For the handholding prompts! Taiora + 37? :3 Have a lovely day
Hello! Sorry for such a long wait, at first I was really confused by what I should write for Taiora with this prompt, and by the time I got around to outlining the scene, life happened 😔
But finally today I was able to sit down and get this out of my brain! This is set right after the battle with Ordinemon in Tri Part 6 and is mostly canon compliant. I hope you enjoy it, thank you for requesting 🧡
37. not realizing they’re holding hands till someone points it out
Taichi’s gut kept telling him that he was missing something, but he brushed it away. What could he be possibly missing when he was sitting with a wall of comfort surrounding him? That’s why even as the thought continued to gnaw at him, he refused to open his eyes and acknowledge the problem, it could be dealt with later, when his nap would be over and he would wake up feeling well rested and refreshed. For now he wanted to bask in the feeling of floating in sunshine, with every aching muscle in his body being cured of it’s pain, every tired fibre in his body being refuelled with energy. He wouldn’t dare open his eyes right now, not when he could hide under this umbrella of comfort for a little while longer, because who knew if it would still be there to shelter him from the stinging raindrops of reality when he woke, or if it would leave him drenched and broken, as it had once before.
The words rang in his ears like a blaring alarm and suddenly Taichi was very much aware of where he was and what he was supposed to be doing. His eyes jolted open and he made to get up, when a familiar weight on his shoulder made him halt as realisation dawned fully upon him, of course the warmth had belonged to Sora who still slept quietly with her whole body leaning on him and her head resting on his shoulder, just like two puzzle pieces perfectly aligned.
The announcement echoed again throughout the train compartment and Taichi broke out of his daze, deciding that now was not the time to marvel over these little things, he quickly stood up. When he did so, Sora woke with a start, her eyes fluttering open in slow motion, but as they didn’t really have time for her to be fully awake, Taichi grabbed her hand in his and pulled her onto her feet, dragging her behind him as he rushed to get out of the train just as the doors slid shut.
He turned to face Sora and ask her if she was feeling okay but saw that her eyes were still drooping low and she held on to his grasp on her hand tightly for support as her feet wobbled out of balance. Taichi couldn’t really blame her, in fact he was relieved that he wasn’t the only one who felt like they had been made to run a marathon for 1000 years without a break. The visits to Digital World, the adventure and the battles had always been exhausting, but today their strength had been put to test in a way that none of them had ever expected to encounter, and the price of overcoming it all was pure exhaustion, both mentally and physically.
So Taichi kept quiet and gently pulled Sora along with himself across the mostly empty platform, glad that he had been the one to volunteer to take her home as he was so familiar with the route that he could probably reach there even with his eyes closed. He also didn’t mind the silence that had settled between them as they walked slowly but steadily, as Taichi wasn’t sure if he had anything left to say to anyone after the lengthy interrogation him and his friends had been subjected to by the authorities right after Ordinemon had been defeated, without so much as a moment spared for them to deal with the loss of their Digimon friend.
Even though Taichi’s session had lasted the longest as he was the only one to witness Nishijima’s demise he still felt that Sora had been subjected to a more difficult task, which was consoling not just Meiko, but also Hikari and Mimi as they had sat in the room waiting to be called in for questioning. As always, she had given every bit of her energy into taking care of others rather than herself, so Taichi attempted to make things easier for her the only way he knew how to, by keeping quiet and giving her the space to deal with everything at her own pace.
It was when they reached her home and rang the bell that Sora finally looked like she was awake, right on time Taichi thought, as at least he’d be able to tell her to take care of herself and have her actually retain those words in her head. So he turned slightly, hoping to bid her goodbye before her mother opened the door, but as tired as he was, he missed his chance to make a quick escape. The door swung open before he could open his mouth and a bright light was cast upon them and the dimly lit hallway.
Mrs. Takenouchi stood behind the door, looking like she had rushed to the door in a hurry that was uncommon for her, her face an odd mixture of relief and concern as she studied her daughter. Then her eyes travelled down and she raised them in mild surprise, another thing which was unusual for the stern Mrs. Takenouchi, so both Taichi and Sora followed her astonished gaze and experienced a rude awakening themselves as they saw that their hands were still tightly clasped around each other’s. They quickly pulled their hands away and shifted a few steps away from each other to put some distance between them.
