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Fanfic » Anime » Digimon » Endangering Forever font size: (+) : (-)
Author: Artisan of the Written Word
PG-13 - English - Romance - Reviews: 109 - Publish date: 12-25-00 - Updated: 01-29-01 storyid: 151798

ENDANGERING FOREVER PART TWO

(How to Fly Part Nine if you're still counting)

A/N: Here I am again. It's going to get really good in this part.

Dedication: *winks at Logan* Isn't it obvious?... But not only him. I would like to thank Kari, too. She's a great friend, even though I don't get to talk to her anymore. Angel, too. Miss talking to you guys!

Disclaimer: Been here, done that. Got the hat and the shoes to prove it. In other words, go read part one if this is what you're looking for.

Warning: Lots of Taiora, a little more Takari than the last one, and a few other couples that will be more obvious as you read on. Please, *please* don't be mad at me about Matt. I do not want fourteen hundred emails telling me how I should pair him up with Mimi or something, so just drop it. There are sexual references (not exactly like in the first one,) and a little angst. As if this warning wasn't obvious in the first place.... Well, I guess it's to you people who read something, but afterwards don't have a *clue* to what you just read.

Well, please review. I think I'll do the same thing as last time. 15 reviews or more and I'll do Part three. Maybe 14. MAYBE, but let's be safe and go with 15, okay? I'd like to say I'm a little upset that I have been getting like 300 hits on my stories, but I'm only getting 7 and 8 reviews. You guys out there who read and don't review, please stop. If you hate my story, I want to hear why. Not so I can stalk you, but I want to know what a reader thinks as they're reading my stuff. The only things I will not go for in my reviews are:

*** People telling me that I should to Sorato, or some different coupling. I chose what I chose for a reason. I don't want people to keep emailing me, telling me that I should have chosen totally different relationships.

*** I don't want people telling me that my story line should be cleaner. This is a more realistic issue, and I believe that it deserves someone to write about it. Sure, it sounds like a soap opera and almost no one's life is actually like that, but what the hey.

*** I will not go for yaoi or yuri (is that right?) fics. I just don't do it. No, I'm not homophobic or anything, but I just don't do that kind of thing.

HOWEVER:

*** I would like to hear what you really think. Don't be afraid to tell the author what you have on your mind. I am a tough person; I can handle the criticism. Believe me. Criticism is the absolute least of my worries.

*** Suggestions are fine, but I won't promise *anyone* that I'll do them. If I don't write about them, I'm sure someone else might, so you never know who will use your idea.

*** You guys please *please* email me with questions. It's very hard for me to actually write you from the reviews. My email is dragonsouldreamer767@hotmail.com Email me here if you're confused, or actually want to congratulate me or something. I know that sounds weird, but I really don't know *what* goes through my readers heads when they read my story, so I guess I'm saying I'd actually like to get to know you guys better.

NOW YOU CAN READ! PLEASE REVIEW! (Yet again, that goes to those people who don't have a *clue* to what they just read.)

"Come on, Sora! Are you going to take all night or what? Everybody's waiting for you!" Tai shouted up the stairs to her room. Sora's mother stood by him, her arms crossed impatiently.

"I've got seven people in my living room! You had better come down here now!" she yelled. Sora sighed. They just couldn't understand. Everyone had wanted her to act more like a girl, but when she tried to look like one, they always rushed her.

"I'm coming, Mama!" she yelled back down. She looked in the mirror. She whipped a lock of her hair behind her ear, making it seem one sided. She was wearing tight black pants, not leather because she hated those, but just simple black pants with a light blue top that was pleasantly formfitting. She thought Tai would like it. She took one last deep breath, grabbed her jacket, and ran down the stairs. Once she came into view, she heard a few gasps, one of them being from Tai. She smiled. "I do have that effect on you, don't I?" she said cockily. Tai smiled back.

"Yes, you do have that heart attack thing going on with me. All right. Is everyone ready to go?" he asked, yet again taking control like he had so well in the digital world. Everyone nodded. Joe adjusted his shirt collar.

"Yes, Cap'n. We are awaitin' your orders," he said in a fairly accurate pirate impression. Tai just raised an eyebrow while Kari, Sora, and Mimi giggled.

"Shut up, Joe. Okay. Well, let's get going. T.K., you and Kari go in front of me. No funny business or one of you two isn't going to make it to that party, and I'm not talking about my sister.... Capeesh?" Tai threatened. Sora poked him in the ribs, trying to get him not to scare T.K., but it was too late. T.K. was smiling nervously, taking three steps away from Kari as a precaution. Kari rolled her eyes.

"One of these days, Taichi Kamiya. One of these days," she whispered, knowing that she'd have to get back at him. He smiled.

"One of these days we'll arrive at that party. Come on and let's go!" he urged.

"Righto. Let's get going," Matt said, trekking toward the door.

"Have a good time, kids!" Sora's mother called. Sora looked back and smiled.

"We will, Mom," she said as she put on her jacket and walked out into the freezing cold, but wondered if she had actually been telling the truth.

"It's really, really cold out here," T.K. said, shivering both from the cold and the presence of Kari's seemingly merciless brother.

"Just walk, bub. No time for chit chat," Tai called from behind. T.K. sighed, rolling his eyes in the same manner Kari had. She caught his action and laughed quietly. Sora locked arms with Tai, sighed, and put her head on his shoulder. Matt smiled as Tai leaned his head against hers in a loving manner.

"Take care of her, Tai," Matt whispered from behind. Sora didn't hear what Matt had said, but Tai did. He turned his head just enough to see Matt and nodded slightly.

"I will," he mouthed back. He took his pocket watch out of his pocket and studied it's glowing face carefully. It was 6:50, and they had a solid fifteen minute walk to Kara's apartment. Tai, Sora, Izzy, Joe, Matt, Mimi, Kari, and T.K. walked toward the party at full speed, chatting with each other candidly as best friends, all wondering what would happen, if anything at all.

*********************************************************************************************

"Hello!" Kara greeted them at the front door, yelling over some loud music in the background. Upon arriving, all of the older digidestined had found out that Kara's house was not an apartment, it was a mansion. 'She must be one of the richest people in Japan... No wonder she gets what she wants,' Sora thought bitterly. She imagined what she could have if her and her mother actually had money, but then wiped the thoughts clean from her mind. She had Tai, and that was more than enough. Kara had long black hair that went below her waist. She was as tall as Sora, but was just a little smaller in the waist, which gave Sora another thing to be jealous of. Sora was very thin, but as every girl does, she wished to be thinner. Kara had pale skin, but was a little darker than Sora, who was like Snow White in a way. Kara's startling blue eyes, which mimicked T.K.'s and Matt's in color, fell onto Tai. She smiled brightly. "Hello, Tai. Nice of you to come," she said, her eyes traveling up and down his body. Something about her gaze made him want to run away and never come back, but Sora had an ever tightening grip on her arm. Kara's gaze went from Tai to Izzy, Joe, Matt, Mimi, Kari, T.K., and finally Sora. Sora scowled slightly at Kara, wary of what the rich girl had in mind. Kara didn't scowl back however. Kara smiled brightly. Her smile was friendly.... too friendly. "I heard that all of your friends were coming. They are welcome here," she said. Sora wondered how she could keep a straight face while saying that. Tai saw the look Sora was giving Kara and shivered. Why was Sora being like that? For all they knew, the rumors about her sleeping around could be false. He nudged Sora gently in the ribs.

"Come on, Sora. Be nice," he whispered. Sora felt her cheeks flood a deep crimson, but her eyes never left Kara, who was seemingly trying to hold back laughter. After this, her cheeks were no longer crimson of embarrassment, but of an immense hatred for Kara. Sora wasn't stupid at all. She was in a way like Izzy, having a lot of book sense, but when it came to common sense, Sora was usually the queen. There had been a few times that she had faltered, granted, but Tai had saved her those times, and she was grateful. This time, it didn't really take common sense or a whole lot of book sense to figure out what Kara was after. The other digidestined knew that, too, except for Tai, who was usually quick to state the obvious, but not so quick to figure out the not-so-obvious. This time, he didn't want to state the obvious. He wanted to have a good time, no matter who was after him. The Kara girl seemed really nice, and he didn't want to judge her.

"Come in, you guys. Don't just stand in the cold," Kara said, backing up a little from the door and beckoning them inside. Sora's eyes never left Kara, as if she was afraid the rich girl would jump from the shadows and take her boyfriend. Sora may have been kind and gentle, but when it came down to her man, she could get down right hostile.

They all accepted her invitation and stampeded inside the door, trekking snow all over Kara's carpet. She told them it was all right and took them on a tour of the house. They passed different people who seemed indifferent in the digidestined's presence. There were a couple that were prejudice of Tai because of the incident four months ago and yelled profanities out at him, but he just smiled and kept walking. The whole time Sora had her arm hooked with Tai's, making it obvious that he was hers. She made sure that the ring on her hand was in full view. Tai felt her tightening grip on his arm. Sora was nervous, but why? 'Doesn't she get it? I'm hers, and she's mine. She doesn't have anything to be worried about. I LOVE her, for crying out loud! ' Tai thought. He looked back at T.K. and Kari, and saw that Kari had a death grip on T.K.'s arm too, who looked like he was going to scream from lack of blood to his hands. Tai smiled and shrugged. 'Girls will be girls, boys will be boys,' he mused. Sora wasn't thinking the same thing, however. She didn't know why, but she felt that she just might lose Tai, and she didn't want to. Ever.

