I don't own 'em!

An angsty Sora story that ends Taiora... I really like it actually. There's a little note at the bottom about where I got some of my material.

Reviews = supremely appreciated!



Dandylion





By: Laura



Sometimes Sora felt like she was just a part of the background. Some scenery, nice to have there for the final production, but not necessary, or needed. She had her moments, when the scenery really made something come to life, but she was never in the spotlight. She wasn't anyone's special someone. She wasn't a princess to hundreds of Geckomon and Otamamon like Mimi had been. She wasn't the Queen to thousands of Numemon, as Kari was once. She was just Sora Takenouchi, bearer of the Crest of Love. There were days when she hated it.


It was those days that Sora was at her worst. She was snappish, faught with her mother, yelled at her friends... Then she came home to her family's apartment, stripped off her clothes and stood in the shower. It was the only place she could cry, because the sound of the water masked the noise her sobs made. She'd stand in the shower, crying until the water beating down on her became cold. It had become an almost weekly ritual, to which everyone was oblivious.


But Sora knew her misery couldn't go much longer, she knew someone would find out... she knew it would just keep getting worse. There were parts of her that just wanted to end everything. Just take the razor to her wrists and end the depression she was filled with. There were other parts of her mind that knew suicide wasn't the answer, that she should tell someone. Thankfully, the latter parts won the arguement within her brain.


That's how Sora found herself sitting in the waiting room of her doctor's office. She'd glance nervously around, worried that someone might see her, that someone might think to ask her mother why she was there... Sora had made the appointment herself, told her mother she was at tennis practice, and was counting on her doctor's confidentiality to keep anyone else from finding out.


She knew it would dissappoint her mother, that's why she didn't tell her. And as for her friends? Kari would worry, Mimi would be concerned, Matt would be pensive, Joe would panic, Izzy would be curious, TK would frown quietly, and Tai would think she was weak. Sora let out a shuddering breath, she couldn't worry her friends over this, she couldn't risk their opinion of her changing.


"Sora Takenouchi?"


Her head snapped up and she saw the nurse standing with a clipboard. Taking a deep breath, she stood up and followed the woman into the sterile white room. Then she was waiting again. This time she wasn't waiting in front of everyone, but Sora wasn't sure if being all alone was better or worse. Pictures of her doctor's family shined down on her, Norman Rockwell paintings donned the walls, the entire room was a shrine to normalcy. Sora wanted to cry.


The soft click tore her eyes away from the walls. Dr. Noaki had been her doctor since birth, he was a nice man, very caring, and Sora liked him. That's why she was trusting him. Swallowing, she put on her bravest smile.


"Sora, it's a pleasure to see you. How's your mother doing?" Dr. Noaki rifled through her file as he sat down.


"She's great, business has really picked up at the shop."


"I'm glad to hear that." He smiled at her, over the papers. "My eldest daughter, Adriane, is getting married in a few months, I'll be sure to tell her to get her flowers from your mom's shop."


"Thank-you."


"Now, Sora, what brings you here today? Tennis elbow?" he winked.


Sora took another deep breath. "No, that's not it..." She trailed off for a moment, her eyes dropping.


Dr. Noaki frowned, concerned. "Whatever it is Sora, you can tell me." he started putting things together in his mind with what he knew. "Is there a boyfriend in-"


Her head snapped up. "Oh no, Doctor. I'm not pregnant!" she assured him, accurately guessing his train of thought. "I'm just... sad."


He frowned more, studying her. "Well, why don't you tell me about it?"


Sora sighed. "I just... I'm okay some days, I'm happy and excited, and I have a good time with my friends. We do lots of fun things together, and it doesn't really bother me."


"What doesn't?"


"The fact that I'm not really essential." She paused for a moment, then lowered her eyes to the ground once again. "But some days... some days it's awful, like I can't go on. Things that don't bother me other days seem unbearable and I just end up in tears."


Dr. Noaki leaned back in his chair. "Does your mother know about this, Sora?"


She shook her head. "No, I can't tell her. She'd just be dissapointed in me."


"I see... Sora, I'm going to have to refer you to a psychologist, it sounds to me like you're bi-polar."


She stared at him, confused.


"Bi-polar means you have clinical depression." He elaborated. "That the chemicals in your brain don't balance properly, and cause mood swings, like you've described." He rummaged around his desk and pulled out a business card. "This is Dr. Akio Ishton, she specializes in teenage cases. Also, I've prescribed a mild anti-depressant for you, in case you decide not to see Dr. Ishton" He looked her in the eye. "I can't tell your mother about this, because of the hippocratic oath I've taken, but I do recommend you talk to her, or at least someone."


Sora said nothing.


"You hang in there Sora, you're a wonderful girl and things will get better. Dr. Ishton will be a great help."


