Title: Knowledge is a Virtue

Pairing(s): Yusei/Aki

Rating: T

Warning(s): Some sexual themes.

Note(s): There's this contest going on in the Faithshipping Club on DeviantART with a theme of writing about the two in some country of the world. Since I cancelled my account several months ago, I technically cannot enter, but I liked the theme so I wrote something for it anyway. It should be noted that for this story, the characters are speaking in English when the words are italicized and are speaking Japanese when they are not.

"The bonds of matrimony are like any other bonds—they mature slowly."

- Peter De Vries

Sleeping on a plane is just plain uncomfortable.

Aki realized this only after she felt reality set back in as her dreams faded into the back of her mind. Her neck was stiff and her legs felt as heavy as lead due to the lack of blood circulation. The non-stop flight from Neo Domino, Japan to New York, New York was a long and arduous one and she was ready for it to be over. Aki suppressed a yawn as she flicked her wrist over to check her watch; they had departed from the Neo Domino airport over 14 hours ago, which meant they should be landing soon.

"Have a nice nap?"

Aki blinked and glanced over at her companion beside her. She could clearly see his bright blue eyes under the reflection of his reading glasses and could tell that he was watching her very closely. Sprawled all over his lap and headboard was a collection of various papers containing complicated graphs and notes. From the dark circles under his eyes, she could tell he had spent the majority of the flight studying them.

"Just fine, Yusei," she replied with a tired smile.

They had been married for just a little over three weeks now. The change of having to eat, sleep, and overall live with another person had proven to be a bit of an adjustment, but certainly not one that was impossible to overcome—especially since the euphoria of being newly married had yet to wear off. Nevertheless, it felt strange for her to sign all official documents and papers using her new surname, "Fudo" (although, being referred to as Fudo Aki had quite a pleasant effect on her). Yusei, on the other hand, was, as usual, taking everything in stride.

The reason they were headed for New York was because of a conference Yusei had been asked to attend. A couple of years earlier, Yusei had been promoted to the head of the International Fortune Project and was tasked with the massive undertaking of helping other countries build their own Fortune Energy Systems. America was one of the countries interested in making the conversion because of its unhealthy dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil. Aki had expected Yusei would often have to leave her for a few days every so often to attend these sorts of conferences around the world when she agreed to marry him, and she was OK with that—which was why she was so surprised when he had insisted she come with him.

"I've been to New York two times now, it really is a place with its own character," he had told her two weeks prior to the trip, "I'd like for you to see it." And she really did want to go with him. Since studying abroad in Germany, it had become her secret desire to travel the world; and America was at the top of her list. So she managed to finagle her boss into giving her a few days off at the hospital.

"Ladies and gentleman, we have started our descent and will arrive at JFK airport on schedule at approximately 1:30 p.m., New York time. Please fasten your seatbelts as we are experiencing mild turbulence," the pilot announced over the PA. As if on cue, the plane jolted slightly, making Aki's stomach lurch. Yusei's hand found its way to hers, interlocking their fingers. Though he had never said so, nor would one be able to tell by his listless expression, Aki had gained the distinct impression Yusei was not a fan of flying.

Aki turned her head and looked out the window; the city, she thought, looked quite reminiscent of Neo Domino. Except older and less utopian-like. She lifted her eyes a bit and saw the Statue of Liberty standing proudly in the middle of the bay. A smile tugged at the edge of her lips; she had seen the monument several times in American films and thought it was a truly magnificent piece of art. She would have to convince Yusei to tour the island with her, tomorrow.

Within minutes, the plane finally touched down on the ground. Yusei's grip on her hand loosened and he looked just the slightest bit more relaxed. He gathered all his papers together and organized them into a neat stack, filing them away in various folders. As soon as the plane came to a complete stop at the gate and the seat belt light switched off, Aki gladly freed herself and stood up, stretching after sitting down for over half a day. Yusei followed suit and shuffled into the aisle, opening the overhead compartment to retrieve their luggage. The couple had packed light to avoid having to check in bags; a flight across the ocean was expensive as it was.

