In celebration (or perhaps mourning) of GX ending yesterday, I have written this little fic thing which parallels and ties together the experiences of some of the cast at the same time. Wow, I can actually utilize writing techniques, go me?
I love GX, I really do, and I probably always will. I'm so going to miss coming home every Wednesday, looking forward to seeing the latest GX episode release on either Nicovideo or YouTube. Yes, it's mainstream, and it's not a very popular series, but... It's really less of an anime about school life and more of an anime about one boy growing up, so I wrote this to try and accentuate that... uh, kind of, I guess.
SERIOUSLY THOUGH, THE ENDING MADE ME CRY HAPPY GIRLY TEARS! ;-;
Oh god it's over, someone freaking hold me. ;;
Occasionally Asuka thinks back on her time with him, remembers what her last encounter with him was like and what she had almost wanted to say to him in the end. It was not that she could not say it; rather, she chose not to. And everything had turned out better that way, rather than leaving their friendship on an uncertain note, a note that was not really friendship at all, she chose to leave it as it was, for it was already unique, invaluable, irreplaceable. She knew that, he knew that, everyone who knew them knew that.
She felt that there would be no change in the very beginning, until watching him duel for the first time. But even close to the end, she felt little, if anything, had changed. But she dueled him one last time and found that was far from the truth. She had become a better person merely by being in his presence, but even more so by drawing closer to him, the mysterious boy who had come to the school on destiny's whim, he who turned out to be the savior of the universe, whose skill in dueling was unrivaled, no matter what the circumstances.
She couldn't stay with him. He had gone his own road in the end. They all had. But she found her graduation speech had held true long after it had been spoken the first and last time. It sounded cheesy, and from anyone else's point of view, it probably was, unless you were the person who was truly experiencing it. Truer words could never be spoken.
They really were friends forever.
Asuka finds herself looking back on his influence even today. She uses examples of him in class as often as possible, and passes on the lessons he had taught her over time onto her students year after year, generation after generation. They tend to think he was just a high school friend or crush; some tease about him being her boyfriend, but she never seems to mind. It didn't turn out that way, and it never would turn out that way, but she wouldn't have it any other way, and that was okay. Everything was okay.
In her heart she knows, she is the best she can be now.
All because of him.
Shou spends his time mostly in the Pro Leagues perfecting the cyber style he had inherited from his brother, working out every little wrinkle in the fabric of his performance. It seemed to get along with him much better than it had with his older brother. He was proud of that, that the deck deemed him worthy enough to utilize it, and that he could work together with it to succeed in whatever challenges came along in his path.
He'd started as the lowest of the low, lacking in self-confidence as well as dueling prowess, and figured that his future held little to look forward to, never giving it a second thought, always ready to give up on it if given the chance. But amongst the fellow future dropouts and leeches and banes of society, he'd found a true gem. Someone genuine and open, who knew what he was doing, who he could look up to as a brother in place of the brother who he questioned his relationship with.
He had inspired him to work harder with time. He was motivated by simply watching him duel, motivated simply by the fact that he encouraged him in every way possible, verbally and otherwise. He told him often that he could do it, that if he was brave and tried his hardest, he would make it, no matter what he was doing. By the end of his final year, he had moved up to one of the highest ranking dorms, and had even been one of the top students in his graduating class. He'd truly come a long way since his nearly-failed entrance exams.
There was a time he doubted him, however. A time in which he was having turmoil within himself, when he couldn't discern right from wrong, and when he could not trust himself or anyone around him. So his faith in his "brother" began to waver slowly but steadily, and he descended rapidly into the darkness that surrounded him and composed his entire being. It had taken a lot of effort on many people's parts, but he overcame his obstacles and tore down the self-imposed walls he'd raised around himself, with their help. When Shou realized that his efforts to support him were no longer in vain, the belief in him came flooding back, and after that point, combined with his newfound inner strength, he could stand proudly on his own two legs and do what he needed to do.
His time at the school, perhaps one of the strangest in existence, proved to be a life-changing experience after all.
But he knows it was not the school alone, not just the experiences that made him strong.
It was because of him.
Manjoume has difficulty assigning names to the things he feels when he reflects on his time with his high school friends. The Pro League is strenuous and difficult, but he still manages to find time of his own to look back and reminisce upon admittedly good times there.
