Me: I never thought this day would come, but it finally did. I don't own Digimon, nor do I own "The Eternal Sparkle" from Megchan's site-sadly enough, she wasn't able to keep up the Digimon part, but at least the lyrics are still there.

Tai: Any particular reason why you chose this song for this chapter?

Me: It contributes to both Taiora and Sorato-luckily for me, this story has pure Taiora in it-albeit, some Sorato, but definite Taiora hints-along with Takari, Daiyako, Mimato and some Daikari.

Sora: You're lucky you put Taiora in this, pal!

Me: Please, not now-I've already got one redhead breathing down my neck; I don't want to add you to the list! Before we start this chapter, this story is dedicated to all the faithful Taiora fans out there, which includes some Taiora fans I've gotten to know personally-Angel-Chan, Steeldramon21, logan, Sora-Chan, ker-plop, Veranda, Rascal, Sora Takenouchi, Tai Kamiya,

X-Man, Lord Archive, RenaissanceGrrl, DarkAngel'89, blue-eyed angel, Fruitloop Trooper,

IC-Chan (Imagination Child) and Nelly (aka Greymon). Any Taiora fans I've failed to mention, trust me-this story's as much a part of you as it is a part of me. Say it with me, now-TAIORA FOREVER!

Tai/Sora: (tears trickling down cheeks) Forever...







Digimon: The Final Battle

Prologue-Departure of a Leader









"I don't know about you guys, but I'm not ready to quit yet!" -Tai Kamiya

"I'm with you, Tai-I won't let this whole experience be for nothing!" -Sora Takenouchi, Now Apocalymon!







Surely...it's still too soon for my feelings

You...with your eyes shining, talk about your dreams







Taichi "Tai" Kamiya was tossing and turning in his bed, the victim of a nightmare that had started after the events with MaloMyotismon, one of the deadliest enemies the DigiDestined had faced in their lifetimes. He, as well as his Digimon partner Agumon, had chalked it up to a case of overeating, but Agumon had remedied that by almost eating the Kamiya family out of house and home! If it wasn't for Gatomon stepping in, they would probably have no food at all. And still, the nightmares continued to occur...

Dream sequence

"Sora, wait up!" Tai found himself back in front of the tent, three years ago alongside his partner Agumon, just barely catching up to Tai's lifelong best friend, Sora Takenouchi.

"Oh, Tai..." The young girl started shaking, protectively covering the Christmas present in her arms.

As Tai steeled his courage for what he was about to ask, he was acutely aware of Sora's partner Biyomon saying something to Matt's partner, Gabumon. However, Tai couldn't recall what was said to save his life, even in a dream.

"So, um, Sora, are you going to the concert with anybody? I mean, not that it matters to me-just wondering."

"No, I want to be available in case Matt is free afterwards."

Those words had caused more damage to Tai than Sora would ever know, but he knew now was not the time to reflect on missed chances.

"Oh, I see. Matt, huh?"

"..." Sora blushed slightly, worried that she had shattered her friendship with Tai, but he walked up to her and placed a hand on her shaking shoulder.

"It's okay..."

"You're not mad at me, Tai?" Sora asked, amazed at Tai's reaction. Truthfully, Tai was crushed, but he couldn't let Sora see what she had done to him.

"No, of course not. Now, get in there and say 'Hi' to Matt for me!"

"Thanks, Tai..."

End dream sequence

Tai groaned in silent agony, hoping that the dream would stop, that it wouldn't go any further, but it did and Tai could do nothing about it, like he had been unable to do anything for the past

3 years.

Continuing dream sequence

The extremely powerful Mega Digimon laughed evilly as he loomed over Tai's prostrate form, Sora and Matt in the background, tears streaming down Sora's face.

"I'm sorry, Tai. I never knew..."

Turning to face Sora one last time, Tai almost reached toward her with his hand, but was forced to stop when he felt a foot on his back.

"It's been fun. Really, it has. But playtime's over." The Digimon rose his hand, and a powerful ball of flame appeared, then the sky grew brighter, and brighter, until...

"AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" Tai finally woke up, drenched with sweat and wearing sweat-soaked pajamas.

"Why? Why has that nightmare haunted my dreams for so long? Is it trying to tell me something?" Tai asked himself.

"Maybe it's telling you to LET US GET SOME SLEEP!" Gatomon, Kari's Digimon, ranted irritably in the bunk bed below. Tai humphed before turning over in his bed, seeing, rather than feeling Agumon at the foot of his bed.

