The next day we went shopping – and no it wasn’t just for lube. We might be hormone-filled young men, but we do have some restraint.
Besides…we needed food.
We also moved Taichi’s bed (now our bed – and didn’t that just make me sappy and shivery with delight) into my Dad’s former bedroom, the master bedroom. We also moved most of our clothes and such personal belongings like pictures and things. I left my guitars and various other musical equipment in my room, which would now be my ‘music room’ while Taichi left things of his own in his room. We’d agreed that just because we were together now didn’t mean we each didn’t need our own space on occasion, so this arrangement would probably work wonders.
The next few weeks of summer passed so slowly you’d think time had stopped. I had several gigs, three concerts, and a lot of practice sessions in between keeping me busy when I wasn’t with my lover, and Taichi kept fairly busy with soccer and spending time with Hikari. He also started looking for a job to help pay some of our expenses. Surprisingly, he got really lucky with that. Our former high school was starting up a summer sports program, and they needed coaches and referees and such to help out – and they were willing to pay (probably because it was still during school, since the next year had already started). Sure, it wasn’t the salary of a real coach or anything, but it was better than nothing and it was completely up Taichi’s alley. For what could be, essentially, termed a ‘summer job’, it was perfect for him.
As for me, album sales were growing, as was our popularity with the fans. My royalties checks were getting larger every month. All in all, we were doing alright for ourselves – enough to live modestly but comfortably.
My dad drops by frequently to visit – aka check up on us – as does Taichi’s father (only a bit less frequently and more to deliver progress reports on his wife’s condition). I ended up telling my dad about Taichi and I, without meaning to, and without consulting my lover first. Oops. I just sort of…blurted it out in the middle of dinner. Taichi was a tad annoyed – and rather embarrassed – but it didn’t last long. And Dad…just smiled, congratulated us, and declared that it took us long enough. He also asked if we’d told our friends, our siblings, or Taichi’s parents yet. At that time, Taichi had yet to tell his father, and I…still hadn’t broken the news to my mom. Taichi explained to Dad that even if he ever does tell his father, he’d never tell his mother. Dad sort of winced and nodded in understanding and apology.
In the case of my mother, she found out completely unexpectedly (all the way around). Apparently my dear, beloved little brother – whom I will murder at the next available opportunity, the brat – mentioned off-hand to Mom that Taichi and I were living alone in the apartment now, since Dad moved to Kyoto. She’d known about Dad moving, but I guess it hadn’t occurred to her that it meant we boys were now on our own. Anyway, every now and then she would drop by and deliver food, for some reason under the presumption that teenaged males could not cook for themselves and thus we must be starving to death around here.
Or becoming grossly unhealthy and broke eating take-out and/or frozen dinners.
We aren’t, of course, but we do appreciate a free, home-cooked meal that neither of us had to make ourselves, so we said nothing in complaint and thanked her profusely whenever she did bring us a meal.
Normally she would call ahead, making sure we were even here, before she’d drop by. Of course, Fortuna continues to rain on my parade (and just when I’d forgiven her for the whole Taichi thing, too!) and when Mom found out about Taichi and I it was the one time she didn’t call first. We found out later, after things had calmed down again and we could face Mom without blushing and extreme embarrassment, that she’d been in a hurry for work, so she’d just borrowed Takeru’s key to the apartment that Dad had given him a while ago.
So this fine summer day that was only just beginning, Taichi was up long before I was, even though he didn’t have work that day. Me, I’ll take any excuse to laze about in bed all morning whenever I can – especially when there’s the possibility, now, of dragging my early-rising lover back into bed with me for equally lazy sex. He’d gone out for a run, and since I’d developed a difficulty sleeping without my Taichi-blanket (who needed sheets when one has Taichi-the-living-furnace surrounding one all night?) I got up, and made coffee and toast, and wandered into my music room to fiddle with some new compositions I had ideas for.
That’s where my cheerful, energetic, and sweaty lover discovered me when he got back. I didn’t notice him, at first, as I was very engrossed in the melodies and harmonies and rhythms in my head. He came into the room, right up behind me, and plucked the headphones off me, pretty much draping himself over my back.
