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The party was loud and crowded. Sora stood next to a wall in the kitchen as the friend with whom she was talking, left her to talk to the guy that had just smiled at her from across the room. Sora had encouraged her to go, because the truth was that Sora had wanted to check on Taichi since at least twenty minutes ago, but didn’t want to allow herself to be too obvious about it.

It was the birthday of Natsuo, the richest and most popular guy in their class. He lived in an actual house instead of an apartment, and his parents always let him use it for his birthdays or other special occasions, even leaving him the house all to himself. Pretty much every other student envied that.

Sora counted to ten before going up the stairs where she had last seen Taichi and Yamato going.

Taichi was wasted. Sora had arrived at the party some time after him with a friend from tennis, and he had been already tipsy. She guessed he had arrived even earlier than the agreed time given that they both were from the soccer team and friends, but still, it had concerned her a little.

Sora dodged two people making out at the top of the stairs, and she absently answered to a guy that asked her if she knew who was in charge of the music. She then turned to the right and saw Yamato leaning against the wall of an almost empty hallway.

“Hey” she said, walking to meet him.

“Hey” he said back, lifting his head in acknowledgement.

Sora leaned against the wall in front of him, grabbed one of her own arms and vaguely looked around.

“Where is Taichi?” she asked, trying not to sound as interested as she really was.

Yamato tilted his head to the door at his right “Bathroom. Hopefully throwing up”

Sora gave him a weak smile in response “He really is that drunk, uh?”

“Well, considering that he thought I was my brother and gave me a whole lecture on how I should behave while dating Hikari. Yes, I’d say he is that drunk”

Sora half chuckled and they both stood silent for a few seconds. Two girls passed between them, chatting about some gossip they barely heard, and Sora watched them as they turned the corner towards the stairs.

“Do you think he is like that…because of her?” Sora softly asked and then looked at her friend.

Yamato shrugged “I guess”

Sora bit the inside of her cheek. Most of the times, she liked how Yamato could be such an empathetic and discrete friend, someone you could trust to tell your problems… today was not one of those times.

Taichi and his girlfriend had broken up last week. Nobody knew why or what had happened. They had dated about two months, and then after seeing they weren’t sitting or even talking anymore for a few days, last Wednesday Koushiro had asked him if everything was okay. “We’re not together anymore” Taichi had said. Then he had shrugged, given only small variations of that same answer when asked about it. It was obvious he didn’t want to talk about it, so the subject was dropped pretty quickly. Sora hadn’t known how to react to that when it happened, his response had been so flat and unexpected. It was weird, the way he acted like he didn’t care, but at the same time was so reluctant to talk about it. You didn’t have to be a genius to realize that he was hiding whatever was troubling him. But what was even weirder was that Sora hadn’t heard any gossip from his -now ex- girlfriend or any of her friends.

“But, do you think is about that?” Sora ventured at Yamato.

Yamato sighed “He didn’t say anything to me while we were in there” he said, nodding to the bathroom door again “but, yeah, I think so, I mean, what else could it be? I don’t remember ever seeing him so wasted”

Sora looked at the door as if she wanted to see through it.

“Is he alone now?”

“Yeah, I left a few minutes ago when I thought he was going to throw up on me” Yamato said and seemed to shake off his jacket as if it had something on it. “One time of that happening is enough, thank you”

Sora chuckled, remembering that time about a year ago.

“Mind if I try?” she said after a while, nodding towards the door.

“If you want…you’ll miss the party” he said, gesturing to where she had come from.

Sora brushed it off “It was getting a little boring anyhow”

“Suit yourself. Call me when he throws up on you, I’ll help taking him home after.” Yamato half joked.

Sora straightened from the wall she was leaning in and walked towards the door.

“I wished I could say that has never happened before” she said and they both laughed.

Sora watched Yamato leave towards the stairs, and then opened the door to the bathroom.

Taichi was half sitting half sprawling in the corner of the bathroom floor next to the toilet, leaning against it. The lid was up but there was nothing inside, so he hadn’t thrown up yet.

The music could still be heard through the walls, but it was muffled, so it was rather quiet inside, although awfully bright. The small window above the tub was open, surely courtesy of Yamato. Sora welcomed the cool breeze coming through it, and guessed Taichi did too.

“Hey” she said.

Taichi had his eyes closed, but lifted his eyebrows in acknowledgment and smiled.

“Do you know who I am?” she asked joking.

