Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon.
A/N: Nobody panic! The only reason I'm posting this story is because it's going to be short. Five chapters at the most. FTFOD and MBFG are still my main priorities. Unfortunately I'm having writer's block for my next Harry Potter chapter, but I will get back to that story as soon as I can. Now, I'm not very fond of Ryo and Rika as a couple, but I've decided to write a romance with them because I think it will be an interesting challenge. I prefer Henry and Rika so you all better enjoy this! Oh, and they all look the same as they did in the show so I won't bother describing them. Please review! Your feedback is my inspiration.
Love and War
"I can't believe those kids actually think I'm scared! Obviously they've never seen me in action before! If they think they're going to make it to the top in the digimon tournament this year, they can forget it! I'm going to wipe the floor with each and every one of them!"
Fourteen year old Rika Nonaka glared at the digimon cards spread out in front of her on the grass and clenched her right hand into a fist. She was sitting next to the small pond that stood in front of her house, and there was an intense look of concentration on her face.
No one laughs at me and gets away with it!
She looked up at the sound of someone calling her name and spotted her friend Takato coming towards her. "What do you want, goggle-head? Can't you see I'm busy here?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.
Fourteen year old Takato Matsuki sat down next to her and rolled his eyes. "Is it really so hard for you to just say hello?"
"I told you, I'm busy. I don't have time for idle chit-chat," she shot back, picking up one of her cards and throwing it aside.
Takato let out a sigh and smiled slightly. "I guess I can still dream."
"Yeah," she smirked. "You're good at that!"
"What are you doing?" Takato asked, giving her a curious look.
Can't a girl practice in peace around here?
"What does it look like I'm doing?"
Takato's brown eyes lit up with excitement, and he smiled at her. "Henry told me you're planning to compete in the tournament again this year."
"That's right, goggle-head. If you're planning on entering, I suggest you back out now!"
"Why?" he asked, giving her a suspicious look.
She smiled innocently at him and shrugged. "We might be friends now, Takato, but that doesn't mean I'm not still planning on kicking your butt from here to the other end of Shinjuku! All is fair in love and war, little boy, and let's face it. You don't stand a chance against me!"
"Hey! That was before I became a real Digimon Tamer! You might be surprised by how much I've learned since then!"
"Whatever," she snorted, handing him one of her cards. "You want this?"
Takato looked at it and sighed. "Why are people always giving me their useless cards?"
Rika raised an eyebrow, and Takato glared at her. "Don't even think about answering that question!"
"What makes you think I was going to say anything?"
Takato gave her a dirty look and turned to stare up at the late afternoon sky. "I bet you would have won last year if we hadn't ended up going to the Digital World."
"Are you kidding? Of course I would have won!" she shouted, hitting her fist on the edge of the pond with frustration. "Have you seen the guy who did win? He's a total joke!"
Takato studied her face and smiled. "Maybe, but you were helping us save the world. Two worlds, to be exact. That's much more important than any card game."
"You're right," she said softly. "That's one of the reasons why I'm competing in the tournament this year. It's my way of passing the time until Renamon returns to me."
"Do you really think Guilmon and the others will come back someday?" Takato asked, frowning slightly.
"You saw that portal in Guilmon's hideout, just before it disappeared. Don't start doubting yourself now. They'll be back, but until then, Renamon is with me in spirit."
Takato nodded and suddenly grinned. "So why are you really competing in the tournament this year?"
"There are a whole bunch of rumours going around about why I didn't compete last year," she muttered. "Most people think it's because I chickened out after becoming champion the year before. Can you believe them? They think I'm scared I'm going to lose my title! Nobody calls me a coward and gets away with it! The Digimon Queen is back, and she's going to make the rest of those so-called Tamers look like amateurs!"
"I figured that had to be the reason why you wanted to compete again this year!" Takato laughed.
"You've heard the rumours, too?"
"Yeah, but don't worry. Henry and I have been defending you every step of the way!"
"Thanks," she said softly, feeling suddenly warm inside.
Takato's mouth fell open, and he stared at her in surprise. "Did you just say thank you?"