“Gah!” I exclaimed, startled. “Damn it! Are you trying to give me a heart attack, Taichi?!”
“Sorry.” He apologized, kissing my cheek and nuzzling my ear with his nose. “There’s no way to really get your attention without startling you, you know.”
“Hn.” I’d already forgotten it. One of his hands was trailing knowing fingertips down my bare chest (I’d just put the shirt on without actually buttoning it up) while soft lips were nibbling at my ear and neck in a very distracting way. Honestly, it hadn’t taken him long to find all my hotspots and exploit the knowledge at every possibility opportunity. I suppose this was what they call the ‘honeymoon phase,’ the one where a new couple can’t keep their hands off one another for all the tea in China – because I was just as bad as Taichi.
His unerring fingers played with my instantly peaked nipple while he went from nuzzling my neck to nibbling. I groaned and shivered, almost losing my grip on my guitar. “Gah…Tai, at least let me put my guitar down…” I pled, helplessly leaning back against him and arching into his hand when he pinched and plucked the opposite nipple. “Ah, shit!” I clutched at my guitar desperately.
Taichi’s smirk was obvious, even if I couldn’t see it. He did, however, reach over me and pluck the instrument from my less-than-reliable grip to carefully set it back on its stand for safe-keeping. I used those few seconds to pull my hormones back under control, rising from my chair and moving in the general direction of the door with the intent of taking this to our big, comfy bed.
Taichi didn’t let me get far, though. I suddenly found myself pinned up against the wall next to the door – missing the light switch, thankfully – with a horny, eager Child of Courage doing his best to map out the interior of my mouth with his tongue. I didn’t really mind that, so I kissed back just as enthusiastically. And as we kissed, and kissed, and kept right on kissing, I was doing my best to get his jacket off him, my hands intermittently sneaking up to sink my fingers into his hair, and run down his back then up again under his shirt in an effort to get at naked Taichi skin. He growled my name and left off long enough to rip the t-shirt he wore off over his head before he dove back in for more, devouring my mouth ferociously.
When he finally let me breathe, taking the attack to my neck and collarbone while one hand slid possessively around my waist and fingers slipped under the material of my pants to palm my ass-cheek, I gasped loudly and moaned, “Tai-chi, oh god, just…uhn…bedroom…” I was having trouble following my thoughts what with the groping and the “holy shit do that again!” and the hard erection he kept pressing up against my own. All I got for the effort was a grunt of acknowledgement but he didn’t seem to be interested in moving yet, because he just went back to kissing me stupid – though his hands did head for the fastenings of my pants. While he worked at that, I managed to get my hands on his waistbands (pants and underwear) to start trying to shove the garments off his hips.
Next thing I knew, my pants were around my ankles, Taichi discovered my lack of underwear (I’d figured on this happening when he got back, so why bother?) with many pleased noises of approval, and I still hadn’t managed to get his pants off. With a frustrated growl of my own, I pushed him away dropped to my knees, giving the track pants one hard yank. That got them to his knees – and it got a startled yelp from Taichi, who quickly cradled his family jewels protectively against any further mishap. “Watch it!”
“Sorry.” I apologized, leaning in and kissing him through the cotton. “I love those pants but they’re in my way.” Smiling up at his lust-darkened chocolate brown eyes, I rubbed my cheek against him, my hands stroking over his hips and thighs. Taichi licked his lips and joined me on the floor, pushing me onto my back and covering me with his body.
“Patience is a virtue, Yama.” He teased, rocking his hips almost absently into mine. God, he feels so good when he’s like this (okay, any time really), all seme and sexy and watching me like I’m the only thing in the universe of any interest.
I reached up, intending to pull him in for more kissing, when some movement caught my attention from above and beyond Taichi. Raising my head to peer over his shoulder, I froze at the shocked gasp and horrified, “Yamato!” that came from…
Yep. You guessed it.
“Mom!” I squeaked out, frantically clutching at Taichi to keep him in place, suddenly very aware of my near-nudity (minus my erection – mom equals instant kill-joy) and, oh dear god, the position we’d just been found in. Oh, and Taichi’s lack of clothing. But at least he still wore underwear!
