A/N: Sorry it took so long to get this second (and final) part out! Hope you enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: I don't own Digimon or rights to any of the characters; I'm not making a profit off of this, etc.

Shallow Means, Deep Ends
by: neo-chan

Yamato woke up the next morning feeling strangely calm. However, his calm state quickly disappeared when he remembered why he had slept so well the previous night. Yamato rolled over onto his back and stared at the ceiling, his thoughts a mess. He wanted to smack Tai for offering his services in the first place. He wished they hadn't gotten lost so that the whole situation never would have happened. He was frustrated with himself for not just dropping it like Tai had said. But mostly, he wanted the following night to come because he was curious. He wanted to know what would happen if he and Tai were put into that situation a third time. He also kind of wanted to know what would happen if he let Tai kiss him.

Yamato ran his hands over his face and sighed. Everything was just completely messed up.

"You awake?"

Yamato looked to the doorway and found Tai standing there. After a moment, he registered Tai's question and nodded.

"Mimi just called my cell. They're going to be at the beach in an hour and a half. She said we can hang out at her cottage later until we're ready to come back here."


"Okay," Tai echoed. "So… get dressed and shit."

Yamato nodded again and Tai left the room promptly.

For a moment, Yamato just laid there. Then he rolled over and groaned into his pillow. That had, by far, been the most tense and impersonal conversation the two boys had ever had. Things were more messed-up than he'd thought.

The two boys tried to pass off the tension between them as mere morning exhaustion, but it was highly doubtful that it worked- especially due to the concerned look on Emma's face during breakfast. Neither boy spoke unless prompted, nor did they say even one word directly to each other. It was a painfully uncomfortable situation.

"Remember," Emma whispered to Yamato, taking him aside just before he and Tai left, "if you want to talk, I'm always here."

Yamato forced a smile and nodded, and then the two boys set off.

Neither boy spoke a word for the whole trip, pretending to enjoy the half-decent music playing on the radio too much to turn it down. Both knew that their behaviour was pathetic, but didn't dare say something for fear of making things even worse.

Of course, Mimi and Sora knew something was wrong as soon as they met up with the boys. They gave it a couple of hours, to see if the boys would work it out on their own, and then took it upon themselves to step in.

"Who wants to go for a swim?" Sora asked, giving Mimi a discreet look.

"I'll stay here," Mimi said, catching on. "I want to get some more sun before I go into the water."

"I'll come," Tai volunteered, like Sora knew he would.

"What about you, Matt?" Sora asked, knowing full well what the answer would be.

"Nah, I'm going to stay here with Mimi," Yamato declined the invitation as expected.

"Alright, we'll see you guys in a bit!" Sora called as she and Tai headed out to the water.

"So," Mimi said casually, stretching out on a beach chair, "how has your weekend been so far?"

Yamato shrugged, trying to appear indifferent. "Good. How has yours been?"

"Good," Mimi echoed. She adjusted her sunglasses and waited a moment before asking, "So, any particular reason you and Tai aren't speaking?"

"I don't want to talk about it," Yamato said firmly. He had known the question was coming, and there was no way he was going to talk to Mimi about the situation.

Mimi studied Yamato for a moment thoughtfully. "This is serious, isn't it? I mean… you two aren't acting like you usually do when you're mad at each other. You don't even seem mad at each other, you just seem… weird. What happened?"

"I told you," Yamato repeated, "I don't want to talk about it."

Normally, Mimi would keep asking. This time, she knew better. By the way Yamato was acting; she knew it was something the boys had to settle between themselves. Apparently Sora came to the same conclusion, because she gave Mimi a look that said "let's leave it alone" when she and Tai got back.

Under normal circumstances, the girls would have then plotted to leave Yamato and Tai alone together until they sorted things out. But, again, this wasn't a normal situation. So, to Yamato and Tai's relief, the girls didn't leave them alone together at any point in the day. Luckily this was an easy task, because they met a group of friendly people their age who hung out with them most of the day- they even hung out with them afterwards at Mimi's cottage.

The ride from Mimi's cottage back to Yamato's uncle's place was predictably silent, but the boys were too tired to be bothered by it. Jim and Emma were asleep by the time they got back, so Yamato and Tai headed straight to their respective rooms to sleep. Regardless of how tired he'd previously felt, though, once he was in bed Yamato felt wide awake. However, he knew better than to visit Tai's room like he had the previous night. He was definitely tempted to but he knew that if he did, the situation would grow a thousand times worse. That was the last thing he needed.

