The days were becoming more than awkward for Tai. While the rest of the DigiDestined spent their carefree hours hiking through the temperate forest, mostly comfortable, Tai was doing some deep introspection. Alright, so maybe Matt was thinking about it too, after all, he was involved in the situation. But in Tai’s mind, the problems were all his.
Although he was leading the group, Tai had no idea where he was going, which was of no help.
“Tai, are you alright? You look a little stressed...”, Sora said, wrapping her little hand around his arm.
Matt noticed this and wondered why Tai kept stringing her along, making her feel that there was a glimmer of a chance of them being together. He didn’t love her, and Matt knew it. Or, at least he though he knew it.
A few days ago, Matt and Tai became separated from the rest of the group. Hours of loneliness caused them to open up to each other, more than they had ever done, baring their souls to each other. Then, in the heat of the moment (but Matt hoped otherwise), Tai had kissed him full on, shoving his tongue down Matt’s throat and all.
“I’m fine Sora. Why wouldn’t I be?”, Tai replied nonchalantly.
“Well, for one thing, you haven’t talked to anyone all day”, she said.
“Yeah! Not even me!”, Agumon exclaimed.
“Sorry...So I’ve just been quiet lately, there's’ nothing wrong with that...”, Tai said. Sora gave him one of her patented pathetic smiles, the type that made a person melt down and just want to love her to death. Of course, it always worked on Tai. He looked over at her slender figure, her cute short hair, and realized he loved every piece of her.
Then out of the corner of his eye, he saw Matt: his oh-so-cool poise, his icy eyes that were always slanted down a bit, the way he only opened up his sweet side for his little brother TK. Alright, so this wasn’t the type of person Tai had always imagined himself falling in love with, but the fact was, he really couldn’t help it anymore.
Tai’s thinking was interrupted again, this time by Joe, “Tai...is it time for a break yet? ...I believe I’m wearing holes in the bottoms of my sneakers.”
“As soon as we come to the beach. We’ll stay there for the night. It...it just seems safer than staying in this dark forest”, Tai said leaderishly.
Darkness was starting to smother the forest, and the group was becoming uneasy.
“Hey Tai, you uh, sure you know what you’re doing?”, a voice next to him said. Normally he would’ve challenged that, but he turned and saw that it was Matt, and he didn’t feel like starting a fight, not not, not with him.
“Yeah, we’ll be fine.”, Tai said softly.
“I don’t know-it’s starting to get really dark, and if we can’t see, we certainly can’t walk.”, Izzy added.
“I know that...but trust me, we’ll get there soon.”, Tai said, starting to get a little frustrated.
* * *
It was completely black by the time the seven kids and their DigiMon companions made it to the shore, and they were all exhausted. Agumon lit a campfire, and by the time everyone had found a place to sleep, they collapsed onto the sand.
Tai hadn’t fallen asleep yet, though, he just sat by the fire, watching the flames cast shadows on his friends faces. He saw Matt stir for a few moments, then finally get up, but not before making sure TK was still fast asleep.
“Hey, uh Tai do you wanna go talk or something? I mean, since everyone else looks like their in a coma.”, Matt whispered.
Tai nodded, and they walked off together for awhile, finally stopping at the place where the rocksblocked the waves, causing huge splashes of water in the midnight air. Matt and Tai sat down in the sand next to each other, looking out at the ocean.
“Tai...I think we have a few unresolved issues to discuss...”, Matt said, inching his hand next to Tai’s.
“You think so?...I thought everything was clear: you like me, I like you.”, he said.
“You like me?”, Matt asked slowly.
“Um, yeah...and you like me, right?”, Tai asked feeling suddenly uncomfortable.
“Of course, I just like to hear you say it.”, Matt said, blushing.
Tai wrapped his arm around the back of Matt’s neck, and pulled him closer, until their lips touched. Tai’s mouth caressed Matt’s a little longer than it should’ve, but he didn’t care. Neither did Matt himself, who was kissing back just as hard. Tai backed away only to catch his breath.
“I’m that good?”, Matt asked jokingly.
Tai playfully knocked him down. Matt’s eyes became a little more slanted, and his breathing became a little heavier. Tai knew what was going on and instantly removed his shirt. Matt followed suit, but was blushing again. Tai ran his fingers through Matt’s spiky blonde hair and sighed. Matt traced his index finger down Tai’s chest, and stopped when he reached the top of his pants. His hand paused there for awhile. It felt good, touching Tai in a place that no one had ever touched before. It made Matt feel special.
“Are we going to do anything...big?”, Tai asked.
“Not that big”, Matt said, pressing his mouth to Tai’s again.
Tai collapsed onto the sand, “I feel so bad doing this...”
“Sora? “Matt asked and Tai nodded, “Well do you really love her or are you just telling yourself that because you’re scared?”
Tai pushed a few strands of hair from his eyes, “I wish I knew...”. He thought for awhile, “Can you love two people? Because I know I love you, but...I’m pretty sure I love Sora too.”
Matt hated hearing these words. He abhorred listening to Tai talk about her .
As if Tai read his mind, he said, “Oh, I’m sorry...you probably don’t like listening to me talk about Sora...”, and Matt just shrugged in response.
