A/N: I honestly love this pairing, but never found the right story to feature it – until now. It's less fluffy than my others. Yamato's just too seeeeeeerious, yo. But yummy. *clears throat* Anyway, I present to you… Sorato!
Disclaimer: Digimon and its characters do not belong to me.
'A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns home to find it.' - George Moore
The sky was dimming. One by one, the stars appeared, winking at him from the early evening sky, teasing him. He shifted his eyes to the road ahead of him. In a few hours, he would be in the loving embrace of his wife and daughter. Everything will be alright.
A soft snore brought him out of his thoughts. The young man smiled at his yellow friend, snoozing comfortably at the front seat next to him. The past few weeks had been too hectic for the poor digimon. They had just gotten back from space after repairing a satellite. Minutes after touchdown, Takeda Tsuroi, briskly informed him that he was to be trained for another mission, to launch another probe on Mars to hasten the survey for possible landing areas. The gears in his head sprung to life as he reviewed the protocols in launching probes. It had been a long time when he was sent on this kind of mission. A very, very long time…
A sudden a flash blue made him stop in his tracks. He blinked at his reflection on the window – at a pair of blue eyes that he knew also belonged to someone else, someone far away from him. His hands unwittingly made their way to clutch at the invisible ache in his chest. Miles away, the sweet little girl with the same blue eyes was probably asleep in her bed, folded in her mother's loving arms. Her father, who adored her more than anyone, was too busy exploring the heavens to kiss her goodnight.
He shook his head, hoping the action would dispel the guilt making its way into his heart. Sora knew. She understood that this was important to him. She had always been so patient, so kind, so loving. She had to be, because she chose to marry such a fickle man.
Yamato had always been fickle-minded. His attention, like a butterfly, flitted from one interest to the next. As a young boy, he would watch football games in his father's office while waiting for him to finish. A shiny pair of cleats presented to him on his seventh birthday was all the encouragement he needed. He was promptly enrolled in football lessons. After only a few months of competing (he vaguely remembered losing to a young Taichi Yagami and a, then, tomboyish Sora), he decided he was more interested in music. This baffled his father to no end. Yamato saved some of his allowance and bought a harmonica, one of the cheaper instruments. Blowing into it the first time produced a clash of notes that sounded nothing like the clever tunes the homeless man played outside their apartment. After much practice, he became better at it. So good, in fact, that he lost interest all over again.
While arranging his father's things, he came across an old cassette tape of his father's old band. Listening to their old piqued his curiosity. He had no idea his father sounded fantastic playing a bass. After much begging and many afternoons dedicated to household chores, his father gifted him with his newly-refurbished bass guitar. He learned much quicker than his father. Merely a few months after plucking guitar strings for the first time, he was well on his way to creating a band with a few friends. A year after, he was playing in live concerts. The early success of his career as an artist and songwriter surprised him. Unlike others, he chose music simply because he liked it. He honestly didn't care if fans or critics praised each song his band churned out. The fame quickly proved to be his undoing. A few months after graduating from high school, the Teenage Wolves amicably disbanded, and Yamato headed for college.
It was there where he discovered his love for the stars. Frequent trips to the local planetarium enticed him to explore uncharted areas. The thrill of adventure made him ten years young again, wandering the Digital World with the seven other Chosen. Without as much as a glance back, he shifted from Music Composition to Physics – a choice Koushiro, despite his utter respect for his senior, secretly scoffed at. The math was difficult; it was never his best subject. But Yamato was determined to become an astronaut. Before he knew it, he had graduated with a degree with latin honors, finished his internship in National Astronomical Observatory, and collected his Masters and PhD in record time. With his seniors and professors singing nothing but praises for him and his work ethic, he easily landed a job in Japan Aerospace. His dream had finally come true. With Gabumon by his side, he walked the rocky surface of the moon. It was only a matter of time before technology could land him on Mars.
He swore under his breath as an SUV swerved abruptly in front of him. 'Get a hold of yourself, Yamato. The choice had to be made. You've been dreaming about this for years.'