Sleep didn't come easy for either of the boys and both were exhausted when they set out the next morning. Jim and Emma saw them off, saying goodbye and telling them to visit again soon. Emma pulled Yamato aside briefly to tell him again that if he wanted to talk, he could call her. Yamato gave her a hug and assured her that he would be fine.

The boys said goodbye again and then took off. The plan was to meet Mimi and Sora for brunch and then hang out at the beach with them until they were ready to start the long trip home. Both boys had a feeling they'd be leaving sooner than they had originally thought, due to the unfortunate situation they had put themselves into.

The silence was becoming unbearable. They were only halfway to where they were meeting Mimi and Sora, and already Yamato felt the tension getting to him. There was no way he could last another second in silence… so he spoke.

"Pull over."

Tai didn't respond and for a moment Yamato thought Tai didn't hear him, but then Tai turned onto the next street and pulled over to the side of the road. After doing so, he turned to face Yamato blankly.

Yamato didn't know why he'd asked Tai to pull over. All he knew was that the urge to kiss the other boy was extremely strong for some reason. Ever since Tai had asked to kiss him, he'd been wondering what it would be like to actually do it… and he figured it was about time that he found out.

Yamato grabbed hold of the front of Tai's shirt and pulled the brunette towards him, leaning in to press their lips together. It was awkward for about a split second, then all of the tension disappeared and the kiss became frantic and full of desire.

They kissed hungrily, unbuckling their seatbelts and pulling each other closer until Yamato was pressed back against the door and Tai was practically on top of him. When they eventually broke for air, Yamato tilted his head back and Tai took that opportunity to kiss and suck at Yamato's neck, enjoying the small moans that the blonde emitted. Apparently Yamato wanted more, though, because he reached down between their bodies and began fumbling with Tai's belt and jeans, trying to unfasten them as quickly as possible. It was quite difficult, seeing as they were in a cramped space, but the boys managed to rid themselves of their pants and boxers completely in record time. Yamato then buried his fingers in Tai's hair and pulled him back to his lips, kissing him deeply and moving his hips against Tai's with a moan. Tai's response was to pull Yamato's legs up around his waist and then slide his fingers into the blonde boy, who let out a gasp at the sudden action. He didn't protest, though, and it wasn't long before Tai had whipped out a condom from God-knows-where (Yamato didn't really want to know) and was coating his member with some sunblock he'd grabbed from one of their bags.

Neither boy had ever felt so good in their lives. Between Tai's deep thrusts and Yamato's uncontrollable moans, it was hard to hold on for long and before they knew it, it was over too soon. After one last series of frighteningly passionate kisses, the boys tidied themselves up and took a brief moment to try and regain their composure before continuing to drive on wards. The farther they drove, though, the heavier the sense of regret looming over their heads became.


Yamato practically leapt out of the car once they reached the restaurant that they were meeting the girls at. His mind was reeling with thoughts of what he and Tai had just done. If it weren't for the vivid memory in his mind and how conscious he felt of his rear, he wouldn't believe it had happened at all. One thing was for sure- things were more screwed-up than Yamato could have ever imagined.

Before Yamato had time to dwell on these thoughts, though, they were inside the restaurant and he had to pretend that things were at least relatively fine. He and Tai didn't look at each other even once the whole time and Yamato knew it was obvious that they were acting weird, but he didn't care- he couldn't look at Tai, not after what had happened, and he didn't think he'd be able to look at the other boy for a very long time. He couldn't believe he'd just had sex with Tai… in the front seat of Tai's car… while the car was pulled off to the side of the road. Yamato was, to say the very least, extremely embarrassed with himself.

Yamato's uneasiness made him increasingly quiet and withdrawn throughout the day, but Tai made up for it by being excessively loud and outgoing. That was how it always was- whenever Yamato and Tai weren't speaking, Yamato would keep to himself while Tai would busy himself with being as social as possible. They had completely opposite ways of dealing with situations. This was the worst it had ever been, though, and Yamato knew it was bad when Tai didn't stop talking for more than ten seconds at a time.

