Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon.
This is the sequel to Trouble Sings Back Up, so you might be better off reading the other story first. But if you want to skip that one and jump right into this story then feel free. To each their own, right? : )
Anywho, dear readers… Here comes chapter 1:
Every person in the world had something that sent him or her into a mini Godzilla rampage. Some people hated clutter, reality television, or insects. While others would argue politics till they were blue in the face. For the famous singer Ishida Yamato the biggest pain he currently faced was a doctor moving at glacier speed.
"Your hand has healed quite well, but your leg is still far to injured to remove the cast."
"Yes," Ishida nodded his head while silently counting to whatever number was supposed to calm people down. "But with the hand all fixed up I can get out of the chair. Right?"
"Well that depends, on how much you plan to use the crutches."
"Look, what answer do I have to give you to get clearance for crutches?" He gave up the pointless mental calculations and let his frustration simmer.
"I know this is difficult for you, but we need to tread carefully." The older man pulled a pair of crutches that had been leaning on the back wall and handed them to Yama. "Tell you what, let me fix your hand up with a little extra padding and we will see how well you can stand on them."
Only a few agonizing minutes later, the doctor had padded Yama's hand sufficiently and helped the boy place the crutches under his arms. The stiff feeling of wood against his armpits was uncomfortable, but paled in comparison to the throbbing pain radiating from his injured hand. He tried to take a step or two forward at his doctor's direction. Although he knew full well it was uncomfortable, he forced a pleasant smile on his lips. The last thing the boy wanted was to move backwards in his treatment plan.
"It isn't to painful?"
"Nope. Not at all." He lied.
"Have you ever used crutches before?"
"Once in a school theatre production. I was pretty good at it." He lied again knowing full well the doctor would have no way to disprove his statement.
"I see…" The old man mused and turned his back to the blonde, who proceeded to squish and squash his young face into looks of pain. By the time the doctor turned back around, Yama had composed himself and offered another forced smile. "Well Ishida-san, I want you to use the crutches sparingly. You can slowly increase the time you spend on them as your hand continues to heal, but for now limit yourself to about five minutes per session. If you must be out for longer periods of time I want you to use the wheel chair. Alright?"
Over my dead body. "Sure doc. Are we done for the day?"
"Yes. I can wheel you out to the front if you will get in the cha-"
"Sorry, but my five minutes are not up yet. I think I'll walk." He tried to play the situation off as a playful moment, fearing any minute the doctor would catch on to his plan. "You know, I have another one of those chairs at home. Uh, why don't you keep that one? No reason to have two."
Against better judgment, the doctor relented and accepted the donation before escorting his patient down the hall and into the main waiting room. The normal spikey haired boy was waiting for them with a smile. Personally the doctor had wondered if the brunette was more than just a friend to Yamato, but it was none of his concern really. All he focused on was keeping the singer healthy and out of the hospital. Besides, he had worked with enough influential patients to know that prying was considered a rather large sin in the eyes of the famous.
"You got your wish!" The brunette cheered and sprouted an even wider grin. "I told you that if you let your hand rest you would be ready for crutches in no time."
"It is good to be standing again." A tiny smile cracked Yama's pale expression and helped him push through the pain emanating from his left hand.
"So is it all crutches now?" Tai looked back to the hallway and noted the boy's black wheelchair was missing from the picture. "Where is your chair?"
"He donated it to the hospital. Said something about not needing two."
"Two?" The wheels in Taichi's head started to spin and he shifted his eyes from the doctor to an increasingly suspicious looking Yamato. "We only have one. The one he so graciously donated."
"Doesn't matter," Yamato cut in and tried to force his way between Tai and the doctor. "I am on crutches now and that chair can help someone else out a lot more."
"You are on limited crutch use," The doctor reminded his sneaky client with a frown plastered across his wrinkled mouth.
"We could just increase that to full crutch use…"
The doctor glanced over Yama's head and locked eyes with Tai, "I'll go get the chair. Good luck with this one."
It wasn't like Tai wanted ruin Yamato's day. He hadn't woken up that morning and thought, cook eggs or piss off my already angry at the world boyfriend? Of course with the way Yama had been acting lately, Tai wondered if he even was still the boy's boyfriend at times. What happened to the boy who had been so relieved and excited that he had woken up with his family and friends nearby? It had only been about two months since the incident and Tai was finding himself damn lucky to even get a chance to hold Yamato in his arms for any length of time. Taichi was a patient man, at least he saw himself as such, but trying so hard to get close and take care of a man as distant as Yama was starting to drive him batty.
