"What do you want, Tai? I'm really busy," had been Izzy's response when he had answered the door, barely even glancing up until before the words were out. He had been busy with some computer thing, Tai was sure, but, when he looked up afterwards and saw the look on his friend's face, his slight anger had given way to worry. "What's wrong?" he had asked immediately. "Come in, come in!"
Tai had walked across the threshold and led the way back to Izzy's bedroom, where hundreds of gadgets and random computer parts or devices were strewn about haphazardly. He liked the room, despite the fact that the bed was almost entirely covered and there was no place to sit. But he just pushed a few things out of the way, ignoring the silent screams that Izzy was sure be emitting, and sat down. Only then did he speak.
"Nothing," he said slowly, "at least nothing urgent. There's no evil digimon trying to take over the Digiworld… well, except that stupid spider and her damned control spire monsters. But nothing's happened that could jeopardize the lives of two worlds."
Izzy hesitated. "Well, that's good, I guess," he replied, unsure of what to say.
But all Tai did was laugh derisively, but he didn't say anything.
"Look," he tried again a moment later, "maybe it could help if you wrote it down. Do you keep a journal?" Tai didn't need to glare to answer that. "All right, scratch the journal. But writing it down could still help profusely. I mean, it can really help you sort through your thoughts. It helps me."
Tai didn't respond, though. He didn't even make a face.
"Fine," huffed Izzy. But he didn't give up. Just a moment later, he continued, "Hmm, laughter sometimes helps a lot. Or you could meditate. Buddhism, you know? Concentrate on your breathing and just let things happen. Or I've heard that exercising vigorously and then taking either an extremely hot or an extremely cold shower should work well."
Also unresponsive to all these suggestions.
After another long moment of silence, Izzy sighed and finally said in an encouraging manner, "You know, talking about something can really help, too. It allows you to organize your thoughts more easily. I always feel better afterwards."
When all he did was sigh dramatically, Izzy couldn't help but glare at his best friend. Despite Tai being the older of the two, Izzy was definitely the more mature of the two, which, under normal circumstances, never bothered him. But, sometimes, it just annoyed him. Tai had always known that he felt this way, and, as much as he hated to admit it, it kind of made him want to laugh.
"Fine," huffed Izzy, growing impatient. "If you don't want to talk to me, why are you even here in the first place? I have a lot of work to do, you know." He stepped into his bedroom, away from the door, where he had been standing, and made his way to his pineapple laptop and closed it, not bothering to shut it down.
Tai knew exactly what he was doing. He was all in a huff because he felt like he was underappreciated, but he still wasn't going to give up. That was probably what Tai loved about Izzy most. He never gave up, and he was always there to help.
"All right, all right," he finally forced himself to say. "I'll talk, but I'm not making any promises."
That seemed to relieve Izzy a little, for which he was glad, and the boy pulled back his computer chair, turned it toward his friend, and sat down, crossing his legs like a professional psychologist, ready for anything Tai might have to say. It almost made him smile.
But he didn't have time to smile. There was too much to tell. So he told. Everything Matt had said, what he himself had done, and how Sora had called him later and tried to get him to talk about it because Matt wouldn't tell her what was wrong. He had barely been able to hold a conversation with her, though, because he had been so worried that he might let something slip, and he didn't want to ruin the friendship he had with her when his one with Matt had just been torn apart.
And, through it all, Izzy listened without judging, hesitated to ask a question until he was finished, and, when he was, Izzy just smiled encouragingly at him and said calmly, "I think you're overreacting."
"What?" exclaimed Tai in surprise. He hadn't really expected that sort of response, because he thought that he was holding himself together rather well considering the circumstances.
But his friend just smiled somewhat ruefully at the exclamation and tried to explain himself. "What I mean is, you're spending too much time focusing on this. It's not good for your self-esteem or your mental stability. If Sora really knew what had happened and why, do you think she would really shun you? Would she really be happy without one of her best friends, despite what he may or may not have done to 'try to break her and her boyfriend up'? I certainly don't think so.
"And Matt… well, there's always been a bit of tension between you two, whether you realize it now or not. And I have a feeling that he has noticed, which is why he's now avoiding you. Maybe he's afraid of what happened, or he's afraid of what it will do to your friendship, or maybe he's just worried that, next time he sees and talks to you, you'll do it again. It's a bit of an irrational fear, but, despite sensing the tension, he never expected anything like that to happen. Give him some time to work things out in his head, and he'll come talk to you about it."
Tai was somewhat relieved by Izzy's wisdom, but he still couldn't help but ask, "But what if he never does?" It was, of course, a possibility. "What if he doesn't want to be friends anymore? What if our friendship and everything is over?"
Smiling grimly, Izzy replied, "It's not over, and it never could be. You two will always be best friends, no matter what, because that's just how things are. In all honesty, I'm a little jealous of that. So don't worry about it. Everything will work out in time."
Those were his words, but Tai still couldn't be sure if he really believed him. Even if he didn't, though, they still made him feel better. And, for now, it would have to do.