see you when we get back.' And then we go."
"I don't know…" Hikari shook her head, looking vaguely concerned. I frowned at the expression and made a mental note to get the story out of Tai later.
"Uh…everyone else think tomorrow is good?" Miyako inquired. At all our nods, she cheered and whipped out her D-terminal to make a note on the calendar. "Alright then! How does tomorrow at 10 am sound? We can all meet at the gates, and spend the day having the time of our lives!"
We all cheered at that. Miyako's enthusiasm was a great motivator, I'd come to learn.
After a few more hours of general chatting and catching up wit hone another, we finally trooped out of Izzy's room and went home.
Takeru and Hikari walked ahead of Taichi and I on our way home. Daisuke was spending the night at Ken's, otherwise he'd have been right there with us for the walk, as would Sora have been if she hadn't been staying over at Mimi's that night.
"So when are you planning on telling me what's wrong, Taichi?" I asked, nudging my best friend in the side. "You're quieter than usual, and if you think I didn't notice the looks you and Hikari were sharing, then you must think I'm blind."
"Lay off, Ishida. It's nothing." Taichi gave me a mild glare and kept walking, though he did shove his hands in his pockets and frown. That, of course, made me frown, too, and I laid a hand on his arm to get him to stop walking. He looked at me questioningly. "Matt?"
"Let's go to the park, Tai." I didn't let him protest. Instead, I called to our siblings. "Hey, Takeru! Hikari! You guys head home! Tai and I are going to make a stop at the park for a while!"
Takeru smiled and waved, ushering Hikari away. I grabbed Taichi's hand and pulled him along in the direction of the park.
"Matt! Hey! You can let go, you know!"
"I'm not letting you run away until you spill it and tell me what's wrong. A serious, depressed Taichi isn't natural and I am the one who has to fix it."
"You can't fix everything, Yama." He said softly, and there was so much regret in his voice that I did release him. We'd made it to what had become a regular hang-out of ours, ever since the early days of high school – the playground. At this time in the evening, there weren't any kids around, which made it the perfect locale for Digi-meetings or just plain getting together to talk. He was really worrying me now, though Tai almost never calls me 'Yama' – unless we're alone or he really needs to talk to me about something. He's also the only one who can call me that and get away with it, as I tended to death-glare anyone else who tried it.
I've been told my glare is indeed quite lethal.
"Okay, now I'm worried. Please talk to me, Tai. Even if I can't help the problem, at least by listening I can help you feel better, right?" I sat on one of the lowest rungs of the jungle-gym and patted the metal bar next to me. "Sit. Talk."
Taichi heaved a rather large, heavy sigh, and flopped down on the sand at my feet. "You can't change my mother, Yama, no matter how much I'd like you to."
Finding the bar I sat on uncomfortable, I slid off and sat next to him in the sand. "Your mom? What's going on, Tai?"
"I don't know. It wasn't like this after things settled down with the Digital World. She didn't seem to care if Kari and I went off and did our own things outside of home and school. She didn't try to keep tabs on us, you know?" I nodded. My parents hadn't let Takeru and I run wild, but they didn't try interfering in our lives either. Mother had been a little clingy to Takeru at first, but she got over it not long after she realized he wasn't going to disappear for days on end again. As for me, well, she hardly knew what to expect of me, after all, and Dad just asked that if I wasn't going to be around, then please leave a note.
It didn't sound like Taichi's mom was being that reasonable, though.
"It started off small. Mom would ask where we were going and when we'd be back. That was fine. I mean, it's normal parent stuff. But when she started wanting to know exact details – stuff like who we were going to be with, where all we would be, when we'd get there and when we'd leave, etc., etc., I thought at first 'okay, she's trying to keep track of two teenagers; this isn't so strange.' But then she started demanding we keep our cell phones on us at all times, and that if we were going anywhere other than school or wherever else we'd already told her we were going, then we were to phone her and ask permission!" I blinked in shock and watched worriedly as he got to his feet and began to pace, track pants making swishing noises as the material moved against his skin. "I'm 18 years old! Kari's 16! I don't think I need to ask permission to go to the theatre with you or the others, or to go play soccer with Daisuke and Ken! Kari doesn't need to ask permission to go shopping with Miyako or to go the library on her own, or whatever! Sure there are things I'd still ask if I could do it, but that'd be more habit and respect for my elders not that I require parental permission!"
I got up and grabbed onto his shoulders as he came past me in his stalking pace, and held him still. "Easy, Tai. You're making me dizzy pacing like that." I could feel him shaking with suppressed emotion, and it hurt to know I couldn't fix the problem. But I wasn't the Child of Friendship for nothing, and I'd do what I could no matter what. "Take a couple deep breaths, man, and calm down."
Surprisingly, he actually listened to me for once, and after some deep breathing he finally slumped forward right against me. If I hadn't had my hands on his shoulders he'd have fallen right over face-first to the ground. "Tai? You alright?"
"No. I'm so frustrated, Yama." He muttered into my shoulder where his head rested. I made soothing noises and simply held him, not at all weirded out by his proximity or the intimacy of it. Tai and I…had been through too much and been friends for too long for this to seem weird to either of us anymore. We'd seen each other at our absolute lowest and worst times. Besides the fact that my best friend needed comforting, I would do anything for him, if only he asked – and even if he didn't.
"Don't bottle it up, Tai. It's obviously been eating at you for a long time so get it out." I encouraged, unconsciously rubbing his back in soothing circles like I used to do for Takeru when he was little and upset.
"It just gets worse. Every day she gets more and more neurotic and paranoid. Kari and I have stopped mentioning anything to do with the Digital World around her, including the Digimon, and lately she hasn't even wanted to let us leave the house! For school, even, Yama! It's like she can't let us out of eyesight for a moment!"
