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Fanfic » Anime » Digimon » By Unseen Forces font size: (+) : (-)
Author: Artisan of the Written Word
R - English - Romance/Action/Adventure - Reviews: 171 - Publish date: 02-14-01 - Updated: 07-18-01 storyid: 209419


Speak No Evil

A/N: I feel kind of mean now! I mean, Mr. Takenouchi seems like a pretty good guy. They should have at least had Sora mention that her dad was a professor. *sigh* But have any of you guys noticed that Sora doesn't really look like her mother and only looks a little bit like her father? Makes me wonder what Mrs. Takenouchi did in her spare time... *grins evilly as a malicious story idea takes place* MUAHAHAHAHAHA!

DEDICATION: To anyone out there who has tried to recover from a broken heart... Don't be afraid to let someone back in. They may be the key to your recovery.

-Also to Kimaru, Logan, and Star Fairy, whom first inspired me to write fics. The works created by her hands are the ones that inspired mine. Thanks!

DISCLAIMER: Well, heck. I don't own anything. Especially Digimon. Okay? And I know, I know. I couldn't resist. I don't own "If You're Gone" by Matchbox Twenty, okay?

Hope you like this part. Read and review, if you don't mind.

Now, on to the next part in




an unspoken understanding

"Oh, Sora... I'm so sorry." Sora looked at Tai with a confused expression. "I... I left you... last night. It's my fault!" he cried. Sora's expression turned sympathetic. She got up and searched around the room for a piece of paper. She finally grabbed her bag and took a notebook out that was still full of paper. With the pen still in hand, she began to scribble a note out to Tai. Finally, she finished and handed it to him.

You couldn't help it. You just didn't think, that's all. It's okay. I don't hold anything against you.

Tai read it and looked Sora in the eye.

"But I could have helped it!" Sora sighed soundlessly and shook her head, grabbing the notebook back from him.

Stop blaming yourself. There are some things that you can't control.

Tai nodded.

"I guess you're right... You always are..." Tai didn't see the radiant expression on Sora's face. "Well, I'll call everyone over later. Right now, let's get some breakfast, okay?" Sora nodded. He got up and walked out of her room with Sora on his heels. She still had the notebook in hand, feeling that she might need it.

Tai walked into the kitchen and opened the refrigerator door. He groaned loudly.

"We're out of stuff to eat. I guess I'll call everyone ahead of time." Sora opened her mouth to say something, but remembered she couldn't speak and exhaled loudly. "Hey, hey. We'll be alright, Sora. You'll get your voice back. I'm sure of it." Sora gave Tai a grateful smile and sat down at the table. "Do you feel better this morning?" Tai asked. Sora began to write a message in the notebook. Tai sat down beside her. "You'll have a lot of writing practice." Sora rolled her eyes with a smile and kept writing. Finally, she finished and handed the notebook to Tai.

I still feel pretty tired. I'm going to take my medicine and go back to bed for a while. I've got some money in my dresser. Tell one of the others when they come over to go get some food, okay?

Tai nodded, but then seemed hesitant.

"I'm not going to leave you alone again, Sora. It was stupid of me. I-I let my... feelings get in the way," he said quietly, gazing deep into her crimson eyes. Sora's smile disappeared. She put the pen down on the table and leaned back. Tai put the notebook on the table and Sora immediately took it and the pen again and began to write.

Stop blaming yourself. I don't want to be alone if this stuff keeps happening like this, though. Stop stalling and call the rest of them, okay?

Tai sighed.

"Whatever." He got up and walked over to the phone. He began to call each of the Digidestined one by one. As he called each one, he contemplated the probability of the Demon striking again. Tai still couldn't believe that he had let that happen to Sora. He hit himself in the head with his palm. Since Sora had lost her ability to speak, she had lost her ability to call for help if needed. That compromised the situation a lot more. But he shouldn't need to be that close to her. The situations before hadn't required him to hear her screams or cries. Almost but not quite. He finally came to the conclusion that things may not change at all. Finally, he hung up the phone on the last Digidestined. "They're all on their way. Except for Mimi, of course." Sora rolled her eyes glumly. Tai made a smile to her and went into the kitchen to grab her medicine. His mind fell onto the conversation he and Sora had the night before. He sighed deeply as he tapped the pill bottle on his hand to get the aspirin out. What was happening to them? Was he falling in love with her? It was too soon to tell... or was it too late?

Tai walked back into the kitchen and saw Sora with her head in her hands. Her head was propped up on her elbows, but judging by the looks of her, they were going to tumble out from underneath her.

"S-Sora?" he stammered, not sure if something else had happened to her. She turned to look at him and smiled weakly. No tears had fallen from her eyes, but she was on the verge. Tai sensed her depressed state and frowned. He kneeled beside her and put the pills on the table along with the glass of water. "It's okay, Sora." She looked at him, confused. She grabbed the pen and wrote a short message on the piece of paper, which was becoming quite cluttered.

What's okay?

Tai's lips turned into a neutral flat line.

"It's okay to cry." She looked at him blankly and then, in a split second, her face scrunched up as she began to cry. Tai held out his arms to her and she collapsed into them, falling out of her chair and into his arms. "It's okay, Sora. Go on and cry. You've needed to for a long time," he whispered gently into her ear. Her breathy sobs became heavier and more tears fell, making Tai's shirt soaking wet. "No matter what, you can cry on my shoulder. No matter what's happening between us." Sora's sobs immediately began to get quieter. He stroked her hair gently as he rested his chin on her shoulder. He rubbed her back faintly with his other hand in an effort to calm her down. She pulled back from him, her eyes closed in an effort to stop her tears. Tai put his forehead against hers and closed his own eyes.

This is not helping the situation with her, a part of Tai's mind reasoned. Another part, a more sensible part, shot back with fiery ferocity.

I'll be there for her because she was always there for me. She needs me now.

Tai gently put his hands on her face and felt the warmth of her pale skin underneath his fingertips. Her body was comforting to him. She leaned into them, her eyes still closed. This time, Tai didn't tear himself away from her.

You need to know the truth. Don't pull away from her. You must know if you love her.

Trying to understand the turmoil inside of his heart, he let her lean into his hands, trying to feel any emotion at all that might give some insight to the war within his heart. Sora, on the other hand, knew her answer to Tai's burning question.

I love you, Tai. With all of my heart and soul, I love you.

She could only hope he would learn to feel the same way.

With an understanding on a level that only the closest of hearts can share, Tai and Sora remained this way until the first Digidestined knocked on the door.


things are bound to get better

All of the Digidestined arrived at almost the exact same time. Davis, Yolei, Joe, and Izzy came to the Sora's door a few seconds after the others had gotten there.

"Well, I promised Sora that we'd come see her when she's well. I hope that's why we're here," T.K. said quietly. Matt nodded and put a hand on his little brother's shoulder.

"But something tells me it's not. Something's wrong. Tai sounded upset." Everyone nodded.

"Something must have happened. Tai doesn't usually sound upset, you know," Kari said suddenly. Davis sighed impatiently.

"Then stop stalling and opening the door so we can find out what's wrong!" he exclaimed. Kari nodded in agreement.

"Davis is right. Let's go on in and find out what's going on." Davis smiled dreamily.

"Kari thinks I'm right..." he murmured. Kari rolled her eyes and knocked on the door.

"I should have come over sooner, but my mom has been making me do chores lately. There's got to be some way I can get out of them more," Izzy groaned from the back of the crowd. Yolei just laughed.

"Ha! That's a laugh. I was doing chores a long time ago and you're just starting to do them? Man, I'm surprised you lasted in the Digiworld," she jeered. Izzy just blushed and said not one word. Some of the rest of the laughed quietly at the two. They all became quiet when they heard the doorknob twist. The door swung open to reveal a not-so-cheerful Tai. His shoulder was sopping wet from Sora's tears.

"Hey! It's about time. Come on in. We've, uh... had something happen." Everyone exchanged worried glances and followed Tai as he padded through the apartment in his socks. They arrived at Sora's bedroom door and walked in. Sora was sitting cross legged on her bed with a pillow in her lap. Her eyes were red and puffy. She opened her mouth to say hi, but remembered her current impairment and just waved. Everyone waved and said hello to her.

"So, how are you feeling, Sora?" Joe asked. Sora just stared at him. "Well?" She looked down at her hands.

"Come on and answer him, Sora," Ken piped up from across the room. She glanced at Tai with a look that said "You've got to tell them". Tai nodded and looked at Joe and then the rest.

"She can't." Everyone seemed to shift their weight uncomfortably.

"What do you mean she can't? She looks like she can to me!" Matt exclaimed. Tai sat down on the bed beside Sora. Everyone noticed with worried curiosity as Sora scooted away from Tai. Tai noticed this, too, but turned his attention the conversation they were having. He sighed and tried to explain.

"The Demon... stole h-her voice." Everyone gasped.

"But you were supposed to protect her, Tai! How could you let this happen?" T.K. exclaimed. Tai winced. Sora's sad expression turned into a tempest of fury. She stood up and put a hand on Tai's shoulder. She glared at the rest of the Digidestined, daring them to say anything else.

"I think she wants us to leave him alone," Izzy said finally.

"How did this happen, Tai?" Kari asked. Tai and Sora blushed and looked away from each other. Cody seemed thoughtful.

"It is something that they feel is sacred to tell. Don't question them because you will make them lie to us. It is better to say nothing than to tell a lie. My grandfather taught me that." There was a period of silence. "I think it is an affair of the heart, anyway," he said finally. Tai jumped up, scaring Sora.

