Title: Happily Ever After is so Once Upon a Time

Pairing(s): Sherry/A lot of people, very minor Yusei/Aki.

Rating: T

Warning(s): Language with a side of sex and a sprinkle of lesbianism on top.

Note(s): I can't decide who I like Sherry with. So I wrote this. The scenes take place at different points throughout the series and thereafter.

"In fairy tales you meet Prince Charming and he's
everything you ever wanted . . . Then you grow up
and you realize that Prince Charming is not as
easy to find as you thought. "

- Taylor Swift

Sherry used to believe in fairytales. And why shouldn't she have? She used to live in one. A lavish mansion, countless servants who catered to her every need, two loving parents that regarded her as a princess. Every night before she fell asleep, her mother would read her classics like Cendrillon ou La petite Pantoufle de Verre and La Belle et la Bête , stories in which true love triumphed over everything else.

True love. What a silly notion.

True, she had thought she was in love before. Many times, actually. But that was before she finally came to conclusion that love doesn't actually exist. Rather, love was a concept invented by humans to convince themselves that out there among the billions of people, there was someone waiting, someone who could give them everything their heart desired.


No such person existed. Perhaps there were people who came close, but in the end, they just let you down. Sherry learned this in worst possible way: by experiencing it herself.

There was something about Yusei that drew her to him. She had been searching for a new member to add to her team, and there had been many candidates: the talented Mukuro Enjo, the former King of Riding Duel, Jin Himuro... but Yusei Fudo was golden. Nicknamed "The Shooting Star of Satellite," he had an impressive history of wins and had brushed up against some of the world's greatest duelists... not to mention, he had beaten both of her other top candidates.

Naturally, she was disappointed when he turned her down the first time. But she was determined to not give up so easily. Since she could not convince him to join her team by dueling him, she tried a different approach, one most men could not resist: sex appeal.

He was surprised when he saw her waiting in the garage on that hot summer day, wearing something a little less boyish than her typical apparel.

"Sherry," he regarded politely, setting aside the box of assorted D-Wheel parts he had carried inside. "What are you doing here?"

"Me?" She asked flirtatiously, pointing to herself. Yusei nodded. "I was just wondering if you had made your decision."

"My opinion has not changed," the marked man replied, turning away. His answer, though expected, spurred the female duelist into putting her plan into motion. She came up behind the Head Signer and latched onto his arm. He tensed.

"Yusei," she purred. "What is it going to take for me to get you to join my team?" Yusei looked at her with wide, uncertain eyes; she could tell he was tempted. What man wouldn't be? Here she was, an attractive young woman, offering her affections for a small price. Unfortunately for the French woman, his personal standards were stronger than his carnal impulses.

"Sherry," he began seriously, quickly untangling himself from her. His cheeks were flushed pink with both embarrassment and attraction. "I'm flattered. But..." He stopped, hesitant. Sherry shifted her weight to her left hip, folding her arms.

"Ah, so I suppose you have your eye on the psychic duelist girl?" she asked, teasing. His body stiffened as his piercing gaze fell upon her.

"Aki and I are friends," he said plainly. Sherry's lips tightened and she shook her head; perhaps he wasn't willing to admit it to himself, but the way he acted spoke differently.

"I get it," she said coolly, holding her hands up in surrender. "I'll leave you to yourself then."

Sherry stopped pursuing him after that incident; she knew that if he was truly interested in the burgundy-haired woman, then she didn't stand a chance. Besides, she and Mizoguchi could manage just fine on their own. Still, that didn't stop the disappointment that hung above her shoulders.

Bruno, she was sure, was the first man she felt she ever truly loved. Which is exactly why watching Yusei stand before them and say in a broken voice that he was dead felt like a sharp knife tearing through her heart.

Their first meeting was anything but pleasant; in fact, they'd nearly killed each other. Their second meeting, on the other hand, was much more mellow. After growing frustrated with her seemingly futile efforts to uncover the secrets of Ylliaster, she went for a midnight run on her D-Wheel. It was on her drive that she noticed Bruno standing out alone on the shoreline, staring aimlessly out at the sea. Her interest piqued, she pulled over.

"It's late," she stated plainly after pulling off her helmet and shaking out her hair. Bruno nearly jumped, obviously not expecting anyone to be there.

"Yeah," he replied, a little nervous. She stood beside him, looking at him expectantly.

"I... Uh..." Bruno stammered, realizing she wanted an explanation. Sherry couldn't help but find his fidgeting strangely cute as he looked back out at the sea. "This is where they found me... I keep thinking if I come back here, then maybe I'll remember something... maybe I'll remember who I am..."

Sherry raised her brow.

"You're an amnesic?" she asked. He hesitated before nodding.

"So you can't remember anything?"

"No," he confessed sadly.

"Nothing?" She asked, sounding incredulous. He nodded again. Sherry stared at him for a long moment before looking up at the stars and murmuring, "Sometimes, I wish I could just forget." Things happened very fast from that point. He must have taken pity on her, or have been struck with sudden compassion because when he embraced her, she had absolutely no idea what the hell he was getting at. Her impulse was to shove him off and ask him if he was completely retarded or just really ballsy. She did neither, however, and simply waited for him to make his next move.

His breath was hot against her lips and he smelled of motor oil and gasoline which, quite frankly, turned her on. So when he kissed her, it felt like a jolt of electricity had sprung from her heart and ran down south of her body. Sure, she had kissed other men before. But that was because she was seducing them for information, not because she admired them (quite the opposite, actually). This time she kissed Bruno back because dammit, she wanted to.

Crow was her first. Not that she'd ever tell him that; it would inflate his ego.