Mom and I stared at one another in equally appalled states for a moment, until she abruptly turned on her heel with a very grim, red-faced expression and disappeared. I listened intently but I didn’t hear the front door open or close (over the jack-hammer of my heartbeat in my ears) so I assumed she was waiting out in the living room or kitchen for me. Us. Whatever.
“Matt!” Taichi hissed at me, flinging my pants at my head and stuffing his legs back into his track pants. “For gods’ sake get dressed!”
I did so on autopilot, stammering, “W-what the hell is she doing here? Oh god, my mom walked in on us!” A-a-and…there’s the panic. I could literally feel the blood rush from my head to my stomach, where that fluttery panic sensation took hold and I suddenly couldn’t breathe.
Taichi, looking as pale as I felt, shook his head and grabbed my shoulders to give me a hard shake. “Snap out of it, Matt! You’re gonna hyperventilate if you don’t calm down and breathe!” I think I whimpered pathetically and he scowled at me. “Don’t make me slap you, Ishida, ‘cause I will!”
Obediently, I sucked in as deep a breath as I could, held it a moment, then let it out slowly. I did it a couple more times, and when Taichi seemed to be satisfied I wasn’t going to collapse on him anymore, he moved away and finished dressing. When I felt calmer I did the same. Buttoning up my shirt and tucking it into my pants, I fussed with my hair in an effort to make myself at least presentable. Taichi watched me, still kind of pale, but able to be just a little amused with my vanity.
Walking out to the living room, I nearly turned tail and ran as another wave of panic washed over me – so much it actually hurt. Although…I couldn’t decide which hurt worse: the extreme embarrassment (redoubled when Mom spotted us and gave me a frown of deepest motherly disapproval) or the extreme cliché of being caught in the act by my mother, for gods’ sake!
Despite the mantra in my head of “I’m a consenting adult” replaying over and over in my head, I cringed at the frown and hung my head. Taichi elbowed me none-too-gently in the ribs and was brave enough to actually greet her calmly, as if nothing untoward had just occurred.
“Ms. Takashi, good morning. It’s good to see you again.”
Thank the gods for the Child of Courage standing right next to me. I inched closer, resisting the urge to hide behind him.
“Taichi.” Mom returned, eyeing him, then me, then him again. I could feel him vibrate, as if fighting the need to fidget guiltily under her stare. Sympathetically, and calling on what part of myself was Taichi, I drew her fire.
“Hi, Mom. Wasn’t expecting you today. Ah…what brings you by?”
Oh god. I’d forgotten how scary she could be. If I’d been wearing any kind of footwear I’d be quaking in them. Hey! Don’t look at me like that! Of course I’m afraid of my mother! Any sensible bad-ass is afraid of their mom! Fuck off!
“Ishida Yamato.” Gulping, I froze. “Do you have an explanation you would like to share?”
“Actually, ma’am, we have nothing to explain.” Taichi said coolly, standing up for the both of us, apparently. I winced and pulled myself together. No way was I letting him deal with this alone.
“He’s right, Mom. We’re adults. Consenting adults. In our own home, I might add, which you just barged into without calling ahead, knocking or ringing the doorbell, and without announcing yourself.” I frowned at her, warming up to the topic with indignation. I snapped my mouth shut and clenched my jaw to keep myself from saying anything more, though, when this expression of pure confusion mixed with consternation passed over her face. And, knowing Mom, she was reminding herself that I was an adult, that she’d given up any right to ‘parenting’ me long ago, and that she had no wish to start a fight with me when our relationship was still so fragile.
“How long?” She asked quietly, after a long moment of heavy, awkward silence.
“Doesn’t matter.” I answered, trying not to just burst into a long speech about true love, mated souls, etc. like the lovesick sap Taichi has turned me into. Hey, I’m not kidding! There’s been a steady flow of love songs and ballads pouring out of me lately. I reached for Taichi’s hand blindly and threaded my fingers through his, squeezing hard. “We’re together and neither of us are going anywhere.”