Matt, Joe, and Izzy were behind the group with Mimi directly in front of them.

"Something tells me we better keep an eye on Sora. After those looks she was shooting Kara, it's a wonder that something's not happened yet. We had better not let Sora get alone in a room with her because she may come out being charged with capital murder," Mimi said to them as they were being given a tour. They all nodded as they passed a group of teenagers that seemed to be playing Truth or Dare.

"But don't forget Tai. If he does anything with her, Sora will be charged with a double homicide," Izzy said quietly. Joe nodded, but then seemed thoughtful.

"Who's going to look after who?" he asked. Matt put up a hand.

"I'll go after Tai. Mimi needs to stay with Sora. Maybe you, Joe. You seem like the kind of guy that could keep Sora out of trouble," he said questioningly. Joe sighed.

"Whatever. So it's me and Mimi going after Sora while Izzy goes after... Wait a second. Izzy? I don't think he could do much for Tai," he said skeptically. Izzy's expression became downcast.

"Contrary to popular belief, all that technical jargon can really kill the mood, so yeah, he'll come in handy," Matt said with a slight smile. Izzy stuck out his tongue, but nodded reluctantly.

"Okay. Well, gang. Let's move into position," Mimi said.

"Break!" Matt yelled like a football player as they passed another group of teenagers who were eating some snack food, but was met with a punch to the shoulder.

"Just give us away, Matt. It's not like we're trying to be secretive or anything," Izzy scolded sarcastically. Matt stuck out his tongue at Izzy and they all moved into position, leaving Kari and T.K. wondering what was going on. Privately, they were wondering if the tour was going to last forever. It very well could have. It was a mansion, after all.

For the rest of the tour, Tai and Sora had four body guards. Meanwhile, Sora felt like running away from the Kara girl and never coming back.

Something was going to happen and it was going to affect her and Tai.

She could feel it.

*********************************************************************************************

"Well, I hope you all have a good time," Kara said as she finished their tour. Tai nodded to her.

"I'm sure we will," he said politely, but felt shivers run up and down his spine. Kara smiled at him and walked off. "Well, I guess we don't have to stick together anymore," he said, turning his attention to Sora and the others. Yet again, he felt Sora's grip tighten on his arm.

"Maybe we should stick together for a while longer," Kari piped up. Sora nodded anxiously.

"Yeah, at least for a little while. Come on, Tai. Please," she pleaded. He nodded reluctantly.

"Sure, why not?" he said. Sora was grateful.

"I'm hungry," Matt said. Tai smiled.

"I'm usually the one to say that," he mused. Matt shrugged.

"We all change a little. Oh, dear God! Is that who I think it is?" he said, suddenly afraid beyond words. Sora looked around, her smile becoming a worried look.

"Who are you talking about, Matt?" she asked. Matt shuddered.

"It's Jun." There was a couple of muffled giggles and snickers from the other digidestined. "Oh, yeah. It's hilarious when you're the one that's watching, but when you're the one she's chasing, then you start to get the idea." The digidestined followed Matt's gaze to a girl that was talking to some guys. They seemed to be in a heated argument about something. Suddenly, one of the guys pushed Jun backward, making her fall. Matt sighed. 'Why am I doing this?' he asked himself. He ran over to her and picked her up.

"Matt???" she asked. He smiled, as if trying to say 'don't ever mention this to anyone' but then turned to the guy that had pushed her down.

"What the hell are you doing?" he asked.

"She was getting on my nerves. Got a problem, punk?" the guy asked. Matt shoved him.

"Don't ever call me that," he growled angrily. The guy backed away. Matt was taller than him, so it wouldn't have been a fair fight.

"Thank you, Matt," Jun said as she brushed herself off. She suddenly leaned forward with pursed lips. He jumped backward.

"What are you doing?" he asked, not saying it quite as angrily as he felt. Jun simply pointed upwards. Matt groaned and looked up. 'It HAD to be mistletoe,' he thought angrily.

"Besides, you helped me," she coaxed. Matt rolled his eyes, kissed her on the lips, and walked away to join his friends. Jun smiled after him, now feeling dizzy. 'Maybe he likes me,' she thought and walked away, still thinking of Matt.

"What was that about, Matt?" Mimi asked sweetly. He rolled his eyes at her.

"Some idiot pushed her down," he said, knowing what they were going to say next.

"I think somebody likes Jun," Sora said, grinning wildly. Matt scowled at her.

"No, I would have done the same thing for you or anyone else for that matter," he said as-a-matter-of-factly. Tai raised an eyebrow.

"Than what were you doing kissing her?" he asked. Matt felt his face go blood red, but the lighting was dim and it was hard to see.

"Mistletoe, okay?" he snapped. Kari, Mimi, and Sora giggled.

"Maybe we need to go talk to Jun," Kari teased. Matt shook his head furiously.

"I still hate her guts. You can't change that," he told them. Sora finally relaxed her grip on Tai's arm and put a hand on Matt's shoulder.

"Well, maybe you should try to give her the time of day. You never know. At least make an attempt," she pleaded. She stuck out her lower lip and gave him puppy dog eyes, clasping her hands against her chest. Matt rolled his blue eyes once again.

"Fine. Man, I've got to stop caving in," he told himself. Tai put a hand on both of Matt's shoulders.

"You're in for it now," Tai said, putting his head in his hands. "To think. You had so much promise." Matt smirked and hit Tai's hand off his shoulder. He looked at Sora and forced a smile.

"At least let me talk to her, not you guys. I don't trust you that much," he said as he started his search to find Jun again. Sora watched him and crossed her arms.

"If I didn't know any better, I'd say that Matt wanted to find her," she said. Mimi crossed her arms beside Sora.

"I know what you mean. Men can be so confusing," she said thoughtfully. Tai laughed.

"Women aren't exactly open books that we can read, either," he said. Sora looked at him and smiled.

"Either that, or you can't read. I sent you signals like crazy in the digital world, and you end up going out with me six years later," she said. Tai stuck his tongue out at her and began to look around the room.

"I saw some people dancing about a mile back. Do you want to go find them?" Mimi asked. Tai nodded.

"A mile back is about right. What about Matt, though?" he asked. Sora shrugged.

"I don't think that we'll have anything to worry about. He's probably going to be very busy," she said, smirking at the thought of Matt and Jun being together.

"Well then, let's go," Joe urged.

"Wow, Joe. Is that eagerness I hear in your voice? I didn't think you liked to dance," Izzy said. Joe blushed and straightened his collar.

"Well, I don't. I just kind of wanted to meet someone," he said quietly. Sora smiled.

"If something happens and I have to murder Tai, I'll be free and you can have me," she said, smiling mischievously. Tai winced.

"Hopefully, nothing like that will happen though," he said. Joe laughed.

"I'll keep you in mind, Sora," he said with a smile. Tai gulped audibly.

"Well, what about me? It'd be nice for someone to keep me in mind," Mimi said sullenly. Izzy blushed.

"I will," he said abruptly, almost cutting her off. Mimi smiled at him.

"Thank you, Izzy." Joe looked at Izzy.

"Somebody likes Mi-mi," he sang. Izzy scowled.

"Shut up, Joe."

They made their way for the dance floor, winding through the maze that was the Ishya Mansion.

**********************************************************************************************

"Hello, Jun." She whirled from talking to her friends to meet ice blue eyes.

"Matt!" she exclaimed suddenly. She wanted to hug him, but knew that wouldn't go over well. He groaned inwardly. 'Why did I agree to this? '

"Hey, I just wanted to apologize for brushing you off. I shouldn't have been like that," he apologized, his eyes almost immediately falling to his shoes. He jammed his hands into his pockets like a little kid.

"Oh, that's okay, Matt. I'm the one that should be apologizing to you," she said softly. Matt looked up at her with a knit brow.

"What for?"

"Well, I'm the one that follows you like a raving maniac," she said, laughing softly. He almost grinned, but caught himself. 'Don't give into her, Matt. That's exactly what she wants you to do, and that's exactly what Sora wants you to do, too. DON'T give in!'

"Don't be sorry. You're not the only one," he said, trying to make her feel more comfortable. She smiled.

"Thanks, Matt. Are you hungry?" she asked. Matt nodded a little too anxiously.

"Like a bear," he said. She giggled.

"Well, there some food in Kara's kitchen. She's one of my friends," she explained.

"Really?"

"Yeah. I don't like the way she treats herself, though," she said thoughtfully, her expression growing grave. She began to walk and Matt followed reluctantly.

"Well, how about we put something in my stomach, and you can tell me stuff about this Kara girl." Jun smiled at him.

"I'd love to," she said politely, and led Matt to the kitchen.

****************************************************************************************

"Well, what now?" Sora asked. Joe and Mimi had split up from them almost immediately. Izzy stood beside Sora, eyeing Mimi dreamily. Tai looked at her.

"If you don't mind, I'd like to wait for a slow song to play. I really don't like fast ones. If I recall correctly, you don't either," he said. Sora smiled as she remembered telling him that.

**********>FLASHBACK<*********

"I hate dances," Sora said sadly. She, Tai, and Matt were all in the eighth grade and it was their Homecoming Dance.

"Why?" Tai asked from behind, startling her.

"Well, number one, I never have anyone to dance with, and number two, I can't fast dance," she explained. She sighed heavily. 'There's only one person I want to dance with,' she thought.

