Don't Know You Anymore

A/N: It might be advisable if you read "The Call" first, since this is the sequel. ^_~* And if the characters seem out of character (All of them are), just remember, half of them were drunk in the Call, and the other half had Tai and TK as their whole life. Of course they'd all be a mess. And Nea, I'm sorry about what I did to Izzy. Gomen-nasai! So here is the sequel… I think the original's better but oh well...

Disclaimer: I don't own nothing. I'm poor.

Rating: PG-13 for language (as always) and angst and some serious issues like drinking and death…

Don't Know You Anymore

By SoulDestiny

Rock On, baby!!

It was a quiet morning at the Odaiba Bureau of Crime. There was only one guard watching over the main office, and he was stranded in the bathroom with a less-than-calm stomach. This was all mysterious figure needed. It slipped into the back office with no problem and opened one of the many file cabinets. Taking out a folder labeled "HEIR, NATALIA", the figure then flipped through its contents.

SUSPECT: Heir, Natalia

VICTIM: Takaishi, Takeru

REPORT: The body of Takaishi was found on the ground when authorities arrived. Two bullet wounds were found, one in the left part of his stomach, the other in his head near his right ear. Suspect Heir was found trying to revive her ex-husband who suffered a severe concussion after seemingly being hit with a bat several times. A small pistol was found on the scene. Future tests revealed Heir's fingerprints on the gun.

WEAPON USED: a small pistol, ID and registration number unknown, brand name unknown, located in cubby E195 of Odaiba Bureau of Crime

That was all the figure needed as it replaced the file back into its rightful place. It now progressed to a different room where the weapons were stored. It located the pistol, which was wrapped in a small bag. Slipping the pistol into its jacket, the figure strolled out of the building, leaving no trace of ever being there. It now had other duties to attend to.

I would like to visit you for a while

Get away and out of this city

Maybe I shouldn't have called

But someone had to be the first to break

"So, I'll be seeing you next week, Miss Kamiya?"

"Actually, doctor, I'll be out of town on personal business. I need to sort some things out on my own, possibly visit my brother."

"Taichi? But what did I tell you about him, Miss Kamiya?"

"I know. I should try to move on and forget about him. But I have to do this one thing. You've got to understand."

"Miss Kamiya, you know what this sort of exposure can do to you."

"I know that doctor. This is the only time. I need closure."

"Miss Kamiya…"

"I'm sorry, doctor. I've gotta go." Kari Kamiya ran out of the office before her therapist could protest. She was at the Odaiba Counseling Center, a place she had been going to for a year now. A year since she lost her love, TK Takaishi. Ever since the incident happened, she had been receiving therapy at the center. The next week was the first week that she would be without therapy in a year. TK's death had hit her especially hard, but it was what her brother did that hurt her even more.

Taichi Kamiya had always been somewhat of a drunk. He and Matt Ishida would frequently go out for drinks and wouldn't come home until the break of dawn. Then the incident happened. Tai was the most shaken up by it, and blamed himself for not stopping TK that night. However, that didn't improve his drinking habits at all. In fact, it got worse. Tai had always returned home within 24 hours, but then he began to disappear for days on end. Finally, after 3 months of this, he just left. Apparently, he decided Odaiba wasn't giving him all he was looking for, and moved to America, but what tore Kari and the others apart, was that he didn't even bother to leave a note. He just up and left. He didn't even pack.

Kari didn't know who was more shocked: Her, or Tai's wife, Sora. Sora had stopped talking about him altogether after he left. Kari and Matt desperately tried to locate him so they could knock some sense into him, but to no avail. They were about to give up when Mimi's friend in America, Michael, said he saw Tai at a local bar and got his phone number. They weren't sure if the number was a fake or not, for whenever one tried to call him, there would be no answer. That's when Kari's therapist decided it was best for her to shut her brother out of her life completely. She was already suffering enough from TK's death as it was, and Tai's situation just made it worse. She tried to follow the advice given by her therapist, but it wasn't working. She needed closure.

