The Difference Between Living and Living Well
Disclaimer: I have no delusions of owning Ruki, Ryo or anything related to Digimon.
Spoiler Warning: This story contains some spoilers from the last episode of Digimon Tamer.
Well, I went and did it again... I got her mad at me. Sometimes I think I'm subconsciously doing this on purpose... that I enjoy it in a kinda masochistic way. If it wasn't that way, you would think that I would know how to avoid it by now, with the amount of the time I've spent with her and how closely I watch her when I get a chance to. Which isn't as often as I'd like to, admittedly. I'm pretty sure she tries to avoid me when I come to town. It's probably good that I live in a different city... otherwise, we'd probably both go insane. For different reasons.
Actually, I take pride in the fact that I can provoke such a strong reaction from her by a simple action or a few misplaced words... or sometimes just by being around when she doesn't want me to be. She always has _something_ to say to me. It makes me feel special. (There's that masochism springing up again.) We've both gotten better since we met in the Digital World. I try to avoid subjects that she's sensitive about and she... well, she tolerates my presence at the least, and at the best...
She smiled at me. Once. It was a few months ago. We were at Lee's apartment. They like to use me coming to town as an excuse to get together. I don't really mind. It's always good to see all of them. Sometimes I feel a little out of place because I'm so much older than they are... but, the things we have in common... age doesn't matter. Anyway, Shuichon was having a card battle with Hirokazu. It was the first time I had seen her in action. Although the Digimon card game had lost some of it's popularity after D-Reaper, it still had it's strong fans and players. Shuichon was one of them. She had begun to pick it up soon after our partners had returned to the Digital World. I think it was part of her way of dealing with the loss of Lopmon. During the game, I did notice that she had Lopmon's entire evolution line up to Cherubimon and the Queen's Device card that I gave her. Ruki and I were both watching the proceedings with a critical eye. So absorbed was she in the game that she didn't object when I sat down next to her. She made some comment to herself... I don't remember what, but I responded. And she answered back. And we had an entire conversation while watching the battle without any sort of anger. The only conflicts came from slight disagreements on strategy. Ruki had been helping Shuichon improve in the game and was obviously proud of her student. When the younger girl finally won the match, much to Hirokazu's disappointment, I complimented Ruki on her coaching ability. Then, she turned to me and _bang_! Even remembering it give me that tingling feeling.
That's why I wouldn't be able to live in the same city as her... I wouldn't be able to resist the desire to see things like that all the time.
I feel a little like a pervert sometimes... not that I would do anything with her beyond the occasional flirty comment. But, I mean, what other sixteen-year-old, high-school junior is attracted to a twelve-year-old girl just barely out of elementary school? And has been since she was ten! Although, at that time, it wasn't her looks that attracted me to her. Not that she wasn't cute, with her tough-girl, ice queen attitude. She was just so... young.
She was the first person that I'd seen in months. When I went up to introduce myself, she seemed familiar, but I couldn't quite place her. I could tell that she was really annoyed at me. Now I know that she had, and still has, a lot of pride and _really_ didn't want to be a rescued damsel. And I wasn't trying to save a damsel in distress... I was just trying to help another Tamer. And Cyberdramon wanted to fight. Cyberdramon... I wonder what he's doing... Anyway, she got mad at me (and Hirokazu and Kenta) and left. I was worried about her... the wild of the Digital World was a dangerous place. But I had a feeling that she'd be okay. Still, the sound of her voice when she left lingered in my mind... when I had a spare moment to think, that is. But I found myself wondering, before I fell asleep at night, if she'd found her friends and other things along those lines. Nothing big, just general concern for a comrade in arms in the Digital World. Right.
Then, when I saw her next at the crevice where we first encountered D-Reaper... she just _had_ to go down that hole! Although I was annoyed and worried about her, I couldn't help admiring her bravery. I followed her... I mean, I couldn't let her face whatever was down there alone. Then, she took the leap of faith that was necessary to become Sakuyamon. I think I can safely say that everyone there was impressed. Sakuyamon truly showed Ruki's soul... a strong, confident, powerful warrior, yet compassionate, graceful and beautiful at the same time.
Later, during the final battle with D-Reaper, is where I think I truly, finally fell for her. I asked for her power... for her to give it up and join it with mine in a last ditch attempt to destroy Shinigami Reaper. I'm not sure if I really expected her to go along with it. But, she did. Ruki, who so valued her strength and independence, trusted me enough to let herself become nearly defenseless in order to aid me. Even though the attack didn't work as hoped, I won something that day.
That's why I can't let myself be around her too much but also why I can't stop seeing her either. Even through all the times that she gets annoyed and yells at me or is conveniently required to go to a photo shoot with her mother the only day I am in town, I know she trusts me. And she isn't quite so young anymore. She is still only twelve but it is a beautiful twelve (and she would kill me if I said that out loud!) She is growing and will only become more attractive, both inside and out, as time goes on.
This is where I get uncomfortable and feel like a pervert... because I keep anticipating that. Maybe by then, she'll be more accepting of my company. Because you can get along fine by yourself but so many things are so much better when shared. Even being on the losing side of an argument (there's that masochistic side showing again...)
Ah well... one can only hope. Until then, let's see if I can get her to speak to me before I go home again.
Author's Notes: sigh and I wanted to go to sleep early tonight... but my new (as in about five hours old) muse wouldn't let me go until I wrote this... and I'm not entirely sure how it turned out. I've never tried to write Digimon, let alone Ryo, and I don't know if I got his voice right. He's a hard boy to figure out. Anyway, I wrote this partially because I heard the song called "Living and Living Good" by George Strait for the first time today (that's where I got the title) and it screamed to me Ryo/Ruki, partially because I had heard people complain on message boards about the lack of Strong! Ruki in Ryoki fics and partially because I've been wanting to write something Digimon for a long time. While Ruki isn't the narrator of this story, Ryo is attracted to Strong! Ruki. So, Strong! Ruki Ryoki fic. ^_^ This is also the fastest fic I've ever written, especially considering I wrote it longhand in pencil first. (!_!)