Rusted Wheel – by BandGeek99

Rusted Wheel – by BandGeek99

You've probably read things like this before, though not to this song. Tai loves Sora, but can't express his feelings. Well, that's kind of how this is, except he actually does express his feelings. (shrugs) I can't get very creative with this song. Ah, well, enjoy!

BTW, in this fic, the characters have pursued their careers and all have their own apartments, except for Tai and Kari and Matt and TK, who share them with their siblings. They're all, like, 24, 25 years old now.

KENNY: BandGeek doesn't own the characters or the song, though she owns the CD that the song is on… The CD is called "Carnavas" and it's by the band Silver Sun Pickups.

Enjoy!

Tai had his headphones jammed into his ears and was silently singing along to the song he was hearing. His iPod was blaring "Rusted Wheel" by the Silver Sun Pickups into his ears, and he was thoroughly enjoying having his eardrums blown out.

"Tai! Tai? TAI!" Kari shouted, banging on his door.

She finally came in, smacked her brother's leg, and yanked the iPod out of his hands. "Jeez, Tai! Listen when people are yelling at you!"

"I make a point not to pay attention," he replied, sitting up. "What do you want?"

"Sora called. You're going to meet her at her apartment in… an hour," Kari replied, putting his iPod on the nightstand and leaving the room.

"Thanks a lot, Kari!" he called after her, peeved that she had ripped his headphones out of his ears so that he could meet with someone he wasn't keen on seeing at the moment.

"Welcome!"

Tai groaned and began to pull himself together. Tonight he was finally going to say it.

Sora sat in the kitchen with a huge stack of eighth grade creative writing papers to correct. She was halfway through and kept checking the clock.

Since graduation, she and Tai had grown apart. She had married Matt in college and had an adorable baby boy named Jasper and a cute little girl named Sheila. Of course, what with Matt's music career, the two decided it would be better if the split up. Matt and Sora were still close though, but just great friends close.

"I haven't talked to Tai in a while," Sora realized. "I wonder… maybe, just maybe, he's still… interested in me." Her mouth curved into a smile. "I guess that… oh, forget it. My fantasies are just that – fantasies."

"Momma!"

Sora looked up and saw Jasper standing in the doorway to his room, rubbing his eyes with one hand and clutching a teddy with the other. "Hey, little guy!" she said, picking him up and carrying him to the couch. "What's up?"

"I heard you talking to Auntie Kari," he said, looking up at her with big crimson-brown eyes. "Is she coming over?"

"No, but your Uncle Tai is," Sora replied, smiling at the little boy.

His face broke into a huge grin. "Yay, Uncle Tai! I haven't seen him in a long time! He's the best!"

"Yeah, I know, hun," Sora said, smiling. "Hey, want a banana?"

"Yay! Banana!"

She laughed and got her son a piece of fruit. He'd figured out how to switch on the DVD player and was watching "Aladdin".

Sheila was fast asleep, seeing as she was only three, but Jasper had a tendency to weasel into staying up late.

Suddenly the doorbell rang, removing Sora from her thoughts. She tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear and answered the door.

Tai was standing there, smiling weakly. "Hey."

"Hey! Come on in," Sora said, holding the door wide open.

Tai entered the small apartment and kicked off his shoes. Sora hung his coat in the closet and the two adults sat down in the kitchen at the table.

"It's been a long time," Tai said, smiling wider now.

"Yeah," Sora sighed, moving her stack of student papers to the counter and sitting down at the table.

"I heard about you and Matt. Are you doing okay?" he asked.

"I'm doing fine. Matt helps out whenever he can – we're still good friends, you know," she replied, smiling.

"Oh," he said, looking somewhat surprised. "I didn't know, actually."

Sora laughed. "Yeah, we're doing fine. Sheila's asleep but Jasper wanted to stay up to see you."

"Jasper? Oh, my God, I love that kid! He's so awesome!" Tai said excitedly. "Can I see him?"

