I wrote this a while ago, around the time of the 1àth anniversary concert, suprisingly. I decided to post here too, because, why the hell not?
It's all thanks to Catching Rain, so thanks Rain!
The challenge was as follows:
Ahahaha, a conversation I had with Nina turned into this...
Title:: Identity Crisis (or something more original if you can think of one)
Main Characters:: Taichi and Yamato
Pairings:: Wild card...?
Story brief:: Taichi happens to be attending the 10th anniversary concert in Shibuya, and he runs into the menaces known as cosplayers. But, contrary to popular belief, these cosplayers actually know what they're doing, and so Taichi begins to wonder, "Am I even the real Taichi?" He turns to Yamato with his plight, but as it would turn out, it's a Yamato cosplayer! And then the real Yamato becomes jealous that Taichi trusts the "new model" of him... and chaos ensues.
"I'm not sure if this is a good idea."
"What is there to worry about, Jyou? It'll be fine!" Sora told him for what seemed like the hundredth time; she was exasperated from trying to reassure Jyou's fears. The passing of time had toned down his tendency to panic, but not entirely diminished it.
"I don't know, the people there will be Digimon fans, hardcore Digimon fans if they're still around after ten years. They know who we are! They've probably memorized the Wikipedia pages made about us! Just imagine what they could do if they saw us!"
"You do realise those Wikipedia pages are full of inaccuracies," said Koushiro, adopting his usual informing tone, "I've had to create an account just to rectify the error-filled 'facts' about some of us. There's this kid, in Canada, I believe, who insists on constantly changing the information back. I can't believe they think they're right, I mean, I should know, I was there.
"You know, I think I'll check for updates on our pages now, we can't let such inaccuracies become accepted facts of popular culture." With that, Koushiro took to furiously typing away on his laptop, it still sported a pineapple but was now the latest of the many newer replacements he'd acquired over the years.
"He's no help, as always," mumbled Sora, turning her attention away from Koushiro. Ten years had passed since their original adventures in the Digital World; Koushiro had changed a lot – just as all of them had – but not quite enough for anything to come before his laptop.
Except, maybe, the female body, Sora thought disapprovingly, though there was, of course, a way to combine the two... She didn't quite want to think about that, actually.
Sora resigned herself to waiting for the others to arrive for their little get-together before trying to convince Jyou everything would be fine again, she didn't have the energy for another round of playing life-coach right now.
Crashing footsteps could be heard as the sound of voices approached the front door of Sora's apartment. The door was harshly thrown open; the voices became intelligible and their owners known.
"I'm telling you, Taichi, it's a bad idea!"
"And I've told you, Yamato, that it's a brilliant idea!"
They continued to argue as they headed straight for the kitchen – as they always did, Sora noted, slightly annoyed.
When she'd said that Koushiro had changed like all of them, she really meant like most of them. Even in their twenties, Taichi and Yamato couldn't help but resort to immature teasing and playful – well, mostly playful – arguing. It was an improvement on throwing punches, at least; Sora remembered tending to those bruises all to well.
"I think Taichi's idea is brilliant," said Daisuke, who had trailed in shortly after them – and closed the front door, Sora noted, with some satisfaction. All those years later, Daisuke still couldn't completely kick that feeling of admiration towards the original leader of the Chosen.
"Oh, well, you would agree with him, wouldn't you?" Yamato huffed, simultaneously rolling his eyes and crossing his arms, as he often did when trying to be difficult. Sora personally found it quite funny, not that she'd ever share that little fact, of course.
"And what's that supposed to mean?" demanded Taichi, Yamato's aloof state always triggered something in him.
"Nothing," said Yamato, without looking at Taichi.
Sora recognized his usual defence mechanism. Even after becoming more open thanks to his adventures in the Digital World and growing up, Yamato still hadn't completely kicked certain habits. Arguing seemed to bring out the childish side in both of them. Sora sometimes couldn't understand how they could stand being around each other. Though she supposed all those moments that manifested nothing but a great friendship and pure complicity made up for any headaches they gave each other. Whether it made up for all the headaches they gave her, she wasn't quite so sure.
"So what's this so-called brilliant idea?" she called out from the living-room.
"Oh, hi, Sora," said Taichi, only just noticing her – in her own home, dammit!
