Aniyu: Note to self, buy plot bunny repellent. (stares at plot bunnies clinging to clothes)

Judai: Um, how are you still walking with so many hanging on to you?

Aniyu: I'm not, Anayi's carrying me, but you can't see her under all the bunnies.

Anayi: (muffled voice) I'm setting you down now, hikari-chan.

Aniyu: M'kay. Anyway, I don't own YuGiOh GX, so there. SPOILERS for anyone who hasn't seen the fourth season! Or third for that matter! As a side note, the duel dialogue might be a little off, but it's based on the Youtube vids I've seen. So kudos to the vid makers! Enjoy!

On the Other Side

Johan hung up his phone for a third time with a deep sigh. "Something must have happened to O'Brien; he was supposed to check in with me ages ago. I hope he wasn't anywhere near that explosion I heard."

The blunette paused. "Then again, if Judai isn't here yet, it had to have been O'Brien near that explosion."

Just then, Johan emerged on to the docks and saw what he recognized as a Duel Academia speed boat.

"Never mind, Judai is here somewhere, so it was probably him near that explosion."

The thought was slightly amusing; Judai did have a knack for getting into trouble like that. Then, worry started to eat at him; Judai also had a penchant for getting hurt by said trouble.

As Johan started to turn and head for where he could see smoke still spewing into the heavens, he stopped at the sound of a motorcycle getting closer to the docks. Praying it was Judai, Johan turned back around and gasped as he watched a downed cycle go flying into the water, it's rider a safe distance back. The blunette sighed with relief as he saw the rider was indeed Judai, though he did wonder why the brunette had felt the need to get rid of the cycle in such a way.

Worry returned as he realized Judai was looking exhausted and pained, and Johan rushed forward as his friend fell to his knees. He stopped when Judai looked up at him.

"You! You're Mr. T!" Johan blinked at the nearly inaudible statement, deciding to disregard it for the moment, and smiled softly.

"I'm so glad you're safe, Judai." "Stop fooling around! Saiou told me everything; that your true aim is Duel Academia!"

Johan blinked with startled confusion; what in the world was Judai saying? "Duel Academia?" He was about to ask Judai if he recognized him, surprised that he needed to do so, when the brunette interrupted him.

"Get out of the way!" Johan's worry increased ten-fold as he watched his friend struggle to his feet, injuries becoming very obvious.

"What happened, Judai? You've been injured...." "If you won't move, I'll just have to make you!"

The blunette flinched in surprised, getting a good look at Judai's clouded chocolate eyes. Glancing behind the brunette, Johan saw the equally clouded eyes of Hane Kuriboh, Yubel, and Neos, and knew that some other power was at work.

Still, he tried to get through to Judai, feeling desperation trying to claw through him. "Judai, why do you want us to fight?!" Again, the brunette interrupted before he could continue.

"Shut up!"

Jade eyes narrowed in determination, knowing there was only one way to help his dearest friend now. "Judai, if my voice can't reach you, then maybe a duel will!" Johan activated his duel disk, anger suddenly flooding him that someone had not only hurt Judai, but was somehow holding his mind in the grasp of illusions.

"Duel!!"

"My turn; draw! Come, Burst Lady!" Johan growled lowly, seeing the heroine's eyes just as clouded as Judai's. "I set one card face down... Turn end."

Mind falling into the familiar process of trying to calculate Judai's moves, Johan was a little tense. Judai didn't usually start out without immediately summoning a fusion monster, meaning he was either especially wary or had something bigger up his sleeve.

"My turn! Come out; Gem Beast Cobalt Eagle!" In the moment the bird emerged, Johan heard Cobalt's concerned voice in his mind.

"Johan, something's wrong with Judai-chan(1) and the others; something seems to be infecting them." Johan's eyes narrowed at that. "Whatever it is, I won't let it have them!"

"That can't be...a Gem Beast?!" Johan's attention snapped back to Judai, the brunette's startled anger reaffirming that it wasn't him Judai was seeing.

