Well, this is the final, specially long chapter of this inpromptu fanfic, so enjoy. I hope it's worth the wait.
"Ah…where are they?!"
"Calm down Mimi," Jyou sweatdropped, "I-I'm sure they're coming back soon!"
"Do you think they got lost?" Hikari asked worriedly.
"I don't think so." Tailmon said. She looked up, "Do you want me to find them, Hikari?"
"I can go too, Sora!" Piyomon offered. "I definitely won't get lost!"
"It's alright, Piyomon." Sora said with a smile. She looked into the distance, "They'll return soon- I hope."
Hikari shook her head, "It's okay, Tailmon." She said softly.
Tailmon hesitated, then nodded."If you say so, Hikari."
"Hey Gabumon," Agumon said as he watched Jyou, Palmon and Gomamon try to calm the panicking Mimi, "Why are Taichi and Yamato not back yet?"
"Uh." Gabumon said, "Maybe they got distracted?"
"Distracted? What, by a wild digimon?!" Agumon said, starting to panic as well. He turned to Gabumon, "Should we go find them then!?"
"Hey!" Agumon and Gabumon blinked at the sound of the familiar, loud voice, "Everyone!"
"Taichi!" Agumon rushed forward towards his partner, "Where were you?!"
Taichi grinned at him. He had a hand on Yamato's shoulder, who was standing beside him, "Oh you know, just on an adventure!" He laughed, grinning sheepishly, one brown eye closed, "Though I did get a little hurt…"
"Where were you, Taichi-san?" Koushiro questioned worriedly. "What happened?"
"What happened?!" Sora demanded, "Taichi, your forehead…"
"A stupid, low branch got me." Taichi grumbled. "Damn tree."
"Taichi-san!" Mimi had noticed him and she placed her hands on her hips, frowning, "Where were you?!"
Taichi blinked. "With Yamato?"
Mimi glowered at him and he winced, "What?"
"What took you so long?! We were all worried about you!"
"That's right, Taichi!" Agumon said, frowning, "We thought you guys were attacked by evil digimon!"
"Oh." Taichi scratched the back of his neck, "Sorry?"
Tailmon shot a glare at him, "You really worried Hikari." She said menacingly.
Taichi winced. He held his hands up, "Sorry!" He turned to Hikari with an apologetic look, "Sorry if I worried you, Hikari!"
"No, it's fine." Hikari smiled at him, relief in her eyes. "You're okay, right?"
"Then that's alright." Hikari's smile widened as relief shone in her eyes, "I'm glad you're alright, Onii-chan."
"Well," Jyou cleared his throat. Everyone turned to look at him and he said, "We should get that cut treated in case it gets infected." He said.
"What? Ah, it's no big deal-"
"I insist, Taichi." Jyou said. He sighed, and moved to where his bag was, "Please come here and let me treat your wound."
Taichi pouted. "Do I have to?" He rubbed his forehead, "It's not even bleeding anymore!"
"Of course!" Sora glared at him disbelievingly. She pushed Taichi, causing him to yelp, "Hurry up, Taichi!"
"The sooner you get that treated, the sooner we can move out of this forest." Koushiro said.
Taichi sighed. He looked around at his worried friends, then shrugged and made his way to Jyou, who was looking at him with an expectant expression.
"Ow ow ow!"
"Hold still!" Jyou said and Taichi winced. He bit his lip as Jyou cleaned his wound.
"There. Done!" Jyou clapped his hands, smiling in satisfaction at his handiwork. He held out a hand as Taichi made to move. "Wait! Don't move yet."
Taichi pouted at him, but Jyou had turned around, digging in his First Aid Kit. When he turned back around, he was holding a bandage.
"Is this really necessary?" Taichi grumbled.
"Of course!" Jyou insisted. He leaned forward with the bandage, "Now, don't move…"
Taichi sighed. "Right, right…"
Jyou smiled as he covered the wound on Taichi's forehead with the bandage. He then drew back after pressing it firmly down. "All done!"
"Finally!" Taichi said. He stood up, smiling at the rest of the Chosen Children. "Thanks Jyou. So, can we go now?"