Yamato decided to take up the question, "Well, Taichi, here, thinks it would be a great idea for us to dress ourselves up to look exactly like we did ten years ago. He thinks it would be fun, that it's the best way to celebrate." His slightly bitter tone easily indicated that he didn't think too highly of all this.
Sora was about to voice her own, slightly sceptical, opinion, but was, however, interrupted by a new arrival.
"Cosplay? What an awesome idea!" exclaimed Mimi, as she entered in behind them. Sora was quite surprised to see her friend arrive so early, she was usually "fashionably late," as she liked to call it.
"Mimi! I knew you'd agree!" exclaimed Taichi, happily.
"What? No way, you can't agree with him!"
"Aw, come on, Yamato, It'll be fun!" said Mimi, slinging an arm over his shoulders, shaking him from side to side, almost as if she were trying to shake some enthusiasm into him.
Yamato scowled as he lifted her arm up and walked away.
"Well, if someone isn't moody today," said Mimi, turning to Sora. They always seemed to get a laugh out of his little moods, much to his distaste.
"I just think it's silly," he defended, his cool stance back in place. A few years ago he might have won the girls over to his side of the argument. That was the thing with Matt, when he put on his cool and composed attitude he was to die for, and he could easily render females powerless – as well as a few males, but it was mostly considered best not to get into that.
Except, being his friends for many years, Sora and Mimi had developed a sort of immunity to any of this superficial charm. As his friends, they had seen him in his little moods. Just as they had seen him grinning like a fool, or half asleep, or drunk off his arse, or even running around his apartment in his underwear looking for a pair of jeans. Such things tended to break a cool exterior. He was human after all; he was one of them. His efforts to look blasé had become endearing at some point.
"Oh, pssh, you're just scared you'll have fun," Mimi told him.
"Yeah, imagine what would happen to his 'Super Cool Rock star' image if he cracked a smile," added Sora.
"Sora, however could we forget, that with his god-like sex bomb status Yamato simply can't lower himself to the fun of us mere mortals!"
They continued to joke at his expense, earning howling laughter from Taichi and Daisuke, and a scowl from Yamato himself.
"All right, I'll do it!" he bellowed. They all stopped to stare at him, Jyou and Koushiro had even poked their heads through the doorway to see what was going on.
"What?" Sora finally asked.
"I said, I'll do it."
His words sunk in; Taichi grabbed his friend, pulling him into a hug and slapping him on the back.
"That's the spirit!" he congratulated him.
"Yeah, now everyone else will be easy to convince!" cried Daisuke.
And so it was decided. The Chosen would attend the tenth anniversary concert in Shibuya, cosplaying as none other than themselves.
"What the hell was I thinking back then?" wailed Miyako, "These trousers are awful! And red too! They clash with my hair; wait, everything clashes, I'm just one big walking clash-bomb!"
"I know what you mean," said Hikari, "these shorts are horrendous. The waist is so high, I think I'm experiencing the negative side of 'legs up to your armpits.'"
"You guys think you have it bad, I had to go back to the worst haircut of my life," said Iori, feeling mournful for his more recent spiky do. Not one of them said otherwise, or could even bring themselves to console him, the Shell really was that bad.
"Yeah, well, this hat is still the stupidest item of clothing that ever existed," complained Takeru.
"I'll admit I was pretty glad you eventually got rid of it, I liked to think of it as your fisherman's phase – without the the actual fishing," Hikari told him, with many others nodding in agreement.
"Sora and Mimi's choice of headwear is a little more questionable though," Ken pointed out, whilst gesturing to the two girls. Sora, having lost the original 'Lucky Helmet,' had only managed to find a replacement that was too big for her. The helmet kept falling over her eyes, making her bump into more than a few strangers in the crowd. Mimi, meanwhile, was having trouble manoeuvring her way through the Digimon fans without knocking them out with her pink hat's large sides.
They were quite a sight. A danger to the public, yes, but a funny one.
Mimi and Sora eventually gave up on trying to push their way to a good spot in the main standing area, retiring instead to the surrounding stands; they would probably be able to get some sorted of VIP seating, being the originalflavour and all. They were quickly followed by Jyou and Koushiro, who complained about the possibility of germ exposure and not being to use laptops safely in the standing area, respectively.
"Those guys don't know how to have fun!"