The pair squeezed through the crowd and off the plane. Both were moving slowly as their legs were taking time to adjust to their newfound mobility. Yusei led her through the terminal and down the stairs, knowing exactly where he was going. His eyes scanned the area, obviously looking for someone. When they reached the baggage claim area, the two were approached by an American man that couldn't have been much older than Yusei.

"Professor Fudo," the man said, eagerly grabbing Yusei's hand to shake it. "It is so good to see you again."

"The pleasure is all mine, Mr. Stewart," replied Yusei with a slight smile. He then moved his hand up to Aki's shoulder, his fingers curling just the tiniest bit into the sleeve of her blouse. "And I would like to introduce you to my wife, Aki." Aki blinked, bewildered. She had no idea Yusei could speak English so beautifully, as if he had known it his entire life. She, herself, had taken English language classes back in her days at Duel Academy, but had never become especially fluent.

"Ah, Aki, such a lovely name. Yes, I had heard Professor Fudo wed recently," said Stewart, now reaching for her hand. Aki panicked inwardly, not entirely sure what he had said or how to respond.

"Ah... It is very nice to meet you," Aki replied politely as she shook the man's hand, taking a safe route. She stumbled over her words and spoke in a very broken accent, which made her feel foolish compared to her husband's stellar English. Her cheeks flushed slightly and she pulled back immediately after Stewart dropped her hand. Yusei cast her a concerned look, knowing it was not at all like her to act this shy.

"Yes, well, let us move along quickly. The conference starts in less than three hours and I'm sure both of you like a little time to settle into your hotel room and prepare," Stewart replied hastily. He then took a small step toward Aki, reaching toward her luggage. "Please, Mrs. Fudo, allow me to carry your suitcase for you." Aki shot him a wary look and then glanced up at Yusei, questioning.

"He wants to carry your bag," Yusei clarified for her. Aki relaxed and muttered a "thank you" to Stewart as he took her luggage. As the trio headed out, Yusei moved the slightest bit closer to Aki, asking her quietly if she was OK.

"I'm fine, no need to worry," she reassured him. Yusei looked completely unconvinced, however.

"You did not think you were the only one who was bilingual, did you?" he asked, referring to the fact she was proficient in both Japanese and German. Aki, by then, had grown accustomed to Yusei's strange ability to read her like an open book, as well as his gift at making uncannily accurate guesses as to what was bothering her at any given time, so his inquiry did not take her by surprise.

"No... I just..." She shook her head. "Your English is perfect. Where did you learn it?"

"I've had to brush up on it quite a bit since I was elected to head the International Fortune Project." Aki almost felt silly for asking; 'of course,' she said inwardly, remembering that he had been to America several times before they had even begun dating. It only made sense that he would be able to, at least to some degree, speak the primary language of the country.

Stewart had a car waiting to escort them outside of the terminal. The first thing Aki immediately noticed when they stepped out of the airport was how thick the cool air was. She forced herself to deepen her breathing to accommodate to the atmosphere. Once they reached the car, the chauffeur stepped out and unlocked the trunk. Stewart quickly placed Aki's bag inside and Yusei followed after him. Meanwhile, Aki quietly settled into the backseat of the car. Yusei cast her another furtive glance; something was still bothering her.

"Please, Professor Fudo, feel free to sit in the front," Stewart offered politely. Yusei held up his hand casually in decline.

"Thank you, Mr. Stewart, but I would like to sit next to my wife," he explained. Stewart grinned and nodded in understanding as the scientist slid into the seat beside Aki. She didn't bother to look his way, entranced by something else.

"The driver's seat," she began, as if she were in awe, "it's on the wrong side."

"American cars have their driver's seat to the left rather than the right," Yusei explained.

"How interesting," she mused. "You'd think it would be impossible to navigate that way."

"I'm sure Americans feel the same way about cars elsewhere in the world."