God, he missed Sora. She always made him feel okay no matter the circumstances. A hug and a gentle kiss were enough to calm the storm of emotions within him. He had been away from her for too long. Too long. He needed more time.
A week before accepting his job in JAEA, Yamato took Sora to the observatory in Mitaka. Like a little boy, he eagerly showed her the various telescopes he used to view the sky. Then, he took her to the Inokashira Park nearby. There, underneath the twinkling sky, he proposed to her. A short time after, he departed for JAEA. As the missions grew longer, his time with her became shorter, much further apart. He came home in time for their daughter's birth. They lovingly named her Emiko for a future filled with brilliant smiles. After two months, she was smiling just as much as her parents. She had, thankfully, inherited her mother's cheery disposition – always giggling, bright blue eyes shining. At nine months old, just a little after she uttered her first word, "Papa," (much to Yamato's joy and Sora's chagrin) he left them again. Now, five long months gone, he was on his way home.
He hesitated at the doorstep. He didn't call her before his arrival, hoping to surprise her. In retrospect, it would have been wiser to inform her first. Sora may have stopped playing football years ago, but her legs still produced kicks powerful enough to bring down giants. Sighing, he fished out his keys.
Gabumon entered first, carefully placing their suitcase on the floor beside the couch. Yamato followed him. Smells of Sora's cooking wafted in from the kitchen. His heart started to ache once more. Five months was too long.
"Ano…" came a small voice. From the shadows appeared a small, fair-haired girl in a pale, blue dress. His heart skipped a beat.
He kneeled down to her eyelevel, blue meeting blue. "Emiko-chan, Papa's home," he whispered.
The girl squinted, comparing the stranger before her to the dozens of pictures of her beloved 'Papa' her mother showed her.
"Who's there?" called another voice, something more familiar to him. He straightened up and smiled as Sora, wearing his silly pink apron, walked in. "Emiko-chan, who are you talking…" Her eyes widened, the chopsticks she was holding landed with a clatter on the floor. "Yamato…"
"Surprise!" piped Gabumon cheerfully. "We finished the mission ahead of time and Yamato wanted to rush home, so we-"
"Gabumon," his human partner gently interrupted. He looked at Sora apologetically. "I'm sorry, Love. I should have called, but I was in a hurry to see you." He walked quickly in long strides until he stood right in front of her, mumbling a million apologies. He touched the soft skin of her cheek. "I missed you."
She crashed into his arms, burying her face in his neck. Tears dampened the collar of his shirt. Letting out a breath he didn't know he held, he pulled her closer, almost crushing her against his body.
He carefully extricated himself from his daughter's tight embrace and tucked the sleeping child into a sea of blankets. He placed a soft kiss on her forehead. "Good night, Emiko-chan. Papa loves you very much."
He looked at the slender figure in the doorway, into his wife's ruby gaze – probing him. It scared him how a simple look could carry so many questions. With a sigh, he resigned himself to his fate. "You know me too well. Shall we take this to our room?"
She slipped her hand into his as her answer. Together, they padded to their room.
She closed the door behind them. Then, turned around to face him. "You're home early."
It was actually more of a question than a statement. He grinned in spite of himself. "We finished early. It seems this daft husband of yours knows a thing or two about fixing satellites."
She wrapped her arms around his neck. "How long will you be staying?"
His heart squeezed painfully at her words. His choice was his, he reminded himself. No regrets.
She swiftly pulled away from him. "What?"
He lowered his gaze to the floor. He didn't want to meet her eyes. He knew she would try to convince him otherwise. "I quit, Sora. I gave my notice this morning. Takeda-san offered me a job in Mitaka, but I turned it down. I need to be here with you."
"But your dream-"
"I have a lot of dreams," he countered, fire in his eyes. "This was just one of them. Don't make me change my mind, Sora. I've already decided."
But he hadn't. His mind ceaselessly mocked him for his lack of conviction. Despite the confident front, a small, cowardly part of him wished to run to Takeda to beg for his job back.
