Disclaimer and other information: Nope, don't own the characters. Apart from that, this is a translation from somthing I wrote some time ago for a challenge (hence the incredibly creative name). I actually translated it because I was bored and because I wanted to publish something, so yeah... hope you enjoy!
Genius was a word often used in conversations about eternal Osiris Yuki Judai – of course, it was only used to describe his amazing duelling abilities or as sarcasm by his rival Manjoume. This had never really bothered him, after all who cared about his mediocre theoretical grades when his practical skills helped get through any exam instantly? He duelled with his heart, not his brain.
So it might be an especially cruel form of irony that just this heart was one of his denser points. Judai usually saw everyone as a friend. There were differences between close friends, casual acquaintances, "normal" friends, family-like friends… but still, friends. He had never even thought of possibly ever seeing one of them as more than that. The matters of the heart had always been a mystery to Judai, comparable to Misawa's beloved chemical formulas – how those should help to win a duel was still beyond him. He just had no clue about these things. Hell, he hadn't even known the meaning of the word fiancé. And regarding love, all he knew was what he had witnessed between Manjoume and Asuka – the former trying to court her, the latter rolling her eyes. It always had seemed strange, actually, so Judai had decided never to fall in love. Ever! Just to think he would act as weird as Manjoume… Judai didn't particularly mind weird and if Manjoume was happy acting so strange then he should do it. But Judai couldn't understand his reasoning behind this behaviour and preferred not to find out.
Back then it had seemed like a solid plan. How hard could it be to follow through? After all, he had his cards, his spirits and his friends. It had always been enough for him to be happy…
With a sigh Judai looked up from the bouquet of roses in his hand to the entrance to the Obelisk Blue Girl's Dorm.
It had been a solid plan. Who could have known that she would appear and mess up absolutely everything?
She… of course, he was referring to Saotome Rei.
Judai still wasn't sure when he had started treating her in a different manner. First, he had told himself that he treated every friend of his slightly different. Of course, this excuse hadn't survived two minutes under the severe interrogation by self-proclaimed defender of love Fubuki.
Maybe it had only started after his fusion with Yubel, but even Judai couldn't deny that he was more… careful, more gentle with Rei than with anyone else…
Luckily, he had been able to stop himself from actually uttering his first pint – "She's a girl!" – when he realized that he was talking to Fubuki, brother of Asuka, who undeniably was a girl.
Eventually, Fubuki had sparked the idea that maybe his feelings for Rei were more than just friendship – an idea so persistent that all attempts to get rid of it so far had been futile. In another "conversation" – or as Judai preferred to call it, interrogation – he had admitted not only to Fubuki but also himself that yes, he had fallen in love with Rei. And as if that wasn't bad enough on its own, Fubuki had practically forced him to confess.
This was exactly the reason why he was standing right now, right here in front of the girl's dorm, a bouquet of red roses in his hands and wondering if it wasn't the safest route to get the hell out of here before anyone saw him.
"Valentine's day is the perfect opportunity to tell her how you feel. And as far as I can see you'll be beyond grateful for this little push into the right direction."
At least that was Fubuki's way of expressing it – Judai only felt ridiculous.
"H-huh?" Judai looked up instantly, feeling a blush spread in his face. Standing in front of him were Asuka's friends Junko and Momoe, looking at him surprised.
"Judai-kun, why are you here?" Junko asked, while Momoe looked at the roses suspiciously as if she expected them to explode every second or start to rot. "Do you want to see Asuka-sama?"
"Asuka?" Judai asked in confusion. "Why would you think that?"
"Well, who else would you want to see, carrying red roses, true love's sign?" Momoe asked, her eyes sparkling with amusement.
Judai's blush darkened. True love's sign? And he just had thought the colour was fitting of Rei… red, like the Osiris uniform she was still wearing, even though she had been promoted to Obelisk… Damn Fubuki!
"Well, Judai-kun? Who do you want to see?" Junko asked.
"N-nobody." Judai lied. He usually didn't stammer, but the girls seemed to think it amusing.
"You can tell us, Judai-kun!" Momoe exclaimed. "You wouldn't find your way around on your own, anyway!"
Well, she did have a point there… which was another good reason to just turn around and pretend the whole god-forsaken day had never happened… It was kind of ridiculous, actually. Now he was acting like a second Manjoume, after all. Not only was one of those guys definitely enough for the whole island, it was also apparent that his constant attention to Asuka did absolutely nothing to improve her opinion of him. Maybe it was the best idea not to pursue Rei? Doing so might after all push her away and even destroy their friendship.
