Disclaimer: The characters, items, places etc of Digimon are property of Toei Ltd. These objects are used without permission for entertainment only, not for making money. No infringement is intended.

Christmas Taito. Been a while since I did one of these! I'm sure you all know by now, but Taito is the homosexual pairing of Matt and Tai. If this offends you in any way, hit the back button now. No-one's forcing you to read it.

With that out the way, here we go! I haven't something like this in years so I apologise if it sucks. There's a lot of dialogue, but I like it this way for once.

"Gimme that strange relationship,
Never felt pleasure and pain like this,
Something so right but it feels so terribly wrong,
I keep holding on-"
Darren Hayes: Strange Relationship

-

Christmas Lights and Other Delights
By Nanaki Lioness

"Wake up!"

Matt awoke with a start to a piece of red tinsel being dangled in his face. He batted it away and covered his head with his pillow. It was far too early in the morning for games, or at least, it felt like it.

"Go away, Tai. I'm not putting the tree up today, I told you that. It's only December 1st."

"It's already half up. That's what you get for sleeping in 'til eleven."

Matt pulled the pillow off his head and shot Tai an evil look. Tai pouted at him.

"Don't get like that. Just because you hate Christmas doesn't mean I have to."

Matt sat up slowly, sighing.

"I suppose I have to get up and inspect it now."

"You don't trust me?"

Matt grinned wickedly, answering the question.

"I'm hurt," Tai said, flicking the tinsel at Matt. "I can't possibly mess up a Christmas tree."

"You've never seen my Dad's attempts, then."

Tai flopped down on the edge of the bed.

"Speaking of your Dad…"

Matt blanked him, getting out of bed and rummaging through his wardrobe for clothes.

Tai sighed softly.

"You can't just ignore me every time I bring that up, Matt. You need to tell him."

"Things are fine as they are, aren't they?" Matt said curtly.

"No. Your family and my family are both visiting on Christmas day, and for once I would like to be able to show you affection like a normal couple would."

"Define normal."

"Don't be difficult."

"You're the one trying to complicate matters. If it isn't broken, don't fix it, right?"

"Nothing's broken but it will be if I have to keep my life a secret much longer, Matt."

Matt turned back to his wardrobe, declining to answer. After an awkward silence, Tai got up and left to continue decorating the tree.

-

Fifteen minutes later, Matt was sitting on the sofa watching silently. Tai ignored him.

"Look, Tai… I'm sorry. It was easy enough for you to tell your family, right? They never pulled that 'you'll make me a proud grandfather' stuff on you like my Dad has be-"

He was silenced by Tai stalking across the room and shoving a candy cane into Matt's mouth.

"Shut up. I'm fed up with hearing your excuses. All I'm hearing is 'I'm ashamed of who I am and I'm ashamed of my boyfriend'."

Matt pulled the cane out, sighing. "No, Tai, that isn't it at all."

"Then prove it. Tell him."

Matt turned away, chewing on the candy cane. Tai looked like he was about to protest further, but stopped as they heard a knock at the door.

"We'll continue this later," Tai said quietly, going to open the door.

Mr. Ishida stood before him, nodding a hello and stepping inside as Tai ushered him in.

Matt rolled his eyes at the look Tai was giving him, that screamed 'oh look a perfect opportunity for you'.

"Christmas tree already?" Mr. Ishida commented, raising an eyebrow. "I'm surprised Matt let that one happen."

"I only just got up," Matt complained, finishing his candy cane and getting up. "Coffee?"

"Please."

His father seated himself at the table, leaving Tai to go back to decorating.

"This is what happens when you get up late, son," Mr. Ishida said, indicating the Christmas tree. "The festive people sneak a tree up before you even realise it. Your mother and TK would do it all the time."

"Matt gets his lack of festive spirit from you then?" Tai joked.

Mr. Ishida chuckled. "I suppose so."

Matt placed the coffee down in front of his father and sat opposite him, watching Tai string the Christmas lights round the branches.

