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author's note:  this takes place after the destiny stone story in season 2.  While the story itself is not strictly a *takari* story, it's positively oozing with *takari* references.  All the scenes with Matt and Tai are NOT Taito...got that....they are friends.  Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against homosexuality, I just don't have any in my story.  Don't put meaning where there is none please.  If you wish to use my story, please ask me first.
Enjoy! Luv Takari.

disclaimer: yada yada yada...you know the drill...suing me would do you no good...I don't have any money to give you...so I'm obviously not making any here. ::sticks out tongue at the PTB and  Toei::

We Must Speak...


   "Hey TK!  Wait up!"
   TK grinned as Kari came running up to him.
   "What's going on?" he asked.
   "Izzy wants for us to meet in the computer lab so we can go to the digital world."
   "What for?"
   "I don't know.  He said it was urgent though."

*****

   "...so you see, even though we defeated  the dark masters, and even though Ken is on our side and Black Wargreymon  is gone, something is causing the digimon to become evil again," Izzy explained.
   "So we should go and check it out," said Davis.
   "Right!" everyone agreed.
   "Digiport open!"

*****

   Once in the digital world, they quickly    discovered the source of their problems.  With the destiny stones missing,   digimon everywhere were changing in nature.  Azulongmon reassured them   that things would begin to return to normal once the seeds he had planted   to replace the stones began to flourish.  Feeling as though there was   nothing they could do, they returned to the real world.

*****

   "Tai-- I'm home!! Mom? Dad?" Kari called as she came into the house.  She was greeted with silence. I guess nobody's home yet she thought.  "Come on Gatomon, let's eat. I'm starving."
   "Sounds good to me.  My tummy's growling louder than Greymon," Gatomon answered.
   But when they walked into the kitchen they found Tai curled up in a ball on the floor with the phone dangling from his fingertips.
   "Tai?!" Kari asked in alarm as she ran to him.  A hundred things ran through her head as she approached him.  Is he hurt?  Is he sick?  Did something bad happen?  "Tai...What's wrong with you?" she asked, her anxiety rising.  "Please Tai, answer me..."
   "Don't touch me--" he muttered, his face still hidden.
   Kari recoiled as though she'd been burned.  Something was very wrong here.  Tai had never been like this before.  She tried to get him to answer her but he just stayed there, curled into a ball on the kitchen floor.  She didn't know what to do.
   "Oh Gatomon, why won't he talk to me?"
   "I don't know Kari.  I wish your parents were here.  They'd know what to do.  Maybe you should call Matt, he might be able to reach Tai."
         Kari felt a little better.  She'd call Matt, and Matt   would know what to do.  He was Tai's best friend, after all.   She  took the phone from Tai.  He didn't even move.  Kari quickly  dialled  Matt's number.
   "Hello? Oh hi TK...is Matt there...There's something wrong with Tai...I don't know...he won't talk to me...TK...I'm scared....what's wrong with him...uh huh...ok...I'll see you both soon...Thank you TK."
   When she hung up the phone, she realized that she had started to cry.  What's wrong with you, Tai?  Why won't you talk to me?  Please be ok. Tai just sat there...totally unmoving.  Gatomon went and curled up in Kari's arms, trying to offer support.
   "He'll be ok, Kari.  I'm sure of it."
   "Thanks Gatomon."
   A few minutes later, TK and Matt showed up.
   "Tai?? Come on Tai, you have to tell us what's wrong," Matt said shaking Tai's shoulders. After a few minutes, he finally raised his head.  Kari almost wished he hadn't.  His eyes were red and swollen from crying, but the worse was the total emptiness in them.  All the life and joy that everyone was used to seeing there was gone.  They were totally dead.  "Come on Tai, where are your parents?  We'll give them a call."
         For the first time, a little bit of spark entered his eyes,   but it disappeared just as quickly.
   "Parents? Gone...all gone...no more..." he choked out as a fresh set of sobs racked his body.
   All the blood drained from Kari's face as she felt her world crash down around her ears.  She would have fallen on the floor if it hadn't been for TK.
   "What do you mean, gone?  Tai, you're not making any sense." Matt asked.
   "He means gone. Dead. Never coming back. That's what he means," Kari muttered.
   "Don't talk like that, Kari.  You don't know that that's what he means," TK said to her.
   "Yes, I do," she answered as she walked numbly over to Tai.  TK practically had to carry her, she kept stumbling.  When she finally reached him, she fell to her knees on the floor, "That's what you mean, isn't it?"
   He didn't answer, just nodded mutely.
   "How, Tai? What happened?"
   Still he didn't answer, he just stared blankly through her.
   "ANSWER ME, TAI!!!! " she screamed at him slapping him across the face.
   Some of the life seemed to return to his eyes, though not much.
         "There was....an...accident....they were coming to pick  me  up from soccer practice.  All my fault..."he collapsed into another   fit of body racking sobs.  Kari fell into his arms and the cried together.     Nobody was quite sure how long.  But finally Tai seemed to have fallen    asleep.  Matt and TK helped bring him to his room, where they laid   him on his bed.  When they returned to the kitchen, Kari seemed to have  taken up residence in the spot Tai had just vacated.  While her eyes  didn't have the same dead look as Tai's, they had taken on a haunted one.
   "Are you ok?" TK asked and sat down next to her.
   "I don't know, TK.  I just don't know.  I don't know anything anymore," she answered with tears streaming down her face.
   TK helped her to stand and they went and sat on the couch in the living room.  There, she curled up in his arms and cried some more.
   "I'll go and set up a mattress in Tai's room for me and one in Kari's room for you. Then I'll call dad and tell him what's going on."
         TK just nodded to Matt and continued to rock his best friend   in his arms, trying to soothe some of her sorrow.
   A little while later, when her crying had quieted, TK thought that she had fallen asleep when she asked him, "What's going to happen to us, TK?"
   "I don't know, Kari.  I don't know what to say to you.  Nothing I can say will make any of this better.  All I can do is be here for you."
   "Lie to me."
   "Ok.  This is all a bad nightmare.  You will wake up and everything will be the same as it always was.  All bad guys are easily identified by their horns, and all the good guys are always there to help."
   "Liar," she smiled a small, sad smile.  TK just smiled back

