Chapter 18 – Epilogue
I know I’ve made a big deal in the past about how the Powers That Be seem to determine my life and its direction, but I guess that’s a human thing to do when things are going badly or you’re having a bad day. After all, we never want to take any of the blame ourselves, always looking for an outside force to place the blame on.
And when things go right, we’re all too willing to claim it as our own achievement.
However angst-filled and sappy our story was when Taichi and I got together, it’s still life. My life – our life. And that life goes on. It’s just…not so lonely any more.
We’re in the middle of our second year at Tokyo University. Taichi and I decided to move closer to campus, so we’re no longer in the old apartment. We found a little place for a decent price not far away from campus, as a matter of fact, in a building that we later discovered houses a lot of students, usually couples and those with small families. We made a few new friends among our new neighbours, and it’s been fun to start our new path in life together in this way. We’ve had to learn new ways of getting along, too. Not getting in each other’s way during exam time, when to disturb study-periods and when not to, making sure we always set aside time for ourselves that had nothing to do with school or concerts or soccer games or whatever… It’s just us.
As for people’s reactions to our relationship, outside of friends and family, we’ve had a few snags. Taichi came home from one of his first soccer practices with the Tokyo U team (oh yeah, he did make the team, FYI – and as one of their strikers, no less) black and blue in very distinct places and with a split lip. No shiners though. He was inordinately pleased about that, the bastard. After he let me fuss, clean, and patch him up, I finally asked him what happened that got him into a fight (I’m not stupid, after all, and can tell the difference between some kind of accident and a beating). He attempted to make light of it, but I wasn’t putting up with that crap and he finally told me the whole sordid tale.
“Some assholes with big mouths cornered me on my way out of the stadium after practice. One of them had seen us together at Ueno Park, Yama.” He sighed and flopped back on the bed, wincing when he jarred a particularly nasty bruise forming on his shoulder. “You’re a highly recognizable person, apparently, and when the dumbass saw you with me – in all my male glory – he took offence and decided to gather some of his buddies to teach me a lesson about how that sort of thing ‘isn’t right’ and ‘disgusting’.” Taichi’s fingers formed quotation marks in the air with that, in a highly sarcastic gesture. He gave me a side-look from the corner of his eye, gauging my reaction warily. “I would have just ignored it, but then he started making some comments about you, and…well…”
“Defending my virtue, were you?” I asked with deceptive calm. I think my right eye was twitching, which probably gave how I really felt about it away. Of all the stupid, macho, unmitigated bullshit!
“And why shouldn’t I? It’s not like you were there, or I’d have happily stood back and let you rip that loser a new one – or three – and enjoyed it! And you’re a vicious bitch when crossed, Yama. You know it.” His grin was both cheeky and fond, and it took all the wind right out of my sails. He’s gotten wa-ay too good at that.
Instead of giving him a few more bruises, I flopped down next to him and tucked my hands behind my head, staring up at the ceiling as I asked, “So what, exactly, were the comments about me that got you all righteously ticked, hmm?”
“He started off with how you strut around on stage and stuff about how much make-up and leather you wear, and how your songs aren’t really that great it’s just that the girls love the gay-rock star thing so much that they don’t care if you can sing or not, and…”
I burst out laughing, so hard that I ended up curled in on myself on my side, gasping for breath. Taichi, in a rare show of patience, let me get it all out before he continued. “…and then he had the gall to say something about your ass. So of course I punched him.” Taichi reached over and gave said ass a light slap, making me shiver (we won’t talk about that kink we recently discovered) and yelp, in a very possessive sort of smack. Possessive because his hand settled on it afterward, refusing to move it again. “No one gets to talk about or touch this but me. I had to make sure he understood that.”
Humming pleasantly, I wiggled under his hand and agreed. “True that. But still, Taichi, I’d prefer if you didn’t get into fights about it. Especially since there are thousands of fans out there who are always talking about my ass, whether or not you’re within hearing range. Though I appreciate that you appreciate my assets so much.” I grinned when he snorted a laugh and rolled me over onto my back, sliding himself up and over me until we were tangled together. “Hey, now, don’t go getting ideas, Yagami. I’ve got a class in an hour, and I have to go soon.”
