Here's another Taiora for you guys... I hope you like it!
And btw, remember "Uncle Fred who ate a lot at Thanksgiving" from the movie? He makes a guest appearance here.

Disclaimer on profile.

Sora shifted uncomfortably in her seat as Tai's elbow bumped her arm once again. He muttered an apology, but continued cutting through his vegetables without retracting his obtrusive limb. The sullen look on his face had been there since the start of their meal, and didn't seem to be going away any time soon. After all, they hadn't even brought out dessert yet.

It was Kari's birthday, and the young girl had requested that her uncle-Uncle Fred-come out for her birthday dinner. The jolly man agreed, and he was now heartily digging into his meal, all the while making bad jokes and concurrently showing off his half-chewed food.

Sora wasn't sure whether or not she'd make it all the way through this ordeal if he kept it up.

She calmly took a sip of her water, using precise and controlled movements. It was important to her that she make a good impression on Tai's extended family. Her mother had insisted she use all of her manners and be on her best behaviour throughout the course of the evening.

It was obvious, though, that Uncle Fred had never heard those kinds of words come from his own mother's mouth, judging by the way he continually displayed inappropriate amounts of sounds not unlike those of cows.

Tai certainly wasn't all that impressed either. His gloomy mood told Sora that he was most assuredly embarrassed by his uncle's lack of manners and good conduct at the dinner table.

Sitting across from her brother, Kari was clearly enjoying the time she spent in Uncle Fred's company. She giggled during his stories, laughed loudly after the punch line of his jokes and somehow remained indifferent to the tiny bits of fish that kept falling out of his gaping mouth.

Ah, the ignorance of youth, Sora mused, expertly dodging Tai's flying elbow once more. Her internal analyses were cut off abruptly though by Uncle Fred and his booming, microphone-enhanced-loud voice.

"So, Sora, where did ya meet my boy Tai here? Was it love at first sight?"

He chuckled at his teasing while Sora quickly glanced at Tai beside her, wondering whether she should actually condemn herself to starting a conversation with the Kamiya's bumbling buffoon of a relative across from her.

"Oh, you know, just from school and stuff. Nothing special."

"Whaddya mean, 'nothing special'? Of course it's special!" he exclaimed. "You two are goin' to get married one day! The details of your first meeting are very important!"

Tai's knife and fork clattered against his plate, signalling to Sora that he'd dropped them in shock. She figured he was probably thinking something along the lines of, 'I knew Uncle Fred would say something embarrassing like this...' It was cute how she could read his mind sometimes, but she wished that at the moment, he was thinking up a way for her to get out of this situation still sane.

Outwardly, Sora paled at Uncle Fred's comment, then turned a light shade of green, and finally settled for a slapped-in-the-face expression glazed by a prominent pink blush.

"M-married?" she stuttered, feeling slightly overwhelmed by the implications brought upon by his outrageous statement. "Tai and I aren't getting married... we're just dating."

"Nonsense!" Uncle Fred countered. "You two are perfect for each other!"

Sora briefly wondered whether this man was actually thinking about what he was saying. He'd known her for exactly an hour and a half, during which her and Tai had exchanged precisely zero words with each other.

"Good on you, Tai. This one's a keeper. You have many happy years ahead of you, I can tell. This Sora girl you've got, she's much better than the last girlfriend you had."

"... last girlfriend?"

"Oh, you know, that blond chick who played the guitar."

Tai sputtered, "'Chick'? That was my best friend-guy friend-and his name is Matt. I've told you that already!"

Sora grew wide-eyed at the insinuation that Tai had dated his best friend, whom he'd known since pre-school and was most assuredly a guy. Sora's coughing failed to completely disguise her laughter at the thought of someone mistaking Matt for a girl. Mimi was definitely going to LOVE this tidbit of gossip!

Meanwhile, Tai had a minor heart attack over imagining what Matt would say if he ever found out what Uncle Fred had just said about him. Mentally, he reminded himself profusely to coerce Sora into a vow of silence concerning the subject. That little misconception of Uncle Fred's was never leaving the house.

"Anyways, I'm proud of you, Tai." Uncle Fred raised his glass in the direction of his nephew's red face and congratulated him, then tossed the contents of his cup down his throat in one huge gulp. A few seconds later, he belched loudly, earning himself a couple of glares and roaring laughter from his niece. Tai face-palmed and Sora blanched once again, swearing that if this was what marriage with Tai entailed, then she was for sure out. There was no way she was ever going to put herself through this again.

Somehow, they made it through dinner without any more unfortunate incidents, and Sora requested that Tai walk her to her house without further delay; she needed to get home and get some rest for school tomorrow.

They were silent as they approached Sora's house, Tai with his hands shoved in his pockets and his messy hair even more crazy than usual from all the hair-pulling he'd done in the past few hours. She smiled gently at him, wondering how someone as kind and as brave as the man beside her could ever be related to the nightmare back at his apartment. Sora shook her head, not even bothering to dwell on it. She cared for Tai deeply, and perhaps if that meant putting up with Uncle Fred every year on holidays, she could pull through...

Tai's form blocked her path when she reached for her house keys, startling her into looking up abruptly.

"I'm really sorry about that, Sora. I hope you won't break up with me over it."

His soft plea inticed a comforting hug from her, and they stood there embracing while she explained to him that in no way was she contemplating breaking up with him over something as silly as Uncle Fred's bad manners.

He mirrored her smile and gave her a quick kiss before saying goodnight and shooing her towards her apartment. Sora watched him, catching the wink he threw her when he looked back.

Oh yes... dinner with Uncle Fred was definitely not going to dissuade her from pursuing Tai.

Not in a million years.

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