Author's Note: This is it, people! The LAST chapter of a story I worked so hard on...the conclusion to "Second Chances For Sora"! I greatly appreciate support you've given me! I can't thank you enough for reading and granting me more feedback than I ever thought possible! It is now time to present to you the final installment of this story, and the fate that awaits the double of Sora Takenouchi! So sit tight (or cut loose, whatever you prefer,) and by all means…ENJOY!
(If you thought that was heavy, check out the Mr. Disclaimer! He actually believes that he's possessed…!)
Mr. Disclaimer: THERE IS NO DISCLAIMER…only ZOOL.
The Digidestined's strange adventures reached a new level when they discovered the existence of an exact double of their friend, Sora Takenouchi. She immediately thereafter got the chance to reintroduce herself into the real world. She reconciled with her old friends, her parents, began a romantic relationship with her childhood friend, Tai Kamiya, and even joined a soccer team. Beckoned back to the pyramid, the last of Datamon's surviving consciousness attacked them! Tai managed to get his Crest of Courage back, and alongside Sora's Crest of Love, they fought once more as a team again. This act of unity gave their digimon partners the strength to finally destroy Datamon for good! Now that the worst is over, Sora must decide what she wants to do with her life…
Second Chances For Sora - Chapter 16
"Okay, kids! Get your backpacks and grab your lunch! Your ride will be here any moment!"
Two small kids, about maybe nine and eleven years of age, ran out of the house. They were followed by their wonderful, loving mother, Sora. She kissed them goodbye and shooed them into their neighbor's car.
"I can't thank you enough for driving my kids to school for the week. We've been having problems with our car," Sora noted.
"I understand, Sora," said the female driver, who was also driving her kids to school. "You don't need to worry. I'll be available to drive your kids for as long as you need."
"Thanks a lot," added a male voice. "We really appreciate it."
Sora smiled, recognizing the voice all too well. She turned around to face her husband, Tai Kamiya, who wrapped his arms around his wife's waist and continued to talk.
"Listen, if there's anything we can do to repay you…"
"Forget it! My pleasure!" replied the driver.
"Bye, Mommy!" hollered the couple's daughter from within the car.
"Later, Dad!" yelled their son cheerfully.
"You two behave in school!" Tai said as he grinned, reaching in through the open car window, and ruffling up the hair of his kids.
"Have a good day, sweetie!" Sora added happily.
"Boy, I bet those two are still as passionate with each other as when they first met…no wonder they have such happy and lively children," their neighbor quietly noted.
Partially envious, she took one last look at the happily married couple before driving off.
Tai and Sora still held onto each other like white on rice, as they waved to their children, watching the car drive out of sight. Sora then took Tai's hand and the two walked back into their house.
"So…" Sora began to say as they made there way into the living room, "…why don't you sit yourself down on the couch?"
"And?" Tai asked, still wrapping his arms around his wife, not wanting let go at all.
Sora hesitated to talk as Tai pulled her down onto the couch, holding her in his arms and lap.
"…and…" Sora said, twitching a little as Tai began lightly kissing her neck, "…I'll make us some tea."
"Will you now?"
"Well, I won't be able to if you keep kissing me!" she said, squealing and cutely giggling.
"And what's wrong with that?" he asked, still tickling her neck with kisses.
"C'mon! Let go!" she said, now fully laughing. "We have all day to spend with each other since the kids will be going over to a friend's house after school! I think you can spare me a couple minutes just to make some tea!"
"Oh, all right…" he sighed, finally letting go of his wife, whom he had known for most of his life since they were kids. "Just don't keep this husband waiting too long…or else I'm coming into that kitchen after ya!"
Tai started getting up off the couch to follow her anyway, but Sora immediately turned around and pointed him.
"STAY!" she half-yelled.
Tai began to whimper like a puppy, and Sora just laughed at his antics. As much as Sora had been resisting him a few seconds ago, she was just as hot for him as he was for her. A lot of parents were either envious or jealous of them, still acting like newlyweds. Sora and Tai had been married for a few years, and were both very happy and healthy. But most of all…they were quite content with the hand life had dealt them.
Sora began think about such matters as well, while pouring some water in a kettle and placing it in the stovetop to heat it.
In the recent years, Tai had achieved his dream to become a successful and professional soccer player. It was heaven for him competing against other teams from everywhere, but strangely enough, he always found someway to squeeze in enough time for his kids, and his wife. This was not to suggest that Sora was out of work herself. She had become a respected soccer coach for various female soccer teams, and worked a few days a week as a physical education teacher for an elementary and high school class at a nearby school.
Whether or not Sora had the potential to go pro as well (thought Tai told her repeatedly that she did), she didn't seem to mind, one way or another.
Sora loved the kind of work that she did a lot, and was just as dedicated to her job as Tai was to his. At the same time, Sora tried hard not to mentally compare the quality and quantity of her own job(s) to her twin sister's. Sor had gotten married to Matt and became a famous fashion designer. Although Sora wasn't jealous of her sister, she was amazed to discover that Sor had taken up a job that seemed so…girlish.
Well, that's how it seemed in her opinion, anyway.
But she did have one "advantage" over her twin sister. She was married to the most loving, caring, wonderful, humorous, and (just) fun husband in the entire whole, wide world. And Sora knew well that to a degree, Sor had always been pretty envious of how her sister and her husband weren't running out of steam in their relationship. At least, it didn't look like they would be anytime soon.
"Sora!" Tai yelled from the living room, breaking Sora out of her train of thought.
"Yeah?" she hollered back.
"Someone's here to see you!"
Sora walked rather fast out of the kitchen, and back into the living room to see no one there but her husband, casually sitting on the couch with his legs crossed.
Tai smiled as Sora stared at him with a blank look in her eyes.