The chauffer switched the car into 'drive' and they were off. Aki drew her attention away from the interior of the vehicle and gazed out the window. They were a couple miles away from the most urban part of the city, so traffic wasn't too terrible; at least, not yet. Yusei couldn't help but watch her, studying her expression. He couldn't fathom why she would be so upset over why he could speak English. Really, it seemed plain unreasonable of her.

Yusei leaned his head back against the seat; perhaps, he thought, he was reading into it too much. They had just had a long flight and she was tired and insensible. He was, too. If time permitted, a few minutes alone in their hotel room would do them both good if they needed to talk, he finally decided.

The hotel the company had booked for the couple was quite nice; actually, nice was an understatement. Beautiful was a more appropriate term. Their suite included a master bedroom, living room, and bathroom; more than enough to keep them comfortable for the few days they were staying there. Aki had trouble pronouncing the name of the hotel, though, so she really had no idea what to call it.

Stewart had left them there to, as he had called it, "settle in," but had said they would need to leave in about an hour to reach the conference in time. Only an hour; Aki had practically laughed. She had hoped there would be at least enough time to take a quick shower before dressing appropriately for the event, but it seemed both she and Yusei would have to cut out the former to make time. Aki sighed and shook her head as she finished unpacking her bag. She knew it couldn't be helped and that there was no reason to complain; they simply wouldn't have been able to leave Neo Domino any earlier than they had.

Having finished her chores, Aki moved the window, pulling back the curtain. She gazed at her own reflection the flawless glass for a long moment before adjusting her eyesight to examine the building's surroundings.

"The view is nice, in a strange sort of way. You cannot see the harbor or anything of the like, just buildings and the traffic below. I like it though, it's different," she said casually, glancing at Yusei over her shoulder. The marked man paused from unpacking his suitcase, his eyes moving slowly up to meet hers.

"I can assure you, you won't like that traffic much tonight when you try to go to bed," Yusei said, being quite frank. "You know, the phrase 'the city that never sleeps' fits New York quite well. I discovered that the first time I came here."

"Ah," Aki said, shutting the curtain. She turned toward him slowly as an idea came to her. When she spoke again, her voice was low and had a sultry feel to it. "Well, I'm certain we can find other activities to fill our time tonight, then." The tips of Yusei's ears turned pink and he looked uncharacteristically bashful. Having only married her recently, he was not quite used to her sexual advances yet (though he admittedly enjoyed them).

"I'm certain we can, too," he said after clearing his throat. A part of him was still worried; although it seemed Aki had dropped her melancholic demeanor after their arrival at the hotel, there was an inkling feeling in him that it wasn't over yet. Aki had a way of masking her issues and bottling up her emotions until everything burst into an ugly mess. He glanced at the digital clock on one of the tables and pursed his lips. They still had time.

"Aki," he began suddenly, turning to face her fully. "Answer me honestly this time. Are you OK?" Aki, who had moved to the vanity and was touching up on her make-up, looked slightly annoyed.

"Yes, Yusei, I'm fine," she replied hastily.

"Are you?"

"I thought it was the wife's job to nag," she snapped. He took a step back and turned his head away, as though he had been slapped across the face. There was a sliver of hurt in his blue eyes and Aki immediately felt guilty.

"I'm sorry, Yusei," she sighed, her shoulders slumping slightly. "I didn't mean it."

"I know," he replied stiffly. He paused before adding, "We should head downstairs in a few minutes."


"We can't be late."

Aki sucked in her breath but nodded.

"I understand," she replied, standing up. She retrieved her purse and brushed past him, but before she could leave, Yusei gripped her wrist tightly, preventing her from doing so. Aki's muscles tightened as she mechanically turned to face him. Yusei noticed with a start that she looked as hurt as he felt. He pulled her along with him to the edge of their bed. Then, he wrapped a hesitant arm around her shoulder, bringing her close to him. They were going to make up for this now, he decided, even if it did end up making them late.