"Whatever's going to happen, it's going to happen soon. And when it does, we've got to be ready for it." Tai whispered calmly as he looked at his Digivice where he'd left it on the night stand earlier that night.







After showing me your tears, I want to hold you

I almost reached out my hand, but then I stopped







Morning arrived. Tai had felt it wise not to alert any of the other DigiDestined about his dreams, and specifically told Kari, his little sister, not to inform the younger DigiDestined about this as well. Having made it through of his senior year, Tai was determined to complete his high school education and walk down that aisle during graduation alongside Sora, and not even Matt could stop him from graduating.

"Maybe Matt can't stop that, but he can invade my dreams with Sora and a half-crazed Digimon whose sole purpose seems to be to destroy me. Oh no, not again-"

Dream sequence

The Mega Digimon laughed with confidence as he walked toward Tai, sure the glory would be his.

"If you're gonna take over this world and the DigiWorld, you're gonna have to do it over my dead body!"

"If you insist." The Digimon thrust his hand forward and fired a burst of flame.

"TAIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!"

"Tai?" Tai gasped as he was jolted from the daydream by his closest friend, his once, present and forever love, Sora Takenouchi.

"Sora? Hey. H-how are you?" Tai attempted to act nonchalant, but Sora saw right through him.

"I'm fine, and it looks like something's bothering you. What's wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong, Sor. Just had a bad night, that's all." Tai partly told the truth, hoping Sora would lay the matter to rest, but she was just as stubborn as Tai, if not even more so.

"Taichi Kamiya, I've known you since daycare and before then, and you're obviously very upset about something-look, your eyebrows are raised up so high above your face, they could touch the ceiling!"

Tai struggled to hide his emotions. Ever since the incident, he'd promised himself he wouldn't go to Sora for anything unless the situation called for it, and he was going to keep that promise.

"Trust me-" Tai stared Sora down for the first time either of them could remember, a gesture that caught her off guard, but she saw the sadness, buried deep in his chocolate brown eyes.

"-there's nothing wrong that I can't handle. And, now if you'll excuse me, I've got to get to class. I'll talk to you later." Tai quickly moved past Sora and headed toward his class, actually on time for a change.

"Sora! Over here."

Sora groaned under her breath as she turned to her boyfriend Yamato "Matt" Ishida with a scowl on her face.

"I want to help Tai, but he seems hell-bent on pushing me out of his life! Matt barely makes time for me in his life because of his band schedules. What am I going to do?" Sora worriedly asked herself.







Left or right, which way is the way I should go?

Tell me, could it be that I'm a good girl? Am I? Am I...?







Tai knew at least one thing-he couldn't avoid Sora all day, since they did have almost every single class together. And at least one of those classes had Matt in them, too. Tai shuddered every time he saw Sora's eyes shine whenever Matt entered the room.

"I don't see a thing, I don't see a thing, I don't see a thing..." Tai whispered to himself in a chant, until he nodded off. That turned out to be a mistake, however.

The skies suddenly erupted into multiple colors of red, black, gray and yellow. Thunder crackled a second after, which chilled Tai's blood even more so than Matt ever could. Lightning sounded as deep as a firecracker, which caused Sora to cling to Tai's forearm quickly. Looking over at her, Tai was astonished to see Sora shyly facing him with a confused look in her crimson eyes.

"You're sweet and pure in every way, Sora. I wish I'd told you this sooner, but I think that I'm-"

A second before Tai finished his sentence, a portal blasted open, sending all the DigiDestined-original and new-flying to the ground! A Digimon made himself visible, holding up a ball of fire.

"I'm back, and this time...it's personal." He hurled the ball of fire at the nearest DigiDestined, and...

"Ahhh!" Tai suddenly gasped quietly, so quiet that no one heard him. They did, however, hear the thud his body made as he dropped to the tiled floor, drained of energy.

"Tai? Tai, get up! Tai, answer me, please!" The last thing Tai heard before he blacked out entirely was Sora's voice, a worried tone that he hadn't heard since the time he and Metal Greymon had been pulled through a portal that had led them back to Heighten View Terrace.







Surely...it's still too soon for my feelings

You...with your eyes shining

Look at me, everything's so pure

No one can walk forever without hesitating

I was told that I'm pure, sweet and shy

When I see you weak, for some reason I get stronger

The goddess of fate whispers in my ear "That's all right, all right..."







The first person Tai saw when he woke up was the last person he wanted to be with at that moment-Sora, holding his hand with a firm grip.

"Are you okay, Tai?"

Sighing, Tai pulled himself up into a sitting position. Taking a much needed rest left him rejuvenated, as well as completely restored of energy.

