Standard disclaimers apply.
By Cassandra's Destiny
Theory No. 7: Missed Signs
Panting heavily, she shut her eyes in an attempt to normalize her breathing. Her cheeks were flushed, her body sticky with heat and sweat. Yamato stayed still as she rolled onto her side. "Yamato," she breathed. "Say something."
When she did not hear him answer, her jaw tightened. Was he upset with her?
He couldn't be. After all, it was he who was gone for two weeks to meet with record producers. If anyone had the right to be upset, it was her.
Was he unsatisfied with her last night?
He wouldn't dare. He was away for two weeks! If anything, it was his fault she needed some brushing up on her technique – not that she did.
She snapped out of her thoughts. Hearing him say her name always gets her stomach feeling funny. "Yama–"
He rolled over on top of her, and surprised her by placing butterfly kisses on her face. "I missed you."
--- A week into Yamato and Sora's relationship, she felt bad for Sora – for being his fail safe plan for a stable albeit humdrum relationship.
With a sad smile, she placed a comforting hand over Hikari's. Mimi woke up to the telephone ringing, the younger girl asking if she can come over.
Apparently, Takeru has slipped into his sulking streak over his parents' divorce. "I don't know how to make him feel better," she cried, as if announcing her arrival in Mimi's room.
Although wanting to say something of comfort, Mimi had no words. Ever since she and Yamato started dating, she didn't think much of his parents' divorce. "I'm used to the arrangement," he assured her.
Of course, she wasn't convinced at first. Although she could not lie to save her life, she had always believed that she is able to spot one a mile away.
During their first year together, she had committed to memory his reactions to everything related to what happened to his parents. He swallowed hard every time the issue of marriage, annulment or divorce came up in their lectures on government. He tensed when they were paired off for the child care assignment in Home Economics. He refused to attend her cousin's second wedding ("Because it's her second," he argued.), and he politely excused himself when her parents, with no intention of offending him, asked him how his whole family was doing. What she remembers most, though, is how his eyes turn cold when Takeru lets him in on his recall of the months leading up to their parents' divorce.
She wanted to help him – wanted to be the one to cry for him if he just didn't want to. But even after two years of being together, he would not let her. Whenever she brought it up, he'd kiss her senseless, with the goal of shutting her up.
It was on her high school graduation that she asked him about it up front, and for the last time. Oddly enough, after the questions escaped her lips, she can only remember feeling lightheaded. "What matters is how I feel now," he whispered, Mimi feeling his hot breath on her ear as his hands on her waist tighten. "I love you."
--- A month into their engagement, she felt bad for Taichi – for being in denial of the betrayal he felt from his best friend and ex-girlfriend.
"Aren't you supposed to be shopping for a ring by now?"
He shot her a glare. "Aren't you supposed to be wearing a ring by now?"
Mimi sat up, raising her glass to her lips. "Taichi," she began, "you should know better. Settling down after college is your thing."
"Yes, your thing. Remember how you pretended to be our leader in the Digimon world and–"
"Pretended? Well, excuse me, but I think–"
"Fine. Remember how you were acting as our leader in the Digimon world and whatnot?"
He snorted. "Yea, and whatnot."
"Well, the leader slash hero slash all-around good guy and hothead is always the first to pop the marriage question, and it's usually directed to the mother slash older sister slash all-around loving person in the group."
"Which is obviously not you, because you're not the motherly kind."
"Or whatnot," she rolled her eyes at him. "So, Taichi, how long are you going to make her wait?"
He felt his blood rushing to his face and Mimi could've sworn he was blushing. She was surprised to say the least. After all, her boyfriend had never been the blushing kind.
"In my planet, Taichi, the lack of response may be equated with being an idiot," she stated, trying hard to keep a straight face. "Then again, you really are an idiot, and every moment I spend with you reaffirms your stereotype."
She giggled. "Your stereotype! You know, that you feel like you're the leader, and although you are somewhat responsible, you still jump into things and answer back without thinking…"
"In my planet, Mimi, this is my cue to feel offended," he said, faking a hurt look. "If I'm the leader type–"
"Or whatnot, and Sora is the motherly figure we all love, then you are obviously the princess type, hopelessly in love with the bad boy." He pretended to think about it for a moment, then added, "who is obviously Yamato."
"He's the bad boy all right…"
"That bad boy," Taichi garbled through a mouthful of fries. "Has never spoke to you about getting married after college? You're the princess type, you need that kind of romantic gibberish. I can't believe your boyfriend doesn't know that. What an idiot."
She rolled her eyes, a habit she seemed to have picked up when around Taichi. "He's not an idiot, Taichi. That's your stereotype."
"Or whatnot," he grunted. "You didn't answer my question though. Has he ever told you about his plans for the future, about marriage?"
Fingering the edge of her glass, she replied . "He told me he wanted to have sex with me for the rest of his life, but I don't think that counts as a marriage plan…"
A conniving twinkle in his eyes. "He wanted to what?"
She resisted the urge to roll her eyes. Instead, she kicked him under the table.
"Don't make me say it again, especially not in a public place," she threatened. "Besides, Yamato's not the marrying-at-the-peak-of-his-career kind."
"Hence the absence of a ring?"
She unconsciously fidgeted with her fingers.
"I guess we're not like you and Sora. Settling down and starting a family is not exactly on top of my to-do list. I don't even think it's on his to-do list for the next ten years!"
"And you're okay with that?"
She beamed. "Like you said, I'm hopelessly in love with him, so of course I am."
--- A day before their wedding, she felt bad for Yamato – for being doomed to a life of marital bliss which was, in her opinion, a euphemism for a life of boredom.
At six-thirty, the clock on her bedside went off. Mimi raised a hand to her head and rubbed her temples.
"He tried to call you, Mimi."
Her conversation with Takeru played over and over in her mind, and it was giving her a headache. He tried to call her, really? Like he tried to tell her he wanted to marry her and grow old together?
"Apparently, he didn't try hard enough," she said to herself. Where was the candlelit dinner? Where were the flowers? The dropping on his knees and putting a ring on her finger? All that may not have made sense to him, but she wanted that – she needed that romantic gibberish. "Screw you, Ishida."
She remembers a mix of happiness and regret in Takeru's face that night. "He still loves you," he said, after pulling her out of the crowd before his brother's engagement dinner. Mimi loved the boy like a brother, but she was not able to bite her tongue. "And what better way to show me than getting engaged to another woman!"
She had given him sex, drama, excitement, gossip and scandal – and he loved it all.
He loved her, but married Sora.
A knock on her door. "Mimi, please let me in."
Surely, there was something she had missed.
--- An hour after hearing Sora's excited screams at the announcement of her and Yamato expecting their first child, she can only feel bad for herself – not only for being the ultimate loser, but for reading all the signs wrong.