Edo Phoenix had never really welcomed the prospect of friendship. The only true friend he could brag of was a misanthropic fortuneteller going by the name of Saiou Takuma—though he was currently in bad terms with said fortuneteller upon discovering he was solely being used to promote the existence of the Hikari no Kessha.
But all his plans flew out the window when it suddenly began to rain and Edo found himself dashing through the first door he laid eyes on. Within moments, he realized he had just entered 'the white room' belonging to none other than Saiou Takuma. He inwardly moaned.
Nonetheless he was forced to stay here for the abrupt change in weather called for sacrifices to be made. His suit was dry clean only and apparently this was the closest shelter available at the time. In all cases, Edo preferred being dry and comfortable rather than being stuck outside in the rain even if it meant having to be in the same scope with a man he deeply loathed. (Though not as much as Juudai.)
Edo didn't know the real name for this particular room the two currently resided in, but all six sides of the room were spotless white so it was only logical for a space with such an intense emphasize on an achromatic color to be named, 'the white room'. The entire place radiated a mysterious, quixotic aura; the ceilings rose far above his head and silver ball-mirrors hung from them. There was a glass table in the center of the room where a white and blue clad figure was sitting, his tall frame unusually rigid. Edo crossed his arms and leaned against the whitewashed wall.
"I hate them," he muttered, hoping Saiou could sympathize with the horrors he just faced. "I hate those loons so much."
To his surprise, Saiou didn't respond with a scornful reply which was what he had expected from the older man. Edo tore his eyes away from the orb-decorated ceiling and shot a curious glance at his ex-manager.
Saiou was biting his lower lip, ignoring that his vampire carnies were piercing through his skin because right now no amount of pain in the world could distract him from the words written on the page. One hand was cupped over his mouth which was wide open in mute horror, while the fingers of his other hand clutched an official-looking letter. Saiou was scanning the words printed on the paper so quickly it looked as if his amethyst eyes were blurring like purple marker streaks on construction paper.
"…I…I don't think I can handle being called this," he finally said, blankly, as if he didn't hear Edo's words. His voice was hollow and tentative and lacked its usual tasteful quality, but at least it suggested that he acknowledged Edo's presence in the room.
Saiou's expression was a combination of bewilderment and acrimony, which Edo found rather humorous. "I'm sorry, I wasn't listening," he said with a seemingly naïve smirk. "What did you say?"
Saiou swung around to face Edo and jabbed a finger at the letter he was holding.
"…how…in the world did 4kids get the name Sartorius—Sartorius?" he exclaimed, shaking the piece of paper. "I mean, what is so defiantly wrong with the name Saiou Takuma? It's not particularly hard to enunciate on the native tongue nor is it something extremely oriental sounding such as, 'Tenjoin Fubuki' or 'Marufuji Ryou'!"
Silent amusement lit up Edo's eyes. "Did you say Sartorius?" he repeated, thus crossing over the boundaries of a simple conversation to profound mocking.
Saiou responded with a curt nod.
Edo burst out laughing. He clutched his stomach and bent over in hysterical laughter, his voice bouncing off the pristinely white walls of the room. Saiou didn't find this all too entertaining. After four minutes of continuous laughter, he began to grow slightly irked, not to mention a bit perturbed.
"Is there something amusing about my alleged English name, Edo?" he demanded.
"N-no—I mean, yes—YES!" Edo finally gasped between bursts of laughter. "Sartorius is a muscle of the human body! You're named after a muscle!" He wiped a tear from his eye and let out another chuckle before returning to his usual confident posture. He placed a fist on his hip and shook a few strands of hair away from his eyes. "The Sartorius is a long thin muscle that runs down the length of the thigh. Its upper portion forms the lateral border of the femoral triangle."
"You know when you ask me to give you a blowjo—"
"—I thought you were supposed to be covered in expired milk like the script says. And isn't your crotch supposed to be a flaming stick of fire?" Saiou snapped.
"We threw my inconveniencies into a plot hole because the author can't continue standing write her favorite character in pain."
"It's not like the creators of Yuugiou Genex don't do that either. Look at what happened to Hell Kaiser—sorry, I mean, Zane Truesdale."
"Don't start making fun of Marufuji-san seeing as your name isn't any better, Aster Phoenix."
Edo snorted. "Saiou, please. Do you honestly think the folks down at 4Kids are worried whether or not the seven-year-olds can pronounce our names while attempting to cosplay our outfits and copy our decks?" Edo closed his eyes and tapped his forehead with his index finger. "I mean, just look at my name. Do you think 'Edward' is hard to pronounce for the westerners? Nah, our names are decided based on how cool the typical American teenager views them to be. Apparently 'Aster' outranks 'Edward' on the coolness scale."
