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No Girls Allowed (Digific, Ch. 22)

Title: No Girls Allowed
Author: Schnickledooger
Rating: T/PG-13
Genre: Romance/Humor/Action/Adventure/Friendship
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. Plotage Explosion past Ch. 17. Starts off light and fluffy, gets serious as end nears.
Word Count: So far... 120,000+

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
Ch.9 The Melancholy Of Taichi Kamiya
Ch. 10 All's Fair In Love And War
Ch.11 So Much For My Happy Ending
Interlude
Ch. 12 Accidentally In Love
Ch. 13 Just To Let You Know I Care
Ch. 14 With You
Ch. 15 Take My Hand
Ch. 16 Poisoned Bond
Ch. 17 Tidal Wave
Ch. 18 Centrifugal Motion
Ch. 19 More Than Useless
Ch. 20 Be My Escape
Ch. 21 The Ties That Bind



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

Ch. 22 Jump Then Fall

The remainder of the moped ride took place in relative silence. Once Jun had established the fact that Tai could only focus on one thing at a time and that putting strain on his attention span was potentially hazardous when he had control of their transportation, she made it clear that she valued their lives over deriving pleasure from silly teenage teasing.

Plus, Tai had to admit that the weight of her head resting against his shoulder from behind wasn't a bad alternative. The warm, fuzzy tingles it sent shooting throughout his body were like a second layering of armor against the cold brunt of the wind rushing past them as the moped plowed steadfastly along.

Then, just when Tai was beginning to think that after they dealt with whatever they had to at Fujiyoshida City, that he might really be able to fully enjoy the benefits of what having a girlfriend entailed, Jun had to find her voice again and blow everything to hell.

"I like you too!" she shrieked suddenly jerking her head up from his shoulder and tightening her hold around his stomach.

Yet once more, the moped swerved every which way on the road as Tai's grip on the handlebars went slack from shock.

"W-w-what?" he sputtered feeling as if he had just been landed a stunning blow between the eyes. Quickly, regaining momentum over his nerves, he clutched the handlebars like a lifeline to reality.

"Don't act like you didn't hear me!" Jun yelled, burying her face in the back of his coat.

"No, I heard you, the problem is I don't think I understand what you meant by it!" Tai shouted in defense.

"Well what does it usually mean when a girl tells a guy she likes him? You don't have to be a genius to figure that out!" Jun exclaimed heatedly, her voice muffled into the material of his coat.

"It's just… just…" Tai said floundering for the right words. "I mean, we're going out so I thought that part was a given, you know?"

"Men," he heard Jun mumble disgustedly as she lifted her face finally from his coat. "Listen up, brainiac, a relationship is a mutual and equal agreement between two parties! We have to be honest with each other. Do you get what I'm saying?"

"You… didn't like me before?" Tai tried feeling quite out of the loop and very confused.

A hand came smacking into the back of his head. Luckily, his helmet softened most of the impact.

"How on earth did you ever pass your exams to get into high school?" Jun cried exasperated. "It isn't fair, alright? You already confessed as to what you liked about me so now it's my turn to tell you what I admire in you!"

Oh, Tai realized. That day in the park when he had listed out all the things Jun did that…

"No, no, it's fine!" Tai yelped anxiously. "You don't have to tell me! Really!"

"I like your goofy, gigantic, Saint Seiyan hair and your unhealthy obsession with tsukimi udon! I like how you can be so immature and childish at times and yet so serious and focused at others!"

"What?"

"I like how you try to act so cool all the time and yet fail so utterly hard at it!"

"Okay, you can stop anytime now!"

"And I love how adorably you blush when you're about to kiss me and how unbelievably good you turn out to be even though you're basically clueless at it!"

"Are you done?" Tai asked feeling his face burn all the way to the tips of his ears.

"I've got tons more if you want!" Jun chirped happily, hugging him around the middle.

"No thank you," Tai passed on the offer before realizing… "Hey, just now, you said 'love'."

For a moment he heard nothing but the wind rushing past, and then Jun's voice piped up in a small and nervous fashion, "No, I didn't."