"Aki," he began, nuzzling her affectionately. "I'm sorry, too. I care about you and I worry about you. I know you, and I know you have a tendency to keep things to yourself. But it's OK to talk to me about these things if you need to." Aki closed her eyes and looked physically pained; she swallowed these feelings though and allowed herself to melt in his grip because it felt good to be held by him.

"Thank you, Yusei," she replied, brushing her lips against the edge of his yellow criminal mark apologetically. He winced; the area was very sensitive, and she knew that, but that's exactly why she did it. It served as a reminder to the both of them. It forced them to, even if only for a brief moment, reflect upon where they came from and where they were now. She was silent for a moment longer before adding, "Really, don't worry though."

Yusei's hand dropped from her shoulder and moved to her hand, gripping it firmly. He knew if she felt the need to reassure him she was fine, then she wasn't. But he would back off, for now; he would try to wait until she was ready. They stood up together and as they left, Aki realized he had absolutely no intention of letting go of her hand. She offered him a sad smile; the gesture was sweet, but it didn't do much to make her feel better.

The conference hall was within walking distance, so the two didn't bother hailing a cab. Nevertheless, Aki very quickly regretted her choice of footwear. Heels were not made for traversing the cracked, uneven concrete of the city. She was aware they were behind on time, however, and so she kept her mouth shut. If she complained, she was sure Yusei would stop to give her a moment's rest and she would hate to make him late. Aki flinched in pain when she made a particularly bad step, making the ball of her foot burn. She realized she would probably have a couple of blisters by the end of the day.

"How far away are we?" she asked casually after several blocks. Yusei cast her a glance.

"It's just up around the corner."

She smiled crookedly and said, "Good." True to his word, the conference hall was erected proudly on the next street. Aki breathed a sigh of relief, hoping she would be able to find a place to sit and massage her feet. He finally dropped her hand and politely held the door open for her; however, as soon as they entered, they were swamped with crowds of people. Aki shrunk back, feeling rather claustrophobic as people reached out to shake her husband's hand and, occasionally, her own.

"Professor Fudo, it's such an honor to finally meet you."

"We are so glad you could join us here."

"Oh, is this your new wife, Professor?"

"Yes, that's her; I saw photos of their wedding in a magazine a couple of weeks ago."

"Well, it's a pleasure to meet you Mrs. Fudo."

Aki felt dizzy from all the attention she was receiving. She wished she could reply back, but dared not open her mouth for fear of embarrassment. She barely could understand what all these other people were saying, anyway. She glanced at her husband inconspicuously, who seemed to be handling the situation far better than she was. Of course, she realized, he had had several years of experience dealing with this sort of thing.

"Yusei..." she said quietly, reaching out and grasping the sleeve of his coat. Yusei took careful note of her plea and held up his hand calmly, rendering the crowd completely silent. Aki blinked, amazed; she had not realized how much of an impact his collected demeanor had on people outside of herself and their group of friends.

"Thank you so much for welcoming us here." He spoke each word eloquently. "I cannot express how happy I am that you are all excited about this project. Let us now move into the lecture hall so that we may begin shortly." He then proceeded to lock arms with Aki and they went forth together; Aki was still bewildered at how easily he had quelled the frenzied crowd. Even now, they politely and quietly parted the way for them to make their way through.

"You're quite popular," she remarked once they were on their own. The edge of his lip tugged upward.

"I wouldn't go that far," he replied. The pair was then greeted by Stewart, who was both glad and relieved they had managed to make it on time. He also apologized for the behavior of some of his colleagues at the door, who were all too eager to see him. Yusei reassured him they were fine, however, and Stewart led them into the waiting room where Yusei could spend a few final minutes preparing.

Aki settled awkwardly in a seat across from him, watching him as he pulled his laptop, jumpdrive, and notes out of his shoulder bag. She couldn't help but notice that he seemed rather... nervous. Which was completely and totally unlike him; he handled every situation with a cool head and a logical outlook. Thinking back, she didn't even think he had pre-wedding jitters (which was unfortunate in its own way, since she had looked like a hot mess in front of the altar when compared to him).