"Wh…what the…? I don't see anyone! Tai, you said that someone was here!"
Tai just grinned and extended out his arms, "presenting" himself. Sora's eyes grew wide and she slowly pointed at him, with questions bubbling in her mind.
Sora eyes narrowed and she shot Tai wry smile.
"Hey, I wasn't lying. There WAS someone in the room waiting for you…a lonely husband who needs a gorgeous wife by his side. So, you got any 'spare' wives around here?"
Sora quickly looked right and left.
"Well, uh…there's only me-"
"You'll do!" Tai quickly declared, grabbing Sora by her waist and pulling her onto the couch.
Sora giggled and lied down on the couch with Tai's head in her lap. She stared at her love and sighed.
"Y'know…I'm so glad that we got together," Sora sweetly murmured.
"I agree," Tai said, almost whispering. "Being childhood friends, you and I have been through as lot of ups and downs, and gone through thick and thin…"
"…all that was left was to just fall in love and let nature takes its course," Sora finished.
"You make it sound like it was something easy," Tai noted.
"Well…" Sora said, briefly sitting up, "…maybe we did have a little trouble in the beginning, but I think it was worth the wait."
"I love you so much, Sora."
"And I love you just as much, Tai."
The two happy lovers smiled and Sora leaned in and lightly kissed Tai's nose, causing him to chuckle. Then Tai's expression turned a little more serious, and he wrapped one of his hands around Sora's face and pulled her in for a very long, lasting, passionate kiss.
Sora closed her eyes and thoroughly enjoyed their shared embraced. Every kiss they gave each other better than the last, if that was possible. As their lips let go Sora and Tai stared into each other's eyes and continued to smile. Sora sighed as she laid herself back down into Tai's lap.
"Hey, Sora…" Tai said as Sora closed her eyes.
"Mmmmm…hey, what?" she asked, feeling quite comfortable.
Sora was half-hanging onto Tai's words throughout the entire conversation, but what he said next made no sense whatsoever.
"It's time to wake up."
Her eyes shot open and Sora got back up and locked eyes with Tai, making sure she heard right.
"What…did you say?" she carefully asked.
"Sora, c'mon!" Tai said, grabbing his wife by the shoulders and shaking her back and forth.
What Tai was doing didn't hurt, but Sora was more confused than ever right now. Especially since his lower adult voice had reverted back to a somewhat higher tone…that of a teenager.
"It's time! You gotta wake up!"
"Tai, WHAT are you talking about?"
But Tai wouldn't hand over one shred of information as to explain his behavior. He just kept shaking Sora, and saying over and over-
"Sora, come on! It's time now! Wake up! You gotta-"
Sora eyes slowly fluttered open and she looked into the eyes of her boyfriend, Tai. She also became partially aware that she was back at Mimi's apartment, on her couch where she had fallen asleep a little while ago. Sora could also hear the voice of Mimi, who was in the kitchen, talking (or maybe gossiping) on the phone.
"Hey, Sora…c'mon, beautiful! Time to wake up!" Tai said, gently shaking Sora out of her state of unconsciousness.
"T…Tai?" she asked, in a half-raspy voice.
Sora opened her eyes all the way and saw Tai kneeling at her side. He gently kissed her cheek. Sora stretched her arms and yawned quite loudly.
"Hey…are the kids home yet?" Sora asked, still partially out of it.
"Heh…ours of course, silly," she goofily grinned.
Tai just stared at Sora with his mouth hanging open.
"Sora, are you feeling okay?"
"Never better. Refresh my memory…how long have we been married again?"
"Uh, since NEVER."
"Sora…I think…you've been…DREAMING!" Tai announced into Sora's ears, raising his voice a little.
That was enough to wake fully Sora out of her daze.
"Ah! Watch that volume, Tai!" Sora exclaimed, covering her ears.
"Ha! THAT woke you up!"
"I'm sorry…I must have nodded off."
"S'okay…anyway, sounds like quite a dream you were having there."
Sora quickly thought back and remembered everything that had played out in her unconscious mind. Her marriage to Tai, their house, their kids...the works. Tai watched as his girlfriend took his hands in hers. He thought the dream may have been a little embarrassing, since Sora's cheeks had turned red.
"Yeah…I dreamed that…we were married, and had two wonderful kids. We had a nice home…"
"Tell me I became a successful, filthy rich soccer player! PLEASE say it happened!" Tai almost begged.
"Take it easy…you DID make it as a pro soccer player," Sora assured him, laughing.
"Yes!" Tai gleefully hissed, causing Sora to laugh a bit more.
"Anyway, we had just sent our kids off to school, and we had the whole day to spend time with each other…and you couldn't keep your hands off of me."
"Sounds like me," Tai said, smirking and nodding a lot. "Hey, maybe those dreams will come true one day."
"I hope so," Sora shyly said.
Tai smiled a lot at Sora. The two reached for each other and hugged. Sora looked at her red watch and saw that was a little before half past six. She'd been asleep for a couple hours, and remembering her decision to take a nap when she got home. She also remembered the happy event that has occurred prior to coming home. She and Tai's soccer team had WON the soccer tournament finals!
Thinking back even more, she quickly recalled the events of the past day or so. After Datamon had been destroyed, they nearly forgot that the next day was the match of the soccer finals. Tai had been pretty worried about how well his team would fare against the other team of finalists, but after the mind games that Datamon had played on him, this last soccer game was going feel like a walk in the park. Still, Tai found that it was no easy match to win. His opponents moved fast and played strongly. But Tai now felt like he could just relax some, and really enjoy this match. And having his girlfriend there on the field alongside him to help out didn't hurt. The other team initially rejected this concept, but quickly dismissed the idea. They felt confident that they would win anyway.
