Phew, I finally got this fic posted. I have been working on it for a while, several weeks now, to be exact. Um, this is my first fic in a long while, and I just don't write much in general, so tell me something I don't already know. Yes, this is shounen-ai. (My first attempt at writing that too.) Anyone who wants to start to reconsider reading may do so.
Disclaimer: Oh, please. I don't even own the idea. Vulpixi Misa does. How sad is that? Kazuki Takahashi own Yuugiou, that I know. Not so sure if he also owns GX.
"Flame Wingman! Attack with Skyscraper Shoot!"
The winged monster's last attack reduced the life point meter to zero.
"Gotcha! That was a fun duel!" exclaimed young Yuuki Juudai, striking his two-fingered pose at his opponent.
"Tch. That was the fourth 'good duel' that you've won in a row," said Manjoume Jun as he re-gathered his cards and shuffled them to form a deck.
Dropping his fingers to the desk, Juudai began to gather his cards.
"I thought that was a pretty good duel. I would have lost if I didn't have The Warrior Returning Alive."
"It's not fun if you're the one to lose all the time..."
Juudai's face fell at his last comment. "Manjoume... Dueling isn't all about winning."
"Hmph, it's just the only thing that matters."
"Mm... How about a rematch?" Juudai offered, fire still in his eyes.
"How about not," the other boy stated, pushing himself away from the table.
"Aw, why not?" Juudai asked while he caught up with Manjoume.
"Let's just say you're one of the few people I'd rather not be with right now."
Juudai, who was once ready to respond, shut his lips. His eyes followed his rival's leaving form.
The brunette lingered behind for a while before he made up his mind and decided to tail Manjoume.
"Hey, Manjoume! Wait up!"
"What is it now?" he sighed, seeing that the other boy had chosen to follow him.
"Where are you headed for?" Juudai asked, oblivious to the other boy's harsh remark. He suddenly found his fingers fiddling with the ends of his side burns.
Manjoume stared at him with no specific emotion on his face, then turned back to the road.
"Why are you hanging around me anyway? Don't you have your two Osiris friends to bother?"
Still oblivious to his "insult," Juudai answered truthfully, "I think Shou and Hayato are somewhere with Misawa. Tutoring, I think."
Manjoume snorted and rolled his eyes.
"That was a rhetorical question..."
He trailed off as his gaze landed on Juudai twirling the ends of his hair. The brunette's actions reminded him of a shy school girl passively flirting with her crush. "Stop that," Manjoume demanded.
"Huh? What?" Juudai questioned. "What did I do?"
"Stop--" He slapped the hand that was entwined with his hazel strands. "--that."
"Oh, sorry," he mumbled, and shoved his hands into the pockets of his pants. The pair continued to stroll down the trail, shoes crunching against dirt and rubble.
"Hey, Manjoume. Where are we going?"
"We aren't going anywhere. I'm trying to get away."
"Away from what?"
"Away from you."
"...You don't mean that, do you?"
Manjoume stopped in his tracks and turned around to fully face Juudai. "Of course I do! Why the hell would I be saying it if I don't mean it! Geez, can't you take a hint? I don't want you here. Go away!"
Juudai was at a loss of words. Manjoume huffed angrily and continued on his way, making sure the other boy was left behind. He didn't see the hurt in the other boy's eyes. Juudai lowered his head to hide his pained expression.
"I'm sorry," escaped his lips.
Manjoume didn't hear that either.
Jars and glasses lined up across the shelves of the storage room, containing all sorts of strange things. A cat sat idly on top of a table near by, wagging its tail slowly back and forth. Its owner coughed from the dust flying everywhere while he moved around some boxes.
"It's been a while since we've cleaned this place, nya, Pharaoh?"
Pharaoh meowed lazily in response.
Daitokuji nodded to Pharaoh's answer, then proceeded to his renovation. His eyes then caught sight of a vial, one that looked oddly unfamiliar to him. He took the vial from the shelf, observing the contents within it.
"Nya, Pharaoh. Do you remember what this was for?" Daitokuji held out the bottle to show his languid pet.
"Mm-hmm, that's what I thought."
He set the vial atop of a cardboard box, then lifted it. Pharaoh leaped off the table to follow her owner as he left the storage room. While he was passing by the cafeteria to get to his classroom, Daitokuji suddenly remembered some test tubes and chemicals he needed for today's lesson. Quickly, he went to retrieve the equipment, leaving the box he was carrying on one of the cafeteria tables. The impact of the box being dropped caused the vial to roll around violently a few times, then tumble off the box. Luckily, the fallen container did not shatter. Minutes later, Daitokuji returned for the box, the vial left forgotten.
"Oi, Manjoume," Juudai greeted rather dully as the raven-haired boy entered.
Manjoume observed the figure sitting alone in the cafeteria before him. It wasn't hard to realize that the normally energetic boy was not acting like himself, especially if said boy with the normally huge appetite left his food untouched.
An idea struck him. If this doesn't get him, I'm not sure what else will. Juudai continued to stare absent-mindedly at the plate of crummy Osiris dorm food in front of him, that is, until he became aware of the hand reaching for his fried shrimp.
"Hey, that's mine!"
"I don't see you eating it." Manjoume popped a fried shrimp into his mouth, chewed, then swallowed.
Juudai slunk back on his seat and with a low grumble. The smirk already visible on Manjoume's face grew wider.