"You're suggesting that something is going on between us, aren't you?" Cody shrank back. Kari glared at her brother and put a protective hand on Cody's shoulder.

"Calm down, Tai. He was only stating the obvious, anyway," she growled. Tai felt anger build up inside him.

"Well, nothing is obvious! Nothing is going on between us! There never will be! I can never be with her!" Pure silence. Tai was taking quick, deep breaths, trying to calm his anger. Everyone looked at Sora. She was staring at Tai, her jaw slack. Tai realized what he said and suddenly felt terrible. "No, Sora! Th-that came out wrong! I swear! I don't know what I was thinking!" Sora didn't do anything. Her hands slowly went up to her face. Tai stretched his arms to embrace her, but she knocked them away hard enough to leave red marks on his arms. "No! You misunderstood! I didn't mean it like that!" Sora shook her head, the tears beginning to flow. "Sora, don't cry! Please! I can explain what I meant!" Sora ran from her room and into the bathroom, slamming the door shut behind her.

"Oh... my... God... How could you say that?" Kari asked finally. Tai shook his head.

"It's not what I had on my mind. I don't know why I said that..."

"Something happened last night, didn't it?" Matt asked. Tai glared at him.

"How would you know?" He rolled his eyes.

"You have to be near her to protect her, right? Well, you weren't near her or she would still have her voice. As far as we know, you guys sleep in the same bed-"

"I sleep on the floor, thank you." Matt made a gesture with his hand.

"Well, like I would know? Anyway, you guys never get into fights, so something must have happened because not even you say stupid things like that unless something was on your mind." Tai shrugged.

"Lucky guess." Matt smiled smugly.

"Well? What happened?" T.K. coaxed. Tai sighed.

"We played a game of Truth. You know, just truth instead of truth or dare... I asked her a question about her past and she told me that I needed to stop... wishing I could have done more. She said that being her friend was enough and... and... she... kissed me." There were delighted gasps from all of Tai's audience, but he was too busy reliving the moment. He closed his eyes and put two fingers on his lips. "She just brushed my lips, but... but... it felt... I don't know... different."

"What did you say to her?" Joe asked, now leaning against the wall. Tai sighed and opened his eyes.

"I turned away from her and told her I was just being her friend. Then, she turns around and asked me if we could fall in love with each other. I say yes. She asks me if it could be happening right now. I say yes. Then she asks me why I can't let it happen. I tell her... that I can't answer her. She asked me if I was in love with her and I said..." Everyone leaned in closer to Tai.

"You said... what?" Kari asked. Tai sighed and put his head in his hands.

"That I couldn't answer her and be truthful." Everyone groaned.

"You are so hopeless, Taichi!" Kari exclaimed. Everyone took turns putting Tai down for his derogatory comments to Sora.

"I get the point!" Tai exclaimed at last, cutting Yolei off in mid-putdown. Joe shook his head.

"No, you don't. You hurt her. You had better think of a way to apologize to her!" he chided. Tai nodded.

"I know, I know." T.K. shook his head.

"No, you don't know. You're on the verge of losing your best friend and soul mate. You're on the verge of losing your whole world." Tai looked at the younger boy. He said nothing.

"Let's go, you guys. We'll all be back in a few days when Sora is in better shape, okay?" Matt said. Everyone nodded and followed him. Tai finally snapped out his thoughts and caught Kari's shoulder.

"We're out of food. I need someone to go out and buy some, if you don't mind." Tai rushed over to his bag and brought out a wad of tens. He had already hurt Sora. He'd be damned if he was going to take her money, too. Kari took the wad of money out of his hand.

"Yeah, I guess. For Sora." Tai winced. What was she doing? Disowning him?

"Thanks. Bye, you guys." Tai got no response. They all walked out the front door without saying another word to one another. Tai walked outside of the bathroom and sat cross legged with his ear against the door. He could hear the faint, breathy sobs from Sora on the other side. He sighed and waited for her to come out. As he waited, he began to think about what T.K. had said. Was he on the verge of losing his whole world? He shed one solitary tear when he realized the answer.

Yes. Yes, he was.


when the shepherd strays from the flock

I watch with wonder.

Love has condemned Courage.

I can feel it. Love's feelings for Courage have not lessened, quite the opposite actually, but she has been hurt badly. The angel's wings have been broken, in a sense. It has been hours since they have even looked at each other. Courage drowns in his self-pity while Love tries to mend her broken heart. I feel sorry for the girl. Her heart has been crushed. Now, her physical body will follow.

Love and Courage have not moved from her room for the last few hours. The sun is setting on their argument. First one in ages, as I understand from the one of Friendship. Ah, but wait! She moves from her silent watch over the sunset by the window and over to her dresser. Courage tells her to take a bath to get rid of the stress and strain from the situation, but she almost completely shuts him out. I can hear her thoughts. She is hurting. Crying. Bleeding. She wants to get away from him to mourn her broken heart, but because of me, he cannot leave her. She believes... ah, she believes that maybe one day things will be normal again, but that she will always be... heartbroken. Poor girl. If only Courage knew what a spell she casts on others. Even those from other realms.

Such as Demons.

Love takes her clothes while Courage whispers her name. He stands and tells her he's sorry about what he said. She cringes in emotional pain. She scolds him mentally that he should not just be sorry. He should make the ending of this story matching that of a fairy tale. Happily ever after. But this thought makes her even more depressed as she leaves him and walks into another room. Courage puts his face in his hands and sighs. I wonder if he will ever cry over her, but his heart is probably too proud to let that happen.

Love is a safe distance away from Courage. I can go near her! I follow her. Courage does not see me for he is wallowing in his own depression as I pass. I pass through the closed door and keep silent watch over Love.

She is undressing. She is taking his advice. She depends on him so. To make her decisions. To carry her. And, she had hoped, to love her.

Her fragile body is now bare. She is in her purest form. She looks into the mirror and slowly runs a finger down the reflection. Love is unhappy with what she sees and looks away sharply. She only wants someone to tell her she is beautiful and to tell her that they love her. That is all she wants, but she has yet to get it. I have read the minds of all the men who have walked into her room over the past few days and all of them have thought her beautiful, yet none of them had the heart to tell her what they thought. Rejection from a friend is as great as that of a lover in their eyes.

I reach out to her and run a gnarled hand along her bare, snow-white arm. The skin draws tight from the hideous cold I bring to her body. I recoil from her immediately. I have no desire to bring more pain to her than is necessary.

She draws her bath, her movements slowed from her lack of will to do anything. I believe a part of her heart has died today and it can only be revived by Courage. If only Courage had enough courage to resurrect her loving side, he would be in Heaven forever. He does not know what he misses, however, and will continue to miss it until he realizes the severity of his mistakes.

Her bath has been drawn and she shuts the water off with a limp twist of her hand. Her will is completely gone now. As is her hope. She slides into the tub and leans back. A dramatic thought-

(maybe I should just drown in here... end my miserable life)

-runs through her mind, but she pushes it away. I feel my black heart break in my chest. By not taking her own life, I have to take it for her. I am created for this, yet I have no desire to do this unspeakable deed. I can only hope that it is painless. Or that Courage can save her.

I will gladly suffer any pain he can give to me if it means he can save Love. Because this time, it isn't just to hurt her.

It is to kill her.

With that as the last thought in my mind, I reach down to the broken angel in her sea of depression and push her down. Her head goes below water, but she does not fight as strongly as she would have in different situations. Only one thing is in my mind. Not guilt. I have the ability to push any of these sudden "feelings" away for little bits of time. Only one thought is repeated over and over in my mind.

I am to kill her.


prince charming regains some of his charm

As Sora had slipped into the bath that she had drawn for herself, Tai had walked up to the bathroom door.

You've got to get her back. Love or no love for her, you've got to get her back! She is what you depend on! T.K. was right all along.

Yes, he was. Tai knew that. Besides, the issue wasn't if he loved her, but if he loved her in the way that was reserved for soul mates.

"Um, Sora?" he said. "I know you can't talk to me... I know you don't want to, either, but if you could give me a chance to explain... I don't know why I said what I said. I think we need to sit down and talk, or, write to each other... er, whatever to straighten this out. I don't want to lose you, Sora. Please believe me." He was answered by a sudden sound like water rushing over the side of the bathtub and the sound of someone splashing. "Sora? Are you okay?" He was answered by more splashing, but the time between splashes was becoming farther and farther apart. "Sora!" More splashing. Panic seized Tai's mind and he jerked the door open with crashing force. He felt complete anger run through his body with what he saw.

The Demon was standing over her, its ferocious, mangled hands pressing down on Sora's chest, keeping her below the water. The Demon looked at Tai, its sickly green eyes seemingly trying to plead with him. Tai was very confused, though. A few days before, he only had to be fifteen feet away from the Demon for it to stay away. He was now only five feet away, and the Demon was daring him to come closer. Putting the split-second confusion aside for the moment, Tai began to tremble with rage.

"Leave her alone!!!" he screamed. He charged toward the Demon, making the creature pull its hands away from Sora's body and to its head, as if as huge headache had set in. It immediately began to fade from sight, its cries fading along with its image. Tai rushed over to Sora and gasped. Her eyes were shut and her skin was paler than the usual Sora. She looked... well....


