Disclaimer: :disclaims:A/N: My sincerest apologies for the 5 month wait!
So I've been getting some comments that the plot is similar to the movie "What Women Want". Call me crazy, but I never saw that movie before (although I did hear about it). Am I missing out on a good movie? But like I said before, Joshua Seth gave me the main plot idea, so any other similarities between this story and the movie that might pop up will be purely coincidental.
Chapter Two – Ventriloquism?
'Look at this mess! Would it kill him to put his dirty clothes in the laundry basket?'
Tai groaned in annoyance at the exasperated voice of his mom. With his eyes still stubbornly glued shut, he yanked his pillow over his head in an attempt to muffle his mom's nagging. But even through the pillow, he heard her continued complaints and could have sworn that he felt his mom's stare piercing through the duck feathers and cotton casing of his pillow.
'Just look at him, sleeping past noon. And is that his sock hanging over the lamp? I swear, Tai just keeps growing taller, but he's never growing more mature!'
A pair of brown eyes snapped open. "Argh, alright, alright, Mom! I'm getting up!" Tai threw his pillow off his head and sat up rubbing his tired eyes. "Do you have to nag so much?" he added grumpily.
Mrs. Kamiya froze mid-movement, crouched on the floor with her hand reaching out for a shirt that lay crumpled on the floor. She stared at her disheveled son with a quirked eyebrow. "I didn't say anything, Tai."
Tai's hand momentarily stopped rubbing his eyes. "You didn't?"
His mom blinked in confusion. 'I'm sure I didn't say anything out loud…Is he sick?' "No, of course not. I didn't want to wake you." 'Not for a few more seconds, anyway.' She scooped up the shirt that she been reaching for and stood up.
Tai blinked in equal confusion. 'What's going on here?' Was he hearing things? Why was he hearing his mom talking even when her lips weren't moving? Tai stuck a finger in his ear and swirled it around, trying to remove anything that was messing with his hearing. Finding nothing but the usual everyday ear wax, he stared at his mom.
"Hmm?" She was still scooping up his dirty clothes from the floor.
"Did you, uh, happen to learn the art of ventriloquism without my knowing?"
At this, Mrs. Kamiya paused her efforts of gathering Tai's clothes and stared at him, her eyebrows in danger of disappearing into her hairline. 'He really is sick.' "Are you feeling alright, Tai?"
Tai stared back with glazed brown eyes. "I don't…I don't know…" his voice trailed off. He dug his fingers into his tangle of chestnut hair. 'I'm going crazy,' he concluded. 'What other explanation is there? I mean, if Mom never learned ventriloquism, then she can't possibly be—' His thoughts were cut off when he saw his mom pluck his dirty sock off of Kari's pink lamp.
'Wait a minute…Pink lamp…pink…There's something about pink…' His eyes drifted back to his mom, who was brushing away a stray lock of her hair from her face. 'Pink hair?… Pink hair!' His brown eyes widened in sudden remembrance."Espritmon!" he burst out, startling Mrs. Kamiya and causing her to drop the mound of dirty clothes she had been holding. She cursed in her head.
That was it! He remembered now! Espritmon and whole mind-reading episode!
Tai bolted out of bed and rushed into the living room, hardly hearing his mom sigh, 'I think his hair is suffocating his brain.'
He skidded to a stop beside the sofa where Kari sat, her eyes on the TV but not really watching it. She was running a Mozart tune in her head. He heard the calming melody flood his ears as though a Mozart CD was playing somewhere in the living room. Even in her thoughts, Kari seemed so innocent. Tai grinned mischievously, mentally rubbing his palms together. 'Let's see just how innocent my baby sister really is.' "G'morning, Kari," Tai said, innocently plopping down next to her.
"G'morning, Tai." 'It's actually past noon, but oh well,' he heard Kari think before her thoughts went back to Mozart.
