DISCLAIMER -

DISCLAIMER - I do not own any of the Digimon characters, no matter how much I wish I did.

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Sorry to keep you hanging (for all of one day ^_^ ) for this part, but I had to rework it a little towards the middle. Get out yer Kleenex.

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CHOICES
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LOVE - Part Three
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By Chris McFeely

Tai's limp body smashed into the waters of Odaiba Bay like a sack of cement, doing all but liquefying his internal organs. A huge column of water rose up as he impacted and sank beneath the surface, as the police, fire department, and newly-arrived paramedics scurried into action on the bridge.
Sora Takenouchi's entire body was numb, as she fell to her knees and looked at the roiling waters below, where Tai had disappeared from view. she whispered. That whisper gave way to a soul-destroying scream of anguish, as Sora shut her eyes and threw back her head, addressing the heavens.
A pink sparkle of light swirled on Sora's chest as she screamed again - a wordless, meaningless scream of pain and fear - when suddenly, she heard someone shout something down below.
There he is!
The pink glow vanished as Sora jerked forward and stared down over the edge of the bridge again. Tai's body had floated back to the surface again, a huge crimson stain blooming outward, dying the waters with death. Her tears came thick and fast, pouring down her face and over the bridge's edge, to fall into the waters below. Matt approached her from behind, tears already in his own eyes. He took her into his arms, and she continued to cry, unable to watch as the paramedics below recovered Tai's body from the frigid water.

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Sora and Matt had ridden in the ambulance to the hospital with Tai. He was still alive, but hanging on by the slimmest of threads, the paramedics had said. Massive internal trauma, nearly every bone in his body broken. His skin was a sickly grey colour.
They had sat in silence in the waiting room, as the hours blurred into each other. It was noon when the doctors emerged from the room where Tai was, along with Kari and his parents. Their faces were ghostly white, and Sora felt afraid. She leapt up. Is he...?
He's stable, for now one of the doctors told her. But it doesn't look good. He's in a coma.
Sora felt a lump rise in her throat. Can we... see him?
If you want to.

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Matt and Sora tentatively edged into the room, and gasped at what they saw. Tai was lying on one of those generic hospital beds, humming machines surrounding him.
so still Matt whispered.
Sora's resolve was broken, as she saw how he had an IV drip, tubes and wires stuck into his body, making him look like some kind of freakish science experiment. Oh, God, Matt, Sora choked out, then her voice dropped to a whisper, like his. They put tubes in his nose. It wasn't right. Tai was brave, strong, courageous, powerful – he shouldn't be like this. Not him. Not Tai. She buried her face in Matt's chest, unable to even look at the person lying in the bed.
I... don't know if you can hear me, Tai, Matt started, leaning over the side of the bed, cradling Sora comfortingly, but you have to come back to us. We need you. Matt's voice became cracked, as he began to cry again. Why did you do it, you idiot? Why?
Matt continued to pour his heart out, but Sora didn't take in what he was saying. She could only think of Tai. She didn't know how long Matt talked for, or what about, but when he became silent, she lifted her head. Can I have a moment alone with him? she asked.
Matt sniffed and unceremoniously wiped his nose with the back of his gloved hand. he replied. I'll just be outside if you need me.
she said, sitting down in a chair that faced the bed. Her face was already stained with tears again as Matt shut the door behind him.
Sora took a deep breath, and held Tai's cold hand in hers. I need you, Tai, she said. Come back to me.
A glint of magenta light flickered in the room, and Sora, startled, searched for its source. She gasped, as she saw a small, flickering icon burning on her chest – a decorative heart symbol the image of the Crest of Love. She raised a hand to her chest. what does this mean? she asked herself.
She looked at Tai again, and emitted a soft noise as she saw the orange sun symbol was glowing on his chest again. he can hear me Sora realised. The brightness of the two glowing crests increased as Sora squeezed Tai's hand tighter, until, suddenly, just as it had been in her dream, Sora's mind exploded into whiteness. She couldn't see anything the entire world was white, and she was floating in a limbo of nothing. She could feel a presence within her mind, somehow linked to her through their crests.
she heard Tai's voice inside her head.
Sora called out. Where are you?
I don't know, Sora, Tai replied. It's dark I'm afraid.
Don't be, Tai, Sora told him.
a bright light she heard him say. I want to go into the light, Sora
No, Tai! Sora cried. Don't go! Come back to me!
There was silence, and Sora was afraid Tai was no more.
he asked, sadly.
Sora mentally jumped in shock as his voice cut through her mind again. Because I I she wasn't sure what to say. She felt the heat of the heart symbol on her chest again, and slowly, she felt realisation creep into her being. Her body and mind felt energised, and she opened her mouth again to speak.
Because I love you.
The world imploded, and Sora found herself back in the hospital room again. An umbilicus was wavering in the air, linking her and Tai, as two beams of energy – one orange, one pink, both emanating from their chests – intertwined in mid-air, twisting and glowing with all the brightness and passion of a miniature sunrise. Slowly, the beams separated, and the orange beam, representing Courage, lanced forward, striking Sora on the forehead. She would have cried out, if it were not for the incredible feeling of serenity that overcame her. Simultaneously, the pink beam, from her chest, representing Love, began to flow over Tai's battered body. As Sora watched, she was not afraid any more.
The colour was restored to Tai's skin as the beam played over him, the vitality coming back to his form. Sora clutched his hand tightly, as the power of love flowed freely. As the beam arced over his head, and that massive, matted mop of hair – now sticky with blood and polluted water from the river – both it and the orange energy winked out in a little flash of white light, leaving Sora and Tai alone in the room together.
Sora stared down at his still form. His eyes flickered open, weakly, and he spoke in the hoarsest of whispers.
Sora wrapped her arms around him, as tears streamed down her face – but this time, they were nothing less than tears of utter joy. I love you, Tai! she sobbed. I think I always have... on some level, I always tried to deny it but my crest showed me the truth.
I love you too, Sora, Tai said, as tears of his own trickled free from his eyes. I'll love you forever.
The sounds of hustle and bustle in the hospital receded far into the distance, as Sora bent down, and crushed Tai's lips against hers. The two young adults were lost in each other's embrace, as they shared their first kiss – a kiss filled with passion and promise. A kiss that would pave the way for years to come. A kiss of hope, for the future.
A kiss of love.
A kiss of courage.
A kiss of life.

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THE END

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*sniffle* I feel all warm and fuzzy inside now.
To all those who were afraid I was gonna kill Tai - it wouldn't be Taiora if they didn't get together in the end, now would it? Plus, I'd never kill Tai - mostly because I'd never do anything that'd hurt my precious Sora ^_^ (readers of "What's WRONG With You Peple" know what I mean ^_~)
So, come on! Didja like it? This was my first ever attempt at writing a serious romance story. I think it got better towards the end... but maybe that's just me. Tell me your opinions! I want loadsa reviews on this sucka! ^_^
Oh, and I'm planning to do some illustrations to go alongside this - perhaps one or two pages set out in a Manga-comic style, of the scenes where Tai professes his love from "Courage, Part Three", and the closing scene of this part.
The Chris is short for Christopher, btw, kiddies - I'm a guy, and I'm not ashamed to admit I get all sniffly when it comes to matters like this!
Now, hit me with yer best shot! ^_^

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