Odaiba Memorial Day- 20 Years Later
Chapter Fourteen- Reunion (Part Two)
He hadnít even gotten his foot in the door. He had just started talking with Cody, chatting things up like he always does. But now, less than a minute later- everything just got thrown for a loop. His friend, flatmate, and guy who paid half the rent on the apartment- was lying unconscious on the floor. How was Kintaro supposed to deal with that? He was shocked. Tai was supposed to be among friends. Kintaro reacted to it the only way he knew how to.
"So, anything interesting happen yet?" Kintaro asked a very shocked Tareshi, in his usual carefree tone.
"I think this qualifies as interesting." Tareshi wasnít sure why Matt punched Tai. But Matt had quietly resigned himself to the drinks table, and there was no way Tareshi was going to interrogate his wifeís ex after something like this. What was even more unfortunate was that Chi had witnessed it all, and stood next to his father, also looking for answers. Of course, Kintaro was continuing the conversation.
"So what kind of party is this, anyway? Everybody here seems all mopy." Tareshi nodded.
"I donít knowÖ and Iím not going to ask Matt anytime soon."
"And not just him- who are the guys with the cell phones? And how about those two chasing one of Ďem?" Kintaro was referring to Joe and Koushiro, the former talking again with his lawyers, the latter doing his business stuff. Ken and Yolei had apparently gotten enough courage to start the talks with KoushiroÖ if heíd ever get off the damn phone.
"Joe and hehÖ Izzy." Tareshi used the name playfully, "Oneís in legal trouble, the otherís in charge of a big software company. My question is what Mimiís going to say to Matt when she decides to talk to him." Sure enough, Mimi was pacing around behind Matt, waiting for him to finish his drink so she could tear into him.
"Why isnít anybody having fun?" Chi even seemed concerned. Tareshi patted the top of his head.
"IímÖ Iím having fun." Tareshi said it to cheer Chi up, whether he meant it or not. Kintaro was slightly more reassuring when he turned to Chi.
"Iím having fun. I just got here, this party is mine to bring to life. How about you?"
"Yeah." Chi smiled.
"By the way- who are you?" Kintaro realized he had no clue whoís kid this was.
"Chi Takoto. Nice meeting you." Chi and Kintaro shook hands.
"You too. But the point remains- this is a digi-destined reunion. And the only people that are enjoying it arenít digi-destined. Chi- weíre going to change that."
"And how do you plan on doing that?" Tareshi was smiling, curious.
"Simple- Iím going to become a digi-destined." Tareshi looked at him oddly. Kintaro was all too serious, as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a pair of goggles. He strapped them on his head. Chi started laughing. "Iím all set. You with me?" Chi smiled.
"Sure. As a digi-destined-half, Iíll help out however possible."
"Good, Ďcause I need a Digimon partner. You ready Chi-mon?"
"Letís go!" Tareshi merely shook his head as Chi and Kintaro rushed out to greet the real digi-destined. But they quickly stopped.
"SoÖ Chi-monÖ what are we supposed to do now?"
"I donít know."
Matt was not concerned that he had just punched Tai. After all, it was what he said heíd do. What he didnít count on was Soraís little revelation. Matt didnít want to think of the whole incident as consensual. He didnít want to think Sora willfully agreed to it, that she played along with itÖ that she enjoyed it. To hear her say that was devastating. Matt knew that it was over between him and Sora, but now she suddenly "isnít sure" where she stands with Tai? He didnít want to look at Sora as the kind of person who would break her vows like that. Of course, it was not Sora who angrily planted a hand on the tableÖ it was Mimi. The other "ex."
"So itís suddenly my fault that your band went downhill?" Mimi was angry. Matt started by shrugging it off, not all that concerned with anything not about Sora. However, once he let Mimiís words sink in, he immediately turned around, confused.
"What are you talking about? When did I sayÖ?"
"Never! And thatís the problem! Youíre blaming me for your own damn problems, and you donít even have the balls to say it to my face!" Matt stood up.
"When did I say that? I never said that youÖ"
"Sora told me! You said that I was the reason that your band went to pot! I canít believe you- how am I suddenly responsible for your career!?" Matt was more concerned with what she said first. And he was angry as well.
"Sora said that? I didnít say that to her. Sora is a lying, cheating, bitch!!" He said it just loud enough for everybody in the room to hear itÖ save for Koushiro on the cell phone. Sora had naturally heard it too. She didnít know how to react. She just walked over to Tareshi, who was equally confused.
"SoraÖ youíve got weird friends." Tareshi was not the greatest consoler on Earth.
"These people arenít friends any more." Sora had just about had enough.
Ken and Yolei were trying to be patient, but it seemed like nothing was going to disturb this cell phone conversation. Koushiro was walking around, oblivious to his former associates next to him. He headed out into the terrace. Ken and Yolei followed. But it wasnít they that finally got Koushiroís attention.
"Holy shitÖ what happened to him?" Koushiro couldnít help but be surprised at the sight of Tai, slowly being revived by Kari, TK, and Cody. Despite his cold exterior, seeing the leader down was still too much. Koushiro returned to his call, "No, not you. Iím gonna have to call you back, okay?" Ken and Yolei finally saw their opportunity, and Yolei extended a hand to begin the argument. Koushiro ended the argument before it began, placing the phone in her hand. He gave a sly smile.
"Here," He started, "Call it alimony." Koushiro chuckled and returned his attention to Tai. TK was immediately surprised.
"What, donít tell me you care about him."
"Look, I donít give a rats ass about all you other kids, but I apologizeÖ you donít hit the leader." TK scoffed, not believing it for a second.
"He should be fine. Thanks for your concern, Izzy, but heíll be alright." Kariís words were true, as Tai was slowly coming to. Koushiro cracked a smile. It was still his business smile, but a smile nonetheless.
"Well, itís nice to see the brute didnít take it all out of you. Iíd hate to say it, but if thereís anybody I still have some respect for in this whole circus, itís you Tai." Tai smiled.