"Hey, what's a sweet honey like you doing walking down this dangerous parking lot without a man?"

Kari looked up at the familiar voice and forced a smile. "Matt… what's up?"

"Not much. I heard from Mimi that you were thinking of heading on a plane to America tomorrow."

"Yeah. I need to talk to my brother."

"Well, why didn't you talk to me?" Matt asked with concern. "You know I would've taken a break from the Station to go with you. America's a dangerous place."

"I know, Matt." Kari said. "But this is something I need to do on my own. Anyways, Michael's gonna be there to help me."

Matt wrinkled his nose. "Oh yeah. Him. His accent scares me."

Kari laughed. Out of all that happened, Matt was the one who had changed the most. While the others had gotten rather depressed and took a turn for the worse, it was Matt who had changed for the better. He had taken charge of his life and became the legal father of Mimi's baby, and got a stable job at the Odaiba News Anchor Station. Unlike Tai, Matt had given up on drinking. No one knew what happened to make him change so much, but it gave all of them the strength to carry on after TK died. In fact, if it wasn't for him, Kari wasn't sure if she would've made it through all that happened. He was like the brother she never had, or the brother she was missing, to be more specific.

"So, do you need a ride home?" Matt asked.

"A ride home would be great." Kari answered.

The two walked to his car in silence. "You know, Kari," Matt began, "New York's a dangerous place. You don't know what's gonna be there around the next corner… there's so much crime and danger… are you sure you don't want me to come with you?"

"Actually, Matt, I think I'd be better off doing this myself." Kari said.

"Oh. Okay." Matt nodded in understanding. "Well, if you need any money or ever need a shoulder to cry on, you have my number."

Kari smiled. "Thanks Matt."

The two continued on in silence. When they finally got to Kari's house, and Kari smiled and waved goodbye to Matt as she got out of the car and walked up her doorstep, watching Matt drive off. She took her key out and tried to unlock her door, but that was impossible, for her door was already unlocked.

"That's funny." She mumbled. "I could've sworn I locked this thing."

She pushed the door open and tiredly hung her coat back in the closet. She had a lot to do before she could leave for her trip the next day. She went to the kitchen and made herself some coffee, then walked to her living room to find something she didn't expect to find at all: her brother.

We can go sit on your back porch

Relax

Talk about anything

It don't matter

I'll be courageous if you can pretend that you've forgiven me…

"Tai…" Kari dropped her cup of coffee onto her newly steamed carpet and gasped. "What are you doing here?"

"Hey, sis." Tai smiled slightly and stood up. "Good to see you again."

"Are you sober?"

Tai looked surprised. "Now, now, that ain't anyway to treat your long lost brother!"

"I don't tolerate drinking in my house, Tai."

"Okay, okay, sheesh. I'm not drinking, Kari." Tai rolled his eyes. "Ya happy now?"

"I wouldn't say that." Kari replied uneasily. "I should clean this up." She said, referring to the spilt coffee on the ground.

"No, allow me." Tai said, whisking off to the kitchen. Kari sighed and slowly took a seat on her flower-decored couch. What was Tai doing back? This was something she never expected to happen. It ruined everything she planned to do! The element of surprise no longer amused her as it did when she was a kid. Now, every time something unexpected came up, she didn't know how to cope with it! Without TK, she was nothing…

"A little soap and lemonade should do the trick, right?" Tai asked, coming back with some paper towels and a lemon.

"Um, yeah…" Kari nodded her head absentmindedly. She didn't really feel like talking all of a sudden. "I'll be in my room if you need me…"

Tai continued scrubbing and looked around. The place was different from the last time he was there, almost a year ago. There were flowers everywhere, and hardly any pictures of TK or Tai. It was funny, because Kari used to be such a picture freak. All she did when they were kids was take pictures. Now, the only picture that remained in the entire house was one of a piece of glass. Tai wasn't sure what that was about, but then again, he didn't really care either. It was Kari's house, after all.