He pouted cutely at me, but I let him kiss me anyway. I’d already kissed every one of his bruises and scrapes, after all. When he let me up for air, he studied me with a foolish smile, laid out like a Yamato buffet for him. “I love you, Yama, and I can’t promise not to beat on anyone who thinks they’re intelligent when they say such things about you, but I’ll promise to always come out on top!”
Of course he would. I should know better than anyone, whether it’s a fight or…otherwise. I pulled him down for more kissing, murmuring against his mouth, “Kick ass, Tai…”
We both had incidents like that, where someone would be rude and dumb enough to dare to make comments or confront us about our relationship. Thankfully, we never got hurt badly, and thankfully none of the jerks who we defended ourselves against were ever so numerous that we couldn’t handle ourselves. That first incident of Taichi’s was actually the worst either of us got, though after it, Taichi decided that maybe it would be a good idea to keep it low-key around his team, just in case. I didn’t ask what made him decide that, but I would take a wild guess and say that there was probably a lot of commentary thrown about in the locker room that was less than tolerant. All I could do, anyway, was support his decision.
My main crisis occurred when I came out to the band. Boy, had I been way off when I’d thought they wouldn’t care. I was absolutely stunned when our base guitarist walked out without a word, and our keyboardist actually called me a few nasty names before following him. This left me with only our drummer and second guitarist – which does not a band make. They were both a little shocked at the others behaviour and departures, but otherwise they both wished me well with Taichi.
Unfortunately, that was the end of that for the band. No one could convince the two dickwads (I decided I didn’t have a whole lot of forgiveness for such intolerance, especially in people I was supposed to work with) to come back and keep the band going, at least not with me as a part of it, so it was mutually decided that we’d end it while our career was on a high note. We fed the public a story about wanting to pursue different avenues of music, and life-paths diverging, and it worked to hide the fact that I was totally off the market because I was in love. With my male best friend. The fans ate it up, and (unsurprisingly) we sold more copies of our albums in the following months than we had in our entire careers. Go figure. They do say, after all, that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Our record label and producers weren’t entirely pleased with the dickwads for their unprofessionalism, but they’ve kept in touch with me. Apparently my voice is a hot commodity.
As in solo career. My head spins a little just thinking about it.
I don’t know that I’ll end up going for it. I mean, the music in me will never die, as it’s part of who I am, but will I continue to make it public? We’ll see. For now, I’m concentrating on university and on Taichi, because they’re more important to me. And Taichi is his usual supportive self, always telling me that whatever I do, he’s behind me all the way. Yes, he typically winks and smirks at me suggestively whenever he says that, but the point gets made.
It probably doesn’t surprise anyone who knows us that despite the fact that we now tell each other ‘I love you’ frequently and have absolutely stupendous sex at every opportunity, our relationship hasn’t changed all that much. We still argue and fight like always, we still have the banter and the deep friendship that was always there from day one. I go to soccer practices and games to cheer my head off proudly over him, and Taichi goes to concerts, gigs, and whatever to yell and scream and wolf-whistle like a crazed fanboy while simultaneously grinning stupidly with prideful possession.
I have been told by numerous people (aka Digidestined) that we’re adorable. Neither Taichi nor I ever willingly put up with that, as we don’t feel we’re in any way ‘cute.’ I mean, what are we? Fluffy bunnies? Kittens? Puppies? No!
Just love-sick fools, is all.
Anyway, life goes on. Taichi’s mom is now on medication for the mood-swings, and for her condition which has been diagnosed as a mix of manic depression and some kind of psychotic break – the real medical terms I don’t really know or understand anyway, so I don’t use them. Neither does Taichi, when he should talk about her at all. Schizophrenia or something, I guess. It’s a shame that so many people throw that term around without even knowing or understanding what the condition actually is. If they did, they wouldn’t toss it out there to describe someone so casually. Mrs. Yagami is back at home, now, and so is Hikari. She’s only back for a few more months, though, since this is her last year of high school. After that, she’s pretty adamant about getting into photojournalism. To that end, she actually had a few of her pictures published in a recent article of National Geographic on some of the cultural aspects of Edo from the Shogun days of our history. We were all pretty damn proud of her for that.