"No... No, no, no, no, no. NO! This can't be happening! Hang on, Sora!" He dipped his arms into the hot water and scooped up Sora's body. Water fell in streams from her as Tai carried her to the hall carpet. "No, Sora... you can't leave me now. You can't treat me like this. No, Sora... come on, come on," Tai murmured frantically as he put his head against Sora's naked chest to hear a heartbeat. Tai didn't know if it was his imagination or real, but he heard nothing.

He tried to remember how to perform CPR. What had it felt like when he was "dead"? There had been lips pressed against his and then something pushing down on his chest. He put his hands together like he had seen in all of the hospital shows and pressed down right below her sternum. He did it five or six times. He lost count after three because of the adrenaline in his system. Then, without hesitation, he put his lips against Sora's parted ones and exhaled.

"Come on, Sora! Don't leave me!" he cried. He put his hands directly below her sternum and pushed down. He did it exactly five times. Not hesitating again, he put his mouth against hers again and exhaled, making her chest rise. "Come on, Sora!" he cried again. He pushed down on her chest six times now. He put his mouth back on hers and exhaled, trying to give her life. "Please! I need you!" He put the heel of his hand below her sternum and began to push. He got up to nine this time, reasoning that he may not have been doing it enough to get all of the air out. Suddenly, Sora began to cough wet coughs and water poured out of her mouth. Tai turned her head over to the side so she would drown herself again. "Oh, Sora!" he cried in happiness. He watched as she turned over slowly and coughed the rest of the water up. Tai put his hand on her back. "I thought I had almost lost you!" She looked at him and managed a weak smile. She coughed again and more water came up, but not much. Tai crawled on his knees to get closer to her and hugged her. She coughed again, but was surprised that he was being so affectionate with what had happened between them. Sora pushed him away and saw the hurt look on his face.

Oh, he CAN'T be trying to pull anything like that on me. She summed Tai up with her eyes. His green shirt was soaking wet as were his jean shorts. The side of his face was wet from putting his ear to her chest. Sora blushed a little at this realization and when she realized where he had put his hands to perform CPR. She saw the look on his face and it was truly happy. Relieved, mostly. Sora mouthed a thank you to him and he smiled.

"You're welcome." Sora flipped her wet hair behind her shoulders and brushed her skin. Confused, she looked down and began to blush furiously. Tai looked at her blankly. He then began to blush just as furiously as her. "I... uh, I... um... yeah..." He tried to refrain from being a pervert, but he couldn't help but take her in with his own eyes. Her pale skin... her figure... just her body in general was enough to make Tai drool. Sora saw his eyes go to her chest and stay there. She quickly wrapped her arms around her chest and looked at Tai helplessly. He snapped out his trance and blushed even deeper. "I'll... go get you a... t-t-towel, okay?" Sora nodded furiously, hoping he'd stop stalling and get it. Tai got up, got a towel, and covered Sora shoulders with it. "Hey, you saw me... It's only fair I got to see you, right?" Sora made an "I guess" shrug and avoided eye contact with him. She was afraid that she'd blush even deeper if she did. Tai sighed and looked away from her, his hand over her eyes. "You can go get your clothes, now," he said. Sora rolled her eyes and pulled Tai's hand down from his eyes. He looked at her in bewilderment. "Uh, Sora?" She rolled her eyes again and mouthed you've already seen it! while gesturing to her body. He nodded and gulped, but his and her blushes got deeper. "I'll... just be in... uh, your, uh, room, okay?" Without waiting for an answer, Tai ran into her room. Sora walked into the bathroom and put on her clothes.

"As if the situation couldn't get stranger...."


a plan to win her forgiveness

Tai and Sora sat across the room from each other.

Nothing was being done.

They were just... staring at each other.

The tension between them had peaked the day before in Sora's naked episode. Sora's mother had called unfortunately. She wanted to tell Sora personally that she'd be home a little earlier because one of her conventions had been cut way short and she'd be home in two days. Tai had covered for Sora by saying that she had laryngitis, which wasn't far from the truth. They had both thought it funny and had exchanged laughter, of which Sora's was silent, but that had been it. They had spent all of eight days together and were feeling pretty bored. With one of them not being able to say anything and the other just not wanting to, the room remained silent.

Tai looked at the clock and sighed. It was noon. They had a lot more time together before it was all over. Sora was still feeling a little sick, as she had told him via typing that morning, and was going to go to bed sooner than she had planned. He decided that he would just stay up and chat on the computer with Izzy. But for right now, they were busy just... staring at each other.

"Well, I've got to meet Izzy in a chat room. He said he may be able to get the rest of them there, too. Do you want to talk to them?" Sora shook her head and laid back in her bed. Tai shrugged. "Whatever you want." He pulled up the rolling desk chair and sat down. He logged onto the Internet while Sora laid in bed, thinking about the events over the past few days. They hadn't told anybody about the bath "incident" yesterday, mainly because of the embarrassing details, but had planned on telling them when they were all together. Tai logged onto the Digidestined chat room that Izzy had set up for meetings like this. Tai typed in his user name and smiled smugly as it showed him entering the chat room.

SOCCER_GOD17 enters chat room.

#1STAR: Hey, Tai! It's me, Matt.

SOCCER_GOD17: Oh, what a surprise. Hey Mimi. Hey Sis. And Matt.

PrincessPink16: Well, I guess doesn't take much to guess who I am.

HolyLight: No, it doesn't. Where's T.K.?

#1STAR: I dunno.

LITE'S#1MAN enters chat room.

HolyLight: *groan* That's Davis.

LITE'S#1MAN: How did you gess? Am I the only guy that loves you??

HolyLight: No. T.K. can spell better.

SOCCERGOD17: Ouch. Sis 1. Davis 0.

LITE'S#1MAN leaves chat room.

Ken4132 enters chat room.

ComputerWizard16 enters chat room.

Doctor_to_be19 enters chat room.

#1STAR: Hey, you guys! Lemme guess. Ken, Izzy, and Joe.

Doctor_to_be19: Like that took a genius. Let's see. Matt, Kari, Mimi, and Tai. Hey you guys!

SOCCER_GOD17: Hey, Joe. Hey Iz. Hey Ken.

MAN_OF_LIGHT enters chat room.

HolyLight: *groans again* Hey, Davis.

MAN_OF_LIGHT: Hey, Kari. I spelled it right!

HolyLight: Yay.

Deeplyinlove13 enters chat room.

HolyLight: T.K.! Hi! I was wondering when you'd get here.

Deeplyinlove13: Well, my mom was using my computer for a while because hers crashed.


HolyLight: It's T.K.

MAN_OF_LIGHT: Whatever.

BoyCrazy enters chat room.

HolyLight: Hey, Yolei! Where's Cody?

BoyCrazy: His computer's still broken, but he told me to tell you guys hi.

ComputerGenius16: How's Sora, Tai?

PrincessPink16: Yeah! How is she? Can I talk to her? Please! I miss her a lot!

SOCCER_GOD17: She doesn't really want to talk to you guys right now. She really hasn't been talking to me, either.

Ken4132: Correction. She can't talk.

PrincessPink16: Kari emailed me and told me about it. Sorry to hear it, too. Well, I'll probably get to see her soon anyway *giggles hysterically*

ComputerGenius16: Okay....

#1STAR: .........

HolyLight: Switch to decaf, Mimi.

BoyCrazy: Yeah.... Anyway, has anything else happened between you two lately?


Ken4132: And what might that be?

SOCCER_GOD17: Well.... The Demon tried to drowned her yesterday when she was taking bath.

ComputerGenius16: Is she okay?!

PrincessPink16: Please tell me she is!

Deeplyinlove13: Well? Come on, Tai! Spill it!

#1STAR: Yeah, Tai! What's up?

SOCCER_GOD17: She was trying to take a bath, but the Demon pushed her underwater. I heard the water so I ran in and got her out... She almost died, but I saved her.

HolyLight: Way to go, bro!

BoyCrazy: Now THAT'S romantic.

SOCCER_GOD17: *growl* Anyway, when she came back to me, it kind of became an issue that she was, uh... naked. Now the tension's worse.

PrincessPink16: Well, thank God she's alright at least.

ComputerGenius16: I'd say.

Ken4132: I hope nothing traumatic happens to her. I have faith that she will live, though.

SOCCER_GOD17: But she saw me naked and that didn't hurt us any. Sure, it was embarrassing to her and REALLY embarrassing to me, but we got over it.

HolyLight: Pardon?

Deeplyinlove13: She saw you... naked?

Doctor_to_be19: And STILL nothing's happened? I beginning to think you are hopeless.

BoyCrazy: How did THAT happen?

SOCCER_GOD17: She caught me while I was changing, okay? It was humiliating to both of us, but when it's her turn to be in my shoes, we totally lose contact with each other.

#1STAR: Okay.... Tai, if anything, being naked *eases* the tension. What the heck is wrong with you?

Deeplyinlove13: Come on, Matt! Tai has better morals than that. He may want it to be born of love, not of a freak accident.

HolyLight: True words.

MAN_OF_LIGHT: Yeah... if Kari says so.

Doctor_to_be19: Shut up, Davis. Well, Tai. I can't say you were exactly smart when you were so mean to her yesterday. You see what we mean when we say you're mean to her?

SOCCER_GOD17: I know now.

BoyCrazy: What are you going to do to ease the tension? Or what are you going to do at all?

SOCCER_GOD17: I've got to get her back. Life's been going downhill without her. I think I've got to do something for her.

#1STAR: Like?

SOCCER_GOD17: The hell if I know! I can't get her back because I keep saying the wrong things! She wants me to love her and I... I don't know if that's what I want.