"Are you ill?" she asked without thinking her question fully through. Yusei didn't seem to take offense though, and merely shook his head.

"No," he replied plainly as he booted up his laptop and inserted the jumpdrive. "It's just, even after all these years, I still don't enjoy public speaking." A cold rush jolted Aki and she looked just the slightest bit disturbed by this new revelation.

"You certainly don't seem like the type who fears it," she said quietly.

"Even I have my weaknesses," he said tiredly. Aki tried to offer him a reassuring smile.

"You'll do fine, I'm sure," she encouraged. "I've seen you speak before, and you always do well." He couldn't help but crack a smile.

"Thank you, Aki," he said with the utmost sincerity. Her heart fluttered at the warmth in his voice; she loved the way he said her name sometimes. Even when they were angry or fighting, he spoke it reverently, as if it were something sacred, as if it actually meant something to him. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door, and Stewart peered inside.

"We are ready for you, Professor Fudo," he said.

"Right," Yusei replied, rising to his feet. Aki followed suit.

"I'll watch you from the audience," she said. Yusei nodded, patting her shoulder lightly before they parted ways.

She had been here many times before: sitting in the back row of a large auditorium, ignoring all other people to only listen to Yusei speak. She had seen several of his summer lectures at Neo Domino University while still she was still in medical school, and had continued attending them when they were dating. Hearing he hated public speaking came as a surprise to her since his speeches were so compelling, even though the topics he addressed held little interest to her.

Of course, this wasn't precisely a lecture. It was, more or less, a sales pitch. She wondered if that was perhaps why he was so stressed out; he had spent so much time and energy trying to get America to invest in the Fortune Project, and if they ultimately decided not to, he would likely see it as a failure on his part. She laughed inwardly at the notion since she knew Yusei was anything but a failure.

The lights were flicked off and Yusei presented himself at the podium, eliciting a loud applause from the crowd. He then lowered the projector, quickly hooking it up to his computer and pulling up the PowerPoint show he had prepared for this event. Aki settled into her seat and, as she always did, tried to follow along. Unlike previous times, however, she was completely lost due to the language barrier. Eventually, she tuned out and only listened the confident tone of his voice as he rattled on about the Fortune program in English.

His speech had apparently gone very well, however, because at the conclusion of the meeting, he received a standing ovation from many of his peers in the scientific community. The blonde young woman next to her had jumped up with such fervor that it surprised Aki.

"He truly is a genius innovator." It took a moment for Aki to realize the woman was talking to her, and she politely nodded in acknowledgement. "He's very handsome too. And his voice... It's a shame, I heard he just got married. I really would like to get to know him better, though." Aki blinked; though she was only able to understand bits and pieces of the woman's vocabulary, she was able to get the gist of what the she was saying.

"Yes, so would I," Aki confessed, standing up and leaving the auditorium. The other woman tilted her head, confused as she watched Aki walk out. Aki, however, didn't bother looking back and returned immediately to the waiting room. She knew Yusei would again be swamped with people wanting to talk to him and she wasn't interested in being a part of that. She felt horrible for it, but she honestly felt like she couldn't deal with the frenzy that was sure to follow that meeting.

She made herself comfortable in her previous location, setting her purse next to Yusei's belongings. And then she waited.

And waited.

Aki laid her head down on the table, beginning to wonder whether she should go looking for him. Nearly an hour had passed since the end of the two-hour long conference, and while she had expected Yusei would be kept busy with the inquiries of other people for awhile, she had not expected it would take this long. Her eyes began to droop, feeling the jet lag catch up to her. She nodded off into a light sleep right there, figuring Yusei would wake her up whenever he came.

