Lucarly: This is a request for Baxter54132. I am currently bound to my bed with strep throat. Yay me.
Aki: Yikes, you should've taken your vitamins like your mommy told you to.
Lucarly: Those chewable, orange-flavored vitamins taste like crap. They makes me gag every time I eat one. I want big girl vitamins that I can swallow whole with water.
Aki: Unfortunately, you can't swallow anything right now. Lucarly does not own Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's
"Hand me the wrench, Crow."
"Er. . .Yeah, here."
"You dumbass, that's a hammer."
"Well I don't know the difference!"
Jack sighed and rubbed his temples in exhaustion. He and the red-head had spent hours trying to work on their new D-wheel prototype--Unfortunately, with Yusei out and about Neo Domino City, the two men were completely hopeless. Jack was certainly no mechanic, and Crow couldn't figure out how to do anything on his own; why, Yusei practically built his D-Wheel for him after months of Crow failing to do it himself. In truth, it was kind of ridiculous; the kid was able to outsmart all the security units in Satellite, but he couldn't tell the difference between a nail and a screw if his life depended on it.
"Well, looks like you two have made no progress whatsoever today." The two duelists looked up to see Aki Izayoi standing at the top of the stairs, her arms crossed and her face wearing a smirk. Her magenta hair was pulled back into a messy ponytail, and she was dressed more casually than she usually was. In other words, she looked like a completely normal teenage girl--which was probably what she was shooting for anyway.
"Who invited you, Izayoi?" growled Jack, glaring at her intensely. He and the female duelist had never particularly got along. Most couldn't really understand why they hated each other so much, but it was actually quite simple; she liked to make fun of him, and he didn't. Aki buzzed her lips dismissively and shifted her weight to her left hip.
"I invited myself."
"Well, we don't want to talk to you."
"Good, 'cause I don't want to talk to you either. Where's Yusei?" she asked suddenly as she began her descent down the stairway to meet the two older men.
"He's not here," replied Crow plainly.
"Yeah, I managed to figure that much out when I saw that he wasn't with you two," said Aki sarcastically as she she sat on a chair below a whiteboard full of D-Wheel engine designs and plans that the male trio had yet to expiriment with. "I mean, where is he?"
"He's out looking for some parts," Jack grunted in response.
"When will he be back?" asked Aki.
"I don't know; he's been gone all morning," replied Crow with a shrug. Aki sighed and rolled her head back to rest on the wall, closing her eyes as if to take a quick nap. Jack watched her carefully, waiting for her to make a snide remark or insult; but after a few minutes of her silence, he cleared his throat to speak.
"Why. . .Do you want to see him anyway?" asked Jack finally. Aki opened one eye to look at him.
"What, am I not allowed to visit my best friend?" Another reason Jack and Aki didn't get along; they competed for Yusei's attention. The blonde duelist normally wouldn't care at all, however, Aki somehow always managed to provoke jealousy in him, despite his uniform indifference. Still, Jack knew in his heart that their unspoken competition was stupid and pointless. After all, their feelings for the blue-eyed Satellite were completely different; Aki loved Yusei romantically, Jack loved Yusei like a brother.
And maybe that was why Jack always got so riled up; he was concerned for his little brother getting himself involved with "jail bait"--which she technically was. She was 17, a minor, and he was 18, an adult.
"I just thought there might be an important reason," said Jack, purely just to spite the young woman. Aki furrowed her eyebrows angrily and glared at him, but was again silent. She stood and picked up a dirty rag off the floor before proceeding to erase one of the precious plans on the white board. Crow expression was struck with horror.
"Hey, that's-" he began weakly before Aki cut him off.
"Oh hush, it probably would've exploded anyway." Aki then picked up a red marker and began to neatly inscribe a message onto the board. Jack craned his neck to try and see what she was writing, but her slender frame blocked the entire view. After a moment, Aki dropped the marker back into its slot and turned to face the two men.
"It's noon, and I haven't had lunch yet so I'm going out to eat--I'll be back in an hour to see if Yusei's returned." Aki stepped aside so that the entire message was visible: "Yusei--Are you dead? I haven't seen you or heard from you for a week." She had then signed her full name below in her calligraphy-like cursive.