"Well, I don't like to fast dance, either. Here's the deal. The next slow dance that comes up, and you don't have anybody to dance with, I'll dance with you. How 'bout that?" he asked. 'Please say yes, Sora. Please say yes.'

"It's a deal!" she said, putting out a hand to make it official. 'Just make it a little bit more obvious, Sora,' she scolded herself. Tai shook her hand with a dreamy look on his face.

"Good." He had walked off with a smile on his face.

Sure enough, Sora had no one to dance with, and Tai danced the last slow dance with her, making that dance the best one ever to either of them.

********>END FLASHBACK<*******

Tai knew exactly what she was thinking about and smiled.

"Hey, Sora," Izzy said slowly.

"Yeah?" she asked.

"Where's T.K. and Kari?" Sora shrugged.

"I dunno. Come to think of it, I think we lost them near one of the Truth or Dare games," she said thoughtfully. Tai's expression became dark.

"What?" he growled slowly. Sora caught on and put a hand on Tai's face.

"Oh, come on, Tai. Just be glad that they got together. I don't think they're going to be doing anything. They're 13 years old for crying out loud," she said reassuringly. Tai looked at her warily. 'She doesn't know what Kari wanted to get T.K. for Christmas' he thought sullenly, but then remembered his advice to his little sister. To wait until they knew the time was right. Dang! He had forgotten that T.K. and Kari were a little bit more mature than other seventh graders at Odaiba. Still, his sister wasn't like that.... was she? He sighed in defeat. If Kari and T.K. wanted to do something like that and had their minds set on it, there wasn't really a way that he could stop them, was there? Unless he really murdered T.K. Tai smiled. The thought was beginning to appeal to him, but before he could figure out how he could do it without being caught, Sora kissed passionately on the lips, snapping him out of his thought. He kissed her back more passionately than he ever had before, leaving her gasping for breath.

"What was that for?" he asked. Not that he didn't enjoy the kiss, he just wasn't prepared for such a sudden rush. Apparently, neither was Sora. She was still gathering her breath, so she simply pointed up. Tai smiled at the culprit. Mistletoe. Of course. "Dang. Is that stuff everywhere?" he asked aloud. Sora shrugged.

"It seemed convenient," she said, grinning mischievously.

"Indeed it was," he said, returning the grin. Izzy rolled his eyes and went out into the crowd of dancers. There must have been over a hundred people at the party. Tai looked up and saw Kara watching him with hungry eyes. He suddenly felt the urge as if to make Kara jealous and kissed Sora again, even more passionately. He broke away with a satisfied look on his face, but to his dismay, Kara was gone. Was he trying to prove that he was Sora's? Well, if that had been his goal, he had apparently done a good job of doing it.

"Wow," was all Sora could manage. He smiled at her.

"Just wait until our wedding night," he said softly. Sora smiled.

"Let's don't get into that again....yet..." she whispered seductively. Tai laughed.

"Man, don't give me another heart attack," he said loud enough that only she could hear. The upbeat music was enough to make them yell, but they focused only on each other, making it easy to hear the other's words. 'Hopefully Kari is planning on giving me one, either,' he thought sullenly.

*********************************************************************************************

"Uh, T.K.? I think we're lost," Kari said as they wondered through a completely dark room in the house. T.K. was holding her hand in his, wondering if they were ever going to find a way out of there. And he, being the man that he was, wouldn't stop and ask someone where the heck they were.

"You may be right, but we'll find our way out," he said. Kari rolled her eyes.

"How can we find our way out if we can't even see where we're going?" she contradicted. T.K. stopped and looked in her direction.

"Well, I'm sorry, but I don't recall you helping me any," he retorted childishly. Kari sighed.

"I don't want to fight, T.K. Please. It's Christmas. We should be happy because we're together," she said. T.K. felt himself smile.

"You're right. I've made some really stupid mistakes," he said, obviously referring to what happened to them both some time ago, "and I don't want to make anymore by losing you. I almost lost you once." Kari put his hand against her cheek.

"Actually, I almost lost you. I've made mistakes, too, but maybe we can keep a few from happening. I love you, T.K.," she whispered. T.K. felt himself grin even wider.

"I love you, Hikari," he said softly. She smiled at his use of her real name. There was a pause.

"Well, no use standing in the dark. Maybe we could go back the way we came?" she said hopefully. T.K. nodded, but forgot Kari couldn't see it.

"Yeah, but this time, you lead the way," he suggested. She nodded furiously.

"That might be a good idea. How did we get lost in the first place?" she asked as she began to lead him again. T.K. shrugged.

"I have no idea. I wonder how Matt is doing with Jun," he wondered aloud. Kari giggled.

"He's probably screaming," she said, still giggling. T.K. laughed.

"Either that or kissing her again," he said. They both laughed and continued on their journey back to the others.

********************************************************************************************** Actually, Matt was doing neither. Jun had made him a sandwich, and they had found a place at the table for them both to sit down. He was listening to her intently while scarfing down a whole ham sandwich.

"What did you mean earlier when you said that you didn't like the way Kara treats herself?" he asked with a mouthful of sandwich. Jun sat back in her chair and sighed.

"She abuses her body I guess you could say. I'm sure you've heard about her," she said. Matt nodded.

"I've heard some things about her and the soccer team," he said. Jun rolled her eyes and looked away from him.

"Yeah, it's true. The whole soccer team, except for that one guy. What's his name? I always forget."

"Tai?"

"Yeah, that's him. She said he's the cutest one on the team, and she's not far from the truth. He is handsome, but she got really mad when she heard that he and Sora were going out. That made her even more determined." Matt swallowed what he had in his mouth.

"Well, I bet she's really mad now," he said. Jun turned her gaze from the floor back to Matt.

"Why?" Matt put down the sandwich and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

"They're engaged, that's why. Tai and Sora announced it this afternoon," he said, feeling a little smug that he knew the information before the school's gossip queen did. Jun put a hand up to her mouth.

"Sora?" she asked incredulously. Matt narrowed his eyes.

"What's wrong with Sora?" he asked, feeling the anger build in his stomach. He wasn't about to let someone insult Sora without someone to defend her. Jun put up her hands in defense.

"Hey, hey. Don't get defensive. I was just a little surprised, that's all. I didn't expect them to get engaged or anything," she said, trying to explain her response. Matt felt the hair on his neck lay down. 'Down, boy, down!'' he thought.

"Sorry. It's just her and Tai are my best friends," he said sheepishly. Jun smiled.

"That's okay. Sometimes I feel like I could murder some people with my bare hands when they insult one of my friends. I totally understand." Matt could help but smile at her, the first time all night. 'Jun is actually being sincere. Wow,' he thought. With sudden clarity, he remembered that he was supposed to be looking after Tai.

"Oh great. I'm sorry, Jun, but I've got to go. I'm supposed to stick close to one of my friends, you know, keep and eye on him. I'm surprised to admit, but it was nice talking to you," he said, his smile growing a little sorrowful. He caught himself. 'Are you actually SAD that you're going to leave her? You hate her, remember?' he scolded, but he was beginning to think Jun wasn't so bad. She looked sad, too.

"Well, once you stopped avoiding me, it was nice talking to you, too," she said, laughing a little.

"I shouldn't have been such a jerk," he said. He suddenly felt his cheeks go red. He was blushing because of Jun? That was the second time tonight. She smiled.

"Well, like you said, I'm not the only one that follows you, right?" He nodded.

"Right." He paused.

"Shouldn't you get going?" she asked. Matt nodded slowly. 'Go ahead and ask her, Matt. Like Sora said, you never know.'

"Yeah, but I was wondering if you would like to... go dance with me or something? You're a lot nicer than I thought and you could help me keep an eye on my friend." Jun smiled brilliantly and clasped her hands in front of her.

"Of course I would! But shouldn't you finish your sandwich or something?" she asked. Matt nodded.

"Sure, but then we'll go, okay?"

"Okay... it's a date," she added quickly. Matt looked up at her from his sandwich and grinned.

"I wouldn't call it that, but whatever makes you sleep at night," he said, but was privately wondering if maybe he would go out with her some time. She did seem nicer that he had previously thought. But, as always, one thing at a time.

"Okay, then can we at least be friends?" she asked, her face serious. Matt looked at her again.

"Sure, why not?" Jun smiled. 'Maybe he likes me...' she thought. Matt continued eating his sandwich, but not without casting casual glances at Jun.

'She is kind of pretty....'

********************************************************************************************** "Um, Mimi?" She turned around and met Izzy face to face. He had grown a lot since the digital world, and she noticed he was a little bit more handsome.

"Hey, Izzy. Man, I can barely hear you! The music is really-" The song that was playing stopped almost instantly. "-loud," she finished in a quiet voice. Izzy smiled.

"Yeah, I guess. I was wondering if you wanted to dance with me later?" he asked, shuffling his feet. Mimi smiled.

"Sure. I'd like that," she said. Izzy grinned.

"Great! I'll see you later, then," he said, blushing furiously and running off. Mimi watched him with an eyebrow raised.

"Men...." Then she promptly turned around and walked the other way, wondering if Izzy would actually dance with her.

**********************************************************************************************

"Um, hey!" Joe said, trying desperately to meet someone. The girl turned around and grinned at him. Joe gulped. It was the same girl that had given them the invitations. He gulped. 'Out of over a hundred people, I had to get the ditz....'