But as good as Sora was, even she couldn't fully gauge her opponents' strengths and had a hard time. Some of the more obnoxious and arrogant players from the opposing team tried ganging up on her, but her own teammates were there to help bail her out. (Tai included, of course.)
For added support the rest of the Digidestined had come to watch the game, even Sor. She cheered for her and Tai, loudly. But that wasn't all. Sora also realized that her parents had come to watch. She neither liked nor disliked the idea, but Tai told her that he recommended that they come. This might have stirred up some confusion in Sora's mind, but she was too attached to the situation at hand to really worry.
Still, Sora and Tai managed to beat the odds once more, (especially since the other team was nowhere nearly as powerful as Datamon) and win the game. It was still a tough match, but the two Digidestined had racked up yet another victory. They had won the game by two goals, twelve to ten. The two kids promised to meet up with the rest of the Digidestined a little while after the small party that the team was invited to. The coach took them all out for lunch. He also informed Sora that she was more than welcome on the team next season, no questions asked. Afterwards, Tai and Sora went back to her "old" home, where Sora had another thing to take care of…
"Thanks for coming to see my soccer game," Sora said to her parents, with a little embarrassment.
"It was our pleasure," Mrs. Takenouchi softly stated.
"I just didn't expect to see you there…"
From further away, Tai peaked into the room where Sora was, speaking with her parents. Sora had mentioned that although she wanted Tai to accompany him to her parents' place, she wanted to be alone when she spoke to them. He understood, sensing that she was feeling a little stronger in her parent's presence. While she talked to her mother and father, Tai hung out in Sor's room. Sor also thought this would be a good chance to apologize.
Sor and Tai sat down, and she slowly explained everything that was on her mind. The next few minutes were anything BUT easy for either Sora. However, she did her best to remain firm and speak her mind using honesty and courage.
"…and that got me to where I am now," Sor said to Tai. "And…and I'm REALLY sorry that I've been ignoring you, and…well…you know the rest."
"Sora's it's o-"
"Don't say it's okay!" Sora interrupted. "Because it's not! It's partially MY fault that Greymon couldn't digivolve the other day! And because of that, everyone almost got killed!"
Tai was at a loss for words. The situation was strange to him. Ever since Sora appeared into everyone's lives, he had spent so much time with her. So much so that he failed to see much Sor had changed, due to her twin's debut. This girl (to an extent) had reverted into a mere shadow of the person she used to be.
But as much as she had changed, something compelled her to finally stop bottling up her feelings. It was time to be honest. And so she was. At the same time, she wondered how Tai could just simply dismiss Sor's past behavior, without a second thought. How could he just...FORGIVE her so easily? This was insane! That is…insane enough for Sor to plead her case with more deeds, and less words.
"TAI, I'M SORRY!" she yelled.
Amazingly enough, no one else in the other room heard her. Sor, who had been sitting on the edge of her bed, shot up and wrapped her arms around Tai tightly. Tai found himself holding his breath.
"Tai…I am, so, SO sorry!" she wailed. "I'm sorry I ignored you, I'm sorry for hurting your feelings, I'm sorry for lecturing you and my sister, I'm sorry for EVERTHING! I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm SORRY!"
"Please…" she sobbed, wetting Tai's shirt with her salty tears, "PLEASE forgive me."
The two friends dropped to their knees, and Tai gave Sor another moment to squeeze out every last tear.
"Sor…" Tai finally said, "…I've already started to put it all behind me…but if it'll make you feel better…then of course I forgive you."
"Thank you…thank you so much…but how…how can you…forgive me…just like that?"
"Hey, we're best friends…" Tai explained. "And one of the biggest parts of being a friend is that you hafta learn to let go of some things, even when you get hurt."
"Y'know…" Sor began to say, "I recently learned that I might be able to get by without you being my boyfriend, Tai…but…I've just experienced what it's been like to not even have you as a friend…and it hurts more than anything."
"Where did you get that idea? I don't recall ever deciding to stop being your friend, you big sissy."
"Well, whatever awkwardness was going on between us, it felt like something awfully similar to me, and I didn't like it one bit."
"Sor…" Tai said, gently placing his hands on his friend's shaking shoulders, "…the one thing that will last forever is my feelings for you. And they're never gonna change. The truth is…I love Sora Takenouchi."
Sor looked up to face Tai and what he was saying really made sense and definitely sunk in.
"I've always loved her…and I always will," he finished with a warm smile.
Tai looked at the person who had been his best friend since forever. Despite her tears she began to smile too.
"Besides…" Tai added, the history that you and I have together…I don't think that being your best friend is a job I can quit."
Tai gently supped Sor's face, closed his eyes, and lightly (but passionately) kissed her. Some tears were still seeping out of her closed eyes, but Sor gently kissed back, too. Their embrace was more of a friendly gesture than anything else, but they both mentally admitted that it was enjoyable. As their lips let go, Sor finally wiped the last of her tears away, and smiled again. She firmly hugged Tai, who immediately got an idea.
"Hey, whaddya say that this weekend we do something fun together?" Tai asked. "Just you and me?"
"I'd like that a lot," Sor said, sniffing a little.
"Good. It's a date," he said jokingly. "Welcome back."
"Thanks...it's good to BE back."
Back outside the bedroom, Sora had continued to talk to her parents and apologized once more for having been so distant. Mrs. Takenouchi claimed if she had known that Sora was still stuck in the Digital World, then she would have done whatever was necessary to get her back home again.
Sora doubted her at first, but considering what her dad had told said about her mother, Sora believed every word. She didn't want to admit it, but Sora felt a little happier every time she saw her parents.
As this little conversation came to a head, Sora (like her sister) reached out without warning, and hugged her mother. Mrs. Takenouchi was surprised at her daughter's sudden display of affection, but smiled and hugged back.
