If I Never Knew You

The Hidden Years



Chapter One- The First Snow



It was around noon and Taichi and Yamato sat in the food court at the mall. They had been together for about a year now, and what a year it had been. Ever since that night in front of the campfire where they first kissed, Matt and Tai knew they were meant for each other.

After defeating Shadowmon and returning to the real world, they were both very distraught over not being able to see their Digimon anymore. But in the weeks following, they had relied on each other for comfort. After a few nights of "comfort" in the back of the movie theater, and a few sleep overs at Matt's house, they both decided they wanted to officially become a couple.

Since that point, the two had been inseparable. They had spent almost every single day together, whether it was at school or during vacation, they were hardly ever apart. Today they were eating lunch together at their usual table.

Matt sat with one eyebrow raised and watched Tai eat...and eat...and eat. Tai had gobbled down two hamburgers and a large order of fries, and was now working on a chocolate sundae with whipped cream and sprinkles.

"Tai, I don't get it. How come you're not a blimp? You eat enough for both of us."

"I'm eating for two now!" Tai giggled between bites.

"Uh..." Matt's eyes opened a little wider and then groaned. "Sometimes I wonder why I even bother asking."

Matt slumped onto the table and poked at his half eaten salad, until he noticed something on Tai's face. The corner of his mouth turned up into a smile. Matt leaned over the table until he was right in front of Tai, and licked the tip of his nose.

"Ew! Matt what'd you do that for!?" Tai said, pushing Matt back into his chair.

"You had some whipped cream on your nose," Matt said with a big smirk of his face. The sun shining from the skylights made his blue eyes sparkle.

"You could have just used a napkin," Tai grumbled, but then started laughing. He scooped up some ice cream on his spoon and held it in front of Matt's mouth.

"Open wide!"

"Huh?"

"I want to feed you some of my ice cream."

Matt's eyes darted to some people sitting next to them with kind of a shocked look on their faces. It seemed they got looks like that wherever they went. It was troubling and frustrating to see Tai sulk after leaving a restaurant or movie, as a result of dirty looks and half heard remarks.

When Matt lied in bed at night, sometimes with Tai sleeping next to him, sometimes alone, he wished people would stop being so cruel, so afraid of anything or anyone who was a bit different from the "norm".

Of course it's not like Tai was avoiding bringing attention to himself. Frequently Tai would start tickling Matt or stick his hand in Matt's pocket right in the middle of a busy street or begin making out with him on the bus. They had even gotten a day of detention when Tai lost control and tackled Matt in the middle of math class. It could get rather annoying, but Matt wasn't complaining. He loved Tai more than anyone in the world, even as dim-witted as he often was.

"Tai I think people are staring."

"So?"

Matt sighed and opened up his mouth. Tai grinned happily as he fed Matt the rest of his ice cream.



"So did you think that was a good movie?" Tai said as they walked down the sidewalk from the movie theater later that day. The sun had set and the street lights were starting to come on.

Matt wrapped his scarf around him a little tighter and stuck his hands deep into the pockets of his coat. It was late November and the first snow of the season had started to fall earlier that week.

"I wasn't really paying attention to the movie, and I don't think you were either," he said to Tai and winked at him.

The cold had given Tai's tan cheeks a rosy tint and his breath could be seen in the air as he spoke.

"Actually I'm not even sure what movie we were watching!"

"Does it really matter?" Matt said. He put his arm around Tai's shoulder and pulled him closer. Tai placed his arm around Matt's slender waist, and Matt could feel Tai's hand rubbing his side through the brown, woolen material of his coat.

"I can't believe I could ever be so happy. It's like everything's changed and all those bad times from the past are just gone. Who would have thought that it was Tai I needed all along?" Matt smiled down at Tai and leaned his head against Tai's brown hair.

"I just wish I had told Tai sooner. We could have had a lot of fun during those long nights alone in the Digiworld. Yeah, but how could I? Back then when we were in the digital world, all those images from the past were still fresh in my mind. My whole brain was all messed up and confused. Because of TK and the divorce and...."

Matt sighed and his smile faded. He looked down at the sidewalk and kicked a tin can into the street as they walked by it.

"Is something wrong, Yama?"

"No nothing, I'm fine." Matt's voice was hollow and far off.

"Stop thinking about that! I'm so dumb sometimes. It's all over and it's never happening again. I have Tai now and being with Tai makes me happy. And I'll never let anyone or anything take him away from me or let anything bad happen to him." Matt hardly noticed Tai's voice with the argument going on inside his head.

"Matt!"

Matt suddenly heard Tai's voice over his own thoughts. "What is it Tai?"

"Matt you almost walked right by my apartment building. Are you ok or are you just off in La La land or something?"

"Sorry, just thinking that's all." Matt gave him a weak smile.

"So are you coming in or are you gonna stand out here in the cold for a while?" Tai put his hands on his hips.

"Uh, yeah sure."

Tai and Matt walked into Tai's apartment and began taking off their coats and shoes. Tai set his sneakers by the door and put some slippers on.

"Mom! Dad!" Tai walked into the kitchen and peeked around the corner. "I guess nobody's home yet. So Matt, you wanna take advantage of this opportunity?"

Matt looked up from putting some slippers on and saw Tai leaning around the corner of his bedroom door. He was smiling so his teeth were showing and had a mischievous look on his face. He knew what Tai was thinking and tried to smile back, but when he did his forehead creased up with worry lines.