"We should." Koushiro agreed with a nod.
"Great! Everyone, it's time to go!" Taichi grinned, sweeping his hand, "Hurry up and pack!"
"We already have." Sora told him dryly, but she was smiling.
"Oh. Well, that's good!" Taichi said as he advanced forward, Jyou following him. Agumon made his way to his side and the brunet leader grinned energetically at his partner. "Right! Let's go!"
"Yamato?" Gabumon asked as his partner stood still, looking at Taichi.
"Why aren't you following them?"
Yamato merely shrugged, keeping his gaze on Taichi.
"Yamato?" Taichi had turned and looked at him with concern in his eyes, "Aren't you coming?"
The blond bit his lip. He looked away. "I want to stay here for a while." He said. "I'll catch up later."
Taichi scanned him for a moment, then he nodded. "Right." He turned back to the front, moving forward. "Come on guys, let's go."
"Shouldn't someone stay with him?" Jyou asked in concern.
Taichi looked back. He wanted badly to stay with Yamato, but he knew the blond needed some time to think over what he had said to him. He sighed. He was the leader anyway, he couldn't just leave the group, even if it was to make sure his love was alright.
Sora looked at Taichi as they walked along. Suddenly she stopped, her bangs hiding her face, and everyone turned to look at her.
"Sora?" Piyomon asked curiously.
"Sora-san?" Mimi questioned worriedly. "Are you alright?"
Sora gulped. Having made her decision, she looked up, smiling a little weakly, "Ah, I think I'll stay with Yamato-kun."
"You want to stay with Yamato?" Taichi asked, surprised.
Sora nodded, "We can't just leave him alone, can we?" She said, smiling. "Jyou-san is right. Someone should stay with him." She inhaled. "So, I'll stay."
"Sora…" Taichi said. He looked at Yamato, who had slid down against a tree, and nodded, "Right, I understand. I'll trust you to look after him."
"I will." Sora said, smiling. Taichi smiled back at her gratefully, then turned back around, waving towards the front and stepping forth.
"Let's go, everyone."
"But, Sora-san…" Mimi said hesitantly.
"And Yamato-kun." Jyou added. "Are you sure this is alright, Taichi?"
"Yeah." Taichi smiled reassuringly. "It's fine."
"Taichi-san," Koushiro started, looking up at the leader of their group. He inhaled. "Did something happen between you and Yamato-san?"
"Yeah, Taichi-san," Mimi leaned forward, blinking. "What did he say?"
Taichi clenched his fist. "He said he needed time." He replied simply.
"Time?" Takeru asked.
"Yeah." Taichi nodded. He glanced back to where Sora was walking towards Yamato, who had his chin on his knees. "We'll be alright."
Koushiro, Mimi, Jyou, Takeru and Hikari looked at their leader, who had fallen silent. They exchanged glances with each other, before nodding in silent agreement and deciding to give Taichi the space he needed.
As the group walked away, Sora had reached Yamato's side. She looked at the blond, who was seemingly ignoring her presence, then shifted her gaze to their digimon. "Sorry Piyomon, Gabumon, but could you leave us for a while?"
"Why?" Gabumon asked reluctantly.
"Ah, I need to talk to Yamato-kun," Sora told them, smiling, "It's important."
Gabumon and Piyomon blinked. They looked at each other, before Piyomon nodded. "I understand, Sora." She said, turning to Gabumon. "Let's go, Gabumon."
"He'll be alright!" Piyomon reassured, "Sora will be here with him, and she cares for her friends greatly!"
"Thank you, Piyomon." Sora smiled gratefully at her digimon. She then looked at Gabumon, who was still looking reluctant to leave his partner behind. "Sorry, Gabumon. Don't worry, I'll look after Yamato-kun for you."
Gabumon looked at her to see if she was telling the truth, and gave a nod. "Alright then…" he followed Piyomon as she lead him away.
"What do you want?" Yamato asked bluntly once Gabumon and Piyomon were gone.
Sora looked down at him. She wasted no time. "Taichi told you he loved you, didn't he?"
"Taichi told you." Yamato replied shortly.