"Yeah, I'm fine. I feel completely rested, matter-of-fact."

"You didn't look rested earlier when Matt had to carry you to the nurse's office. Now, you listen to me-I know something's wrong with you, otherwise you wouldn't have collapsed in class. You will tell me what's wrong, or I will just have to stay over your house and hound you until you tell me."

Tai narrowed his eyes into slits. The last thing he wanted at this time was to cause Sora pain, and he was going to have to do just that. He leaned forward until he found himself gazing deep into Sora's eyes. He cleared his throat quickly, knowing what he said next would hurt both him and her, but he didn't want her, or any of the DigiDestined, including Matt, involved in this.

"The only time you've been this concerned about me was when we were kids, and I ended up with chicken pox. Who knew that kind of disease could happen out here, huh? You took a risk and joined me in bed, and we both had chicken pox for about a week or so, I think. We're not kids anymore, Sora. Why are you still looking out for me? Do you think I can't take care of myself?"

"No, Tai. That's not it at all! I just want to help you with whatever problem you're facing. I don't want you to go through it alone-"

"But I am. The one person I trusted, the one person I could count on more than anybody, the one person I loved has put me through unbelievable torment for the past 2 years-you. I don't need a guardian angel to watch my back, Sora."

Sora felt like she had just been stabbed in the heart by the one person she could go to with her problem, much like Julius Caesar when he found out his best friend, Brutus, had betrayed him.

"Tai...what are you saying?"

Tai felt undescribable agony deep in his heart. He had never wanted to hurt Sora this badly, even when she went to Matt, he would take any pain she had and shelter it himself.

"I don't need you in my life anymore, Sora Takenouchi. If anyone saw us like this, it would get back to Matt, and the last thing I need to worry about is a bitter rivalry."

Tai got up, saw he was still wearing his clothes and moved to the door, but Sora stopped him and forced him to look her in the eye.

"Tai, are you telling me you're breaking up our friendship because of some stupid rivalry that ended 6 years ago?"

Tai closed his eyes tightly, and even so, Sora noticed the tears that shimmered down his cheeks.

"No...you broke up our friendship, three years and a month ago, to this day."

Pulling away, Tai ran out the door, grabbing his backpack and caught a glimpse of Sora falling to the ground, quietly sobbing.







Right now, you're too sad, and you don't notice me

Love is like clouds in the sky floating along to you







Seeing that it was 3:30 in the afternoon, Tai left the school grounds and ran straight for home, crying the entire way.

"I'm such an idiot! Why didn't you go to her and tell her about your dreams? Sora would've helped you with them, tried to figure out what they mean. But, like the young man you've grown up to be, you push her aside and trash your friendship like it's yesterday's news. You've got to make it up to her, but after that, you'll have to do something you never thought you'd do."

Bursting inside his house, Tai ran toward his room and clicked on his computer. While waiting for it to start up, he grabbed a suitcase and tossed things inside-his mini telescope, a number of pants, shirts, socks, underwear, all the toiletries us guys need and some toilet paper.

"'Waste not, want not,' Mom always said." Tai muttered to himself as he went online and prepared to send Sora one last e-mail.

"What's going on, Tai?" Agumon asked sleepily.

"Agumon? Don't tell me you were sleeping the day away."

"Of course not! I got up, ate a while then went back to sleep. Your mom made some kind of liver sticks which I didn't really care for, but I ate 'em, then went to sleep again."

Tai groaned while trying to word his e-mail out. Finally, after figuring out what he was going to say, he typed it all down.

"Finished! What do you think, Agumon?" Curious, Agumon walked over to the computer and read Tai's e-mail.

"Pretty good, but why not call Sora and tell her on the phone?"

"Simple-'cause after what I just said to her, she'd never want to talk to me again, and I wouldn't blame her. I just wanted her to know how I truly felt before we leave." That said, Tai scanned his e-mail one last time, then sent it.

"Okay-what?! Leave for where?" Agumon was in shock, not expecting Tai to say that.

"That's for me to know and you to find out." came the response while Tai was struggling with his tears that threatened to spill over once again.









Sora made it home, not wanting to explain to her mother what Tai had put her through, and went to her room, wiping her tears away and noticing Biyomon on the computer.

"Biyomon, what are you doing?"

"Just scanning your e-mail. Your mother came in with some food and turned the computer on for me, and I remembered your e-mail address, so I went in and saw you had just gotten an e-mail from Tai a few minutes before you came in." Biyomon explained.