"So what can I do for you?" He asked his father, who was lighting a cigarette.

"You can get me an ashtray?"

Matt rolled his eyes and stood up. Neither he nor Tai minded their fathers smoking in the apartment. Besides, fighting with them to stand outside or by a window was too much hassle.

"Don't give me that look."

"A bowl will have to do," Matt said, pulling one from the cupboard.

"Whatever."

Matt took it to the table and sat down again, sighing.

"So, why are you here?"

"Do I need a reason to visit my eldest son?"

"I guess not."

"Well then. You'll make me feel unwelcome if you keep that up."

They lapsed into quiet, Mr. Ishida smoking his cigarette and sipping his coffee looking quite comfortable, and Matt still watching Tai.

"You're doing that wrong," Matt commented.

Tai turned around. "How can I possibly be doing it 'wrong'? I'm hanging decorations!"

"Alternate the colours so you don't have decorations of the same colour right next to each other. And space them out a bit more."

"I can't believe I'm hearing this," Tai muttered good-naturedly. "Why don't you come and do it then?"

"Because I'll take it down if I go near it," Matt said with a smile.

"Then shush and let me do it my way."

Matt smiled softly to himself at Tai's pout, before remembering his father was with him. He mentally shook the thought.

"I'm due at work soon," Mr. Ishida said, putting out his finished cigarette. "So I can't stay long. I just wanted to come by and see how you were, seeing as I haven't heard from you in over a week."

Matt grimaced, feeling guilty. "Yeah, I've not been feeling with it lately. Sorry."

"I won't pry. Just call more often than once a month, alright?"

"Mm."

"Thanks for the coffee. I'll see myself out."

He did just that, leaving Matt staring at the oak table and not meeting Tai's eye.

After a long silence, he looked up to see Tai putting the finishing touches to the Christmas tree. He hadn't said a word.

"Saying nothing is worse than yelling at me," Matt said softly.

Tai didn't even turn around.

"I have nothing more to say to you."

Matt stood up, walking across to him and placing a hand on the arm Tai currently held in the air, to place the Angel on the tree. Tai stiffened.

"Please don't do this…"

Tai shook his arm free, but didn't put the Angel up. Instead, he clutched at it tightly, his knuckles white.

"Matt, do you love me?"

Matt sighed and shook his head. "Don't start that one-"

"Answer the question!" Tai snapped.

Matt looked taken aback. "Of course I do! Why do you even question me, I thought we went through this already ages ago!"

Tai turned to him, hurt evident in his eyes.

"Every time you brush me off, or don't tell your Dad about us, is another day where I can't be myself in his presence. It's another day where I'm conviced you're ashamed of me. I know you're scared of his reaction, but you know as well as I do that your Dad loves you. He might be angry or upset, but he'll get over it."

Matt didn't reply, staring at the floor.

"My Dad did pull that 'I can't wait to be a grandfather' stuff on me. Just because I didn't tell you doesn't mean it didn't happen. He was sad and disappointed too, but you know what? I love my Dad but I have to be happy too."

Tai cupped Matt's chin and made him look up at him.

"Say we broke up. Just because the relationship is over, it won't change your orientation. You'd eventually find another person, and then as time went on, your Dad would be angrier with you for lying to him all these years."

Matt shook his head, swallowing past the lump in his throat. It was an unspoken 'don't talk like that, it won't happen'.

Tai pulled his hand away, reaching up to the tree to finally place the rather crushed looking Angel upon it.

"By Christmas," Matt said softly. "Give me until Christmas."

Tai laughed sharply.

"I don't know why I'm going to assume you mean that," he said quietly. "But alright."

He got onto his knees and plugged the Christmas tree lights in, looking up at it expectantly.

Nothing happened.

Tai frowned, flicking the switch on and off again.

"You didn't test the lights before you put them on the tree?" Matt asked, raising an eyebrow.

Tai cursed vividly under his breath and yanked the plug out of the wall.