*****

"...we must speak of today as though tomorrow will never come and yesterday had never been.  You can't ever tell what will happen next, but I think that Mom and Dad always lived everyday to the fullest, in case tomorrow would never come, that's the only way I think that I can explain how they could both eat some of her recipes.." Kari smiled through her tears.  Why do I have to be here?  What do I have to do this?  Tai should be here with me.
         The funeral was turning into a living hell.  Friends   and family were all there trying to offer comfort and support, but Kari was  ready to scream.  She just wanted to be left alone.  Tai had managed  to escape, basically by ignoring everyone around him.  He would sometimes  talk to her and Matt, but other then that he was almost catatonic.    She had needed him to be there, and he just closed himself up in the back   of his mind and left her to deal with everything.  She was just a kid,   she didn't know what to do.  They were her parents too.  Only TK  seemed to offer her any comfort, but he couldn't be with her all the time.    Nights were the worst, when they were all alone in that big empty apartment.    The only sounds she could hear were Tai crying in his room.
   Finally the funeral came to an end, and the caskets were lowered into the ground.  Slowly all the guests began to leave.  Soon, only she, TK, Matt and Tai were left.  Matt had told her that he was going to bring Tai the digital world with him and the new kids to try and cheer him up.  TK and Kari slowly walked back to her place together.
   "That was a nice eulogy, Kari."
   "Thank you, TK."
   "No really, it was."
   "That's not what I meant.  Thank you for everything, TK.  Thank you for listening to me, thank you for holding me, thank you for being my friend.  You're the only light left in my life now.  That is, you and Gatomon.  But there are some things that she just doesn't understand.  She tries, but, you know..."
   "Yeah...I know.  You're welcome."

*****

   "Don't you get it, Matt?  Maybe I just don't want to be cheered up.  Haven't you ever wanted to just stay miserable?"
   "Look, I'm sorry Tai, but you will have to get on with your life.  You have to deal with this, and the fact that is wasn't your fault."
   "How was it not my fault?  They were coming to get me...just me.  If I had just walked home from soccer they would be alive.  So how does that not make it my fault?"
   "You couldn't have known.  Come on, Tai, you know it as well as I do."
   "TAI!!!!" Agumon's excited cry filled the air as he flung himself into Tai's arms.  Tai just put him back on the ground.
   "Oh...hi Agumon."
   "What's wrong, Tai?" he asked innocently.  Matt explained quietly.  "Oh, I'm sorry Tai.  Is there anything I can do to help?"
   "What do you think? Unless you can bring people back from the dead," Tai answered sharply.
   "That's enough, Tai!  You might want to be miserable but you don't have to be mean to everyone who tries to help you." Matt said angrily.
   Tai simply got up and walked away.

*****

   "TK, do you think that we could go to the digital world?"
   "If you feel up to it, sure, " he answered.
   "I just feel that something is wrong, that I have to be there for some reason."
   "All right," he grinned, "I've learned not to mess with your instincts."

