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No Girls Allowed (Digific, Ch. 9)

Title: No Girls Allowed
Author: Schnickledooger
Rating: T/PG-13
Genre: Romance/Humor
Summary: Jun keeps popping up in the most unexpected places. Tai is not pleased, especially when it gives his friends the wrong impression. AU Season 02 time-line and events.
Word Count: So far... 35,000+


Ch.1 Revenge

Ch.2 Backfired
Ch.3 The Way To A Man's Heart Is...
Ch.4 Love Is A Jealous Thing
Ch.5 Night Out
Ch.6 Eternal Darkness Of The Cluttered Mind
Ch.7 All The World's A Stage
Ch.8 Elementary, My Dear Jun

 

Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon. Toei Animation does.

Ch. 9 The Melancholy Of Taichi Kamiya

Tai took off without explaining the situation to Jun and raced home in a panicked hurry. There was a cold, tight feeling in his chest and a lump wedged in the back of his throat. His mind kept imagining pictures of his sister's body in horribly mangled positions and not knowing how badly she had been hurt only fanned his gnawing, anxious fear even worse.

He burst through the entrance of the apartment complex and didn't bother taking off his shoes, heading straight towards his sister's bedroom and flinging her door wide open. Kari lay in bed under the covers, surrounded by an army of pillows. The pale skin of her arms and face was marred with numerous bruises fading from purple to brown indicating they were old, but other than that she appeared fine.

"Hey, Tai," she said, wincing slightly at the pain as she stretched puffy lips into a smile.

"You okay?" Tai asked tentatively going over to stand by her bedside.

"I guess Izzy told you. We couldn't stop him… he was too strong. S-so powerful...," Kari's voice cracked as tears welled up in her eyes. She was obviously still shaken up from the near-fatal encounter and trying hard not to show it.

A small, white cat with a purple-striped tail emerged from beneath the canopy of pillows and curled up in the girl's arms. "I'm sorry, Kari," Gatomon whispered, her tufted ears drooping in shame. "I promise I'll protect you better next time."

"No, he'll destroy you!" Kari cried, hugging her partner tightly. "You're not strong enough to beat him! None… of us are."

BlackWarGreymon. A Digimon created from one hundred Control Spires. Mega level. It definitely sounded like too much for the younger kids to handle with only one Ultimate on the team. Not for the first time, Tai felt the twinges of regret and resentment at having to give up their Crest powers even though it had been to restore balance to the Digital World. If Agumon had been able to digivolve into WarGreymon, he would be a force to reckon with no doubt. But there was no possibility of that happening now. He couldn't even think of any words of comfort to give to his sister. What could he say? "Good luck, break a leg, guys! Literally." It would be like sending a Botamon to take down Devimon. It was so frustrating.

His cell phone went off and Tai answered it without bothering to check the number, listlessly wondering if it was Jun calling him about Davis.

"What the hell gives you the right to take Jun to my father and ask him to make my life even more miserable than it already is?" Matt's voice spat furiously.

"What?" The events of earlier today seemed as if from a distant time, Tai had almost forgotten.

"I just got home and Dad tells me you dropped by the news station with Jun in tow. Now I hear she's aiming to be a reporter to follow me around and harass me for the rest of my days and Dad wants to know why I didn't introduce him to my "charming fiancée" sooner!" Matt seethed.

The memory of Jun laughing and twirling on the steps of the tv station so blissfully happy flashed before Tai's eyes. A dull, burning anger swelled up within him. "She has every right to chase after her dreams and I have every right to help her!" he stated heatedly.

"Oh, so you did do it on purpose!" Matt accused. "I don't know what your problem is these days, Tai, but even I never thought you would sink as low as sabotage!"

"Exactly what am I sabotaging?" Tai demanded, his voice rising along with his ire and Kari and Gatomon were staring wide-eyed at him. "At least Jun and I know where we stand with each other! At least I don't avoid confrontation with her at every opportunity like you! If you don't like her stalking you and putting you on a pedestal then be honest and quit hiding! Pluck up the courage and tell her you can't return her feelings and put an end to this wishy-washy charade you're playing! It's only making you look indecisive and timid in her eyes—something she finds extremely attractive, just why I don't know!"

"W-w-what—" Matt stuttered at a loss for words. It wasn't often that he got preached at. And by Tai. By Tai whose argument actually sounded sensible for once.