"Well, look on the bright side," Matt said, stifling his laughter as Tai began yanking decorations off the tree to get to the lights- which he'd put on first. Tai stopped and raised an eyebrow at him.

"Bad pun," he said flatly.

The laughter Matt had been smothering broke free, and he doubled over laughing. Tai continued pulling the decorations off, sulking.

"You liked decorating it, right?" Matt admonished, getting his laughter under control. "You get to do it all over again!"

Tai threw a bauble he'd just taken off at Matt, scowling. Matt caught it deftly.

"So I suppose we need to go out and buy new lights then?"

"We can do some Christmas shopping as well, right?"

Matt looked set to say no, but Tai's puppy dog eyes bore into his soul and made his heart melt. He sighed, relenting.

"Alright, alright."

-

"Aren't you done yet?"

Matt was sulking. If there was one thing he hated more than Christmas, it was Christmas shopping.

Tai grinned widely at him. He loved everything to do with Christmas, and especially liked the shopping part.

"We still haven't picked up the lights yet."

Matt groaned, grabbing Tai's arm and trying to drag him to the door.

"Then come on," he lamented.

"You're such a spoilsport."

Tai pulled his arm free, punching Matt gently.

"You're going to have to learn to like Christmas now you live with me," he stated.

"Learn to put up with you mean," Matt corrected. He grabbed Tai's hand and pulled him gently towards a store to their left. "Here, we can get lights here."

Tai squeezed Matt's hand and wouldn't let it go when Matt tried to pull away.

"Relax," he whispered in the blonde's ear. Matt shuddered softly. "If you're not ashamed of me, don't act like you are."

Matt's eyes widened and he jerked his hand away sharply. Tai exhaled loudly, about to launch into his usual 'so much for not being ashamed' speech, when he followed Matt's eye line.

Matt's mother stood across from them, looking through the window of a store nearby. She didn't seem to have noticed them.

"I'm going to presume you haven't told her," Tai asked quietly, sounding a little bitter. "Judging by that reaction of yours."

"I haven't spoken to her in about six months," Matt said with a shrug. "I don't get on with her, why would I start telling her my secrets?"

With that, he turned to enter the shop.

"If you care so little, why did you pull your hand away when you saw her?"

Matt shrugged again. "If anyone's going to tell my Dad, it's going to be me, not her."

"Point taken I suppose. You're not even going to be say hello?"

"Do I have to?"

A call from his mother answered that question. She walked briskly over to him, smiling.

"Matt, I haven't heard from you in ages!" She exclaimed, pulling him into a hug. Matt stiffened and didn't return it.

"Hi Mum."

"Why don't you call me these days huh? Don't even have time for your mother?" Nancy joked. Matt felt a little guilty- she seemed genuinely pleased to see him.

"You know how it is," he said dismissively. "College work and moving out and all that."

"You moved out?"

"TK didn't tell you?"

"No, he didn't mention it. When was that then?"

Matt shrugged. "A couple of months or so ago. I moved in with Tai."

Nancy looked at Tai and smiled. Tai smiled back awkwardly.

"I wonder how your father manages," Nancy mused. "Given that I seem to remember you doing the cooking and the cleaning in that place."

"I did teach him how to use the oven and the washing machine," Matt reassured her. "He's not completely helpless these days."

Nancy laughed softly. They stood in silence for a moment before Nancy indicated her watch.

"Well, I should be going Matt, my friend's picking me up soon and I'm not even half done. What are your plans for Christmas? Should I expect to be seeing you at all?"

"Dad and TK were going to visit Tai and I," Matt explained. "You can come to if you want."

Nancy nodded. "I'd like that. Call me closer to the time, alright?"

She hugged him again quickly. "Don't be a stranger, Matt. Have fun."

"You too."

Matt watched her head off, looking slightly frustrated.

"What?" Tai queried, seeing the look on his face.

"I don't see her for months, and when I do see her, she manages to make me feel guilty as hell."

Tai squeezed his hand gently. Matt didn't resist.