"Hey, Kari!" Tai yelled. "C'mere!"

"What is it?" Kari asked, stepping out of her room, slightly peeved.

"Aren't you happy to see your brother?" Tai asked, putting his arm around his sister. "I missed you, girl."

That's kinda hard to believe. Kari thought. If he missed her so much, why did he leave her during the time she needed him the most? Why did he leave her stranded alone in the game of life, when he promised to be there with her always as kids? Ugh, I gotta stop thinking like this. Tai came back, so it's gotta mean something… Kari pasted a smile on her face and said, "I'm doing fine, Tai. What about you?"

"Oh, I'm cool, I told you I quit drinking, right?"

"Yes. So what exactly did you do in New York?"

Tai shrugged. "Not much. Some soul searching, and yada yada yada. Wouldn't really interest you much."

"Oh. How nice." Kari sighed. "Look, Tai, right now's not a really good time for me. Can you come back some other time later?"

"Uh, yeah, I guess." Tai said. Was Kari saying she didn't want him around? "I have to go to Sora, anyways. She's my woman, after all."

"I don't think that's recommended…" Kari said slowly. If she knew Sora, which she did, the woman would've built up enough hatred for Tai to last 2 lifetimes.

"That's alright." Tai smiled. "I know what I'm doing. I'm sober, remember? So I'll seeya around?"

"I guess so, Tai…" Kari said, but as Tai walked out of the door and towards the bus stop, Kari had a feeling that that would be the last time she'd see him in a long time…

I don't know you anymore

I don't recognize this place

The picture frames have changed and so has your name

We don't talk much anymore

We keep running from this pain

But what I wouldn't give to see your face again…

"Sora *Takenouchi*, huh?" Tai muttered as he stood upon the doorstep of his wife's house. "I don't remember ever getting a divorce…" He rang the doorbell and waited for an answer, while looking around the area of the house. It was funny… he had the key to his sister's house, but his own house was a different story…

"Yes? Is anyone there?" A young redhead stepped out and looked around. She soon spotted Tai wandering around the corner of the house.

"You added more flowers." Tai noted. What was with all these flowers, anyways?

"Oh my God." Sora whispered.

"Hey, baby… remember me?" Tai grinned sheepishly.

"Go to hell." Sora hissed as she slammed the door.

"Hey!" Tai protested, walking back to the doorstep. "Sora! I was kidding about the 'baby' part! I'm home! You can't *still* be mad at me, are you?"

"Try pissed off beyond all circumstances!" Sora's voice yelled from inside the house.

"Aw… I'm sorry!" Tai replied. "Look, I'm a changed man, Sora! I got help, found some peace, I'm happy now!"

"I don't care!"

"Please forgive me!" Tai kneeled down and folded his hands in front of him. "You don't see me, but I'm down on my knees, begging you to forgive me! I love you Sora! I always have, and I always will!"

"Do you really love me?" Sora asked.

"Yes."

She opened the door and threw a stack of papers at him. "Then sign these." She slammed the door again.

Tai looked at the pile of papers laying in front him. "Odaiba Department of Marriage Annulment?"  They were Divorce Papers.

"What'd I do?"

* * *

Ring! Ring! Ring!

Izzy Izumi yawned to himself as he rolled over in bed to reach the phone. Who would be calling at this time in the day? Then again, who would be calling, period? Everyone knew that Izzy wasn't a phone person.

"Uh."

"Hey, Izzy?"

"Yeah, hey."

"It's me. I wanted to know if you could do me a huge favor."

"Huh?"

"You can hack into the computer system of the Odaiba City Jail, right?"

"Yeah."

"Can you change Natalia Heir's release date to March 18th of this year?"

"Hm" Izzy paused. Wait a minute, did he hear what he heard correctly? "Uh, WHAT?? That's tomorrow! And she's a murderer! And, that's wrong!"

"I'll give you $2000."

"You've got yourself a deal."

