Disclaimer: I do not own Digimon

Summary: If he's not a rival, what is he?

Kudou Taiki was destined to be my ultimate rival from the moment I saw him. He just didn't know it yet.

I strove to match his achievements, and overcome them. It became my life's ambition to have this boy acknowledge me as his rival. So in preparation for that day, I trained myself as best I could, all with this single goal in mind.

To find that Taiki himself didn't want a rival was a rude awakening.

Or not so much that he didn't want a rival, but rather didn't understand the purpose of having one, and that was beyond my comprehension. I had misjudged him, and now was forced to realise that his ambition was directed, not towards his own betterment, but how his talents could be used to help others. He seemed to have no competitive spirit whatsoever.

His reasons were different from mine. I wanted to be recognised for my contributions, and Taiki simply wished for his to make others happy. It could have been considered selfishness on my part that I did not possess such a selfless disposition, but he was a freak of nature, when few people were as uncharacteristically giving.

No matter what I did, how I tried to rile him, it was all to no avail, and he remained good humoured and clueless. It was enough to drive him mad.

Our abrupt ascent into the Digital World on that extraordinary day brought forth another realisation, that Taiki's ambition would once more be directed towards bringing an end to the war that ravaged this world. I would have considered Shoutmon a rival in commandeering this drive so effortlessly, but he was content to be Taiki's subordinate, and follow his orders.

I began to realise that I might have to be satisfied with the same. Then a bamboo shoot came and knocked some sense into me.

Bravado aside, I was petrified to find myself dangling from the anomaly of plant life, countless feet too high in the air for comfort. I could do nothing but call down to the others, and be of no help at all to them. Until I saw the shining ground, and Taiki saw opportunity.

He trusted me when I didn't trust myself to be able to hit it, and with his confidence I destroyed Drimogemon. Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad to be the one that gave him advice, when he was unsure of what to do. He seemed to trust me enough for that at least.

He might not wish to be my rival, but he makes a pretty good equal and friend.