"Come on. Let's get the lights and go home. I'm sure you'll be glad to get out of here."

-

A week later, Matt awoke to find that Tai wasn't out of bed yet. He glanced across at the clock sleepily, surprised. Tai was a very early riser.

Nine am. Matt raised an eyebrow, even more surprised. He turned over and shook Tai's shoulder gently.

He frowned when he realised Tai was trembling beneath his touch.

"Tai? You feeling okay?"

Tai froze.

"So you're awake then," Matt said softly.

"I'm alright," Tai said sharply, shaking Matt's hand off of his shoulder and throwing the covers back, intending to get out of bed.

Matt grabbed the edge of the covers and wrapped Tai back up in them, pulling him close. Tai didn't resist, curling up into Matt's chest under the covers.

"So what's wrong?"

Tai shrugged. "You wouldn't understand."

"Try me."

Silence for a moment.

"You still haven't spoken to them," came Tai's quiet voice finally. "And I didn't bring it up because you always get angry when I do and ignore me."

"There's still a couple of weeks to Christmas," Matt tried to reassure him. "I'll talk to them by Christmas, I told you I would Tai."

Tai crawled out from under the covers, looking up at Matt with tear-filled eyes.

"Do you know how important it is for me?"

Matt nodded. "Given you've brought it up at every possible opportunity, of course I do."

"Then why are you still putting it off?"

Matt looked indignant. "Look, Tai, I said by Christmas. It's not Christmas yet."

"So you were planning to tell them Christmas day then?"

"No."

"Well that's what will happen if you keep your word, because you've become so good at burying your head in the sand that you won't call them and deal with it before then."

Matt opened his mouth to protest, but decided against it. Deep down, he knew Tai was right.

"I'm right aren't I?" Tai asked, his voice small.

Matt closed his eyes and held the brunette close. Tai didn't fight it, but Matt could feel him shaking his head in his chest at the unspoken 'yes'.

"You're the Keeper of Courage," Matt spoke after a moment. "Not me."

"But how long are you going to hide it for? Call them, it's Saturday, they won't be working."

"No way am I telling them both at the same time," Matt recoiled. "Mum and Dad will just argue and blame each other or something."

"Then call one of them!"

Matt didn't answer. Tai sat up, looking frustrated.

"You really don't understand how much I love you," he whispered, closing his eyes. "And how proud I am to be with you. I hate having to hide how I feel…"

"Thank you," Matt said softly. "But I'm not someone to be proud of."

He threw the covers back and got out of bed, opening his wardrobe and rummaging for clean clothes.

"Don't tell me how I should and shouldn't feel."

"Then don't push me into doing something I'm not ready to do yet."

Tai threw a pillow at him.

"Next time one of your parents visits, I'm just going to kiss you or something you stubborn bastard."

Matt turned to face him, clothes in hand.

"I do understand how you feel," he admonished. "And I understand why you're pushing me. But… If my Dad rejects me-"

Tai threw another pillow at him.

"Your Dad loves you, he won't do that!"

"But he might," Matt shot back. "And I don't want to lose my Dad. Alright?"

He stalked out the room, slamming the door shut behind him. Tai jumped up and followed.

"Give the man some credit, Matt!" He called to the blonde's retreating back. He sprinted slightly and grabbed Matt from behind, hugging him fiercely.

"One day, you're going to have to do it. Why prolong the inevitable?"

Matt shook himself free.

"I'm going to take a shower," he said levelly. "And then I'm going to have a couple of shots of vodka, and I'm going to call my Dad."

He dropped his clothes, grabbing Tai and kissing him forcefully. Tai melted into his embrace, wrapping his arms around Matt and backing him up into the wall behind.

"I love you, damn it," Matt said, breaking the kiss free after a moment. "And if this is what I have to do to show you and stop you moping around, then fine. But if my Dad storms out of here and never wants to see me again, then you're going to be the one picking up the pieces. Alright?"

Tai smiled slightly.