He scoffed “Of course I know, who else has red hair?”

Sora smiled “Koushiro” she stated “And your eyes are closed”

He slowly opened them but it was as if his lids were heavy.

“Oh hey Sora, it’s you”

“How are you?”

“Awesome” he said with a dumb smile, and tried –and failed- to stand up, so he sat down again like that hadn’t happened “How are you? How is tennis?”

Sora wanted to laugh at the question. She went to his side and sat next to him, her ass freezing below her skirt at the touch of the cold tiles. “I’m fine. Tennis is fine too, thank you”

She hugged her knees and looked at him. Taichi was looking at her too, but it was as if he were looking through her. His eyes were droopy, red, and glassy. His shirt was unbuttoned wrong and his hair even more disheveled. And his smile was clearly a drunken one.

Sora sighed. Even drunk he was handsome. She felt a rush in her chest as the thought “he is single now” appeared not for the first time this week.

“Do you have something to eat? I’m hungry”

“No, sorry”

“Where is Takeru? Is he with my sister?”

Sora chuckled “That was Yamato”

“No, he wasn’t, he didn’t have a bass”

Sora covered her mouth so her laughter wouldn’t be so obvious. She guessed that made sense in a way, and thought that contradict him was probably pointless.

“I saw them kiss once” he said.

Sora arched her eyebrows, perplexed, he was changing topics fast.

“Mom told me, she told me to pick her up once…” he paused, trying to remember the place “…somewhere” he said and grabbed a few strands of his hair and looked at them as if he was examining them “And I saw them” he let go of the hairs “I wanted to punch him, but she looked happy, so I left…and met her later. Acted like nothing”

Sora started at him. Was this true? She guessed it could be, Takeru and Hikari clearly liked each other.

After a minute of silence he giggled at nothing in particular, and leaned even more against the lid, looking at the little window.

“Are you okay?” Sora asked him softly; maybe if she asked him enough times he’d said something.

“No” he said bluntly, eyes still on the window, but his gaze was lost.

“Do you want to talk about it?” she ventured.

“No” he said, and turned his head to face her. “I’m hungry, do you have anything?”

Sora sighed, this wasn’t going anywhere. There was a plastic cup on the sink –probably courtesy of Yamato too-. “What about some water?” she asked, and without waiting for an answer she got up and turned his back to him as she filled it with water from the sink.

“Where is Rina?”

Sora froze and gulped. He was asking about his ex, what should she say? Sora had seen her flirting with a guy about an hour ago, but she guessed that that wasn’t something she should tell him. And also, Sora didn’t really want to talk about her, even if she wanted to know what had happened.

“She is with a friend” she finally said. It wasn’t a lie nor the truth.

“That’s good” he said, and Sora wondered if he truly had caught the meaning of it.

“Here” she said as she crouched to hand him the water.

“Thanks, Hikari” he said as he grabbed the cup.

Sora curled her lips upwards in a smile “I’m Sora”

“Right” he said and giggled, acting like he had just mixed two street names that sounded similar, instead of two people he knew well.

She sat down in front of him, trying to level with him.

“Why did you guys break up?” she questioned him, maybe if she tried a more direct approach he’d answer, but she still was careful while doing it.

Taichi drank all the water in a few continued gulps ignoring when she advised him to slow it down. “We didn’t break up” he said after finishing.

Sora was speechless as she stared at him. His eyes were fixed on the cup while he rubbed his thumb against the plastic rim. If he had confused Yamato for Takeru and her for Hikari, she guessed it was possible that he had forgotten they had broken up. She didn’t know what she should do, telling him that they were over felt hurtful given his state, but she also wasn’t sure what good it could do to follow his lead.

“She dumped me”

Sora shot an astonished look at him, but he still had his fixed on the cup. Sora felt her heart accelerated. She couldn’t believe he had finally said something about it. It also explained a lot about his behavior tonight.

And it bothered her too. Sora had wished it had been the other way around, or mutual at least. Because if she had broken up with him it meant that he probably still had feelings for her.

“I’m sorry” was all she could say, her voice almost a whisper.

Taichi just shrugged.

So even drunk he was still acting like it didn’t affect him. For most people, dating someone for two months was nothing, but for him, who could never seemed to hold onto any girl, Sora guessed it was a lot. But she still felt he seemed more hurt than what the situation demanded. She tried to remember that people process this kind of things in different ways, but still…

“Or maybe he really really liked her, and her dumping him had crushed him. It was his first girlfriend after all” Sora thought with a hint of jealousy.  

