DR (That is me!): Ok, I'm in the middle of finals, and two months of complete leisure are around the corner (even though the possibility of studying during holidays is imminent). If you thought the "Chosen" series would keep me busy…well, you're wrong! Yes, yes, I've got to finish "The Dragon Emperor" and "The Last Sorcerer", and then I've got to write at least another two stories to put a good ending to that series, but, hey! I've got this cool idea I've been dying to do, so, here it is, a…
Takato/Rika: …Rukato story!
DR: Yeah, what they said…anyway, now that my two main characters are here, why don't we start this already? And by the way, now that you are here, why don't you do the disclaimer?
Rika: *sighs* Daneel Dumb here doesn't own Digimon, which is a good reason to wake up with a smile on your face every day.
Takato: *laughs until my death glare shuts him up* Oh! And he wants to dedicate this story (and the ones yet to come) to all of the Rukato fans out there, especially to the best Rukato writers he has read. This fic is especially dedicated to Digidestined of Courage…
Rika: …formerly known as Tai Kamiya…
Takato: …and Flamegaruru.
DR: Here we go! And Rukato forever!
With the Help of a Gogglehead…
Takato Matsuki took off his goggles before the warm sun of summer melted them (or his face, who knows?). As I'm gonna tell you a story about him, I'd better remind you who this guy is. The problem is, everybody knows who he is, which can be kind of annoying…anyway, that day, as he did most of the days that summer, he was on his way to the comic store, to buy some new Digimon Cards. Being such a… well, pathetic player, he had to get new cards with cash, rather than with skill. But, obviously, Takato didn't care about that. After all, if those card players one day saw a real Diaboromon, they'd probably freak out. But, would he? Of course not! He is a Digimon Tamer! Well…used to be…
"Gee, life can really suck…"
After a fast finger-count, Takato realized it had been almost four months since the final separation. Everything he could ever be proud of disappeared that day, the day Guilmon left him. Now, he was nothing but a normal 12-years-old kid, and he hated that. But all of those thoughts disappeared the moment he crossed the main door, and walked inside the store, amazed by the new collection of Digimon Cards, Option Cards, Takato was finally in heaven. But what really got his attention was this huge poster on one of the walls.
Join now! The Ultimate Digimon Card Game competition! Kids from all of Japan; take your cards and win some serious cash! (Well, it wasn't exactly like that, but you get the idea…)
"Wanna join?" The man in charge of the store, who will be from now referred as…man in charge of the store, said. Takato just sighed in frustration, as the thoughts he had left outside of the store finally made their way in.
"I don't stand a chance…"
"The prize is 100000 yen, my friend." The guy said replied. Takato's answer?
"Who-ho-ho-whoa! Are you serious? Man, that's…that's…one hundred thousand!"
Takato's mind immediately began to work, thinking about what our goggle-headed friend would do with that amount of money. And that takes us to Takato's second, yeah, second, problem…
*In Takato's weird and psychedelic mind*
Takato was wearing a extremely expensive, extremely cool Armani suit: black pants, black tie, black jacket, white shirt. In front of him, an incredibly gorgeous woman wearing a tight, blue, sparkling dress going from below her shoulders to her ankles. His hair was correctly combed, and he didn't have the goggles, of course. Hers was flowing down, a little past her shoulders. They were in a big dance room, barely illuminated, but enough to create a mystic, romantic atmosphere. Suddenly, Takato put one hand in his pocket, and took off a little box. Imagine the woman's surprise when Takato revealed the contents of the box. A beautiful ring, with a big, heart-shaped diamond on the top.
"I've loved you since the day I met you, and my life doesn't mean anything without you. The only thing I want is to be with you, for the rest of my life. Rika, would you marry me?"
Rika's violet eyes sparkled with a shining happiness and she jumped to the arms of the man she loved.
"Oh, of course I'll marry you, Takato!"
Takato slowly placed his arms around her waist and pulled her closer. Their eyes met for a while, until Rika's eyes closed, waiting for the magic moment. Takato leaned closer to her waiting lips. Closer, closer…almost there…
Ah, the biggest dreamer…yep…oh, anyway! Back to the real world…
Takato slowly opened his eyes, looking for the person who had interrupted his fantasy, just to meet a pair of violet eyes. Rika's eyes. In flesh. The real one. Obviously, the reaction was instantaneous.
