A companion to To See Through the True Eyes. Winning Fic for Christmas Fic Bonanza poll. Same story, different perspective, as requested. Forgive the long wait. I will respond to the reviews of To See Through the True Eyes as soon as I possibly can. Again, I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's.
The coolness of the rain gnawed against his face like frostbite, lashing against his cheeks and beating harshly on his visor. The dark leather and material clung uncomfortably to his skin, inviting tense shivers down his spine. He shook and swallowed, sniffing once in an effort to deny the cold any power over him.
The cold wouldn't have been too bad, had it not been for the rain. Early spring rain was a ravaging beast, especially on the roadways. His subconscious knew that riding his D-wheel on the highways in the rain was not the best idea at all. It defied all logic, but he promised.
And Yusei Fudou never went back on a promise. It was like his code, and this case would be no exception. Especially this case. He probably wouldn't have promised at all if it was anyone else. Okay, maybe he would, but this wasn't a life-and-death "save the world" kind of deal. At least, not in the usual sense.
Yet, his cobalt eyes burned with piercing resolve like the twilight sky right before the horizon bursts into showers of color. He could not be late.
"Yusei, will you get that blasted phone already? It's going to make my eardrums explode." Jack grumbled from across the room where he sifted quickly through a magazine and sipped casually at his coffee.
The young man stood, wiping his hands on a damp rag and shaking the ebony hair from his eyes. He meandered softly over to the small roughshod table next to the computer and picked up his phone. Without looking at the caller ID, he flipped open the small device and calmly greeted the person on the other line, "Hey."
There was a moment of silence as Yusei listened to the voice on the other end, "Ah."
His shoulders relaxed slightly, "Ah. Yeah. No, no problem."
Jack's violet irises crept from the pages of the magazine to glance suspiciously at his dark-haired friend. Yusei's eyes softened and a hint of gentleness flitted across his features, "Aki…it's alright. Around noon, then?"
Jack's gaze held on the Signer, and footsteps on the stairs signaled Crow's descent into the garage, his grey eyes wide and anxiously awaiting any news. A ghost of a smile crawled across Yusei's face, "No, Aki, don't worry about it. It's no trouble. I'll meet you there. I promise. Yeah, I'll see you then."
As the mechanic hung up the phone, Crow could no longer keep quiet and catapulted himself down the rest of the stairs, "I knew it! I knew it! Didn't I tell, you, Jack?"
The blonde only mumbled an incoherent response. Crow just continued, "Finally! So, man, what's your plan of action?"
Yusei glanced at him with a blank expression on his face, "She only wanted to meet me for a Riding Duel."
"Aha! And it's not even the usual day. She's getting bolder! I didn't think she'd have it in her!"
Yusei's eyebrow twitched, "Crow…She only wants to practice."
With that, the young duelist sighed and walked over to his D-wheel and fitted his helmet to his head. Bruno looked up from his work nearby, a concerned look on his face, "Wait, Yusei! You can't go yet! We haven't finished testing the new brake system!"
Yusei just opened the garage and mounted the machine, starting the ignition. He could vaguely hear Jack and Crow's voices followed by Bruno's as he sped off into the dark, looming grey distance.
"Alright, pay up, Jack. Aki totally manned up first."
"That idiot. What kind of man lets a woman ask him out? Disgraceful."
"Guys, it's raining. He's going to get himself killed out there." However, it seemed Bruno's advice went ignored.
His shoulders shook once, his teeth grinding against each other. He had to make it. He had to be on time. She sounded so distressed. Why else would she call on a day other than the day they usually practice? It was not like her. Was she alright? Did she desperately need him?
Questions continued to buzz around his brain like a bad montage. He felt an irresistible urge to hurry. His mouth formed a firm frown. He knew this wasn't safe, but he pressed the gas anyway.
It was as if the barricades blocking his adrenaline came crashing down all at once. He revved the engine as he whipped around the curves, the water continuing to spray at his legs as the rain pelted the pavement. Thunder rumbled in the distance and the sky flashed fiercely twice, an ominous warning against the drivers on the road at the time.
However, for once, Yusei did not heed the warning. He was always so careful, and one would wonder why he didn't stop this time, it was so unlike him. He wasn't even sure why it was. Perhaps it was a rare inkling of recklessness when he was crunched for time. Perhaps it was because he felt a strange call to urgency in the case of Aki. Either way, he swallowed, his piercing blue eyes focusing on the road as his mind began to stray elsewhere.