"Good to hear it Izzy." For a second, it seemed like Taiís words had gotten through to Koushiro, until Koushiro frowned.
"The nameís Koushiro." And that was the end of that, as Koushiro turned around to continue his phone call. Unfortunately, he was met face to face with Ken and YoleiÖ the latter of which threw the cell phone over the railing and into the night. They meant business, and there was no escape for the businessman himself.
"UhÖ" Tai turned to TK, Kari, and Cody, "You three should get out of here. This could get ugly." The three observers nodded and left, while Tai stayed, "Iíll just stay here to make sure only the phone gets tossed overboard."
Davis couldnít help but laugh at Kintaro and "Chi-mon" as they approached. Especially with Kintaro and the goggles. Even if Kintaro was trying to impersonate Davis, Davis knew that he had made drastic improvements from the old days. But with Chi, there was something more important to deal with.
"Hey, Chi! Can I talk to you for a sec?" Both Chi and Kintaro came over. Davis noted Kintaroís goggles, "Nice goggles. They look good on you. But stillÖ" Davis had brought them. Just in case. It was a good thing he remembered to bring them. Kintaro and Chi looked at the goggles as if they were some sort of artifact. Davis continued, "They ainít no match for the goggles."
"Whoa." Kintaro and Chi were both equally in awe.
"Tai gave these to me because I was the leader of the new group. The next generation of digi-destined. Now I know we donít have to save the world anymore. But itís only right that I do the same." Davis slowly handed them over to Chi. Chi was hesitant in taking them.
"Why me? IímÖ Iím only a digi-destined half."
"Close enough. Youíre the next generation of digi-destined. And right now Iím looking around this room, and I donít know how many more thereís gonna be of you." Davis glanced over at TK and Kari, and reverted back to Chi, "And I donít wanna think about it either. But no matter if thereís no more or nine more- youíre the oldest. And that makes you the leader. So you get the goggles." Chi was on cloud nine, and slowly put them on. He was starting to like this party. Until his mother rained down on his parade.
"Chi, what are you doing?" As soon as Sora saw him put on the goggles, she couldnít take it. She didnít want anything that reminded her of the digi-destined. She just wanted to leave and remove all ties to the other eleven. Even Tareshi couldnít argue with her request after what Matt said about his wife. Sora quickly took the goggles off and tossed them to the floor. Mercifully they didnít break, but for all Sora cared- they could have.
"Mom! Where are we going?" Chi didnít know what Soraís problem was.
"Chi, weíre leaving. Now." Sora had had enough. It was over.
"No." Chi stopped. He hadnít had enough. He wanted more, "I want to talk to Davis. Iím the leader of the next generation of digi-destined. I canít leave now!" As much as Sora wanted to, she couldnít refuse. This somehow meant a lot to Chi, and Sora didnít want to take it away from him. She slowly relented.
"Okay. Maybe we can stay a little longer." Chi smiled and went off to find more fun. Sora shook her head. This was all Davisís fault for pumping him full of glorified nonsense. She looked at Davis as he picked up the goggles. He seemed seriously disappointed. But Sora didnít really care.
It was a good thing that Tai was there- given the argument going on between Ken, Yolei, and Koushiro, somebody was liable to throw somebody over the railing. It was heated, but Koushiro seemed to be rolling with the punches, the sly smile still present on his face. The argument had drifted to the event leading to Ken and Yoleiís breakup. Surely that couldnít be Koushiroís fault.
"As I said a million times, Kenny, I would have stopped her if she went too far." Koushiro knew that he couldnít keep this pace up forever. Did he feel guilty about what he did to Yolei during the last years of the marriage? Most certainly. But he couldnít say it to her. Especially not with Ken around. Koushiro didnít lose. And he wasnít about to lose to his former business partner, nor to his former wife.
"You said you had feelings for Yolei. And if you married her later, you certainly must have had something. So what was stopping you from going all the way if she was drunk enough?" Ken was particularly agitated- this guy was harder to take down than expected.
"Look, regardless of what I do on the job, I am still a gentleman, Ken." Koushiro hated this question, and this was his only defense for it. Fortunately, he could make it bite back, "Iím not going to take advantage of somebody, regardless of what they do. Weíre both Ďgentlemen,í Ken. The only difference is that Iím capable of actually playing serious hardball in the business world. Itís a rough place, and gentlemen arenít allowed. You never did understand that. Point is, when Iím with Yolei, I have no reason to be aggressiveÖ and I definitely wouldnít have slept with her."
"Bullshit!" Tai couldnít take it anymore. He was tired of Koushiroís take on the topic, and he was going to have to take matters into his own hands, "Ken, Yolei, could you go back inside for a second. I have to talk to Koushí for a second." Ken and Yolei slowly relented, and Tai stood up and walked up to Koushiro. He was of the utmost seriousness, "So you think you wouldíve stopped, eh?"
Kintaroís little Davis impersonation didnít last long after Davisís little speech. Kintaro wasnít about to make fun of him after that. So he was left looking for some other way to liven things up. Not that he needed to- he could hear the argument going on in the terrace. It seemed to calm down for a second, and Ken and Yolei walked back inside.
"Might as well see what the hub-bubís about." He said to himself and went to talk to them. Not just because he was curious- there was also the possibility he could score some points with Yolei! But before he could set out to try to get Yoleiís name in his "black book of records," he had to figure out what was going on. As it turns out, Cody was trying to do the same.
"How are things going with you?" Cody was obviously looking for good news, but hadnít received much here.
"I donít know. We just canít get through to him. Taiís talking to him now." Ken appeared dismayed.
"This was a bad idea. I didnít realize things were this bad, and now itís only getting worse. Mimiís mad at Matt, Mattís mad at Sora, Soraís mad at everybody- whenís it going to end?" Kintaro understood Cody. He had had his share of nightmare parties before.
"So whatís Tai and Izzy talking about?" Kintaro was only pretending that he knew who Izzy was. He just heard the name from Tareshi.