"If you have the time to call me and attempt to shove your self-righteous indignation down my throat, why don't you save your breath and talk to T.K.!" Tai said. "He's probably just as bad off as Kari!"

"T.K.? What do you mean?" Matt asked, surprise and worry seeping into his tone.

"Haven't you seen him yet?"

"He's over at Mom's. He doesn't visit Dad and me until this weekend. Did something happen?"

"Call Izzy first," Tai suggested hanging up abruptly. There was nothing more he wanted to say at that time.

"Did you and Matt have another fight?" Kari asked looking sad.

"Forget about it," Tai said placing a gentle hand on her forehead. It felt a little bit warmer than usual. He hoped it wasn't the start of a fever. He didn't think she could handle the stress of another physical illness right now. "I'll get you something to cold to drink. Meanwhile, you think about what to say to Mom to explain your injuries when she gets back. Where is she anyway?"

He hadn't seen her when he had rushed by the kitchen. It was unusual for her not to be home so late in the afternoon.

"She was here earlier," Kari said. "She went next door to Mrs. Hanazawa's to borrow some daikon for supper."

"There goes my appetite," Tai muttered. "What did she say when she saw you?"

"She said I should rethink about staying in the Photography club. It looks 'dangerously rough'," Kari repeated.

Tai let out a much-needed laugh at that, grasping the door handle on his way out. "Don't worry about BlackWarGreymon, Kari," he said. "We'll get through this somehow. You're not alone, never forget that."

oOo

Kari was well enough to get up and go to school the next morning.

"You're not going back to the Digital World today, are you?" Tai asked on their walk to school. "You should take one day off at least and catch up on your rest."

"Every day we aren't there to knock down Control Spires is just giving Arukeniemon a chance to create more evil Digimon," Kari said. "We have to go back."

"We'll be more careful this time!" Gatomon called out as she walked delicately across the telephone wires above them. "If BlackWarGreymon shows his ugly tin mug again, I'll use it as my new scratching post!"

"Just don't do anything reckless," Tai warned as they parted to go on separate routes to their schools.

"That's funny coming from you!" Kari laughed waving goodbye.

Tai wondered what exactly she had meant by that. He didn't have to dwell on it too long though, for he was ambushed the minute he crossed the school ground's threshold by Jun who snagged him firmly by his tie and dragged him behind the school, past the bicycle racks, to the storage shed and shoved him inside, shutting the door behind her.

"Agh, what are you doing?" Tai croaked. It was more difficult than he thought since Jun was still holding onto to his tie in an uncomfortable grip and practically choking him.

"Shut up!" Jun ordered, yanking harshly on his tie and shaking him into silence. "The little twerp was being as bull-headed and tight-lipped as he always annoyingly is yesterday so you're going to explain instead! Tell me what happened in that other world that caused my brother to come back home looking like he'd been run over by an elephant! Was it one of your monster friends you hold in such high regard? Huh?"

Tai was surprised that she seemed concerned about Davis. "The one who attacked your brother and the others was not one of our 'friends'," he explained as calmly as he was able with his trachea being cut off from its air supply. "It was one of our enemies."

"Is that all you're going to tell me?" Jun exclaimed incredulously. "My brother puts himself at risk playing boy-hero in some stupid made-up world and you—"

"I told you before that the Digital World and its inhabitants are as real as you and me," Tai interrupted her coldly, jerking himself free. "Anything abnormal that happens is in jeopardy to leaking over to ours and visa versa. The two worlds are connected and we're not playing some kind of virtual-reality game. Davis is aware of the danger there and his duty to stop it and the sooner you accept this fact the better."

Tai felt around in the darkness trying to find the door. His hand brushed against the Jun's arm and he realized she was standing right in front of it effectively blocking it.

"Move away from the door."

"No, not until you promise me I can have a Digimon too."

"I thought we talked about this already."

"I'm not stupid. The only thing that is hindering me is that I can't go to the Digital World right?" Jun assessed shrewdly. "Davis' little blue dragon came from there and it seems to be doing alright here. Just bring me back a Digimon and I'll prove myself a good partner!"

Tai couldn't believe what he was hearing. "I can't do that!"

"I know why you're hesitating. It's because of that thing, isn't it?" Jun stated, pointing at the digivice clipped to his belt loop. "You don't want to bring me a Digimon because I don't have one of those. Who's to say one won't appear when my partner and I finally meet?"