"Yama," He sighed and spared his friend a glance as they slid to a stop in front of a red light. "I didn't mean to upset you. I am just worried about you… I want you to get better, but not at the expense of the rest of your body."
The blonde was silent for a moment. His lips tensed as various emotions ran through his mind. Each time he reached this point of confusion and indecision a multitude of emotions filled his heart. Honestly, he felt bad for being such a pain to those around him. However, the idea of sitting back and relaxing seemed pretty humorous. There hadn't been a moment of ease in Yamato's body since the second night he spent in the hospital. Every time he tried to lean back and let his mind drift off into sleep flashes of that horrible time in captivity came thundering into his subconscious. And unfortunately for his family and friends, those constant reliving the incident episodes had forced him to become rather nervous and anti-touch. Suddenly, the hugs and kisses of those who greeted him when he came out of the mini-coma had become too much. At this point he could only handle small doses of even Tai's affection.
"I know Tai," He offered the brunette a sympathetic look and presented a phrase he had gotten quite accustomed to, "I'm sorry I have been such a pain."
"I just don't know if my… my fragile heart can take such torment." Tai teased his friend in hopes Yama would break the sullen mood and crack a smile.
Yamato rolled his eyes and pointed a finger behind their heads. "If you're finished with that Oscar-winning monologue, I think the man behind you is about to lose his patience." A genuine laugh escaped the boy's lips as Tai cursed under his breath and offered the other driver a small wave before moving forward.
During the first few days of Yama's status as an outpatient, the duo had discovered Tai's apartment was not built for the bulky wheelchair the singer required. Luckily, or unluckily depending on who you asked, Takeru's home had been designed to perfectly accommodate varying sizes of medical equipment. In front of Tai and the others TK had explained the event to be an act of random luck. Of course, Yama knew that the idea of this all being some form of serendipity was a façade to hide the real reason. When TK's first wife had become ill, the novelist had tried to make every necessary arrangement to allow her to recuperate at home. When the news came that she was most likely not going to survive the disease the designing of the house became even more important. The younger blonde was dead set that his wife would get to spend her final days with her husband and infant. Yama had never pointed it out to his friends, but if you looked closely at some of the wallpaper in the hallways you could see were the lines did not quite match up with the older paper.
Recently, Takeru's home had become the site for wedding central. Which had made the once quite house turn into a loud, overstuffed, and constantly changing environment. All of the noises and people had made the place somewhat uncomfortable for Yama but he found some advantages in the chaos. For one thing, the impending wedding took pressure from him to talk about feelings and other uncomfortable topics. All he had to do was mention the wedding or question some insignificant detail and his mother would run from the room to annoy poor Hikari with repetitive questions.
As they pulled into Takeru's driveway the usual amount of cars were loitering around the house. If there were no news vans intermixed with the other cars, Yama didn't spare any of his already full plate of worry on the possible occupants now in the house. Taichi opened his car door, but did not offer to help the singer out of his seat. He knew better than to try to assist Yamato without being asked. Besides, the boy had held onto his crutches for dear life and was probably biting at the bit to get a chance to walk around on them on his own. Instead of helping his boyfriend, Tai moved to the back of the car and tried to wrangle the collapsed wheelchair out of the trunk.
He saw the blonde wince as some pressure was applied to his hand, and made the decision to test the semi-choppy waters, "Are you sure you don't want to use the cha-"
"My time on the crutches is not over yet." The singer answered the question a little to quickly for both boys' liking.
"Alright." Tai relented and followed behind his slow-moving friend. "Just… don't push yourself to hard. Ok?"
"I promise, I'll be good." Yama tried to offer one apologetic smile to Tai before entering the house.
"Yamato? Is that you?" His mother called from the main living room of the house.
"Yes. Tai and I just got in."
"Oh, come on into the living room. I want to know all about the doctor appointment."
"It went pretty good. Got my crutch-" He paused mid-sentence as the sight of his mother and a few other women came into view. "Uh, mom… What is this?"
The walls were coated in pastel colored decorations and a large variety of snacks were set upon a table on the east side of the room. Taichi shot straight for the food and began piling far to many sushi bites on the tiny plate. Yama noticed a pile of presents sitting at Kari's feet as well as strange amounts of clothes pins attached to the ladies' shirts.
"I think it is a pretty tasty shower." Tai mumbled through a mouthful of snacks.