"What's wrong with you today? You're usually inhaling this stuff like a vacuum, along with everyone else's share," he stated plainly while he stuck a fried shrimp into the other's mouth.
Juudai blinked. Twice.
"Well, I better get going. I don't want to be seen hanging around you for too long."
As he turned around to exit, Manjoume's typical cocky grin slowly lessened to a small smile, one that was inconspicuous to the other. He walked out cooly, leaving the brunette alone once again.
A smile finally returned to Juudai's face, which quickly grew into his characteristic grin. At the moment, he looked a bit silly due to the shrimp tail sticking out through his teeth.
Juudai's enthusiasm revived along with his appetite. He grabbed the soy sauce dispenser, only to find it empty.
"Darn! How am I going to eat without flavoring?" he ranted to no one in particular.
On the center of the table, Juudai noticed a strange-looking vial containing a black fluid. Maybe Daitokuji-sensei left this for us 'cuz he noticed we were out of soy sauce. With a shrug, Juudai took the vial, poured some "seasoning" over his food, and began to scarf down, leaving the vial unclosed on the table. An uncareful arm, too caught up in shoving food down the owner's throat, accidentally knocked down the tiny bottle. Dark, black liquid oozed out of the vial and dispersed across the surface.
In a poor effort to clear the spill, Juudai grabbed a stack of napkins and laid them over the pool of "soy sauce." The liquid gradually seeped through. He let out a sigh of relief, picked up the cluster of soaked napkins, and tossed it into the garbage can.
"Aw, man! What a waste of good soy sauce!"
...although it did taste a bit funny.
Finishing up the last of his lunch, Juudai left his empty bowls on the table and headed out of the cafeteria.
Night time came sooner than expected. The cool summer breeze blew against the trees, snapping off a few of its flourished leaves. The night sky glowed with its numerous mounted stars. All students were, or should be, asleep in their respective dorms. A certain brunette quietly made his way to the bathroom in order not to wake up his two roommates. Trails of perspiration slid down his face and his breathing became unsteady. Taking a few sluggish steps, Juudai stepped out of the dorm room to catch some fresh air. At least out here, he would not feel so hot. His back slumped against the door, his body sliding down as he slowly lowered to the ground. He wrapped his arms around his legs, bringing them closer to his chest. It took a while for his mind to register the shadow that was stretched out across the floor before him. He directed his attention towards the shadow's owner.
"What are you doing up so late?" Juudai asked the only Osiris without the distinguishable red blazer in a dozed manner.
A scoff. "I'm a light sleeper, even with earplugs. All the other losers here at this dorm must be heavy sleepers because your door slam is loud enough to wake the dead. Besides, shouldn't I be asking you that question?" Manjoume replied in a tone that suggested how obvious the situation was.
"Huh? What question?"
Manjoume slapped a hand onto his face. "What are you doing up so late!" he reinforced, then remembered to lower his voice.
"Oh! I, uh, wanted to stargaze for a little while. The air out here is fresh and the stars are so pretty, especially during the summer."
Juudai concluded his answer with a weak grin, an attempt to conceal his ill state. He wasn't exactly lying. The summer skies created brighter shimmers for the dotted specks of stars. Manjoume, however, wasn't buying it.
Yeah, right. He's usually one to cherish his sleep.
He decided to not reiterate his thoughts out loud.
Juudai slowly arose and reached for the door knob. Just as he was about to touch the handle, Juudai felt a pain course through his head.
Manjoume caught the brunette before he could collapse. With some help, Juudai steadied himself.
"I'll be all right. Thanks, Manjoume."
A wave of his hand indicated his departure. The other hand gently shut the door behind him. All Manjoume could do was stare at Juudai's retreating silhouette, then at the smooth surface of the door reflecting the moonlight. A glint of concern shone on his eyes.
The rest of the night hadn't progressed so far without the twisting and turning of Juudai's limp figure underneath the smooth, silky sheets. His sweating was much more profuse and his breathing became more haggard. Eventually, he decided to get out of bed once more. He tried to walk in a straight line, but because his head was in too much of a haze, he moved wherever his feet brought him.
Juudai continued to stumble clumsily across the room. His vision was blurred, impairing his ability to make out where he was going.
His surroundings were splotched with all different shades of green. When he was finally able to stand still, he recognized the green objects as the trees in the forest outside of Duel Academia. Juudai wasn't sure how the heck he ended up outside of the dorm, but the tightening pain in his stomach restrained any further wondering. Leaning up against the closest tree he spotted, Juudai emptied the contents of his gastric cavity. Vomiting left his head in a spin. Holding onto the tree for support, he turned back to face the dorm. But before Juudai could take another step forward, the world around him blacked out.
Eh... I wasn't really satisfied with how I wrote this chapter. It'd be smarter to write things chronologically, but being me... I'm not sure whether Pharaoh's a he or a she. I think I remember the gang referring Pharaoh as a girl in the dub, though I could be wrong.
I also realized how vague this chapter was. I apologize for making the settings so poor. I'm not sure how Juudai and Manjoume can just end up alone in the same room together, but that was completely uncalled for! I swear! (Or was it...?) I'd be an idiot not to include the other characters. They'll be in the next chapter. Please don't fry me for writing out of character! -hides-
The name of the fic comes from a flower in a game. Chips for anyone who knows what video game I'm talking about... and where the story is headed for!
Some criticism would be nice... and helpful. Um... review?