Deeplyinlove13: Of course it is, Tai. You want her because she's your soul mate.

PrincessPink16: *nods* You've got to get her back.

SOCCER_GOD17: I KNOW! But how? She's *not* my soul mate, either.

Deeplyinlove13: Riggghhhhtttttt.......

Ken4132: Fix her dinner. Watch a movie together.

SOCCER_GOD17: But that's romantic stuff!

HolyLight: *whacks idiotic brother in the head* That's the point!

SOCCER_GOD17: But what if I lose what I have with her! I don't want to lose her!

Deeplyinlove13: Then get with her. I know she loves you. That's something she keeps to herself, but you can see it in her eyes. She loves you from the bottom of her heart.

#1STAR: What's with you and the flower power philosophy, bro?

Deeplyinlove13: I just know it's true.

HolyLight: T.K.'s right. If you're not sure you love her, then tell her tomorrow night.


HolyLight: Yes, tomorrow night.

Ken4132: Drag it out any longer and you'll hurt her beyond repair.

PrincessPink16: Right. Sora's been through a lot. You should know that. You're hurting her more by not answering her than you are by telling her the truth.

SOCCER_GOD17: But what is the truth?

Doctor_to_be19: We know, but you have to find out for yourself.

SOCCER_GOD17: I guess... What do I do for her?

HolyLight: Okay, Tai. Here's the plan....

Kari explains the plan down to the last detail.

HolyLight: ..... got it?

SOCCER_GOD17: I think. So all of you guys, except Mimi, will come over and help me?

HolyLight: Exactly, to keep an eye on you and help set everything up. Just don't screw it up, Tai!

SOCCER_GOD17: *grumbling* You make it sound so easy.

PrincessPink16: Don't leave me out of your plans, you guys! *smiles and laughs*

ComputerGenius16: .....

#1STAR: What? Are you planning on having an out-of-body experience to come see us or something?

Ken4132: ......

HolyLight: Decaf, Mims, Decaf.

Deeplyinlove13: My love doth be right.

HolyLight: *blushes and kisses T.K.*


Deeplyinlove13: *cowers away from true love's psychopathic brother*

#1STAR: Oh, get a room!

BoyCrazy: Stop the insanity, already!

Doctor_to_be19: And I thought *I* needed a life. Anyway, don't hurt Sora anymore, Tai.

ComputerGenius16: She's having her life put at maximum risk. She's almost gotten hit by a car, frozen to death, drowned, her voice has been stolen, AND she has hinted strongly that she loves you. That girl is putting her heart on the line, Tai. You've got to keep her from losing it.

PrincessPink16: Izzy's right. If Sora gets hurt too many times, she may lose her heart forever.

#1STAR: Exactly.

Deeplyinlove13: Couldn't have said it better.

HolyLight: Right.

Doctor_to_be19: Bravo Izzy and Mimi!

Ken4132: Good luck, Tai. Don't mess it up any more for a while, okay?

SOCCER_GOD17: Do you think I *meant* to?

HolyLight: With you, we're never sure. Get some sleep and we'll be over tomorrow night around 4. Okay, everybody?

BoyCrazy: Sounds good to me. I've got to go. Bye!

ALL: Bye!

BoyCrazy leaves chat room.

SOCCER_GOD17: Well, I'm going to go fix some lunch for us. Wait! What about the movie?

HolyLight: Let us take care of that. You just take care of Sora.

SOCCER_GOD17: Right! Bye, you guys!

MAN_OF_LIGHT: Good luk, Tai! You'll need it!

HolyLight: Ugh. And you need a dictionary!

Everyone told Tai bye and he signed off with a sigh.

"Oh, boy. What have I gotten myself into?"


it was almost perfect


Sora breathed in deeply and smelled a delightful aroma. Her stomach growled instinctively.


What the heck was that voice? It sounded oddly familiar, but it had something wrong with it, too. Like it had been changed from what it had been. Like-


Sora felt like shooting whatever it was. She was tired. She wanted rest. She needed her beauty sleep. She thought this with a pang of sadness and bitter humor. Sora rolled onto her back and rubbed her eyes with the back of her hands. Slowly but surely, she opened her eyes to... a sock?!?

"Finally! I thought she'd never get up!" the sock said, shaking it's head in exasperation... or what Sora thought it was doing. It had a mouth that was roughly shaped by that of a hand. "So, I hope you're feeling well today!" The sock was right in front of Sora's eyes. It had three red rings around its "neck" and had two marker dots for eyes. She glanced downward and saw a tuft of brown hair sticking out from beside the bed. She smiled. "Well, anyway, I've got something for you!" Sora giggled silently, but put on a serious face. The sock made a fairly good smile, bearing an uncanny resemblance to Kermit the Frog. It disappeared from her view, but quickly popped back into sight. It had a card in its mouth. "Pah!" the sock exclaimed as it spit the card out on Sora's chest. She smiled at it and sat up carefully. "Don't read it!" the sock exclaimed as Sora began to open it. She nodded slowly, deciding not to test the sock's temper today. The sock made another smile at her. "It's your day, Sora! The whole day is planned and we're going to have fun!" the sock chattered jovially, adding in an authentic Kermit the Frog nod. "Mmm-hmm." Sora giggled silently again. "Do you want to see Tai?" the sock asked. Sora rolled her eyes back thoughtfully and then nodded. The sock nodded, too. "Well, lemme go downstairs and get him." Sora's brow knit. Downstairs? "Hold on a sec." The sock began to travel along the side of Sora's bed looking like a cobra. When the sock got to the end of the bed, it looked at Sora. "Hold on." Suddenly, it began to go down the "steps" along the end of her bed. Sora smiled, knowing this trick was one of the things Tai used to do a lot. "Sora wants to see you," she heard the sock say as it disappeared along the edge of the bed.

"Okay. Tell her I'm coming," Tai answered. Sora rolled her eyes, but she was still smiling. This was a rather elaborate operation he had going.

"He's coming!" the sock told Sora. She nodded and waited for Tai to appear. Suddenly, he appeared climbing the "stairs" along the edge of her bed. He was rather good at it and she would have thought that real stairs were there if she hadn't of known better.

"Hello, Sora! How are you doing today?" Sora mouthed a 'fine' to Tai and he nodded. "Good, good. I hope my little friend here behaved." Sora nodded, not being able to keep from grinning. Tai saw that it was working and grinned back.

"Would you expect any less from me?" the sock asked, moving it's fabric mouth. Sora stared in disbelief. If she hadn't of known better, she would have thought the sock was actually talking. Tai? A ventriloquist? That was a new one.

"Well, actually, I would. Besides, you're just obnoxious."

"I AM NOT!" the sock cried in fury. Sora laughed silently. The scene was priceless. Tai was arguing with a sock on his hand. He sat down on the foot of Sora's bed and shook his head.

"You are, too."

"Look who's talking...."

"What did you say?" Tai asked in mock anger. The sock turned away from Tai.

"Nothing...." Sora was laughing hard now. Even though it was silent, it was almost infectious and Tai had to struggle to keep a straight face. He scooted closer to Sora.

"Why you ugly little-"

"Ugly? Who are you calling ugly?" the sock demanded. Sora was still laughing. Now he was interrupting himself? It kept getting better and better.


"Oh, really? Let's let Sora decide!" the sock cried out. Tai looked surprised.

"Why, of course. But it would not be fair, my friend, if I was to go into a contest of such content with you for I would obviously win." Sora stopped laughing and looked at him with an eyebrow raised and a bright smile.

"That's what you think! Which one of us is more handsome, fair maiden?" Sora laughed and patted the sock, which smiled its Kermit the Frog smile. Tai's jaw went slack. "HA! I won, you idiotic jock!" Tai looked at the sock and growled ferociously.

"She will change her opinion. I hope. A sock never keeps first prize in a beauty contest," Tai said arrogantly. Sora was in stitches of laughter. She hadn't laughed this hard in a long time. Tai put the sock down, but didn't take it off his hand. "May I escort you to breakfast, miss?" he asked, sticking out his free hand to her. Sora finally stopped laughing and nodded, grasping Tai's hand with her own. Tai smiled. "Good." He helped her up and stuck out an elbow. She linked arms with him and they walked off to breakfast. "I hope you like what I fixed." Sora entered the kitchen and her eyes went wide.

The table, set with the best china and silverware Sora and her mother owned, was covered by a white tablecloth. Fresh flowers, though she was not sure how Tai had gotten them, adorned the middle of the table. On one of the plates sat scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage. On a smaller plate to the side of the larger one, there sat toast. Butter was on an even smaller dish beside the larger one. Orange juice and milk were sitting on the table beside her plate. A red rose with a red ribbon tied around its stem sat directly behind the plate. The dream breakfast.

Sora tried to make words, but her current handicap kept her from saying a word of thanks. Tai grinned.

"I see you like it." Sora nodded furiously and sat down. "Enjoy." She gazed up at the centerpiece of flowers. Yellow and red. The color of their crests. Coincidence? Sora thought not. She realized that she still had the card Tai, er, the sock had given her in hand and put it down as she picked up the red rose. She ran her finger over the soft petals, noticing that they were a bright red at the tip but faded into a maroon color toward the base. She switched her vision from the rose to Tai's eagerly anticipating face. She made a smile that showed no teeth and put the rose down. Tai felt something tighten in his chest. Was she refusing him? Did the past few days events have that much of an effect on what Sora thought of Tai? Apparently so. Regretting his actions from previous days, Tai realized that he would have to work harder to win his best friend back. "You can either eat or open your card now." Sora eyed the card and then the food on her plate. She took the card in hand as Tai smiled nervously at her. She caught it and returned it with a nervous smile of her own. Just then, there was a knock at the door. Tai groaned. "Go ahead and open it. I'll get the door." Sora nodded and watched as he ran toward the door. He disappeared and she began to read the card. It read:


You are invited to take part in a magical evening.