"Momma…" Sora said, starting to cry a little bit, "…I forgot to tell you that…I really missed you…I missed you so much!"
"I know you did, sweetie…if only I'd known…" her mother whispered, "…I would've done anything to find you. And I wouldn't have stopped until you were home, safe in my arms!"
Mrs. Takenouchi cried a bit too, hanging onto every syllable that her daughter was spouting. Her husband joined in and hugged his wife and ("second") daughter.
Tai and Sor walked into the room just in time to see the trio hugging each other. Tai leaned against a wall, while Sor walked over to her parents, who greeted her kindly. Mr. Takenouchi gently hugged Sor from behind, while Mrs. Takenouchi placed her hands on Sora's shoulders.
"Well! First things first!" Mrs. Takenouchi exclaimed, breaking the peaceful silence. "We're going to have to get you settled in here…that is, unless you're not ready yet."
"I'm not," Sora agreed. "But I might be…someday."
Mrs. Takenouchi nodded, understanding that Sora was a little more independent and capable of roughing it than Sor was.
"Don't worry, you can stay at Mimi's place for as long as you want."
"We also need get you back into school after the summer's over," Mr. Takenouchi noted. "And we'll have to buy you some new clothes…or you could share with your sister…I'm sure that her stuff would be a perfect fit for you, quite literally."
Sora thought briefly and imagined herself wearing a whole closet's worth of different kinds of dresses. Then her thoughts drifted to her "girlish" sister pressing her to try on something cute. Thoughts such as these didn't seem to agree with her and were NOT her idea of a good time. She quickly shook her head, ridding her mind of that horrible fantasy, that which caused her to shiver.
"And sis?" Sor asked.
"Yeah?" went Sora, breaking out of her terrifying thoughts.
"I'm sorry for…well, just about everything."
"I'd like to get to know you better. Well, if that's possible…and I'd like it…if we…y'know, became friends," Sor finished.
Sora nodded her head, feeling the same.
"Same here…I think I'd enjoy that, too."
The two identical girls smiled and shook hands, finally making peace with each other.
"Well, I guess we're really stuck with two daughters now," their dad joked.
"Somehow…I think you'll all be able to manage," Tai noted, joining the conversation.
"I'm really glad that you finally made up with your mom," Tai said, also thinking back.
"Well, I felt bitter towards her for about four years…maybe it really IS time to ease up and start behaving like a real daughter," Sora said in a soft voice.
"YES!" squeaked a loud voice from not too far away.
Tai and Sora turned their heads and saw Mimi facing away from them, chatting eagerly on the phone, apparently in the middle of an exciting conversation. They weren't the type to eavesdrop, but Mimi was talking pretty loud over the phone, so it was nearly impossible NOT to hear what she was saying.
"Uh, huh…I understand…yes, of course! So…you'll really, REALLY let me!"
The other two teens looked at each other with blank stares, shrugged and then turned their attention back to Mimi.
"Honestly? No WAY…I just can't believe it…oh, thank you, I…yes, I promise I'll work hard to catch up…I know it'll be difficult, but I'll still visit…yes, but…yeah…but this is where everyone is."
"What's with her?" Sora asked.
"I have no idea. She was on the phone when I came," Tai answered.
"Okay, I got it…yeah, me too…I'm sorry is so sudden, but believe me, I want this…I'll miss you a lot…yes, but right now, I wanna be with my friends…yeah…I love you, too! And thank you…bye!"
Mimi could barely control her enthusiasm as she hung up the phone. She quickly hurried herself over to the couch where Sora and Tai were sitting, and felt that if she didn't relay the good news to someone, her head would burst.
"Sora! WONDERFUL, AWESOME NEWS!"
"Easy, Mimi! Take a deep breath and tell us calmly before you burst a blood vessel!" Sora said.
Mimi just giggled and sat herself down on the couch next to her two friends, unable to sit still.
"The thing is…I made a BIG decision and needed to talk to my folks. That was them on the phone."
"And?" Tai asked.
"Well, it's gonna be complicated and tough, since my announcement to them was so sudden, but I really think that I can make this work!"
Sora sensed Mimi's getting more infectious. She just wanted her say what was on her mind.
"Stop keeping us in suspense and just spit it out already!" Sora said, raising her voice.
Mimi took a deep breath, and let her two friends in on what was going on.
"Guess what…I'm STAYING!" she announced.
"Staying where?" Tai asked.
The longhaired girl just slapped her hand over her eyes and briefly gritted her teeth in partial frustration.
"Tai, I'm staying HERE! As in…NOT going back to America!"
Tai's eyes widened at this development, and he immediately smiled. Sora did the same.
"NO WAY!" they both hollered at the same time.
"It's true! Mom and Dad were warned me that it'll be difficult getting myself settled in back here, but I told them that I WANTED this! I mean…they were a little sad about it, but they understood that I really needed to be here, where everyone I can be with everyone I love!"
Sora and Mimi stared at each other in amazement. Tai plugged his ears, knowing what was coming.
The two girls playfully cheered and held onto each other and jumped up and down repeatedly.
"Mimi…this is GREAT!" Sora exclaimed.
"I know!" Mimi agreed. "I'm totally psyched that I'm staying for GOOD!"
"Welcome back, Mimi," Tai warmly said, giving her a hug.
"What can I say? This really IS where I belong!"
"I couldn't have put it better myself," Tai noted.
"And I couldn't agree with you more, Mimi," Sora added. "Wait 'til you tell everyone else about this at dinner!"
The Digidestined had decided to celebrate their latest victory over an early dinner at the Pizza Palace. Then they planned to head over to the Mega Mania Arcade, to have some real (recreational) fun.
The trio of teens from the Tachikawa apartment decided to head together as a group. On the way, Mimi got a call on her cell phone so she picked it up to answer. Tai thought this might be a good time to ask her about some things that was still gnawing at his mind.