"Good. And one more thing."

"What?"

"Pick Ms. Heir up from the jail and make sure she's delivered safely to the inn where the murder happened last year."

"I dunno if I can do that."

"I'll throw in an extra $1000."

"I can work with that."

"Okay then. I'll be counting on you."

Click!

Izzy got up and walked to his computer. At least he had something to do other than looking at porn all day…

Springtime in the city

Always such a relief from the winter freeze

The snow was more lonely than cold,

If you know what I mean…

"It's a lonely place out there, in the city. All those people around you, and you're *still* alone." 

"So that's why you came back?"

"Well, yeah. I missed you guys, and I wanted ya'll to see how much I've changed."

"Well, I can't speak for Sora and Kari, but personally, I'm glad you're back." Mimi Ishida (A/N: *watches all the Mimato haters attack her with red hot pokers and grabs a poker and attacks herself*) smiled, placing her hand on Tai's shoulder. "And I'm sure Matt will be even happier when he comes home."

"Ya think?" Tai asked.

"Of course! He's been so worried about her since you've left. So has Kari."

"What about Sora?"

"Well… Sora is Sora."

"She gave me divorce papers."

"You can't blame her."

Tai sighed. "You wanna know something ironic? Kari and Sora, the two people I thought could count on the most in this world, won't even look at me now, and you,  a person I never really talked to, are being so good to me… what's up with that?"

Mimi shrugged. "Well, I saw with my very own eyes how much a person could change. I mean, look at Matt! He used to be as drunk as you are… I mean, were… and now he's the most responsible person I know! I trust him more than I trust myself!"

"Whoa, that's a lot of trust."

"I know."

Suddenly, a cry was heard from another room, and Mimi stood up as Tai jumped in surprise.

"What the hell is that?" he exclaimed.

"Oh, that's the baby." Mimi said. "I was pregnant with him the last time we talked?"

"Oh yeah…" Tai remembered. "How old is it?"

"He'll be 7 months old tomorrow." Mimi said. "Wait here for a second while I go get him."

Tai watched as Mimi disappeared into another room and sighed. At least he found a place he could stay for awhile. Kari didn't really seem interested in talking to him, and Sora… well, everyone knew what Sora thought, and it wasn't pretty.

"Tai Kamiya… meet Takeru Ishida."

Tai looked up to find Mimi carrying the blondest kid he had ever seen. He thought Matt was blonde, but Takeru… "Wow, it's so little…" Tai whispered. "Can I like, hold it or something?"

"Well, if you promise to call him a "he" and not an "it", then, yes, you can hold him." Mimi replied.

"It's a deal." Tai said as Mimi carefully handed him the baby. This was the first time he ever held a baby before in his life. His mother never let him hold Kari when they were kids. Suddenly he found himself yearning for a child of his own, but quickly dismissed it. A child? What was he thinking? He couldn't even keep a wife!

Tai stared at the baby for what seemed like years longer, when suddenly the front door opened, revealing another blonde, who was ambushed with loads of plastic bags.

"Mimi, grab these bags before the eggs break!" he exclaimed.

"Oh, Matt, forget about the eggs and look up for a minute. We have a visitor!"

"Oh. Huh?" Matt looked up and saw Tai, who was staring dumbfounded at Matt. "Wait… is that who I think it is…?"

"Hey Matt." Tai greeted, handing Takeru back to Mimi.

"Duuuuuude!!!!! Long time no see!" Matt dropped the bags abruptly, no longer caring about the broken eggs and hugged his best friend in joy. "Where've you been the past few months?"

"Oh, here and there, mostly there."

"Yeah, me and Kari tried calling you forever, but you never picked up!"

"Oh sorry about that." Tai grinned sheepishly. "I didn't wanna talk to you guys until I proved I was completely sober."

"What?" A smile grew across Matt's face. "You mean you stopped drinking too?"

"Yup." Tai nodded.