Sora shook her head with a wry smile, "Actually, I kind of forced him to tell me," she said sheepishly. She attempted to meet Yamato's gaze, "And I told him to tell you."
"You're lucky, you know?" Sora said in the silence that followed, a sad touch to her smile. "Taichi can be a bit of an idiot at times, but he's a really kind person."
"I know," Yamato murmured. "That's why I don't deserve him."
"I'm sure Taichi can decide for himself whether you deserve him or not," Sora said wryly as she looked down at Yamato. "And by the looks of it, he thinks you do."
"That doesn't change the fact that I don't."
"Yamato-kun," Sora sighed, "Taichi really cares about you. Just let him love you, okay?"
"Aren't you disgusted?" Yamato mumbled, not looking at her. "We're both guys."
Sora raised an eyebrow at him. "Of course you're both guys," she said, as if she didn't get the meaning of Yamato's statement. "Unless you've been hiding something from us all this time?" Sora's lips curled in amusement. "In which case, I would have to feel really jealous of you as a fellow girl for taking my childhood friend away."
Yamato stared at Sora, who smiled and crouched down, reaching out her hands towards his chest. Flushing, he slapped her hands away, glaring, "What are you doing?!"
"I just wanted to make sure," Sora, who had wanted to lift up the dreary atmosphere, said innocently. She looked at him in amusement. "I didn't see Taichi paying attention to any guys before you..." She trailed off as she stared at Yamato's disbelieving blue eyes and the flush on his cheeks. Who knew teasing Yamato could be so fun? Perhaps this was why Taichi did it so often. Sora smiled, moving her hands away from Yamato, winking, "But well, Taichi would be angry at me if he found out I touched you before he did-"
"I'm a guy!" Yamato cut her off with an incredulous glare as he jabbed a finger at his flat chest for emphasis, and Sora couldn't help but grin.
"Really, Yamato Nadeshiko?" Sora said teasingly, raising an eyebrow at his flat chest. She placed a hand on her own fairly flat chest, smiling almost cheekily. "We're still young after all."
"It's Ishida." Yamato growled, twitching and trying to ignore her implication.
"Right, right," Sora waved her hands with a placating smile as Yamato glared at her. She grinned sheepishly. "It was just a joke, Yamato!"
Yamato huffed and averted his gaze with a scowl, and Sora watched him with that amusement in her eyes as if she knew he was thinking he couldn't believe this was happening to him – that Sora, of all people, was teasing him.
And Sora was right. Yamato's scowl deepened. First Taichi had said he loved him and now Sora was teasing him and implying he was a girl, which he wasn't. The blond snorted. What next? Takeru telling him he liked Hikari? Jyou confessing his love for Mimi out of the blue? Sora taking an interest in Koushiro? Koushiro saying suddenly he liked Mimi? Sora confessing her love for Taichi? Yamato scoffed. What a love triangle that would be.
"Why is everything changing anyway?" Yamato thought darkly, "Hasn't my life been changed enough?"
Sora shook her head as Yamato's expression darkened, smiling wryly at him, then decided to return to the point. Well, it was fun while it lasted.
"Love is love, Yamato," she told the silent blond, "The gender of the person you love doesn't matter, as long as your feelings are sincere."
"What if I don't return his feelings?" Yamato wasn't looking at her, but he seemed to be aware of the change in atmosphere.
"Taichi wouldn't mind that much," Sora said knowingly, and Yamato felt surprise and slight envy at how well she knew Taichi. "He just wants to let you know he loves you. As long as you stay by his side, he wouldn't care whether you love him back or not." Sora continued. "He'll be happy if you do, and he'll be hurt if you don't, but Taichi-" Sora shook her head with a fond smile, "He gets back up fast, you know? He won't let a thing like unrequited love stop him from expressing his feelings for you."
"How do you know all this?" Yamato asked quietly as he remembered Taichi's words.
"I'm not only the holder of the crest of Love, but I'm also Taichi's childhood friend," Sora said, and Yamato looked up at her, "I've known Taichi for a long time. He's never fallen in love before you, and he may have been too stubborn and afraid to confess before today, but he's-" she paused, "The type of person who would go all out in showing he loves someone. It's just his nature. No one can stop him from showing his feelings to the person he loves. Not me, not you." Sora locked her gaze with Yamato's, "Taichi is the only one who can stop himself, and he won't."