Takato jumped back until he hit the counter, at the same moment all of his body's blood moved to his face. The Rika he had in front of him looked very different from his "dream" Rika. She had her hair in her "unique" style, and her heart-breaker t-shirt proudly covered her body. And the look, well…let's not talk about the look. The last time Takato had seen Rika, more than a month ago, had been result of a complete coincidence, pretty much like this one, too. But, at least, to Takato's eyes, she looked as beautiful as he remembered. Of course, there was absolutely no way he would say that aloud in front of her, unless he wanted a slow and painful death. The only day he would tell her about his secret crush would be the day she became a nice person; that is, never. However, he knew that behind that cold, quiet and almost frightening exterior, there was a nice, caring and charming woman, and releasing Rika's real self was his long-term objective. At least the whole Digimon adventure had been a good start. In the meantime, Rika was waiting for Takato to calm down, and his face to regain its usual color (not red).
"Ah, ahem…Rika! Long time no see! Um…what's up?" Nice move, Takato…
"Yeah, hi." Rika said coldly, which is pretty much the way she says everything, so I'll omit that word from now on.
"So…hmm…what brings you here?" Takato said, as cheerfully as he could. Rika just raised an eyebrow.
"I came to bring this." She said, showing a big, white paper, which she handed to the man behind the counter. The guy read the paper and smiled with a big grin.
"Oh! Of course, of course! Good luck in the contest, Miss Nonaka, although I don't think you need any luck." Rika just looked at him and walked out of the store. But good-old Takato wouldn't stay behind, noooo….ten seconds later, Rika found him walking next to her, not that she cared much about it, though.
"So, you will be in the competition, won't you?"
"Yeah." Our favorite female tamer replied.
"I know you'll win. I mean it, you're pretty good!" Takato said, with the intention of making a conversation. The longer, the better.
"…thanks." Rika, lady of few words, replied. But Takato knew how to distinguish feelings on that cold, expressionless face of hers. He knew Rika was worried. And he also knew the reason, probably because it was in front of him.
Hirokazu Shiota, Kenta Kitagawa and Ryo Akiyama were walking in Takato and Rika's direction, Ryo holding a paper just like the one Rika had given to the Comic Store guy. Takato didn't know if he had to hold Rika's hand or run away as fast as possible when he noticed the expression in her face. Yeah, Ryo may be a fellow Tamer. Yeah, he may have helped them with the whole D-Reaper thing. But Rika still despised him as if Ryo were the most hideous, repugnant, horrible thing in the world. And that was the reason Takato was jealous of him. Gee, love makes us feel weird stuff, doesn't it? But it was a good reason, after all, Rika at least gated Ryo, but she treated Takato with such neutrality it was almost annoying. Yes, Takato and Rika had their moments as Tamers, but those days were over, and Rika, without a Renamon to make things more comfortable, had returned to her normal, epitome-of-coldness self. So, Takato did the only thing he could think of. He smiled.
"Hey, guys, what's up?" Takato asked. It was easy to chat with them, as Kazu and Kenta were his classmates. And Ryo, well, he was Ryo, and everyone knows who Ryo Akiyama is…you do, right?
"Look! Ryo is about to enter the Digimon Card Game Contest! And he's gonna win, of course!" And that did it. Takato had been keeping it to himself, but eventually, he had to say it.
"No, he's not!" he shouted, and that took everyone by surprise. After an awkward silence, Kenta finally spoke.
"Well, but you'll support hi, won't you, Takato?"
"Well…I CAN support him, but my bet goes to Rika!" Takato could hear her sigh right behind him. Immediately, Ryo, Kazu and Kenta understood and sighed in relief.
"Oh, of course! Rika…yep, you've got to help Rika…of course…" Kazu joked while nudging and winking. Is it THAT obvious? Takato thought with a slight blush. "But let's make a bet!" Kazu continued. "10000 yens to Ryo. You bet to Rika. Okay?"
But (and let's thank God for it) before Ryo or Takato could say something, Rika finally spoke.
"Weren't you walking with me, Gogglehead?"
"Was I?" Takato said suspiciously.
"YES, YOU WERE!" Rika said with a glare which carried an obvious message: "We're getting out of here!"
"Oh, yeah, right…sorry guys, but I'm making her company until she return to her house, so, see ya!" he concluded, with words that made him receive an even worse glare from the Digimon Queen. A minute later, after ignoring Ryo's eyes and Kazu's yelling ("I'll call you, Takato!"), our favorite couple (well, at least MY favorite couple) was walking through the crowded streets of West Shinjuku. Who would have thought Rika would be the one who broke the silence?
"What the hell were you thinking, Goggles!?" Takato replied with a sentence that made me think they had switched places for a second.