"Well, not everyone shares your idea of 'fun,' Taichi," Yamato responded.
"Aw, you're upset I managed to convince you to cut your hair."
"It was the perfect length! It's going to take ages to grow back."
"Well, at least you look a bit less like a girl."
"I never looked like a girl!" defended Yamato, giving Taichi a soft punch on the arm, making them both laugh.
"Hey, guys, do you feel like trying to get closer to the stage with us?" asked Davis, as he came towards them, followed by Ken.
"Sure, we'd love too," Taichi answered for both them, before Yamato could give a negative reply (one look at that sour face, and Taichi just knew it would be negative. Probably quite rude as well.)
"Awesome, come on!" cried Daisuke enthusiastically, as he grabbed Ken by the arm and dived into the thicker parts of the crowd. Taichi followed suit by grabbing Yamato by the arm and following them in.
"Hey, watch it!" called the girl Taichi bumped into.
"Oh, excuse me, I'm- Wait, Sora?" The girl was dressed in the same outfit Sora had been earlier: a recreation of the one she wore during their first adventures in the Digital World, and she looked just like her, save the darker eyes. And her facial expression, Sora could never look so mean and scary. Even that time Taichi climbed into the shower with her, mistakenly believing she was his girlfriend of the moment – they looked similar from the back, that's all!
"Well, duh, who does it look like I'm cosplaying as, you idiot?"
"Sorry, miss," interjected Yamato before Taichi could get them into any trouble, "I'll take him off your hands."
They only received a faint "whatever" in response, and Taichi found his eternal gratitude for Yamato always getting him out of such tight spots resurfacing once again.
"I don't know what I'd do without you, man," he told his best friend.
"Good to know," answered Yamato, with a small smile. He then cast a quick glance around them, "Uh, Taichi, do you notice anything strange?"
Taichi took a good look at the people that surrounded them. They weren't too far from the stage and in what was probably one of the densest parts of the crowd. It also seemed to be the part with the biggest Digimon fans.
How could he tell? Well, everywhere he looked there were cosplayers. Every single person he saw was dressed up as either one of the more famous Chosen or as a Digimon. It was incredible, incredibly insane, that is.
"Yamato? Tell me I'm seeing things."
"I wish we both were, I really do," said Yamato, as he cringed at the sight of seeing a fan who had decided to dress as a female version of his little brother, a very saucy female version.
They were pushing their way through the crowd, trying to get to the spot they had seen Ken and Daisuke aim for, without much success, when they came across what could only be described as a herd of Taichis.
There were so many of them, and in all shapes and sizes. There was a Taichi over six feet tall, a Taichi who couldn't have been more than five years old, a blond Taichi, a Taichi with an armful of Agumon plushies, a Taichi crossed with Agumon, a Taichi with breasts, a Taichi with at least four pairs of goggles on his head, and so many more!
The original Taichi found himself completely overwhelmed, all of these people who liked just like him! Well, almost, there was always a small difference, especially regarding the Taichis with breasts.
For instance, that guy had blue eyes instead of brown, that one had red goggles, that one had the wrong sneakers... Wait a minute, what if he was supposed to have blue eyes? And have red goggles? And those were actually the right shoes? What if he was the one who'd gotten it all wrong? That would mean...
That would mean he wasn't the real Taichi!
So which was it? Was he the real Taichi that had worked himself up into a state of panic or was he just some crazy cosplayer who was taking himself too seriously? Which was it?!
Okay, deep breaths, he needed to calm down and breathing was good for you – or, at least, he thought he might have read something like that once, somewhere or other.
Yamato would know what to do, Yamato always knew in these situations, but where was he?
Taichi searched through the people surrounding him frantically and threw himself onto the closest blond in a green turtle-neck.
"Yamato, you've got to help me! Who am I? Tell me, who I am!"
The poor boy was being shaken so hard that he couldn't speak, let alone tell a crazed Taichi that, actually, his name was Hideki – he really hadn't thought his costume was that good! – and that he had no idea what was going on.
Meanwhile, only a few feet away, the real Yamato had seen that Taichi looked distressed and had been about go to him and see what was wrong, when his friend had thrown himself onto a Yamato cosplayer.
A better looking one, Yamato noted sourly. Taichi was looking increasingly worried – as he wasn't receiving the reassurance he desperately craved, most likely. As the shaking eased up, the stranger began trying to comfort Taichi, laying a tentative hand on his shoulder and speaking with a soothing tone.
