Hey, everyone! I'm very sorry for the delay; but as promised, I've got this done in time for Christmas. I'm pretty happy with it, but you're all free to point out mistakes as you see them; I'm still half asleep this morning, and as such don't rate my proof reading skills very highly. Anyways, I hope you enjoy it! Thanks for being so patient with me, people!

A Tai is for life; not just for Christmas - Part Two

Yamato stood there, awkwardly rubbing the back of his left leg with his right foot, as he watched Tai's expression slowly mutate into an indisputably unhappy one. As much as he hated to admit it, this wasn't an uncommon event. The simplest conversation with his girlfriend, whether face to face or by phone, was enough to cause the brunette's eyes to glaze over with water; to bring a pale tint to his cheeks; to make his lower jaw quiver…and, in turn, all of those qualities were enough to cause Yamato's fists to ball up in anger. He hated how she could make him so sad.

"Well, I-I'm just at…uuh…" Tai mumbled, obviously fighting against the temptation of hanging up and throwing his phone out of the window.

"Right, I'm heading out to work now; but I'll be home early. You two have fun, ok?" Mr Ishida interrupted, poking his head into the room to smile at the two boys. "Oh, but not too much fun…" He added, directing a knowing wink towards his son, before he quietly closed the bedroom door. Yamato just gawped, mouth wide open, at the spot where his father had previously been standing.

"No, I'm…that was just…ok, well y-yeah. Actually, I am at Matt's." Tai continued into the phone, apparently oblivious to what Yamato's father had just implied about the two of them. "Well, n-no…that's not fair, Sora. I guess I…no, I just wanted to see him. I never get to see him anymore. I mean…yeah, well…No, I g-guess I don't."

At these words Sora's voice increased tenfold, cutting cleanly though the apartment as she shrieked muffled abuse at the brunette; who had, fittingly, held his phone away at arm's length just in time to avoid the initial blast. Yamato had seen enough. He moved over to Tai in one swift motion, grabbed his arm, and yanked the phone out of his hand.

"H-hey!" Tai stuttered, taken completely by surprise.

"You can have this back…" Yamato replied, irritably, as he pulled the phone battery out and put it in his pocket. "…when my headache clears. Alright?" Tai nodded in response, attempting to rub his eyes dry without bringing too much attention to his tears.

"I'm s-sorry…"

"Don't be…" Yamato mumbled, feeling himself calm down abruptly now that Sora's voice had disappeared. He had to admit it; sometimes, his mood swings got the better of him. "…I didn't mean to sound angry at you, or anything; just at her. She can't treat you like that."

"Well, I…I don't think she'll be doing that anymore..."

"What do you mean?" Yamato asked, following Tai as he went to sit on the bed.

"I think we may have just broken up, or something." Tai replied, this time ignoring the tears running down his face, and dripping onto his lap. "Well, I'm not sure exactly; but I think so. No…I hope so. She said…she…well, I'm not sure I wanna say."

"C'mon, Tai; it's alright. You can tell me."

"O-ok, yeah…" Tai nodded, after a prolonged pause, keeping his eyes fixed solely on the wall in front of him. "…if you really want to know, she said I'm a-always putting you before her, and...and she said I should want to hang out with her more than I should want to hang out with you. I told her I didn't and…well, she exploded all over me."

"Oh…so, what makes you think you two have broken up? Maybe it was just an argument that didn't mean anything."

"Well, I caught one of the things she shouted at the end..."

"What, you could understand that?"

"Y-yeah, I'm kinda used to hearing it…she s-said something like 'if you love him so much, then why don't you just stay there with him? Why d-don't you just go out with him, instead? I don't wanna waste my time on you anymore.' And…and then you killed the phone." Tai finished with a giggle, wiping his eyes again as he turned to look at the blonde. "Thanks for that. I don't think I would have ever been brave enough to."

"Hey, I can't let you be the brave one all of the time, right?" Yamato smiled, ruffling Tai's hair.

"Puh, I'm not brave. It's just like everyone else says. I'm reckless, and I don't think about the consequences of my actions." Tai replied, solemnly.

"…is there really a difference, though?"

"Heh, thinking about it…I guess not. Thanks Yama." He said, brightening up slightly. "Would you mind if I had a quick nap on your bed? I think she gave me a headache, too."

"Sure thing." Yamato laughed, standing up so that Tai could lie down across the whole space. "…but I'm gonna quickly go shopping. I wanna make breakfast, and were missing a couple of stuff."

"Breakfast? But…it's nearly lunch time."

