Disclaimer: Digimon is the property of Akiyoshi Hongo, Bandai, and Toei Animation. Not me.

Time Line Notes: During episodes 44 & 45 of Digimon Tamers.

Notes: It should be said that this fic probably takes some liberties with references to stuff that's happened in the video games. I'll be quick to admit I've never played any of the Wonderswan Tamer games. However, Ryou, as a character, has very little to work with in the Tamers anime. Thus, I am forced to work with what I can find and manipulate it with my own twisted sense of continuity. ; So I'm just saying that while I take some aspects from the games, everything's not exactly as they were there. Although that probably won't apply here, or be obvious. It's… kind of hard to explain, but my screwing of Ryou's background will apply to certain other stories that will come from me eventually. The only important aspect, really, is the ending of Brave Tamer; Monodramon and Milleniumon Jogressing, and creating a DigiEgg. Here, that egg has become Cyberdramon.

The title is ripped from Ryou & Cyberdramon's duet image song. I'm not sure if there have been any other stories focusing on Ryou using it before, but it seemed like the most fitting title to this story.

As for WHY I wrote this story… well, basically, I wanted to do a story with Ryou that has no romance. I ALSO wanted to do a story revolving around something that was completely left out of the show… what that thing is I'm sure will be easy to figure out. So… that's essentially it.

Digimon Tamers:

Fighting Soul

By Infinity Blade

Given all of his treks through the Digital World, Akiyama Ryou never would have thought he'd be this tired from merely traveling. The fourteen year-old boy was presently jogging after his partner digimon, the purple dragon called Monodramon. Unlike his Tamer, the Child digimon didn't seem to be the least bit tired. Instead, he merely had a fierce, determined look in his eyes…

On the way to his home in Kyushu, it was impossible not to listen to any radio station and not hear about it…

D-Reaper was in Tokyo, spreading outward from Shinjuku.

Ryou and Monodramon both knew that all of the other Tamers would come back to battle this creature. With military power against the thing proving absolutely useless, there was only one other force left in the Real World that had a chance of fighting it…

And indeed, it wasn't long before this was proven. Ryou had seen MegaloGrowmon, Taomon, Rapidmon, and Beelzebumon fighting and destroying an agent from the D-Reaper on television…

It was shortly after this that Ryou left his home. Again.

At this point, for me, I wonder if I even have anything that I could consider a home anymore, Ryou thought to himself, wistfully.

The two had made their way back to Tokyo by train and hitchhiking. Ryou knew very well that there could have been an easier way to get there by using his partner… but he wasn't quite ready for that yet.

I have to find the others first.

Ryou looked past his breath, which was visible in the chilly air, at all of the abandoned buildings around them. It was so hard to believe a city such as Tokyo could be so barren and lifeless now… The only real life left now was at the heart of Shinjuku, and all of it was embroiled in a very deadly and constant battle… a battle they were still a good distance from.

As the teenager huffed to keep up with his partner, he looked at the dragon. Ryou had been surprised when Cyberdramon changed back to Monodramon, although he chose not to voice it to the other Tamers… He knew, however, that he had made it clear to Cyberdramon in the past that the only way he would take him back to the Real World was as Monodramon.

Ryou had to restrain his digimon's destructive nature. No one else could… and he shuddered to thing what would happen if that nature was unleashed to its fullest extent in this world. If that were to happen, Ryou knew that not even the combined might of the other Tamers could stop him…

Not that it was much safer in the Digital World, but it would at least be somewhat easier to handle there. In that world, he could also allow Cyberdramon's feral nature loose… but with the rising of the D-Reaper, Ryou thought it would be in their best interest to return to the Real World.

Cyberdramon would rarely stop his attack until his enemy was dead. The problem was, at this point in time, Cyberdramon's power was nothing compared to D-Reaper's. If they tackled that thing head on, there would be no way to win.

But now, the D-Reaper was here. There was nothing Ryou could do but accept the fact they had to fight it.

However, there was now this look in Monodramon's eyes. Monodramon had remained calm when they had come back to the Real World, something that surprised Ryou. He was calm now, too… but also quiet. Too quiet, with a constant, deadly look in his eyes… The calmness he now had was little more than a calm before a storm.