"We were talking about whether or not Izzy would take advantage of Yolei. Izzy said he wouldnít, but Tai stepped in for some reason." Ken explained it best he could. Kintaro started laughing.
"Oh, like Taiís one to talk!" Kintaro got strange looks from Ken, Yolei, and Cody, but knew that he couldnít go further, "Wait- sorryÖ Iím sworn to secrecy. My lips are sealed."
"Did Tai and Sora have an affair?" Kintaroís lips may have been sealed, but Cody could put two and two together. Between that comment, Kintaroís remarks a couple weeks prior about Tai not being stopped by marriage, Matt punching Tai, and Tai and Soraís general avoidance of each other- it was painfully clear.
"Cody!" Well, not clear to Ken, who reprimanded Cody for suggesting it.
"Hey, youíre pretty good!" Kintaro was impressed by Codyís detective skills.
"They did?" Yolei was astonished, "When?"
"About nine years ago. They hadnít talked to each other since." Yolei and Ken were obviously shocked. Cody was upset as well.
"I canít believe that Tai would do such a thing." Kintaro nodded at Codyís remark.
"No kidding. I mean, Iím not Mr. Morals or anything, but marriage is supposed to be something special. Iíve done some pretty strange stuff before, but that just seems wrong to me." Kintaro had this on his mind for a long time, but he never said it in public, "I dunno, Iím not going to judge Tai or anythingÖ but I donít want to be stuck in the same group of people who would do that sort of thing." Kintaro looked up. Ken was thinking about those words, Cody was simply shaking his head. Yolei was barely listening. She was trying to catch a glimpse of Tai on the terrace.
"So you still have respect for me?" Tai looked at Koushiro, both leaning over the railing.
"A little. Donít think Iím kissing your ass or anything, but we went through a lot of crazy shit back there and I canít deny the fact that you did a good job." Tai smiled.
"So in terms of being Ďgentlemen,í youíd rank us about equally."
"Of course." Tai nodded.
"You wouldnít have stopped."
"Excuse me?" Koushiro was surprised by the sudden change of topic.
"A girl you have feelings for is kissing you- it doesnít matter how much you know itís wrong. If thereís love there, you wouldnít stop." Tai was reflecting on his own situation. If any good could come out of the nightmare with Sora, Tai would like to see it. Maybe it could scare Izzy straight.
"Tai, please, I wouldnít do something like that toÖ"
"No? There was certainly love there. You married Yolei afterwards. So you canít deny that you had feelings for her."
"Thatís irrelevant. I wouldnít have done it, Tai. You should understand that."
"IzzÖ or KoushiroÖ I wouldíve said the same thing. But when it happened to me, I didnít stop. I couldnít." Tai looked over at Koushiro, "At least you were lucky enough to have somebody interrupt before anything happened." Koushiro was shocked, "I wasnít lucky enoughÖ and I almost ruined Soraís life." If Tai was trying to lower Koushiroís defenses, it worked.
"YouÖ Tai, I canít believeÖ you slept with Sora?" Tai slowly nodded. Koushiro didnít know what to make of that, "But I never would haveÖ"
"Sometimes your heart overrules your brain." Tai took a good look at Koushiro, "Sometimes thatís a good thing, sometimes thatís a bad thing. But if thereís any situation where it would happen, that night with Yolei would be it." Koushiro was in disbelief. He was really shocked by it all, he was even finding himself short of breath.
"If youÖ of all people couldnít stop thenÖ why would I? Why would anybodyÖ but I wouldnít do that to Yolei. IÖ" Unfortunately, Tai had no choice but to drive it home.
"No. Youíd rather ignore her for a year while you go off and try to take down a heartless bastard by becoming one yourself?" The stake was through the heart.
"Youíre rightÖ youíre always rightÖ IíveÖ IíveÖ" Koushiro was starting to lose it. Everything was exploding in his face. His business had been on his mind 24/7 ever since the phone call. For a split second, Tai was able to make him forget about it. And it was enough to tear him apart.
Tai knew he had to do it, but it almost worked too well. While he wanted Koushiro to see what he had been doing to his friends, he didnít want to trigger a full-on nervous breakdown. Koushiro bent over. He looked like he had trouble breathing. Where five minutes ago he was hating the heartless bastard, now Tai was obligated to help him. It may have been Tai that pushed Koushiro off the cliff, but Tai was also the one that had to catch him.
"Hey Izzy, just take it easy, here have a seat." Tai helped Koushiro get into a chair nearby. He was shocked and mortified at everything he had done. "Izzy, you okay?" No response. "Koushiro?"
"Koushiro, whoís Koushiro? Whoís Izzy? Who am I? I donít think I know anymoreÖ" Whoever he was, he was looking bad. Taiís words worked a little too well.
"Here, umÖ uhÖ" Fortunately, the cavalry was arriving. Yolei had joined him on the terrace. Ken was cautiously waiting behind her. Tai went up to her, "Yolei, I donít know what happenedÖ heÖ" But Yolei was silent. She couldnít believe that the man standing before her would have an affair with a married woman. At the moment, she wasnít looking at Tai KamiyaÖ she was looking at Megane. And she slapped Megane across the face before continuing towards Koushiro. All in all, it left a very stunned Tai, who rubbed his face and sighed.
"This isnít my day." Tai walked back inside, and was face-to-face with Cody.
"Tai- we need to talk." Tai sighed audibly. What was next?
"What is it Cody, do you want a piece of me now?" Having been punched by Matt and slapped by Yolei, nothing could surprise him.
"Conference room. Now." Cody sounded like he was the leader talking to the youngest in the pack, rather than it being the other way around.
Had Cody picked up on the secret as well? It was slightly unusual for Cody to be bossing Tai around. But everything was slightly unusual today. Cody quietly shut the door behind him and turned to Tai.
"What do you mean?"
"Us. As a group. Itís over. We hate each other now." Tai didnít want to go that far, but he couldnít say it was wrong.