"It doesn't work that way!" Tai protested remembering that both Kari and Ken's digivices had appeared before their partners had showed up. "Why do want this so badly?"

"If the twerp can fight then so can I!" Jun insisted. "I can probably do it better than him too!"

Tai was gratified to hear that Matt was no longer a part of the girl's reasoning. "You really do care about Davis, don't you?" he said with a smile. "You just have a funny way of showing it."

"Don't change the subject!" Jun shrilled, what appeared like dark shadows in the dim light blossoming in her cheeks at his statement. "Promise to bring me back a Digimon!"

"No," Tai said firmly. Now move!"

He grappled with Jun over the doorknob, knocking shoulders with her as they played a vicious game of tug-of-war with it until quite unexpectedly, the door swung open and Tai found himself falling with Jun for the yet the fourth time since he had known her. They landed in a jumbled heap on the ground directly in front of the feet of the person who had opened the door and Tai recognized the vice-principal's pointed shoes with a sinking heart.

It didn't help that Jun was pinned underneath him, her legs entangled with his incriminatingly and she was clutching the front of his shirt with both hands, her chest that was pressed against his heaving with tiny, gasping pants as she struggled to regain the wind that had been knocked out of her back in her lungs.

"This… isn't what it looks like," Tai stammered red-faced.

oOo

"Did you hear? Kamiya and Motomiya got caught making out in the school storage shed!"

"I think it's so romantic they forgave each other and made up!"

"Waaah! This will totally mess up the odds in the Love Square pool! I bet two hundred yen that Motomiya and Ishida end up together!"

"Hey, you still have a chance! Remember Kamiya and Motomiya are an off-and-on again couple! They're just on the honeymoon stage in their relationship cycle right now. It can't last forever."

"Quit spinning wild rumors! Don't you have better things to do with your time?" said a voice in an admonishing tone to her gossiping classmates.

Tai turned and saw Sora take a seat next to him. The girl gave a small smile and wave as she met his eyes. Oh, was that a sign that she had forgiven his earlier transgression of the Infamous Watch Incident then? Were they talking again now?

"That's not at all true what everyone is saying anyway right?" she asked sounding oddly curious.

Tai smacked his forehead sharply into his desktop's surface as he let out an exasperated moan.

"S-seriously?" Sora squeaked amazed.

"What class is this?" Tai asked wearily lifting his now-sore and throbbing head up.

The teaching staff was still debating over what his and Jun's punishment should be. Obviously, they couldn't allow students to go around making bad examples of themselves to others and Odaiba High had a reputation to uphold as a wholesome school as well. They were planning to forbid him from playing soccer, but the coach, once he had caught wind of this, had marched into the principal's office and threw an adult temper tantrum (complete with throwing his cap and clipboard on the floor and stomping on them) and accused the school board of being "paid off by the rival team" and how he "would not stand for subterfuge of this level!" No one had been sure what to do about Jun, who so far had not joined any after-school clubs (and was keeping quiet about her desire to join the tv production club just in case) and therefore was proving difficult to penalize.

So in the end, they both had received a two-hour-long lecture from the health teacher on the dangers of STD s and the importance of abstinence. It had been utterly humiliating.

"Literature," Sora told him.

Tai's shoulders began to shake and tears leaked out of the corners of his eyes as a maniacal, cackling laugh erupted from deep within his throat.

Worst. Punishment. Ever.

"Takashi-sensei!' shouted one of his female classmates. "I think Taichi-san is having a nervous breakdown!"

oOo

It was lunch time and Tai had decided to escape the mob of senior girls he knew would descend on him as usual probably to congratulate him on his and Jun's "passionate make-up session" by heading outside the building to sit and eat his bento as peacefully as possible on the benches underneath the shade of the sakura trees.

A little difficult since he had forgotten it was autumn and almost all the leaves had fallen from their branches leaving nothing but the bare skeleton. The day was cloudy, gray, windy and cold, but at least he had half an hour of space away from his nosy classmates.

So he thought.

The crunch of gravel under someone's feet fell upon his ears and Tai looked up to see Matt standing a few feet away, an appropriately chagrined expression plastered on his face.

"Hey," Matt said in a sheepish tone.

"Hey," Tai replied brusquely.

"I saw you from the window," Matt explained, shifting his weight around restlessly, "and I just came out here to say…"

Tai waited good-naturedly.