Caught up in his thoughts, Ryou nearly ran over Monodramon, not realizing his partner had stopped in his tracks. "Monodramon?" Ryou asked. "What is it?"

"It is coming," Monodramon, his voice now suddenly deeper and with a growl, replied. "It is coming now…"

"What-" Ryou began, but before he could continue, the street in front of them suddenly split in half as a giant, purple hand rose up from it. "…oh."

Monodramon hunched over as his growl became louder… and then he began to glow. Ryou's eyes widened, reaching into the pocket of his black coat. As he retrieved his Digivice, he found it to be glowing as well… "Monodramon! WAIT!"

"Monodramon… EVOLVE!"

It was… maybe eleven months before…

A mighty cybernetic dragon, clad in black armor, roared as he slashed through his enemy, tearing it apart. The enemy digimon's data broke apart, and was loaded into the dragon's body. The beast snarled, scanning the area that had been damaged so much from the battle… Beneath his visor, he saw a man watching the battle, horrified. With a grunt, the creature began to advance…

There was then a blue flash and the dragon found his wrist ensnared with a blue energy whip. Finding its source, he found it coming from a small blue device in the hands of a thirteen year-old boy.

"That man is the only family I have!" Ryou exclaimed. "If you dare do anything that hurts him, so help me-"

With a flick of the dragon's wrist, Ryou was suddenly pulled off his feet and towards him. The boy crashed into the ground pretty hard. He didn't stay long, however, as the digimon grabbed his shirt sleeve and lifted him off the ground. "Who do you think you are…?"

At the dragon's question, Ryou's eyes narrowed and he kicked into the beast's chest. Although it tore most of the sleeve off in the process, Ryou escaped the digimon and landed on the ground. "I don't care what you've become now that you've evolved," Ryou snarled, drawing his Digivice back. "But one fact still remains, Cyberdramon…"

He thrust the Digivice forward, sending out another blue energy whip, which wrapped around his target's neck. Cyberdramon grabbed the whip in surprise, but couldn't do anything to make Ryou release it this time, somehow. Ryou braced himself against the ground, and using the power surging out from his Digivice to assist him, began to tug against the whip as hard as he could. "I am still… your…" Cyberdramon began to lose his footing, "TAMER!"

At that shout, Cyberdramon fell forward, his face crashing into the ground.

After a few moments, Ryou retracted the whip back into his Digivice and released a long sigh. He then looked around at the destruction that had been caused…

"…we can't stay here… not in this world…"

"CYBERDRAMON!"

With his mighty shout, the armor-clad dragon took to the air with his wings, surveying his enemy. It most certainly was not a digimon…

The thing was completely purple, and rested on two gigantic hands. It had a small head, and what looked to be some kind of rib cage… Other than that, all it had was a long, red cord coming out of its back that went back much deeper into the city…

"An Agent of D-Reaper," Ryou murmured, still gripped his Digivice. He stared up at his partner… I can't stop him now… not here…

Releasing a feral scream, Cyberdramon's claws literally tore through the air, and he began to build power between them. "ERASE… CLAW!" He released a beam of energy at his enemy, yet the Agent raised up one of its hands to block it. The beam struck the hand, and there was a small explosion that followed… but no harm was done. Frustrated, Cyberdramon screamed and dove in for an attack.

Ryou just watched as Cyberdramon launched attack after attack, each one failing to hurt the enemy. Sighing, he reached in his other pocket and retrieved his Device Cards… He knew he had no choice but to help now. But he also knew that there could be consequences in this world…

The boy frowned, knowing that thoughts like this shouldn't be getting to him in battle. It was just so much easier to only focus on the battle in the Digital World… that's all there was there. For someone called the "Legendary Tamer", he knew that some people would laugh to find him so nervous over choosing a card…

He couldn't help but just laugh at that title now. He couldn't find himself completely deserving of it…

Takato, Ruki, and Jenrya had achieved such a deep understanding of their partners… So deep, that they themselves could combine their power… They could become one entity with one heart, one mind… Yet from Ryou's perspective, Dukemon, SaintGalgomon, and Sakuyamon represented something that he just couldn't be…

He couldn't achieve that kind of understanding with Cyberdramon… Because if all Cyberdramon could see were the battles before him, and nothing else, how could they have that understanding?

