Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. It's a good thing, too. I'd never be able to produce new manga issues on a schedule.

You Can't Have Brains!

Bastion was walking by Jaden's room when he heard something quite strange. Well, stranger than usual.

"That would mean y = 32.36472. Oh, I forgot to incorporate the rest of the variables into the equation. So, let's see… That would equate x to 4,652.649735 which would leave me with ∞+∆-μ³÷34π, provided I used the correct trigonometric functions while I was computing at four a.m. last night."

For a normal person, this wouldn't be quite as weird- but Jaden can't do much more than basic addition, subtraction, and multiplication for calculating life points and attack points.

Bastion burst into the room, hoping to the gods that he wasn't delusional.

There sat Jaden, holding a calculator and scribbling something into a notebook. From the looks of it, he had filled half of the notebook with equations of various difficulties, ranging from basic algebra to advanced calculus.

Jaden looked up at the intrusion. "Oh, hello, Bastion. Just the person I wanted to see. Could you help me with this dimensional altitude equation? I ran into a problem at the part where I need to subtract the value of theta from the circumference of the third circle while keeping in mind the apothem of the dodecagon. I know you're the smartest guy here and you're a true genius, so you would know how to solve this really easily, wouldn't you?"

While flattered by the compliment to his intellect, Bastion honestly couldn't comprehend what on Earth Jaden was talking about. Instead of voicing this out loud, he stated, "It appears that I'm not the only genius around here."

At this, Jaden blinked confusedly. "Oh, well, it's nothing really. Genii don't have much use of their intellect when attending a dueling school. I guess I just forgot I ever had a brain when I stopped using it."

"Nonsense! I use my brain every day to assist in my victories." Bastion argued.

"I know you do, but I don't. I just follow my instincts." Jaden responded.

"But that's no reason to completely disregard your brain. Jaden, you've got plenty of potential, way too much to waste. To be honest, I'm not even sure if our intellects are on par with each other. From what I can see, you seem a lot smarter than I am." Bastion admitted.

Jaden laughed. "No kidding? It's just a matter of perspective. You know that old saying, 'The grass is always greener on the other side'? That's applicable to just about anything in daily life. I may be pretty good with numbers, but there's no way I could incorporate them into dueling!"

"I could help you," Bastion offered, shrugging his shoulders nonchalantly. "I could use some tutoring myself, and judging by your notes, that wouldn't be quite a difficult task for you."

Jaden looked up with a smile. "You'd do that?" He scratched at his temple. "I'd be really grateful if you could teach me how to use my math skills for dueling. People think I don't know this, but I do realize that my strategies can't be based entirely on luck and the belief in my deck. It'd be nice to finally have some logic to back things up."

Bastion took a seat next to Jaden. "Of course. It would be my pleasure to assist you in reaching your full potential. Now come on, we can't keep wasting time chatting. Show me what you've got so far."

Jaden gestured to a pile of papers that would look like random nonsense to someone of lesser intelligence, but Bastion knew exactly what he was looking at. He picked up an interesting piece of paper. "This equation could be quite useful if you had Bubbleman on the field and wanted to bring out Avian. Have you considered it?"

"No way, really? It can? I didn't even think about it like that!" Reaching a revelation, he quickly scribbled some notes down and handed the sheet to Bastion. Looking it over, a wide smile quickly spread on Bastion's face.

"Jaden, I'm really impressed. This is extraordinary! No, it's more than extraordinary- it's pure genius! No one," he declared proudly, "would ever expect you to make a move like that!"

With a tint of pink across his cheeks, Jaden replied, "Well, it's not that great. I mean, I'm sure you could've come up with better plans if you had the right inspiration." He waved his hand. "My duel spirits usually tell me what they think works and I listen to them." He shrugged then.

While Bastion hadn't quite accepted the idea of duel monsters being able to come to life as spirits, he chose to disregard that particular comment for the moment in favor of pursuing a much more favorable outcome to his next duel with Jaden.

"Jaden, as much as it may pain me to say this, I think I should."

Jaden looked up. "What is it, Bastion?"

Solemnly meeting his eyes, he stated, "I believe you've earned the right to be considered more of an intellectual than I could ever be. Not that I'd ever admit it to anyone besides you, of course!" He quickly added. "You are truly worthy to be my rival, Jaden. I'm glad there were some brains behind the luck in our duels, otherwise I'd have to be even more ashamed of myself for losing."

"Hey, there's no shame in losing. Like I always say, just duel to have fun."

"Yeah, you're right, Jaden. In fact, I'd like to duel you right here, right now. Just to test our true abilities against each other."

Jaden quickly agreed, saying, "Now that's the spirit! Just be warned, I won't be holding back, you know."


The next day found Bastion in a fit of depression.

"Why, oh why did you have to leave, Jaden? Why?" He could be heard screaming to the air all over the island. Some students thought he'd gone insane, while the few who were more in-the-know suspected it had something to do with a little thing called 'duelist puberty'.

After closer examination, it was found that Jaden's genius had been a temporary phase, and would have been a fluke of nature had it not been for the fact that he was going through duelist puberty.

The gang tried to console and reassure Bastion that it was a possibility that the smart Jaden would once again surface once he had matured.

It wasn't the most assuring thing to say, but what could one do when faced with such a new type of dilemma?

The rest of that day, Bastion seemed to be feeling better. In fact, if you happened to pass by his dorm room, you might have heard something along the lines of, "And that would mean I could have another challenging duel opponent who actually uses their brain for once! Finally, a chance to prove that brains are more than just an accessory! And to think, I used to consider Jaden the least likely candidate for proving this is so. Why, that was only yesterday I thought that way. Jaden, my dear friend, you have taught me a valuable lesson today. I should not have been so close-minded to your own type of genius. After all, everyone is special in their own ways."

Now, if you happened to go into his room, you'd have seen him speaking to thin air. Why was the self-proclaimed genius speaking to himself? His friends thought he'd finally snapped from living with a bunch of idiots for too long.

"He fell off the deep end," said Alexis.

"Nah, there was always a screw loose in there somewhere. I knew it all along," Chazz could be heard muttering.

All the mathematical stuff is made up. None of it can be applied to real curriculum. I'm not that smart!