Sora laughed as she led him into the living room. "Jeez, you sound like you came over for a play date!"

"Who says I didn't?" he replied, grinning, then running over to play with Jasper.

"Stupid Tai," Sora sighed, smiling. Watching to two boys was like… like a father goofing off with his son. Except his son looked nothing like him, with his bright blonde hair and pale skin.

After a while, Jasper got tired of playing with Tai and tottered off to bed.

Tai laughed as he watched him go. "He looks like a little drunken midget!"

"Yeah, I know. He's so cute," Sora sighed, collapsing into a kitchen chair. "But, um, hey, can we talk?"

Tai sat down across from her. "Sure. What's up?"

"Well, I just… wanted to talk. We haven't seen each other in a while, so…"

"Yeah, I know what you mean."

"So you became a business man, huh? I never thought I'd see you in any career but soccer!"

So you can't hold a star in your hand though
At least you can hold on to another plan

"Yeah, well, you can't hold a star in your hand. Being a world famous soccer player was my dream during school, sure, but you can always hold onto another plan, right? Mine was to be a lawyer or businessman or something to help the rest of the world."

"So you became a diplomat and you're still single?"

Tai hesitated slightly before answering. After the whole Christmas concert fiasco, he'd been like a rusted wheel, planted still in the ground.


Rusted wheel planted still

"Well, I never really moved on," he sighed, slumping on the table.

"How do you mean?" Sora asked.

"Well, remember when we were fourteen in freshman year when I asked you out at Christmas?"

She nodded. "I think so."

"I didn't really move on after that. I wasn't myself; I was… an actor, playing Tai Kamiya in a really long play. I didn't notice what day it was, what time it was, who was there… My life was eat, sleep, play soccer, study, and bear with it."

I can tell it's summer from the
Size of the bugs that fly through my window
Flying through my window

Rusted wheel planted still
Rusted wheel can't move on

"I wasn't able to move on."

I can tell it's winter from the
Size of the lump in my throat
Got a lump in my throat

Rusted wheel planted still
Rusted wheel can't move on

Sora stared at her friend; she'd had no idea how hurt he was by her rejection. I mean, she knew he'd been disappointed and everything, but she'd had no idea it went this far, stayed this long. "Oh, my, I… uhm…" What do you tell a friend after ten years? "Oh, I'm sorry I hurt your feelings that time in high school?" Nope, not that, that's for sure.


And it feels just like the ground
But trapped in another way
Just still in the ground

Tai wasn't finished. "I moved on in all other ways… I mean, I gave up on soccer, I started paying attention in class… I grew up. I felt like everyone else… except for, well, one thing.


And it feels just like the ground
And trapped in another way
Just still in the ground

"I still, well, I love you, Sora," he said, struggling to find the right words, not looking at his friend. "I have since grade school, though I don't know if I knew what I was thinking at first. But… I'm glad I said it. Finally. It took me, like, ten years, but I said it. I just… I wanted to get that off my chest. I'll leave now," he said, mistaking the shocked look on Sora's face to mean that she didn't return his feelings.

"No, don't!" she said, grabbing his hand. "It's been forever since we've seen each other… and well, you're right. You can't always hold a star in your hand. And when I say that I mean, I couldn't keep the rock star. But I can move on… to that better plan."

"What?" Tai said, looking confused.

Sora simply stood up and kissed him.

So you can't hold a star in your hand though
At least you can move on to that better plan

Rusted wheel planted still
Rusted wheel can't move on...

Okay! What do you think? Good, ne? Yes? No? Maybe? Okay, so it sucked. I know that! It was just an idea I had to get down onto my computer, so that's what I did. I think it's pretty good.

JASPER AND SHEILA ROCK! So Jasper looks like Matt with Sora's eyes and Sheila looks like Sora with Matt's eyes. That simple. Tee hee!

Well, uh, I guess I'd better go typing my other stories. Bye, thanks for reading!

--BANDGEEK--