Ryou focused back on his cards as the Agent blocked another blow.

King Device could put Cyberdramon on an even playing field in terms of size… Yet Ryou couldn't help but wince as he thought back to old movies with monsters walking through downtown Tokyo and obliterating it.

Knight Device would give the Perfect digimon a pair of weapons, but he couldn't see how that would help against this thing…

Queen Device would increase his power tremendously… but…

Ryou grit his teeth in frustration. He could usually come up with the correct card to end their battle in a matter of seconds… but so many things were distracting his mind…

There were no civilians in the city any longer, but there was a large military presence. If Cyberdramon was given extra power, and soldiers came upon them… after the heat of battle, Cyberdramon may not be able to control himself…

The thoughts of what could come afterwards made him shiver.

Just then, the large, purple Agent suddenly slammed its hand into the ground, trapping Cyberdramon beneath it. But before Ryou could do anything, he found multiple other, smaller Agents rising up over a building near them. They each had four arms… and they were all pointed at the Tamer.

Ryou couldn't do anything to get away before they fired upon him.

A sudden roar pierced through the air, and Cyberdramon broke free of the big Agent's grip. He flew with tremendous speed to his partner, and picked him up… just in time for the energy blasts of the smaller Agents to slam into his back. Cyberdramon screamed in pain as he was sent flying, right through the wall of a building.

The two crashed into the floor inside, and Cyberdramon lay still. Ryou coughed, waving the dust away as he crawled out from under his partner. As he did so, Cyberdramon grunted while he attempted to get up. "Why…?"

Ryou blinked at the dragon's question. "I was just about to ask you the same question…"

"You will not let me fight…" Cyberdramon said, staring at the floor. "You will not let me battle the way that is needed to win here, and you are letting your own confidence waver…"

"How do you-"

"If we fought the way we did in the Digital World, we would have already won," Cyberdramon interrupted. He then looked up at him. "Why is it that you fear me?"

"F-fear you?"

"Don't try to lie to me," Cyberdramon snarled. "You fear what I am. You fear what I came from. You fear what you think I may become."

"I think you just answered your own question…"

Cyberdramon suddenly thrust out a claw, grabbing Ryou by his jacket. "You still don't understand after all of this?" Ryou just continued to stare, and the dragon bared his teeth. "I am not what I was born from. I am not Milleniumon. I have no desire or wish that he did… at all. At the same time, I am not the Monodramon you knew then either. I am what I am. Just what you are, Akiyama Ryou."

Ryou kept looking at him, his mouth hanging open. He wasn't sure that Cyberdramon had ever talked this much. "Just what… I am…"

"A warrior. We are one in the same, whether you want to admit that or not."

Ryou stared down at the Digivice in his hand, then at his cards. Two warriors that fight side-by-side… partners that have defeated every enemy they've faced… except for one…

The D-Reaper.

His desires are not Milleniumon's… Ryou thought to himself. But they're… a digimon's desire?

The desire to fight and battle… to become stronger through those battles… That was a digimon's nature… that was their… desire…

I tired to stifle his need to fight. But all that did was make him crave battle more… Instead of help, I more often than not tried to fight against his desire… and just made it worse, Ryou gripped his Digivice tighter, shoved his cards into his pockets, and lifted himself to his feet. My own desires are not to battle… but I do strive to become a stronger person… so that I can protect those that need to be protected… The only way to do that here or in any situation I've been in is through… fighting… as a warrior… as a Tamer, with my partner…

"Cyberdramon," Ryou said, and the dragon started to get to his feet as well.

As he did so, red and blue light passed over them…

Just before Ryou saw the large, purple Agent approaching them, and preparing to send its massive hand down into the building. Ryou's eyes widened, and he instinctively stepped in front of his partner. "Cyberdramon!"

With a bright flash, his Digivice suddenly erupted with power. That power knocked the Agent's hand back, and continued to surge out as Ryou looked at the device…

"MATRIX EVOLUTION" the Digivice stated in a monotone, robotic voice.