He'd found many things there. A love, a rival, a teacher, and many friends and allies. He almost regretted being so stuck-up and full of attitude in the beginning... almost. He'd never openly admit it, of course, but when he thought about it to himself, maybe it was better he started like that, because he looks how far he's come from that point and smiles every time he realizes who he has to thank for that.
He hated him at first. Hated him with every fiber of his being, because he just couldn't beat him. He was the one obstacle he could not overcome, the one wall he could not climb over. It taunted him in his mind, pressured by his brothers and his own dreams, and he couldn't stand it. There were many times this came back to haunt him; from his return to the school from his adventure at North Academy and his blind rage while brainwashed by the Wave of Light, he'd lost his focus on more than one occasion, his actions instead being ruled by fury and jealousy.
Eventually, Manjoume came closer to him that he'd ever expected to. Originally he was just a barrier that needed to be broken down in his eyes, one that stood in the way of his success, but it started to stop bothering him so much as time went on and his irresistable, magnetic charm and charisma inevitably pulled Manjoume towards him and made him unable to push him away, as much as he may have wanted to. Even after all the trials that had been put in front of him because of him, he still had a silent, unspoken faith in him.
But he doesn't need to say anything to anyone. They already know, he already knows the main reason he's come so far from his starting point.
It was all because of him.
Johan finds pleasure in reminiscing his experiences at the school he'd transferred to for a surprisingly short year. Although he'd been there for a much shorter time than some of his other friends, it always felt as though he'd been there from the very beginning, and even long before then. His family, the Gem Beasts always know when he's thinking about it, because he always smiles every time the thoughts cross his mind, be it the good times or the bad ones.
He'd hit it off with him the very day, the very hour, the very moment they'd met, and they acted as though they'd been friends since the beginning of time. It felt so natural and right to have a friend like him, who was always looking out for Johan in the same way Johan was looking out for him. Had it not been for him, in fact, Johan may not have been here today. He'd left himself behind, as a martyr of sorts, to send the school he treasured so much home to its rightful dimension after Yubel had taken it from its home on the island. He was never afraid, not for a moment, because he knew he'd find a way back to him and all his friends, no matter what difficulties stood in between them.
When Yubel had gone so far as to possess him and use his body to set her own plan into motion, it hurt him more than anything he'd ever known. Not only because it was hurting his friend, but because, as he later realized, Juudai was his light and his darkness all at the same time, what filled him and what troubled him simultaneously. He'd found, while sharing a mind with Yubel, that perhaps she was not so different, that her pain and pleasure all came back to the same person, despite her having roots with him that spread much farther than Johan's. For that reason, he never truly held any of it against her, even after she'd been purged of her corrupted power, because everything about it was relative.
Even if he had to step aside and let him find happiness wherever he would go, it was okay with him. Just being with him for that time was enough.
They were best friends from the start, and remained that way until the very end. Their friendship was unbreakable by even the strongest forces, as they had proven when Darkness had attempted to tear them apart and use the resulting hole to his advantage. Even though he'd never felt alone after receiving the Gem Beasts from Pegasus, when he looked back, Johan felt like he had always been missing something without even realizing it before he'd found him.
His life was complete, and it always would be as long as he remembered what happiness he'd had there, and what happiness would always come from having been there.
All because of him.
There is no door that remains closed to him now.
He is a force of nature, the power to heal and to harm at his fingertips.
He is a warrior, the firm certainty of his blade cleaving his way in darkness.
He is a king, and a vagrant, and nobody in particular -- he is now all that he ever might have been, offered the chance.
He knows how they all believe he changed them, and entirely for the better, and he does not deny this at all. But what they don't realize is how they changed him as well, led him to be a better person, to bloom, to mature into a wonderful, legendary man. Were it not for them helping him, he would have not been able to help them in return, and vice versa. Everyone helped each other, and that is why in the end everyone succeeded in their own way.
So now he travels, seeing everything there is to see, meeting interesting people passing through, learning new things as he goes... and gaining more precious memories to hold to his heart.
Even now, after he's left them, they still linger within him. They had all exchanged parts of themselves to each other, so that none of them ever risked forgetting any of it, or losing what they'd gained. They were and still are all so different, and yet so similar all at once.
But in the end, it all comes full circle, all the way back to him, no matter which way they go.
And despite all having gone in separate directions, they stay together, and remain connected to each other, and to him; all touched by the same life.
All because of him.