Lucarly: I'm impressed with myself. I've miraculously started a writing schedule for me, so that I can update more often.
Aki: Now let's just wait and see for how long you hold true to your schedule.
Lucarly: Shut up.
Aki: Fine. Lucarly does not own Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's.
The thunder rumbled loudly outside as heavy drops of rain violently hit the window of the bedroom I was in.
Rua and Ruka had kindly offered me and another Signer, Aki, to live at their mansion for awhile. The two of us had somehow become like their guardians, since their parents were never home. It's a shame they aren't, they sound like pleasant people. I can't help but question their ability to raise children though, knowing that the twins only saw them once or twice a year. All other contact was through letters and E-mail.
I didn't mind taking care of them though - I love them both dearly. I can't speak for Aki though. She conceals nearly all her thoughts and emotions, so it's difficult to tell what she's thinking. I guess she somewhat enjoys being with us though, seeing as she hasn't left our group yet. Still, I wanted to know more about her. Why? I didn't know. Perhaps it was that her mysterious personality tempted to me to learn more of her.
The thunder crackled again, and lightening streaked across the sky. My eyes couldn't help but wander from the book I was reading to the window that shone the briefly illuminated sky.
I found lightening to be interesting. It could be a pitch black night, yet, for one simple moment, it could illuminate the entire area around you.
The thunder suddenly roared louder than it had ever been that night as the lightening simultaneously ran through the sky. In that moment, the lights of the room flickered before completely turning off; A blackout.
I blinked in mild surprise, but was otherwise unfazed; the situation only meant that I'd have have to quit reading for the night and go to sleep earlier than I had planned. The power would be restored by morning, so I had nothing to worry about.
Thus, I set my book down and settled into the sheets before-
"Yusei?" questioned a young, male voice in the darkness.
Recognizing the voice, I sat up and stared at the area of the room where the sound had come from.
"What is Rua?" I asked.
The young boy remained silent, seeming that he didn't want to respond.
"Are you frightened by the blackout?" I asked him, trying to ascertain what he wanted from me.
"N-No!" he replied back loudly.
I smiled a little; It was obvious he was lying.
"Don't worry - everyone's a little afraid of the dark." I told him comfortingly.
I could see his figure nod shyly.
"Do you want to sleep with me tonight?" I asked him.
Rua nodded again a jumped onto to bed, crawling over next to me.
"Thanks Yusei." he said, smiling up at me.
"It's nothing." I told him simply.
"Can you promise me something Yusei?" he asked me, fidgeting with the covers a bit.
"Will you promise not to tell Ruka this? I don't want her to know I'm afraid of the dark. She'll call me a baby."
I couldn't help but chuckle a little.
"I promise to not tell her."
"Really? Wow, thanks Yusei!" said the young boy happily, snuggling into the sheets.
I smiled again, situating myself into a comfortable position for-
"Fudo." said a dark, female voice from the doorway.
I immediately recognized the voice as Aki's and quickly sat up again.
"Is something wrong Aki?" I asked her, hoping that nothing ill had happened.
"Me? No - I'm fine. Ruka came and found me when the blackout occurred. She just wanted to know if you're all okay." said Aki flatly.
In that moment, I could make out a second figure beside Aki - Ruka.
"Hello Ruka." I said to her with an affable voice.
"Hi Yusei." she replied back nervously, as a small smile spread across her face.
"Ah! Ruka, you're here too! I didn't know you were afraid of the dark like me!" exclaimed Rua happily, sitting up beside me.
"I'm not." said Ruka simply.
"Wha-?" questioned Rua, looking confused.
"I just wanted to make sure you were okay since I know you're afraid of the dark. But you weren't in your room so I came to find Yusei." finished Ruka.
Rua scrunched his nose and furrowed his eyebrows angrily.
"I am NOT afraid of the dark." declared Rua.
"Yes you are - You just said you were." retorted Ruka.