"Hey! You're the guy that I saw earlier today! You're the cute one," she said with a smile. Joe smiled, blushing furiously.

"Yeah, I guess. You're not half bad yourself," he said, trying to stop fidgeting. She giggled.

"I'm guessing you're nervous." Joe shoved his hands in his pockets to conceal that he had sweaty palms.

"Ye-yeah, just a bit," he said, smiling lopsidedly. The girl nodded, as if that was what she expected him to say.

"That's okay. I'm not the kind of person that you're supposed to be nervous around. I mean, I'm cheerful, kind, sweet, caring, beauti-"

"Modest, too," Joe said, cutting her off. He was a little aggitated by her quirkiness, but he had come to meet girls. 'I wish Sora would hurry up and murder Tai,' he thought with a grin.

"What are you smiling about?" the girl asked suddenly. Joe laughed.

"Just a crime that might be committed. Forget about it." The girl narrowed her eyes.

"Uh..huh... yeah, well, do you want to dance?" she asked, forgetting all about what Joe said. He nodded.

"Yeah, sure." She grabbed his hand and took him to the middle of the room, where a slow song was just beginning. He gulped as she put her head on his shoulder and wrapped her arms around him. "Um, okay."

"How old are you?" she asked. Joe smiled.

"I'm 18. How about you?" The girl almost squealed with delight.

"You're 18? I'm 17!" Joe rolled his eyes and pushed his glasses back up on the ridge of his nose.

"That's...cool," he said, trying to seem interested, but he really wasn't. 'Come on, Sora. Just kill Tai and get me out of this mess,' he thought hopelessly.

**********************************************************************************************

"It's a slow song, Tai. You said you'd wait until a slow dance," Sora pleaded, tugging on Tai's hand. He smiled widely at her.

"Yeah, yeah. You don't have to be so excited," he said. Sora pushed him backwards with a mischievous smile on her face.

"I can if I want," she retorted childishly. He laughed.

"Same old head strong Sora." Sora glared at him playfully.

"Same old big haired Tai," she said, grinning. He made a face at her, but suddenly found himself with Sora in his arms, her head against his chest. She was close enough to him that he could feel her breathing. He could have actually counted her heartbeats. He wrapped his arms around her and buried his face in her hair, taking a deep breath as if to make sure she was there.

"God, I love you," he whispered. Sora buried her face into his shoulder.

"I love you, too, Tai," she whispered back.

"Would you marry me?" he asked. Sora pulled away from him and looked into his eyes.

"I'm already going to," she said softly. The music's harmonic sound filled the air, as if painting a romantic scene.

"I know, but could you just say it again? I want you to always be mine," he replied. Sora smiled.

"I'll marry you a million times over. Yes, I'll marry you," she said. She expected him to smile back at her, but he didn't. He looked away, his face was grave; almost too serious. They were gently swaying back in forth to the music, but were now oblivious to it. Sora looked at him, her face becoming as serious as his was. "What's wrong, Tai?" He looked back to her, his eyes showing something vulnerable inside of him. As if he could break into a million pieces if someone gave the word. She looked deep into his eyes, trying to find what was making some vulnerable. Sora hugged him closer to her, deepening the gaze, but all to no avail. He looked away from her, but she wouldn't let him go that easy. She unwrapped one of her hands from around him and turned his chin so he would be facing her. She looked into his eyes again, hoping that she would find an answer, but only found his silent tears. He was crying again. Until Sora had started going out with him, she had never seen him cry. Now he seemed to do it around her like it was natural. She had never known he was so sensitive. "Tai? What's wrong? Tell me, please!" she said, tears beginning to run down her face, too. "When something's bothering you, it's eating me up inside. Please just tell me! I love you! Just tell me!" Tai made himself look deeper into her eyes.

"I disappointed you." Sora gaze softened.

"Is that what it is? You will never disappoint me. Is this because of last night?" He nodded meekly. Sora sighed deeply. "You could never disappoint me over something like that. That was my fault, not yours. Please don't cry," she whispered, wiping away his tears. He smiled weakly, but it quickly became saddened.

"Please don't leave me," he whispered. Sora put both of his hands onto his face.

"I won't ever leave you, Tai. Why do you keep questioning my love for you?" she asked, her eyes becoming glassy, as if tears were going to come again. Tai froze. That's exactly what he had been doing. And by questioning her love for him, he was hurting her. T.K.'s words rang through his head. "She's strong on the outside, but she's REALLY fragile inside. Anything you do to her could make her shatter. Don't hurt her." That kid had a lot more wisdom that a lot of people older than him did. He had said it exactly right. Sora had always been able to accurately put on faces so no one would know what was going in her mind, but the digidestined knew her way better than that; especially Tai. He felt like he could cry again, just at the thought of hurting her. Hadn't he said before that he would never hurt her? Yes, he had. He had broken his promise to her, along with so many others.

"I'm sorry, Sora. I...don't know why. It's like I want to believe you, but something inside of me doesn't want to. I love you so much, and I hope that you love me back. It's just that love can bring two people together, but it can also drive them apart," he said, trying to explain himself. Sora tilted her head slightly.

"How so?" Tai sighed. She was right to question him, although he wasn't exactly sure what he meant.

"Well, like I love you so much, but I keep wondering deep down inside if you love me just as much." He saw the expression on Sora's face go from confusion to being deeply hurt. "Hold on, Sora. Just let me finish." She didn't change her expression, but didn't say anything either. "See, if a couple is like that, one of them can make the other feel like they are... smothering the other one, you know? I just want you to be with me, and I can't live without you. I don't want you to leave me just because I'm protective sometimes or seem like I care too much," he finished. The music seemed to liven up the air around them, but Sora still had that hurt look on her face. Tai waited for her to respond, but she said nothing. "Say something, Sora." Sora just shook her head, let go of Tai, and turned around. He was horrified. Yet again, another voice of wisdom rang through his head. "She's the best girl you'll ever meet, Tai." The one and only Yamato Ishida had said that. Then, another voice rang through his head. "She's a great person, Tai. Don't ever let her go." Even Izzy had known how much Sora was worth. 'Why did I have to be so stupid!?' Tai asked himself, but of course the answer was unknown to him. Tai reached out and put a hand on Sora's shoulder, who seemed to cringe under his touch. 'Dear God, she IS fragile inside... What have I done to her?' He pulled her around so she could face him. She was crying silently, her face in her hands. Her hair draped her face in a way that he couldn't see it, but it was obvious that she was crying because the sobs were racking her body. Tai vaguely noticed that the slow dance song was still going. There were couples making out all around them, but that wasn't what Tai was after. He wanted Sora's heart to be his forever, but he knew that he had to treat her right first. "I'm sorry, So-"

"God, Tai. If you don't know how much I love you by now, will you ever?" she asked, her head still buried in her hands. Tai thought that someone had stabbed him in the heart.

"It was stupid of me to say, Sora." She looked up at him, the tears falling down her cheeks, but except for that, you couldn't have told that she had been crying.

"No. Maybe I haven't been showing you how much I love you." Tai felt that knife penetrate his ribs and jab into his heart yet again.

"Yes, you have, Sora."

"Then why would you have said something like that?" A perfectly valid point. How could he justify himself?

"I don't know. If one of us should be questioning the other's love, it should be you asking me." Sora wiped the tears from her face with a shaky hand.

"Why is that?" Tai sighed.

"Because I could have..." he looked around him. The music was gradually getting softer; a sign that they weren't supposed to be out there much longer. "Come with me." He grabbed her hand and they left the hormone driven teenagers making out on the floor, trying to find a better place to talk than where they were.

*********************************************************************************************

On the other side of the dance floor, Mimi was anxiously awaiting Izzy's arrival to dance with her. That had been the longest slow song yet, the one that Mimi had hoped to dance with him on. The song ended with the distortion of a guitar. A guy and a girl, who had gone as far as you go standing up during the last song, yelled for another one to be played. Mimi couldn't see who was playing the music, but without missing a beat, another slow song started to play.

"Come on, Izzy," Mimi said to herself, wishing that he would hurry and live up to his word. There was a tap on her shoulder and she whirled around to meet dark brown eyes.

"You were waiting for me?" Izzy asked. Mimi smiled brilliantly.

"Well, actually, I was," she said happily. Izzy smiled back.

"I promised to dance with you... Do you still accept?" he asked, holding out a hand to her. Mimi sighed dreamily. 'It's like he's a knight in shining armor... a fairy tale...'

"Of course, kind sir," she said, restraining herself from giggling. Izzy's smile widened. 'He is a lot cuter than he used to be... maybe I like him....' She put out a hand in front of her and let Izzy take it, but was surprised when he leaned forward and kissed her hand gently, sending shivers up and down her spine. 'It's official... you're head over heels for him...' Izzy led her out to the middle of the room and wrapped his hand around her waist, sending shivers up and down both of their spines. Mimi wrapped her hands around his neck. As the song went on, neither of them noticed that they had drawn very close to each other. They both had dreamy smiles on their faces. Izzy knew that, just like Mimi, he had fallen head over heels for her. Both of them felt like something had clicked between them, and they never wanted the dream to stop.

*********************************************************************************************

"Finally," Kari said, grateful to see light as they entered another room. T.K. sighed.

"Yep. Now what do we do?" Kari shrugged.

"Well, for one thing, I don't want to go near any of those high school boys. After the way they treated Jun, I can only imagine what a hay day they'll have with me," she said, her voice a little saddened. T.K. squeezed her hand for encouragement.

