I fell in love when I was eleven. In a world of survival where you could be eradicated into data anytime, I discovered love instead of death.

Which, in hindsight, is probably a good thing. Love or Death- which would you choose? Love, obviously.

But maybe not if it's unrequited love.

Now, where was I? Oh yeah, I fell in love. Looking back, I guess it was kind of ironic. Being the leader of a group of kids your age and leading them to survival, and somehow being enough of an idiot to fall in love along the way, with none other than the loner of the group. Who didn't even know friendship.

And unfortunately, the loner of your group is a wonder- blonde hair, blue eyes so deep you could just fall into them, just staring. Blue eyes so cold most people would just have to be satisfied looking from afar. A very pretty wonder.

But, this isn't some fairytale or some anime. This is my life. I'm not the courageous leader (well, I am) who fell in love with the cold, pretty blonde girl of his group. I'm the stupidly courageous leader who fell in love with the cold, mysterious pretty blond boy of his group.

And he doesn't even know.

Apparently, the 'courageous leader' wasn't courageous enough to let his best friend and rival know about his feelings.

In short, he was being a coward.

Yeah. The 'stupidly courageous leader' is courageous enough to venture into the unknown, stand up against digital monsters he's never seen before (with the help of his trusty digimon partner of course), be the first one to activate his Crest; of Courage, encourage the group in bleak times, bla bla. But he wasn't, and isn't courageous enough to let the guy he loves know about his feelings.

But I suppose that requires a different kind of courage.

In the Digital World, there's no distinction. Whether you're short, tall, a girl or guy, pretty, handsome or not you still have to fight for survival. Like I said, this isn't some sort of fairytale, I'm not some handsome prince who fell in love with a pretty blonde damsel in distress. Hell, he's far from a damsel in distress. In fact, he saved me from Piedmon so I guess that makes me the 'damsel in distress'?

Haha, that almost makes me laugh.

Roles like that are so cliché. And though I wish, my life isn't cliché. It's real. There was no kiss of true love (remember, the 'prince' is a coward), just trust and friendship. And that's great and all. I mean, I was speaking the truth, I did truly believe in him. I didn't know that would bring tears to his eyes but I'm glad I said it.

No, I'm not a sadist. Those were happy tears. I should know. I know.

And they were the most beautiful thing I ever saw in both worlds.

But that's in the past. Those eyes are of course still beautiful but they're no longer directed to me.

Sometimes, I wish I could return to the past. I would go through that twisted survival game again just to keep that close bond we had.

It's kind of ironic, I guess I never really wanted to be in the Digital World in the first place. If you knew me then, you would be surprised. I'm the one who was always encouraging the group, pushing us to go forward, and I was as reluctant as the rest to be in the unknown world.

But over time, I guess it's become a sort of refuge to me. The world that's almost like a fantasy but is real; being in it allowed me to forget about reality for a while.

Until reality came crashing down in the beautiful form of Ishida Yamato.

Ishida Yamato. Yeah, that Ishida Yamato. He is the love of my life.

Ishida Yamato, pretty, mysterious blond wonder.

Yeah, it kind of fits.

Yagami Taichi, stupidly courageous idiot leader and Ishida Yamato, pretty, mysterious, blond wonder.

Nope. That doesn't fit at all.

I'm sure you know who Ishida Yamato is. But if you don't know, look over there. See that tall, prettily handsome blond guy laughing with those guys? See those sparkling, no longer cold blue eyes but are so deep you could still just fall into them? See that perfect hair? Hear that musical laugh? Those light footsteps in that casual stride?

That's Ishida Yamato. Those guys are his bandmates. He's the lead singer of the Teenage Wolves. Heard of them before? It wouldn't be a surprise.

So, that's him. That's Ishida Yamato, the love of my life.

So, who am I?

I'm his best friend of course, Yagami Taichi; Ishida Yamato's best friend.

At least, I'm supposed to be his best friend.

He's looking over at me now, I can tell even if I wasn't looking at him. His face is lighting up in this splendid way. A smile is curving those lips I've stared at way too many times to be healthy, and his beautiful blue eyes are shining- at me.

"Hey, Taichi!"

It's almost pathetic how I'm rendered breathless just by his mere expression alone.

"Hey Yamato." I say pathetically, breathlessly as he makes his way over to me.

He looks at me in amusement, "Just finished soccer practice?"

Do I really sound that breathless? "Yeah."

He laughs his tinkling, musical laugh and grins at me, and my stupid, courageous or not heart skips that damn beat. Again.

"Hey guys!" He shouts over, "You guys head off first! I'm going home with Taichi!"

I try really hard not to think of how wrong that sounds.

Get your mind out of the damn gutter, Yagami Taichi.

"So," Yamato says as he turns back to me as we walk forth. He's smiling, and I try to concentrate on his words, "How was soccer practice?"

I blink, then grin, "Great!" I say as I place my hands behind my head, a classic gesture of mine, "We're gonna beat that other school flat!"

He laughs, and I try to ignore that skip of my heart again, "I know you guys will," he says confidently, and my grin widens, "How could they not, when they have Yagami Taichi on their team?"