Yamato felt awful; he could never do that for Taichi. Their methods for comforting each other were somewhat less conventional. They usually involved playful arguing and teasing until all troubles were forgotten.
Yamato had thought that method worked well, but maybe Taichi was tired of it, maybe he wanted something else. Maybe he wanted interactions that were a bit more normal with his – Yamato gasped as he realised – new best friend.
Yamato couldn't believe it; after all these years, after all the ways he'd proved himself, and after all the efforts he'd made, he was being traded in for a newer, shinier, younger model.
He had to admit, the kid had class, at least. The ripped jeans were a nice creative touch, and did fit his image rather well, as did the heavy combat boots. The floppy fringe of his hair was longer than Yamato's, as were a few strands of hair all around; it looked rather nice, a little softer, perhaps, than what Yamato was used to. He was also pretty sure he would look equally good – if not better! – with a silver stud in one ear; maybe he should see about getting one... Wait a minute, were those roots? Taichi was choosing a fake blond over him?
Taichi hated hair dye, he knew that for a fact, he'd gone ballistic when Hikari had decided a few highlights would be a good idea. The colours she'd chosen had been rather, for lack of a better word, interesting, but still.
Yamato couldn't believe Taichi was abandoning him. Him, Taichi's true best friend, with real blond hair! What made this guy a better best friend? What did he have that Yamato didn't? Should Yamato have been a little nicer over the years? Should he have let Taichi take the bed and volunteer to crash on the couch? Should he not have laughed in Taichi's face when the latter confessed to having a crush on that girl who lived in his building? Should he have made an effort to play soccer more often? Should he have offered Taichi the last beer yesterday, instead of grabbing it for himself?
Life was full of 'what ifs' and Yamato recognized that his were getting rather ridiculous. He was all set on drowning himself in his own misery, when Ken and Daisuke appeared on either side of him.
"Are you OK, Yamato?" asked Ken, "You seem a little strange."
"I'm all right," he replied, "You know, considering my best friend just traded me in for a new one," he finished, his tone a little bitter.
"Er, what?" asked Daisuke, looking to Ken for answers. The latter's expression indicated that he had no idea what was happening either.
Instead he said, "Never mind, now let's go get Taichi, he seems to be causing trouble for that kid." This became all the more apparent as Taichi knelt down in front of the Yamato cosplayer and began shouting something unintelligible; he really was making a scene.
Daisuke walked up behind Taichi and pulled him to his feet.
"Come on, we need to get back to the others."
"Daisuke, how did you know it was me?"
"I'd recognize you anywhere, now hurry up."
Taichi turned to the cosplayer behind him, and finally realized the truth, "You're not Yamato!"
"No, my name's Hideki, I'm a big fan of Yamato's though," he said, looking awfully embarrassed with the whole ordeal. He then added with haste, "And a big fan of yours too."
"Oh, well, that's... nice," answered Taichi, he felt mortified and just wanted to be as far away from there as possible.
Fortunately Yamato came to his rescue – not that Taichi would ever admit that out loud; being a damsel in distress had never really done anything for him – he apologized to the kid as he ushered Taichi away and out of the thick crowd of cosplayers.
"You know what, Yamato?" Taichi said once they were seated in a quiet spot with some lunch.
"Maybe you were right," – Yamato promptly snorted; Taichi ignored him, – "Cosplaying is pretty insane. Well, the cosplayers are anyway."
"You were the crazy one today."
"Yeah, but..." Taichi's arms flailed as he tried to come up with an argument. "Look, don't tell me that doesn't freak you out a little!" he cried , pointing at two cosplayers not too far from them.
Yamato's eyes widened at the sight: the two girls were dressed as him and Taichi and were currently making out rather, er, enthusiastically.
"There is no way in hell I ever needed to see that!" he cried covering his eyes.
"And it's such a waste, I can't even enjoy watching two girls kiss because the whole thing's too weird," Taichi complained.
Yamato gave his friend an odd look, but decided not too comment. After all that had happened today, he was pretty sure he wanted to let something like that slide. For now.
Besides he'd definitely get the opportunity to interrogate his best friend sooner or later, and today would provide some good emotional blackmail.