"Yikes." I frowned and let my arms rest loosely around him while I thought about it. Tai shifted in my arms and curled his own around my waist snugly.
"You're thinking. Share, Yama." He said, glancing upward at me expectantly.
"Hmm…well, it sounds like she is extremely afraid you and Hikari will get messed up in another emergency and have to go off to save the world again." I answered quietly. "I mean, we were all pretty young when all that happened, and it's not hard to understand why she'd be worried about it happening again."
"I know. I do!" Tai groaned and moved away to go kick at a twig that lay on the ground nearby. "I just…I wish she'd just…"
"Get over it and lay off?"
"Yeah. Not even for my sake so much as Kari's." His face reflected an annoyed hopelessness.
Ah. Now I understood completely.
Hikari, out of all of us, was rather special. As a teenager (well, a younger one until she got to high school), she did have a few personality…issues that had a lot of people – even from our little group – tending to stay away from her and even being to hate her a little. She got over it, eventually, when she realized how close she was to coming to losing her connection to some of the people who were closest to her – all thanks to Taichi and my little brother.
But that's another story. When she was young, Hikari's health was rather fragile. She was always getting sick – like she couldn't fight off any virus that would come around at school. Her parents were always worrying about her – and Taichi, too. They were the closest pair of siblings I'd ever met. Even Takeru and I had nothing on Taichi and Hikari. And to make them even more paranoid about her health, she was one of us – the Digidestined, the Chosen Children, whatever people wanted to call us. As one of us, she was caught up in the greatest battles of good and evil we had to fight, like it or not. Hikari is the Child of Light (her name means 'light', too), and we found out that because of the Light she represented and embodied, she was therefore the most vulnerable to the opposite trait: Darkness, and that was why her health was always so fragile.
Taichi, who had long ago assigned himself as her protector, became even ore protective of her. However, Tai (and the rest of us) refused to treat her as if she was made of glass because she's not. She is strong – very strong – in both body, mind, and spirit. I took my cue from Taichi in how I treated her. I could understand how he felt. He confided to me once that he wanted to be the one person in her life that treated her as a normal kid and not something that might break in a strong wind. I hadn't known how sick she could get when I first met her, and when Taichi told me later, I found I couldn't treat her differently now that I did know. I had seen her be just as strong as her older brother, in the initial fights with Myotismon when we'd found out Hikari was the eighth Child.
Yagami Hikari was definitely her brother's sister.
So this whole new wave of overprotective paranoia that Taichi was telling me about now made perfect sense to me, as did his reaction to it. Hikari had outgrown her vulnerability, had become strong against the Dark, and it was hurting them both to have their once supportive (though worried and protective) parents suddenly acting as if she was deathly ill and Taichi was off fighting in the Digital World again.
"Have you tried talking to your mom? Like, told her how this is making you two feel and stuff?" I asked. Taichi sighed and flopped down to the sand again, and I went and sat with him, hip to hip.
"I've been keeping just how bad it's gotten from Kari. She doesn't realize it yet. And I had a fight with her a couple weeks ago. It was ridiculous, and I'm glad Kari was gone with Miyako shopping at the time so she doesn't know about it." He leaned against me wearily and I nodded.
"What was it about?" Sometimes getting information out of Taichi was like pulling teeth. He tended to fall into thoughtful silences and forget he was talking to someone.
"I wanted to go to this soccer camp this summer that I'd heard about. It's only for a week, and it's being offered by one of the universities for potential high school grads that are thinking of trying out for the team." He began, brightening at the thought. I smiled at him.
"Sounds great – and like an opportunity for you." I commented.
"Yeah! My coach was really excited about it when he got the invitation to extend to his players." His face fell. "But when I told Mom about it…she heard the word 'camp' and immediately said no way."
I flinched. Yep. That was one definite way to get Taichi's temper flaming without much effort – getting between Taichi and soccer is guaranteed to piss him off.
"Damn." Was all I had to say so that Taichi knew I understood. That fight couldn't have been pretty.
"Yeah." He scowled darkly and flopped backwards onto his back with a huff.
"What did you do?"
"I blew up. I told her she had to let go and quit being so overprotective, that I was an adult a long time ago, and capable of taking care of myself – and Kari. And I told her to butt out of Kari's life, too, because she didn't need Mom's smothering." He gave a humorless smirk. "She kind of gaped at me all speechless then tried grounding me. I just walked out of the house without another word."
"Yikes. And your Dad?"
"He just…got mad at me and told me to be more respectful of my mother, and that she only wants what's best for her children so we should do as we're told." Taichi didn't sound very impressed. I wasn't particularly impressed, either.
"I wish I had something helpful to say." I said quietly after a few minutes of silence. Taichi shook his head and rolled onto his side to look at me. His eyes were a warm, sad brown that pierced right through me.
"I know. I'm grateful for the effort, Yama." He responded just as softly. "Maybe you can't solve my problems for me, but just listening made me fell better." Taichi smiled a little and I smiled back, relieved.
"Good." I replied. He rolled over onto his back again, and I joined him lying there on our backs and staring up at the night sky in silence for a while longer.
Kali Notes: I'm going to do something new and different (yay, joy)! At the end of each chapter of this fic, I will give the episodes that are relevant to the chapter and/or inspired something I wrote. They aren't like footnotes, but just a little extra info – not to mention easy reference for readers to go watch and refresh their memories as to what the heck the characters are talking about. Anyway, I hope you all are intrigued and interested enough to review/comment and continue reading! Thanks for your time! Please R/R!
Relevant Episodes: Season 01, episodes 37 – 39, and 48. Season 02, episodes 19 and 20.