"Well, Iím sorry Cody. Thatís just how it works. Things happen, you know? You canít expect us all to stay innocent children forever. Donít tell me you havenít done something stupid in your life."
"Look, Tai, Iím not going to go and say Iím perfect. Iím not, but I just donít understand why weíre doing this to each other! Weíre supposed to be a group!" Cody was growing frustrated at just about everything. He had to let it out somehow. Unfortunately, Tai had no answer for that. And it was true- this wasnít the act of some outside force tearing the digi-destined apart- it was themselves.
"I donít know what to say. Now you know why I stopped this. Sometimes itís just better to leave things as is."
"Do you honestly believe that Tai?! Do you honestly believe that I should just sit here and let everybodyís lives go to hell?! Weíve done way too much together to be torn apart like this. Especially if itís all because of us. Donít say we should just let everybody live miserably." Cody was angry with Tai. It seemed like nobody was seeing the point.
"I was perfectly content living miserably until you made me go to this stupid reunion." It was partially true- Tai was more than willing to forget about the incident with Sora, shove it in the back of his memory, and live life normally. But now he was here, getting punched, getting slapped, and sending people into nervous breakdowns. Come to think of it- why did he care how Izzy acted?
"Well fine thenÖ if thatís how itís going to be." Cody was finished. He wasnít going to win. This reunion was a disaster, and Cody should never have done it in the first place. He wanted to see his friends, and he saw them for exactly what they were- a bunch of uncaring, selfish adults who have illicit affairs, act like heartless bastards, and let jealously control them. The digi-destined were through. "Fuck it."
"I said fuck it. Nobody else wants to be here, and if everybodyís going to stop caring about what weíve accomplished, then itís not worth it any more. I spent so much on this one night, and this is how you all repay me. So if thatís the way youíre all going to treat your fellow digi-destined, then fuck it. Iím leaving." Tai hated to hear that, and he didnít want to believe it himself. But it was true. Tai himself had done his share of the damage. And for all he know, it was too late to turn back.
"Itís a rough world." Tai was solemn. He realized what Cody put into this. The effort he made to make sure everybody was present. How was he to know it would end like this? But it was the end, and Cody had to understand that. So as to prevent any more problems.
"TaiÖ" Cody was about to head out, but stopped just short of the door, "if this is such a rough worldÖ" Cody turned back to Tai and looked him in the eyes, "Then why did we all bother saving it in the first place?" Codyís last words struck true. Tai didnít have an answer for it. This wasnít just a group. This wasnít just a team. It wasnít about twelve friends- it was about twelve people who worked together to save the world. And that regardless of age, and regardless of innocence, these twelve were standing up for all that was right. And now they were obsessed with all that was wrong. Even if Tai was partially responsible for letting this happen, he also knew that he couldnít let it continue. It was an obligation. Cody tried, but couldnít do it. But now it was Taiís turn. And Tai wasnít going to give up until all twelve were together again. He knew that he would have to face his own problems as well someday. Somehow, he always did. As Tai stepped out of the conference room, he saw Cody walk through the exit. He may have been gone, but his original attitude of the digi-destined was still there. Cody had a dream; it was up to Tai to make it come true.
By now, Kari had to see for herself what had happened to Izzy. While Davis and TK were still inside mingling, she had the opportunity to see what her brother did to Izzy. And Tai certainly did a number on him, as he was obviously in some sort of depression. Yolei and Ken were trying to figure out what to say to him when Kari joined them. Ken immediately walked up to her.
"Um, Kari? I donít know what Tai said to Izzy, but heís not looking too good because of it. So is there anything you could say to him to make him feel better?"
"Iíll see what I can do." Yolei wasnít looking good either. She didnít feel bad because of what Tai did to Izzy. She was angry with herself. As soon as she saw the look on Izzyís face: the weak, shocked, and desperate face, she could no longer hate him. And that was the problem- she had always dreamed of bringing that bastard down. He was definitely down now, but by the time Yolei got to him he wasnít a bastard.
"Izzy? Are you feeling okay?" Izzy was definitely not feeling okay, but Kari had to ask.
"I donít deserve to feel okayÖ I donít deserve your pityÖ I donít deserve anything." He was staring into space, blankly mumbling. Kari could see that he was finally staring all the things he had done in the face, and didnít like what he saw. Kari knew that she couldnít deal with something as serious as this. But after glancing at Ken, she knew the person that could.
"Iím going to get Davis. Heís better with this kind of stuff. Right Ken?" Kari flashed a quick smile. In a second, Ken knew what she was referring to, and returned the smile, then turned to Izzy.
"Izzy, youíre going to be fine."
Tai wasnít ready to deal with Sora. Not quite yet. He was perfectly content letting Sora sit off to the side with Tareshi, while their son goofed off with Davis. No, the first challenge for Tai was going to be somewhat simpler, but still wasnít setting the bar low by any means. Matt had been sitting quietly by the beverage table, and was pretty easy to find.
"Hey Matt." Matt glanced at Tai, then reverted his eyes. He wasnít in the mood for company.
"Hey Tai." Tai sat down.
"So I, uhÖ guess you found out about me and Sora." Matt nodded.
"Now I wish I hadnít. Of all people, why did she have to tell me? I donít care about her anymore, whyíd she have to pour her heart out to me?"
"I had a feeling she told you, if you heard the story fairly you wouldnít have hit me."
"No, Iíd have hit you anywayÖ but now that she started defending you, and thinking it wasnít all your faultÖ Iím about ready to hit her too."
"Wait- whatís this about defending me?" Sora certainly wasnít defending Tai the day after it happened.
"She said something about it being consensual and it happening for a reason. I justÖ" Matt didnít want to continue along those lines and changed the subject, "And then she says something to get Mimi pissed at me. JustÖ just a bitch." Tai nodded.