The day felt long and painful for Yamato, and he was relieved when the group they were with (because the same people from yesterday, plus a few more, had joined them) decided to retire from the beach. Unfortunately, they decided to head over to one of their cottages and party… and, naturally, Tai and Yamato were invited. Yamato began to consider faking some sort of illness when, to his relief, Tai declined the invitation.

"Actually," he said when they were about to head off, "I think me and Yama are going to have to cut this trip short… sorry, guys."

Of course, they protested (mostly because Tai had been a blast the whole day due to his overly social behaviour) and tried to coax Yamato and Tai into staying, but Tai insisted that they had to leave. Once they said goodbye and got into Tai's car, Yamato nearly let out a sigh of happiness.

His happiness lasted about two seconds, though, because then the silent ride home began. Not only was an extremely long and silent car ride frustrating, but it was even worse because Yamato's ass was not taking well to sitting for hours on end- especially because of what he and Tai had done that morning. He tried not to shift around uncomfortably too much, though, because Tai would probably figure out why he was shifting around so much and that would make it even more awkward. Yamato had the feeling Tai figured it out after a while anyway, though, because he swore that at one point Tai was almost smirking. He resisted the urge to smack Tai and instead opted for looking out the window.

After what felt like forever (after all, it had been an excruciatingly long car ride even when he and Tai had been speaking), they finally ended up back in their hometown. When Tai pulled into Yamato's driveway, Yamato muttered a speedy goodbye and then hopped out of the car, grabbing his stuff and all but running inside his house. He'd never been so happy to be home.

"Yamato!" his father greeted him when Yamato entered the house. "How was the trip?"

"Fine," Yamato mumbled, kicking off his shoes and locking the door behind him.

"How are Jim and Emma?"


At that point, his father came out of the kitchen to give Yamato a suspicious look, but by that time Yamato was running up the stairs to his room. With a shake of his head, Mr. Ishida just shrugged and went back into the kitchen.

Yamato didn't leave his house for the next two days- in fact, he hardly left his room. Mimi and Sora had called a few times, but he'd ignored every single one of their calls. In fact, the only call he answered was a call from Emma and Jim asking if he and Tai had arrived home safely.

On the afternoon of the third day, the doorbell rang while Yamato was cooped up in his room watching mind-numbing TV. Not expecting company, Yamato decided that it couldn't be anyone that important and didn't move from where he lay on his bed.

However, the doorbell continued to ring. In fact, it rang in a quite annoying pattern- a pattern that Yamato recognized. Feeling sick to his stomach, he stood up and slowly began heading down the stairs. If he was right, which he probably was, it was Tai- and he knew Tai wouldn't quit until he answered the door.

Sure enough, Tai was standing there when Yamato opened the door. Both boys stared at each other in silence for a couple of moments, and then Yamato spoke.

"Do you want to… come in, I guess?"

Tai nodded, and both boys went silent again as Yamato let Tai in and then they headed to the living room. After sitting down on opposite ends of the couch, Tai finally spoke.

"Listen… I really need to get this out, okay? So… just hear me out."

After a nod of confirmation from Yamato, Tai continued.

"I know things are fucked-up between us right now… I mean, really fucked up… and I know I'm risking whatever we've got left by saying this, but… well, fuck it." Tai stopped fiddling with his pants pocket and looked directly into Yamato's eyes. "I love you."

Yamato stared at his brown-haired friend for a long time, his face blank. Tai watched him intently for a reaction, which eventually came- Yamato shook his head and then said possibly the last thing Tai expected:

"Shut up."

Tai blinked, then replayed the previous moment in his head to make sure he hadn't heard wrong. He tilted his head at Yamato and spoke slowly.

"Um… what?"

"I said, shut up. You don't love me." Having said that, Yamato stood up and began walking to the kitchen.

Tai stared, open-mouthed, at the retreating blonde figure until he managed to pick his own self off of the couch and follow him.

"What the fuck?" he asked in disbelief. "Yes I do, Yama, I-"

"No you don't," Yamato said, loudly and firmly.

"Yes I do!" Tai exclaimed, reaching out and turning the blonde to face him by the shoulder.

That was when Tai noticed that Yamato was shaking, and realized that maybe he'd freaked the other boy out just a little bit.

Yamato closed his eyes, bit his lip briefly, and took in a deep breath. Upon letting it out, he opened his eyes and spoke quietly.