"No I didn't!" said Rua, his voice rising in volume.
"Did too." said Ruka calmly.
"Did not!" replied Rua, pouting.
"Will both of you quit it?" growled Aki in a dangerously low tone.
Rua and Ruka both immediately stopped bickering, remaining silent.
"You're acting like children." continued Aki, crossing her arms.
"Aki, they are children." I pointed out coolly. I wasn't supportive of Rua and Ruka's argument, but I couldn't resist pointing out the obvious to her. I wasn't exactly sure why - I think it was because I wanted to see how she'd react to it. A sort of way to see a tiny strand of her personality.
"Shut-up Yusei." she said in a tone of annoyance, shooting me a glare.
So she was temperamental.
As if I already didn't know that.
The thunder crackled again outside, the lightning flashing a bit as it did.
I could see Ruka visibly tremble at the tumultuous sounds and cling a bit to Aki's side; To which the older woman seemed completely unaware of.
"Ruka...are you okay?" I asked her gently.
"D-Don't worry Yusei, I-I'm fine." stuttered Ruka, looking slightly nervous.
"Are you su-" I began before I was cut off by an ear-splitting clap of thunder.
Ruka yelped and buried herself deep into Aki's side.
"Ruka's slightly astraphobic." said Aki dully.
"How do you know that?" I asked her.
"I'm psychic, don'cha know?" said Aki mockingly.
"Yes...I didn't know you could read minds though." I told her, tilting my head slightly.
"She told me earlier." said Aki, her eyes looking over her nails tiredly.
I stared at her for a moment. I wasn't sure what to believe. It was obvious that she was trying to screw around with my mind. Or maybe this was her way of making a joke? I had no clue.
"...Are you being serious now? I frankly can't tell." I said.
"Is that so?" she said, raising her eyebrows.
"Well, you always sound sarcastic."
"No, I'm never sarcastic."
"Yes you are - Wait, that was sarcasm, wasn't it?" I asked, feeling somewhat stupid.
"Good job Fudo." she said, rolling her eyes.
"Now you two are the ones acting like children." commented Ruka, her voice slightly muffled by Aki's black gown.
Both of us stared at the young girl for a moment, who had again hid her face in Aki's side, and then at each other.
"She's right you know." I said, sighing.
Aki didn't reply.
"Can we just...Get along?" I continued.
"Fine." said Aki after a moment.
The thunder rumbled lowly, making Ruka shiver briefly.
"Ruka-chan, are you okay?" asked Rua, looking concerned for his twin sister.
"I-I'll be fine." stuttered Ruka, clearly losing herself.
"Maybe you'll feel better if you sleep with Yusei and I tonight! I mean...If that's okay, with you, Yusei." said the younger boy, looking up at me.
"It's fine." I stated simply.
I wasn't sure if Ruka would be comfortable with sleeping in the same bed with a male such as myself - After all, I wasn't her father. But, I didn't want to close the option to her if it would actually make her feel better. I hated seeing her so frightened.
"If I joined you, I-I'm afraid I'd keep you up." said Ruka, still shaken.
"That doesn't matter. You don't have to worry about us. The question is, would it make you feel better to join us?" I said to her comfortingly.
Ruka remained silent for a moment and then nodded her head, leaving Aki's side and slowly climbing up onto the bed, situating herself between Rua and I.
I smiled slightly abnd then looked up to the dark, female figure that was Aki, who still stood there, expressionless.
"Would you like to join us too?" I said without thinking.
Aki rolled her eyes.
"I'm not scared." she mumbled.
"I don't doubt you aren't." I replied.
I narrowed my eyes and bit my lip a bit. Why did I want her to join us? Was it because I felt that the twins would enjoy her company? Maybe because it was an opportunity to unveil hidden personality? Or, was it just because I had this odd desire within me to be closer to her?
I continued to rack my brain for possible replies, but none that seemed reasonable came.
"Just...because." I answered lamely.