"I'll be here to protect you," he said proudly. Kari couldn't help but laugh.

"I dunno, T.K. Some of those guys looked like they eat kids like you for lunch," she said, still laughing. T.K. stuck his tongue out at her playfully, but soon joined in her laughter.

"Maybe we should go find Tai and the others. You seem like you want to go home," he said after he stopped laughing. Kari sighed deeply.

"Well, I kind of do. I just don't feel comfortable around these older guys. I'm sorry, T.K. I wanted you to have fun," she said, trying to apologize. T.K. waved off her apology.

"It's okay. You're right about them being stronger than me. I don't want anything to happen to you. Ever." Kari smiled.

"Thanks. Let's go find the others, kay?" T.K. nodded, and off they went again, hand in hand, falling deeper in love with the other as each second ticked by.

*********************************************************************************************

"Let's get out of here, Jun. I've got to find Tai." Jun looked at Matt curiously as he got up from the table after he had finally finished his sandwich.

"Why are you looking after Tai?" Matt felt his face go red. He didn't like to admit it, but he was baby sitting his best friend.

"Well, Kara was kind of eyeing Tai, and we're trying to keep an eye on him and Sora so that we can be sure nothing happens." Jun nodded agreeably.

"That's a good idea. Just be sure to keep Tai away from her. She'll do anything to get into bed with him, and there's plenty of bedrooms around here to do it in," she said. Matt nodded.

"I need to find him right away, though. They headed toward the music, so I'm guessing that's where they are." He started out of the kitchen but then turned around to Jun, smiling nervously, running his hands through his hair. "Um... which way do I go?" he asked sheepishly. Jun smiled and laughed lightly.

"I know. It's like a maze, isn't it? Follow me," she said, and walked by him. He followed reluctantly, hoping that Tai could stall any plans he had with someone besides Sora until he could get there. Matt felt ashamed that hardly any of the digidestined had faith in Tai and Sora's relationship, but Tai had been known to make stupid decisions, and this wasn't a time for broken hearts for either him or Sora.

*********************************************************************************************

"....And that's why I'm going to Odaiba now," the girl finished just as the second slow song ended. Joe rolled his eyes, let go of the girl, and gingerly wiped the front of his shirt, as if removing any germs the girl could have given to him.

"That's nice." He suddenly remembered that he was supposed to be watching Sora. He began to look around the room, trying to find a familiar face. He finally spotted Izzy and Mimi still dancing together, their foreheads pressed together in a loving matter. Joe smiled slightly at the sight. He once had a crush on Mimi, just as Tai had so long ago, but had realized at about the same time that Mimi wasn't the girl for him. He just wondered now how Yolei would take the news of the newfound couple, being that Izzy was her man and all. Joe parted the people like Moses and the Red Sea, finally making it to the two sixteen year olds. "Ahem." Izzy and Mimi broke apart immediately and began to blush simultaneously.

"Uh, hi, Joe!" Mimi said a little bit too cheerfully. Joe smiled wryly.

"Hi, Mimi. Hi Izzy. I'm not going to tease you, so stop putting on the act." Izzy and Mimi both let out a sigh of relief. "I was just wondering if you two knew where Sora and Tai were." Mimi gasped.

"Oh no! I forgot to watch her. I could have sworn that they were dancing together right here!" she exclaimed. Izzy put a hand on her shoulder, causing them both to blush like mad.

"Maybe someone else saw them. We should ask around," he said calmly, but he actually felt anything but calm with his hand on her, so he quickly removed his hand and shoved it into his pocket. Mimi's expression became downcast. She had liked the feeling of Izzy's hand on her shoulder. It was a comforting, reassuring feeling.

"Izzy's right. HEY YOU!" Joe shouted suddenly, making Mimi and Izzy lose any train of though they had. A guy turned and looked at Joe.

"You talking to me?" he yelled over the music, which was now upbeat. Joe nodded.

"Have you seen a guy and a girl here who were just dancing?" he asked, stepping closer to the guy so he could hear him without yelling. The guy snorted laughter.

"Well, if you haven't noticed, there's a lot of them." Joe felt himself glow bright red, but tried to continue.

"Well, this guy has big brown hair and is about 5'10" or so. The girl is really, really pretty and has auburn hair the color of fire and one of a kind crimson eyes. Her skin is as white as snow and she has a really nice figure. She's about 5'7" or 5'8"," Joe finished. The guy nodded almost immediately.

"Yeah, I now who you're talking about. That guy you were talking about was with her. They were dancing together, but I guess he said something bad to her 'cause she started cryin'. They started to talk, but the guy dragged her out of here. They went that way, if you're lookin' for 'em," the guy said, pointing down a hall to his left.

"Thanks," Joe said and turned around to Izzy and Mimi, whose jaws were practically on the floor. "What?" he asked, genuinely confused.

"How can you describe Sora like that, Joe? Do you like her?" Mimi asked skeptically. Joe sighed heavily.

"I used to. Sora's my best friend. I love her to death, so it's only logical that I can describe her." Izzy raised an eyebrow.

"I can understand that, but auburn hair the color of fire? She's got one of a kind crimson eyes? Skin as white as snow? Only Tai's supposed to describe her like that. You're not only in love with her, you're infatuated with her!" Izzy ranted. Joe rolled his eyes.

"No, I'm not. Lemme ask you this. Did I lie when I described her?" he asked, turning the interrogation tables on Izzy. Mimi looked at him with knit eyebrows.

"Yeah, Izzy. Was he lying?" Izzy gulped and paused before he said anything.

"Well, honestly, he wasn't. Her hair is the color of fire, and her skin is as white as snow. And I have to admit, crimson isn't a natural color for eyes," he said, expecting to get slapped when he finished. Instead, Mimi just smiled.

"I'm glad you were honest with me, Izzy," she said. She suddenly leaned forward, kissed Izzy on the cheek, and began to walk down the hall Sora and Tai were fabled to have traveled down. "Come on. We have to find those two, with or without Matt." Joe nodded and turned to Izzy to tell him to hurry. Izzy had a dreamy look on his face with a hand plastered to his cheek.

"Come on, Casanova. Let's get going," Joe said with a laugh. Soon they were off, trying to find their best friends in the giant maze that Kara Ishya's family dared to call a house.

**********************************************************************************************

Tai stopped dead in his tracks. This was a good room to stop in. It had double glass doors that revealed a starry night and a full moon shining down. There was a couch in the middle of it, but there was no other furniture. Best of all, there were no other teenagers there to spoil it. Tai smiled and turned around to face Sora, whose face now had confusion mixed in with hurt.

"This is a nice room..." Tai said slowly. Sora jerked her hand out of Tai's grip.

"Why should I be questioning your love for me? Stop stalling and tell me what's wrong!" she exclaimed, her eyes becoming glassy in the pale moonlight, her voice shaky from fighting tears. Tai closed his eyes and opened them again, hoping Sora could see that he was sorry.

"I didn't mean it like that. It's just-"

"Then what the hell did you mean?" Uh oh. She was mad and Tai knew he had some explaining to do.

"I feel like that I love you so much that I'm pushing you away, I guess." Sora's expression softened, but she was still hurt beyond words. There was silence between them.

"Why did you say that you weren't sure I loved you?" Tai waved his hands.

"I said that I wasn't sure that you loved me that much," he corrected.

"Same thing to me," she said sharply, not missing a beat. Tai swallowed.

"It's not the same thing. I'm really sorry that I said that because I know that it's not true. I want someone to love me more than life itself. I guess some stupid part of me was just trying to make sure it was you, but I knew that all along." Sora's expression softened even more. At that moment, Tai saw how much he had really hurt her. T.K. was right; she was very, very fragile. Tai had probably been one step from breaking her into a million pieces. Sora took a step forward until she was close enough to kiss him. This was what Tai expected, but not what Sora did. She rested her head against Tai's chest to where she was staring at the ground. Her auburn hair, which was the color of fire as Joe had correctly said, draped around her face in a way that drove Tai crazy.

"Before you dragged me away, you said that I should be questioning your love for me." Tai almost said something, but Sora looked up at him and put a finger on his lips. ""Let me finish. I listened to what you, but now you need to listen to me." Tai nodded hesitantly, like a four year old accepting a scolding from his mother. Sora attempted to smile at him, to ease the tension, but her facial expression didn't change. "I asked you why, and you...." She dragged in a shaky breath. Tai pulled her closer to him, which was barely possible. She could feel his chest rising and lowering, steady as the tide. He could feel her heartbeat, which was like the gentle beat of drums, beating a lovely serenade into his mind. He tucked a lock of her hair behind her ear. She finally managed a half-smile, but Tai's face remained grim. She willed herself to keep going. "You didn't get to finish what you were saying. I want to know what you were going to say." Tai took a deep breath, breaking the rhythm of the tide.

"Because I could have given you what you really wanted for Christmas, and I didn't. I could have given you the ultimate gift, but I was too scared." Sora sighed shakily.

"This is my fault. I shouldn't have done this to you. I'm sorry, Tai. I'm the one who's pushing the other away. I'm sorry." Her eyes showed how much she wanted his forgiveness. It was the same look Tai had given her when he had been in her bed the night before. She wanted him in a way that wasn't physically possible, but she also wanted his forgiveness for pressuring him.