Tai frowned. 'I finally get the power to read her mind, and all she does is correct me and listen to Mozart.' But he wasn't defeated just yet. He remembered that Kari hadn't been present at the tennis court the previous day, and curiosity overtook him. "Where were you yesterday when everyone else was at Sora's match?" 'Probably busy reading one of her books.' But to his surprise, he saw Kari turn slightly pink.
"Umm…" 'Oh no, does he suspect something?' Kari kept her eyes casually on the TV. "I was at a friend's house doing a school project," she replied breezily.
Tai quirked an eyebrow and crossed his arms across his chest. "Kari, in case you forgot, it's summer vacation. How can you have a school project?" 'Busted!' he thought with a knowing smirk.
'Oh darn…how could I be so stupid?' Tai could have sworn he heard Kari mentally smack her forehead. "Did I say school project?" she said with a small laugh. "I meant…" 'Helping my friend with her summer school project? Good enough.' "I was helping my friend with her summer school project!"
"Oh, I see…" He eyed Kari, who still sat with her eyes fixed on the TV screen. 'She's not going to spill.' "That's nice of you," he said, taking an unfinished bowl of cereal that sat on the coffee table in front of him."You gonna finish this?" he asked, swirling chunks of soggy cereal in the milk with a spoon.
Kari glanced sideways and shook her head no. 'Okay, he's moved on to food. That's a good sign that he actually bought it.'
Tai grinned. 'I'll let her get away with lying this time. As besides, whatever Kari was doing, it couldn't have been anything bad.' He stuck a spoonful of soggy cereal into his mouth and chewed thoughtfully. 'I'm such an understanding big brother,' he mused, emptying another spoonful of soggy cereal into his mouth.
'Phew…Tai would've killed me if he knew I was with T.K. the whole time.'
Tai choked on his cereal. "You WHAT?" he spluttered, bolting up onto his feet and dropping the bowl of cereal in the process. The spoon and bowl clattered onto the wooden floor. The milk splattered all over the wood panels with chunks of cornflakes floating here and there like little yellow lily pads.
Kari's eyes widened. 'I didn't say that out loud, did I?' "I was…helping my friend with her…with her…" her voice trailed off in terror at her brother's stern expression. 'I'm really in for it now…'
Tai was staring down at a petrified Kari, a thousand different scenarios zooming through his head, all of them involving T.K. making a move on his baby sister. He saw the blonde with his deceptively angelic face edging toward Kari for a forbidden kiss. 'Wait, I shouldn't be standing here… I should be running over to T.K.'s house right now! That little brat probably did something funny to my sister!'
Upon noticing Kari's petrified face, Tai relaxed himself and cleared his throat. "Yeah, uh, sorry about that. I just…" 'Heard something on TV?' "Heard something on TV!" he said with a little laugh. "Weren't you just listening to what they were saying? See, this guy won ten million in the lottery but he just burned all the money! Crazy, huh?"
Kari looked from Tai to the TV screen. It was a commercial for cat litter. 'He heard that on a commercial for cat litter? (Tai glanced at the TV and mentally smacked himself.) Whatever, I shouldn't be questioning him. I just narrowly got away from him finding out where I was.' "Oh…wow. Crazy," she said cautiously.
'I hope T.K. isn't fond of walking,' Tai murmured in his head. 'Because I'm going to snap his legs off when I get my hands on that little…' "Okay, I'll just be going now," said Tai coolly, trying not to reveal his boiling mood or his intention of beating T.K. to a pulp. He slowly edged away from the sofa, failing register his foot stepping on the spilt milk—until he slipped and fell flat on his back, soaking his entire backside with milk and soggy corn flakes.
'Wait 'til I get my hands on that little punk…' Tai was still seething as he stormed across the apartment lobby and out into the sunny streets. 'Oh man, I still smell like milk…' Tai fumed over the thought of how much T.K.-pulverizing he could have accomplished in the time it took for him to clean up the slushy mess of milk and cereal, shower, and then change into fresh, milk-free clothes.
The sunny weather had drawn a lot of people outdoors, and as Tai stepped outside, he was suddenly bombarded with voices. Oddly enough, they were all female voices. He blinked a couple of times to adjust to the bright sunlight and then headed down the street in the direction of T.K.'s apartment complex. The level of noise around him was doubled now that he was hearing both speech and thoughts.