Aki stared at me suspiciously for a moment before sighing and sitting herself beside me.
Her action surprised me - I didn't think that she would actually take up my offer. She always seemed to keep herself at a distance from all of us. What surprised me more though was my sudden nervous feeling at her being physically close to me. This feeling was new to me, but strangely, I liked it.
The thunder crackled again, causing Ruka to bury herself into my chest in search of comfort.
"Would you two feel better if we lit a candle or found a flashlight?" I asked, forgetting about my internal confusion from my odd feelings for Aki, as I put my arm around Ruka and pulled her in tightly. Ruka didn't respond, but Rua nodded vigorously.
"I see...Well, I know there's a flashlight somewhere downstairs...and there's a candle here on the side table, all I would need is a ma-" I began before I was cut off by Aki shoving a small box of matches in front my face.
I blinked in surprise and took the box of matches carefully.
"Er...Thanks." I said, feeling a bit awkward.
I was honestly a little bit frightened that Aki was able to seemingly provide matches out of thin air in such a timely manner. Was she carrying them with her? It was probably better that I didn't think about it though.
I fumbled with the box a bit and brought out a single match and rougly brushed the white tip against the side of the box, igniting it. Immediatly afterward, I reached over and lit the candle.
The light was dim but sufficent. At least I could more clearly see everyone's face.
"Better?" I asked.
"Yeah - Way better! It's not so scary now." said Rua, grinning
"Speak for yourself." mumbled Ruka into my chest. I smiled down sympathetically at the young, female child.
I honestly had now idea that she had phobia of thunder and lightening. And seeing her, Ruka, the twin who was normally calm and composed, so frightened...It almost made me feel guilty, but I knew there was not much I could do.
I wasn't even quite sure what to do - I had never dealt with something like this before. My eyes slowly cast themselves up to Aki, hoping she'd have an idea.
But, her face was, as usual, expressionless and uncaring.
I probably wouldn't be getting too much help from her tonight...
"Well...Do you want to play a game? To get your mind off the thunder and lightening?" I suggested to Ruka.
Ruka remained motionless for a brief moment, before nodding her head and slowly sitting up.
"Ooh - A game! What should we play?" chattered Rua excitedly, bouncing up and down a bit as he did.
I shrugged. I knew we couldn't play Duel Monsters - Our dueling decks were kept downstairs and there was no way I would leave Ruka in the condition she was in to retrieve them...
"Maybe...Truth or Dare!" suggested Rua enthusiastically.
My eyes widened slightly. Truth or Dare? Not exactly a game I would ever want to play with Rua, knowing he could be quite mischievous.
However...It would be an excellent opportunity to learn more about Aki...
"Very well." I sighed, giving the young boy a weak smile.
"YES! What about you Onee-chan? Will you play?" asked Rua, turning to Aki.
Rua's grin spread farther before looking over at Ruka and asking her;
"You'll play too, right Ruka-chan?"
"Mhm." responded Ruka simply, nodding her head slightly as she did.
"AWESOME! Then everyone's playing! So...I'll go first!" said Rua eagerly, his eyes scanning over us in deciding who to pick.
"...Yusei!" he called out to me after a moment.
"Truth or Dare?"
There was no way in hell I would let Rua give me a dare. I cared for the boy deeply, but it was suicide.
"Hm...What color or pattern is on your underwear?" asked, sitting back with a look of anxious excitement in his eyes.
I stared at him for a moment. What an odd question. Was he trying to embarrass me? Probably.
"Ah, boring. Anyway, it's your turn." said Rua, looking slightly disappointed.
My heart skipped a beat. This was my chance to ask Aki a question - Assuming she picked "Truth" that is. But, I didn't want it to be too obvious that I was wanting to get to know her. Then again, this game would only last so long, and I had many questions...
And why was I worrying about this so much?
"Uh...Ruka! Truth or Dare?" I said, coping out of asking Aki.