Taichi was amazed by how despite of being so tired, his body could still find the energy to turn his face into a heated mess, and smoke coming out of his ears now wouldn’t come as a shock to anyone.
“Good evening, Mrs. Takenouchi.” He mumbled awkwardly to fill the silence and draw attention away from the fact that he had been unknowingly holding onto Sora’s hand for who knows how long now. He could only hope that Sora too knew that it had been unintentional, and that he hadn’t meant to overstep his boundaries.
“Good evening, Taichi. I am relieved to see that you’re both okay, though you do look like you need a few days worth of rest.” She smiled softly at the two teens, turning to face her daughter with an affectionate gaze, she added, “Sora, welcome back.”
“I’m home.” Sora replied almost automatically, and satisfied with the response Mrs. Takenouchi passed a peculiar look to her daughter before she headed back inside, leaving the two of them alone to say their goodbyes.
Sora took this chance to move inside her house, now taking Mrs. Takenouchi’s place in the doorway, finally facing Taichi with her eyes wide open, though they were still filled with reflections of what had transpired in the past few days.
Taichi remembered that he had been meaning to tell her to take care of herself before her mother had arrived at the door, but when he looked at Sora now, with her figure illuminated by the white light coming from inside her house, her vermillion eyes shining with tears that were being kept at bay with every bit of remaining energy in her body, he lost the words he had so carefully selected a few moments ago. He wished instead that telling her how much he cared for her and her wellbeing could be as easy as taking her hand and pulling her to her feet. He knew he had to say something however, because not only had the silence between them become suddenly deafening, but also because he couldn’t possibly leave without a word of appreciation or gratefulness for all that she had done for Hikari and the rest of them today.
“Don’t forget to eat dinner,” He joked, hoping to lighten the mood enough to easily slip the words he wanted to say out of his mouth, but his half-grin seemed to light something in Sora as one lonely tear slipped down her cheek slowly despite her strained efforts to keep it from happening.
“Don’t ever disappear like that again, Taichi.” Her voice trembled as she spoke and Taichi felt a pang in his chest at her tone, “I don’t know what I would’ve done if you hadn’t come back. You can’t leave me behind just like that!”
“I’m sorry.” Taichi muttered quietly, that was all that he could manage to say out loud.
In reality he wanted to remind her that there were other people in her life who would easily be able to fill the gap he would leave, that it was not fair for her to stand there and tell him this, knowing well enough who he had meant to save in that moment. But he held his tongue, it had been a long few days for both of them and now was not the time to turn regrets of the past into bitter remarks that he may never be able to go back from.
“Please. Promise me, you will never do that again.” Her pleading voice was just above a whisper and it was a miracle that it even reached his ears.
“I will, if you promise something in return too.” Taichi replied in a determined tone, his hands balling up into fists on their own as he fixed her with an intense gaze. Sora looked at him with doubt at first, but eventually nodded at his words tiredly, “You have to promise to start putting yourself first from now on, no matter what.”
“That’s a difficult promise to make.”
“So is what you’re asking of me.” Taichi refused to back down.
“I’m asking you to take care of yourself, that isn’t too hard.”
And silence settled between them once again as Sora glared up at him and Taichi returned the favour with equal vigour. He had no idea how either of them still had the energy to keep this up, but even if it meant sacrificing being closer to his bed for a little while longer, he would gladly do so to get Sora to treat herself better. If he had learned anything from what they had all been through in the past few days, it was that change should always be embraced, for better or for worse. He didn’t know just how much Sora could change her ways or how it would affect her presence in all of the Digidestined’s lives, but he knew that if she didn’t start now then she wouldn’t start ever and he was tired of seeing her be the victim of her own labours of love.
“Okay.” She sighed in defeat, as her glare turned into an exhausted and disgruntled stare, “Okay, I promise to put myself first from now on, no matter what.”
“And I promise to take care of myself and not jump headfirst into danger without a second thought.” Taichi chimed after her, a smile spreading across his face as he realised that he’d actually gotten Sora to bend to his demands.
There was a first time for everything, he thought to himself, and secretly hoped that this wouldn’t be the last of it either.