A/N: This is set in Ch 1 of the manga where Akari and Taiki are having a nice little chat after their double-assist (and before Zenjirou barges on scene), and written for the 50_digifics challenge on livejournal for the pairing Taiki/Akari and prompt #016: reliability.

Stand up! Akari no Heart!
Drabble 2: You Can Always Rely on Taiki in a Pinch

Akari was panting herself, and yet the wheezing breaths of her best friend were the ones sound in her ear. Maybe because he was staring at her with worry, uncaring of his own condition. Maybe because he was ignoring how far he had pushed himself yet again – how far he always wound up pushing himself.

Akari glared; Taiki just grinned at her.

But that was Taiki, Akari reasoned to herself. Taiki never could say no to anyone…

And it wouldn't matter to Taiki either; he'd make it all happen, whatever anyone asked of him, no matter how far he had to push himself. To him, it didn't matter if he collapsed at the end of the road – and Akari would pound him into the dust herself before she let that happen. But somehow he'd zip through it all with superhuman strength, coming out with a smile that could make her heart melt even with the sweat the clung to them.

That was Taiki trying to make her worry less, and she really couldn't help the small smile that stretched across her face. But as reliable as Taiki was to all their wishes and expectations (including the one so close to his heart even he was blind to it – but not her) he wasn't infallible.

So he never could fully fulfill her wish, until he stopped taking on the wishes of others.

But I'll take that… Her words may say different, but it was the language of the heart that counted in the end. …because Taiki is Taiki.