"His nature, huh."
Sora nodded to him, "That's right. So you should just accept it," she said bluntly to the crouched blond. "Everyone else has." She turned her gaze briefly to where the rest of the group had gone, before looking back at Yamato. "It isn't that hard. You just have to accept his love for you. You don't even have to love him back."
Sora smiled wryly. She stood up, turning away. "Of course, if you love him back, no one will stop you either," she said as she glanced back at Yamato. "Certainly not Taichi."
"Not even you." Yamato voiced before he could stop himself, as Sora walked away.
Sora paused in her tracks, surprised. She looked back at Yamato, lips curling in that sad smile from before, "Yeah," she agreed softly. "Not even me."
Yamato stared up at her. "You like Taichi." He said.
"He loves you." Sora replied simply. She clenched her fist. "I want Taichi to be happy. I'm not the one who can make him happy." Sora narrowed her eyes at Yamato. "You are."
Sora inhaled, raising her gaze to the small bit of sky between the dense trees, "My feelings for him may fade away someday," she said almost hopefully as she stared up into the sky. "But his feelings for you won't."
Sora released a soft sigh, looking away from the sky, "Love is precious, Yamato," she told the blond with a melancholic smile, "It's something you should treasure."
With those words, the bearer of the crest of love turned and walked away, leaving the keeper of friendship to muse over what she had said.
"Are you alright?" Piyomon questioned in concern as she watched Sora stare up at the sky. She glanced back to where Yamato was with Gabumon. "What did Yamato-kun say to you?"
"He didn't say anything to me," Sora smiled wryly as she stared at the bit of blue sky in between the dense forestry. "I said something to him."
"And it made him angry?" Piyomon said.
Sora thought about her digimon's words for a moment, "I don't know." She admitted. "Maybe it did."
"But, you were trying to help him right?" Piyomon pressed on, blinking her eyes, "Why did Yamato-kun get angry at you?"
Sora shrugged. "You'll have to ask him that."
"Well, you were just trying to help right?!" Piyomon pointed out, and Sora blinked as her digimon flew in front of her face, blocking her vision, Piyomon frowned. "He shouldn't be angry at you, Sora!"
"I'll go and tell him that!"
"Ah wait, Piyomon!" Sora held her hand out. Piyomon looked back, and she gave her digimon a reassuring smile. "It's alright, really!"
"Really?" Piyomon flew back to her friend, "But, he didn't appreciate Sora's kindness…it makes me mad!"
"Thank you, Piyomon," Sora said with a fond smile. She shifted her gaze to Yamato, "But, I think Yamato just needed some time alone."
"Gabumon's with him." Piyomon said, flapping down to the ground.
"Gabumon's different," Sora said. But she smiled at Piyomon, reaching out to ruffle the pink bird's fluffy feathers. "Thank you for caring, Piyomon. I love you."
Piyomon blushed. "No problem, Sora!" She said happily, moving forward to snuggle against her human companion and Sora smiled. "I love you too!"
Gabumon quickly turned his gaze away from Sora and Piyomon, "Yeah, Yamato?"
"Do you think…I'm stupid?"
Yamato sighed. He rested his chin on his knees, seeming to curl up on himself. "Tell me the truth, Gabumon," he said as he met his digimon's red eyes, "I'm an idiot, aren't I?"
"What are you saying, Yamato?!" Gabumon exclaimed, placing his paws on his partner's shoulders. "You're not an idiot!"
"Really?" Yamato asked dully. "Even if Taichi told me he loved me and I couldn't even say it back to him?"
"Even after Sora told me everyone would accept our relationship," Yamato murmured, turning his gaze to the ground, "I still can't…"
"Yamato," Gabumon said, and his serious voice made Yamato raise his gaze. Gabumon looked at him, his hands clutching onto Yamato's shoulders. "Do you love Taichi?"
"Do you like him then?"