"Wait, why did you have to write a message? We're here and we're probably going to be here all day; we could've easily told him you were here and looking for him," protested Jack, crossing his arms as he spoke. Aki cast him a wary glance, her eyelids drooping over her amber irises lazily.
"I don't trust either of you to properly convey a message," she said plainly.
"Why not?" asked Crow. Aki shrugged.
"I don't know; you'd just screw it up somehow." The female psychic then left without another word. Jack and Crow remained silent for a moment, only staring at the open door where she had disappeared. Jack suddenly mumbled something to himself about a "psychotic bitch" and returned to the D-Wheel. Crow blinked and sighed, ruffling his own hair slightly.
"Don'cha think we should just wait until Yusei gets back? I mean, we'll probably only end up making things worse. . ." said Crow, his voice trailing off slightly as he pulled up a stool and sat beside Jack.
"Make what worse?" asked Yusei as he entered into the home, carrying a large box full of assorted machine parts and tools. "The D-Wheel, you mean?" Yusei set the box on the table and went to examine the machinery, circling it as his cobalt blue eyes studied it carefully.
"It doesn't looks like anything's wrong. . .Yup, it looks exactly like how I left it." Jack and Crow's faces fell, realizing that their hours upon hours of work were for naught. Yusei suddenly stopped in his tracks and bent down to get a closer look at something, his hand reaching out to touch it, almost as if he were caressing the cheek of a woman.
"Wait. . .It looks like this loose screw was tightened. Good job guys." What irritated Jack the most was how Yusei had no inkling of sarcasm in his voice--he sounded completely serious, completely sincere--as if he already had the idea that he and his bird-brained friend wouldn't get anywhere in his absence. Yusei stood and rubbed the back of his neck tiredly as he took a quick glance at the whiteboard. His eyes widened slightly upon the sight of Akis' message in place of where one of their invaluable plans used to be. Jack and Crow exchanged quick, nervous glances, feeling that now Yusei would grow upset, which was rare for the Satellite-raised man.
"T-There was nothing we could do to stop her! She just came along and erased before we could even say-" But before Crow could finish, Yusei had turned to face them full with a small, rare smile on his face, and twinkle of a child-like excitement in his eyes.
"Aki was here?" he asked in an abnormally cheerful voice. Jack and Crow nearly fell off their seats, floored by his indifference to the missing blueprint that he had spent days designing.
"But, Yusei, the plan. . ." began Crow weakly as he tried to straighten himself up. Yusei turned away and approached the board and pulled out the chair that Aki had previously sat on for himself.
"It wouldn't have worked anyhow," said Yusei as he did this. "The structure was too small, and it probably would've overheated and exploded."
Jack's expression deadpanned, seething at the fact that Yusei wasn't the least bit angry--in fact, he was happy. What was worse was that Aki's inept judgement on the engine's design was actual true. Crow blinked in disbelief but he soon put on one of classic, silly grins and let out a chuckle at the irony of it all.
"So, do you know where she is?" asked Yusei curiously as he rested his elbows on his knees.
"She went out to lunch, but she'll be back in a hour to try and see you," explained Crow simply. Yusei looked slightly crestfallen upon hearing this before he straightened himself up. "Oh. . ." said the raven-haired man, his voice drifting off sadly. Crow's head perked up, immediately noticing the melancholic edge in his friend's voice.
"Hey, what's the matter?" he asked, turning his chair to face Yusei fully.
"Well. . .I promised Zola to help her out with something in ten minutes," admitted Yusei before he stood. "And I don't know when I'll be back." Jack let out a sigh of exasperation as he ran his fingers through his blond hair.
"So you're leaving us again? And for an old hag that hates us? You do realize that this tournament is only in a year, right?" Jack fired off these questions without even giving Yusei a chance to properly respond. Still, the blue-eyed duelist looked unfazed by his friend's evident frustration, his face returning to its usual stoic state.
"That 'old hag' happens to the land lady who owns this place; she could kick us out anytime she wants. And yes, I do realize that the Grand Prix is fast approaching. However, that doesn't mean I have to push aside being a good person," he answered calmly. Jack sighed once again as he began to tap his fingers idly on his knee; of course Yusei would choose to help Zola over working on the D-Wheel. To do otherwise would be considered selfish in his book.