It's little moments like these which make me feel this love, unrequited as it is, is worth it. These moments when we're together, when I'm with him and he's with me. Whatever we're doing, chatting, eating, hell, even doing homework, it makes me happy 'cause, well, it's him. And I love being with him. Cheesy, but true.

"True, true." I say with the confidence he makes me feel. I know the smile on my face is a genuine one when I turn to him, "Will you be coming to watch me play this Saturday?"

His expression falters then, and just like that, I know I said something I shouldn't have. I've done something wrong again.

It's almost unnoticeable if you don't know him as well as I do. He doesn't frown, his face just, falls a little, his eyebrows furrow and then he looks at me apologetically, "Sorry Taichi," he's biting his lip, "I have a date with Sora."

Oh. "Oh." I say.

I think he must have seen me deflate, because he corrects, "But, did you tell her about your game?" He's asking me, "I'm sure she'd like to watch it too."

Sora. Soccer. Right, I used to play soccer with Sora. She was my soccer buddy.

"Ah, I didn't." I say distractedly.

He doesn't question me, instead saying, "Then, I'll tell her," Yamato is saying almost reassuringly. He grins at me, "She'll have no problem postponing our date to watch you play."

"Yeah, and you guys can go on your date afterwards."


I smile, but I know it must be a weak smile, as Yamato looks concerned, "Taichi?"

"Yeah," I say again. He blinks and I shake my head, "Sorry, I just remembered I have to get home early. I'll be going off first, okay?"

We're outside the school now, and he's looking at me. There's this intense expression on his face which almost makes me afraid, paranoid that he's discovered how I truly feel about him. It's late afternoon, almost evening, and the shadows cover one side of his face, contrasting with his perfect blond hair, slanting to the side and almost making me feel a sense of apprehension.

"…Alright." He says, and I imagine I must have imagined the flash of disappointment in his eyes because he's smiling again. "I'll see you tomorrow?"

"…Yeah." I say after a moment of silence in which I spend just staring at him.

He smiles at me again, and I'm torn between what to feel. "Bye Taichi." He says and turns, then walks away.

"Bye Yamato." I reply.

He raises a hand in acknowledgement, and I'm still staring at him even when he puts his hand down. That's all I do- stare at him, stare at his back, his lean, slender figure, his golden hair swaying in the light breeze.

Stare at him as he walks away from me. Stare and do nothing.

I bite my lip and sigh softly. I take in his perfect form one last time then turn, walking away in the opposite direction. So much for the courageous leader.

It's my fault really, because I'm the one distancing myself from him. But I guess that's because I feel distant.

And it's normal to feel that way, kind of distant from your best friend when he's dating a girl. But in my case, it's a bit different. Because I'm still stupidly in love with my best friend who's now dating a girl. A girl we both know. Sora.

This sounds childish, but I didn't really think it would happen. Yamato's always been cold, though he's much more open and warmer now. But for some reason, I never envisioned him going out with a girl. He'd never shown any real interest in girls in the past, in Sora or Mimi, as far as I could tell. I guess it was because in the past, it was just him and me. Yamato and Taichi. Taichi and Yamato.

But now, it's not Taichi and Yamato. Not even Taichi and Sora. It's Yamato and Sora, and Taichi's all alone.

Yamato's grown up and pursuing his own life, his own love life. And Yagami Taichi, stupid, courageous idiot is still stuck in his unrequited love for his best friend.

I look behind one last time, and then turn back around. Seeing him walk away just like that makes me want to run back to him, grab him and shout out my feelings to him for everyone to hear.

But I don't.

The distance between us has become real, from the metaphysical into the physical, and it remains in my mind all the way home.

Even if I wasn't mathematically inclined, I'd still be able to put two and two together.

Best friend plus female childhood friend, what does that equal?

Distant friend who's apart from both his best friend and childhood friend.

Hmmm, maybe that isn't such an accurate mathematical illustration.

But now let's do some integration, what do you get when you integrate love into the equation?

Let's have the equation as y = 2x. Differentiate 2x and you'll get two. Two – Sora and Yamato.

And well, since integration is the opposite of differentiation, integrate two and you'll get back 2x. And let's say x represents 'Idiot Taichi'. Say we integrate (with unrequited love obviously), so the unknown x would actually be 'Idiot Taichi in unrequited love'.

There's a reason why x is unknown. Why x is a constant.

So, by integrating two with respect to x, you'll be getting back 2x. Aka Sora and Yamato times Idiot Taichi in unrequited love.

I guess this is why Integration and Differentiation have never been my favorite topics.

So, whether it's integration or differentiation idiot Taichi will still be in unrequited love. Simply put, whether he's with Sora and Yamato (integrated) or away from them (differentiated) he will still be in unrequited love with the latter. The only difference is that differentiating with respect (Hahaha) to the unknown x, will be taking away the 'idiot Taichi in unrequited love' and leaving Sora and Yamato.

But that doesn't mean just because it's ignored and still unknown and differentiated away from the equation, idiot Taichi is no longer in unrequited love.

Because he still is.