I know that I already wrote an ending for this fic (like forever ago) and I posted it, but I hated it so much that every time I looked at this fic in my folders, it drove me crazy! So I re-wrote the ending. I don't suppose anyone remembers what the ending used to be, but in case you do, tell me which one you like better. And if it seems a little familiar to some people, then yes: you are probably right in guessing where I came up with it. Please enjoy! AND REVIEW!!
Sora stared at the phone as it rang on the nightstand. She rolled over on her stomach and crawled towards it. The caller ID read the cell phone number that she knew all too well. She didn't bother to answer it. As her machine started to get it, she reached down to where the cord was in the wall and jerked it out, cutting off the machine in mid sentence. Sighing, she turned over and tried to fall asleep.
The harder she tried to doze off, the harder it was to do. Thoughts plagued her mind so that every time she closed her eyes they played before her. Annoyed she rolled back over and stared at the constellations on her ceiling that she had made with those glow-in-the-dark plastic stars. It seemed like everything in her room reminded her of Matt.
The glass bird on her dresser was a present that Matt had given her. At the time she didn't understand the significance of the bird, but now was full aware. She felt guilty for having shut away her best friend and those times in the digital world, but she'd forgotten everything for a reason. The stars on her ceiling reminded her of when she was walking with Matt across the soccer field at night after a basketball game and they stopped to stare at the real stars. The mud stains on her jeans reminded her of that day at the park. There was a ticket on her wall from going to one of his concerts. She even had his cell phone number pinned on her bulletin board in case she ever needed to call him.
Before long Sora was crying into her pillow. She missed being eleven in the digital world. She missed Biyomon. She missed their adventures and even facing the Dark Masters. She missed having a group of friends and people to talk to. She missed feeling important. She missed Tai, Izzy, Mimi, TK, Kari, and Joe.
She missed Matt.
A faint knock on her door made Sora sit up with a start. She wiped her eyes and turned on the light beside her bed. "Who is it?"
"It's your mother."
Mrs. Takenouchi slowly opened the door and stepped inside the room. "Sora, honey, are you okay? I thought I heard crying."
"I'm fine mom. I wasn't crying. Maybe you heard something from outside?" Sora posed the possibility and her mom took it. Mrs. Takenouchi smiled and nodded before leaving.
"I've got to pull myself together," Sora whispered to herself. She laid back down and tried to go to sleep.
: : At the Takaishi's : :
"You look awful Matt."
TK stared at Matt from across the table and gently took his older brother's hand. Matt sighed and looked at TK with his distressed eyes. They had gone from their usual perky blue to a lifeless gray. Matt was extremely pale and looked sick, but from what he'd told TK, disease was not the problem. Yet, he hadn't told TK much. He appeared to be stressed out and his hair was frazzled from him constantly running his hands through it tensely.
"I shouldn't have kissed her," Matt croaked.
TK raised an eyebrow. "Who?"
"Sora." The name made Matt flinch and he withdrew his hand from TK only to run it through his hair again.
"Sora? Sora Takenouchi?" TK asked. He hadn't seen her or heard anything about her for years. All the same, he didn't know anyone else named Sora.
"Yeah. Sora Takenouchi." Again Matt flinched.
TK hated to press his brother for answers, but Matt wasn't very good at giving them out freely. "You kissed her and she…?"
"She slammed the door in my face," Matt whispered, quietly enough that TK had to lean in to hear him.
"Did you just show up at her apartment one day and kiss her?" TK asked confused.
"No," Matt groaned. He laid his head on the table. "I've been seeing her for a while now."
TK was surprised to hear this. "Seeing her as in dating her?"
"No. Seeing her as in talking to her and going places with her. We were like best friends, only…" Matt hesitated. "Only she didn't know who I was."
"Huh?" TK asked. If he had been confused before, he was doubly so now.
Matt sighed and relayed his story to TK, right down to the very last details, including how many mud stains he had on his favorite shirt because of her. TK listened in a quiet contemplation and when Matt finished he didn't say anything. After a few uneasy minutes, he sighed and got up from the table.
"You're life is way too confusing, Matt," TK mumbled. "So why didn't you tell any of the rest of us that you found Sora? We've been wondering what happened to her about the digital world, too."
"I don't know. I guess I didn't want her to see any of you in fear that she will only remember me because one of you blabbered my name," Matt replied softly. "And Tai… you know he'd go after her."
"But did he stand a chance? From what I've heard Sora seemed to enjoy being around you and I can't see her being able to put up with someone as silly as Tai. Don't tell me you were worried about Joe or Izzy because they're too serious. And I'm too young," TK said. He and Matt sat a few more minutes in silence before an idea popped into TK's head. "Matt?"
His older brother looked up at him. "Yeah?"