"There's a flaw in your plan."

Matt raised an eyebrow.

"We don't have any vodka."

Matt gave him another quick kiss, picked up his clothes, and gave him a soft smile.

"Then you'd better go to the store and get some, because I'll need something to calm me down."

With that, he stepped into the bathroom and closed the door, leaving Tai to catch his breathe and do as instructed.

-

Two hours later, Matt was sitting at the table, nervously drumming his fingers. Tai sat opposite from him, pouring a shot of vodka.

"I didn't think you liked alcohol neat," Tai mused.

Matt snatched the shot when it was poured and knocked it back swiftly.

"I don't," he replied, gagging slightly.

Tai put his hand over Matt's to stop him drumming his fingers.

"I honestly think you're getting worked up over nothing. What if he does say he wants nothing to do with you? Would you leave me?"

"Of course not!"

"Then, really… What are you worried about?"

"It's always nice to have parental approval," Matt sighed. "I don't want him to be disappointed with me."

He gestured to the vodka. Tai noticed his hand was shaking violently.

"Hey," he said soothingly, getting up and walking around the table. "Calm down, Matt."

He hugged the blonde tightly for a moment before sitting down again, pouring another shot.

"No more after this one," he instructed, handing it to him. "Given you haven't eaten anything either, those two will go straight to your head anyway."

"Are you implying I'm a lightweight?" Matt asked indignantly.

"No. But, you are and you know it."

Matt grinned sheepishly, knocking the second shot back. Tai took the glass from him and grabbed the vodka, putting it away before Mr. Ishida arrived.

"How long did he say he'd be?" Tai called from the kitchenette.

"About twenty minutes from when I called. He'll be here any minute."

"Alright. I think it would be best if I left."

Matt turned to him, looking horrified.

"What?!"

"This is something private between you guys," Tai explained, walking back to the table. "In the very least, I should make myself scarce to begin with."

Matt looked horrified still.

"I'll just go in the bedroom and watch the TV in there or something," Tai shrugged. "If you really need me, I'll be a call away."

Matt looked like he wanted to protest, but he didn't. Tai was right. Again.

He's doing a lot of that 'being right' stuff lately. Damn him.

"What did you tell him to get him to come over?"

"Just that I wanted to see him."

They heard the sound of the door being knocked. Matt turned ashen, looking up at Tai for guidance.

Tai pulled him out of the chair, gave him a hug and a kiss, and pushed him in the direction of the front door.

"Good luck," he smiled, entering the bedroom and leaving Matt to answer the door.

Matt did so, smiling weakly at his Dad in the doorway.

"You look awful," his Dad said by way of greeting.

"Well, thanks," Matt said, stepping aside to let him in.

"Do I smell vodka?"

Matt shrugged, looking sheepish. Mr. Ishida narrowed his eyes as Matt walked towards the table and sat down.

"Ah, you remembered," Mr. Ishida said, sitting with him and indicating the bowl on the table. He lit a cigarette, and glanced at Matt expectantly.

"You're not going to offer me a coffee?"

He noticed Matt was trembling and frowned, lowering his cigarette.

"What's the matter son?" He asked.

Matt wrung his hands together, shrugging an answer, too afraid to open his mouth because of what he might say. He had to get this right.

Mr. Ishida frowned harder.

"Out with it, Matt."

Matt opened his mouth to speak, but instead burst into tears. Mr. Ishida was on his feet in an instant and at his side.

"What is it? Financial trouble? You can move back home any time, you know that."

Matt shook his head.

"College work getting to you?"

Another shake of the head.

"Problems at work? I know it's only part time, but I always said I didn't like that record store, it's in the bad part of town-"

"No, Dad," Matt answered, shaking his head again.

Mr. Ishida got to his knees beside him.

"I know you hate Christmas, but crying about it isn't going to make it go away," he joked.

Matt smiled weakly, drying his tears and gaining his composure.

"I have something important to tell you," he said, surprised at how strong his voice was. "About why I moved into this apartment."