"Yes, yes, you did!" Tai laughed, feeling light-headed and giddy all of a sudden. "You said 'love'!"

"Did not!"

"Did too!"

"I did not, you bushy-haired, hard-of-hearing, udon face-stuffer!" Jun denied vehemently.

"Did you hear what she said, Japan? She loves me!" Tai shouted at the top of his lungs, flinging his arms up into the air. "SHE LOVES ME!"

"Omigawd, you're going to get us killed, Romeo!" Jun shrieked, shooting out her hands from around his waist to grasp the empty handlebars in a desperate attempt to steer the moped straight.

There was a bright warmth kindling in his chest. The late afternoon sun was casting an orange glow upon everything it touched and for a moment, the world seemed to shine and twirl much like it had that time he had drunk too much sake one New Year's Eve at the shrine festival.

"Ah," Tai said quietly bringing his hands back down and placing them around Jun's which were still gripping the handlebars and squeezed gently. "I love you too."

"Idiot," Jun said in a barely-audible murmur as her voice as her head dropped against his shoulder again.

"Yeah, I guess I can be sometimes," Tai admitted feeling far too happy for a slight insult like that to upset him.

"Not you—me," Jun said embarrassment coloring her voice. "I should have realized sooner: how I really felt about you when Momoe asked me if I was so keen on Matt, then why did I spend so much, practically, all of my time with you. I told her you were only my co-conspirator in crime, and she laughed and called me crazy."

"So you did like me before…" Tai trailed off feeling his heart beat unnaturally fast.

Jun had liked him before he had caught her off-guard with an abrupt confession at the hospital, before Matt had rejected her. It was nice to know, know that she hadn't just settled with him for convenience's sake.

"I think… I think it might have started that night we went out to the arcade," Jun admitted. "At least I do know that any guy willing to save a girl he despises or so claims he does from a knife-swinging yakuza-wannabe—well, my opinion of him goes up. How about you?"

"Hmmm… probably the time you first called me on the phone at home and said I was good-looking underneath all my flaws."

"What? You'd fall for the first girl who calls you attractive? Baka!"

"Hey, I thought we were supposed to be honest with each other in this relationship!"

"Honest not shallow!" Jun had grabbed hold of his cheeks and was pinching them mercilessly. Tai imagined this was how poor Poromon felt every time Yolei stretched his face like silly putty.

"Shtop it! You'll wuin mah bootiful faysh!" Tai protested as best he could.

"Well, that is true," Jun relented surprisingly, letting go of her hold on him. "I can't be seen with any guy unless he will make other girls jealous as hell of me after all."

"Who's shallow now?" Tai smirked, his cheeks smarting. He couldn't help but feel highly flattered by that statement though.

"Aiyah, look at how close we are!" Jun yelped as they passed the five-mile marker to Fujiyoshida City. "I haven't even turned the camcorder on yet!"

Tai felt her squirm behind him and then the lens face jutted out over his right shoulder.

"Hello, ladies and gentlemen!" Jun began speaking enthusiastically. "This is Jun Motomiya signing on for her first action news report! I am en route to Fujiyoshida City attempting to bring you live footage of the Digimon that have appeared there suddenly—"

"I don't think you should call them 'Digimon' yet," Tai butted in. "The public still doesn't understand what these monsters are. We should wait until a better opportunity presents itself to explain what they are."

"Point taken, but no more interruptions," Jun said starting anew. "Remember the reporter is the Hermes of the media! Relaying news and messages people wouldn't be able to survive without! That's right! With this camcorder, I am the public's winged goddess! En Route! Take Two!"

"Don't hire her, whoever's watching!" Tai shouted. "She's crazy and she'll have usurped your position right from under your nose in less than a week!"

"Pay no attention to the Saiyan behind the handlebars! He's prone to following through on suicidal impulses at a moment's notice courtesy of his Foolish Hero Complex!"

"Says the person with either the bi-polar or multiple personality disorder—I haven't decided which yet!"

"Just for that, kissing is off-limits for a week!"

"Y-you can't do that!"