'What perfect weather for the mall!' A girl not much older than himself walked past him, blonde curls bouncing behind her with her stride.
A woman in a skimpy shirt that revealed a little too much walked by in the other direction. 'I look so darn sexy in this shirt. The men can't keep their eyes off me!' She winked seductively at a wide-eyed man who was walking past her with his arm around his girlfriend.
The girlfriend glared at the skimpy shirted woman. 'Oh God, her shirt looks like it went through the shredder…' When she saw that her boyfriend was staring at the skimpy shirt with oogly eyes, she slapped her boyfriend and stormed off.
'This is great!' Tai mentally declared as he stifled a laugh at the boyfriend's misfortune. Tai's brisk stride slowed to a collected walk as he concentrated on listening to every thought that came his way. T.K. had temporarily slipped from his mind. 'This is too funny,' he guffawed as a woman running past him mentally exclaimed that she had gotten her period.
A brunette woman pushed past him toward a couple locked in a kiss across the street. 'If she thinks she's getting away with kissing my husband, she's got another thing coming!'
Tai strode past a teenage girl who was staring at someone's neon-green skirt. He smirked as he heard her comment, 'Eww, that is the most hideous skirt I've ever seen.'
He walked past another girl who was sitting on a nearby bench, staring into her idle cell phone with glazed eyes. 'Why hasn't he called me yet? He said he'd call me two weeks ago…'
A little girl in pigtails screamed, "ICE CREAM!!!" and zoomed past him toward an ice cream truck. The girl's mother ran after her, heels frantically click-clacking against the concrete sidewalk. 'Great, I can see those dental bills coming at me already.'
Tai was grinning ear-to-ear as he sank into a nearby bench. The endless onslaught of voices was a bit annoying, but he didn't mind much. There wasn't anything he couldn't deal with for the heaven-bestowed gift of mind reading. Maybe he could even solve the grand mystery that is the female mind.
"Oh, puh-lease! Even with the ability, you'll never solve the female mind!" someone retorted from beside him.
Tai's head snapped in the direction of the voice. A pair of large magenta eyes framed by pink hair stared at him. "You!" he burst out.
Espritmon smirked. "Hello to you too, Mr. Insensitive." She had the same bright pink hair and magenta eyes, but was no longer wearing the flowing white dress he had seen her in yesterday. Instead, she was wearing a white halter top, white skirt, and white flip-flops. If Tai hadn't known that she was a digimon, he would have thought that she was just a human girl with a strange infatuation for white clothes. "Are you enjoying your gift?" she asked with a sly, all-knowing smile.
"Enjoying it?" Tai chortled. "I'm loving it!"
"And…" she leaned over towards Tai, crinkling her tiny nose as she got a whiff of him. "do you know that you smell like milk?" Her eyes twinkled in amusement.
Tai exhaled in annoyance. "Long story," he grumbled.
"Hmm so, did you apologize to Sora yet?" Espritmon smirked, well aware that Tai had briefly forgotten about the whole apologize-to-Sora affair.
Tai's eyes widened in remembrance and smacked his forehead. "Sora! I almost forgot!" 'How did I almost forget about apologizing to Sora? Argh, the whole T.K. business must've pushed her out my head for a second. T.K., that little brat…I'll get him later.'
"Ooooh, what did T.K. do?"
"What did T.K. do?" she repeated.
"Oh," he had almost forgotten that Espritmon could read his mind. "I don't know what exactly he did, but he did something to my sister!"
Espritmon rolled her eyes. "Like what? Kiss her?"
"Probably," Tai said bitterly.
Espritmon clapped her small hands on either side of her face in mock shock. "Oh the horror!" she exclaimed before erupting into a lovely peal of laughter.
Tai narrowed his eyes. "That's not funny," he said stiffly, crossing his arms across his chest. "Whether he kissed my sister or not, I'll find out through his mind." He stood and turned to walk away.