"Cool." Matt said. "Hey, did you talk to Kari yet? She was gonna go to New York to see you, and that'd be bad if she was there and you were here and she didn't know it."

"Yeah, her house was the first place I went to."

"So what'd she say?"

"Not much." Tai said. "It was almost as if she didn't want me there."

"Really?" Matt asked. "That's funny, 'cause she was really worried about you while you were gone."

"Could've fooled me." Tai replied.

"Oh…" Matt furrowed his brow. "Well, if you wanna crash here for a while, and clean yourself up, go ahead, but be ready by 6, 'cause after the landlord comes for our monthly inspection, we're going out to celebrate. Family-style, I mean."

"I know." Tai said. "No more clubs like the old days, huh?"

"Well, we're all grown up now!" Matt smiled.

"Great… well I'm going to my room for awhile, okay? I need some rest."

"Okay. Seeya later, man." Matt said. "I'm glad you're back."

Tai raised his hand in reply as he walked to his room. I wish I could say the same…

Everyone's got an agenda

Don't stop keep that chin up you'll be alright

Can you believe what a year it's been

Are you still the same?

Has your opinion changed?

"Hello, you have reached Kari Kamiya's  answering machine. I am not home right now, so please leave a message after the tone, and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you."

"Dammit, Kari, pick up the phone! This is your brother. I can hear you breathing! PICK UP!!"

"Ugh!" Kari turned off her answering machine and sighed. Why couldn't Tai just leave her alone? She had a lot to think about before she was even ready to talk to him again! If she decided to, that is. All her planning was thrown off because of him. Why did he always have to show up at the wrong time? Why couldn't he just leave her alone?

You have to talk to him sometime Kari… A voice in her head said. "I was going to." Kari answered. But now that Tai was back, it ruined everything… all her plans… now she was gonna have to come up with another one, and soon, because if she didn't…

I'm gonna go crazy…

* * *

"This isn't gonna work." Tai grumbled, hanging up the phone for the millionth time. He had tried contacting Sora and Kari over and over again, but both of them refused to pick up. In fact, Sora even had the nerve to disconnect her phone service, just to avoid talking to him!

"Ugh, fuck this." Tai got up off of the bed he was laying on, and grabbed his suitcase. He began to unpack, putting his clothes away in the drawers that the Ishida's provided for him, one by one, until he got to another item. It was something he brought with him, just in case…

"Hello, old friend." Tai mumbled, picking up the almost-empty bottle of  Barcardi Liquor. "I guess I'll be needing you after all."

* * *

"Matt, Takeru's doctor's check-up's today." Mimi said, approaching Matt who was sitting on the floor, happily playing with his son.

"Well, I have to be here when the landlord comes for the inspection. I don't really trust that guy, plus I'm having issues with that leaky faucet."

"I know, but my license is expired, so I can't drive Takeru to the clinic myself."

"Hm." Matt frowned. "What about Tai? Shouldn't his license still be valid, even if he's been out of the country for a year?"

"Yeah…" Mimi said. "And whatever suspension he got on it while he was drunk should be over, too."

"Then ask him to drive you guys." Matt suggested.

"I'll go and do that." Mimi said. "Okay, then, seeya later, Matt."

"Ciao."

* * *

"I'm gonna need a new bottle." Tai muttered, staring at the empty bottle of liquor. Man, that felt good. It had been a while since he last had a good hard drink…

"Hey, Tai?"

Tai quickly put the bottle under the bed and threw a breath mint in his mouth as Mimi knocked on the door. "Um… come in!"

Mimi opened the door and smiled. "Um, do you happen to have your drivers license with you, because I need someone to drive me to the clinic for Takeru's appointment, and Matt can't drive me right now, so…"

"Why don't you take the bus?"

"It's unsanitary!"

Tai shrugged. I shouldn't drive under alcoholic influence… he thought. But if I say no, Mimi'll be suspicious… anyways, I've driven plenty of times like this, and I never got into an accident… "Okay." He said.

