Author's note: Firstly, I wanna thank everyone for the reviews. I like pretending that I'm becoming a loved writer in the Digimon fandom, lol. It can be a lie, that's okay. I still appreciate the compliments and encouragement I receive from reviewers. The question has been posed, however, why silent watchers annoy me so much (those who fave and watch, but never speak). I personally know that whe I watch and fave, that does't always mean I'm coming back to read it later. It means "I don't wanna lose this on the off chance that I wanna read it later". Yeah. I'm guilty of it, so I try not to do it if I can just book mark. I try review anything I read through, and appreciate the same courtesy. But anyways.
This is kind of short, shorter than I originally intended because... well, I can't remember what I originally intended to write. But at least it's posted. That's something, right?
This chapter gave me a little practice with time-line narrations, mixing dialogue in to not bore you out of your mind. Tell me if I failed miserably or not, will you? And I'm pretty sure engagement rings, etc, are a pretty western thing. And I'm pretty sure that Sora and Yamato aren't Christians or anything, because it's not really popular in Japan is it? I don't know, but yeah Deal with it, because I don't feel like researching Japanese wedding customs for fanfiction, mkays?
Well anyways, here's to hoping you Sorato fans are pleased, and that you Taichi sympathizers are properly moved. I seriously, seriously feel for Taichi. He really got the raw end of the deal there. Like, you know, if it's not enough that you have a crush on one of your best friends, she has a crush on your other best friend, which means that you have absolutely no chance of avoiding seeing them, and then you get into situations like this. Ugh. Talk about biting the big one.
And he doesn't even get to be a professional soccer play. Dayyum.
A year sounds like a really long time, doesn't it? A lot happens in a year; babies learn to crawl and babble, and mothers give birth. You'd think that a year was like forever, the way five minutes meant so much to a ten year old boy who didn't want to go to home before he could make a basket. Five minutes in a recording studio gave musicians fame. So it only makes sense, you would think, that a year was an awful long time. But you'd be wrong; like five minutes changes from ages ten to sixteen, perhaps years grow shorter and less significant with age.
At first, it felt like nothing was very different. Taichi could even admit to having forgotten about the wedding. After the first few days, it became old news, to be replaced with worries over the end of his years at University, with the startling discovery that Hikari might actually be interested in dating, in continually trying to convince his mother that he was not moving out until she promised to feed Hikari real food. He attended soccer games, practiced whenever he had neither work nor Uni, had to be reminded that he couldn't sleep until he fiished his homework pretty much nightly. The summer came, and trips to the beach were a regular thing. Sora removed her engagement band so as not to lose it, and so it was easy to pretend it didn't exist.
But then autumn came around, and with a rainy day came Sora and Yamato's first fight about the wedding. Sora didn't come to Taichi, but Yamato did. He apologized for it too, asked if he could talk before actually talking. Sora's mother wanted a larger wedding ceremony, but Yamato wanted it to be small. Immediate family, and the Chosen. He said the Chosen were practically family anyway, but if "some" friends could come, why couldn't they all? Didn't extended family have the right to enjoy the marriage too? Yamato didn't know, but he was stressed and tired, and Sora had gotten angry when he told her that whatever she wanted, to make her mother listen. He told her not to let her mother walk on her, something Sora was reluctant to do after years of finally being on good terms with her mother. She had refused, gotten angry, and Yamato had walked away. He was afraid the wedding wouldn't happen. Taichi wondered if it wouldn't. But it was back on again, within a week. Yamato had sat outside Sora's apartment until she had finally opened the door. Taichi didn't ask what happened next; he was selective about just how much he was going to let Yamato talk, and Yamato seemed to know it.
It became harder to ignore after that, but Taichi thought he handled it with good grace. However, he had refused when Yamato had asked him to be his best man, when Sora had insisted that they needed to get that taken care of for fittings and stuff. She wanted to make the outfits herself, at least the bridesmaids dresses. Her mother had glared when she suggested making her own dress, saying that she shouldn't have to do all the work for her special day. Sora liked it though; Taichi knew that was how she kept herself from thinking too much. You could only think when there was nothing left to do, and when you had time to think, you tended to think the wrong thoughts. The imagination had a really sick sense of humor.
"You're my best friend," Yamato had insisted when Taichi shook his head, saying he couldn't do it. There was a double meaning to his words. He wasn't entirely sure he could stomach standing to the side of the alter, instead of... well, you get the idea. He had a feeling there was only so much he could be involved in, and Yamato wasn't relenting.