When she finally did come around, however, she became slightly cognizant of the fact she that she was no longer in the waiting room. She breathed heavily, hearing the raucous honking of cars all around her. Her eyes fluttered open and she realized she was actually in a taxi cab; it took a moment longer to notice that Yusei had wrapped his coat around her shoulders and that her head was gently laid on his lap. His hand had settled itself in her red hair, brushing through it carefully and rhythmically. As Aki blinked the sleep out of her eyes, she looked up to see him, his chin resting casually on his open palm and his burning, blue eyes staring aimlessly out the window.

"Hey," she said groggily, sitting up. Yusei's eyes widened in surprise for just a brief second, not realizing she had stirred.

"Hey," he replied.

"Why didn't you wake me up?" she asked, tightening his coat around her. He shrugged.

"I couldn't bring myself to."

"So how did we get here?" There was a long pause and he stared at her as if the answer was the most obvious thing in the world.

"I carried you, of course."

That evening, as per Aki's original suggestion, they forgoed sleeping to spend time with one another. However, before he took her to bed, he wanted to take a bath. The humidity and thickness of the air in the city had made him perspire and feel sticky under his clothes. Rather than bathing separately though, he proposed they do it together.

The tub itself was very large, but was a bit of a tight fit for two people. They sat on opposite sides, their limbs tangled up with one another underneath the water. Aki seemed pleased by this arrangement for a bit, but after a short period of time, she withdrew from him. Every time he tried to engage her in conversation, she replied shortly and he eventually gave up. However, he took advantage of the silence that ensued to try and analyze the situation. At first, he thought it might of just been her exhaustion from the long day that was causing her to be so terse with him. But, with further contemplation, he concluded her detachedness was a remnant of her upset mood earlier that morning.

"Aki, talk to me," he said finally.

"About what?" she mumbled in response.

"You know."

"I thought we got past this this morning. I'm fine, Yusei."

"No, you're not," he persisted. "I know you. I can tell when something is bothering you." She looked even more depressed upon this statement.

"That's just the thing," she said quietly, hurt. "You know me, but I feel like I barely know you."

"What do you mean?"

"Like, I didn't know you spoke English until today. Why didn't I know that? I feel like that's something I should have known, but didn't," she explained. He stared at her for a long moment, expressionless. Really, he wasn't quite sure how to respond to that; being hung up over such a detail seemed completely insignificant to him. He closed his eyes briefly and sighed; he loved her, certainly, but she was sometimes very difficult to deal with.

"Aki, I'm not going file for divorce because you didn't know I spoke a language other than Japanese." Aki pursed her lips, irritated; Yusei's own brand of sarcasm had pinched a nerve.

"That's not the point," she said, sounding more frustrated. "I'm just concerned that this is a mistake. That we're both in over our heads." She laughed bitterly before adding, "Why, now that I think about it, I've married a stranger." Yusei blinked, slightly taken aback. Then something clicked in his head. This, he realized, had nothing to do with the different languages spoken between them; that was just a surface issue.

"I know you don't truly believe that."

"What if I do?"

"But you don't."

Aki fell silent once again, unable to conjure up a response. Yusei waited for a long while to see if she had anything else to say before clearing his throat.

"Marriage is like a giant, complicated puzzle," he began, his clear, blue eyes gazing directly at her, unwavering, as he spoke. "However, unlike other puzzles that take only a couple of hours to solve, marriage is composed of a little million pieces, and it takes an entire lifetime to finally be able to see the whole picture." Aki lifted her head slightly and blinked in confusion.

"I'm not quite sure what you are trying to get at," she confessed.

"Don't be discouraged if at times you feel like we don't understand, or perhaps even know each other," he clarified. "That is to be expected. Remember though, Aki, that I didn't choose to be with you because there was no one else or because it seemed like the right thing to do. Jack, Crow, and the others are all my friends, but you hold a special place in my heart, reserved just for you. Never forget that."

Aki's breath hitched in her throat. She had figured out long ago that Yusei was a completely unromantic and emotionally distant man, but sometimes, he had a way of surprising her. This was one of those times.

"I won't forget, Yusei," she promised. He cracked one of his rare, genuine smiles.

