A/N: This was originally a part of another fic called Unconventional. The fic was supposed to start out as a Taiora and then become a Yamachi – but after writing this chapter, I can't keep it in the fic and still have the story become a Yamachi without turning Tai into the biggest asshole on the planet.

So I think this works well enough as a stand-alone Taiora – like maybe a snippet of their lives or something.



That goddamn alarm clock really needed to go. At the very least, I wanted to hit the snooze button and go back to the blissful land of sleep for atleast a few more minutes. But it was all the way on the other side of the bed – Sora refused to let me keep the damn things on my side after I'd chucked the last two out the window following particularly foul wake-up calls. And my girlfriend, blessed woman that she is, just managed to sleep through the obnoxious noise like it was some soothing lullaby.

Groaning, I sat up in bed and reached over Sora to finally shut that relentless beeping off. I was just about to settle back down when Sora's voice came from beside me, muffled by the blanket.

"Don't even think about it."

How did she do this? It's like she had some kind of sixth sense that honed in whenever I was going to get comfortable and then yanked the floor right out from underneath me.

"Babe… please…," I was not above begging at this point. This was supposed to be my day off! I lay back down on my side, away from her and pulled the comforter over my head.

My hope was fading fast as she sat up next to me. I shut my eyes tightly as I felt her leaning over my shoulder to peer into my face.

Sweet merciful god! Let her think I've fallen asleep again!

"Tai! You get your butt out of bed right now!"

Next instant, I was being ruthlessly shoved out of the bed while my comforter was simultaneously ripped away from me, exposing me to the frigid air.

"Damn it woman! What'd you do that for?" I stared up into Sora's livid amber eyes, her mouth was set into an adorably angry pout & I had to fight hard not to give in immediately. But I steeled myself quickly - she knew I was skinny from all the running around on the soccer pitch – I had no cushion on my ass! How could she be so cruel and drop me onto it like a newborn giraffe?

"Tai Kamiya! Don't you dare tell me you forgot what your promised!" Was I imagining things or had Sora's eyes started glowing? I was too pissed off to be worried though.

"What? What did I promise you that just has to happen on a Sunday morning at 7AM?"

Yep. Her eyes were definitely glowing.

"We're supposed to see my parents for breakfast this morning remember? Before they catch their flight to Hawaii? I reminded you last night!"

Oh yeah. That. At this point, there was nothing to do but admit defeat.

"Fine," Grumbling, I picked myself off the floor and headed to our bathroom to get showered and ready.

I was done before she'd managed to get dressed. She was standing in front of the dresser, trying to pick out something to wear. I saw the lightly tanned skin of her toned back and her long slender legs. As she bent over to pick something off the floor, inadvertently flashing me her ass, I smiled wolfishly to myself. There's got to be some compensation for waking up this early on my day off.


"See! I told you we'd make it on time," I grinned, opening the door for Sora as we walked into the restaurant where we were supposed to grab breakfast with her parents.

"We only made it on time because you drove here like a lunatic! That ride was straight out of grand theft auto – when you told me you were going to jump the bridge as it opened for the ferry, I actually believed you!" Sora hissed but I could see the amusement in her eyes.

As much as Sora could get on my nerves, I loved this woman more than life itself. We'd gotten together as sophomores in high-school but I met her in kindergarten. I could still remember the first day I saw her – she was a tiny, runty little thing with her red hair in pigtails and friendly amber eyes. But I was five then and she had cooties.

But everything changed during lunch time – she knocked a hat off Mimi's head with a soccer ball and I knew right then she was the girl I was going to marry. After almost 2 decades of knowing each other, 9 of those years spent in a relationship, 2 of those 9 spent living together, I could not imagine loving anyone more than I love her now.

Almost as soon as that thought came, a pair of blue eyes flashed through my mind. What the hell? Where did that come from?

"Something up, babe?" Sora's voice was curious as she stared at me. I must have had stupid dear caught-in-the-headlights look for a second and I shook my head to clear away images of electric blue.

"Nothing – I think that's your mom and dad sitting in the back there." I grinned as Mr. and Mrs. Takenouchi waved us over.

After we exchanged the perfunctory greetings and our meal was delivered, we got to catching up. Sora worked in her mother's flower shop 3 days a week but I hadn't seen them in a couple of months.

"So Tai," John Takenouchi asked as I popped a piece of delicious steak omelet into my mouth. "Any luck with the scouts?"

"I don't know, John," I said being honest. After all, they deserved to know – it was their daughter's future too. "It didn't look like any of them were going to take a bite this time around either."

"Well Tai, I'm sure you're doing your best." Jane patted my hand, reassuringly. I've always liked Sora's parents pretty well and I think this is why. They were so accepting. We'd hit a rough patch when Sora moved in with me, but they were surprisingly understanding after we explained to them that we wanted to get married soon but it was just not the right time financially.

"Yea – I don't think J-League's going to happen for me anymore. Kinda over the hill now being 24 and all," I grinned playing up my age – but it was the truth. Nowadays, most J-leaguers came directly out of highschool. Hardly anyone over 20 was ever drafted for a team.

"I did make head-coach for a big high-school team this time around though," I wanted to reassure them that I could look after their daughter and with this job, I knew I could.

"And we're saving up for our own place too," Sora chipped in. "Tai's taken another job as a waiter so we can save more money and get married soon."

Another flash of possessive blue eyes in my mind and my breath caught in my throat. Luckily, the other 3 occupants did not notice the unsettled look that must've been on my face.

"We were a little worried when Sora told us you had decided not to go to college Tai," Jane smiled at me. "But after you got the job teaching at that prestigious school, we knew you'd come through things ok."

"He starts next week in his new position."

"And Sora's almost done with college so things should get a little less tight for you guys now that you'll have one less expense to pay for and she can do more than work part-time at the flower-shop." John added helpfully.

"How're you doing in your last semester sweetheart?" Her mother asked at the mention of college.

As the conversation drifted towards college, I tried to remember where I had seen that striking blue before.

"Things ok, Tai?" Sora's voice brought me back to the present. I looked into her wide amber eyes – so trusting and open. She was my partner, strong, loving, and capable of making me happier than anyone else ever could – together, we could face any challenges that came our way. I squeezed her hand, and turned back to the conversation, forgetting thoughts of blue eyes.


*Unless you want to read my venting about how this story got totally derailed, feel free to ignore this last part*

ARGGGHHHHH! This is so frustrating to me!

The first part of this chapter is light-hearted enough that it could work in the context of a Yamachi fic – but the second part creates a believable emotional bond between Tai and Sora. I can't convert Tai into a bastard who could break her heart after they've been together for almost a decade. I don't think he'd be that selfish. And I can't make it so that Sora & Tai just realistically drift away from each other either 'cus to me they seem really compatible in this fic.

It might be easier to make it into a Yamachi if Tai makes Sora's life a lot better before they go their separate ways - he can put her through school. Maybe Tai loves Sora but she realizes that it's just not as strong as his love for Matt. Maybe Tai & Sora can come to some understanding that you learn valuable things from some relationships and then you go your separate ways. I don't know – the whole thing confuses me and I hate it.

I would appreciate comments about whether anyone thinks I can realistically turn this into a Yamachi without turning Tai into an asshole or Sora into a total whiny bitch. Also I'd LOVE feedback on my writing. I have this bad habit of describing way too many details and I'm trying to move away from that. And the way I write conversations seems pretty awkward to me so I'm trying to do that better too.