"No argument here. She didnít say anything about it being consensual the next morning. She was acting like I fucking raped her." Tai tried to catch himself. He couldnít let this dominate him. He had to try to turn it around, "But still- Iím starting to think now that the only way any of us will ever really be happy again is if we all fix our problems. And tonightís as good a time to do it as any. Cody made me realize that we were more than just friends, we were teammatesÖ we were soldiers fighting for good. So why are we so bad now?" Matt was nodding, taking all of this in, "I donít think we can really live with ourselves unless we find someway to become friends again."
"You know, Iíd hate to say it but I think youíre right. Weíve been through a hell of a lot. So I guess we should both patch things up with Sora. Even if she agreed to itÖ even if she enjoyed itÖ itís still at least fifty percent your fault no matter what."
"Thatís the spirit, Matt."
"I guess Iíll apologize to SoraÖ and Iíll even try to help you and Sora put everything behind you. I've come to realize that thereís only one thing worse than seeing you and Sora as loversÖ and thatís seeing you and Sora as enemies."
"Thanks. Tell you what, Iíll even things up." Tai turned away from the table and summoned two others over, "Mimi! Joe! Matt wants to talk to you!"
"TaiÖ what are you doing?" Tai smiled.
"You arenít immune from all this either. Címon, I help you fix things with Mimi, you help me fix things with Sora. Deal?" Matt looked over at Mimi and Joe, both still a bit miffed, but heading Mattís way. Matt didnít have much of a choice.
"So the way I see it, as long as youíre willing to make up for it and apologize, there isnít a problem. Right?" Davis had seen this all before, but looking at Ken now gave Davis the confidence he needed to get Izzy back on the right track.
"I uhÖ I guess. But how can I make up for it?"
"I donít knowÖ you can worry about that later. Right now, apologizing is a good start. Because I know Kenís willing to forgive you, and I know Yoleiís willing to forgive you." Davis turned to Ken and Yolei, "Right?"
"Right. Izzy, all three of us have done something wrong at one point in all this. Iím willing to try to put it behind us if you are." Ken was visibly willing to forgive, but Yolei wasnít so sure. Although the incident which broke up Ken and Yolei was because of all three of them, the disastrous marriage was mostly Izzyís fault, and Yolei wasnít sure how forgiving she could honestly be.
"YoleiÖ" Izzy was quiet, almost crying, "Iím sorry." Yolei remained silent. Was she willing to forgive him this easily? Before she could decide, Davis elbowed her in the ribs.
"Davis!!" Yolei was caught off guard.
"Well?" Davis was smiling, "You know what you want to say." Yolei took another look at Izzy. If he felt this bad about what he had done, he had to be sincerely sorry.
"Itís okay Izzy." It was a start. And thatís all that was needed for the time being.
"All I said was that things havenít been the same since you left." Tai had gotten Mimi to calm down, and Matt was explaining things to her, "Itís true that things have gone downhill, but I donít blame you for it. I guess itís just not as fun anymore. When you were with me, we had a blast, and even if we werenít really together, it was still nice to have somebody to share the good times with. I justÖ wasnít ready to give it up yet." Mimi seemed to understand. Joe understood even more. Despite his success in the field, he was never really happy until Mimi re-entered his life. Real relationship or not, Mimi was Mattís someone to share success with.
"How happy are you now?" Joe asked Matt.
"I donít know. Iím missing something. I donít know what it is."
"You know, I feel the same way. Between this lawsuit and the neighbors, I think somethingís missing too."
"Well, I can think of a way for all three of us to find that missing something." Mimi smiled. She didnít want to be mad at Matt anymore, "Iíll umÖ tell you later." Matt was confused, but nodded. Joe wasnít sure what his wife was getting at, as he had already found what he was looking for. As soon as he saw it, it was clear what Joe needed to make his life happier. He was always hesitant before, but this reunion made it clear what else Joe needed in life.
"SoraÖ I know you donít want to be here. But you are. Chi doesnít want to leave yet, and I donít want to have to drag him out of here." Tareshi couldnít understand why Sora was acting like this, "But what is stopping you from having a good time here? What happened to everybody?"
"IÖ I donít know." Sora was tired of everything. She didnít want to answer questions.
"Iím serious. Sora, Iím worried about you. Whatís going on with Matt? He punched Tai, and you know what he said. Why is he doing this? And Iíve noticed that you havenít even talked to Tai. All I want to know is whatís going on." Sora still didnít want to say anything. She stood up and started to walk away. Tareshi shook his head, but he knew that he couldnít take this lying down. His wife was going through some sort of a problem, and no matter how much he disliked hearing about the problems of others, he had to help his wife, no matter what. He stood up and grabbed her arm.
"Sora. Iím serious. I need to know whatís going on." Sora shed a few tears, shook Tareshiís hand away, and walked off into the conference room. She just wanted to be left alone. And Tareshi was still in the dark. Matt walked up to him. Matt had just made up with Mimi and Joe, and Tai had gone to check up on Izzy. Having just witnessed the situation, he decided that it was a good time to work on Sora. Tareshi was very passive, and was slightly scared of Matt as well.
"Mind if, uhÖ I talk to her? I need to apologize."
"Uh, sureÖ" Tareshi smiled goofily. He didnít want to make Matt mad. Matt walked up towards the door, and managed to catch Tai, walking in from the terrace. Instead of entering the conference room, Matt turned to Tai.
"Man, I did a number on Izzy."
"Great Tai, I donít care. I think I found a way for you to make up with Sora." Tai didnít quite believe that Matt had some sort of quick-fix.
"Really? What is it?" Matt looked around.
"I uhÖ canít tell you here. Not with everybody else around. Letís go in the conference room."
"Um. Okay." Matt and Tai walked over to the roomís entrance. Matt smiled and motioned for Tai to go in first.
"Shut up." Tai went inside. And Matt slammed the door behind him. It didnít take long for Tai to figure out what was going on, "MATT!!" Matt was finally returning the favor. He was very uncomfortable at the idea of Tai and Sora together, but he couldnít stand them not getting along. This technique worked last time. Of course, now that Matt thought about it, wouldnít Tai have felt similar when he was standing outside that classroom? If Tai had these feelings for Sora all along, wouldnít he hope for a breakup so he could get Sora on the rebound? Regardless of his own feelings, Tai made sure that Sora and Matt made up, and Matt was going to make sure that Sora and Tai made up.