She nodded at that “I understand what you’re telling me, but I don’t necessarily understand” way. “Your father?”
“Knows all and gave his blessing.”
A deep frown marred her brow, and I could just see the gears grinding away. “Taichi’s family?”
“My sister knows. So does Takeru and all our friends.” Taichi responded guardedly, and I just then remembered that Mom likely didn’t know about Mrs. Yagami’s troubles. I gave his hand another squeeze.
“Mom, I’m sorry we hadn’t said anything sooner, but the right time hasn’t exactly come up. We certainly didn’t mean for you to find out…this way.” I flushed red at her raised eyebrow. “And really, does it matter? Taichi and I…we’re…”
“The same as we were yesterday, a month ago, a year ago.” Taichi butted in when I floundered.
Mom sighed, looking down at the floor for a second before raising her gaze to meet ours. “Okay, boys. I get it. I’m sorry for being so shocked, I just…wasn’t expecting it.”
“And we were?” I muttered under my breath. Taichi nudged me in the side, trying not to laugh.
“I’m also sorry for ‘barging in uninvited’ like that.” A slight flush crept up into her cheeks. “Trust me – it’ll never happen again.”
“Yes, well, just call first.” I cleared my throat and tilted my head at her curiously. “Why did you drop by?”
“Oh! I wanted to drop off some tickets I got through work. They’re for the amusement park. A colleague did a story on the new attractions and rides, and got a bunch of tickets she didn’t need.” Mom dug through her purse until she pulled them out in a wad. I blinked and took them.
“Geez. They were generous.” Taichi plucked them out of my hand to study them.
“I gave some to your brother, Yamato, but I thought you might know more people who would be interested so…”
“Thanks, Mom.” I said, smiling a little as I relaxed again. The initial panic was dying now, and Mom seemed to be taking things well enough.
“I’d better go. I’m already late for work.” She was looking at her watch, even as she made for the door. I followed her, not really sure what to say now. Slipping into her shoes, she must have caught a glimpse of my uncertainty on my face because she reached out and laid a hand against my cheek.
“Everything’s fine, Yamato, so stop looking so worried. I’m sorry, and…I’m happy if you are.”
Sighing, I leaned into the touch (just a little) and nodded. “We are, Mom. I am.”
“Well, then, there’s nothing else to say.” She turned and opened the door to leave. “Call sometime soon, and we’ll all get together for dinner sometime, okay? Taichi, too.”
“Sure. Bye, Mom.”
The minute the door closed, my knees buckled and I sat down on the floor hard enough to jar my tailbone. Burying my head between my knees I started to laugh in a near-hysterical way. I didn’t look up as my lover flopped down beside me and draped an arm over my back.
“You realize, of course, that the second Takeru – and thus, Hikari – find out about this we’ll never live it down.”
Gasping for air, I let myself fall over backward with a weird whimpering groan of utter humiliation. “Thanks…so much…for pointing…that out, Yagami.”
“Just sharing the love, Yama. Why should I suffer alone when I have you?”
“I hate you.”
“Love you, too.”
Later that week, I came home from practice with the band mid-afternoon. I’d grabbed the mail from the mailbox without looking through it on the way up to the apartment, and had to pee so bad that I just dropped it on the kitchen counter and ran for the bathroom – thus forgetting completely about it.
It wasn’t until Taichi got home from coaching around suppertime that the mail was returned to my attention.
“Oh my god… Yama!”
His yell brought me running into the kitchen from my music room. “What?! What’s wrong?”
He held up to very official looking envelopes, with our names on them, and stamped with the University of Tokyo’s very official looking seal.
“Oh my god.” I echoed, barely audible. We stared at each other for a moment, then down at the envelopes.
“Here. On three…” Taichi held out mine and I took it, not even pretending that my hand wasn’t shaking a bit. We both took deep breaths, held them then let them out on the count of three as we ripped the envelopes open and drew out the letters inside on the silent count of three.
I swallowed hard and slowly unfolded mine, though I couldn’t bring myself to look down and read whatever it said. I watched Taichi do the same, then look at me with a scared expression. Then he shoved his letter at me and grabbed mine. “We’ll read each other’s first.”