"Hey, Sora? I meant to ask you something…did you ever…y'know, CALL me?"
"Umm…I'm not sure I follow, Tai."
"Well, uh…a little before we found you and during the time you and I spent together…I swore I could have heard your voice, calling out for help. I know, it doesn't ring a bell, huh?"
"Well, a few days before we headed back to Etemon's pyramid, my computer activated on its own, and there was nothing on the screen but static, Suddenly, for a split second, I saw your face on the screen. You were calling out for help."
Sora thought even harder, and something in Tai's words seemed to strike a chord in her memory. Then it hit her, and what Tai was saying all started to make perfect sense. Well…almost, anyway. Sora snapped her fingers, knowing that there was nothing to worry about.
"Ah, I remember now! While I was trapped in the Digital World, I traveled to many different places, and saw many different sights. But my main focus was trying to do whatever it took to get home. Some of the places I visited had these futuristic, high-tech gadgets that were able to send transmissions across great lengths. I thought that with a little luck, I could modify one to contact Earth."
"But it didn't work?"
"No…although we certainly came close a few times. To this day, I'm still not exactly sure how it really happened, but every time we came close…I got a glimpse of the real world. And when I saw it…YOU were always there, Tai."
"Every single time I saw Earth, you were always somewhere there in the area," Sora said, starting to cry a little.
"I remember seeing you sitting down at school, and you were in a room with a bunch of other computers…and you were watching a television. The second time, I saw you in your bed, late at night, struggling to sleep. Then finally, I saw you in your room…but that time, you did see me. It was hard to make out what you were saying, but you asked me if I needed help. I tried to respond, but the transmission ended, and we couldn't get things working again after that."
Now Tai was the one thinking hard. His mind reached far into its memory banks and he soon figured out what was going on. It reminded him of the time him and Koromon were whisked away back to the real world, while the others were stuck in the Digital World.
Tai received as transmission from Izzy (Or was it the opposite?), and Tai did his best to respond, but the signal that he got from Izzy was faint and no one could quite make out what was going on from either side of the "long-distance call" that was being made.
"I nearly gave up on getting home after traveling alone in the Digital World for so long. But seeing you for those brief moments Tai…that gave me more hope and determination to make it back than I'd ever dreamed possible."
"Well, what matters is that you're here now, Sora."
"Thanks for caring, Tai…and I'm also sorry. I know what I was saying didn't really make much sense."
"Actually…it makes perfect sense to me," Tai quipped, reflecting back on his own experiences. "And for now, let's just leave it at that."
"Sounds good to me."
"Still…there's so much that I wanna ask about you."
"Well, summer's practically here…" Sora noted. "…I'll soon have all the time in the world to tell you whatever you wanna know."
Izzy and Sor were the first to arrive at the Pizza Palace, albeit a little early. Looking around for the others, they saw Mimi, Sora, and Tai arriving from one direction, and T.K. and Kari in the other. The seven kids sat down at one of the larger tables, where there were three large pizzas, and two large pitchers of soda that Izzy had ordered for everyone.
Sora volunteered to help Izzy bring the food and drinks over to the table where everyone would be sitting. This worked out fine for Izzy, as he had something to discuss with Sora anyway.
"Hey, Sora…I've got some good news. My laptop has been working around the clock to decipher the files I downloaded back at the pyramid. I should be able to decode everything by midday tomorrow."
"That's great, Izzy."
"Yeah, and if you want I can copy it onto a disk for you."
"I'm a little surprised that you haven't taken a sneak peek at everything you've been able to decipher so far!"
"Well…I have reason to believe that a good number of these files are about you and you alone, Sora. I didn't feel that it was my place to study data that concerned someone one else. If nothing else, I felt that it just would have been fair to let you have first glance at things," Izzy explained.
"Thanks, Izzy. That's very considerate of you. I'll accept the disk, but I'm not sure if I'll ever look at it. But it's nice to know that I'll have options now."
Izzy smiled and nodded. By now, everyone else had already sat down at the table, patiently waiting to eat. Sora carefully placed the trays of pizza down and took a seat next to Tai.
"Well, let's get started and pig out!" she exclaimed.
"Yeah, if we're gonna go cruise over to the Mega-Mania Arcade, there's no way I'm doing it on an empty stomach!" Tai declared.
"Shouldn't we wait for Joe and my brother?" T.K. asked.
"I should think so!" hollered a familiar voice.
Everyone lifted their heads slightly and saw that it was Matt and Joe, who had finally made it. But the other seven kids just kept staring, seeing as how the blonde looked very different, as did Joe. Sor got up from her seat and walked over to her boyfriend, examining him very closely.
"Matt, did you cut your hair!" Sor asked, with an unbelievable look on her face to match.
"Well, actually I had a professional do it FOR me. Took you long enough to notice!" he cheerfully replied, with his hands in his pockets.
The six remaining kids at the table stared for half a minute at the two boys, and realized that it was true. Matt and Joe had gotten a haircut a little while ago, having their hair cut much shorter than it had been recently, to about the length it was when they were eleven and twelve, respectively.
Sora and Tai didn't remember their hair looking so different at the soccer game, so the two boys must have gotten their haircuts within the last few hours or so.
"So…" Matt said to Sor, "…say something already! Do you like it?"
"Matt, it's fine. You look very…interesting," Sor chuckled, partially at a loss for words.
"So in other words, you hate it!" Matt joked. "You just can't please a girl these days!"
The couple laughed and cheerfully sat down with the others. Mimi quickly called to Joe.
"Here, Joe! Sit next to me! I saved a seat for you!" she said, in a very upbeat voice.