"Yes, Aster of Disaster totally pawns boring ol' Edward, dawg," Saiou commented stiffly, holding up a dull peace sign that completely unsuited his ghetto slang. "Aster's all bling bling."
Smiling humorously, Edo struck a faux gangster pose. "Oh, is that how you want it, homie? Let's get your posse face off against my posse and dip it low until the cows come home!"
"Fishizzle my nizzle, yo."
"Can I order a cup of win, waiter?"
For the next few moments, the most awkward silence known to mankind lingered in the atmosphere. Edo withdrew from his gaudy pose and stared at Saiou who now wore an expression that suggested he wanted to do nothing more than to take the chair he was currently sitting on, smash a hole in the wall, and jump out of said hole. Edo had to admit Saiou's floored expression was hilarious especially when it was accompanied with a peace sign. He sure as Hell didn't see a super villain acting like this everyday. Damn, what a waste of a good Kodak moment—he totally should have brought a camera with him!
Saiou blinked. This conversation had gotten so ridiculously random that it was really beginning to hurt his brain. He had to erase all of this now.
"The past five minutes did not just exist—do you understand me, Edo Phoenix?" he hissed in the sternest, threatening manner he could muster up with dignity after posing to be a wannabe gangster.
Edo made a noncommittal noise. "Whatever floats your boat, Sartorius."
Saiou scowled. "Alright, alright…enough fun and games. Your name is a pun of the human butt cheeks—"
"—actually, it's a flower—"
"—shut up—and my name is after a human muscle but what about the others? What about him?" He held up a tarot card depicting 'The Strength.' "This Kenzan boy? Surely…" he started off, sounding a bit hopeful.
Edo felt as if it was his duty to crush this false hope.
Well, the Americans had to show some decency towards the French…right? "But Napoleon is Napoleon, yes?"
"No, Napoleon is Jean-Louise Bonaparte."
Saiou was losing his patience very, very quickly. "Ran?"
Forget it—his patience was already in shreds of multicolored confetti paper. "Houzan?"
"Reginald van Howell the Third."
There was a pause. Now THAT was some heavy English.
"To retain whatever is left of my sanity, please tell me they kept dear Princess Rose…as Princess Rose!" Saiou pleaded with such despair in his tone, Edo actually felt a bit of pity towards the diviner. But the pity vanished instantly when Saiou lowered his voice by a few decibels and muttered, "Names don't get any more English than that."
"…names don't get any more English than 'Edward' either," Edo grumbled, his eyes half-lidded in annoyance. "Don't bother berating me. I have no control over 4Kids, mind you."
His face remained expressionless while he took some time to absorb this. Saiou opened his mouth, looking rather insolent. "I still believe this to be wholly unfair. My honored family name—Saiou—is degraded to some snowboarding company!" His eyes dilated. "What will Mizuchi say about this? What will her name be?" he gasped in horror.
Edo shrugged. "Probably 'Serena' or something mystical like that. Maybe they'll name her after a Bishojo Senshi Sailor Moon character," he added in blandly.
Bloody daggers were shot in his direction. "What are the chances she'll retain her family name?" Saiou asked sharply.
"Slim to none. 'Mizuchi' is harder to pronounce than 'Daitokuji' by a long shot," came Edo's casual reply.
"And Yuuki-san got his name got off the hook with only a few letters replaced?"
Edo's irritation stirred slightly with the mention of that blasted fool but he shrugged it off again. "That's Juudai-sempai for you."
Saiou felt his anger rise. This wasn't fair! It just wasn't! "Let's see what destiny has to say about this!" he challenged.
Edo rolled his eyes. "You're such a Neji Hyuuga. DESTINY. DESTINY. DESTINY. FATE. FATE. FATE. You could even put Isis and her Sennen Tauk out of business with all that destiny talk of yours…"
Overlooking the Naruto and Yuugiou references, Saiou began to set up the order of his tarot cards with some slightly miffed hand motions. Edo returned to his place against the wall and folded his arms across his chest, looking coolly at the older man's actions. All that could be heard was the shuffling of cardboard being moved around and the muffled sound of thunder crackling outside.
"What is it?" Edo pressed him after a short while of no verbal reply. "The Chariot? Wheel of Fortune? The Death?"
Saiou wordlessly flipped over a card.
Fed up with the fortuneteller's lack of a proper response, Edo strutted over to where Saiou was sitting. He peeked over Saiou's shoulder and examined the neat array of cards until he found the one the clairvoyant was staring deeply at. Edo covered his mouth with a sleeve to suppress his snickering.
"…why do you have a Pocket Monsters card with your tarots?"
"To be more specific, why did you flip up a Koiking?"