Okay. I guess that would be alright. I glanced down at Taichi’s letter and read silently, “Dear Yagami Taichi…” blah blah “Upon consideration of your application…” blah blah “we are hereby pleased to welcome you to our institution.” My head shot up, a wide, wide grin on my face. Taichi met my gaze a moment later, an equally wide grin on his face. We tossed the letters back at each other and I just threw myself at him without even bothering to read mine.
“YES! YES! YES! We did it!” I crowed, hugging the stuffing out of him and laughing when he curled his arms around me in turn and spun us around awkwardly. “Tokyo U!”
“On full scholarship, Yama!” Taichi cheered in my ear and pulled back enough to plant a rather enthusiastic but sloppy kiss on my mouth. “Did you see?”
“What?!” One arm still around his neck, I held up the letter so I could devour its contents for myself. “HOLY SHIT! I did!”
Taichi squeezed me and kissed my neck with a loud smacking noise, then laughed. “You’re not the only one. They say I qualify for a few of their sports and leadership scholarships, but some of them are contingent on not just my grades but making the university soccer team, too.” He read from his own letter, smiling despite the conditions. I didn’t blame him – we’d kind of known that any scholarships he qualified for would probably have restrictions like that when we first applied for admission.
I was a little dazed with my own scholarship. I had no idea my grades had been good enough to warrant a full one, but I guess they saw something in me that I hadn’t realized was there. I certainly wasn’t going to argue about it!
Looking into Taichi’s eyes, I couldn’t seem to stop grinning. “We’re going to Tokyo U.” I said, awed. “Oh my god, Tai. We’ve gotta tell EVERYONE.”
He blinked and let out a laugh. “Yama, I don’t think that’ll be a problem. I don’t see either of us forgetting any time soon.”
“We have to celebrate, too!” I decided, letting go of him and turning half-way toward the phone. “I’ll start calling around to see if everyone’s got a free night soon…”
Taichi didn’t let me get farther than that. He grabbed my hand and tugged me back into his arms, pressing me up against the counter and claiming my lips with one hell of a kiss. It left me dizzy and breathless. “Later.” He growled against my slightly swollen lips, nibbling and biting lightly at them. “We will celebrate right now.”
Oh yes, because I was really going to argue with that after he kisses me like that! I pushed him away and took a handful of his shirt, dragging him along behind me as I made my way to our room. I was so proud of him I could burst – and just kissing me like that gets me all hot and bothered, so I was going to do my best to show him just how excited I was.
The next day saw both of us attached to a phone, a D3, and/or a laptop screen as we spread the good news – and received a lot of good news in return from the others.
Turns out we weren’t the only ones who received answers to applications that week.
Izzy said he was going into one of the top computer programming schools. He was hoping to learn all that he could so that he could one day study the Digital World with an even better understanding than he already did. He also babbled something to Taichi about building his own computer language to do so, but it went completely over our heads so don’t ask me what that was all about.
Mimi said she’d be leaving us (again) to go to Europe for her continuing education. I told her that was a good idea, since a lot of the fashion industry was located there, but she stunned me when she replied that, yes, that was true, but she wasn’t going for fashion – she was going for chef school.
…I didn’t know she even knew how to boil water.
She brightly talked about the various culinary institutes she was going to tour and attend (she hoped) for a good half-hour before I managed to ask her if she’d told Joe yet. She had, and he was going to visit her as often as he could. I had to smile about that, knowing that the last time she’d been out of the country Joe pined away for her pathetically like a puppy that’s been left behind. At least now he could pack a suitcase and chase after her sometimes, no longer a kid with no means to do so.
Which left Sora. We talked to her last, together, over the IM on Taichi’s laptop. I could see how proud she was of us, even over the webcam, since she couldn’t stop smiling at us.
“I knew you would do it, guys. Matt’s a lot smarter than people seem to realize, and Taichi, you have a lot of other abilities that are just as important as book-smarts, abilities that the world really needs more of. Of course you’re both going to the best university in Japan!”