"Yeah," Yamato admitted quietly. He clenched his fist, "I like him. But I don't know if I love him." He bit his lip. "I've never…fallen in love before."
"And neither has Taichi," Gabumon said, and Yamato looked at him in surprise. His digimon smiled at him, a perceptiveness in his red eyes Yamato couldn't help but notice. "Right?"
"That's what he said, yeah."
"What did you tell him?"
"I told him…I needed time," Yamato said hesitantly. He'd never thought he would be speaking to Gabumon about his feelings for Taichi. But, he trusted Gabumon, his partner whom had saved his life so many times and cared for him like so few people did. "That I needed time to decide if I wanted to have a relationship with him."
Gabumon beamed, "Then that's fine, isn't it?" He asked. "Taichi accepted it, right?"
Yamato nodded. "I guess." He said softly.
"Yamato," Gabumon glanced back at Sora and Piyomon, then turned his attention back to the questioning blond. He inhaled. "All this time, I've been waiting for you. You're my only partner and I love you, Yamato. I want you to be happy."
Gabumon smiled at him. "I'm sure Taichi wants you to be happy too!" He said brightly, "He'll understand."
"Even if I decide I don't return his feelings?"
Gabumon shrugged. "Probably." He said. "He told you he understood, didn't he?"
Yamato stared. He wondered if Gabumon had been watching him and Taichi, somehow. "Were you there?"
"Eh?" Gabumon blinked.
"Nothing," Yamato shook his head. It was impossible- Gabumon had been with the others when they came back to their camping spot in the forest. He looked up towards the sky. "I guess we should go."
"Don't worry, Yamato," Gabumon told him, smiling reassuringly. Yamato lowered his gaze as Gabumon patted his shoulder. "It'll be alright!"
"Yeah." Yamato smiled, feeling glad that Gabumon understood and didn't badger him on his indecision.
"Yamato," the blond turned his attention to where Sora was walking towards him, Piyomon with her. "Are you alright now?"
There was slight hesitance, but genuine concern in her voice. Yamato nodded at her, as Gabumon removed his paws from his shoulders. "Yeah." He said.
Sora smiled at him, relief in her orange eyes. "I'm sorry if I went overboard." She apologized sincerely.
"It's alright." Yamato said as he met her eyes. "You were just speaking the truth."
Sora blinked at him. Yamato watched as she smiled, and held out her hand to him. "Come on," she said. "Let's go back to the others, shall we?"
Yamato stared as déjà vu pricked him. He blinked at Sora's outstretched hand, then raised his gaze to her expectant one. "I guess." He said.
Sora smiled at him, still holding out her hand, and Yamato realized what she wanted. Sighing, he reached out and took hold of her hand, accepting her offer of friendship and allowing her to pull him up from the ground.
"Thanks." He said casually as he drew his hand away from Sora's and walked away from the tree.
Sora smiled, following him. "No problem."
They made their way towards the direction Taichi and the others had gone in silence. Gabumon and Piyomon looked at their partners, who were immersed in their thoughts.
"Hey Gabumon," Piyomon started quietly. "Do you know what's wrong with Yamato and Sora?"
Gabumon blinked, then looked at her. "Yamato's feeling…insecure." He said hesitantly, deciding to trust her. Piyomon was his friend after all.
"Sora seemed distracted just now," Piyomon revealed softly, glancing up at her partner, who had her gaze turned to the sky, "She told me she said something to Yamato-kun which made him angry."
"Hmmmm…" Gabumon mumbled.
"Do you know what's going on, Gabumon?" Piyomon asked, blinking. Her eyes softened as Gabumon turned to look at her, "I'm worried for Sora…she isn't acting like herself."
"It's Taichi." Gabumon told her bluntly.
"Yeah. Yamato likes Taichi." Gabumon said. He looked up. Yamato and Sora had gone on ahead. Yamato's hands were in his pockets as he stared at the ground and Sora was still absorbed in the sky. He moved closer to his curious companion, and continued, "And Taichi likes Yamato."
"…And Sora likes…" Piyomon trailed off as she observed the two Digidestined, who were not even looking at each other. "…Taichi?"
"Probably." Gabumon replied.