"Did you ever think that maybe Sora didn't want to see us?" TK paused to see his brother's reaction. "I mean, while the rest of us were struggling to keep in touch and trying our hardest to stay together, Sora never once asked for an address or phone number or even wrote down anyone's name. Did it ever occur to you that she didn't want to see us again? That maybe you running into her on that day was a horrible mistake?"
TK looked at Matt to see that the older blonde appeared devastated. He didn't realize how badly Matt had fallen for Sora and immediately regretted his words. But he couldn't take them back because they were true. Sora might not want them to bother her, for some reason or other. It wasn't their place to assume that she wanted to be found.
Once more the room was in a dead silence. Matt began to drum his fingers lightly on his leg and sniffled to keep from crying. TK's words had hit him pretty hard. 'What if Sora doesn't want to remember us? What if I'm just another guy to her?' The thoughts made Matt feel worse so he tried to think of something positive. 'No, I can't be just another guy. She was always so happy to see me.'
"She's a tennis player now," Matt murmured at last.
TK smiled a little. "Really? Is she any good?"
"I skipped that campout to go watch her at a tournament," Matt laughed.
TK huffed. "I thought you said you were sick!"
: : At School : :
"Oh Nasumi! I don't know what to do!" Sora whined to her friend.
Nasumi closed his locker and turned to her. "About what?"
"Matt Ishida!" Sora cried and began to bang her head on the locker.
"Matt Ishida? Now how is that familiar… oh! Is he the rock star hottie that's been following you around everywhere?" Nasumi asked and pulled her away from the lockers to keep her from hurting herself. Sora nodded and pulled away from him to bang her head again. Several people in the hallway were giving them odd looks and Nasumi smiled awkwardly. He grabbed Sora's hand and pulled her into one of the empty classrooms. "So? What's the problem?"
"He kissed me," Sora said miserably.
Nasumi eyed her curiously. "That's a bad thing?"
"No. I mean yes! It is a bad thing. He kissed me and I remembered who he was. Matt Ishida." Sora whined and sat down in one of the desks.
"You didn't know who he was before?" Nasumi asked. "Yet you were always with him? And you skipped a tennis tournament just to go see his concert or whatever, but you didn't know who he was. No offense Sora, but don't you find that a little… strange?"
Sora groaned again. "Yes! It's crazy! But I thought that maybe he and I met once at the park or something! Not that we embarked on a journey before, facing enemies that you can only imagine about. Not that he was MATT ISHIDA!!!"
"Is there a problem with him being who he is? I don't understand you, Sora. You're going to have to explain this. You went through a – what did you call it – journey with him? Was it a bad experience?" Nasumi asked, even more confused now than before.
"No, it was a great experience. Most likely the best thing that ever happened to me," Sora replied dreamily. She sighed at Nasumi's confused expression. "The thing is, I was trying to forget about him because, well, it's hard to explain so I'm not going to. Nevertheless I think I've fallen in love with him, and that's bad."
Nasumi shook his head. "I think you've lost it."
"I know I have! That's the problem! I'm going insane! Crazy! Crackers! Loony! Nuts! Whacko! Call it what you will, it all means the same thing! I no longer have a hold on myself!"
Sora made a sound that resembled a whimper and dropped her face into her hands. Nasumi didn't know how to respond to this, he wasn't good with emotions, so he hesitantly put an arm around Sora. She instantly hugged him tightly and burst into tears, making him even more uncomfortable. For the next while Nasumi pat her on the back and told her she'd find a way to figure her problems out.
They were both late for tennis practice because of Sora's sudden flow of emotions. Their coach said she wouldn't hold it against them this time but not to be late again that week. It was a horrible tennis practice for Sora. For the first time in her life she lost a match to Nasumi. And as much as he wanted to gloat about finally beating her, he knew it was only because she had too much on her mind, so he basically won by default. It wasn't fair for him.
Sora was on her way home, duffle bag thrown over one shoulder and backpack over the other, when she crossed paths with someone she hadn't seen in a while. Takeru Takaishi. At first they just stared at each other in silence. Then TK stepped forward and hugged her tightly. If it had been anyone else, other than Kari, she probably would have felt uncomfortable, but TK was TK. She'd all but baby-sat him in the digital world.
"How've you been Sora?" TK asked.
"Recently or since you last saw me?" Sora replied, faking a smile.
"Normally I'd ask since we last saw each other, but recently is a bit more important since I had to put up with my older brother complaining all after noon yesterday," TK said seriously.
Sora flinched. "I'd rather not talk about that."
"I've grown up a lot Sora. I could help you out better than you think." TK pulled her the bus stop bench nearby. "Now explain this to me. I'd like to hear your side of the story."
"Well…" Sora paused. "What's Matt's side?"
TK raised an eyebrow at the question. "He saw you one afternoon and was thrilled, but then depressed that you didn't remember him, then happy because you two spent a lot of time together, then depressed again because when you did remember him you slammed the door in his face. That's the whole story summed up."
