So much for splitting up. Not only were they totally lost from the group, Matt and Tai’s digimon had practically abandoned them. Night was falling and both boys were starting to get worried. They had been calling and calling for Agumon and Gabumon, but there was still no sign of their digimon.

“You know...this is all your fault we’re lost. We shouldn’t have split up”, Matt said quietly.

“Oh, you think it’s so easy being the leader. So I made a bad decision? We’ll be fine though”, Tai said.

Matt “hmph”-ed, then crossed his arms over his chest. Although he always gave Tai a hard time, he kind of felt something for him. He knew he could never hold him or kiss him, but Matt could always fantasize. Why doesn’t he get it? I’ve given him so many clues! I mean, I totally jumped on the chance to pair off with him today, Matt thought to himself, starting to walk a little ahead of Tai.

“I don’t think there’s anything up this mountain. Let’s just turn back and meet up with the others”, Matt said a little too calmly.

“That’s why you’re not the leader”, Tai smirked.

“Goddammit Tai, can’t you be serious for a moment ?”, Matt asked coolly.

”Chill out dude, we’ll be alright. let’s just keep walking a little more”, Tai said. Matt just sighed and kept walking.

* * *

Awhile later they came to a thin, jagged stretch of trail. Tai impetuously started for it. Matt would’ve tried to hold him back, but today he decided Whats the use? Tai scampered up the rocks, not noticing they were crumbling beneath him.

“Dude, watch out!”, Matt cried, but Tai had already lost his grip.

Matt watched in horror as Tai fell, finally landing a few feet below him on the trail. There was a sickening crunch as bones were broken and limbs were dislocated. Matt ran down as fast as his legs would carry him until he came to Tai’s limp body. He was bruised horribly, blood running down his face and body.

“ me...don’t let me...die...Matt”, Tai mumbled as if it pained him to talk.

Matt froze, he didn’t know what to do. The last thing he wanted was for Tai to die, but he was scared beyond belief.

“ please...I don’t...want to...oh God...”Tai stuttered, then laid his head back and closed his eyes, to die a peaceful death.

A horrible feeling entered Matt’s stomach, as he looked at Tai’s pale body. Tears started to fall from Matt’s eyes as he gingerly touched Tai’s face. He was so young, too young to die. A hole seemed to open up in Matt’s body and his heart fell right through it. He was in such shock he didn’t notice the hot tears were now streaming down his face, making tiny puddles on Tai’s pathetic body. He sat there awhile, his head buried in Tai’s lifeless chest. It was like hugging stone; his body was cold.

“Look! There’s Matt”, he heard behind him. It was Izzy’s voice, he could tell.

“Matt? Uh, what are you doing?”, asked another voice. This time it was Joe.

The rest of the group had caught up with each other, and now they hurried over to Matt, and Tai’s limp body. Matt turned to look at them, his eyes red, and his hair a mess, sticking to the tears that were left on his face.

“Tai! What happened?”, Sora cried, running over to him. Matt hated having to let her find out. The hole in his chest widened.

“Matt? What did you do to Tai? Why isn’t he moving!”, she yelled, shaking Tai.

Matt couldn’t speak, he just sat there, frozen. Izzy moved closer, checking for a pulse or heart rate, but of course, there was none.

“Time: 8:46. Taichi Kamiya: pronounced dead.”, Izzy recited, a catch in his throat.

Mimi was shooing TK and the digimon back down the mountain, she knew they wouldn’t understand it.

Sora was by Tai, trying to clean him up, and pull herself together, she was the mature one after all. Matt was still sitting by himself, curled up and shaking.

“Alright. Let’s get off this mountain and have a proper burial. I think Tai deserves a good...farewell”, Izzy said, suddenly taking charge. Him and Joe lifted Tai’s body up, carrying him slowly down the mountain. Sora walked solemnly behind them, but it took Matt awhile to realize everyone was leaving.

He stood up, his body numb. He was shaky as he walked, his mind not concentrating on his movements. How could Sora stay so calm?, he thought. Well maybe because she isn’t responsible for Tai’s death.