"Hahahahahahahahaha!" Jun laughed evilly. "Call me your Aphrodite! Your Venus! I might reconsider!"

"Never! If you're any ancient goddess reincarnated, it's Eris!"

"Goddess of chaos!" Jun crowed gleefully. "It shall be my media spotlight name! All will bow down and recognize the glorious wonder that is me!"

They had come to a top of a hill now and on the other side, Fujiyoshida City finally revealed itself in a sprawling mass of skyscrapers and smoke. Tai's heart leapt into his throat at the sight. Kari was down there. And Davis. All of his friends. What could he do for them really?

"Onward! Onward!" Jun urged, tugging insistently on the back of his coat and Tai realized he had slowed down the moped to a snail's crawl.

He shook his head in an effort to dispel the creeping doubts. This was no time for second-guessing his actions. He had to believe in himself as Jun so obviously did. Twisting the handlebars, he sped up the moped's pace, gaining speed as they went downhill.

"Yeah! Yeah!" Jun shrieked excitedly as she continued their dramatic account to the camcorder. "Boldly, the two heroes rushed forth into the unknown. Into the raging throes of battle! Caring not for certain death!"

"Your motivational speech could use a little revising!" Tai snapped, his left eyebrow going off into involuntary twitching spasms.

They hit level ground and sped ever steadily towards the city, speeding past the news van camped just outside the entrance which the woman reporter and cameraman had fled to earlier on tv.

"You yellow-livered chickens!" Jun screamed, shaking her fist at their gaping faces pressed against the news vans' windows as they watched the moped zoom by.

"I could use an extra set of eyes here! Keep a sharp look out," Tai warned her as they entered the city. "We could get attacked from any side at any moment. We have to find everyone else first and it's not going to be easy."

"Hey, lookit!" Jun exclaimed pointed just ahead. "Recognize them?"

Tai glanced up following her finger to see MegaKabuteriemon and Garudamon stationed above the rooftop of a ten-story high building.

"Forget Eris! You're my Lady of Luck!" Tai whooped as he steered the moped that direction.

"So the giant beetle and turkey are on our side?" Jun asked as she tilted the camcorder up and zoomed in to get a better view.

"I don't think Sora would appreciate you calling her partner that," Tai snickered at her description. "And I think Garudamon's more of a hawk or an eagle. Or a gryphon even."

"Oh, is that Psycho Sora's partner?" Jun said loftily. "I don't feel too bad on the miscall then."

"Are you still mad at Sora for stealing Matt from you?" Tai couldn't help asking.

"Tch, what on earth would I have to be angry at her for? I should be thanking her! Look at the completely awesome guy I've got that she didn't even give a chance!" Jun shrieked slinging her free arm around his chest in a hug and Tai felt as if his heart would explode from happiness.

Laughing, he ripped off his helmet and turned his face up towards the small figures he could see standing on top of the building, centering his gaze on a spiky-haired one at the forefront.

"Davis!" he shouted, accelerating the moped's speed. "Davis! You were right! We're a team! All of us! We'll beat this together! Davis! I still believe in you!"

His friends were probably too far up to for them to hear him. But they had very clearly spotted him going by the way the familiar spiky-haired figure was jumping up and down and waving a hand in the air.

"Well, it looks like the little twerp sure is excited to see you," Jun said.

Something in the hand Davis was waving glistened suddenly and a grin slid across Tai's face as he realized what it was.

Davis understood.

He raised a hand in return giving the boy a 'V' for victory sign even though it probably wasn't visible from this distance.

The happy feeling in him died down when he realized that…

"Hey, you know what slipped your mind when you were giving me your 'oh-it's-so-easy-to-operate' tutorial?" Tai exclaimed to Jun, gripping the handlebars tightly. "How to stop this thing!"

"I did not! I very distinctly remember telling you 'front brake on the right, rear brake on the left'!"

"So what if I want both ends to stop?"

"Hold both the brakes together, smart alec! Ah, not yet—you need to slow us down first or we'll crash!"