"Shh, Sora. Don't be angry with yourself. We're both guilty and innocent, remember?" He smiled at her and then kissed her forehead. She snuggled close to him. She wanted him more than ever right now, and he wanted her, but they didn't want a repeat of last night's events. They could feel how much they wanted each other; how much they needed each other, but they both knew the time wasn't right.

"One more question, Tai." He took a deep breath, pulled away from her, and looked her in the eye. Those crimson eyes that drove him crazy, although, his chocolate brown ones were enough to drive Sora up the wall with pleasure.

"Yes. You can ask me anything," he assured. Sora smiled. Tai was sweet.... in his own way. Her smile disappeared when she remembered her question.

"Why couldn't you sleep with me last night?" Tai felt his heart jump into his throat. She had to ask that. Tai swallowed hard and slowly took a deep breath.

"Why couldn't I make love to you, you mean?" Sora's face turned a red that matched her hair.

"I guess... that's what I meant. Why couldn't you..." She couldn't finish. She turned her head to the side and closed her eyes. "...make love to me?" She thought she was going to choke on her words. Tai smiled, took her chin in his hand, and made her face him. Her eyes switched back and forth against Tai's, as if she was searching his soul for the answer, but she couldn't see anything. Meanwhile, Tai was hoping she didn't find what she was looking for. He closed his eyes, as if something painful came to memory. He couldn't believe what he was going to say.

"Because I didn't want you to get pregnant. I would stay with you, but I don't want life to be harder than it already is, especially for you." Sora smiled.

"Thank you for caring, but is that all?" Tai gulped. He hadn't lied so far, but it looked like he might have to.

"Religious reasons." Sora nodded, as if accepting this for the whole truth, but she seemed hesitant. 'Please don't make me lie to you, Sora. I love you too much. Please don't make me lie to you,' Tai thought helplessly. She knit her brow, signaling to Tai that his silent pleas had gone unheeded.

"Are you sure that's it? I mean, you were scared last night, and the reasons you gave me aren't the ones that make you scared like that. I know you wouldn't lie to me, so just tell me the truth. Are you sure that's why you were so scared?" she asked. Tai swallowed hard. The pale moonlight lit up Sora's white face brilliantly. Her innocence seemed to be highlighted in her features. Tai couldn't break her heart. He couldn't tell her the other reason, could he? What was the other reason? The main other reason? 'I couldn't take your innocence away. It was the ultimate gift. You're pure, but if I had taken you in, that would have been destroyed. I would have disappointed you. You're first time would have been terrible and you would leave me. That's the whole reason, actually two reasons. I couldn't take your innocence and I would disappoint you because you deserve so much better than me. Do you want me to tell you that? Do you, Sora? But, of course, Tai couldn't tell her that. He couldn't afford to break her heart anymore.

"That's it," he said finally. Sora smiled.

"Good. I knew you would tell me the truth." Tai turned his head away from her and closed his eyes. 'But I didn't, Sora.' "Something wrong?"

"No." You've lied to her twice, Taichi. Twice.

"Oh, okay." Just then, footsteps echoed from the hallway.

"The Calvary has arrived!" Joe shouted. Tai rolled his eyes, but Sora giggled.

"Hi, Joe! Hey, Izzy! Where's-"

"You guys were supposed to wait for me, not leave me in your dust!" Mimi said irritably, finally coming into view.

"-Mimi," Sora finished. Tai laughed.

"Hey, Mimi. I'm guessing you guys were looking for us, huh?" Tai asked. Joe nodded.

"Yeah. There weren't any good girls to dance with," he said sullenly. Sora laughed.

"If it means that much, I'll dance with you." Joe's face seemed to brighten immediately.

"Really, Sora?" Sora thought it rather odd that Joe actually seemed excited to dance with her.

"Yeah, if it's all right with Tai."

"Fine with me, as long as you don't try anything, Joe," Tai said in a mock threat. Joe laughed.

"Never would I dream of such a thing," he said. Sora nodded.

"Good. I don't want to have to hurt you or anything," she said with a smile.

"Shall we go back? I kind of had someone I wanted to dance with," Izzy said, glancing at Mimi, who couldn't help but smile. Sora and Tai lifted their eyebrows simultaneously.

"Is... something going on here that we should know about?" Tai asked. Izzy and Mimi both shook their heads furiously, but Joe rolled his eyes.

"They like each other." Both Izzy and Mimi glared at Joe. "What? They needed to know. They would have found out, anyway," he said. Sora's face showed her excitement.

"That's great, Mimi! Maybe we should head back," she said, winking at Izzy, who immediately started blushing in the moonlight. Mimi laughed.

"Yes, we should," she said, and they all headed back to the party. Mimi dropped back to Sora, who was holding hands with Tai. "Are you okay, Sora?" Sora looked confused.

"What do you mean?"

"A guy at the party said that you'd been crying." Sora's face changed from confusion to embarrassment.

"Oh. I'm okay."

"You sure?"

"I'm sure."

"Absolutely sure?"

"Absolutely sure."

"Really?"

"Really."

"Good, 'cause I'm your best friend and you'd tell me if something was wrong... right?" Sora laughed at Mimi's annoying concern.

"Right." Mimi sighed.

"Just making sure. By the way, I think Joe likes you." Sora seemed startled.

"Hmmm?"

"He described you to this guy like you were his girlfriend. Your hair is the color of fire, etcetera, etcetera." Sora laughed.

"I'd hardly say that means he likes me."

"True, but he said he loves you to death."

"As a friend."

"Maybe you're right, but you never know." With that, Mimi went to the front of the crowd of digidestined to walk side by side with Izzy.

**********************************************************************************************

"'Hurry, Jun. If what you said about Kara's true, I need to keep a close eye on Tai," Matt said. Jun sighed.

"Sorry, Matt. It's not my fault you're slow," she said sullenly. Matt snorted laughter.

"HA! You're the one that's slow!" he retorted childishly, stopping and crossing his arms. Jun laughed, infuriating Matt beyond words. "What are you laughing at?"

"You look like a little kid," she said with a smile, obviously holding back laughter. Matt tried not to reveal his hurt pride. Jun rolled her eyes. "Come on," she said, suddenly grabbing his hand. Matt felt like he should yell at her not to touch him anymore, but there was something awfully... comforting about her touch, so all he did was maintain a scowl on his face as Jun dragged him to where he thought people were dancing.

**********************************************************************************************

"We're here, Tai," Sora said to him. He nodded as they stepped out into the very, very dimly lit room. There was another slow song playing. Sora and Tai listened to hear what the song was, but were quickly embarrassed when they realized what it was.

And I don't want to come back down from this cloud

Taken me all this time to find out what I need

And I don't want to come back down from this cloud

Taken me all this, all this time

Joe turned around to take Sora's hand and dance with her, but quickly became confused, along with Izzy and Mimi, to see the two blushing furiously.

"This is an older song, but it's nice. Don't you think so, Sora?" Mimi asked, not sure if she would get an answer from the tomato red teenager.

"Um... yeah, it is," she said softly. Joe held out a hand to Sora, who looked at Tai. He nodded his approval. Sora took Joe's hand and twirled out onto the dance floor. Izzy and Mimi soon joined them. Joe had Sora's hand in one of his and his other hand around her waist. Sora copied this. They looked like two senior citizens; mostly because of Joe's two left feet. "Okay, Joe. If I'm going to dance with you, you're going to have to do it right. Just sway with the music," she told him. Joe blushed, embarrassed at his inability for dancing. Finally, he and Sora were in synch.

"You're a good dancer, Sora," he whispered. Sora smiled and said thank you.

"Um, Joe?"

"Hmm?"

"Hair the color of fire?" Joe laughed.

"This is about me describing you, isn't it?" Sora nodded. He laughed again. "I don't have a crush on you, Sora. I was just trying to find out where you were. I love you to death because you're my best friend. Don't think that I just sit by and don't look at you. You're beautiful, Sora, and you deserve to be described that way. I was just telling the truth." Sora blushed brilliantly. Tai looked on with a smile. She was so beautiful out there, and to think, she was going to be his wife. Suddenly, a girl ran up to Tai with a weird grin on her face.

"Are you Taichi Kamiya?" she asked, her perkiness almost making Tai feel nauseated.

"Yeah."

"Oh... my... gosh! Can I have your autograph?" she asked. Sora looked on nervously. She could hear what was being said, but she wasn't sure that Tai's autograph was what she was really after. The notion in her mind became stronger when she saw two more girls come up behind her.

"Uh, yeah. I guess so," he said, rather confused. The girl squealed in delight.

"Great! I'm going to get the captain of the soccer team's autograph! How cool!" she shrieked. Tai laughed, but wasn't so sure that she was being sincere. She seemed to be acting, but how was he to know? No one had ever asked him for his autograph. "Come this way!" she said, grabbing his hand. He glanced at Sora helplessly, who couldn't help but laugh. The girl started to drag Tai away, the two other pushing him. Sora smiled, but she felt very, very nervous, but didn't know why. She sighed and rested her head on Joe's chest, who took in a sharp breath when she got closer to him. 'I don't like her... do I?' he thought, but quickly pushed it away. This was his best friend's fiancee! He couldn't like her. In truth, Joe just thought that she was a great friend, but what Mimi and Izzy had said had unjustly caused him to question himself. Meanwhile, Sora became even more nervous, wondering if her premonitions were right.