"But it would mean a lot to Takeru. If I had a brother, I'd make him my best man as long as he wasn't five," Taichi replied bluntly. Yamato frowned, and then ran a hand through his hair. He had thought of this too. "It'd mean a lot to him," Taichi said again. "I mean, his big bro is getting married. Let him be a part of it."
"...Alright. But will you be part of the wedding party, still?" The question was hesitant; he wasn't entirely sure that the rejected offer had been for Takeru's sake. Taichi quirked an eyebrow.
"Like what, shoe shiner of the groom?" It was a joke, and it kind of worked. Yamato looked slightly less worried.
"I was thinking usher, but now that you mention it, my dress shoes are kinda scuffed."
"I think I like being the usher better. ...What does an usher do?"
"Um... Ush?" Yamato shrugged. Apparently, Taichi was going to be spending his evening on Google, lest he get a sample bouquet of lillies chucked at his head when he asked Sora what the hell he was supposed to be doing. And that was what he did; by the time he was actually expected to do anything useful, he thought he had memorized the task of usher without fault. Or he'd just BS it. Yeah, that sounded way easier. I mean, the guy could barely remember that he had math homework when he got home. But he was working with Jyou, so there was no harm in a whispered "Hey buddy, what the heck are we doing?"
Oh yes. He totally had that handled. Man, if he were Staples, he'd be saying "That was Easy" over, and over, and over... You know, that snazzy little red button? He had no idea why it annoyed everyone so much. It made Taichi grin.
But while talking to Yamato might have had some occasional moments of awkwardness, it was nothing compared to Sora. Sora, who never wanted to talk about the wedding, didn't want to think about seating arrangements or floral arrangements, catering menus or the reception dinner. She said he could hang out once in a while, that nothing was changing between them just because she was getting married. Sure, Yamato was around a little more than he used to be, but he didn't seem to care if Sora and Taichi hung out. Taichi wasn't so sure he could say the same for Sora, no matter what she insisted when he challenged her. She just wanted to watch the game, and after a while Taichi tried to talk about comic books. Why? Because he wanted to see if it was the wedding, or him talking that was annoying her.
"Dammit Taichi, I've already said--- Wait, what?"
Nope, it was just him.
So those visits dwindled down to almost not at all. It was kind of easier that way, as much as Taichi disliked taking the easy route for anything but schoolwork. And there was more of that, and Yamato insisted that he didn't need Taichi's help with the planning. Taichi had been right, Yamato said; Takeru had taken up his role as best man with gusto. It was almost annoying, actually, but the brothers worked well together. Unlike what Taichi would try to do, Takeru was not scheming to book a strip bar for the bachelor's party. Takeru rolled his eyes and laughed when Taichi suggested it jokingly one day when Hikari and Takeru were hanging out in the living room. Taichi couldn't say anything about it, although he kind of wanted to. Daisuke, Ken, Miyako, and Iori were supposed to be coming over for some "reunion time", although Taichi couldn't resist pointing out that they hardly could miss each other. They'd gone to the movies as a group just last week!
As winter passed, wedding talk increased. Hikari was a part of Sora's party, a bridesmaid. She tried to keep the wedding talk to a minimal around Taichi, but her and Takeru were excited. Taichi didn't blame them, really. Sometimes he even found himself getting caught up in the tidal wave that was planning and setting dates, wondering how many people Yamato had convinced Mrs. Takenouchi to not invite. He had a feeling that was a losing battle; Yamato looked rather dispirited whenever it was brought up.
Time sped past and suddenly, April second was upon them. The big day, the day that the bells were chiming in the church and Hikari was pouting about her hair being short because she couldn't put it up like the other bridesmaids were. Yamato was pacing when Taichi showed up, and prompty glared at him. Shit, he was in trouble and he'd not even been awake for two hours... Not that he was about to admit that when he was already in the doghouse.
"By like, two minutes, Yamato," Taichi blinked, taken aback. He thought it was pretty damn good... for him. "The train was --"
"I'm getting married, Tai," Yamato reminded him. As if he could have forgotten, really.
"I know that," Taichi said evenly. Yamato huffed. "C'mon, mate, let's get you relaxed. Where's Takeru?"
"I don't know. Doing... best man stuff?" Yamato guessed, and shrugged. Sora was definitely the only one in this wedding party who had any idea what the heck was going on at any given moment. Typical, but damn inconvenient when you were trying to not get your head bitten off before your best friend had a heart attack.