"Great." Mimi smiled. "I'll seeya in the car." She closed the door and walked back to her room to get changed, then paused. Hm… it sure smelled funny in that room… I wonder what it was…

I don't know you anymore

I don't recognize this place

The picture frames have changed and so has your name

We don't talk much anymore

We keep running from these sentences

But what I wouldn't give to see you face again…

"You ready to go?" Tai coughed as he entered the car. Mimi, who was sitting in the back, nodded. "Okay…" Tai put the key in the ignition and backed out of the parking lot of the apartment complex. I can do this… he thought.

"Tai…" Mimi said. "Are you okay? You don't look so well…"

"Yeah, I'm fine." Tai grunted.

"Springtime is so beautiful…" Mimi sighed. "All these flowers… I wish I had my own house to garden. Little Takeru could play in the yard while I tend to the garden…"

"Uh-huh." Tai muttered.

"Takeru would like it, wouldn't you Takeru?" Mimi cooed at her young son, who she was sitting next to.

"Fa-fa…" Takeru squealed.

"Fa-fa-fa…" Tai mumbled.

"Tai, what's your problem?" Mimi asked. "You're acting like you're drunk or something."

"Oh, you noticed…" Tai remarked.

"What??" Mimi sat up. "Oh my God… you are drunk…stop the car."

"No! I can handle it!"

"No you can't." Mimi said sharply. "Stop the car."

"No!"

"Please Tai."

"It's my life, Mimi."

"Tai…" Mimi unbuckled her seat belt and climbed to the front of the car. "Give me the steering wheel, now."

"Leave me alone."

"Ugh!" Mimi and Tai began wrestling over the steering wheel for control. Tai refused to let go of it, but Mimi wouldn't give in, either.

"You're putting all our lives in danger." She said.

"I don't care."

"Tai-"

"SHUT THE FUCK UP, WOMAN!" Tai yelled, pushing her to the side.

"OW!"  It was at that moment the car swerved down the opposite side of the road, barely missing a moving truck, and hitting a parked vehicle on the side of the road before bursting into flames. Tai looked to his left to find Mimi unconscious, and to his right to see his vision fading out. Nothing was heard but the cries of an infant child as his world went black…

I know I let you down

Again and again

I know I never really treated you right

I've paid the price

I'm still paying for it everyday…

"How could you, Tai?"

Tai awoke to the sound of Matt's anguished crying. "Matt…"

"We were best friends, man. Our futures looked so bright, especially yours. I don't know what went wrong…"

"Huh? What are you talking about?"

"You said you were sober. You lied."

"What?" Tai quickly sat up, wincing in pain as he realized he was in the hospital. "What's going on?"

"What's going on?" Matt stood up and walked towards Tai. "What's going on??? You betrayed my trust!! You lied to me!! THAT'S WHAT'S GOING ON!"

"Matt… I'm sorry…"

"Sorry doesn't cut it!" Matt burst out in anger. "I don't know what to do with you anymore Tai."

"I'm sorry… it was only one drink…"

"Only one drink?? ONLY ONE DRINK??? Well, Tai, GUESS WHAT? That ONE DRINK KILLED MY SON!!"

"Takeru…?"

"Yeah, that's right! Takeru!! He's dead because of you!"

"Oh my god…"

"And Mimi! She's in a coma! What the HELL were you thinking, driving drunk??? And with a BABY in the car??"

Tai watched as Matt dropped to his, knees, crying. What have I done…? Tai thought. My best friend is crying… his son is dead… because of me…

"You need help, Tai." Matt said.

"But I'm sober…"

"If you were sober, this wouldn't have happened." Matt choked, wiping the tears from his eyes. "Get help Tai. I'm sorry, but until you do, I can't talk to you. God, I can't even look at you…" Matt turned around, his hands shaking, and walked out of the room.

This is all my fault… Tai thought, staring off into space. But it was only one drink…

So maybe I shouldn't have called

Was it too soon to tell?