She nodded, and thanked him, shoving the prescription in her pocket.


Clinical Depression? She played with the word in her mind as she headed out of the doctor's office. It seemed so... awful to her. Her brain chemistry? No, there was nothing like that wrong with her, she was just being silly. She was making things out to be worse than they really were. She couldn't waste Dr. Ishton's time with a silly case like hers. "She probably has people with important problems to see..." She murmured softly.


"Who does?"


Sora spun around quickly, dropping the business card that was in her hand, and found herself face to face with Taichi Kamiya. "Oh, Tai, you scared me!"


He grinned at her, his hands in the pockets of his blue coat. "Sorry, couldn't help myself. I was gonna belt you with a snowball" he motioned to the pile of melting snow in his hand. "but you started talking to yourself, and I couldn't resist commenting." He dropped the snow, letting it fall on the sidewalk by his foot. "So, how've you been? I haven't seen you since we defeated MaloMyotismon."


"I've been okay." She lied.


Tai eyed her suspiciously, then bent, picking up the business card she had dropped. He examined it for a moment, before looking at her, confused. "Adolescent Psychologist? You sure you're okay, Sora?"


She plastered a smile on her face. "Yeah, Tai, I am." She snatched the card from him. "I just found this on the ground, I don't like litter, so I was looking for a garbage can."


He didn't look convinced. "Okay Sora." Tai glanced at his watch. "Shoot, I hafta get Kari from cheerleading practice, apparently Davis keeps trying to walk her home, so I'm going to protect her." he chuckled. "I'll see you around!"


She watched his retreating form silently for a moment, before crossing the street to a garbage can, and firmly shoving the business card inside.


** ** **


"Sora? You've been in there an hour." Her mother knocked on the door to the bathroom.


She blinked, and shivered, realising the water running over her had long since lost it's heat. The tracks of her tears made her face seem sticky as she shut off the water and grabbed a towel. "Sorry mom, I'm just finishing."


Her mother smiled when she exited the bathroom. "Adriane Noaki came into the store today." She informed her. "She's getting married soon! isn't that wonderful?"


Sora swallowed, and tried to act like she hadn't known that for the past two months. "Yeah mom, that's wonderful."


"Well, you go get dressed." Her mother headed back towards the kitchen.


Sora sighed and headed into her bedroom. Changing into her usual clothes she took a look at herself in the mirror. She hated what she saw. She hated how pale she was, she hated how fake her smile seemed, she hated how dead her eyes were. It felt to her like the tears were going to start again, and she collapsed onto her bedspread, burrying her face in the pillows to muffle the sound. She needed out, needed some way to make everything stop.


The anti-depressants Dr. Noaki had prescribed had worked a little bit, had made her despair seem less... but she had finished them three days ago, and couldn't bring herself to go back to him for more. Gradually, it was going back to how it had been before... no, Sora knew it was getting worse.


Wiping her eyes she grabbed her backpack, told her mother she was going for a walk, and left the apartment. She needed time to think, time to work things over in her mind... She walked the darkened streets of Odaiba, oblivious of everything around her.


Sometimes it felt like she was falling, like gravity was pulling her towards the end. There were days where she felt like embracing that end. There were days where she felt she could rise above gravity and climb out of this hole... they were intermixed with eachother leaving Sora in a horrible state of purgatory, unable to make the decision. The tears were falling from her eyes as memories flashed in front of her face. The look in TK's eyes when Angemon was deleted after destroying Devimon, Tai's attempt to get Greymon to digivolve, Izzy's determination to find Gennai, Joe's exasperation with everyone for splitting up, Mimi's strong will against fighting, Matt's ability to overcome his inner demons, Kari's inner light shining on them all... Images of battles faught, and enemies defeated... and each time, Sora stood by, unable to be anything but a nuisance.


Her shoulders shook with her tears as she walked, unaware of where she was going, or who was around.


** ** **


Across the street he watched her, his heart breaking silently. She meant everything to him, didn't she know that? Why wouldn't she trust him with what was making her so upset... he shoved his hands into the pockets of his blue jacket, and continued watching her, until she turned a corner.


Tai sighed as she left his sight, knowing that she wouldn't tell him what was bothering her, no matter how much he pestered her. Knowing that pestering her would only make her more upset... He had to wait until she came to him... or to anyone. He really didn't care if she went running to Matt or Joe or Mimi with her sadness, as long as she told someone.


Then Tai made a vow, he wouldn't urge her to tell him what was wrong, he'd urge her to find someone she could tell.


He pulled his hands from his pockets and ran after her.


