Why didn’t I just tell her sooner, he thought. Why did I think she would wait for me? I’m such an idiot! I don’t deserve the Crest of Courage! I’m not surprised she chose Yamato over me, after all, he’s famous, kind and handsome. And what am I? An immature, insensitive jerk, that’s what! I think I should just give up waiting for her.
He was suddenly aware of someone else sitting on the other side of the bench. He turned his head to see a man munching on what looked like candy he was taking from a small white paper bag he held in one of his hands. He was probably the strangest looking man Taichi had ever seen; with his clothes - which included a green velvet coat and a silk cravat - and his long curly brown hair he looked like a poet who had just stepped out of Victorian England, which made him look very out of place in modern-day Tokyo.
The man noticed he was being watched and turned towards Taichi, fixing him with a pair of striking blue eyes. He offered the bag to Taichi. “Would you like a jelly baby?” he asked.
“Uh, thanks,” Taichi said, as he tentatively took one, popping it into his mouth and chewing. The man then turned back and continued to watch the park, Taichi doing likewise. They both sat in silence for a while.
“Penny for your thoughts?” asked the man suddenly.
“You look like a young man with a lot on his mind,” the man said. “I’m a good listener, and I might even be able to help you.”
Taichi snorted. “No one can help me with my problems.”
Taichi shrugged. What had he to lose? So he told him. How he and Sora had been friends since they were five years old, how he’d always protected and encouraged her. He even told him about the Digital World and what had happened there. And about what had happened at Yamato’s concert at Christmas. The man sat there listened attentively, occasionally eating a sweet. “Well, that’s about everything,” finished Taichi eventually. “I’m starting to think I should just give up on her and move on. I mean, there are plenty of other girls out there, right?”
The man nodded, but didn’t say a word, just staring into Taichi’s brown eyes with his piecing grey ones, as if he was looking into the depths of his soul. Wait a minute! Grey eyes? Taichi thought. Weren’t they blue a moment ago?
Suddenly the Doctor spoke. “Taichi, don’t give up. You may think you have no chance with Sora now, but if you truly love her, do what you said you would do, and wait for her.”
Taichi blinked. He hadn’t mentioned either his or Sora’s name during his explanation. “How-” Taichi began.
“Well, I must be off, I‘m suppose to meet my friends at three,” interrupted the man, standing up. He screwed the now empty bag into a ball and threw it into the bin by the bench. He then took out an old fashioned gold watch from his waistcoat pocket and flipped it open. His eyes widened in horror. “Good grief! That was ten minutes ago! Must dash! Goodbye, Taichi, and good luck!”
“Wait!” cried Taichi, getting up as the man ran off, his coat flapping behind him. “Who are you? And how did you know my name?”
“I’m the Doctor!” he yelled over his shoulder, and then he was gone.
Taichi sat back down on the bench. Somehow the Doctor’s words had revived his hopes. Perhaps he still had a chance to tell Sora how much he loved her.
“Come on, Taichi! You can’t be late for your own wedding!” yelled Yamato from the hallway.
“Okay, I’m coming! Hold on!” Taichi cried as he left his room, still adjusting his tie.
“Honestly, you’d be late for your own funeral,” His best friend said, as they left Taichi‘s apartment and got into his car. “I wonder how on Earth Sora tolerates your lack of punctuality!”
“She doesn’t!” grinned Taichi, chuckling.
A whole year had passed since that fateful meeting with the Doctor in the park, a whole year before Yamato and Sora broke up, but in all that time Taichi had never stopped waiting for her. He had always remembered the Doctor’s words: “Taichi, don’t give up. You may think you have no chance with Sora now, but if you truly love her, do what you said you would do, and wait for her.” A month later, while on a “friendly” date with Sora, Taichi had confessed his love for her. Sora had smiled and kissed him, saying that felt the same. That had been the happiest day of his life.
Yamato had found happiness too. While touring the US with his band a few years later, he had started to date Mimi, and the two had been together ever since.
And now it was nine years later, and most of the older Chosen were married. Jyou had been the first of the original team to get married, to Daisuke’s sister Jun, then Yamato and Mimi, and now it was Taichi’s and Sora’s turn. They had decided on a western style wedding rather than a traditional Japanese one, so all their friends could attend. This had caused a few mumbled complaints from Sora’s mother, but she was overjoyed that her daughter was finally getting married. Taichi had picked Yamato to be his best man, and Sora had chosen Mimi to be her maid of honour. The other bridesmaids included Hikari, Miyako and Jun.
A few hours later, the wedding ceremony over, Taichi and Sora left the registry office arm in arm. When they reached the limo that was waiting for them Sora turned around and threw her bouquet to the awaiting group of unmarried bridesmaids. It was Miyako who caught it, and she gave Daisuke a meaningful glance. He just rubbed the back of his head and grinned, blushing. Taichi was glad that Daisuke had given up on chasing Hikari several years ago, as she and Takeru were now engaged.
Taichi smiled as he surveyed the crowd. He was so happy that so many people had turned up for his and Sora‘s wedding. Then Taichi saw him.
The man he had met in the park ten years ago hadn’t changed one bit; he was still wearing the same anachronistic clothes and his hair was the same, without a trace of grey. A slight smile was playing across the Doctor’s lips.
Taichi stared at him in surprise, until a voice distracted him. “Taichi?” Sora asked her husband, her voice full of concern. “What’s the matter? It looks as though you’ve just seen a ghost.”
“Huh? Oh, Sora, I just thought I saw someone from a long time ago,” he replied. He looked back, but was disappointed to find that the Doctor had vanished. Taichi shook his head. “Must have been my imagination.”
Sora smiled, and Taichi smiled back. “Come on, our carriage awaits!” she said happily. His smile turned into a grin and he held the door open for his wife as she climbed in.
“Thanks, Doctor,” he whispered, as he took one last look at the crowd before he followed her into the limo. “Thanks for giving me hope.”
“All’s well that ends well,” the Doctor murmured happily to himself as he placed the key into the lock of the TARDIS, his time-space machine, which was currently waiting around the back of the building for him. He opened the door and entered the blue box, closing it behind him. A few moments later, with a strange wheezing-groaning noise, it faded out of reality as if it had never existed.