"Dare." she said calmly.
I blinked - I half-expected her to answer "Truth" since always seemed to be less "adventurous" compared to her brother.
"Wear your gown backwards for the rest of the game." I told her. It wasn't creative at all, but it was the best thing I could come up with off the top of my head.
"Fine." said Ruka, pulling her arms inside her pink gown and switching it to the back.
"Aki, truth or dare?" asked Ruka, as she finished pulling her arms back through the sleeves.
"Truth." she said in a monotone voice.
"What's the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?" asked Ruka.
Aki sat there with a blank stare for a moment, and then seemed to slow moved her gaze over to me, as if she were examining me.
I blinked. Was she staring at me to find out which feature she found must appealing? Or was the dark playing tricks on my vision?
"Their eyes." said Aki plainly, still watching me.
The thunder rumbled slightly as a lightening flashed a bit, causing Ruka to shiver, but she managed to hold her composure.
"R-right, you're turn." said Ruka, still a bit shaken.
"Mhm. Rua, truth or dare?" said, Aki, glancing over at the said person.
"Dare." declared Rua proudly.
"I dare you to not talk at all for an hour."
"Whaaaat? How am I supposed to play then?"
"Write what you need to say on a notebook." replied Aki.
"Well, where's a notebook and pencil then?" asked the young boy.
"I have them on the side table here." I offered hesitantly. I wasn't exactly thrilled with Aki's obvious plot to put Rua's chattiness to a temporary halt, but I decided against defending the boy. It was a part of the game after all.
"Well, fine. I promise I wont talk for an hour starting...now." said Rua, taking the needed materials and beginning to write out a note. He then passed the notebook to Ruka.
" "Truth or Dare?", " read Ruka aloud before passing the notebook back to Rua and answering ",Truth."
Rua then scribbled in the notebook some more and gave it back To Ruka.
" "What's the stupidest thing you bought?" Um...I don't know...Probably a silly trinket from a cheap store." said Ruka, tossing the notebook back to Rua.
"Yusei, truth or dare?" she continued.
"Dare." I said with ease. I trusted Ruka not to do something awful to me.
"I dare you to kiss Aki on the cheek." Ruka said, folding her arms and smirking a tiny bit.
So much for my trust in her.
"W-what?" I said, feeling myself become more nervous.
"You heard what I said - Kiss Aki on the cheek. It's not bad, it's just the cheek." she said, looking rather sly.
Was she mistaking my desire to know Aki better for romantic feelings? But that wasn't it! It was...impossible...
I bit my lip and looked over at Aki, who had averted her eyes from mine.
Well, a dare was a dare...
With my heart racing, I carefully leaned over and kissed her gently on the cheek before pulling away quickly.
"See that wasn't so bad," said Ruka after the gesture ",It's your turn now."
"R-right..." I stuttered foolishly.
Since when did I stutter anyway?
And why did my face feel so...warm?
I did my best to discard these thoughts from my mind and continue with the game.
But it proved to be rather difficult, and I struggled to find my voice.
"Yusei? Did you hear what I said?" asked Ruka after a moment.
"It's your turn." she repeated.
"Oh!...Aki, truth or dare?" I asked, turning to her.
I suddenly felt very awkward - Why did I just ask her? Especially after I had just done a romantic action to her.
"Truth." she said without any feeling, not looking at me.
In that instant, I forgot all perplexing feelings I had just experienced and silently celebrated to myself. Finally, I had a chance to ask her anything and get a answer without fault.
"What...Is your greatest fear?" I asked her carefully.
It was a simple question that wouldn't cause her agitation - Which I certainly didn't want. However, it was also a question that could reveal so much to me...
"Pass." said Aki after a moment.
"What?" I asked in confusion.
"Pass." she repeated.
"You can't pass." I protested.
"I just did."
I was about to make another argument with her before Rua shoved his notebook in my face.