I preened. I admit it. Taichi blushed, though. I don’t think he realizes how many of his good qualities we actually see, sometimes. “Well, we’re thrilled that they didn’t just throw out our applications, let alone letting us in and giving us scholarships. And what about you, Sora? You applied for a few universities, too, didn’t you?”
Taichi raised an eyebrow when she looked away, for some reason unable to meet our gazes. “Sora? What’s up?” he asked.
“Oh, I applied at a few, yeah. Mom and Dad both insisted on it. But…I haven’t told them yet that the program I’m interested in isn’t anything they would have thought of for me.”
I exchanged a look with my boyfriend. “Huh?” we chorused intelligently, confused.
She looked both embarrassed and excited, though reluctant to explain. “Uh, well, I sort of have these ideas…for design. But I really want to learn a lot more before I try anything.”
“Design?” Taichi repeated, lost. “What are you going to design? You mean like people’s houses and stuff?”
“Architecture?” I added in question when she shook her head. “Engineering?”
“God no. I don’t have the math skills for that kind of thing.” Sora made a face. This time it was my eyebrow that went up because she blushed. Hard. “Clothes.” She mumbled.
I don’t think I heard that right. “I’m sorry? I didn’t catch that.”
“Clothes! I want to be a fashion designer!”
I stared at the screen, surprised. Taichi seemed to be just as shocked. “Really? Wow, Sora… I always thought that would be Mimi. No offence, but she’s the one who ever showed interest in such things.”
She gave him a dark, self-conscious look. “Obviously she’s not the only one. And are you saying I didn’t care about what I wore, Yagami Taichi?”
“Hey! No way! I’m not saying that it’s not a good idea, either!” he waved his hands defensively. “I mean, if that’s what your dream is then do it!”
Still glowering at him, she huffed. “Well, I’m going to. It really interests me.”
“I think you’d do really well.” I said after a moment of letting her glare down Taichi – with both feet in his big mouth. He always seems to miss when it comes to Sora. Thankfully, she eventually gets over it. Eventually. “You don’t let what other people think is ‘in’ to dictate what your style is, so why shouldn’t you share that with the world?”
Sora beamed at me. “Why thank you, Matt! That’s very sweet of you to say.”
Taichi shot me a glare of his own, and an elbow to the ribs, muttering, “Kiss ass,” under his breath. I gave him a shove and beamed back at Sora.
“Have you heard back from anyone yet?”
“Oh, yes. A couple of the universities have accepted me, but neither has the program I’m looking for.” Sora shook her head. “I expect I’ll hear from those ones soon, though.”
“Great! You’ll let us know when you do.” I gave her a pointed stare, and she laughed and nodded at me.
“Yes, Matt. I will.”
“Good. If you want, I’ll be happy to wear your designs on stage.” I offered, perfectly serious. Taichi looked appalled, like I’d lost my mind or something. Thankfully, he didn’t say anything (further digging his own grave with Sora if he did).
“Really? Oh wow, Matt…I don’t know what to say.” Her eyes got huge, and it was a rare occurrence to see that sparkly, starry-eyed look girls often get on Sora’s face. At this point, I started to wonder if I’d lost my mind.
“Uh, well, I’m sure we’ll have plenty of time to figure all that out. Good luck with the applications, Sora!” I said cheerfully.
“Yeah, I hope it works out for you.” Taichi added, his sincerity evident. Sora smiled, any ire with him gone at that. She knew that even if he didn’t believe she was going to be any good at it, he still wanted her to try and do her best, and that he’d be cheering for her regardless. And that meant more to her.
Hikari and my brother were thrilled for us, as were the rest of the younger Guardians. With our siblings’ help, Taichi and I managed to plan a big get-together dinner for the weekend to celebrate all of our Digidestined accomplishments. We were going to do a semi-formal thing, actually getting dressed up for supper and maybe going somewhere to dance afterward.
I was all for it. Mmm…Taichi in semi-formal dress…
Excuse me while I change my shirt – I just drooled all over the one I was wearing.
Relevant Episodes: Nothing specific this chapter!