"Ok, then I'll make both." Yamato laughed, walking out of the room. "Either way I'll be back soon, alright? Get some sleep, and feel free to make yourself at home."

"Ok, thanks. Nighty night Yama."

"Sleep tight, Tai." He whispered, closing the door behind him. He was going to have to be very quick if he wanted to clear things up with Sora and get back home before Tai became suspicious.

Yamato soon found himself standing outside of Sora's house, doubled over in an attempt to catch his breath; he'd only taken five minutes to get there. A new record. It came with a price, though; he had an excruciating stabbing pain in his side. That, and his head now felt frozen due to all the snow. When he finally felt his energy returning, though, and when he finally felt able to use his mouth for more than just panting, he pressed the doorbell; fully aware that he was diving headfirst into the storm.

"What are you doing here?" Sora said when she opened the door, blowing her nose with a tissue in one hand, and holding her phone in the other. It was attempting to reach Tai.

"No point calling him if I have this, right Sora?" He replied, pulling out the phone battery and holding it in front of her. "And we need to talk. Now. Can I come in?"

"No, you can say what you need to say right here; and then you can leave."

"Oh, ok…" Yamato said, slightly taken aback by the comment. "…I have a few things I need to ask you, coz I just can't understand what you're doing. Why do you treat Tai so badly? You're always threatening him; and you're always shouting at him; and you're always moaning about him, instead of being happy for what you have! He spends all of his time crying about what you do to him! He has his flaws, I'll admit; but y'know what? He's still gotta be the best damn guy in the world."

"Don't you think I know that, Matt?" She shouted back, dropping her phone as she grabbed Yamato by the front of his coat. The action wasn't violent, though; or forceful. She was holding onto him for support. "I love him so much! I just…I get so afraid! He's been slipping further and further away from me ever since we started off…and I'm just so afraid of losing him!"

"But it's your fault that you're losing him, Sora!"

"Don't give me that, just listen!" She shouted, pressing her face into his shoulder. He felt his headache starting to return again. "I know I'm a bitch, ok? I know that. I know I'm pushing him away. I just…I can't help it! I've known for all this time what he is, but I just couldn't stand the idea of losing him because of it and…and I kept taking it out on him! I cry myself to sleep over the guilt, and I promise myself every damn night that I'm gonna treat him better the next time I'm with him; but just like today, I screwed everything up!"

"Wait…what do you mean? I don't get it; you're not making any sense, Sora! You've known for all this time that who is…what?" Yamato said, utterly perplexed.

"Don't be so dense, Matt! He's gay, and he's in love with you! Damn it, he always has been! I thought that I could change that, but..."

"What?" Yamato pulled away, somehow turning even paler. "He's what?"

"Oh, don't act so surprised; and don't tell me that you don't feel the same way about him, too!" She shouted back, looking Yamato in the eyes. For the first time, he could finally see Sora for what she truly was; a girl drowning in pain. "I…I just want him to be happy, ok? I love him for everything that he is, and everything that he was, and…and everything that he can be." She said, starting to quiet down. "If I can't be a part of his future, though; then fine. At least he can be with someone I trust. There's no-one in the world; not a single soul, Matt, that I think could take better care of him than you can."

"…you mean it?"

"Yeah. I hate it; don't get me wrong. But it's true." She finished, blowing her nose again. "Go make him happy, blondie. And tell him…tell him I'm sorry."

"I…I will, Sora. Thank you." Yamato mumbled, rubbing the back of his head; he wasn't sure what else there was for him to say. It seemed that she didn't need anything else, though, for she turned around and went back inside without another word.

Yamato stepped back out onto the street, and began talking to himself. "So it's true. He does love me. Wait…he loves me? Me? He…he…HE LOVES ME!" The blonde literally jumped for joy, and sprinted off in the direction of his house; faster than he'd ever moved in his life. He almost made it all the way back to his apartment, before the inevitable happened; he collided, chest first, into a passer-by who happened to be carrying a large, pink parcel.

"Oh, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to knock you down." He apologised, offering a hand to help the man up. "Oh, damn; I didn't damage your present did I?"

"No, don't worry about it kid. It's just an empty box. I'm about to throw it away, anyway."

"Oh…wait a minute." Yamato said, moving over to look at the top of the parcel; something had caught his attention. There, printed on a large, orange label, was a picture of a grinning zebra. Something in his head clicked. "Hey, I don't suppose I could have this…could I?"