Davis had made quite a bit of progress. He was talking openly with Izzy, and Izzy was responding. Davis was quite set on making Izzy confident that his friends would forgive him. It started to work. Unfortunately, there was one thing on Izzyís mind that Davis had no answer for.
"So what should I do with all the money I have? I donít deserve itÖ"
"UhÖ." This never came up when Ken acted like this years ago. But it was Ken that stepped up with an answer.
"Look Izzy, Iím not going to say that what you did was good. But you did turn the company into something huge. And you profited heavily off of it. That had always been a dream of mine. Like it or notÖ deserve it or notÖ youíre loaded. But thatís only a problem if you let it go to your head." It was Kenís turn to help his former business partner, so Yolei seized the opportunity and turned to Davis.
"Davis? Can I talk to you inside?"
"Sure. Ken, you okay with Izzy?" Davis replied.
"Yeah. I can handle this." With Kenís approval, Davis and Yolei went back inside.
"Davis, I just wanted to thank you for helping us." Yolei was very sincere. She knew that Davis was going through a lot, but still managed to fix Izzy when he was broke.
"Hey, itís no big deal! Iíd hate to imagine if Izzy went home the way he wasÖ or even if he went home while he was still acting like an asshole!" Davis stopped and sighed. He suddenly realized that he himself wasnít fixed. That heíd go home and still have all the same headaches, and missed days at work, and tense moments with Kari and TK. Nothing was changing for him. Yolei picked up on Davisís sudden change of mood.
"Sorry- you know this is actually a pretty good day for me. I know everybody else is miserable, but hey- I spent last night in a hospital. Anythingís good now. The only problem is that I have to go back to my normal life tomorrow."
"See you donít deserve that. After the way you just helped Izzy. And me. I just wish there was something I could do for you." Yolei started to cry. She hated the idea that there was nothing she could do to repay Davis. Davis met her with a hug.
"WellÖ I canít think of anything. So donít worry about it, okay?" Davis received the hug openly. Davis wasnít sure if he knew what he was doing, or if he was capable of dealing with the consequences, but he followed it up with a kiss to the cheek. Yolei retracted for a second. She wasnít sure how she was supposed to react to that. But it didnít feel wrong. She wanted to be in the hug. She wanted to be held by somebody. She wasnít quite sure what she was doing either, but she returned the kiss- this time on the lips.
Kari and TK were busy chatting with Kintaro at the time. Kintaro was filling the two on all the crazy stuff Kariís brother had been up to (at least Kintaro was smart enough to lay off the whole Sora issue while doing so). But Kari caught sight of the embrace between Davis and Yolei and quickly tapped TK on the shoulder.
"What is it?" TKís question was answered when Kari pointed to Davis and Yolei. A smile crept on her face.
"Címon DavisÖ" Kari was quietly rooting him on, and was really happy when Yolei kissed him, "Yes." She even pumped a fist, "Maybe she can help him get better. Anything that helps Davis is a good thing." TK agreed, but for some reason, he couldnít smile. Maybe it was because none of his own problems were going to be solved. Maybe because he didnít think Davis and Yolei were capable of a serious relationship. Or maybeÖ just maybeÖ he knew somebody back home that was going to get her heart stepped on. As much as TK hated Mitsune, he also knew that nobody deserved what she was going to receive.
TKís thoughts were interrupted by Ken, who walked up to TK and Kari.
"TK? Kari? Izzy wants to speak to you."
It was silent for the longest time. Sora didnít want to look at Tai. Tai knew he had to say something, but wasnít sure where to start. Finally, he opened his mouth and talked to Sora for the first time in nine years.
"What do you want?" Sora looked up at him. What did she want? She resorted to the same answer she told herself.
"To be left alone. I just want to forget about everything, forget about the digi-destined, and forget about you. I just want to pretend that none of this ever happened."
"Are you sure thatís what you want?"
"IÖ I donít know. I want to believe that thatís what I want."
"Because thatís not what I want."
"Tai, this has been the worst day of my life. I donít know if this is some sort of mind game, but just stop it."
"I donít think this is what you really want Sora. Because there are a lot of people out there who used to be your friends. Especially Matt and me. And if you want it, they can be your friends again. You donít have to forget about anything just because of what happened." Sora shook her head. She still didnít believe that.
"Yes I do. I canít live with myself, and you make me think of it more. If I forget it, I donít have to deal with it."
"Thatís just it- you have to deal with it. You canít pretend it didnít happen. Because it did. If you think you can try to forget about it, youíre only fooling yourself. It happened, you know it happened, and like you told Matt, it happened for a reason."
"But what was the reason? I know there has to be one, but I canít think of anything."
"Keep looking then. I finally realized why I did it. Itís also the reason Iíve been avoiding you for so long. At first it might have been guilt or anger but not anymore. I think I did it because I love you."
"How much do you need? Do you want it all? Just take it allÖ I donít deserve it." Izzy was rambling again. This time TK and Kari were the ones listening. TK was amazed at how much Izzy had turned around. Now, Izzy was in a state where he didnít feel like he deserved anything. TK was being given the chance to get back on track. A little extra money in the household would do wondersÖ
"No thanks. IíllÖ Iíll be fine." TK wasnít going to let jealousy or anger or anything else get the best of him. Izzy was in no state to make rational decisions, and it would simply be wrong for TK to capitalize off of them. TK knew now that he wasnít going to be any better off after this night. Not that he had expected anything to change. Meanwhile, Izzy was immersed in thought. He didnít want to have any of that ill-gotten fortune anymore. Ken kept trying to reassure Izzy that it wasnít ill-gotten enough to do anything drastic with, but Izzy still wanted to feel better about himself. But maybe there was another way to help.