His left eye twitched tremendously. Without a word of warning, Saiou flung himself to his feet, his entire body running on rage. He crushed the slip of cardboard and hurled it as far as he could to the other side of the room—in which before it touched the ground, his eyes glowed and it exploded into flames.
Edo calmly took a step away from him.
Saiou resumed his original position and growled darkly under his breath. His pressed the tips of his fingers together and stared at the would-be card in front of him, plans of torture and chaotic murder formulating furiously in his head as the seconds ticked by. You will pay for your aggravating antics, Yuuki Juudai, he fumed wrathfully. How DARE you mess up my sacred tarot cards!
As if destiny suddenly sensed his exasperation and decided to respond, the door swung wide open. A un-white Manjyome and a chuckling Juudai strolled in ever-so-causally, completely ignoring the fact they were supposed to be in the Osiris dorms due to the stormy weather, rather than in Saiou's private room whose existence shouldn't even have been part of Juudai's memory in the first place. The fortuneteller inwardly groaned and slapped a hand over his face. Canon-breaking fools.
"Well, there goes the fourth wall…" he commented with a not-Saiou-like sweatdrop.
Edo turned around. "Sempai, what are you doing here...?"
The silver-haired boy was cut short as the so-called 'Manjyome Jun' and 'Yuuki Juudai' began shouting at each other. Upon the spot, however, it became obvious to both Saiou and Edo these two were NOT the people they knew. It was sad, it was painful, it was tortuous—and they both had no choice but to suffer through it.
"Oh really, you Slifer slacker?"
Manjyome's chest puffed out.
"Yeah really, the Chazz."
Juudai shot him the 'Gotcha!' sign.
Saiou peeked through his fingers.
A piece of Edo died.
The pair of second season characters exchanged all-knowing glances.
"Any complaints against binding their limbs and shoving them in the closet?" the younger boy asked, looking away from the embarrassing scene.
Saiou stood up and cracked his knuckles. "None whatsoever."
A few minutes later, 'Jaden' and 'Chazz' were unconscious, bound together around their torsos, and hanging upside down in the spare closet conveniently located to the left of 'the white room'. Saiou dusted his hands off and smirked, feeling proudly successful for the first time in a very long while. He hadn't even broken into a sweat holding down these sad excuses for canon characters!
"It serves these fools right for messing with a Saiou," he boasted. "Hell hath no fury like a diviner scorned."
Edo appeared next to Saiou. He didn't have a single scratch on his body or his dry-clean only suit.
"Saiou," he began very seriously. "As a boy who you've looked over after his father's death, I have to tell you as an old friend and respected colleague that scorned diviners do not fit into the context of this situation…whatsoever."
Untroubled, the Pro League duelist dug his pinky into his ear, rotated it and removed some earwax. He stared at it in disgust before flicking it off his finger. Then Edo turned his attention to the comatose dub characters and stared at them broodingly.
"This just occurred to me—if we just knocked 'Jaden' and 'Chazz' out cold, who's going to play 'Jaden' and 'Chazz' as their substitutes?"
Wearing a face-faulted visage, Saiou raised his index finger and monotonously declared, "…the past five minutes did not just exist, do you understand me, Edo Phoenix? Shut up. It didn't exist."
"That's going to be a bit hard to come by with," Edo retaliated with a roughish grin. "Somebody needs to replace Jaden and—"
"—no, no, no," Saiou interrupted bitingly. He spun around and shoved two hands in Edo's face His gaze darted wildly around, as if he was searching for the nonexistent duel spirits in the room. "Jaden? What Jaden? Who sees a Jaden? I don't see a Jaden. Do you see a Jaden?"
Saiou shot an intense glare at Edo, who in turn, tilted his head and looked back. A staring contest ensued with Saiou and his blazing glare of doom battling against innocence phoenix eyes. Seconds added up and eventually turned into a minute…then two minutes…three…four…until finally Saiou could no longer keep his gaze steady and blinked. Edo continued to stare at him with an unwavering gaze. Greatly frustrated by his failure against a boy younger than him, the fortuneteller took a deep breath and shook his head.
"I need to get laid…" Saiou muttered and turned around, walking out of his whitewashed room without another glance at the victorious time lord.
Edo finally let his eyes take a breather and beamed. The silver-haired duelist decided he really liked Saiou when Saiou wasn't ranting about the light and how the world needed to be purified like some obsessed madman bent on world annihilation using outer space weapons of mass destructions. Maybe they could be friends again, just maybe. With the same bright smile still plastered on his face, Edo ambled after Saiou's trembling form and closed the door behind him.
"Whatever floats your boat, Sartorius…"
Yeah. Just maybe.