And then the onyx and grey-colored bulk that was Monochromon barreled into the path from a side street. Swiveling its frilled, armored head their direction, its attention drawn to the roaring purr of the moped—no doubt seeing it as some sort of adversary—it charged.

"Oh, damn!" Tai swore, trying to turn the moped around. "Why is it always Monochromon? Why?"

"Steer left! Steer left!" Jun screeched the command as he fought with the handlebars that were not guiding the wheels where he wanted them to go. "To turn right, steer left!"

"That's sort of backwards, isn't it?" Tai yelled following her instructions and feeling a rush of relief as the moped finally turned around and went in the opposite direction of the Digimon hot on their tail.

"I don't make the rules! Take it up with the company that creates these things! Ah, watch out!" Jun screamed as a green-skinned dinosaur with black-and-red striped horns growing out of its back crashed through a building in front of them.

Tuskmon belted out an enraged bellow at the sight of them and stomped heavily towards them, teeth gaping widely.

"Turn us around! Turn us around!" Jun cried, clutching at his arm.

"Are you kidding? There's one on the other end!" Tai shouted as Monochromon made sure his presence was not forgotten with another loud roar.

"Caught between a rock and two sets of teeth," he remembered Matt saying once in a similar encounter during their first stay in the Digital World.

"Hold on! I'm gonna go for it!" Tai declared jamming his helmet back on and accelerating abruptly.

"Whaaaat?"

"Trust me!"

"Nobly, the two heroes rode forth on their mechanical war-beast!" Jun proclaimed speaking to her camcorder again. "Straight into the ivory fangs that promised terrible pain and suffering! Unafraid, they rushed to embrace their tragic fate—"

"Does this thing have brights?" Tai asked, interrupting her taped eulogy.

"Ooooh!" Jun drawled out, catching onto his intention exactly. "You mean these?" She shrieked, flicking a switch on the controls.

Tuskmon reared back his head at the sudden, blinding bright lights that flashed painfully before his eyes and roared his anger to the skies. Swerving between his legs, the moped shot out from underneath the Digimon, its riders yelling their victory excitedly.

"Yeah, alright!" Tai shouted, chancing a glance behind him. Monochromon had apparently charged right into Tuskmon's side and so now both Digimon were preoccupied with each other instead. "Who's bad? I'm bad—whoa!"

The moped jerked bumpily as it rode over something crunchy. There was a loud popping sound followed by a steady hiss of air escaping from the tires. Then the moped's front end began to sag, causing sparks to fly as the metal rim was dragged against the pavement.

"I think we might have hit something," Tai said almost calmly.

"Put the brakes on or we're going to crash!" Jun ordered frantically.

Tai clamped down on both handlebars, but without tires it didn't seem to be working. He couldn't even switch directions anymore. The moped ploughed forward at a speed too dangerous for them to throw themselves off and all they could do was hold on for dear life and hope that they would simply coast to a stop as it lost momentum.

It probably would have.

If someone hadn't decided to abandon their car in the middle of the street in the earlier evacuation.

"Listen carefully!" Tai shouted grabbing Jun by the hand suddenly. "Right before this hits, we're going to jump over it!"

"Are you serious?" Jun cried. "Do you realize how small a percentage we'll actually have in succeeding?"

"I'd bet on that small percentage over dying any day!"

"Fine!"

The final countdown until impact started in Tai's mind. Ten… nine… eight… seven… six… five… four… three… two.. one…

"Now!" Tai yelled squeezing Jun's hand and together they jumped up into the air as the moped crashed into the side of the car, their feet landing on top of the car's roof for a split second before they leaped clear.

They hit the concrete hard, rolling over a couple of times before coming to a complete stop. Laying still for a couple of moments to regain his breath, Tai flexed his muscles cautiously. Good. He could still move them. Nothing was broken. He only hoped he hadn't jarred his poor, abused spinal cord into any further damage.

"Jun, are you alright?" he asked, tugging on the girl's hand that was still clasped in his.

"I… think so," came the groggy reply as she sat up slowly, her free hand feeling for the camcorder hanging from its strap around her neck. "Yep, I'm good!"

