Okay. I'm back. Phew…

I've had rehearsal every night of the week, so I didn't get much time to type until my schedule opened up and I had some elusive thing called "free time." OMFG!

This is the last chapter in the story (sniff). I'm sorry to say that I have to end it, but I had a ton of fun writing it! Maybe I'll do one for Halloween… just a humor/funny story, though… Not too much romance… Aw, who am I kidding? It'll end up being a romance anyways! ;o)

And so, without further ado- (giggles) I've always wanted to say that, "without further ado…" Anyway, here's the final chapter in a story about one night that changed their seventeen-year-old lives forever…

000

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE!

The song that is used in the second part of this chapter, "For the Actor" by Mates of State, is a duet between a guy and a girl. I will have the parts as follows:

Male: Oh you and me… blah blah blah…

Female: Oh, you and me… blah blah blah…

Both: Oh you and me… blah blah blah…

Now that that's settled and out of the way, one with the show! Er, story!

000

Kari looked up into Cam's face. "Look, I'm really sorry, but, I, uh…"

"You don't want to go out with me?" the sandy-haired boy said, his blue eyes looking somewhat downcast and disheartened.

Kari nodded her head in a very embarrassed way. "Yeah. I just don't know if I really want a relationship right now." That was only part of the truth…

Cam smiled weakly and nodded. "I understand. Well, I'll see you in homeroom on Monday, right?"

Kari smiled back and said, "Bright and early. Or, well, as early as my idiot brother can get me to school…"

They both laughed.

"So we're cool?" Kari asked hopefully.

"Yeah. Sure. Friends are friends, after all," Cam said grinning, giving her a one-armed hug. "So I'll see you later?"

Kari grinned and nodded. "Yep! Bye!"

"Bye!"

Cam disappeared into the crowd.

Kari looked after him and sighed. They had been friends since sixth grade, and this was the first time in three years he'd ever tried something like that. It must be hard, getting rejected by a close friend…

"Hey! Kari!"

She turned around to the right and saw TK making his way through the crowd, trying to get to her without getting his hat knocked off.

"Hey, TK!" she said. "What's up?"

He smiled and shrugged. "Nothing much. Saw you talking to Cam. What's the deal with you?"

"He asked me out."

TK smiled weakly, obviously a little bit shocked by this piece of news. "Oh. That's, uh, that's great."

"But I turned him down."

TK's jaw dropped. "Why?! Don't you like him? I mean, he's the most popular guy in freshman year! You spend half the day with him!"

"Because we're close friends, Takeru. Nothing more, nothing less," she said, smiling warmly at TK's shocked expression.

"Oh," he replied, blushing slightly and looking at the ground to hide his embarrassment.

"So you couldn't get a date?" Kari asked, smirking. She knew that TK was sensitive when it came to girls.

He turned even redder. "It's not that I couldn't get a date, I just, well, I never asked anybody."

She put her right hand on her hip and gave him a confused look. "Huh. I didn't figure you'd do that…"

He shrugged. "I just didn't want to go with anybody except…" He trailed off.

She moved her hands in a circle. "…except who?"

"Um, nobody…"

Kari gave him a funny look and was just about to speak when her favorite dance song came on. It was called "Runaround."

She grabbed TK's hand and dragged him towards the crowd.

Yolie, Sora, Tai, Matt, and Mimi joined them and Tai and Matt were wildly dancing, screaming, "Do you feel like a man when you push her around do you feel better now?"

The girls screeched, "She falls you runaround?" in reply.

Kari laughed as the song after came on.

"I still hear your voice when you sleep next to me. I still feel your touch in my dreams…"

There were screams from all around the dance floor as the song, "Every Time We Touch" came on over the loudspeakers.

Kari grabbed TK's wrists and turned to face him, singing along with the music. "Cuz every time we touch I get this feeling and every time we kiss I swear I can fly! Well, can't you feel my heart beat fast? I want this to last! Need you by my side…"

He grinned as she enjoyed herself, not knowing that his hidden feelings of affection were exactly the same in her.

"Oh, TK!"

The blonde groaned. "Oh no…"

It was Tiffany. She had long dark hair and bright blue eyes and was forever nagging TK. The two of them had once gone out in sixth grade, but TK broke it off after a month. She'd been the one mistake he'd made and she was laboring under the delusion that they were still together. You can imagine… oi vey…

"Takeru, honey, happy Valentine's Day!" she said, hugging him tightly.

He was obviously a little frightened by this sudden action.

Kari cleared her throat loudly and Tiffany released TK and looked around.

Her eyes finally met Kari's annoyed pair of brown ones. "Oh. So you're here are you?"

"Nice to see you too, Tiffany," she said sarcastically, rolling her eyes and folding her arms across her chest. Somehow Tiffany knew about Kari's secret crush on TK and decided to make it horrible for her.

