Title: There's a First Time for Everything

Pairing(s): Rally/Patty.

Rating: K+

Warning(s): Fluff.

Note(s): Requested by OceanFairy on DeviantART.

"First love is a little foolish and a lot of curiosity."

- George Bernard Shaw

She was unlike anyone he'd ever seen. Light hair and dark skin- such a combination was foreign to Rally, yet the first time he met her, her... prettiness stumped him. It was weird. He had never thought of anything or anyone as pretty. In fact, he had never thought about girls in that way beforehand, but now her and her pretty eyes and her pretty skin and her pretty hair was all he could think about. It was extremely frustrating.

But the weird part was that Patty seemed to like him, too. Rally tried to reason that this was only because he was just as strange to her as she was to him. He was from the Satellite and she grew up in the city; they were two completely different environments. Yet, the other side of him, the more (Rally shuddered) romantic and hopeful side of him, fought back with the argument that none of Ruka and Rua's other friends took an interest in him quite like she did. That had to mean something, right?

Well, apparently it did.

One afternoon, after the schoolfriends (plus himself, the misfit, Rally thought glumly) had enjoyed a day feeding the ducks and playing a few games of Duel Monsters in the Neo Domino City Park, Patty asked what he was doing that weekend. She explained that her parents were going out of town for a day to attend to some business, and she didn't feel like spending her evening alone. So, she invited him over to eat dinner with her (his first reaction: she cooks? at this age?).

Rally, of course, accepted. He was raised to never turn down a meal, especially if it was a good one. He didn't know how wealthy Patty's family was, but if she was living in the city, then she had to have at least some money to her name. And as Rally saw it, more money equals better food, no matter who's cooking.

So, that's how he ended up here.

In a nice house, sitting in a nice living room.

With a pretty girl cooking dinner.

For him.

The very thought caused his face to heat up. He swallowed, trying to contain himself. He had to keep his cool. Girls, according to Blitz, have this weird sixth sense: they are intuitive, and they can tell if you are nervous or not. And he did not want Patty to think he was nervous. Rally's panic about this (was it safe to call it a date? he didn't know; he didn't understand this mushy kind of stuff) drove him to seek help... as humiliating as it was to do so.

First, he went to Yusei. Unfortunately, the Head Signer had very little advice to offer and instead suggested he talk to Jack. But when Rally asked Jack what he should do, the blonde just stared at him blankly for a long moment before walking away. That left only one person, since he was definitely not going to Taka, Blitz, or Nerve about this (it was difficult enough coming up with an excuse as to why he wouldn't be with them Saturday night).

"Yusei's hopeless. He has to be as blind as a bat to not see that Aki-san has the hots for him," Crow said, waving his hand dismissively. "Jack too. He may have women falling for him left and right, but that doesn't make him an expert. The man can't even decide who he's in love with- right now it's the blue-haired security officer. He'll probably change his mind tomorrow."

"I guess you know all about girls then?" Rally asked, raising his eyebrows. He knew Crow was a lot of things, but romantic certainly didn't seem like one of them.

"Of course!" the red-head exclaimed, draping his arm around the younger boy. "Don'cha worry- one lesson with Crow the Bullet-sama and you'll be sweeping this Patty girl off her feet!"

"Rally-kun!" Patty's call interrupted Rally's thoughts. The young girl peered at him from the kitchen. "Do you prefer your eggs sweetened, or ... ?" Rally stared, unsure of how to respond. Such had never been an option in the Satellite. In fact, there never were options when it came to dining in the Satellite... It was whatever you could scrape off the streets.

"Uh... sweetened," he replied hesitantly. He didn't know what she meant by "sweetened eggs," but he enjoyed indulging in sugary things whenever he could get his hands on them.

"You got it!" she replied with a wink. Rally's stomach did a backflip. Boy, not only was she really pretty, she was cute, too.

It was only a few minutes when the scent of dinner wafted into the dining room, filling every nook and cranny. Rally pushed down on his gut when his stomach growled loudly, hoping Patty wouldn't hear. He hadn't realized how ravished he was.

"OK! Finished!" Patty cried, appearing in the doorway, two steaming bowls of food in hand. Rally grinned, sitting up a little taller as she sat beside him and handed him a bowl and a pair of chopsticks.

"Ah, thank you," he said politely. "Smells delicious." Patty nodded.