Tai resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "Hurry then!" he said, hauling her to feet.

Jun emitted a strangled cry of pain before falling down on both knees.

"What is it? What's wrong?" Tai asked concerned kneeling beside her.

"My ankle, darn it! I think I twisted it!" Jun exclaimed disgusted at herself.

"Can you put your weight on it a little and lean on me? We don't know if that impact is going to cause the car to explode or not," Tai said casting wary eyes at what remained of the smoking moped jutting out of the car's bashed in driver's side-door.

"It's not… too bad, I guess," Jun said, wincing only slightly as she loped one arm around Tai's neck and tested her right ankle as he helped her stand.

"Let's go," Tai said starting to walk as swiftly as possible as Jun's injured allowed.

"You'd think your beetle and turkey friends would have helped us out by now," Jun sniffed as she limped along.

"I think they're busy at the moment," Tai said turning his eyes up to see Garudamon and MegaKabuteriemon locked in combat with a Megadramon and Gigadramon in the sky above, both clearly trying to block any of their attacks aimed at their partners on the roof.

"So how are we supposed to get up there now?" Jun asked.

A sound interrupted his thought process as he tried to work up a solution. A sound he had not heard in over five years, but a very familiar and haunting one nevertheless.

"Huh-huh-huh!"

"I know that sound," Tai gulped, feeling his stomach sink.

It was growing closer.

"HUH-HUH-HUH!"

"That is a bad sound!" he shouted, pulling Jun along, trying to lead them in the direction opposite where it was coming from.

Only it seemed to be coming from everywhere, echoing through the streets, bouncing off buildings and playing tricks on his ears so he wasn't certain which way was safe to turn.

Then it was too late and they were slowly being surrounded by a small army of four Tankmon who rolled forth, teeth stretching back into sinister smiles as they lowered their gun-barrels at their targets and took aim.

Tai tore off his helmet and chucked it with all his might at the nearest one. It didn't harm the Digimon in any way whatsoever, but it did manage to knock its nozzle sideways so that it misfired and hit the Tankmon next to it.

That attack did do damage, fortunately for Tai and Jun, and quite unfortunately for the Tankmon who exploded like a piñata that had been ripped wide open into tiny pieces of digital data.

It also made the other two Tankmon pause and switch their gun-barrels' aim from the two humans over to their comrade who was gaping in bewilderment at what just happened.

"Huh-huh-huh!" the Tankmon shook its cannon-nozzle in defense of itself.

"Begin walking away… slowly," Tai whispered in Jun's ear while the Tankmon were distracted.

Inch by agonizing inch, they eased away from the Digimon, Jun's breathing becoming more labored with every step. Tai could tell her ankle was really hurting now. They made it as far as fifteen feet away, before Jun's ankle collapsed under her and she buckled forward with a small yelp.

Tai caught her before she hit the ground, but her cry had brought the Tankmon's attention back to them.

"Huh-huh-huh! HUH-HUH-HUH!"

"I think they've figured it out," Tai said as the Digimon rolled angrily towards them, readying their gun-barrels again.

"I'm s-sorry," Jun whimpered, blinking back tears of pain. Her right leg was quivering with the strenuous effort to keep standing.

Tai's eyes darted about their surroundings wildly, looking for any way out. Their backs were to the wall of a building with the three Tankmon spread out as they advanced, closing off any escape route.

His foot something as they backed away from the oncoming enemy. He looked down to see a thick, metal pipe lying amongst all the rubble and debris. Snatching it up, he gripped it tightly, his mind spinning out a half-formed idea.

"Jun, let go of my arm," he said.

"What?" the girl said, noticing the pipe in his other hand. Her grip on him grew even more firm. "Y-you're going to do something stupid, aren't you?"

"Jun—"

"NO!" she screamed, throwing herself into his chest and wrapping both arms around him so that he couldn't move without taking her with him.

"Jun, let go," he tried to push her away but she just clung more tightly. "Please. I can hold them off for a little bit and you can run—"

"I can't run and you know it!"

"You could still hide somewhere they can't find you. Just let me protect you!"