Takeru told me the other day that he was planning on buying a ring soon. Not an engagement ring – yet – but a promise ring. I guess to promise that he will buy her an engagement ring someday? I didn’t really get it, but if he wants to buy her jewellery, who am I to protest? Of course, I teased him mercilessly about it (as did Taichi, when he walked in on the conversation), but in the end we went with him to pick it out. It was a lovely little thing, a circle of heart-shaped links crowned with solid little sun-shaped gold setting surrounding a tiny diamond that winked in the light. The sun actually looked eerily like Hikari’s Crest in the way it was moulded.
Of course, it got me thinking. Which in turn ended with me trolling through jewellery stores looking for that perfect something to give to Taichi. We could wear rings, I suppose, even without the whole official-type ceremony, but rings didn’t really suit us in that everyone wore rings. And our relationship is just so much more than common.
I admit it. I even thought about matching tattoos. I know, I know! But I was thinking more of the permanence than anything else.
In the end, I did end up with rings. Necklaces were fine, but there were too many instances where we’d have to remove them (ie. concerts, games, practices, etc.), and they got in the way a lot. Same with bracelets or armbands. Taichi would especially not want something that would run the risk of getting damaged or lost. So, rings. At least we could just leave it with one another instead of in a locker or suitcase or whatever.
But these rings were very unique, so I was able to set aside that lack of feeling “special.” I actually had to design them myself, and take them to a jeweller that specialized in unique, custom designs to get what I wanted, but it was worth it. Every penny I spent was worth it – especially since I pretty much blew most of the royalties from album sales on them. To begin with, I went with a rarely-used metal – titanium. Not gold, or silver, or even platinum (even if I’d had that kind of money, I wouldn’t have gone for it). The ring itself would be what was basically several little braided ropes of the metal wound together to form one thick rope, and the ends came together on top in a loop-shape – the infinity symbol. It was complicated design, especially considering how tough titanium is to work with, but the jeweller was excited about the challenge of it. The extra special part was that when titanium is heated to a certain degree, it turns blue, so I asked if they could somehow get at least one rope strand to be that blue colour so it would be woven into the rest of it. The crowning glory of the ring was the infinity symbol itself, because I added two garnets sitting in each loop so the ring really represented the two of us in the blue of the titanium and the red of the garnets. The result was perfect, and completely one-of-a-kind.
I have never in my life seen Taichi blubber. Oh my god who is this sap? Of course, I was feeling a tad misty, too. And red-like-a-lobster-faced. But Taichi? Biting of the bottom lip to try and hide the quivering, big crocodile tears pouring in torrents, stammering of my name and a lot of “Oh wow…Yama…” and “I can’t believe…!” And the whole night he was practically another appendage he was so clingy and cuddly.
Not that I was complaining or anything.
We decided to have a small little party in the Digital World with just our friends and the Digimon present after we discussed how we wanted to make it all as official as we could get (short of running off to like, Canada or the Netherlands or something to get married). Besides, this would mean so much more. After we spread the word, and received confirmation that everyone would be there, we took a quick trip ourselves to talk to Gennai and the Digimon to ask them to help us set it up. You know, decorations, music, stuff like that. We wanted it on the beach – that same beach where so many of our big moments have happened.