I took it from him and began to read his note to myself:
She can pass - A person can pass one dare and one truth in every game.
"But...Why didn't I know this before? Otherwise I would've passed Ruka's dare!" I said in exasperation.
Rua shrugged and took the notebook back from me.
I sighed and looked over at Aki again, who had now completely turned herself away from me.
Why was she shutting me out? Was she embarrassed because I had kissed her, or was she upset that I had apparently asked her a very personal question?
"Are...You okay Aki?" I asked her, feeling some concern for her in my heart.
"Super." she said, her voice sounding slightly sarcastic.
"Tell me." I said, pushing her for an honest answer.
"I already said I was fine!" she snapped, her muscles visibly getting tense from behind.
I immediately dropped the subject - I wasn't looking to start a fight with her.
The game continued without incident for another two hours before the twins grew very tired, and despite the stormy night, both were able to fall asleep with ease.
And thus, Aki and I were the only ones left awake.
"Maybe we should try to get some sleep too..." I suggested to her, feeling somewhat awkward with us in the situation we were in.
It was dark.
It was cold.
And we were next to each other on the same bed.
The easiest way out the uncomfortable condition was to simply to sleep it off.
"Fine." said Aki flatly, laying herself down with her back to me. I too laid in the opposite direction of her to be respecful.
And everything went silent. Even the storm seemed to go quiet.
The silence became troublesome to me, and I could feel the question I had asked earlier rise within me agin.
What is your greatest fear?
"Are you awake?"
"No, I'm sleep-talking." she said, her voice dripping in sarcasm.
I should've seen that one coming.
"Can I ask you one question?"
"Why wouldn't you answer my question earlier?"
"Would you drop it?" she said angrily.
"What's the matter? It's not like I'd judge you by what you fear! For God's sake, Ruka's terrified of thunder and lightening and I still love her the same!" I replied back in annoyance.
"I just don't feel like sharing it with you."
"Why do you distance yourself away from me? I want to know and love you but you make it very difficult!" I said without thinking.
I felt like slapping my hand over my mouth.
Where the hell did that come from?
"A-Aki, I-" I stuttered, unsure of how to recover from my last bold statement.
Aki remained silent.
"I-I meant that-" I began again before I was cut off.
"-Fine. I'll tell you." said Aki with a sigh.
I blinked. Her sudden change of decision was unexpected.
"...My greatest fear is losing...you." she said so quitely that it was almost in a whisper.
As if on cue, the thunder boomed louldy and lightening flashed brightly in the outside sky.
Her words struck something within me and I felt myself go numb with emotion.
"...Why?" I said, my mouth feeling dry.
"Because...You're the first one who ever cared. I mean, really cared...."
"Then...Why do you keep yourself distant from me?"
"I'm scared I'll drive you away if I get close to you...And then I wouldn't have anything."
In that moment, I understood everything about Aki a whole lot better.
In a way, she was just like Rua and Ruka; She's afraid.
She's afraid of being hated.
Like how others treat her with her Black Rose Witch persona.
She's afraid of being abandoned.
Like how her parents did when she was young.
She's afraid of being alone.
Like how she was her entire life.
I felt myself smile, knowing that I had finally discovered what she hid under her cold veil of mystery.
"I'm sorry you feel that way. But you know, I made a promise a long time ago that I'd take on all your sadness. I won't break that promise - Even on the stormiest of nights."
Aki said nothing, but slowly turned her body over on the bed to face me.
"You don't have to be afraid anymore - I'll make sure you stay loved." I told her comfortingly, reaching out and pulling her in closely.
Aki did not return the gesture, nor did she struggle against it; She only closed her eyes and relaxed her tense body.
"I trust you." she said simply.
The storm continued to rage on through the night, but we both knew that no matter what, the sun would rise again in he morning.
Lucarly: That took forever. And I'm sorry it's crap. Forgive me.
Aki: You should be ashamed of yourself. Please review.