Sex, as it turned out, wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Making love itself is wonderful (albeit, a bit painful) because for one hour, you completely lose yourself in someone else. The aftermath is horribly unpleasant, however; there is an unmistakable soreness in between your legs and the sweat on your skin makes you feel sticky and unclean. There's also that inconvenient detail where you are completely naked and therefore vulnerable.

She turned on her side, away from him. For whatever reason, she was feeling strangely self-conscious. She shivered; she didn't like it, no, not at all. She was normally so confident, so assured of herself. Now, for the first time in a long time, she was terrified- not unlike how she felt when she found her parents' bodies lying dead in her home.

Sherry honestly wasn't all that interested when Crow began pursuing her after they had saved the city from the Ark Cradle falling. She was still upset over Bruno's passing and even though she had managed to help save the city, that didn't change the fact that her family was still gone and that 15 years of her life had been wasted chasing after revenge that wasn't quite as sweet as she hoped it would be. She agreed to go out with him, however, because it distracted her from her life, which was clearly falling apart. The worst part of it was, no one even noticed.

"Sherry?" Crow inquired, sliding up beside her. His hand gently brushed her hair, which was still damp with perspiration, off her shoulder. Another thing Sherry would never tell Crow: as crazy and unrealistic as it sounded, he was... well, romantic. "Are you OK?"

No, she thought. He had told her a couple of days earlier he was leaving Neo Domino City to become a professional duelist, which is probably what prompted her to sleep with him in the first place. Only now she was beginning to realize that was a mistake; despite her initial disinterest, she had grown fond of the Blackbird duelist. Sleeping with him would only make it harder to let him go.

"I'm fine," she mumbled in response. This answer seemed to satisfy him as he buried his face in the crook of her neck.

"I love you," he murmured against her skin.

No you don't, she thought bitterly. Because if you did, you would stay.

Sherry had heard Aki Izayoi had left to study abroad nearly a year earlier; which is why she was surprised to see the other female duelist sitting by herself in Café la Geen, stirring sugar into a drink she'd barely even touched.

"Aren't you supposed to be in Germany?" asked Sherry, boldly sliding into the seat across from Aki. The former Claw Signer looked up in surprise, setting down her stir stick.

"I'm visiting for the summer," she explained after getting over the initial shock of seeing the French woman there.

"Ah." Sherry laced her fingers together and rested her chin atop them. "So when is Yusei coming?"

"How did you-"

"Lucky guess."

Aki blinked, nonplussed. And then, she melted into a smile. The warmth that suddenly enveloped the young woman caught Sherry off guard; Aki certainly was a lot more attractive when she smiled.

"To answer your question, he texted a few minutes ago to say he'd be a little bit late. He got caught up in something at the Momentum Lab," Aki said cheerily.

"So typical of men," Sherry murmured. Aki chuckled.

"I couldn't agree more."

"Then why bother?"

Something about her question struck Aki as funny and she couldn't help but laugh. Sherry looked mildly perturbed by this.

"What?" she demanded.

"I'm sorry," Aki apologized, regaining her composure. "That was terribly rude of me. Honestly, I can't help but feel sympathetic."

Sherry cocked her brow and pressed her for further explanation.

"You've been through a lot," Aki began calmly. "Your whole life is some sort of tragic love story, and I find it... well, sad."

"You seem to have me figured out," Sherry replied, amused. Aki shrugged.

"I have my theories."

"Enlighten me."

Aki leaned in closely to the blonde duelist, accepting her challenge.

"I think you've spent so many years filled seeking revenge that you've allowed your rage define every part of you. And you hate yourself for it; now that you've attained your goal, you don't know what to do with yourself. You don't trust people, even though you want too. You want to love someone, but it's difficult when everyone you've ever cared about is gone." Aki paused, inhaling deeply. "What it ultimately boils down to is that you don't know who you are anymore."

The reality of her words' hit Sherry like a brick. Aki's depiction couldn't have been any more accurate and it made Sherry feel like she had been torn open; she, herself had not even realized all this and weren't you supposed to know yourself the best?

"I'm not a therapist, but I think you need to take some time to learn who Sherry is. After all, how can you love someone else if you don't even know how to love yourself?" Aki hesitated before adding, "Trust me, I'd know." It was then that Yusei walked into the café, looking frazzled from trying to get there. Sherry knew this was her cue to leave, so she stood up.

"Sherry," he said in surprise as he approached the table. "It's been awhile."

"That it has," she muttered, nodding. "You'll have to excuse me, I was just leaving. Hope you two enjoy yourselves." Sherry could feel both Aki and Yusei's eyes follow her as she left, though she didn't care. She needed to get away; far away. Sherry hopped onto her D-Wheel and revved it up, taking off. She intended to head back to her apartment, but her subconsciousness apparently had different plans.

She ended up at the shoreline, where she and Bruno had shared their moment nearly two years earlier. How appropriate.

Sherry plopped down on the sand, disregarding the fact that she was wearing a nice skirt that she would regret getting dirty later. Aki was right; she needed reevaluate herself, figure out who she truly is. But to do that, she needed to start over and begin her life anew.

Sherry closed her eyes and inhaled the scent of the sea, remembering the immortal words that began each fairytale: once upon a time...


Comment(s): FYI, Cendrillon ou La petite Pantoufle de Verre and La Belle et la Bête are otherwise known as Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, respectively.

So I'm sure most of you are like, Where the hell did Sherry/Crow come from? My answer: there are photos of their VA's at a cast part holding up a cake that reads something along the lines of, "Sherry loves Crow." So... that's my explanation.