* * *

They had all stopped at a clearing in the woods. There was a small stream, where they had washed the blood off of Tai’s face. His body now lay on a bed of leaves, they wanted to hold off the burial, at least until morning.

Izzy had removed Tai’s digivice and crest, and they now sat forlorn, next to him. “Um, does anyone mind if I...keep Tai’s crest? You know, to remember him?”, Sora asked timidly.

“That seems alright. I think I'll keep his digivice with my computer, though, in case we need it”, Izzy said.

Matt gingerly removed the pocket telescope Tai had brought with him. “I’ll keep this. We may need it”, he said trying to act strong for TKs sake. He picked up the little telescope and felt the eyepiece that Tai’s face had touched only yesterday. Matt pocketed it, thinking this was his little piece of Tai he could carry around.

Darkness was falling and everyone was having their own moment alone with Tai, to say goodbye. Joe and the digimon went first, then Izzy, Mimi and TK. Then came Matt, and Sora requested she be last.

It had been really hard for Matt to look at Tai’s body again. It looked so helpless, so pathetic, just as it had when he died.

“I’m sorry Tai...I should’ve stopped you from climbing that ledge...I should’ve helped you when you asked me”, he whispered, kneeling before the lifeless boy. He touched his face, his cold, clammy skin. “And gone...I love you Tai. Although you’ll never know it, I love you”, Matt put his finger to his lips, then touched it to Tai’s. “Goodbye”, he said in barely a whisper.

He dried his eyes, and walked off, letting Sora be with the man she also loved. He gave her a tiny smile, but she glared at him with pure hate.

“Don’t even try, I’m so on to you. Why did you kill him Matt? Or better yet-why did you let him die?”, she asked coldly.

Matt looked at the ground, he didn’t want to take this anymore. He ran back to their new camp, faster than he usually ran.

Sora walked slowly over to Tai, “You’ve gone before I could tell you how much I love you Taichi”, she said sweetly, “ I had it all planned out: we’de get married, have a few children, and live in an adorable little house”, her eyes started to tear, “And we would have shared the deepest thing two people could share”, her eyes were now starting to sting.

Sora took off her helmet, gloves and shoes. She proceeded to undress Tai and herself. She had now gotten as far as the both of them in their underwear. She was slowly stroking his body, cold as it may be.

“Taichi, my Taichi...I want this...”, she purred as she slipped off her camisole and laid atop his, his bare chest next to hers. “I don’t care if I’m too young, if you’re...dead. this my last chance to be with you. I want to give you all of me”, she said softly, running her fingers through Tai’s hair.” So many times I could’ve had you...I was stupid”, the tears were coming out again.”What’s wrong with me?...”

“Well, I better start...I mean, I guess I have to start”, she said, slipping her fingers into his underwear, starting to pull it off.

“Sora? Are you alright? It’s late, and I’m getting a little, uh, worried about you”, Matt called, approaching the clearing.

“No Matt! Get the hell away from me! I don’t want you here!”, she screamed.

“Sora, I’m coming. You need to let go”, Matt said, now at the clearing.

“I can’’t...”, she said softly, still atop Tai.

Matt’s jaw hung open at the sight before him. He gently pulled Sora off, although she fought a little.

“No Matt! I have to do this! He was meant for me!”, she screamed again, her face tear-stricken.

“Shhh, it’s alright Sora, just calm down. Tai’s dead. It’s over. You’ll find someone else”, Matt said softly, holding her close and rocking her.

“I...I don’t...want anyone else”, Sora said slowly. “Matt, I hate you, why are you being so...nice to me?”, she barely whispered.

“Well, I try not to make a habit of it, but believe it or not I can be nice”, he said.

“Well thank you”, she said stiffly.

“Since you’re a little calmer now-do you want to go back to the others?”, Matt asked.

“No, not yet. I may hate you, but your good company”, Sora said, “And besides, I don’t want to leave Tai...not yet at least. I...I love him, you know”.

Matt was about to protest, to tell her that he loved him too, but he thought better of it. Tai was gone and there was no use screwing matters up worse. He let Sora have this one.


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