"I really hate that Foolish Hero Complex of yours!" Jun exclaimed, never letting go of her grip on him. "You're going to get hurt! And it'll be my fault! AGAIN!"

The girl buried her face into his shoulder and he felt dampness seep into the fabric of his coat; felt the tiny trembles of her body pressed against his…

"HUH-HUH-HUH!"

"Go away, you little cretins!" Jun shrieked, lifting her face up that was drenched in tears and whirling around. Yanking off her own helmet, she hurled it at them without even taking proper aim.

The Tankmon appeared to remember the helmet as they halted their march forward to lock their sight on the object hurtling through the air. They also seemed to interpret helmet as being an enemy projectile missile by the manner all three of them fired their Hyper Cannon attack at it.

"Down!" Tai shouted, throwing them both sideways.

The Hyper Cannon tore through the helmet as if someone had lit a blowtorch to it and the attack blasted into the side of the building behind them. There was a loud, groaning as if the building were alive, then the wall began falling down in gigantic, concrete slabs around them.

Jun kept trying to get up, but Tai held her down. Her ankle couldn't support her weight, so they wouldn't be able to outrun this. All they could do was remain in the same spot and hope the fifty-fifty percent odds they had of surviving this tipped in their favor. He pulled her to his chest and shut his eyes tightly. The sound of the wall crashing all around was deafening. Was this how it was going to end? Getting crushed by a piece of concrete? How lack-luster and un-heroic. He hadn't even had a chance to make amends with his friends or Agumon yet. It wasn't fair!

Then suddenly, he realized he could no longer hear the sound of the wall smashing into pieces. In fact, there was no sound at all except for… was that wind whistling in his ears? Was it over? Had the building finished demolishing or had they died and hadn't realized it yet? But wasn't the afterlife supposed to be pain-free? He could still the bruises on his knees and the aches in his arms. Slowly, he cracked open his eyes to catch his first glimpse of what heaven looked like.

And found himself staring into the broad, chrome-coloring of a steel chest-plate. Onyx-armored claws had encased themselves around his body like twin iron shields. Wind swept up in a mighty gale, rippling through Tai's clothes and hair making him take into account that he was airborne. The same wind that was ruffling the yellow mane of hair sticking out of his rescuer's silver horned helmet.

"Your Agumon puts up a good argument," a voice rumbled deeply as a pair of familiar golden eyes bored into his own. "In fact, it is hard to get a word in edge-wise at all."

"Y-yeah," Tai stuttered, struggling to make sense of the entire situation. "He can be very annoying like t-that. You should tell him to s-shut up sometimes."

"I'll keep that in mind," BlackWarGreymon said solemnly as he soared through the sky.

BlackWarGreymon. He was being carried like an infant in BlackWarGreymon's arms. Him and Jun both. Their savior was none other than BlackFreakingWarGreymon.

What the hell, man? What. The. Hell?

"Please tell me this guy is on our side," Jun squeaked as she gawked marble-sized eyes at the Digimon whose arms she had found herself in.

"I… I'm not sure exactly," Tai admitted glancing at BlackWarGreymon, but he neither confirmed nor refuted anything.

A muffled whimper made him look over to see Jun struggling quite valiantly not to cry as she balled her hands into first and rubbed them harshly into her eyes to hold back tears.

"Jun, it's alright," Tai said in an attempt to calm her down. With their lives literally in BlackWarGreymon's hands he couldn't really be sure, but he figured the Mega hadn't saved them both just to kill them himself… unless he had. Oh, crap! "Jun don't be afraid. There's absolutely no reason to panic, you hear me? No reason at all! Am I panicking? I think not, hahahaha!"

"I… I…" Jun gasped out, drawing in enormous breaths of air into her heaving chest. "I DROPPED THE CAMERA!"

Tai gaped at her. That was why she was so upset? Was she serious?

"AUGH, HOW COULD I BE SO STUPID, STUPID, STUPID?" the girl screamed, beating her head in with her fists furiously.

It was Jun. Why should he still be surprised at anything she did?