At 5:00 p.m. sharp, please be ready in formal attire. You will be required to bring nothing but yourself.

Please be punctual!

You will be the guest of the evening.

It's the talk of the town! Don't miss it!

Sora wasn't sure if she should be smiling or crying. What was he doing? Trying to win her heart? Or was he just going to hurt her again? When he and Sora had shared that ethereal moment in the kitchen floor... when he had let her lean into his hands... when it seemed he might love her... when she knew that she was in love with him.... and then he turned around and said he could never be with her... That had hurt. It would have hurt anybody, but it hurt Sora more. Sora put the card down on the table and stared at the beautiful rose. She picked it up again and let her eyes slide shut as she took in a deep breath of its addictive aroma.

Please don't hurt me, Tai...

* * *

As Sora began to read the card, Tai arrived at the door. He opened it and gasped in surprise.

"Mimi?" Mimi gave Tai a smile that wouldn't just stop traffic; it would send it to a screeching halt. She leaned against the doorframe.

"In the flesh," she said simply, that smile never fading from her face. She was wearing a white skirt and an Old Navy shirt that had baby blue sleeves and a dark blue body. Her shoes were a blue to match the body of her shirt and her socks were a startling white. Tai was a little amazed by her clothing's simplicity and lack of pink, but realized with a small smile that her hair was that very color. He smiled brightly at her and opened his arms. Mimi gave him a deep hug and pulled away.

"It's great to see you! Sora missed you a lot, too," Tai said cheerfully. Mimi's smile, if possible, grew wider.

"It's great to see you, too! I really want to see Sora and the rest! Um... Tai?"

"Uh huh?" Mimi made a small smile and pointed at Tai's "socked" hand. Tai blushed. "Um, well... I'll tell you later, okay?" Mimi nodded. "Anyway, as you know, the rest will be over tonight. How'd you get here so quick?" Mimi laughed quietly.

"I was on the plane when I was talking to you guys. Man, sometimes you're so naive, Tai," she said as she gave him a playful push. Tai stuck his tongue out at her and smiled.

"Let's go surprise Sora. Thank you for coming. I didn't really know what we were going to do the rest of the day. This way, she can spend her time with you while I get ready for tonight, okay?" Mimi nodded.

"Okay... I'll help her pick out something to wear for tonight... You're still going through with it, right?" she asked as she moved behind Tai as to surprise Sora. He looked at her and sighed.

"Yes, but I don't think it will work." Mimi's eyebrows furrowed.

"Why not?"

"I gave her a rose this morning that I got delivered from her shop and she couldn't even give me a genuine smile. I set the table and, well, you'll see. I just hope she forgives me by tonight." Mimi nodded.

"She's probably worried you'll hurt her again, Tai," she said finally as they prepared to enter the kitchen. Tai looked back at her and frowned.

"I never meant to."

"Doesn't matter... You still did." Tai didn't reply because Sora was now looking at him.

"Do you like your food, Sora?" She nodded and put her thumb and index finger together to make a "perfect" sign. He smiled and nodded. "Good. I've got another surprise for you." Sora tilted her head slightly and smiled. Tai could read the curiosity in her eyes and smiled even wider. "Say hello to-" He stepped aside and allowed Mimi to wave at her friend. "-a good friend from America." Tai had barely finished his introduction before Sora was over to Mimi and giving her a hug. The two girls jumped up and down. In her excitement, Sora tried to talk to Mimi 90 miles an hour, but realized she couldn't and frowned briefly.

"It's great to see you, Sora!" Sora nodded at this, meaning it was great to see Mimi, too. "I've been waiting to see you all year!" Sora mouthed "me, too" and Mimi nodded. Sora pointed to the table and smiled. "You want me to eat with you?" Sora nodded. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if Mimi kept interpreting what Sora was thinking. "Sure. I haven't eaten in the last nine hours." Tai opened his mouth and raised his finger. "Peanuts don't count, Tai," she said without even looking at him. He smirked and put his finger down. Sora laughed silently as Mimi sat down beside her and began to chat away. As she was eating, Mimi examined the beautiful table setting. Tai Kamiya had done all of this? Amazing that he should make such a turn around from setting up plays to setting up a dinner. Her eyes fell on the beautiful centerpiece and wondered briefly why there were only red and yellow flowers, but realized with a small smile their hidden meaning. Then she saw the red rose that Tai had gotten her. It was beautiful. She wondered if there was something special about it, but Tai hadn't said anything. "Well, are you finished?" Mimi asked when she finally stopped talking about her flight. Sora nodded. Mimi smiled. "Then let's get you ready for tonight!" Sora appeared confused. She mouthed "you knew?" to Mimi and the younger girl nodded hesitantly. "Um... Tai told me at the door!" she said a little bit too anxiously. Sora merely lifted an eyebrow and sighed silently. Tai rolled his eyes. "Anyway, let's get started!" Mimi said, grateful to switch the subject so she wouldn't be as embarrassed. Sora looked at a clock on the wall and pointed at it and the card on the table. Mimi read the card and sighed. "And it's 9:45 now... That barely leaves us enough time." Sora looked shocked. How much time did that girl need? "See, if we fix your hair and everything... including getting you a new dress, which you can't go out and buy..." Sora's expression turned horrified. A dress? A dress??? "Yep. We'll need to start right away!" Mimi jumped up, grabbed Sora's hand, and dragged her upstairs. Tai watched with mild amusement.

"If you need me, just call for me!" he called after them, but his sentence was punctuated with the slamming of Sora's door. He sighed and chuckled a bit. He raised his hand that had the sock on it. "I hope everything goes alright..." Tai said, partly to the air, partly to the sock sitting on his hand. The sock nodded a genuine Kermit the Frog nod and gave a reassuring "mm-hmm". When Tai realized he was still using the sock-puppet, he pulled it off his hand and threw it on the ground.

"Whoa... Sora's not the only one who needs to get out...."

* * *

It's only... 12.... o'clock....., Sora thought miserably. Don't get her wrong; Mimi was her best friend, but sometimes, it wasn't Mimi that got on her nerves but her unbelievable ability to talk Sora into things.

"That dress looks great, Sora! Why don't you like it?" Earlier, Mimi had gotten her clothes delivered to Sora's house. Of course, they were going through Mimi's best dresses in hope that Tai would fall for her at first sight. He hadn't been allowed to go into Sora's room for the last two hours, no matter how much he begged.

Because it's a dress, Mimi. Because... it's a dress. The look on Sora's face must have reflected what she was thinking because Mimi sighed impatiently.

"Come on, Sora! I've got only-" Mimi looked at her watch briefly then back up to Sora's face. "-5 hours to make you look like a girl and you're not making it easy." Sora glared half-heartedly at Mimi. She grabbed her notebook and pen and began to scratch a message furiously. She handed the notebook to Mimi angrily. The girl with pink hair read it and rolled her eyes melodramatically. "I know that you're a girl. I was just using that as motivation!" Now Sora rolled her eyes. "Listen to me, Sora. I guess that there's no better time to give this to you..." Mimi kneeled beside one of the larger untouched suitcases and began to unbuckle the latches. "I was going to give it to you when I left in a week, but this-" Mimi brought out a garment that was covered by black plastic. "-is as good of a time that I can give it to you. Here." Mimi gave the dress to Sora. "You put it on and I'll be right outside the door. Knock when you're ready for me to come back in." Mimi waltzed out the door and into the hall, shutting the door quietly behind her. Sora sighed shortly.

Just do as she says and get it over with. If it was a present from her, it must look good. She claims to have the best fashion sense.

Sora gently took the black plastic off of the dress and gasped.

The dress was... was... beautiful!

It was a two-layer dress. It was a midnight blue underneath while the second layer was see-through with sky-blue flowers dotted all over it. The hem of the dress faded from midnight blue to a bright red color. Sora hurriedly changed out of the rather loud yellow one that she had tried onto the one she held in her hand. As soon as she put the other one on, she fell in love with it. The red hem hung loosely at her knees. However, it fitted tightly around her chest and hip areas. The spaghetti straps felt more comfortable to Sora than in any other dress she had worn in her life, albeit that's not many. The back of it came down mid-shoulder blade. If Sora could have talked, she would have squealed in delight. Mimi can do enough of that for both of us, she thought with a smile. She walked over to the door and knocked, waiting for Mimi's approval. Mimi came in and, as Sora had expected, squealed in delight.

"Ohmigosh! You look... great! This is the best I've ever seen you dress, Sora! Tai will be picking his jaw off the floor tonight!" Sora's smile faltered a bit at the mentioning of Tai's name, but she quickly regained the previous charm of her smile so Mimi wouldn't be worried. "Now for your hair!" Sora's smile completely faded into a frown, but Mimi took no notice. "Man, you look great in that, Sora! I'll leave so you can change back to your... pajamas. Wait! You need to take a shower! Then we'll get started on your hair, okay?" Sora rolled her eyes and bowed her head in defeat. "That's my girl!" Sora grabbed some clothes out of her dresser and headed straight for the bathroom.