And there was something else that didn’t add up. Why hadn’t this been news? Meaning, Mimi had tried to find out what had happened. If Rina had indeed dumped him, why hadn’t she said anything? Sora knew it was an awful thought but, why wouldn’t you want to parade that you dumped the captain of the soccer team?

“Do you have something to eat?” he asked again, pulling her out of her thoughts.

Sora sighed frustrated and got up. Partially opened the door so her head and upper body poke up and looked around.

“Hey!” she called to a guy that was passing by. The guy looked around and then pointed at himself. “Yes, you” Sora said “Could you bring me some chips or something?”

“What?” the guy asked laughing.

“Just-agh” Sora sighed “Just any snack you can find, please!” she begged frustrated but still maintaining her politeness. She didn’t want to go herself and leave Taichi alone.

The guy looked at her and a sudden look of realization hit him, as if he had just understood something that Sora hadn’t, and smiled “Sure, you got it” he said snapping his fingers at her.

Sora stood in the bathroom next to the door half opened as he watched Taichi tried –and again failed- to do some kind of weird juggling with the empty cup. After a few minutes passed, the guy she had called appeared.

“Here you go” he said and handed her a bowl of cheetos and a pack of nachos. Sora arched her eyebrows, the bowl was big. It was a lot. “I didn’t know how many of you where in there” he said.

“Uh, just the two” she said grabbing the bowl and pack. “Thanks” she said, and as she was closing the door she heard the guy said “That stuff was really good, wasn't it?”

Sora sat down again at his side and gave the bowl to Taichi, “Here” she said, hoping this would shut him up with the food thing for a while and finally start talking about what was going on. She watched him eat as if it was an activity that required all his concentration. Sora had the pack of nachos still in her hands, but didn’t open it, she wasn’t hungry.

“Are you gonna eat those?” he asked, mouth half full, pointing with his head at her hands.

“You already have an entire bowl” she said, and felt like such a mom because of that comment.

“But I want-I want those too” he said, still with food on his mouth.

Annoyed, Sora threw the bag at him, which of course he tried catching but his slow reflexes didn’t let him, and that made him laugh.

“Thanks Hikari”

“Sora” she corrected him, and blinked in surprise at the sudden change in his face when he heard her name.

The traces of the smile on his face changed, his expression readjusting as if he had just heard some distressing news. He gulped, even though it had nothing to do with the food, and tried a smile but wasn’t able to. “Sora” he repeated her name as if it was something old and painful that he was trying to remember but couldn’t “Right”.

Sora watched him, anxious and slightly worried, not knowing what to take from this. Or maybe it was just her imagination running wild and her reading too much into his drunken state. Then his face came back to its usual-drunken grin and continued eating in silence.

Sora sighed, what should she do? What was she really doing here?

After bringing a whole bunch of food that barely fit in his hand to his mouth, Sora saw that he had some crumbs on his cheek, and without thinking she reached with her hand to brush them. Taichi caught her by the wrist when she was pulling it away. They made eye contact for a brief second and then he lowered their hands on his lap. Food forgotten for the moment as he fixed his attention on her hand. Taichi touched her fingers one by one and Sora felt her heart beat faster at every touch and was sure she was blushing.

She liked him so much. The last two months had been awful for her.

Around Christmas last year she had found herself realizing she had more than just friendship feelings for him. Sora had kept it a secret for as long as she could, not wanting to say or do anything that could ruin their dynamic, their friendship. All through trying to pay attention to any signs or reactions on his part when she got closer, or hugged him or tried some subtle, very very subtle flirting, to see if this could be mutual. Sometimes she thought it could be, and then one afternoon she just couldn’t take the secret anymore and had told Mimi about it.

“I think I may have a little crush on him” she had told her friend, brushing it off, not wanting Mimi to make a big deal out of it and start dropping little hints in front of him.

“Then go for it, he totally has a crush on you too” Mimi had said and then immediately had covered her mouth with an “ups” expression.

“What?” Sora had asked, feeling her jaw drop.

“Oh my god, I wasn’t supposed to say that. I wasn’t even supposed to know that”

“What?” Sora had repeated, not believing her ears.

