Title: Teddy bear
Main Characters: Tai & Sora
Location: Tai's bedroom
Pairings: Taiora, slight hints, heavy relationship or even just good friends. As you wish.
Other Notes: Sora finds an old teddy in Tai's room. No way is he going to admit it's his and look like a dork! So he makes up some crazy explanations.
Sentence to include : "I'll never look at raisins the same way."
“Tai,” Sora said seriously, “tell me the truth.” Tai tugged at the collar of his shirt suddenly wishing he had a very large fan in his room. “I don’t want to hurt you, Tai, so don’t give me any more lies. I want to know. Do you have a seven?”
Tai relaxed with a heaving sigh and responded, “Go fish, Sora… again.”
Sora groaned in frustration. All she needed to win was a stupid seven and Tai knew that. All he needed was a King, and there were only two cards left in the pile between them. Which one do I pick? Sora questioned while chewing on her bottom lip. If she chose the wrong one, she would lose, and she just couldn’t let Tai of all people beat her at this easy game. Her fingers grew sweaty as she held the laminated card bearing seven hearts on one side, and the image of a green martian on the other. Trust Tai to buy the weirdest deck of cards, Sora thought as she contemplated her limited options. These were the times when she mentally smacked herself for playing fair. If she had cheated earlier (like Tai) neither of them would be in this predicament, and she would have already been crowned Queen of Go Fish.
“Your move, Sora.” Tai reminded her.
“Shut up, Tai. You know which card is which, don’t you?”
Tai shrugged and avoided eye contact.
“Maybe. I might have peeked.”
Sora’s eyes narrowed in scorn and she whispered, “Cheater.”
Tai chuckled and gestured to the two cards that determined the fate of the game.
“Don’t have all day, Sora. Hurry up, I’m hungry.”
Sora locked eyes with him and reached down. Her hand clamped onto a card. She brought it close to her face. The King of Spades mocked her with his cartoonish features. Her face fell and Tai jumped up, whooping with laughter.
“Haha, Sora! I win, you lose!” He posed and told her, “You can take a picture of the King of Go Fish now if you want. I might even autograph it if you’re lucky.”
“I can’t believe I lost to you. Even Mimi beats you, and she doesn’t even try.” Sora moaned.
She collapsed onto the floor as Tai paraded out of the room in search of a victory snack. She knew she’d have to get him back somehow… but what blackmail did she even have against him? Not much, she established after a moment of consideration. Picking at the threads that hung from the blanket on Tai’s bed, Sora wondered how long he’d had this tattered quilt. It obviously meant something to him if he still kept it. Sora sat up in a crossed-leg position fluidly and was about to examine the ancient bedspread when she noticed an irregular bump in the otherwise flat surface of Tai’s bed. What on Earth was that?
Tai bounced playfully as he rummaged through the cupboards to find the perfect snack fit for the ultimate card game winner. Raisins, he decided. Raisins are what I will hunt for. He threw open the cupboard door that stood between him and his prey. Disappointed in not locating them right away, Tai’s frantic eyes darted hysterically and he pushed aside boxes and shoved his wiggling fingers in the shadowed corners with desperation. Where are they? Hold on, wait a second… Tai turned slowly and growled as he saw a small, innocent little girl munching happily on a box of raisins.
“What are you looking for, Tai?”
Tai eyed up his opponent. He could take her on. He lunged, aiming for the box, but met thin air and passed right by his sister, colliding into the fridge.
“Kari, just give me the raisins, and no one gets hurt.”
“Umm… Tai? You already got hurt.”
“Just give me the box, Kari!”
“You only had to say please.” Kari retorted before handing the raisins to her brother and flouncing off.
Tai growled again and stalked back to his room, muttering to himself and cursing that pesky brat.
As he walked into his room, he said to his friend, “Hey, Sora! How many raisins do you think I could fit in my mouth?”