"So what did I have to be an hour early for, Mr. Bossman?" Give him something to do, Taichi figured. It would make him not think about the fact that he had to exchange vows before lunch time.
"I was going to make sure you and Jyou knew... Where's Jyou," Yamato asked, spinning around. Taichi grabbed his shoulder before Yamato could make himself dizzy.
"I was in the bathroom... Sorry Matt, but you're really out of it."
"Thanks Mr. Observant," Taichi replied in Yamato's stead, sticking his tongue out. Jyou raised his brows. "I Googled what Ushers do. No worries, Matty," Taichi said cheerfully, patting Yamato on the shoulder. The nickname earned him one of the nastiest glares he'd received from Yamato since their childhood. Ah, fond memories.
It would have been a great wedding. Taichi supposed that, if he stopped pouting about it when no one was looking long enough to stop feeling sorry for himself, that it was a great wedding. It wasn't too big or too small, and the day was sunny and warm and perfect, and Hikari looked really pretty in her dress. Maybe too pretty, because Daisuke's tongue was dragging behind him on the floor and sometimes Taichi had to clear his throat loudly even to get Takeru's attention, although of course the blond denied it when Taichi smirked teasingly. After the third time though, he started getting a little ticked. After all, this was his sister they were oggling at. He was going to have to lock her in a closet, honestly.
But for the most part, he was too busy to think about the fact that this was Sora's wedding. It was easy, really. He stood on Yamato's side of the church, ushed Yamato's guests while Jyou tended to Sora's guest list, enjoyed a few snickers with Koushiro when Yamato forgot that he'd already put his tie on. When he thought of it as Yamato's wedding, it didn't bother him too much. Besides, he didn't catch another glimpse of Sora until she was walking down the aisle. Really slowly, as though flaunting that he'd fucked up and lost his chance in front of him. That was a very torturous few minutes, let me tell you. Taichi sighed to himself, smiled when Sora caught his eye and flashed him a nervous smile, and ignored Jyou and Koushiro's attempts to get his attention. He didn't want someone asking if he was 'really okay with this'. It was a little too late for that, and when he saw the two of them infront of the church, together, smiling and giddy (and for Yamato to be giddy...dayyum), he couldn't argue that this was where she was supposed to be. He didn't say a thing when the priest asked if anyone had any objections. He barely heard the little voice in the back of his head saying "I do, because that should be me up there.".
Maybe he knew her too well. Maybe he shouldn't have looked so hard, hynotized by their happiness and the numb "This is it, it's over" feeling that had taken over his thought patterns for a few more minutes. It was a peaceful kind of numb, you know? The kind where it started to stop hurting, and it stopped torturing you. This was the moment of closure, the end of hoping that secretly, they would break up and he had a chance. As long as he believed he had a chance, it hurt. But when that was gone, when there was nothing but tomorrow, then that wasn't such a bad feeling. He could finally breathe easily, look at another girl sincerely, date somebody else and not feel like he was swallowing back things he could never say.
When Taichi looked too closely, his heart hurt again.
A tear slid down her cheek, catching in the sunlight that filtered through the stained glass windows and skylights. Taichi felt his heart ache, because he understood the reason. He knew Sora better than anybody, after all, and he could only recall three times in their entire friendship that she had cried. When she was stressing out in the digital world over her crest, when she made amends with her mother, and when she and Yamato made up after their first big fight.
Only one of those times had she been sad.
Sora cried when she was happy, when she was so relieved that she felt like her knees were going to give out beneath her because they had been shaking so badly. If Yamato hadn't been clutching her to him, she might have done it. As it was, she returned the tight embrace and kissed him more fiercely, and Taichi felt like he had been smacked in the face. Again. You know, it had happened a few times before. And usually, it was Sora, come to think of it. Some cycles seriously needed to be broken.
Because she had been looking for it too, he realized. The feelings had never exactly died. She knew, once, she had loved him too, when he was too stupid and stubborn and slow to admit it to himself. Those feelings hadn't changed, at least not at first. She had just begun to feel them for someone else too, and that someone hadn't believed that the opportunity would keep presenting itself if he waited. Taichi had, and Taichi had lost her. Sora never would have confessed that she still liked him. She wouldn't have cried, asking him why he hadn't said anything. Sora wasn't that kind of person. She hated crying as much as Taichi hated seeing her cry. Sora picked her head off her arms and kept walking, and refused to let the tears fall. At least, she never cried in front of him. Not until today.
But Sora had finally found her closure in the arms of another, and Taichi was gripping the edge of the church pew, wishing it was him again.