"I'm sorry for that phone call last night, alright," Matt finally confessed. "It was rude and I was really mad about Jun and acted like a jerk and took it out on you and that there was a lot of truth in what you said."

"That's it?" Tai asked.

"What else do you want me to say?" Matt questioned confused.

"How about 'I'm sorry for acting like a giant, mute douche for these past two weeks at my best friend who was only trying to help me out and diffuse a bad situation before it got out of control but I didn't listen to him and therefore paid the consequences'?" Tai suggested.

"Don't push your luck, Tai," Matt growled, the apologetic aura lingering about him vanishing completely. "You're the one who slammed your locker door on my hand."

"Your hand shouldn't have been in my way," Tai retorted. "It's not like I did it on purpose."

"I couldn't move my fingers for five days after that!" Matt cried. "Do you know how much practice time on the guitar I lost?"

"Oh, so you were faking it for the next nine days then?" Tai pressed.

"The doctor said I shouldn't strain the muscles so I didn't," Matt stated stiffly with a dark glare. "Just to be on the safe side, of course."

"Of course," Tai said turning his attention back to his bento.

"How's Kari?" Matt asked after a couple of seconds of silence.

"Pretty bruised up, but she was went to school today anyway," Tai said. "And she's going back to the Digital World today. She's stubborn like that. How's T.K.?"

"He sounded really tired on the phone, but he said nothing was broken and that he was going back today too," Matt said. "He said it was their duty to stop Arukeniemon—that they couldn't let down the Digimon they were trying to protect. I'm worried about him, all of them. I mean, I know they can handle their selves. They're not little anymore, but they're still just kids and now…"

"They've got BlackWarGreymon to worry about," Tai finished suddenly loosing his appetite.

"I-I feel so… useless," Matt said in an oddly subdued tone. "We can't do anything to help them."

Tai glanced up. Matt was leaning against the trunk of the tree, shoulders hunched and head bowed, a mask of distress and frustration showing clearly in his narrowed eyes and frown. Tai felt his wall of anger crumble into dust and a surge of sympathy well up at the sight despite his best efforts not to. Darn Matt. Why must he look so much like a pathetic, kicked puppy when he was feeling down?

"Oi, don't you dare go drowning yourself in another one of your emo pity-parties in front of me!" Tai warned lobbing a rice ball at him. It clipped the blonds' head and exploded into a shower of rice grains upon contact, the seaweed strip rolled about it unfurling into the air and streaming merrily behind like the tail of a kite. "And step away from the tree. They're one of the worst places for you to go and sulk under."

Matt blinked as rice fell from his head like pieces of white confetti and stared at him astonished. "D-did you just—?"

"Giving up when things look hopeless has never been one of our strong points," Tai reminded him. "If you want to put a label on how many times we took a beating from our enemies until we were almost dead and still got up for more, 'suicidally inclined' would be a good term. I think we always seem to forget that things never stay the same in the Digital World. Even the digivolution process has changed. Who's to say the younger kids won't find a way to power up an even higher level than have already? I don't think whatever mystic forces that chose us to be Digidestined have planned for our existence to be cut short by some WarGreymon wannabe character. I think we deserve more credit than that, don't you?"

Matt was gaping at him. "Since when did you turn into Izzy?" he asked.

"More like Plato," Tai corrected with a roll of his eyes. "We learned about the Greek philosophers in Literature today. However did you escape out of that class anyway?"

"I have history that period," Matt replied with grin.

"Mmm, invasions, wars, and blood. Lucky bastard," Tai muttered enviously. "All we get is romance, reasoning, and pondering the double meaning behind words."

"Speaking of romance," Matt began, his grin slowly morphing into a broad smirk. "I heard this really interesting rumor about you and Jun in the storage shed behind school—"

"Don't make me dump this whole bento over your gel, blow-dried hairdo," Tai threatened, inwardly pleased to see that Matt's trepidation had been momentarily swept away by his amateurish philosophical speech.

"Alright, alright," Matt conceded holding up his hands in defeat. "Call it a truce. I promise not to act like an inconsiderate jerk, but you have to at least let me know ahead of time how you're going to 'help me out' so I will understand your intentions. Some of your plans… well, they really suck."

"Thanks," Tai said dryly.

"Don't mention it," Matt said off-offhandedly, shading his eyes with one hand as he look down on the courtyard that was below the sakura trees and benches. "Nice view, huh?"