*****
  When they got there they found Tai talking to a strange figure.  Nobody else was in sight.
   "Tai! Hey man, what are you up to and who are you talking to?" TK asked as the two of them ran up to him.
   He didn't respond, but as they got closer they noticed who Tai was talking to.
   Kari stopped dead in her tracks. This can't be.  This is impossible.
   "Dad?"
   "Yes, sweetie it's me," the man answered.
   "No! This can't be.  Dad is dead! Who are you and what do you want!?" she yelled at him, "Tai, you don't really believe this, do you? You know this can't be Dad."
   "I know that this can be Dad, just because you like the idea that I killed him, it doesn't mean that I did."
   Kari gasped, "What do you mean be that?  You know that I don't blame you, Tai.  I never blamed you."
   Tai's eyes sharpened, "Oh really?" he asked with a raised eyebrow and snorted derisively, "and that's why you left me to deal all by myself after they died.  You couldn't even stand to look at me.  All the time thinking 'yeah, it's all his fault, if it wasn't for Tai, Mom and Dad would still be alive'.  Well you see, Dad is alive, and so is Mom--"
   "TAI!! YOU STUPID ARROGANT JERK!!! You have alot of nerve saying I wasn't there for you.  We ALL were there for you! You just pushed us all away.  If anyone was left alone it was me.  How do you think I felt having to deal with everyone, the relatives, the funeral?! Huh?! How do you think I felt.  I'm just a kid too you know!! They were my parents too!! YOU ARROGANT SELFISH DOLT!!  Try thinking about others for a change!! Try--"
   "Now, Kari, don't speak to your brother like that," chided the man who pretended to be her father.
   "Don't you talk to me," she hissed at him, " I don't know who you are, but despite everything, I still love my brother, and if you think I'm going to let you take him, you've got another thing coming!!"
    Slowly, Kari had become surrounded by a pink halo of light, and it was growing stronger by the minute.
   "Tai, you have to believe me, that's not Dad."
   Tai's eyes had widened in surprise and he was starring at Kari.  Something seemed to be registering. 
   "Kari?  How-how do you know?  I don't want be responsible for Mom and Dad dying anymore.  We can just pretend, you know.  It'll be like old times." Tai was saying with tears streaming down his face.
   "No, Tai.  It won't be the same."
   "Ah, but it will Tai.  You know it will, if you come with me," the man said to Tai.  Tai turned and began walking back towards him.
   "TK!!!" Kari cried, "You have to help me.  I'm not strong enough to reach him on my own."
   TK was already reaching for her hand, joining his light to her own. 
   "Tai, you know that nobody blames you for what happened to your parents.  It might seem bad right now, but you still have friends.  And you still have Kari.  She needs you now, too."
   Tai had turned back towards TK and Kari.  "Do you really think so, TK?  Do you really think that they'll forgive me?"
   "Of course they will."
   Tai turned again and spoke to the man.  Whatever he said, no one could hear.  After, he ran towards the combined light of TK and Kari.  The man tried to grab at him, but the light repelled him.  The strain of maintaining the light was beginning to show on Kari.
   "Hurry Tai, I can't hold it much longer," she pleaded.
   When he finally reached them, the light exploded into a ball of pure energy.  When everyone could see again, they were standing in front of Azulongmon.
   "Congratulations," he said to them, "The crests of light and hope combined have helped to heal the rift that was causing the digital world to decay.  My seeds are now sprouting.  Tai, never underestimate your power here.  Like your sister, you too have powers beyond that of the crests.  As do you TK.  You three are to be the saviours of the digital world, but you must not forget that there are others there to help you, for you cannot do this alone."
   With that he disappeared, leaving Tai, TK and Kari standing  alone.

*****

   "I'm sorry, Agumon."
   "That's ok, Tai. I know that this must be hard on you."
   "Would you like to return to the real world with us?"
   "Would I?!"
   For the first time in weeks, Tai smiled.

*****

   "What do you think Azulongmon meant when  he said that we had powers beyond those of our crests?" TK asked Kari.   They were sitting together on her bed.
   "I don't know, TK.  But I'm glad that I share those powers with you.  I don't think anyone else could have been as good a friend to me."
   He put his arms around her as she leaned back against his shoulder.  "You know that you're more than my best friend Kari."
     "I know.  You're more than mine too.  But some things  are so special that saying it aloud would ruin the magic.  I just wanna  live that magic."
   "I know what you mean."

*****

we must speak of today as though tomorrow will never come and yesterday had never been

*****

Finis
Whadaya think??
Please let me know.
Send all feedback to takarigato@lycos.com


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