** ** **


How long had she been walking? Sora didn't know. Her mother was probably worried sick, but she couldn't bring herself to care. She felt sick at herself, but she knew she liked it. Knew she liked the idea of her mother worrying about where she was, it made Sora feel important, even if just for a few minutes. That's what she needed, to feel wanted and needed... She'd never been able to feel that. Not when she had been dating Matt, his music had always been more important, not when she had been in the Digiworld with the others... She'd always been second place... The tears falling from her eyes were quickly hindering her ability to walk, and she sat down on a bench, her head in her hands.


** ** **


That was how he found her, seated on the bench, crying into her hands... Tai threw out the vow he had made. She needed to talk, and she needed to talk now... Maybe if he told her how much he cared... maybe that would help her... Forgetting about his own pride, Tai bent down, and picked a dandylion before approaching the bench.


He crouched in front of her, running the dandylion over her knuckles. "Sora?"


Her head shot up abruptly, and her face filled with shame when she saw him. She quickly burried it against her hands once more, sobs racking her entire body.


Tai sighed, fingering the yellow flower. He rested his chin on her knee. "C'mon Sora, I know you're strong, just tell me what's wrong, okay?" She her only response was to sob harder he gently kissed her kneecap, then stood, and slid onto the bench beside her. Laying the dandylion on the ground by his feet, Tai pulled the sobbing girl into his arms, ignoring her protests and holding her against his chest. He kissed her hair and rubbed her back as he gently rocked her. "Shhhh.... Sora, I'm here. I care about you Sora, just tell me what's wrong..."


When she finally raised her eyes to his, they were filled with self-loathing. "I'm sorry Tai..." She started moving away from him.


Tai tightened his arms around her, holding her to his chest. "No." The word was firm, but not harsh. "I'm not letting you go until you tell me what's bothering you, I've seen it Sora, seen how sad you are... you're too important to me, I won't let you destroy yourself by keeping whatever this is inside."


"I'm important to you?" Her voice was small, disbeleiving.


"Of course you are." He chided softly. "And that's why I need you to tell me what's wrong."


** ** **


Sora was having trouble wrapping ehr mind around what was happening. She was important to him? Memories of Matt's Christmas concert flashed in her mind... She nearly choked. How could she had not seen it? It was vivid in her memory, how Tai looked at her... How he felt...


And then she started talking.


She told him everything, how she felt inadequate, unneeded, unimportant... everything that was inside of her came tumbling out... the hours she'd spent in the shower, crying, the anti-depressants she had taken, the real reason she had had the business card with her... What Dr. Noaki had said, why she hadn't gone to see Dr. Ishton, everything poured out.


And Tai listened to her, rocking her gently, holding her against his chest. He whispered words of encouragement when it became hard for her to continue... And when she had completely finished he kissed her hair once more.


"Oh Sora..." She looked up into his understanding eyes. "You are important, do you know how many times I felt like quitting when we were in the Digiworld? Do you know how many times I looked at you and realized I had to be strong? You were essential, and completely necessary to me, you always have been."


"Tai, I-"


He placed his finger on her lips. "Shhh. First things first, Sora. You need to go back to your doctor, and get the number for that psychologist. Secondly, you need a stronger anti-depressant, and you need to tell your mother. You don't have to do this alone Sora, not anymore." His arms tightened around her. "I'm here, in any capacity you may need me. You need a ride to the doctor's office? I'll borrow Joe's scooter and take you there. Anything Sora, as long as you promise me you'll do whatever you have to to get better."


She nodded slowly. "I just need you to hold me, Tai. That's all I need right now."


He shifted her slightly, so her head was against his shoulder. "Anything." he whispered, holding her on his lap.


Sora closed her eyes, and instead of the onslaught of memories that usually met her, she was greeted with the chance for a brighter future. She saw herself rising above the gravity of depression, out of the hole she had been falling in. And right beside her was Tai, giving her the extra push she needed, giving her anything she wanted... tears stung her eyes, but this time they weren't tears of misery and sadness, they were tears of knowing she could get through this, knowing that Tai would always stand by her side... knowing that all of her friends loved her, knowing that she was important.


Tai lifted the dandylion off of the ground, and handed it to her. "You remind me of a dandylion, Sora." He whispered. "They're beautiful, yet underrated."


She smiled against his shoulder. With Tai by her side, helping her every step of the way, Sora knew she could get through this. She didn't need to be a princess or a queen, she wasn't just scenery to a play... she was a dandylion, fierce, beautiful... and she meant everything to one person... and he was quickly becoming everything to her.


Tomorrow she'd call Dr. Noaki, tomorrow she'd talk to her mother, tomorrow she'd start on her path out of depression, but for the rest of this night, she just wanted to be held... just as she held the precious dandylion in her fingers.


Fin.


Well... that was... odd. Another one of my unplanned fics, and a little long for me... and little bit more serious than my usual fluff. A lot of this story acem from personal experience though, as I myself am bi-polar. I'm pretty happy with this, so reviews would be appreciated!

Ciao!