His hands blindly reached for her, begged her to hold him to blunt the pain in his heart. He loved his work – the mental challenges, the exhilarating views from space, the adventures it brought. But he loved her too. Sora was his life, his happiness. He dare not lose her.
He fell into her embrace, exhausted. She patiently waited for him to collect his thoughts, to explain his decision so she could support him like she always did. Sora always supported him. So kind, so patient.
"Five years ago, you promised me the moon," she whispered into his hair.
"We don't need the moon, Love. We have each other." He pressed his lips against hers in a hungry kiss months overdue. Their lips met again and again, fingers tangling with each others' hair. After a long day of hard work, Yamato would dream of kissing her like this. Sometimes, he would leave a trail of open-mouthed kisses starting from the shell of her ear, down the slope of her neck, then across her bare shoulder. Then, she would respond by tugging at his hair, tearing his mouth from her skin so she could kiss it. Sometimes, she'd slip her tongue in, and he would cup the back of neck to bring her closer to him; so close that their hearts thumped in a shared rhythm.
They did not stick to plan this time though he hardly cared. The blood pounded in his ears as she ghosted butterfly kisses down his neck, across his collarbone, up his throat. He roughly pulled her toward him until they both descended onto the bed with her on top of him. His tongue delved into the sweetness of her mouth, running it across the area behind her teeth, brushing against her tongue, earning soft, appreciative moans. He shivered as she ran her fingers down his spine and around his waist, stopping at the button of his pants.
She pulled away from him, still breathless. "You tricked me," she accused him while looking highly displeased. "We're supposed to talk! You said you'd talk. Please help me understand. Yamato, talk to me," she begged him.
He frowned at the turn of events. Must they talk now? This was their first night together in five months! The things he did for this woman… He regretfully closed eyes, willing his heart to slow down to a steady pace. His breathing evened out. One by one, distant memories and the emotions within them flashed before him. "Remember how I wanted our band to become famous?"
The nod he received encouraged him to continue. "I was teenager then, but I knew what I wanted. When I gazed at the stars in the observatory, I decided I wanted to go to space. A long time ago, afternoons of football convinced me I was going to be a striker. But when my parents separated," his eyes softened, "I knew that my greatest dream was to have a family of my own – a family I would never leave."
"You're not your father, Yamato."
Words so simple, but held so much meaning. His hands sought hers. "And I won't be. I'll be here for Emiko-chan's second birthday, I promise. And her third, her fourth…"
Her lips lightly brushing against his cut off the rest of his speech. "She looks at the moon every night before going to bed. I tell her you're there, waving to her from afar," she confessed as a tiny smile formed on her lips. "Last week, she told me she wants to go there too. She wants to be with her Papa."
"She won't have to go. I'll be right beside her from now one."
Sora brought both hands to cup his face. Her fingers lovingly traced an arched brow, brushed against long eyelashes, before following the contour of his nose, then curving around his lower lip. "I just… want to be sure that this is what you want. Not so long ago, you wrote me how walking on the moon made you delirious with joy. I'm not going to be the person to keep you from your happiness. I don't want to pull you back from the sun."
He shook his head. "No, Sora. YOU are my sun, my moon, my stars. I don't need to be among them anymore because…" His eyes widened in realization. "The part of myself I was looking for was actually here – in you and Emiko. I love you more than anything the universe could offer me. I need to be here with you. I need you…" he trailed off as she touched a finger to his lips.
Her smile burned brighter than any star he had ever seen.
"Hush, Love. It's alright. I understand."
A/N: Kazoku, I've been told, means family. I was actually tempted to do a short scene post-Diaboromon Strikes Back, but decided this was more appropriate. The make-out session could've been better. *headdesk* I. Can't. Do. Sexy. Sigh. Oh well, review pls?
BTW, I have no idea how one becomes an astronaut so I made the whole thing up. In truth, I also have no idea what possessed Yamato to become an astronaut so I made that up too. Lolz.