"Is this why you asked to kiss me?"

Tai nodded wordlessly.

Yamato took in another shaky breath, then said,

"When you offered to give me a blowjob… that wasn't just for my benefit, was it?"

"Actually, it was," Tai insisted, "and it was fucking hard to do when you were sitting there telling me how weird it felt that it was me doing it."

"It did feel weird," Yamato said stiffly, then added quietly, "…at first."

"And then it felt good, right?" Tai asked.

Yamato was silent, and Tai prompted again,


"Of course it fucking felt good," Yamato all but hissed. "Do you actually think I'm going to stand here and tell you that it didn't feel good?"

Tai held his hands up in defence. "Yama-"

"What do you want me to do, Tai? You come over here and tell me that you supposedly fucking love me out of nowhere and I'm supposed to do what, exactly? Tell you that I love you too and we should just go fuck each other's brains out? It's not that easy! I don't know how the fuck I feel about this!"

Yamato was shaking more than before after his outburst, and he folded his arms across his chest as a subconscious defence mechanism. He looked down, knowing he couldn't look at Tai at that moment, and waited for Tai to speak.

Eventually he did, and he spoke in such a soft tone that Yamato almost didn't hear him.

"But you feel something."

The silence after his words emphasized them even more, and Yamato swallowed a lump in his throat before speaking.

"…I don't know."

Yamato raised his eyes just in time to see Tai nodding in understanding.

"It's okay. I mean, I know that I randomly sprung this on you and it's hard for you to even grasp the concept… I just needed to tell you. After everything that's happened, I had to."

Yamato let out a heavy sigh. "…I know." He bit his lip, eyes flickering away from Tai's again. "Just… give me some space, okay?"

Tai nodded again. "Okay. I understand." He began to exit the kitchen, but was stopped by fingers wrapping around his wrist. Confused, he turned to face his blonde friend.

"I actually meant personal space," Yamato said with a half-hearted little smile. "I don't want you to leave… I have too many questions to ask. It just makes me uneasy when you stand so close to me."

Tai laughed a little, mostly in relief, and nodded. "No problem, I'll back off a little. Do you want to sit down again or something?"

"Yeah, that would be better."

The two boys headed back to the couch, once again sitting on separate ends. Yamato exhaled deeply, then paused for a moment before asking his first question.

"How long… I mean… how do you know…?" Yamato trailed off, but Tai understood what he was asking.

"I don't know how long, but I think it's safe to say that it's been a hell of a long time because I can't remember not feeling this way about you. As for how I know… well… I just do. Love is not an easy thing to miss. Every time I look at you, or even think about you, I just… I don't know…" Tai shrugged helplessly. "I can't explain it. It's like… there's this intense feeling that rushes through me and it makes me feel… warm inside. I know it sounds stupid, not to mention lame and incredibly unimpressive, but… like I said, it's just indescribable."

When Tai finally finished, Yamato was just staring at him. Tai was surprised that Yamato hadn't cut him off even once during his little speech, and even more surprised that Yamato actually seemed interested in what he'd said.

"Why didn't you tell me before?" Yamato asked softly, not breaking the eye contact.

"Are you kidding?" Tai shook his head. "Look how messed-up everything is between us right now. This is exactly why I didn't tell you."

"I guess that's true," Yamato admitted, "but what were you going to do, just keep it inside forever?"

"Well… yeah, I was going to try to. I know it's not healthy, but… well; the last thing I wanted was to lose you. I still don't want to lose you," Tai corrected himself. "This is going to sound really cheesy, but… well, you're everything to me. If I lost you… I don't know what I'd do."

Yamato didn't know why, but his throat was closing up a bit and he kind of felt like he couldn't breathe. This overwhelming feeling resulted in him not saying anything for several moments. When he finally did speak, his voice was very soft.

"You're not going to lose me."

Yamato met Tai's eyes before adding in the same soft tone, "You'll never lose me."

Tai opened his mouth and then closed it, seemingly at a loss for words. He smiled a bit, then opened his mouth again and this time actually spoke.

"Thank you."

It was kind of a strange thing to say, but Yamato understood.