"I hope you enjoy it," she replied. Rally was sure he would... if he knew what it was. He poked a chopstick at his food, just to make sure nothing in it was alive. It was fairly commonplace to find worms or cockroaches in his meals in the Satellite and even though he knew the city was far more sanitary than what he was used to, he wanted to check, just out of habit.

"So, what is this?" he asked offhandedly, hoping not to offend her.

"Oyako Donburi." She laughed when she saw his confused expression. "Don't worry, it's mostly just eggs and chicken. Nothing weird like cat or cow tongue, if that's what you're thinking." Rally immediately relaxed.

"It looks really good, but I've never had it before," he said with a nervous chuckle.

"Seriously?" she asked, her eyes growing wide.

"Uh-uh," Rally replied, shaking his head.

"Well, you should try it! I think you'll like it!" Patty encouraged. Rally nodded and quickly took a bite... chewed... swallowed...

"It's really tasty!" he exclaimed suddenly. And he wasn't lying; it was good, possibly one of the best things he had ever eaten. Of course, Patty's dish didn't have much competition with what he had been forced to eat in his youth, but still.

"Is it?" she asked brightly.

"So, is she cookin for ya?" Crow asked. Rally nodded.

"That's great. Sounds like she's already quite the catch; I'd love to date a woman who can cook. Aki-san made some brownies for us once and they were heavenly, 'course Yusei'd kill me if I even considered making a move... marked territory, y'know... " Rally cleared his throat as Crow rambled on, reminding him to get to the point. "Anyway, ya gotta compliment her. Tell her she's really great at cooking, even if she isn't."

"Yeah," Rally replied cheerfully, remembering Crow's advice. "You're a really good cook." He could've sworn her cheeks tinted pink at that.

"Thanks," she muttered shyly. They continued their meal in a comfortable silence, both occasionally starting up a trivial question that filled any pauses that grew too long and awkward. Long after both had finished eating their food, they had moved past "table talk" and gone into intelligent conversation.

"Really?" Patty asked, giggling.

"I'm totally serious," Rally replied, beaming. This was going better than he thought! She was even laughing! "I mean, you'd think Yusei would be the one using all the hair gel... but nooooo, Yusei's a natural crab-head! Jack's the one who has to slather his head with products to make his hair look like that!"

"How do you know?" she asked with admiration.

"I lived with them for several years. Jack used the bathroom for forever in the morning!" he exclaimed. They busted up in laughter, unable to control themselves. As Rally wiped away the tears from his eyes, he checked his watch.

"Man, it's late already!" Rally said, jumping up. "The guys will be expecting me back soon!" Patty smiled, standing up beside him.

"I understand," she said simply. She led him to the door.

"Now, here's the important part," Crow said, his voice suddenly growing quiet. Rally had to lean in closely just to hear him. "Right before ya say good-bye... ya gotta kiss her."

"WHAT?" Rally leapt back in surprise, his eyes wide with terror. Crow shrugged.

"Hey, it's no big deal. Just a small peck on the lips, that's all. Girls love it if ya do it right; they'll keep coming back for more if ya do."

And Rally did want her to come back. But that didn't stop his stomach from doing gymnastics; the very thought of having to lean in close enough to kiss her was making him sick. Not that he didn't want to... but what if he missed? What if his breath smelled bad? There seemed to be so many things that could go wrong that it made his head spin.

Patty's sixth sense must have kicked in, because she reached out and touched his hand. The feeling of her skin against his was enough to make him jump in surprise.

"Hey, don't worry, about it," she said, very quickly pecking him on the cheek. "Let's do this again sometime." Rally nodded, his mouth hanging open. He felt like he was seeing stars in his eyes; had she really just done that? Patty chuckled, wishing him a safe trip home before closing the door.

Only when he was alone outside did his stunned expression melt into a silly grin. He sank against the wall, dizzy with thoughts about a girl who was, in his opinion, very, very pretty. After a moment, though, he frowned. Did this mean he had a girlfriend? How was he supposed to know? Did he have to ask her, or was it official after she kissed him?

He groaned. Oh well.

He supposed he would have to ask Crow in the morning.


Comment(s): I always enjoy a challenge. And writing about an unusual pairing is always challenging. You might notice that I tried to dumb down my vocabulary for this, since it's about children and not educated adults.

Non-canon haters, get out.