Mimi had grabbed her head, groaned and then sighed “Okay, so, apparently, he let it slip something to Koushiro once, like total accident, I think he was drunk or tired, I don’t know. But because of his defensive reaction later, Koushiro thought it was real and he…uhm, told me. Ugh, I promised him I wasn’t gonna said anything.

Mimi hadn’t had more information than that and Sora had been left with so many questions. Did he think she liked him too? Was it also serious on his part, or just a crush, like the one she was pretending to have? And since when? She hoped it had happened after her little crush on Yamato. But above all Sora had felt pretty confident after that, although she was still shy about confessing, thinking on the best way to approach it.

And then out of nowhere, Taichi had started dating this girl Rina.

“I miss Agumon” Taichi said, pulling her out of her thoughts again “and the others, and, and everything…” he trailed off, and then put a cheeto in her hand. Sora ate it

Suddenly there was a loud knock on the door.

“It’s busy!” said Sora raising her voice.

“I’ve been waiting for more than ten minutes” yelled some girl.

Sora got up and opened the door just enough to make herself visible. “There are other two bathrooms. This is one is busy” she said firmly.

“What, are guys screwing in there or something?” the girl half joked, but loud enough that Sora saw someone in the hall turned to where they were.

Sora blushed; annoyed “There are other two bathrooms” she repeated and closed the door on her face.

Taichi had his head up, smiling at nothing, like he had just remembered there was a party happening, and he seemed to not have registered the girl’s comment.

“That’s a really good song” he said and awkwardly got up, leaving the bowl on the floor.

Sora felt sudden rush of panic at the thought that he’d want to leave the bathroom and she’d never know what was in his mind. He stretched his arms for balance when he stood up, “Haha” he giggled “Too fast” although it had been really slow. “Let’s dance” he said and gave a few quick and clumsy steps towards her. He also missed the distance and half fell on her, pushing her against the wall. He laughed against her cheek and she smelled the alcohol on his breath. Sora was pretty sure it wasn’t just beer.

Sora chuckled, chest tingling at the close proximity, and an even stronger one when she felt his hands on her waist.

She put her arms around his neck, and followed his awkward lead that had nothing to do with the upbeat of the music outside. Sora smiled to herself at the ridiculousness of the situation when she heard him hummed another song. It was stupid, and fun, and also felt incredibly good.

She felt his head brushed against hers and pulled away a little. Sora stopped moving when he did, and he brought his hand to her hair, studying it.

“This isn’t the one I gave you” he said, furrowing his brow, a little offended, as he touched her hairclip.

Sora chuckled “I have more than one” she said, “this matched better with my clothes” she explained tilting her head. “But I wear it” she added, suddenly feeling guilty and stupid, it wasn’t like he was going to remember this.

Taichi was still staring at it, processing what she had said like it was a difficult math formula. “Which one…which one do you like more?” he asked.

“Yours” Sora answered in a heartbeat looking at him in the eyes, and a big dopy smile appeared on his face. Sora wanted to hug him. And like he’d just read her mind, Taichi hugged her, lifting her up, and spun them both, fast. Sora gave a tiny screech, but by the second spin he let go and took a few clumsy steps backwards.

His arms were half stretch for balance, but he still looked dizzy and his face had acquired a sudden pale green color.

“Oh no” Sora thought.

The nausea clawed at his throat and he tried to force it down but it was too late, and he turned around lurching forward and sunk to his knees hugging the toilet.

Sora made a face as she heard the sound of vomiting, and leaned against the wall waiting for him to finish. “At least he aimed right this time” she thought grateful while rubbing her face.

When he was finished, she saw his hand blindly reach for the lever and flush it twice. Sora picked up the cup from where it was and filled it with water before handing it to him. Taichi grabbed it after the third try without looking, and rinsed and spat a few times before bending while groaning next to the toilet.

She crouched to his side and gently rubbed his back with her palm.

“You okay?” she asked

“My cheetos...” he wailed.

Sora softly chuckled, and stayed quiet sitting next to him. After a few minutes of her spacing out looking at the black sky through the small window, she heard him slightly snore. Sora turned to him and sighed, somewhat defeated. She should just called Yamato so they could both help him get home. 

“I want to be eleven again” Taichi suddenly said.

“God how much did you drink?” Sora found herself asking.

He chuckled and straightened up, sitting against the wall like her. “You know…like, like always”

“Yeah, right” Sora scoffed, and he giggled.