Tai had been in the right place to where he could see Sora enter the bathroom. He had not seen her dress however. Tai sighed.

"I hope Mimi's not going to change her too much," he said aloud, then added mentally: All I want back is the Sora I lost... the one I need.

* * *

"AHHHH!!!!" Mimi screamed. "You know, Sora... I've done people's hair before, but you are by far the hardest I've ever had to work with." Sora winced in pain as Mimi undid the style that had caused her to snap. Mimi sat down on Sora's bed and sighed. "What are we going to do with you?" Mimi looked at the clock on Sora's dresser. "It's already 3:00! We've got to make Tai go head over heels for you in less than two hours!" Sora stood up from her chair on one side of the room and put her hands on her hips, staring at Mimi with an amused expression. Mimi saw her and turned defensive. "Why are you looking at me like that?" Sora laughed silently, wrote a message on the notebook that she had handy, and threw it to Mimi.

You're funny when you're like this. I don't want to impress Tai, either.

"Okay.... Number one, I'm in distress and you're saying it's funny? Sora Takenouchi, how can you be so cruel?" Sora tried unsuccessfully to keep a smile from showing through. "Number two, yes, you do. I know you do. You are actually willing to wear that dress I got you, and don't say you aren't!" Sora just rolled her eyes, but made no protest. She did like the dress. It was perfect for her. She loved it, but Mimi didn't have to point that out. Sora's thoughts turned to Tai and a downcast expression replaced the annoyed look. Mimi tilted her head slightly with a small smile. "You really do love him, don't you?" Sora's head snapped up so fast Mimi was surprised she didn't get whiplash. As Mimi's question sunk in, Sora bowed her head shamefully and nodded. Mimi's smile grew a little wider. "Honestly, I don't see how you can love someone like that, but you've known him longest... I'm happy for you, Sora." Sora looked up at Mimi with a confused look etched into her features. "You actually have found someone... Can I ask you something?" Sora laughed and nodded. What was stopping her? "If... Tai asked you to marry him, what would you say?" Sora's smile disappeared in her sudden shock. "Don't look at me like that. It's a simple question." Sora's mind reeled. A simple question? Yes, that may be, but there were a lot of strings attached to that question. With a deep breath, Sora nodded slowly. Mimi's smile turned into the kind that would make the world stop and look at her. "Does he know that?" Sora's eyes narrowed. What? Was Tai going to propose to her? Mimi seemed to read Sora's mind and laughed. "No, Sora, he's not going to... that I know of, anyway. I was just being, oh, what's the word.... hypothetical! That's it." Sora sighed, 99/100 in relief and 1/100 in disappointment. "So, does he know that?" Sora shook her head. Mimi nodded. "Ah... I see. Well, let's get back to your hair, okay? We've wasted too much time already." Sora made a playful salute and the younger girl pushed her playfully. They both went into a fit of laughter, one silent, the other loudly.

On the other side of the door, Tai listened. What had been Sora's answer to Mimi's questions? Tai had really no clue. Sora used to be an open book to him, but now... she was a mystery. A real mystery. One of those that he needed the key to her heart.

He began to wonder if the key to her heart is what he wanted all along....

Or did he want to give her the key to his?

* * *

"Well, it's almost time for her to come out," Joe said as he glanced at his watch. The rest of the Digidestined stood by, waiting for Sora to come out of her room. Tai looked more nervous than he ever had in his whole life. To his dismay, Kari had brought him one of his better, and undoubtably unused, suits to wear to impress Sora.

"Well, you've done pretty well so far. You haven't screwed up... I think," Matt said thoughtfully. Tai shot him a warning look, but took satisfaction in knowing that he hadn't screwed it up anymore. His not being anywhere near her may have been the reason, but he ignored that.

"Look! Her door's opening!" Izzy exclaimed in an over dramatic whisper. Kari elbowed Izzy.

"Shh! Don't scare her back in!" Izzy bowed his head sheepishly and let out a sigh. Kari rolled her eyes and patted Izzy on the back reassuringly, hoping that she hadn't sounded meaner than she had meant to. The door opened all the way and Mimi stepped out.

"Hey, you guys!" she exclaimed. They all started to talk to her at once, but Mimi wagged her finger back and forth. "We'll talk about why I'm here later. Sora's the girl of the night," she said with a wink at Tai. He smiled ruefully, not sure what to make of the comment. Joe opened his mouth to say something to her, but Mimi shot him a warm, yet warning smile and he closed his mouth immediately. Tai laughed quietly. It's amazing what a smile can do.

"Is she coming out anytime soon? I have to leave early because my mom's cooking a special birthday dinner for Grandpa tonight," Cody said. Mimi turned around at the slight creak of Sora's door and turned back with a stunning smile.

"That's her now." Tai stood at the end of the hall, waiting for her to come out. It was dark in the hall, so it wasn't really easy for him to see her. As she came into the light, however, everyone just gaped.

Sora's beautiful dress combined with fashionable high-heels and a stunning make-up job made Tai fumble to put his jaw back into its place from its position on the floor. Tai hadn't expected her to look so dazzling. Mimi had finally managed to put Sora's hair up into a messy, yet stylish bun that gave Sora a casual yet glamorous appearance.

"Sora... You look...." She looked at Tai hopefully, half-expecting him to laugh at her. She clasped her hands in front of her, trying to cast a winning smile to him. Nothing prepared her for what she had wanted to hear for so long. "You look beautiful tonight, Sora." To his surprise, Sora's smile turned into one more overwhelming than Mimi's had been. She was stunned that he had said such a thing, but was so pleased that words could not describe what she felt.

He's just trying to break your heart, Sora. Sora inwardly laughed. That was her mother talking.

He's trying to figure out if he wants to be with you or not. Let him try to see. You might like how the evening turns out. Now this one was unidentifiable to Sora, but that was the one she was going to listen to.

She curtsied to Tai, who bowed in turn. He reached out for her hand and she took it. He shocked her, and surprised himself a bit, as he kissed her hand gently, almost too softly to feel. Sora felt her stomach flutter and she smiled dreamily. Mimi shot a look to the rest of the Digidestined, who had all retreated to the kitchen to spy on the two. Kari, Yolei, and Mimi stood together, smiling and nodding. The guys just looked at Sora, still trying to recover from actually seeing Sora in a dress. And not only was she in a dress, but she actually looked really really good in it!

"Here, Sora. The evening awaits us," Tai said as he offered his elbow. Sora's dreamy smile was returned by him. He felt like he was on Cloud Nine, too. As if in slow motion, Sora took his elbow with her own without switching her eyes from his dreamy chocolate ones. Tai blushed, but returned the gaze. Everyone in the kitchen smiled at each other.

"Well, Cody and Davis. That's your cue," Kari said. Davis practically drooled on the floor when Kari mentioned his name, but she paid no attention. "Hurry up!" Cody took Davis's arm and began to drag him. Kari rolled her eyes and was comforted by the soft sound of T.K.'s laughter. She smiled at him, who faithfully stood beside her.

"I-I-I have a movie for us t-to watch," Tai stammered, trying to kick his brain into gear. Sora was beautiful, but he still needed to think. Sora's smile may not have been for the whole world to stop and look at her, but it was certainly making Tai come to a screeching halt just to gaze at her.

"A-hem!" Davis coughed over dramatically. Cody rolled his emerald green eyes, but smiled regardless. Tai and Sora snapped out of the world they had been in, but neither lost the feelings that they had felt. "We have your movie." Sora smiled at Davis and then at Cody. Both of them returned it. Davis winked at her, and she blushed.

"I believe that this most fits the evening. Enjoy," Cody said as he pressed play on the VCR. Actually, that had been what Kari had told him to say. He had no idea what the video was because he hadn't looked at it. Only Kari knew what it was. Tai and Sora sat down. Cody and Davis exchanged triumphant glances, figuring the evening would be won in Tai's favor. They both exited the room as quickly as possible.

"I wonder what it is. They didn't tell me, either. Do you know? Mimi does have a big mouth and she might have told." Sora giggled silently and shook her head. Tai smiled and watched the screen. Misty animation came onto the screen. Familiar music filled the air. Both Tai and Sora gasped as the title came on. "I'm going to kill Kari," he whispered. Sora shrugged, still a bit surprised but pleased, nonetheless. She thought it was rather romantic.

From the kitchen, Kari was receiving incredulous looks from everyone around her.

"What? It fit! And it's working! Look!" she said, pointing to Tai and Sora from their stakeout point in the kitchen. Everyone crammed together to try to see them. Tai was pulling the old yawn-and-put-the-arm-around-her-trick, and Sora was letting him. In fact, she was scooting closer to the struggling Casanova. Everyone let out an incredible synchronized sigh and looked at Kari. "I told you so," she said, smiling smugly.

"Whatever. We've got work to do, ladies and gentlemen. I suggest we hurry. I do remember the last time I saw that movie, which was thankfully a long time ago, it didn't last forever," Matt commanded. Joe and Izzy saluted and everyone had to struggle to suppress their laughter.

Meanwhile, Tai and Sora watched The Little Mermaid.

* * *

After Tai got through cracking up after Louie the Cook chased Sebastian, Sora and Tai stood up. Sora wasn't sure if she should regret that the movie was over or if she should be jumping for joy.

"See, it'll be just like the movie. You'll get your voice back," Tai said, then added mentally 'And maybe you'll find your Prince Eric, eh? Sora was thinking the exact same thing and smiled wryly. Tai offered her his elbow again and she took it reluctantly. He escorted her to the table and she gasped silently. He smiled. Kamiya scores again.