"So, TK, honey, I thought that maybe you and I could sneak out to a dinner place near here tonight," Tiffany said, taking TK's hat and pulling on a loose thread.

"Um, sorry, but, uh, Kari and I have plans tonight," TK replied, reclaiming his hat and slipping an arm around Kari's waist. "If I'm going to get rid of the Leech, I might as well do something that Kari and I can benefit from too," he thought.

Kari, however much she hoped that TK was serious and wanted to go out on a date with her, knew that the chances he meant what he said were slim. She played along anyway, anxious to get rid of the cockroach.

"Oh," Tiffany responded, somewhat blankly. "Oh. Well, see you around." With that, she flounced off into the crowd, her hair bouncing behind her.

The two breathed a sigh of relief.

"Hey, pizza's here!" someone in the crowd called from the door.

TK and Kari exchanged glances and ran to beat the crowd.

000

"Kari, do you want Diet Coke, regular Coke, or Root Beer?" TK asked, holding a can of Coke under his arm, a plate of pizza in one hand, and his other hand examining the sodas.

"Um, Diet, please," she replied, taking a can from her companion.

"There you are," he said, grabbing his own can of soda in his free hand.

The two made their way outside the lobby, but not quite outside the school, into one of those little foyer rooms. They sat down, leaning on the locked doors that led outside and began to eat their supper.

"Hey, um, TK?" Kari asked after a while.

"Mm?"

"When you told Tiffany that we had plans afterward, did you mean it? Or were you just saying that to make her leave?"

TK sighed, put his pizza on the floor next to him, stood up, and pulled Kari onto her feet. He took a deep breath and said, "Kari, I want to tell you something."

She closed her eyes, fearing for the worst.

"I… I kinda don't know how to say this, but, I, I, uh, I wanna be with, well, I wanna be with you," he said, feeling a bit awkward saying that to one of his best friends.

Kari's eyes flew open and she grabbed his hands. "Really?"

"Of course!" he said. "If that's okay with you," he added hastily, blushing and looking down at the ground.

"Well, DUH!" she cried, wrapping her arms around him.

There were several wolf whistles from around the room where others had sat down to eat.

TK decided to do something very brave and yet also rather stupid; he decided to kiss Kari in plain sight of everyone.

Nobody in the room, to this day, was totally sure how long the new couple was there, but one thing was for certain: they were going to be together for a loooooong time.

000

FINALE! TAIORA! (Yes!)

Tai dropped down into a seat at one of the cafeteria tables set up in the lobby as Sora opened a can of Dr. Pepper.

"Some dinner, eh?" Tai said jokingly, gesturing to his two slices of pizza.

"Yeah. Cost you extra for the second Pepsi and extra slice, huh?" she responded, pointing to the hot slice of sausagey goodness.

"Yup, but it's totally worth it," he said, lifting the piece up to his face and inhaling the sweet scent of sausage, grease, crust, and cheese. Then he dangled it between his two hands and slowly lowered it into his mouth.

Sora laughed at his antics. "Jeez, Tai, you're so weird!"

He smiled and shrugged. "I know. But everyone loves me anyways."

"You're so full of yourself…"

Oh, you and me on a fantasy
This is what it's like

This is what it's like

On a fantasy

No, I wouldn't challenge your home
In the basement of words we knew
There were more of us

The two ate in silence for a moment, Tai gulping down some soda after each couple of bites of pizza.

"Hey, it's not so great, is it?" Sora asked, giving him an amused look over her slice of pepperoni.

He shook his head. "This was supposed to be the best pizza on this side of the city."

"Not what you thought it was, eh?"

"Yes, I already said- Oh, hi, Matt, Mimi," Tai said, looking up and realizing that the blonde and brunette were standing at the side of the table.


Don't want to make you grow numb
If it's not what you thought it was
Legs are for discovering

"So how are you two doing?" Tai asked slyly, noticing Matt's hand in Mimi's, both of their cheeks a bright pink.

"Are you…?" Sora asked, but noticing the extremely happy look on Mimi's face she stood up, squealed and hugged the brunette so tightly Mimi's head might have popped off.

"So what do you see in the very near future?" Tai asked Matt quietly. "Make out city?"

Matt didn't seem to notice what Tai had just said. He was staring at the back of Mimi's head and said, distractedly, "I just see her. All the way down the road I see her. Mimi."

Tai shook his head. "He's gone… There goes good ole Matt, far away where he won't wanna go out into the park and try to play soccer and hit on girls… Goodbye, Matt, hello 'Yamato'. God, help me…" he thought.

"Um, Sora, could you get off of me? I can't really breathe," Mimi choked, gently trying to push her friend off of her.