"Still," began Yusei as he glanced at Aki's message on the board. "If I leave now, I might be able to get done helping her before Aki returns. But just in case. . ." The new king picked up a blue marker and began to write on the board as well. Jack wanted to smack his forehead; even though the design was deemed unimportant by Yusei, what if it had been? Adding to Aki's message was practically encouraging her for something that could've been very bad.
"There," said Yusei with a small smile as he set the marker down and stepped aside; 'Yes, I'm alive. Glad to know that you care.' Belong that was his own signature, which wasn't quite as nice as Aki's, but it was still his identity.
"You know, we could've given Aki that message verbally," said Jack, gesturing to himself and Crow as he spoke. Yusei hesitated.
"Well. . .It's not that I don't trust you two, but I'd worry that you might accidentally. . .mess up the message." This time, Jack really did smack his forehead.
"God," he muttered with a sigh. "You n' Izayoi are exactly alike." Yusei didn't hear the blond duelist though as he gave the two men a quick "goodbye" before heading out the door. After he left, Crow stood and left to plop himself lazily on the couch. Jack shot the red-headed duelist a glare.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" demanded Jack angrily. Crow let out a heavy sigh.
"Look, Jack, I don't think we should try to work on it," explained Crow as he rested his head on the sofa's arm. "I think Yusei made it obvious that we're not really getting anywhere by ourselves. And I still don't want to risk making it worse. . ."
"For once, I agree with Crow on this one," said Aki as she entered the home for the second time that day. "Yusei's put a lot of heart into that D-Wheel and I'll personally kick both of your asses if you screw it up for him."
"Well, you're back early," remarked Jack bitterly as he watched her swing herself over the stair's railing and jump down.
"The lines at the café were shorter than I though they'd be," she replied plainly, straightening herself out. "Is Yusei back?"
"You just missed 'em," answered Crow simply. Aki's shoulders sagged slightly in disappointment.
"Hm," she hummed to herself as she leaned against the concrete wall, her arms crossed. "Did he at least get my message?" Jack and Crow both pointed to the white board simultaneously. Aki lifted her head and looked at it, reading Yusei's message silently to herself as a smile graced her lips. Aki unwound her arms and approached board, picking up the red marker to leave another message; 'Well, in all seriousness, I really miss you. Can we do something together? Just the two of us?'
"I'm going shopping," muttered Aki as she signed her name. "Like I said before, I'll be back in an hour."
"Or earlier." grumbled Jack to himself. Aki rolled her eyes as she headed back up the stairs and out the door. The former king sighed heavily and went and sat beside Crow. The delivery man cocked his eyebrow at Jack inquistively as he did, figuring that he had taken Aki's threat seriously (Which wasn't as ridiculous as it sounded; though Jack refused to admit that it happened, Aki had given him a black eye after he made a rather sexist remark to Mikage, her closest female friend. That was in a rare moment of extreme anger for the claw Signer, but still. . .) and had decided to back off working on the D-Wheel until Yusei returned.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the outside paneling of the open door. The two men looked up to see the two special investigation agents, Mikage and Ushio, waiting at the door.
"Hey guys! Come on in!" exclaimed Crow as he stood up and grinned at them. Both returned a friendly smile as they came down the stairs, though Ushio was still walking on a limp from his life-threatening encounter with Ghost.
"We're terribly sorry to bother you, but we found out some more information on Ghost, or otherwise known as our Riding Roid, that we'd thought you'd like to know," explained Mikage as she approached the two other men, her heels clicking against the hard floor as she walked.
"Information?" asked Jack as he sat up straight. "What kind of information?"
"We've uncovered a few clues as to who might've stolen the roid from Security in the first place," said Ushio as he cast a wary glance at Jack. "Is Yusei here?"
"No," replied Jack gruffly as he also stood to approach the two agents. "But he is awfully popular today."
"Popular?" inquired Mikage, her head perking curiously. Like before, both Crow and Jack pointed at the bored. Mikage turned toward it, her eyes scanning over the messages carefully as an amused smile came to her lips.
"How. . .cute. It sort of reminds me of phone tag." mused Mikage, her smile quickly turning into a smirk. The blue-haired woman was well-aware of the relationship between Yusei and Aki; just good friends. However, she was also quick to observe that their feelings for each other extended beyond friendship.