Mimi wasn't sure whether these newfound feelings for Joe were genuine or even lasting, but a large portion of her wanted to explore the possibilities. And the timing couldn't be better, since she had decided to stay here, with all of her truest friends. But even if Mimi's relationship with Joe went no further than friendship, she decided that it really was time to let go of Matt. And that was the first step to making her more healthy, mentally and emotionally. Nevertheless, Joe smiled at Mimi and happily took a seat next to her.
"By the way, Joe…I, for one, thin your hair looks great," she whispered.
"Thanks," Joe answered. "And I meant to say a while back…I'm glad that you got rid of the pink dye in your hair."
"Oh?" Mimi asked, still smiling and fluttering her nearly irresistible cute eyes at him.
"Yeah…I always thought your light brown hair made you look prettier."
Mimi's cheeks flushed again a little, but this time she was able to handle it somewhat better. Still blushing, she nervously moved her soft hand and rested it atop of Joe's. He looked at her and smiled, gently taking hold of it.
"A toast!" Matt yelled, holding up his cup of soda. "To yet another victory won by the Digidestined!"
"Here, here!" T.K. said, joining in. "But we really owe a lot to Tai and Sora and their digimon!"
"Totally!" Mimi happily chirped.
"Yeah, they were the ones who really made the big save!" Kari declared.
"And let's not forget MagnaAngemon!" T.K. added on.
"I don't think that's possible," Joe stated.
"I'm dubious that anyone will ever forget the impressive show that he put on today!" Izzy noted. "It was nothing short of PRODIGIOUS!"
Everyone smiled. Mimi then cleared her throat and decided to make another toast to herself for obvious reasons. Upon announcing that she was staying here and NOT going back to America, everyone clapped, cheered and hugged Mimi very tightly.
"Well, it's official," Sor commented. "We're all one big, happy family again! And with a little extra something, too."
Sor pointed to her twin and everyone gave a small round of applause. No one was really sure as to whether or not it was because of Sora's appearance that everyone grew closer again, but whatever the reason, no one appeared to be complaining.
"Another thing is official, too…" Sora said. "When it comes to working together, no one can beat us!"
"That's right!" Tai agreed, raising his glass higher than anyone else's. "As long we believe in each other, our digimon and ourselves, there's NOTHING that we can't do!"
Everyone clapped again before Tai made his closing quote…
"Digidestined forever, guys!"
The other eight kids also raised their glasses, repeating Tai's words…
Two hours later, the Digidestined had completely fried their brains playing video games, miniature golf, and just about anything else you can think up (at the Pizza Palace and Mega-Mania Arcade, respectively), the Digidestined had about as much fun as they could take.
Summer was closer than anyone expected, and soon the Digidestined would have all the time they wanted to goof off. Up until now, it seemed they reunited for important missions in the Digital World or for their annual reunions, but from now on, no longer. Although the Digidestined knew that it was very important to meet and make new friends, they now remembered that it was also important not to forget your old ones. Their recent adventure in the Digital World had taught them that lesson.
Everyone broke off from each other, as it was starting to get dark. Instead of a simple "see ya", the kids really made it a point to wave to each other, shake hands, make plans as soon as tomorrow to hang out, and so on. While this occurred, Sor took Tai aside for a moment.
"Hey, Tai? Remember our…special, secret place?"
"Well, I want you and my sister to share it with each other from now on. Just you and her. No one else."
"Look, if this about your anniversary with Matt, then you two should-"
"Find some other place to make our own," Sor finished for him, remembering that the hill DID "belong" to him and her first.
"You and her have many things to share with each other that should JUST be yours. And there'll be things that will JUST be for us. But…that hill really is yours."
Tai nodded, fully understanding her reasoning. The two teens smiled at each other
Tai quickly hugged Sor, and lightly kissed her soft lips. Thankfully, no one saw. Except for Kari that is. Sor and Tai were now both content to become and remain as close friends with each other, and from now on, they knew that any embrace they shared - be it either close hugging or soft kissing - would be regarded by both as a friendly gesture.
Kari looked at Sor and smiled, glad to see that Sor had apologized to Tai and was acting like a true friend to him now. Sor saw Kari and smiled, too, very happy that things had ultimately worked out between her and the two Kamiya siblings.
Tai took Sor's advice and decided to take his girlfriend up to the top of that very hill an hour later. Instead of going up there together, they decided to meet. Tai got there first, with a special pair of gifts for Sora. He sat down near the big tree on top of the hill that seemed to have been there since forever.
Suddenly, a pair of hands covered Tai's eyes. But the boy didn't even budge.
"BOO!" went a loud voice.
"You don't really expect me to react to that…do you, Sora?"
"Guess we're both getting a little predictable these days, huh?" Sora asked.
"Well, thanks anyway for trying to scare me," Tai said, giving Sora a kiss on the cheek.
"No problem," Sora said, looking at wonderful view that she was getting from the city below, and the sky above. "Wow…it seems like forever since we came up here together."
"Yeah…hey, remember that time when we got so mad at our parents that we ran away?" Tai asked.
"Mm-hm…we were both eight, I think. We tired to get as far away as we could until we came to this tree on top of this hill," Sora said, remembering everything clearly.
"I dunno HOW our parents found us, but they did."
"Well, despite the circumstances, it was still way past our bedtime when they took us home."
The couple laughed and sat down on the grass, leaning on each other. Tai then remembered his gifts.
"Hey, Sora…I got something for ya."
Tai pulled out a cube-shaped box, neatly wrapped. Sora looked at it with much curiosity in her eyes.
"What is it?"
"Well…actually, I think you'll be very pleased with what's inside. I pulled some strings with your sister earlier today when we visited your parents, and she and I believed that what's inside this box really belongs to you."
Sora scratched her head, and opened the box, and smiled with what she saw inside. It was round, it was blue, and it was supposed to cover one's head.