Mimi told us not to worry about food, which made Taichi and I share looks of trepidation but that turned out well. Mimi is turning into quite the fabulous gourmet chef. Miyako and Izzy worked together with Gennai to figure out how to get music from our world to the Digital World for the occasion (it turned out to be surprisingly complicated, so they tell us). The Digimon did the decorating – it was really beautiful in that uniquely Digi-fabulous way – with various flora that, so far as I know, exists only in the Digital World. Flowers, vines, ivies, things like that were what made the place look festive. Sora talked us into letting her put together our outfits (don’t ask) so we ended up dressed quite stylishly. Taichi wore a simple pair of black linen pants with a light cotton buttoned shirt in a vivid electric blue that did amazing things to his eyes and skin. He looked remarkably grown up, and I nearly swallowed my tongue when I saw him in it. I was far too used to him in track suits and t-shirts with shorts. In my case, Sora had a lot more to work with (considering she had my extensive stage-wardrobe to pick things from as well as my normal closet), but after much deliberation and “Here, Matt, try this on for me,” a few hundred times, what she decided on was the same linen pants, linen-coloured rather than black, with a deep, bloody crimson red-coloured, silk buttoned shirt. She insisted that this should be one time – of all times – I needed to be in colour. Tai got a very familiar gleam in his eyes when he saw it, and I had a feeling that if we hadn’t been on our way somewhere I’d have gotten hauled off to the bedroom – and I doubt the clothes would have lasted long enough to be worn again.
We each had words to say, and while they were important, they were just words. We already knew the sentiment and intention behind them. So then I presented the rings to Taichi, and there came the blubbering. After a few moments of that, he managed to get himself under control and took one of the rings from the little box to very emphatically slide it onto my finger. The look he gave me as he did it was so fierce and possessive I would have thought he was the one who was like a wolf rather than me. I took my turn, sliding the ring onto his finger in return, and we took a short moment to just admire them – and each other – before I found myself grabbed, pulled in, and kissed like there was no one else in the universe present and breathing was optional. His tongue was in my mouth and even if I’d wanted to say something or stop him I couldn’t have. Instead I thought, To hell with it, and kissed him back with equal passion.
I barely even registered the cheering and cat-calls and wolf-whistles from our friends.
I guess, in reality, I could just go on and on with the story of our lives. But I won’t. After all, the story never ends, even should we die. Others pick up the tale after us and continue on. But I look back on how Taichi and I finally pulled our heads out of our asses and got together, and I can’t help but smile and shake my head at our collective cluelessness. I also sigh about the cliché of it all. But it’s still our story, cliché or not. After all, if it wasn’t something that happened that often, then it wouldn’t be a cliché.
I used to curse Fate, and Fortuna, for how my life never seemed to go the way I wanted it to. I learned my lesson with Taichi, and now instead of cursing forces that know better than I, I thank them for their wisdom and ask for their continued blessings. Sounds stupid, but there it is. I’m not one to take for granted a gift when it’s given.
Among our friends, Taichi and I have become role models for relationships. Idols, even, like the rock star I’ve been. It was kind of scary and daunting. The gang have continued to move on with their own lives, making new friends outside our circle and even having relationships with outside people, but in the end it always comes back to the Chosen. Years later, most of us have paired off with each other – not that it was much of a surprise. The only ones who haven’t were Sora and Iori. Sora…well she’s a whole other story that I’d have to let her tell, as I’d promised long, long ago that it was to stay between us. And Iori, well, I sometimes wonder if maybe it’s because there just wasn’t any of us left single – which is what happens when there’s an uneven number in a group. Still, to his credit, it hasn’t stopped him or even slowed him down. He’s attacked his chosen path as a lawyer with all the focus he ever gave the fight against BelialVamdemon. Last I heard, he was tentatively seeing one of the foreign Digidestined he’d met on their travels to destroy the black towers. If there’s anyone who can understand him, who can understand what he is – what we all are – then it’ll be one of them.
“Yamato!” Oh, the dulcet tones of my lover’s voice shouting from the living room.
“What?” I yell back.
“Tell me you did not throw out the last of the pizza!”
Rolling my eyes, I get up to go argue with him about the edibility of three-day old leftover pizza.
Yeah…life goes on, and nothing changes.
Kali Notes: Whew! So I can finally say DONE. Thanks so much for all of you who’ve taken time out of your lives to read this, and even more thanks to those who took the time to comment and review. I truly appreciate it! I’m glad the fandom is still alive and kickin’! May we continue to find more ways to share our Digidestined delights! Thanks again, and remember: Please R/R!!!!
Relevant Episodes: None!