He was probably just being paranoid. But it was legitimate. Otherwise she'd have no reason to call at such an odd time, right? She had called in the middle of her classes, after all, and asked if he would meet her for a Riding Duel.
He really did begin to wonder if it was serious. It was definitely not like Aki to skip classes for a duel, no matter who it was. Yet, here he was, going to her like the knight in shining armor. He had become so accustomed to that role, it was almost ingrained in his nature.
His gloves slipped once on the handlebars, causing him to hang on a little tighter, until he was convinced his knuckles were bone white. A strange anxiousness manifested itself in his bones. He couldn't be late.
Just the thought of Aki's face sent signals flooding through his brain. He couldn't disappoint her. He had to make it on time.
The road widened and leveled off onto a wide stretch of pavement, a small patch of grass and trees on each side. Normally, it would have been in Yusei's nature to slow down, the slick road and lack of guard rail proving a dangerous setting in the rain. He didn't slow down.
It was completely illogical, as if his brain had been jolted with an electric shock and was left with only a mess of discombobulated thoughts spinning around in the grey matter.
The wheels locked.
The brakes were useless. He really should have finished with the brake system before he left. Why on earth did everything become so reckless and illogical when it had to do with her?
The water and slight curve of the road sent the D-Wheel careening towards the vehicles in front of him. That was all he could remember before it went black.
His head began to pound like explosions contained in his brain. His body burned and wracked with searing pain. He could vaguely feel wisps of something relatively soft tickle his face. Grass. He could feel the ground beneath him, but he couldn't make himself open his eyes, let alone get up.
He could feel his helmet maintaining a death-grip around his cranium; the helmet didn't fit right anymore, it had to be broken somewhere. He took a deep, rasping breath as his mind began to wander.
Aki. He wondered if she'd be okay. He wasn't going to make it on time today.
He heard a voice, familiar, and quiet. It seemed to be talking to him, but he couldn't seem to make out what it said. He thought he managed to let out a groan, but he could no longer distinguish what part was his mind and what was coming out of his mouth. The voice sounded a little desperate.
The offensive sound of sirens only contributed to his throbbing headache. There were more voices now. He felt himself slip on the brinks of consciousness as agony surged through his veins. The pressure from his helmet was relieved and his head throbbed freely. The ground disappeared beneath him and after a minute he could feel something soft.
He could feel his breathing escalate and his heartbeat only grew faster as he thought of the expression on her face. He really hated that expression sometimes; it drove his insides up the wall.
The voice he recognized still spoke from what sounded like right next to him. He managed to crustily open his eyes enough to reach out and grasp the form, his tongue on fire as he struggled to form words, "A—ki…p-please…"
Please call her…and tell her…that I won't make it this time.
He promised. He promised. He promised. It was the only coherent thing that streamed through his head, over and over. Something obnoxious bleeped regularly in the background as he slowly felt as though he was regaining himself. A low groan escaped his throat.
Yusei felt so stuffed and groggy. He didn't feel much pain, but his body felt like lead and his eyes felt like two-ton weights. Vaguely he heard a feminine voice speaking from a small distance away.
He wanted to test his body, still having no idea what kind of damage he did. Though, there were two things he really wanted to know. First, did he hurt anyone?
Second, where was she?
Finally, other voices were audible and getting closer. He knew them, but he was having trouble telling which was which.
Slowly, the voices cleared up in his mind and he could hear what they were saying. He recognized them.
"Yusei? Hey, man, you okay?" the voice was loud and expressively concerned. It had to be Crow.
After a few moments, he felt as though he might be able to open his eyes. He did, agonizingly slowly, as bright light and blurs of colors invaded his pupils.
"You really scared us all, what did you think you were doing?" Crow's voice again.
"Yusei. Next time, we really should finish the brake system before you pull something like that." The voice coming from a blur of tan and blue, Bruno.
Crow sighed, "I swear, Yusei, when it comes to Aki, you really need to take care of that 'seize the day' complex."
A deeper voice, presumably Jack's, scoffed, "As soon as he stops having the brain of a brick."
A more feminine voice intervened, chastising the others before turning to Yusei, "Stop it, boys, you're arguing like children while Yusei is sitting here in a hospital bed. Yusei, how are you feeling?"
He managed to croak out a few words, "I'll be alright, Martha. Just groggy. Where's—"
His caretaker crossed her arms, "Now, hold on, there, mister. You just sit back and rest."