"You're being so amazing about this," Tai said, smiling at Yamato in a way that made him feel self-conscious. "I actually had a mental list of reactions you could have to this whole thing, and this is definitely better than most of the ones I dreamed up. Of course, in my ideal one you told me you loved me back and we made sweet love, but I can settle for this."

Yamato actually smiled at Tai's light joke, which in turn made Tai smile even more. His smile disappeared, though, and a confused expression took its place when Yamato began scooting towards him on the couch. His confusion disappeared quickly when the blonde wrapped his arms around Tai in a hug.

Tai loosely rested his arms around Yamato's waist, hugging back lightly, and Yamato moved away after a moment to speak.

"I still have a ton of questions to ask you, but first let me just say this: I love you as a best friend, Tai… you know that… but I'm not sure if it's anything more than that."

Tai nodded, and Yamato once again wrapped his arms around him. Tai wanted nothing more than for Yamato to love him as much as he loved the blonde but, for now, this was more than enough. Even if Yamato ended up deciding that he didn't love Tai that way, Tai would still feel grateful- because he still had his best friend, and that was reason enough to be thankful after all they'd been through.

It took a little while, but Yamato and Tai finally found themselves falling back into their usual habits and behaviour around each other. Mimi and Sora were delighted to see that the two boys were back to normal, and Mr. Ishida was just glad that Yamato wasn't hibernating in his room anymore. When weeks passed and Yamato didn't bring up anything to do with Tai loving him or how he felt for Tai, Tai took that as a gentle and indirect rejection. He resumed trying to suppress his feelings, although it was hard when Yamato sometimes gave him these certain looks that made him want to melt inside.

A week or two before summer break ended, the boys sat in Tai's room, playing video games and occasionally stopping to see what was on TV. During one of their TV breaks while Yamato sat leaning against Tai's headboard and Tai lay on his stomach, elbows propping him up, Yamato spoke thoughtfully.

"I can't believe we're going off to college."

Tai sighed heavily. "I know."

The two sat in pensive silence before Tai spoke again.

"I kind of wish I'd decided to go to the same one as you… it's going to suck being so far away from you."

"Well, we're not going to be that far away… besides, I can come visit you at your dorm and you can come visit me at mine whenever we want."

"Yeah, but it's not going to be the same," Tai sighed.

"I know."

There was another period of silence, and Tai had turned his attention back to the TV show (although suddenly feeling a little bit down) when Yamato's voice sounded again.

"We could always get a place together."

At first, Tai thought that he had heard wrong. When he sat up and turned to look at his friend, though, the expectant look hinted that he hadn't.

"What?" Tai still said, just in case maybe he was just crazy.

"We could get a place together," Yamato repeated. "Like I said- our schools aren't that far away from each other, and if we found somewhere that was close to both… well, that'd be cool. I mean, obviously we couldn't do it right now since we've already committed to living on residence and stuff but… you know. Maybe later."

Tai continued to stare at Yamato. The fact that Yamato was even thinking that far into the future was… well, it was almost relieving. It meant that Yamato was obviously planning to be a part of Tai's future, even if still just as a friend.

"You'd really want to live with me?" Tai questioned skeptically.

Yamato rolled his eyes and laughed. "Why wouldn't I? You're my best friend. We practically live at each other's houses as it is."

That was true. Still, though, Tai found it really touching that Yamato wanted to live with him. He was probably reading too much into it, but it made him feel really happy… and it just made him love Yamato even more.

Speaking of the boy he loved, the blonde was crawling over to him at that very moment. When they were merely inches apart, Yamato stopped and smiled before speaking softly.

"Besides… I think being live-in boyfriends would be kind of cool."

Tai stared at Yamato for what felt like minutes. When he finally managed to stammer something out, it was a dumbfounded,


His reply came in the form of gentle hands cupping either side of his face and then warm lips meeting his in a short, sweet kiss. Yamato dropped his hands and smiled at Tai when the kiss was broken, inwardly laughing at the shocked look on his face. Eventually, after tapping into enough brain cells to speak, Tai opened his mouth and attempted to ask,

"What…? I mean, do you… are you…?"

Yamato interrupted Tai's attempt at speech, taking a deep breath and then speaking slowly and softly.

"Every time I look at you, or even think about you, there's this intense feeling that rushes through me…" Yamato offered Tai a light, almost teasing smile but then made his words more serious by adding, "I love you."

That was all Tai needed to hear.