"Just delete it. I don't want to talk, hear, or even speak the name 'Tai Kamiya' again."

Biyomon sighed. Ever since she and the other DigiDestined's Digimon had adapted to life in the Real World once again, she'd gotten used to the tirades between Sora and Tai, so this was no exception.

"I'd ask what he did now, but I'm sure he'll explain it to you in this e-mail, so just open it before I go mad and call Agumon myself!"

Growling under her throat, Sora reached over and clicked the mouse on Tai's e-mail. The e-mail she thought Tai would send her wasn't that at all-it was basically how Biyomon described it.

"Dearest Sora,

By the time you read this, Agumon and I will both be heading for the Tokyo airport and pretty much leaving the country. I can't see you again after saying those things about you that weren't true. I can, however, remember all the good and bad times we had together, and that includes being with the Digimon. I lied to you about one thing-you never put me through that much torment, not even when you went to Matt with those cookies. You were, are and will always be as stubborn as an ox, so I'll tell you what's happening: I've been having these dreams about a Digimon, but he's even more powerful than even MaloMyotismon could ever be! I didn't have them until a while following our last battle. I was just hoping they would pass, but lately, they've started coming to me in my daydreams, and I just...I just didn't want you to know about this. I didn't want you to worry about both me and Matt. You've got him in your life, and if he's the one for you, I'll step down. Hold on-Agumon's got himself tangled up in the sheets again."

Sora giggled as she imagined Tai's Digimon tangled up in Tai's bed sheets before continuing on.

"I know you'll probably delete this message, and I wouldn't blame you for doing so if you did, but if you do read down this far, I'll know our friendship wasn't in vain. I love you. I've loved you ever since the time you tomboyishly jumped into bed with me and ended up with chicken pox, just like me. I've loved you ever since the time I accidentally threw up in your hat and didn't tell you about it until you put it on. I've loved you ever since the time I gave you a hair clip for your birthday and you thought I'd insulted your hair, then your hat." Sora paused for a moment while she reached toward her dresser, picked up the hair clip and put it in her hair.

"It looks nice on you, Sora. Is this the first time you put it on?"

"Second." Sora admitted, remembering the first time she put it on following the battle with Diaboromon and then remembering the first thing Tai had said in his e-mail and feeling tears cloud her eyes once more.

"I've loved you ever since the time you went to Matt with the cookies on Christmas 3 years ago; by the way, Agumon still wants his batch. And most importantly, I've loved you ever since the time I intentionally broke my best friend's heart earlier this afternoon. If I could take the pain I gave you and put in on my shoulders, I would do just that a million times, again and again if you would forgive me. I know I don't deserve your forgiveness, so I won't expect it. And, since you probably don't want to see me now, I won't tell you where Agumon and I are headed."

"Tell me, Tai. Please, if you've got any decency in that body of yours, please tell me." Sora pleaded quietly, choking back sobs and not even hearing Matt enter the room.

"Tell Matt he's got himself one heck of a girlfriend, and that he'd better treat her right, or I'll come back. I will come back one day, I promise you that. I love you Sora, now and forever.

Love 4ever,

Taichi

P.S. Agumon says to tell Biyomon he said 'hello, and to save me some food for our return.'"

That was the straw that broke the camel's back: Sora unleashed a fresh stream of tears and unintentionally pulled Matt into a hug.

"Sora, what's wrong? Why are you crying? Is that an e-mail from someone we know?"

"It's from...Tai. He's left me again, and it's all my fault!"







You're too sad, so you don't notice me

Love is like the stars in the sky, shining forever

You're too sad, so you don't notice me

Love is like the stars in the sky, shining forever...









On an airplane that was leaving Japan, Tai Kamiya started crying quietly to himself, knowing he shouldn't have done what he did, but there had been no other choice. A flight attendant came up to him with a concerned look on her face.

"Sir, would you like me to get you a tissue?"

"Yes, please." Tai felt the blue headband that was keeping his mop of hair back and cried harder, wondering if Sora would ever forgive him for what he did, and figuring Matt would be gunning for his blood at this moment.







Tai's dreams had not only been accurate, but they had been precise-an extremely powerful Digimon appeared at the Dark Ocean, an evil grin plastered on his face.

"Yes, DigiDestined. Give me your darkness, your despair. I can use that to breach the sealed gateway betwixt here and the Real World, and once I return, there will be hell to pay..."

Will the DigiDestined be able to find Tai's location before this Digimon breaks through to the Real World and wreaks his vengeance? Find out next time on Digimon: Digital Monsters!