With that, she turned and walked out of the room, calling behind her, "Now you boys don't be roughhousing too much. Remember where we are."
Crow groaned, "Why does she always treat us like little kids?"
Jack spat with a smirk, "Maybe because you still need to get grounded."
Crow huffed, "Not as much as Yusei does. I mean, he gets a call from you-know-who and he flies the coop faster than an Accel Synchro. Yeah, way to go, lover boy."
Bruno groaned, "Can't you guys be quiet for two minutes? I think I'm getting a migraine. I can't even imagine what you're doing to Yusei."
Yusei simply shook his head, signaling it was all right. Though he did feel incredibly tired. Soon, he would probably have to go back to sleep.
"Hey Yusei, while you were gone I figured out a way to keep better traction while handling turns. Bruno also helped with a few anti-lock modifications."
"What about me?" Jack gruffed.
The door to the room opened quietly as a figure slinked in and sat down on the sofa at the other end of the room. The figure sitting down began speaking with another figure for a moment at the back of the room before the other figure left the room without a word.
"What about you? You just sat there the whole time drinking your coffee and trying to tell us what to do!" Crow growled in response.
"Naturally. Only Jack Atlas can accomplish these things from halfway across the room."
He could barely keep his eyes open. Yusei sighed, his stomach churning slightly as his body erupted a burning sensation in his abdomen. His voice came quietly, "Guys, I think I'll be alright for now."
They looked at him for a moment before nodding, "Yeah, we'll let you sleep. C'mon guys." Crow's tone lowered, and they began to file out of the room.
Yusei's eyes caught on the person on the couch who stood and made to leave, "Aki."
His heartbeat caught in urgency. He couldn't let her leave. He couldn't. He swallowed, trying his best to fit the words from his mind to his mouth, "Don't go."
To his relief, she walked over and sat down at the side of his bed, a meekness plagued by guilt settling on her face as her eyes twiddled down to her shoes, "I-I'm sorry, Yusei."
He was stricken. Her sad, disappointed expression would have been enough. But there was something so pained and tortured in her expression that it tore him apart. He despised the former as it was, but this one absolutely obliterated his insides. His blue eyes burrowed through her, so confused at her expression but willing to do just about anything to wipe the anguish from her face.
Yet, at the same, time, he felt completely dumbfounded. What on earth could this young woman be saying?
She looked so conflicted, as if she wanted to continue, but had to fight with herself. Finally, the stress was evident in her eyes as her voice rushed through what was hurting her at a million miles an hour, "I know I'm a burden to you and I know I'm not beautiful and I'm not important and I'm not a great Turbo Duelist and-"
What? If his mind could have gone any farther off the deep end, it just did. He couldn't stand to hear any more. "Aki."
She was insane. She was downright insane. He had just risked his life and ended up in the hospital because of her. He could barely contain himself when she had that look on her face. That torment on her features unraveled his insides like nothing else could. Yet this beautiful gorgeous woman was convinced that she meant nothing to him?
For a few minutes, he was too stunned to speak. Finally, he composed himself enough to speak coherently, "You got your license, that's proof enough. Also, I already told you when we first really met, when we dueled in the Fortune Cup. You are beautiful. And you are incredibly important…to me."
He couldn't look at her anymore. He would lose his composure. His head laid lifelessly to the side, his bangs shielding his eyes as he tried to calm his heavy breathing.
Then she whimpered and he nearly lost himself, "But, you could've been killed, all because of me."
Why did she have such a profound effect on him right now? Why did he feel like his intestines were angrily twisting themselves in knots? What could he do? What would it take?
"No." was all he could muster at the moment. How could he explain it? How could she feel that way? His mouth went dry, and he couldn't pull past his exhaustion for a few moments.
"But, I'm so worthless and all I do is hurt the people I love." Her voice cracked.
Was she serious? Was she even looking at the same woman he was? His blue eyes scanned over her, taking in the way her hands gripped the fabric of her skirt when she was embarrassed or in pain and the way she bit her lip and looked away when he caught her looking at him. He saw the fiery passion of a woman redeemed out of darkness and anxious to be compassionate and prove herself to her friends.