“I wish I was eleven again” he repeated. “And we were there and with our friends. Agumon asking for food” he chuckled and lightly knocked the bowl with the back of his hand. Sora smiled to herself, missing Piyomon too. “And everything we had to do was saving the world. That was easy”

Sora laughed incredulously “What are you talking about? You have bigger problems than saving the world?”

“Girls” he said with his eyes closed and an odd smile. Sora wanted to feel offended by that comment, but she guessed she knew where it was coming from “and feelings…and…and sex”, he finished.

Sora felt her breath itch and her body tensed up. Did he have sex with her? She hadn’t considerate, hadn’t wanted, to think of him having sex with that other girl, and she clearly didn’t want to start now. If they ever got together, would it bother him if she hadn’t had sex with anybody yet? Sora weirdly found herself thinking.

Sora looked at him and saw he was looking at his hands while half clenching them. She had never seen him act like that, and then something clicked. The red eyes that had been like that even before throwing up, the giggling, that guy’s comment, the craving.

“Taichi...”she called him “Did you…Are you high?”

He turned his head to look at her and giggled, as if he thought she was stupid for figuring it out just now. “I-I had never tried it before…” he said with a complicit grin.

“Oh my god” Sora gasped and covered her mouth. This was too much. It wasn’t like she thought weed was bad, she knew a couple of girls in her tennis group that did it. It was the fact that he was drunk and high because of this girl. She should probably just call Yamato; he was better equipped to deal with this, but at the same time…he was finally talking, bits at least, and something told her he’d stop if she’d called his friend.

“How much did you hum…take?” she asked.

“Natsuo and some other guys made some brownies before everyone arrived. I ate two” he said but lifted three fingers, Sora didn’t know which was true. “I didn’t know they had…you know” he said and chuckled. “And when they told me, I just thought, what the hell, you know?” he said as he clicked his tongue.

Sora was looking at him. Okay, it wasn’t as bad as she had thought. He hadn’t done it to bury his feelings, it had been an accident. The weed part at least.

“Then...” he continued but spaced out for a few seconds before carry on “I found Nagato smoking outside, and he offered me some…” he spoke with his eyes looking up as if he were trying to remember something that happened weeks ago. “I said yes” he shrugged and chuckled.

“You smoked too?” she asked him with worry in her voice. So he had done all that on purpose after all. It was hard picturing it.

Taichi made disgusting face. “It tasted bad, never doing that again” he laughed softly, but it was a tired laugh “I just wanted…not to think…for a while”

“And besides you got drunk?” she asked, although it wasn’t really a question. She was just trying to make sense of this.

He laughed. “It’s a party, isn’t it?”

For some reason that response only made her sadder.

Sora turned to look at him, to catch his eyes with hers and plead with them. “Taichi, what happened with you and Rina?”

“Nothing” he said defensively, rubbing his face.

Sora was getting impatience, and the worry and annoyance weren’t helping.

“Why don’t you want to talk about it?” she asked in a loud whisper.

“Because it’s embarrassing, okay?!” he shot back at her and grabbed his face in exasperation.

Sora was taken aback, didn’t know what to do with that answer. For a moment she tried to figure it out on her own but couldn’t. He had always been somewhat proud, so she guessed being dumped was embarrassing for him. But he also acted like he didn’t care, so why hadn’t he just brushed it off? Why hadn’t Rina said anything? Why all the secrecy from both parts?

But besides her confusion, Sora felt bad for him. Friend or love interest, she cared deeply about him and hated seeing him like this, doing all this. 

“You know” she started, trying to be as gentle and open as she could in hopes to reach him “I always think it won’t help, or don't want to bother, but I always end up feeling better after talking to someone about what upsets me, like this weight jus-

“Just cut it out, Hikari. I didn’t want to talk about it that night, and I don’t want to talk about it now” he said, cutting her off. He brought one of his knees up and rested his head and arm on it.

Sora blinked. So she was Hikari again, she guessed he must have switched them after he dozed off. Wait, had he just said “that night”?

Sora bit the inside of her cheeks, she knew what she wanted to do was wrong, but the curiosity was consuming her, and she tried to convinced herself that he wanted to talk too.

“Whatever it is, you know I won’t tell anybody” she ventured softly, and was about to say “I’m your sister” to further convinced him when she saw him shift, and she breathed relieved that she hadn't had to resort to that.

Taichi rubbed his face against his knee. “I’m so stupid”

He was going to tell her. Sora suddenly felt nervous, although good nervous or bad nervous, she didn’t know.