"Don't get use to it!" she snapped, her face turning red.
"Hey, Rika?" Takato said innocently, pretending to study one of her cards. "Did you know Ryo's entering the tournament, too?"
"What?" she shrieked, dropping the handful of cards that she had been holding.
He's not serious, is he?
"Oh, you haven't heard?" Takato said, looking amused. "I thought for sure he would have told you. I just heard yesterday when Henry and I met up with him in the park."
Rika stared at him in shock, unable to reply.
Why would Ryo be competing in the tournament this year? I thought he would have given up that sort of thing after spending so much time in the Digital World. After all, the card game is nothing compared to the real thing!
She had not seen much of Ryo in the past year because he had always been too busy entertaining his fans. Ryo's sudden reappearance in Shinjuku last year had caused the whole city to sit up and take notice. Not wanting to cause a scene, Ryo had kept the truth about his disappearance a secret. Unfortunately that had only made people even more interested to find out what had happened. Now he could not go anywhere without a flock of people following him around.
At first they had remained close, but then Ryo had started to drift away from her.
As usual, her pride had gotten in the way of her true feelings, and she had not made any kind of an effort to keep in touch with him. Despite the fact that it had been a whole year since their adventures in the Digital World, she could not seem to stop thinking about him.
Who am I kidding? Ryo doesn't need me. I've barely even had a chance to see him in the last couple of months. He's probably forgotten all about me. Boys. Who needs them anyway?
There was only one problem. Her heart and her head could not seem to agree on anything when it came to Ryo.
"Why?" she asked quietly, avoiding Takato's eyes. "He already won the tournament a few years ago, remember? He won the year before I did, right before he mysteriously disappeared."
"You mean right before he went to the Digital World."
"Exactly," she murmured. "What is there left for him to do? What exactly is he trying to prove?"
Takato shook his head and shrugged. "I have no idea. Maybe he feels the same way you do, and that's why he wants his title back."
"No way," she said quietly. "That doesn't make any sense. He doesn't have anything to prove the way I do. Everybody already worships the ground he walks on since he's the 'Legendary Tamer' and all. There must be something else..."
"You could be right. He was acting really funny when Henry told him you were competing in the tournament this year, as well," Takato said slowly. "That was when he told us about his plan to compete this year."
"Really?" Her eyes narrowed into a frown, and she crossed her arms. "He's up to something. I know it."
"After I kick his butt in the tournament, I'll let you know. Until then, Ryo had better do some serious practicing because there's no way he's going to defeat me!" she said, standing up and glaring at her reflection in the pond. "I'm going to show Mr. Perfect what it really means to battle!"
"If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were jealous!" Takato laughed, getting to his feet.
"Please," she snorted, crossing her arms. "As if I would ever be jealous of him! Stupid Ryo, with his stupid smile! He's always trying to steal the show. I can't stand guys like him! If I hear one more girl say he's cute, I'm going to be sick to my stomach!"
"Are you sure you're not jealous?"
"If you mention that wannabe Tamer again, you're going to wish you had never set foot here!"
"All right, all right," Takato replied, holding out his hands and backing away from her. "One more thing. If I were you, I'd focus less on Ryo and more on the tournament. You've only got one more day to practice, and you're going to have to be at your best if you want to beat him. Even you can't deny the fact that he's a great Tamer, Rika."
"Takato," she said sweetly, "get out of my sight before I shove those goggles down your throat!"
"Fine, but don't say I didn't warn you," Takato replied, turning and heading back towards the street.
Rika slowly sank to the ground again and stared sadly at her reflection in the pond. "I am going to beat Ryo, and I'm going to show him that it's not very nice to mess around with someone elses feelings!"
Although she would never admit it to Takato, she did care. She cared a lot.
It doesn't matter how many female fans Ryo has. He's going to find out that none of them are ever going to compare to me. I'm not the type of girl a guy tends to forget, and Mr. Legendary Tamer is about to learn that the hard way!
She had to beat Ryo. It was the only chance she had to get him to notice her again.