"That's not of your business, Queenie." Rika shot him a glare that could have killed me! Twice!
"QUEENIE! What kind of insult was that!? That's the name you would use for a…for a…for a horse!"
For a second, Takato thought he was going to die. He had mocked Rika Nonaka, and that's usually a deadly mistake. So he did the thing most people do in the face of death (or when you hear a good joke, not like the ones in this fic ^_^). He laughed. A lot.
"Now what's so funny, Gogglehead?"
"Some things never change, Rika, don't you think so?"
Takato couldn't help but blush with Rika's reaction. She had smiled. After all, he deserved it. He had reminded her of the old times. Those months that she considered (even if she wouldn't admit it in front of him) the best of her life. Just like Takato, her life had been worthy as she battled side to side with Renamon. She remembered everything with such detail. The good things, the bad things, the so-so things, memories she would cherish forever, and she knew she wasn't the only one who felt like her. The boy next to her was the living proof.
"Some things never change…" Rika said softly.
"Yeah, like…your heart beating faster with the upcoming battle…" Takato began.
"The electricity flowing through your body…" Rika said dreamily.
"The tickle in your hands when you slashed a card…"
"The fire in my eyes…"
"The connection with my partner…" Takato said as he leaned closer to Rika.
"Two hearts beating at the same time…" Rika whispered, as the magnetism slowly attracted her to the male Tamer.
"The incredible experience of bio-merging…" Takato said, almost inaudibly. When he noticed how awfully close he was to Rika, the magic disappeared, as his face changed through a variety of shades of red. Obviously, Rika noticed it too, and very quickly she moved aside, realizing they were already near her house.
"Well…" she said loudly, avoiding Takato's eyes, as she didn't want him to see the light pink on her cheeks. "I'll guess we separate here…"
Takato forced himself to nod after he saw Rika's house in the distance. "Yeah, I guess…well…"
"See you later, Rika, and…good luck."
Rika forced her feet to walk away of the confused Takato, who couldn't help but look at his dream girl walking away from him. Who knows when would they see each other again? While Takato considered the possibilities, and mentally kicked himself for not being able to ask her out, Rika had thoughts of her own. For a moment, she had connected with someone, and in her case, that says A LOT. But, she was the Digimon Queen, Empress of Ice. She couldn't have…anything. After all, her only family is a computer-crazed grandma and a mother who is her exact opposite. How could she identify with someone? However…
Takato was very surprised when Rika stopped to look at him. From the distance, Rika made a proposal that made him skip a beat.
"Hmm…I was wondering…I'll need someone to practice the card game with. I'm a little rusty…would you mind coming to my house tomorrow at…let's say…nine o'clock?"
Takato mentally turned back the last ten seconds of his life, to make sure he had heard the right words. Was Rika actually inviting him to her house? Ah, the possibilities…Well, that's one less thing to my "It's not gonna happen" list…so, what should I do…gee, Takato, get those thoughts out of your mind! This is everything but a date! She's just been nice…wait a second…nice!?
"Sure! Why not? After all, I need to lower my self-esteem a little. What better than being defeated a couple dozens of times at the Card Game to do that?" Rika released a sudden laugh after that. Even if it was short, it was something, and Takato showed her his best Matsuki grin.
"Well, then. See you tomorrow, Gogglehead." She said after retuning to her usual self. Takato just watched her walk away, and only started walking when his eyes lost her sight, because he wanted her to be out of his shouting range before he said the final word.
Takato: Score, baby!
DR: Rika…did you just giggle?
Rika: WHAT!? Of course NOT!
DR: Anyway. I hope the readers liked this chapter, and I hope I get some reviews…3 would be more than enough…
Takato: Easy to satisfy, aren't we?
DR: Shut up, Yoda. The problem is, it's kind of difficult to write a Tamers fic without the Digimon, so I think this fic won't be as good as I would want it to be. Anyway, the Digimon should be back in the next fic…
Rika: There! I knew it!
Rika: You have the sequel syndrome! You've always got to write a sequel, don't you!?
DR: Well, yeah…but why do you complain? The more fics I write, more mushy Rukato-ness you'll find, and that makes everyone happy, including you… *Evil Grin*
DR: Anyway, stay tuned for the next Digimon: Digital Monsters! Yeah, right…
Next Chapter: Will Takato actually find a chance to use this new opportunity to get closer to Rika? And how will he react when he "accidentally" finds out the contest is already fixed? And the most important question: will we get to see another of Takato's ridiculous fantasies? Find out on the next chapter of Card-O-Rama!