"Then let me sum my side up because I've already cried it out to someone today and I don't feel like doing it again," Sora said softly. "I saw him one afternoon and was curious because he looked familiar, then I was happy because he was really sweet and fun to be with, then greatly depressed because he had to go and be Matt Ishida."
"Do you hate us, Sora?" TK asked.
"No, I don't hate anyone. I just… I blocked everyone out for a reason – that I'm not going into – and I was very surprised when the guy that I was falling in love with turned out to be someone from my past. It's really complicated," Sora said with a sigh. "My life is too complicated."
"You love Matt?" TK squeaked.
Sora laughed quietly. "Yeah. I don't know how. He has some terrible habits, like chewing on his nails when he gets nervous. That drove me crazy."
"He pretty much chewed his fingers off yesterday," TK snickered. He regained his composure and stared at Sora sincerely. "You can't block us out anymore, Sora, especially not Matt. He fell hard for you at 'hello' that very first day we all met at camp. We're your friends Sora. We've always been and we always will be. Don't shut us out."
Sora sighed again, then nodded. "I know TK."
The two of them stood up as the bus stopped in front of them. TK gave Sora another hug before starting to get on the bus.
"Hey TK," Sora called. He turned back around. "You were waiting for me here weren't you?"
TK smiled. "Yep."
: : At the Ishida's : :
Sora stood outside of Matt's door quietly. Every time she was about to knock, she decided against it. She was so nervous.
It had been a few days since she conversed with TK and she had taken those days to think about what she wanted to say to Matt. Of course, she still hadn't come up with anything yet. Which was why she didn't understand the point of standing on his doorstep if she had no clue what she was going to say if he happened to open the door. 'Come on Sora! You can do this!' She thought and once more raised her hand to knock.
'I don't know…' She thought again. 'It is really early… Stop being a chicken and knock!'
So she did.
There was a loud thump from inside and then the sound of someone unlocking the lock on the door. Okay, unlocking several locks on the door. What seemed like ages – which was truly only a few seconds – the door came flying open. There stood Matt, clad in nothing but boxers and mouth dropped open in a surprised gape.
"Sora!" he yelped, then blushed. "Hold on."
When the door closed again, Sora let out the air she'd been holding in. She could run now, but that wouldn't get her anywhere. Plus, Matt had looked extremely cute disheveled and it was pretty apparent that he just woke up. She blushed as she thought of him in his boxers. That had to be another bad habit of his: coming to the door like a slob.
The door reopened and now Matt had pants and a shirt on, but his hair was still very wild. Sora was still blushing. Matt glanced over his shoulder then stepped outside, closing the door behind him. "I'd invite you in, but I'm afraid you might be attacked by one of the things living in there."
"Things living in there?" Sora asked.
"You don't want to know," Matt replied. "So, uh, what brings you all the way over here."
"I… well, to start… about the other day… I'm really sorry…" Sora didn't know how to start off. So she took a deep breath and just let whatever came to the top of her head first flow out, which might not have been the best idea. "I love you. I know this might come as something of a surprise, since I did give you the cold shoulder the other day and slammed the door in your face and because I didn't even know who you were until then, but I have loved you for a long time now, and with every second I love you more. I thought an hour ago that I loved you more than any woman has ever loved a man, but a half hour after that I knew what I felt before was nothing compared to what I felt then. But ten minutes after that, I understood that my previous love was a puddle compared to the high seas before a storm. Your eyes are like that, you know. Like a storm, they are. And I love you so much more now than I did twenty minutes ago that there could not be a comparison. And I know that you must think me crazy for all this, but I can't think of another way to tell you. So please, PLEASE, tell me you at least think I'm pretty, if you do not love me in return."
"Not love you in return?" Matt gawked. "Frith-rah! If your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches. If you love were––"
"Wait! I don't understand the first one yet," Sora interrupted. "Let me get this straight. Are you saying my love is the size of a grain of sand and yours is this other thing? Images just confuse me so. Is this universe business of yours bigger than my sand? Help me, Matt! I have the feeling we are on the verge of something just terribly important here."
"Sora, I have lived these last few weeks praying that you would glance in my direction with something other than just friendship! I don't know of a day when I saw you that my heart did not go careening against my rib cage." Matt paused to take a breath. "Do you understand what I am saying, or do you want me to go on for a while?"
"There has not been––"
"If you are teasing me, Matt, I'm just going to kill you."
"How can you even dream I might be teasing?"
"Well, you haven't once said that you love me."
"That's all you need?" Matt exclaimed. "Easy. I love you. Okay? Want it louder? I love you! Should I spell it out? I ell-oh-vee-ee-why-oh-you. Want it backward? You love I."
Sora looked blankly at him. "You are teasing now, aren't you?"
"Maybe a little. I've been wanting to say that to you for so long now," Matt sighed.
Sora suddenly threw her arms around Mat's neck and hugged him close.
"I don't know how I could ever get along with out you."