By Hikaru Hayashi

A little poem I thought of off the top of my head. This one's for all you non-reviewers out there:

"You can't keep me down.

You can run up the hit counter,

you can neglect to review,

but you can't keep me down!

You can choose not to read,

you can criticize my work,

you can think whatever you want

but you can't keep me down.

I'll keep on updating.

So I have no reviews.

It doesn't faze me,

not in the least.

(The only thing that bugs me are flames!)

So, go on not reviewing.

Do whatever the crap you want;

I'll keep writing this story to the end,

Because You Can't Keep Me Down!"

'Nuff said.

Disclaimer note: I don't own The Road to El Dorado. Well, I own it on DVD, and I've watched it like a hundred million times (Ah…"Someday Out of the Blue"…really cool song…! Ehem, anyway, that's not the point). However, I do own my OC Lina, although nobody cares, huh?

Random note: This applies to all chapters, including the last one:

(Location, i.e. Spain, El Dorado/Main character 3rd person POV, i.e. Tulio, Miguel)

Chapter 3: Playing With Fire

"A Song and a Thief"

(Some random port town/Tulio & Chel)

"Tulio…" Chel started wearily, "why are we stopping here?"

Tulio stopped in his tracks. "Why?" he repeated. "You wish to know why? Because I thought it would be nice to stock up on our rapidly depleting supplies, that's why!" Then, under his breath, he muttered, "And to get directions, because I have no clue what the heck I'm doing…"

Chel heard this comment. I knew it… she thought as she sighed and slapped her hand on her forehead.

As they headed for the market, a shadow was watching them. Wow…that's a lot of gold they have with them! it thought. I wonder how much of it I can steal…no, wait…I won't steal the gold…I'll just commandeer the whole ship!

The unknown figure slinked in the shadows towards the boat, and the gold on board it…

(El Dorado/Lina)

Lina was out on her daily stroll. She, unlike Chel, enjoyed living in El Dorado. Boy, was Chel ever so strange…who'd want to leave? she thought as she stared into the clouds, part of her happy that Chel was gone. No one misses her anyway, she thought, And besides...she's an eyesore…that little…!

She calmed herself down and thought of something else. This place is so wonderful. I think that's the reason Miguel stayed behind…Miguel…

She silently reprimanded herself. This was the fifth time she'd thought of him today. What am I doing? Why do I keep thinking about him?

She tried to think of something else, when she heard the faint sound of a guitar. "Oh…" she sighed as she followed the music. It's beautiful…whoever's playing is very good!

Lina followed the sad, remorseful sound until she reached a dead end. The area overlooked the rest of the city and it was almost as if she could touch the sky, it seemed so close. Surprisingly, there was no one in the area except for one person, sitting on the edge…

"Miguel…" she whispered softly, still entranced by the song he played on his guitar. The music truly moved her…she took a step forward…just to step on a twig.

The snap of the twig startled Miguel. He gasped as he stopped playing and swirled around. "What? Who's there?"

Lina grumbled under her breath. "Oh great…"

To her amazement, Miguel let out a sigh of relief. "Oh…it's just you, Lina…"

Lina smiled. "Don't stop playing. I was enjoying the music!" she said as she sat down next to him. "You are a very talented musician."

"Why, thank you," Miguel replied.

"Play something else, Miguel," Lina said. She closed her eyes as her ears were once again filled with the sound of Miguel's guitar. The music lifted her soul. She felt as light as a feather. She sighed as she leaned her head on Miguel's shoulder. At that moment, nothing else in the world mattered to her.

(The random port town/Unknown)

"Stop! Thief!"

The subject in pursuit hid behind a building. His reckless plan to hijack that boat with all the gold didn't quite go as planned. He didn't expect the owners of the boat to return with their supplies that quickly. He only got away with a sack full. And, what's worse, now the owners were hot on his trail.

Crap, they've got me cornered, he thought as he realized he was playing with fire. He held his breath as the voices drew nearer…

"He went this way."

"Are you sure, Tulio? You can't even navigate. How are you supposed to chase a thief?"

"Shut your trap. I know what I'm doing."

"Can't you just let it go? He only got away with twelve pieces of gold."

"Twelve pieces of MY gold!"

A sigh of frustration. "Do you have to be so money-hungry?"