Everything was in place. Yamato had skilfully snuck back into the apartment and replaced Tai's phone battery without waking him; he had then wrapped himself up in a strip of bright, lime green tinsel, after dressing himself up in his prettiest clothes, and he'd squeezed himself inside his new, pink box. All he had to do now was call Tai. With a shaking finger, and a nervous laugh, he pressed the green button on his phone. At once, an explosion of jingle bells rang out from Yamato's bedroom.

"Wha…? I'm up! I'm up!" Tai shouted, as he jumped out of bed, and started darting around the room in search of his phone. "Aaah where'd I put it?" Yamato couldn't keep a straight face; when Tai finally located the phone, though, and finally answered it, the blonde guiltily hung up without a word. So far, everything was going to plan.

"Yamaaa, you around here? My phone says you just called me!" Tai shouted out as he entered the living room, and walked straight towards the package. Everything went silent; Yamato could tell that Tai was reading the label, because he was humming adorably to himself like he did when reading in class. That was just one of his many cute quirks. "Huh? This is for…me? Yamaaaaa! What's with the present? Where are you?"

"Tai, please! Just open me, damn it!" Yamato cried, in an attempt to drown out the pain in his back; he was realising too late that the box was far too small for someone as tall as he was. As instructed, Tai opened the box; albeit with a sense of hesitancy.

"Agh!" He shouted, as Yamato sprung up with one hand holding onto his side, and one hand holding onto his leg.

"Owwwww! Cramp! Cramp! Craaaaamp!" Yamato half whined, half laughed, as he hopped out of the box and landed on the floor with a 'thump'. "Owwwww!"

"Whoa, what's happening? Are you ok? What is this, Yama?"

"I'm…your…present!" Yamato whined, rolling about on the floor; the carpet was slowly getting covered in little, sparkling strands of tinsel.

"…my present?"

"Yeah, but I…I ruined it." Yamato finished, finally becoming still on the floor; he sat up and faced Tai with a frustrated expression. "I wanted to do something really cool, and special; because that's what you deserve, y'know? Something cool, and special; and most of all…romantic. I wanted to do something romantic."

"Wow…" Tai whistled, as he sat down next to Yamato and draped an arm around him; his face was alight with awe. "You really did this…for me? Seriously? You're not joking?"

"No, I'm not joking. I…I love you, Tai. I really do. I know it's a lot to take in, but do you…do you think you could, maybe…" He sighed, and looked over at the pretty, pink box in front of him; it was currently upside down. He couldn't help but smile at the sight. "…do you want me to be yours, Tai?"

"Of…of course I do, Yama!"

"Really?" Yamato exclaimed, jumping up to his feet and bringing Tai up with him.

"Yes, really! And…I love you, too. I just…I… never thought you could like me in that way…"

"Well, I do. I really, truly do." Yamato replied, grinning from ear to ear. The pair began to edge closer towards each other, with their faces shyly pressed forward; waiting for that one, perfect moment, where their lips could finally meet for the first time.

"Wait, Yama." Tai halted, pulling away from him with a serious look spread across his face. "I need you to promise me something, ok? It's really important. Promise…promise me that you won't just get bored of me, or something; and that you won't just leave me. I couldn't deal with that. A Tai is for…"

"… life; not just for Christmas." Yamato finished, running a hand through Tai's unreasonably soft, fluffy hair. "I know, you don't need to tell me that, Tai."

"…how did you know what I was gonna say?" Tai pouted, obviously annoyed at how Yamato had stolen his line.

"Ha, never mind you big dope. Just kiss me." They both grinned at each other, and pressed their lips forward once again; this time making contact. The pair momentarily tasted heaven.

"Merry Christmas, Yama."

"Merry Christmas, Tai."

"Merry Christmas, boys." The pair broke apart with a yelp at the sound of Mr Ishida's voice; sometimes, Yamato just couldn't believe his luck.

Well, there we have it. I hope you all liked the story! If not, then I really am sorry; I did my best to make this fun for everyone. Anyway, I wish all of you readers a very, MERRY CHRISTMAS! I wouldn't be anything without you. =)

Oh, and would you please leave me a review? I know a lot of you don't have the time etc...but it would make me very happy if you could find some hahaha. ;)

Finally, I would like to say that this effort is dedicated to my boyfriend; if I could find a big enough box, then I'd wrap myself up in tinsel and give myself to you as a Christmas present, too. For now, though, the idea alone will have to be enough to make you smile. Merry Christmas, Lewis.

...*disappears in a puff of smoke to the sound of jingle bells*