Some students with the same idea as Tai had taken their lunch outside and were eating it, sitting on the steps and grassy slope leading down to the practice field. Some already finished their lunch had converged onto the courtyard, taking advantage of a few spare minutes of fresh air to play several games of varying sports. And in the tennis courts, a lone girl with copper-brown hair was diligently practicing her hit and swing technique.

"I… hadn't noticed," Tai shrugged quickly diverting his gaze.

"I better go and apologize to Sora too," Matt said, his cheeks seeming to have been pinched a ruddy color from the cold. "I haven't talked to her for two weeks either. I bet she thinks I'm a bigger jerk than you did."

Tai watched the blond make his way down the slope, practically stumbling in his haste to get to his destination. Sora rushed over as soon as Matt stepped up to the fence that separated them. Even from this distance, the sound of their laughter over whatever exchange was made drifted faintly up to Tai on the wind. He supposed they wouldn't have protested if he joined them, but somehow it felt like he would be intruding on a private conversation. Especially when Matt placed one hand on the fence and leaned his face in close and Sora swung her tennis racket over one shoulder as she swayed her body to and fro in an almost shy fashion.

Then he felt it again. That odd, unrecognizable emotion he had felt in the bookstore when Jun had told him Sora viewed her as a rival for Matt's affection. It was just as painful now as it had been then, perhaps even more keen—like barbed fishhooks tearing into his chest.

The revelation dawned on him just as a few rays of sunlight broke through the thick cloud barrier that covered the sky.

The reason why he had given out Matt's schedule to Jun not just as revenge for kidding him out the Locker Room Incident…

The reason he had tried to give Matt a watch had not been just to save his friend from getting caught in a bloodbath. He hadn't wanted Sora to give Matt a watch…

The reason why he had taken Jun to Mr. Ishida and allowed her the opportunity to get her foot one step further into the door to be nearer to Matt hadn't been just to help her with her dream…

The reason for this bitter coldness in his veins that stung sharper than the frigid weather, this prickly sensation flaying him alive on the inside leaving him feeling sick and angry at the same time as he looked down on both Matt and Sora below so utterly happy with the other's presence…

"But that's how you know if you really like someone," Jun's words came back to him. "If you see them with someone else and get jealous."

oOo

Tai's Haiku Corner

Courage fails to arise
To realize that I care
For you comes too late.

To Be Continued…

A/N: Looking back on what I have written, I realize this chapter is mostly filler, however there had to be a transition period here to keep the story's pace at a nice, steady flow. And since I'm hoping to fit the AU version of "A Very Digi-Christmas" in next chapter (hooray!) I needed Tai to realize he liked Sora (the guy's kinda dense sometimes), and also hint more at the Matt/Sora pairing. So, I don't think this chapter is up to par with its predecessors in humor (heck, it's seeped in angst), but as I said before, it was needed to fill in the time gap and move the plot along. And I feel the need to state firmly that yes, this fic is definitely a TaixJun. If the romance is taking so long to show up, it's because I despise fics where two characters fall "in love at first sight" and then proceed to act besotted with each other. I like to establish a relationship first on more than mutual physical attraction. Don't worry, it may have taken Tai this long to realize he liked Sora, but the realization for Jun comes a lot faster. Much faster. When you have been friends with someone for as long he has with Sora ever since kids, I'm sure it was confusing for him to figure out when the feelings towards her started to change into something deeper. You recognize feelings for people you don't know as well or that long a lot quicker in my opinion.

Fun Facts: Needless to say, I listened to "Things I'll never Say" by Avril Lavigne towards writing the end and Tai's haiku. (sobs) Oh, and the Greek philosopher guys will be reappearing again (not alive, just their ideas). I didn't quite get a chance to implement their teachings here, but they have some theories that BlackWarGreymon would find most intriguing for all his soul-searching questions.

Next time: Shit is going down! Ahem, I mean uh, rock bands getting monster-attacked, confessions galore, digivolutions yeah baby! It's gonna be wicked! (In all meanings of that word)^^ I don't know how long the chapter will be. It might turn out to be really long, in which case, I might have to split it into two parts, which means shit is going down might not happen 'til chapter after next. Just a heads up, guys.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this! Please review and share your thoughts and favorite scenes. I love hearing what you liked best and it's the only reward a fanfic author gets. I like knowing what my readers think and feel. Thank you!^^

On to next chapter All's Fair In Love And War

 

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