Tai took a handful and shoved them into his cavernous mouth without delay. Handful after handful entered until his cheeks were ballooned like a chipmunk’s.
“Well, one thing’s for sure… I’ll never be able to look at raisins the same way again, Tai. Congratulations.”
Tai took a bow and proceeded in his pitiful attempt at chewing the enormous amount of food residing in his mouth. He got cross-eyed and a very sore jaw as a result.
“Hey, Tai?” Sora asked hesitantly. “What’s this?”
Tai glanced at the object held in Sora’s arms lovingly and immediately spat out some half-chewed raisins in surprise. She dodged the flying spit balls with her superb reflexes and analysed Tai’s shocked expression. His enlarged eyes took up nearly half his face and she could see bits of saliva-coated food in his opened mouth. He was frozen in place and slowly turning red from not breathing.
“Tai!” Sora shouted. “Snap out of it!”
Tai could not believe it. How had this happened? He was almost positive he had put that thing away in the closet before Sora had arrived. He recalled seeing it there on his bed, and then… a total blank. Obviously he hadn’t hidden it well enough. Or maybe Sora had been going through his stuff!
“It’s not polite to go through other people’s things without asking, Sora.”
“Tai, it was sitting on your bed, underneath the blanket.”
“Aha! So you admit to snooping!”
“No, Tai. I did not ‘snoop’ around. I was just curious. Who knew you had a teddy bear?”
Tai cringed hearing those two words. It was not a teddy bear, as Sora so nicely put it. That object she held was a very manly thing to have and it symbolised maturity and adulthood. Not that she’d ever understand that. He’d have to come up with some excuse to make her think it wasn’t his…
“You know, Sora, that isn’t even mine. I’m just holding onto it for someone. Said person told me to tell no one else, but I’ll let you in on the secret, but only because you are my bestest friend and I hate lying to you.”
Sora frowned in disbelief, but leaned in closer, not wanting to be out of the loop.
“I hate to say it, but his name… is Yamato Ishida.”
“MATT?” Sora exclaimed.
Tai whipped a hand up to her mouth to silence her unbelieving cries and looked around, searching for the invisible people that might have heard her.
“You mustn’t tell anyone.” Tai whispered. “Do you know what he said he’d do to me if I told someone? He said he’d gouge out my eyeballs with spoons and shave all my hair off. All of it, Sora! Can you imagine what I’d look like with no hair or eyes? A disaster is what I’d be! I can’t let that happen, Sora, I just can’t.”
Tai covered his face with his hands and pretended to sob with despair. He had to keep the charade going until she believed him. Otherwise, he’d be labelled a loser for life.
“I don’t know, Tai. That doesn’t sound like Matt.”
“Shh! Don’t say his name! And you don’t know that whole story yet.”
“So, tell me then.”
“But I can’t say his name…”
“Then invent a name for all I care!”
“Alright, I suppose. For the remainder of the story he shall be known as… Tamato.”
Tai thought this was indeed a clever alias. It combined his own name with Matt’s and it sounded like ‘tomato’.
“Don’t question it, Sora. Just listen.”
“Fine… but this had better be good!”
“So, one dark, cold night as I lay in my bed, I hear a tapping noise against the window. At first I shrug it off, thinking that a bird probably hit it. But then I hear the sound again. As quietly as possible, I tiptoe across the room and peek through the curtains. There, dressed in black and standing on my balcony, is the man I now call Tamato. As confused as I am, I can’t just leave him out there, so I slide open the glass door and gently shut it behind me.”
Sora was listening in rapt attention now, consumed by the fabricated lies Tai spewed.
“What happened next?” Sora asked anxiously.
“Let me think…”
“Tamato.” I state. “What brings you to my humble abode?”
The mysterious figure tosses back his shiny hair and answers, “I have come to ask for your aide, Captain Firefly.”
(At this point Sora interrupts to ask why my secret name is ‘Captain Firefly’ and I tell her to shut up and listen.)