Relieved and now we see the road
This is what it's like

This is what it's like

on a fantasy

Little codes bring the balance to none
And the shapes of your hands do tell

Of such a rare variety

"So what have you been up to?" Sora asked, sitting back down on the round little seat.

"Matt was telling me all about how he got this really nice summer house on the coast in Hawaii. His band mate got it through family connections and they rent it out in the winter months. Then they all take turns sharing it in the summer."

"Interesting… Matt, do you think you could let me stay there this summer? After all, I'm turning eighteen this March," Tai said, holding his soda aloft in one hand.

"Maybe…"


Relieved and now we see the road
This is what it's like

This is what it's like

On a fantasy

"Matt, come on!" Mimi said suddenly, tugging the blonde's arm. "They're playing my favorite song!"

Indeed, the song "Never Felt Like This Before" by Shaznay Lewis began to play in the cafeteria.

Matt sighed and said, "Sorry, guys, but-"

"Come ON, Yamato!"

Matt winced. "She's using full names. Catch you later!" He was dragged away by Mimi, leaving his slightly amused friends behind.

"I guess that love makes you do crazy things," Sora remarked, looking after them.

You put your life on hold as we interest one another
Two steps closer to the level I imagined
I remember when it poured and you sang to me in summer
It's a fantasy

"Hey, do you remember last summer when we all went down to the lake house that Mimi's parents own and it started pouring?" Tai asked, ripping a piece of pizza crust off and putting it in his mouth.

"Oh, yeah! We were outside on the lawn goofing around and then – BAM! – downpour! You got out Matt's guitar once we got inside and started singing. That was awesome."

You put your life on hold as we interest one another
Two steps closer to the level I imagined
I remember when it poured and you sang to me in summer
It's a fantasy

"Do you remember when we were in freshman year and you tried asking me out?" Sora asked, out of the blue. "You stopped everything just to come and see if I'd go to the concert with you."

"Yeah. Thanks for bringing up the pain," Tai groaned.

"Well, to be honest, deep down I thought it was pretty sweet and downright attractive that you weren't angry at me when I chose Matt," she said, putting her hand over his on the tabletop.

He gulped. They were so close the level he'd imagined they could possibly be on without being together. "Sora, I…"

Relieved and now we see the road

This is what it's like

This is what it's like

On a fantasy

You put your life on hold as we interest one another
Two steps closer to the lever I imagined

I remember when it poured and you sang to me in summer

It's a fantasy

She gave him a puzzled look. "Huh?"

Tai took a deep breath. "My feelings for you haven't changed. Now that you're single again, I want to know; Will you be my steady?"

"Your what?"

"My, uh…" Her eyes were just so beautiful.

"TAI!"

"My girlfriend," he said, reasserting himself. "I want to know if you'll be my girlfriend."

No, I wouldn't challenge your home

(You put your life on hold as we interest one another)
In the basement of words we knew
(Two steps closer to the level I imagined)

There were more of us
(I remember when it poured and you sang to me in summer
It's a fantasy)

Don't want to make you grow numb
If it's not what you thought it was

(This is what it's like)
Legs are for discovering
(This is what it's like on a fantasy)

"You really want me to be your girlfriend?" Sora asked, slightly shocked.

"Yeah. I mean, who wouldn't? You're smart, cute, funny, adorable-"

"You already said that!" she giggled.

"Oh well, I said it again. So there." He stuck out his tongue in a "neener neener neener" manner.

Put your life on hold

(Oh you and me)

Put your life on ho-o-o-o-o-old

(On a fantasy)

Oh, whoa oh oh oh

(This is what it's like

This is what it's like)

Ah ah ahhhh

(On a fantasy)

Sora took a sip of her soda and said, "Tai, I accept."

Tai looked up from his piece of pizza, which he was tearing the cheese off of. "What?"

"I'll be your girlfriend."

Put your life on hold

(Oh you and me)

Put your life on ho-o-o-o-o-old

(On a fantasy)

Oh, whoa oh oh oh

(This is what it's like

This is what it's like)

Ah ah ahhhh

(On a fantasy)

He grinned, ran around the table, and hugged her. "Thank you. I'm so glad!"

"I'm just amazing aren't I?" she asked as Tai sat down next to her.

"You most certainly are," he replied and kissed her on the cheek.

She looked a little surprised. "You missed."

"What?"

"You missed," she repeated, as if talking to a stubborn four-year-old.

"Huh?"

She sighed, smiled, and kissed him on the lips.

They quickly broke apart.

"Happy Valentine's Day, Tai," she said quietly, her cheeks turning pink.

"Yeah. Happy Valentine's Day."

000

I'm done! And it only took 24 pages of typing! (grins) I'm just amazing, am I not?

Okay, so the finale was a little lame, but who cares? I did an okay job with the rest of it.

Please tell me what you think!

BANDGEEK