"Where did you two say you were living again?"
"Nerima. Why?" Izzy nodded. When he heard the name, it sounded very familiar.
"If I recallÖ" Izzy tried to stay level, "The company is working with another company and opening some sort of a store or restaurant or something." Izzy had never paid attention to the details, merely threw money at it when he was advised that it was a good investment, "I heard that it was going to be pretty upscale. Kinda trendy. Itís a few months away from opening, but Iím sure theyíll be looking for some people to work thereÖ I even recall them saying they were looking for a manager. If they are, you should try applyingÖ Kari could too. Just put me down as a reference or somethingÖ Iíll get you in." Izzy wasnít smiling. He couldnít smile today. But he said it, and at least it made TK smile. Neither of the three knew if it would actually equate to anything, but again- it was a start.
"Thanks. This works a lot better than just throwing money at a problem."
"Actually TKÖ" Ken had remained silent through the conversation, but chimed in now, "We were thinking that if Davis needed some sort of therapy for his problem, maybe Izzy could either pay parts of it, or offer him a loan or something. We havenít told Davis about it, but I think it sounds like a great idea." Kari was really happy to hear that, as was TK.
"Hey, Iím not going to make any decisions for Davis, but it sounds good to me. I donít know why heíd turn the offer down." With TK, it was simply financial trouble. Throwing money at that seemed unfair. But Davis had some sort of mental problem, and since Davis helped Izzy when he was down, any way for Izzy to return the favor was a good way.
"Thanks Izzy. I know you feel sorry for the way youíve been acting lately, but if you keep this up, Iím sure youíll be fine in no time." Kari was reassuring. And again, Izzy still was unable to smile. But deep down he knew that someday heíd be able to again. Hopefully it would be a smile that didnít isolate his friends either.
"Tai, I just donít know how this all happened. I know that it happened for a reason, but the only question I have is what is that reason, and is it a good reason or a bad reason." Sora was opening up a little more to Tai, especially since it was clear that Matt wasnít letting them out any time soon.
"I canít answer that for you. I know why I did it. I told you why I did it and I donít really want to say that again. I feel kinda ashamed about it." Tai knew full well that if he really did love Sora, he was pining over someone who was unavailable.
"You feel ashamed?" Sora started out with an angry retort, but the momentum didnít last long, "Love is the only reason I can think of. And I just canít say it isnít true." Sora hated saying it, "Imagine how bad I must feel thinking that I might love you too."
"I guess thatís the big question. Do you?" Tai sat down next to Sora. She looked at him in the eyes. And despite everything that happened, it was the same look that started it all. The look that provided the answer. Sora had to avert her eyes from the grim truth.
"Yes." There was no escaping it. She couldnít deny it any longer. "I love you, Tai." She couldnít stop the tears either. Tai wasnít going to be joyous about this revelation though, as he put a hand on her shoulder.
"Sora, I canít make any decisions for you. All I know is that youíre going to have to tell Tareshi about this. And from there, whatever happens happens."
"But itís more complicated than that. Thereís also the matter of Chi."
"What about him?" Tai still didnít know about that matter. Sora really started crying now.
"Now IÖ now I donít even know who I want his father to be." Tai continued patting Soraís shoulder in comfort, but he didnít want to get any closer. Tai had never given thought to the possibility. It was a shock to him too. He just stayed quiet for awhile. If it was a situation where the chips could fall either way, he too didnít know which one was better. In the end, it all depended on Sora. Tai knew that she cared deeply for Tareshi, and that she was going to have a difficult decision to make. Tai could very easily have just given her up then and there, like he had done on that fateful December afternoon all those years ago. But that didnít solve anything. Tai loved Sora, and Sora loved Tai. No, Tai wasnít going to be the perfect friend and advise Sora to stay with TareshiÖ but he wasnít going to actively fight for her either. He was just going to let Sora decide.
"Sora, itís just a decision youíll have to make. Iím not going to say which way you should go. Iím not going to kid around- I want you to be with me. I would love to spend the rest of my life with you. But I also would understand if you didnít want to end things with your husband. If you want to stay with Tareshi, Iím not joking when I say it would break my heart. ButÖ I guess Iím used to it by now." Sora looked back up at him. The same look. Nothing was changing. Sora was taking in everything Tai had just said. It summed things up rather nicely. She was going to have to make some sort of a decision. It wasnít a no-brainer either. She would have to really think about everything. But that would have to come later. For now, she at least was at peace knowing that she no longer had to ignore her friends, and that she no longer could ignore Tai. And before getting Matt to let them out, they ending the meeting with a brief kiss. This time, in the present, they were able to break it off. They couldnít in the past, while the future remained to be seen.
"Why do I get the feeling itís just not possible for me to be the life of this party?" Kintaroís conversation with TK and Kari had been broken up by Ken. Now he was sitting with Tareshi, who had also been abandoned by his wife in favor of the conference room.
"Thatís the way it goes." Tareshi, as usual, was smiling, pretending that he had no problems in life. He did of course- his wife had just stormed away from him. He didnít know what he did, or what he could say to make things better, but first time since he got married, he was afraid of possibly losing Sora. But Kintaro didnít want to hear about that, did he? So Tareshi smiled, and listened patiently as Kintaro continued.
"And now I see Yolei and Davis kissing- I thought I was getting somewhere with her!" Kintaro really thought that he was scoring some points, although he wasnít sure whether his talk about the sanctity of marriage helped him or hurt him in the long run. He didnít say it to impress anybody. He meant it, and was glad to get it out of his system.
"Thatís why you get married- you donít have to worry about stuff like that." Kintaro had to turn his head at that. He simply nodded. In a perfect world that would be true, but Kintaro knew what Tareshiís wife had done. And the more Kintaro thought about it, the more sickened he became by the affair. Especially sitting next to Tareshi.
Mimi hugged Joe as soon as he told her what he wanted to do. It was good news for both of them. With Davis gone doing mushy stuff, Chi happened to walk by.