…when Ruki and Renamon challenged D-Reaper…

With a determined look, Ryou thrust his Digivice forward. "MATRIX EVOLUTION!"

Energy whipped around both partners at that cry. Ryou's clothes seemed to dissolve, and his body became power, fusing with Cyberdramon's.

"Cyberdramon, EVOLVE!"

Cyberdramon's body became smaller, more like a human's. He became clad in blue, silver, and white armor… his right arm became completely cybernetic… a long, red scarf appeared around his neck and flowed back behind him… and lastly, a helmet completely covered his head…

"JUSTIMON!"

Ryou opened his eyes to find himself floating in a sphere… he could feel where he was. He was now apart of Cyberdramon… he could hear his partner digimon's thoughts, see what he saw, feel what he felt… Together, they were one being. One fighter with one soul.

Knowing that these creatures would not be taken by surprise due to this event, Justimon raced forward with incredible speed. He ran towards the smaller Agents, easily avoiding the blasts of energy they launched from their arms. As he neared them, he leapt into the air… and appeared to vanish from their sight.

They sought him out again, and found Justimon falling from the sky… however, behind him was the sun, making him nearly impossible to hit with their blasts. "JUSTICE KICK!" Justimon cried, plowing through each of the Agents with his foot, and causing each to blow apart into a purple goo.

Justimon landed and stared up at the big Agent. The beast looked back down at him before moving one of its giant hands to try and crush the warrior. This was rather futile, as Justimon moved so fast that he again seemed to vanish. He appeared again as he flipped backwards, hitting a building with his feet. He then pushed off from the building and flew at the Agent.

Justimon held out his robotic arm, and in a flash it changed, becoming much larger.

"Lets see how you like it!" Justimon shouted in Ryou's voice.

"ACCEL ARM!" Cyberdramon's voice roared as Justimon slammed his large hand down. The Agent attempted to block with its own appendage, but energy shockwaves were unleashed from the Ultimate digimon's arm.

The shockwaves tore through the Agent, ripping it apart until they reached the cord the thing was connected to… As it was shattered, the entire Agent blew apart into the strange goo as its comrades did.

Justimon landed back on the ground and released a long breath. As he turned, however, he found more Agents of D-Reaper coming down the street.

"They don't want to stop," Cyberdramon muttered.

"Well then," Ryou said as Justimon's arm changed again. It now had a red energy blade shooting out of it. "That's their problem, isn't it?"

With nothing else to be said, Justimon charged off into battle.

-The End

Notes: Just a few things…

1) Yes, I am being deliberately vague when it comes to certain things regarding the past.

2) The man in the flashback is, of course, his father who picked Ryou & Monodramon up towards the start of the D-Reaper in the Real World arc. Of course, I have my own way of using him in certain stories where I screw with Ryou's back story… but that doesn't have much bearing here, does it:p

3) The red & blue lights are Dobermon when he gave the Tamers the ability to fuse in the Real World. It should have been easy to figure out, but I figured I'd point that out. ;

4) As I said before… There is no intent for any kind of romance hinting ANYWHERE in this story. I normally wouldn't point this out, but since I know some other people with non-romance stories that people have assumed WERE hinting at romance… In other words, the only reason Ryou thought about Ruki & Renamon fusing to Sakuyamon before he & Cyberdramon evolved was because that was the only fusion between a tamer & digimon that he had seen. No romantic intent. At all.

5) Just for reference, the large Agent I'm talking about is ADR-05, "Creep Hands". This type first appeared in episode 44 and beat MegaloGrowmon, Rapidmon, and Taomon into the ground. That one was then defeated by SaintGalgomon & Dukemon in the next episode. The smaller Agents were ADR-04, "Bubbles". They first appeared in episode 44 attacking Alice, and basically became D-Reaper's primary cannon fodder. Since it's from Ryou's POV, and those specific names were never mentioned in the anime that I can remember, I just merely called them both Agents.

6) I do hope I gave Ryou some justice here. Having not played the games, combined with the fact that the anime only gives us little fragments of his character, I tried to do the best I could here. Hope I did a good enough job.

Lastly, I'd like to thank both Megaraptor and Cynthia for looking over this story.