“Well, I’ll think about it later...I’m tired...”, Tai said, wriggling his body close to Matt’s. His head was next to the other boy’s and his arm found its was over his chest.
Matt smiled to himself, he knew Tai loved him more than Sora, he just had to convince Tai that.
* * *
It was nearly in the morning when Sora woke up. She looked over, finding Tai and Matt missing. She didn’t care about Matt’s safety as much as she did Tai’s, after all, Matt had such a cold personality, it was hard to care for him at all. Gabumon came walking back to the camp. He had set out before, looking for his companion, and stumbled across both boys farther down the beach. They were still sleeping, and thought it best if no one else found out what they were doing.
“Gabumon! Have you seen Tai or Matt?, “ Sora exclaimed, getting panicky.
“Um, er, I looked down that way, but no sign of them. You might want to try north.”, he lied.
“Alright! Biyomon come on, we’ve got to find them!”, she cried.
TK woke up slowly, Patomon on top of his head, “Gabumon...where’s my brother?”, he asked innocently.
Gabumon felt especially bad lying to TK, but he didn’t want Matt to hate him.
“I don’t know, but we’ll find him, I promise.”, the DigiMon said.
* * *
Tai and Matt woke up soon after, to the waves crashing and the sun beating down on their shirtless chests.
“We’de better get back to the others.”, Tai said softly, picking himself up and putting his shirt back on.
“Tai...are you alright with all of this? You seem a bit off today.”, Matt said, also dressing himself.
“Yeah, of course I am.”, Tai said simply.
“Then why won’t you look me in the eye?”
“The uh, sun...”, Tai murmured, starting to walk away. Matt ran to catch up to him, walking by his side.
In almost no time, they had walked back to the others.
“Matt! Where were you?”, TK asked, running into his brothers arms.
“Oh...uh...”, Matt searched for an explanation.
“Matt was just questioning my leadership. He thought my plan for today was stupid.”, Tai lied.
“Well it is”, Matt said, playing along. “I guess by the time we got all of the fighting out of our systems we were pretty beat.”
“Oh...”, Mimi and Joe said in unison.
“Oh no...well Sora went off to look for you too a few minutes ago...down that way, I believe”, Gabumon said.
“Great...well, I’ll go find her”, Tai said.
“I’ll come with you!”, Agumon exclaimed.
They set out, walking for awhile, but not coming across Sora or Biyomon. It had started to rain, which worsened their plight, but they continued on. Awhile later, they heard faint crying.
“Sora?”, Tai yelled instinctively.
“Tai?...is that you?...help...”, she sounded pitiful.
Soon, Tai noticed a large ditch, and sure enough, Sora was down there. Biyomon was there too, trying to comfort her, but flying around crazily.
“Tai...I think I might’ve broken my leg when I fell...it kills...”, Sora said, sounding like it pained her to talk.
“I’m coming to get you”, Tai said, dropping down into the now muddy ditch. He lifted her up slowly, and climbed out of the ditch, both DigiMon in tow.
It took Tai a little while longer to get back to the camp; he walked a little more carefully, holding Sora. Everyone was releived to find her back, and expressed their sympathy at her broken leg.
“I shouldn’t have run out looking for you-it was stupid, I know. Thank you Tai for saving me.”, she sad softly, before closing her eyes and drifting off, asleep in Tai’s embrace.
Matt knew it would be all over now, Tai would chose Sora and they would fall in love, happily ever after. He looked away, so no one would see the his eyes beginning to tear. It had seemed that, so far, Mat had lost most everyone he loved. When his parents got divorced, he lost both his father and TK, and...now Tai was slipping away.
* * *
It was late afternoon when Sora regained her energy. Although she couldn’t walk, she was still perky as ever. Mimi was giving Sora a manicure that she grudgingly accepted, but only because she couldn’t run away. Izzy was on the Internet, pinpointing the safest way to heal a broken leg, and Joe and Gomamon were attempting to fish. TK and Patamon didn’t have a trouble in the world as they played Tag.
Matt was alone by the water, contemplating the world as he so often did. Tai walked slowly down to join him, and to share a few of his revelations.
Matt sighed, “Gabumon thinks this is all his fault. He said he saw us, but he didn’t want to upset the others, so he sent Sora the wrong way. Poor guy.”
“Well, if it’s anyone's fault, it should be mine. I should’ve just set Sora straight. Been truthful with everyone...”, Tai said.
“It’s not just you, man...”
Tai looked Matt straight in the eye, “I...I decided something when I was with Sora this morning”.
“Let me guess-you really love her?”, Matt asked, bracing himself for the truth.
“Actually...no. I mean, I love her, but it’s more of a sister/best friend thing. It’s weird I know, but...I want you Matt. I just get this feeling when I’m with you. It’s a...good feeling.”
Matt was blushing really bad now, “I love you too Taichi”, He hoped no one was looking as he innocently kissed Tai.
“Matt!”, Tai gasped, “What if everyone saw?”
“They’ll just have to deal with it”, he said softly.
“You’re right”, Tai said, slipping his hand into Matt’s.
They sat there for a long while, staring out onto he strikingly blue sea, just enjoying the small pleasure of being with each other.
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