Oh what the hell

It doesn't really matter

How do you redefine something that never really had a name?

Has your opinion changed?

"I can't believe Tai would do something like that." Kari whispered into the phone. "I mean, I knew he was irresponsible, but…"

"Yeah, well, I'm not surprised. I was stupid enough for hanging onto him for so long… it was only a matter of time when his best friend saw how he really was…"

"But Sora… oh never mind… I guess you're right…"

"Well, I gotta go. I'm getting a new security system installed so Tai can't sneak in here. I'll see you around Kari."

"Goodbye, Sora."

Kari hung up and sighed. Life was just getting more and more complicated… she hated Tai for leaving her alone the past year, but at the same time, she still cared for him. She thought about her plan of action for the next couple of days and sighed. It was too much for her. Everything was just too much. TK was gone, Tai's a different person… she didn't have anyone to count on anymore. Sora was too spiteful over Tai's disappearance to care about anything or anyone and Matt and Mimi… they had their own problems to deal with. She was never really close to Joe, and Izzy was just as bad as Tai, only he preferred to keep his activities indoors. She was alone.

"TK, I miss you so much… why did you leave me…?"

* * *

It was a rather gloomy day at the Odaiba City Jail. The guards were still pondering over the sudden retraction of Natalia Heir's sentencing, but didn't complain since it was their job to follow through what the main computer said. Natalia was just as curious over why she was being released so soon, but said nothing for this mistake was working to her advantage.

"Hello, I am Izzy Izumi, and I am your ride." A young, auburn-headed man, dressed in what looked like rags, greeted her from the front gate.

"Make sure she comes back in a week… she's still on probation." The guard grunted grumpily as he threw Nati into the car and walked away.

"Who let me out early?" Nati asked.

"Someone." Izzy answered. "I'm taking you to them right now."

Nati nodded and looked out the window. She was sincerely sorry for her actions in the past year, and took this as a blessing from God that she was given a second chance. The two continued on in silence until finally, they reached the hotel that was so familiar to Nati, for it was where she killed Takeru Takaishi exactly one year ago. Izzy let her off, and drove away as Nati walked to the room she was instructed to go to, unsure of whether or not in would be open. It was.

"Uh…hello???" Nati stepped into the room. It looked so clean, considering it was covered in blood the last time she saw it.

"I'm glad you made it." A voice said, coming from behind the beds.

"Um, yeah." Nati said. "Thanks for bailing me out of jail."

"No problem." The voice replied. "I just want you to do me a favor."

"What is it?" Nati asked curiously.

The figure stepped out of the shadows and handed Nati a small pistol.

"But… this was the same gun I used on that kid last year…" Nati said.

"I know." The figure replied. "I want you to kill me."

"What?! Are you crazy?" Nati exclaimed.

"I want to die the same way TK died." The figure said. "Please shoot me."

"No." Nati said. "I may be crazy, but I'm not a murderer. Anyways, why would you want to die when you still have such a life to live? Nothing can be solved by dying! Think of all the people you'll be leaving behind!"

"I don't care."

"Well, I do." Nati handed the figure back the gun. "I'm not doing it. I'm sorry, I can't."

The figure sighed. "Very well then. If you're not doing it, then at least do this much for me." It handed Nati an envelope. "Give this to Tai Kamiya. He's at the Odaiba General Hospital right now."

"Okay…" Nati took the envelope uneasily and walked towards the door. "Bye… and thanks again."

"Your welcome."

I don't know you anymore

I don't recognize this place

The picture frames have changed and so has your name

We don't talk much anymore

We keep running from the pain

But what I wouldn't give to see your face again…

Kari watched as Nati disappeared away from site, then looked at the picture it was holding of TK. The only one I have left… I'll see you again, TK. We'll be together again…

I see your face…

The gunshot rang across the hotel site as another life was lost.