"Phone tag?" questioned Ushio, his chocolate brown eyes glancing down at her. Mikage looked up at him an smiled once again, causing a faint blush to form on his cheeks.
"It's sort a "game" that kids played a lot when I was in High school. You call your boyfriend, he's not available, you leave a message. Your boyfriend calls you, your not available, he leaves a message. . ." Mikage suddenly let out an awkward cough and blushed a bit herself, noticing the blank look on all three of the men's faces. She silently reminded herself that she was the only female present, and that neither Jack and Crow had ever attended school where such romantic fads were popular while Ushio had hardly dated in the duration of his youth. "N-Never mind."
Crow suddenly let out a hearty laugh.
"You're cute when you blush, Mikage, did'ja know that?" Though he was only joking, he received intense glares from both Ushio and Jack. Crow immediately shut his mouth, forgetting that Ushio had a crush on his female partner while Jack. . .Well, who knew what the hell he actually thought about his former secretary. Mikage tucked a strand of her blue hair behind her ear as her blush deepened, flattered by his comment.
"B-Back to Ghost. . ." she stammered nervously as her voice trailed slightly.
"You have information on Ghost?" asked Yusei as he appeared at the top of the stairs, his brow damp with sweat and his hands covered in oil. Mikage and Ushio both smiled upon the sight of him.
"We do," said Ushio plainly. Yusei returned their smile and wiped his hand clean with a dirty rag that he kept near the door before descending to meet his friends.
"Oh, has Aki returned?" asked Yusei suddenly, changing the subject.
"Why don't you check the board?" grunted Jack, making a quick gesture to it. Yusei did as the blonde man suggested, smiling to himself as he read her most recent message; and perhaps there was just a hint of pink in his cheeks. As the raven-haired duelist was distracted, Aki reentered the room, her face brightening upon the sight of Yusei.
"Ugh, you're finally back," said Aki as she descended the stairs. Yusei snapped out of his thoughts and spun around to face her Aki.
"Aki," he acknowledged with a tender smile. The young woman didn't reply as she went to meet him, smirking to herself as she stopped directly in front of him. The rest of the group watched in anticipation, all wondering how Yusei would react to the suggestion in her message.
"So. . I'd love to spend some time with you. . .How about dinner?" asked Yusei, trying hard not to stumble over his words. Though the stoic duelist was normally very calm and collected, Aki had quite the talent of making him squirm nervously. Aki supressed a small giggle and smiled.
"I'd like that," she replied simply. Yusei resisted beaming at her.
"Then it's a date?" he asked as her warm, amber eyes connected with his own, making Yusei's heart beat loud enough that he feared she would hear. Aki took a bold step toward Yusei, their faces becoming only inches apart.
"Definitely." Gaining a burst of courage herself, Aki touched his cheek where his Satellite marker was and pecked him on the lips. Their brief kiss lasted for only a split-second, and it definitely wasn't anything amazing or life-changing, but it gave them a small taste of what was to come that following evening. Crow gagged in shock, while Ushio's eyes widened slightly in surprise that Aki had taken the initiative in the first place. Jack looked completely indifferent (though he was already plotting ways to murder his best friend's new girlfriend), while Mikage smiled but turned her head away respectfully. Aki backed off Yusei as quickly as she advanced, amused by the slightly dazed look upon his face.
"So! Come by my place a seven?" asked Aki, hoping to break the awkward silence that had fallen after she had realized that there were four people other than Yusei and herself present. Yusei nodded.
"Sound great." Aki returned the gesture and gave him one last, precious smile before leaving. Yusei watched her disappear completely before he turned to face the other four, his normallt expressionless face practically radiating happiness.
"Well. . .Tell me about what you know about Ghost," said Yusei as he let out an awkward cough and attempted to hide the excitement the grew in his gut.
Lucarly: I know it kind of ends in an awkward place, but I like ending stories in awkward places for whatever reason. I think it's more interesting like that.
Aki: What ever you say. . .
Lucarly: Yup, 'cause I'm the author. Anyway, reviews are love. So if you love me, review. If you don't love me, review anyway.