"Matt," Tai half said, half whined from his bedroom door. "Are you sure you're ok?"

Matt sat down on the couch and picked up a throw pillow. He sort of poked at it for a moment, then hugged it against his stomach.

"I'm fine. I just have a cold or something."

"I know I'll cook you some chicken soup!" Tai said, who was now sitting on the arm of the couch next to Matt.

"No way! I don't want to die from food poisoning."

"Hey I don't cook THAT bad."

"All you know how to make are omelettes." Matt stood up and placed the pillow back on the couch. "Tell you what, how about I make some chicken soup for both of us?"

"Ok! Want some help?"

"Just stay out of the kitchen or something might explode." Matt said and slipped an apron on. He saw Tai sitting on the couch glaring at him.

"What? Oh come on Tai you know I didn't really mean it."

"Whatever." Tai turned away and clicked on the TV.

Matt opened up the refrigerator and looked around inside. "Hey Tai, I don't think I can make you chicken soup after all."

"Why not?"

"Because you don't have any chicken!"

Two empty soup bowls sat in the kitchen sink that night while the two boys who had eaten from them sat on the couch together.

"I guess vegetable soup is just as good as chicken soup on a cold night like this!" Tai said. He had his head resting in Matt's lap and Matt was flipping through the stations on the TV.

"Too bad we don't have a roaring fire instead of this stupid TV," Matt said while twirling a strand of Tai's hair around his finger. He clicked the TV's power off and sighed.

"It's only eight o'clock you know," Tai sat up and crawled into Matt's lap.

"Yeah so?"

"Well I forgot to tell you I found a note in the fridge that said my parents and Kari were going to a late movie, they won't be home until 11." Tai smiled and began kissing Matt's cheek and then down his neck.

"You have a one track mind Tai."

"Oh yeah? Well so do you! Remember 'studying' for our history test a while back? The one that we both failed miserably?"

"Oh, you mean that all night 'study' session?" Matt smirked at Tai and slipped his arms around Tai's waist.

Tai moved closer to him until their stomachs were touching. He slid his hands up Matt's shirt and rubbed his back. Matt felt a chill run down his spine when Tai's rather cold hands touched his skin. It was freezing cold outside now, much colder than when they had arrived, and the temperature in the apartment had dropped a few degrees.

With the television and all the lights off, the bodies of the two boys could only be seen as a silhouette against the window, and the moon and stars provided a beautiful backdrop.

"Wanna have another all night study session together?" Tai said softly.

"But your parents and Kari are going to be home soon. You don't want them to catch us do you?" Matt pulled Tai against his chest while saying this, making it very obvious he didn't actually care what time Tai's parents would be home.

"Well then it'll be double the fun because we'll have to worry about being caught!"

"I guess a little danger never hurt anybody," Matt said playfully and leaned Tai onto the couch. Matt moved onto top of Tai and lifted his shirt up a bit. He tenderly kissed Tai's stomach and held onto his waist.

"Matt my stomach is all cold now," Tai whined. Matt stopped and looked up at him in mid kiss.

"Don't worry I think I can warm you up." Matt sat up, still seated on top of Tai. He unbuttoned Tai's khakis and pulled the zipper down, while Tai relaxed and gazed up at him. He slid Tai's pants down until they were below his hips.

"Tai, why do you always wear blue underwear?" Tai had on blue briefs with white trim, the same kind he had always worn.

"What's wrong with blue underwear?"

Matt sighed and shook his head. "Nothing, it's just boxers are easier to get into."

"I never had any problems putting my underwear on..." Tai said with one eyebrow raised. He gave Matt a puzzled look, not quite sure what he was talking about.

"No, I mean easier for me to get into."

Tai could feel his cheeks turning red again, only this time cold wasn't the cause. Matt unbuttoned and removed his shirt and then pulled Tai's off over his head of fluffy brown hair. He leaned over until his pale skin rubbed against Tai's darker skin.

Soon the rest of Tai and Matt's clothes were scattered across the living room floor. Tai's moans and groans of pure delight echoed through the empty apartment, and Matt stayed totally silent, as always. But while Tai could feel only unexplainable pleasure, Matt's mind was haunted with the terrible images from his past. The sweet sensations he felt when he was with Tai were ever tainted by these horrible memories. Matt hoped Tai couldn't see that he never fully enjoyed himself, for a small portion of his brain was always focused on the Ishida family's dark secret. The secret that was the cause of Matt's anguish throughout his younger years, and perhaps even the reason for his family's separation.

Matt could see beads of sweat glistening on Tai's forehead as he eased his body gently back and forth. He closed his eyes and pressed his lips very softly against Tai's.

"You're so beautiful, so innocent. Too bad my innocence had to be taken away from me before I ever knew you," Matt thought. "I know what my purpose is now, to love you and protect you no matter what. Don't worry Taichi, I promise I'll always take care of you and I'll never let anything bad happen to you, ever. And some day, I'm going to marry you and we'll be together forever. " Matt sighed and thought about the money he was already saving to buy Tai the most expensive engagement ring he could find.

Matt took a deep breath as he finished, and then rested his body on top of Tai's.

"Matt, I love you."

Matt closed his eyes and held Tai close to him. Outside a light snow had begun to fall and the city of Tokyo was now covered by a lovely blanket of white.