"I activate Golden Rule from my hand! It let's me call two Level Three or lower gems to my Magic and Trap Card zone, and special summon Amethyst Cat from my hand! Next, I activate the Magic card, Gem Guidance! When there are two or more gems in my Magic and Trap Card zone, this allows me to summon a Gem Beast from my deck. Come forth, Topaz Tiger!"

Johan gave all his beasts a fond look, excitement bubbling inside him in spite of the situation; but then, that always happened as he came close to being able to summon Rainbow Dragon. And he knew it would probably take a hit from Rainbow Dragon to wake his dear friend.

"Why do you have the Gem Beasts?!" Once again, Johan re-centered his attention on Judai, flinching at the uncharacteristically angry expression on his friend's face. "Johan is supposed to be the only one who can fight with them..."

The widening of the brunette's eyes gave Johan some hope that Judai had figured out he was under an illusion.

"You couldn't have...."

Determination replaced his hope as Johan realized Judai had come to the wrong conclusion. "Judai, I will wake you up!" "You bastard!"

A little indignant at being called a bastard, Johan couldn't help but feel a rush of happiness as he reminded himself that Judai now believed he was fighting to avenge the blunette.

'That's just like him. He'll wear himself to a thread for the people he cares for; no amount of growing up, or whatever changes he goes through to save the world, will ever change that. It's one of the things I like about him,' Johan thought to himself with a fond smile.

"Hey, reminisce later! Wake him up, then you can be sappy about him!"

The blunette buried a blush at that; he would so get Cobalt back for that later. "Topaz Tiger, attack Burst Lady! When Topaz attacks a monster, it's attack points go up by 400!"

"I won't allow that! Trap Card activate; Dimensional Tunnel Mirror Gate! The two battling monsters switch owners and the battle phase continues!" Johan winced as he lost life points; Judai didn't have that card last time they had dueled, the day Johan had been forced to return to North Academia. Given the choice, Johan would have gladly stayed at Duel Academia, but his mother had insisted he return.

"Then I activate Amethyst Cat's special ability! By reducing her attack points by half, she can Direct Attack!"

Johan felt bad as the attack obviously irritated Judai's injuries, but those still clouded eyes made him continue without hesitation. "Next I activate a Magic Card from my hand, Rare Value! The opponent selects one of the gems in my Magic and Trap Card zone, and by sending that gem to the grave, I draw two cards from my deck. Choose, Judai."

Seeing Judai's eyes fill with emotional hurt, Johan wished he didn't have to put the brunette through this. "I choose Ruby Carbuncle!"

"And I draw two cards."

"But, now that Golden rule has lost it's effect; Amethyst Cat will be destroyed!"

"I activate the continuous magic card, Gem Spring. When a Gem Beast on the field returns to my deck, I select that Gem Beast and two other Gem Beasts and place them at the top of my deck. With Cobalt Eagle's effect, I return Emerald Turtle to my deck, then put Sapphire Pegasus and Amber Mammoth on top of my deck. I place two cards face down and end my turn. At this point, Mirror Gate loses its effect and Topaz Tiger returns to my field."

He could practically see the thoughts flitting through those clouded chocolate eyes, the fury at the idea that someone else could be using the blunette's deck. Johan wanted Judai to wake up even more, not liking that fury being directed at him without his friend's knowledge.

"I won't allow you to have your way with Johan's deck!!" Johan's heart wrenched to see the mourning beneath the anger in Judai's eyes.

'He thinks I'm gone again...'(2)

"My turn! Magic Card; Fusion!" Jade eyes widened as he saw darkness swirling within Judai's card. "That card!"

"Johan! That is where the infection is originating from!" Johan's started at the strong voice, considering his dragon's words carefully before his eyes narrowed with rage.

'Someone directly infected his deck! One of his key cards at that! They didn't just mess with Judai's mind, they're hurting his soul(3)!'

"I fuse Featherman, Bubbleman, and Sparkman from my hand! To bring forth, Tempester! Tempester, attack Topaz Tiger! Chaos Tempest!"

Johan growled, 'I need to end this before that Darkness does permanent damage to his soul!' "Trap Card open! Mine Blasting! I send five cards from the top of my deck to the grave!"

"Cutting your own deck... What are you up to?" Johan could see in Judai's eyes that he already suspected what was coming next.