"Good," he replied with an nod. "Because, I know that if you remember—if we both remember—then in the end, we can work things out, piece by piece." He paused before adding, "I hope you realize I'm in this for the long-haul."

"I know," she said. "I am, too."

"Then neither of us have anything to worry about," he responded. Though his smile had faded, its sincerity remained present in the part of his lips. Aki was able to recognize that and, for a moment, thought that perhaps she knew him better than she had originally believed.

Eventually, the two had managed to find rest in the early hours of the morning. The physical and emotional exhaustion from the day was enough to lure them into sleep, despite the noisiness of the traffic below. However, as a result of their late-night affairs, neither of them stirred until it was nearly noon.

Aki's head was spinning when she finally woke up. She shifted around under the sheets uncomfortably, feeling sufficiently sore. The morning after was never her favorite. She turned on her side to face Yusei, who was still peacefully sleeping. Her dry lips cracked a smile and for awhile she just laid there and watched him, fascinated by the even rising and falling of his chest.

It was only when she realized how late it was getting that she reached out a gently pushed his bangs out of his face. She then moved her hand down to his shoulder, shaking him enough to wake him up. This elicited a quiet moan from him, but his eyes cracked open nevertheless. The edges around her eyes softened. Dear God, did she love him. That was the part she did actually enjoy about the morning after; each time, she felt closer to him, closer to his heart. Closer to knowing him. She hoped he felt the same.

Aki closed her eyes for a brief moment. No, she knew he felt the same. She was able to feel it during their lovemaking: his heartbeat, pulsing inside of her.

"Morning," she said quietly, friendly.

"Morning," he replied, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. "What time is it?"

"It's a little past 11:30 a.m."

He chuckled as he propped himself up on his elbows.

"I guess we overslept."

"It's vacation, we're allowed to be lazy," she justified, raising her head to meet his eyes.

"I suppose you're right." He sat up, stretching his arms. Aki watched him with adoration for a bit longer before following his lead. As the pair began to get dressed, Aki cleared her throat to speak.

"So... Yusei..."

"Yes?" he said, buttoning up his white shirt.

"I was wondering if we could go somewhere today. Tour the city." She said this carefully as she picked out her shoes, which, this time, were much more appropriate for traveling. He paused, glancing at her.

"Where were you thinking?"

"The Statue of Liberty."

"... Liberty?" He turned the thought over in his mind for a long moment. "Yes, I suppose we could do that." Aki's expression visibly brightened, delighted; she had been prepared to spend all her argumentative powers trying to persuade him to go, yet he had agreed to do so easily. For whatever reason, she had gotten it in her head Yusei would not of all been interested in going, but that had proven to not be true.

... Sort of.

A (late) breakfast, taxi ride, and long line later, the couple were on the top deck of one of the several ferry's headed toward Liberty Island. Aki learned that, along with plane rides, being on a boat made him feel ill. So, she spent the majority of the 20-minute trip beside him on one of provided benches, comforting him. She sympathized with him but, strangely, found the situation darkly humorous. For someone who was very much into the thrill of Riding Duel, who would have thought a little motion sickness would bother him?

"Don't worry, I'm sure we'll be there soon," she said reassuringly, running her fingers gently down his spine. She knew he liked that when he wasn't feeling up to speed. He offered her a weak smile.

"I hope you're right."

Another piece solved.


Comment(s): This is, in a way, a study of what (early) married life would be like for Yusei and Aki. Many fanfic authors here portray marriage relations between them as sunshine, rainbows, and happiness, which I find grossly unrealistic based upon their characters. I feel it would be somewhat similar to how they treat each other canonically in the series: politely but not overly passionate. Additionally, it's more realistic that their marriage would have several kinks in it that need to be worked out. Yusei can be emotionally detached at times and Aki can be a handful. Mind you, that's not to say their union would be unsuccesful; after all, all marriages have their hiccups.

Also, if you have the chance to go to New York, go. I've visited three times for various reasons and it's wonderful.~

Reviews are greatly appreciated.