"That's what you think."
He wheeled around. "What?"
Espritmon giggled innocently. "You won't be able to read T.K.'s mind."
'I don't like where this is going.' "Why not?"
"Because," her magenta eyes flashed. "I limited your ability," she said with her signature smirk.
"What? Why?" he demanded after darting to her and grabbing her forearms.
"Boy, you really are insensitive!" she said. "Didn't you wonder why you were only hearing women's thoughts?"
Tai ignored the former and the latter comments. "I knew I couldn't trust you," he growled, glaring into her magenta eyes.
"You knew you couldn't trust me?" Espritmon pouted. "I thought all you wanted was to find out how to apologize to Sora, not how to read T.K.'s mind," she said in her annoyingly innocent voice.
Tai loosened his grip on Espritmon. "Well, yeah…" He looked across the street where Sora's apartment complex was. "But couldn't you at least let me read boys' minds too?"
"Sorry, no can do," she said shaking her head, her pink curls bouncing with each shake, as if to emphasize the denial. Her magenta eyes twinkled. "Unless there's a special boy you want to apologize to…"
It took a few seconds before Tai fully comprehended what she was hinting at. "Wha—hey!" He let go of Espritmon's forearms. "Okay, forget I ever asked," he huffed, looking away in irritation. 'The nerve of her, thinking that.' "Are there any more of these limits that I should know about?" he asked suspiciously.
Espritmon innocently twirled a lock of her pink hair around her finger. "Well…"
"You can't read my mind either."
Tai perked up. "Hey, that's not fair!"
She shrugged in response. "I just said I'd help you. I never said I'd be fair."
"Well if you're helping me, you should at least be fair!" Tai crossed his arms and looked away in annoyance.
Espritmon sighed. "You're so immature, you know that?" She ignored Tai's glare before continuing. "And besides, you're supposed to be apologizing to Sora, who, by the way, is standing right across the street."
"She is?" Tai spun around at lightning speed, and sure enough, Sora was standing at the crosswalk across the street. "What should I say?" he asked in a panicked voice. No response. "Espritmon?" He turned around to where she had been sitting on the bench just a second ago, but she was nowhere in sight. 'That's just great…she disappears when I actually need her.'
Sora was now walking across the street and still hadn't noticed Tai. She looked positively nonchalant, as if nothing had happened between her and Tai just the previous day.
Tai took a deep breath before walking decisively toward her. 'Oh well, hopefully, this little "gift" of Espritmon will help me.'
But before he reached Sora, someone shouted after him. "Hey! Tai!"
Tai glanced over his shoulder to see his soccer teammate, Mike, wave and jog towards him. "Hey, Mike," he greeted indifferently before looking back toward the street. Sora was gone. "That's just great," he fiercely muttered under his breath. 'And I almost forgot about today's soccer practice…' he thought bitterly before turning back to his approaching teammate.
A/N: Yeah, yeah, I know there was a severe lack of Taiora in this chapter, but don't worry. I'm just trying not to rush the story. And just in case anyone was irritated by the whole Tai-wanting-to-beat-up-T.K. thing, I just had to add that in there 'cus I just love Tai in big brother mode. I love T.K., really I do. The next chapter should be up in a couple of weeks (not months). If I get a lot of reviews, I just might update sooner. ;)
For taking the time to review the previous chapter, I'm forever grateful to you: LittleFirefly44, JyouraKoumi, dreamcruiser, Aki Midoshi, Surfilu246, Vigatus, dbzgtfan2004, PaintedBlank, Taioraforeva11, Spartan3500, XxAnimeOtakuxX, chrono17, Matani, TiLoCy The Chameleon, Russ Dog, Punk Girl Mad, Lord Rasler
Thanks a whole bunch to everyone else who took the time to read. It would nice to know what you think about the story, though. :hinthint:
If you have the spare time, please read any fanfic written by Veranda. I highly recommend In Between Time. I swear, I haven't had so much fun reading a digimon fanfic in, well, forever!