A lucky helmet.
"Whoa! I…I can't believe it! It's my helmet! I thought I'd lost it a while back!"
"Well, Sor still had this in her closet, and she and I thought that you might be able to take good care of it better than she did, regardless of whether you wear it or not."
Sora gave Tai big hug and a big kiss and pulled out something from behind her back.
"Actually, I've got something for you, too," Sora admitted, pulling out a small plastic bag and handing it to Tai.
"I'm sorry it's not wrapped."
"It's cool. Don't worry about…hey!"
Sora smiled as she watched another creep into Tai's face. Inside the bag, was a relic that was similar to Sora's helmet. To Tai, it was stylish, it had been passed on, and now it was back in his possession.
"Whoa…" Tai started to say, "…now THIS I didn't see coming at all."
"Is that a good thing?"
Tai was at a loss for words. He couldn't believe that he had his old goggles back in his very hands. On the inside, Tai was jumping for joy and was more happy than expected. On the outside…he was rendered temporarily speechless.
"Sora…where…WHERE did you get these! I gave these old goggles of mine to Davis a long time ago!"
"I know. After our match in the soccer semi-finals, I noticed Davis was wearing them. So I asked him why and he filled me in. So with a little persuasion…I managed to get him to give 'em back."
"Was he really okay with it?"
"Overall, yes. He really seemed to understand, and gave them back before he left for vacation."
"Thank you, Sora…this is one of the nicest presents that anyone's ever given to me."
"Likewise," Sora said, nodding.
Tai took a blue headband (which he sometimes still kept on him) out of his brown shorts pocket. He put it on, and then fastened the goggles over the headband.
Sora inspected her old light blue helmet, happily observing at how it was still in pretty good condition. Without any further ado, she raised it up and firmly placed it over her head.
"How's the helmet?" Tai asked.
"Surprisingly enough…it still fits. What about your goggles?"
"Still as snug as ever."
Tai and Sora flashed big grins and gave each other a high-five.
"By the way…whether I keep on wearing my helmet or not, I want you to keep wearing the goggles."
"Because I went to a heck of a lotta trouble to get those goggles back," Sora noted.
Sora pinned her boyfriend down onto the grassy surface underneath him and lied down on top of him before continuing.
"And besides…you look real handsome wearing them," she stated, giggling.
She closed her eyes and a cute little moan escaped her mouth as she sweetly kissed Tai, who forgot about everything else around him (save Sora) and kissed back. The two of them continued to freely embrace other, until one more thought crept into the back of his head. That's when he started to remember the one thing that would formalize his relationship with Sora.
There was still one last gift that needed to be delivered. Effective immediately. Breaking off the extremely pleasurable kissing for a moment, he sat upright and put his arm around his girlfriend's shoulder.
"Sora I need to ask you a serious question."
"Shoot, Tai. You know that you can ask me anything."
"Well, while you were stuck in the Digital World…what was the one thing you wanted most?"
Sora found it a little odd that Tai would ask such a question. But then again, her answer would prove to be somewhat different from what Tai imagined.
"To be honest, my greatest desire back then wasn't to get home, or to find Biyomon, or even conquer evil and save the Digital World. My dream…was to have you by my side again, no matter what mind of situation I was in."
"Yeah. For as long I can remember, you've always been there for me. And because of that, I've tried to be there for you just as much."
"Thanks, Sora. I really needed to hear that."
"Because I want you to be there for me…when the most perfect, fulfilling moment of my life hits."
"What exactly are you talking about, Tai?"
"I'll explain. But first, I need to you close your eyes."
Sora took a deep breath, then did what she was told. Tai smiled and resumed talking.
"Sora…you are the most…indescribable treasure in my life. You're more valuable than anything I can imagine. You're also a sly little minx that just sneaked into my heart, and introduced it to the power of love, before I even fully recognized it. Somewhere along the years, your heart threw out a line, and made a permanent connection with mine. And even in times of sadness or danger, that link between out hearts forces me to keep taking that one extra step to make it into the next day…until I prevail."
"Tai, what is this all leading to?" Sora asked, through closed eyes.
"I'm saying that before, I wasn't satisfied with JUST being friends with you. But now…I'm no longer content with JUST being your boyfriend."
Sora got a little worried when those last few words of Tai's entered her ears. But she remained strong and would listen to the end.
"The point I'm trying to make is…well, it can only be summed up in one more question. Sora?"
"Yes?" she asked, smiling.
"The two of us are only fifteen right now…but when we get older…and when we have sturdy jobs…and when we get a good education…and when we feel that the time is right…"
Sora held her breath, wondering how all this would ultimately play out.
"…will you marry me?"
Her closed eyes shot open like a cannon that just let off a single shot upon hearing those words. She couldn't believe what she had just heard. Sora considered asking for Tai to repeat himself to make sure that she heard right, but that all became a moot issue as she saw that her boyfriend was now kneeling on one knee in front of her. In his hands was an open velvet box. And in that box…was a ring.
No wonder that speech of his was so grand and noble. Tai's words sounded an awful lot like weddings vows. Sora was a little more than overwhelmed at Tai's proposal, which sunk into her brain like a stone.
"Is that ring for real!" she stammered.
Tai just nodded, giving no explanation of how or where he got expensive looking ring, except…
That was all he could say right now.
Tears formed in Sora's eyes. She was overjoyed that Tai had even considered this. Sora had hoped that once got back to Earth, she would meet up with Tai and become romantically involved with him, but this situation beat all of her fantasies, dreams, and hopes by a great distance that was incapable of being measured. But what really surprised her was that she didn't even need time to consider her answer.
"Yes, Tai…I'll marry you!" Sora cried.