"Swallow before you choke." Kari chastised her brother and snatched his plate before he could stuff more pieces of food into his mouth.
"How do you know that?"
"Yama, there is a banner on the wall." Natsuko pointed to a table that housed a large congratulations banner and a little tree with various amounts of money clipped to its fake branches. "And I did tell you about it last week. Remember I knocked on your door and told you before I went shopping."
"I remembered." Tai spoke up and stole another piece of shrimp off of the plate Kari held.
"Of course you do. You always worm your way into sleeping in my bed…" Yamato grumbled under his breath, more upset with himself for not remembering something that would have been easy to recall in the past. It was just so hard to keep his focus on things like this now.
"What was that Yama?" His mother missed the message and waited patiently for some decoding.
Not wanting to have the I might be gay speech with his mother in the middle of the bridal shower, the boy switched subjects quickly, "Congratulations on the wedding Kari."
"Thanks Yamato." She slapped Tai's hand away from the plate. "Oh! I forgot to tell you. Sora called the house while you were at the appointment. She wanted me to tell you that her contract obligations are almost over and she is going to come back to see you soon."
"And going to the bachelorette party!" Mimi cheered happily from her spot next to Natsuko.
"I thought you weren't having one of those?" Tai's protective side shifted from Yama to his baby sister.
Yamato took advantage of the sudden lapse of attention and hobbled into the kitchen. He reached into one of the higher cabinets and tried to feel around the back of the wooden space. After Takeru and Tai had raided his cigarette stash, the boy had resorted to hiding a select few around the house. As long as they were placed in spots Takato could never find the singer didn't feel guilty for placing supposedly dangerous items in the house. As his fingers graced something slender and long, a true smile broke out on the boy's face. He pulled the item out so quick that he knocked down a few bottles of seasonings.
"At least one is…" The creature that came out of the cabinet resembled a rolled up sticky note more than nicotine hit. He unrolled the paper and furrowed his brow at the message that greeted his eyes. "We agreed you would quit. Thank you for following through. Tai."
"Oh," Speak of the devil, "Thought you had already found that and said nothing."
"Trust me," The singer rubbed his temples in exhaustion, "I would have said something."
To make a semblance of amends, Tai reached into the fridge then handed Yamato a bottle of water. He had a pretty good idea of why the blonde was suddenly searching for his favorite vice. Once Yama had awaken from his mini-coma, as Tai called it, Sora had been somewhat distant. She had stayed by the boy's hospital bedside as long as she could, but even Taichi could see that there was something different in her eyes. After Sora left to fulfill her contract obligations, Tai had taken some time to fill Yamato in on all the things he had missed between Tai and Sora. Once it was all out in the open the boys began to figure that she must have connected the dots. The last thing Yamato wanted was to leave his friend to find out these things through the grapevine. But it wasn't like he had been given much of a chance to sit her down and talk about their feelings.
"I owe her some kind of explanation." Yama mused as Tai dug his own water bottle out of the fridge.
"You know her better than I do Yama, but do you think that is the best idea?"
"What other choice do I have? She has been my best friend… among other things… for years. I owe her some type of statement."
"You know this isn't a court case right? You don't have to testify about things and give evidence" Maybe it was his mixed relationship with Sora getting in the way, but his main concern was Yamato. There was no way this could end without Yamato feeling guilty, Sora feeling crushed, and Tai being left in a state of worry.
"I owe her to not wimp out and run away a second time."
Taichi was silent for a moment, an event so rare few believed it actually could happen. He respected Yama's determination to do the right thing by his friend just not the boy's reasoning. Of course at this time and place in the universe the brunette was tired of hitting his head against the brick wall known as Yamato's stubbornness, so he focused on a more pleasurable idea.
"You know," He edged closer to the boy and gave him a slow kiss on the lips. Although he hated it, the boy's brain retained a rather vigilant watch for any signs of discomfort in his boyfriend. Since the incident, Yamato had been a bit flighty when it came to physical affection. "Once you get good with the crutches, we could try spending some time at casa de la poorly designed."
"Depends," The blonde smirked against Tai's lips, "Has the owner of casa poorly designed figured out how to do laundry yet?"
"One set of boxers on the couch and you go clean freak." He tried to add some force to his playful attack by giving the blonde a firmer kiss.
"It was the mountain of clothes those boxers escaped from that was frightening."
"Boys!" Natsuko's voice busted the boys' bubble and sent them to opposite sides of the room. "Come say goodbye to the guests."
