Another Step on the Path

By Lucky_Ladybug

Notes: The characters are not mine and this ficlit is! A conversation with Crystal inspired me to try to write something for Rex post-series. He's a minor character I always liked . . . until he was dumbed down starting with the Doom Arc. I did not appreciate the travesty done to his character and I've sought to repair some of the damage that was done by making him nothing more than cheap comic relief. The prompt Transport from YGODrabble on Livejournal has assisted.

"Flight 120, Chicago to Domino City, has just landed. Please claim your baggage as soon as possible . . ."

The brunet tuned out the sound of the woman's clipped voice, instead brushing his shaggy ponytail off his shoulder. As he headed towards the merry-go-round he shuffled through the pamphlets, brochures, and other materials he had collected from the stands.

Of all places he could choose to fly out to he had to pick Domino City, the Duel Monsters center of the world. He frowned at the picture of the metropolis on the top info packet.

It did not seem to have changed a great deal, but he had.

He had struck out on his own some time ago. One of Weevil's schemes had finally pushed his patience over the edge. While spying for a gang, hoping to get some reimbursement for their troubles, they had both realized they were in too deep. Upon trying to escape, he had been gunned down by the angry gang members. He still remembered how Weevil kept running, never looking back.

In Weevil's defense, he had not known what had happened. And it was thanks to him realizing and coming back that Rex had survived. But nearly dying from another one of Weevil's ideas had left him smarting. He was tired of living in the rut they were in, he had told Weevil during his recovery. And he wanted out. He should have got out after the Orichalcos fiasco.

Of course Weevil had protested. Rex had told him he could come along, if he wanted, but he was no longer going to follow Weevil as he had been. He had not stooped to such antics on his own; Weevil had been a bad influence whenever they were together. And it had only made everything worse, not better.

They had tried for a short while to find their way back through honest means, but Weevil had soon given up and gone back to his old ways. It was not really a surprise; he had cheated throughout the majority of his life. He did not know how to live honestly, nor did he have the patience to learn.

Rex had continued to try. He had found a steady job and worked hard at it. In his free time he had played Duel Monsters whenever possible, seeking to discover what it was he was lacking, what had caused him to topple from his position as top dog and a no-talent mongrel to take his place and eventually become better than him.

He was still not sure he had found it. But he was returning to Domino City to challenge Joey Wheeler again, this time fairly and honestly. And maybe he would figure it out.

Joey had always preached about playing with heart. Rex had done that, maybe at first. But he had come to love the fame and the glory more than the game itself. Was that the problem? He frowned, tapping the brochure as he pondered.

Movement out of the corner of his eye grabbed his attention and he looked up with a start. Some kid had reached the baggage merry-go-round before him and was curiously poking at a large duffel bag, obviously wanting to know what was inside.

"Hey!" Rex yelled. "Get away from that!"

The kid gave a start and looked up with frightened eyes before scurrying out of the way. Muttering to himself, Rex walked to the bag and hauled it up, affixing the strap over his shoulder.