"Hold on tight," BlackWarGreymon said all of a sudden as he tensed his arms and drew them back as if he was preparing to throw them.

"He's joking!" Jun yelped as she snapped out of her tantrum and wound her arms around Tai tightly.

"I don't think he has a funny bone," Tai choked out wrapping his arms around her in return and clutching her equally as fierce.

"Catch," was all the warning BlackWarGreymon gave before he pitched the two humans through the air like a human would do with a baseball.

For an instant, it felt like they were flying, on their own, unaided. For an instant, it was as if they had been granted the gift of flight. Then gravity stretched out and snagged them firmly by the ankles dragging them down through empty space.

Jun was screaming. Loudly and shrilly and right in his ear with enough volume to make him go deaf, but since he probably wouldn't live to find out, Tai brushed this unimportant matter aside, dropped his manly pride and screamed right along with her.

Once again, there was no harsh impact, only a soft, sinking sensation as he and Jun were ensnared in the shimmering coils of Nefertimon and Pegasusmon's Golden Noose and carried to safety on the rooftop where the rest of the Digidestined waited.

The net set them gently down on the roof's surface, the Golden Noose dissolving around them into twinkling specs of gold as it did. Tai sat there a bit stunned by everything that had just occurred then turned his head towards Jun who was puffing out her bottom lip in a childish pout as she sulked over her lost camera. Maybe he should remind her that her moped was totaled too just to see what her reaction would be.

That's when he started laughing madly.

A group of shadows fell over him. Raising his head, he looked up to see the rest of the Digidestined who had gathered around a few feet away. They were all staring at him with startled, slightly apprehensive expressions, no doubt remembering quite vividly the aftermath of the last time he had laughed in a manner like this.

"G-give me… a m-minute," Tai gasped, clutching his ribs and struggling say something coherent. "I-it's the h-high alt-titude… I swear I'm n-not going ps-psycho again!"

Pushing himself upright, he finally managed to swallow back the laughter that threatened to overflow from his throat. Standing on his feet, his legs still a bit wobbly from all their running, he waited a couple of seconds to sweep the dizziness from his mind. Then bending his waist in half, he bowed in their direction solemnly.

"I. Am. So. Sorry," he said punctuating every word. "I. Am. The. Biggest. Jerk. Ever."

He didn't dare lift his face up from where he had a pretty good view of the roof's concrete surface. He couldn't bear to see friends' expressions if they had rejected his apology, and he wouldn't blame them if he did.

A hand came down on the top of his head lightly in a chopping motion suddenly.

"That's true," Matt's voice said above his head. "You are a jerk."

Tai raised his face up cautiously. Matt was smiling fondly at him.

"But you're our jerk," he finished.

"It's common logic," Izzy said, stepping up beside him. "Statistics show that there's one in every circle of friends."

"You guys…" Tai trailed off looking into the smiling faces of his friends, feeling their forgiveness wash over him and getting choked up.

"Taichi-sempai," someone said and spiky-haired figure stepped forward.

Tai locked eyes with him, feeling his heart clench within his chest. "Davis," he started, "What I said before… I shouldn't have… I didn't mean to…"

"It's alright, Taichi-sempai," Davis cut him off abruptly with a broad grin that stretched from ear to ear. "I never should have doubted you for a second! Things will look bad and you still pull through, because that's who you are! Taichi-sempai," He pounded his right hand to his chest in the manner a roman soldier would salute his commander. The hand that was clutched around the goggles. "I still believe in you!"

"Davis," was all he could get out, since his tongue seemed to have been shocked into silence again and his mind had drawn a blank at what else to say.

"Taichi-sempai!"

Then Davis crashed face-first into his chest as he threw himself at him, sending him staggering backwards a couple of paces and wrapped him up in tight embrace. The boy was bawling uncontrollably, accompanied by a lyrical chorus of what sounded like hiccups. Tiny, squeaky ones like the kind kittens made. The kind that made any living soul who heard it want to comfort them. Tai's arms flew around him as he returned the hug. He opened his mouth to say something… and all that came out was a garbled, gurgling mess of broken syllables as waterworks gushed out of his own eyes.