He saw the way her face would light up when she spoke to him and how she would ask questions all the time to try to understand the world of physics and mechanics. He saw the way her eyes would start shining every time she had a chance to do something for someone. He saw the stubborn obstinacy of a woman who refused to compromise. He saw how she would stop at nothing to save someone, even if that meant risking her life. He saw how her beauty just seemed to multiply every time he looked at her.
He couldn't just look at the girl anymore.
His hand tensed as he reached out and grabbed her wrist, yanking her towards him with all his might. He then grasped her waist tightly with his good hand before raising it to stroke her kitten-soft burgundy hair again and again. He could vaguely feel his heartbeat quicken as he closed his eyes and let his chin fall into place on her head.
Yusei could feel her body tense, yet he only pulled her closer to him, the smell of lavender overwhelming his nostrils as he buried his face into her hair, ruffling the back of her head and inhaling the sweet scent of lavender as if it were the last thing he would ever smell.
How could he show her? What would he do if she still didn't get it?
The male Signer rubbed his criminal marker against her cheek, his skin pressing against her smooth face as his breath tickled her ear. She tore him apart. He was completely baffled on how she could believe these things. So long ago he promised to be there for her, and he meant it with everything he had. He couldn't go back on promises.
No matter what happened, he was going to be there. She had felt alone and worthless for way too long. He wasn't about to let her go on with such a gut-wrenching burden by herself. She wasn't made to carry that weight.
He slowly loosened his hold on her and leaned back against the pillow, swallowing once as he tried to breathe properly. Man, he was so tired.
Yusei's hand still held on her back, drawing her closer to him. His glassy pupils managed to focus on her for a few moments, staring daggers of determination and conviction into her beautiful brown orbs. His voice came quietly but crystal clear, "I'm sick of having to duel you for you to believe the truth."
Her eyes stared back at him, utterly astounded. The brown orbs shimmered once as the light caught her irises and the hospital florescent bulbs nearly silhouetted her form, her hair hanging forward and framing her face as if something in a dream.
She was so beautiful.
How was it that something so…precious…could feel so worthless?
Aki continued to stare at him, completely at a loss for words as her lips hung in anticipation. Then he knew.
He surged forward, pulling the girl to meet him in a sloppy wet kiss.
Yusei inhaled deeply as he came in contact with her lips, a deep rush of blood issuing a decisive pounding in his chest. He massaged her back and shoulders with his hand, his touch grazing the soft hairs at the nape of her neck.
Oh, the feeling of when she kissed him back. He swore he could feel a current flowing from her to him and vice versa. He nearly attacked her lips with all the pent up compassion and frustration he had felt while trying to tell her what she meant to him. This was him giving up trying to tell her. He had to show her.
The Signers' mouths caressed each other with the intensity of a thunderstorm in the desert. He relished in the whimsical exchange of affection that had been manifesting itself in his mind every time he saw her smile. Why did he have to be so groggy right now?
A soft moan curled in his throat as he kissed her, slowly and reluctantly forcing himself to pull away, initiating a suction sound from their separation. He could barely breathe. Why were these things so hard at a time like this?
Her eyes stayed closed for a moment before she fluttered them open, inevitably curling her lip under her teeth and glancing at the floor for a moment. He could see her quick, shallow breathing and the blood rushed to her face, the astonished embarrassment evident on her flustered expression. Yusei could only think about how beautiful she was in that moment.
He stared her in the eyes, forcing her gaze back up at him as his hand found the side of her face, his thumb stroking her cheek in a hidden tenderness. His voice was shallow as he tried to keep his vocal cords from cracking, "Aki. I have to help people, you know that. But this…this me… is reserved. It belongs to you. Don't forget that."
Yusei felt the hot tears hit his hand as they rushed down her face. Her eyelids slipped shut as she leaned into him and breathed in the moment. He could barely keep his eyes open. After a couple moments, a small encouraged smile crossed her face as she bent forward to nuzzle her cheek across his, "Sweet dreams, Yusei. I'll let you sleep."
Something stirred in his system, something so unlike him. He ached for her company. His azure eyes only watched her in what he thought was his typical facial expression of resolve. The gentle grin that spread across her face only wracked his brain into oblivion, "I'll come back, tomorrow morning."
With that, she left. He exhaled. He felt so weird, and inexplicably sleepy. And slowly, he drifted into the world behind the eyelids, subtly wondering if he would ever have to pull something like that again.
Yusei stinks at persuasive speaking. I can tell the background behind this one too, if you guys would like. Lord bless you guys. Thank you so much for reading! Praying for you!