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Pretty soon, Jun and Matt were running everywhere, laughing flirtatiously. There were a few girls who almost fainted at the sight of the Yamato Ishida, but were very angry to see Jun, of all people, with him. Matt was actually having fun with Jun, not that he would have actually admitted it. She was having fun with him-that went without saying. He was a really nice guy once she got to know him, but she knew it would be a long, long time before Matt revealed what was going on behind those dreamy blue eyes. Jun wasn't sure that Matt's best friends even knew everything about him.

"All right, Jun! I think you've led us in circles!" he said in mock anger, but couldn't help but laugh. Jun laughed with him.

"Sorry, I guess I got carried away," she said apologetically. Matt waved it off with his free hand.

"No biggie," he said. Jun noticed his grip on her hand had gotten tighter and she smiled brightly. She looked from their hands to Matt's eyes, who automatically met the gaze. His free hand now hung limply at his side. He was captivated by her. Yes, Jun did come on a little strong, okay, maybe REALLY strong, but she was quite a nice person once he got to know her. Yes, their first time to go to a restaurant together had been, why sugar coat it, awful. That had been when Matt was determined to hate her, but now, being older and wiser, he realized that maybe hating her had opened up the gateway to, possibly, loving her?

"Wow, Matt. You really got to know her, I see," a familiar girl's voice said. Matt broke the romantic stare that he and Jun had shared, snapping him back to reality. Matt looked to his side to see Kari with one hand on her hip and the other holding T.K.'s hand. Matt blushed immediately and dropped Jun's hand. Jun's expression went from dreamy to downcast, and Matt noticed this, feeling ashamed of himself. Was he going to act like he didn't know her every time someone came around?

"She was just showing me the way to the music, that's all," he said, trying to reassure himself more than Tai's skeptical sister. T.K. smiled.

"We believe you," he said, but his tone suggested the opposite.

"We were looking for Tai," Kari said to Jun.

"Matt was looking for Tai, too. Something about he had to watch him," Jun said, but her voice had lost all of its cheerful tone. She sounded disappointed, sad, and the worst to Matt, she sounded hurt. Kari and T.K. noticed this, too. Kari whispered something to T.K. who nodded in response.

"What about baby sitting my brother?" Kari said, acting as if nothing had happened. Matt poured out word for word what Jun had said about Kara and his discussion with Mimi, Izzy, and Joe. T.K. almost had to hold Kari back from her sudden rage. "I'll tear Kara apart if she touches my brother or Sora," she growled. Matt put up his hands in a cross.

"Down, girl, down! If we find Tai and Sora, we can warn them, so let's get going," he told her. Finally, she calmed down and they began on their way.

"It's this way," Jun said, her voice emotionless. Matt felt like he had been kicked. 'Why do I always have to be such a jerk?' Kari and T.K. unlatched from each other and began to walk again, Kari with Jun and T.K. with his brother. Kari saw how hurt Jun was. Her eyes showed how much she wanted to cry. Kari felt so sorry for her, but hopefully, T.K. could change how Matt was treating her.

"You've got to stop hurting her, Matt. Let her get close to you," T.K. whispered as they followed the two girls. This made Matt mad.

"I don't want anyone to get close to me!" he hissed angrily. T.K. put a hand on his shoulder in a calming gesture.

"Maybe you should. I let Kari know all about me. She's the best thing that ever happened to me. Brother, I'd let her search me inside and out if I could because I love and trust her." Kari smiled. She had overheard everything so far, and was very pleased with what she had heard. "I don't know if you trust me-"

"I trust you."

"Well, maybe you should let yourself trust someone else."

"I trust Tai! And Joe and Izzy!"

"That's not the same thing. I mean a girl, Matt."

"I trust Sora, Mimi, and Kari."

"A girl you can love."

"I love Sora, Mimi, and Kari! I care about them more than anything." T.K. sighed in exasperation.

"I meant a girl that you could marry. A girl that you depend on. A girl that you would feel incomplete without. I feel that way about Kari." Kari's smile widened. Matt sighed in defeat. Kari looked at Jun, who was obviously listening judging by the pleading look on her face.

"I do feel alone. Empty, even. But that does not mean Jun is the person to make me... complete," he said sullenly. T.K. shrugged.

"No, it doesn't, but don't you agree there's a possibility she is?" Matt looked from the floor in front of him to his brother's sincere eyes and stopped walking. T.K. stood still, staring back into his brother's eyes.

"We're here," Jun said suddenly. Kari beckoned T.K. He looked at Kari and back to Matt.

"Good luck, brother," T.K. whispered and walked off with Kari, leaving Matt and Jun alone. Matt continued to stare at the space in front of him.

"I.. don't know if I'm the one that you'll marry, Matt. Probably not, but at least let me be your friend," Jun said softly. Matt looked at her and smiled, but didn't say anything. "Um.. I'll go find Tai, I guess." She turned around but was surprised when a hand was laid on her shoulder. It was a tough hand, calloused by hours and hours of guitar practice, but it also had a soft feel to it. As if just his touch said 'Everything's going to be all right.'

"Wait, Jun." She turned around to look at Matt. She was just an inch or two smaller than he was. Suddenly, Matt leaned forward and kissed Jun on the lips. It was a lingering kiss. It seemed neither of them wanted to break it. Jun immediately felt dizzy, and Matt felt different. He had kissed a lot of girls before, but this was different. It had meaning. Jun looked up and gasped in surprise.

"No mistletoe," she said, pointing upward. Matt smiled.

"I know." With that, he took her hand and they walked onto the dance floor together. Soon, they both spotted Joe, Mimi, Sora, and Izzy, but unfortunately, no Tai.

"Sora! Sora!" Matt yelled, running toward her, Jun's hand in his. Sora lifted her head from Joe's chest and smiled when she saw Jun and Matt holding hands.

"Hey, Matt! What's wrong?" she asked, seeing the sudden worry on his face.

"Where's Tai?"

"Some girl asked him for an autograph. She was really ditzy," she said with a slight smile. Jun covered her mouth with her free hand.

"Oh, no..."

"What is it, Jun?" Kari asked, walking up from behind with T.K. at her side.

"Kara was talking about how she was going to get Tai into bed with her, and she said something about sending someone out to get him... I forgot how, but asking for his autograph seems like it would be one of her ideas," she said hurriedly. Realization, sadness, worry, and rage hit Sora all at once like a brick.

"I knew it! Great! I can't believe this is happening," she exclaimed, pulling her hair. Mimi put her hands on Sora's shoulders.

"Calm down, girl. We can still help Tai. He won't do anything because he loves you, remember? But just in case, let's go find him," she said. Sora nodded. Tai loved her more than anything, but then why was she so worried?

"Come on. I know where Kara's room is, and I bet that's the first place we should look," Jun said. They all nodded and followed her down a hall. Sora's heart raced, hoping that Tai did love her enough not to do anything stupid.

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"Um, did I have to come all this way just to give you my autograph?" Tai asked, confused. The girls giggled.

"Yeah, you did. Here's my stuff. You can come in if you want," the girl that first came up to him said. Tai was beginning to get suspicious, but he knew he shouldn't judge. The girl let him go in the room before her. He stepped inside, but was surprised when the door shut behind him.

"What the heck is going on here?" he asked irritably. The room he was in was lit up in dim light. There was soft music playing.

"What do you think is going on, Tai?" He squinted, trying to see who had said that.

"I'm only Tai to my friends. Where are you? Let me out of here!" he yelled, but the door knob was locked. He was stuck here.

"I'm going to be the best friend you ever had in a little bit." Tai tried to make out what was in the room and felt a lump in his throat. This was a bedroom, no doubt about it. He could make out a slight outline of a bed, and there was a figure on it.

"I... want... out... NOW!" he roared. The girl just giggled.

"What if I don't let you out?"

"Look, I love Sora with all my heart, and I will never ever cheat on her, so you can just forget it!" He heard the bed creak as the person that was on it got up. The lump in Tai's throat seemed to get wider so he couldn't breathe.

"Who said she had to know? She's ugly, anyway. I saw the way you were looking at me. You want me, Tai."

"The hell I do! Sora is the most beautiful being God ever created! Sora is my girl! I love her, not you! You're that Kara girl, aren't you?" There was a cackle of laughter.

"Yeah, that's me. You don't have to love me, Tai. You just have to sleep with me."

"HELL NO!" he yelled, and began to bang on the door with all his might. "SORA!!!" He felt someone gently caress his back. He whirled around to meet ice blue eyes. He gulped. She was naked. The lights didn't have to be on for him to know that. She pressed herself against him. All Tai wanted to do was push her away, but he knew he couldn't never live with himself if he touched her.

"You know you want me," she whispered. She made Tai look her in the eye. He looked deep into her eyes and saw something that he hadn't ever seen before in Sora's.

He couldn't see any love in her eyes.

He definitely couldn't see any trust.

And what got him most of all, there was no innocence.

"No, I don't," he said, but this time he wasn't as strong of voice.

"Yes, you do," she whispered, and began to caress his chest. Tai was losing it. 'Fight her, Tai! She's winning! Dear God! You'll lose Sora if you do this, you idiot! Don't do this! You love SORA!!!'

"No... No! NO! I don't want you!" he screamed again. Kara smiled.

"You don't seem to sure of yourself, Tai," she whispered. Tai was about to tell her to address him as Taichi when she kissed him. He began to pull away, but she put her arms around his neck and pressed her into him. He fought back, but she kept deepening the kiss. Already, he had gone as far with Kara as it had taken him and Sora 15 years. Finally, he managed to pry her hands out from around his neck.