Two candles lit up the room. The table was set to perfection, down to the last napkin. The table cloth was satin. Sora didn't know it, but the Digidestined had pitched in themselves to buy it. T.K. and Ken themselves stood at both ends of the table. They were dressed in fairly nice clothes.

"Would you like a seat, miss?" T.K. asked, smiling wryly in spite of himself. Sora nodded and T.K. pulled out a chair for her. She sat down and scooted in. Tai sat across from her, obviously nervous. Both Ken and T.K. winked at Sora, and yet again, she blushed. Tai noticed this and gave her his best lopsided grin. She returned it gracefully. Ken and T.K. looked at each other and then to the kitchen, where sixteen eyes were watching intently. T.K. turned back. "Would you like something to drink?" Sora was going to try to answer, but it turned out she didn't have to.

"She'll have a Sprite and I'll have a Coke, okay?" T.K. nodded. Sora looked at Tai in mild surprise. He surely knew her well.

"We'll bring you your meal soon. Enjoy yourselves in the meantime," Ken said, then added specifically to Tai, "Be civil. She's enjoying herself." Tai gulped and nodded. T.K. and Ken left, leaving Sora and Tai by themselves. Tai fidgeted uncomfortably. To him, it was just like he and Sora were playing grown-ups and wearing their mom and dad's clothes. He smiled at the thought. She started to look around the room, as she had done so many times before.

"Uh, Sora?" Sora turned back to Tai slowly, her face blank as a sheet of paper. "Um, I hope you're having a good time tonight." Sora smiled and nodded. He grinned. "Good. I-I-I really want you back, you know?" Sora's expression clearly showed she didn't. Tai gulped and pulled at his collar. "Um, I don't want any of the... tension, you know?" Sora nodded slowly, hoping he wouldn't say that he wanted to be best friends again. She wasn't sure she could handle that. Thankfully, he didn't. Tai was about to say something else but Joe and Izzy were coming toward them with plates in their hands.

"Here you go, miss. The man that sits across from you says it's your favorite. I hope he is right," Joe said, gesturing with his head over to Tai. She smiled as he put the plate in front of her. Macaroni and cheese with hamburger meat in it. Sora laughed silently. She couldn't believe Tai remembered this from when they were kids! That had been the last time she had it. It was the kind of meal that had Sora and Tai written all over it. She looked surprised as Izzy put Tai's plate down in front of him. It was the same thing. Tai looked up at her and grinned.

"Well, it's my favorite, too." Sora smiled. Just then, T.K. and Ken brought out their drinks. Sora sighed, looked at Tai, and picked up her fork to eat. Tai picked his up, too. Everyone in the kitchen crossed their fingers and waited. Sora took a bite of hers, looking at Tai out of the corner of her eye. Everyone held their breath as Tai stuck his fork into the macaroni gently, took it out, and put it into his mouth. He began to chew with his mouth closed. Exactly like a gentleman. Exactly not like Tai. Sora gaped. Kari exchanged high-fives with T.K. and Mimi had to hold her breath from squealing in delight. Matt nodded proudly and smiled, as did Joe and Izzy. Ken smiled, trying to keep from laughing in triumph. Cody even cast a smile and Davis pumped his fist in the air. Yolei clasped her hands and cheered silently. But Sora just gaped. "What?" he asked after he finished chewing his food. Sora said nothing. Her fork was halfway to her mouth and her jaw was on the floor.

When did he learn to do THAT? Sora asked herself, but had no idea of the answer.

"You might catch flies like that," Tai said, trying to retain a straight face as Sora's jaw snapped closed and she gave him a bewildered smile. "Go ahead and eat, Sora. The night's not over yet." Sora just nodded blankly.

I'm not sure if I could take anymore surprises... she thought, still in shock over Tai having manners.

With a mildly surprised look still etched into her features, she began to finish her meal.

* * *

I... I can't do it.

I can't kill her. Not right now. I'm not sure if I ever could. I... I just can't.

There's only one thing left for me to do.

I have got to get her to do the job for me.

I will make her perform self-termination. If she does not, she will want to.

At least the blood won't be on my hands.

* * *

Tai finished his meal and sat back in his chair. Sora took her last back and sat back, too.

"Was yours good?" he asked. Sora nodded as she placed the napkin on her tray. Suddenly, Matt came out from the kitchen dressed in nice clothes himself. Sora noticed that all of them she had seen had been wearing some of their best clothes. He had something behind his back.

"Ah, this is from the gentleman across the way," he said softly. Sora knit her brow as Matt brought out what was behind his back. It was another rose. Bright red at the tips but a dark maroon at the base. She smelled its aroma and smiled at Tai, who blushed slightly. Matt mouthed 'Now' to Tai, who quickly snapped out of his stupor to go into action. Matt walked back into the kitchen, giving the thumbs up to everyone. Tai coughed to catch Sora's attention again. Everyone looked at him from the kitchen, expecting him to go on with the plan, but he wanted to tell Sora something first.

"Um, Sora?" She looked up at him. Her unique crimson eyes seemed to sparkle at him. He made a lopsided grin at her. "Do you want me to tell you what that means?" Sora looked at the rose and then back at Tai, nodding slowly. He clasped his hands in his lap and looked at the rose. "Well, the dark red represents the biggest part of our lives, you know? Kind of dark. Scary. Full of bad memories, you know?" Sora sighed silently and nodded, wanting him to go on. "The bright red is like... the dawn, I guess. The dark is the night and the light is the dawn. We're in a part of our lives where we are coming out of all the bad stuff and finally moving on. Our future is kind of bright, you know?" Sora nodded, actually comprehending what he was saying. She smiled gratefully. The girls in the kitchen were about to swoon, but Matt and Davis were becoming impatient.

"He's not supposed to be telling her that!" Matt exclaimed. T.K. smiled.

"But he's helping the situation."

"I don't give a care! He's supposed to ask her to-!" Mimi clamped a hand over Matt's mouth.

"Shh! He's trying to say something!"

"He better say it quick!" Davis pouted. T.K. rolled his eyes and said nothing while Kari stifled a giggle. Meanwhile, Tai was pulling at his collar.

"Um, Sora? W-W-Would you l-l-like t-to..." Tai stammered, trying to get it out.

...give me a speech lesson? Sora thought with an inward giggle, but looked intently at Taichi.

"Would you like to d-dance with me?" he asked finally, glad that he could get it out. Sora had to strain from letting her jaw drop again. The surprises keep coming, don't they? She had no idea about the biggest surprise that awaited for her later on. Sora nodded and Tai grinned widely. "Great!" he said ecstatically. He held out his hand to Sora and she took it, getting up from her chair. He led her to living room. Sora gasped.

They had moved all of her furniture to one side while they had been eating. Joe, Izzy, Ken, and Cody stood side by side, looking a bit worn out. Tai wondered why T.K., Matt, and Davis hadn't helped, or the girls for that matter, but Kari was in charge of this operation and it appeared she had just decided for it to be like that.

"Kinda went all out, didn't they?" Sora nodded. Tai took off his coat, revealing a white button-up shirt. Sora took off her shoes so she wouldn't fall and Tai took off his so he wouldn't step on her feet. "Okay..." Tai wasn't sure what to do next. Suddenly, a three blurs passed Sora and Tai. The three blurs, as it turned out, were Mimi, Kari, and Yolei assuming battle positions. T.K. and Matt stood back on the other side of the room. I'm surrounded, Tai thought bitterly. "I don't know what they picked out for us to dance to." Sora shrugged because she didn't know either. Kari looked at Yolei then Mimi, who both gave the thumbs up. Kari pressed play on a CD player that had been strategically placed in the shadows of the room. Tai and Sora looked at each other in anticipation. Earlier, they had all told Tai that the dance would probably be the determining factor on if she had forgiven him or not... Or to reveal his true feelings for her. Familiar music began to play, and both Tai and Sora knew the song.

I think I've already lost you.

I think you're already gone.

"Well, at least it fits," Tai said under his breath. His thoughts were cut off as Sora took his hands, a devilish grin on her face. It was so uncharacteristic that Tai almost thought he was looking at another girl. She spun around as the next line played.

I think I'm finally scared now.

You think I'm weak. Sora put her back to his chest and then broke away, still holding his hand.

I think you're wrong. Tai stood speechless. She was being so graceful. He could only imagine what would happen when he started to dance. Sora beckoned him with her free hand and he gulped.

I think you're already leaving.

Feels like your hand is on the door. Sora spun around again and Tai helped her a bit this time. He was beginning to feel more relaxed.

I thought this place was an empire

Now I'm relaxed... I can't be sure... Sora spun back around and put her back squarely against Tai's chest. She turned back around, knowing full well what the next line would be.

I think you're so mean. Sora released Tai's hand and began to step towards him. He backed up and Sora still chased him, that same grin still etched into her features.

I think we should try.

I think I could... need this in my life Sora quickened her step and Tai began to get the feel for what she was doing. He finally returned her devilish grin. Everyone that was watching felt themselves grin at the sight.

I think I'm scared. Sora took a step backwards and Tai followed her, finally getting the feel for her moves.

I think too much. Sora and Tai stood still in their tracks and Sora took one step forward as Tai went backward.

I know it's wrong it's a problem, I'm dealing Sora took a step backward and Tai went forward, mimicking her moves.

If you're gone Tai gracefully took Sora's hand and let her spin until both of their arms were stretched as far as they could go.