Mr. Ishida looked interested, standing and sitting across from Matt again and picking up the cigarette he'd put down in the make-shift ashtray.

"Go on."

"Well…"

Just say it!

"I moved in with Tai for more than just gaining independence…"

Mr. Ishida nodded him to continue as he paused.

"I moved in with him because… Well…"

He stared at the oak table, hands wrung together so tightly it was hurting him.

"Because he's my boyfriend. And I love him."

He closed his eyes, not wanting to see his father's face or reaction.

Mr. Ishida sighed, took another drag on his cigarette, and stubbed it out. Matt opened one eye and looked up at him expectantly.

"Is that all?" Mr. Ishida asked.

Matt looked up at him fully, confused.

"Matt, give me a break. I've known you all your life, and you think I didn't work something like that out already?"

"What?!"

"It was obvious how you felt about Tai. Sure, I tried to ignore it to begin with. But as time went on, I accepted it more. And then you dated Sora, so I thought maybe I was wrong. But then when things didn't work out between you guys and you moved in with Tai, I knew."

Matt stared at him.

"You… You don't care?"

"I did when it first crossed my mind," Mr. Ishida admitted, shrugging. "But I had a lot of time to get used to it. And I've seen how you look at Tai. He makes you happy, and that's all I could ever ask of your partners."

"Dad…" Matt uttered, tears filling his eyes.

"This is why you've been distant lately?"

Matt nodded, unable to speak.

"So where is Tai then?"

"Hiding in the bedroom," Matt said softly.

"Hiding from me?" Mr. Ishida asked. Matt shook his head.

"N-no. Hiding to give me the chance to do this."

"I see. Have you told your mother?"

"No. But I'm going to, soon."

"And TK?"

"Yeah… He knows."

Mr. Ishida raised an eyebrow. "You told TK but you didn't tell me?"

Matt shook him a glare. "Yeah, well, I knew TK would be alright with it. I didn't think you would be."

"You don't give me enough credit, son."

"Funny," Matt mused. "Tai said the exact same thing."

"Then he's a smart boy."

"Did I hear my name?" Tai called from the bedroom doorway. He'd clearly been listening to the conversation and figured it was safe to come out.

"Get out here," Mr. Ishida barked. Tai glanced at Matt, who shrugged. He did as instructed, standing in front of the man.

"Good afternoon," he said, smiling nervously.

Mr. Ishida grinned.

"You've landed yourself a good housewife in Matt," he said. "Keep him in line, alright?"

"Dad!" Matt hissed as Tai burst out laughing.

"Will do!"

Mr. Ishida stood, indicating for Matt to stand up.

"I'm going to make my way, I need to stop by the office and clear up a few things."

"It's Saturday!"

Mr. Ishida winked. "No rest for the wicked. Besides, I have some laundry to drop off at the launderette."

Matt's eyes widened. "I showed you how to use the washing machine!"

"That doesn't mean I understand now, does it?"

Matt sighed. "Leave it with me, I'll do it…"

"Seems you were right about being a housewife," Tai snickered. Matt glowered at him.

"I'll bring it up from the car and then be on my way," Mr. Ishida said, heading to the door and waving over his shoulder.

Matt stared at his back as he left, then looked at Tai beside him.

"So it went well?" Tai queried.

"You were listening, you know it did."

Tai shrugged. "I couldn't hear it all. I heard enough to know I was right, however."

Matt punched him on the arm. "Shut up."

Thank you, Dad. I couldn't ask for a better Christmas present than to be accepted by you.

-

Author's Note: I can't believe I actually got this finished, and in time for Christmas! This has to be some kind of record for me.

I always do Christmas Taito (well, minus a couple of years ago), and this year is no different I'm afraid. The idea might be slightly cliché, but I couldn't shake it, so I went with it.

Reviews or e-mails are nice- though, even if you don't tell me so, I hope you enjoyed. And if you didn't, well, I enjoyed writing it, so I'm happy either way!