They've suffered, and everyone around them has suffered, because there's been no support without them. [Yamato/Sora/Jou. Not a triangle.]
Cool and black, easy to slip further and further away. But that would be wrong. That would leave the world cold and dead, her mother and father and all the others' families would be gone, and they would never see each other again. She can't do that to Hikari and Mimi, her almost-sisters, her only real girl friends. She can't do that to Taichi, her oldest friend, Koushirou, her sanest friend. To Takeru, practically her own son, easily dearer than any brother could be. And Piyomon! And all of the other Digimon-she can't let their world follow her into the darkness. That would be wrong.
There's a light at the end of the tunnel and there are hands grasping hers, and somehow that's enough. She sees relieved blue eyes and worried dark ones, obscured by thick glasses. Falls against Yamato, feels him pat her awkwardly on the back. She's hugging him and she doesn't know why, only that he smells like sea salt and rotting jungle flowers and she's just so glad he's alive and didn't run into Mugendramon during his target practice.
He doesn't like being touched so intimately and he just helped her more than she'll ever be able to describe, and so she lets him go.
And locks onto Jou, he sputters and squawks for a minute before he's quiet and still. Sora's not sure if he doesn't like being hugged or if he just doesn't do it very often. He has a sharp smell to him, like iodine or disinfectant, and something kind of like deodorant or aftershave, and she wishes she'd gone with Mimi, too. But she promised Yamato; one fleeting look promised Yamato she would keep a mother's eye on Takeru. Wishes she didn't tease Jou as cruelly as she did, because there's more to him than she ever realized. He never slipped into the darkness, did he? She whispers it against his vest; he hugs her back and says of course not. He points to Gomamon, who takes a bow, and Sora smiles. Gomamon is almost as potent as Hikari against the darkness.
She can soar with those hands grasping hers, soar from the darkness and into the horizon. Taichi is brave, but he's yet to grow up. Koushirou is smart, but he's still so young. Mimi is so pure and Sora would die to keep her that way, and Hikari and Takeru and her beloved Piyomon are children.
And Takeru is smiling, happy as a lark, with them almost together again. She's still holding onto Jou, and he relishes it, she's pouring herself into him and he needs it. She's warm and he's cold as the Arctic sea. She's been social where he's been isolated, and he needs her. She's love, pure and simple. She's strong and he's not. He's been the pillar, he's been the leader, he's been the healer and part of him deep, deep down, hates it and he wants her to take over. Wants to fall against her, wants to sleep while she stays awake, warm cinnamon eyes watching over his rest. Knows she can be trusted, knows she'll pull him back only when she must, knows she trusts him now. He craved that regard, that trust, that acknowledgment that he can stand alone if he damn well pleases, and he's got it and he loves it and he loves her because she can give him that and still support him. He's fond of Mimi because she postulates that he's capable and independent, postulated it long before he himself did, but she does it so she can fall back on him and he's glad to let her do so. He loves her, too, but not as an equal.
Jou's looking over Sora's shoulder and into Yamato's eyes, and Yamato meets him, face to face. As an equal. And it's that acknowledgment, even more than Sora's, that he craved. Yamato, hitherto so convinced that Jou needed protection, so willing to lump him in with Takeru. Jou remembered shouting in his head during the diner fiasco, I have my own overprotective brothers! I get smothered enough, I don't need you on my case, too!
But he still needed Yamato, and he still does. Needs that rock-steady, icy-hard pillar. Jou can only hold up so much, is only so faithful. Strength is finite; support fails, but not Yamato's. Yamato, who would put everything on the line, shove everything he could under their pillar to keep it up. For a minute, holding that gaze rock-steady, Jou wants to pull Yamato to him, hold him against him, hold him as tightly as he's got Sora now. Fall against him, feel him, feel that pillar and for Yamato to know he's there to be a pillar, too. He's trying to convey that, trying to transmit it through that arresting look, and Yamato knows. Yamato sees it.
Yamato's tempted, tempted to let Sora and Jou pull him towards them. They're all weak and tired; they've been separated so long. Jou left to care for Mimi, poor Sora left to support Taichi, Koushirou and the kids all alone. Yamato feels so selfish, wandering on his own, leaving them to play the pillar without him. Taking away a crucial block to their foundation. He can see strain on them both, Jou narrowly escaping the cave of darkness and Sora having fallen in. He wants accusation, wants to be hated, but they don't and they can't and he loves them all the more for it. Wants to fall against them, knows they'll cradle and kiss him until he's strong again, ready again to take on Taichi's courageous idiocy, Taichi's heart-Taichi is his heart, beating against his chest, keeping his blood pumping, keeping his head pounding, but Sora and Jou are the support. The skeleton. The foundation.
And he never wants them to be separated again, and they never want to be separated from him again, or each other again, because everyone is suffering. They need each other for support, and everyone else needs them together for support. Taichi is dying, losing himself without Yamato's ferocity, Jou's conclusions-Sora's sensibility is not enough. Mimi came so close to falling away with Taichi, sharing that possible fate, with only Jou's sensibility to hold her up. She needs Sora's love, Yamato's cool defense.
Takeru is hurt without them, without Yamato's support, Jou's quiet respect, because Jou's the only one who really listens to him. Sora's love alone hasn't healed him, and Yamato and Jou both hate themselves for it. And Koushirou and Hikari have had the unenviable, almost impossible job of trying to repair Taichi's pillar of support, his foundation, of trying to replace Yamato and Jou and help Sora. And they've had no support, no pillar of their own (and neither has Sora) and they're all suffering.
And Sora and Jou are still drinking in each other in, taking a last bit of comfort and strength before they leave. Taichi is dying without them. Mimi will be okay, but Taichi won't. He needs his support pillar, now that they've reunited, now that they're strong together and have gotten themselves sorted out.
They're soaring away on Birdramon, and Yamato is in between Sora and Jou, and so thankful. Sora's hand on his shoulder and his weight shifted slightly towards Jou and he's drinking them in, too, and they're pulling strength from him and pouring it back and he can stand again. He's okay, and they both are, and so is Takeru, and Taichi will be, too.
If they get there in time.