* * *

"Look, Tai, I'm sorry about what I said yesterday about never talking to you again unless you get help. That was wrong of me to say that, but you do need help. I'm worried about you. There's a place across the street from here… a rehabilitation center… I went there when I was recovering from TK's death… I think you should go there to…"

"No, Matt. I can do this on my own." Tai said to his friend who was sitting by his bed.

"I'm serious, Tai. This isn't something you can't beat on your own time. You need the support from others, and I'm willing to give it to you."

"I said no!" Tai retorted angrily. "I refuse to go to one of those centers! I'm not that desperate!"

Matt sighed. "Look, Tai, I used to think that way to, until TK died. In a way, it was his death that changed things for me. It opened up my eyes. I don't want you to have to experience what I had to go through in order to realize what you have to do. Please Tai. If you're not gonna do it for yourself, then do it for me. Do it for your friends."

"No."

Matt threw his hands up in exasperation. "I'm not giving up until you say yes, Tai. I care about you too much."

"Um, Mr. Kamiya?" A nurse poked her head into the room. "A young lady came in and wanted me to give this letter to you. And she said she was sorry."

"Huh?" Tai remarked, taking the letter. What could it be for? He slowly opened it up and read the familiar handwriting of his sister:

Dear Tai,

            I'm sorry for acting so distant towards you when you came to my house the other day. I don't know if Matt told you that I was planning to go to New York or not, but I have to admit that it was a lie. It was only a cover story for something I was planning to do. I never expected to see you again.

            When you showed up at my house the other day, I had mixed feelings about it. One part of me resented you for leaving me, the other part was overjoyed that you remembered me… but it didn't matter because you didn't change at all in reality. I heard what happened with Matt's son, and please send him my condolences.

            Anyways, getting back to the topic, I've been lonely the past year. My husband was dead, my brother was missing. Matt was good to me, but he could never replace you. The two people that mattered the most to me were gone, and it hurt. I didn't think I could handle it.

            You noticed the lack of pictures and outburst of flowers in my house. The flowers represented a part of me dying everyday. Even if it didn't show, I was slowly wilting into nothingness. The piece of glass represented my dying soul. So hard and fragile… Tai, I'm broken.

I love TK. That's not anything new. But you've changed so much Tai. You aren't the brother I once knew. I still love you with all my heart, but I can't stand living, knowing you're somewhere creating havoc.

            If you're reading this, that means I'm dead. I can't handle living like this anymore. Before, you and TK were the only ones keeping me alive… now I have no one. But if I journey into the next world, maybe I'll find TK again, and the happiness I lost so long ago will return.

            Please don't blame yourself. This was bound to happen sooner or later, even if you were there to guide me. The fact of the matter is, I can't live without TK. I need him. Now I am with him.

            I love you Tai, and I hope you'll get help for your drinking problem. I will be watching over you, and I'm sorry. Please give my regards to the others.

Love Always,

Kari

"No…" Tai dropped the letter, as tears began to form in his eyes. "This can't be…"

"What?" Matt asked in confusion as he picked up the letter.

This is all my fault… he closed his eyes. I'm sorry Kari… for not being there when you needed me… for not being a good brother…

"Oh God…" Matt whispered, finishing the letter. He looked up at Tai, who was in hysterics.

"This is all my fault…" Tai cried.

"Tai…" Matt reached over and hugged his best friend, who broke down in tears.

"Matt…" Tai sobbed. "I… want to get help. I want to quit drinking. I want to change my life."

Matt nodded solemnly. "And you can count on me to be there every step of the way."

"Thanks Matt…" Tai whispered.

I see your face…

Thank you Kari…

A/N: *sigh* I had to do this…the moral of this story? Take responsibility for your actions. No matter how alone you think you are, there is always someone out there who cares about you. You may think that what you're doing can only hurt you, but there is no such thing as a crime that can only effect one person. It may be a friend, a family member, or even that annoying person you see at the street corner everyday… but it's somebody. You are not alone. You are never alone.

I am so sorry for that lecture. I can get carried away sometimes. ^^;;