"So…" Piyomon began hesitantly, "Sora's feelings for Taichi are…unrequited?"
"Then why is Yamato angry at Sora?!" Piyomon demanded angrily, causing Gabumon to blink at her in surprise. She narrowed her eyes, thrusting her beak out indignantly, "Sora should be the one who's angry at him!"
Gabumon stared. "Yamato's angry at Sora?"
Gabumon looked at his partner, then turned his gaze back to Piyomon. "I don't think he's angry at Sora," he said. "He doesn't seem to be."
Piyomon stared back at him, "But he isn't even looking at her!"
"Sora isn't looking at Yamato either." Gabumon pointed out wryly.
"Eh? Are they angry at each other then?" Piyomon blinked in confusion, "But Sora didn't seem angry at Yamato either!"
Gabumon blinked. "Eh…" he said, "I guess they're just thinking about Taichi?"
"Oh." Piyomon blinked. She sighed, rubbing her pink, furry head, "Human relationships are so confusing!"
"I know." Gabumon agreed, his gaze on Yamato.
"Hey Gabumon, do you think there's anything we can do?"
"Not really," Gabumon admitted after some thought. "We don't even know how long this is going to last."
"…We're useless then?" Piyomon asked sadly.
"Of course not!" Gabumon tried to cheer his friend up at her forlorn expression. He smiled at the pink bird, "We'll just have to wait and see. No matter what, they'll need us there for them."
Piyomon beamed, "I like the sound of that!" She declared energetically, "No matter what, I'll always be there for Sora! I'll protect her!"
"And I will protect Yamato." Gabumon said, red eyes slightly glazed over. Piyomon blinked at him and he smiled at her, reaching out a furry paw to pat her fluffy pink feathers.
"It'll be alright."
And that concludes the end of To From a Heart. :) Please review.
Oh and Yamato Nadeshiko means, 'Perfect Woman'. It's a Japanese cultural term. I actually had a sequel in mind, but I don't think I will have time to write it until the end of this year, especially with my new ideas for Taito fanfics. It's supposed to take place in Season 02. And wow, this is the first time I've completed a multi chapter story! What an accomplishment. Well if I do write a sequel it'll be called, Forming a Heart. Thanks for reading this story, and do support my other Taito fics as well :) Currently, I am working on Door, which is based on Yamato's Drama CD, and I should have an AU up soon. I'm trying to finish Valentines' Day Secret as well.
But I did write a scene for the sequel, and so I'll leave it as a parting gift:
"It's ironic isn't it," Yamato said suddenly and Sora looked at him. He smiled wryly at her. "You hold the crest of love and I hold the crest of friendship, but now," he raised his gaze to the sun in the sky, then turned his gaze to Taichi. "I treasure love more than friendship, and you treasure friendship more than love."
Sora smiled. "In the past, I did treasure love," she admitted. "I wanted to have love more than friendship, but I realized…" she bit her lip. "That it was no use if my love didn't feel the same way."
"But, it's because of my love that I wanted him to be happy, that I could treasure friendship instead," Sora spoke honestly, "My feelings for him now may not be as strong as they were back then, but I still care about him greatly. And, right now," she smiled at Yamato, "I'm happy that I made the right decision. Because Taichi looks the happiest I've ever seen him, and if you love someone, you'll want them to be happy no matter what."
"Sora…you're, a really kind person," Yamato said slowly as he met her eyes, "You really deserve Taichi more than me."
"Taichi loves you, Yamato," Sora reminded him in wry amusement. "He loves you, and only you. Only you can make him happy."
"Yeah," Yamato replied with a fond smile. He let out a sigh, "Sorry. I guess I was being really selfish," he said, as he thought back to the past. "Not only was I jealous of you for knowing Taichi so well, I didn't want to tell Taichi I returned his feelings because I was afraid of being in love." He bit his lip. "So, I just kept them hidden in order to not be hurt. I was the coward, not Taichi."
Sora blinked. Then she smiled at him, and said softly, "You've changed, Yamato."
"People change," Yamato replied simply. Sora watched as his eyes softened as he turned his gaze from her to Taichi.
"You, me, and Taichi."