Maybe it's time to come home Tai brought her back to him with a slight tug. She twirled back into his arms. The gap between them was so small that you couldn't slip a piece of paper between them.

There's an awful lot of breathing room, but I can hardly move. Tai took one step back then one step forward as Sora chased him. She didn't have much of a choice because his hands were holding onto her waist. Her hands were on his chest. It occurred to both of them that neither had taken their eyes off of the other one's for more than a millisecond.

If you're gone Sora twirled out as far as she could.

Baby, you need to come home... come home. Tai brought her arm over her head and they switched places. He did it again and they ended up where they had originally been.

There's a little bit of something me in everything in... you As this line was sung, Sora twirled back to Tai, her back against his chest. He crossed his arms in front of her and gently laid his hands on her hips. She jerked away almost immediately, not used to being so close to a man, especially Tai. And she definitely wasn't used to a man's hands being where they had been. Tai caught the faint blush on her cheeks and grinned even wider. Her grin had faded into a content smile. As the first part of the song ended, Tai began to fade into deep thought as he and Sora continued dancing.

Alright, Tai. This is when they told you that you would find out if you loved her, so think! What was your reason before? That you didn't want to feel her pain, wasn't it? Nobody wants to feel pain, Tai. You should know that. That reason didn't really make sense. It would make much more sense if you rephrased it for what it really meant... You want to be here for her when all she needs is a friend, but you don't want to be here when she wants a shoulder to cry on. What a stupid reason, Tai! She loves you! You know she does! She's been throwing you hints since you were in the Digital World! Don't you remember when you loved her? You felt like nothing mattered but her and you were happy. Why did you become so afraid of her? She would never hurt you intentionally. You know she loves you because she's put up with everything you've said and done to her over the years. She loves you and she'd never let you go. Plain and simple. What sense would there be in avoiding her love for the rest of her life? Learn to love her again, Tai. T.K. was right. You are soul mates. You belong to each other on a spiritual level. Love her again and be happy. Are you willing to go back to her? Are you willing to give her your heart again? Are you willing to give her a lot more than just your heart?

Tai looked into Sora's eyes as the music got faster. She was twirling away from him so gracefully that Tai almost thought it was a dream. She twirled back to him, breaking eye contact for hardly even a second.

There's a little bit of something me... in everything in you. Tai smiled as the answer came to him.

Yes. Yes, he was.

As the music came into an instrumental break, Tai decided to step it up a notch. He took Sora's hands and twirled her full speed and then brought her past him, twirling her to the other side. He brought her back and twirled her again to the other side, and then finally bringing her back to him, her body pressed against his. She looked up at him and her eyes seemed to sparkle with a supernatural feeling, and Tai felt happy that this feeling was just for him.

While the two had been dancing, the onlookers had gathered together, marveling at the sight. It was such a graceful dance.

"That's a lover's dance if I have ever seen one," Mimi said softly. Kari nodded.

"I think that this just might end with a kiss, don't you?" Davis seemed to drool at this comment and Kari added quickly: "Between Sora and Tai?" Davis became visibly downcast, but Kari was relieved. T.K. smiled at her and kissed her cheek.

"Well, at least there was one between us, right?" T.K. said. Kari blushed and nodded with a smile. Joe, Izzy, Ken, Matt, and Cody were staring at the dancing couple. Tai had never in his life been able to dance and Sora had never danced at any parties because she was too shy. Now, it looked as if Sora was dancing on air.

I think I could need... this in my life

No, Tai thought. I know I need you in my life. At the exact same moment, Sora was thinking the exact same thing.

I think I'm scared. They were both scared of what the future held for them, but they both felt if the other was with them, they could face anything.

Do I talk too much?

I know it's wrong, it's a problem

I'm dealing

If you're gone Sora spun in a graceful circle.

Maybe it's time to come home Tai took her hands and stepped it up a notch again, doing exactly what he had done before.

There's an awful lot of breathing room, but I can hardly move. Tai brought Sora against him, his face almost touching hers.

"Well, as close as they are, I doubt there is any breathing room at all," Mimi said to Yolei, who had to struggle not to laugh.

If you're gone...

Hell, baby you need to come home... oh, come home. Tai stepped it up a notch again, letting the music fill his ears and only Sora fill his heart. Sora felt the music carry her across the floor, but she couldn't keep her mind off of Tai. It was him that she wanted and it was him that she would always love.

There's a little bit of something me... in everything in..... you..... Sora and Tai slowed down, almost to a halt. Sora spun out away from Tai one last time, the hem of her dress twirling around with her, her and Tai's feet dancing on the air of dreams.

Something me... She made eye-contact with him, trying to read his mind. He tried to read hers, but he thought he didn't have to. He already knew who she was thinking about.

Everything in....

Something me... Tai held her hand high above her head as she twirled back to him, gently putting her back against his chest, feeling closer to him than she had ever felt in her life. He crossed his arms in front of her again and put his hands gently on her hips, but this time she didn't flinch.

In you...... On the last word, Sora turned her head sideways and laid against his chest. Tai closed his eyes and rested his chin on the top of her head.

The music faded away completely and stopped. No one moved. Heck, hardly anyone breathed. Sora and Tai were both breathing hard; Sora was controlling hers through her nose while Tai panted slightly. It wasn't just the dance that was making them react this way, however.

Kari was crossing her fingers; Mimi and Yolei had their hands clasped; T.K. and Matt were mouthing 'Come on, come on!'; Davis was biting his nails; Izzy was gritting his teeth in suspense; Joe was about to pass out from the anticipation; and poor Cody was wondering why nobody was moving.

In the stillness of the room, Sora tilted her head upwards, meeting Tai's chocolate brown eyes; the ones she had waited forever to get lost in. Tai was already lost in hers. Those crimson irises seemed to be like a beacon of hope to him. Hope that maybe life wouldn't be so bad after all. Gathering all the will and courage in his body, he tilted her chin up with one hand and prepared to give her the most explosive kiss in the history of the world. She closed her eyes, and he closed his. Nothing but centimeters were separating them.


The phone rang.

All of the Digidestined except for Tai and Sora either hit themselves with their palms in the forehead or muttered angry curses under their breath. Sora just tilted her head back down and opened her eyes, her mouth turning into an impatient thin line. Tai, unlike the other Digidestined, made no effort to hold his curses to a whisper.

"Answer the damn phone!" he roared, very, very angry that the moment had been ruined. Matt cracked a smile, Yolei giggled, and Kari smirked, but Joe made the first lunge for the phone, not really willing to find out what Tai did when he got even angrier.

"Out of all the times someone could have called... We go all night with no interruptions, and then this. A perfect opportunity gone to- hello?" Joe asked, switching his tone from absolutely agitated to pleasant. Everyone remained quiet to listen to Joe's end of the conversation. "Um, no. I don't live here. Sora Takenouchi does... Uh, no, she can't. She lost her voice a few days ago... Uh-huh. Well, okay. I'll tell her." Joe put a hand over the bottom of the phone. "Someone says they need to speak to you. You don't need to say anything." Sora sighed wearily, walked -no- stomped over to Joe and grabbed the phone out of his hand.

"Hello?" a man's voice asked. Sora rolled her eyes and breathed into the phone really hard. "I guess you're there then. I regret having to tell you this news. You may want to sit down." Sora's brows knit in worry. She grabbed the nearest chair and sat down. Everyone threw each other worried glances, but Tai had a sinking feeling that it was something that would change almost everything. Oh, God! This is just a dream! Just some sick nightmare! Please don't let it be true!, Sora thought helplessly. Tai saw the look on Sora's face turn from worry to something akin to horror. Suddenly, she threw the cordless phone as far as she could across the room and ran from the room, crying. Tai looked at the rest of them and ran for the phone.

"Hello? What did you just tell her?" Tai demanded. The man on the other side of the line cleared his throat.

"An hour ago, actually a few minutes ago, there was a car accident. A speeding driver hit a pedestrian outside of the subway. We have identified this person as a Mrs. Natali Takenouchi. We rushed her to the hospital, but she... she was pronounced dead on the way there."

"Oh... my.... God...." Tai whispered, not being able to grasp what he had just been told. The man cleared his throat again.

"Please send Miss. Takenouchi my condolences. We need her to come and identify the body, however-"

"I will send someone. Sora can't go anywhere right now. Th-Thank you, sir."

"Doctor Tamachi. I work at Odaiba Medical."

"I'll send someone tomorrow to identify her. Right now, Sora's not able to get out. Thank you again, sir."

"I'm sorry to be the one to have informed you of this. May peace be with you." There was a click and the dial tone came on.

"What is it, Tai?" Kari asked. Tai turned around slowly, his eyes shut.

"Oh, God! What happened?" Mimi asked worriedly. Tai sighed angrily and threw the phone down, cracking it in a couple of places.

"Sora's mother is dead."

To Be Continued.....

A/N: Soooo??? How's it this time? "If You're Gone" is for Lucky Ishida because she mentioned before that this was a great song and everything and I agree with her. It just seemed to... fit.

Please give me your input. I think there might be one more in this series. This is the longest one so far, but the next one might out do this one.

Thanks Kimaru! Since you told me not to feel guilty, I just won't *say* that I do.

The Demon is like BlackWarGreymon, isn't he? It's kind of freaky, but I didn't mean for it to be like that.

Tell me what ya think! I'd love to hear from you guys! Page long reviews are welcome! ^__~

Until next time, this is

Artisan of the Written Word