“I really thought…” he seemed to start but didn’t continue.

“What happened…that night?” Sora insisted.

“She invited me over to her house cause her parents weren’t going to be there. We-we were going to….you know…”

Sora felt her insides twist, and for a minute regretted wanting to know. She mentally braced herself for what it’d follow, but nothing did. “To have sex” she spat the words, realizing he’d probably lose track of the conversation otherwise.

“No. I mean, yes, but no, we…we didn’t” he started and a wave of relief went through her and she let out a breath she didn’t know was holding. But if he was going to keep talking this way she was going to scream.

“We were fooling around, we were-Rina, she grabbed-” Taichi rubbed his face violently, and grunted “I don’t want to tell you this stuff, you’re my sister!”

Sora was honestly thinking about dropping the subject. Maybe it was better to leave like it was. Let him tell it to the real Hikari when he wanted it. She really didn’t want to hear, or picture, what they were doing or about to do. Plus it made her feel awfully guilty, pulling information out of him like this, taking advantage of his impaired state.

She was going to just ring Yamato so they could take him home. Although maybe it would be best if Taichi stayed at Yamato’s. He was in an already mess of a state of mind, she didn’t want his parents finding out and get angry with him if they happened to wake up when they arrived.

“I called her Sora”

Sora’s eyes shot wide open and her breathing stopped. She stood completely still without even blinking. Slowly she turned to look at him, but his eyes were closed, and he had half his face hiding in the crook of his arm.

Suddenly the door was jerked open and Sora got up instinctively to close it before it was even half open. “It’s occupied!” she yelled without even thinking and she pushed it shut again. She leaned towards the door, catching her breath and trying, and failing, to catch her thoughts too. What he had just said….Sora could barely process it.

She stared at him and gulped, suddenly scared that the moment had been ruined, and she wouldn’t know what followed.

Taichi was still sitting in the same position against his knee, not moving, as if nothing had happened. With cautious steps Sora returned to sit by his side, her heartbeat beating louder in her ears than the music. She was afraid he had fallen asleep again.

“What?” she whispered, eyes glue to him. She had to clear her throat because the words wouldn’t come out.

He softly chuckled, and Sora breathed in relief. Good, he was awake.

“We were fooling around….And I called her Sora” he repeated with a pained smile. “She almost kicked me out of her house half-naked” he said laughing like he was talking about something that hadn’t happened to him “I don’t even care that she dumped me...” he laugh dryly and swallowed “It’s just I thought, I really thought that if I dated someone else…that it’d stop…”

Sora was stunned. Her heart beating so fast and she couldn’t slow it down. She wanted to say something, to ask more, to know more. Part of her brain was telling her he had been confusing people and names all night. But even if she couldn’t prove it, she was sure he had been completely sober then. It made sense now too, why Rina hadn’t said anything, who wants to admit that her boyfriend said another girl’s name while been intimate.

Sora opened her mouth but at first nothing came out. “Wh-why did you call her that?” she asked with her heart almost up her throat.

Taichi laughed that dry laugh again and shrugged. “Why do you think?” he scoffed, as if she had just asked the most stupid thing ever. “Cause I wanted her to be…” but he didn’t finished, letting it trail off as he smile sadly and bit his lip.

Sora felt the excitement forming in her chest and wanting to travel her whole body, but pushed it down for the moment. “But…then why did you go out with her in the first place?” the words were out of her mouth before she could think them.

He brought his other knee up and hugged them both, burying his face between them “Because I was tired… I’m tired of always been the one that is alone” he said and his voice quivered. “She was nice, she liked me…” Taichi shrugged again “I don’t know”

Sora felt her heart crack a little at the words, and felt completely in the wrong. She wasn’t supposed to be hearing this, for the first time it really down on her the fact that he’d never be admitting this if he hadn’t been completely intoxicated, and thinking he was really talking with his sister.

She gently leaned against his side. “What if Sora likes you?” she whispered, trying to lift his spirits.

“She doesn’t. Not like that.” he quickly responded, voice muffled by both arms and knees.

Sora stayed silent, hugging her own knees too, not moving from his side. She knew she should call Yamato soon, but for the moment she just stood there, processing all that had been said while the sound of upbeat muffled music came through the walls. She felt hopeful, she couldn’t wait to fix this and then they’d both be happy.

After a while she heard him snore lightly, and felt her lips curved upwards into a smile, and whispered “I like you, Taichi”