“What is it you require from me, old friend?” I ask plainly, lounging casually against the balcony railing in my blue flannel pyjamas.
“You must tell no one about this, otherwise there will be dire consequences. Do you comprehend my meaning?”
“I grasp the concept, yes. I am fully prepared to do whatever it is you demand of me.”
My bravery astounds him, and he gives me a simple brown box with faith.
“Inside this package there is an object. An object so powerful and destructive it could trigger the end of the world. You must take care of it for me, and do not allow it to fall into the wrong hands… or else. I am required to depart now. I leave you with a reminder: the fate of humanity rests with you now, Captain Firefly. Ta-ta!”
I watch as Tamato leaps off the building and vanishes into the thick fog that encompasses the moonless area. I slip back inside and after many several difficult moments of wrestling my temptation, I realise I can’t resist opening the box. I carefully reveal what lies inside, not knowing what to expect. There, laying inside the packaging is the most deadly force I’ve ever seen. My breaths become gasps and sweat forms on the back of my neck. I shut my traitorous eyes and slam the lid of the box down. I turn my head away sharply and without looking, I shove the offending thing into my closet forever…
“That’s how it happened, then? So, why is this lying on your bed?” Sora asked, not trusting in Tai’s story.
“Well, that’s a decoy, Agent Hummingbird, duh.”
She frowned at Tai’s name for her, but moved on to her next question.
“Are you sure Ma-Tamato’s voice is that low? And neither of you talk like that… ever. It sure sounds like you’re making this up.”
“Agent Hummingbird!” Tai exclaimed in shock. “Make this up? I am insulted! I may cheat and lie at card games, but this is a serious matter!” He looked at her very seriously and continued. “During our midnight rendezvous, Tamato and I were forced to use different voices and type of speech. We couldn’t let ourselves be discovered, now could we? That would have been a catastrophe!”
Tai threw his hands in the air for effect and sneaked a look at Sora to see if she was buying any of this.
“I don’t know… it doesn’t make a lot of sense.” She jiggled her knee and played with the tag on the stuffed animal. “It sounds like another one of your made-up lies – like the ones you tell our teachers.”
Tai sighed, exasperated. What would it take for this girl to believe him?
At that moment, Kari opened the door and poked her head in. The door, being partially open, blocked Kari’s view of Sora and she could only see her brother.
“Tai, when is Sora coming over? Is she here already? I didn’t hear her come in. Did you remember to put away your teddy bear? You left it on the bed this morning, but I figured you would put it back in the closet after what happened last week with Izzy when he found it and you somehow managed to convince him that it fell from the sky and landed right in front of you, but it took two hours to persuade him and you said you were never going through that again and that you were putting your teddy bear away for good but I saw you with it last night… Oh, my show’s back on!”
Kari closed the door and left Tai alone with a very angry Sora.
“Fell from the sky, huh?”
Tai twitched relentlessly as Sora’s narrowed eyes glared at him mercilessly.
“Haha, and you say that I lie… look at Kari! I’m surprised her nose hasn’t grown from all that dishonesty. You know, like Pinocchio?”
Tai laughed nervously as Sora advanced on him. He scooted backwards, hoping she wouldn’t catch him, but sooner than he expected her furious features were centimetres away from him.
“I am leaving now, Captain Firefly, and the next time you see me, EVERYONE is going to know about this.” She stood and flung the door open. Glancing back at her very pale and terrified ex-friend she said, “Ta-ta!” and left.
Tai groaned. He’d never have friends after this. And Izzy would hate him once he found out. He’d come looking for revenge, and Tai needed some kind of protection…
“Looks like it’s just you and me now, buddy.” he sighed to his teddy bear. “Time to make us a pillow fort as our only defence against raging computer geeks.”
Tai scooped up his fluffy bear and started constructing his fort. He would be ready when the time came. Tai then began his life as a friendless hermit, with only a stuffed animal at his side.