"Whatís going on?" Joe smiled and patted Chi on the head.
"Suddenly my problems donít seem quite as important." Joe figured that no matter happened with the lawsuit, heíd get through it somehow. What was important was living life to the fullest. His "three goals for success" still applied, but over the years, the bar had just been raised a little bit higher. Life wasnít about meeting specific goals. Life was about meeting goals, setting more difficult goals, reaching those, and going as high as you can possibly go, in order to be as happy as you can. Joe had finally realized what his new goals were, and he wasnít going to let anything stop him from reaching those as well. With Mimi by his side, and perhaps with Mattís help as well, he was going to accomplish those goals, and whatever goals lied beyond that.
By the time Tai and Sora were released from confinement, the evening had pretty much ended. In fact, as soon as Matt let them out, TK and Kari went up to them.
"Well, I think weíre going to call it a night. Shame Cody isnít here, we never got to thank him for hosting this." Kari felt much more reassured that things would begin to look brighter. Between the inside track theyíve been given and Davis and Izzyís financial arrangements, there was a lot of hope for the coming months. It wasnít anything concrete, and it wasnít anything guaranteed, but it didnít really matter- things were going to be better. Kari could feel it.
As they started to head out, Davis called for them.
"Hey, wait up guys!" Davis had just said goodbye to Yolei and was trying to catch up with TK and Kari. They turned around to oblige him.
"Whereís Yolei?" Kari asked.
"Why? I donít know about you, but Iím not going to just jump into something. I donít know whatís gonna happen with Yolei and I, but weíre going to take it slow, whatever it is."
"OkayÖ that makes sense. Whereíd you put that wheelchair?"
"WhoopsÖ" Davis ran off to retrieve it. He didnít think he really needed it anymoreÖ but the hospital charges a fortune if you donít bring it back in one piece.
"So, you ready to go?" Tareshi knew that Sora was, he just couldnít think of anything better to say. Sora nodded.
"Yeah. Sorry about walking off on you like that." Sora apologized quickly, then turned towards her son, "Chi! Weíre going!" Chi was a tad dejected when he walked back towards his mother, but that was to be expected. He had fun at this party.
"So, umÖ are you ever going to tell me whatís going on?" Tareshi had to ask. He didnít want to be left in the dark forever.
"She willÖ" Tai answered for her, "Someday. Right Sora?" Sora looked back at Tai. No matter what her decision was going to be, she would have to tell Tareshi. Maybe if she told him, heíd be willing to take a test to see whether or not he was Chiís father.
"Yeah. Someday." Sora replied, as Tareshi put a hand on his wifeís shoulder and they headed out. She still would have to make a decision. But it was a little easier knowing that her friends would stand by it either way.
"Are you going to be fine on your own?" Ken wasnít certain if Izzy was capable of handling the road home on his own.
"I think I should be. Iíll just be doing a lot of thinking."
"Tell you what- you live in Kogane? My apartment isnít that out of the way. Wanna give me a lift? We canÖ you knowÖ talk." Izzy nodded.
"Sure. I guess we have some catching up to do." Izzy wasnít particularly excited, but the closer he got towards making up with his old friends, the better he would feel about himself. Ken turned to Yolei, also about ready to leave.
"Yolei, how about you?"
"Sorry, but Iíll pass. I have to pick a few things up for a friend." Yolei didnít really want to go anyway, but Naoko did ask that she get her a few souvenirs. Odaiba wasnít that far away from homeÖ but Naoko was a bit strange, and Yolei was happy to oblige. Ken and Izzy said goodbye to Tai and Matt, as did YoleiÖ although she didnít say much to Tai. Mimi and Joe were next, but they too focused mostly on Matt.
"So are you going to think about it?" Mimi asked Matt. He nodded.
"Iíll take it under consideration and let you know. I suppose I should talk to Ray about it too. Thanks for the offer." Matt wasnít just being polite. He was seriously considering Mimi's idea.
"Then I guess weíll see you around sometime. You too Tai!" Mimi had gotten a lot of stuff off her back as well. Although she was sad to see the party end, she at least could look forward to the future.
After Matt and Tai thanked each other for their help, Matt left, leaving just Kintaro and Tai.
"Hey, uhÖ Tai? Who has to clean up this place?" Kintaro had a good question. Tai wasnít sure how that sort of thing worked in this facility. And Cody was long gone.
"IÖ donít know." It would be really ugly if they were in charge of cleaning up as well- the place had worn itself out hosting this group.
"Well that Cody kidís in charge of renting the place. I say let him deal with it." Despite Taiís better judgments, Kintaro had a point.
"YeahÖ letís just leave quietly." Tai and Kintaro headed out.
"You know something- this party sucked." Despite the progress everyone had made, it definitely wasnít up to Kintaroís very demanding standards. But as Tai had one last look at the display Cody had set up- with all twelve digi-destined happily posing for a group photo, he was able to offer Kintaro a little bit of reassurance.
"Donít worryÖ weíll have more fun next year."
So whatís Mimiís idea for herself and Joe? How does it concern Matt Whatís Joeís idea for his own happiness? What did Davis and Izzy work out? And of course, what will Soraís decision be? Needless to say, although this can be looked at as the climax to the story, there are still a lot of things that still need answers. And thatís what the next chapter is for. Hopefully, it wonít be this long either.
Iím just going to sit back and die now. Oh wait- Iíll finish the next chapter, then die. Oh wait- Iíll finish the next chapter, then start Mole 2: AE. Then IíllÖ then Iíll have to catch up on my schoolwork. OyÖ this could be a rough autumn.
Questions get answered, Plots get closed up. Itís Odaiba Memorial Dayís last stand!
Chapter Fifteen- Reunion (Part Three)
There had been ten years in between reunions. And in that time, a lot of major events happened that almost broke the digi-destined apart. But over the course of the next year, more major events occur. Will these events be enough to keep them together for good? And what about the one person who was immune to the major events beforeÖ but lost all hope anyway?