"Look, Chel. I'm getting my gold back! Either you're down with that, or you're not. Now, you can either help me, or wait with the ship and make sure nobody else steals my gold…"

Another sigh of frustration, and a mutter: "He's so stingy…"

Suddenly, the man who was apparently called Tulio, shouted out:

"DO YOU HEAR ME? I KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE, SCUMBAG! NOBODY GETS AWAY WITH STEALING MY GOLD!"

"Tulio, please! Twelve pieces of gold?"

"Twelve pieces of gold that do not belong to him!"

"Garh…Tulio…!"

"Don't make me have to explain it again, Chel."

The thief hidden in the shadows chuckled. His pursuers argued like an old married couple! Neither one of them look over 25! And he was certain they weren't married…at least…he didn't think they were, it was hard to tell.

"YOU HEAR ME, PUNK? THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE! SURRENDER THE GOLD, AND YOUR LIFE WILL BE SPARED!"

O-kay…this man is officially starting to freak me out! the thief thought, sweating bullets. He decided to make a break and run for it while he had the chance. Not knowing which way his pursuers were coming from, he backed up in a random direction, and when he turned around, he was met face to face with Tulio.

"Hey there," Tulio said; a wide, evil grin spread across his face as he began to crack his knuckles. "I believe you have something that belongs to me!"

The thief gulped. "Hey, look, man, I know not of what you are referring to. I'm not a thief, you know."

"Oh? Then what do you call this?" Tulio shouted as he ripped the bag off of the thief's back. The sack ripped and out tumbled Tulio's stolen gold. "Not a thief, eh?" he asked sarcastically as he backed the poor man into a corner, still cracking his knuckles.

The thief gulped. "Oh…I'm caught. I'm in trouble now!"

"Oh, like heck you are!" Tulio growled. "Say hi to my fists for me, would you?"

With these words, he commenced to beat the living daylights out of the thief, grinding him into a pulp as Chel stood watching, sighing and shaking her head. Good freaking grief… she thought. All this over twelve pieces of gold!

(El Dorado/Miguel)

Miguel was quite shocked when he found that Lina was watching him. He had come to this spot to get away from everyone and to be alone for a while, never realizing that someone could find him.

He was even more amazed when she told him she had enjoyed his playing. It was kind of flattering to him to know that someone liked his playing. So, when she asked him to play for her, he couldn't refuse.

After a good while, he stopped playing. He noticed that Lina had been awfully quiet. "Lina?" he whispered. No reply. Miguel smiled. She must have fallen asleep! he thought.

He sighed as he watched her sleeping form. She looked so peaceful; he really hated to have to wake her up. He put his guitar down and gently shook her. "Lina…?"

Her eyes opened, the look of content still glued to her face. "Mmm…Miguel…why did you stop playing?"

"You fell asleep."

"I did…?" She asked as she sat up, lifting her head from its comfortable position on Miguel's shoulder. "Oh, shoot."

"It's all right. You'd better be getting back, now," he said as he picked his guitar back up. "You know people would be suspicious if you were seen with me."

"You're right," she said as she stood up and brushed the dust off of her skirt. "I really hate to be a bother."

"Nonsense! You're not a bother at all," he said cheerfully. Actually, I enjoy having her around…maybe a little too much…

"Well, I guess I should go now," she said slowly as she walked away. "I'll see you later, Miguel."

"Bye, Lina," he replied as he watched her leave. The sun's rays illuminated her disappearing figure. She looked radiant.

She looks beautiful, Miguel thought. Actually, there were times where he found her darn near attractive. He liked everything about her. She was kind, and gentle; she had been there for him when he had been down in the dumps about not seeing Tulio again. He was beginning to grow quite fond of her.

When he realized how stupid and ridiculous these thoughts seemed, Miguel growled and shook his head. Altivo trotted up to him and nudged him. "I'm playing with fire, Altivo," he said to his horse as he patted Altivo's nose. "I'd better be careful. I don't want to get burned…"

End Chapter Three

And so, the chapter ends. Miguel realizes he has feelings for Lina. Lina has a secret about something in her past involving her and Chel. And will Tulio ever learn to navigate and get him and Chel to Spain in one piece?

These and more questions will be revealed…later in the story. I would much obliged if I received even ONE review! Like I said, it doesn't faze me, but it would be very considerate if you reviewed. I would very much appreciate it. (Sounds like begging? I am begging…in some way.)