"Come on, Judai-kun! Tell us!" Junko whined.
"I… nobody… honestly." Judai repeated the obvious lie nobody had believed anyway.
"It is Asuka-sama, isn't it?" Momoe asked.
"I… I've gotta go. Sorry, busy." Judai muttered and started to run, ignoring the girls' protests.
Well, this had gone over smoothly…
When Judai arrived at his dorm, his face was still flushed, not only from running. He had no idea what he had been thinking, turning up at the girl's dorm like that… But he could still restore his dignity. First thing inside, he would throw away these damn roses! He'd throw them into the ocean, just to make sure he got rid of them. And then he'd have to go to Fubuki and ask him – rather beg him – to forget everything and not say a single word to anyone, especially Rei, and afterwards…
He threw the door open and blindly stormed in. One crash and one surprised yelp later he knew that someone had already been inside. Luckily, Judai could catch himself instead of falling onto that person.
"Are you okay?" Judai asked concerned – and froze when he saw Rei lying on the floor.
She sat up and smiled at him. "Yes, Judai-sama, I'm fine."
"What are you doing here?" Judai exclaimed. She flinched. Apparently his voice had been too sharp.
"But you wanted to see me." Rei protested.
That actually was true, but still, how could she have known that he had tried to visit her?
"Fubuki-san said…" she started, but she stopped when Judai slapped his palm into his face. Fubuki! Of course, who else? What had he expected? Evil, manipulating, scheming…
"Are you okay, Judai-sama?" Rei asked.
"Yeah, I'm… I'm fine, Rei. Please don't worry." Judai said and gently smiled at her. Upsetting her was the last thing he wanted to do. Well, apart from confessing to her...
"Judai-sama, where did you get these roses?" Rei asked curiously.
"Er… those? I… they're…" Judai stammered. Fubuki had gotten them, but several conversations with Junko and Momoe had taught him to be careful about the things he said. Maybe Rei would think he and Fubuki were…
"They're a gift." he finally explained.
"From who?" Rei inquired further.
"Me." Judai replied instantly.
Rei's eyes became wide and her breathing sounded more troubled then usual, but it only lasted a second – then she bowed her head and smiled. It was a weird smile. Maybe it was supposed to look happy or uncaring, but instead it just screamed "artificial" at the top of the lungs Judai was sure smiles didn't even have… "I see." she said, laughing. Actually, the laughter did the seemingly impossible, seeming even more forced than the smile. "Judai-sama equipped himself well for Valentine's."
"Rei?" Judai asked, worry now evident in his voice. What the hell was wrong with her?
"Well, you're certainly very busy. So, I… guess I'll be going, I did promise Kenzan to help him write an article for the school newspaper, and you'll want to prepare some more, so… Well, I'm off." Smile, laughter and now the apparent happiness in her voice… it did seem pretty creepy. Judai really started to worry.
When she tried to walk past him, he heard it.
He wasn't sure where this command had come from. Was it his subconscious? A memory of Fubuki? Yubel? He didn't know, he didn't care. He did grab Rei's shoulder though, quickly thrusting the roses into her hands before he could think about it again, and he did not say but nearly shout "Happy Valentine's Day!"
Judai hadn't thought about what would happen if he actually gave Rei the roses. But even with this distinct lack of expectation – this was not the reaction he had expected! She only looked at him with wide eyes, an open mouth, with the huge bouquet in her hands.
"J-Judai-sama…" she finally managed to say. "Valentine's day?"
He had saved the world already. How could this make him feel so damn nervous?
"It was Fubuki-san's advice." he explained. "That you show someone what they mean to you on Valentine's Day. And I… I wanted to show you, Rei."
"Judai-sama…" Rei muttered. "This… this day is for showing people that you love them."
Judai suddenly found his shoes very interesting. "I… I know." he whispered. "And because of that… happy Valentine's Day – Rei-chan."
"Judai-sama…" Still this damn hesitation in her voice!
"I'm serious, Rei!" Judai exclaimed, taking a hold of her shoulders.
"Judai-sama… it's the thirteenth. Valentine's Day is tomorrow." Rei finally ended her sentence.
Well… now he felt dumb. Manjoume would be crying from joy.
Rei on the other hand didn't seem to mind because on her face appeared the most radiant smile he had ever seen.
"Thank you, Judai-sama…" she said, her voice now shaking.
"Well, Rei… what do you say?" he asked, as unsure as she was.
She threw her arms around him for an answer. "Don't be an idiot, Judai-sama! As if you really had to ask!"