Well, he had already pretty much wrecked his smooth, in-charge image a few days ago when he had snapped. There was no point in trying to hide his emotions. What did he have to lose?

"Wow," Sora's voice came dryly from somewhere behind them. "And I actually thought they both looked so cool for a moment there."

"Yeah," Mimi agreed with a little, disappointed sigh.

"Shut up!" Tai yelled, glaring at them through his tears from over Davis' head. "We're having a very heart-warming, bromantic moment here! Don't ruin it!"

"Oh, don't mind me," Jun spoke up at last from her seat on the roof's surface. "I only just lost my moped—my means of transportation, my way of life, my freaking R-Cycle—and my chance at being a world-famous reporter in one blow."

She hadn't got up. She couldn't, Tai realized. Not on that ankle. He shifted his weight towards her subconsciously and Davis pulled back and released him from his hold.

"Go on," the boy said wiping a puffy, runny red-nose on his coat-sleeve as he scowled sourly in Jun's direction. "She needs you more than I do—sempai-stealing, stupid sister."

Tai gave Davis' hair a final, farewell ruffle and walked over to where Jun sat with her right leg sprawled out awkwardly beneath her. Placing one hand under her elbow and the other around her waist, he raised her up carefully.

"What are you doing?" Jun asked sounding uncharacteristically nervous as Tai clasped her hand in his own.

"Introducing you as my girlfriend," Tai said.

"Wait," Jun said. Her hand had started to shake and her face had lost its color. It was almost as if she were… scared. "What if they don't like me?"

"I think you kinda blew that chance when you started stalking Matt and sneak-attacking everyone on 'Fact or Fiction—Brave Hearts'," Tai chuckled.

"You're supposed to build my confidence up whenever I'm vulnerable, not tear it down!" Jun reprimanded him with a scathing glare. Her cheeks were flushed pink again once more and her head was steady now.

"They don't have to like you this very instant. You can work on that later. But they do have to accept you," Tai declared solemnly. "Because you're with me. And I think you're one of the best things that has ever come into my life."

Jun's face had all but turned crimson at his words. But she didn't protest as he entwined their fingers and led them towards his friends, the charm bracelet hanging off his wrist knocking gently against the blue sports headband that was wrapped around her own with every step they took.

To Be Continued…

A/N: Wahahaha! See? This wait wasn't so long this time! This chapter has to be my favorite so far! It was so easy and fun to write! I had a blast! I swear, if this fic were advertised like on a billboard, it'd be a picture of Jun's moped with the title of the fic plus the words, "Got Moped?" underneath! Or maybe "MOAR moped! I need moar moped!" XD Yes, in case you're wondering, there will be more moped in this story. It's too awesome to just let die like this! Stay tuned! I can't wait to write the next part! You know who's gonna be in it! You know! You know! X3 (I am so switching the second category from humor to action/adventure, sorry).

Fun Facts: Songs that are good to listen to while re-reading the moped scene at the beginning: "Rhythm of Love" by Plain White T's. You can also listen to another version of it by Clara C and Joseph Vincent. They're both awesome! "Hey Juliet" by Lmnt. "I'm A Believer" by Smashmouth. "Stuck Like Glue" by Sugarland. "I Love You" by Avril Lavigne. "Jump Then Fall" by Taylor Swift. "Crash" by the Primitives. "Here In Your Arms" by Hellogoodbye. "All My Best Friends Are Metalheads" by Less Than Jake. (I suppose this is a good time to mention I have a folder on my computer entitled "Junichi" with all these aforementioned, including previous chapters, songs, lol).

P.S. I think the Tankmon's conversation after Tai hit one with his helmet went something like this:

Tankmon #2 and #3: Omigawd, you killed Bob!

Tankmon#1: Nuh-uh!

Tankmon#2 and #3: Uh-huh!

Tankmon#1: NUH-UH!

Tankmon#2 and #3: UH-HUH!

Kekekekeke! XD

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 the next chapter: A Tale Of Two WarGreymon



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