"She is on the list to tell as well, right?" Tai peeked his head out of the kitchen and spotted Natsuko's group starting the process of leaving the living room.
"In the top twenty." Yama answered, earning a look of confusion from his boyfriend.
When the guests had left and Natsuko had disappeared upstairs to ready Takato for bed, the rest of the adults found themselves cleaning up the remains of the shower. With his doodle-covered cast resting on the coffee table Yama busied himself with reading the names of who had given which gift to Kari. TK attempted to pick up all the small pieces of trash that had littered the room like fallen snow. And a semi-steady Taichi tried to haphazardly pull the higher placed decorations down from the walls. It was generally a quiet affair with Kari being the only one to break the calmness by chastising Tai for swallowing insane amounts of leftovers.
"At this rate, you won't have any room left for wedding cake."
"I think I'll be hungry again by the time the wedding rolls around. Five months would be a pretty long time to go without eating." He chuckled at his own joke, swallowed a brownie bite, and noticed his baby sister remained rather deadpan. "What is it Kari?"
"Oh, no it's nothing. I'm just tired after the party."
"We can do this the easy way or the hard way, sis." Tai moved forward and watched the frail brunette like a hawk. "Did you two have a fight or something?"
"We didn't fight." TK spoke up and wondered if Taichi truly had a hard way to deal with any situation. "Actually, we were just talking about moving the wedding date up a little bit."
"If you change the date you might lose your florist, caterer, location… and why do I know these things?" Yama sighed and leaned back in his chair. Maybe he shouldn't have read so many of Kari's wedding magazines while stuck in the hospital.
"Well this is my second marriage and we don't really need all the fanfare. Besides, we can use the money we save on a family vacation or something." TK shrugged, thinking his explanation was good but also knowing it probably wouldn't quench Tai's thirst for information.
"This might be your second time, but this is Kari's first. Don't you want all the girly gooey stuff, sis?"
"It's just that not important anymore." The couple shared a knowing smile and Yamato's eyes grew wide.
"Wait, wait, wait," Tai interjected. "No one said anything about being pregnant."
"You won't let anyone Tai," Kari giggled and rubbed her still flat stomach. "But yes, we should be meeting a new member of the family a few months from now."
"That's great!" Taichi shouted before realizing a child was trying to sleep above their heads. "I'm gonna be an uncle and you'll have a baby and…and…and…"
Yama raised a confused eyebrow, "And?"
"You slept with my baby sister!" The brunette turned on TK, leaving the other two adults to sigh in exasperation.
"I… uh… thought…" TK backed into a corner thanks to Tai's advancing steps.
"Really, Taichi?" Yama shook his head and tried to talk down his boyfriend. "They have been dating for years and in this day and age most people can barely stay together for the length of a television program."
"But my baby sister…" Tai groaned and rubbed his temples in hopes the horrendous images that were now flashing through would be erased forever.
"Look Hun, all that matters is that Takeru and I love each othe-"
"So? Yama and I are just like that and we haven't done anything!"
The singer groaned loudly and buried his head in his hands, "Really? We had to go there?"
"Okay," TK held up his hands to try and bring some order to the chaos. "Let's start this over. Kari and I are going to have a baby. We don't want to have to worry about juggling a wedding and an infant so we are going to have a small wedding and save the rest of the money for the baby. Oh, and we aren't telling mom just yet."
"Your not telling mom about the baby? How are you going to sell her on changing the date without that fact?" Yamato pushed his embarrassment aside as best he could and leaned back in his chair. As long as Tai kept his mouth shut, the evening might end without total mortification.
"It's our wedding. She'll have to respect mine and Kari's wishes."
"She'll respect it. She'll respect the truth right out of you."
Well prepared to play this game with his big brother, TK crossed his arms and rebutted, "Did you tell mom about you and Tai?"
"You first. I think yours might be a little more time sensitive."
TK bit his lip and sat down on the arm of the couch. For someone who had spent little time with their mother, Yamato could play the deal game pretty well. Of course, the woman had drowned the poor man in attention these last few months. She had smothered him to a point where the mere sound of her voice could send his eye into a twitching fit. If they were going to play fair, Yama did deserve a break from Natsuko. Not to mention he was still in the depths of recovery from a painful experience. Out of pity, which he would never admit to his prideful brother, Takeru decided to take a dive.
"Alright, we will tell mom first. But only when the time is right."
Yamato pointed to a slumped over Tai who was mumbling some unintelligible remarks to himself, "The money you save on the wedding, might need to go towards a therapist for Tai."