"Stop it! Stop it, now!" She didn't do as he said. She just went for his belt buckle, making Tai extremely nervous. "I said STOP IT!" Still she didn't listen.

"If you really wanted me to stop, you would have already fought back," she whispered seductively. Tai felt extremely confused. He was supposed to fight back! But why wasn't he? Then a voice came into his head. An evil voice.

If you're so afraid you'll disappoint Sora, then you should get some practice.

That couldn't be his own mind, could it? He couldn't think like that.

There's no innocence in Kara's eyes. You saw that. Why don't you go ahead?

This couldn't be happening. Kara already had Tai's belt unbuckled and was beginning to unzip the fly.

You can pretend it's Sora. Kara won't care. She wants you, Tai. She wants your body.

Tai's pants fell down to his ankles. Kara stared at him with a hungry look.

"Well, you're almost the way I want you," she said seductively. Tai swallowed.

You can scream out Sora's name... Kara won't care. You won't disappoint Sora anymore. You can make her first time be the best ever. She'll never know about Kara and you.

Tai closed his eyes. 'I can't do this!' But despite his conscience's desperate argument with something much colder and much more evil, Tai stepped out of his pants.

"That's more like it. I knew you wanted this," Kara whispered. Tai looked at her, his eyes turning from caring and loving to cold and inconsiderate.

"Let's get this over with." Kara almost squealed with delight. Tai felt the guilt bearing down on him. 'You're hurting Sora... She may not know it, but you're hurting her more than you will ever know. You're doing this for your own benefit, not hers.' The truth in his conscience's statement was almost unbearable. 'You were right... she should be questioning your love for her...' Yet again, the truth echoed through his head, but still, he figured he come too far to turn back. He pulled his sweater over his head and looked at Kara for a second. She was pretty, in a prep-ish sort of way. Sora was down to earth pretty. Sora was so much better than this. Kara took Tai's hand and he reluctantly stepped forward. She began to stroke his chest. Tai closed his eyes painfully as he wrapped his arms around Kara and began to kiss her. He finally let his tongue roam her mouth. She kissed him back, but her kiss to him felt like it was practiced. That it had taken many, many guys to make her this good of a kisser. He tried deepening the kiss. He began to feel her body. 'It's just Sora... It's just Sora...' he kept thinking, but no lie could justify what he was doing. He deepened the kiss yet again and laid her down on the bed.

"You're forgetting something," she panted as she broke the kiss for air. Tai knew she was talking about his boxers. 'You can still turn back, Tai!!!'

******************************************************************************************************

"Let me through!" Sora cried. Three girls were guarding Kara's door like Fort Knox. Mimi pushed her way through the crowd of digidestined and stopped right in front of one of the girls.

"This is one time that I will submit to being a tomboy!" she yelled as she threw a punch and hit the closest girl in the face. The other two quickly kneeled beside her.

"Thanks, Mimi!" Sora said as she began to work on the door. She threw it open and turned on the light. "I'm here, Tai! Are you o-" She stopped mid-sentence and let her jaw hang wide open.

There was Tai laying on top of Kara, who was naked, in nothing but his boxers, but Sora could clearly see that Kara had her thumb wedged into the elastic band, so those wouldn't have been on him long, either. Tai felt his face go red. Sora closed her mouth and just stared. Tai stared back, his eyes full of remorse and regret. 'WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?!' Not even two seconds later, the rest of the digidestined piled into the room, just to be met by the sight on Kara's bed.

"Tai???" Kari said, her voice shaky. Her brother wasn't this stupid! He wouldn't hurt anybody like this! This couldn't be Taichi Kamiya! The brother who had just announced his engagement today! It couldn't be! T.K. saw Kari start to shake and hugged her close, but not without glaring at Tai, who stood up to reveal Kara's naked body on the bed. She quickly wrapped a blanket around herself, but not without all of the guys being able to catch a peak at her body. Her body was now a symbol of lust in all of their minds.

"How could you do this, Tai? My God!" Matt exclaimed, bewildered by the whole circumstance. Jun, who was still holding Matt's hand, glared at Kara.

"This time you have gone too far, Kara. That is Sora's fiancee`, you slut," she scolded. Everyone nodded in agreement except for Sora, who shook her head.

"No. Was my fiancee`." Everyone gasped, even Tai.

"No, Sora! I can explain! See, I-"

"Save it, Tai. You told me you loved me. You told me so many things, and they're all lies." Everyone expected her to burst into tears, but Sora couldn't cry. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't cry. She was too mad, too upset, too sad, and too devastated to cry.

"No, they're not, Sora! I swear I love you!" Tears began to run down his cheeks. He was really and truly sorry for what he had done, but it was too late. Sora no longer fell for his tears.

"Really? You don't show it very well." With that, she turned around to see the surprised and bewildered faces of all her friends. They all looked at her with despair in their eyes.

"I'm sorry, Sora. We all are," Izzy said quietly. They all nodded.

"We could have stopped this, Sora. It's all our fault," Joe whispered. Sora walked up to Joe and kissed him on the cheek.

"No, it's not. If.." It even hurt to say his name now. "If he wanted her, then no one could have stopped him." Joe tried to smile at her. Matt looked at Sora and then to Jun, who knew what he was thinking and nodded. He looked back to Sora and sighed heavily.

"Come here, kid," he whispered. She went over to Matt and hugged him forcefully. Sora finally felt the real pain of it all. Suddenly, the floodgates opened and she began to cry, cry harder than she ever had before.

"Let's get you out of here," T.K. whispered to her. Sora couldn't nod. The sobs were racking her body and she wasn't even sure if she could make words. Tai had cheated on her. It was obvious. He had told her he loved her. Promises never to be kept. T.K. led Kari out of the room, who was crying as well. Matt tried to lead Sora, but she was still too hysterical. She managed to turn her trembling body around with the help of Matt and Mimi and looked at Tai, whose brown eyes still almost drove Sora up the wall, but now it was with pain, not pleasure. She managed to get her hands to work for her and slipped off the engagement ring. Her fingers wouldn't work anymore, however, and she dropped the ring onto the floor. Mimi closed her eyes, feeling some of the pain Sora was, but knew it wasn't nearly as much. Joe signalled Matt to take her out of the room. Mimi and Jun followed behind, and Joe dead last. Tai quickly ran over to his clothes and began to get dressed.

"Where are you going? We can still do some things if you turn out the light," Kara said seductively. Tai turned around and looked at her with shocked surprise.

"Don't you ever quit?! I just lost my fiancee, and you still want to have sex with me! I'm going to win her back, and I never, ever want to see you again!"

"Don't be so sure that you'll win her back, Taichi." Tai stood still. Unfortunately, she was right. He closed his eyes as he remembered what had been said to him just earlier that day.

She's a great person, Tai. Don't ever let her go. Koushiro Izumi had said that. He even knew Sora was great.

She's the best girl you'll ever meet, Tai. She's so kind and caring. If you hadn't of jumped at the chance to get her because you had loved her since you met her and if I hadn't of known since we were in the digital world that she loved you more than anything, I might have tried for her. Oh, man, Matt. If you had her, she wouldn't be hurt because of me. You deserve her more than I do.

I'd have to agree with Matt. I mean, Sora's one of the best people I have ever met, and I'm sure I will ever meet. Not to mention, she's a looker. Joe, you were right all the way.

Don't do anything to hurt her. She's strong on the outside, but she's really fragile inside. Anything you do to her could make her shatter. Don't hurt her. I think that's from all of us. Take care of her, Tai. She needs you. Not everyone's love is strong enough to make wings that you can fly on, you know? Hey, take it from me. I've had personal experience. Try to think with your head on straight, okay? If I had only listened to you, T.K. If I had only listened to you.

"Just in case, you can call me if you don't get her and I'll cheer you up," Kara said softly. Tai glared at her.

"Shut-up." Tai bent down and pulled on his pants and hastily pulled on his sweater. He looked down on the ground for anything else he might have left. There on the ground lay Sora's engagement ring. The symbol of the rest of their lives together. It meant nothing now, all because of him.

He left the party soon after the other digidestined. The other digidestined felt that they needed to go to Sora's house to comfort her in her time of need. Tai only felt that he needed to go to one place.

Hell.

But then again, wasn't he already there?

A/N: Oh, man. Tai's a real jerk, isn't he? Poor Sora. I feel so sorry for her. If I'm not beating up on Tai, it's her. I'm really sorry, you guys, but hey, it'll get better. I promise. Well, I did put a little bit more Takari in. What is *up* with Joe? Bet you didn't see that Junato coming, huh? Don't flame me about that, or I *will* take it personally. That Koumi was a little bit of a surprise, too. I'll *try* to make it up to you Yoshiro (is that right? Oh well, Izzy x Yolei) fans later on, but I won't promise that. Unlike Tai, I won't make promises that I'm not so sure I can keep. Well, hope you enjoyed this part. 15 reviews or more, kay? Maybe fourteen. You guys know the drill.



BY THE WAY: The next one (if there *is* a next one) will pick up with the digidestined going to Sora's house. There are going to be real shockers in the next one, so hurry up and review!

Until the possible (but probably unlikely because I have so much trouble getting reviews, good or bad) next time, cheerio!

Artisan of the Written Word a.k.a. The Writer