"Judai, I have to call on the power of the Gem Beasts to awaken you! Trap Card! Rainbow's Gravity! When all seven Gem Beasts are on my field or in the grave, I special summon Rainbow Dragon from my deck or grave!"

"What?!" Johan forced himself to ignore the pure shock, and slight fear, in Judai's voice. He knew it would hurt the brunette to be on the receiving end of his dragon's attack after what had happened in the Other World, but Johan knew it was necessary.

"Come forth! Ultimate Gem God Rainbow Dragon!"

The blunette admired the virtual sequence of Rainbow Dragon's summoning, it was always a beautiful show. The dragon flexed its wings and let out a ferocious roar.

"Don't worry Johan; I'll wake Judai-chan up, and banish that outsider's Darkness from his soul!" "I'm counting on you then, Rainbow Dragon!"

"How....Rainbow Dragon?!" Johan held back another wince at the inflection of disbelief in Judai's voice, at the pleading gaze directed at the dragon which seemed to ask why it was fighting for whoever Judai could see.

"Wake up, Judai! Over the Rainbow!" Johan declared his attack with every bit of strength and hope he could muster, praying to see his beloved friend's eyes clear once it was over.

He winced at Judai's cry of pain, before his attention was caught by the tainted card falling to the ground. Johan watched, rooted to his spot as Darkness formed around Judai, tearing away from the brunette's body and plunging down into the card as Judai cried out. The second cry of pain from Judai made Johan move to run forward, but Topaz Tiger's voice rang out and stopped him.

"Wait Johan. I know you're worried, but wait to see if he's really free first." His teeth and fists clenched, but Johan forced himself to hold still.

Johan tensed as the Darkness rose up from the card, waiting to see if it would try to envelope Judai again. When the brunette stepped back and the Darkness dissolved, Johan was relieved to hear Judai's gasp of surprise as their eyes met.

"J-Johan..."

The tension melted out of him, and a smile appeared on his face. "Judai, you finally see me."

"So then..." He nodded, seeing realization enter those clear chocolate eyes.

Whatever the brunette was going to say was lost as Judai collapsed to his knees again. Johan deactivated his duel disk and ran forward, worry and fear permeating him again.

"Judai! Are you all right, Judai?!" He went to his knees before Judai, his hands grasping the brunette's arms to hold him up right when Judai nearly fell over.

"Johan...is it really you?" Those chocolate eyes looked pleadingly at him, begging for reassurance that he was no longer being deceived.

"Of course it is; I'm the only one who can use the Gem Beasts."

"Then that means...I..."

Johan's voice softened. "It appears someone tainted your card, using it to deceive you."

Understanding shot through the brunette's eyes. "That time! It must have been infected by the darkness card Saiou put in my deck..."

The blunette gently rubbed Judai's arms as his head bent with anguished frustration. "I'm so sorry Johan... How could I see you as an enemy?"

"It's all right. O'Brien told me what was going on, and said you would need my help."

Johan smiled as Judai looked up at him with surprise, as if he couldn't believe Johan had dropped everything just to run back to help him.

As they continued to talk, surrounded by the spirits of their beloved monsters, Johan silently vowed to keep Judai safe in the coming battle, and beyond that if he could.

Oh, and to punch the bastard that had hurt his friend in the face, but Johan wasn't pushing his luck on that one.

END

Aniyu: Yeah, I cut off the rest of that scene. I just had to put in the Spiritshipping hints, since I'm addicted to yaoi.

Johan: Oh boy...You and your addiction to yaoi.

Aniyu: What? I can't help it! It yours and Judai's fault for being such a cute couple!

Manjoume: Sure...whatever helps you sleep...

Anayi: Please R&R. It keeps hikari-chan distracted from the plot bunnies. (motions to the industrial-sized vacuum cleaner filled with plot bunnies)

(1) I have the Gem Beasts call Judai "chan" as a sign of acknowledgement that he's precious to Johan. Plus it's cute!

(2) Refers to when Johan was forced to remain in the Other World in Season 3.

(3) I remembered that the idea of a duelist's deck being part of the duelist's soul was mentioned a few times in YuGiOh, so I decided to add that in here.