What followed afterwards was just actions and gestures. The placing of the ring on Sora's finger, Tai picking up Sora by the waist and twirling her in the air, and the incalculable number of passionate kisses, fierce hugs and joyful tears.
Being engaged was the best thing that could've happened to Sora. Tai made it clear that they were going to wait for a VERY long time before they got married, but still…it was nice to have something to look forward to. They lied down on their backs again, and decided to spend the night there.
The air was warm, but there were continuous cool breezes that were moving across the area. It was pretty dark by now, and Sora could see the refreshing wind blowing through the grass like the waves of the ocean. The stars had come out, and twinkled brightly in the sky. Nature was doing its absolute best to ensure that the couple would have a wonderful time.
Sora leaned her head against Tai's chest and sighed, thinking about the one boy who would never let her down. Tai raised his head some to take a look at Sora, the one girl that would no doubt always be there for him without fail. The two kids looked at each other, and locked eyes with each other.
"I love you," they said to each other at the same time.
Tai Kamiya and Sora Takenouchi passionately kissed under the giant tree that shielded them from anyone's sight. Finally satisfied with everything life had given them, Sora took one more look at the beautiful ring around her finger. The couple then closed their eyes, and fell asleep.
"Wow! You can see EVERYTHING from up on this hill!" a very young Tai Kamiya exclaimed.
"But Tai, we're only eight! Are you sure we're gonna be okay!" little Sora Takenouchi asked.
The little eight year-old boy walked over to where Sora was and placed his hands on her shoulders.
"Hey…wasn't it YOUR idea to run away! Besides, not a lotta people come up here. We'll be fine!"
"You're right! Besides, some worrying will do Mom good!"
Tai yawned, as it was getting dark. He walked over to the tree's trunk and sat down. Sora plopped herself down and leaned against him.
"I-is…is this okay?" the little girl asked nervously.
"Whatever," Tai shrugged. "Just don't get hair up my nose!"
Sora giggled. But then she stopped to think about something. She wasn't sure if her friend would take it seriously, but she had to ask.
"Hey, Tai? We get along so well…and we see each other like everyday n' stuff, right?"
"Then when we get older…y'wanna like, get married or something?"
"Why? You're my best friend! It'd be SO weird!"
"Well, then we could play together as much as we want, and we could do whatever we want, too!"
"No way, REALLY!" Tai asked with excitement in his voice now.
"Yeah, when your married, you can, um, do like a whole lotta things that you were never allowed to do before!"
"Well, um…we could have cookies for breakfast, lunch and dinner…we can jump on the bed, run around the house and scream really loud! Plus, we can go to bed whenever we want!"
"That's too cool! Okay, there's no choice! We GOTTA get married someday!"
Little Sora blushed as she heard Tai say that, for she was very happy now. Her mom had dragged her to a wedding a month ago, and Sora watched everything that played out, and remembered it all. She decided not to mention the kissing part to her young friend…yet.
"Y'really mean it, Tai?" she asked somewhat shyly.
"Sure! Let's do it! But you hafta promise me somethin'!"
Now it was Tai's turn to act all shy.
"Uhh…well…y'gotta promise that you'll grow up REAL cute! Okay?"
"Okay. Spit promise!" Sora asked.
Tai and Sora spat a small bit of saliva from their mouth into their palms and shook hands firmly. With that particular "deal" all taken care off. They lied down back down on the grass, and started to drift off to sleep. Little Sora opened her eyes a bit, to take a good look at Tai, who was already asleep. She smiled at her young friend, who was snoring a little. With a wave of nervousness flooding her system, she closed her eyes briefly, and gently brushed her shaking lips against his for the barest instant. The sensation of such an action was so intense for the eight year-old girl that she gasped and immediately pulled herself back, covering her lips with her mouth.
Working up the nerve one more time, she leaned forward one more time, and this time when their lips met, she didn't let go so easily. She became deathly frightened when she felt Tai's lips start to kiss back a little. But when she finally pulled away, she saw that Tai was still fast asleep. Sora giggled to herself, and snuggled up to her friend, and let her fatigue take over her being.
Wide awake or fast asleep, little Tai Kamiya and little Sora Takenouchi knew that even at this young age, there would be tough times ahead as their friendship developed itself. But despite the deal they made to get married in the far future, one irreversible, unbreakable, constant promise was made when they met for the first time. Whether or not they would fall in love, get married, and have kids of their own…
…they promised that they would always be friends.
Well…that's it people! Sadly, this is the final chapter of "Second Chances For Sora!" I really hope that you readers and reviewers thoroughly enjoyed it! Mr. Disclaimer and I worked long and hard on this story, and we both welcome all any feedback you can give us! Still, I must apologize on how long this last chapter was! I was feeling too lazy to set up another chapter, and I needed to tie up most - if not all - of the loose ends in this story. (Wonder if I should write a sequel?) Besides, an even sixteen chapters sounded fitting. Now, for my news…
I'm afraid that for now, this will be my LAST Digimon fanfic! While I am far from quitting the fanfiction scene, I feel that there are other options to be considered. Which means I'm going to take some time off to write new stories based on other anime series.
So, bear in mind that isn't "goodbye forever" to you digimon fans. This is a "so long for now".
However, I think some of you shall be quite pleased with what I have in mind! Do any of you like ancient magic, playing cards, and Shadow Games? Well, then...it's your lucky day! I'll be writing two brand new stories based on the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series! I've already written the first one, so it will be posted soon! But not until I receive all the reviews that this story so richly deserve!
Once more, I'm most grateful all the support and liveliness you have breathed into this story by reading it! This little piece of marvelous fiction could not have been complete without your help and contribution! It's been a long journey, but this one is finally over! And now...I bid you all adieu as Mr. Disclaimer and I must pack up and venture out on a new journey into another piece of fanfiction! Song long…for now.